Does Cee-lo Green have the magic touch or what?
Check out the production on the new video forhis internet sensation "Fuck You."
Rodrigo Sanchez, one-half of Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela (who found fame, incidentally, as temporary immigrants in Ireland) explains why he and collaborator Gabriela Quintero are members of Sound Strike and the best way to counter laws like Arizona's SB 1070.
Rodrigo y Gabriela play Sept. 4 at the Majestic Theatre.
STE-001BA by cenlow
To make the start of your desk-bound work week a little more bearable, the Current will be sharing whatever decent internet tidbit makes it's way to the music and screens email inbox.
This week Arcade Fire sent us a link to The Wilderness Downtown, an interactive film made by Chris Milk. To me it sounds like an ad for Google with an Arcade Fire soundtrack. You can't even watch the film without Google Chrome web browser. But ... maybe it's worth it. Here's a bit from the email:
Taking its name from a lyric from the aforementioned song--"so when the lights cut out, I was lost, standing in the wilderness downtown"--"The Wilderness Downtown" exemplifies the Google "Chrome Experience" and HTML5 technology, cueing the opening of multiple browser windows, visually incorporating viewers' childhood addresses (if they are available via Google Street View) , allowing the viewers to write and share messages to their younger selves and more.
View for yourself here and report back.
Ron and Carol Asvestas built it, then screwed it up; next, daughter Nicole García sacked Mom and Dad; then, the new board, led by Jamie and Michelle Anthony-Cryer, sacked García. Such has been the very wild history of the Wild Animal Orphanage. If the cycle is to continue, who will sack the Cryers? That is, if there is a Wild Animal Orphanage left at all.
On August 23, a message was posted by Laurie Gage, big cat specialist for the USDA, on a Google animal-lovers’ group. “The Wild Animal Orphanage near San Antonio, Texas is having difficulty caring for their animals,” the message read. “They are now trying to find homes for 55 tigers, 14 lions, 3 cougars, 6 wolf hybrids, 2 old (17 years) leopards, and about 200 primates.”
Former WAO vice-president and treasurer (and recent volunteer) Kristina Brunner expects the worse. “It looks like the Cryers decided it was too much work to save the WAO, so they have thrown in the towel,” she wrote in an email. “My heart is completely broken over this.”
Not so fast, cat lady. According to Rob Mitchell, listed as “community relations” man for WAO, the orphanage is alive and, uh, well.
“Are we closing? Not that I know of,” Mitchell told the Current on Friday. The search for new homes is “a normal function,” he said. “That happens all the time. We’re not shutting down.”
It happens all the time? Really? The 280 animals in need of homes represent more than half of the “approximately 400 animals” WAO claims in its website. Not even at the lowest point during the Asvestas’s era did the orphanage attempt such a massive animal exodus.
“No, this is not common,” said Gage. “From what I understand, the WAO has had some financial difficulties.” (You don’t say.) “Our USDA inspector in Texas has been going there frequently to ensure the care of the animals there meets the Animal Welfare Standards. If the facility were to run out of funding, then the animals will need new homes. We are trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario, but hope for the best. Presently all of the animals are owned by the WAO and it [is] up to them as to where they may be placed.”
Besides a fine here and there and a state of near-perpetual investigations, authorities as late as May had not found any criminal wrongdoing at WAO.
“Our office has taken no legal action against this San Antonio facility nor do we anticipate any, at this point,” Tom Kelley, spokesperson for the Texas Office of Attorney General, told Animal People magazine in May. “We are monitoring their efforts daily, nothing more.”
Those who support the current administration suggest the lack of legal action proves the accusations against the orphanage are greatly exaggerated; hard-line animal lovers blame federal and state agencies and laws for “speciesism,” that is, allowing people to get away with things that, if done to humans, would have landed them in jail.
But ask any of WAO’s leaders about lack of funds or food for the animals and they’ll blame the previous administration. The new board accused García of trying to keep them in the dark about WAO’s finances (even though she insists she never had access to the bank accounts). García blames her parents for destroying the orphanage and claims that, in the six months she was in charge, things were slowly but steadily improving.
My take, after visiting and speaking to different characters in the Wild World of WAO: Nicole and Kristine (and, especially, Kristine), where let go because they were all over peoples’ asses when it came to animal care and management. Based on internal emails I was able to review, every fundraising effort by García to gradually introduce new board members and phase out older ones, were thwarted by the board.
“I think we need to hold off on bringing anyone else onto the board until we have sufficient time to determine what our course of action is going to be,” wrote former board member Sumner Matthes on April 8. “I hope by the middle of next week we will be able to determine what we are going to do about the board’s current or new membership.”
The rest is history. On April 30, García was terminated in what she calls an illegal (there was no quorum, she says) and retaliatory termination.
“[Some workers] kept complaining that Nicole never listened to their fundraising ideas,” Brunner said. “So I’d say, ‘Shoot. Tell me about it.’ And they would come up with these off-the-wall ideas, like having a meat barbecue on WAO’s property. I thought they were out of their minds.”
In a 2009 interview with the Current, Lynn Cuny, founder of the model Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation sanctuary near Kendalia, echoed the feelings of the average hardcore animal lover. “If you’re going to be eating one animal in order to raise money to feed another, then I don’t think you’re doing your job and I don’t think you’re holding that really true high standard of what an animal protection organization is and what they stand for.”
WAO’s President of the Board Michelle Anthony-Cryer didn’t return our phone call, and husband Jamie Cryer, listed as director and animal rescue team manager, could not be reached for comment. Even spokesperson Mitchell, who works part-time for WAO on weekends, told me he was at his other job and was “very busy right now.” The numbers he gave me (“there should be somebody at the office right now”) are the same ones listed on WAO’s website. One is not in service; the other one has no answering machine.
“It was all a set-up,” said García, now a bartender in Leon Valley. “From what I remember back when my mom and dad were still on the board, Michelle [Anthony-Cryer] made a statement, three or four years ago, that she would be glad to take the orphanage over because she didn’t feel my parents had it in their hearts to take care of the animals. I was just used as a pawn to get my parents out. I think this was planned the entire time by [Anthony-Cryer]. That’s what I feel in my heart.”
She chokes back tears.
“I’m sorry, I’m very emotional about this, but nobody cares about the animals. They would rather keep me and Kristina [Brunner] out of there, and all the others who wanted to help out of there, than allow Kristina and I to implement the long list of plans we had for the orphanage.”
The plan included revamped volunteer programs (120 military students from Lackland had already committed to do repairs in early May), the Animal Talk e-newsletter, animal toy and donation drives, and a partnership with the Red Cross.
“[The Cryers] would rather see it fail and close than allow us to get back to that place and try to save it. There’s no need for all this. There’s no need for animals to be placed anywhere. It’s ridiculous. It’s just a personal thing from a married couple against everybody else. And for what? [Anthony-Cryer and the Matthes’] were supposed to be the quorum, but Elise [Matthes] wasn’t voted in as a member by a quorum of three. They tried to [terminate me] by default, and hoped no one would notice. By I know my [by-] laws. It was a retaliation termination, and I have the right to have my job back. I want to put the right people in there, and then walk away.”
Is she admitting that she was not qualified to run WAO in the first place?
“Look ... I would stay long enough to get the place back in order, two to three years, and get some non-profit professionals who know what they’re doing and keep the place alive. Then I’ll move on and pursue another life. This has taken so much from me.”
The kitchen at Grey Moss Inn does much of its best work at special dinners such as the annual Zin-Din held in January. A special vintner dinner has just been announced for Sept. 3 with Greg Graziano, owner/winemaker of Graziano Wines of Mendocino, CA. Many of Graziano’s wines currently grace GM’s award-winning wine list; this is a chance to taste several new ones and to hear about them from the man who made them. Menu highlights include the Monte Volpe Pinot Grigio and Primo Rosso with grilled scallops and wild boar nachos; the Saint Gregory Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir with chipotle-rubbed Caesar salad and grilled sockeye with French lentils; and the Graziano Zinfandel with prime-rib enchiladas in a five-chile sauce. The evening concludes with a grilled tri-tip steak and duck sausage mated to a risotto cake with crawfish and served with the Graziano 2006
The cost is $52 per person plus tax and tip, and reservations may be had by calling 210-695-8301.
Jay Hernandez - Takers
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
In the new heist movie Takers, actor Jay Hernandez plays Eddie Hatcher, an LAPD officer who goes after a team of bank robbers alongside his edgy partner Jack Welles (Matt Dillon). During the heist, Eddie is faced with a situation concerning his son that compromises his position as a cop.
During an interview with me, Hernandez, 32, whose film credits include Friday Night Lights, Nothing Like the Holidays, and the Hostel franchise, talked about why playing a cop isn’t quite as fun as playing a criminal and why heist movies are as popular as ever.
Was there something particular you saw in your character that made you want to be a part of the film?
There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to be in the film, but one of the main ones was because the character was interesting and layered. Also, there was a very eclectic cast that would hopefully build tension.
Are these layered roles the type of work you’re pursing at this point of your career?
I think most actors try to do stuff that is not one-dimensional. It ultimately comes down to what options actors have. If you don’t have a lot of options, sometimes you’re forced to do things you don’t necessarily want to do. With me, I always try to pick things that are interesting.
You’ve played a cop before. How do you prepare for a role like this to make it completely different from the previous one?
You just try to switch it up in anyway possible and not repeat what you’ve done before. I have actually played a cop a couple of times. Maybe you can throw in a little accent. Physically there are things you can do. But this character had a lot of different things going on than the cop in Lakeview Terrace.
You played characters on both sides of the law, so which roles are more fun?
Playing the criminal is more fun. You get shoot more people and steal. The criminal always gets the girl.
Do you think in real life you might be able to pull off a heist without getting caught?
(Laughs) You know, I watch enough Forensic Files and Discovery Channel that I should be able to get away with it, but probably not. Everyone makes dumb mistakes somewhere down the line. You might be able to get away with it in a film, but not so much in real life.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an actor?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve been doing it for a while now and I’ve accepted it as my world. If I was going to do anything else, I would imagine it would have to include a lot of traveling and experiencing different cultures. I don’t know what kind of job would take me all over the world like that.
What do you think it is about the heist movie that keeps it so popular as a genre?
It’s this idea that everybody has: If I could just get my hands on $1 million, what would I do with it? You can take that idea and put it in any setting around the world or in any situation. As a writer or director, the potential roads you could walk down are limitless. Everybody has that fantasy sometime in their lives – if I could just get my hands on some cash, legal or illegal. I think that’s why [the genre] keeps coming back and is always relevant especially now in terms of the economy.
Your co-star T.I. was recently quoted as saying that he wants to win an Oscar before he turns 40. You’ve been in the industry for 10 years. Is it realistic for actors to set those kinds of goals for themselves?
Well, the only way you’re ever going to reach a goal is if you set one. That doesn’t mean he’s going to do it, but I wouldn’t say it was impossible. I would love to do it someday, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Does he have the ability to do it? Maybe. But will the opportunity present itself? There are so many factors that go into somebody winning an Oscar that you never know. I hope to win one someday and if [T.I.] commits to it, I hope he does, too.
In lieu of a printed Live and Local, we'll go ahead and give our impressions online of the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, as covered by Chris Maddin (singer, Blowing Trees), Chuck Kerr (drummer, Gospel Choir of Pillows), Marcus Rubio (guitar, violin, vocals, Gospel Choir of Pillows), Matt Thomas (bass, Gospel Choir of Pillows), Chris Guerra (keys, Morris Orchids), Ryan Teter (trombone, Mission Complete!), Bobby Baiza (alto and baritone sax), and Julieanna Buentello (flute, Deer Vibes).
The mini-orchestra played Ziggy start to finish at Kerr and Maddin's Weds. night jam spot, the Broadway 5050. While this performance wasn't as tight as last month's cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the group made up for it by going totally fucking glam. Using borrowed costumes from Magik Theater, all eight musicians gamely sported sequins, metallics, make-up, and lycra that would have made Bowie himself faint with delight. In fact, I think it was the costumes, glitter and small stage that resulted in most of the musical flubs and not a lack of familiarity with the source material.
Maddin especially deserves props for going all method and shoving a blue contact lense into his eye (he doesn't wear correctives, normally) and walking onstage in a diva-licious silver moonboots and a full body, scoop-neck blue unitard, just one pair of bunched boxers away from being a star in an erotic Smurfs film. His androgynous and insouciant performance included glitter-throwing, faux-fellatio/guitar-teeth-playing and an uncanny channeling of Bowie's rich voice (when we could hear it, the vocals occassionally were overpowered by the other instruments).
Among the glitterati in attendence, and the Broadway 5050 packed them in that night, was our own new acting editor Greg Harman. When he wasn't rocking out to "Starman," he captured some video and photos. Always working, that one.
When Men's Health voted San Antonio the seventh-fattest city in the U.S. in May, claiming 28 percent of residents are clinically obese (the national average being 25.19 percent) and that 9 percent of us spend more time in front of the boob tube than, well, healthier cities, PETA decided to break out the hot dogs and do something about it.
Bikini-clad girls, wearing nothing but strategically placed lettuce leaves, handed out free veggie dogs (provided by the city’s own Green Vegetarian Cuisine) on the front steps of city hall Tuesday afternoon to promote the veggie lifestyle.
“San Antonio residents’ love affair with meat may be making them fat and could literally be killing them,” PETA campaigner Lauren Stroyeck said in a press release Monday. “The smartest thing that they can do for their health, their appearance, the planet, and animals is to go vegetarian.”
Last year, San Antonio was ranked the third fattest city, so someone's been using their gym membership. We're better off than our southerly neighbor Corpus Christi, which reigns supreme as America's fattest city.
Everyone: there is only so much room we can devote to Marcus Rubio, Chuck Kerr, Chris Maddin, et al in print. I make no excuses. They just happen to be out playing music ALL THE TIME. Seriously, I saw Kerr gig with We Leave at Midnight just last night.Rubio has like 12 shows this week. Now they and the Gospel Choir of Pillows, Deer Vibes, and Cartographers crew will present their cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars tonight at the Broadyway 50/50. I saw the same trio, plus pals, take on Wilco's opus Yankee Hotel Foxtrot last month, and as a person who played that album in her Jetta for two years straight, I frankly enjoyed the hell out of their flawless re-creation.
For many of us, tonight may be as close to a Bowie show as we'll ever get.
11pm, Aug. 25 (TONIGHT)
Summer suggests sauvignon blanc. Okay, it also implies some lusty reds for bounty from the barbie, but I happen to have tasted several sauvys recently, so let’s assume that it’s shrimp on the grill, not burgers or pepper-rubbed rib eyes. Let’s also assume that nobody wants to pay a bundle for summer sippers, and all of these fill that bill. In no particular order, here they are.
Viña los Vascos Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild, 2009 Sauvignon Blanc,
In the next case, some French winemakers seem to be making more complex wines in
Moving on to New Zealand, the Kiwis have, on the basis of the next two wines, begun to muzzle the extreme grapefruit qualities that distinguished (or diminished) some of their sauvys in years past. Yes, the Vavasour 2009 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc betrays its heritage with grapefruit on both the nose and palate, but it matures into some beautiful tropical fruit with time. On second tasting, passion fruit held the upper hand. Give passion time, in other words.
In contrast, the Goldwater 2008 Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc headed straight for the tropics right out of the gate. Melon was big, along with passion fruit again, and grapefruit sat firmly in the back seat. Pleasant, crisp and not too pushy, this could become a summer stalwart.
A textbook case in showing how different the sauvignon grape can be in a different climate and in different hands was presented by a
“I’m feeling really good about this. I’ve wanted to teach for a very long time, but I had to have a career first. This comes at a really good time for me.” So said Scott Cohen in response to a press release declaring his move from Executive Chef at Pavil Restaurant and Bar and the Watermark Grill to a teaching position at the Austin branch of France’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
This is the kind of release that could easily have been a polite kiss-off. Though he was still “advising”, Cohen hadn’t been cooking at Pavil for some time, in fact, and considering their closing for lunch, the tentative breakfast overtures…and the restaurant climate in general, it was easy to imagine a cost-cutting scenario. But, as Cohen has nothing but good words for Pat Kennedy, the owner of the Watermark Hotel Company that has both Pavil and the Watermark Grill, and is staying on as an Advisor ( caps theirs) and member of the company’s Board of Directors, we will take him at his word. Besides, he has moved his family to Round Rock. This is serious.
But why nor stay and work with the local C.I.A.? Cohen is a graduate of the
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, two chefs Cohen trained at Las Canarias and Pesca are at the helm of the Kennedy restaurants—Jose Yañez at Pavil and Tyler Horstman at Watermark. “Man, they really don’t need me,” said Cohen of a recent inspection tour of both restaurants. But Isaac Cantu, another Cohen alum from Las Canarias, has left his top toque post at Watermark for the Westin La Cantera. No, we don’t know why, but Watermark’s loss is also potentially Westin’s gain, as Cantu had a good hand. We’ll watch them all.