Alibi V.13 No.14 • April 1-7, 2004

feature

Picture This

The Alibi's Inaugural Photo Contest

Our first annual photography competition didn't work out quite the way we'd expected. Unlike most Alibi contests of the past, we didn't receive a towering pile of entries. I'll take partial responsibility for this. Two of the categories—Tantrums and Blackmail—were a little bit obscure, and the truth is we didn't get any publishable entries for either of these. Our second disappointment is that we didn't receive a single nude picture of Don Schrader, which has left many of us, particularly Alibi Editor Michael Henningsen, both mystified and depressed.

art

Culture Shock

Remember that nifty deck of cards that the Bush administration distributed just after we invaded Iraq? The cards were designed to be distributed among members of our armed services to aid in capturing the nastiest members of the Baath regime. They were also designed to popularize an invasion that with each passing day seems to have less and less to do with the war on terrorism.

Swimming with the Fishes

Methods to Madness at the Vortex Theatre

The Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin once wrote that "the passion for destruction is also a creative passion." This sentiment fuels much of the murderous, hallucinogenic action in the Vortex Theatre's production of Methods to Madness, a darkly funny play by Joel Murray about the art and thrill of acting.

Flying Off the Curb

Three new poetry releases from Curbstone Press

Sometimes editors publish writers before they are ready. Confirming that are three recent books from Curbstone Press: E. Ethelbert Miller's How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love (paper, $12.95); George Evans and Nguyen Qui Duc's translation of Huu Thunh's The Time Tree (paper, $15.95); and Margaret Sayers Peden's translation of Claribel Alegria's Casting Off (paper, $13.95). Too often I found these books stuffed with short poems that read as toss-offs and really merited further thought before inclusion.

April Book Events

Over the last few years, Eric Schlosser has built up a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most innovative journalists in the country. His first book, Fast Food Nation, a huge bestseller, was Schlosser's ambitious exposé of our country's fast food industry. Among other frightening facts, the book revealed an almost complete lack of governmental oversight of the meat-packing industry. He also discussed some of the truly disgusting pathogens and other nasty bits found in much of our fast food.

James and the Giant Peach

Albuquerque Little Theatre

The peachiest children's story of all time will be transplanted from the page to the stage starting this week when the Albuquerque Little Theatre presents a production of Roahl Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. Bring the kids. Bring your grandmammy. The classic story of James Henry Trotter and his long and dangerous journey inside the vehicle of a giant fuzzy fruit is truly fun for the whole family. If that isn't enough, there will, I'm told, be an honest-to-god giant peach ensconced right on stage. The play opens on April Fool's Day and runs through August 10. $6. Call for times. 242-4750.

Spring Fever

Richard Levy Gallery

The Richard Levy Gallery brings together work from 10 emerging artists in a show opening this week. From Todd Anderson's comedic red prints from his "First Aid for Beautiful People" series to Vincent Burke's latex, paint and steel landscapes to Saya Woolfalk's colorful brain-smashing paintings and sculptures, this exhibit presents pieces on the razor-sharp cutting-edge of contemporary art. Spring Fever opens on April 4 and runs through May 7. For details, call 766-9888.

food

Gastrological Forecast

When I win the Powerball, I'm going to quit this job and live a life of self-indulgence and shameless excess. Sleep ’til noon! Tuaca shots and table dancing all night! A fleet of Hummers in the seven-car garage of my Pueblo-Gothic mansion! But when I get tired of all the partying, I'll do some volunteer work. My first philanthropic effort will be to rewrite the menu of pretty much every restaurant in town. I will strive toward organization, simplicity, accuracy and correct spelling. No longer will Vietnamese cafés list 132 items, 42 of which are rice vermicelli and meat in different combinations. You will simply order vermicelli and then make your own combination from the list: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, egg roll. You want enchiladas? You won't have to read three pages of menu, just make a small series of decisions: yellow or blue corn tortillas, beef or chicken, red or green, rolled or stacked, à la carte or plate. I'll give unusual dishes appetizing names and descriptions that actually mean something (I'm sure there's a better way to describe a bowl of soup with well done beef, tendon, tripe and fat). And I'll ban overly confusing terms from the menu. If Scalo wants to serve poussin, fine. But I'm calling it young chicken.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

March 12 was the last day of lunch service at Monte Vista Fire Station (Central and Monte Vista NW). Chef Tony Nethery decided to focus his efforts on the already tempting dinner menu and expand the upstairs bar's snack menu. The restaurant now opens at 5 p.m. “Dinner-only is a blast,” Nethery says. “I'm really working on the bar menu, making more nice, small plates. They're not tapas, but like that.” Ted Nicely, Monte Vista's pastry chef, says he's happy to have more time for one of his favorite activities: making ice cream. Nicely offers four or five ice creams and about as many sorbets, in flavors ranging from milk chocolate-hazelnut to raspberry balsamic, guava and pecan praline. His ice cream sandwich is made with flourless chocolate brownies flavored with orange zest, cinnamon and pistachios, on either side of a disc of Earl Grey and coffee-cardamom ice cream. Go ahead, pause for a moment and try to imagine how all those flavors come together. I, for one, plan to take one for the team and try it out in person.

Gold Street Caffé Shines Brightly at Night

A chat with Matt Nichols, chef and general manager

Gold Street Caffé (218 Gold SW), a popular sidewalk spot for breakfast and lunch, began serving dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays. This development is one of many changes Matt Nichols has planned for the coming months.

Ho-hum on Homemade Ham? Eat Out!

Our guide to some of the most appetizing possibilities

Few things work up a bigger appetite than a hot, sunny day spent sitting in church, making the family rounds and chasing after a gaggle of pint-sized egg-hunters who are deliriously hopped up on sugar. After you factor in the time it'll take to clean the puddles of food coloring and egg bits off your floor, you've got to wonder if your sanity is worth a few more hours spent in the kitchen. (It's not). Maybe you can't cook in the first place. Maybe the glare of your mother's pristine cast iron skillet taunts you every morning with memories of perfectly flipped pancakes that you'll never be able to reproduce. No matter. Easter is the brunch holiday, so do it up! This year, leave the work to the professionals and start a new family tradition at one of these excellent restaurants. Or make plans to dump the kids off with relatives and take a few hours of mimosa-induced respite with your loved one. Either way, someone else gets stuck with the dishes.

news

¿Escribes Español?

While daily newspapers decline, Spanish media is booming

Here's a free tip for all you ambitious, self-starting and well-organized students striving for a media career. Start brushing on up your Spanish.

Thin Line

Cheers for a clown. With newspapers like the Albuquerque Journal helping his cause, no wonder Karl Rove is considered to be a genius.

Marty's Winning Strategy

Free advice can sometimes be worth a lot

Were the mayoral election held today and not at the end of next year, Mayor Martin Chavez would not be re-elected no matter how much money he raises and spends. Given the field of interested candidates (Marty, former D.A. Bob Schwartz, City Councilor Eric Griego, and State Sen. Linda Lopez to name some) odds are Schwartz would leave his post as Gov. Bill Richardson's crime guru and take up residence on the 11th floor of City Hall.

Voyage to Myra's Head

Find a pulse in our public schools before looking for one on Mars

Last fall, New Mexicans approved two constitutional amendments dealing with education. One provided millions of dollars for educational reform. The other revamped the state department of education, bringing it under the governor's authority.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Scotland—A would-be vampire working at the Edinburgh Dungeons' horror tour has been removed from her job after fainting at the sight of blood. Marianne Sellar, who plays a vampire at the popular tourist attraction, was about to take a bite from a "victim" planted in the audience when another audience member announced that she had a nosebleed. Ms. Sellar, 24, collapsed and was forced to admit to her bosses that she has had a life-long phobia of blood. "It is quite embarrassing," Sellar told the Daily Mail. "I had managed to keep my phobia a secret for three years because normally we only deal with fake blood, which I can handle. When the visitor showed me all the real blood, I just collapsed." Ms. Sellar has been moved to another part of the tourist attraction and a new actress is being trained to replace her role in the Dungeons' feature tour "Vampires: Fact or Fiction?"

film

Reel World

April Fools—Guild Cinema is celebrating April 1 in high style with a one-night-only screening of "Pranks!!" This special salute to April Fool's Day includes an assortment of devilish, devious video works from around the country. "Homeland Security: It's in Your Hands" by The White Ring offers "tips" on surviving these increasingly dangerous and scary times. The hilarious "G.I. Joe PSAs" by Eric Fensler, features the red-blooded TV cartoon hero teaching kids how to defuse many a bad situation. "The Eternal Frame" by legendary performance filmmakers Ant Farm is one of the seminal video works of the '70s, restaging the tragic events of Dallas 1963. There will be plenty more video insanity including a rare, classic "mystery screening" by famed underground filmmaker Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven). Screenings take place at 5:30 and 8 p.m.

The Big Picture

The Taos Picture Show Brings Hollywood back to Northern New Mexico

The demise last year of the Taos Talking Picture Film Festival left many wondering what would happen to the artistic, movie-hungry mecca of Taos, NM. A tricky bankruptcy derailed the homegrown festival in 2003, ending (at least temporarily) any chance of hanging out for a weekend, rubbing elbows with a few stars and watching movies in the cool, pine-lined environment of northern New Mexico. Thanks to some last-minute efforts by a team of dedicated film lovers, though, Taos will once again play host to an annual film festival.

Postmen in the Mountains

Less is more in this very special delivery from Asia

Sometimes less is more. The new film Postmen in the Mountains, shot in 1998 but only recently delivered to America from China, is certainly proof of that. This tiny, deceptively simple story concentrates on an aging mail carrier, whose job it is to lug a mail sack through the rugged mountains of China's rural Hunan province. Forced to retire due to increasingly painful arthritis, the postman passes his job onto his son. The entire film takes place over the course of a single journey in which the father (along with a faithful guide dog) teaches his son the ins and outs of the laborious mail route. That's pretty much it for the plot. There are no surprising twists, no giant crises, no big action sequences. And yet, the film carries an emotional weight far heavier than most Hollywood tearjerkers.

Flying Croc by a Landslide

“Animal Face-Off” on Discovery

Discovery Channel's new series “Animal Face-Off” could be the greatest water cooler show ever invented. That's not to say it's the greatest show ever—there are far too many missed opportunities in the series for it to qualify as essential viewing. But the concept is pure, unadulterated genius. It's guaranteed to spark many a debate at work, at school and on the playground.

music

Blue Note

Chris Smither

Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.

Aural Fixation

Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:

Alibi V.13 No.13 • March 25-31, 2004

feature

The Tao of Tax Avoiding

An Interview with an Albuquerque couple living well below the poverty line

Chuck Hosking and Mary Ann Fiske won't be paying personal income taxes this year. In fact, it's been two decades since they've had to. The couple married in 1971 after meeting in New York City's lower east side, and a deliberate process of downward mobility has been a part of their life together from the beginning. Their annual income is well below the $15,800 taxable minimum for a married couple, and every year they donate over half of what they earn to charities in impoverished nations, such as giving thousands of dollars annually to a health clinic in Nicaragua.

Thoreau's Army

Local peace activists share expertise on the IRS

As we go through the yearly ritual of glumly assessing our own tax bills, we are simultaneously digesting news of war in strong daily doses: increasing fatalities, fresh conflicts and the startling numbers associated with funding on-going military endeavors. Military spending, which had been on a modest decline through most of the '90s, is again rising sharply. And we are paying for it.

music

Music to Your Ears

The Eyeliners are back on the radar this week, and are pleased to announce plans for a new record in the near future. The prolific punk rock trio were recently approached by Joan Jett and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts producer Kenny Laguna about working together on a new album to be released on Jett's Blackheart Records. The Eyeliners will begin recording next month in New York City. Eyeliners bassist Lisa says the band have 14 new songs ready to go that are far better than anything they've done in the past, saying, “We have grown so much as musicians in the time since Sealed With A Kiss was released and we intentionally spent a lot of time writing this record. We have never had the extravagance of spending this much time in the studio, so [we] promise that this album will be well worth the wait.” ... Local Top 40 cover band Wyld Country will give a free concert on Saturday, March 27, at Camel Rock Casino (10 minutes north of Santa Fe) at 9:30 p.m. in the Rock Showroom in case you get sick of losing at the roulette table. ... Violinist Willy Sucre and a few of his musical pals will perform once again for the Placitas Artists Series on March 28, at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. The quartet will perform works by Copland, Steinbach and Brahms. Tickets are $15. Call 867-8080 or visit www.PlacitasArts.org for more information.

Blue Note

The Roswell Rudd-Duck Baker Duo

There's really nothing surprising about Roswell Rudd's latest musical endeavor. To be sure, a duo consisting of trombone and fingerpicked acoustic guitar is an unlikely combination of instruments to say the least. But Rudd, afterall, is considered one of the pioneers of avant-garde and free jazz. Rudd recently questioned in a public letter how a 68-year-old veteran Dixieland player such as himself could still be considered avant-garde. Well, Ros, there ain't too many 68-year-old trombonists tearin' it up on stage with acoustic guitar virtuosos in a free jazz format.

Jimmie Vaughan

Wednesday, March 31; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 8 p.m.): Not surprisingly, Jimmie Vaughan has long been overshadowed as a musician by the astonishing six-string prowess of his late younger brother Stevie Ray. But it was the tragic death of Stevie, not that he was a far superior guitarist to Jimmie as many believe, that forever enshrined him as the greatest blues revivalist that ever lived. Fact is, it was Jimmie Vaughan that captivated American audiences in the '70s and '80s with the most original blues sounds since Buddy Guy. It was Jimmie who inspired Stevie Ray to play. See, Jimmie's the roots of it all, widespread popularity notwithstanding.

Chris Smither

Thursday, April 1; Macey Center (N.M. Tech Campus, Socorro, all ages, 8 p.m.)/Saturday, April 3; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.

Sonic Reducer

The Foxx guitarist/vocalist Juliet Legend has found her niche. After several recordings and tours with the Rondelles, she's proceeded to co-front a band that perfectly blends campy '60s pop and the kind of trashy '70s glam rock that exploded out of Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls. Garage guitars and a strict Romantics groove lend themselves perfectly to dual, male/female vocals and syrupy-but-sincere lyrics, mostly about the boy-girl stuff that makes the world go 'round. "Ready to Go" is a hit waiting to happen, and my current favorite song, period. The next band signed out of Albuquerque? Very likely.

art

Culture Shock

I'm a big fan of bizarro music, and nothing in the modern musical universe is more bizarre than contemporary "classical" music. From freaky polyrhythms to scales that have no relation whatsoever to the standard 12-tone note series familiar to Western listeners, you never know what you're going to get.

Man Versus Machine

Alexander Rodchenko: Modern Photography, Photomontage and Film at the UNM Art Museum

Hopping from Vancouver to California to New York to Spain, a major traveling exhibit of work by the legendary Russian avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko has finally made its way to Albuquerque. The exhibit offers viewers a rare opportunity to consider the profound contributions Rodchenko made to 20th century modernist art while working within the restrictive confines of an authoritarian state.

The Way of All Flesh

Inpost Artspace

I love a good cemetery, largely because death and decay, like chocolate and peanut butter, always seem to go so well together. David Bach and Lauri Dickinson's interest in cemeteries is somewhat less morbid than mine. A new exhibit of Bach's black and white photographs and Dickinson's wax-encased mixed-media images focuses on the quiet, gentle aspects of bone yards all over the world. The Way of All Flesh opens this Friday, March 26, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Inpost Artspace. The show runs through April 26. 268-0044.

Othello

Adobe Theater

Director David Nava has brought a new production of Shakespeare's disturbing tragedy Othello to the Adobe Theater stage. As head of the American Shakespeare Project, Nava has plenty of experience staging Shakespeare, so this classic tale of revenge, jealousy and betrayal should be worth checking out. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $12 general, $10 students/seniors. The play runs through April 11. 892-0697.

news

What's That Sound?

Strange, pulsating hum baffles Sandia Heights resident

Phil Ciofalo, 81, is tired of being pestered by a constant humming noise in his house—and is even more annoyed by the fact that he can't figure out where it originates.

Ciofalo, a retired chemical engineer, has lived in his far Northeast Heights home since 1984. His doctor says he has the hearing of a newborn baby. He started hearing the noise roughly three and a half years ago.

"The sound got worse (with time) and now it's going on day and night. You hear a vibration like a truck idling in your driveway."

Ciofalo said at first people thought he was crazy but then they began to hear it, too. "People ask 'how can you live with the noise?' I have a cassette player and natural sound tapes to help me sleep." Ciofalo said a friend of his described the hum as a steady stream of noise accompanied by an intermittent pulse. Similar complaints have been reported in Taos for years.

Thin Line

Bookmark it. Now here's a cause that's as noble as the challenge. FactCheck.org wants to reduce the level of confusion and deception in political TV ads.

Nation Building

Haiti's Sad Tutorial on Democracy

It is too bad that our actions speak louder than our words. If that were not so, our treatment of other countries would go into the history books as benign, altruistic, principled. We would be trusted. We would be a beacon of hope. Those are the things that our leaders have always said we stand for.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: France—A 35-year-old artist, allegedly traumatized over the recent bombings in Spain, was convicted of trying to run over a pedestrian he believed to be Osama bin Laden. The artist, identified only as Pierre, was sentenced last Tuesday by a court in southern France. Pierre was handed a three-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the victim $615. "If it was [bin Laden], we would have won $5 million," said Pierre's lawyer, David Mendel, referring to the U.S. government's reward for the wanted terrorist. Unfortunately, the victim was not bin Laden. The pedestrian—a man in his 30s—was able to run away from Pierre's car, which crashed along the side of a street near the historic center of Montpellier. Mendel told the court that his client was "the victim of a hallucination."

As the Credits Roll

Like watching the credits for LOTR: Return of the King, the March 15 council meeting made one aware of the thousands of people working off screen as city employees, outside experts, volunteers, neighborhood groups, consultants, boards, committees and interagency coordinators. Reports on the 2025 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the Middle Rio Grande Regional Water Plan represented two of the largest efforts.

film

Reel World

Who's Uncle Graham?—Filmmaker Candy Jones takes viewers on a humorous, but insightful 60-year tour through New Mexico's nuclear history in her new documentary Do It for Uncle Graham. The film will screen on Saturday, March 27, at 11 a.m. at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Exploring her "big three" topics—denial, deception and creative communication—writer/director/narrator Jones takes us from Trinity to Hiroshima to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to examine some well-known and some not-so-well-known events in our state's history. Interviews include former Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall, Navajo Tribal President Joe Shirley and New Mexico Interior Departments James Bearzi. The film is inspired by Jones' relative, Uncle Graham, a former State Legislator during New Mexico's pioneer days. For more information on the film and the screening, log on to www.doitforunclegraham.com

Jersey Girl

Making lemonade out of unwanted lemons

Ben Affleck has had an amazing career, nailing roles in hit films such as Good Will Hunting, Armageddon, Dogma and Changing Lanes. He's got the ability to play the jerk as well as the compassionate guy, but when it comes to romantic characters Affleck should leave them to the experts instead of getting in over his head the way he did in Gigli, and now Jersey Girl.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

“Kenny vs. Spenny” on GSN

Following the “Great Blackout of 2004”—during which all Viacom channels were removed from the DISH Network service for a torturous 48-hour period—I found myself scraping the bottom of my satellite dish, looking for some small scraps of entertainment. At the time, there was every possibility that I would never see the likes of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon or MTV2 ever again. Since life without “Spongebob Squarepants” was far too dark to contemplate, I flipped channels searching for solace in some heretofore-undiscovered gem. I can't say I found very many of them, but I did spend a bit of time checking out some stations I'd previously remote controlled my way right past.

Austin Stories

A Trip to the SXSW Film Festival and Conference

Cannes is the prestigious film festival. Hollywood goes there to rub elbows with Europeans and to prove how arty it is. Sundance is the trendy film festival. Hollywood goes there to see and be seen. Toronto is the industry film festival. Hollywood goes there to sell product and to promote its upcoming slate of movies. Which leaves Austin's annual South by Southwest Film Festival and Conference with one distinction. SXSW is the cool film fest.

food

Gastrological Forecast

There is a certain kind of relief found by throwing up. Like its bodily function cousins the sneeze and the orgasm, vomiting is the culmination of a sometimes lengthy lead-up—though in vomit's case, the lead up and release are much, much less enjoyable. Of course this pertains to the I-should-never-have-eaten-from-that-taco-stand kind of terrible food poisoning retch, or the I-would-rather-die-than-live-like-this variety of convulsive hurling, rather than the sudden surprise of the what?-I-only-did-three-beer-bongs sort of projectile upchuck. Most drunken barfing (like most other bodily functions that occur while drunk) is subdued by numbed nerves and doesn't have the same kind of painful prelude or remission. But when you're really sick and the body is telling you to purge, dammit, purge! there often comes this rebellious sense of reluctance, a back-pedaling of the intestinal tract. The gut warns that it is prepared to eliminate all offending contents but the brain says no, no, no! Batten down the hatches! Which is silly, really, because the post-vomit sensation of cool porcelain snuggled up against your hot cheek is the best feeling you'll have had all day. So embrace retching, I say. Be one with your nausea and approach the coming heave with at least the same casual disregard you would a sneeze or at best, with something more like eager gusto.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

The city's first Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop opened last week at 11225 Montgomery NE (at Juan Tabo). Three new Ben and Jerry's flavors are now available at the shop and this lucky girl was able to preview them a few days before the opening. Chocolate Carb Karma has a reduced carb count for those of you Atkins dieters Jonesin for some ice cream. Primary Berry Graham is a strawberry cheesecake ice cream with a stripe of graham cracker that will make you dig through the pint to follow its rich vein. By the way, both Primary Berry Graham and Dublin Mudslide (Irish cream liqueur ice cream with chocolate, chocolate cookies and coffee fudge swirl) are partners with Rock the Vote's voter registration and motivation campaign. Pints of these flavors carry nonpartisan voter registration information on the containers and portions of the proceeds will benefit Rock the Vote.

Dos Amigos, New Mexican Food for Families

A chat with Michele Bernard

Dos Amigos, a down-to-earth New Mexican restaurant at 2039 Fourth NW, has only been open about a year but by the looks of the steady stream of regulars flowing in and out, the place could have been there for generations. Co-owner Michele Bernard talks about what gives the place that old-time feeling.

Alibi V.13 No.12 • March 18-24, 2004

feature

Set the Night to Music

Roberta Flack Performs at Popejoy Hall's Gala Fundraiser

When you've booked a star that shines as brightly as Roberta Flack, you're bound by cosmic law to make the event more special than usual. Which is exactly what Popejoy Hall's Leadership Team did. Rather than simply produce another in a long line of remarkable Ovation Series events, Popejoy's powers-that-be felt they were faced with the perfect opportunity to host their first-ever fundraising event.

Popejoy Hall's Colorful Past

Of all past University of New Mexico presidents, Thomas L. Popejoy ranks among those least likely to be concerned with the construction of new buildings, much less with having one named after himself. Popejoy served as UNM president from 1948 (although he wasn't officially inaugurated until June 5, 1949) to 1968, the longest term in the history of the university. Unlike most of his predecessors, Popejoy concerned himself less with new buildings and programs than he did with what he believed was the heart of the university—its faculty and students. In fact, when first approached about the possibility of having the very concert hall that now bears his name dedicated to him, Popejoy refused, saying that no one on the university's payroll should have a building named after him or her. Popejoy's love for the university ran deep. Born near Raton, N.M., in 1902, he attended UNM as an undergraduate from 1921-25, majoring in economics and playing football. When he became the first native New Mexican to become the university's president, UNM had a student body of roughly 4,400. By the time Popejoy retired, the number had increased to nearly 14,000.

music

Music to Your Ears

By the time this issue reaches your hands, I'll probably be sunning myself by the hotel pool, drinking non-alcoholic beer and stuffing my pie hole with barbecue as part of my South by Southwest 2004 coverage. While I'm out of town, there are a few shows going on locally that you should pay particular attention to. For instance ... guitar god and honorary Albuquerquean Eric McFadden will haul his trio back to the Launchpad on Friday, March 19, where he'll host an evening of live music by the likes of himself, Jason (Daniello) and the Argonauts and the next mayor of Albuquerque, Stan Hirsch. ... Icky and the Yuks will perform with the Amputees (formerly the Angry Amputees), the Hollowpoints and Coke is Better with Bourbon on Sunday night, March 21, at the Atomic Cantina. ... On Monday, March 22, head to Sonny's Bar and Grill for a head-splitting, mind-bender of a rock show featuring High On Fire, Dysrhythmia, Black Maria and one of my favorite math bands of all time including national acts, Simulacrum. The Foxx will be back from their jaunt to SXSW in time to make rock at Burt's on Tuesday, March 23. A pretty good week for local shows in Albuquerque if I do say so my damn self! See you next week.

Blue Note

Mary Gauthier: Renaissance Woman

She's been a troubled teen, a runaway, a drug addict, a drunk, resident of a Kansas City jail, an accomplished student of philosophy at Louisiana State University, a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and founder/owner/chef of the award-winning Dixie Kitchen Restaurant in Boston. But for the past eight years or so, Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay, the Louisiana way) has focused all of her energy on reinventing herself yet again, this time as a singer-songwriter. And after three albums, each better than the previous, it looks like she's once again scripted her own success.

Four Shillings Short

Saturday, March 27; Super-secret AMP location (call 842-5073 or e-mail abqmusic@att.net for reservations and directions, all ages, $10 donation): Talk about cultural diversity. San Francisco-based duo Four Shillings Short meld the traditional music of the British Isles and India with American folk to create a vibrant musical adventure that's as eclectic as they come. Consisting of Cork, Ireland native Aodh Og O Tuama and San Diego-born Christy Martin, Four Shillings Short utilize more than 10 instruments ranging from ancient to modern—tinwhistle, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, dumbek, hammered dulcimer, banjo, sitar bodrhan, etc.—in the creation of folk music that relies on ethnic idioms for its lively character.

Aural Fixation

Let's keep things simple at the outset: There are kick-ass bands (Osmium, Systemic, Soultorn, Low Twelve, Bite the Hand), mediocre bands (Blessed with Pain, Pro-Pain, Three Headed Moses, PCP, Condemned, Ominous) and kinda lame ones (Slugtrail, Alchymist, Skeptic, Skitzo) on this debut DVD installment from the good folks at Heavycore.org. That said, Roasting Posers: Vol. 1 features videos by 16 heavy ass bands from all over the United States that could kick your ever-lovin' ass, and the whole affair is quite entertaining, even when the videos themselves aren't.

Sonic Reducer

Singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves third record proves once and for all that you don't have to be Texas-born to make pure Texas music. The Maine native's last record, 2000's Broke Down, was hailed by the Austin Chronicle as "the first great Texas album of the 21st century." Difficult as that particular accolade might be to eclipse, Cleaves has done it with Wishbones. Lyrically striking and a writer of visceral, ironic melodies, Cleaves is a near-perfect combination of Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. Four years between albums allowed Cleaves to go from critics' darling to trustworthy songwriter, and the result rages.

art

Culture Shock

Unseen Gallery—a new exhibit space specializing in fantasy, art nouveau, erotica, surrealism and other fringe art—opens this week at 108 Morningside SE, just east of the Nob Hill Shopping Center. During the grand opening from Wednesday, March 17, through Saturday, March 20, you can chow on homemade cookies, fudge, chips and dip and slurp unseen punch while browsing original work by Darla Hallmark, Josie Mohr, Jess Taddick, Daral Crowne and Rita Coleman. Call 232-2161 or log onto unseengallery.com for details.

Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Gauchos

Memory Boards: Exploring Hybrid Histories at Trevor Lucero Studio Artspace

The primary motif galloping through these paintings is the gaucho, the cowboy of the southern South American grasslands. In these complex, multi-layered images, artist Fabrizio Bianchi, whose parents are Argentinean, explores countless surprising facets of this romantic icon from his ancestral motherland.

Methods to Madness

Vortex Theatre

Two actors, Max and Mercy, attempt to claw, bite and growl their way to success in the jackal eat jackal world of modern Hollywood. Methods to Madness is a dark comedy about the nasty side of Tinsel Town. The play, written by Joel Murray and directed by Gabrielle Johansen, opens this week at the Vortex. The director promises audiences the recommended daily allowance of sex and violence. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Sundays at 6 p.m. $8. Runs through April 4. 247-8600.

news

Shocked and Dismayed

College Republicans discover UNM faculty leans liberal

Last week, Scott Darnell, a well-groomed and articulate spokesman for the New Mexico Federation of College Republicans called a press conference in the UNM Student Union Building to announce the political affiliations of undergraduate professors at UNM. An accompanying pie chart revealed 83 percent of the undergraduate faculty registered to vote are Democrats, while 11 percent are Republicans.

Thin Line

Sticking Larry Ahren's brain up a bug's ass would be like sticking a BB in a boxcar, part 2. According to his website, Ahrens, the voice of 770-KOB AM's local morning show, is "Albuquerque's morning radio legend." According to today's “Thin Line,” he's a jackass.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Indonesia—Couples caught kissing in public could face jail time thanks to stiff new legislation in Indonesia. A new anti-pornography ban before the nation's parliament includes a ban on kissing on the mouth in public. According to Britain's Sky News, the bill also bans public nudity, erotic dances and sex parties. "I think there should be some restrictions on such acts because it is against our traditions of decency," said Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, head of a parliamentary committee drafting the bill. Anyone caught in a public lip lock could face a maximum penalty of five years in jail or a fine of $25,000.

Night of the Pots

Silence turns to despair in the streets of Spain.

On the way to visit my friends in Barcelona this evening I took the red and white Cercanías train, line one, the line that goes up the coast, the line that has become so much a part of my life since I moved out of the city. This is the same kind—the exact same kind—of well-built, efficient electric train that was blown up in Madrid only two days ago. I, along with thousands of others who live in outlying towns, take these trains every day. Old, young, rich, poor—everyone moves in these trains. They are the long legs of urban Spain.

film

Reel World

Taos Take Two—While the famed Taos Talking Picture Film Festival is dead and gone, in-state film lovers can rest assured in the fact that the First Annual Taos Picture Show has risen from the ashes to replace it. The festival, although brand new, is loaded with familiar faces. Taos County Film Commissioner and director of the Taos Mountain Film Festival, Jonathan Slator has climbed on board as the Taos Picture Show's inaugural festival director. Kelly Clement and Jason Silverman, who served as program director and artistic director of the late, lamented TTPIX, have joined up to help program this year's event. Right now, it looks like 14 films will be included in the April 1-4 event. Local film fans will be pleased to note that two made-in-New Mexico films will be among the offerings. Blind Horizon, a thriller starring Val Kilmer and Neve Campbell, and Thief of Time, the newest Tony Hillerman mystery starring Wes Studi and Adam Beach, will both be screened at the festival.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Bittersweet mixture of modern love and the mind's eye proves unforgettable

With its unwieldy title taken from a poem by Enlightenment essayist Alexander Pope, it's clear that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is no ordinary romantic comedy. It is, in fact, written by Hollywood mad scientist Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and directed by music video god Michel Gondry (noted for his eye-popping imagery in vids by Beck, Björk and The White Stripes). The two teamed up previously on 2002's quirky failure Human Nature. Someone gave them a second chance, though, and we're all the better for it, because Eternal Sunshine is a startlingly beautiful, consistently surprising, endlessly inventive look at modern love and the mind's eye.

Winning Hearts and Minds

An interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) and directed by music video pioneer Michel Gondry (Beck, The Foo Fighters), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not your ordinary romantic comedy. The film follows a badly broken-up couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who use an experimental procedure to erase each other from their memories. The film also features former Hobbit Elijah Wood as a computer technician in charge of scrubbing Carrey's mind, who uses those memories to seduce Kate Winslet. Alibi had the chance to chat with Winslet and Wood during the film's recent premiere in Hollywood.

food

Gastrological Forecast

Isn't it about time Starbucks gave you something back? How about some valuable compost, for free? Yeah, you guessed it, Starbucks, Satellite and most other coffee houses are easily persuaded to save their used coffee grounds for you. Sure, you should already be saving your own grounds but coffee houses produce enough to give your compost heap a real kick start. Call or stop in to your favorite java joint in the morning and ask if they'll save that day's grounds for you. Keep in mind that you'll probably have the best luck at the bean juice bar you frequent most. They may ask you to bring in a clean bucket or they may package the goods up in a plastic bag. You'd be surprised how much can accumulate in a day. Is it too soon to be thinking about compost? Naw. We've got about a month to go before the average last frost but with some days as warm as they've been it's not definitely not unreasonable to start working on your soil. This is the perfect time to buy a new composter or stake out a corner of the yard for a heap. Coffee grounds are high in valuable nitrogen but they're also quite acidic. To maintain balance, combine coffee grounds with crushed egg shells and vegetable trimmings from the kitchen. Work the grounds into the soil or add them directly to your compost heap.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Planning on dinner and a movie? Go to Café Voila and the movie's on them! This charming French restaurant in the shadow of the Marriott Pyramid has partnered with Madstone Theaters to give patrons two clever ways to save money on their dates. Option Number One: If you order full-priced dinner entrées, Café Voila will give you each a free movie ticket. Option Number Two: Bring your ticket stub from a Madstone matinee to Voila that same evening and they'll take the cost of your ticket (usually $5.50) off of your dinner entrée's price. I think it's a brilliant marketing idea for them and a screamin' deal for us. For full details call Café Voila (821-2666) or Madstone Theaters (6311 San Mateo NE, 872-4000).

Peanut Butter Basics

What is that layer of oil on top, anyway?

My mom always used to buy that "natural" peanut butter that came with a thick layer of oil floating on top of the extra-coarse puréed nuts. I begged for Jiff but having already accepted the seven-grain bread and homemade quince jelly that were to make up the other parts of my PBJ equation I was screwed and I knew it. Now I'm a grownup and I can pick any peanut butter I want. But which one? Why does so-called natural peanut butter have that layer of oil on top? And what makes it different from Skippy?

The Blue Dragon's Higher Grounds

Chef Kent Dagnall talks about salvation through vegan chocolate chip cookies

Big changes are afoot at the Blue Dragon, the little neighborhood hangout that straddles Girard's jog just south of Indian School. With a fresh coat of paint and some new menu concepts headed by Chef Kent Dagnall, the Dragon is gearing up for spring and their fifth birthday on Mother's Day. I recently dropped in on Kent, a long-time pal and culinary co-conspirator, to pump him for information and split one of their signature pizzas.