Alibi V.13 No.48 • Nov 25-Dec 1, 2004

feature

Is Big Bad Bill Sweet William Now?

George W. Bush's New Mexico victory has dimmed Gov. Richardson's shining national star. But don't count him out.

New Mexico's 2000 presidential election results

Gore: 286,783

Bush: 286,417

New Mexico's 2004 presidential election results (as of Nov. 19)

Bush: 376,940

Kerry: 370,893

news

Lawsuit Dampens UNM Hospital Groundbreaking

Health care coalition sues over public records

Last week Gov. Bill Richardson held very still while clutching onto a carefully maneuvered shovelful of dirt. No, he wasn't burying his pride in a belated post-election realization; he was posing after breaking ground on the UNM Children's Hospital Expansion Project (or, at least, breaking through the dirt in a very symbolic sandbox atop the UNM hospital parking garage). Last week's ceremony celebrated the groundbreaking of the $233 million public works project, one of the largest in the state's history, and was aflutter with highly impressive individuals and well-crafted public relations, gathered to celebrate upgrades at the state's only teaching hospital. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2007.

Thin Line

Who's Your Congresswoman? The Republicans in Congress, at least those in the House of Representatives, no longer give a crap about ethics or good government. What they care about is power. Nothing else. That, we know for sure, following the disgraceful Republican conference this week where GOP House members revised ethics rules so that Tom DeLay, the Republican majority leader, could continue to serve as one of the nation's most powerful fundamentalist righ-wing bullgoose loonies despite being investigated for corruption in his homestate of Texas. The GOP had been big champions of ethics rules and good government—hell they even claimed to be fiscal conservatives—back in the days when the Dems had control of Congress. But that was all bluster. All they really wanted was power.

If At First You Don't Succeed

Will presidential defeat cause the new crop of leftist activists to give up?

Desi Brown has a funny quirk to his dance step; it's an extra little stompy kick that marks not only his swinging, but often the steps of the dancers he teaches every Tuesday night at the Heights Community Center near TVI. For seven years now, Brown and an evolving group of friends, called The Calming Four Primordial Swing Dance Group, have hosted weekly dance practice sessions and lessons. The three dollar donation they collect at the door goes to cover expenses. Brown and his buddies give away the rest; overall they've donated nearly $20,000 to local and national groups, including La Cueva High School Drill Team, Keshet Dance Company and the Red Cross 9-11 Relief Fund.

Phoenix Envy

Various groups crowded council chambers on Nov. 15. Stop the War Machine people supported a bill encouraging the city to work with Kirtland Air Force Base on an emergency plan in case things go wrong with the 2,500-plus nuclear weapons stored there. ("Hold it under the cold tap, Love.") Vietnamese-Americans supported a bill recognizing the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam as the official symbol of Albuquerque's Vietnamese-American community. Supporters and opponents of development impact fees faced off.

Filling the Old Flux Capacitor

Sharing my autumnal good mood with all

Fall is simply the best time of year here in Payne's World. Complimenting the brisk nip in the air and autumnal color of the turning leaves is Thanksgiving—a guilt-free opportunity to fill the ol' flux capacitor to the brim with stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie and enchiladas (it is New Mexico, you know).

Close Encounters of the Presidential Kind

My stint in the “Freedom Corps”

When I first received Yale Scott's message from the White House on Wednesday, Oct. 27, I thought it was a prank call, but after verifying its legitimacy, I called him back. He seemed OK. He interviewed me about my experiences as a volunteer, then told me that I had been chosen as one of the many people to be considered for the opportunity to be in the "Freedom Corps"—really just a fancy term for "greeter"—and that I would find out by Friday whether or not I had been selected to greet President George W. Bush on Monday evening, Nov. 1, as he made the rounds on his final day of campaigning. Over the next two days, I get a series of phone calls from several people associated with Scott and the White House, all of whom seem to ask the same questions. I feel like I'm being interrogated. When Friday rolls around, I am told that I have been selected as a "Freedom Corps" representative. I will greet the president at Kirtland Air Force Base, ride in the presidential motorcade and sit on stage at Journal Pavilion while President Bush gives his address. Oh, what to wear?

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—If ever there was an endorsement for Head & Shoulders, this is it. Veteran criminal Andrew Pearson was recently convicted of armed robbery thanks to 25 flakes of dandruff he left behind at the scene of the crime some 11 years ago. Andrew Pearson, now 40, and two other men escaped with $70,630 in cash after raiding a caravan company in the northeastern city of Hull in June 1993. Using a new DNA profiling method, investigators matched a swab of Pearson's saliva with the flakes of dandruff, which were found inside a stocking that he had worn as a mask during the robbery. Using that evidence, a jury needed only 75 minutes last Monday to convict Pearson of robbery and possession of a firearm. Pearson--who has been convicted 76 previous times for burglary, assault, robbery and other crimes--was sentenced to 12 years for the robbery and an additional three years for possessing a firearm.

music

Music to Your Ears

Congratulations to Joe Anderson and Kara XXX on the birth of their baby daughter, Tannyn Jane, who joined the waking world on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at a whopping seven pounds, two ounces. ... Arguably the best, most entertaining way to celebrate and give thanks that Thanksgiving is over and you don't have any further family obligations for a whole month is to join every bloated, overstuffed indie rock loser the night after Turkey Day, Friday, Nov. 26, at the Launchpad for Socyermom Records' Annual Turkey Purge. This year, Unit 7 Drain, The Mindy Set, Manifold, Scenester and Romeo Goes to Hell will be doing the on-stage honors while everyone else drinks themselves sick in an effort to cleanse their gastrointestinal systems of tryptophan and green bean casserole, and to give the Launchpad cleaning crew something fun to do on Saturday morning. ... Over the past three years, singer-songwriter Andru Bemis has traveled some 40,000 miles by train, motorcycle and thumb, touring the country with his guitar, banjo, fiddle and original songs. His Amtrak schedule brings him to Albuquerque's Blue Dragon Coffee House on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. for a free performance that's suitable for music fans of all ages. ... Next Thursday, Dec. 2, the Santa Fe Film Festival will premiere VFWbya at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. The gritty documentary showcases the musicians, veterans and audiences involved in a sector of Santa Fe's scene that centered around shows given at the local VFW hall. More details next week.

Blue Note

Hat's Off

The Tin Hat Trio Return to the Outpost

Ever had a fever dream, those slippery scenes that play themselves out in your mind's eye as your body tries to rid itself of whatever bacterial or viral infection you happen to be suffering from? Sometimes, fever dreams can be terrifying—your waking self isn't quite rooted in reality when your body temperature rises above the 101-degree range and, if you've taken cold or flu medicine, the line between what's real and imagined becomes even more clouded.

Edith Frost

with Manishevitz and Fast Heart Mart

Monday, Nov. 29; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): I might as well just say it: Despite all her formidable indie rock cred—associations with Archer Prewitt, Mark Greenberg, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and others, along with legendary Chicagoland grump Steve Albini, who produced her latest album—Edith Frost will always be one of my favorite country singers. Not milquetoast, bullshit noncountry Shania Twain country; the kind of country that sits on your eyelids and tells you true-life tales of sadness, heartbreak and the chronic, mild discontent that made mountains out of men like Nick Drake, Gram Parsons and Tim Buckley.

Sonic Reducer

Duran Duran's latest effort, Astronaut, proves that they are more than just washed-up, 80's, gender bending, where-are-they-now has beens. Duran Duran, back with all five original members, deliver an album reminiscent of their early stuff ("Planet Earth," "Girls on Film"), with a mature sound and more meaningful lyrics. Newcomers will enjoy this heaping helping of Duran Duran without all the extra '80s cheese. Closet Duranees will get all nostalgic and wish for the good ol' days of leg warmers and mullets. This is pure feel-good music.

film

Christmas With the Kranks

Predictable holiday comedy celebrate suburban conformity

Every year about this time, Hollywood feels obliged to give us at least one “holiday” movie. That is, one fluffy, family-oriented film set during the actual holiday season just to remind us that, yes, this is the holiday season. I'm pretty sure we could figure it out without Hollywood's help, but we're still greeted every year with The Santa Clause 2 or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Unfortunately, for every A Christmas Story that comes our way, we get two or three Surviving Christmases. Among the holiday offerings stuffed into this year's stocking is Christmas With the Kranks.

Reel World

Charitable Cinema—On Saturday, Dec. 4, Youth In Transition, Inc. will present a Short Film Series at The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. YIT, Albuquerque's drop-in center for homeless youth, has gone through some difficult times of late with the destruction of the group's facility and the arrest (and eventual acquittal) of founder Donna Rowe. This Short Film Series will present seven films/videos documenting homelessness in Albuquerque. Among the films to be screened are “Escape from the Streets” by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, “Waking Up on Central” by Beverly Singer and “Give Us Your Poor” by Michael Mierendorf. Time permitting, they will also screen the complete police surveillance video which was used to “illegitimately arrest Donna Rowe and hold her on a $1 million bond.” Tickets are $10 to $100 on a sliding scale and all proceeds go to help YIT, which is struggling to keep its doors open this winter.

Kinsey

Sober look our our nation's sexual history still stirs up controversy

Earlier this month, the makers of Alfie blamed their film's box office failure on the recent reelection of George W. Bush. While that may be stretching the boundaries of the blame game a bit far, there is a certain truth to the idea that America has suddenly become a very conservative nation--at least on the surface. If audiences couldn't handle a little comedy/drama about a womanizing Brit, what are they going to think about a biopic about the father of the Sexual Revolution?

Thanksgiving Around the Dial

Leftovers already?

Let's face it: The only reason for getting up on Thanksgiving morning is to watch the “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.). This year's 78th annual affair runs for three whole hours, ensuing you won't miss a single float, marching band or freezing Broadway performer. Hosts of little consequence include Katie Couric, Matt Lauer. Guest stars include Kelsey Grammer, Jimmy Smits, Tony Shalhoub and Nikki Cox. The “CBS All-American Thanksgiving Parade” (KRQE-13 7 a.m.) consists largely of the exact same Macy's parade, but is disguised under a more patriotic name and features a slightly earlier air time. FOX, trying its best to one-up New York, offers “America's Thanksgiving Parade” (KASA-2 9 a.m.), a one-hour special from Detroit featuring floats, balloons, bands and (I would think) random muggings.

Finding Neverland

Fantasy-filled biopic soars with imagination, emotion

Finding Neverland sits more or less on the opposite end of the spectrum from Kinsey, this week’s other biopic offering. Both are intelligent, well-made and worthy Oscar contenders. They have wildly different subject matters, however, and approach them from completely divergent ends. Whereas Kinsey is brainy, mature and thought-provoking, Finding Neverland is creative, whimsical and emotional.

art

Culture Shock

You can feign indifference all you want, Ebenezer. Nobody's going to believe you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know—18 different productions of The Nutcracker Ballet roll through town every Christmas season. You moan and you groan about how all those sugar plums give you a stomach ache, but we're not fooled. You love The Nutcracker as if it were a sack of gold coins. You hum Tchaikovsky's tunes in your sleep every night from Thanksgiving through the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve.

Everyman is Invited

Skate Deck Show at 510 Second Street NW

Rocky Norton is a fast talker and a digressive conversationalist, but you've got to give the guy credit: He knows how to sell a show. And in this case, I have to admit, he's got a pretty damn amazing show to sell.

Houdini: American Icon

UNM Continuing Education Auditorium

Abracadabra. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, Houdini, as played by Bill Martin, will offer audiences $100 if they can keep him contained with ropes, chains, handcuffs, locks and a straitjacket. It's a safe bet Houdini won't be giving away $100 that night, but don't let this dampen your enthusiasm for the spectacle of it all. As they say, it's fun to be fooled, at least every once in a while. After the re-enactment, Martin will step back on stage to present insights into the Houdini legend. This weird but intriguing show starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts about two hours. $20. 277-6440.

food

Gastrological Forecast

My dog will eat anything. Of course he likes cat turds best of all, but what I mean in particular is that he'll eat anything I eat. Wait, that makes it sound like I eat cat turds, which I most definitely do not. Nor do I nibble on trash from the alley behind the office or used tissues or my own underwear. Aside from all that, I mean the dog will eat orange segments, dried cranberries, bananas, apples and carrots. I even got him eating edamame the other night. Certain things are known dog favorites, like carrots and pumpkin. But orange segments? He was watching me peel a Navel and normally I ignore him; he's polite so he gives up easily. But lately I've been testing him to see what he'll eat. So I offered him a small piece of orange. No go. He wrinkled his nose. I continued eating and he continued watching, so a few minutes later I offered him another piece. On the third try he took it and he ended up eating two segments worth. I've never before met a dog that liked citrus fruit. I think he does it just because he wants to eat what I'm eating. Maybe I should dig in to some cat turds to show him how much I care.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Carlito's (10th Street and Coal) is gone but there will still be New Mexican food in the neighborhood. Angel Vigil, owner of Wrap it Up, has moved her wrap sandwich business from Fourth Street and Menaul into Carlito's space in Barelas. Carlito's owner Carlos Montoya will now be able to spend more time with his family, while Angel Vigil gets the dining room area she never had in the North Valley. She's also expanding Wrap it Up's menu to include New Mexican food. Vigil is still adjusting to her new space, working to find the perfect hours and menu, but she aims to be open for three meals a day and to deliver. "This little community needs us," she said. "All we did was open the door and people are coming in. We want to take care of them." Call 342-9727 for details.

Instant Gratification

Ten flavor-packed oatmeal recipes that cook up in no time

From the way we've been talking about oatmeal lately, you'd think the Alibi is bankrolled by Quaker Oats. We're not (but we gladly accept endowments, if anyone's listening). No, we just really like a good bowl of oatmeal. In fact, we like it so much that we've dubbed November "Rediscover Rolled Oats Month," and made it our personal mission to wean people off of the chintzy flavor impostors that clutter supermarket shelves worldwide. We think you should, too. Here's why:

Michael Thomas Coffee

A passion for roasting percolates through this family business

Michael Thomas coffee opened at 1111 Carlisle SE (255-3330) just six weeks ago, but already my e-mail box is full of readers’ messages praising the place. The place is owned by an uncle/nephew team, Thomas Selby and Michael Sweeney. I spoke recently with Selby about his shop and his passion for coffee roasting.

Alibi V.13 No.47 • Nov 18-24, 2004

feature

Queer Eye for the Gift Guide

Alibi's hopelessly lame and thoughtless editorial staff calls in an expert for holiday shopping advice

We admit it: We're a hopelessly lame band of losers who have neither the time, energy or imagination to come up with holiday gift ideas for the folks on our lists this year. Knowing that we'd catch hell for giving out another batch of McDonald's gift certificates, we decided to call in an expert to advise us on these hard-to-shop-for friends, family members and associates. We chose the talent, style, creativity, empathy and eye for fashion of a real pro, Brendan Picker. We don't need five experts like the TV show, our guy's got it all: a degree in design, fashion flair and his finger on the pulse of all things cool. He not only gave us shopping suggestions, but in the process, transformed us from lame friends, fathers, daughters and coworkers into fabulous folks who “really care” (as far as our gift recipients know).

Looking Back

Thanksgiving Recipes, Techniques and More From the Alibi Archive

Say, we've done some pretty cool stuff in the past. Just take any one of these cool Thanksgiving stories from our archive. They all rock! And so will your T-day dinner, after you've boned up on brining, pie-making and wine-pairing. Bon appétit, pilgrims.

art

Culture Shock

This weekend you can get a jump on holiday shopping simply by taking the 25-mile drive northward up to Placitas. Artists and art lovers of all stripes will be infesting this little burg during the 23rd Annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale.

Out of the Blue

Blue Surge at SolArts

As a theater critic in Albuquerque, I've got plenty of blessings to count, and the number keeps rising every month. For some reason, new theaters have been popping up all over town recently. One of the newest is a hip space at 712 Central SE operated by SolArts, a local nonprofit visual and performing arts organization.

¡Carnaval!

Museum of International Folk Art

Every year just before the Catholic season of Lent, communities all over the globe let loose during one version or another of carnival. An amazing new traveling 10,000-square-foot multimedia exhibit opening this weekend at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe gives participants the opportunity to experience the many different faces of the annual event as it is celebrated in Venice, Spain, Switzerland, New Orleans, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia and Northern Africa. The only difference is that at this exhibit you won't be allowed to get either drunk or naked. $5 for New Mexico residents, free on Sundays. (505) 476-1200.

Cities

MoRo Gallery

Angus Macpherson brings his talent for creating haunting ambient landscapes to a series of urban scenes in an exhibit opening this weekend at MoRo Gallery (806 Mountain NW). As is often true of Macpherson's natural scenes, these views of artificial, man-made architectures are often captured at night or in half-light. From Chicago to Tucson to San Diego to his home base in Albuquerque, Macpherson takes us with him on his nocturnal ramblings through these fascinatingly varied cityscapes. Cities opens this Friday with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. featuring a jazz performance by Jeff Solon. Runs through Dec. 31. 242-6272.

Land o' Books

New Mexico Books & More

In years past, I've managed to largely avoid doing any Christmas shopping at malls. The crowds, the crappy plastic music, the generic chain stores—it just doesn't seem worth the migraine. This year, though, I think I'm due for an attitude adjustment.

Lost and FOUND

An interview with FOUND magazine founder Davy Rothbart

Three years ago, Davy Rothbart started a little, self-published zine called FOUND. In it, Rothbart reproduced the best items he had found lying in the street: old love letters, shopping lists, kids' drawings, mangled photographs, stained postcards. Each item, separated from its creator, took on a mysterious life of its own. A humorously mutilated “Lost Kitten” flyer could share gutter space with a suicide note. Each one, a tiny riddle.

food

Gastrological Forecast

Just after I wrote that whole story on oatmeal, I noticed Quaker Supreme at the grocery store. Quaker Supreme is a line of "heartier" oatmeal packets clearly marketed for adults. It's slightly better than regular Quaker oatmeal packets, but don't be fooled. It's not great. I know I run the risk of sounding like some crazed hippie (or worse, my mother) but when it comes to prepackaged and preflavored things like oatmeal and yogurt, you're really better off making your own. Buy a big tub of yogurt. Spoon as much as you want into a glass and then add your own jam, honey, granola, cinnamon sugar, pomegranate syrup, whatever. It's always better. The same is true of oatmeal. Why would I pay extra for sub-par cinnamon- and pecan-flavored oatmeal? I mean, the stuff is still a white, pasty glop when you pull it out of the microwave, despite the picture on the box. Where is this brimming bowl of dark, richly textured oats? Not in my Radarange. For one thing, the bowl and spoon in this picture are obviously a demitasse cup and its dainty stirrer. That's it. I've had enough. I'm going to start working on making my own recipes for oatmeal and find a way to put it in individual packets. You just wait and see.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

You must go eat at Pho #1. Both times I've been to this brand-new Vietnamese restaurant at San Pedro and Zuni (268-0488), it's been packed with a mix of Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese patrons. What's all the fuss about? Well, the atmosphere is nothing remarkable, so it must be the fantastic food. Chef Day Nguyen previously had restaurants in Boston, Mass. and Arlington, Texas, but recently moved here for the pleasant climate. Pho #1 is owned by Nguyen's brother-in-law Hue Chung and their house specialty is the magnificent Seven Courses of Beef. Don't be intimidated by the confusing names of the dishes. Grill Hawaiian loaf leaf beef is absolutely scrumptious, for example; so is steamed beef paste/meatball mixed with glass noodles and spices. It sounds horrifying, I know, and the meatball isn't much to look at either, but I swear it's one of the best things I've eaten in recent memory. Whatever you do, don't miss the beef grilled on your table and served with a lemongrass sauce. It's to die for. Oh, and make sure you have time for a leisurely dinner. Service can be slow for a regular meal, but the seven courses of beef takes a pleasantly long time to get through as well.

The Stuffed Turkey Piñata

A smashing new way to give thanks

Here in the Land of Enchantment, nothing says "family gathering" like whacking a papier-mâché animal until it bleeds candy. First you'll need to buy or make a piñata. The fabulous bird you're looking at now was hand-crafted by our friends Jada and Crash (call 401-8794 to order). There are instructions on how to make a simple balloon-based turkey piñata at www.familyfun.com.

Talking Turkey

What kind of bird to choose and where to get it

Choosing a Turkey

Is one kind of turkey really any better than another? Probably. When the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine cooked traditional frozen turkeys (labeled as self-basting) and "natural" turkeys, they discovered big differences. The vast majority of frozen turkeys are labeled as self-basting because they've been injected with fluids to make them juicier. These fluids, usually salt and broth, but occasionally artificial flavors, do indeed make a moist turkey. But Cook's Illustrated's taste-testers said they could taste some weird and unnatural flavors. You know how turkey deli meat doesn't taste anything like roasted turkey even though it's technically roasted turkey? That's what we're talking about here.

news

Size Does Matter

A Northeast Heights resident uncovers a water bill mystery

Would it upset you to learn that you might have been paying $35 more than necessary every month on your water bill for the last 13 years? Well, that's just what happened to Richard Gold, and he's not taking it lying down, or even sitting. He's standing straight up and shaking his fist, ready to charge; and it seems like he has every right to hurtle full-speed into the bureaucratic turmoil of Albuquerque government, although it might not do him much good.

Another Democrat Falls Away

Like some gawker slowing down to linger over a roadside disaster scene or a NASCAR junkie unable to tear himself away from video footage of some particularly spectacular speedway carnage, I find myself returning again and again to the Nov. 2 election results.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A gang of inept thieves tried to break into an automated teller machine near a gas station in Worcester, using an oxyacetylene blowtorch. A spokesman for the local West Mercia Police summed up the results best: “The attempted theft, which was reported to police at 12:10 a.m. today, resulted in the cash machine catching fire.” With their victim in flames and their loot in ashes, the thieves ran away. Police are appealing for witnesses to the attempted theft.

Better off Dead

And the week that was ...

De mortuis nil nisi bene, the Romans said long ago. Speak nothing but good of the dead. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's a rule we stick to in these pages. But it's not everyday the man who sired the idea of the suicide bomber passes away, either.

Colin Cleanse

The last glimmer of hope in the Bush administration burns out

While I, like millions of other Americans, was disappointed in the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, I can't say I was surprised. A month out, I called a landslide in favor of Bush, much to the dismay of my coworkers and despite the fact that John Kerry handily reduced President Bush to the out-of-touch corporate puppet—not to mention moron—that he is in all three presidential debates. Closer to the election, however, I began to feel a little more hopeful that America wouldn't be stuck with Bush's misguided arrogance for another four years as the Kerry campaign gathered steam. And, I admit, I bought into the quadrennial notion that new and young voters were really going to come out in droves in a historic uprising that would change the face of American politics and, in turn, the world. Wrong. Again.

film

Reel World

House Party—On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will be hosting the Southwestern premiere of the new horror flick The Halfway House. The film stars cult icon Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Death Race 2000) and is best described as a campy mixture of monster movie, nunsploitation and the ever-popular “girls in prison” genre. The film's writer/director, the one and only Kenneth J. Hall (Puppetmaster, Evil Spawn, Dr. Alien, Nightmare Sisters), will be in town to introduce the film, which begins at 10:30 p.m. each night. Also in attendance will be one of the film's main stars, Albuquerque's own homegrown scream queen Stephanie Leighs (The Stink of Flesh, Pretty Dead Things). Hall and Leighs will participate in a question-and-answer/autograph session following each screening. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door of the Guild Cinema. For more information, log on to www.halfwayhouse-movie.com or www.stephanieleighs.com.

Sideways

Men behaving badly

Filmmaker Alexander Payne has made a career out of presenting audiences with some very thorny characters: from Laura Dern's glue-sniffing poster child for the pro-life movement in Citizen Ruth to Matthew Broderick's vindictive, decidedly unadmirable high school teacher in Election to Jack Nicholson's rootless retiree with a meaningless life story in About Schmidt. Now Payne presents us with Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Hayden Church), a pair of middle-aged losers stuck in an extended bout of arrested development in the gloriously painful romantic comedy Sideways.

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones

Punks will be punks in DIY documentary

The Ramones could very well have been the most dysfunctional family in rock 'n' roll. And that's saying something in a genre of music that has spawned its fair share of dysfunction. But few of those most famously implosive bands (The Beatles, The Doors, Guns & Roses) truly fit the description of “family.” The Ramones, on the other hand, launched their shtick under the premise that they were actually brothers. Over their 20-plus years of existence, the four self-styled trouble-making punks from Queens expanded, contracted and fractured apart from stress, but they were unable to ever fully separate the bond they had with one another under the name of The Ramones.

Hiatus = Goodbye

November Sweeps sweep losers away

In television terms, it's report card time. A month after most new fall shows premiered, it's time for the dreaded Sweeps. This is the time that network ratings are tallied. Since the networks set many of their ad rates based on these tallies, they want the highest ratings they can get. As a result, shows that are, shall we say, underperforming get kicked to the curb.

music

Darkest Hour

with Between the Buried & Me, Cattle Decapitation and Fear Before the March of Flames

Tuesday, Nov. 23; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Darkest Hour are the band Metallica might have become if they hadn't gone all egotistical, drug-addicted pussy on us. Then again, “might” leaves a lot of room for speculation.

Kartik Seshadri

Classical music of India

Saturday, Nov. 20; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): If your idea of sitar music is George Harrison plinking away at the instrument while seated in the Lotus position during the recording of Revolver, you need a new idea. Cool and exotic as it may have sounded to those who were alive and listening intently to popular music back in 1966, the sitar—a lute-like instrument with seven playing strings and up to 13 that resonate sympathetically—dates back at least 700 years, and the music created on it within East Indian culture dates to ancient times and has a richness and history that neither Harrison nor Sir George Martin could ever hope to recreate.

'Tis the Music For the Season

Fa la la la la, la blah, blah, blah ...

Don ye now your gay apparel, because the holiday season is upon us and you're going to have to listen to at least some holiday-themed music over the next six weeks whether you want to, like it, or not. So we figure you might as well spend your time listening to the good and avoiding the bad. That's why, for the past 11 years, we've gone to the trouble of listening to the most recently released batch of holiday albums and painstakingly compiling our thoughts on them. A little holiday music is good to have around just in case you decide to throw a little party or gathering, or a bunch of creepy relatives show up for an unannounced yuletide visit. And some of this stuff really ain't that bad!

Alibi V.13 No.46 • Nov 11-17, 2004

feature

Holiday Film Guide 2004

A Feast of Festive Filmic Fun

The holidays are upon us like cats on a bed full of winter coats at a neighborhood Christmas party. That means crowded parking lots at the mall, incessant toy commercials and more big film releases than you could possibly keep track of.

news

Confrontation at the Altar

Politics and religion deliver New Mexico for Bush; where was Bill?

For Edward Gallegos, ballroom dancing is more than just a hobby, it's a way of life. He spent his professional career in dancehalls, teaching and perfecting the moves that he still breaks out at the Corrales Senior Center on Friday mornings. And to keep the elixir flowing, since he retired in 1994, Gallegos, an 83-year-old widower, has employed himself as a dance host on cruise ships, receiving discounted room, board and gratuity in exchange for palming the backs of well-to-do widows who still enjoy life's finer pleasures.

Thin Line

“Thin Line”'s Guide to Expatriation. Facts are sometimes hard to face, but, yes, George W. Bush, running on a record that even many Republicans found appalling, still won the election.

No Más! No Más!

Reflections on the 2004 campaign

Like many of our fellow countrymen, we're glad the election season is over. Things got so nasty and vile in the final days of the campaign we found ourselves seeking solace in tabloid-esque yet nonpolitical Internet postings. Like the harrowing tale of a kitten surviving a spin through the full cycle of a washing machine. There was also a hair-raising report about marauding bands of blood-sucking monkeys in India.

A Question of Moral Values

How frightening is it that theologians, not political scientists, offer the best insights to help us understand what the heck happened at the polls last Tuesday?

Rapid Ride Comes to Albuquerque

New transportation plans offer a brighter, cleaner future

If you're like most Albuquerqueans, you probably don't ride the bus. For years folks have complained that they're rarely on time. They're sometimes filled with characters that, although interesting to read about in the latest dime-store novel, aren't the sort you want to find lurking over your shoulder while reading said novel. A rather disappointing way to start one's day.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: California—Unable to purchase an airline ticket for Australia, 31-year-old Neil Melly of Canada stripped naked, scaled a barbed-wire fence at the Los Angeles International Airport, ran across the tarmac and attached himself to the plane's wheel well. Melly had tried earlier to buy a ticket for a Qantas Airways flight for Australia with only a credit card receipt. Ticket agents refused to give him the ticket. Melly ignored police officers repeated request to remove himself from the airplane's wheel well. He eventually complied when city fire fighters arrived. Melly, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, had been listed as a missing person in Canada. He was booked on a trespassing charge and released. Airport authorities are looking into improving the fence Melly scaled.

film

Reel World

Adult Anime—Albuquerque's Explora Science Museum has been running its “Jump to Japan” exhibit for a month now. The exhibit concentrates on the Japanese arts of anime and manga (cartoons and comic books). On Thursday, Nov. 11, the museum will host its first-ever “adults night.” Beginning at 7 p.m., the museum's theater will screen a collection of popular Japanese animated films, shorts and TV shows aimed at older teens and adults. Alibi film editor Devin D. O'Leary (yup, that's me) will be on hand to introduce the films and provide a little insight into the world of anime. This evening should be a fine introduction for people intrigued by this brave new world of animated entertainment. The Explora Museum is located at 1701 Mountain NW. Phone 224-8300 for more information.

The Man Who Wasn't There

Jandek on Corwood

"In 1978, a musician released his first album, Ready for the House. It featured a lonely voice accompanied by acoustic guitar. His subsequent recordings made him one of the most prolific artists in contemporary music. Almost nobody has noticed."

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Sequel relies on slapstick, but reminds us why we fell in love with this mess of a girl

The smash hit nature of Bridget Jones' Diary, both in original book and eventual movie form, inevitably led to the release of author Helen Fielding's much-anticipated sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The success of that followup book has brought us, inexorably, to the filming of another movie.

A Toon Too Twisted?

“Tom Goes to the Mayor” on Cartoon Network

Some time in the future, at some as-yet-to-be-determined court trial, the new Cartoon Network series “Tom Goes to the Mayor” will be used to prove that the people in charge of CN's Adult Swim programming block have gone irrevocably insane. That isn't to say that the show is bad. It's certainly original and amusing in its own otherworldly way. But the show is definitely proof positive that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

music

Music to Your Ears

In May of this year, Chris Hotchkiss of local band Morning Wood was killed in a tragic accident. An all-ages benefit show for his family will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Launchpad featuring performances by Morning Wood XXX, Concepto Tambor, Feels Like Sunday, The Big Spank, Frostbite, The United, Mantis Fist, Caustic Lye, Romeo Goes to Hell, 2 Wise, and DJ Tino Mazon. I asked members of Chris' band to provide brief words of remembrance in his honor:

Blue Note

Impressions of Brazil

Dave Pietro and Banda Brazil Visit the Outpost

Although he's become an increasingly renowned saxophonist, Dave Pietro's fluid passages sound as though they were charted by a pianist. One is compelled to deduce that the decade he spent recording and touring as the lead alto saxophonist in Chinese pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi's jazz orchestra has quite a bit to do with Pietro's smooth phrasing. But there's also a highly evolved understanding of piano-like voicing at work in the musical mind of the young reed player from Southboro, Mass.

Prince Diabaté Dance Party

Saturday, Nov. 13 at Airdance Artspace (3030 Isleta SW, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prince Diabaté has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora," a true innovator on the instrument. He and his former musical partner, vocalist Amara Sanoh, began wowing local audiences in 1997, making regular appearances at Outpost Productions' Fall Fundraiser for several years consecutively. Diabaté's masterful fusion of funk, reggae Caribbean rhythms and the traditional sounds of his Malinké roots in Guinea, West Africa makes his some of the freshest, most danceable music going.

Sonic Reducer

Nearly two decades before Jack and Meg White went thrift store shopping for matching red polyester uniforms and spawned rock's latest Gap-like trend, guitarist Dexter Romweber and drummer Crow were actively putting the guitar/drums duo concept on the map; first in Chapel Hill, N.C., then across the country. After releasing nine records as Flat Duo Jets, Romweber and Crow split in 1998. Romweber is back with his third solo album, and it's a record that begs the question: Why did I spend all my dough on those White Stripes and Black Keys discs? This is the real thing, kids. Garage blues at its most surfalicious.

art

Culture Shock

The fourth issue of actingnow.com is made up entirely of interviews. The online theater magazine, which is published by UNM theater professor Eugene Douglas, is a surprisingly attractive, well-edited, informative publication. The latest issue presents dialogues with some of the leading lights in the theatrical universe. This is a fascinating slew of interviews, including chats with expert vocal instructor Kristin Linklater (Freeing the Natural Voice), film director David Gordon Green (George Washington) and, believe it or not, William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Macbeth). Check it out at www.actingnow.com.

Paint It Black

Vietnam Voices and Visions Unfiltered at UNM

Many Americans seem to think that art is merely an expendable luxury, an idle way to pass the time for spoiled trust fund kids and other lazy freeloaders. Such a misperception might seem excusable in a society as privileged as ours, but history reveals how misguided this view really is.

License to Drag

Hiland Theatre

Drag your sorry butt out of the house this Saturday evening for License to Drag, this year's fabulous edition of the beloved Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are charity show. I mean, come on, who doesn't love to see a man in a dress? This year's show features performances by the Sinatra-Devine girls (Lana and Fontana), The Dolls (Geneva Convention and Tequila Mockingbird), Angelica del Rio, Raquel del Rio, Lorenzo Colorado, Cassandra del la Noche and many, many, many more. The glitter! The glamour! I think I may faint. It all goes down at 7 p.m. at the Hiland Theatre. $20, $15. Reserve tickets by calling 262-9301.

Blue Surge

Sol Arts

In Blue Surge, a new play opening this week at Sol Arts, a pair of Midwestern detectives attempt to bust a brothel that pretends to be a mere massage parlor. Who ever heard of such a thing?! The two detectives eventually develop some tricky relationships with two of the hookers. Playwright Rebecca Gilman milks this premise for all its worth in this Albuquerque debut, directed by Brandon Scott Jensen. Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 244-0499.

The Plot Against America

An interview with Philip Roth

No one could accuse Philip Roth of lacking a fantasy life. In a 1972 novel, Roth conjured up a man who slowly became a breast. Then, in 1993, he spun a big blowsy yarn starring a fantasy version of himself. This Philip Roth had worked in Athens as an Israeli spy and was fighting over his identity with an anti-Zionist doppelgänger in Jerusalem. "I'm not trying to confuse you," Roth cheekily told an interviewer that year. "This happened. I stepped into a strange hole, which I don't understand to this day."

food

Gastrological Forecast

If you're having people over to your house on Thanksgiving, you need to start getting ready now. The first thing on your list should be having your crazy, out-of-whack oven recalibrated. (Who does that? Check the Yellow Pages under Appliances—Major—Service and Repair.) I spent half an hour today talking to a repairman about my ancient Maytag Dutch Oven. The thing looks soooo cool, but it runs anywhere from 25 to 100 degrees hotter than the setting. (Sorry the cookies are burned to a crisp, but look at my cool old oven!) This year I do not intend to burn my turkey on Nov. 25. Unfortunately, the fact that my stove is so far off is an indication that calibration won't fix the problem. (Not sure how far off your oven is? Buy one of those cheap metal oven thermometers and burn some cookies while you compare reading to setting.) If you're more than 25 degrees off, or if the oven's temperature fluctuates wildly, you may need to replace the thermostat. If you're lucky, your oven is newish and the parts are still made. For an older oven, you'll have to do some serious scouting. It may end up being cheaper to replace the thing. (Nice cookies! Too bad you got rid of that old stove.) Whatever you do, don't put it off until the day before Thanksgiving.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

You really should try Le French Corner (3905 San Mateo, south of Montgomery) for breakfast some day. I know, I know, the name is bad Frenglish and the place isn't even on a corner, but don't let that get in the way of a deliciously memorable meal. When eating another breakfast burrito is too boring to contemplate, switch it up with a simple but oh-so-satisfying French breakfast. Picture this: a big hunk of crusty baguette, a big pat of butter and two kinds of jams, and a cup of café au lait. Doesn't that sound good? If you want something more substantial, Le French Corner also has a Brie and pecan quiche (a diet buster for sure), huge chocolate-filled croissants and meat- and veggie-filled omelets. Plus, there's a huge case full of éclairs, tartlets and other goodies. They open at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Don't go on Sunday or you'll be looking at a closed sign through your tears.

Sunchokes, Also Known As Jerusalem Artichokes

The Mysteriously Named Tuber: Tasty or a Waste of Time?

Why would you bother eating a sunchoke? Honestly, I've cooked the things and I think the greatest pleasure comes from knowing you're eating the root of a sunflower, not from any particular yumminess. Yes, the sunchoke, also known as Jerusalem artichoke, is the edible tuber of a variety of sunflower native to the United States. Very romantic, yes. Very tasty, maybe.

Tarter Than the Average Berry

Get Bogged Down with the Cranberry Companion

Cookbook co-author James Baker says that "Cranberries have played a supporting role in American cuisine for so long that we take the familiar red fruit for granted. ..." Now, just wait a minute. I may not be a food historian, but I think the American public knows a thing or two about the mother of all Thanksgiving fruits—we did invent the holiday, after all. Let's take a moment to assess what we can already say about our tart friends from the North.