The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back
What's your favorite New Mexican food? What's your favorite dinosaur? Ok, now put them together and what do you get? An Enchiladodon? A Chileopteryx? A Tacoraptor? A Sopaipillatops? Awesome! Get ready for the T. Rex of “Best of City” contests: The original Best of Burque Restaurants will be hitting Weekly Alibi racks and website on Thursday, Oct. 12. The polls are open now. Vote on your favorite Frito pie, vegetarian food, Japanese restaurant and local brewery. Let your voice be heard! Rawr!
Dual language education gains momentum at APS
Annie Rodriguez understands the importance of language. When she came to Clovis, N.M. from Guatemala with her brother, sisters and parents at the age of 9, escaping a civil war, she learned that language determined her place in life. The fact that her family spoke Spanish, and not English, meant that she and her siblings, for the first few years of their U.S. schooling, would be placed in classes years below their grade level. It meant that her mother, who was a midwife and nurse in Guatemala, would divide her days between working around town as a hospital aid, and going to school, trying to learn English. It meant that her father, who was a minister before coming to the U.S., would earn money for his family by doing the laundry at a local rest home. And it meant that, one day, Annie would grow up and dedicate herself to language, to teaching and to early childhood development—because she understood the importance of getting a good start.
Filmmaker Shoots Cop—On Thursday, March 3, the People Before Profit Film/Lecture series at the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center will screen Every Mother's Son. This hard-hitting documentary looks at the increased use of aggressive and militarized tactics by U.S. police forces. The film recounts three cases of questionable killings by police officers, including the infamous case of Amadou Diallo in New York City. A speaker from Albuquerque Copwatch will be on hand to update viewers on a class action suit against the City of Albuquerque. The screening starts at 7 p.m. The Peace & Justice Center is located at 202 Harvard SE.
Academy Awards 2005 will likely go down in history as (for lack of anything more interesting) The Year of the Biopic. The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Ray, Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey, The Motorcycle Diaries and The Passion of the Christ (I guess) were all true-life-inspired dramas that found their way into Oscar territory. The Sea Inside was yet another biographical film that made the long haul from obscurity (in this case, Spain) to Oscar glory (nominated in two categories: Best Foreign Film and Best Makeup).
2,000 Maniacs (1964)
If you have ever sat in wide-eyed wonder as images of brutal decapitations and fountains of blood spat across your television screen, you owe a special debt of gratitude to Herschell Gordon Lewis. Known as “the Guru of Gore,” Lewis created the gore film genre in 1963 with his legendary classic Blood Feast. While Lewis often downplays the significance of this film, its influence on movies for generations is undeniable.
The 77th Annual Academy Awards
Initial reports indicated that ABC's telecast of the 77th Annual Academy Awards had managed to lure a few more viewers than the 2004 edition. When the dust finally settled and Nielsen added up its figures, however, it looked like a total of 41.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday evening. That's down about two million from the year before.
The Week in Sloth
Despite having the worst local band name since Tacos with Heidi, Las Cruces groove-metal quartet, New Mexican Erection, have just released their second skull-shattering full-length, titled Codependent (Nasty Cactus Music), and are gearing up to hit the road on an extended tour. For dates, where to buy the CD and other good stuff, visit NME on the web at www.newmexicanerection.com or www.nastycactusmusic.com. ... Local bandguy/music supporter and, for the past four years, webmaster of RockSquawk.com Dandee Fleming has announced that he's shutting his site down as of March 22. Fleming cites a busy schedule as the main reason behind his decision. Over the years, RockSquawk.com provided local musicians with a virtual meeting place where they could post upcoming shows, air dirty laundry, review shows, sell and buy gear, search for band members and discuss freely the ins and outs of the local scene. Fleming did a more than admirable job of attempting to keep the site positive and useful, and you should thank him and buy him lots of drinks the next time you see him. At press time, the site appears to be frozen, but it could just be my stupid computer fucking with me.
What better way to kick off another potentially physically debilitating allergy season in Albuquerque than with an evening of jazz originating in and inspired by the Crescent City? Officially opening the Outpost's 2005 Spring Season, New Orleans-based musicians Tom McDermott and Evan Christopher are happy and more than capable to oblige.
McDermott is a breathtaking pianist who emerged on the front-end of the Scott Joplin revival, and cites New Orleans pianists James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John as musical influences strong enough to inspire a move from his native St. Louis in the early '80s. Since then, he's explored the Louisiana piano tradition on a handful of records that bear his name, as well as through live performance.
Kentucky-born guitarist Adrian Belew has played with just about every progressive and avant garde rock troupe that's mattered—Zappa, middle-era Bowie, King Crimson, Projekt, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and so on—while releasing a steady stream of solo albums, and lending his guitar work to various projects floating just under mainstream radar. Frankly, he's made some pretty annoying music along the way. But Side One, rumored to be the first part of a trilogy, is among the least grating of his solo works. It's still pretty out there, as expected, but it's of keen interest once past the bravado.
Alibi chef Tom Nayder has discovered the secret of eternal life. Actually, it's really only a method for sprouting green onions, and his sister told him how to do it. But we like to make him feel special, so we call him a genius anyway. What Tom does is simple. He buys green onions and keeps them in a plastic bag in the fridge until he needs them. Then, he chops them down to within a couple inches of the root end. He uses the dark and light green parts to top his low-carb tacos, and saves the white bulbs. When kept in a glass with water just up to their tips, the root ends of green onions will sprout again. Tom says he sees growth from the onions within hours, and it only takes about a week for them to grow enough green tops to cut and use again. He cautions not to put the whole green onions in a glass of water; it causes the outer leaves to shrivel prematurely. He says the re-sprouted onions taste just as good as their parents. By the way, the term scallion is often used interchangeably with green onion, but the true scallion is a distinct variety. Milder in flavor than immature (or green) onions, the white part of a scallion has straight sides, whereas the green onion's base is more bulbous.
King Kona is the name of a new coffee shop in the First Plaza Galería (Third and Copper). The walls of the tiny shop are adorned with various ape-themed decorations (get it, King Kona?) and a glorious Hawaiian sunset. But the first thing you'll notice when you walk in the door is the aroma that creeps within your nostrils, hinting at a deep, rich brew. Kona coffee beans, from Hawaii, are the only beans grown in the U.S., didja know? We tried a sweet and mild Gorillacino, but were more impressed by the not bitter, not awful, actually good decaf. King Kona also sells cigars, so stroll on by if you're in the mood for a cup and a puff.
No, really, they're bad
Like a kitten bringing a dead rodent to the back door, our kind and thoughtful receptionist Martin brought me a small bag of cheese snacks last Friday. I should have known to decline them as I once declined a decapitated squirrel from Tiny Princess. But the bag was open and I'm always up for something new, so I said, “Don't tell me what it is. I want to be surprised.” Boy, was I surprised—when I found my self spitting every last half-masticated curd into the trash can under my desk. “Good God,” I said to Martin, “What was that thing?” He showed me the package and explained how he had spit one out of his car window on the way to work, much to the horror of the woman driving next to him. Thanks, Martin.
Smart kids order from the Chinese-
language menu for a homestyle treat
Walking into ABC Chinese restaurant is like walking into pretty much any family owned and operated Chinese restaurant. The color scheme is red and gold (a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture), with lighted beer signs and posters on the walls. A fish tank teems with life and giant, round banquet tables topped with lazy Susans are scattered among the booths. But that's where the similarities end.
Agency's mental health plan still in draft form
More than any other war in U.S. history, the conflict in Iraq has provoked a surge of concern for soldiers returning home bearing the psychological burdens of battle.
Inventory. Which is more remarkable: The mainstream corporate media's current state of disarray or the mainstream corporate media's cluelessness of their own precipitous decline?
"Reverend Moon is the most remarkable person I've ever met"
On Valentine's Day, Republican state Sen. Mark Boitano, who represents part of Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, joined opponents of gay marriage in a press conference to promote "pro-family" legislation. The Albuquerque Journal photo showed a tense Boitano surrounded by gay rights activists. What the story did not mention is that for 30 years Boitano has been a follower of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who calls gays "dung eating dogs" to be "eliminated" or "burned."
What has happened to the principle that American democracy should be accessible and transparent?
"Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." –George Orwell, Politics and the English Language
The Feb. 23 Council meeting featured a packed audience but a shortage of councilors with Debbie O'Malley and Tina Cummins sick, Sally Mayer late, and Eric Griego and Miguel Gomez leaving early. Councilor Michael Cadigan postponed his bill fast-tracking Montaño restriping until O'Malley could present her opposing bill. Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill encouraging community participation in Nob Hill planning passed. And Mayer's bill restricting vehicle weight on San Pedro in her District 7 passed after Council President Brad Winter expanded the San Pedro restrictions into his District 4.
Republicans can cut taxes. They just can't stop spending.
During any given election you can count on Republican candidates to campaign against government spending, bureaucratic waste and increased taxes. Consider some direct quotes from the state legislative campaign of one of my GOP colleagues we'll call "Justin" in order to keep my life within the Republican caucus realtively hassle-free.
A single organism of optimistic energy
Have you seen an adolescent smile lately?
When the Launchpad's lights are dim and the crowd is thick with sweaty kids from all ages, I see the teens smile. Their eyes light up. They grin, all teeth, an endless throng of pearly incisors and cuspids. On stage, the band pacifies this restless mass with music imitating the raw passion of youth. Discontented misfits transform into human beings devoid of teenage angst, purified by noise.
Dateline: New York—A disco-era icon is about to go up for sale on eBay. The multicolored dance floor where John Travolta struck his famous Saturday Night Fever pose will be auctioned off on the website the first week of April. The 24-foot by 16-foot dance floor was rescued from a soon-to-be-demolished nightclub. Bar owner Jay Rizzo, who saved the floor, told the New York Post, “It has literally been the heartbeat of this club.” The club, where the floor had been a fixture since the 1977 film was made, closed last month after being sold to a real estate investment company. The plastic floor, covered in more than 300 multicolored lights, is expected to sell for some $80,000.
Hunter S. Thompson Remembered
I blame this sentimental blathering on the swift and concise suicide of Dr. Hunter S Thompson. He once told me he thought he'd die quickly from something akin to an unexpected breeze wafting in through a back door ... “Poof” gone; something fast, almost clean, but not quite. Suicide by gun to head is never that clean, but it wasn't a shotgun.
In a series of paintings that goes on display this week at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), Joy Davidson has created an entire petting zoo of disturbing creatures. Titled Everything's Fine, Davidson's one-woman show presents a blissfully kitschy selection of work that might make you smile but might also leave you feeling slightly unsettled. The exhibit opens this Friday with a reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For details, call 242-1669.
Love for the Street at Ace Barbershop
The name suggests the sort of place where you might drop in for a quick bowl cut and pick up a pound of nails on the way out, but don't be fooled. Ace Barbershop, which recently opened Downtown on Fourth Street, dodges all expectations.
Soy Sauce Maharaj and Riti Sachdeva tell the stories of East Indian indentured laborers slaving away on sugar cane plantations in Trinidad in a new play called Plantation Alaap, opening this weekend at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). Filled with live music and intricate costumes, this play should be as popular as the pair's highly successful Kalapani: The Crossing. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through March 12. To order tickets, call 480-5581, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Alphaville Video at 3408 Central SE.
Edna Casman isn't the kind of artist who holds anything back. Her bright and bouncy abstract paintings are as unrestrained as they come. They seem to revel in the sheer limitless possibilities of color and shape. A new exhibit of Casman's paintings opens this Friday, March 4, at Unseen Gallery (108 Morningside NE) with a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. during which the artist will make a rare public appearance. Casman's show runs through March 26. For details, call 232-2161.
The 77th Annual Academy Awards
It's a red carpet race in high heels and Harry Winston jewelry. The prize at the end? A little naked gold guy holding a sword and the opportunity to enter a very exclusive club, the society of Academy Award winners. As always, this year's Oscar competition is filled with old favorites (Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese) nouvelle Hollywood royalty (Johnny Depp, Hilary Swank) and surprising dark horse contenders (Catalina Sandino Moreno, Imelda Staunton). Even before the envelopes are ripped and the statue owners announced on Sunday, there are a few clear winners and losers in this year's Academy Awards.
* The Aviator (BAFTA, GG, LVFCS, PFCS) Odds: 1/1.6
Finding Neverland (NBR) 30/1
Million Dollar Baby (DFWFCA, KCFCC, NSFC, SFC) Odds: 1.8/1
Ray Odds: 8/1
Sideways (BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, GG, GSA, LAFCA, NYFCC, SEFCA, SFFCC, TFCA, VFCC) Odds: 5/1
* The Aviator, Martin Scorsese (BFCA, DFWFCA, KCFCC, LVFCS, PFCS) Odds: 1/2
Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood (CFCA, DGA, GG, NYFCC, SDFCS, SFC, VFCC) 1/1
Ray, Taylor Hackford Odds: 20/1
Sideways, Alexander Payne (FFCC, LAFCA, SEFCA, SFFCC) Odds: 16/1
Vera Drake, Mike Leigh (BAFTA) Odds: 26/1
Petroglyph road extension headed to court
Call it déjà vu all over again. Or, it might sound like restating the obvious. But either way, the battle over extending Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument is destined for litigation, again.
Who gives a shit? By now, it's a safe bet that everyone who drives or rides a bus in Albuquerque has seen the giant blue billboards around town asking, “Where's Larry?” and “Where's Dianne?” The advertisements refer to former KKOB AM morning host Larry Ahrens and decidedly prom-queen-esque, longtime local news anchor Dianne Anderson. The pair form the foundation of what is to become a new FM radio station here in Albuquerque, an addition to the American General Media roster, which includes Wild 106 FM and a handful of other stations no one listens to.
A former death row inmate fights to repeal the death penalty
After being released from the Santa Fe State Prison 30 years ago, Ron Keine vowed he would never set foot in this state again. But last week, Keine found himself back in New Mexico to face his old nightmare. This time, after being sentenced to die for a crime he did not commit, he is advocating against the death penalty and views New Mexico as fertile ground in the fight to do away with capital punishment.
Bill Swift takes on the soft drink industry
The final bill on the Senate Public Affairs Committee agenda on a snowy Friday afternoon early in the state Legislature a few weeks ago didn't sound like a humdinger. The crowds that had filled the cramped, overheated committee room earlier in the afternoon for debate on punchier topics had pretty well vacated the premises when the committee turned its attention to item number 14.
Dateline: Hungary—According to a report by the Hungarian Trades Union Federation, a supermarket chain has fired more than two dozen workers on the advice of a clairvoyant. Angry union bosses are demanding the staff be reinstated and say the bosses of the Penny Market chain were only looking for an excuse to cut staff. The report allegedly says that managers at the Penny Market took the personnel files of the employees to the clairvoyant and fired more than two dozen she psychically identified as thieves. The union says it is setting up special action groups to identify those who were psychically sacked.
We exhume our 1995 Hunter S. Thompson interview
Ten years ago, when the Alibi was called NuCity, then-Editor Alma García and former columnist and Personals Manager (not to mention longtime Hunter S. Thompson companion) Norma Jean Thompson (no relation) embarked on a whirlwind journey to spend several days with the father of "Gonzo" journalism, driving around his property at breakneck speed and attempting to interview him while clinging to their own lives.
A reliable source has reported that local band Fivehundred (formerly Mr. Spectacular and three-fourths of Fatso, not to mention Smoothie) have thrown in the proverbial towel, unfortunately before making a record and without any official farewell show. Just another sad day in an endlessly long line of sad days. ... On a happier note, two local bands who remain active as of this writing appear to be getting better and better. Unit 7 Drain are back with a revamped lineup and a boatload of new songs they plan to record for forthcoming albums. They played two Saturday's ago at the Launchpad with Oktober People, who, presumably as part of their effort to spit-polish their set before heading to South By Southwest next month, sounded tighter and more majestic than usual, which is pretty fucking tight and majestic. ... Black Maria's Gordon Andersen made himself a special guest on Jim Villanucci's afternoon radio program last week on 770 KKOB AM, where the topic happened to be the giant new, $10,000-apeice concrete decorative pots that appeared early last week on the I-40 median just west of Carlisle. While most callers agreed that the artistic additions were pleasing, Andersen, true to form, went a step further, telling Villanucci and his listeners, “I'm pro-pot ... and I also like this public art.” Nothing like a little drive-time humor to quell the road rage.
with Albuquerque Blues Connection, Alex Maryol (Santa Fe only), The Easy Street Blues Band and Paul Brodsky Acoustics, and food by Powdrell's BBQ
Friday, Feb. 25; Willee's Blues Club (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 9 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 26; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Sometimes, it's difficult to be a brother. My own brother and I both know that from experience. But imagine being "little brother" to Buddy Guy, constantly overshadowed by your elder sibling's brilliance and status as a superstar. On the other hand, it doesn't necessarily hurt to be billed as "brother of Buddy Guy."
Former Albuquerquean Jenny Farrell could be country music's next hotshot
To say I grew up with Jenny Farrell wouldn't be altogether accurate. Indeed, we did attend the same elementary, junior and high schools (John Baker, Hoover and Eldorado), and resided in the same basic neighborhood. But, she's a few years younger than I, which makes her my brother's age. So he grew up with her, while I simply grew up in her presence. My good friend, Albuquerque Journal contributor and all-around punk-ass Kevin Hopper even managed to take her to prom. All that matters now, though, is that our fair city is about to be represented by the all-grown-up Ms. Farrell on the third season of USA Network's reality smash, "Nashville Star." And she's got what it takes to win big.
Even for a band whose trademark is its penchant for musical re-enactments of historical events and Victorian literary references, Picaresque is an amazing feat of unapologetic chamber pop so full of hooks the average indie drama queen could easily find him- or herself mortally jigged. Colin Meloy, The Decemberists' Arch Duke, has outdone even his usual borderline overdone lyrical self here, and the rest of his five-piece indie orchestra provide the perfect accompaniment to his archetypal exercises. This is as close as you'll get to musical theater sans shitty acting and with elaborate sets that create themselves in your mind.
Oscars Night—Alibi and Louie's Rock-N-Reels are proudly sponsoring the 13th Annual Acadamy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theater in Nob Hill this Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of and funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Service program that provides supplemental pet food and veterinary care for companion animals of seriously ill people. Tickets are $20 for the event only ($5 off with student ID) or $50 for the event plus a three-course prix-fixé dinner at Zinc Bistro. The Oscars will be projected onto the Lobo's giant screen and there will be tons of movie-related doorprizes to be won. In addition, a silent auction in the theater's lobby will give attendees a chance to bid on items donated by local merchants. For dinner reservations and event info, call 232-7510.
“The 77th Annual Academy Awards” on ABC
Naysayers are already predicting that this year's Oscars will be among the lowest-rated in years. The main problem is being chalked up to a rather lackluster year in film. The top films this year are all pretty good, but almost none of them is knock-you-out fabulous. Sure, the Academy could have given us an epic battle between Jesus and Michael Moore, pitting The Passion of the Christ against Fahrenheit 9/11 in the Best Picture category, but nooooo.
The Week in Sloth
An interview with Golden Raspberry Awards founder John Wilson
The red carpet may be a little worn, the Harry Winston “diamonds” are glittering cubic zirconias and the dresses are off the rack. You'd never see an awards ceremony like this on television. But, then again, this is no ordinary awards ceremony.
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Ben Affleck—Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas
George W. Bush—Fahrenheit 9/11
Vin Diesel—Chronicles of Riddick
Ben Stiller—Along Came Polly, Anchorman, Dodgeball, Envy and Starsky & Hutch
Hilary Duff—Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice
Speaking of Molly Ringwald (were we speaking of Molly Ringwald?), I would like to go on record stating that I've never had a crush on the red-haired star of The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Not even in the darkest days of my zit-spangled, hormone-poisoned adolescence did I even have a secret, in-the-closet fixation on her.
Rot at the Tricklock Performance Space
Mary Shelley's life could have been lifted straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. Her father, the philosopher William Godwin, supposedly began teaching her to spell by having her trace the inscription on her dead mother's tombstone. At 16, she ran away to live with the poet Percy Shelley, who unfortunately was already married to someone else. Later, while staying with Shelley and Lord Byron in Switzerland, she conceived of Frankenstein, arguably the most famous horror novel in the history of literature. She was only 19 at the time.
Although this show began life back in 1993 as The Aesthetically Challenged Farmyard Foul in Newberry, England, producers soon realized they needed a catchier title. With this in mind, they changed the name of this musical based on Hans Christian Anderson's timeless fairytale "The Ugly Duckling" to Honk! A new version of the popular show is being staged starting this weekend at UNM's Theatre X. Honk! is suitable for everyone from aged swans to the youngest duckling, so bring the whole family. Opens Friday, Feb. 25. Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $10 general, $6 students. Runs through March 5. 925-5858.
Set in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood during the height of Mayor Giuliani's gentrification of lower Manhattan, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings follows the lives of several destitute characters who must come to terms with a rapidly changing world. Directed by Justin Lenderking, this gritty play by Stephen Adly Guirgis opens this weekend at SolArts. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Runs through March 13. 244-0049.
The High Times Reader
Closing, closing, closing. What the hell is going on here? Mom 'n' pop restaurants are dropping like flies, while corporate joints squirm like maggots on every corner. I know I've been whining about this same thing for years, but things seem to have changed over the past few months, and it's happening faster and faster. Look, people, you control the future of this city. The potential for change is in your pocketbook. If you don't eat at McAppleSteakhouse, and do eat at Tippy's Taco Shack then you are helping to keep local dollars here, in the hands of your friends and neighbors. You're supporting local chefs, farmers and purveyors. It's like voting: Sometimes it seems pointless and sometimes you don't win, but if you don't do it, you always lose. In fact, think of the loss of one of your favorite little places next time you vote. Call your city councilor, mayor, or state legislator and ask what they're doing to help keep local restaurants alive. I mean, what more can I say? What has that multinational corporate feed lot on I-25 done for you lately? When was they last time you walked in to one of those places and got introduced to everyone in the neighborhood, given a lesson in red or green and made to feel welcome in a strange city?
Tony Nethery is moving to Miami, Fla., to take a job as Sous Chef at Douglas Rodriguez' new restaurant OLA Steak. Nethery had been chef at Monte Vista Fire Station until the end of last year, when he became partners with Johnny Orr in the cheese and sandwich shop Relish (Wyoming between Louisiana and Pennsylvania). Nethery will remain a silent partner in the business after he leaves, which he said will happen before the end of February. Yes, it does seem sudden, but Nethery told me the job was too good to pass up; he couldn't resist the opportunity to work with such a well-known chef (Rodriguez was also behind the popular restaurant Chicama in New York City). Plus, Nethery's wife Melina (who also happens to the be the younger sister of my former coworker Sergio Salvador) is pregnant with their first child, so if they were going to make a move, it would be best to do it before they start hatching chicks. Pastry chef Ted Nicely, who spent the past few years making desserts for Monte Vista and Ambrozia, will join Nethery at OLA Steak. I will cry myself to sleep tonight, knowing I've had the last of Nethery's pork and grits creations and Nicely's awesome ice creams. The city will be way less yummy without the three of them.
The oscar-nominated film captures what we love about wine
When I first heard about a wine movie coming out, I nearly wet my pants. I mean, introducing wine to the mainstream—the Hollywood mainstream—that's the kind of publicity wine really needs in order to penetrate the American psyche.
Rio Rancho transplant brings the flavah of Noo Yoyk to the Duke City
My New York “expat” friends have long been making pilgrimages to Venezia's Pizzeria in Rio Rancho for their New York style pizza fix. I'm happy to report that brothers Renato and Aldo Venturino have opened a sister store in the near Northeast Heights, so we don't have to commute as far for a pie.
Flying Star is set to open Downtown at Eighth Street and Silver on Monday, Feb. 28. This latest addition to the Flying Star and Satellite family of bakery/restaurants and coffee shops is located in a striking modern structure built in 1950 for Southern Union Gas, a precursor of PNM. The airy and open building with lots of stone, steel and walls of windows, was designed by the late John Gaw Meem, a famous New Mexico-based architect who was best known for his Southwestern style buildings, like UNM's Alumni Memorial Chapel. Flying Star owners Jean and Mark Bernstein worked with landlord Jay Rembe to get national historic status for the building.
Supporters and activists converge on Santa Fe for a celebration of Black history and culture in New Mexico
Richardson and Madrid oppose BLM drilling permits
When it comes to the Otero Mesa, folks involved in the struggle over oil and gas drilling permits seldom agree on what they define as need, and what they define as greed. Oil and gas companies, for instance, argue that drilling in the Otero Mesa would help to boost the local economy by bringing jobs and supplying additional funding to state education. But there are others, such as conservationists, ranchers and sportsmen, who say that the benefits of drilling on the vast section of Chihuahuan desert in south-central New Mexico have a cost—and it's more than we can afford.
The short, happy life of Jeff Gannon. Two weeks ago, "Thin Line" noted the shameful appearance of Jeff Gannon, Washington bureau chief for an outfit called Talon News, at President Bush's Jan. 26 press conference. While real reporters waited in vain, Gannon gained instant credibility when the president selected him.
City Council District 7 suffers economic hard knocks
Last week, I went looking for prairie dogs in City Councilor Sally Mayer's near-Northeast Heights district. I found lots of closed businesses instead.
Heather Wilson unveils her humanitarian side
For further proof that Congresswoman Heather Wilson must think her constituents will buy into every phony claim she doles out, just look to this warm and fuzzy offering in her Feb. 7 e-newsletter from Washington. Under the heading "Wilson statement about State of the Union address," our elected representative offers this single paragraph: "I thought the President gave a very strong speech. To me, the most powerful moment was not what was said, but something we saw. An Iraqi human rights activist, who is the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein, embraced the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq fighting for her freedom and the right to vote. It was a powerful visual reminder of what this is all about."
At the Feb. 7 meeting, Councilor Sally Mayer's bill funding five more animal control officers to staff the just-passed "dangerous dog" ordinance passed unanimously.
Dateline: Australia—A fire station in Sydney allegedly missed an emergency call because one of the crewmembers was off picking up a pizza in the station's fire truck. The New South Wales Fire Brigade has launched an inquiry into the incident at Maroubra fire station. After picking up the pizza, the fireman allegedly took some friends for a joyride. During the time the fire engine was away, the station received an emergency call and was unable to respond. Two other fire crews did manage to answer the call, but officials are still taking the incident quite seriously. “This is not a humorous situation,” warned state opposition emergency services spokesman Andrew Humpherson. “This was a fire truck and somebody could have died.”
School project on Juarez murders hits home
As a college student in the '60s I well-remember the frequent complaint we voiced that our education didn't seem "relevant." We wanted to be studying real life subject matter, not esoteric writings by a bunch of old white guys divorced from what was happening in the rapidly changing world swirling around us.
Have you been to Epicurious? If the answer is yes, pat yourself on the back, bask a moment in righteous glory and move along to “The Dish”. If the answer is, “What the hell is Epicurious, and will I need any vaccinations?” then it's about time you came out of the dark ages, my friend. Epicurious.com is a miraculous website run by the folks who publish Gourmet and Bon Appétit. It's an indispensable tool and I can't imagine living without it, but judging by the number of people who still ask me what to do with turnips, it's still not bookmarked on everyone's toolbar. Click on the search box and type in the ingredient that's loitering menacingly at the bottom of your fridge. Whether it's sorrel, goat cheese or beets, Epicurious will give you a long list of ideas for what to do with it. (In fact, type in all three and you'll find a fabulous-looking recipe for sorrel-wrapped goat cheese and beet stacks.) Next time you're standing there in the produce aisle, staring at the enoke mushrooms and thinking, “Hmm...” just throw them in the cart. Go home, tap tap tap and your guests are remarking on the genius of your wild mushroom and arugula crostini, or the delightful tang of your Thai shrimp curry. “I never knew what to do with those weird little mushrooms,” the guests will say. “Oh! There are tons of things you can do with them!”
It's called California Witches, but the only biddy on a broomstick here is the picture of a witch on the logo. Owner Jenny Marcus is the Korean-born chef at this month-old restaurant at 7202 Menaul NE. Marcus learned her trade in Korea before moving to California eight years ago. She decided to name her place in homage to a Korean restaurant she had admired, one that served sandwiches, and called them witches for short.
Mimi Sheraton's Eating My Words
"You think what you do is so nice?" asks Mimi Sheraton's mother in the first chapter of Sheraton's memoir, Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life (Morrow, hardcover, $23.95). "A man invests a lot of money and a builds a beautiful restaurant and has a family to support. He has customers and everything is fine, until one day, in walks Big Mouth."
No-pork clause doesn't keep Big John's from going whole hog
Barbecue is never an easy topic of discussion. Regional variations in the sauce ingredients or the cooking method, the type of wood used in the smoking, and even the style of the side dishes can cause a major food fight. Most comfort foods, especially barbecue, have roots that go deep into our family trees. We like it our way and that becomes the right way. I'll admit I'm very attached to my own homemade barbecue sauce and when it comes to potato salad, my mother's hallowed recipe sets the standard. So, I'm pleased to report that Albuquerque is graced with a new barbecue restaurant that serves sauce and potato salad that both pass muster, at least with me.
Angry Film—Self-proclaimed “angry filmmaker” Kelley Baker will be at the Guild Cinema on Thursday, Feb. 17, to screen his latest DV feature Kicking Bird. Baker has toured the country for the last two years conducting filmmaking workshops, screening his films, giving guest lectures and otherwise preaching the gospel of nonHollywood cinema. In addition to his own work, he's served as a sound designer on films like Good Will Hunting, To Die For, Far from Heaven and more. Kicking Bird tells the story of a 17-year-old white trash kid who finds his only escape in running and the manipulative high school track coach who sees a use for our foot-pounding protagonist. The screening starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6 for everyone.
Comic book gets graphic in devilish horror flick
Given the evidence at hand, there's no discernible reason why Constantine should do anything other than suck quietly in its own forgotten little corner of the cineplex. It's based on a comic book, a genre of filmmaking that occasionally gives us memorable entertainment such as Spider-Man, but is far more likely to result in brain-rotting eye-candy like Catwoman and Elektra. It's a horror movie coming out in the middle of one of the worst strings of horror flicks Hollywood has ever inflicted upon us (White Noise, Hide and Seek, Alone in the Dark, Boogeyman). Finally, it stars Keanu Reeves, an actor for whom I normally reserve my most clever insults.
The Mask is back, and, baby, is it silly!
Some films just beg for a sequel (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Godfather, Star Wars). I'm not so sure The Mask is one of those movies. Although it raked in $119 million at the box office, it didn't make a particularly lasting impression on our culture. When you think about it, what did the film really have going for it? It had Cameron Diaz looking cute. It had Jim Carrey acting wacky in green makeup. But can you even recall the story? I can't and I get paid for this kinda stuff. ... So, 11 years after the fact, it's a little odd to be confronted with Son of the Mask.
“Robot Chicken” on Cartoon Network
Apparently, actor Seth Green (star of the Austin Powers movies, among others) is a big toy collector. At some point in his life, he met up with Matthew Senreich, a writer for “ToyFare” magazine. The two became fast friends and, over the course of one drunken evening (I'm only guessing at this point), they came up with the concept for a particularly warped sketch comedy cartoon called “Robot Chicken.” The folks at Cartoon Network, being drunken weirdoes themselves (again, only speculating), snapped at the idea and are now airing the amusingly bizarre results in their Adult Swim block.
The Week in Sloth
In Burque-Native-Done-Good news, former Albuquerque resident and current Nashvillian Jenny Farrell will compete beginning Tuesday, March 1, for a record deal as a contestant on the third season of USA Network's reality TV series “Nashville Star.” The ultimate winner of this particular reality series is chosen exclusively by the television audience, so you know what you have to do, folks. Look for more on the story and an exclusive interview with Farrell in next week's Alibi. ... In Bad-for-You-Albquerque news, according to an Albuquerque Journal article that appeared last Saturday, Mayor Martin Chavez intends to draft an ordinance preventing all-ages shows from taking place at Downtown venues, specifically the Sunshine Theater and Launchpad. Citing recent violent incidents Downtown, Mayor Marty has somehow convinced himself that it's the kids causing the trouble while turning a blind eye to the actual source of trouble in the city's most engaging entertainment district. If the city is going to ban all ages shows at Downtown venues, then our government officials should follow their own precedent and outlaw alcohol sales from events such as Summerfest, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, The New Mexico State Fair, Isotopes baseball games, Scorpions hockey games, shows at Journal Pavilion and countless other events and locations where booze and kids mingle freely. At least the Sunshine and Launchpad shows separate the under-21 crowd from the over-21 set that choose to drink. Look for an Alibi feature coming soon.
Toad, with the likes of bands such as REM, fall into a category all their own. They really didn't fit into the alternative rock scene that dominated most of the '90s, yet I wouldn't classify them as adult contemporary. Toad possess a certain attractive quality that is hard to explain. Their analytical songs are comfort music for the cynic. However, their newest live effort is somewhat disappointing. They lack the charisma found in their earlier efforts, Fear and Dulcinea in particular. Toad's live performance is effortless in every sense of the word. The tired vocals and lack-luster music make this album one to forget.
Director Preston Mendenhall has brought one of sweet William Shakespeare's last and most obscure plays to the Adobe Theatre. Cymbeline mixes comedy, tragedy and romance into a fairytale-like story about a princess who marries a young man of whom her father, Cymbeline, does not approve. This act of disobedience sets in motion an intricate series of schemes, intrigues, battles and betrayals. Everyone except the villains live happily ever after. Cymbeline runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $12 general, $10 students/seniors. 898-9222.
Fusion Theatre Company's A Lie of the Mind
This isn't the Montagues and the Capulets. It isn't even the Hatfields and the McCoys. The battle between two seriously screwed-up families in Sam Shephard's A Lie of the Mind is even darker and more deranged than either of those infamous feuds.
This month's Artscrawl gallery tour kicks off this Friday evening, Feb. 18, with a celebration of Route 66's historic neon signage at El Rey Theater (622 Central SW). This event will include a screening of the award-winning documentary Neon Road. From there, make your way to galleries on and around the Central Avenue corridor. There will be new shows at places like Sauce Liquid Lounge, SolArts, the New Fisher Gallery and the Mariposa Gallery. It all starts at 5 p.m. and runs 'til around 9 p.m. For details, call 244-0362 or log onto www.artscrawlabq.org.
Puccini's Golden West Saloon
This month's Poetry and Beer event at the Golden West Saloon (619 Central SW) hosts the Siren's Iris Poetry Tour on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. It's been said of Suzy La Follette that "she could spit a poem through a brick wall." Likewise, her partner in poetry, Andrea Gibson, brings some seething radical politics to her performances. They're both some of the best spoken word artists currently at work in America. Poetry freaks won't want to miss this one. $3. For more information, call 254-2285.
When Brenda Hollingsworth-Pickett was a little girl growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah she somehow got her hands on a miniature puppet theater. "It had little green curtains," she says, "with a jester in front." She isn't quite sure where the theater came from, but it quickly became the focus of her attention.