Alibi V.14 No.13 • March 31-April 6, 2005

feature

This is Your Life

Happy 300th Birthday to You, Albuquerque

Albuquerque, darling, you are looking so fine! I might be biased, but I can't think of a single other city on the cusp of the big 3-0-0 that looks even close to as pretty as you do. Sure, you've got a few blemishes, and, let's face it, it wouldn't hurt to trim a few pounds here and there. Still, all in all, you've aged well. Your mind is surprisingly sharp, and looking at you I'd be willing to bet you're just now entering the prime of your life.

news

A Real Steal

The state attorney general accuses Zangara Dodge of overcharging customers

Ken Zangara knows money. As a Bush Ranger (meaning that he raised over $200,000 for the prez's election campaign last year), he practically mastered the art of gathering donations. As chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party, he probably understands the relationship between politics and the hard-earned buck. As a businessman and owner of two New Mexico car dealerships, he must know the benefits of a well-seasoned sales pitch. And, after being put on a three-year probation and ordered by the courts to pay $73,000 to 80 employees who he allegedly defrauded in 1992, he might feel the karmic weight of the good ol' smackeroo. It also seems, according to a recent lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid, that when it comes to money, Ken Zangara might be charging a little more than he should.

Carpetbagger Blues

District 7 council race already heating up

Sally Mayer, Albuquerque's District 7 councilor, is a realtor. But Mayer doesn't own a home in District 7. She rents. You might guess she hasn't expected to stay long. You might guess right.

Personnel Matters, a Lot

At the crowded March 21 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's ordinance setting fines for drivers running red lights passed, as did Councilor Tina Cummins' ordinance bringing Albuquerque residential building codes in line with water conservation standards now required by state codes. During public comment, nine representatives of city unions spoke about the Labor Relations Board "taking years" to decide cases and said the city had a double standard in treatment for workers and management.

Voter ID Should be Buried and Forgotten

In its final hours before adjournment, the 2005 session of the New Mexico Legislature completed action on a comprehensive election reform measure and sent it to the governor. The measure received no Republican support; not a single senator or representative from the minority party voted in favor of it, but it passed nonetheless.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Breed animals, lose your dead mother-in-law. Five animal rights extremists were arrested for digging up and stealing the remains of an 82-year-old woman to protest an animal breeding farm in England. A 32-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were seized at a house in Gloucester, while at the same time three men were stopped by police in their car in Newchurch. Staffordshire police had spent five months investigating the desecration of Gladys Hammond's grave in St. Peter's Churchyard in Yoxall, Staffs. Detectives believe the dead woman's remains were stolen in protest against a farm in nearby Newchurch run by Mrs. Hammond's son-in-law, Chris Hall, who breeds guinea pigs for medical research. The arrests followed a series of anonymous letters, suggesting that those responsible might finally be willing to return the body. Detective Chief Inspector Nick Baker declined to say whether that involved any kind of deal, such as the guinea pig farm closing. Animal rights activists have picketed Mr. Hall's business at Darley Oaks Farm for nearly six years.

film

Reel World

King for a Night—In conjunction with the Taos Picture Show, taking place this very weekend, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will present a special screening of the film King of the Corner on Friday, April 1. The film's director/writer/star, Peter Riegert, will attend a Q&A session after each screening. (Screenings begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m.) Riegert started out as an actor in the classic comedy Animal House (where he played Boon), and went on to appear in more than 50 films, including Local Hero, Crossing Delancey, Infinity and Traffic. King of the Corner represents his first feature-filmmaking effort. A deadpan social comedy is based on Gerald Shapiro's book Bad Jews and Other Stories, the film paints a chaotic portrait of a middle-aged man (Riegert) who must deal with a dying father, a precocious daughter, an impatient wife and a tempting old flame. The cast is stocked with ringers like Eli Wallach, Isabella Rossellini, Beverly D'Angelo, Rita Moreno and Eric Bogosian. Riegert's previous directing effort, a short film called “The Courier,” was nominated for an Academy Award. Tickets for this special event will go quickly. The Guild Cinema is located at 3405 Central NE (255-1848).

Taos: Take Two

Taos Picture Show returns

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then repetition is the surest sign of success. Following the triumph of last year's inaugural outing, the Taos Picture Show returns March 31 through April 3 with another fine selection of features, documentaries and short subjects from around the world.

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Guns and Poses

Here's a little quiz to determine how receptive you'll be to the new film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. When confronted with the following joke, how do you respond? FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) has been told that a suspect looks like Dolly Parton. While in a Las Vegas casino, she spots a short, blonde woman exactly matching that description. Gracie gives frantic chase, weaving in and out of the casino for five whole minutes screaming, “Stop, fake Dolly Parton! Somebody stop that fake Dolly!” Eventually, Gracie tackles her quarry, at which point it is revealed that the suspect is—surprise, surprise—the real Dolly Parton. At that point, do you say, A) “Ha, ha. Man, I knew it was gonna be Dolly Parton. I just had this feeling and then—bam!—there she is, the real Dolly Parton. Ha, ha. Genius.” Or do you say, B) “Wow, a badly telegraphed joke and a lame celebrity cameo. This is gonna be a long two hours.”

The Horror! The Horror!

“Project Greenlight” on Bravo

In their move from HBO to Bravo, “Project Greenlight” creators Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and, uh ... the other nonfamous guy decided it was time to go commercial. The first two seasons of the moviemaking reality show produced two dreary coming-of-age dramas, The Battle Of Shaker Heights and Stolen Summer, neither of which made the slightest ripple at the box office. For the third season, then, it was decided to move from prestigious Oscar-generating indie studio Miramax (Shakespeare in Love, Chicago) to cheapjack genre filmmakers Dimension (Dracula 2000, Darkness). The purpose: to create an inexpensive box office hit.

music

Music to Your Ears

Feels Like Sunday's Nate Smith will begin work on his second Albuquerque compilation this month. The project, Rock Outside the Box Vol. II, is shaping up to be an ambitious follow up to 2003's Vol. 1., which featured 14 tracks from as many bands. The new album will draw heavily from an original roster that included Unit 7 Drain, Foma, Oktober People, Hit by a Bus and Ki. My source hinted that the number of bands may climb in to the low 20s ... perhaps warranting a double disc? Huzzah! If you're still hungry for hot local action, keep your eyes peeled on www.KronikIndustries.com. The production team that brought us Fast Heart Mart's documentary film Arrhythmia is rumored to have a DVD compilation in the works. Nothing's confirmed though. In the meantime, a whole lot of Burque bands can look forward to schlepping back and forth to Santa Fe's Stepbridge Studios, where they'll lay down tracks for Rock Outside the Box.

Blue Note

Al Dimeola

To guitar aficionados and jazz junkies, the man needs no introduction. For those unfamiliar with his exploits over the last 20-plus years, here's a recap. At the ripe old age of 19, he was tapped by piano virtuoso Chick Corea to join the now legendary fusion supergroup Return to Forever. Dimeola not only held his own alongside such jazz heavyweights as Corea, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke, but went on to make his own brand of Latin/jazz/rock solo albums that set the music world on fire. Over the course of his first five albums, Dimeola was voted Guitar World Magazine's Guitarist of the Year so often they retired him from the category.

The Locust

with The Fantomes, The Coma Recovery, The Riptorn and Phalcore

Friday, April 1; Launchpad (All ages, 8 p.m.): If being talked about, argued over, dually worshipped and reviled still matter for rock bands, The Locust may well hold the honored distinction of being the most incendiary punk band of the last 10 years. Whether being chastised for selling out to Epitaph imprint Anti (home also to Merle Haggard and Nick Cave) or lambasted for their dubious choices in merchandise (die-cast belt buckles and multi-use compact mirrors), the San Diego four-piece tends to stir up controversy at every turn. And whether you happen to find them annoyingly gimmicky or downright incredible, bassist and singer Justin Pearson—through his work with Struggle, Swing Kids and Crimson Curse—damn near defined screamo for a generation of late '90s romulans. While that may be good or bad depending on your particular shade of hair dye, The Locust have inarguably left their ugly mark on turn of the century indie music. Half a decade later, the forebearers of Mooged out, no-wave powerviolence are still trudging along the tour circuit, maintaining their singularly claustrophobic, brutally vicious and unapologetically odd vision of future music. Friday night they'll crash and convulse through the five movements from their new symphony EP Safety Second, Body Last, their most complex and accomplished work to date.

Sonic Reducer

This 21-track greatest hits release comes to us from one of pop's most prolific and shapeshifting bands in recent memory. Spanning a decade of EPs, this collection is an excellent starting point for the new SFA listener. Have no fear: included for the seasoned connoisseur are a few obscure, early and hard-to-locate tracks. Pulling influence from everything from The Beach Boys to Brian Eno, this collection is a fairly accurate core sample of what SFA is trying to accomplish as a creative entity. You may need a Welsh translator for some of the track titles, though.

Hot List

Ten killer moments at SXSW 2005 (plus a few more)

There's a little game I play with myself every year at South By Southwest, where I try to see more bands than I did the previous year. A couple of years ago I broke the magical 50 mark and have been unable to match it since. This year, I managed to take in 35 acts over four sleepless nights and three bleary-eyed days ... and with a mangled left toe even.

art

Culture Shock

At the 10 a.m. matinee, I found myself floating in the middle of a noisy sea of high schoolers from Cibola and West Mesa. Yikes! Modern experimental theater isn't easy for a lot of adults to handle. For most high school kids, it seems like an experience close to torture.

Freaky Tunes

The 2005 John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium

When the bland, homogenized pop music spoon-fed to you by mainstream radio starts turning your stomach, you know it's time to get a little adventurous. One of the best opportunities to do this comes every year during UNM's John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium.

Fixations

Downtown Contemporary Art Center

Anna Tsouhlarakis' new show at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) evolved out of awards she received in conjunction with the Albuquerque Contemporary exhibit presented last year at the Albuquerque Museum. Tsouhlarakis has a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale and has studied art in Italy, but her work is intimately tied with the Southwest, often centering around issues of native identity. Fixations opens Friday, April 1, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Runs through April 28. 242-1983.

Eucalyptus and Other Fine Scents

Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre

The late night anarchists that make up the comedy collective Eat, Drink and Be Larry are moving their show from the Vortex Theatre to Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre (519 Central NW) for a show this weekend. Best of all, this hootenanny is being guest hosted by none other than the Alibi's own Devin D. O'Leary. The show—titled Eucalyptus and Other Fine Scents or The Life and Times of Dick Knipfing—runs Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, at 10:30 p.m. A very reliable source tells me this show is freakin' hilarious. $6. 245-8600.

The Cruelest Month

Book freaks, take heed! The 14th Annual Albuquerque Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at UNM's Continuing Education Center (1634 University NE, 291-9653) this Friday, April 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers say this is the biggest antiquarian book sale in the state. In addition to books on everything from cooking to history to the occult, you'll also find maps, plates, photographs, prints and various other bookish ephemera. The event is a benefit for the library at the university's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Admission is $6 for both days, or $2 if you plan on only attending Saturday, when all the best stuff will have already been nabbed.

food

Adventures in Wonder Bread

Far too often, food shows leave a bad taste in my mouth

Somewhere over the Big-I and two nights before the 17th Annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show, my boyfriend and I find ourselves sitting in a Village Inn, one booth over from a chatty, convivial man named Matt. Actually, he is the Chef Matt, of Chef Matt's Hand Crafted Arizona Habanero BBQ Sauce, recipient of the 2005 Scovie Award for barbecue sauce. Matt is working miracles in our section, cracking jokes with our evasive and at times bitchy waitress. Service has sped up considerably since his arrival.

All Aboard the Marrakech Express

Mediterranean Café offers a culinary tour of North Africa

A culinary delight for food explorers, the menu at Mediterranean Café sails like Marco Polo from port to port along the silk trade routes of yore. The dishes delight with the bold combinations of sweet, sour, savory and salty flavors, typical of Moroccan, Tunisian and other Middle Eastern cuisines. Cumin, saffron, dried ginger, cinnamon, paprika, rose water, dried fruits, preserved lemons, salty olives and nuts all mingle peacefully on the plate.

Bite

This recipe is by Paula Wolfort, the author of a book called Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Wolfort got the recipe from Aziza ben Tanfous, curator of the Sidi Zitouni Museum on the island of Jerba, who learned it from her grandmother. It was published in a more recent book, Mediterranean Cooking. You probably don't have a couscous steamer at home, but feel free to use a bamboo or aluminum steamer lined with a layer of cheesecloth. It'll work almost as well.

Alibi V.14 No.12 • March 24-30, 2005

feature

Laying Down the Law

Albuquerque residents debate the APD Party Patrol on the fine line between ensuring public safety and stripping citizens of their basic civil rights

A few swift knocks at the door—thump, thump, thump—is usually all that's needed to kill a good buzz. It is perhaps the universal code for "party's over."

film

Reel World

Africa on Screen—The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe kicks off its Fourth Annual African Effect Film Festival this Thursday, March 24. This must-not-miss festival showcases vibrant, emerging cinema from Africa and the African Diaspora and continues through Sunday. Samba Gidjigo, the official biographer of Ousame Sembene (director of Moolaade and universally recognized father of African cinema), will present a special program “Sembene and Africa.” Sembene's 1965 drama Black Girl will also be screened as part of the program. Other festival highlights include the winner of the Nigerian Film Festival, Agogo Eewa (a funny and scathing example of African political cinema), and Cosmic Africa (a scientific and spiritual meditation on the cosmos itself). Short films, features and documentaries will all be spotlighted in the four-day festival. African Effect is rapidly becoming one of New Mexico's best film festivals, and tickets will go fast. Individual tickets are $8. Passes are available. Log on to www.cca.org for complete schedule/film descriptions/ticket info.

In the Realms of the Unreal

The Riddle of Henry Darger

During most of his long but troubled life, no one paid much attention to Henry Darger. With no family and few acquaintances, he lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, earning meager wages as a janitor at neighborhood hospitals. He attended mass and received communion every day. He claimed to be too poor to own a dog.

Austin Goes Film Crazy

The 2005 SXSW Film Festival and Conference

Once upon a time, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, was the scrappy, little-known brother to the hipper and more prominent SXSW Music Festival. Unlike Sundance and Toronto, the festival provided a perfect neutral ground for filmmakers and film fans to mingle. Screenings weren't crowded with studio executives looking to score the next great indie hit and filmmakers weren't under pressure to chat up only worthy distributors. While some of this still holds true, 2005 will certainly go down in history as the year that SXSW lost its status as a “little” film festival.

Main Street Makeover

“Town Haul” on TLC

I'm not sure at what point TLC's “Trading Spaces” turned into the “Saturday Night Live” of cable television, but it has suddenly become the launching point for all kinds of spin-off talent. First carpenter Ty Pennington split off to network success on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Then designer Douglas Wilson tried his hand at the series “Moving Up.” Now, fellow “Trading Spaces” alum Genevieve Gorder is trading on her rickrack-and-throwpillow success as host of the new series “Town Haul.”

art

Culture Shock

The stubborn asses over at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth SW) don't think poetry should be confined to the official poetry month of April. So, just to be contrary, they're hosting a poetry reading this month on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. featuring readings by Erin Radcliffe, Tomás Radcliffe, Matthew Rana, J. Salerno, Nicky Schildkraut and Melissa Weinstein. The event is also designed to celebrate the first all-poetry edition of the Donkey Journal, the gallery's hip monthly arts journal. Refreshments will be provided. These six poets will present a wide range of poetic ideas and voices throughout the evening. According to the Donkey Gallery: "There's something for everyone, unless one wants bongos. There will not be bongos." For details, call 242-7504.

Chaplin's Mustache

Tangential at the Tricklock Performance Space

Kevin R. Elder might be a victim of high expectations. Over the last couple years, he's evolved into one of the Tricklock Company's superstars, one of the most talented members of a very talented group of people. His futuristic masque, Splinters, which Elder created and performed with fellow Tricklocker Summer Olsson, was more than just the best thing I saw at this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival. It was actually one of the most inventive pieces of theater I've ever seen—period.

Pajama Men

Q-Staff Theatre

The first thing you should know is that our very own homegrown partners in comedy Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen no longer call their act Sabotage. They're now called the Pajama Men. The second thing you should know is that, after years of touring to critical acclaim, Albuquerque's favorite idiot twins have been picked up by the Second City, the goofball granddaddy of American comedy institutions. The third thing you should know is that the Pajama Men will be performing a new sketch show called Stop Not Going at the Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) starting this weekend. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. through April 9. $15 general, $12 students. They'll also be doing a fully improvised show called Dirty Thursdays on, yes, Thursdays at 9 p.m. through April 14. $9. You will be amused. 255-2182.

Margaret Carlson and Christy Kay Lopez

Factory on 5th Art Space

Margaret Carlson brings a whole new meaning to the term fabric art. Her astonishing construction, Husht Reverberations, is composed of over 10,000 yards of donated fabric, and was created with a lot of help from her friends. In its sheer mass alone, this is an impressive piece of work, and I'm told it's even more amazing in person. Carlson will exhibit this piece starting this week at Factory on 5th Art Space (1715 Fifth Street NW) along with an undulating canvas work created by Christy Kay Lopez called The Observer Effect. The show opens Friday, March 25, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Runs through April 25. For details, call 259-9029 or 255-3331.

news

The (Not So) Simple Life

East Mountain Water Woes

Twenty years of experience in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and intelligence can be enough to encourage one to take life easy for awhile—it was certainly enough to get Mike Lewis ready for a comfortable, trouble-free retirement. So when he and his wife, Patricia, moved into a quiet neighborhood in Sandia Park last year, they bought a couple dozen chickens, a handful of dogs and cats, planted a small orchard, and waited for the simple life to begin. Unfortunately, simplicity wasn't what was in store for them.

An Embarrassment of Riches

So Much Music, So Little Time at SXSW

Here begins the near impossible task of creating a cogent literary "wrap" of the 2005 South By Southwest Music Conference. For one thing, the sheer number of bands and artists showcasing—approaching somewhere in the vicinity of the 700 mark—along with all the related day parties, label showcases and other events is overwhelming, making it difficult if not impossible to glean a "big picture" perspective on the festival. For another, most people who read this and other backend pieces regarding SXSW generally have no context with which to approach such chaotic, pants-shittingly awesome musical overload. Even so, the experience itself fosters a determination to share it that throttles then chokes out the thick-necked specter of futility.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Bosnia—An ineffectual but determined Bosnian thief identified only as Fehim was recently arrested three times in one day for three different crimes. According to the Oslobodjenje daily, the 44-year-old man was first caught breaking into a car and taken to a police station in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza. He was released after giving a statement but returned a few hours later after causing a traffic accident with another stolen vehicle. Once again, he was released. Following two more failed car thefts, Fehim decided to try his luck at residential burglary. He was caught breaking into an apartment. This time, he was detained pending trial.

music

Music to Your Ears

Who wants to be Albuquerque's next rock idol? The mad scientists at Grandma's Music & Sound and 104.7 FM The Edge are teaming up to craft New Mexico's Ultimate Band. The idea is simple: Take four weeks to hand-pick the best musicians in the city, divvy them up into two blistering rock groups of unsurpassed talent, then turn them loose on each other like ravenous hounds at a majestic cock fight. Battle of the Bands meets Evil Dead II? Oh man, I think I just crapped my pants! If you think you've got what it takes, Grandma's will hold mini-competitions every weekend through mid-April, starting with a guitarist roundup this Saturday. Future auditions will include bassists (April 3), singers (April 9) and drummers (April 16). The top musicians from each category will form two bands, eventually going head to head at the Launchpad on May 14. When the dust clears, one group will walk away with "ultimate" bragging rights plus some sweet-ass booty. That's right, booty. Prizes include a guaranteed spot at this year's Edgefest, six hours of recording time, a chance to perform live for a Virgin Records A&R rep., free stuff from the Gas Pipe and brand new equipment courtesy of Grandma's. Check out www.1047edgeradio.com/ubc.html for complete contest details. Then head west and register at Grandma's Music & Sound. They're located at 9310 Coors NW, just north of Paseo del Norte. And tell 'em Large Marge sent you.

Eric McFadden and Wally Ingram

Saturday, March 26; Brickyard Pizza (all ages, 8 p.m.): Perhaps it's his James Dean, just rolled in, screw you kind of approach that really speaks to his fans. Whatever it is, Eric McFadden makes it work. McFadden is in town to do the kind of music you won't hear from his well-known trio or from the P-Funk All Stars. With some impressive notches in his career belt, McFadden has managed to strut his stuff with some of the best, such as the Reverend Horton Heat, Primus man Les Claypool and Bo Diddley. Tonight he will be joined by Wally Ingram, a percussionist from McFadden's latest project Stockholm Syndrome. Ingram has a long list of performing credits including tours and performances with Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal and Neil Young.

Mastodon

with the Burning Brides and the Hidden Hand

Monday, March 28; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Having nabbed the 2004 album of the year award from Kerrang! magazine, Leviathan, Mastodon's newest full-length offering, has been making, and please indulge me, a mighty big splash. Perhaps history's only 45-minute metal song cycle based on Melville's impenetrable opus Moby Dick, the new record pays little attention to elementary heavy metal cliché. That shouldn't suggest that Mastodon doesn't proudly weave the influence of bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath into their angular, post-hardcore sound, because they do. Nor should one assume that a literary metal record need be any less dark and frightening, because it's plenty dark and plenty frightening. Somehow Mastodon manages to appeal to people who don't necessarily listen to heavy music, while still blowing the minds of the most staunch metal purists. With the unavoidable saturation of the contemporary music market, that sort of quality is rare and reassuring. Having built a reputation as a technically and emotionally explosive live act, their stature should only continue to grow. Add to this that Mastodon has enough musicianship to live off the interest, creating expansive soundscapes, virtuoso guitar riffing and time changes that'll make your stomach drop, and it becomes pretty clear that Monday's show isn't one to miss.

Sonic Reducer

In the early '80s you'd get your ass kicked for riding a skateboard or being a punk rocker. Back then, the world was not ready for Social Distortion. If you liked this kind of music, you were a rebel, an outcast, one of maybe a handful in your city. But these days, being a punk is as normal as being a preppy was back in the '80s. It seems like everyone rides a skateboard, wears a crooked trucker cap or proudly displays a plethora of ill-advised tattoos. Punk rock has found its way to mainstream radio and penetrated our high schools and shopping malls. It baffles me how so many whiney pseudo-punk bands of today attain such a high level of mainstream success while bands like Social Distortion go relatively unnoticed. It's been 25 years since their inception, eight long years since the last record and five years since the tragic death of founding guitarist Dennis Dannell. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever see another Social Distortion release. But punk rock survivor and fiery frontman Mike Ness and his pals have come through with another uncompromising, solid and hard-rocking record full of genuine, reflective and heart-felt songs that rival the Social D classics.

Ah, the Luck o' the Irish

It is a little known fact that St. Patrick was actually not Irish at all, but British. To keep in the spirit of having a good excuse to drink beer, talk a bunch o'blarney, and vomit corned beef and cabbage among family and friends, the Launchpad presented its own we're-not-really-Irish-either celebration. It was a night in which legends were born. Unfortunately, no one will remember any of them due to the ever-flowing Guinness and Jameson and Bushmills, oh my.

food

Gastrological Forecast

So ... my birthday's coming up. Only, what, five months to go? And you're probably already wondering what to get me, right? Yeah. Well, get out your little Hello Kitty pen and scribble this down: Silver champagne straws—so I can sip out of my individual bottle of bub' in style. Wait, come to think of it, where the hell am I going to get one of those one-glass-sized bottles? The last time I saw them here was about four years ago on New Year's Eve. I had the flu and got stuck on the tarmac in Dallas flying back from Washington, D.C., then dropped into Burt's just in time for the countdown. I had one little bottle of Pop (from Pommery) and went home to bed. That sucked. Anyway, haven't seen personal Pop—or any other brand since. Damn you small market Albuquerque! Where are those ridiculous marketing trends when you need them? I mean, 99 percent of that crap (Bacardi-Gras? The Guinness Toast?) is lame, lame, lame. But why can't I cruise around the Universal on Thursday nights, sipping brut out of a silver straw? Fuck it. I'll use the silver straws to drink my Champagne of Beers. They're only $115 at www.vivre.com.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Pop quiz! How many Il Vicino restaurants are there? Give up? Eight. We have two in Albuquerque, and there are now locations in Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Denver, St. Louis and Wichita. Yes, Wichita. Question number two: Did you know that Pranzo, the Italian restaurant in Santa Fe, was owned by the same guys who own Il Vicino and Scalo? Oh, ya didn't didja? Well, surely you read in this paper that those guys (Tom White, Rick Post and Greg Atkin) just sold Scalo to Steve Paternoster. Oh! Question number three: Who is the president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association? That's right, Steve Paternoster. Back to the story. Pranzo was just sold to Michael O'Reilly, and judging from a recent meal I had at O'Reilly's other restaurant, The O'Keeffe Café, Pranzo will be in good hands. The café, next to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, is shockingly underrated. The food is excellent, with a strong focus on local, organic ingredients; the wine list and service are superb. O'Reilly also bought all of Pranzo's recipes and intends to keep the restaurant mostly the same.

Lady Be Good

The Burrito Lady serves up primo homestyle cooking

Yes, there really is a burrito lady! Her name is Consuelo Flores and she darts like a blur, whooshing between kitchen and cash register, cooking, serving food or making change, always with an ear to ear smile. Consider yourself lucky to find your way to her little corner of the world. To me, this place has become the high altar of home cooking in Albuquerque, largely because of the hands-on nature of the business.

A Chop To Cherishil

Not planning on feeding a small army? Try lamb chops.

As Easter approaches, many butchers will actually stock freshly cut lamb instead of those little hermetically sealed packets in the exotic-meat section. You say a $20 leg of lamb the size of a small toddler doesn't exactly fit your holiday dinner plans? No matter. Lamb chops are the perfect single-serving size. Plus, they're easy to find, speedy to cook and quite affordable, if you know what to look for.

Bite

"Cadbury" Easter Eggs

Spring has sprung and Martha Stewart is on the lamb; so why not wing it with your own homemade Cadbury-style Easter eggs? Crafting your own is a lot easier than you think. Start with at least one pound of semisweet couverture chocolate—a top-shelf block with at least 32 percent cocoa butter (available at the Specialty Shop, 5823 Lomas NE, 266-1212). The more Euro the better, as the higher percentages of cocoa butter in Old World brands will give your eggs the best texture and taste. You'll also need plastic egg molds, a candy thermometer, a rubber spatula, some aluminum foil and a plastic sandwich bag. And if you're feeling fancy, cotton gloves, also available at the Specialty Shop, will keep your finished eggs smudge-free.

Alibi V.14 No.11 • March 17-23, 2005

feature

Point of Crisis

According to New Mexico health care advocates, cuts in Medicaid funding not only place the poor, the young, the elderly and the disabled at enormous risk—they're also fiscally irresponsible.

If you can judge the nobility and worth of a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens, then New Mexico, along with every other state in the union, is facing its greatest challenge in the looming Medicaid funding crisis.

news

Under the Microscope

The rights of organized labor are going, going ...

If union leaders are feeling a little paranoid about George W. Bush's re-election, maybe it's because they really are being persecuted. Republicans have both ideological and strategic reasons for an offensive against labor. Attacking unions pleases both Bush's corporate friends and the movement's conservatives, and harasses the strongest grassroots political operation opposing the Republican right.

SimCity

A packed house greeted city councilors at the March 7 meeting. The council approved the appointment of Municipal Development Director Ed Adams to replace Diana Dorn-Jones as the city's Chief Operations Officer. Dorn-Jones resigned to run for Eric Griego's District 3 council seat. Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill requiring medicines such as Sudafed to be sold only with the assistance of store personnel passed unanimously. Druggists would also be required to keep a log of purchasers. The drugs contain ephedrine, used to manufacture methamphetamine.

An Honest Woman Hits a Nerve

Whatever else one might say about the neocons and their allies on the right, the anti-abortion forces, the "shrink-guv'mint-down-to-drownin'-size" fanatics and the "Sun Never Sets on the American Empire" gang, you have to give them credit for one thing. They are much more skillful at crafting labels and nifty monikers for what they are up to than are we plodding, earnest liberal/progressive/Democrats.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Cuba—Cuban President Fidel Castro celebrated International Women's Day by promising household appliances to all the ladies. In a five-hour and 45-minute speech delivered last Tuesday to throngs of cheering women, Castro pledged that 100,000 Chinese-made pressure cookers and rice cookers would be made available each month at government subsidized prices. The electric rice cooker is a prized possession in Communist-run Cuba, where the staple diet consists of black beans and rice. The cookers were banned nearly a decade ago when Cuba was plunged into economic crisis and power outages due to a loss of Soviet aid and oil. The cookers can be distributed now, Castro said, because Cuba is emerging from its longtime energy crunch. The 78-year-old leader spent two hours of his International Women's Day speech extolling the virtues of pressure cookers.

art

Culture Shock

A couple months ago, SolArts, the art and performance space located along Central between Downtown and the University, expanded its operations by opening a new theater thrift store. The organizers opened the store partly because they needed a place to store their largish collection of theatrical costumes. As a way to help generate funds, the organizers intend to place as many costumes as possible from SolArts productions in the store following the run of the show. Right now, they mainly have women's attire, much of it vintage, but they also have wigs, feather boas, gloves, books, some freaky props and other theatrical accessories. Weird and wacky stuff, and none of it is priced over $15. They've also got a rack of rentals with each costume costing only $10 per night. For details, call SolArts at 244-0049, or stop by on Friday and Saturday afternoons. SolArts is located at 712 Central SE, one block west of I-25.

All Dolled Up

The Feminist Paper Doll Show at Offcenter

Boys and girls both play with dolls, but boys rarely admit it. In the world of little boys, dolls aren't dolls anyway. They're action figures. If you squeeze G.I. Joe, he won't ask you to feed him or change his diapers, but he might very well tell you he's going to blow your head off with his machine gun.

Tangential

Tricklock Performance Space

I saw a lot of fantastic shows at this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival, but the best of the lot, in my opinion, was Splinters, a brilliant theatrical metaphor for the conflict between religion and science created by the Tricklock Company's Kevin R. Elder and Summer Olsson. Elder is back with a new one-man show called Tangential that's directed by Olsson. I'm willing to bet the farm that this one will kick your butt. The show opens this Friday, March 18, with a special catered gala at 8 p.m. at the Tricklock Performance Space (112 Washington SE). $18. Tangential then runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. through April 10. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393.

Les Liaisons Dangeureses

Vortex Theatre

Although it's deeply unfortunate that this production won't feature a topless Uma Thurman, Les Liaisons Dangeureses should be a rollicking good show nonetheless. Directed by Jessica Osbourne, this local production of Christopher Hampton's play about the dark arts of seduction should appeal to fans of the award-winning movie. This staging boasts lavish period costumes, a suspiciously phallic set and a cast of notable local performers. Les Liaisons Dangeureses runs through April 10 at the Vortex Theatre (2004 1/2 Central SE). Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. 247-8600.

Pajama Men

Q-Staff Theatre

The first thing you should know is that our very own homegrown partners in comedy Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen no longer call their act Sabotage. They're now called the Pajama Men. The second thing you should know is that, after years of touring to critical acclaim, Albuquerque's favorite idiot twins have been picked up by the Second City, the goofball granddaddy of American comedy institutions. The third thing you should know is that the Pajama Men will be performing a new sketch show called Stop Not Going at the Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) starting this weekend. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. through April 9. $15 general, $12 students. They'll also be doing a fully improvised show called Dirty Thursdays on, yes, Thursdays at 9 p.m. through April 14. $9. You will be amused. 255-2182.

Margaret Carlson and Christy Kay Lopez

Factory on 5th Art Space

Margaret Carlson brings a whole new meaning to the term fabric art. Her astonishing construction, Husht Reverberations, is composed of over 10,000 yards of donated fabric, created with a lot of help from her friends. In its sheer mass alone, this is an impressive piece of work, and I'm told it's even more amazing in person. Carlson will exhibit this piece starting this week at Factory on 5th Art Space along with an undulating canvas work created by Christy Kay Lopez called The Observer Effect. The show opens Friday, March 25, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Runs through April 25. For details, call 259-9029 or 255-3331.

A Glass of Water

An interview with Jimmy Santiago Baca

It's hard to talk about Jimmy Santiago Baca without repeating the well-worn tale of how he became a poet. It's a familiar story, but a great one, the kind of story that never gets tiresome no matter how many times you hear it. After all, Baca's biography has several elements every fine tale should have—a troubled past, a tragic mistake and, most important of all, an intoxicating conclusion combining redemption and grace.

film

Reel World

Peaceful St. Patrick's—If you're in the mood to spend your St. Patrick's Day doing something other than swilling green beer and listening to insulting radio commercials in which local DJs try to sound like leprechauns, then Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center has a proposal. On Thursday, March 17, beginning at 7 p.m., the P&J Center will host a lecture/screening featuring The Peace Movement. This documentary chronicles the modern day peace movement as it has grown and evolved over the past few years. There will be two guest speakers tonight. One is an Iraqi-American speaking on the effects of war on her family, while the other is a member of the League of Democratic Action. The Peace and Justice Center is located at 202 Harvard. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Ice Princess

Mother/daughter skating drama is surprisingly cool

When a film comes right out and says in the television commercials and in the trailers that it's the perfect film for “you and your daughter,” I can rest reasonably assured that the film is not being marketed toward me and my white male thirtysomething demographic.

VideoNasty

The Warriors (1979)

The first VCR my family bought was a shiny electronic monstrosity, a behemoth status symbol of the '80s about the size of a suitcase and weighing in at roughly 5,000 pounds. Through a special promotion at the electronics store, we were given one full year of free video rental--one rental per week for 52 weeks. You can bet your sweet ass my family drove all the way across town to get our movie-lovin' mitts on our free video. Every week we would pack into the trusty ol' blue station wagon and head out to the video store. And if my uncle Archie happened to come along with us, one thing was certain--we were coming home with a copy of The Warriors.

Fat Chance

“Fat Actress” on Showtime

I'm always a little amazed at whom the tabloids choose to make their lifelong rumor fodder. Take, for example, former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley. For more than a decade, the C-list actress has been haunted by The Star, The National Enquirer and the like, all of whom seem to delight in speculating about the woman's weight gain. Frankly, there are few topics I could care less about, but apparently the average housewife in the checkout stand at Wal-Mart disagrees with me.

music

Music to Your Ears

Bernadette Seacrest announced this week that she will be embarking on a five-city tour in May, along with Michael Grimes on the upright bass and drummer Jason Aspeslet; they'll be billed as the Bernadette Seacrest Trio. Our favorite fully-inked chanteuse recently bought a sweet conversion van in which the group will drive, eat, sleep and fart, but not smoke! Destinations include Plush in Tucson, Cinema Bar in Los Angeles, Pat's Garage and Bruno's in San Francisco, Liquid Kitty in Santa Monica and Zebulaon's Lounge in Petaluma. Wish them well. In the meantime, check out Bernadette at Gulp (the cocktail lounge next to Graze at Monte Vista and Central) every Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m., when no smoking is allowed in the bar. For complete tour info, go to www.bernadetteseacrest.com.

Cobra

with Shoulder Voices

Friday March 18; Atomic Cantina

What is cobra? Is it a terrifyingly deady snake? Or a terrifyingly arty experimental music game in which a diverse group of musicians play together, but not at the same time. Though the game is highly structured, to the audience, it should just sound like "really spastic music." That's how group member Raven Chacon describes it. Check it out. If you like it, ask to join the group.

Spotlight

Historic El Rey Theatre is quickly becoming a blistering venue for live music. Owner Kathy Zimmer has been successfully producing shows since her days in L.A. After three years back in the Albuquerque saddle, she is bringing some diverse and extraordinary talent to the stage at El Rey. Saturday, March 12, was no exception. Along with Wave Front Promotions and Wiggle Wire Productions, Zimmer brought '80s rock legends the Fixx to Albuquerque with local band simple. serving as a worthy warmup act.

Sonic Reducer

Angeles Drake is something like a modern-day Alan Parsons Project with vocals similar to Depeche Mode's Martin Gore. These songs are all a bit eerie. They're also extremely difficult to classify, sounding a bit like Pink Floyd without the drugs. You have to be in a meditative mood to enjoy this. A whole album of these similar sounding songs gets a bit tiresome, but the music is mostly enjoyable. This would be a better record if the group was a little more eclectic.

food

Gastrological Forecast

It's a texture thing. Sometimes yogurt makes me gag—not enough texture. And certain mangoes have that furry quality that makes my tongue feel rubbed the wrong way. I love the rough, graininess of jicama, but not the stringy thing about celery. The sliminess of okra chunks in gumbo: good. The slippery sticky film of meat that's been in the fridge too long: bad. Papaya and avocado are both silky smooth, but just firm enough to be sexy, not icky. The chewy crust of Sage Bakehouse's paisano loaf makes me want every sandwich to be on that bread. And I could eat a heap of deep fried chicken skins; there's something so decadent about the combination of crispy, crunchy top and soft, pale skin underneath. The lacy edges of an egg cooked in bacon grease are always divine, especially when swabbed with a little runny yolk. The crisp/creamy thing is a killer, too, like cottage fries dipped in queso, Lay's Classic chips in green chile dip, chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy. Oooh! Serve me flaccid pasta, crunchy risotto, too-fried refried beans or pasty potatoes and you're fired. Make my bacon just right—crispy but not so stiff it shatters, still tender but not soggy—and I'll love you forever. It's a texture thing.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

First you, Graze, then you, Gulp. Or is it the other way around? Chef and restaurateur Jennifer James has unveiled her newest venture, a sophisticated lounge called Gulp, in the storefront next to Graze (Central and Buena Vista, 268-4729).

Deli Mart West

Not that far, but a world apart

Let's face it, the Duke City is challenged in the sandwich department. I used to count on one hand the number of places that I'd go to for a sandwich, but now I'm going to have to use my other hand too, because that list just got longer. I finally ate my first New York deli-style sandwich at Deli Mart West. I had heard about the place from several friends over the years but, because it's "way over on the Westside," I only headed out to find it once, got lost and never went back. Truth be told, it's only 10.09 miles and 17 minutes from my house. That's about how long it takes me to get almost anywhere in the city. Barrio-centricity strikes again.

Bite

You Got to Know Your Ham

I know my ham. You got to know your ham. Especially if you're gonna order a big, fat deli sandwich stuffed with a dozen different pork products.

Country-style ham (also called old-fashioned or Southern-style) is dry cured by rubbing salt and spices onto the meat's surface and contains no added water. It is a specialty of the Southern states. Country-style ham is extremely salty and usually served in small portions, very thinly sliced.

Prosciutto is an Italian-style, salt-cured ham that is air-dried and is not smoked. It is aged between 10 months and two years before it is thinly sliced and eaten raw. Prosciutto has a sweet, delicate taste and adds flavor to salads, side dishes, entrées and appetizers.

Low-tech Garlic Bread

Don't overthink it! This stuff is easy.

So I'm riding in the car the other day, talking about Italian restaurants and how sometimes it doesn't make much sense to eat out when what you really want is a home-cooked meal. My buddy's going on and on about his garlic bread and this elaborate method for it, and I'm like, whoa! That's way, way too complicated. Here's how you make garlic bread. Take a nice, fat Italian loaf. Cut slices like an inch, an inch-and-a-half thick. Put the slices on a cookie sheet and throw 'em in the oven. Toast. Flip halfway through and you get crunchy toasts; don't flip and you get one crunchy side and one squishy side. I like the crunchy/squishy combo.