Alibi V.14 No.30 • July 28-Aug 3, 2005

May 19 deadline for 2017 Operation Art Box Submissions

Get hip to the deets

Weekly Alibi is currently accepting artists' design submissions for our Operation Art Box project and May 19 is this year's deadline for arguments and illustrations coherently explaining in some detail why and how you would transform an Alibi box. Throw in some examples of your past and current artistic endeavors while you're at it. Using "art box" in the subject line, email us at artbox@alibi.com or address snail mail to "Art Box" c/o Weekly Alibi Circulation Department, 413 Central NW, ABQ, NM 87102; drop proposals off in person at the same address or hit us up on Facebook. All submissions must include your full name, a working telephone number and the right stuff.

feature

It's Unanimous! Fish Sticks Are ... FISH-A-LICIOUS!

Mmmmm ... smell that? Smell that warm, buttery air? That, friends, is the savory, silky aroma of fish sticks in the oven. That's right, compadres. Let it wash over you like a golden-fried rain cloud. Breathe deep. You want a fish stick. You need a fish stick. Where the hell are you going to find your next fish stick?? Calm down. We're with you, our little fish fiends. We know that with so many fish sticks in the sea, it's hard to reach your own conclusions about battered fish snacks. You need help. That's why we're here.

Feature

Gorton's Mini
$3.99 for 22 ounces
Minced pollock

Though these diminutive sticks resembled "turds," "dog treats" and "little mutants," they somehow managed to fare much better than the full-sized Gorton's sticks we tried. Meaning, as far as "spongy" little fish bites go, these one's didn't completely suck. "It's not so much what they have as what they don't," said one tester. "There's no unpleasant aftertaste, and the fish isn't overly slimy." Hey, at least it's mediocre!

Gorton's
$4.59 for 11.4 ounces
Minced pollock

We started off with high hopes for Gorton's. They did, after all, come up with the first commercially packaged cod cake nearly a century ago. Yet, in all that time, you'd think they might have come up with something better than "meh." Gorton's original fish sticks were solidly in the middle. Though they were "krunchy!" and perhaps the best-looking of the sticks we sampled, their "fishy," "gross" interior didn't win over any fans. We're for-gainst them.

Ian's
$3.59 for 8 ounces
Minced pollock

Ian's classic fish stick was the largest of the bunch we tried. Too bad the "plump" planks were also "peaked and anemic-looking," with a "disturbing" gray coloration. Fear not, for these corporal fish sticks "look far more repulsive than they actually taste." We detected a persistent garlic powder bouquet with lingering notes of "Molly McButter." Some fish flavor was discernible to most of our tasters, though their impressions ranged from "fishy in a bad way" to "flavorful" to just "OK."

Ian's Allergen Free Recipe
$4.99 for 8 ounces
Minced pollock

At last—a food product specially designed for all of us wheat-, gluten-, dairy-, egg-, nut- and soy-intolerant fish stick fanatics! Despite Ian's "all-natural" ingredients, the tumeric-yellow color of this fish stick was too fake for many for our testers. That's because the breading here is actually a "dense," "extra-chewy" veneer of cornmeal and caramel coloring that made our teeth squeak—audibly! Some testers felt the corn coating had both good flavor and consistency without being greasy. Most everyone else agreed that they were overly dry and bland.

Kroger
$4.39 for 24 ounces
Minced hoki

Oddly enough, this generic Midwestern brand got the highest marks across our little board. "Never mind that, as several fellow taste testers have pointed out, it tastes more like a chicken nugget than a fish stick. In my book, that's a good thing," said one tester. It's true. They did taste like chicken—just with a "softer texture and fishy aftertaste." Pair that with a crumbly coating reminiscent of hush puppies, hash browns and Salsbury steak, and you've got a stick fit for a king's dog.

FMV
$5.99 for 64 ounces
A blend of eight types of fish

Regardless of what the packaging says, FMV does not mean "For Maximum Value." No, those initials are just fancy talk for "Fuels My Vomit." In a large, dysfunctional family tree of frozen foods, FMV fish sticks are surely the redheaded stepchildren of the bunch. The "pure chemical" taste of these rigid logs could not begin to mask the "totally vile" flavor of "old burnt dinner roles." And—do we detect the faintest hint of burning hair? These satanic sticks are "a crime against nature!"

FisherBoy
$0.99 for 6 ounces
A blend of eight types of fish

"A mountain of tartar sauce could not possibly make these edible," said one taster. "Not much fish and not much flavor—just a lot of fried batter." Indeed, the word "hollow" came up time and time again when describing the FisherBoy's embarrassing catch. Here fish sticks have been subjugated to soulless tubes of stale, arid breading. Any hint of fish that we found was "pulpy and insignificant," with "a faint taste of cat food—at best." Ouch! Hang your head in shame, FisherBoy.

Fish Sticks

The Inside Story

The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn't have eyeballs or fins.

Son of Cod

Late last year, an Eastern Ontario man tried to sell a fish stick on eBay that he claimed had a burn mark that looked just like Jesus. Fred Whan said he burned the fish stick while making dinner for his son and his friends. He kept the fish stick frozen for a year after his son remarked that the burn mark resembled our Lord and Savior.

film

Reel World

The Dolls Times Two!—Closet Cinema, organizers of the Southwest's premiere gay and lesbian film festival, will be having a one-shot, must-not-miss fundraiser this weekend. On Sunday, July 31, at 1 p.m., there will be a screening of the late, great Russ Meyer's camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Taking the mainstream trash appeal of Jacqueline Suzann's Valley of the Dolls to its ne plus ultra extreme, director Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and writer Roger Ebert (yes, that Roger Ebert) created a psychedelic stew of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll--a classic, minus the class. To make this screening extra unforgettable and supremely outrageous, Closet Cinema has recruited Albuquerque's very own drag troupe The Dolls as hosts. This special engagement is being sponsored by the City of Albuquerque's Film Office to help promote the upcoming Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Sept. 16-22). Miss it, and you'll hate yourself in the morning. In the immortal words of Z-Man (paraphrased years later by Austin Powers), “This is my happening, and it's freaking me out!”

Murderball

Edgy documentary rolls over stereotypes of “handi-capable” athletes

Most documentaries seem to fall into one of two general camps: depressing and inspiring. Depressing ones focus on things like the Holocaust, people on death row or President Bush. Inspiring ones aim their camera lens on children or animals--and if their subjects are dancing, singing, performing a sport or overcoming some disability, all the better. The best documentaries, though, are the ones that strike out on their own, tracking down new and unseen territory, or at least casting the old, well-trodden territory in a brand new light.

Stealth

Jet-fueled drama gets surprisingly far on fumes

Have we learned nothing from The Matrix, The Terminator, WarGames, Demon Seed, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Colossus: The Forbin Project? Artificially intelligent computers always turn evil and try to destroy the world. Did nerd extraordinaire Lenny von Dohlen fight his malevolent PC for the love of Virginia Madsen in Electric Dreams for nothing? Apparently so, because here it is 2005 and--according to the new action film Stealth--the U.S. military has constructed a stealth fighter plane armed with nuclear missiles and an artificially intelligent computer “brain” capable of learning and evolving. Can anybody see the flaw in this plan?

More Dead Than Alive

“Wanted” on TNT

Mere weeks after TNT managed to inject a couple fresh ideas into the shopworn cop genre with “The Closer,” the network returns to the well for yet another police drama. This one tosses every cop cliché against the wall in the desperate hope that at least one of them will stick. Unfortunately, the most they do is leave a vague stain behind.

art

Culture Shock

Mick Sheldon grew up during the '50s and '60s in Nevada. As a child, his father—a ventriloquist with a yellow monkey—ran a local kiddy television show. Sheldon was apparently scarred for life when his mother made him dress up as a blue rabbit for the show.

Atlas of a Difficult World

Shadows and Portraits at UNM's Jonson Gallery

For better or worse, excellent art is often born out of disaster. Matthew Lutz' grandfather died following a brutal battle with lung and brain cancer, and observing this struggle had a deep effect on Lutz. Later, when he entered the MFA program at UNM to study visual art, he taught an undergraduate who fought a similar battle against metastasized breast cancer. Her fight inspired Lutz to complete his master's degree even after he personally suffered a life-altering spinal cord injury.

news

Tale of Two Bills

New Mexicans rally for a national energy bill that promotes environmental responsibility

Dave Cargo is a man who believes in tradition. Old-fashioned conservatism, as he calls it, is the backbone to his political ideology, which he defines as: fiscal balance, civil rights and environmental responsibility. The Republican ex-governor touted his philosophy last week in front of a quiet, supportive audience. "If you're conservative, you want to conserve," he said, eyes ablaze behind his familiar black-framed glasses, as he spoke to the standards for drilling operations in the U.S. "If they want to do some more drilling, I've got an ideal place—they can start with every golf course in America—and they won't have a lot of people cheering them on."

Rules of the Knife Fight

It's as though Mayor Martin Chavez and Republican challenger City Councilor Brad Winter have stepped into a circle and drawn knives. As you watch their opening moves, you see them measuring each other, jabbing, feinting and trying to set up the lunge that will do the trick.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India—Police in the eastern state of Orissa arrested nearly 200 people for watching a pornographic movie in a cinema hall and made them perform 10 sit-ups in public as punishment. Parents of teenagers under 17 caught in the cinema were ordered to come watch the exercise, the Hindustan Times daily reported. Sanjeev Panda, police chief in the Balasore district where the movie was being shown, said he was trying a new approach toward stopping the screening of pornography, which is illegal in India. “Earlier, we acted against the [cinema] hall owners and their staff. But it failed to effectively check screening of obscene movies. So we decided to crack down on the audience,” Panda told the newspaper. Similar punishment was meted out to about 400 people watching a porno at a hall in Orissa's Roukela district.

Pandemonium

In this year's proposed capital budget, Mayor Chavez wanted a few million bucks included for a panda exhibit (a.k.a. Asian Experience) at the Rio Grande Zoo and other improvements at the BioPark, but five city councilors objected, preferring that the city spend those taxpayer funds on ye olde basic services, such as sidewalk, sewage and intersection repairs.

music

Music to Your Ears

R.I.P. R&B—Hello Harlow's! Yes, Club Rhythm and Blues may be gone for good, but there's a new kid on the block and her name is Harlow. Harlow's on the Hill, that is. It's easy to spot Nob Hill's newest club on the southeast corner of Central and Carlisle, especially since the old digs are sporting a new coat of paint that would make Oscar Wilde blush. So who's responsible for this fantastic eyesore? Matt Gregory--the impossibly tall, blonde, smart-ass server who used to bring us our whiskey sours at Gecko's. Apparently, Matt can't get enough of the nightlife in Nob Hill, because he bought up the defunct bar across the street from his old employers and set out to craft his own neighborhood haunt. Harlow's is positioning itself as a laid-back indie rock bar with a mix of live and DJ'd music, a dance floor and food from the club's onsite kitchen. Amenities include a big front patio with willow trees, black slate tile floors and a gorgeous black granite and redwood bar. Word is that they'll be open for lunch and dinner, too. Call 268-0182 for hours and a menu description. Welcome to the neighborhood, you sweet young thing!

Ian Moore

with special guest Robert Skoro

Saturday, July 30; The District (21 and older): It's unclear what sparked Ian Moore's transformation from a hack version of Stevie Ray Vaughn to an inimitable singer/songwriter with a folky, psychedelic sound. Whatever the impetus for the change, Moore's new and more mature music is a fusion of folk guitar with a country twang that's intensely inviting. His songs have an unmistakable thickness to them that stems from Moore's rich, despondent vocals and reverberating guitar. It's not music that entices you to get out and run a few laps around the park, but it doesn't make you want to lie in bed and mope either. Previous albums have seen Moore journey from funky, FX pedal-injected rock to flamenco guitar rhythms and gospelized singing. With his latest album, Luminaria, however, Moore seems to have found the right mix of spontaneity and continuity. Many have compared Moore's music to bands like Wilco. I, personally, prefer Moore's gentlemanly crooning to Jeff Tweedy's more boyish approach, but both evoke a similar tempo and tone in their songs. Former Mason Jennings' bassist Robert Skoro will open for Moore at The District on Saturday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

John Prine

with Kathleen Edwards

Friday, July 29; Kiva Auditorium (21 and older): There's a line from the first track on John Prine's new album, Fair and Square, that's a rather sound description of the man himself: "Oh the glory of true love/Is it will last your whole life through/Never will go out of fashion/Always will look good on you."

Gingerbread Patriots--I'd Fight For My Freedom To Eat Them

After making us wait over a year and a half for new songs, Albuquerque's Gingerbread Patriots (like actual patriots, but with sustenance) are offering us a hard copy of aural stimulation. The quartet, comprised of John Brophy on guitar, Jeshua Brophy on bass (he's the mastermind, according to John), Megan Mcgaughy on keyboards and Ed Burch on drums, produces a dreamy but oxymoronic sound.

Von Bondies Chomp at Bits

If The Von Bondies' drummer Don Blum doesn't like this article, I'm going to get served when he comes to town with an all-out dance fight in the streets

Detroit rock ’n' roll outfit The Von Bondies met around the turn of the century, drew inspiration from Tokyo's Guitar Wolf, a punk band formed in the late '80s who dress up as '50s greasers, formed their instantaneously successful band, recorded with Jack White and put out three records, to the critics' delight. Despite their success, Don Blum says the band is basically unknown. When I disagreed with him on this point in a phone interview last week he asked that I let him hang onto his delusions. OK, Don, you just eat your cherries and play your drums.

Sonic Reducer

Tracy Bonham, the multi-instrumentalist and indie songstress who brought us one of the most memorable chick rock anthems of the '90s—“Mother, Mother"—offers up gold with her third album, Blink the Brightest. What's that? You didn't know she made a second album? That's all right, I didn't either. It could be that three albums in 10 years aren't enough to stay on the radar. It could be that her music still sounds like it was written in 1995, too. Either way, this record is worth three times the attention it's likely to get. See you in five years, Tracy.

The Gingerbread Patriots on Fish Sticks

Where do the Gingerbread Patriots stand on the fish stick issue?

John--I guess I wasn't aware that there was an "issue" so I haven't had time to form an opinion.

Megan--They would be nothing more than mush if stood on.

Jeshua--In the kitchen usually. Then I mash them between my toes and gum them with my mouth.

Ed--Cod only.

What are the pros and cons of fish in stick form?

John--Pros: When it looks like a stick it's easier to eat, I guess. Cons: "Fish sticks."

Megan--Great for meals on the run.

food

A Fish Stick's Best Friend

Fish sticks are underrated. Sure, they might not taste all that great, and they're probably primarily consumed by college kids who are stoned out of their minds. But the important thing to realize, when contemplating whether or not to ingest a breaded fish product, is that the focus should not be on the stick itself, but on the delectable tartar sauce you can (and should) dip it in. Tartar sauce is all even the poorest quality of fish stick needs to become a true delicacy. Fish stick too dry? A dab of tartar will moisten it right up. Does the fish taste overprocessed and slimy? You can't hate what you can't taste, so slather on that T.S. flavor. Whatever fish stick-related problem you encounter, the answer can always be found in the fish stick's favorite cool and creamy buddy.

Fish the Way God Intended

Give a man a fresh fish stick and he'll never go back to frozen

In the whole gustatory scheme of things, fish sticks rank pretty low on the food chain. Think about it. You're much more likely to see fish sticks on an all-u-can-eat buffet than a respectable menu—and even then, it's really only intended for children. But it's not because they're horrible or anything. I'd gladly eat one over, say, lutefisk. Or raw sea urchin, or the quivering pucks of gefilte fish my grandpa so enjoys at Passover. These things are horrifyingly bad, yet they're all considered delicacies by their respective cultures. So why has the humble American fish stick been banished to the coldest reaches of our grocer's freezer? I'll tell you why. Because they're made out of total crap. Most fish stick brands are so loaded down with fillers and preservatives that some brands—ones I've actually eaten—have close to half a foot of ingredients listed on the package. As a result, commercial sticks often suffer from a slightly stale, chemical taste that can hang around long after you've swallowed it. Fish stick breath. Yech!

Alibi V.14 No.29 • July 21-27, 2005

feature

Cinematic Showdown for the Digital Age

Duke City Shootout comes to town gunning for talent

“Screw film!” announces Christopher Coppola. That's a bold statement for a man who has directed eight feature films. His brother is Nicolas Cage, one of the highest paid actors in the world. His uncle directed The Godfather. You'd think this guy would have celluloid in his veins. Make no mistake. He does. But Coppola is an idea man, a future thinker. Right now, he's got his eyes glued firmly on the future of film. And the future of film involves no film at all. It's all about entering the digital world. Computers and video cameras are poised to take over the film industry and wrest control from a scant few old-school film studios desperate to maintain their iron grip on America's movie industry.

film

Reel World

Screenwriters Unite!—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series is about to present its very first quarterly event. This Saturday, July 23, the Speaker Series welcomes noted script consultant Jim Mercurio. Mercurio is a regular columnist in Creative Screenwriting magazine and runs some of the most popular classes at the annual Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles. In this intensive, all-day class, Mercurio will discuss screenwriting topics such as story, structure, scenes, dilemma and subplots. He will also incorporate elements from one of his most popular classes at the Screenwriting Expo, “Killer Endings.” Mercurio will also talk a bit about the practical and business side of screenwriting. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. According to the NMSSS, this class is perfect for the beginning screenwriter looking for a solid foundation from which to approach a story idea, the screenwriter looking to vet those ideas for dramatic possibilities and the screenwriter looking to put a solid polish on a completed work. The $125 fee for this workshop includes lunch and all handouts. Student and teacher discounts are available, but seating is very limited. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to sign up online (nmscreenwriters.com) as soon as possible. For more information on Mercurio, you can log on to jamespmercurio.com. Mercurio's class will take place at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Island

Bombastic Michael Bay's new baby is just a clone of movies past

Over the years, director Michael Bay has become synonymous with loud, mind-numbing and narratively pointless summer action films (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor). This summer isn't exactly an exception to this pattern. But, with The Island, you can see Bay trying very hard to stretch his meager talent into a marginally smarter new genre. Bless his adrenaline-addled little heart, he just doesn't have it in him.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton's remake revels in candy-coated fun

In today's remake-filled world, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at least has the distinction of being a remake of Roald Dahl's classic kids' novel and not the arguably brilliant 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. That hasn't stopped some fans from casting their vehemently negative votes for the film before it even hit theaters. Given my druthers, I'd rather see energy spent on new ideas rather than old ones; but, viewed on its own merits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a blissfully fun confection and the perfect guilt-free treat during a summer of guilty pleasures.

“The Closer” on TNT

Cops are people too

You can't shoot a chrome-plated, pearl-handled .45 at your television set these days without hitting some show involving a cop, a lawyer or a doctor. So, when a new show involving one of those three crops up, it's pretty hard to work up much enthusiasm. Last month, TNT premiered its new cop series “The Closer.” The show is a well-crafted affair, both behind and in front of the camera, and deserves a closer look from crime-o-philes jaded by one too many “CSI” spin offs.

art

Culture Shock

Catch them when they're young ... and cheap. Many singers in the Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Program have gone on to impressive national careers. Actually, this season, eight former SFO apprentice singers have come back to Santa Fe to perform principle roles in main stage productions.

Musical Chairs

Lonely Planet at the Vortex Theatre

On some days, Carl works as a reporter for a supermarket tabloid. On others, he's the official plant waterer for a corporation. On still others, he's a crime scene investigator, an art restorer or a technician at an auto glass repair shop.

Homeless

National Hispanic Cultural Center

When Albuquerque native Steven Michael Quezada moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and comedy, he couldn't land a gig or find an agent. He thought no one wanted to talk to a skinny Chicano from Albuquerque. He wondered if he might be on his way to becoming homeless, and he sat down to write a play about this fear. Quezada's play, Homeless, was first performed in Albuquerque 10 years ago, and it's likely Quezada's commentary on society's pressures and expectations are still relevant. The play is not only written by Quezada—he's also the actor. Homeless opens on Thursday and runs through August 7. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors/NHCC members. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the NHCC box office. For more info, call 724-4771 or got to nhcc.org.

Peace: The Monologues

Sweeney Center

Sixteen teenage girls from Israel and Palestine have been attending a peace camp this month in Glorietta. Supported by Project Life Stories/Project World Stories and Creativity for Peace, the girls have been using art and dialogue to develop life stories through a therapeutic monologue process. On Thursday, July 21, the girls will present their autobiographical monologues to an audience. Photographs of the girls—who are Muslim, Christian and Jewish—and their artwork will also be presented. Music will be by Donald Rubinstein. The Sweeney Center is at 201 W Marcy in Santa Fe. $15 general, $25 for seats in the first 10 rows. Tickets are available at the Lensic box office, (505) 988-1234. For more information, call (505) 466-0007.

news

Doin' the Yahoo!

State GOP threatens legal action over alleged e-mail theft

As the old saying goes: The last time there was a leak like this, Noah built himself a boat. Of course, to modernize the phrase for accuracy and fairness, we'd have to insert the term "alleged" in front of “leak.”

Burque's Bad Ass

Holly Holm aims to be the Duke City's next big-time boxer

Some women are ferocious. They're scattered in history books and littered in folklore, although they oftentimes go unnoticed. Boadicea, the ancient English queen who battled unrighteous Roman rule. Medb, the legendary sovereign of Connaught who led her army against the whole of Ulster, bloodying enemies with her own sword. Joan of Arc, a French peasant-girl-turned-soldier who led her nation's army to victory.

A City Can't Be All New

There's been another piece chipped out of Albuquerque's soul in recent weeks and even if its loss hasn't drawn notice, we are all a little diminished by it.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Russia—Construction workers demolishing a Stalin-era hotel near Moscow's historic Red Square stumbled across nearly a ton of explosives hidden in the building. Moscow's NTV television showed workers removing boxes of explosives from the deep, muddy hole that was once one of the Soviet Union's flagship hotels. “The boxes held only explosives without detonators, so there was no risk of an explosion in the hotel,” a police spokesman told Russian news agencies. The Hotel Moskva was built in 1935 and stood opposite Russia's parliament building. “According to preliminary information, the explosive was hidden in a cache during the Great Patriotic War,” a police spokesman was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying, referring to World War II. Many Soviet buildings were apparently wired to explode in case Adolph Hitler's forces had taken Moscow.

Muddy Otero Mesa

Activists getting in deeper with loose claims on water resources

God must love Otero Mesa. Energy companies have found deposits of natural gas that grow larger with every media opportunity, beyond what even the Bush administration believes lies under the crusty soil. Environmentalists, not to be outdone, proclaim discovery of staggering volumes of potable water.

music

Music to Your Ears

Attention: Because our precognitive powers and general omnipotence here at the Alibi is not yet well-honed, be advised that anyone with good local music news, information, photos, miscellaneous (anything!) should send the goods to cassyle@alibi.com for consideration. Also be advised that we make no promises. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the date of publication. More specifically, we would like local bands to send us flyers (as often as you like) for a new flyer-of-the-week section. Ideally flyers will have at least one of the following qualities: artistically adept, humorous, unusual or just strange. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the issue you'd like to appear in.

The Briggs

with The Derelicts, The Rum Fits and The Rowdy Boys

Wednesday, July 27; The Launchpad (all-ages): At its core, punk is a genre defined by adolescence. More specifically, it's defined by that radioactive existential meltdown that, like a clockwork time bomb, goes hand in hand with growing up. But it's been close to 30 years since bands like Sham 69 crawled out from the gutters of South London and spat up their first "Who am I? Who are you?" Now all the young dudes are old punks with car payments and maybe a few grandkids. And they are, for the most part, pretty pessimistic about the future of the genre. "Punk's dead," right? I hope to hell it's not! And it certainly won't be anytime soon if The Briggs have anything to say about it. Built by two young brothers from Los Angeles, The Briggs make smart street punk that's as loud as it is proud. Their latest EP, Leaving the Ways (Side One Dummy Records) oscillates between Oi anthems and hardcore throw downs—what you might expect from a band that shares a label with The Casualties, 7 Seconds and Flogging Molly. What you didn't see coming, though, was how these songs maintain all the familiarity of a pub sing-along without feeling rehashed. There's a fresh edge somewhere in there, although I can't quite put my finger on it. Whatever it is, it's in the grand old style and they do it well. Not bad for a band that's just four years young.

The Ebb and Flow

with FOMA and Babelshack

Tuesday, July 26; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): When I first heard San Francisco's The Ebb and Flow I thought, now here is a band that travels well. As in, I'd like to take this album on a long car trip, possibly at night, through the Arizona desert. Maybe it's because their first full-length album is called Time to Echolocate and depicts bats in flight on the front cover. After all, bats are nocturnal creatures that fly long distances through the desert. But I don't think it's as simple as all that. There's something far less tangible in there, and it keeps propelling me down the same phantom mental freeway. Take the first track off of Time to Echolocate, "Sonorous." It glides for nearly 10 minutes; first plodding, skipping then running, then on to a full gallop through a forest of moogs and organ, guitar, strings and jazzy drum change-ups. The band itself travels light, with only three members to split between two vocal parts and a tight, diverse instrumentation that somehow manages to sound simple and loose. It's like a trompe l'oeil of the ear. Which I guess makes sense in the whole bat-scheme of things, because that's exactly what sonar and echolocation is all about—using sound for sight. Give them a listen and see where it takes you.

Sonic Reducer

In a tense and panicked mood last week, this album, with its powerful calming effects, saved me from giving myself an ulcer. Sweet and melodic, these Floridians create the perfect mood music that reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps the confusion can be explained by the overall alt.country feel tinged with subtly weird '70s synth sounds. Or maybe it's the album art that, I don't know, just makes me think of Care Bears.

The Briefs

The Alibi sat down at the computer last week and had a very compelling cyber-interview with former Albuquerquean Chris Brief of the Seattle band The Briefs.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

The Dish is back and open for business! Listen up, chowhounds—restaurant gossip is a dish that's best served sizzlin' hot, but we just can't do it without your help. Here's a refresher on All the News That's Fit to Eat: If you know some interesting tidbit about food, chefs or restaurants in Albuquerque, spill the beans! We want to hear about the newly opened or closed restaurants and cool food finds in your area. Likewise, it's your gastronomic duty to let us know if you don't see your favorite spots listed in our Chowtown section. Log on to alibi.com for our complete, searchable database of restaurant listings. When you're done poking around, send your food tips to lauram@alibi.com. (You could send them to food@alibi.com, but that e-mail address attracts more spam than a Hawaiian barbecue. I say play it safe and send stuff directly to me.) If e-mail's not your thing, call me at 346-0660 ext. 260, or fax over your favorite menu at 256-9651. People with the juiciest tips will be rewarded with gift certificates and other awesome Alibi booty. We hungrily await your responses.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company

It's Not Just About the Beer

When I first walked into Turtle Mountain Brewing Company, I flashed back to my days as an indentured servant in my father's Hudson Valley, N.Y., gin mill. There before me on the walls were replicas of brightly colored metal beer trays, including Rheingold, Schaffer and Genesee, the very same trays I used to deliver draft beers to the back room of my dad's tavern, where the ladies sat, drank, smoked and snacked. Pressed paper coasters emblazoned with beer logos seemed like old friends, displayed in a giant frame. Turtle Mountain's walls are plastered with posters, accolades and all manner of beer-related memorabilia.

Alibi V.14 No.28 • July 14-20, 2005

feature

Shifting Focus

PhotoArts ABQ

Josh Franco, director of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Center, explains the route of travelers and art purveyors who come to New Mexico this way: They land at the Sunport, get on I-25 and head north to Santa Fe. It's a route established by a cultural myth, a route that bypasses Albuquerque altogether as an art destination. This has real consequences for artists and gallery owners. It's this myth that made Valerie Hollingsworth mad enough to organize PhotoArts ABQ into something more than a sidenote to the renowned PhotoArts Santa Fe photography festival.

PhotoArts ABQ Schedule

The receptions for PhotoArts ABQ will be on Friday, July 15, ending with a late night reception at the Factory on 5th, 1715 Fifth Street NW. For more information on artists and galleries, go to www.photoartssantafe.com or call 261-0075.

news

Crossing Over

Nob Hill has been waiting for crosswalks ... for 17 years

It's a project nearly two decades in the making, and as of yet there's almost nothing to show for it. Spend a little time walking around Nob Hill and you'll quickly get the gist—despite being one of the most pedestrian-heavy districts in the city, area merchants say that the space on Central running from Girard to Washington is far from friendly to those traveling by foot.

Thin Line

Gross misuse. These are strange times, and there's nothing stranger than the state of our nation's mainstream corporate media and its insidious and self-destructive relationship with the White House. In a July 7 New York Times article entitled "Reporter Jailed After Refusing to Name Source," Adam Liptak reports on the incarceration of his coworker, Times investigative reporter Judy Miller. Liptak even quotes his editor and publisher in what amounted to an embarrassing attempt to elicit sympathy for Miller, because she refused to divulge the name of the White House official who "outed" covert CIA agent Valerie Plame to several media sources, thus committing what I would call a treasonous felony.

Voter ID is a Mole Hill, Not a Mountain

At this rate the October city election ballot could be as lengthy and complicated as the one that daunted voters in last year's general election. Not only will the usual array of multiple City Council and mayoral candidates be listed, along with a menu of municipal bond issues totaling over $120 million, but this year three controversial citizen referenda have been added to the ballot as well.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Montenegro—In the Adriatic nation of Montenegro, a WWI soldier has been called upon to do his civic duty once again and perform jury service. Unfortunately, the gentleman in question died some 90 years ago. Had he survived the war, Jocko Popovic would have been 126 years old right now. The court in the town of Bar said that, since it had no record of his death, it assumed he was still alive and able to do jury duty. Popovic has no surviving relatives and it was left to local media to point out the court's error.

Green Fudge

Enviros' sinking credibility starts at home

Do you believe environmentalists?

Please, be honest. There's no unacceptable answer. It's a simple question. Do you believe what environmentalists say?

Do you believe environmentalists when they predict disaster if we don't do as they wish?

How much do you trust their word? To your mind, how do environmentalists rank on credibility with teachers, clergymen, doctors, policemen, realtors or even columnists for alternative newspapers?

I am not implying any kind of answer. I'm just asking. This isn't a Bush press conference where only the "right" questions can be asked.

music

Music to Your Ears

Star Wars fans will score this fall with an interstellar night of music from all six of the beloved films (though I suppose the term “beloved” does not apply to all six). The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorus will perform Symphonic Star Wars on September 23 and 24. So why am I bringing this up now? Because tickets went on sale last week and these things tend to sell out quickly. The concerts will include laser light shows, costume contests and other "space opera touches." I don't know about you, but I'm dying to find out what the other space opera touches are. Tickets are $15 to $45 and can be procured by calling 881-8999. Or I suppose you could just use the force.

Falconhawk

Monday, July 18; Atomic Cantina (21 and over): If you've been watching MTV Canada lately, you might have caught a video by Calgary's Falconhawk (a video on MTV? Canada is sounding more and more like a true paradise). But since you probably haven't heard of this band, much less caught them on Canadian television, let's just put it this way: If this were the mid '90s, Falconhawk would probably be on Matador. What they've really done is moved past the '80s, through the '90s and towards the present, picking things up along the way to create a delicious cornucopia of music for our generation. Their subtle keyboards combined with piano, drums and a vocalist who sounds like a more relaxed Kristin Hersh (à la Throwing Muses) make for an uncomplicated, pleasantly indie feel.

Sonic Reducer

Norwegian hipsters zZz probably think they're a lot cooler than anyone that would ever buy their album. Even so, the band's latest LP is chalk full of first-rate fashionable dance tracks that would serve one well on a late night road trip. Just try falling asleep at the wheel with lead singer Bjorn Ottenheim vociferously barking at you. zZz combines soulful omnipresent organ and static drums with vocals reminiscent of a coked up Jim Morrison. It's probably not as good as Ottenheim and organist Dean Schinkel think it is, but it's still worth a listen.

Danny Winn and the Earthlings

If the fizz of Mountain Dew could be translated into music, it would sound exactly like Danny Winn and the Earthlings: exhilarating, high-energy and really, really bubbly. Leave it to those catchy, filled beats or maybe even the infectious bass lines, and before you know it there'll be a pit of fans in front of the stage skanking like there's no tomorrow.

food

The Energy Drink Challenge

We're smack-dab in the middle of July, which pretty much guarantees two things in Albuquerque: 98 degree highs and cockroaches the size of baby fists. So when you need a massive jolt of caffeine to make it through your day, what are you going to reach for? A hot cup of coffee? Think again, pit stains! You need something cold. Something in a can. Dare we say, something ... extreme? We dare. We also went to work with an armload of the most ballsy energy drinks we could find and drank them over the course of one day. Each of us kept a "scientific" log of our findings, which we've reproduced parts of right here.

film

Reel World

Biker Flicks—The upcoming Duke City Shootout--a seven-day film festival designed to create seven on-the-fly short films right here in Albuquerque--is revving up with an early event. Christopher Coppola's Biker Bonanza will consist of a motorcycle caravan from Albuquerque to Roswell and back again. The caravan will be led by filmmaker/motorhead/Shootout guru Christopher Coppola. Organizers promise “beef pit BBQ & brew, surprise B-movie screenings & much more.” The ride will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, and will continue through July 20. Admission is $30 for one day or $50 for both days. Log on to www.dukecityshootout.com for more information and to download a registration form.

March of the Penguins

Avian documentary gives audiences a warm feeling about an ice-cold climate

When it comes to making documentaries, you can never go wrong focussing your lens on either kids or animals. They're both gold.

Wedding Crashers

Like a Victoria's Secret gift certificate, Wilson and Vaughn's new comedy is both trashy and romantic

What would happen if you took a sophisticated Jane Austin comedy, made the main characters male, moved it from upscale Regency England to upscale modern-day Washington, D.C., substituted “getting it on with chicks” for “finding a suitable marriage partner” and replaced all the innuendo-filled dialogue with penis jokes? Well, you might end up with something a bit like Wedding Crashers.

Shore Thing

“Minding the Store” on TBS

I love Pauly Shore. Not as an actor or a comedian, mind you, but as a punch line. In my dozen or so years in the newspaper business, I've probably fallen back on the easy “Jury Duty” jab 50 or 60 times ... which is why I have to give Shore credit for trying to revive his career with a new reality show, “Minding the Store.”

art

Culture Shock

Despite Spain's advanced age, the country only became a democracy in 1975 after a long hard struggle. The history of that struggle is commemorated in a new exhibit called The Art of Democracy: Fifty Years of Spain's Political Posters (1930s-1980s). The show is exactly what it says it is, marking roughly the period from the Spanish Civil War right up through the country's transition to democracy. The exhibit opens this weekend at UNM's Zimmerman library and will remain on display through Sept. 7. For details, call Teresa at 277-1010.

Artscrawl

Northeast Heights

Head to the Heights for a Friday evening Artscrawl at Framing Concepts, Palette Contemporary Art & Craft, Weyrich Gallery, Galeria Artopia, and the Arts Alliance Gallery. The crawl will feature watercolors by Bud Edmondson, hand-blown glass sculpture by Katrina Hude, paintings by Sharon Craft, mixed media sculpture by Ilena Grayson and jewelry by Dennis Lee Gomez. Galeria Artopia presents the opening of Reveal, featuring works by Allan Rosenfield and Dan Nester. The Arts Alliance will feature work by members of the Digital Fine Art Society of New Mexico. Crawling happens between 5 and 9 p.m. For more information and a gallery map, go to www.artscrawlabq.org/current_artscrawl.html or call 244-0362.

Christmas in July! Or, How the Zombies Stole Christmas

Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre

Those crazy cats of the Eat, Drink and Be Larry troupe bring you another zombielicious late night comedy extravaganza. This weekend, the special guest is Leather Wilson. (We can't wait.) The troop will celebrate Christmas early with presents, sexy elves and Santa. But beware! Insane zombies wait on the rooftops! Will the Larry troop discover the true meaning of Christmas and keep the zombies at bay? If you're as impatient as Larry for yuletide cheer and aren't afraid of getting eaten, then head to Gorilla Tango. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m., 519 Central NW. Tickets are $8. For more info, call 245-8600.

Summer Smash

Bloc-Busta

War of the Worlds, Fantastic Four and Mr. and Mrs. Smith cost bazillions of dollars to produce and are packed full of pretty people, impressive effects and lots of explosions. Still, if you're over the age of 12, odds are these summer flicks will bore the boxers off you.