Alibi V.16 No.2 • Jan 11-17, 2007

Say What?

Voices of the Earth at the Harwood Art Center

One well-worn stereotype about Americans traveling abroad is that we expect everyone else in the world to speak perfect English. Increasingly, this is becoming a fair assumption—one that often comes at the expense of native languages.

Pretty in Print

Alibi writing contest brings local lit to light

The Weekly Alibi is seeking submissions for the newly minted, first-ever Pretty in Print writing contest. Authors from across the state are invited to send their works of 750 words or less in any of three categories: fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We ask that each author submit only one piece in each category.

feature

Return of the Big, Bad Wolf

The wolf is back in the Wild West, and ranchers want him banished. After eight years of a failing federal program to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf, ranchers might get their wish.

The legend of the big, bad wolf is alive in the Southwest. In the remote wilderness of the Gila and Apache national forests, the wolf is still making mischief, raiding calving sheds and chicken coops, and lurking in wait for tasty, tender-limbed little girls. But in this version of the classic tale, it’s not Little Red Riding Hood that’s in peril. It’s the wolf.

film

Reel World

Defective Auditions--Defective Man, a new comedy feature by Albuquerque writer/director D. Ryan Mowry, will be shooting in and around Albuquerque in May. SB-Films, the company behind the campy superhero parody, is holding a one-day audition for the film at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The film is a low-budget independent production, so there will be no pay involved. Interested actors will, however, receive credit for their work and a copy of the completed film. For more info, or for a page of dialogue to prepare for the audition, e-mail admin@sb-films.com.

The Bridge

Haunting documentary confronts suicide head-on

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the most iconic structures in the world. It is a wonder of modern engineering, a prime tourist destination and a symbol of the City by the Bay. It is also the most popular suicide spot on the planet.

Children of Men

Frightening futuristic thriller speculates on a world on the brink of collapse

One day, somewhere down the line, some enterprising film critic or cinema historian is going to write a biography on the life and work of Mexican-born writer/director Alfonso Cuarón. That person is going to have their work cut out for them trying to make heads or tails out of Cuarón’s brilliant but bafflingly diverse résumé.

Scandalous!

“Dirt” on FX

Given Hollywood’s love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with celebrity photographers, I’m a little surprised it took the industry so long to make a TV series about paparazzi. Leave it to envelope-pushing FX, though, to burrow deep into the tabloid trash heap and come up with the intermittently entertaining sleaze-fest that is “Dirt.”

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

Culture Shock

Last Tango in Albuquerque—The rumors have proven true. Gorilla Tango, the comedy improv theater that opened Downtown in 2004, officially closed its doors on Jan. 1. The owners cited poor management and insufficient public support as reasons for the closure.

food

A Spice Too Far?

Q: Dear CBA,

I’m slowly getting into the “buying local” thing, but I’m wondering where I’m going to get ginger for stir-fry, cookies, ginger ale, medicine, etc.

Seems it usually comes from Hawaii or Thailand. Is there a way to grow it here?

—Missing My Snap

A: Dear Snapless,

Don’t forget, the buy local thing is not about self-inflicted hardship. Sure, you could plant some ginger root in a pot and probably get it to grow. But you would need a very large pot to grow enough ginger to satisfy your apparently large appetite for the spicy tuber. Is it worth it?

Mean Mr. Mustard Sprouts

The cultivated baby cabbage we call Brussels sprouts are one of the most hated vegetables in the Western world. They can turn nasty off-green colors, their texture is a little rubbery and, yes, they tend to cause gas. But this winter we’ve grown attached to the little bugger and offer a recipe to the tribunal.

Jinja Bar & Bistro

Prefab Pacific whim

If you’ve ever asked a true Beatles fan what he or she thinks about The Monkees, you may get a series of disparaging comments inundated by eye-rolling and perhaps a polite expletive or two. This is because even folks who aren’t big on music still know enough to determine that The Monkees were a prefabricated, Hollywood-hyped version of the Fab Four. Not to say that the Monkees didn’t have redeeming qualities--hell, I’ve hummed “Last Train to Clarksville” in the tub a few times. But when comparing “Daydream Believer” to “I Am the Walrus,” one will undoubtedly come up short.

news

Mr. Harris’ Neighborhoods

Councilor wants a task force to investigate neighborhood and homeowners groups

Democratic. Transparent. These are words often linked to government—city, state or federal.

Trailer 21

The demolition of Santa Fe’s teen arts center nears

In a room once too dark to navigate its stacks of audio-visual equipment and art supplies hangs the future of Warehouse 21 (W21). Bright, white lights illuminate the now almost barren space, which serves as the final stop in a journey through the history of the teen-arts center.

Thin Line

Snow Saturation—It snowed. A lot. I keep having visions of breaking my teeth on the ice as my inappropriate shoes take baby steps across sidewalks the city is ill-prepared to melt.

Ask a Lawsuit

Oregon man suspended for showing "¡Ask a Mexican!" to coworker

Robert Diefenbach took his annual vacation two months ago in Albuquerque. While there, the Newport, Ore., resident picked up a copy of the Alibi. He read "¡Ask a Mexican!," the column in which yours truly answers readers' questions about Mexicans. The questions that week concerned the Mexican love affair with chickens and the similarities between Mexicans and the Irish.

A Guide to Surviving the 2007 Legislative Session

What do you get when you cram 112 state legislators, hundreds of eager staffers and more lobbyists than ticks on rez dogs into a four-story building for 60 days? Besides several respiratory infections, sleep deprivation and more handshakes than a three-armed Kiwanis club member, you get another strange and wonderful New Mexico Legislative Session.

Our City's Homeless Kids ...

... And what we should do to help them

This year we visited relatives in Chile during the Christmas season. On New Year’s Eve we were in the port city of Valparaiso for the mammoth fireworks display with which Chileans traditionally welcome in the New Year at the stroke of midnight.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Norway--A Lithuanian held on suspicion of theft at a Norwegian jail slipped out of custody recently by stripping naked, smearing himself with vegetable oil and sliding through the prison bars. “He slipped through the bars on Christmas Eve,” said Sven-Erik Jacobsen, operation leader for the Oest-Finnmark Police District. Another Lithuanian, held as an accomplice in the same cell, tried to use the same slick technique as his partner in crime. Unfortunately, he proved to be just a bit too large to squeeze through the window at the Vadsoe Jail. “It was a good effort,” Jacobsen said. “But all he did was get his head and part of his shoulder through the bars.” According to Norwegian police, the oily escapee, 25-year-old Yuris Sinkevicius, is still at large.

music

Music to Your Ears

Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 28, this year. That's three and a half months from now, but I started getting calls from bands asking how they can get on the bill back in October. So, while I truly admire your forethought and tenacity, for the millionth time, don't send me or anyone at the Alibi your demo. Here's Crawl coordinator Joe Anderson on what really works:

Flyer on the Wall

Say goodbye to Below the Sound with one last bust at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (free, 21+) on Friday, Jan. 12. Fivehundred, The Bellmont and Fando say they’ll help with the heavy lifting. (LM)

At Home with Left Brain

Original progressive rock, fresh from the oven

Imagine a metal band at a house party. On ripped-up sofas, overturned chairs, and a floor littered with empty cans and bottles, a crowd moshes wildly as the band trashes its way through the set. A glass vase falls from the shelf, shattering on the tile floor and bringing the party to a halt. The moshers disappear, the sofas are repaired, the cans and bottles are (mostly) gone, but the band remains.

Alibi V.16 No.1 • Jan 4-10, 2007

Best and Worst of 2006

The year in review

After paging through hundreds of old articles, nursing several pots of coffee and wracking our brains for significant stories from the past year, our team of researchers stood back and stared at it: the best and worst list of 2006. It was awful—three times as many stories on how our city had screwed things up as there were stories on the city’s accomplishments. It looked dismal, lopsided, disjointed.

feature

music

Music to Your Ears

2006's Six Great Things in Local Music—I know, I know. Somewhere in the history of journalism, someone said, "Let there be 10, or thy year-closing lists shall be struck from the hands of thy readers with lightning bolts." Quick! Drop your paper!

Flyer on the Wall

Simfonik Plague, Hit By a Bus and The Ya Ya Boom Project are more fun than a barrelful of elephants this Thursday, Jan. 4, at Ralli's Fourth Street Pub and Grill (free, 21-and-over). (LM)

A Day in the Life

Trip-hop and tra-la-la with Chloe Day

Chloe Day doesn’t know how to describe trip-hop. You might find that odd, considering she’s known throughout the World Wide Web for her trip-hop, goth and industrial music. Still, she knows it when she hears it.

Hip-hop 10

Subjective. Inaccurate. Holy. A list of the discs that floated to the surface in 2006.

Reviews of new music releases.

art

Culture Shock

N.M. Book Award—The New Mexico Book Co-op is unveiling a new book award to draw attention to the best books connected to our literary state. Judged by a panel of scholars and librarians, the contest is open to any author or publisher, as long as the book submitted has some tangible connection to New Mexico or the Southwest. Entries must have been published from 2005 through the present. Deadline is July 1, 2007, with a discount for entries submitted by April 15. For more information and categories, go to nmbookaward.com.

Way Up Top

Top 10 arts picks for 2006

Thankfully, 2006 was about more than just a dead-end war in the Middle East. Here in Albuquerque, our little art scene continued to blossom. It wasn't easy to narrow down, but here are my top 10 local arts events of 2006, in no particular order.

Top 10 Books of 2006

1. 2006 was so crowded with megawatt names in American fiction that it was easy to overlook (in my opinion) that the best fiction came from overseas. The very best of these imports was Alaa Al Aswany’s hilarious and terribly sad novel, The Yacoubian Building (HarperCollins, paper, $13.95), which depicts a cross-section of Egyptian life around the Gulf War as Dickens would, had he have been an Egyptian, of course.

news

Top Stories of 2007

Why settle for last year’s news?

This being a forward-looking, progressive publication, I decided to review the top stories of 2007. Why rehash what you already know about 2006? So come along as we fast-forward through the next 12 months.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Germany--A young woman who didn’t want to go to work came up with a simple solution late last month--she sent a text message to her parents saying she had been kidnapped. Police in the Bavarian town of Straubing said they had carried out a huge search throughout the region for the 21-year-old woman who disappeared on Dec. 23. She turned up at her fast-food restaurant job the following morning, saying the kidnappers had let her go. The woman was questioned by police and later admitted she make up the whole story because she owed a colleague 25 euros (about $40) and did not have the money. She now faces a fine of up to 1000 euros ($1,680).

film

Vengeance, Vendettas, a Queen and a King

The Top 10 Films of 2006

In the cold light of December, the final box office total for 2006 represented a slight improvement over the embarrassment that was 2005 (thanks almost entirely to the $420 million windfall that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest). But what about the quality of films? Honestly, 2006 felt like a lean year. There were bright spots, to be sure, but even some of the year’s most critically acclaimed efforts fell short of perfection.

The 10 Worst Films of 2006

So many bad films, so little space. Would that I could extoll the non-virtues of Doogal, Material Girls, Just My Luck, RV and Man of the Year. If only I had room to discuss Steve Martin’s systematic destruction of The Pink Panther franchise. Just a word or two about the endless, pointless horror film remakes (The Hills Have Eyes, The Omen, When a Stranger Calls, The Wicker Man, Black Christmas) ... But no. This is the worst of the worst, and we’ve gotta muck our way right to the bottom.

Best o’ Box

Top 10 TV

“Battlestar Galactica” (Sci-Fi) They ended one season with a storyline about a stolen election and picked up the next season with most of the human race devolved into suicide bombers under an inhuman occupation force. The miracle of this series is not that it discusses hot-button political issues, but that it does so while still being one of the most exciting, action-packed shows on TV. (That battle for the freedom of New Caprica just about gave me a coronary!)

food

The Dish

Thanks for the Calories--I've gained eight pounds this year. Bad for my vanity, but a very good indication of the gastronomical happenings in our humble burg in 2006. Here are some of Albuquerque's other "big" trends of the year.

The Year’s Top 10 Food Stories

Digestible nuggets of 2006’s most nutritious info

Yes, we know, Americans are fat. However, in 2006 the focus has gone from the entire population to just our kids. In an effort to put the damper on the "epidemic" of childhood obesity, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation managed to convince the country's top three soft drink companies to remove all sweetened drinks--such as Coke, Pepsi and flavored iced teas--from school vending machines and replace them with bottled water, nonfat milk and 100 percent fruit juices. If that weren't enough, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services jumped in by urging food companies to make products that were more nutritious and to also change the way they market foods targeted toward kids. Lastly, they tried to instate minimum nutrition standards for those foods to ensure kids were getting all the stuff they need.

Graze

A change of seasons

Hibernation is a beautiful thing. I love nothing more than to spend snowy winter months eating meat and soup (meat soup kills two birds with one stone) and holing up in my house. Last week was one of those rare times I've encountered since moving to Albuquerque five years ago. I woke up in the middle of the night with the vague realization it was cold, and I went to turn on my rarely touched heater. On my way back to bed, I glanced out through my window: Huge clumps of snow were pelting the glass. I was so shocked I opened my front door to have a look, only to find half my neighbors staring up into the sky like aliens had landed.

Alibi V.15 No.52 • Dec 28-Jan 3, 2006

¡Basta!

Latin American Posters at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

On New Year's Day 1994, in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, a revolutionary group no one had ever heard of launched a highly conspicuous revolution. Calling themselves the Zapatistas—after the famed Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata—the group proclaimed to the world its outrage over NAFTA, the recently passed trade agreement that they believed would make Mexico's poorest citizens even poorer.

feature

The Future is Now

Predictions for 2007

Sick of nasty surprises? We sympathize. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to predict the major events of 2007 beforehand so as to avoid any unpleasant shocks to our already delicate state of mind? If we knew a giant asteroid would destroy every mammal on Earth on Aug. 14, 2007, at least we could live large for the next seven months. And just think of the boon to the hang-gliding industry.

Psychic Ana

Tarot Reader

247-2707

Briefly describe how you became a psychic.

Since birth. My relatives that died would come to me and they would give me information to tell my other relatives. Like my grandmother would talk to me, and my grandmother died in 1921. I thought it was just normal for everybody.

What is your preferred method of divination?

Pronoia News Network

An excerpt from Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia

Exclusive! The Beauty and Truth Laboratory reports the news before it happens!

film

Some People Call Him the Space Cowboy

A long-overdue interview with Albuquerque’s “Captain Space”

You kids today with your video machines and your DVD discs and your Internets--you can see pretty much any movie you want whenever you want (and in some cases, before it’s even been released). When I was a kid, we had to walk uphill, grab the TV Guide, circle the late-late movie shows we wanted to see and then manage to stay awake for ’em because there was no recording the things in those days, and if you missed Invasion of the Star Creatures, you never knew when you’d get another chance.

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

NYE around the dial

Really, when you think about it, New Year’s Eve is the most anticlimactic holiday. You sit around drinking and waiting for that crucial hour and then, with a lot of fanfare and a little bit of off-key singing ... nothing happens. Turns out, 12 a.m. Jan. 1, 2007, is no different than 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, 2006. What a gyp.

art

Culture Shock

Give Some Green—In last week's article about the grand opening of 516 Arts, I forgot to mention that the Downtown nonprofit arts organization seeks support from individuals as well as local businesses. So do you want to maintain Albuquerque's momentum as it speeds to catch up with Santa Fe as a Mecca of culture in the Southwest? Then open your wallet, and show them some green.

food

A Saucy Rejoinder

Dear Chef Boy Ari,

I’m hardly God’s gift to the kitchen, but I make a pretty good chicken-fried steak. I use only the shwaggiest ingredients, as required, and plus I’m from Texas. So when the steak comes out of the hot oil it’s perfectly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and ready for a nice pour of good ol’ milk gravy.

Only problem is, my gravy is so bland it makes Wonder Bread seem spicy by comparison.

All I do is I take a few spoonfuls of fry oil, heat it in a pan with flour and add milk, salt and pepper like my recipe says, but the gravy is bland. I still serve it on my chicken-fried steak, as is required, and it’s the better for it. But I want a better gravy. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Starky’s ABQ

Count on the Monte Cristo

I could pen a best-selling novel about some of the weird, inane or just plain ridiculous things I’ve heard people ask for when ordering food at a restaurant. My top three picks from when I used to wait tables (I was young and needed the money): No. 3: “Can I get a hamburger with cheese?” (“You mean a cheeseburger?” I asked. “No, just a hamburger with cheese.”) No. 2: “Can I get a glass of the pink wine?” And my No. 1 most irritating question, “My croutons are stale, can I get some new ones?”

news

Intolerable

After 10 years of problems, a new report reveals that Albuquerque’s animal shelters are still in dire need of improvement

The word “intolerable” keeps echoing in Debbra Colman’s head. She stares at her plate, lost for a moment while she contemplates words—particularly one word she read in an article last Tuesday.

Build Now, Pay Later

On Monday, Dec. 18, the City Council hedged part of Council President Debbie O'Malley's proposed big-box legislation. It voted 5-4 against a moratorium on approving new retail giants that don't comply with proposed regulations. In October, O'Malley introduced a bill that would regulate the look and location of big-box stores. The Council opted unanimously to refer the bill to the Environmental Planning Commission with amendments. The regulations will go to the commission and endure a public comment period before coming back to the Council for the final word.

New Year's Predictions

If I win, I'll buy you a slurpee

I used to be amazed by Jeane Dixon and other famous prognosticators who annually predict events that will transpire months from now. Then I read that much of what they say actually misses its mark by a wide margin.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: China--If you’re a potential adoptive parent, China has two words for you: No fatties. According to U.S. adoption agencies, Beijing is tightening adoption rules, now requiring that foreign applicants be married, between the ages of 30 and 50 and with a body mass index of 40 or under. The new rules also bar parents who take medication for depression or who have a “severe facial deformity.” The changes, which take effect in May, come amid a surge in foreigners seeking to adopt Chinese children. Under national law, Chinese couples are only allowed to have one child. Female babies are often abandoned or put up for adoption by couples hoping for a male child.

music

Please Stop the Donations!

An open letter from GiG Performance Space in Santa Fe

Hi Friends,

We are so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support for GiG Performance Space (1808 Second Street, Suite H, Santa Fe) this holiday season. It has been really been nice to be on the receiving end of all this holiday cheer. And you have our sincere gratitude for supporting more than 200 great performances each year at GiG!

“I Get In Where I Fit In”

Promoter, producer, emcee, DJ, graf-artist, skateboarder, business-owner, punk rock frontman—Speed One fits a lot of places

Speed One is not bitter.

Sure, he's part of Albuquerque's early gen hip-hop, among the first in the 505 to record original material and promote local shows.

Sure, he was a member of Small Town Desert Funk Mob in ’96 alongside the now-famous Xzibit, who lived with Speed as the two finished their trek through Cibola High School. And though Xzibit dropped the "A" from his handle (it stands for Alvin) just like he dropped Albuquerque, Speed wishes him the best. "I'm content with what I'm doing," he says. "I get in where I fit in."

Flyer on the Wall

Q: What's flat, shiny and sounds like trashy coed Brooklyn punk and nail-spitting hardcore from Las Cruces?

A: The new CD split from Four Deadly Questions and The Answer Lies! $8 at GC Records (www.gcrecords.com). (LM)

New Year's Ain't for Babies

A quick reference guide to an all-ages New Year

New Year's isn't so much fun when you’re under 21, what with all the hype around drinking to excess as one last hurrah for the passing year. But, honestly, the younger crowd has it easier in some ways: no need for designated drivers, no waking up next to a stranger or forgetting the events of the previous night. Take advantage of your freedom from alcohol-induced stupidity and enjoy a musically stimulating all-ages New Year. Here are a few places around town open to all for the dawn of 2007.

Ticket Blaster

Virtuous.com is a friendly alternative to online ticketing giants

Albuquerque started seeing the virtuous.com tag on the Launchpad's calendar about three years ago. Working primarily with independent promoters, the advance ticketing service gets props for donating 10 percent of its profits to charities in the communities where the tickets are being sold. In Burque's case, that's Roadrunner Food Bank.