Frank Marcello, a local Svengali of fine dining, has achieved the impossible. His latest creation, Marcello’s Chophouse, has lured me to finally visit the new ABQ Uptown shopping center, something I’d been avoiding like the plague (for fear of cookie-cutter mini-villages in general and losing my entire paycheck to Williams-Sonoma in particular). Marcello has had a polished hand in the inception of such genteel establishments as Copeland’s of New Orleans, Zea Rotisserie and Grill, and siblings Gruet Grille and Gruet Steakhouse. His latest restaurant is steeped in class and offers our fair city a taste of the high life, and I don’t mean Miller beer.
Attention, citizens of New Mexico! The creepiest creatures known to man—you know, Yetis, Abominable Snowmen and Giant Squid—have taken over downtown Albuquerque and refuse to leave. But the Alibi has a plan.
Theme shows—like this Friday's Pop Tribute night, or the Johnny Cash Tribute IV coming Sept. 14—are a terrific idea. And that's the problem. It's easy to say "'Rocket Man' is one of the best songs ever. Hey, you know what'd be cool? An Elton John tribute night. We'll invite 20 bands, all of them have to play Elton John songs. It'll be rad!"
A rider is a clause tacked onto a contract that lists additional requirements that must be met in order for the rest of the contract to be fulfilled. These additional requirements can include anything from basic accommodations and stage setup to more outlandish requests.
Keep in mind that these requirements are in addition to the fee paid for the performance and can cost in the several thousands of dollars—and be a pain to fulfill.
The Stage Names is the transcendent fifth album from Okkervil River, an indie-folk-rock group based in Austin, Texas. The Alibi had a chance to speak with Will Sheff, the band's singer/songwriter/guitarist whose lyrics and music are the driving force behind much of the band’s critical acclaim. Although Sheff calls it good ol' rock ’n’ roll, perhaps a better phrase would be "lit-rock," a term coined by New York Times writer Kelefa Sanneh to describe the smooth narratives serving as lyrics. But Sheff doesn’t want to be branded as anything, and leaves it up to the listener to decide for his or herself what they hear. Any way you spit it, The Stage Names is a musical treat, and hearing the band live seems even sweeter.
The VSA North Fourth Art Center’s PLAY Conservatory Project is taking on William Golding's classic tale about true, brutal human nature, Lord of the Flies. The conservatory is an educational experience geared toward young actors, in which they will work closely with Director Jonathan Dunski and receive feed back not only on their acting ability, but in their skills in cooperation, following directions and treating others with respect. Auditions for the conservatory, ending in a run of Lord of the Flies from Oct. 12 through Oct. 28 at the N4th Theater, are being held for young actors and actresses ages 8 to 14 on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 7 to 8 p.m. Call 345-2872 ext. 18 to make an appointment or visit www.vsartsnm.org for more info.
No one can tell a sinner just by looking at his face. At least, not most people and not most faces. Sin has a way of making itself look attractive, appealing, sexy; and some sinners know how to wear that appeal as a mask, hiding their true nature.
Nebbiolo is a bitch of a grape—if I may be so blunt. Temperamental, picky and unpredictable, this little fruit has big attitude, and I don’t mean in the diva way. This grape makes a manly wine that'll have his way with you and then leave you feeling violated but wanting more.
These three nut recipes work extremely well together both in terms of taste and timing. While you don’t necessarily need to make all three at once, the cook times for these three make for some pretty sweet simultaneous preparation. If you feel like it, you can heat and plate these three types of nuts for a triple-threat single landing—which will subdue even the most ravenous of party guests.
Usually when there are 50,000 people concentrated in one relatively small segment of land, we call it a city. Not so, however, in the case of the South Valley, an unincorporated area that receives its public services from the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. But that may soon change.
“I am not an alcoholic or a drug addict,” Homeless Man writes. “If you were to meet me, you would never know that I have spent many nights at all of the local facilities. But all I own is the clothes on my back.”
A conversation with Heath Haussamen, New Mexico’s online political journalist
By Jim Scarantino
Albuquerque does not look southward enough. It frequently takes an intrastate college sports rivalry or a flamboyant British billionaire promoting space travel to draw our attention to Las Cruces, New Mexico’s second largest city and one of the fastest-growing communities in the country.
Whether big-box stores, regulations, ponds or neighborhoods, the motto of the Aug. 20 Council meeting might have been the carpenters' warning, "Measure twice, cut once." Certainly the Raging Grannies, who showed up calling for an end to the disastrous occupation of Iraq, would have advocated more careful upfront planning.
It's no secret the local blogosphere gets delirious over political gossip. It's also no secret Mayor Martin Chavez and several city councilors butt heads regularly over development projects. In this year's Council elections, the two non-secrets have collided for a perfect storm of speculation over who's backing whom to push through what. Four women who never previously ran for office are seeking Council seats in the even-numbered districts. They all have connections to Mayor Martin Chavez' administration.
Dateline: Japan—A man armed with a knife tried unsuccessfully to upgrade his weapon of choice last week, using the blade to steal a gun. The unnamed man, armed with a 6-inch knife, pushed his way to the traffic department counter inside a police station in Kunugiyama, Toyama Prefecture, last Wednesday morning and demanded to be given a pistol, the Yomiuri Shimbunreports. Officers were able to convince the man to put down the knife and then overpowered him. The suspect, who was later found to be a 28-year-old local farmer, was arrested for attempted burglary. Police are investigating his motive.
We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do!—Hard to believe, I know, but it’s actually getting hard to keep track of all the films that are shooting within our state’s borders these days. At this very moment, we’ve got eight of them. Angelmaker, Appaloosa, Five Dollars a Day, In Plain Sight, Love N’ Dancing, Shoot Firstand Pray You Live, Swing Vote and The Warboys are all lensing away as we speak. Stars as diverse as Kevin Costner, Joe Pantoliano, Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Christopher Walken and Amy Smart are wandering our streets, sleeping in our hotels and eating our green chile.
We live in strange times. Suddenly, scientific understanding is subject to a system of belief. No one has seen fit to question their conviction in gravity (not yet,anyway), but things like evolution and global warming are apparently up in the air now. Since when did the laws of physics give a damn whether or not we believe in them? And yet, here we are in 2007 arguing whether or not melting polar ice caps are a sign of a collapsing ecosystem or the eminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Somewhere along the line, it seems, some retrograde neo-con decided to hammer an anti-science plank into the Republican party’s platform. Now all dyed-in-the-wool conservatives are obliged to believe with all their hearts that pollution in our air, toxic waste in our rivers, oil spills in our oceans and the denuding of our forests are perfectly fine for the environment. (Apparently, both the Amazon rain forest and Tinkerbell can be brought back to life if you just believe strongly enough.)
Actress Marion Cotillard gives the very definition of a “wow” performance as famed French songbird Édith Piaf in the familiar, but none the less impressive import La Vie En Rose. Following hot on the heels of El Cantante and in the long tradition of the “fall from grace musical biopic,” the film gives us the troubled start-to-finish life story of a European icon.
For those of us who can remember running home after school to catch back-to-back episodes of “G.I. Joe” and “The Transformers” on TV, going to the movies in the ’80s meant one thing: kick-ass adventures with little kids. (Of course, if you google the phrase “kick-ass adventures with little kids” these days, I suspect a sit-down with Chris Hansen is in your future.) Sure, the ’80s may have given us terrible music, a dipshit hack of an actor for president and government scandals galore, but they also offered up some pretty unforgettable kid-friendly epics such as The Goonies,Explorers and, of course, the king of them all—The Monster Squad.
I’m garbed in a linebacker's bulky shoulder pads, peering out through a heavy iron facemask, helmet to helmet with a defensive lineman. It's shortly after noon in Bullhead Park, the stomping ground of the New Mexico Burn, the state's proud professional women's football team. It's hot in the helmet. The air is thick and smells like my breath.
Collaborative prizes treatment over profits but still struggles under debt
By Thomas Gilchrist
Sixteen-year-old Carlos Martinez sits in a bright green examination chair in the Topahkal Family Practice Office with a massive four-inch gash in his right index finger. There is a pool of blood beneath his hand as if someone had spilled Hawaiian Punch over a bed of gauze. A native of Juarez, Mexico, Martinez was visiting family in Albuquerque when he sliced his finger on a refrigerator that slipped as he was helping an uncle lift it out of his pickup truck. The wound required immediate medical care, as one could peel back the skin as if husking an ear of corn.
Amy Goodman, host of the self-described progressive radio show Democracy Now!, is a revered investigative journalist and a media celebrity. Her program, hosted along with Juan Gonzalez, airs on more than 450 public, community, college, public access and satellite radio and television stations. Left-leaning individuals hailing from all walks of life, from Ivy League professors to pot-growing hippies, love her work. And for it she has garnered numerous awards and an impressive cast of intelligentsia friends (what up, Noam Chomsky?). Moreover, Goodman is regarded by many as heroic for her ongoing efforts to go "where the silence is."
1) State Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez got into a minor scuffle last week with the governor's task force on ethics. He isn't wild about holding a special session to consider ethics bills, as the task force suggested. Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Alibi columnist says the package doesn't address one huge ethical problem in the state, which is:
APS police take a few hours off to make a point, but why arm someone with a chip on his shoulder?
By Marisa Demarco
If all the celebrities in the world went on strike, few would suffer. If all the waitresses in Albuquerque had a "sick-out," things would be rough but probably OK. But there are some workers who shouldn't call in to work en masse to make a point: police, firemen, ambulance drivers and air-traffic controllers, to name a few. There's a difference between stirring up inconvenience, even serious inconvenience, with your absence and putting people in danger because you didn't get your way.
Homelessness won’t fade away until we look it in the face
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Albuquerque (and probably most of the country as well) seems of two minds when it comes to homelessness. I don’t mean there are two schools of thought about its causes and how to resolve them--I mean part of the time we as a community want to pretend it doesn’t exist and part of the time we want to punish the homeless … as if they themselves were the problem and not simply the evidence of deeper concerns.
DATELINE: CHINA—A Chinese couple searching for a distinctive name for their child have proposed naming the kid after the international e-mail symbol for “at.” The unidentified couple were cited last Thursday by a government official as an example of citizens bringing bizarre names into the Chinese language. All Chinese birth names must be approved by the country’s government. According to Chinese law, children are only allowed to take the surname of either their father or their mother. As of last year, only 129 names accounted for 87 percent of all surnames in China, noted Li Yuming, vice director of the State Language Commission. According to the father of @ (last name unknown), the letters “a” and “t” can be pronounced in a way that sounds like the phrase “love him” in Chinese.
Hanging from an aerial hoop performing slow feats of strength and flexibility wasn't enough for Contraband Velour. Doing it in three-inch heels (though most hoop artists won't wear shoes) wasn't enough either. Velour, aka Connie Wind, will perform blindfolded Friday, Aug. 24, during the Femme-O-Lition Derby at the KiMo Theatre.
After having his eyeballs gouged out by the Earl of Cornwall, the Earl of Gloucester utters one of the most memorable lines in King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.” Given the compounded misery stuffed into this gruesome play, you might think that's the lesson here. You'd be wrong.
Is it time to classify Rowan Atkinson’s alter ego a has-Bean?
By Devin D. O’Leary
Though most Americans don't realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far-flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. There’s no need for complicated linguistic translation when someone is sticking their head up a frozen turkey’s butt.
Eye of the Beholder—Americans love beauty pageants. Not. The Learning Channel has purchased the rights to televise the Miss America pageant for the next three years. Given the history of the annual parade of bikini-wearing and patriotic song-singing, one has to wonder why TLC bothered. Back in 1960, when there were significantly fewer television sets in this country, the Miss America Pageant drew 85 million viewers. Forty-seven years later, broadcast television gave up on the event after the 2004 show drew a record-low 9.8 million viewers. Cable TV has made an effort to sell the show in the years since, with continually diminishing returns. Country Music Television was the last network to try, pulling in fewer than 3 million viewers last year.
OPM Nightclub and Ultralounge! You may already know that the self-proclaimed "VIP" dance club is actually one half of dual-city enterprise—there's one in Las Vegas, Nev., (Caesar's Palace) and one in downtown Albuquerque (two blocks from the railroad tracks). What you didn't know is that one was voted the No. 1 "Upscale Hip-Hop Nightclub in the World," supposedly by more than one milllion voters in the Yahoo Readers’ Poll. The other is closing after this weekend. Bet you can't guess which is which!
Thanatos and Eros, that timeless couple, never dance closer than when in New Orleans, where every breeze carries scents of mortality and carnality. So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that despite the devastation of Katrina, the indifference of the Bush administration, and the incompetence of the Army Corps of Engineers, the city is showing small signs of a resurgence.
When it's this hot, my weekends blur into a strict underwear-only dress code, accented tastefully with a cold can lodged against my neck. I resolve to hunker down in my apartment until the sun sets. I am like a vampire ... without the yen for blood, of course. When it's this hot, there are few things powerful enough to dislodge me from the direct path of my swamp cooler and make me put "real" clothes on, and one of them is ice cream. Beer is another. Smoothies are in there somewhere, too.
There's a fun game to play when you're eating Indian food called "What Kind of Tandoori Bread Would I Be?" Are you multi-layered and buttery like paratha? How about oily and rich like poori? Maybe you’re sweet and nutty like a slice of hot kashmiri nan. I like to think of myself like a fresh round of garlic nan—smoking hot and a little acidic.
“It recalls your grandmother’s perfume,” warn the makers of delicious Persian ice cream when patrons walk through the door of Mashti Malone's in Hollywood, Calif. That's the rosewater. True enough, when I took a carton to my mother-in-law after falling in love with the stuff at Albuquerque's Persian Market, she scooped a small spoonful into her mouth and remembered how her mother used to have her rinse her hands in rosewater. Though she wasn't sure it was a flavor she enjoyed having in her mouth, I can vouch for the rich, pungent bastani (Persian for ice cream), a combination of rosewater, saffron and pistachios in thick, frozen cream.
It's hard to pinpoint what makes kimchi, Korea's national side dish of fermented vegetables, good. Is it the vibrant colors? The insane textures? The salty, intense taste? Whatever it may be, you'd have to go far to find a better dress for leftover rice, and flu season would be a helluva lot longer without kimchi's dual powers of vitamin C and anti-oxidant garlic. After an uneven dinner at Korean BBQ House in Nob Hill, I can say that aside from the slow burn of their remarkably good kimchi, this restaurant makes an über-cure for respiratory ailments that also doubles as a damn fine soup.
“What would people do in a world without green chile?” my editor asked rhetorically over the staff’s weekly luncheon at Duran’s (1815 Central NW). She wasn't expecting an answer, but I gave her one anyway. “They eat lots of pork chops and corn,” I said. “That world does exist. It’s called the Midwest, and by and large, it’s very boring.”
If you've got something to say, blog about it. It's easier than getting your own opinion column in a newspaper, but still offers the challenge of making your voice heard—a challenge hundreds of locals have taken on. From the comfort of their own homes, bloggers have the freedom to say anything about everything. Some have the benefit of getting paid, while others simply use blogging as an outlet or hobby. Either way, New Mexicans blog about it all, from politics to bunnies. And with so many accessible local viewpoints, surviving in the Land of Enchantment is a task even the laziest of locals can do. A computer and Web connection is all you need to get started—no high-level survival techniques required.
Have you ever had one of those crazy days when your landlord kicks you out for not taking care of that little roach problem that got out of hand, and you need to refill your Zoloft prescription by midnight or else you'll just lose it, and you need to call a crisis hotline but just can't find the damn phone number? Well, no more excuses, because here is a list of phone numbers that can help you tackle whatever life throws in your path. Emergencies, recreation, employment, it's all here at your fingertips. Cut out these numbers and stick 'em on your fridge—you know you'll need them. Also listed, whenever possible, are TTY and TTD numbers, as well as e-mail and Web addresses.
You've got to be tough to survive this place. Between the dust devils and drunk drivers, Albuquerque sometimes feels more like an obstacle course than the laid-back little city we know it to be. It's a frontier town, after all. For all the modern conveniences that come with living in our state's metropolitan center, there's still something wild in the water. Most of us prefer it that way.
The time has come for another round of New Visions/New Mexico contract awards. This program, sponsored by Governor Richardson and the New Mexico Film Office, is designed to assist local filmmakers by providing a total of $160,000 in contracts to help in the creation of narrative films, documentaries, animated and experimental work.
Judd Apatow kick-started his Hollywood career writing, directing and executive producing the underappreciated-in-its-time sitcom “Freaks & Geeks.” Nowadays, he’s Hollywood’s hottest comedy ace, having acted as the guiding force behind such theatrical hits as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.The surprise success of those two films has made Apatow the go-to guy for raunchy comedy. Despite the unapologeticaly R-rated antics of those films, Apatow is secretly a nice guy, slipping an unexpectedly sweet moral message underneath all the dirty jokes. Knocked Up was an ultimately good-natured romance about doing the right thing. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was a sex comedy that argued fairly convincingly for chastity.
British-bred comedy of manners is amusing, but wants to be hilarious
By Devin D. O’Leary
Funerals aren’t inherently funny. But if you throw enough toilet humor, hallucinogenic drugs and naughty innuendo at them, they might be. That seems to be the prevailing attitude behind Death at a Funeral, a quaintly crude British comedy that isn’t all that funny, but tries really, really hard.
Discovery Channel, never shy about milking a successful concept (“Deadliest Catch”and “Lobstermen”?), is airing competing survival shows “Man vs. Nature” and “Survivorman.” Both feature manly men dumped into the middle of nowhere with nothing but their survival skills to keep them alive. But which of these two shows is the true survivor?
There's a perception that skateboarders are unmotivated people. When skaters aren't out carelessly destroying public property by "grinding" and such, they're manning the fryer at a shitty service industry job (if they have a job) or playing Xbox on some nasty old couch, probably one that belongs to a dude named Boner (or more precisely, Boner's mother).
Native musicians focus on the future at inaugural concert
By Amy Dalness
Indigenous Voices and Visions has a mission statement: Inspire, motivate and cultivate the young minds, hearts and spirits of children. Beyond being a Native Grammy and Native American Music Award recipient, organizer Star Nayea is a mother.
Who's responsible for human waste--citizens or the city?
By Thomas Gilchrist
James Burbank has a disgusting problem on his hands—literally. Luckily, he has his very own hazmat suit for his protection. For the past four years, homeless people have used the alleyway that faces his garage as a thoroughfare to Morningside Park (3899 Lead SE). Only for the people who hang-out in the park, there’s no place for them to do their business.
The news just keeps on coming. Some days you pay attention. Some days you don't. Look here in every Alibi to refresh your memory about what's going on in your community. Don't worry if you don't know all the answers—there's a cheat sheet at the end.
At the Aug. 6 meeting, city councilors voted to schedule a recall election of District 9 Councilor Don Harris along with the regular Oct. 2 municipal voting. Combining the elections guarantees that the recall will receive the minimum number of votes necessary. But it also might dilute the sorehead vote, making it harder to reach the also-necessary 50 percent majority necessary to remove Harris from office.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, our city has 7,800 “ranked in” members of some 200 criminal street gangs. That doesn’t include taggers, pee wees and wannabees. It’s the number of criminals who have satisfied minimum entrance requirements for street gang membership.
Behold the burden of the autoless female in Albuquerque
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
I'm walking up Central at 5 p.m. against a cold wind. It's January, and dusk is quickly turning into night as I stride east, mall walker-style, toward my evening class at UNM. Only a block into the journey at Central and High Street, a man yells at me from a large, moving truck. I don't catch the particular crass flattery, but do get an earful of "Wooooo!" A loud honk follows and the vehicle speeds away. Humiliated and angry, I want gestured and spoken obscenities to flow forth and assault these degenerates, but for fear of retribution all I can do is seethe. As I continue walking—under I-25, past Presbyterian, by abandoned and defiled storefronts, passing hooker upon drug-addled hooker—I can now only see the city's ugliness and despair. Along the way I am heckled three more times.
DATELINE: RUSSIA--It was raining crocodiles in the Russian nuclear research town of Sarov last week. Pedestrians in the town east of Moscow were shocked when a 3-foot-long caiman crocodile landed on the sidewalk in front of them. As it turns out, the reptile was a pet, which had fallen from its owner’s 12th story apartment after leaning too far out the window. Frightened passersby called the emergency services and rescuers managed to lasso the stunned animal and take it to a shelter for stray pets. RIA Novosti news agency reported the animal was soon returned to its owner, unharmed apart from damage to one of its teeth.
Following a successful run at the Desert Rose Playhouse, Ntozake Shange's choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, migrates to Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) this week. You don't know what a choreopoem is? Don't feel too bad—you aren't alone. In this case, a choreopoem is a chain of performed poems recited by nameless women identified only by colors. Shange's piece debuted on Broadway back in the ’70s and is consistently praised for its powerful writing and poetic exploration of the lives of black women. The show runs Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 3:15 p.m. $10 at the door, $2 for Barelas neighbors of the theater. (How cool is that?) Since space is limited, you might want to call 385-5634 to make reservations.
The Alibi's photographer, Xavier Mascareñas, has a natural talent for bringing out the best in kids, a skill as useful as it is rare. He’s put that talent to impressive use in an exhibit that opened last week in the UNM Hospital Art Gallery, of all places. Beginning last Friday, the walls of that gallery will display Xavier's photographs, part of a project to document the move of UNM's old Children's Hospital to the new UNM Children’s Hospital Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion.
The floodwaters are rising, the earth is quaking, zombies are breaking down your back door and you have a house full of dinner guests (of the living kind). Your first instinct may be to pop open a can of Dinty Moore, but you can do better than that. The key to surviving extreme circumstances is to not give up. Do not give up hope, and do not give up your basic human need for fine foods.
A few days ago we set upon making a four-course salad dinner for friends that we firmly insisted was to be strictly eating only: no photos, no blogging. Sometimes you just have to take a vacation, right? Well, since we’re mildly OCD when it comes to sharing food and booze tricks, we found a loophole and stuck a quick liquid dessert in the freezer. The mix of sour cherry juice, vermouth, bourbon and fresh mint comprises all the ingredients for a traditional Manhattan. When dinner was over we had a popsicle tray of frozen cocktail popsicles (cocksicles!) waiting for us. The result? Tongue-numbing flavor crystals.
So you’re stuck in the wilderness with five of your closest buddies. You've run out of food and rescue is beginning to look unlikely. Though no one has brought it up, you’re all wondering who is going to be eaten first.