Alibi V.16 No.42 • Oct 18-24, 2007

Creating Comics

Up-and-coming arts organization hopes to get the word (and the picture) out

Let’s get this out of the way quickly: Comic books are for kids. But they’re not just for kids. They’re also for adults. And seniors. And teenagers. In India, a nation plagued by a 35 percent adult illiteracy rate and 22 official languages, educational comic books are used to teach everything from health to science to contemporary culture. In Japan, phone-book-sized weekly manga entertain salarymen on their long train rides to work. Around the world, cartoon-illustrated tracts are employed to convert nonbelievers to the born-again teachings of Jack Chick. In Hollywood, popular graphic novels are used as fodder for just about every big-budget movie that hits theaters. Comic books are for everybody. That’s one of the messages the New Mexico-based arts organization 7000 BC is trying to get across.

Regrets accepted here

Remorse optional

Regretting that "No Regrets" tattoo you got this year? Cheat on the love of your life? Failed your chemistry class? Invested time in paying attention to the Kardashians? Exercised all of three times over the summer? We all have regrets…

New Mexico Hempfest!

Saturday, August 19, noon-9pm

It's Aug. 19, 2017. You're getting evaluated by a real medical doctor. You're making tie-dye. You're learning more about your medicine. You're supporting legalization of a useful plant. You're eating delicious food. Where are you? At the first annual New Mexico HempFest of course! Entry is totally free, and parking is a measly $1 per car at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. You are roaming around enjoying live music from local bands, a Hemposium tent with exciting speakers, a kids' activity area and dozens of regional artists, farmers, educators, plus lots of tasty food trucks. You're with all your friends and family at this all-ages, family-friendly event and having an absolute blast celebrating New Mexico's hemp industry.

feature

24 Hour Comics Day

Do you have what it takes to make your own comic—in just one day?

“Man, I love 24 Hour Comics Day!” Those are the words of Enrique “Ryk” Martinez, who has participated in every 24 Hour Comics Day since its inception in 2004. “It's like extreme cartooning. For my style, it's perfect. I just pick up my pen and go for it.”

music

Cat on a Hot Club Roof

New Mexico Django Fest swings with three days of gypsy jazz

In the universe of guitar mastery, Django Reinhardt is the brightest star in his own corner of the cosmos. And, as is usually the case with legends, there's plenty of fantastic lore swirling around Reinhardt's brilliant but brief life, which spanned from 1910 to 1953.

Flyer on the Wall

DJ Furious Joe spins the soundtrack to Black Market Goods, an underground arts bazaar this Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Princess Jeanne Shopping Center (1520 Eubank NE at Constitution). Doors open at 8 p.m. Details at www.myspace.com/theangryyears. (LM)

Juliette and the Licks

Come and get your heart set on fire

With her well-established acting career on hold, Juliette Lewis is ordering off the multi-medium entertainment menu. Her main course is Juliette and the Licks, a dirty, sexy, playful, classic rock-rooted quartet featuring Lewis on vocals and former H20 member Todd Morse on guitar. The Licks got Dave Grohl to play drums on their latest release, Four on the Floor, which is the band's most well-rounded offering to date. The Alibi caught up with the band's frontwoman and got her thoughts on her genre-hopping experience.

art

Action Talks, Bullshit Walks

American Buffalo at the Vortex Theatre

Business and friendship often make for a putrid mix, especially if the “business” in question is the kind where you need to put the word in quotes to make yourself understood. It’s hard enough to make friends with honest people. Friendship among thieves must be close to impossible.

A Tale of Two Races

Sherman Alexie returns to Albuquerque to promote his book for young adults

The novels of Native American writer Sherman Alexie often concern themselves with the matter of race, a difficult proposition no matter how carefully it's approached—even if it’s in the guise of a book for young adults. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, recently named a finalist for the 2007 National Book Awards in Young People's Literature, is Alexie's first venture into this brand of storytelling. Like his earlier novels Reservation Blues and Indian Killer, Alexie's protagonist, a Spokane High Schooler named Junior, is caught between two worlds: that of reservation life and that of the white man's.

news

Silence Makes Its Way Down the Tracks

Construction of Albuquerque's quiet zones gets underway as Sen. Sanchez seeks immediate funding for safer railroad crossings

Depending on who you ask, the quality of life for Albuquerque residents near some of the city's train tracks may be improving over the next few months. But State Sen. Michael Sanchez doesn't want to wait that long to try to save lives in other parts of the state.

Thin Line

Well, it's that time of year again, and while October is the harbinger of many thrilling events, Albuquerque The Magazine’s fourth annual "Hot Singles" issue (and my subsequent third annual review of it) could be the most thrilling of all. According to the magazine, Albuquerque was made for romance; and if that's true, this year's "Hot Singles" issue once again addresses our city's alleged purpose in the most ridiculous way possible. Why poor citizens subject themselves to this yearly shenanigan is a question only they can answer. Why Albuquerque The Magazine continues to pass this intellectually insulting editorial content off on the public is a question best not considered, lest you spontaneously combust.

Answer Me This

Which Halloween costume is the most offensive? Can people in Santa Fe count? Who wants an afternoon paper? What do you have to do to get free parking around here?

This Ain't Your Daddy's Derby

Rivals square off in second annual derby championship

After a season of bone-crunching, high-scoring Duke City Derby action, the undefeated Doomsdames will take on the Derby Intelligence Agency in the championship game that will decide who's crowned queen of the rink.

I Sure Miss the Old Loyal Opposition

On NPR a few days ago, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was quoted saying something that hit me with one of those “Aha!” moments. We all experience them from time to time—those slivers of insight that slip a whole gearbox of mental cogs into place and explain neatly and concisely something that may have been puzzling us for a long time.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Nicaragua—Villagers living along Central America’s Mosquito Coast have found a new source of income: fishing for the tons of free cocaine that regularly wash up on the region’s remote shores. According to a report on the guardian.co.uk website, the bags of cocaine are coming from Colombian speedboats on “narco-routes,” which drop the drugs overboard if intercepted by U.S. and Nicaraguan patrols. Currents carry the bags to shore where people living in villages such as Karpwala and Tasbapauni find it. According to the report, locals are offered up to $4,000 a kilo for the lost cocaine—seven times less than the U.S. street value—by Colombian traffickers. “They consider it a blessing from god. You see people all day just walking up and down the beaches keeping a lookout at sea,” Louis Perez, the police chief from Bluefields, the main port on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, was quoted as saying. The local church even has a shiny new floor thanks to a donation from fisherman Ted Hayman, who reportedly found 220 kilograms of cocaine, guardian.co.uk reported. Mr. Hayman has also converted his shack into a three-story mansion with iron gates and a satellite dish from drug fishing money.

film

Reel World

The Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (located, as always, at 202 Harvard SE) will present the latest in its People Before Profit Film & Lecture Series this Thursday, Oct. 18, beginning at 7 p.m. The film will be Peace One Day, a documentary about Jeremy Gilley’s personal quest to persuade the United Nations to officially recognize an annual Peace Day with a fixed calendar date. Gilley’s efforts helped establish the annual day of global ceasefire and nonviolence as Sept. 21. After the film, the guest speaker will be Jody Oyas, state coordinator of the Campaign for U.S. Department of Peace & Nonviolence. This event is free and open to the public, athough donations to the Peace and Justice Center will be welcome.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

One legend ends with a bang and a wimper in this character-driven Western

Following hot on the horse tracks of 3:10 to Yuma, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford would seem to argue convincingly for the healthy revival of the Hollywood Western. Instead, comparing and contrasting these two films seems to prove that “The Western” isn’t so much a genre as a backdrop. Whereas 3:10 to Yuma was a rootin’, tootin’, shootin’ cowboy pic with a hint of moral quandary for flavor, TAoJJbtCRF (I’m gonna run out of words in this review if I keep typing it) is a sober rumination on fame, fortune and infamy with nary a gunfight in sight.

Gone Baby Gone

The thrill is not gone in this gritty crime drama

Casey Affleck is having a hell of a year. Actually, he’s having a hell of a weekend, starring in two major films being released this Friday: [url]http://jessejamesmovie.warnerbros.com/[/url]The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone. The Assassination ... features far and away the showier of the two roles for Affleck, but he comes off as a credible leading man in Gone Baby Gone nonetheless.

Dead Pool 2007

Sometimes dead is better

This year’s TV dead pool has taken an interesting, almost supernatural twist. Seemingly dead shows are being allowed to remain on the air, their still-ambulatory corpses stinking up the primetime schedule.

food

The Roquefort Files

Roquefort, a bleu-veined ewe’s milk cheese from the French town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, is widely known as one of the kings of cheese. Of the 500-plus cheeses made in France, this blue bully is certainly one of the most recognizable to the connoisseur and the layman alike. Unfortunately, as with the other kings of cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, Brie de Meaux and Stilton), Roquefort has been commodified and redefined as tepid sour crumbles that lay atop crappy salads. Like the other big three, it has become a supermarket cheese, which obscures its epic history and goddamn transcendental flavor.

Mull This Over

Spice up your wine on chilly nights

After a long summer of broiling in the New Mexico heat, cooler temperatures are finally in the forecast. It’s time to dump that jug of margarita mix down the drain, throw out those Coronas and serve something more seasonal.

Alibi V.16 No.41 • Oct 11-17, 2007

The Avengers

Penelope Houston revisits the early days of punk

We're not yet at the point in history when I can stop asking this question: What's it like to be a woman in [insert musical genre/profession here]? Penelope Houston, frontwoman of the punk ’77 band The Avengers, says in the early days, there were plenty of women on the scene. "A lot of the bands around Los Angeles and San Francisco had female performers, female musicians and singers. I wasn't the only one around." Still, she says, she would like The Avengers to be compared to other punk rock bands without any reference to gender—period. Houston can't escape an awareness of her sex, but it's not without payoff. "Women starting bands and performing because of The Avengers is always really gratifying to me."

feature

Best of Burque Restaurants 2007

You ate. You voted. We listened.

Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! Inside, you'll discover close to 100 tantalizing categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers like you. When you vote in a Best of Burque poll, you're rewarding the best local restaurants with invaluable recognition. Not only that, you're helping to amass an indispensable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Just keep eating and voting, and we'll do the rest. Special thanks to writers Jessica Cassyle Carr, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Simon McCormack and Maren Tarro for their generous help in reporting the results.

We now present the winners of our Best of Burque Restaurants 2007 poll. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served!

P.M.

Best Sandwich

When it comes to this lunchtime staple, the trick is a perfect balance of hot and cold sandwiches to satisfy even the most finicky of appetites. Whether it's a piping-hot, homemade meatball sub or a cold sub with loads of Italian meats and crisp veggies, Baggin's doesn't disappoint. Add an expansive list of sides and the fact that your sandwich invariably comes in a sack-lunch-style paper bag, and it's easy to see why Baggin's comes out on top.

1. Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

No Bones About It

Best Tofu Dish

No one likes soggy, greasy tofu. But those searching for brown, crispy cubes of soy bean need look no further than Orchid Thai Cuisine. The tofu appetizer's so fine it'll force haters to thoughtfully munch on a piece, dipped in sweet peanut sauce and say, "Huh. Not bad." Or substitute tofu for almost any flesh-laden dish on the menu. Orchid tied with Flying Star Café in this category, which fries up a mean hunk of tofu. We like it best in the "Buddha bowl" or lo mein.

Best of the Rest

Best Casual Dining

There is perhaps no other Best of Burque category with more eligible participants, so winning is not an easy task for even the finest of casual dining eateries. Wood oven pizza, an expansive sandwich, salad and soup selection and a dining area consistently packed with locals are Il Vicino's greatest weapons in the fight for category supremacy. And, lest we forget, nothing relaxes the atmosphere like a pint of micro-brewed beer or a glass of fine wine, both available at “the neighbor.”

1. Il Vicino

Best Anything We Forgot

Our "Best Anything We Forgot" section gives us good ideas for next year's poll, sure, but it shines some light on who are readers are. And judging from your responses, our readers are as horny as they are hungry!

Winner Directory

A directory of first place winners in the 2007 Best of Burque Restaurants poll, from Ambrozia to Zinc.

Winner Directory

A directory of first place winners in the 2007 Best of Burque Restaurants poll, from Ambrozia to Zinc.

66 Diner

Best Dish Covered in Gravy

• UNM Area: 1405 Central NE, 247-1421

www.66diner.com

Ambrozia Café and Wine Bar

Best Fine Dining, Best Chef, Sam Etheridge

• Old Town: 108 Rio Grande NW, 242-6560

music

Music to Your Ears

I keep forgetting to congratulate the winners of this year's State Fair Talent Showcase, which was announced a few weeks ago by the New Mexico Music Commission. That makes me a hot dog. But it's our Best of Burque Restaurants issue, so now seems like as good a time as any to sound the trumpets—with relish! (Sorry.) More than $7,000 in prizes, including band merchandise, gear and recording time, was awarded to the local winners. Why wasn't your band competing, again? (Looks like I'm not the only hot dog here.) Without further ado, here are the victorious bands of 2007. Cheers to them all!

Luca

Nick Luca fights for his life and wins

As he and his band, Luca, traveled the country, Nick Luca found himself with a case of the touring blues. Unfortunately, things were about to get much worse.

food

Bumper Crop

Q: Dear Chef Boy,

I've got the beet blues. I planted a big load of beets this year—a mixed bag with red, gold and other—and now, what to do with all these beets? I've gotten some advice on steaming little beet cubes to be used in salads and veggie medleys, or for my 8-month-old to eat. I've also seen something on grilling, then peeling, but what else is there?

—Beets Me

A: Dear BM,

Twin Peaks

A new place to pitch your tent

I’ve been harboring an embarrassing secret for a decade. I applied as a server at Hooters and was rejected. Maybe it was my weird, multicolored hair, my sailor mouth or perhaps it was the Corona bottle and Marlboro light I was nursing during my brief job interview, but the manager took one look at me and offered me a position as a cook. I left, my ego crushed like a beer can. But as luck would have it, a TGI Friday’s opened up a few weeks later, and it was like I had found my new home.

news

Asshat of the Week

"The Great Firewall"
—On Friday, Oct. 5, China enacted a blanket ban on RSS feeds into the country, after curbing access to "Real Simple Syndication" since August. RSS works by gathering and processing news from a large variety of online sources. China has been censoring communication flows for years, but RSS feeds made censorship difficult since they are updated so quickly. (CC)

Answer Me This

How will New Mexico students get their degrees faster and easier? What should you look out for on your lunch break? Why shouldn't you breathe the air in El Paso? And the state's lyrical new area code.

Thin Line

How does someone sell a business that's losing money without the one asset that makes it valuable? That's what the good people at Scripps Howard are asking themselves, or not asking themselves, about the Albuquerque Tribune. The Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between the Trib and the Journal allows the Trib to use the Journal's press, share its building and live off part of the Journal's ad revenue. Without it, the Trib is but a name—and a hardworking, talented staff of about 45 full-time employees.

A Cyclist Died Here

Remembering the fallen

Old Route 66 through Tijeras Canyon runs straight at mile marker 5. There are plenty of inherently dangerous places to ride a bicycle around Albuquerque. This isn’t one of them.

Panda-er-ing

Albuquerque's economic future could be determined by the cutest of animals

Humans have a proclivity toward fawning over cute things. Some scientists hypothesize that our attraction to facial features typical of babies--large eyes, round body, etc.--is an evolved trait crucial to the survival of our helpless spawn. For the same reasons, whether this is innate or a product of socialization, humans love cute animals. And the giant panda, or Ailuropoda melanoleuca, may be the cutest of all.

Council Bite

As often happens on election eve, city councilors zipped through a few bills on Oct. 1 and cleared the chambers in less than an hour. Most legislation was rescheduled for Oct. 15.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Police in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, say a life-sized cardboard cutout of a police officer intended to deter crime has had the opposite effect--the item was stolen last week. Police say the cardboard cutout replica of Police Constable Bob Malloy was intended to deter shoplifters at the local co-op store. Thefts have fallen from 36 per month to just one since PC Malloy’s 2-D doppelganger was introduced two years ago. Unfortunately, a cheeky thief walked out with the cardboard crimestopper. The theft was captured on closed-circuit television, and local officials are confident they will make an arrest. The fake police officer cost nearly $200 to produce.

film

Reel World

A screening of “Wolf: An Ancient Spirit Returns” will take place at the Lobo Theater (3007 Central NE) on Tuesday, Oct. 16, starting at 7 p.m. The 45-minute documentary, chronicling the return of the gray wolf to Yellowstone, won five Emmy Awards and Best of Category at the EarthVision Environmental Film Festival. Defenders of Wildlife is showing the film as part of the nationally celebrated Wolf Awareness Week, which occurs Oct. 14-20 this year. The screening will be followed by a discussion of the Southwest’s own wolf population with Dave Parson, former lead biologist for the Mexican wolf recovery program, and Lisa Hummon, New Mexico outreach representative for Defenders of Wildlife. This screening/discussion is free and open to the public.

VideoNasty

Scarecrows (1988)

I gotta be honest here; I have never found scarecrows to be particularly creepy. Now don’t get me wrong, I can see how the image of weather-ravaged scarecrows standing in the middle of lonely fields provides perfect subject matter for horror flicks. But I have always seen them as sympathetic characters, doling out revenge and protecting the weak. Granted, my earliest exposure to scarecrows in film was that dancing dumbass in The Wizard of Oz and the vengeance-seeking, redneck-killing scarecrow featured in the classic made-for-TV flick Dark Night of The Scarecrow. (Remember when there used to be awesome made-for-TV horror flicks like Gargoyles and Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark? Damn, I miss those days.) So I was left with the impression that scarecrows were either stupid or justice-dealing badasses.

Michael Clayton

Clooney could lead cast to Oscar gold in murky legal drama

After a long, hot summer filled with Transformers, pirates and superheroes, it may finally be time for some honest-to-goodness Academy Award contenders. Michael Clayton, the new legal drama starring George Clooney, has all the earmarks of a year-end, award-bait front-runner. This deadly serious film marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Tony Gilroy (scribbler of all three Bourne films) and boasts the sort of script that actors let go of when someone either pries it from their cold dead fingers or hands them an Oscar--whichever comes first.

Class Act

“Dirty Sexy Money” on NBC

“Dirty Sexy Money” is like a guilt-free guilty pleasure, a trashy nighttime soap opera so keenly aware of the last 30 years’ worth of nighttime soaps that it’s able to tread that fine line between pitch-perfect recreation and winking parody. Like the first season of “Desperate Housewives” (and none of the subsequent ones), “Dirty Sexy Money” is glitzy, melodramatic, occasionally naughty and full of subversive humor.

art

Culture Shock

The sheer quantity of events and exhibits planned for Los Desaparecidos/The Disappeared makes the collaboration noteworthy—and I'm willing to bet it's quality, too. This three-month-long series of exhibitions, films, readings, lectures, workshops, master classes and panel discussions is based on the lives and artistic works of those affected by a military-controlled Latin America. Los Desaparecidos is the collaborative work of the Disappeared Collaborative Project (DCP)—a regional partnership of nine Santa Fe and Albuquerque art and documentary organizations. The opening event is a conversation between Laurel Reuter, chief curator and founding director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, and Lawrence Weschler, essayist in The Disappeared catalogue and writer for The New Yorker, on Friday, Oct. 12, at the Lensic Theater (211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe, 505-988-1234) at 7 p.m. The main exhibition of the same name opens on Friday at SITE Santa FE (1606 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, 505-989-1199) with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Also opening (daunting isn't it?) on Friday is Antonio Frasconi and War Paint at The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (108 Cathedral, Santa Fe, 505-983-8900) with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Both exhibits will be on display through Jan. 20, 2008. Keep an eye here for a review of one of these shows soon—I'll be sure to let you know if they're worth the drive to Santa Fe. (Again, I'm betting they are.) For more info until then, visit www.thedisappearedsantafe.org.

Eating America

Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit, Key Ingredients: America By Food, at the DeLavy House Museum

America’s culture is food. We sup to socialize. We chow down to celebrate. We stuff ourselves to suppress our flaws. We binge to bring ourselves joy. But what exactly is “American food”? Hamburgers, hot dogs and a well-fed man in a red apron tending a grill in a highly manicured yard is an image that comes to mind. America may not have a cuisine as well-defined as the motherlands many of us spring from, but we do love to eat. And eat. And eat. Key Ingredients: America By Food, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution on display at the DeLavy House Museum, shows how what we harvest, prepare and consume defines our melting-pot culture—and just in time for our annual Best of Burque Restaurants poll.

Alibi V.16 No.40 • Oct 4-10, 2007

No, Really?

The special shapes emerging at this year’s International Balloon Fiesta

Over the next week, balloon enthusiasts from all over the world will congregate in Albuquerque to eat roasted corn, buy shot glasses with little balloons on them and get up at indecent hours to watch one of the city’s claims to fame glide into the air. Even for those of us who live here and see it every year, an early morning sky punctured with swollen polka dots does inspire a certain sense of awe. But while spectators enjoy most parts of the nine-day event, the best part for many lies in the “special shapes” balloons.

feature

Ballooner

A virtual hot air balloon ride

Last month, my father and I lucked out. A friend of my mother's revealed she and her husband were long-time balloonists and offered to take us up with them for a small fee: wake up at five in the morning and work as part of the crew. My mother has trepidations about heights, and I'm told my younger brother became rather disinterested when roused from bed at that time of morning, and so my father and I were left to rush across town feeling like people who were about to turn into tiny, flying ants. Here's what we saw.

film

Reel World

The Instituto Cervantes is proud to present the second annual Cine en Construcción film series. The series starts this Thursday, Oct. 4, and continues every Thursday night through Nov. 1 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Cine en Construcción is a collaboration between the Festival Internacional de Cine de Donostia--San Sabastián (Spain) and Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine de Toulouse (France) and is designed to promote and distribute independent films from Latin America. This year’s selection includes films from Colombia and Argentina, including La Primera Noche (Oct. 4), Fugaz (Oct. 11), Ana y Los Otros (Oct. 18), Capital Rancho (Oct. 25) and El Transcurso de las Cosas (Nov. 1). All films are free to the public and will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles. For more info, log on to albuqurque.cervantes.es.

The Heartbreak Kid

Farrelly Brothers dig through Neil Simon’s trash for inspiration

Ever wonder what would happen if you combined Neil Simon and The Farrelly Brothers? Yeah, me neither. Regardless, The Heartbreak Kid is a remake of a 1972 Neil Simon comedy retooled by the dirty-minded siblings who gave us There's Something About Mary. The result, as can reasonably be expected, is a mixed bag in which the highbrow and the lowbrow combine to form a style that can only be called monobrow.

Lady Chatterley

How can the French make an English novel less sexy?

Ah, highbrow sex. Oh, arthouse erotica. Where would we be without you? From 1967’s I Am Curious (Yellow) to 1972’s Last Tango in Paris to 1974’s The Night Porter to 1976’s In The Realm of the Senses to 1986’s Betty Blue to 1994’s Exotica to 1996’s Crash to 2003’s The Dreamers to 2006’s Shortbus (with countless stops in between), foreign filmmakers have proven that private parts can be pretentious too.

This Upgrade Has Some Bugs

“Bionic Woman” on NBC

I still can’t figure out how “The Bionic Woman,” a 1976 spin-off of the hugely popular ’70s action series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” trumped its more popular male counterpart in the pop cultural sweepstakes. How did Jaime Sommers rate a 2.0 remake before Steve Austin? Regardless of the gender politics at play, NBC’s revamped “Bionic Woman” is a fun, if familiar, addition to today’s action-heavy TV lineup.

music

Music to Your Ears

Wayne Campbell, the character created by Mike Myers on "Saturday Night Live"'s "Wayne's World" sketches, could have been based on Mike Trujillo. Like his NBC Doppelgänger, Albuquerque's Mike T. hosts a public access music show, worships hard rock and righteous babes with equal reverence, even sports long hair crowned with an ever-present baseball cap. Mike and Wayne both made their Public Access debuts in 1992.

Sonic Independence

Seven-year-old Oscillation Electronic Music Festival rails against conformity

The Oscillation Electronic Music Festival is remarkably well-behaved for the strong, subversive stuff it spits out. The festival is a two-day gathering of weirdo electronic music that lumps together not-so-friendly-sounding tags like "glitch," "IDM," "EBM" and "darkwave." Yet the festival is drug- and alcohol-free and all-ages friendly, immaculately organized and executed in one of the nicest theater spaces in town. Oscillation is a polite 7-year-old, but one that likes to raise hell.

They Probably Are Giants By Now

A silver anniversary approaches the songwriting geniuses behind "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and "Particle Man"

In spite of their unorthodox sound and nerdy science- and history-based lyrics, They Might Be Giants managed chart toppers and radio play with the best of them. And they've been at it, fresh and inspired, for a quarter century. "I think most things that have been around for 25 years tend to have this safe quality to them. They were probably already slick in the first place," says John Flansburgh, one of two Johns that founded the band in 1982. "The most interesting stuff from our culture doesn't usually stick around that long."

news

That Burning Feeling

It's anger, disappointment and, somehow, desire—our women's football team folds and another, the Menace, forms from the debris

Christie Moses lost a lot of money when her business venture folded. "I'm in debt as far as I can get," she says.

Thin Line

The days of hazardous radio consolidation could be coming to a close.

Answer Me This

What are the mayor's cronies up to now? What kind of sentence do you get for a count of extortion? These personality traits make you a ... Plus, one man's stand against the smoking ban.

Operation Stonegarden is a Disaster

Recent events in southern New Mexico connected to the Bush Administration’s peculiarly-named “Operation Stonegarden” cry out for much closer analysis in the press than they have been given so far. They are the tip of a very ugly iceberg that ought to be demolished before it causes an even bigger disaster.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Nepal--Mountaineering authorities in Kathmandu are calling for a ban on nudity and attempts to set obscene records on the world’s highest mountain. Last year, a Nepali climber claimed the world’s highest display of nudity when he disrobed for several minutes atop Mount Everest’s 29,028-foot summit. “There should be strict regulations to discourage such attempts by climbers,” Ang Tshering, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said last Wednesday. Mount Everest has always attracted record-setters, including the oldest climber (71-years-old), the youngest climber (15-years-old), the first climber with one foot and the first blind climber. In 2005, a Nepali couple became the first to be married atop Everest. Authorities hope their proposed regulations will discourage nudist climbers and those attempting to join the 5 1/2-mile club--although the mountain’s subzero temperatures would seem to discourage such activities already.

art

Culture Shock

Week one as interim arts editor and I'm already handling some big-gun issues that come with the title.

Bomb the Canvas 2

Is it still graffiti if it's in a gallery?

Joseph Sullivan walks out of the Copper Lounge after our interview. And because this is Albuquerque, he knows the doorman. They greet each other, shake hands. The doorman's putting together a documentary about local graffiti art, and he wants Sullivan to be in it. "You got a number?" he asks. Sullivan digs his wallet from his jeans' pocket and pulls out a plain white card. The doorman's eyes widen briefly. "You're an attorney?" he asks.

Absolutely Fabulous

National Coming Out Day gets the star treatment from Albuquerque’s best drag performers

Hallelujah, I have a drag name! It was bestowed upon me by royalty, an Empress of both Albuquerque and Boise, Idaho, known as Fontana Divine. But most days you can just call him PJ Sedillo. A capstone in Albuquerque’s gay community, PJ has been organizing New Mexico’s largest drag performance event, called “Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are,” since its inception nine years ago. “Come Out” returns for one night of stellar drag performances at the king-sized National Hispanic Cultural Center Theater this Saturday, Oct. 6. A royal word of warning: This show sells out and starts promptly at 7 p.m.—the ladies have never been late. Get your tickets now.

food

Ming Dynasty

Dim sum and then some

Maybe it makes me a tacky American to admit this, but I adore ornate Chinese restaurants. The more dragons, gold paint, big red lanterns and Buddha statues, the better. When you add all that eye candy to the delicious odor of incense mixed with cooking smells, it equals an exotic sensory experience that spears me right through the heart.

Say Cheese!

New Mexico farmsteads craft cheese ... without Kraft

A couple of years back, Saveur magazine dedicated an entire issue to cheese. I settled into my reading chair and quickly became entranced with stories of small artisan cheese producers who had shaken off the big-city entrapments to spend their days crafting cheeses from milk they had personally coaxed from all sorts of beasts.

Treat Those Apples Right

Apple season is a blessing and a burden. Excited by early October's glut of local fruit—so strikingly different from the homogenized four varieties that pack grocers' shelves the rest of the year—I tend to overdo it. There's at least one more bag of apples than I can eat. Regifting is out; my friends and coworkers are all in similar situations. So the orphaned apple sack sits whithering in a corner of my kitchen, scowling at me, until I finally throw it out. My guilt makes that trip to the dumpster even weightier.