The Fourth of July is one of the few holidays when the publishing industry slows down (the others being New Year's Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving), which means we get a three-day weekend! Now, one could spend said holiday grilling buffalo burgers, drinking brews and lighting fireworks for 72 hours straight—but where's the art in that? (Unless, of course, you’re actually creating a piece of performance art dissecting American culture, but I digress.) One could also spend the weekend visiting galleries throughout Albuquerque starting on Thursday, July 3, at the N4th Gallery's opening of Getting Things Done: 2008 VSA AmeriCorps Exhibition from 5 to 8 p.m. and continuing on Friday and Saturday with opening receptions at multiple galleries from 5 to 8:30 p.m. both days. For a complete list of participating galleries and their exhibits, visit artscrawlabq.org.
Top-placing burger makers to be celebrated June 20 to 27
Inquiring minds want to know: What’s your favorite burger in Burque? Weekly Alibi is hosting our first ever Burque Burger Week, which will showcase the city’s favorite burgermeisters as nominated by you, our lovely readers. The winning restaurants will each craft a special burger that they’ll only serve from June 20 to June 27. Nominations are open now, from May 23 to June 6. Flame on!
The city is crawling with bicycles …and it’s fabulous!
Ultra Health devotes to budding potential
Native Americans’ struggle with the first freedom
Josephine Waconda’s home is on the Isleta Pueblo reservation. An irrigation ditch flows nearby. The sound of water rushing through the concrete channel is drowned out by the hopeful whinnying of horses in tidy, white-painted pipe pens.
There's not a lot of cross-pollination between Santa Fe and Albuquerque bands, even though we each have scenes that are uniquely our own and in fairly close proximity to each other (40 minutes' drive ain’t much). You don't often see Santa Feans playing in Albuquerque, and even less Burqueños make it out to Santa Fe. (One possible explanation: Santa Fe venues book one band for two- and three-hour sets, and the long gigs pay well. In Albuquerque, we cram three or four bands into a few hours, which cuts into each band's profit. Not many Albuquerque bands have a three-hour set list in their back pocket. Not many Santa Fe bands will drive all the way down here for a $50 gig.) That has to change. But that's just the bands. What's preventing everyone else, the casual listeners, from engaging in the other city's scene?
On the road because they have to
Imagine being a rap artist and having the privilege to contact your inspirations and all-time hip-hop heroes for a show in your hometown. Hats off to the Internet and networks like MySpace for allowing independent artists to wander the pastures of music in search of building international connections with each other.
One day at a time
In many ways, Ours has made it.
The band is signed to Columbia Records. Its latest album, Mercy (Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy), was produced by Grammy-winning producer and Columbia co-head Rick Rubin. And the group’s members feel like they’re making the best music of their lives. So why isn’t Ours acting like a band at the top?
A class of her own
If I had to choose one person in Albuquerque who has earned the right to be called a chef, I would adamantly, and without hesitation, say Jennifer James. If there’s still anyone left in town who wishes to argue, allow me to present my case.
When we got knee-deep in the nitty-gritty of planning how we were going to pull off a recent wedding catering gig, we quickly realized the difference between making some big-ass salads and nourishing a nuptial celebration: a proper wedding cake. So we got to researching and everyone involved liked the idea of cute little cake-ettes instead of a full-fledged wedding cake. We dug up a solid vegan cupcake recipe and added a few twists in flavor and decoration. The cake is vegan, the frosting's vegan. Both are sugary as hell and cute as a button of peyote.
Hot grapes for hot days and nights
What an exciting time to enjoy the vast range of culinary offerings and wines found around Albuquerque! Spurred by the city’s explosive growth, the restaurant and beverage industry has expanded exponentially; our eateries and watering holes are exploring wine and cuisine from around the globe like never before. Shops that offer an expansive range of international items to select from have become ubiquitous. Wine classes and seminars are offered at locations throughout the city. There's an assortment of ultra-chic wine festivals and tastings that add luster to these warm weather months. The options for oenophiles today are unlimited, so get out and enjoy all the magic Albuquerque has to offer and open your mind to the wondrous world of wine.
Doctors seek funds to understand a mysterious genetic disorder affecting New Mexicans
Buried in bundles of white, wrinkled matter are 50 to 70 blotches. Some are barely visible specks, while others stretch oddly over large areas. This was the image of Tammy Jonas' brain at 2 years old. She hit her head on a concrete floor and the emergency room administered standard testing for swelling in the brain. Doctors also found an unrelated case of Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM). There is no known cure.
Local gay couple plans to make the trip to get hitched, but how will their marriage be viewed once the honeymoon is over?
Joseph Gutierrez awoke Friday, May 16, to a stream of text messages: Same-sex couples could be wed in California. And they didn't stop there. All day long, as word spread about the Golden State's decision, phone calls and texts came in.
A New Mexico man wanted to change his name to what? The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico loses a court case. What animal killed a Pinos Altos man? And which team is giving a Lobo men's player a shot on basketball's biggest stage?
The New York Times is naming names—at least, if you're an African-American rapper.
Our national fear of facts
“But don’t you believe in global warming?”
I’ve received that response repeatedly when I ask questions about the science behind AGW, anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.
A well-respected entrepreneur who has launched hydrogen fuel cell and solar power companies keeps feeding me information challenging the theory of AGW. He sends me data showing a decrease in temperatures over the past decade. He opposes restrictions on industries that burn fossil fuels. He argues that mass indoctrination by Al Gore is diverting energy from far more important work, such as solving the technological limitations of electric car batteries.
Dateline: Lebanon--A fast-food restaurant in Beirut has seen an uptick in customers since adopting a “terrorism” theme. Diners at the Buns and Guns sandwich shop eat to the sound of gunfire instead of Muzak. The chefs wear military helmets. Weapons and ammunition decorate the counters and camouflage netting hangs from the ceiling. Owner Yousef Ibrahim serves up dishes like “rocket-propelled grenade” (chicken on a skewer) and “terrorist bread.” “They accuse us of terrorism, so let’s serve terrorist bread. Why not?” Ibrahim told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV. “My goal is to make people laugh before they ask me, ‘Why weapons?’ ” said Ibrahim. “The important thing is they laugh.” The sandbag-covered restaurant is located deep in Beirut's Hezbollah-dominated southern suburbs.
Factory on 5th Art Space started hosting its very own “Civic Cinema”-esque outdoor movie screenings last week. Every Thursday night for the next month, Factory will show a classic feature film in the parking lot (1715 Fifth Street NW) starting at dusk (around 8:30 p.m. these days). This Thursday, July 3, it’s The Blues Brothers. July 10, it’s The Usual Suspects. July 17, it’s Casablanca. July 24, it’s The Magnificent Seven. Bring a lawn chair, cooler/snacks and a suggested $5 donation. For more info, just log on to factoryon5.com.
I just want to pinch his little metal cheeks
You may think you have a low tolerance for cute. But all your set-in-stone prejudices against Hello Kitty stickers, Precious Moments figurines, Anne Geddes photographs, Webkinz, interspecies snorgling (if you don’t know, you don’t want to) and Knut the polar bear cub have done nothing to steel you against the onslaught of adorability that is WALL-E. Honestly, if puppies and kittens could have babies, they’d be hideous, misshapen monstrosities compared to the unassailable cuteness of Pixar’s little robot star.
Better with booze
During its first half hour, Hancock blows away any other superhero movie in a boozy blast of fresh air. It’s better than Iron Man, better than Spider-Man or X-Men or The Incredible Hulk or Hellboy. (Not better than Batman Begins, but so few flicks are.)
Fourth of July around the dial
Let’s just go ahead and assume that the safety-conscious officials in our county will be banning nearly all fireworks in an effort to fend off bosque fires, leaving us naught but sparklers, black snakes and boxes and boxes of punks (the stick of coated wood kind, not the Johnny Rotten sort) with which to entertain ourselves come Independence Day. If we can’t consume mass quantities of beer and then blow things up in our front yard, what is there to do on the Fourth of July?
The Week in Sloth
Lucky Number Seven at SITE Santa Fe
Playgrounds are places for picking favorites. Not just in games of Capture the Flag and Red Rover, but for equipment as well. Most of my elementary school classmates favored the slide. The gymnastics girls always hogged the monkey bars to show off how well they could dangle by a single foot. Me, I loved the swing. Specifically, a fraying yellow rope hanging at the corner of the playground, away from the hustle of Hide and Seek. The day it broke, I held a piece of it in my hands and cried.
The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal
A depressed economy makes homeless care providers sweat
All around Albuquerque, those who take care of the city's homeless are being asked to make due with less.
The Alibi's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest
One-hundred-and-nineteen. It became a life-controlling number while judging this year's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest. In the meme phenomenon, it popped up not just in the word count tool, but in numbers of e-mails, on license plates and in mysterious patterns in our alphabet soup (which, we had never consciously realized, also has numbers).
For your short reading pleasure
Whoa, there were more than 200 submissions this year, and while 16 of those made it into the paper, many a worthy story remains. Below is our pool of finalists, chosen by Amy Dalness, from which our judging team selected the winners. While these entries are in no particular order, I can tell you that select stories below had strong support from judges. Without any further adieu, here are the rest of the favorite teeny, tiny tales.
Two Worlds, an Albuquerque festival of Native American theater and film, is looking for a team of 10 to 15 American Indian filmmakers, 18 and older, to work together on the development, scripting and production of a 10-minute film that will premiere Aug. 23 during the festival at Albuquerque’s VSA North Fourth Art Center. The film also will be shown at the third annual Creative Spirit screening in Los Angeles on Sept. 27. Although some background in film production is preferred, it’s not necessary to be a professional or experienced filmmaker to be part of the team. Training will be provided by mentors and high-tech equipment will be available. Workshops start in July with the development and writing of a 10-page script that reflects the festival’s theme, which is the conflicts confronting many American Indians today--modern ways vs. traditional ways, urban life vs. reservation life, etc. This will be followed by pre-production and training at the Duke City Shootout Digital Bootcamp, July 15 through 25. Filming begins the first full week of August and will continue for six to eight days, followed by editing. Interested persons should contact festival coordinator Ollie Reed Jr. at (505) 890-0756 or email@example.com. For more info, log on to vsartsnm.org.
Who wants hot lead?
Amid all the high-profile comic book movies flooding theaters this summer (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2), there’s one more whose roots trace, rather quietly, back to the graphic novel format. Wanted is based on a six-issue miniseries from writer Mark Millar and illustrator J.G. Jones, published by Top Cow Productions in 2003. Admittedly, the movie version takes more than a few liberties with the original property. (Like, for example, dumping the entire central conceit.) Sure, it’ll inspire the ire of a few dedicated fanboys; but the film is just as likely to find a solid foothold among average, non-inkstained viewers eager to get blissed out on pure summertime action.
Young Khan’s origin story is filled with blood and thunder (literally)
The year 2008 has not been kind to foreign and independent film. In January, only 17 indie features were picked up by distributors at the Sundance Film Festival, a drop from $53 million in deals in 2007 to a mere $25 million in 2008. This year’s highest-grossing import so far, the sentimental Mexican immigrant drama Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna), barely scraped up $12 million at the box office. Making matters worse, Paramount Pictures recently announced it was folding its indie label Paramount Vantage (less than six months after winning Academy Awards for There Will Be Blood). Last month, Warner Bros. said it would close its specialty division, Warner Independent Pictures. (Guess all that March of the Penguins money finally ran out.) At the same time, Picturehouse, the indie arm of New Line Cinema, was shuttered after corporate overlords Time Warner made New Line Pictures just another a subsidiary of Warner Bros. None of this paints a very rosy picture for the future of films that do not star Will Smith.
“The Middleman” on ABC Family
In a summer filled with comic book movies (Iron Man, The Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy 2), it seems inevitable that TV would go looking to the superpowered subgenre for inspiration. ABC Family jumped on that bandwagon recently, debuting the wacky superhero parody “The Middleman.”
The Week in Sloth
As of press time, Martini Grille has been handed 22 liquor-law violation citations, and its future as a bar is looking pretty shaky. (Remember, it only takes three strikes to get your license suspended.) But even with that uncertain haze hanging around the East Nob Hill venue, one thing's crystal: Vanilla Pop has left the building.
It’s come back for your children!
It took 18 months of waiting. Eighteen months of fundraising, volunteering and wondering when it would all be over. But Warehouse 21 is back, and it's itching to crank up the volume. “It took a lot of endurance,” says Warehouse 21 Executive Director Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt. “But we did it, and we survived.”
What big business is heading to Rio Rancho? The governor has something special for the Legislature. The City Council wants to see if building a ______ is a good idea. And cops say they've found the people who ...
Environmentally friendly burials save more than one kind of green
Dienna Genther handcrafts coffins. She has a simple business philosophy, offering a practical alternative to the expensive products sold by mainstream manufacturers.
Give or take. PJ Sedillo, organizer of Albuquerque's annual Pridefest, says 9,000 tickets were sold. He estimates at least 3,000 watched the rainbow snake that made its way up a major Albuquerque artery on Saturday, June 14. Add to that number countless volunteers, people working booths and vendors at the Fairgrounds.
The Council chamber was crowded at the June 16 meeting, the agenda long, the AC on max and new Chief Administrative Officer Ed Adams getting along just fine with Councilors. And everyone was ready for the July break. The Council will reconvene Aug. 4.
You probably didn’t hear about it, but on June 11, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush in the House of Representatives. The charges include obstruction of justice in the Sept. 11, 2001 investigation, violating United Nations charters, misleading the public about Iraq and illegally spying on Americans (it’s actually interesting reading; you can find it at kucinich.house.gov).
Lately I’ve been having one of those anxiety dreams, the same one over and over. I awake bathed in perspiration, my pulse racing and my breath coming in short, agitated pants.
Dateline: Connecticut--Police in Bridgeport say they arrested a man after he ordered his pet python to attack two officers. Police arrived at Victor Rodriguez’ apartment after receiving a report that the 21-year-old was threatening his girlfriend with his 9-foot-long albino python. After the building’s superintendent opened the apartment door, Rodriguez allegedly threatened officers with the reptile and told it to “Get them!” Unfortunately for Rodriguez, snakes are deaf. And not very obedient. Rodriguez was taken away and charged with threatening officers and disorderly conduct. The python was taken to the city’s animal control shelter.
There's no way to write an easy farewell to Out ch'Yonda Live Artz Studio. For any other venue, it'd go something like this: Out ch'Yonda opened its doors six years ago in Barelas with theater in mind but found itself a catch-all venue, including poetry, yoga, dance performances, workshops, art exhibits and tap-dancing classes. At the end of June, founders Virginia Hampton and Stephanie Willis, faced with rising rent costs, will shut it down.
An interview with the Santa Fe Opera’s Richard Gaddes
During New Mexico’s monsoon season, clouds well up on the dry mesas, thunder cracks the sky wide open and, when we’re lucky, our parched desert gets the thorough drenching it deserves. Around that same time, the Santa Fe Opera (SFO) opens its regular season. At its finest, a night at the opera in New Mexico can meld the fury of the natural world and the electrical storms rocking that partial open-air stage.
An interview with Jeremy Scahill
Jeremy Scahill leads his book with a disquieting snapshot.
“My son! My son!” The police officer sprinted toward the voice and found a middle-aged woman inside a vehicle holding a twenty-year-old man who had been shot in the forehead and was covered in blood. ...
“Don’t shoot, please!” Khalaf recalled yelling. But as he stood with his hand raised, Khalaf says, a gunman from the fourth Blackwater vehicle opened fire on the mother gripping her son and shot her dead before Khalaf’s ... eyes.
A candid conversation with foul-mouthed gossip guru Chelsea Handler
If talk show host, author and stand-up comedian Chelsea Handler has a calling card, it’s her brutal honesty.
Gastrobar is best after dinner
Sam Etheridge has received quite a buzz leading up to Nob Hill Bar and Grill’s opening. Phrases like “upscale, gourmet twist” were employed, and new, exciting food was promised. Etheridge closed his revered Ambrozia Café and Wine Bar to work on it. In total, rumors and speculation about menu and ambience dominated the local blogosphere for nearly a year.
We've wanted for months to figure out a compact small plate or appetizer that brings together the classic curbside combos of jícama, mango, pineapple, watermelon, cucumber, chile, lime and salt into one single bite.
An exit interview with Downtown Gourmet's Carey Smoot
One month ago, Carey Smoot realized the numbers weren't adding up anymore. She finally put a sign on the door last week: Downtown Gourmet's last day would be Saturday, June 21.
Organizer inspired by the tragedy of a famed graffiti writer; and Verb Collective closes
Kids all over the country have seen Diar's work rolling down the tracks of their train yards, says Frederick Swiftbird. "Being prolific, he's painted thousands of trains, whole cars, full cars," he says.
Exchanging gifts with humorist David Sedaris
David Sedaris is in high spirits. That’s despite the fact that he's just about to embark on a book tour of 29 cities in the span of a month to sign copies of his sixth release, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
Youth and city councilors ally for green jobs training
It started with a survey asking several hundred of Albuquerque’s youth a straight question: “What concerns you?” Most common answer: the environment. Their answer has since spawned an alliance between a group of young people and four city councilors, pushing to pass legislation addressing their concern.
University area project deemed "too intense" for the neighborhood
The City Council unanimously told a condo developer that it likes the idea of a project at the 2000 Gold parking lot—just not this project.
Cruising for trouble. What's APS up to? Los Alamos gets a new toy. And what exotic animal found its way to Santa Fe?
“Alternative Radio” host David Barsamian says millions are tuning out mainstream media
The United States is a threat to Iran, rather than the other way around, says journalist David Barsamian. For 30 years, Armenian author Barsamian has provided a platform for progressive voices.
Restricting energy supplies means higher prices
Tom Udall’s Senate campaign is running a television ad blaming high gasoline, food and health care costs on “the George W. Bush economy.” We see a disgusted driver, followed by a fed-up mother and, lastly, a despairing patient. Then we see Tom Udall. He looks into the camera and says, “We have to get serious about alternative energy. That will lower gas and food prices.”
DATELINE: DENMARK—A note to impassioned animal activists: Eating household pets may not be the best way to further your cause. A group of journalism students in Arhus had their Facebook accounts closed after they uploaded 30 pictures of themselves cooking and eating a cat (their group profile also included a recipe for a dish called "litter box"). The cat was feral and had been shot by a farmer attempting to slim the number of felines on his property; it was then prepared by a professional chef before the group sat down to dinner. The purpose of the experiment was to draw attention to the abuse of food animals. "We wanted people to think about what it was they were putting in their mouths," said group member Laura Bøge Mortensen, according to the Copenhagen Post. "It's hypocritical for us to spend thousands of kroner on our pets, yet buy the cheapest pork from Netto that comes from pigs that have lived a horrid life. And just why is it that it's worse to eat a cat than a pig?" Still, the meal wasn't without squeamishness. "We had to count to three before we sat down to eat, and I wouldn't really say that we stuffed our face," Mortensen said. "Everyone did take a bite though."
... Sort of. The gospel according to Joe Anderson is the Launchpad will re-open in July, but he seemed hesitant (understandably) to make anything official at press time. A cursory glance at Anderson's website lists a Launchpad concert by Rooney, Locksley and The Bridges scheduled for Monday, July 7—but that's still as good as speculation at this point. If the show proceeds as planned, it'll be the first time the Launchpad's opened its doors to the public since the Golden West fire shut the venue down on Feb. 28 of this year. Until then, keep your eyes here, on RockSquawk.com and on alibi.com for the first word on the Launchpad's relaunch. You know we're good for it.
The little engine that could
Hit By A Bus has been in existence, with one lineup or another, since 1998. That's a lifetime in a local scene where projects dissolve and new ones form every few months.
Summertime often leaves people at a difficult crossroads: Go inside and watch a movie, or hang out in the warm outdoors? Thanks to Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, you won’t have to choose this summer. Starting Friday, June 20, the city will kick off its annual “Civic Cinema” series. Burque residents were asked to vote on which classic films they wanted to see this summer for free on Civic Plaza. The votes are in and the movies start off on a high note this weekend with Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas. Upcoming films will include Vertigo (June 27), Rebel Without a Cause (July 18), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (July 25) and Young Frankenstein (Aug. 1). All movies start at approximately 8:30 p.m. at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza Downtown. Bring some friends, some snacks and maybe a lawn chair.
All-Native festival tells the "difficult stories"
She made hundreds of phone calls and sent tons of e-mails, but Talking Stick Film Festival Director Karen Dallett got what she wanted: an event where more than 100 Native stories are told.
Silly spy spoof remembers its roots
Nostalgia is a powerful tool, and it’s one of the driving forces behind the new feature film adaptation of the ’60s spy spoof TV series “Get Smart.” Rather than totally reinvent the entire show (Mission: Impossible), slavishly re-create it (The Addams Family) or completely lampoon it (The Brady Bunch Movie), the producers of this action comedy have chosen to pay tribute to the original by cramming as many in-jokes, guest cameos and familiar characters as possible. The results are far from fresh, but they are funny, fast-paced and a certified treat for longtime fans.
“Fat Guy Stuck in Internet” on Cartoon Network
Once again, God bless Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. Not only does the late-night roundup of adult-appealing shows give us endless hours of moronic entertainment, it also provides employment for dozens of men and women whose mothers drank way too much during pregnancy.
The Week in Sloth
In case you didn't catch the announcement last week, the Alibi's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest winners will be featured in next week's issue (June 26-July 2) instead of the one in your paws. We thank everyone who entered this year's contest—which was fiercely hard to judge, you silver-penned wordsmiths—and understand that waiting isn’t the fun part. We promise it will be worth the extra week of anticipation. Get those reading chairs ready.
Ten minutes to make an impression
The assignment isn't easy: Create a coherent, fully developed play adhering to a theme and lasting only 10 minutes. The task is challenging, but the Fusion Theatre Company got scripts from more than 400 people who wanted to try anyway.
A conversation with Marianne Wiggins
In her novel The Shadow Catcher, just released in paperback, Marianne Wiggins echoes themes from her earlier work with the keen eye and sure hand of a writer at the peak of her powers. A National Book Award- and Pulitzer-finalist, Wiggins uses the enigmatic life of photographer Edward Curtis as a springboard for a layered exploration of such timeless themes as the collision of legend and reality, the intangible lure of the solitary landscape of the American West, and the complex emotional dances between fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and writers and their subjects. Blending historical biography with personal narrative, Wiggins examines how time, distance, memory and desire can alter the truth.
A rare treat
India’s cuisine may be the most enigmatic in the world. Using complex blends, the aromatic food introduces diners to exotic spices like asafetida, while making familiar flavors, like garlic, taste new. The nearly miraculous sum—which spans a robust array of vegetables, legumes, dairy products and cooking methods—is greater than its many remarkable parts, somehow avoiding ending up as a jumbled, muddled mass.
Times are tough. We're in the midst of a financial crisis that's affecting everybody’s plans for summer fun (the buzz word of the moment is "stay-cation," after all). But in times like this, giving generously brings about is own return. The people at the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO) have made a habit of combining music, education and altruism to generate positive change in our community year after year. Now just add wine to that and you'll get Vintage Albuquerque Fine Wine and Art Auction, a multi-event benefit for NMSO's youth music education programs. Although the attendance fees are fairly steep, the money goes right back to our kids—and as many can attest, the programming is a Bacchanalian blow up.