Alibi V.20 No.5 • Feb 3-9, 2011

Witchy Woman

Something wicked this way comes

I went to Wicked expecting a musical brimming with kitschy costumes, catchy songs and maybe a heartfelt moment or two. That’s exactly what I got, but it wasn’t all. Wicked may be bright and sparkly and big on delivering a high moral message, but it’s also subversive, hilarious and crisp as a freshly minted dollar bill, all the way from the lights to the unbelievably executed, nearly operatic vocal work.

The Mayor’s Race Is a Thing

Albuquerque election forum is happening this Wednesday, August 23

All the candidates are jockeying for position as they come around the home bend. Get right up there on the edge of the running, as it were, when the North Valley Coalition and Weekly Alibi present a forum for Albuquerque Mayoral Candidates at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (2401 12th Street NW).

Jurassic Best of Burque Restaurants World

The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back

What's your favorite New Mexican food? What's your favorite dinosaur? Ok, now put them together and what do you get? An Enchiladodon? A Chileopteryx? A Tacoraptor? A Sopaipillatops? Awesome! Get ready for the T. Rex of “Best of City” contests: The original Best of Burque Restaurants will be hitting Weekly Alibi racks and website on Thursday, Oct. 12. The polls are open now. Vote on your favorite Frito pie, vegetarian food, Japanese restaurant and local brewery. Let your voice be heard! Rawr!

feature

World-Class Ass-Kicking

Jackson’s gym defends the Duke City’s title as a stronghold for tough talent

Life—be it human, plant or animal—doesn’t last long in this scrappy landscape without barbs, armor or a few aces in the hole. Maybe that’s why Albuquerque has perhaps the highest density of professional cage-fighters per capita. Officially called Mixed Martial Arts, the sport’s biggest stage is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But its best fighters are not confined to the UFC: Smaller promotions like Strikeforce and Bellator have their share as well. Albuquerque is home to fighters in these and just about every other major promotion in the U.S.

music

A Gastronomy of Rock

New Mexico musicians talk about the dishes that whet their appetites

Who knew that so many rock-and-rollers prefer their meals served with jazz? In honor of the Alibi’s Winter Dining Guide, I asked a handful of musicians to answer a survey in which they’d discuss their preferred foods and dining situations. Their delicious answers lie below.

Music to Your Ears

At one point in time, the Alibi was so cool that it had members of Detroit power pop band The Romantics taking showers at its offices. We presented stages that featured one-of-a-kind Brian Jonestown Massacre psychedelic freak-outs. Hometown (and national) darling The Shins even performed for us in the middle of Fourth Street. Those were the days of the Crawls when scores of musicians would descend on Downtown and turn the district into the live music mecca it ought to be every weekend.

Flyer on the Wall

Anna Reser reveals new drawings and objects on Friday, Feb. 4, at Small Engine (Window) Space, located at 1413 Fourth Street SW in Barelas. Supplemental entertainment at the 7 p.m. reception will be provided by Dirty Pandas, Baron Dwyer, CanyonLands and others. Visit annafeather.tumblr.com to find out more about the artist. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

food

Salad Factory

Breaking frozen ground on a spring garden

My baby mama spends about $5,000 a year on salad makings: lettuce, escarole, radicchio, kale, celery and parsley, as well as olive oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce and whatever we run out of from the root cellar. So far we’re good on garlic, almost out of carrots, out of onions, and our beets sucked last year, so she buys those, too.

Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France

Joan Nathan, famed Jewish cookbook author, brightens up a Duke City fundraiser

When I reach Joan Nathan at her home in D.C., I hear the rattling of pots and pans. She’s giving instructions to someone in the kitchen. “Is this a bad time?” I ask. “I can call later.” She tells me it’s fine—she’s just picking up after a fundraiser she hosted the previous evening with guest chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. Nathan, a two-time James Beard award-winning cookbook author and New York Times food columnist, is well-known for her PBS series "Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan." We settle down to discuss her latest opus, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (Knopf, 2010).

news

Guv + Dairy Industry = BFFs?

Gov. Susana Martinez got flak in January when she issued an executive order halting two key environmental rules. One requires that New Mexico decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent every year. The other sets a number of infrastructure requirements for the state’s dairy industry, such as synthetic barriers in manure lagoons to prevent groundwater contamination.

Tricks of the Trade

The sun is shining, and the streets of Santa Fe are heavy with the smell of freshly smarmed lobbyists. Practitioners of the world’s oldest profession are dusting off their sequined handbags, and even John Arthur Smith is smiling.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Italy—An unhappy bride has demanded a separation from her brand-new husband after he brought his mother along for the honeymoon. The woman, identified as Marianna C. of Rome, filed the petition in late January stating that the troubles began when her mother-in-law showed up at the airport just as the newlywed couple was about to jet off to Paris. According to Italy’s ANSA news agency, the 36-year-old bride also complained that, after the honeymoon, the mother-in-law spent the Christmas holidays with the couple, making it “impossible to establish a healthy conjugal relationship.”

film

Reel World

The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice will present a film screening and discussion with producer Claude Marks and other guests on Friday, Feb. 4. Marks is the director of The Freedom Archives, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring audio and video recordings documenting social justice movements from the ’60s to the present. Marks’ organization produced the currently touring documentary Cointelpro 101. The film explores a little-known FBI program to track and possibly dismantle progressive, grassroots movements in America. The film will be shown at the Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE) beginning at 6 p.m. A discussion with Marks and several special guests from the film follows the screening. Admission is $5 at the door. The screening is part of P&J’s weekend of events commemorating Leonard Peltier’s 35th year of incarceration.

Tiny Furniture

Indie comedy/drama looks at post-college life in miniature

If Lena Dunham’s new indie dramedy Tiny Furniture doesn’t represent the voice of a new generation of filmmakers, then it will do nicely until the real thing comes along. It’s not that the twentysomething writer-director-actress does anything wildly different than those who came before her. Astute indie fans will certainly spot the DNA of predecessors Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing) and Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, The Kids are All Right) in the NYC filmmaker’s first feature. But Dunham’s debut is notable largely for what it does not do.

Another Year

Mike Leigh brings the camera in close for another vivid character study

The criticism most often levied by casual viewers against non-Hollywood films—those of the indie, art house and foreign variety—is that they’re slow. There’s no action. Edits are infrequent, cameras are often static, people rarely get killed and explosions are all but absent. Given that, I must concede that not a damn thing of any consequence happens in Mike Leigh’s new film Another Year. Nonetheless, it’s a warm, inviting film that’s well deserving of its many year-end awards (one Oscar nod, two BAFTA nominations, four from the British Independent Film Awards and a slew of kudos from various film critics associations).

Really?

“Lizard Lick Towing” on truTV

If you’ve been a regular reader of “Week in Sloth” (below), you’ve probably run across a mention of the Wheel of Blue Collar Jobs That Don’t Have Reality Shows Yet. Basically, network programmers spin it every couple of weeks in order to find new series. That’s how they ended up giving reality shows to motorcycle builders, repo men, exterminators, tree trimmers, crab fishermen, swordfish fishermen, oil riggers, truck drivers, auctioneers, pawn brokers, snow-plow drivers and guys who buy abandoned storage lockers. The latest non-college-degree career field to land its own reality show? Tow-truck drivers.

art

Alibi V.20 No.4 • Jan 27-Feb 2, 2011

We Don’t Need No Education

CNM faces record enrollment and record cuts

Susana Martinez, new governor and new to governance, submitted her proposal for the state budget in early January. Her recommendation makes cuts across the board, but some of the deepest hit Central New Mexico Community College, where I am a member of the English faculty.

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APS School Board

It’s not an election that makes more than a small blip or two on the public’s radar. Turnout is notoriously low. But 2011 sees our public school systems facing enormous stress that could force them to change course long-term.

CNM Governing Board

UNM Regents get all the attention. You rarely hear about the CNM Governing Board, even though the school now has more undergraduates than any other higher education institution in the state. Seven elected members sit on the board for four-year terms and represent districts from Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. They determine all policies that govern the large college. This year, Districts 2 (Southeast and Northeast Heights), 4 (South Valley and Southeast Heights) and 6 (near Northeast Heights, North Valley and Corrales) are on the ballot.

film

Reel World

Awesome independent movie rental shop Burning Paradise Video recently relocated from its Downtown Albuquerque location to the Bricklight District across from UNM. To celebrate the brand-new store (located at 115 Harvard SE, Suite 2), Burning Paradise is having a rockin’ grand opening celebration on Friday, Jan. 28. In addition to a 15 percent discount on in-store purchases all day long, free food and drinks will be served at 5 p.m., then Vertigo Venus and Dead On Point Five make with the live music. As if that weren’t enough, the store will hand out super-cool movie-related door prizes all night. To qualify for the swag, just take a photo of yourself standing next to BP’s sidewalk zombie and upload it to the store’s fan page on Facebook.

Biutiful

Or Mizerabel—depends on how you look at it

Uxbal is a poor, single father struggling to raise two young children in inner-city Barcelona. In an attempt to make ends meet, he works as a low-rent criminal, arranging “business” deals between Chinese bootleggers and illegal African immigrants who sell knockoff merchandise. He’s also dying of terminal prostate cancer. ... Oh, and he’s a psychic who can talk to the dead.

Sitcom(fortable)

“Retired at 35” on TV Land

TV Land, like all cable networks these days, is chafing at its very premise. Conceived as a repository of classic TV shows—from “Bonanza” to “The Andy Griffith Show” to “I Dream of Jeannie”—the channel now wants to get in on all the cheap reality shows and easy-to-produce sitcoms of rival networks. Having broken new sitcom ground with the popular “Hot in Cleveland,” TV Land has now unveiled a companion piece in the similarly sitcomy “Retired at 35.”

food

Not Your Roommate’s Ramen

Fresh noodles hit the spot at Talin’s bar

Talin’s humble beginnings in a narrow shop on Central and Wyoming bear little resemblance to the ethnic supermarket that now anchors the complex at Louisiana and Central. There you’ll also find Café Trang, Bahn Mi Coda (formerly Lee's Bakery), Bubble Tea & Coffee and a Subway franchise.

Desert Fish

So fresh, you’ll feel the sand between your toes

“Je ne sais quoi” is an overused phrase, and I’m as guilty as anyone—usually with a terrible, dramatic French accent. At Desert Fish, for once, I said it appropriately.

news

A Toxic Mess

The city’s decision to curb the use of Albuquerque Police Department’s cruisers after hours continues to overshadow City Council meetings. At the Wednesday, Jan. 19 meeting, a dozen or so police officers were present again, many wearing “A Berry Bad Mistake” T-shirts.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Germany—Der Spiegel newspaper reports that police in the southwestern German city of Pforzheim arrested an owl for public drunkenness. “A woman walking her dog alerted the police after seeing the bird sitting by the side of the road oblivious to passing traffic,” police spokesperson Frank Otruba told the newspaper. The common brown owl did not appear to be injured, but officers concluded that the bird was drunk based on his sleepy appearance and the presence of two discarded liquor bottles. “It wasn't staggering around and we didn't breathalyze it,” said Otruba. “But there were two little bottles of Schnapps in the immediate vicinity.” The bird was taken to a local wildlife expert for treatment. Police said the bird would be released on his own recognizance once he sobered up.

music

Rocking the Cradle

An interview with Dani Filth

Man, I’m going to take a rash of shit for this one, I can just feel it. But it’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to have a phone chat with the most famous metal midget on the face of the Earth, so I grabbed it. What can I say?

George Winston

Solo pianist plays well with others

You can hear Montana in the piano of Grammy-winner George Winston—the open space, the stillness, the wild scents on the wind. Though several decades removed from his Montana boyhood, Winston still clearly recalls the feel of each of the four seasons up in the north country, and those sense memories continue to animate his compositions and performances. They’ve long since been interwoven with a world of musical and geographical influences—from New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair to Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Gabby Pahinui, from jazz pianist/composer Vince Guaraldi to The Doors.

Song Roulette

Ghost Circles’ Dave Jordan

Dave Jordan is a guitarist and vocalist for “nerdy, but heavy” local act Ghost Circles. On Friday the band is throwing a party at the Launchpad for “Ultimate Nullifier”—an EP released last month. The band plays alongside fellow purveyor of heavy music Sandia Man (which will be releasing a full-length album at the show as well). To get a feel for Ghost Circles’ constitution, we asked Jordan to set his music library to “random.” Below are the first five songs that surfaced.

art

Culture Shock

Sean Christopher Lewis says he came to Philadelphia after graduate school to work at a local theater company. While he was in town, he was asked to participate in the mural program at Graterford Prison. The inmates, mostly people serving life sentences, constructed murals on cloth that were hung around the city.

Mulligan Stew

Adobe Theater’s The Playboy of the Western World

People get famous for all kinds of stupid reasons. Look no further than Snooki and Kim Kardashian for bewildering proof. It’s human nature, perhaps, to be fascinated by extremes, whether they come in the form of money, personality, emotion or action. This is the concept that fuels John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World.

Alibi V.20 No.3 • Jan 20-26, 2011

Miracle Wall

Waxing philosophic on Frederico Vigil’s new fresco, Kanye West and impermanence

It’s odd that we invest in stuff. Every thing we buy gets frozen in its moment, in our past, and achieves obsolescence as fast as it takes to get to the next version. Art does the same thing. And maybe that’s why we’ve become so comfortable with conceptual art, because it can feel timeless.

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Madame Chairman

When closing the gender divide, an elected woman’s work is never done

The number of female legislators in New Mexico is at a record high—30 percent going into the 2010 elections. That's higher than the national average of 24 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More women are taking on professions that tend to produce elected officials. But there's still a gender gap.

news

Guv Sued Over Eco Rules

Martinez halts dairy and greenhouse gas regulations

One of Gov. Susana Martinez’ first actions after being sworn into office on Jan. 1 was to start a controversy.

Baby Kissing and Crocodile Tears

Now that Gov. Susana Martinez has offered her first State of the State address and laid down a number of markers on her policy approach, a question remains: What do we have on our hands here to judge the moral compass of Susana Martinez?

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Canada—Police in Ontario have announced who they call their dumbest crook of 2010. According to the Chatham-Kent Police Service in southwestern Ontario, there was a home burglary late last year and police appealed for the public’s help in identifying the thief. After local media published details of the crime, Constable Michael Pearce says he reported to work and found a voicemail from a man who was upset the report wasn’t detailed enough. The unidentified man went on to say that he had stolen way more stuff than was listed and hadn’t done it alone, either. He then listed the names of two friends who helped out. “He provided a recorded confession, hurting all their chances at trial,” Pearce told the QMI news agency.

art

Culture Shock

A new version of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes out more than 200 instances of the n-word and replaces them with “slave.”

food

The French Laundry

Extreme dining in California's Napa Valley

One of the finest events I’ll ever experience began with the following words:

Pho Saigon

Pho for the fun family

In recent years, Albuquerque has been home to at least four Vietnamese restaurants with “Saigon” in its name. Those familiar with Vietnamese cuisine won’t be surprised, as its pool of restaurant names, by some unwritten decree, remains curiously small. So many contain the word “Pho” you’d think it was a synonym for Vietnamese food, rather than a bowl of soup.

film

Reel World

Every year about this time, adventurous film-lovers head to the mountain. The legendary Telluride MountainFilm Festival is touring the U.S. and will stop at Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 20. WildEarth Guardians will sponsor this one-night only event, which gets underway at 7 p.m. A selection of short films, the best of the annual Telluride MountainFilm Festival, will be screened. Topics run the gamut of environmental and outdoor topics—from skiing in Scotland to rock climbing in Yosemite to fly-fishing on the Kamchatka Peninsula to wave-skiing in Hawaii. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco Street. Tickets are available at the Lensic box office or through ticketssantafe.org. They’ll set you back $15.

Waste Land

Moving doc covers economy, ecology and the transformative power of art

Documentaries are, by their very nature, passive things. Their purpose is to document. On the whole, they are little more than moving portraits of long-gone people and events. Talking heads are usually there to give their recollections/impressions of the subject at hand. And if available, archival footage cements as accurate an image as possible in viewers’ minds. On rare occasion, documentaries may serve as calls-to-arms (Waiting for “Superman” or An Inconvenient Truth); but even then, the films aren’t so much active participants as persuasive pictorial essays. The only action comes from the viewers who are inspired to do something after the fact.

Mock On!

“Onion SportsDome” on Comedy Central

Trendy, franchised joke newspaper The Onion hit the big time with the book Our Dumb Century, a best-selling compilation of fake headlines and made-up news articles published in 1999. That was followed by the 2008 direct-to-video comedy feature The Onion Movie, which did nobody any good. Things are on the upswing again, though, with the debut of “Onion SportsDome” on Comedy Central and the soon-to-debut “Onion News Network” on IFC.

music

Black Rabbit

Of God and Science’s second album abounds with wandering pop

Since the beginning of time, or somewhere around then, the rabbit has been symbolically heterogeneous. Luck, innocence, fertility and trickery are all traits that surround the animal in folklore. This contrast is why Albuquerque’s Of God And Science chose the rabbit (indeed, the more mysterious black rabbit) as a mascot for a new album of mercurial compositions.

The Flesh-Eating Drone of Crocodiles

In the fall of 2009 I found myself in New Orleans again. I was celebrating a birthday and seeing shows I’d helped book for a New Mexico band. During that time, British group The Horrors was on tour and had a date at One-Eyed Jack’s, a small theater in the French Quarter. The opening act was Crocodiles, about which I knew nothing. The Horrors had recently made a shift from leather-clad garage rock to flowy-shirt post punk, and, for whatever reason, the band was clearly having a terrible night. Crocodiles, though, with buzzing guitars and indulgent disco beats, stole the show.

Flyer on the Wall

A plague befalls the Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) on Tuesday, Jan. 25, when DJ Caterwaul debuts a monthly, ochre-colored night known as Low Life. Expect deep psych, garage, punk, freaky rock and other sounds from his musical dungeon. The tunes begin at 9 p.m. Entry is free, but only for those of legal drinking age. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

Dash Rip Rock’s Bill Davis

Bill Davis is the singer and guitar player for Dash Rip Rock—a New Orleans-based country punk band that’s been at it since 1984. The group is bringing its energetic live show to the Launchpad on Sunday, when Dash Rip Rock opens for fellow New Orleans rock outfit Cowboy Mouth. To get a peek into Davis’ music library, we asked him to put his iPod on shuffle. Below are the first five songs that appeared.