Alibi V.20 No.6 • Feb 10-16, 2011

Side Dishing

Noda’s Japanese Cuisine—I’m mourning the loss of one of the best Japanese restaurants in the state. Some friends and I were planning a night out and wanted to make reservations for Noda’s omakase dinner—a sumptuous, prix fixe feast prepared in a manner you’d expect from a four-star establishment. Noda’s inventive dishes included top-quality ingredients in distinctive presentations. I once had a dessert consisting of a sweet rice cake shaped like a fig, stuffed with sweet bean paste and partially wrapped with a fragrant, salty/sweet shiso leaf. Alas, Noda’s closed the doors at its Trinity Plaza location in Rio Rancho this winter.

Ready for the Masquerade?

Local fetish event to take place Jan. 20, 2018

Weekly Alibi Fetish Events is creating a wonderland for your hedonistic delight this January. Our Carnal Carnevale party will be held at a secret location within the Duke City, and we'll all be celebrating behind a mask. Dancing, kinky demonstrations, the finest cocktails, sensual exhibitions and so much more await!

feature

St. Valentine’s Day Card Massacre

The Alibi’s eighth annual contest

Valentine’s Day is a phony holiday created by cruel corporations to sell diamonds, chocolates and cards by provoking our insecurities. Of course, to those who get all kinds of diamonds, chocolates and cards, it’s a pretty good day.

The Alibi tries to help everyone feel good, hence the eighth annual Valentine’s Day Card Contest.

Alibi Love Notes

NB, you make my heart sang! You make every thang grooovy! WILD THANG! Me love you long time! —Sumyounguy

news

Sunday by the Big Screen

As Christina Aguilera began to stumble through the national anthem before Sunday’s Super Bowl, nobody in the SCI stood up.

Cold-Weather Friends

Praises were sung at the Monday, Feb. 7 Council meeting about the way city employees handled weather-related problems. Councilor Rey Garduño started the accolades, and others chimed in, thanking police officers, the fire department and street workers for keeping the city safe during some of the coldest February days in New Mexico’s recorded history.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: China—China’s government is embarrassed after it was caught demonstrating its latest military hardware through old clips of the Tom Cruise film Top Gun. Footage supposedly showing the new J-10 fighter knocking another jet out of the sky with an air-to-air missile was broadcast by state-sponsored China Central Television on Jan. 23. Internet observers quickly noticed similarities between the training exercise footage and the ’80s action flick. The Wall Street Journal published a side-by-side comparison between the two videos online. Sure enough, the images are identical. The footage has since been removed from the CCTV website and network officials are refusing to comment.

art

Culture Shock

Valentine’s Day tends to make me feel barfy. Another thing that makes me want to vomit is people who hate on gay folks. It’s a big deal. ... I will now get off my soapbox and give an enthusiastic shout out to It’s Just Love. What’s Everyone So Scared Of? put on by the New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus. I’ve never seen a gay men’s chorus live, only on television being used as a weapon against hateful people on a Michael Moore program. It was delightful. The concert series, to have the chorus people tell it, is about how love is unifying. Gay love is no scarier that hetero love; it’s also just as scary. Come hear cabaret, jazz and pop standards out at the VSA North Fourth Art Center (4904 Fourth Street NW) on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11 and 12, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors; $10 for kids ages 10-and-under. Show ’em some love.

A Woman Scorned

Duke City Repertory tries to tame Shakespeare’s Shrew

I know Shakespeare is, well, Shakespeare. Many diehard theater lovers consider him the best playwright to have ever grasped an ink-imbued instrument. Most actors and/or theater companies want to eventually try their iambic-pentameter-loving hands at one of the man’s plays. I realize this will put me on the blacklist of a number of theater patrons in town, but the question I always ask myself before seeing one of Shakespeare’s works on stage is: Why?

Print Spot

The Tamarind Institute looks to the future

With the 50th anniversary of Tamarind Institute still glimmering in the rearview mirror, I sat down to talk with gallery director Arif Khan about fast forward: four for the future, which features pieces by Anna Hepler, Fay Ku, Mark Licari and Ethan Murrow. The show is a mix of work made by these artists during their time at Tamarind and in their own studio practices, ranging from high-definition film to inflatable sculptures, wall drawings and watercolors.

film

Reel World

Every year some state legislator from outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area proposes some bill to end the tax rebate program that’s fueling the film industry here in Albuquerque. You can’t really blame them. Few films are shot outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area. As a result, few of our smaller communities see much tangible economic impact. Nonetheless, every year, the proposal gets shot down.

The Illusionist

Magician does a long, slow disappearing act in melancholy animated fable

There’s a major David and Goliath matchup in this year’s Oscar race. Wedged between multimillion-dollar, 3-D computer-animated films How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 in the Animated Feature category is the humble, hand-illustrated French film The Illusionist. The film is director Sylvain Chomet’s long-awaited follow up to his 2003 charmer The Triplets of Belleville.

30 Seconds to Cars

Super Bowl ads 2011

What did we learn from this year’s Super Bowl, class? That turnovers are key to the game. That Christina Aguilera doesn’t know the words to the national anthem. That the Black Eyed Peas sound like ass outside of a studio. That the economy has obviously affected major advertising.

music

Sabertooth Cavity

New Mexico band releases noise freak-out En Lak Ech

Don’t limit it by calling it music, man. Jazz derangements, electronic debris and heaving melts of guitar are just part of it. What Sabertooth Cavity offers up with its first album, En Lak Ech, is a little more meta. Or a little more Dada. However you want to take it.

Casablanca

New Downtown music venue opens inside Hotel Andaluz

It bummed me out when La Posada de Albuquerque closed in 2005. The lobby bar was one of my favorite places in Albuquerque—it was an elegant, jazz-filled, brown-and-white respite from the Downtown riffraff, the flashing neons, the ill-fitting fashions and questionable taste in mechanical beats. Little did I know that four years later the 1939 building—New Mexico native Conrad Hilton’s fourth hotel, and first outside of Texas—would open anew, having been reinvented as green boutique lodging. Hotel Andaluz not only has 107 rooms and suites, but also a fine Mediterranean-inspired restaurant (Lucia), rooftop bar (Ibiza) and, as of the end of January, a live music venue called Casablanca.

Flyer on the Wall

Red Light Cameras, Ya Ya Boom and the 5 Star Motelles invite you to be theirs on Valentine’s eve eve—that’s Saturday, Feb. 12, starting at 9:30 p.m. The bake sale, love poem contest, handmade Valentine sale and rock show happen at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) and admission is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

Random cuts from The Porter Draw’s Russell Pyle

Russell Pyle is a vocalist and guitar player in the lauded local bluegrass group The Porter Draw. The band will be your Valentine on Saturday, Feb. 12, when it performs at Blackbird Buvette. The show, called “An Arrow Through the Heart,” begins at 10 p.m. and is free. Below is a random peek into Pyle’s music library. “It made me realize how much punk and hardcore I have on my iPod,” he says.

food

Saigon Restaurant

A tale of two Saigons

The process by which restaurants get selected for this column involves equal parts strategy and serendipity. New restaurants, if they’re any good, are no-brainers for coverage. But sometimes a case can be made for older places, especially if the Alibi has never covered them.

Alibi V.20 No.5 • Feb 3-9, 2011

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.

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.

news

An Industrial-Sized Mess

Who will clean up the Gulton site?

Pollutants lurk under 10 acres of Albuquerque’s Southeast side, contaminating the groundwater. But no one knows how fast they’re moving toward the city's aquifer. The Four Hills drinking water well is within a mile of the site.

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.”

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)

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.

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

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.

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).

Alibi V.20 No.4 • Jan 27-Feb 2, 2011

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.

feature

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

food

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.

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.”

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.