Alibi V.20 No.18 • May 5-11, 2011

Boise Noise

You’re not alone if you hear the word “Idaho” and your brain replies “potatoes,” but I am going to let you in on a little secret. Recently coerced into a trip to Boise (long story), I discovered it is actually a very cool little city. The locals we met were friendly, stopping what they were doing to have long chats with us. Cabbies were cheerful and gave unsolicited, but appreciated, history lessons. Beautiful brick buildings from the late-19th and early-20th centuries comprise the downtown, and street art—some municipally sanctioned—is prevalent. The compact city center is host to dozens of independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars, many using local ingredients. One of my favorite (and weirdest) discoveries was that the Bittercreek Alehouse—besides offering delicious local food and brews in a classy atmosphere, keeps a huge worm farm in the basement where almost all of the waste of the establishment is recycled.

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Deep Breaths

Burque native Saywut?! preps for an international tour with CocoRosie and a move to Brooklyn

When we meet, Ashley Moyer has a metronome in her purse. Her passport came in yesterday. She is, in a sense, working out. “I'm getting my train on. That's the least I can do right now—get physically fit, my stamina, my breath control, the tightness in my beats.” Moyer has to have the cardio health to support a 90-minute-plus show. As she tours Europe with the sister art-pop warriors of CocoRosie, she's going to have to be right on time, all the time. This is the story of Albuquerque’s beatbox queen Suywut!?

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Clovis’ LGBT Struggle

Students seek Gay-Straight Alliance

Starting a new club at Clovis High School is usually a routine process: Fill out forms, get approval from the administration, find members and establish meetings. All of this seemed to be going well for Steven De Los Santos, who spearheaded a Gay-Straight Alliance at Clovis High School—until administration postponed approval.

Pride Flag Flies in Clovis

Demonstrators from around the state gathered on a cold, windy afternoon in Clovis, N.M., to show support for LGBT student rights.

Schmidly’s Salary

Did UNM’s top dog sucker the regents into paying him too much?

With President David Schmidly’s late-April declaration that he will be stepping down next year, the time has come to contemplate what kind of pay might be appropriate for future UNM administrators.

A Close Call

Public broadcasting breathes a sigh of relief

PBS President Paula Kerger doesn't look battle-worn. But the last few months can't have been easy. Earlier this year, Republicans in Congress waged a campaign to ax all federal funding slated for public broadcasting. The Alibi sat down with Kerger during her brief time in Albuquerque to talk about the future of public media and this year's battle to save it.

Curbside Recycling

Albuquerque City Council will once again feature adoptable shelter animals. At the Monday, May 2 meeting, two dogs and a cat were shown via photos instead of being brought into the Council chambers, as they used to be under Councilor Sally Mayer. Either way, it is good to have the furry friends back.

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Culture Shock

It is time once again for me to bid you, my fair reader, adieu.

I am moving back to Oklahoma, a state apparently bent on my destruction. I had some great tornado jokes lined up for this column—real grade-A material.

Alas, I woke up the other morning and the damn things had laid waste to most of Alabama. Severe weather humor is horribly inappropriate at this particular juncture.

So we’ll skip the tornado jokes.

Virtual Realities

An exceptional pair of plays

Take two of the city’s finest actors, shake them together with an inspired and masterful theater company, slather on a large dollop of Academy Award-winning talent, and the chances you’ll end up with something satisfying and delectable are all but guaranteed. Such is the case with Mother Road Theatre Company’s newest offering, Virtual Reality.

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Reel World

New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award-winning filmmaker Federico Reade and community activist Richard Moore (founding member of the Black Beret organization) will discuss their documentary-in-progress American Blowback: New Mexico’s Black Berets on Thursday, May 5. The presentation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Los Jardines Community Space (803 La Vega SW) and will be hosted by Bianca Encinias of the Southwest Network for Environmental Justice. The film focuses on the historic Chicano movement here in New Mexico and was a recent winner of a New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award from the state.

Something Borrowed

Wishy-washy romantic comedy will leave you blue

To give credit where credit is due, Something Borrowed imagines a scenario weightier and more serious than most romantic comedies. The film, based on a book by Emily Giffin, starts out in surprisingly mature territory. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Something Borrowed is just another romantic comedy and stumbles into most of the same traps as others of its ilk.

King’s Cross

“Game of Thrones” vs. “Camelot”

It’s good to be the king. Or is it? Given the wealth of information available in fantasy literature, it seems like being the king is a lousy job. Take two new pay-cable series as evidence: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Starz’ “Camelot.”

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

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John Maestas and Humoso

Old soul presents music from new album

One Wednesday night last summer, guitarist/vocalist John Maestas, bassist/vocalist Asher Barreras and drummer Enrique Chavez were hanging at Vernon’s Jazz Club, each looking to get up and play with saxophonist Doug Lawrence in the weekly jam. Lawrence called them to the stage at the same time, and something clicked.

Song Roulette

Lovers is a Portland synth pop act made of three super-talented ladies (find downloads for a couple of songs here: bit.ly/portlandlovers). The trio is in the midst of a massive U.S. tour and stops in at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) on Monday, May 9. Animals in the Dark opens the free, 21-and-over show at 10 p.m. Find out what Lovers loves below, where vocalist Carolyn Berk has put her MP3 player on random shuffle.

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Mom and the Green Stalk

Three easy asparagus recipes your mamma will love

A Mother’s Day brunch menu without asparagus is like a tailgate party without beer. Un-American, that is.

Alibi V.20 No.17 • April 28-May 4, 2011

Grammys Ditch the Native American Category

Those little trophies are heavy. They must weigh about 15 pounds, laughs Melissa Sanchez. She should know. She helped organize their arrival in Albuquerque for a presentation at the Gathering of Nations this year.

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Powwow Guide 2011

Parties, exhibits, markets and more around Albuquerque

Community events going on around Albuquerque outside of The Pit.

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Power Play

Symposium pitches nuclear energy in New Mexico

The Land of Enchantment is home to most of the major steps in the uranium fuel process, according to a news release from the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy. There's the Eunice, N.M. enrichment facility that opened just last year. There's the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad. And there's plenty of raw ore in the state's veins. But, says the center, one major piece is missing: reactors.

Utilities Protest Carbon Caps

Greenhouse gas rules in New Mexico just can’t catch a break. After escaping Gov. Susana Martinez—and demise in the Legislature—they’re in the crosshairs of utility companies. The death-defying regulations have a singular goal: to reduce carbon emissions in the state.

Seeing What We Want to See—Including UFOs

People are often unhappy when I can explain an “unexplained” photograph or video. If it’s a hoax, the hoaxers are not happy with me—and neither are the people who fell for it. Nobody likes to be fooled.

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Reel World

Do you work as a below-the-line crew member in the New Mexico film industry? Are you a grip looking to make that big career leap to best boy? If so, you might want to pay attention to a meeting scheduled for this Saturday, April 30, in Santa Fe. Tobi Ives of the New Mexico Film Office will be conducting a “review’ of the New Mexico crew programs available to below-the-line crew. Learn how you can take advantage of the Film Crew Advancement Program, discuss upcoming policy changes and review the pre-employment training program. As things stand, FCAP allows production companies to be reimbursed 50 percent of a qualifying crew member’s wages in a “specialized craft position.” The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Center for Justice & Progress (1420 Cerrillos Road, next to the IATSE 480 union office).

Thank You, Masked Man

We get heroic with Super filmmaker James Gunn

James Gunn started out his career writing the trashtacular 1996 Troma film Tromeo and Juliet. By 2002, he was penning the family-friendly hit Scooby-Doo for Warner Bros. In between, he found time to script the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. He’s currently racing around the country promoting his latest writing/directing effort Super. In it, a pathetic fry cook adopts the mantle of a violent superhero after his wife dumps him for someone more interesting. Though shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts an impressive cast, including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler.

Royally Overloaded

We got your royal wedding coverage covered

If you’re like me and completely sick of all the royal wedding coverage dominating the television airwaves in the last couple of weeks, you’ll be happy to know it all ends this Friday. If, on the other hand, you can’t get enough of diamond tiaras, hand-embroidered ivory wedding dresses and horse-drawn carriages, then rest assured it’s all coming to a head this Friday. Either way, you win.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

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Rock The 9

Your guide to the three-night Native music festival

It’s been four years since Navajo and Hopi guitarist and vocalist JJ Otero co-founded the first annual Rock The 9 Native Music Festival in Albuquerque. This year the seasoned festival, which unofficially coincides with the Gathering of Nations, takes place over three nights at Low Spirits. Here’s the complete, illustrated schedule for the fest.

Expand Your Playlist

Dance, meditate, muse, romance, reflect and boogie

Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is obviously not on the email lists of music publicists. Press releases for new recordings swamp the inbox daily. Here’s a handful of recent local and national releases, culled from the flood, that deserve attention.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from North America’s Josh and Jesse Hasko

Twin brothers Josh and Jesse Hasko are the post-dance, psych rock duo North America. On Friday, April 29, the Albuquerque band hosts its spring/summer tour Push Off Party at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). The show starts at 9 p.m., admission is $5 and The Fertile Crescent opens. Peer into the Haskos’ shared music collection via the random tracks below.

Flyer on the Wall

The “sheeeeeeeee ... wwwuuuhhh” of filmic astronaut breath might be among the sounds you hear at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) on Tuesday, May 3, beginning at 10 p.m. The free show features the psychedelic sounds of Minneapolis’ Daughters of the Sun and local noise purveyors Luperci, Black Leaf #40 and Alan George Ledergerber. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Culture Shock

Just in time for Gathering of Nations, Native American artists Jaque Fragua and Ryan Singer present their joint effort, Vision Quest.

A Walk in the Woods

Taos author settles on northern California for her sophomore effort

Summer Wood’s novel Wrecker is set in the heart of Humboldt County, Calif. But don’t let the location fool you. It’s not about that.

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Café Trang

Flavorful forks in the road

Though the plating and presentation of the food at Café Trang is classy, the place has a no-nonsense pragmatism that’s just as pronounced. The walls of the clean, open dining room are nearly barren, sending the message that all artistry is reserved for the food. And the drink options are at the top of the menu, rather than the bottom where they’re usually found—a refreshing bit of sensibility given that your drink order is the first thing the server asks of you.

Beer Springs Eternal

Seasonal microbrews flower around the city

This fine spring weather we’re in the midst of brings out mixed feelings in me. On one hand, I enjoy the freedom to stroll the University and Nob Hill areas without the need to dress like a Sherpa. On the other hand, I’m forced to see a parade of Don Schrader dress-alikes maneuvering their long boards down Harvard. It’s enough to make me forego the sunshine in favor of a dark corner of the nearest brewpub, where our locals are ready and waiting with new beers for the season.

Alibi V.20 No.16 • April 21-27, 2011

Music to Your Ears

Two very different local acts are releasing shiny new recordings on Saturday, April 23. Read all about it after the jump.

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City: Trading Greenbacks for “Green”

Will changing the city’s building requirements be a boon or a bust?

The City of Albuquerque climbed aboard the sustainability bandwagon a few years ago, declaring victoriously that all new city vehicles would be powered with alternative fuel. In 2005, it even adopted a law requiring some new structures to meet the guidelines of the world’s most recognized and respected system.

But on Feb. 7, the City Council unanimously this law, replacing it with older conservation rules. Some green-building advocates worry the move may serve as a bellwether for the city’s attitude toward sustainability and speculate about the larger implications of this change.

State: The Rule-Makers

Meet Martinez’ new Environmental Improvement Board

A few months ago, Gov. Susana Martinez fired all seven members of the Environmental Improvement Board, the entity charged with overseeing the standards of food safety, our water supply, air quality, radiation control and more. We got to speak with new board member James Casciano, also a manager of the Corporate Environmental Health and Safety program at Intel, about environmental improvement and public health.

National: 25 by 25

Sen. Udall tells the country to get with the program—New Mexico’s program

Sen. Tom Udall has a nickname for his bill: 25 by 25. "We're talking about 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025." Along with his cousin and fellow senator, Mark Udall (D-Colorado), he introduced a measure in early April that aims to set a standard nationally. Utilities around the country would have to use sources such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal for a quarter of their supply.

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Reel World

The newly minted Roswell International Sci Fi Film Festival is looking for eager filmmakers to fill out its schedule. Firstly, they’re looking for screenwriters. Submit your 12-page (or less) film script by May 6 (entry fee is $15) and you could be given a $1,500 grant to film your movie, June 25 through July 2, at the festival’s Seven Day Shoot Out. It’s like the Duke City Shootout, only ... in Roswell. You can also register now for a Roswell summer film camp, a 30-day intensive short-film boot camp, or submit a finished sci-fi/fantasy film for consideration. Deadline for film submission is June 10 (and will also run you $15 per entry). The festival itself is scheduled to take place at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in early July.

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

Compellingly awful adaptation argues the merits of capitalism

Online searches for Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's controversial 1957 magnum opus, spiked recently. It wasn’t some coincidental alignment of college lit classes driving the traffic. It was the surprising theatrical release of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. The seemingly out-of-nowhere feature debuted in a meager 300 theaters this past weekend, prompting hordes of curious to ask, “Is this what I think it is?”

Just Can’t Cope Without My Soap

ABC dumps daytime programming

If you’re a dedicated watcher of daytime soap operas, you probably already heard. ABC has canceled its two long-running soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” With a grand total of four soap operas left on network television, I think we can officially declare that the era of soaps is over.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

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Erf Day

To paraphrase Jimmy, the drunken misanthrope from the film Art School Confidential, I've been postponing suicide on the off chance I’ll witness some glorious plague inflict unfathomable suffering on my hateful species.

Las Palabras en Fuego

Festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers

The 11th annual Words Afire Festival of New Plays is in full swing at the University of New Mexico. The festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers and creates opportunities to match the work they’ll do in the professional world.

Not Black Swan

Ballet company tries to change the art form’s image

Behind the observation glass of the studio of Alwin's School of Dance, eight dancers from the New Mexico Ballet Company glide through the air, articulating tiny gestures amid a flurry of footwork. They precisely and energetically execute Valse Fantaisie choreographed by George Balanchine, recently debuted at their last performance Springtime Dances.

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“She Loved Strong”

The life of Tera Cordova Chavez

Tera Cordova Chavez was 26 when she died. Her husband, police officer Levi Chavez, reported that he found her body on Oct. 21, 2007, after she'd shot herself with his department-issued weapon. But questions arose. Police Chief Ray Schultz announced Levi’s termination this week.

News reports haven’t focused much on Tera as a person. This is her story.

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

In a world of nuclear meltdowns, political deception and never-ending piles of laundry, most of us could use a little fantasy. With a frilly and fanciful spirit, the Weekly Alibi’s Group Hug created the Spring Social—an evening of treats, mirror balls, balloons, flowers, unicorn horns and shimmery sounds. You’re invited.

Earl Who?

An interview with Adam Hurt

The first name that pops into the brain whenever the word “banjo” is spoken is usually Earl Scruggs, who largely invented bluegrass banjo picking from scratch back in the ’40s. There are other banjo-playing styles, though, that are less well-known but just as captivating. Among aficionados of this kind of banjo picking, Adam Hurt is considered one of the best.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from local hip-hop artist Justin Hood

Justin Hood is a local hip-hop musician and—once upon a time—was an excellent Alibi editorial intern. On Saturday, April 23, he releases The Falling Season at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). Peek into Hood’s music collection via the random selections below.

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Reel Sustainable

Whole Foods Market celebrates Earth Month with nationwide film festival

Whole Foods Market’s motto is "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet." From the Global Animal Partnership animal welfare rating system, to every item stocked in produce and on the shelves. Whole Foods Market’s Do Something Reel Film Festival is another expression of this philosophy.

Three Gardens in One

A springtime strategy for maximum yields

Searching for the best crops to plant with garlic, Ari LeVaux developed a technique called "tossing seeds randomly." He put all the seeds he didn't get around to planting last year into a jar, shook it up and threw them by handfuls. This experiment produced the "garlic patch friends" and a springtime strategy for maximum yields.