Yes, it’s time once again to nominate the best local bands, players, albums, venues, engineers and labels of the past year. This time around, nominations for Albuquerque’s reader-powered aural Olympics will be accepted daily through Jan. 24. The second round with high-scoring nominees runs Feb. 14 through 28. And the cherry atop the BOBM sundae is a live showcase of winners on Mar. 24. This thing was a blast last year, so let’s do it again!
You Have Until January 19 to Secure Tickets for Alibi Fetish Events’ Carnal Carnevale on January 20
By Julian Adama
The Carnal Carnevale is just around the corner, and we can't wait to bare it all for you. It will be a night of adults-only fun in a secret, downtown Albuquerque location. So mask up, and get ready or a night of kinky fun amid the doors of perception.
As Weekly Alibi celebrates 25 years in ABQ, we’re shaking up our annual—and the original—Albuquerque Best Of contest with two rounds of voting. Vote early and often for your favorite Burque businesses, artists & more during BoB 2018 nominations. (You can renominate your faves daily to be sure they place on the final ballot.) Voting starts on Jan. 3 and ends Jan. 31. Vote local and support homegrown!
Van Tate--KRQE-13 sportscaster, voice of Lobo football
The German Chocolate Cake at Flying Star. It has to be the best in the world. I've had it several times and I still can't believe how good it tastes. It reminds me of the old Mary's Muffins that once was on Central across from UNM. When that place closed a lot of us felt like crying.
Best Thai Food
Thai Cuisine at Montaño and Coors. Once you taste #87 or #74 you will pack your belongings and try to move into the restaurant. The 87 is spicy ground chicken over rice. The 74 is a spicy fried rice with your choice of tofu or chicken. The lunch buffet left a brother speechless.
To piss off Don Schrader. Other than that, I can't think of a thing.
Best Radio Station
KUNM. Although its extreme variety is bound to be displeasing in some instances, it is the only radio station that plays anything quite original. Why, it's not even run by Clear Channel.
Best Place to Buy Used Music
Charlie's has loads of used CD's and vinyl, they play interesting music on the speakers, and the people are nice. Besides, they have ice cream. Natural Sound has a good selection, but anytime I go in there the people who work there kind of seem to growl.
Kristi Trujillo--Associate Manager at Buffalo Exchange/clothing fiend
Best Way to Spend a Monday Night
Head over to Atomic Cantina and see Heather and Suni host their pop quiz night. If you buy them shots, they might let you win.
The Best Way to Spend the Day After You've Ditched Work/School
First, call a friend who drives a Vespa so that you guys have a mode of transportation on a nice, sunny day. Next have lunch at, let's say, El Patio. Get some margaritas on this hot afternoon and talk about how you want to start your own revolution.
Best Cure-All for Being Sick, Hung Over, Having Allergies, etc.
Go to Frontier and order hash browns with cheese, a side of tortillas, extra honey and get some stew from the pot. Make some mini burritos and you've got instant relief—don't forget the large water.
Martin Heinrich and Julie Hicks—Rookie City Councilor, Web Designer
Best Day Trip
One of the best, yet least known, day trips from Albuquerque is the Ojito Wilderness Study Area. Less than an hour from Albuquerque and closer than the Jemez Mountains, Ojito is the perfect place to explore on a weekend outing. You won't find babbling mountain brooks here, just New Mexico desert at its best. Parched, yet sublime landscapes made up of broken mesas and undulating badlands capped with twisted and ancient junipers that may predate the arrival of the Spanish. Ojito is truly unlike any other place we know and it keeps us coming back. Combining elements of the Bisti badlands with Santa Fe skies, Abique fossils, and southern Utah redrock, this is a place more than worth the short drive from Albuquerque.
You gotta realize that I'm partial to the North Valley, having vowed long ago never to go east of San Mateo. I'm so proud of the fighting spirit of Sawmill Advisory Council and later the Sawmill Land Trust that I'm beaming at their success. Also, the folks at the Rio Grande Community Farms who are trying to introduce urban kids to traditional valley agriculture on the old Anderson Fields are pretty cool, too. Common Cause, PIRG and the American Cancer Society are friends in the legislative arena.
Farmer's Markets. My kids get good exercise, they get to meet the folks that grow the food they eat, and I get to support local farmers who provide the freshest produce in town. Arts and crafts add to the colorful experience.
Best Place To Take Kids Out For A Hike
Rio Grande Nature Center. I get good exercise, my kids get to see the resident ducks and turtles, and point out the migratory visitors (we saw sandhill cranes earlier this year). The view of the Sandia Mountains is spectacular.
Best Venue in Which to Hear Live Music With The Kids
El Malpais—It's just far enough to make you feel like you've gone somewhere, but it's still an easy day trip. There's amazing stuff to see, and it's a real kick to just wander around for hours. Also, my dog threw up an apple there. Yup.
It's gotta be Manny Aragon. I imagine Manny would have the hookup wherever we went, no waiting for a table. Hell, we probably wouldn't even have to pay for a drink in most places. He's sure to know and tell stories about New Mexico politics and politicians that would never even be hinted at by the press. And if we did have to pay, hopefully he would pick up the tab cause he would be loaded with dough from all, the, uh ’political gifts' he has received over the years.
Best Reason To Vote Bush in 2004
If you're rich, white and you love sexist, racist, homophobic, hypocritical, avaricious, moronic, liars and murderers.
Soobin Hur--Alibi intern and Korean exchange student, Menaul School
Best Bowling Alley
Leisure Bowl. This place is about more than just bowling. If you're planning a birthday party for your kid, Leisure Bowl offers pop-up Bumper Bowling on every lane. They will even supply the invitations! For adults, they also have drinks and karaoke.
Best Radio Station
88.3 FM. Compared to 90.5 FM, this Christian Rock music station has more information about Christian concert dates and new Christian CDs. It also offers a good variety of Christian music 24 hours a day.
Best Korean Restaurant
Yen Ching. Yen Ching serves both Chinese and Korean food. They have an excellent daily lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can try all kinds of authentic Korean dishes here. Some famous Korean dishes are Bul Gal Bi (barbecue rib), Bul Go Ki (barbecued beef), Dae Ji Bul Go Ki (barbecued pork), Dak Bul Go Gi (barbecued chicken) and Gob Chang Gui (barbecued marinated tripe). They also have a delicious Japanese sushi bar.
Sally Mayer squashing the green cone art scheduled for the new I-40 Louisiana Interchange. She missed the public meeting when her constituents spoke in favor of it, sneaks it into a City Council meeting around the City Arts Board and made sure it was vetoed soundly. Now she's trying to appoint herself to the Arts Board—if that happens we'll probably end up with a giant cowboy boot as an Uptown landmark.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. That's right kids, there are 19 pueblos in our beautiful state. Can't make it out to each pueblo for Feast Day dances? This place has free traditional dances every weekend. Check it out.
Best Place to Fall in Love with New Mexico All Over Again
Chaco Canyon, a.k.a. Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Sure the last 20 or so miles to get there are marked by washboard dirt road madness, but once you catch site of Fajada Butte ... ah. A place not to be missed.
There's a lot to like about Albuquerque, from our fabulous weather and scenic vistas to our friendly, multicultural atmosphere and terrific cuisine. From our visual and performance arts communities to our historic and contemporary neighborhoods, our recreational opportunities and special events, Albuquerque is truly unique and I am always proud to be part of it. One area where I have been getting a lot of positive feedback lately, in the Biopark: our Rio Grande Zoo, Botanic Gardens and Aquarium. I went with my family last weekend, and the facilities continue to be clean, user-friendly and fascinating. This is a great set of amenities with a lot of new attractions, so it's no wonder the Biopark is the state's number one attraction.
Gone (forever, we hope) are the days when whiners can complain that there's nothing to do in Albuquerque after dark. As you're about to discover, there's more than enough nightlife to go around in this city—from live music and dancing to fine dining and drinking, you can't swing a dead cat in Albuquerque without hitting something fun to do with your leisure time. Furthermore, Weekly Alibi's very own Arts, Naked City (live music and entertainment) and Community and Events calendars are jam-packed with great stuff to do every day of every week. If you're not satisfied with your social life, it's only because you're not willing to miss an episode of “Cops” every now and then. We hope our readers' choices in the following categories will inspire you to have fun, relax, make new friends and become part of our vibrant community.
Every year, our Best of Burque issue is built on some crazy theme. In the early days, this practice proved to be a lot of fun. But in recent years, our thematic presentations have become, well, progressively more clichéd and downright cheesy. Take last year, for instance: What the hell did pirates have to do with Albuquerque in any way, shape or form, past or present? Similarly, this year we've packaged our Best of Burque issue in an undersea treasure/adventure theme. Someone apparently forgot to tell the Marketing Department there's no water here. So as I sat down to scribe this introduction to our most gargantuan issue of the year, I found myself having a hard time separating the pirate and undersea treasure themes. I did the best I could, but forgive me for occasionally straying into pirate mode. Here goes:
If there's one thing we've figured out about Burqueños, it's that we like to stockpile our crap. And lots of it. Whether it's a backyard collection of rust-eaten Buicks or the latest gadget from Williams and Sonoma, the cult of objects is as New Mexican as a plate of huevos on Sunday morning. You can see it for yourself, too. Every weekend we spill out from our homes, money in hand, on a mission from God to scour the desert for the best deal, the biggest piece or the rarest find. Sometimes we actually find it and, miraculously, it's just a few bucks less than we expected to pay. But even if we come away empty handed, it's that satisfaction of a full-day's hunt that sends us blissfully to bed, where we dream again of acquiring junk. Blessed, beautiful junk.
First, an explanation. While you will find, within these pages, information that will help you locate the best micro-brew/Celtic music experience or to scout locations for your Vietnamese-language remake of The Godfather, we want to remind you that we're saving the best for later. Later this year, that is, when the annual Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll hits the stands with hundreds and hundreds of ooey-gooey, scrum-diddly-umptious restaurants that have been tried and tested by our readers. So consider the “Eats and Drinks” section of our Best of Burque poll to be a mere appetizer for the very big meal to come in October.
The people, places and sights in Albuquerque make our fair city one of the finest places to live regardless of the studies that paint a gloomy picture. Just recap the past 12 months and there's plenty to cheer about. Downtown continues its revival, the media didn't uncover a single fundraising scam at the mayor's office, the Isotopes brought baseball back with a bang, Tingely Beach is finally getting a makeover and the arts are thriving like never before. And that's only a quick sample. But there are always things to gripe about and we like to do that too once in a while. So here's this year's Life in Burque winners (and losers), so one way or another, we can all feel better about ourselves. Enjoy!
If by “foreign” you mean “arty” then by all means our winner is your one stop shop. But if you translate “foreign” as “Japanese science-fiction with lots of monsters and martial arts too” then newcomer Burning Paradise is where you should be paying late fees. For a wide selection of new releases (if nothing else) Hastings hits the spot.
Still winner and champ-een! For the buhzillionth year in a row, Frontier has smothered the competition like a goopy blanket of red chile and cheese. Thanks to the 'Tier, nothing says New Mexico like eating your breakfast at 11 p.m., surrounded by epic pastels of John Wayne's likeness and, apparently, people you're scared of or scaring. For those who actually eat breakfast in the a.m., there's Flying Star Café's turkey sausage and pristine pastries, or the unbeatable slabs of bacon and drool-inducing queso at The Range Cafés. You also report that the grub at Weck's gets you out of bed on your coveted weekend morning.
We live in a city that prides itself on its skin-searing quantum creative energy. Stand on almost any street corner—especially in neighborhoods like Downtown, Barelas and Nob Hill—swing your purse in a nice wide arc, and you'll more likely than not hit an artist, an actor or a musician squarely in the jaw.
As long-time readers of the Alibi already know, Chevy on a Stick (a.k.a. “Cruising San Mateo I”) always wins this category. It's some kind of law of nature. Yes, our city is filled with great and diverse pieces of monumental public art, but something about that delicious Chevy on a Stick, located at the corner of San Mateo and Gibson, perfectly symbolizes the thriving neon auto culture that has defined Albuquerque for the last 60-odd years.
The big guy wins this one for the second year in a row. Seriously, who wouldn't love to go bar hopping with the guv. He's gotta have a few good stories to tell. Mayor Chavez took second, and City Councilor Eric Griego and former city councilor turned Alibi columnist Greg Payne tied for fourth. To be fair Griego probably deserved one extra vote for the entry that said, “the guy who thinks he's funny,” but the judges said no. Of course, Payne learned the virtues of sobriety the hard way, so perhaps folks thought he might be useful as a designated driver.
In the small town of Wadley, Ga., a seat in a recent city council election was decided by two votes. But a few days later, a peculiar discovery revealed that the town's voting machines had recorded four more votes than the total number of people that had signed in to cast a ballot. In other words, the folks in Wadley had themselves a voter irregularity situation.
Who can't handle the truth? Newspaper editors and network TV news producers had, by their own estimation, a difficult decision to make last week when images of mutilated American corpses were transmitted home from Fallujah, Iraq.
Bush spin diverts America's attention from the truth
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
You may have to dig out your old dog-eared copies of George Orwell's 1984 if you want to understand the peculiar uses of the English language that are being shoveled in our direction by the current inhabitants of the White House.
Important races shouldn't go unnoticed during 2004
By Eric Griego
Tip O'Neill, the prominent former Democratic House speaker, in his oft-quoted quip said "All politics are local." This is not to be confused with the old New Mexican saying "All politicos are loco." But let's be honest: Who gives a rat's red patutee about who the next trustee in Romeroville is? You should.
Dateline: Cambodia—Police in Phnom Penh have been accused of using a most unusual form of torture. Two teenage boys, arrested last Sunday night on suspicion of stealing five bags of soap powder from a parked car, say police force-fed them bananas until they got sick and confessed. Policeman Yim Simony denied any official wrongdoing. "They were hungry and annoyed and they refused to answer our questions," he told the Cambodia Daily. "But after they ate the bananas, they answered questions."
Short Shorts—The Southwest Film Center at UNM is looking for a few good shorts. The First Annual SWFC Short Film Festival is a chance for aspiring young filmmakers to show off their talents. Organizers are looking for films/videos in four categories: Narrative, Music Video, Experimental and Documentary. Films should be no longer than 20 minutes and must be accompanied by a $20 admission fee. Deadline for submission is Thursday, April 15. Winners will be showcased in a series of public screenings beginning Thursday, April 29, and awards will be handed out on Saturday, May 1. For complete info, including a submission form, log on to swfc.unm.edu/filmfestival.html.
Here in America, the Disney Corporation, the greatest stronghold of animation in the western world, continues to hemorrhage profits and forebode the end of "traditional" cartoons. The company all but insists that the recently released Home on the Range is the last non-computerized film they will bother to make. Overseas, however, animation seems to be enjoying a minor renaissance. Earlier this year, France loaned us the charming and unpredictable Oscar nominee The Triplets of Belleville. Now comes the latest work by Japanese up-and-comer Satoshi Kon. While Tokyo Godfathers isn't exactly groundbreaking cinema, it does showcase a strength and breadth of animation with which Americans seem unwilling to experiment.
Poor timing and familiar plot have audiences whining, “Are we there yet?”
By Devin D. O'Leary
Amazingly enough, Johnson Family Vacation was not produced by the UPN network. Had the film premiered on the network that gave us "The Parkers," "The Hughleys," "Girlfriends" and "Moesha", the urban-friendly cast and carefree plot might have scored a few ratings points. Lost amid the early spring rush of action films, romantic comedies and kid-friendly cartoons, Johnson Family Vacation is a side trip that's just not worth the effort.
TV-wise, Easter isn't nearly as big a holiday as, say, Christmas. Sure, there are a few seasonal specials and the occasional holiday classic. (What would Easter be without a few Cecil B. DeMille epics?). But there aren't usually enough programming choices to fill up your entire day off. That doesn't mean, of course that you can't try.
Early one November morning in Seattle 11 years ago, Mia Zapata, lead singer of then up-and-coming alt.rock band The Gits (who played Albuquerque's Dingo Bar toward the end of their one and only West Coast tour), was abducted, raped and strangled to death with the hoodstring of her Gits sweatshirt, then dumped at the end of a dead-end street less than two blocks from the friend's house she'd left less than two hours earlier with the intention of catching a cab home. For a decade, Zapata's case remained cold. Then, in 2003, DNA evidence collected from Zapata's body drew a match on Florida's felon database, rendering a suspect in her murder: Jesus Mesquia. Three weeks ago, Mesquia was convicted on all counts in a Seattle courtroom and faces 20 years to life in Zapata's tragic death. Fellow Git Steve Moriarty after the verdict said, "I'm just glad he'll be in prison and we'll be living free lives." Indeed. ... This year's Alibi Spring Crawl will feature a handful of carefully chosen national acts to-be-announced. While the focus of our Crawl series remains on local music, local bands and the local businesses Downtown who support them, we'd be doing a disservice to everyone involved—fans included—if we didn't gradually push the events toward regional and, eventually, national acclaim. Albuquerque isn't Austin, and the Crawls may never be as widely regarded as South by Southwest, but we hope our humble events evolve to the point that they can't be ignored by the music industry at-large. See you Downtown on Saturday, April 24.
Lyrically, he's been compared to Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. But as a songwriter, tracing 26-year-old Josh Ritter's perceived lineage is slightly more challenging. Anyone with the ability to read the lyric sheets accompanying his three existing records can visualize the boyishly handsome Ritter's face buried in books by Rimbaud and Rilke. But listening to his plaintive voice toy with hook laden melodies without ever actually playing the hand is drawn in some obscure way to Nick Drake and Beth Orton and, moreover, a comforting amalgam of Bob Dylan (pre-Victoria's Secret commercials) and Sweet Baby James-era James Taylor.
Saturday, April 10; Launchpad (21 and over, 5 p.m.): It's an annual event that's become as revered as Christmas: Beto's Birthday Bash. Beto's turning 56 this Saturday, and he'd like to have all of you join him in celebration of the occasion. Many of your favorite local bands—Kaotic State, Dead On Point Five, Bulletrainmafia, Blue Bottle Flies, Concepto Tambor, Civitas, Feels Like Sunday, Los Brown Spots, Rebilt and several others—will be on-hand to provide live music and, if you show up early enough, there might just be some home-cooked food left.
Beto himself will be on-hand for spankings and such, with the giant spanking tunnel taking place at 11:59 p.m.
Wednesday, April 14; Brewster's Pub (21 and over, 9 p.m.): It's no secret that my some of my formative years were spent listening to '80s glam metal, going to '80s glam metal concerts and playing a pretty awful '80s glam metal-influenced band. The guitarist and long-time friend from that band which shall remain nameless recently entrusted several cassette tapes containing most of what we recorded between the late '80s and 1991—some of the worst music ever committed to tape—for purposes of archiving it on CD. The very fact that I would even consider spending time archiving such tripe is a clear indication that there's a part of me, however small, that still looks back fondly on those days. So it was with a fair amount of excitement that I received the news that George Lynch (and Lynch Mob) would be coming to Albuquerque on a last-minute booking.
Longing for a return to the Golden Age of grunge? A tour through the annals of Sub Pop history? A reminder of how a handful of incredible (and incredibly resourceful) bands created the most significant musical movement since '70s punk rock? Sub Pop Video Network: Program 1 is just what you're looking for. Yes, long before the grunge look could be purchased from the Gap, and prior to bandwagonesque bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Bush ruled the airwaves, bands like Mudhoney, Beat Happening, Tad, Afghan Whigs and, yes, Nirvana, were busy meshing balls-out hardcore and punk rock with '80s metal in direct response to the Silly String 'n' Aqua Net era of rock music that nearly ruined an entire generation of MTV babies. And much of it is collected in video form on this first DVD installment from the good folks at the label that stated it all: Sub Pop.
They either missed the window or preceded it by a few years, but either way, the first outing by Finland's Hanoi Rocks in 19 years falls flat on its glamorous face. Back in their heyday, HR could have been the European antidote to the Los Angeles community of excess that spawned Guns 'n' Roses, L.A. Guns and Motley Crue, whose singer, Vince Neil, ended HR's career by killing their drummer "Razzle" in a car accident in 1994. HR never recovered. Michael Monroe's songwriting would have been hailed in 1988, but in 2004, it needs to be put to bed forever.
There's more to musicals than the all-too-familiar over-homogenized triteness of Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady. In honor of Ana Chavira, a frequent Musical Theatre Southwest (MTS) performer and contributor, MTS recently opened its brand spanking new Ana Chavira Theatre in the Frank A. Peloso Performing Arts Center, which also houses the much larger Hiland Theatre. The purpose of this intimate 85-seat theater is to provide a new and appropriate venue to stage alternative musicals for Albuquerque audiences.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
By Steven Robert Allen
Many conservatives, I've noticed, are hypocrites. Half an inch beyond the American flag lapel pins, the pretentious sanctifying of our Founding Fathers, and the blathering defenses of the Republican party's narrow, hyper-corporate brand of liberty lurks a world view that runs contrary to most of the basic principles of American democracy. When they aren't busy stripping us of the so-called inalienable rights granted to us by our Constitution, many conservative politicians busy themselves with the dismantling of one of America's finest legacies: the setting aside of federal lands for the benefit of future generations.
Theatre-in-the-Making, the hardest working youth theater group in Albuquerque, presents a new production of Shakespeare's comedic battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew. Paul Ford directs this lunatic play about a mean-spirited woman and the eccentric weirdo who tames her. The Taming of the Shrew runs Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the Vortex Theatre. $5. 247-8600. The next week the show hops over to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, running Wednesday, April 14, through Friday, April 16, at 10 a.m. and Saturday, April 17, at 7 p.m. $6. 242-4750.
UNM's talented graduate art students will open their studios to the public on the evening of Friday, April 9. Two separate buildings will host the event: the Graduate Art Annex, accessed by entering UNM at Yale and Central, and the Maddox, located at the corner of Ash and Copper. The Annex will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. and the Maddox will open its doors from 7 to 9 p.m. Casadimanza will provide live music. Set aside a couple hours to see what some of New Mexico's better up-and-coming artists have created. 277-5861.
Eric Schlosser's first book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the American Meal, spent three years on the New York Times bestseller lists. The book follows our burgers from pasture to plate, and it documents damage the junk food industry inflicts on our waistlines, workers, environment and children. Book number two, Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market, tours our nation's bizarre, often horrifying, trillion-dollar, underground illegal drug economy.
Before you work yourself into a frenzy over how few food-related categories are included in the Best of Burque poll, remember that Alibi has a separate poll just for food-related superlatives. It's called the Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll (RCRP) and it hits the stands in October, right around Balloon Fiesta time. So consider this your fair warning. You have the next six months to eat your way around town and compile a personal list of favorites, from soup to service, bread to brunch. Pay special attention to newcomers as this kind of poll (like elections) tends to favor incumbents. Is there a restaurant you think gets overlooked every year? Start recruiting your friends now. Take them with you to experience your unknown gems and when poll time comes around you can encourage your buddies to vote. If you've got ideas for new RCRP categories you can e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise we'll consider them all but don't be surprised if you don't get to vote for Best Buns on a Waiter Whose Name Starts With an "M" Who Works at an Italian Restaurant in Nob Hill.
How long do you think it would take to eat a six-foot-tall scale model of the leaning tower of Pisa—made entirely of chocolate? That's what guests at last month's 12th annual Chocolate Fantasy gala were probably thinking as they strolled past the edible creation of Lincoln Peterkin and Oneil Watson. The pair won the first place award for Most Artistic chocolate piece before their restaurant, Jamaica Jamaica, even opened. Chef Daniel Keadle of the Hyatt Tamaya Resort took first place for Best Taste. Judges also awarded honors to Adrienne and Claire Toubbeh, Seasons Rotisserie and Grill and the Marriott Pyramid North. Chellese Restaurant in Gallup won the People's Choice award while Jamaica Jamaica took home the award Sponsors' Choice. The event grossed more than $250,000 for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. (GD)
If your family simply adores ham at holiday time but you hate to pay high prices for a spiral-sliced sow, why not opt for a cheaper version and do it yourself? Buy a nice, big bone-in half ham from your favorite butcher. Although the ham is already cooked, you'll need to heat it thoroughly before serving.
A chat with the owner of a winning new Thai restaurant
By Gwyneth Doland
Across the street from Flying Star Café on Menaul is a humble little Thai restaurant with bright, fresh food and distinctively friendly service. This week I had the opportunity to chat with the enthusiastic owner, Peerayut “Gol Gol” Prasomphon.
Our first annual photography competition didn't work out quite the way we'd expected. Unlike most Alibi contests of the past, we didn't receive a towering pile of entries. I'll take partial responsibility for this. Two of the categories—Tantrums and Blackmail—were a little bit obscure, and the truth is we didn't get any publishable entries for either of these. Our second disappointment is that we didn't receive a single nude picture of Don Schrader, which has left many of us, particularly Alibi Editor Michael Henningsen, both mystified and depressed.
April Fools—Guild Cinema is celebrating April 1 in high style with a one-night-only screening of "Pranks!!" This special salute to April Fool's Day includes an assortment of devilish, devious video works from around the country. "Homeland Security: It's in Your Hands"by The White Ring offers "tips" on surviving these increasingly dangerous and scary times. The hilarious "G.I. Joe PSAs" by Eric Fensler, features the red-blooded TV cartoon hero teaching kids how to defuse many a bad situation. "The Eternal Frame"by legendary performance filmmakers Ant Farm is one of the seminal video works of the '70s, restaging the tragic events of Dallas 1963. There will be plenty more video insanity including a rare, classic "mystery screening" by famed underground filmmaker Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven). Screenings take place at 5:30 and 8 p.m.
The Taos Picture Show Brings Hollywood back to Northern New Mexico
By Devin D. O'Leary
The demise last year of the Taos Talking Picture Film Festival left many wondering what would happen to the artistic, movie-hungry mecca of Taos, NM. A tricky bankruptcy derailed the homegrown festival in 2003, ending (at least temporarily) any chance of hanging out for a weekend, rubbing elbows with a few stars and watching movies in the cool, pine-lined environment of northern New Mexico. Thanks to some last-minute efforts by a team of dedicated film lovers, though, Taos will once again play host to an annual film festival.
Less is more in this very special delivery from Asia
By Devin D. O'Leary
Sometimes less is more. The new film Postmen in the Mountains, shot in 1998 but only recently delivered to America from China, is certainly proof of that. This tiny, deceptively simple story concentrates on an aging mail carrier, whose job it is to lug a mail sack through the rugged mountains of China's rural Hunan province. Forced to retire due to increasingly painful arthritis, the postman passes his job onto his son. The entire film takes place over the course of a single journey in which the father (along with a faithful guide dog) teaches his son the ins and outs of the laborious mail route. That's pretty much it for the plot. There are no surprising twists, no giant crises, no big action sequences. And yet, the film carries an emotional weight far heavier than most Hollywood tearjerkers.
Discovery Channel's new series “Animal Face-Off” could be the greatest water cooler show ever invented. That's not to say it's the greatest show ever—there are far too many missed opportunities in the series for it to qualify as essential viewing. But the concept is pure, unadulterated genius. It's guaranteed to spark many a debate at work, at school and on the playground.
Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:
When I win the Powerball, I'm going to quit this job and live a life of self-indulgence and shameless excess. Sleep ’til noon! Tuaca shots and table dancing all night! A fleet of Hummers in the seven-car garage of my Pueblo-Gothic mansion! But when I get tired of all the partying, I'll do some volunteer work. My first philanthropic effort will be to rewrite the menu of pretty much every restaurant in town. I will strive toward organization, simplicity, accuracy and correct spelling. No longer will Vietnamese cafés list 132 items, 42 of which are rice vermicelli and meat in different combinations. You will simply order vermicelli and then make your own combination from the list: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, egg roll. You want enchiladas? You won't have to read three pages of menu, just make a small series of decisions: yellow or blue corn tortillas, beef or chicken, red or green, rolled or stacked, à la carte or plate. I'll give unusual dishes appetizing names and descriptions that actually mean something (I'm sure there's a better way to describe a bowl of soup with well done beef, tendon, tripe and fat). And I'll ban overly confusing terms from the menu. If Scalo wants to serve poussin, fine. But I'm calling it young chicken.
March 12 was the last day of lunch service at Monte Vista Fire Station (Central and Monte Vista NW). Chef Tony Nethery decided to focus his efforts on the already tempting dinner menu and expand the upstairs bar's snack menu. The restaurant now opens at 5 p.m. “Dinner-only is a blast,” Nethery says. “I'm really working on the bar menu, making more nice, small plates. They're not tapas, but like that.” Ted Nicely, Monte Vista's pastry chef, says he's happy to have more time for one of his favorite activities: making ice cream. Nicely offers four or five ice creams and about as many sorbets, in flavors ranging from milk chocolate-hazelnut to raspberry balsamic, guava and pecan praline. His ice cream sandwich is made with flourless chocolate brownies flavored with orange zest, cinnamon and pistachios, on either side of a disc of Earl Grey and coffee-cardamom ice cream. Go ahead, pause for a moment and try to imagine how all those flavors come together. I, for one, plan to take one for the team and try it out in person.
A chat with Matt Nichols, chef and general manager
By Gwyneth Doland
Gold Street Caffé (218 Gold SW), a popular sidewalk spot for breakfast and lunch, began serving dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays. This development is one of many changes Matt Nichols has planned for the coming months.
Our guide to some of the most appetizing possibilities
By Laura Marrich
Few things work up a bigger appetite than a hot, sunny day spent sitting in church, making the family rounds and chasing after a gaggle of pint-sized egg-hunters who are deliriously hopped up on sugar. After you factor in the time it'll take to clean the puddles of food coloring and egg bits off your floor, you've got to wonder if your sanity is worth a few more hours spent in the kitchen. (It's not). Maybe you can't cook in the first place. Maybe the glare of your mother's pristine cast iron skillet taunts you every morning with memories of perfectly flipped pancakes that you'll never be able to reproduce. No matter. Easter is the brunch holiday, so do it up! This year, leave the work to the professionals and start a new family tradition at one of these excellent restaurants. Or make plans to dump the kids off with relatives and take a few hours of mimosa-induced respite with your loved one. Either way, someone else gets stuck with the dishes.
Were the mayoral election held today and not at the end of next year, Mayor Martin Chavez would not be re-elected no matter how much money he raises and spends. Given the field of interested candidates (Marty, former D.A. Bob Schwartz, City Councilor Eric Griego, and State Sen. Linda Lopez to name some) odds are Schwartz would leave his post as Gov. Bill Richardson's crime guru and take up residence on the 11th floor of City Hall.
Find a pulse in our public schools before looking for one on Mars
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Last fall, New Mexicans approved two constitutional amendments dealing with education. One provided millions of dollars for educational reform. The other revamped the state department of education, bringing it under the governor's authority.
Dateline: Scotland—A would-be vampire working at the Edinburgh Dungeons' horror tour has been removed from her job after fainting at the sight of blood. Marianne Sellar, who plays a vampire at the popular tourist attraction, was about to take a bite from a "victim" planted in the audience when another audience member announced that she had a nosebleed. Ms. Sellar, 24, collapsed and was forced to admit to her bosses that she has had a life-long phobia of blood. "It is quite embarrassing," Sellar told the Daily Mail. "I had managed to keep my phobia a secret for three years because normally we only deal with fake blood, which I can handle. When the visitor showed me all the real blood, I just collapsed." Ms. Sellar has been moved to another part of the tourist attraction and a new actress is being trained to replace her role in the Dungeons' feature tour "Vampires: Fact or Fiction?"
Remember that nifty deck of cards that the Bush administration distributed just after we invaded Iraq? The cards were designed to be distributed among members of our armed services to aid in capturing the nastiest members of the Baath regime. They were also designed to popularize an invasion that with each passing day seems to have less and less to do with the war on terrorism.
The Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin once wrote that "the passion for destruction is also a creative passion." This sentiment fuels much of the murderous, hallucinogenic action in the Vortex Theatre's production of Methods to Madness, a darkly funny play by Joel Murray about the art and thrill of acting.
Sometimes editors publish writers before they are ready. Confirming that are three recent books from Curbstone Press: E. Ethelbert Miller's How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love (paper, $12.95); George Evans and Nguyen Qui Duc's translation of Huu Thunh's The Time Tree (paper, $15.95); and Margaret Sayers Peden's translation of Claribel Alegria's Casting Off (paper, $13.95). Too often I found these books stuffed with short poems that read as toss-offs and really merited further thought before inclusion.
Over the last few years, Eric Schlosser has built up a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most innovative journalists in the country. His first book, Fast Food Nation, a huge bestseller, was Schlosser's ambitious exposé of our country's fast food industry. Among other frightening facts, the book revealed an almost complete lack of governmental oversight of the meat-packing industry. He also discussed some of the truly disgusting pathogens and other nasty bits found in much of our fast food.
The peachiest children's story of all time will be transplanted from the page to the stage starting this week when the Albuquerque Little Theatre presents a production of Roahl Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. Bring the kids. Bring your grandmammy. The classic story of James Henry Trotter and his long and dangerous journey inside the vehicle of a giant fuzzy fruit is truly fun for the whole family. If that isn't enough, there will, I'm told, be an honest-to-god giant peach ensconced right on stage. The play opens on April Fool's Day and runs through August 10. $6. Call for times. 242-4750.
The Richard Levy Gallery brings together work from 10 emerging artists in a show opening this week. From Todd Anderson's comedic red prints from his "First Aid for Beautiful People" series to Vincent Burke's latex, paint and steel landscapes to Saya Woolfalk's colorful brain-smashing paintings and sculptures, this exhibit presents pieces on the razor-sharp cutting-edge of contemporary art. Spring Fever opens on April 4 and runs through May 7. For details, call 766-9888.
An Interview with an Albuquerque couple living well below the poverty line
By Singeli Agnew
Chuck Hosking and Mary Ann Fiske won't be paying personal income taxes this year. In fact, it's been two decades since they've had to. The couple married in 1971 after meeting in New York City's lower east side, and a deliberate process of downward mobility has been a part of their life together from the beginning. Their annual income is well below the $15,800 taxable minimum for a married couple, and every year they donate over half of what they earn to charities in impoverished nations, such as giving thousands of dollars annually to a health clinic in Nicaragua.
As we go through the yearly ritual of glumly assessing our own tax bills, we are simultaneously digesting news of war in strong daily doses: increasing fatalities, fresh conflicts and the startling numbers associated with funding on-going military endeavors. Military spending, which had been on a modest decline through most of the '90s, is again rising sharply. And we are paying for it.
The Eyeliners are back on the radar this week, and are pleased to announce plans for a new record in the near future. The prolific punk rock trio were recently approached by Joan Jett and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts producer Kenny Laguna about working together on a new album to be released on Jett's Blackheart Records. The Eyeliners will begin recording next month in New York City. Eyeliners bassist Lisa says the band have 14 new songs ready to go that are far better than anything they've done in the past, saying, “We have grown so much as musicians in the time since Sealed With A Kiss was released and we intentionally spent a lot of time writing this record. We have never had the extravagance of spending this much time in the studio, so [we] promise that this album will be well worth the wait.” ... Local Top 40 cover band Wyld Country will give a free concert on Saturday, March 27, at Camel Rock Casino (10 minutes north of Santa Fe) at 9:30 p.m. in the Rock Showroom in case you get sick of losing at the roulette table. ... Violinist Willy Sucre and a few of his musical pals will perform once again for the Placitas Artists Series on March 28, at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. The quartet will perform works by Copland, Steinbach and Brahms. Tickets are $15. Call 867-8080 or visit www.PlacitasArts.org for more information.
There's really nothing surprising about Roswell Rudd's latest musical endeavor. To be sure, a duo consisting of trombone and fingerpicked acoustic guitar is an unlikely combination of instruments to say the least. But Rudd, afterall, is considered one of the pioneers of avant-garde and free jazz. Rudd recently questioned in a public letter how a 68-year-old veteran Dixieland player such as himself could still be considered avant-garde. Well, Ros, there ain't too many 68-year-old trombonists tearin' it up on stage with acoustic guitar virtuosos in a free jazz format.
Wednesday, March 31; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 8 p.m.): Not surprisingly, Jimmie Vaughan has long been overshadowed as a musician by the astonishing six-string prowess of his late younger brother Stevie Ray. But it was the tragic death of Stevie, not that he was a far superior guitarist to Jimmie as many believe, that forever enshrined him as the greatest blues revivalist that ever lived. Fact is, it was Jimmie Vaughan that captivated American audiences in the '70s and '80s with the most original blues sounds since Buddy Guy. It was Jimmie who inspired Stevie Ray to play. See, Jimmie's the roots of it all, widespread popularity notwithstanding.
Thursday, April 1; Macey Center (N.M. Tech Campus, Socorro, all ages, 8 p.m.)/Saturday, April 3; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
The Foxx guitarist/vocalist Juliet Legend has found her niche. After several recordings and tours with the Rondelles, she's proceeded to co-front a band that perfectly blends campy '60s pop and the kind of trashy '70s glam rock that exploded out of Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls. Garage guitars and a strict Romantics groove lend themselves perfectly to dual, male/female vocals and syrupy-but-sincere lyrics, mostly about the boy-girl stuff that makes the world go 'round. "Ready to Go" is a hit waiting to happen, and my current favorite song, period. The next band signed out of Albuquerque? Very likely.
I'm a big fan of bizarro music, and nothing in the modern musical universe is more bizarre than contemporary "classical" music. From freaky polyrhythms to scales that have no relation whatsoever to the standard 12-tone note series familiar to Western listeners, you never know what you're going to get.
Alexander Rodchenko: Modern Photography, Photomontage and Film at the UNM Art Museum
By Steven Robert Allen
Hopping from Vancouver to California to New York to Spain, a major traveling exhibit of work by the legendary Russian avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko has finally made its way to Albuquerque. The exhibit offers viewers a rare opportunity to consider the profound contributions Rodchenko made to 20th century modernist art while working within the restrictive confines of an authoritarian state.
I love a good cemetery, largely because death and decay, like chocolate and peanut butter, always seem to go so well together. David Bach and Lauri Dickinson's interest in cemeteries is somewhat less morbid than mine. A new exhibit of Bach's black and white photographs and Dickinson's wax-encased mixed-media images focuses on the quiet, gentle aspects of bone yards all over the world. The Way of All Flesh opens this Friday, March 26, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Inpost Artspace. The show runs through April 26. 268-0044.
Director David Nava has brought a new production of Shakespeare's disturbing tragedy Othello to the Adobe Theater stage. As head of the American Shakespeare Project, Nava has plenty of experience staging Shakespeare, so this classic tale of revenge, jealousy and betrayal should be worth checking out. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $12 general, $10 students/seniors. The play runs through April 11. 892-0697.
Phil Ciofalo, 81, is tired of being pestered by a constant humming noise in his house—and is even more annoyed by the fact that he can't figure out where it originates.
Ciofalo, a retired chemical engineer, has lived in his far Northeast Heights home since 1984. His doctor says he has the hearing of a newborn baby. He started hearing the noise roughly three and a half years ago.
"The sound got worse (with time) and now it's going on day and night. You hear a vibration like a truck idling in your driveway."
Ciofalo said at first people thought he was crazy but then they began to hear it, too. "People ask 'how can you live with the noise?' I have a cassette player and natural sound tapes to help me sleep." Ciofalo said a friend of his described the hum as a steady stream of noise accompanied by an intermittent pulse. Similar complaints have been reported in Taos for years.
It is too bad that our actions speak louder than our words. If that were not so, our treatment of other countries would go into the history books as benign, altruistic, principled. We would be trusted. We would be a beacon of hope. Those are the things that our leaders have always said we stand for.
Dateline: France—A 35-year-old artist, allegedly traumatized over the recent bombings in Spain, was convicted of trying to run over a pedestrian he believed to be Osama bin Laden. The artist, identified only as Pierre, was sentenced last Tuesday by a court in southern France. Pierre was handed a three-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the victim $615. "If it was [bin Laden], we would have won $5 million," said Pierre's lawyer, David Mendel, referring to the U.S. government's reward for the wanted terrorist. Unfortunately, the victim was not bin Laden. The pedestrian—a man in his 30s—was able to run away from Pierre's car, which crashed along the side of a street near the historic center of Montpellier. Mendel told the court that his client was "the victim of a hallucination."
Like watching the credits for LOTR: Return of the King, the March 15 council meeting made one aware of the thousands of people working off screen as city employees, outside experts, volunteers, neighborhood groups, consultants, boards, committees and interagency coordinators. Reports on the 2025 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the Middle Rio Grande Regional Water Plan represented two of the largest efforts.
Who's Uncle Graham?—Filmmaker Candy Jones takes viewers on a humorous, but insightful 60-year tour through New Mexico's nuclear history in her new documentary Do It for Uncle Graham. The film will screen on Saturday, March 27, at 11 a.m. at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Exploring her "big three" topics—denial, deception and creative communication—writer/director/narrator Jones takes us from Trinity to Hiroshima to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to examine some well-known and some not-so-well-known events in our state's history. Interviews include former Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall, Navajo Tribal President Joe Shirley and New Mexico Interior Departments James Bearzi. The film is inspired by Jones' relative, Uncle Graham, a former State Legislator during New Mexico's pioneer days. For more information on the film and the screening, log on to www.doitforunclegraham.com
Ben Affleck has had an amazing career, nailing roles in hit films such as Good Will Hunting, Armageddon, Dogma and Changing Lanes. He's got the ability to play the jerk as well as the compassionate guy, but when it comes to romantic characters Affleck should leave them to the experts instead of getting in over his head the way he did in Gigli, and now Jersey Girl.
Following the “Great Blackout of 2004”—during which all Viacom channels were removed from the DISH Network service for a torturous 48-hour period—I found myself scraping the bottom of my satellite dish, looking for some small scraps of entertainment. At the time, there was every possibility that I would never see the likes of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon or MTV2 ever again. Since life without “Spongebob Squarepants” was far too dark to contemplate, I flipped channels searching for solace in some heretofore-undiscovered gem. I can't say I found very many of them, but I did spend a bit of time checking out some stations I'd previously remote controlled my way right past.
Cannes is the prestigious film festival. Hollywood goes there to rub elbows with Europeans and to prove how arty it is. Sundance is the trendy film festival. Hollywood goes there to see and be seen. Toronto is the industry film festival. Hollywood goes there to sell product and to promote its upcoming slate of movies. Which leaves Austin's annual South by Southwest Film Festival and Conference with one distinction. SXSW is the cool film fest.
There is a certain kind of relief found by throwing up. Like its bodily function cousins the sneeze and the orgasm, vomiting is the culmination of a sometimes lengthy lead-up—though in vomit's case, the lead up and release are much, much less enjoyable. Of course this pertains to the I-should-never-have-eaten-from-that-taco-stand kind of terrible food poisoning retch, or the I-would-rather-die-than-live-like-this variety of convulsive hurling, rather than the sudden surprise of the what?-I-only-did-three-beer-bongs sort of projectile upchuck. Most drunken barfing (like most other bodily functions that occur while drunk) is subdued by numbed nerves and doesn't have the same kind of painful prelude or remission. But when you're really sick and the body is telling you to purge, dammit, purge! there often comes this rebellious sense of reluctance, a back-pedaling of the intestinal tract. The gut warns that it is prepared to eliminate all offending contents but the brain says no, no, no! Batten down the hatches! Which is silly, really, because the post-vomit sensation of cool porcelain snuggled up against your hot cheek is the best feeling you'll have had all day. So embrace retching, I say. Be one with your nausea and approach the coming heave with at least the same casual disregard you would a sneeze or at best, with something more like eager gusto.
The city's first Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop opened last week at 11225 Montgomery NE (at Juan Tabo). Three new Ben and Jerry's flavors are now available at the shop and this lucky girl was able to preview them a few days before the opening. Chocolate Carb Karma has a reduced carb count for those of you Atkins dieters Jonesin for some ice cream. Primary Berry Graham is a strawberry cheesecake ice cream with a stripe of graham cracker that will make you dig through the pint to follow its rich vein. By the way, both Primary Berry Graham and Dublin Mudslide (Irish cream liqueur ice cream with chocolate, chocolate cookies and coffee fudge swirl) are partners with Rock the Vote's voter registration and motivation campaign. Pints of these flavors carry nonpartisan voter registration information on the containers and portions of the proceeds will benefit Rock the Vote.
Dos Amigos, a down-to-earth New Mexican restaurant at 2039 Fourth NW, has only been open about a year but by the looks of the steady stream of regulars flowing in and out, the place could have been there for generations. Co-owner Michele Bernard talks about what gives the place that old-time feeling.