The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back
What's your favorite New Mexican food? What's your favorite dinosaur? Ok, now put them together and what do you get? An Enchiladodon? A Chileopteryx? A Tacoraptor? A Sopaipillatops? Awesome! Get ready for the T. Rex of “Best of City” contests: The original Best of Burque Restaurants will be hitting Weekly Alibi racks and website on Thursday, Oct. 12. The polls are open now. Vote on your favorite Frito pie, vegetarian food, Japanese restaurant and local brewery. Let your voice be heard! Rawr!
An interview with FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
There are certain beliefs in America that we the people hold to be self-evident. We think of ourselves as a capitalistic society, for example, where everyone has an opportunity to buy and sell goods and services in an openly competitive, free market. After all, if you pay attention to the rhetoric coming out of Washington, you know free enterprise is a vital component to keeping our democracy strong and our economy sound. (Of course, these same politicians fail to see that giving billions of dollars in tax subsidies to massive, highly profitable oil, gas, coal, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries does not exactly foster a free, competitive market—but that's a whole other matter.)
Are you a great lover of literature? Do you have a special fondness for mysteries set in the Southwest? Or are you just a pompous egomaniac?
Albuquerque Contemporary 2004 at the Albuquerque Museum
Gronk is roughly the sound a goose makes while chasing away a potential predator, but don't let that confuse you. Gronk also happens to be a renowned Los Angeles performance and visual artist best known for his spectacular murals. This year, he was also the juror responsible for selecting entries in Albuquerque Contemporary 2004, Magnífico's 15th annual exhibit of some of the best contemporary artists from the Albuquerque area.
John Edwards isn't the only one who thinks there are two Americas. Erin Currier's complex, multi-media paintings take a nose-dive into the inky pit of our multicultural nation, revealing that the United States is considerably more than just a bunch of pansy white boys like me (and John Edwards). Currier's exhibit, The Other America, opens this Saturday, Aug. 7, with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. at Parks Gallery in Taos. It's worth the long ride to check out this amazing art. The show runs through Aug. 24. (505) 751-0343.
Today marks the first time I've ever had a waiter tell me the special was "fucking great." Actually, come to think of it, I know a lot of waiters and it's entirely possible that one of them, at one time or another, may have described a dish to me as "fucking great," but I didn't know this guy at all. Probably he just forgot for a minute that he was at work and that he was supposed to be acting like a grownup. So for a brief minute he spoke to us totally honestly. Would we have believed him as completely if he had described the dish as “excellent”? Probably not. My dining companion and I appreciated his enthusiasm. Why waste time being offended? He was just being sincere. Plus, he was right; the special was fucking great.
Several readers have written in to recommend Geo's in Rio Rancho (3301 Southern, 891-4800). The owner, George Menza, is an Oregon native who spent some time cooking in New Orleans before moving to New Mexico. In a story that is familiar to many non-native New Mexicans, Menza was driving from Virginia to Oregon when he stopped in Albuquerque last year. After three days he knew this was the place for him. Menza bought a house and went back to Oregon to pack up his things. Geo's is a lunch and dinner joint that serves what Chef Menza describes as European food. I said, so does that mean not old fashioned but old school? Yes, he said. Imagine a menu full of Veal Oscar, lamb chops and classic dishes flavored richly with fresh herbs. That's what I imagined as Menza described his food. His Oregon restaurant had been called Hot Off the Brick and drew heavily from the Italian tradition. Out in Rio Rancho, Geo's resides in a shopping center that is also home to a Pasta Café, a situation that prevents Menza from doing too much Italian food. No matter. He's recently made up a new dish: Chicken Imperial, a chicken breast topped with sautéed ham, cremini mushrooms and onions, asparagus and Hollandaise. Mmmm, Hollandaise.
The skinny on trans fat-free shortening
When Crisco appeared on the scene in 1911, it was the first solid shortening made entirely of vegetable oil, not lard. Solid shortening was the result of a technological breakthrough, called hydrogenation, that transformed liquid vegetable oil into a solid. Crisco was marketed as more sanitary than the commonly used animal fats and its popularity grew. Shortening steadily replaced lard in pie crusts and for deep frying. When Americans became concerned with the heart-damaging effects of saturated fats, solid vegetable shortening was again a popular alternative.
To a New Englander like me, there are two sure signs that summer is truly in full bloom: stacks of fresh corn in every seaside village and quarts of blueberries piled as high as an elephant's eye. You can't drive along a country road anywhere in Massachusetts without passing a little fruit stand mounded on one side with corn and on the other with thin wooden punnets of blueberries, newly picked and all yours for 99 cents a quart.
Partisans argue over who is truly "the terrorists' candidate"
With the publication of two incendiary pieces of propaganda in recent weeks, the level of political discourse between parties has descended into the ranks of presumptive second guessing and outrageously speculative sloganeering. Painting the other guy as Osama's favorite is the new all-purpose character smear among partisans in this fiercely contested election.
The 2004 Democratic National Convention may have been more scripted, micromanaged and shrink-wrapped than ever before, but at least you could find media coverage that was refreshingly unpandering. For the first time, one-man-sapper crews of bloggers were welcome on the convention floor, undermining the sterile, party-approved packaging to present their subjective view of the events.
New Mexico Wildlife Federation president says "Hell no!" to drilling
Ellery Worthen enjoys hunting for big game, because he likes eating big game. He also describes himself as a maniacal waterfowl hunter, who has lived out his passion in New Mexico for the past 50 years. "I love to call ducks so much, sometimes I forget to shoot," he said.
"Let me offer some history of what brought us to this controversy"
We have just completed a walk through with the governor of the area at the Petroglyph Monument in dispute with the extension of Paseo del Norte. Once again both sides have presented the same arguments with Gov. Richardson trying to bring compromise to an issue that was resolved years ago; that compromise was established when all parties agreed to the extension and the Petroglyph Park. To now seek a compromise of a compromise is unfair to those residents of the Westside who contributed all that was necessary to establish the Monument.
Dems Play It Safe
As those things go, John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention wasn't bad—his bizarre case of "chin sweat" notwithstanding. No one, of course, expected John Kerry to deliver the virtuoso performance U.S. Senate candidate Barak Obama electrified the donkeys with. That's just not his style .And, to paraphrase a line from Chariots of Fire, no political handler can put in a candidate what God didn't.
Little Progress in Any of Our Wars on Nouns
Right before the Democratic National Convention opened last week in Boston, another Bush appointee made the trip from D.C. to our electorally strategic state for a visit with the grass roots. Clarence Carter, head of the Community Services Administration, was here right after Gail Norton and Tommy Thompson, just before Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Rio Rancho. He came to drum up interest in his attempt to redefine poverty. But his visit raised as many questions as it answered.
Dateline: England—An inmate, upset at conditions in his new minimum security prison, escaped and walked 63 miles back to his old prison. According to The Sun, reformed junkie Paul Parry left the Prescoed prison near Usk, Monmouthshire, and walked for some 30 hours to his old jail in Swansea where prison officers found him knocking on the door begging to be let in. Parry was sentenced to five and a half years in 2002 for smuggling heroin in Wales. A tough anti-drug program at Swansea is credited with helping Parry kick the drug habit. The newly reformed Parry was recently transferred to Prescoed, a halfway house where prisoners have keys to their own cells. Parry's girlfriend told The Sun that the new facility is rife with drugs and that Parry feared he'd slip back into his old habits. A prison panel is deciding now whether Parry can serve out the rest of his term in Swansea.
Political Docs A-plenty—The New Mexico Media Literacy Program is bringing filmmaker Sut Jhally to Albuquerque on Thursday, Aug. 5, to premiere his documentary Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of the American Empire. The film examines how a radical fringe element of the Republican party used the trauma of the 9-11 hijackings to further their pre-existing agenda. The San Francisco Chronicle called the film “sober, yet ultimately uplifting.” The screening will take place at 7 p.m. on the campus of Albuquerque Academy in Simms Auditorium. Jhally, a professor of communication at UMASS and the executive director of the Media Education Foundation, will stick around after the screening for a Q&A with audience members. This event is free and open to the public. Log on to www.mediaed.org for more info.
Shyamalan's twisty new fairy tale is guaranteed to disappoint
Director M. Knight Shyamalan is a talented filmmaker. Make no mistake: He's got intriguing ideas, he's good with a camera, he's a master of atmosphere and he's not afraid to take risks. But the guy is so married to his perceived “gimmick” that he's all but squandered his rather significant Hollywood hype.
Agenda-driven thriller makes politics one scary business
Back in 1962, the politically charged film The Manchurian Candidate was not your average thriller. Based on Richard Condon's equally cynical book, the film concentrated on a group of Korean War soldiers brainwashed by the U.S. government. In the still patriotic post-World War II era, it was one of the first mainstream films to express a certain distrust in The Powers That Be. In an untimely bit of coincidence, however, the film was pulled from theaters shortly after its release by producer/star Frank Sinatra when President John F. Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullet (closely mirroring a major plot element in the film). Considered a “hidden classic” until a home video revival a decade or so ago, The Manchurian Candidate remains a prescient political potboiler.
“Entourage” on HBO
HBO continues to impress with its Sunday night lineup. By maintaining a constantly rotating stable of fine comedy and drama—“The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Six Feet Under,” “Carnivale,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Deadwood”—the network is able to keep viewers glued to the day, even if the top shows are canceled (“Sex ...”) or on painfully extended hiatus (“Sopranos”). The newest show to hit HBO's Sunday Night “must see TV” slate is the Hollywood exposé “Entourage.”
The Week in Sloth
I never thought I'd think or write this, but former Toadies' and current Burden Brothers' frontman Todd (a.k.a “Vaden”) Lewis is a prima donna, crybaby, wannabe-rockstar prick. Upset because his band received three, not four, cases of Miller Lite (despite the fact that three cases were contractually agreed upon) and a bartender at the Launchpad who didn't instantly recognize him (who the fuck do you think you are, Sting?) attempted to do his job and charge $5 for a shot, Lewis extracted his revenge by insulting the Launchpad management and staff from the stage. Nice work ... for a 14-year-old. Anyway, I urge you not to buy the Burden Brothers' debut release, even though it rocks. If you really want it, I'll be happy to oblige all requests to burn copies of the disc. ... In “back From the Dead” news, the original Starsky has reformed, featuring guitarist/singer Jason Ward, bassist Wade XXX and drummer Chris Partain. The reformed Starsky will debut Friday, Aug. 13 at the Launchpad and are on-tap for Weekly Alibi Fall Crawl 2004 on Saturday, Aug. 28. And they will probably sound nothing like Pavement. ... In “Gone But Not Forgotten” news, former Drift frontman and one the best rock singers Albuquerque has ever seen, Marty York, is back on the scene with a new band. York and Black Cowboy will debut at Club Rhythm & Blues on Wednesday, Aug. 25.
It's hard to believe, considering the phenomenal level of talent Outpost Productions brings to Albuquerque—99.9 percent of the top jazz talent in the world—that the organization only conducts one fundraising event each year. It's truly one of those rare cases of getting way more than you pay for.
This year's headliner, though not yet a household name, is well on his way to graduating from Young Liondom into the elite class of saxophonists occupied by Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and others synonymous with jazz music's sexiest brass instrument. As evidenced on his latest recording, Lift: Live at the Village Vanguard (Universal), Potter has established himself as one of the most important creative voices in the jazz world. Having cut his teeth as a sideman with Red Rodney, the Mingus Big Band and other notables, Potter has become increasingly more comfortable and powerful as a leader. Better than half the compositions on Lift are of Potter's own creation, but there's a seamless quality between his original works and tunes by Bill Stewart, Ned Washington and Mingus that speaks volumes to the 33-year-old's stature among his peers.
Why Sweden's Hives keep getting compared to The Ramones by critics far and wide is beyond me. For one thing, The Ramones were at least half-serious about what they were doing, whereas The Hives have chosen a path that's 98.6 percent schtick. And that's fine, just as long as they intend their second album to be their last. It takes 30 minutes to get through the dozen songs included here and far less time to forget what you just heard. The collection of tunes isn't bad, but it's sure as hell no Rocket to Russia. Here today, gone tomorrow.
derived biodiesel is hot stuff
"The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum." –Dr. Rudolph Diesel, 1912
Murderers and rapists can get financial aid, but drug offenders—forget it
On Friday, July 22, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) rescinded his support of "The Second Chance Act" (on the last working day, before the 108th Congress adjourned for August recess), and now the bill must be put on hold until at least September.
Darren, what were you thinking? Ah summer! Your mind goes numb in the blazing heat, your body gets even lazier than usual and the average news day is just plain slow.
Another sorry chapter in the Albuquerque Convention Center debacle
If you're a high-ranking city official in the midst of hiring an employee to oversee a couple of multi-million dollar a year contracts the city has with private companies, do you:
If poor gas mileage hurts the U.S. economy and harms public health and the environment, why don't lawmakers call for greater efficiency?
Do you know what CAFE is? No, not your local croissant and cappuccino outlet, this acronym stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy, a spate of vehicle fuel economy requirements mandated by Congress in 1975 in response to the Middle East oil crisis. CAFE rules demanded that automakers increase fuel economy for light-duty vehicles from an average of 13.1 miles per gallon (mpg) to 27.5 mpg for cars and 20.7 mpg for light-duty trucks. They were given until 1985 to come into compliance. What happened? The world did not end! We got cars with better gas mileage.
Dateline: Sweden—Teenagers at a three-day music festival got their mouths washed out with soap—but it was entirely voluntary. It didn't take long for revelers at the Baltic Sea Music Festival in Karlshamn to figure out that the liquid soap used in the portable toilets contained 62 percent alcohol. Carbonated beverages spiked with the detergent soon became the drink of choice over the long weekend. “I suspected something was wrong because the soap went like hot cakes,” Anders Persson, whose company Bajamaja was hired to provide 65 portable latrines, told the Associated Press. Most of the soap dispensers had been smashed open and emptied by the end of the festival. One 14-year-old girl was briefly hospitalized with a minor stomach ache after pouring too much soap into her soda. Access to alcohol is strictly regulated in Sweden, with the state monopoly selling spirits only through a national chain of retail outlets.
Upon arriving home from a brief trip to San Diego last week, I was informed via e-mail that Brewster's Pub, the longstanding watering hole Downtown on Central between Third and Fourth streets, Malarky's and Rebar (formerly Sprockets and Fat Chance) had rather unceremoniously closed up shop. No further information was available at press time and attempts to reach Steve Brewster at his Brewster's establishment in Amarillo, Texas, were unsuccessful (that location remains open), but it does appear that all three local venues have gone home to be with our Lord. Additionally, McGilveray's is said to be closed for remodeling, but their phones are disconnected. Hmm. ... Burt's Tiki Lounge will host one of four billion garage bands on Saturday, July 31, in the form of Las Vegas, Nev. quartet The Black Jetts. Thankfully, they're better than about three billion of their brethren. ... Ani DiFranco will perform at Santa Fe's Paolo Soleri amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 1, with Andrew Bird. Considering the performers we're talking about here, $29.50 is pretty damn cheap for what is likely to be one of best concerts of the summer. Call 883-7800 for more information. ... If you're looking for some horror punk on Wednesday, Aug. 4, head to the Atomic Cantina for a dose of Day of the Sick from Oklahoma, whose CD is so lo-fi it's almost unlistenable. But I could still hear the passion and anger, so I predict a hell of a live show.
Listening to Magic Slim's latest Blind Pig release, Blue Magic, it's hard to believe that one of the greatest living exponents of the Chicago blues (by way of Torrence, Miss.) once left Chicago after deeming himself not skilled enough to compete with Chi Town's big boys in the mid-'50s. For nearly 10 years, the story goes, Slim hunkered down back in Mississippi to hone his chops before reintroducing himself to a roundly stunned Chicago blue community in 1965. Granted, a lot can happen in a decade, but in Slim's case, the evolution was, well, magical to say the least.
Thursday, Aug. 5; Club Rhythm & Blues (21 and over, 8 p.m.): If it weren't for Putnay Thomas, host of KUNM's “The Blues Show” and the man behind the Blues Bizness production company, Albuquerque wouldn't have enjoyed half the legendary blues artists it has over the years. Now, following a brief sabbatical, Putnay's back, and this time he's got Louisiana bluesman Larry Garner in tow.
with The Friendly
Thursday, July 29; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): These days, former Toadies singer and guitarist Todd Lewis is calling himself Vaden Lewis and is busy fronting what amounts to the greatest rock supergroup you've never heard of: The Burden Brothers. Featuring former Reverend Horton Heat and Tenderloin drummer Taz Bently, GWAR's Casey Orr and elite Dallas guitarists Corey Rozzoni and Casey Hess, The Burden Brothers released their debut last November to critical acclaim and almost no airplay whatsoever until recently, when stations with a clue (read: none in Albuquerque) began playing “Beautiful Night.”
with Tilly & the Wall and The Western States
Wednesday, Aug. 4; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): Among the significant number of things David Bazan (a.k.a. Pedro the Lion) does well, it's the ability to keep his audience guessing that seems to best serve him. Where his last two records, particularly 2002's Control, made screeching turns into the cynical and conceptual, the latest Pedro the Lion release, Achilles' Heel (Jade Tree) echoes Bazan's earliest days as a recording artist. He's still quite at home crafting lyrical barbs and carefully implanting them within lo-fi song structures, but on Achilles' Heel, he seems downright pleased to be doing it, which is something of a departure for the often glum-sounding Washingtonian.
He's been called the Paul McCartney to Will Cullen Hart's John Lennon, but, as a Wings fan and unashamed McCartney-ite, I have to say that I'd much rather listen to Bill Doss' post-Olivia Tremor Control output (The Sunshine Fix) than Hart's (Circulatory System). But, frankly, I'm about as bored as I can get with the Elephant 6 collective and their overly saccharine pop of late. TSF's second release is more palatable than their previous, and significantly less campy, but it's got no teeth. Nice melodies, pretty arrangements and nothing else to keep me interested.
Guild Goes Monthly—The Guild Cinema in Nob Hill has finally gotten around to producing their long-promised monthly film schedules. These handy oversized calendars hearken back to the good old days of Albuquerque's late, great repertory theater Don Poncho's. The first schedule features a full two month's worth of Guild films at a glance. Mark up your calendars with all the great foreign, indie and documentary films (not to mention crazed Alibi Midnight Movie Madness selections) that you want to see in the coming weeks. You can pick one up at the Guild Cinema box office, Bound To Be Read, Title Wave, Charlie's Records and Tapes, Il Vicino and Alphaville video.
Damon puts the thrill in thriller with another amped-up outing
In the summer of 2002, The Bourne Identity was an iffy moviegoing prospect. It was based on a pulpy page turner by Robert Ludlum that had been floating around supermarket shelves since 1980. It had been made into a serviceable, if forgettable TV movie staring Richard Chamberlain. And it was to star Matt Damon, who had just tanked in All the Pretty Horses and The Legend of Bagger Vance. In fact, there was every reason to believe that The Bourne Identity would be crushed under the tank treads of The Sum of All Fears, a mega-budget paperback-turned-movie, which had opened two weeks earlier. Surprisingly, Bourne proved to be a sharp and savvy piece of entertainment, grabbing more than $100 million at the box office and its fair share of critical praise.
A movie succeeds or fails based on its own merits. If a film is trying to be a dumb movie, and it undoubtedly is (like, say, Airplane), then it must be deemed a success. If a film is trying its damnedest to gross you out, and it's succeeding (There's Something About Mary, for example), then it is—for lack of a better word—a “good” movie. Given this argument, we can't simply dismiss a film like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Yes, it looks rude, crude and incredibly juvenile—but it's trying really hard to be rude, crude and incredibly juvenile. And in this respect, it is a rousing success.
“Rescue Me” on FX
Networks suck. They do. Network TV is dead to me. Let's just soak the “big three” in kerosene and drop a match. We'll collect the insurance and start a new life in the fertile realm of basic cable. Think about it. When's the last time a new network TV show scored critical raves, high audience ratings and an Emmy or two? Now, think about all the TV shows you talk about around the water cooler at work. I'm guessing 9 out of ten are cable TV shows.
The Week in Sloth
Winos—this one isn't for you. Despite the name, this Saturday's Corkfest 2004 has absolutely nothing to do with the fine art of wine-making. The brainchild of artist Corky Frausto, this groovy backyard shindig is designed to showcase some of the best visual artists from the South Valley and beyond.
The Glass Menagerie at the Cell Theatre
First staged in Chicago in 1944, The Glass Menagerie launched Tennessee Williams' superstar career. Following the huge success of the play, he went on to become a household name, composing a string of enduring American classics. Despite his success, of course, Williams' life was famously miserable from start to finish, and he mined his unhappiness more thoroughly than any other American writer of the 20th century.
In a new show opening this week at Visiones Gallery, Isaac AlaridPease, director of Working Classroom's impressive visual arts program, takes a crack at exhibiting some of his own work. La Calle de Oro features a mixed-media sculptural installation created by AlaridPease, which presents a varied community of people interacting with each other in a gritty urban landscape. The show opens Friday, July 30, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Runs through Sept. 30. 242-9267.
Tricklock Performance Space
A couple months ago, during the Revolutions International Theatre Festival, several Tricklock Company members offered up original one-person performances to theater goers eager to sample a wealth of fringe theater pieces brought in from all over the world. This weekend, four Tricklockers will exhume their shows during the Excavations series. Chad Brummett and Kevin R. Elder will split the bill on Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. Joe Pesce and Juli Etheridge hit the stage on Friday, July 30, at 8 p.m. Don't miss this opportunity to see original work by some of Albuquerque's finest. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393.
The lovable Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives and third man in line for the presidency, makes a rare appearance at the Coronado Mall branch of Barnes and Noble (6600 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, 883-8200) on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at noon. He's taking a break from wrecking the nation for a few days to promote his new book, Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics. In it, Hastert shares buckets of wisdom gathered from long careers as a wrestling coach and political hack. Expect lots of creepy secret service types, sporting sunglasses and long black coats, sweating their federal balls off in the August heat. Please stop by to tell Mr. Speaker what a wonderful job he's doing for our country.
“Ohh, this cabbage is so spicy!" a friend of mine recently exclaimed over dinner in uptown Minneapolis. Her Nordic eyes were ablaze and beginning to well with tears, bulging with the intensity of someone who had just plowed into her first bowl of kim chi. But this was no case of Korean cabbage. This was clearly laughter, and she was definitely making fun of me. I guess I can't say that I blame her. As a native New Mexican, I've developed a pretty cavalier attitude about how other states season their food. Heartfelt attempts at salsa and "chili" are cute at best, but ultimately all are met with my snorting rebukes. "Not enough heat," I boast, dousing my plate with hot sauce. "Yessir," this seems to say, "I am one spicy badass." So while visiting friends in Minnesota, I took it upon myself to prove that the Midwest is also the world capital of flavorless cuisine. How did I do this? By brazenly knocking back what was hands down the spiciest Bloody Mary of my life, choking on it and finally snorting out a nostril full of Clamato-infused magma onto my shirt. I swear to you, my lips were numb for 10 minutes. So, here it is, Minneapolis: I was wrong. Turns out the Midwest really can take the heat.
All the cool kids are going to Belen for dinner. Well, not really, but there is a new restaurant there that might make you want to go. The Wild Boar Steakhouse is the creation of Kenneth Grey and his three sons (the beginnings of a culinary Brady Bunch?). Every member of the family has worked in the restaurant biz before, and they have combined their efforts into one super-project, hoping to create a reason to stay in or migrate to Belen for your next great meal. Grey told us that all of their food is made from scratch, from the salad dressings to hand-patted burgers and a fresh batch of sauce for each pasta order. They cut their own steak and encrust it with chile, devein their own shrimp, and marinate their own filets. Look for Wild Boar Steakhouse at 301 Rio Communities Blvd., between State Road 304 and Highway 47 in Belen. Call (505) 864-7788 for more info.
The secret's in the chile paste.
Koreans have enjoyed the "hurts so good" school of cooking since at least the first half of the last millennium. Even then they were experimenting with a small arsenal of incredibly potent spices, including a popular strain of Chinese peppercorns known as tang chu, or the "suffering plant." The late 1500s brought Portuguese missionaries through Japan, loaded down with New World agricultural products. Their Godly message may have gotten lost in translation, but the spicy peppers they introduced certainly weren't. It was only a matter of time before chilies had migrated into what's now North and South Korea, where they've since become firmly rooted in Korea's culinary and cultural identity.
When it comes to water conservation, no one can deny that Albuquerque has come a long way in a short time. Since the U.S. Geological Survey's 1993 report shattered our illusions about having a never ending supply of fresh water in the aquifer, the city has rapidly implemented a number of ambitious—and absolutely necessary—reforms in water use.
Whatever your beat—drugs, arson or simple water violations—one unfortunate rule always seems to apply: Some people never learn. No matter how often they're slapped with fees, fines and penalties, these ne'er do wells continue to break the same law that landed them in trouble in the first place. By now, Carol Edwards, one of only three full-time "water cops" in the city, knows these repeat offenders all too well. Every day she confronts their reluctance to curb water waste. For her sake and the sake of our beleaguered aquifer, it's time to introduce them to their friends, neighbors and the city at large.
Documentary Debut—The Santa Fe Film Festival will sponsor a special screening of Zana Briski and Ross Kaufman's award-winning documentary Born into Brothels this Thursday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. The screening will take place at The Screen on the College of Santa Fe campus. Born into Brothels captures the life of an unforgettable group of children. Feisty, resilient and wickedly funny, these kids are the offspring of the prostitutes who occupy Calcutta's red light district. Determined to evade their doomed future, they embark on a transformational journey with New York-based photographer Zana Briski, who teaches them the explore their world through the art of photography. This exuberant, unsentimental film nabbed both the Documentary Award and the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and looks to be a sellout event; so get there early. Tickets are $9 and are available at the door (1600 St. Michael's Drive).
Beautiful cultural documentary highlights hearty herders and lachrymose livestock
The Story of the Weeping Camel is a terrible title for a movie. It sounds like a parody of an art house title—the kind of dry, foreign-sounding film only Ivy League hippies would be caught dead buying a ticket for. That's too bad. Because The Story of the Weeping Camel is a gorgeous, good old-fashioned documentary all but devoid of political agenda or sociological rhetoric.
Damning doc proves companies are people too—and not very nice ones
Objectivity, once considered a virtue in the world of documentary filmmaking, has all but vanished from theaters, becoming a distant, if sorely lamented, memory. Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock's two-hour exercise in gimmickry, hammered home its most obvious points, allowing no room, or opportunity, for debate. Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was stubborn in its refusal to acknowledge both sides of its argument, resulting in a film that will entertain the already converted but alienate those who aren't yet convinced. Now, with The Corporation, audiences are given yet another reason to join hands, debate over coffee and plant a pipe bomb in the neighborhood Nike factory.
“The Graham Norton Effect” on Comedy Central
The Beatles did it big time. The Rolling Stones are still doing it. Robbie Williams tried several times and eventually gave up. At some point, it seems, every Brit has to try and conquer America. Now it's British talk show host Graham Norton's turn.
The Week in Sloth
I'm a pig man myself. By that, I don't mean I'm half-pig, half-man—despite what a couple bitter ex-girlfriends might tell you. All I mean is that I'm partial to pigs. I like them. I feel an affinity for them, so to speak.
Circles, Stripes and Checks at Galerie E
Throughout the late '60s and '70s, Rini Price regularly exhibited her art. In 1979, however, she underwent a difficult operation for cancer, an experience that dramatically changed her attitude toward her work. Although her cancer hasn't recurred since 1984, Price has rarely exhibited over the last two decades, content to create her art outside the public eye.
Santa Fe Plaza
The oldest and largest exhibit and sale of Spanish colonial artifacts in the United States kicks off this weekend on the Santa Fe Plaza. Currently in its 53rd year, the Traditional Spanish Market brings in buyers and browsers from all over the country to check out music and dance performances, demonstrations, food and, most importantly, lots of great art from over 200 native New Mexican artists. The market occurs this Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, log on to www.spanishcolonial.org or call (505) 982-2226.
One of our city's most anticipated art events is always Magnífico's annual juried exhibit of Albuquerque area artists. This year, Gronk, the nationally acclaimed Los Angeles performance and visual artist, did the jurying, so there's a good chance the show will be even more radical than it's been in years past. I'm excited, and you should be too. Albuquerque Contemporary 2004 opens Saturday, July 24, with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Albuquerque Museum. The show runs through Sept. 5. 243-7255.
John Ryan's candidacy for a seat in the Legislature raises ghosts from the past, highlights divisions among state GOP leaders
John Ryan, just like anybody else, has had his good days and bad days. Last inweek, though, the state Senate candidate had a particularly stressful day when a felony conviction from his past resurfaced after he sent a letter to prospective voters acknowledging his "participation in a burglary" more than 20 years ago.
Welcome to the most read and most trusted column in Albuquerque. That's right, Thin Line is a no spin zone, where we report, you decide. Some people say Thin Line is the most fair and balanced journalism you will find anywhere in the United States. And that's a good thing, because other news outlets, unlike Thin Line, are so skewed and biased, you and me practically puke at the sight of it.
Dateline: England—In what sounds like a textbook example of “adding insult to injury,” a 28-year-old man, who shot himself in the groin after drinking 15 pints of beer and stuffing a sawed-off shotgun down his pants, was sentenced to five years in jail recently. David Walker underwent emergency surgery after the March 26 incident in Dinnington. Prosecuting lawyer Andrew Hatton told the court that Walker had gone home to get the shotgun after arguing in the pub with lifelong friend Stuart Simpson about whose turn it was to buy a beer. Walker retrieved the illegal shotgun and returned to the pub, only to find it closed. At that point, Walker apparently discharged the weapon on accident. “He had it shoved down his trousers,” Hatton said. “After the shotgun had discharged, he placed it in a rubbish bin and crawled home.” Walker told officers he was so drunk he had no idea how he managed to shoot himself or why he had gone home for the gun. Walker was sentenced to a mandatory five years thanks to recent legislation regarding banned weapons. Tests are continuing to determine if Walker would be left infertile.
Compliments and scorn come in all colors
When it comes to doling out compliments to city bureaucrats, I'll be the first to admit that I tend to be more Simon Cowell than Paula Abdul. But after watching him speak at a recent meeting of the Economic Forum, I have to say that Jay Czar was one of our best public servants and will be greatly missed.
Voters get to decide in November
One of the three proposed state constitutional amendments that will be on this November's ballot could create a very interesting scenario for Albuquerque's next mayoral election if it passes. Constitutional Amendment 3 will permit municipalities to hold runoff elections.
If you like your punk rock with a generous side of pretentiousness, then Austin's—by way of Paris according to the band's bio—Les Messieurs du Rock will more than please you on Friday night, July 16, at the Atomic Cantina. Other Austin bands like And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead and Those Peabodys are well-known for their asshole-ish swagger, but Les Messieurs make both of those bands seem as polite and down-to-Earth as Hootie and the Blowfish.
When I first began to play this disc of centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist chant by monks praying in the pine-forested foothills of northern India's Kangra Valley, I naively thought I could use it as background music. Forget it. These chants are too powerful. The reason this disc won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album is simple: It's the real thing.
Like so few musicians today, San Francisco rockers Communiqué remember the nonpejorative meaning of pop: buoyant melodies, clear, repetitive structures and a musical sense of humor. Granted, this group's roots still cling to emo sensibilities, which emerge occasionally as a hint of over-earnestness in the lyrics, but their sharp musicianship forgives all. New wave synths tastefully enhance the band's solid sound without feeling contrived or extraneous—a real feat—while the songwriting can bring a smile to your face long after the record's stopped playing. This is the true essence of pop.
Why is it that the best fruits for making pies happen to ripen when only a complete idiot would be willing to turn on her oven? One particularly cruel Alibi staffer keeps bringing in peaches from his yard. This morning I noticed that he brought in just about enough for a nice, deep-dish peach pie. Mmm, peach pie. I like to toss my sliced peaches with just a touch of almond extract instead of vanilla. And in the summer I think pie tastes best the next day, especially if it's been refrigerated. There's nothing like a slice of cold pie for breakfast! If the oven is a no-go, you can always slice fresh peaches and top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Try making a peachy milkshake or a smoothie with yogurt and honey. Purée the peaches and freeze them in popsicle molds or little paper cups. Soak slices in bourbon and brown sugar; eat the peaches and sip the bourbon on the porch after a nice meal of fried chicken. Make it up as you go along! Just stay away from the stove.
Pat and Terry Keene will relinquish management of Bien Shur to Sandia Pueblo next month. The Keenes, who also own Artichoke Café, have run Sandia Casino's upscale Bien Shur restaurant for three and a half years. According to Sandia Pueblo Gov. Stuwart Paisano, the parting of ways was amicable. "Our relationships with the Keenes has been fabulous. We were skeptical at the beginning when we started the restaurant, so we solicited the experts [the Keenes] to come in and manage it for us. They were scared too but everyone did a tremendous job." So why spoil the fun? "Growth is putting a damper on it," he says. The pueblo will operate Bien Shur through the end of 2004 when it will be closed for 10 months of renovations that will transform the area into a dining room for the casino's expanded 500-seat buffet restaurant. Construction is already underway for an adjacent hotel that will provide a new home for Bien Shur as well as another proposed restaurant. Paisano said that while the pueblo was interested in attracting national chain restaurants, those restaurants may be located inside the casino or on pad sites nearby. When construction is completed next year, there will be five restaurants in or next to the casino. "We're very interested in diversifying away from gaming and offering a well-rounded type of dining experience," the governor said. (GD)
Reagan's vegetable meets the Heinz-Kerry fortune
Ordinarily, ketchup would don its crown as the summer cookout condiment par excellence without any help from the president of the United States (past, present or future).
stuffed squash blossoms
If you've ever grown zucchini in your garden then you know how prolific squash plants are. They just keep growing and growing and growing. It seems every time you blink there's another squash the size of a loaf of Wonder Bread lurking under an umbrella-sized leaf. It can be hard to keep up with them. One method is to pluck the blossoms before a squash can grow or when the blossom is still attached to a finger-sized baby squash. The blossoms can be tossed into salads, stirred into simmering soups or chopped and added to pancake or crêpe batter. They can also be stuffed and then either poached or battered and deep fried.