Alibi V.14 No.10 • March 10-16, 2005

New Mexico Hempfest!

Saturday, August 19, noon-9pm

It's Aug. 19, 2017. You're getting evaluated by a real medical doctor. You're making tie-dye. You're learning more about your medicine. You're supporting legalization of a useful plant. You're eating delicious food. Where are you? At the first annual New Mexico HempFest of course! Entry is totally free, and parking is a measly $1 per car at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. You are roaming around enjoying live music from local bands, a Hemposium tent with exciting speakers, a kids' activity area and dozens of regional artists, farmers, educators, plus lots of tasty food trucks. You're with all your friends and family at this all-ages, family-friendly event and having an absolute blast celebrating New Mexico's hemp industry.

Jurassic Best of Burque Restaurants World

The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back

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

feature

Love in the Time of Abstinence

This year, the Bush administration wants to spend more than $200 million on abstinence-until-marriage education in an effort to convince teens that the best way to enjoy sex is to avoid it. At APS, and across New Mexico, a portion of these funds are spent

No sane person would deny that adolescence is an awkward time, with the acne, braces, bad breath—the hair!—and especially those hyper hormones. It's well known that these hormones can lead teens to create the beast with two backs when unsupervised. And according to the Center for Disease Control, over 65 percent of our state's high school-aged youth are sexually active—a number about equal with the national trend. Meanwhile, when you compound the laws of puberty with socio-economic realities, New Mexico has one of the highest rates of teenage motherhood in the nation.

film

Reel World

Shootout on Central Avenue—This summer, Albuquerque's Flicks on 66 Film Festival will be entering its third incarnation. Currently known as DigiFest Southwest, the festival will be renamed the Duke City Shootout and will fall under the wing of independent filmmaker Christopher Coppola (nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and director of such low-budget efforts as Deadfall and G-Men from Hell). As in previous years, the festival committee will select seven short film scripts. The writers of the winning scripts will be flown to Albuquerque where they will be given a budget, cast, camera, lighting equipment, production crew, post-production facilities and even a professional mentor to help bring their pages to life. The only catch? Would-be filmmakers have only one week in which to complete their mini-masterpieces.

Imaginary Heroes

Suburban tragedy tries too hard, but has its moments

In the wake of his “welcome to the big time” promotion writing the script for X2: X-Men United, twentysomething hipster scripter Dan Harris suddenly became Hollywood's go-to guy, penning screenplays for a string of upcoming blockbusters like Superman Returns, Ender's Game and Logan's Run. Last year, he made the ultimate shortcut to A-list status, writing and directing his own indie vanity project staffed with all the name actors money could buy.

Robots

Animated feature dazzles audience with all the gew-gaws money can buy

At this point, everyone in the animation biz (whether working in the 2-D or 3-D realm) is toiling away in the towering shadow of Pixar. With an unbroken string of box office hits (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) and yet another Academy Award on the shelf (the company's second Best Animated Feature Oscar in a row for The Incredibles), Pixar is the unqualified king of cartoons.

Why, God, Why?

The Return of Baby Bob

There are moments in life that make you question how the hell people can believe in a higher power--much less one that is kind and benevolent. We've got giant tsunamis in Asia, war in the Middle East, ethnic cleansing in Africa and a Walgreen's on every street corner. Is this the work of a beneficent creator? I think not.

food

A New Palace of Delights

Local dynasty's newest location rules

The Albuquerque metropolitan area is littered with all-you-can-eat buffets not worth their weight in calories. A trip through the buffet line at India Palace (Coors and Alameda) confirms that this is not one of them.

When the Radarange Transforms Your Sauce Into Slop

People often e-mail or call me with their cooking troubles. Many of these questions are ordinary, and not worth repeating here. But I recently got a query that piqued my interest as a kitchen scientist. An Alibi staffer wanted to know why her leftover salmon in sundried tomato cream sauce turned into salmon in half a cup of oil when she reheated it in the microwave. The simple answer is that zapping it broke the emulsion of the sauce. If you know what that means, then skip along to the film times; if you're clueless, read on.

news

Water Woes

A new bill proposes to limit the state's power over surface water protection

Ben Seigling remembers getting his knees muddy and hair full of silt wading in the Rio Grande as a little kid. He remembers digging his toes into the sand as he battled the river's currents. He also remembers the many long hours he spent on the river and in the Bosque over the last year, as part of a program offered by the Indio-Hispano Academy of Agricultural Arts & Sciences, studying water and soil quality and talking to the local farming community. And he remembers last February, when he and six of his peers testified in front of the Water Quality Control Commission in hopes of raising surface water standards for a long stretch of his embattled childhood playground.

Political Correctness in the Time of Global Warming

Nuclear power isn't PC.

Talking about nuclear power, except to condemn it, can get you busted by the political correctness cops and sentenced to an enviro re-education camp. Imagine endless days of group readings of Edward Abbey and public contrition for daring to ask what's wrong with harnessing the atom in the service of humanity.

Political correctness prohibits even reading certain books. Like New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici's hybrid autobiography and nuclear engineering text. Pete titled his book, A Brighter Tomorrow even though much of it retraces his personal history.

Bush's "Reform" Program Smells Like a Con Jobmu

To anyone who has observed professionals working a con, the high-pressure sales pitch for Social Security privatization seems suspiciously familiar. Come to think of it, so does George W. Bush's back-slapping style, which is well suited to promoting his vague, wildly expensive "reform" proposal to the nation's teeming rubes.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—The Queen, apparently, does not rock. Legendary guitarists Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Brian May were all attending a party at Buckingham Palace last Tuesday when they were approached by Queen Elizabeth II, who asked, “And what do you do?” Clapton later told reporters that it was great to meet her and it doesn't matter at all that she didn't know who they are or what they do. The quartet of famed rockers were at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the announcement of a new prize, the Queen's Medal For Music, which will reward musicians who have had an impact on Britain. The award will be given out on Nov. 22, the memorial day of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music.

music

Music to Your Ears

Update on RockSquawk.com: Weekly Alibi has negotiated a deal with Dandee Fleming to take over and administer the local music scene site Fleming started four years ago and intended to shut down as of March 22. RockSquawk.com has been an invaluable resource for local musicians of almost every genre—a cyberplace where people could go to air their grievances, buy or sell gear, read about upcoming shows or replace their shitty drummer.

Gamble's Ramble

Live music reviews

I think if one more person corners me with the complaint, "Nothing is happening in the local Albuquerque music and art scene," I will have to ask them: "Where the hell were you last night?" In any venue, in any town, you will have your share of good shows or bad; either way you are likely to be more entertained than watching reality happen on television.

Sonic Reducer

Where has Carina Round been all my life? Certainly not on the airwaves. It's a shame too, because this could quite possibly be some of the best music you'll never hear. Mixtures of blues, jazz and rock can be heard on this spectacular album. This is what Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani and Fiona Apple would have sounded like if they hadn't sold out. Round delivers raw, immaculate, untouched goodness. Definitely not for those who like order and monotonous, catchy tunes in their music. If you are up to the challenge, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a ride full of surprises. Fans of Amanda Ghost and Siouxsie and the Banshees will most likely fall in love with Carina.

art

Culture Shock

I've just been told that the deadline for the Alibi's second annual photo contest has been pushed back a few weeks. We're now accepting entries up 'til Wednesday, March 30, at 5 p.m. with the winning entries and a few additional worthy photos to be reproduced in our April 14 issue.

A Fine Mess

Natural Painting at [AC]2

Mike Certo, the owner of [AC]2, advised me to wear old, beaten-up shoes. "The paint might not be dry," he said ominously, "and it's pretty much impossible not to step in it." Thankfully, all my shoes are old and beaten-up, so this wouldn't be a problem.

Highway 47

South Broadway Cultural Center

Highway 47 cuts through the center of Tomé, a tiny community just south of Albuquerque that was first settled over 300 years ago. Thirty years ago, the village was torn apart by a feud over land rights, and it's this feud that serves as the foundation of K.J. Sanchez' new play. Produced by Working Classroom, the world premiere of Highway 47 occurs this Friday evening, March 11, with a gala performance at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE). The show runs Fridays at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through March 20. $10 general, $5 students/seniors. Group rates available. 242-9267.

Música Antigua de Albuquerque

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal

The French are good with cheese. They're good with wine. They're even good with tiny chickens. They've also had a historic talent for composing music, a talent that sadly often goes unnoticed. Música Antigua de Albuquerque delivers a concert of early French music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance this Sunday, March 13, at 4:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal (601 Montaño NW). This talented ensemble specializes in playing early music on period instruments, and this should be a fine show of rarely heard pieces. $15 general, $12 seniors, $8 students. 842-9613.

Alibi V.14 No.9 • March 3-9, 2005

feature

Get Smarty

Dual language education gains momentum at APS

Annie Rodriguez understands the importance of language. When she came to Clovis, N.M. from Guatemala with her brother, sisters and parents at the age of 9, escaping a civil war, she learned that language determined her place in life. The fact that her family spoke Spanish, and not English, meant that she and her siblings, for the first few years of their U.S. schooling, would be placed in classes years below their grade level. It meant that her mother, who was a midwife and nurse in Guatemala, would divide her days between working around town as a hospital aid, and going to school, trying to learn English. It meant that her father, who was a minister before coming to the U.S., would earn money for his family by doing the laundry at a local rest home. And it meant that, one day, Annie would grow up and dedicate herself to language, to teaching and to early childhood development—because she understood the importance of getting a good start.

film

Reel World

Filmmaker Shoots Cop—On Thursday, March 3, the People Before Profit Film/Lecture series at the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center will screen Every Mother's Son. This hard-hitting documentary looks at the increased use of aggressive and militarized tactics by U.S. police forces. The film recounts three cases of questionable killings by police officers, including the infamous case of Amadou Diallo in New York City. A speaker from Albuquerque Copwatch will be on hand to update viewers on a class action suit against the City of Albuquerque. The screening starts at 7 p.m. The Peace & Justice Center is located at 202 Harvard SE.

The Sea Inside

Academy Awards 2005 will likely go down in history as (for lack of anything more interesting) The Year of the Biopic. The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Ray, Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey, The Motorcycle Diaries and The Passion of the Christ (I guess) were all true-life-inspired dramas that found their way into Oscar territory. The Sea Inside was yet another biographical film that made the long haul from obscurity (in this case, Spain) to Oscar glory (nominated in two categories: Best Foreign Film and Best Makeup).

VideoNasty

2,000 Maniacs (1964)

If you have ever sat in wide-eyed wonder as images of brutal decapitations and fountains of blood spat across your television screen, you owe a special debt of gratitude to Herschell Gordon Lewis. Known as “the Guru of Gore,” Lewis created the gore film genre in 1963 with his legendary classic Blood Feast. While Lewis often downplays the significance of this film, its influence on movies for generations is undeniable.

Post-Show Post-Mortem

The 77th Annual Academy Awards

Initial reports indicated that ABC's telecast of the 77th Annual Academy Awards had managed to lure a few more viewers than the 2004 edition. When the dust finally settled and Nielsen added up its figures, however, it looked like a total of 41.5 million viewers tuned in Sunday evening. That's down about two million from the year before.

music

Music to Your Ears

Despite having the worst local band name since Tacos with Heidi, Las Cruces groove-metal quartet, New Mexican Erection, have just released their second skull-shattering full-length, titled Codependent (Nasty Cactus Music), and are gearing up to hit the road on an extended tour. For dates, where to buy the CD and other good stuff, visit NME on the web at www.newmexicanerection.com or www.nastycactusmusic.com. ... Local bandguy/music supporter and, for the past four years, webmaster of RockSquawk.com Dandee Fleming has announced that he's shutting his site down as of March 22. Fleming cites a busy schedule as the main reason behind his decision. Over the years, RockSquawk.com provided local musicians with a virtual meeting place where they could post upcoming shows, air dirty laundry, review shows, sell and buy gear, search for band members and discuss freely the ins and outs of the local scene. Fleming did a more than admirable job of attempting to keep the site positive and useful, and you should thank him and buy him lots of drinks the next time you see him. At press time, the site appears to be frozen, but it could just be my stupid computer fucking with me.

Blue Note

Spring Forward

Outpost Productions Kicks Off Its Spring 2005 Season New Orleans-style

What better way to kick off another potentially physically debilitating allergy season in Albuquerque than with an evening of jazz originating in and inspired by the Crescent City? Officially opening the Outpost's 2005 Spring Season, New Orleans-based musicians Tom McDermott and Evan Christopher are happy and more than capable to oblige.

McDermott is a breathtaking pianist who emerged on the front-end of the Scott Joplin revival, and cites New Orleans pianists James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John as musical influences strong enough to inspire a move from his native St. Louis in the early '80s. Since then, he's explored the Louisiana piano tradition on a handful of records that bear his name, as well as through live performance.

Sonic Reducer

Kentucky-born guitarist Adrian Belew has played with just about every progressive and avant garde rock troupe that's mattered—Zappa, middle-era Bowie, King Crimson, Projekt, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and so on—while releasing a steady stream of solo albums, and lending his guitar work to various projects floating just under mainstream radar. Frankly, he's made some pretty annoying music along the way. But Side One, rumored to be the first part of a trilogy, is among the least grating of his solo works. It's still pretty out there, as expected, but it's of keen interest once past the bravado.

art

Culture Shock

In a series of paintings that goes on display this week at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), Joy Davidson has created an entire petting zoo of disturbing creatures. Titled Everything's Fine, Davidson's one-woman show presents a blissfully kitschy selection of work that might make you smile but might also leave you feeling slightly unsettled. The exhibit opens this Friday with a reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For details, call 242-1669.

Ace is the Place

Love for the Street at Ace Barbershop

The name suggests the sort of place where you might drop in for a quick bowl cut and pick up a pound of nails on the way out, but don't be fooled. Ace Barbershop, which recently opened Downtown on Fourth Street, dodges all expectations.

Plantation Alaap

Out ch'Yonda

Soy Sauce Maharaj and Riti Sachdeva tell the stories of East Indian indentured laborers slaving away on sugar cane plantations in Trinidad in a new play called Plantation Alaap, opening this weekend at Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW). Filled with live music and intricate costumes, this play should be as popular as the pair's highly successful Kalapani: The Crossing. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through March 12. To order tickets, call 480-5581, e-mail kalapani_productions@yahoo.com or stop by Alphaville Video at 3408 Central SE.

Exuberance

Unseen Gallery

Edna Casman isn't the kind of artist who holds anything back. Her bright and bouncy abstract paintings are as unrestrained as they come. They seem to revel in the sheer limitless possibilities of color and shape. A new exhibit of Casman's paintings opens this Friday, March 4, at Unseen Gallery (108 Morningside NE) with a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. during which the artist will make a rare public appearance. Casman's show runs through March 26. For details, call 232-2161.

news

VA Troubles Continue

Agency's mental health plan still in draft form

More than any other war in U.S. history, the conflict in Iraq has provoked a surge of concern for soldiers returning home bearing the psychological burdens of battle.

Thin Line

Inventory. Which is more remarkable: The mainstream corporate media's current state of disarray or the mainstream corporate media's cluelessness of their own precipitous decline?

The Messiah's Senator

"Reverend Moon is the most remarkable person I've ever met"

On Valentine's Day, Republican state Sen. Mark Boitano, who represents part of Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, joined opponents of gay marriage in a press conference to promote "pro-family" legislation. The Albuquerque Journal photo showed a tense Boitano surrounded by gay rights activists. What the story did not mention is that for 30 years Boitano has been a follower of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who calls gays "dung eating dogs" to be "eliminated" or "burned."

A Culture of Secrecy

What has happened to the principle that American democracy should be accessible and transparent?

"Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." –George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

Singin' in the Rain

The Feb. 23 Council meeting featured a packed audience but a shortage of councilors with Debbie O'Malley and Tina Cummins sick, Sally Mayer late, and Eric Griego and Miguel Gomez leaving early. Councilor Michael Cadigan postponed his bill fast-tracking Montaño restriping until O'Malley could present her opposing bill. Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill encouraging community participation in Nob Hill planning passed. And Mayer's bill restricting vehicle weight on San Pedro in her District 7 passed after Council President Brad Winter expanded the San Pedro restrictions into his District 4.

The Death of Fiscal Conservatism

Republicans can cut taxes. They just can't stop spending.

During any given election you can count on Republican candidates to campaign against government spending, bureaucratic waste and increased taxes. Consider some direct quotes from the state legislative campaign of one of my GOP colleagues we'll call "Justin" in order to keep my life within the Republican caucus realtively hassle-free.

All Ages Shows

A single organism of optimistic energy

Have you seen an adolescent smile lately?

When the Launchpad's lights are dim and the crowd is thick with sweaty kids from all ages, I see the teens smile. Their eyes light up. They grin, all teeth, an endless throng of pearly incisors and cuspids. On stage, the band pacifies this restless mass with music imitating the raw passion of youth. Discontented misfits transform into human beings devoid of teenage angst, purified by noise.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York—A disco-era icon is about to go up for sale on eBay. The multicolored dance floor where John Travolta struck his famous Saturday Night Fever pose will be auctioned off on the website the first week of April. The 24-foot by 16-foot dance floor was rescued from a soon-to-be-demolished nightclub. Bar owner Jay Rizzo, who saved the floor, told the New York Post, “It has literally been the heartbeat of this club.” The club, where the floor had been a fixture since the 1977 film was made, closed last month after being sold to a real estate investment company. The plastic floor, covered in more than 300 multicolored lights, is expected to sell for some $80,000.

A Bullet to the End

Hunter S. Thompson Remembered

I blame this sentimental blathering on the swift and concise suicide of Dr. Hunter S Thompson. He once told me he thought he'd die quickly from something akin to an unexpected breeze wafting in through a back door ... “Poof” gone; something fast, almost clean, but not quite. Suicide by gun to head is never that clean, but it wasn't a shotgun.

food

Gastrological Forecast

Alibi chef Tom Nayder has discovered the secret of eternal life. Actually, it's really only a method for sprouting green onions, and his sister told him how to do it. But we like to make him feel special, so we call him a genius anyway. What Tom does is simple. He buys green onions and keeps them in a plastic bag in the fridge until he needs them. Then, he chops them down to within a couple inches of the root end. He uses the dark and light green parts to top his low-carb tacos, and saves the white bulbs. When kept in a glass with water just up to their tips, the root ends of green onions will sprout again. Tom says he sees growth from the onions within hours, and it only takes about a week for them to grow enough green tops to cut and use again. He cautions not to put the whole green onions in a glass of water; it causes the outer leaves to shrivel prematurely. He says the re-sprouted onions taste just as good as their parents. By the way, the term scallion is often used interchangeably with green onion, but the true scallion is a distinct variety. Milder in flavor than immature (or green) onions, the white part of a scallion has straight sides, whereas the green onion's base is more bulbous.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

King Kona is the name of a new coffee shop in the First Plaza Galería (Third and Copper). The walls of the tiny shop are adorned with various ape-themed decorations (get it, King Kona?) and a glorious Hawaiian sunset. But the first thing you'll notice when you walk in the door is the aroma that creeps within your nostrils, hinting at a deep, rich brew. Kona coffee beans, from Hawaii, are the only beans grown in the U.S., didja know? We tried a sweet and mild Gorillacino, but were more impressed by the not bitter, not awful, actually good decaf. King Kona also sells cigars, so stroll on by if you're in the mood for a cup and a puff.

Just the Cheese™ Snacks Taste Like Crap

No, really, they're bad

Like a kitten bringing a dead rodent to the back door, our kind and thoughtful receptionist Martin brought me a small bag of cheese snacks last Friday. I should have known to decline them as I once declined a decapitated squirrel from Tiny Princess. But the bag was open and I'm always up for something new, so I said, “Don't tell me what it is. I want to be surprised.” Boy, was I surprised—when I found my self spitting every last half-masticated curd into the trash can under my desk. “Good God,” I said to Martin, “What was that thing?” He showed me the package and explained how he had spit one out of his car window on the way to work, much to the horror of the woman driving next to him. Thanks, Martin.

Nothing Elementary about ABC Chinese

Smart kids order from the Chinese-language menu for a homestyle treat

Walking into ABC Chinese restaurant is like walking into pretty much any family owned and operated Chinese restaurant. The color scheme is red and gold (a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture), with lighted beer signs and posters on the walls. A fish tank teems with life and giant, round banquet tables topped with lazy Susans are scattered among the booths. But that's where the similarities end.

Alibi V.14 No.8 • Feb 24-March 2, 2005

feature

Gold Grabbers

The 77th Annual Academy Awards

It's a red carpet race in high heels and Harry Winston jewelry. The prize at the end? A little naked gold guy holding a sword and the opportunity to enter a very exclusive club, the society of Academy Award winners. As always, this year's Oscar competition is filled with old favorites (Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese) nouvelle Hollywood royalty (Johnny Depp, Hilary Swank) and surprising dark horse contenders (Catalina Sandino Moreno, Imelda Staunton). Even before the envelopes are ripped and the statue owners announced on Sunday, there are a few clear winners and losers in this year's Academy Awards.

Academy Award Nominees Ballot

Best Motion Picture

* The Aviator (BAFTA, GG, LVFCS, PFCS) Odds: 1/1.6
Finding Neverland (NBR) 30/1
Million Dollar Baby (DFWFCA, KCFCC, NSFC, SFC) Odds: 1.8/1
Ray Odds: 8/1
Sideways (BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, GG, GSA, LAFCA, NYFCC, SEFCA, SFFCC, TFCA, VFCC) Odds: 5/1

Achievement in Directing

* The Aviator, Martin Scorsese (BFCA, DFWFCA, KCFCC, LVFCS, PFCS) Odds: 1/2
Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood (CFCA, DGA, GG, NYFCC, SDFCS, SFC, VFCC) 1/1
Ray, Taylor Hackford Odds: 20/1
Sideways, Alexander Payne (FFCC, LAFCA, SEFCA, SFFCC) Odds: 16/1
Vera Drake, Mike Leigh (BAFTA) Odds: 26/1

news

Déjà Vu

Petroglyph road extension headed to court

Call it déjà vu all over again. Or, it might sound like restating the obvious. But either way, the battle over extending Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument is destined for litigation, again.

Thin Line

Who gives a shit? By now, it's a safe bet that everyone who drives or rides a bus in Albuquerque has seen the giant blue billboards around town asking, “Where's Larry?” and “Where's Dianne?” The advertisements refer to former KKOB AM morning host Larry Ahrens and decidedly prom-queen-esque, longtime local news anchor Dianne Anderson. The pair form the foundation of what is to become a new FM radio station here in Albuquerque, an addition to the American General Media roster, which includes Wild 106 FM and a handful of other stations no one listens to.

An Innocent Man

A former death row inmate fights to repeal the death penalty

After being released from the Santa Fe State Prison 30 years ago, Ron Keine vowed he would never set foot in this state again. But last week, Keine found himself back in New Mexico to face his old nightmare. This time, after being sentenced to die for a crime he did not commit, he is advocating against the death penalty and views New Mexico as fertile ground in the fight to do away with capital punishment.

The Coming Soda Wars

Bill Swift takes on the soft drink industry

The final bill on the Senate Public Affairs Committee agenda on a snowy Friday afternoon early in the state Legislature a few weeks ago didn't sound like a humdinger. The crowds that had filled the cramped, overheated committee room earlier in the afternoon for debate on punchier topics had pretty well vacated the premises when the committee turned its attention to item number 14.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Hungary—According to a report by the Hungarian Trades Union Federation, a supermarket chain has fired more than two dozen workers on the advice of a clairvoyant. Angry union bosses are demanding the staff be reinstated and say the bosses of the Penny Market chain were only looking for an excuse to cut staff. The report allegedly says that managers at the Penny Market took the personnel files of the employees to the clairvoyant and fired more than two dozen she psychically identified as thieves. The union says it is setting up special action groups to identify those who were psychically sacked.

Fear and Loathing in the Alibi

We exhume our 1995 Hunter S. Thompson interview

Ten years ago, when the Alibi was called NuCity, then-Editor Alma García and former columnist and Personals Manager (not to mention longtime Hunter S. Thompson companion) Norma Jean Thompson (no relation) embarked on a whirlwind journey to spend several days with the father of "Gonzo" journalism, driving around his property at breakneck speed and attempting to interview him while clinging to their own lives.

music

Music to Your Ears

A reliable source has reported that local band Fivehundred (formerly Mr. Spectacular and three-fourths of Fatso, not to mention Smoothie) have thrown in the proverbial towel, unfortunately before making a record and without any official farewell show. Just another sad day in an endlessly long line of sad days. ... On a happier note, two local bands who remain active as of this writing appear to be getting better and better. Unit 7 Drain are back with a revamped lineup and a boatload of new songs they plan to record for forthcoming albums. They played two Saturday's ago at the Launchpad with Oktober People, who, presumably as part of their effort to spit-polish their set before heading to South By Southwest next month, sounded tighter and more majestic than usual, which is pretty fucking tight and majestic. ... Black Maria's Gordon Andersen made himself a special guest on Jim Villanucci's afternoon radio program last week on 770 KKOB AM, where the topic happened to be the giant new, $10,000-apeice concrete decorative pots that appeared early last week on the I-40 median just west of Carlisle. While most callers agreed that the artistic additions were pleasing, Andersen, true to form, went a step further, telling Villanucci and his listeners, “I'm pro-pot ... and I also like this public art.” Nothing like a little drive-time humor to quell the road rage.

Winter Blues Festival featuring Phil Guy

with Albuquerque Blues Connection, Alex Maryol (Santa Fe only), The Easy Street Blues Band and Paul Brodsky Acoustics, and food by Powdrell's BBQ

Friday, Feb. 25; Willee's Blues Club (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 9 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 26; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Sometimes, it's difficult to be a brother. My own brother and I both know that from experience. But imagine being "little brother" to Buddy Guy, constantly overshadowed by your elder sibling's brilliance and status as a superstar. On the other hand, it doesn't necessarily hurt to be billed as "brother of Buddy Guy."

Shooting Star

Former Albuquerquean Jenny Farrell could be country music's next hotshot

To say I grew up with Jenny Farrell wouldn't be altogether accurate. Indeed, we did attend the same elementary, junior and high schools (John Baker, Hoover and Eldorado), and resided in the same basic neighborhood. But, she's a few years younger than I, which makes her my brother's age. So he grew up with her, while I simply grew up in her presence. My good friend, Albuquerque Journal contributor and all-around punk-ass Kevin Hopper even managed to take her to prom. All that matters now, though, is that our fair city is about to be represented by the all-grown-up Ms. Farrell on the third season of USA Network's reality smash, "Nashville Star." And she's got what it takes to win big.

Sonic Reducer

Even for a band whose trademark is its penchant for musical re-enactments of historical events and Victorian literary references, Picaresque is an amazing feat of unapologetic chamber pop so full of hooks the average indie drama queen could easily find him- or herself mortally jigged. Colin Meloy, The Decemberists' Arch Duke, has outdone even his usual borderline overdone lyrical self here, and the rest of his five-piece indie orchestra provide the perfect accompaniment to his archetypal exercises. This is as close as you'll get to musical theater sans shitty acting and with elaborate sets that create themselves in your mind.

film

Reel World

Oscars Night—Alibi and Louie's Rock-N-Reels are proudly sponsoring the 13th Annual Acadamy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theater in Nob Hill this Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of and funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Service program that provides supplemental pet food and veterinary care for companion animals of seriously ill people. Tickets are $20 for the event only ($5 off with student ID) or $50 for the event plus a three-course prix-fixé dinner at Zinc Bistro. The Oscars will be projected onto the Lobo's giant screen and there will be tons of movie-related doorprizes to be won. In addition, a silent auction in the theater's lobby will give attendees a chance to bid on items donated by local merchants. For dinner reservations and event info, call 232-7510.

Golden Gloves

“The 77th Annual Academy Awards” on ABC

Naysayers are already predicting that this year's Oscars will be among the lowest-rated in years. The main problem is being chalked up to a rather lackluster year in film. The top films this year are all pretty good, but almost none of them is knock-you-out fabulous. Sure, the Academy could have given us an epic battle between Jesus and Michael Moore, pitting The Passion of the Christ against Fahrenheit 9/11 in the Best Picture category, but nooooo.

Razzies Razz Oscar for 25 Years

An interview with Golden Raspberry Awards founder John Wilson

The red carpet may be a little worn, the Harry Winston “diamonds” are glittering cubic zirconias and the dresses are off the rack. You'd never see an awards ceremony like this on television. But, then again, this is no ordinary awards ceremony.

2005 Golden Raspberry Award Nominees

WORST PICTURE:

Alexander

Catwoman

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

Surviving Christmas

White Chicks

WORST ACTOR:

Ben Affleck—Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas

George W. Bush—Fahrenheit 9/11

Vin Diesel—Chronicles of Riddick

Colin Farrell—Alexander

Ben Stiller—Along Came Polly, Anchorman, Dodgeball, Envy and Starsky & Hutch

WORST ACTRESS:

Halle Berry—Catwoman

Hilary Duff—Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice

art

Culture Shock

Speaking of Molly Ringwald (were we speaking of Molly Ringwald?), I would like to go on record stating that I've never had a crush on the red-haired star of The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Not even in the darkest days of my zit-spangled, hormone-poisoned adolescence did I even have a secret, in-the-closet fixation on her.

Isn't It Romantic?

Rot at the Tricklock Performance Space

Mary Shelley's life could have been lifted straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. Her father, the philosopher William Godwin, supposedly began teaching her to spell by having her trace the inscription on her dead mother's tombstone. At 16, she ran away to live with the poet Percy Shelley, who unfortunately was already married to someone else. Later, while staying with Shelley and Lord Byron in Switzerland, she conceived of Frankenstein, arguably the most famous horror novel in the history of literature. She was only 19 at the time.

Honk!

Theatre X

Although this show began life back in 1993 as The Aesthetically Challenged Farmyard Foul in Newberry, England, producers soon realized they needed a catchier title. With this in mind, they changed the name of this musical based on Hans Christian Anderson's timeless fairytale "The Ugly Duckling" to Honk! A new version of the popular show is being staged starting this weekend at UNM's Theatre X. Honk! is suitable for everyone from aged swans to the youngest duckling, so bring the whole family. Opens Friday, Feb. 25. Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. $10 general, $6 students. Runs through March 5. 925-5858.

In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings

SolArts

Set in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood during the height of Mayor Giuliani's gentrification of lower Manhattan, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings follows the lives of several destitute characters who must come to terms with a rapidly changing world. Directed by Justin Lenderking, this gritty play by Stephen Adly Guirgis opens this weekend at SolArts. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. Runs through March 13. 244-0049.

food

Gastrological Forecast

Closing, closing, closing. What the hell is going on here? Mom 'n' pop restaurants are dropping like flies, while corporate joints squirm like maggots on every corner. I know I've been whining about this same thing for years, but things seem to have changed over the past few months, and it's happening faster and faster. Look, people, you control the future of this city. The potential for change is in your pocketbook. If you don't eat at McAppleSteakhouse, and do eat at Tippy's Taco Shack then you are helping to keep local dollars here, in the hands of your friends and neighbors. You're supporting local chefs, farmers and purveyors. It's like voting: Sometimes it seems pointless and sometimes you don't win, but if you don't do it, you always lose. In fact, think of the loss of one of your favorite little places next time you vote. Call your city councilor, mayor, or state legislator and ask what they're doing to help keep local restaurants alive. I mean, what more can I say? What has that multinational corporate feed lot on I-25 done for you lately? When was they last time you walked in to one of those places and got introduced to everyone in the neighborhood, given a lesson in red or green and made to feel welcome in a strange city?

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Tony Nethery is moving to Miami, Fla., to take a job as Sous Chef at Douglas Rodriguez' new restaurant OLA Steak. Nethery had been chef at Monte Vista Fire Station until the end of last year, when he became partners with Johnny Orr in the cheese and sandwich shop Relish (Wyoming between Louisiana and Pennsylvania). Nethery will remain a silent partner in the business after he leaves, which he said will happen before the end of February. Yes, it does seem sudden, but Nethery told me the job was too good to pass up; he couldn't resist the opportunity to work with such a well-known chef (Rodriguez was also behind the popular restaurant Chicama in New York City). Plus, Nethery's wife Melina (who also happens to the be the younger sister of my former coworker Sergio Salvador) is pregnant with their first child, so if they were going to make a move, it would be best to do it before they start hatching chicks. Pastry chef Ted Nicely, who spent the past few years making desserts for Monte Vista and Ambrozia, will join Nethery at OLA Steak. I will cry myself to sleep tonight, knowing I've had the last of Nethery's pork and grits creations and Nicely's awesome ice creams. The city will be way less yummy without the three of them.

An Oenophile's Guide to Sideways

The oscar-nominated film captures what we love about wine

When I first heard about a wine movie coming out, I nearly wet my pants. I mean, introducing wine to the mainstream—the Hollywood mainstream—that's the kind of publicity wine really needs in order to penetrate the American psyche.

Venezia's New York Style Pizzeria

Rio Rancho transplant brings the flavah of Noo Yoyk to the Duke City

My New York “expat” friends have long been making pilgrimages to Venezia's Pizzeria in Rio Rancho for their New York style pizza fix. I'm happy to report that brothers Renato and Aldo Venturino have opened a sister store in the near Northeast Heights, so we don't have to commute as far for a pie.

Flying Star opens next week in a historic Downtown building

Flying Star is set to open Downtown at Eighth Street and Silver on Monday, Feb. 28. This latest addition to the Flying Star and Satellite family of bakery/restaurants and coffee shops is located in a striking modern structure built in 1950 for Southern Union Gas, a precursor of PNM. The airy and open building with lots of stone, steel and walls of windows, was designed by the late John Gaw Meem, a famous New Mexico-based architect who was best known for his Southwestern style buildings, like UNM's Alumni Memorial Chapel. Flying Star owners Jean and Mark Bernstein worked with landlord Jay Rembe to get national historic status for the building.