Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party
We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.
Recorded Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Archived video of the DukesUp!/New Mexico Political Report/Weekly Alibi Mayoral Forum co-production.
It's been more than four centuries since Don Juan de Oñate led the first group of Spanish colonists into New Mexico, but the new monument commemorating the Spanish settlement has a history all its own.
Throughout New Mexico's proud but troubled history, Don Juan de Oñate has remained a divisive figure. Oñate brought Spanish culture to the region in 1598 when he led the first Spanish settlers to New Mexico and established the first capital. Yet by 1608 the Spanish Crown had removed Oñate from his position as governor and sent him back to Mexico City where he was tried for mistreating Pueblo Indians and abusing his power.
Crawl Love—Despite the rain—or perhaps because of it—this weekend's Fall Crawl was the most enjoyable that I've ever attended. Central was alive with Crawlers without being uncomfortably overcrowded, and bands still got to play to packed houses. Likewise, the ratio of local to national acts was right-on for my tastes. I'll admit that there were even a few locals that I had never heard before. (I'm talking to you, Cherry Tempo—and I'll see you in November.) At the end of the night the streets weren't asphyxiated with vomit. No, just horse shit from our peace-keeping mounted Albuquerque police units. Thanks, guys! I'm aware that you've probably got your own opinion on how it all went down, and I encourage you to share your experience with us while it's still fresh on your mind. You can do this a few ways: Write a letter to the editor (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), call me personally (346-0660, ext. 260) or rant about it on www.rocksquawk.com. Every bit of information is useful to us as we begin thinking about the next Crawl, six months from now in the Spring. What did you enjoy? What kinks could stand to be ironed out? Tell us all about it. And pray for rain.
Tuesday, Oct. 25; Kiva Auditorium (All-ages), 7 p.m.: Widespread Panic is one of the most successful touring bands today, but most people have never heard them on the radio. Without television exposure, radio airplay or promotion in record stores, Widespread Panic has sold out shows for more than 18 years, making them one of the top 50 grossing touring acts in the nation. If you've never seen them, here's your chance.
Or, I'm cuckoo for mewithoutYou
MewithoutYou is one of my favorite new-ish bands (they released their first album in 2002) because they seem to kindle the energy of heavier indie rock of the '90s, what with the distortion and yelling, but at the same time add delicate, well-devised lyrics and inventive sound-structures. I tried to speak with guitarist Michael Weiss over the phone last week as the band drove through Oregon, but the ill-fated conversation got cut off three times before my tape recorder ran out of batteries. What was left out involved a high school production of Fame, Danzig and me watching the "January 1979" video 100 times over the summer. Here's what we salvaged:
"One of the few authentic voices in folk music."
Born in Brooklyn, Ramblin' Jack Elliot began to cultivate his cowboy image when he ran away from home at 15 and joined the rodeo. He learned to play the guitar and was recording by the early '50s. He traveled and lived with Woodie Guthrie, and through him, met Bob Dylan, later playing in his band. He's also toured with Pete Seeger and worked with other American folk greats like "Utah" Phillips, Emmylou Harris and Tom Waits, to name a few. Still, Ramblin' Jack goes mostly unrecognized for his contribution to American folk music. Most recently, he was left out of Martin Scorcese's chronologically confusing documentary “Bob Dylan: No Direction Home," although he was a key figure in the '60s folk explosion which spawned Dylan. Ramblin' Jack is, however, in Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Vol. 1, on pages 245 to 255 (that's according to Jack's tour manager).
The writing on the side says, "The Unholy Ghost of Jesus commands you to come and rock." Obey! The show is with Caustic Lye, Kronow and Lower Than Dirt this Saturday, Oct. 22, at Atomic Cantina. Always free, always 21-and-over, usually evil. (LM)
As you struggle up through sleep, out of a sad dream you can't remember, you might hear the static-muffled sounds of "Forever," the first track on the debut of The Very Hush Hush. The melodious delirium continues, but the pace increases as drum(s)/machines kick in and distorted vocals urgently begin telling you something just beyond your grasp. Created by two classically trained pianists living in a haunted house, the album is spookily familiar ... a good thing. Put some albums by The Faint and Sigúr Rós in the blender and listen as you fall asleep. It'd sound like this.
Gruet at the Grille—Gruet Steakhouse and Wine Bar is just nine months old, but the success of the upscale steakhouse has prompted business partners Frank Marcello, Laurent Gruet and Farid Himeur to expand the Gruet brand to yet another restaurant. The Gruet Grille opened a few days ago in the old Café Bodega building (4243 Montgomery NE), which now boasts an oyster bar and several other renovations. The bistro-style menu pairs fresh fish and high-end comfort foods with an extensive collection of wines. For the time being, lunch is available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., with dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m. Call 888-7004 for reservations—and let us know what you think!
An interview with the Chef/Owner of the Relish sandwich shops
Johnny Orr has been turning people on to gourmet sandwiches, salads and cheeses for well over a year at his casual, yet sophisticated, little sandwich shop in the Northeast Heights. Now, after months of careful preparation, Relish is finally (finally!) open for business at its second location in downtown Albuquerque. I took Chef/Owner Johnny out for a celebratory after-work drink at the Anodyne and made him talk to me about food. He eventually got wise that the small mechanical device on the bar was not a cell phone, but, in fact, a micro-cassette recorder. He was being interviewed.
"Get ripped" with Tia and Bill
Hot dogs could be the new California Rolls. And chef extraordinaire Bill Howley of the newly-revamped Howley's Place can cook a lean, mean, old-school dog so good that Chicago itself should take note. His lovely wife and co-owner Tia is a superb sommelier with a smile for every diner at no extra charge.
A recent lawsuit asks how much radioactive waste should legally be allowed to remain over Albuquerque's aquifer
Out over the East Mesa, sitting 460 feet above the city's sole groundwater supply, five miles southeast of the Albuquerque International Sunport and just a mile east of Mesa del Sol, a large-scale residential development that will soon be popping up over the horizon, lies a piece of land with a troubling history.
I know. It seems like we rip on the Albuquerque Journal a lot here in Alibi-land. We do. And most of the time it's deserved. But this week, although our beloved daily is still hovering high on our shit list, our beef goes beyond the local media. It goes all the way to the top. Get ready for a mainstream media rant (MSM ... different from MSG but probably just as bad for your brain); but this time, find a safe place in a doorway somewhere ... we're talkin' earthquakes.
The Duke City Derby rolls into town
Finally, the Midnight Rodeo is home to more than just cheap drinks and tipsy rancheros itchin' to break in their new Wranglers. As of October, the club opened its doors—and floors—to Duke City Derby (DCD), Albuquerque's first and only all-girl roller derby league.
The special session wraps up with a tidy sum slated for New Mexico's pockets
There was an aura of unreality to the entire special session of the Legislature which concluded last week. Pulling legislators back to Santa Fe for an upcoming emergency, just three months before they'd have to come to town for the regular session anyhow, was a stretch of imagination that many people never could manage.
A new voice in the abortion debate
If you listen to the abortion debate long enough, you'll hear pro-lifers accuse opponents of being “pro-abortion.” The pro-choice side bristles, “We're not pro-abortion; we merely want abortion to be safe, legal and rare.” Then they resume screaming at each other.
Dateline: Germany—Bulgarian Tihomir Titschko became the first European chess-boxing champion last week in Berlin. Chess boxing is described as the newest and most unlikely of “hybrid sports,” designed to test both brains and brawn. A typical match consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of boxing and “blitz” chess sessions. Boxing rounds last two minutes each, while the “blitz” chess style allows competitors 12 minutes on the clock before the match is over. The World Chess Boxing Organization, which trains several dozen boxers twice a week near its headquarters in Berlin, says combining the “No. 1 intellectual sport” with the “No. 1 fighting sport” offers a unique challenge. Although a chess-boxing contest can end with a knockout, the final match between Tihomir Titschko and Andreas Schneider, of Germany, ended with Scheider's concession. Schneider kept pace with Titschko into the seventh round, but his 12 minutes of chess time had nearly elapsed and his king and remaining pawns were in retreat. Chess boxing is the brainchild of Iepe Rubingh, 31, a Dutch artist who lives in Germany.
The readers write.
Writing for Reality—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series returns with a Saturday morning seminar titled “Writing Commercial Documentaries Now.” Discover your own inner March of the Penguins with noted documentary filmmaker Craig Coffman. Since 1997, Coffman has produced over 60 hours of documentary programs as a supervising producer, writer, editor or director for The History Channel, Discovery, Food Network, Fine Living, TLC and others. Coffman's seminar will center on what kind of writing is going on in the projects now airing on and sought by cable networks. The event will take place at Rio Grande Studios (6608 Gulton NE), from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Admission is $15, which includes refreshments and handouts. Full-time student and teacher rate is $10. For more information on the Screenwriter's Speaker Series, log on to www.nmscreenwriters.com.
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film represents an epic collaboration between the Anthology Film Archive and Deutsches Filmmuseum. Curated by Bruce Posner and produced by film historian David Shepard, Unseen Cinema compiles more than 150 short works from the formative days of film. Beginning before the turn of the 20th century and stretching to the start of World War II, this collection of little-seen works represents not merely some of the earliest cinematic efforts, but some of the most groundbreaking.
Rough rural drama looks for the good in human beings
Following foursquare in the footsteps of Norma Rae, Silkwood and Erin Brockovich, North Country introduces us to real-life female crusader Josey Aimes (well, in real life, her name was Lois Jensen, but I guess that's a minor point). Directed by New Zealander Niki Caro (Whale Rider) and starring Oscar babe Charlize Theron (Monster), North Country is a dirt-streaked David and Goliath tale about the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit ever filed in America.
TromaDance New Mexico 2005
For the second year in a row, Albuquerque's only cult/alternative/trash video store, Burning Paradise, has teamed up with the maniacs at Troma Entertainment to bring TromaDance New Mexico to Albuquerque.
“Invasion” on ABC
In this season's troika of “aliens and oceans” TV shows, ABC's “Invasion” seems to be pulling ahead of CBS' “Threshold” and NBC's “Surface.” “Threshold” has pushed past its “finding a UFO at the bottom of the ocean” pilot, but hasn't gotten any better for it. “Surface,” meanwhile, remains mired in its E.T.-as-Jaws premise. “Invasion,” on the other hand, has succeeded, thanks to some atmospheric writing and some solid casting.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Rock, Roll and Write—The idea behind the First Fiction Tour is to bring a little rock and roll glam to a staged literary event. Think of it as Lollapalooza for the writerly crowd. The 2005 version of the tour comes to the St. Clair Winery & Bistro (901 Rio Grande NW) this Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. It features three first-time authors, all of whom have a flair for live performance. Lisa Selin Davis is the author of Belly, a novel about an ex-con druggie gambler named William "Belly" O'Leary. Karen Olsson is the author of Waterloo, which tells the tale of a thirtysomething guy who's trying to make sense of a screwed up love life in Austin, Texas. Finally, Victoria Vinton is the author of The Jungle Law, a fictionalized account of Rudyard Kipling's life after he moved to Vermont in 1892. Numerous food and drink specials will be available, so come on down, stuff yourself, get a good buzz going and give a listen to the future of American literature. For more information, call 344-8139.
No Way to Treat a Lady at the Adobe Theater
It's hard to resist a singing killer. The spectacle of someone strangling another person while belting out a catchy tune is something almost anyone can enjoy.
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
A place for music
Thanks for logging on to Crawlspace—the next frontier in Alibi Crawl technology. Crawlspace is a two-dimensional, fiber-based interactive community of Fall Crawl 2005's live musical acts. When used in tandem with our 2005 Fall Crawl schedule of bands, Crawlspace can assist Alibi subscribers of all musical persuasions in designing their own unique, completely customizable Crawl experience. Here's how:
The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash himself gave these guys his blessing. They've played shows with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver, and sound like a cross between Steve Earle and Old 97's, so I can't even tell you how lucky you are to have the chance to see authentic country-western tonight at El Rey. (JCC)
Between the Buried and Me
North Carolinian metalcore manufacturers Between the Buried and Me have toured with bands like Bleeding Through, Converge and Darkest Hour on their way to establishing a cultish following of devoted underground metalheads. Between the Buried and Me will play the Sunshine Theatre. (SM)
New Mexico in New York—Marcos Baca, whose short film “A Day at the Ditch” played at last year's Alibi Short Film Fiesta, recently had his latest work accepted to the upcoming New York International Film & Video Festival. “The Day the World Ended” is described as a short comedy about the Mora family and their circa 1950 adventures in the Martineztown barrio of Albuquerque. Like “A Day at the Ditch” before it, “The Day the World Ended” is a product of the Youth Development Institute's Digital Outreach and Communication Division. The film was designed as an arts in the community after-school project for children aged 6-18. Congratulations to Mr. Baca and to all the kids at YDI.
Nonsensical bounty hunter biopic mixes fantasy with ... more fantasy
“This film is based on a true story,” informs Domino's pre-credit crawl. “... Sort of.” To which I would add, “... Very sort of.”
You ever feel like strapping on a homemade suit of armor and seeing if you could withstand a savage assault from a pissed-off grizzly bear? Me neither. In fact, I get edgy when I come across a stray dog while out jogging. But luckily for pansies like us, a full-on grizzly bear attack is exactly what Canadian tough-guy Troy James Hurtubise has in mind. And even better, he wants us to watch while it happens. This little exercise in madness is the subject of Project Grizzly, a rarely seen gem of a documentary that is definitely worth hunting down.
Cancellations around the dial
It's early October and the ringing shout of “You're outta here!” can be heard around the television dial. No, it's not a result of the ongoing baseball playoffs. Rather, it's the sound of network executives cutting underperforming shows from their roster.
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
The Hot Spot—Have you noticed a white plastic banner that says "The Hot Spot" draped over the Ned's Downtown sign? As of yet, it's pretty much the only indication that the bar has changed hands to new owners, but I've been told that some other (and more noticeable) changes are in the works. I spoke with the Hot Spot's VIP services director last week, and he assured me that "The Ned's spirit isn't gone, it's just changed." He said the bar's focus will shift to an ultra-lounge club with a mix of live and deejayed music, VIP seating and European bottle service (you get a full bottle of booze, plus a selection of mixers for one flat fee). He also said that he wants to do "label scouting nights," where local bands can arrange to perform in front of record label executives from some big-name companies. But maybe he was just blowing smoke up my ass on that one ... it's hard to tell. More on that later.
Serious tunes to make you laugh
Bassist Chris Frain says a Tanuki is a type of "raccoon-dog" found in Japan and in parts of Northeast Asia. Frain's band Tanuki is an instrumental, psuedo-improv power trio with no interest in writing pop songs. "If we tried to write instrumental pop we'd probably be horrible at it," Frain explains. What they are good at, however, is making music that's a little odd, somewhat mischievous and, at times, pretty darn hilarious.
Help Tanuki release their debut CD on Oct. 14 along with The Bellmont, Captain Standish, and Acids & Bases. 9 p.m. at the Launchpad. $5. Legal adults only. (LM)
Thursday, Oct. 13; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over): Detroit doesn't really exist any more. It's a ghost town. Go Downtown sometime and you'll see what I mean. There are no people—just row after row of decaying tract housing, auto part graveyards and factories that produce, well, nothing. But as the American auto industry sputters, shudders and shimmies into a coma, it childrens are emerging out of the vapors at night; taking that same, sad dance and making it their own. Making it alive.
with Bob Collum and The Welfare Mothers, and Captain Bringdown and the Buzzkillers
Wednesday, Oct. 19; Atomic Cantina (21-and-over): The last time Low Skies (not Los Guys) played in Albuquerque, the show was a solitary performance by singer/guitarist Chris Salveter. It is rumored that the band fell apart on the road, leaving Salveter to finish the tour alone. Whether or not this is true, and perhaps it was just a metaphor for the weary bleakness of Low Skies, they/he was excellent as a one-man band.
Former American Music Club front man releases his first new album in four years: I call it "creepy" and "amazing." Others call it "sadcore." The album was created mostly by electronic apparati, and results in strange music beds and soundscapes (though Eitzel was able to collaborate with Calexico on one of the tracks). Strange and successful combinations like this one (singer/songwriter and electronica here) are hard to come by. Plus, how can you argue with songs titled "My Pet Rat St. Michael" and lines like "I play him Mariah Carey so there's butterflies and rainbows in the air?"
Can flood control and cultural preservation find harmony in the South Valley?
By the time I arrived at Gloria Maldonado's house, the rain had almost stopped. Yet evidence still remained in side-street puddles and muddy ditches, making it easy to imagine what 2.3 inches of rain could do.
The state's Environmental Improvement Board will hold hearings on the dangers posed by a household sweetener
Stephen Fox can be a real pest. The Santa Fe gallery owner is a familiar presence in legislative hallways, at public hearings of regulatory bodies and in letters to the editor sections in newspapers around the state. It is a safe bet that if New Mexico's top dozen corporate lobbyists sat down and ranked their 10 least favorite citizens in the state, Fox would make all 12 lists. We owe him big time.
A big error in judgment sank the minimum wage hike
Memo to supporters of raising the minimum wage: Instead of condemning the opposition for winning, get real about why you lost and at least learn something from defeat.
Let's relive all the gory details of last week's election, shall we?
Given that only 31 percent of eligible voters came out to the polls for the recent election, it's probably safe to assume that most of you—yeah, I'm lookin' at you, smarty butt—have been living under a rock. With this in mind, we thought we'd fill in the clueless regarding the outcome of the citywide races, and maybe dish up a few half-baked predictions along the way. Hey, at least that way you can seem to be an involved, civically minded person next time you find yourself in a room full of people who give a crap about such things.
New leadership at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting promises an interesting ride
On the heels of a leadership rearrangement at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), last month two Republican activists were appointed as chair and vice-chair. On the board of eight, charged with managing America's public television and radio, only two Democrats remain.
Dateline: Belgium—A woman is finally being allowed to take the physical portion of her driver's license test after failing the written portion 37 times in a row. The 38th time was the charm for the woman, who finally passed the exam last month. The woman, unnamed due to Belgian privacy laws, had paid approximately $15 in fees for each of her previous attempts. She told Belgian newspaper Het Laatse Niews that she blames her string of failures on “nerves,” but says she believes she will pass the driving test with flying colors. That remains to be determined.
The readers write.
Oh, Mama—Failed actor Christopher Gill is haunted by his recently deceased mother, a famous Broadway actress. It's a rough relationship, with Mama scowling down at her loser son from her life-sized portrait, chastising him for not living up to the family name. It would be enough to drive any boy crazy. Christopher decides to take out his Oedipal frustrations by dressing up in different disguises and embarking on an epic killing spree targeting victims who in one way or another resemble his Mama.
Connect Combine Integrate Replicate at the Yale Art Center
Marissa Glink never planned to be a gallery owner, but when Casey Greenling made it known to her that he wanted to unload his Yale Art Center, Glink jumped at a golden opportunity. "It was one of those unexpected surprises," she says. "The space is great. It's got excellent track lighting. I just thought there were endless possibilities."
Harwood Art Center
This Friday, Oct. 14, the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) will host one of its twice-yearly open studio evenings during which the numerous artists who work and play at the center will open their studios to the community. It's something like visiting the zoo except without the bars. (I mean that in a good way.) To quadruple your pleasure, that same night Susan Byrnes, Bruce Shortz and Dan Noyes will host receptions for their full-scale solo exhibits at the Harwood. The fun begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until approximately 8:30 p.m. 242-6367.
Goodbye pizzeria, hello continental dining
Dining out can be much like running into your high school sweetheart—you might be pleasantly surprised at how much they've matured over time; maybe enough to make you take a sweeping second glance at the classy, well-attired adult they have become.
This Saturday, Oct. 15, join Slow Food Rio Grande for a celebration of tea tasting from small producers around the world and accompaniments. The featured speaker is Sebastian Beckwith, a ranking tea authority based in New York. He teaches educational tea seminars at New York City's China Institute and the Institute of Culinary Education, as well as at museums and other venues. He also leads presentations with the internationally known, integrative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil at New York City's Columbia University.
Did someone order an extra side of sass?
Welcome to the 2005 Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll! We look forward to this issue every year because it combines two subjects that are very dear to our hearts: food and local businesses. This time around, we've completely revamped the poll to reflect the changing tastes and growing appetites of our beloved Duke City. We've trimmed away some of the staler categories (Best Juice Bar) and fattened it up with more of you favorite foods (Best Enchiladas, Best Use of Chocolate). And because we know you love getting the inside industry scoop, there's even a Chef's Day Off section. Let it be a window into the minds, hearts and stomachs of your favorite local celebrity chefs.
The beauty of the RCRP is twofold: Reward the best local restaurants with recognition, and provide our readers with an invaluable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Now all you've got to do is keep eating and voting. We think it's a great system. Bon appetit!
When it comes to ethnic eateries, it's all Greek to you, Albuquerque. The Duke City has a fine and flourishing selection of Grecian goodies, and respondents chimed in on everything from casual diners to fancier digs. Nonetheless, it was Olympia Café that thundered as loudly as Zeus himself, thanks to affordable and filling daily specials, buttery pita bread and Olympic-sized wands of gyro meat. No doubt the serene island scene at Mykonos helped them to nab second place, while Yanni's Mediterranean Bar & Grill puts the "Opa!" back in, uh, "open for lunch and dinner."
We're lucky here in Albuquerque. We have more restaurants per capita than heavy hitters like New York City, and new ones seem to keep popping up every week. Our readers loved lots of new restaurants but they gave the most votes to the carry-out-and-delivery-only pizza masters at Da Vinci's Gourmet Pizza. Our readers also went crazy over Nob Hill's swank new sushi joint Crazy Fish Restaurant, which got second. The meat-lover's paradise over at the Gruet Steak House garnered third.
A pile of steaming-hot cakes, fresh out of the pan, slathered in maple syrup with a dab of butter floating in the center of it all like the unblinking eye of God himself—could there possibly be a more beautiful way to start your morning? We don't think so. And, of course, you can sink your teeth into the winners at Frontier earlier than those at most other restaurants, because everyone's favorite big yellow barn is open around the clock. With three locations scattered throughout the area, it's easy to get your pancake fix at the Range Café and Bakery, too, which is a good thing, since they came in second place. Third went to another University area favorite, the packed and popular Mannie's Family Restaurant.
Bob Peterson, Executive Chef, Seasons of Albuquerque
My house; seriously, I put yogurt in them to leaven instead of buttermilk. They're tender, fluffy and tangy and they always come with real Vermont maple syrup, not the imitation stuff.
Two different kinds of burgers here: For well-done it's got to be Blake's. For medium-rare style, Seasons. It's the wood grill that raises the bar.
Best Huevos Rancheros
I've only had a couple, but when the red chile is good, Perea's on Central is where I take family from out of town. It's mandatory every time they visit.
Gordon Schutte, Chef/Owner, Vivace
Best Greek Restaurant
Hands-down, it's Mykonos in Mountain Run [Shopping Center]. Their food is truly authentic and the atmosphere is just as good. It feels like the island after which it is named, serene and peaceful.
Best American Restaurant
No question that Jennifer James' Graze wins this poll. She is one of the most creative chefs I know and takes great pain to see that her guests always have a high culinary experience at her restaurant.
Best Romantic Dinner Spot
Ambrozia wins this election. Chef Sam has done a great job of combining culinary adventure with a subtle ambiance that appeals to Carol and me when we have a night off. The space is cozy and quiet and allows for easy conversation and the privacy we seek.
Heath VanRiper, Executive Chef, Prairie Star
Best Chili has to go to Vic's Daily Café. There is nothing better than well-seasoned chili, and Vic has the winning combination of those seasonings.
Best Sunday Brunch
Ambrozia has the best Sunday brunch. The amount of creativity they put into their brunch is above and beyond all others.
Jennifer James, Chef/Owner, Graze
Best Frito Pie
I like to drive to the Eastside and hit the Burger Boy—preferably after a long hike, but it's always nice to get out of town, and that's a nice "quickie."
I like to go to Loyola's for a great diner experience; it's close enough to walk to and the light fixtures and the pobrasito burrito make it worthwhile.
Larry Ashby, Chef, Christy Mae's
Uptown Sports Bar—Great bread from Swiss Alps Bakery.
Route 66 Diner.
Best Chips and Salsa
Juan's Broken Taco on Menaul.
Best Breakfast Burrito
Dos Hermanos. Take your pick.
Best Dinner Burrito
Pat Keene, Chef/Owner, Artichoke Café
When we're in the mood for barbecue, I usually stop at Rudy's on Carlisle and pick up their baby back ribs and lean brisket. They're delicious. I serve them for dinner at home with my own macaroni and cheese or beans and a salad. Sometimes I pick up macaroni salad, coleslaw or potato salad at the Whole Foods takeout counter to go with the barbecue. They make their takeout food from all fresh ingredients and it's expertly done, so there's no guilt in serving it to your family!
For breakfast, I love to go to Frontier. I love their huevos rancheros, fresh tortillas and red chile. I also pick up their carne adovada to go and make burritos for dinner with it. Their fresh orange juice is also the best. I won't go to breakfast anywhere that doesn't serve fresh orange juice.
Rob Wells, Executive Chef, Scalo
I haven't been there in a long time, but the best quiet little spot for a romantic dinner in Albuquerque, in my mind, would be Le Crepe Michel in Old Town. You feel like you're in a different world sitting on the patio.
Best Bar Food
A friend and I stopped at Gulp on a whim, and had a couple (too many) drinks and ate a really great trout gratin, and a couple of buffalo brats on Rainbo buns that were awesome.
Tony Nethery, Chef/Partner, Relish Cheese Market & Sandwich Shop
Best Home Cookin'
To be honest, I prefer to stay at home and cook (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It's my way of researching and developing and also making sure the family eats well.
My favorite is Robb's Ribbs. Good clean food, friendly atmosphere, good wine and beer ... Rob has an amazing smoker and kitchen facility; everyone should eat there.
Best Dessert and Best Use of Chocolate
These have to go to Ted Niceley (currently at Zinc). I've worked with Ted for a few years now and plan to work more with him in the future—he is a good friend and an outstanding pastry chef. He is creative, thoughtful and studies; keeps up with the times. I really enjoy Ted's ideas.
Wayne Leach, Executive Chef, Le Café Miche
Best Huevos Rancheros
Perea's. They kind of have the "build your own" philosophy. Your choice of corn or flour, hash browns or beans, red or green. Just the best in town and faster than McDonalds!
Giovanni's. Good, basic, East Coast-style pizza. Fold a slice in half and see what I'm talking about.
Orchid Thai. Each dish is made with the freshest ingredients—perfect curries and the best green papaya salad in town (maybe the only green papaya salad in town).
More Music for Katrina—A whole slew of New Mexico arts and music organizations have banded together for another benefit concert in the name of Hurricane Katrina's victims. Titled "Chicory and Chile," the show will feature a huge variety of performances from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the historic KiMo Theatre this Friday, Oct. 7. Admission is free, but any donations you can afford will go on to benefit three very worthy causes: The American Red Cross, Gulf Coast Musicians and the Humane Society of the United States. Performers include Bayou Seco, Priscilla Baca y Candelaria, Christian Orellana, Jenny Bird, classical composer Rahim Al Haj, Tony Rio & Voodoo Chili, Danny Solis and the 2005 National Poetry Slam Championship Team, Bonnie Bluhm and Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, author of The Dirty Girl's Social Club. For more information, log on to abqmusic.com.
with Alchemical Burn, Cobra//group and AGL
Thursday, Oct. 6; Wherehouse, (all-ages), $5: Noise musicians Raven Chacon (composer, founder of the local experimental improv collective Cobra//group and a former Albuquerque resident) and Bob Bellerue (Los Angeles "noise artist"), also known as Halfnormal, will visit Albuquerque this week on their West Coast Noise Tour. Halfnormal and others in the field create a type of music that is both aural and physical, as well as detrimental to your hearing, with a myriad of homemade instruments like theremin guitars and gutted pianos (and some moogs, I'm guessing). Being old pals (sort of), me and Raven recently had a ding-a-ling of a chitty chat.
The year was 1975 and somewhere in Ipswich, England, four guys with nothing better to do decided to make some music, never knowing they would eventually make musical history as the longest-surviving punk band out there.
with Prurient, Alchemical Burn and Manhole
Sunday, Oct. 9; the Launchpad (21-and-over), $7: If you ever find yourself lying in bed, unable to get up and worried that you'll spend the entire day under the covers, grab your CD player remote and put on Wolf Eyes' Burned Mind. After a few moments, your new thought process should be something like: "I can't lay here all day. I've got to get up and stab someone in the throat!" Using homemade instruments/noise-producing contraptions, Wolf Eyes works in the medium of textural sound to produce tangible feelings of pain, anxiety and impending doom. As tense as the record makes you feel, there is something strangely cathartic about listening to 70 minutes of continually pulsating racket. This isn't music to get the party started. (Unless your party revolves around ritual suicide.) It's a demonic sermon or perhaps a sadistic wake-up call. The Ann Arbor trio was fortunate to be recognized by leading independent label Sub Pop as more than just adroit noisesters. Wolf Eyes has somehow managed to combine musical extremism with something that even rock purists can get wound up about. I start to tense up when I think about what a live Wolf Eyes show might be like; even listening to Burned Mind on low volume can make me break into a sweat. A few things are for certain; it will be loud, grating and a true sight to behold.
They may never receive the heavy rotation of hip-hop heavyweights like Jay Z or Kanye West, but the Dirtheadz' latest release is about as commercially viable as underground hip-hop can get. The Movement has the high-pitched hooks and unflinching swagger that characterizes so much of popular rap today. But the record amounts to more than music for the masses. The track "No Names With Names" in particular merits critical as well as widespread approbation for its combination of immediate likability and salient flows. Give Kanye's Late Registration a break and check out what the Dirtheadz have to offer.
Latin surf/jazz combo Rio Duende will perform alongside a vintage cartoon screening at 7 p.m. $5 gets you in, popcorn included. (LM)
Nate Smith gets his pie manhandled in the name of local music
It's been more than two years since the Rock Outside the Box compilation ripped 14 up-and-comers from the streets of downtown Albuquerque and crammed them into one precocious little jewel case. The album was organized by Feels Like Sunday guitarist Nate Smith. He says he did it to "promote unity in the scene." At the time of its release, our own Michael Henningsen said, "Not since Socyermom's Ouch! compilation has a collection of songs by local bands struck such a bright glimmer of hope."
Have a meal in Auntie Marta's kitchen
Remember when you were a kid? And you had that special auntie who could playfully tease you one minute, gently scold you the next, and still make the best enchiladas in the tri-state area in between? Well, you no longer have to suffer through a family reunion to get that old feeling, because Auntie Marta serves it up daily at Marta's Camino Real.
With a national energy crisis looming in the near future, where does Albuquerque stand on quality public transportation?
It would seem that all our worst predictions are catching up with us: Overpopulation, global warming and now, in the wake of two nasty hurricanes that bombarded our oil-rich Gulf Coast, a looming energy shortage, evidenced by the president's plea last week for people to start conserving precious fossil fuels. It would also seem that the time has come to stop making predictions, and start acting on solutions.
As a longtime Journal subscriber, I'm used to a certain level of meanness pervading the majority of the Journal's news coverage. This year's mayoral profiles were typical Journal fare, although Chavez, the paper's chosen one, seemed to escape the brunt of the paper's fury. Maybe that's because during the last mayoral election cycle he got absolutely smeared in the Journal's election profiles.
As I get older, I find I am spending almost as much time reading the obituaries in the morning newspaper as I am reading the sports page. The obituaries can be dull, inspiring or frustrating, much like the people whose passing is being noted. But I've gotten very fond of scanning them daily.
Getting ready to settle in for the night and discuss the day's outcomes with a colleague over a glass of wine, I made my way to the Las Cruces hotel bar to borrow a wine opener. (They don't stock the rooms with them, unfortunately.) As I passed the newspaper machines, a headline caught my eye and I was suddenly transported back to my role as an extra on the J-Lo movie, Border Town, shot in Albuquerque earlier this year.
Dateline: Poland—An armed man stormed into the Tschenstochau Salon in the southern Polish town of Czestochowa and demanded a free haircut for his girlfriend. The man, who has not been caught, forced the salon's owner to dye, cut and style his girlfriend's hair at gunpoint. The hair-crazed gunman was obviously unhappy with the results, however, as he returned the next day, gun in hand, and demanded that the hairdresser fix his girlfriend's do. This time, he insisted on hair extensions to fix the length.
An interview with Diane Rimple, a doctor from the University of New Mexico Hospital who spent 10 days in the aftermath of Katrina
A college professor once told me that in order to write about big ideas, one first had to write about small ones. Everyone wants to tackle love, or life, or the profound influence of one's mother, she said, but hardly anyone can do it well, or in a way that a thousand others haven't done it before. To get there, one has to start with threads, buttons, the way her rosary smelled. The small things paint the scenery. The subject is implied.
State treasurers' prosecution is good news
The arrests of New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil and his predecessor, Michael Montoya, brought a big smile to my face.
The readers write.
Movie Mecca—The Second Annual New Mexico Middle East Film Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 7, though Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Guild Cinema. Additional screenings will be held Oct. 8 and 9 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The timely festival will feature more than 30 films from countries across the Arab world. Film selections include narratives and documentaries that explore the themes of women, history, art, religion, war and occupation, human rights and the representation of Arabs and Arab-Americans in the media.
An interview with Tom Laughlin, the creator of Billy Jack
Tom Laughlin began his career as an actor, doing small parts in mainstream films (Gidget, South Pacific). As the turbulent '60s came to an end, however, Laughlin turned his head to writing, producing and directing. Beginning with the 1967 film Born Losers, Laughlin launched one of the most successful independent film series in movie history. It wasn't until the 1971 sequel Billy Jack that Laughlin's creation achieved its full pop cultural icon status, though.
Genial comedy/drama proves “chick lit” isn't just for chicks
The crazy, irresponsible sibling paired with the stable, reliable sibling is as predictable a Hollywood character duo as the immature, free-spirited parent paired with the precocious, overly serious child. Or the hotheaded, young rookie partnered with the gruff, about-to-retire cop. Or ... well, you get the idea. Despite the cliché at its heart, the new comedy/drama In Her Shoes does workmanlike duty, finding appealing actors to fill the roles and a witty, emotion-soaked hankie of a script from which they can work.
“Night Stalker” on ABC
Seedy supernatural journalist Carl Kolchak first came to life in a 1972 TV movie called The Night Stalker. The clever tale of a reporter (crusty Darrin McGavin) hunting vampires in modern-day Vegas became the highest-rated TV movie to date. A sequel (The Night Strangler) was conjured up a year later, while the inevitable “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” TV series followed in 1974. Though the series never quite lived up to the potential of the movies, it left a lasting impression on early-'70s TV watchers, including “X-Files” writer Frank Spotnitz who, along with “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, drew significant inspiration from the old show. Carter and Spotnitz even recruited McGavin for a major guest spot on “X-Files.”
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
It's Autumnal—Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE) rings in the fall season with a new show featuring jewelry by Kristen Diener, sculptures by Lisa Smith and mirror creations by Leroy Archuleta. Upstairs in the adjoining Galerie E, there'll also be a Dia de los Muertos exhibit with work by Ken Saville, Maria Moya, Jeff Sipe, Kevin Burgess and others. Both shows open Friday, Oct. 7, with receptions from 5 to 8 p.m. They run through Oct. 30. 268-6828.
¡Arte Caliente! at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
Wouldn't it be nice to have the spare cash to really collect art? Wherever you happened to be, if you saw a piece of art that yanked your chain, you could just whip out the plastic and buy it on the spot. Joe A. Diaz has just such a luxury. The San Antonio-based businessman might not be able to buy every piece of art he's ever wanted, but for the last decade and a half he's had the resources to develop an astonishing art collection mainly consisting of masterpieces of Chicano art from the Southwest.
With a title like this, Paul Rudnick's play had better be pretty freakin' fabulous. By most accounts, this campy gay Bible story about the adventures of two couples—Adam and Steve, Mabel and Jane—is a hoot. A new production of The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told opens this weekend at UNM's Rodey Theatre. It includes sex, foul language and nudity, so you might want to leave the kids at home. $15 general, $10 seniors, $8 students. Call for dates and times. To order tickets, go to unmtickets.com or call 925-5858.
For his new exhibit at the Donkey (1415 Fourth Street SW), Rourke has created a small, mirrored tower-like structure and placed it in the middle of the gallery's parking lot. It's designed to stimulate interaction with visitors to the show. Inside the gallery itself, Rourke will display models and drawings used in the design stage. This odd little exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 7, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. that will include music by DJ Lukaduke and heaping, steaming troughs of delicious food. The show runs through Oct. 29. 242-7504.
An interview with Tracy Kidder
Tracy Kidder's tour of duty in Vietnam may have unfolded to a soundtrack of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, but that's about all it shares with Hollywood portrayals of that war. In fact, Kidder's experience as a young army lieutenant is notable for what it lacked. There were no blazing firefights, no elaborate crying jags beneath slowly turning ceiling fans. He was even turned down by one prostitute and never once fired his gun.