Why do we include picks for eats and drinks in our annual Best of Burque? Because we can. And also because without the fantastic food and luscious libational offerings here in the 505, we'd be just as boring as those other cities with no red or green. So read up, keep eating it up, and expect a full-on report for your esculent sensibilities in our annual Reader's Choice Restaurant Poll coming up in the fall. And remember, being in Albuquerque is a lot like being in Valhalla, only with tortillas and horchata.
So here we are again. It's a new year, folks, and with it comes a new summation from our readers on the best (and in many cases worst) aspects of life in our beloved city. Who do we blame for the failures of our simple metropolis? Who do we cheer for getting things right? And, perhaps most importantly, where should we go for the best knock-down, drag-out night of bowling this side of Santa Fe? (Please tell me it's a place with karaoke.)
The sun goes down. The city lights up. We pour out into the night, our day's pay burning holes the size of pint glasses in our pockets. We look for a quiet corner, a little action or a night on the town. A slice of heaven right here on earth or something just a bit naughty. We love the night life. In this year's poll, you spoke up about your favorite Albuquerque haunts--whether you're out for a rollicking night of live local music, after-work cocktails with the girls, a game of pool at the Anodyne or a double feature at the Guild. It's all here. On the off-chance you don't see a category or business you feel deserves some attention, don't feel shy about sending us your suggestions. We work hard so you can play hard, all night long.
On the face of it, Burque seems like an ordinary, blue-collar, beer-
It's the American way. Indeed, many of this year's voters have a predilection for venturing down the florescent aisles of the megachains—which is also the American way. But this is the Best of Burque, folks. So you're going to have to let the giant franchises go. Trust us. They can take care of themselves. Instead, raise your glass and swipe your credit card for the local businesses with unique goods and funky flare. Here's to the stores that have snagged your hearts—and a little something from your pocketbooks.
Media Maneuvers—Here's the back story: Knight Ridder, previously the second-largest publishing company in the United States, was recently bought up by McClatchy, a company only a little more than a third the size. To understand what this means for the industry, I called Dennis Herrick, an instructor at UNM's Communication and Journalism Department who used to be a newspaper broker, owned a daily for 12 years and who authored Media Management in the Age of Giants.
Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.
Dateline: Canada—A notorious Ottawa drunk driver was found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charge after invoking the age-old “Shania Twain” defense. According to CBC News, Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa. The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed that country pop singer Shania Twain was helping him drive. Brownlee pleaded not guilty to four charges, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified. Last Monday, the judge in the case agreed with Brownlee, drawing on several psychiatric assessments that the man was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that female celebrities are communicating with him telepathically and controlling his actions. Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Earlier in March, a psychiatrist told the court that Brownlee suffers from psychosis resulting from a brain injury caused by that 1996 car crash.
I'm Back!--Go on vacation for a week and see what happens? They clean out your desk and replace you with some pompous twit named Maxwell K. Lionidas. Rest assured, based on the groundswell of reader outrage and the ass-kicking I administered to him, Mr. Lionidas will no longer be gracing the pages of the Alibi. You're stuck with me for the long haul, folks. ... Now, if only I could get the stench of patchouli and corduroy jackets out of my office.
Let the Spring Crawl Countdown Begin—Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 29, this year ... less than one month away! Clear your schedule and prepare for 100 music acts (give or take a few), including nationally touring bands Guttermouth, Bullet For My Valentine and Attractive at the Sunshine Theater and Stereotyperider at Launchpad. This is all subject to change, of course. Now, for those of you who are still trying to figure out how to apply for a slot: Er ... you can't. You cannot audition, submit yourselves for review or put a bug in someone's ear about playing any of the Crawls. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way. What does work is playing live gigs Downtown as much as humanly possible, bringing in a good draw (people who come specifically to see you) and being polite, punctual and easy to work with—because it's the venues who decide, not us. See, after working with you guys for the past six months or more, each participating venue submits a “wish list” of bands they'd like to have play their respective rooms during the Crawl. We just do our best to schedule it all smoothly. Make sense? I sure hope so ... now get gigging!
Revelation recording artists Shook Ones and Sinking Ships perform a monster set with local newbs Outlaw and Excruciation. $5 show starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Sol Arts (all-ages, 712 Central SE). (LM)
The thing about Four Shillings Short is that they're so unique, writers who attempt to explain their sound have gone to great lengths to describe them in likewise original ways. Sure, they're amazing folk musicians who travel around the world in a white van stuffed with an array of instruments. Sure, both Aodh “g” Tuama and Christy Martin are talented, well-educated musical entrepreneurs. Their traditional Celtic yet Indian-influenced bluesy American folk is just so undeniably good, and they're obviously far from "short" on anything—where'd "Four Shillings Short" come from?
Monday, April 10, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: For over 25 years, El Aviador Dro has been a fixture of the synth pop community of Spain and other parts of Latin America. In their native land, they are as important to the scene as groups like Devo and Front 42. But, as with so many non-English speaking, semi-noncommercial bands, Aviador Dro have remained largely unnoticed by the American underground music community and non-Spanish synth poppers alike. That has changed, however, since Omega Point, an electropunk indie label in the United States, released an Aviador Dro compilation that spans the group's entire musical history and also includes a few bonus tracks for those already in the know. The band's earlier work can loosely be compared to Duran Duran and is especially similar to Devo, while their more current material is in-style enough to win the hearts of today's modern synth pop devotees. So don't let the Español scare you, come on out to Burt's for the best synth pop you've never heard.
Surrender to Storm—For the third year in a row, the Harwood Art Center will celebrate National Poetry Month (that's this month, comrades) with a collaborative art and poetry exhibit. Surrender to Storm combines Cynthia Fusillo's mixed-media work with complementary poetry by Barbara Rockman for a unique show merging word and vision. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. 242-6367.
Vietnam comes to UNM—Well, sort of. Hungry college students won't have to hoof it all the way up East Central every time they get the munchies for boba tea or an order of shrimp spring rolls. A new Vietnamese lunch counter called Green Jasmine has moved into the space at 120 Harvard SE (the one that used to be occupied by Pepperjack Monterey's, and before that, the even more short-lived Salsa Fresca). Green Jasmine offers Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle dishes, as well as a few boba “smoothies” from a large dining room and a pleasant outdoor patio that overlooks the Harvard mall. Great location! The food, on the other hand ... well, it's got some catching up to do. At least, when we went it needed to. For starters, the bulk of the fresh vegetable garnish I got for my pho consisted of shredded iceburg lettuce, supplemented by a sprig of basil and a small clump of mung beans; and there wasn't a single lime to be found on the entire property. The “boba tea” we ordered turned out to be a disturbing layer of mealy, florescent green balls that sat decomposing at the bottom of our ice-packed iced tea glasses. I don't know if they were old or just cheap or what, but it wasn't worth the extra $.75. So, its pricier portions are skimpier and the ingredients just aren't as good as something you'd find after an eight-minute drive up Central to Little Saigon. But that's just it: You don't even need a car to get to this place from campus. Long story short, if you're willing to exchange some quality for convenience, there is definitely no shame in eating there. I think I'll pass for now, though.