Alibi V.15 No.27 • July 6-12, 2006

feature

Not So Beastly

The real pit bull problem

I’m staring at eight pit bulls. They’re all in a row and stacked on top of each other, tucked inside those plastic dog carriers that come in muted colors like light blue, beige and gray. The dogs come in a similar color scheme—some are light brown, others dark, some tan with white trim, and one a curious shade of grayish-blue. That’s the baby—only six months old and she still looks like she could herd a whole flock of sheep without the least bit of trouble. They call her Tempest.

film

Reel World

Grants Goes Digital--Filmmaker Christopher Coppola’s EARS XXI Studio has joined forces with the Cibola Arts Council to create the first-annual PAH-Fest. PAH-Fest (short for Project Accessible Hollywood) will feature “alternative and grassroots storytelling through the use of today’s latest technology, celebrating the stories and voices of everyday people.” The festival will take place from Wednesday, July 5, through Sunday, July 9, in Grants, N.M.

Rated Aarrrr!

A brief history of pirate movies

For decades, pop critics, both professional and casual, have debated the relative merits of pirates versus ninjas. Both have their strengths. But until Hollywood gets on the ball and makes a blockbuster ninja movie (no, Beverly Hills Ninja doesn’t count), I’m afraid pirates must come out on top of the “who’s coolest” quarrel.

The Devil Wears Prada

Would you like socks with that?

There was a publishing trend a few years back whereby lowly wage slaves were paid exorbitant amounts of money to squeal on their snooty, slave-driving bosses. Hence, we were treated to a rush of tell-all books like Wannabe (written by a personal assistant in Hollywood), The Nanny Diaries (written by a private nanny to rich New Yorkers) and The Devil Wears Prada (written by an executive secretary in the fashion industry) that informed us--juicily, if a bit predictably--rich and famous people suck as employers.

King of Cable

“Nightmares & Dreamscapes” on TNT

Steven King is an unchallenged literary heavyweight. When it comes to translating his stories to film and television, however, his track record has been less than stellar. For every adaptation like The Shining (a film King, famously, hated) to hit theaters there are two or three adaptations like Graveyard Shift, The Mangler or Maximum Overdrive (a film King, infamously, directed) to go alongside it. TV hasn’t had a much better track record either. The miniseries version of The Stand was quite memorable, but the miniseries version of The Shining was, well, about as exciting as watching snow melt.

music

Music to Your Ears

Gone Phishin'--Need a miracle? This Monday (July 10), the Starport Theater at Cottonwood Mall will screen Phish: Live In Brooklyn. The film consists of concert footage shot just in front of 16,000 Phish fans at Keyspan Park baseball field, Coney Island. The beauty part is the film hasn't been seen anywhere since the night of the show, more than two years ago. If you weren't there, you might just feel like it now. And if you were there, whoa! Acid flashback! Show starts at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are already available online at www.fandango.com, or call the theater at 897-6858.

The Jason and the Argonauts farewell show

with SuperGiant, Lousy Robot, Fast Heart Mart and The Trampolines (from Denver)

Friday, July 7, Launchpad (21-and-over); $5: You win some, you lose some, Albuquerque. One of our best and brightest is on his way back East. Jason Daniello will soon be moving to Asheville, N.C., but not before he and some good friends put on one more monster musical event this Friday at the Launchpad.

Flyer on the Wall

(Psst! Hey, Albuquerque ... Santa Fe is kicking your ass on the poster art lately.) The Cherry Tempo, Shinobu, A Moment’s Loss and Keyboard. Monday, July 10, at Warehouse 21. $5. www.warehouse21.org. (LM)

Moreland, Arbuckle & Floyd

with I is for Ida, Primates and Lagoon

Friday, July 7, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: As Terry Zwigoff’s film Ghost World aptly demonstrates, there are plenty of faux blues bands out there--bands that claim to play “Delta Blues” or “Mississippi Roots Blues”--that are just plain awful. They may appeal to audiences of the suburban persuasion nationwide, but they’re hardly authentic in any real sense of the word.

Built to Spill

Eat it, Bono

Built to Spill is one of the few major-label bands that still sounds as pure as the day they were formed in 1992. Through it all, frontman and founder Doug Martsch has held on to his humility, maintaining that “all we’ve ever wanted to do was make music that sounds all right.” Martsch talked with the Alibi about his band’s success, touring and lack of bravado.

Nels

Who says girls can’t rock?

When she arrived in Albuquerque during one of last week's crazy thunder and lightning shows, Nels and her bandmates had no idea what they were getting into. "This bus has big windows, so I just sat and watched. I filmed the whole thing. It was really kind of crazy." Then it just started pouring.

news

Ghost of the Blue Spruce

Can the razing of an Albuquerque landmark lead to the redevelopment of a neighborhood?

The Blue Spruce Lounge was an Albuquerque landmark, its name synonymous with fun.

From Pavement to Paradise?

The mayor’s proposal for a new park Downtown would make Downtown greener ... but at what cost?

Mayor Martin Chavez has proposed a plan to build a new park Downtown between Third and Fourth Street and Roma and Marquette on a site that is currently used as a parking lot.

On Both Sides of the Street

The days of free Downtown parking are over

The changes came suddenly. White notices atop the familiar one-hour parking signs gave Downtown parkers and patrons insight into what was to come. Letters were passed out to local businesses alerting them of the change: No more free parking Downtown along Central.

Strong Medicine

A call for a tougher Liquor Control Act has business owners up in arms

It's a significant figure: 1,410. That's how many dispenser liquor licenses there are in New Mexico. None have been added since 1981.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: The Philippines--Six police officers may lose their jobs for pawning their pistols in the cash-strapped southern Philippines. German Doria, police chief of the central region of Mindano Island, said Wednesday the incidents of government-issue guns being pawned came to light after the National Bureau of Investigation raided shops selling stolen goods in the town of Tupi. Six police handguns were recovered in the raid. “How can police officers carry out their missions if they don’t have guns?” asked Doria. Severely underfunded and poorly paid Philippine security forces have been battling Muslim and communist insurgents for nearly 40 years. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has promised to release 30 percent of a proposed 1 billion peso ($18.7 million) budget increase this month to help defeat Maoist-led rebels.

art

Culture Shock

Mariposa—Starting this week, a threesome of ladies presents a range of new work at Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE), Nob Hill's premier showcase for contemporary craft art. Amanda Tinsley offers up an unlikely combo of whimsical fairies and abstract paintings. Jill Erickson will display her enamel jewelry composed of striking semiprecious stones. Linda Tarr's colorful ceramics exude a retro feel that suggests imaginary molecular structures. Stop by the gallery Friday evening, July 7, for a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to mingle with the artists and ogle their creations. The show will run through the end of the month. 268-6828, www.mariposa-gallery.com.

The Future is a Merciless Slug

Donkey Gallery

This week, the Donkey (1415 Fourth Street SW) opens the first solo showcase of work by the late comic artist Seth Fisher. Before his untimely death at age 33, Fisher had become an established artist with several impressive claims to fame, including illustrating an arc of the Batman series, doing concept design for the computer game Myst III, and creating magazine and album covers in Finland and Japan. He was also nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Penciler/Inker. The exhibit will present original inked pages and limited edition prints from a variety of Fisher’s works. A reception will be held on Friday, July 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. during which you can munch on hot banana fritters served by Sarah, Fisher’s sister, enjoy music by Kaleb, Fisher’s brother, and talk to friends and family of the artist about his life and his work. The show runs through July 28. 242-7504.

Entering the Mind of a Terrorist

An interview with John Updike

Four decades ago John Updike climbed all the way to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list with Couples (1968), a rather frightening portrait of how the sexual revolution crashed upon the shores of suburbia like a tsunami.

Around the World in a Single Weekend

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Here in New Mexico, we're used to swimming up to our necks in folk art. From traditional punched tin and Catholic religious pieces to handmade textiles and ceramics by Native American artists, the stuff is everywhere. It's been a significant part of our thriving art economy for at least the last century.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Holy Cow!—Steak lovers, take note! Great American Land and Cattle Co. (1550 Tramway at Indian School) is now serving limited quantities of Wagyu steak, the same breed of cattle that's used in Japan's famous Kobe beef. Kobe is often considered the holy grail of beef varieties, which can command an excess of $100 per pound in Japan. The prime stuff at Great American is produced by a company out of Redmond, Ore., called Kobe Beef America. Because the Wagyu cows are raised domestically, they technically can't be called Kobe. But just like their Japanese counterparts, the cows are reared on a hormone-free feeding program and are graded against both USDA and Japanese standards. (However, it's not clear whether they feed the cows beer and massage them with sake, as the Japanese producers love to insist on.)

Tapped Beer BBQ Sauce

A tasty end for your leftover Fourth of July keg

When you fail to finish off a keg, you’ve clearly shirked your responsibilities, and there is only one way to redeem yourself: turn it into to a thick and smoky barbecue sauce. Contrary to popular opinion, that brown sugar, hickory ooze is not such a mysterious undertaking. Here’s an intermediate recipe that will make use of those cups of keg beer and boost your self-esteem. The only problem is that once you’re going ape shit smothering everything in your fridge with this sauce, you’ll wish you had a keg of beer to go with it.

Szechwan Chinese Cuisine

Cool, calm and kung pao

Writing restaurant reviews doesn’t normally put my life in danger, but I’ve come to discover that parking lots are making my short list of places to avoid. I took a leisurely drive up to the Heights to have lunch at Szechwan Chinese Cuisine, where I enjoyed the picturesque scenery along Central--seedy and/or abandoned motels, pawn shops and the occasional Suntran stop filled with people looking like I did the morning after an Orgy concert back in 1998. But pulling into the parking lot of the strip mall at 1605 Juan Tabo NE proved to be my peril, as I was nearly obliterated by a jackass in an Isuzu Rodeo.

Alibi V.15 No.26 • June 29-July 5, 2006

Rhetoric v. Reality

When it comes to civil liberties, talk is cheap

Since 9/11, President Bush and his administration have told us again and again that the terrorists who seek to destroy our country hate freedom. These are strong words, but you know what? He's right.

feature

To Torture or Not to Torture

Why is this even a question?

The Bush administration has repeatedly insisted that it doesn't condone torture. Yet, following 9/11, the president's legal weasels drafted a secret memo that allowed for “aggressive” interrogations of terrorist suspects. The memo narrowly defined torture as the act of inflicting pain as an end in itself, as distinguished from inflicting pain in the interests of national security. In other words, under the guidelines of the memo, counter-terrorist agents could do almost anything to a suspect, and it wouldn't be considered torture so long as the agents involved weren't just doing it for cheap thrills. The moral ambiguities inherent in this memo led directly to the debacle at Abu Ghraib and other heinous abuses of U.S. detainees, most of whom had never been accused of any crime.

Get Your Hands Off My Body

The right-wing attack on reproductive rights

When John Roberts was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2005, pro-choice women—and men, I might add—everywhere held their breath. When Samuel Alito was appointed a mere year later, they started praying.

Peeking Inside a Black Box

Election fraud in the United States of America

From the days following the Civil War when former slaves first got the right to vote—but didn't really get the right to vote—the U.S. has a history of cheating its citizens during elections. This is a fact. But since we've supposedly straightened up our act in the past several decades, we usually assume that votes are not being inflated, deflated or suppressed. The idea of a vast right-wing conspiracy is laughable: Only the hippiest of paranoid, drug-addled hippies would buy that, right? Well, let's look at the facts.

Be All That You Have to Be

Proposed bill would require men and women to serve in the military

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) recently put forth a bill that would require both men and women, ages 18 to 42, to serve a two-year stint in the military, “or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security.”

Selling Hate

Bush's proposed ban on gay marriage

We look back through more than 50 years of struggle to a time when our racial discrimination lived in the sunlight, without shame. Parents and grandparents tell wide-eyed kids about the days when Black people couldn't drink out of the same water fountains as everyone else, about Rosa Parks being too tired to move to the back of a bus.

Turning Heroes into Pariahs

Blowing the whistle on government corruption just got a whole lot harder

Sibel Edmonds is a beautiful woman, even with the gag pulled tight across her face. Normally, the mainstream press would be covering Hot-Damsel-in-Distress Edmonds 24/7, but Edmonds has been deemed an invisible person in Bushworld, and the Washington press hasn't been noted for its courage these last few years.

No Warrant? No Problem.

Whatever happened to the Fourth Amendment?

Nearly every agreement—credit card applications, rental agreements, e-mail account sign-ups—has a privacy statement that requires approval. The U.S. government has a privacy agreement, too. When you become a citizen, by birth or legal process, you sign up. It's called the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, the principles enshrined in that portion of the Bill of Rights seem to be becoming a thing of the past.

music

Music to Your Ears

Where It's At—It was one of those life-affirming, “you had to be there” moments. All the planets aligned neatly into concentric rows, international superstar Beck and his boys put on a clever, enormously entertaining spectacle at the Kiva, then donned wigs and sunglasses, jogged over to the Launchpad, and played an impromptu set for locals SuperGiant's CD release show (See last week's “Show Up!,” June 22–28). They jammed for a full hour through a backline of SuperGiant's own amps and drum set. This time, the show was loose and candid. It was a damn near perfect foil to their slick Convention Center production. (We were actually close enough to see Beck's rosacea-tinted cheeks, the only splotch of color on a nearly translucent man.) White buffalo that he is, Beck closed his set with an offering of, “Thanks to SuperGiant for letting us play.” Can you imagine?

Albuquerque Fourth of July Tricentennial Celebration

Ten-time Grammy Award winner Linda Ronstadt will headline event at Balloon Fiesta Park

“Being able to say we opened for Linda Ronstadt is definitely a nice résumé builder,” says Edward Burch, singer/songwriter and guitarist for Foma, one of the 14 bands who will rock Balloon Fiesta Park on July 4. It doesn’t hurt that Foma will be playing in front of more than 80,000 people (some of whom probably have never made it out to a show). And, thanks to the work of Tom Frouge (he’s producing the entertainment for the event), when Foma performs, more eyes will be on them than ever before.

The Santa Fe Picnic featuring Ozomatli

with Ryan McGarvey, Sol Fire and Hundred Year Flood

Sunday, July 2, Fort Marcy Ballpark in Downtown Santa Fe (all-ages): “Ya Se Fue! Ya Se Fue! O-Zo-Mat-Li!” And with that resounding chant (which means “Ozomatli is leaving” in Ingles), the Los Angeles-based, Grammy Award-winning Latin/hip-hop band disappears into the crowd with their array of percussion instruments, leading the audience in one last rhythmic jam before putting a cap on one of the best live shows you’ll ever see.

Peter and the Wolf

Saturday, July 1, Harlow’s on the Hill (21-and-over): Red Hunter is probably a crazy genius. Making over 50 stops on a massive U.S. tour by himself, playing with local musicians and on found instruments in a “divine orchestra of junk metal?” Crazy. Doing the last 10 dates by sailboat? Genius.

Phantom Buffalo

with The Lilys, Human Television, The Giranimals and The Cherry Tempo

Let's call it happycore. Phantom Buffalo's singer and guitarist Jonny Balzano-Brookes has turned his back on fads, on the kind of music that ages poorly by being fashionable. “It's kinda weird to be conscious of this, but I think I try to make sure we're steering clear of modern trends and try to make it so that it would not sound dated in 10 years.”

Flyer on the Wall

... at Warehouse 21’s third annual Get Awesome Fest in Santa Fe. Twelve bands from near and abroad, free food, no booze or drugs. Saturday, July 1, from noon to midnight, and this one is most definitely all-ages. (LM)

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

ITSA Good Kind of Hurt—Brain freeze: A childhood affliction where cold food tastes so good you'd willfully endure fits of paralyzing headaches to suck it down faster. That's exactly what happened on Saturday, when I shoveled plastic spoonfuls of flavored ice into my chattering maw until it hurt. And I liked it.

Eat your conscience

Jay Weinstein’s The Ethical Gourmet

I like cheap food. I like food that is riddled with preservatives, easy on the pocketbook and, more often than not, microwavable. Nasty, salty, overly sweetened in convenient boxes with just a hint of frost on the outside; that's what you'll find in my fridge on a bad week. Sometimes I get the healthy urge and go for the low-fat frozen meals or tell the guy at Subway to go easy on the mayo.

Central Park Deli

There are sunnysides at the Silver Moon

The sandwich. It all began with a guy who was too lazy to drag his royal buttocks to the kitchen and have a meal. If 18th-century gossip is correct, then John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (alive and kicking from 1718-1792), was the first person to popularize chowing down on two slices of bread with a filling in-between. Apparently, this compadre was a hardcore gambler, and spent a great deal of his time at a local tavern where he would get loaded on port and bet the farm until the wee hours. He would alleviate his munchies by commanding his valet to bring him salt beef between two pieces of toasted bread, and his buddies followed suit by then ordering “the same as Sandwich.”

news

Money in the Bank?

Payday lending, meet The Regulator

Overdue bills. Car maintenance. Speeding tickets. Emergency medical services. A quick vacation. Unexpected needs arise and, sometimes, ends don't meet paycheck to paycheck. For some New Mexicans, living with little to no savings can make keeping up-to-date with expected expenses hard enough, without surprise monetary demands. A payday come early sounds like a financial savior—but could be a one-way ticket to the downward spiral of debt hell.

Capturing the Digital Age

City’s “Historic Task Force” hopes time capsule will capture a snapshot of Albuquerque

What will Albuquerque look like 100 years from now? Who knows? But whatever creatures are inhabiting our fine city in 2106 (assuming we haven’t all been obliterated by cyborgs) will have an opportunity to see what life was like a century before.

The Big Five

George Bach, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico, sits down with the Alibi to talk about the five biggest intrusions on New Mexicans' freedoms

Let's start with domestic surveillance and talk specifically about how it plays out in New Mexico. What can citizens do about it?

Thin Line

The Good Race--When people whine about “the media,” they talk about it as though it's one thing, one voice, one man with a bullhorn and a huge distribution base at his disposal.

School's Out!

Councilors plowed through piles of legislation at the June 19 meeting before recessing for July. Councilor Isaac Benton proclaimed July 1-7 Independents Week, honoring local independent businesses, and took up the challenge--along with fellow Councilors Martin Heinrich, Ken Sanchez and Debbie O'Malley--to see who could spend the greatest percentage of their weekly budget at local stores.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Uganda—Police in the Ugandan city of Kampala have figured out a novel way of cutting the crime rate--by banning the playing of pool during the day. The game is very popular in the east African nation, where pool tables sit under canopies outside thousands of small bars. The game is a hit with bar owners, because it earns income and does not require electricity, which has become something of a luxury in the power-strapped country. Police, however, believe the game encourages crime, as it is often played by youths who drink illegal spirits and smoke drugs. “They also use this as a meeting place to make plans of robbing people of their property at night,” Kampala police Chief Grace Turyagumanawe warned the Daily Monitor newspaper. Turyagumanawe insisted he was not banning the sport, merely preventing its playing during daytime hours.

film

Reel World

Shootout Gets Shorter—This July, the Duke City Shootout, Albuquerque’s homegrown script-to-screen digital filmmaking competition, will partner with the internationally renowned 48 Hour Film Project to kick off a brand-new contest beginning July 21. The Shootout (www.dukecityshootout.org) and the 48 Hour Film Project (www.48hourfilm.com) are different in concept, but the purpose is the same--to challenge filmmakers to produce short movies under extreme deadline pressure.

The Lost City

Andy Garcia assembles the world’s biggest love letter to pre-revolutionary Cuba

After more than 15 years of gestation, actor Andy Garcia finally carries his long-running vanity project The Lost City to term. Garcia, whose family fled Cuba when he was only 5 years old, directs and stars in this nostalgiafied look at pre-revolution Havana.

Superman Returns

The Man of Steel is back in a big way

Longtime Superman fans gritting their teeth, crossing their fingers and praying to the Movie Gods that Superman Returns--the first new Superman film in nearly 20 years--treats the character with the time-honored respect it deserves, won’t waste much of their time in the theater worrying. From the second the film starts, with John Williams’ familiar score blaring from the speakers and the exact same lightspeed-looking font as the 1978 original delivering the opening credits, viewers will know they’re in good hands.

Indie Indeed

“Edge of Outside” on TCM

It’s not exactly a revelation, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Turner Classic Movies loves movies. American Movie Classics, which runs Piñata: Survival Island all the damn time, does not. But TCM airs the Film Preservation Festival, releases restored classics on DVD, programs incredible marathons that cover every genre in film history and still finds time to produce original specials.

art

Culture Shock

Kudos to Demetria—New Mexico author Demetria Martinez won big at this year's International Latino Book Awards, scoring the prize for best biography for her book, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (University of Oklahoma Press, paper, $14.95). The book consists of a series of essays examining conditions on the U.S.-Mexican border, Catholicism, the Spanish language, Martinez' legendary social activism and other topics near and dear to her heart. Nice work, Demetria.

Sing Out!

The Santa Fe Opera's 2006 season

General Director Richard Gaddes sounds giddy about the opening weekend of his company's new season. “We have two superstar singers performing in the first two operas,” he says, “Anne Sofie von Otter in the title role of our new production of Carmen, and Natalie Dessay as Pamina in The Magic Flute.”

Contemporary Photo Arts Exhibit

Downtown Contemporary Art Center

Take some time to stroll across the creaky hardwood floors of the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW) to see the second annual Contemporary Photo Arts Exhibit. Not only is the DCAC itself a piece of art, but images from Rick Scibelli, Sofea Lee Maran, Bruce Shortz, Oscar Lozoya, Chip Simons, Don Wolf, Annie Bromberg and many more are sure to please. The exhibit will showcase 18 of New Mexico’s finest contemporary artists starting Friday, June 30, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m., and will run through the end of July. The Downtown Contemporary Art Center is located in the heart of Downtown, upstairs, on the corner of Fourth Street and Central. 242-1983.

The Best Little Show in Town

Lobo Theater

The Albuquerque Civic Light Orchestra Association (ACLOA) is back in business, and they’re kicking off a new season with a family show. The Best Little Show in Town features 26 young performers ranging from ages 8 to 15. The new ACLOA has a new producer, Ronn Perea, who is best known for operating the Route 66 Comedy Club. This time around, ACLOA will produce Broadway musicals and shows for kids that will be performed at different cultural venues around Albuquerque. The Best Little Show in Town opens June 27 and runs through June 29. All performances are at 8:15 p.m. at the Lobo Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at acloa.org, $9 for adults and $6 for kids. 798-2660.

Praying for a Full Court Press

Although the American people did not know it, the entire Washington press corps understood that President Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq from the moment he took office. In fact, in a pre-election interview with the Houston Chronicle, Bush admitted he wanted "to be known as a war president."

Alibi V.15 No.25 • June 22-28, 2006

Music to Your Ears

Reggae Under the Stars ... with Nachos—Local reggae collective One Foundation/Mystic Vision is taking their message-heavy music to an unlikely venue this weekend: El Pinto (10500 Fourth Street). It's the first I've heard of a traditional New Mexican restaurant hosting anything but mariachis, but why not? It's got that beautiful North Valley patio, which Mystic Vision says they'll happily take advantage of. The group will be filming the performance for a DVD they're putting together. Show starts around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. I'm not aware of any cover charge, but you should probably order something to make the owners happy.

feature

Here's to You, Shorty Pants

The Alibi's 2006 Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest

Well, here we are, once again. We've rifled through an Everest of entries received from as far away as Paraguay and the secret Chinese space station orbiting the planet Neptune. After much sweating, cursing and inter-office bickering, we've finally determined this year's victors.

A Handsome Family Short Story

In exactly 108 words

The Octopus uses three hearts to pump its blood. It thinks not only with its small brain, but with nerve clusters in each arm. In captivity these crafty invertebrates will crawl from their tanks and dismantle plumbing, causing costly flooding. The octopus hypnotizes prey by waving its arms rhythmically in the water. Witnesses report swarms of salmon frozen around a single octopus.

Talula's Lipstick

An amalgam of this year’s worst short story contest entries

The night was soft and suffocating like the clingy sundress she wore. "Shake your hips, Talula," he gurgled, moving in time with music she could not hear. They had met on that same country backroad so long ago. Did she remember? He pressed her closer. The farmer's girl, the one with pretty mouth. He wondered if she knew how badly he needed her. How the thought of her sunburned shoulders drove him to the limits of his sanity. Closer and closer. She said nothing still. She's always been such a quiet girl he thought, as red velvet lipstick rememberences turned to blood and piss pooled across lips.

Forces of Nature

An interview with the Handsome Family

We're sitting in Brett and Rennie Sparks' little adobe house in Nob Hill, and it's not at all what we imagined. We were thinking there might be gargoyles over the entrance, maybe some taxidermied owls and a moat. Now that we're here, though, the Handsome Family's home seems perfectly natural.

music

SuperGiant CD Release Party

Headphone fanatics rejoice

“Listen to it with headphones,” advised guitarist Jeremy McCollum as he handed me a copy of his band’s new CD. “OK,” I said, smiling meekly, unsure quite what to make of what he had just told me.

And Then There Was One

He's the last man standing—and that's fine by him

It used to be a plural affair, The Slow Poisoners. Over the course of 10 years, the other four members "expired." That's how Andrew Goldfarb, the remaining Poisoner, puts it. "Eventually, it was down to a duo," he says. "When I saw an opportunity to off the other member, I took it."

Flyer on the Wall

SuperGiant is a lean, mean rocking machine. See this week’s “Show Up!” for details. (LM)

Some Handsome Music

Brett Sparks of The Handsome Family reveals the tunes at the top of his iPod playlist

1. “Dear Prudence,” Brad Mehldau, Largo
2. “Golden Hours,” Brian Eno, Another Green World
3. “Side by Side,” Buck Owens, Act Naturally
4. “Tragos Amargos,” Selsun Blue, Wash Don't Rinse
5. “Thank You So Much, Mrs. Lowsborough, Goodbye,” Cole Porter, The Platinum Collection Cole Porter Songbook (Disc 2)
6. “Almost Blue,” Elvis Costello, The Very Best of Elvis Costello (Disc 2)
7. “Computer Love,” Kraftwerk, Computer World
8. “A Man Of God,” Trilobite, Trilobite
9. “Giulietta Degli Spiriti,” Nino Rota, Film Music Of Nino Rota
10. “Pale Blue Eyes,” The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground
11. “Blackjack David,” Carter Family, Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol. 4 (Disc 1)
12. “Next,” Scott Walker, It's Raining Today: The Scott Walker Story (1967-70)
13. “Gusty Winds May Exist,” The Rivet Gang, The Time is Now
14. “The Wife of Usher's Well,” Alasdair Roberts, The Crook Of My Arm
15. “Don't Be Scared,” Andrew Bird, Weather Systems
16. “Aria,” Bach, Goldberg Variations (Gould, 1955)
17. “Slow it Down,” Edith Grove, Highway of Diamonds
18. “Naima,” John Coltrane, Giant Steps
19. “The Window Up Above,” George Jones, Ralph Stanley & Friends, Clinch Mountain Country
20. “River Man,” Nick Drake, Way To Blue
21. "A Fistfull Of Dollars Suite,” Ennio Morricone, A Fistfull of Dollars and a Few Dollars More
22. “Sisters Of Mercy,” Leonard Cohen, The Best of Leonard Cohen
23. “Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11, I.,” Mässig Arnold Schoenberg, Schoenberg, Berg & Webern: Piano Music

art

Culture Shock

The Best of Both Worlds—Do you like dancing? Do you like bellies? Well, why not combine the two? You'll get a scintillating combo deal at Ushasti Gallery in Nob Hill when the Ramla Taal Tribal Bellydance troupe shows up to shake what their mamas gave 'em.

Internal Guidance Systems

VSA North Fourth Art Center

One of the most intriguing movements in modern visionary art is touring to Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Paris and … Albuquerque? That’s right, Albuquerque is lucky enough to be the second stop for a touring exhibit called Internal Guidance Systems. Organizers say the show allows fringe outsider artists from around the globe to create personal mythologies, giving viewers access to their intimate alternate realities. The exhibit is open to the public through July 22 at VSA North Fourth Art Center, 4904 Fourth Street NW. 345-2872, www.vsartsnm.org.

Samantha Barrow

Sol Arts

Samantha Barrow is a Philadelphia-based poet, activist, educator, spoken word artist and producer who's touring the country for the second time on her motorcycle. Her first trip incorporated a spoken word tour. This time, she'll swing by Sol Arts (712 Central SE) to facilitate an erotic poetry workshop with survivors of sexual abuse, as well as to promote Grit and Tender Membrane, her volume of poetry and tales inspired by her first tour. The output of the workshops will result in a chapbook of poems that will be used for fundraising and educational purposes by grassroots antiviolence and survivor services. The workshop occurs on Saturday, June 24, from noon to 3 p.m., followed with a poetry performance by Barrow and workshop participants at 5 p.m. 244-0049.

Traveling on the Cheap

A preview of the most promising summer releases

Gas prices have shown little sign of dropping. Airlines are warning of serious flight delays. And, to top it off, anti-American sentiment overseas has hit such a pitch that the U.S. World Cup soccer team can’t put the Stars and Stripes on the side of its travel bus. Maybe this is the summer to stay home, to catch up on some yard work.

Bright Enough to Blind You

Last thoughts on Luis Jimenez

The 1,000-year curse of public art is that most of it is designed to be as bland and inoffensive as possible. Governmental committees typically give the go-ahead to public art projects that only appeal to the lowest common denominator. The guiding philosophy seems to be that if art is going to be displayed permanently in public spaces, it had best not get under anyone's skin.

news

La Docena Sucia

Heather Wilson makes the Dirty Dozen list ... again

Eat your heart out, Eminem. Get out of the way, Lee Marvin. There’s another “Dirty Dozen” in town, and Congresswoman Heather Wilson is among its ranks. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) named Wilson to its “Dirty Dozen” list, a report put out by the organization every federal election cycle that pinpoints the 12 federal-level politicians who shun the environment and are the most in favor of deregulating big industry. The LCV began publishing its “Dirty Dozen” list more than three decades ago.

Half Life

A local group claims our groundwater is at risk for radioactive contamination

A touchy subject remains touchy as plans are made to deal with a local radioactive waste site.

Thin Line

Oops, They Did It Again—A good friend of mine reminded me on a recent Sunday morning that all newspapers are biased. She said this in response to some snarky comment I made about how incredibly biased the Albuquerque Journal is while thumbing through said daily. I paused. I took a little offense (not I, said the ego-ridden news editor). And then I realized she was right. All newspapers, no matter how much we try, are always at least a little biased. We're human, not news-writing cyborgs.

Barely Living

Councilors work to improve and expand affordable housing in Albuquerque

If you've looked for a place to live lately, you've probably noticed that housing costs in Albuquerque have skyrocketed. Even worse, condemnations and demolitions are eating away at the least expensive tier of our housing stock.

Through the Cracks

Damage to Westside residents' homes sparks a dispute with a hospital

Robyn Mintz came home from work to an alarming sight: a 2-inch high ridge along the length of her kitchen tile, like a small-scale seismological event. It looked as though the foundation had shifted, buckling the floor along a retaining wall. Now, after Mintz and her fiancé, John Short, have spent a few months walking on the floor, it's started to shatter.

Saving 66

How do we preserve our history while redeveloping our rundown present?

The problem with hidden gems is that they are hidden. Sometimes buried; sometimes unnoticed yet in plain sight.

Patsy’s Patsies

Our attorney general discovers public corruption is a problem in New Mexico

Is Attorney General Patricia Madrid risking interference in the prosecution of former State Treasurer Robert Vigil just so she can look tough on public corruption in time for the Congressional election?

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New Jersey—A terrified black bear who wandered into a West Milford neighborhood found himself stuck up a tree after he was chased by an angry neighborhood cat. The bear was first spotted in the tree by neighbors who thought the 15-pound cat was just looking up at it. Then they realized the bear was afraid of the orange tabby named Jack. After some 15 minutes, the bear descended, only to be chased up another tree by the ferocious feline. Eventually, Jack’s owner, Donna Dickey, called the hissing cat back into her house. It was then that the bear was finally able to make its escape. Ms. Dickey said Jack has often chased off small animals. “He doesn’t like anybody in his yard,” Dickey told reporters.

film

Reel World

Islamic Execution—This Friday, June 23, the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty will present the award-winning Iranian film Day Break beginning at 7 p.m. at the KiMo Theater in Downtown Albuquerque. The film was shot inside Tehran's century-old prison and revolves around the imminent execution of a young man found guilty of murder. In Iranian society, a victim’s family not only has the right to condemn or forgive an accused killer, they also have the responsibility of carrying out said execution. This apparently leads to an all-too-common situation, in which criminals are stuck in prison at the whim of families wavering between forgiveness or revenge. The film is a well-made, well-acted think piece, sure to spark discussions of both the death penalty and cultural differences between the United States and the Middle East. A public forum will be held after the screening led by the film's award-winning producer/director, Hamid Rahmanian. Tickets are available online (www.nmrepeal.org), through Ticketmaster (888-7800) or at the KiMo Box office.

Look Both Ways

Death-dealing Aussie indie sees a light at the end of the tunnel

A man accidentally steps in front of a train, killing himself. Who and what he was is unimportant now. It is the repercussions of his death, the slow ripples that it sends out and how it affects people--most of whom never even knew him--that we’re supposed to be keeping an eye on here. This seemingly everyday accident is the catalytic event in Aussie filmmaker Sarah Watt’s deft, death-obsessed drama Look Both Ways.

VideoNasty

Martin (1977)

Growing up a poor Mexican child, I cut my horror teeth (sharpened my fangs?) watching “Dialing For Dollars” on KOAT-7 hosted by beloved local weather guru Howard Morgan. Driven by an insatiable desire to quench my thirst for terror, I would race home from school to catch classic horror films starring the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing (not to mention kick-ass science fiction and Godzilla movies!). So you will have to understand that I’m a pretty tough nut to crack when it comes to vampire films. Quite frankly, most of them just ... suck. It takes a pretty solid effort to make a fan out of me. Luckily for horror freaks such as myself, the good people at Lions Gate have chosen to finally release a truly great, often ignored vampire mini-masterpiece on DVD. I’m talking about horror legend George A. Romero’s Martin.

The Boob Tube

“Pants Off Dance Off” on Fuse

You can tell, just from the title, that Fuse TV’s “Pants Off Dance Off” achieves a Zen-like level of simplicity and stupidity that many TV shows strive for, but few truly attain.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Olive You, Part Two--A few weeks ago I put out a call for information on a new Northeast Heights martini bar called Olive (Montgomery and Eubank). A reader hit me back with a quick breakdown. "Wonderful" martinis in a "nice enough" atmosphere. Think black leather couches and mood lamp lighting, a nice bar area and a pool table in back. One caveat: There's no grub on the grounds, though according to my source, the waitstaff will happily score you some popcorn from Lucky's Lounge (it’s next door) if you ask. "I would recommend at least one fairly decent snack to be offered. [But I was] definitely impressed enough to hope they add just a few touches to come up to an even higher classiness!" If I ever make it up there, it'll probably be on a Wednesday night, when DJ Entactogen and Ill Kid are around for funky soul, hip-hop and down-tempo sets.

Albuquerque

A season forecast of Albuquerque’s fruitful growers’ markets

The first perfumed peach of the season. The taste of a homegrown tomato. There's just no comparison. For people who love food, few moments in life rival the simple pleasure of biting into a still-warm fruit off a tree or farmer's truck bed. It's the closest thing to magic I know of.

The Pie Shack

That’s amore, dude!

Remember that scene in Point Break when John McGinley’s character (Ben) walks Keanu Reeves’ character—who could forget Johnny Utah?—down the hall and tells him, “You know nothing. In fact, you know less than nothing. If you knew that you knew nothing, then that would be something, but you don’t.” That’s how I feel about chain pizza places.