Alibi V.17 No.12 • March 20-26, 2008

New Mexico Hempfest!

Saturday, August 19, noon-9pm

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

Jurassic Best of Burque Restaurants World

The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back

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

feature

Letter to a Dead Colonel

My commander’s suicide note to General Fil and General Petraeus as obtained through the Freedom of Information Act following my tour of duty in Iraq:

Five Years Later

Photos by Tina Larkin

The peace march to protest the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War last Saturday, March 15, has become an annual passage in Albuquerque and all over the country. Every anniversary the number of participants seems to grow, along with the sense of bewilderment as to why we’re still in this war.

music

Music to Your Ears

The queries started trickling in a few months ago. (That is to say: The e-mails that made it past my bloodthirsty spamtrap were few. If you didn't hear back from me, try calling instead.) Now they’re torrential. "Spring Crawl" and "Spring Crawl 2008" are two of the most popular searches at alibi.com. You want us to hurry up and get to the point about Spring Crawl—what day we're planning it for, who's on the bill, how to get your band booked, all the important stuff.

Ultraviolet Sound

Testosterone-oozing electro

Talking the talk is always easier than walking the walk, but when the former is done by the members of Ultraviolet Sound, it's still worth listening to.

John Ralston

The singer/songwriter who sometimes wishes he wasn’t

If you've had it with singer/songwriters, you’re not alone: John Ralston’s right there with you. Even though his name appears in big print on every one of his releases, Ralston would rather be viewed as a member of his touring band than seem like an artist obsessed with his own creations. He has a similarly uneasy relationship with his hometown of Lake Worth, Fla. He’s not about to distance himself from his state-of-origin, but he knows the Sunshine State has bred more than its share of the nation’s sonic sore spots.

art

Culture Shock

The student-directed productions on stage at Theatre X this weekend are not puff plays. Both directors, Barney Lopez and Steve Pinzone, selected scripts with challenges and dark undertones: Fur and Mr. Marmalade.

Ophelia Screams

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at the Albuquerque Little Theatre

There once was a time when the Albuquerque Little Theatre (ALT) catered exclusively to the prim and proper. You could bring your grandma or your 8-year-old and you wouldn’t have to worry whether they might take offense at a soft-core penis joke or some simulated retching.

news

The Other Shoe Drops

After nearly 80 years Downtown, Hale’s Shoe Store is closing up shop

The bewildered look on Chris Mobley’s face reveals a great deal about the way he’s sold shoes for 40-plus years.

Answer Me This

Who's hurt by a sick economy? What did you catch over spring break? Where did the Virgin Mary show up? What do you call Rio Rancho's police?

Nothing Personal?

One state senator says the governor's veto of a veterans museum shows a "lack of honor"

Gov. Bill Richardson says he's all for building the first veterans museum in the state, but his decision to veto a bill that would do just that has at least one lawmaker furious.

Thin Line

It was a simple idea: Let's put faces to the names of soldiers New Mexico sacrificed to the war effort. The cover of the Alibi this week is, in plainest terms, a reminder of what these last five years have cost.

Clinton’s Hot Poker

Letting racism do its damage

A salty old lawyer, who’s now arguing before that appellate court in the sky, once bragged of his favorite trial tool. We were unwinding after court (as I've disclosed in this column before, I used to practice law) and the war stories, along with my beer and his scotch, flowed freely. He called his favorite trial tool “the hot poker.”

The Anatomy of Ethics

Medical students question exhibit's use of bodies without donor consent

UNM medical student Amanda Lo objects to the " Bodies Human" exhibit in Coronado Center. She's not grossed out by it. She harbors no religious qualms. But the people on display for shoppers to gape at in Albuquerque's mall did not give their consent to be filleted, propped up and posed.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India--At least 50 people in India’s Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after staring at the sun for prolonged periods searching for an image of the Virgin Mary. St. Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirapally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina. The hospital began receiving patients with these abnormal symptoms on March 7. When doctors detected a pattern, they reported it to the district medical officer. The health department has since put up a billboard discounting the holy sunspot rumor and warning the faithful against exposing their eyes to direct sunlight. That hasn’t stopped believers, curious onlookers and foreign travelers from flocking to a rooming house near the town of Erumeli, where the hotel’s owner had claimed statues of the Virgin Mary have been crying honey and bleeding perfume. People have been flocking to the “blessed land”--hastily christened Rosa Mystica Mountain--for some time now, but the mad rush to view the solar image began earlier this month.

film

Reel World

Scott Phillips’ locally shot horror thriller Gimme Skelter hit DVD last week and is--appropriately enough--the first release from the new Albuquerque-based DVD label Burning Paradise Entertainment. The full-feature DVD includes writer/director commentary, video blogs from the making of the film, a still gallery, a music video, a blooper reel and more.

Under the Same Moon

Sentimental drama puts a cute little face to illegal immigration

It’s fairly safe to say that Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna)--with its fantastical faith in the American Dream and its saintly portrait of illegal aliens--was not made by right-wing-radio-listening, border-fence-building members of the Minuteman Project.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Rough, real and straight out of Romania

If someone started out by telling you that 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a bleak drama about abortion, shot in Romania and set in the Communist era of the ’80s, you’d probably avoid it like the plague. So, instead, I’ll start out by telling you 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days captured the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, won Best Film and Best Director at the European Film Awards, was nominated for a Golden Globe and landed on numerous critics’ top 10 lists for last year. ... Now for the rough part.

Can They All Be Found Guilty?

“Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil” on Comedy Central

Comedy Central continues its successful foray into all things pseudo-real (pseudo newscast “The Daily Show,” pseudo pundit program “The Colbert Report”) with a pseudo judge show starring apoplectic curmudgeon Lewis Black.

food

Pacific Rim Asian Bistro and Buddha Lounge

Oh so good

In sixth grade, living in Ulm, Germany, I hung out exclusively with Koreans. It was initially because they were the only ones who didn’t beat me up after school. But, soon enough, I came to appreciate my friends for other merits, including their mothers’ cooking.

Bite

Reserved for the swankest occasions, the tea party is a gilded gift of spring. We go goo-goo over few party precepts like the garden soiree that's all finger treats and fragrant spirits and toasts like, "To accomplishing the winter, friend! To birthing the spring, traveler!"

Alibi V.17 No.11 • March 13-19, 2008

Empire Burritos and Santa Fe Peppers

Where burritos come smothered in déjà vu

By and large, I’m not a fan of chain restaurants. I just can’t get onboard with corporate-formulated burgers and pasteurized food “experiences.” But there are exceptions. Sometimes a chain comes along that serves genuinely good eats you can’t find in every other joint on the block. Chipotle, for example, has long been my go-to burrito place when I’m craving something other than a pulverized pinto mash-up. More than once I’ve thought it’s too bad Albuquerque doesn’t have one.

feature

Mañana Land

The Alibi's fifth annual Photo Contest

New Mexico has two mottos: one found on license plates and another uttered by natives, as much in jest as in seriousness. Both were proven by the photographers who submitted to our fifth annual Photo Contest—we live in an enchanting state that moves at the speed of mañana.

news

PD Bill Wipes Out

Who needs an independent public defender?

Homer Robinson didn't expect the measure he was lobbying for to get as far as it did. House Bill 193 called for a commission to choose the state's chief public defender, an office that in New Mexico is appointed solely by the governor.

Answer Me This

Why is Ted Nugent coming here? Who is 10 million years old? Can I shoot you an e-mail about that public record? How long have a mother and son been missing?

Eye of the Storm

While world crises loomed, historic presidential primaries sizzled and trials for courthouse kickbacks stalled, the March 3 Council meeting moseyed along.

Could Udall Lose?

Democrats have a real fight ahead

Could Tom Udall lose the race for the U.S. Senate seat opened by Pete Domenici’s retirement? Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce not only think so, they’re convinced they can beat him.

From the Window of the Rail Runner

Imagine passengers encapsulated within a shiny, new train car, gazing out on an industrial and often decayed desert landscape. It's a lush and uniquely New Mexican juxtaposition of prosperity and poverty, modernity and the pastoral—an experience possible via the state's roadrunner-themed commuter train. Already coursing across the brown and blue landscape between Belen and Sandoval County, the Rail Runner, which began its travels in the summer of 2006, arrives in Santa Fe in December. When completed, the project will have cost the state a few hundred million contentious dollars.

Karmas and Dogmas

While waiting in line for coffee in Santa Fe a few years ago, I met a nice young woman. She was in her early 20s—an intelligent college student and a bit of a free spirit. While her double-mocha-soy-something was being made, we struck up a brief conversation. I don’t know what prompted the talk—perhaps it was one of those nuggets of wisdom printed on the cups—but we briefly discussed beliefs.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Japan--It’s probably not the first time they’ve come in handy, but a Japanese pinup model was saved a stint in jail thanks to her overly large breasts. Serena Kozakura, 38, was charged with breaking into a man’s apartment by kicking a hole in his door and crawling through because he was with another woman. The bikini model was later cleared of all charges after defense lawyers held up a plate showing the size of the hole that Serena was accused of kicking in. The lawyers demonstrated that Kozakura’s 44-inch bust would not fit through the opening. “I used to hate my body so much, but it was my breasts that won in court,” Kozakura said. Judge Kunio Harad of the Tokyo High Court threw out the guilty verdict, saying there was reasonable doubt about the man’s story.

art

Culture Shock

First, I must extend my thanks and congratulations to all the photographers who submitted works to our fifth annual Photo Contest this year. The high quality and artistic merit of the entries made for some nerve-racking judging, but, somehow, we narrowed it down to the winners found in this week's feature.

The New Deal Revisited

For the Greater Good at UNM Art Museum

The Great Depression left many marks on the U.S. in the history books and the hearts and minds of the people. It also left a more physical trail: memories etched into sides of buildings or captured in photographs. With the hard times came desperate measures and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did what he felt was best by creating the New Deal, paving the way for art on a scale we'd never seen before and haven't since.

food

The Wine Geese

Another reason to kiss the Irish

The wines of Bordeaux are touted around the world as brilliantly complex, stunningly powerful and, of course, staggeringly expensive. They are the pride of France and the lust of Franco- and oeno-philes everywhere. But just how French are France’s biggest and brightest?

Cult of the Curry Carrot

Quick preface: We bow low before the soup kitchen altar of our friend Astara, soup wizardess and ancient soul, who throws together far superior carrot creations than we with the mere flick of her pinky finger—her curry carrot soup and her herbed carrot purée are both criminally delicious. If we could join a white-robed, Nike-wearing cult to follow her soup into future worlds, we would. Instead, we attempted merging those two soups for a rosemary roasted carrot curry soup. It was great, an absolute success; but somehow we doubt it’ll gain us any suicidal hippie followers anytime soon.

film

Reel World

On March 14 and 15, the National Hispanic Cultural Center hosts the 2008 Women & Creativity Film Festival. Over the weekend, the NHCC’s Bank of America Theatre (1701 Fourth Street SW) will screen a string of short films and videos created by female producers, writers and directors. Anne Stirling’s alternative-to-matrimony documentary Why Get Married?, Rebecca Rivas’ examination of Peruvian women’s reproductive health, Erin Hudson’s look at female long-haul truckers and several short-form narrative pieces will be shown Friday, March 14, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. A Q&A with the artists will follow. Saturday—from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., from 2 to 4:15 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m.—there will be additional blocks of shorts, documentaries and animations. All screenings are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of films, log on to www.nhccnm.org.

The Rape of Europa

The art of war

Are you familiar with Stendhal Syndrome? It’s a psychosomatic condition, first documented by the 19th-century French writer Stendhal, in which people can be overcome by great works of art. Stendhal reported heart palpitations, dizziness and an almost religious sense of epiphany upon viewing the cultural riches of Florence. It’s an odd concept, to be sure--but one that seems all the more clear upon viewing The Rape of Europa, a mesmerizing, astonishing, highly emotional film about Adolf Hitler’s systematic campaign to steal and/or destroy Europe’s great works of art.

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

At least it doesn’t have Jim Carrey in gray makeup and big, rubber ears

Now that we’re all safely outside the biohazard zone created by 2000’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and 2003’s Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, I think we can all agree that live-action versions of Dr. Seuss books are just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s of some comfort, then, that the 2008 feature film translation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! arrives in animated form. It’s computer-animated, mind you, but at least it’s a cartoon, sparing us the horror of seeing Mike Myers covered in white spackle and black fur and prancing around leftover sets from Edward Scissorhands.

“New Amsterdam” on FOX

After 400 years, his pension must be awesome

John Amsterdam, the main character of FOX’s offbeat new crime series, is a 17th-century Dutch soldier cursed (or is it blessed?) to live forever, or at least until he meets his one true love. It sounds like an unusual premise for a show, but one of the sneakier strengths of “New Amsterdam” is that it’s really rather familiar.

music

Ash and Ember

The fire-ravaged Golden West and neighboring Launchpad shared a wall, but the owners differ in how they’re picking up the pieces

It's a strange scene, "like something you'd see in a movie," Kathy Zimmer says.

Too Rude To Talk To

The English Beat's Dave Wakeling is actually one of the nicest

Between 1978 and 1983 The Beat (known in North America as The English Beat) was a pre-eminent part of the ska revival movement known as 2 Tone. As the second-wave legends they became, the group, already greatly endowed by Saxa, a saxophonist who had played with the likes of Desmond Dekker, shared the stage with the distinguished acts of the era such as David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, The Pretenders and Talking Heads. Three decades and 6,000 miles of separation later, the one original band has become two. Original toaster Ranking Roger continues the legacy in England as The Beat, and Dave Wakeling, the band's original singer, carries on the American contingent as The English Beat. Wakeling, also a 20-year stateside resident, a former Greenpeace employee, personal hero and an all-around nice guy, took time to talk to me over the phone this week.

Alibi V.17 No.10 • March 6-12, 2008

Semi-Pro

Ferrell is reliable as ever in the paint, but can’t hit from 3-point territory

Over the last decade or so, Will Ferrell has dug for himself a very familiar Hollywood niche. In his films, he invariably plays some sort of enthusiastic, well-meaning doofus toiling away in the lower echelons of some random career ladder. Ferrell surrounds himself with a collection of comic compatriots, all of whom add their own improvisational spin to the loose, sketch-comedy shenanigans. Racking up far more in the hit than the miss column, Ferrell’s formula has afforded the former “Saturday Night Live” star a comfortable movie career.

feature

Diary of a Locavore

Is it possible to eat nothing but local food in a New Mexico winter?

Eggs, milk, peanuts. It didn’t look good.

I had spent the last hour scavenging the isles of La Montañita Co-op, and that’s what I was left with: eggs, milk, peanuts. I was hungry just looking at them. I offered my meager basket to the cashier, pausing to turn around and grab a hauntingly aromatic chocolate chip cookie from the deli counter behind me. If all I had to eat for the next seven days were eggs, whole milk and peanuts, I was going to enjoy my last meal, and I was going to have dessert.

What is “Grass Farming”?

An interview with one of the nation’s pre-eminent experts on the subject

Joel Salatin loves his work. He loves getting up at the crack of dawn and taking his chickens for a walk. He loves the succulence of tender, grass-raised beef. He loves observing his pigs, which snort with glee while sifting through piles of manure. And he loves the philosophy of his business, which is that a truly sustainable farm should also support a local food system. He loves it so much, in fact, that he refuses to ship any of his products. Aside from a few deliveries made to local restaurants, if people want ’em, they can come get ’em. And that’s basically how Joel Salatin became famous.

music

The Saloon That Rock Built

Many bands' first steps were across the threshold of the Golden West

U.K. oi! band The Business takes the stage. Young testosterone-riddled skinheads start slam dancing, but the Party Vikings, a local gang of rowdy punk rockers, have named themselves the kings of the pit. It isn't too long before a full-scale riot breaks loose, remembers Gordy Andersen, Black Maria singer and Albuquerque rock stalwart. Punks throw pool balls down from the Golden West's balcony. Tables and chairs cartwheel through the air and are smashed into sticks. And The Business just keeps playing.

Jazz is Just the Beginning

Anat Cohen, award-winning clarinetist/saxophonist, brings her quartet to the Outpost

When she was busy mastering American jazz on her tenor saxophone, Anat Cohen gave little thought to the clarinet collecting dust in her closet, or to other genres of music. But she now moves effortlessly between both instruments and among a variety of musical styles.

art

Culture Shock

The Perpetual Art Machine (also known as [PAM]) started as an open source Web 2.0 research and archive project. The creators—artists Aaron Miller, Chris Borkowski, Lee Wells and Raphaele Shirley—programmed [PAM] for Scope New York in 2006. Just a few years later, [PAM] has traveled around the continental U.S. and throughout Europe, featuring the video art of more than 300 creative minds from more than 50 countries.

Journeys Africa

Global DanceFest 2008

Certain endeavors—sports, art, music, chess—serve as bridges between countries and cultures. Their universality creates an understanding between all involved. The difficulty of these exchanges, however, is in establishing a context. Programs need to accompany the goods, so to speak, to make an effective connection.

Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones …

An interview with Natalie Goldberg

When Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones was published in 1986, it tapped into a vein most would-be writers weren't aware existed. Practically singlehandedly, Goldberg began the "Just Write" movement. By the early '90s, one couldn’t find a table at a coffee shop because each had been commandeered by a Goldberg devotee, frantically scribbling down his or her own bones.

news

A Call to Arms

African-American sports stars may net fame and cash, but how much power do they hold?

William Rhoden's inflammatorily titled book 40 Million Dollar Slaves isn't as confrontational as its name. It's an exploration of sports history and an appeal to African-American unity more than an angry protest against exploitation. New York Times columnist Rhoden draws parallels between plantation slavery and the power structure in professional sports, where the athletes are disproportionately African-American and the owners are typically white men. Last week, Rhoden was the keynote speaker at UNM's Black Cultural Conference. Before hopping on a plane to the Duke City, he talked with the Alibi about how he got the idea for the book and what it will inspire in its readers.

Answer Me This

What caused the fire at the Golden West? How many Whole Foods does Burque have? Who gets Journal profits? What did jokers do to anger Albuquerque police?

Habitat Gardening

First steps into a new land

The dead zone out our back door is gone. It took five men, two jackhammers and a hydraulic breaker to remove tons of concrete patios, sidewalks and a swimming pool installed a generation ago. Our Northeast Heights house had been landscaped with concrete. All those hard, flat surfaces meant no trouble and no maintenance. It also meant no natural life outside our doors.

Nuclear Hair of the Dog

New Mexico’s elected leaders have begun to sound ominously like the drunk asking for just a little “hair of the dog” to get him through the roughest hours of the day: those when the sun is shining.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Romania--Cops have closed their investigation of a vandalism case that left local houses in ruins by concluding ghosts were to blame. Families living in the town of Lilieci reported broken windows, bicycles flying through the air, objects moving on tables and candles blown out when there was no wind. At first, police scoffed at a supernatural source for the damage, but a police spokesperson concluded, “There were bottles and things flying around. I did not know what to dodge first. We can find nothing to suggest it was anything other than what the people claim.” A priest has been called in to exorcise the homes in question.

film

Reel World

Honestly, it’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker in New Mexico. Even if you aren’t going to be one of the rare few industry pros employed by Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins (shooting in and around Albuquerque this May, June, July and August--get used to it), you’ve still got plenty of opportunities in this town.

VideoNasty

Double Dare (2004)

I’m standing on a soundstage at Albuquerque Studios. In front of me is Gerard Butler (300). To my left is Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”). On either side stand nine of the best stuntmen in the business. I take a deep breath. This is really freaking surreal. I am working as a stuntman on Game, a futuristic action film that took over downtown Albuquerque for several weeks. I’m getting ready to do a stunt called a “deadman.” Basically, I need to run full tilt at Gerard, and the cable strapped to my harness will whip me back when he turns and kicks me. You remember those Warner Bros. cartoons when the dog chases Foghorn Leghorn only to clothesline himself on his leash? Yeah, it’s basically that. When the director calls out “action,” I bolt forward, mindful of the camera tracking alongside me. Gerard turns and kicks, I feel the pull of the cable on my back, and my feet fly into the air in front of me. Everything goes black. I awake seconds later to the applause of the other stuntmen. They ask if I am all right (I didn’t tuck my chin enough; no matter, as I will have to repeat this action about seven more times for proper coverage) and pat me on the back, welcoming me into the brotherhood of stuntmen.

Virtually Nothing

“quarterlife” on NBC

Last week came further proof (as if we needed any) that popularity on the Internet does not necessarily translate into popularity in the real world. The web-sensation-turned-TV-show “quarterlife” drew a tepid 3.1 million viewers when it debuted on NBC last Tuesday. It was NBC’s worst performance in the timeslot in nearly 20 years. Which doesn’t bode well for a long and healthy life.

food

Falatkes

Sometimes kooky fusion combos are better, more soulful, when improvised on the spot rather than premeditated. This one was borne from us being too tired, lazy, brain-dead and starving on a weekday night to be pithy or political with our pairings.