Alibi V.21 No.3 • Jan 19-25, 2012

You, Improved

It’s a crazy, mixed-up world. Here’s how to be a better person in it.

After exiting the holiday season and getting back to the regular course of your life, you’re likely looking around and thinking: Things could be better. It’s OK. You’re normal.

music

Albuquerque Is for Lovers

But not the kind you’d imagine

Although The Deadtown Lovers says it sounds like “empty storefronts and warehouses,” the music is intelligent, insistent, buzzy garage punk with a hint of pop.

Welcome to the Jungle

The infectious vintage revisionings of Dengue Fever

Despite Dengue Fever’s inspiration being an obscure but distinct form of music—’60s Cambodian rock—the mixture of East and West / surf and psych / then and now is unparalleled.

art

Moonshine

Adobe Theater’s Irish-American drama is strong stuff

A Moon for the Misbegotten might just make you rethink your unhealthy obsessions. If you lust after the tortured Heathcliffs of the world (don’t we all?), it may coax you to consider putting down that penchant. If your days are a haze of drinking alone in the dark, well, maybe it’ll be the moment of clarity that finally sends you to AA ... or at least motivates you to consult an electrician.

Culture Shock

A couple of guys sit around and shoot the shit. Sometimes it's over alcohol, coffee or food; sometimes it's in a dark room. Existential questions arise. A cloud of mystery looms heavy over the minimalist narrative. This is the theme of a lot of well-known scripts (The Seafarer, My Dinner with Andre and "The Dumb Waiter" come to mind). Another well-received guys-at-a-table piece is Derek Davidson's "Jack of Dover."

news

Benjamin Colton Barnes

Another broken soldier

The only reason the death of this Iraq War veteran has attracted such attention is that he did not go alone. Had Barnes simply headed off into the frozen wilderness to die, his story would have been unexceptional. After all, scores of returning veterans, traumatized and afflicted, have committed suicide over the last decade.

A Spit Shine on the City

Two projects promise to better Burque: ABQ Sprout, a micro-grant dinner that funds good ideas and CNM’s free green-collar jobs training.

film

Haywire

MMA star Gina Carano debuts in one lean, mean action machine

Must be nice to be Steven Soderbergh. After kicking off the indie film revolution of the ’90s with sex, lies, and videotape, he went on to helm mainstream hits (Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven), Oscar winners (Erin Brockovich, Traffic), existential science-fiction films (Schizopolis, Solaris), micro-budget pay-per-view experiments (Bubble, The Girlfriend Experience) and even a TV series or two (“K Street,” “Unscripted”). Few, if any, filmmakers have had the freedom to build such a diverse résumé. Right now, Mr. Soderbergh could be producing and directing Ocean’s Fourteen and no one would be blinking an eye. Instead, he’s off making a low-budget, digital video action flick starring a first-time actor.

Reel World

Dr. Rick Strassman stirred up both controversy and a cult following when he became the first doctor in 20 years to research the effects of psychedelic and hallucinogenic substances on human subjects. His work was carried out at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine right here in Albuquerque. Over the course of his project’s five-year life span, he administered approximately 400 doses of DMT to 60 volunteers and recorded their experiences.

Kill It With Fire

“Work It” on ABC

Is ABC’s cross-dressing sitcom “Work It” the worst TV show ever made? Several critics are suggesting so. Me, I tend to doubt it. “Cop Rock” was pretty ridiculous. “Supertrain” was a notably bad idea. “Homeboys in Outer Space” didn’t do the world any favors. I defy any modern human to hunt down and sit through an episode of “She’s the Sheriff.” And despite the fact that 542 people actually subscribe to the “Out of This World” channel on YouTube, it was a brain-meltingly awful show. ... Which isn’t to say that “Work It” doesn’t give each and every one of them a run for their money.

food

Covert Cuisine

Underground dinner clubs pop up around Albuquerque

At 6 p.m., the September sun cast a rosy glow on the building across the street. I parked and my friend Mike checked the map. From the sidewalk, we saw a woman heading our way, red and white apron flapping in the wind.

Alibi V.21 No.2 • Jan 12-18, 2012

Supersuckers

Too dumb to quit

Guitarist/vocalist Dan “Thunder” Bolton of Seattle punk (and sometimes country) band the Supersuckers talks about longevity, songwriting and owning a record label.

feature

Stately Archives

Treasures from the Land of Enchantment’s interactive encyclopedia

If Wikipedia and Flickr got together in the Southwest and had a love child, it would probably look something like Celebrating New Mexico Statehood. The vastly comprehensive online historical archive is a collaboration between about a dozen institutions, spearheaded by UNM's Center for Southwest Research. Its director, Mike Kelly, says the site boasts about 50,000 photos, some of them dating back to prestatehood in the late 19th century.

news

Justice for Native Farmers

Class action settlement to benefit New Mexicans

The U.S. District Court approved the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action settlement of $760 million. Lawyers sought out potential claimants for that money—including people in New Mexico.

The Great Teacher Debate

Guv to tie schools and pay to test scores

New Mexico lawmakers are considering a proposal from the Martinez administration to link teacher evaluations to student test scores. It will be a huge topic in the coming 30-day legislative session set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Cable Board Speaks Up

In an unprecedented move, the Cable Franchise and Hearing Board stepped into the fray over who will operate the city's public access TV channels. With a unanimous vote on Thursday, Jan. 5, the board backed Quote ... Unquote, Inc., the nonprofit that ran the channels for three decades before losing its contract.

food

Tune-Up Café

Culinary crossroads follows its own path

The Tune-Up Café is where the cool people in Santa Fe go. Not the ones who honk their horns while almost running me over by the Plaza, but the kinds of folks who look like they would be my friends if I lived there. That’s a good thing. Because when the small adobe restaurant is packed—as it often is—you’re usually within three feet of multiple strangers, some of whom might be sharing your table.

film

Carnage

Is Roman Polanski really the best guy to deliver a lecture about bad parenting?

The French play God of Carnage became the toast of Broadway in 2009 when it hit the Great White Way with high-wattage film actors Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden in the lead roles. All four actors ended up nominated for Tony Awards, and the production became one of the longest-running stage plays of the 2000s. Now infamous director Roman Polanski takes a stab at a movie version starring Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster. That’s hardly what you’d call a step down in quality from the stage version. But what soars on a stage doesn’t always fly on a movie screen.

Go for the Gold

“The Golden Globe Awards” on NBC

Hollywood’s award season is in full swing. It began last week with the lowly People’s Choice Awards and continues though Feb. 26 with the handing out of the prestigious 84th annual Academy Awards. In between, we get award show telecasts of varying import, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Jan. 12 on VH1) to the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 on IFC).

Reel World

If you tried stopping by the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill sometime this week for a movie, you might have noticed the venerable venue was closed. The place took a four-day break to remove the old movie theater seats and install brand-new ones. The new seats are larger and more comfortable than the old ones. As a result, there will be fewer places to sit in the theater, but they’ll be much nicer. Patrons have been offered the option of “sponsoring” one of the new seats, having their name (or a loved one’s name) permanently affixed to a brass plaque on the back for a one-time fee. Guild owner Keif Henley says response to this special promotion has been swift and few unsponsored seats are left. (If you’re in the market for eternal glory, hurry up.)

music

Heavy Music

Bob Seger’s secret sonic past

In 1967, “Heavy Music” by Bob Seger and the Last Heard was a hit in the Detroit area. The protopunk song reveals a totally different, totally excellent side of the man most of us know as a Heartland balladeer.

art

Cat Power

Samantha Martin’s feline circus

It turns out cats aren't just waiting for you to die so they can eat you. You can, in fact, train them to perform a variety of tricks. Samantha Martin has 40 years of experience, and can tell you all about it.

Culture Shock

Tap into your creative side and make a Valentine’s Day card for the Alibi. It may just net you prizes and eternal glory in the form of your work being printed in this here newspaper. Oh yeah, and it’s free. Get busy!

Alibi V.21 No.1 • Jan 5-11, 2012

film

The Movies of 2012

This year’s cinematic trends: 3D Disney, Batman vs. Spider-Man and Keanu Reeves with a samurai sword

The year 2012 looks ... a lot like previous years in Hollywood. The explosions are epic, the stars are plentiful and the trends are limited. So what might the movie-loving masses be watching in cinemas over the next 12 months? Here’s a sampling of the good, the bad and the over budget. (Keep in mind, all opening dates are subject to change.)

Replace This

A look at midseason replacements

Welcome to the start of a brand-new year, 2012 A.D. Or as we in the television biz call it: midseason. It’s time to put all the traumatic memories of the fall 2011 season out of our brains (“Charlie’s Angels” reboot? What “Charlie’s Angels” reboot?) and start pinning our hopes on a whole new crop of replacements. Let’s take a gander at what’s in store for us.

music

Tuning Into Environmental Hip-Hop

New songs about green jobs, alternative energy and better air quality hit the ’hood

A new wave of green hip-hop is challenging America’s food systems and our relationship with nature.

Sonic Reducer

We evaluate Monks of the Desert, the Red Chili Samurai Project, and Venus DeMars & All The Pretty Horses.

news

The Energy Code’s Deep Freeze

Polarized reactions to the repeal of building standards

At the tail end of 2011, Albuquerque's rules were replaced with state regulations—also weakened under Republican leadership. Reactions to the vote signaled the depth of the ideological division that has grown among citizens and politicians.

My Iraq War

Taking aim at the destroyer

The end to the war has been declared. But the declaration hasn’t been that important. A private army of contractors remains in Iraq, funded in part by the $6 billion 2012 budget of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. So is the war really over?

art

¡Viva la Revolutions !

Tricklock’s three-week theater marathon gets physical and Herzogian

Albuquerque’s theatrical community is growing, at least for the month of January. If you’ve lived here long, you know these temporary citizens come to you by way of Tricklock Theatre Company. For 12 years now, Tricklock has brought acclaimed theatrical acts from around the world to our little city for the Revolutions International Theatre Festival. This year, it’s flown in artists from Israel, Switzerland, France, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Kansas and Chicago, along with hosting a few locals.

food

Chez Bob

Worth the encore

Chez Bob is a little bit elegant or a little bit awkward, depending on your perspective. Mine changed dramatically between my first visit, two years ago, and my recent return. After writing the place off, I was drawn back by rumors of major improvements in both service and food.