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.
Gone (forever, we hope) are the days when whiners can complain that there's nothing to do in Albuquerque after dark. As you're about to discover, there's more than enough nightlife to go around in this city—from live music and dancing to fine dining and drinking, you can't swing a dead cat in Albuquerque without hitting something fun to do with your leisure time. Furthermore, Weekly Alibi's very own Arts, Naked City (live music and entertainment) and Community and Events calendars are jam-packed with great stuff to do every day of every week. If you're not satisfied with your social life, it's only because you're not willing to miss an episode of “Cops” every now and then. We hope our readers' choices in the following categories will inspire you to have fun, relax, make new friends and become part of our vibrant community.
Every year, our Best of Burque issue is built on some crazy theme. In the early days, this practice proved to be a lot of fun. But in recent years, our thematic presentations have become, well, progressively more clichéd and downright cheesy. Take last year, for instance: What the hell did pirates have to do with Albuquerque in any way, shape or form, past or present? Similarly, this year we've packaged our Best of Burque issue in an undersea treasure/adventure theme. Someone apparently forgot to tell the Marketing Department there's no water here. So as I sat down to scribe this introduction to our most gargantuan issue of the year, I found myself having a hard time separating the pirate and undersea treasure themes. I did the best I could, but forgive me for occasionally straying into pirate mode. Here goes:
If there's one thing we've figured out about Burqueños, it's that we like to stockpile our crap. And lots of it. Whether it's a backyard collection of rust-eaten Buicks or the latest gadget from Williams and Sonoma, the cult of objects is as New Mexican as a plate of huevos on Sunday morning. You can see it for yourself, too. Every weekend we spill out from our homes, money in hand, on a mission from God to scour the desert for the best deal, the biggest piece or the rarest find. Sometimes we actually find it and, miraculously, it's just a few bucks less than we expected to pay. But even if we come away empty handed, it's that satisfaction of a full-day's hunt that sends us blissfully to bed, where we dream again of acquiring junk. Blessed, beautiful junk.
First, an explanation. While you will find, within these pages, information that will help you locate the best micro-brew/Celtic music experience or to scout locations for your Vietnamese-
Uh, congratulations to Amanda, Rory at Applebee's and Virginia at the Ranchers' Club. Remember ... safety first.
The people, places and sights in Albuquerque make our fair city one of the finest places to live regardless of the studies that paint a gloomy picture. Just recap the past 12 months and there's plenty to cheer about. Downtown continues its revival, the media didn't uncover a single fundraising scam at the mayor's office, the Isotopes brought baseball back with a bang, Tingely Beach is finally getting a makeover and the arts are thriving like never before. And that's only a quick sample. But there are always things to gripe about and we like to do that too once in a while. So here's this year's Life in Burque winners (and losers), so one way or another, we can all feel better about ourselves. Enjoy!
If by “foreign” you mean “arty” then by all means our winner is your one stop shop. But if you translate “foreign” as “Japanese science-fiction with lots of monsters and martial arts too” then newcomer Burning Paradise is where you should be paying late fees. For a wide selection of new releases (if nothing else) Hastings hits the spot.
Still winner and champ-een! For the buhzillionth year in a row, Frontier has smothered the competition like a goopy blanket of red chile and cheese. Thanks to the 'Tier, nothing says New Mexico like eating your breakfast at 11 p.m., surrounded by epic pastels of John Wayne's likeness and, apparently, people you're scared of or scaring. For those who actually eat breakfast in the a.m., there's Flying Star Café's turkey sausage and pristine pastries, or the unbeatable slabs of bacon and drool-inducing queso at The Range Cafés. You also report that the grub at Weck's gets you out of bed on your coveted weekend morning.
We live in a city that prides itself on its skin-searing quantum creative energy. Stand on almost any street corner—especially in neighborhoods like Downtown, Barelas and Nob Hill—swing your purse in a nice wide arc, and you'll more likely than not hit an artist, an actor or a musician squarely in the jaw.
As long-time readers of the Alibi already know, Chevy on a Stick (a.k.a. “Cruising San Mateo I”) always wins this category. It's some kind of law of nature. Yes, our city is filled with great and diverse pieces of monumental public art, but something about that delicious Chevy on a Stick, located at the corner of San Mateo and Gibson, perfectly symbolizes the thriving neon auto culture that has defined Albuquerque for the last 60-odd years.
The big guy wins this one for the second year in a row. Seriously, who wouldn't love to go bar hopping with the guv. He's gotta have a few good stories to tell. Mayor Chavez took second, and City Councilor Eric Griego and former city councilor turned Alibi columnist Greg Payne tied for fourth. To be fair Griego probably deserved one extra vote for the entry that said, “the guy who thinks he's funny,” but the judges said no. Of course, Payne learned the virtues of sobriety the hard way, so perhaps folks thought he might be useful as a designated driver.
electronic voting technology
following 2000 election fiasco
Who can't handle the truth? Newspaper editors and network TV news producers had, by their own estimation, a difficult decision to make last week when images of mutilated American corpses were transmitted home from Fallujah, Iraq.
Dateline: Cambodia—Police in Phnom Penh have been accused of using a most unusual form of torture. Two teenage boys, arrested last Sunday night on suspicion of stealing five bags of soap powder from a parked car, say police force-fed them bananas until they got sick and confessed. Policeman Yim Simony denied any official wrongdoing. "They were hungry and annoyed and they refused to answer our questions," he told the Cambodia Daily. "But after they ate the bananas, they answered questions."
Short Shorts—The Southwest Film Center at UNM is looking for a few good shorts. The First Annual SWFC Short Film Festival is a chance for aspiring young filmmakers to show off their talents. Organizers are looking for films/videos in four categories: Narrative, Music Video, Experimental and Documentary. Films should be no longer than 20 minutes and must be accompanied by a $20 admission fee. Deadline for submission is Thursday, April 15. Winners will be showcased in a series of public screenings beginning Thursday, April 29, and awards will be handed out on Saturday, May 1. For complete info, including a submission form, log on to swfc.unm.edu/
Early one November morning in Seattle 11 years ago, Mia Zapata, lead singer of then up-and-coming alt.rock band The Gits (who played Albuquerque's Dingo Bar toward the end of their one and only West Coast tour), was abducted, raped and strangled to death with the hoodstring of her Gits sweatshirt, then dumped at the end of a dead-end street less than two blocks from the friend's house she'd left less than two hours earlier with the intention of catching a cab home. For a decade, Zapata's case remained cold. Then, in 2003, DNA evidence collected from Zapata's body drew a match on Florida's felon database, rendering a suspect in her murder: Jesus Mesquia. Three weeks ago, Mesquia was convicted on all counts in a Seattle courtroom and faces 20 years to life in Zapata's tragic death. Fellow Git Steve Moriarty after the verdict said, "I'm just glad he'll be in prison and we'll be living free lives." Indeed. ... This year's Alibi Spring Crawl will feature a handful of carefully chosen national acts to-be-announced. While the focus of our Crawl series remains on local music, local bands and the local businesses Downtown who support them, we'd be doing a disservice to everyone involved—fans included—if we didn't gradually push the events toward regional and, eventually, national acclaim. Albuquerque isn't Austin, and the Crawls may never be as widely regarded as South by Southwest, but we hope our humble events evolve to the point that they can't be ignored by the music industry at-large. See you Downtown on Saturday, April 24.
Lyrically, he's been compared to Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. But as a songwriter, tracing 26-year-old Josh Ritter's perceived lineage is slightly more challenging. Anyone with the ability to read the lyric sheets accompanying his three existing records can visualize the boyishly handsome Ritter's face buried in books by Rimbaud and Rilke. But listening to his plaintive voice toy with hook laden melodies without ever actually playing the hand is drawn in some obscure way to Nick Drake and Beth Orton and, moreover, a comforting amalgam of Bob Dylan (pre-Victoria's Secret commercials) and Sweet Baby James-era James Taylor.
Saturday, April 10; Launchpad (21 and over, 5 p.m.): It's an annual event that's become as revered as Christmas: Beto's Birthday Bash. Beto's turning 56 this Saturday, and he'd like to have all of you join him in celebration of the occasion. Many of your favorite local bands—Kaotic State, Dead On Point Five, Bulletrainmafia, Blue Bottle Flies, Concepto Tambor, Civitas, Feels Like Sunday, Los Brown Spots, Rebilt and several others—will be on-hand to provide live music and, if you show up early enough, there might just be some home-cooked food left.
Beto himself will be on-hand for spankings and such, with the giant spanking tunnel taking place at 11:59 p.m.
Longing for a return to the Golden Age of grunge? A tour through the annals of Sub Pop history? A reminder of how a handful of incredible (and incredibly resourceful) bands created the most significant musical movement since '70s punk rock? Sub Pop Video Network: Program 1 is just what you're looking for. Yes, long before the grunge look could be purchased from the Gap, and prior to bandwagonesque bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Bush ruled the airwaves, bands like Mudhoney, Beat Happening, Tad, Afghan Whigs and, yes, Nirvana, were busy meshing balls-out hardcore and punk rock with '80s metal in direct response to the Silly String 'n' Aqua Net era of rock music that nearly ruined an entire generation of MTV babies. And much of it is collected in video form on this first DVD installment from the good folks at the label that stated it all: Sub Pop.
They either missed the window or preceded it by a few years, but either way, the first outing by Finland's Hanoi Rocks in 19 years falls flat on its glamorous face. Back in their heyday, HR could have been the European antidote to the Los Angeles community of excess that spawned Guns 'n' Roses, L.A. Guns and Motley Crue, whose singer, Vince Neil, ended HR's career by killing their drummer "Razzle" in a car accident in 1994. HR never recovered. Michael Monroe's songwriting would have been hailed in 1988, but in 2004, it needs to be put to bed forever.
There's more to musicals than the all-too-familiar over-homogenized triteness of Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady. In honor of Ana Chavira, a frequent Musical Theatre Southwest (MTS) performer and contributor, MTS recently opened its brand spanking new Ana Chavira Theatre in the Frank A. Peloso Performing Arts Center, which also houses the much larger Hiland Theatre. The purpose of this intimate 85-seat theater is to provide a new and appropriate venue to stage alternative musicals for Albuquerque audiences.
Before you work yourself into a frenzy over how few food-related categories are included in the Best of Burque poll, remember that Alibi has a separate poll just for food-related superlatives. It's called the Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll (RCRP) and it hits the stands in October, right around Balloon Fiesta time. So consider this your fair warning. You have the next six months to eat your way around town and compile a personal list of favorites, from soup to service, bread to brunch. Pay special attention to newcomers as this kind of poll (like elections) tends to favor incumbents. Is there a restaurant you think gets overlooked every year? Start recruiting your friends now. Take them with you to experience your unknown gems and when poll time comes around you can encourage your buddies to vote. If you've got ideas for new RCRP categories you can e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise we'll consider them all but don't be surprised if you don't get to vote for Best Buns on a Waiter Whose Name Starts With an "M" Who Works at an Italian Restaurant in Nob Hill.
How long do you think it would take to eat a six-foot-tall scale model of the leaning tower of Pisa—made entirely of chocolate? That's what guests at last month's 12th annual Chocolate Fantasy gala were probably thinking as they strolled past the edible creation of Lincoln Peterkin and Oneil Watson. The pair won the first place award for Most Artistic chocolate piece before their restaurant, Jamaica Jamaica, even opened. Chef Daniel Keadle of the Hyatt Tamaya Resort took first place for Best Taste. Judges also awarded honors to Adrienne and Claire Toubbeh, Seasons Rotisserie and Grill and the Marriott Pyramid North. Chellese Restaurant in Gallup won the People's Choice award while Jamaica Jamaica took home the award Sponsors' Choice. The event grossed more than $250,000 for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. (GD)
If your family simply adores ham at holiday time but you hate to pay high prices for a spiral-sliced sow, why not opt for a cheaper version and do it yourself? Buy a nice, big bone-in half ham from your favorite butcher. Although the ham is already cooked, you'll need to heat it thoroughly before serving.