Alibi V.13 No.28 • July 8-14, 2004

feature

Support Our Troops, Dump Bush

An Albuquerque Lieutenant Colonel returns from Iraq with a bitter message for the Bush administration

Watching the gruesome opening scene of Saving Private Ryan is the closest most of us will ever come to armed combat. Yeah, sure, it's horrifying and all, but at least we have the luxury of being horrified while reclining in cushy purple theater chairs, oil-barrel-sized troughs of popcorn gripped comfortingly between our thighs.

music

Music to Your Ears

Two R.I.P.s begin this week's column. After decades in business—I can't say exactly how many years because the phone has already been disconnected—Midnight Rodeo closed its doors for good last Tuesday. Word on the street is that ownership simply grew tired of the nightclub business and retired. Who could blame them? More than just a country bar in the Heights, Midnight Rodeo played host to just about every '80s metal washout band I can think of, and was also home to Gotham, the dance club for folks with a closet full of black clothing and a penchant for the occasional wet T-shirt contest. Midnight Rodeo's was a niche that isn't easily replaced. ... Nonsequitur, the organization that for many years has presented some of the finest quality experimental music in the Southwest has, sadly, ceased to exist in New Mexico. Nonsequitur's driving force, Steve Peters, has moved to Seattle, Wash. where he's taken a job as Arts Program Manager at Jack Straw Productions. Peters will continue to present Nonsequitur events in Seattle, and those interested in keeping tabs can e-mail him at nonseq@drizzle.com to remain on the listserve. ... Singer-songwriter and former Albuquerque resident Jason Riggs will be back in town for the first time in many moons on Saturday, July 10, for a CD release concert at Winning's Coffee at 8 p.m. The CD, titled Pawn Shop Special, contains a track or two locals might recognize from Riggs' debut released back in the Dingo days, but it's full of new material that's quite refreshing. Visit www.jasonriggs.com to get a copy of the new record or pick one up at the show.

nd a

Blue Note

Wildlife West Bluegrass 2004

Featuring Cadillac Sky, the Hit & Run Bluegrass Band and Higher Ground

Wildlife West's annual bluegrass shindig is, in my opinion, one of the best live music gatherings in New Mexico. This year, a traditional chuckwagon supper will be served on Saturday evening, July 10, at 7 p.m., followed by Colorado-based group, Hit & Run Bluegrass, winners at Rockygrass in 2002 and Telluride in 2003. Hailed as one of the finest up-and-coming bluegrass bands in America, Hit & Run keep a tight grip on traditional bluegrass, which is not to be confused with the jam-infused stuff that tends more toward the Dead than dead banjo pickers. Their debut album, Beauty Fades, should do much to help listeners make the distinction.

DKT/MC5

with Suffrajett and The Dirty Novels

Saturday, July 10; Launchpad (21 and over, 9p.m.): Sadly, it's only now—now that bands like the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Darkness, etc. are flavors of the month—that Detroit's most influential rock band are getting their just desserts. Together just three years, their hellfire and brimstone mixture of blue collar rock, Motown and avant garde jazz left an indelible mark on American music that echoes today through the amplifiers of just about every band in existence that can justly have “garage” tagged to their name.

Ellipsis

Most of them are barely old enough to be hanging out in bars, but the members of Ellipsis come across like ultra-seasoned veterans of that golden age of rock that predates the emergence of shitheads like Fred Durst. And while there's certainly a “jam” element at work on Ellipsis' new record, But a Breath, there are a wide variety of influences apparent that prevent the whole affair from disintegrating into meaningless extended solos or monstrously complex time signature shifts just for the sake of them.

Ellipsis' lyrics tend to be a little wonky, not exactly melody-friendly in some cases, which can get annoying in huge doses, but most all can be forgiven in light of the abundance of edgy, precise playing. Think Jane's Addiction-meet-Gov't Mule.

Concert for the Grand Canyon

featuring Bill Oliver and Peter Neils

Wednesday, July 14; Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (212 Harvard SE, all ages, 7 p.m.): Damn that Glen Canyon dam! Since the 1963 completion of this giant concrete plug just upstream of the Grand Canyon, four of the eight fish species native to the Colorado River have become extinct, while two others are struggling for survival. And that's just the beginning. Both the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River that carved it are very different from their relatively pristine states of just 39 years ago. Living Rivers, a Utah-based organization, hopes to bring attention to the plight of the delicate ecosystem we've managed to virtually destroy—just as Teddy Roosevelt predicted 100 years ago—in the hope of turning back the clock to the degree that some of what's been lost can be restored.

Join Living Rivers, Austin folksinger Bill Oliver and Burque's own Peter Neils at the annual Concert for the Grand Canyon. A donation of $8 is requested, and all proceeds will directly benefit Living Rivers and their efforts to reclaim the Grand Canyon wilderness.

Cephalic Carnage

with Victimas, Noisear and Nekronemisis

Friday, July 9; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Forget John Denver, John Elway aspen trees and all that “Rocky Mountain High” crap. Denver's finest export, in my opinion, will always be Cephalic Carnage. Their new record, Lucid Interval, will prove unlistenable even to some of the most dedicated grind fans with its hellish mixture of jazz stylings and death metal, but those who are still able to open their THC-bound eyelids wide enough to see the future of grindcore will rejoice and perhaps even leave their beanbag chairs in jubilation. The Mahavishnu Orchestra have nothing on these guys, who careen from 4/4 blastbeats to 7/8 segues with the precision of brain surgeons. If extreme is what you ’re looking for, look no further. And you don't have to be 21 to enjoy this pummelling.

Sonic Reducer

Statement of disclosure: simple. bassist Joe Anderson is my best friend. That said, I find the band's debut entirely inoffensive, although not as awe-inspiring as I expected from such a dynamic live act. Production is incredibly crisp and precise, and Stacy Parrish and Dan Prevett provide some of the best textural guitar playing I've heard recently. Likewise, the rhythm section is spot-on. Parrish's lyrics and vocal style have always struck me as just a little too precious, but he meshes both respectably here, particularly on the tunes co-written by the rest of his bandmates.

Spotlight

Frankly, the last two things I want from a Beastie Boys record are political proselytization and "Up with People"-style inspirational messages about everyone just getting along, working together and all that other utopian bullshit that's nice to think about, but about as removed from the reality of our current world-state as is possible. And, lyrically speaking, the Beastie's first new album in six years, disappointingly offers those two components and not much else, with the exception of an abundance of awkward "motherfucker" shoutouts and other out-of-place language that earned To the 5 Boroughs its parental advisory sticker.

art

Culture Shock

Most of my memories of high school are somewhat less than fond. That was a difficult time for me, those dark years before I blossomed into the self-confident, ravishingly handsome young man I am today. It wasn't all bad, of course. Several of my most pleasant memories from that period revolve around theater.

Moon Unit Malfunction

Taos Modernists at the University Art Museum

A couple weeks ago I listened to Frank Zappa's idiotic daughter do an interview on a local radio station. Remember Moon Unit? Yeah, that's right—Moon Unit. She's the one who did the voice-over on Zappa's '80s hit "Valley Girl." (I'm so sure. Gag me with a spoon. Barf out.)

Many Worlds

An interview with Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin is an extremely difficult writer to categorize, but that hasn't stopped people from trying. She usually gets thrown into the science fiction or fantasy camps, but neither of those labels does true justice to the body of work she's built up over the years.

The Angels' Cradle

Center for Contemporary Art

The Buffoons are a tiny family of outcasts who live in the sub-basement of a large, abandoned department store. Life cruises along swimmingly for these misfits until one day a homeless man arrives from Above. The confrontation causes all hell to break loose. Theater Grottesco will present a new staging of its original play The Angels' Cradle at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. Don't miss this opportunity to see the company's physical, groundbreaking brand of experimental theater in all its lunatic glory. The show runs Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. through Aug. 30. Tickets to the gala opening on July 9 are $100. Regular ticket prices are $25 general, $10 students. Sundays are "pay what you wish." (505) 474-8400.

Oceanscapes

Richard Levy Gallery

San Francisco artist Debra Bloomfield spent years snapping photographs of the ocean from the exact same location and perspective. Each time she took a picture, the sky and water transformed, often dramatically, resulting in a series of photographs that serves as a potent testament to the infinite mutability of the natural world. Bloomfield's Oceanscapes opens this Friday, July 9, at the Richard Levy Gallery (514 Central SW) and runs through Aug. 13. For details, call 766-9888.

news

Downtown Arena Plan Moves Forward

City can walk away from partnership if private funding fails

The prospect of big bucks and flying balls delighted a T-shirt-wearing crowd at the June 28 special meeting of the City Council. The freebie T-shirts, reading "Albuquerque Arena Route 66—Let's get it started," were passed out by the Downtown Action Team, one of several civic and business groups avidly supporting a proposed Downtown arena.

Thin Line

The Dick Cheney affair. It's fair to say, the vice president is very popular among GOP supporters, generally. Many actually still believe he is the bland, avuncular pragmatist at the White House who remains cool, even statesmanly, under pressure. Anyone who has read recent books by Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke and Bob Woodward might get a slightly different impression, however—that of a secretive, brooding, physical wreck of a man who drives the neocon agenda with almost deranged passion.

A Big John Kerry Abrazo for La Plebe

Hispanics give him the love at Phoenix convention

If you believe the propaganda emanating from some Republican strategists' pipe dreams, the Hispanic vote is up for grabs in the 2004 presidential derby.

The Show That Never Ends

Random musings on the week that was

Last week, political blogmeister Joe Monahan (www.joemonahan.com) offered some commentary on three recent votes by Congresswoman Heather Wilson and how those votes might be play into her re-election strategy. The votes of interest were 1) to cut CIA funding by 25 percent until the Bush administration turns over all documents dealing with the treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2) against a corporate tax bill that included targeted tax breaks for pharmaceutical companies and 3) against a budget overhaul favored by Republican leadership.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Belgium—A couple who have named all 15 of their children in honor of Elvis Presley say they have run out of names for their 16th child. Jean-Pierre and Carine Antheunis from Gent are lifelong Elvis fanatics and their children's names are all linked to the music legend. Elvis, Priscilla, Dakota and Tennessee are among the swelling Antheunis brood. But the parents are now stumped for a name to give their new baby boy. “If it had been a girl, we would have called her Linda. Elvis once had a lover with that name,” said Jean-Pierre. According to the daily newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the couple are now thinking of naming the new child Ohio. “There's no connection with Elvis, but it's in America,” said Mr. Antheunis.

film

Reel World

Burning Bash!—Hard to believe, but Burning Paradise, Albuquerque's one and only cult/foreign/trash cinema video store, is turning one year old this July. The store, a regular sponsor of the Alibi Midnight Movie Madness screenings, has done an incredible job of promoting Hong Kong action, Mexican wrestling, Japanese monsters, Italian zombies and good old American exploitation among Albuquerque's psychotronic sub-sect. In order to celebrate the occasion, owner Kurly Tlapoyawa will be throwing a mind-bending bash at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Thursday, July 8. The theme will be Battle Royale. Burning Paradise was the first to alert Albuquerque viewers of this controversial cult film about a group of Japanese school kids who are forced to slaughter each other in an annual, government-sponsored elimination tournament. If you haven't seen the film, you should get down to Burning Paradise and rent a copy! Either way, ladies in full Japanese school girl outfits will get preferential treatment at the Burning Bash. Local bands Dead on Point Five, Destructamathon, Jackson 4 and Ready Samsara will be providing the ear-pounding tunes. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, log on to www.burningparadise.net

King Arthur

“Realistic” reinterpretation of legend offers no good knight

According to the tag line, the new historical action flick King Arthur claims to be the “true story” of one of western civilization's greatest legends. In fact, the film turns out to be no more “true” than any other version. This one simply demystifies the tale, stripping away all the myth and magic. More realistic? Perhaps. Truer? Doubtful.

The Clearing

Intense kidnap drama makes for smart summer fare

Summertime is not noted for its wealth of adult-oriented movie entertainment. In fact, sophisticated adults tend to flee theaters in droves when the lobbies fill with popcorn-spewing rugrats and the marquees shout titles like The Chronicles of Riddick, White Chicks and Dodgeball. Conventional Hollywood wisdom is that teenagers get the run of summer and adults are relegated to the late fall Oscar rush. Which is why it's a little surprising to see a film like The Clearing show up in theaters right now against the overhyped likes of Spider-Man 2 and King Arthur.

Eternal Reruns

TV on DVD

Television networks have recently discovered a quick and easy new way to make money. Fans of classic television shows will pay through the nose to snap up complete seasons of television series that were once aired for free as reruns. Dig up a few behind-the-scenes extras on anything from “The Simpsons” to “Sanford and Son” and the fans will flock to it. Fading are the days of syndication, rising are the days of the DVD box set.

food

Gastrological Forecast

Light fruit juices: ugh. Have you noticed? They're propagating in the refrigerated juice section. Orange juice: 50 percent less sugar! That was the first one. We were able to ignore it easily enough; after all, it was a lone carton. Then it was pineapple juice: 30 percent fewer calories! Now half the cartons between milk and bacon blare: orange/pineapple blend with 1/3 the carbs! Oh, crap. Beware these bastard children of real juice. They're watered-down versions of their fresh squeezed progenitors, artificially sweetened and, sometimes, artificially flavored. Remember Sunny Delight? That crap they gave you at summer camp? Now imagine diet Sunny D (I hear they sell it in Europe) and you already know what low-carb OJ tastes like. It tastes like cheap, watery piss that only bored children would drink. Save yourself the agony and eat an orange.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

There's something really cool going on this weekend: Lavender in the Valley Day. A group of more than 30 growers, restaurants and shops in the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque have joined together to put on a day-long festival to celebrate this aromatic flower. If you want to go, head up there early; events kick off around 7 a.m. at the growers' market. Vendors will have lavender for sale, and you can nibble on some lavender pancakes for breakfast. Next, pick up a tour map and complete list of activities at the nearby Lavender Day gazebo. They'll point you towards the free shuttle bus which will circle the village all day long. Participating businesses will be marked with special lavender flags. Your next stop should be Los Poblanos Ranch, where a field of 3,000 lavender plants will provide enough blossoms for tour participants take part in cutting their own bouquets, distilling lavender essence and drying bouquets.

Recipes from The Lavender Cookbook

Whether you're planning on picking your own buds at Lavender in the Valley Day (July 10), growing lavender in your yard or simply interested in trying a new flavor, you'll be surprised and delighted by the range of nuance that lavender flowers can add to your cooking. Sharon Shipley, author of The Lavender Cookbook (Running Press, paper, $16.95) ignored all boundaries in coming up with this collection of recipes; she fearlessly and successfully incorporated lavender into desserts, soups, salads and steaks. Don't be afraid! Just jump right in.

Alibi V.13 No.27 • July 1-7, 2004

feature

Plugging the Memory Hole

A Tucson-based cyber journalist fights government secrecy, one Freedom of Information request at a time

While some folks fail at everything they try, Russ Kick has discovered one thing that he's really good at. You might say he's the master of digging up information that has been tucked away from public view by the federal government.

If at First You Don't Succeed, Lie, Lie Again

The Bush administration proves you can fool most of the people most of the time

If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth.

—Joseph Goebbels

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

Secrecy and the Bush Administration

In 1997, Texas Gov. George W. Bush signed a bill which allowed him to choose a different institution from the Texas State Archives to house his gubernatorial papers. The result: Bush deposited them in his father's Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M. This delayed the release of his documents for months due to confusion over whether they fell under FOIA timetables or quicker, in-state ones.

Filing a FOIA Request

Where To Write

The first thing you need to do is decide which federal agency has the information you are seeking, You should go to the library and check the descriptions of the various agencies in publications like the United States Government Organization Manual (US Government Printing Office), or call the local office of your representative in Congress. Once you have narrowed down the possibilities, you might want to call the FOIA or the public affairs office of those agencies for more specific information.

If you think you know which agency has the records you are interested in, get the specific mailing address for its FOIA office. Just go to the agency's website or look up the agency's FOIA regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which you can find at the public library and on the Internet.

Suspicious Minds

A Brief History of the Freedom of Information Act

Farsighted as they were, our forefathers missed a few key rights when they laid out the plan for our republic. Freedom from slavery leaps to mind, but less obvious is the right to examine some, if not all, of the innards of our government. It's so easy to overlook this "right to know," in fact, that it did not even emerge as a concept in the United States until after World War II.

news

Out With the Pendejos, in With the Lord

Party house becomes home for proselytizing at UNM

The Lord would be pleased to know that heathens have been exorcised from at least one frat house on UNM's campus. That is, profanity, pornography and other faith-based immoralities are now banned from the recently renovated Sigma Chi fraternity house.

Thin Line

The Saudi-Bush Affair. So far, the best rebuke of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11 comes from Christopher Hitchens. In a virtuoso rant published on Slate.com, Hitchens calls Moore's film "a piece of crap" and then proceeds with a flourish of 50-cent words and deep, subjective analysis aimed at discrediting the film.

Filling Shoes

Following the announcement of Chief Administrative Officer Jay Czar's decision to leave office at the June 21 council meeting, Mayor Martin Chavez appointed James B. Lewis as new CAO, effective July 1. Lewis' current position as chief operations officer tops a résumé that stretches from the U.S. Department of Energy to a previous Albuquerque mayoral race.

Talk About Taxation Without Representation

Would the nation's founders have imagined a $4.1 trillion national debt?

Ahh ... the Fourth of July! In 1776, our Founding Fathers declared independence from the British monarchy and an end to "taxation without representation." Two hundred and twenty-eight years later, Thomas Jefferson and company might be less than thrilled knowing the government of the nation they founded is piling $4.1 trillion of new debt on its citizens over the next decade—an obligation for every American of about $37,450.

Mixing Religion and Politics Gives Me a Hangover

I don't belong to an organized religion; I'm a Roman Catholic. That's a paraphrase of Will Rogers' great line, except he was talking about being a Democrat. Lately I've been thinking about Democrats and Catholics a great deal. The two go together a lot more smoothly than some pundits would have you think, despite the White House's efforts to pretend they don't.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Exotic dancer Donna Cleeve was forced to quit her $1,500-a-week job because she's allergic to, well, pole. The 20-year-old from Portsmouth, who used the stage name Honey, worked at two strip clubs in Bournemouth and Portsmouth. Unfortunately, according to The Sun, Cleeve would develop a red rash after each performance. After three months, she realized that nickel used in the poles was to blame. Cleeve knew she was allergic to the element, but was unaware that it was used in the construction of metal stripper poles. “Because I kept on dancing around the pole, it just got worse and worse. It's hard to look sexy when your legs and body are inflamed. I tried to ignore it, but in the end it wasn't worth the pain,” Cleeve told the newspaper. Since quitting, she has taken up a job in sales.

music

Music to Your Ears

In this week's chapter of “Where Are They Now?” we explore the trials, travels and recent successes of Gavin Rhodes, formerly of one of Albuquerque's shortest-lived but truly great alt.rock bands, Silver. Rhodes is living in Brooklyn, N.Y. where he's a grad student in NYU's Music Business program. But more importantly, he's still making music, currently as Honeypower, a “band” in which he wears all the hats himself. Jesus and Mary Chain fans will go absolutely apeshit over Honeypower's debut, Deflowered (Push Productions). Although Rhodes performed all of the album's instrumentation himself, another local, Joe Brian Stammer, contributed additional guitar on the shimmering “Exit Cue,” just one of a dozen intriguing tracks to be reviewed in a coming issue. Meanwhile, get your copy of Deflowered at www.honeypower.com. ... If you see a single national act this week, make sure it's chicken-pickin' bluegrass/Americana band Jeff & Vida on Wednesday, July 7, at Stella Blue. Their new record, Loaded (Binky Records) finds the New Orleans band sounding like a Texas roadhouse on fire. Guitarist Jeff Burke's stop 'n' roll staccato lines are worth the price of admission alone. 'Course, if you miss 'em at Stella Blue, you can catch them on July 8 at Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Santa Fe and July 9 at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid.

Blue Note

Exquisite, refined -- even rarified -- and above all else captivatingly beautiful. Such descriptions come to mind as I listen to The Rain, the live debut album of Indian-Iranian ensemble Ghazal.

film

Reel World

Locally Shot Film Sees Light of Day (Probably)—There's been plenty of talk lately about films being shot here in New Mexico thanks to recent state tax incentives. So far, not many of these films have seen the light of day, however. One of those films, the serial killer thriller Suspect Zero, was shot in and around Albuquerque all the way back in the summer of 2002. Now, it looks like the long-delayed film will finally hit theaters late this summer. Paramount Pictures announced last week that the film would be released on Friday, August 27.

Fahrenheit 9/11

If only it were a dream

If sarcasm is the refuge of the weak, then Michael Moore's enormous, artistic success as a documentary filmmaker would be a farce. Tragedy is not supposed to funny. But in these brutish times, Fahrenheit 9/11, a depressing film in its exposure of the realities in Iraq, is also comical when it shows us, as Americans (our Marine recruiters, peaceniks, congressmen and Brittany Spears to name a few), who we really are.

Spider-Man 2

Bigger, darker and more dramatic, this Spidey sequel is almost too much of a good thing.

For people of a certain age—those raised in the '60s and '70s, certainly—comic books are the Vedic Texts of their generation. Much as tales of Beowulf or King Arthur instructed generations of plague-ravaged Europeans on the meaning of right and wrong, Spider-Man, Superman and Batman provided shining paragons of heroism for generations of Slurpee-addled Americans.

Bottle Rockets and Remote Controls

Independence Day around the Dial

As Americans, we like to spend at least one day a year celebrating our patriotism with large doses of macaroni salad, canned beer and low-grade Chinese explosives. Yes, this Sunday is Independence Day. And, as the sadly unpaid spokesperson for network, cable and satellite TV providers, it is my duty to encourage you to add a dose of slothful television viewing to your Fourth of July diet of artery-clogging food, liver-damaging booze and finger-endangering fireworks.

art

Culture Shock

The Santa Fe Art Institute has put together an ambitious program of exhibits, workshops and lectures centered around explorations of sound and light in contemporary art. Called Transmit+Transform, the program will present a series of provocative events through October of this year.

Sing It Like You Mean It

The 2004 Santa Fe Opera Season

Unlike, say, pizza, opera is an acquired taste. Very few people pop out of their mamas' wombs and immediately start grooving to Puccini. It just doesn't work that way. Like many of the very best things in life, you have to put forth a considerable amount of effort to make sense of opera's odd little complexities. A little knowledge and experience, however, can quickly turn it into a bona fide addiction.

Spatial Aspects of Change

New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery

A new exhibit opening this week at New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery (3812 Central SE) presents art by two complementary artists whose work explores stylized geometric spaces. Hazel Orr's lush red-toned monotypes are loosely inspired by the colors and architectures of Morocco, Italy and Spain. Neil Bell's equally abstract etchings seem to exist in a limbo between two- and three-dimensional space. Their joint show opens this Friday, July 2, with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and runs through July 31. For details, call New Grounds at 268-8952.

Light Over Ancient Asia

Marigold Arts

Kenneth Parker's large-scale colored landscape photographs are snapped during week-long backpacking trips in which he lugs 75 to 80 pounds of heavy camera equipment into some of the most remote regions on Earth. The results, of course, are often spectacular. Over the last three decades, Parker has managed to compose some of the most eye-popping images of the natural world I've ever seen. An exhibit of landscape photographs from Asia opens Friday, July 2, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at Marigold Arts in Santa Fe. Light Over Ancient Asia runs through Aug. 3. (505) 982-4142.

Book 'Em, Jimmy

Back in the 1500s, St. Teresa de Avila succumbed to a mystical vision of a crystal palace with seven chambers, each signifying a step on the path to complete communion with God. Teresa recorded her vision in The Interior Castle, a book that's been recognized as one of the world's great spiritual classics for almost five centuries.

Speed Reader

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir

food

Gastrological Forecast

Don't you dare make a Cool Whip, frozen pound cake and berry dessert in the shape of an American flag. Don't you dare. Those crap-ass Parade magazine recipes represent everything that is evil in this world. Did your grandmother use Cool Whip? Hell no. Your grandmother made cakes with mayonnaise because she had no butter. She cried herself to sleep every night, because she knew that in the morning she'd have to squirt a packet of yellow dye into a pale white tub of margarine and spread that junk all over her toast, pretending to like it because anything else would seem unpatriotic. Cream in her coffee? What coffee? She boiled chicory root and thought real hard about what coffee tasted like. Your grandma ate the fake stuff because she had to. Times were tough. And you're too lazy to make your own pound cake and whip your own cream? She came up with two dozen recipes for Spam and this is how you show your respect? With whipped topping? You ought to have your ears boxed, you whiny, pathetic sack of ingratitude. Get back into that kitchen and show those old timers what you can do with a pound of sour cherries and a quart of real cream.

Low-carb Sodas Hit the Shelves

And they're as tasty as a diabetic koala's morning urine

In an unfortunate show of just-a-little-off timing, the major cola players have just rolled out their latest line extensions, low-carb, low-sugar colas designed to jump the Atkins bandwagon just as said conveyance is starting to go off the rails, as frustrated and carb-denied consumers rise up and say, as a nation, "Fuck this! I want a sandwich!"

Real Guacamole

Make it in a molcajete

Have you ever peered behind the counter at a fast food restaurant and seen some zitty 16-year-old squirting guacamole out of what appears to be a caulking gun? You're standing there, waiting for your burrito, thinking "hmm, the last time I used a caulking gun was to water-seal the gap between my new toilet and the floor. Man, that was a dirty job. Hey, those refried beans look just like ... whoa! Cancel that! I'm getting a salad." Get the picture? Faux-ca-mole is a bad, bad idea. Nothing good or even edible should come from a caulking gun.

The Smoking Ban: Phase Two

Bars Within Restaurants Go Smoke-Free July 3

This Saturday, July 3, marks the one-year anniversary of the Albuquerque Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, which banned smoking in city restaurants. If you recall, restaurants were given until this July to bring their in-house bars into compliance with stricter ventilation requirements or forbid smoking in them. According to Leo Bottos of the Environmental Health Department, most establishments have chosen to go nonsmoking rather than completely enclose their bars and install separate ventilation systems.

Alibi V.13 No.26 • June 24-30, 2004

feature

Bite-Size

The Alibi's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest

We live in a lazy sound-bite culture. With each passing year, Americans demand that their lives become a little bit faster, a little bit simpler, a little bit easier. Jello Biafra once said, "Give me convenience or give me death," and this really is our new sacred patriotic creed. It's central to every aspect of our hurly-burly, Internet-and-latte lives, even here in slow, laid-back New Mexico. Wouldn't Patrick Henry be proud?

Winners

A broken cup of a girl, shocked numb and colorblind, rattled through cold tunnels of unpopulated perception, free of the weight even of dreams. That was after the Moonies, after the deprogramming. In the house with boards nailed over the windows, they had cracked her open, mopped up the spill. They tossed away her chill dark mornings singing ’Arirong' by the sea, carnations sold on street corners, praying in tongues. For a moment, I thought she might not have heard me. "Yeah, OK. I'll marry you," she finally allowed, her pale wafer-thin smile queer under the mercury vapor moon.

Honorable Mentions

The first time Marlys felt the baby move inside her, she fainted. A fan of sci-fi movies in her youth, she had seen too many aliens exploding from swollen bellies.

music

Music to Your Ears

Mark Friday, June 26, on your calendars as the night Stoic Frame return from the wilds of Los Angeles for an increasingly rare “hometown” show at the Launchpad with Concepto Tambor, Tabula Rasa and simple. The rock begins at 9 p.m., and if you're under 21—as is often the case in el Burque—you're shit out of luck. ... Which brings me to my next item: I saw quite a bit of killer local music last Friday night at, of all places, the Mountainside YMCA. Being back at the place where I learned to swim to see a rock show titled “Band-It Together” started out on the surreal side, but I was quickly distracted by some damn fine young bands, especially the emo-minded One For Hope, who possess more depth than most bands twice their age and are polished enough to get signed tomorrow. And they don't even realize it. Someday, Whatsoever and, of course, Unit 7 Drain, all gave outstanding performances as well. Kudos to Jordy Gailard, Jade Wright and all of the other teenage YMCA organizers for putting together a great local music event, and to the folks at Music Go Round for providing backline free of charge. ... Sausage Hang (pictured above) will provide live, play-by-play coverage of the Fourth Annual Star Tattoo Party at Elliot's in Corrales on Sunday night, June 27. Bands on-hand include New Weapons, Church Camp, Black Maria and at least one other to be announced. Beware of Joe Anderson.

Blue Note

The Sixth Annual Taos Solar Festival

featuring Robert Earl Keen, Sonia Dada, Bruce Cockburn, Los Lonely Boys, Shawn Colvin, Mary & Mars and others

Though many, shall we say less-than-intelligent, Americans cannot or refuse to see the advantage of using the sun as a source of energy in lieu of sources that produce pollution, some New Mexicans can and do. Since the '70s, residents of Taos, N.M., (a.k.a. the “Solar Capital of the World”), have been putting the giant, burning ball in the sky to work in their homes, businesses and community.

Thanks for the Jewel Case

Apparently, God has a record deal. Israeli Hewbrew teacher Uri Harel has taken a page from Michael Drosnin's book, The Bible Codes, and come up with a formula by which he assigns each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet to a musical note, then “composes” boring classical-based pieces of music to select Psalms and chapters of Exodus supposedly according to the naturally occuring patterns of letters in the Hebrew Bible. If the result is what music sounds like in Heaven, I'd rather burn in Hell. Thanks for the jewel case.

Mr. Stinky Feet

Jim Cosgrove returns to Albuquerque

Tuesday, June 29-Friday, July 2; Various Albuquerque Public Library Locations (all ages, 11 a.m., see below for times and branch locations): It's summer. School's out. And by now, your kids are likely driving you up the wall. When was the last time you took them to a public library? And when was the last time you took them there not just to check out books, but to check out some great children's music as well? If you're sick of hearing junior repeat the “Barney Theme” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” over and over again, children's music maestro extraordinaire (and University of New Mexico grad) Jim Cosgrove could save your life.

J Mascis

with an acoustic guitar and some hippie songs ... and Weapons of Mass Destruction and Fivehundred

Thursday, July 1; Former Dinosaur Jr. leader and indie rock guitar wizard J Mascis is giving his ears—and ours—a break this tour. Instead of bringing Mike Watt and four full Marshall stacks to the Launchpad stage and playing so freaking loud some people actually get nauseated, he's playing all by his lonesome. Having seen little bits and pieces of Mascis' solo act previously in Austin, I can say with confidence that just because he's playing acoustic guitar, you shouldn't immediately assume he's not going to rock. In fact, with the help of a distortion pedal and various other effects, you won't really be able to tell the difference at times between Mascis' hollowbodied instrument from an electric guitar.

While his hippie-trip sets certainly have that singer-songwriter air to them, there's something rebellious and (gasp!) alternative about just knowing that it's J Mascis up there, still giving it up for the people in his own, uncompromising way.

Bing CD Release Party

Friday, June 25; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 9 p.m.): Co-founded by Molly Sturges (vocals, accordion) and Chris Jonas (saxophones), Bing is essentially a groove collective, borrowing rhythmic and melodic components from a host of musical genres and using them to create transient soundscapes that are as reliant on improvisation as they are on carefully calculated unison passages and solo figures. Add to that soulful vocals from Sturges and the musical contributions of Mark Weaver (trombone, tuba), Tim Gagan (guitars), Nina Hart (bass) and Dave Wayne (drums, percussion), and you've got yourself some pretty mind-bending dance music.

Sonic Reducer

Nels Andrews' most recent release finds him fronting El Paso Eyepatch, his live band that features multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Richards. Like Crazy Horse, EPE can be incendiary and legendarily powerful when it comes to extended jamming and/or solo sections that swell and recede in ocean-like waves of sonic resolve. But the 'Patch's work on this batch of Andrews' songs is more restrained for the most part, showing yet another side of this fine collective of talent and passion. Andrews' melodic structures recall Lyle Lovett, while he's vocally on-par with guys like Josh Ritter. Nice!

art

Culture Shock

Everyone from filmmakers to spoken worders to slammers, fire throwers, drag acts, musicians, visual artists and satirical clowns have hopped onto the stage at Backroads Pizza over the past year. They've come to Santa Fe's new hipster hangout at the invitation of the legendary Cooper Lee Bombardier, a transgender visual artist and performer who hosts a monthly queer and trans performance cabaret called Lisp.

The Day the Music Died

Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story at the Albuquerque Little Theatre

Among the pantheon of golden age rock and rollers, Buddy Holly is in a class by himself. He didn't have Chuck Berry's poetry or riffs. He didn't have Little Richard's erotic, animalistic fury. He didn't have Elvis' slippery voice or demonic pelvis. What Holly did have, however, was an immediately identifiable hiccupy singing style that expressed so much more than the plain meaning of his goofy, teen-oriented lyrics. He also had a choppy guitar technique that, while not as flashy as Berry's, made up for its lack of intricacy with pure, raw emotional force. (For my taste, the chord-based break in "Peggy Sue" ranks among the greatest guitar solos of all time.)

Death's Door

Tricklock Performance Space

The Israel Solo Show Festival in Acco, Israel has traditionally only featured Arab performers. Next month, however, our very own Kerry Morrigan, of Tricklock Company fame, will be the first American ever invited to perform in the festival. Is that cool or what? Her one-woman show, Death's Door, which she performed in January during the Revolutions International Theatre Festival, showcases some of her trapeze work. Catch it now before she boards a jet bound for the land of oil and blood. Morrigan will perform Death's Door for one weekend only at the Tricklock Performance Space on Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 27, at 6 p.m. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393.

Wild West

516 Magnífico Artspace

For New Mexicans the subject might be old hat, but Europeans, I've noticed, are often obsessed with the Wild West. Starting this weekend, three Europeans (Stefka Ammon, Bjorn Hegardt and Godrun Rauwolf) and an American (Ethan D. Jackson) will re-examine the cultural refuse of the West in an exhibit that's traveled from Berlin to Philadelphia to Texas and finally comes to downtown Albuquerque's 516 Magnífico Artspace. The show gives us locals a chance to view our own cultural heritage through the eyes of some very perceptive outsiders. Wild West opens this Friday with a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and runs through July 31. 242-8244.

news

Group Protests Predatory Lending

Low income families storm Westside accounting office

A national organization advocating for low-income families' rights is taking its fight against alleged unethical business practices by several well-known tax preparation companies to a new extreme.

Thin Line

The Reagan-Bush Affair. Salon.com just keeps on opening a daily can of editorial whoop-ass on Dubya like no other news source in America. Recently, the e-zine was the first to seize upon Ronald Reagan Jr.'s scorn for the current Bush administration. At his father's burial service, Ron Jr., said: "Dad was ... a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage." The statement clearly rebuked the current Bush administration's faith-based governmental policies, and days later Salon scored an exclusive interview with the famous dog show host that has since made it difficult for Bush to wrap himself in the Reagan legacy.

Coverage You Can't Count On

South Valley Bosque fire gets doused with a dose of manic hysteria

On the night of Thursday, June 10, Bernalillo County Fire Chief Bett Clark was leading a troop of local TV reporters down Brown Road in the South Valley, to the property where a fire in the Bosque ignited earlier that afternoon.

Sniffing Out the Reagan Legacy

The Gipper was a low-rent actor, and Dubya's in a category by himself

Listening to, watching and reading the tidal wave of elegiac gushings occasioned by the death of former President Ronald Reagan was a peculiar experience for me. I mean, I had no idea who it was that they were all gushing about. It certainly wasn't the man I remembered.

Lex Luthor's Legal System

Time to demand more accountability from the judiciary

Reforming the state's judicial system is a hot topic no matter where you turn these days. Whether certain state legislators, journalists, trial lawyers or judges of New Mexico choose to acknowledge it, the overwhelming majority of our residents suspect that something is rotten in Denmark or, in this case, something is screwy within the halls of justice. And it is.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Poland—Plastic surgery: It's not just for movie stars anymore. The seaside town of Ustka is giving a makeover to its official mascot, the Ustka mermaid. The classical seafaring image, featured on the town's coat of arms, is used in tourism campaigns. City officials announced earlier this year that the mermaid's waist would be reduced and her bust enhanced in an attempt to lure tourists. An Ustka official says the breast enhancement will make the mermaid “more attractive and Ustka will gain publicity.”

film

Reel World

DigiFest Gets Definition—The annual Digifest Southwest Film Festival has wrapped up another week of frantic filmmaking here in the Duke City. Last Saturday night, an estimated 900 people descended on the Kiva Auditorium to watch the festival's premiere screening. Seven short films were shot in and around Albuquerque last week, and all seven were handed in, shot and edited, just under the wire for Saturday night's screening. This year was the first in which filmmakers got to work with High Definition digital cameras, giving this year's Digifest's the most high-tech lineup to date.

White Chicks

Slapstick crime comedy proves laughter is as simple as black and white

Are you familiar with the term “high concept?” It's a Hollywood buzzword used to describe a film so simplistic that the entire concept can be summed up in a single, catchy sentence. Hollywood likes high concept. White Chicks, the new comedy jam from the Wayans brothers, could very well be the highest concept film of the summer. Basically, somebody walked into a movie studio one day and said, “How about a movie in which two black guys dress up like white chicks?” The studio executives thought it over for all of two seconds and said, “Great! We'll call it White Chicks.

Baadasssss!

Funky docudrama gets to the roots of the Blaxploitation genre

Movies about the making of movies tend to be self-indulgent sitcoms about the trials and tribulations of filmmaking—winking mea culpas issued by directors and writers who have fed long enough at the Hollywood trough to be faintly embarrassed by it all. When Hollywood turns the camera on itself, the results can be hard-hitting and satyrical (The Player, certainly); but, more often than not, the final product is more slyly self-aggrandizing than the material it purports to mock (Burn, Hollywood, Burn anyone? Sim0ne perhaps?). The simple truth may be that Hollywood just doesn't have a very good perspective on itself.

“American Casino” Versus “The Casino”

Place your bets

Reality TV isn't the most original genre on the Idiot Box. So it should come as little surprise that two networks would debut two shows within a week of one another, both centering on the ritzy realm of Las Vegas casinos.

food

Gastrological Forecast

If you're thinking of trying out the basil remedy for cramps then you ought to consider growing your own basil plants. Much of the fresh basil found in grocery stores is a different variety, normally called sweet basil. Holy basil is native to Asia and is the familiar flavor found in Thai dishes. The name holy basil comes from the sacred status of the herb in Ayurvedic traditions; many researchers claim that holy basil has higher concentrations of the active ingredients. Look in the herb section at the nursery and examine the plant tags carefully, looking for the word holy or the Latin name, ocimum sanctum. Holy basil is available with red or green leaves that have jagged edges; other varieties have smooth-edged leaves. This stuff has a much more pungent aroma and flavor but there's no reason you can't use it in recipes that call for the regular kind. Try filling a big pot with a combination of red and green plants. Pinch off the flowers when they come up and you'll have leaves at least until the winter.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Looking for a quiet place to sit and have a cup of tea? Hadley's Tea opened about a month ago at 7600 Jefferson NE, Suite 9 (near Café Voilà and Hello Deli!). Owner Linda Butler serves both hot and iced teas, and a dozen or so pastries from Le Chantilly. Butler's stock includes over 100 types of teas and though they're all for sale, she rotates a smaller selection through the tea menu so customers choose from a list of around 20 teas on any given day. Hadley's also serves chai from Anapurna chai house and one daily coffee selection. Butler used to own Linda's Antiques and Sweets, a small shop on "antique row" in Nob Hill. At Hadley's, she sells all sorts of tea accessories but not antiques. Stop by and check it out or call 821-4832 to inquire about the tea menu.

The Edible Landscape

Garlic flowers, known as scapes, spice up summer

The technical name for this beautiful and delectable apparatus is "scape." Such a harsh name—sounds more like an injury, or a disease, or misplaced blame—is a cruel injustice to the world of pleasure the name represents. That's why I refer to them as flowers, despite the fact that botanists advise otherwise. At least I'm not alone.

Fresh Basil as a Remedy for Menstrual Cramps

A chefs' trick with science behind it

Why does eating a handful of fresh basil seem to relieve menstrual cramps? Sounds crazy, yes, but it's true and (who knew?) there are actually several good scientific reasons why. Years ago, the sous chef of the hotel I cooked at turned me on to this basil thing. I had terrible cramps at work and he told me to roll up 10 or 12 leaves of fresh basil and chew them. By the time I had picked the last green bit from between my incisors, the cramps had abated.