Alibi V.13 No.29 • July 15-21, 2004

Gus Pedrotty’s Alibi interview [Video]

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.

Eric Williams

Alibi Celebrates Pride

Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party

We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.

feature

The Road to Recovery

Metropolitan Detention Center focuses on keeping DWI offenders sober

The world can break your heart when you least expect it. For Adan Carriaga that shocking moment happened in 1984 when a drunk driver killed his mother. From that moment on, he made a life-altering decision to end his own destructive drinking habit and, in honor of his mother's memory, turn his anger into something positive. Today Carriaga, a devout Christian, dedicates his livelihood to giving others a second chance to sober up before they take an innocent life. "I wanted to help people clean up and be responsible," he said.

art

Culture Shock

Everybody's favorite folk artist, Steve White, is skipping town. He's moving to Athens, Ga., at the beginning of August and needs some money for the trip. Here's the deal. Fork out $20, and White will give you a ceramic Zozobra sculpture along with a raffle ticket. On Friday, July 23, from 5 to 8 p.m., he's hosting a reception at OFFCenter (117 Seventh NW) for an exhibit featuring customized PEZ dispensers by himself and Clay Shefs, as well as art by the 92-year-old folk art legend R.A. Miller. During that reception, White will draw the raffle tickets. Ten winners will get some fine pieces from his folk art collection, including work by Miller, Myrtice West, Roy Finster, Mary Proctor, C.M. Laster, Alan Pruitt, White, Shefs, Jeff Sipe and others. It's a very sweet deal. To get in on the action, call White at 232-2311, drop by his soon-to-be-dismantled Folk Farm at 445 Louisiana SE, or just swing by the OFFCenter reception. We're gonna miss you, buddy!

Singing Stories

Corridos Sin Fronteras: Ballads Without Borders at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

Not so long ago, songs served as newspapers. If someone got stabbed or a house burned down, locals didn't rush to a newsstand to read all the gory details. Instead, some clever balladeer composed a song about it—probably embellishing a few details to make the story more exciting—and everyone gathered around to listen.

International Folk Art Market

Milner Plaza on Museum Hill

Folk art has a couple obvious virtues. Given that it's often made by impoverished untrained artisans, it's more accessible than academic art. Plus, although this isn't always the case, folk art also tends to be relatively cheap. Santa Fe will host its first International Folk Art Market this Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, at the Milner Plaza outside the Museum of International Folk Art. The market presents an ideal opportunity to pick up a South African bottle cap sculpture, a Tibetan Thangka painting or some other nifty artifact from one of 40 countries being represented. $5, free for kids 16 and under. For details, call (505) 476-1203.

Rock and Roll

Harwood Art Center

Douglas Kent Hall is one lucky bastard. During the late '60s and early '70s, he somehow nabbed a job photographing some of the greatest rock 'n' roll superstars of the age. Of course, it's what you do with your luck that counts, and Hall did spectacular things. His photographs of Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Cream, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Santana, Led Zeppelin and countless other legends are as jaw-droppingly dramatic as any you've ever seen. A retrospective exhibit of Hall's rock 'n' roll photographs opens this Friday, July 16, with a reception from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Runs through July 30. This show will rock you. 242-6367.

food

Gastrological Forecast

For those of us who are really into food, a quick trip to the bookshelf to look up a recipe often ends up in an hour or two spent sitting on the floor reading about something entirely unexpected. Recently I went looking for a recipe for shrimp quenelles and my search led me to Madeleine Kamman's heavy tome, The Making of a Cook. Next to the section on seafood mousselines and quenelles was a fascinating entry about frogs. According to Kamman, frogs are not farmed extensively in America but they are in France, where the legs are snipped off still-living frogs. The legless critters are then tossed back in the pond to grow another set. Eeeeeeewwww, right? I almost swore off eating frog's legs forever. I lasted 11 days. I probably could have gone longer but Café Dalat, the Vietnamese restaurant at Central and San Mateo, does a magnificent breaded frog leg appetizer. Looking over the menu the other day, I marveled aloud, "Ooh, fried frog legs!" but the expression on my date's face suggested he'd heard me say, "Ooh, fried bog dregs!" So how could I resist? The crispy golden legs arrived looking more like deep-fried shrimp than the slimy green webbed snack he was expecting. And they were scrumptious dipped in Dalat's salty, tangy nuoc cham sauce. Keep up the good work, frogs. We'll eat ’em as fast as you can grow ’em.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Have you ever tried to eat a sopaipilla the size of a down comforter? Well, maybe not down comforter size but how about ... almost as big as a medium pizza? Our indefatigable interns brought one of these monsters back from Delicia's, a café tucked into a blink-and-you-missed-it strip mall between the Rio Grande river and Atrisco (3915 Central NW, 833-0488). Delicia's staff is very friendly, the kind of friendly that makes East Coast émigrés suspicious. (Why are all these people being so nice? What do they want?) The food is pleasantly unambitious, good New Mexican grub done very well. An entrée of pork chops smothered in onions, tomatoes and jalapeños tasted like it was home cooked by somebody's grandma. In fact the cook looked like somebody's grandma as she called across the dining room to ask me, "Hon! Do you like onions?" Yeah, I do like onions and I like Delicia's. I bet you will too. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and until 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Travel, Meet Cows, Examine Nuts

Brett Bakker on the state's shortage of organic commodity inspectors

Organic produce, meats and processed foods are a booming $18 to $20 million dollar industry in New Mexico but a critical shortage of state inspectors threatens the survival of these small businesses. If they can't get inspected and certified organic, the producers can't effectively market their goods to those who are eager to buy them. Through volunteer fundraising, a small group of folks hopes to add 10 part-time, contracted inspectors to the state's current team of three. Brett Bakker, chief inspector for the New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission, spoke to Alibi about the inspector training process and what it entails.

news

Wanted: Young Albuquerque Voters!

Local voter registration drives focus on presidential election and beyond

By any reasonable measure, the 2000 presidential election was a disaster. Nobody knows for certain whether Bush or Gore won. And amidst Florida's voting irregularities and the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial intervention, there is another debacle of sorts that gets less attention. That is, four years ago less than 30 percent of 25 million eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted. In other words, roughly 17 million young Americans that could have voted chose not to.

Thin Line

Who me? Couldn't be. Last week, a New York Post employee told hated rival The New York Times that the source of the Post's shockingly inept cover story on Tuesday, July 6, that proclaimed Democratic presidential contender John Kerry had chosen Dick Gephardt to be his running mate came from the Post's owner, Rupert Murdoch. The story, missing a byline, even ran a giant, National Enquirer-style front-page photo with Kerry and Gephardt peering deeply into each other's eyes, as if tongue action were going to ensue. Needless to say, Murdoch's Manhattan-based daily quickly became the laughingstock of the media world.

The Real Meaning of "No Reasonable Alternatives"

Extending Paseo del Norte is not the best way to give Westside residents the traffic relief they deserve

As someone who spent 22 years doing environmental compliance work, I was surprised by the recent report on Paseo del Norte by the Mid-Region Council of Governments (one of whose members is the city of Albuquerque). In over 20 years in that field, I never saw a public agency come so close to calling a proposed road a foolish idea. Still, the report contains a giant escape hatch for supporters of extending Paseo del Norte through the petroglyph monument. One page of the report states, "there are no reasonable alternatives to the currently planned alignment for the Paseo del Norte extension." Even Gov. Bill Richardson seized on this wording, in his Albuquerque Journal op-ed piece of July 5.

Nader's Siren Song is Tempting, But ...

Big government resides on both sides of the aisle

I heard Ralph Nader on Amy Goodman's “Democracy Now” radio show the other day and I have to tell you that the guy makes so much sense that I almost found myself tempted to vote for him. Almost. At least I realized, somewhat guiltily, that I was hoping that somehow the Democratic candidate ("my guy") John Kerry would take positions as strong as Ralph's.

Michael Moore's True Believers

Fahrenheit 9/11 stirs up anti-Bush crowd, or was it just a glucose high fueled by Skittles?

There probably won't be any impact on my daughter because she attended an early afternoon screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 on the Fourth of July. At three weeks of age, she can't vote (although it is New Mexico) and spent most of the 120 minutes asleep in her mother's arms anyway. And while there are parts of the movie I wish I'd slept through, my suspicion is that Fahrenheit 9/11 will have some impact on the November elections.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India—And you thought American bureaucrats were good at passing the buck. Laloo Prasad Yadav, India's railway minister, told The Times of India newspaper that he was not to blame for a rash of accidents that have hit the country's aging railway system. Instead, he claims, the fate of all 13 million daily passengers rests in the hands of the Hindu god of machines. “Indian Railways is the responsibility of Lord Vishwakarma,” Yadav was quoted in last Friday's edition as saying. “So is the safety of passengers. It is his duty [to ensure safety], not mine.” Yadav's statement came less than a month after 20 passengers were killed and around 100 injured when a passenger train plunged off a bridge in western India after hitting a boulder. India's railway system, which stretches for more than 200,000 miles, sees accidents nearly every day thanks in part to a badly outdated infrastructure and a lack of mechanical upkeep.

film

Reel World

Screen Shrinkage—Despite the box office bonanza that seems to be going on right now, summertime is looking like a bad time to own a movie theater in Albuquerque. Last month, we abruptly lost our eight-screen art theater, Madstone. To add insult to injury, the venerable Coronado 6 theater shut its doors unexpectedly last Thursday. That's a total of 14 screens Albuquerque has lost during the height of the summer movie season. That's like eight percent of all the screens in our city gone. Needless to say, this is not a good trend. If all you want to do is see Spider-Man 2 on the biggest, loudest, most crowded screen in town, you'll do just fine. Plus, shutting down theaters frees up lots of room in Alibi's Film Capsules section. But if you actually want some sort of variety here in Albuquerque, the loss of movie screens is a deadly blow.

Napoleon Dynamite

Nerdy high-schooler makes for hilarious hero in hometown farce

Who is Napoleon Dynamite? Well, fans of Elvis Costello might know him as a one-time pseudonym of the British rocker. But that's not the Napoleon Dynamite we're talking about here. Our Napoleon Dynamite is a creation of the feverishly bored imagination of 24-year-old BYU film student Jared Hess. Napoleon is a painfully awkward high school senior residing in tiny Preston, Idaho (which just happens to be Hess' hometown). He's also the star of the surprise Sundance Film Festival hit Napoleon Dynamite.

The Saddest Music in the World

Hallucinatory musical comedy is pure Maddin-ess

During the Great Depression, a contest is held in Winnipeg to determine who makes the saddest music in the world. The prize is $25,000 and the winner of each round gets to swim in an enormous vat of beer. Do you really need to know more? The title alone is so good not even Oliver Stone could screw it up. Thankfully, the director of this absurdist comedy is not some Hollywood artisan but a true artist: Canadian Guy Maddin.

Orange Alert

“The Grid” on TNT

Cops have been a staple since the dawn of the video age. Private detectives run a close second. Firefighters and rescue workers have had their moment in the sun. Currently, medical examiners are on the verge of running their course. So if it weren't for George Bush and the war on terrorism, I don't know what television programmers would have resorted to. (Postal inspectors?) Thankfully (maybe), the concept of Homeland Security has given networks a whole new genre of crime-fighting television to exploit. Whether American audiences want to watch an hour's worth of news about terrorism and then tune into a couple more hours of drama about terrorism remains to be seen.

music

Music to Your Ears

“Downtown Thursdays” kicks off this week with New Mexico Parks Department Night featuring live, local music courtesy of Boss Ordinance. The event runs from noon until 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, under the tent located on the Fourth Street Mall just north of Central next to Maloney's. There'll be a climbing wall, representatives from The Albuquerque Cat Action Team to help you adopt a cat, a raffle for a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and much more to entertain you. Boss Ordinance plays from 6 to 9 p.m. ... The Santa Fe Desert Chorale continues its season with performances of sacred and secular masterworks July 20, 22, 27 and 30 at Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe. Call (505) 988-2282 for more information. ... Stella Blue in Nob Hill continues to host Reggae Thursdays every—you guessed it—Thursday! Something called Sabbattical Ahdah from St. Croix plays Thursday, July 22, with locals Mystic Vision, One Foundation and Fireworks Sound with DJ Kabir. ... And finally this week, the legendary Flatlanders (as in Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely) are coming to Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, July 27. Better get those tickets now, cowboy.

Blue Note

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Announces its 32nd Season

W.A.S.P. featuring Blackie Lawless

with Abominant Race and Requiem Mass

Wednesday, July 21; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): Of all '80s hair metal band leaders, Blackie Lawless ranks among the minute few who've retained almost all their integrity following the decades and trends that have come and gone since they were at the top of the commercial heap. Once known more for controversy and shock value than musical prowess, W.A.S.P. are about to surprise the metal community.

These Arms are Snakes

with Murder by Death, Paris Texas and Communique

Monday, July 19; Launchpad (all ages, 7 p.m.): These Arms are Snakes are a difficult band to pin down. Formed from the ashes of Botch and Kill Sadie, they carry a bright torch of classic '80s hardcore while embracing the more modern sounds of bands like And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Kill Me Tomorrow, Jucifer and other post-punk champions of noisy hard rock.

Sonic Reducer

Thus far, I've hated everything that's come out on Steve Vai's virtuoso-only Favored Nations label. Not because I hate the virtuosos, but because the production values are skewed shamelessly toward contemporary pussy jazz a la Hiroshima and Yellowjackets. This is somewhat true of blues guitarist Johnny A.'s second release for FN, but he's got even more soul than he has chops, thus saving his new record from being one giant bore. Johnny A. crosses genre fences with the ease of a hot knife through butter, and his skill is unearthly, yet palatable.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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