Alibi V.13 No.41 • Oct 7-13, 2004

feature

Michael Moxey

So-called “talent,” 103.3 The Zone

With so many great culinary choices available in the Duke City, it is a wonder that not all Albuquerqueans are fat—or fatter. Since I rarely eat at home (due to code violations I have yet to straighten out with the city), I have a unique opportunity to seek out some of our lesser known eateries. Here is a short list of eating "success-a-pees" (recipes for success!).

Introduction

Our annual food poll is intended to do two important things: Guide readers to the finest food establishments in the city and reward restaurateurs for all their hard work keeping our tummies happy.

film

Reel World

Bring on the Burley-Q!—This Friday and Saturday night, Alibi Midnight Movie Madness at the Guild Cinema will break from tradition and present a combination film/live performance event known as the “Stag Night Smoker featuring BellaDonna Burlesque.” The event will incorporate beautiful dancers, risqué comedy and naughty old film shorts. Albuquerque's own retro-loving 'teaser troupe BellaDonna Burlesque will be on hand twirling their tassels, and the Guild will be screening historical erotica from the '40s and '50s courtesy of San Francisco's Oddball Film + Video. The show starts at 11:30 p.m. on both nights. Tickets are $8 for this special event and they can be purchased in advance at The Guild Cinema, Martha's Body Bueno or Burning Paradise Video. Seating is limited, so act quickly!

Rocky Mountain High

Taos Mountain Film Festival

Film festivals work best, perhaps, when they reflect the community around them. In the artsy resort enclave of Park City, Utah, for example, you'd expect to find the quirky, homegrown indies of the Sundance Film Festival. In the exotic European destination of Cannes, France, it's a collection of highbrow international art films that rule the Cannes Film Festival.

The Seagull's Laughter

Based on a popular Icelandic novel, The Seagull's Laughter is undoubtedly a more powerful offering for those born and raised on the chilly volcanic island. Those separated from the film's subject matter by time and space may not find quite as much to identify with, but--like the island nation that spawned it--it radiates such an unexpected amount of life that most foreign film friendly audiences will at least walk out humming (if not boisterously singing) the film's praises.

Suburban Madness

“Desperate Housewives” on ABC

Suburbia has been the playground of television at least since the days of “Leave It to Beaver.” Now, ABC (yes, that ABC) has scored itself a critical and ratings hit with “Desperate Housewives,” a nasty shredding of the myth of suburbia in post-Martha America.

music

Music to Your Ears

Former Naomi co-leader and veteran local musician Jason Daniello—as in Jason & the Argonauts—should have copies of his new CD in-hand in a week or so, according to the smilin' little dude himself. A CD release party is, of course, in the works. Stay tuned for more information in issues to come. ... If you're planning to apply to South By Southwest 2005 Music Festival (March 16-20) in Austin, Texas, the time to start getting your shit together is now. By using their online electronic form you receive a $10 discount on the regular application fee. The fee for online applications made on or before Oct. 8 is $10. The fee for online applications made between Oct. 8 and Nov. 8 is $20. All online applications must be completed by or before Nov. 8. Your application will be acknowledged by e-mail, and all acts will be notified of their status (read: “Yay! You get to play!” or “Sorry, you don't get to play!”) no later than Feb. 9, 2005. Go to www.sxsw.com, fill out an application paying close attention to all the rules and guidelines, then put a package together containing a CD with your original material on it, a photo, biography and press clippings and mail it off. Showcasing acts will receive a choice of $175 ($45 for solo or duo acts, including DJs) or a registration package (one badge along with wristbands for each member of the act). You do not need to purchase a registration badge to apply for or to perform at a SXSW showcase. See, Crawl pay for bands isn't really all that bad after all.

Blue Note

Lúnasa

There are few bands that can truly be called “unforgettable”—musicians who bring to the stage a collective sound that's magically timeless, whose music sets in motion a chain of events that resonates in the lives of listeners thereafter into infinity. In Celtic circles, Lúnasa are unmatched when it comes to delivering vibrant traditional music folded into contemporary awareness. Their respect for the music's rich history in concert with their virtuosic technical and arranging skill make listening to them more than mildly remarkable.

Converge

with Cave In, Between the Buried And Me and Colin of Arabia

Thursday, Oct. 7; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): About 12 years ago, a quartet of angry teenagers got together in someone's Boston garage to take their various shit out on some musical instruments. It wasn't long afterward that the group, now collectively calling themselves Converge, began releasing hardcore albums that spun in all kinds of interesting directions. Using a hardcore foundation as a springboard, vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller leap headlong into the outer extremes of genres spanning metal, thrash, classic punk, progressive hardcore and avant noise. The mix is nothing short of breathtaking, as is made crystal clear on the band's latest platter, You Fail Me (Epitaph).

Sonic Reducer

Considered by many to be among the finest bluegrass and country multi-instrumentalists in history, Ricky Skaggs made his much-heralded return to “pure bluegrass” circa 1997, and has since produced an impressive body of work. But most of it features bluegrass chestnuts by other songwriters. With Brand New Strings, Skaggs ups the ante a little with four contributions of his own among tunes by everyone from Ralph Stanley to Bill Monroe to Guy Clark. Accompanied by his polished band, Skaggs gives peak performances here that come off achingly heartfelt and energetic. A triumph of the high lonesome.

news

“Not Just a Maintenance Issue”

Revitalization efforts spread to East Central

It seems like anything's negotiable these days. Say, for example, you're so far behind on your water utilities that, in lieu of paying off the debt, you cut a deal with the city to demolish the property instead.

Thin Line

Punked. Immediately following last week's presidential debate, Ken Mehlman, George W. Bush's campaign manager, convened a teleconference with GOP "team leaders" around the country to discuss strategy. An unknown fact to Mehlman, however, was that an Internet blogger named Atrios had circulated the event's phone number and password on his website. And who reads blogs more than other bloggers, right? After Mehlman talked about Kerry's "credibility gap," he offered to take three questions. According to Jack Pine Savage, one of the bloggers who listened in, the first question came from a "young Republican in Washington." The woman announced she thought Kerry won the debate and was now going to vote for him. The second caller, another woman, said Kerry would make a worthy Commander in Chief and the third call criticized Bush for playing-down al Qaeda. "Mehlman apologized to the Bush supporters listening and acknowledged that the call had obviously attracted some Democrats," wrote Savage on his blog.

Peeking into the Crystal Ball

Early odds for the 2005 mayoral elections

In less than a month, the nation will elect (or re-elect) a president. Everybody and their monkey is speculating on the outcome of that horse race, so why not look little further down the political road?

Mute Those Stupid TV ads!

The debates make all the difference

The week before last Thursday night's first of the 2004 presidential debates we heard a lot about the limitations of this tightly packaged quadrennial ritual: how it isn't truly a debate, simply an opportunity for multiple sound bites; how it is highly unlikely to ever produce a clear-cut winner or loser, and so on.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Japan—According to the Shukan Gendai newspaper, an inventor has come up with a cell phone ring tone that will increase a woman's breast size. Hideto Tomabechi, who first made a name for himself in Japan by deprogramming brainwashed members of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult, says, “Most would think it's a lie, but the techniques involved in the process have been known for some time and are the result of research I carried out in the '80s and '90s. I use sounds that make the brain and body movie unconsciously. It's a technique involving subliminal effects.” Amazingly, more than 10,000 people have scrambled to download the ring tone in its first week. “I listened to the tune for a week expecting all the time that I was being duped,” Chieri Nakayama, a 19-year-old pinup model, told Shukan Gendai. “But, incredibly, my 87-centimeter bust grew to 89 centimeters! It was awesome!” Tomabechi says he's already got plans for ring tones that improve memory, reduce baldness, help people quit cigarettes and increase attractiveness with the opposite sex.

art

Culture Shock

It's always encouraging to see struggling local artists take their creative destinies into their own hands. Case in point: I just received the debut issue of the Donkey Journal. Printed nine times per year, this attractive local contemporary arts periodical comes in the form of a simple folded poster. It's produced by David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips and Sherlock Terry, three Albuquerque artists who recently opened the nonprofit Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SE) to exhibit their own art and that of other underrepresented artists.

The Dot of the Polka

Stacy Hawkinson's Solo Show at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center

Stacy Hawkinson is a big fan of the polka dot. As you walk up the wide stairs just inside the entrance of the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW), the first thing you'll see are brightly painted Styrofoam balls floating above your head like strange interplanetary fruit. Once you get to the top of the stairs, you'll notice brightly colored dots bouncing through the entire exhibit.

Patricia Smith

KiMo Theatre

Albuquerque's going to get slammed upside the head next year, when the city hosts the 2005 National Poetry Slam next August. You'll get a sweet little teaser this Saturday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. when poet, playwright, journalist and four-time Individual National Slam Champion Patricia Smith comes to the KiMo Theatre. If you love performance poetry, do not miss this event. Smith is universally recognized as one of the greatest spoken word artists on the planet, and she's coming to Albuquerque to raise funds for next year's National Slam. $12. For tickets, call 768-3544.

Nickel and Dimed

Rodey Theatre

Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Making It in America, chronicled the lives of the working poor in America in a highly effective way. Taking three low-wage jobs for a month each, Ehrenreich tried to make ends meet and soon discovered the task was impossible. Joan Holden has now translated Nickel and Dimed to the stage. A production of Holden's provocative play, directed by the very talented Eugene Douglas, will be staged at UNM's Rodey Theatre beginning this weekend. Oct. 8 to 9 and 21 to 23 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. $12 general, $8 seniors, $6 students. 925-5858 or www.tickets.com.

food

Gastrological Forecast

It's a pot scrubber! In last week's Alibi, I asked readers to identify a mysterious object that Film Editor Devin D. O'Leary had unearthed at a yard sale. With a riveted metal handle attached to a wide mesh made of linked metal rings, it had confounded us for weeks. Suggestions from readers poured in, most of them guessing that it was a rug beater, something we were sure was impossible; the thing was just to flimsy to be any good at beating dust out of a sturdy rug. But two astute readers (first Susie Rodee and later, Jerry Monarch) e-mailed within hours of each other to identify the utensil as a vintage pot scrubber, specifically for dredging bits of food from the bottoms of cast iron pans. Once we had this lead, it was easy to confirm. A simple eBay search revealed two similar items and one nearly identical. The good news is that we estimate the pot scrubber to be from about the '30s and, according to eBay, it's worth about $20. The bad news is that O'Leary refused to part with the thing and now I have to go buy one on eBay. The whole search and discovery was fun, though, so I'll be posting more mystery gadgets and giving out more prizes in the near future.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Looking for a really special piñata for your next party? Wouldn't you just love to ram your fist up Dick Cheney's throat and stuff him full of candy or cram Dubya's noggin with mini bottles of Jim Beam? Well now you can. Two local artists have begun crafting their own smashable papier-mâché effigies of our lovable leaders. Bush costs about $50 and Little Dick costs $30 or $75 for the pair. Buy two. Give one to the dog! Make sure someone's videotaping and you'll be able to enjoy the event over and over again. The creators, Crash and Jada, make each piñata to order and they can custom-make pretty much any shape you want, from football helmets to Frankenstein heads to sacred hearts. To get your own, call Crash at 401-8794.

Categorically Colossal

Winning wines from the past year

With election season upon us, it's time to get serious about voting. But forget the race for president just now; I'm picking winners in the world of wine. I've offered up several deserving of high office, hoping you consider them for your drinking pleasure. (Note: These winners were chosen from tastings over the past year. Prices are approximate.)

Fight Hunger—Your Own and the Nation's—With Chocolate Cake

More than 50 famous bakers share recipes in a book to benefit hunger-fighting group Share Our Strength

Michael J. Rosen is an author, editor and illustrator who is also a member of the national board of Share Our Strength, a hunger-fighting agency that works closely with the food, restaurant and kitchen supply industries to raise funds for their efforts. Last year, Rosen released Cooking from the Heart, a volume of collected recipes from 100 high-profile chefs who contributed dishes that were closest to their hearts. Share Our Strength receives a portion of the proceeds from that book and this follow-up, Baking from the Heart (Broadway, hardcover, $29.95). Since the recipes in this book come from professional bakers, it could have easily become a pretty but rarely used volume that collected dust on a shelf. But Rosen managed to procure from these chefs recipes that are more likely to be familiar to your grandmother than they are to grace the cover of Modern Pastry Chef. There are gingerbread cupcakes, plum tarts and fudge brownies, recipes that are relatively simple but definitely show the benefit of a chef's tinkering. They may be brownies, but they'll be the best damn brownies you've ever had.

Alibi V.13 No.40 • Sept 30-Oct 6, 2004

feature

2004 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Schedule

From its humble beginnings as a small gathering of 13 hot air balloons held in the parking lot of Coronado Shopping Center in 1972, The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has become the largest annual balloon event in the world. In its second year, 13 countries represented themselves in the first World Hot Air Balloon Championships at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, and in the 1978 event, 273 balloons participated.

Friday, Oct. 1

7-9 a.m. • Albuquerque Aloft

Balloons will launch at selected area elementary schools throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

5-7 p.m. • Fiesta Challenge Competition Flight

Monday, Oct. 2

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol Show presented by Nextel Communications

The Dawn Patrol began in 1978 when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. On mass ascension days, about a dozen Dawn Patrol balloons perform the Dawn Patrol Show, a choreographed inflation and launch set to music that has been part of the Balloon Fiesta since 1996.

6:45-7 a.m. • Opening Ceremonies

7-8:30 a.m. • Mass Ascension

Sunday, Oct. 3

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol Show presented by Nextel Communications

7-8:30 a.m. • Mass Ascension

9-10 a.m. • Car Display of Classic and Special Interest Vehicles

10-11 a.m. • Heart of America Quilt Display

10-11 a.m. • Salute to Veterans

5:45-8 p.m. • Balloon Glow® presented by Smith's Food & Drug Centers

Monday, Oct. 4

Wells Fargo Credit Card Day

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol

6:45-7 a.m. • New Mexico Challenge Hot Air Balloon Race sponsored by Contractors Bonding, Ltd.

7-8 a.m. • Flying Events presented by Wells Fargo Credit Card

New Mexico Challenge Hot Air Balloon Race presented by Contractor's Bonding, Ltd./Sandia Casino Black Jack Competition

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Coca Cola Day

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol

7-11:45 a.m. • Flying Events presented by Coca-Cola

New Mexico Challenge Hot Air Balloon Race presented by Contractor's Bonding, Ltd.-Sandia Casino Black Jack Competition

It's impossible to line balloons up on the starting line and have them race to the finish, but balloonists have come up with some interesting forms of competition. In a ballooning competition, pilots must use the winds at different altitudes to steer the balloon to a target, usually a big "X" on the ground. The pilot then drops a marker from the balloon so that it lands as close to the center of the target as possible. Closest drop wins. On competition days, some balloons take off at Balloon Fiesta Park and fly to targets located north or south of the launch site. Other balloons launch at least a mile away from Balloon Fiesta Park and fly to targets at the park. The overall competition winners are determined by individual pilots' scores over all competition events flown during Fiesta week. The Sandia Casino Black Jack race uses a similar premise, but pilots must drop two markers on giant playing cards laid out on the field and score as close to "21" as possible.

Wednesday, Oct. 6

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol Show presented by Nextel Communications

7-10 a.m. • Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension presented by Continental Airlines

The "international" part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been a tradition since the event's earliest days. In 1973 and 1975, the Balloon Fiesta hosted the World Hot-Air Balloon Championships. The Balloon Fiesta has also played host to the world's two most prestigious gas ballooning events, the Coupe Aèronautique Gordon Bennett (twice, in 1993 and 1999) and the World Gas Ballooning Championships (1994). The Flight of the Nations especially honors pilots from all the nations participating in Balloon Fiesta. The Wednesday mass ascension begins with flights by representative pilots from each country, who launch as their country's national anthem is played, flying their national flag.

Thursday, Oct. 7

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol

7-8 a.m. • Wells Fargo Special Shape Mass Ascension

Special shape balloons are defined as any balloon that doesn't conform strictly to the normal rounded balloon shape. Some shapes are simple—pointed ears and whiskers added to a "regular" balloon to make it into a kitty's head. Others—flying houses, cars, cacti, ristras, bottles, cans, critters and so on—are computer-designed engineering marvels costing marvelous amounts of money. The first shapes appeared at Balloon Fiesta in the '70s, and became increasingly common—and crowd favorites—in the '80s. In 1989, the Balloon Fiesta created the Special Shapes Rodeo to showcase these incredible creations. The special shapes events now include mass ascensions on the Thursday and Friday mornings of Balloon Fiesta, and the "Glowdeo"—a shapes-only glow—on Thursday and Friday evenings.

8-10 a.m. • Flying Events

5:45-8 p.m. • Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™

8-9 p.m. • AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal

Friday, Oct. 8

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol

7-8 a.m. • Wells Fargo Special Shape Mass Ascension

8-10 a.m. • Key Grab Competition

Want to win a car? A lot of balloonists do. Launch at least one mile away from the field, fly to the field, grab the keys off the top of a pole (and get the right set of keys (there are several poles and only one has the real keys), and you get a shiny new vehicle! Simple, right? Wrong! In getting to the field, you have to successfully navigate among the other 700-plus balloons heading for the same spot, not break any rules and use the winds to get to the pole, at the right altitude, at the right time. And you have to grab the keys with your hands—no hooks or other devices allowed. Despite the difficulties, the Balloon Fiesta has given away a lot of vehicles since the event began in 1978. For spectators, this is one of Balloon Fiesta's most watchable, and spectacular events.

5:45-8 p.m. • Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™

8-9 p.m. • AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal

Saturday, Oct. 9

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol Show presented by Nextel Communications

7-8:30 a.m. • Mass Ascension

5:45-8 p.m. • Night Magic ™ Show presented by Wal-Mart

8-9 p.m. • AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal

Sunday, Oct. 10

Propane Day presented by Valley Gases

5:45-6:45 a.m. • Dawn Patrol Show presented by Nextel Communications

7-8:30 a.m. • Farewell Mass Ascension

The Sky's the Limit

Shootin' the breeze with balloon photographer Ron Behrmann

Ron Behrmann captures the essence and beauty of life and all its wonders through his photographs, chasing a passion that has taken him to great heights.

film

Reel World

Wild and Woolly Weekend—Taos Wild Film, a brand new international wildlife film festival, is coming to the northern New Mexico town of Taos for four unique presentations of award-winning wildlife films from around the world. Each film will also feature live wildlife presentations. Screenings will be Friday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 2, at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Taos Community Auditorium. There will also be a special children's wildlife film show at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. The event is part of Taos' 21st Annual Wool Festival and will be a benefit for Rivers & Birds' public school water conservation education programs. Advance tickets can be purchased from the Taos Center for the Arts by phoning (505) 758-2052 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets are $15 per person or $5 for the special children's show.

Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry

A Sort of Homecoming

It's April 20, 1971, and thousands of men in the prime of their lives, having returned from Vietnam, kneel silently before the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. Their heads tilt downward, their fists clenched in the air. All are dressed in tattered combat fatigues. A sign reads: "Bring Our Brothers Home Now!" Among the group is a mother of a dead soldier, who wants to lay a wreath at his gravesite somewhere beyond the gates. But government security guards, fearing an unpeaceful assembly, refuse her access.

The Forgotten

Chilling little thriller doles out shocks with surprising skill

The Forgotten is one of those hard-to-describe, hard-to-categorize films. If I had to give it a single banner, I'd call it a thriller, but it borrows elements from so many different realms. Most folks--certainly based on the trailers--will look on it as an M. Night Shyamalan-style mindbender. Though it shares certain stylistic similarities with Shyamalan's twisty supernatural tales (The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village), it succeeds in ways that Shyamalan's films have increasingly failed to.

Dead Pool

Which show will be first on the chopping block?

For even the most dedicated viewer, television is a love/hate relationship. For every entertaining series, there are a dozen unpardonably bad shows on the air. Fortunately, many (though certainly not all) of those shows die a swift death. In the past few years, networks have shown little patience with underperforming shows. New series (even admirable ones like FOX's “Wonderfalls”) have been cut loose from the schedule after a couple low-rated airings. Sometimes, that's a shame. (TV aficionados know that “Cheers” underperformed in its first season.) Sometimes it's just a mercy killing. (“The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer” ring any bells?)

food

Gastrological Forecast

I wish I had a magic printer that could make copies of the images I keep in my brain. I'd make a food file and record all the meals I ever ate, or the good ones at least. I could stick the firewire plug up my nose or under my tongue and bzzzzzp out would come glossy prints of my mother's gloppy creamed chipped beef. And the preschool birthday party when some girl named Dong wouldn't give me one of the red sugar roses from her birthday cake and I wanted to punch her in the nose. I remember the cake perfectly. I have hundreds like this: bright red pistachio shells rolling around on the nubby black rubber floor of a car. My legs were short and dangled from the seat; my father's fingers were stained red. And I remember the darkened interior of The Phoenix, a Greek restaurant where we ate dinner with my grandfather every Wednesday night. They had a blind piano player and a lounge singer who looked like Ricardo Montalban. Before the food came I ate package after package of Club crackers smeared with butter. And my grandmother's huckleberry cake—how did she do that, exactly? If I tried to recreate it now we'd all fight about it. I wish I had a picture that could prove I was right.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Venezia's puts Mama to work doubletime. Venezia's, the Rio Rancho pizzeria, now has an Albuquerque location at 3908 San Mateo NE (you know the place, it's been a Dairy Queen, a doughnut shop and a hot "dawg" joint.) The business is a family enterprise that was run by Frank Venezia from the late '70s until 1995 when the founder closed his restaurant in order to focus on concession sales at Tingley Coliseum and the flea market. In 2000, the second generation, brothers Aldo and Renato, decided to get back into the family business (they put in hours working at the Rio Rancho restaurant as kids) and reopened a Venezia's at 1690 Rio Rancho Drive SE.

Identify This Object! Win a Prize!

Backscratcher or egg beater? We can't tell.

What is this thing? A colleague (all right, it was Film Editor Devin O'Leary) recently discovered this mysterious gadget in a bin of kitchen items at a yard sale. The sellers had no idea what it was and Devin paid less than a dollar for it. Since then we've been tossing it around the office and none of us can figure out what it is. We've modeled it as a codpiece (hysterical but impractical) and imagined using it to whip cream (too floppy), beat rugs (too flimsy) or scale fish (plainly ridiculous).

news

Bush Gets Punked at the Sunshine

"They saw this nut (G.W.B.) on TV and said, ’Whoa, this is like letting a 4-year-old drive a car.'"

You may not want to believe it, but George W. Bush has some strengths. As he told us four years ago, he is a uniter, not a divider. The truth of that statement was more than apparent last Friday, when over 700 punk rockers converged on the Sunshine Theater for the fist-pumping, crowd surfing and political networking that was the Rock Against Bush tour.

Early Childhood Needs Public Scrutiny

Governor's plan should be viewed as a first step in a long journey

Behind the scenes, far from the public's view, a battle is being waged with great consequences over early childhood education in New Mexico.

Power to the Pajama People!

How bloggers took down once-mighty CBS and are changing the news business forever

In the midst of Rathergate, and prior to CBS's reluctant admission they were pushing fabricated government memos as real, former CBS executive vice president Jonathan Klein sneered, "You couldn't have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances [on mainstream media] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing." Klein's disparagement of guys writing in their pajamas was intended to put bloggers—the only folks questioning the authenticity of the memos at the time—in their place.

Troops Sí, Drunks No

At the Sept. 20 meeting, Council President Michael Cadigan's bill mandating treatment for city employees after a first DWI conviction and firing after a second conviction passed 9-0, as did his bill guaranteeing that vacation and sick leave would accrue normally for city employees on active military duty.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Israel—Israel's Health and Agriculture ministries branch in Ashkelon last week seized 80,000 cans of dog food that had been disguised as foie gras for humans. The product, imported from Bulgaria, was originally labeled “chicken for dogs,” but was covered by two different fraudulent labels: “Domestic birds' liver pâté. Producer: S.E. Grenot, France” and “Pâté fois gras. Producer: Lovmit General Toshevo.” Although it is believed the products never reached store shelves, the Health Ministry warned consumers not to purchase products with those names. “The health risks from such a product are considerable,” Shirley Deri, a food engineer for the district of Ashkelon, told the Haaretz International daily. “It could contain microbiological pathogens that are lethal to humans.” The Agriculture Ministry is conducting an investigation.

music

Music to Your Ears

Before taking what is hopefully a short break from the live circuit, KI will play a “farewell” show on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Launchpad with a veritable slew of kick-ass locals: The Dirty Novels, Hit By a Bus, Lousy Robot and Rage Against Martin Sheen. If you miss this one, you'll be missing KI for at least a handful of weeks. ... One of the best local band shows I've seen in ages happened two months ago at the YMCA. It was an all-ages, alcohol-free showcase that featured six local bands—mostly representing the younger set—and it turned out to be a searing testament to local talent. On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Mountainside YMCA will present its second local “Band It Together,” showcase featuring all-local bands at its branch location (12500 Comanche NE) from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Local heroes Unit 7 Drain are slated to headline. Call 292-2298 for more information. ... The world's first entirely online record label, ItsAboutMusic.com, launched five years ago to zero press, but has since grown into a digital entity representing some 200 artists (including Willie Nelson and other big-name acts) whose goal is to get their music to the masses without all the corporate bullshit that comes with major label record deals. At ItsAboutMusic.com, music is sold exclusively via the site, either through shipping CDs to customers or making purchased music immediately available for download. Affiliated artists enjoy wide distribution, CD-on-demand manufacturing and a publicity and promotion department to help push artists wares to the public. For more information, visit www.ItsAboutMusic.com.

Blue Note

Music On the Big Screen

Outpost Productions and the Guild Cinema join forces in presenting music-based films throughout October and beyond

From Oct. 4 through 21, the Guild Cinema will be alive with the sound—and sights—of music. Along with Outpost Productions, Albuquerque's only arthouse theater and popular bastion of films the big boys don't have the guts or foresight to play on their corporate-controlled screens will present "Music on the Big Screen," an ongoing series of music-centric documentaries, concert films and cinematic portraits of music makers of every stripe. From jazz pioneers to punk rock legends, "Music on the Big Screen" promises to be a tantalizing event for music and film fans alike. Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, the first three installments in the series will run three to four days each on consecutive weeks in October. The first installment features a trio of jazz-related filmworks.

The Gris Gris

with The Foxx and the Mindy Set

Friday, Oct. 1; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over, 9 p.m.): What do you get when you cross 13th Floor Elevators' mastermind Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett, the guy who was too crazy to be in Pink Floyd? You get one frighteningly twisted, satisfying stroll through blissed-out psychedelic pop—you get an evening with the Gris Gris.

Dave Alvin & The Guilty Men

with The Wildcards

Tuesday, Oct. 5; Launchpad (21 and over, 8 p.m.): All the background I should really be able to get away with printing in a successful effort to get you to this show goes something like this: “Dave Alvin cofounded the Blasters.” But I wouldn't be doing my job.

Sonic Reducer

In case you aren't through lamenting the loss of Elliott Smith, Earlimart has returned with a second album that's a sad, glimmering shoegaze remembrance of the late singer-songwriter without apologies. The thing is, Treble & Tremble also happens to be one of the prettiest damn records of the year, with its Beatles-esque popcraft and casual nod to lo-fi production techniques. Songwriter Aaron Espinosa drives the music with gentle piano-based melodies, which he leaves to simmer in sheets of low-key distortion and string-induced ebbs and swells. And with his gentle whisper, he does more than justice to Smith's legacy and memory.

art

Culture Shock

Halloween isn't just for the young, you know. Many adults appreciate a bit of raw blood-curdling terror just as much as the kiddies. During the month of October, Unseen Gallery (108 Morningside NE) will host its Art of the Dungeon exhibit featuring various torture and restraint paraphernalia along with art work on the themes of pain and fear. You'll also find costume pieces, creepy note cards and other ghoulish artifacts on display. As per gallery policy, the really twisted stuff will be draped with a veil so kids or extra sensitive adults won't be directly subjected to anything objectionable. In a deliciously weird twist, the organizers will also be passing around a donation box for Amnesty International. Art of the Dungeon opens Friday, Oct. 1, with an all day cookies and punch reception from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Runs through Oct. 30. 232-2161.

Medicine Show

Snake Oil for the Lovelorn at Q-Staff Theatre

It's no small irony that the spiffy new Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) is located directly across the street from the Hiland Theatre. The Hiland, of course, has served as home to Musical Theatre Southwest (MTS) for years. It's the one place in town where folks can regularly catch productions of hit Broadway musicals.

Read a Book, Pumpkin'

Have you ever chowed down at El Farol, the tasty Santa Fe tapas restaurant located in that cute historic building along Canyon Road? No? Well, on Monday, Oct. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., El Farol is coming to Albuquerque. Chef James Campbell Caruso will make an appearance at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139) to promote and sign the new El Farol Tapas and Spanish Cuisine, and, more importantly, he'll be offering scrumptious samples lifted from the book.

Les Blancs

Out ch'Yonda

When Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun, died in 1965, she left behind an unfinished play called Les Blancs, which explored the devastating impact of European colonialism in Africa while also indirectly commenting on race relations in the United States. Hansberry's friends polished Les Blancs up a bit and the play was eventually staged on Broadway. A new production comes to Out ch'Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW) starting this weekend. It'll run Fridays and Saturdays at 8:15 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 3:15 p.m. $7, $10. Runs through Oct. 17. Call 243-4325 to make reservations. Seating is limited.

MinotaurMan

Los Poblanos Fields

If you're going to perform an experimental show about a minotaur in Albuquerque, the best place to do it would be the Los Poblanos Fields corn maze. The Readymade Dance Theater Company has been creating innovative outdoor performances at the maze for three years now. This year's show, MinotaurMan, directed by Zsolt Palcza, will be performed over the next two weekends, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. $8 general, $6 students/seniors. For more information, call 246-2433 or log on to www.na-da.org.

Alibi V.13 No.39 • Sept 23-29, 2004

feature

Coming of Age

Some Albuquerque residents say the Mixed Waste Landfill is a threat to our very existence. But officials at Sandia National Labs contend it's better to leave bad enough alone.

Suppose there were a rattlesnake in your driveway. What would you do?

You'd probably want to keep an eye on it. You might even want to call someone to take it away, although that would cost you. Or you might decide the snake looks pretty old and has probably lost its fangs; accordingly, maybe the safest—and cheapest—thing would be to just leave it alone.

In this case the snake is the Sandia National Laboratories' Mixed Waste Landfill and the metaphor belongs to Dr. Eric Nuttall, one of several authors of a 2001 scientific peer review of the 2.6-acre, unlined landfill, where radioactive and hazardous wastes from Sandia's nuclear weapons research program were dumped from March 1959 until December 1988.

music

Music to Your Ears

Another week, another anti-Bush rock show. On Friday, Sept. 24, punk rock heavies Anti-Flag, Midtown, Strike Anywhere, Plea for Peace founder Mike Park, The Epoxies and Tom Morello will share the stage at the Sunshine Theater for a Bush-bashing bash featuring outrage and dissent in a loud, punk rock fashion. And you don't even have to be of legal age to vote to attend and join in the fun! Stay tuned for info on upcoming “Resurrect the Kerry Kampaign” shows. ... For those of you who don't already have enough anger and hatred weighing heavy on your mind and compelling you to commit violent crimes, the “Harsh Reality” Tour, featuring the soothing sounds of Freakhouse, Lyzanxia and Sybreed hits the Launchpad on Tuesday, Sept. 28. ... On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Outpost Productions and Burque's own Goddess of Arno Balkan Band present Esma Redzepova, the Queen of Macedonian Romani Song and her band, Ansambl Teodosievski, at the Sunshine Theater as the “Voice of Hope” Tour pulls into town. Tickets are $20 general, $15 Outpost members, and are available at Ticketmaster and Alphaville Video in Nob Hill. Call 268-0044 or 243-6276 for more information. ... 12 Step Rebels debut album for West Coast label Dead Body Records, Go Go Graveyard Rockin', officially hit the record stores on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Produced by Geoff Kresge (Tiger Army), the new disc is a psychobilly fan's delight. Ask for your copy by name at one of the few remaining independent record stores in town.

Blue Note

Lucy Kaplansky

Though she once provided background vocals on recordings by Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffith, New York-based singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky has long since established herself as a unique presence in the singer-songwriter world. The Red Thread (Red House) is a lush collection of five stunning originals written by Kaplansky and her husband, Richard Litvin and five covers (including James McMurtry's “Off and Running”) that is infused with her significant life experiences of the past three years—from the events of 9-11 which she basically witnessed first-hand to the recent adoption of her infant daughter—and of the threads that connect all of us. And, as always, Kaplansky illuminates the proceedings with hints of alt.country and “new folk” sensibility that sets her apart from most of her contemporaries. And she calls on an A-list of guests to assist in punctuating her songs, including Richard Shindell with whom she has toured and recorded as part of Cry, Cry, Cry, Jonatha Brooke (The Story) and Eliza Gilkyson.

Breaker 19 CD Release Party

with Thrift Store Cowboys (from Lubbock) Unit 7 Drain and Young Edward

Friday, Sept. 24; Launchpad (21 and over, 9 p.m.): For what seems like the past 26 years, Breaker 19 have relied on that greezy, redneck mystique that separates the truckers from the real men. Only now, well into their third decade of existence, the Breaker boys have finally put a spit-shine on their debut record and released it at truckstops from here to Tulsa. Was it worth the wait? That depends. Do you prefer breakfast buffets that feature a minimum of four different styles of pork and fried bologna? Do you subscribe to the belief that a good cup of coffee needs to have “mud” at the bottom? Do you fear God as much as you fear homosexuals, Democrats and longhairs? Are you able to explain in detail how glow plugs work? Do you own any David Allen Coe cassettes? Did you have to look up the word “subscribe” in the dictionary just now? Yeah? Then Keep it On the Road was definitely worth the wait.

Tommy Emmanuel

with Simon Bruce

Sunday, Sept. 26; KiMo Theatre (all ages, 7:30 p.m.): Of the literally thousands of musicians I've seen live over the years, exactly two of them have rendered me impotent to accurately describe or explain their respective performances and techniques. One is flamenco maestro Paco de Lucía. The other is Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

Leon Russell

Saturday, Sept. 25; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 9 p.m.): As a member of “The Wrecking Crew,” producer/alleged murderer Phil Spector's legendary session band, Leon Russell contributed heavily to some of rock music's earliest and most enduring gems, recording with and writing songs for everyone from the Beach Boys to Ike and Tina Turner before scoring his first hit with Joe Cocker's version of “Delta Lady.” The same year, 1970, Russell released his own eponymously-titled debut album, introducing rock listeners to an idiosyncratic blend of swamp boogie, blues, country and southern-fried rock that would later make bands like the Doobie Brothers household names.

Sonic Reducer

Being a self-professed alcoholic is a cliché lost on AMC's Mark Eitzel. There are gobs of songwriters regularly crediting their insights to booze and drugs, but few of them actually write from that place between reality and sad, slow death. Eitzel, unquestionably, is one of them. The pain, loss, heartbreak and sadly accurate worldview he crafts songs with can't be faked. As a result, AMC's first studio album in 10 years bristles with passionate suicidal tendencies and the kind of yearning that'll reduce you to tears—proof that giving up may well be the first step in starting over.

art

Culture Shock

Everyone's favorite environmental anarchist, Edward Abbey, the late wilderness protector and author of the cult classic enviro-novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, gets his own personal tribute at the Kimo Theatre this Saturday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. Some of Abbey's closest friends—including Jack Loeffler, Katie Lee, Dave Foreman and Bart Koehler—will celebrate the memory of their old buddy with a bunch of Abbey anecdotes, readings, songs and short films. The event is being presented as part of the 2004 New Mexico Wilderness Conference. $15. For details, call 843-8696 or log on to www.nmwild.org.

Hot as Hell

An interview with Ross Gelbspan, author of Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis—and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster

Forget the candy-colored terror alerts. Forget the queasy economy, the ghastly mess in Iraq and Bush's endless fear mongering. On a global scale, they're just distractions from the really scary problem: global climate change.

Go, Johnny, Go

Go! Downtown Arts Festival 2004

The Downtown contemporary arts scene recently experienced a series of painful body blows. The Walls Gallery, a refurbished storefront space specializing in site-specific installations, announced it would be closing. Then Jon McConville, the brain behind the successful Fort Studios and one of the driving forces behind Downtown revitalization efforts, had to leave town unexpectedly to be with his family in Idaho. (Thankfully, it looks like Fort Studios will continue under the leadership of McConville's former assistant, Josh Franco. It'll now be called the Downtown Contemporary Art Center.) And, of course, Magnífico recently had to give up its beautiful exhibit space at 516 Central SW due to troubled finances.

In the American Grain

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Duncan Phillips first came into contact with the circle of artists surrounding Alfred Stieglitz in 1926. Over the years, Phillips gradually acquired work by Stieglitz, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and Georgia O'Keeffe, amassing one of the finest collections of American modernists in existence. A traveling exhibit highlighting this collection opens this weekend at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, running through Jan. 2. Made up of 40 carefully chosen pieces of art, In the American Grain is a major exhibit that deserves a wide audience. (505) 946-1000.

Stacy Hawkinson

Downtown Contemporary Art Center

It's hard to keep a good man down. Or for that matter a good woman. Or for that matter a good nonprofit art space. The name Fort 105 Studios may be a thing of the past, but the exhibit and studio space is still alive and well under the new leadership of director Joshua Franco. Now called the Downtown Contemporary Art Center (105 Fourth Street SW), the space will unveil its new self with a solo show of paintings by Stacy Hawkinson, opening this Friday with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. I'm told the paintings will be discounted to benefit Hawkinson's son's musical education. The show runs through Nov. 1. 242-1983.

news

A Tale of Two Town Halls

Cheney and Kerry, up close and personal

It's fair to say, Dick Cheney is not a very telegenic guy. George W. Bush mocks his shiny pate and polls show he's not a popular incumbent. But despite his physical shortcomings in the television age, without a doubt Cheney knows how to deliver a smooth, solemn speech. And when he brought his authoritative charm to the table at JB's Restaurant last Thursday, the pre-selected crowd was both respectful and engaged.

Thin Line

Air America Radio in Albuquerque. I'm not sure what this means, or if it's even true, but I'm going to say it, and you can digest it in whatever forlorn capacity you wish. Albuquerque is a talk radio kind of town. Aaagghhh! There, I said it.

Bye, bye Ms. CBS eye ...

Rathergate and the slow death of "mainstream" journalism

Dan Rather is biting the big one for foisting fake Texas National Guard documents on the country. The "Rathergate" scandal, which has engulfed CBS News and Rather's reputation as a reporter, stems from a 60 Minutes II feature that claimed George W. Bush was derelict in his duties while a member of the National Guard.

Mushroom Nation

Get out of the dark and go vote!

There's a tired old joke that's been circulating through this country's office cubicles for decades, usually accompanied by a rough sketch of a white collar toadstool sitting at a desk. The worker spore laments, "I must be a mushroom; why else would they keep me in the dark and feed me nothing but BS?"

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Romania—A British television crew shooting footage for the ITV travel series “Package Holiday Undercover,” uncovered more than they bargained for when they found a dead body on a Black Sea beach. Presenter Jonathan Maitland stumbled across the naked body as the team visited the Eforie Nord resort in Romania. “We saw a man we thought was sunbathing,” Maitland said. “But when we got closer it was clear he had been dead for some time.” According to Maitland, Romanian police believe the body, which had been very badly beaten, belonged to a local man. The following day, the crew returned to the beach to shoot more of the new series, which explores Europe's lesser-known destinations. Unfortunately, the crew stumbled across another man dying of a heart attack. “The idea of the show is to go to unfashionable resorts and tell it like it is,” said Maitland. “We expected poor service, cockroaches, bad food--but not two dead bodies in two days.”

film

Reel World

Sit, Stay, Roll Film!—The Fifth Annual DogFest Film Festival will take place this Saturday, Sept. 25, beginning at 8 p.m. This short film festival is dedicated entirely to films for, about and (well, maybe) by canines. This year, the festival has accepted entries from California to Canada in hopes of extending its claim as “America's premiere dog-centric film festival.” (Honestly, is there a lot of competition out there?) The organizers promise a smorgasbord of comedy, drama, documentary, animation and puppetry, music video and even ultra-short movies designed for mobile phones. This year, to make the festival even more canine friendly, the event will take place outdoors at the ABQ Botanical Garden. Dogs are free and the $5 admission price for humans will go to help a number of dog-related nonprofit organizations: promoting spaying and neutering, assistance/companion dog programs, homeless animal shelters and more. The screening will be set up at the picnic area of the Albuquerque Aquarium. Viewers are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, folding chairs and (of course) well-behaved dogs on leashes. An exercise area and ample water will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the best films, with first place claiming $500 for the animal charity of the filmmaker's choice. Tickets are available at Three Dog Bakery (9821 Montgomery NE), The Animal Humane Association (615 Virginia SE) and at the gate of the Albuquerque Aquarium (2601 Central NW). For more information, about DogFest, log on to www.dogfestfilmfestival.org.

Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Plain Jane documentary won't rewrite history

I enjoy left-wing documentaries as much as the next lefty, but I'm still not convinced radical historian Howard Zinn is the ideal subject for this kind of film. After all, the reason why Zinn's masterpiece, A People's History of the United States, is still so—excuse the term—revolutionary is because it rejects the standard “great men” theory of history. Instead of focusing on big name white males, Zinn's bestselling book gives marginalized minorities a platform to tell the history of our country from their own perspectives.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Old-fashioned superior invites viewers into a world of visual wonders

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a retro-futuristic sci-fi fantasy that plays out like some lost '30s Saturday morning movie serial chronicling the adventures of the world's greatest pulp hero that no one has ever heard of.

How's He Doin?

“Joey” on NBC

Anticipation and expectation are a hell of a thing. They can ruin what would otherwise be an acceptable experience. Go into something expecting too much, and you're guaranteed to be disappointed. Based on expectations alone, NBC's new sitcom “Joey” seems like it would be a major disappointment. It's got the onus of continuing one of the most successful sitcom franchises in TV history. It's also being forced to anchor the last crumbling vestige of NBC's once-great “Must See TV” empire. How could it possibly live up to such hype?

food

Gastrological Forecast

If I had any confidence in my own ability to use the Internet for something other than buying lard tins on eBay and sending angry e-mails to Heather Wilson, I would surely pursue a master's degree in gastronomy from Adelaide University in Australia. They first introduced the program several years ago and I actually toyed with the idea of decamping for Down Under, but I just couldn't tear myself away from good old Dirt City. Moving half a world away to go to grad school is something 22-year-olds do—all of their worldly possessions easily fit in three suitcases. I made the Big Move once (minus the grad school part) and I'm over it. No room for the ice cream maker? Can't take my marble rolling pin? Forget it. I'm not going. But now the university, in conjunction with Le Cordon Bleu, will let you take the program online! This is no diploma mill, it's a real Australian University and a well-known culinary school. The master's degree takes 15 months to complete and includes a dissertation but there are also shorter certificate programs as short as six weeks. Go ahead, prove what a foodie you really are. Get a degree in it. For more information go to www.lecordonbleu.com.au

All the News That's Fit to Eat

No Longer in the "Triangle." For more than two decades, Triangle Grocery sat at the triangle intersection of North Highway 14, Frost Road and Sandia Crest Highway. But three weeks ago, the tiny grocery store moved to new digs in what has been recently dubbed the Bella Vista Shopping Center, formerly home of Bella Vista Restaurant, and future home of the East Mountain area's first real strip mall. The new Triangle Grocery is some three times larger than its predecessor, replete with liquor, deli, bakery and expanded meat departments. East Mountain hermits--such as local punk rock legend Gordon Andersen--now have even fewer reasons to leave the hills for the city. (MH)

A Chat with Ridha Bouajila of Mediterranean Café

The former owner of Marrakech brings Moroccan and Tunisian food back to Albuquerque

Your restaurant Marrakech was the only place in Albuquerque to get North African food and then it closed a few years ago. Now you're opening a new restaurant but this time you're offering Greek dishes and Moroccan food. What made you decide to do both?

La Montañita Coop Poised to Expand out of Albuquerque

May merge with Gallup's Wild Sage Coop and The Marketplace in Santa Fe

It took Nob Hill's La Montañita Coop more than two decades to gain enough momentum for their 1999 addition of a North Valley store, but now the Coop is poised to expand its reach even farther, into Gallup and Santa Fe. The expansion into the North Valley was the result of membership requests for another location and entailed a long process of research and consideration. According to La Montañita's general manager C.E. Pugh, it has been very successful. It is because of this success that two other natural foods stores have come to La Montañita for help.