Alibi V.14 No.12 • March 24-30, 2005

Pretty in Print

Alibi writing contest brings local lit to light

The Weekly Alibi is seeking submissions for the newly minted, first-ever Pretty in Print writing contest. Authors from across the state are invited to send their works of 750 words or less in any of three categories: fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We ask that each author submit only one piece in each category.

feature

Laying Down the Law

Albuquerque residents debate the APD Party Patrol on the fine line between ensuring public safety and stripping citizens of their basic civil rights

A few swift knocks at the door—thump, thump, thump—is usually all that's needed to kill a good buzz. It is perhaps the universal code for "party's over."

film

Reel World

Africa on Screen—The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe kicks off its Fourth Annual African Effect Film Festival this Thursday, March 24. This must-not-miss festival showcases vibrant, emerging cinema from Africa and the African Diaspora and continues through Sunday. Samba Gidjigo, the official biographer of Ousame Sembene (director of Moolaade and universally recognized father of African cinema), will present a special program “Sembene and Africa.” Sembene's 1965 drama Black Girl will also be screened as part of the program. Other festival highlights include the winner of the Nigerian Film Festival, Agogo Eewa (a funny and scathing example of African political cinema), and Cosmic Africa (a scientific and spiritual meditation on the cosmos itself). Short films, features and documentaries will all be spotlighted in the four-day festival. African Effect is rapidly becoming one of New Mexico's best film festivals, and tickets will go fast. Individual tickets are $8. Passes are available. Log on to www.cca.org for complete schedule/film descriptions/ticket info.

In the Realms of the Unreal

The Riddle of Henry Darger

During most of his long but troubled life, no one paid much attention to Henry Darger. With no family and few acquaintances, he lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, earning meager wages as a janitor at neighborhood hospitals. He attended mass and received communion every day. He claimed to be too poor to own a dog.

Austin Goes Film Crazy

The 2005 SXSW Film Festival and Conference

Once upon a time, the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, was the scrappy, little-known brother to the hipper and more prominent SXSW Music Festival. Unlike Sundance and Toronto, the festival provided a perfect neutral ground for filmmakers and film fans to mingle. Screenings weren't crowded with studio executives looking to score the next great indie hit and filmmakers weren't under pressure to chat up only worthy distributors. While some of this still holds true, 2005 will certainly go down in history as the year that SXSW lost its status as a “little” film festival.

Main Street Makeover

“Town Haul” on TLC

I'm not sure at what point TLC's “Trading Spaces” turned into the “Saturday Night Live” of cable television, but it has suddenly become the launching point for all kinds of spin-off talent. First carpenter Ty Pennington split off to network success on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Then designer Douglas Wilson tried his hand at the series “Moving Up.” Now, fellow “Trading Spaces” alum Genevieve Gorder is trading on her rickrack-and-throwpillow success as host of the new series “Town Haul.”

food

Gastrological Forecast

So ... my birthday's coming up. Only, what, five months to go? And you're probably already wondering what to get me, right? Yeah. Well, get out your little Hello Kitty pen and scribble this down: Silver champagne straws—so I can sip out of my individual bottle of bub' in style. Wait, come to think of it, where the hell am I going to get one of those one-glass-sized bottles? The last time I saw them here was about four years ago on New Year's Eve. I had the flu and got stuck on the tarmac in Dallas flying back from Washington, D.C., then dropped into Burt's just in time for the countdown. I had one little bottle of Pop (from Pommery) and went home to bed. That sucked. Anyway, haven't seen personal Pop—or any other brand since. Damn you small market Albuquerque! Where are those ridiculous marketing trends when you need them? I mean, 99 percent of that crap (Bacardi-Gras? The Guinness Toast?) is lame, lame, lame. But why can't I cruise around the Universal on Thursday nights, sipping brut out of a silver straw? Fuck it. I'll use the silver straws to drink my Champagne of Beers. They're only $115 at www.vivre.com.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Pop quiz! How many Il Vicino restaurants are there? Give up? Eight. We have two in Albuquerque, and there are now locations in Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Denver, St. Louis and Wichita. Yes, Wichita. Question number two: Did you know that Pranzo, the Italian restaurant in Santa Fe, was owned by the same guys who own Il Vicino and Scalo? Oh, ya didn't didja? Well, surely you read in this paper that those guys (Tom White, Rick Post and Greg Atkin) just sold Scalo to Steve Paternoster. Oh! Question number three: Who is the president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association? That's right, Steve Paternoster. Back to the story. Pranzo was just sold to Michael O'Reilly, and judging from a recent meal I had at O'Reilly's other restaurant, The O'Keeffe Café, Pranzo will be in good hands. The café, next to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, is shockingly underrated. The food is excellent, with a strong focus on local, organic ingredients; the wine list and service are superb. O'Reilly also bought all of Pranzo's recipes and intends to keep the restaurant mostly the same.

Lady Be Good

The Burrito Lady serves up primo homestyle cooking

Yes, there really is a burrito lady! Her name is Consuelo Flores and she darts like a blur, whooshing between kitchen and cash register, cooking, serving food or making change, always with an ear to ear smile. Consider yourself lucky to find your way to her little corner of the world. To me, this place has become the high altar of home cooking in Albuquerque, largely because of the hands-on nature of the business.

A Chop To Cherishil

Not planning on feeding a small army? Try lamb chops.

As Easter approaches, many butchers will actually stock freshly cut lamb instead of those little hermetically sealed packets in the exotic-meat section. You say a $20 leg of lamb the size of a small toddler doesn't exactly fit your holiday dinner plans? No matter. Lamb chops are the perfect single-serving size. Plus, they're easy to find, speedy to cook and quite affordable, if you know what to look for.

Bite

"Cadbury" Easter Eggs

Spring has sprung and Martha Stewart is on the lamb; so why not wing it with your own homemade Cadbury-style Easter eggs? Crafting your own is a lot easier than you think. Start with at least one pound of semisweet couverture chocolate—a top-shelf block with at least 32 percent cocoa butter (available at the Specialty Shop, 5823 Lomas NE, 266-1212). The more Euro the better, as the higher percentages of cocoa butter in Old World brands will give your eggs the best texture and taste. You'll also need plastic egg molds, a candy thermometer, a rubber spatula, some aluminum foil and a plastic sandwich bag. And if you're feeling fancy, cotton gloves, also available at the Specialty Shop, will keep your finished eggs smudge-free.

news

The (Not So) Simple Life

East Mountain Water Woes

Twenty years of experience in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and intelligence can be enough to encourage one to take life easy for awhile—it was certainly enough to get Mike Lewis ready for a comfortable, trouble-free retirement. So when he and his wife, Patricia, moved into a quiet neighborhood in Sandia Park last year, they bought a couple dozen chickens, a handful of dogs and cats, planted a small orchard, and waited for the simple life to begin. Unfortunately, simplicity wasn't what was in store for them.

An Embarrassment of Riches

So Much Music, So Little Time at SXSW

Here begins the near impossible task of creating a cogent literary "wrap" of the 2005 South By Southwest Music Conference. For one thing, the sheer number of bands and artists showcasing—approaching somewhere in the vicinity of the 700 mark—along with all the related day parties, label showcases and other events is overwhelming, making it difficult if not impossible to glean a "big picture" perspective on the festival. For another, most people who read this and other backend pieces regarding SXSW generally have no context with which to approach such chaotic, pants-shittingly awesome musical overload. Even so, the experience itself fosters a determination to share it that throttles then chokes out the thick-necked specter of futility.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Bosnia—An ineffectual but determined Bosnian thief identified only as Fehim was recently arrested three times in one day for three different crimes. According to the Oslobodjenje daily, the 44-year-old man was first caught breaking into a car and taken to a police station in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidza. He was released after giving a statement but returned a few hours later after causing a traffic accident with another stolen vehicle. Once again, he was released. Following two more failed car thefts, Fehim decided to try his luck at residential burglary. He was caught breaking into an apartment. This time, he was detained pending trial.

music

Music to Your Ears

Who wants to be Albuquerque's next rock idol? The mad scientists at Grandma's Music & Sound and 104.7 FM The Edge are teaming up to craft New Mexico's Ultimate Band. The idea is simple: Take four weeks to hand-pick the best musicians in the city, divvy them up into two blistering rock groups of unsurpassed talent, then turn them loose on each other like ravenous hounds at a majestic cock fight. Battle of the Bands meets Evil Dead II? Oh man, I think I just crapped my pants! If you think you've got what it takes, Grandma's will hold mini-competitions every weekend through mid-April, starting with a guitarist roundup this Saturday. Future auditions will include bassists (April 3), singers (April 9) and drummers (April 16). The top musicians from each category will form two bands, eventually going head to head at the Launchpad on May 14. When the dust clears, one group will walk away with "ultimate" bragging rights plus some sweet-ass booty. That's right, booty. Prizes include a guaranteed spot at this year's Edgefest, six hours of recording time, a chance to perform live for a Virgin Records A&R rep., free stuff from the Gas Pipe and brand new equipment courtesy of Grandma's. Check out www.1047edgeradio.com/ubc.html for complete contest details. Then head west and register at Grandma's Music & Sound. They're located at 9310 Coors NW, just north of Paseo del Norte. And tell 'em Large Marge sent you.

Eric McFadden and Wally Ingram

Saturday, March 26; Brickyard Pizza (all ages, 8 p.m.): Perhaps it's his James Dean, just rolled in, screw you kind of approach that really speaks to his fans. Whatever it is, Eric McFadden makes it work. McFadden is in town to do the kind of music you won't hear from his well-known trio or from the P-Funk All Stars. With some impressive notches in his career belt, McFadden has managed to strut his stuff with some of the best, such as the Reverend Horton Heat, Primus man Les Claypool and Bo Diddley. Tonight he will be joined by Wally Ingram, a percussionist from McFadden's latest project Stockholm Syndrome. Ingram has a long list of performing credits including tours and performances with Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal and Neil Young.

Mastodon

with the Burning Brides and the Hidden Hand

Monday, March 28; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Having nabbed the 2004 album of the year award from Kerrang! magazine, Leviathan, Mastodon's newest full-length offering, has been making, and please indulge me, a mighty big splash. Perhaps history's only 45-minute metal song cycle based on Melville's impenetrable opus Moby Dick, the new record pays little attention to elementary heavy metal cliché. That shouldn't suggest that Mastodon doesn't proudly weave the influence of bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath into their angular, post-hardcore sound, because they do. Nor should one assume that a literary metal record need be any less dark and frightening, because it's plenty dark and plenty frightening. Somehow Mastodon manages to appeal to people who don't necessarily listen to heavy music, while still blowing the minds of the most staunch metal purists. With the unavoidable saturation of the contemporary music market, that sort of quality is rare and reassuring. Having built a reputation as a technically and emotionally explosive live act, their stature should only continue to grow. Add to this that Mastodon has enough musicianship to live off the interest, creating expansive soundscapes, virtuoso guitar riffing and time changes that'll make your stomach drop, and it becomes pretty clear that Monday's show isn't one to miss.

Sonic Reducer

In the early '80s you'd get your ass kicked for riding a skateboard or being a punk rocker. Back then, the world was not ready for Social Distortion. If you liked this kind of music, you were a rebel, an outcast, one of maybe a handful in your city. But these days, being a punk is as normal as being a preppy was back in the '80s. It seems like everyone rides a skateboard, wears a crooked trucker cap or proudly displays a plethora of ill-advised tattoos. Punk rock has found its way to mainstream radio and penetrated our high schools and shopping malls. It baffles me how so many whiney pseudo-punk bands of today attain such a high level of mainstream success while bands like Social Distortion go relatively unnoticed. It's been 25 years since their inception, eight long years since the last record and five years since the tragic death of founding guitarist Dennis Dannell. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever see another Social Distortion release. But punk rock survivor and fiery frontman Mike Ness and his pals have come through with another uncompromising, solid and hard-rocking record full of genuine, reflective and heart-felt songs that rival the Social D classics.

Ah, the Luck o' the Irish

It is a little known fact that St. Patrick was actually not Irish at all, but British. To keep in the spirit of having a good excuse to drink beer, talk a bunch o'blarney, and vomit corned beef and cabbage among family and friends, the Launchpad presented its own we're-not-really-Irish-either celebration. It was a night in which legends were born. Unfortunately, no one will remember any of them due to the ever-flowing Guinness and Jameson and Bushmills, oh my.

art

Culture Shock

The stubborn asses over at the Donkey Gallery (1415 Fourth SW) don't think poetry should be confined to the official poetry month of April. So, just to be contrary, they're hosting a poetry reading this month on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. featuring readings by Erin Radcliffe, Tomás Radcliffe, Matthew Rana, J. Salerno, Nicky Schildkraut and Melissa Weinstein. The event is also designed to celebrate the first all-poetry edition of the Donkey Journal, the gallery's hip monthly arts journal. Refreshments will be provided. These six poets will present a wide range of poetic ideas and voices throughout the evening. According to the Donkey Gallery: "There's something for everyone, unless one wants bongos. There will not be bongos." For details, call 242-7504.

Chaplin's Mustache

Tangential at the Tricklock Performance Space

Kevin R. Elder might be a victim of high expectations. Over the last couple years, he's evolved into one of the Tricklock Company's superstars, one of the most talented members of a very talented group of people. His futuristic masque, Splinters, which Elder created and performed with fellow Tricklocker Summer Olsson, was more than just the best thing I saw at this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival. It was actually one of the most inventive pieces of theater I've ever seen—period.

Pajama Men

Q-Staff Theatre

The first thing you should know is that our very own homegrown partners in comedy Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen no longer call their act Sabotage. They're now called the Pajama Men. The second thing you should know is that, after years of touring to critical acclaim, Albuquerque's favorite idiot twins have been picked up by the Second City, the goofball granddaddy of American comedy institutions. The third thing you should know is that the Pajama Men will be performing a new sketch show called Stop Not Going at the Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) starting this weekend. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. through April 9. $15 general, $12 students. They'll also be doing a fully improvised show called Dirty Thursdays on, yes, Thursdays at 9 p.m. through April 14. $9. You will be amused. 255-2182.

Margaret Carlson and Christy Kay Lopez

Factory on 5th Art Space

Margaret Carlson brings a whole new meaning to the term fabric art. Her astonishing construction, Husht Reverberations, is composed of over 10,000 yards of donated fabric, and was created with a lot of help from her friends. In its sheer mass alone, this is an impressive piece of work, and I'm told it's even more amazing in person. Carlson will exhibit this piece starting this week at Factory on 5th Art Space (1715 Fifth Street NW) along with an undulating canvas work created by Christy Kay Lopez called The Observer Effect. The show opens Friday, March 25, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Runs through April 25. For details, call 259-9029 or 255-3331.

Alibi V.14 No.11 • March 17-23, 2005

feature

Point of Crisis

According to New Mexico health care advocates, cuts in Medicaid funding not only place the poor, the young, the elderly and the disabled at enormous risk—they're also fiscally irresponsible.

If you can judge the nobility and worth of a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens, then New Mexico, along with every other state in the union, is facing its greatest challenge in the looming Medicaid funding crisis.

music

Music to Your Ears

Bernadette Seacrest announced this week that she will be embarking on a five-city tour in May, along with Michael Grimes on the upright bass and drummer Jason Aspeslet; they'll be billed as the Bernadette Seacrest Trio. Our favorite fully-inked chanteuse recently bought a sweet conversion van in which the group will drive, eat, sleep and fart, but not smoke! Destinations include Plush in Tucson, Cinema Bar in Los Angeles, Pat's Garage and Bruno's in San Francisco, Liquid Kitty in Santa Monica and Zebulaon's Lounge in Petaluma. Wish them well. In the meantime, check out Bernadette at Gulp (the cocktail lounge next to Graze at Monte Vista and Central) every Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m., when no smoking is allowed in the bar. For complete tour info, go to www.bernadetteseacrest.com.

Cobra

with Shoulder Voices

Friday March 18; Atomic Cantina

What is cobra? Is it a terrifyingly deady snake? Or a terrifyingly arty experimental music game in which a diverse group of musicians play together, but not at the same time. Though the game is highly structured, to the audience, it should just sound like "really spastic music." That's how group member Raven Chacon describes it. Check it out. If you like it, ask to join the group.

Spotlight

Historic El Rey Theatre is quickly becoming a blistering venue for live music. Owner Kathy Zimmer has been successfully producing shows since her days in L.A. After three years back in the Albuquerque saddle, she is bringing some diverse and extraordinary talent to the stage at El Rey. Saturday, March 12, was no exception. Along with Wave Front Promotions and Wiggle Wire Productions, Zimmer brought '80s rock legends the Fixx to Albuquerque with local band simple. serving as a worthy warmup act.

Sonic Reducer

Angeles Drake is something like a modern-day Alan Parsons Project with vocals similar to Depeche Mode's Martin Gore. These songs are all a bit eerie. They're also extremely difficult to classify, sounding a bit like Pink Floyd without the drugs. You have to be in a meditative mood to enjoy this. A whole album of these similar sounding songs gets a bit tiresome, but the music is mostly enjoyable. This would be a better record if the group was a little more eclectic.

art

Culture Shock

A couple months ago, SolArts, the art and performance space located along Central between Downtown and the University, expanded its operations by opening a new theater thrift store. The organizers opened the store partly because they needed a place to store their largish collection of theatrical costumes. As a way to help generate funds, the organizers intend to place as many costumes as possible from SolArts productions in the store following the run of the show. Right now, they mainly have women's attire, much of it vintage, but they also have wigs, feather boas, gloves, books, some freaky props and other theatrical accessories. Weird and wacky stuff, and none of it is priced over $15. They've also got a rack of rentals with each costume costing only $10 per night. For details, call SolArts at 244-0049, or stop by on Friday and Saturday afternoons. SolArts is located at 712 Central SE, one block west of I-25.

All Dolled Up

The Feminist Paper Doll Show at Offcenter

Boys and girls both play with dolls, but boys rarely admit it. In the world of little boys, dolls aren't dolls anyway. They're action figures. If you squeeze G.I. Joe, he won't ask you to feed him or change his diapers, but he might very well tell you he's going to blow your head off with his machine gun.

Tangential

Tricklock Performance Space

I saw a lot of fantastic shows at this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival, but the best of the lot, in my opinion, was Splinters, a brilliant theatrical metaphor for the conflict between religion and science created by the Tricklock Company's Kevin R. Elder and Summer Olsson. Elder is back with a new one-man show called Tangential that's directed by Olsson. I'm willing to bet the farm that this one will kick your butt. The show opens this Friday, March 18, with a special catered gala at 8 p.m. at the Tricklock Performance Space (112 Washington SE). $18. Tangential then runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. through April 10. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. 254-8393.

Les Liaisons Dangeureses

Vortex Theatre

Although it's deeply unfortunate that this production won't feature a topless Uma Thurman, Les Liaisons Dangeureses should be a rollicking good show nonetheless. Directed by Jessica Osbourne, this local production of Christopher Hampton's play about the dark arts of seduction should appeal to fans of the award-winning movie. This staging boasts lavish period costumes, a suspiciously phallic set and a cast of notable local performers. Les Liaisons Dangeureses runs through April 10 at the Vortex Theatre (2004 1/2 Central SE). Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. 247-8600.

Pajama Men

Q-Staff Theatre

The first thing you should know is that our very own homegrown partners in comedy Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen no longer call their act Sabotage. They're now called the Pajama Men. The second thing you should know is that, after years of touring to critical acclaim, Albuquerque's favorite idiot twins have been picked up by the Second City, the goofball granddaddy of American comedy institutions. The third thing you should know is that the Pajama Men will be performing a new sketch show called Stop Not Going at the Q-Staff Theatre (4819 Central NE) starting this weekend. The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. through April 9. $15 general, $12 students. They'll also be doing a fully improvised show called Dirty Thursdays on, yes, Thursdays at 9 p.m. through April 14. $9. You will be amused. 255-2182.

Margaret Carlson and Christy Kay Lopez

Factory on 5th Art Space

Margaret Carlson brings a whole new meaning to the term fabric art. Her astonishing construction, Husht Reverberations, is composed of over 10,000 yards of donated fabric, created with a lot of help from her friends. In its sheer mass alone, this is an impressive piece of work, and I'm told it's even more amazing in person. Carlson will exhibit this piece starting this week at Factory on 5th Art Space along with an undulating canvas work created by Christy Kay Lopez called The Observer Effect. The show opens Friday, March 25, with a reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Runs through April 25. For details, call 259-9029 or 255-3331.

A Glass of Water

An interview with Jimmy Santiago Baca

It's hard to talk about Jimmy Santiago Baca without repeating the well-worn tale of how he became a poet. It's a familiar story, but a great one, the kind of story that never gets tiresome no matter how many times you hear it. After all, Baca's biography has several elements every fine tale should have—a troubled past, a tragic mistake and, most important of all, an intoxicating conclusion combining redemption and grace.

news

Under the Microscope

The rights of organized labor are going, going ...

If union leaders are feeling a little paranoid about George W. Bush's re-election, maybe it's because they really are being persecuted. Republicans have both ideological and strategic reasons for an offensive against labor. Attacking unions pleases both Bush's corporate friends and the movement's conservatives, and harasses the strongest grassroots political operation opposing the Republican right.

SimCity

A packed house greeted city councilors at the March 7 meeting. The council approved the appointment of Municipal Development Director Ed Adams to replace Diana Dorn-Jones as the city's Chief Operations Officer. Dorn-Jones resigned to run for Eric Griego's District 3 council seat. Councilor Martin Heinrich's bill requiring medicines such as Sudafed to be sold only with the assistance of store personnel passed unanimously. Druggists would also be required to keep a log of purchasers. The drugs contain ephedrine, used to manufacture methamphetamine.

An Honest Woman Hits a Nerve

Whatever else one might say about the neocons and their allies on the right, the anti-abortion forces, the "shrink-guv'mint-down-to-drownin'-size" fanatics and the "Sun Never Sets on the American Empire" gang, you have to give them credit for one thing. They are much more skillful at crafting labels and nifty monikers for what they are up to than are we plodding, earnest liberal/progressive/Democrats.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Cuba—Cuban President Fidel Castro celebrated International Women's Day by promising household appliances to all the ladies. In a five-hour and 45-minute speech delivered last Tuesday to throngs of cheering women, Castro pledged that 100,000 Chinese-made pressure cookers and rice cookers would be made available each month at government subsidized prices. The electric rice cooker is a prized possession in Communist-run Cuba, where the staple diet consists of black beans and rice. The cookers were banned nearly a decade ago when Cuba was plunged into economic crisis and power outages due to a loss of Soviet aid and oil. The cookers can be distributed now, Castro said, because Cuba is emerging from its longtime energy crunch. The 78-year-old leader spent two hours of his International Women's Day speech extolling the virtues of pressure cookers.

film

Reel World

Peaceful St. Patrick's—If you're in the mood to spend your St. Patrick's Day doing something other than swilling green beer and listening to insulting radio commercials in which local DJs try to sound like leprechauns, then Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center has a proposal. On Thursday, March 17, beginning at 7 p.m., the P&J Center will host a lecture/screening featuring The Peace Movement. This documentary chronicles the modern day peace movement as it has grown and evolved over the past few years. There will be two guest speakers tonight. One is an Iraqi-American speaking on the effects of war on her family, while the other is a member of the League of Democratic Action. The Peace and Justice Center is located at 202 Harvard. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Ice Princess

Mother/daughter skating drama is surprisingly cool

When a film comes right out and says in the television commercials and in the trailers that it's the perfect film for “you and your daughter,” I can rest reasonably assured that the film is not being marketed toward me and my white male thirtysomething demographic.

VideoNasty

The Warriors (1979)

The first VCR my family bought was a shiny electronic monstrosity, a behemoth status symbol of the '80s about the size of a suitcase and weighing in at roughly 5,000 pounds. Through a special promotion at the electronics store, we were given one full year of free video rental--one rental per week for 52 weeks. You can bet your sweet ass my family drove all the way across town to get our movie-lovin' mitts on our free video. Every week we would pack into the trusty ol' blue station wagon and head out to the video store. And if my uncle Archie happened to come along with us, one thing was certain--we were coming home with a copy of The Warriors.

Fat Chance

“Fat Actress” on Showtime

I'm always a little amazed at whom the tabloids choose to make their lifelong rumor fodder. Take, for example, former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley. For more than a decade, the C-list actress has been haunted by The Star, The National Enquirer and the like, all of whom seem to delight in speculating about the woman's weight gain. Frankly, there are few topics I could care less about, but apparently the average housewife in the checkout stand at Wal-Mart disagrees with me.

food

Gastrological Forecast

It's a texture thing. Sometimes yogurt makes me gag—not enough texture. And certain mangoes have that furry quality that makes my tongue feel rubbed the wrong way. I love the rough, graininess of jicama, but not the stringy thing about celery. The sliminess of okra chunks in gumbo: good. The slippery sticky film of meat that's been in the fridge too long: bad. Papaya and avocado are both silky smooth, but just firm enough to be sexy, not icky. The chewy crust of Sage Bakehouse's paisano loaf makes me want every sandwich to be on that bread. And I could eat a heap of deep fried chicken skins; there's something so decadent about the combination of crispy, crunchy top and soft, pale skin underneath. The lacy edges of an egg cooked in bacon grease are always divine, especially when swabbed with a little runny yolk. The crisp/creamy thing is a killer, too, like cottage fries dipped in queso, Lay's Classic chips in green chile dip, chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy. Oooh! Serve me flaccid pasta, crunchy risotto, too-fried refried beans or pasty potatoes and you're fired. Make my bacon just right—crispy but not so stiff it shatters, still tender but not soggy—and I'll love you forever. It's a texture thing.

All the News That's Fit to Eat

First you, Graze, then you, Gulp. Or is it the other way around? Chef and restaurateur Jennifer James has unveiled her newest venture, a sophisticated lounge called Gulp, in the storefront next to Graze (Central and Buena Vista, 268-4729).

Deli Mart West

Not that far, but a world apart

Let's face it, the Duke City is challenged in the sandwich department. I used to count on one hand the number of places that I'd go to for a sandwich, but now I'm going to have to use my other hand too, because that list just got longer. I finally ate my first New York deli-style sandwich at Deli Mart West. I had heard about the place from several friends over the years but, because it's "way over on the Westside," I only headed out to find it once, got lost and never went back. Truth be told, it's only 10.09 miles and 17 minutes from my house. That's about how long it takes me to get almost anywhere in the city. Barrio-centricity strikes again.

Bite

You Got to Know Your Ham

I know my ham. You got to know your ham. Especially if you're gonna order a big, fat deli sandwich stuffed with a dozen different pork products.

Country-style ham (also called old-fashioned or Southern-style) is dry cured by rubbing salt and spices onto the meat's surface and contains no added water. It is a specialty of the Southern states. Country-style ham is extremely salty and usually served in small portions, very thinly sliced.

Prosciutto is an Italian-style, salt-cured ham that is air-dried and is not smoked. It is aged between 10 months and two years before it is thinly sliced and eaten raw. Prosciutto has a sweet, delicate taste and adds flavor to salads, side dishes, entrées and appetizers.

Low-tech Garlic Bread

Don't overthink it! This stuff is easy.

So I'm riding in the car the other day, talking about Italian restaurants and how sometimes it doesn't make much sense to eat out when what you really want is a home-cooked meal. My buddy's going on and on about his garlic bread and this elaborate method for it, and I'm like, whoa! That's way, way too complicated. Here's how you make garlic bread. Take a nice, fat Italian loaf. Cut slices like an inch, an inch-and-a-half thick. Put the slices on a cookie sheet and throw 'em in the oven. Toast. Flip halfway through and you get crunchy toasts; don't flip and you get one crunchy side and one squishy side. I like the crunchy/squishy combo.

Alibi V.14 No.10 • March 10-16, 2005

feature

Love in the Time of Abstinence

This year, the Bush administration wants to spend more than $200 million on abstinence-until-marriage education in an effort to convince teens that the best way to enjoy sex is to avoid it. At APS, and across New Mexico, a portion of these funds are spent

No sane person would deny that adolescence is an awkward time, with the acne, braces, bad breath—the hair!—and especially those hyper hormones. It's well known that these hormones can lead teens to create the beast with two backs when unsupervised. And according to the Center for Disease Control, over 65 percent of our state's high school-aged youth are sexually active—a number about equal with the national trend. Meanwhile, when you compound the laws of puberty with socio-economic realities, New Mexico has one of the highest rates of teenage motherhood in the nation.

music

Music to Your Ears

Update on RockSquawk.com: Weekly Alibi has negotiated a deal with Dandee Fleming to take over and administer the local music scene site Fleming started four years ago and intended to shut down as of March 22. RockSquawk.com has been an invaluable resource for local musicians of almost every genre—a cyberplace where people could go to air their grievances, buy or sell gear, read about upcoming shows or replace their shitty drummer.

Gamble's Ramble

Live music reviews

I think if one more person corners me with the complaint, "Nothing is happening in the local Albuquerque music and art scene," I will have to ask them: "Where the hell were you last night?" In any venue, in any town, you will have your share of good shows or bad; either way you are likely to be more entertained than watching reality happen on television.

Sonic Reducer

Where has Carina Round been all my life? Certainly not on the airwaves. It's a shame too, because this could quite possibly be some of the best music you'll never hear. Mixtures of blues, jazz and rock can be heard on this spectacular album. This is what Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani and Fiona Apple would have sounded like if they hadn't sold out. Round delivers raw, immaculate, untouched goodness. Definitely not for those who like order and monotonous, catchy tunes in their music. If you are up to the challenge, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a ride full of surprises. Fans of Amanda Ghost and Siouxsie and the Banshees will most likely fall in love with Carina.

art

Culture Shock

I've just been told that the deadline for the Alibi's second annual photo contest has been pushed back a few weeks. We're now accepting entries up 'til Wednesday, March 30, at 5 p.m. with the winning entries and a few additional worthy photos to be reproduced in our April 14 issue.

A Fine Mess

Natural Painting at [AC]2

Mike Certo, the owner of [AC]2, advised me to wear old, beaten-up shoes. "The paint might not be dry," he said ominously, "and it's pretty much impossible not to step in it." Thankfully, all my shoes are old and beaten-up, so this wouldn't be a problem.

Highway 47

South Broadway Cultural Center

Highway 47 cuts through the center of Tomé, a tiny community just south of Albuquerque that was first settled over 300 years ago. Thirty years ago, the village was torn apart by a feud over land rights, and it's this feud that serves as the foundation of K.J. Sanchez' new play. Produced by Working Classroom, the world premiere of Highway 47 occurs this Friday evening, March 11, with a gala performance at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE). The show runs Fridays at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through March 20. $10 general, $5 students/seniors. Group rates available. 242-9267.

Música Antigua de Albuquerque

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal

The French are good with cheese. They're good with wine. They're even good with tiny chickens. They've also had a historic talent for composing music, a talent that sadly often goes unnoticed. Música Antigua de Albuquerque delivers a concert of early French music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance this Sunday, March 13, at 4:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal (601 Montaño NW). This talented ensemble specializes in playing early music on period instruments, and this should be a fine show of rarely heard pieces. $15 general, $12 seniors, $8 students. 842-9613.

news

Water Woes

A new bill proposes to limit the state's power over surface water protection

Ben Seigling remembers getting his knees muddy and hair full of silt wading in the Rio Grande as a little kid. He remembers digging his toes into the sand as he battled the river's currents. He also remembers the many long hours he spent on the river and in the Bosque over the last year, as part of a program offered by the Indio-Hispano Academy of Agricultural Arts & Sciences, studying water and soil quality and talking to the local farming community. And he remembers last February, when he and six of his peers testified in front of the Water Quality Control Commission in hopes of raising surface water standards for a long stretch of his embattled childhood playground.

Political Correctness in the Time of Global Warming

Nuclear power isn't PC.

Talking about nuclear power, except to condemn it, can get you busted by the political correctness cops and sentenced to an enviro re-education camp. Imagine endless days of group readings of Edward Abbey and public contrition for daring to ask what's wrong with harnessing the atom in the service of humanity.

Political correctness prohibits even reading certain books. Like New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici's hybrid autobiography and nuclear engineering text. Pete titled his book, A Brighter Tomorrow even though much of it retraces his personal history.

Bush's "Reform" Program Smells Like a Con Jobmu

To anyone who has observed professionals working a con, the high-pressure sales pitch for Social Security privatization seems suspiciously familiar. Come to think of it, so does George W. Bush's back-slapping style, which is well suited to promoting his vague, wildly expensive "reform" proposal to the nation's teeming rubes.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—The Queen, apparently, does not rock. Legendary guitarists Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Brian May were all attending a party at Buckingham Palace last Tuesday when they were approached by Queen Elizabeth II, who asked, “And what do you do?” Clapton later told reporters that it was great to meet her and it doesn't matter at all that she didn't know who they are or what they do. The quartet of famed rockers were at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the announcement of a new prize, the Queen's Medal For Music, which will reward musicians who have had an impact on Britain. The award will be given out on Nov. 22, the memorial day of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music.

film

Reel World

Shootout on Central Avenue—This summer, Albuquerque's Flicks on 66 Film Festival will be entering its third incarnation. Currently known as DigiFest Southwest, the festival will be renamed the Duke City Shootout and will fall under the wing of independent filmmaker Christopher Coppola (nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and director of such low-budget efforts as Deadfall and G-Men from Hell). As in previous years, the festival committee will select seven short film scripts. The writers of the winning scripts will be flown to Albuquerque where they will be given a budget, cast, camera, lighting equipment, production crew, post-production facilities and even a professional mentor to help bring their pages to life. The only catch? Would-be filmmakers have only one week in which to complete their mini-masterpieces.

Imaginary Heroes

Suburban tragedy tries too hard, but has its moments

In the wake of his “welcome to the big time” promotion writing the script for X2: X-Men United, twentysomething hipster scripter Dan Harris suddenly became Hollywood's go-to guy, penning screenplays for a string of upcoming blockbusters like Superman Returns, Ender's Game and Logan's Run. Last year, he made the ultimate shortcut to A-list status, writing and directing his own indie vanity project staffed with all the name actors money could buy.

Robots

Animated feature dazzles audience with all the gew-gaws money can buy

At this point, everyone in the animation biz (whether working in the 2-D or 3-D realm) is toiling away in the towering shadow of Pixar. With an unbroken string of box office hits (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) and yet another Academy Award on the shelf (the company's second Best Animated Feature Oscar in a row for The Incredibles), Pixar is the unqualified king of cartoons.

Why, God, Why?

The Return of Baby Bob

There are moments in life that make you question how the hell people can believe in a higher power--much less one that is kind and benevolent. We've got giant tsunamis in Asia, war in the Middle East, ethnic cleansing in Africa and a Walgreen's on every street corner. Is this the work of a beneficent creator? I think not.

food

A New Palace of Delights

Local dynasty's newest location rules

The Albuquerque metropolitan area is littered with all-you-can-eat buffets not worth their weight in calories. A trip through the buffet line at India Palace (Coors and Alameda) confirms that this is not one of them.

When the Radarange Transforms Your Sauce Into Slop

People often e-mail or call me with their cooking troubles. Many of these questions are ordinary, and not worth repeating here. But I recently got a query that piqued my interest as a kitchen scientist. An Alibi staffer wanted to know why her leftover salmon in sundried tomato cream sauce turned into salmon in half a cup of oil when she reheated it in the microwave. The simple answer is that zapping it broke the emulsion of the sauce. If you know what that means, then skip along to the film times; if you're clueless, read on.