Alibi V.14 No.31 • Aug 4-10, 2005

feature

Poetry for the People

The National Poetry Slam comes to Albuquerque

By next Wednesday, the Hotel Blue will be packed full of rowdy performance poets from all over the continent. By the time they check in, they'll be pumped up and ready to stage dive into a four-day, knock-down, drag-out contest of live versifying the likes of which our city has never seen. The 135-room hotel located at Central and Eighth Street is serving as the official headquarters for the 2005 National Poetry Slam. Part conference, part festival, part bloody, fight-to-the-death contest of verbal skill and will, the event is about to invade Albuquerque with a vengeance.

An Idiot's Guide to Slamming

Slam competitions distinguish themselves from other poetry contests by giving equal weight to both writing and performing. In other words, they reward poets not only for what they say but also how they say it. Sometimes slight variations on the official rules are allowed, but here's how a slam typically works.

2005 National Poetry Slam

Schedule of Events

Festival passes, which include a ticket to the finals, are $30. Tickets for the finals only are $20. Tickets available at: The Blue Dragon Coffeehouse (1517 Girard NE, cash only), Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, cash only), Natural Sound (3422 Central SE, cash only) and the Harwood Arts Center (1114 Seventh Street NW, cash and credit card). You may order tickets over the phone at the Harwood by calling 242-6367. For details, and for the latest changes to this schedule, go to nps2005.org. During the festival, you can check out the most current rankings at this site by clicking on "scores."

Tuesday, August 9
Pre-National Poetry Slam 2005 Welcome Party
Hosted by Albuquerque: The Magazine
National Hispanic Cultural Center (1601 Fourth Street NW)
5-8 pm
Screening of Slam Planet: War of the Words
National Hispanic Cultural Center
8:30-10:30 pm

Wednesday, August 10
Registration
Hotel Blue (717 Central NW)
9-11 am
Opening Ceremonies
Robinson Park (Eighth Street and Central)
12-2 pm
Pull The Next One Up (aka Rookie Open Mic)
Robinson Park
2:00-3:30 pm
Bouts 1-16
See "Tournament Venues" at nps2005.org
7-11 pm
Hip-Hop Headquarters
The Bubble Lounge (506 Central SW)
11-1 am
Erotic Poetry Reading
El Rey Theater (620 Central SW)
11 pm-1 am
24-hour open mic kick off
Out ch'Yonda Performance Space (929 Fourth Street SW)
2 am

Thursday, August 11
Screening of Slam Planet: War of the Words
National Hispanic Cultural Center Bank of America Theater
10 am-noon
Jewish Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
10:30 am-noon
EC Challenge Survivor Slam
National Hispanic Cultural Center
10:30 am-noon
The "Rainbow" Reading
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Noon-1:30 pm
Screening of Hawaii Slam: Poetry in Paradise and "Omaha's First"
12:30-2:30 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center
African-American Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1:30-3 pm
Asian-American showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
Grief and Remembrance Reading
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
Nerd Slam
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
Bouts 16-32
See "Tournament Venues" at nps2005.org
7-11 pm
Hip-Hop Headquarters
The Bubble Lounge
11-1 am
Slam Masters Slam
El Rey Theater
11-1 am

Friday, August 12
Kids' Show
National Hispanic Cultural Center
9:30-10:30 am
Screening of Hawaii Slam: Poetry in Paradise and "Omaha's First"
National Hispanic Cultural Center
10 am-noon
Youth Slam
National Hispanic Cultural Center
10:30-noon
Women's Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Noon-1:30 pm
Screening of Word!
National Hispanic Cultural Center
12:30-2:30 pm
Latino Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1:30-3 pm
Indigenous Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
World Peace Reading
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
Group Piece Showcase
National Hispanic Cultural Center
3-4:30 pm
Semi-Final Bouts
See "Tournament Venues" at nps2005.org
7-11 pm
Indy Tournament
El Rey Theater
11-1 am

Saturday, August 13
Slam Family Meeting
Hotel Blue Conference Room
10:30 am-noon
Open Mic Stage at We Art The People Festival
Robinson Park
10:30 am-noon
Poet's Plaza Dedication
Harwood's Art Center
1-1:30 pm
Head-To-Head Haiku
Harwood Arts Center
1:30-3 pm
Slam Family Picnic
Tingley Field
3-5:30 pm
National Poetry Slam 2005 Finals
Kiva Auditorium (401 Second Street NW)
8-11:30 pm

news

Newscity

You Cruise, You Lose

Traffic congestion Downtown could get a whole lot more citation-y as the City Council considers a resolution to create no-cruising zones. The clampdown began when Mayor Martin Chavez signed the Cruising on Public Streets Ordinance in May, and since then the city has been researching Downtown traffic patterns (you may have noticed the little white boxes on Central, Gold and Copper a couple weeks ago). With this latest resolution sponsored by City Councilor Craig Loy, any motorist spotted passing the same traffic control point three times within a two-hour period during designated hours could be nailed with a citation, unless you live or work in the area.

Thin Line

Credibility gap. On Sunday, July 31, an otherwise incoherent editorial in the Albuquerque Journal offered these words on Mayor Martin Chavez' attempt to ban alcohol at all-ages shows:

A Howling Loophole

Councilor Sally Mayer's voter I.D. initiative is the real fraud

Commit voter fraud from the comfort of your home. You can rig elections while helping the environment by saving gas and preventing pollution. Take advantage of this amazing breakthrough in undermining democracy the good, old-fashioned way—by stealing it. All this can be yours for as little as one dollar and eleven cents!

Neverending Stories

Believe It When You See It

The Alibi recently reported ("Crossing Over," July 14-20) that Nob Hill area residents and merchants have been calling for pedestrian-friendly infrastructure along Central between Girard and Washington since 1988, but to no effect. Now, City Councilor Martin Heinrich has an estimated $500,000 set aside for improvements, some he recently acquired through city budget negotiations and some he inherited from the last councilor in his district, Hess Yntema. Heinrich said the money is allocated toward intersection redevelopment on Central at Morningside and Wellesley, including two new stoplights and two pedestrian flashers (such as those found on Central in the University area). Heinrich said all that's needed to move forward with the projects is the go-ahead from the mayor, but he's skeptical it will ever happen.

APS Defines Insanity

Do you know the classic definition of insanity? It goes like this: When something hasn't worked in the past, isn't working now, has no chance of working in the future, but it's repeated over and over again in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe, this time it might pan out—that's nuts.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Italy—A woman has fallen prey to the oldest con in the book: phony birth control to guard against satanic impregnation by vampires. Sicilian police say a couple stole 50,000 euros (nearly $60,000) from a woman in Palermo after convincing her they were vampires who would impregnate her with the son of the antichrist if she did not pay them. For four years, a male cabaret singer and his girlfriend sold the woman pills they said would abort the antichrist's son. The pills cost the woman 3,000 euros each. According to local news agencies AGI and ANSA, police uncovered the fraud after the 47-year-old woman's family became concerned when they discovered she had spent all her savings.

art

Culture Shock

A new exhibit of photographs by Brianna Johnson opens this weekend at Pearls of the Antilles (3716 Central SE) with a party featuring live poetry and drumming. Pearls is a pan-African artist collective that recently opened at the east end of Nob Hill. Rock your little world at the reception this Friday, August 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. Runs through August 31. 315-5341.

Dead Poet's Society

Ainadamar at the Santa Fe Opera

At its finest, the reality portrayed in opera is a hyperreality. Plucking out the most dramatic, the funniest, the most extreme moments in life, opera pins these events to the velvet, expanding them, drawing them out, embellishing them, digging into their weird emotional heart until their most profound elements are so intense they'll make you dizzy. In this way, the best opera productions become less about momentous events than about the unruly emotions that boil up in reaction to those events. This, I suspect, is why people attend opera in the first place—for the shot of adrenaline you get from being exposed to this kind of emotional vertigo.

Reckless

Cell Theatre

Craig Lucas' enthrallingly warped play Reckless follows a woman named Rachel as she meets a series of strange challenges with unwavering optimism, continually searching for answers to some of life's most difficult questions. Ashleigh Hile, who is independently producing and directing the performance, says, "I fell in love with the play and I just wanted to go ahead and get it produced right now." And that's exactly what she did. Catch it now. It's running for one weekend only. $6 general, $5 students/seniors. Performances will be held on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Cell (700 First Street). For more info, call 270-9605.

Transitions

516 Central SW

A small group of art supporters in Albuquerque weren't about to let the 15-year tradition of showcasing Albuquerque's contemporary art die. Instead, they're carrying on with the 16th annual juried exhibition that was once hosted by the now defunct Magnífico. Aptly retitled Transitions and presented by the Harwood Art Center, this year's exhibit will be housed at 516 Central SW, the old Magnífico art space. It features 38 pieces by 27 local artists selected from more than 240 entries. Laura Steward Heon, incoming executive director of SITE Santa Fe, juried the show. She says the exhibit, which includes many surreal images, could be called Desert Dada. Come get your Dada on at the Saturday night opening featuring live gypsy jazz music from the Duke City Hot Club from 7 to 9 p.m. Transitions runs through September 17. For more information, call 883-9126 or go to contemporaryalbuquerque.com.

Armchair Traveling

The Clumsiest People in Europe: Or, Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-tempered Guide to the Victorian World

film

Reel World

Tromatic Events Reoccur—TromaDance New Mexico is now accepting submissions. Burning Paradise Video has once again teamed up with Troma Entertainment to bring back last year's successful three-day festival of low-to-no-budget genre filmmaking. The festival is scheduled to take place October 21-23 at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Legendary exploitation filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger, will attend the festivities. Local filmmakers are encouraged to submit short films/videos as well as features. Any genre is welcome and sex and violence need not be included (though they are certainly welcome). Deadline is October 1. For official rules and entry forms, log on to burningparadise.net or stop by Burning Paradise Video (800 Central SW).

Yes

Gender and politics mix in arty, arid new indie

British writer/director/ composer/actress/--heck, let's just call her "filmmaker"—Sally Potter (Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried) returns with another languid rumination on sex and love. This one is set squarely in the post-9/11 world and concentrates on a talky affair between an Irish-American scientist and a Middle Eastern chef.

Searching For the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Pseudo-doc prods Southern culture on the skids

These days, modern country seems more like some glittering rhinestone rodeo than a legitimate music form; a carefully fabricated showcase where cocksure studs and glossy cow queens two-step, whinny and buck for show without so much as a wrinkle in their Wranglers. But look closer and you'll see that these beasts are broken. Take away all the special effects and you're left with a sad and unintentional parody of country music's former spirit. It's all style and no substance, so to speak.

Ballin' in Old Blighty

“Footballers Wive$” on BBC America

If you're one of those people who's suffering summertime withdrawal from “Desperate Housewives,” you are advised to head on over to BBC America for a regular fix of sex, drugs and criminal behavior in suburbia. Not only is BBC America happy to compare their trashy new drama “Footballers Wive$” to ABC's runaway hit, they've conveniently programmed it in the same Sunday time slot. So, if you're bored with reruns, pick up the remote and head to England.

music

Music to Your Ears

Stella Blue is closed, potentially forever. Nob Hill's premier dead-head bar and live music venue shut its doors a week ago for one reason or another. If you know anything about Stella's disappearance, drop me a line.

Dance Disaster Movement

with Kill Me Tomorrow, Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes, and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Monday, August 8; The Launchpad (21 and older): If the world were taken over by robots, and heaven knows it won't be long now, Dance Disaster Movement's assertively pulsating tracks would be prominently featured on the robots' iTunes party shuffle. Before that charming postapocalyptic scenario occurs, however, DDM has plenty to offer the ears of the human race as well. Somewhere between the Clash on a very bad acid trip and a break-beat fueled rave, DDM pumps out aggressively danceable music that would make even the most docile of crowds want to haphazardly flail their limbs about. Hey! Those could be your limbs if you stop by the Launchpad on Monday, when DDM plays a 21-and-over show. Joining DDM at the ’pad' is "noir wave" trio Kill Me Tomorrow. KMT is one of those bands that, much like a Jackson Pollock painting, draws criticism for not really being art. Upon a second, third or maybe fourth listen, however, a discerning ear will find that KMT's highly abrasive cacophony of effects pedals, drums, synthesized keyboards and various other disharmonious sounds can definitely be considered musical art. Heck, you can even dance to it, if you don't mind throwing your back out. KMT isn't just about fast-paced, murderous electronic rock, though. They can bring it down several notches on songs like "Liason" that have a much less chaotic and almost, dare I say, pop-ish feel. So go on and shake off those Monday blues. All I ask is you dance responsibly.

Channing Cope

with Thee Fine Lines and Jealous Gods

Sunday, August 7; Atomic Cantina (21 and over): You might find yourself in a self-reflective haze after just a few seconds of Channing Cope's hauntingly soothing melodies. Even a short listen evokes a feeling of bemused calm that doesn't go away until well after the music ceases. Their songs would be fully sedative if not for sporadic, dissonant guitar notes added to more prevalent, subtle symbol crashes and otherwise understated guitar. In essence, the band is a less drone-happy stripped-down hybrid of Mogwai and The Shipping News. The San Diego trio, composed of bassist/vocalist Ali Deniz Ozkan, guitarist Kenny Schulte and drummer Chris Conner, has gained critical recognition for their EP Leaving the Ramp and their full-length release, 2004's Sugar in Our Blood. Both records reveal a band that shies away from complexity while narrowly avoiding high impact crescendos. Most of their songs are about five minutes long, which gives the band just enough time to develop depth without becoming tedious. You could sip your beer coolly and calmly all night long when Channing Cope plays the Atomic Cantina on Sunday, but don't be surprised to find a few tears at the bottom of your glass. Joining Channing Cope on Sunday are lo-fi garage rockers Thee Fine Lines. Their unapologetic, happy-go-lucky approach will provide a nice contrast to Channing Cope's laid-back tunes. Sit back, relax and nurse your wounds to Channing Cope, then slam a few beers and get rowdy as hell with Thee Fine Lines.

The Suicide Machines

with Lost City Angels, Bullets to Broadway, and Travisty and the Screwups

Suicide Machines guitarist Dan Lukacinsky puts it right out there: "Punk isn't dangerous anymore, and it should always be dangerous to the government, to the establishment and to the powers that be."

Romeo Goes To Hell: It's a Blast!

People, Rachel plays the damn guitar—not the bass

Oh, hell yeah, Romeo Goes to Hell is releasing their first album entitled Two Car Garage Rock. The Albuquerqueans who label (or are forced by people like me to label) their music as two-car garage rock, or punk by default, came into existence in late 2002 and contain a year-old line-up comprised of Levi Eleven on bass, Noelan Ramirez on drums, Josh King on keyboards, Rachel Luhan on guitar and world-class ladies man Rexx Ruthless (swoon) on guitar as well. Everyone sings.

Sonic Reducer

Consider putting on Ya Ya Boom Project's Pink Insides before beginning any number of grueling tasks. Whether it's competing in a triathlon or pulling mysterious chunks of hair from your shower drain, Pink Insides will give you the burst of energy you need to complete your endeavor in no time. The record gets most of its mileage from Marisa Demarco's vibrato-heavy vocals that are two parts Gwen Stefani and one part Agent M from Tsunami Bomb. At its core, Pink Insides is a clunker-free album of immediately gratifying and resourceful pop music.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

If this ungodly summer heatwave makes you want to scream, look no further than I Scream Ice Cream. Burque's newest ice cream shop is super kid-friendly with spill-indifferent concrete floors and tons of nostalgic fun for everyone. Kids are encouraged to adorn their ice cream with the help of "topping tokens," which they can pump into low-set gumball machines filled with fixings like crushed Oreo's, Jelly Bellies and Fruity Pebbles. It's even fun for grown-ups. The "ISIC Wall of Sound," for example, is an impressive wall-mounted collection of records from the '50s and '60s with everything from Hank Williams, Sr., to British invasion imports. Doodads aside, the coolest thing about the shop has got to be the ice cream. All 33 of their hard-packed flavors are made by Creamland, right here in New Mexico. We tried two of them (lime sherbet and butter-pecan), and they tasted remarkably fresh and sweet. ISIC also serves up shakes, splits and other specialty treats to order, and most are between $1 and $5. Cheap! ISIC is located in The Shops at Carlisle (at the intersection of Claremont and Carlisle, just north of the Super Wal-Mart). Call 888-9420 for hours.

Frank's Fond Farewell

Sweet Peppers gets some sweet new parents

Rather than suffer through another day without sausage and peppers, native Chicagoans Frank and CeCe Bellino opened Sweet Peppers 12 years ago, and a Downtown tradition was born. Frank and CeCe recently sold the business to longtime customers and friends Tia and Bill Howley, and are excited to move closer to their son in Austin, Texas. Mr. Bellino took some time out from his last day at the shop to talk to the Alibi about the legacy of Sweet Peppers.

Eggplant Caponata

Sicilian-style eggplant in a sweet and sour sauce

Nightshade vegetables are coming into season; it's the perfect time to make eggplant caponata. Actually, any time is perfect for this light but robust Sicilian vegetarian condiment. It's most often served as an antipasti (before the pasta) course. I often enjoy it as a snack on garlic rounds or good fresh bread, but it also makes a great pizza topping for pita pizzas or filling for an omelet, too. You can dress it up and trot it out as an entrée with the addition of fresh grilled shrimp. I've even thrown together a quick pasta sauce using this versatile little gem of Sicilian cuisine. Be sure to choose smooth-skinned, blemish-free eggplants. Raisins, currants, pine nuts and fresh basil are often added to the dish but I prefer it straight up and simple. Because of the acid content, it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to use good quality vinegars or you might ruin the dish.

Alibi V.14 No.30 • July 28-Aug 3, 2005

feature

It's Unanimous! Fish Sticks Are ... FISH-A-LICIOUS!

Mmmmm ... smell that? Smell that warm, buttery air? That, friends, is the savory, silky aroma of fish sticks in the oven. That's right, compadres. Let it wash over you like a golden-fried rain cloud. Breathe deep. You want a fish stick. You need a fish stick. Where the hell are you going to find your next fish stick?? Calm down. We're with you, our little fish fiends. We know that with so many fish sticks in the sea, it's hard to reach your own conclusions about battered fish snacks. You need help. That's why we're here.

Feature

Gorton's Mini
$3.99 for 22 ounces
Minced pollock

Though these diminutive sticks resembled "turds," "dog treats" and "little mutants," they somehow managed to fare much better than the full-sized Gorton's sticks we tried. Meaning, as far as "spongy" little fish bites go, these one's didn't completely suck. "It's not so much what they have as what they don't," said one tester. "There's no unpleasant aftertaste, and the fish isn't overly slimy." Hey, at least it's mediocre!

Gorton's
$4.59 for 11.4 ounces
Minced pollock

We started off with high hopes for Gorton's. They did, after all, come up with the first commercially packaged cod cake nearly a century ago. Yet, in all that time, you'd think they might have come up with something better than "meh." Gorton's original fish sticks were solidly in the middle. Though they were "krunchy!" and perhaps the best-looking of the sticks we sampled, their "fishy," "gross" interior didn't win over any fans. We're for-gainst them.

Ian's
$3.59 for 8 ounces
Minced pollock

Ian's classic fish stick was the largest of the bunch we tried. Too bad the "plump" planks were also "peaked and anemic-looking," with a "disturbing" gray coloration. Fear not, for these corporal fish sticks "look far more repulsive than they actually taste." We detected a persistent garlic powder bouquet with lingering notes of "Molly McButter." Some fish flavor was discernible to most of our tasters, though their impressions ranged from "fishy in a bad way" to "flavorful" to just "OK."

Ian's Allergen Free Recipe
$4.99 for 8 ounces
Minced pollock

At last—a food product specially designed for all of us wheat-, gluten-, dairy-, egg-, nut- and soy-intolerant fish stick fanatics! Despite Ian's "all-natural" ingredients, the tumeric-yellow color of this fish stick was too fake for many for our testers. That's because the breading here is actually a "dense," "extra-chewy" veneer of cornmeal and caramel coloring that made our teeth squeak—audibly! Some testers felt the corn coating had both good flavor and consistency without being greasy. Most everyone else agreed that they were overly dry and bland.

Kroger
$4.39 for 24 ounces
Minced hoki

Oddly enough, this generic Midwestern brand got the highest marks across our little board. "Never mind that, as several fellow taste testers have pointed out, it tastes more like a chicken nugget than a fish stick. In my book, that's a good thing," said one tester. It's true. They did taste like chicken—just with a "softer texture and fishy aftertaste." Pair that with a crumbly coating reminiscent of hush puppies, hash browns and Salsbury steak, and you've got a stick fit for a king's dog.

FMV
$5.99 for 64 ounces
A blend of eight types of fish

Regardless of what the packaging says, FMV does not mean "For Maximum Value." No, those initials are just fancy talk for "Fuels My Vomit." In a large, dysfunctional family tree of frozen foods, FMV fish sticks are surely the redheaded stepchildren of the bunch. The "pure chemical" taste of these rigid logs could not begin to mask the "totally vile" flavor of "old burnt dinner roles." And—do we detect the faintest hint of burning hair? These satanic sticks are "a crime against nature!"

FisherBoy
$0.99 for 6 ounces
A blend of eight types of fish

"A mountain of tartar sauce could not possibly make these edible," said one taster. "Not much fish and not much flavor—just a lot of fried batter." Indeed, the word "hollow" came up time and time again when describing the FisherBoy's embarrassing catch. Here fish sticks have been subjugated to soulless tubes of stale, arid breading. Any hint of fish that we found was "pulpy and insignificant," with "a faint taste of cat food—at best." Ouch! Hang your head in shame, FisherBoy.

Fish Sticks

The Inside Story

The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn't have eyeballs or fins.

Son of Cod

Late last year, an Eastern Ontario man tried to sell a fish stick on eBay that he claimed had a burn mark that looked just like Jesus. Fred Whan said he burned the fish stick while making dinner for his son and his friends. He kept the fish stick frozen for a year after his son remarked that the burn mark resembled our Lord and Savior.

news

Tale of Two Bills

New Mexicans rally for a national energy bill that promotes environmental responsibility

Dave Cargo is a man who believes in tradition. Old-fashioned conservatism, as he calls it, is the backbone to his political ideology, which he defines as: fiscal balance, civil rights and environmental responsibility. The Republican ex-governor touted his philosophy last week in front of a quiet, supportive audience. "If you're conservative, you want to conserve," he said, eyes ablaze behind his familiar black-framed glasses, as he spoke to the standards for drilling operations in the U.S. "If they want to do some more drilling, I've got an ideal place—they can start with every golf course in America—and they won't have a lot of people cheering them on."

Rules of the Knife Fight

It's as though Mayor Martin Chavez and Republican challenger City Councilor Brad Winter have stepped into a circle and drawn knives. As you watch their opening moves, you see them measuring each other, jabbing, feinting and trying to set up the lunge that will do the trick.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: India—Police in the eastern state of Orissa arrested nearly 200 people for watching a pornographic movie in a cinema hall and made them perform 10 sit-ups in public as punishment. Parents of teenagers under 17 caught in the cinema were ordered to come watch the exercise, the Hindustan Times daily reported. Sanjeev Panda, police chief in the Balasore district where the movie was being shown, said he was trying a new approach toward stopping the screening of pornography, which is illegal in India. “Earlier, we acted against the [cinema] hall owners and their staff. But it failed to effectively check screening of obscene movies. So we decided to crack down on the audience,” Panda told the newspaper. Similar punishment was meted out to about 400 people watching a porno at a hall in Orissa's Roukela district.

Pandemonium

In this year's proposed capital budget, Mayor Chavez wanted a few million bucks included for a panda exhibit (a.k.a. Asian Experience) at the Rio Grande Zoo and other improvements at the BioPark, but five city councilors objected, preferring that the city spend those taxpayer funds on ye olde basic services, such as sidewalk, sewage and intersection repairs.

film

Reel World

The Dolls Times Two!—Closet Cinema, organizers of the Southwest's premiere gay and lesbian film festival, will be having a one-shot, must-not-miss fundraiser this weekend. On Sunday, July 31, at 1 p.m., there will be a screening of the late, great Russ Meyer's camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Taking the mainstream trash appeal of Jacqueline Suzann's Valley of the Dolls to its ne plus ultra extreme, director Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and writer Roger Ebert (yes, that Roger Ebert) created a psychedelic stew of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll--a classic, minus the class. To make this screening extra unforgettable and supremely outrageous, Closet Cinema has recruited Albuquerque's very own drag troupe The Dolls as hosts. This special engagement is being sponsored by the City of Albuquerque's Film Office to help promote the upcoming Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Sept. 16-22). Miss it, and you'll hate yourself in the morning. In the immortal words of Z-Man (paraphrased years later by Austin Powers), “This is my happening, and it's freaking me out!”

Murderball

Edgy documentary rolls over stereotypes of “handi-capable” athletes

Most documentaries seem to fall into one of two general camps: depressing and inspiring. Depressing ones focus on things like the Holocaust, people on death row or President Bush. Inspiring ones aim their camera lens on children or animals--and if their subjects are dancing, singing, performing a sport or overcoming some disability, all the better. The best documentaries, though, are the ones that strike out on their own, tracking down new and unseen territory, or at least casting the old, well-trodden territory in a brand new light.

Stealth

Jet-fueled drama gets surprisingly far on fumes

Have we learned nothing from The Matrix, The Terminator, WarGames, Demon Seed, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Colossus: The Forbin Project? Artificially intelligent computers always turn evil and try to destroy the world. Did nerd extraordinaire Lenny von Dohlen fight his malevolent PC for the love of Virginia Madsen in Electric Dreams for nothing? Apparently so, because here it is 2005 and--according to the new action film Stealth--the U.S. military has constructed a stealth fighter plane armed with nuclear missiles and an artificially intelligent computer “brain” capable of learning and evolving. Can anybody see the flaw in this plan?

More Dead Than Alive

“Wanted” on TNT

Mere weeks after TNT managed to inject a couple fresh ideas into the shopworn cop genre with “The Closer,” the network returns to the well for yet another police drama. This one tosses every cop cliché against the wall in the desperate hope that at least one of them will stick. Unfortunately, the most they do is leave a vague stain behind.

music

Music to Your Ears

R.I.P. R&B—Hello Harlow's! Yes, Club Rhythm and Blues may be gone for good, but there's a new kid on the block and her name is Harlow. Harlow's on the Hill, that is. It's easy to spot Nob Hill's newest club on the southeast corner of Central and Carlisle, especially since the old digs are sporting a new coat of paint that would make Oscar Wilde blush. So who's responsible for this fantastic eyesore? Matt Gregory--the impossibly tall, blonde, smart-ass server who used to bring us our whiskey sours at Gecko's. Apparently, Matt can't get enough of the nightlife in Nob Hill, because he bought up the defunct bar across the street from his old employers and set out to craft his own neighborhood haunt. Harlow's is positioning itself as a laid-back indie rock bar with a mix of live and DJ'd music, a dance floor and food from the club's onsite kitchen. Amenities include a big front patio with willow trees, black slate tile floors and a gorgeous black granite and redwood bar. Word is that they'll be open for lunch and dinner, too. Call 268-0182 for hours and a menu description. Welcome to the neighborhood, you sweet young thing!

Ian Moore

with special guest Robert Skoro

Saturday, July 30; The District (21 and older): It's unclear what sparked Ian Moore's transformation from a hack version of Stevie Ray Vaughn to an inimitable singer/songwriter with a folky, psychedelic sound. Whatever the impetus for the change, Moore's new and more mature music is a fusion of folk guitar with a country twang that's intensely inviting. His songs have an unmistakable thickness to them that stems from Moore's rich, despondent vocals and reverberating guitar. It's not music that entices you to get out and run a few laps around the park, but it doesn't make you want to lie in bed and mope either. Previous albums have seen Moore journey from funky, FX pedal-injected rock to flamenco guitar rhythms and gospelized singing. With his latest album, Luminaria, however, Moore seems to have found the right mix of spontaneity and continuity. Many have compared Moore's music to bands like Wilco. I, personally, prefer Moore's gentlemanly crooning to Jeff Tweedy's more boyish approach, but both evoke a similar tempo and tone in their songs. Former Mason Jennings' bassist Robert Skoro will open for Moore at The District on Saturday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

John Prine

with Kathleen Edwards

Friday, July 29; Kiva Auditorium (21 and older): There's a line from the first track on John Prine's new album, Fair and Square, that's a rather sound description of the man himself: "Oh the glory of true love/Is it will last your whole life through/Never will go out of fashion/Always will look good on you."

Gingerbread Patriots--I'd Fight For My Freedom To Eat Them

After making us wait over a year and a half for new songs, Albuquerque's Gingerbread Patriots (like actual patriots, but with sustenance) are offering us a hard copy of aural stimulation. The quartet, comprised of John Brophy on guitar, Jeshua Brophy on bass (he's the mastermind, according to John), Megan Mcgaughy on keyboards and Ed Burch on drums, produces a dreamy but oxymoronic sound.

Von Bondies Chomp at Bits

If The Von Bondies' drummer Don Blum doesn't like this article, I'm going to get served when he comes to town with an all-out dance fight in the streets

Detroit rock ’n' roll outfit The Von Bondies met around the turn of the century, drew inspiration from Tokyo's Guitar Wolf, a punk band formed in the late '80s who dress up as '50s greasers, formed their instantaneously successful band, recorded with Jack White and put out three records, to the critics' delight. Despite their success, Don Blum says the band is basically unknown. When I disagreed with him on this point in a phone interview last week he asked that I let him hang onto his delusions. OK, Don, you just eat your cherries and play your drums.

Sonic Reducer

Tracy Bonham, the multi-instrumentalist and indie songstress who brought us one of the most memorable chick rock anthems of the '90s—“Mother, Mother"—offers up gold with her third album, Blink the Brightest. What's that? You didn't know she made a second album? That's all right, I didn't either. It could be that three albums in 10 years aren't enough to stay on the radar. It could be that her music still sounds like it was written in 1995, too. Either way, this record is worth three times the attention it's likely to get. See you in five years, Tracy.

The Gingerbread Patriots on Fish Sticks

Where do the Gingerbread Patriots stand on the fish stick issue?

John--I guess I wasn't aware that there was an "issue" so I haven't had time to form an opinion.

Megan--They would be nothing more than mush if stood on.

Jeshua--In the kitchen usually. Then I mash them between my toes and gum them with my mouth.

Ed--Cod only.

What are the pros and cons of fish in stick form?

John--Pros: When it looks like a stick it's easier to eat, I guess. Cons: "Fish sticks."

Megan--Great for meals on the run.

art

Culture Shock

Mick Sheldon grew up during the '50s and '60s in Nevada. As a child, his father—a ventriloquist with a yellow monkey—ran a local kiddy television show. Sheldon was apparently scarred for life when his mother made him dress up as a blue rabbit for the show.

Atlas of a Difficult World

Shadows and Portraits at UNM's Jonson Gallery

For better or worse, excellent art is often born out of disaster. Matthew Lutz' grandfather died following a brutal battle with lung and brain cancer, and observing this struggle had a deep effect on Lutz. Later, when he entered the MFA program at UNM to study visual art, he taught an undergraduate who fought a similar battle against metastasized breast cancer. Her fight inspired Lutz to complete his master's degree even after he personally suffered a life-altering spinal cord injury.

food

A Fish Stick's Best Friend

Fish sticks are underrated. Sure, they might not taste all that great, and they're probably primarily consumed by college kids who are stoned out of their minds. But the important thing to realize, when contemplating whether or not to ingest a breaded fish product, is that the focus should not be on the stick itself, but on the delectable tartar sauce you can (and should) dip it in. Tartar sauce is all even the poorest quality of fish stick needs to become a true delicacy. Fish stick too dry? A dab of tartar will moisten it right up. Does the fish taste overprocessed and slimy? You can't hate what you can't taste, so slather on that T.S. flavor. Whatever fish stick-related problem you encounter, the answer can always be found in the fish stick's favorite cool and creamy buddy.

Fish the Way God Intended

Give a man a fresh fish stick and he'll never go back to frozen

In the whole gustatory scheme of things, fish sticks rank pretty low on the food chain. Think about it. You're much more likely to see fish sticks on an all-u-can-eat buffet than a respectable menu—and even then, it's really only intended for children. But it's not because they're horrible or anything. I'd gladly eat one over, say, lutefisk. Or raw sea urchin, or the quivering pucks of gefilte fish my grandpa so enjoys at Passover. These things are horrifyingly bad, yet they're all considered delicacies by their respective cultures. So why has the humble American fish stick been banished to the coldest reaches of our grocer's freezer? I'll tell you why. Because they're made out of total crap. Most fish stick brands are so loaded down with fillers and preservatives that some brands—ones I've actually eaten—have close to half a foot of ingredients listed on the package. As a result, commercial sticks often suffer from a slightly stale, chemical taste that can hang around long after you've swallowed it. Fish stick breath. Yech!

Alibi V.14 No.29 • July 21-27, 2005

feature

Cinematic Showdown for the Digital Age

Duke City Shootout comes to town gunning for talent

“Screw film!” announces Christopher Coppola. That's a bold statement for a man who has directed eight feature films. His brother is Nicolas Cage, one of the highest paid actors in the world. His uncle directed The Godfather. You'd think this guy would have celluloid in his veins. Make no mistake. He does. But Coppola is an idea man, a future thinker. Right now, he's got his eyes glued firmly on the future of film. And the future of film involves no film at all. It's all about entering the digital world. Computers and video cameras are poised to take over the film industry and wrest control from a scant few old-school film studios desperate to maintain their iron grip on America's movie industry.

news

Doin' the Yahoo!

State GOP threatens legal action over alleged e-mail theft

As the old saying goes: The last time there was a leak like this, Noah built himself a boat. Of course, to modernize the phrase for accuracy and fairness, we'd have to insert the term "alleged" in front of “leak.”

Burque's Bad Ass

Holly Holm aims to be the Duke City's next big-time boxer

Some women are ferocious. They're scattered in history books and littered in folklore, although they oftentimes go unnoticed. Boadicea, the ancient English queen who battled unrighteous Roman rule. Medb, the legendary sovereign of Connaught who led her army against the whole of Ulster, bloodying enemies with her own sword. Joan of Arc, a French peasant-girl-turned-soldier who led her nation's army to victory.

A City Can't Be All New

There's been another piece chipped out of Albuquerque's soul in recent weeks and even if its loss hasn't drawn notice, we are all a little diminished by it.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Russia—Construction workers demolishing a Stalin-era hotel near Moscow's historic Red Square stumbled across nearly a ton of explosives hidden in the building. Moscow's NTV television showed workers removing boxes of explosives from the deep, muddy hole that was once one of the Soviet Union's flagship hotels. “The boxes held only explosives without detonators, so there was no risk of an explosion in the hotel,” a police spokesman told Russian news agencies. The Hotel Moskva was built in 1935 and stood opposite Russia's parliament building. “According to preliminary information, the explosive was hidden in a cache during the Great Patriotic War,” a police spokesman was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying, referring to World War II. Many Soviet buildings were apparently wired to explode in case Adolph Hitler's forces had taken Moscow.

Muddy Otero Mesa

Activists getting in deeper with loose claims on water resources

God must love Otero Mesa. Energy companies have found deposits of natural gas that grow larger with every media opportunity, beyond what even the Bush administration believes lies under the crusty soil. Environmentalists, not to be outdone, proclaim discovery of staggering volumes of potable water.

film

Reel World

Screenwriters Unite!—The New Mexico Screenwriter's Speaker Series is about to present its very first quarterly event. This Saturday, July 23, the Speaker Series welcomes noted script consultant Jim Mercurio. Mercurio is a regular columnist in Creative Screenwriting magazine and runs some of the most popular classes at the annual Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles. In this intensive, all-day class, Mercurio will discuss screenwriting topics such as story, structure, scenes, dilemma and subplots. He will also incorporate elements from one of his most popular classes at the Screenwriting Expo, “Killer Endings.” Mercurio will also talk a bit about the practical and business side of screenwriting. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. According to the NMSSS, this class is perfect for the beginning screenwriter looking for a solid foundation from which to approach a story idea, the screenwriter looking to vet those ideas for dramatic possibilities and the screenwriter looking to put a solid polish on a completed work. The $125 fee for this workshop includes lunch and all handouts. Student and teacher discounts are available, but seating is very limited. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to sign up online (nmscreenwriters.com) as soon as possible. For more information on Mercurio, you can log on to jamespmercurio.com. Mercurio's class will take place at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Island

Bombastic Michael Bay's new baby is just a clone of movies past

Over the years, director Michael Bay has become synonymous with loud, mind-numbing and narratively pointless summer action films (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor). This summer isn't exactly an exception to this pattern. But, with The Island, you can see Bay trying very hard to stretch his meager talent into a marginally smarter new genre. Bless his adrenaline-addled little heart, he just doesn't have it in him.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton's remake revels in candy-coated fun

In today's remake-filled world, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at least has the distinction of being a remake of Roald Dahl's classic kids' novel and not the arguably brilliant 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. That hasn't stopped some fans from casting their vehemently negative votes for the film before it even hit theaters. Given my druthers, I'd rather see energy spent on new ideas rather than old ones; but, viewed on its own merits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a blissfully fun confection and the perfect guilt-free treat during a summer of guilty pleasures.

“The Closer” on TNT

Cops are people too

You can't shoot a chrome-plated, pearl-handled .45 at your television set these days without hitting some show involving a cop, a lawyer or a doctor. So, when a new show involving one of those three crops up, it's pretty hard to work up much enthusiasm. Last month, TNT premiered its new cop series “The Closer.” The show is a well-crafted affair, both behind and in front of the camera, and deserves a closer look from crime-o-philes jaded by one too many “CSI” spin offs.

music

Music to Your Ears

Attention: Because our precognitive powers and general omnipotence here at the Alibi is not yet well-honed, be advised that anyone with good local music news, information, photos, miscellaneous (anything!) should send the goods to cassyle@alibi.com for consideration. Also be advised that we make no promises. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the date of publication. More specifically, we would like local bands to send us flyers (as often as you like) for a new flyer-of-the-week section. Ideally flyers will have at least one of the following qualities: artistically adept, humorous, unusual or just strange. Deadlines are Thursday afternoon the week prior to the issue you'd like to appear in.

The Briggs

with The Derelicts, The Rum Fits and The Rowdy Boys

Wednesday, July 27; The Launchpad (all-ages): At its core, punk is a genre defined by adolescence. More specifically, it's defined by that radioactive existential meltdown that, like a clockwork time bomb, goes hand in hand with growing up. But it's been close to 30 years since bands like Sham 69 crawled out from the gutters of South London and spat up their first "Who am I? Who are you?" Now all the young dudes are old punks with car payments and maybe a few grandkids. And they are, for the most part, pretty pessimistic about the future of the genre. "Punk's dead," right? I hope to hell it's not! And it certainly won't be anytime soon if The Briggs have anything to say about it. Built by two young brothers from Los Angeles, The Briggs make smart street punk that's as loud as it is proud. Their latest EP, Leaving the Ways (Side One Dummy Records) oscillates between Oi anthems and hardcore throw downs—what you might expect from a band that shares a label with The Casualties, 7 Seconds and Flogging Molly. What you didn't see coming, though, was how these songs maintain all the familiarity of a pub sing-along without feeling rehashed. There's a fresh edge somewhere in there, although I can't quite put my finger on it. Whatever it is, it's in the grand old style and they do it well. Not bad for a band that's just four years young.

The Ebb and Flow

with FOMA and Babelshack

Tuesday, July 26; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over): When I first heard San Francisco's The Ebb and Flow I thought, now here is a band that travels well. As in, I'd like to take this album on a long car trip, possibly at night, through the Arizona desert. Maybe it's because their first full-length album is called Time to Echolocate and depicts bats in flight on the front cover. After all, bats are nocturnal creatures that fly long distances through the desert. But I don't think it's as simple as all that. There's something far less tangible in there, and it keeps propelling me down the same phantom mental freeway. Take the first track off of Time to Echolocate, "Sonorous." It glides for nearly 10 minutes; first plodding, skipping then running, then on to a full gallop through a forest of moogs and organ, guitar, strings and jazzy drum change-ups. The band itself travels light, with only three members to split between two vocal parts and a tight, diverse instrumentation that somehow manages to sound simple and loose. It's like a trompe l'oeil of the ear. Which I guess makes sense in the whole bat-scheme of things, because that's exactly what sonar and echolocation is all about—using sound for sight. Give them a listen and see where it takes you.

Sonic Reducer

In a tense and panicked mood last week, this album, with its powerful calming effects, saved me from giving myself an ulcer. Sweet and melodic, these Floridians create the perfect mood music that reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps the confusion can be explained by the overall alt.country feel tinged with subtly weird '70s synth sounds. Or maybe it's the album art that, I don't know, just makes me think of Care Bears.

The Briefs

The Alibi sat down at the computer last week and had a very compelling cyber-interview with former Albuquerquean Chris Brief of the Seattle band The Briefs.

art

Culture Shock

Catch them when they're young ... and cheap. Many singers in the Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Program have gone on to impressive national careers. Actually, this season, eight former SFO apprentice singers have come back to Santa Fe to perform principle roles in main stage productions.

Musical Chairs

Lonely Planet at the Vortex Theatre

On some days, Carl works as a reporter for a supermarket tabloid. On others, he's the official plant waterer for a corporation. On still others, he's a crime scene investigator, an art restorer or a technician at an auto glass repair shop.

Homeless

National Hispanic Cultural Center

When Albuquerque native Steven Michael Quezada moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and comedy, he couldn't land a gig or find an agent. He thought no one wanted to talk to a skinny Chicano from Albuquerque. He wondered if he might be on his way to becoming homeless, and he sat down to write a play about this fear. Quezada's play, Homeless, was first performed in Albuquerque 10 years ago, and it's likely Quezada's commentary on society's pressures and expectations are still relevant. The play is not only written by Quezada—he's also the actor. Homeless opens on Thursday and runs through August 7. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors/NHCC members. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the NHCC box office. For more info, call 724-4771 or got to nhcc.org.

Peace: The Monologues

Sweeney Center

Sixteen teenage girls from Israel and Palestine have been attending a peace camp this month in Glorietta. Supported by Project Life Stories/Project World Stories and Creativity for Peace, the girls have been using art and dialogue to develop life stories through a therapeutic monologue process. On Thursday, July 21, the girls will present their autobiographical monologues to an audience. Photographs of the girls—who are Muslim, Christian and Jewish—and their artwork will also be presented. Music will be by Donald Rubinstein. The Sweeney Center is at 201 W Marcy in Santa Fe. $15 general, $25 for seats in the first 10 rows. Tickets are available at the Lensic box office, (505) 988-1234. For more information, call (505) 466-0007.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

The Dish is back and open for business! Listen up, chowhounds—restaurant gossip is a dish that's best served sizzlin' hot, but we just can't do it without your help. Here's a refresher on All the News That's Fit to Eat: If you know some interesting tidbit about food, chefs or restaurants in Albuquerque, spill the beans! We want to hear about the newly opened or closed restaurants and cool food finds in your area. Likewise, it's your gastronomic duty to let us know if you don't see your favorite spots listed in our Chowtown section. Log on to alibi.com for our complete, searchable database of restaurant listings. When you're done poking around, send your food tips to lauram@alibi.com. (You could send them to food@alibi.com, but that e-mail address attracts more spam than a Hawaiian barbecue. I say play it safe and send stuff directly to me.) If e-mail's not your thing, call me at 346-0660 ext. 260, or fax over your favorite menu at 256-9651. People with the juiciest tips will be rewarded with gift certificates and other awesome Alibi booty. We hungrily await your responses.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company

It's Not Just About the Beer

When I first walked into Turtle Mountain Brewing Company, I flashed back to my days as an indentured servant in my father's Hudson Valley, N.Y., gin mill. There before me on the walls were replicas of brightly colored metal beer trays, including Rheingold, Schaffer and Genesee, the very same trays I used to deliver draft beers to the back room of my dad's tavern, where the ladies sat, drank, smoked and snacked. Pressed paper coasters emblazoned with beer logos seemed like old friends, displayed in a giant frame. Turtle Mountain's walls are plastered with posters, accolades and all manner of beer-related memorabilia.