Alibi V.15 No.7 • Feb 16-22, 2006

feature

The Heartbeat of Africa

A village without music is a dead village. —African proverb

Only physicists and dancers can explain the energy created by a booming beat, extending beyond the dance floor with the power to make even the most left-footed among us shake her rear. From the parking lot nearly a block away, the sound coming out of the Maple Street Dance Space was distinctive—the beat of multiple drums, stomping feet, the hoots and hollers of an excited audience. No one could mistake it for anything other than a party full of energy, life and people having fun.

African Dance in Burque

Maple Street Dance Space
111 Maple SE
342-1556
Maple Street is a great place to begin learning African dance or continue your study. The space offers classes in mixed-level African dance, Haitian dance, Capoeira, Afro-Cuban dance, multiple levels of African drum and lots more. To check out a schedule, visit www.maplestreetdancespace.com.

music

Music to Your Ears

Thursday is Overrun with All-Ages Shows—Get out of the house, already! There's a full night of under-21 music starting at Sol Arts (712 Central SE, 244-0049) where We Were Born as Ghosts will release their brand-spankin'-new EP, titled Winter. The Overnight and Southpaw round out a progressive indie rock-type lineup. Cover is $5 and doors open at 7 p.m. Next up, five-piece rez rockers Pueblo Revolt are playing the Blue Dragon between 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is ... free? I don't know, don't quote me on that. Then there's the My Bloody Valentine Party at Pulse at 9 p.m., where gothic/industrial kids of at least 18 years can explode into a giggling matrix of post-Valentine's dance fever. Renowned musician, animator, writer and toy designer Voltaire will headline, with local two-man electric riot Vertigo Venus opening. Tickets are $10 at the door, which also qualifies you for a ton of Voltaire goodies valued at over $100.

Flyer on the Wall

“But, now the dream is over, and the insect is awake.” Featuring the magnificent two-man Swearing at Motorists (who released their latest album, Last Night Becomes This Morning, just last week), plus The Oktober People, Lousy Robot and Chris McFarland. Friday, Feb. 17, at Atomic Cantina (21-and-over). Free! (LM)

Thee Fine Lines

with The Cherry Tempo and Shapes and Sizes

Monday, Feb. 20, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: Attention all Modsters and air-guitar-enthusiasts: Your rock 'n' roll fantasy has arrived. Springfield, Mo.'s Thee Fine Lines might look a bit bookish, but rest assured, they'll have you spilling your beer in awe as they drag you into a dirt- and piss-filled gutter of three-chord, louder-than-hell rock 'n' roll. Take "Louie Louie" and the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat," add distorted vocals and a healthy dose of youthful anger and you've got all the ammunition you need to wake up with six stitches above your right eye.

Dreeg CD Release Party

with Kev Lee and special guests David Wade, Pipes, Physics, Vengence and MZ Burd

Friday, Feb. 17, Raw/Sauce (21-and-over): Dreeg, a.k.a. Steven Rodrigue, is eyeing musical stardom. Halfway through recording his first solo effort, Six Months of Solitude, the Dirt Headz standout quit his job so he could concentrate all of his energies on making it in the music biz. Six Months combines the catchy, female-sung hooks and synthetic drum beats commonly associated with mainstream rap and adds down-to-earth emo-rap lyrics similar to those of Atmosphere's Slug.

When I Say Wonder, You Say Bunzz! Wonder! Bunzz!

An interview with local celebrity Caleb Crump

Caleb and I are standing outside of the office on Central posing for a photo after our interview, both giving the thumbs up, when a passing motorist shouts from his truck, "Caleb!" As one of our most recognizable local personalities, right up there with men like Ron Bell, Don Schrader, Steve Stucker and the mayor, the warm, polite and approachable self-promoting partyer from Baltimore says he gets this all the time.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

R.I.P. Doc & Mz. V's—This unfortunate news tidbit comes courtesy of a reader who, thanks to a review we ran (“Doc & Mz. V's Diner: Southwestern Heart and Southern Soul Food,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1) only recently got turned on to the Southern-style South Valley diner. "Encouraged by our tasty lunch last week, a colleague and I headed back this afternoon," she wrote in an e-mail. "The restaurant was dark, chairs upside down on the tables. ... Another one bites the dust." A call to the restaurant confirmed their sudden and unforeseen closure, where an answering machine delivered Mz. V's heartfelt goodbye. "Doc and I regret that we have closed the business down as of Feb. 3," she explained, " ... due to staffing issues that will not allow Doc and I to ... live, breath, eat and sleep the restaurant." Doc & Mz. V's Diner opened in May of 2005, under the care of Dr. Thomas Strain (Doc) and Vanessa Strain (Mz. V). As a final note on her message, Mz. V says, "This has been a real experience for us, to get to know our neighbors and a lot of people who will be our friends in our future. I'd like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you."

The Carom Club

Downtown's first—and only—fine dining billiard hall to open March 11

"Look around you—what do you notice about my place?" Ramona Biddle asks as she shows me into the combined dining room, bar and billiard's area. It's difficult to pinpoint where I should start. Ramona, a professional billiards player-cum-restaurateur, has spent the last nine years dreaming up every square inch of the Carom Club, right down to the bathroom countertops (a creamy orange stone in the men's room, semitranslucent blue aventurine for the ladies).

Tio Oscar's

Want some secret recipe chile? Say "Uncle."

How does it feel to get exactly what you want? Imagine a huge oval platter heaped high with a smokin'-hot cheese enchilada, a moist tamale stuffed tighter than a Christmas goose with shreds of spicy meat, a crisp, beefy taco and refried beans whipped to perfection. Now, imagine everything slathered in a thick, deep red chile sauce and sprinkled with cool bits of lettuce and tomato.

news

Big Bad Bill

The Alibi sits down with the Guv

Gov. Bill Richardson has never been a man for small undertakings. Rather, as his nickname, Big Bill, implies, he tends to aim for ... well, bigger accomplishments. It started with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983, and continued into the position of U.S. Ambassador to the UN in 1997, which landed him three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. From there, his ambitions snagged him a job as the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and eventually landed him back here in New Mexico in the governorship. Now, with recent speculation about his interest in the White House, it seems as though Big Bill's tendencies aren't going to downsize anytime soon.

Hauling Around 6,000 Unsightly Pounds

Councilor Brad Winter called for a second hearing on his comprehensive ethics bill to allow time for the administration to discuss their concerns. Councilor Debbie O'Malley introduced a group of Valley High School students who made a very polished presentation about the potholed road to their school. The road's condition results in part from confusion over whether APS or the city is responsible for it. Councilors elected the current acting director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations, Carmen L. Kavelman, as the permanent director. Mayor Martin Chavez' appointment of engineer and developer Augustine "Gus" Grace to the Joint Air Quality Control Board won approval on a 6-3 vote, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Isaac Benton and O'Malley opposed.

Aspartame Buys Time

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the corrosive influence of money on our public policy. I'm not just talking about the shenanigans inside the beltway of our nation's capitol—that Congress is for sale to the highest bidder has unfortunately become a practically accepted tenet of the American belief system.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New Zealand—Organizers of a vintage car rally came up with a novel solution to an age-old problem--by hiring karate experts to protect vehicles from marauding parrots. According to the New Zealand Press Association, around 40 members of a local karate club were enlisted last Sunday to protect 140 classic cars set to pass through an alpine village near Mt. Cook on New Zealand's South Island. The martial arts experts were there to protect the cars from Keas, sharp-beaked native parrots that have been known to damage vehicles in their search for shiny objects. Organizers assured bird lovers that the karate fighters would not hurt the parrots, which are a protected species, but would simply scare the birds away. Local wildlife ranger Ray Bellringer said the karate fighters were unlikely to deter the Keas. “They will fly around and laugh,” he told the NZPA.

film

Reel World

Submit to the Gorillas—The 2nd Gorilla Tango Film Festival will take place Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. The mad programmers down at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theater are looking for films/videos of any length for inclusion in their sophomore public screening. All submissions must be sent on DVD, VHS, SVCD or VCD. There is a $10 nonrefundable submission fee per film. Submission deadline is Thursday, March 9. Prizes will be awarded to the top films as decided by a panel of local judges. For more info and a complete submission form, log on to www.gorillatango.com.

Eight Below

Disney adventure drama goes to the dogs

Based very loosely on a true story (not to mention the 1983 Japanese film Antarctica), the Disney adventure drama Eight Below harkens back (sort of) to the days of Disney's “True-Life Adventure” dramas--from the notorious, documentary-like White Wilderness (1958) to the Rex Allen-narrated eco-adventure Charlie the Lonesome Cougar (1967) to the fully anthropomorphized Incredible Journey (1963). Over the years, Disney has tried to replicate this old family-friendly formula with only intermittent success (1983's Never Cry Wolf, for example).

VideoNasty

Class of 1984

Among the great cinematic achievements of the '50s are the mini-masterpieces known as Juvenile Delinquency films. This underappreciated genre, which includes such greats as High School Caesar and Blackboard Jungle, features slick cautionary tales of youth gone wild, warning us against the perils of drug abuse and violence. For better or worse, the '80s saw a resurgence in this genre, with offerings such as 1987's The Principal starring James Belushi. But these latter-day yarns of reactionary violence all pale in comparison to Mark L. Lester's incredible Class of 1984.

Yo, Joe!

“G.I. Joe: Sigma 6”

I'm just old enough to remember the “real” G.I. Joe: a 12-inch hunk of manly vinyl complete with facial hair and kung-fu grip. In the early '80s, G.I. Joe endured a radical makeover and was transformed into a cheap, 3-inch hunk of hard plastic to coincide with a new cartoon series. Unlike much of Reagan's America, Joe not only survived his downsizing, but thrived. In the toyetic world of the '80s, G.I. Joe became a phenomenon, alongside other TV/action figure crossovers like Transformers and He-Man. To this day, I know grown men who are rabid collectors of '80s-era G.I. Joe toys and all but wept when “G.I. Joe” season one hit DVD. ... Of course, I'm one to talk. (I still have all my Micronauts--plus every issue of the Marvel comic book.)

art

Culture Shock

Point and Shoot—You've got plenty of time, but you'd still be wise to get started now. The deadline for our Third Annual Photo Contest is Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m. Trust me, it'll be here before we know it.

Some Assembly Required

The Structure of Dreams at Exhibit/208

While wandering through the current Exhibit/208 show, it's fun to take the title of the exhibit at face value. It sounds New Agey, doesn't it? A little bit hazy and softcore? My thoughts exactly, but I have to admit that this title provides a fascinating filter for Gary Wellman's sculptures.

Hurlyburly

Theatre X

UNM's Spring 2006 season kicks off in a toxic cloud of cocaine and sex. A student production of David Rabe's black comedy, Hurlyburly, about a group of debauched friends trying to make it in Hollywood, will be performed in Theatre X. The play originated Off Broadway in the mid '80s. It was made into a film in 1998. The show runs through Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Call for specific dates. $10 general, $8 seniors, $7 students. 925-5858.

Juvenile Dystopiate

Yale Art Center

An intriguing one-man show opens tonight at the Yale Art Center (1001 Yale SE), featuring some wild paintings by David Polka. Inspired by graffiti art, Asian religious iconography, illuminated manuscripts and anime, among other things, Polka's work is surprisingly contemplative. The show opens this Friday, Feb. 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. with live music and refreshments. 242-1669.

Poetas y amigas

Tres Chicas

Imagine doing something because you love doing it—not for money, fame or someone else's praise, but because it connects you with yourself, your friends and your world. Now imagine that that something involves poetry.

Alibi V.15 No.6 • Feb 9-15, 2006

feature

V-Day is Upon Us!

The winners of the Alibi's Third Annual Valentine's Day Card Contest

When I was a wee lad in elementary school, teachers used to force us to celebrate Valentine's Day by taping obnoxious handmade construction paper pouches to the backs of our itty-bitty kiddy seats. Come V-Day, kids would pop cheapo 3 x 5 inch cards into everyone else's pouch. This yearly ritual wasn't so much an expression of love as it was an annoying obligation enforced at gunpoint.

film

Reel World

Make My Movie!—After years of catering exclusively to big-budget Hollywood filmmakers, the State Film Office looks like it's finally starting to get the idea that New Mexico might have a few of its own budding auteurs. Recently, Gov. Bill Richardson announced a statewide short screenplay competiton. If you're an aspiring filmmaker/screenwriter and you've got something in mind--or if you've already got something buried on the hard drive of your computer--get it entered. Four winning screenplays will be chosen to be produced in New Mexico in 2006. Winners will have access to production gear, crew, costumes and props, plus a production budget provided by sponsors Comcast and National Geographic All Roads Film Project. All films must be 10 minutes or less. Deadline for entries is April 7. This is a fantastic opportunity, people, so get on it! Log on to www.nmfilm.com for a complete entry form.

Ganges: River to Heaven

Gentle documentary explores India's obsession with death and rivers

We here in America have become increasingly isolated from the specter of death; we know it happens, but we're not quite sure how. Other countries, less insulated from nature by technology, architecture and economy, have a more intimate relationship with death. Take, for example, India.

Curious George

Cheeky monkey gets hip, but--thankfully--not too hip

The very first Curious George book by the husband-and-wife team of H.A. and Margret Rey was published way back in 1941. Since then, the delightful picture book and its six sequels have been requisite titles on the bookshelves of generations of children across the world. The question then is, “If a work of art is so universally beloved in its original form, why bother turning it into a movie?” Aside from rampant greed and a total lack of original ideas, there really isn't a concrete reason. But that hasn't stopped Universal Pictures and producer Ron Howard (who's already destroyed such kiddy classics as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat) from cranking out an expensive, animated adaptation.

WB + UPN = CW?

Two networks are gone, but one stands in their place

Fans of The WB and UPN networks (don't laugh, there are a few of them out there) got good news and bad news recently. It was announced in late January, exactly 11 years after The WB and UPN launched, that both networks would be going out of business. This announcement came as a shock not only to viewers, but to just about all the producers at WB and UPN, who hadn't heard a word about this little development. There was, however, some good news in the announcement. Warner Brothers and CBS Corp. would be combining their efforts to create a brand new “fifth network”--and it is this freshly christened CW network (“C” for CBS, “W” for Warners) that will be picking up many of the more successful WB and UPN offerings.

Spot On!

The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl of advertising

In Super Bowl XL, held last weekend in Detroit, somebody won and somebody lost. ... Moving on. The big battle wasn't between sports teams, but between advertisers. Seriously. Companies forked out $2.5 million per 30-second spot, and many viewers were watching the ads as attentively as they watched the game.

art

Culture Shock

Anna in the Tropics—Teatro Nuevo México will stage a new production of Nilo Cruz' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this Thursday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, Feb. 12. The play is set in 1929 in a Cuban-American cigar factory in Florida, where readers are hired to entertain workers while they roll the cigars by hand. When a reader begins reading Anna Karenina out loud a volatile conflict flames up among the laborers. Michael D. Blum directs this production. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. $15, $20, $25. ($5 discount for students.) 883-7800.

Human Cargo

An interview with Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead, the British author and activist, has spent the last two decades writing about refugees and prisoners, but four years ago she decided she'd had enough of sitting on the sidelines.

Movin' On Up

UNM courts the Tricklock Company

The Tricklock Company looks more and more like a giant fish stuffed into a tiny bowl. I'm not talking about the troupe's use of our little Burque as a home base when they're not trotting across the globe performing original plays and searching for new acts for their yearly Revolutions International Theatre Festival. I'm talking about that strip-mall theater Tricklock has used for years near Washington and Central—a cool little space, sure, but when I say "little" what I really mean is pint-size. The Alibi's bathroom is almost as big as the performance area.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Gordon Schutte Uncorks the Wine Bar at Vivace—By the time you read this, Vivace's new wine bar will be open at 3120 Central SE, in the adjoining Nob Hill storefront that used to be Bright Future Futon. "It's really striking," says restaurateur and Vivace Chef Gordon Schutte when describing the addition's black and burgundy wine bar. "There's a lot of glass behind the counter, too," a complement to the natural bravado of great Italian wine. Deep terra cotta-colored walls, a private dining area and expanded seating are among the new amenities.

The Red Ball Café

There's nothing wimpy about it

Life in the Southwest wasn't easy 75 years ago. We had massive unemployment, the average income was just $1,368 a year and prohibition was killing the party vibe. Still, if there was a silver lining on our Depression-era cloud, you could find it in Barelas—in the form of a hot, juicy "Wimpy" burger at the Red Ball Café. They only cost a nickel, after all.

news

Big Brother is Watching

A letter printed in the Alibi leads to the investigation of a local VA nurse for "sedition"

George W. Bush's America just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser, doesn't it? Consider the case of Laura Berg—a local Veterans Affairs (VA) nurse currently represented by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys George Bach and Larry Kronen in a peculiar matter that seems to involve official retribution against Berg for her criticisms of the Bush administration.

The Long and Winding Roads

Will the Paseo and Montaño road projects do what they promise?

The extension of Paseo del Norte and the proposed four-lane restriping of Montaño are two of the most controversial road projects in the city. Even though both of these projects still face legal challenges, they have also recently gained significant victories for their proponents, with Paseo winning in U.S. District Court and Montaño winning a vote of approval by the MRCOG Transportation Board.

My Stint in the Movies

An urgent call from a friend on my voice mail set off alarm bells. “Jerry! I just went past your house and there are cops and SWAT team cars all over the place! Give me a call; hope you and your family are all right.”

Starving Artists Unite!

It's time we support our friendly local arts organizations

I've decided to start a new organization: End Artist Starvation (EAS). I know it's not a very catchy title for an organization, but it gets to the point. Too many of our arts organizations and the singers, painters, actors, playwrights and directors they support are struggling. Keeping underfunded arts companies functioning has become an artform in itself. It's crazy that those who provide so much creativity to our civic life are living on the economic edge.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A man in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, lost his appetite when he checked the label of a packet of ham he had purchased at the local supermarket and found “dog shit” listed among the ingredients. Mick Woods, 34, examined another of the 12 oz. containers of cooked, sliced ham and saw the same “additive” listed. “Obviously, I haven't eaten it,” he told reporters. “It sort of puts you off.” Meat packer HR Hargreaves & Son is recalling the products. A spokesperson for the Manchester-based firm said, “We can't have people fooling about with food products. A number of packs are affected. We're trying to find out what shops they're in.” According to detectives, a 21-year-old employee of the meat manufacturer has been arrested on suspicion of tampering with the labels. “We spent 40 minutes laughing,” added Woods. “But we haven't put any in the kids' sandwiches.”

music

Music to Your Ears

The Jenny Gamble & Friends Acoustic Showcase—Who is Jenny Gamble, and why is she so freaking excited about local music? You've heard of her before. As a singer-songwriter, promoter and unflappable foot soldier for the New Mexico State Music Commission, Jenny's name gets around in the New Mexico music community. In fact, I can sum up some of the best advice I can give to burgeoning musicians in three words: "Talk to Jenny." And bring a demo. She'll guide you in the right direction.

The Isness

Rap-rock minus that nasty Limp Bizkit aftertaste

"I'd rather be an angsty teenager than a depressed old guy sitting at the bar," muses Brandon Atencio, one of the two lead singers of Albuquerque rap-rock five-piece The Isness. Atencio's self-reflection goes a long way in describing what his band is all about.

No Use for a Name

with Fenix TX, Versus the World and Fair Shot

Tuesday, Feb. 14, Launchpad (all-ages welcome); $15: "It's No Use for a Fuckin' Name!" And with that fateful introduction given by a drunken stagehand, No Use for a Name launched into what would become, arguably, their best album ever created over their decade-and-a-half career as staples of the punk rock scene. No Use's Live in a Dive (released on Fat Wreck Chords) is one of the best live albums any punk band has assembled; not only for the musical proficiency it showcased, but for the growth it showed from the band's first Fat Wreck release, Leche Con Carne. No longer relying on catchy but overly simplified riffs, the band created a concrete wall of distortion with drum fills forceful enough to shatter pelvises and vocals that wrenched at the heartstrings.

Snow

with The Wailers and Sub Agencia (Moonlight Lounge)

Wednesday, Feb. 15, Sunshine Theater (smoking and alcohol service in segregated areas only); $20: Remember Snow? If you've heard of the ragga artist at all, it's only thanks to his unintelligible 1993 one-hit wonder, "Informer." (You know, "In-for-mer! You know ... de-blooby-da-boo-be-I-go-bam ... A nicky boom boom, yeah!") Love it or loathe it, the song is difficult to ignore. Something about a wimpy blonde dude with a Jamaican accent will do that.

Flyer on the Wall

What's that buzz? It's the Beat Hive featuring Zach Freeman and Sina Soul. Hip-hop, poetry, beat-boxing, jazz, improv and live jams, with special guests Danny Solis and DJ Mateo. Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Blow that roof off the Shadow Lounge at Out Ch' Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW, in Barelas). (LM)

The Empty Orchestra

Seven Days of Karaoke

What started in Japan in the '80s has, over the years, come to practically infest our fair city with poor renditions of yesterday's hits. And why not? Everyone loves to watch other people make fools of themselves. See, I've found that for maximum entertainment, the trick with karaoke is not to sing as well as you possibly can, but with as much tuneless and tone-deaf harmony as you can muster, being sure to botch the lyrics with swear words and humorous twists. Of course, there are those who take it seriously, but that's probably not you.

Alibi V.15 No.5 • Feb 2-8, 2006

feature

Sex, Toys and Videotapes

Your Valentine's Day guide to a night—nay, a lifetime—of merriment

Sex. What? Don't look at me like that—you know you're thinking it, too. Valentine's Day is around the corner, and the last thing you want or need is tips on where to get chocolate and flowers. You know that part. Not to say that you don't know anything about sex, but it is a far more interesting affair after all, isn't it? We think so, too. So our gift to you this lovelorn holiday season (or lustlorn, as the case may be), won't be on the best spots to propose or the best deals on spas—you can invariably get that advice from a million other places—rather, we're going to deal with the down and dirty. Mainly, we're talking sex toys, along with a few other accoutrements. If you're shocked, disturbed, curious or comfortable, stick around. You just might learn a thing or two.

The Gift of Giving ... and Getting ... and Giving ...

There are a couple stores in town that fit our stringent criteria for happy sex toy shopping, which is that it feel safe, be tasteful and be comfortable enough for a woman to visit by herself. The winners tied for gold are Martha's Body Bueno and Seventh Goddess, who both offer such an amazing service to the community that we should bow down right now and thank them, or at least go patronize their businesses. These stores have slightly different markets and offer different items, but have something in common: They offer excellent service and outstanding products.

Flying Solo

Not in a couple this Valentine's Day? Don't look so glum. The holiday is about appreciating the ones you love—and that includes yourself. Be your own sweetheart. Give yourself some lovin'. Buy yourself a toy. Better yet, check out this book for some real advice on flying solo. And don't forget the chocolate.

Don't Worry, Be Healthy

With all this talk about sex, it would be downright irresponsible of us to not give you a little lecture ... er, reminder ... on keeping yourself safe. Don't forget that STDs are spreading faster than reality TV—be careful out there. For goodness sake, use a condom if you're not in a long-term monogamous relationship and either on birth control or ready to have kids. That includes sex toys. Don't share without properly sterilizing them between uses or slapping a condom on them. Talk to your partner about his/her history. Sure, there's some initial embarrassment, but it's a lot less embarrassing than finding out you've contracted something.

For more information on safe sex, check out the number of websites listed in this section, buy one of the books reviewed here, talk to your doctor or call Planned Parenthood (check the phone book for a bunch of numbers and locations).

Bad Taste in Your Mouth

With all this talk about sex toys, it's important to get a few things straight. Buying a sex toy for someone else isn't always appropriate; in fact, sometimes it's just bad form. So how do you know when the time's right? There are a few easy rules:

For the Boyfriend Who Doesn't Believe

Sure. Valentine's Day has been turned into a consumer holiday. It's less about love and appreciation and more about buying. Granted. But so what? It's not about you; it's about your relationship. To paraphrase what a girlfriend of mine recently told me, “some girls just want a six-pack of beer, a bar of chocolate and an ’I love you.'” It's not about gifts or obligations, it's about remembering. Even if you don't have a penny to your name, you can still say “Happy V-day.” Besides, small things like that give you a better chance at getting laid (not that that should be your goal).

Into the Web

Not everyone likes to go toy shopping in person. You're embarrassed, you're lazy or you just can't find exactly what you're looking for. If virtual shopping is more your bag, check out these super-tasteful, independently run websites. They're sure to have what you're looking for, usually send purchases in an unmarked or disguised box, and have a slew of information on sex, health, toys, lubes and any other kinky thing your mind can conjure.

Sex Ed

Trying to find a quality book on sex is like trying to find a quality movie in Hollywood—every now and then you strike gold, but most of the time you're just struck with disappointments. There are a few gems out there, and a lot of over-the-top fluff. Here are a couple of our recommendations for awesome sex books that come to the subject from completely different angles (again, no pun intended). These are by no means the only good books out there, but they're our favorites, and together they should tell you just about everything you ever needed to know about sex, safety and respect.

Dating with Derek

Dating can be difficult and confusing to some of you men. Let my many years of success with the fairer sex be your guidance, and you'll be wrapped in the warm embrace of your future life-partner before St. Valentine's Day.

music

Music to Your Ears

The SXSW Rock 'n' Report—In what very well may be the coolest thing we've done since the inception of Fall Crawl, the Alibi will give away airfare and a South by Southwest Music and Media Conference press pass to one aspiring music journalist. Based out of Austin, Texas, SXSW is one of the biggest independent music festivals in the world. It's where the most promising up-and-coming acts establish themselves on the international stage, and where music legends return for a rare, and sometimes final, encore. You can find out more about this year's festival, which is set for the third week of March, at www.sxsw.com. Read the “Music Magnified” by Amy Dalness in this week's edition for a complete description of the contest rules. If you love music and can write reasonably well, do not pass this up.

I is for Ida CD Release Party

Immediate. Illusive. Inspiration.

I is for Ida--the top-secret hush-hush side project of (shhhh!) Unit 7 Drain--takes the stage for the first time tonight in a two-for-one that promises to impress all around. That's something not often said about any single debut show or debut CD release. Unlike the suffocating mass of side projects infecting indie rock these days, little here will remind you of their incipient U7D nativity.

Flyer on the Wall

Because we can't get enough of their precocious gloom. Friday, Feb. 3, at the Launchpad. Free CD with paid $5 admission! (LM)

Acoustic Showcase

featuring The Hollis Wake, Feels Like Sunday, Sincerely and Face Across the Floor

Burt's Tiki Lounge on Friday, Feb. 3 (21-and-over); Free: It's shows like this that make me long for my 21st birthday, which is one month, one week and three days from the moment this Alibi officially hits the streets. (But who's counting?) This one finds Santa Fe songsmiths The Hollis Wake trading in their tube amps for some good, clean, unplugged fun in the form of Friday night's acoustic showcase at Burt's Tiki Lounge. The acousticity of the show should make the band's irresistible harmonies take an even larger chunk of the center stage while scaling back some of the external fuzzy-drone that finds its way into many of THW's tracks.

SXSW Rock 'n' Report

Your free ticket to SXSW, fame and beyond

How many times have you heard the phrase, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime"? Enough to stop paying attention to the claim, I'm sure. Well, this is such an opportunity--if you happen to be an avid music fan with a dream to turn your hobby into a full-time job. The Alibi is looking to send one lucky, talented and enthusiastic future music reporter to the SXSW Music and Media Conference (www.sxsw.com) in Austin, Texas, March 15 through 19. This five-day music festival will host performances by over 1,000 international bands in every genre imaginable, as well as discussions and forums with some key players in the music industry.

AC/DC Fighting with Motörhead while Lynyrd Skynyrd Watches

A romantic interview with Nashville Pussy

For a decade, Nashville Pussy, with their short, catchy songs, heavy and plentiful guitars and clever lyrics, has been rocking trailers in tri-state areas all over the country. I spoke with 50 percent of the band last week (husband-and-wife team, guitarist and vocalist Blaine Cartwright and lead guitarist Ruyter Suys). The sexier of the two (Ruyter) answered these questions.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Go and Stop In at the Green Light Bistro—Taking yet another savory step towards vegetarian world domination, Annapurna just opened an organic, all-vegetarian restaurant, called the Green Light Bistro (2209 Silver SE, 254-0100). It's easy to forget that just a few months ago, this tiny casita in the newly designated "Brick Light District" was a dark and fragrant bakery storeroom, packed clear to the ceiling with exotic spices. Now, it's a cozy café that's as cheery and bright as a cup of their Silver Street organic coffee.

Valentine's Dining Guide

You don't need to be a great lover to knock the socks off your Valentine—just be punctual. Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away and restaurants are filling up fast, so start calling around right now for a reservation. (That is, unless you want to get caught with your pants down. ...)

Trombino's Bistro Italiano

Marinara-nate your plate

When little kids sit down for a history lesson, it is imperative that they be told about the days long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Italian food was all that Homo sapiens had to eat. They could slay a giant Lasagnasaurus for supper, or gather meatballs from the ample bushes near the rivers that flowed with Alfredo sauce. Or perhaps even take down a huge Spaghettisaurus Rex to feed the entire clan, or die trying.

news

Medical Marijuana in New Mexico

If a bill moving through the current 30-day Legislative Session passes, the state's sick and dying may be legally smoking up by this summer

"I've got AIDS. I'm nauseous 24/7; my life is degrees of nausea. I'm fighting wasting,” said Essie Debonet, a 61-year-old, 95-pound patient activist, adding that marijuana is one of the only things that helps to quell her chronic nausea due to AIDS medications. “It almost pushes me to eat.”

Dying Wind

Years ago, on the first day of April, my predecessor, Michael Henningsen, sent around an e-mail informing us that the Alibi had just purchased Crosswinds. Being the most gullible person east of the International Date Line, I swallowed the whole story without even chewing. Like a complete idiot, I ran around the office quizzing people about the purchase. I distinctly recall Chris Johnson, one of the Alibi's owners, laughing in my face.

Fizzling Out

Set aside for the moment your feelings about the wars—both the one against Terror and the one in Iraq.

A Controversial Cancer Vaccine

Suppose medical researchers invented a vaccine to prevent lung cancer. Then suppose the American Lung Association lobbied to ban the vaccine because preventing lung cancer deaths might weaken their anti-smoking campaign. Nuts, right?

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Thailand—Thailand's creepiest couple is planning to tie the knot on Valentine's Day. The Scorpion Queen and the Centipede King plan to get married on Feb. 14 at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum's Haunted House Adventure in the southern resort town of Pattaya. Kanchana Ketkaew, 36, set a world record in 2002 for spending 32 days in a glass cage with 3,400 scorpions. Bunthawee Siengwong, 29, set a Thai record for enduring 28 days with 1,000 centipedes. The two met while performing their respective stunts at a snake farm on the resort island of Koh Samui. According to Somporn Naksuetrong, general manager of Thailand's Ripley's Museum, the couple will wear bloodstained wedding clothes and will partake in a traditional Thai ceremony. But, instead of heading to a traditional “wedding room” after the ceremony, the pair plans to climb into a coffin to consummate their union.

film

Reel World

War and Peace—The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (202 Harvard SE) will present a pair of war-torn documentaries this week. On Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m., the People Before Profit Lecture Series will show Occupation Dreamland. This evenhanded documentary follows the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne deployed in the city of Fallujah during the winter of 2004. Invited speakers will be NM Iraq Veterans for Peace. The Panama Deception, which won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be screened Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. courtesy of Boletin Latino. This film covers the 1989 invasion of Panama by 26,000 American troops and concentrates on the effects to that nation's poor and disenfranchised. Both films are free and open to the public. For more information, log on to www.peacecenter.home.comcast.net.

Mrs. Henderson Presents

Period comedy/drama proves nudity can be tasteful ... and fun for the whole family

Like Waking Ned Devine, Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and countless other U.K. comedies, Mrs. Henderson Presents is infected with the sort of whimsy that in the Brits never seems fatal.

The World's Fastest Indian

Inspirational biopic is flat out entertaining

If I had a farm--which I don't--I'd bet it that you're going to like The World's Fastest Indian. This misty-eyed, stand-up-and-cheer biopic was quietly and economically assembled in New Zealand by writer/director Roger Donaldson, who made some interesting films Down Under (Smash Palace, The Bounty) before emigrating to America to churn out glossy but generic material (Cocktail, Species, Dante's Peak). Having served for years as a skilled studio hack, Donaldson must have been itching to get his hands on a quality indie product, because he has found it in this unassuming but hard-to-resist labor of love.

Bowl Me Over

Super Sunday around the dial

The Seattle Seahawks will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend in Super Bowl XL. (“Super Bowl Extra Large” for you hipsters in the audience. “Super Bowl 40” for you non-sporting non-Romans in the audience.) The game will take place at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Pittsburgh is favored to win by four points. (Which, in the sporting scheme of things, is a pretty tight football game.)

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

Culture Shock

Say Cheese—During the first few decades following the invention of photography, photographers scoured the world in an attempt to document our planet's varied human inhabitants. Examples of these early images will be on display starting this week at the UNM Art Museum in an exhibit titled First Seen: Portraits of the World's Peoples (1848-1880). The show opens Tuesday, Feb. 7, and runs through May 14. A reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. 277-7312.

Six Ways to Fondle an Elephant

New German Photography at the Richard Levy Gallery

World War II ended more than 60 years ago, long before most of us were even born, yet the big mama of global industrialized conflicts still colors our ideas about Germans. An exhibit of recent German photography is currently running at the Richard Levy Gallery Downtown. Appropriately titled New German Photography, you would expect this show to have at least some bearing on the national personality, both actual and perceived, of the German people. It doesn't disappoint.

The Scale Wallah

Harwood Art Center

Our friends over at the Italian American Home Theater are once again stepping outside the living room for a performance at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) starting this weekend. The Scale Wallah, written and performed by Frank Melcori, is a piece involving a mysterious scale and a man who appears to be homeless. Find out more at the show running Fridays at 7:30 p.m. through Feb. 17. The performance features DJ Outlaw, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Albuquerque Rescue Mission. $10. 242-6367.

Trinity Plus One

Mariposa Gallery

Vicki Bolens specializes in prints and collages. Renee B. Gentz creates elaborate quilted wall pieces. Susan Kennedy makes highly original jewelry out of semiprecious stones and sterling. The work of all three ladies will be on display at the Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE) at an exhibit opening with a reception this Friday, Feb. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. The show runs through Feb. 28. While you're there, check out some paintings and pastel pieces by Margi Weir upstairs. 268-6828.

Word Party

Authors' Month in Albuquerque

By this point in our city's year-long birthday bashola, you probably realize that every month has a different cultural theme. We've been through Food Month and Theater Month and Dance Month, and I think there was even a Plumbing Month thrown somewhere in the mix. (Did you catch that one?) During February, we're celebrating local authors.

Spit-shine Your Writing 'til It Gleams

On three Saturdays throughout the month of February, various hotshot local authors will teach a series of writing workshops on a range of subjects for the low, low price of $35 per session. To make reservations, contact Lucinda Lucero Sachs by calling 768-3557 or e-mailing lsachs@cabq.gov.