Alibi V.15 No.8 • Feb 23-March 1, 2006

feature

Charting a New Course

Charter schools offer students and parents a welcome alternative to traditional public schools, but not everyone thinks they're God's gift to education

Amy Biehl is six years old, but until last month she had spent her entire young life in a little space attached to a church in the Northeast Heights. You might call it humble beginnings. Yet, despite her confined living quarters, which were never really meant to house her anyway, she's done surprisingly well for herself. She gets great test scores. Parents rave about her. She's even sent some of her kids off to college.

music

Music to Your Ears

RPM—Cheryl Hooks (of “Ear to the Ground” on KUNM and many other musical pies across our fair state) says that our own "little boy blues," Ryan Patrick McGarvey, will step into the studio for the first time this March to record his debut album. Cheryl says the as-yet-untitled work should be ready for release by the spring. Ryan will also be the featured performer on Channel 27's "It's Tobyriffic" this Tuesday, Feb. 28, and then record an in-studio session on KUNM's “Afternoon Freeform” show with Travis Parkin, which will air on March 2. To top it all off, Ryan has been invited to play legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy's after-party that evening at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe. Way to go, Ryan!

Flyer on the Wall

Toddy T. Bones' Second Annual Mustache Party is like a fancy cotillion for facial hair. See Feb. 25 "Lucky 7" for more details. (LM)

Axson

with Six Gun Overload

Thursday, Feb. 23, The District (21-and-over): To say that the boys in Axson are metal influenced is like saying Scott Weiland dabbles in heroin. "I can appreciate all music," lead singer/guitarist Sergio Gutierrez says. "But as far as what we listen to, it's a lot of '80s metal stuff. Hair metal, power ballads, thrash metal and some blues. That's basically all we listen to." These KISS-, Mötley Crüe-, Megadeth- and AC/DC-inspired 18- to 20-year-olds from Los Lunas are on a mission to create what they call, "the metal you remember." "That phrase has two meanings for us," Gutierrez explains. "First, when you go to see us play a show, you're going to definitely remember us. Second, we play the '80s old-school metal that people remember." The flashbulb recollections Axson creates on stage come by way of their technically solid play that features classic distortion-soaked guitar and the band's stage presence which is, to say the least, unflinching. "People want to go to a show and be entertained," Gutierrez theorizes. "They want to hear good music and they want to see an actual show." Axson's showmanship can take the form of anything from playing meandering guitar leads on top of their speakers to inviting the girls in the crowd to come up on stage and sing along. "We aren't too concerned with money or anything like that right now," Gutierrez says. "Our interests are in playing wherever and whenever we possibly can to build up our fan base. We just want people to come to our show and have a good old time."

Reggie and the Full Effect

One-man wonder brings legal advice and "it" to Albuquerque

The Get Up Kids keyboardist James DeWees is the primary and founding member of Reggie and the Full Effect, a similarly emo act that tows around an extra bag of tricks (and a louder keyboard). While the musical content is comprised of the sappy love songs you'd expect, when mixed with tracks like "Drunk Girl at The Get Up Kids Show," "Your Girlfriends Hate Me (Free Moustache Rides Remix)," and "Canadians Switching the Letter P for the Letter V, Eh?," Reggie's act is entirely less serious than his other band, and possibly the entire genre altogether.

The Rudy "Boy" Experiment Album Release Party

with Three Quarter Brown

Friday, Feb. 24, Lobo Theater (all-ages), 9 p.m.; $5: The Rudy "Boy" Experiment has spent the last three years turning up the volume in every bar, club and barbecue pit they can play in Bernalillo County. I'm not kidding; they've cranked their amps to silly levels. Maybe it's because Ms. Monicalyn (bass), "Juke Joint" Jim Beyer (skins), and of course, Rudy "Boy" Jaramillo (guitar and lead vocals) want to spread their signature style of feel-good blues-based rock to as many listeners as they can.

Mystery School CD Release Party

A musical marriage in the New Mexico desert

Although 50 percent of Mystery School's members were born outside our state's boundaries, the six-piece "desert rock" ensemble is madly in love with New Mexico's unique landscape. "Our music is very much aware of how the environment we're in evokes inspiration," says colead vocalist, keyboard player and percussionist Diana Good. "Where we live plays a major role in determining who we are and the relationships we form with other people. Our music definitely reflects that."

art

Culture Shock

Trio for New Tango—Someone once told me that the tango is such an intimate dance that you can actually impregnate your partner on the dance floor without even taking off your clothes. Sounds like an urban legend to me. Whatever the case, I doubt you'll have to worry about unwanted pregancy this Sunday, Feb. 26, during a performance of Pablo Ziegler's Trio for New Tango. In their continuing quest to bring cutting-edge contemporary music to Albuquerque, the folks at Chamber Music Albuquerque have brought famed Argentinian musician Ziegler and his innovative group to Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center for the Performing Arts for a performance merging jazz with classic tango. Tickets range from $17 to $35. Show starts at 3 p.m. The trio will also present a free family concert on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. at the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE). 268-1990.

Going In Fine Form

The Pajama Men don't love us anymore

Oh, oh, OK. I see how it is. Now that you're big shots, now that you're produced by The Second City, now that you're gallivanting all over the place performing your little skits to sold-out crowds, now that you're getting a bunch of kiss-bum reviews from critics all over the world, you think you don't need us anymore. Is that it? Well, just remember one thing, Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez—we knew you back when you both still slept with teddy bears, your pajamas still had feet and you kept your Hello Kitty lights on all night long.

Gone East

An interview with Ian Frazier

Nonfiction writer Ian Frazier is often ranked up there with his New Yorker predecessors A.J. Liebling and Joseph Mitchell. But, happily, he puts his own unique, funny, baby-boomer spin on everything he does. Via an essay like "Bags in Trees," about his adventures freeing trees of those plaguey plastic bags and building a 50-foot "bag-snagger,"™ he documents details often overlooked and meets people who've become completely unguarded through the sheer force of Frazier's charm.

news

A brief summary of the 30-day State Legislative Session

This year's 30-day Legislative Session wrapped up last Thursday at noon and was by many acccounts more tense and chaotic than usual. Many of the bills on Gov. Bill Richardson's agenda failed to pass, and it remains to be seen whether he'll call a Special Session. The next regular session takes place in January. In the meantime, here are some highlights from this year. Most bills passed will go into effect on May 17. For further details on any of the bills for this session, visit legis.state.nm.us/lcs.

Hooked on Petrol

Nicotine. Caffeine. Alcohol. Cocaine. Crude oil. Regardless of the substance, kicking an addiction is tough. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Sinking Out of Sight

Why the tax relief bill failed

With tax money from oil and gas production pouring into the State of New Mexico's coffers at an unprecedented rate, you might think the process of shaping a budget for the coming 12 months would be relatively simple. You would be wrong.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Police in Hampshire on the hunt for six missing water buffalo have warned locals to be on the lookout for flying feces. The buffalo were last seen in a field in Lower Pennington Lane, Lymington, early last week. Police believe the animals were stolen because there was no trail of telltale dung at the scene. According to BBC online, a police spokesperson warned people who might stumble across the livestock, “They should not be approached from behind ... as the animals are able to spray dung across large distances.” Most water buffalo are native to Asia, but have been increasingly imported to the UK to produce specialty milk, cheese and yogurt.

film

Reel World

The Infoshop Around the Corner—Basement Films will be hosting an independent documentary tour this coming weekend. Living Room: Space and Place in Infoshop Culture by Liz Simmons and Courtney Kallas will screen on Friday, Feb. 24, at OffCenter Arts (Eighth Street and Central) beginning at 7 p.m. Simmons and Kallas, who will be on hand for the screening, spent the last two years completing this project. The film discusses, among other things, the fact that we live in a society where public places that people feel like they are an active part of and can use for noneconomic purposes are increasingly rare. “Infoshops” are community spaces that facilitate access to traditionally marginalized information while providing a physical space for people to build creative projects. Simmons and Kallas are kicking off their three-month, 50-city tour right here in Albuquerque, so please show up to lend a little support. For more info, log on to www.basementfilms.org or www.livingroomdocumentary.org.

New York Doll

Rockin' documentary proves you can have “Too Much, Too Soon”

Had The Sex Pistols not melted down in such spectacular fashion (thanks in no small part to the Herculean, drug-fueled efforts of Sid Vicious), The New York Dolls would certainly have gone down in history as the ultimate punk rock band. Their frenetic, junky, DIY sound defined punk rock as a genre for decades to come. Their post-David Bowie style of trash androgyny didn't achieve full pop-cultural significance until Twisted Sister, Motley Crüe and the like ripped them off a good 10 years down the line. To top it all off, they sacrificed band members to the God of Opium long before Kurt Cobain, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell and other dead rock stars made it the truly hip thing to do.

Write On

New Mexico Screenwriters Present Dan Decker

This weekend, the New Mexico Screenwriters Speaker Series will be bringing noted screenwriting teacher Dan Decker to town. Decker is the author of Anatomy of a Screenplay and founder of the Center for Script Development in Chicago.

Doogal

Imported cartoon provides nostalgia for no one

Chances are, if you spent your childhood in mid-'60s Paris, your favorite TV show was the stop-motion animation series “Le Manège Enchanté.” If you spent your childhood in late-'60s, early-'70s London, chances are even greater that your favorite TV show was the English language version of the same show, “The Magic Roundabout.” If, however, your childhood fulfilled none of those requirements, odds are pretty good you've never even heard of the show and don't actually have any idea what a “roundabout” is. (It's a merry-go-round.)

Pilot Season Crap Shoot

Networks shoot for fall

While us couch potatoes muddle through the doldrums of midseason, the Network Powers That Be are formulating plans for ratings domination come fall. That's right, it's pilot season in Hollywood. While we watch Olympics highlights and wait for the series finale of “Will & Grace” (oh, boy), Hollywood is busy cobbling together the shows we may (or may not) be watching next season.

food

All the News That's Fit to Eat

Adios, Amigos—I tend to avoid Cottonwood Mall if at all possible, but in the event that Williams-Sonoma beckons, at least I can drown my Westside heebie-jeebies in a leche de tigre seafood cocktail from Mariscos Vallarta (10131 Coors NW at 7-Bar Loop). Imagine my disappointment when I drove down Corrales Road last weekend and saw the Mariscos sign had been replaced by another restaurant ... something with a chile pepper on it? (I couldn't tell—it was dark and I had a mall hangover.) If you know what happened, please console me with news on whether or not the replacement is decent.

Pancake Day

The Alibi celebrates Shrove Tuesday with our own mountain of carbohydrates

Break out the batter and lube up the pans: The fattest of fat holidays is upon us. Bon vivants around the world will indulge themselves on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, this Feb. 28—but that's not where the real party lies. The fattest holiday is by far Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day; an entire holiday dedicated to those sugar-filled, lard-fried, syrup-drizzled little pieces of heaven. It just couldn't get any better than that.

Gruet Grille

Eating is easy—dating is the hard part

How many first dates end in tragedy? I've had more than a few myself, and almost all of them have begun and ended in restaurants. There was the guy that asked our server for a glass of "the pink wine," the one who tried to order cannoli with meat sauce (I think he meant cannelloni), and my favorite, Mr. I Don't Tip Because I'm a Cheap ... you know the rest.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.