Tank tops and flip-flops, the smell of cut grass, and bleary eyes from another bout of debilitating allergies—telltale signs that springtime has returned to Albuquerque and, with it, the all-American pastime that is Spring Crawl.
Killer Press Kit—He got everything right. From the handguns to the black T-shirt to the vest to the black, backward baseball cap. He posed. He spoke in short sentences--perfect for sound bites and pull quotes. Cho Seung-Hui made a press kit, a video and nearly 50 head shots and sent it off to NBC. It was accurate. He knew what a killer is supposed to look like, and he crafted his image carefully to match.
The Alibi talks to Lisa Graybill about the U.S.’s year-old policy of detaining immigrant families and children
By Marisa Demarco
In one facility in Taylor, Texas, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, the kids don't pretend they're teachers or doctors. In their prison garb, they play guard-detainee, where the guard screams in the detainee's face as the detainee cowers and cries. That's the picture lawyer Lisa Graybill paints of the T. Don Hutto Center, a prison converted last summer to detain immigrant families.
Why isn’t the United States working to make Iran a close ally? Iran has enormous natural resources, a rich culture, an educated populace and a strategic position in the Middle East. In many ways, compared to its neighbors, Iran is a bulwark of civilization.
A friend forwarded an e-mail containing a link to a website that documents what we are spending on the Iraq adventure. The numbers change each second as the totals are updated in real time. The figure spins as wildly as an odometer during a sports car test drive, reflecting the cost’s exponential climb.
At the April 16 meeting, councilors debated various issues but postponed votes. Two land use appeals opposed the Development Review Board's (DRB) approval of a subdivision plat near the Embudito trailhead. The DRB ruling allows construction on individual lots to exceed the sector plan's requirements regarding density and slope as long as averages for the entire area meet guidelines. Councilors will hear the appeals in May.
Monday, April 16: The head of Albuquerque's 311, the city’s non-emergency information service, resigned today. Michael Padilla was accused of creating a hostile work environment and insulting lady employees, allegations that Padilla has denied. The call center was taken over by former second in command, quality and training manager Esther Tenenbaum.
Dateline: Japan--Talk about a hot seat!Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer is recalling some 180,000 bidets because they have a tendency to burst into flames. Toto Ltd. is offering free repairs on the Z series electric bidet after wiring problems caused three separate toilets to catch fire between March 2006 and March 2007. According to company spokesperson Emi Tanaka, the high-tech toilet sent up smoke in 26 other incidents. “Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries,” Tanaka said. “The fire would have been just under your buttocks.” The popular Z series toilet features a pulsating massage spray, a power dryer, built-in-the-bowl deodorizing filter, a “Tornado Wash” flush and a lid that opens and closes automatically. The model, which retails for between $1,680 and $2,600, is not sold in the United States.
Poetry Weekend—How much poetry can you cram into a single weekend? Well, you won't know till you give it your best effort, will you? April is National Poetry Month, and Albuquerque aims to end the month of prime versifying with a final blaze of glory.
Out of the Underground at the Jonson Gallery and 516 Arts
By Steven Robert Allen
Larry Bob Phillips' 12-panel hallucinogenic freakfest “Landscape for Merle Haggard” will make your head spin. At first glance, you might even feel a twinge of nausea. The piece boasts hues similar to those found in neon breakfast cereals aimed at the 4- to 8-year-old demographic. You might be tempted to lick it. You might find yourself wondering what would pop out if you donned 3D glasses.
Youth Explosion—The 25 Color Collisions film and video festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe. Billed as the first “youth-produced youth festival in the country,” 25 Color Collisions will feature 25 films by artists 25 years of age and under. Described as “works from the macabre to the magnificent complimenting each other in one incredible weekend,” 25CC will expose the views and express the opinions of youth filmmakers from around the world. Films and videos will be screened in a variety of mixed categories, including documentaries, fiction, animation and experimental.
I was still a snot-nosed little twerp when I first saw the commercial for Night of the Comet playing on the living room TV. I remember thinking to myself, “Cool, a movie where kids inherit the Earth. That would be fun.” Little did I know the only reason these kids get handed the keys to our planet is because everyone else has either turned into a pile of dust or become zombies. Bummer. This was way back in 1984, and I wasn’t exactly in the position to choose which movies my family went out to see at the Albuquerque 6. As a result, it wasn’t until much later that I was able to catch the flick as a rental. But for a kid brought up on Herschell Gordon Lewis, George Romero and Lloyd Kaufman movies, it was well worth the wait. Now, thanks to MGM, the wait is over for all of us.
There was a time, not so long ago, that NBC was the top network on TV. You don’t even have to go back as far as the halcyon days of “Must See TV” when “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” ruled Thursday nights in order to find NBC perched atop the weekly ratings game. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen.
It was your average rabies call. Dr. Octagon was paged to Room 109, unaware of his looming demise. “I’ll tell you what,” spat Dr. Dooom as Octagon entered. “Take this, motherfucker. Take two of these and call me in the morning.” And thus, the good doctor was capped. Cause of death? Multiple GSWs (gunshot wounds) from a nemesis Octagon never saw coming.
Garage rock is a tricky genre. From listening to the intentionally lo-fi recordings and simple song structures, you might be tempted to think anyone can pull it off. Goodness knows a lot of bands have tried, but few have managed to stand out enough to gain more than just local recognition. Still others, such as Southern California’s The Willowz, struggle to break out of the tightly confined space the genre allows without losing what made them successful in the first place.
I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.
Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?
—Pining for Pineapple
A: Dear Pining,
That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.
Bento boxes are those lovely partitioned lacquered wood meal containers from Japan. I picked one up at a yard sale years ago but had no idea it was meant to carry a light lunch—I thought the beautiful container’s inner shelves were meant for girly doodles like earrings and pots of lip gloss. I had only seen bento boxes without lids. So the little black-lidded box serenely sat on my nightstand until I visited a Japanese website to buy imported snacks and realized my earring caddy should have been filled with cooked rice and bits of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
A friend of mine likes to tell (and retell) the story of an early failed romance. Back in elementary school, the story goes, an eager suitor gathered a bouquet of dandelions in an attempt to woo her. The offering was met with scorn.
Thanks to Joran Viers, NMSU faculty adviser to the master gardener program in Bernalillo County, for providing information about several other delicious weeds. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and 243-1386. Generally speaking, the younger the weed the better it will serve as food, and don't eat anything you haven't clearly identified. Also, remember to only eat weeds growing in soil that hasn't been nuked with pesticide.
Why your front yard is the next big thing in sustainable agriculture
By Laura Marrich
Look up the word "vital" and you might see a picture of Eric Gattetson smiling right back at you. At 49 years, Eric has the energy of someone half his age. Eric is the director of the Albuquerque Downtown Growers' Market, a local agriculture advocate and a business owner. Three years ago, he merged a lifelong love of farming with his 10-year-old landscaping business. New Mexico Foodscapes was born.
Make wildflower seed balls, newspaper potting cups, noisemakers and scarecrows at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture off Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe from 1-4 p.m. Guided walking tours of the Avanyu Trail will be ongoing throughout the afternoon as well.
State agencies come together for the Continental Divide
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
While a continental divide is simply the separation of watersheds where water goes toward one body of water or another, in America, theContinental Divide is where rivers and streams either flow east toward the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean, or west toward the Pacific. It's the backbone of North America, a dividing line that strikes the imagination with the spirit of exploration and the sublimity of our natural world.
Many of us have fond memories of our younger siblings biting us on the leg, stealing our favorite shirt or telling lies to implicate us in some household crime. (At least, I do.) But the boys of Albuquerque are missing out, due to a dearth of Big Brothers. Kerrie Copelin, marketing and partnerships director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, talked with the Alibi about the program’s two-year waiting list, its need for volunteers and her own Little Brother. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves thousands of kids in New Mexico and, statistics show, helps them keep their little noses clean of trouble.
Oh yeah, and our police force may be compromising our civil rights
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Magicians rely on the principle of misdirection to create the effect of amazing powers. Get your audience to look one place while you slip the coin into your pocket with the other hand and they will be astounded.
I have a thing about huge, national environmental groups. I take offense at Big Green’s ritzy digs in Washington, D.C. and the lavish compensation they pay their staff to ask the rest of us to make sacrifices for the environment.
Icarus Imus—You, like me, might be nauseated at the thought of reading one more word about idiot Don Imus and his three-word verbal folly. Witness, once again, the media defeating itself by becoming a player in a controversial story. Objective observers, my ass. A two-day news cycle, some front-page teasers to A-2 stories, then letting the thing fall to the letter writers who would thoroughly dissect and brutalize Icarus Imus, an ugly old man who flew too close to slang. That would have been appropriate.
Alley gardeners rethink the structure of their group to stay alive
By Marisa Demarco
Think about the forgotten spaces in your neighborhood—a park gone to pot, an empty lot, a rotting alley. Areas like these collect more than trash. The alley behind Amecus England's Barelas home had become a hotspot for doing drugs, she says. "People were just shooting up all the time. I was finding needles. I would go to walk my dog and there would be all these needles."
Sunday, April 8: On the day the Christ rose from the dead, bringing us our chocolaty spring holiday, Easter, Gov. Bill Richardson arrived in North Korea, leading a visiting delegation. The trip seemed to be part honest mission to retrieve remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War while extending an olive branch to the hostile country, and part political showboating while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Either way, the "imperialist's" unofficial propaganda-laden visit with the communists was seen in a positive light nationally. Progress toward resolving the country's weapons situation seemed to be made and the display of experience and professionalism, i.e. showboating, won't hurt his campaign either, which still trails behind Clinton's, Obama's and Edwards'.
Dateline: England—According to a report in London’s The Suntabloid, an English cat has spent the last three months scamming rides from a local bus line in order to reach a neighborhood fish and chip shop. The cat, which hops on the No. 331 service in Wolverhampton, has become a regular sight to bus riders, who have nicknamed it Macavity after the secret cat in a T.S. Eliot poem. Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, said Macavity catches the bus three times a week and always gets off at the same spot—exactly two stops from his house. “As soon as I open the doors, he jumps on,” said the driver. Passenger Paul Brennan, 19, said Macavity sits at the front of the bus and waits patiently for the right stop. “It was quite strange at first, but now seems normal. He is the perfect passenger,” Brennan told The Sun. “The only problem is he never pays.” Travel West Midlands, which operates the bus line, confirmed the tale, saying, “the cat certainly knows how to use buses and is a regular traveler on the 311.”
Fat Slice—Have your cake and eat it too this weekend when the Readymade Dance Theater Company (RDTC) debuts Version 2.0, a streamlined, user-friendly contemporary dance performance choreographed by RDTC founder and director Zsolt Palcza.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s newest exhibit, The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, spans five centuries of Mexico’s “third root,” people of African descent. It's an engrossing and essential exhibit due to the fact that Mexico only officially acknowledged such a legacy in 1992 following the groundbreaking work of anthropologist Dr. Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán. This impressive show opened on March 30 to a culturally diverse record crowd of over 1,000 people. A visit will be well worth your time and energy.
Briefer is Better—The annual 3-Minute Film Fest returns to The Screen at College of Santa Fe this weekend, April 20-22, to dazzle those of you with short attention spans. According to organizers, this year’s edition saw a record number of entries from ports as far away as Hungary, Canada, Mexico and Australia (not to mention plenty from the good old U.S. of A.). A total of 36 films, all under three minutes in length, were selected for screening in this year’s festival. The Opening Night Awards Gala will take place on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and will include a screening of the program followed by a reception for the filmmakers during which a jury will determine festival winners. Tickets for the Opening Night Gala are $20. A wine and hors d’oeuvre reception will follow the screening. Tickets for the regular screenings, April 21-22, are $8. All events will be held at The Screen at the College of Santa Fe (1600 St. Michael’s Dr.). If you need additional info, you can give ‘em a ring at (505) 473-6494 or log on to thescreen.csf.edu.
Given New Mexico’s cultural history and its rather close proximity to Mexico, you’d think Spanish-language cinema would be rampant in this state. Aside from the odd Pedro Almodóvar screening and the occasional Spanish film series at the Hispanic Cultural Center, however, non-English cinema is still a relative rarity. For five years now, the annual Sin Fronteras Film Festival has tried to fill that gap.
Then-and-now documentary explores the repercussions of growing up hippie and otherwise
By Iris Keltz
Have you ever wondered what happened to those innocent urchins running barefoot through San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the ’60s? Though it gives us a concrete then-and-now example, Following Sean is neither a scathing indictment of the ’60s nor a romantic look back. Anything but simplistic, the film is a 30-year exploration and the culmination of a life’s work by documentarian Ralph Arlyck, Following Sean’s director, cameraman, narrator and secondary subject.
Apparently, Cannonball Runcasts a longer shadow than film history would have us believe. This month alone, audiences were greeted with Redline, a cross-country car chase movie featuring the personal exotic car collection of producer Daniel Sadek, and “Drive,” a hype-heavy midseason action drama with an ensemble cast and a whole lot of vehicles.
Spank You Very Much, Gordy—Some argue that Gordy Andersen helped launch Albuquerque's independent music scene as we know it. Way back in 1978, he and some friends gave Albuquerque a nascent taste of hardcore punk, in the form of a little band called Jerry's Kidz. Nearly 30 years later, Gordy's still blowing out eardrums across the Duke City in your favorite band (for the second year running, according to our Best of Burque poll), Black Maria.
One review described metal/industrial/punk duo/quartet Vertigo Venus as "What Nine Inch Nails would sound like if Trent Reznor had a sense of humor." It's appropriate to use the "don't judge a book by its cover" adage when discussing the band but, frankly, just based on looks, I don't think anyone could tell what the hell they sound like. Even after giving the band a listen I'm not so sure. It's a highly volatile mix of synthesizer, B52-ish vocals and ’80s metal guitar. The band's music is written by brothers Chris and Jeffie Cannon, who are joined on stage by a drummer and bassist to fill out the live sound. The brothers spoke with the Alibi and provided some insight into what makes their eccentric ensemble tick.
Drummer looks to leave a good-time sonic residue behind
By Mel Minter
Good drummers keep time and move things forward. Great drummers also sculpt sonic space, expanding and contracting it, shaping it to the musical purpose at hand. Matt Wilson belongs to the latter category.
The other Sunday I was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on what used to be my front lawn. Five years ago I covered an area of the yard with black plastic. Deprived of light and water and cooked by the sunlight-absorbing shield, my lawn was toast.
Our first kitchen mentor, a bear of a man named Joe Parks who instructed us in the college mess hall, used to describe any subpar ingredient from the freezer saying, “Not bad … for a frozen product.” It’s a mantra we’ll always remember. Consequently, we've never championed a frozen, dried or freeze-dried product. It’s fresh or nothing.
An honest-to-god good value is hard to come by these days. The Flowbee I bought for $59.95 came with a promise that I’d be able to “create the most popular haircut styles using the suction power of my vacuum cleaner.” Instead of having titillating tresses, the thing scared the crap out of me and my cats and gave me a bald spot. And then there was the credit card I signed up for, bought a bag of tomatoes with and had a balance of $185 on because of interest and fees that came with the card. So it's with complete confidence that I can assure you that Mick’s Chile Fix does, in fact, offer excellent value for your dining dollar.
It's not a "best of," say the women of BellaDonna, Albuquerque's most traditional burlesque troupe. Best of’s are what you put out before you retire, and goodness knows Cookie Fortune, Henrietta LeCoup and Cherry Jubilee aren't going anywhere.
September Smith can flip her aerial hoop upside-down, eight feet off the ground, and just hang from it. She can climb strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling, make herself a little pod in which to strip off clothing and peak out at the waiting crowd. She can put together a burlesque act to be performed from atop aluminum stilts at a car show.
1866—Prototypical musical comedy The Black Crook becomes a massive success on Broadway, despite a daunting five-and-a-half-hour length. The show’s chorus of ballerinas in flesh-colored tights prove that respectable American audiences are ready to fork over hard-earned dough for sexually stimulating entertainment.
Kitty Irreverent builds things: a 6-foot-tall heart, a giant martini glass, a pair of painstakingly handcrafted rhinestone pumps. And a community. Kitty desires to see New Mexico’s scattered dancers congeal. "I want it to be like, ‘Go to Albuquerque. There's a great burlesque community there, and they all work together, and there are all these neat shows you can see.’"
It’s often accepted as gospel truth that one must be silent while in the audience of a great performance. This rule has been beaten into the very brains of every American child by nagging mothers, overbearing fathers and obnoxious ushers. Well, let me assure you, my dear friends: If you find yourself in the audience of one of the fine burlesque shows New Mexico has to offer, you will then be asked—indeed, encouraged--to lighten the hell up and have some fun. To help you become a better “outfitted” audience member, here are some helpful principles of etiquette you might find useful while attending a burlesque show.
Diversity in Film--Gov. Bill Richardson, in between presidential campaign fundraisers and jaunts to North Korea, continues his commitment to the film industry here in New Mexico. He recently announced “First Vision Filmmakers Forum,” the first-ever diversity forum for N.M. filmmakers. This day-long symposium featuring a diverse group of emerging and established film and television industry experts from the U.S. and Canada will be held at Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Friday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
How to channel surf in a fully democratic media system
By Marisa Demarco
What's scaring people in the world today, says media theorist Gene Youngblood, is a lack of confidence. "People say, 'Wow, I'm so depressed. Everything sucks. God, the world is so messed up.' What people are really saying is, 'We don't have the knowledge, and therefore we're not going to do anything about it. That's what's really scaring people."
Here’s a riddle for you. When is a thriller not a thriller? Simple: When it has no thrills to offer. How does one accomplish such a seemingly contrary feat? Well, the 1995 Irwin Winkler-directed “thriller” The Netwas a perfect example. The makers of that tech-obsessed thriller thought they could fold some newfangled, cyberspacey twists in with their standard-issue conspiracy theory script. On screen, that boiled down to star Sandra Bullock sitting and typing on a computer screen scene after scene. It was, in a word, boring. Now, the James Foley-directed “thriller” Perfect Strangerfinds a way to make a thriller even more enervated--by looking to The Net for inspiration.
I’ve vowed never to get fooled again by booze with a “Southwestern” angle. Case in point: I bought a bottle of DeKuyper’s “Cactus Juice” margarita schnapps a few years ago and poured myself a cheap plastic glassful. Despite the ice and several hours worth of chilling time it received, the liquor inside the cowgirl-festooned bottle tasted like I had just brushed my teeth then taken a bite of a lime, rind and all.
A bill that would have granted an $85 million tax break for the construction of a coal-fired power plant on a Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico died in the Legislature late last month. The Navajo Nation and Sithe Global Power, a New York-based energy company, lobbied for the subsidy [Re: News Feature, “Absolute Power,” March 8-14], but were unable to convince legislators that the plant would be a worthy investment of New Mexico tax dollars.
The April 4 meeting kicked off with a staple appearance by Albuquerque Animal Control, which featured a police officer parading a terrier puppy on the floor of the City Council. Once the puppy was whisked from the scene, the meeting went from sweet to serious, with city councilors focusing their attention on a bill that would approve the city’s purchase of a large plot of land in a small subdivision in the Vista del Norte neighborhood. The plot is nearby Balloon Fiesta Park and is used as a landing site by the majority of balloons that take flight over the city. The site was being eyed by other bidders, namely big-box stores, with Wal-Mart as the lead contender.
David Iglesias’ hold on the U.S. Attorney’s office began slipping when he didn’t prosecute anyone for fraud in the 2004 election. Iglesias says his federal-state task force found nothing to prosecute. Republicans threw a temper tantrum. Sen. Pete Domenici passed it along to the White House and Attorney General. Iglesias is now looking for a new job.
Our overreaction to the HPV vaccine, and Richardson's mistake
By Christie Chisholm
It almost isn't surprising. Almost.
At this moment in the history of our country, we should no longer be shocked by puritanical ideals sneaking into our politics, by our culture's simultaneous loathing and worship of sex, by some of our leaders'--and some of our citizens'--heartbreaking disdain for science. Yet, somehow, the jaws of disbelief still manage to unhinge and swallow us whole. Or maybe it's just me.
Burlesque's Real Tease—Since new burlesque gained popularity in Albuquerque several years back, I've tended to confusedly take issue with the distinction between it and other forms of titillating clothing removal.
Dateline: Croatia--A man thought he had come up with the perfect crime, but it didn’t quite turn out the way he expected. Dragos Radovic, 25, was arrested for smuggling at Zagreb airport after flying in from Bangkok, Thailand. Customs officials became suspicious when they saw the top of a bag he was carrying appeared to be moving. When they asked him to open his luggage, they found 175 chameleons stuffed into the bag. The endangered reptiles are reportedly worth nearly $100,000 on the black market. Radovic paid just $150 for them in a Thai market. Radovic had assumed that the chameleon’s color-changing abilities would make them impossible for customs officials to detect. “The man who sold them said they changed color to make them invisible against any background, but it did not work,” said Radovic. Vets who were called to treat the reptiles said they were dehydrated and distressed from the long flight.
Couldn't get Shins Tickets?—You're not alone. In fact, The Shins' choice to play the El Rey had a lot of you folks scratching your heads—the band routinely sells out venues twice the size of the El Rey, which seats somewhere between 700-800 people. How in god's name were you supposed to get tickets that were effectively sold out before the the show was even advertised? Why not play a bigger venue like the Kiva Auditorium?
Washed in daylight, Evangelos sits quietly amid the trading post-style shops, art galleries and jewelry stores dappled along West San Francisco Street, which leads to Santa Fe's famous downtown plaza. Tourists and locals alike walk past its large windows, shaded by Evangelos' American flag-clad sign—some stopping to glance into the lounge's simple interiors, others passing by without any notice. As the sunlight fades, the glow from Evangelos' stage starts to draw more attention from pedestrians and the bar begins to fill.
Yale for Sale—Marissa Glink had a good time at the helm of the Yale Art Center, the contemporary art and performance venue located a few blocks south of the university, but she feels it's time to move on. “It's been a great two years,” Glink says, “a great experience. But first and foremost I'm young, and I'm ready to do my own art.”
If you have a full-time job, you probably spend more of your waking hours with your coworkers than anyone else, including your spouse or children, on any given weekday. In fact, coworkers often become like a second family to many—a family to love despite some nutty or embarrassing quirks of its members.