Get to know the people responsible for mopping up your party mess
By Marisa Demarco
The Worker Files is a new Alibi feature spotlighting people with interesting jobs in New Mexico. If you’ve got a noteworthy job or know someone who does, contact News Editor Marisa Demarco at (505) 346-0660 ext. 245.
In a battle over control of public land, Mexican wolves are caught in the crossfire
By John Dougherty
Debbie Miller, a hardy brunette with a butterfly tattoo on her right arm, walks past the family shooting range just outside her kitchen door. She is talking about a recent visitor to her isolated ranch house in the high desert rangeland of Catron County, N.M. "She had been in the yard 10 times in eight weeks," Miller says on a sunny July afternoon. "This was like home for her."
This Thursday, Jan. 10, the Guild Cinema will open its doors to the San Francisco-based UnderSkatement Film Festival. This annual touring film fest is entering its fourth year on the road, bringing edgy skateboard shorts to audiences across America and Canada. Among this year’s lineup of films/videos are Mike Maniglia’s “Gusto: Grindline,” Rory Sheridan’s “Behind the Griptape,” Mike Wilson’s “Skate Song” and Dan Wolfe’s “Lost in the Fog.” Hellz yeah! The show runs approximately an hour and 45 minutes and gets grinding at 8:30 p.m.
Atmospheric Spanish chiller will have audiences jumping at shadows
By Devin D. O’Leary
America no longer knows how to make horror movies--which explains why virtually every horror film Hollywood has extruded in the last five years has been a remake. A large percentage of those remakes haven’t even been remakes of American movies. Take, for example, the recent release One Missed Call. It’s an English-language retooling of a 2003 Japanese flick (just like The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Water before it). What’s more, Warner Brothers didn’t even bother hiring an American to shoot it; the company went out and plucked an obscure French director named Eric Valette (Maléfique) to helm it. Seen ads for The Eye, the upcoming supernatural thriller starring Jessica Alba? It was originally a Thai film. Now we have an American version directed by--guess who?--a couple of French guys. All of which begs the question: If you like horror, why are you bothering to watch American films in the first place?
“Here we are live on the red carpet at the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Arriving on the red carpet right now is ... well, nobody. But if you squint real hard, I think you can see George Clooney standing behind the picket lines across the street. ... Back to you, Mary Hart!”
There are few perceivable pillars of French cooking that are as widely and voraciously loved as scalding-hot onion soup cloaked in a blistering layer of melted Gruyère. Like many of the epic French dishes that canonize the cuisine of rural folk, vegetarians usually remain wholly uninvited. How does one mitigate that beef stock in every single recipe of the gooiest of soups, French onion?
Mariscos La Playa, having made a name for itself in Santa Fe and Española, added to its family of restaurants with a spot here in Burque. Some people still cringe at the idea of traditional Mexican seafood in a place where there isn’t water in sight (to be fair, its new Central location is near the Rio Grande). And while setting out to catch fresh seafood in a landlocked state can be tricky, Mariscos La Playa makes a commendable effort and still keeps prices in a reasonable range.
What did one traveling family find in a Santa Fe bathroom? What question does the mayor want the courts to answer? Where will our state's National Guard be deployed? How many animals left the city's shelters alive last year?
Six artists from the Czech Republic scaled a television tower last June in the northern part of their country, connected a computer to the camera and broadcast cable, and hacked a fake nuclear explosion into a national weather forecast.
What to look for in this year's Legislative Session
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the New Mexico Legislature will convene for this year’s 30-day session. These “short” sessions in even-numbered years were originally intended to deal with budget issues, which lent a spare quality to its work, a sort of pared-down character that used to make it more of a sprint than the longer, 60-day “regular” sessions that were often endurance marathons.
Dateline: Australia--A snake was saved by surgery last Wednesday after mistaking a quartet of golfballs for a hearty meal of chicken eggs. A couple had placed the balls in their chicken coop at Nobbys Creek in New South Wales to encourage their hen to nest, Australian Associated Press reported. Late last month, they found the balls missing and discovered a lumpy carpet python nearby. They took the 32-inch non-venomous snake to the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where senior veterinarian Michael Pyne operated to remove the golfballs from the snake’s intestine. Pyne told reporters the animal is now on the road to a speedy recovery.
Think back to this time last year. No one knew it yet, but the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) was on the verge of closing. Albuquerque's longest-running gay club had just celebrated its 20th anniversary in October. But by the end of February, it was gone.
In some ways, Ben Chasny's feelings about MySpace match his take on creating music in general. "My problem with MySpace is it's such a template," the Six Organs of Admittance founder and only permanent member explains. "It all looks so cookie-cutter, and I wish there was a way to have some sort of individuality with it."
La Junta and Rubixzu get down with live hip-hop sets at the Santa Fe Brewing Co. (35 Fire Place, Santa Fe, 505-424-3333) this Friday, Jan. 11. $5 gets you in to the all-ages show, which starts around 9 p.m. (LM)
The city is abuzz with new art happenings—evidence that Albuquerque is a cultural epicenter teeming with talent. Two great shows opening this weekend are worthy of some attention. First, the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) presents Soul Expressions with works by the New Mexico African-American Artist Guild (more to come later this the month). The variety of styles and voices in Soul Expressions makes it a promising exhibit. The show is already on the walls, but join the artists for an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Unpronounceable at the Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Amy Dalness
Kumail Nanjiani watched one Hollywood movie a day to prepare for college. Nanjiani's parents insisted from a young age he attend a university in the United States since his native Pakistan was such a turbulent country. And so the family VCR became his window into America.
In preparation for the end of 2007, former Arts Editor Steven Robert Allen and I sat down to talk art over hot bowls of phở. Between slurps, we traded memories of our favorite events from the past year—gallery openings, theater productions, book launches and poetry readings. After chewing on hot noodles and waning memories, we narrowed our picks down to 10. Here they are, the Alibi's top 10 art happenings for 2007, in no particular order.
There's often more bad than good in the news and on the Alibi's year-end list. After searching and debating, we found this year there were a fair number of successes for our state, like publicly financed elections and the surprisingly rational decision by the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana.
What if white history and white people were excluded from society's consciousness except for a handful of days? White History Week is an effective way to ask that question, says Jered Ebenreck, one of the event's planners. "How would you feel if you had just a month for your history? It's kind of a silly notion. We have the whole year for white people."
What has workers at abortion clinics citywide on high alert? Why was a fire department dispatcher arrested for? How did Albuquerque make a national list? Why is a Santa Fe County sheriff’s sergeant suing?
Many journalists qualified for the annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, but only a few were able to win recognition for turning in one of the truly stinkiest media performances of the year. As the judges for this un-coveted award, we have done our best to confer this honor on the most deserving.
Dateline: New Zealand--On the weekend before Christmas, a rampaging gang of 50 or so drunken Santas plowed through a movie theater on New Zealand’s South Island. The Santas molested customers, yelled obscenities, ripped down posters and participated in other decidedly un-jolly behavior at the Hoyts Cinema complex in Christchurch. Despite video footage of the incident, police believe it will be impossible to identify participants due to their identical beards, hats and fuzzy red suits. Speculation says the Santas were a group of university students involved in a holiday prank.
Food stories of 2007 that amount to more than a hill of beans
By Laura Marrich
A rash of recalls, high drama in the health food isles and corporate ecology wrestled in a battle royale—with cheese—for spots at the media table. Chances are it’s not the last we’ll see of them. The top food stories of 2007 are served!
Bratz: The Movie--Normally, movies based on toys are brilliant (see He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Transformers and The Care Bears Movie for reference). Not so with this dim, mixed-message “comedy” based on the whore-like prepubescent doll line.
When is a romance not a romance? When it has more on its mind than simple liplocks. This vigorous, visually poetic adaptation of Ian McEwan’s “unfilmable” World War II-era novel sets the bar high for period dramas. Not only does it feature love, betrayal, bloodshed and genuine passion (a rare element in most romances), it ponders long and hard on the power of imagination as a force both positive and negative. A great many films could be benefit from such self-reflection.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
“Laws are like sausages,” states the famous aphorism by Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck. “It is better not to see them being made.” It's an appropriate quote to start off a review of the new poli-sci parody Charlie Wilson’s War, as the film spends an awful lot of time inside America's biggest sausage factory.
Battlestar Galactica: Razor (Sci-Fi)--I could just list “Battlestar Galactica.” It’s still one of the best-written, most topical series on TV. Instead, I’ll single out this movie event as a perfect example of why: gripping drama, startling plot development, powerful characters and some of the juiciest political debate you’ll find on the idiot box. ... Plus, there are spaceships.
Whether it was rock, pop or rap, it all sucked in ’07
By Simon McCormack
If it makes Reel Big Fish happy to cling to the dream of a third-wave ska revolution, then more power to them. Still, making ska for the sake of keeping the genre alive doesn't produce the best results. Even though their songs are still upbeat as ever, I can't help but think there were some tears shed behind the scenes for a genre that once was.
2007 was a grim year for the book industry, but not for the books themselves. As newspapers took deep cuts out of their literary sections in a mad dash to save their business model, and the publishing industry got its last dose of Potter, a pack of terrific books traveled just below the radar. Here is a subjective list of the very best of those books (in no particular order), by my yardstick the must-reads of 2007.
A graduate of Hard Knocks University builds familia in the South Valley
By Tami Brunk
To the casual observer, La Plazita café might look like your average Albuquerque coffee shop—serving fair trade coffee, free Internet and your choice of old-school tunes from the record collection. Well, look again. The kid who just walked in the door? He was tagging his gang’s “turf” last year—today he’ll be selling one of those paintings on the wall. The barista who just handed you your latte—she looks a little tired? She was up until 3 a.m. cooking for a group of Hopi runners traveling 1,500 miles from Arizona to Mexico City to raise awareness of water crisis in the region.
Congratulations are in order. After a successful run on the national film fest circuit (including the Halloween Horror Picture Show in Tampa, the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville and the Full Moon Horror Fest in Little Rock), the locally produced, locally shot horror thriller Gimme Skelter is racking up the positive reviews. “Gimme Skelter is more than just another indie slasher flick,” raved the reviewer at EyeCraveDVD.com. “It is a glorious Go-Go frug of a meditation on moral hypocrisy, the cult of personality and the true meaning of ‘The Manson Family Christmas Special.’ ”
When is a teen sex comedy not a teen sex comedy? When it’s good.
By Devin D. O’Leary
In a year filled with unwanted pregnancies--from Waitress to Knocked Up to Jamie Lynn Spears--who would have guessed the funniest of all unplanned impregnations would occur on Christmas Day? Having built a considerable amount of eager anticipation on the film fest circuit, the post-teen-sex comedy Juno is finally being delivered to theaters. A labor of love from stripper-turned-writer Diablo Cody (author of Candy Girl) and famous-director-offspring-turned-famous-director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking), Juno easily earns a spot as one of the best films of the year.
From the word go, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street sounds like a match made in Heaven. Tim Burton directing Johnny Depp (for the sixth time!) in an adaptation of the famously grisly musical about a Victorian-era serial killer, complete with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim? Where do we start lining up?
It was probably inevitable, but late-night talk show hosts will be returning to the airwaves starting Wednesday, Jan. 2. Dismissing the Writers Guild of America strike, Jay, Dave and the rest of the lot will be back behind their respective desks starting this week. Actually, “Last Call with Carson Daly” was the first show to openly defy the strike, returning to ABC in early December. Not that anyone noticed.
Jump, dive, leap into your 2008 New Year's resolution to listen more attentively to the creative muse chiming in the back of your head. With the New Year come new gallery shows, new theater company seasons and opportunities for new artists to come out of hiding ... like these:
These days, polite people feel guilty about the natural human tendency to stare at other people with physical deformities or quirks. Jump back a hundred years, though, and it’s an entirely different story. Back then, gawking at so-called “freaks” wasn’t just socially acceptable, it was good, wholesome family entertainment. Well, maybe not wholesome per se, but folks certainly didn’t feel bad about it, paying good money for the chance to see human oddities up close and in the flesh.
The House and Senate pushed through big reforms to the Freedom of Information Act, more commonly known as the FOIA around newsrooms. What does FOIA do? If journalists want to lay hands on an unreleased but legally available document, they submit FOIA requests.
Why more women in New Mexico need to enter government
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
It's starting to look like the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign may not be grinding its way to inevitable victory after all. Her once formidable lead in the polls has been slipping in recent weeks. She is beginning to look beatable.
Dateline: Brazil--Santa Claus almost got a cap busted in his ass while flying over a notorious Rio de Janeiro slum. A helicopter taking Santa to deliver presents to children came under heavy gunfire while passing over the Baixa do Sapateiro favela, or slum neighborhood. The flight was bound for a Christmas party last Sunday where Santa was to deliver presents to underprivileged children. The pilot flew back to a heliport where Santa was transferred to a car and continued on his journey. Charles Gonzales, the president of the Baixa do Sapateiro Neighbors Association, said his group picked up Santa after being notified about the incident. No one was injured in the attack, but at least two bullet holes were found on the helicopter. Police blame the attack on drug traffickers at war with a rival gang in the nearby Vila João favela.
Jesse L. Spicer is a man obsessed. Not with stamp collecting or American naval history or vintage amps with perfect tone, but with The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. He's obsessed with the late, great James Brown.
Organizers disagree on how to get the Ice House all-ages space off the ground
By Marisa Demarco
2007 didn't have the flash of controversy surrounding all-ages shows of previous years. It was more like a slow illness. Blue Dragon shut its doors. The Curio opened and closed. Space Maybe winked in and out of existence. Sol Arts announced its closure just weeks ago.
After 10 years of making music in The Big Spank, singer-guitarist Mike Garcia has seen his band go from an ultra-young, semi-serious ska-punk band to a bilingual pop-rock group that risks sanity and starvation to tour the country 11 months out of the year. One thing hasn't changed, though.
Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW, 243-0878) says “adieu” to 2007 with a masquerade soiréeand toast-worthy tracks spun by DJ Losack. Bring a mask and a 21+ ID (with a D.O.B. before 1987, if you’re keeping score). No cover. (LM)
I’ve heard it’s best to thaw frozen meat slowly in a fridge, like overnight. Is this true? And if so, why?
A: Dear Frozen,
I’ve heard that too, and I think it’s a good idea. Unfortunately, this would require more foresight than I have on most days. I did do some digging in order to answer your question, wondering if I might learn something that might make me change my ways.
There is a reason, safety-wise, for thawing meat in the refrigerator, as opposed to a warmer environment. When thawed in the fridge, the meat can’t possibly warm up to temperatures at which bacterial growth or other forms of spoilage might occur.
Tony, the sauce-slinger and namesake of Tony’s Pizza, learned his Italian grandmother's cucina skills by way of his mother. He works from a tiny kitchen on the corner of Tijeras and Seventh Street, where he pushes pies out to diners seated in one of the seven tables that make up his restaurant.