Alibi V.17 No.33 • Aug 14-20, 2008

Pain in the Tank

How New Mexico is surviving prices at the pump

As gas prices dance around $4 per gallon, the governor is proposing a package that could dole out more than $210 million in tax relief to citizens hit with high fuel prices. It would also give more than $3 million in aid to school districts to help offset busing costs. Funds would come from an unexpected state budget windfall that's the result of increased tax revenue from the oil and gas industry. The package will be debated at the Special Session scheduled to begin Aug. 15.

feature

Speed Dial

The lasagna is burning, the kid is crying and the cockroach on the floor is crawling menacingly closer by the second. You have no idea where the broom is to sweep it under the fridge and out of sight, let alone a phone book to call pest control. When you’re in a jam, the Alibi is ready to help. For water running down the street, museum hours or emergencies, the numbers are here. Post them on your fridge for easy access—that is, unless that roach is blocking your path.

You Will Survive

The results of the Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt!

Zuri Bennett and her mom Nancy lived off Doritos and jellybeans for two days (well, it felt like it), but on the other side of those sugar-fueled 48 hours, they emerged champions. The Alibi's third annual Scavenger Hunt asked contestants to find 79 items in our city over the course of a weekend. More than 90 teams signed up, and many came close to the target. But 20-year-old Bennett (escorted around town and photographed by her fellow brainstormer) finished with a considerable lead.

news

Answer Me This

Cops say they busted a _____ ring at a Downtown club. How much would it cost to ride the Rail Runner from Downtown Albuquerque to Santa Fe? What did a Santa Fe police officer get in trouble for? What’s been allowed back into Navajo reservations?

Night Riders

Burque bike crew creates a Saturday evening that’s cheaper, healthier and more fun than the bar

8:25 p.m. On a summer Saturday, three bikes are in La Montañita Co-op’s rack. The grocery’s green patio furniture is empty except for a burly man with an egg-shaped piece of pink piñata taped to his helmet. The crepe-paper conehead smiles, extending a hand. “I’m Joe. Here for the poker ride?”

Thin Line

Rep. Steve Pearce all but called Rep. Tom Udall a hippie in a campaign ad that's so over the top it could pass for a spoof of a campaign ad. It took up a full page of the Albuquerque Journal on Aug. 6, and the paper also ran a " news story" in which Pearce defends the ad at length, further painting a picture of himself as a defender of 'Merican values against hippie terrorists.

After the Apocalypse

Legend, eat your pigweed!

You are Legend. Central is deserted. Abandoned cars clog the street. Rusty bicycles rest in racks with locks that will never again open. There’s no need for the locks anymore. There’s no one to steal anything. You are alone.

Easing Back In

City Councilors returned Monday, Aug. 4, from a month’s vacation. A presentation from the Albuquerque Ethics Coalition recommended improving the ethical behavior of city personnel with training based on underlying values, rather than relying on a code “buried in rules and regulations.”

Odds & Ends

DATELINE: Saudi Arabia—It is now illegal to buy a dog or cat in Riyadh pet shops or even have them out in public. The Muttawa (or Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh) declared domesticated animals are being used by men to “make passes at women and disturb families.” Implementation of the new law went into effect last week. The decision was made by Riyadh acting Gov. Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, who based his ruling on a previous edict from officially approved Saudi Arabian scholars, according to the newspaper al-Hayat. The Muttawa is a force of about 5,000 that enforces the laws and teachings of the extreme Sunni Muslim belief, Wahabism.

food

Cold Cuts, Cheese and Wine

A sybarite’s guide to the basics

Bologna, cheese and Wonder Bread: It's a vivid memory for us Americans. Just as vivid, that childhood sandwich would invariably get stuck to the roof of your mouth. With no sandblaster to remove it (not without adult supervision, anyway), you had to reach deep into your mouth and scrape it loose with your index finger. At which point you'd narrowly avoid choking to death. Even today, in school cafeterias across the nation, most kids' introduction to cold cuts and cheese is a near-death experience.

film

Reel World

After six weeks co-teaching a series of film classes in Hong Kong for a group of young New Mexico filmmakers, I’ve returned to the land of Enchantment, refreshed, revitalized and eager to give Alibi readers the scoop on crapola like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Oh, boy.)

The Rocker

Earworms for everyone

Spinoffs from advertising campaigns aren't all that rare. A recent example is the short-lived "Caveman" sitcom based off the GEICO commercials. Or the slew of fast-food mascots turned movie- or video game stars (the most successful being 7UP's 1993 Sega Genesis game Cool Spot, in this reviewer's opinion). And it's all too common to see blatant product placement on the big screen; this was best demonstrated (via parody) in both Wayne's World movies.

Tropic Thunder

Stiller and co-stars bite the hand that feeds them in epic Hollywood parody

Hollywood making fun of itself on screen is a dicey prospect. Occasionally, it can produce high-quality zingers (1992’s The Player, 1995’s Get Shorty, for example). But, more often than not, it ends up as unfunny, in-joke-filled navelgazing. (Have you seen 1993’s The Pickle? Of course you haven’t. Don’t.) Leave it to Ben Stiller and pals, though, to come up with a poke in the movie industry’s eye that is both accurate and blisteringly, brutally funny.

Go Ahead, Sucker. Get Verklempt.

"The Singing Office" on TLC

No, it's not a musical episode of the original, British "The Office," including such great hits as "Free Love Freeway," the best worst song you ever rocked out to. Chorus:

music

Survival of the Friendliest

Marc’s Guitar Center celebrates 30 years of selling "the world’s most popular instrument"

As soon as you step in the door at Marc's Guitar Center, you're greeted by a long wall of electric beauties.

art

Culture Shock

In addition to the First Friday Artscrawl that happens every, well, first Friday of the month, there's often other massive gallery opening/reception hosting for an added monthly arts bonus. Like this Friday. Many art houses around Albuquerque will keep their doors open late for a few extra hours of creative rifling and elbow rubbing on Friday, Aug. 15. Included in that group is Artspace 116 (116 Central SW), which will host a reception for Richard Garriott-Stejskal’s new exhibit, And Now for Something Completely Different, from 5 to 8 p.m. Garriott-Stejskal's figurative works will be on display through Sept. 26.

Generation After Generation

A Light In My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma by Working Classroom

The exact number is unclear. It could be as few as 40,000 or upward of 800,000, depending on the history book you read. But other details are solid: In 1492, the same year Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, thousands of Spanish Jews left Spain. Not to explore but to flee persecution and death at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition.

Alibi V.17 No.32 • Aug 7-13, 2008

feature

Tales from Crescent City

A portrait of New Orleans three years after the storm

I'm clopping along Royal Street. It's nearing midnight on Saturday and I'm heading from a show on Decatur, weaving through the French Quarter on my way to the Marigny. In the interest of the procurement of cigarettes, I bolt into the first bar I meet. The Golden Lantern is draped in a humble and inviting facade, and inside a U-shaped bar fills the main room. Low lights are interrupted by the glow of a cigarette machine and a television playing music videos. I stuff a five-dollar bill into the machine, then go over to the bar. I don't intend to stay.

The Gambit

An interview with a New Orleans newspaper man

Clancy DuBos is the co-owner, editor and longtime political columnist of New Orleans paper Gambit Weekly. Since late 1980, he and his wife, Margo, both native New Orleanians, have been publishing the alt.weekly. With two feet of water in their offices and staff scattered around the country after Katrina hit in 2005, the paper closed for nine weeks. Fortunately, AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) came to the rescue, and the Gambit not only located its staff, but papers around the country raised more than $100,000 in donations that went to the DuBos' employees. DuBos says they knew the paper was out of business temporarily, but never thought it wouldn't come back. When it reopened on Nov. 1, DuBos, who became the paper's editor for a third time, had four minutes on CNN that morning to discuss this milestone in New Orleans' recovery. These days the paper's circulation and number of employees isn't quite back to its pre-Katrina level, but it's not too far from it. DuBos says the level of camaraderie between the staff and the paper's relationship with readers are better than ever.

news

“It’s Been a Long, Long Road”

A bill demanding equal insurance coverage for those with mental disorders stalls in the Senate

Coping with a serious mental health issue, says Victoria Cain, is expensive. "There are some years, I think back on our income taxes, it was again tens of thousands of dollars even with insurance."

Answer Me This

What percentage of New Mexico schools hit the mark this year? Police are looking for the _____ bandits. Who did Gov. Bill Richardson say he will lend a hand to? And which company's CEO is stepping down?

Jitterbug for Justice

Dancer ignites interest in politics through swing

Dance and politics don't necessarily make a natural alliance. Yet Desi Brown managed to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, while remaining nonpartisan. “I’m amazed at how many people don’t question what they see in the news and why it happens," Brown says.

Thin Line

Is it really a free press when there are no guarantees for journalists protecting sources? Is it really free speech when there's no promise of safety for speaking out?

Working Classroom

A few years ago, I read Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. It’s a work about what makes some kids reared in desperate situations “resilient” while others in the same circumstances collapse. Even today, I find myself frequently using many of his insights when I try to make sense of what might be happening with our young people.

Survive an Alien Abduction

Thousands of people say they were abducted by aliens, and you might be worried you’ll be next. If you suddenly find yourself floating out your bedroom window toward a mother ship hovering somewhere over the South Valley, take the following steps. You should memorize this list; if you keep it by your bedside table, you will likely be paralyzed and unable to reach for it—or your glasses—as you are tractor-beamed toward the ET visitors.

Odds & Ends

DATELINE: New Zealand—As a sideline case to a custody battle, Judge Rob Murfitt ruled that the state would temporarily make a young girl a ward of the court so that she would be legally allowed to change her given name of Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, according to the New Zealand Herald. Citing recent examples such as Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and a pair of twins named Benson and Hedges, the judge’s decision stated in part that “Quite frequently judges in the family court are dismayed by the eccentricity of names which some litigants have given their children.” Though the girl had kept her given name mostly secret by introducing herself as “K.,” the decision ruled that “In all facets of life, a child bearing this name would be held up to ridicule and suspicion. ... It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap quite unnecessarily.” To protect her anonymity, the girl’s new name was not made public.

art

Culture Shock

The Alibi's annual Haiku Contest has been around as long as this humble little alt.weekly has been printing: 16 years. But enthusiasm for haiku has only increased over time, as each year more and more submissions cram our inboxes. Get in on the ku-fever: 2008 entries are now being accepted. Here are the categories to get your creative chi flowing:

Come Out to Play

The first annual New Mexico Young Playwrights Festival

It’s hard to tell someone learning can be fun without sounding like an after-school special.

film

Reel World

A new film that will shoot in New Mexico, Snow on the Moon, is looking for actors, extras and crew members. This feature-length, 1973-set movie based in a makeshift commune will shoot in private lands near Dixon, N.M., from Aug. 20 to Sept. 7. Producers are seeking ethnic musicians (particularly those who play doumbek, berimbau and sitar); older Spanish-speakers; Native Americans, especially men in their 40s or 50s; and white females between the ages of 16 and 18 who can play roles of 12- to 14-year-olds. One or two crew interns or volunteers are also sought, as well as a cook with knowledge about food safety in the desert.

Kicking It

Documentary about the Homeless World Cup brims with hope

Can soccer save lives?

It seems an odd question at first, and I had a pessimistic answer at the start of Kicking It. But—wouldn't you know it?—the unapologetically schmaltzy film proved me wrong.

The documentary follows six homeless men from around the globe who travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to take their chances in the fourth annual Homeless World Cup. In all, 500 homeless people from 48 different countries competed for the cup in 2006, the year this film was made. Searching for purpose, some measure of respect and a chance to represent their country, our half-dozen unlikely heroes embark on a slightly predictable but warm and uplifting journey to better themselves through sport.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Do you love your Mummy?

Well, crap-a-doodle. I was really looking forward to hating this film. In the 10-years-plus I’ve scribbled for the Alibi, the opportunity to review movies has been much too rare, and almost all the flicks I’ve had a crack at have been tiny films. Iranian films. Local films. Grainy films with no CGI. No complaints, but you get the picture.

Get the Hell Out of Here, Hulk!

"Brooke Knows Best" on VH1

Compared to the rest of her family, Brooke Hogan does know best. Her father, former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, is an overprotective goober with a constant need to be in the spotlight. Her mother, Linda, is more affectionate toward her exotic pets than her children. And Brooke’s brother, Nick, is in prison after his reckless driving put his friend in a coma. Brooke, meanwhile, has always been the most wholesome, good-natured one of the bunch. Maybe that’s why VH1 decided to give Brooke her own show, “Brooke Knows Best,” a spinoff of “Hogan Knows Best,” which was also on VH1.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

music

New Orleans Playlist

DJ Soul Sister shares some of her favorite tracks

For 14 years, DJ Soul Sister has been manning the boards Saturday nights between 8 and 10 p.m. at listener-supported WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans. In fact, her program “Soul Power,” the country's longest-running rare groove radio show, was the last to air before WWOZ signed off during Hurricane Katrina. On top of her radio gig, Soul Sister hosts three weekly "right-on party situations" that satisfy New Orleanian yearnings for underground disco, deep funk, boogaloo, soul, rare groove and more. With this mix, you can join her noble campaign to make your booty do its duty.

Or, the Whale

Welcome to Americana

Or, the Whale's Lindsay Garfield sounds like a flabbergasted Lotto winner when asked whether she ever thought her band would go from playing house parties to performing on "Good Morning America."

Bonnie Watts Sails with City Reign

Vocalist brings soulful stylings to the Outpost

Sometimes you just step in it.

That’s what happened to soulful vocalist Bonnie Watts shortly after moving to Albuquerque from her native Chicago in January 2005.

“My son told me about the open mic night at Club Rhythm and Blues,” says Watts, who didn’t waste any time introducing herself to club owner John Nieto.

Just weeks after landing in New Mexico, Watts took hold of the mic at Club Rhythm and Blues, with Nieto standing right next to her. “I mean close,” she says, laughing, “and I thought, He’s gonna push me off the stage if I don’t sound good.

food

Won’t Back Down

New Orleans restaurants that stood their ground

Hurricane Katrina may have forced New Orleans’ famed kitchens to close their doors—if they were still hanging—but for most, it was only temporary.

Alibi V.17 No.31 • July 31-Aug 6, 2008

feature

In the Fast Lane

The 48 Hour Film Project returns to Albuquerque

Chaotic shooting schedules, sleepless nights and the always mad rush to meet deadlines are familiar to independent filmmakers the world over. Somewhere between that second and fifth pot of coffee, time slows to a crawl, and even 48 hours can seem like an eternity. The 48 Hour Film Project, an annual and international filmmaking event, was started in May 2001 by Washington, D.C. filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston to address the question: Can a film be made in less than two days and, if so, can it be watchable?

film

Reel World

Seven filmmakers handpicked from around the country had seven days to shoot, edit and premiere 12-minute screenplays. Now the race is over, and the public's invited to see what the contestants came up with. On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Shootout will screen all seven movies at the Kiva Auditorium (in the Convention Center). The winner from the New Mexico 48 Hour Film Project will also screen at this event (see this week's feature for more details). Tickets cost $19 and include an awards ceremony after the screenings. After the premieres, head to the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom (330 Tijeras NW) for a post-premiere party where you can rub elbows with the filmmakers. For more info and to buy tickets, visit dukecityshootout.com.

The Lives of Angels

Heaven must wait

The filmmakers grew this melon in our own backyard, so you’ll want to give it the benefit of every doubt. Unfortunately, at the end of a brief runtime that feels much longer than it should, I had to admit this just isn’t a good movie, even by my-buddy-shot-and-edited-the-whole-thing-over-the-weekend standards.

VideoNasty

Frontier(s), 2008

It’s no secret that I have always been a fan of the great cultural contributions made by the French. From their ticklers, fries, toast and kisses to the ménage à trois, the French have always known how to up the ante in an otherwise dull world. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to horror films, the French just can’t help but put their own special twist on the genre. If you don’t believe me, I suggest taking a minute to seek out films like Irreversible, Haute Tension and Ils for a crash course in modern French horror. (And for those feeling a little old school, you can never go wrong with Eyes Without a Face or Man Bites Dog.)

Thigh-High Waders

“Jon & Kate Plus 8” on TLC

Choosing the best in television is easy, as there’s not much competition. Determining the worst, however, takes a real commitment, akin to testing the efficacy of thigh-high waders in a lake of waste; you have to wade through a lot of shit.

art

Culture Shock

Artists need not be starving, but they’re probably hungry. Eleven artists have pulled together a one-night-only show at 500 2nd Street Studios this Friday, Aug. 1, dedicated to feeding themselves and their families. The show, titled 1 Buck 2 Buck 3 Buck 4, features artwork all on sale for $10 or less. It's a simple equation: You need art for cheap, they need money real quick. Stop by between 5 to 9 p.m. to browse the goods and help the artists put food on their table.

Murder and Mayhem

The Bad Seed at the Desert Rose Playhouse

Let's forget, for a moment, that The Dolls is a drag troupe. Let's think of The Dolls, first and foremost, as a group of devoted actors, musicians and costume specialists with a love of theater coursing through their veins. Got that premise in your head? Good—keep it there.

From Both Sides

An interview with literary critic James Wood

For the past 10 years, the most dreaded literary critic in America has been a tall, thin, agreeable Englishman from Durham with a crop-top pate and an apologetic air about him: James Wood.

food

Ask Chef Boy Ari

Q: When I make stir-fry, it always seems kind of boring, even though there is no shortage of veggies to use. Can you recommend a good seasonal stir-fry recipe and tell me how to make it taste authentic? I’m getting frustrated.

Boozing in Style

Two quickies at the bar

Hi, my name is Maren, and I’m not an alcoholic. But I’ve heard that denial is the first sign—so who knows? I’ve also heard that drinking alone is indicative of a drinking problem, which leads me to suspect that either I’m a lush or a huge George Thorogood fan. Either way, it was time to get out and knock a couple back with some good friends and complete strangers.

news

Marijuana Accord

A lawsuit is settled, but the use of medical cannabis remains in a legal gray area

The first case challenging the state's new medical marijuana policy closed with a settlement.

Answer Me This

What did a Denver court decide about protesters in Albuquerque? What was found under the Atrisco land grant? How many voters in one N.M. county refuse party affiliation? What's going on at Bennigan's?

Jesus for President

Christians in full rebellion

You wouldn’t peg Chris Haw and Shane Claiborne as monks. Haw carries himself like a rock climber. Claiborne sports dreadlocks and quotes St. Francis and Gandhi with a hillbilly twang.

Work the Polls

Big projected turnout means it’s all hands on deck for the general election

On Election Day, Bernalillo County usually needs 2,500 poll workers—a one-day, 14-hour job that could arguably be among the most important in the democratic process. This year, the county will need 3,000, minimum.

The Carrot in the Wind

Wind customers shouldn’t pay for other energy costs

Like the current state of technology for electric car batteries, altruism can take us only so far in moving our economy to new forms of energy. Economic carrots and sticks have more control over our energy future than good intentions.

Bigfoot Sex!

A common myth about Bigfoot—the huge, hairy, unknown beast reported by many but rarely if ever photographed—is that there’s only one of them. But, of course, if it’s a real animal, the creatures must have a large enough breeding population to survive through generations. There’s gotta be a boy Bigfoot and a girl Bigfoot, and after some sort of ritualized courtship (possibly involving gift-giving and/or a handful of warm poo), they do the Horizontal Bigfoot Love Dance and then we have a Bigfoot baby.

Odds & Ends

DATELINE: New Zealand—Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cameras and equipment were lost by media members after a boat sank at a ceremony designed to send off the country’s Olympic rowing team. No one died or was seriously injured in the incident, and the seven journalists and boat pilot—all wearing lifejackets—were plucked from the frigid water of Lake Karapiro. New Zealand Herald photographer Sarah Ivey told the story in her own newspaper: “There was just water gushing in over the front like something out of Titanic and all of a sudden I was up to my knees in it,” she reported. “Everyone was screaming and swearing ... but mostly everyone was shouting, Oh hell, I’ve lost my lens or Oh hell, I’ve got to get my camera out of the water.” A New Zealand spokesperson has promised an investigation into the incident, as the boat employed in transporting the media members should have been capable of holding 12 without fear of capsizing, and stated that divers would attempt to retrieve the missing equipment. Said Ivey, “It would have been the World Press Photo of the Year—all the photographers trying to keep their gear up in the air—but no one could take the picture.”

music

Music to Your Ears

Just when you thought you were done shaking off your hangover from the last Old Main Fest (held in May at the Albuquerque Press Club), Burque music hellion and The Old Main frontman Rod Lacy is asking you to get wild again—"in the tall pines of the Zuni Mountains."

The Air Guitarist

Hot lixx and jump splits

In a kilt and leather Viking helmet with duct-taped-in Heidi braids, Erik Peterson takes the stage in San Diego. The song: "Who's Your Daddy?" by Finnish heavy metal band Lordi. As the second challenger, he gives it his best for 60 seconds, even incorporating his signature jump splits.

Patti Littlefield Goes Woof!

Vocalist heads genre-crossing quartet at the Outpost

On a recent Sunday evening, vocalist Patti Littlefield took a drive up NM 14 to Madrid to catch the Alpha Cats’ last set at the Mine Shaft, that venerable kick-ass tavern featuring the longest bar in New Mexico.