Alibi V.18 No.7 • Feb 12-18, 2009

Enough About Us—What Do You Think of Us?

We choose the winners of the Alibi’s sixth annual Valentine’s Card Contest

The giving of valentines is a carefully nuanced act, one we learn in kindergarten. Valentines, no matter how small or seemingly simplistic, convey a world of implication and sentiment. Matching a valentine's message to its recipient is key, lest you alienate a potential love or invite affection from an unwanted corner—best illustrated by “The Simpsons” episode wherein Lisa's valentine to Ralph, featuring a train and the words “I choo-choo-choose you,” causes poor, paste-eating Ralphie to believe that he's been, well, cho-cho-chosen.

Gus Pedrotty’s Alibi interview [Video]

Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.

Eric Williams

Alibi Celebrates Pride

Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party

We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.

feature

A Valentine for the Gender Offenders

Her panties are red

her boxers are blue

my boyfriend's a drag king

my girlfriend is, too.

Male-female, in love or out—in a space where it's OK to twist your gender, it's OK to bend Valentine's Day.

Not everyone worships the hearts-and-candy holiday. Santa Fe's Gender Offenders knows this. The troupe, unwilling to chain itself to any particular definition, aptly named 2009’s V-Day show (un)Lucky in Love. "We want to appeal to everyone," says KiKi DeLovely, "those who are jaded and not so into Valentine's Day and those who are super-in-love and hopeful."

Burlesque as It Is

Author and performer reflects on the movement today

Vivienne VaVoom has received Google news alerts about burlesque for five years. She used to get pinged maybe once a week, tops. "Now I get it once a day, and there's at least five or six things in it."

Show Us Your Pits

Punish the deed, not the breed

All the barking about dangerous pit bulls got Kassie Brown hot under the collar.

music

Music to Your Ears

The "L" stands for love. And lesbians. And lyrics from hip-hop duo God-des and She—who, come to think of it, once appeared on HBO's "The L Word," cable's most prominent source of literate, lusty lesbians.

Murder by Death

Bigger is better

Murder by Death knows only one size.

"I tend to be more interested in big things," explains singer-songwriter Adam Turla. "I feel like so many people write songs about simple stuff. One of the reasons why I do write such big, theatrical songs is that there’s not as many people doing it."

Epic struggles between good and evil fill the lyric sheets, and the meaty Americana that saddles up beside it gallops through sonic peaks and valleys. It could be called alt.country-noir, or cowpoke indie rock, but either way, the scent that wafts past your nostrils is robust.

food

Heart Beets

Forget to make that reservation at the new bistro for Valentine’s Day? Get stuck with a 4:45 p.m. seating time? You know, there’s no shame in cooking for one another. Like Adam and Eve sharing the apple tarte tatin of knowledge, or whatever.

Blue Cactus Grill

Red and green that’s true blue

Ahh, New Mexican cuisine. It indulges our most gluttonous cravings with endless cheese-and-chile concoctions. It's our ultimate hangover cure, and we patronize our favorite New Mexican restaurants with religious zeal. But sometimes even a good thing gets old. Before full-blown boredom sets in, we've got to find a new flame to rekindle the faith.

news

Answer Me This

You can now take off at the Sunport and land where? What did police find at a construction site on the West Mesa? What film will be shot in New Mexico? And How is UNM dealing with the recession?

Three’s a Crowd

A couple expecting a baby gets evicted

Last summer, Nicole Michelbach and Brian Garcia learned they were going to have a baby.

The Children of la Pepa

I am from that generation of New Mexicans who came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, who spent a lot of time discovering our ethnic roots in the rich soil of our mestizaje, the part of our heritage that involved celebrating the blending of Old and New World, the Indio and the Hispano.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: South Korea—A 68-year-old woman who has taken the written exam required for a driver’s license nearly every day since 2005 has failed for the 771st time. The woman—identified only by her family name of Cha—has spent at least 4 million won ($3,000) on fees for the test, which she has taken a record 771 times. Applicants must score at least 60 on the written exam before they can get behind the wheel for a driving test. According to Choi Young-Chul, an official at the North Jeolla Province driver’s license agency in Jeonju, the woman has never scored more than 50 on a test. “I feel sorry every time I see Cha fail,” Park Jung-seok, a traffic police officer at the agency, told the Korea Times newspaper. “When she passes, I’ll make a memorial tablet myself and give it to her.” The woman is allegedly ready for her 772nd attempt.

film

Reel World

So, you wanna surprise your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with a home-cooked meal and a romantic movie. But there are so many sappy love stories to choose from on the shelves of the local video store. Which one to pick? Allow the Alibi to give you a little assist in navigating the waters of romantic movies.

VideoNasty

Blacula (1972)

These days you can't pick up a horror magazine without reading about 2008 being the “year of the vampire.” From the moody emo kids in the blockbuster tween-fest Twilight to the hip darkness of HBO’s “True Blood”—not to mention the unmatched masterpiece of Swedish vampire goodness that is Let the Right One In—last year was lousy with bloodsucking night dwellers. So in keeping with that trend, I’ve decided to dip into one of my favorites from the golden era of Blaxploitation: Blacula.

Friday the 13 th

Horror redux is another hack job

Moviegoers scared/annoyed/offended/bored by Hollywood’s trend toward remaking every horror film ever shot (The Uninvited, My Bloody Valentine, Quarantine among the most recent) can at least take comfort in the fact that the new Friday the 13th film isn’t exactly a remake. It’s more of, well, a sequel that ignores all of the other sequels.

Infomercial Madness

The cult of Snuggie

It’s television’s most talked about new broadcast. It has inspired Internet worships sites, YouTube videos and a raging debate. What is it, you ask? Why, it’s the commercial for the Snuggie.

art

Culture Shock

You know what's worse than people who make too big a deal out of Valentine's Day? People who make a big deal about how they're not going make a big deal about Valentine's Day because it's a corporate-invented holiday blahblahblah. Really? It's soooo horrible to give a little attention to someone you love, regardless of the reason? I concede that, for those not in a relationship, Valentine's Day can seem like a giant scheme to make you feel lonely and inadequate, all vulnerable confusion, like one of those pink, hairless moles. But it doesn't have to, just like weddings don't have to involve the Chicken Dance; you can make it what you want.

Klezmerquerque Celebrates Yiddishekeit

Festival of music and dance features performances, instruction and parties

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mohel or just a plain mensch, a goy or a Hasid, or even if you can’t tell the difference between a tuckus and a tchochke; you’re invited to sing, play, dance or just stand around and soak up the Yiddishekeit (that is, Eastern European Jewish cultural traditions) at Klezmerquerque, the Southwest’s Celebration of Klezmer Music and Dance.

Dead Presidents

It's not every year that Valentine's Day and Presidents Day are so deliriously close together, and it's a confluence that can't be ignored. After all, we have a new president in office who is objectively attractive, and it's only out of respect for Michelle that many women (and men) have kept discussion of President Obama's established hotness to a minimum.

Alibi V.18 No.6 • Feb 5-11, 2009

Music to Your Ears

The Warehouse 508 crew is ramping up for a month of rhythm. Despite battles over arts funding at City Hall, February will see a couple of music and poetry events sponsored by the youth-led organization.

feature

Red, White and Black

Being black in Albuquerque in a post-Obama world

When one realizes just how profound a moment in history Barack Obama’s ascension to the 44th presidency is, consider this thought from Dr. Finnie Coleman, interim dean at UNM’s University College and former director of African American Studies there.

news

Answer Me This

What is the state's unemployment office doing to help folks who are out of work? Why was a DWI lawyer arrested? Lawmakers from the Southeast Heights want to stop calling the area the War Zone. And what kind of burglary ring do cops say they've popped?

News Bite

David Liotta is the only member of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association's board who does not like the idea of a modern streetcar running down the middle of Central.

Brainiacs Crush Colorado

Trivia gurus reign victorious in the Geek Bowl

They went up against 60 teams from all across Colorado, but when the final bell sounded, Coldcock!!! delivered the knockout blow.

Making Sausage

It’s a good thing our state legislators have 60 days to make the magic happen this session. There are so many hurdles in the race to productivity. For instance, cell phones.

Burning the Almost-Midnight Oil

Two wheels were missing during the Monday, Feb. 2, meeting, but the Albuquerque City Council plowed ahead without Councilors Michael Cadigan and Sally Mayer, who were excused. The Council sent the city administration a message to provide proof that the red-light camera program is effective. The resolution says within 60 days the administration will deliver all available information supporting or refuting the claim that the cameras prevent accidents and save lives.

Letter to the Editor

When the Albuquerque Tribune folded in 2008, some said it was simply part of a growing trend in American journalism; the decline of the daily newspaper.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Australia—According to Queensland’s Courier Mail, an Irish carpenter on a working holiday in Australia pleaded guilty to a bizarre string of crimes, including robbing a Brisbane ticketing agency to feed his pet fish. Richard William O’Flynn admitted in court that he passed a note to a Brisbane Ticketek employee that read: “Give me all the [expletive] money from the till.” When he was told there was no money, he left and came back with a fish in a container of water. He then told the clerk he needed the money to feed his fish. O’Flynn also tried to hold up a bakery with a decorative cake knife after ordering a “gay wedding cake” for him and his partner. O’Flynn admitted to willful damage, attempted armed robbery, attempted theft and making threats over the telephone. He was sentenced to a year in jail by Judge Milton Griffin, who released him on the condition that he return to Ireland immediately. Griffin added at the sentencing that the community “would be pleased to see the back of him as he left Australia.”

art

Culture Shock

If you've never been to a First Friday Artscrawl, well, that's OK. You've been busy. Work, the kids, your biannual attempt to read Ulysses; such is the busy stuff of life. But an Artscrawl is one of the best ways to see a ton of art, eat some cheese and make new culture-loving friends, finally enabling you to ditch your culture-hating ones. Let them stay at home and watch "Ghost Medium"—you've got better things to do. Openings and receptions are not just happening in Nob Hill, but all around the city. Artscrawlabq.org is the ultimate resource for all of the gallery goings-on for this Friday, Feb. 6.

Topdog/Underdog

Old scores settled at The Vortex

Topdog/Underdog takes place in a room. A one-room apartment, no bathroom or running water, shared by brothers Lincoln and Booth. Younger brother Booth (Travis Sweatte) provides supplies through a gift for the quick steal, but his attempts to improve his lot with three-card monte are ham-handed and loud. It is older brother Lincoln (Darryl DeLoach) who was once the three-card king, and though he also has tried to make a different life for himself through “legitimate” employment, it’s the specter of his old life that hangs over the actions of the play.

Here We Are Now

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking (The Manifesto for a Generation Thats Never Had Much Use for Manifestos)

film

Reel World

The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s ongoing Spanish film series takes an entertaining diversion this month with Vampires, Demons and the Goth. This mini-retrospective leapfrogs from 1929 to 2005 to examine the history of the Spanish horror genre. The series begins on Thursday, Feb. 5, with 1959’s El Cebo, about a seemingly timid man who hides a second pathological personality guilty of kidnapping and murdering little girls. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the series continues with 1988’s Amanece, Que No Es Poco, a surrealist comedy in which an engineering professor returns to his native Spain to discover that his mother has been murdered. On Feb. 19, it’s Jess Franco’s delirious 1998 flick Vampire Blues and on Feb. 26, it’s Guillem Morales’ 2005 thriller El Habitante Incierto. All films are presented in Spanish with English subtitles. All films begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC’s Bank of America Theater. Entrance is free, but seating is limited. For more info on Vampires, Demons and the Goth, log on to albuquerque.cervantes.es.

Coraline

Animator pulls out all the stops for stop-motion fairy tale

Animator Henry Selick doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his work on The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tim Burton has his name stamped all over that Halloweeny classic, but it was Selick who directed the film and supervised its distinctive stop-motion animation. Selick also helmed the stylish 2001 adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. (For a glimpse of Selick’s early genius, hunt down his award-winning 1991 short “Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions.”) Perhaps now Selick will get a little credit where credit is due thanks to his painstaking work writing and directing the dark-yet-juvenile fantasy flick Coraline.

2008 Academy Award Nominated Animated/Live-Action Shorts

Two showcases, 10 Oscar nods between them

Every year right around this time, dedicated but previously distracted movie fans race to the cineplex in a mad dash to soak up as many Academy Award-nominated films as possible before the awards ceremony. If you’ve slacked off for the past six months, filling up your Oscar dance card in the next few weeks will be a daunting prospect. Heck, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will take 166 minutes out of your life and that’s only one of the films nominated for Best Picture.

music

The Supervillains

Your friend’s ska band sounds like shit

The evildoers in The Supervillains love ska—or at least they used to.

Flyer on the Wall

Billa and Dave 12 present "A Boogie Affair: 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8,” featuring house music and your butt. From 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Feb. 6, at the Moonlight Lounge (120 Central NW). 21+, $3. (LM)

food

Ask Chef Boy Ari

Q: I’m interested in raising hens for the eggs, but we have a tiny backyard. Does two or three sound like a good number? Also, will the eggs hatch if we let them? And what’s the best way to procure chickens?

Cast Iron Café

You can always go home, but you don’t have to

Home-style cooking is romanticized in our culture. Images of perfectly roasted meats—never ceasing to give off wafts of salty steam—and creamy mashed potatoes spring to mind at the invoking of “mom’s home-cooking.” But this image is ersatz, as real as the Parkay used in the potatoes. It’s not how your mom cooked; it's how she would have cooked if she had the money, time and skill. And maybe if she had loved you a little more.

Alibi V.18 No.5 • Jan 29-Feb 4, 2009

Giving Up the Ghost

Facts about the digital television transition

This year, America’s television will cease to broadcast with radio frequency waves on the analog spectrum. Replacing it will be computer code, a more efficient form of broadcasting in the 0, 1 language of digital. The switch is set to take place at midnight Feb. 17. Legislation that would have delayed the end of analog until June 12 passed unanimously in the Senate on Monday, Jan. 26, and while it was expected to pass in the House, failed on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

feature

An Ode to Fuzz

A quick call to the FCC confirmed a dreadful rumor: Once the nation goes digital, white fuzz will be gone forever. Your TV will either get a clear picture, or it won't get the channel at all. Old analog televisions that aren't converted to digital will show nothing, said the FCC rep, audibly confused by why anyone would ask such a question. Gone will be the days of wraith signals, of watching faint shapes of people talking to you from behind a sheen of static. Gone will be the snow and its lulling shhhhh sound, sampled on so many great albums, a signifier of emptiness in the modern world. As a kid, I would let my eyes glaze over at the tingling pixels, and it was the first time I can remember meditating on that which is not concrete. Goodbye, sweet fuzz. How will insomniacs nationwide doze off at 3 a.m.?

Low Power or No Power?

Two categories of television stations are exempt from the federal government’s digital switchover: translators and low-power stations. Translators are basically signal boosters for metropolitan stations and are designed to serve a state’s more rural areas. Low-power (LP) stations are independent broadcasters usually confined to the UHF band of the television dial. Their low radio frequency (between 3 and 150 kilowatts) gives them a limited broadcast area. With even large corporate broadcasters struggling to make the original Feb. 17 deadline, few of these LP stations are capable of funding and installing the equipment necessary to make the digital change. So for now, the government is giving them a break.

Extra Channels on the Dial

With a digital converter box hooked up to their TVs, Albuquerque residents get more than 30 channels to click through. The high-definition versions of stations like Fox, NBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, CW and MY50 are all there. Plus, PBS nuts can check out several new channels, including PBS Create, the network's how-to channel with cooking, sewing and home improvement programs. Christian programming enthusiasts are also in luck. There are an arkload of Christian channels, including one en Español. Meanwhile, secular Spanish stations comprise a big chunk of the new channels as well. Below is a list from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA) of the free digital channels available. According to the NMBA, some of these bonus stations are temporarily running identical programming, but once DTV gets going they will begin to broadcast diversified programming.

music

I'm the Slime

Thirteen TV-related tracks

Plenty of music is worthy of a television-themed playlist, but this mix of sometimes sad, bitter or freaky songs is mostly relegated to the realms of punk, proto-punk and post-punk. The Web doesn’t yield some of the MP3s I wanted to include ("I'm the Slime" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, or The Victims' original "Television Addict"). I also purposefully excluded songs that would have worked nicely ("I Hate the TV" by Violent Femmes) and included a few songs with no mention of television ("Look Back in Anger" by Television Personalities), but the TV theme is obeyed overall. I like that most of these songs regard television with some degree of hostility: It's nice being reminded to be skeptical of the establishment ... while enjoying some really sick guitar parts.

Fucked Up

Raising hardcore babies

Fucked Up incites pandemonium.

Singer Damian Abraham (aka Father Damian or Pink Eyes) takes pride in the fact that all the injuries suffered at Fucked Up shows have been non-life-threatening. During an appearance on “MTV Live” in Canada, a fan got a mirror cracked over his back. In Austin, a stage-diving concertgoer knocked himself unconscious. “He did a running head-plant into the pillar and split his head open,” Abraham recalls. It seems the Toronto-based hardcore punk six-piece invites bedlam every time the lights go down.

art

Culture Shock

Sinatra may have sung “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing,” but I tend to think Nazareth had it right with its classic version of “Love Hurts.” Where do you fall on the love-spectrum? Has it brought you untold happiness, moments of ecstasy, or has it repeatedly re-enacted the scene from Alien, with you as John Hurt and your heart and everything you believe in as the alien? The world needs to know. Share with us here at the Alibi by entering our sixth annual Valentine's Day Card Contest. Send in your entry, measuring no larger than 8 ½-by-11, by Feb. 2, to our offices at 2118 Central SE, Suite 151, Albuquerque, N.M. 87106. Our cracker-jack staff of experts will assess your work and divy up the bounty that is your birthright, fair artist. But hurry. One entry per person, please.

The World by a String

New Mexico Museum of Art presents Pulling Strings: The Marionettes and Art of Gustave Baumann

Marionettes are strange things. The most complex type of puppet, they are carved from wood, jointed and controlled by a “manipulator” who works the strings from above the marionette's head. The movements of marionettes are otherworldly; never purely realistic, they evoke the sense that nothing is completely within one's control. A master manipulator takes years to develop his or her skill, as does the craftsman who carves the forms. Gustave Baumann was both.

food

The Great TV Dinner Challenge

Whose frozen, portion-controlled cuisine reigns supreme?

Grab your remotes and pull up your TV trays. It’s time for dinner and a show, working-class style. To help you navigate the endless choices of processed food conveniently squirted into compartmented microwaveable plastic trays, the Alibi retreated to our top-secret, state-of-the-art test kitchen with a dozen different dinners. By the time we emerged, we had weeded out the inedible crap from the, well, edible crap. Here are our results:

Super Bites

On the eve of last year’s Super Bowl Sunday, we threw a dinner party with our own kind of couch-potato small plates menu of wintery finger foods. Football worthy, even Oscars material!

news

Answer Me This

Who did an angry driver try to run over, according to sheriff's deputies? How much water does Southern New Mexico have? What's wrong with Powerball tickets in New Mexico? And why is a volunteer racquetball coach being indicted?

The End of the Death Penalty?

A bill to repeal capital punishment in New Mexico breathes new life into a fierce debate

In 2005 and 2007, Gail Chasey’s legislation suffered stinging defeats.

Council Bite

More than 250 people descended on City Hall Monday, Jan. 26, to let councilors know where the Albuquerque's dollars should go. And they came bearing signs and strumming guitars.

Making Sausage

That didn’t take long. The session’s just begun and we’re elbow-deep in lips and assholes. Here’s the news of the week from Santa Fe:

And ... Fight!

Sometimes the most interesting happenings at Albuquerque City Council meetings are not on the agenda. This was certainly the case at the Wednesday, Jan. 21 meeting when Councilor Michael Cadigan took on the mayor's men over the contentious red-light cameras.

“Prove It!”

Skepticism, Hume and the burden of proof

In his 1748 essay “Of Miracles,” philosopher David Hume advised, “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” That is, how certain we are about something we’re told should be directly correlated with how good the evidence is for that claim.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Tracey Fox of Thornley, County Durham, used her own body as a barricade to keep a repairman inside her laundry room in hopes of getting her washing machine fixed. Ten months after purchasing the appliance, it broke down. Fox placed five phone calls in December to have a repairman come out and fix it. Unfortunately, no one was able to come until after Christmas. Finally, on Jan. 13, a man finally showed up to check on the washer. “He said that I’d have to pay for any repairs, even though the machine was still under warranty, and I might as well get a new one because the amount it would cost would be the same as buying another one,” Fox explained. Fed up with her stinky clothes and lack of consumer satisfaction, Fox snapped. The 42-year-old mother of four braced herself against the washroom door and refused to let the repairman leave until the washing machine was fixed. The repairman used a cell phone to call police, after which Fox allowed him to leave. “She did let him go after a matter of minutes,” Inspector Craig Dixon, of Durham Police, told BBC News. “The matter was resolved without any arrests.” Fox told reporters she was not proud of her actions, but felt she had no other option. “It sounds stupid thinking about it now, but it was the final straw,” she said. The Curry’s appliance store where Fox purchased the washer has since offered to replace it at no charge.

film

Reel World

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro is continuing its popular Movie Monday Nights promotion in the Cellar Bar. Classic films are projected silently onto a seven-foot screen starting at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Five different martini specials are available for $5 each. Come drink in the taste and feel of old Hollywood every Monday. February’s schedule of films includes Psycho (Feb. 2), Splendor in the Grass (Feb. 9), Citizen Kane (Feb. 16) and The Great Escape (Feb. 23). Zinc is located at 3009 Central NE.

Fear(s) of the Dark

Animated import conjures fear in the abstract

Fear(s) of the Dark is an omnibus of short animations commissioned and assembled by France’s Prima Linea Productions but composed by artists from around the globe. The subject--as one could reasonably guess from the title--is fear. These quick-and-dirty shorts run though a gamut of common human phobias: insects, needles, dogs, fire, tight spaces. Though they vary widely in subject and style, all are rendered in a stark, black-and-white palette. This gives Fear(s) of the Dark a bold and distinctive look.

Inkheart

Fantasy book series comes fitfully to life

It must be frustrating for movie studio executives. The Harry Potter books and subsequent movie series have set the bar for kiddie fantasy. That particular page-to-screen series has proved fantastically profitable and has no doubt stimulated the salivary glands of many a profit-seeking studio exec. It would seem, given the obvious evidence of Harry Potter, that young readers are eager for just about any young adult fantasy series to get snatched up and turned into a big-budget film series. So far, that has proved entirely false. With the epic failures of Eragon, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, The Golden Compass, The Spiderwick Chronicles and many others, turning successful book series into successful film series obviously isn’t as easy as J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. would have us believe. Heck, even Disney recently balked at producing a third Chronicles of Narnia film, citing diminishing profits and spiraling costs.

Boo the Underdog

Super Bowl XLIII on NBC

People in this country love a David and Goliath matchup. Americans perpetually cheer for the underdog. And the time has come to cut it out.