Alibi V.18 No.18 • April 30-May 6, 2009

Reel World

This coming weekend, Alibi Midnight Movie Madness will sponsor a three-day film festival at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Revenge of the Worst Film Festival Ever will feature 11 of the most hilariously inept films ever stuck on a movie projector. The second (semi-)annual festival will feature awful science fiction, terrible horror, pitiful jungle action and even a notorious all-midget Western—handpicked from the pop cultural trash piles of the ’50s through the ’80s.

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The Sweetheart Deal

How the South Valley is giving capitalism a good name

Tony Gallegos has a solid build. He’s a former wrestler with a vague resemblance to a 50-something Erik Estrada. His mind is in constant motion, making connections and synthesizing disparate information, and his mouth is rarely far behind. All the while, the wrestler in him stays on alert for leverage points on which to pivot the game to his advantage. And the game won’t be over, as far as he’s concerned, until his beloved South Valley is on an even playing field.

film

Cranked Up

An interview with writer/director Mark Neveldine

In Hollywood, even the humble ampersand is elevated to an exalted position. When it comes to movie credits, the word “and” is used to indicate two people who had very little to do with one another. If, for example, a screenplay is written by “John Somebody and Jane Something,” then John and Jane probably wrote two separate screenplays that were glued together by the studio. If, on the other hand, there’s an ampersand linking their names, that means the two worked together. Ampersands are relatively rare in Hollywood, indicating closely linked teams like Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan (Can’t Hardly Wait), Andy & Larry Wachowski (The Matrix) and, uh, Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel (Super Mario Bros., anyone?).

Battle for Terra

War is bad, m’kay?

Everybody’s piling onto the CGI cartoon bandwagon. But for every WALL•E, there are 10 Delgos. Sailing firmly into the latter category is the ambitious but underwhelming sci-fi toon Battle for Terra. Directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas (visual effects supervisor on the 1999 remake of My Favorite Martian) and written by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Lion King 1 1/2, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning and several other cheap Disney direct-to-DVD sequels), the film is at the very least a step forward for Greek-Canadian filmmakers.

I Am Iron Kid!

“Iron Man: Armored Adventures” on Nicktoons

If you ignore everything that’s awful about “Iron Man: Armored Adventures,” it’s pretty good. Honest.

art

Gallery Box

Bright Rain Gallery calls Old Town its home, but the gallery owners' mission is to infuse the area's tradition with edgy and interesting beauty from local artists. Married couple Travis and Molly Black opened Bright Rain Gallery in November 2007, and the space features contemporary, Southwestern and Modern Art.

May Day, May Day

Erect those maypoles, kids; it's May Day! For the Celts (shout-out to my forebears), it was the occasion of Beltane, the beginning of summer. One ritual involved the passing around of Beltane cakes, one piece of which would be blackened. The recipient of this unlucky piece would be mock executed. Kind of like waterboarding.

food

Hurley’s

Get a little Irish in you

American misconceptions of Irish cuisine thrive like clover in the meadow. In our minds, the island’s entire culinary history revolves around four food groups: potatoes, corned beef, cabbage and Guinness. Yet there’s so much more to the story.

Nuptial Nookies

Trumpets, please! One of us is getting (ahem) married. Stare at our boutonnieres and cue the cherubs!

news

Cement Déjà Vu

Neighbors face increased pollution from a cement transfer station—again

One narrow street and a tall wall is all that separates Perry Key’s North Valley house from a cement transfer station.

Answer Me This

What is New Mexico doing to prepare for swine flue? What act of animal cruelty was a man charged with? Which public official is heading to Iraq? And big news in Lobo Land.

Home at Last

Muñecas Muertas skate their way to victory in season opener

The score was tight. With three minutes of play left, the board read 75-69. The jammers lined up, elbow-to-elbow: Muñecas Muertas' stalwart Kamikaze Kim and the San Diego Wildfires' Ivanna S. Pankin.

Former Alibi Staffer Wins a Pulitzer

From the party floor to the top of journalism’s heap

When I first met Angie Drobnic she used to sleep off benders atop a dirt- and booze-encrusted carpet in a tiny newsroom on Wellesley.

Tempest in a Tea Cup

Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber and antiestablishment hero of the ’30s, was asked why he chose to rob banks. Mr. Sutton was amazed at the question. “Well,” he answered after scratching his head, “because that’s where the money is.”

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—A woman who was issued an Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning her from engaging in high-decibel lovemaking with her husband was arrested by police for breaking the order—just two days after it was issued.

music

EarWin VII

An interview with the Alibi's seventh Earwig playlist winner

Screen name: madspammer

Real name: Sean Graham

Flyer on the Wall

Titan of local rock Unit 7 Drain bowed out for the better part of a year to procreate and pursue other projects. Now it’s back with another album (No. 8) in the hole. U7D births DEATH and blows out the candles on a decade of post-wave at the Launchpad on Friday, May 1. The Hopefuls will reunite, The Oktober People will forward on and Leeches of Lore will lift off at 10 p.m. $5 gets you in the door with a CD. 21+. (Laura Marrich)

Alibi V.18 No.17 • April 23-29, 2009

Independence Grill

Red-blooded beef for red-blooded Americans

There is no food more American than the almighty hamburger. It’s beefy and juicy, it lacks pretension and, when it’s grilled just right, it tastes a little like freedom. Despite its simple and inherent perfection, there's also no lack of folks who invariably come along and try to improve it. Maybe it's the meddling (if well-meaning) American in them.

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Lyrical Warriors

Indigenous hip-hop at Gathering of Nations

Everything can change in one instant. RedCloud remembers well the moment that forever altered his life and set it skittering off on its present trajectory. He was in the sixth grade in Hawthorne, a predominantly black and Mexican-American community in South Los Angeles. (He's still proud to live there, now with his wife and 2-month-old son.) Sensing a fight, he joined a herd of kids as they broke into a run toward a patch of playground where two older black students were facing off. In Hawthorne, RedCloud says, kids learned to fight at a young age. Since the violence of gang life and abusive homes touched everyone sooner or later, toughness was a subject of study.

news

Answer Me This

What do police say was the weapon of choice in a robbery? Why are meth labs on the rise? What sparked a violent confrontation? And who visited New Mexico last weekend?

An Olive Branch

Native Americans capitalize on Obama’s promises to protect sacred sites

Laurie Weahkee speaks with groups large and small that are fighting to protect areas sacred to their people. Those fights, she says, are being lost.

Life in the West Bank

Palestinian journalist Ziad Abbas shines light on an American blind spot

In 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes. Ziad Abbas' mother was one of them. "My mom, she closed the house with a key, and took the key with her," she says. "She thought she would come back to the house in a few days."

It’s Always About the Green

Councilors weeded their way through what at first glance looked like a packed 4/20 agenda. They deferred some items, added others and approved in one swoop a consent agenda full of committee appointments, reports and grant applications. Then the Council got some work done. Sort of.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Russia—An immigrant from Azerbaijan living in the northern city of Saint Petersburg has been charged with hiring hit men to kill his 21-year-old daughter for wearing a miniskirt. The man’s arrest last week follows the detention of two other men from Azerbaijan—a majority Muslim, ex-Soviet state in the Caucasus—who confessed to murdering the girl. “They admitted to being paid 100,000 rubles [$3,000] by the girl’s father. They said he wanted to punish his daughter for flouting national traditions and wearing a miniskirt,” a police source told reporters at Agence France-Presse. The girl, a university medical student, was abducted on the street on March 8, taken to the outskirts of Saint Petersburg and shot twice in the head.

music

Music to Your Ears

Like salmon swimming upstream to spawn, skateboarders leave the concrete grind of Albuquerque each spring for the cool, mountain town of Jemez. On Saturday, April 25, the succinctly titled Jemez Springs Skateboard Competition Extravaganza returns to Jemez' municipal skate park.

International Espionage!

This spy-rock will self-destruct in five seconds

Tim Holly (aka Agent Number 6) says he could probably be in a non-theme band, but he can’t be sure.

Flyer on the Wall

Move. Groove. Groom. Your mustache. Stereotyperider headlines Toddy T-Bones’ Fifth Annual Mustache Party on Saturday, April 25, at the Launchpad with Split Hoof (follicly gifted Austin stoner rock) and more hirsute versions of Black Maria, Ends !n Tragedy and DJ Chach. Doors splay open at 8 p.m. No word on cover yet, but people without mustaches may be monetarily punished. There’s no peach fuzz at this party (21+ only). (Laura Marrich)

film

Reel World

Writer-director François Girard will present his underrated film The Red Violin as the opening night film of this year’s fifth annual White Sands International Film Festival in Las Cruces. The historical drama stars Samuel L. Jackson as a researcher at an auction house who tries to uncover the secret history of a famous violin, tracing it back through three centuries and multiple owners. The film’s 10 years old at this point, but it’s a good one, having captured an Academy Award for Best Musical Score in 1998. Girard, who also directed Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, will take part in a Q&A after the screening. Opening night for the fest is Thursday, April 23, and begins at 7 p.m.

Earth

Wait a minute. I know how this ends. The cheetah wins.

Between 1955 and 1971, the Walt Disney Company released a string of short-subject documentary films dubbed True-Life Adventures. The True-Life Adventures series contains some of the film industry’s earliest wildlife documentaries. The 20 or so films Disney produced introduced many a child to the world of nature and probably inspired the future career of a young biologist or two. Of course, the series is also notorious for a 1958 film titled White Wilderness, which depicts hundreds of migrating lemmings plunging off cliffs into the ocean in a mass rodent suicide. In the years since, science and biology (and documentary filmmaking) have progressed a bit. It’s now generally understood that lemmings racing across the tundra and drowning themselves on a yearly basis is nothing more than a myth, and that Disney’s filmmakers faked the footage in White Wilderness by, well, shoveling a bunch of lemmings off a cliff in Alberta.

The Informers

Too rich? Too bad.

Even if you missed the credits, you’d be able to tell almost the instant it started that The Informers is based on a book by Bret Easton Ellis. Like nearly everything the trendy, Reagan-era chronicler wrote (Less Than Zero, American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction, Glamorama), The Informers focuses on a group of wealthy young people who do a lot of drugs and have sex with one another in various gender combinations, all to the tune of Wang Chung. In between hedonistic bouts, they mope around, consumed with the ennui of fabulousness. It’s like “The Hills,” only with more nudity. And given that we now have “The Hills” (plus other simpatico reality shows like “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “My Super Sweet 16,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”—not to mention Paris Hilton in all her public iterations), it makes one wonder just what purpose Ellis’ work serves in this day and age.

Not Just for Kids Anymore

G.I. Joe: Resolute on Cartoon Network

Honestly, I was a year or two too old to fully to appreciate G.I. Joe when it was relaunched in 1982 as a toy, cartoon and comic book line. I could still recall playing with the muscular 12-inch G.I. Joe in his late-’70s incarnation as part of the Adventure Team. (Instead of shooting Nazis, he fought gorillas and mummies and had that badass “Kung-Fu Grip.”) The G.I. Joes that were 3-and-3/4 inch just seemed wimpy to me. But the ’80s incarnation (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) had its legions of rabid followers who carry the “Yo, Joe!” banner to this day. Amid the flurry of nostalgic activity inspired by the live-action G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie hitting theaters this August, there’s a small piece of Joe history flying just under the radar that hardcore fans might want to take note of.

art

Mariposa Gallery

Founded 35 years ago, Mariposa Gallery is owned by Liz Dineen and Jennifer Rohrig. It features a new show monthly, with an opening on the first Friday of every month. The gallery focuses on exhibiting the artwork of New Mexico artists and features a great variety of works. Jewelry, ceramics, glass, textiles, wood, paintings, and mixed media are sprinkled throughout its small building (with a tiny second floor that shouldn't be ignored).

Culture Shock

Listen, kids, you can have your skateboarding rap “sexting” graffiti tournaments. Those things are loud and rarely have chairs available. Me, I'll take the classics: wine, poetry, radio stories, morality plays. Some may consider such diversions old-timey, but I like to think of them as time-tested entertainment that ends early enough for me to catch "Nightline."

Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and Other Superhero Girls, Like Me

Working Classroom examines and celebrates the lives of Latina teens

The world of teenage girls is a treacherous one. Alternately sunshiney and sullen, adolescent girls are virtuosos of eye-rolling, out-of-room stomping and door slamming. They're also funny, brave and kind, a potent mix that can make plumbing their psychological depths as impossible as it is imperative.

Serious About Comedy

James and Ernie

Comedians James and Ernie don’t lack for energy. And when I first saw their act at the All Nations Comedy and Music Revue in 2007, neither did the audience. Held at San Felipe Casino Hollywood, the revue primarily drew residents of nearby pueblos, and they lost their collective mind over the duo's Native American-centered humor. I was also struck by the importance of fry bread. Fry bread, be it the difference in texture from clan to clan or the difficulty in finding a mate who makes it like your mom, factored somehow into nearly every story they told.

Cross-National Collaboration

Words Afire Festival unites UNM playwrights with NYC directors

The transition from the world of academics to the professional world can be jarring. The debut of the New American Plays Initiative at the ninth annual Words Afire Festival is the UNM dramatic writing program's way to alleviate recently graduated students’ scholastic separation anxiety.

food

Kabbalah Tabouleh

To pick one springtime recipe for y'all, we thought long and hard on an old-school Passover/Easter theme. Nothing flashy, something hearty: curry quinoa salad. Props to our gal pal Jesse for calling this one. Dried cranberries and snap peas do go together.

Alibi V.18 No.16 • April 16-22, 2009

It Never Gets Old

An encyclopedia of body swap comedies

They say there’s nothing new under the sun. And when that sun shines over Hollywood, the axiom is doubly true. This Friday, April 17, High School Musical hottie Zac Efron will star in 17 Again, a comedy about a middle-aged man who magically finds himself in the body of a teenage boy. If the plot (and even the title) sound familiar, it’s because Hollywood has tried this so many times, it’s developed into its own genre. The “body swap” comedy reached its height in the ’80s thanks to the runaway popularity of Big starring Tom Hanks. Now, the genre seems to be on the rise again. Earlier this year, that trend barometer Ashton Kutcher announced he would star in Traded, a body swap comedy about a superstar NFL quarterback who mysteriously trades bodies with a 12-year-old middle school geek. So how about a little perspective on this born-again genre?

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Pearls Before Swine

Strong City stands by its spiritual leader and waits for deliverance—at the hands of God or the legal system

The northeast corner of New Mexico is home to towns few have heard of and static-filled radio broadcasts from across the nearby state line. Travelers passing through on their way to Colorado see miles of cattle-grazing land, the only sign of life an occasional cow raising its head to offer a noncommittal stare at passing traffic.

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Answer Me This

Soon you may be prescribed cannabis for what condition? How did a Bernalillo official spend citizens' cash? Court records say this guy ducked his DWI trial by ... . And who is commending the state for doing away with capital punishment?

Y’all Ready for This?

Rivalries and roster shakeups foreshadow a dramatic season

“Hit harder!” The Vixenator demands as her fellow Ho-Bots circle her at the Wells Park Community Center basketball court. “Don’t rely on your elbows. Rely on your shoulders and your legs.”

Keeping Score on Title IX

One legislator drives New Mexico to size up gender equity in school sports

Rep. Danice Picraux remembers playing basketball for her high school in New York City. "We wore funny-looking gym outfits," Picraux says. "We didn't even have uniforms."

Thin Line

In the Alibi's April 2-8 issue, I ran a story called "The Burrito Vendor" by Isaiah Montoya that contained some bad information.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Michigan—Detroit police bravely waded into a public park and broke up a pillow fight last weekend. The impromptu pillow fight was scheduled to take place at Campus Martius Park on Saturday, April 4, and was one of at least 50 slated across the world. World Pillow Fight Day was organized through the website pillowfightday.com and a number of online social networking sites. Despite the seemingly innocuous nature of the event, police swarmed the park and shut down the event. “I am furious,” 23-year-old Elida Quesada of Ferndale told the Detroit News. “[A pillow fight] is so silly and childlike. It would have been fun. It seems like everything that is fun is illegal.” Officers in blue jumpsuits were reportedly polite to the would-be participants but were firm about confiscating any and all pillows. One officer told a unarmed fighter that 5,000 of the fluffy headrests had been seized by the 4 p.m. start planned for the event. Michael Davis, 32, of Hamtramck told the Detroit News, “They took my pillows but let me keep my cases. They told me I needed a permit. I can understand.” Scott Harris, a 48-year-old Ferndale resident whose pillow was taken by officers, was not as understanding. “It is not illegal to own a pillow,” he was quoted as saying. Detroit Police spokesperson James Tate would not tell reporters how police learned of the event in advance but said there were numerous Internet postings. Tate said the unsanctioned event posed a “cleanup issue” and there were concerns about people getting hit who did not wish to participate.

art

Dry Heat Gallery

Dry Heat Gallery is focused on uplifting the human spirit through its exhibitions. The mission of gallery founders DeAnna Dimmitt, Rick Meiers and Angela Gaeto is that no one should be afraid to step into a gallery, and to that end they work to create educational and enlightening exhibits. In addition to the stable of artists who work at Dry Heat Photography, the gallery hosts juried fine art photography shows. Dry Heat Photography sponsors the Soul Portraiture, a series of open-submission exhibitions that attempts to capture the energy and spirit found within a variety of subjects. The fourth,"Electro-Light," a look at the ambiance of nightlife, will open in June at Dry Heat Gallery and will be the first Soul Portraiture exhibit at the gallery. Amateur and professional photographers interested in submitting for the juried show can get details at the gallery website's "Call to Artists" section or at dryheatblog.com. The next submission deadline is May 31.

Culture Shock

There's a profusion of witty truisms about the power of books, roughly half of them coined by either Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde. But I think my favorite is William Faulkner's entreaty: "Read, read, read." Or listen to people read. Also, talking about reading is good. Luckily for you, there's mucho going on around this two-area code state to facilitate your print and pulp addiction.

Going to the Heart of the Story

An interview with Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is left-wing royalty.

Her radio and TV show “Democracy Now!” is broadcast on more than 750 stations worldwide. She’s also co-authored three New York Times bestsellers with her brother, David Goodman.

Dead Poets Society

The connections between art, madness and tragedy are often sensationalized. Far be it for us to go against that grain. Match these famous poets with the way they died and some of their verses. Happy Poetry Month!

film

Reel World

On Friday, April 17, Albuquerque’s Public Academy for Performing Arts (PAPA) will host a screening of black-and-white silent films with original piano performances by film and piano lab students. The event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the charter high school’s campus (4665 Indian School NE, Suite 101). Tickets are $3 at the door. This film and music event is a fundraiser to help PAPA students attend the Desert Light Film Festival in Alamogordo on Friday, April 24. PAPA Advanced Film students have been invited to project their experimental dance films onto the dunes of the White Sands National Monument as part of the grand finale for the film festival. Desert Light is a competition for middle school and high school students sponsored by New Mexico State University at Alamogordo and the Otero County Film Office.

Crips and Bloods: Made in America

SoCal camera dude trades surfing for banging

Easygoing Southern California documentary wizard Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys, Riding Giants) turns his attentions away from the recreational pursuits of his youth to more serious topics of SoCal culture in Crips and Bloods: Made in America. In his usual dazzling style (half MTV/half Ken Burns), Peralta gives viewers a compact and meaty history of South Central L.A.’s gang problem.

Familiar Ground

“Parks and Recreation” on NBC

Still looking to fill gaps in its Thursday night schedule (See ya, “Kath & Kim.” Not like we’ll miss ya.), NBC has talked the creators of “The Office” into contributing another sitcom. Though “Parks and Recreation” isn’t an actual spin-off of “The Office,” it’s as close in subject and tone as a show can be. Wisely, the show is designed as a vehicle for star Amy Poehler.

music

Music to Your Ears

The New Mexico film industry's proverbial belt gets another notch punched in it this week, but it's not what you'll see that's making the state proud—it's what you'll hear. Albuquerque musician Tom Monahan composed the score for Fat Head, a nationally released docu-comedy starring, written and directed by Tom Naughton. The film is a direct challenge to Morgan Spurlock's 2004 Super Size Me (and, indirectly, an homage to Subway's "Jared" ad campaign). It follows Naughton as he eats nothing but fast food for 28 days and loses weight.

Mike Watt

Ex-Minuteman ponders mortality while practicing an opera

Punk institution Mike Watt considered a lot of influences in designing his third rock opera: Walt Whitman, The Wizard of Oz, Watt’s own past recordings, “jackalopes and shit.”

Lionel Loueke Trio

African-inflected guitar and telepathy

Blending simple, beautiful African melodies with forward-looking harmonies, a deep groove and an unusually percussive repertoire of vocalizations, guitarist Lionel Loueke has quickly captured the imagination of jazz audiences. He’s also won the respect of some of its biggest heavyweights, including Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

food

Factory Farm Bills

Separating the alarmist hype from the scary truth on Capitol Hill

My inbox has been pummeled by e-mails warning me of the evils of a bill working its way through Congress. Sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., H.R. 875—aka the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009—is one of a raft of bills introduced in the wake of the peanut butter-borne salmonella outbreak.