Alibi V.18 No.19 • May 7-13, 2009

Zack Freeman

The sound of one voice clapping

Zack Freeman got tired of being in a band, so he started wearing a sampler.

feature

No Destinations

On the way to nowhere in particular, there’s plenty to see

There are about 60,000 miles of highway snaking across New Mexico. They cross back and forth over the varying depths of the Rio Grande Valley, up and down steep, jagged mountains blanketed with towering ponderosa pines, and in and out of scraggly mesquite-strewn deserts. Some of those miles are smooth and paved. Others are barely discernible from the landscapes they traverse.

The Recession-Proof Summer

Cheap or free events in Albuquerque


Festivals

May 23-25: Wine lovers rejoice. The Albuquerque Wine Festival hits the Balloon Fiesta grounds this Memorial Day weekend from noon to 6 p.m. each day. Entry is $15 and includes a souvenir glass (kids under 21 get in free with a parent or guardian). Visit the New Mexico Wine Growers Association website to discover other festivals happening around the state this summer.

news

Answer Me This

What effect is swine flu having on New Mexico sports? What delayed a Rail Runner train? Why were people at a Gallup flea market arrested? And big news in Nambé Pueblo.

Desert Rock Gasps for Breath

The feds motion to yank the permit for a disputed power plant

Sarah Jane White lives in a log house on open rangeland a little ways south of Farmington. The house is small, 48 years old and was inherited by White when her mother died.

Encantada TV

Tune in to Albuquerque

Creative work in Albuquerque continues to bloom, but its fruits aren't always seen.

Thin Line

Have you had enough of the swine flu pandemonium yet?

You can't turn on a TV, power up your computer or open a newspaper without seeing a flurry of flu fanaticism.

Thumping Chests

A stern City Council clipped its way through the Monday, May 4 meeting. After clearing up routine matters, the Council, minus Sally Mayer, approved hiring an outside attorney to go head-to-head with Mayor Martin Chavez. At issue: the capital budget bill. The Council says its version is valid. The mayor says it isn’t.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Serbia—A union official said he cut off his own finger and ate it to show how desperate he and other workers are over wages that have gone unpaid for years. “We, the workers, have nothing to eat. We had to seek some sort of alternative food and I gave them an example,” Reuters news service quoted Zoran Bulatovic as saying. The Raska Holding textile factory union leader used a hacksaw to chop the little finger off his left hand last week in the town of Novi Pazar in southwest Serbia. “It hurt like hell,” said Bulatovic. Bulatovic said the worker’s demands will not stop, but that further self-mutilations will be postponed until expected talks with government officials.

music

Music to Your Ears

Talk about synergy. Warehouse 508 is inviting teens to tour its soon-to-be-opened 26,000-square-foot venue in the heart of Downtown (508 First Street NW, just south of Lomas) on Saturday, May 9. After you've had a good look around, you can jump onto a "VIP" tour bus to Warehouse 21, Santa Fe's successful youth space and 508's mentoring sister site. Then you'll get to see how they do it in the City Different with an all-ages concert from Definition Rare, Asper Kourt, The Harlow Defense, Zagadka and the Duke City Youth Poetry Collective.

film

Reel World

Attention, comic book fans: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (creators of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) need your help. They’ll be in New Mexico this summer shooting their new film Paul, a comedy about a couple of middle-aged fanboys who road trip back from the San Diego Comic-Con and stumble across a crashed UFO, complete with alien (the titular Paul), in the American Southwest. Producers will hold a casting call for Star Wars, Star Trek, and “other science fiction and Comic-Con” fans and devotees this coming Saturday, May 9, at Far Horizon Studio (304 Washington SE). This casting call will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come in your best superhero or science-fiction costume. (Like you need an excuse to break out your Boba Fett helmet.)

Gigantic

Quirky characters, dysfunctional families and Zooey Deschanel? Indie comedy follows the formula, but still feels fresh.

There’s reason to believe that first-time writer/director Matt Aselton is a talent to watch. His first outing, the pleasingly offbeat comedy Gigantic, gives off a vibe that falls somewhere in the same general territory as Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums), Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger) and a number of other young auteurs who read The Catcher in the Rye at a precocious age and grew up with the goal of submitting independent, coming-of-age comedies to the Sundance Film Festival.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Budget-conscious prequel examines the mutant behind the mask

Given the $87 million opening weekend take for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there can’t be too much worry over in the offices of 20th Century Fox about the future of the X-Men franchise. It remains to be seen whether the same can be said by actual fans of all things Marvelous and mutant-related. After all, if the most popular, most interesting, most storied of the X-Men characters can headline a film that is so ... average, what hope is there for future spin-offs? How exciting would a Cyclops movie be? Can Iceman really hold up an entire movie on his own? Is the world screaming for 90 minutes’ worth of Kitty Pryde walking through walls? Would the Hollywood economy collapse if audiences were subjected to a Dazzler movie? The mind reels.

On the Bubble

Shows in danger of cancellation

The major networks are just weeks away from announcing their new fall schedules. Some shows are guaranteed slots. (“The Bachelor,” we’ll be seeing you again. Sadly.) Others are definitely canceled. (Why, “Pushing Daisies,” why?) Yet to determine their fates are a number of shows who remain on the bubble between cancellation and renewal. Fans, start your online petitions now!

art

Artspace 116

Artspace 116, nestled on the second floor between the First and Second block of Central, is a community service gallery that features artists without a gallery affiliation. Past Artspace 116 exhibits include mixed media, photography, oil painting, lithography, and porcelain and iron works. Gallery showings are typically one-person exhibits of work by New Mexico artists. Don and Pamela Michaelis opened the gallery in November 2004. It's now run by the staff of The Collector's Guide, a website and print magazine focused around the visual art of northern New Mexico and the Southwest.

Culture Shock

It's that time of year. You can feel it in the air, smell it on the 50-mph winds whipping your skull. It smells like ... brief spurts of genius. That's right; it's time for the Alibi's annual Flash Fiction Contest. Every year we ask our creative readership to strip their prodigious prose down to its essence. In this case, that's 119 words’ worth of story nuggets. Too limiting? Then consider this Hemingway treasure: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." That would give you another 113 words with which to blabber on. Come to think of it, 119 words seems a bit much, but such are our long-established rules.

Through the Labyrinth

Paintings by Thomas Christopher Haag at Cirq

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur was a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull. His birth story starts with Minos. Minos prayed to Poseidon, highly temperamental god of the sea, to send him a sign that the throne of Crete would be his. Poseidon sent a snow-white bull intended for sacrifice, but instead, Minos decided to keep it for its beauty and sacrifice another. Naturally, Poseidon was peeved, and in spectacularly weird Greek myth fashion, made Minos' wife Pasiphaë fall in love with the bull. She in turn asked the famed architect Daedalus to build her a wooden cow that she climbed inside of in order to mate with the bull. The progeny of this cursed coupling was the Minotaur, who was later imprisoned in a labyrinth and killed by the hero Theseus for various assorted, well, labyrinthian reasons.

Good Fences

Best-selling author Michael Datcher and the fear of being real

Los Angeles-based writer Michael Datcher has a roving eye, at least as far as genres are concerned. He's equally enamored with memoir, fiction, poetry and journalism and refuses to commit to just one. His 2001 autobiography Raising Fences: A Black Man's Love Story was featured as part of the Today Show Book Club series and caught the eye of none other than Dame Oprah. Raising Fences chronicles Datcher's childhood growing up fatherless, given up by his birth mother for another woman to raise. It takes a naked look at how black boys become black men often without any men around. It's a cycle that Datcher hopes, through honest examination, will be broken.

food

Recession Gardens: Spreading Like Weeds

The media has been having a field day with the idea that gardening can be a hedge against the weak economy. “As American families try to stretch their food budgets during the recession, some are turning to the backyard, rather than the grocery store ...” says CNN. Or “Step one in the battle against soaring food prices,” Salon agrees. “Start your own recession garden.”

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

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.

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)

film

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.

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!

Alibi V.18 No.17 • April 23-29, 2009

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.

feature

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)