The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is awarded each year to an American author whose book in some way captures the spirit of American life. Early in 2009, I wondered what sort of snapshot of the U.S. one could develop by reading each of this past decade's winners. So I did. And what did America look like in the Aughts?
For adults fond of pictures and art accompanying their reading, there is the graphic novel—what Daniel Clowes calls a "marketing moniker" in his depressingly hilarious 2005 book Ice Haven. "Are comics a valid form of expression?," he asks. "The jury's still out, I'm afraid. There exists for some an uncomfortable impurity in the combination of two forms of picture-writing (i.e. letter shapes that form 'words') while to others it's not that big a deal." The past decade saw abundant excellence in adult comic books. Below are a selection of 10 critics' favorites, volumes which also come with the Alibi seal of approval. In alphabetical order:
The Council clicked its way through business at the Monday, Jan. 4 meeting. New Councilors Michael Cook and Dan Lewis are still keeping pretty quiet but are starting to ask questions and express opinions.
So, have you pulled your head out of your Oh, I am so glad that decade is over, everything was terrible, the world is coming to an end pity potty? Not yet? Then please spare the rest of us. If yes, or better yet, if you never went there in the first place, good on you. Be a shining light, will you?
Dateline: Maryland—A homeless man tried to leave the town of Frederick by stealing a single-engine aircraft at a municipal airport, but he crashed before reaching the end of the runway. Calvin C. Cox, 51, wanted to fly away from Frederick early last Monday morning but ended up in jail on felony charges of theft, burglary and trespassing. Cox was unhurt when the Piper Super Cub ran off a runway at Frederick Municipal Airport and upended in the grass around 2:15 a.m. A canine team tracked him into nearby woods where he was arrested. “He was familiar with aircraft, but I don’t believe he was proficient in the operation of aircraft,” Frederick Police Lt. Clark Pennington told reporters.
Comic and collectable toy shop Astro-Zombies in Nob Hill is hosting an awesome “Nightmare After Christmas” event this Saturday, Jan. 9. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., cult actor Sid Haig will be at the store meeting his fans and signing autographs. You can buy photos, figures and DVDs at the store and get them signed for free. If you bring your own stuff, there is a small fee. Recent cult film converts will recognize Haig from his work on Rob Zombie’s films—appearing as the creepy killer Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects and doing some fine cameo work in the Halloween remake. Quentin Tarantino is also a fan, having cast Haig in both Jackie Brown and Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Longtime watchers of the weird have seen him in dozens of TV shows (including a fun run as the villainous Dragos on “Jason of Star Command”) and a string of memorable ’70s exploitation flicks with director Jack Hill (Spider Baby, The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown). Astro-Zombies promises this is just the first of many special in-store appearances slated for 2010. Astro-Zombies is located at 3100 Central SE.
“Oh, Changalang, Y'all" by the Changalang Gang
"Corndogs" by the Nashville Bullies
"Ain't No We In We Need A Dirt Bike" by Amanda
"You Coulda at Least Told Mama" by Crybaby Keith
"And Your Blouse, M'Lady?" by Brant Cobbler
"Google My Horse" by Todd Globb
"Go-Kart for Bobby" by Yearn Heart
"Frozen Dogwater Boogie" by the Keggers
Nothing wrong with a little emo babe-age every now and then, no sir. Although, personally I’m quite a bit more excited about the black-and-white checkered floor. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Diverside, In The End, TransfRictioN and Red Letter F bring the metal (and possibly a little gangsta clown punk) to the Launchpad beginning at 9:30 p.m.—doors open at 8 p.m. Cover charge is $4. This 21-and-over show is not for the young’ins. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
To some, indie rock is an aesthetic, something between Sonic Youth and Pavement that’s only played by people with mop-tops, ringer T-shirts and cans of Pabst atop their amplifiers. Others might take the genre literally as music recorded and performed by musicians not affiliated with major labels. Whatever your definition, here are 10 tracks from the past 10 years that continue to amaze.
Albuquerque Little Theatre, now celebrating its 80th season, shakes up its reliable formula with Sundays @ 6, a series of programs that will bring together music, poetry, comedy and more. For $6 this Sunday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m., check out the Dynamite Gang and its assured handling of a range of genres from the '60s to now. ALT is located at 224 San Pasquale SW. For info, call 242-4750 or go to albuquerquelittletheatre.org.
Because science continues to lag behind my imagination,the consciousness-
As 2009 closes, most of the highlights in the food realm could be framed in the context of two competing paradigms that have clashed for much of the decade. In one corner we have big food: factory farms, fast food restaurants, mystery meat, biotechnology and other examples of the economics of scale applied to food. In the other corner, small food: farmers markets, ecology-based agriculture, seasonal diets of minimally processed food, locavores, etc.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my reading of the astrological omens, it'll be a hair-on-fire kind of week for you—and yet also a heart-in-repose kind of week. In other words, you have the potential to be fierce and relaxed, vigorously ambitious and sublimely poised. In fact, this might be one of those rare times when you can be both a justice-dispensing warrior and an enlightenment-