Alibi V.21 No.1 • Jan 5-11, 2012

¡Viva la Revolutions !

Tricklock’s three-week theater marathon gets physical and Herzogian

Albuquerque’s theatrical community is growing, at least for the month of January. If you’ve lived here long, you know these temporary citizens come to you by way of Tricklock Theatre Company. For 12 years now, Tricklock has brought acclaimed theatrical acts from around the world to our little city for the Revolutions International Theatre Festival. This year, it’s flown in artists from Israel, Switzerland, France, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Kansas and Chicago, along with hosting a few locals.

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Tuning Into Environmental Hip-Hop

New songs about green jobs, alternative energy and better air quality hit the ’hood

A new wave of green hip-hop is challenging America’s food systems and our relationship with nature.

Sonic Reducer

We evaluate Monks of the Desert, the Red Chili Samurai Project, and Venus DeMars & All The Pretty Horses.

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Chez Bob

Worth the encore

Chez Bob is a little bit elegant or a little bit awkward, depending on your perspective. Mine changed dramatically between my first visit, two years ago, and my recent return. After writing the place off, I was drawn back by rumors of major improvements in both service and food.

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The Energy Code’s Deep Freeze

Polarized reactions to the repeal of building standards

At the tail end of 2011, Albuquerque's rules were replaced with state regulations—also weakened under Republican leadership. Reactions to the vote signaled the depth of the ideological division that has grown among citizens and politicians.

My Iraq War

Taking aim at the destroyer

The end to the war has been declared. But the declaration hasn’t been that important. A private army of contractors remains in Iraq, funded in part by the $6 billion 2012 budget of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. So is the war really over?

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The Movies of 2012

This year’s cinematic trends: 3D Disney, Batman vs. Spider-Man and Keanu Reeves with a samurai sword

The year 2012 looks ... a lot like previous years in Hollywood. The explosions are epic, the stars are plentiful and the trends are limited. So what might the movie-loving masses be watching in cinemas over the next 12 months? Here’s a sampling of the good, the bad and the over budget. (Keep in mind, all opening dates are subject to change.)

Replace This

A look at midseason replacements

Welcome to the start of a brand-new year, 2012 A.D. Or as we in the television biz call it: midseason. It’s time to put all the traumatic memories of the fall 2011 season out of our brains (“Charlie’s Angels” reboot? What “Charlie’s Angels” reboot?) and start pinning our hopes on a whole new crop of replacements. Let’s take a gander at what’s in store for us.

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Alibi V.20 No.52 • Dec 29-Jan 4, 2011

Best and Worst of 2011

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times

It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. In 2011, the happenings of the world—and Burque—loomed large. Inspect the Alibi’s highlight reel.

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Year in Review

Here it is. Our annual compendium of complaints, grievances and joyous salutations toward the most outstanding stories we covered this year, broken down for you, section by section.

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Kick Returns and Reruns

New Year’s Day around the dial

New Year’s Day doesn’t really count as a holiday. New Year’s Eve is a holiday. New Year’s Day is just the day you get off work to recover from New Year’s Eve. It’s the only holiday that requires a recovery period. So, odds are you’re going to be partying your brains out on this Saturday night, and then lying around the house all Sunday afternoon just trying to get your brain kick started in time for work on Monday. Don’t worry. Television is here for you.

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Chewing on 2011

The rising cost of eating, medium-rare pork, nutrition guidelines and foodborne illness top the list of hot stories

Every December, the Hunter PR firm announces the results of a nationwide survey for the top 10 food news stories of the year. The list says as much about the media that writes the headlines as it does about the people who remember them.

Biting Into the Big Apple

A foodie’s pilgrimage to Prune and Masa

There’s a lot you can cram into two days in New York City. Over one weekend this fall, my friend Mike and I visited the Museum of Modern Art, took pictures at the Empire State Building and listened to Chick Corea at the Blue Note with Gary Burton and the Harlem String Quartet. But we came for the food.

The Best Dishes of 2011

No contest—my choice for No. 1 meal in 2011 is Masa’s omakase in New York City, and Prune is certainly in the top 10 (see Have Fork, Will Travel). But I’ve eaten some amazing food here at home this year. The dishes that follow, available on regular menus or as specials, stand out as top notch. I have a hard time distinguishing between them for quality and sheer enjoyment, so in no particular order:

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Sonic Deluxe

A retrospective of 2011’s foremost albums

Ten tune-tacular collections from the dwindling annum.

Five Favorites of 2011

Honestly, I spent most of 2011 obsessing over mod music and glam rock from the ’60s and ’70s, and so I don’t feel quite equipped to compose an authoritative or complete list of the year’s best new sounds. (Besides, the Internet is populated by young bloggers on the hipster tip who are doing just that for me—not that I was into Real Estate, Youth Lagoon or Lana Del Mar in the slightest.) I did, however, spend hours obsessing over certain songs. Below are the five I repeated to an embarrassing degree.

Bitch Music

Violin-playing performance artist shares her New Year’s Eve with Albuquerque

Bitch is a multi-instrumentalist—electric violin, ukulele, bass, keyboard—and solo performance artist. The one-woman band was once upon a time half of Righteous Babe Records alumnus Bitch and Animal. On her own, the exuberant, Technicolor, gender nonconformist singer released her first solo album on Kill Rock Stars and now runs her own label, Short Story Records. Trained as an actor as well, she starred in acclaimed feature film Shortbus by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Her music has appeared on “The L Word,” and she’s worked with the likes of JD Samson, Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls.

Jazzed Reducer

On 6 Times around the Sun, hubkaphonist Mark Weber presents an abundant collection of strange and wonderful music, teaming up with nine adventurous musicians on 38 improvised duet tracks recorded over six years.

Flyer on the Wall

The poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic thriller now serves as the announcement of a New Year’s Eve party at Dad’s House. Gusher, Great White Buffalo, Fart House, Music is the Enemy and Sputniq play beginning at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Best in Show

Our favorite arty endeavors of 2011

Outrageous improv, a futuristic nautical vessel, black humor, an alligator-infested ode to dying swampland. In 2011, we at the Alibi covered some astonishing works ranging from theatrical spectacles to ambitious visual arts projects to impressive contributions to the literary canon. Our current Arts and Lit editor reached out to the previous two, as well as our resident theater critic. They put their nerdy, critical noggins together, and the result is this brainstorm of the more outstanding creative output we covered over the last 365.

The “I” and the Beholder

Eclectic group show at Matrix focuses on identity

It’s the early-morning hours before the zoo opens. Many of the animals are still indoors. The lone mammal in the zebra pen is a beautiful girl, completely naked but for black-and-white-striped body paint.

Alibi V.20 No.51 • Dec 22-28, 2011

Culture Shock

It makes sense to fashion a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer character off Charles Bukowski. Both pop-cultural archetypes have big red noses (Bukowski from a career of professional alcoholism, Rudy from some sort of unexplained nasal phosphorescence); both were social outcasts before they got famous; they’re both horny—in their own way.

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The Odds & Ends Awards 2011

This year in weird news

Another year down, another 52 weeks’ worth of idiotic behavior. Several things can always be counted on when it comes to weird news stories: People will get drunk and do stupid things, stoners love to dial 911, and bank robbers will hand over their IDs at the drop of a hat.

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A Clean Slate

Women laser away their ink—and their hard pasts

Sara is working on healing, on changing. But she can't escape the names. Old boyfriends. People who in another life seemed important. They're tattooed on her body.

Un-Green Time Machine

The Council voted out strident, eco-friendly building regulations and replaced them with the state’s more relaxed 2009 energy code

News Bite

A local chapter of the NAACP is suing the City of Albuquerque, charging that it treats African-American employees poorly. And Jewel Hall says the city is not backing the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Celebration next month.

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Sister Act

Mother Road delivers laughs and tears in tale of sibling camaraderie

With only a handful of days left slipping between our fingers until the new year, Mother Road Theatre Company has produced a show that may be the best to come out of Albuquerque in 2011. Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water, directed by Mark Hisler and Vic Browder, is in one great eruption heartbreaking, fantastically funny and absolutely riveting.

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Party Food

We’re in the homestretch before the new year caps the 2011 party season. Office potlucks and impromptu festivities crowd the calendar—and at some point we have to decide what to bring to the next gathering.

Monte Vista Fire Station

N.M. beef burns down the house

It's amazing how a building as big and beautiful as the Monte Vista Fire Station can stay so hidden. The only Pueblo Revival-style fire station in, well, anywhere was built just before World War II and put up for sale in 1972, when it was no longer big enough for a new breed of fire trucks. Hoses used to hang from the roof of the tower all the way to the garage, which is now the dining room of the Monte Vista Fire Station bar and restaurant.

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The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse

Steven Spielberg double-dips with a couple of Christmas blockbusters

If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg (and every filmgoer must be to some degree), then you’re going to find your Christmas stocking overflowing this week. Working like a sweaty elf in Santa’s factory, Mr. Spielberg has delivered not one but two feature films for Christmas.

Angels We Have Heard on HDTV

Christmas Eve around the dial

Stuck home alone over the holidays like Macaulay Culkin in that movie Home Alone? Fill in the long, lonely hours that make up Christmas Eve with your good friend, television!

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Jingle and Jangle

A festive playlist with less Christmas schmaltz

Holiday-themed music is ubiquitous during the most wonderful time of the year. Shake things up with a sonic snow globe of garage rock, punk, pop, experimental, old country and blues—all in the key of Christmas.

A “Nutcracker” Sweetened With Swing

Tchaikovsky faces off with Ellington

“The Nutcracker” suite is full of memorable melodies, which is at least partly the reason it has become all but inescapable during the holiday season. This year, though, the music is getting a special twist or two, courtesy of The Nutcracker (Swing!) concert presented by Concordia Santa Fe.

Sonic Reducer

Our tiny take on A New Orleans Christmas Carol; Bambara Mystic Soul (The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso 1974-1979); and Tally Ho! Flying Nuns Greatest Bits