Alibi V.21 No.39 • Sept 27-Oct 3, 2012

Cubes of Beauty

Operation Art Box, part deux

Circulation manager Geoffrey Plant writes about all of the local artists who revamped our distro boxes in 2012.

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.

film

Decade of Decadence

The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival turns 10

The 10th annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival rips back the curtain on more than a week’s worth of features, documentaries and shorts.

Reel World

Multiple congratulations are in order. Local producer Anthony DellaFlora and videographers Blaise Koller and Charles McClain have all been nominated for a Rocky Mountain Emmy. The trio worked together on “Flight Path: The Flyway Project,” a short documentary detailing Corrales artist Robert Wilson’s journey from creation to completion of a controversial public art project using recycled jetty jacks. The documentary was produced as part of a series of interview shows for the city’s Public Art Urban Enhancement Program that airs on Albuquerque’s GOV-TV (Comcast Cable Channel 16). Winners of this year’s Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards will be announced in Phoenix on Oct. 6. In the meantime, DellaFlora (along with his writing partner Michael Gallagher) has inked a deal with the recently formed Rio Grande Media Group. DellaFlora and Gallagher’s script for the crime thriller Dead By Thursday has been optioned as a feature film project. The group, which produces the late-night variety show “The After After Party” with Steven Michael Quezada, is hoping to branch out into larger projects—including a possible TV drama. If all goes well, Dead By Thursday will begin shooting in Albuquerque, Deming, Las Cruces and Grants by next year.

The Bomb, Baby!

“Last Resort” on ABC

A few weeks in and the fall 2012 TV season is already starting to look like a washout. Almost none of the new shows are generating much interest. All that is about to change drastically, though, with the bracing, nuclear-power shot across the bow that is ABC’s “Last Resort.” This isn’t just the best new show, it’s the best hour of television in ages.

music

Buddha’s Songwriter Gives Voice to Optimism

Chris Smither takes on the imponderables—and wins

Singer/songwriter Chris Smither doesn’t need much to cast his spell, just his blue guitar and a miked particleboard so his tapping foot can keep time.

Breakup Mix

I’m not breaking up with anybody. I’m just breaking up with my job, so I made you this mix. We’ll always have the music!

news

Dark Days of Detention

The legacy of Japanese American internment in New Mexico

Advocacy group raises awareness about internment camps during WWII in our state.

Freedumb of Speech

Racist anti-abortion posters draw student ire

Native American students were shocked by posters displayed on UNM campus. They led a demonstration of their own in response.

Hot in Here

The Council gives a thumb’s up a landmark designation at Bataan Memorial Park but won’t support Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Day.

art

Turning Point

Mother Road brings the Battle of Gettysburg to life

Featuring a cast of almost 30 characters representing real historical figures, The Killer Angels attempts to dramatize the events surrounding the Civil War’s pivotal Battle of Gettysburg

food

Best of the Worst of the Fair

Flavors that linger

A crack team of iron-stomached eating enthusiasts spend a Sunday night scouring the State Fair booths for the most grotesque and oddball foodstuffs they can find.

Alibi V.21 No.38 • Sept 20-26, 2012

Motherly Love

Great acting from Fusion Theatre Company probes familial bonds

From the first rise of the curtain, expect to be captivated by Other Desert Cities. The new play by New York playwright Jon Robin Baitz wastes no time drawing the audience in.

feature

20 Years Ago ...

... Two young dudes from Wisconsin blew into town and made a newspaper. One of them, Chris Johnson, had launched The Onion in college and sold it. The other, Dan Scott, was the smartest guy Chris could think of to help create a new one. Two decades later, the newspaper you're reading is the newspaper Chris and Dan started.

1992

• The biweekly NuCity manages to claw out of the ethereal womb on Friday, Oct. 9, with 12 black-and-white pages of op-ed and event listings. Page 3 gives Burqueños their first taste of “Real Astrology” by Rob Brezsny (still published all these years later! See page 85). “¿El Norte?,” a column in Spanglish by Juan F. Quiroga, makes its debut. Natural Sound, the Dingo, Beyond Ordinary, Guild Theatre and La Montañita Co-op advertise in this historic issue. Bandido Hideout offers a coupon: beef or chicken tostadas with a drink for $1.95. Complete list of computer equipment owned by the company at that time: Powerbook 140, rented laser printer, Macintosh SE.

Oh, the Characters

When I was hired at the Alibi in 1996, I was a small-town Wyoming girl of barely 22 with an associate's degree in journalism in my back pocket. I was young, naive and ready for the "big-city" life Albuquerque had to offer. My first initiation into Burque and my new job as associate editor was an Alibi personals party at the Dingo, where readers slathered one another in hot wax on stage and led their submissives around on dog collars. I was surrounded by tight, black leather, far from the cowboy bar scene I had recently fled, and vividly remember one man who wore nothing but a black garbage bag, white athletic socks and loafers. Oh, the characters you meet in Albuquerque.

1993

• The paper holds its first-ever haiku contest. A review of R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People appears in an early music section. Soon-to-be Film Editor Devin D. O’Leary’s byline pops up atop graphic novel reviews. Fred’s Bread and Bagel advertises on the Club Calendar pages. Note: All NuCity contributors are paid in “Fred’s Bucks.” Home sales across the state are booming, and the paper can afford four more pages in each issue, pushing the count to 16.

1994

NuCity goes weekly on Jan. 11. The paper reprints a column from young Seattle writer Dan Savage on the CDC’s new AIDS-prevention marketing campaign. Eventual Web Monkey-in-Chief Kyle Silfer pens a column with the opening line, “There is this thing called the Internet, and it is swallowing up the universe.” Staffer Alma García goes to Ciudad Juárez to write about the Mexican presidential elections. Best of Burque is born. From the introduction: “51 weeks a year we snivel, revile, quibble and criticize this city that we live in, all under our very own directive of cynicism, humor, sarcasm and hope. But the simple facts remain: Many of us came here (on purpose!) to experience life in this town ... .”

1995

• We publish our first Gay Pride issue, as well as an epic gonzo-style interview with Hunter S. Thompson after two staffers follow the man through six days of chaos. NuCity changes its name to Weekly Alibi on Aug. 9 thanks to threat of legal action by Chicago’s New City newspaper, and we throw a party at the Sunshine Theater to celebrate. This includes a satirical “Miss Chicago” beauty contest and an “old-fashioned Chicago-style sausage toss.” This proves to be one of our most controversial events, with many Chicagoans claiming there’s no such thing as a “sausage toss.” Lousy sausage-tossers! The following Monday, 600 “Why I Hate Chicago” postcards are mailed to the New City publisher.

1996

• We launch our first website: desert.net/alibi. The paper also sweats out its first Summer Guide, still appearing inside hot metal distribution boxes every May. Angie Drobnic Holan is a senior staff writer; she’ll go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 as part of the team behind Politifact.com. The paper has a thriving news section and promises an election issue: “Weekly Alibi will present the 1996 general election in a manner only Albuquerque’s alternative press is capable of.” We throw a KISS tribute show at the Dingo Bar.

1997

• We launch the Weekly Alibi Music Awards (WAMmies), and Bovine plays the awards ceremony. Future Publisher Carl Petersen wins the Best Songwriter WAMmy for his work with the Ant Farmers. The first-ever Readers’ Choice Restaurant Poll hits stands. We buy La Cocinita, a food magazine started by Sergio Salvador. An article appears titled “Who Polices the Police?” about 25 police killings going before grand juries without resulting in a single indictment of an officer. Another story about 30 fatal officer-involved shootings within 10 years comes out in December.

1998

• With Iraqi civilians starving en masse under U.S. sanctions imposed after the Persian Gulf War, Alibi staff writer Stephen Ausherman travels there and reports back in an in-depth, two-part piece. Cap’n Opinion runs a fake Q&A with Democratic congressional candidate Phil (m)Aloof titled “Interview with the Vapid.” The paper changes formats, adopting the short-tabloid.

Two Minute Criminal

It was one of the sickest crimes that many in Albuquerque had ever seen; so grotesque, destructive and brazen that even veteran Albuquerque Police Department officials, many of whom had spent their entire careers dealing with the most heinous of crimes, could only stammer and sputter in outrage and disbelief at the terrible act.

1999

• The Alibi holds its first Crawl, shutting down Central and filling Downtown’s stages with nearly 70 bands, including: Red Earth, Giant Steps, Atomic Love Medicine, Kimo, Ben Hathorne, Fatso, Stoic Frame and Alpha Blue. We also run a special comics issue, in which the paper’s usual content is turned into comic strips. The “Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker” Summer Film Guide connects every movie in the feature to Mark Hamill. Gwyneth Doland is hired as food editor, ushering in an era of pork love and Atkins Diet abhorrence.

2000

• The Crawl splits in two, offering a spring and fall version. In the fall intro: “Much has been said lately about a soon-to-be revitalized Downtown shimmering with retail and entertainment possibilities that Albuquerqueans of a decade ago could only dream of.” The lineup includes: Oh, Ranger!, Pilot to Bombardier, Concepto Tambor and The Shins. Then-Arts Editor Steven Robert Allen makes a case for instant runoff voting, a system still discussed as an alternative to today’s method, which caters to two-party elections.

• The much-loved University-area movie theater The Lobo closes in early August. Built in 1939, the brick-walled space goes on to house a reformed Christian megachurch.

2001

• On Sept. 11, four passenger jets are hijacked. Two crash into the World Trade Center, one crashes into the Pentagon, and one is diverted into an empty field after passengers fight back and take control. Nearly 3,000 people die.

Community Journalism

I worked for the Alibi as an intern, freelance writer and staff writer between 2005 and 2009. Some of my very favorite stories I wrote during my time at the paper included a series of 2009 pieces about a cement transfer plant in the North Valley. The plant requested, and eventually received, a permit to drastically increase the amount of pollution it could spew into the air. Neighbors near the plant spent hours collectively voicing their opposition to the proposal at public hearings. Though the permit was granted, there were several conditions placed on the plant's operating procedures in no small part because of the public outcry over the request.

2002

• We turn 10 years old. The Alibi returns Midnight Movies to Albuquerque, hosting late-night screenings at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The first film to be featured is the surreal Japanese horror film Uzumaki, paired with the locally shot short “Science Bastard.”

• The Baltimore-set crime drama, “The Wire,” debuts on HBO in June. Airing 60 episodes between June 2002 and March 2008, the gritty series is soon hailed by many critics as the greatest TV drama of all time. R.I.P., Omar.

2003

• The Alibi moves its offices from Nob Hill to Downtown. Writer Jeremiah Luria Johnson attends APD’s training academy. Our annual Survival Guide opens with a line about PalmPilots. We hold our second-annual mail art contest, which yields an antiwar dinosaur sculpture and a punched tin batch of “Art in a Box.” At the Spring Crawl: Rage Against Martin Sheen, The Roxieharts, Simple., Oktober People, The Dirty Novels and Jet Black Summer. The Alibi ponders again whether Downtown revitalization will fix Albuquerque’s economy.

2004

• The final, 10th annual Alibi Short Film Fiesta is held at the Lobo Theater. Among the films screened: “Allison” by Jeff Drew, “Orange Barrels From the Phobosphere” by Brandon Scott Jensen and “Date 1.0” by Ryan Denmark. We also launch the popular Valentine’s Day Card Contest. In July, a long-serving soldier and registered Republican tells the Alibi that “the Bush administration did exactly what al-Qaida wanted us to do. It's created a huge recruiting opportunity for our enemies, and we've alienated the whole world in the process."

2005

• The Alibi defends Downtown clubs as Mayor Chavez works to eliminate all-ages shows where alcohol is served. We also call out the Party Patrol, which is accused of violating civil liberties. Former Alibi staffer Norma Jean Thompson eulogizes her former lover Hunter S. Thompson. Intern Simon McCormack is assigned to prank the city’s new helpline, 311. Staff Writer Jessica Cassyle Carr spearheads the first Quiz and Puzzle Issue. And finally, at long last, an edition devoted entirely to fish sticks. Someone had to do it.

Spy Games

The Alibi almost fired me before they even offered me a job.

2006

A Veterans Affairs nurse writes a letter to the Alibi criticizing the Bush administration and its handling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She’s investigated for sedition. Her office computer is seized. The story goes national, appearing on NPR and in the New York Times. Ours is the first paper that’s not the O.C. Weekly to run the now-syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Readers react. Big. We conduct our first citywide scavenger hunt. News Editor Christie Chisholm profiles an ongoing “mental health emergency” as treatment centers across the city close down for lack of funding. Well-loved Alibi Account Executive Greg Medara and his wife Lauda are killed in a car accident. We still smoke cigars in Greg’s honor.

The Repairmen

While shopping at Thrift Town one Saturday—must’ve been 1996 or 1997—Chris Johnson and I, for some reason, thought it would be funny to purchase matching coveralls, which came emblazoned with name and shop patches like “Doug” and “Dick’s Auto.” Anyway, months went by and these stupid things never came out of our respective closets (mine did a fair job of stinking up the rest of my clothes, also mostly from Thrift Town, so that I went to work every day smelling of stale booze and motor oil) until one fateful fall evening when The Call came through.

2007

• In honor of the the First Amendment and the Fourth of July, the Alibi hosts a free speech rally in the Fourth Street Mall called “Soap Box: A Festival of Opinions.” The crawls run their course, and Fall Crawl is our last. We try to wrangle APD into conducting a test on sprays that are said to make your license plate invisible to red-light cameras. No luck. The Alibi runs a tribute to Canada, eh, and a feature on how to eat the city’s weeds. Virginia Lovliere Hampton pens a great essay on being black in the Southwest called “Can I Touch Your Hair?”

Do I Smell Marijuana?

When I first started working at the Alibi in the late '90s, a worse-for-wear strip mall in Nob Hill housed the paper’s headquarters. A mishmash of dingy offices on the first floor served as the sales, administration and production departments. To get to the editorial department, you had to climb a metal staircase, loosely attached to the outside of the building. At the top was a rickety tin box crammed to capacity with five or six disheveled editorial types. The shelves were filled with toys and comic books. The fridge was filled with beer. Every day felt like Friday … except for Friday, which was deadline day. Friday felt just like Monday.

2008

• A singed ham makes its way to our offices in the form of a Valentine’s Day Card Contest offering. Columnist and Army veteran Alex Limkin pens a letter to his deceased colonel on the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War. Homebrewing sweeps the nation, and the Alibi greedily gulps some samples. We publish our most massive and comprehensive Election Guide to date. Rudolfo Anaya writes about wine and Christmas in our pages. The Alibi takes home 25 awards from local and national newspaper contests. Future Editor-in-Chief Laura Marrich wins several for editing.

2009

• We call out insensitive local coverage of violence against transgender people. The facilitator of a support group, says: “ ... They still had the right to live. And referring to them as victims, I think, would have been more appropriate.” Office Manager Martin Candelaria, a big guy with a bigger heart, dies on March 23. During our visit to the top water-wasting residential addresses in the city, we’re surprised to see a state senator answer the door. News Editor Marisa Demarco tracks down an elusive real-life superhero named Green Scorpion who patrols New Mexico and Arizona looking for villains. We throw our first wine-tasting event, as well as our first Pre-Pride Glam Dance Party.

The Eyes Have It

Trying to pinpoint just one moment in time during my three years at the Alibi is a surprisingly challenging undertaking. On the day I applied for the calendars editor position, I was exactly one day late for the application deadline. I had grabbed an Alibi the night before to search for a job opening and saw the classified for the position ... with an application deadline of that day. Truth be told, the Alibi was the only publication in town this journalism major wanted to work for. I have to go for it, I thought, pulled together a mishmash of a cover letter and résumé and wandered sheepishly into the Alibi's office the next morning. Then-Editor-in-Chief Steven Robert Allen came up to the lobby to greet me with a smile and asked me back to his office to chat. The "chat" turned into an impromptu interview with the entire editorial department. It was my first, real, post-college job interview. I was sweating.

2011

• The Alibi starts throwing themed Group Hug parties, including the likes of: Monster Paws, LOW ON HIGH, The Hi Lo Tones, The Ladies’ Society of Grenadiers, Le Chat Lunatique, Mondo Vibrations and many more. Nurse columnist Whitny Doyle profiles a funding debate taking place over the state’s only residential treatment center for drug-addicted pregnant women. On the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, the longest in American history, we run all the names of U.S. troops who’ve been killed.

Damn Proud

As I’m writing this, I am exactly 24 hours away from a new phase of my life. Outside my window, it’s morning on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, where hipsters and baby strollers weave among each other on their mission for iced lattes. This will be my station for the next nine months, while I pursue a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Alibi V.21 No.37 • Sept 13-19, 2012

news

Life After Death

Widow moves past a tragic night and questions whether APD could have prevented it

Katherine Pierce is moving past the night a man broke into her house and murdered her husband. She filed a lawsuit questioning whether APD could have caught the killer before it happened.

Unemployment Blues

Some background: I have been convicted (a very serious word indeed) of unemployment fraud, for underreporting part-time employment. The underreported amount was ... one dollar. I have been appealing, unsuccessfully, for six months.

Debate-Be-Gone

Councilors sweep the Paseo / I-25 issue and a questions about the city’s minimum wage off the table.

film

Compliance

Real-life drama serves up some heavy moral questions

Compliance, the scary and controversial drama from first-time writer-director Craig Zobel, stirred up quite a bit of noise at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The audience response included multiple walkouts and some contentious shouting matches during the film’s Q&A session. So what’s got audiences so worked up?

Reel World

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, the KiMo Theatre will be hosting its 85th anniversary extravaganza. How about coming out and celebrating with the beautiful old gal? The night starts off with Pueblo Indian drumming and dancing at 5 p.m. on the sidewalk outside the theater. City officials will be on hand to unveil a National Register and City Landmark plaque. At 5:30 p.m., there will be an architectural tour of the renovated venue. Restored murals and a brand new silver screen are just some of the sights you will see. At 6:45 p.m. the festivities really begin with beloved local author John Nichols introducing Robert Redford’s 1988 adaptation of The Milagro Beanfield War. Nichols wrote the screenplay based on his 1974 novel, and it was filmed on location in Truchas, N.M. Rúben Blades, Sonia Braga, Melanie Griffith, Christopher Walken, Freddy Fender and John Heard are among the classy cast. The film screening starts at 7 p.m. sharp. Following the film, at 9 p.m., there will be a meet-and-greet reception in the lobby. I hear there will be cake. What’s a birthday celebration without cake? So, what’s the cost for this fabulous event, you ask? It’s free! The mayor’s picking up the tab, so get there early and grab a seat.

Slow Starter

“Revolution” on NBC

Maybe it’s the approaching end of the Mayan calendar. Perhaps it’s Chuck Norris’ talk about President Obama’s re-election ushering in “a thousand years of darkness.” Whatever the reason, human beings have got the apocalypse on their minds again. Never one to miss a trend, NBC jumps on the doom-and-gloom bandwagon with its new end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it series, “Revolution.”

music

Interview With an Angry Samoan

Gregg Turner is alive and well in Santa Fe, and playing the hits

Gregg Turner is known to most as a founding member of the Angry Samoans, a Los Angeles hardcore band that began in 1978. He is also known, perhaps, to a different slice of the population as a record reviewer for Creem Magazine (1976-1998) where he was noted for his inspired hatchet jobs on the likes of Bon Jovi, The Who and even Iggy Pop.

A Question of Scale

Laurie Anderson’s shrunk her setup and grown her sound

Though "Dirtday!" was initially intended to be an instrumental work, lyrics started creeping in—then a narrative, then a flood of them. "It's a long shaggy dog of a story that goes between politics, economics, dreamscapes, theories, personal stories, and it's glued together by this weird violin."

Flyer on the Wall

I can’t think of better imagery to represent DJ Wae Fonkey’s ‘80s disco / funk / R & B / hip-hop-based night. Bust a move with the fresh DJ and dancer on Friday, Sept. 14, starting at 10 p.m. at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). (JCC)

art

Shuteye

Aux Dog production criticizes America’s blinding fear

This isn’t a play about scary terrorists. It’s a play about scary patriots.

¡A la Máquina!

The 2012 International Symposium on Electronic Art is soon to raise its glittering, vibrating, chattering, clicking form over the city. It has the potential to be one of the most significant events to center itself here to date.

food

Death and Pancakes

A Village Inn-trospection

Shimmering pitchers of syrup, gleaming glasses of orange juice and milk, a pie case aglow with golden crusts, haloed meringues and stage-lit creams. It’s like paradise.

Scratching the Hotcake Itch

For those times when you desperately crave a stack of fluffy, golden brown flapjacks swimming in butter and syrup, here are three local joints that will satisfy the urge.