Bienvenidos to ¡Ask a Mexican!, the world’s foremost authority on America’s favorite beaners! The Mexican can answer any and every question on his race, from why Mexicans stick the Virgin of Guadalupe everywhere to our obsession with dwarves and transvestites. In the course of his answers, The Mexican will use certain terms and phrases for better-rounded answers. Here are the most-used.
Could international restaurants be the answer to cosmopolitan bliss?
By Eric Griego
I don't know about you, but I'm a guy who likes food. In fact, I have to say that next to napping, food is one of my favorite things. Thankfully, in New Mexico, food is part of our identity. Show me a guy without a red chile stain on his shirt, and I will show you a guy without a shirt.
There's a new book out in defense of manliness. It's got the commentators all atwitter with its premise, which is that, as a nation, we are making a huge mistake by downplaying the importance of those classic hunter-gatherer virtues, such as decisiveness, bravery, courage under fire ... and volume.
Village Idiot—[CORRECTION: Some alternative weeklies in the Village Voice Media chain (formerly the New Times chain) do in fact have media criticism columns. An incorrect statement about this has been removed from this article. The error was made by the columnist. Apologies all around.] Management changes are always difficult, especially when some wunderkind's shadow darkens the door, towing with him ideas about how things should be done at your Pulitzer-winning alt weekly. That's what Democracy Now! is calling a "shakeup" at the Village Voice.
Dateline: Germany—A German man has taken legal action against the Easter Bunny for grievous bodily harm. Eccentric Berlin-based performance artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze--who also sued the Pope, filed a patent for straight bananas and tried to open a restaurant serving breast milk cakes--has filed a complaint with prosecutors, accusing the holiday icon of causing addiction to chocolate which leads to heart attacks, obesity and strokes. “The Easter Bunny is a sadistic and unscrupulous offender who preys on people's sweet tooth,” said Lentze in a public statement. “Find this evil bunny, handcuff his paws and remove him from shops in time for Easter.” Public prosecutor spokesperson Christian Avenarius said, “We will act upon this complaint with speed and diligence.” Despite the pledge, it is believed that Lentze's latest campaign will meet with as much success as his petition to ban Santa Claus.
Casting the Coens—There will be an open casting call for the new Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men this Sunday, April 23, at the Student Center Ballroom on the Highlands University Campus in Las Vegas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Coen brothers (makers of such fine entertainment as Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona) will shoot the film in Las Vegas, Santa Fe and Albuquerque beginning on May 24. Casting directors are looking for strong characters, including bikers, Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. The casting call will also be on the lookout for cars built before 1980 (the year in which the film is set). No Country for Old Men is based on the recently published novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy and concerns a rural sheriff hunting for a suitcase full of money and a demented killer. If you go, be sure and tell Joel and Ethan that The Dude sent you.
The Sin Fronteras Film Festival was started four years ago by SOLAS, the University of New Mexico's Latin American Studies group. “The festival was pretty small and mostly focused on sociopolitical concerns,” admits Dorothy Baca, who has signed on this year as the festival's new director. Baca, who also serves as director for the Arts of the Americas Institute at UNM's College of Fine Arts, hopes 2006 will be a breakout year for the festival, reaching out of the campus and into the community.
For me, professional bull riding ranks somewhere between Olympic curling and women's billiards on the list of all-time favorite sports. In fact, like people who only go to church on Christmas, I'm one of those people who really only watches sports on Super Bowl Sunday. So, it's pretty safe to say that the new documentary Bullrider is not aimed at me.
Despite a number of extremely popular TV series, ABC is proceeding with the sort of reckless abandon of a third-place network. Their new fall schedule is crammed with new shows, and mere weeks away from May Sweeps network executives are still running premieres. Earlier this week, for example, ABC unveiled the newest effort from overachiever J.J. Abrams (who, in addition to cranking out “Lost” and the recently returned “Alias,” is also directing the latest installment of the Mission: Impossible series).
Lights Out for Marta?--It seems Marta's Camino Real, a plucky and thoroughly delicious New Mexican spot in the UNM area, has closed. The restaurant has gone dark in the last few weeks and the phone is disconnected. How sad. If you know what happened, please drop me a line.
I can only imagine the delight shared by the earliest humans upon discovering that vegetables were not only edible, but delicious. They may have been out hunting their requisite wooly meat beast when one of them pointed to the ground, and all crowded around, admiring a fat, juicy carrot, or maybe a leafy bunch of spinach. The brave one put it in his mouth, chewed for a minute and then screamed for joy. Food also grew from the ground, and thus began our evolution into the salad-eating, broccoli-loving, bell-peppered existence that we know and cherish today.
FHM CD Release Party--Fast Heart Mart bring their street performance aesthetic and a brand-new album to Harlow's (NE corner of Central and Carlisle) on Friday, April 21. This show will be the official jumping off for An Orange Album, the lightning-quick follow-up to the group's 2005 The Red Record.
Saxophonist opens Saturday Night Jazz Series at Seasons
By Mel Minter
Native son Ben McIver needs to perform more often. Not because he needs the practice, though he might tell you otherwise. Not because he's an excellent player, though he is. But so we can hear more of his elegant jazz compositions eloquently played.
Requiem Mass, Tetelesti, The Ground Beneath, Suspended, Torture Victim, Aphotic Blitz and Natural Reaction provide the soundtrack to the best free barbecue of the season at The Zone Smokeshop (2505 San Mateo, just south of Menaul). Plus, they're giving discounts to people with this flyer, so take a copy of the Alibi with you and score some incense on the cheap. Saturday (which is actually 4/22) at noon. (LM)
Thursday, April 20, at the Roy Disney Center for the Performing Arts in the NHCC; Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, at Popejoy Hall: It's a love story that lasts five centuries. But don't pitch it that way if you're trying to get friends to go see it with you.
Tuesday, April 25, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: As a pretty genuine, bona fide nerd, I can honestly say that these so-called “nerds” that make up The Nerds Rock Inferno scare the shit out of me. These aren't the type of nerds who internalize or bottle up their anger. Instead, one too many kicks to the groin via the high school quarterback have sent these comely Italian rockers into a rage-fueled fit of destruction. The Nerds work within a genre that could be defined as hardcore rabble rock that's fast, hard, dirty and not for your average malcontented spectacle wearer. Initial impressions of the band paint a picture of a somewhat chaotic mess of fast chord changes and barely audible screaming. There is, however, method to these nerds' madness. The complex layering and other intricacies can almost catch you off guard because of the Nerds' canaille musical persona. This is the only band I've heard that probably appeals to Rush and Cannibal Corpse fans equally.
Local musician leaves behind a legacy of stellar musicianship and genuine passion
By Simon McCormack
On Monday, April 10, Albuquerque lost a valued member of its music community. Ryan King, bassist for the Cowpunk outfit Swingin' Meat and ex-member of the infamous local punk ensemble Beefcake in Chains died at the young age of 34.
Day of the Book—Homosexuals have Gay Pride Day. Groundhogs have Groundhog's Day. Daylight has Daylight Savings Day. And books? Books have UNESCO's World Book Day, an international celebration of all bookish things. Here in Albuquerque, we're celebrating Sunday, April 23, with a reading by three local poets—Patricia Clark Smith, E.A. (Tony) Mares and Diane Thiel—at Alfredo's Coffee House (2104 Charlevoix SE) in Old Town. The event takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. According to the organizers, on this day, by custom, adults are asked to donate a book to a young person. Bring a book to the event, and it will be donated to Dolores Gonzales Elementary School and Washington Middle School for use in classes. For more information, call 266-0262 or go to www.abqreadfest.com.
It might not be an art gallery by name, but it has the same spirit. Nearly every wall of the UNM Mental Health Center is adorned with colorful paintings and portraits—all finely framed and signed by the artists. Each piece has its own unique story of how it came to be on these walls. Some were donated by past and present patients. Some were commissioned. One has been hanging on the back wall for as long as anyone can remember. A particularly striking impressionistic rendering of Vincent van Gogh standing under an umbrella brightens a dark hall on the second floor—a portrait of a man with whom many artists in the mental health community identify.
Orion Weiss is only 24-years-old, but he's already making a deep mark in the classical music world, showing a maturity in his performances way beyond his years. Chamber Music Albuquerque is bringing Weiss to town for its second annual Ralph Berkowitz Concert. The performance will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. in Albuquerque Academy's Simms Performing Arts Center (6400 Wyoming NE). A free concert lecture will occur at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $17 to $35. Student tickets are half price. They're available online at www.cma-abq.org or by calling 268-1990.
According to legend, back in the mid '80s, poet Marc Kelly Smith was working as a construction worker in Chicago when he put together the world's first poetry slam at the Gin Mill Lounge. The idea was to pump some juice into staid traditional readings, give some emphasis to performance and stage presence, and throw a little good-natured competition into the mix.
Rusta Rhymes is back! Rusty Rutherford—he of How to Pick Up Chicks fame—will be busting out a new hip-hop comedy performance at Gorilla Tango (519 Central NW) this weekend, directed by Kevin R. Elder. Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. through April 29. There'll be a special late night performance on the final night at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. If you haven't seen this pint-sized, smooth-talkin' ladies' man in action before, you really need to get on it. Might want to leave your girlfriend at home, though, because the masculine lure of Rusta might just be too much for her to handle. 245-8600.
Mexican perspectives on Mexican immigration to the U.S.
By Katy June-Friesen
Of all people, New Mexicans should understand that borders aren't simply about physical boundaries of land and territory; they're also about people and cultures that can shift and change. In the past few weeks, massive pro-immigrant rallies have forced the U.S. to publicly address the growing cultural and economic contributions of peoples from countries south of our border.
Estela stands beside her washer and dryer and tells a group of American students the story of her family. Her cinderblock home hugs the side of a ravine in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The group sits in one room of the tiny home, under a corrugated plastic roof. Four beds, a couch, a refrigerator, a small stove, boxes, a TV and a stereo crowd the upper level of the room. Estela stands on the level below. Behind a curtain is a bathroom with a barrel of water for pouring down the toilet. On the walls are two guitars, a tennis racquet, a plastic NFL clock and a crucifix with a white Jesus.
Ofelia Laureano was born in a rural village in the state of Puebla where her parents were farmers. The family was poor, and her parents had trouble supporting all their children. Every day, the family ate tortillas and beans. Ofelia took care of the younger children while her siblings worked in the field.
Moonshine Champagne—What is this magnetic force that attracts people to banjos, barefeet and overalls? I haven't been able to quite figure out what it is, but you guys can't seem to get enough bluegrass in this city. And now there's a permanent home for the stuff at the Windchime Champagne Gallery (Downtown, just east of Sixth Street on Central). Windchime mastermind G. Larribas says the gallery will host traditional and contemporary bluegrass performances every Wednesday night from here on out, starting with The Duke City Swamp Coolers on April 19. Keep an eye on our “Music Calendar” listings for new acts each week.
Free show, Friday, April 14, at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe (1814 Paseo de Peralta, all-ages). The text at the bottom says, “1. Zombie rock. Mothers lock up your daughters. 2. Albuquerque's finest. 3. A behemoth slab of destruction. Members of The Battle's End, Bravura Corvid, The Cherry Tempo, Black Water Flood, etc. 4. Do you like crying? Because they do. 4. Do you like Satan? Debut show.” We totally love you guys. (LM)
The second installment of the Emergenza Festival in Albuquerque returns to the Launchpad this Thursday. With a stellar lineup of local mainstays like Caustic Lye, The Dirty Novels, Hit by a Bus and The Gracchi, you'll stay entertained until “hangover Monday” rears its discombobulated head. What follows is a breakdown of the action intended to give you some idea of what to expect on each of the four nights. Like all good competitions, however, unpredictable scheduling changes are inevitable and it should be noted that the intricacies of all the bands cannot be adequately espoused in the amount of space that this “Show Up” provides. Here, then, is your night-by-night summary of what's to come:
Vanilla Pop croons over three years at Martini Grille
By Amy Dalness
Here's a common scene: A young man leans against the bar, making a phone call to, let's say, his roommate. He chats for a minute, tells his buddy to come over for a drink and puts the phone away. A simple scene, causing no general hubbub or hilarity—unless it's at the Martini Grille on Wednesday night.
Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over); $5: “Metal lives!,” so sayeth Albuquerque. This city's always been a fan of the genre. It's in Burqueños' teeth, in our bones, and no matter what incarnation it takes on, it outlasts most other rock genres built on chintzy tin and fickle fans.
Wednesday, April 19, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: Listening to the Sic Alps is a little like watching a race car with wobbly wheels. It's the precursor to a wreck, but for now, the thing's still traveling.
There's been a lot of talk swirling around the Flying Star lately--Confusion over policy enforcement, a new vice president hired on from out-of-state and two enormous locations in the oven (including a proposed adjoined 10,000-square-foot shopping center) are a few of the things you're talking about.
I have frequently been given the monumental task of choosing a representative New Mexican restaurant for both out-of-towners and Burque newbies. There are so many places here with so many different types of food and atmospheres, and picking one is akin to choosing a mate: It's important to be careful and conscientious, while being aware that good looks do matter. Lucky for me, my figurative engagement ring just got a big, fat diamond placed in the middle of it in the form of La Fonda del Bosque, the brunch spot of champions located inside the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
The first night of Passover falls on Wednesday, April 12, this year. Passover, or Pesach (say “PAY-sahch,” with a "ch" as in the Scottish "loch"), is a ritual feast that commemorates the freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. It's an important time for Jewish folks all over the world, celebrated as a high holiday when family and friends come together to reflect on their collective past ... and, above all, to eat.
UNM researchers are on the forefront of a vaccine that could end cervical cancer
By Marisa Demarco
It's the culmination of a lifetime of work for University of New Mexico professor Cosette Wheeler, and it could be the largest development in women's health since the advent of the birth control pill. After studying the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for two decades, she will likely see a breakthrough vaccine for the virus released to the public this year. The hope is that this vaccine could potentially prevent more than 80 percent of cervical cancer cases.
Drunk driving and mental illness need better solutions
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
The hearts of our local policymakers must brim over with optimism. I can think of no other possible explanation for why they're falling so gullibly for such goofy silver-bullet solutions for complex social problems, such as Kendra's Law and an ordinance requiring the publication of DWI offender photos in newspapers.
Dateline: Australia—A naked man may be a little less of a nature lover after suffering burns to one-fifth of his body while trying to set fire to a spider at a nudist resort in New South Wales. The 56-year-old Sydney man tried to kill what he thought was a funnel web spider by pouring gasoline down the spider's burrow and igniting it with a match, CareFlight rescue copter service told the Sydney Morning Herald. Unfortunately, the fuel exploded, burning the man on his upper leg and buttocks. Resort staff treated the man before paramedics arrived. The man was flown by helicopter to Sydney's Concord Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition with burns to 18 percent of his body. Resort guests told emergency crews it was probably a harmless trapdoor spider and not a deadly funnel web. The man's lack of clothing probably contributed to the extent of his burns, the rescue chopper service said.
Correction--Last week, Reel World ran a crew call for the new low-budget horror film Gimme Skelter, which will be lensed this spring by local moviemakers Exhilarated Despair Productions. Seems they're looking for a reliable makeup effects person willing to get down and dirty with the film's many blood-soaked scenes. The e-mail address we ran, however, was incorrect. If you're interested in showing off your skills alongside such horror legends as Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), you should send your résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could say that Zoe and Ignacio Edwards are a happily married couple. Except that they aren't. At least not the “happily” part. After spending a few minutes inside their household, viewers of La Mujer de Mi Hermano will realize that--despite owning a successful factory, having an ultramodern house complete with indoor/outdoor pool and generally looking like a couple of models straight off the pages of GQ--the Edwards have a fairly chilly relationship.
The 1st Annual Independent Indigenous Film Festival
By Devin D. O'Leary
In many ways, the Guild Cinema is the perfect place to host the Independent Indigenous Film Festival. The word “indigenous” is defined as, “Belonging to a place: originating in and naturally living, growing or occurring in a region or country.” Being the only independent, locally owned movie theater left in Albuquerque, the Guild is a unique belonging of our local arts scene. Would you hold a festival celebrating and fostering indigenous cultural values and identity in a vast megaplex owned by an out-of-state corporation, or would you place it firmly on the screen of a theater that has been living and growing in our city for the last 40 years? ... Yeah, so would the organizers of the 1st Annual Independent Indigenous Film Festival.
Bryan Konefsky, lecturer in the University of New Mexico's Media Arts Department, vice president of local arts organization Basement Films and self-described “media archeologist,” will be taking over UNM's SouthWest Film Center this weekend to present two days worth of “visionary cinema and un-dependent moving image art.”
The Deuce is Wild—I'm going to do you a favor. (I know, I know—I'm very giving. Just thank me and let's move on.) I'd like to suggest a couple especially interesting art shows for you to peruse this weekend. The first is over at Artspace 116 (116 Central SW, Suite 201), which is located Downtown next to the Century 14 movie theater. The exhibit is a 20-year retrospective of work by Ken Saville, a longtime Albuquerque arts fixture who is a “permanent substitute teacher” at an elementary school down in the South Valley.
Private Lives at the Cell Theatre and Dangerous at Sol Arts
By Steven Robert Allen
Intimate human relationships are always a tricky business. Throw a little romance and sex into the mix, and some degree of heartache and pain is almost inevitable. We're built to love, though—most of us, anyway—so there's no sense in whining too much. If we fall flat on our faces, over and over again, we usually have no one to blame but ourselves.
When Francesca Duran got pregnant at the age of 16, an Albuquerque judge decided it was a violation of her recent release from a youth detention center. "I pleaded with the judge," says Duran, now 20, “but to no avail.” Duran, who had already spent ages 12 to 15 behind bars, was sentenced to another two years.
You got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away And know when to run. You never count your money When you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' When the dealin's done.
Why do we include picks for eats and drinks in our annual Best of Burque? Because we can. And also because without the fantastic food and luscious libational offerings here in the 505, we'd be just as boring as those other cities with no red or green. So read up, keep eating it up, and expect a full-on report for your esculent sensibilities in our annual Reader's Choice Restaurant Poll coming up in the fall. And remember, being in Albuquerque is a lot like being in Valhalla, only with tortillas and horchata.
So here we are again. It's a new year, folks, and with it comes a new summation from our readers on the best (and in many cases worst) aspects of life in our beloved city. Who do we blame for the failures of our simple metropolis? Who do we cheer for getting things right? And, perhaps most importantly, where should we go for the best knock-down, drag-out night of bowling this side of Santa Fe? (Please tell me it's a place with karaoke.)
The sun goes down. The city lights up. We pour out into the night, our day's pay burning holes the size of pint glasses in our pockets. We look for a quiet corner, a little action or a night on the town. A slice of heaven right here on earth or something just a bit naughty. We love the night life. In this year's poll, you spoke up about your favorite Albuquerque haunts--whether you're out for a rollicking night of live local music, after-work cocktails with the girls, a game of pool at the Anodyne or a double feature at the Guild. It's all here. On the off-chance you don't see a category or business you feel deserves some attention, don't feel shy about sending us your suggestions. We work hard so you can play hard, all night long.
On the face of it, Burque seems like an ordinary, blue-collar, beer-steak-and-potatoes kind of town. Of course, for those who know it well, nothing could be further from the truth. Scratch a couple millimeters beneath its dusty surface, and you'll find a whole wide world of weird.
By Marisa Demarco, Simon McCormack, Amy Dalness and Steven Robert Allen
It's the American way. Indeed, many of this year's voters have a predilection for venturing down the florescent aisles of the megachains—which is also the American way. But this is the Best of Burque, folks. So you're going to have to let the giant franchises go. Trust us. They can take care of themselves. Instead, raise your glass and swipe your credit card for the local businesses with unique goods and funky flare. Here's to the stores that have snagged your hearts—and a little something from your pocketbooks.
Doug Montoya—Manager/Performer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
Best Wine Shop
Trader Joe's. I like the selection. You can get good wine at a cheap price. Two Buck Chuck is my favorite.
Best Downtown Bar
Anodyne. The bartenders are not stingy with the alcohol. It's just a nice environment to hang out. A huge variety of people hang out there.
Best Outdoor Mural
I love the mural on the corner of Tenth Street and Coal. It's an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a little girl in a cornfield. I just think it's cool. It's refreshing to be driving around in that area and see it. It's been there for a while.
Best Architectural Gem
The building on the northeast corner of Third Street and Central. I guess they're calling it The Banque. It's beautiful architecture. I'm so pleased they're preserving it. A very attractive building, very classic.
Aaron Brown--General Manager of Century Downtown 14
Best Elected City Official
I'll take Brad Winter just so I can be different than everybody else. I think Brad Winter is the most up-front guy on the old City Council. I don't really know the new Council. He takes care of his constituents the best he can and tries to do what's best for Albuquerque.
I'd say the Frontier. The year I spent in California was miserable because I couldn't have a Frontier breakfast burrito.
Best Candy Store
Theobroma. It's truly the best chocolate I've ever had anywhere. And I've been everywhere. I lived in San Francisco and had plenty of Ghirardelli, and I think this is better. And I do like it too much.
Joaquin Falcon--Executive Liason at DW Turner Strategic Communications
Best Use of Local Tax Dollars
I thought the late-night Rapid Ride in the summer was awesome. It provided a big-city service in a small town. I think they should get that going year-round. I used it weekend nights. I live Downtown, but it allowed me to go to Nob Hill, see friends, have a couple drinks and go back Downtown without the use of my car.
Sunday brunch at Ambrozia. If you're willing to splurge, it is the best brunch you've ever had. It's just laid-back, mellow, with eclectic choices.
Jenica Houlberg--Server/Bartender at Brickyard Pizza
Irysh Mac's is definitely the best coffee in town. We always get it from them on my shifts. We go just before they close. I always get a breve latte with a shot of vanilla. Sometimes I get a raspberry mocha. Keeps me going through the night.
Best Local Microbrew
I like Kelly's. It's inexpensive. I can go there with five dollars and get a couple pints. I like their imperial stout. I like dark beers. It's got to be amber or darker. I haven't had a bad beer there yet.
Best Downtown Bar
Anodyne. It's a cool place. I like that it's pretty dark up there. And they've got pool. Sometimes you have to wait for a pool table, but you can get a couple drinks while you wait. It's a relaxed atmosphere. The Star Wars table is my favorite.
I've seen Carlos Contreras perform a lot over the past few years, but at the 2005 National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, this guy really came into his own. Contreras can slam into silence the rowdiest of crowds.
Dominic. He's affordable, talented and fun to talk to. He's operating out of Ten O Two Park Avenue. Don't view the mess on my head as an example of his work. I haven't voyaged for consultation with this hair guru in a while.
Best Item You Can Make Out of a Copy of the Alibi
So hard to pick one. There's the standard pirate hat. You could stuff your bra with it. And though it's not a testament to the quality of the writing, you can use your handy Alibi to pack dishes. I do.
The Distillery. The upstairs pool hall is nice. It's a good place to run into old friends.
The one by the Sunshine Theatre painted by the mayor's art program because I was part of it. It's a figure, he's kind of emerging. It's a little abstract. I wish I knew the name of the artist, but I don't.
Eu-Can Bowl. I like it because the bowling area is nonsmoking, but you can still smoke in the gallery part. It makes everybody happy. It's a good mixture for smokers and nonsmokers. And, of course, they have galactic bowling.
Best Wine Shop
Has to be Quarter's on Wyoming and Montgomery. They have the best prices.
Best Thrift Store
Goodwill in Rio Rancho. They have an awesome selection. They'll work with you on the price. The staff is really friendly, and the place is clean.
Donnie Chase. I listen to the radio all the time. I think morning shows with him are funny. He's just a funny guy. I like it when he gets together with the husband-and-wife team on The Peak.
Copper Lounge. Because it's where my friends go, and I like how it's laid-back. You sit in a booth and vegetate. It's not that crazy. Most people think it's a dive bar, but it's pretty cool. Nice and clean. Good waitresses.
Best Karaoke Bar
Sneakerz. There's nothing like a bunch of drunken sports guys singing, especially when they break out "Feelings."
Best Venue to Hear Live Music
That's a tie between The District and Ralli's. I like that The District is giving a lot of young bands a chance, whereas the other bars are like, "sorry."
Vietnam comes to UNM—Well, sort of. Hungry college students won't have to hoof it all the way up East Central every time they get the munchies for boba tea or an order of shrimp spring rolls. A new Vietnamese lunch counter called Green Jasmine has moved into the space at 120 Harvard SE (the one that used to be occupied by Pepperjack Monterey's, and before that, the even more short-lived Salsa Fresca). Green Jasmine offers Vietnamese sandwiches and noodle dishes, as well as a few boba “smoothies” from a large dining room and a pleasant outdoor patio that overlooks the Harvard mall. Great location! The food, on the other hand ... well, it's got some catching up to do. At least, when we went it needed to. For starters, the bulk of the fresh vegetable garnish I got for my pho consisted of shredded iceburg lettuce, supplemented by a sprig of basil and a small clump of mung beans; and there wasn't a single lime to be found on the entire property. The “boba tea” we ordered turned out to be a disturbing layer of mealy, florescent green balls that sat decomposing at the bottom of our ice-packed iced tea glasses. I don't know if they were old or just cheap or what, but it wasn't worth the extra $.75. So, its pricier portions are skimpier and the ingredients just aren't as good as something you'd find after an eight-minute drive up Central to Little Saigon. But that's just it: You don't even need a car to get to this place from campus. Long story short, if you're willing to exchange some quality for convenience, there is definitely no shame in eating there. I think I'll pass for now, though.
Ahoy, mateys! There’s Corona in them thar fishes! My recent trip to Los Equipales made those fake butter-laden Long John Silver’s lobster bites that I wolfed in the car last week simply pale in comparison. The idea of authentic Mexican seafood has always intrigued me, but until recently, I’ve had no real experience with the good stuff. Gumbo, chowder, the occasional shrimp paella have all passed through my lips, but none of them come close to the hot, rich, totally succulent bowl of soup I enjoyed at 4500 Silver SE.
Media Maneuvers—Here's the back story: Knight Ridder, previously the second-largest publishing company in the United States, was recently bought up by McClatchy, a company only a little more than a third the size. To understand what this means for the industry, I called Dennis Herrick, an instructor at UNM's Communication and Journalism Department who used to be a newspaper broker, owned a daily for 12 years and who authored Media Management in the Age of Giants.
Fancy doing something out of the ordinary this weekend? For a look into how “the other half” lives, park yourself over at the greatest show in town: under the big top at the lovely, luxurious University of New Mexico Hospital emergency room. It will be a show you won't soon forget. Good as any traveling three-ring cable reality show. Blood, guts, poverty, drug addiction, an occasional brawl. As the kids say, “it's sick.”
Best of Burque snaps a Polaroid of the likes and wants of Duke City citizenry. But before you dive into your fellow Burqueños' tips on deals and desires, take a look at where Albuquerque places on some national lists.
By Marisa Demarco
Big Fit City
Albuquerque's in good shape when it comes to physical fitness, according to Men's Health Magazine. For the second straight year, we've made their list of fit U.S. cities, though we dropped three places in 2006 and came in at No. 13 of 25. According to the magazine's report card, our citizens don't watch much TV, and we aren't particularly sedentary.
I have a small flock of chickens and a wife in the medical field. Naturally, in these uncertain times, that leads to discussion about avian influenza, aka bird flu. My wife recently brought home a copy of the World Health Organization's (WHO) (www.who.int/en) February 2006 “Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.” And the question she also brought home was: What are we going to do with our chickens when the virus reaches North America?
Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.
Dateline: Canada—A notorious Ottawa drunk driver was found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charge after invoking the age-old “Shania Twain” defense. According to CBC News, Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa. The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed that country pop singer Shania Twain was helping him drive. Brownlee pleaded not guilty to four charges, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified. Last Monday, the judge in the case agreed with Brownlee, drawing on several psychiatric assessments that the man was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that female celebrities are communicating with him telepathically and controlling his actions. Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Earlier in March, a psychiatrist told the court that Brownlee suffers from psychosis resulting from a brain injury caused by that 1996 car crash.
I'm Back!--Go on vacation for a week and see what happens? They clean out your desk and replace you with some pompous twit named Maxwell K. Lionidas. Rest assured, based on the groundswell of reader outrage and the ass-kicking I administered to him, Mr. Lionidas will no longer be gracing the pages of the Alibi. You're stuck with me for the long haul, folks. ... Now, if only I could get the stench of patchouli and corduroy jackets out of my office.
Governor/State Film Office push for more local films
By Devin D. O'Leary
It's no secret that New Mexico has been reaping some impressive benefits from the Hollywood film industry. Currently, there are nine feature films shooting around the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area--from the low-budget horror flick Living Hell to the high-dollar comedy Used Guys with Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey.
Crime may not pay, but it almost always looks cool. At least in the movies. Back when James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson were turning the exploits of real-life gangsters into sanitized action tales, crime seemed like the business to be in for hot dames and bullet-riddled action. In the '70s, the Godfather films forever solidified the image of the well-suited Italian Mafioso. In the '80s, Scarface provided generations of rap stars a lifestyle to which they could aspire. It wasn't until the '90s, though, that crime achieved the ultimate in cinematic cool, thanks to the films of Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction). British director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) briefly added some over-the-top energy to the mixture, but today's crime films are all more or less permanently indebted to Tarantino's nerdy-cool style, blackly comic wit and sheer pop cultural obsession.
If FOX's groundbreaking action series “24” leaves television with one lasting legacy, it will be the viability of telling short story arcs. Until relatively recently, stories on TV were told in one of two ways: the sitcom method (in which each episode is perfectly encapsulated and bears little relevance to what comes before or after it) and the soap opera method (in which stories evolve ad infinitum with no discernible conclusion). TV has occasionally experimented with the idea of relating season-long narratives (notably in Stephen J. Cannell's '80s series “Wiseguy”), but it took a hit like “24” for networks to take notice. Now every channel is looking for their “24,” their “Prison Break” or their “Lost.”
Let the Spring Crawl Countdown Begin—Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 29, this year ... less than one month away! Clear your schedule and prepare for 100 music acts (give or take a few), including nationally touring bands Guttermouth, Bullet For My Valentine and Attractive at the Sunshine Theater and Stereotyperider at Launchpad. This is all subject to change, of course. Now, for those of you who are still trying to figure out how to apply for a slot: Er ... you can't. You cannot audition, submit yourselves for review or put a bug in someone's ear about playing any of the Crawls. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way. What does work is playing live gigs Downtown as much as humanly possible, bringing in a good draw (people who come specifically to see you) and being polite, punctual and easy to work with—because it's the venues who decide, not us. See, after working with you guys for the past six months or more, each participating venue submits a “wish list” of bands they'd like to have play their respective rooms during the Crawl. We just do our best to schedule it all smoothly. Make sense? I sure hope so ... now get gigging!
Revelation recording artists Shook Ones and Sinking Ships perform a monster set with local newbs Outlaw and Excruciation. $5 show starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at Sol Arts (all-ages, 712 Central SE). (LM)
The thing about Four Shillings Short is that they're so unique, writers who attempt to explain their sound have gone to great lengths to describe them in likewise original ways. Sure, they're amazing folk musicians who travel around the world in a white van stuffed with an array of instruments. Sure, both Aodh “g” Tuama and Christy Martin are talented, well-educated musical entrepreneurs. Their traditional Celtic yet Indian-influenced bluesy American folk is just so undeniably good, and they're obviously far from "short" on anything—where'd "Four Shillings Short" come from?
Monday, April 10, Burt's Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: For over 25 years, El Aviador Dro has been a fixture of the synth pop community of Spain and other parts of Latin America. In their native land, they are as important to the scene as groups like Devo and Front 42. But, as with so many non-English speaking, semi-noncommercial bands, Aviador Dro have remained largely unnoticed by the American underground music community and non-Spanish synth poppers alike. That has changed, however, since Omega Point, an electropunk indie label in the United States, released an Aviador Dro compilation that spans the group's entire musical history and also includes a few bonus tracks for those already in the know. The band's earlier work can loosely be compared to Duran Duran and is especially similar to Devo, while their more current material is in-style enough to win the hearts of today's modern synth pop devotees. So don't let the Español scare you, come on out to Burt's for the best synth pop you've never heard.
Sunday, April 9, Launchpad (21-and-over), Free: Like Johnny Cash with throat cancer or Flogging Molly's Dave King on a whiskey binge, Two Gallants' lead singer Adam Stephens belts out dust-covered vignettes over muted guitar and flower-petal-soft symbol crashes. This is the windswept landscape of Two Gallants' “Nothing to You” off of the band's debut release The Throes. Stephens and Tyson Vogel borrow the unmistakable intimacy of Bright Eyes mastermind and Two Gallants' mentor, Conor Oberst, and take it to a murky, half-chaotic place that's uninhabited by most but oddly familiar to many.
Singer, songwriter, fictionist and former Stanford attendee Mark Ray Lewis grew up the son of a country preacher in Hannibal, Mo. Lewis' family, which included his gospel-adoring mother, Betty Jo Lewis, who released her own 8-track in the '70s, cultivated in him a profound respect and love for music as well as an irrepressible spiritual consciousness.
Surrender to Storm—For the third year in a row, the Harwood Art Center will celebrate National Poetry Month (that's this month, comrades) with a collaborative art and poetry exhibit. Surrender to Storm combines Cynthia Fusillo's mixed-media work with complementary poetry by Barbara Rockman for a unique show merging word and vision. The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. 242-6367.
Drawing doesn't get a lot of respect in the hoity-toity art world. For whatever reason, curators, gallery owners and critics often stereotype it as too simple, too basic, too childish even to merit serious consideration. Aspiring artists might spend much of their time doodling in the margins during boring middle school history classes. After that, though, they're expected to quickly graduate to oils and acrylics. If they use drawing for anything, it should be merely to sketch out ideas to be finalized in other media.
Hamlet: The Vampire Slayer at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre
By Steven Robert Allen
Albuquerque has Hamlet on the brain. An excellent traditional staging of the play is now showing at the Vortex Theatre (see Performance Review, “The Prince of Darkness,” March 30-April 5). Meanwhile, over at Gorilla Tango Comedy Theatre, the wackjob jokers from the Eat, Drink and Be Larry comedy troupe have masterminded a—how shall I put this?—somewhat less traditional late-night version of Shakespeare's Danish revenge saga.
The TVI Theater Department is hopping into the local theater scene with both feet. The department's inaugural offering will be This Could Be You, a series of brief one acts by Harold Pinter along with six other shorties from the Humana Festival of short plays at the Louisville Actors' Center. The show is directed by some talented veterans of Albuquerque theater—Susan Erickson, Frank Melcori and Marty Epstein. It runs one weekend only in Janet Stromberg Hall on the main campus. Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. $5. Come on out and see what TVI's theatrical talent has to offer. For more information, call Melcori at 262-4124 or e-mail him at email@example.com.