After a round of duck-duck-director, the state gets a Bureau of Elections boss
By Marisa Demarco
Gerald Gonzalez says he believes in making government work.
That's not a campaign slogan because he's not campaigning. It is what you might want to hear from the guy hired to be the director of the Bureau of Elections less than a month before a historic vote. His first day of work was Oct. 6.
Gonzalez is not walking into an ideal situation. Jim Noel was supposed to take the job, but he didn't show up for work on his first day, Sept. 8 ["Still Headless," Sept. 11-17]. Noel was appointed by Secretary of State Mary Herrera to be the election boss, but the state's Republican Party protested. Noel is the son-in-law of Democratic Rep. Tom Udall, who's running against Rep. Steve Pearce for a seat in the U.S. Senate. (A poll commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal and released Monday, Oct. 6, says 51 percent of likely voters support Udall and 36 are behind Pearce).
Just in time for the holiday season! Win great prizes like hotel staycations and spa packages from The Remedy Day Spa and Rio Grande Bodyworks. Enter to win by voting for the prize package of your choice every day at alibi.com from November 15–December 5!
Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! Inside, you'll discover dozens of tantalizing categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers like you. When you vote in a Best of Burque poll, you're rewarding the best local businesses with invaluable recognition. Not only that, you're helping to amass an indispensable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Just keep eating and voting, and we'll do the rest. Special thanks to writers Tiffany Alberty, Jessica Cassyle Carr, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin O'Leary, Simon McCormack and Maren Tarro for their generous help in reporting the results. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served!
We received an e-mail last week warning us that people who show up at the polls on Election Day could be turned away if they’re wearing T-shirts, buttons or the like that support a particular candidate. To verify the rumor, we called Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo county clerk.
There’s one booming sector of the economy that escapes taxes the rest of us pay. It’s the political campaign business. Politicians and political parties pay no taxes on the money they raise to chase jobs and power.
Dateline: Wisconsin—Police in Mukwonago said a man was arrested after he used a cigarette lighter while trying to siphon gasoline from a van. The man, who was visiting friends, went to drive home early Saturday morning but realized he didn’t have enough gas in his SUV. Police said the man tried to “borrow” some gas from a nearby vehicle. Apparently, the man couldn’t see how much gas was in the container. Naturally, he used a lighter to check. Nearby residents called police after the inevitable blast of fire burned the man’s hands. Police later found the injured man in a store parking lot. He was arrested for theft and negligent use of burning materials.
One of us had his first taste of muhammara, a nutty pink paste of walnuts and charred bell peppers, on a date with a gorgeous lady friend. The other one of us tried muhammara for the first time just two hours later while eating the remnants from that date out of a grease-stained Styrofoam container. We don't know whose experience was better.
I had this drinking buddy, Aaron, back in Kansas City. We’d get totally smashed, wake up hungover and then gorge on Chinese food. We must have eaten at every Chinese place on both sides of the Missouri River. After 20 or so Mandarin/Hunan/Cantonese binges, it occurred to us that it didn’t matter where we went; the food always tasted the same. Aaron put forth that some sort of subterranean go-kart network existed deep beneath the city, ferrying deep-fried and over-sauced Asian treats from a single source to every Chinese restaurant in town.
The 2008 Taos Mountain Film Festival will open Thursday, Oct. 9, with Locals Night. Slideshows and movies from New Mexico characters will launch this annual festival of high-altitude culture and outdoor sporting. The festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 12, with film screenings and panel discussions at the Old County Courthouse and La Fonda Hotel, both on Taos Plaza. This year’s guests include National Geographic writer Jon Bowermaster, 10-time Mt. Everest summit climber Dave Hahn, El Capitan conquerer Glen Denny, Dalai Lama media coordinator Tseten Phanucharas and ultralight trike flyer/photographer Chris Dahl-Bredine. Dozens of films and videos will unspool over the course of the weekend, covering topics like African peak climbing, Antarctic exploration, ancient Peruvian ritual, Tibetan independence, kite skiing, BASE jumping and the history of Greenpeace. For complete information on films, times and ticket sales, log on to mountainfilm.net.
French thriller slow-burns its way to a complex wrap-up
By Devin O’Leary
The French don’t pump out nearly the same volume of films as they used to. But the Frenchies who are still fighting the system and getting their films out as far as the States are a consistently impressive bunch. Guys like Claude Chabrol (A Girl Cut in Two, The Flower of Evil, Hell), François Ozon (The Swimming Pool, Water Drops on Burning Rocks, Criminal Lovers) and Claude Lelouch (Roman de Gare), and ladies like Catherine Breillat (Anatomy of Hell, Fat Girl) are fluent in the European language of sex, violence and noirish tension.
DiCaprio and Crowe play “who do you trust?” in cutting-edge spy drama
By Devin D. O’Leary
The day after the House of Representatives rejected the first economic bailout package, sending the stock market into a 700-point freefall, the top three search terms on Yahoo were “Ivanka Trump,” “Brangelina” and “dog costumes,” proving that Americans are strenuously adept at avoiding their problems. That’s as good an excuse as any why films dealing with our current War on Terror (or whatever you want to call it) have failed again and again at the box office. The most recent was the PTSD road trip drama The Lucky Ones starring Tim Robbins and Rachel McAdams, which opened on Sept. 28 with a whopping $183,000.
“In Living Color”--that was a hell of a show, wasn’t it? The early FOX network sketch comedy series not only defined comedy in the ’90s, it launched the careers of Keenan Ivory Wayans (plus a dozen or so other Wayanses), Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez (a founding “Fly Girl”) and ... oh, yeah, that Jim Carrey guy. Now series stalwart David Alan Grier returns to the format that spawned him with Comedy Central’s new sketch series “Chocolate News.”
Proof that you can take the band out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of the band
By Justin Hood
No stressing here. Even after relocating to California, recording six albums and touring extensively, the three busy men of reggae-infused rock act Pepper manage to keep their watches on laid-back Hawaiian time—their native Kona, to be exact. The Alibi relaxed with Pepper drummer Yesod Williams and got a bead on Pepper’s record label, a dream tour with NOFX and what the Aloha State and The Land of Enchantment have in common.
Local programmer writes a music program that fills a void
By Marisa Demarco
When Jim Coker started performing live electronic shows 12 years ago, he found himself frustrated by the available software. "And I had this other problem, which is that I'm a software developer," he says, half-joking. "Then I had some free time." He got to work on a more ideal music program, and after about a year, he had something worth putting out. It's been five years since Coker, an Albuquerque resident, began. The program's still a work in progress, but he says he's created a product that provides a decent middle ground in the world of electronic music software.
Pornotopia, Albuquerque's first independent erotic film festival, debuted to a cascade of controversy last year. Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center partnered with Guild Cinema to present Pornotopia—a weekend of film dedicated to showcasing sex as healthy, real and beautiful—only to have the city attempt to shut it down, citing a zoning code that had the Guild out of "nude approved" range. Pornotopia persevered and is gearing up for Year Two with some additions. One is an art show at STOVE centered on sexuality and censorship. Self Serve and STOVE are seeking submissions for the exhibit, and any work that is erotic and/or an honest representation of sexuality will be considered. Artists can drop off their submissions at STOVE (114 Morningside NE) from 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, or e-mail digital art to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. Be sure to include your name, the piece's title and its sale price with your entry. If you have questions, call 265-5815.
Unveil a toolbox for transformation and gain inspiration to move your life from the obsession of wanting to the freedom of having. The Magic of Zero is a guide for permanent, positive change with easy-to-follow, effective techniques for any lifestyle.
Cautionary Tales: A Visual Dystopia and Finding a Pulse at 516 Arts
By David Leigh
Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha is a near-perfect album. It’s crept onto my mix albums, my iPod, my car and my home stereo. I’m listening to it now. I might be obsessed. It’s one of those albums that throws light throughout a creative labyrinth in which new ideas emerge, creating a generous lyrical and musical iron lung (in the best sense). It lacks the irony or cynicism that would make two or three listens too many and instead invites something like belief from the audience. But for all its spacey, finger-picked loveliness, it’s a work of realism, couched in mortal inevitability and certitude.
In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, scientist Victor Frankenstein's desire to bring life to the dead turns from wondrous dream into nightmarish reality. In R.N. Sandberg's stage adaptation, Victor's personal torment, not his creature, is the star, and the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance's production pours the contents of the doctor's psyche onto the stage.
Grottesco’s 12th Night at the Santa Fe Opera's Stieren Hall
By Amy Dalness
Theater Grottesco takes suspended disbelief to a new level. The theater company got its start in Paris in 1983 and is rooted in the same training as Cirque du Soleil. The troupe moved to Santa Fe in 1996 and continues to produce original works, all the while keeping the meaning of their Italian eponym in mind: absurd, splendid and jubilant.
The Santa Fe Film Festival will stage its third annual New Mexico Film Expo Thursday, Oct. 2, through Sunday, Oct. 5, at the New Mexico Film Museum at the Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe. More than 85 locally shot feature-length and short films will screen. Visit santafefilmfestival.com/New_Mexico_Films for the complete schedule. A panel of esteemed jurors (including yours truly, apparently) will be there to make recommendations for select films to be shown at the ninth annual Santa Fe Film Festival, taking place Dec. 3 through 7. In addition to all the film-watching, there will be nightly parties and two panels: one on New Mexico filmmaking and the other on Native filmmaking. If you don’t have time for a full weekend of film, repeat screenings of audience favorites will take place on Monday, Oct. 6, at the Film Center at Cinemacafe (also in Santa Fe).
True-life patent-infringement drama not as exciting as genre would lead you to believe
By Devin D. O’Leary
A true-life biopic about the guy who invented the intermittent windshield wiper? I gotta be honest with you here: It’s hard to not make that sound boring. I’m not even sure Bob Kearns, the guy on which this film is based, would find it a particularly compelling topic. The windshield wiper? Really? Why not a play about the guy who came up with the refrigerator light?
Fernando Meirelles’ new film Blindness premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year to a good deal of bad press. One major edit job and half a year later, and the film is ready for its theatrical debut. It’s difficult to imagine what changes the film has undergone in the last six months, because it still feels like a hopelessly self-important, cluelessly tone-deaf sci-fi parable about ... um, we’ll work that out later.
Pop-punk trio Pan!c releases its very first album this Saturday, Oct. 4. The disc is free with a $5 cover charge at the Launchpad (21+), where you’ll also get The Porter Draw, Lousy Robot, and Icky and the Yuks. Take that, recession. (LM)
Miguel Garcia says he’s scared. The married father of one and grandfather of two hasn't had work since Aug. 1. After construction was completed on his latest job, a water treatment plant, Garcia's services were no longer needed.
Legendary female impersonator comes to Albuquerque for National Coming Out Day
By Marisa Demarco
José Sarria didn't know while he was doing it that he was the first openly gay person to run for office in the United States. "I found out later," he says. In 1961, the female impersonator fought his way onto the ballot for San Francisco city supervisor, though he had no desire to win the position. "I wanted to prove that I had the right as a gay person to run for public office," he says. "Because you must remember that back then, gay people thought they had no rights, that they were second-rate citizens."
Man, do Sen. John McCain's people ever get tired of crying foul over the press? It's his camp's default defensive position. Steve Schmidt, a senior campaign adviser, deflected a touchy question on Monday, Sept. 22, by falling back on the old, "The media's out to get us."
Count Every Vote New Mexico brings a nonpartisan voter-protection program to our state
By Steven Robert Allen
Debates are heating up. Political signs are sprouting in yards all over New Mexico. Campaign ads are proliferating like partisan bunnies on our TV screens. At this point, anyone with the slightest interest in politics knows New Mexico is on the cusp of an election that could become the most exciting our state has witnessed in decades.
Dateline: India—More than 63 people were arrested on suspicion of murder after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the CEO who sacked them from an auto parts factory in a suburb of Delhi. The Times of London reports Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni—a manufacturer of car parts that has its headquarters in Italy—died of severe head wounds last Monday after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees. The incident followed a long-running dispute between the factory’s management and workers demanding better pay and permanent contracts. Apparently, Mr. Choudhary had called a meeting with more than a hundred former employees who had been dismissed after an earlier outbreak of violence at the plant. He wanted to discuss a possible reinstatement deal. A spokesperson for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said, “Such a heinous act is bound to sully India’s image among overseas investors.”
Anyone who's attended UNM or spent time on its campus is familiar with the Center of the Universe. The large sculpture just off the Duck Pond is unmistakable and inspires diverse reactions from those who observe it. Kira Hirschfeld, a UNM fine arts senior, wants to harvest those sentiments for her project, Operation: Center of the Universe. Hirschfeld is asking community members with a story about the Center of the Universe to submit a written or verbal account of their experience by 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5. Stories can be e-mailed to email@example.com, or call 715-2460 if you'd rather give a verbal account. Hirschfeld will use those story seeds to create a performance to be presented at the sculpture in late October. For details, visit operationcenteroftheuniverse.blogspot.com.
I've got a box of peaches and I want to make jam. Most of the recipes I've looked at are pretty straightforward, but what is pectin, and why do they call for so much sugar—like five cups of sugar for four cups of peaches? WTF? My peaches are already almost too sweet.
Region to region, state to state, Mexican food runs the gamut from simple beans and rice to complex moles and seasoning pastes. The variety and scope of Mexican cuisine is huge. And it can look very different from what we tend to call Mexican food here in New Mexico.
The state's first media arts school wants to raise generations of talent
By Marisa Demarco
Principal Glenna Voigt is making sure her keys work in the front door of a two-story charter school. The building is purple, really purple—sudden color in an otherwise asphalted landscape. Though school's been in session for two days, today, Sept. 4, is the first day its 93 students will occupy classrooms.
We here at the Alibi spend a good chunk of pulp every year reminding people to cast a ballot, printing voter FAQs and rallying for turnout at the polls. Troughs of ink go into printing election guides. We put a lot of research and time into interviewing politicos—as does the rest of the nation.
The thing about silent film is that it was never actually silent. The earliest, black-and-white examples of the filmmaker’s art were accompanied by live music, which heightened the emotional experience and lured audiences into the pictures just as surely as today’s most high-tech special effects.
Sparks’ romance serves up the schmaltz, North Carolina-style
By Devin D. O’Leary
I’ve always liked Diane Lane (A Little Romance; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains; Rumble Fish; Streets of Fire: all good stuff in my book). After a long, largely indifferent period (King David, Pretty Woman, Intersection, First Knight, Autumn in New York), I’ve grown somewhat more appreciative of Richard Gere (Chicago, The Hoax, The Hunting Party, I’m Not There). He’s one of those people (like Sean Connery) upon whom age looks better than youth. At 59, he also nearly outgrown his romantic leading man phase, taking on more interesting roles and sparing us the theoretical horror of Runaway Bride 2. Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook), I’ve never had the slightest interest in. What Thomas Kinkade is to painters, what Anne Geddes is to photographers, Nicholas Sparks is to writers--a pandering populist peddler of easy sentiment.
The sixth annual Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
By Devin D. O’Leary
Every year like clockwork—like big, gay clockwork—the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival returns to New Mexico. This year marks the sixth annual outing for the increasingly popular festival. For a week in early fall, the arts organization known as Closet Cinema takes over theaters in two New Mexico cities, unspooling a collection of entertaining features, essential shorts, must-see documentaries and must-attend parties (always with the parties).
Science used to be a good thing. Or at least a neutral thing. Now, thanks perhaps to eight years of demonization by the Bush administration, science is our newest go-to villain. High-falutin’ science is taking over the place formerly occupied by inscrutable Asians, creepy Russians and strangely dressed Middle Easterners. Thanks to a fall TV season marked by shows like “Primeval,” “Fringe” and the soon-to-debut “Eleventh Hour,” topics such as evolution, global warming, stem cell research and the like are downright eeee-vil.
SmithsonianMagazine wants to immerse you in fine art, cultural heritage, balloon history and anthropological research. It wants do this so much, it's offering free admission to multiple venues on Saturday, Sept. 27. All you need to do is visit smithsonian.com and print out the Museum Day admission card and you'll get access to Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas Living History Museum, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. Woo. Try saying that 10 times fast. Complete details are at smithsonian.com.
Harold Pinter's Tony Award-winning play The Homecoming is like an episode of “Jerry Springer.” It focuses on a family. A family with issues. A family ready to come undone as a result of those issues. A family that comes undone in the most unpredictable way.
Super villains have this habit of meticulously explaining their schemes to would-be victims. It's frightfully annoying, especially as their plans usually prove fruitless when the inevitable superheroes fly in to save the day, leaving the villains with eggy faces and foiled plots.
Slap my forearm and call me a junkie. Every morning, I hose off, wrap myself in a towel and try not to sit down at my computer. Every morning, late for work or not, I fail. I have to know. What's old so-and-so up to? Which blogger's crying foul this week? What specks of dirt did reporters manage to scrape from under what's-her-face's fingernails?
The City Council was scheduled to pass a routine bond bill for the Sunport at the Sept. 15 meeting. Councilors had to defer action. City Assistant Treasurer for Debt Management Cilia Aglialoro and bond attorney David Buchholtz said they couldn’t price the bonds that day because of turmoil in the financial markets, including the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the buyout of Merrill Lynch, insurance giant AIG going on life support and a 500-point drop in the Dow Jones index. Councilor Sally Mayer was excused.
Apparently, the New Mexico State Fair doesn’t want my kind.
When I go to the fair, I can take or leave the funnel cakes and the barbecue. The prize-winning goats and bunnies—no matter how cute—hold no more than a passing interest for me; likewise the clanky, vomit-spackled midway rides.
No, one of the main reasons I go to the State Fair is to see something different, like exhibits and sideshows. I want to see somebody juggling fiery bowling balls on a unicycle; I want to meet this season’s World’s Smallest Woman. But I can’t.
Dateline: Australia—It might have seemed like a good idea at the start, but a streaker’s on-field antics at a soccer match north of Adelaide last weekend came to an abrupt end when the naked fan knocked himself unconscious. Prompted by a $50 ($40 U.S.) dare from friends, 26-year-old Nathan Roberts ran naked onto the pitch last Saturday during the Adelaide Plains Football League preliminary final match between United and Hummocks Watchman Eagles at Virginia Oval. Part of the challenge was Roberts had to perform a cartwheel on the field. “Midair I changed my mind,” Roberts told the Daily Telegraph. “I half landed on my foot and went face-first into the ground.” While unconscious, Roberts had to be carried out on a stretcher. He was not seriously injured and did collect his $50. Roberts played half a season with the Virginia B Grade team but left suffering from fluid on the lung, pneumonia and an inflamed liver and spleen. Despite suffering a headache and a sore neck from his stark-naked stunt, Roberts admitted he’s up for a repeat performance. “I like a bit of attention and I’d do it again.” said Roberts. “But I’d up the price.”
Noise musicians are the vampires of the music world. Cloaked in black, they like to stay up all night sucking. (Face!) No, but seriously, 20-odd noise acts will shun the light of day in a 12-hour nighttime showcase this Friday, Sept. 26. The Sicksicksick Overnight Festival is from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at STOVE (114 Morningside NE) and costs just $7, which includes breakfast. That part I’m not kidding about. (LM)
I've been raiding the apricot tree behind a house in my neighborhood that's clearly vacant (looking through the window, the house is empty and the fridge is wide open). The apricots are big, blemish-free and absolutely gorgeous, with dark orange flesh that's almost red, and they taste great. So I was over there the other day, picking the fruit off the branches, when I decided to try one that was lying on the ground, figuring it would be even more ripe than the ones still clinging to the tree. And, my god, that was a tasty apricot; I decided to wait a few days and come back later, when they're all that ripe.
... Except mine. As I sat alone in a beat-up vinyl booth, I couldn’t help but feel left out of the camaraderie shared between the staff and apparently loyal clientele. Nearly everyone who walked in the door was heartily greeted by name, or at least with some degree of familiarity. I just got strange looks as I sat typing on my phone, my to-die-for leather platform pumps dangling off the edge of the seat. Remember that "Sesame Street"segment, “One of these things is not like the others”? That was me and my lovely cashmere wrap.