Alibi Volume 13, Number 09
February 26, 2004
The 76th Annual Academy Awards
While only the bean-counters at PriceWaterhouseCoopers know the actual winners of this year's Academy Awards, we can still make a few early predictions about who will waltz out of this year's ceremony smelling like a rose and who will stumble out stinking of gin and failure.
Here's a list of all the nominees in all the categories. We've included a handy guide to all the awards that have been handed out already in the top categories, as well as Oscar odds (courtesy of online casino www.intertops.com) and our patented Alibi picks.
Employees worry about health care, savings and debt
Like other election years, between now and November you'll hear the word "jobs" bandied about by politicians on the campaign trail. You'll see catchy photos in your mailbox, like the one of Heather Wilson wearing a hard hat and embracing a Hispanic guy in one of those taxpayer-funded campaign fliers. Every candidate jockying for votes will want you to feel good about your future job prospects, because that's always one of the issues pollsters and consultants say electoral victories are made of.
Where did you get that information? Our pawn of a congresswoman was on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show last week, regurgitating many of the same falsehoods about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration was taken to task for: that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, that he received large quantities of uranium from Niger, Africa, and that Saddam is in league with members of al Qaeda, the group that claims responsibility for the September 11 attack.
With Councilor Eric Griego showing up late, Councilors Brad Winter and Craig Loy leaving early, and Councilors Michael Cadigan and Miguel Gomez not appearing at all, the Feb. 18 council podium resembled a busy take-out window.
The Big-I looks like crap
February is set to give way to March, bringing with it the end of the latest installment of the state Legislature where all New Mexico's problems were thoughtfully addressed and solved in a spirit of bipartisanship; with neither individual legislators nor Gov. Bill Richardson stopping to worry about who might be getting the better of whom in the press. And if you believe that, you probably believe the state is cutting taxes and spending less money!
Dateline: Massachusetts—Last week's New England Journal of Medicine reported on a case in which French surgeons removed 12 pounds of coins from the stomach of a 62-year-old patient. The man, who had a history of psychiatric illness came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002 complaining of stomach pain and an inability to eat or move his bowels. An X-ray revealed an enormous opaque mass, which turned out to be around 350 coins—approximately $650 worth. Readers of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote in and correctly diagnosed the unnamed man as suffering from a psychological condition known as pica, a rare compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. The man had his expensive stomach contents removed, but died 12 days later from complications.
Oscar Nominee Number One—If you're tired of staring at your pitiful 13-inch RCA TV and are looking for an appropriately grand place to take in this year's Academy Awards broadcast, we have three suggestions for you to choose from. Nominee number one is the 12th Annual Academy Awards Benefit at the historic Lobo Theatre in Nob Hill. This epic shindig is sponsored by Louie's Rock 'N' Reels, City on a Hill Church, Zinc Bistro and the Alibi. This charity event will help raise funds for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a New Mexico AIDS Services program that provides companion animal support for critically ill patients in our local community. Dinner will be served at Zinc Bistro beginning at 5 p.m. Live broadcast of the Oscars will begin at 7 p.m. right next door on the Lobo Theatre's big screen. Yours truly, Alibi film editor Devin O'Leary, will be serving as the night's emcee, helping hand out door prizes during commercial breaks. There will be a silent auction of items donated by local merchants and a costume contest for those who wish to show up as their favorite movie star or movie character. Tickets are $20 for event only and $45 for dinner and event. Tickets are available at Louie's Rock 'N' Reels (3015 Central NE). Seating is limited, so hurry up!
An interview with House of Sand and Fog star Sir Ben Kingsley
As if you couldn't tell from his four Oscar nominations (one of which—1982's Gandhi—nabbed him the Best Actor statuette), Sir Ben Kingsley is an actor's actor. His magnificently divergent personas—from a humble Jewish accountant in Schindler's List to a rancorous Cockney gangster in Sexy Beast—have made him one of the screen world's most exciting actors.
Havana Nights Has It All—Revolution, Deceit, Love—But Most Of All It Has Dancing
Dirty Dancing, the original, is a movie that sticks out in many girls' minds as one of the most amazing love stories of the '80s. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's charisma took our breath away, and left us wondering if we would ever find passion like theirs. As the prequel to the original, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, strives to recreate the original movie's intensity, while making Cuban politics one of the main focuses, right behind love and, of course, the love of dance.
Several months ago, Alibi reported that Club Rhythm and Blues, sadly, was closing, at least temporarily. The news set off something of a firestorm with regard to those involved in the exceptional Nob Hill live music venue at the time, but came from an inside source and, lo and behold, turned out to be true. Club Rhythm and Blues officially closed its doors following a farewell Halloween show last year. But as further proof of reincarnation, we're happy to announce that Club Rhythm and Blues will reopen in March with a month-long series of events planned as the grand reopening celebration. The doors will open for the first time in more than four months on Thursday, March 4, to reintroduce the club to its former cast of regulars and, with a little luck, a new crop of live music fans. On Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, Albuquerque Blues Connection will take the stage, ushering in the first weekend of live music under the new ownership.
Saturday, Feb. 28; Tingley Coliseum (all ages, 7 p.m.): Neil Young has spent nearly 40 years exploring the American Dream on big-picture terms—not just the wife, car and 2.3 kids all crammed into a little house with a white picket fence, but the essence of the American experience. And as an outsider (Young is Canadian) he's been more successful than most.
A polka party brought to you by the fine folks at KUNM. Please show up so Mary B. doesn't go crazy.
Friday, Feb. 27; The Paramount (Santa Fe, 21 and over, 7:30 p.m.)/Saturday, Feb. 28; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Go ahead. It's OK to hate polka. Until you see Denton, Texas-based Brave Combo, that is. After that, hating polka—or at least Brave Combo—will be as impossible as remembering the day you were born.
Sublimely gorgeous and simple in its elegance, Norah Jones' second record is everything the 8 million people who bought her debut expected and, surprisingly, more. Teamed again with producer Arif Martin, Jones teeters on the brink of being a jazz singer through 13 tracks of intensely lovely pop, where melodies float effortlessly over quietly understated instrumentation. There are three highly effective covers here, including Tom Waits' “The Long Way Home,” but it's the songs penned by Jones herself and in the company of bassist Lee Alexander that shine most brilliantly. Buy this record.
Victims of strict Catholic educations can purge some of their residual pain by attending Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan's Late Nite Catechism, a comedy that will run for 16 performances from March 2 through March 16 in UNM's Rodey Theatre. Even non-Catholics will probably appreciate this funny look at classroom authoritarianism. Beware the paddle. Tickets are $32. (800) 905-3315.
Ch-ch-ch-changes. Mary Zimmerman's play Metamorphoses, based on the mythical tales of Ovid, created a lot of hoopla as an off Broadway production in New York. Now director Denise Schultz brings a version to UNM's Theatre X. The UNM production will incorporate puppets and masks, but because of its risque nature it's not recommended for kids under 16. Metamorphoses runs Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through March 6. $8 general, $6 students/seniors. 277-4569.
The romance and mystique surrounding the Roma (gypsy) people goes back centuries. This Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. in UNM's Popejoy Hall, the Budapest Dance Ensemble, one of the oldest folk dance troupes of Central Europe, will offer up the music and dance traditions of the Roma in Gypsy Spirit, a smashingly popular traveling show. The complex choreography and jumping music should be a sight to behold. Tickets are $19, $26 and $29. To reserve yours, call (800) 905-3315.
An interview with T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle has been a reliable fiction factory for well over two decades. His best-known book is undoubtedly The Tortilla Curtain, the 1995 social novel that lampooned the immigration situation along our southern border. Yet novels like A Friend of the Earth and The Road to Wellville, as well as Boyle's numerous short story collections, have also met with plenty of commercial and critical success.
Lee Quiñones at UNM's Keller Hall
In the late '60s, graffiti artists, many of them extraordinarily talented teenagers, began painting on subway cars and other surfaces all over New York City. Lee Quiñones' family didn't have a car at the time, so the subway was their principle mode of transportation. As a youngster, he saw graffiti everywhere he went. When he was 14 years old, he picked up a spray can and started doing it himself.
Do people really still give up vices for lent? It's shocking but true: they do, especially in heavily Catholic areas like New Mexico. This is a fascinating religious ritual, a physical and mental marathon of self-denial. A few years ago I gave up booze for lent (mostly just so I could refuse drinks with the line, "No thanks, I gave it up for lent"). But the joke was on me; I'm not so good at self-denial and this 40-day-dry-out was brutal. I think I actually only lasted about 36 days, finally breaking down at Launchpad with a couple of double-tall Bombay Sapphire and tonics. It's so easy to obsess about whatever you're avoiding (booze, cigarettes, candy, pay-per-view porn) that the whole challenge is to think of something—anything—besides the object you've given up. When I was in Sunday school I thought the whole suffering thing was stupid. Why suffer when you don't have to? Needless to say the lesson was wasted on me. Why not pledge to keep everything in balance for lent? I will not do tequila shots. I will not have casual sex with strangers. I will not eat a Snickers and a bag of Fritos and call it lunch. Then again, this moderation doesn't entitle you to any sort of Mardi-Gras blowout. And that is really the best part of lent: getting all the evil out of your system beforehand.
Yashoda Naidoo does that Ayurvedic voodoo so well! The owner of Annapurna Chai House told me that she expects to have a third location of her popular vegetarian/Indian/ayurvedic restaurants open by early April. Right now there is one at San Mateo and Copper and another at Silver and Yale. After months of searching, she finally settled on the perfect location (2120 Juan Tabo NE at Menaul), close to the Ayurvedic Institute. Students at the Institute, Naidoo says, have long been requesting an Annapurna nearby. This will be a relatively small space, with only about 30 seats. Naidoo is planning a trip to India in March to pick up supplies for the restaurant and to scout for ayurvedic cooks who can help take some of the kitchen work off of her shoulders.
Caramelized onions need only a little help to become this hearty, favorite soup
This fancy-sounding soup is actually a humble dish that has sustained its popularity because it delivers dynamite flavor from only a few cheap ingredients, it's easy to make and it's even low-fat, assuming you don't drown it in cheese. In fact, the soup is so flavorful that it can easily stand on its own, without the customary crouton and melted Gruyère. Sans cheese, a small serving fits well as part of a multi-course meal.