Alibi Volume 13, Number 16
April 15, 2004
Houston-based El Paso Corporation hopes to use close ties to the White House to gain drilling access to Valle Vidal. But not without a fight.
Talk to anyone who's spent at least an hour there, or to many of the area residents who have spent decades exploring the area, and they'll tell you the Valle Vidal is one of the most beautiful places in New Mexico. It's got 2,500 elk. It's got wild turkeys. Its got Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout, the second largest Bristlecone Pine Tree in the world, and has even been ranked third best camping area in America (according to GORP.com). It's got excellent mountain biking, an awesome geological feature known as the rock wall, forested peaks, flowing meadows and clear mountain streams. It's got 750,000 Boy Scout alumni with memories of a 12-day outdoor adventure there or at the neighboring Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. More than 2,700 people from around the world apply for a chance to hunt elk there every year.
A new generation of homegrown scientists. With all the brainiac scientists supposedly doing brilliant work over at Sandia Labs, it only made sense to Mayor Marty Chavez that Albuquerque Public Schools somehow build a conduit to all that higher intelligence. So more than 18 months ago, Chavez and the presidents of UNM and New Mexico Tech met with Paul Robinson, Sandia Labs' president, Joey Vigil, the superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools at the time and local business executives to hatch a plan for a new high-tech high school. It would be a public school where local students with a knack for math and science could refine their skills and carve a career path that might some day boost the local economy.
Missing the point. If you picked up the Albuquerque Journal on Friday, April 9, in hopes of getting some solid coverage of Condoleeza Rice's testimony before the 9-11 Commission last week, what you got was a truncated "analysis" originating from the Washington Post.
The federal deficit causes states to suffer
If we've heard it once, we've heard it a hundred times in the past 10 months: The state's Medicaid budget is spiraling out of control. That's what Gov. Bill Richardson said, the legislative leaders warned, the policy wonks opined and some political pundits editorialized.
At the April 5 meeting, city councilors unanimously passed the administration's latest version of a sex offender bill, which deletes three provisions in a previous bill struck down by the courts. The extension of a moratorium on walls built along streets until new design standards are finished also passed unanimously. Councilor Sally Mayer was absent.
I've had writer's block for the past couple of weeks. At other times when that's happened I have a difficult time pinpointing the reason, but I'm clear what the cause is in this case. It's name is Chuck and he passed away last month. Until I say a few words for him, writing about the blarney of local, state and national politics just isn't going to happen.
Dateline: England—Yana Rodionova has agreed to marry circus performer Jayde Hanson, despite the fact that Hanson has stabbed her three times—once on live television. Rodionova, 23, is the assistant to Hanson, who works as a professional knife thrower. Last year, Hanson tried to break his world record for the number of knives thrown around his assistant. Unfortunately, the stunt—which was filmed for ITV's "This Morning" show—went wrong when one of the knives struck Rodionova in the head. The bloody scene was broadcast to millions of viewers. Hanson blamed the accident on fatigue. Miss Rodionova suffered minor injuries. "It didn't hurt because of the shock of it all," Rodionova recently told the British press. "I felt more sorry for Jayde. There was blood coming out everywhere and he looked so pale." The Russian-born Rodionova admitted, "I fell out of love with him for a couple days afterwards, but I love him again now." Although the mishap was actually the third time Hanson nailed her with one of his knives, she agreed to marry him soon after. "I forgive him. It was only an accident, but I think I will have to teach him to do something else." The couple is expected to tie the knot in May.
Deadline Doom—This Thursday, April 15, is the deadline for submitting your short film or video to the Southwest Film Center's First Annual Student Film Festival. All high school and college students from New Mexico are invited to participate. Organizers are looking for films in four categories: Narrative, Music Video, Experimental and Documentary. The films will be shown in a free public film festival, April 29-May 1 at the University of New Mexico's Southwest Film Center. For complete information, including a submission form, log on to swfc.unm.edu/filmfestival.html or call 277-5608.
Sword-swinging sequel segues into surprising storytelling
For all his flaws, Quentin Tarantino is—let's face it—a genius. His positively giddy enthusiasm for the film medium has created some of the wittiest, grittiest cultural touchstones of the last 20 years. His enthusiasm, however, makes him a hard filmmaker to pin down. Right now, Tarantino says he wants to direct the next James Bond film, his World War II drama Inglorious Bastards, his long-promised Vega Brothers project and part of pal Robert Rodriguez' comic book adaptation Sin City. Thanks to his scattershot interests, Q.T.'s only directed five films in the last 17 years. And two of those (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2) are actually one movie.
An interview with Kill Bill: Vol. 2 star Michael Madsen
Although he's been in nearly 100 movies (from the acclaimed Thelma & Louise to the action-packed Relic to the family-friendly Free Willy), actor Michael Madsen will be forever burned into the minds of moviegoers as the malevolent Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut Reservoir Dogs.
“The Swan” on FOX
I love TV. I really do. But I'm beginning to think that it's some kind of sick, abusive relationship. There are times that TV just doesn't treat me with the slightest ounce of respect. There are times when TV blatantly insults my intelligence. And there are times when I just want to smack TV upside its big, fat cathode ray. Take, for example, “The Swan.”
Alibi Spring Crawl 2004 is just around the bend (Saturday, April 24, in the heart of Downtown), so the time has come to convey a little information as roughly 12,000 of you gear up for the first major event of spring. As reported two weeks ago, this year's Spring Crawl will feature two national acts: Detroit '80s rockers The Romantics and San Francisco psych-rockers The Brian Jonestown Massacre. In Crawls to come, we'll gradually invite more national acts in an effort to diversify and attract regional and national attention to the events. But rest assured that the Crawls will always emphasize local music. ... Please note that wristband prices have increased on day of show to $20. Do the smart thing and get your cheap, all-access (with valid and proper I.D.) passes in advance through Saturday, April 23, at noon in one of four exciting, convenient ways: buy them on the Alibi website HERE; buy them at Natural Sound in Nob Hill (255-8295); buy them at Alibi Headquarters (411 Central NW); or by them from Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com or 883-7800). Beginning at 12:01 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, a wristband you could have purchased for just 15 bucks will cost you an Andrew Jackson. Pick up next week's issue, on stands Thursday, April 22, for all the details, complete venue schedules, maps, guides and all the Alibi Spring Crawl-related news you'll need. Now, go buy a wristband and prepare to join the fun!
Since the mid-'70s when guitarist Little Charlie Baty and harmonicist Rick Estrin first teamed up, Little Charlie and the Nightcats have been spreading their unique combination of Chicago blues, Texas swing, rockabilly—even surf music—across the States and Europe. And since the release of All the Way Crazy, their Alligator Records debut in 1987, the band have garnered raves from critics and fans alike, as well as a handful of Grammy nominations and a W.C. Handy award along the way. They've served as backing band for contemporary blues legend John Hammond on two phenomenal blues recordings and have toured with everyone from Robert Cray to the Allman Brothers.
Friday, April 16; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): When you think of bluegrass, your mind is drawn across the turnpike into the Delaware River Valley in the heart of New Jersey. OK, so New Jersey's among the last places in America you'd look if you were seeking the best newgrass jam band in the country, but it turns out that the Garden State is the birthplace of that very band: Railroad Earth. The sextet features some of the finest bluegass musicians working today, evidenced by recent invitations to play at some of the most prestigious bluegrass festivals in the world—Telluride and Grey Fox.
Sunday, April 18; Lensic Performing Arts Center (Santa Fe, all ages, 7 p.m.)/Thursday, April 22; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 7 p.m.): Perhaps the only thing more amazing than listening to sarod master Amjad Ali Khan play his instrument in a setting of traditional accompaniment is listening to him trade licks with jazz virtuoso guitarist Charlie Byrd. Khan's collaboration with Byrd speaks to his ability to play exceptionally in any situation on an instrument that remains largely enigmatic to Westerners. The sarod is a 19-string fretless lute-like device made of teak wood and metal indigenous to India, where Khan is acknowledged as one of India's finest classical musicians and the foremost exponent of the sarod.
Otis Taylor is the most relevant blues artist working today, bar none. His 2003 release, Truth is Not Fiction, turned the blues on its ear with stripped-down acoustic songs that are swollen with emotion and spine-tingling urgency. With Double V, Taylor continues his journey into the darkest corners of American history, telling chilling stories of the struggle for civil rights, social unrest and spiritual longing atop perfectly hewn melodies that mine the rich traditions of African folk, African American spirituals, latter-day acoustic blues and roiling blues rock. Taylor's unconventional instrumentation and approach takes no prisoners.
For the last two decades, the fine folks at the Albuquerque Arts Alliance have honored the best and brightest lights in the Albuquerque arts community by bestowing them with the prestigious Bravos Award. This year the awards ceremony will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott.
Spring Alternative Gallery Hop
When local artist Sherlock Terry recently scored a small grant to help pay for his artistic endeavors, he vowed to spread the wealth among the local alternative arts community. He decided to get a bunch of noncommercial art venues together, most of them centered around Downtown, and organize a gallery hop.
She is, by all accounts, a very wise woman. Georgelle's been answering random questions posed to her by strangers for two solid decades in bookstores from New York to California. You might've seen the questions, and her often witty responses, posted in the window of the Book Stop in Nob Hill or, more recently, in the window of Crane's Bill Books. This Thursday, April 15, Georgelle will make a live appearance at the Guild Cinema to answer your questions about everything from sex to God to the nature of evil to break dancing. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. 255-1848.
Java Joe's Coffeehouse
Next time you're over at Java Joe's scarfing a bagel and slurping some Joe, cast your eyes to the walls. Two local lady artists, Zelda Gatuskin and Veekee Eha, have decorated the inner sanctum of this famous Downtown hangout with some very killer cool art. Gatuskin supplies some inventive photo collages to the mix, while Eha contributes some animated watercolor paintings. Their show will only run through the month of April, so catch it now before it's too late. For details, call Java Joe's at 765-1514.
Several things led up to this week's story on fish. Overfishing is an issue that has become inextricably linked to any discussion of seafood. Nobody wants to put his favorite fish on the endangered species list but purveyors and restaurants do want to give the people what they like. Omega-3 fatty acids, which I wrote about recently because egg producers have begun to sell omega-3-enhanced eggs, have really come to prominence over the past year, prompting many pundits to recommend salmon (a good source) more than ever. And though a firestorm has been brewing for years over Bush's environmental policies, it's only recently that the public has begun to make firm connections between the administration's policies and their allies (read: campaign donors) in the energy industry. In the past few weeks, we've seen an increase in the number of news stories covering Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force fiasco. Scientists worldwide have criticized the administrations mishandling of science and specifically their attempts to play down the established link between coal-burning power plants and dangerous levels of mercury in the nation's fish. Which brings us to the dilemma: Is fish the new wonder food or will it slowly kill us all?
The Range Café has finally arrived somewhere in between the Northeast Heights and Bernalillo. That somewhere, specifically, is the former Lindy's location on Menaul, just east of University. After weeks of renovation that transformed the space with the Range's familiar rustic and colorful theme, the café opened last week. Like its siblings, this one serves three meals a day but will surely be a favorite for breakfast (huevos con queso!). Look for a new and interesting beer and wine list at this location. Call 888-1660 for more information.
Using canned salmon to fill up on omega-3 fatty acids
These tasty cakes are high in protein, low in fat and way cheaper to make than their crabby cousins. Plus it's very likely that you've already got these ingredients on hand, making it a cinch to throw together for last minute entertaining. Serve them as an appetizer or side dish, dressed up with a little red chile aioli and some lime wedges.
Wading through the murky waters of omega-3 fatty acids, mercury and PCBs
Trying to eat well can be so hard sometimes. Take fish, for example. Since omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a wide array of health benefits, more and more Americans are including them in their diets by taking supplements and by eating more fish. Fatty, cold-water fish like salmon and tuna boast high amounts of these beneficial compounds. But the latest furor concerns levels of toxic mercury compounds in fish, especially tuna. Women especially are caught between a dietary Scylla and Charybdis; we're urged to eat more fish for the incredible health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids but warned against eating too much fish or risk terrifying neurological damage to our unborn children.
Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon--It's more expensive than farmed salmon but wild-caught fish have better flavor, less mercury and other toxins and are most environmentally friendly. Look for this stuff cheaper in cans and use it for salmon cakes, burgers and in quiches.