Alibi Volume 15, Number 06
February 9, 2006
The winners of the Alibi's Third Annual Valentine's Day Card Contest
When I was a wee lad in elementary school, teachers used to force us to celebrate Valentine's Day by taping obnoxious handmade construction paper pouches to the backs of our itty-bitty kiddy seats. Come V-Day, kids would pop cheapo 3 x 5 inch cards into everyone else's pouch. This yearly ritual wasn't so much an expression of love as it was an annoying obligation enforced at gunpoint.
A letter printed in the Alibi leads to the investigation of a local VA nurse for "sedition"
George W. Bush's America just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser, doesn't it? Consider the case of Laura Berg—a local Veterans Affairs (VA) nurse currently represented by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys George Bach and Larry Kronen in a peculiar matter that seems to involve official retribution against Berg for her criticisms of the Bush administration.
Will the Paseo and Montaño road projects do what they promise?
The extension of Paseo del Norte and the proposed four-lane restriping of Montaño are two of the most controversial road projects in the city. Even though both of these projects still face legal challenges, they have also recently gained significant victories for their proponents, with Paseo winning in U.S. District Court and Montaño winning a vote of approval by the MRCOG Transportation Board.
An urgent call from a friend on my voice mail set off alarm bells. “Jerry! I just went past your house and there are cops and SWAT team cars all over the place! Give me a call; hope you and your family are all right.”
It's time we support our friendly local arts organizations
I've decided to start a new organization: End Artist Starvation (EAS). I know it's not a very catchy title for an organization, but it gets to the point. Too many of our arts organizations and the singers, painters, actors, playwrights and directors they support are struggling. Keeping underfunded arts companies functioning has become an artform in itself. It's crazy that those who provide so much creativity to our civic life are living on the economic edge.
Dateline: England—A man in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, lost his appetite when he checked the label of a packet of ham he had purchased at the local supermarket and found “dog shit” listed among the ingredients. Mick Woods, 34, examined another of the 12 oz. containers of cooked, sliced ham and saw the same “additive” listed. “Obviously, I haven't eaten it,” he told reporters. “It sort of puts you off.” Meat packer HR Hargreaves & Son is recalling the products. A spokesperson for the Manchester-based firm said, “We can't have people fooling about with food products. A number of packs are affected. We're trying to find out what shops they're in.” According to detectives, a 21-year-old employee of the meat manufacturer has been arrested on suspicion of tampering with the labels. “We spent 40 minutes laughing,” added Woods. “But we haven't put any in the kids' sandwiches.”
Make My Movie!—After years of catering exclusively to big-budget Hollywood filmmakers, the State Film Office looks like it's finally starting to get the idea that New Mexico might have a few of its own budding auteurs. Recently, Gov. Bill Richardson announced a statewide short screenplay competiton. If you're an aspiring filmmaker/screenwriter and you've got something in mind--or if you've already got something buried on the hard drive of your computer--get it entered. Four winning screenplays will be chosen to be produced in New Mexico in 2006. Winners will have access to production gear, crew, costumes and props, plus a production budget provided by sponsors Comcast and National Geographic All Roads Film Project. All films must be 10 minutes or less. Deadline for entries is April 7. This is a fantastic opportunity, people, so get on it! Log on to www.nmfilm.com for a complete entry form.
Gentle documentary explores India's obsession with death and rivers
We here in America have become increasingly isolated from the specter of death; we know it happens, but we're not quite sure how. Other countries, less insulated from nature by technology, architecture and economy, have a more intimate relationship with death. Take, for example, India.
Cheeky monkey gets hip, but--thankfully--not too hip
The very first Curious George book by the husband-and-wife team of H.A. and Margret Rey was published way back in 1941. Since then, the delightful picture book and its six sequels have been requisite titles on the bookshelves of generations of children across the world. The question then is, “If a work of art is so universally beloved in its original form, why bother turning it into a movie?” Aside from rampant greed and a total lack of original ideas, there really isn't a concrete reason. But that hasn't stopped Universal Pictures and producer Ron Howard (who's already destroyed such kiddy classics as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat) from cranking out an expensive, animated adaptation.
Two networks are gone, but one stands in their place
Fans of The WB and UPN networks (don't laugh, there are a few of them out there) got good news and bad news recently. It was announced in late January, exactly 11 years after The WB and UPN launched, that both networks would be going out of business. This announcement came as a shock not only to viewers, but to just about all the producers at WB and UPN, who hadn't heard a word about this little development. There was, however, some good news in the announcement. Warner Brothers and CBS Corp. would be combining their efforts to create a brand new “fifth network”--and it is this freshly christened CW network (“C” for CBS, “W” for Warners) that will be picking up many of the more successful WB and UPN offerings.
The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl of advertising
In Super Bowl XL, held last weekend in Detroit, somebody won and somebody lost. ... Moving on. The big battle wasn't between sports teams, but between advertisers. Seriously. Companies forked out $2.5 million per 30-second spot, and many viewers were watching the ads as attentively as they watched the game.
The Week in Sloth
The Jenny Gamble & Friends Acoustic Showcase—Who is Jenny Gamble, and why is she so freaking excited about local music? You've heard of her before. As a singer-songwriter, promoter and unflappable foot soldier for the New Mexico State Music Commission, Jenny's name gets around in the New Mexico music community. In fact, I can sum up some of the best advice I can give to burgeoning musicians in three words: "Talk to Jenny." And bring a demo. She'll guide you in the right direction.
Rap-rock minus that nasty Limp Bizkit aftertaste
"I'd rather be an angsty teenager than a depressed old guy sitting at the bar," muses Brandon Atencio, one of the two lead singers of Albuquerque rap-rock five-piece The Isness. Atencio's self-reflection goes a long way in describing what his band is all about.
with Fenix TX, Versus the World and Fair Shot
Tuesday, Feb. 14, Launchpad (all-ages welcome); $15: "It's No Use for a Fuckin' Name!" And with that fateful introduction given by a drunken stagehand, No Use for a Name launched into what would become, arguably, their best album ever created over their decade-and-a-half career as staples of the punk rock scene. No Use's Live in a Dive (released on Fat Wreck Chords) is one of the best live albums any punk band has assembled; not only for the musical proficiency it showcased, but for the growth it showed from the band's first Fat Wreck release, Leche Con Carne. No longer relying on catchy but overly simplified riffs, the band created a concrete wall of distortion with drum fills forceful enough to shatter pelvises and vocals that wrenched at the heartstrings.
with The Wailers and Sub Agencia (Moonlight Lounge)
Wednesday, Feb. 15, Sunshine Theater (smoking and alcohol service in segregated areas only); $20: Remember Snow? If you've heard of the ragga artist at all, it's only thanks to his unintelligible 1993 one-hit wonder, "Informer." (You know, "In-for-mer! You know ... de-blooby-da-boo-be-I-go-bam ... A nicky boom boom, yeah!") Love it or loathe it, the song is difficult to ignore. Something about a wimpy blonde dude with a Jamaican accent will do that.
What's that buzz? It's the Beat Hive featuring Zach Freeman and Sina Soul. Hip-hop, poetry, beat-boxing, jazz, improv and live jams, with special guests Danny Solis and DJ Mateo. Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Blow that roof off the Shadow Lounge at Out Ch' Yonda (929 Fourth Street SW, in Barelas). (LM)
Seven Days of Karaoke
What started in Japan in the '80s has, over the years, come to practically infest our fair city with poor renditions of yesterday's hits. And why not? Everyone loves to watch other people make fools of themselves. See, I've found that for maximum entertainment, the trick with karaoke is not to sing as well as you possibly can, but with as much tuneless and tone-deaf harmony as you can muster, being sure to botch the lyrics with swear words and humorous twists. Of course, there are those who take it seriously, but that's probably not you.
Anna in the Tropics—Teatro Nuevo México will stage a new production of Nilo Cruz' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this Thursday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, Feb. 12. The play is set in 1929 in a Cuban-American cigar factory in Florida, where readers are hired to entertain workers while they roll the cigars by hand. When a reader begins reading Anna Karenina out loud a volatile conflict flames up among the laborers. Michael D. Blum directs this production. Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. $15, $20, $25. ($5 discount for students.) 883-7800.
An interview with Caroline Moorehead
Caroline Moorehead, the British author and activist, has spent the last two decades writing about refugees and prisoners, but four years ago she decided she'd had enough of sitting on the sidelines.
UNM courts the Tricklock Company
The Tricklock Company looks more and more like a giant fish stuffed into a tiny bowl. I'm not talking about the troupe's use of our little Burque as a home base when they're not trotting across the globe performing original plays and searching for new acts for their yearly Revolutions International Theatre Festival. I'm talking about that strip-mall theater Tricklock has used for years near Washington and Central—a cool little space, sure, but when I say "little" what I really mean is pint-size. The Alibi's bathroom is almost as big as the performance area.
Gordon Schutte Uncorks the Wine Bar at Vivace—By the time you read this, Vivace's new wine bar will be open at 3120 Central SE, in the adjoining Nob Hill storefront that used to be Bright Future Futon. "It's really striking," says restaurateur and Vivace Chef Gordon Schutte when describing the addition's black and burgundy wine bar. "There's a lot of glass behind the counter, too," a complement to the natural bravado of great Italian wine. Deep terra cotta-colored walls, a private dining area and expanded seating are among the new amenities.
There's nothing wimpy about it
Life in the Southwest wasn't easy 75 years ago. We had massive unemployment, the average income was just $1,368 a year and prohibition was killing the party vibe. Still, if there was a silver lining on our Depression-era cloud, you could find it in Barelas—in the form of a hot, juicy "Wimpy" burger at the Red Ball Café. They only cost a nickel, after all.