Alibi Volume 15, Number 10
March 9, 2006
An interview with Laura Berg
By now, the story has spread far and wide, taking on a life all its own. In September of last year, Laura Berg, a nurse at the local Veterans' Affairs (VA) hospital, wrote a letter to the Alibi criticizing the Bush administration for the war in Iraq and its handling of Hurricane Katrina. In her letter, which we printed, Berg advised that concerned citizens "act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit."
A new affordable housing project in Albuquerque aims at retaining local artists
The land is ripe for movement. And, if all goes according to the Sawmill Community Land Trust's (SCLT) plans, before long it will be bustling. With a combined 200 units of affordable housing, both to rent and own, offices, a child care center, a plaza, a community garden, a dog park, a playground, a market, a pub and retail spaces coming in over the next few years, all on the same 34 acres, there's sure to be some vibrant commotion moving into the neighborhood.
This country was built on the backs of immigrants—most of whom would have been considered illegal by today's standards
In times of growing mainstream xenophobic, anti-immigrant hyperbole, it takes leaders of courage to stand up for the American dream. Sadly, in our community and our country, they are as hard to find as American citizens willing to pick tomatoes.
A recent Channel 13 “investigative” report circulates faulty information
I missed KRQE Channel 13's recent “investigative” report on so-called unqualified persons being hired to state jobs by Gov. Bill Richardson, but around the office water cooler it was a hot topic. I gather its thesis was that our governor has been found to have (who would have imagined it!) hired persons into state jobs primarily for their loyalty rather than their skills.
Dateline: Romania—A Romanian soccer team is demanding a refund after the player it traded for 35 pounds worth of pork sausages quit. Defender Marius Cioara retired a day after the second division team UT Arad sold him to fourth division Regal Hornia for a pile of meat. After the deal was confirmed, a spokesperson for Regal Hornia told reporters, “We gave up the team's sausage allowance for a week to secure him, but we are confident it will be worth it.” But, a day after the deal was leaked to the national media, Cioara announced he was giving up soccer and leaving the country. “The sausage taunts all got too much,” he said. “They were joking I would have got more from the Germans and making sausage jokes. It was a huge insult. I have decided to go to Spain where I have got a job on a farm.”
Why We Discuss—Why We Fight, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, will begin screening this weekend at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe. The documentary explores the economic underpinnings of the American military and the economic necessity of war. This Saturday, March 11, directly following the 7 p.m. screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring Col. Richard Rael (commander of the 515th Corps Support Battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom II), William Morgan Stewart (Time magazine bureau chief in the Middle East), Zelie Pollon (cofounder of the Independent Press Association), David Bacon (Green Party 2002 gubernatorial candidate) and Alex Rubin (UNM assistant professor). Tickets for the screening, panel discussion and reception are $10. Donations will be accepted at the reception to benefit Veterans For Peace. The CCA Cinematheque is located at 1050 Old Pecos Trail. Tickets can be reserved by calling the CCA box office at (505) 982-1338.
Depp's historical drama explores all the uses of the word “dirty”
The controversial new Johnny Depp-led historical drama The Libertine hews closely to England's long and proud tradition of Mud, Blood and Horse Crap-style realism. This school of thought believes that the more mud, blood and horse crap you show on the screen, the more historically accurate the film will seem. While The Libertine does look as dimly lit and disease-ridden as possible, it doesn't necessarily translate into a particularly pleasant moviegoing experience.
Occasionally, moviegoers like to play a game called “What the hell is wrong with film critics?” In this game, they attempt to figure out what it is that makes film critics so different from ordinary folks. Clearly, people who review movies for a living are a pack of crusty old player-haters. How else to explain the fact that, say, that jerk from the Alibi hated Big Momma's House 2? Big Momma's House 2 was hilarious! It was the No. 1 movie in America! Obviously, the guy hates film and knows nothing about the tastes of the average American.
An Oscar night wrap-up
Now that it's all said and done, let's put aside the minuscule controversies (Crash won! Rap songs are now guaranteed Oscar material!) and look at the actual show. How was the “78th Annual Academy Awards” telecast? In a word (OK, two): rather dull.
The Week in Sloth
The Ban Got the Boot—As if we didn't already know, the Mayor Marty Chavez-backed proposal to ban alcohol sales at all-ages show was going down the second it was announced. The “Scene Killer” didn't kill much of anything. The new regulations adopted by the Alcohol and Gaming Division, which will go into effect in April, require that venues selling alcohol at all-ages shows must have a seprate drinking area where minors aren't allowed, something most venues do already. It took some legwork, it took some real scene-wide love, but it was worth every bit. The all-ages scene still lives.
with Felonious Groove Foundation
Thursday, March 9, Launchpad (21-and-over); $15: Imagine you're in high school (this may be harder for some than others) and your football team has just ended the first half down 35 to 3. As you sit in the stands wondering if you should cut your losses and go home, the marching band starts to play. At first, it seems like an ordinary halftime performance, but there seems to be some extra pep in the band's collective step. All of a sudden, the band steps onto the field and begins to play a New Orleans-style jazz romp complete with flugelhorn, tambourine and full-fledged hip swaying. By now you're thinking, “I wish this band could play all damn night long!”
Saturday, March 11, Route 66 Casino (all-ages): Where else can you hear “My Captain” and “Slow Ride” on the same night? I mean, besides the Buzzard, Arrow 102.5, 94 Rock and probably some AM stations somewhere along the dial. But the only place to hear these classic rock gems live on the same night is at the Route 66 Casino on Saturday. It appears that neither Grand Funk Railroad nor Foghat has updated their websites in the last half-decade or so, but the most recent photos and info seem to indicate that both bands have retained most of their original members who, aside from a little weight gain, seem able as ever to rock out with the best of them. (Them, of course, refers to the other casino-frequenting groups.) So, Saturday night, if you're feeling nostalgic or you just want to hear Buzzard-esque tunes without the gravelly voiced DJ making you increasingly irritated, come on down to Route 66 Casino and check out some rock legends (or what's left of them).
Fireball 2006 at Pulse
Finally—a place to wear my ripped-up vintage fire engine-red leather jacket. And just when I thought all hope was lost. ...
The "One Man Big Band" who's definitely not a gimmick
Kevin Kinane (aka Daddy Long Loin) spends his days playing and teaching music to kids at the Children's Psychiatric Center and working with youngsters at various schools around the city. By night, the Daddy's one-man performance comes complete with drums, harmonica, keyboard, live sampling and a bass/guitar combo instrument known as the Chapman Stick. The Frank Zappa- and Primus-inspired musician has released several albums with exclusively loin-oriented titles (such as Wrong Place, Loin Time), and his live performances, as he says, must be seen to be believed.
It's up-and-coming trio Devil Riding Shotgun with Underdog and Bonebag! 8:30 p.m. at Puccini's Golden West Saloon. $5 gets you in, but you must be at least 21 years of age to party. (LM)
Stan Won't Dance—Well, actually, he will, but only if you ask him nicely. The London two-man dance troupe integrates original text with experimental choreography, design and video. Stan Won't Dance will be performing Sinner, a show loosely about the Soho Bomber, at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SW) this Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. This unique performance is sponsored by the folks from Global DanceFest. Tickets are $30 general, $15 students/seniors and can be reserved by calling 848-1320.
First Seen: Portraits of the World's Peoples (1840-1880) at the University Art Museum
These days, it's easy to take armchair travel for granted. With 8,000 cable channels at our fingertips, nothing could be simpler than to kick back in our La-Z-Boys with our remote in one hand and a cup of hot cocoa in the other as we take in exotic sights and sounds from the furthest reaches of the globe.
An interview with Susan Vreeland
Life Studies, Susan Vreeland's first short fiction collection, continues in the vein of the best-selling author's previous work, using art and artists as vehicles for storytelling. I recently caught up with Vreeland at the new Borders on Albuquerque's Westside on a recent sunny winter afternoon. Vreeland looks the schoolteacher she was for 30 years, but beneath this facade lies a passion for writing and art that she delights in sharing. We chatted over tea (and a late lunch for Vreeland, whose flight from Denver had been delayed).
New Mexico Wine Takes Silver in San Francisco—This February, judges at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition were asked to "snift" through more than 3,300 wine selections from around the country in what has become the largest and most distinguished American wine competition in the world. California was heavily represented—and an easy favorite. Still, a little winery based out of Southern New Mexico managed to walk away with one of the competition's top honors. Willmon Vineyards garnered a silver medal in the "Bordeaux Blend—$30 and Over" class for their 2002 Willmon Vineyards Quatro. What's Quatro, you ask? Basically, it's a tasty red blend of Bordeaux and Cabernet Sauvignon that's aged in French oak for about two years. This is the second internationally recognized award for the Willmon's Quatro. You can sample some for yourself at the vineyard's two retail tasting rooms in Ruidoso, the End of the Vine (www.endofthevine.com) and Viva New Mexico (www.viva-nm.com). Cheers!
Author's spattering of neo-Mediterranean food proves Spain is at the tapa its game
During a 2002 trip to the Mediterranean town of Granada, a Spanish history professor told me the fork wasn't widely used in Spain until the 18th century. This meant when Columbus was contracted to "discover" America, Ferdinand and Isabella were using little more than their manos to stuff their royal faces.
Have a big, fat Greek dinner
Remember the restaurant family dinners of your childhood? You wanted soda, you got milk, your brother made weird noises, you got blamed. You got your choice of the kids' meal trifecta: pizza, chicken fingers, or macaroni and cheese. Auntie had a few glasses of wine, uncle smoked those fat, smelly cigars, and mom and dad were so busy talking that you could get away with kicking your brother under the table—the first two times, at least.