Alibi Volume 15, Number 30
July 27, 2006
Office exercise for the desk-ridden white-collar worker
Hey, you frumpy slobs. You overweight, under-perfect nine to fivers. Yeah, we're talking to you, Dave, and you, too, Britney. It's time to finally do something about that ever-expanding gut, those unsightly thighs and that excess skin that pours out over those jeans you'd be well-advised not to wear.
A University shopping district looks at a major facelift
It's a quirky part of town, a loosely associated collection of little houses used for shops and restaurants on Harvard near the university. When the relatively new owners of the area, the Harvard Mall Partners LLC, are finished with them, eight of the structures on the west side of the street near Winnings Coffee will be demolished. In their stead? A mixed-use apartment complex with about 7,500 square feet of retail spaces on the ground floor.
Policing the Police—After her arrest, Jenny Gamble headed home, changed clothes and went to work. She hadn't slept for 17 or 18 hours when she logged onto the Web and blogged about the events of the night before. Since that night, she's had more than 2,000 hits on her blog, she says, and people from all walks of life are writing to her of their own police horror stories. "The thing that's kind of strange about all of this is that I never intended to be a martyr for civil rights," she says.
Warren Hatch is an enthusiast and ultimate defender of the dying hobby of model railroading. A model railroader since the age of 7, Hatch found a way to make a career out of what he loves by opening Trains West Inc., a vast store that sells only model trains and their accessories, 14 years ago. The entrepreneur sat down with the Alibi to talk about model trains and the community that surrounds the hobby.
New tax credits encourage home and business owners to go solar
New Mexicans now may find it a little easier to harness the power of the sun. House Bill 269, signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson in March, offers tax credits to individuals who purchase solar systems for their home or business. Such systems cost thousands of dollars to install. The tax credits would cover 30 percent of the installation cost, up to $9,000.
Those F*!@ing Expletives--I'm sure you've all heard the "news" by now. President Bush said a bad word.
Pay-to-play government is bad for business
Buddy Cianci was one of the country’s most successful mayors. He took a struggling post-industrial Providence, R.I., and rebuilt it from the ground up. A new thriving downtown. A booming new high-tech industry and a renewed sense of civic pride. But a not-so-funny thing happened to Buddy Cianci on the way to his success. Buddy Cianci was convicted of public corruption.
It is now apparently a given in American civic dialogue that racism no longer exists in America … if indeed it ever did.
Dateline: Germany--Police in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt were stunned when a thief they had just released from custody was caught stealing one of the officer’s bicycles on his way out of the police station. “They could scarcely believe his cheek,” said a spokesman for Ingolstadt police. “It’s almost impossible to beat.” Police had earlier arrested the 22-year-old man after he was caught stealing handbags. The man was soon released on the condition he report back to them later. As he exited the police station, an observer in the parking lot spotted the man helping himself to a bicycle. Police gave chase and quickly re-arrested him. “He claimed he thought it belonged to a friend,” added the police spokesman. “He won’t be getting out of jail so quickly this time.”
Shootout: Take Two--The Duke City Shootout continues into this weekend. Last Saturday’s shotgun start launched seven teams of filmmakers on a weeklong race to cast, shoot and edit seven short films. The films will premiere at this weekend’s gala final event. Until then, however, the Shootout still has a few surprises up its sleeves. For a complete listing of events, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
Satyrical TV show graduates to theaters with consistent laughs
Fans were no doubt happy to learn that Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert finally got around to crafting a feature film version of “Strangers With Candy,” their three-season-long series on Comedy Central. The show went off the air five years ago, but continued to resonate with viewers and has only added to its loyal cult following a comprehensive DVD release of all three seasons. Of course, Colbert’s recent success with CC’s “The Colbert Report” makes now a fine time to introduce the show into the mainstream.
Environmentally aware documentary provides fuel for conspiracy theories
Did you know there were more electric vehicles on the road 100 years ago, when the automobile was making its first inroads into American culture, than there were gasoline-powered vehicles? After all, electric vehicles are far cleaner, cheaper and more easily repaired than their internal combustion cousins. And yet, here we are a century later, and electric vehicles remain nothing more than a “pipe dream.” Why? That’s just one of the juicy think nuggets presented in the sober new documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, a perfect companion piece to Al Gore’s global warming call-to-arms An Inconvenient Truth.
“Amazing Screw-On Head”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: See, there’s this artificially intelligent robot head who works as a top-secret super spy for Abraham Lincoln combating assorted supernatural and extraterrestrial threats to the nation, particularly those levied by his reanimated manservant-turned-archfiend Emperor Zombie. Helping our titular head are his new manservant Mr. Groin, a talking, three-legged dog named Mr. Dog and a collection of super-duper, steam-powered bodies onto which the Amazing Screw-On Head can, well, screw himself. ... No, I’m not making this up.
The Week in Sloth
MTV, Get Off the Air!--Despite the Dead Kennedys shouting for them to go away for the last 21 years, as of Aug. 1, MTV will have been on the air for 25 years. So, in the spirit of the unsatiated desire of the Dead Kennedys, I’m compelled to start off by blurting out the clichéd affirmation that “MTV sucks.” Just go to mtv.com right now and see for yourself. It’s basically corporate radio in television form with an added bonus of obsessive celebrity worship. The station rarely plays music, but simultaneously has incredible influence on the music industry. But most of us know this already.
There’s a method to their madness
Crouching deep inside Jim Phillips' cerebrum is a kid with his hands between knees. Let's call him Ned. Ned is busy counting the number of syllables you've just said to Jim. Now he's making a rule about it. It's called “The Disguise of Changing Scenery,” or something equally splendiferous and literary. Now he's humming the idea back to Jim in musical Morse code, which is being broadcast onto the back of Jim's skull like a home movie. The colors bleed onto everything. And now Ned's resetting the whole thing back to zero, like winding a clock.
with The Build
Wednesday, Aug. 2, Launchpad (21-and-over): Straddling the line between an indie band with screwed-up time signatures and long periods of straight instrumentation and a rock band with a Yo-La-Tengo-without-the-bite style of play, Brooklynites Dirty on Purpose are poised at the verge of quasi-stardom and indie acclaim.
Saturday, July 29, Puccini's Golden West Saloon (21-and-over); $5: They would go out on the weekends to bars like Tumbleweed, Fantasia or Bandito Hideout restraurant. Spanish rock lived in those joints--on the radio, but never live.
with The Foxx and Unit 7 Drain
Without fail, the Prids grab you and shake you up from note one, whether live or on a recording, such as their latest, … Until the World is Beautiful on Five03 Records.
Drown out the impending global war--and the stately, blathering shitheads who’ve brought us to the brink of it--this Saturday, July 29, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge! The Prids (see “Show Up!”), The Foxx and Unit 7 Drain are along for the handbasket ride. (LM)
As We Liked It—Last weekend, I tried my luck with Sol Arts' production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Colleen McClure. Honestly, it took me a while to get into the spirit of the thing. In my experience, most Shakespeare productions in New Mexico suffer from uneven performances, and this one was no exception. I dug the music, though, both live and canned, and hot damn if Kristen Loree didn't play a smokin' Rosalind.
National Hispanic Cultural Center
What is a zarzuela? Glad you asked. It's a form of Spanish opera that got its start in the mid-1600s and is usually short and comic. Director Salomé Martínez-Lutz and conductor/pianist Pablo Zinger have put together a showcase of this classical music genre that features a variety of zarzuela music consisting of archetypal Spanish beats as well as Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Perhaps best of all, special seating will be available to enjoy a glass of wine during the performances at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1707 Fourth Street SW) this Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The show is produced by Teatro Nuevo México. Tickets are $10 to $25, available in person at the NHCC box office, or through Ticketmaster at 883-7800 or ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 724-4771.
The Great Southwest Laff Off
Hilarity is an art. It takes skill, hours of creative energy and constant rehearsal to be a stand-up comic. Comedians must also be memorable. If they aren't funny, confident and original, they're forgotten as soon as the lights dim. It's a cutthroat industry, and for anyone looking to make a living in stand-up, it takes the same thing every wannabe in Hollywood needs: a big break.
A unique combination of Southwestern landscape, pop culture and ancient mythologies come together in New Mexican artist Shawn Pham-Warrick’s exhibit, War Paint. Opening this week at N4th Gallery (4904 Fourth Street NW), the show is composed of large allegorical paintings that explore timeless issues such as greed, violence and relationships to the natural world. There will be an opening reception on Friday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. and an artist talk on Saturday, July 29, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public. Runs through Sept. 2. 345-2872.
Signing for Her Supper—Friend and former Alibi Food Editor Gwyneth Doland can add one more notch to her crumb-speckled belt, as she's just become a published cookbook author! The book is Cilantro Secrets (Rio Nuevo, paperback, $12.95), which she'll launch at a signing event on Thursday, July 27, at Jennifer James' Gulp (3128 Central SE, 268-4729). From 5:30-8:30 p.m., the girls next door (that is, the Graze chefs) will prepare a selection of herby snacks from the book, offered to the guests of Ms. Doland at no extra charge. Settle into a cilantro mojito and pick Gwyn's brain about mole, the subject of her next book in the Cook West single-ingredient series. Oh, and buy a book. She's got a pile of cilantro-inspired grocery receipts that aren't paying for themselves. “I will write anything on the title page of that book if you pay me $12.95,” she says. Cash or check are perfectly acceptable.
O'Niell's Pub is back
At 7:30 p.m., people begin to stand two bodies deep at the bar, popping out through knuckles of space like olives in a fist. It's an impressive draw for a weekend night, let alone a Thursday. It's just short of amazing when you consider that this particular bar opened one week ago.
Yes, that’s their real name
Rabieng Thong? What’s in a name, anyway? I can recall my school years like they were yesterday, and I don’t think I had a single teacher who ever pronounced my last name correctly without a linguistic tutorial beforehand. I got some pretty festive variations like “Whirlitz,” “Whoo-letz” and my personal fave, “Whore-letz.” It’s Wohletz (Wall-letz), dammit. So I know how the cats at Rabieng Thong feel. It’s hard to have name recognition when people keep jacking it up.