Alibi Volume 15, Number 32
August 10, 2006
An easy guide to the City of Holy Faith with our favorite patron saints
Let’s get this right out into the open: Santa Fe is a touristy town. The art, the architecture, the history—Santa Fe has been selling itself as a world-class vacation destination, and people are buying. There’s no point in denying the facts, and tourism in Santa Fe is a fact. Another fact is that tourism isn’t the city’s only commodity. Now, now, don’t let your bias get in the way. Santa Fe isn’t only for rich yuppies with money to burn, nor is it full of stinky hippies who wish it was still the ’60s. And you Santa Feans—you know you harbor bias toward the Burqueños, too. Albuquerque is not void of culture, nor is it a cesspool for crime. There are plenty of reasons for residents of both cities to visit the other, from cultural events to culinary decadence, artistic gatherings to outdoor adventure. The long-standing sibling rivalry may never end, but isn’t it nice to sit and have a chat with your slightly overbearing sister over tea, even if you go straight home and bitch about her yappy dog? You know she’s talking smack about your hairdo, but family is family.
Bat Boy Eats Writers—Where the heck are the wacko conspiracy theorists behind Trust No One News? The Rio Rancho tabloid-style monthly hasn't put out an issue since its third at the beginning of June as best I can tell. Given its content, I'm thinking alien abduction.
Is the plan to increase production of nuclear bomb materials at Los Alamos National Labs something to worry about or are some activists just being nuclear ninnies?
New Mexico nuclear watchdog groups are concerned that Los Alamos is moving one step further in becoming the nation’s permanent site for nuclear bomb pit production.
Bill to raise the nation's minimum wage passes in the House but dies in the Senate
A measure that would have propelled the federal minimum wage up to $7.25 an hour failed in the Senate on Thursday, Aug. 3, with New Mexico's senators split strangely on the issue. Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman voted against it, while Republican Sen. Pete Domenici voted in favor of it.
Dateline: India--If you’re Indian, you fight fire with fire and monkeys with monkeys. In an effort to keep marauding monkeys off the nation’s trains, India’s Delhi Metro has started up its own monkey squad. On June 9, a monkey boarded a subway at the underground Chawri Bazaar station and reportedly scared passengers by scowling at them for three stops. The monkey disembarked at Civil Lines station. In the wake of that most recent incident, officials at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have hired a langurwallah--a man who trains and controls langur monkeys--to patrol the train cars in an effort to scare off freeloading primates. “It started working about a month ago, and since then we’ve not had a single incident,” Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal told the Hindustan Times. The langur handler is being paid a retainer of 6,900 rupees ($160) a month and “will be called whenever there is a monkey problem.” Langur monkeys are already employed around the grounds of parliament and some government buildings in New Delhi.
There's a tired old adage in American politics often attributed to former Democratic House Speaker Tip O Neil: “All politics are local.” It means that even for members of Congress engaged in making decisions about American foreign policy, what folks and donors at home think is often more important than what is in the national interest of America.
Michelle Cheney on her son's return from autism
Michelle Cheney is a busy woman.
Trained 10 years ago as a massage therapist, Cheney was thrust into the position of researcher when her son Raja was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. A seemingly normal child until about a year and a half into life, aside from inexplicably intense colic, Raja began to withdraw. He didn’t speak and was highly destructive.
Weighing the Quality of Life tax
To hear some voices on the subject, raising the county Gross Receipts Tax 3/16 of a cent for “quality of life” projects is the moral equivalent of invasion, treason or both.
Get Your Chones On!--On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Yale Art Center will host its second “Thursday Night Chones,” an open-sheet screening of local short films/videos. Come see the work of Albuquerque’s talented local motion picture artists and meet people in the field of film. Thursday Night Chones takes place on the second Thursday of every month. For more info, log on to www.yaleartcenter.org. Yale Art Center is located at 1001 Yale SE.
An interview with the director of World Trade Center
It’s been a long, hot summer filled with heatwaves, monsoons and that pesky war in the Middle East. But Oliver Stone is sitting in a hotel room in Seattle looking surprisingly comfortable. Following one of his most high-profile failures (Alexander), Stone is about to shepherd the release of what looks to be his most controversial film to date, a real-life examination of the events surrounding 9/11. And yet, the famously contentious filmmaker is at ease, cheerfully answering questions about his successes and his shortcomings. What gives?
Oliver Stone looks back, not in anger
When Paul Greengrass' 9/11-inspired film United 97 hit theaters earlier this year, many moviegoers asked the question, “Are we ready for this?” People wondered if, as a nation, we were ready to confront that tragic day head-on. Given the relatively positive response the film received, the answer seems to be, “Maybe.” But now comes Oliver Stone’s high-profile tackling of that delicate day, World Trade Center. And, again, the question is being raised: “Are we ready for this?” Having seen and digested the film, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that’s the wrong question to be asking.
“Metalocalypse” on Cartoon Network
The way I see it, Cartoon Network’s Sunday night showcase of mature-minded cartoons--known far and wide as Adult Swim--is something akin to Bell Labs in the ’60s. It’s sort of an experimental haven in which radical new ideas are carried out--sometimes with disastrous results, sometimes with earth-shattering import. You never know what will result from this mad tinkering, but occasionally you end up with a carbon dioxide laser ... or an episode of “The Venture Brothers.”
The Week in Sloth
See You at the Crossroads--“Variety keeps up busy,” explains Crossroads lead singer Joy Baca. Well, that and extensive touring throughout the Southwest, two CDs and a working pedigree that stretches back almost 20 years must keep all eight members pretty busy too. But maybe Baca's referring to the enormous range of styles the group spans.
Original hard rock and covers from Elvis to Pantera
If good things come to those who wait, then Traveler in Pain’s new album, Paths of Sorrow, Roads to Pain, is a true testament to Lance Sedillo and the rest of the outfit’s patience.
Sunday, Aug. 13, Atomic Cantina (21-and-over); Free: One unfortunate thing about Albuquerque is that it's an inconvenient stop on a band's tour—kind of out-of-the-way, really, depending on where the group is coming from. That's a big deal when you're on the Cheetos-til-you-puke, pocket-change-equals-another-mile tour. It means you might not want to spend a precious big-money Friday or Saturday night in a town that's a few hundred mile off-the-trek diversion from middle America to California or Phoenix.
with Left Brain and Five Minute Sin
Tuesday, Aug. 15, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); Free: Imagine yourself on a bus with no one on it except you and the driver. Suddenly, the bus lurches forward and the bus driver reaches back to where you’re sitting and places his hand on your knee. He tells you, “We’re going to be OK,” as he gives you a yellow-toothed but sincere grin. With that, he launches the bus, careening out of control, until finally you go crashing through a glass-walled building. As the bus comes to a halt, you realize that, save for a few glass shards in your lap, you are completely unscathed and after seeing that your body is intact, the driver shoots you another grin as he exits the vehicle.
Santa Fe musicians built a collective that brings in all kinds
"The process is more important than the end result," Carlos Santistevan says. "We're just trying to keep the process moving."
Mark Pickerel played drums for the Screaming Trees, laid down studio time with Nirvana and collaborated with Neko Case. Now he’s coming through on a solo project, supporting his debut Bloodshot Records release, Snake in the Radio. See this quintessential man-about-Washington on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge, with Sin Serenade and The Grave of Nobody’s Darling. Free. 21+. (LM)
Ice, Ice, Baby—So, the other day I'm riding my bicycle over to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to see the exhibit they've got on display about Antarctica. It's the middle of the afternoon and hot as hell. I'm really sweatin' it up. Pedaling madly in that insane heat, I'm not even at the show yet, and I'm already daydreaming about emperor penguins and big, wide, white plains of frigid Antarctic ice. Once I finally get inside, it only takes a few minutes to feel fully immersed in that other world. They've even piped in Antarctic sounds—howling winds, creaking ice—to aid in the illusion.
Janet Lippincott, one of the few remaining New Mexico Modernists, settled in Santa Fe more than 50 years ago. Before calling New Mexico home, Lippincott received formal training in New York and Colorado and became familiar with Picasso’s cubistic innovations while living in Paris with her family. After serving in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII, she attended Emil Bistram’s Taos Art School. Janet Lippincott: Six Decades of Works on Paper is a collection of Lippincott’s abstract and figurative ink-and-watercolor paintings on paper from the '40s through the '60s as well as monotypes printed in the '70s through the '90s. The show opens with a reception on Aug. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. and runs through Sept. 15 at Artspace 116 (116 Central SW, Suite 201) Mondays-Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 245-4200 or visit www.artspace116.org.
We Art the People Folk Art Festival
The mainstream art world can be dirty, deceptive and painfully exclusive, especially for scrappy unknown artists struggling to make names for themselves. For whatever reason, money too often trumps artistic merit, and nepotism seems to rule the day. Thankfully, events like this weekend's We Art The People Folk Art Festival exist to pull the arts back down to Earth where they belong.
An interview with J.R. Moehringer
You've got to be some kind of literary masochist to be willing to take a long, unflinching look at your own personal history—warts, cold sores, pimples and all—then share what you find with a bunch of complete strangers. All the best memoirs in the world, though, are fueled by precisely this kind of fearlessness, and J.R. Moehringer's stunning memoir, The Tender Bar, is no exception.
Africa, written by the most acclaimed and widely produced playwright in Korea, Tae-Sok Oh, will have its premier performance in the United States performed by Rough Theater at N4th Theatre. Rough Theatre is committed to creating new works that reflect, explore, inspire and challenge, which makes them an appropriate theater company to perform Oh’s Africa. The play deals with themes of global terrorism and the absurdity of racism and religious hatred. Africa opens Aug. 11 and runs through Aug. 27, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors. After the Friday and Saturday shows, stay to see The Entrapment Zones at 10:30, a late-night series modeled after the "Twilight Zone." Tickets $5. For all tickets and information, call the N4th Theatre (4904 Fourth Street NW) at 345-2872 or visit www.vsartsnm.org.
C is for Correction—One cake-loving reader saw that I incorrectly listed Patisserie C's old address on Central in last week's “Alphabet Soup” feature. Baker/store owner Susan Caplan says they moved more than a month ago to 9577 Osuna NE (in Bear Canyon Plaza at Osuna and Eubank), because they needed a bigger space with better parking. “It was a fun place for three years, but I outgrew it quickly,” she says. “The [lack of] parking was tough for the customers.” Susan's creative cakes and cookies are still available by appointment only, but now you can at least order tins of fresh cookies for pickup or shipment to your home at www.patisseriec.com. Visit the website for an eye-popping photo catalog of her other specialty items or call 247-3131 to set up a personal meeting in the new store.
A season forecast of the Santa Fe area’s fruitful growers’ markets
Stuffed and contented is the food-lover that finds herself in Santa Fe. There are the world-class restaurants, to be sure, and the rogue, rule-bending chefs that have put them on the map. There are bedrock institutions like The Santa Fe School of Cooking, the pervasiveness of ingredients like piñon and blue corn, and community action groups like Kitchen Angels that feed souls as much as stomachs. Those are each well-worth the trip alone.
Pretend it’s not in the mall
Malls scare the hell out of me. Ever since I was a child, I was terrified of going to the mall. They appeared to be huge, noisy castles with scary ladies pelting me with perfume, and I never once believed that the guy in the red suit was really Santa. So when I made the trek over to the First Plaza Galleria, I was appropriately apprehensive. As it turned out, I had no reason to be because the place seemed awfully uninhabited—empty storefronts, an out-of-service escalator and a few stragglers outside smoking cigarettes by the fountains. The mostly deserted castle did have a little bright spot in the corner, La Esquina, which apparently has been there since the ’70s (the current owner and staff have been there since 1985), but doesn’t get a lot of press due to its indistinct location.