Alibi V.13 No.16 • April 15-21, 2004 


Our Humble Establishment

Dear Alibi,

Cowboys would like to thank the people of Albuquerque and its surrounding areas for voting us the number one country bar in town. We were elated to hear the news, but a bit disgruntled with your writer's comments.

In reference to your comments as to "the folks who voted in this category have a lower IQ than the first three rows at a Toby Keith Concert collectively." These are the people who patronize our establishment and they come from all different walks of life. People like lawyers, doctors, nurses, bikers, farmers, ranchers, college students and just every day people who work hard and want to have fun and let their hair down. We do not discriminate against anyone for any reason. But it seems that your magazine does.

We have recently started an ad campaign with your magazine in an effort to broaden our horizons and demographics to this club. It is in our best interest to review our relationship with your company and whether or not we will continue to advertise with you.

We are still going to continue offering a hearty welcome at Cowboys along with a handshake and a smile, and the most courteous staff on the planet. We will also continue to bring the best in local, regional and national touring acts to our live venue, and we will continue to make each and every customer feel welcome and safe. By the way, have you listened to our format which includes Top 40 dance, hip hop, classic rock and old school, Americana country (which is primarily college students) as well as our mainstream country theme. We also offer specialty nights such as Fight night for amateur boxers, classic rock, hip hop and rap concert nights.

Country music has gotten a bad rap for many years about crying in your beer lyrics and sob stories, but have you picked up a rap or alternative rock CD recently? Have you been to a Toby Keith concert where the lyrics turned the crowd into a wild frenzy and tore up the venue because it was the cool thing to do? Please do not discriminate against people because they like to listen to and dance to country music. If people were giving you "clever answers" to the country music category they probably don't listen to this type of music, and this is fine, but don't condemn the people who do, because they might be your parents, siblings or best friend as well as readers and advertisers of your newspaper!

I would like to take this time to invite your very opinionated writer to our humble establishment to see exactly what it is that we do and how we do it, as this is the reason our customers voted us the number one country bar in Albuquerque. So if he or she would like to step up to the plate, then come on down and check out not only Cowboys, but the Paradise Square Entertainment Complex.

Paradise Square has three excellent restaurants and three very different formatted venues to choose from. You might have to walk just a little bit further from venue to venue but it is well worth the time to do so.

Editor's Note: For purposes of clarification, the quote cited above is incorrect, incomplete and out of context. The line in question was clearly directed at the small-mined, racist voters who decided to offer up moronic answers chiding country bars and country music, not at the voters who actually took the time to cast their ballots correctly and certainly not at the patrons of any venue—country or otherwise—in Albuquerque. Personally, as I skim through my archive of music criticism over the past 10 years will attest—I like most country music. I apologize for any misunderstanding. Congratulations on your big win!

James Diaz
Production Manager, Cowboys

Defending Our Facility

Dear Alibi,

First, we thank your readers for voting us the No. 2 "best venue at which to see live music." It is an honor. That being said, the honor was completely shadowed by a soap-box commentary based on [Alibi Editor Michael Henningsen's] personal feelings.

[Henningsen] obviously hates the facility and doesn't like to support it. Your readers voted us as the No. 2 place to see live music but [Henningsen] couldn't just leave that alone and let us enjoy our reader recognition.

We regret that The Launchpad received little of their well-deserved recognition in that BOB-live music segment. The Launchpad received less coverage as the No. 1 place to see live music than Journal Pavilion did as the No. 2 vote.

The segment became a platform for cheap shots about Journal Pavilion. We thought the "Best of Burque" would be a positive banner for the facility and the operating staff of more than 300 Albuquerque residents. Instead, we were called "demons" by [Michael Henningsen].

Giving your readers the opportunity to vote on their favorite things about Albuquerque, and then blatantly mocking their choices, results in a display of irresponsible journalism. I hope [Henningsen] doesn't want to become a professional journalist one day. (Especially since the paragraph was written as one giant run-on sentence.) There was also little based on facts in the paragraph.


1. Clear Channel does not "own" Journal Pavilion. CC Entertainment leases it and operates it.

2. The "plain-clothes ... narcs" mentioned in the commentary are S.I.D. officers (special investigative division). They represent the state of New Mexico. They have the right to be at any event they want, anywhere in Albuquerque. It is our understanding that they pay a visit to the Alibi's Fall and Spring Crawls. They enforce the laws for alcohol and gaming. They aren't employed by Journal Pavilion.

3. "Inflated ticket prices." The ticket prices are a direct result of the cost of paying the artist to play. There are large costs involved with having a touring staff of bus and truck drivers, catering staff, touring/production/wardrobe assistants, techs, supporting musicians, stage crew (etc., etc.) on the road to play 40 plus concert dates around the country—and then around the world. They don't play for $50 bucks, a hotel room and free drinks.

We can take a joke and appreciate clever banter. However, we don't support the kind of recognition that [Michael Henningsen] gave us in the BOB issue. It is an insult to your readers and the others that were voted the "Best of Burque" to use the forum as a platform for cheap shots and snide remarks.

Editor's Note: To clarify, I do not hate the Journal Pavilion or any of its employees. I sincerely apologize for my failure to qualify use of the word “demons.” I was referring to the operators of Clear Channel Communications at the corporate level and not the fine folks who work at the venue.

Christine Lorello
Director of Marketing, Journal Pavilion

The Concept of Violence

Dear Alibi,

"Those Iraqis will be so happy to get rid of Saddam they'll be dancing in the streets and welcoming us with open arms!" I don't know how many times I heard comments like that before the U.S. invasion of Iraq last year. I wondered at the time what kind of moron could make such a statement, and it gives me no pleasure at all to be proven right in this case. Any idiot could have foreseen the mayhem that is currently engulfing Iraq. Despite what the White House says, the situation in Iraq is total anarchy, and it's pretty obvious that things are getting worse, far worse—not better. Kind of makes you think that the planners of this war are either grossly incompetent or totally evil—probably both. It's absurd to think that the Pentagon is that out of touch with reality. Surely they must have known this would happen. In any case, it's an all-out war, now, despite what the media says, and the "coalition" isn't getting any sympathy from the rest of the world, who pretty much told us before the conflict began that violating international law and invading a sovereign nation for no good reason would be a huge mistake. And yet, in our arrogance, we (by that I mean (CENTCOM) continue to pretend we are somehow "liberating" the Iraqis by blowing them up and destroying their country. Do they really think that escalating the violence is going to put an end to it? Central Command seems to think that the only way to stop the uprising is by wiping out all of the insurgents—as if that could ever happen. We'll just kill them all—problem solved! Moqtada Sadr's militia is 10,000 strong and I guarantee it's growing every day, thanks to CENTCOM's short-sighted policies. I guess the U.S. commanders are following Israel's lead in counter-productive military strategy. We all know how successful they've been at ending the intifada ... I guess the concept of "violence begets violence" is just beyond these people. Unless it's part of the plan. This is the same mentality that thinks that killing Yassir Arafat will help end the violence in the West Bank. Again, how stupid do you have to be to believe that? The coalition has managed to do one positive thing for the Iraqi people—they have united the Shias and the Sunnis against the occupation of their country. Quite an achievement, really.

I think I see a solution to this problem, though—just wipe them all out. That always works, after all. ...

Jason Darensburg

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