SAN ANTONIO’S WINDOW TO THE WEIRD
DEVIN THE DUDE FOLLOWED BY STRANGE MIST
ATTACKING NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES!
WOMAN D E T A N G E R P IM BY A STATUE! Husband joins UFO club
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(contents) April 7-13, 2010 • 10_14
UPFRONT The QueQue / 6 Kangaroo court by Elaine Wolff / 9 And Justice for All / 13
16 Cuco Peeps Mutual UFO Network / 16 ¡Ask a Mexican! / 18 21 Food & Wine REVIEW Bunsen Burgers by Ron Bechtol / 21 REVIEW Fast Foodie, Chisme y Chicle / 22 Café SA / 23 29 Arts & Culture COVER COVERSTORY STORY Ripley’s Believe it ... by Sarah Fisch / 29 Artifacts / 30 REVIEW REVIEW Things We Didn’t See Coming / 33 35 Screens REVIEW The Runaways by Sarah Fisch / 35 REVIEW REVIEW Treme / 37 REVIEW Movie Capsules, Critic’s Pick / 39 53 Music Devin the Dude by Jeremy Martin / 53 Ram Jam 5 / 54 Live & Local / 55 REVIEWS REVIEWS Aural Pleasure / 56 Sound & Fury, Mixx Tape Traxx / 57 58 Nightlife REVIEW REVIEW Dad’s Karaoke / 58 The Bar Tab / 59
CALENDAR Live music, arts and events listings, Current Choice events, Where It’s At / 41
ETC. Dear Uncle Mat / 62 Free Will Astrology, Jonesin’ Crossword / 65
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | the queque
By the Current news team firstname.lastname@example.org
from 75 parts per billion to somewhere between 60 ppb and 70 ppb by the end of summer. In the hopes of countering smog-quashing tyranny, AACOG is asking the EPA to specifically prove the nasty stuff in our skies (much of which drifts in from Houston, they argue) is unhealthy for local residents before piling on new regs. Perhaps they could stop in at North East Independent School District and pal around with the more than 6,000 asthmatic students. When complaints of itchy eyes, runny noses, and breathing problems arise at NEISD schools, they’re logged with Jerry Lamping, director of indoor air quality for the district. Lamping told the Current he begins his investigations by first checking the outdoor air, where he typically finds either high soot or smog hanging over the region. “We do get more calls for indoor air-quality investigations when there is high ozone occurrences,” Lamping said. Should Metro Health actually do an ozone investigation, they may want to consider not using emergency-room visits as the symptom, said Diane Rhodes, a registered respiratory therapist and director of asthma education at the North East Independent School District. It can take several days after exposure to bad air before the worst of reactions set in. “You may not walk out the door and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can’t breathe,’” Rhodes said. “It’s a cumulative process. … You should not have to go to the emergency room if you have asthma. There are too many good drugs out there. That’s an extreme case.”
Remedial oxygen Clean-air bullies at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are considering cutting smog out of the American diet, but warning shots fired by our Bexar County Commissioners and officials with the Alamo Area Council of Governments suggest they’ll have to slice their way through South Texas politicians to get it done. Bexar’s Commissioners and AACOG last month objected to lowering federal ozone limits, a move that could bring vehicle emissions testing and other horrors to Sprawl City, USA. Members of AACOG’s AIR Committee framed their argument in a recently passed resolution, suggesting: 1) the San Antonio region has worked “proactively” with the EPA on air quality in the past; 2) health studies used by the EPA linking ozone and poor health all took place in areas with “chronic” ozone problems; and 3) San Antonio Metro Health examined the issue and found “little or no correlation between asthma-related emergency department visits and occasional ozone exceedances.” One problem. Metro Health really didn’t study the topic so much. “There was not an official study and/or report that was conducted from that. They just kind of surveilled it for a little while,” said Metro Health spokesperson Christine Padman. The chief “surveiller” in this case couldn’t remember much about it since that was more than five years ago, she added. “He said, ‘It wasn’t an official study or official report so I’m not quite sure how it ended up in their resolution.’ He doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable with the fact that they cited it in the resolution.” He may want to take it up with Kyle Cunningham, program manager at Metro Health’s Public Center for Environmental Health, who submitted this particular “Whereas” to the AIR Committee, according to Peter Bella, head of natural resources for the 12-county body. The U.S. EPA is expected to reduce federal limits on ground-level ozone (otherwise known as smog)
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Illustration by Tiffany Maples
Regarding Rivard San Antonio Express-News Editor Bob Rivard is one of the most recognizable San Antonians we have. His news résumé showcases 30 years of determination and talent gilded with the sorts of awards working writers gnash their teeth over. He’s been a force for free speech and press not only here at home, but in Latin America as a board member of the InterAmerican Press Association. As the daily’s editor, however, he’s also been criticized for squelching in-house investigative journalism [See “The Story That Didn’t Run,” December 2, 2009] and strolling out on some tortured limbs in his regular column duties [go nukes and billion-dollar ocean desalination?]. But as of today, Rivard has a one-in-three chance (give or take some UT faculty prejudices) of slipping from us entirely. On Monday and Tuesday, Rivard
met with faculty at the University of Texas as one of three candidates being considered for the position of director of the School of Journalism. The interim director, Tracy Dahlby, didn’t return our calls, but “He’s a great teacher and he wants to go back to teaching and writing,” one source told us. Rivard also was mum on the topic, failing to return the QueQue’s calls. Other candidates for the post include Glenn Frankel, a nearly 30-year Washington Post veteran and Pulitzer Prize-winner for his coverage of the first Palestinian intifada, and Linda Steiner, an academic from the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism, who also held positions at Rutgers and something called Governors State University. Contact @sacurrent on Twitter for instructions to get into our office betting pool.
Limping north The spring monarch migration has been a bust. Only a lucky few have caught sight of more than a couple of the iconic insects currently on their northward jaunt through Texas. Mainstream news reports have blamed the usual suspects for the population collapse of this most recognizable of the flitter-bys: Soggy weather and illegal logging in their Mexican over-wintering grounds. Less widely reported is the ongoing loss of habitat in the United States, as well as our widespread use of toxic herbicides, pesticides, and genetically modified corn. Researchers have shown that the pollen of some genetically modified crops are fatal to monarch larvae. “Their breeding ground is being ‘cleansed,’ as it were, of milkweed. People are using Roundup Ready crops, herbicide-ready crops,” said Mike Quinn, a former Texas Parks & Wildlife entomologist and current president of the Austin Butterfly Forum. Those are just some of the shifts in agricultural practice that Monarch Watch blames for eliminating more than 80 million acres of monarch habitat in recent years. While Mexico’s butterfly reserves and Midwest breeding grounds may feel far from us in South Texas, there’s a lot local residents can do to help. Texas is a “springboard” for the northward migration, the site of the monarchs’ first rush of egg laying. “So the conditions here in Texas play a big role in the success of future monarch generations going north,” said Quinn. You can help a monarch out by cutting down on your pesticide use and rushing out to plant some milkweed, sunflowers, and other goodies. Under these extreme conditions, every backyard butterfly garden helps.
Parading in the Big Easy Last month, the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition learned that oral arguments in their case against the City and its revised parade ordinance will be heard by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The QueQue squeezed into the group’s serious meeting on April Fool’s Day to see how the exhaustively active group would handle the April 27 one-hour-plus hearing. Attorney Amy Kastely and the Free Speech Coalition claim that after massive immigration rights marches in 2006, a new parade ordinance quickly appeared applying a different fee schedule for First Amendment and non-First Amendment events. And who decides what constitutes a “First Amendment” event and thus lower fees? Why, the San Antonio Police Department, of course. Law enforcement has an
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awesome record with those sorts of determinations. Giving the police the broad power to decide who marches, revels, or protests and how much they should pay seemed a tad unconstitutional to U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, who issued an injunction halting enforcement of the ordinance on February 21, 2008. Judge Rodriguez insisted the City meet several requirements, and they did, to a degree. The chief of police still decides what qualifies as a First Amendment event, but the new ordinance requires the chief to consider several specifics in determining the amount of traffic control needed, making fees more transparent. They also don’t exempt funeral processions or VIP motorcades. Is that enough to pass Constitutional muster? Judge Fred Biery, who took over the case after Judge Rodriguez recused himself, thinks so. He both lifted the injunction and granted the City summary judgment, advising, in his folksy way, that the plaintiffs “apply for permits early to avoid last-minute eggbeater pleadings.” But the plaintiffs say the cost of a parade permit is still unreasonably high, especially the $2 million insurance policy the City strongly suggests, and its proposed alternative for cash-strapped marches is laughable: San Antonio’s cracked, unevenly curbed, and narrow sidewalks. They appealed the summary judgment, and the case was r cently chosen as one of just a dozen or so a year in which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments. Decisions at this level can set binding precedents. Even though the present court is, according to Kastely, very right-wing and very Republican, “so much of the Civil Rights movement happened there. They are bound by some decisions made during that period,” and some of those relate directly to public protests. Assistant City Attorney Debi Klein says parade ordinances vary nationwide, with some cities enforcing much more stringent permit requirements than San Antonio. “We’ve given every opportunity to allow people to have those [First Amendment] events at no cost,” Klein said, pointing out that the City picks up the first $3,000, and will make arrangements for expenses above that amount in some cases. She also notes that applicants can indicate whether they believe their event qualifies for First Amendment status when they apply for a permit, and the police department consults with the City Attorney’s office. “We err on the side of caution and presume it’s a First Amendment event.” Klein said she expects the loser at the Fifth to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The Free Speech Coalition wants to use the opportunity in New Orleans to join up with local groups like New Orleans’ renowned Second Line, who have lately faced major permit increases for performing at street funeral processions and public events. Though they’ve not yet finalized when they’ll go or how they’ll get there, the group is confident they will have more than adequate representation. We’ll be there, too, if only to hear what the court has to say about that whole egg-beater thing. •
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | feature
Part one in a se
o o r a g n Ka t r u co
olff laine W E y b l o g to e-fightin im r c l a n utio a-Constit r t x e w e City’s n Meet the
t’s February 22, 2010, and the second monthly meeting of San Antonio’s Dangerous Structures Determination Board is in session in the City Council chambers. Projected on the giant screens in the front of the room are images of deep urban decay: rotting wood, exposed floor beams, cement piers moldering in a pile, holes in the roof big enough to accommodate ’possum … drug paraphernalia on a side table. That’s what we’re told it is, anyway. I’m not sure, because I’m fixated on the bed, which seems to be in a room that is at least partially open to the elements. Yet, it has bedding, and what looks like a row of clothes hung neatly on nails sticking out of the wall studs. Someone is living here? Someone who needs help, from the looks of it. But any assistance rendered today will be of the tough-love variety. The faces on the dais are not as familiar as District 1 Council Member Mary Alice Cisneros’s, or as famous as Mayor Julián Castro’s, but they wield a power as awesome as any held by our local elected leaders. By a simple majority vote, these six individuals can order a house demolished, any tenants relocated, and send the bill ($4.12 per square foot) to the owner. A quorum is four, so some days fate rests in even fewer hands. A police officer tells the board that squatters on the property “confessed to using drugs on a regular basis.” A second officer reminds them that the house is just north of the “Hackberry area,” which is known for prostitution and drugs. A Fire Department representative asks about missing flooring, and the board votes unanimously to demolish the house. DSDB, 10►
Malcolm Monroe stands in the doorway of his parents’ home, where his brother was shot in 2007. The City voted to demolish it last September. He is currently ﬁghting the order.
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | feature Greg Harman
• Police Action Our property rights, enshrined in the Constitution, are not absolute, a fact brought home with force and rancor by the 2005 Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, which held that the definition of “public good” for which the government can take private property includes private redevelopment projects. Of course, in those cases, property owners must be compensated. The other notable instance in which the government can interfere with your property rights is when you neglect or operate your property in such a way that it becomes a danger to others. A brief submitted by the cities of Houston and San Antonio in a case currently before the Supreme Court of Texas sums it up this way: “All property in Texas is held subject to the government’s valid exercise of its police powers to protect the public safety.” The U.S. Supreme Court has held that once a property is declared a public nuisance, the compensation provisions in the Takings Clause no longer apply. In Texas, the task of determining which structures are such a nuisance that there’s no other course of action but to tear them down is delegated to what’s known in the legal world as “quasi-judicial bodies.” To the layperson that means local administrative boards that are neither elected nor actually judges; to City officials, it means a way to get rid of problem properties without the time and expense of going through the actual court system. That same legal brief before the Texas Supremes laments the days “prior to the enactment of these statutes when all public nuisances had to be judicially determined — a process which could be drawn out for years and often was, while the structure continued to deteriorate even further and often collapsed.” Speed and efficiency, however, are achieved at a steep price. “When you’re in front of the DSDB, one of the things you don’t get to do is ask questions of the witnesses,” says attorney Eddie Bravenec, who has represented several clients with cases before the board. “You have to ask questions of the board, and then the board gets to ask the witnesses questions.” Those witnesses, including the code-enforcement officers who inspected the properties and, increasingly frequently, San Antonio police officers, aren’t under oath, unlike witnesses in an actual court proceeding, and so aren’t subject to perjury. Property owners don’t have the right to object to members of the DSDB whom they believe might not be impartial in their cases, and unlike criminal trials, they’re not entitled to legal representation — if you can’t afford an attorney, that’s the breaks. These shortcomings are of greater concern as an increasing number of DSDB cases begin to look like law-enforcement actions. In spring 2008, the City of San Antonio created an interdisciplinary enforcement group under the City Attorney’s office called the Dangerous Assessment Response Team, which works closely with the police to target properties with high crime rates. One of DART’s great advantages, says Assistant City Attorney Joe Niño, is that once a property is brought to the City’s attention through one agency, “DART looks at it from all
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Malcolm Monroe and his cousin, Eddie Ansari, in the front room of 115 Blue Bonnet.
angles.” In other words, your neighbors may call and complain about the tire pile in your driveway, but if the complaint ends up with DART, the police may check in, too. Or repeated police calls can bring on fire and safety inspections. DART then uses those violations as leverage to negotiate voluntary compliance with property owners, or to take them to court or to the DSDB. The City’s dangerous-structures ordinance allows the DSDB to raze houses that have “become so dilapidated or deteriorated or neglected
DSDB). According to the City’s annual report, in its second year of operations DART “directed enforcement efforts against 59 nuisance properties.” One of those properties was the modest 1930s bungalow at 115 Blue Bonnet. At the September 14, 2009, DSDB meeting, San Antonio Police Officer Charles Hiller registered his concerns about the house. According to the minutes, he “stated that someone was murdered in this structure over a drug deal,” and that “this struc-
cers to testify that It has become common for offi a magnet for drugs, not only is a house a wreck, it’s nal behavior. prostitution, and related crimi as to become a harbor for vagrants or criminals.” Since DART’s inception, it has become common for officers to testify that not only is a house a wreck, it’s a magnet for drugs, prostitution, and related criminal behavior. Based on a rough survey of DSDB minutes from January 2009-January 2010, the DSDB voted to demolish structures in 90 percent of the cases in which a police officer said that it was a source of criminal activity. In contrast, the board issued demolition orders in just over 60 percent of the cases in which police officers didn’t speak; that number would be much lower if we excluded cases in which the owner said they were planning to demolish the property themselves or agreed to the demolition, and cases in which no one signed up to speak (the other almost-surefire way to lose in front of the
ture is a haven for drug and prostitution activities.” Officer Jose Buso seconded the drug complaint, and added that “neighbors are afraid of retaliation from the owner and his friends if they complain about this structure before the Board.” The owner, in fact, was dead, the victim of that 2007 shooting. The SAPD offense report says that Allen Monroe, age 56, was found shot inside his front door on a warm May morning. Police recovered a 9 mm shell casing, and animal control was called to the scene to remove numerous dogs and cats. There is no mention of drugs. SAPD declined to let the Current speak to Officer Hiller and instead directed us to Assistant City Attorney Savita Rai, DART’s de-facto boss, who after an initial conversation earlier this year has failed to return multiple calls for comment.
Just before the Blue Bonnet hearing, Officer Mary Dye dropped the dime on the house at 851 S. San Bernardo. Dye “Stated that this location has been an eyesore for a long time. Stated that the owners are heroin addicts. Stated that this structure is a harborage for drug and prostitution activities. Stated that this location is a known ‘fence location’ for buying stolen items.” If any of the board members questioned the accuracy or personal knowledge of any of this testimony, it’s not recorded in the minutes. In both cases, the board voted 4-0 to demolish the structures. Shanon Peterson Wasielewski, the City’s historic preservation officer, regularly sits on the DSDB board. Of the police-officer testimony, she says, “I think it changes the issue because sometimes the discussion can become more about the crime than the structure’s habitability. … The flip side is, I have often said on the record at DSDB, houses don’t smoke crack. Just by itself [razing a troubled property is] not really solving the problem.” This state of affairs might be tolerable, if not ideal, if there were a meaningful way to challenge the board, but the courts have so far shown these “quasi-judicial” bodies a very judicial deference. A property owner who is unhappy with the board’s decision can challenge it in court, but the judge must let the ruling stand if any evidence — “more than a mere scintilla” — in the official DSDB record supports the board’s finding. The property owner cannot introduce any evidence that wasn’t recorded as part of the original hearing. Take the house on Blue Bonnet: The late Allen Monroe’s cousin, Eddie Ansari, disputes the officer’s account of his murder. “Allen moved back into the house when he lost his job,” AnDSDB, 12►
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | feature ◄DSDB, 10 sari says. “But he was never into selling drugs.” colluding with each other.” Statistics ought to tell Problem is, Ansari wasn’t at the DSDB hearing, us something, he suggests: By the Current’s tally, so a reviewing court can’t weigh his testimony in 206 votes recorded between January 2009 against the City’s. The police documents that might support or refute officers’ assertions about crime and drugs aren’t part of the permanent DSDB files, either. Dangerous Premises Supervisor Danes DeSan Antonio’s Dangerous Structur ny Liguez told the Current that’s a prird is composed of six City Boa ion inat term vacy issue — despite the fact that the Manager employees designated by the City officers speak at a public hearing, and itoring and Administration, Mon ts Gran from the minutes are public record. Niño , the DePlanning and Development Services simply says “It’s not required. The pomunity Initiatives, the Fire Com of t men part lice officer can speak on behalf of the PreserDepartment, the Office of Historic property like any other individual.” indisix ough Alth vation, and Public Works. Except their testimony isn’t like the lars, regu as ed tapp y entl curr viduals are “any other individual,” because ac10 ately roxim app DSDB liaison emails them cording to the City, repeated criminal can s nate alter that so s ting mee days before activity alone is reason enough to tear be selected if necessary. down a house. “It boils down to whethdes The current slate of regulars inclu er it’s a nuisance,” Niño said. Even a nBrow ert Rob Rose Arredondo (Grants), King William mansion with no other tino stan Con ael Mich ks), Wor ing (Public code issues? “If they wanted to.” Deborah (Planning), Armando Perez (Fire), But a property owner who appealed Shaand ), tives Initia ity mun Vasquez (Com the DSDB decision in court would erva Pres toric (His non Peterson Wasielewski have only the record to go on, and the and nd seco the . a.m 8:30 at t mee tion). They record might have only the he-said, Council fourth Monday of each month in City she-said of the individuals who spoke Thursthe ed post is da agen The chambers. before the board. v/ o.go toni nan s.sa day beforehand at webapp “They’re not proving they’re usboardcomm/. ing drugs, or showing they’re using drugs,” Bravenec said. “They’re saying they’re using drugs, so we have no way to test that.” and January 2010, the board acted unanimously more than 97 percent of the time. • Who’s watching the DSDB? “It’s been like that for years,” Niño says of the board’s makeup. “It’s kind of a City Council Current readers will recall the sad tale of out- decision.” But he says that neither DART nor the sider artist Reverend Seymour Perkins, whose City Attorney’s office has any sway over DSDB Eastside house and studio the City accused of decisions. “It’s an independent board that acts on harboring drug dealers and prostitutes. After a what they hear.” two-year legal battle, during which Perkins died, In 2006, when the City merged its Code Comit was demolished this past December. In a case pliance and Neighborhood Action departments, Bravenec took to the Texas Fourth Court of Apthe City eliminated the Neighborhood Action peals, the justices ruled that the trial court was seat on the DSDB to avoid what it saw as a posright when it refused to consider any information sible conflict of interest, but the line between the related to the demolition order outside of the board and the City is hardly firm or bright. To cite official DSDB record. Bravenec is now bringing just one example, Savita Rai, who instigated and another case to the Fourth based on a footnote works with DART, is often listed as the City’s lein the Perkins opinion, which reads: “We note, gal counsel at DSDB meetings — the person that however, that in addition to reviewing whether board members might consult if, e.g., a property substantial evidence supports the Board’s order, owner challenged the impartiality of a DSDB an arbitrary action of an administrative agency member. cannot stand, including any action that deprives And there’s good reason to question their a party of due process; therefore, the trial court impartiality. Bravenec draws a comparison to also is permitted to consider whether the prothe recent Supreme Court ruling in Caperton v. ceedings before the Board satisfied the requireA.T. Massey Coal Co. that reversed a West Virments of due process.” ginia judge who didn’t recuse himself from a trial Bravenec argues that San Antonio’s dangerin which the appellants had virtually funded his ous-structures system denies property owners successful election campaign. The Due Process due process because the DSDB is composed Clause, the court said, requires recusal in cases entirely of City employees selected by the City where a judge has “a direct, personal, substantial, Manager. A courtroom trial “is a whole bunch pecuniary interest,” or where “the probability of of people that are watching each other that keep actual bias on the part of the judge or decisioneach other honest,” he says: the opposing counmaker is too high to be constitutionally tolersel, the judge, the bailiff, the court reporter. The able.” DSDB, on the other hand has six City employees, “I fail to see how getting your paycheck from a watched by the City Attorney, ruling in a case party isn’t a pecuniary interest,” Bravenec says. presented by other City employees. “Rather than DSDB, 15► have people watch each other, you have people
Who is the DSDB?
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | column Illustration by Tiffany Maples
Wronger and righter
was working in my office ribs. But that ain’t the worst when I got a call from of it. Lift the sheet.” (sometimes you can’t settle) Rusty in Nashville. He Rusty leaned over genby Tim Maloney and I have a long history tly and lifted the cheap cotof trying cases together, ton cover. “Ah, man, that is the most infamous being the deaths of six prisongross.” ers, all chained and shackled, who were burned to I grabbed the back of the folding metal chair, death while being transported in a cargo van. It’s and slid it next to him. a hell of a story, and I’m sure one day I will share “Terry said you seemed cool,” Dusty said. “You with you the awful facts. cool?” “Got a lay-down for you,” he said. “Guy driv“Well, you know, I like to think so, but I guess ing a plumbing truck falls asleep at the wheel, it sorta depends ... ” crosses the center line, and hits our two fellas “Get on in here bud. Here’s the deal ... I’m head on. They lived, but are in a world of hurt.” blind.” I was on the 10 a.m. to Nashville the next “What?” morning. After a night of taking in considerable “I’m blind.” cultural activities, Rusty and I embarked on a One of the moral ambiguities of what I do is road trip to Chattanooga, where our first stop was that the more injured someone is, the bigger the the hospital. It is uncanny how medical personpaycheck. A lot of lawyers like to tiptoe around nel can spot a lawyer. that subject, but we don’t create the tragedy, we I smiled pleasantly and talked loudly enough just try to make it somewhat better. This kid was for most to hear: “I am here to meet with a client totaled, and he was going to need a hell of a lot of named Terry. He was involved in a horrible car money to get better. crash. No medical malpractice issues are antici“You told the doctors, obviously.” pated, none.” Nobody believed me, of course, but “Nah, I ain’t told them shit about it.” they did eventually show me to Terry’s room. That “Why the hell not? If you lost your eyesight in boy was a mess: six broken ribs, cracked sterthe accident, they have to document it.” num, fractured femur, facial lacerations, and a “Nah, man, I was blind before the accident. torn aorta that should have killed him. ... Truth is, Terry was trashed, man. I couldn’t let Terry and his buddy, Dusty, were driving a him get behind the wheel, it was way too danger2003 Ford Explorer on a farm-to-market road ous.” just outside Scottsboro, Alabama. It was about 3 At this point, Rusty folded up his yellow pad, a.m., and I could only surmise that perhaps some clicked his ballpoint pen, put it in his shirt pocket level of recreational activities had taken place. and looked at his watch. “Truth is, I’d had a few cocktails so Dusty said “Explain this to me Dusty,” I asked. “How he would run me home,” Terry said. “I talked could you see where you were going?” to him earlier today, said you were coming. He “Only way I can see, is if I shake my head real wants to know if you can stop by.” hard and turn to the right, I can get a few seconds Rusty and I got into our car and proceeded to of seeing pretty good.” spend an hour getting lost in Chattanooga. When “So you are driving down the road, shaking we did arrive, the “rehab” hospital was nothing your head ... ” more than a dilapidated nursing home. We asked “Doing fine until that dude come across and a nurse where we might find Dusty. hit us.” She showed us to his room, said she was getRusty cleared his throat and mouthed “No ting off in 20 minutes and not to bother her. freakin’ way.” “Nice lady,” I said to Dusty. “Listen to me,” Dusty said. “I ain’t got no “Oh yeah, she real special.” people. I didn’t do nothing wrong. Go on out “We got lost.” and look where it happened. He was in my lane, “In Chattanooga?” wasn’t nothing I could do.” “It’s bigger than it looks. Speaking of looks, is Shit. there anything not broken?” I told Dusty I was in. “But full disclosure, you “Both arms and legs, don’t know how many JUSTICE FOR ALL, 15►
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
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CURRENT | UPFRONT | column ◄DSDB, 12
• A mixed message The Constitution is nowhere to be found in the minutes for 114 Kontiki Place, which came before the DSDB on March 8. Among the offenses the code officer listed are “contains graffiti,” “contains drug paraphernalia; and spray cans were found on location.” Owner Juanita Villarreal addressed the board, which included representatives from Planning and Development Services, the Office of Historic Preservation, Grants Monitoring and Administration, the Fire Department, and the Department of Community Initiatives. Her husband is disabled and on Social Security, she told the board. She is also disabled and able to work only four hours a day. Anticipating the police testimony to come, she said her sons are not in gangs; they haven’t been arrested for any gangrelated activity … “people shoot at their house because one of her sons is a drug addict and owes people money.” Finally, she reminded the board that she and her husband live in the house. Then it was Officer Marc Valero’s turn. He’s a 16-year veteran, he told the board, and a member of the SAPD’s San Antonio Fear Free Environment Unit, which focuses on gang activity and graffiti. He “stated that the sons’ friends live there and they all claim to be in a gang called Five Palms Blood. Stated that they have a website on MySpace and YouTube where they have pictures holding drugs and guns.” Police had answered 33 calls in the past three years, he said (true), 12 of them in the last two months (also true), six in the past two weeks (four by our count). One of the
◄JUSTICE FOR ALL, 13 gotta tell the docs everything. Everything. Every case has some warts.” “Warts?!” Rusty interjected. “He’s blind!” “Hold nothing back,” I added, “and that includes the fact that you were injured prior to this accident. You cool with that?” On the way back, we stopped by the accident scene. It was pretty much as Dusty described. There was a bend in the road and the plumbing truck simply came straight into them. When I got back to Texas I told my law partner the facts. “Well at least you got to hang with Rusty in Nashville.” “I took the case.” “You what?” “Yeah, I took it. I gotta get these kids some money.” The first thing I did was hire an investigator to find out who was driving the plumbing truck, what he was doing in the 24 hours prior to the accident, what he was doing on the road at 3 a.m. After I received the report, I put the insurance company on notice and sent them 3 feet of medical bills and records. About a week later, I got a call from an adjuster in Dallas. He was a good old-timey guy, who had been doing commercial policy work for 35 years. “I got to say you got a pair brass balls, that’s for sure,” she said. “You saying my fella’s slight visional impairment is causing you some concern?” “I’m thinking that a jury just may frown upon
sons was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia February 24 (the records we were faxed show something narcotics-related March 1). “Stated that the father is very cooperative with SAPD,” the minutes read. “Stated that he needs help with sons.” DSDB member Armando Perez requested an executive session, where “board members were advised by legal counsel.” When they returned, they voted 5-0 to demolish the house in 30 days, and issued an order to vacate in 14. But Niño portrays this case as an example of a system that works. Shortly after the vote, he says, “It was brought to our own attention that one of the lienholders wasn’t given notice.” The Villarreals got a new hearing, he said, with a happier ending. “They don’t need to vacate the location, they just need to repair the property.” But what about the drive-by shooting, the alleged gang involvement, the drugs? Well, he admits, “The neighbors aren’t happy right now.” • Calls to the Mayor’s office were not returned. Part Two, April 28: “What they’re doing is destroying the homes of a whole bunch of poor folks who don’t know enough to assert their rights.” Online Friday: A Dallas challenge to the dangerous-structures statute.
that fact, yessir.” “Will let’s see how happy they’re going to be with these facts: We have an accident that occurs at 3 a.m. There’s no dispute that your guy caused it. The question then becomes why? What was your driver doing until 3 a.m.? He told the cops he was ‘playing video games.’ But where? Oh, it appears that he was at his boss’s house, along with some of the plumbing company’s best customers. We’re probably gonna have to take a few depositions, ask a few pertinent questions, like, hey, boss, do you normally let your employees take home a company vehicle at 3 a.m., after playing ‘video games’ all night? Who was there? Really? Where does she work? And her cousin? Interesting. And let’s don’t even get started on the fact that your fellow wasn’t given a urinalysis, because his cousin just happened to be the deputy sheriff who investigated the accident.” “What kind of numbers are we talking about?” he asked. We went back and forth a few times, but eventually we got it done. I tried to structure Terry and Dusty’s money, get them an annuity, investments, etc. ... They listened politely, but declined. I tried following up on Dusty, but he seems to have gone off the grid somewhat. I sincerely hope he kept some of his money and got himself a driver. • Yes, that Tim Maloney. His next column will appear in the May 5 issue of the Current. email@example.com
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CURRENT | CULTURE | cuco peeps
We want to believe
Photo Illustration by Tiffany Maples
s has been noted, the truth is out there. A more less-likely place for truth to reside, however, is in here — a Denny’s restaurant in north central San Antonio. Once a month, a congregation convenes to discuss a topic that lurks in the penumbra of mainstream discourse. The diverse cast rarely changes; attendees refer to regulars as “the usual suspects” and newcomers are introduced when they materialize. The group is neither small, nor secret. Its topic is not even arcane. The stated mission of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) promises “scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity.” The local chapter invites interested members of the public to witness presentations by authors, scientists, and paranormal researchers. Afterward, tables in the rear section of Denny’s become an open-mic forum to recount UFO sightings or extraterrestrial contact, including abduction experiences. At the March meeting, an El Paso woman named Rita spoke to the group, describing abductions that began in the 1950s. Aliens who’ve appeared to her include “the famous gray ones with big eyes, the taller, uglier ones, “and, certainly, the reptilian ones.” On at least one occasion, she shared, witnesses had seen captors nab her, and she returned with small holes bored through her flesh and down to the bone. Neighbors suffered similar ordeals. Rita claims she has gained a full 12 senses, including precognition and clairvoyance. She had prior knowledge of the federal-building bombing in Oklahoma, the 9/11 attacks, and the Katrina catastrophe. She sporadically sees unidentified craft flying in the skies above — always while alone. Rita has been a card-carrying MUFON member for 15 years, and this has provided her with the consolation that comes from acceptance; though some members are more skeptical, all approach the issue with an open mind. Those who reject the possibility of extraterrestrial civilization are termed, simply, “non-believers.” One of the primary goals of MUFON is to “investigate UFO sightings and collect the data in the MUFON Database for use by researchers worldwide.” Each report to the MUFON website triggers a follow-up inquiry within 48 hours and a personal visit by an investigator. For the San Antonio region, this usually means Jorge Santana, a scientist and retired army officer. “It all starts with an email,” says Santana, hauling a 250-page field manual onto the table in a Denny’s booth. “I go out there, I gather information, I listen to the story, and I let
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them know that they are not alone. The human factor is very important. I also take a GPS with me and some other instrumentation,” he says, meticulously paging through tidy file folders. “Most of my cases have been simple sightings,” he adds, pausing to flip through a case. “This one was a lady that I went to visit, Maria. I closed this one, and I left it as unknown. But it is my belief that this was the international space station going over. Yes, the way she described it, I am quite certain it was.” He smiles, knowingly. “And she didn’t like that assessment, so I left it as unknown.”
MUFON scans the skies by Jeffrey Wright
Other cases remain more complex. In one instance, a man alerted MUFON after a close encounter of the fifth kind: visitation. Walking through a field outside of San Antonio one night, he allegedly came face-to-face with an alien entity. He and his four friends turned and fled, but the individual filed a report afterward and later drew a sketch of the creature. His friends now deny anything happened, and, under pressure from his wife, the man now refuses to discuss it — a common outcome, the MUFON field investigator explains evenly. Santana’s matter-of-fact disposition con-
forms to the organization’s official position that “the [UFO] phenomenon can and should be approached dispassionately and scientifically.” Nevertheless, passion clearly sways many of the group’s followers, who seem tempted to embrace speculation as theory simply because, though we can’t prove it, neither can we disprove it. “Many people think few people have really seen a UFO,” MUFON literature states; “In fact, according to a Roper poll conducted in 2002, one in seven Americans say they or someone they know has had an experience involving a UFO.” Extension of that single degree of separation renders the opinion poll unavailing by scholarly standards; hearsay, not surprisingly, dilutes the result. But, predictably, adherence to strict scientific methods loses its stick in an open forum whose purpose is dialog regarding topics almost inherently subjective and unmoored by hard evidence. Technological advances are, however, starting to change the game. “The search for life elsewhere is becoming a real scientific question,” says Dr. Eric Schlegel, an astrophysicist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, “because of the number of exoplanets we have now found.” In 1995, the existence of planets orbiting other stars was first confirmed; there are now nearly 500 in the catalog. Schlegel estimates that within the next decade, humankind will have a highly accurate picture not only of how many extrasolar planets exist, but how many orbit within the habitable zone where liquid water could be present. Within 15 to 20 years, researchers will be able to specify engineering projects to attempt to test for civilizations. And, Schlegel says, within 40 or 50 years, he expects humanity will know if extraterrestrial civilizations exist. “So the whole question of search for life elsewhere is still down the road a ways, but you’re starting to tackle it from the scientific point of view. NASA has gotten very interested in this subject over the past decade or so, largely because they now see that this is a technically possible thing to do. It now forms part of their strategic plan.” Until then, those of us who cannot foresee the future must wait. And until then, as MUFON San Antonio head John puts it, UFO enthusiasts will have to limit their speculations to “a thing we all know is something.” • Jeffrey Wright is the Executive Director of Americas News Intel Publishing, LLC
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CURRENT | CULTURE | cuco peeps
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Dear Mexican, I know that Mexicans and pochos can be black, white, Asian, and indios, but I just got my United States census form. Figured you would be the best person to ask about question #9 — Race. I know I’m not white (I been pulled over too many times for BS reasons), I’m not black (I haven’t been beaten by the chota like my black amigos), I am not Asian (I sucked at math and have a perfect driving record), and I am not Native American (I don’t have long hair or a dream catcher). The Census has been kind enough to allow me to identify myself as Hispanic of Mexican ancentry, but not as my race. Instead, I get to make up my own race. Any suggestions? — Viva La Raza Dear Wab, I haven’t heard so much unnecessary whining from Mexicans about an issue since Carlos Menstealia decided to call himself a beaner. Primer point: since when are we supposed to take the U.S. Census’ racial classification seriously? This is the same clump of the government caca pie that has spent a good century trying to exactly determine what Mexicans are —”white” one decade, of “Hispanic” origin the other, maybe “masters of Aztlán” soon. We’ve proven a clusterfuck for the government because, well, that’s what Mexicans are to this country — a grand, glorious, tequilasoaked chingazo to American racial taxonomies, and anything we can to do further destroy racial classifications in this country is bueno. Government can’t decide what we are? Good. All this said, the ninth question in the Census — despite its rigid caste classifications — does allow people to decide what race you are (the Mexican picked “CHINGÓN” as his raza, and urges the rest of ustedes to do the same) if you don’t like thinking of yourself as a gabacho, negrito, indio, or all the different chinitos they list. Prefer the conquistador in your blood over the mestizo? Fill it in. Think you’re full-blooded Nahua despite the bigote on your lip and your güera grandma? Fill it in. Happy with Question 8, which has a category for anyone who has any roots to Mexico? Check it. But stop the grand existential dilemma and teeth-gnashing over the imperfect Census, banda: do we really expect anything right to come out of Washington regarding Mexicans and public policy? Been one disaster after another since 1846.
I am a güera from the Midwest who married a chiapaneco. Before I married a Mexican, I never had any problems with the Census. But this year, while filling it out for the family, I got stuck on question number 9, which asked me to decide what race my husband is. He says mexicano; I say he’s mexicano, too. The 2010 census however, says that mexicano is not a race. Who decides that shit? I read once that you said the Census is a crock of mierda anyway, so I figured I’d ask you. What race is a dark-skinned chiapaneco from el Soconusco? — Confundida con el Censo Dear Gabacha, From the southernmost region in Chiapas, the southernmost Mexican state? Probably Mayan of some sort, so he’s an Indian — but, wait! No box for Mexican Indians! Gracias for allowing me another excuse to rant about the Census. Honestly, and no matter what Vaconcellos wrote and gabachos believe, “Mexican” is not a race; it’s a nationality, and one that even some of its inhabitants won’t fully embrace. But how pendejo is it of the Census to allow the various chinito nationalities to classify them as distinct races, but not Latinos? Last I checked, Asians had as much miscegenation going on as Mexis, as much conquests and ethnic conflicts as the Empire of the Sun — yet somehow they constitute distinct, pure razas, and not us? Since when did the Census hire Lou Dobbs to decide racial classifications?
do we really expect anything right to come out of Washington regarding Mexicans and public policy?
18 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
The U.S. Census says Mexicans are white. How can that be? — Born a Baboso Dear Gabacho, The U.S. Census doesn’t say any such thing. It allows us to be white if we want — and why not? Someone has to shore up the numbers and prestige for that declining raza in this country... Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican. net, myspace.com/ocwab, facebook.com/ garellano, youtube.com/askamexicano, find him on Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!
sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 19
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CURRENT | CULTURE | food & wine Erik Gustafson The Yongari (Korean for Godzilla) burger, served with sweet-potato fries and onion rings at Bunsen Burgers.
Ecstatic rotations I
t hurts so good — a sensation I had nearly forgotten, it had been so long. The pain starts centrally then spreads out in waves until almost the entire face is consumed. But it’s impossible to stop, impossible to deny the burn that comes from the cold … I lead a sheltered life. But in fact it had been years since a super-thick and ultra-cold milkshake had passed these lips. A long-handled spoon was supplied for those too eager to wait for the meltdown that would make it easier to suck through a straw. Besides, the vanilla Milky Way arrived before the burger did. Gotta say that it was first the name of the place and then the names on the menu that drew me to Bunsen Burgers. Sci-Fries? Perfect. Frito Pi? Even better. With all the atomic allusions, there was bound to be a Big Bang Burger, and of course there is: a pound-size celestial collision of two cheeses and three toppings. Considering the extent of the nerdish nomenclature going on, I expected an out-of-this-world visual environment, too. And there I was disappointed. Everything is painted an unrepentant turquoise (thankfully not Soylent Green, the name of the veggie
burger) as if to efface a previous comes with unstinting amounts tenant, and a few period posters of roasted green chile (it seemed Bunsen Burgers (Forbidden Planet, for example) 54456 Walzem Rd. like poblano, or at very least a accompany a fuzzy image of Ein- (210) 590-6066 New Mexico chile with roots stein and a collection of curious bunsenburgers.com outside of Alamogordo) and just artifacts such as a dentist’s chair enough Monterey Jack cheese. and a salon-scale hair dryer. THE SKINNY The bun was grilled and serious. On one visit, Horrors of Spider The zap is all in the food at this And the patty? Just fine, but only Island flickered away in black science-themed burger experia factor in the whole equation. I and white on a smallish TV. I’ve ment. The lab coats in the kitchen give the burger a 9 Roentgen got some great suggestions for know what they’re doing. Bathrating. (Exposure to 500 R over room chalkboard for Good Will zoomy light fixtures, a frieze of the course of five hours is a dose Hunting equations included. lava lights … but maybe that will of radiation lethal to humans, have to wait until the crowds DON’T MISS so let’s say that 10 is tops on the pick up. good side of things — a jolt but The shakes, the sweet-potato The place was far from full on fries, and the Roswell burger not a flame-out.) two visits, and that’s a shame, for An accompanying order of when my Roswell burger arrived HOURS sweet-potato Sci-Fries compleit provided the gasp I had hoped 11am-9pm Mon-Sat mented the burger like electrons for in the décor. This is, handsin orderly orbit around a dense down, the best-looking burger PRICES nucleus. They’re coated in cornI’ve seen in a half-life, starting $4.95-$13.95 starch, a page taken from the with a handsomely glazed bun Asian culinary playbook, and strewn with sesame seeds and they are sensational, the best continuing through to the extremely green letI’ve had. (The Asian touch is not surprising, as tuce and the robustly red tomatoes. The burger Kevin Cacy, whom many will remember from
Unearthly American delights at Bunsen Burgers by Ron Bechtol his parents’ previous place, Korean BBQ House, is at the helm of this Frankenfoodish operation.) Don’t even bother with ketchup; it only gets in the way. Ketchup could be employed with the Saturn Rings. Yes, onion. They seem handmade and are nicely seasoned but just lack the wow! factor of the fries. (The standard fries I leave to you to taste.) But they are perfectly fine as an accompaniment to the Atomic Chili, a madefrom-scratch original that puts many local examples to shame. Some may find the inclusion of roasted chiles and chorizo heretical — and that’s before we get to the beans, both black and red. There are unapologetic cloves of garlic, too. But I suggest you try it. It’s time for a chili revival, and this just might start it. Desserts consist primarily of a few offerings from NBL (Nibble) Bakery. The brownie is too cakey for my taste, but it might be just fine for yours. And in any event, atomic or otherwise, it goes great with the slurpy noises at the end of a shake. Why I waited so long I’ll never know. •
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CURRENT | CULTURE | food & wine
Lunch at Taquería los Arcos
“2 FOR 1 BURGERS ARE BACK!”
My dining companion for this Fast Foodie outing is playing racquetball this afternoon, which means he’ll be able to justify the five plates of food we’re about to scarf — which, to stare truth boldly in the face, will be layered on top of most of the basket of warm, crispy chips (still glistening with just a little oil) our waitress delivered shortly after we sat down. But the salsa casera has a good consistency and tart, salty tomato flavor. Taqueria los Arcos’ lone dining room is pleasant and clean, and we have it mostly to ourselves, although there’s steady takeout business. Painted a pale peach and filled with light from the front windows, it doesn’t feel like it’s sandwiched in a homely far-north strip mall. We dig into the asada torta ($3.75) first, and it turns out to be the highlight. The bread is fresh — crusty outside, soft and toasted inside — the asada has good flavor and is free of gristle, the mayo is creamy, and the avocado, lettuce, and tomato are fresh. Fortunately I still have room for the sope with picadillo ($2.25). Fresh cheese and soft pieces of potato melt into the ground beef and balance out the thick, griddled masa, which has a strong, homemade flavor. So does the corn tortilla that holds the chicharron en salsa verde ($1.59); I can taste the lime. The salsa verde is tangy and spicy, but the chicharron, although fresh and true, is a little too mushy for my taste. The entire thing is a little too graphic for my
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lunch date, but he’s not any happier with the daily lunch special, flautas de pollo ($4.99). The chicken is desert-dry (no, it can’t be wet, either, but even a generous squirt of the salsa verde doesn’t help) and flavorless, and the fried flutes are hard rather than crispy. Our gordita al pastor ($2.25) is disappointing, too — it’s not very gordita, and the pork strips are leathery, not noticeably seasoned, and disconcertingly uniform (although they did taste authentically grilled). Dining companion approves of the hearty and pasty refrieds that come with the flautas, though. Rankled in part that the only unsweet
Taquería Los Arcos 13777 Nacogdoches (210) 599-1822
tea on offer is bottled, and alarmed by the dietary choices being made by the few other folks in the restaurant, he says he won’t be making the trek again. but if you’re in the area, I’d definitely stop in for the true-blue sopes and the tortas (sandwiches: so simple in concept, so easy to mess up; enjoy the good ones when you find them). Our entire feast totaled just over $16, so it’s budget-friendly, too, and if you’re thoughtful about it, you can eat relatively healthy. Or go to the gym later. — Elaine Wolff
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Being the sort of person who walks out of the store in our new shoes, CC had to be at the redone Havana Hotel Chisme April 1 to see what Texas y Chicle (foodie gossip) lifestyle queenpin Liz Lambert had done with the former Cohiba. [See “Havana social,” March 24.] The clubby basement bar was a favorite confiding/confession spot for local artists and politicos, and we all fretted that its speakeasy appeal might be stripped away with the old paint. Wasted angst, it turns out. First impressions, once our eyes adjusted to the sexy deep-blue shadows, were excellent. Less clutter and the sapphire atmosphere highlights the enveloping furniture, and the remaining antique mirrors have regained their looking-glass magic. The bar offers greater variety now, too, including a taste of the mixology fetish that has infected Houston: sipping mezcal, plus a mezcal margarita (wonderfully smoky, but still too sweet; work on that one, please) and house takes on, e.g., the mojito. Being America’s original mixta metropolis, we don’t even mind the conflation of Cuban and Mexican culture — we’re just happy to have our favorite watering hole back, better than ever. — Elaine Wolff
CURRENT | CULTURE | café sa KEY: $ = UNDER $10, $$ = $10-15, $$$ = $15-35, $$$$ = $35+
AMERICAN Big Bob’s Burgers “The works” dominate at this very casual temple to an American staple, but the patties are serviceable, and the sides, especially hand-battered onion rings, are above average. 2215 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 832-8885. $ (01/09) Flour Power Cafe & Bakery Solidly executed, elemental soups are complemented by more adventurous sandwiches, including the pambazo, made with pulled pork, refried beans, avocado, and more. Save room for the cheesecake (and we seldom say that). 11703 Huebner, (210) 6949288, flourpowersa.com. (11/09) $
Two Bros. BBQ Market Chef Jason Dady and his sibling Jake try their hands at the Texas triple lutz and pretty much land it with oak-fired smoke pits, a great dry rub, and a genius take on chicken thighs. The sides aren’t as thrilling, but the blueberry cobbler gets a standing ovation. Kid-friendly, with outdoor seating. 12656 West Ave., (210) 4960222, twobrosbbqmarket.com. (04/09) $ BISTRO Cafe des Artistes Damien Watel and family take on the restaurant at San Antonio Museum of Art with a selection of salads, sandwiches, and daily crepe specials, Early on, the results were mixed: there’s no full kitchen, so some items are necessarily prepared elsewhere and reheated. We suggest European-style sandwiches, pastries, and wine on the terrace overlooking the River Walk’s Museum Reach. 200 W. Jones, in the Beretta Hops House, (210) 978-8155. (03/10) $ Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro That other famous Coco would approve of Philippe Placé’s tribute to our favorite aphrodisiac, available in fancy cocktails, decadent desserts, and sophisticated French entrées. 18402 Hwy. 281 North at Loop 1604, (210) 491-4480, sa-coco.com. (12/08) $$-$$$
King’s Court Frankfurter Express This cheery bungalow just off the St. Mary’s Strip offers some two-dozen dogs, from veggie to baconwrapped beef, and toppings galore (chili, sport peppers, neon relish ...), accompanied by substantial fries. Enjoy them sitting on the porch, watching the sideshow go by. 111 King’s Court, (210) 737-7774, kingscourtfranks.com (07/09) $ Mr. Tim’s Country Kitchen The eponymous owner serves hefty and homey meatloaf, biscuits, and assorted other Americana in this eclectic Southtown nook, and at least one of the DIY fork sculptures that give it character has moved to the new Presa digs. 620 S. Presa, (210) 2717887. (05/09) $ Patty Lou’s at the Olmos This popular diner serves solid Americana breakfast plates such as Eggs Goldenrod and fried-egg sandwiches in the historic Olmos Pharmacy building. Don’t skip the flaky biscuits, and take a walk on the mild-wild side with coconut and candied-jalapeno pancake toppings. 3902 McCullough, (210) 706-9855 (10/09) $-$$ Stinson Airfield Patio Cafe A few aviation-themed menu items are all that hint of this historic airfield’s rich history, but a recent remodel of the terminal is faithful, and you can still hope for takeoffs and landings as you enjoy solid Tex-Mex and AmeriTex food at contemporary bargain prices (circa $6 lunch specials). 8535 Mission Rd., (210) 923-5969. (05/09) $ Sugarbakers Cafe & Bakery The sandwiches may cost more than at your favorite chain deli, but the moist chicken and punchy chipotle mayo, for instance, justify the extra expense. Full-meal salads are available, too, which should make you feel better about taking home a selection of delectable freshly baked cookies. Our critic recommends the pecan chocolate chips and the “ethereal” thumbprints with lemon icing. 260 E. Basse, (210) 824-7000. (03/10) $ BARBECUE Hot Spot BBQ Hot Spot’s small, cute digs produce tender brisket and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Seating’s outdoors, but shaded. The Hots Po’Boy is a mad lunch deal at $5. Sausage, various ribs, and more available by the pound. 2334 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 736-2625. (07/09) $ Jones Sausage & BBQ House This rustic little Eastside nook earned high marks for its sausage in our 2007 BBQ survey, and in ’09 the sliced-brisket sandwich scored 18 toothpicks out of 20: center-cut, ethereally smoky, tender, and moist. Served on white bread, the way God intended. Save room for 7UP pound cake for dessert. 2827 Martin Luther King Dr., (210) 224-6999. (09/09) $ Mr. J’s BBQ Stick to the pot-likker greens at Mr. J’s, or load them onto the brisket sandwich, which leans toward the lean and dry — eight toothpicks out of 20. Per the form, order at the window, eat outside. 1624 S. New Braunfels, (210) 534-6903. (09/09) $ Pat’s Barbecue The crusty, fatty brisket sandwich you can order at the walk-up window is well-stuffed and faintly smoky, earning 11 toothpicks out of a potential 20 in our ongoing, informal sliced-brisket-sandwich survey. 1701 E. Houston, (210) 223-7959. (08/09) $ Snoga Bar-B-Cue Bill Miller’s before the boom, Snoga is a basic cafeteriastyle ’cue joint that likely won’t win Texas Monthly accolades, but does serve a large family for a bargain price. Café SA says the chicken was the highlight. 2567 Goliad, (210) 333-6162. (06/09) $
Frederick’s Bistro Frederick Costa’s relaxed, contemporary departure from his eponymous Broadway home of haute cuisine serves authentic bistro fare (and pizza) accessorized with a good wine list and a real bar. 14439 NW Military, (210) 368-9885, fredericksbistro.net. (02/09) $$-$$$$ Here’s to Yum Bistro A warm and artful lunch spot just inside the Loop on Broadway, serving gourmet-inspired quiche, soups, and pasta (and an Angus burger with shallots). Try the sauternes-boosted pea soup and tomato flan with basil and mozzarella, and wild-berry tart for dessert. 8407 Broadway, (210) 826-4223 (02/10) $-$$ La Frite Belgian Bistro This Southtown homage to European café life feels and tastes authentic, from the succulent moules and crispy frites to the pleasantly crowded row of sidewalk seating and a top-notch list of Belgian beers. 728 S. Alamo, (210) 224-7555, lafritesa.com. (01/09) $$$ CUBAN Bruno’s The mysterious Bruno’s serves a tasty mofongo and tostones while it waits out the daytime hours (by night it’s a dance club), but we’re sorry we skipped the Cuban pressed sandwiches. Ask for the pineapple soda. 527 W. Hildebrand, (210) 735-3605. (06/09) $ El Bohio We didn’t love the pasteles, but almost everything made with yuca and plantain was a savory hit, as was the traditional Cubano sandwich and the ropa vieja. 1127 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 822-8075 (04/09) $-$$ DESSERT Justin’s Ice Cream Justin Arecchi has returned to the River Walk, and his shop is still serving dreamy, perfectly balanced icy treats. The sherbets are refreshing and not too sweet, the gelato is rich and creamy. No complaints about the plain-ol’ ice cream, either. 245 E. Commerce, (210) 736-1457, myspace.com/justinsonmain. (08/09) $ FRENCH Bistro Bakery Originally envisioned as a basic bakery to supply French goods to Damien Watel’s restaurants, under the chef’s mother, the lightfilled, cheery cafe has ignited a demand for quiche and tarts. Leonidas chocolates and the best croissants in town have whet our appetites, too. 4300 McCullough, (210) 824-3884. (06/09) $ Pavil Restaurant & Bar The decor is over-the-top, and the cuisine has been mostly disenFrenchized at Scott Cohen’s Stone Oak restaurant. Fresh fish dishes and the tarts are particularly notable. Finish with absinthe at the bar. 1818 N. Loop 1604 West, (210) 479-5000, brasseriepavil.com. (03/09) $$-$$$$ Le Midi Jean-Francios Poujol brings the comfortable finesse of Soleil Bistro downtown. Dishes such as rilletes de porc, escargots Bordelaise, and snapper a la tapenade are both French Mediterranean and contemporary traveler, and you’ll find plenty of pairing options on the wine list. 310 E. Houston, (210) 858-7388, lemidirestaurant.com. (12/09) $$$-$$$$ GREEK Demo’s Greek Food You can order a Greek beer or wine to wash down your tender beef souvlaki at this 19-year-old local fast-casual chain, which offers charming décor and on some nights belly-dancing, too. 7115 Blanco, 1205 N. Loop 1604 West, and 2501 N. St. Mary’s, demosgreekfood.com. (06/09) $
CAFÉ SA, 24 ►
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CURRENT | CULTURE | café sa
◄ CAFÉ SA, 23
COUNTRY KITCHEN Café
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INDIAN India Taj-Palace The buffet is exceptionally enticing at this Stone Oak restaurant, due to fresh spices and vegetables cooked to perfection. Chicken korma, saag paneer, and cilantro-onion naan were especially notable. 20323 Huebner, (210) 497-4800, indiatajpalace.com. (01/09) $$ Mela Indian Bar & Grill A favorite of at least one local chef for a reason, Mela serves some of the less-common Indian dishes and the spices are fresh and generous. Current critics especially loved the chicken chettinad, lamb nargisi, and falooda. 4987 NW Loop 410, (210) 682-1234, melagrill.com. (02/09) $$ ITALIAN Barbaresco Tuscan Grill & Enoteca This international take on the Tuscan trend combines aggressively modern-rustic architecture with less-adventurous food. Highlights included the wild-mushroom and red-wine risotto and the Dyson “blade” hand dryer in the restroom. 9715 San Pedro, (210) 231-0989, barbaresco.net. (09/09) $$-$$$ Ciao Lavanderia Damien Watel’s empire has expanded North and South, but his casual Olmos Park eatery still holds its own with risotto, polenta, and seafood. A recently opened adjacent wine bar suggests a romantic end to the evening. 226 E. Olmos, (210) 822-3990, bistrovatel.com/ ciao.html. (12/08) $-$$
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Il Sogno Andrew Weissman’s take on casual “four-star” Italian dining combines sophisticated decor and presentation with hearty dishes straight from the boot. Don’t skip the antipasti bar, either, and ask for recommendations from the regional wine list. 200 E. Grayson, (210) 2233900. (10/09) $$$
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Tré Trattoria Jason Dady’s penultimate outing — rustic, plentiful Italian served parkside on Broadway — succeeds with authentic salumi, gnocchi, and cast-iron griddled pizzas. 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333, tretrattoria.com. (12/08) $$-$$$
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24 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
Papouli’s Greek Grill The emphasis is on American at this local GreekAmerican fast-casual chain, but the gyros are tasty and tender (stuff the sandwich for a more authentic experience), and the lentil soup is rich and satisfying. It’s a stand up and order place, but beer and wine are available, too. 11224 Huebner and 8520 Agora Pkwy., (210) 641-1313, papoulis. com. (08/09) $-$$ Zorbas Greek Mediterranean Cuisine Zorbas serves some of the best Mediterranean food in town, including an outstanding baba ganouj, very fresh falafel, and light and flaky spanikopita. 2110 NW Military Hwy., (210) 541-9936. (04/09) $-$$
738-0099 3011 N. St Mary’s
John the Greek Restaurant Our critic liked the moussaka (although it’s made with beef, not the traditional lamb) and the generous house salad, which is topped with the namesake zesty dressing. Top marks for the gyro, too. 16602 N. U.S. Hwy. 281, (210) 403-0565, johnthegreek. com. (06/09) $-$$
Zocca Rustic and contemporary Italian collide creatively at this River Walk restaurant. The pastas and desserts are especially good. Our critic fell for the pappardelle Bolognese and the balsamic-blueberry sorbet. Westin Riverwalk Hotel, 420 W. Market, (210) 444-6070. (08/09) $$-$$$ MEXICAN & TEX-MEX Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine Stone Oak Blanca Aldaco has taken her Sunset Station sizzle north to convert the loopland masses with crema al cilantro and signature avocado margaitas. The now-ubiquitous tres leches cake was introduced to San Antonio by Blanca and her mother years ago, and the Kahlua Mocha variant is as moist and substantial as ever. 20079 Stone Oak Parkway, (210) 494-0561. (3/09) $$-$$$
KEY: $ = UNDER $10, $$ = $10-15, $$$ = $15-35, $$$$ = $35+
Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant Lisa’s aced the basics with a hearty, rich pozole, a tasty lengua guisada, and solid refrieds. Finish up with a cocktail at the new Bar Mosaico. 815 Bandera, (210) 433-2531. (12/09) $ Los Roberto’s A popular 24-hour destination with a California influence: mas burritos, including the yummy over-the-top chile-relleno version, and at least six salsas. The tortas are also delicous, especially the carnitas deshebradas. 226 W. Bitters, (210) 494-9131. (03/10) $ Mary Lou’s Cafe This nuevo McCullough outpost of Mary Lou’s combines fancy decor with down-home dishes that are robust and fresh. The enchiladas verdes and beans and rice are well above average, but ask for the salsa verde over the house dip. 4405 McCullough, (210) 396-7909. $ (06/09) Ray’s Drive Inn Puffy tacos and a certain San Antonio je ne sais quoi are the draw at this Westside establishment, where an 1880s saloon sensibility collides joyfully with a Happy Days vibe. Portions are large (bring the whole family); our critics recommend the brisket puffy tacos. 822 SW 19th St., (210) 432-7171. (01/10) $ Taqueria Datapoint The food hasn’t lost its late-night street charms at this taco-truck-turned-restaurant. Current readers say you must try the gorditas, and our critics recommend the lengua taquitos and chicken torta. 4063 Medical, (210) 615-3644. (02/10) $ MIDDLE EASTERN Pasha Mediterranean Grill Pasha serves delicious Mid-East fare, and the basic staples, including a smokey baba ghannouj, are as good as the main dishes. Standouts include the kabobs and the Saffron-marinated cornish hens. 9339 Wurzbach, (210) 561-5858, pasha-sa.com. (11/08) $ The Sultan Café and Grill Portions are generous at this Medical Center area cafe, but the meats overcooked and the dishes unimaginatively seasoned. It’s really geared toward the young crowd that settles in to enjoy the hookahs; go for the smoke and snacks, not necessarily for dinner. 5625 Babcock, (210) 641-5544 (02/10) $ NEW AMERICAN Boardwalk Bistro The 21-year-old Boardwalk, parkside on Broadway, has come of age as a casually sophisticated hangout for Mediterranean-influenced fare and grownup jazz. The wine-pairing menu is a deal, and the lamb tagine a model of the species. 4011 Broadway, (210) 824-0100, boardwalkbistro.net. (05/09) $$-$$$ The Filling Station From the fresh-baked bread and zesty sandwich sauces to the crunchy salads and giant chocolate-chip cookies, The Filling Station’s tiny kitchen serves above-average café fare. With quality beer and affordable espresso drinks, too, it feels like a welcome Portland transplant. 701 S. St. Mary’s, (210) 444-2200 (05/09) $ The Grill at Leon Springs L’Etoile is dead; long live Thierry Burkle’s new star, which serves updated, casual continental fare (with Asian accents) in a classy country kitchen. 24116 IH-10 West, (210) 698-8797, leonspringsgrill.com. (03/09) $$-$$$ Las Canariass Chef John Brand has stepped up the service and menu at Las Canarias, and the New American menu (salmon rillettes, sunchoke veloute, tomato-watermelon gazpacho) in a River Walk setting makes for a romantic dinner or escapist lunch. The Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel, 112 College, (210) 518-1000, omnihotels. com. (05/09) $$-$$$$
Daniel’s Café The food at Daniel’s defines hearty and homey: Rich refried beans, perfect corn tortillas, tasty asada smothered in grilled onions, addictive chorizo. Even the rice, often a throwaway, is flavorful, and the milanesa is a contender for best in town. 5008 S. Presa, (210) 5336222. (09/09) $ Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties The inventive French-Mex sauces (try the jicama, lime, and cilantro combo) and fresh fish dishes outshine their surroundings at this neighborhood strip-mall staple. Our critic says the avocado soup and cinnamon ice cream are sublime. 2559 Jackson Keller, (210) 344-1248. (08/09) $$-$$$ Guajillo’s The entrees are healthier and less Tex than Mex by SA standards, but the chips, salsa, and dessert outshine the main menu — which includes many vegetarian options. 1001 NW Loop 410, (210) 344-4119, guajillos.net. (11/08) $
Limestone Grille at Ye Kendall Inn The pretty rustic setting suits a sometimes stuffy Old World menu, but contemporary fusion fare is available, too: roasted short ribs, Panko-breaded Thai shrimp. The wine menu is award-winning and the wine dinners tend to feature more adventurous cuisine. 128 W. Blanco Rd., Boerne, (830) 249-2138, yekendallinn.com. (10/09) $$$
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NOW OPEN Alamo Quarry Market 255 E. Basse Rd. Ste. 384 804-1118 papoulis.com sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 25
CURRENT | CULTURE | café sa ◄ CAFÉ SA, 24 Mac & Ernie’s Roadside Eatery Naylene Dillingham’s wholly inventive pan-Texican fare is well worth the Hill Country drive. Try all things stuffed and fried, as well as the Lambfest. Lunch on Wednesdays is tacos only; you’ll get the full menu on weekends. BYO wine, $5 corkage fee. Cash or check only. 11804 FM 470, Tarpley, (830) 562-3727, macandernies. com. (05/09) $-$$$ Madhatters Tea Wonderland versions of lunching-lady staples (grilled hummus sandwich) are rounded out with Southwesternized salads (Original Warm Pork Tamale Salad) and old-school desserts such as lemon-chess pie — all served in a funky-quaint converted set of bungalows in King William. 320 Beaureguard, (210) 212-4832, madhatterstea.com. (08/09) $-$$ Nosh The small-plates menu at Silo sibling Nosh is New World Mark Blissful, with savory shrimp corn dogs and lemongrass-habanero meatballs, and the cocktails are mixologist caliber (i.e. a Basil Bliss with agave syrup). Based on the rigatoni with Italian sausage, we look forward to seeing more big plates, too. 1133 Austin Hwy., (210) 826NOSH, noshsa.com. (09/09) $-$$ Oloroso Chef-owner Josh Cross brings a pro NY pedigree and a taste of the Mediterranean to saucy Southtown, and the match is made in heaven. The well-sourced cheese plate, the house-made charcuterie, duck confit, and an apple gateau are all standouts. Menu changes seasonally. 1024 S. Alamo, (210) 223-3600, oloroso.biz. (11/08) $$$ Roaring Fork Nouveau Southwest is done Big Texas style at this fancyranch member of the Eddie V’s family. The house-special Green Chile Pork Stew is a rich, hearty treat for two. Try it on the outdoor deck when weather permits. 1806 NW Loop 1604, (210) 479-9700. (04/09) $$$-$$$$ SoGo Market Café & Takeout A few Pacific Rim influences grace Mark Arriola’s cheery Stone Oak shop, but a Thai steak salad, and sweet-potato ginger soup are as adventurous as it gets. The soups, sandwiches, sweets are fresh, well-prepared, and tasty. 19903 Stone Oak Pkwy., (210) 494-8222, sogo-sa.com. (12/09) $-$$ SEAFOOD Mariscos El Bucanero Your fish-phobic friends can get a top-notch asada plate (with enough for two), but this is a fresh-seafood lover’s paradise, from the spicy camarones aguachile to the whole fried fish with a guppy-size pricetag. Plus: best fried shrimp in town. 2818 S. W.W. White Rd., (210) 333-0909. (03/10) $-$$
KEY: $ = UNDER $10, $$ = $10-15, $$$ = $15-35, $$$$ = $35+
SUSHI Niki’s Tokyo Inn Yes, the carpet needs changing; so what? The fish is among the freshest in town, and the presentation is elegant and free of gimmick and cream cheese. Take your purist friends and sushi novices who are really in it for the raw. Delectable whole fried fish makes a good closer. Our critic suggests you just put yourself in the chef’s hands. Bathrooms not handicap accessible. 819 W. Hildebrand, (210) 736-5471. (11/09) $-$$$ Osaka Japanese Steak & Sushi Ask your personal show chef to go easy on the soy and salt, but do order the calamari and the fried rice, and give the sushi a shot — our critic was unimpressed (although it was fresh), but some of the customers swear by it. 4902 Broadway, 11851 Bandera, osakasteaknsushi.com. (02/09) $$-$$$ Samurai Sushi The seafood is fresh and well-priced at this Medical Area restaurant, and if some sushi rolls don’t live up to their menu pics, many of the more inventive dishes truly are Seafood Dynamite. 2320 Babcock, (210) 692-7555, mysamuraisushi.com. (01/09) $-$$$ THAI Thai Chalurn This Windcrest restaurant does sauces very well and they serve a savory duck soup, but some of the meats and fish were a tad overcooked on the Current’s visit. Excellent drunken noodles. 4941 Walzem, (210) 599-6835, thaichalurn.com. (05/09) $$ Thai Corner, Medical Center Green curry with somen and an order of drunken noodles saved tired appetizers and perfunctory soup on Thai Corner’s bargain lunch menu, suggesting that entrees are the forte. Spice level five is a challenge; order six at your own risk. 8498 Fredericksburg, (210) 595-3203, thaicorner-sat.com. (11/09) $-$$ VIETNAMESE French Sandwiches This mom-and-pop shop near the Medical Center serves fresh Indochine influenced fare such as bánh mì and pâté sandwiches, making it a perfect lunch spot. 8448 Fredericksburg, (210) 692-7019. (03/09) $$ Pho Ha Long Unassuming but outstanding pho and bun served at recession-friendly prices. We especially liked the number 44 with seafood and the bun tom thit nuong. 6424 NW Loop 410, (210) 521-4507, phohalong.com. (03/10) $ VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY
Rudy’s Seafood Heaping platters of fresh fried seafood are the draw at Rudy’s unadorned ordering counter. The crab cake served stuffed inside a deep-fried shell is a standout, but the oysters and shrimp are plump, the fish flaky and non-greasy. Use hot sauce. 4122 S. Flores, (210) 532-1315. (06/09) $ The Sandbar The new incarnation of Sandbar at the Pearl is bigger and somewhat fancier, taking advantage of a full kitchen to produce hot plates characterized by sophisticated sauces and accompaniments, but its strengths are still the fresh fish in any form, and its way with lobster, from rolls to the velvety bisque. Top-notch wine and beer, too. 200 E. Grayson, (210) 222-2426. (03/10) $$-$$$$ Watermark Grill The low-key setting of this Pat Kennedy venture is the backdrop for some spectacular contemporary fish dishes, such as Alaskan halibut in sake kasu and Icelandic char in Asian barbecue sauce. The raw bar features oysters and clams, of course, as well as mussels, shrimp, lobster, and more. 18740 Stone Oak Pkwy., (210) 483-7600, watermarkgrill.net. (12/09) $$$
Adelante This Alamo Heights staple proves that healthy Tex-Mex can still be tasty with tofu enchiladas, brown rice, refried beans, and sweet-potato fries served in a gallery-like setting. Meat options available. 21 Brees Blvd., (210) 822-7681. (01/10) $
Wildfish Seafood Grille Dark and sleek but relaxed, any stuffiness is warded off by the lively bar scene at this Eddie V’s offshoot. Fresh fish dishes tend to be sauced, but polished, and the wine list suits the seafood. 1834 NW Loop 1604, (210) 493-1600, eddiev.com. (4/09) $$$$
Beto’s Comida Latina The veggie taco comes stuffed with well-seasoned squash and caramelized onions, and sometimes mushrooms and corn. It’s almost as good as the savory potato-and-spinach empanada. You’ll want dessert, too: banana with leche quemada and pecan. Meat options available. 8142 Broadway, (210) 930-9393, betosinfo.com. (03/10) $
SOUL FOOD D’s Seafood, Jerk, & More D’s menu offers a rare SA combo of Southern seafood, Creole, and Jamaican items. Standouts include grilled frog legs, savory hush puppies, the fried fish, and Jamaican beans and rice with grilled tilapia. Friendly staff adds to the appeal. 4403 Rittiman Rd., (210) 653-9066. (07/09) $
Green Vegetarian Cuisine and Coffee Hearty faux-meat options and homestyle stirfrys characterize Green’s menu, but Chef Mike Behrend is venturing into fresher territory as well at what is SA’s only wholly vegetarian and kosher restaurant. 1017 N. Flores, (210) 320-5865, greensanantonio.com. (12/09) $-$$
STEAKS Chama Gaucha Searing hot meat and lots of it, served in fine-dining surroundings with a touch of romance. The salad bar outstrips all others, with good cheese and imaginative garnishes, so your veggie friends can come, too. 18138 Sonterra Pl., (210) 564-9400, chamagaucha.com. (06/09) $$$
Pho Sure/Saatea Lounge Savory and filling animal-free options include nori wraps stuffed with tofu and fresh veggies, herbivore potstickers, and vegetable stir-fry. Served in a funky building-cum-community across from San Pedro Springs Park. Meat options available. 741 W. Ashby, (210) 773-8473, (10/09) $
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CURRENT | CULTURE | visual art Courtesy Photo
Or not The semi-sordid allure of Ripley’s by Sarah Fisch
“Our son was born on February 2, 1997. I became pregnant a few months after I touched the Fertility Statues in San Antonio after trying to conceive for 11 years!” — unattributed quote on a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brochure entitled “African Fertility Statues: The Legend”
K, here’s why this story is topical: I received two press releases from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not company within a couple of months. The first semi-interested me: Ripley’s heralded the exhibition of a 10-by-10-foot chunk of the Berlin Wall. The second, though, titillated the hell out of me: This very week, Ripley’s is mounting (har) an exhibit of African fertility statues about which the press release copy suggested: Please Don’t Touch — Unless You Want a Baby! Let me lay my cards on the table. 1. I freaking love Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I look at the syndicated column in the newspaper religiously (my favorite columns are the ones in which you can tell the Ripley’s writers are totally having to make the best of what they’ve got: “Dwayne Frankenhoffer of Ames, Iowa, has a birthmark on his thigh in the shape of a top hat!”). And I remember well the seductive pull of the neon-bedecked palace of bullshit on my pliant kiddie mind, back when it opened up directly across from the Alamo. “Real” museums, my parents insisted, don’t feature animatronic T-Rexes (um ... except the Witte, currently), Dippin’ Dots (TM), or wax figurines of Jessica Tandy. But I loved the shrunken heads, the heady atmosphere of Depression-era exoticism, tiny paintings on grains of rice, and my holiest of holies, the Galveston Hurricane Room. This was a chamber about half again the size of a largish residential family room, one wall of which was dominated by a house facade worthy of a small-town production of Oklahoma! The room also contained hundreds of frazzly faux ferns, a quasi-tree, and a crowd of potted palms. You’d be herded into this place with 10 or so other visitors, whereupon some recording or employee recited a few facts about the tragic storm (death toll, mostly) and explained that you were about to experience just what it felt like. Then the overhead lights would snap off, plunging you into surprise darkness. A bellowing recorded soundtrack of actual thunder would come on like an audial freight train while flash-
ing strobe lamps provided the only light in the room and simulated lightning. Most importantly, somebody’d turn on (I guess) a shitload of large fans. REALLY POWERFUL FANS. The Galveston Hurricane Room experience lasted maybe three minutes. It thrilled me to pieces, all that roar and flash and wind. It presents an analogy, too: The Galveston Hurricane Room is to a real hurricane as the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum is to ... well, not a “real” museum — more like the warehoused paraphernalia of tacky bits of the collective American subconscious, all xenophobia and -philia, twoheaded calves and celebrity obsession. One artifact of Ripley’s promotional material (of which there are tons) is a small card printed with an image of a pop-eyed man and the legend “Actually, it’s impolite not to stare.” As an institution, Ripley’s Believe It or Not gives you full permission to wallow in a mixture of safe improbabilities and shameless schadenfreude. 2. I’m not too delighted by our culture’s fetishization of fertility, pregnancy, and babies. Some of my attitude is personal prejudice, sure (I’m not a mom; I like babies but I can’t commit to one), but it’s got a basis in a troubling reality: Why are we all watching for baby bumps on famous women? Why is half of TLC and Discovery’s programming either birth footage of some kind, or spotlighting middle-class white families with 19 — and counting — offspring, as though it’s a good idea, psychologically, anatomically or ecologically? Why is Kate Gosselin on Dancing With the Stars, while Nadya Suleman, the “Octomom,” is relegated to being sorta the Ripley’s version of Michelle Duggar? Babies, as presented by the current zeitgeist, are a status symbol, the object of every woman’s desire, and to decline — or be unable — to bear a whole lot of them is seen as either dangerous or tragic. And people wonder why our teenage pregnancy rate is still so damn high.
She looks pretty fertile: exhibit at Ripley’s
So when the Ripley’s Believe It or Not empire appeared to be throwing its babymakin’ hat into the baby-makin’ ring, it piqued my interest. I learned that Ripley’s had “acquired” the collection of African fertility statues in 1993, and had housed it in their headquarters building, whereupon 13 office employees got pregnant. The media phenomenon that followed, Ripley’s materials claim, was even covered in 1995 by the Wall Street Journal (internet research didn’t turn up the WSJ story, but yielded a lot of local newspaper articles quoting the press release/hawking the oncoming tour). The mid-’90s worldwide tour had included San Antonio, and had allegedly helped at least one nameless lady conceive (see quote above). I planned to head over to the Alamo Plaza location to view the statues (not to touch them, though) and to interview the hopeful would-be moms, eager to note the intersection of mysterious kitsch, personal stories, and cultural anxiety. The only problem was,
when I called the corporate HQ in Orlando, Florida, a person who spoke off the record said that the statues “might still be probably in transit.” S/he was hopeful they might make it to us by my deadline, though. S/he promised to send big ol’ jpegs of the idols in situ, which s/he did, and to get the SATX PR person in touch with me about getting a look-see. Upon further questioning, s/he informed me that the fertility statues are particularly popular in Latin markets ... as are “Passion of Christ” wax-figure dioramas. Huh. When I asked about the chunk of Berlin Wall, my Ripley’s Deep Throat — a throat which I fantasized was encircled by the golden rings worn by the Padaung tribe of Burma to elongate their necks! — got cagey, claiming that no, there were no Berlin wall chunks ... or there were, but San Antonio didn’t have any, and where had I heard that, anyway? “Your press release,” I said. “Oh,” s/he said. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, 30► sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 29
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The nightmare-inducing Peter Pan wax figure diorama. Wendy’s gonna move any second.
◄BELIEVE IT OR NOT, 29
ryan Rindfuss and I decided to visit the Alamo Plaza Ripley’s in order to (hopefully) observe the installation of the figures, and to chat with Janie Droemer, Ripley’s local PR agent. Droemer was friendly, vivacious, knowledgeable, and all-around awesome; I liked her even though she had the sad task of informing me that a. the fertility figures had not arrived yet, after all, and b. the Galveston Hurricane Room is no more. But she showed us the display detailing how wax figures are made, then walked us through the wax museum, and chirpily informed us that the wax process is always improving and that she hopes to get more and better figures, and retire some of the older, hoarier ones (which she pointed out to us, but asked that I not delineate in the article, for fear, maybe, of hurting their feelings.) She also let us see an in-progress, soon-to-open private party room in the basement. This party room is great. No kidding. Big fake rock formations, interactive exhibits including a “Save the baby T-Rex” installation that I won’t spoil for you, a wall-sized world map with wooden doors you can lift to find out bizarre trivia (guess what Gypsies in Romania trained bears to do? MASSAGE PEOPLE), and room for a crowd. Droemer hopes it will become a popular scene for children’s birth-
day parties; Bryan and I schemed to throw our own. She then endeared herself to us by rescuing a struggling black beetle on the stairway, scooping it up with a piece of paper and running out of the museum to lay it carefully in some shrubbery.
The Current congratulates the winners of the Neighborhood Film Project Screening and Contest! “We had an amazing turnout, and the talent on display through these different works was amazing to see,” enthused Sebastian Guajardo, special projects manager for the Office of Cultural Affairs, which co-sponsored the event with the San Antonio Museum of Art (where the screening and awards were held) and the San Antonio Film Artifacts Commission. “We had originally planned to host a screening and reception; however, due (notes on to the outpouring of people interested in viewing the films we actually had to add a secculture) ond screening. The first screening was ‘sold out’ at 170 and the second hosted about 50 people,” Guajardo later emailed. Local filmmakers — grown-ups and students alike — made films which reflect the souls and daily lives of their neighborhoods. The adult winners each received a $3,000 award, and students received $1,000 (check out CurBlog at sacurrent.com for the full list of winners). One such student, Julian Moreno Peña (son of Pushcart Derby founder-artist Cruz Ortiz and community organizer-educator Rina Moreno Ortiz) says of his film, Echoes of the Eastside: “I’ve lived [on the Eastside] nearly my whole life and recognize the beauty many seem to miss. My film is a music video with original music production by myself and visuals that truly show the personality of this side of town. ... I’m really excited about being a finalist. I take a lot of pride in my film and it’s a great feeling to be recognized for it.” Hopefully, all of the winning films will be made available online — we’ll keep you posted. — Sarah Fisch
30 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
Photos by Bryan Rindfuss
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Then, she had to get back to work. However, she’d arranged for us to get free wax casts of our hands (ordinarily $9) and a “face in the hole” keepsake photo (normally $12-$15 for keychain size, $18 for an 8 ½ x 11 inch print). Divested of our purported journalistic purpose, Rindfuss and I sort of lost our shit and just scoured the place. We did, in fact, get our hands cast in paraffin by a lovely and skillful young woman named Roxanne, who then presented us with our wax hands in baggies full of ice, like transplant organs. Then we got our picture taken against a green screen, our faces to be digitized and placed in a chosen scenario. We rejected wrestlers and weightlifters and Sports Illustrated swimsuitmodel backgrounds in favor of an astronaut theme, but they couldn’t find the digital background for it, so we went for old-timey “cantina kids.” We scared each other in what Boemer called “the horror section,” which, among other creepy dioramas, features a scene starring not just one, but both iterations of the Chupacabra: the humbler, doglike Texas variety and the Puerto Rican “giant Gremlin” variety. We were disappointed in wax Jesus, feeling He should’ve been much better looking. The goblin-esque, soul-eating “Wendy” figure in the Peter
Pan diorama terrified us, but we were amused by “Tinkerbell,” who was dangling by a highly visible length of fishing line. We laughed a lot. Tired of wax, we ambled over to the other half of Ripley’s, located — rather confusingly — down the street. There, we came upon a car Lee Harvey Oswald had ridden in on the way to the book depository (“I had that same car in high school,” Bryan mused), some optical-illusion exhibits, and ... a chunk of the Berlin Wall. Ten-by-10 feet it was, just like the PR literature had promised. Accompanied by a video of Berlin 1989 footage, as per press release. WTF? It disoriented me profoundly to be denied one physical object of culture journalism I’d been counting on, only to be confronted by another object which sources had denied existed. But there it was, the Berlin Wall ... but freshly painted, seemingly, and with rather tasteful tidy bits of legible graffiti written entirely in English. Now, I cannot aver that this Berlin Wall was bogus, nor can I disprove the ovary-jostling effect of fertility idols. It’s possible that this partial structure I was looking at was a Berlin Wall, but not “the” Berlin Wall. And maybe the placebo effect makes one horny. Frankly, it doesn’t even really matter all that much. Ripley’s Believe It or Not is less a museum than a museum-themed amusement park. Nobody thinks the Jaws ride at Universal Studios is a real shark attack, but it’s a real approximation, a genuine experience. I think there’s value in that. Ripley’s estimates that value to be about $25 per visit. By the time you read this, there will have been a public unveiling (on Tuesday) of the African fertility statues, which I plan to attend, not least of which to see the guest of honor, a San Antonio woman who birthed a baby girl as a result of having handled the statues (among other things, one presumes) during their last tour. She will even bring the child with her, as living proof of ... what? A heavily mediated reality? That fucking sometimes “works?” That we need to believe in the uncanny, the narratively satisfying, in our preconceptions of a magical Africa, in anything other than a universe in which you can trust neither your perceptions nor material structures, such as walls? All I know for sure is, if one of y’all throw a shindig in that awesome basement party room, I better get an evite. • firstname.lastname@example.org
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32 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
CURRENT | CULTURE | literature
Worst case scenario A dystopian novel with heart by Rick Klaw
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en years later, the fears surrounding Y2K Chaos and decay have infiltrated civilihave faded mercifully into the recesses zation. The structure of the government in of our collective subconscious. The milAmsterdam’s unnamed country changes lennium bug never bit from story to story; physi— computers didn’t fail, cal, psychological, and moral economies didn’t crumble, govbreakdowns infest all aspects ernments didn’t fall. But Steven of society; starvation, plague, Amsterdam’s imaginative first and corruption run rampant. novel, Things We Didn’t See To survive, the narrator ekes Coming, posits a reality in which out an existence as a thief the worst predictions came to and government worker and, pass. Told through a sequence not surprisingly, sometimes of short stories chronicling the both. Companionship and love life of an unnamed narrator, the comes fraught with danger: book opens on New Year’s Eve, If it were just me, I could 1999. At midnight of that morun off now with whatever I mentous night, the electrical grid could carry. But it’s not, and shuts down. Amsterdam’s child how would she find me? Beprotagonist and his father stand sides, he’d notice if I started in the cold. packing up and, even if I was This whole thing is symbolic, symbolic able to keep him back, he’d stay and claim of a system that’s hopelessly shortsighted, whatever I left behind and be here when a system that twenty, thirty years ago Margo comes back and infect her in a seccouldn’t imagine a time when we might be ond. So I’m guarding our spot until she destarting a new century. That’s how limited cides to wander home. an animal we are. Do you get it? A whole Staying awake up here is not what’s species that didn’t think to set its clocks tough, but staying quietly balanced is. the right way. We are arrogant, stupid, I’ve managed to hook my legs around one we lack humility in the face of centuries branch and my arms around another and and centuries of time before us. What we it lets me stay reasonably still while becall knowledge, what you learn in school ing vigilant — watching, breathing softly about fossils and dinosaurs, it’s all hunches. through my face mask, waiting for him to What we know now is that we didn’t think die. enough. We know we aren’t careful enough The story moves into some surprising social and that’s about all we know. and moral gray areas. Amsterdam That’s what I’m trying to protect tackles such weighty topics as polyus from.” amory, euthanasia, suicide, drugs, Things We Didn’t I say, “OK,” because he’s getaging, and anarchy with insight and See Coming ting more upset as he talks. sensitivity. Employing a breezy, conBy Steven Amsterdam “What else haven’t we been versational style, Amsterdam blazes Pantheon paying attention to? I worry through his bleak tale of hope — the $24, 208 pages about your life, what’s going to true heart of any good dystopia — (hardcover) happen to you. We can’t think our but culminates in a too-abrupt endway out of every problem. We’re ing that leaves the reader confused not smart enough.” and unsatisfied. Even with this misstep, Things “Don’t worry so much.” We Didn’t See Coming offers thought-provoking This only makes him mad. “What’s the entertainment, and successfully introduces an right amount of worry? In our time, in important new writer. • your time, there’ll be breakdowns that can’t be fixed. There will be more diseases that Rick Klaw is a professional reviewer, geek maven, can’t be fixed. Water will be as valuable as and optimistic curmudgeon based in Austin. oil. And you’ll be stuck taking care of a fat generation of useless parents. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mourning Dove, an award-winning radio play by Emil Sher now being mounted as a stage production, is seeking special performers to audition for a major role. The character, Keith, is a 20-30 year old man with a mild developmental handicap. Director Matthew Byron Cassi’s younger brother has Down syndrome, and he says “I’ve been involved with the handicapped community my whole life, so I Artifacts would love to give an opportunity to a handicapped actor who might not normally (notes on culture) have too many roles to audition for.” Cassi invites those with mental development issues, including Down syndrome and autism, to try out for this performance. No experience necessary. The auditions will be held at San Pedro Playhouse on April 13 and 14 at 7p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Cassi at email@example.com. — Sarah Fisch
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CURRENT | CULTURE | film review Carver Community Cultural Center Presents
What it feels like for a girl Rock ’n’ roll herstory by Sarah Fisch
f you’ve seen it, it’ll be hard not to compare The Runaways with Victory Tischler-Blue’s devastating 2004 documentary Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways. Try not to, though. If you haven’t seen it, watch Edgeplay for Lita Ford’s dynamic tough-girl reminiscences, Jackie Fox’s skillful context-setting, and to have your heart torn out by Sandy West. The Runaways, however, is the liturgy of Cherie Currie and of Joan Jett, the specter who haunts Tischler-Blue’s documentary by not being interviewed. Try to forget all the historical liberties taken by Floria Sigismondi’s first feature-length film: Between the interviews in Edgeplay, the narrative retelling of The Runaways, and various finger-pointing books and blogs written by ex-band members, deciphering the band’s and the womens’ “actual” history is like Rashômon — backwards and in platform heels. Sigismondi has composed an artfully condensed cinematic snapshot that mercifully avoids most of the pitfalls of the celebrity biopic. Most biopics take on too long a timespan, herding the viewer through a predictable rote exercise of biographical data, hitting the plot points of rise, fall, and re-rise; they’re the CliffsNotes of a person, a summarized life. But The Runaways maintains a tight timeline and an intimacy with its main characters, and in doing so constructs an immersive experience of ’70s rock ’n’ roll, of rebellious girls tearing shit up and being torn up, too. The Runaways rejects the impulse to explain everything — or even make everything persuasive; the scenes set supposedly in Japan are pretty artificial — instead opting for a series of intense scenes that create their own trajectory. The acting, duh, is key. Kristen Stewart got Joan Jett down — not only the hunched posture, heavy-lidded gaze, and laconic, tomboyish swagger, but Jett’s palpable desperation to rock the world in every way she can think of. Where Stewart’s doe-eyed yearning in the Twilight series came across as mopey and opaque, here it ups the emotional stakes; she’s got real stuff to long for, and she’s both determined and restless as hell. Forget the sparkly vampires, she’s after freedom, transcendence, escape, and kicking musical ass against all odds. Her bottomless ambition to create herself and the Runaways and her complex relationship with Cherie Currie intertwine throughout the movie without getting too metaphorical. Stewart’s got more to her than I suspected, and her onscreen chemistry with Fanning is nothing short of romantic in the best possible way. Had I been ignorant of the Twilight saga, I would herald Stewart as a performer of compelling power; having seen her emerge from that stilted teen telenovela victim into Joan Fucking Jett elevates her into a force to be reckoned with. I expected Fanning to be good; she’s managed to inject old-soul complexity into kid parts since she was what, 5? She doesn’t disappoint, here, skillfully enacting a dilemma. Currie plays up to male sexuality (and her Daddy issues) with her on-
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Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as Cherie Currie and Joan Jett
stage lingerie and jailbait photo shoots, but when she explores her own intimate sexuality, it’s stunningly believable, and brave. The way Sigismondi shoots the sexual encounters between Fanning and Stewart avoids graphic acts and floats into sensation, excitement, and the glowing trance of infatuation — despite Jett’s self-assuredness and Currie’s heedless confusion, it’s a mutual seduction. Also excellent is Michael Shannon, mesmerizingly scary as Kim Fowley, the girls’ manager, producer, and tormentor. He manages to inject pathos and real conviction into a shudder-worthy character. At one point he thunders, “It’s not women’s lib, it’s women’s libido,” which is a clever line that demonstrates Fowley’s crucial lack of understanding: For these girls, libido is liberation. Riley Keough (Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, btw) is both beautiful and sad as the twin Currie sister left behind. And the production itself is a marvel — the costume design, makeup, and texture of the production are nothing short of lust-inducing. Keir O’Donnell’s recreation of the halting, oddly polite verbiage of fabled DJ and club owner Rodney Bingenheimer is humorous and winsome, too. As a document of cultural history, The Runaways is more along the fantasy lines of Inglourious Basterds than, say, the journalistic mien of Band of Brothers. While justifiably frustrating to some, I now can’t get “Cherry Bomb” out of my head. • The Runaways Writ. and dir. Floria Sigismondi; feat. Kristen Stewart, Michael Shannon, Riley Keough, Dakota Fanning (R) firstname.lastname@example.org
sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 35
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Keep it real in Treme by Elaine Wolff entimentality is the enemy of great art, inevitable and well-deserved end. There were no but it’s the balm we liberally apply to cov- easy or faceless villains in The Wire, and that perer our historical crimes. That’s the under- haps stands as its single greatest achievement. lying conflict that may doom Treme, the The success of The Wire creates a second probnew HBO series set in post-Katrina New lem for the show that follows in its drama-vérité Orleans and produced by key members of the for- footsteps. In the opening scene, Katrina survivors midable team behind The Wire. There is of course assemble, rag-tag, for their first second-line parade much to be livid about, and much to mourn, in the since the flood against a backdrop of fatigue-clad City That Care Forgot. Who can bear the double troops. It’s chaotic, raucous, tense — and here entendre of that nickname now that we know the comes Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce), the cynifull extent of the Army Corp of Engineers’ negli- cal and ambivalent homicide detective. No, wait. gence, local political corruption, and FEMA mal- It’s trombonist and charming womanizer Antoine feasance? Batiste. Shortly thereafter we meet Steve Zahn’s (so But judging by the first two episodes, writers far mostly irritating hipster dude) character, who’s David Simon, David Mills (RIP), and Eric Over- shagging Deadwood’s Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickmyer don’t trust our innate sense of justice or (per- ens), and soon enough Lester Freamon (Clarke Pehaps fairly) our grasp of recent history: They’re in ters) is back, a Mardi Gras Chief seeking his tribe. a hurry to remind us that the flooding of New Or- After the soldiers, the familiar faces form a sort of leans in the wake of the hurricane was not a natural second occupation — HBO has arrived. (And Elvis disaster — that thankless task is handed Costello, one among many prominent to John Goodman’s crusading univermusical guest appearances planned for Treme sity professor, in a scenery-chewing clip the series. WTF: Levee Aid?) HBO meant to also remind us that mainstream Premieres April 11 Damn it if Pierce and Peters (and by media are opportunistic goats rutting in the second episode Goodman) aren’t so the fields of pathos — that New Orleans is sublime, though, that they’re soon creatan incomparably rich and unique musiing full, complicated individuals out of cal culture, that government officials are two-faced the central-casting characters they were handed. idiots whose policies exiled the black middle-class, Khandi Alexander as bar owner (and Antoine ex) that atrocities were committed by law enforce- Ladonna Batiste-Williams is shaping up to be ment in the post-flooding madness, that tens of one of the most compelling female characters on thousands of New Orleanians are yearning to come primetime, and as with its Baltimore predecessor, home, that voodoo is a for-real religion. Etc. I’m Treme has cast many locals; you’ll spot Batiste’s not sure what’s left for Episode Three. plenty disillusioned baby mama (Phyllis Montana The Wire, a five-season tour-de-force about the LeBlanc, who appeared in Spike Lee’s When the corruption of the American dream, never apolo- Levees Broke) as a standout right away. gized for the sorry state of affairs in our inner citSimon and his team have thrown in plenty ies, and when it occasionally lectured, the sermons of live music, too, and a backdrop cast of mildly were delivered by the likes of Baltimore cop Jimmy humorous do-gooder and tourist caricatures, but McNulty, whose own moral shortcomings in effect that fun won’t distract anyone outside New Oracknowledged that complicity is not always pre- leans long if Treme’s writers don’t have the balls meditated or consciously evil. The acting was uni- to let the characters and story arcs develop and fall formly excellent, even the bit parts, but so was the where they may. • writing, which allowed a drug kingpin like Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) such a rich inner life and broad email@example.com story arc that it was impossible not to mourn his
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New releases Date Night (PG-13) (not reviewed) Dir. Shawn Levy; feat. Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Taraji P. Henson, Mark Ruffalo, Kristen Wiig Carell and Fey play a bored married couple who steal a stranger’s dinner reservation and get mistaken for fugitive thieves. The cast is pretty killer, but it’s a film by the director of Night at the Museum and the writers behind Shrek’s Third, 27 Dresses, and XXX: State of the Union. You’ve been warned. The Runaways (R) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dir. Floria Sigismondi; feat. Kristen Stewart, Michael Shannon, Riley Keough, Dakota Fanning Rebellious teen friends Joan Jett (Stewart, in a breakout performance) and Cherie Currie (Fanning) form a pivotal all-female punk band in 1970s Southern California. Read our review, page 35.
, C CRITI S
◄Read our review Friday at sacurrent.com
(review) Courtesy Photos
CURRENT | CULTURE | capsule reviews
Still playing Alice in Wonderland (PG) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dir. Tim Burton; feat. Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas, Johnny Depp, Stephen Fry You know the story by now: An aspiring singer finds work at a greasy-spoon Phoenix café to support her teenage son, Tommy, after the death of her truck-driver husband. Kiss my grits, Tweedledum! The Bounty Hunter (PG-13) (not reviewed) Dir. Andrew Tennant; feat. Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jeff Garlin, Jason Sudeikis, Christine Baranski A bounty hunter (Butler) is hired to hunt down his ex-wife (Aniston) after she skips bail. Think Midnight Run meets an inoperable brain tumor. Brooklyn’s Finest (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Antoine Fuqua; feat. Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin 1995’s idea of an all-star cast portrays a group of New York City cop clichés, including the guy just a week away from retirement and the undercover guy who gets too close to the criminals he’s supposed to be keeping tabs on. Where’s the guy who makes all the funny mouth noises? Chloe (R) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dir. Atom Egoyan; feat. Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Max Thieriot, R. H. Thomson To test his fidelity, a gynecologist (Moore) hires a prostitute (Seyfried) to seduce her husband (Neeson). A tip: The cute, flirty girl in the bar has to tell you she’s an undercover hooker if you ask. Otherwise, it’s entrapment. Clash of the Titans (PG-13) Dir. Louis Leterrier; feat. Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Ralph Fiennes Zeus’s bastard son Perseus (Worthington) gets caught up in Olympian soap-opera drama requiring him to stab a bunch of three-dimensional computer-animated mythological shit with a sword, just like Joseph Campbell would’ve wanted. Cop Out (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Kevin Smith; feat. Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Kevin Pollak, Ana De La Reguera Investigating the theft of a rare baseball card gives a couple of hilariously mismatched police officers (Willis and Morgan) an excuse to bicker like an old sitcom couple. Speaking of cop outs, director Kevin Smith is making it very clear he didn’t write the screenplay for this one. The Crazies (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Breck Eisner; feat. Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Joe Reegan A mysterious toxin infects the citizens of a small town with homicidal rage in this documentary on the teabagger movement remake of a 1973 George Romero film. Creation (PG-13) (not reviewed) Dir. Jon Amiel; feat. Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch Charles Darwin (Bettany) struggles to cope with the death of his daughter while he writes On the Origin of Species.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (PG) (not reviewed) Dir. Thor Freudenthal; feat. Zachary Gordon, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron A shrimpy middle-school smart-ass (Gordon) tries to survive an entire school year. As typical beefcake entertainment journalists, we can hardly relate. From Paris With Love (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Pierre Morel; feat. John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden America’s secret weapon in the war on terror is an HGH-stuffed Danny Zuko, and you better believe he’s a smart-mouthed renegade who plays by his own rules. Up your nose with a rubber hose, Mr. Bin Laden. Green Zone (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Paul Greengrass; feat. Matt Damon, Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Antoni Corone, Nicoye Banks Matt Damon re-teams with director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum) in this film about a U.S. Army officer sifting through bad military intelligence in the lead up to an ill-advised war. Hot Tub Time Machine (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Steve Pink; feat. John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover A really weirdly matched group of friends (John Cusack and Clark Duke, really?) has grown dissatisfied with life until a resort-hot-tub mishap (see title) gives them a chance to relive their glory days. Apparently boiled gonorrhea works like a flux capacitor. How to Train Your Dragon (PG) (not reviewed) Dir. Christopher Sanders, Dean DeBlois; feat. Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson A teenage Viking (Baruchel) breaks the Viking code or some shit when he befriends an injured dragon instead of fighting it in the latest CGI Dreamworks film. If there’s not a dragon-burping-and-inadvertently-lighting-a-fart joke, I want my money back. The Last Song (PG) (not reviewed) Dir. Julie Anne Robinson; feat. Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Greg Kinnear, Kelly Preston, Bobby Coleman, Julie Anne Robinson A teenage girl (Cyrus) spends the summer with her estranged father, whose only connection to her is through a mutual love of music. If only he could figure out a way to make some serious money off it … Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (PG) (not reviewed) Dir. Chris Columbus; feat. Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan Someone stole Zeus’s lightning bolt, and high-school
student Percy Jackson (Lerman), soon to find out he’s the bastard son of Poseidon, is prime suspect. Based on the novel by San Antonio author Rick Riordan. A Prophet (R) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ An illiterate teenager of mixed descent must gain the trust of a Corsican gang leader in order to survive in prison. Read our review Friday at sacurrent.com Remember Me (PG-13) (not reviewed) Dir. Allen Coulter; feat. Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Tate Ellington Originally subtitled R U Still Down? this is R-Patz’s latest attempt to remind us he’s not really a sparkly vampire. Repo Men (R) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dir. Miguel Sapochnik; feat. Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten In the future, organ transplants are purchased on credit. A repo man (Law) hired to take possession of deadbeats’ organs must make a Logan’s Run for it when his own heart payments are past due. Hey, it beats goddamn socialism. She’s Out of My League (R) (not reviewed) Dir. Jim Field Smith; feat. Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, TJ Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence A goofy airport security guard (Baruchel) somehow attracts a good-looking lady (Eve), and hilarity that is no doubt completely different from every romantic comedy/TV sitcom ever made ensues. Shutter Island (R) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Dir. Martin Scorses; feat. Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow Two U.S. Marshals search for a missing patient at a facility for the criminally insane on an isolated island off the Massachusetts coast. Based on the book by Dennis Lehane. Tyler Perry‘s Why Did I Get Married Too? (PG-13) (not reviewed) Dir. Tyler Perry; feat. Perry, Sharon Leal, Janet Jackson, Malik Yoba Tyler Perry proves he is an unstoppable, unfathomable force comparable to a Lovecraftian Old One by making money without dressing up like an old overweight lady. _________________________________ Capsule reviews compiled from the Current as well as Times-Shamrock sisters papers: the Baltimore City Paper, the Cleveland Scene, the Detroit Metro Times, and the Orlando Weekly.
A Prophet Dir. Jacques Audiard; writ. Thomas Bidegain, Audiard; feat. Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi. (R) Malik El Djebena (Rahim) has been in and out of the juvenile detention system since age 11. He’s homeless, no family or friends. After assaulting a policeman, the 19-year old French Arab is sent to an adult prison to serve a six-year sentence. Everything we learn about Malik comes piecemeal. He speaks in a muted voice, and we are not privy to his thoughts or his past. At times it is like pulling hen’s teeth. Yet this magnificent film will follow Malik until its final frame. The results are mesmerizing. In a prison populated by rival Corsicans and Muslims, kingpin César Luciani (Arestrup) orders Malik to seduce and kill a Muslim snitch under protective custody. “So you kill him or I kill you!” Malik does everything possible to avoid carrying out the hit — from going to the warden to getting thrown in the hole — but to no avail. When Malik finally enters his intended victim’s cell armed with a razor blade concealed in his mouth, he is flummoxed — Rayeb (the electrifying Yacoubi) offers tea and encourages him to learn to read and write: “The idea is to leave here a little smarter.” Minutes later, the brutal and botched killing occurs. It will haunt the young man in his nightmares and daydreams. In the astonishing scene that follows, we witness the moment Malik learns to read. He identifies the French word canard — a duck — and slang for a trickster who misleads or falsely reports. The film is also concerned with detailing the minutiae of French prison life: Inmates get a baguette with their meals (no wine), make blue jeans, and use sun reflectors to get a prison-yard tan. After two years serving as a lackey for the aging mobster, Malik learns a third language, Corsican, earns trustee status, and is permitted half-day furloughs. He becomes César’s “eyes and ears” inside and outside the walls. He surreptitiously starts his own business trafficking drugs with the help of Ryad (Bencherif), a Muslim he has befriended. This betrayal ultimately leads to an unforgettable showdown in the prison yard between Malik and Little César. With its mixed-blood protagonist, the film explores issues of race and cultural identity, but A Prophet is equal parts prison drama, gangster thriller, film noir, and a subtle critique of the socio-political reality in France. A subtext explains its enigmatic title with Christian and Muslim symbolism. A few critics have likened this film to last year’s Gomorrah in which young Italian thugs quote Scarface as Biblical verse, but Audiard’s film is the antiScarface. — Gregg Barrios sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 39
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CURRENT | CALENDAR | top picks
NIGHT OF THE LEPUS FILM In a botched attempt at generating hype and suspense, MGM changed the name of this film from Rabbits to Night of the Lepus just before its release, but later passed out rabbits’ feet to promote the film. Thanks to low-budget special effects and unbelievable footage of actors dressed as bloodthirsty rabbits in attack mode, Night of the Lepus has achieved cult status of the highest order. Psycho’s Janet Leigh stars as a terrorized Arizona townie battling towering, carnivorous, mutant bunnies in 1972. Free, 7:30 & 10pm, Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, 1255 SW Loop 410, drafthouse.com/westlakes
CONDOLEEZZA RICE LECTURE If you’re following us on Twitter, then you might be one of the lucky people holding a (free) ticket to the 2010 Flora Cameron Lecture on Politics and Public Affairs featuring none other than first ever African-American female secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice (whose name’s derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza, meaning “with sweetness”). As suspected, all the tickets have been distributed, but the kind folks at Trinity are prepared to accommodate you slowpokes as well. Condi’s powerful voice will also be heard from overflow seating in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall and Richardson Communications Center Rooms 319 and 320 (free, no tickets required) when she speaks about “Foreign Affairs and Empowering Women” on Wednesday evening. Free, but tickets required, 7:30pm, Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium, 715 Stadium Drive, trinity.edu
THE ART OF DANCE DANCE San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet is hosting a three-day celebration of dance in all flavors, featuring dancers and choreographers from 24 companies across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Produced by Regional Dance America, this program offers intensive instruction in a variety of genres for RDA members, as well as open classes taught by Heather Lipson Bell of Bethune Theatredanse of Los Angeles (For class details, visit rdaswfestival2010.zapto.org/TheArtOfDance). Dance fans won’t want to miss the elaborately costumed performances taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, showcasing the talents of an estimated 700 visiting dancers. Performances: $15 (Thursday), $25 (Friday-Saturday), 7:30pm, Municipal Auditorium, 1 Auditorium Circle, sametballet.org
thu - sat
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH EVENTS POETRY With National Poetry Month in full swing, a variety of cultural events await your inner poet. On Friday, Our Lady of the Lake is the place to be, beginning with José Rubén De León’s one-man presentation, “Lorca,” which explores the life of Spanish poet and author Federico García Lorca, followed by a reading by OLLU Writer-in-Residence Sandra Cisneros (free, 9:45am and 1pm, OLLU’s Thiry Auditorium, 411 SW 24th Street, ollusa.edu/litfest). Friday evening presents poetry buffs with a tough choice, but whether you opt for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s cross-generational poetry reading, Lenguas Libres (free, 7:30pm Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe, guadalupeculturalarts.org) or San Antonio Dance Umbrella’s multi-disciplinary performance, Dance and Poetry at Radius (free, 7:30pm, Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Circle, radiuscenter.org), neither event will drain the old quill-and-inkwell fund. Visit sahearts.com and click on the National Poetry Month icon for a complete schedule of events.
ALGO PARA XIPE TOTEC SPRING EQUINOX SHOW MUSIC Although this year’s Vernal Equinox officially took place on March 20, Xipe Totec (“our lord the flayed one”) shouldn’t be too bothered by this belated can of whoop-ass being opened in his honor. Local acts Astex and Tha Midax both use the word “lyrical” to describe their sound, as do Houston’s Kiawitl & Jehuniko (of the collective Almas Intocables), but for those unfamiliar with the music, think hip-hop with a heavy social bent. With Joaquin Muerte, Almighty Infinite Supreme, Itzli, and Rawkause also on the bill of this Aztec-themed jam, old Xipe Totec himself might just throw on a loincloth and take the form of his alter-ego Youalahuan, an incarnation known as “the night drinker.” $5, 10pm, The Pedicab Bar & Grill, 415 E. Cevallos, myspace.com/thepedicab
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▲JOHN WAYNE AND PAUL REUBENS ART OPENING Sometimes, when we open press releases, we’re pleasantly surprised to find all the pertinent details, typed in a sensible font, accompanied by a to-the-point description of what to expect from the event. I love that story. Other times, folks use ALL CAPS to demand that we list their appearance THIS FRIDAY at some place they failed to mention. In this particular case, all we (officially) have to go on is an imaginary, joint interview with John Wayne and Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman). Sala Diaz’s Hills Snyder encouraged us to “take what we could” from the press release and avoid relying on gossip leaks and sneaky research. OK, imagine for a moment the life-size cardboard cutouts of “major collaborators” Reubens and Wayne watching two bad-boy artists (from out of town) using whatever’s lying around to make “8th grade reading level conceptual art” in the type of disaster area that would give any parent a serious panic attack. (Wayne to Reubens) “Look Pee-wee! That varmint’s makin’ a tower out of sliced bread.” (Reubens to Wayne) “Cool, John! It kind of looks like a pecker!” Or, of course, the exhibition could have that ever-popular “theme” that complicates sending out a logical press release: we-haven’t-made-anything-yet. Free, 7-11pm, Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren, (210) 852-4492.
28TH ANNUAL LOWRIDER FESTIVAL CARS Last year, the 27th Annual Lowrider Festival served as the official automobile casting couch for our lowrider-themed Best of SA issue (Best of SA 2010 hits the streets April 21, by the way). These over-the-top rides continue to inspire all kinds of artists — photographers, painters, even fashion designers admit to taking cues from the bad-ass paint jobs and sleek lines. But at the end of the day, it’s about the hydraulics, and how fierce you look bouncing down the street in one of these moving works of art. This year’s festival’s musical lineup is packed with soul, thanks to talents like Danny Acosta & QVO, Soul Struck Movement, Wilbert Beasley, Ernie Garibay & Cats Don’t Sleep, Rocky Hernandez & OBG, and Joe Jama & the Proof. If grooving isn’t your thing, grab a tasty bite and browse the countless rows of tricked-out cars, bikes, and trucks on display. $10 (kids get in free), 10am-10pm, Mateo Camargo Park, Hwy 90 West at Callaghan, (210) 432-1896.
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42 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
CURRENT | CALENDAR | live music Rosie Flores with Two Tons of Steel
MUSIC Wednesday, April 7 CONCERTS Adam Carroll w/ Michael O’ Connor CD Release Show Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm Bible of the Devil w/ Slough Feg Nightrocker Live, 8pm I Heart Wed w/ Bob Gnarley and the Nailers, DJs Johnny Walker & LeDoom Limelight, 10 pm The Jazz Market with George Prado & The Regency Jazz Band Main Plaza, 11am Wes Hayden Jack’s Bar, 8pm CLUBS/VENUES A Jazz Combo (Jazz) Luther’s Cafe, 6:30pm Border Palace w/ Maya Guirao (Acoustic) Luna Fine Music Club, 9pm City Ablaze (Rock/Pop) Revolution Room, 10pm Ezzencia Musical Band (Variety) Chacho’s, 8-12pm Hank Harrison Trio (Americana) Casbeers at the Church, 8pm John Magaldi & the Prime Time Orchestra (Jazz) The Cove, 8pm Lesti Huff Band (Rock/Pop) Tycoon Flats, 7pm-11pm Live Music (Lounge) Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, 7pm-11pm Lynn Issacks (Acoustic) Specht’s Store, 6:30pm Marc Thornton (Rock/Pop) Pat O’Brien’s, 9pm Raquel & Da Mixx (DJ) Lava Lounge, 9:30pm Rhythm Hounds (Rock/Pop) Snoop’s Tavern, 10pm Shake Em Down w/ DJs Daecos & Spaceman (DJ) Limelight, 10pm Stewart Mann & The Statesboro Revue (Rock/Pop) Gruene Hall, 7pm The Sons of Bitches (Rock/Pop) The Mix, 11pm The Spiders Jazz Quartet (Jazz) Saluté, 10pm-1:45 am Tramp Stamp Wednesday w/ DJs Big Rich, Carlos AM, & Star23 (DJ) Atomix, 9pm- 2 am Working Women’s Jazz Wednesday (Jazz) The Old San Juan Restaurant and Discotek, 8pm Y-Not Wednesdays (DJ) Time Lines Night Club, 9:00pm - 2:00am
Thursday, April 8 CONCERTS Brandon Rhyder Cheatham Street Warehouse, 11pm K Phillips & the Concho Pearls Live CD Recording Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm The Jazz Market with Bett Butler (Jazz) Main Plaza, 11:30am-1:30pm Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros CD Release Gruene Hall, 7pm CLUBS/VENUES Azul (Ethnic/World) Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine, 6:30pm Big Ass Rock Nite (Classic rock) Scout Bar, 8pm-close Brazos Street Jazz Band (Jazz) Giovanni’s Pizzeria, 7:30pm-9:30pm Campbell & Wilson Celtic Jam (Celtic) Olmos Bharmacy, 8pm DJ John Mata (DJ) Broadway Bar, 9:30pm DJ Plata (DJ) Salute, 10pm Danny Esquivel Blues Jam (Blues) The Pour House, 9:30pm Egshan (Rock/Pop) Pedicab Bar & Grill, 10:30pm Erica Anthony (Acoustic) Alibis, 11pm Ezzencia Musical Band (Variety) Chacho’s, 8-12pm
Claiming (as she does with the title of her latest album) to be Girl of the Century is gutsy, and claiming (as she does on her MySpace page) to be from Austin when she was clearly born in San An-mother-effing-tonio is practically treason around these parts. If you like rockabilly for its country-fried rock and not its ironic sideburns and bolo ties, though, Flores is the filly for you. “This Cat’s in the Dog House” totally digs the blues roots beneath Hank’s high-lonesome yelp (it’s basically a Williams song from the put-upon female perspective), and “I’m Not Talking” demands “Don’t call me, baby, I’ll call you” before launching into a guitar solo that federal safety guidelines demand be defined as “scorchy.” Plus, the way she channels the animas of Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton in “Big River” and “Can’t Find My Way Home,” respectively — not to mention the fact that she gives SA a shout-out in practically every interview she gives — make us inclined to forgive the defection. She sounds a little stiff on “Get Rhythm,” but that’s something we strongly suspect will be worked out in concert. We also suspect she’ll kick our ass for that if she reads this. Fair enough. $12, 8pm Sat, Apr 10, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com — Jeremy Martin
Flamenco Thursdays (Ethnic/World) Azuca Bar Latino, 7pm Fuck Yeah! The Electro Chemists + Johnny Walker (DJ) Limelight, 10pm Iron 60 (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Big Rock Grille at the Rim, 9pm Lectro Club Thursdays (Electronic) The Korova , 9pm Lesti Huff Band (Rock/Pop) Joe’s Crab Shack (at the Quarry), 7pm10pm Live Music (Lounge) Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, 7pm-11pm M C & the Mystics (Acoustic) Specht’s Store, 6:30pm Pasenger (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Caffe (Quarry), 9pm Riverwalk Ramblers (Jazz) The Cove, 8pm Soul’d Out w/ DJ Gibb (Urban) Revolution Room, 10pm String Theory (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Big Rock Grill, 9pm TeknoTranz w/ DJ Shock (DJ) Atomix, 9pm The Bobby Aragon Group (Jazz) Brasserie Pavil, 6-9pm The Spazmatics (Rock/Pop) Scout Bar, doors at 8pm The Tex Pistols (Rock/Pop) The Mix, 11pm Thursday Underground (80s / Indie) (DJ) The Industry, 10pm Urbano & Seel Open Jam (Jam session) The Pour House, 9pm VJ Vision (DJ) The Falls, 10pm
Friday, April 9 CONCERTS 5th Annual Ram Jam 2010: Big Drag, Hickoids, Loco Gringos, & Billy Joe Winghead Nightrocker Live, 10pm Boyd & Wain UK-based folk duo Boyd & Wain are on tour to support the release of Ain’t No Fairy Tale. G.I.G., 8pm Blowing Trees, Tongue Tied Lightning, Fatback Circus, The Vinyl Affair Limelight, 9pm Chicago Majestic Theatre, 8pm Las Cruces CD Release Party & Malasuerte Zombies, 9pm Los Lonely Boys & Sahara Smith Gruene Hall, 8pm Mikey Vibe, Caliber 9, Joust & Perry The Ten Eleven, doors at 7pm Saengerfest 2010: Empfangskonzert This concert of German choral music will be presented by district. See Saturday. Free and open to the public, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom C, 7pm Squid Row & The Typicals The Mix, 11pm The Jazz Market with Katchie & Le Monde Cache Main Plaza, 11am Under Nothing w/ Headcrusher, In Spite, Painting the Massacre, Trinity Sky, Snake Skin Prison White Rabbit, 7pm Xipe Totec Spring Equinox Show featuring Kiawitl and Jehuniko, Astex, Itzli, Tha Midax, Joaquin Muerte, Rawkause, and Almighty Infinite Supreme Pedicab Bar & Grill, 10pm CLUBS/VENUES 10 Of (Garage) Plan B, 9pm A Jazz Combo (Jazz) Luther’s Cafe, 6:30pm Barefoot (Rock/Pop) Firehouse Pub & Grill, 9pm Bringing Back the Memories (Rock/Pop) Lermas Nite Club, 9pm Carol Plunk w/ the Lavens (Rock/Pop) The Cove, 8pm Charity Payne (Metal) Tonic, 10:30pm Chill Factor (Rock/Pop) Speedway Sports Bar #2, 9pm Chris Bell & 100% Blues (Rock/Pop) Fiasco Cocktails, 9pm
MUSIC, 45► sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 43
The Current & CD Exchange invite you and a guest to a special advance screening. THIS WEEK’S SCREENER WILL BE PLAYING
Wednesday, April 14 7:30pm at Santikos Palladium FOR A COMPLIMENTARY ADMIT TWO PASS, PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING LOCATION
SATURDAY, APRIL 10 at 10:00am
9861 IH 10 West
IN THEATERS APRIL 16, 2010 DeathAtAFuneral-Movie.com
44 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
PASSES ARE LIMITED AND NOT GUARANTEED. DO NOT CALL PASS HOST. PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY. SEATING IS NOT GUARANTEED. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. THE CURRENT IS NOW AVAILABLE AT MORE THAN 1000 LOCATIONS ACROSS SAN ANTONIO. THIS FILM HAS BEEN RATED R FOR LANGUAGE, DRUG CONTENT AND SOME SEXUAL HUMOR.
CURRENT | CALENDAR | live music Diggin’ Deep Fridays w/ DJ Gibb The Korova, 10pm DJ Chacho, Donnie D33, & DJ Riggz (Urban) Revolution Room, 10pm Electric Fridays (DJ) The Thirsty Camel, 9pm Elijah Zane Experience (Blues/Rock) Stonewerks Big Rock Grill, 9pm Evolution (Rock/Pop) Nice Rack, 9pm Ezzencia Musical Band (Variety) Chacho’s & Chalucci’s, 10pm-2am Feel Good Friday (70s, 80s, 90s) (DJ) The Industry, 7pm Friday Afternoon Club Gruene Hall, 4-7pm Gib Cardenas (Rock/Pop) Pat O’Brien’s, 9pm Henry + the Invisibles (Rock/Pop) Rebar, 10pm Home Grown Roots Music (Folk/ Blues) Gig on the Strip, 9pm Honky Tonk Happy Hour w/ George Devore (Americana) Sam’s Burger Joint, 6pm Insomnia (Rock/Pop) Tripp’s Humor Bar, 9pm Iron 60 (Rock/Pop) Main Street, 9pm Jimmy Lafave (Americana) Casbeers at the Church, 9pm John Sheridan w/ Joan Carroll (Jazz) Boardwalk Bistro, 7pm Jose Perello (Ethnic/World) Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine, 6:30pm KISS IT (Rock/Pop) Clicks Billiards, 9pm Keegan Reed Band & 51 Acres (Rock/Pop) Jack’s Bar, 9pm Killing Floor (Rock/Pop) Booze Hounds, 9pm Lick (Rock/Pop) Billy D’s, 9pm Live Jazz (Jazz) Bohanan’s, 8pm-Midnight Live Jazz at SunSet! (Jazz) Loretta’s Finest, 7pm-10pm Live Music (Lounge) Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, 7pm-11pm Madwagon (Rock/Pop) The Trap, 9pm Mark Chandler Duo (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Caffe (Quarry), 9pm Mind’s Eye (Rock/Pop) Legends Sports Bar, 9pm Mitch Webb Trio (Americana) Scenic Loop Cafe & Bar, 7pm Oldies But Goodies Night (Variety) Lermas Nite Club, 9pm Paper Machete (Vocal) Taco Garage, 8pm Paul Thorn Band w/ Matt King and the Cutters (Americana) Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm Prototype (Rock/Pop) Speedway Sports Bar #1, 9pm Revolucion Soundsystem (Reggae) The Reggae Bar, 7pm-2am RezurXn w/ DJ Dog Bone (DJ) Atomix, 9pm Ruben V (Blues) Luna Fine Music Club, 9pm San Antonio Rose Live (Variety) Aztec on the River, 7pm Slippery When Wet with DJ BennyK (DJ) Club Rain Stony Larue (Americana) Floore’s Country Store, doors at 7pm Sumo Fist & Diesel (Rock/Pop) Wild Rhino, 9pm Texas Radio (Rock/Pop) Brooks Pub, 9pm The Drugstore Cowboys (Rock/Pop) Wetmore Smokehouse & Saloon, 9pm The Essentials w/ DJs John Mata & Daecosomoxi (DJ) Lava Lounge, 10pm The Killing Floor (Roots) Boozehounds, 10pm The Retro Division (DJ) Club Rain, 10pm The Show featuring Wednesday Ball (Soul) Perico’s Bar & Grill, 6-10pm VJ Vision (DJ) The Falls, 10pm
Saturday, April 10 CONCERTS 5th Annual Ram Jam 2010: Sons of Hercules, They Never Sleep, & Snowbyrd Nightrocker Live, 10pm Assemblage 23 Atomix, 8 pm-2am Morris Orchids, Bad Breaks, Chris Madden LoneStar Studios, 8pm Mother’s Anthem, Sevenboard, Paco Estrada, Project H Jack’s Bar, 9pm Two Tons of Steel w/ Rosie Flores Sam’s Burger Joint, 8pm Romain Virgo w/ Chris Boomer & Company, DJ Dish 1, Megladon Soundsystem, Rasta Rik, DJ Junior Vibes, & Jaslynn & Candice In 2007 singer Romain Virgo made history as the youngest person to win Jamaica’s wildly popular TV talent competition, Digicel Rising Stars. The Reggae Bar, 9pm Saengerfest 2010: Hauptkonzert This concert of German choral music feautures the voices of 1,200 singers from across the U.S. Free and open to the public, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall D, 7pm Voodoo Glow Skulls w/ Authority Zero, Left Alone, River City All Stars White Rabbit, 7pm Yoshimoto & Big Soy The Mix, 11pm CLUBS/VENUES 210 Soul Players w/ Supa Smash Bros, 1st Team, DJ Club (DJ) Limelight, 9pm Billy Morgan & the Barn Burners (Rock/Pop) Billy D’s, 9pm Blackout w/ Circadian & Friendz (Rock/Pop) Atomix, 9pm DJ RDL & DJ Chacho (Urban) Revolution Room, 10pm DJ X Boy RD (DJ) Alibis, 10pm - 2am Elijah Zane Trio (Rock/Pop) Freetail Brewing Co., 7pm Ezzencia Musical Band (Variety) Chacho’s & Chalucci’s, 10pm-2am Finding Friday (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Big Rock Grill, 9pm Four Count (Rock/Pop) Booze Hounds, 9pm Gnarly Brown & Guest DJ (DJ) Lava Lounge, 9:30pm Guns for Roses w/ Judas Rising (Rock/Pop) Scout Bar, 8pm Iron 60 (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Caffe (Quarry), 9pm Jose Perello (Ethnic/World) Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine, 6:30pm
Junior Brown (Country) Gruene Hall, 9pm Larry Natwick w/ George Prado (Jazz) Boardwalk Bistro, 7pm Lesti Huff (Americana) Casbeers at the Church, 6pm Live Jazz (Jazz) Bohanan’s, 8pm-Midnight Live Music (Lounge) Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, 7pm-11pm Mark Chandler (Rock/Pop) Pat O’Brien’s, 9pm Mish Mash (Rock/Pop) Tripp’s Humor Bar, 9pm Orcresst (Rock/Pop) The Ten Eleven, 8pm Radio Active (Rock/Pop) The Trap, 9pm Rafiki Project (Rock/Pop) Pedicab Bar & Grill, 10pm Right on Red (Rock/Pop) Charlie Brown’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, 9pm Rumour (Rock/Pop) Main Street, 9pm San Antonio Rose Live (Variety) Aztec on the River, 7pm Saturday Matinee w/ Kasey Anderson (Americana) Sam’s Burger Joint, 6pm Saturday’s The Reflex (DJ) The Industry, 8pm Small Town Habit (Rock/Pop) Stonewerks Big Rock Grille at the Rim, 9pm Steve James w/ Cindy Cashdollar (Americana) Casbeers at the Church, 9pm String Theory (Rock/Pop) Caliente Harley-Davidson, 9pm Texas Nutz (Rock/Pop) Fiasco Cocktails, 9pm The Bus Stop Stallions (Blues) Luna Fine Music Club, 9pm The Dark Zone (DJ) The Thirsty Camel, 9pm The Groove Doctors (Rock/Pop) Wetmore Smokehouse & Saloon, 9pm The Stone River Boys (Country) Gruene Hall, 1pm Tomcat Miller Trio (Americana) Scenic Loop Cafe & Bar, 7pm UFC (Rock/Pop) Firehouse Pub & Grill, 9pm VJ Vision (DJ) The Falls, 10pm Wolfpak (Rock/Pop) Brooks Pub, 9pm Zoomsday (Blues) The Pour House, 9pm
HAPPY FI FIESTA! 10% OFF MSRP on 2009 Models
CRACKER BOX PALACE 622 West Hildebrand • 210-734-3023 In Between San Pedro & Blanco
San Antonio’s Original Smoke Shop
2423 Austin Hwy 210.654.0211
Sunday, April 11 CONCERTS Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist This New Orleans-style gospel brunch is catered by the Grist Mill. Advance tickets are recommended, visit gruenhall.com for more info. Gruene Hall, 10:30am-noon Phone Calls from Home, The Ultra, First Heal, Kyd Scholar, Inside the Stratosphere, The Zukinis, Minks Demise, Three Years Failing The Ten Eleven, doors at 6pm CLUBS/VENUES All Out Sunday (Hip-hop/Rap) Lava Lounge Blue Sundays with Slow Burn (Blues) Olmos Bharmacy, 6pm-10pm Bret Graham Band (Country) Gruene Hall, 12pm Glenn Allan (Acoustic) Riley’s Tavern, 8pm Hip-Hop Blowout w/ Rey Mago (Urban) Atomix, 9pm Laura Brill (Americana) Scenic Loop Cafe & Bar, 7pm Mike Phelan & Friends (Acoustic) Specht’s Store, 6-8pm Oldies But Goodies Night (Variety) Club Rain, 9pm Roots & Kulcha (Reggae) The Reggae Bar, 7pm-2am Sally’s Garden (Celtic) Nine Lives Books, 2pm San Antonio Rose Live (Variety) Aztec on the River, 7pm Soul Culture Sundays at Club West (Blues) Club West, 9pm till 2am The Barn Burners (Rock/Pop) The Mix, 11pm The Bobby Aragon Group (Jazz) Brasserie Pavil, 11am-2pm Van Wilks w/ Carson Brock (Blues) Gruene Hall, 5pm
Monday, April 12 CONCERTS Bless the Fall w/ Miss May I, Greeley Estates, Before Their Eyes, When Breaks the Dawn White Rabbit, 7pm James Pardo Gruene Hall, 7-11pm The Jazz Market with Music Offerings (Classical) Main Plaza, 11am1:30pm CLUBS/VENUES Blue Monday Jam with the Arturo “Sauce” Gonzales Quartet (Rock/ Pop) Stefania’s Country Italian, 7:30pm Dub Lounge w/ DJ Dtronic (DJ) Atomix, 10pm Egshan (Rock/Pop) The Korova , 11:30pm James Pardo (Country) Gruene Hall, 7pm San Antonio Rose Live (Variety) Aztec on the River, 7pm Swing Dance Nite w/ Stretch Dawrson, the Mending Hearts (Blues) Sam’s Burger Joint, 7pm The Sons of Bitches The Korova, 10pm Voodoo Vinyl w/ Smartypants (DJ) The Mix, 11pm
This Saturday, April 10th
Tuesday, April 13
Tickets available at the Majestic Box Ofﬁce, All outlets, Ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.
CONCERTS I Ching Gatos & Fear Snake Face Nightrocker Live, 8pm Mark Jungers w/ Adam Carroll & Owen Temple Gruene Hall, 7-11pm Mojoe Family Band & Friends w/ DJ Scuba Gooding Sr. Club West, 9pm Nathan Hamilton & Kim Deschamps Gruene Hall, 7-11pm The Jazz Market with the Ron Wilkins 4-Tet (Jazz) Main Plaza, 11am1:30pm
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MUSIC, 47► sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 45
46 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
CURRENT | CALENDAR | where it’s at Alibis 1141 E. Commerce, (210) 225-5552 Atomix 1902 McCullough, (210) 733-3855 Azuca Bar Latino 713 S. Alamo, (210) 225-5550, azuca.net Billy D’s 1805 Pat Booker, (210) 566-0559 Boardwalk Bistro 4011 Broadway, (210) 824-0100 Booze Hounds 8531 Perrin Beitel, (210) 590-3223 Broadway Bar 8800 Broadway, Ste. 250, (210) 822-5552 Brooks Pub 3354 Lasses, (210) 333-6992 Caliente Harley-Davidson 7230 NW Loop 410, (210) 681-2254 Casbeers at the Church 1150 S. Alamo, (210) 271-7791 Chacho’s 7870 Callaghan, (210) 366-2023 Chacho’s & Chalucci’s 8614 Perrin-Beitel, (210) 892-1400 Charlie Brown’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill 11888 Starcrest, (210) 4967092, charlie-browns.com Club Rain 516 Brooklyn, (210) 226-7246 Club West 4500 West Ave., (210) 530-9100 The Cove 606 W. Cypress, (210) 227-2683, thecove.us The Crazy Ape 9930 San Pedro Ave., (210) 525-8158 The Falls 226 W. Bitters, (210) 490-5553 Fiasco Cocktails 2250 Thousand Oaks, (210) 490-2651 Firehouse Pub & Grill 5380 Walzem Rd., (210) 946-9600 Floore’s Country Store 14464 Bandera Rd, Helotes, (210) 695-8827 Freetail Brewing Co. 4035 N. Loop 1604, (210) 395-4974 G.I.G. 2803 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 837-2787, gigonthestrip.com Gruene Hall 1281 Gruene Rd., New Braunfels, (830) 606-1281 Hot Tin Roof 7710 IH-10 W., (210) 657-8000 The Industry 8021 Pinebrook Dr., (210) 366-3229 Jack’s Bar 3030 Thousand Oaks, (210) 494-2309, jacksbarsa.com The Korova 107 East Martin, (210) 707-4521 Lava Lounge 2702 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 320-1740 Legends Sports Bar 1305 SW Loop 410, (210) 674-0627 Lermas Nite Club 1602 N. Zarzamora (at Culebra), (210) 884-8810 Limelight 2718 N St Marys, (210) 735-7775 London Sub & Pub 8425 Bandera, (210) 682-1070 LoneStar Studios 107 Lone Star Blvd., 107lonestar.com Luna Fine Music Club 6740 San Pedro, (210) 804-2433 Luther’s Cafe 1425 N. Main, (210) 223-7727, lutherscafe.com Main Plaza 115 W. Main Plaza, mainplaza.org Main Street 13477 Wetmore, (210) 490-3038 Majestic Theatre 226 E. Houston, (210) 226-3333 Martini Ranch 4904 West Ave., (210) 341-1717 Mine Shaft Saloon 902 NE Loop 410, (210) 828-1470 The Mix 2423 N St Marys, (210) 735-1313
Nice Rack 9518 Console , (210) 614-5200 Nightrocker Live 605 San Pedro Ave., (210) 265-3573 The Old San Juan Restaurant and Discotek 4429 Walzem, (210) 5999990, www.OSJSA.com Olmos Bharmacy 3902 McCullough, (210) 822-1188 On The Half Shell Oyster Bar 202 Navarro St., (210) 222-2171 Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine 5800 Broadway , (210) 822-6151 Pat O’Brien’s 121 Alamo Plaza, (210) 220-1076, patobriens.com Plan B 8123 Broadway POSH 7959 Broadway, (210) 804-7674 Rebar 8134 Broadway, (210) 320-4091, rebarsatx.com The Reggae Bar 2016 Austin Hwy., (210) 772-9891 Revolution Room 8123 Broadway, (210) 320-4567 Riley’s Tavern 8894 FM 1102, New Braunfels, (512) 392-3132 Saluté 2801 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 732-5307 Sam’s Burger Joint 330 E. Grayson, (210) 223-2830 Scenic Loop Cafe & Bar 25615 Boerne Stage Road, (210) 687-1818 Scout Bar 19314 U.S. Hwy. 281 N., Ste. 1, (210) 494-7700 Snoop’s Tavern 10726 Perrin Beitel, (210) 651-1800 Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar 14415 Blanco, (210) 408-2670 Specht’s Store 112 Specht, (830) 980-7121 Speedway Sports Bar #1 8811 Grissom , (210) 509-8313 Speedway Sports Bar #2 9055 Marbach Rd. , (210) 673-4600 Stefania’s Country Italian 2322 San Pedro, (210) 733-6633 Stonewerks Big Rock Grill 1201 N. Loop 1604 W. Ste. 101, (210) 764-0400 Stonewerks Big Rock Grille at the Rim 5807 Worth Parkway, (210) 558-9898 Stonewerks Caffe (Quarry) 7300 Jones Maltsberger, (210) 828-3508 Taco Garage 8403 Broadway, (210) 826-4405 The Ten Eleven 1011 Ave. B, (210) 320-9080, theteneleven.com The Thirsty Camel 5307 McCullough, (210) 639-0983 Tonic 5500 Babcock, #117, (210) 877-5858 The Trap 4711 Pecan Valley, (210) 533-3060 Trey’s House SA 1709 Blanco Rd, (210) 320-1904 Tripp’s Humor Bar 210 E. Aviation, Universal City, (210) 659-1090 Tycoon Flats 2926 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 320-0819 VFW Post 8315 1000 FM 78, Schertz, (210) 658-6325 Wetmore Smokehouse & Saloon 13525 Wetmore Road, (210) 3438100, wetmoresmokehouse.com White Rabbit 2410 N St Marys, (210) 737-2221, sawhiterabbit.com Wild Rhino 1422 S.W. Military Dr., (210) 921-0933 Zombies 12285 Nacogdoches, (210) 590-7757
Art opening: Bom Olho This restrospective exhibition of Robin Moratti’s work will be accompanied by live classical flamenco music courtesy of Josh Barrios. The Spirit of Sharing Food Bank in New Braunfels, Texas will receive a percentage of all proceeds. Free, 5pm-9pm Saturday; The Gallery at 764 West, 764 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, 830-29-998. Art opening: Jesse Amado: Days Each of the 22,722 tear-drop shaped crystals in Days represents a day in the life of Linda Pace, the late artist and philanthropist who founded Artpace in 1995. 6-8pm Thursday; San Antonio Public Library, 600 Soledad, San Antonio, (210) 207-2678. Art opening: John Wayne and Paul Reubens Ah, the sweet mystery of contemporary art. See page 41. 7pm-11pm Friday, after-party in the basement of the Alamo; Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren, San Antonio, (210) 852-4492. Art opening: Lost in Fl!ght Local artist Kerri Coar unveils a new installation at Fl!ght Gallery. According to our sources, “It might be floating, but it may have changed.” 7-10pm Saturday, Fl!ght Gallery, 1906 S. Flores, turnitoff.tv. Art opening: Stephen Charles Shortridge Accomplished television actor (The Love Boat, Welcome Back Kotter, The Bold and the Beautiful) paints in a Romantic Impressionist style. Shortridge will be present at this reception and give live demonstrations. 2-8pm Saturday; Garden Path Gallery, 136 South Main, Boerne, (830) 816-1796. Art opening: Textures Artist Susan Oaks presents a new series of work inspired by texture. 5:30-8pm Thursday; Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry, San Antonio, (210) 207-7211. CAM: Amalgamations 25: 28 Artists for 25 Great Years This wideranging group exhibition highlights the work of 28 artists, including Judith Cottrell, James Smolleck, Joey Fauerso, Justin Parr, Katie Pell, and Ben Judson. 12pm-6pm Monday-Friday, 12pm-8pm Thursday; Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 227-6960. CAM: Exotic Matter Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the human form in the sexually-charged work of SA-based artist Joey Fauerso. Madison, Wisconsin-based paper artist Michael Velliquette’s detail-oriented constructions marry abstraction with analysis, while pushing materials to surprising new levels. 11am-6pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-7pm Friday, Noon-6pm Saturday; David Shelton Gallery, 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy , San Antonio, (210) 481-5200.
CLUBS/VENUES Bett Butler w/ Joel Dilley (Americana) Casbeers at the Church, 8pm Control (DJ) Lava Lounge, 9:30pm Diskothek w/ Disco Vandal + Guest DJs (DJ) Atomix, 10pm Gentleman Joe (Rock/Pop) The Mix, 11pm Grammar School feat. Soul Grammar & DJ Gibb (Urban) Revolution Room, 10pm-2am Jam Session (Jam session) Trey’s House SA, 7-11pm Live Music (Lounge) Soleil Bistro and Wine Bar, 7pm-11pm The Powerhouse Divas (Variety) Hot Tin Roof, 8pm The StoneCutterz (Classic rock) Mine Shaft Saloon, 9:30pm to 1:30am Tuesday Jazz Nights (Jazz) POSH, 7pm VJ Vision (DJ) The Falls, 10pm Velcro Underground w/ DJs Bartron and Smartypants (DJ) Limelight, 10pm
ART 2nd Saturday Art and Wine Hop on the free trolley and visit a collection of eclectic fine art galleries. 4-8pm Saturday; Carriage House Gallery Of Artists, 110 Rosewood, Boerne, (877) 833-0621. 80th Annual Artists Juried Exhibition The Annual Juried Artists Exhibition has its roots in the 1927, 1928, and 1929 purchase prize exhibitions sponsored for the San Antonio Art League by Edgar B. Davis, a transplanted Yankee, rancher, wildcatter, and self-made millionaire. 10am-3pm Tuesday; San Antonio Art League & Museum, 130 King William, San Antonio, (210) 223-1140. An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection Marie and Hugh Halff share their private collection of twenty-six Impressionist paintings including work by John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, and Theodore Robinson. McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, (210) 824-5368. Artists Looking at Art: Robert Ziebell Through wedding photography, artist Robert Ziebell explores memories of Juarez, Mexico. 6:30pm Thursday, The McNay’s Patio Gallery, 6000 N. New Braunfels, mcnayart.org Art on the Hill: 2nd Friday Art Walk Art walk at seven venues with over 30 contemporary artists, including Mike Herrera, Leslie Newton, Hebron Chism, Pompa, Alejandro Padilla, and Alex Nelipa. Begins at the intersection of N St Mary’s & Josephine Street. 6-10pm Friday, La Casa Rosa Art Studio, 527 E Dewey Place, San Antonio.
WED APR 7
I HEART WED W/ BOB GNARLEY & THE NAILERS, DJS JOHNNY WALKER + LEDOOM NO COVER
THUR APR 8
F$CK YEAH! THE ELECTRO CHEMISTS VS JOHNNY WALKER + JOHN PUGA NO COVER
FRI APR 9
BLOWING TREES, TONGUE TIED LIGHTNING, FATBACK CIRCUS, THE VINYL AFFAIR
SAT APR 10
210 SOUL PLAYERS, SUPA SMASH BROS, 1ST TEAM, DJ CUB
2 Anything Come The ence e p Ex ri Orleans New end Leg Across from the Alamo
210-220-1076 121 ALAMO PLAZA www.patobriens.com/sanantonio.html
TUES APR 13
VELCRO UNDERGROUND W/ DJS BARTRON + SMARTYPANTS NO COVER
YOU’LL LOVE THE VIEW AT THE VIEW
UPCOMING FRI APR 16
SAT APR 17
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY! PARTAY W/ JOHN MATA & GUESTS
TUESDAY NIGHT BAR PONG TOURNEY $1.50 LONESTAR & LONESTAR LIGHT TALL BOYS $3 WELLS - $3 JAGER
2718 N. St. Mary’s • 8PM-2AM
MON-FRI-SAT NIGHT KARAOKE DAILY HAPPY HOUR 4-8 PM
8647 WURZBACH, SAN ANTONIO TX 78240 STRICTLY 21+ WWW.MYSPACE.COM/THEVIEWSA • 281-630-3508
ART, 48► sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 47
, S C I IT CR
CURRENT | CALENDAR | arts/events
Perros y Palabras
Remember how it’s National Poetry Month? Or are you like the narrator of the Billy Collins poem: “ ... One by one, the memories you used to harbor/decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,/ to a little fishing village where there are no phones.” Schlep that vacationing noodle of yours over to the Guadalupe Gallery Thursday evening and immerse it in “Perros y Palabras,” a spoken-word event with poems inspired by Las Rudas’ show Operation Canis Familiaris (a multiple CAMMY-Award winner) and performed by poets from San Anto Cultural Arts. Cross pollination: we dig it. Also! The closing event for Las Rudas’ will be a Westside dog show on April 15 — awards will be given for ugliest dog, best-dressed dog, silly dog tricks, y más. Refreshments for everyone. Poetry for the four-legged! Free, 7-8:30pm Thu Apr 8, 723 S. Brazos, guadalupeculturalarts.org. — Sarah Fisch
L $ TBAOLYS
Krave Ultra Lounge
Where you can Party
ed hardy voDKA and christian audigierwine audigier wine
FOR MORE INFO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK 302-5452 • ON THE CORNER OF MAINLAND & BANDERA
LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF! Andy Pitz Park North Plaza • 541-8805 (Loop 410 @ Blanco)
APRIL 7-11 Improv in LA, Carolineʼs,
From CMTʼs “Top 20 Redneck Moments”
The Funniest Comedian Youʼve Never Heard Of!
Lisa Landry APRIL 7-11 Comedy Central Presents Lisa Landry, Placed 3rd out of 100 Top Comedians in this yearʼs Comedy Central “Stand-Up Showdown!” Also seen on CBS, NBC & TBS
Downtown Since 1993 849 East Commerce • 210-229-1420 SPECIAL EVENT!
Earthquake APRIL 27-28 AT LOL! TICKETS $20
www.sanantoniocomedyclubs.com 48 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
◄ART, 47 CAM: Operation Canis Familiaris For this Más Rudas Collective exhibtion, Cruz Ortiz curated canine-themed work created by artists Ruth Buentello, Sarah Castillo, Kristin Gamez, Mari Hernandez, and Cristina Ordonez. 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm Thursday; Guadalupe Gallery, 723 S. Brazos, San Antonio. CAM: Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s Curator David S. Rubin trips the light fantastic with the highly anticipated exhibition Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s. Participating artists include Richie Budd, George Cisneros, James Cobb, Mark Hogensen, Constance Lowe, Alex Rubio, Sterling Ruby, Frank Stella, and more than a dozen others. 10am-5pm Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-6pm Sunday, 10am-9pm Tuesday; San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones, San Antonio, (210) 978-8100. CAM: Vincent Valdez: Flashback Valdez presents Flashback, a group of beautifully-rendered war-themed paintings and drawings, and Recuerdo, a short video about Valdez’s home town — San Antonio. 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday; Southwest School of Art & Craft, 1201 Navarro, San Antonio, (210) 224-1848. Dinosaurs Unearthed Dinosaurs invade the Witte, featuring the first feather-covered baby T-Rex and the latest technology in animation. 10 am-5pm Monday, 10 am-8pm Tuesday, 10am-5pm Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5 pm Sunday; Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, San Antonio, (210) 357-1900. Grand Opening Alamo Firebrush Art Gallery hosts their inaugural art opening at this grand opening reception. 6-8pm Monday; Alamo Firebrush Art Gallery, 1036 S. Alamo, San Antonio, (210) 338-1375. IAIR 10.1: Buster Graybill, Klara Liden and Ulrike Müller Artistsin-residence Buster Graybill (Huntsville), Klara Liden (Berlin), and Ulrike Müller (New York) present works that comment on the uncertain future of the great outdoors (Graybill), blur the lines between structure, sculpture, and detritus (Liden), and tackle “feminist genderqueer” issues (Müller). Don’t miss Chat & Chew: New Works: 10.1, 12-1pm Wednesday, with optional lunch from Sip for $6.50. Hours: 12-5pm Wednesday-Sunday; Artpace, 445 N. Main Ave, San Antonio, (210) 212-4900. MFA Thesis Exhibitions: Clay McClure, Lupe Mendoza, and Esteban Delgado Artists McClure, Mendoza, and Delgado show work created during MFA programs at UTSA, including photography, sculpture, and multi-media prints. 12-6pm Friday-Sunday; UTSA Satellite Space, 115 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 212-7146. Peter Grieve: Second Generation UK-born sculptor Peter Grieve creates intricate one-of-a-kind animal figures using recycled tin. 11am-6pm daily; San Angel Folk Art, 110 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 226-6688. SeeingARTSanAntoio Guided Tour Local artist Donna Simon will lead a tour through Veronica Prida’s studio. Prida creates oneof-a-kind pieces by “rescuing” furniture. The tour continues at David Shelton Gallery, where works by Joey Fauerso and Michael Velliquette will be discussed. Registration required, $35, 6:15pm Wednesday, seeingartsanantonio.com. The Original Drawings of James Surls Best known for sculpture, artist James Surl presents a series of rarely seen drawings from the Blue Star Print Project. Noon-6pm Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, noon-8pm Thursday; Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 227-6960. Wordworkers Artist Melanie Rush Davis photographed poets Grisel Acosta, Roberto Bonazzi, Jenny Browne, Rosemary Catacalos, Sandra Cisneros, Nan Cuba, Martha K. Grant, Palmer Hall, Jim LaVilla-Havelin, Marian Haddad, Assef al-Jundi, Bryce Milligan, Ignacio Magaloni, Josie Mixon, Naomi Shihab Nye, Carol Coffee Reposa, John Phillip Santos, Carmen Tafolla, Vincent Toro, and Mobi Warren for this exhibition celebrating National Poetry Month. 1-4pm Friday-Saturday; Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg, San Antonio, (210) 732-3502.
FILM Exhibition film: The House of Mirth This adaptation of Edith Warton’s 1905 novel stars progressive B-listers Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd, and Laura Linney. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection. $5 for non-members, 2pm Sunday; McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, (210) 824-5368. Holocaust Remembrance Day Screening: The Pianist $9, 7:30pm Sunday; Alamo Drafthouse Park North, 618 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, (210) 677-8500. Monster in the Closet An ironic homage to classic horror films starring John Carradine and the Black Eyed Peas’ Stacy Ferguson. 7:30pm & 10pm Tuesday; Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, 1255 SW Loop 410, San Antonio, (210) 677-8500. Night of the Lepus See page 41. Free, 7:30pm & 10pm Wednesday; Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, 1255 SW Loop 410, San Antonio, (210) 677-8500. Social Workers ACT 2nd Friday Film Series Social Workers Advocating for Change Together (SWACT) will be screening the award-winning documentary Searching For Angela Shelton. Free, 6pm Friday; Guadalupe Street Coffee, 1320 Guadalupe, San Antonio, (210) 379-3103. Strangers on a Train Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film from 1951 illustrates the true danger of talking to strangers. Free, but donations appreciated, 10pm Friday, The Overtime Theater, 1414 S. Alamo #103, San Antonio, (210) 557-7562, theovertimetheater.net
THEATER Amadeus The lives of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri are explored in this 1979 play written by Peter Shaffer. In a nutshell, Salieri’s jealousy of Mozart’s genius, and disgust over his crass behavior fuels a sabotage mission that doesn’t exactly work out as planned. $10, 7:30pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30pm Sunday; McAllister Auditorium, 1300 San Pedro, San Antonio, (210) 733-2000. Curtains The New York Times critiqued Curtains as a “theater-themed episode of Murder She Wrote,” but also found charm in its “unaggressive predictability.” Void of pretense, Curtains is a musical spoof of a classic whodunit. $25, student and senior discounts available, 8pm Friday-Saturday, 2:30pm Sunday; San Pedro Playhouse, 800 W. Ashby, San Antonio, (210) 733-7258. Dinah Was! Oliver Goldstick’s musical drama tells the story of Dinah Washington via flashbacks. The production follows the “Queen of the Blues” on her booze and dope-fueled road to success. What a difference a drink makes. $5-10, 8pm Friday-Saturday, 2:30pm Sunday; St. Philip’s College, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr., San Antonio, (210) 486-2704. Peter Pan: The Broadway Musical Let’s face it, San Antonio is long overdue for a trip to Neverland. And now the Woodlawn Theatre and Pennington Productions are giving us the chance with the local return of this award-winning musical that captures the timeles spirit and fantasy of everlasting youth, based on J.M. Barrie’s beloved novel. 7:30pm Friday-Saturday, 3pm Sunday; Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg, San Antonio, (210) 738-1117. Pinkalicious Based on a book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann with music and lyrics by John Gregor that tells the story of a pink cupcake-loving girl who begins to turn the color of her favorite treat. 9:45 and 11:30am Tuesday-Friday, 2pm Saturday; Magik Theatre, 420 S. Alamo, San Antonio, (210) 227-2751. Request Concert featuring Billy Muñoz While this series commemorating 25 years of avant-garde theater takes cues from the original template, it’s also full of the kind of surprises the troupe is known for. Location will be provided upon ticket purchase. Visit jump-start. org for tickets and details. $25, 8pm Friday-Saturday; The Sterling Houston Theater, 108 Blue Star, San Antonio, (210) 227-5867.
Shock Puppets The popular and critically acclaimed “adult oriented” sketch comedy show Shock Puppets returns with a new installment. Leave the kiddos at home as these puppets aim to shock with their unique blend of profane humor. $12-$15, 9:30pm Friday-Saturday; The Rose Theatre Company, 11838 Wurzbach, San Antonio, (210) 360-0004. Social Security Your cantankerous mother-in-law lands on your doorstep. Your niece’s sexual appetite runs amuck. Your spouse is on fire with the tango. Your socially secure life may soon be over. Who said a little sexual rebellion is only for the young? $15-$29.50, 8pm Friday-Saturday, 3pm Sunday; Cameo Center, 1123 E. Commerce, San Antonio, (210) 212-5454. The Happy Couple James Venhaus’s original drama tells the story of a young lawyer and his wife who encounter a group of people squatting in their former home. While being held there overnight (against their will), the happy couple realizes how much their lives have changed over the course of time. $12, student and senior discounts available, 8pm Friday-Saturday, 3pm Sunday; The Overtime Theater, 1414 S. Alamo, Suite 103, San Antonio, (210) 557-7562.
DANCE Dance and Poetry at Radius Dance at Radius celebrates National Poetry Month with choreography inspired by four local poets. 7:30pm Friday; Radius Café, 106 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, (210) 212-6600. Footnotes This dance performance will higlight dance and musical theatre majors, including a diverse range of music and dance. $10, 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday, Robert E. Lee Theatre, 1400 JacksonKeller Rd., (210) 442-2510, neisd.net/nesa The Art of Dance RDA/SW Festival Dancers from more than 20 ballet companies across the United States will perform at the Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival 2010. $15-$20, 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday; Municipal Auditorium, 100 Auditorium Cir, San Antonio.
CLASSICAL MUSIC Jazz Meets Classical XVIII This collaboration between classical and jazz musicians presented by Musical Offerings will be performed several times this week: $10, 7pm Saturday at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico, 600 HemisFair Plaza; $8-$12, 7pm Monday at the San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones, San Antonio, (210) 978-8100; $5-$10, 6:30pm Tuesday, The Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, (210) 357-1900. San Antonio Wind Symphony San Antonio Wind Symphony performs chamber music, including works by Mozart, Bach, Brahms, Mahler, and more. 7pm Sunday; UTSA Recital Hall, University of Texas at San Antonio, 6900 Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, (210) 385-3148. Viennese Masters: Schoenberg, Brahms Musicians Ertan and Kimberly Torgul, Emily and Kenneth Freudigman, Lauren Magnus, and David Mollenauer will perform Schoenberg’s “Transfigured Night,” and Brahms’s “Sextet in G Major, Op. 36.” Presented by Camerata San Antonio. $20, 3pm Sunday, Travis Park United Methodist Church, 230 E. Travis, (210) 492-9519, cameratasa.org.
WORDS 2nd Verse “Sophisticated and Soulful Spoken Word Poetry” Open mic spoken word poetry at it’s best, with a full bar and DJ. $5, 9pm Friday; Continental Cafe, 6390 Fairdale, San Antonio, (210) 313-6175. Barnes & Noble Poetry Venue Poetry workshop at 6pm followed by open mic at 7pm with featured guest presentation at 8pm. Free, 6pm Wednesday; Barnes & Noble (Ingram Park Mall), 6065 N.W. Loop 410, #185, San Antonio, (210) 219-8859. High Tea for Educators 2pm Sunday; Barnes & Noble (La Cantera), 15900 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, (210) 558-3903. Jazz Poet Society Writing workshop from 6:30-7pm followed by an open mic for poets and music by the SA Jazz Poets Society Band from 79pm. Free, but donations appreciated, 6:30-9pm Tuesday; High Wire Arts, 326 W. Josephine, San Antonio, (210) 320-5702. National Poetry Month: Lenguas Libres SA Jazz Poets Society and Jazz Poetry Band will perform at this cross generational poetry reading presented by Writer’s Block and GCAC. 7-9pm Friday; Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe, San Antonio, (210) 351-7787. National Poetry Month: “Universal Struggles/Extraordinary Women” Presented by the Mujeres Writing Group. In the Library Community Room. 3pm-4pm Monday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. National Poetry Month: Awaken the Sleeping Poet Festival Elementary Program: 10:30am, Middle/High School Program: noon, Adult program (including college): 2pm. 10:30am-3pm Saturday; San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones, San Antonio, (210) 978-8100. National Poetry Month: Darby Group and Open Mic featuring Josie Mixon 9pm Wednesday; Barnes & Noble (Ingram Park Mall), 6065 N.W. Loop 410, #185, San Antonio, (210) 522-1340. National Poetry Month: Dorothy Allison Reading and Book Signing Sandra Cisneros will introduce Dorothy Allison in the Thiry Auditorium. 7pm-8pm Tuesday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711.
National Poetry Month: Favorite Poem Project Read your favorite poem— your own or one by your favorite poet. Noon-1pm Tuesday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. National Poetry Month: Heartbeat of the Soul 8pm Monday; La Taza Coffee House, 15060 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, (210) 494-8292. National Poetry Month: Jazz Poetry Jam Hosted by the Jazz Poet Society as part of National Poetry Month. 3-5pm Sunday; The Twig Book Shop, 200 East Grayson, Suite 124, San Antonio. National Poetry Month: OLLU and UTSA Joint Reading Editors from OLLU’s Literary Journal, The Thing Itself, and UTSA’s Sagebrush Review will read from their work. 7pm Monday; Timo’s Coffee House, 2021-1 San Pedro, San Antonio, (210) 733-8049. National Poetry Month: Pamela Johnston OLLU Visiting Writer Pamela Johnson will read from her novel, Little Lost River. In the Providence Hall, West Social Room. 7pm-8pm Tuesday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. National Poetry Month: Poetry as Singing Moment Spoken word, poetry, and music in the Ampitheatre. 6pm Monday; St. Mary’s University, 1 Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, . National Poetry Month: Poetry Picante 6:30pm Tuesday; Central Library, 600 Soledad, San Antonio, (210) 207-2500. National Poetry Month: PuroSlam 10:30pm Tuesday; The Heights, 9315 Broadway, San Antonio, (210) 829-5155. National Poetry Month: River of Dreams Join The Boys and & Girls Club and the VIA Bus Poets for a reading. 4pm-6pm Saturday; The Twig Book Shop, 5005 Broadway, San Antonio, (210) 826-6411. National Poetry Month: San Antonio Jazz Poets Society Presents Jazz Poetry Jam 3pm-5pm Sunday; The Twig Book Shop, 5005 Broadway, San Antonio, (210) 826-6411. National Poetry Month: Share Your Poem & “Poetree” 10:30am Saturday; Leon Valley Community Center, 6427 Evers, Leon, (210) 521-2007. National Poetry Month: Sun Poets Society w/ Rod Stryker 7pm-9pm Tuesday; Barnes & Noble , 321 NW Loop 410 #104. National Poetry Month: Tales of the Underdog by Michael Anderson 7pm-8:30pm Saturday; Our Lady of the Lake University’s UWAC Conference Room, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. National Poetry Month: The Thing Itself Publication Party Listen to readings by the writers elected for publication in OLLU’s literary journal. In the Providence Hall, West Social Room. 3pm-4pm Tuesday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. National Poetry Month: WITH/INWITH/OUT Our Lady of the Lake University’s Literary Festival begins with a reading of “Lorca,” a oneman show based on the life of Spain’s best-known poet, Federico Garcia Lorca (9:45am in Thiry Auditorium), followed by lunch featuring OLLU visting writers (11:45am in the Chapel Auditorium), and a reading by Sanda Cisneros (1pm in Thiry Auditorium). Free, 9:45am-2pm Friday; Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 SW 24th St., San Antonio, (210) 434-6711. Perros y Palabras GCAC and San Anto Cultural Arts present an evening of spoken word inspired by Mas Rudas Collective’s canine-themed exhibition Operation Canis Familiaris. 7pm Thursday; Guadalupe Gallery, 723 S. Brazos, San Antonio, (210) 299-1235. PuroSlam Weekly poetry slam where poets are judged by audience members. Cash, prizes, and heckling included. Free, 9:30pm-1am Tuesday; On The Half Shell Oyster Bar, 202 Navarro St., San Antonio, (210) 222-2171. PuroSlam 2010 Team Finals Twelve poets will compete for four spots on the San Antonio slam team that will compete against more than 60 other teams at the National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, Minneapolis. NPS is the Olympics of Slam Poetry and the honor to represent the Alamo City is one poets have been working towards since August. Spread the word, bring a friend, and check out the most inspiring spoken word performers in SA. Free, 10pm Tuesday; On The Half Shell Oyster Bar, 202 Navarro St., San Antonio, (210) 843-3054. Second Thursday Poetry Series Jim LaVilla-Havelin will share from his work at this reading in conjunction with National Poetry Month. 7-9pm Thursday; Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg, San Antonio, (210) 732-3502. Tell me a Story, Dime un Cuento Xavier Garza will read from his newly released book followed by a signing. 10am-10pm Sunday; Centro Cultural Aztlan, 1800 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, (210) 432-1896. The Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers This organization promotes latino and chicano writers in the community. 7pm Monday; Barnes & Noble , 321 NW Loop 410 #104, San Antonio.
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COMEDY ComedySportz Anything is possible in the fast-paced, family-friendly Who’s Line is it Anyway-style improv of ComedySportz. Adults: $10, Kids: $5, 7:30pm Friday-Saturday; Acting Up Creative Drama Academy, 12002 Bandera Rd., Suite 104, San Antonio, (210) 338-0279.
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50 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
CURRENT | CALENDAR | arts/events ◄ART, 49 Kevin Hart Readers may know Hart from Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam and the DVD I’m a Grown Little Man. $35 and up, 8pm Saturday; Majestic Theatre, 226 E. Houston, San Antonio, (210) 226-3333.
SPECIAL EVENTS Aveda Walk for Water Walk with the Aveda Institute to support efforts for Clean Water. 8:30am Sunday; Aveda Institute, 312 Pearl Pkwy. #2104, San Antonio. Chimaeracon Gamers/Nerds/Whatever-you’re-calling-yourselvesthese-days, unite! Chimaeracon is a South Texas gaming, anime, and sci-fi convention for those of us just a bit bitter about how far away San Diego Comic Con is. Enjoy all the classics: miniature gaming, role-playing, LARPing, video games, and more. Attend panels, meet special guests, and shop for merchandise. $25 weekend; $8 Friday; $15 Saturday; $10 Sunday, 5pm-Midnight
Friday, 8am-Midnight Saturday, 8am-7pm Sunday; San Pedro Village Event Center, 9926 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio. Day in the Garden Retreat Enjoy a one-day retreat of music, poetry, meditation, and yoga at the beautiful Sculpture and Meditation Garden. $40, 10am-3pm Saturday; Hill Country Sculpture and Meditation Garden, 1985 Bear Creek Rd., Kerrville. Monarch Butterfly Monitoring Workshop Texas Monarch Watch, Cibolo Nature Center and Texas Master Naturalists will train volunteers to mark migrating monarch butterflies with paper tags and examine milkweed for monarch larvae to aid scientists as part of the Monarch Larval Monitoring Project, Monarch Watch and Journey North. $30, reservations required, 9am-4pm Friday & Saturday; Cibolo Nature Center, 140 City Park Rd., Boerne, (830) 249-4616. National Center for Family Literacy Several national speakers, including the real-life heroes of The Blind Side will be present at this conference. $45-75, 12:30pm Sunday-Tuesday, for details, visit famlit.org/conference. Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, 101 Bowie, San Antonio, (859) 608-4850.
Night of the Arts The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics presents an evening of visual and performing arts, with appetizers, a silent auction, stage performances, Indian classical dance music, and comedy. $15 (benefits student-run free clinics). 6-9pm Thursday, UT Health Science Center , 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, (210) 567-0795. Party for a Cure Join fellow citizens to help raise awareness for breast cancer and support the San Antonio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 5:30pm Thursday; Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, 150 E. Houston, San Antonio. San Antonio Sunrise Rotary 1st Annual Chili Cookoff Chili cookoff complete with live bands, food and beverage vendors, carnival for the kids, washer tournament, and more. $8, 12-9pm, Rackspace, 5000 Walzem Rd., San Antonio, (210) 705-4822. San Antonio Herb Society Meeting Robbie Will of the Antique Rose Emporium will speak about the use of herbs as groundcover in landscaping. 7 pm Thursday; San Antono Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, (210) 643-1445.
Villa Finale presents Cascarones & Crowns Anthropologist Michaele Haynes explores the fun customs and rich history of San Antonio’s most beloved events. Space is limited, call to make a reservation (210) 223-9800 ext 34328. $8, 3pm Thursday; Villa Finale Visitor Center, 122 Madison, San Antonio.
TALKS PLUS A Conversation with Daniel Pinchbeck David S. Rubin will interview author Daniel Pinchbeck, whose writing appears in the catalog for the SAMA exhibition Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s. Amongst Pinchbeck’s published works are Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. A book signing follows the conversation. 6:30pm Tuesday; San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones, San Antonio, (210) 978-8100. Condoleezza Rice Before serving as America’s chief diplomat, Dr. Rice served as President George W. Bush’s national security advisor from 2001 to 2005. She is currently professor of political science at Stanford University and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. Free, but tickets required, 7:30pm Wednesday; Laurie Auditorium, 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, (210) 999-8117. Is the virtual too realistic? Crying over non-spilled milk Currently a lecturer at Essex University, Professor Bartle co-authored the world’s first virtual world as a college undergraduate in 1978. A former university lecturer in artificial intelligence, he is an influential writer on all aspects of virtual world design and development. 7pm Thursday; Chapman Auditorium, Trinity University, San Antonio, (210) 999-8515. Rashid Khalidi: The Twentieth Century: A View from the Middle East Trinity University’s Maverick Lecture Series presents historian and author Rashid Khalidi, who is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. 7:30pm Monday; Laurie Auditorium, 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, (210) 999-8117. The Apocalyptic Dimension Explore the apocalyptic movement from Judaism to Christianity with Dr. Mary Lou Mueller, professor emeritus of religious studies at UIW. $25 for 3 sessions, 6:308pm Monday; University Presbyterian Church, 300 Bushnell , San Antonio, (210) 732-9927.
GAY & LESBIAN
All Gay & Lesbian events are online at sacurrent.com
National Poetry Month: B.A.C.K. Pack Haiku Kites and Zen Shorts This program is geared towards elementary school-age children. 4:30pm Tuesday; Pruitt Public Library, 5110 Walzem Road, San Antonio, (210) 650-1122. Meet Clifford! Spring Clean-Up 12:30pm Saturday; Barnes & Noble (La Cantera), 15900 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, (210) 558-3903. “Kaboom!” Do you love things that explode, but not the mess they create? Join SACM for an explosive, messy, fun (and safe) Macrolab where you’ll participate in some crazy chemistry experiments. No clean up required. $3 per child & adult (includes supplies) + museum admission, 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. Saturday; San Antonio Children’s Museum, 305 E. Houston Street, San Antonio, (210) 212-4453. Picassos under the Pavilion Chalk Art festival In an effort to increase community awareness about life-saving donations, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (STBTC) is inviting area students (ages 5-18) and their families to participate in the Picassos under the Pavilion Chalk Art Festival at the STBTC. For more information, visit southtexasblood.org. Free, 9am-noon Saturday; South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, Donor Pavilion, 6211 IH 10 West at First Park Ten Blvd., San Antonio, (210) 736-8990.
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CURRENT | CULTURE | music
ouston hip-hop legend Devin the Dude has written songs about inflation (“Almighty Dollar”), car maintenance (“Lacville ’79”), and proper genital sanitation (“Broccoli and Cheese”), but he’s most often associated with a single substance: coffee. He’s been a member of the Coughee Brothaz né Odd Squad for nigh on two decades now, and he describes his upcoming album, Suite 420 (out April 20) as “something to chill and … you know, sip a little coffee with.” But his love for the stuff is maybe best described in his song “Sticky Green”: “I grab a Swisher Sweet and use my fingernail to cut it / Gut it, then I dump the droppin’ out / then stuff it / full of coffee.”
Devin the Dude on Suite 420 by Jeremy Martin
I read about three years back that you were one of the artists to be featured on [Dr. Dre’s] Detox. Have you recorded anything for it yet? I went out there a few weeks ago. It was a real cool thing, man. They’ve got a machine that’s really working and running over there. It’s turning out to be a really cool project. At one time it seems like everybody ever was scheduled to appear on it, but you’re actually going to be on the album? I did a little something for it. I hope it gets a chance to make it, but there’s a lot of stuff happening. But if not, it’s going to be a wonderful album, and I’m gonna be one of the first to get it myself. Everybody’s anticipating that one. You’ve been in the industry for a while now, and released albums on several labels [including Rap-A-Lot and Razor & Tie]. Do you think there’s any point these days in young artists signing to
a major label, or is the independent route the way to go? A lot of people what they’re doing now is probably trying to get a short deal with a major and then maybe build a name for themselves and then go out and work it independently after the deal is over. Sort of the route you took. Yeah, but I’ve never really had a major deal. I worked with Razor & Tie, and I did a mixtape on BCD, and the first Coughee Brothaz release was called Waiting Our Turn with Select-O-Hits. It’s been a real cool The album cover for Suite 420 thing to be able to work with a lot has you standing at the door Devin the Dude of different people instead of just of a hotel room with a cloud of (with Mojoe) being at one place kind of locked weed smoke pouring out in a $20 in and really not have a say-so cop’s face. Is that based on a 8pm Wed, Apr 14 where the next step is. … [Rap-Atrue incident? Scout Bar Lot] let you be as free as possible Not really. I try to stay way 19314 U.S. 281 N. to get your music across. They from that position [laughs]. (210) 494-7700 scoutbarsa.com didn’t try to get you and say, look, we’re gonna mold you and get you Do the police ever hassle you and make you do this and you because of your persona? can’t work with these people, you Man, I’ve been kind of blessed must work with these people, and all that right to be around good people. Some are policethere. There wasn’t nothing like that. It was men. When it comes to music it’s a different about fam. …They had business savvy enough thing. They respect some of my music and have to do something for us even though we weren’t some sort of respect for it as poetry, what I do. top priority at the label. And I give that same respect to them for what
Illustration by Tiffany Maples
Let’s talk about your new album. It’s pretty much kind of laid back — not a lot of dance tunes, none of that. …We always wanted to put an album out on 4/20 but it never did land on a Tuesday. … [The first single “What I Be On”] was one of the last tracks that was added to the album. It was produced by Reggie Coby, a cat out of Austin. … It’s just telling you what I be on, which is like my weed and my brew and just chillin’. Although it’s a lot of work involved, so we be grinding, on the hustle and on the grind and trying to make things happen. Staying focused while I party. It was a fun song, lighthearted. My 7-year old daughter loved that song; that’s one of the reasons I chose it as a single.
they do. So they don’t harass me just for no reason or anything, and I don’t harass them. There’s been a few cops who’ve approached me, man, and actually said, “Devin, I used to love some of your music back in the day.” And that makes me feel pretty cool. I don’t just try to push my music towards one particular avenue. I think music is for everybody, and I’m glad policemen I like can enjoy some of my music, and kind of realize that there’s really no harm in what I do. … For the most part, I think they understand stoners are pretty laid back and cool people. Nobody just smokes a whole bunch of weed and goes on a rampage. •
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CURRENT | CULTURE | music
PRESS PASS BEETHOVEN & BURGERS APRIL 30 @ 8
Ram remembered ‘Good or bad … it was always honest’ by Jeffrey Wright There’s a place In San Anton Where I can go And not feel alone! Taco Land! — The Dead Milkmen
early five years after he was murdered in cold blood, a man will be remembered for gathering drunks, punks, bikers and other assorted misfits hell-bent on loud music. On April 9 and 10, during the fifth annual music festival known as Ram Jam, Ramiro “Ram” Ayala will be memorialized as a savvy businessman, generous friend, and relentless booster of sagging spirits. But if he could be told today that he is still sorely missed, his response would undoubtedly be, “Don’t be a pussy.” Taco Land came to be in 1965, selling tacos for a dime and slinging beer at a price sure to gain loyal customers. This first iteration of Taco Land was perhaps unremarkable in a city catering to a clientele seeking to sate a seemingly endless desire for beer and Mexithe same Taco Land bands,” he says. “I’m honored can fare. But Taco Land became primarily a biker to be able to carry the torch, but in all honesty I bar, then a venue for various musical acts. By the don’t think there’ll be another place like Taco early ’80s, it had evolved into the unofficial headLand and another person like Ram.” quarters of San Antonio punk. “This year’s Fifth Annual Ram Jam holds some “Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Ram extra special significance for a few reasons,” reads welcomed the punk bands in when nobody else the promotional press release. “It marks a half in town did,” remembers Jeff Smith, an underdecade since the Taco Land doors were abruptly ground music veteran who is co-organizing the & unexpectedly closed, yet even after five years, event. “He had less in common with us than the the faithful have not let the memories fade! We’ve other club owners, but none of the rock ’n’ roll assalso put together what is arguably the best overholes wanted anything to do with us.” Taco Land all band/music lineup that we’ve had for the Ram would famously take all comers. Ayala would toss Jam over its first five years.” his calendar on the bar and say, “Put your name The lineup, like the Taco Land regulars, defy on that, pussy.” crisp categories such as “punk” or “pop.” All share It was Ram’s nonjudgmental — though notoa gritty sound and irreverent sense of humor riously brash — personality that shaped the at— not unlike Ram. The first night of the doublemosphere of Taco Land. Promoter header event features San Antonio and Ram Jam co-producer Jerry music, including garage punk band Clayworth says beneath the bac- Ram Jam the Sons of Hercules, country punks chanalia ran an acceptance and $7 the Hickoids, and alternative rockers conviviality that nurtured an almost Fri, Apr 9, and Sat, Apr 10 the Exploding Sex Kittens, as well as familial bond. “A dysfunctional fam- Nightrocker Live resurrected old-school drunk/punk 605 San Pedro ily, maybe, but it was a comfort zone trio Loco Gringos from Dallas and (210) 650-2243 with love. Good or bad, at least it was psychobilly act Billy Joe Winghead myspace.com/ always honest. ” from Oklahoma City. nightrockerpresents Through the years, legendary acts Saturday also features a mix of such as Millions of Dead Cops, the local and out-of-state bands, includDead Milkmen, Butthole Surfers, and ing psychedelic garage group Los # the Cramps passed through Taco Land, and the 3 Dinners and post-punk indie bands Snowbyrd venue eventually became a legend in its own right. and Big Drag from San Antonio. And thanks to Following Ram’s death and the bar’s closure, both Fuentes, perennial Taco Land band They Never were commemorated in news features, web pages, Sleep will come down from Detroit to play. and even a film documentary. To date, no other Two nights of performances and the reunion venue has quite been able to fill the void. of old friends barely scratch the surface of Ram’s “This is the first time that the Ram Jam will legacy: a salve for the tattered, unifying outcasts be produced 100-percent by the people that knew through music and camaraderie. For a moment we Ram,” says Roland Fuentes, owner of Nightrocker all seek a night with loved ones — or failing that, Live, which is hosting this year’s event. Fuentes, with strangers who will quickly become friends. • a member of the original Taco Land crew, considered buying the bar when Ayala sought retirement. “We have the same vibe, and I’m booking firstname.lastname@example.org
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CURRENT | CULTURE | live & local
Results vocalist James Nevaira at White Rabbit.
Hardcore is a strange animal. The overall quality of a proper hardcore show is less contingent on whether the band is particularly good or talented than on how willing the crowd is to get caught up in the moment. The show is better when the crowd is out in full rage, and lackluster when the audience is less enthused. More than anything, it’s about positive aggression, and few understand this better than local hardcore outfit Results. Results, being the only legitimate hardcore act on the bill, opened for San Antonio’s prodigious Upon a Burning Body. They were a stand-out on the White Rabbit’s main stage, playing for a crowd of mostly 16-year-olds with big hair and ultra tight pants. Results opened with the Strife-influenced “Valley of Demise.” The crushing, danceable opening riffs ignite the first circle pit of the evening. Unfortunately, the crowd appeared oblivious to this longstanding hardcore tradition. Vocalist James Nevaira screamed “shepherd the weak through the valley of demise,” accompanied on vocals by Daniel Rosen of local hardcore stalwarts Bitter End. Overwhelmed by the sheer weight of positive aggression, I forgot I’m no longer 16, and leapt from the stage onto the unsuspecting audience pressed toward the front. Without the assistance
Thu, Apr 1 White Rabbit 2410 N. St. Mary’s (210) 737-2221 sawhiterabbit.com
of the onlookers, I was left to slide down their backs, plummeting headfirst into the concrete. I did manage to turn my head and tangle myself in the audience, absorbing the brunt of the impact on my right shoulder. Now unable to lift my right arm, I made my way back to the stage as Results began their second song, “Night of the Hunter,” a particularly straightforward number with innumerable nods to old-school Metallica. Guitarists Patrick Flanigan and Jeremy Pacheco ripped simultaneously through heavy, muted “juds,” while bassist Jay Sandoval stomped and rampaged in place. Nevaira’s vocal pattern was perhaps mirrored a bit too closely by the riffs themselves, but it was ultimately effective. I noticed between the fits of blinding pain the true breadth of drummer Lorenzo Sixto’s talent as the band shifted into the sludgier “Diamond Cutter” and “No Justice.” With their time running short, Results closed their set with an incredible cover of No Warning’s “Short Fuse.” The song seemed lost on most of the crowd, but a few of the older kids kept up the effort to rush the stage and steal the mic. However, none were as successful as I was in getting to the mic with one remaining arm and screaming through the final breakdown, “everybody knows and everybody talks.” Results may have ended their set around 9:30 p.m., but I didn’t leave the emergency room till after midnight. This is hardcore, folks. — Steven Gilmore
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Wu-Massacre Meth, Ghost, and Rae (Def Jam)
If MGMT’s second full-length, Congratulations, gets labeled a sophomore slump (which it will be) it’s probably just a case of false advertising. Those Pink Floyd comparisons I never quite understood in Oracular Spectacular reviews, their (quite right) insistence that the follow-up would not work as effectively split up into singles, the NME cover proclaiming their “Madcap return,” the 12-minute centerpiece “Siberian Breaks”: It all points to a fit of psych-prog insanity that never quite happens, but Congratulations is trippy, for sure, and it definitely looks backward. “Brian Eno,” the album’s goofiest four minutes, is dedicated to an overproduced complaint — “I’m always one step behind him” — that doesn’t necessarily hold true. Opener “It’s Working,” is like a Zombies track chipmunked by Kanye West circa 2002, and it features what might be the album’s woozy thesis: “It’s working in your blood, but you know/ it’s not the same as love/ love is only in your mind/ not your heart.” “I Found a Whistle” sounds like Buddy Holly on a Promethazine drip, “Song for Dan Treacy” is what Of Montreal might sound like if they didn’t care that you took them seriously, and “Flash Delirium” practically infringes on Arcade Fire’s copyrights, but like Girl Talk or Dylan, it twists the plagiarism into something awesome. That dozen-minute opus is more like six half-finished songs played in a row, but “Someone’s Missing” is old-time rock ’n’ roll except for its Prince-huffinghelium vocals. And that might become the album’s most criticized aspect — MGMT remains too cartoonish for the strict Floydians no matter what depths (some of) the lyrics reveal on repeat listens. Zappazoids and people who can name an Oracular song other than “Time to Pretend” or “Kids” should have a blast, though. To put it another way: The title track could’ve been a standout on Ween’s The Mollusk. — Jeremy Martin
The Wu-Tang Clan web can get so tangled it’s hard to distinguish the U-Gods from the Inspectah Decks. All you really need to know about WuMassacre is that the Wu’s three greatest living rappers — Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon — are the top-billed stars. Deck, Cappadonna, and producer RZA also show up, essentially making Wu-Massacre a follow-up to the group’s 2007 album, 8 Diagrams. And it’s almost as good. Rae — still blazing after last year’s terrific Only Built for Cuban Linx ... Pt. II — spits the slipperiest lines, with Ghost a close second. The best tracks are the ones where the trio goes guest-free: opener “Criminology 2.5,” the woozy “Miranda,” and “Our Dreams,” which is built around a 35-year-old Michael Jackson sample. No new ground is broken here (a Scarface soundbite is the first thing you hear on Wu-Massacre), but 17 years after their landmark debut, Wu’s MVPs still slay on the mic. — Michael Gallucci
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Good Morning Magpie Murder by Death (Vagrant Records)
Raymond v Raymond Usher (LaFace/ Jive)
I kind of picture Murder by Death singer-guitarist Adam Turla, after his 2009 solitary songwriting stint, stumbling out of Appalachia with 11 new songs like Moses descending from Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments. Scruffy. Even sandal-clad. Hoisting a notepad above his head. “The rip will be sewn up again by the same hand that had it torn,” sayeth Murder by Death. I’m also guessing whatever magic Turla found in the Tennessee mountains had a cork in it. You can practically feel the condensation of the shot glass on your fingertips when listening to the raucous “As Long As There Is Whiskey in the World.” Yes, Murder by Death’s Good Morning, Magpie has songs for every occasion, from drinking oneself into a human puddle to shaving with a straight-edged razor in the woods. But more importantly, Magpie does the best job of any of the band’s albums seamlessly navigating their diverse influences — indie-rock and Americana among them. With it, Murder by Death has reached a place where they’re best understood in the context of their own body of work — in other words, they’re simply incomparable. They’ve even stumped my iTunes Genius. Stand-outs on Magpie include “Piece by Piece,” surely timed in sync with the squeaking hinge of a saloon door, and the titular track, which showcases their knack for emotionally rich, sophisticated arrangements. Also of note are the uncharacteristically jubilant “Foxglove” and “You Don’t Miss Twice” (Tennessee moonshine, I tell you). — Cynthia Hawkins
You can take the title of Usher Raymond’s sixth album a couple of ways. The 31-year-old R&B singer divorced his wife in November after a tumultuous two-year marriage. The hitmaker also fights two sides of himself on Raymond v Raymond: the carefree clubbing loverboy and the resentful divorced father. Fun Usher ultimately beats out Bitter Usher, but the album would be much better if he’d just stay home and reflect on what went wrong. Raymond v Raymond is more than half over before it gets to the good stuff. The ballad “Foolin’ Around” touches on Usher’s infidelities, before he turns the tables in the album’s best song, “Papers” (as in divorce documents): “I done damn near lost my mama, I done been through so much drama,” he sings over one of the record’s strongest beats (which are hit-and-miss throughout, depending on the setting and situation). “There are three sides to every story,” Usher proclaims at the very start of Raymond v Raymond. “There’s one side, there’s the other, and there’s the truth.” What we get here is the one that mostly avoids the story altogether. — Michael Gallucci
While San Antonio’s old-guard music scene will be celebrating the fifth-annual Ram Jam (see “Ram remembered,” page 54) this weekend, you damn kids have plenty of options, too. Friday night, The Sound rock ’n’ rollers should check out Blowing & The Fury Trees, Tongue Tied Lightning, Fatback (a week on the Circus, and the Vinyl Affair at Limelight music scene) (2718 N. St. Mary’s, myspace.com/limelightsa) and the dancers should shake their moneymakers on over to the Lava Lounge (2702 N. St. Mary’s; (210) 3201740) where DJs John Mata & Daecosomoxi will be spinning the Essentials. On Saturday, Limelight goes hip-hop with 210 Soul Players, Supa Smash Bros, 1st Team, DJ Cub, classic-metal cover bands Guns for Roses and Judas Rising play make-believe at Scout Bar (19314 US Highway 281 North, scoutbarsa.com), and current S&F faves the Rafiki Project mellow out the Pedicab (415 E. Cevallos, (210) 388-2557). I’d mention that Chicago (as in the “25 or 6 to 4” Chicago, not “When You’re Good to Mama” Chicago) play the Majestic (224 E. Houston, majesticempire.com) Friday night, but our market research indicates anyone old enough to care about that is only reading the Current to be shocked to death because modern life has become too scary and strange for them. So here you go: Dong, balls, Obamacare, gay marriage, legalized marijuana, Chatroulette. Sweet dreams grandpa, you were too beautiful for this world.— Jeremy Martin
MIXX TAPE TRAXX “Livin’ in My Car” Mars Dlugosz If you’re gonna be livin’ in your car (and in this economy, that’s soon to be upper-middle class, am I right folks?) you could pick a much worse soundtrack than this instrumental Mars Dlugosz song. At least as long as you keep moving. The pervasive rhythm can only be described as “driving,” steady as the warning bumps on the shoulder of the road popping against your tire as you nod your head in time to… Whoa! You almost went to sleep there, didn’t you? Thank god for the organ riff that comes in at about 1:30, or you’d be in a ditch now. A perfect song for your driving playlist, if you follow it up with some Motörhead. — Jeremy Martin
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CURRENT | CULTURE | nightlife
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Jackie Flores, Nicole Lecompte, and Eric Cardona at Dad’s
Songs that make the young girl cry
love karaoke. That’s right — no shame in it. I plause. The cigarette smoke was way down, and relish the moment when an individual breaks the noise level was such that clusters of friends off from the herd, bottoms-up their Bud, and could easily chat. stands bravely to pour out some feeling for “I’ve never come here and paid for my own a captive audience. With every new track, a drinks,” said Nicole LeCompte, surveying her hometown prodigy could be discovered. Antici- options. Her friend, Jackie Flores, describes herpation and regret mingle dangerously. Dad’s Ka- self as a former regular and says the nice people raoke is no exception. who congregate here are the highlight. The bar’s casual moniKaraoke seven nights a ker fits: Its interior most reweek is Dad’s claim to fame, sembles a glorified rec room, Dad’s Karaoke but patrons come just to soak with a circular wooden bar 2615 Mossrock in the ambience. Typically, a providing front-row seats to (210) 340-3887 smallish bar choking-thick the alcohol. Tables sit further with cigarette smoke and with VIBE A lot smoky, a little sleazy, plenty back amidst floor-to-ceiling a ragtag clientele does not add of uninhibited fun bookshelves filled with actual up to much, but Dad’s appeal tomes and petite desk lamps, BEST USE Good for freaking out out— depending on whom you evoking the feel of a speak- of-town guests, first date with a total ask — is either its invitingly easy library. low standards and friendly stranger Depending on the night of people or, for the ironic visithe week, the pace at Dad’s can PRICES Domestic: $2.75, Bud Light tor, the pure bizarreness of be raucous or restrained. On dressed $3, Shiner $3.25, Import: the experience. a recent Thursday, a Tammy $3.75, Numerous nightly drink specials. After grabbing a drink, Faye Baker lookalike nuzzled take a seat in the galley and the shoulder of a chain-smokprepare yourself. On second ing, 10-gallon hat-wearing oilman, while across thought, there is no way to prepare yourself for the room, a man in a Stephen F. Austin 3:16 what you may witness, but just enjoy the enterT-shirt lingered by the bar with a faraway look tainment and let your workweek cares fade away. on his face. Beside him sat an utterly smashed And be sure to check out the day’s bar special. young woman, eyes closed, lost in the music. The While a notable number of languishing single small space was packed with smokers, and my ladies can be spotted hanging at Dad’s, we caneyes burned from the haze. not with clear conscience recommend our female Under the well-intoxicated conditions that readers show up here alone (or maybe the warm evening, the performer at any given time was weather of late just brings out the creepers). more chorus leader than soloist. But on a Mon- Bring your own friends, relish the sleaze, and day night, when the specials include $3 Jack take a chance on your most pathetic song rendiDaniels and $3.75 Crown Royal, the vibe was tion, because Dad’s has the most supportive aucompletely different. Low-key songs were the dience in town, regardless of your talent. theme, followed by polite but generous ap— Natalia Ciolko
CURRENT | CULTURE | the bar tab 8pm Close
The Current’s Bar Tab listings are culled from recent reviews published in our paper and online. Astro Lounge Thank god no one has buffed the hard-earned nicotine patina off this untapped watering hole for bowling Army doctors and karaoke starlets. The atmosphere is San Anto family party and the regulars are in high spirits. Pick up a game at the adjacent Astro Bowl and settle in for a round of Pacifico. 3203 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 824-6348, astrobowlsportscenter.com Atomix This Midtown club looks like the set of an after-school special about wayward teens with wicked wardrobes, but it’s even more fun than that sounds. Drop in in your best disguise for hot niche touring shows, the Friday-night industrial dance party, and late-night happy hour, and keep an eye out for cosplay-worthy events at san-japan.org and cherryblossomsa. com. 1902 McCullough, myspace.com/klubkrysis The Bubble Room An effervescent lady-friendly lounge with a wide selection of Champagne by the glass and off-the-beaten-path wine. It’s perfect for warming up the evening, private parties, and guilty (televised) pleasures. 1846 N. Loop 1604 West, (210) 479-WINE, the bubbleroomsa.com Buddha Rok You’ll be hard pressed to spot the old E-Z’s under Buddha Rok’s Asian-themed lounge. Go for the late-night “dinertainment” and creative theme cocktails, enjoy the party atmosphere and peoplewatching, and groove to the pro DJ sets. 18360 Blanco, (210) 495-2765, buddharok.com Condesa Lounge It’s Monterrey, Mexico, circa 1991, a discoteca of the purest and friendliest variety. Drinking, dancing, and shouting encouraged for a sweet weekend release with your mejores amigos. 13259 Blanco, (210) 902-6665 Copa Wine Bar Wine cellar meets unpretentious rec room with snacks and cleverly named flights, like “Pinot (Noir) Envy” and “Call Me a Cab.” It makes a great date night for any demographic. Oeno-phobic? Check out “Wine 101” on Saturday afternoons. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy., (210) 4952672, thecopawinebar.com Cross Eyed Seagull This Stone Oak bar is fun and laid-back for the North Side of town. The crowd is youngish, beautiful, and lively — yuppies letting loose — and the atmosphere vaguely Jimmy Buffet, in a good way. The beach atmosphere is ersatz, but the bar food is for-real, especially the grouper sandwich and hush puppies. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy., crosseyedseagull.clarksbars.com Freetail Brewing Co. A local micro-brewery devoted to all things Texan, and operating with copper tanks from the venerable East Coast John Harvard’s Brew House chain, Freetail features house recipes such as the nutty, chocolatey Torpor Porter and the cedar-inflected Freetail Ale, plus Texas wines in a sports-friendly setting on the edge of the Hill Country. 4035 N. Loop 1604 West, (210) 395-4974, freetailbrewing.com The Friendly Spot A relaxed, family-friendly, indoor-outdoor icehouse from the creator of MadHatters Tea House, this King William hangout serves more than 80 international craft beers and Texas standbys, plus outstanding appetizers influenced by interior Mexico cuisine. Playground for the kids; widescreen TVs for the Spurs fans. 943 S. Alamo, (210) 224BEER, thefriendlyspot.com The Green Lantern A sophisticated speakeasy-inspired establishment, the Green Lantern combines the best of classic cocktail culture with the frisson of Capone-era cellar hideouts. Watch for tasting seminars cohosted with the Spirit Enthusiast of Texas. Food can be ordered in from Ciao2, Damien Watel’s Northside eatery. 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy., (210) 497-3722 IVY Rooftop This South Beach chic northern outpost will really shine come spring, when the sunset views will be spectacular. But for now, blankets, lamp heaters, an adventurous DJ mix, and a crowded dance floor keep the rooftop hotel-style bar warm. 4553 North Loop 1604 West, (210) 393-0511 The Mine Shaft Saloon Finally a legitimate excuse to return to that high-kitsch staple of our childhoods, the Magic Time Machine. The bar is tastefully furnished with ’80s detritus, and live music and good beerpitcher prices draw a gregarious post-work crowd. Watch Harry Potter and Princess Jasmine make eyes and commiserate while they wind down the shift. 902 NE Loop 410 (enter on Crownhill Blvd.), (210) 828-1470 Nightrocker Live This club, brought to you by SA’s veteran live-music promoter of the same name, is like a noisy living room with strong drinks and an unpretentious vibe. Get a taste of Austin’s music scene without the drive. 605 San Pedro, (210) 256-3573, myspace.com/ nightrockerpresents
Old San Juan Restaurant and Diskotek A friendly mashup of Latin and urban partygoers with separate sound systems and playgrounds, Old San Juan offers late-night dining and dancing on a budget, with sexy salsa and hot cocoa. Wee-hours Latin buffet for $5, 2-4am Friday and Saturday. 4429 Walzem, (210) 599-9990, osjsa.com The Phoenix Saloon A highly authentic Tejas melting pot resurrected and restored in old New Braunfels, with 15 beers on tap and ungovernable music tendencies: outlaw country, rock, honky-tonk, punk, Tex-Mex, etc. 193 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, (830) 299-4150, thephoenixsaloon.com The Pointe This Far North bar has morphed from upscale martini lounge to homo hut without losing the ultra-club vibe. Drag queens entertain a wellheeled crowd that swings all directions, and good DJ work and a high-tech light show drive the dance floor. 19178 Blanco, (210) 545-SHOW, facebook. com/thepointe Rascals Bar The self-proclaimed “Home of Wild Pig Sex” (don’t call the cops; it’s just a shot) is also a haven for classic karaoke, tastefully debauched bar art, and devoted regulars. Football might be scarce on the TV, but drink specials are plenty, including $3.50 mini pitchers. 1375 Austin Hwy., (210) 820-0164, rascalssanantonio.com The Reggae Bar Get a taste of island life on Austin Highway, with a fascinating cast of characters and Roots & Kulcha Sunday night (free Caribbean food on the back patio). Or have a meeting of the minds over a late afternoon beer under the aura of Bob Marley. 2016 Austin Hwy., myspace.com/ revolucioncafe.com The Shady Lady Saloon Head to this modern Southeast-side roadhouse for $10 steak night on Thursday. Place your order immediately, and enjoy the limited Americana beer selection, generous mixed drinks, and country-rific karaoke stage show (your host: Grendel) while you wait for your meat. 3603 S. W.W. White, (210) 333-4224, theshadyladysaloon.com The Silver Dollar Saloon The Silver Dollar has always maintained a loyal following of gay cowboys, line-dancing lesbians, off-duty drag queens, and admirers of any/all of the above. The new location is still a sea of smartly dressed same-sex cowboys, sprinkled with multi-flavored misfits. 1814 Main Ave., (210) 227-2623 Sparky’s Pub Ye olde tyme Gayrish pub your uncle warned you about, replete with historic community photos, pints, and cheeky T-shirts. Designed by the winning Main Strip makeover team Randy Cunniff and Peter Becker, this is officially the most straight-friendly gay bar in town, and a great place to catch the game with a mixed crowd. 1416 N. Main, (210) 320-5111, sparkyspub.com. The Tap Exchange Alehouse & Grill The friendly, well-informed staff at this casual yet worldly beer garden in the Hill Country’s foothills serves 60-plus well-traveled brews and upscale pub food to accompany them. Check the pint-night and Geeks Who Drink schedule on the website. 22250 Bulverde Rd., (210) 396-7917, thetapexchange.com Vbar A high-end tourist bar overlooking Houston Street and the River Walk, with all the swank-posh accoutrements, VBar feels like a West Hollywood celeb hangout, and indeed you can often spot SA’s People Magazine quotient here. Check the Hotel Valencia’s website for inventive happy hours combining fashion, philanthropy, and drink specials. 150 E. Houston, (210) 227-9700, hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com Waldo’s Night Club Thirty-year-old Waldo’s preserves the charm of the ’70s fern bar, complete with red carpet and faux Tiffany lamps, although its namesake football star — a real ladies’ man — passed away in June 2009. The regulars take to the dance floor weekend nights, serenaded by a cruiseship-worthy cover band. 14532 Brook Hollow Blvd., (210) 494-4505. The Web House/Russian Bar This hipster stomping ground on the quieter end of the St. Mary’s strip is known for booze-filled nights of the quiet variety as well as sweaty electro meltdowns. Whether chilling on the patio or reveling in the main bar’s dim glow, you’re likely to feel like you’ve crashed an unpredictable house party. 517 E. Woodlawn Ave., (210) 320-4280 What’s It To Ya Lounge The nicely broken-in decor, a horseshoe bar that focuses attention on drinking, and a jukebox selection straight from a marijuana-infused pizza shop make the WITYL the Northwest dive bar of choice. The customers mostly reflect the dominant young-and-tattooed SA demographic. 5725 Evers, (210) 647-5700. Wxyz Bar This surprisingly fun and relaxed hotel bar offers affordable chic for the Peter Pan generation, with old-school bar games, a poolside fire pit, billiards, and, of course, an array of drink options. Its location in the downmarket W sibling Aloft on Loop 410 adds a nice out-of-time vibe. Aloft Hotel, 838 NW Loop 410, (210) 541-8881
■ STILL THIRSTY? Find even more bar and club reviews in our online database: sacurrent.com/dining.
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CURRENT | ETC. | advice
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Dear Uncle Mat, I wanna know how to grow balls. I blame myself for every friggin’ thing in my life, and my daughter says she’s not happy because I’m not happy. That was hard to swallow, but she opened my eyes and scrambled my brain: She sees too much. I work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.5p.m., and I have my two kids six days a week. I don’t receive any child support or assistance, for my pride is too large to swallow, but I am torn by my daughter saying this to me. I don’t know how I got from Mommy, friend, and nurturer to Mommy, friend, discipliner, punisher, a sad, boring woman, a confused, angry, frustrated woman who can’t understand how some people can bear me; I don’t even like myself. I want your advice on how to fix my sad sorry self. I need to be centered, to make my children happy, and to put myself aside and realize they, too, are going through things. I want to be happy Mommy again, wanna dance with my kids in the bedroom with the laundry all over the floor and not worry about it, have great moments with them with lots of laughter and silliness. I want to be that woman again and I need some advice on how to find her. — Sleepy Dear Sleepy, Don’t grow balls, you will creep everyone out. Moms have boobs, not balls, and that is a good thing, biologically speaking. Also, don’t take everything your children say to heart. They are most often honest, but at times can be a bit overdramatic and even cruel. You are unhappy, so fix it. Write a list of the things in your life that make you unhappy. Be honest. Put an “x” next to the things you have no control over. Put a star next to the things you can change. Tape this list up on your bathroom mirror. Read it out loud once a day and look yourself in the eye. Now smile and pay yourself a compliment. Happiness comes from within and will spread through your life through the actions you take each day.
Take time for yourself. Do something you love that is just for you. It is awesome to be devoted to your children, but attempting to fulfill their every need, every moment, and to ensure their success in life will only leave you tired and frustrated at the end of the day. You can’t make them be anything, but you can show them how to be something and someone by your example. Your joy will give them joy, which will give you more joy back again. Be kind to your kids by being kind to yourself. If there isn’t a legal issue or other disaster lurking behind the child support, take it. So what if you already make enough to get by? Save the money for college or an annual vacation. The money is not about you, or your relationship with their father; it is about a quality of life that stretches beyond today. Your kids’ father may be the biggest asshole on this planet, but start to look for forgiveness in your relationship. Forgive him and forgive yourself for your past with him. Resentment will eat you alive. You have to know and deal with him till one of you is dead. Make the best of it you can (and no, you may not speed this up by killing him). Finally, dance while doing the laundry. There will always be more laundry (I know this because I hate it, too.) You will never have time for fun if you are trying to make everything perfect first. Fun is a state of mind, not an activity. A birthday party can be miserable and sad if you put your mind to it. A spoonful of sugar! Much love and happiness, Your Uncle Mat PS. If this doesn’t help, watch Mommie Dearest. That should scare you straight. Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dearunclemat@ sacurrent.com, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.
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Free Will Astr l GY by Rob Brezsny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): It would be a good week for you to perfect your ability to crow like a rooster, Aries. I also recommend that you practice your skill at leaping out of bed in the morning fully refreshed, with your imagination primed and ready to immediately begin making creative moves. Other suggested exercises: being on the alert for what’s being born; holding a vision of the dawn in your heart throughout the day; and humorously strutting around like you own whatever place you’re in. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I got a spam email containing supposed words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama. “We spend more, but have less,” it said. “We have more conveniences, but less time; more experts, yet more problems.” It went on like this for a while. I was suspicious. It seemed to contain too many pop platitudes to have been uttered by the Dalai Lama. With Google’s help, I did some research and discovered that the passage was actually the handiwork of pastor Bob Moorehead, who resigned from his Seattle church under a cloud of allegations about misconduct. I urge you to make similar investigations of the ostensible truths you receive this week, Taurus. You may find discrepancies as major as the differences between the Dalai Lama and Bob Moorehead. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A life-long dream of mine came true recently, and I didn’t even know it was a life-long dream until it happened. It struck unexpectedly on a Tuesday afternoon. My daughter called on the phone from her college dorm room, wanting to discuss an essay she’d been assigned for her History of Modern Art class. She really liked it, but there were
some points she wanted to understand better, and she thought my input might help. The essay? The “Surrealistic Manifesto,” formulated in 1924 by the writer André Breton. Years ago, it was a crucial document in my own development as a young poet. The opportunity to share its heady brew with the beloved child I used to push on a swing was startlingly blissful. I predict a similar event for you in the coming days, Gemini: the fruition of a life-long dream you didn’t even know you had. CANCER (June 21-July 22): It’s probably true for a lot of celebrities that their public personas are not accurate reflections of their private lives. One striking example is actress Megan Fox, who’s famous for being a sex goddess. But the fact is, she told Harper’s Bazaar magazine, she has only slept with two men in her life, and it makes her ill to even contemplate having sex with someone she doesn’t love. While it may not bother her to have a reputation that’s so different from her inner world, I wouldn’t say the same about you — especially now. I urge you to do what you can to create more harmony between the version of yourself that you project outward and the version of yourself you actually live in. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In her poem “The Gift,” Chinese poet Shu Ting writes, “I dream the dream of a pond who lives not just to mirror the sky but to let willow trees on the bank drink me up.” This would be an excellent dream for you to dream in the coming week, Leo. It would also be empowering for you to render its themes in your waking life. I think you will derive great pleasure and sound teaching from mirroring a soaring archetype and feeding an intimate primal force. (Shu Ting’s poem was translated by Tony Barnstone and Newton Liu.) VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Are you an athlete? If so, I suspect that you will soon make an adjustment in your training or technique that will improve your game. Are you an artist, musician, writer, performer, or dancer? I bet you will get a sweet insight about the creative process that could revolutionize your work in the
months to come. Are you a pilgrim on a meandering long-distance quest to a promised land whose location you’re not exactly sure of? Any minute now, you’ll uncover a clue that will dramatically narrow down the possibilities of where the promised land is. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): There may be times in the coming week when you will in a sense be dreaming while standing up. On other occasions, you may be hard at work while lying down. In fact, I suspect that the law of reversals will be in full bloom. Things that have been last will, at least temporarily, be first, and influences that have calmed you down will rile you up. What has been crazy may be quite sane, and what has been in the shadows will come into the light. Tight squeezes may turn into expansive releases and heavyduty commitments will get a dose of slack — and vice versa. Always vice versa. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Every one of us in engaged in some ongoing battle with ourselves. Maybe there’s a conflict between our heart and head. Maybe we’re trying to stop expressing some behavior that we know is self-destructive but seems all too natural and easy to do. Maybe we feel guilty about or resentful toward some event from the past, and are constantly fighting with its after-image. Whatever your version of the civil war might be, Scorpio, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to reduce the heat of the strife. But you’ll have to be ingenious as you reframe the way you think about the situation, and you’ll have to locate a reservoir of willpower that has been hidden in your depths. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): This would be an excellent time for you to take inventory of what brings you pleasure. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due for an update and upgrade. Some of your tried-and-true strategies for generating joys and thrills are fraying at the edges. You should consider refurbishing them, even as you also think about going in quest of fresh
sources of delight. For extra credit, see if you can gain access to an experience that could accurately be described as “a blessed state of bliss.” CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It would be smart for you to whet your appetite, but please don’t go too far and spoil your appetite. Imagine and plan for the feast to come; make sure the evolution of the feast is on track; but don’t try to actually enjoy the entire feast yet. It’s not ready, you see. The “cooking” isn’t complete. To dive in now would be like eating a chocolate cake that has only been baking in the oven for ten minutes. In conclusion, Capricorn, strike a balance between practicing watchful patience and cultivating protective excitement. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Your key word for the week is “fulcrum.” It’s derived from a Latin verb meaning “to prop up, support,” and its definitions include the following: 1. the stable point on which a lever pivots; 2. the crux of a percussionist’s grip as he or she holds a drumstick; 3. an agent through which vital powers are exercised. I suggest you meditate on where the metaphorical fulcrums are in your life, and then take creative measures to give them extra care and enhance their strength. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I’m wearing a replica of an ancient Egyptian atef, a white crown surmounted by two ostrich feathers. My white cashmere robe, decorated with Qabalistic sigils, was sewn for me by a Wiccan priestess. My wand is shaped like the head of a Kalao bird and once belonged to a shaman from Burkina Faso. Aided by these accessories, I gaze into my magic mirror and conjure the spirit of my deceased great-uncle Felix, a successful businessman born under the sign of Pisces. He has always been a reliable source of inside info for me in the past. “Dear ancestor,” I murmur, “do you have an oracular revelation for my Piscean readers?” And he replies: “Tell them their money mojo is stronger than usual. Urge them to bargain aggressively and make sure they get a percentage of the gross, not just of the net profits.”
“1, 2, 3, 4...” — you know the rest? – by Matt Jones
Across 1 Cruel stuff 7 Rat 11 It creates a big bang 14 Keys on the piano? 15 Nobelist Wiesel 16 “Ni ___, Kai-Lan” (Nickelodeon cartoon) 17 “...what are we ___?” (from a protest chant) 19 Actress Mendes 20 Stimpy’s smarter half 21 Villainous look 22 Assassinated Egyptian 24 Singer DiFranco and namesakes 26 “...tell me that you ___” (from a Feist song) 28 Full of prickles 30 Friend of Pooh 31 “___ Without a Face” (Billy Idol song) 32 “___! The Genetic Opera” 35 Scotts Miracle-___ 36 “...I declare ___” (from a kids’ game) 39 650, to Nero 41 Heavy burden 42 Lockup, in Liverpool 45 Place to catch a play in Italy 47 It’s put up for celebrations 49 “...get your woman ___” (from a Coolio dance song) 53 “And here it is!”
54 Harding in 1990s tabloids 55 Like some mothers 57 King theorized to have died from malaria 58 Letter in frat names 59 “...I love the ___” (from “Full Metal Jacket”) 62 Good name 63 Of grand proportions 64 Cheesy chip 65 AMA members 66 “___, Where’s My Car?” 67 Attach, in a way Down 1 “Everything Is Illuminated” author Jonathan ___ Foer 2 Property transfer recipient 3 It can’t be taken away, in “The Greatest Love of All” 4 “___ bin ein Berliner” 5 Takes a breather 6 For the most part 7 Israeli desert 8 Woodard of “Desperate Housewives” 9 2016 Olympics setting 10 Olympic heptathlete Jackie Joyner-___ 11 It’s shown when kicking someone out 12 Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave 13 Precisely 18 Prefix for classicist
23 “The Queen of Christian Pop” 25 Under the radar 27 “Scratch my head!” to a cat 29 WWII naval vessel 32 Bleed, like dye 33 Aussie bird 34 Network for Ken Burns documentaries 37 Donkey feature 38 Turkish title 39 Stood for 40 Little snoozes 43 Vacationing 44 Resulted in 45 In full duration, like a pregnancy 46 Reprimanded, with “out” 47 Makes babies 48 Squeals, as with a perp 50 Sensational and shocking 51 In reserve 52 Have power over 56 Insecticide once hawked by Muhammad Ali 60 TV’s Nahasapeemapetilon 61 “...man ___ mouse?” ©2009 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #0440.
PUZZLE ANSWERS ON PAGE 51
sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 65
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Put Your College Degree to Work Scoring Assessments! Pearson is the most comprehensive provider of educational assessment products, services, and solutions. A trusted partner in district, state, and national assessments for more than 50 years, Pearson helps administrators, teachers, parents, and students use assessment and research to promote learning and academic achievement. Pearson is looking for college graduates to read and score student essays on a temporary basis at our San Antonio Bulverde Road Scoring Center. The Bulverde location has an immediate need for ‘DAY & EVENING’ scorers for the 2010 scoring season. OPEN HOUSE March 29, 2010 through April 1, 2010 and April 5, 2010 through April 8, 2010 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 3, 2010 & April 10, 2010. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Day Shift: 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., M-F • Evening Shift: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. M-F • $12.00/hour, +10% differential for Evening shift/ Bilingual scorers • Bachelor’s degree or higher required, but it may be in any ﬁeld ‘Employees are eligible to receive a $100.00 bonus when Pearson hires a candidate they have referred for temporary positions.’ Please visit our website to ﬁll out the survey: www.ﬂexiblescoringreg.pearson.com or if you have any questions call 210.339.8085. Please note that the application process will be AUTOMATED and you are required to have a unique email address.
66 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
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Application has been made with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a Mixed Beverage Late Hour Permit byy Nelson Gonzalez. dba Millennium Restaurant Hall to be located at 5210 Blanco Rd. San Antonio Tx. 78216 in Bexar county.The individual owner is Nelson Gonzalez
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www.milaninstitute.edu sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 67
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GeO THE GEO GROUP, INC.
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Male HSDD Qualitative Interview Study Are you not in the mood for sex? Are you bothered by a lack of desire for sex? We are looking for men age 25-64 in the San Antonio area with low sexual desire who have been in a sexual relationship with the same woman for at least 1 year to participate in a research study about male sexual desire. If eligible, you will be asked to participate in a one-on-one interview and complete questionnaires to help us learn more about the way men experience sexual desire. This is a non-treatment study for research only that will last 1 month and includes 3 visits to Urology San Antonio. Please email Urology San Antonio at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number, or call 210-477-8839 and we will contact you with more information to see if you may qualify!
DO YOU HAVE ADHD? Research Imaging Center McDermott Clinical Sc. Bldg at Greehey Campus
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If you decide to participate you will be assigned to one of three groups: Voice Treatment, Speech Treatment, or No Treatment. Treatment consists of 16 sessions in one month. If you are placed in the No Treatment group, you will receive treatment free of charge after you are done with the study. Before and after the treatment phase, you will take part in voice and speech assessments and undergo MRI and PET scans. These assessments and scans will be completed in up to 13 visits at the Research Imaging Center. You may recieve compensation for the MRI and PET scan. For further information contact the study coordinator, Beth Hannon: email@example.com, 1-888-838-7329 Lead Principal Investigator: Lorraine Ramig, Ph.D. Local Principal Investigator: Peter Fox, M.D. Co-Principal Investigator: Donald Robin, Ph.D.
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio IRB Approved March 5, 2010
sacurrent.com | April 7-13, 2010 | CURRENT 69
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72 CURRENT | April 7-13, 2010 | sacurrent.com
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