Peter O’Toole still lights up the silver screen in randy romance
By Devin D. O’Leary
Oscar is a funny old thing. Lots of very deserving people don’t seem to have one. Three 6 Mafia has one, but Martin Scorsese doesn’t. Legends Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Kirk Douglas and Cary Grant never took home statues for acting. Roberto Benigni was handed an Academy Award for directing, but Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t. Peter O’Toole, nominated as Best Actor for work in Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips and four other films, has never formally won. (The actor tried in 2003 to turn down an honorary Oscar, saying he still thought he had a chance to win one outright. Academy officials finally convinced him to accept it.)
Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
Traditional Gifts: Paper Modern Gifts: Clocks Gemstone: Gold jewelry, pearl or peridot Color: Gold or yellow Flower: Orange blossom or pansy Buy: Board games and puzzles, a calendar, books, stationary, tickets to a concert (or a Lobo women's volleyball game) or a painting from a local artist. Have cherished photographs professionally framed. Buy a fashion wristwatch for your mate or an antique clock you can both enjoy in your home. Make: Arrange a bouquet of paper flowers, or write a love letter on the back of a postcard from somewhere meaningful to you both.
Luminous, elegant silver is a perpetual classic. Unfortunately, silver tarnishes over time (thus your grandmother's annual silver-polishing parties), but new tarnish-resistant alloys are making sterling silver more attractive than ever.
Media Meeting--The UNM ARTS Lab will host New Mexico’s 3rd Annual Media Industries Conference this Friday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Union Building. This free conference, titled “New Challenges, New Opportunities,” will bring together people from across the media spectrum. More than 300 professional filmmakers, artists, researchers, technology developers, educators and students are expected to attend and network with others to learn about activities, challenges and opportunities in these growing fields.
It's been a good long time since anyone’s had to dust off the adjective “Tarantinoesque” to describe a movie. Back before the turn of 2000, in the wake of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, the Sundance Film Festival was spewing out hip, ironic, pop-culture-infused crime films faster than the shelves at Blockbuster Video could keep up with. That trend seemed to tire itself out and go to bed after a while—but now comes the hip, ironic, pop-culture-infused crime film Smokin’ Aces.
This Sunday afternoon, as the Colts vie for their first title since moving to Indianapolis and the Chicago Bears try to claim their first Super Bowl win in 20 years, an awful lot of people will be raking in an awful lot of dough. From the overpaid players to the hot dog vendors to half-time performer Prince to the folks selling bootleg T-shirts in the parking lot, everyone will be expecting to make money hand over fist. Of course, the people making the biggest paycheck are, as always, the ones from the network. CBS is asking a bank-breaking $2.6 million for each 30-second commercial that airs during the broadcast.
In Memoriam—Every person who knew Reggie Gammon seems to have a kind word for him. He was a fixture on the art scene here in Albuquerque, maintaining a studio at the Harwood Art Center for years, creating a body of artistic work immersed in music and social justice.
Why be a poet? One can’t do it for a living, not with payments in contributors’ copies and the chances of publishing a slim chapbook worse than lottery odds. The poet will answer that she writes because she must, because it’s only through such arrangements of words that she can attempt an understanding of this world. We should all be poets. Imagine the possibilities!
It's a distinction in wording important enough to merit italics in the news release. The bills making their way through the state's House and Senate this session require commercial insurance carriers to have a package for domestic partners—if employers choose to offer it.
A conversation with Kathleen O’Malley, Albuquerque’s international peace activist
By Jim Scarantino
You can meet truly amazing people in Albuquerque. I sat down with Dr. Kathleen O’Malley to talk about her work for peace in Iraq, Palestine and, now, Iran. Bill Richardson isn't the only New Mexican flying off to the world’s flashpoints of hate and violence. He goes with the protection of a host government under the glare of television cameras. O’Malley goes in as just another vulnerable human being, using her own resources and body to stand for peace.
Dateline: The Netherlands--Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, has invented the world’s first beer for dogs. Berenden created the brew, made from beef extract and malt, specifically for her pet Weimaraners. “Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the veranda and drink beer. So we thought, my dog has also earned it,” she said. A local Dutch brewery was consigned to make the nonalcoholic drink, called Kwispelbier. The beer is fit for human consumption as well, but at 1.65 euros a bottle ($2.14), it’s about four times more expensive than a Heineken.
Who Says There's Nothing to Do in Rio Rancho?—Well, pretty much everyone. Especially the people who actually live there. Of course, there's Slate Street Billiards and Sports Bar and the shiny new sportsplex, which both make Rio Rancho a happening place for ... sports spectatorship. But as far as live music goes, you're on your own.
Howard Alden, Eddie Daniels, Doug Lawrence and more combine for a multimedia send-off
By Mel Minter
The jazz community was stunned to learn of the unexpected demise of clarinetist Kenny Davern, born John Kenneth O’Davorin, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 12, 2006, at the age of 71. This Sunday, that community is coming together to celebrate the life of a man whom drummer John Trentacosta, one of the event’s organizers, calls “a true master.”
Over her decade-long career in music, 28-year-old singer/songwriter Erin McKeown has earned distinction for her wryly upbeat lyrics and a vocal style that isn’t as much about virtuosity as it is honesty. But, ironically, McKeown’s originality shines through best on her newest album, Sing You Sinners, which offers up 13 tracks of music standards from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s.
Have you ever smoked a whole duck? What kind of brine would you soak it in? How long should one smoke a full bird? Is there any way to avoid an overly dry duck?
A: Dear Quack,
Smoking meat is one of the culinary areas in which, contrary to what you may have read before, I like to use a recipe. The successful outcome of a smoking session depends on soaking the meat in a brine with the right level of salt.
Ah, it's almost Valentine’s Day, an especially meaningful time for me—a time to eat and drink to excess while wallowing in self-pity. If you're anything like me (single) then the overwhelming pressure to find a valentine can make you depressed.
The concept of all-you-can-eat sushi and sake seemed both really good and tragically misguided all at the same time. This was my thought upon preparation to dine at Sushi and Sake in Nob Hill. I, like many others who frequent the area, had originally assumed that A.Y.C.E. sushi meant all you can drink sake, which the restaurant doesn’t offer. The misconception began with the sign out front that states the name of the restaurant, with the A.Y.C.E. information and prices underneath, which upon first glance (without regard for sentence structure) appears to advertise all the booze you can swallow along with raw fish, rice and seaweed.
... but everyone gets one at some point. Most of us probably don't experience the sinking dread of flashing red lights in our rearview all that often. But with the shiny black lenses of red-light cameras going up at major intersections all over the city, a new kind of dread sets in. Watch the flashes pop in rapid succession as the light changes. Are every one of those pops a ticket—an expensive ticket? When will one be destined for your mailbox? Who gets all that money, anyway? What if we can't afford the ticket? And can we protect our plates against those prying lenses?
"Think about how you spend your day," says APD spokesperson John Walsh. "On a bus, walking, operating a motor vehicle, as a passenger." Don't kid yourself, he adds. Albuquerque wants traffic enforcement because it wants a safe commute. The most common complaints to APD concern traffic accidents and violators of traffic laws. "Think about the hundreds and hundreds of violations that occur on a momentary basis."
To date, Albuquerque has 12 intersections staffed with cameras, ticketing drivers and netting millions of dollars. To achieve the same around-the-clock effect with officers would require 12 per intersection. That's 144 full-time cops working solely on traffic and only in those intersections. The cameras are a huge savings on manpower, Walsh says.
City Councilor Sally Mayer got a phone call from a constituent right after the city's first cameras were up and running. The tickets are unaffordable, the caller fretted. "Believe me," Mayer says, "there are times where that would be what I would have to say, too. 'I don't have this money.'"
Peaceful, anti-war activism may result in prison sentences for nine New Mexicans after they tried to make love, not war, with Sen. Pete Domenici
By Kate Trainor
The Department of Homeland Security has identified a new threat to our nation: a group of nine New Mexicans that includes a Jesuit priest, a retired librarian, a high school student and a church-going grandma.
In the realm of diamonds and cubic zirconia, one stone is imperfect and made of carbon, the other flawless and made of zirconium oxide. Diamonds are formed deep in the Earth via 2,000-degree heat and intense pressure, over millions, if not billions of years. Cubic zirconia is made in a laboratory. Regardless of mining controversies, conflict diamonds and an international De Beers conspiracy, the diamond is natural and intensely beautiful. The cubic zirconia is an abundant, fabricated imitation. Its look is unfortunately overpowering; plus, it has no humorous urban nickname. (Diamonds you can call "ice.")
Why we should exercise common sense in our jail system
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
I recently toured the still almost-new Bernalillo County Detention Center (BCDC). It was opened about three years ago and this year saw a new psychiatric wing completed, making its total capacity more than 2,500 inmates.
Dateline: England--A woman admitted to a hospital for treatment of a severe migraine had her stay extended when a television fell off the wall and hit her on the head. Sharon Blake, 36, was ready to leave Yeovil District Hospital when she moved the TV, attached to an adjustable arm above her head, and it toppled over. She was left mildly concussed and needed extra observation according to the Sun newspaper. Patientpal, which runs the coin-operated TV system, has apologized for the “isolated incident.”
The most bizarre and startling restaurant news of the new year is that Graze won't live to see the other side of this weekend. You heard right, unfortunately. Owner Michael Chesley, who parted ways with co-owner and Executive Chef Jennifer James in September of 2006, issued a press release last week announcing the restaurant's impending closure. His reason: Despite garnering national attention for the restaurant's focus on small plates and local ingredients, Graze's lofty concept just didn't make financial sense.
The real fun started after I finished my meal and paid my check. I had an excellent meal at Burque’s lone Salvadoran restaurant, located right off the intersection of Bridge and Goff. The service was great, the food was awesome but, boy, did I get some noteworthy tidbits on my way out the door.
Catch the “Fire”--The ABC Family Channel series “Wildfire,” which shoots right here in Albuquerque, is looking for new faces to act as background extras in the upcoming season. If you’re interested, there will be an open casting call on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel at University and Menaul. The family-oriented soap, about a rebellious girl who finds excitement and romance at a horse ranch where she works as part of her parole from juvenile hall, is currently in its third season.
One thing films do very well is transport audiences to another world. From Metropolis to The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings to Pan’s Labyrinth, films have developed a visual language that’s highly conducive to the creation of imaginative realms. Arguably, some of the best filmmakers in the world are the ones who can not only create previously unseen vistas on the movie screen, but convince audiences of their veracity.
Lean, mean Western goes all metaphorical in the end
By Devin D. O’Leary
Seraphim Falls begins with a bang. Literally, as a cowboy camped in the wintry Western mountains is shot in the arm by a faraway rifle. Abandoning both horse and weapons, he flees the campsite. This touches off a 20-minute, nearly wordless chase sequence in which former Union officer Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) tumbles down mountainsides, washes over waterfalls and basically does every damned dangerous thing he can to avoid a vengeful Confederate soldier named Carver (Liam Neeson) and his gang of gun-toting toughs.
A year ago, networks were all trying (and failing miserably) to sell downloads of their most popular shows for iPod and other digital media devices. Why wouldn’t people be willing to pay $1.99 to see a low-quality, one-time-only rerun of a previously free TV show? (I don’t really need to explain that, do I?) Now, with the proliferation of TiVo and YouTube, networks are starting to figure out the benefits of letting people watch shows whenever and wherever they want. Instead of battling against the Internet in an attempt to keep multimedia-savvy viewers from abandoning traditional broadcast television in favor of cooler more high-tech options, networks now are embracing the trip-dub and all its gimmicky goodness.
Win Something—There are few awards in the lives of many musicians. Aspiring local ones can expect shiny prizes like: crappy pay, excess drama, late hours and the occasional heckler. Of course, pats on the back are not the reason most of us are in this game. We do it because ... wait, why are we doing this?
Although they have nothing but kind words for a great many Phoenix bands, Stewart Alaniz of the prog-rock power-trio Chief Beef and Tony Poer of the experimental outfit Emperors of Japan are anxious to leave the confines of an overly saturated music scene in their hometown.
It would be tough to call it straight-forward folk. But, for all of his sonic tinkerings, The Dodos frontman Meric Long has constructed tunes that are devoid of many bells and whistles (save for a few vocal loops) and have an unmistakable honesty and humility that's refreshing in a genre that has bred more than its fair share of uppity musicians.
Rock-a-bye Baby—Africa has had it rough for a long time. Unfortunately, children have borne the brunt of a crisis wrought by war, famine, poverty and AIDS. The U.N. estimates there are more than 48 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
There was a time when Norman Mailer used to talk about the Big Book. It prowled the interviews he gave in the ’50s like a white whale, blasting into view and then diving back down into darkness, where it would lurk until the next publication date.
Love is like fishing. We eye a catch we like, bait the lure, toss out the line and hope what we're offering is to our beloved's liking. Sometimes, the catch takes the bait, whether she'll be eaten whole, thrown back or kept in close stead is up to fate or dumb luck. Other times something else catches our line, perhaps a piece of trash quickly discarded or a fish previously obscured from view—a catch unlike anything we'd ever known. If it weren't for that random snag, it would have slipped past us.
Historical drama exposes one of history’s greatest monsters
By Devin D. O’Leary
Like 2006’s other great Oscar contender The Queen, The Last King of Scotland is a magnificent two-person display of acting talent. In The Queen, Helen Mirren shows off her mad acting skills as the imperious Queen Elizabeth, frighteningly stoic in the wake of Princess Diana’s death. She’s the odds-on fave to win an Academy Award for Best Actress. But it’s the work of Michael Sheen as the empathetic man of the people Tony Blair which gives The Queen its spark of life. Rubbing against each other like flint and steel, Mirren and Sheen form a slow-building, ultimately incandescent partnership.
Helen Fox helps Albuquerque's homeless kids find their way around our public schools
By Marisa Demarco
Fourteen years ago, Albuquerque Public Schools called Helen Fox and asked her to figure out what to do with a small grant they were receiving for homeless students. "Not a lot was going on with it," she says. "Basically, the reason why was that it was not a lot of money."
Albuquerque resident and Apollo astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt may have inspired an international race to unlock the possible power of lunar helium-3
By John Lasker
An Albuquerque resident for more than 20 years, Harrison “Jack” Schmitt has one connection to the Moon that is his and only his. As an Apollo 17 astronaut, Schmitt was the last person to touch the lunar surface.
The single scariest thing I’ve read all year was the cover article in the January 2007 issue of Harper’s, "Moby Duck," by Donovan Hohn. What it lacks in gore and mayhem it more than makes up for with a breath-stealing, authentically weird scenario--one made more frightening by the realization that this is not fantasy, it is true. There will be no waking up from this nightmare.
Dateline: China--The People’s Republic of China is celebrating the Year of the Pig by releasing a stamp that tastes like sweet and sour pork. The stamps went on sale recently to mark the start of the New Year, designated by Chinese astrology as the Year of the Pig. When scratched, the stamps smell like the popular dish, and when licked, the back of the stamps taste like it as well. Chinese New Year officially begins Feb. 18.
The New Strawberry Zots--Back in school, when this burgeoningly menstrual girl got in my grill for not burning a Nirvana face onto my arm with a BIC lighter (the height of teen fashion at the time), I was at a total loss. Of course, I was familiar with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana and heroin-chic "alternative" music of the day. But the only radio I ever cared to listen to was AM and the Edge on Sunday nights, when the competent DJs could still get away with a few hours of local programming. So I shot back with all the reigning local bands I could think of. "So what? Ever hear of Apricot Jam? Word Salad? The Strawberry Zots?" She looked at me like I was diseased. "What's with the fruit, man?" she spat.
It’s finally dawning on you that of Montreal is your favorite band. I’ll spare you the superlative laudation of The Elephant Six recording collective from which of Montreal emerged bright-eyed and full of promise more than a decade ago. You already know all about it. You’re their biggest fan.
Driving force James LaValle isn’t afraid to switch things up
By Lash Bower
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist James LaValle is on the road with his massive electronic-orchestral endeavor, The Album Leaf. We found LaValle making his way toward Albuquerque in support of his new album, Into the Blue Again, when we spoke with him in an exclusive phone interview.
Actors Wanted--Open auditions are being held this week for a local feature film based on the idea that New Mexico truly is the “Land of Entrapment.” The feature film is described as a redemption story that follows one young man's fight to escape Albuquerque. Producers are seeking local actors, union and nonunion, aged 18-45, of all races. Auditions will be held at Marcello’s Chophouse in the new ABQ Uptown shopping center (corner of Louisiana and Indian School) on Jan. 19, 20 and 21 from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Interested parties are advised to prepare a two- to three-minute monologue. For more information, contact Preacher Overton at 352-7521.
Humble drama sends father on a journey of emotional discovery
By Devin D. O’Leary
Gouichi Takata is a stoic fisherman of few words. When he finds out his estranged son, Kenichi, is dying of cancer in a Tokyo hospital, however, he accepts his daughter-in-law’s invitation as the best excuse for a reunion. Unfortunately, Kenichi refuses to see his father. Sometime in the past, the two had an unspoken falling out, and Kenichi is still not ready to forgive his father. Kenichi’s wife Rei tries to broker some kind of peace, giving Mr. Takata a videotape of a documentary his son worked on. Kenichi is a professor of Oriental Studies at Tokyo University. He has a special love for traditional Chinese folk opera, and has taken many trips to the mainland to record famed performances. On his last trip, Kenichi tried and failed to record “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles,” a snippet from the Chinese national epic The Romance of the Three Kingdoms performed by Li Jiamin, considered one of the greatest living practitioners of the art. After seeing his son’s incomplete film, Mr. Takata decides it’s now his mission to travel to China, find Li Jiamin and record the one performance his dying son was unable to capture.
There’s been so much talk about war in the Middle East these days that many Americans have forgotten the troubles that plague our homeland. Like, for example, the growing war between talk show host Rosie O’Donnell and real estate mogul Donald Trump. What hope is there for lasting peace between Muslims and Jews if we can’t get a couple of spotlight-hogging celebrities to play nice?
Look Inside—Here's an odd one for you. This weekend, the Albuquerque Museum will open a new exhibit of work from the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia's famed museum of medical science. The exhibit consists entirely of historical medical photographs. Curator Laura Lindgren will present an opening day lecture at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21. For details, call 243-7255.
The Tricklock Company unleashes its 2007 Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Steven Robert Allen
It's hard to believe this thing has already been around for seven years. As in past installments, expect this year's Revolutions International Theatre Festival to unearth some of the planet's most inventive contemporary theater—and when I say “theater,” I mean this in the broadest sense of the term.
It's cold and dark out, perhaps even snowing. “The Sopranos” reruns on A&E might beckon, and you'll probably be tempted to watch, even though you already have the entire DVD set. Because really, has there been a novel in the last few years as entertaining, profound and nasty as that series?
Berry patch booze, sour grain punch, dank bud hay fever like a disturbingly good cat piss Kool-Aid. Strawberry fields forever.
By Alex Brown and Evan George
“Garlicky” just may be the most overused word in the food writer’s lexicon. Why? Because there are few dishes that shouldn’t come with a little garlic in ‘em. It’s like saying something tastes “good.” The beer equivalent is “hoppy.” Show us a brew that doesn’t have some level of hoppiness to it, and we’ll tell you to dump it out. So, saying something’s hoppy is about as much description as burping. C’mon hopheads, we need to develop a language that surpasses grunts and clicks!
There are many things in life that are fine at first but quickly go downhill. Things like buying a Dodge Neon. Shaving my head for a $100 bet and then running into my dad. Entering a wet T-shirt contest, then realizing what I actually had to do to win. And then there was the time I went out with that hottie from the bar who told me he was in the witness protection program. Having lunch with my fiancé and child at Ay Caramba Restaurant was one of those things.
Roadrunner Food Bank's Souper Bowl fills stomachs and hearts for its ninth year
By Laura Marrich
Winter nights and bowls of soup are as natural together as clam chowder and oyster crackers. (Or, here in the Land of Enchantment, red chile and posole.) Nothing shakes the chill from your bones or sets the world right quite like it. Ask your parents. Soup maintains a place of honor in almost every family's arsenal of magic potions: It is transformative in its ability to comfort.