I’ve been wondering for a while what the deal is with fish sauce. How can something that smells so gross be so popular? I mean, it smells like extra-putrid rotten fish. I’ve tried cooking with it, and the food ends up tasting like fish sauce smells.
I love Thai food, and I know they use a lot of fish sauce, so I’m wondering how they get away with it?
—Not Quite Hooked
A: Dear Unhooked,
I’ve experienced the same phenomenon, so I sympathize. The trick to using fish sauce is that you add a few drops to dishes that have strong flavors in other ways, and the power of the competing flavors balances out.
This week, the Alibi puts Bill Richardson on the operating table, slices him open and pokes at his innards to determine whether or not he's got what it takes to be the next President of the United States. Special thanks to Christie Chisholm, Jessica Cassyle Carr, Amy Dalness and Marisa Demarco for helping me undertake this delicate procedure.
In the Four Corners region of New Mexico, a conflict over money, power and sovereign rights has grown ugly
By Kate Trainor
Like many of her Navajo neighbors in Burnham, N.M., Victoria Alba has no electricity or running water in her home. Yet, from her window, she can see the permanent black cloud that hovers low over the landscape, belched from the two coal-burning power plants nearby.
From One Who Knows—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might seem like an impregnable fortress to public access channels and stations—or even to someone like me or you, who might want to call and give the commission a what-for on occasion. It's highly ironic that the organization overseeing the United States’ most powerful means of communication has few meaningful contact numbers or e-mail addresses available on its website.
Within the institution of time-keeping, its manipulation in favor of daylight savings was originally suggested in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin in a cheeky letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, where he indicated the change would save wax. The first honest-to-goodness proposal that we change our clocks, however, came from Brit William Willett in the early 20th century but wasn't implemented until World War I, when Germany used Daylight Saving Time to conserve coal. The United Kingdom soon followed suit, as did Newfoundland and the United States.
The New Mexico state quarter, slated to be released in 2008, is in the final stages of design. The last options for the coin are four variations of a zia overlapping an outline of New Mexico, three out of four also containing the phrase "Land of Enchantment." It's an accurate depiction of our state perhaps; but interesting? By no means.
Dateline: Japan--Officials at the Tama Zoo in Tokyo recently decided to try out a live safety drill, but the ridiculous scenario ended up leaving dozens of schoolchildren in tears. The idea was to test the readiness of zoo staff in the event of a dangerous animal escape. The staff was taking part in a make-believe scenario in which a strong wind blows a tree over in the orangutan enclosure providing one of the occupants with a ramp to escape over the perimeter fence. The creature in this particular instance was played by a zoo employee in an oversized orange orangutan costume. Despite the fake ape’s cartoonish appearance, the acting was apparently convincing enough to frighten a school party, which happened to be inside the zoo at the time. After racing around the grounds, the faux-furred “orangutan” seized a member of the staff before meeting his match in a zookeeper armed with a tranquilizer gun. Unfortunately, this King Kong-like finale was greeted with hysteria among the young crowd who, as they watched the drama unfold, were completely convinced of the animal’s “demise.” It took some time for staff to circulate and reassure the audience that the horror had all been a fantasy.
The Sweet Taste of Free—As I'm sure you're already aware, Global DanceFest is back in Albuquerque courtesy of the fine folks over VSA Arts of New Mexico. This time around, some of the featured performers will be offering classes to local dance enthusiasts. The best part? The classes are absolutely free.
Granta once again examines the best and brightest of a new generation
By John Freeman
In the ever-changing anteroom of the Great American Novel, young just got younger, and what it means to be an American broadened significantly. On Thursday, Granta magazine announced the lineup for their second Best of Young American Novelists issue at New York’s Housing Works Bookstore.
I cannot make a decent crêpe. And it’s not for lack of trying, let me assure you. I remember being 19 years old, standing in the industrial kitchen of my culinary school in a starchy white jacket and houndstooth pants, staring at the cracks in the mahogany-tiled floor. My least favorite instructor was publicly humiliating me for forgetting to “snap” my wrist when I flipped the pan. My lack of snap had resulted in yet another charcoal doily instead of the mouth-watering, lacy brown creation we all coveted.
New Mexico’s first Vitality Juice, Java and Smoothie Bar opens in Downtown Albuquerque
By Hillari Straba
Imagine a place where healthy food actually tastes good. Where chocolate shakes are as nutrient-packed as a shot of wheatgrass, and burgers are as guiltless as broiled chicken breast. In your dreams, right? Think again.
Day of the Woman--Maiden Fest and Sol Arts are celebrating International Women’s Day with “songs to wage peace, poetry and short films.” The event will take place Thursday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sol Arts (712 Central SE). No word on what sort of films will be shown, but I’m guessing they’ll be ... you know, womany.
Lynch goes epic for some shot-on-video strangeness
By Devin D. O’Leary
Over his long career as a cult filmmaker, David Lynch has done some incredibly intriguing films (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr.) and some incredibly inaccessible films (Lost Highway, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me). Admittedly, the line separating these two is a razor-thin one. Aside from a couple brief diversions into “mainstream” cinema (1980’s The Elephant Man, 1999’s The Straight Story), Lynch’s films have all been hallucinogenic film noir nightmares filled with freakshow symbolism, nonlinear storytelling and a hazy aura of decayed decadence. Lynch’s new effort, Inland Empire, certainly follows that trend--although I’m still trying to figure out whether it’s of the intriguing or inaccessible variety. Both, I suspect.
Like 2005’s Sin City, 300 is based on a graphic novel by comic book icon Frank Miller. Like Sin City, 300 replicates Miller’s original work nearly panel-for-panel. Like Sin City, 300 is shot in a highly stylized manner, utilizing greenscreens/bluescreens and digitally fabricating the backgrounds on computer. Like Sin City, 300 distills extraordinary violence and blunt sexuality into a man-sized shot of cinematic adrenaline. In other words: Whoa!
If you’ve ever been in an Asian gift shop, brushing past the “Hello Kitty” merchandise in search of delicious, delicious Pocky, then you’ve undoubtedly run across the character Pucca. Despite appearances, Pucca is not actually an offshoot of the all-powerful Sanrio corporation (makers of Hello Kitty, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru and all things übercute). The big-headed cartoon girl in the traditional Chinese garb and the odango atama (“dumpling head”) hairstyle (think Princess Leia) is actually the creation of the South Korean company Vooz. Having conquered the realm of merchandising (T-shirts, dolls, stationary, coin purses, adhesive bandages, cell phone straps), Pucca has made the leap to animation, landing her own cartoon series, currently airing on Toon Disney’s late-night Jetix block.
Where There's Smoke—A new University-area hookah bar called Hunab Hookah is catering to the 18-plus crowd with live music. (Don't fret, there's no booze at this place—just flavored tobacco called "shisha.") The space is at 3400 Constitution NE, just west of Carlisle, which you may remember has housed several coffee bar-lounge-type establishments over the past several years, including the popular but short-lived Café Riviera. Give it a spin this weekend as local hippies Meat the Vegans play a CD release show on Saturday, March 10. The show is listed from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., but that seems like a typo. Maybe it’s not. $4 at the door gets you in. Call 232-0223 for more details, or log on to www.hunabhookah.com.
Pistolera’s Mexican sound finds love on the East Coast
By Marisa Demarco
Sandra Velasquez arrived in New York in 1999 and developed a longing. Brooklyn’s streets lacked familiar Mexican restaurants, dishing up grub on every corner. The large Caribbean-Latino population spoke Spanish with a different accent. Most importantly, the music of her youth wasn’t blaring from car stereos. “Even though I had traveled around the globe, it wasn’t until I moved to New York that I felt really far away from Mexican culture.”
Bassist’s quartet to feature music from his latest CD
By Mel Minter
Tabla, acoustic and electric guitars, alto and tenor saxes, palmas, synth, Fender Rhodes, vibraphone and marimba, bongos, cajón, kora, djembe, telephone (and more) ... the list of instruments and musicians appearing on bassist Jon Gagan’s latest release, Transit 2, takes up most of a CD panel. For Gagan, a Santa Fean whose background is heavy in jazz and funk, the multicultural instrumental palette reflects the world of influences informing his compositions, and a determination to break out of the confines of genre.
Cashew Van Harding and the rest of his band, The Prix (pronounced the "pree"), were sitting by the radio, anxiously waiting to hear their first radio single on Los Angeles' famed KROQ. When the time came, the DJ announced the song as "the latest from The Pricks." "We were all excited and then there it was, 'The Pricks,' right off the bat," Van Harding, the band's lead singer, says. "We're not opposed to maybe changing the name to 'The Grand Prix' so people get the idea, but we'll see."
The term “space colonization” has been declared off-limits in polite society. The “c-word” is supposed to invoke all the terrible aspects of old-fashioned imperialism, particularly European imperialism. One notes that neither the Japanese nor the Turks nor the Russians feel particularly guilty about their now defunct empires. Even in Europe, the epicenter of the guilt trip questions now being asked, there was a major debate in France last year over whether the “positive aspects of colonialism” should be taught in schools.
So what does it take to get child support in this state?
By Kate Trainor
Earlier this month, the Alibi ran an article that focused on a single child support case in New Mexico, the case of Jessica Sanchez and her two children [News Feature, “Show Mom the Money,” Feb. 8-14]. The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) did not respond to calls before the article went to print, but later contacted the Alibi with their comments. Katie Falls, deputy secretary of the HSD, and Betina Gonzales McCracken, HSD communications director, spoke with us about the article and child support in New Mexico.
At the Feb. 21 meeting, Councilor Don Harris sponsored an extended moratorium on construction in Tijeras Arroyo and a bill authorizing a study of whether the speed humps in his district actually work. Both bills passed unanimously.
Dateline: Serbia--A routine appendix operation in the Serbian capital of Belgrade turned into a knockdown, drag-out brawl after two surgeons abandoned a patient on the operating table to settle their dispute outside. Surgeon Spasoje Radulovic was operating when his colleague Dragan Vukanic entered and made a remark that started a quarrel, said the anesthesiologist on duty. “At one moment, Vukanic pulled the ear of the operating doctor, slapped him in the face and walked out,” she told the daily Politika. Radulovic followed Vukanic and an all-out fight ensued, resulting in bruises, a split lip, loose teeth and a fractured finger. The routine appendix operation was eventually completed by the attending assistant doctor.
Adventures in Birdland—Suzanne Sbarge once again uncages her otherworldly birds for a one-woman exhibit opening this week at Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE). Her collage paintings conjure up dreamy sequences that are simultaneously homey and adventurous. The new show is called Breathing Space. If you haven't seen Sbarge's work, you're advised to attend the reception this Friday, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. If you have seen her work already, then I'm guessing your calendar is already marked. The show will run through the end of the month. For details, call 268-6828.
On the surface, the premise of Craig Wright's Orange Flower Water sure sounds like a big fat bore, doesn't it? Two couples live in a tiny, suburban-esque town in Minnesota. Inevitably, two of them begin an affair, and all four begin taking long turns at the pity machine, wallowing in either guilt or victimization, depending on their mood from moment to moment.
This witty and useful guide to a gentleman's etiquette runs the gamut from pickup basketball (don't call ticky-tack fouls) to ’do rags (if you're white, don't) to eating sushi (don't rub your sticks together). Long sections are devoted to eating and office life, with shorter chapters focusing on relations between the sexes, social events and, thank god, techniquette.
Writing and Film--“1000 Palabras,” a film screening/discussion, will kick off the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Women & Creativity festival (a collection of films, concerts, dance performances, book readings, panel discussions and more running March 1-11). “1000 Palabras” is an attempt to interrelate the fields of film and literature. Venezuelan writer Silda Cordoliani (Babilonia, Simon Bolivar: Un Relato Ilustrado) will speak about how the classic 1945 Mexican film Canaima, directed by Juan Bustillo Orohas, influenced her creative process and shaped her work. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. at the NHCC’s Bank of America Theater (1701 Fourth Street SW). Discussion to follow. For complete information on Women & Creativity, log on to www.nhccnm.org.
Downbeat drama proves to be one of this year’s best imports
By Devin D. O’Leary
One of the few small surprises dotted throughout last Sunday’s 79th Annual Oscar telecast was that the obscure German film The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) surged past its category’s most high-profile entrant, Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, to nab the Best Foreign Language Film award.
When this particular TV season started, back in September/October, NBC raised eyebrows for programming not one but two shows about the behind-the-scenes action at a “Saturday Night Live”-esque sketch comedy. One, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” was an hour-long drama by TV wunderkind Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”). The other, “30 Rock,” was a half-hour sitcom by former “SNL” writer Tina Fey.
The Disco Balls Come Down—The bar door was wide open when I arrived at the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) one bright Sunday afternoon last October. Peering in, I saw a small gaggle of men in cut-off jeans and high-top sneakers, armed with brushes, rollers and buckets of paint.
One hour after Albuquerque alternative-pop sensations Ki broke up, ex-members Orio, Powell and Bradshaw, along with other former "lynchpin" musicians from HATEengine, Aisling and This Life (both from El Paso), created Mechanism Of Eve. See their first show ever Thursday, March 1, at the Launchpad. (LM)
I like to believe that, in my daily life, I exercise at least a small degree of free will and have some say in what my body does or does not do. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself in a dive bar on my hands and knees, waiting for the Red Elvises' Igor Yuzov to sing the chorus to "Rocket Man," which would serve as the audience's cue that it was permissible to stop wallowing on the filth-coated floor. It is rare to see a band with that much control over a crowd (of 200-plus people, no less), but for these surf-rockabilly purveyors, it happens every night they put on a show.
Composer uses extended technique and layering to fashion an orchestra
By Marisa Demarco
Joan La Barbara hasn't been nervous about getting up in front of an audience and doing unusual things for many years. In the old days, the early ’70s, sometimes people would giggle. "I haven't gotten that reaction in a very long time," she says.
Petroleum Requiem—For a little more than half a century, the Petroleum Club served as a central gathering spot for ladies who lunched in neat, white cotton gloves; bridge games with high social stakes; and steak-and-martini business lunches that had historic consequences for our city. The members-only restaurant was at one time attended by the city's most well-heeled and influential people, making the Petroleum Club a well-oiled social machine of the first order.
“Drink what you like” is an old adage in the wine community, meaning you should drink the type and kind of wine that you enjoy. What nonsense! You want to know what all the cool kids (mainly me) are drinking and what great wines I collect and drink, so let’s change that adage to: “Drink what I like.” It’s only natural for people to want to know what the fabulous people are doing. And now that I have obtained my allotments from the local stores, I am happy to let you fight over what's left. Let me give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what I bought this past year to grace my fabulous wine cellar.
The year was 1991. I was parked on the couch in my hammer pants (they made great jammies) waiting for my dad to return from his bimonthly trip to Sam’s Club before I was forced to eat my brother (also wearing hammer pants) with a side of honey mustard sauce. Our household food supply was at a critical level. Dad finally came bebopping through the door and threw something in my lap on his way to the kitchen. It was a clear plastic packet filled with red and white strips of … krab?
Scotch-style ale is a blessed rarity. Not too many breweries endeavor to make their own variation, and those that do generally do an amazing job. With the exception of one ill-fated, super-sour bottle of Moylan's Kilt Lifter, which seemed a bit past its prime, every time a bottle with the word “Scotch” on it has been opened, it has been greedily devoured. AleSmith’s Wee Heavy is exactly what it claims to be: Scotch-style ale. What lies within the flawless packaging of this $7.99 wonder is akin to The Clash playing Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves,” or Kim Gordon singing Iggy Pop: the perfect cover. This is not an attempt at making archetypal Scotch ale. Instead, there is a righteous conciliation of old and new. AleSmith makes intensely high-octane beers: This is McEwen’s on really pristine speed. This brew looks almost like a porter in the glass—deep and limitless with glints of red trying to escape the void. The flavors are familiar to both the roots and the revision. The distinct sweet caramel and molasses flavors that sent us back to our first taste of Scotch ale preempt strong, roasted malts and an aftertaste that is equally alcoholic and complex … weed ghee and whiskey in front of a parlor fire. Heavy.
You can bet on one thing at this year’s 79th annual Academy Awards (literally, as it happens): Helen Mirren will win the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Queen. Online gambling site bodog.com has put her odds at 1/25 (as of press time). Slap down a hundred bucks on Mirren to win, and you could rake in a whole $4 profit!
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Best Motion Picture
Babel (GG) Odds: 7/2 The Departed * (BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, LVFCA, SA, SEFCA)Odds: 3/2 Letters from Iwo Jima (LAFCA, NBR) Odds: 5/2 Little Miss Sunshine (PGA) Odds: 5/6 The Queen (BAFTA, TFCA) Odds: 19/1
Achievement in Directing
Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu Odds: 10/1 The Departed * (BSFC, BFCA, DFWFCA, DGA, FFCC, GG, NBR, NYFCC, OFCS, PFCS, SEFCA, WAFCA) Martin Scorsese Odds: 1/5 Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood Odds: 4/1 The Queen Stephen Frears (TFCA) Odds: 14/1 United 93 Paul Greengrass (KCFCC, LAFCA, NSFCA, SFFCC) Odds: 17/1
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond Odds: 8/1 Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson Odds: 18/1 Peter O’Toole in Venus Odds: 6/1 Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness Odds: 3/1 Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland * (BAFTA, BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, GG, LAFCA, NBR, NSFC, NYFCC, OFCS, SA, SAG, SEFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/4
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine (BAFTA) Odds: 1/1 Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children (CFCA, DFWFCA, NYFCC, OFCS, SFFCC, SEFCA) Odds: 10/1 Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond (LVFCS, NBR, WAFCA, SAG) Odds: 9/1 Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls * (BFCA, GG) Odds: 2/3 Mark Wahlberg in The Departed (BFCA, NSFCA) Odds: 5/1
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Penélope Cruz in Volver (EFA, GOYA) Odds: 20/1 Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal Odds: 22/1 Helen Mirren in The Queen * (BAFTA, BSFCA, BFCA, COFCA, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, GG, LVFCS, LAFCA, NBR, NSFCA, NYFCC, OFCS, PFCS, SDFCS, SFFCC, SA, SAG, SEFCA, TFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/25 Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada Odds: 15/1 Kate Winslet in Little Children Odds: 7/1
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Adriana Barraza in Babel (SFFCC) Odds: 14/1 Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal (DFWFCA, FFCC, PFCS, TFCA) Odds: 11/1 Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine (OFCS) Odds: 2/1 Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls * (BAFTA, BFCA, GG, LVFCS, NYFCC, SA, SAG, SEFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/8 Rinko Kikuchi in Babel (CFCA)Odds: 11/1
Babel Letters from Iwo Jima Little Miss Sunshine (BAFTA, BFCA, DFWFCA, SEFCA, WAFCA, WGA) Pan’s Labyrinth The Queen * (BIFA, CFCA, GG, KCFCC, LAFCA, NSFCA, NYFCC, SA, TFCA)
Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Children of Men (OFCS) The Departed * (BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, SA, SEFCA, WGA) Little Children (SFFCC) Notes on a Scandal
Best Animated Feature
Cars Happy Feet Monster House
Best Foreign Language Film
After the Wedding Denmark Days of Glory (Indigènes) Algeria The Lives of Others Germany Pan’s Labyrinth Mexico Water Canada
Achievement in Art Direction
Dreamgirls The Good Shepherd Pan’s Labyrinth Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest The Prestige
Achievement in Cinematography
The Black Dahlia Children of Men The Illusionist Pan’s Labyrinth The Prestige
Achievement in Costume Design
Curse of the Golden Flower The Devil Wears Prada Dreamgirls Marie Antoinette The Queen
Best Documentary Feature
Deliver Us from Evil An Inconvenient Truth Iraq in Fragments Jesus Camp My Country, My Country
Best Documentary Short Subject
“The Blood of Yingzhou District” “Recycled Life” “Rehearsing a Dream” “Two Hands”
Achievement in Film Editing
Babel Blood Diamond Children of Men The Departed United 93
Achievement in Makeup
Apocalypto Click Pan’s Labyrinth
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Babel The Good German Notes on a Scandal Pan’s Labyrinth The Queen
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth “Listen” from Dreamgirls “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls “Our Town” from Cars “Patience” from Dreamgirls
Best Animated Short Film
“The Danish Poet” “Lifted” “The Little Matchgirl” “Maestro” “No Time for Nuts”
Best Live Action Short Film
“Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)” “Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)” “Helmer & Son” “The Saviour” “West Bank Story”
Achievement in Sound Editing
Apocalypto Blood Diamond Flags of Our Fathers Letters from Iwo Jima Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Apocalypto Blood Diamond Dreamgirls Flags of Our Fathers Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Achievement in Visual Effects
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Poseidon Superman Returns
A bill would require all new buildings in Albuquerque to be more energy efficient
By Christie Chisholm
Global warming, as a concept and point of dialogue, has been reborn. Over the last two years, thanks to hurricanes, rising gas prices and Al Gore, the public discourse about global warming, like so much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, has risen exponentially. What a few years ago existed simply as an “environmentalists’ issue,” receiving no more attention than topics like deforestation and recycling (which are certainly linked to global warming), is today recognized as the next lurking catastrophe. Suddenly, society is paying attention.
A prolific young writer joins in Albuquerque's newest youth publication
By Amy Dalness
The walls of Andre Infante's bedroom are plastered with rejection letters, but he's no sadist. The form letters are badges of honor in a budding writing career—stepping stones in his journey to publish any one of his seven novels.
What we learned from Molly Ivins and Anna Nicole Smith
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
All right, class, listen up. Today, in place of our scheduled lecture on American culture at the start of the 21st century, we’ll instead have a brief pop quiz. So put down your BlackBerries, unplug your iPods and shut the lids on your laptops.
Dateline: China--Local officials in China have been criticized for spraypainting a barren mountainside green. Laoshou Mountain, near Fumin in the Yunnan province, was left an eyesore by quarrying. Instead of reforesting the mountainside, officials simply hired seven workers for 45 days to spraypaint it green. Nearby villagers have been driven from their homes by the strong smell of paint, reports City Times. “At first I was glad to see the green mountain, thinking the government was paying more attention to the environment,” local businessman Huang was quoted as saying. “But then I noticed the great contrast with the surrounding mountains.” Another villager complained, “We thought the workers were here to spray pesticides before planting saplings. But it turned out to be green paint.”
Africa in America--The fifth edition of the African Effect Film Festival comes to the CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail) in Santa Fe this weekend. From Friday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 25, the CCA will host a series of films, lectures and concerts, all centered on African culture and the African diaspora. Six films will be featured, spanning the globe from Senegal to South Africa, from Kenya and the United States. Subjects range from a South African adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen to a documentary about New York teens who use hip-hop as a vehicle for self-development. This year’s special guest is legendary Senegalese musician/film composer Lamine Konte. For a complete schedule of films and events, log on to www.ccasantafe.org. Tickets are $8.50 general admission/$7 members, students and seniors. Festival passes are available for $45/$30 members.
An interview with the writer, producer and star of TheAstronaut Farmer
By Devin D. O’Leary
Twin brothers Mark and Michael Polish burst onto the indie film scene in flamboyant fashion, writing, producing and starring in the 1999 drama Twin Falls Idaho. That off-kilter film fest hit focused its cracked lens on a pair of Siamese twins (Mark and Mike, who are not quite joined at the hip in real life) falling in love with a hooker. Following that freshman effort (cranked out for around $500,000), the Polish brothers produced another couple cult-leaning ensemble films, 2001’s gambling comedy Jackpot and 2003’s biblical allegory Northfork.
Costume drama makes Abolitionist movement sexy (not really)
By Devin D. O’Leary
Amazing Grace is a spectacularly well-intentioned film. So selfless are its motivations, though, that it threatens on multiple occasions to degenerate from movie to outright moralizing. Fortunately, helmer Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World is Not Enough and the Seven Up! series) is on hand to keep things from crossing the line between story and sermon.
Why do we watch the Oscars? It’s a valid question. The telecast itself is rarely riveting television. The opening monologue is sometimes funny. The “who died last year” tribute is always worth a look. But aside from that, there isn’t a whole lot of entertainment to be found. Not even the red carpet arrivals are particularly interesting, as stars gave up wearing crazy crap years ago.
CABQSXSW—The rejection notices have been doled out. Just in case you had any lingering doubts, we regret to inform you that your band didn't make it. We can say this with complete confidence because only one Albuquerque band was accepted onto this year's official South by Southwest Showcase roster. That band was Beirut.
As clichéd as punk covers have gotten these days, you'd be hard pressed to find a better cover, punk or otherwise, than Whole Wheat Bread's rendition of Lil Jon's "I Don't Give a Fuck." The song even drew the King of Crunk's attention himself, which led to a collaboration on several tracks for an album due out this spring.
Quality time with grandma—it's a beautiful thing. A few hands of pinochle. A game or two of Scrabble. Longs hours of breakdancing to the kickin' beat. For this month's quality time sesh, she's taking on other b-girls at the annual Breakin' Hearts competition and you're her moral support. Damn, your nana is cool.
After 10 years together, proggish art rock five-piece Isis knows when to expand an instrumental interlude and when to pull it back. They know when to create tension and then release it in an instant, only to build the anxiety anew. Listening to an Isis song is an exercise in perpetual capitulation and catharsis. Most enticing is the band's uncanny ability to understand just how to keep the proverbial ball rolling, never surrendering to drone or monotony.
Pack up your peg legs, matey: Zombies are the new pirates. Starring Poloroid Pornography, Unit 7 Drain and The Dead Electric, this Saturday, Feb. 24, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (free, 21+). Long live the undead! (LM)
Roll Over Beethoven—Imani Winds is a five-piece chamber music outfit aimed at exploring the intersections between European, American and African music. The quintet has been around since 1997, building a passionate base of loyal fans. Luckily, Chamber Music Albuquerque is bringing them to town for a performance on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center. This definitely isn't your standard Hayden and Beethoven classical music event. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this exciting ensemble. A preconcert lecture will be held at 2 p.m. Show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $19 to $38 in advance and $21 to $40 at the door. Student discounts are available. 268-1990, www.cma-abq.org.
Expo thrives on the notion that tattoos aren't just for sailors and jailbirds anymore
By Marisa Demarco
Jennifer Newby is always surprised when her tattoos draw her negative attention. Women, she says, get more strange looks because of their ink, even in Santa Cruz, Calif. "I can go to the grocery store and I get asked about my ink or I get dirty looks," she says. Growing up in an open environment means the questions—“What are you going to do when you get older?”—catch her off guard.
Salman Rushdie once noted that the societies that emerged from colonial rule in the ’50s and ’60s soon became hotbeds for literary invention. “The Empire Writes Back,” he called the phenomenon, punning on George Lucas’ Star Wars film.
Why do we love pho so much? I remember when I was a kid I used to call it “everything” soup, because it appeared to contain pretty much everything. I’ve heard it called “weird noodle stuff,” “the stuff with the bean sprouts,” and my personal fave, “the limey-noodle-sprout thing in the great big bowl.” I took someone out to eat at a local Vietnamese place a while back who, after a few big bites, proclaimed, “this has a lot of vegetables—it’s like a liquid salad.”