Poker-faced drama is a few cards short of a full deck
By Devin D. O’Leary
The question at hand is this: Why would white-hot acting stud Eric Bana follow up his Academy Award-caliber Steven Spielberg drama Munich with a seemingly inconsequential romantic comedy like Lucky You? There are actually several possible answers to the question, but it should first be noted that Lucky You only seems like an inconsequential romantic comedy—an impression no doubt enhanced by some rather misleading television commercials.
50 things (or more) to do in Albuquerque this summer for $5 (or less)
By Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Marisa Demarco, Laura Marrich, Devin D. O’Leary
The last thing you want to do is spend the entire summer wasting away on your couch in your underwear, shelling pistachios in front of the TV while the world goes by without you. Take part! Take action! For this year's summer guide, the Alibi brain trust collected more than 50 adventures available to the citizens of Albuquerque for the lowest of prices—from five bucks to free. So pull out the couch cushions, rustle up a couple dollars of change and let the good times roll.
In case you haven't noticed, Santa Fe is over-priced. The homes are expensive. The attractions are expensive. But if you look beyond the glitzy, tourist-approved exterior, you’ll find a trip to Santa Fe is well within your budget. Gas may still cost a pretty penny (unless you take a shuttle or wait for the Rail Runner to extend into the City Different), but the cost of spending an afternoon or a weekend in our state's capitol can be a mere pittance. This list of 10 things to do for $10 or (much) less should help you find the bargain behind the bulge.
Active Imagination Game Store 11200 Montgomery NE, #10 ABS Board game night is every Thursday! Free gaming sessions: Most times Monday-Thursday, Noon-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Noon.-12 a.m. Sundays, Noon-5 p.m. 346-2232
A few of Albuquerque's better (and cheaper) museums
By Compiled by Amanda N. Dales
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History 2000 Mountain NW, 243-7255 This leading museum for Southwestern art, culture, and history has a fascinating collection of sculptures, paintings and photographs. Hours of Operation: Tuesday–Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $4 adults, $2 seniors (65+), $1 children, ages 4–12. Admission is free every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and all day on the first Wednesday of every month.
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity Lodestar Astronomy Center This science and technology film, which runs most of the summer provides a complete picture on the mysterious phenomenon of the black hole. The film shows the mystery of wormholes, the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. Admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 children (3-12). 841-5955.
The city's proposed teen music center is in danger
By Laura Marrich
The city's plan to establish an all-ages, teen-run music center was set in motion with the purchase of the Ice House building last year. But it's hit a snag. Without a show of your support at two upcoming meetings, the proposed center may be cut out from the funding it needs to get off the ground.
There once was a car that was cheap, the fastest car on the street. You could own it if you were poor and couldn’t afford more, but still … the car could never be beat. And thus, the “Poor Man’s Ferrari” became a classic machine worth more than 10 times its original listing price.
“I'm trying to be the greatest there's ever been.”
By Marisa Demarco
Brother Ali speaks quietly, his thick East Coast accent eloquent and thoughtful. When we speak, he's in Boston in the middle of a two-month tour. Lots of musicians bitch about being on the road, but Ali loves it—except for missing his new wife and 6-year-old son. He's a serious guy who's had to sacrifice and scrap his way to fame, riding a heap of critical praise for his first big success with the Rhymesayers label, Shadows on the Sun.
Double Whammy—A pair of MFA students from UNM will present twin exhibits of their work starting this weekend at [AC]2 (301 Mountain NE). Erin Emiko Kawamata and Min Kim Park both delve into gender, ethnicity, memory and stereotypes in their photo, video and performance art. Stop by the gallery on Saturday, May 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. to find out more. The shows run through June 10. 842-8016, www.ac2gallery.org.
Sure, the original plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth is adequate, but just think how much better it could be if the weak parts were tightened up a bit. For example, instead of setting the play hundreds of years ago in Scotland, how about setting it hundreds of years in the future with all the action taking place on a space ship? And instead of a heavy examination of naked political ambition, why not focus instead on the virtues of butt-kickin' girl power?
How to be an American Journalist, Part II—Last week, “Thin Line” focused on an eye-opening documentary by Bill Moyers on how the media failed to ask tough questions during the run-up to the Iraq War. It's instructive to learn about the failures of our largest publications and networks, about reporters blinded in a fog of patriotism. As potential military conflict with Iran approaches, what are the questions we should be asking? Primarily, are things really as they seem? How do we go beyond military news releases and spokesperson responses to get to the heart of this situation?
One of the amenities of living in this high-tech world that our household most enjoys sampling is Netflix. We watch films ordered from this outfit that slipped past commercial theaters and that I didn’t get over to the Guild in time to see.
Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater. A packed house. Techno rap rattles the sound system. A gruff baritone on full automatic slams rhymes of defiance and rebellion. The audience sways to the relentless, driving beat. The woman next to me slides to the edge of her seat. I think she’s holding her breath.
Dateline: Italy—A fan of the AC Milan soccer team, angry over the poor performance of Brazilian-born goalie Dida, put the player up for sale on eBay. The 33-year-old, who joined Milan in 2000, was a hero after the shootout win over Juventus in the 2003 Champions League final, but his popularity has slumped after a series of errors. Unfortunately, the goalie did not raise much interest on the popular auction site. His sale price, before the auction was shut down by eBay officials last Friday, had reached just 71 euros (about $116) after 25 bids.
Shoot Quick, Ask Questions Later—Perhaps you’ve heard of this Duke City Shootout thing? Well, if you’ve always toyed with the idea of getting involved, here’s yet another chance. This Friday, May 11, is the deadline for submitting your screenplay for consideration to the 2007 Shootout. Script submission requirements include a cover page with name of author, address, telephone number; a 12-minute script (i.e. 12 pages); and an entry fee of $35. There are two ways to submit scripts. You can mail hard copies of scripts, including checks or money orders payable to the Digital Filmmaking Institute, to: “Duke City Shootout, P.O. Box 37080, Albuquerque, NM 87176.” Or you can submit electronically and pay by credit card at www.withoutabox.com. Representatives of New Mexico’s Digital Filmmaking Institute and renowned screenwriters from around the country will select the seven best scripts to be produced. The Shootout will fly the seven winning screenwriters to Albuquerque, where they will be given a cast, high-definition digital camera and lighting equipment, a production crew, post-production facilities, transportation and even a professional mentor—everything they will need to bring their script to life. For more information and updates on the 2007 Shootout, visit www.dukecityshootout.org.
Remember the classic line from A League of Their Own: “There’s no crying in baseball!” Well, until very recently, there wasn’t any crying in superhero movies either. But thanks to the release of Spider-Man 3, all that’s changed. For all its explosive action and multimillion dollar special effects, Spider-Man 3 is memorable mostly for its soulful weeping, its emotional cry jags and its manic depressive mood swings.
Bye-Bye, Bob Barker—After 35 years of hosting daytime gameshow “The Price is Right,” 85-year-old Bob Barker is finally retiring. Names of replacement hosts are being bandied about (Mark Steines, Todd Newton and George Hamilton seem to be the frontrunners, although Rosie O’Donnell is tooting her own horn rather loudly). Rest assured someone will be back in a Burbank studio quizzing people on the price of canned corn sooner than later.
The term “barley wine-style” is a new one on us. We like to think the guys at Avery Brewing Co. were making hand quotation marks as they seized on the phrase. That’s because Hog Heaven is hardly the malt bomb that you’d expect from a bottle with “Barley Wine” on the label. Most powerhouses in the barley wine class, like Stone’s Old Guardian or Anchor’s Old Foghorn, are heavy on sugary roasted malts and can knock you out with a boozy left hook. In a class of beasts and brutes, Hog Heaven is the Oscar de la Hoya of the barley wine world.
The inside of Chicago Beef bears an eerie resemblance to a single guy’s apartment. This restaurant (in what used to be the Doc and Mz. V’s building on Isleta) absolutely tickled my pickle with not only a menu of bona fide “dude food,” but the general air of bachelor living personified in bare walls and a profusion of condiments.
Leeks aren’t onions, but they’re in the onion family. Their tough-ass stocks are great for braising. After playing with leek rings, we’ve decided they’re great for frying too. Usually when we cook with much of the green part (further up the stock) we opt for methods that will help wilt it, but here we tried to use most of the leek to get a variety of ring shapes.
Just because they spend most of their waking hours in pajamas doesn't mean they're lazy. Far from it. In 2004, Albuquerque's beloved homegrown comedy duo The Pajama Men got picked up by legendary comedy producers The Second City. They moved to Chicago. Many people wept.
Vaudeville on Film—On Saturday, May 5, from 2 to 3 p.m., stage-to-screen historian Frank Cullen will give a presentation/lecture on “Film Roots” at the Albuquerque Public Library Auditorium (501 Copper NW). The presentation will cover the world’s first mass market entertainment, Vaudeville, through to its immediate successor, motion pictures. Cullen is the author of Vaudeville Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in Americaand founder of the American Vaudeville Museum. “Basically, without Vaudeville, film would not have been the industry it was,” argues Cullen. “Vaudeville supplied the pillars of the business: the venues, the distribution network, the talent, the publicity machine, the trade papers.” Cullen’s lecture is free and open to the public and leads directly into ...
An interview with writer/director Salvador Carrasco
By Devin D. O’Leary
These days, Mexico City-born filmmaker Salvador Carrasco is an instructor at the Los Angeles Film School. Back in 1998, he made his feature film debut with the epic historical drama The Other Conquest (La Otra Conquista). At the time of its release, it became the highest-grossing Mexican film in history.
Verhoeven goes from Hollywood to Holland to make war sexy once again
By Devin D. O’Leary
Paul Verhoeven is a strange cat. The Dutch director started out his career with a wealth of well-received European films, including the 1977 Golden Globe-nominated Soldier of Orange—an unflinching look at the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II. A decade later, Verhoeven kicked off his Hollywood career with a bombastic string of hits—from 1987’s RoboCop to 1990’s Total Recall to 1992’s Basic Instinct to 1997’s infamous career-crusher Showgirls. Add another 10 years to Verhoeven’s resumé and we arrive at 2007’s Black Book (Zwartboek), a modestly budgeted indie drama shot back home in the Netherlands.
The last time the Writers Guild of America went on strike was 1988. The strike lasted more than 5 months and paralyzed Hollywood, forcing TV networks to pack schedules with unscripted news shows and pushing film studios to release films three to six months later than expected. In 2001, the Guild threatened to strike again over upcoming contract negotiations, but the work stoppage was narrowly avoided. Now, with contracts once again up for renewal, Hollywood is whispering the “s”-word, and it’s got some people nervous.
We turned photographer Tina Larkin loose on the streets of Downtown to capture Saturday's Crawl, and these are just a few of the brilliant images she brought back. We at the Alibi would like to send out our heartfelt thanks to all the bands, clubs and music fans that made this weekend's Spring Crawl a success. We'll see you on Saturday, August 25, for Fall Crawl!
With the end of the schoolyear fast approaching, students will soon be finished with roughly nine months' worth of hard work and perseverance. Other than a summer vacation and, at best, a diploma to be received at a later date, there isn’t much in the way of a tangible reward for the efforts of New Mexico’s academics.
Charmed splits the bill with Erika Luckett at the Outpost
By Mel Minter
Local folk duo Charmed—Bambi Jackson (guitar, keyboard, vocals) and Alicia Ultan (viola, guitar, vocals)—regularly take on love and death; and with a turn of phrase, a deft melody and a wicked sense of humor, they carry listeners beyond the heartache and pain to the mystery and healing.
If you want to really feel that you’ve gotten your wristband’s worth, it’s probably best to arrive at the Crawl by at least nine. I had an added incentive however, for a relatively early arrival as local electronic/booty rock band Rap was slated for the 9 p.m. slot at Burt’s Tiki Lounge.
On April 18, the Santa Fe River was named America's most endangered river of 2007 by American Rivers, a Washington D.C.-based national river advocacy group. The river, a tributary of the Rio Grande that runs across 46 miles of Northern New Mexico high-desert and mountain terrain, passes through Santa Fe and provides the city with about 40 percent of its water supply. The river has been mostly dry for decades. The declaration was made due to a severe lack of water.
How to be an American Journalist: Part I—Dan Rather says it best. “We didn’t do a good job.” On Bill Moyers’ 90-minute dissection of U.S. media in the run-up to military action in Iraq, “Buying the War,” Rather’s shown crying on Lettermen when discussing Ground Zero, saying he’ll get in line where the president needs him to get in line.
We were searching for our KI, which, if LuAnn our instructor was correct, was nestled in the midpoint of the lower balls of our feet. We stood, knees bent slightly, pelvis tipped forward, eyes closed and, most importantly, feet hip-width apart, legs anchored to the wood floor.
“Every time you exhale, roots extend out of your KI and into the ground,” LuAnn encouraged. “Breathe. Feel your roots grow.”
David Broder, the syndicated Washington Post columnist, blasted Sen. Harry Reid last week for daring to state publicly that the war in Iraq has been lost. Broder, who apparently doesn’t get out much, avers that Reid’s statement was “an embarrassment to the Democrats.”
Monday, April 23: Today we found out via a press release from the governor's office that Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich is taking a leave of absence from his post as state Natural Resources Trustee to consider a congressional run against Leather Heather. Since Wilson won re-election to the U.S. house by the narrowest of margins in 2006, and has since been named in the Iglesias scandal, some folks think 2008 will be the year Wilson's reign of doom is brought to an end.
Dateline: Canada—Police in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia (Bathtub Racing Capital of the World), arrested a man after he was found walking around naked with a swastika taped to his body. Police were called to the scene last Friday by concerned residents. When questioned, the man told police he was “honoring Hitler’s birthday.” He was detained and will undergo a psychiatric assessment. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889.
Arrrrrrbuquerque—Everybody's favorite swashbuckling musical comes to UNM's Popejoy Hall Wednesday, May 9. If Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano isn't quite your bag (see the books section in this week's Alibi), this classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta should satisfy your more traditional entertainment instincts. The plot's pretty simple: Our hero Frederic is apprenticed to a band of pirates after his nursemaid misheard instructions from Fred's father, who asked that he be apprenticed to a pilot. Hijinks ensue. England's Carl Rosa Company mounts this rum-soaked spectacle to the accompaniment of a full orchestra. Tickets range from $25 to $42. Order by calling 925-5858 or going to unmtickets.com.
Human suffering is alluring. Struggle. Loss. Torment. Misfortune. Misery. It thrills us to a point of disgust and retreat, then enthralls us again. There's a subtle beauty in anguish—a beauty Kevin R. Elder attempts to capture in Black River Falling.
Photographer Diane Alire will discuss and sign her new book, The Cross Garden, at New Grounds Print Workshop on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. In the book, Alire documents a Christian roadside attraction in Prattville, Ala., created by the self-ordained Reverend W.C. Rice, who, under instructions from God, painted his fiery proclamations on everything from refrigerators to abandoned vans and placed them in his oddball garden. The book is an engrossing and often disturbing collection of images in which Alire faces up to her own background as a former Southerner and Baptist. Prints from the book will be on display through May 26. For more information, call 268-8952.
Love him or despise him, Albuquerqueans have paid close attention to the inflammatory wisdom of Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano since we began running his column last year. He just published a new book called ¡Ask a Mexican!—a hilarious compendium of his finest columns. He's traversing the solar system on a monster tour to promote his new baby.
Cookbook explores the cupboards and kitchens of your favorite bands
By Marisa Demarco
Maybe you, like me, are one of those people who imagines reverse personifications. For example, if that lady were a vegetable, she would totally be an eggplant. Perhaps you look at friends and see colors (Bob's just blue, you know?), animals (I'm an osprey) or brands of cola (Sally is so Mr. Pibb).
The Daily Grind doles out sage wisdom and savory treats
By Kate Trainor
Nancy Rogers bakes the best scones in the city—sans any Queen Elizabeth snobbery. Like Nancy, the scones are sweet but laced with a tart, teasing bite that beckons customers back for seconds. Her favorite phrase? Shut the hell up. It’s not difficult to comply, especially with a mouthful of buttery baked goods.
Tank tops and flip-flops, the smell of cut grass, and bleary eyes from another bout of debilitating allergies—telltale signs that springtime has returned to Albuquerque and, with it, the all-American pastime that is Spring Crawl.
Killer Press Kit—He got everything right. From the handguns to the black T-shirt to the vest to the black, backward baseball cap. He posed. He spoke in short sentences--perfect for sound bites and pull quotes. Cho Seung-Hui made a press kit, a video and nearly 50 head shots and sent it off to NBC. It was accurate. He knew what a killer is supposed to look like, and he crafted his image carefully to match.
The Alibi talks to Lisa Graybill about the U.S.’s year-old policy of detaining immigrant families and children
By Marisa Demarco
In one facility in Taylor, Texas, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, the kids don't pretend they're teachers or doctors. In their prison garb, they play guard-detainee, where the guard screams in the detainee's face as the detainee cowers and cries. That's the picture lawyer Lisa Graybill paints of the T. Don Hutto Center, a prison converted last summer to detain immigrant families.
Why isn’t the United States working to make Iran a close ally? Iran has enormous natural resources, a rich culture, an educated populace and a strategic position in the Middle East. In many ways, compared to its neighbors, Iran is a bulwark of civilization.
A friend forwarded an e-mail containing a link to a website that documents what we are spending on the Iraq adventure. The numbers change each second as the totals are updated in real time. The figure spins as wildly as an odometer during a sports car test drive, reflecting the cost’s exponential climb.
At the April 16 meeting, councilors debated various issues but postponed votes. Two land use appeals opposed the Development Review Board's (DRB) approval of a subdivision plat near the Embudito trailhead. The DRB ruling allows construction on individual lots to exceed the sector plan's requirements regarding density and slope as long as averages for the entire area meet guidelines. Councilors will hear the appeals in May.
Monday, April 16: The head of Albuquerque's 311, the city’s non-emergency information service, resigned today. Michael Padilla was accused of creating a hostile work environment and insulting lady employees, allegations that Padilla has denied. The call center was taken over by former second in command, quality and training manager Esther Tenenbaum.
Dateline: Japan--Talk about a hot seat!Japan’s leading toilet manufacturer is recalling some 180,000 bidets because they have a tendency to burst into flames. Toto Ltd. is offering free repairs on the Z series electric bidet after wiring problems caused three separate toilets to catch fire between March 2006 and March 2007. According to company spokesperson Emi Tanaka, the high-tech toilet sent up smoke in 26 other incidents. “Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries,” Tanaka said. “The fire would have been just under your buttocks.” The popular Z series toilet features a pulsating massage spray, a power dryer, built-in-the-bowl deodorizing filter, a “Tornado Wash” flush and a lid that opens and closes automatically. The model, which retails for between $1,680 and $2,600, is not sold in the United States.
I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.
Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?
—Pining for Pineapple
A: Dear Pining,
That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.
Bento boxes are those lovely partitioned lacquered wood meal containers from Japan. I picked one up at a yard sale years ago but had no idea it was meant to carry a light lunch—I thought the beautiful container’s inner shelves were meant for girly doodles like earrings and pots of lip gloss. I had only seen bento boxes without lids. So the little black-lidded box serenely sat on my nightstand until I visited a Japanese website to buy imported snacks and realized my earring caddy should have been filled with cooked rice and bits of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
Youth Explosion—The 25 Color Collisions film and video festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, at the CCA Cinematheque in Santa Fe. Billed as the first “youth-produced youth festival in the country,” 25 Color Collisions will feature 25 films by artists 25 years of age and under. Described as “works from the macabre to the magnificent complimenting each other in one incredible weekend,” 25CC will expose the views and express the opinions of youth filmmakers from around the world. Films and videos will be screened in a variety of mixed categories, including documentaries, fiction, animation and experimental.
I was still a snot-nosed little twerp when I first saw the commercial for Night of the Comet playing on the living room TV. I remember thinking to myself, “Cool, a movie where kids inherit the Earth. That would be fun.” Little did I know the only reason these kids get handed the keys to our planet is because everyone else has either turned into a pile of dust or become zombies. Bummer. This was way back in 1984, and I wasn’t exactly in the position to choose which movies my family went out to see at the Albuquerque 6. As a result, it wasn’t until much later that I was able to catch the flick as a rental. But for a kid brought up on Herschell Gordon Lewis, George Romero and Lloyd Kaufman movies, it was well worth the wait. Now, thanks to MGM, the wait is over for all of us.
There was a time, not so long ago, that NBC was the top network on TV. You don’t even have to go back as far as the halcyon days of “Must See TV” when “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” ruled Thursday nights in order to find NBC perched atop the weekly ratings game. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen.
It was your average rabies call. Dr. Octagon was paged to Room 109, unaware of his looming demise. “I’ll tell you what,” spat Dr. Dooom as Octagon entered. “Take this, motherfucker. Take two of these and call me in the morning.” And thus, the good doctor was capped. Cause of death? Multiple GSWs (gunshot wounds) from a nemesis Octagon never saw coming.
Garage rock is a tricky genre. From listening to the intentionally lo-fi recordings and simple song structures, you might be tempted to think anyone can pull it off. Goodness knows a lot of bands have tried, but few have managed to stand out enough to gain more than just local recognition. Still others, such as Southern California’s The Willowz, struggle to break out of the tightly confined space the genre allows without losing what made them successful in the first place.
Poetry Weekend—How much poetry can you cram into a single weekend? Well, you won't know till you give it your best effort, will you? April is National Poetry Month, and Albuquerque aims to end the month of prime versifying with a final blaze of glory.
Out of the Underground at the Jonson Gallery and 516 Arts
By Steven Robert Allen
Larry Bob Phillips' 12-panel hallucinogenic freakfest “Landscape for Merle Haggard” will make your head spin. At first glance, you might even feel a twinge of nausea. The piece boasts hues similar to those found in neon breakfast cereals aimed at the 4- to 8-year-old demographic. You might be tempted to lick it. You might find yourself wondering what would pop out if you donned 3D glasses.