There’s something wonderful about painter-turned-filmmaker Julian Schnabel’s impressionistic biopic The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. But there’s also something vaguely frustrating in this soft-focus ode to imagination and Frenchy joie de vivre. Perhaps it’s simply a byproduct of the subject at hand, real-life Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a massive stroke, became completely paralyzed and still managed to dictate his entire biography before dropping dead at age 44.
By now, well into the fourth week of January, your dreams of triumph in New Year’s self-improvement are fading with the abruptness of each passing day. Your envisioned fresh start now dissolves into the annual realization that you are still you, and not much actually changed between December and January. Sure, you may long for self-improvement, but can it be scheduled according to the whims of the Gregorian calendar? Maybe for the responsible and disciplined--but face it, that's not you. It's time to embrace the glory in failure, and with this, learn to exploit nonsuccess.
Prolific, self-published author Mark St. George is bringing his cinematic writing/directing/producing debut Alexander--Hero of Heroes to the Guild Cinema on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. as a fundraiser for the charity America’s Fallen Heroes Fund. The film is a videotaped version of St. George’s 2006 stageplay about Macedonian conquerer Alexander the Great and is described thusly: “As classical Greek tragedy, it’s the all-time Super Bowl, where the five-star quarterback gets killed at the end.” The film stars WWE wrestler Hawk Younkins. Tickets for this event are $10, and attendees are encouraged to donate to America’s Fallen Heroes Fund. Through similar screenings around the country, the charity hopes to raise $40 million, which will be given to families of servicemen and -women who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan. For more information on America’s Fallen Heroes, log on to www.americasfallenheroesfund.com. For more info on Mark St. George’s unique works (his “multimedia musical” about Montezuma is described as “The O.G. Rumble in the Jungle”), check out www.proteusla.com.
While a TV series about the ups and downs of the meth-dealing business might not seem like the best on-screen exposure for New Mexico, AMC’s new series “Breaking Bad” manages to be, arguably, the most true-to-life version of our fair state to date.
Seeing how the topic is fake bands, and Keller Williams and the WMDs are coming through town this week, it's pretty serendipitous that Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo just happens to be debuting in Albuquerque on Tuesday. Primus bass-master Les Claypool wrote, directed and stars in this mock rockumentary chronicling the highs (cough) and lows of a jam band reaching for cult status in the jam circuit.
If these guys became rockstars, you sure as hell can
By Maren Tarro and Laura Marrich
There are a multitude of phony-baloney "bands" that have made the jump from fiction to radio. Bands that blurred the line between fantasy and reality so effectively that even Stephen Hawking’s sexy Speak and Spell voice can’t explain the phenomenon.
The season of love is upon us, which means the Alibi's fifth annual Valentine's Day Card Contest is here. All you creative-minded people yearning for the opportunity to pour your heart into a Valentine's Day card and have it read by all of the Duke City, well, here it is! Glue, paste, draw, dribble, paint, shellac or silk-screen your way into our judges' hearts on a surface no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Whichever cards make the judges swoon will be published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Alibi and their creators will receive super-sexy date packages (including dinner, a movie, chocolate and more). All entries must be received by 5 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 25, and only one entry per person will be accepted. Cupid commands you.
New Mexico’s Crypto-Jews: Image and Memory by Cary Herz
By Lisa Lenard-Cook
The Art is OK Gallery, tucked between Cost Plus and Guitar Boy, might seem an odd venue for Cary Herz’ photographs of New Mexico crypto-Jews. But the crowd there for the opening of her show, which runs through Feb. 11, didn't seem to think so. An eclectic mix hailing from Albuquerque’s Jewish, Hispanic, literary and art communities, the group stood quietly as Herz explained how her photos and their companion book, New Mexico’s Crypto-Jews: Image and Memory, just published by UNM Press, came to be.
Maybe it began with the watercolor landscape of a New Mexican sunset you picked up at a garage sale. Or the antique portrait found while cleaning out your grandmother's attic. Maybe it’s just something you've always wanted to do, and this year you're gonna make it happen.
New Mexico hotline aims to aid and inform soldiers
By Marisa Demarco
Jorge Arroyo served in the United States military for eight years. The Puerto Rican-born serviceman was on active duty in the Army until 2004, then joined the Air National Guard. He's been stationed in Kentucky, Germany, Kuwait and Baghdad.
UNM's hype man pockets how much? A stem-cell measure in the Legislature allows researchers to do what? What ABC reality show is zooming in on Albuquerque? Why is the Frontier taking our 3 a.m. cinnamon roll away from us?
English as a Second Language classes help immigrants adjust to living in the United States
By Kyra Gurney
Six students sit around a low table, discussing Elvis Presley in halting English. It's Tuesday evening, and most have come to class after a long day of work. Jose Hernandez is still wearing paint-splattered pants from his construction job. The students lean forward as their instructor, Mark Ortega, holds up a picture of The King and asks slowly, "Who has ever heard his music?"
Driving through downtown Albuquerque last weekend, many of us were startled to see scenes of near-total devastation. Entire blocks of our city streets had apparently suffered a catastrophe of immense proportions. Dozens of burned-out cars, trucks and city buses were strewn around like toys in a sandbox amid overturned chunks of concrete pavement blown apart by some great force.
Dateline Bulgaria--Two brothers have divided their family home with barbed wire after suing each other more than 200 times. Taso Hadjiev, 74, and his brother Asen, 75, from the town of Malka Arda first sued each other in 1968 in a dispute over land left to them by their dead parents. Since then, the brothers have had regular fall outs ending in litigation. Neither has been able to move out of the home as all their income has gone toward paying lawyers. Neighbor Sabka Shehova said, “They’ve been at it for years. They go to court for any old reason they can dream up--and none of it is ever true. They just want to sue each other. They’ve been at it so long, they can barely remember what they first went to court over.”
There have been days when we’ve cursed the Rocky Mountains for keeping the Colorado beers we love (and those we think we could love, if that love were only given a chance) from reaching us—silver bullet indeed. Of course, we know it’s not the breweries' fault we can’t drink their beer. It’s just economics and geography. Still, it makes us sad.
Oh, the hoops some restaurants will jump through to separate diners from their dough. There are sports-themed joints that feature big-screen monuments to full-contact manliness, medieval battlegrounds that mix chowing with jousting, and booby-based dens of iniquity, to name a few.
Conquer fear in the kitchen with New World Provence
By Simon McCormack
I felt a foreboding lump form in the pit of my stomach. Being asked to cook any meal would have worried me, but I was given the assignment to prepare French food—one of the more intimidating culinary forms in existence. As someone who relies primarily on fast food for calories and never cooks anything more complicated than store-bought pasta, I knew I was in for a challenge.
Why is it that I can’t bring kumquats—or any number of other fruits—over the border from Mexico, but I can buy Mexican kumquats at the grocery store? How do they know those kumquats are safe and others aren’t?
A: Dear Fruity,
You’ve asked a big question; but the short answer is that fruits with the potential to carry infectious plant diseases or insects must be imported very carefully and harvested from known sources tested to ensure they're clean. Of course, contamination still happens. I guess that’s just the price we all have to pay so folks like you can have your weird tropical fruits.
In just 13 short months, analog television signals, the conduits through which TV has broadcast since its emergence in the late '30s, will cease to be. Anticipated for more than 10 years, old-hat analog will soon be replaced by the not-very-wavy wave of the future: digital television. Aside from improved picture quality, DTV's superiority lies in the fact that it takes up less bandwidth, freeing scarce space within the broadcast spectrum and, according to the government, transforming your viewing experience.
Richard Gonzales bought the old El Vado Motel on west Central in 2005. The motor court was losing thousands of dollars each month. “I can’t make it anymore,” the previous owner told the Albuquerque Journal.
Little-known law allows those who dine to take home unfinished fruit of the vine
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Oenophiles know the hesitation often born of deciding whether to order an entire bottle of wine at a restaurant. A whole bottle is both an investment and a commitment to five glasses—and a big buzz. But ordering a bottle is no longer such a monumental decision.
Dateline: New York--In what was either an ugly case of check fraud or an attempt to remake Weekend at Bernie’s, two 65-year-old friends wheeled the dead body of their roommate to a store in Midtown Manhattan to cash his Social Security check. The trouble began last Tuesday when David Dalaia and James O’Hare allegedly tried to cash Virgilio Cintron’s $355 Social Security check at a store in Hell’s Kitchen on their own, police said. The man at the counter told them Cintron had to be present to cash the check, so they went back to his apartment, which at least one of the suspects shared with the recently deceased man. Cintron was apparently undressed when he passed away, sometime within the previous 24 hours. Police said Dalaia and O’Hare proceeded to dress him in a faded T-shirt, pants they could only get up part way and a pair of Velcro sneakers. They threw a coat over his waist to conceal what the pants couldn’t cover. “He was sitting in the chair with his head in the back of the chair,” witness Victor Rodriguez told New York’s KDKA-2 News. “From where I was looking, he appeared to be dead.” As Dalaia and O’Hare were pulling Cintron’s partially dressed, wheelchair-bound corpse into Pay-O-Matic, a check cashing store in midtown Manhattan, they caught the attention of a plainclothes police officer who was eating lunch next door. The officer phoned police, who arrived and took O’Hare and Dalaia into custody. Cintron, 66, was taken to a nearby hospital and declared dead, most likely from natural causes.
On Jan. 17, Instituto Cervantes at the National Hispanic Cultural Center kicks of a brand-new, multiweek film series. “Cinema Policíaco” shines a spotlight on the low-budget gangster thrillers studios in Madrid and Barcelona were pumping out in the ’50s. The series starts with a bang this Thursday thanks to ultraprolific director Ignacio F. Iquino’s Brigada Criminal. This 1950 film spins the story of a fresh-faced graduate from Madrid’s Police School who becomes involved in a robbery at a bank where his uncle works as a teller.
At least they nailed the “something borrowed” part
By Devin D. O’Leary
Employing weddings to make women cry (Four Weddings and a Funeral, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Singer, The Wedding Date, The Runaway Bride) is a cheap and easy tactic. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s simply ... unsporting (to say nothing of uninspired) of filmmakers.
Raw-boned American saga ditches melodrama for elemental filmmaking
By Devin D. O’Leary
Much-praised director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) ditches his popular ensemble-cast comedy/drama style for a dark, visually sparse single-character study. Borrowing some of its plot and most of its characters from an obscure Upton Sinclair novel (titled Oil!), Anderson’s There Will Be Blood sweet-talks Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis out of yet another self-imposed “retirement” to play the single most vicious, mesmerizing, unforgettable character of the year.
“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” isn’t the best sci-fi action series ever made. But given today’s Writers Guild strike-mandated slate of reality shows and reruns, it’s enough to rate as a desperately welcome addition to the midseason TV schedule.
Does your guitar have a person's name? Do you sometimes fall asleep with it in your arms? Are your pants pockets stuffed with lyrics scrawled on little bits of paper? If so, you might be one of the millions of Americans who are aspiring singer-songwriters.
New Rhymesayers label artist and former Scribble Jam champion Mac Lethal is hitting the industry with a lethal dose of acid-tongued lyricsm. He hits The Stove in Albuquerque this Sunday. The Alibi got a hold of Mac to talk about his Always Talk To Strangers Tour (co-headlined by MCs Grieves and Type) as he was sitting down on the same green couch he raps about in his new album, 11:11.
Flutist James Newton and pianist Jon Jang forge a musical brotherhood
By Mel Minter
Brothers typically come to their sibling relationship without choice, riding shared DNA from common parents. Flutist/composer James Newton and pianist/composer Jon Jang, however, were drawn into brotherhood nearly 25 years ago by a common musical DNA and a shared appetite for justice.
In 2006, Jacob Hansen and Patrick Bowden of Denver’s The Knew became a two-piece after guitarist Tyler Breuer left to teach overseas. They were vulnerable in a live setting and were limited musically. The only thing they could do was quit or adopt an underdog mentality, to play as though each song was their only shot. The duo did more than survive.
Working Classroom has spent the last 20 years promoting and building a more inclusive, more dynamic, more inspired global art community. For 20 years, established artists from around the world have come to the Duke City to work with those aspiring to greatness from ignored communities. For 20 years, this nonprofit organization has worked hard to help every artist in Albuquerque find his or her potential, social status be damned.
No one tried to stop the man from holding a gun to Pancho Villa's head. The would-be assassin's face was just off-center in the photograph—his arm extended through the car window with a pistol pointed at the sombrero-topped head of Villa. The crowd dappled behind him showed no surprise or uproar, for it wasn't the first time someone shot Pancho Villa. It was one of many times since the real Villa's murder in 1923 and it wouldn't be the last.
Tricklock Company presents the Eighth Annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Amy Dalness
The marathon we theater junkies have been waiting for is here. The Eighth Annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival kicked off Wednesday, Jan. 16, with a titillating performance by The Wau Wau Sisters, and there's much more to come. Running until Feb. 3, Revolutions features theater troupes and performers from Poland, Germany, Pakistan, the whole of Eastern Europe and all over the U.S. This year brings a few new additions, including more performances in Santa Fe at the Armory for the Arts and, to add to the Dionysian celebration (thanks, Joe Peracchio, for the delicious descriptor), O'Neill's Irish Pub has become the official Revolutions base camp.
There are as many paths to the restaurant industry as there are people working in it. Some are born with a passion for food. Some can’t get hired anywhere else. Others find themselves in the kitchen through chance.
Atmospheric Spanish chiller will have audiences jumping at shadows
By Devin D. O’Leary
America no longer knows how to make horror movies--which explains why virtually every horror film Hollywood has extruded in the last five years has been a remake. A large percentage of those remakes haven’t even been remakes of American movies. Take, for example, the recent release One Missed Call. It’s an English-language retooling of a 2003 Japanese flick (just like The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Water before it). What’s more, Warner Brothers didn’t even bother hiring an American to shoot it; the company went out and plucked an obscure French director named Eric Valette (Maléfique) to helm it. Seen ads for The Eye, the upcoming supernatural thriller starring Jessica Alba? It was originally a Thai film. Now we have an American version directed by--guess who?--a couple of French guys. All of which begs the question: If you like horror, why are you bothering to watch American films in the first place?
In a battle over control of public land, Mexican wolves are caught in the crossfire
By John Dougherty
Debbie Miller, a hardy brunette with a butterfly tattoo on her right arm, walks past the family shooting range just outside her kitchen door. She is talking about a recent visitor to her isolated ranch house in the high desert rangeland of Catron County, N.M. "She had been in the yard 10 times in eight weeks," Miller says on a sunny July afternoon. "This was like home for her."
Think back to this time last year. No one knew it yet, but the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) was on the verge of closing. Albuquerque's longest-running gay club had just celebrated its 20th anniversary in October. But by the end of February, it was gone.
In some ways, Ben Chasny's feelings about MySpace match his take on creating music in general. "My problem with MySpace is it's such a template," the Six Organs of Admittance founder and only permanent member explains. "It all looks so cookie-cutter, and I wish there was a way to have some sort of individuality with it."
La Junta and Rubixzu get down with live hip-hop sets at the Santa Fe Brewing Co. (35 Fire Place, Santa Fe, 505-424-3333) this Friday, Jan. 11. $5 gets you in to the all-ages show, which starts around 9 p.m. (LM)
The city is abuzz with new art happenings—evidence that Albuquerque is a cultural epicenter teeming with talent. Two great shows opening this weekend are worthy of some attention. First, the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE) presents Soul Expressions with works by the New Mexico African-American Artist Guild (more to come later this the month). The variety of styles and voices in Soul Expressions makes it a promising exhibit. The show is already on the walls, but join the artists for an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Unpronounceable at the Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Amy Dalness
Kumail Nanjiani watched one Hollywood movie a day to prepare for college. Nanjiani's parents insisted from a young age he attend a university in the United States since his native Pakistan was such a turbulent country. And so the family VCR became his window into America.
What did one traveling family find in a Santa Fe bathroom? What question does the mayor want the courts to answer? Where will our state's National Guard be deployed? How many animals left the city's shelters alive last year?
Get to know the people responsible for mopping up your party mess
By Marisa Demarco
The Worker Files is a new Alibi feature spotlighting people with interesting jobs in New Mexico. If you’ve got a noteworthy job or know someone who does, contact News Editor Marisa Demarco at (505) 346-0660 ext. 245.
Six artists from the Czech Republic scaled a television tower last June in the northern part of their country, connected a computer to the camera and broadcast cable, and hacked a fake nuclear explosion into a national weather forecast.
What to look for in this year's Legislative Session
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the New Mexico Legislature will convene for this year’s 30-day session. These “short” sessions in even-numbered years were originally intended to deal with budget issues, which lent a spare quality to its work, a sort of pared-down character that used to make it more of a sprint than the longer, 60-day “regular” sessions that were often endurance marathons.
Dateline: Australia--A snake was saved by surgery last Wednesday after mistaking a quartet of golfballs for a hearty meal of chicken eggs. A couple had placed the balls in their chicken coop at Nobbys Creek in New South Wales to encourage their hen to nest, Australian Associated Press reported. Late last month, they found the balls missing and discovered a lumpy carpet python nearby. They took the 32-inch non-venomous snake to the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where senior veterinarian Michael Pyne operated to remove the golfballs from the snake’s intestine. Pyne told reporters the animal is now on the road to a speedy recovery.
This Thursday, Jan. 10, the Guild Cinema will open its doors to the San Francisco-based UnderSkatement Film Festival. This annual touring film fest is entering its fourth year on the road, bringing edgy skateboard shorts to audiences across America and Canada. Among this year’s lineup of films/videos are Mike Maniglia’s “Gusto: Grindline,” Rory Sheridan’s “Behind the Griptape,” Mike Wilson’s “Skate Song” and Dan Wolfe’s “Lost in the Fog.” Hellz yeah! The show runs approximately an hour and 45 minutes and gets grinding at 8:30 p.m.
“Here we are live on the red carpet at the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Arriving on the red carpet right now is ... well, nobody. But if you squint real hard, I think you can see George Clooney standing behind the picket lines across the street. ... Back to you, Mary Hart!”
There are few perceivable pillars of French cooking that are as widely and voraciously loved as scalding-hot onion soup cloaked in a blistering layer of melted Gruyère. Like many of the epic French dishes that canonize the cuisine of rural folk, vegetarians usually remain wholly uninvited. How does one mitigate that beef stock in every single recipe of the gooiest of soups, French onion?
Mariscos La Playa, having made a name for itself in Santa Fe and Española, added to its family of restaurants with a spot here in Burque. Some people still cringe at the idea of traditional Mexican seafood in a place where there isn’t water in sight (to be fair, its new Central location is near the Rio Grande). And while setting out to catch fresh seafood in a landlocked state can be tricky, Mariscos La Playa makes a commendable effort and still keeps prices in a reasonable range.