Seven cars were clamped last year. Last month? Thirty.
By Simon McCormack
Robert Hays found out about the city's parking ticket crackdown the hard way. Hays had 87 unpaid citations. Once his car got slapped with a boot on April 18, he was faced with a decision: Either pay the roughly $4,000 he owed the city or set up separate court dates to contest each violation. Hays chose the latter, and he'll have spent almost two months going to court for several hours nearly every weekday. Hays says instead of the $4,000 he would have had to cough up, he'll pay about $600 in court fees. Many of the tickets have been dismissed, he says, because the officers who issued them haven’t attended the hearings.
I was a late-blooming beer drinker. I didn't really appreciate it until one night at the Golden West Saloon, after tasting a sickeningly oversweet stout. I couldn't even finish it, and I asked if Mathias the bartender had any IPA so I could wash the taste out of my mouth. All I wanted was bitterness. What I got was that, plus a load of finishing hops, too. I had just drank my first BridgePort IPA, and I was in love. That's when I began to make some effort to seek out what I had been missing and sample more variety.
Our brief and incomplete summary of the wide world of beer
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Encompassing a wide variety of beer types like bitter, India Pale Ale (IPA) and Extra Special Bitter (ESB), pale ale tends to be a considerably hopped-up British variety and can vary from light golden to dark amber in color. Ever growing in popularity, American-style IPA is hoppier and less malty than its English brethren and is thus more bitter.
Pair with: Strong, greasy foods like pizza and burgers, and fried foods like fish and chips
Farmington. A bull riding throwdown at the McGee Coliseum on the San Juan County Fairgrounds. A raven-haired girl on a white horse finishes texting a friend, crams the cell into her Wranglers and grabs an enormous American flag on a wooden pole. As “Amazing Grace” blares on bagpipes over the PA, she gallops into the arena fast enough to set Old Glory straight.
In early May, a Bigfoot hunter named Tom Biscardi came to New Mexico. He was following up on a few sightings and claimed that some Bigfoot lived in New Mexico caves. Biscardi took KRQE reporter Annie McCormick with him to search for the elusive creatures.
Dateline: Australia—A pair of burglars staged a midnight raid on a house in Melbourne last week. Unfortunately, while the burglars were prying open a window on one side of the house, police were busting down the door on the other. Turns out the house was allegedly being used for growing hydroponic cannabis and detectives were carrying out a raid to arrest the resident, a man in his 20s. Startled to find a squad of heavily armed police officers inside the residence, the burglars fled but were caught a couple of days later, according to Det. Senior-Sgt. Paul Cassidy of Melton CIU. “It is unusual,” he said.
It's too easy to disparage New Mexico for its lack of youth-empowering, School of Rock-style summer camps like the one featured in Girls Rock! (read Marisa Demarco's film review, then see it at the Guild June 6 through 12). We've got music programs, all right, but they're, uh, not quite synced up with the iPod generation. Lord knows Hummingbird Music Camp would be a lot cooler if your counselors were Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) and Beth Ditto (The Gossip). But—for now, at least—we just don't have those kinds of resources.
Can you sneak literary references into ear candy? Self-described power-pop four-piece Sweetness doesn’t see why not. You might be too busy nodding your head to notice, but the garage-anthem “Angry Candy” is a reference to a stanza in an E.E. Cummings poem. The American wordsmith isn’t the only literary figure alluded to on the sly. “I think you can have pop songs with interesting lyrics that go beyond, ‘I want to hold you until the day I die,’ ” says guitarist and English major Chente Rimorin. “The lyrics can be intellectual innuendos.”
Late last week, Gov. Bill Richardson’s office announced the winners of the 2008 Governor’s Cup Short Animation Competition. The two winners will each receive $10,000 toward their short animated projects, which will be produced in New Mexico this summer. We here at the Alibi couldn’t be prouder of this, as one of the winners turned out to be ultra-talented Alibi Graphic Designer Jeff Drew. Drew is already an award-winning animator (he nabbed a win in the Alibi Short Film Fiesta before he even worked here), and we can’t wait to see his new Governor’s Cup project, a cut-and-paste collaboration with Albuquerque’s own Pajama Men (Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez) titled “One Square Mile of Earth.” The other winner was Los Alamos animator Fredrick Aragon, whose short will be “Coyote Tales: Mystery’s Night.” Prizes for the competition were provided by Pangea Pictures and the National Geographic All Roads Film Project. The winners were chosen by a five-member selection panel.
This one time, at band camp, I learned how to bring the noise
By Marisa Demarco
It's a nearly clichéd statement: Girls rock. But a documentary of the same chantable, anthemic title brings us to new territory: Little girls rock, too—with full-sized instruments, piercing shrieks and loud-as-you-please amps.
Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks’ new family cartoon, begins with a traditional 2-D animated sequence of unparalleled style. In an angular, ink-heavy fashion, mixing ancient Chinese scrollwork and modern Japanese anime, we see our hero, a tubby Panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black), kung fu his way through an army of enemies. Alas, it’s all just a dream, as we soon cut back to “reality” and the three-dimensional CGI animation that has been the industry standard since Toy Story swept through the cinemas.
The summer of 2008 will probably go down as the most comic book-saturated in movie history. With films like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight poised to dominate the box office, it’s clear Hollywood has gone full-tilt gaga over the comic book industry. Just in time, Starz peels back the cover on “Comic Books Unbound,” another one of the network’s movie genre documentaries--this one, a glossy airline magazine investigation into the world of comic books, movies and comic book movies.
The year’s not yet half-way over, but Albuquerque’s drama junkies are already planning for 2009. Several theaters, companies and the year-old Albuquerque Theatre Guild are seeking new talent to showcase in ’09, and that means you.
SPAM has acquired many meanings in the Digital Age. SPAM is, of course, a processed meat product made with spiced pork product, that’s canned and often served fried with eggs. It’s also the bane of e-mail inboxes everywhere, clogging the information highway with pharmaceutical advertisements and nudie pics. And it's a Tony Award-winning music. How's that for the meat of champions?
The National Book Critics Circle Awards: A Retrospective
By John Freeman
Publishers in North America churned out more than 200,000 books last year. That means in the time it takes you to read this piece, two or three new books will be published. If you pause in the middle to refill your coffee mug, another book will come off the presses. Go outside to let your dog pee and—look out!—one more book has been born.
Walking onto the seventh floor of The Banque is overwhelming. Elevator doors open to an unfinished, raw space, sunny and full of hundreds of the handmade art pieces that make up The Cradle Project. It's hard to take in at a glance, just as it's hard to imagine what they represent. The 500 cradles stand for "the lost potential of an estimated 48 million children orphaned by disease and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa," according to the show's mission statement.
The frothiest new addition to Albuquerque takes the form of a brewery at 111 Marble NW at First Street. Marble Brewery, which opened on April 23 of this year, is an impressive beer-making operation. Up front, the bar showcasing the fruits of this new brewery's labors is a cozy, unpretentious atmosphere that's stocked with basic pub food, foosball and a beer library. Even more impressive are the Marble microbrews, available by the glass, in kegs, growlers and, soon, six-packs. Behold the hoppy goodness ...
Jonno Katz plays Agent Seymour Foggs, who goes undercover as Stig Kanai, in the world premiere of The Spy—a perilous tale of intrigue, subterfuge and double agents (according to the top-secret press release our undercover operative procured). Katz came to Albuquerque from Melbourne, Australia, to work with Director Mark Chavez (of The Pajama Men) on The Spy, which employs Katz’ talents in physical comedy and "Pythonesque" absurdity. The one-night-only performance, before The Spy heads to another unknown location, is Friday, May 30, at q-Staff theatre (4819 Central NE). Meet-and-mingle starts at 8:30 p.m., the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $10 students and seniors. Call 255-2182 for info and tickets.
Place your bets with the Alibi's 2008 Primary Election Guide
By Christie Chisholm and Marisa Demarco
Not many people typically vote in primary elections. They're just not on the public radar, especially when it comes to local offices. But this year is different. Look no further than the swarms that came out to vote in the national Democratic caucuses for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. This year we're making history in more ways than one.
Job Description: Every state has two senators. They serve longer terms than U.S. representatives, and that means they don't have to spend all their time stumping, ducking and restocking the armory. Senators have more direct influence in Washington, which is probably why all of our state's reps (Heather Wilson, Steve Pearce, Tom Udall) are running for a soon-to-be vacated but still warm seat.
They're two to three times pricier than a show at the Sunshine, but don't let sticker shock keep you from experiencing New Mexico's independent music festivals. You can get passes to two of the best in the West at an attractive discount—but you've got to buy them within the next two weeks.
Star Tattoo blows out the candles on seven years in the pain-for-pleasure biz this Saturday, May 31. Starting at 3 p.m., there'll be free cheese from Little Anita's, crawfish from Copeland's and beer-soaked rawk from eight bands at Elliot's (Alameda and Coors Bypass). It's the Star kids' way of saying, "You could have picked any of Albuquerque's 373 tattoo parlors to give you ass antlers, but you chose us. Thank you." No, Star Tattoo. Thank you. (LM)
A band on the verge of adulthood comes home for a backyard fundraiser
By Simon McCormack
He was barely out of his teen years, but Beirut's Paul Collins recognized a budding star. "The first time I heard Zach [Condon] sing, I knew he was going to be more than just a local musician," Collins says. "I've never seen someone play where I just knew they were going to be something amazing."
When Robert Rauschenberg died three weeks ago, I started thinking of his time teaching at Black Mountain College and of stills I’d seen of his collaborative performance pieces in the '60s and '70s (like Pelican or Elgin Tie). He seemed wholly invested in the possibility of what could happen when you mix with other creative energies to expand the limitations of your material.
Challengers come out swinging in races against established state senators
By Marisa Demarco and Simon McCormack
State legislative seats aren't always as hotly contested in the primaries as they are this year. Campaigns are spending a lot of money, and a host of challengers have jumped in, guns blazing, to contest longtime state senators.
Candidate participation in Political Courage Test drops
By Rachel Miller
After allowing more than a month for responses, the nonpartisan organization Project Vote Smart compiled the results of its Political Courage Test that asks primary challengers to reveal their positions on a range of topics. Out of the 24 surveys given to U.S. congressional candidates in New Mexico, only five candidates returned them: Joe Carraro, Robert Pidcock, Rebecca Vigil-Giron, Greg Sowards and Dan East.
Apparently subscribing to the belief that if you can’t beat ’em, defeat ’em, Gov. Bill Richardson has gotten involved in the June 3 Democratic Party primary races for the state Senate in a big way. Money and influence from the executive branch are being openly employed to shape the makeup of the next state Senate, particularly of the Democratic majority.
Dateline: Japan--Yosuke the parrot, who recently flew out of his cage and got lost, was returned to his owners after doing exactly what he was trained to do--reciting his name and address to a stranger willing to help. Police rescued the African gray parrot three weeks ago from a neighbor’s roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending the night at the station, Yosuke was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues. After a few days with the vet, his beak loosened up and he began chatting. “I’m Mr. Yosuke Nakamura,” the bird told the veterinarian, according to policeman Shinjiro Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number. “We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we’ve found Yosuke,” Uemura said. The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years. Though he spoke and even sang for veterinarians, Yosuke clammed up around the cops. “I tried talking to him, but he completely ignored me,” Uemura said.
Basement Films is bringing “Supermarket” to the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice on Friday, May 30. What the hell is “Supermarket”? you may ask. It’s “an experimental dose of original electronic music and imagery, delivered in equal emphasis.” Break beats of varying tempos from dub to drum and bass will be mixed with animated and celluloid imagery for a dual-natured assault on the senses. Australian animator/experimental film dude Dan Monceaux will be there jamming out the sequenced beats and collected samples on his retro analogue synthesizers while trippy visual work from Emma Sterling flickers around him. The show gets underway at 8:30 p.m. and will run you a mere $7. An artist talk follows. The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice is located at 202 Harvard SE.
What do kids who loved Speed Racer want to play with? Cars? Racetracks? Hell, no! They want a fake cell phone. According to the manufacturer, this plastic contraption “captures the fun and excitement of the Summer 2008 hit movie Speed Racer.” (Boy, that sentence is wrong on several counts.) It’s also described as “a fun way for boys to feel like they are staying in touch with Speed as he prepares to race.” Note to kids: Driving and talking on your cell phone is illegal in most cities.
E.T. goes overseas in Stephen Chow’s oddball assemblage
By Devin D. O’Leary
Actor/director/writer/producer Stephen Chow is a superstar in Asia. His films often outgross those of legends like Jackie Chan. But in America, his works have long divided fans of Hong Kong film into “love him/hate him” camps. Early slapstick-and-sight-gag-filled films like Sixty Million Dollar Man, God of Cookery and Royal Tramp please as many as they annoy. Since the international success of his last two kung fu-based flicks, Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, however, Chow’s popularity in America has risen considerably.
NBC--Executives at the Peacock Network seem to have taken the lessons of the recent Writers’ Guild strike to heart. Earlier this month, as the networks laid out their fall 2008 schedules, NBC offered up a 52-week program strategy featuring staggered launches and premieres throughout the year. Gone are the traditional fall and spring season premieres. In their place are new shows designed to take advantage of NBC’s vaunted “Super Season” of events, including the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Set to debut at some point are “America’s Toughest Jobs” and “Shark Taggers” (both blue-collar reality shows from the makers of “Deadliest Catch”), “Chopping Block” (another reality chef competition), “Crusoe” (drama about a modern-day castaway), “Kath and Kim” (remake of an Australian sitcom), “Kings” (knights, kings and maidens apparently set in modern times), “Knight Rider” (remake of the ’80s classic), “The Listener” (a paramedic who can read minds), “Merlin” (teen-based retelling of the myth), “My Own Worst Enemy” (suburban spy thriller), “Thee Philanthropist” (renegade billionaire tackles global poverty with extreme prejudice) and an as-yet-unnamed spin-off of “The Office.”
With Robert Mondavi's passing on May 16, the world lost a visionary and the single most influential force in American winemaking. "Wine to me is passion," he wrote of his life's work in his autobiography, Harvests of Joy. "It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living.” Through this trailblazing philosophy, Mondavi demonstrated to America—and the world—that Napa, California and the United States were capable of making some of the best wines on the planet. Mondavi was able to inspire Americans to contend in the competitive global wine market. And through wine, he showed that ancient European standards for life enriched with art, food and wine were attainable even for us in our young nation. In essence, he made us believe in ourselves and in our capacity to improve our own lives.
America’s entrance into WWII signaled the end of the Great Depression. As the war effort ratcheted up employment, the country was at last pulled out of its second-longest recession. Americans were relieved to once again have work, but food shortages meant there was little to purchase with their still-meager earnings. Ration cards dictated how much food was allotted to each person, while pocketbooks still directed what could be purchased, rationed or not.
The National Video Game Championships boot up in Albuquerque
By Amy Dalness
Ben Eberle is what you'd call a YouTube-made celebrity. In the past year, the video of Ben slaying Guitar Hero II's "Psychobilly Freakout" on expert level has attracted more than 8 million hits. Its appeal is immediate: Ben's fingers flying across the color-coded buttons of his video game guitar, his back turned to the television screen, playing from memory while bobbing his head in true rock-star fashion.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west; God's in his heaven, all's right with the world; video game designers design and video game players play. Except, that is, when the players come up with their own rules. Theorists call this "emergent play."
All of my friends enjoy playing video games, and so do I, but there's a problem. You see, I still play the games of my childhood—Frogger, BurgerTime, Tetris, Duck Hunt, Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, etc. The console doesn't matter; as long as it supports games made between the early '80s and the early '90s, I'm all for it. As is deducible, my friends' gaming concerns are more modern. They like LAN parties and play popular games like WoW, Halo, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. To them, the vintage two-dimensional games I play are a novel joke compared to the superior graphics and gameplay embodied by their favorites. I like video games and I like my friends, but I fear that being stuck in the past is compromising my relationships. But I just like helping Peter Pepper make those burgers so much! Brenda, what should I do?
There are three criteria for a great video game: story line, game play and graphics. It's the trifecta of gaming brilliance all designers must perfect if they want their fish to dominate in a highly populated ocean. But in the world of webgames, a designer can hone one or two of these elements to create a successful product. In honor of our video game issue, here are a few casual games that have mastered the interactive art inherent in the genre.
Chamber Music Albuquerque broadens its audience by diversifying its talent
By Simon McCormack
It began with a small group of volunteers bringing world-class musicians to their hometown 67 years ago. Since then, Chamber Music Albuquerque has watched classical music shrink from the consciousness of mainstream America. As the organization gradually expanded its season, the folks at Chamber Music Albuquerque felt the need to stem the tide of the nationwide trend. To this end, they brought in Executive Director Joseph Franklin and gave him a mission: Put new faces in the seats.
Some foods are just as fun to say. Take baba ghanouj; when I say it I start in a low voice for "baba"and swing up high for "ghanouj."I always say shawarma with a “Sopranos” New Jersey accent, while falafel becomes “full-awful” because I heard it that way in some movie. And I love putting a northern-Illinois/Wisconsin twist on shish kebab, coming out something like “sheesh-ki-BAB.”
Our friend Meghan's been busy baking cookies to raise money for a nutso bike tour she's doing for an AIDS services donation. Last time we hung with Meghan, she was building her first road bike and still getting used to riding next to cars. Now she's placing in Wolfpack biker races and riding upwards of 50 miles a day to train for her upcoming mission. We include her super-moist recipe for vegan chocolate death cookies as a gift to you all. Break a leg, Meghan; show those Wolfpack bastards how to bake!
Food critics have their work cut out for them in Albuquerque. With more than 1,000 restaurants, several opening and closing almost daily, just keeping them straight can be hard work. Add in editors (mine’s lovely, of course), deadlines and bathroom scales that refuse to lie, and we’ve got a lot on our plates. On the plus-side, we do eat for free (good food or bad) and even receive an occasional paycheck.
Athleticism and optimism lead amputee to a 215-mile bike ride
By Miela Kolomaznik
Brett Weitzel is uncomfortable with the idea that his physical abilities are in any way amazing. "It's not like I'm working out like crazy. It's just I'm going out and doing the stuff I used to do that I'm excited to be able to do again," he says. Weitzel, who skis, bikes and kayaks, lost his right leg to a third bout of cancer about eight months ago. "Anything's really possible if you're willing to figure it out," says Weitzel. Almost as an afterthought, he adds, "or if you're willing to do it at a slower pace than someone who has two legs."
Friday, May 16, was a good day to buy a newspaper.
You would have a souvenir to show to your descendants. Headlines declaring "California High Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban" will be something to see, especially if the decision becomes one of many affording same-sex couples the right to marry—and to call it marriage. Because there may be a day when anything other than equality, regardless of sexual orientation, is unimaginable.
Domestic partnerships and civil unions aren't a fair substitute for marriage, the California Supreme Court decided on May 15. But don't throw rice at this thing yet. A coalition of conservatives is sending in an assassin: a ballot measure in November that would lodge a ban on gay marriage into the state's Constitution. That would trump the court's Thursday decision.
Unlike astrologers, I don’t think people should be stereotyped and subjected to prejudice. (I use prejudice in its original meaning: forming an opinion about a person or group on the basis of generalizations, assumptions or stereotypes.)
Dateline: Japan--A suicidal man who had doused himself with kerosene in front of police burned to death after asking officers for a smoke his during interrogation. Hifumi Kubota, 45, was taken for questioning to a police station in Nagoya last Saturday after a woman who was living with him told police he was acting violently. When officers arrived at the house, “he poured kerosene over himself in front of police,” a police spokesperson said. Kubota refused to change out of his kerosene-soaked clothes at the police station and asked to smoke during questioning, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaperand other Japanese media. Despite a no-smoking rule in the building (and the presence of kerosene-soaked clothing), a police official provided the flammable felon with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. After bursting into flames, Kubota was rushed to a hospital where he died the next day from burns over a major portion of his body.
I bet you didn’t know May is National Masturbation Month. Well, it is, and to help celebrate, Self Serve in Nob Hill is bringing the documentary Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm to the Guild Cinema this Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24. Self Serve has offered the Alibi two free single passes (masturbation being a solo activity and all) to give away. The Technology of Orgasm, chronicling the history of the vibrator, is based on the book of the same name. The first two Alibi readers to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and identify the author of that book will snag those free passes, good for either day. Be sure to include “Orgasm” as your subject line--I’m sure our spam filter won’t mind that.
Nostalgic indie tries to impart the power of movies
By Devin D. O’Leary
The term, in case you haven’t heard it, is “sweding.” It comes from Michel Gondry’s mostly ignored film Be Kind, Rewind. It refers to the act of remaking something from scratch and in a ridiculously inexpensive manner with whatever is at hand. The Internet is rife with sweded films (Star Wars re-shot in someone’s garage, Raiders of the Lost Ark re-done with Legos, Night of the Living Dead re-animated with stick figures).
You can’t keep a good man down. So, nearly 20 years after his last outing, Indiana Jones is out of mothballs and back in search of high adventure. With the Hollywood triumverate of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford back on board, viewers can rest relatively assured of some serious summer movie fun.
Daddy Long Loin—or Kevin Kinane, if you want to talk day jobs—is used to being by himself. Not socially, but categorically. He's the only local musician I know of who brings a 12-string Chapman Stick (a bass/guitar hybrid that somehow looks Thai to me) to all of his shows. He's just one guy, decked out in colors so bright he needs to wear shades, shuffling in harmonica, keys, foot-powered drums, loops and samples, and that arresting Chapman, like a many-armed Vishnu-Zappa incarnate.
Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione met at a costume party—a fitting beginning for a band that's sprouted stage makeup, painted-on eyebrows, thick eyeliner, striped stockings and a black bowler hat. More than that, the Dresden Dolls cultivated tendrils of thorny but beautiful lyrics and shoots of surprising and precise rhythmic sensibilities.
It plots a course, cranks the speed to “skate-punk," finds the straightaway and drives. It's rowdy, trashy and nasty, but if you can't take a few wisecracks with your aggression, Seattle's Steel Tigers of Death says look elsewhere.
The Agency (111 Fourth Street NW) presents The Governors of War Simulvision (co-starring Freddy Mercury) this Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24, at 9 p.m. As best as we can tell, "simulvision" is kind of like a mulitmedia rock opera-rave hybrid. Or something. $15 tickets (each night) at www.the-agency.org. (LM)