The filmmakers grew this melon in our own backyard, so you’ll want to give it the benefit of every doubt. Unfortunately, at the end of a brief runtime that feels much longer than it should, I had to admit this just isn’t a good movie, even by my-buddy-shot-and-edited-the-whole-thing-over-the-weekend standards.
Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
Chaotic shooting schedules, sleepless nights and the always mad rush to meet deadlines are familiar to independent filmmakers the world over. Somewhere between that second and fifth pot of coffee, time slows to a crawl, and even 48 hours can seem like an eternity. The 48 Hour Film Project, an annual and international filmmaking event, was started in May 2001 by Washington, D.C. filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston to address the question: Can a film be made in less than two days and, if so, can it be watchable?
Seven filmmakers handpicked from around the country had seven days to shoot, edit and premiere 12-minute screenplays. Now the race is over, and the public's invited to see what the contestants came up with. On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Shootout will screen all seven movies at the Kiva Auditorium (in the Convention Center). The winner from the New Mexico 48 Hour Film Project will also screen at this event (see this week's feature for more details). Tickets cost $19 and include an awards ceremony after the screenings. After the premieres, head to the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom (330 Tijeras NW) for a post-premiere party where you can rub elbows with the filmmakers. For more info and to buy tickets, visit dukecityshootout.com.
It’s no secret that I have always been a fan of the great cultural contributions made by the French. From their ticklers, fries, toast and kisses to the ménage à trois, the French have always known how to up the ante in an otherwise dull world. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to horror films, the French just can’t help but put their own special twist on the genre. If you don’t believe me, I suggest taking a minute to seek out films like Irreversible, Haute Tension and Ils for a crash course in modern French horror. (And for those feeling a little old school, you can never go wrong with Eyes Without a Face or Man Bites Dog.)
Choosing the best in television is easy, as there’s not much competition. Determining the worst, however, takes a real commitment, akin to testing the efficacy of thigh-high waders in a lake of waste; you have to wade through a lot of shit.
Just when you thought you were done shaking off your hangover from the last Old Main Fest (held in May at the Albuquerque Press Club), Burque music hellion and The Old Main frontman Rod Lacy is asking you to get wild again—"in the tall pines of the Zuni Mountains."
In a kilt and leather Viking helmet with duct-taped-in Heidi braids, Erik Peterson takes the stage in San Diego. The song: "Who's Your Daddy?" by Finnish heavy metal band Lordi. As the second challenger, he gives it his best for 60 seconds, even incorporating his signature jump splits.
Vocalist heads genre-crossing quartet at the Outpost
By Mel Minter
On a recent Sunday evening, vocalist Patti Littlefield took a drive up NM 14 to Madrid to catch the Alpha Cats’ last set at the Mine Shaft, that venerable kick-ass tavern featuring the longest bar in New Mexico.
Q: When I make stir-fry, it always seems kind of boring, even though there is no shortage of veggies to use. Can you recommend a good seasonal stir-fry recipe and tell me how to make it taste authentic? I’m getting frustrated.
Hi, my name is Maren, and I’m not an alcoholic. But I’ve heard that denial is the first sign—so who knows? I’ve also heard that drinking alone is indicative of a drinking problem, which leads me to suspect that either I’m a lush or a huge George Thorogood fan. Either way, it was time to get out and knock a couple back with some good friends and complete strangers.
Big projected turnout means it’s all hands on deck for the general election
By Marisa Demarco
On Election Day, Bernalillo County usually needs 2,500 poll workers—a one-day, 14-hour job that could arguably be among the most important in the democratic process. This year, the county will need 3,000, minimum.
Wind customers shouldn’t pay for other energy costs
By Jim Scarantino
Like the current state of technology for electric car batteries, altruism can take us only so far in moving our economy to new forms of energy. Economic carrots and sticks have more control over our energy future than good intentions.
A common myth about Bigfoot—the huge, hairy, unknown beast reported by many but rarely if ever photographed—is that there’s only one of them. But, of course, if it’s a real animal, the creatures must have a large enough breeding population to survive through generations. There’s gotta be a boy Bigfoot and a girl Bigfoot, and after some sort of ritualized courtship (possibly involving gift-giving and/or a handful of warm poo), they do the Horizontal Bigfoot Love Dance and then we have a Bigfoot baby.
DATELINE: New Zealand—Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cameras and equipment were lost by media members after a boat sank at a ceremony designed to send off the country’s Olympic rowing team. No one died or was seriously injured in the incident, and the seven journalists and boat pilot—all wearing lifejackets—were plucked from the frigid water of Lake Karapiro. New Zealand Herald photographer Sarah Ivey told the story in her own newspaper: “There was just water gushing in over the front like something out of Titanic and all of a sudden I was up to my knees in it,” she reported. “Everyone was screaming and swearing ... but mostly everyone was shouting, Oh hell, I’ve lost my lens or Oh hell, I’ve got to get my camera out of the water.” A New Zealand spokesperson has promised an investigation into the incident, as the boat employed in transporting the media members should have been capable of holding 12 without fear of capsizing, and stated that divers would attempt to retrieve the missing equipment. Said Ivey, “It would have been the World Press Photo of the Year—all the photographers trying to keep their gear up in the air—but no one could take the picture.”
Artists need not be starving, but they’re probably hungry. Eleven artists have pulled together a one-night-only show at 500 2nd Street Studios this Friday, Aug. 1, dedicated to feeding themselves and their families. The show, titled 1 Buck 2 Buck 3 Buck 4, features artwork all on sale for $10 or less. It's a simple equation: You need art for cheap, they need money real quick. Stop by between 5 to 9 p.m. to browse the goods and help the artists put food on their table.
Let's forget, for a moment, that The Dolls is a drag troupe. Let's think of The Dolls, first and foremost, as a group of devoted actors, musicians and costume specialists with a love of theater coursing through their veins. Got that premise in your head? Good—keep it there.
The Summer of the Can continues. You remember the metal vessel that, for most kids' high school years, was the definitive method of putting beer in one's body? Whether "shot-gunning" in someone's backyard using a car key to punch an air hole for chugging in seconds, or lined up in a magnificent row in a party fridge, the can always seemed more palatable to us as young drinkers. The bottle, on the other hand, somehow seemed too luxurious, adult, and even snobby with its green-tinted curves. Well, thanks to Oskar Blues, the Colorado-based brewery we recently praised for canning their brews, we're reverting.
The grandstanding starts on Bobby Foster Road, a barely visible side street that’s easy to miss. Flashy cars with overlarge spoilers and air-intakes on the hoods exit the industrial sector of South Broadway and climb into the dunes. Bobby Foster leads to another long desert road that stretches into sandy nothing. Wind kicks up plenty of dirt, and the sporty vehicles become only taillights. One more turnoff marked by a badly faded sign with the National Hot Rod Association’s logo, and then we're climbing up the hill. The Albuquerque Dragway still isn't in sight.
Jail-based charter school is the first of its kind in the United States
By Marisa Demarco
The first time Jennifer Pate walked into her new workplace, coworkers asked her if she was OK. "I must have been pale as a ghost and just doe-eyed," she says. "Here I was all tough, thinking, I can do this, no big deal. This will be a great job. Soon as that big door goes kachoom behind you, it was like, Oh my god. I'm on the inside now."
How does the governor say we should deal with high gas prices? What Albuquerque phenomenon is migrating to Santa Fe? An unwelcome surprise at a garage sale for a good cause. And a Rio Rancho resident cashes in on what game show?
DATELINE: Taiwan—An amorous couple survived a 150-foot plunge down the face of a cliff after their lovemaking set the car rolling. “They had parked up close to the edge of the mountain and had left the handbrake off," said a police spokesperson. "They were lucky they were not more seriously hurt." Lin Gu, 25, and Lee Shin, 29, suffered only a few broken bones after the incident. The couple managed to climb back up the hill to seek assistance, though Shin pleaded with those who helped her not to reveal the cause of the accident for fear that her husband would seek a divorce.
After its grand re-opening on June 27, Warehouse 21 is back to offering Santa Fe youths a place to rock and get their art on. Starting Thursday, July 24, Warehouse 21 presents its first theatrical performance under the new roof. Through the Mirror, an original play written by Winston Morris Greene, tells the story of Adam Stern, a high school graduate with no ambition who's drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Adam's close friend Jacob Heart joins the war effort to help keep Adam safe, but when only Adam returns home, everything comes crashing down around him. Through the Mirror—starring youth actors Winston Morris Greene, Adam Frank, Isabella Buckner, Ryan Kochevar, Jeffrey Stanke and Serrana Gay—opens with a pay-what-you-wish performance on Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. and continues Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through Aug. 2. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 teens. For more info and reservations, call (505) 989-4423.
The Madness of King Georgie Bush at the N4th Theater
By Amy Dalness
No matter how loved or hated, every president will be mocked. It's included in the Constitution under "Responsibilities of the Head of State”: You shall be made fun of in good times and in bad—deal with it.
Albuquerque's week-long race to shoot, edit and premiere 12-minute screenplays by seven screenwriters from around the country kicks off Friday, July 25. Join screenwriters and volunteers that night at the launch party from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Downtown (in the Atrium). Then, on Wednesday, July 30, buy weary crew members a drink at the wrap party at the same hotel, in the Sendero Room, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit dukecityshootout.com. Check back here next week for information on screening times and gala events.
This second installment of Christopher Nolan's dark, vengeful and complicated Batman had some heavy expectations looming over it. First shoe to fill: Batman Begins. The return of Batman in 2005 was welcomed and well-received by both die-hard fans and casual moviegoers, setting a new standard for all superhero flicks—not just Gotham's caped crusader. Second shoe: The second-to-last performance in the short but bright career of Heath Ledger. Since his passing early this year, all eyes have been on The Dark Knight, in which Ledger portrays superfiend Joker—a role last filled impeccably by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman. There's been buzz on the Web for months of a posthumous Oscar nod for Ledger—a rare honor since there's only been one such win in Academy history to date (Peter Finch for his leading role in Network, 1977). It’s high praise for Ledger, especially since The Dark Knight was just released last week. Expectations skyrocket.
Middle-aged ABBA musical not quite as cringetastic as those words imply
By Erin Adair-Hodges
This isn’t the first time the music of ABBA has served as the musical crux in a film about a wedding. 1994’s Muriel’s Wedding used the title character’s obsession with the '70s Swedish quartet’s glittery lady-music to underscore Muriel’s disconnected idealization of romance, glamour and marriage-centered happiness, an obsession that leaves her struggling to construct a true sense of self. Mamma Mia!, on the other hand, features ABBA as a way to ... sing along to ABBA songs. And dance.
The Agency (111 Fourth Street SW, between Central and Gold) continues its program of innovative, all-ages-friendly events with three shows this week. That's three more chances to explore the upstart multi-use music space, which is developing a decidedly electronic bent. Visit the-agency.org for heaps of more information.
Ebullient Cubano brings Grammy-winning crew to second week of the 2008 New Mexico Jazz Festival
By Mel Minter
On virtuoso clarinetist/saxophonist and award-winning composer Paquito D’Rivera’s most recent Latin jazz recording, Funk Tango, his omnivorous musical appetite provides a wide-ranging feast for the ears—from a bop-infused tango (Astor Piazolla’s “Revirado”) to a dreamy bolero (“Como un Bolero”) to a classically tinged tribute to Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona (“Contradanza”) to an original Latin take on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” Along the way, he quotes from Cole Porter’s “Another Opening, Another Show,” The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and the Mexican folksong “La Cucaracha,” among others.
The Life and Times’ lead singer Allen Epley knows the term “alternative rock” conjures up negative images of post-grunge hackery. He’s also aware his band isn’t the first to call Pink Floyd a primary influence. But The Life and Times has an alt.rock flair and a lust for Floyd—and that’s just how it is.
Newbie lineup VoW, Get Your Radio, Carnivuncular (ex-Morning Wood) and DJ Sideswipe test the stage at Ralli’s Fourth Street Pub and Grill (21+) this Friday, July 25. The show’s free—besides your dignity, what have you got to lose? (LM)
With a name like “Just Muffin Around,” there are a couple directions I could take this. I mean, come on. You use “muffin” as a verb, and you’re asking for it. But they’re just so sweet over there that I don’t think the owners realize how funny their moniker is. So I’ll be nice.
The deadline for the 2008 Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is Friday, July 18. Films can be of any length as long as they pertain to LGBT issues, and entry is only $15. Visit closetcinema.org for submission guidelines. Mail your entries to: Closet Cinema, 2008 Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 1807 Gabaldon NW, Albuquerque, N.M. 87104.
Neighbors sue the city over Albuquerque's bike stadium
By Simon McCormack
Noise and dust: three days a week, 11 months a year.
That's the major contribution the city's BMX stadium makes to the Clayton Heights/Lomas Del Cielo neighborhood, say several residents. "There's been constant noise from construction, repairs, the crowd and the announcer," says Clayton Heights resident Rosina Roibal. "It's really annoying."
Study looks into how eco-friendly jobs in the Duke City are—and could be
By Skyler Swezy
The “green is good” sentiment is sweeping Albuquerque, as local government enacts environmentally conscious business policy and large companies like Schott Solar continue to set up base. Still, the green sector’s size and potential have remained unclear.
Who are Tom Udall and Steve Pearce's top contributors? A new form of public transportation could make sense for Albuquerque. What's in the trunk? And a former top official at New Mexico State University is accused of ...
DATELINE: Russia—Channel Five News reports that last week a St. Petersburg woman accidentally killed her husband with a foldout couch. In response to his drunken state, the victim’s wife kicked a lever on the side of the couch (then opened into a bed) after the man refused to get up. The lever set off the internal mechanism that folds up the bed, and the man fell headfirst between the mattress and the back of the couch, according to local authorities. The woman had left the room after kicking the couch and so didn’t notice her husband’s state for three more hours. The St. Petersburg Emergency Services Ministry stated that a private rescue service removed the man's body, and the Channel Five website is running footage of the emergency workers sawing the couch apart. Workers report the man died instantly.
In a time when the average American spends nearly as many hours on a computer as watching TV (if not more), it may be time to consider adding the PC into the definition of the idiot box. Luckily, TV networks have already thought of that, making more and more of their shows available for viewing online with limited commercial interruption [See last week's Idiot Box, "Hyper-Speed Syndication"]. But they don't just want you to watch “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “30 Rock” and be done with it; they want you to spend all of your Web time on their site. Really. They even craft clever little webgames to keep your browser tuned in. I give you TV-on-the-webgames:
Riffing on this week's New Mexico Jazz Festival kick-off (see "Spotlight"), Santa Fe's Vintage Poster Gallery (901 Canyon, 505-577-7419) is mounting the largest exhibition of vintage Polish jazz concert posters in North America. The collection starts in the underground ’50s (jazz was condemned under Stalinist communism) and winds up through the European festivals of the ’90s; just about all of the posters are surreally eye-popping. The exhibition runs through Aug. 15 and opens with a reception this Saturday, July 19, from 2 to 5 p.m. Bert Dalton will perform, courtesy of Friends of Santa Fe Jazz. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. You can preview posters from the exhibition at mrposter.com; or add your own concert art to the Alibi Flyer on the Web database at alibi.com/FOTW.
New Orleans legend crowns the first week of the 2008 New Mexico Jazz Festival
By Mel Minter
When asked who wrote vocalist Irma Thomas’ 1963 hit “Ruler of My Heart,” later covered by Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones as “Pain in My Heart,” Thomas’ bassist answered, “You can’t turn a corner in New Orleans without bumping into Allen Toussaint.”
The self-proclaimed mad Hungarian opens up ... a little
By Marisa Demarco
You may have seen him walking down Central, head down, guitar on his back, handlebar mustache and long, blackened fingernails. He's not much of a talker, though he's liable to take off his shirt on stage, revealing a thick mat of curly black chest hair. Swirling around in the local Mythos of Zoltán is the fact that he was banned from the Golden West for getting naked. "I've been known to showcase my hairy body parts and such at other shows," he says.
The reign of George W. Bush is nearing an end, so it’s time to cram in as many satires and parables as possible before he's ousted. Nth Degree Productions is doing its patriotic part by performing The Madness of King Georgie Bush, opening this Friday, July 18, for a two-week run at the VSA North Fourth Arts Center(4904 Fourth Street NW). This “misunderestimated” theatrical performance is sure to cause some congressional-sized laughs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through July 27. Tickets are $10 (cash only, please) and reservations can be made by calling 702-7692. Hope it’s presidential!
Though the area just south of I-40, where SCA Contemporary Art has laid roots, seems ready for a deluge of artist activity, for now it remains an industrial landscape, bustling with deliveries and large trucks. As you walk up the steps and through the door of SCA, you’re bombarded by the breadth of the gallery space. At nearly 6,000 square feet, the gallery has laid claim to being the largest contemporary art space in Albuquerque with aspirations to match. According to its website , “SCA is dedicated to facilitating space for experimental, innovative and contemporary art. ... Presenting exhibitions by emerging and established, local, national and international artists working with large scale sculpture, painting, print, drawing, photography, installation, sound and video art.”
Ugh. It’s too damn hot lately, and dry heat or not, the upward creeping of the mercury is doing a number on me. As I stood in front of the air conditioner with the vents directed up my shirt, I realized it was time to take action. What I needed was cooling from the inside-out. You know what I’m talking about: ice cream.
Until last week, wild fennel was a great frustration to us. The stuff sprouts all around us in the early summer months—glorious, fragrant fennel, but with no bulb worth braising. After much discussion and consternation, we realized the answer to our woe was staring us in the nose: fennel pollen.