A portrait of New Orleans three years after the storm
I'm clopping along Royal Street. It's nearing midnight on Saturday and I'm heading from a show on Decatur, weaving through the French Quarter on my way to the Marigny. In the interest of the procurement of cigarettes, I bolt into the first bar I meet. The Golden Lantern is draped in a humble and inviting facade, and inside a U-shaped bar fills the main room. Low lights are interrupted by the glow of a cigarette machine and a television playing music videos. I stuff a five-dollar bill into the machine, then go over to the bar. I don't intend to stay.
An interview with a New Orleans newspaper man
Clancy DuBos is the co-owner, editor and longtime political columnist of New Orleans paper Gambit Weekly. Since late 1980, he and his wife, Margo, both native New Orleanians, have been publishing the alt.weekly. With two feet of water in their offices and staff scattered around the country after Katrina hit in 2005, the paper closed for nine weeks. Fortunately, AAN (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) came to the rescue, and the Gambit not only located its staff, but papers around the country raised more than $100,000 in donations that went to the DuBos' employees. DuBos says they knew the paper was out of business temporarily, but never thought it wouldn't come back. When it reopened on Nov. 1, DuBos, who became the paper's editor for a third time, had four minutes on CNN that morning to discuss this milestone in New Orleans' recovery. These days the paper's circulation and number of employees isn't quite back to its pre-Katrina level, but it's not too far from it. DuBos says the level of camaraderie between the staff and the paper's relationship with readers are better than ever.
A bill demanding equal insurance coverage for those with mental disorders stalls in the Senate
Coping with a serious mental health issue, says Victoria Cain, is expensive. "There are some years, I think back on our income taxes, it was again tens of thousands of dollars even with insurance."
What percentage of New Mexico schools hit the mark this year? Police are looking for the _____ bandits. Who did Gov. Bill Richardson say he will lend a hand to? And which company's CEO is stepping down?
Dancer ignites interest in politics through swing
Dance and politics don't necessarily make a natural alliance. Yet Desi Brown managed to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, while remaining nonpartisan. “I’m amazed at how many people don’t question what they see in the news and why it happens," Brown says.
Is it really a free press when there are no guarantees for journalists protecting sources? Is it really free speech when there's no promise of safety for speaking out?
A few years ago, I read Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. It’s a work about what makes some kids reared in desperate situations “resilient” while others in the same circumstances collapse. Even today, I find myself frequently using many of his insights when I try to make sense of what might be happening with our young people.
Thousands of people say they were abducted by aliens, and you might be worried you’ll be next. If you suddenly find yourself floating out your bedroom window toward a mother ship hovering somewhere over the South Valley, take the following steps. You should memorize this list; if you keep it by your bedside table, you will likely be paralyzed and unable to reach for it—or your glasses—as you are tractor-beamed toward the ET visitors.
DATELINE: New Zealand—As a sideline case to a custody battle, Judge Rob Murfitt ruled that the state would temporarily make a young girl a ward of the court so that she would be legally allowed to change her given name of Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, according to the New Zealand Herald. Citing recent examples such as Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and a pair of twins named Benson and Hedges, the judge’s decision stated in part that “Quite frequently judges in the family court are dismayed by the eccentricity of names which some litigants have given their children.” Though the girl had kept her given name mostly secret by introducing herself as “K.,” the decision ruled that “In all facets of life, a child bearing this name would be held up to ridicule and suspicion. ... It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap quite unnecessarily.” To protect her anonymity, the girl’s new name was not made public.
A new film that will shoot in New Mexico, Snow on the Moon, is looking for actors, extras and crew members. This feature-length, 1973-set movie based in a makeshift commune will shoot in private lands near Dixon, N.M., from Aug. 20 to Sept. 7. Producers are seeking ethnic musicians (particularly those who play doumbek, berimbau and sitar); older Spanish-speakers; Native Americans, especially men in their 40s or 50s; and white females between the ages of 16 and 18 who can play roles of 12- to 14-year-olds. One or two crew interns or volunteers are also sought, as well as a cook with knowledge about food safety in the desert.
Documentary about the Homeless World Cup brims with hope
Can soccer save lives?
It seems an odd question at first, and I had a pessimistic answer at the start of Kicking It. But—wouldn't you know it?—the unapologetically schmaltzy film proved me wrong.
The documentary follows six homeless men from around the globe who travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to take their chances in the fourth annual Homeless World Cup. In all, 500 homeless people from 48 different countries competed for the cup in 2006, the year this film was made. Searching for purpose, some measure of respect and a chance to represent their country, our half-dozen unlikely heroes embark on a slightly predictable but warm and uplifting journey to better themselves through sport.
Do you love your Mummy?
Well, crap-a-doodle. I was really looking forward to hating this film. In the 10-years-plus I’ve scribbled for the Alibi, the opportunity to review movies has been much too rare, and almost all the flicks I’ve had a crack at have been tiny films. Iranian films. Local films. Grainy films with no CGI. No complaints, but you get the picture.
"Brooke Knows Best" on VH1
Compared to the rest of her family, Brooke Hogan does know best. Her father, former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, is an overprotective goober with a constant need to be in the spotlight. Her mother, Linda, is more affectionate toward her exotic pets than her children. And Brooke’s brother, Nick, is in prison after his reckless driving put his friend in a coma. Brooke, meanwhile, has always been the most wholesome, good-natured one of the bunch. Maybe that’s why VH1 decided to give Brooke her own show, “Brooke Knows Best,” a spinoff of “Hogan Knows Best,” which was also on VH1.
The Week in Sloth
DJ Soul Sister shares some of her favorite tracks
For 14 years, DJ Soul Sister has been manning the boards Saturday nights between 8 and 10 p.m. at listener-supported WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans. In fact, her program “Soul Power,” the country's longest-running rare groove radio show, was the last to air before WWOZ signed off during Hurricane Katrina. On top of her radio gig, Soul Sister hosts three weekly "right-on party situations" that satisfy New Orleanian yearnings for underground disco, deep funk, boogaloo, soul, rare groove and more. With this mix, you can join her noble campaign to make your booty do its duty.
Vocalist brings soulful stylings to the Outpost
Sometimes you just step in it.
That’s what happened to soulful vocalist Bonnie Watts shortly after moving to Albuquerque from her native Chicago in January 2005.
“My son told me about the open mic night at Club Rhythm and Blues,” says Watts, who didn’t waste any time introducing herself to club owner John Nieto.
Just weeks after landing in New Mexico, Watts took hold of the mic at Club Rhythm and Blues, with Nieto standing right next to her. “I mean close,” she says, laughing, “and I thought, He’s gonna push me off the stage if I don’t sound good.”
The Alibi's annual Haiku Contest has been around as long as this humble little alt.weekly has been printing: 16 years. But enthusiasm for haiku has only increased over time, as each year more and more submissions cram our inboxes. Get in on the ku-fever: 2008 entries are now being accepted. Here are the categories to get your creative chi flowing:
Adriana Mater at the Santa Fe Opera
So I couldn’t stop thinking about Star Wars while taking in the Santa Fe Opera’s American premiere of Adriana Mater, and I feel a little bad about that. I mean, what gives a lowly freelancer the right to associate hoity, highbrow contemporary opera with pulpy, low-rent science fiction?
The first annual New Mexico Young Playwrights Festival
It’s hard to tell someone learning can be fun without sounding like an after-school special.
New Orleans restaurants that stood their ground
Hurricane Katrina may have forced New Orleans’ famed kitchens to close their doors—if they were still hanging—but for most, it was only temporary.
Looking to unlock a wine's full potential? Follow these three imperative points for properly tasting wine.
The 48 Hour Film Project returns to Albuquerque
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.
Heaven must wait
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.
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.)
“Jon & Kate Plus 8” on TLC
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.
The Week in Sloth
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."
Hot lixx and jump splits
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
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.
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.
The Bad Seed at the Desert Rose Playhouse
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.
An interview with literary critic James Wood
For the past 10 years, the most dreaded literary critic in America has been a tall, thin, agreeable Englishman from Durham with a crop-top pate and an apologetic air about him: James Wood.
Exploring the relationship between the RIAA and the attorney general; record store workers respond
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office has a new partner in fighting crime: the Recording Industry Association of America.
A lawsuit is settled, but the use of medical cannabis remains in a legal gray area
The first case challenging the state's new medical marijuana policy closed with a settlement.
What did a Denver court decide about protesters in Albuquerque? What was found under the Atrisco land grant? How many voters in one N.M. county refuse party affiliation? What's going on at Bennigan's?
Christians in full rebellion
You wouldn’t peg Chris Haw and Shane Claiborne as monks. Haw carries himself like a rock climber. Claiborne sports dreadlocks and quotes St. Francis and Gandhi with a hillbilly twang.
Big projected turnout means it’s all hands on deck for the general election
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
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.”
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.
Two quickies at the bar
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.
Ebullient Cubano brings Grammy-winning crew to second week of the 2008 New Mexico Jazz Festival
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.
A crash course in racing
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
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."
Police and citizens react to six killings in eight days
Saturday, July 5: A man living at an East Central apartment complex is arrested on charges of shooting and killing one person and wounding another.
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?
Outed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson discusses her memoir, the FISA amendment and her move to New Mexico
Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity is no longer a secret. Five years and two lawsuits later, neither is her story. In her October 2007 memoir, Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government, former agent Wilson chronicles how her life shifted from serving her country to suing her country.
In recent weeks, Sen. John McCain has begun to slip into a repetitive refrain, one intended to distinguish his position on Iraq from Sen. Barack Obama’s.
Jim Scarantino’s “Trolley Roundabout” column [Re: The Real Side, July 17-23] was full of out-and-out falsehoods.
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
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.
Holy sequels! The bat is back.
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
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.
“Project Runway” on Bravo
Here's a weird criticism: "Project Runway" is too much like ... itself.
The Week in Sloth
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.
Leaning on Floyd
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)
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.
That’s right, they said “muffin”
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.