The KiMo ghost mystery has never been truly investigated—until now
By Benjamin Radford and Mike Smith
Most longtime residents of Albuquerque hold a number of truths about life in their city to be self-evident. These truths include, for instance, that turn signals are nice to use when driving down Central but not essential; that local activist Don Schrader could wear a shirt once in a while and no one would object; and that the KiMo Theatre is either probably or certainly haunted.
In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of FDR’s New Deal, the National Archives has restored and released a number of films from its collection. The Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe will present a one-evening festival of these U.S. government-produced films from the Depression. Five newly struck prints of “The Road Is Open Again” (1933), “We Work Again” (1937), “The Plow That Broke the Plains” (1936), “The River” (1937) and “The City” (1939) will screen on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. General admission is $10 or $5 for students and seniors. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco.
I owe a great deal of my love for horror films to my older cousin, Lucille. You see, back in the mid-’80s, my trusty cousin was lucky enough to have that magical device that opened up our mundane lives to the twisted imaginations of men like Herschell Gordon Lewis, George Romero and Tobey Hooper. Of course, I’m talking about old-school cable.
To give Gavin O’Connor (director of the 2004 feel-good hockey film Miracle) some credit, at least his first attempt at an epic, NYC-centric crime drama doesn’t waste its runtime trying to replicate the work of Martin Scorsese. No, for his inspiration, O’Connor chooses the slightly less ethnographic work of Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Q&A, Night Falls on Manhattan). For the average viewer, it’s a negligible difference. But well-studied students of inner-city crime cinema might at least appreciate the fact that Pride and Glory isn’t just another Scorsese knockoff. (Little Odessa, The Yards and We Own the Night director James Gray, I’m looking at you.)
Feature film producers aren’t the only ones so starved for ideas they’re snapping up every foreign and classic product in reach with the intention of doing a remake. This fall’s TV season is rife with remakes both domestic (“Knight Rider,” “90210”) and imported (Australia’s “Kath & Kim,” England’s “Eleventh Hour”). Though it’s doubtful many American viewers are familiar with “Kath & Kim,” there are probably a few out there who recognize ABC’s Americanized cop series “Life on Mars” thanks to good old BBC America.
In the classic novel by Oscar Wilde, Dorian Gray—sad the painting of himself would stay young forever as he grew old—gave his soul to switch fate with the picture. As his portrait aged, Dorian Gray stayed young. That is, until ...
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) at Albuquerque Little Theatre
By Amy Dalness
While the KiMo Theatre may not be home to a childlike poltergeist named Bobby, the Albuquerque Little Theatre is certainly host to a big friendly giant. Actually, The Big Friendly Giant (or The BFG) from the pages of Roald Dahl's beloved children's novel, adapted for stage by David Wood.
I want to try making kimchi. I was talking to someone who said they heard you let the Napa cabbage sit a little bit in the fridge or the garage first and let it break down and rot a little bit before making kimchi. Do you think there is any truth to this?
Kim Terrell returned from a trip overseas and went to St. Catherine's Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center to visit her mom. Elva Bacon, 88, has vascular dementia. "She basically lives in the past," Terrell says.
Dateline: Indonesia—A pair of rural job seekers were tricked into getting their entire faces tattooed by a bogus official offering government jobs. Village chief Sawiyono, who was helping the men find jobs in Jakarta, claimed he received a text message from a government official who purported to be offering work as intelligence officers to villagers, Antara state news agency reported. The sole condition was that potential employees must have a full-face dragon tattoo. Sawiyono realized he had been tricked after checking with the subdistrict chief of the Bojonegoro district of East Java, who told him there was no such requirement. By then, however, it was too late. Nangang, 30, and Bambang, 40, had already gotten their tattoos. “I am fully responsible for the mistake and I will do my best to help the men remove their tattoos,” Sawiyono said. The man purporting to be a government official was later identified as a “mystic” who the two men believe put them into a trance in order to convince them to have the tattoos. Indonesian police said it was the third such hoax to have been reported in recent months.
Guitarist Stephane Wrembel takes Gypsy jazz on a wild and wonderful ride at the third annual New Mexico Django Fest
By Mel Minter
French guitarist Stephane Wrembel can almost play faster than ears can listen. Before the brain can really register every precisely filigreed ornamentation, every breathtaking swoop and swerve into unexpected territory, before it has time to involuntarily voice amazement, Wrembel is laying down another beautifully formed and emotionally ripe idea at light speed.
If hip-hop was on the ballot, would you vote? On Tuesday, Oct. 21, this partisan party raises the blue and rides the donkey all night. Hip-Hop 4 Barack is a free, all-ages show at STOVE (114 Morningside NE) with a bill of politically active artists across the board: Bukue One is flying from California to get in on the rally, with local support from Mantis Fist, Zoology, DJ Ohm, Saint Sinner Suns and more. For the love of America, Brian Hargrove, bassist for Public Enemy and a New Mexico resident, will be a keynote speaker. There'll be live mural paintings of Obama, and Hip-Hop 4 Barack is even organizing shuttles to deliver voters from the show to early polling sites. The doors of STOVE open at 4 p.m. Visit the New Mexico Hip-Hop Congress' MySpace page at myspace.com/nmhhc for more hip-hop-centric organizing opportunities.—Justin Hood
Canvassers push during the final days of voter registration
By Justin Alan Hood
It’s the evening before the voter registration deadline of Oct. 7. Night students and maintenance workers trickle through the UNM campus. Just a few hours ago, walkways and bus stops swarmed with canvassers and campaigners. Have these crusaders for partisanship laid down their pens until the next presidential election?
It's strange that after looking at something long enough, you cease to feel anything about it. That kind of desensitization is exactly what happened to me over the course of a few hours at a gay male strip club. By the time my companions and I left that filthy, filthy place, the initial heart-sinking embarrassment of witnessing such debauched hilarity was gone. For a spell, watching naked men writhe around on stage became normal.
State politics with Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez
By Simon McCormack
Ray Suarez can tell New Mexico isn't normal.
"It's not like other parts of the country, and it's not even like the places that border it," says the senior correspondent for the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." "It's a place apart in good and interesting ways."
The city’s code compliance official previously ruled that the Church of Scientology needed a conditional use permit for its proposed Downtown hub. At the Oct. 6 meeting, the church appealed the decision, arguing that it should instead receive a permissive use permit to convert the Gizmo building at Fourth Street and Central into a Scientology center. A conditional use permit requires holding a public hearing with neighborhood input, unlike a permissive permit. Councilors voted to uphold the code compliance official’s ruling as consistent with the 2010 Downtown Sector Plan.
As Election Day approaches, political commercials are tossing out labels like hand grenades. The word "liberal" is uttered in the same tone of voice as "leper." "Conservative" is used to imply a total detachment from modern times. But what do these divisive labels really mean? Are you voting Republican because you think "liberal" is a dirty word? Are you pulling a straight Democratic lever in the voting booth because you don't want to be labeled "conservative"? Maybe you should find out exactly what those words mean.
Dateline: Brazil—If, for some reason, Barack Obama doesn’t become the next President of the United States, at least he’s got a shot in Brazil. Eight, in fact. A grand total of eight candidates in Brazil’s upcoming local elections have adopted the name “Barack Obama,” hoping to catch some attention in the notoriously crowded races. Obama isn’t alone, either. More than 200 hopefuls contesting the municipal polls this weekend have renamed themselves after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the country’s popular president, who maintains an 80 percent approval rating. Brazilian election law allows candidates to either register under their own name or choose a new one. Among the more outlandish candidates running for various offices this year are “Elephant Without a Tail,” “Germany in the Lorry,” “Golden Fork,” “King of the Cuckolds,” “Kung Fu Fatty” and “The Second King of Prawns.” Although no Brazilian candidate has adopted the name of Obama rival John McCain, there is one “Bill Clinton,” a “DJ Saddam” and three Bin Ladens (John Bin Laden, Chico Bin Laden and Luis Bin Laden). Claudio Henrique dos Anjos, who is running for mayor of Belford Roxo, said he changed his name to Claudio Henrique-Barack Obama because, “I am Black and I wore a suit on television and people started to tell me I was just like that Barack Obama guy in the United States.”
Food prices have skyrocketed. Polar bears are doing the breaststroke. Though things aren't looking great for our planet or our economy, something good, it seems, has come from the precarious position we've found ourselves in.
Thursday, Oct. 16, is the last night to catch the limited-release digital screening of Viz Pictures’ anime-to-live-action sequel Death Note II: The Last Note. It’s showing locally at Cottonwood Starport and Century Downtown starting at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited, so grab your tickets right away by visiting fathomevents.com.
An interview with Happy-Go-Lucky director Mike Leigh
By Devin D. O’Leary
Jumping out of the British theater scene in 1970 with his first film, Bleak Moments, Mike Leigh joined a loose group of social realist filmmakers emerging in England. Chronicling ordinary lives in near-documentary style, Leigh developed a unique writing/directing method over the years. His films (1993’s Naked, 1996’s Secrets & Lies, 1999’s Topsy-Turvy, 2004’s Oscar-winning Vera Drake among them) often involve long, improvisational rehearsals with actors, slowly building characters, relationships and situations before a single frame of film is shot.
An uncategorizable but irresistible bit of whimsy from the Czech Republic, I Served the King of England rewinds its way through several decades of Eastern Europe’s political and social history as seen through the eyes of one single-minded service industry professional.
Albuquerque is certainly well-represented this television season, with no less than three weekly series shooting here in town: AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” The CW’s “Easy Money” and the soon-to-premiere Starz series “Crash.”
Yjastros company founder and director Joaquin Encinias is a fourth generation flamenco dancer. He joined a dance troupe at the age of 5 and become a soloist at 12. This weekend, Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company will perform the choreography of Encinias as well as that of Israel Galvan, Yolanda Heredia and Omayra Amaya during an evening of flamenco music and dance at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Oct. 17 and 18. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20, $25 and $30, depending on your seating choice. Call the NHCC box office for tickets at 724-4771.
This election is tailor-made for political junkies. Tensions are running high. A lot of talking heads, generally those who aren’t actual economists, say we might be on the brink of the next Great Depression. I personally haven’t transformed my life savings—such as they are (were?)—into gold bullion and buried it in my yard, but it’s tough not to feel a certain level of panic.
Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! Inside, you'll discover dozens of tantalizing categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers like you. When you vote in a Best of Burque poll, you're rewarding the best local businesses with invaluable recognition. Not only that, you're helping to amass an indispensable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Just keep eating and voting, and we'll do the rest. Special thanks to writers Tiffany Alberty, Jessica Cassyle Carr, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin O'Leary, Simon McCormack and Maren Tarro for their generous help in reporting the results. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served!
After a round of duck-duck-director, the state gets a Bureau of Elections boss
By Marisa Demarco
Gerald Gonzalez says he believes in making government work.
That's not a campaign slogan because he's not campaigning. It is what you might want to hear from the guy hired to be the director of the Bureau of Elections less than a month before a historic vote. His first day of work was Oct. 6.
Gonzalez is not walking into an ideal situation. Jim Noel was supposed to take the job, but he didn't show up for work on his first day, Sept. 8 ["Still Headless," Sept. 11-17]. Noel was appointed by Secretary of State Mary Herrera to be the election boss, but the state's Republican Party protested. Noel is the son-in-law of Democratic Rep. Tom Udall, who's running against Rep. Steve Pearce for a seat in the U.S. Senate. (A poll commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal and released Monday, Oct. 6, says 51 percent of likely voters support Udall and 36 are behind Pearce).
We received an e-mail last week warning us that people who show up at the polls on Election Day could be turned away if they’re wearing T-shirts, buttons or the like that support a particular candidate. To verify the rumor, we called Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo county clerk.
There’s one booming sector of the economy that escapes taxes the rest of us pay. It’s the political campaign business. Politicians and political parties pay no taxes on the money they raise to chase jobs and power.
Dateline: Wisconsin—Police in Mukwonago said a man was arrested after he used a cigarette lighter while trying to siphon gasoline from a van. The man, who was visiting friends, went to drive home early Saturday morning but realized he didn’t have enough gas in his SUV. Police said the man tried to “borrow” some gas from a nearby vehicle. Apparently, the man couldn’t see how much gas was in the container. Naturally, he used a lighter to check. Nearby residents called police after the inevitable blast of fire burned the man’s hands. Police later found the injured man in a store parking lot. He was arrested for theft and negligent use of burning materials.
Proof that you can take the band out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of the band
By Justin Hood
No stressing here. Even after relocating to California, recording six albums and touring extensively, the three busy men of reggae-infused rock act Pepper manage to keep their watches on laid-back Hawaiian time—their native Kona, to be exact. The Alibi relaxed with Pepper drummer Yesod Williams and got a bead on Pepper’s record label, a dream tour with NOFX and what the Aloha State and The Land of Enchantment have in common.
Local programmer writes a music program that fills a void
By Marisa Demarco
When Jim Coker started performing live electronic shows 12 years ago, he found himself frustrated by the available software. "And I had this other problem, which is that I'm a software developer," he says, half-joking. "Then I had some free time." He got to work on a more ideal music program, and after about a year, he had something worth putting out. It's been five years since Coker, an Albuquerque resident, began. The program's still a work in progress, but he says he's created a product that provides a decent middle ground in the world of electronic music software.
The 2008 Taos Mountain Film Festival will open Thursday, Oct. 9, with Locals Night. Slideshows and movies from New Mexico characters will launch this annual festival of high-altitude culture and outdoor sporting. The festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 12, with film screenings and panel discussions at the Old County Courthouse and La Fonda Hotel, both on Taos Plaza. This year’s guests include National Geographic writer Jon Bowermaster, 10-time Mt. Everest summit climber Dave Hahn, El Capitan conquerer Glen Denny, Dalai Lama media coordinator Tseten Phanucharas and ultralight trike flyer/photographer Chris Dahl-Bredine. Dozens of films and videos will unspool over the course of the weekend, covering topics like African peak climbing, Antarctic exploration, ancient Peruvian ritual, Tibetan independence, kite skiing, BASE jumping and the history of Greenpeace. For complete information on films, times and ticket sales, log on to mountainfilm.net.
French thriller slow-burns its way to a complex wrap-up
By Devin O’Leary
The French don’t pump out nearly the same volume of films as they used to. But the Frenchies who are still fighting the system and getting their films out as far as the States are a consistently impressive bunch. Guys like Claude Chabrol (A Girl Cut in Two, The Flower of Evil, Hell), François Ozon (The Swimming Pool, Water Drops on Burning Rocks, Criminal Lovers) and Claude Lelouch (Roman de Gare), and ladies like Catherine Breillat (Anatomy of Hell, Fat Girl) are fluent in the European language of sex, violence and noirish tension.
DiCaprio and Crowe play “who do you trust?” in cutting-edge spy drama
By Devin D. O’Leary
The day after the House of Representatives rejected the first economic bailout package, sending the stock market into a 700-point freefall, the top three search terms on Yahoo were “Ivanka Trump,” “Brangelina” and “dog costumes,” proving that Americans are strenuously adept at avoiding their problems. That’s as good an excuse as any why films dealing with our current War on Terror (or whatever you want to call it) have failed again and again at the box office. The most recent was the PTSD road trip drama The Lucky Ones starring Tim Robbins and Rachel McAdams, which opened on Sept. 28 with a whopping $183,000.
“In Living Color”--that was a hell of a show, wasn’t it? The early FOX network sketch comedy series not only defined comedy in the ’90s, it launched the careers of Keenan Ivory Wayans (plus a dozen or so other Wayanses), Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez (a founding “Fly Girl”) and ... oh, yeah, that Jim Carrey guy. Now series stalwart David Alan Grier returns to the format that spawned him with Comedy Central’s new sketch series “Chocolate News.”
Pornotopia, Albuquerque's first independent erotic film festival, debuted to a cascade of controversy last year. Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center partnered with Guild Cinema to present Pornotopia—a weekend of film dedicated to showcasing sex as healthy, real and beautiful—only to have the city attempt to shut it down, citing a zoning code that had the Guild out of "nude approved" range. Pornotopia persevered and is gearing up for Year Two with some additions. One is an art show at STOVE centered on sexuality and censorship. Self Serve and STOVE are seeking submissions for the exhibit, and any work that is erotic and/or an honest representation of sexuality will be considered. Artists can drop off their submissions at STOVE (114 Morningside NE) from 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, or e-mail digital art to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. Be sure to include your name, the piece's title and its sale price with your entry. If you have questions, call 265-5815.
Unveil a toolbox for transformation and gain inspiration to move your life from the obsession of wanting to the freedom of having. The Magic of Zero is a guide for permanent, positive change with easy-to-follow, effective techniques for any lifestyle.
Cautionary Tales: A Visual Dystopia and Finding a Pulse at 516 Arts
By David Leigh
Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha is a near-perfect album. It’s crept onto my mix albums, my iPod, my car and my home stereo. I’m listening to it now. I might be obsessed. It’s one of those albums that throws light throughout a creative labyrinth in which new ideas emerge, creating a generous lyrical and musical iron lung (in the best sense). It lacks the irony or cynicism that would make two or three listens too many and instead invites something like belief from the audience. But for all its spacey, finger-picked loveliness, it’s a work of realism, couched in mortal inevitability and certitude.
In Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, scientist Victor Frankenstein's desire to bring life to the dead turns from wondrous dream into nightmarish reality. In R.N. Sandberg's stage adaptation, Victor's personal torment, not his creature, is the star, and the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance's production pours the contents of the doctor's psyche onto the stage.
Grottesco’s 12th Night at the Santa Fe Opera's Stieren Hall
By Amy Dalness
Theater Grottesco takes suspended disbelief to a new level. The theater company got its start in Paris in 1983 and is rooted in the same training as Cirque du Soleil. The troupe moved to Santa Fe in 1996 and continues to produce original works, all the while keeping the meaning of their Italian eponym in mind: absurd, splendid and jubilant.
One of us had his first taste of muhammara, a nutty pink paste of walnuts and charred bell peppers, on a date with a gorgeous lady friend. The other one of us tried muhammara for the first time just two hours later while eating the remnants from that date out of a grease-stained Styrofoam container. We don't know whose experience was better.
I had this drinking buddy, Aaron, back in Kansas City. We’d get totally smashed, wake up hungover and then gorge on Chinese food. We must have eaten at every Chinese place on both sides of the Missouri River. After 20 or so Mandarin/Hunan/Cantonese binges, it occurred to us that it didn’t matter where we went; the food always tasted the same. Aaron put forth that some sort of subterranean go-kart network existed deep beneath the city, ferrying deep-fried and over-sauced Asian treats from a single source to every Chinese restaurant in town.