In the years since its publication (1986 to be exact), writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking graphic novel Watchmen has become something of a holy writ of illustrated lit. Referred to as The Catcher in the Rye of comic books, Watchmen has become a necessary right of passage for anyone who claims to love the superhero genre and arguably the most important point of reference (Frank Miller’s Batman:The Dark Knight Returns being the other contender) among nerdy intelligentsia. So it is with both crushing trepidation and manic anticipation that fans have awaited director Zack Snyder’s filmic adaptation.
Over the years Albuquerque, like much of America, has seen both the slow fade and outright demolition of untold pieces of culture. Buildings rise and fall, eras come and go, and in the midst of it we shrug off the history like wheezy, archetypal grandpa stories of walking to school in the snow.
Take your vitamins and go out. Quite a few of the bands you'll see padding out local lineups in the coming weeks are on their way to or from SXSW in Austin, and that means a concentrated froth of bigger, better, weirder touring acts than what usually rambles through town. You can't afford to stay home.
OK, so it’s time again for high winds, evil leprechauns, disgusting green beer and arming yourself with a stout shillelagh. Lighten up dude, it’s also time for the good things ... remember parades and bagpipes?
The Ramones-obsessed, headfirst slide into power-pop punk bumps up against its yang: layer upon layer of cacophonous sound that’s impossible to pick apart.
Though the result is messy, guitarist Randy Randall says everything is carefully designed. “Even the sense of chaos is planned in there,” Randall says. “Ninety-nine percent of it is all written out. If you were to see us every single night on the road, you might eventually become bored, because it’s the same sound every day.”
Puppeteers practice an ingenious breed of artistry that blends playfulness, resourcefulness and beauty to practical ends. That's a fancy way of saying "Puppeteers are my favorite." Michael McCormick is a native New Mexican who's built puppets, masks and props for The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi. He'll show his personal and commercial work and reconstruct part of his studio space at the William Platz Gallery in the Art Center Design College (5000 Marble NE). The exhibit will be on display through Friday, April 17, and the gallery is open on Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m., Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
ArtStreet’s Synergy: Word + Visual Art + Printmaking
By Erin Adair-Hodges
Community is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the art world—how art brings community together, how community fashions dialogue, etc. It gets so much play that its meaning can be lost or rendered redundant. But the thing is, ArtStreet is really, really about community.
UNM students must wait years to get campus child care
By Simon McCormack
Monnica Garcia says she lucked out.
After she became pregnant, she hopped on the waiting list for UNM’s Children’s Campus for Early Care and Education while she was still in high school. A year and a half later, her son’s name was called. Garcia enrolled him at the daycare center just in time to start taking classes at UNM in 2002.
Councilor Michael Cadigan called out Mayor Martin Chavez and his administration for not issuing a public statement about the 13 bodies excavated from the mesa. Councilor Ken Sanchez said he spoke to Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz about the situation, and the chief is willing to keep the Council updated. Councilor Trudy Jones gave a shout-out to Schultz, who was sitting in on the meeting, and requested an update right then and there. Chief Schultz declined, saying he would prefer to talk with the councilors about the case in a one-on-one setting out of public view.
Remember last November, when it slowly began to dawn on us poor sap taxpayers that the hundreds of billions of dollars of public money the federal government had poured into the bailout of our failing multinational financial industry was going nowhere but into the bankers’ pockets and their corporate lockboxes?
Dateline: Australia—Police in Queensland were called out to a “mini-riot” after a man refused to take off his clothes at a notorious nudist colony’s sex party. Police were summoned amid threats of violence and ordered John Harrison of Brisbane and his wife to leave the “anything goes” orgy, reports the Courier-Mail. The incident happened at the White Cockatoo resort, near Port Douglas, which is promoting a month of “adults only” hedonism to boost sagging tourism figures. Owner Tony Fox said the row erupted when four naked female guests protested when confronted by the fully clothed man. “They felt uncomfortable with him eyeing them up, and I asked him to show some respect and take his clothes off,” said Fox. “He then threatened to bash me. There was some argy-bargy and I ordered him off the premises and police were called.”
From the people who brought you Hamlet the Vampire Slayer (no, really) comes Romeo & Juliet vs. The Living Dead. On Friday, March 13, Guild Cinema will host the premiere screening of this locally shot horror comedy. The film is directed by Ryan Denmark and stars Hannah Kauffmann, Jason Witter, Mark Chavez, Kate Schroeder, Kevin R. Elder and a whole host of familiar Albuquerque actors. Screenings will be at 7 and 9 p.m. and are absolutely free. Seating is limited, though. If you haven’t already sent your RSVP, you might be SOL. Give it a shot, though, by sending a request for tickets to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t get in, you can at least scope out the trailer by logging on to thirdstarfilms.com. Congratulations, by the way, to all involved for another successfully completed local indie feature!
Not a fan? These are not the droids you’re looking for.
By Devin D. O’Leary
Arriving a full three years after it was shot here in New Mexico and with all the attendant timeliness of a Jennifer Wilbanks joke (oh, how quickly we forget), Fanboys finally stumbles into Albuquerque theaters. Aimed squarely at the titular demographic, the film is a genial love letter to Star Wars geekdom disguised as a mildly raunchy road movie.
The late-night airwaves are going through a major sea change, at least on NBC. After a run of nearly 17 years on “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno is making a rather surprising move, bringing his mainstream-America style of chat show to NBC’s prime time lineup five nights a week. That means that Conan O’Brien is getting bumped up a slot, abandoning “Late Night” and taking over Leno’s old gig as host of “The Tonight Show.” (That’s scheduled to take place later this summer.) Of course, that historic changing of the guard leaves a power vacuum back on David Letterman’s former “Late Night” haunt. As a result, NBC executives have reached into their network talent pool and plucked Jimmy Fallon from “Saturday Night Live” (a gig he gave up in 2006). Fallon debuted on “Late Night” last week to generally solid numbers (his first show beat time slot rival Craig Ferguson by 35 percent) and kind (if not exactly glowing) reviews.
Some foods punish with criminal flavor, but are they unethical?
By Maren Tarro
Albuquerque’s public school lunch menu made national headlines when it was announced that children with outstanding lunch bills would be treated to cheese sandwiches until their parents paid up. Parents were outraged, claiming it was insulting and humiliating for their precious darlings to be served such pedestrian fare. Others questioned whether it was fair to punish students for their parents' oversight.
Q: I'm preparing for the economic apocalypse, but I suspect the 15 cans of pickled beets, bag of dried morels and half-dozen jars of unidentifiable tomato-based something-or-other in my pantry aren’t going to last very long after the Super Wal-Mart shelves are looted. What do I need to do to start preparing a garden now, so when spring comes I'll be ready to farm my way into another year of existence? Any seed suggestions or other preparations for a year-one raised-bed garden? —Apocalypse Chow
I'm no daredevil. I never drive more than four miles above the speed limit. I always wear a helmet when I’m supposed to. I refuse to take kickboxing for fear of shattered shin bones. And heights greatly increase my heart rate.
Congratulations are in order for everyone at Fat Man Media, the New Mexico-based film production company behind the short film “On the Bus.” The film received five awards at the Indie Distribution Festival, a virtual film festival based out of La Jolla, Calif., earlier this year. Late last month (Feb. 21-24), the short was screened at MAGA, the Macon Film & Video Festival in Georgia. The dramatic short, about a mentally disturbed man riding a city bus, was written and produced by Jonathan Harnisch & Maureen Cooke and was directed by Willie Ford. For more info on the production, log on to fatman.net.
Local theater teams with national arts org to take viewers on a tour of the underground
By Devin D. O’Leary
The Guild Cinema, with its mixture of award-winning documentaries, acclaimed foreign cinema, cutting-edge indie films and cult midnight movies, continues to expand Albuquerque’s viewing options. This month, the venerable Nob Hill theater joins forces with a number of under-the-radar arts organizations to bring the multi-week Other Cinema DVD Warmup series to town. Covering nine flicks in just three weekends, this series of “engaging, lively, provocative and darn interesting movies” aims to expose viewers to a wide range of filmic arts. These subculture-minded documentaries, inventive experimental films and assorted cinematic miscellany are intended as a warm-up/teaser/background education to the upcoming appearance of noted underground filmmaker Craig Baldwin, who will be at the Guild for a three-day festival in April.
Animated documentary paints awful memories with artistic brush
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s rare in this day and age of instantaneous remakes and endless rip-offs to encounter something even remotely fresh in the film industry. At the very least (and there is quite a bit more to it), Ari Folman’s Academy Award-nominated Israeli film Waltz With Bashir introduces us to an untapped, perhaps wholly original genre: the animated documentary.
Before the Harwood Art Center was Albuquerque's largest multi-media art space, the building housed the Harwood Girls School from 1925 to 1976. The former Methodist boarding school has been transformed into a community learning center and houses four galleries; the dorms and classrooms were converted into studio space, and the former dining hall now serves as a performance space. Harwood offers all-ages art classes, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, book making and graphic design. This spring's roster of weekend art workshops includes themes like "Boot Camp for the Imagination" and "Loosen Up! Intuitive Artmaking."
Harwood also maintains the spirit of a community center in its gallery space -- two of the galleries are community art galleries. The main gallery and the front gallery house works from local and national artists in all visual mediums, including installations.
There's quite the hubbub going on over at UNM. Something about cuts to faculty pay, votes of no confidence in the administration, the eliminating of ethnic student support services and a rumored rash of pantsing incidents in Hokona Hall. It seems like the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that UNM is, aside from a hotbed of indignant controversy, a veritable machine of art. You may not be a Lobo (I'm not, and I'm OK), and you don't have to be to take advantage of our local uni's offerings.
The upside of globalization is that it’s supposed to eliminate the distances between countries. The irony of the current economic state means that even the most budget-conscious of aspiring travelers will have a hard time venturing beyond their own cities, much less outside the country.
Women’s History Month began as a week. It was 1981, and though the Equal Rights Amendment had failed to pass, Congress designated seven days to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women to our nation’s history and character. Which was swell of them. In 1987, this appreciation was expanded to an entire month.
Looking over Zohra’s menu was frustrating. My issue wasn't limited to classifying, or perhaps clarifying, a rundown of far-reaching Middle-Eastern cuisines. Attempting to separate Indian dishes from Pakistani dishes from Afghani dishes from Iranian dishes is challenging enough; try adding Navajo tacos, hamburgers and spaghetti to the mix. Zohra does, apparently covering its bases by offering anything a Downtown diner could possibly want. It’s a lot to consider. The menu comes off as muddled, but the broad claim of “authentic cuisine” covers a little bit of everything. Don't concentrate too hard. Just point somewhere and start chewing.
Scammers sneak you a computer virus while pretending to be who? The latest in airport-security tech at the Sunport. How much stimulus money is HUD giving New Mexico? And what's new with the Rail Runner?
Dateline: Russia—British newspaper The Sun reports that a 28-year-old Russian man died after ingesting an entire bottle of Viagra in a bid to participate in a 12-hour orgy. Two women told Moscow police they bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov $4,300 that he wouldn’t be able to satisfy them both during a nonstop half-day sex marathon. Tuganov won the bet but collapsed a few minutes later from a heart attack. “We called emergency services but it was too late, there was nothing they could do,” said one of the female participants, who identified herself only as Alina. Medics on the scene said Tuganov’s death was most likely caused by the quantity of Viagra he consumed. There are 30 pills in an average 100mg bottle of Viagra.
The stock market is contracting so fast you can almost hear it snap. But there's an upside to tight times. They remind us that wealth isn't how much we own, it's valuing what we have. And the most fortunate people are rich in friends, neighbors, family, community.
Can’t wait for Friday? Shake off those weekday blues at Blackbird Buvette’s (509 Central NW) Lipp Servus dance party, held every Thursday night with rotating DJs and deep cuts galore. Free, 21+. (Laura Marrich)
On the list of all-time great female jazz vocalists, you’ve got legends like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Hovering somewhere just below them, you’ll invariably encounter the name Anita O’Day. It’s not a name familiar to the garden-variety music listener. But to those in the know, it speaks volumes. Anita O’Day: pioneer, innovator, icon. O’Day is noted as much for her inimitable vocal style as for the sheer fact that she walked the walk as well as talked the talk.
Green Scorpion patrols Phoenix and sometimes Albuquerque. But the Duke City has her own hero roaming the streets. Meet Ghost Shadow. Except that’s not his real superhero name. He wanted a pseudonym for his pseudonym.
Last Sunday’s broadcast of the 81st annual Academy Awards was a triumph in at least one way: The ratings didn’t completely suck. On average, they were up (33.57 million viewers) from last year’s record low (32.01 million). And at their peak (the telecast’s first half hour) they were rather impressive (37.70 million viewers). So how was the show? From where I was sitting, 2009’s much-touted “revamp” was a class act and a good foundation on which future Oscar shows can grow.
Voting is open for the Alibi's 2009 Best of Burque awards, and it's accessible exclusively through alibi.com. Don't hold your breath for a paper ballot—polling is 100 percent digitized. (The results are not. We'll report the result in the April 2 issue of the Alibi.)
Levi (Volume Volume/Romeo Goes to Hell), Kenta (Jonnycats), April (Rockstar karaoke) and Jared (Creepshow) broke up with their bands and fused together Violenta from the pieces. What that sounds like is anyone’s guess, since the band’s debut performance is Friday, Feb. 27, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21+, free). Shoulder Voices and World on Fyre are there, too. (LM)
The Jerusalem artichoke has absolutely nothing to do with the contested city home to various peoples of the book. It's actually an American original: a tuber that finds its roots from Nova Scotia to Georgia. First eaten by a European in 1605, the artichoke-tasting relative of the sunflower was sent back to the old country, where it enjoyed relative popularity until it got upstaged by the potato. The Italian word for sunflower, girasole, eventually morphed into Jerusalem, and we've all been confused ever since.
Sabroso is a lively little word with more than one use. Like many Spanish words, it’s a workhorse, a multitasker. Depending on how sabroso is used, it can mean something as simple as "tasty" or something more specific, like "salty." As a restaurant name, it’s pretty straightforward: Good food.
Muzzammil Hassan reported his wife’s death to police on Feb. 12. Police found Aasiya Zubair Hassan decapitated at the office of the Orchard Park, N.Y. television station where she and her husband worked. Aasiya had served Muzzammil with divorce papers and an order of protection the week before her death. Her husband, the founder and CEO of the station, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Council doles out stack of cash (light 50 grand) to teen center
By Carolyn Carlson
Warehouse 508 supporters clapped when the Council voted to fund the teen center, but the exuberance they'd shown at previous meetings was missing. In a 5-4 vote, councilors approved Warehouse 508's money but whacked $50,000 from a promised $200,000 contract to turn the old Ice House strip club into a performance space and arts program for Albuquerque youth. Members of Mayor Martin Chavez' administration at the Wednesday, Feb. 18 meeting agreed to cut the cash to $150,000 to get Warehouse 508 off the ground.
Since "sex" is apparently no longer dirty in these enlightened times, the last three-letter word never to be uttered in polite conversation seems to be “tax.” At least, this must be the accepted etiquette in the halls of state government in Santa Fe, where even the governor’s appointed secretary of tax and revenue goes to great lengths to avoid the term.
Dateline: New Zealand—An octopus who escaped from his tank at a New Zealand aquarium and survived five days on the run will be released back into the wild. Last month, Sid the octopus mysteriously vanished from his tank at a Dunedin aquarium. Five days later, he was spotted by a staff member making a dash for the door. Sid was hungry but otherwise fine. He is believed to have spent at least some of his fugitive time hiding in a drain that pumps fresh sea water into the aquarium. The aquarium’s senior aquarist, Matthew Crane, said Sid has done his time and will be freed. “We are realizing he is getting a little older in his life and may be searching for a mate, so that’s why we’ve gone ahead and set his release.”
ArtStreet is an extension of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, an advocacy program that seeks to provide support to indigent and at-risk populations in our area. In an example of poetic irony, ArtStreet doesn't have a permanent home, but instead showcases the work of its participants in partner galleries. The ArtStreet show Love & Junk runs through March 2, at the Harwood Art Center's North Gallery. Like many of ArtStreet's shows, Love & Junk is weird, exciting and unexpected. Dartboards metamorph into numbered bugs along sides of images of wonder and nature. Collage, assemblage and mixed media cozy up to shadowboxes and screw sculptures. A quote on a piece by Arlene Fraley sums it up: "Chaotic civilization is a bittersweet love." ArtStreet's next show debuts on Friday, March 6, also at the Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW) with the second half of that show coming in April to the Tamarind Center (108 Cornell SE). Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless' website, abqhch.org, keeps you apprised of all of ArtStreet's happenings.
March is Women's History Month, and you'd be safe in betting that I won't shut up about it. Next week's Arts section will focus on Women and Creativity 2009, a monthlong series of events presented by the National Hispanic Cultural Center and sponsored by Mark Pardo salons. Between now and then, though, there are a few events worth your time, such as Dear Eve, Lilith, and Emily..., featuring poets Dana Levin and Valerie Martinez and prose writer Robin Romm. The three women will read from and discuss their work at the College of Santa Fe's O'Shaughnessy Performance Space on Tuesday, March 3, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. And on Sunday, March 1, the string band Carolina Chocolate Drops brings the music of the pre-WWII South to the Outpost Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. Downloadable information on these events and more is available at nhccnm.org. And check back next week for a comprehensive look at Women and Creativity 2009.
Inmates reach through the bars with literary magazine
By Marisa Demarco
For Christmas, the inmates made Kimberlee Hanson a stocking. Construction paper took on the general shape. Maxi pad cotton provided a snow effect. Toothpaste glued it together. Hanson's students melted down Jolly Ranchers from the commissary and turned them into flowers to include with the gift.
We call ourselves the McGalvers of MDC because like the infamous MCGuver, the TV hero who could make a bomb out of bubble gum, we are all incredibly resourceful. To all of those employers who question our skills, work ethic and problem solving capabilities, you might want to change your mind after hearing our stories.