Documentary about rebellious art is itself rebellious art
By Devin D. O’Leary
OK, so here’s the setup: There’s this crazy French dude living in Los Angeles by the name of Thierry Guetta. He carries a video camera wherever he goes and is seemingly addicted to documenting everything that happens in his life. While on vacation in France, Guetta hooks up with a distant cousin who happens to be an up-and-coming street artist by the pseudonym of Space Invader. By following Space Invader around, Guetta finds himself on the cusp of a growing art movement. Soon, Guetta’s camera is pointed at the likes of Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Buff Monster, Swoon, Borf and others as they practice their quasi-legal mixture of art and vandalism. Graffiti, stenciling, stickering, postering and guerilla art installation are just some of the hallmarks of this edgy genre, and here they are, laid bare for Guetta’s little digital camera.
Arm yourself with truth, justice and the American way
By Carolyn Carlson
One warm late May evening, DC and some friends headed Downtown to hit a few bars and celebrate a friend’s college graduation. He never expected to end up in jail, accused of disorderly conduct. DC is not a stereotypical gangster dude who quibbles with cops just for fun. He is a white, college-educated, 26-year-old Republican who considers himself conservative and pro-law and order. He said he was arrested for what amounts to opening a rear passenger car door and questioning a police officer during a lengthy seat belt violation traffic stop.
From National Archives: The following text is a transcription of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the Bill of Rights.
Albuquerque’s Desert Rose Playhouse is jumping on the moviemaking bandwagon and will present The Feed, an evening of film shorts by local and international filmmakers, on Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3. Among the shorts to be screened: the 2010 Sundance Jury Prize winner “Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln” (Starring Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle). The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Admission is $7. Desert Rose Playhouse is located at 6921 Montgomery NE.
Summer isn’t known to be the kindest season to scripted drama. People tend to have better things to do in summer. In winter, they’re a captive audience. But in summer, they’re off having picnics or driving across the country in an RV or watching big summer movies. Undaunted, ABC is trying to compete with basic cable stations, who are now in the business of cranking out new content (largely hour-long dramas) year-round. As a result, ABC is now offering not one but two new scripted series on Sunday nights: the crime dramedy “Scoundrels” and the supernatural soaper “The Gates.”
“Yankee Doodle Dandy,” perhaps the sassiest of all classic patriotic American tunes, is thought to have been written in mid-18th-century Europe, possibly during the Seven Years’ War. Though its exact origin is unclear, the song was a British invention and was used to deride American Colonists and their ragtag army. The most recognizable verse (there are nearly 200) is not seen in this sheet music: “Yankee Doodle went to town / Upon a little pony / Stuck a feather in his cap / And called it Macaroni"—nonsense on the surface, this verse is actually a snobby insult to pastoral Colonial fashion (a Macaroni was a traveled, upper-class European who wore extravagant wigs). In the American tradition of taking things that don’t belong to us, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was reclaimed by the disheveled patriots and became a source of Colonial pride. And, as we all know, in the end the garishly dressed Americans defeated the pretentious and dimwitted red coats whose flamboyant uniforms made them easy targets. U.S.A.! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
In 1975 Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case formed the short-lived but influential power pop group The Nerves. Most notably, the band is responsible for the classic track "Hanging on the Telephone," later made famous by Blondie. The group also had a hand in founding the West Coast punk scene—but just as the cultural explosion got its footing in L.A., The Nerves split in 1978. Collins and Case formed The Breakaways, and Lee went solo. Case went on to find success as the frontman for The Plimsouls, but by the mid-’80s that band dissolved and Case returned to his solo roots.
“Listen, Bob, I don’t have time to talk about the memo—I’m up to my flank in plastic army men right now.” A combination of discount wallpaper, highly effective business practices and possibly the artist’s bad acid trip make this an intriguing work of photo montage. More intriguing is the idiosyncratic show it notes—Grand Canyon, Shoulder Voices and The Booty Green—at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Saturday, July 3, beginning at around 10 p.m. The show is free for the 21-and-over crowd. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
General Petraeus swapped for General McChrystal in Afghanistan
By Alex E. Limkin
The names of the countries in which we are fighting no longer matter. This is what happens when war drags on interminably. It becomes enough to refer to the conflicts solely by the passage of time during which the dead and the bereft have multiplied insensibly.
Dateline: Washington—According to a report in the Seattle Times, a Lynnwood man has been charged with insurance fraud after falsely reporting the theft of 212 silk neckties worth an estimated $33,000. So what tipped off investigators? This was the third time 49-year-old Carlton Wopperer has reported the ties being stolen. The case began on Jan. 5, 2009, when Wopperer told the Mill Creek Police Department his vehicle had been broken into. He reported that four plastic containers filled with 212 of his pricey silk neckties had been stolen. According to Wopperer, he was taking the ties to a quilt shop to see about having them sewn into a quilt for display. Following the theft, Wopperer purchased $33,370 worth of replacement ties from Nordstrom, Butch Blum, Barneys New York and Mario’s of Seattle. His insurance company covered the cost. Six months later, Wopperer told the Everett Police Department his vehicle had again been burglarized, this time while he was moving. The 212 replacement ties he’d purchased after the January theft? Gone. The insurance company paid out another $35,000 to restock the closet of their tieless client. Unfortunately, an adjuster with the insurance company checked up on the claim, only to find that most of the replacement ties Wopperer purchased in January had been returned to the stores almost immediately. Wopperer allegedly held onto the receipts and filed the second claim six months later. After the crime was reported to the Insurance Commissioner’s Special Investigation Unit and referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, it was discovered that way back in 2000, Wopperer told the Lynnwood Police department that his collection of—you guessed it—“212 silk ties” had been stolen from his vehicle while parked at a mall. His insurer at the time paid out $16,900. Wopperer is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Snohomish County Superior Court on two counts of insurance fraud. But will he be wearing a tie to court?
For the mathematically uninclined, calculus looks less like math and more like an indecipherable secret language. Instead of explaining anything, it simply adds more mystery and, often, a little bit of fear. Fortunately, math fans and foes can get together under the domed ceiling of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (1801 Mountain NW) to see math in action in a much more meaningful manner. “First Friday Fractals” takes mathematically complex geometric shapes, projects them, zooms in close to show their detail and complexity, and makes math beautiful. Shows are Friday, July 2, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. The cost is $5 for kids 3 to 12, $7 for seniors and $10 for everybody else. Get tickets at nmnaturalhistory.org or at the museum.
The forgotten past is almost always the most interesting
By Patricia Sauthoff
As a history nerd, I've often wondered what exactly it is that draws me to certain people or times. For example, I love me some medieval India, especially the Mughal Empire. Maybe it's some past life thing, who knows? But it came up again for me while wandering around the National Hispanic Cultural Center exhibition New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital, Valuable. I was reminded of this freelance job I had a few years ago in which I wrote short biographies of notable African-Americans, anyone from John James Audubon to Charity Adams Earley, people about whom I knew nearly nothing when I started but who inspired me through their courageous actions.
Google “bistro albuquerque,” and you’ll find more than a dozen restaurants that serve French, Asian, Chinese, Italian and contemporary cuisine. Figuring out what they have in common is a challenge. The word “bistro” has a fuzzy etymology. Some attribute it to the presence of Russian Cossacks in 1815 Paris who used the term bystro (quickly). Some linguists say the word didn’t enter the lexicon until the end of the 18th century. Wikipedia notes that bistros may have evolved when landlords, who offered room and board, expanded their kitchens by setting up sidewalk tables for the public. They served homey food—braised stews, simple meals and a house wine.
The line between Mexican and New Mexican food has always been thin. Perhaps nowhere in Albuquerque is this border more porous than at Rincon del Pollo, on north Fourth Street near Alameda, where few of the menu items can be ordered without answering the New Mexico state question. But the owners, Rifiel and Ana Rivera, call their food Mexican.
Heights Village shopping center at Montgomery and Juan Tabo is getting an infusion of new energy. Zorba's Fine Greek Dining is in the space adjacent to Il Vicino and only steps away from Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Zorba's opened its doors only days before the newest Sunflower Market held its grand opening on June 1 in the space formerly anchored by Western Warehouse.
An Alibi staffer’s journey through impoverished Peru
By Ilene Style
My first reaction at seeing Villa el Salvador during my volunteer orientation was the same as everyone else's in my program. As we entered the neighborhood for the first time, we all fell silent, our eyes scanning the streets for something, anything, that would make us think, This isn't so bad after all.
Wicked-bad live music abounds this week—the gang and I just didn't have the space to cover it all. That, and I didn’t get an interview with Geddy Lee. That's OK, though—what the hell would I have asked him? "Um, soooo, Mr. Lee, are you from Middle Earth?"
Just around the corner from Santa Fe Plaza, El Paseo Bar & Grill is not the most likely place in town to find garage rock. Enter Billy Miles Brooke, a musician whose past credits include glam cover band The Stardust Cowboys, a stage production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and some fine solo work. A couple of years ago, Brooke partnered with the establishment’s owner, Matt Chavez, to host the sporadic Indie Rocks series showcasing acts that normally wouldn’t make it to El Paseo’s usually sedate stage.
“Rib eye rock on lightly toasted bread” is the meaty metaphor Chris Aguilar once offered an inquirer when describing his band, KillinGracy. Aguilar admits he had no idea what he was talking about at the time but says this style of shooting from the hip sums up the band's songwriting process and sound.
This flyer exhibits a skillful manipulation of positive and negative space and announces the summer tour kickoff for funk/rock/fusion act Lost Lingo. The band plays at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Saturday, June 26, at 9 p.m. The Breaktone and Reviva open the 21-and-over show. Five dollars gets you in. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Kimo is an Albuquerque-based musician who has been “crankin’ out tunes” for nearly two decades. In addition to drawing a number of honors over the years, she was voted the Alibi’s best singer-songwriter in Best of Burque 2010. Right now, Kimo is working on a new album and booking shows with a new band (shhhh—more on that in due time). To tide you over, here are the five random songs that appeared on her shuffled iTunes.
No, caffeine junkies, it's not a triple shot of espresso, dumped into a cup of coffee with java whipped cream on top. Or whatever you people drink these days to stay awake. Triple Espresso is a performance by three dudes out only to jolt the funny bone. Or to put it another way, three guys walk into a coffee shop: a musician, a magician and a jack of all trades showman. Have you heard this one? Anyway, to avoid giving away the punch line, let’s just say the hair of the dog is the best medicine, but laughter is pretty good, too. Sold? Get your fix June 24 to July 1, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 5 and 7 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. It costs $28 for adults and $14 for kids. Go to tripleespresso.com for details about the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) performance of the hilarious story of three kindly fellas who get their four-minutes of fame, only to mess the whole thing up. The comedians of Triple Espresso have been working together since 1995 and their show has been seen all over the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Bill Evans returns to New Mexico for On Turning 70!, a performance of modern and tap styles that celebrates Evans’ 70th birthday. Evans is an emeritus professor of dance and former head of the dance department at the University of New Mexico and is a guest artist and undergraduate program director at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He returns to New Mexico, where he taught at UNM for 16 years, with a program of modern dance and ballet.
Albuquerque once paid Ben Lowney around $60,000 for a public art sculpture near Los Altos Skate Park. But this month, the city told Lowney he’d have to remove the statues he made for free and installed in the median near his home.
Duke City Derby's home teams got their season off to a proper start on Saturday, June 19, holding the first official bouts of the season after last month's scrimmages. In the first bout, the DoomsDames held off the Derby Intelligence Agency (DIA) for a 115 –85 win. Later the Ho-Bots pummeled the brand-new Taos Whiplashes, smacking them around for nearly the entire match on their way to a 195-74 victory.
Councilor Debbie O’Malley read a proclamation for “Pollinator Week” in honor of urban bees at the Monday, June 21 Council meeting. Part-time beekeeper Chantal Foster, along with a handful of other city beekeepers, thanked the Council for declaring the city bee-friendly. Foster reminded everyone how important bees are in our ecosystem because they pollinate our crops, such as fruits, nuts and green chile. The proclamation encourages citywide bee-friendly practices, like avoiding commercial pesticides in home gardens.
Now here's a random one for you. Surf over to easytomiss.org/trail_map and find the Double Eagle Trail. It’s that isolated green stretch on the northwest edge of the map. This trail is hard to find and not conveniently linked to any major bike thoroughfares. But, if you're packing a reasonably sized set of huevos and a soupçon of wherewithal, there's a great ride to be ridden out there. You can approach the trail on westbound Montaño or via my preferred route, northbound Unser. The Unser trail gets pretty awkward near the end, merging with the asphalt of the autobahn and narrowing perilously just as it launches into a punishing uphill slope. You can handle it. Huevos.
Dateline: Germany—In one of the more surreal acts of forgotten-medication-based lunacy, a young Bavarian man is accused of taunting a group of Hells Angels by dropping his pants and throwing a puppy. The unidentified 26-year-old student allegedly drove onto the motorcycle clubhouse grounds in Allershausen, a town just north of Munich, and pulled down his Bermuda shorts, mooning a group of bikers. Witnesses say he followed that act by throwing a puppy at them. The man wrapped up his performance by fleeing the scene, then stopping at a nearby autobahn construction sight to steal a bulldozer, which he attempted to drive to Munich. According to the Munich daily newspaper TZ, the slow pace of the getaway vehicle caused a three-mile traffic jam. After making it less than a mile down the road, the 26-year-old hitched a ride with a truck, which let him off in Eching, not far from Munich. Police lost track of him briefly but finally found him. He told police he had neglected to take his medication for depression. He was checked into a psychiatric clinic for evaluation. Meanwhile, the puppy he chucked at the Hells Angels was taken to an animal shelter in Freising.
Frank Cullen, founder of the American Vaudeville Museum and author of Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, is launching a series of classic film screenings at the Guild Cinema starting this weekend. Cullen will be on hand to host the inaugural festival, titled The British Are Coming! This four-day fest features classic films from the Golden Age of Comedy. Four films from England’s legendary Ealing Studios are slated for screening: 1951’s The Man in the White Suit; 1959’s I’m All Right Jack; 1949’s Whiskey Galore; and 1950’s The Happiest Days of Your Life. Admission prices are $7 per film or $10 per double feature. Cullen will be there to introduce each film and lead an audience discussion between double features. Trust me, the man knows his stuff. Future incarnations of this intermittent, yearlong festival will include When Comedy Was King in Hollywood (Sept. 17-22), The British Are Back (December) and Clowns and Idols of the Silent Screen (early 2011). For more info, log on to guildcinema.com or vaudeville.org.
At the tender age of 19, Harmony Korine wrote the controversy-courting screenplay for Larry Clark’s the-kids-are-not-alright opus Kids. He followed that by writing and directing a couple of bizarro, nihilistic dramas (or are they comedies?) about disaffected youth and their demented families (Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy). In 2002, he reunited with Larry Clark for the seedy suburban drama Ken Park (a film so blunt in its depiction of sex, drugs and violence among teens that it’s still not available on DVD in America). In 2007, he directed his slickest, most expensive and most puzzling indie film, Mister Lonely. Now, in 2010, comes Trash Humpers, the 37-year-old Korine’s tribute to ... well, it’s hard to say.
When FOX announced it was bringing “Family Guy” back from cancellation following a hugely successful rerun stint on Cartoon Network, I wasn’t what you’d call super stoked. Personally, I didn’t find “Family Guy” funny the first time around, and I don’t find it funny now. But the decision to revive it made damn good business sense and was an amusing “screw you” to the programming executives who axed the show in the first place.
You can see the painted palm trees from I-25 and Osuna, where Barry’s Oasis lives up to its name as a reprieve from the blistering concrete just outside the door. Inside, the high-ceilinged dining room is decorated like a beachy patio. There are faux balconies crowded with potted plants. Umbrellas shade tables and hang overhead, diffusing sunshine from skylights set into the seagull-adorned ceiling.
The historic KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque is going back to its roots (in a high-tech way) by showing movies again. The city venue has partnered up with Emerging Pictures, a network of high-definition digital download projection systems linking theaters across the country. KiMo will kick off this new partnership on Saturday, June 19, with London Calling: Live in Hyde Park,a live concert performance featuring Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The concert is just the first in a series of upcoming performances of live simulcasts and HD screenings. Emerging Pictures’ new digital projection system will allow the KiMo to present opera, ballet, concerts and film festival selections. Yes, they will be showing the occasional classic or independent art film as well. I have it on good authority, for example, that the KiMo staff hopes to assemble an Alfred Hitchcock retrospective for Halloween week. Tickets for this Saturday’s screening of London Calling: Live in Hyde Park are $15 a person and available through the KiMo box office or ticketmaster.com. The screening starts at 8 p.m. with an opening reception at 7 p.m.
I know you think I'm going to tell you again about how I gave my dad a shingle with a hole drilled in it for Father’s Day, how he scornfully cast it aside and I was ashamed. No, I won't tell you that one.
Three months after cyclist David Anderson was killed near Paseo del Norte and Rio Grande Boulevard, the black auto paint smeared on a nearby brick wall is beginning to peel off. Fresh silver fencing replaced about 20 feet of rusty fence destroyed by a car careening off the road. It, too, is beginning to weather. And the flowers placed in front of Anderson’s roadside memorial have long since wilted.
The Paseo del Norte trail has an awkward dead-end terminus just east of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute on Coors. If you have to haul your bike out to the trail with your car, this would be a convenient place to park. If you'll be arriving on two wheels, join the Paseo del Norte trail at its intersection with the Paseo del Bosque trail.
Grassroots protest exhibits the vulnerability of the human body
By Marisa Demarco
State law is pretty specific about what constitutes indecent exposure—the primary genital area, or "mons pubis, penis, testicles, mons veneris, vulva or vagina." What's not on that list? Butts and female nipples.
Dateline: England—A first-time paraglider almost became a paraplegic after breaking his back in two places trying to fly a machine he bought for 300 pounds (about $440) on eBay. Roy Dixon didn’t take any lessons on how to use the unpowered airplane, but he did watch several clips on the Internet. “I should have joined a club and got lessons,” the 45-year-old told BBC News. “But I was trying to teach myself and learn from bits I had seen on YouTube.” Speaking from Newcastle General Hospital after the incident, Dixon admitted he had been “quite foolish” for tethering the bargain-basement plane to his car like a kite and attempting to get some air near his home in Hexham, Northumberland. “The thing you should never do—which I did—was tether it to a solid object.” Dixon and his paraglider spent less than a minute in the air before plunging to the earth. “I went shooting up in the air, then banged down on the ground. Then I went up again,” Dixon said. “As I was dropping, I was thinking, This is serious.” Dixon broke two of his vertebrae, which may need to be fused.
My knitting hero, I’ll call her “Our Lady of Crafting,” once advised me, “make a hat or a scarf for a boyfriend—never a sweater.” I think her guidance had something to do with commitment. I listened and, last Christmas, made and gave away a hat to a special somebody. By February, the hat was lost. Thing is, I know where it was lost. It was lost at Maria’s in Santa Fe. I know because the hat was with us when we walked in and gone 20 minutes after we left. But it was eventually found, for sale, at Buffalo Exchange. The hat misplacer and I just happened to be shopping that day when I found it (and a $9 price tag). I think they only sold it back to us at a discount to get the crazy lady (me) out of the store. Being crafty is fun, so get your do-it-yourself on or support someone who already has!
It's an ordinary Saturday afternoon on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. Travelers head north to Santa Fe, no one pays much attention to one another—until, suddenly, a voice comes from the back of the car. A young woman, face hidden by a baseball cap and magazine, snaps to attention and responds. Thus begins a scene from As You Like It.
Dads don’t always have it so easy. Sure, they get one special Sunday out of the year to lie around in their Barcaloungers, be showered in singing Hallmark cards and maybe take a trip to K-Bob’s Steakhouse for the World Famous All-You-Can-Eat Salad Wagon. The rest of the year, they’re obliged to earn a living, fix stuff, raise kids and referee crappy Pee Wee Football games.
A few months back, Entertainment Weekly ran an article on the long history of Hollywood’s various attempts to sequelize the 1985 Chevy Chase crime comedy Fletch. For years, apparently, Kevin Smith tried to reboot the series with acting pal Jason Lee (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Clerks II). It’s a bummer that particular pairing never happened, because it sounds awesome. Lee is an underrated talent. His work on NBC’s white trash sitcom “My Name Is Earl,” for example, was impeccable. But the guy only seems to hit the big time when he signs onto junk like Alvin and the Chipmunks. So until Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 gets the green light, Lee has found himself a home on TNT.
Despite relentless recording sessions, not long ago it seemed like no one could keep the Prids away from Albuquerque. In 2003 and 2004, the band played here every eight or nine months. Not that anyone was complaining, mind you. In fact, bassist Mistina La Fave and guitarist/lyricist David Frederickson have cited New Mexico as one of their favorite stops due to the always warm and grateful reception they’ve gotten in the Dirt City. In 2008 a nearly fatal van accident threatened to halt the constant gigging, but the band recovered and jumped back on the road. Unlike many outfits that eventually retreat to the relative calm of the studio, it’s unimaginable to think of the Prids not touring. The only thing that trumps the band’s 10 CDs, EPs and 7-inches is its galvanizing live shows.
Idris Goodwin is the Neapolitan ice cream of words. He’s a rapper, an HBO Def Poet and an award-winning writer. His material mixes and serves the best elements of these genres. He’s also a “hip-hop educator” who has lectured in institutions across the country on themes like culture and empowerment. Literary journals have published him and clubs have played his music. Goodwin is from Chicago but has duel residence in Illinois and New Mexico. The cherry on top is that he’ll perform as part of the Wordstream Poetry Series at the Harwood Art Center on Friday, June 18. (Full disclosure: In 2006 I acted in Goodwin’s play Braising.)
The 2010 edition of Women’s Voices, the nearly annual concert series that showcases the area’s exceptional female vocal talent, introduces new curators, a new concept and a new schedule. The series will forgo the usual smorgasbord of pop, jazz and blues on back-to-back nights to offer two distinctly different events. The first is Ladies Sing the Blues on Saturday, June 19, curated by Joan Cere (formerly Griffin). The second is Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan on Saturday, July 10, curated by Patty Stephens.
Done in coarse permanent marker with proletarian flare, this outsider art depicts a blown-out umbrella amidst a downpour. Or does it? Perhaps, rather, it’s an elephant eating grass? Or maybe it’s purely abstract. What’s certain is the performance of lo-fi San Francisco indie bands Telephone Hat and Filbert, along with Albuquerque’s CanyonLands, at Winning Coffee Co. (111 Harvard SE) on Friday, June 18, at 7 p.m. This event is all-ages and free to the people. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
It’s Los Ranchos Growers’ Market opening day, and when I arrive at 7 a.m., a lively crowd is already jockeying for position around the stalls. I find Hand To Mouth Foods, LLC where Jeffrey Lee and wife Elaine DiFederico offer tables full of starter plants, assorted greens and carefully packed early harvests. I’m looking for breakfast, and in the midst of the greens is a tempting array of baked goods. I walk away munching a piñon-spangled custard tart, saving an onion galette and a fruit tart for later.
Come for the emissions testing, come back for the duck soup. That's the brilliant business model that almost was, but isn't. It turns out 2000 Vietnam Restaurant and Saigon Express Emissions Testing, in an attached garage on Zuni and San Mateo, are separate businesses. But I'm still coming back for the duck soup.