“The pilot light in the stove had gone off, so when she turned the oven on to full bore, it did not light. A couple of hours later ... she opened the oven door. The flame from the top burners ignited the gas in a single terrifying rush, blasting Courtney three feet back and three feet into the air so that she landed, seated on the prep counter.”
The Albuquerque Police Department has not instituted any special de-escalation training due to the the high number of officer-involved shootings this year. The Tuesday, Sept. 14 shooting in Downtown Albuquerque was No. 11. In 2009, there were only six.
Lupe Lopez-Haynes' sister went missing 21 years ago. When the bodies on the West Mesa were first discovered, she wondered if her sister would be among them. Beatrice Lopez Cubelos' remains were not uncovered at the mass grave, but there are still families who believe their missing daughters could be near the site at 118th Street and Dennis Chavez, Lopez-Haynes says.
Dateline: Romania—Romanian senators—perhaps fearing magical repercussions—have rejected a proposal to tax their country’s witches and fortune tellers. Lawmakers Alin Popoviciu and Cristi Dugulescu of the ruling Democratic Liberal Party had drafted a law that would require witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts. The law, aimed at increasing revenue for the cash-strapped country, would also have held the soothsayers liable for wrong predictions. On Sept. 7, however, Romania’s Senate voted down the proposal. Popoviciu claimed lawmakers were frightened of being cursed.
As far as cognitive peculiarities go, synesthesia seems pretty sweet. Instead of just hearing sounds, the brain translates the aural with another sense function, say vision or taste. What is for one person an F sharp can, for the synesthete, be a green- or raspberry-hued note.
Moby-Dick and the crazed sea captain who hates him
By Christie Chisolm
Even if you've never read Moby-Dick, there are probably a few things you already know about the story simply by existing in modern American culture. For one, there's some guy named Ishmael. And there’s a crazy, one-legged captain called Ahab, who's made it his life's purpose to chase down and harpoon the titular, massive white sperm whale that bit off his limb. Like most classic tales, it doesn't end well.
As Central Avenue heads east toward the mountains, the gravitational pull of Nob Hill starts to wear thin. Groovy cafés and thrift stores are succeeded by storage units and mom-and-pop car lots. This sleepy urban backwater is where you’ll find the Babylon Grocery and Café, in a strip mall just east of Wyoming. The wood-clad Iraqi restaurant and grocery store has only been open for six months, but it already has the weathered and eclectic feel of a long-standing outpost in a desert far away.
This Thursday, Sept. 16, marks your last chance to see the made-in-New-Mexico documentary ANightmare in Las Cruces in a theater. The Century Downtown 14 theater will screen the film at 11:30 a.m., 1:25, 3:20, 5:15, 7:10 and 9:05 p.m. Sportscaster-turned-filmmaker Charlie Minn will be on hand to introduce the self-distributed feature.
Ben Affleck must have liked what he got a taste of in his 2007 writing-directing debut Gone Baby Gone, because he’s done his best to replicate the experience with his new film The Town. In fact, he’s even upped the ante, throwing himself into the mix as lead actor.
Cable net FX hasn’t quite caught up with rival AMC when it comes to original, hour-long series. But they keep trying. Currently, FX has “Rescue Me,” “Damages,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Justified.” Good shows, sure, but not quite up to the Emmy-winning pop and sizzle of AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”
The Felice Brothers’ journey from the Catskills to the Rockies
By Summer Olsson
Listening to the earthy, earnest songs of The Felice Brothers, it’s easy to hear the band’s roots and the influence of its journey. Palenville, N.Y., is a hamlet of about 1,400 residents, nestled at the base of the Catskill Mountains near the Kaaterskill Falls. The fictional character Rip Van Winkle was supposed to have hailed from the town. It was there that brothers Ian, James and Simone Felice, the poor sons of a carpenter, grew up and began playing music. The brothers often held neighborhood jam sessions and played regularly during family backyard barbecues.
You may remember a sweaty-palmed week in middle school when you were forced to square dance by an overbearing gym teacher. And you may shudder at the thought of repeating the event. Although contra dance has similarities to square dancing, there’s no need to be wary. People of all ages have discovered that contra dancing is fun. It might be time to heal the wounds and check it out. “The dance is having a renaissance around the country,” reports NPR, “thanks to a thriving youth scene.” The latest trend is dancing contra to hip-hop or techno, dubbed “crossover contra” or “contra-fusion.” Although it might be happening all around them, many people may have never heard of the style. Contra dance is a form in which people begin in two long lines, facing one another, and are led through a series of steps by a caller. Dancers cycle through moves with the person opposite and those on either side, ending up dancing with several different partners.
New series at The Center for Grooviness welcomes creative music and arts
By Mel Minter
Trombonist Christian Pincock, curator of the new series at The Center for Grooviness, and his partner, Deian McBryde, are dedicated to helping people get in the groove—one way or the other. Their Central Avenue space hosts both the self-explanatory Nob Hill Yoga Center and The Center for Grooviness, which is dedicated to presenting unconventional music and arts. Both enterprises invite you to come in, kick off your shoes, lie down (not compulsory) and give yourself up to the moment at hand.
On the 40th anniversary of his death, SuperGiant, The Ground Beneath, Sandia Man and Dead On Point Five will worship in the acid rock temple of guitar god and distortion pioneer Jimi Hendrix. The holy services take place at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, Sept. 18, beginning at 9 p.m. Pay your respects, rock, roll, tune in, turn on and drop out for a $5 cover charge. Hand-painted, infinite afro art by Kyle Erickson—SuperGiant bassist. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Management at the historic KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque is rushing full-force forward with plans to return the venue to its glory days, screening recent and classic feature films via a spanking-new HD digital projection system. This Saturday, Sept. 11, for example, marks the beginning of the Monty-Python-A-Thon. Catch Life of Brian starting at 8 p.m. and Monty Python and the Holy Grail beginning at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8 each film or $12 for the double-feature. ... That takes care of the classic. Now for the new. On Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m., KiMo will screen Bette Gordon’s indie crime drama Handsome Harry. The well-regarded film stars Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage and Campbell Scott. It spins the story of a Vietnam vet investigating a decades-old crime for a former Navy buddy. Tickets are $8, available at the KiMo box office (423 Central NW).
Writing haiku sounds really, really simple, doesn't it? The form is elementary: Just five, seven and five syllables, and wham-o, you've got a poem. It's not as easy as it sounds, though. Since the early August announcement of this here contest, I've been trying to think up a congratulatory haiku for all the entrants and have come up with exactly nothing.
John Anczarski, 19, was cycling across the country with three friends to raise money for breast cancer research. The University of Colorado student began his trip in Pennsylvania and was heading for San Diego. He was 10 days from his destination on June 21 when an SUV in Laguna, N.M., ran him off the road. He suffered head trauma and died the next day at UNM Hospital.
The city and state have gone back and forth on whether they will allow ghost bikes to stand. Jennifer Buntz, president of the Duke City Wheelmen Foundation, champions the memorials for cyclists killed by motorists around the state.
Officers Jerome Armijo and Carmen Michaud catch a woman jaywalking at First Street and Central, just across from Alvarado Transportation Center. They run the woman’s name and it hits: She is wanted for felony burglary. After placing her under arrest, they call a detective.
Watching Susana Martinez' gubernatorial campaign ads, I've been struck by how much they seem to be in sync with many of this summer's big-budget flicks. I suppose both her politics and our taste in fantasy are reflections of our national mood in 2010.
Dateline: New York—A New York City man is being sued after losing track of a $1.35 million painting during a drunken night on the town. According to court papers, James Haggerty says he lost the Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot masterpiece “Portrait of a Girl” after a night drinking at The Mark hotel in Manhattan. Kristyn Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, who co-own the painting, had hired Mr. Haggerty to assist with its possible sale to London gallery owner Offer Waterman. Mr. Haggerty was ordered to take the painting to The Mark, where Mr. Waterman was staying, so he could see it in person. Ms. Trudgeon’s lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, says hotel security footage shows Haggerty leaving the painting at the front desk and entering the hotel’s bar with Waterman at 11 p.m. At 11:30 p.m., the two men return to the lobby, retrieve the painting and have a discussion. “Something just didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to be involved,” Waterman told the New YorkDaily News. “So I said no, and I said goodbye.” The lawsuit alleges Haggerty redeposited the painting at the front desk and returned to the hotel bar, where he stayed for 90 minutes. At that point, he returned to the lobby and stumbled out of the hotel with the painting, declining a doorman’s offer to call him a taxi. Haggerty finally returned home at 2:30 a.m.—without the painting. The next morning, he phoned Mr. Doyle to inform the owner he could no longer account for the million-dollar-plus painting’s whereabouts. “I think he’s a complete fumbling idiot,” Ms. Trudgeon was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. “He’s just a complete asshole.”
Sometimes life hands you lemons, and when that happens, you’re stuck squeezing the shit out of those lemons onto fried fish in hopes of extracting some flavor and thanking sweet baby Jesus you ordered the regular peas, not the mushy peas. Am I right? Or are you all wondering just how drunk I am, or if I’ve lost my mind and, in either case, what in God’s name I’m babbling about?
Ask any aficionado to list the foundational texts of cyberpunk and you will surely hear mention of William Gibson's 1984 debut novel, Neuromancer. Cyberpunk, for those not in the know, is a science-fiction sub-genre of urban-noir in which characters repurpose futuristic technologies to get by on the fringes of dystopian societies. Since those early days, the present has made great strides towards catching up with Gibson's imagined future. His latest cycle of books, which concludes with the just-released Zero History, examine our science-fictional present with the same skill set he once used to depict the 2030s. The Alibi caught up with Gibson through the magic of cellular technology in advance of his upcoming talk at the Albuquerque Public Library. In other words, the future is almost here.
Bleak-humored drama goes past black comedy into ... I don’t know, indigo?
By Devin D. O’Leary
There’s black comedy and then there’s Todd Solondz’ sense of humor. Which isn’t so much black as it is ... just plain wrong. Over the years, the writer-director has dug under the skin of middle-class suburbia, exposing the bleak, laugh-or-you’ll-cry ironies of life in these United States. Films like Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness, Storytelling and Palindromes are as likely to incite a cringe as a chuckle. Needless to say, he’s not everybody’s cup of tea.
Little over a year from now I'll have endured three decades of carbon-based livin'. Approaching this mortal milestone, more and more I'm beginning to recognize the old hippie dictum—Don't trust anyone over 30—to be a valid, if not troubling, piece of advice. Last week I found myself talking all fuckin' punk about America's teeming population of brainless youth who pass the time sucking from television's homogenizing teat, living generally mundane, unconcerned lives.
One man’s quest to bring decent post-production to New Mexico
By Chris Quintana
Hidden at the back of dead-end road off a tiny side street in Santa Fe is Stepbridge Studios. The only indication of any musical virtue is a painting of John Lennon on the driveway wall. Entering the sound room, however, offers a different perspective.
With headless abandon and in slimming vertical stripes, a performance by Shoulder Voices, Grand Canyon and The Chimpz is announced. Those of legal drinking age can see the local acts for free at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Friday, Sept. 10. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Random tracks from Bodies of Evidence frontman Pietro Berardinell
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Pietro Berardinelli is frontman and rhythm guitar player for ass-shredding Burque metal band Bodies of Evidence. On Saturday, Sept. 11, the four-piece releases its first album, titled A Time to Rise. The party takes place at the Launchpad (21+, $5) starting at 9 p.m. with opening performances by The Ground Beneath, Caustic Lye and Tetelestai. Below is a five-song sampler of Berardinelli’s diverse listening material.
I feel sorry for tomatillos, the way I used to feel for the last kid to get picked for kickball. Tomatillos languish on otherwise empty tables at the end of growers’ markets, often destined for the compost pile because they're nobody’s favorite. It's not their fault. It's just that nobody knows what to do with tomatillos.
Ah, September. The month when I have to start accounting for 20 minutes of extra travel time because I always get stuck in 15 mph school zones. (Wouldn’t it make sense to up the speed limit in the zones of schools that are known for athletics? Those kids are pretty fast.)
Because you never know when your bad chemicals may go on parade
By John Bear
The University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center (2600 Marble NE, 272-2800) offers a “full spectrum” of mental health and psychiatric care for citizens of New Mexico. According to hospitals.unm.edu, the center was established in 1967 and is the largest community mental health provider in the state with telehealth and telemedicine links throughout our communities, schools, corrections facilities and more. In 2008, the center admitted nearly 1,500 patients, while outpatient clinics experienced more than 190,000 visits, so they probably know their business.
Finding the next Nemo, Felix, Desdemona or Mr. Sprinkles
By John Bear
Sometimes you move from one city to another and show up a cat short. Cats are angry beasts and will run off when they sense something is personally unacceptable. Sometimes a significant other leaves and takes them. In either case, it’s important to move forward and quickly replace those missing kitties and pooches. Most importantly, you should adopt shelter pets. There are plenty of good animals waiting for homes. There’s no need to buy a $2,000 Mongolian vole hound when a perfectly fine mongrel can be had for less than $100. Hell, my cat Scoop Satanica ran me 10 bucks at a lucky sale at the Humane Society. She has, of course, since racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and lost man hours.
When you need somebody, not just anybody, to extinguish the flames engulfing your car
By John Bear
Sometimes the police are necessary. I remember back in college I had some neighbors who threw a screaming kegger / vomit party every night of the week. They asked me to simply come over and tell them if they were being too loud. One time they savagely killed a goat. I found the police to be a better option. They will come over any time day or night, with guns, and tell the neighbors to be quiet. It’s a pretty good deal, needless to say. That so many police substations are memorials to fallen officers is worth noting and appreciating.
Should you become lost, just remember: The mountains are to the east.
By John Bear
For the truly new-to-Albuquerque, some explanation of how this town is laid out is necessary. While I was doing my research, I found there’s not a whole lot of information out there on the Trumbull and La Mesa neighborhoods, an area that’s been rebranded the “International District” in recent years. Locals once referred to it as the “Warzone.” I used to deliver pizzas in the neighborhood and never had a problem, so I’m sentimental about it and understand why residents of these neighborhoods resent the label. Of course, only the truly sub-moronic criminal element would mess with the pizza man, and here’s why: Pizza joints comp the local police with free pies. Anyone who screws with the pizza guy also screws with the boys in blue.
Personally, I refuse to gamble unless there are short people and horses involved. A jockey friend once told me that it’s a sucker game. Well, with God as my witness, I am that sucker. There is no better day than one spent at a horse track—the fresh air, the beautiful animals, the chain-smoking old men inside playing the simulcast races. Ah, sweet: looking through the program to find the oddly named creature to wager my two dollars on and then yelling as he or she runs the mud track, the trumpet music, the ridiculous jockey uniforms, the old Mexican men and their long-toed boots.
Three nature-filled trips that are close to home and far from ordinary
By John Bear
Get out and see some wildlife before it’s all gone. New Mexico is home to seven federal refuges, two of which are fairly close to Albuquerque. Visit fws.gov/southwest/refuges/nmrefuges.htmlfor a full list of federal preserves in New Mexico.
Sometimes a person needs a couple of bucks to get through.
There are always banks, loan sharks and parents. Title loan businesses advertise being able to help a person make it to payday or borrow money to go on vacation. Of course, they don’t mention that interest is so high, the borrower may end up rolling bidi cigarettes in a shop in Karachi.
That leaves you with the old standard: the pawn shop. (Some of the title loan joints are trying to pass themselves off as pawn shops, by the way.) I recently traded a set of wedding rings for bagpipes, wedding rings not being an item that is transferable to the next fiancée. It turns out diamonds aren’t forever. But bagpipes are.
Two first-edition paperbacks of Breakfast of Champions can’t be wrong
By John Bear
Ah, the recycled life—thrift stores, resale shops and vintage clothing boutiques. Where else can one procure a bowling shirt, a used copy of Lolita and a Herb Alpert record in one stop? Spend a buck or two at these joints and defeat the big-box bullies.
My favorite Vietnamese restaurants are the durable type. With worn floors, and few frills beyond a TV on mute and perhaps a jungle of real and fake plants, those tired-looking dives are often full of Vietnamese customers, and for good reason. They serve the real stuff, unfiltered and unedited for an American audience.
Half a block from the children’s hospital in Minneapolis is a comfortable old Victorian house that’s been converted into a health clinic dedicated to teenagers. Patients don’t have to grapple with the monolithic main hospital or sit in waiting rooms stuffed with crying babies and coughing seniors. Instead of dealing with terse or stodgy providers, they are seen by staff members who are experts in adolescent health care and who, most importantly, actually enjoy teenagers.
The chupacabra hasn’t reared its ugly head in Albuquerque lately. In fact, it’s been almost exactly three years since the last local sighting on the Westside. But many believe the creatures are out there, sucking the blood from goats (chupacabra means “goatsucker” in Spanish) and other livestock. Descriptions of the chupacabra vary widely, but the typical version is a creature 4 to 5 feet tall. It has short, powerful legs, long claws, and terrifying black or glowing red eyes. Some claim it has spikes down its back; others report seeing stubby, bat-like wings.
Dateline: Japan—A 30-year-old factory worker has pleaded guilty to burning down his family’s home after his mother threw out some of his action figures. Yoshifumi Takabe testified in Kobe District Court in western Japan that he became suicidal after losing several of his toy robots. Yoshifumi described the toys as partners with which he wanted to spend his life, ABC News Australia reports. In retaliation for his mother’s housecleaning, Yoshifumi poured kerosene inside the home and torched it, saying he wanted to die in the fire with his other “precious” robots. According to reports, the bulk of Yoshifumi’s action figure collection consisted of toys from the popular Gundam animated series. The fanboy’s 55-year-old mother told the court she frequently complained to her son that the toys were cluttering the house. She said there were enough to fill 300 boxes. The fire, which was set on Aug. 9 of last year, completely destroyed the family’s two-story wooden house. No one was injured. Presumably, all of Yoshifumi’s Gundam figures were lost in the blaze.
Romantic comedy about long-distance relationships comes up short
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s common knowledge that you don’t go into a restaurant 10 minutes before closing time—odds are you’re gonna get served warmed-up leftovers, end-pieces and floor sweepings by people who just wanna go home already. The same is true, more or less, of the film industry. By September, the general population is back at school/work, the vacation funds have dried up and box office receipts have plunged precipitously. As a result, you aren’t gonna see a bunch of $100 million blockbusters hitting the local cineplex this time of year. The action movies, horror flicks and romantic comedies you’re getting from now until Thanksgiving are all gonna be strictly C-grade material.
Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block has become so crowded with live-action series (“Children’s Hospital,” “Look Around You,” “The Mighty Boosh,” “Delocated”) that it’s getting to be a treat to see an actual cartoon. Thankfully, CN is adding a couple of major new animated shows this month with the cartoon spin-off of MAD Magazine (called, simply, “MAD”) and the ironically titled “Regular Show.”
Hear that sound off in the distance? No, it’s not paranormal phenomena sometimes experienced by Northern New Mexicans who attended too many loud acid rock concerts back in the summer of love. It’s the second annual Taos Mountain Music Festival. On Sunday, Sept. 5, the Taos Ski Valley will host performances by Gov’t Mule, Yonder Mountain String Band, Shemekia Copeland, Radio La Chusma, Mia Borders and Mariachi Calor. In addition to live music, there’s a “Strawberry Fair” where food, drink, arts and crafts will be available for purchase, as well as a puppet-filled, bouncy castle-furnished, activity-laden “Kidzone” for little ones unimpressed by guitar solos. Tickets to the all-day fest are $42 in advance, $48 at the door—children under 10 get in for free. To purchase tickets, call (505) 886-1251 or go to taosmountainmusicfestival.com.
Referencing the innovative producer-turned-puffy-wigged-murderer, The Kill Spectors are a psych-punk duo split between Austin and Northern New Mexico. The geographic conundrum has made for a slow-paced start. Few have heard, much less witnessed, the band’s '60s girl group and early punk-inspired rocking. But while the story of The Kill Spectors begins at the end of 2009, the bigger story starts years ago.
A Life in the Theatre makes stage acting seem like writing: You throw your soul into the black and uncaring void until you go crazy. At least actors can see the audience, out there in the dark. A writer has to assume people are picking up the paper. Maybe I’m just being dramatic.
SITE Santa Fe tries to extend its branches a little too far
By Patricia Sauthoff
I remember the exact moment I fell in love with moving image arts. It was September of 2002, somewhere on the upper spiral of New York City’s Guggenheim Museum. I entered a little room and there, projected on the wall, was Shirin Neshat’s “Passage,” an approximately 12-minute film depicting the funeral processions of Iranian men and women. I happened to walk into the screening room just at the beginning of the film and sat through it twice, unable to articulate what I had just seen and felt. Afterward, I wandered through the rest of the exhibition Moving Pictures in something of a daze.
An all-you-can-sit-through buffet is on the menu for theater lovers this week with three plays opening around town. Let’s go through this in alphabetical order so it’s easier to remember. First, Crimes of the Heart, the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of three down-on-their-luck sisters who reunite as adults, plays at The Vortex (2004 1/2 Central SE). Crimes opens Friday, Sept. 3, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 26. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (6 p.m.) shows cost $15—except for Sunday, Sept. 5, which is pay-what-you-wish. Get ’em at vortexabq.org. Next, the search for an elusive whale takes the stage with Mother Road Theatre Company’s Moby Dick at The Filling Station (1024 Fourth Street SW). Thursday and Friday shows start at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Moby Dick runs from Friday, Sept. 3, to Sunday, Sept. 26. Tickets are $16 and are over at motherroad.org. Finally, an imaginary conversation between Picasso and Einstein is the setting for Auxiliary Dog’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This one also runs from Sept. 3 to Sept. 26, with 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows and 2 p.m. Sunday performances. Picasso will set you back $14 and you’ll have to call 254-7716 for tickets.