A look at officer-involved shootings and police training in comparable cities
By Patrick Lohmann
Darren White stood before the City Council alongside Police Chief Ray Schultz. The director of public safety was trying to give context as to why Albuquerque officers have shot at or killed 11 members of the public this year, nearly twice the city’s average since 2004.
The best food in the West, according to the Alibi’s readers
Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! Feast upon nearly 100 lip-smacking categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by voracious Alibi readers just like you. Your Best of Burque votes reward local businesses with hard-earned recognition. And as long as you keep eating and voting, we'll be able to amass these indispensable guides to the best food our city has to offer.
My first attempt at getting people to send in art has been a complete success: four entries as of press time. You have to start out small. Two weeks ago I asked people to send in images of bird art. It was partly an effort to interact with readers, and partly a need to know whether other people like photos of, or artwork about, birds as much as I do. Call me crazy. Arlaina Ash sent in an abstract piece she made of birds standing over a nest of eggs; very cave art. Gina Yates contributed a painting of owls reading with some other owls looking on from outdoors. She says people often find hidden meaning when they see this piece, like the reading owls represent the elite of society. Crazy stuff. Deanna L. Nichols sent in some lovely images of cranes, owls, herons and other birds she took, sharper than a Hanzo sword. Kent R. Swanson offered up some linoleum cuts of Bosque birds on paper. Thanks, guys. The art will be posted on alibi.com as a blog (”Give ’Em the Bird”) on Thursday. I want to make this a regular thing. For next week, I’m requesting velvet pop art. I keep seeing these paintings, mostly because there are at least three hanging in the Alibi office: Elvis, a Pink Panther and a weird poodle. I’ve also seen a Snoopy in recent weeks. If you have any of these old velvet paintings laying around, please, send some pictures of them to email@example.com. Extra points for paintings of The King or some of that ’70s black power themed stuff.
While there may have been lots of hot air in our skies, there was not much inside City Hall on Monday, Oct. 4. It was a quick-and-easy Council meeting with a sparse crowd. First, councilors picked over the agenda and postponed a number of items. Then they approved a large package of police department grant applications and the sale of about $135 million in general obligation bonds. They also made some committee appointments. Not much debate was stirred by these issues.
It was a little irrational, I admit. But ever since last summer, when I got the job as a parking attendant for the University of New Mexico's special-events staff, I had taken to scouring the newspaper's sports section after every home game. Be it football or women's basketball, I was fully expecting to see mention of how my colleagues and I acquitted ourselves the night before.
Dateline: Brazil—Political critics who are trying to prevent an actual clown from running for office are calling for the candidate to pass a simple literacy test. Francisco Silva—better known as Tiririca, which means “Grumpy” in Portuguese—is running in October’s general election in an attempt to represent Sao Paulo in Congress. Incredibly, the TV comedian in the multicolored hat is ahead in the most recent polls thanks to slogans like, “It can’t be any worse than it is now!” Opponents say he is unqualified, since the country’s constitution states members of congress must be literate. According to Sao Paulo’s Metro daily, critics have filed a lawsuit demanding that Tiririca be forced to take a literacy test. Época magazine recently reported claims by people who have worked with the clown/politician that he is illiterate. A video on the publication’s website shows a reporter asking Silva to read questions from an election poll. The candidate appears unable to do so, and has a campaign aide read them for him.
As if the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival weren’t enough to keep film fans busy this week, Albuquerque will also play host to Duke City DocFest. Billed as New Mexico’s “first and only international documentary film festival,” DCD will give audiences a chance to view 90 entertaining, educational and inspirational documentary films from around the world.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center kicks off its lavish 10th anniversary this weekend by teaming up with the New Mexico Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. Together, they’re presenting a red carpet Celebration of Latinos in the Media. This celebrity-filled event will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center’s Kiva Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 8, from 7 to 10 p.m. Scheduled guest include a dizzying parade of actors (Bokeem Woodbine, Elizabeth Peña, local boy Steven Michael Quezada), MMA fighters (Damacio Page, Elias Gallegos), writers (Yolanda Acosta, Barbara Madrid-Gutierrez), boxers (Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero), models (Miss United States 2005 Nicole Falsone), recording artists (Trini D, Jesus Jr.), basketballers (NBA champ Michael Cooper), artists (Amando Peña Jr.) and radio personalities (Erica Viking from Coyote 102.5 FM). The evening’s festivities will include an awards presentation and a screening of the classic Latino film La Bamba. Erik Martinez, who appeared in ABC’s short-lived shot-in-Albuquerque series “Scoundrels,” will host. Tickets of varying levels ($10, $25, $100) are available through ticketmaster.com. For more information, log on to redcarpetnm.com.
One of the keys to producing a successful film festival is finding a unifying theme, an identity that lets viewers know what sort of experiences are awaiting them. For eight years now, the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has had little trouble with that. Reveling in its identity as the premiere outlet for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender cinema in the Southwest, Albuquerque’s own SG&LFF has been able to attract hundreds of quality features, documentaries and shorts. With festival founder and director Roberto Appicciafoco beating the bushes for content, the festival has forged a solid reputation as an annual must-attend.
Overly restrained sci-fi experiment fails to create life
By Devin D. O’Leary
Some people seem to think the new film based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed sci-fi(ish) novel Never Let Me Go is highly subject to spoilers and that those wishing to see the film should avoid any and all reviews revealing the slightest narrative surprise. OK. The film doesn’t play coy with its narrative, tossing aside any lingering sense of mystery right off the bat. But if you’re really curious to see the film and don’t want to know anything about it, here’s the short, entirely spoiler-free review: It’s drab, slow and very talky. Now, if you wanna learn more, read on.
NBC has spent a lot of time likening its new conspiracy thriller “The Event” to ABC’s recently wrapped sci-fi series “Lost.” That is what I like to call a big mistake. Having watched the first few weeks of “The Event,” I can only come to the conclusion that the show more or less sucks rocks.
In most fields of study there are systems of classification. Taxonomy, originally applied to organisms, helps differentiate between, say, an oak and a maple and an elm. Similar schemes can be applied to the humanities; hierarchies can be created within language, religion, movements in art, anything. This kind of classification is necessary because it helps those engaged in the study of a specialized area to communicate about that topic.
Nii Otoo Annan and friends beguile with old styles in a new setting
By Mel Minter
Famed Ghanaian percussionist Nii (Mr.) Otoo Annan has wowed audiences in the States with a polyrhythmic mastery that has earned him the moniker “the Elvin Jones of West Africa,” after the late great jazz drummer. But Annan has kept a secret from his U.S. fans: He is also a master guitarist whose music—as unassuming as it is mesmerizing—draws on the West African highlife and palm wine styles.
On the morning of Sept. 18, Mantis Fist guitarist Steve “Oki” Nance passed away, leaving behind a wife and two small boys, and an empty space in Albuquerque's hip-hop community. Pay your respects at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, Oct. 9, when Myka 9, The Big Spank, New Mex.Icon, Ntox, Clout, Shakedown, Zoology, The Emphericans and Mic Deli come together to raise money for Nance’s family. The 21-and-over show begins at 6 p.m. Don't be surprised if you see a few grown men cry. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Levi Eleven is a local musician and fashioner of band paraphernalia with his merch operation I Heart Machine (iheartmachine.com). He used to write “Retrospeculative” reviews of movies he saw as a kid for the Alibi’s blog. He also plays guitar in some bands that don’t yet have names. You might have seen him around. Here are five random songs from his collection.
I visit with David Edwards over a pot of Lady Londonderry tea and fresh-baked empanadas as the New Mexico Tea Company nears its fourth anniversary. Edwards and business partner Dianne Edenfield first opened their doors on Nov. 1, 2006, in a smallish shop that is reminiscent of cozy tea purveyors of earlier days, though the decor is decidedly contemporary.
As I was preparing my move to New Mexico, a Blackfoot Indian woman came by to see about renting my house in Missoula, Mont. She didn't rent the house but we became friends, and before she left she gave me some bright red kernels of dried corn she got at a powwow.
Tim Miller. This guy got his National Endowment for the Arts grant taken away under pressure from the first Bush Administration for the subject matter of his work being ... wait for it ... gay. And he wasn’t alone. There were three other performance artists in the same boat—a lady who talked about sex, a lady who talked about being a lesbian, and an actor who was in the ZZ Top video for “Legs” and a several shows in the “Star Trek” series—I’m not sure what he talked about, but someone didn’t like it. They later got it back after suing the federal government for violating their First Amendment rights (God, I love that amendment).
Every autumn we are greeted with three things here in the Land of Enchantment—the aroma of roasting green chile, the deep-fried spectacle of the State Fair and the early morning sky filled with breathtaking globes of color, launched from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. From Oct. 2 through 10, hundreds of hot-air balloons will take flight over the Duke City at the world's largest ballooning festival. This schedule will keep you as occupied and cheerful as the skies above Albuquerque.
All minors, no matter how young, have the right to confidential reproductive health care services. This means your provider (a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) can’t tell your parents if you are having sex, if you want birth control, if you are being treated for an STD, if you are pregnant or if you want an abortion. Pregnant females can consent to prenatal care, delivery services and postnatal care without a parent.
A shelter worker becomes part of an underground railroad for strays
By Carolyn Carlson
When Patty Mugan goes to work, she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of her friends will die on her watch. Mugan is not the only one who faces this grim forecast every day. That's just reality for animal shelter employees. "Some days, it is very difficult to see some of the things that we see at our shelter," says the Valencia County Animal Shelter technician. "But I know that for some dogs and cats that have been abused or abandoned or on the streets for a long time, this is the best they have ever been taken care of; because they had shelter from the weather, fresh food and water, and someone that cares to spend time with them—at least for a little while."
How many elections have you participated in where your single vote decided the outcome? The answer is probably zero. Yet we have had a few ties here in New Mexico for local races in the past. Our state constitution requires that the outcome in such situations be decided by a game of chance.
Dateline: Australia—A pet dog has had to undergo surgery after downing a shot of Jägermeister—glass and all—at a house party. Billy the short-haired German pointer’s owner was out of town on vacation when some dog-sitting roommates decided to throw a party in the Northern Territory town of Darwin. A few days later, Billy began vomiting blood. The dog-sitters rushed him to the vet where an x-ray revealed a shot glass in his stomach. The 18-month-old dog’s owner told Northern Territory News that Billy the booze hound must have seen “everyone else having a whole lot of fun. He would have thought, I want to have a good time too. I’ll try their drink myself.” After three hours in surgery, the shot glass was removed from the Billy’s stomach. “We’ll put the shot glass and the x-ray photo in a frame and put it up on the wall where he can see it. I hope it reminds him of alcohol abuse,” added the owner.
Infamous Old West gunman Wild Bill is bringing Wild Bill’s Crazy Film Festival back to The Box Performance Space this Saturday, Oct. 2, starting at 8 p.m. All manner of locally made short films will be screened. But here’s the twist: You, the audience, are in control. Each film will be given two minutes to show off its stuff. After that, the audience gets to vote. Winners will continue screening in their entirety, losers will be put out of their misery by Wild Bill’s trusty six-shooters. For more information about “Albuquerque’s most dangerous short film festival,” log on to Amigo Production. Six bucks gets you in the door. Find The Box at 100 Gold SW, suite 112.
Mark Z. unfriends the world in funny, fascinating biopic
By Devin D. O’Leary
On paper, the story of how college nerd Mark Zuckerberg successfully programmed and marketed a more popular version of social networking websites such as MySpace doesn’t sound all that exciting. As envisioned by director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin, however, the story has surprising vibrancy, entertainment value and timeliness. It’s like Citizen Kane for the Internet age. And that’s not just the hyperbole talking.
Nostalgia is a thin bridge to walk. Everybody longs to return to those halcyon days of youth when music rocked louder, movies were less stupid and comic books kicked way more ass. The problem is nothing is ever as good as you remember it. Hollywood, hoping to make another buck or two off your faulty memory, is happy to exploit feelings of nostalgia. There’s hardly a movie, TV show, cartoon, comic strip, comic book, toy, video game or board game that hasn’t been or isn’t about to be brought back to life.
Sometimes the right person for the job has to be imported. When the late Felix Wurman needed someone to manage The Kosmos performance space, he summoned Austin expatriate Maggie Ross. In a year’s time, Ross has made the space a versatile tool, a virtual Swiss Army Knife for the community with live rock shows, chamber music, yoga classes, movies, poetry readings and a full coffee bar. I managed to catch up with the industrious Ross (no easy task) for some Q-and-A.
You’re wandering through a labyrinthine mansion, lured on by eerily seductive voices. Spider webs audibly brush your cheeks and chimes ring out all around as you stumble into a room painted with murals of unicorns and rainbows. Some kind of plastic box emits scratchy beats and two beautiful sirens with mustaches and goatees beckon you with nonsense words. Crickets or perhaps a ceiling fan whir in the background. Did you watch a David Lynch movie right before bed? No, but you could’ve been listening to CocoRosie.
As Friedrich Nietzsche attests, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Maybe a newspaper is not the best forum for this idea, but the vast world of art can’t help but create infinite lenses through which we can observe the world.
Put on your antique deep-sea diving suit (everyone has one lying around somewhere) and take a trip under zee zea to a magical land where two-tone ska and Latin indie music intermingle with anemone/clown-fish symbiosis. The Blue Hornets and Con Razon perform on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) at 9 p.m. for a petite $5 cover charge. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
It can be a mural on a street corner, a piece of art pasted to a wall or a rainbow dripped down the side of a building. Sometimes it’s graffiti; other times it’s propaganda. Street art can be a legal mural painted on a wall or surreptitiously placed in the dead of night, ninja style. Banksy, a highly secretive street artist who operates out of the United Kingdom, has painted murals on the sides of cows, pigs and sheep. He placed his own work inside the Louvre in Paris (it was quickly removed).
Chaz Bojórquez has never been caught, but he has been chased.
He laughs when he admits it, because it seems slightly absurd: a world-renowned artist with work hanging permanently in the Smithsonian American Art Museum being pursued by cops for painting something on the side of a building. Such is the life of a graffiti artist.
Olo Yogurt Studio opened its doors on Sept. 4 in the heart of Nob Hill with some of the best fro-yo you’ve ever drawn from a tap. Located just east of Boba Tea Company and across from Kelly’s Brew Pub, Olo fits right in with Nob Hill’s eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. In case you’re wondering—Olo is not a franchise, but a dream made real by four creative entrepreneurs. This self-serve frozen yogurt shop sparkles with the energy of owners Paula Griego, Matthew Pope, Tom Haines and Precious Haines. Bold swaths of color swoop from the wall to the ceiling, drawing customers into the bright, contemporary space designed by local architect Mark Baker.
If you read the online reviews of Saffron Tiger, on Paseo del Norte, you’d think going there is like rolling dice. It’s interesting how many people label the restaurant as an Indian version of Panda Express, and how this contingent is split over whether this is a good thing.
Conservative Judge James Gray was on the bench for 25 years in Orange County. He was a federal prosecutor and a Navy JAG before that. He ran for Congress as a Republican in the late ’90s and as a Libertarian for Senate a few years later.
New Mexico is a land of soaring altitudes and a dry-as-a-chuppacabra’s-bone climate. Most of Louisiana crouches at, or even below, sea level, wading in air that’s stickier than an Elton John song. New Mexico seems to only cut loose if balloons or a burning effigy are about, and the state isn’t so fond of the hooch. Louisiana likes to live large (save for the Evangelicals), using any excuse to tap its toe and take a sip. Other than obscene poverty levels and having been settled by the Spanish once upon a time, the two states have little in common.
At the beginning of my love affair with Bollywood films, I made every single person I knew repeatedly watch the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” scene in Dil Se—a dance sequence that takes place on top of a moving train. While friends looked on with amusement, I would jump up and down, squealing and pointing at the screen. Something about the traditional Indian music and dance blended with club beats and ’90s hip-hop moves filled me with glee. “And they’re on top of a moving train!”
Music is the Enemy came to be two years ago with one guy writing crappy songs in a dark room. Now a five-piece (whose members wish to conceal their identities) that plays “fast, violent punk rock” in the loosest sense of the term, the band is taking a stand against music with an auditory manifesto titled Mr. Murdoch ... We're Ready For Our Target Audience. “We're trying to end music, basically," says *****. “You could consider it a parody. It's a parody that's real though." Find out what the annihilation of music sounds like, and score a free CD, at the band’s all-ages album protest on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Tree House—one of the space’s final shows. Tenderizor, Epiphany, The Balcony Scene and Spring-Loaded Hot Dog provide opening chaos beginning at 8 p.m. More about the belles of this ball at musickillsrockstars.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
***** is the front man for the local heaviness that is Music is the Enemy. ***** declines to be named because of the subversive nature of his music project, which releases its first album at an all-ages Treehouse show this Saturday, and a 21-and-over Burt’s Tiki Lounge show on Oct. 2 (next Saturday). Below you’ll find five random tracks that he likes ... whoever he is.
Once the initial wave of creepy wears off, Bodies ... The Exhibition—well,maybe “creepy” is being too modest. The exhibit, which opened Sept. 9 at the Albuquerque Convention Center, features real human bodies in various stages of disassembly. The back of one of the specimens has been filleted to show the spine and muscles. A person with a constitution weaker than mine may regard “creepy” as being the understatement of the year.
The Aux Dog Theatre puts on Picasso at the Lapin Agile
By Christie Chisholm
Art and science are usually viewed as separate, walled-off worlds.
It’s been said that art, while influenced by philosophy and strategy, maintains steadfast ground not in the head, but in the muse-directed heart and gut.
It also goes that science lives in the brain, plodding through cerebral pathways to carve out theories and observe minute truths.
The problem with this stereotype is that it just isn’t true. Art and science lease equal space in the head and heart, and they influence each other as much as they are each inspired by beauty and logic.
We’ve gotten used to the lightning speed of the digital age. These days, we don’t have to wait for much. Want a T-shirt with your own face on it? I’m sure it can be printed, packaged and posted to your doorstep within three business days.
A range of public reactions to Albuquerque Police Department shootings took center stage at the Monday, Sept. 20 City Council meeting. So far this year, there have been 11 officer-involved shootings, and seven people have died. Brian Swainston and several other men said they saw the most recent incident, which happened Downtown on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Officer Leah Kelly shot Chandler Barr, who was cutting himself with what was later discovered to be a butter knife. Police Chief Ray Schultz says Barr lunged at Kelly.
The latest word in New Mexico government is “transparency.” Mayor Richard Berry’s administration released its new transparency website, ABQ View (cabq.gov/abq-view), on Aug. 25. Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit that focuses on the issue, says the city site “achieved not just every mark on Sunshine Review’s transparency checklist, but also nailed all our suggested data as well. Data is even downloadable in different formats.”
Dateline: Connecticut—A 37-year-old man who officially changed his name to “Almighty Supremeborn Allah” was arrested earlier this month after Special Services Unit officers found $2,000 worth of cocaine in his New Britain apartment. The New Britain Herald reports officers were executing a search warrant on Almighty Allah’s apartment when the suspect fled the scene. “He ran and the officers used a Taser to get him into custody,” Sgt. Jeanette Saccente told the newspaper. After Allah was subdued, officers searched his home—unironically located on High Street—and found three grams of cocaine on a bedroom dresser and a baggie with another 18 grams. Allah was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school or public housing project, and interfering with police. A judge held Allah on $300,000 bond following an arraignment hearing.
Like clockwork, local arts org Basement Films will sponsor its annual Audio/Visual Show at UNM’s Southwest Film Center this coming November. In the past, they’ve screened all sorts of insane/awesome/experimental examples of live music and moving image art. Last year, for example, quirky Albuquerque instrumentalists A Hawk & A Hacksaw performed a live score to “the most swimmingly bizarre film from Eastern Europe you’ve never seen” (as the event coordinators put it). This year, Basement Films is looking to expand its horizons even wider. Organizers are on the hunt for “musicians, filmmakers, celluloid manipulators and sonic outlaws” who want to contribute. Teams and individuals are encouraged to contact Basement Films. Deadline to submit proposals is more or less Oct. 15. There is no entry fee and there’s even the likelihood of compensation if you become one of the performers. If you’re interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to basementfilms.org for more details.
Gorgeous but unoriginal fantasy is mostly for the birds
By Devin D. O’Leary
Much as Hollywood wants you, the ticket-buying public, to think of 3D movies as the next indispensable trend, they’re not. Given their exorbitant ticket price, 3D movies have become little more than “event” programming. People aren’t going to rush out and see one every weekend. With tickets up to $15 a pop, viewers (particularly those with families) aren’t willing to fork out that kind of dough on a regular basis. Sure, when the film is a big freakin’ holiday blockbuster must-see spectacular likeAvatar, they’ll make it a runaway hit. But if it’s something as mediocre as last week’s Alpha and Omega (starring the voices of Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere!), audiences are perfectly content to wait until it hits DVD. (At which point they can own the movie for $15.)
In 1994, PBS premiered Ken Burns’ epic documentary “Baseball.” Little did those involved know that the grand old game of baseball was about to go through some seismic changes. Now, Burns has decided to pitch an extra inning, giving us an important postscript to his historic series. “Baseball: The Tenth Inning” is no Minor League effort, either. Though it begins in the 1990s, long after the legends of the sport had been well-established, it features some of the most gripping events in baseball history.
Ken Hays is wild about bees. He began beekeeping as a hobby in 1968. He would continue working as an air traffic controller until 1988, when the bees claimed him full time. With fellow beekeepers Joe Wesbrook and Andy Duran, Hays covers New Mexico with more than 150 hives and gathers a thousand pounds of honey every week. They collect spicy tamarisk (salt cedar) honey from Socorro, mesquite from T or C, sweet clover from “up north,” desert candle from southern New Mexico, and varieties including early and late summer, floral and more. With permission from farmers, the Bureau of Land Management and the forest service, he places hives on land where the pollination often benefits the local agriculture and flora. The honeys range in color from pale gold to deep amber, and their flavors reflect the bees’ foraging areas.
The concept of Bailey’s on the Beach, at Central and Girard, seems to put some people off at first, most notably because it’s not situated on a beach. On the other hand, “Bailey’s on the Taco Bell Parking Lot” doesn’t have the same ring. In any case, a few minutes on the restaurant’s third story deck at sunset will earn Bailey’s the benefit of the doubt.