For the past few months, I’ve been snooping around the Nob Hill corner of Central and Amherst, formerly the home of Natural Sound. Small signs are posted in the windows of the empty space. “StreetFood Asia,” the posters announce, and along the bottom, “dim sum, satay, sushi, noodles”—all the enticement I need to drive my curiosity to a fever pitch. But it took weeks of sleuthing before I lucked into a connection in the U.K., who kindly e-mailed the new proprietors of StreetFood Asia. I was able to finally meet Tai Tok, Paula Frahm and Miguel Santana.
There's a line in Thomas Hine'sThe Great Funk: "Every part of American culture, from its leaders to its cars and even its linoleum, seemed to promise expansiveness and progress, but nothing had turned out as advertised. By 1975 the future had turned from a promise to a shock."
Dateline: India—Hampered by setbacks and budget shortfalls, the Indian government has stepped up its security forces during this month’s Commonwealth Games in an attempt to appear safe and secure under the glare of the international spotlight. In addition to fending off potential terrorist attacks with surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns spread throughout New Delhi, 100,000 security guards have been drafted into service. As if that weren’t enough, 38 monkeys have been hired to keep an eye out for any simian wrongdoers. Earlier this month, India’s NDTV showed off members of an elite squad of fierce, black-faced Hanuman langurs. The highly trained monkey guards—named after a Hindu deity—have taken up positions around two stadiums in the city, defending athletes and spectators from potential attacks by smaller, wild monkeys. Eric Randolph, a correspondent for The National, an Abu Dhabi newspaper, explained to readers that, “the new contingent of langurs is expected to focus on the swimming complex, seen as a likely target for primate shenanigans.” Wild monkey attacks are not uncommon in New Delhi. The city’s deputy mayor died after a monkey attack in 2007.
On Wednesday, I walked into The Normal Gallery in Barelas to view Scott Williams’ installation With Great Abandon. “Man,” I said with a good deal of exasperation. “That is some weird shit right there.” Williams laughed and said, “That’s the reaction I like.” Scott has placed two space coyotes, yes, space coyotes, in the middle of the gallery. Two stuffed coyote heads have been retrofitted to Williams’ handcrafted astronaut bodies. They’re shaking hands, but eyeing each other suspiciously. I don’t know if there is any way to make stuffed coyote heads eye one another suspiciously or if they do that naturally. Either way, they made my day. Scott said he’s making a statement on the fear people have that humanity won’t survive. He looks at the coyote as a symbol of survival; they flourish even when other species are in decline. Scott is holding out hope for people. Personally, I think we’re doomed, but that’s why Scott is an artist and I’m a writer. You must go see these coyotes. Come between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 24, or by appointment. Scott can be reached at 908-5526. The gallery is located at 1514 Fourth Street SW. They have a cat.
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline brings the music of a country master to Rodey Theatre
By Christie Chisholm
A Closer Walk with Patsy Clineis more a concert than a piece of theater. Its nearly two-hour run time (intermission included) consists almost entirely of songs by the titular singer, performed by Laurie Finnegan. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s very good. A Closer Walk is a well-polished piece suited for a city larger than ours; it will blow the dust off your sense of nostalgia and leave you with a bittersweet glow.
Independently owned book stores tend to be darker and more cavernous than their chain store counterparts. They are a source for used books rather than new ones, places to dig through stacks, search for that used copy of Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick or hunt for an Edward Bunker crime novel. They lean toward the eccentric titles that can be hard to find outside of the Internet but, unlike their electronic counterpart, don’t rob you of the joy that accompanies scoring a Richard Yates book after scouring the shelves. It’s easy to click on a PayPal button; it’s much harder to embark on a used bookstore rampage. (Those can last for days. Sweat beads form on the temples. The eyes strain.)
Which is better: having the best location and the worst tamales, or the best tamales and the worst location? Only soul-free capitalists would choose the former, while a soulful stream of Burqueños regularly choose the tamales at El Modelo.
The Vintage Poster Gallery in Santa Fe is opening an exhibit called Reel Power: Great Vintage Film Posters featuring more than 300 rare film posters from The Rosenberg Collection. The show opens with a reception this Friday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through Jan. 30, 2011, so you’ve got plenty of time to get up there and check it out. Vintage Poster Gallery is at 901 Canyon Road, Santa Fe.
Amiable action comedy proves old people can still kick ass
By Devin D. O’Leary
Lethal Weapon may not have been the first film to coin the phrase, “I’m too old for this shit!” But since then, every film wishing to jokingly acknowledge the fact that its action star is a day or two past his prime has tipped a hat in the direction of Danny Glover and company. The phrase—for better or worse—has become a pop cultural trope. Now comes Red, which may very well be the ne plus ultrain “I’m getting too old for this shit!” action cinema.
TV’s deadpool seems particularly shallow this season. The fall 2010 TV season has barely started and already we’ve got two major casualties. FOX’s polygamist Texas con man drama “Lone Star” and ABC’s high-school-plus-10-years faux-documentary drama “My Generation” were both canceled last week after only two airings apiece.
Professional success is a matter of consequence to anyone who takes his or her job seriously, and Frankie O'Malley is no exception. He wants his band, The Safes, to make it big. What comparable level of success is he ultimately working toward? “Oh, for me, The Beatles,” says the guitarist, using the faintest of pauses between question and answer. “I want to be the biggest band ever.” O'Malley makes his aspirations sound a bit more general: “I believe wholeheartedly that we can cross over into the mainstream. Without a doubt.”
Long before the local clubs would demean themselves by booking punk bands (and before “punk” became a genre and not an outlook), Albuquerque had a seething, seamy musical underbelly of garage bands that actually gigged in garages, cellars and even frat houses. These shows were sometimes promoted by hand-scrawled flyers but mostly by word of mouth. There was a DIY record label (Resin). There was a record store that sold Resin releases (Bow Wow). And there were bagels, lots of bagels, and shows in a Nob Hill basement near sweltering ovens (Fred’s Bread & Bagel). There was also a man who counted a cast of characters among his friends, acted as their attorney and confidant, and hauled in mountains of crawfish from the Gulf for band parties. This Friday, friends of New Orleans native Gary Wayne Nelson (who is seriously ill) will be on deck at the Launchpad to return his many favors with a benefit show.
More and more, our remote, wild Western burg is proving to be an oasis of music and art that explores new frontiers. Nay, you say? Here’s evidence: Albuquerque Experimental is a two-day festival composed of 25 performances. The lineup is largely local with notable out-of-town troubadours sprinkled throughout (NYC psych pioneer Silver Apples; John Dieterich of Deerhoof, who’s performing with New Mexico’s own Raven Chacon). This event, masterminded by KUNM music host Peter Mezensky, will take place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. Two-day passes go for $20, while single passes are $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. For a full lineup and more information, go to albuquerqueexperimental.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Random selections from the collection of I is for Ida’s Harry Brown
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Harry Brown is a local musician and scooter entrepreneur (downtownscooternm.com). On Monday, Oct. 18, you can find his band I is for Ida performing for the first time in more than a year. Armed with new songs, the band plays in the middle of a tangy Portlander sandwich made of psychedelic disco act Lookbook and gloomy post-punker headliner The Prids. The show happens at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) beginning at 9 p.m. A mere five ducat admission will be granted only to those of legal drinking age. Below lies a random smattering of Brown collection tracks that might provide some sonic foreshadowing for Monday’s show.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Extra points for paintings of The King or some of that ’70s black power themed stuff.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.