The Aux Dog Theatre, if no longer in its infancy, is still in its toddlerdom. It’s a young theater, and in the producer’s note to the 2011 season, Eli Browning admits that the space has struggled to stay open during its formative years.
When Republican Susana Martinez was elected governor in November, her transition team informed all state political appointees—otherwise known as exempt workers—that they had to resign by Gov. Richardson's last day in office. New Mexico Music Commission Director Nancy Laflin was among those who lost their jobs. The agency—which was established by Gov. Richardson in 2005 and approved by unanimous votes in the house and senate in 2009—now has no paid staff.
Tiny’s Restaurant & Lounge continues a Santa Fe musical tradition
By Mel Minter
Make no mistake. J.R. Palermo, owner of Tiny’s Restaurant & Lounge in Santa Fe, is a businessman. He’s the third generation of the place’s founding family—it was established in 1950 as Tiny’s Dine and Dance—and he continues the tradition by booking live music at the place. But the music has to carry its weight.
On Wednesday, Jan. 19, members of myriad local bands coalesce in an effort to produce their own special score for Clash of the Titans. Music for the film—an ’80s fantasy adventure based on Greek mythology—will be made at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) beginning at 9:30 p.m. Admission to the 21-and-over show is $3. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Jessica Billey is a talented visual artist and musician. When she’s not making beautifully spooky paintings and prints, she creates music prolifically: Billey—who played in the Mekons and backed Smog—currently plays with gothic country band The Grave of Nobody’s Darling, experimental act Lionhead Bunny, Western swing duo The Blue Rose Ramblers, a new surf band called Phantom Lake. She even occasionally performs with electronic group R0773R B0U7D3R. On Wednesday, Jan. 19, Billey appears at the Launchpad with The Grave of Nobody’s Darling as part of an ensemble of groups improvising the score for the movie Clash of the Titans. We asked the Rio Rancho resident (by way of Chicago, circa 2005) to put her music library on shuffle. Below are the first five songs that surfaced.
The Albuquerque Comic Con will be the first “full-blown comic book convention” to hit Albuquerque in more than a decade, according to event organizer and Tall Tales Comics owner Jim Burleson. On Saturday, Jan. 15, and Sunday, Jan. 16, four rooms in the Hilton Albuquerque will be dedicated to gaming, vendors and panels, as well as celebrity photo ops.
Mayor Richard Berry says homelessness is one of the most difficult challenges he's come across during his time in City Hall. "There are issues you look at as a mayor and you can say, OK. Here's a problem. Here's a linear solution." But homelessness, with its many dimensions and causes, is another story.
Dateline: Malaysia—A husband in Kuala Lumpur abandoned his wife of many years after a temple priest convinced him she was a demon. The woman, who gave her name as Loh, was quoted in The Star newspaper as saying, “The medium told my husband I had been casting spells on him for the past 15 years and that I was a demon trying to kill him.” Loh said her husband, a factory manager, “refused to eat or drink at home because he thought I poisoned the food.” The husband is seeking a divorce and refuses to meet with his two teenage sons for fear that his wife will use them to kill him. According to The Star, Malaysians often seek personal and professional advice from faith healers, temple mediums and witch doctors. Increasing complaints about sexual and financial abuse, however, have prompted Malaysia’s government to consider a bill that would require mystics to register with the Ministry of Health. Loh told reporters that the priest who advised her husband was in debt and likely taking advantage of her husband, who withdrew all of their children’s savings before deserting the family.
On Sunday, Jan. 16, Friends of Film, Video and Arts will host its monthly meeting. The topic is “101 things to know about set design.” Industry pros Steve Brown and Christina Bouajila will be there creating an entire set from scratch and sharing much of what they’ve learned. The meeting will take place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at 9 Point Productions (423 San Mateo NE). The meeting—including social time, work-in-progress screenings and lecture—is free to current FFVA members or $10 for nonmembers.
Love hurts in this story of a marriage going south
By Devin D. O’Leary
There is a rare but certain pleasure in watching actors—or anyone, for that matter—practicing their craft for the pure, primal joy of it. Sadly, movies are a frequently adulterated art form; the creators of which spend most of their time worrying about box office results, People magazine cover stories and the crucial 15-year-old male demographic. Only on very special occasions (Oscar nomination season, for example) are actors allowed to come out of the makeup trailer and actually exercise their abilities.
For all the success the movie and TV industry has had in the genre, Hollywood doesn’t really understand superhero stories. The only part they get is the origin story. Once a guy puts on a mask and cape, what is there to tell? After that, it’s just people beating each other up, right? Which is why Hollywood can only seem to crank out three films in a series before “rebooting” the damn thing and telling the origin story all over again. Real comic book fans, on the other hand, know that the origin is just the excuse to get to the good stuff.
A lonely woman used to call 311, the city's information hotline, in the dead of night. She said her husband was a doctor, that she was home alone and just wanted to say hi. Operators got to know her on a personal level, says Esther Tenenbaum, division manager. "That's great, but that's not why we're here."
On Dec. 14, 2009, I wrote a list of 15 predictions for 2010, published in the Alibi. Having investigated mysterious and unexplained phenomena for more than a decade, I actually have a documented history of accuracy. In fact, my success rate for 2008 was about 90 percent. As 2010 came to a close, I thought it was time to dust off my forecasts to see how I fared.
I was shocked and awed when UNM offered me the job of assistant to Dr. Carl E. Baum. What could I possibly offer the most famous electromagnetic theoretician in the world? I was just a local poet and burned-out newspaper man who couldn’t even grasp the fundamentals of elementary calculus.
There was something blue lurking in the shadows of the Monday, Jan. 3 City Council meeting. A large turnout of police was expected to comment on the end of the take-home car perk, but no officers came to speak at the meeting. Instead, police union president Joey Sigala and a few others paced in and out of the room.
Dateline: Connecticut—A would-be robber has been accused of taking a cell phone to a knife fight. Police in New London say Jerome Taylor, 20, wore a mask as he entered the Northern Indian Restaurant on State Street, pulled out what looked like a gun and demanded money. Several of the restaurant’s cooks snatched up knives and meat cleavers and refused to comply. At that point, the masked man told the cooks he was only kidding and fled the scene. Taylor was gone by the time police arrived, but they caught up with him a short time later. Officers said Taylor confessed to the crime, but told them he didn’t have a gun—only an iPhone.
Winter is cold and dark and sleepy. It turns people into marshmallow-shaped hermits, wrapping and zipping themselves into enough layers to survive brief intervals of the outside world before retreating back into their slightly warmer caves. But for three weeks in January, Revolutions International Theatre Festival brings a load of light and warmth.
A couple of years ago, I hooked myself up to the world of TiVo. I had a singular goal in mind—to record PBS’ Saturday lineup of cooking shows. I watch them all—Julia Child, Rick Bayless, Martin Yan, Lidia Bastianich, José Andrés, Steven Raichlen, Christopher Kimball and his “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country” crew, and the revolving cooks on Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food.” I play the ones I like several times, take notes, and absorb their recipes and techniques before I eventually delete the programs to make room for new ones
Here’s another installment in my occasional series investigating food at Duke City sports bars. In particular, I’m interested in places that show televised mixed martial arts competitions, also known by the more sophisticated moniker “cage fighting.” To assist in this endeavor, I’ve recruited an assistant who goes by his fight name: the Pink Princess. As both an MMA expert and a bar snob, the Pink Princess doesn’t suffer fools gladly. At nearly every place I’ve taken him so far, he says something to the effect of “I can’t believe we came to this f-ing sh!t hole.”
Starting Saturday, Jan. 8, the Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Library System and Guild Cinema will join forces for the first annual Books to the Big Screen film series. The idea is to spotlight acclaimed novels that have been made into popular films. The series starts with The Shawshank Redemption on Jan. 8. Stand By Me follows a week later on the Jan. 15. Slaughterhouse-Five closes it out on Jan. 22. All shows begin at 1 p.m. at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The screenings are free, but seating is limited. You can pick up your free tickets at the Guild box office or at the Main Library (Copper and Fifth Street NW).
French filmmaker approaches African civil war from a pale perspective
By Devin D. O’Leary
Over the past 20 years, French filmmaker Claire Denis (Chocolate, Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, 35 Shots of Rum) has created a résumé filled with naturalistic, character-driven dramas that play compare/contrast games between lovely, static-shot landscapes and harsh human conditions. Time and again, she finds herself returning to colonial Africa—not too surprising, as she grew up there, the daughter of French civil servant. Her latest film, White Material, is among her most involved examinations of war-torn modern Africa and the death rattle of European colonialism.
While TV is still struggling to tell superhero tales in a live-action format, animated comic-book-inspired stories continue to soar on the small screen. Perhaps it’s because the entertainment industry is faintly embarrassed by the idea of people in costumes. Hence, just about every superhero series these days features heroes who refuse to wear costumes (“Smallville,” “Heroes,” “No Ordinary Family”). Why? It’s like making a musical in which the actors refuse to sing.
Ten years ago Jerry DeCicca, guitarist and vocalist for The Black Swans, was living in Albuquerque. Here he quietly managed Relapse Records, a short-lived UNM-area store sandwiched between McDonald’s and the Yale Blood Plasma donor center.
Local music predictions based on vast experience and Nostradamical premonitions
By Laura Marrich and Jessica Cassyle Carr
• The municipal “Footloose Amendment” goes into effect on July 1, 2011. Inadvertently passed by City Council members in 2006, the clause bans dancing and “rock and roll music” during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The local music scene will die, at last fulfilling former Mayor Martin Chavez’ pact with Satan. (LM)
At last, someone has paired two of the world’s best typefaces—Creaky Frank (or some hybrid thereof) and Courier New. This text, along with an angular, monochromatic dove collage, announces a performance by mad accordion player Jason Webley. Ya Ya Boom and The Good Ship S.S. Perry open the all-ages show. A cover charge of $7 grants admission into Winning Coffee Co. (111 Harvard SE) on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Former Burqueño Jerry DeCicca is the singer, acoustic guitarist and songwriter for Columbus, Ohio-based folk rock band The Black Swans. DeCicca says that MP3s are a new concept to him, as he usually deals in vinyl, tapes and CDs: “I never had an iPod until I bought this dumb phone back in September so I could ‘communicate’ with ‘people’ from the road,” he explains. “My bandmate, who is 22 and knows these things, says that 477 songs isn't a lot to carry in my pocket.” From that small, sonic pool, here are the first five songs that appeared.
Community members share their best music moments of 2010
By Summer Olsson
When I asked a cross section of music-minded locals for their thoughts on the best moments of 2010, I expected more comments like “The new Arcade Fire album.” Silly me. What I got was a nice reminder that our city is host and home to a lot of amazing music and that experiencing it live is both powerfully communal and profoundly personal. These are some choice examples.
Dateline: Belgium—An accountant in Brussels purchased a long-shuttered Dexia Bank branch to house his business and ended up making a profit on the deal after finding more than 300,000 euros ($393,000) in an old bank vault. According to England’s Telegraph newspaper, Ferhat Kaya, 33, purchased the property at a cost of about $235,000 but turned down the real estate agent’s quote of $5,000 to remove an old safe. Instead, Kaya called a friend to help take out the building’s metal vault. “When the vault was open, it revealed bags of 20 and 50 euro bills,” said Murat Tufan, who helped with the demolition. “The receipts were still there dated Dec. 31, 2001. We started counting.” After speaking with his Turkish father, Kaya decided to call police and report the cash, which had been abandoned in the building for almost a decade. “My friend and I thought we would really make a statement with it: that even immigrants are people that say honesty is the best policy,” he told reporters. Dexia Bank spokesperson Ulrike Pommée said an investigation has been opened but suggested no trace of the money would ever be found. “We want to determine what happened. It was probably a human error. But the investigation will not be easy, because the money is from 2001.” Pommée said the company was looking into offering Kaya a reward.
According to Peter Hyams’ not particularly well-regarded sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010 was supposed to be The Year We Make Contact. No such luck. Aside from sending a bouquet of party balloons floating across New York City in October, space aliens kept their usual distance. Which just goes to show you: You can’t always believe what movies—or their trailers (or, for that matter, their critics)—are telling you. With that in mind, here are my picks for the best of the best of 2010.
Captain America’s top five shows of 2010 at five different venues
By Captain America
Mecca Records & Books, Jan. 16—This last-minute set was Rachel Lujan’s second-to-last Pan!c gig before moving to Denver. Because of the impromptu excitement, it wasn’t all triste like her final appearance two weeks later but pure PBR-fueled fun.
Mad genius Whitman arms his modular synths with razor-sharp spurs and lets them fight each other to the death. Result: a tapestry of colliding sine waves beautiful in their autonomous complexity. This originally-cassette-only objet d’art is now available via iTunes.
Freak out this New Year’s Eve with Sabertooth Cavity, Great White Buffalo, Rawrr!, Sputniq,ROO and—the guest of honor—one dapper, intercontinental cheetah millionaire (don’t ask him how he lost his eye). The show happens Friday at 601 Solano NE. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Now that I live 5,000 miles away from Albuquerque—in London, a city as gray and lusterless as the stereotype—it’s easy to think of all the things I miss: sunshine, foamy beer and green chile chicken enchiladas probably top the list. But the unexpected one, the one that all the artsy hip Londoners would scoff at, is a painting on a building. Sure, London is supposed to be a street-art Mecca and there are tons of pieces all over the place, from Banksy to Space Invader to less well-known artists, but they all lack the kind of life that the Central rainbows embody.
Albuquerque didn’t have a months-long Marina Abramovic show to torture us into art world obeisance (the “Grandmother of Performance Art” sat immobile for more than 700 hours in the Museum of Modern Art). But 2010 was a year of exhibitions, performances and people that have come to define the alternative position our city is carving out in the larger art world.
Though sometimes derided as “low art,” no other medium better captures the zeitgeist of the mid-20th century than unlicensed velvet art, though purists will argue that the it is usually painted on felt board.
“As American as apple pie” is a phrase I’ve heard forever. Yet every immigrant culture that makes up our melting pot contributes to a growing definition of American food. Such is the case with my family’s celebration of New Year’s Day.
Some will argue that 2010 was the year homemade sausage finally came of age, or the year the school garden movement exploded. Others will remember 2010 as the year KFC's Double Down sandwich made its glorious debut. With so many food preferences and priorities, you can hardly make an end-of-year food list to please everyone, so let’s start with what the people think. Some of them, anyway.