A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
Will changing the city’s building requirements be a boon or a bust?
By Christie Chisholm
The City of Albuquerque climbed aboard the sustainability bandwagon a few years ago, declaring victoriously that all new city vehicles would be powered with alternative fuel. In 2005, it even adopted a law requiring some new structures to meet the guidelines of the world’s most recognized and respected system.
But on Feb. 7, the City Council unanimously this law, replacing it with older conservation rules. Some green-building advocates worry the move may serve as a bellwether for the city’s attitude toward sustainability and speculate about the larger implications of this change.
Meet Martinez’ new Environmental Improvement Board
By Marisa Demarco
A few months ago, Gov. Susana Martinez fired all seven members of the Environmental Improvement Board, the entity charged with overseeing the standards of food safety, our water supply, air quality, radiation control and more. We got to speak with new board member James Casciano, also a manager of the Corporate Environmental Health and Safety program at Intel, about environmental improvement and public health.
Sen. Udall tells the country to get with the program—New Mexico’s program
By Marisa Demarco
Sen. Tom Udall has a nickname for his bill: 25 by 25. "We're talking about 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025." Along with his cousin and fellow senator, Mark Udall (D-Colorado), he introduced a measure in early April that aims to set a standard nationally. Utilities around the country would have to use sources such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal for a quarter of their supply.
To paraphrase Jimmy, the drunken misanthrope from the film Art School Confidential, I've been postponing suicide on the off chance I’ll witness some glorious plague inflict unfathomable suffering on my hateful species.
Festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers
By Summer Olsson
The 11th annual Words Afire Festival of New Plays is in full swing at the University of New Mexico. The festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers and creates opportunities to match the work they’ll do in the professional world.
Ballet company tries to change the art form’s image
By Chiquita Paschal
Behind the observation glass of the studio of Alwin's School of Dance, eight dancers from the New Mexico Ballet Company glide through the air, articulating tiny gestures amid a flurry of footwork. They precisely and energetically execute Valse Fantaisie choreographed by George Balanchine, recently debuted at their last performance Springtime Dances.
Whole Foods Market celebrates Earth Month with nationwide film festival
By Mina Yamashita
Whole Foods Market’s motto is "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet." From the Global Animal Partnership animal welfare rating system, to every item stocked in produce and on the shelves. Whole Foods Market’s Do Something Reel Film Festival is another expression of this philosophy.
Searching for the best crops to plant with garlic, Ari LeVaux developed a technique called "tossing seeds randomly." He put all the seeds he didn't get around to planting last year into a jar, shook it up and threw them by handfuls. This experiment produced the "garlic patch friends" and a springtime strategy for maximum yields.
Tera Cordova Chavez was 26 when she died. Her husband, police officer Levi Chavez, reported that he found her body on Oct. 21, 2007, after she'd shot herself with his department-issued weapon. But questions arose. Police Chief Ray Schultz announced Levi’s termination this week.
News reports haven’t focused much on Tera as a person. This is her story.
Jay Faught of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District briefed councilors at the Monday, April 18 meeting about the upcoming celebration of National Train Day. Faught said on Saturday, May 7, a Rail Runner train, other locomotives and railroad equipment will be on display at the train platform of Downtown’s Alvarado Transportation Center.
The newly minted Roswell International Sci Fi Film Festival is looking for eager filmmakers to fill out its schedule. Firstly, they’re looking for screenwriters. Submit your 12-page (or less) film script by May 6 (entry fee is $15) and you could be given a $1,500 grant to film your movie, June 25 through July 2, at the festival’s Seven Day Shoot Out. It’s like the Duke City Shootout, only ... in Roswell. You can also register now for a Roswell summer film camp, a 30-day intensive short-film boot camp, or submit a finished sci-fi/fantasy film for consideration. Deadline for film submission is June 10 (and will also run you $15 per entry). The festival itself is scheduled to take place at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in early July.
Compellingly awful adaptation argues the merits of capitalism
By Devin D. O’Leary
Online searches for Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's controversial 1957 magnum opus, spiked recently. It wasn’t some coincidental alignment of college lit classes driving the traffic. It was the surprising theatrical release of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. The seemingly out-of-nowhere feature debuted in a meager 300 theaters this past weekend, prompting hordes of curious to ask, “Is this what I think it is?”
If you’re a dedicated watcher of daytime soap operas, you probably already heard. ABC has canceled its two long-running soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” With a grand total of four soap operas left on network television, I think we can officially declare that the era of soaps is over.
In a world of nuclear meltdowns, political deception and never-ending piles of laundry, most of us could use a little fantasy. With a frilly and fanciful spirit, the Weekly Alibi’s Group Hug created the Spring Social—an evening of treats, mirror balls, balloons, flowers, unicorn horns and shimmery sounds. You’re invited.
The first name that pops into the brain whenever the word “banjo” is spoken is usually Earl Scruggs, who largely invented bluegrass banjo picking from scratch back in the ’40s. There are other banjo-playing styles, though, that are less well-known but just as captivating. Among aficionados of this kind of banjo picking, Adam Hurt is considered one of the best.
Random tracks from local hip-hop artist Justin Hood
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Justin Hood is a local hip-hop musician and—once upon a time—was an excellent Alibi editorial intern. On Saturday, April 23, he releases The Falling Season at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). Peek into Hood’s music collection via the random selections below.
Joey Limas—he was never anything but Joey to me—resided in an Albuquerque nursing home, and I was positive I would see him again. Sure, he was 78 or 82 years old, depending on the source. But in my mind he was still tough as cactus. Then suddenly he was gone, bested by a flurry of ailments. Old prizefighters seldom meet death gently.
This column's name, Making Sausage, is a reference to a quote widely attributed to Otto von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg. "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." From the view in the press box in Santa Fe, running a state looks arduous and frustrating. Lawmakers volley back and forth, nitpick over details, argue, dissect, and wheel and deal. And a 60-day session doesn't come cheap: lawmakers voted to spend a max of about $8.3 million on this one.
The Joy Formidable transforms the Welsh landscape into sonic form with fuzzy guitar riffs layered over fast, heavy drum lines, with synth melodies and Ritzy Bryan’s vocals soaring over the chaos. The Joy Formidable’s U.S. tour includes a stop in New Mexico after swinging by Coachella—bringing aural Wales to the Launchpad on Wednesday, April 20.
Tesco Vee is the loudmouthed wiseacre who co-founded Touch and Go magazine and the subsequent record label. He’s also front sleazoid for The Meatmen, a band formed in Lansing, Mich., at the dawn of hardcore punk. He and his meaty minions will be making costume changes and dirty jokes at the Moonlight Lounge on Tuesday, April 19, at 8:30 p.m. Against The Grain opens the adults-only show, and $10 gets your degenerate form through the door. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Just like those old pictures of your great-great-grandpa E.T.
By Chiquita Pascal
It all started with a gas mask. Looking like a menacing bug in a suit, photographer Wes Naman (formerly on staff at the Alibi) transformed his studio into an extraterrestrial time portal, from which he made a series of spooky, rustic self-portraits.
Finding a new beloved author and devouring everything he or she has written is exciting. So is adding a book to one’s top five, wait, top 10, OK, top 20 list of “best books ever.” But sifting through bestseller lists or taking off-base recommendations from friends and family gets tiresome. And how to find the newcomers, the undiscovered gems? Issue 24 of the Blue Mesa Review offers a way.
Experiments in Cinema v6.3 got underway Wednesday, April 13, at Guild Cinema. The annual festival of experimental film/video—curated by UNM’s Bryan Konefsky—continues through Sunday, April 17 at both the Guild and UNM’s SouthWest Film Center. On Thursday, April 14, however, the festival takes a detour to the National Hispanic Cultural Center for an evening of events from 6 to 9 p.m. A collection of Spanish video art will be on display in the NHCC’s main gallery. In addition, the center will host the premiere of a new live work by Spanish experimental filmmaker / installation artist Rafaël. (He must be good, he’s only got one name.) Capping off this evening of fine experimental art displays will be an after-party at The Normal Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW), featuring some awesome projections by local arts org Basement Films. All of the events on Thursday are free and open to the public.
True-life historical drama teaches, preaches, with lots of speeches
By Devin D. O’Leary
The Conspirator is one of those terribly well-intentioned films that crops up every so often, courting Oscar bonhomie and preaching to the choir of progressive-minded audience members. Like tomato juice, it’s probably quite good for you—but it’s not much of a treat
It’s no secret at this stage of the game that the madmen (and women) behind Cartoon Network’s long-running Adult Swim programming block like the weird stuff. They regularly air shows like “Squidbillies,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Superjail!” Now, they’ve teamed up with members of the Pittsburgh, Pa. / Providence, R.I. art collective Paper Rad to open up the cage and let loose their newest animated freak show, “Problem Solverz.”
Japanese Kitchen is doing something right. The well-established restaurant has barley a glimpse of street view—and from Americas Parkway, at that. Buried in a nondescript business cluster across Louisiana from ABQ Uptown, Japanese Kitchen is spread between two kitty-cornered buildings that are separated by a shaded plaza. Despite their near-invisibility, Japanese Kitchen’s sushi bar and steakhouse get quite busy—even rowdy at times, especially in the teppan corner.
See that thing on the left center of this flyer that looks like a fuzzy squiggle? It says “Impaled Offering,” which is the gory name of a metal band playing with Torture Victim, Echoes of Fallen and Loknar at the Launchpad on Monday, April 11, beginning at 8 p.m. ($4 for those 21-and-over). Why some bands choose to create illegible typefaces confuses me more than algebra. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Being crowned Best of Burque is akin to jumping an elephant of quality through the fickle, flaming hoop of popularity. It’s a tough act. There are tens of thousands of votes cast by our readers at alibi.com—and after the dust settles, the winners that remain truly deserve to take a bow.
The elephant in the living room isn’t always metaphorical. In the multi-award-winning new documentaryThe Elephant in the Living Room, that burly beast is all too real. The film is written, produced and directed by Michael Webber—who, oddly enough, produced the Christian horror films Thr3e and House. Webber’s new film examines the controversial practice of keeping dangerous exotic animals as pets (and we aren’t talking ferrets here). Webber’s film concentrates largely on two people. One is Tim Harrison, a man who’s mission is to protect exotic animals and the public. The other is Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted guy who struggles to keep two pet African lions that he loves like family. The film will have its local premiere at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) on Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the KiMo box office or through ticketmaster.com.
Seriocomic snapshot of troubled families avoids cliché, embraces closure
By Devin D. O’Leary
There is, in certain respects, a comforting familiarity to Win Win. In a nutshell, it tells the inspirational story of a middle-class family that adopts a troubled young high schooler who proves to be preternaturally adept at sports. If you think that sounds an awful lot like the synopsis for Sandra Bullock’s Academy Award-winning vehicle The Blind Side, you are correct, sir. Despite structural similarities, though, Win Win quickly strikes out on its own path, becoming something unexpectedly great in the process.
Once upon a time, American Movie Classics was the lesser cousin of Turner Classic Movies. It delineated its slim territory on the basic cable roster by playing 20-plus-year-old movies that were rarely considered classics and often not even categorizable as American. In the last few years, though, the network has built a reputation for creating some groundbreaking TV series.
Baseball wasn't always played by steroid-addled freaks. Babe Ruth hit more than 700 home runs and was drunk, smoking a cigar, eating a hot dog and cavorting with underage prostitutes the whole time. And that was just on the field. Lots of people say it’s boring, but they’re wrong. It’s a game of anticipation.
Some people hear the word “poetry” and flash back to that grueling week in middle school whern they were forced to dissect and memorize Carl Sandburg’s “Fog.” If that’s you, this month offers a good excuse to reassess: We’re in the first few of a whole 30 days devoted to imaginative, rhythmic, lyrical expression.
The typical formula for theatergoing is pretty simple in the States: You buy a ticket, are ushered to a seat, eat your Toblerone, watch the show and are ushered out. Aside from clapping, the experience is about as interactive as a game of solitaire.
Utility reps and public advocates trade blows on rate increase
By Sam Adams
PNM said it needed more cash—now. In the middle of a battle to raise prices overall, the electric company asked for part of that increase as soon as last week. But opponents stopped the measure in its tracks.
Rio Rancho’s chip-manufacturer is asking the state for a significant revision to its air permit just in case the plant wants to expand. This request highlights health concerns that have been rattling around Corrales for years, as Intel sits on a bluff above the southwestern edge of the village.
Without a word and in less than a blink of an eye, councilors paid $626,000 to three law firms for defense of the city in pending litigation. The shell-out was among dozens of other items on the consent agenda at the short April 4 meeting.
For those of us trapped in the 8-to-5 grind, there is nothing more luxurious than sleeping in on Saturday morning and awakening to the twittering birds and the clear sunlight filtering through the window. Pure bliss, right?
We’ve all driven by the huge sign on Central, east of Louisiana, that looks like it’s from ’40s Vegas and promises “Western Dancing” and “Ladies Special Drink Prices.” I passed it countless times before I realized the sign wasn’t just a leftover landmark and there was actually a building to go with it. The country nightclub Caravan East is set back from the street, behind a field of pitted asphalt. Asking acquaintances for details on the place yielded warnings of sleazy characters, grimy ambience and prevalent violence. The general consensus was if you weren’t already a regular, you should not set foot in the place—you’d most likely get your ass kicked.
Music is a workout motivator second only to the thought of looking svelte and fabulous in swimwear. To help you get pumped, Music Editor Jessica Cassyle Carr shares a mix of her old dance party favorites that doesn't involve the shudder-inducing sonic foolishness often found on other workout mixage. Enjoy.
In the personnel list on his latest album, The Gate (Concord Music), his credit reads: “Kurt Elling—Voice.” It’s an appropriate choice because Elling plays his voice the way an instrumentalist plays his ax.
Early spring means different things in different places. It's called mud season in some regions. Elsewhere it's the fifth month of winter grief. In warmer climes, winter can be so mild and summer so hot that spring is little more than a fleeting end of tolerable weather. But everywhere that winter is significant enough to interrupt the growing season, early spring has a special meaning among locavores. For cooks, gardeners, hunters and mead-makers alike, it's time for swapping.