Superman and Batman have a lot to teach us about ourselves and our capacity for greatness. Also, inside each of us lurks our shadow―the potential to become a villain, which we can learn to manage. It seems ancient mythologies and the world of comics have much more in common than we might think. These are some of the ideas presented in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes, a new book by Deepak Chopra, along with Gotham Chopra, that brings together superheroes and guidance for personal growth.
The Albuquerque Film Festival is scheduled to return Aug. 18 through 21. Organizers are gearing up, though, with a special Summer Kick-Off event. The brand-new art documentary The Cool School will be screened to the public on Tuesday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at the KiMo Theatre. The film focuses on L.A.’s seminal Ferus Gallery, which molded a loose band of idealistic beatniks (Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses—lotta Eds—Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin and Larry Bell among them) into icons of the modern art movement. Ferus, as a lot of art lovers know, was the very first place to dedicate a solo show to pop art icon Andy Warhol. Larry Bell will be joining fellow Ferus artist Terry Allen for a Q and A after the film. Actor/artist Dean Stockwell, one of the experts interviewed in the film, will also be in attendance. This is a fundraiser for Film 4 Change and the AFF. A suggested $10 donation gets you in the door. For more info, log on to abqfilmfestival.com.
Wrenching Middle Eastern drama pulls the curtain back on family history, regional strife
By Devin D. O’Leary
For the general population of the world, the Middle East is a confusing place. It’s a region in seemingly eternal conflict, a contentious Holy Land to at least three major religions and a perceived breeding ground for radical religious fundamentalism. Now imagine how much of a brainteaser it is for people with an actual connection to the place. Does being Jewish mean supporting the Israeli government’s seizure of the West Bank? Does being Palestinian mean backing Palestinian independence to the exclusion of a Jewish homeland? Does being Saudi Arabian mean endorsing the country’s dictatorial Wahhabist monarchy?
At the end of May, the broadcast networks announced their new fall schedules. Amid the flurry of intriguing-to-disappointing new shows, a whole mess of intriguing-to-disappointing old shows got flushed down the crapper of cancellation. The networks aren’t exactly flaunting their failures. But we’re happy to. So what shows won’t you be seeing this fall? Let’s lift the lid and take a look.
Our calf of a city is fatted with festivals. I mean geez, we’ve got articles about three in this issue alone. Let’s talk about one you’re going to laugh at. It’s almost time for the fifth annual Duke City Improv Festival, produced by The Box Performance Space. This year will see more local teams, as well as regional players from Arizona and Oklahoma, living in the moment for your entertainment. On Fridays and Saturdays, June 3 through 11, you can sample their many forms of comedic improvisation.
Imagine you meet a guy at the laundromat. He’s handsome, charming and smart. He reads Dostoevsky. (But only if you’re into that.) You go dancing all night; you have a great time. Hanging out with him is awesome. Then you start to get suspicious, as slightly supernatural things begin happening. You wrench the truth out of your new beau, and it’s worse than you thought: He’s actually the spawn of the netherworld.
Last week I explained the new direction this review column is taking, including the fact that I’ll no longer be eating or writing about mystery meat. There are many shades of mystery, and this simple-sounding mandate was tested numerous times during my first attempt to follow it at Five Star Burgers—with tasty results.
Two Burque institutions join forces for Barrett House
By Mina Yamashita
Maxine Thévenot is a regular at P’tit Louis Bistro. The founder and artistic director of Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, a professional chamber vocal ensemble, is joining up with the restaurant to benefit the Barrett House.
As addiction climbs in Albuquerque, cartels are ready to deliver
By Joe Kolb
In 2008, the number of heroin-overdose deaths jumped—and the age of users dropped, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. "We know there is a significant increase in heroin sales in Albuquerque, but we just don't know how much is out there," says Capt. Matt Thomas of the Criminal Investigation Division in the Bernalillo Sheriff's Office. "We tend to see different trends in drug prevalence, where it went from cocaine to meth and now to heroin."
For Aleks Kostich, a Serbian-American living in Albuquerque, the biggest war this week is taking place on the red-dirt courts at the French Open tennis championships. The No. 2 seed there in men’s singles is Novak Djokovic, a tall 24-year-old built like an arrow.
Medicaid axes inpatient program for drug-addicted mothers
By Whitny Doyle
The state's only residential substance abuse treatment clinic for pregnant women, Casita de Milagros, will be closing on July 1. During columnist Whitny Doyle’s time as a mother-baby nurse, she cared for many Milagro patients. She also cared for substance-abusing mothers whose addictions remained untreated.
A higher power (that of hops, perhaps) will be with one of Albuquerque’s favorite country bands at Marble Brewery (111 Marble NW) on Saturday, June 4. The Porter Draw plays this free show starting at 8 p.m. Divine artwork by Brapola, whose inspiration was the question: "If the Virgin Mary were homeless, do you think people would like her as much?" (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Jeremy McCollum is a guitar player and former Alibi web monkey. Now—when not building his ticketing empire, HoldMyTicket.com—he and his band SuperGiant are working on the July release of a third album, Pistol Star. See them play at the Launchpad on Saturday, June 4, with fellow stoner/doom/metal/psych acts Orange Goblin, The Gates of Slumber and Naam. The 21-and-over show is $10 and starts at 9 p.m. Below are five random tracks from his iPod.
Sunbear Vierra wears a wildland firefighter uniform to his interview with the Alibi. He has to be prepared to leave at a moment's notice. Donning flame-resistant pants and a Forest Service T-shirt, Vierra says he's not optimistic about this year. “It looks bad," he says.
There’s little doubt that 2011 will be known as the Summer of the Superhero. The epic Marvel Comics / Paramount Pictures adaptation of Thor started it off with a mighty THWAK-A-BOOM!, pulling in nearly $66 million on its opening weekend. Still to come on this summer’s comic book front are X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger. We took the opportunity to call up Thor’s famed director, Shakespeare-loving Brit Kenneth Branagh, and discuss our mutual love for men in tights.
What if, instead of celebrating the news, President Adams sat in the darkness of his study, amid his books and papers, and considered that despite the news, the military occupations would continue unabated?
This Friday was to mark the return of the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe. Unfortunately, “due to circumstances beyond our control” the organizers have announced that this year’s conference has been canceled. It would have been the 13th annual outing, which traditionally attracts professional writers, agents and producers from around the county to provide five days’ worth of intensive instruction. The cancellation—announced with a brief note on the conference’s website—was an abrupt, eleventh-hour development. Here’s hoping the SCSFe gets back on its feet for next year.
Take a glance at any movie theater marquee and you’ll realize it’s the summer of superheroes. And who do we have to thank? We can think of no greater person to blame than that most titanic champion of men in capes and women in tights—writer, editor, producer, publisher and former president of Marvel Comics, Stan “The Man” Lee. The characters he created—from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to The Avengers—have been pop cultural icons for more than 40 marvelous years.
Back in 1986, the British cyberpunk band Sigue Sigue Sputnik sold off advertising space between tracks on their debut album Flaunt It. Among the companies enshrined there: L’Oréal and i-D magazine. It was a self-conscious joke on the part of the band, spoofing both music industry commercialization and the group’s own Blade Runner-inspired vision of a corporate-controlled future.
Since time immemorial (or “the 1950s,” depending on how far back your memory actually reaches), the holy trinity of TV show characters has been composed of cops, doctors and lawyers. Those three occupations have formed the backbone of every television network’s prime-time schedule since the creation of the cathode ray. Police officers, medical professionals and public defenders are always with us. The only variation on the theme seems to be: serious or wacky? Are these dramatic cops (“Adam-12”) or kooky cops (“Barney Miller”)? Intense docs (“ER”) or quirky docs (“Scrubs”)? Conscientious lawyers (“Perry Mason”) or nutty lawyers (“Ally McBeal”)?
Random tracks from filmmaker Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Marie-Michele Jasmin-Belisle is a French Canadian filmmaker and owner of 8H51 Art Design Nouveau Cinema. When she’s not traveling and working around the world, she resides in Albuquerque. A music fan with eclectic taste, we ask the auteur behind Le Chat Lunatique’s upcoming first music video to share five random tracks.
Guitar Wolf returns to planet U.S.A. on the Hoochie Coochie Space Men Tour
By Captain America
Hearing Japan’s take on American pop music is like looking into a fun house mirror—but, like the mirror of Snow White’s wicked queen, the view reveals naked truth. Style and convention is swallowed whole and digested in roiling gastric juices. Magnified, amplified and disgorged in rainbow colors, its vital essence is not only intact but accentuated. Consider the hyper-pop of Puffy AmiYumi, the agitated and beautiful noise of Melt Banana, or the devastating wail of the unrestrained KING BROTHERS.
If you’re excited by the idea of eight straight days of dancing, singing, drumming and learning about African culture with renowned teachers from all over the continent, read on. This week marks the beginning of Camp Mabina and the first of two big concerts surrounding the camp’s many workshops.
Don’t let the impending work week get you down. On Sundays from 4 to 11 p.m. DJs Flo-Fader, Nicolatron, OHM, NTOX and Diamond Tip keep the spirit of the boogie alive with Weeksend at the Albuquerque Press Club (201 Highland Park Circle SE). This Sunday will feature grilled foodstuffs in exchange for cash, plus games including a water balloon fight (weather permitting). All ages are allowed until 9 p.m. The Press Club, being a private establishment, means all guests must sign in, obey the club’s rules and do a dance. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Old Town is back with another round of Cultural Sunsets summer programming, which brings culturally edifying entertainment to the plaza most Thursdays through early October. Featuring colorful costumes, elaborate and often ancient choreography, and groups that are committed to fostering traditions, Cultural Sunsets gives patrons a chance to experience customs that are likely new to them. This Thursday, May 26, you can see performances from the New Mexico branch of Miyagi Ryu Nosho Kai school of Okinawan cultural dance and music. The kids can learn to make Japanese paper dolls too, in a “make and take” workshop. This free event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Keep tabs on upcoming Cultural Sunsets by calling 311.
Sounds like the same old story: Yet another weary traveler, lured into the sandy valley of the Sandias, finds it impossible to leave. However, artist and Small Engine Gallery co-operator Lucas Hussack's new series, New Mexico in Five Years in a Hundred Pieces, explores how the land of entrapment provided the perfect backdrop for some of the most colorful experiences of his life.
I’m tagging along with Michael Foltz and Marissa Evans visiting feed suppliers in the North and South Valleys. Today’s the day to populate the backyard coop Foltz has been building for the past few months using mostly recycled wood and fittings. It’s a cozy roost to house seven or eight birds, with a run protected by chicken wire. A nice little goat-fence-style gate opens into the small enclosure.
The Alibi's new local-centric mandate for food criticism
By Ari LeVaux
At the Alibi, we’ve always had high standards for the food we cover, and now we’re aiming higher—by turning our gaze down upon the earth beneath our feet and toward local foods. Without abandoning the appreciation of good cooking, we're expanding our criteria to include the processes that bring the ingredients to the kitchen—an area where too much food criticism, and too many restaurants, fall short. Welcome to Locovore.
Classy, glassy ladies star in whodunit art history mystery
By Chiquita Paschal
Driscoll made iconic contributions to the Tiffany legacy and the art nouveau movement—efforts that virtually no one knew were hers until a few years ago.
A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls focuses not only on Driscoll’s works themselves, but on the historical context of her life and the women's glass department (also known as the Tiffany Girls) that constructed the lamps.
Urban farmers take living well into their own hands
By Christie Chisholm
A colony of 80,000 bees holds enough sting to kill you—actually, it holds enough to kill about 80 of you. But sitting a few feet away from a hive that’s nearly as tall as she is, Chantal Foster is unfazed as yellow-and-black honeybees whiz by on a pollen-fueled highway. Maybe it’s because, with rare exception, the potentially deadly flying insects seem to have no interest in her. The bees are on a mission, and it’s about getting frisky with flowers, not ferocious with humans.
How a girl, a guy and the guy’s father found happiness in roller derby
By Toby Smith
The younger Jon Helm posed this question to his 61-year-old dad: “How would you like us to be the only father-and-son co-anchors of a nationwide sports show?” Dad did not hesitate: “Why the hell not?” “Derby Insider” debuted in March on public access TV.
On Earth Day, one state commission took the first step toward rolling back energy-efficient building requirements. The Construction Industries Commission is the same entity that unanimously approved the rules last year, but it has new members appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez.
People packed the Council chambers in support of libraries, animals and blue-collar city workers. The Monday, May 16 meeting centered around passing a budget. As a result, an ideological crack split the nonpartisan Council down party lines. Democrat Councilor Debbie O’Malley, who's nearing the end of her second term, walked out of the meeting just before the budget vote. Other Democrat councilors expressed disgust and said Republican councilors highjacked the budget.
This Friday, May 20, the CCA Cinematheque and FanFare (the Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus’ community engagement committee), will host a benefit screening of The Wizard of Oz. The film will be subtitled, allowing audience members to sing along, karaoke-style. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $30 and proceeds will go to benefit the Music Education Mentoring program for Santa Fe Public Schools. The event takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail). Reservations are strongly encouraged. You can reserve a seat by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the CCA box office at (505) 982-1338.
Starting Thursday night, the New Mexico Film Office will set up shop at the Guild Cinema to produce the seventh annual New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase. The event began in 2005 with an ambitious week-long program spotlighting more than 40 hours’ worth of homegrown shorts, features, films and videos. Since then, the showcase has evolved into a somewhat more manageable four-day affair. It is still, however, a nonjuried, first-come, first-served opportunity for up-and-coming New Mexico filmmakers to get their work screened in the public eye.
In the television biz, the third week of May is traditionally known as “upfront season.” It’s the time of year when broadcast networks try to sell their upcoming fall seasons to advertisers. It’s those advertising rates that determine how much the networks will make next season. No wonder then that ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and The CW try and put their best foot forward. Their second best foot? That gets swept under the rug and is never spoken of again.
The Blue Hornets suit up for a ska-tastic EP release party
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Formed after a Giant Steps reunion in 2009—and subsequent nostalgic feelings about playing rocksteady and reggae music—The Blue Hornets hasn’t taken long to become a favorite local band. The nine-member supergroup releases “Selekta EP” on Friday at Launchpad. The Alibi’s Jessica Cassyle Carr spoke with Blue Hornets guitarist and vocalist Otto Barthel about Jamaican genres, the mission of the band’s first album and ska’s fourth wave.
When summer hits and you’re ready to lounge before the TV and under the swamp cooler, consult my biased list—in no particular order except the order I like—of the best movies about music and show business.
Tenderizor is a thrash noise band from Albuquerque. The five-piece just released its first record, Touch The Sword, and on Monday, May 23, performs at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) with Japanese psychedelic rock band / cult Acid Mothers Temple. Vanquishing the format rules of Song Roulette, Tenderizor—collectively—offers random tracks it was jamming on cassette in the van on a West Coast Tour(oar) this spring.
For its “last big headlining show,” CanyonLands will be offering a free digital download of its album A Frothing of the Mind. The performance—to which admission is also free—happens at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) on Saturday, May 21. Cloud Lantern and The Gatherers provide opening performances beginning around 10 p.m. We assume this squiggly poster art was also created at no cost. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
How do you get published? What’s a query letter? How do you get an agent or a manager? Should you get an agent or a manager? All these questions and more will be answered for writers—both beginning and experienced—during the ninth annual Latino Writers’ Conference, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center May 19 through 21. Internationally successful authors, editors and agents will present workshops and lectures. Participants are guaranteed one-on-one meeting time with the professionals. “The mission of the conference is to encourage Latinos to publish their work,” says Carlos Vásquez, the history and literary arts director at NHCC, “and to bring to them other Latino writers that are now successful.”
A new performance, Voices Behind the Virus, created by AmeriCorps volunteers and local artists, tells the multifaceted but often-unheard stories of individuals dealing with the day-to-day ramifications of having the HIV/AIDS.
Former musicians of the NMSO announce the New Mexico Philharmonic
By Summer Olsson
Even before the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra filed for bankruptcy on May 10, its musicians were looking ahead and making plans. They resolved to keep orchestra music alive in New Mexico. Shortly after the closing of NMSO was announced, its former musicians made an announcement of their own: the formation of the New Mexico Philharmonic.
When the roosters get tough, the tough make coq au vin
By Ari LeVaux
Coq au vin, literally “rooster in wine,” is a recipe that can be simple or complex. My version is geared toward those starting with a big, tough old rooster in the yard, but it works with any chicken. An old hen would also do the trick, but I don't kill my hens. So that leaves the roosters, the meaner the better.
What's guilt-free, sweet (but not too sweet) and guaranteed to improve your mood? I went to Tim's Place for the answer—a patented "Tim hug." You can meet Tim and enjoy a calorie-free hug at least five days a week.