This month, Alibi Group Hug is celebrating that rebellious marriage of early rhythm and blues with country and Western music. Despite being a nascent form of rock and roll, rockabilly, and its wild, raw, reverberating energy, has endured for six decades. On Saturday, an assembly of New Mexico’s most rockabilly-est citizens will provide their sonic services at the Launchpad.
A soft-spoken young woman in a button-up shirt and black slacks bows her head. “Ya’at’eeh,” she says quietly in Navajo, then switches to English. “I became a mother at age 17,” begins Reina. She now has three young daughters.
Congolese gangster flick shot through with sex and violence
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s not every day you see a film from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, in all my years of sitting up, taking nourishment and watching a lot of movies, I’ve never stumbled across a Congolese film. Despite its seemingly exotic country of origin, however, Viva Riva! is hardly an unfamiliar product.
Eason Eige has been painting the same subject for six years. Like many artists, he has expressed his fascination with, and perception of, his muse in series after series. But what makes Eige a bit different from the others is that his model isn’t a person. It’s a cactus. Specifically, it’s the prickly pear growing in front of San Felipe de Neri, the church in Old Town’s plaza. When the Alibi called to learn more about The Black Series, his upcoming show at the Bright Rain Gallery, Eige was at home, working on a painting he started in front of the church the day before.
Throughout the growing season, New Mexico is home to fresh food markets every day of the week. You can follow the progression of summer by watching the diversity of produce unfold like a kaleidoscope on vendors’ tables. And you can travel to markets around the state and marvel at the differences that elevation and latitude make in what can be grown.
The Urban Store has been open since January and is the brainchild of Kathy Isaacson and co-owner Chuck Alex. The Nob Hill shop, on Silver, is deceptively ordinary. Issacson sports a T-shirt bearing the store’s working philosophy—“grow, eat, return.” How simple is that?
Guv-appointed commission yanks New Mexico’s support for wolf reintroduction
By Christie Chisholm
The state’s Game Commission voted unanimously to withdraw from the reintroduction effort. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed four new members to the six-member board in March. Bill Montoya is one of those new members. “It was costing us a lot of money,” says Montoya, who worked for the Game and Fish Department for 28 years. “We didn’t think we were going in the right direction.”
A golf course is a peaceful place—unless you’re a picker
By Toby Smith
Alibi sports writer Toby Smith rides shotgun inside a green cage that scoops up driving-range balls at the Championship Golf Course known to many as UNM South. The cage’s driver, Jim Dunn, is a picker. Thub! “That one got the wheel,” Dunn says. “No real damage. Just wait.”
I got an inquiry from Paul Gessing of conservative nonprofit the Rio Grande Foundation. He wanted to know: Would I be willing to go head-to-head against global warming skeptic Pat Michaels about manmade climate change on KKOB? I was intrigued.
Law enforcement think tank weighs in on APD’s shootings
By Marisa Demarco
A 91-page report spurred by the Albuquerque Police Department's spate of shootings was released on Friday, June 24. Among the findings: Violent crime and assaults on officers decreased over the last few years, but the number officer-involved shootings went up. The report also shows that the same officers are repeatedly involved in violent incidents, with 22 percent having a hand in 60 percent of such encounters.
The nihilistic party of pop and subpop culture rages on. Someone knocked over the lamp, and it sure is dark in here. The embers of lit cigarettes wink in the black. One such ember, Le Tigre, wants to make sure you don't forget. About them. About feminism. About gender-fucking. You know, but with, like, beats and shit.
Cleveland rapper Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) has been pioneering a style of emotionally raw, singsongy hip-hop ever since the release of his 2008 mix tape, A Kid Named Cudi. His songs are club-friendly, life-celebratory anthems just as often as they are meditative stoner jams. On Saturday, June 25, the man who moonlights as "Mr. Rager" played a show for more than 6,500 folks at Hard Rock Pavilion. The Alibi was there to photograph the event.
Shows worth attending this week are many, but space and time prevents me from giving them all the attention they deserve. Music editor Jessica Cassyle Carr tips her newspaper hat to some personally appealing selections.
In light of the fact that parts of the state are on fire, consider not celebrating America with explosives this year. "It just takes that one bottle rocket, that one match, to take out an entire community," Bernalillo County Fire Chief John Garcia told KRQE. Support the boycott here: on.fb.me/fireworksnm. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Tom Kane can do a good evil robot. He gets a lot of computer voices thrown his way. Stanley Kubrick even picked him to be the new HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey just before Kubrick died. Kane's also done a ton of animation voicings, including Professor Utonium in “The Powerpuff Girls”and Monkey Fist on “Kim Possible.” He was both Tony Stark and Ultron in the "Iron Man" cartoons, so he got to fight himself.
As an actor, he's hit the trifecta. LeVar Burton has managed to be cast in three roles that played a major part in American culture: the young Kunta Kinte in Roots, himself as the host of "Reading Rainbow" and Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
In 2009, banjo czar Wayne Shrubsall funneled much of his vast store of knowledge into a concert at Albuquerque's Covenant Church called The Really Big Banjo Show. It sold out to a standing-room-only crowd. Many people got turned away. A new incarnation, Dr. Wayne Shrubsall’s Really Bigger Banjo Show, happens this Friday night at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Shrubsall emphasizes that this is a different, expanded show. “Trust me,” he says with a smile. “This really is bigger.”
Big Easy pianist/composer off-kilter and on target
By Mel Minter
You never know where pianist Tom McDermott will go haring off to next. That’s because he often hasn’t a clue, either. A daring and inventive improviser, he’s more than willing to go striding (or ragging or rumba-ing or tango-ing) through doors that lead who-knows-where. In the middle of a Scott Joplin piece, he might find an opening that leads straight to James Booker and start mixing the rag’s more straitlaced syncopation with the saucy funk of New Orleans R & B.
Using pointillism and evil typeface, the artist’s handiwork indicates a show on Saturday, June 25, at the Small Engine Gallery (1413 Fourth Street SW). Metally bands Gnossurrus and Leeches of Lore (along with an opening acoustic performance Dan Gottwald, who will be playing handmade instruments) begin all-ages festivities at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Sweet 7000's Baaadassss Comics. This is the full, funky name of 7000 BC, a local nonprofit that supports New Mexican comic book writers and artists. Yes, the moniker is partially inspired by the independent nature of that one Melvin Van Peebles film you just thought about, but it also references the elevation of Santa Fe, where the group was founded. The comic book lovers on the Alibi editorial staff reviewed a handful of new 7000 BC offerings.
Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous
By Summer Olsson
Upon entering the Stranger Factory, three distinct areas of well-laid-out eye candy unfold before you. Carefully placed paintings and prints decorate the white walls, and plenty of natural light washes over displays of toys and figurines. Brandt Peters, who co-owns Stranger Factory with his wife, Kathie Olivas, says they decorate the shop as they do their home. “We show how you can actually put your own collection together,” he says. They salvage furniture, shelves and other recyclable cool stuff to mix in with the art pieces.
The City locked up Michael Lee for murder, then paid him $1 million
By Marisa Demarco
Michael Lee spent 15 months in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center before being released in March 2009. He was facing the death penalty for the murder of the Yis, an elderly couple who'd been found dead in their Northeast Heights home in December 2007. "It's the scariest thing I've ever been through. Hands down."
The Council crammed a lot into their last meeting before summer recess. Councilors voted to: review APD’s deadly force policies; allow big restaurants not to install fire sprinklers; and let the city to vote on red-light cameras.
Sequel trades up to a newer, jazzier, more explosion-filled model
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s been five years since Cars came out. Not a lot has changed in the bucolic Southwestern town of Radiator Springs. Except that beloved old race car Doc Hudson has expired alongside voice actor Paul Newman. (Wait. Cars can die? How is that ... never mind. The cars talk!) Whereas Cars was a sweetly nostalgic trip out of today’s fast lane and into the bygone era of small-town, roadside Americana, Cars 2 is a globe-hopping superspy action/adventure that combinesJames Bond, The Fast and the Furious and Thomas the Tank Engine. So much for the simple life.
Whether his life is labeled “shockingly short” or “appropriately short” is a judgment best left to historians (assuming future historians of our planet will be interested in early 21st century pop-cultural blips). But there’s definitely something poetically fitting in the fact that 34-year-old Ryan Dunn, a regular fixture on MTV’s “Jackass” and host of G4’s new show “Proving Ground,” died in a fiery car crash in the early morning hours of Monday, June 20.
The epic Albuquerque Comic Expo launches this Friday with an incredible roster of guest stars. In addition to all the awe-inspiring comic book industry talent (click over to our ACE Panel Schedule or visit abqcomicexpo.com to see the lineup), there are some tantalizing names from film and television. And you can see them all here:
If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.
The 13th annual Albuquerque Folk Festival says it’s hip to be square dancing
By Summer Olsson
What can you do at the folk festival? Almost everything. (Within limits, people. Keep your pants on.) The aforementioned question is posed at the top of the online “festival overview,” and underneath is a long list of answers, like sing, dance, learn an instrument, perform for an audience, hear live music and bring your kids. The Alibi breaks down some of the weekend’s highlights.
Entries started pouring in as soon as we announced this year’s Flash Fiction contest. It was like that closet you haphazardly throw things into, without order, squeezing the door closed with your body weight to cram in all the stuff without a proper home. Toppling stacks of paper and files, bits of yarn, nightmare flickers, battered toys, love letters, unused sports equipment, dream diaries, lost hopes, failed romances―it’s all in there.
Acclaimed filmmaker gives us life, the universe and Sean Penn
By Devin D. O’Leary
Terrence Malick is an artist of singular abilities. Over the course of his distinguished, nearly 40-year career, he’s directed exactly five films (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World and The Tree of Life). Each one is easily identified as an incredibly languid, highly ruminative period drama. With voice-over narration. And trees. His films are frequently described as “painterly,” in that they are beautifully composed and often consist of very long static shots in which nothing moves. There are few filmmakers I am as impressed with or as bored by.
Aliens are the new zombies. A lingering fear of foreign terrorists and a growing mistrust of undocumented aliens have turned Americans into full-fledged xenophobes. Hence, the most timely metaphorical monster we can imagine right now is the flying-saucer-piloting, death-ray-shooting invader from outer space.
In our Super Summer Film Guide, we asked readers to submit their best “high concept” film suggestions at alibi.com. We thumbed through the entries to find the most ridiculous “Hollywood summer blockbuster” film pitches you folks were able to compose in a single sentence. Our first-place winner (scoring 15 free passes to a Regal Cinema theater) is Dominic Wingfield for Oh God, I Love You. In it, “Suzie Fungirl (Julia Roberts) is killed in a car accident, and on entering Heaven, falls in love with God (Owen Wilson), and has to convince him that, although he may love everybody, she is something special.” Second place (10 free passes) goes to Clay Beckner for Elizaborg. “In a last-ditch effort to restore the relevance of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) is transformed into a svelte, robotic, time-traveling killing machine (Angelina Jolie), who hunts down critics of extravagant royal pageantry throughout history, along the way teaming up with (or supplanting) other royal figures such as Elizabeth I (Judi Dench), Henry VIII (Zach Galifianakis) and Prince Charles (Paul Reubens).” Todd Quinn locks down third place (five film passes) with The Saturday Morning. “After leaving his wild bachelor party in Las Vegas early, thirtysomething Tom wakes early on Saturday (after eight hours of sleep), goes for a run, has a quiet breakfast alone, and calls his fiancée.”
When I was little, my father made me memorize Wordsworth poems and frequently took me and my sister to Shakespeare plays. But he was also fond of propping us up on barstools in front of live bands, ordering us rounds of Shirley Temples. This is likely why, rather than being the affluent attorney my father wishes I was, I’m writing a music column and wondering how I’m going to pay all of my bills and afford to go record shopping this week. I’d rather be here than there, though, and I’m thankful to my dad for his part in creating my reality and, well, me.
Peter Greenberg is the guitar player for Taos rock and roll band Manby’s Head. In the ’70s and ’80s, he played and made records with Boston garage punk bands DMZ and Lyres, Cincinnati’s The Customs and funky rockabilly screamer Barrence Whitfield and the Savages (another Boston outfit). However, at age 30, he finished grad school, quit music and got into the energy business. Three years ago he downsized his career and moved from Texas to New Mexico, where he met Manby’s Head bandmates Michael Mooney and Paul Reid. Greenberg recently toured with Lyres and just finished a record with Barrence Whitfield, with whom he’s touring Europe this fall. In the meantime, he’ll play Saturday night with Manby’s Head, fellow Taos band The Blood Drained Cows and Albuquerque’s The Seeing Things in a rock and roll extravaganza at the Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). The free, 21-and-over show begins at 10 p.m. Below, Greenberg takes a break from his record collection and puts an iPod on shuffle. The random tracks that surfaced are as follows:
Multiple flyers featuring ladies’ backsides were available for this week’s micro-column. Of them, we most fancied the bold graphics and utter trashiness of this quasi-menstrual, fishnetted poster art. It announces the End of June Music Blowout at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW). See RAWRR!, The Glass Menageries, Techtonic Movement and Mrdrbrd on Saturday, June 25, at 9 p.m. This show is free for 21-and-over ages. Image by I Heart Machine. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Soldier files a racism complaint about his superiors
By Marisa Demarco
Adam Jarrell has wanted to be in the military since he was a kid. So his treatment in Afghanistan came as quite a shock, he says. During his yearlong deployment, he was subject to racial slurs and threats of physical violence, according to a complaint. Jarrell says someone even hung a noose outside his sleeping quarters.
NHCC’s resident word-slinger will join Southwest Shootout
By Summer Olsson
Joaquin Zihuatanejo radiates enthusiasm. When I was introduced to him at a poetry reading two weeks ago, he looked like a kid who just got a great present. In fact, he did: Zihuatanejo won an artist residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which pays for him to live in Albuquerque for a month and work on his various artistic projects. Not only did he perform the night we met, but, serendipitously, he’ll be here during the Southwest Shootout regional poetry slam (see this week’s issue). Zihuatanejo spoke by phone about the irons he has in the fire and his plans for the slam.
I always want to see more art in the streets. Sometimes I walk past a banged-up paper distribution stand, electric box or dumpster and I think, Man, I could sure make that look cooler. I bet you do too. Since we just had a contest for writers (“Thanks for Flashing Us,” pg. 26 of this week’s issue), we thought we’d have a little fun with visual artists. We also need to do something to spruce up some of these old Alibi boxes.
Poets from around the country will take aim and fire at one another, turning Albuquerque into an O.K. Corral of lyricism. The 2011 Southwest Shootout features wordsmiths from Louisiana, Colorado, Texas and, of course, New Mexico performing their particular flavor of poetry.
This month's tasty (and tasteful) exhibition at Ace Barbershop, Rough Edges, features the beefy, cheesy works of Gabriel Luis Perez. The taco and cheeseburger art—or more precisely, painted collages of beef, lettuce and tortilla colors—has inspired fresh gab topics in the tiny Downtown shop.
A seafood meal is the one opportunity most Americans will ever have to eat a wild animal. Given the illegality of selling wild game, only hunters and their lucky friends get to munch the many tasty beasts that roam the boondocks. Eating a wild thing is like walking around in bare feet. It's exposure to an ecosystem, and a direct connection with the planet. Eating wild fish is like a swim in the ocean—except in this case, the ocean swims inside of you.
In 1927, Lindberg crossed the Atlantic and the world began dancing the Lindy. Energetic devotees swing on—and Rachel Green makes a career of the obsession. Green and I are chatting over lunch at the Route 66 Malt Shop, one door down from her dance space. I’m sipping a chocolate egg cream while Green enjoys a toasty crab cake sandwich.