Alibi V.20 No.30 • July 28-Aug 3, 2011

A Ranch Named Desire

Play details relationship between Tennessee Williams and lover Pancho Rodriguez

“He was a very prolific character,” says Santiago Candelaria, who plays Williams in Rancho Pancho, a play by Gregg Barrios. “Not only in his writing but just in his way of being, how he moved through what he did.” The play, presented by Camino Real Productions, and running at the National Hispanic Cultural Center through Aug. 7, explores the relationship between Williams and one of his partners, Pancho Rodriguez. “He was a compulsive worker and it sort of shows up in everything he did,” Candelaria says. “He worked compulsively, he drank compulsively, he smoked compulsively, he took pills compulsively, he had sex compulsively.”

feature

Romancing the Novel

My snootiness was in full flower as I drove to the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. I was on my way to a panel discussion featuring three New Mexico-based romance writers: Celeste Bradley, Doranna Durgin and Alice Duncan. It didn’t help that I was stressing out about being late to something I’d already decided wouldn’t teach me anything. They’re not for serious people, I thought. They aren’t real books. I pulled into the parking lot and hurried into the building. Although full of preconceptions, I secretly harbored a small flame of hope that someone would redeem the genre for me.

Large Sales, Low Cred

In trying to unravel the mystery of the romance genre’s appeal, the Alibi spoke with Tracie Antonuk, the adult services librarian at the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. In June, Antonuk organized and moderated a panel discussion among three local romance novelists (see “Romancing the Novel”). Antonuk hosts free panels like this often, encouraging people to visit the library, meet authors or maybe even “slip somebody their card.”

Confessions of a Genre Virgin

From shirtless cowboys to eighteenth-century courtesans, the Alibi gets down and dirty with the scintillating world of romance novels. And yeah, it’s our first time.

music

Music to Your Ears

Only 20 minutes east of Albuquerque (in the mountains where it’s 10 degrees cooler) Wildlife West is equipped with venue facilities and hosts regular events. Beginning on Friday, July 29, and running through Sunday, July 31, is the biggest of the year: The ninth Wildlife West Music Festival. The three-day fest features two shaded stages (attendees will not be sitting in the sun, promoters say) and more than a dozen performing acts of the acoustic persuasion—bluegrass, Western swing, old time and folk, to name a few.

New Mexico

The band—not our fair state

Last year the Alibi received a package containing a zia-emblazoned CD. This wasn’t unusual. Many proud local musicians use the symbol in their imagery. What was unusual was that the band New Mexico hails from San Diego. This does not follow protocol. After all, Kansas is from Kansas, Alabama from Alabama; Chicago (which plays live on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero) is from Chicago and Boston from Boston. Even Europe is from Europe, and America is from America (well, mostly). Not since Asia has a musical entity been so geographically displaced from its chosen moniker.

Flyer on the Wall

On Saturday, July 30, Small Engine (1413 Fourth Street SW) hosts another cool show with an attractive flyer to accompany it. Kevin Greenspon and Ancient Crux from L.A. play with locals Dripping Rainbow and Gusher. Five dollars / 8:30 p.m. Some are predicting this to be a “serious-ass” event. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Song Roulette

DJ Evan’s random tracks

Evan Langford is a DJ at Blackbird Buvette, managing the frightful monthly party known as Post Burial. Hear him play post-punk, new wave, disco, electro, glam and/or deathrock there on Saturday, Aug. 6, beginning at 10 p.m. I asked Langford to put his MP3s on shuffle. Below are the random results.

food

Pick-Up Sticks

Getting a handle on chopsticks

While billions of Asians use chopsticks every day of their lives, here in the West, we encounter them most often in restaurants. I learned to eat with chopsticks before I was 5. My mom took two pairs of adult-sized chopsticks and whittled them down to kid-size. She painted one set blue for my younger brother, and one set pink for me. These were special and much better balanced for our small hands.

Cage Fight

Is this the beginning of better factory farms?

When news broke on July 7 that United Egg Producers had struck a deal with longtime nemesis the Humane Society of the United States, a lot of people had to check and make sure they weren't reading The Onion by mistake. The surprise announcement drew gasps of "stunning," "historic" and "landmark" from observers in the food and agriculture community. The often bitter antagonists appear to have buried the hatchet, at least temporarily, and not up each other's bottoms. Gary Truitt, in Hoosier Ag Today, wrote: "Unprecedented does not do the situation justice."

news

Turning the Page

University-area stalwart closes up shop

“What do I owe you?” an older man asks, placing the New York Times on the counter. “$25,000,” Newsland owner Roger Walsh replies, only half joking, “or I'm closing the shop.” Most of the browsers scanning the shelves have already heard of the closure, but it hits home when Walsh says the Newsland's last day is Sunday, July 24.

Good Girl, Bad Guy

How a nursing student found happiness with a 300-pound pro wrestler

It’s Saturday night at the New Mexico National Guard Armory. Mosh Pit Mike is part of a “scramble,” the main event featuring six wrestlers. “We want blood! We want blood!” chant many of the 200 spectators.

film

Reel World

The Guild hosts two homegrown, independent films shot here in New Mexico on Friday, July 29, (The Bigfoot Election), and Saturday, July 30 (Bad Posture). Also on Friday, the KiMo screens Inside Job, Charles Ferguson’s eye-opening documentary about what brought about the catastrophic meltdown of America’s financial institutions. That film will get underway at 8 p.m.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Unpredictable romantic comedy marries drama and a big-name cast for lovable results

It probably won’t appear this way on the movie theater marquee, so it’s worth noting the complete, correct title of Crazy, Stupid, Love. (two commas and a period). Although crazy and stupid often function as fitting adjectives to this thing we call love, the punctuation makes it clear that the three also work just fine as separate, stand-alone nouns. Happily, the new romantic comedy/drama offers up more than its fair share of craziness, stupidity and love.

ThunderCats, Ho!

“ThunderCats” on Cartoon Network

Of all the nostalgic ’80s properties, “ThunderCats” has had one of the longest life spans. You can thank all the hipster nerds gobbling up logo-stamped T-shirts at Hot Topic for keeping the show’s image alive. No surprise, therefore, that—hot on the heels of its revival of fellow ’80s icon “Voltron: Defender of the Universe”—Cartoon Network has decided to reboot the hell out of “ThunderCats” for a new/old generation.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

A Little Bit Spicy

Two artists paint women of the Southwest

Marie Sena’s and Nani Chacon’s art show, Picosa, puts women in the fore: The overall theme of the show is women of the Southwest. “We’re in such a unique cultural climate,” Chacon says. “We felt like that was something that needed to be celebrated and pushed to the forefront of what we’re doing—not just that we’re going to depict beautiful women, but the beautiful women of our surroundings.”

Alibi V.20 No.29 • July 21-27, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II

New Mexico activists join 22-country protest fleet

The accounts of the U.S. boat to Gaza read like a Bond movie. There are nefarious bureaucratic restrictions from foreign governments, boat chases on the Mediterranean Sea, hunger strikes and Greek jails. Among 37 U.S. activists were Ken Mayers and Linda Durham from Santa Fe.

feature

Full Steam Ahead

Steampunk’s mashup of anachronism and science fiction throws a wrench in the cogs of throwaway culture

Steampunk has been part of the cultural conversation for the past several years, as DIY-ers have embraced a handwrought, Steam Age aesthetic over high-tech gloss. Both a pop culture genre and an artistic movement, steampunk has its roots in 19th- and early-20th- century science fiction like Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Its fans reimagine the Industrial Revolution mashed-up with modern technology such as the computer. Dressing the part calls for corsets and lace-up boots for women, top hats and frock coats for men. Accessories include goggles, leather aviator caps and the occasional ray gun. And there's a hint of Sid Vicious and Mad Max in there, too.

film

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Behind-the-scenes doc features all the news that’s fit to print

Print is dead. It’s a refrain that gets repeated a lot in today’s Wi-Fi-filled, Twitter-fied, Kindle-toting world. And—premature obituary or not—it’s still an uncomfortable pronouncement for those of us still gainfully employed in the industry. Depending on how you look at it, the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times can be seen as either an elegy for a dying medium or a paean to an industry in flux. Either way, it should be vital viewing for those in the business of being informed.

Cops With Colons

“NTSF:SD:SUV::” on Cartoon Network

Given how addicted to acronyms modern crime shows have become (“CSI,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “JAG,” “NCIS”), it’s nice to see somebody giving the genre a good, solid ribbing with “NTSF:SD:SUV::.” That stands for “National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::.” The show—joining Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block this Friday—throws around colons like Mötley Crüe throws around umlauts. Just as fellow live-action series “Childrens Hospital” mercilessly tweaks hospital drama clichés, “NTSF:SD:SUV::” makes light of cop show stereotypes.

Reel World

EcoNew Mexico is a pilot program promoting, you guessed it, ecotourism in New Mexico. The program teamed up with Green Living Project—a global group “dedicated to educating and inspiring individuals and communities to live a more sustainable lifestyle” through the use of multimedia. Together, they helped create the short film “Ecotourism in New Mexico.” (I sense a theme.) The five-minute short was filmed in Taos and spotlights a number of the city’s eco-friendly businesses, including river rafting, mineral springs spas, rock climbing, ballooning and more. The goal is to promote our state as an ecotourism destination, stealing vacationers away from such exotic locales as Costa Rica and New Zealand. If you’re interested in checking out the video and seeing what sort of outdoorsy goodness our state has to offer, you can check it out online.

music

Loosening the Screws

Casual conversation with Those Darlins

The music of Tennessee quartet Those Darlins is like a freight train started in the ’60s and hurtled through the decades to 2011—picking up girl-group sound, garage rock, trash country, some chick punk and a touch of glam—before crashing into an American roots music instrument store. See them live at Low Spirits, July 26.

Christian McBride and Inside Straight

Bassist sweetens New Mexico Jazz Fest with acoustic quintet

The quintet of Christian McBride and Inside Straight delivers swinging, straight-head jazz of a very high quality, with an equally high feel-good quotient. Next week, for two nights at the Outpost, McBride and Inside Straight—with Peter Martin (piano), Jaleel Shaw (sax), Warren Wolf Jr. (vibes) and Carl Allen (drums)—will hit a high note in the New Mexico Jazz Festival’s impressive 2011 lineup.

New Mexico Jazz Festival

July 21 through 31

A comprehensive guide to the N.M. Jazz Fest this weekend in Santa Fe, including Mose Allison, Michael Anthony, Maceo Parker and many more.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from Cultura Fuerte

Cultura Fuerte has been making Latin hip-hop here in New Mexico since 2005. On Saturday, July 23, the seven-piece releases its second album, Quiero Ser Libre. Ohm, Def Rare, Giz, Physics, NewMex.icon and Shakedown open the 21-and-over show at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) at 9 p.m. Cultura Fuerte members Marco Sandoval (percussion/vocals) and Andrea Serrano (hand percussion / spoken word) shared iPod shuffling duties, which resulted in the random tracks below.

news

The Darren White Probe

White announced his retirement shortly after a Council committee voted to investigate events surrounding his wife’s car accident. It’s unclear whether the Council will continue pursuing an independent investigation, given White’s retirement.

To Tell or Not to Tell

Alibi advice columnist says: We women can be so cruel to each other, and it would seem a service to our sisterhood to tip her off that she may be facing some issues. Of course, that cattiness we often bring to our relationships with women means she may turn on you and not her husband.

art

A Little Love Hexagon

Landmark Musicals’ latest is well-acted and well-sung

A Little Night Music is a show that will likely appeal to more mature audiences. Maybe it’s the tone of the show, which is surprisingly wholesome given the subject matter. Maybe it’s the near-constant, often operatic singing. In either case this one’s probably not for a thirtysomething crowd. That said, Landmark Musicals has done a fine job with it. While not all the actors are fantastic, there aren’t any sore thumbs that stick out, and a handful of them are obvious pros.

Skeletons in the Trailer

Performer tackles love lost and suicide notes with dark humor

Christina Slyter’s new solo show is about a woman who has become a shut-in, terrified of the outside world, because her husband killed himself—yet it’s full of dark humor. “The show takes place on the night that she wakes up,” Slyter says, “and discovers that there are people in her house. She tries to be a good hostess to them and show them a good time ... “ The audience members are the visitors in her house, and as the woman gets closer to revealing truths, her hostess skills unravel.

Punch Lines, Not Punches

Rusty Rutherford celebrates another year of underground comedy shows

There is an “anything goes” vibe at the Third Thursdays Comedy Contest, a stand-up comedy night Rusty Rutherford has hosted monthly, in venues around Albuquerque, since 2007. At each event, he does a short set to kick off the night and then 10 other comics take turns performing. The audience votes to determine the night’s best three, and Rutherford invites these comics back the following month. He also schedules seven new performers. The anniversary show will feature the winning comics of the past year.

food

bRgR

Local meats, exotic flavors

Pastoral paintings of thoughtful, grass-chomping cows adorn the red walls of Albuquerque’s brand-new designer burger joint, bRgR. The restaurant’s lineup of burger names could double as the course catalog of a tantric yoga ashram, including (in order of the stages of spiritual growth) the Harmonic, Elation, Euphoria, Jubilation, Ecstasy, Nirvana and, finally, Enlightenment. The beef, which is grass-fed and grain-finished, comes from Heritage Ranch, a national beef company that matches local beef producers with consumers, state by state.

The Return of Chef Claus

Hjortkjaer takes the helm at La Provence

I was among the many diners who mourned the demise of Le Café Miche in 2009. From the beginning of Chef Claus Hjortkjaer’s tenure in 1996 until it closed, Miche was one of Albuquerque’s most popular venues for upscale continental dining. But weep no more. Hjortkjaer is in the process of making the Brasserie La Provence his own. Hjortkjaer comes to this new venture with longtime friend, and now business partner, Caryl Cochran.

Alibi V.20 No.28 • July 14-20, 2011

¡México Tiempo!

Four men fling themselves off of a 30-meter pole and swing around and around, tethered to the top by ropes. A fifth performer balances on the end of the pole, dancing on one foot and playing the flute. These are Los Voladores, or the flying men of Veracruz. Their thousand-year-old ritual is just part of the ¡Viva México! this weekend at Rancho de las Golondrinas.

feature

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

Human and canine exterminators fight nationwide wave of pests

The unmarked white building on Candelaria holds one bed and two dressers but no personal belongings suggesting a home. It's eerily devoid of picture frames, stuffed animals and clothes. A cooler sits on the beige tile floor, and Patriot Pest Control's newest employee bounds into the room to check it out. Captain Dale, the bedbug-detection dog, has one thing on his mind.

Creepy Crawlies

Author Amy Stewart on the lifestyles of the gross and deadly

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

The X-terminator Files

Bedbugs hide in crevices and cracks until they venture out for a snack. Detection and eradication can be tricky because these little critters are hard to locate. David Erik Swanson from Patriot Pest Control just got a bedbug detection dog to ease the process (see “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), but he says some infestations have been so bad he didn't need help finding them.

Ancient Flying Luck Machines: The Dragonfly Festival is neither creepy nor gross

Dragonflies are thought to be good luck, symbols of happiness and springtime. But they have a sinister side, too, with nicknames of “eye-snatcher” or the “devil’s darning needle.” These winged beauties have had millions of years to develop their reputations on planet Earth. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is once again unveiling their secrets at the Dragonfly Festival, buzzing with “discovery stations” where patrons can learn to identify species by color, size and wing color.

music

The Slow Poisoner

The archetypal journey of a one-man band

After realizing that working in a band was not conducive to his lifestyle, Andrew Goldfarb crossed the threshold into performing solo, fingering a guitar with his hands and beating drums with his feet. He underwent a metamorphosis, inventing a new personality—a traveling snake oil pusher, or tent-city preacher, or possibly a whacked-out Vodou mambo. One thing’s sure: The essence of all of these characters is present in his music.

Jennifer Robin

This bird can sing

Growing up on Lower Ranchitos Road in Taos, Jennifer Robin had a poster of Paul McCartney hanging in her bedroom closet. This month, with the release of her new recording, The Bird and the Beatles, the jazzy, folky singer/songwriter is bringing her Beatles love affair out of the closet and onto center stage.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from Colourmusic’s Colin Fleishacker

Colourmusic is a Stillwater, Okla.-based indie/neo-pscych/sex rock four piece. The band’s concept is based on the Newtonian theory that colors correlate with musical notes. On Wednesday, July 20, it brings its multihued performance to the Launchpad. Royal Bangs and The Great Depression open the 21-and-over show at 9 p.m. Eight ducats admits people into the venue. We asked Colourmusic bassist Colin Fleishacker to take his iPod for a spin and see what random items appeared. Below are the results.

Flyer on the Wall

Nice symmetry and use of clip art here. Beloved local Southwest funk rock five-piece La Junta plays at Monte Vista Fire Station (3201 Central NE) in Nob Hill on Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. The 21-and-over show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

food

Hearty Flavors From a Handful of Seeds

Cooking with whole grains

I came late to whole grains—being brought up eating white rice at every meal. With the possible exception of rolled oats, most of the grains I encountered were hulled, bleached, sweetened and renutritionized before they hit my plate.

Golden Crown

Adobe carb laboratory gets grow room

The most local salads in town might come from a bakery. An indoor growing operation—lights, fans, reflectors and of course plants—was germinated in the west end of Golden Crown Panadería last April. For the counter staff, it's almost too local for comfort, as the expanding tangle of greens, tomatoes and peppers is growing into their workspace. If you order one of the appropriately named “huge” salads, they find the scissors and start snipping. They also make one of the best loaves of green chile bread on the planet.

news

The Last Shuttle

NASA promises this is not the end of human space travel

The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, marks the end of NASA's 30-year program, which began in 1981 with Columbia. Despite predictions that weather conditions would force a cancellation, an estimated 1 million visitors and 2,000 members of worldwide media looked on with awe.

Heads Up

Making claim to a foul ball is seldom easy

Many of the signatures on Art Duran’s memento belong to players lost to time: Ray Katt and Al Aber, for instance. Four scribbles, however, were done by Baseball Hall of Famers: Leo Durocher, Bob Lemon, Al Lopez and Monte Irvin. What is most important to Duran, 77, is that he gained this souvenir during a game, not at some memorabilia show or off eBay.

Kaaa-ching

Holding back the tide of big money in New Mexico politics

Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seem hell-bent on dismantling campaign finance laws designed to prevent the wholesale buy-off of the American democratic process. The judges’ efforts are based on an eccentric interpretation of the First Amendment that could only be concocted by a bunch of insulated eggheads who are completely out of touch with political reality.

film

Horrible Bosses

Fear of unemployment stokes conventionally crude comedy

In Horrible Bosses, three put-upon workers conspire to bump off one another’s evil employers. Yes, it’s a variation on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train, but it’s such a venerable framework upon which to hang a story that the familiarity of the tale only adds to the fun. Besides, we haven’t seen a blackly comic reiteration of this magnitude since 1987’s Throw Momma from the Train.

Trial Separation

Life in a post-Casey Anthony world

In Florida, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty for the murder of her daughter, little Caylee Anthony, whose body was found dumped in the woods in 2008. Days after the jury’s decision, the mainstream media was still devoting round-the-clock coverage to the case. Some networks didn’t even cut away to the launch of the final space shuttle, in the same state as the courtroom—so engrossed were correspondents in analyzing quotes from an anonymous alternate juror.

Reel World

The Albuquerque Film Festival is looking for a commercial, and it wants you to pitch in and make the thing. It’s called “The Hip, Cool, Funny, Strange, Social Change Challenge”—which is really unwieldy, but definitely shows how “hip” and “cool” the festival is. Also this week are calls for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and the news that Third Star films has completed production on “Plush,” a horror short starring several local actors.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

Street Smarts

How to make a shiv, er, rent an apartment

Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma seems geared toward people headed for careers devoted to the pursuit of lots of money. If you’ve chosen this lot, then you have already made your pact with the dark lord. And so the title is somewhat misleading. The phrase “street smarts” invokes things like how to fashion a crude weapon out of a lunch tray while in county lockup, or how to win at three-card monte, not how to rent an apartment or invest in real estate.

Bike Time!

Kaleidospoke is an art exhibition project with many, um, spokes meant to foster awareness and love of cycling. Organizers are pushing bike culture through visual art, talks and a film showcase, all at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The nearly two month exhibit begins with an opening gala this Friday.

Gronk Time!

[photo]You have the chance to see internationally renowned artist Gronk making his magic this summer. In fact, you can walk right up, stare at him and bug him with questions while he works—he won’t mind. Gronk (aka Glugio Nicandro) is known for his paintings and performance art, as well as a penchant for creating in front of an audience. He’ll paint a site-specific mural July 19 through 31 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

TED Time!

Ideas worth spreading. This is the mission of the nonprofit organization TED, which works toward changing attitudes, lives and the world. It began with two annual conferences where some of the world’s greatest innovators and insight-givers were challenged to give the best talk they could in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are regularly posted online for everyone to watch, share and love.