You’re led into a dark room shrouded in black curtains and paved with AstroTurf. The sparkly green lawn is also tacked to the ceiling, which begs the question of whether you’re right-side up. The answer is that maybe you are, but you’re about to be shuffled around.
Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! This is your chance to feast upon nearly 100 lip-smacking categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by voracious Alibi readers just like you. Your Best of Burque votes reward local businesses with hard-earned recognition. As long as you keep eating and voting, we'll be able to amass these indispensable guides to the best food our city has to offer. Dig in!
Grab a bunch of poets, actors, dancers, musicians, professors and comedians. Assign them a topic. Set them loose on a single stage. Those are the basics of Albuquerque's Encyclopedia Show, one in a network of affiliated variety acts around the world. Add that it only happens once every two months and costs a measly $5, and you’ve got your plans for Friday, Oct. 7.
Few people know as many folks in this arts community as Summer Olsson. If you are one of those acquaintances, colleagues or Tap Room stool mates, you may have heard that she’s moved on after a great stint as arts editor at the Alibi.
Farms are ecosystems, and ecosystems gain stability through diversity. Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center has taken this concept to a new level—including local dinners that are an artisan, indulgent experience.
The protest began at the U.S. Bank across from the mini APD substation in Nob Hill, but after police cars blocked the road, marchers decided to move so they would be more visible. Officers followed the demonstrators as they walked east from Dartmouth and blocked off every intersection they came to.
Cynical political drama digs the dirt on our electoral system
By Devin D. O’Leary
We live, arguably, in the most contentious of political times. ... Granted, things were probably pretty argumentative up on Capitol Hill during the Civil War—but America didn’t have 24-hour cable news channels, the blogosphere and talk radio back in the 1860s, so the volume was considerably lower. Today, it’s turned up to 11, with Republicans and Democrats seemingly unable to agree on whether puppies and kitties are cute. (And subsequently, having every pundit in the nation turning “puppygate” into the next major scandal.) By all indications, the American public is getting pretty tired of it. As a result, right now doesn’t seem like the most advantageous time to release a film as heavily political as The Ides of March.
Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival comes back with a bang
By Devin D. O’Leary
Speaking from his overburdened office less than a week before the start of the Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, festival director Roberto Appicciafoco sounds weary but enthusiastic. He admits that ticket sales for this year have “kind of blown up.” That’s an understatement. According to Appicciafoco, online sales have jumped some 500 percent from this time last year. That’s ample evidence to suspect many of the festival’s film screenings will sell out and the multitude of parties (including a brand-new opening night soiree at Bailey’s on the Beach) will be packed with happy celebrants.
You’ve heard the bad news. We aren’t going to get any new “Mad Men” episodes until next year. While the Emmy-gobbling hit sits it out for a spell, NBC and ABC are kindly stepping into the gap, providing two shows that capture the same, sexy, suave, swingin’ ’60s vibe. NBC has got the nightclub drama “The Playboy Club.” And ABC has got the airline stewardess drama “Pan Am.”
New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts is joining forces with NMedia (the newly formed New Mexico Entertainment and Digital Industry Association) for a two-day summit designed to hash out various legal and business issues related to the film industry here in New Mexico. Six special lectures and two large panel discussions will run Oct. 6 and 7 at Santa Fe’s Zane Bennett Contemporary Art (435 South Guadalupe). On Thursday, for example, a distinguished panel of film industry professionals will head the “Issues in Indie Film and Film Festivals Panel: Social and Economic Impact of Film Festivals and Film on a Community.” (Yeah, it sounds like a lawyer wrote that title.) Award-winning underground auteur Jon Moritsugu (Scumrock, Fame Whore, Terminal USA), Jacques Paisner (founder of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival), Rich Henrich (founder of the Albuquerque Film Festival) and Frank Regano (International New Media Festival) will join representatives from the Santa Fe Film Festival, Closet Cinema and the New Mexico Department of Tourism. Evening panels at the Legal and Business Issues in Film Summit are free to the public, daytime lectures (covering topics like music copyrights and film financing) are $10. Click on the NM Lawyers for the Arts web site to RSVP (or just learn more of what’s going on).
Trumpeter/ukulelist/singer Zach Condon, native Santa Fean and frontman for Beirut, has garnered a world of attention for music that draws heavily on his serial “flirtations,” as he calls them, with various genres. French chanson, Balkan brass, Mexican church bands, electronica—each has provided the inspiration and stylistic setting for a Beirut album.
The constants in those recordings, though, are Condon’s love affair with melody and his ear for the right sound in the right place. For the latest Beirut release, The Rip Tide, Condon focused on those elements, hoping to distill his own sound from the multigenre cocktail. He’s succeeded in creating his most personal and arguably his most beautiful and mature work to date.
The mountains are to the east, and there’s a tram to the top of them. Spanish is spoken, tamales are eaten, potholes are plentiful. Albuquerque’s Le Chat Lunatique felt right at home in Bogotá. The gypsy jazz band made its first, but likely not its last, visit to Colombia in early September to take part in the 23rd Festival Internacional de Jazz del Teatro Libre.
Brad Charles wants you to know there's more to rez music than metal. Charles and his partner, Hansen Ashley, make up the Navajo Nation-based post-punk duo Discotays. Dissatisfied with performance opportunities on the reservation for indie and electronic music, Charles organized a showcase to coincide with the 100th annual Northern Navajo Nation Fair.
The breakfast burritos are warm. The air is crisp. And the coffee is strong enough to keep everyone awake for the Dawn Patrol. Saturday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 9, hot-air balloon pilots will take to the skies for Albuquerque's most iconic event.
Park Van Tassell and Sid Cutter aren’t household names to most of us. But to the ballooning community they ring bells like, say, DiMaggio and Jordan. With the 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Festival on the horizon, two books tell how these figures helped develop ballooning in the Duke City—along with insider views into the mechanics, history and evolution of this wildly popular event.
Forty years after Sid Cutter founded the Balloon Fiesta, 555 balloons will grace the sky in his honor. This year's event is dedicated to Cutter, 77, who died in May from stomach cancer, and includes airborne tributes to the Albuquerque balloonist who started it all.
Tearjerking bromance asks, “Can you make a chick flick for dudes?”
By Devin D. O’Leary
At some point in their career, even the wackiest of comedians feel the urge to wring laughs from the least funny, most sentimental of situations. Adam Sandler dabbled in it with Funny People, playing a standup comedian with a terminal blood disease. Robin Williams, on the other hand, has wallowed in the maudlin so many times (Patch Adams, et al), he’s like a pig in mud. Most infamously of all, slapstick king Jerry Lewis wrote, directed and starred in a film so tonally at odds with itself (1972’s The Day the Clown Cried, about a circus clown at a Nazi death camp) that it’s never even seen the light of day.
CBS does two things well: police procedurals and crappy sitcoms. Long after our civilization dies off, aliens will arrive to find cockroaches and reruns of “CSI” and “Two and a Half Men.” So it’s no surprise to see CBS’ fall season crammed with more crime shows and sitcoms. But there’s at least one standout so far—the Jonathan Nolan-created action series “Person Of Interest.”
In 1990, the annual number of murders in Juárez was in the double digits. Last year, it topped 3,000. It’s statistics like those that catch Charlie Minn’s eye. Minn used to be a sportscaster in Albuquerque, but in recent years he’s become known as a crusading documentary filmmaker. His 2010 film A Nightmare in Las Cruces, about a notoriously unsolved multiple murder in Southern New Mexico, was just released on DVD by Lionsgate. His follow-up film, the controversial 8 Murders a Day, has played in 17 cities so far and will open at the Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema on Friday, Sept. 30. Expanded screenings at the Starlight Cinema in Las Lunas and the Regal Winrock are tentatively set for Oct. 14.
Georgia has nothing on New Mexico peaches. Even as we near the end of the season, local growers are still offering large and succulent globes of juicy, dripping perfection. Whatever peaches are left after my daily snacks will go into quick desserts such as cobbler or—my favorite—peach upside-down cake. Here’s the recipe.
Frank Hoier and Moselle Spiller may be the cutest couple in rock and roll—but that's not why you should see Boom Chick play live. The onomatopoetically named Brooklyn duo melds lo-fi electric blues and rockabilly, accented by surf reverb and frenetic punk. Synthesized in jam sessions and loft parties, Boom Chick's multigenred sonic amalgam sets heads bobbing and asses shaking.
Except for in your own mind, you don’t have to be an expert on anything to create a zine. Journalistic objectivity is a myth. Everything you think, do or say is colored by what you’ve heard and seen all your life.
Burque reggae rock band Mondo Vibrations will be unveiling its debut album, Dazed, at the Launchpad On Friday, Sept. 30. In anticipation of the party, we asked lead singer and guitarist Kenny Cernius to share five tracks selected randomly by his MP3 player.
You don’t need an agent to say you’re OK. You don’t require a publishing house to distribute your work. You can tell your stories, share your drawings and project your rants all over town, as easily as one, two, three. (Copy, fold, staple.) There is no one who can censor you, no genre that can hold you. This is the creative and hyper-DIY attitude of dozens of local zinesters—and counting—who are coming out of the woodwork to share their talents at the inaugural ABQ Zine Fest.
A four-decade retrospective on display at Exhibit/208 shows Bruce Lowney’s range as a master of the tri-tone lithograph. Collected Works charts his evolution as a printer and visual poet, while making space for his equally impressive large-scale oil works.
As the city plays a game of red light, green light with intersection cameras, voters will have their say during the Tuesday, Oct. 4 elections. Public opinion will be taken into account, but in the end the fate of the red-light cameras rests with the City Council. The vote will be considered “advisory,” yet councilors will be hard-pressed to ignore your advice.
There’s a hopelessness floating around Albuquerque. Our wallets are slim. That’s part of it. As a result, citizens might not turn out to the vote centers in 2011. Seats could change hands over a few scores of ballots cast by those who still believe. Let’s hope that red-light camera issue draws people to polling locations on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The clerk’s making it easy this year, too. We can vote at any of 49 spots around the city. Check out our endorsement guide, complete with council recommendations, a breakdown of proposed bonds and a clip-n-save cheat sheet, all below.
Councilor Debbie O'Malley, who's running unopposed this year, says the relationship between Democratic councilors and the mayor has grown increasingly strained. "The ideology starts to take over. We started seeing this first with the immigration issue." When the Council tried to get the city's budget together, the partisan divide became clear. "The budget was it. That was like, Yeah, there are Republicans and Democrats on that Council."
It's fair to say that challenger Bill Tallman has experience in city government. Stretching back decades, he's worked for various administrations around the country, typically for cities smaller than ours. But it's also fair to say Tallman doesn't know much about Albuquerque. That’s just part of why the Alibi was swayed to endorse incumbent Brad Winter.
You've got to hear unopposed incumbent Rey Garduño talk about the International District. Most of the editorial staffers at the Alibi have had a hard time adjusting to the term that replaced the War Zone. The new name went on like a glossy coat of paint on a busted fence—or so we thought. By the end of our endorsement interview with the councilor, we were sold.
In one corner, we've got Trudy Jones, a friendly, knowledgeable councilor with few accolades and a problematic position on APD. In the other, there's Greg Payne, a lively contender who says the Council has to do more to get in front of this police-shooting issue. He's got political experience, too. But it's not all good experience.
General obligation bonds are debt the city takes on and promises to pay back with interest. These bonds are paid with property taxes, and typically, new ones are issued when old ones are paid off. That way, property taxes don’t increase.
The City Clerk’s Office is changing it up this year. You can vote at any of 49 centers throughout the city instead of being required to vote at one predetermined location on election day. (Two were yet to be announced at press time. Check cabq.gov/clerk for updates and an interactive map.) Pick the place that’s most convenient for you and head on over between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
French comic book artist pays cinematic tribute to a life lasciviously lived
By Devin D. O’Leary
Oh-so-French icon-cum-iconoclast Serge Gainsbourg finally gets the biopic he so richly deserves courtesy of French comic book artist Joann Sfar. Despite Gainsbourg’s legendary status in his native France, his celluloid enshrinement lags behind that of fellow singer Édith Piaf (played by Marion Cotillard in 2007’s La Vie En Rose).
“Up All Night” arrived early in the fall season with some high expectations. It’s created by “Saturday Night Live”/“MADtv” writer Emily Spivey. It stars two highly regarded sitcom vets, Christina Applegate (“Married ... With Children”) and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”). And it features strong support work by beloved “SNL” vet Maya Rudolph. Entertainment Weekly went so far as to preordain it one of the five best new series of fall. If that’s true, it’s gonna be a loooong winter.
Famed filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma) is self-distributing his latest indie effort with a special series of screenings/webcasts this weekend. On Sunday, Sept. 25, the KiMo Theatre will be one of only 50 venues nationwide to feature a screening of Smith’s sarcastic horror thriller Red Statefollowed by a live Q & A webcast with the writer-director himself. The film is described as a politically charged slasher set in Middle America, “where a group of libidinous teens encounters fundamentalists with a sinister agenda.” Also check out Spanish Cinema: Past and Present at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this Thursday at 7 p.m.
First, find yourself a job in the mailroom of a large corporation, one big enough to ensure that no one really knows who you are or what you do. Then launch yourself out of that mailroom with a special blend of hard work, feigned humility and verbal dexterity. Pick up a few skills along the way, like knitting and chanting the fight song for your boss’ alma mater. Don’t forget to stay out of romantic entanglements, even when you’re in love. (Or especially when you’re in love.) Follow these simple rules and you’ll be sitting behind a desk bigger than your bathroom in no time.
Hidden in a nondescript cove on Fourth Street between Central and Gold, the space formerly known as 105 Art Gallery is reopening as Downtown Contemporary. Mixing old and new, this embodiment of the gallery is refreshing its motives and crafting a high-caliber debut with the upcoming concept show ca-thar-sis. Louie Va, who joined 105 directors Stacy Hawkinson and Val Hollingsworth, is heading up producing.
It’s not often that an actor gets to play a legendary leading role like Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. Matt Andrade gets to do it twice—and with the same director, no less. Salomé Martinez directed Andrade more than a decade ago, and they’re teaming up again for Teatro Nuevo México’s production of Streetcar at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW), Sept. 29 and 30, and Oct. 1 and 2.
Sixty-some women from across the globe are at the club this week to compete in the ColemanVision Tennis Championships, a United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit event. By the finals on Sunday, all of them will have confronted the hill.
Mention The Stooges, and Iggy Pop—the brash and charismatic streetwalking cheetah himself—immediately comes to mind. His self-destructive persona (onstage and off) attracted an audience like a crowd of onlookers at a horrific traffic accident. They drifted off when the bleeding stopped and the ambulance pulled away. Those few who appreciated the ferocious music stuck around to see what brothers Scott (drums) and Ron (guitar) Asheton were doing.
I don’t know if it was the sizable strong ales I sampled at Steamworks Brewery in Durango or the sublime fog gathering in the valley, but I could already feel the Brews & Blues Festival building toward a magical, psychedelic climax.
It seems like it was over before it even began! Rock and roll duo the Elevator Boys plays for the last time on Friday, Sept. 23. The show—opened by Great White Buffalo and Joe Cardillo (Scrams singer, performing solo for the first time)—happens at 8 p.m. at The Tan (formerly Normal Gallery, 1415 Fourth Street SW). Admission to this all-ages night of loving and fighting and rocking is $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Elvis is in the house—Chef Elvis Bencomo, that is. With co-owners Monica (Elvis’ wife) and Orlando (his brother), Pasión Latin Fusion serves up dishes found throughout Latin America with Elvis’ own creative flair. The chef has followed his love of cooking through culinary school at CNM, where an assignment turned his life around—fast. In April, his class was told to create a restaurant complete with a menu. Shortly thereafter, the building at Lomas became available. Pasión opened its doors just one month ago. Keep reading for more on this and P’tit Louis’ new Nob Hill location, as well as a gourmet beef sandwich shop in Los Ranchos.
When I want to store large amounts of basil, I don't make pesto. Instead, I prepare a bare-bones mixture of pureed basil, olive oil and salt, which I freeze in jars. If I want to make pesto at a later date I can always add pine nuts, cheese and garlic. But I can't remove those things from pesto if, in the middle of winter, I decide I want homegrown basil in my Thai coconut green curry.