At a conference in Las Vegas, Nev., a few weeks ago, I snuck off to the city’s fabulous Chinatown at every opportunity. Intrigued by all the “tofu houses” I saw, I assumed there were a lot of vegetarians in town. But no, the presence of tofu does not mean the absence of meat. Soon tofu (also spelled soon dubu) is a spicy Korean soup loaded with curdles of extra-silky tofu and meat—and often a raw egg that quickly cooks in the steaming bowl.
Apparently, there is a place in France where the naked ladies dance
What do mental institutions, schools, hospitals, law enforcement, military training, the court system, social security, legislature, public housing, sports, the arts and erotic entertainment have in common? Well, one could reasonably argue that they’re fundamental cultural institutions endemic to nearly every society on Earth. Or you could just say that they’re all subjects that have attracted the attention of prolific documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. Since his notorious (if rarely seen) 1967 documentary Titicut Follies, the law-professor-turned-filmmaker has become America’s most passionately dispassionate observer of basic social constructions.
“Adventure Time” on Cartoon Network
Television is a vast wasteland filled with discarded husks of sitcoms, endless reality shows and the occasional oasis of entertainment. It’s a lot of territory to cover. As a result, I can’t always be there on the ground floor to alert people about the coolest, hippest shows about to premiere. I have, for example, only recently discovered the joy and wonder that is Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time.” I’d browsed the occasional episode since its debut in 2010 and found it interesting enough—but I recently hit some sort of critical mass and am now a rabid, proselytizing fan.
The about-to-shoot local indie horror feature Encased is looking to fill a couple of lead roles. First up is “Daisy,” a mid-20s Caucasian female with tattoos and piercings (described as a “Fairuza Balk American History X” look). Next up is “Xavier,” a mid-20s male Japanese rocker, also with tattoos and piercings (described as a “Gackt” look for you J-pop fans out there). Both roles are paid and will be covered under SAG ultra-low contracts. If you think you fit the bill, send a résumé and headshots to firstname.lastname@example.org. According to the producers, SkyeView Productions, Encased will be a horror/slasher film about four college students battling an ancient Japanese demon trapped in an old video game. The film will begin production in the summer and is expected to release Halloween 2013. The film will employ approximately 35 New Mexican crew members along with 16 principal roles. In the meantime, you can scope out the film’s Facebook page.
The Week in Sloth
Border Patrol separates people from their survival tools
Although only around for a year and a half in its original 1964 permutation, The Skatalites is an institution. Its musicians formed the backbone of ska, as well as offshoots rocksteady and reggae, and developed many of the playing styles associated with the genres.
Ten-year Burque resident and human resourcer David Duncan is the owner of this fine antique music device. Via e-communique he discusses stereo equipment and century-old recordings.
Teens awarded for merging DIY with high design
A typical art publication made by teenagers comes off a Xerox machine, is bound by a Swingline and has an alternating blank page for every page of off-toned black and white print. When Amy Biehl High School students Mikala Sterling and Sofia Resnik took an elective class freshman year, their teachers encouraged them to aim for a more professional and focused aesthetic.
At 40 years young, First Choice’s network of community clinics is in tip-top shape
Symposium spotlights Nuevo Mexicano composers
Susan Abod honors Anita O'Day
Vocalist and songwriter Susan Abod has been working hard on her upcoming Anita O’Day tribute concert, but her commitment goes only so far. She’s immersed herself in O’Day’s recordings and videos, read her autobiography, been rehearsing the material night and day, and even gone in search of a wide-brimmed hat and white gloves to recall the singer’s iconic appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. She has, however, steadfastly refused to tour the country in dance marathons, marry her drummer, have her uvula excised by a sloppy surgeon, or explore heroine and alcohol addiction—all of which marked the life of O’Day.
A trio of underground hip-hop artists— Sole, Ceschi and Bleubird—stops in Albuquerque to play at Synchro Studios (512 B Yale SE) on Saturday, March 24. Locals Summon and Sapience Christ & Omen20012 open the show starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $7. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Soap rendered useless in Ben Marcus' apocalyptic tale
It makes sense to showcase an exhibit on artistic and religious preservation in a state steeped so historically in those traditions. And since that exhibit involves work that took 13 years to complete—and is rooted in an order that's been synonymous with preservation for more than a millennia—it’s fitting that the minds behind that display would extend its run.
Turning chewy, cheap cuts into lusciously flavorful food
Coffee and red wine are two of my favorite beverages to drink with meat. Given how much braising I do, it was only a matter of time until I tried braising meat in a mixture of coffee and wine. The results are exceptional: a browned, flavorful exterior and spoon-tender, succulent interior.
Company makes overtures to a leery neighborhood
Protesters being beaten in the Middle East. North Koreans fleeing across the Demilitarized Zone. That’s what we think of when we envision a “police state.” But the world’s largest police state that suppresses freedom of speech is the country we call home.
Seems this sexy, sci-fi drama forgot something
First, humankind loses its sense of smell. The disease comes like a tidal wave, sweeping across the globe but without any known point of origin. Perhaps it’s a pathogen that’s caused this pandemic anosmia, released by terrorists or by a Darwinian mutation. Perhaps it’s a sign of some cosmic expiration date. Whatever the strange phenomenon, the people it’s disabling can’t figure it out, and all the unaffected can do is wait their turns.
Apparently, all-knowing elderly black people (sorry, Morgan Freeman) have gone the way of wisecracking over-muscled cops (sorry, Arnold Schwarzenegger) and crazy bearded prospectors (sorry, Gabby Hayes). Hollywood’s favorite manufactured stereotype is now, officially, the super-powered autistic kid.
Just in time for the film’s 20th anniversary and ... something else I can’t seem to recall, Fathom Events and Warner Bros. are presenting a special, one-night-only screening of The Bodyguard. On Wednesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m., more than 400 theaters nationwide will screen the 1992 romantic drama starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. (... Oh, right.) If you’re interested in re-experiencing the soundtrack-selling classic, Rio 24, Downtown 14 and Cottonwood 16 will be participating here in Albuquerque. Get your advanced tickets online now.
The Week in Sloth
Tribe takes on hipster clothing chain
The tale of the once-mighty Colorado waterway, part of Tuesday’s Banff Mountain Film Festival tour stop
In a sense, photographer Pete McBride has been preparing to make Chasing Water all his life. Raised on a cattle ranch in central Colorado, he grew up working hay fields irrigated by snowmelt that carved the Grand Canyon and slaked the thirst of the Southwest. “I often used to think about water,” says McBride in the film. “I wondered how much went into our fields and how much returned to the creek ... I wondered how long it would take irrigation water to reach the sea.” Later, as a photographer for National Geographic, Outside and Men’s Journal, McBride traveled to some of the world’s most exotic locales—often, as it happened, shooting stories that related in some way to water.
in- high- school comedy fails at nostalgia
Despite ample evidence arguing against jokey big-screen remakes of campy old crime fighting TV shows (Dragnet, The Avengers, Wild Wild West, I Spy, The Mod Squad, Starsky & Hutch, Get Smart, The A-Team), Hollywood continues to plunder the ancient airwaves for cinematic inspiration. The latest show to get swept up in the remake/reboot wave is the old FOX stalwart “21 Jump Street.”
“Community” on NBC (and Hulu)
NBC is heavily invested in the movie/TV download website Hulu.com. (You could probably tell by all the commercials airing on NBC.) The company is a joint venture of NBCUniversal Media, Fox Entertainment Group and Disney-ABC Television Group. The service has yet to bite the bullet that rival Netflix did and start producing whole seasons’ worth of original TV series. (See last week’s Idiot Box review of “Lilyhammer” for comparison.) But Hulu is doing its damnedest to plug the current TV shows of its corporate overlords. And that isn’t always a bad thing.
Because he wants to show off the brand-new silver screen at the historic KiMo Theatre, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry is inviting everyone to a free screening of the 2000 Western All the Pretty Horses. It’ll take place on Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Director Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) filmed this modern tale of romance and betrayal right here in New Mexico. It’s based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy and stars Matt Damon, Penélope Cruz and Henry Thomas.
The Week in Sloth
Get the feeling with César Bauvallet and Jackie Zamora
Vocalists César Bauvallet and Jackie Zamora want to be clear about this: They will not be held responsible for any child conceived on the evening of their Cuban boleros concert by anyone in the audience. Fair warning.
Ken Cornell is an audio tech who’s been running sound for bands famous and unknown for more than 16 years. He’s also a musician who plays in multiple acts—Tripping Dogs, Diverje, Cranial Smash Device—along with noise/improvisation projects Alchemical Burn, The Handmaidens and Death Convention Singers. See Cornell perform with The Handmaidens and Alchemical Burn on Saturday, March 17, at Synchro Studios (512-B Yale SE). The all-ages show is $5 and begins at 9 p.m. Basement Babies, Grenadrian and Cinik also play. Peer into this omnipotent local music purveyor’s aural library via the random tracks below.
Performance art, music, dance and food collide in a veiled event at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Saturday, March 17, from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Free, 18-and-over.
UNM’s Eurydice is an otherworldly, fiendish delight
attorney- turned- writer does justice to the system in Guilt
Looking up from a drink in a dark bar the other night, I was confronted by a group of aging Hungarian men clad in Speedos and gold jewelry. One had his arms crossed over his bare chest and looked like a mob boss interrogating a rat, right before the rat gets whacked and his body is chopped into small bits. I would have been scared shitless had I not been looking at a photograph.
Sandwiches with a slow food ethos
Restaurants that advertise their use of local ingredients are becoming more commonplace. But for whatever reason, they rarely seem to appear in strip malls near major freeway exchanges. Bliss Sandwich Spot-N-More stands alone in that regard (it’s one of the storefronts at The Pavilions at San Mateo, right off of I-40) and in many other ways, most of them charming.