A round of applause, please, for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which had the intelligence and good taste to award violinist Regina Carter a MacArthur Fellowship (aka “Genius Grant”). Carter used part of that substantial and unexpected windfall—the grant pays out $500,000 over five years—to fund a project that had been steeping in her imagination for years: a world music album.
SouthWest Rural Theatre Project ain’t afraid of small-town drama
By Leigh Hile
When Leslie Joy Coleman was an undergrad at New Mexico Highlands University, she had an experience that forever changed her understanding of theatergoing. Her professor arranged for buses to bring students from outlying schools to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. “The show was supposed to start in the dark, and the light cue would come on one of the first lines,” Coleman says. “So here we go, we’re going to start the show. Down come the house lights, and as soon as it goes completely dark, all the kids start hootin’ and hollerin’. We tried to start, but you couldn’t hear the first lines over the noise. And standing there in the dark, I thought to myself, They’ve never been exposed to this, so they don’t know.” That's when Coleman, who grew up north of Las Vegas, N.M., realized how little experience rural communities can have with theater.
A food truck, like a restaurant, is a logical vehicle for a farmer to add value to his or her product. It seems like an obvious idea, but until the Skarsgard Farms’ Harvest Truck got on the road, no area farms had stepped up to that plate. Now a month into this endeavor, farm/truck owner Monte Skarsgard has a contract with UNM to sell food at the Duck Pond five days a week starting in August. He says he already has plans for a fleet of trucks.
Middle Eastern farce finds inventive, if unrealistic, solution to religious strife
By Devin D. O’Leary
Somewhere, in the rocky wilds of Lebanon, lies a tiny village so isolated from neighboring communities that the residents can barely keep up on the latest trends. Cell phones don’t exist there. Reception on the village’s sole television set is spotty at best. Newspapers are a luxury item. Why, these folks aren’t even aware that Muslims and Christians are supposed to hate each other to death.
In less than a week, Albuquerque viewers will be able to satisfy their jones for the fifth and final season of “Breaking Bad.” This season’s final 16-episode story arc (which begins airing on July 15) promises to bring the dramatic story of high-school-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White to its final (perhaps fatal?) conclusion. But a certain percentage of viewers here and across the nation will be missing out on this season.
Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. are hosting a special, one-night-only event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the musical comedy classic Singin’ in the Rain. In addition to the digitally remastered film, there will be some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and a making-of featurette hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne. The event takes place Thursday, July 12, at 2 and 7 p.m. at Century 14 Downtown and Century Rio, and at 7 p.m. at Cottonwood 16. Tickets are available through Fathom Events.
It's not official, but the zombie apocalypse is upon us. Face eating is rampant. It's only a matter of time before full bodies are consumed. Since we're all gonna die, so just pass the Four Loko already and listen to Millionaires.
Never believe those who say nothing good is happening musically in Albuquerque. They have given up. Small venues and performance spaces abound, vibrating with strange sounds for a few hours nearly every day. For months, touring and local musicians have performed in a small room in the back of a house Downtown. The unassuming Moldspores has been consistently curating lineups with a loose thematic connection. With no pressure to churn out shows like a sonic grist mill, Moldspores events deliver experimental, exciting and irregular performances.
Major changes loom for the developmentally disabled
By Margaret Wright
Even after Jenna Montoya was placed in one of the state's most high-needs categories, her mom says she’s concerned that alterations in the waiver program on Oct. 1 will mean big cuts to the therapy her daughter receives.
Ex-guv is ready to throw down with the donkeys and elephants
By Marisa Demarco
Gary Johnson changed his party affiliation and became the Libertarian presidential candidate in May. He needs to poll at 15 percent to get into the televised debates between ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama. The Libertarian candidate for president spoke with the Alibi about how his new party is working out, his opinion of Gov. Susana Martinez and what minimal government really means.
Wild Nothing is a one-man project of Brooklynite and Williamsburg, Va. native Jack Tatum. His music unapologetically harkens the twinkling melancholy of ’80s Britpop song and production qualities. In advance of a show at the Sunshine with Beach House, Tatum spoke with the Alibi about past, present and the definition of pop.
It’s the child of country and Western and rhythm and blues, the hell-raising brother of rock and roll. Rockabilly roared into its own in the mid-’50s. Its rise was propelled by Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and his work with Elvis, which essentially repackaged a black sound for a white audience. Sixty years later, outfits here in Albuquerque keep that music alive—the acoustic slap bass, the electric guitar twang and the big, jumping beat.
Read about this five-way festo in the Club Calendar write up. Why the dualism? Because this flyer, and another flyer for the show, were the only good ones submitted this week. Nice work, noise people; I hope everyone fully enjoys that which you’ve promoted so artfully. Make more poster art, everyone else. (JCC)
On a steep Nob Hill side street behind Imbibe is a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen, clad mostly in stainless steel. It’s called The Last Call, or TLC, and its proximity to Albuquerque’s nightlife weighs heavily on the short, funky menu. There are pickup lines attached to the taco dishes, each of which contain three tacos, or “threesomes.” The slider plate promises a “couple.”
Woody Allen’s having a wonderful time in Italy, but you’ll wish you weren’t there
By Devin D. O’Leary
Prior to 2005, when he was a strictly New York kind of guy, Woody Allen’s batting average was quite high. From 1969’s Take the Money and Run to 1987’s Radio Days, Allen pumped out an unbroken string of classic films (1987’s September was his first seriously meh effort). Even figuring in misses like 1998’s Celebrity and 2003’s Anything Else, you could put him at about a .750—pretty high for a guy who’s put out at least one movie a year since 1969.
TNT is assuring viewers that its new crime-solving series is “unique.” And by “unique,” they mean “more or less identical to every other quirky, offbeat, crazy-but-brilliant amateur detective on TV.” Familiarity, however, isn’t a crime—certainly not on network TV—and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that “Perception” will score solid ratings for TNT.
With a national election looming, 2012 is a major political year. Director/co-producer Kevin J. Williams and his wife/co-producer Tamara are tapping into that zeitgeist with their independent documentary Fear of a Black Republican. The film explores why there are so few black Republicans and features interviews with such luminaries as former chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, scholar Cornel West and commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin. The film will screen locally on Saturday, July 7, starting at 7 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center (310 San Pedro NE, in Expo New Mexico). The married filmmakers will be on hand for a post-film Q & A. Admission is “pay what you can.”
Landmark Musicals animates Independence Day with song and dance
By Leigh Hile
It takes a special kind of nerd to appreciate the joy that is 1776. One must be equal parts musical-theater geek, history buff and lover of all things patently silly. If you’re the type that gets a kick out of seeing the Founding Fathers dancing around in funny wigs and singing whimsical songs about the Declaration of Independence, 1776 is a great pleasure.
Río de Lágrimas links imperialism, La Llorona and Juárez slayings
By Leigh Hile
[photo]For 20 years, the stories of women and girls killed in Ciudad Juárez have been silenced in their own country and largely ignored by the world. A wave of roughly 60 femicides in 2012 is receiving even less media attention as the untold number of deaths continues to grow. In Río de Lágrimas (River of Tears), a multilingual music and storytelling performance at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the women of Albuquerque-based collective Las Meganenas nobly attempt to tell the victims’ stories.
The next generation of LGBTQ activists comes of age
By Margaret Wright
It’s a hot Sunday afternoon, and east Nob Hill feels drowsy and quiet—with one exception. The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, on Silver just south of Central, buzzes with energy. A speech therapist counsels male-to-female transgender youth on how to practice raising the tones of their voices. Two visitors stop by to browse free clothes available in the center’s brimming walk-in closet. A parent volunteer shows a guest around the rooms, pointing out the computer lab and the small lending library.
Jill-Michele Meleán got started on her career path by humping her grandmother. "She would yell at me," says Meleán. "So I'd just start dry-humping her leg and then she'd start laughing. So I just kind of made the connection that if I make people laugh, they'll leave me alone.” At the tender age of 2, she picked up a lifelong habit of dealing with things through comedy.
Thirty years later, she's an acclaimed stand-up comic and established Hollywood actress. Her credits include roles as a cast member on "MADtv” as well as a recurring character on "Reno 911!" She's also a headliner on The Latin Comedy Jam, a touring act that hits the Kiva Auditorium on Saturday, June 30.
Scientifically proven not to make them go, “Eeeeew.”
By Ari LeVaux
Kale is succeeding where spinach and other green things have consistently failed: getting swallowed by children. The key is to bake the kale into crispy chips. In a series of taste tests conducted in Montana, it was determined that kids will eagerly turn their mouths green with extra helpings.
I’ve wanted to visit Silver City since a serious foodie told me about Rob Connoley and the Curious Kumquat two years ago. The nearly six-hour drive—if you turn west from I-25 onto Highway 152 through Hillsboro—is a swath of New Mexico wilderness brimming with hawk sightings, spectacular rises and valleys, and an overlook of the Santa Rita copper mine east of town.
In the glow of wildfires, officials stare down the Fourth of July
By Russell Page
Under state law, no one can ban fireworks completely. Not a city council or county commission, not a mayor or the governor. Not after the largest blaze in New Mexico history or the Bosque’s been charred.
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m David Byrne exploring the fictional Texas town of Virgil in the 1986 art-house classic True Stories. That’s why I made the seven-hour car trip to Marfa, Texas (population: 1,981 in the last census).
Swedish cop walks the beat (literally) in singular musical crime comedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
Pity poor Amadeus Warnebring, born tone-deaf into a family of musical geniuses. His mother is a famous concert pianist, his father is a noted conductor and his little brother’s a musical wunderkind who composed his first concerto at age 12. Unable to play a note, Amadeus became a cop. Never mind that he’s quite good at his job. He’ll always be the artless black sheep of the Warnebring family. That is until a peculiar case lands in his lap—one attuned to his particular skill set. That’s the setup behind Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson’s madly inventive, percussion-heavy crime comedy Sound of Noise.
XIII came to life as a graphic novel series by the Belgian writing/drawing duo of Jean Van Hamme and William Vance. The property is known to a handful of Americans because it was adapted into a first-person shooter video game in 2003. Few who played that cult-fave had any idea of the story’s illustrated origins, however. In 2008, a French-Canadian miniseries (XIII: The Conspiracy starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer) adapted Van Hamme and Vance’s original storyline. That proved successful enough—in Europe, anyway—to inspire a spin-off series in 2011.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how scared are you right now? How would you like to up that number significantly? If you like the thrill of a good haunted house or the adrenaline rush that comes from the sound of a revving chain saw, you need to keep an eye out for the upcoming Dark Matters Film Festival. The festival is a newly formed showcase for horror, dark fantasy and weird science fiction films right here in New Mexico. The showcase is expected to launch in late-April/early-March 2013. Organizers are whetting appetites and quickening pulses, however, with a fundraising teaser event on Saturday, June 30.
If you like your gay on the Rob Halford end of the sonic spectrum, Leeches of Lore, Boar Worship, Fando and Contortionist are here to fill the void of distortion, aggression and medieval/occult imagery. Note that this show isn’t an official part of Pride. It just happens concurrently Downtown at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5. (JCC)