Swampy survival tale serves up a gumbo of the real and the fantastical
By Devin D. O’Leary
Riding high on a wave of film fest bonhomie (it snagged the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and four awards at this years’ Cannes), Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of those wildly creative, fiercely independent, proudly idiosyncratic films that will be regarded as little more than a curiosity in the harsh light of the American cineplex. That’s a shame, really.
Southwest farms bite the dust as “megadrought” becomes the new normal
By Ari LeVaux
In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Ariz., a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn't used his tractor in two years, he told me, and he’s cooking instead of farming because "there isn't any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said.
Gov. Susana Martinez is not being held accountable for much of what has happened on her watch. Until reporters begin to dig into the consequences of her policy initiatives, the public will continue to hold her in high regard.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, held power in Mexico from 1929 to 2000, using strategies of intimidation, corruption and outright voter fraud to maintain its position as the country's leader. After the opposition party PAN took the presidency in 2000, the PRI became known as "the dinosaurs," representing the antiquated, undemocratic system of the past.
Television has a long history of hanging out in neighborhood bars. Those watering holes have ranged from the cheerful (“Cheers”) to the skeevy (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”). TBS’ newest workplace sitcom, “Sullivan & Son,” plops us down somewhere in the middle.
An incredible 53 teams of hardworking filmmakers spent the weekend running around Albuquerque feverishly trying to complete their short films for the annual 48 Hour Film Project. It’s all over now but the crying.
Baritone sax player and Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member Roger Lewis has made a 35-year career out of making the New Orleans brass band tradition vibrate at a different level. His group brought club music—bebop, swing and blues, that is—to streets previously filled with repertoires of hymns and proto-jazz, essentially modernizing the brass band.
Partake in dark, synthesized rock action with Mrdrbrd, Witchbird, Between the Lines and Geophage at Boro Gallery (Downtown at 317 Gold SW) on Friday, July 20. Admission is by donation. Festivities begin around 7:43 p.m. (JCC)
The walls ooze with sex, bleeding hearts, birds of prey, snakes and skulls. This is the patchwork visual assemblage—comprised of more than 150 pieces by 20-plus artists—that's transformed Downtown's Boro Gallery into a mind-bending hall of tattoo culture.
Desert Rose’s Durang series struggles to pin down a prickly playwright
By Leigh Hile
There are certain playwrights whose brilliance is transcendent. When it comes to staging one of their plays, the selection, venue or even language doesn’t matter. Factors like the director, artistry of the set design or budget size—these may change or even heighten the experience, but no matter the circumstances, the power of the play will shine through. Christopher Durang is not one of these playwrights.
Denver is a big city with the easy-going personality of the mountain states. While it’s not much bigger than Albuquerque in square miles, it’s denser in population and infrastructure. The city is a warren of neighborhoods with names like Capitol Hill, LoDo and Cherry Creek, and I’ve watched them mature over 30-odd years of visiting friends and relatives there.
A major question that locavores have yet to answer satisfactorily, according to the book The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet: "If our modern food system is so bad for us, why do we now enjoy dramatically longer and healthier lives than our ancestors?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”