An interview with the Alibi's second Earwig playlist winner
Real Name: Mark Fischer
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Film festivals are, traditionally, rather highbrow affairs. Genre-busting films are debuted, cinematic trends are discussed, famous filmmakers are feted and abstract golden statuettes are handed to various French, Senegalese and Kazakhstani directors. It’s safe to say that the company behind such movies as Blood Sucking Freaks and Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid would not be sponsoring a film festival of that nature. No, TromaDance New Mexico is not your father’s film festival.
Gov. Bill Richardson announced last week the winner of the “New Visions/New Mexico” Contract Awards. Fourteen New Mexico-based film/media projects have received contracts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. This money will be used by the winning producers, directors and writers to start or complete various narrative, documentary, animated and experimental works. In the Documentary category, the winners were Marcos Baca of Albuquerque (The Zia’s Heart); Jimmy Baca of Albuquerque (Rising from the Ashes); Joseph Concha of Taos (Smokey and the Snowballs); Elke Duerr of Albuquerque (Wolves in New Mexico--The Great Divide); Ramona Emerson of Albuquerque (Gambling With Our Future); and Florentina Garnanez of Santa Fe (Yellow Fever). In the Animation category, winners were Catherine Friday of Albuquerque (The Sands of Time) and Kevin Ulrich of Edgewood (The Restoration: Rise of Zerad). In the Narrative category, winners included Jocelyn Jansons of Santa Fe (The Baby Monitor); Riyanka Kumar of Santa Fe (Mercury in Retrograde); Margot Segura of Las Vegas (Lipstick Princess); and Craig Strong of Santa Fe (La Bola Blanca). In the Experimental category, winners were Stephen Ausherman of Albuquerque (Kammer 2.1) and Melissa Henry of Albuquerque (Navajo Wool: As Told By Baa Baa).
One of the first rules of documentary filmmaking is: “Find a great subject.” Scott Galloway and Brent Pierson have certainly done that with their sunny-side up character study A Man Named Pearl.
Your hometown alternative paper has run Tony Millionaire’s “Maakies” comic strip for ... well, a really damn long time. Now, after, like, a freaking decade or something, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim animation block has turned the cult hit comic into a weekly series. Just goes to show you how far ahead of the curve we are here at the Alibi. Or something.
And bring me the passengers--I want them alive! Hit By A Bus, The Big Spank, Sector 5, Seis Pistos and Felonius Groove Foundation have the death sentence on 12 systems. Friday, Nov. 21, at the Launchpad (all-ages, $5). (LM)
For seven years, Jim Ward tinkered with an Americana album.
The guitarist for defunct post-hardcore band At the Drive-In and lead singer of alternative rock outfit Sparta finally saw West Texas get pressed this spring.
Sleepercar is Ward’s very own project. He recruits a band to play on tours and gathers musicians (including his father) to play in the studio. Whether the group lives or dies depends on him. “It’s the band I get to have forever,” Ward explains. “Nobody can start or stop it, except for me.”
I'm starting to notice a pattern: If it's interesting or good, and it’s in New Mexico, it's usually at the end of a dirt road. Whether it's people living on the fringe of society, stunning vineyards or, in this case, fresh pasta, I find myself turning off the pavement to bounce along dusty alleys in search of what's hidden from beaten-path travelers.
My friend Lisa likes to talk about her Italian family's Christmas tradition. Every year her parents prepare a dish called bagna cauda, a hot dip made from olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies. The dip is served like a fondue with accompanying vegetables such as cauliflower and peppers, and occasionally meats.
What could The Downs racetrack become? Santa Fe’s minimum wage will increase to what in January? What might pet stores not be allowed to sell? An education board member wants the Legislature to ...
Lawyer Lisa Simpson is used to seeing the same women work their way through the criminal justice system. “They'd get released, and a month later they'd be back in the jail.” She saw a need—especially in Albuquerque, where programs for women are rare—to provide a way to help women get their lives back on track.
Oh, to live in a progressive paradise.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, pranksters handed out thousands of fake copies of the New York Times with the front-page headline "Iraq War Ends" to commuters at several busy New York subway stations.
The paper, which is dated July 4, 2009, also includes stories with headers like "Maximum Wage Law Succeeds," "Nation Sets Its Sights on Building Sane Economy" and "Ex-Secretary Apologizes for W.M.D. Scare."
The elaborate ruse was carried out by three unnamed Times employees, a film promoter and an art professor. Notorious left-wing hoax squad The Yes Men also provided software and Internet support for the paper's accompanying spoof web page, which looks like the Times' site. The paper was meant to encourage politicians nationwide to push for a more liberal agenda.
Social Worker Elizabeth Barrett noticed something about her clients combatting mental illness: Those in relationships were thriving. "With people who had these social connections, signs of the illness diminished, and they were staying healthier for longer periods of time," she says.
Amid the general euphoria of Obama’s Electoral College landslide, while Democrats around the country exulted, shed tears of joy and jumped up and down in celebration, there was one curious interlude that I found very sobering: John McCain’s concession speech.
Hardheaded types like scientists and skeptical investigators are sometimes portrayed as dour debunkers devoid of magic and awe. They are seen as eggheads and naysayers who don’t believe anything wondrous that they can’t put under a microscope. Yet I passionately disagree. In 1997, I visited two of the great mystical “energy centers” of the world: the pyramids at Ghiza and the Peruvian ruins of Machu Picchu in the South American Andes. The Peruvian ruins sit atop a steep, verdant mountain, surrounded by lower hills emerging regally from cottony white clouds. The huge stone complex, which is a remnant of the Inca civilization, was rediscovered only recently (in 1911), having escaped the Spanish Conquest because of its remote location and rugged terrain.
Dateline: Turkey—The mayor of a Turkish city called Batman is suing director Christopher Nolan and the Warner Bros. movie studio for royalties from this summer’s hit film The Dark Knight. Hüseyin Kalkan, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party mayor of Batman, has accused the Batman movie producers of unauthorized use of his city’s name. “There is only one Batman in the world,” Kalkan told movie trade publication Variety. “The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.” The mayor says the film’s success has had a negative psychological impact on the city’s inhabitants, blaming it for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate. The mayor is working on gathering evidence that he claims will prove the city of Batman predates the 1939 debut of Bob Kane’s superhero in DC Comics. “We are only aware of this claim via press reports and have not seen any actual legal action,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement.
This year's compilation focuses exclusively on books with New Mexico connections. Unlike the stock market, each of these books provides a guaranteed return on investment and will keep on giving throughout the year.
Writing this column is proving much more challenging than I anticipated. For the past three years, my life has been a whirlwind of activity, and the Alibi has been at the epicenter. I've learned many lessons, made lifelong friends and been a proud member of the kick-ass team behind Albuquerque's award-winning alternative newsweekly—which makes my departure that much harder.
In the 23 years since the Guerilla Girls started a feminist revolution on the streets of Manhattan, members worked their way into the belly of the exclusive art beast. At its conception, the group hung posters near museums to point furry, long-nailed fingers at sexism in the city's art houses. "Now we're in this position where sometimes the very institutions that we've criticized invite us to come show and to criticize them," says a Guerrilla founder, who goes by the code name Frida Kahlo.
Yeesh. It's time to take a break from all of this Joe Serious stuff and put a figurative comic book in our figurative primary school volume. Slack off and geek out at once with this page-o-fun. But wait! Throughout the paper you will find more quizzes, puzzles, comix and other things spelled with Z and X. Enjoy, egghead. —Jessica Cassyle Carr
A lawsuit filed by state legislators who lost primaries this summer was dismissed. State Rep. Dan Silva, and state Sens. Shannon Robinson and James Taylor—all Democrats—brought the suit blaming certain nonprofits for their defeat.
Two city employees expressed their disappointment with the City Council during the Wednesday, Nov. 5 meeting. The Council failed to override Mayor Martin Chavez’ veto of a bill on Sept. 3 that would have allowed for arbitration between the city and its workers. One of the workers said a single councilor’s vote kept them from getting an ordinance that would allow an independent arbitrator to oversee labor-management negotiation. Councilor Sally Mayer said four councilors, not just one, voted against arbitration. To override a veto, the council must have a 6-3 majority.
Dateline: Sweden—Supporters of the Stockholm-based AIK ice hockey team demonstrated their disdain for a rival player at last Tuesday night’s game by showering the ice with dildos. The tumescent taunts were directed at Jan Huokko, a former AIK team member now playing defense for the Leksand hockey club. Ahead of Tuesday’s match against Leksand, the website for AIK’s unofficial supporter group instructed fans to bring dildos to the match to remind Huokko of the sex scandal that plagued him earlier this year. Back in June, a sexually explicit video clip featuring the 34-year-old athlete and his girlfriend ended up on the Internet. Huokko had recorded the clip on his cell phone and wasn’t surprised to see it spread across the Internet after the phone was stolen. “It was a private thing between me and my girl,” he said at the time. “That’s what people do when it comes to sex.” The Expressen newspaper reported dozens of sex toys littering the ice before the Tuesday night match started. Vulgar chants directed at Huokko continued throughout the match, which Leksand ended up losing 3-2. AIK club management was aware of the fans’ plans but elected not to intervene. “We’d also heard mention of it, but we decided that it would only be worse if we went out and told the fans they were absolutely not allowed to throw dildos on the ice,” AIK club head Mats Hedenström told the newspaper.
Leading up to the Nov. 4 election, the Vortex Theatre hosted an evening of eight 10-minute plays by local playwrights called Electoral Dysfunction. In honor of the democratic process, audience members were asked to vote for their favorite play. After a meticulous count of every vote, the theater electoral college has determined a winner. Playwright and Albuquerque Journal columnist Gene Grant gets the $500 cash prize for his play "Enter on the Execution," which follows President-elect Barack Obama into a private White House restroom before his inaugural address, where he encounters a janitor who's seen many presidents walk through those bathroom doors. Grant picked the president-elect long before Election Day—wonder if the bathroom encounter will manifest as well.
Three monkeys in a cage with typewriters. Given an infinite timeline, would they write Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet or just defecate on a pack of cigarettes in protest of their unethical incarceration? These are a few questions addressed in The Adobe Theatre's production of All in the Timing, a collection of seven one-acts by David Ives, where things get comedic, tragic and a little wacky.
Get your winter ski stoke on with the Powderwhores. ... I don’t know what that means. But apparently, a group of self-proclaimed “snow sluts from Utah” have produced a new extreme skiing film called The Pact. It features trailblazing skiing from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah to the snowy peaks of Hakuba, Japan. There will be two screenings of The Pact at the Santa Fe Film Center (1616 St. Michael’s Drive) on Thursday, Nov. 13 beginning at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Following the excitement, controversy and sold-out screenings of last year’s inaugural Pornotopia Film Festival, founders Molly Adler and Matie Fricker vowed to return to Nob Hill for another sexually charged cinematic outing. This weekend, they will do so, ushering in the Second Annual Pornotopia Film Festival at the storied Guild Cinema. If last year is any indication, you’ll need to bring your ID, your loved one (or ones) and possibly your lawyer.
There’s a race among network executives to come up with the simplest, most reductive, so-stupid-it’s-genius television show. For these single-minded programmers of digital pabulum, dating shows, singing competitions and WWE spin-offs are far too sophisticated. These are the men and women who greenlight weekly offerings like “Yo Momma” (Wilmer Valderrama’s televised trash talk battle), “Hurl” (a show in which people eat a lot and try not to puke) and “The Tyra Banks Show.”
1) True or false: Gothenburg is the name of a real Norwegian town.
The Melismatics understand that every show counts.
A son of Seattle's underground music tradition, rapper Grieves is as independent as they come. He certainly has the independently produced albums and hard-won, growing national status to prove it. Grieves spoke with the Alibi from his new home in California (the move was "all for the sunshine," he admits) about speed-writing an album--88 Keys and Counting, out Nov. 12 and featuring Seattle producer Budo--touring across genres, touring and more touring.
Johnny Vee (not to be confused with famed Florida chef Johnny V) has penned his first cookbook. Known in Santa Fe for his food columns in Santa Fean magazine as well as his cooking classes at Las Cosas, Vee—short for Vollertsen—is a man with a big personality. I've sat in on a couple of his classes and have to admit, it's hard to not like the guy. I still laugh when I recall his story about giving Shirley MacLaine diarrhea by overusing truffle oil. With his big laugh and inability to keep food-related gossip to himself, it's no wonder his students keep coming back for more.
Auguste Escoffier's 1903 Le Guide Culinaire is an exhaustive reference of French cuisine. It still serves as a guide to all who seek to create the perfect selle de chevreuil briand (saddle of antelope larded with bear fat, roasted on a bed of vegetables and garnished with pears poached in red wine), as well as a look back into culinary history. If you're feeling confident, try your hand at this quiz that delves deep into the pages of this intimidating tome.
A year ago this month, Billy Bellmont—namesake and auteur of defunct rock band The Bellmont—and Dan Dinning formed the loungy, acoustic, indie operation known as Bellemah. Like barnacles on a ship (or perhaps goatheads on a shoe), the band amassed seven members, then lost four, due mostly to time constraints. Now only Billy, Dan and Noelan Ramirez remain. Some days ago over coffee, Billy, Dan and I sat down for a chat. We laughed. We cried. We talked about Tom Waits. Below is a sample of our time together.
It shocks the rock and scientific communities to no end, but it's true. Besides originating the butter-smooth guitar licks that were as central to Queen's success as Freddie Mercury's vocal cords and unitards, Brian May is an astrophysicist. He had graduated with a bachelor of science (with honors) in physics at Imperial College London and was halfway through a PhD program (area of concentration: the velocity of space dust) when Queen blasted into a solar system all its own. May put down his thesis in favor of a guitar and didn't return to science for another three decades. He finally picked up that doctorate in May 2008. Wikipedia says an asteroid was promptly named after him: 52665 Brianmay.
Drummer/composer John Hollenbeck admits to being a “mixtape guy.” As a kid, he’d raid his brother’s record collection to create tapes featuring a wide range of music—from symphonic works to jazz to R&B and back again.
Pale Young Gentlemen (Madison, Wis.), Small Flightless Birds and Back by October are cooler than cool this Thursday, Nov. 6, at Amped Performance Center (4200 Lomas NE). The 7 p.m. show is $5 and all-ages. (LM)
The full-blown Words Afire Festival is still a few months away, so the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance is hosting a teaser event with the help of The Drama League of New York. The Drama League, an association of emerging professional directors, has teamed up with UNM's playwriting department to offer a series of readings from plays selected for the 2009 Words Afire Festival. The readings take place at the former Fine Arts Library at UNM and the National Hispanic Cultural Center through Sunday, Nov. 9. There is no cost to attend any of the readings, which highlight five works by playwrights from the UNM dramatic writing program. For complete details, visit theatre.unm.edu, call 277-4332 or check the Alibi’s Arts Calendar.
Cristina Masoliver says she's always felt a connection to people who have developmental disabilities. "We click with one another," the director of the Taos-based ArcTisTics theater company explains.
Q: Dear Flash,
I want to plant garlic this fall. What kind should I plant, and how should I plant it?
A: This is a great time to think about planting garlic. Since it usually happens in October to early November, now's when you want to acquire seed garlic and figure out where to grow it.
You have two basic options for getting your hands on some seed: You can order it or you can just go out and buy garlic and plant it. There really isn't a difference between seed garlic and non-seed garlic--except that with seed garlic, you know exactly which variety you're getting. And if you buy garlic at the farmers' market, the farmer might be able to tell you what kind it is; then there’s really no difference. Even if the farmer doesn't know, you can at least rest assured that whatever variety it is, it will do well in your climate, as the farmer surely grew it locally. Pick out the biggest, burliest, healthiest looking bulbs you can.
A couple days ago I was chatting on the phone with former Alibi food critic Jennifer Wohletz. As we filled each other in on what we've been up to, the conversation drifted to how people form their worldview. She described her biological family's impression of this great, big planet thusly: “They really think that there's a big country called Red China that incorporates Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia—basically any place Asian.”
Kimberley Garcia decided she wanted to make more than $7 an hour.
There was no opportunity to move up the ladder at her job cleaning hotel rooms, so the wife and mother of two decided to apply to Central New Mexico Community College (CNM).
She was excited, but her joy only lasted a few weeks. She soon found out going to school meant putting her job status in peril. Because of her class schedule, Garcia was unable to work the hours her employer needed her to. Garcia lost her job and so did her husband, who worked for a small construction company that folded under the weight of the poor housing market. Garcia and her husband were late on rent and in danger of getting kicked out of their home. Both were attending classes at CNM, and they didn’t want to quit.
How's the breast milk in our state? What did some Las Cruces men want removed from city logos? Who made violent racist comments? What unusual headline did a state newspaper display?
As I write this, one week before the votes get counted in this year’s election, the question I still can’t answer satisfactorily is “What the heck happened to the Republican Party?”
Dateline: Spain—A British expat who speaks only a few words of Spanish has become the “accidental mayor” of a town on the Costa Blanca. Mark Lewis, 58, has been left in charge of San Fulgencio after the mayor, deputy mayor and four senior councilors were all taken into police custody following corruption allegations. Mr. Lewis was given the title as he is the only one of the two councilors from the ruling coalition not to be arrested, reports the Daily Telegraph. Mr. Lewis refused to comment on his new position except to say, “It’s only temporary, I hope.” Lewis, who lives in Spain with his family, previously held the title of Councilor for Animals, which involved organizing searches for lost pets and monitoring the local animal rescue shelter.
If you love poetry and have somehow missed seeing Committing Poetry in Times of War, the documentary about Albuquerque teachers who were suspended and fired for supporting their students’ rights to speak out on the war in Iraq, you’ve got another chance. On Thursday, Nov. 6, beginning at 7 p.m., Bill Nevins and Allen Cooper--teachers and peace activists featured in the film--will host a free public screening. The screening will take place at the Albuquerque Peace And Justice Center (202 Harvard SE). For more info, log on to abqpeaceandjustice.org.
While Judd Apatow has been building an unstoppable empire of hilarity over the last few years, David Wain and his pals have quietly assembled their own insular but dedicated cult of comedy. Shows like “Stella” and “Reno 911!” and movies like Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten have put Wain in regular contact with a stable of fine comedic performers. So far, though, mass appeal has eluded Wain and his chuckle pals.
The last we saw of beloved indie director Jonathan Demme, he was off investing his time in a string of personality-driven documentaries (The Agronomist, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Jimmy Carter Man From Plains) ... oh, and that ill-advised remake of The Manchurian Candidate ... oh, and that even more ill-advised remake of Charade. So it is with a sense of comfort and relief that longtime fans find Mr. Demme returning to his low-budget indie film roots with the low-key dramedy Rachel Getting Married.
There was a time—a Golden Era, if you will—when syndicated television series ruled the land. Cheesy action shows like “Lightning Force,” “Super Force,” “TekWar,” “War of the Worlds,” “Renegade,” “Sheena,” “Thunder in Paradise,” “Baywatch” and “Baywatch Nights” kept viewers tuning in to non-network stations during off-peak hours. The trend hit its high point when producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi created “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess”—shows strong enough to inspire their own conventions. But as the ’90s waned, networks like FOX, UPN, The WB and MyNetworkTV started gobbling up the independent stations, filling their primetime schedules and leaving no room for the likes of Pamela Anderson’s “V.I.P.”