Since 2007, the massive team behind Colorado’s Monolith Festival has made magic happen with a two-day odyssey into musical bliss. Hosted at the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Monolith Festival is quickly becoming the premier festival in the region. Last year saw appearances by Cut Copy, Justice, The Hood Internet, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Tilly and the Wall, Atmosphere, and Band of Horses. As if those performances weren’t enough, four additional stages were set up throughout the venue to ensure a variety of musical experiences.
The city is crawling with bicycles …and it’s fabulous!
Ultra Health devotes to budding potential
A journalist burns out and breaks down in Small Town, U.S.A
I reported on a murder trial that seemed open and shut when I walked in one Monday morning for jury selection. A Norman, Okla. man stood accused of killing his brother. He said it was suicide.
Grab a beer with 300 friends
Misti Collinsworth and Cainan Harris met at a toga party in Kansas City, Mo. They reconnected in Albuquerque a few years later. Over drinks at a Downtown bar, they reached a conclusion. "We were like, There's not really a good gay happy hour place," Collinsworth says. "There's not really a whole lot of good gay anything here. We should probably do something about that."
Jami Hotsinpiller rang up the Alibi on a Friday afternoon. She nervously asked if I had a minute. She hates having her picture taken or her words printed for the world to see, and she describes herself as "really shy." She assured me she doesn't belong to any political organizations. But Hotsinpiller's got a media beef and is willing to go on the record about it.
On June 22, the City Council passed the extension of our famous Transportation Tax along to the voters for consideration in October; a reasonable and public-minded course of action, unless you count the arbitrary anti-rail preconditions and exclusions offered by a couple of councilors. But with these “amendments” or without, rail transit is in trouble in Albuquerque.
Dateline: The Netherlands—The Dutch national museum admitted last Thursday that one of its prize possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is actually just a hunk of petrified wood. The Rijksmuseum acquired the rock after the death of former Prime Minister Willem Drees in 1988. Drees received it in 1969 from then U.S. Ambassador J. William Middendorf during a European goodwill tour by three Apollo 11 astronauts. Middendorf, who now lives in Rhode Island, told Dutch broadcaster NOS news that he had gotten the rock from the U.S. Department of State, but couldn’t recall the exact details. The fist-size red stone was last exhibited in 2006. At the time, a space expert informed the museum it was unlikely NASA would have given away any moon rocks three months after Apollo returned to Earth. Researchers from Amsterdam’s Free University said they could see at a glance the rock most likely did not originate on the moon. Now, extensive testing reveals it to be a piece of common petrified wood. “It’s a nondescript, pretty-much-worthless stone,” geologist Frank Beunk concluded in an article published by the museum. Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra van Gelder said the museum would keep the curiosity anyway, adding, “We can laugh about it.”
When I was in college, I was paid by an installation artist to read mathematical proofs in a husky voice, the recording of which was then piped into a sculptural space of soldered steel and animal skins. I didn't get it, but I made 70 bucks. What I did take away from the project was the idea of sound as texture and color, working in similar ways to visual techniques. In that vein, The Very Rich Hours, created by Steve Peters, is an audio portrait of New Mexico. Designed especially to be heard at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales (966 Old Church Road) and presented as part of LAND/ART, the piece incorporates field recordings, readings and song. You can hear the landscape of our home Friday, Sept. 4, through Monday, Sept. 7, from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, go to 516arts.org.
Their words, not mine
Since its premiere in 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been produced by countless high schools and community theater groups, and now, interestingly, a drag troupe.
CNM’s Visual Individuals at Harwood Art Center
Black Mountain College closed in 1957, and when the finances ran out, the faculty were paid in beef allotments from the cows roaming across school property. It makes sense. Founded in 1933, Black Mountain was owned by its faculty, a faculty that taught the classes, tended the school’s farm and did basically everything to keep it up and running. It was a 24-year flash-in-the-pan whose educational effects are still being reckoned with today. Even if you can set aside the revolutionary model of interdisciplinary instruction (which you can’t), you’d still be left with the formidable concept that creativity and play are necessary to the development of intellectual freedom. Sure, that means no grades, but it also favors real-world experience over Scantron tests and recitation.
This Friday and Saturday night, Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will host the premiere of Flicker, a locally shot horror feature. The film is the work of writer-director Aaron Hendren, the man behind 2006’s The Faithful and the Foul. It stars a number of noted Albuquerque actors including Courtney Bell, Katy Houska, Kevin R. Elder, Julibeth Hendren, Abigail Blueher, Alex Knight, Kate Schroeder and Jason Witter. The story concerns a group of young people who encounter a host of crazed killers and creepy locals while on a camping trip. On Friday, Sept. 4, the cast and crew will be there for opening night, so show up and give them your support for a job well done. If you wanna check out a trailer beforehand, you can do so at apple.com/trailers/independent/flicker.
A breakdown of the summer 2009 movie season
Drain the pool, buy a new Trapper Keeper and some No. 2 pencils at Target, put away your dress whites, and file out of the movie theaters in an orderly manner, because summer comes to a crashing end this weekend. Labor Day arrives on Monday, officially bookending what Memorial Day kicked into gear some 16 weeks ago: blockbuster movie-watching season.
Documentary traces dramatic grassroots fight to go green
Simple in both construction and style, The Garden is the sort of no-frills, shot-on-video documentary that lets its subject speak for itself. Wise move, given the magnitude of the tale this Academy Award-nominated film chooses to tell. Initially, you’d think a story about a humble community garden wouldn’t be the source of much drama. Boy, would you be wrong.
“Two Months. Two Million.” on G4
What if you took four online poker players, sent them to Las Vegas to live like high-rolling kings and tasked them with the goal of winning $2 million in two months? I’ll admit, it’s a “what if” scenario I’ve never actually contemplated. But thanks to the new G4 reality series “Two Months. Two Million,” it’s one with which we’re all now confronted.
The Week in Sloth
A rare chat with Ween
Despite last year’s joyous release of an incredible live show from 1992 [Live at The Cat’s Cradle, 1992, Chocodog Records], all those early years when Ween consisted of Dean and Gene—two young, talented and hilarious Pennsylvania kids—and a drum machine seem like ancient history. Seeing a Ween show without drummer-extraordinaire Claude Coleman behind the kit has been impossible for the past 15 years, but that could change soon: Rumors have been spreading all over the Internet this summer about Coleman—a multi-instrumentalist who also leads the band Amandla and teaches at the Paul Green School of Rock in NYC—taking a break from Ween to make sense of a life that has perhaps appeared too fast and fun since his near-fatal auto accident. He even confirmed it in a heartfelt statement. However, when asked about Coleman’s departure, Dean Ween (born Mickey Melchiondo) told the Alibi, “Claude is still in the band the last time I checked.” In a follow-up e-mail, Ween’s manager Greg Frey told the Alibi, “Mickey's answer regarding Claude is spot on. Anything else is hearsay.”
It comes from the land of ice and snow, where the chief exports are IKEA and meatballs. Swedish five-piece Enforcer is proud to sport tight leather pants and play speed metal in the style of Iron Maiden. Hear the hammer drop at The Compound (3206 San Mateo NE) on Monday, Sept. 7, with Cauldron (from Canada, eh?) Torture Victim, Dread and Vetalas. 6:30 p.m. All-ages, $8. (Laura Marrich)
In honor of tomato season, I've been experimenting with various forms of the BLT. I've tried adding avocado, hot peppers, cheese, ranch dressing, mustard and other logical players. Do you have any words of wisdom in this department?
Well yes, I do have a few thoughts on the BLT. First and foremost, the BLT is nothing without mayo, which interacts with the tomato in a very special way. And my preferred premade mayo is actually fake mayo: grapeseed oil Vegenaise, made by Earth Island.
Imagine for a moment that New Mexico is a sovereign land—a nation similar to the state we inhabit, but one that evolved strictly by its own devices, with no meddling from outsiders. It would be a place with its own official dictionary, wherein “Christmas” is formalized as a verb with several conjugated forms, as in: I would have Christmased my enchiladas, but August is such a green month.
It’s all noise. Every word, every decibel. This is all just white (and black) noise on a long, messy trail called health care reform. Gray-haired misanthropes are screaming down elected officials; House leaders call them un-American. Whatever. All noise.
An interview with mayoral contender Rep. R.J. Berry
It's the job of the challenger to stomp out of the saloon, guns blazing for the incumbent. That's the way this mayoral race has gone. State Rep. R.J. Berry and Richard Romero attack, and Mayor Martin Chavez deflects (though he's certainly squeezed the trigger a few times himself).
Rowdy debate erupts at town hall
Rep. Martin Heinrich voiced support for a "robust public option" to a wash of boos and cheers at the health care town hall on Saturday, Aug. 22. But he was unable to say later whether he would vote in favor of a bill that lacked a government-run medical plan to compete with private insurance. "We'll have to see what the final product looks like," he said of HB 3200, the reform measure making its way through the House.
What damning piece of evidence do police say they found on a stabbing suspect? What kind of technology could help troops overseas? Who was arrested for burglary? What's changed since the Party Patrol started busting partygoers?
The Monday, Aug. 17 meeting opened with a stunner— Councilor Sally Mayer announced she had removed her name from the October election ballot. Mayer said she would be moving to Chicago in January for six months to a year. Mayer said her daughter’s family needed her. “My son-in-law has been a wonderful stay-at-home dad but now he has a job,” and the working couple needs Grandma to babysit. Mayer’s decision leaves one District 7 candidate still on the ballot and one write-in candidate, neither of whom she endorses.
When Barack Obama took office, I remember saying to a friend, “In a way, I feel sorry for the guy; there are so many messes, so many emergencies he has to deal with all at once, it’s gotta be overwhelming. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; an economy headed south in a hurry; immigration, health care and education reform; Guantanamo; the hopeless black hole of the ‘war on drugs.’ I mean, how’s he even going to know where to begin?”
R.J. Berry is a Republican contender for the mayor's seat and a legislator in the state’s House of Representatives. Here are extras from the interview he did with the Alibi that didn't make it into the paper. (See the original article here.)
Dateline: Florida—Does this count as a hate crime? Earlier this month, a man with Britney Spears’ name tattooed on his arm or neck allegedly stole a tiny Chihuahua with pink earrings from a South Florida gay bar. Brian Dortort, 48, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he has spent the last month searching for 4-month-old Hudson Hayward Hemingway. The dog, described as no bigger than a softball, was last seen lodged safely inside a “specialty pet bag.” Dortort said he let a man hold the Chihuahua for a moment during a friend’s birthday party at Georgie’s Alibi bar in Wilton Manors. When Dortort turned back, both of them had disappeared. Police say a suspect has not been identified, but it’s up to the Broward State Attorney’s Office to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant.
I taught myself how to knit about eight years ago. I never finished the first item, which I can only describe as a pot holder with low self-esteem. Years later, I began knitting again, finishing a slew of scarves and two baby blankets before getting stumped by non-rectangular works. But though I'm a novice (at best), I count myself among the many folks with a deep respect for handicrafts, or as they're now referred to as, fabric arts. Through the Flower, a feminist art nonprofit founded by Judy Chicago, is calling for submissions of needlework and textile media from New Mexico artists for its 2010 show Subversive Stitching: Feminist Artists With a Needle. Entries should include a focus on issues of gender and be submitted by the Oct. 16 deadline. Laura Addison, curator of contemporary art at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and Judy Chicago, my BFF, will judge. For more guidelines and info, go to the “Feminist Art” page at throughtheflower.org.
The Art of Fashion at Matrix Fine Art
Fashion has its rightful home on the catwalk, while visual art resides in contemporary art galleries. Both of these creative realms have traditionally existed as close but distinct neighbors, respecting and pulling from one another only as creative inspiration necessitates. But as Matrix Fine Art Curator Regina Held notes, “While fashion is often more craft than fine art, I stopped separating art from craft years ago.” For Held and co-organizer Stephen Cuomo, local fashion and local art need not exist as next-door neighbors. Thus, The Art of Fashion was born.
Duke City Improv Festival at The Box
Parents eager to teach their children teamwork might sign them up for sports.
UNM is back in session, and that means the Student Union Building theater is back in business. The student-run Southwest Film Center is kicking off its fall semester this Thursday, Aug. 27, with a double-feature tribute to the late, great actor Karl Malden. A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront (both directed by Elia Kazan) will screen Thursday through Sunday. Upcoming films include the Best Director winner at the 2009 Cannes Festival (Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys), a return visit for The Best of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Peter Jackson’s 1992 horror comedy Dead-Alive. Log on to unm.edu/~swfc for the complete fall 2009 schedule.
Ang Lee gets groovy in an evocative, occasionally scattershot biopic
Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee may be the most successful, least categorizable filmmaker working today. His résumé includes an indie dramedy (Eat Drink Man Woman), a Jane Austen period romance (Sense and Sensibility), a gloomy ’70s drama (The Ice Storm), a Civil War Western (Ride With the Devil), a martial arts fantasy (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), a big-budget superhero action flick (Hulk), a gay love story (Brokeback Mountain) and a sexy thriller set in ’30s Shanghai (Lust, Caution). If you can find a common theme or a consistent style in all that, you’re a better man than I.
She’s crafty: DIY documentary chronicles indie crafts movement
Several years ago, Faythe Levine—photographer, businesswoman and prominent figure in the growing indie craft movement—set out to document the world of DIY art, craft and design. This deeply personal quest led to the creation of a just-released feature documentary called Handmade Nation and a popular companion book of the same name. Camera in hand, Levine traveled the country to interview a tight-knit (so to speak) community of creators who have thrown off the yoke of traditional, well-segregated arts (sculpture, photography, painting, lithography) to embrace knitting, embroidery, printmaking, zine publishing, glass jewelry fabrication, whatever—sometimes all at once.
When reality shows kill
Remember what your mama told you? It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Until last week, reality television was all fun and games (well, I wouldn’t call “Househusbands of Hollywood” fun, but you catch my drift). Then some dude named Ryan Jenkins allegedly murdered a swimsuit model named Jasmine Fiore. That tragic story would have been just another obscure, SoCal, TMZ footnote were it not for the fact that Jenkins was a rising star in the reality show world. That juicy tidbit is now shining an unwelcome light on the sleazy world of reality show one-upmanship.
The Week in Sloth
Do you live in New Mexico? Are you a musician? Do you like movies? If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, this information is for you (if not, move on to Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology).
After 31 years, Charlie Zdravesky goes off the air
Charlie Zdravesky says he doesn't remember much about his first “Hot Lix” show.
That might be because it happened more than three decades ago. Since 1978, Zdravesky—better known as Charlie Z or Mr. Hot Lix—has hosted his signature oldies radio program on Saturday nights from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on KUNM 89.9.
El “Happy Meal” Salvadoreño
Last year the popular South Valley Pupuseria y Restaurant Salvadoreño opened a satellite restaurant on Gibson and San Mateo, in the shadow of the infamous “Chevy on a Stick” statue. When I ate there recently, I was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a famous set of golden arches and the word “McShit.”
We don't bake much. But we threw ourselves into baking a sweet creation for a beer tasting and a radical birthday dinner party. The goal was to find a treat that would stand up to the awesome power of dessert beers and high-octane stouts.
Born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wis., Les Paul had just turned 94 in June. He died on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009.
Les Paul’s solid-body electric guitar started as the basement tinkering of a gifted musician. Where it led was rock and roll as we know it—and the foundation of innumerable permutations we haven’t gotten to yet. Even if you just look at the instrument and the ways its architect figured out how to play it—put aside, for a moment, the game-changing recording processes he pioneered like multitracking, overdub or delay—without Les Paul’s innovations in design and technique, the Book of Rock would have scant few pages and not much of an alphabet. The Edison of amplified music is gone. But because of Les Paul, rock and roll will never die.
Freedom-loving ex-marine seeks a House seat on Republican ticket
Given that I had just read Jim Baker’s Blue Jay Yarn, written by one Mark Twain, and given that I especially enjoyed the passage reading, “A jay hasn’t got any more principle than a Congressman. A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise,” and given that I never have had a fondness for politicians—nor understood those that did—it was with no small amount of wickedness that I set out from the heart of Albuquerque to conduct an interview on the outskirts of Santa Fe with newly announced Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Adam Kokesh. Mr. Kokesh, who professes a libertarian-leaning agenda, will be seeking to replace the current representative for the 3rd Congressional District, Ben R. Luján (D), who defeated Dan East (R) in 2008 after Tom Udall (D) left the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. Because the 3rd Congressional District is strongly democratic, Mr. Kokesh will have to exert a novel appeal as he stalks the Nov. 2, 2010 election. The 27-year-old veteran and New Mexican native saw action with the U.S. Marine Corps in Fallujah in 2004, became active with the anti-war movement upon returning home and studied political management at George Washington University.
A walk through the city's shelters
More than 10 years ago the city's animal shelters were declared inhumane and abusive. It started in 1998, when a woman named Marcy Britton discovered practices that led her to file a lawsuit against the city (using her entire life savings in the process—a sum totaling more than $95,000). The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was called in, and the organization released a report in 2000.
American Cement's permit will likely be approved, but public input could keep the company on a tighter leash
Hours of heated debate probably won't stop a North Valley cement company from operating 24 hours a day and escalating pollution.
Prospects dim for finding an indoor Albuquerque venue this year, but the league remains resilient
When asked whether he feels confident Duke City Derby will find a venue, John Morningstar takes a several-second pause before answering.
Which company announced it will be doling out layoffs? Why did a mom say she was shoplifting? What did a 6-year-old girl want for her birthday? Why is a man facing 18 felony counts?
When I was younger I didn’t have such a tough time obeying the law, but lately, in my mature years, it seems I’m hanging out more and more with a pretty hardened bunch of criminals. At least, to hear the city and state tell it, a whole raft of my friends and relatives have stamped themselves as notorious scofflaws ... myself included.
Dateline: Nigeria—A stuttering man who says he can’t find a girlfriend has announced plans to marry his pillow instead. Okeke Ikechuku, a 26-year-old laborer from Lagos, told Nairobi’s Daily Metro that his stammer makes it difficult for him to speak to girls, who laugh at him whenever he talks. Nonetheless, Ikechuku admits that he has needs and wants a companion to sleep with. Ikechuku says he has been sleeping with his pillow since he was 16 and has fallen in love with it. Unlike a woman, he adds, the pillow will cost him little or nothing to maintain. According to the article, he plans to spend the rest of his life with it.
What would Santa Fe be without art? While that may sound like a dream come true for some, it's not just the kitschy stuff we'd lose. Santa Fe is an international center for Native American art, both traditional and modern. Every year, 100,000 people or so converge on our capital for the Santa Fe Indian Market to see some of the best Native art in the world. Saturday, Aug. 22, and Sunday, Aug. 23, will feature film, sculpture, jewelry, painting and more. The market proper goes from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the plaza on both days, but there's a phenomenal amount of other activities to experience and sights to see. For more, visit swaia.org. And if you don't want to drive, which I suggest you don't, the Rail Runner has announced a special Sunday service for that weekend. That was nice of them.
Four at Auxiliary Dog Theatre
Christopher Shinn's Four follows exactly that many characters one Fourth of July. It's difficult to talk about the plot of this play, produced by Sol Arts and directed by Blake Magnusson, without giving too much away, which is odd, since not much happens. Rather, it's the characters' relationships with each other that are intended to have a dramatic impact. A middle-aged man named Joe is connected to two young people, Abigayle and June, who is a boy despite his feminine name. Then there's Dexter, a bit older, who's connected to Abigayle. The majority of the action happens between the pairs of Joe/June and Abigayle/Dexter, the events between one set often mirroring or refuting the work of the other.
Mountainair’s Poets and Writers Picnic wants to know what’s in your basket
The Poets and Writers Picnic has been spreading out its welcome blanket in Mountainair for 12 years. Started by self-described "poetry nut" Dale Harris when she and her husband owned the Hummingbird Café in the small town, it's become an anticipated treat for city slicker wordsmiths.
The eighth annual Native Cinema Showcase launches this Thursday in Santa Fe. Produced by the National Museum of the American Indian and Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts, this year’s film fest includes two venues and tons more programming. New and classic films, panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As and media workshops are all part of the mix. The showcase runs through Sunday, Aug. 23, at the CCA and a new state-of-the-video venue in Cathedral Park. Classic features include Nils Gaup’s rarely seen 1987 historical drama Pathfinder, the first indigenous film nominated for an Academy Award. Brand-new features include Georgina Lightning’s Native American boarding school drama Older Than America, starring Wes Studi. There will also be a special premiere of Chris Eyre’s new docudrama Tecumseh. For a full program of films and events, log on to nativenetworks.si.edu or ccasantafe.org. Festival passes ($50) and individual tickets ($9) are available now through the CCA box office. Screenings at Cathedral Park are free and open to the public.
Robert Rodriguez loads his shotgun full of slapstick and CGI and starts firing
I don’t get Robert Rodriguez much these days. He’s directed some undeniably kick-ass pieces of cinema (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, Planet Terror). Yet his career has been tragically distracted with silly kiddie fare (those increasingly frantic Spy Kids films, the execrable Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D). Here we sit, waiting patiently for Sin City 2 or that promised Barbarella remake with his hottie home wrecker girlfriend Rose McGowan or that adaptation of Mike Allred’s Madman comic book or the live-action John Carter, Warlord of Mars or Predator 3 or Desperado 4—all cool freaking ideas linked at one time or another to Rodriguez. But what do we get instead? Shorts, another juvenile fantasy seemingly designed as babysitting material for the filmmaker’s five kids (Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue and Rhiannon) and nothing else.
Simple drama about feuding neighbors makes for powerful Middle East parable
I’m no expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure it says somewhere in the Bible something about treating others as you would like to be treated. Funny, considering how many world religions use the Bible as the basis of their faith, the number of people who ignore that little nugget of wisdom. I don’t pretend to understand the Middle East much, either. But I’m convinced that, whatever the region’s problems are, they’re not suffering from a surfeit of “love they neighbor.”
“Being Human” on BBC America
What would “Friends” be like if all the characters were dead? ... Oh, wow. Now that I think about it, it would be a vastly improved show. But then, that wasn’t really my point. I was trying to figure out a way to describe “Being Human,” a BBC Three import airing stateside on BBC America. The premise asks: What would happen if a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf all shared a flat in Bristol? While it sounds like the setup for a joke, “Being Human” is a mostly canny mix of supernatural drama and buddy comedy.
The Week in Sloth
Being flipped off never felt so good
When Boston's The Grownup Noise plays a show in Beantown, there's usually a solid turnout.
The fan base took about four years to fully cultivate. It began with family and friends, then strangers started taking notice. "When we first started, we would ask ourselves, Do they really like it, or are they just being nice?" singer and guitarist Paul Hansen recalls. "It's gotten to the point where a lot of them tend to be people we don't know. So, unless everyone's just being really nice, they actually like us."
Get it while it’s hot
When you enter La Casita in Bernalillo, you’re greeted with a pair of chile-shaped chalkboards announcing the relative strengths of the red and green that day. Last time I went, the red was “hot” and the green was “extra-hot.”
Q: I hear that you're not supposed to use olive oil when frying. Why is that, and what should I be using? I'm vegan, so you can hold the bacon grease—I know how you operate.