In the large, open dining room of El Rodeo, I sat by a painted mural of what appeared to be a successful serenade in progress. Near the front counter, a woman sat at a table evaluating me as if I was serenading her granddaughter. After the server took my order, the abuela ambled behind the counter and began patting out some fresh tortillas.
Hollywood has gotten to the point where it’s making more 3D films than there are 3D screens available. (Witness the recent multiplex traffic jam that was How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans and the last lingering shreds of Avatar). As a result, theater chains are rushing to install more digital projectors and more special 3D screens in order to show as many of these cash cows as possible.
The Albuquerque-lensed superhero parody Defective Man! will have its premiere this Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29, at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The film is directed by D. Ryan Mowry and stars Paul Alsing, Arturo Negro, Stephen W. Eckles and Josh Saavedra. The gleefully campy, proudly lowbrow, resolutely Troma-esque comedy follows the adventures of an inept crime-fighting quartet led by an overweight, middle-aged superhero in Spandex. You can check out the yock-filled trailer by logging on to sb-films.com. Screenings start at 10:30 p.m. Cast and crew will be there in person. This one’s been a long time in the making, so come show your hometown support and wallow in your love of trash cinema!
In Sex and the City 2, a group of elderly New York hookers travels to the shifting sands of the Middle East where they encounter a hideous mummy who ... oh, no, wait. That’s just Sarah Jessica Parker. Never mind.
Last week, broadcast networks announced their prime time schedules for next season. We’ve got to wait until fall to actually see the new shows. But we can get disappointed just reading their descriptions now!
“The Local Edge,” that venerable half-hour of New Mexico-grown rock on 104.1 FM The Edge, has a new overlord. Since May 2, the show has been hosted by Matt Orio, former drummer for Mechanism Of Eve, Ki and HalfGauge. Now Orio is calling for bands that make “all sorts of alternative / indie rock” to submit program fodder and postable flyers. To do so, e-mail email@example.com or drop off music (labeled with attention to Orio) at the station—5411 Jefferson NE, Suite 100. For more on the show, or to see photos of bottle blondes with boob jobs in bikinis, go to 1047edgeradio.com. Listen to “The Local Edge” Sunday nights from 9:30 to 10 p.m.
Okkervil River helps pioneer of psychedelic rock tell his stories
By Summer Olsson
After a decades-long saga of legal troubles, drug abuse and mental illness, Roky Erickson—frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators, the ’60s garage bandoften credited with inventing psychedelic rock—has released an album that is both redemptive and cathartic. True Love Cast Out All Evil is a selection of songs written by Erickson over his entire career,chronicling an emotional journey—from incarceration in a prison for the criminally insane to his self-imposed isolation in a squalid housing project, and beyond.
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, a classy restaurant on North Fourth, has done very well pretending to be a speakeasy. Advertising has been low-key—what else would you expect from a speakeasy?—and you’ve got to know the password to get in. The windowless dining room looks and feels like a well-appointed back room in a Chicago basement, what with its elegantly polished black diamond plaster walls and period paraphernalia, and the speakeasy charade—complete with the “What’s the password?” routine—adds a little spice and corny fun to an evening out.
With one hand raised against the sublime forces of the sonically mundane, the man in the lizard costume seems to say, “Give heed!” His other hand clasps the record of truth and free expression. Accompanying text beckons the stifled, the weary and the weird to engage in a banquet of 7-inch vinyl at Coalmind (1016 Coal SW) on Thursday, May 27, from 8 to 11 p.m. Hurrah, I say, not hhhrrmmph. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Brent Bagwell is the reeds player for The Eastern Seaboard, a free jazz trio encased in a no-wave package. Formed, appropriately, in Brooklyn during the early Aughts, the band has since dispersed to other locations and is touring the Wild West in support of its fifth full-length, released on the Italian label Black Saint. The trio plays at the Undermind Collective (1016 Coal SW) on Friday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Below you’ll find five random pieces of Bagwell’s nano’s repertoire.
If m’lady is hankering to pedal her penny-farthing down a bucolic country lane, I'd advise her to stay away from the North Diversion Channel. This trail runs alongside the enormous eponymous arroyo, and the views are all concrete and desert sky. The trail starts at Balloon Fiesta Park, but you can pick it up at Paseo del Norte and head south, looking out over that mysterious industrial area around Jefferson where you've never had any reason to go in your car. (Has anyone?) After you cross Menaul, the urban terrain gets really interesting when the North Diversion Channel converges with another massive arroyo. You'll negotiate a swoop, twirl and dive through an underpass on your bike. I like to pretend that cars were never invented and all roads look like this miniature version of a mountain highway. You'll start to gain altitude and crest near the Big I. Gaze down upon all the pollutey motorists and enjoy a surge of smug cyclist's superiority. The trail ends at UNM's North Campus, but you'll be so close to the Frontier, it'd be foolish not to go get some huevos. You have to fortify yourself for the ride home, don't you?
Dateline: Italy—Investigators in Naples are looking into the possibility that pizzas in the famed city are being baked with wood stolen from a local cemetery. “Pizza, one of the few symbols of Naples that endures ... is hit by the concrete suspicion that it could be baked with wood from coffins,” wrote Italian daily Il Giornale. Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a stone oven over an oak-wood fire. The newspaper reports that local police believe criminals may be offering smaller, low-end pizza shops a cheaper alternative. “A gang might have set up a market for coffins sold to hardhearted owners of bakeries and pizzerias looking to save money on wood,” Il Giornale said. Naples’ historic graveyard has long been a target for thieves. Last year, some 5,000 flowerpots were looted from the cemetery grounds.
Let’s get this intro thingy out of the way. Hi! I’m your new friendly neighborhood arts and lit editor. Things I like: video art, Smokey Robinson, cats, red wine, vinyl records, bicycles, Shiva, stripes, crafting, bacon and the color orange. Things I dislike: not using turn signals, humidity, spiders, lavender, predator drones, cleaning my room, spandex, pickup lines and lights on when I sleep. Things about which I am indifferent: anime, boxers vs. briefs, Christmas decorations, manicures, BitTorrent, apple juice, Montana, plate tectonics and hedge funds. Some of you will love me; some of you will hate me. This is great! Send valentines / hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; I hang out in the twitterverse @gitagovinda. Also, don’t forget to read the Alibi every week, all of it, not just artsy stuff. Great. That was painless, no? Now, in honor of all 25 students who put up with my Japanese philosophy class last semester at the College of Santa Fe ...
Once upon a time, in a museum far, far away, I had my iPod on random. I wandered through galleries listening to Genesis P-Orridge gently sing into my ears until, suddenly, a man spotted a Monet. His excitement was so infectious I followed him over to one of Monet’s “Water Lilies.” Without notice, the track ended, and my world was forever changed.
A billowing mass of dark smoke enshrouded the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s 16-acre campus the afternoon of Monday, April 5. The smoke came from a wind-fed Bosque fire that raged as close as 200 yards away.
How big is this week’s series finale sendoff for “Lost”? So big that even TV can’t contain it! In addition to all the reruns, recaps and specials on ABC (see this week’s “Idiot Box” for details), movie theaters across the country will be hosting a one-night-only, behind-the-scenes “Lost” event. On Thursday, May 20, Fathom Events and the New York Times Talks series will welcome the creators of “Lost,” Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. New York Times Entertainment Editor Lorne Manly will interview the duo live from The TimesCenter in New York. This in-depth conversation is likely to be Cuse and Lindelof’s last interview about the show. So, chances are it’ll feature a lot of secret-spilling. The event will take place locally at Downtown 14 and Rio 24 starting at 6 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through fathomevents.com and fandango.com.
How Arizona's bill to kill multicultural education is a self-fulfilling prophecy
By Michael L. Trujillo
Note, I am not writing as a representative of any academic unit at UNM. Still, you ought to know my position. I am an assistant professor of American Studies and Chicano Studies (I hold a joint appointment in the American Studies Department and the Chicano/Hispano/Mexicano Studies Program).
The mayor invites Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check arrestees
By Marisa Demarco
It's not a policy or a policy change, says Mayor Richard Berry. Instead, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement setting up shop in the newly refurbished Prisoner Transport Center is an agreement. In fact, he says, the old policy is still in place that only allows Albuquerque Police Department officers to check into someone's immigration status if it's relevant to an investigation. But that’s not the case for the feds. Every single person arrested by APD or the county sheriff who ends up at the transport center in downtown Albuquerque will have their immigration status evaluated by ICE. "I want 100 percent of the people checked," Berry says in an interview. "I want racial profiling out of the equation."
One of the most heartening things about the immigrants rights movement today is the involvement by U.S. citizens who are people of faith. Thousands turned out in the streets around the country—side by side with immigrants—to demand humane immigration reform and to express outrage at SB 1070, the Arizona law that cracks down on immigrants. The concern for immigrants’ rights is mirrored in migration theology, a growing area of scholarship that examines what the Bible has to say about how we treat “the stranger among us.”
For New Mexicans to understand the issues pertaining to Arizona’s controversial new law, SB 1070, it’s necessary to grasp the history of how Arizona has dealt with racial issues since its establishment as a territory.
Rudolfo Anaya, New Mexico’s most celebrated writer, gave the Alibi this statement: "The recent anti-immigrants Arizona law is an assault on our basic civil rights. It is most hideous because it targets people of color. It should be protested by everyone. If there ever was a time for civil disobedience, it is now."
Trailer queens. That's what you call classic cars put on trailers and driven to car shows. They live in locked garages, Nan Morningstar says. "People buy antique cars as an investment and spend thousands making them beautiful."
I ask Agnes Dill about the honorary doctorate she'll have received from the University of New Mexico at the Saturday, May 15 commencement. "I guess I'm getting honored for a bunch of things I did," she says. Her extensive list of achievements is the culmination of many years of work. “It’s so long, and I don't know how to tell you," she says. Dill will turn 97 on June 23.
Two resolutions—one to boycott city business with Arizona and another aimed at Mayor Richard Berry's agreement with federal immigration authorities—failed at the Monday, May 17 Council meeting. More than 100 people attended the meeting to decry the mayor's plan to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into the Prisoner Transport Center. There, agents will check the immigration status of everyone arrested for any reason.
Dateline: Australia—A professor from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane recently noticed a glaring error in the Oxford English Dictionary, which has been in place since 1911. While researching an article for science teachers, Dr. Stephen Hughes spotted the OED definition for the word “siphon.” According to the dictionary, siphons use atmospheric pressure to work. In fact, gravity is the force that makes them work. As soon as he made his discovery, Dr. Hughes wrote a letter to the OED’s editors, who pledged to correct the entry in the next edition. Oxford isn’t the only dictionary to get it wrong, either. “I found that almost every dictionary contained the same misconception that atmospheric pressure, not gravity, pushed liquid through the tube of a siphon,” Hughes told the U.K.’s Telegraph. An OED spokesperson said the definition was first written in 1911 by “editors who were not scientists.”
A hundred or so people turned out for the lieutenant governor forum at the Alamosa Community Center on the city’s southwest mesa. The audience included senior citizens, teachers and a handful of young mothers and fathers with their children.
Remade myth is way off the mark but still somehow on target
By Devin D. O’Leary
One thing Hollywood has in spades is confidence. And Hollywood is pretty damn sure it knows better than you, me and every other non-celebrity type. That’s why Hollywood is always rewriting, recasting, remaking and test-screening the hell out everything under the sun. There’s nothing—from the prose of William Shakespeare to Heidi Montag’s breasts to actual historical fact—that the movie industry can’t improve upon. It’s why no film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan has even remotely resembled its source material. And it’s why movie studios are currently putting a reboot up the ass of every movie you’ve ever watched. Liked the original Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate,Planet of the Apes, The Poseidon Adventure,The Pink Panther,A Nightmare on Elm Street? No you didn’t. They sucked, so Hollywood was kind enough to remake them.
Leiahdorus has been in the business of creating sweet, soaring electro-pop since its formation by Jason Smith and Fox Fletcher back in 1998. Gaining keyboardist Darla VanWinkle in 2003 and drummer Ryan Goodman in 2007, the band has focused on evolving and cultivating a uniqueness over the years. With the release of Leiahdorus’ third full-length on Section 44 Records, the Albuquerque band is finding itself more mature and less plugged in. And experimenting with banjos. Leiahdorus on this and more below, via e-communique.
Let's just get that out of the way. When Morrissey performed at the Sunshine Theater last year, at the ripe old age of 50, he didn't hand the people in the crowd a wilted bouquet of gladiolas. He gave them their money's worth. And then some.
After a long hiatus, the always flashy and original Daddy Long Loin returns to the stage with Jon Knutson on “drum set” and Blake Himm on “percussion.” The group—Chicken Noodle Chainsaw—will perform original Long Loin songs, improvisations, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits covers, and who knows what else on the new outdoor stage at Marble Brewery (111 Marble NW) on Saturday at 8 p.m. The show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Fox Fletcher is the guitar player for and a founding member of Albuquerque’s Leiahdorus (which releases its third full-length album this weekend—see right). He also teaches guitar lessons, makes his own guitars and is an avid photographer. Below is a wild smattering of computer-selected tracks from his collection.
In trying to write Culture Shock for this week, I’ve felt like J. Alfred Prufrock: “Then how should I begin ... and how should I presume.” In most respects, I think I’m a bit more realized and less fearful than T.S. Eliot’s cautionary creation, but these lines kept coming back to me as I started to write this, my final column as arts and literature editor.
Even before I learned of the secret menu at Budai, I was already recommending the small, Taiwanese-owned eatery for the element of surprise its regular menu brings. The non-secret menu is a long and interesting read, full of familiar and unusual Taiwanese and Chinese dishes. If you ask questions about the food, you might get a history lesson from Elsa Fang, who handles the front of the restaurant while her husband, Hsia, does the cooking. And, if you ask her to, she will translate the secret menu from Chinese. But she will do so selectively.
I like my neighborhood. It’s got most of the things I want in a neighborhood, such as a park I never visit and a liquor store I always visit. I don’t know or even think about my neighbors, which makes for the best kind. The only thing missing that would make it a perfect place to live is a good beer bar within walking distance. Since this is Albuquerque, I know that unless I move Downtown or to Nob Hill, I have to drive a ways to anywhere worth drinking. I wouldn’t live in Nob Hill because there's too much to do, and I’d be out spending my Alibi paycheck every night. I can’t live Downtown because, well, I’m not really allowed there anymore. (I don’t want to get into it. It involves drinking.)
The art and science of beating the heat, from the Far Northeast Heights to the South Valley, Philly to Michoacán
By Ari Levaux
Philadelphia doesn’t jump to the top of the list of hot places in the world, but during the peak of summer it can be worse than Albuquerque thanks to its humidity and concrete. Somewhere in the streets of South Philly, the old Italian art of granita became the new science of water ice, also known as Italian ice.
In the hospitality industry, three-story water slides aren't nearly as common as continental breakfasts. But Arthur Cooper, director of sales and marketing at the newly completed Radisson Hotel & Water Park, says it's a growing trend among hotels.
Duke City Derby's skaters are at practice at the Heights Community Center a little early today. A photographer from ABQ Sportsmagazine is on hand to take photos, and even though he’s the one with the camera, it's the roller girls who direct the shoot. “We're all going to shake our faces,” a beskated player in the front row tells the photographer. “You'll have about a two-second window to take the picture.” Without further instruction, each skater madly shakes her head, and the photographer snaps away.
Duke City Derby will open the 2010 season in yet another venue. The league has scheduled six matches in the Albuquerque Convention Center, starting with the season-opener on Saturday, May 15. Location isn't the only major change this season—in a bid to make matches more competitive, players on the league's three Albuquerque-based teams (Derby Intelligence Agency, DoomsDames and Ho-Bots) have been shuffled. Plus, a new team, hailing from Taos, will jump into the fray.
I remember when derby hit the scene in the 505. Reporters covered it from many angles, but no one could seem to get a handle on whether this was hot chix with crazy socks on skates or a real sport. And maybe we’ve learned, finally, that it can be both.
O, fair Albuquerque! While you were nestled all snug in your bed this winter, your Auntie Betty was out patrolling the trails on bikeback, coming home with perpetually chapped cheeks from the cold. Spring has since sprung, summer is nigh on high, and our city's Bosque and bikeways are teeming with life. It's a rich taxonomy: Cyclists can spy roadrunners and rattlesnakes and rollerblading trophy wives. Almost everyone is welcome in the benevolent eyes of Betty Sprocket, but there is one species that must be stamped out. A type of rider more pernicious than the salt cedar, more insidious than the Russian thistle. The most despicable cyclist of all: the bike punk.
Dateline: Oregon—The owner of a waste removal service settled a feud with a deadbeat customer by simply returning all the dog poop she had removed from the customer’s property—with interest. According to a report on KTVZ, Melinda Hofmann, owner of The Bomb Squad dog waste pick-up service in Bend, tried to collect a long overdue $150 payment from Deborah Dillow last Monday night. When Dillow didn’t answer the door, Hofmann got an idea. “I started to go back and write another note,” Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday. “But I just decided to give her poop back.” Hofmann backed up her work vehicle and dumped the day’s haul—30 gallons of feces—onto Dillow’s front yard. Hofmann said it wasn’t the most adult of decisions, but admitted, “As I was flinging the poo all over her yard, it felt really good, and I just kept doing it.” In fact, Hofmann didn’t stop “flinging the poo” until police arrived. “Very messy,” police Sgt. Dan Ritchie said. “I would imagine it probably took the homeowners quite some time to clean that mess up.” Hofmann was taken away in handcuffs and charged with criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and offensive littering. Dillow said she always intended to pay Hofmann, but is battling cancer and recently had to spend $700 on medication. Despite the outcome, Hofmann seemed unrepentant about her chosen course of action, telling KTVZ, “Do I have regrets for dumping poop back in her yard cause she’s a slacker client? Nope.”
New Year's resolutions are for suckers. Why would anyone choose to turn over a new leaf in January, a month best reserved for footie pajamas, hot chocolate and weight gain? The real time to explore and expand is now. Though you may not have been in school for decades (and while summer doesn't officially begin for another month), there's something uniquely exhilarating about the end of May. So make your summer arts resolutions now; coincidentally enough, I have a few suggestions for this week to start you off.
Duck inside Nob Hill’s best-kept secret passageway and the first side-room to appear is the Magic and Juggling Shop—a zany bazaar where trick kits entice from glass cases, sleight-of-hand artists trade tips, how-to DVDs perch next to packaged rubber vomit and snippets of esoteric conversation may include, “Sorry, we just sold out of Bite Coin.”
Summer may be synonymous with a break from education, but that doesn’t mean you want your brain to rust. Plus, when the heat starts to boil your insides, what better way to escape it than to dash into the air-conditioned halls of a museum and admire art, learn about our ancestors or play with giant bubbles?
According to Michael Haneke, the kids (plus the parents and basically everyone else in the community) are not alright
By Devin D. O’Leary
Over the course of his controversy-baiting career, Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has created can’t-look-away, punch-to-the-gut films that hover somewhere somewhere between the joyous sadism of Quentin Tarantino and the staunch-yet-demented ethicality of the Brothers Grimm. Pore over Benny’s Video, Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, Time of the Wolf, Caché and the scabrous Funny Games (both the European and U.S. versions) if you’re up for the challenge. Are these upstanding, heavily moralistic tales about sex and violence and the pop cultural worship thereof, or does Haneke simply love a good wallow in mankind’s seedy, rotten shadow? You tell me.
The Filling Station, a performance space on south Fourth Street established by Mother Road Theatre Company, is looking to sponsor a New Mexico independent film night sometime in June. If you’re a local filmmaker and you’ve got something you’d like to contribute, the deadline for submission is Sunday, May 16. Send your submission to: New Mexico Indie Film Night at The Filling Station, 1024 Fourth SW, Albuquerque N.M. 87102. Submissions should include genre, length, clips/copy/trailer and a summary of the film. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
The networks are getting ready to announce their “upfronts”—that is to say, the new shows we’ll be seeing (maybe) this fall. Question is, which shows are going to be canceled in order to make way for this new prime-time product? While we know a few shows that have already been given the hook—“Better Off Ted,” “Defying Gravity, “Eastwick,” “Scrubs,” “Ugly Betty,” “Three Rivers,” “24,” “Brothers,” “Dollhouse,” “Past Life,” “Sons of Tucson”—many are still sitting on the bubble. That’s industry talk for: We might cancel them, we might not—depends on how badly our new pilots suck. So what’s on this precarious bubble and how much danger are they in? Let’s look.
If you were to lasso the simple, heartfelt punk of Patti Smith, mash it together with droning guitars and send it down the Mississippi river to be peppered with soul, you might end up with Heartless Bastards. The band formed in the mid-aughts in Dayton, Ohio—hometown of Guided By Voices, The Breeders and Brainiac. Heartless Bastards is led by Erika Wennerstrom and distinguished by her voice's deep, velvety, slightly ramshackle qualities. Wennerstrom, who now makes her home in Austin, says she learned to sing by trying to emulate her idols and out popped her own voice.
It was James Hetfield who said, "There's always a new generation of angry young men who latch onto Kill 'Em All," and this was certainly true of the members of Albuquerque’s Anesthesia. The band got its beginnings in the ’90s when guitar player Jake Pacheco and drummer Steve Abeyta met in a middle school science class. Now full-grown adults, the group has been together for 14 years and working with its current lineup, which includes Aaron Bustamante on bass and Nathan Tramontina on guitar, since 2001. Playing in the technically challenging and headbanging-friendly style of traditional thrash metal—see Metallica—the band also sites Pantera and Alice in Chains as among its paramount influences.
New record store is packed with fine deals, fair prices and friendly folks
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Dear Albuquerque: It is my deepest regret to inform you that there is an excellent new record store in town, and as soon as the collectors read this they will likely go there and buy up all of the precious vinyl that could be mine.
This flyer depicts a 1924 American interpretation of 18th century Europe. The image is accented with colors and fonts that would not have been accepted in either place or time period, and notifies the public that Milch de Máquina and Then Eats Them will perform their respective avant weirdnesses on Friday, May 14, at 8 p.m. This all-ages show costs $5 and takes place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). Also, something about a human sacrifice ... bring popcorn! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Alex Rose grew up in Santa Fe, played in Albuquerque bands, then moved to Seattle to further his audio engineering career. Our native son has enjoyed a professional music career ever since joining prog / indie rock band Minus the Bear, which stops at the Sunshine Theater this Tuesday in support of Omni (released May 4). In anticipation of the rock that’s to come, here are random selections from his collection—this time with two bonus tracks!
You don’t see that headline in the Alibi too often, huh? All politics and karaoke classics aside, there is no denying that American craft beer innovations are influencing the world to emulate our beers. True, once we were identified by tasteless, watery beer, and there are still plenty of uninformed people who think American beer = yuck. Since I pass time trolling local liquor stores, I hear people talking up unremarkable European and Asian lagers and snubbing anything American. I can’t keep my mouth shut, so I explain how far our beers have come and how creative our brewers are, but my vaguely homeless appearance keeps me from being taken seriously, and off they go with their 12-packs of Stella Artois.