Alibi V.20 No.27 • July 7-13, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Maybe Optimus isn’t past his prime; or, how to make the least awful Transformers movie ever

The best defense of the third Transformers movie is that nobody buying a ticket to Transformers: Dark of the Moon believes they’re about to see a great work of cinema. It’s like people who eat deep-fried Kool-Aid at the state fair. (It’s a thing, look it up.) They’re not doing it for the nutritional value. Transformers will kill your brain cells. Guaranteed. But then, so will beer—and we all love that in the summertime. So, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the mega-bazillion-dollar super-blockbuster franchise.

feature

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Changing the world, one artist at a time

Some of the guests at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market are unknowns from rural areas who will board planes for the very first time to reach New Mexico. Others are world-renowned rockstars in their field. The majority of these artisans come from developing countries, and their crafts are the only source of income for themselves and their families.

film

Gleek Out

“The Glee Project” on Oxygen

The one tiny bright spot that’s emerged recently among docureality shows is Oxygen Network’s “The Glee Project.” On the surface, it looks like yet another reality competition in which vocalists are voted off each week. The ultimate winner gets a guest spot on FOX’s “Glee.” It kinda sounds like a desperate attempt to drum up interest in the show—which, as I’ve said many times, has been floundering in the story department in only its second season. Surprisingly, though, the new series is proving better than the average televised talent show.

Reel World

Martina Comstock, an independent filmmaker born and raised in Albuquerque, will return to her hometown on Friday, July 8, to show off her brand new short, “Pair of Opposites.” The 20-minute film is described as “an adventurous documentary exploring the paradox of deep-seated sibling rivalry and strong familial love.” The subjects of Comstock’s film are Martina herself and her brother, Alan. The film screens at 5:30 p.m. only at Guild Cinema and will be hosted by Martina and Alan. A mere $4 gets you in the door.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

Flying Solo

Courageous performers take the stage without parachutes

The theater folks at The Filling Station are giving you a lot of ones. Solo shows, that is. The third annual Solofest showcases works by single performers, both tested and brand-new. These risky lone wolves are onstage with no one to share the limelight (or the blame, if things go haywire). Pieces range from autobiographies to complete fiction. Elements being investigated include women’s empowerment, a park ranger’s lecture, an uncensored Marie Antoinette and too many more to name. Complete descriptions can be found at fillingstationabq.com. Show your support over the next two weekends.

food

Halal in the Duke City

Meat with a higher calling

Middle Eastern cuisine is one of my favorites, but I only recently learned about eating halal—the Islamic version of kosher. The word “halal” simply means lawful or allowed. The Islamic laws that govern the preparation of food—especially meat—are nearly identical to the requirements for the best organic products. In accordance with Islamic law, the person taking the animal’s life must invoke the name of God at the time of the slaughter. Animals have to be treated humanely from field to table. Companies that sell halal products are certified. Pork is haram—unlawful.

Robbing the Compost Pile

Carrot tops, spinach bottoms and the whole radish

The preparation and consumption of animal offal has become trendy in recent years. From headcheese to braised pig feet, there are all sorts of ways of turning animal refuse into delicacies. And while plant offal hasn't exactly become the new rage, B-list plant parts can be incorporated into tasty meals as well. Ari LeVaux provides recipes for three such underused ingredients: spinach roots and the greens of carrots and radishes.

news

Flame Wars

A year unlike any other

“At this point the fire behavior is like nothing we've ever seen,” says Jessica Hall, 31, a wildlands firefighter. “Although we know how to fight fire really well, and we've gotten really good at it, this type of season is so intense and unpredictable. A lot of our methods that would work another year are really ineffective.”

Stuck in the 505 With You

Fires to the north of me, fires to the south, here I am

Sometimes New Mexico does not cooperate, and a glorious weekend in the mountains gets canceled due to a ring of fire. So the Alibi’s travel writer decided to take a “staycation” and went seeking adventures right in her own backyard: the North Valley.

“Please Save Us”

Detainees beg to be deported through safe territory

Almost 50 people held on immigration charges in New Mexico signed letters saying that if they are deported over the state's border, they will be immediately kidnapped or killed.

music

Pistol Star

SuperGiant’s oracular third creation

On Saturday, July 9, SuperGiant releases its third (mystical, heavy, bitchin’) album Pistol Star, recorded over the past two years with Sid Garcia at Sight 16 Studio. The Alibi was previously unable to cover SuperGiant happenings given the fact that half of the band was employed by the paper. That no longer being the case, below, in our first article on the band, vocalist Joel Rogers discusses equipment, symbolism and the mysteries of existence.

Rock Around the Clock

The Alibi Group Hug's Rockabilly Blowout went down Saturday, July 2, at the Launchpad. Acts included Jakob Insane, The Hi-Lo Tones, Cowboys and Indian and The .357s. Pompadours and faux orchids decked the night, with patrons trickling in from the Hot Rod Hop—a burlesque show and movie screening at the KiMo and the vintage car show a few blocks east on Central. By the time Cowboys and Indian hit the stage, the place was packed wall-to-wall. The crowd was swingin’ to rockabilly rhythms into the wee hours. Click below for some rockin’ photos.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

An interview with the big man himself

California-based Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are rock and roll with elements of rockabilly, boogie woogie, Western swing, traditional country and fine vocal arrangements. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame members are touring in support of their latest release, Turntable Matinee. They’ll make a long-awaited stop in New Mexico on Friday. The Alibi was able to catch up with Big Sandy via email.

Flyer on the Wall

Bears and cheetahs and bears (with silly string or anemone tentacles coming out of their mouths, and it’s on, like, a notebook), oh my! Three truly excellent local bands— The Glass Menageries, Sad Baby Wolf and Phantom Lake—play at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, July 8, at 9 p.m. Admission to the 21-and-over show, celebrating the birthday of one Gena, is $5. DJ Dame Diana will preside over interim sonic action. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Alibi V.20 No.26 • June 30-July 6, 2011

Market Report

Early birds and late-bloomers in the North Valley

Throughout the growing season, New Mexico is home to fresh food markets every day of the week. You can follow the progression of summer by watching the diversity of produce unfold like a kaleidoscope on vendors’ tables. And you can travel to markets around the state and marvel at the differences that elevation and latitude make in what can be grown.

feature

Lost and Found

The children of Cuidando los Niños

A soft-spoken young woman in a button-up shirt and black slacks bows her head. “Ya’at’eeh,” she says quietly in Navajo, then switches to English. “I became a mother at age 17,” begins Reina. She now has three young daughters.

news

Wolf vs. State

Guv-appointed commission yanks New Mexico’s support for wolf reintroduction

The state’s Game Commission voted unanimously to withdraw from the reintroduction effort. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed four new members to the six-member board in March. Bill Montoya is one of those new members. “It was costing us a lot of money,” says Montoya, who worked for the Game and Fish Department for 28 years. “We didn’t think we were going in the right direction.”

Range War

A golf course is a peaceful place—unless you’re a picker

Alibi sports writer Toby Smith rides shotgun inside a green cage that scoops up driving-range balls at the Championship Golf Course known to many as UNM South. The cage’s driver, Jim Dunn, is a picker. Thub! “That one got the wheel,” Dunn says. “No real damage. Just wait.”

Police on Police

Law enforcement think tank weighs in on APD’s shootings

A 91-page report spurred by the Albuquerque Police Department's spate of shootings was released on Friday, June 24. Among the findings: Violent crime and assaults on officers decreased over the last few years, but the number officer-involved shootings went up. The report also shows that the same officers are repeatedly involved in violent incidents, with 22 percent having a hand in 60 percent of such encounters.

film

Viva Riva!

Congolese gangster flick shot through with sex and violence

It’s not every day you see a film from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, in all my years of sitting up, taking nourishment and watching a lot of movies, I’ve never stumbled across a Congolese film. Despite its seemingly exotic country of origin, however, Viva Riva! is hardly an unfamiliar product.

TV News

Informative tidbits from around the dial

The latest on shark TV, Charlie Sheen, Martin Short and Tom Sizemore.

Reel World

The lowdown on one of the slickest Saturdays this summer—vintage cars lining Central, burlesque and Robert Mitchum at the KiMo, and the Alibi’s Rockabilly Blowout.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

music

Rockabilly Blowout

The Alibi’s Group Hug greases up

This month, Alibi Group Hug is celebrating that rebellious marriage of early rhythm and blues with country and Western music. Despite being a nascent form of rock and roll, rockabilly, and its wild, raw, reverberating energy, has endured for six decades. On Saturday, an assembly of New Mexico’s most rockabilly-est citizens will provide their sonic services at the Launchpad.

Where Are My Friends?

Le Tigre and feminism

The nihilistic party of pop and subpop culture rages on. Someone knocked over the lamp, and it sure is dark in here. The embers of lit cigarettes wink in the black. One such ember, Le Tigre, wants to make sure you don't forget. About them. About feminism. About gender-fucking. You know, but with, like, beats and shit.

His Mojo’s So Dope

Cleveland rapper Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) has been pioneering a style of emotionally raw, singsongy hip-hop ever since the release of his 2008 mix tape, A Kid Named Cudi. His songs are club-friendly, life-celebratory anthems just as often as they are meditative stoner jams. On Saturday, June 25, the man who moonlights as "Mr. Rager" played a show for more than 6,500 folks at Hard Rock Pavilion. The Alibi was there to photograph the event.

Music to Your Ears

Shows worth attending this week are many, but space and time prevents me from giving them all the attention they deserve. Music editor Jessica Cassyle Carr tips her newspaper hat to some personally appealing selections.

Flyer on the Wall

In light of the fact that parts of the state are on fire, consider not celebrating America with explosives this year. "It just takes that one bottle rocket, that one match, to take out an entire community," Bernalillo County Fire Chief John Garcia told KRQE. Support the boycott here: on.fb.me/fireworksnm. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

art

Succulent Love

A painter’s prickly obsession

Eason Eige has been painting the same subject for six years. Like many artists, he has expressed his fascination with, and perception of, his muse in series after series. But what makes Eige a bit different from the others is that his model isn’t a person. It’s a cactus. Specifically, it’s the prickly pear growing in front of San Felipe de Neri, the church in Old Town’s plaza. When the Alibi called to learn more about The Black Series, his upcoming show at the Bright Rain Gallery, Eige was at home, working on a painting he started in front of the church the day before.

Fill Up Your Dance Card

Mr. Stinky Feet and other free events at Albuquerque Public Libraries, Fourth of July burlesque, and opportunities for artists.

food

The Urban Store

Green living sprouts up from the concrete

The Urban Store has been open since January and is the brainchild of Kathy Isaacson and co-owner Chuck Alex. The Nob Hill shop, on Silver, is deceptively ordinary. Issacson sports a T-shirt bearing the store’s working philosophy—“grow, eat, return.” How simple is that?

Alibi V.20 No.25 • June 23-29, 2011

Cars 2

Sequel trades up to a newer, jazzier, more explosion-filled model

It’s been five years since Cars came out. Not a lot has changed in the bucolic Southwestern town of Radiator Springs. Except that beloved old race car Doc Hudson has expired alongside voice actor Paul Newman. (Wait. Cars can die? How is that ... never mind. The cars talk!) Whereas Cars was a sweetly nostalgic trip out of today’s fast lane and into the bygone era of small-town, roadside Americana, Cars 2 is a globe-hopping superspy action/adventure that combines James Bond, The Fast and the Furious and Thomas the Tank Engine. So much for the simple life.

feature

Speak Well, He Can

An interview with the voice of Yoda

Tom Kane can do a good evil robot. He gets a lot of computer voices thrown his way. Stanley Kubrick even picked him to be the new HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey just before Kubrick died. Kane's also done a ton of animation voicings, including Professor Utonium in “The Powerpuff Girls” and Monkey Fist on “Kim Possible.” He was both Tony Stark and Ultron in the "Iron Man" cartoons, so he got to fight himself.

La Forge to Bridge

An interview with LeVar Burton

As an actor, he's hit the trifecta. LeVar Burton has managed to be cast in three roles that played a major part in American culture: the young Kunta Kinte in Roots, himself as the host of "Reading Rainbow" and Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

music

Dr. Banjo

Wayne Shrubsall and his five-string circus

In 2009, banjo czar Wayne Shrubsall funneled much of his vast store of knowledge into a concert at Albuquerque's Covenant Church called The Really Big Banjo Show. It sold out to a standing-room-only crowd. Many people got turned away. A new incarnation, Dr. Wayne Shrubsall’s Really Bigger Banjo Show, happens this Friday night at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Shrubsall emphasizes that this is a different, expanded show. “Trust me,” he says with a smile. “This really is bigger.”

Tom McDermott

Big Easy pianist/composer off-kilter and on target

You never know where pianist Tom McDermott will go haring off to next. That’s because he often hasn’t a clue, either. A daring and inventive improviser, he’s more than willing to go striding (or ragging or rumba-ing or tango-ing) through doors that lead who-knows-where. In the middle of a Scott Joplin piece, he might find an opening that leads straight to James Booker and start mixing the rag’s more straitlaced syncopation with the saucy funk of New Orleans R & B.

Flyer on the Wall

Using pointillism and evil typeface, the artist’s handiwork indicates a show on Saturday, June 25, at the Small Engine Gallery (1413 Fourth Street SW). Metally bands Gnossurrus and Leeches of Lore (along with an opening acoustic performance Dan Gottwald, who will be playing handmade instruments) begin all-ages festivities at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

art

Comic Speed Readin’

Tiny reviews of local creations

Sweet 7000's Baaadassss Comics. This is the full, funky name of 7000 BC, a local nonprofit that supports New Mexican comic book writers and artists. Yes, the moniker is partially inspired by the independent nature of that one Melvin Van Peebles film you just thought about, but it also references the elevation of Santa Fe, where the group was founded. The comic book lovers on the Alibi editorial staff reviewed a handful of new 7000 BC offerings.

Stranger Factory

Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous

Upon entering the Stranger Factory, three distinct areas of well-laid-out eye candy unfold before you. Carefully placed paintings and prints decorate the white walls, and plenty of natural light washes over displays of toys and figurines. Brandt Peters, who co-owns Stranger Factory with his wife, Kathie Olivas, says they decorate the shop as they do their home. “We show how you can actually put your own collection together,” he says. They salvage furniture, shelves and other recyclable cool stuff to mix in with the art pieces.

news

Justice at a Price

The City locked up Michael Lee for murder, then paid him $1 million

Michael Lee spent 15 months in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center before being released in March 2009. He was facing the death penalty for the murder of the Yis, an elderly couple who'd been found dead in their Northeast Heights home in December 2007. "It's the scariest thing I've ever been through. Hands down."

Seven-Hour Cram Session

The Council crammed a lot into their last meeting before summer recess. Councilors voted to: review APD’s deadly force policies; allow big restaurants not to install fire sprinklers; and let the city to vote on red-light cameras.

film

Now With 50 Percent Less Host!

“Proving Ground” on G4

Whether his life is labeled “shockingly short” or “appropriately short” is a judgment best left to historians (assuming future historians of our planet will be interested in early 21st century pop-cultural blips). But there’s definitely something poetically fitting in the fact that 34-year-old Ryan Dunn, a regular fixture on MTV’s “Jackass” and host of G4’s new show “Proving Ground,” died in a fiery car crash in the early morning hours of Monday, June 20.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

food

Jo’s Place

There’s nothing average about this Jo

If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.