Landmark Musicals’ latest is well-acted and well-sung
By Christie Chisholm
A Little Night Music is a show that will likely appeal to more mature audiences. Maybe it’s the tone of the show, which is surprisingly wholesome given the subject matter. Maybe it’s the near-constant, often operatic singing. In either case this one’s probably not for a thirtysomething crowd. That said, Landmark Musicals has done a fine job with it. While not all the actors are fantastic, there aren’t any sore thumbs that stick out, and a handful of them are obvious pros.
A big thanks to Showcase participants and attendees
Winners and nominees—23 of them— rocked over a thousand attendees at five venues on March 24, 2018. It was a blast and we’ll see you at next year’s shindig. Here for posterity (and your browsing pleasure) are the winners and runners-up.
Steampunk’s mashup of anachronism and science fiction throws a wrench in the cogs of throwaway culture
By Ethan Gilsdorf
Steampunk has been part of the cultural conversation for the past several years, as DIY-ers have embraced a handwrought, Steam Age aesthetic over high-tech gloss. Both a pop culture genre and an artistic movement, steampunk has its roots in 19th- and early-20th-century science fiction like Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Its fans reimagine the Industrial Revolution mashed-up with modern technology such as the computer. Dressing the part calls for corsets and lace-up boots for women, top hats and frock coats for men. Accessories include goggles, leather aviator caps and the occasional ray gun. And there's a hint of Sid Vicious and Mad Max in there, too.
Behind-the-scenes doc features all the news that’s fit to print
By Devin D. O’Leary
Print is dead. It’s a refrain that gets repeated a lot in today’s Wi-Fi-filled, Twitter-fied, Kindle-toting world. And—premature obituary or not—it’s still an uncomfortable pronouncement for those of us still gainfully employed in the industry. Depending on how you look at it, the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times can be seen as either an elegy for a dying medium or a paean to an industry in flux. Either way, it should be vital viewing for those in the business of being informed.
Given how addicted to acronyms modern crime shows have become (“CSI,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “JAG,” “NCIS”), it’s nice to see somebody giving the genre a good, solid ribbing with “NTSF:SD:SUV::.” That stands for “National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::.” The show—joining Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block this Friday—throws around colons like Mötley Crüe throws around umlauts. Just as fellow live-action series “Childrens Hospital” mercilessly tweaks hospital drama clichés, “NTSF:SD:SUV::” makes light of cop show stereotypes.
EcoNew Mexico is a pilot program promoting, you guessed it, ecotourism in New Mexico. The program teamed up with Green Living Project—a global group “dedicated to educating and inspiring individuals and communities to live a more sustainable lifestyle” through the use of multimedia. Together, they helped create the short film “Ecotourism in New Mexico.” (I sense a theme.) The five-minute short was filmed in Taos and spotlights a number of the city’s eco-friendly businesses, including river rafting, mineral springs spas, rock climbing, ballooning and more. The goal is to promote our state as an ecotourism destination, stealing vacationers away from such exotic locales as Costa Rica and New Zealand. If you’re interested in checking out the video and seeing what sort of outdoorsy goodness our state has to offer, you can check it out online.
Pastoral paintings of thoughtful, grass-chomping cows adorn the red walls of Albuquerque’s brand-new designer burger joint, bRgR. The restaurant’s lineup of burger names could double as the course catalog of a tantric yoga ashram, including (in order of the stages of spiritual growth) the Harmonic, Elation, Euphoria, Jubilation, Ecstasy, Nirvana and, finally, Enlightenment. The beef, which is grass-fed and grain-finished, comes from Heritage Ranch, a national beef company that matches local beef producers with consumers, state by state.
I was among the many diners who mourned the demise of Le Café Miche in 2009. From the beginning of Chef Claus Hjortkjaer’s tenure in 1996 until it closed, Miche was one of Albuquerque’s most popular venues for upscale continental dining. But weep no more. Hjortkjaer is in the process of making the Brasserie La Provence his own. Hjortkjaer comes to this new venture with longtime friend, and now business partner, Caryl Cochran.
New Mexico activists join 22-country protest fleet
By Elise Kaplan
The accounts of the U.S. boat to Gaza read like a Bond movie. There are nefarious bureaucratic restrictions from foreign governments, boat chases on the Mediterranean Sea, hunger strikes and Greek jails. Among 37 U.S. activists were Ken Mayers and Linda Durham from Santa Fe.
White announced his retirement shortly after a Council committee voted to investigate events surrounding his wife’s car accident. It’s unclear whether the Council will continue pursuing an independent investigation, given White’s retirement.
Alibi advice columnist says: We women can be so cruel to each other, and it would seem a service to our sisterhood to tip her off that she may be facing some issues. Of course, that cattiness we often bring to our relationships with women means she may turn on you and not her husband.
The music of Tennessee quartet Those Darlins is like a freight train started in the ’60s and hurtled through the decades to 2011—picking up girl-group sound, garage rock, trash country, some chick punk and a touch of glam—before crashing into an American roots music instrument store. See them live at Low Spirits, July 26.
Bassist sweetens New Mexico Jazz Fest with acoustic quintet
By Mel Minter
The quintet of Christian McBride and Inside Straight delivers swinging, straight-head jazz of a very high quality, with an equally high feel-good quotient. Next week, for two nights at the Outpost, McBride and Inside Straight—with Peter Martin (piano), Jaleel Shaw (sax), Warren Wolf Jr. (vibes) and Carl Allen (drums)—will hit a high note in the New Mexico Jazz Festival’s impressive 2011 lineup.
Cultura Fuerte has been making Latin hip-hop here in New Mexico since 2005. On Saturday, July 23, the seven-piece releases its second album, Quiero Ser Libre. Ohm, Def Rare, Giz, Physics, NewMex.icon and Shakedown open the 21-and-over show at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) at 9 p.m. Cultura Fuerte members Marco Sandoval (percussion/vocals) and Andrea Serrano (hand percussion / spoken word) shared iPod shuffling duties, which resulted in the random tracks below.
Performer tackles love lost and suicide notes with dark humor
By Summer Olsson
Christina Slyter’s new solo show is about a woman who has become a shut-in, terrified of the outside world, because her husband killed himself—yet it’s full of dark humor. “The show takes place on the night that she wakes up,” Slyter says, “and discovers that there are people in her house. She tries to be a good hostess to them and show them a good time ... “ The audience members are the visitors in her house, and as the woman gets closer to revealing truths, her hostess skills unravel.
Rusty Rutherford celebrates another year of underground comedy shows
By Summer Olsson
There is an “anything goes” vibe at the Third Thursdays Comedy Contest, a stand-up comedy night Rusty Rutherford has hosted monthly, in venues around Albuquerque, since 2007. At each event, he does a short set to kick off the night and then 10 other comics take turns performing. The audience votes to determine the night’s best three, and Rutherford invites these comics back the following month. He also schedules seven new performers. The anniversary show will feature the winning comics of the past year.
NASA promises this is not the end of human space travel
By Natalie Willoughby
The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, marks the end of NASA's 30-year program, which began in 1981 with Columbia. Despite predictions that weather conditions would force a cancellation, an estimated 1 million visitors and 2,000 members of worldwide media looked on with awe.
Human and canine exterminators fight nationwide wave of pests
By Elise Kaplan
The unmarked white building on Candelaria holds one bed and two dressers but no personal belongings suggesting a home. It's eerily devoid of picture frames, stuffed animals and clothes. A cooler sits on the beige tile floor, and Patriot Pest Control's newest employee bounds into the room to check it out. Captain Dale, the bedbug-detection dog, has one thing on his mind.
Bedbugs hide in crevices and cracks until they venture out for a snack. Detection and eradication can be tricky because these little critters are hard to locate. David Erik Swanson from Patriot Pest Control just got a bedbug detection dog to ease the process (see “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), but he says some infestations have been so bad he didn't need help finding them.
Dragonflies are thought to be good luck, symbols of happiness and springtime. But they have a sinister side, too, with nicknames of “eye-snatcher” or the “devil’s darning needle.” These winged beauties have had millions of years to develop their reputations on planet Earth. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is once again unveiling their secrets at the Dragonfly Festival, buzzing with “discovery stations” where patrons can learn to identify species by color, size and wing color.
Many of the signatures on Art Duran’s memento belong to players lost to time: Ray Katt and Al Aber, for instance. Four scribbles, however, were done by Baseball Hall of Famers: Leo Durocher, Bob Lemon, Al Lopez and Monte Irvin. What is most important to Duran, 77, is that he gained this souvenir during a game, not at some memorabilia show or off eBay.
Holding back the tide of big money in New Mexico politics
By Steven Robert Allen
Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seem hell-bent on dismantling campaign finance laws designed to prevent the wholesale buy-off of the American democratic process. The judges’ efforts are based on an eccentric interpretation of the First Amendment that could only be concocted by a bunch of insulated eggheads who are completely out of touch with political reality.
After realizing that working in a band was not conducive to his lifestyle, Andrew Goldfarb crossed the threshold into performing solo, fingering a guitar with his hands and beating drums with his feet. He underwent a metamorphosis, inventing a new personality—a traveling snake oil pusher, or tent-city preacher, or possibly a whacked-out Vodou mambo. One thing’s sure: The essence of all of these characters is present in his music.
Growing up on Lower Ranchitos Road in Taos, Jennifer Robin had a poster of Paul McCartney hanging in her bedroom closet. This month, with the release of her new recording, The Bird and the Beatles, the jazzy, folky singer/songwriter is bringing her Beatles love affair out of the closet and onto center stage.
Random tracks from Colourmusic’s Colin Fleishacker
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Colourmusic is a Stillwater, Okla.-based indie/neo-pscych/sex rock four piece. The band’s concept is based on the Newtonian theory that colors correlate with musical notes. On Wednesday, July 20, it brings its multihued performance to the Launchpad. Royal Bangs and The Great Depression open the 21-and-over show at 9 p.m. Eight ducats admits people into the venue. We asked Colourmusic bassist Colin Fleishacker to take his iPod for a spin and see what random items appeared. Below are the results.
Nice symmetry and use of clip art here. Beloved local Southwest funk rock five-piece La Junta plays at Monte Vista Fire Station (3201 Central NE) in Nob Hill on Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. The 21-and-over show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Fear of unemployment stokes conventionally crude comedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
In Horrible Bosses, three put-upon workers conspire to bump off one another’s evil employers. Yes, it’s a variation on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train, but it’s such a venerable framework upon which to hang a story that the familiarity of the tale only adds to the fun. Besides, we haven’t seen a blackly comic reiteration of this magnitude since 1987’s Throw Momma from the Train.
In Florida, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty for the murder of her daughter, little Caylee Anthony, whose body was found dumped in the woods in 2008. Days after the jury’s decision, the mainstream media was still devoting round-the-clock coverage to the case. Some networks didn’t even cut away to the launch of the final space shuttle, in the same state as the courtroom—so engrossed were correspondents in analyzing quotes from an anonymous alternate juror.
The Albuquerque Film Festival is looking for a commercial, and it wants you to pitch in and make the thing. It’s called “The Hip, Cool, Funny, Strange, Social Change Challenge”—which is really unwieldy, but definitely shows how “hip” and “cool” the festival is. Also this week are calls for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and the news that Third Star films has completed production on “Plush,” a horror short starring several local actors.
Four men fling themselves off of a 30-meter pole and swing around and around, tethered to the top by ropes. A fifth performer balances on the end of the pole, dancing on one foot and playing the flute. These are Los Voladores, or the flying men of Veracruz. Their thousand-year-old ritual is just part of the ¡Viva México! this weekend at Rancho de las Golondrinas.
Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma seems geared toward people headed for careers devoted to the pursuit of lots of money. If you’ve chosen this lot, then you have already made your pact with the dark lord. And so the title is somewhat misleading. The phrase “street smarts” invokes things like how to fashion a crude weapon out of a lunch tray while in county lockup, or how to win at three-card monte, not how to rent an apartment or invest in real estate.
Kaleidospoke is an art exhibition project with many, um, spokes meant to foster awareness and love of cycling. Organizers are pushing bike culture through visual art, talks and a film showcase, all at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The nearly two month exhibit begins with an opening gala this Friday.
[photo]You have the chance to see internationally renowned artist Gronk making his magic this summer. In fact, you can walk right up, stare at him and bug him with questions while he works—he won’t mind. Gronk (aka Glugio Nicandro) is known for his paintings and performance art, as well as a penchant for creating in front of an audience. He’ll paint a site-specific mural July 19 through 31 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.
Ideas worth spreading. This is the mission of the nonprofit organization TED, which works toward changing attitudes, lives and the world. It began with two annual conferences where some of the world’s greatest innovators and insight-givers were challenged to give the best talk they could in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are regularly posted online for everyone to watch, share and love.
I came late to whole grains—being brought up eating white rice at every meal. With the possible exception of rolled oats, most of the grains I encountered were hulled, bleached, sweetened and renutritionized before they hit my plate.
The most local salads in town might come from a bakery. An indoor growing operation—lights, fans, reflectors and of course plants—was germinated in the west end of Golden Crown Panadería last April. For the counter staff, it's almost too local for comfort, as the expanding tangle of greens, tomatoes and peppers is growing into their workspace. If you order one of the appropriately named “huge” salads, they find the scissors and start snipping. They also make one of the best loaves of green chile bread on the planet.
Courageous performers take the stage without parachutes
By Summer Olsson
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.
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.
Maybe Optimus isn’t past his prime; or, how to make the least awful Transformers movie ever
By Devin D. O’Leary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Fires to the north of me, fires to the south, here I am
By Elizabeth W. Hughes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)