Driving home while thinking about the cultural profoundity of events like Weekly Alibi’s upcoming Best of Burque Music Showcase—which is happening on Saturday evening, March 24, downtown, in case you did not know that fact—led me to the shores of ghetto Smith’s where I repaired to the produce section for some fresh fruit to calm my florid mind.
Blackout Theatre’s fresh take on a holiday classic
By Christie Chisholm
Blackout’s Theatre’s take on A Christmas Carol is marvelous—whimsical yet dramatic with fine acting, haunting live music and some wonderfully creative puppetry. The kids will love it, but more importantly, you will probably love it, too.
Posthumous journal collection is patchy but endearing
By John Bear
The Journals of Spalding Gray offers a glimpse into the mind of a man who rose to fame in theater and then—it would appear—threw himself off the Staten Island Ferry after seeing a sad movie (Big Fish). The writing here is not polished, but it has its own charm.
If Dino S. Hall is passionate about two things, it's poetry and planes. A 30-year vet in the aviation industry—serving both as a pilot and a head air traffic controller—Hall started a poetry slam series in October, A Night of Spoken Word. In addition to bringing nationally renowned poets to the Duke City, the series is designed to raise funds to send youths to an airplane camp at Kirtland and the Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. "The thought came to me, Why not let poets help me get the word out?" Hall says. A longtime poetry fan, he says he’s flying the wordsmiths in on his own dime from around the country.
Landmark restaurant approaches a quarter-century milestone with new dishes
By Ari LeVaux
Flying Star Café has become an old friend to many. It’s the kind of friend you hang out with all the time, even though you sometimes complain about him. The red stuff is too expensive, but you drink it anyway because it’s that good. The watery beans in the breakfast burrito may not be what gets you up in the morning. But just thinking about a tofu scramble with brown rice feels like a warm hug.
Cleveland journalist Michael Ruhlman has made a career of being a fly on the wall. His nonfiction books have covered subjects from pediatric surgeons to craftsmen boat-builders. But it was his research into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., that launched him headlong into the seductive world of food.
Documentarian Chris Metzler on Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
By Devin D. O’Leary
After completing his award-winning 2004 documentary Plagues and Pleasure on the Salton Sea, San Francisco-based director Chris Metzler went out on tour, roadshowing the film, meeting audiences and doing Q & As. He passed through Albuquerque, stopping briefly at the Guild Cinema. He’ll be back again this weekend with his new film, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. The film chronicles the tumultuous, multidecade life of funk/punk/ska pioneer Fishbone—starting at the roots of L.A.’s punk rock scene, traveling through the ups and downs of success, and heading straight into the weirder realms of cult brainwashing, attempted kidnapping and theremin worship. The Alibi took the opportunity to chat with Metzler about the madcap, music-based documentary before his arrival in New Mexico.
The 2011-2012 season has hit its midway point. Shows are taking a break for the holidays and will be back with new episodes in late January or early February. Some of them anyway. A few have already gone off to that great television channel in the sky. While the fall 2011 season wasn’t exceptionally bloody, there were a handful of high-profile network casualties.
There will be a major casting call this Sunday, Dec. 11, for the “post Civil War Western” Silver Bullet (which I think we can all agree is the worst fake working title they could possibly have come up with for Disney’s remake of The Lone Ranger). The casting call will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Far Horizon Studio (300 Washington SE, suite 304). Casting director Elizabeth Gabel (Cowboys & Aliens, Terminator Salvation, No Country For Old Men, Paul) will conduct the day-long search. Producers are looking for “Native Americans, Asians, Anglos and Hispanics of all ages, as well as expert horse riders to appear in non-speaking roles.” The production is also on the hunt for “men with facial hair and for trapeze and circus artists.” (I’m thinking if you’re a hairy trapeze artist, you’re in like Flynn.) These are all paid positions. The film, which stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, will begin shooting in the Albuquerque / Santa Fe area in February.
Program for expectant mothers fights for second chances, including its own
By Whitny Doyle
Casita de Milagros, New Mexico’s only residential treatment center for pregnant women battling addiction, closed this summer. Thanks to community outcry, the facility might soon be resuscitated. But Milagros’ advocates are discovering that the devil is in the details.
Waiting for the world to end in Lars von Trier’s latest
By Devin D. O’Leary
What with his extensive résumé and his multiple Cannes Film Festival awards, Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has more than proved his skill behind the camera. But even longtime fans are forgiven for being hesitant when entering a von Trier movie these days. The icy auteur has demonstrated an increasing taste for heaping traumatic levels of physical and psychological abuse on his leading actresses (Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves, Björk in Dancer in the Dark, Nicole Kidman in Dogville, Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist). If the guy is not an unrepentant misogynist, he sure is convincing at playing one on TV.
TNT is crazy for crime. The network has adapted four best-selling crime novels into made-for-TV movies in the last month alone. The latest page-to-screen adaptation is Hide, based on Lisa Gardner’s Det. D.D. Warren novels. Hide is actually the second of the six novels, but it gives viewers as good a jumping-in point as any.
The Experiments in Cinema film festival (I think the number they're up to in their oddball numbering system is v7.9) will be taking place at UNM in April 2012. This Thursday, Dec. 1, however, is the final deadline for submission. If you’re interested in being a part of Basement Films’ annual celebration of “international, cinematic experimentation,” then you need to log on to the website and submit your mind-bending film or video. Organizers have decided not to charge a late submission fee for submitting work after the original Oct. 15 deadline, so it'll still cost you just $15 to enter your work (or $10 each, if you're submitting more than one film). As always, the five-day event will include film screenings, lectures, workshops, musical performances and “thoughtful dialogue.”
Steve White’s folky spectacular gets a holiday twist
By Sam Adams
Steve White is a folk hero. Or at least he’s a hero of folk art. His Summer shows at his studio and home—aka the Folk Farm—have been a big hit with collectors of inexpensive and kooky pop-culturally inspired artwork for a decade. Now he’s hosting a holiday show, replete with live music, nifty gifts and photo ops with Santa for the kiddies.
Last time the Alibi caught up with Jake Foreman, he was leading a group of teens on a 200-mile bike trek along the Trail of the Ancients [News, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” Aug. 11-17]. He had just created Cycles of Life, a program that helps Native youth gain an appreciation for their bodies, environment and heritage.
If a democracy can’t do anything more when confronted by serious problems than kick them down the road for someone else to solve at some nebulous “more cooperative future time,” does that actually qualify it as a legitimate form of government? Or has Congress simply become a debating society on a grand stage?
I met “NiX” publisher and Columbus, Ohio, resident Ken Eppstein after getting an update from his page on garagepunk.com. Eppstein is a member of the GaragePunk Podcast Network, an assemblage of dozens of rock and roll shows spanning psychedelia, punk, soul, surf and lo-fi. He was soliciting support for the first issue of his comic by selling vinyl leftovers from his shuttered store, Evil Empire Records. When I hear about a guy selling records to fund—of all things—the publishing of a comic book, I pay attention.
Ahmed Obo, the owner/chef at Jambo Café in Santa Fe, was born on the island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya. There, he grew up among the culinary traditions of Africa, Arabia and India. The food at Jambo reflects the Lamu style of culinary fusion. It’s designed to be interesting and different but doesn’t attempt to force anyone too far from their comfort zone. The ingredients, including a host of local meats and veggies, is priced unusually low for a restaurant dealing in clean, local food.
If you’ve ever attended a wine event in Albuquerque, you’ve noticed Dr. Byron Wall. He’s the one working the room like an experienced politician. Tall and handsome, Wall looks like he just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad, or off Harvard’s campus—not exactly the type you’d expect to champion wines from the banks of the Rio Grande.
George Clooney heads to Hawaii, finds humor and heartbreak in delicate family dramedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s been seven years since writer-director Alexander Payne ran roughshod over awards season with his Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award winning film Sideways. Now, he’s returned with another praiseworthy effort, the winningly emotional dramedy The Descendants.
Here’s the game plan, people: Wake up early on Thanksgiving Day. That way, you can catch all of the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.).Something about seeing Al Roker in a parka really fires up one’s appetite. Follow that with a little football. The first game is “Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions” (KASA-2 10:30 p.m.) Given that Green Bay is undefeated, the game will probably suck, so head on over to “The National Dog Show” (KOB-4 12 p.m.) around halftime and start rooting for your favorite Pomeranian instead. After the announcement of Best in Show, you can catch more football with “Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys” (KRQE-13 2 p.m.).
Indie Q, the monthly gathering of independent filmmakers sponsored by Film!ABQ, will take place at Downtown’s KiMo Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 30. In addition to discussing the local film climate with independent actors, producers, animators, screenwriters, directors and fans, attendees at this month’s get-together will be treated to several short film premieres. “Under the Stairs,” a creepy kid-meets-monster movie from writer Kieran McGowan and director Joshua Sallach, will be the main event. Also being screened that night is Ryan Denmark’s fuzzy animal horror story “Plush.” The filmmakers will be present, of course, to talk about their work. The event is from 7 to 9 p.m. As always, Indie Q is free and open to the public.
The Council postponed most of its business until after Thanksgiving. But councilors did manage to confirm the appointment of a city attorney, David Tourek. His résumé sports about 20 years as a government lawyer.
Bryce Hample's collection of six 50-by-50-inch paintings at Winning Coffee is a study in abstract minimalism. He employs vast plateaus of muted tones shifting across large canvas and plywood backdrops. Of the six pieces, the majority are large fields of black, gray, white and ochre rust, some with subtle tone gradations. The paint might have been slathered on with a palette knife in a freeform fury. Three of the pieces are marked with splintery holes. One looks like it was riddled with bullets, another like it was beat and stomped upon by an angry dwarf.
Heather Brewer’s First Kill adds to the pool of hormonal vampirism
By John Bear
This whole vampires-with-problems craze has gotten out of hand. The Twilight series is like the British Invasion of pretty-boy bloodsuckers and sexy werewolves. Think of the merchandise alone: key chains, socks, cardboard cutouts. Bookstores should sell books, not Team Edward T-shirts. It's as omnipresent and irritating as Harry Potter was 10 years ago. For casual readers who sharpen their bedposts any time they see a pale man lurking outside their bedroom window, there is The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer.
Downtown has a lot of live entertainment going on Saturday nights. A vibrant music scene, strip clubs, drunk people throwing cheap hot dogs at each other ... . But what if you want something a little more eclectic? What if you want to laugh? What if you're just doggone lonely and you want to be a part of something? ... While drinking.