Music doc turns to fans for insider info on indie band
By Geoff Plant
In his first documentary, Friends (With Benefits) writer and director Gorman Bechard takes viewers through a chronological history of Minneapolis/St. Paul-based The Replacements, a post-punk quartet that once made a big splash in a small pond. Banding together in 1979, the pioneering alternative rockers lasted through the following decade almost despite themselves. Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements takes us on a trip down this musical backroad with the friends and fans who love them still serving as tour guides.
Over the course of five years in the early ’90s, Dr. Rick Strassman dosed 400 volunteers with DMT at the University of New Mexico. He spoke with us about his study, the Old Testament and alien abduction, among other things.
Bicyclists spoke out about the first-ever bike ban on a 3,000-foot stretch of Chappell between Osuna and Singer. Signs stating "no bicycles" went up in early January. The city says that stretch is too dangerous for cycling.
Emily French has been murdered. The rich but lonely 56-year-old was whacked in the back of the head with a blunt object in the living room of her English townhouse. Young, handsome and broke Leonard Vole is suspected, since he only recently befriended Miss French and yet is the sole beneficiary of her will. But then there’s French’s bitter housekeeper to consider and Vole’s calculating foreign wife, Romaine. This is the setup for Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, being staged by Albuquerque Little Theatre.
Brussels sprouts with bacon is hardly a new idea, but the combination has taken off lately. Now the pairing is a menu meme, a darling of online recipe searches and food TV. But those green brassica balls also go effortlessly and deliciously, for example, in that most vegetarian of dishes: the leafy salad.
TV seems to have a very low opinion of us right now. Midseason replacement time is upon us, and we’re being assaulted by the likes of “Work It” (thankfully already canceled) and a sitcom starring Rob Schneider. (Seriously, what did we do to deserve that?) NBC, meanwhile, is making an all-out assault on our collective taste by pairing the execrable “Whitney” with the marginally less execrable “Are You There, Chelsea?” Both shows were no doubt generated at the roundtable of “Chelsea Lately,” the E! Network comedy chat show hosted by Chelsea Handler and frequented by Whitney Cummings.
Friends of Film, Video and Arts—the organizers of the fourth annual Laugh Out Loud Friends of Film Funny Film Festival—are looking for laughable local submissions. All works must be 15 minutes or less in length and postmarked by Monday, Jan. 30. It’s only $15 to enter the film of your choice. Winning submissions will be included in not one, but two film festivals: The LOLFFFFF (at Albuquerque’s Guild Cinema on March 31) and the Nickel Independent Film Festival in Canada (in June 2013). Cash prizes and other awards are up for grabs.
Albuquerque's oldest independent record store closes shop
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
It's true, music fans. After decades of peddling CDs, tapes, videos, DVDs, vinyl records and other merchandise, Natural Sound is going the way of Bow Wow Records (where music was “a man's best friend"). Natural Sound's last day of business is Saturday, Jan. 28.
Derek Caterwaul is a longtime promoter of local, underground culture. He’s a DJ on 89.9 KUNM FM’s “Music to Soothe the Savage Beast,” which airs Tuesday nights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., and he has ties to the Mystery Media Free(k) box—formerly in the 200-block Cornell/Stanford alley—and now other free art boxes around town. Caterwaul is also responsible for Low Life, a DJ night at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) that contains the sweet sounds of deep psych, garage, roots, post punk and punk, funk, and obscuro. On Thursday, Jan. 26, Low Life celebrates a one-year anniversary. This free, 21-and-over event includes guest DJs, free mixtapes and CDs, and video projections from Billy Da Bunny. Peer into Caterwaul’s music collection below.
Underground dinner clubs pop up around Albuquerque
By Mina Yamashita
At 6 p.m., the September sun cast a rosy glow on the building across the street. I parked and my friend Mike checked the map. From the sidewalk, we saw a woman heading our way, red and white apron flapping in the wind.
Adobe Theater’s Irish-American drama is strong stuff
By Christie Chisholm
A Moon for the Misbegotten might just make you rethink your unhealthy obsessions. If you lust after the tortured Heathcliffs of the world (don’t we all?), it may coax you to consider putting down that penchant. If your days are a haze of drinking alone in the dark, well, maybe it’ll be the moment of clarity that finally sends you to AA ... or at least motivates you to consult an electrician.
A couple of guys sit around and shoot the shit. Sometimes it's over alcohol, coffee or food; sometimes it's in a dark room. Existential questions arise. A cloud of mystery looms heavy over the minimalist narrative. This is the theme of a lot of well-known scripts (The Seafarer, My Dinner with Andre and "The Dumb Waiter" come to mind). Another well-received guys-at-a-table piece is Derek Davidson's "Jack of Dover."
The only reason the death of this Iraq War veteran has attracted such attention is that he did not go alone. Had Barnes simply headed off into the frozen wilderness to die, his story would have been unexceptional. After all, scores of returning veterans, traumatized and afflicted, have committed suicide over the last decade.
MMA star Gina Carano debuts in one lean, mean action machine
By Devin D. O’Leary
Must be nice to be Steven Soderbergh. After kicking off the indie film revolution of the ’90s with sex, lies, and videotape, he went on to helm mainstream hits (Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven), Oscar winners (Erin Brockovich, Traffic), existential science-fiction films (Schizopolis,Solaris), micro-budget pay-per-view experiments (Bubble, The Girlfriend Experience) and even a TV series or two (“K Street,” “Unscripted”). Few, if any, filmmakers have had the freedom to build such a diverse résumé. Right now, Mr. Soderbergh could be producing and directing Ocean’s Fourteen and no one would be blinking an eye. Instead, he’s off making a low-budget, digital video action flick starring a first-time actor.
Dr. Rick Strassman stirred up both controversy and a cult following when he became the first doctor in 20 years to research the effects of psychedelic and hallucinogenic substances on human subjects. His work was carried out at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine right here in Albuquerque. Over the course of his project’s five-year life span, he administered approximately 400 doses of DMT to 60 volunteers and recorded their experiences.
Is ABC’s cross-dressing sitcom “Work It” the worst TV show ever made? Several critics are suggesting so. Me, I tend to doubt it. “Cop Rock” was pretty ridiculous. “Supertrain” was a notably bad idea. “Homeboys in Outer Space” didn’t do the world any favors. I defy any modern human to hunt down and sit through an episode of “She’s the Sheriff.” And despite the fact that 542 people actually subscribe to the “Out of This World” channel on YouTube, it was a brain-meltingly awful show. ... Which isn’t to say that “Work It” doesn’t give each and every one of them a run for their money.
Is Roman Polanski really the best guy to deliver a lecture about bad parenting?
By Devin D. O’Leary
The French play God of Carnage became the toast of Broadway in 2009 when it hit the Great White Way with high-wattage film actors Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden in the lead roles. All four actors ended up nominated for Tony Awards, and the production became one of the longest-running stage plays of the 2000s. Now infamous director Roman Polanski takes a stab at a movie version starring Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster. That’s hardly what you’d call a step down in quality from the stage version. But what soars on a stage doesn’t always fly on a movie screen.
Treasures from the Land of Enchantment’s interactive encyclopedia
By Sam Adams
If Wikipedia and Flickr got together in the Southwest and had a love child, it would probably look something like Celebrating New Mexico Statehood. The vastly comprehensive online historical archive is a collaboration between about a dozen institutions, spearheaded by UNM's Center for Southwest Research. Its director, Mike Kelly, says the site boasts about 50,000 photos, some of them dating back to prestatehood in the late 19th century.
New Mexico lawmakers are considering a proposal from the Martinez administration to link teacher evaluations to student test scores. It will be a huge topic in the coming 30-day legislative session set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.
In an unprecedented move, the Cable Franchise and Hearing Board stepped into the fray over who will operate the city's public access TV channels. With a unanimous vote on Thursday, Jan. 5, the board backed Quote ... Unquote, Inc., the nonprofit that ran the channels for three decades before losing its contract.
The Tune-Up Café is where the cool people in Santa Fe go. Not the ones who honk their horns while almost running me over by the Plaza, but the kinds of folks who look like they would be my friends if I lived there. That’s a good thing. Because when the small adobe restaurant is packed—as it often is—you’re usually within three feet of multiple strangers, some of whom might be sharing your table.
Hollywood’s award season is in full swing. It began last week with the lowly People’s Choice Awards and continues though Feb. 26 with the handing out of the prestigious 84th annual Academy Awards. In between, we get award show telecasts of varying import, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Jan. 12 on VH1) to the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 on IFC).
If you tried stopping by the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill sometime this week for a movie, you might have noticed the venerable venue was closed. The place took a four-day break to remove the old movie theater seats and install brand-new ones. The new seats are larger and more comfortable than the old ones. As a result, there will be fewer places to sit in the theater, but they’ll be much nicer. Patrons have been offered the option of “sponsoring” one of the new seats, having their name (or a loved one’s name) permanently affixed to a brass plaque on the back for a one-time fee. Guild owner Keif Henley says response to this special promotion has been swift and few unsponsored seats are left. (If you’re in the market for eternal glory, hurry up.)
In 1967, “Heavy Music” by Bob Seger and the Last Heard was a hit in the Detroit area. The protopunk song reveals a totally different, totally excellent side of the man most of us know as a Heartland balladeer.
It turns out cats aren't just waiting for you to die so they can eat you. You can, in fact, train them to perform a variety of tricks. Samantha Martin has 40 years of experience, and can tell you all about it.
Tap into your creative side and make a Valentine’s Day card for the Alibi. It may just net you prizes and eternal glory in the form of your work being printed in this here newspaper. Oh yeah, and it’s free. Get busy!