You can bet on one thing at this year’s 79th annual Academy Awards (literally, as it happens): Helen Mirren will win the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Queen. Online gambling site bodog.com has put her odds at 1/25 (as of press time). Slap down a hundred bucks on Mirren to win, and you could rake in a whole $4 profit!
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Best Motion Picture
Babel (GG) Odds: 7/2 The Departed * (BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, LVFCA, SA, SEFCA)Odds: 3/2 Letters from Iwo Jima (LAFCA, NBR) Odds: 5/2 Little Miss Sunshine (PGA) Odds: 5/6 The Queen (BAFTA, TFCA) Odds: 19/1
Achievement in Directing
Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu Odds: 10/1 The Departed * (BSFC, BFCA, DFWFCA, DGA, FFCC, GG, NBR, NYFCC, OFCS, PFCS, SEFCA, WAFCA) Martin Scorsese Odds: 1/5 Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood Odds: 4/1 The Queen Stephen Frears (TFCA) Odds: 14/1 United 93 Paul Greengrass (KCFCC, LAFCA, NSFCA, SFFCC) Odds: 17/1
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond Odds: 8/1 Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson Odds: 18/1 Peter O’Toole in Venus Odds: 6/1 Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness Odds: 3/1 Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland * (BAFTA, BSFC, BFCA, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, GG, LAFCA, NBR, NSFC, NYFCC, OFCS, SA, SAG, SEFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/4
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine (BAFTA) Odds: 1/1 Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children (CFCA, DFWFCA, NYFCC, OFCS, SFFCC, SEFCA) Odds: 10/1 Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond (LVFCS, NBR, WAFCA, SAG) Odds: 9/1 Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls * (BFCA, GG) Odds: 2/3 Mark Wahlberg in The Departed (BFCA, NSFCA) Odds: 5/1
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Penélope Cruz in Volver (EFA, GOYA) Odds: 20/1 Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal Odds: 22/1 Helen Mirren in The Queen * (BAFTA, BSFCA, BFCA, COFCA, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, GG, LVFCS, LAFCA, NBR, NSFCA, NYFCC, OFCS, PFCS, SDFCS, SFFCC, SA, SAG, SEFCA, TFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/25 Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada Odds: 15/1 Kate Winslet in Little Children Odds: 7/1
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Adriana Barraza in Babel (SFFCC) Odds: 14/1 Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal (DFWFCA, FFCC, PFCS, TFCA) Odds: 11/1 Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine (OFCS) Odds: 2/1 Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls * (BAFTA, BFCA, GG, LVFCS, NYFCC, SA, SAG, SEFCA, WAFCA) Odds: 1/8 Rinko Kikuchi in Babel (CFCA)Odds: 11/1
Babel Letters from Iwo Jima Little Miss Sunshine (BAFTA, BFCA, DFWFCA, SEFCA, WAFCA, WGA) Pan’s Labyrinth The Queen * (BIFA, CFCA, GG, KCFCC, LAFCA, NSFCA, NYFCC, SA, TFCA)
Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Children of Men (OFCS) The Departed * (BFCA, CFCA, FFCC, SA, SEFCA, WGA) Little Children (SFFCC) Notes on a Scandal
Best Animated Feature
Cars Happy Feet Monster House
Best Foreign Language Film
After the Wedding Denmark Days of Glory (Indigènes) Algeria The Lives of Others Germany Pan’s Labyrinth Mexico Water Canada
Achievement in Art Direction
Dreamgirls The Good Shepherd Pan’s Labyrinth Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest The Prestige
Achievement in Cinematography
The Black Dahlia Children of Men The Illusionist Pan’s Labyrinth The Prestige
Achievement in Costume Design
Curse of the Golden Flower The Devil Wears Prada Dreamgirls Marie Antoinette The Queen
Best Documentary Feature
Deliver Us from Evil An Inconvenient Truth Iraq in Fragments Jesus Camp My Country, My Country
Best Documentary Short Subject
“The Blood of Yingzhou District” “Recycled Life” “Rehearsing a Dream” “Two Hands”
Achievement in Film Editing
Babel Blood Diamond Children of Men The Departed United 93
Achievement in Makeup
Apocalypto Click Pan’s Labyrinth
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Babel The Good German Notes on a Scandal Pan’s Labyrinth The Queen
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth “Listen” from Dreamgirls “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls “Our Town” from Cars “Patience” from Dreamgirls
Best Animated Short Film
“The Danish Poet” “Lifted” “The Little Matchgirl” “Maestro” “No Time for Nuts”
Best Live Action Short Film
“Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)” “Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)” “Helmer & Son” “The Saviour” “West Bank Story”
Achievement in Sound Editing
Apocalypto Blood Diamond Flags of Our Fathers Letters from Iwo Jima Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Apocalypto Blood Diamond Dreamgirls Flags of Our Fathers Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Achievement in Visual Effects
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Poseidon Superman Returns
CABQSXSW—The rejection notices have been doled out. Just in case you had any lingering doubts, we regret to inform you that your band didn't make it. We can say this with complete confidence because only one Albuquerque band was accepted onto this year's official South by Southwest Showcase roster. That band was Beirut.
As clichéd as punk covers have gotten these days, you'd be hard pressed to find a better cover, punk or otherwise, than Whole Wheat Bread's rendition of Lil Jon's "I Don't Give a Fuck." The song even drew the King of Crunk's attention himself, which led to a collaboration on several tracks for an album due out this spring.
Quality time with grandma—it's a beautiful thing. A few hands of pinochle. A game or two of Scrabble. Longs hours of breakdancing to the kickin' beat. For this month's quality time sesh, she's taking on other b-girls at the annual Breakin' Hearts competition and you're her moral support. Damn, your nana is cool.
After 10 years together, proggish art rock five-piece Isis knows when to expand an instrumental interlude and when to pull it back. They know when to create tension and then release it in an instant, only to build the anxiety anew. Listening to an Isis song is an exercise in perpetual capitulation and catharsis. Most enticing is the band's uncanny ability to understand just how to keep the proverbial ball rolling, never surrendering to drone or monotony.
Pack up your peg legs, matey: Zombies are the new pirates. Starring Poloroid Pornography, Unit 7 Drain and The Dead Electric, this Saturday, Feb. 24, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (free, 21+). Long live the undead! (LM)
Scotch-style ale is a blessed rarity. Not too many breweries endeavor to make their own variation, and those that do generally do an amazing job. With the exception of one ill-fated, super-sour bottle of Moylan's Kilt Lifter, which seemed a bit past its prime, every time a bottle with the word “Scotch” on it has been opened, it has been greedily devoured. AleSmith’s Wee Heavy is exactly what it claims to be: Scotch-style ale. What lies within the flawless packaging of this $7.99 wonder is akin to The Clash playing Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves,” or Kim Gordon singing Iggy Pop: the perfect cover. This is not an attempt at making archetypal Scotch ale. Instead, there is a righteous conciliation of old and new. AleSmith makes intensely high-octane beers: This is McEwen’s on really pristine speed. This brew looks almost like a porter in the glass—deep and limitless with glints of red trying to escape the void. The flavors are familiar to both the roots and the revision. The distinct sweet caramel and molasses flavors that sent us back to our first taste of Scotch ale preempt strong, roasted malts and an aftertaste that is equally alcoholic and complex … weed ghee and whiskey in front of a parlor fire. Heavy.
Why do we love pho so much? I remember when I was a kid I used to call it “everything” soup, because it appeared to contain pretty much everything. I’ve heard it called “weird noodle stuff,” “the stuff with the bean sprouts,” and my personal fave, “the limey-noodle-sprout thing in the great big bowl.” I took someone out to eat at a local Vietnamese place a while back who, after a few big bites, proclaimed, “this has a lot of vegetables—it’s like a liquid salad.”
A bill would require all new buildings in Albuquerque to be more energy efficient
By Christie Chisholm
Global warming, as a concept and point of dialogue, has been reborn. Over the last two years, thanks to hurricanes, rising gas prices and Al Gore, the public discourse about global warming, like so much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, has risen exponentially. What a few years ago existed simply as an “environmentalists’ issue,” receiving no more attention than topics like deforestation and recycling (which are certainly linked to global warming), is today recognized as the next lurking catastrophe. Suddenly, society is paying attention.
A prolific young writer joins in Albuquerque's newest youth publication
By Amy Dalness
The walls of Andre Infante's bedroom are plastered with rejection letters, but he's no sadist. The form letters are badges of honor in a budding writing career—stepping stones in his journey to publish any one of his seven novels.
What we learned from Molly Ivins and Anna Nicole Smith
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino
All right, class, listen up. Today, in place of our scheduled lecture on American culture at the start of the 21st century, we’ll instead have a brief pop quiz. So put down your BlackBerries, unplug your iPods and shut the lids on your laptops.
Dateline: China--Local officials in China have been criticized for spraypainting a barren mountainside green. Laoshou Mountain, near Fumin in the Yunnan province, was left an eyesore by quarrying. Instead of reforesting the mountainside, officials simply hired seven workers for 45 days to spraypaint it green. Nearby villagers have been driven from their homes by the strong smell of paint, reports City Times. “At first I was glad to see the green mountain, thinking the government was paying more attention to the environment,” local businessman Huang was quoted as saying. “But then I noticed the great contrast with the surrounding mountains.” Another villager complained, “We thought the workers were here to spray pesticides before planting saplings. But it turned out to be green paint.”
Africa in America--The fifth edition of the African Effect Film Festival comes to the CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail) in Santa Fe this weekend. From Friday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 25, the CCA will host a series of films, lectures and concerts, all centered on African culture and the African diaspora. Six films will be featured, spanning the globe from Senegal to South Africa, from Kenya and the United States. Subjects range from a South African adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen to a documentary about New York teens who use hip-hop as a vehicle for self-development. This year’s special guest is legendary Senegalese musician/film composer Lamine Konte. For a complete schedule of films and events, log on to www.ccasantafe.org. Tickets are $8.50 general admission/$7 members, students and seniors. Festival passes are available for $45/$30 members.
An interview with the writer, producer and star of TheAstronaut Farmer
By Devin D. O’Leary
Twin brothers Mark and Michael Polish burst onto the indie film scene in flamboyant fashion, writing, producing and starring in the 1999 drama Twin Falls Idaho. That off-kilter film fest hit focused its cracked lens on a pair of Siamese twins (Mark and Mike, who are not quite joined at the hip in real life) falling in love with a hooker. Following that freshman effort (cranked out for around $500,000), the Polish brothers produced another couple cult-leaning ensemble films, 2001’s gambling comedy Jackpot and 2003’s biblical allegory Northfork.
Costume drama makes Abolitionist movement sexy (not really)
By Devin D. O’Leary
Amazing Grace is a spectacularly well-intentioned film. So selfless are its motivations, though, that it threatens on multiple occasions to degenerate from movie to outright moralizing. Fortunately, helmer Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World is Not Enough and the Seven Up! series) is on hand to keep things from crossing the line between story and sermon.
Why do we watch the Oscars? It’s a valid question. The telecast itself is rarely riveting television. The opening monologue is sometimes funny. The “who died last year” tribute is always worth a look. But aside from that, there isn’t a whole lot of entertainment to be found. Not even the red carpet arrivals are particularly interesting, as stars gave up wearing crazy crap years ago.
Roll Over Beethoven—Imani Winds is a five-piece chamber music outfit aimed at exploring the intersections between European, American and African music. The quintet has been around since 1997, building a passionate base of loyal fans. Luckily, Chamber Music Albuquerque is bringing them to town for a performance on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center. This definitely isn't your standard Hayden and Beethoven classical music event. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this exciting ensemble. A preconcert lecture will be held at 2 p.m. Show starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $19 to $38 in advance and $21 to $40 at the door. Student discounts are available. 268-1990, www.cma-abq.org.
Expo thrives on the notion that tattoos aren't just for sailors and jailbirds anymore
By Marisa Demarco
Jennifer Newby is always surprised when her tattoos draw her negative attention. Women, she says, get more strange looks because of their ink, even in Santa Cruz, Calif. "I can go to the grocery store and I get asked about my ink or I get dirty looks," she says. Growing up in an open environment means the questions—“What are you going to do when you get older?”—catch her off guard.
Salman Rushdie once noted that the societies that emerged from colonial rule in the ’50s and ’60s soon became hotbeds for literary invention. “The Empire Writes Back,” he called the phenomenon, punning on George Lucas’ Star Wars film.
Suspend yourself in a perfumed cloud of digital frequency. Local electrolytes AudioBuddha, Diverje and Brian Botkiller perform Saturday, Feb. 17, at the District Bar and Grill (21+). $8 gets you in. (LM)
Now, granted, I am not from ’round here. I was born a poor and upwardly mobile working class “colored” child (says so on my birth certificate!) in August of 1963, in the South, in segregated Portsmouth, Va., in an integrated military hospital that sits to this day along the Elizabeth River. You can see the city of Norfolk on the other side of that river. Until the transcontinental slave trade ended legally in the U.S., Virginia, and Portsmouth in particular, was also an essential part of a triangle of the trade in human misery from West Africa to the Caribbean.
Más Cinema, Por Favor--Cinemás, the Albuquerque Latino Film Festival, will take place Thursday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 18. Film screenings are spread between the KiMo Theatre in Downtown, the ARTS Lab Garage at UNM, the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill and the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Broadway. Features, documentaries and shorts from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Panama, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Uruguay and the United States will be featured in the four-day fest. Organized by UNM’s Arts of the Americas Institute in the College of Fine Arts, the festival includes an emphasis on filmmakers, scholarly work and generating an atmosphere for discussion.
Panic in the Year Zero/The Last Man on Earth (MGM)
By Kurly Tlapoyawa
For as long as I can remember, I have loved post-apocalyptic survival movies. It feels like only yesterday that I stood gawking in wide-eyed youthful exuberance at the poster for The Road Warrior at the Pueblo Drive-in. Nuclear obliteration? I’m in. Worldwide famine? You got me. Apocalyptic pandemic? Now you’re speaking my language! So imagine my joy when I discovered that not one, but two of my favorite post-apocalyptic thrillers were coming to DVD on a double feature disc. The films? The incredible one-two punch of Panic in Year Zero and The Last Man on Earth.
Cute, uncomplicated romantic comedy has a beat you can dance to
By Devin D. O’Leary
Let’s face facts: Romantic comedies were a worn-out genre back when Howard Hawks was coaxing screwball chemistry out of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Seventy years on, the boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl/boy-gets-girl conventions are about as rigidly defined as you can find in film. The best praise you can heap on just about any modern romcom is the same noncommittal description that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reserves for planet Earth: “Mostly harmless.”
Thanks to strict censorship and the bad timing of commercial breaks, broadcast television is rarely a scary affair. Classic horror series like “Dark Shadows” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” aren’t particularly remembered for their bowel-loosening terror. Even a truly frightening movie like The Exorcist is rendered tame when all the curse words are edited out (“Your mother sews socks in hell”?) and the puke-spewing is interrupted by an ad for Maalox.
Mahalo, Freddie—Freddie Kekaulike Baker, the Hawaii-born singer and multi-instrumentalist who entertained a couple of generations of Albuquerqueans, passed away suddenly on Feb. 5, two days shy of his 86th birthday, leaving a hole in the city’s musical heart that will not be filled.
Grammy-nominated trombonist John Fedchock slides into town to headline the Albuquerque Jazz Festival
By Mel Minter
In this day and age, if you can keep a quality big band together for going on two decades—with many of the charter players still aboard—you deserve a measure of respect. If you are also an exciting arranger, a versatile composer and a top-notch player, respect begins to nudge against awe.
Although the boys in Mike Got Spiked hail from Dublin, you’d never know it from their music and their patterns of speech, which are highlighted by a frequent use of American colloquialisms. The way they approach a multi-instrument solo with the double bass pedals and hammer-on guitar leads of Pantera or slap bass leads á la Primus indicates a strong American rock music influence; something the band happily admits. This fondness for the States has led MGS to venture away from their homeland in search of an American record deal and a chance to win the hearts and minds of those who like a little NOFX with their Incubus. The band certainly has something to offer America’s music scene with a low-pressure stage presence and three- and four-part vocal harmonies on every song. “Unlike some bands, we actually sing our songs live,” explains frontman Gavin McGuire. “We don’t just scream at the crowd.”
Whether your interest is spiritual, scientific or just in the unique physical aspect of it, here's a beginners' guide to harnessing your throat-singing voice. Throat singers produces two or more tones of equal volume simultaneously. Maybe that sounds impossible, but the practice in the small Russian republic of Tuva goes back at least a thousand years, though it's probably older than that. Placitas resident and throat-singer Michael Crofoot gave the Alibi some tips on how to start. Remember, what you're trying to do is "find the most natural sound that your body's all set up to do," as Crofoot says.
While the Orange County power-trio The Irish Brothers are about as Irish as, well, any American with an Irish surname, that doesn’t mean they have a disadvantage against the aforementioned Celtic challengers. Any band that can write a surf-rock riff with serious horsepower like the one in The Irish Brothers’ “How We Are” deserves a slot in our faux competition. With gasoline-soaked vocals and a sound that is equal parts Social D and Johnny Cash, The Irish Brothers seem poised to set the Los Angeles punkabilly scene ablaze.
Mysterious billboards have Burqueños holding their breath
By Kate Trainor
In Albuquerque and along the interstate, people are turning blue in the face. Among them are Al Franken, Orbit (the Isotopes’ furry mascot), a pound puppy and a pigtailed child buckled into a car seat. On billboards throughout the city, these and other personalities are featured literally blue-faced, and for no clear reason. So, we wonder, why the blue faces?
Not only did the Feb. 5 Council meeting lack pitchfork-toting, cell phone-brandishing mobs--almost no one showed up at all. Deferred bills included training day care staffs to detect sexual abuse and a cost-benefit analysis of a streetcar system. Councilor Michael Cadigan's memorial encouraging the State Legislature to support school board elections on the same day as municipal or state elections passed unanimously.
Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang is only three months away from movie production. After many fits and starts, the film will be made here in New Mexico and probably released next year. Hat tip to local blogger Coco for the news.
Dateline: New York--A wallet belonging to a Korean automobile factory worker has been found--in upstate New York. The worker lost his wallet last year while checking out the wiring on a Chevy Aveo that was bound for sale in the U.S. It wasn’t until the car left the GM-Daewoo assembly plant in suburban Seoul that J.W. Joh realized his wallet was missing. Several months and thousands of miles later, the Aveo was delivered to the Fuccillo Chevrolet dealership on Grand Island, outside Buffalo. An employee at the dealership was getting ready to deliver it to a customer when he found the wallet in the backseat. He handed it over to his general manager, complete with credit cards, driver’s license and $43 in cash. The wallet was passed up the company chain until a GM executive delivered the wallet to Joh during a recent business trip to South Korea.
Back in Black—Your very last chance to check out James Black's eye-poppin' solo show will be at a closing reception this Saturday, Feb. 17. The exhibit, called Ink, consists of Black's images of faces and figures, two entire walls of which were composed in house at the Trillion Space late last month. At the closing gig, your art-viewing pleasure will be enhanced with performances by Alla Faders and Zach Freeman. Come on down! The Trillion Space is at 510 Second Street NW. The reception runs from 7 to 11 p.m. www.thetrillionspace.com.
Photography exhibit gives us views from outside and within
By Marisa Demarco
It’s always a little embarrassing to be a tourist, camera hanging from your neck as you hurriedly check sites off your list, getting glimpses of only the things visitors are supposed to see. Looking back through the vacation photos, it’s like you were fooled a little, as though a palm tree-print curtain was pulled across the less pleasant aspects of the city, leaving only the cliché of G-rated sunsets and tourist-ready beaches.
The Fusion Theatre Company is putting up the Southwest premiere of Craig Wright's play Orange Flower Water starting this Thursday, Feb. 15. Wright was the lead writer for HBO's “Six Feet Under.” His play is about two couples wrestling with the torment of infidelity. This Fusion production runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Sunday. $22 general, $17 students/seniors. Aside from the opening night show, Thursday performances feature a $10 student rush (with valid ID) and a $15 actor rush (with pro résumé). 766-9412.
In recent years, no one has done more to shake up the classical music scene in Albuquerque than Joseph Franklin, the charismatic executive director of Chamber Music Albuquerque. Franklin has just released a memoir called Settling Scores, which details his rise from a working-class family in north Philadelphia to the cutting edge of modern American music. He'll be signing the book at Page One (11018 Montgomery NE) this Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. Stop by, grab a copy and listen to some of his tales from the fringes of contemporary music. 294-2026.
C’est Si Bon!—Halfway through a meal at La Quiche Parisienne Bistro, which I enjoyed on their first day of business in late November, I pulled my head out of my soupe de carottes just long enough torealize that every table around me was ablaze with patrons, and every last one of them was speaking French.
Karl Deuble's twisted little card—composed on severely damaged cardboard—takes home the prize this year. Judges were especially impressed by Deuble's combination of brutally violent imagery with what is essentially a cutie-pie, lovey-dovey romantic message. For his efforts, he'll get $80 worth of gift certificates to Sushi Gen along with two free passes to the Outpost Performance Space.
Alibi's Fourth Annual Valentine's Day Card Contest
By Steven Robert Allen
Unlike revenge, love is a dish best served steaming hot straight from the oven. So break out the pot holders, baby, ’cause the winners of this year's Valentine's Day Card Contest are so blistering they'll burn your fingertips right to the bone.
Talk to the hand! Cari Lee Pier's submission was one of several cards we received that were commercial grade—you'd be lucky to stumble across a card of this quality in a store. The elegant graphics and dreamy words from Rumi work in tandem to create a very beautiful, soothing impression. Pier will receive $60 in gift certificates to Seasons Rotisserie and Grill.
Self-Scrutiny—All right fellow media critics, we’re about to make “Thin Line” history. As best I can tell, this is the first time the Telescope of Righteous Indignation has been flipped over, leaving the Alibi squirming at the wrong end.
One woman's story illustrates that New Mexico’s Child Enforcement Division is deadbeat for single parents seeking aid
By Kate Trainor
When Jessica Sanchez was a child, she strategically planned visits to friends’ homes at the dinner hour. “I would pretend I was going over there to play, but, really, it was just in time for dinner,” she says. Food and money were scarce during Sanchez’ childhood, as her single mother struggled to collect child support for Sanchez and her sister. Now 28, Sanchez has yet to see a cent of child support, for either herself or her two young sons.
Ideas for how to save the Albuquerque Public School system are flying around the Legislature like aspen leaves on a blustery October afternoon. Every lawmaker seems to have a pet scheme for rescuing our ponderous district from itself--to no effect.
Dateline: Croatia--An angry husband who threw old clothes into his garden and set fire to them because he couldn’t find any clean underwear accidentally burned down his own home. Ivo Jerbic, 55, from Prikraj, near the capital city of Zagreb, told police he had lost his temper after failing to find any clean underpants in a closet full of old clothes. “My wife never throws anything out, I just lost my temper,” he admitted to officers. Jerbic dumped all the clothes in his yard and lit them on fire. Unfortunately, the fire spread to the house, which burned to the ground. Local news agency Hina reported Jerbic could face up to eight years in jail for putting other family members in danger, even though no one was injured.
The Shins are Bigger than Jesus—Yup, it's official. As of this writing, The Shins' brand-new album, Wincing The Night Away, is the second highest selling album on Amazon.com, beating out The Beatles' Love (No. 8) and Madonna's Confessions Tour DVD and CD set (No. 6), for the love of all that's holy. So technically, they're bigger than the-band-that's-bigger-than-Jesus and Madonna. That's an astounding number of CD players to occupy. And with big-name recognition for what once was a small-town (that would be Albuquerque) band, comes the need for a Shins FAQ. Take note, members of the foreign press.
Music for indie record heads ... and your aunt and uncle, too
By Simon McCormack
Although Chris Adolf resides in the Mile-High City, the singer, songwriter and only permanent member of neofolk project Bad Weather California prefers a small town scene. The yen for a cozier location is evident in his intimate, gruff but earnest style that’s somewhere between a warm embrace and a cold stare. Like many independent musicians, Adolf is not all that comfortable in the digital age. Whenever he thinks a song sounds too crisp or clean, he makes sure to “mush it up.” Adolf and his ever-rotating cast of backing musicians are genuinely interested in making music for the masses, but they also want to make sure their souls stay intact in the process.
It came out this summer, but The Coma Recovery’s Drown That Holy End In Wine is actually the perfect album for Valentine’s Day. “Capulet” (track No. 8) even works as both the backdrop for a satisfying makeout sesh and the anthem of your next breakup. Get it at www.failedexperimentrecords.com.
Festival della Cinema Italiana--Are you in the mood for some Italian? This Thursday, New Mexico’s very first Italian Film Festival will debut. From Feb. 8 through Feb. 11, a dozen classic Italian-themed films will be screened around Albuquerque. The Godfather, Life is Beautiful, Big Night, La Strada, Moonstuck and Il Postino are among the flavorful offerings. Venues range from the KiMo theater to the Guild Cinema to the old Lobo Theatre to the Rio Rancho HS Performing Arts Center. Festival passes ($50) and individual tickets ($7) are available in advance at Borders, Saggio’s, the Guild Cinema and the Lobo Theatre. All proceeds will go to benefit UNM Children’s Hospital. For a complete schedule of films and times, log on to www.italianfilmfest.org.
The Last Sin Eater marks the latest release from FoxFaith, a subdivision of 20th Century Fox designed to create “morally driven, family-friendly programming.” Although the word “faith” could be used with regard to Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and just about any other “ism” on Earth, the Fox Corporation clearly has economic designs on one faith and one faith only. All FoxFaith films must “have overt Christian content or be derived from the work of a Christian author.” Perhaps you caught FoxFaith’s theological thriller Thr3e earlier this year. Or not.
Perhaps the scariest and most tragic thing about Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, the extensively researched new documentary by Stanley Nelson, is that it shows the early days of Jim Jones’ infamous ministry. Jones is known today as little more than a lunatic cult figure who led nearly 1,000 people to their deaths in the jungles of South America. But what, you have to wonder, prompted people to follow Jones on his mad exodus? Jonestown shows in sober, chronological detail the growth of Jones’ Peoples Temple movement. The sad and soul-shaking part of Jones’ story is that it started out with such noble intentions, a reminder that no insitution--religious, political or otherwise--starts out with the purpose of doing evil. But, as we have all been reminded time and again, power corrupts. And absolute power? Well, we know the story there.
During the day, Cartoon Network is a repository for clever, often inspiring cartoons for kids of all ages. At night, however, the lunatics take over the asylum. The late-night “Adult Swim” block allows cutting-edge crazy people to participate in some sort of work release program, ensuring stable employment for the criminally deranged and unquantifiably strange cartoons for the rest of us.
Asleep on Tippy Toe—Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty is often considered the crowning masterpiece of classical ballet. The world famous Moscow Festival Ballet will stage this tutus-and-fairy-tales production at UNM's Popejoy Hall this Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $49. Reserve yours by calling 925-5858 or logging on to unmtickets.com.
The New Mexico Burlesque Showcase takes it off at the KiMo Theatre
By Marisa Demarco
Picture her in five-inch heels, a sequined vintage outfit, stalking a stage in Albuquerque, maybe a bar, maybe a theater, maybe a movie house. She’s brash and bossy. She gets in your face, bats her eyelashes and the fans she’s holding. She plays with you, torments you, teasing.
Women artists from all over the country—including several from New Mexico—contribute self-portraits in various media to a new exhibit opening this weekend at 516 Arts (516 Central SW). Curated by Suzanne Sbarge, the show incorporates sculpture, painting, mixed media and photography into an examination of femininity and identity. Eye to I opens in the upstairs gallery this Saturday, Feb. 10, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. It continues through March 24 in conjunction with a satellite exhibit presented downstairs by Santa Fe's Museum of Fine Arts. For more information, call 242-1445 or go to www.516arts.org.
Some good news over at the Albuquerque Little Theatre: Albuquerque's oldest theater is back in the black and doing better than ever. Check out their latest show, a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, presented by veteran director Peter Shea Kierst. Running Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 18, it's the perfect post Valentine's love fix. $22 general, $20 seniors, $18 students. Group and additional student discounts are available. Reserve tickets by calling 242-4750 or going to www.albuquerquelittletheater.org.
This part of New Mexico isn’t hurting for upscale restaurants, which means we diners have some tough decisions when a holiday or special occasion arises. Where to take the in-laws who can’t stand us? Where to wine and dine the new boss who we suspect doesn’t like us? Where should we feed the new lover who we really hope likes us?
Last week we came home from a particularly heavy night of drinking to find a sweet surprise on the doorstep: a hulking party pack of somewhat experimental potato chips from the Kettle test kitchen (courtesy of our good web friend Mikey).