My first theater experience was in 1986, when I was marched to an off-Broadway production of Animal Farm with several of my classmates. Since I was much too young to grasp the underlying theme of the plot (this being the gloomy, Orwellian allegorical vision of the Communist revolution), I just enjoyed the idea that animals could walk, talk and do human stuff.
The nuclear family is having a meltdown. Father, mother and 2.5 children were once considered the golden rule for domestic bliss in the United States. But that's changing—fast. Now only about a quarter of all households are considered nuclear. Single people, same-sex couples and, more and more, parents who just don't "fit" into any ready-made classification fill the majority of American homes today. And we think that's great.
Costner Swings into Tow—A few new pieces of information about the Kevin Costner film shooting this summer in Albuquerque have leaked out. Swing Vote (Costner’s first in N.M. since 1985’s Silverado) is an indie comedy about a contentious, evenly matched presidential election, which ultimately comes down to a single deciding vote. Costner plays the all-important ballot-caster, a single father. The film is being written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, whose only previous directing effort (the 2005 psychological drama Neverwasstarring Aaron Eckhart and Ian McKellen) was released direct to DVD. Filming is expected to begin on July 23 in Belen and Albuquerque.
Somebody told Hollywood you love penguins. And in a perhaps misguided attempt to satisfy your unquenchable desire for all things penguin-related, the movie studios have responded by providing you (and, by extension, everyone else in America) with a string of penguin-filled films. So far, we’ve had March of the Penguins,Farce of the Penguins, chunks of Madagascar, every square inch of Happy Feet and at least one episode of “Planet Earth.” ... Well, at least they didn’t find out about your love for unicorns.
Aussie drama contemplates topics of love and death (mostly death)
By Devin D. O’Leary
If the plot for the ruminative new drama Jindabynesounds vaguely familiar—a group of men locate a dead woman’s body while on a fishing trip—that’s because it’s based on the Raymond Carver short story “So Much Water, So Close to Home.” Carver’s minimalist tale also planted the story seed for one of the segments in Robert Altman’s L.A.-bound anthology Short Cuts(the one with Huey Lewis’ prosthetic wiener). While Altman’s film expanded somewhat on Carver’s story (which doesn’t run much more than a thousand words), Jindabyne runs away with it, taking it all the way to New South Wales, Australia.
It’s summertime, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the television networks are coasting on fumes. So we can’t exactly fault the summer replacement series “Pirate Master” for failing to live up to the legacy that is creator/producer Mark Burnett’s other tropical-themed, elimination-based, million-dollar reality series. Sure, “Pirate Master” is no “Survivor.” Still, viewed from an it’s-hot-I’m-lazy-and-at-least-this-isn’t-“America’s Got Talent” vantage point, “Pirate Master” may yet unearth enough stupid entertainment to rate as a very guilty pleasure.
More than 60 years down the line, it can be difficult to get all that worked up about Hitler and his dirty deeds. Over the intervening decades, the word Nazi has become tragically diluted. These days, you might call your spouse a Nazi for demanding that you do your share of the housework, or your boss one for refusing to let you make personal calls at the office.
In the past month, several of the nation’s biggest book sections—in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta—have instituted major cutbacks or changes to their coverage. In addition, the AP wire service eliminated its book review, while other daily papers are gradually winnowing their book pages down to nothing.
New Perennial Favorites, Part Two—This multipart edition of "The Dish" is devoted to established Albuquerque chefs who are stepping up to the range at new projects. Click here to read last week's installation on Sam Etheridge's forthcoming Nob Hill Bar and Grill.
French wine is by far my favorite—a bad French Bordeaux is better than a good California Meritage, and a stinky Burgundy is better than a perfumed Oregon Pinot Noir any day. So when I heard a new French wine-oriented restaurant was opening in Nob Hill, I about wet my pants. To the benefit of my pants and my pride, I was able to pull myself back together when I discovered that Michael Cooperman (creator of the somewhat bloated but nonetheless chock-full-of-great-finds wine menu at Scalo) crafted the wine list at La Provence. Given that brasserie or brewery usually implies a more comfortable and laid-back environment, I thought I would reserve my judgment.
Albuquerquephobia—As you probably know by now, I have wandered out into the vast southern desert (Alamogordo) and embarked on a magnificent quest to add weight to my rather skimpy résumé. I hope to one day earn more than a crack whore and attain worldwide fame.
Indie 101.5 struggles on, though it can't outrun consolidation
By Marisa Demarco
Three Santa Feans made a break for it last year, severing ties with corporate radio and declaring their independence on July 4 [See: Profile, "A Signal Apart," Dec. 21-27, 2006]. Ellie Garrett, Sam Ferrara and Michael Warren co-founded Indie 101.5, a commercial station run on idealism, on the hope that listeners would support a for-profit radio station playing more than just the few hundred tunes Clear Channel's been spinning.
Dateline: Japan—A gold bathtub worth nearly $1 million has gone missing from a resort hotel in Kamogawa, south of Tokyo. A worker at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki notified police that the glittering tub was missing from the hotel’s guest bathroom on the 10th floor. The round tub, worth $987,000, is made from 18-karat gold and weighs 176 pounds. Flanked by two crane statues, the tub had been a main feature of the hotel’s extravagant shared bathroom. Visitors were allowed to take a dip in the tub, but it was only available a few hours a day for “security reasons,” the hotel’s website said. According to local police, someone cut the chain attached to the door of a small section of the bathroom where the bathtub was located and made off with the fixture. “We have no witness information and there are no video cameras,” said a police official. “We have no idea who took it.”
Investigator quests after real info on our myths and monsters
By Marisa Demarco
A woman came to Benjamin Radford a couple years ago with proof of the supernatural, a recording of a child ghost. You've got to hear this, she said. Radford's response: How do you know what a child ghost sounds like? "I wasn't trying to be nasty or facetious," he says. That's just his job.
Jason Daniello's back in town for a Naomi-style reunion
By Jenny Gamble
Jason Daniello is always smiling. It’s no act—his smile is molded to that contagious positive attitude of his. And if you saw him perform when he lived here in Albuquerque, you probably caught it, too, along with a head full of songs.
HD station pushes national pop artists and tries to avoid stereotypes
By Marisa Demarco
Among the last 10 songs played one Friday afternoon on Pride Radio: "I Wanna Sex You Up," Color Me Badd; "Behind Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson; "Summer Love," Justin Timberlake. What makes these tracks particularly gay or prideful? You'd have to do some traveling to find out. The programming for Pride Radio, broadcasting over HD to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, is selected in New York. Clear Channel's Jason Ortiz spoke about the newest addition to our HD roster, a channel geared toward gay and lesbian communities that's been streaming to us from Dallas/Fort Worth since April.
There are two things you're sure to find in abundance during ABQ Pride: queer people and dancing. And lots of queer people dancing. And lots of not-queer people dancing because the queer people are having so much fun dancing everyone has to join in. It's a fabulous cycle.
Barely hugging their 20s, The Leftovers make good music from the bygone pop-punk days even better. These three lads from Portland, Maine, got their start like many other bands—playing basement parties and trying to impress girls. But their loyalty to three-minute songs with catchy hooks has gotten them farther than any backyard makeout session.
I like this Elias-Axel Pettersson guy. I like that he's giving a classical piano recital at the El Rey, of all places. I like that his mom called me to tell me how awesome he is. I like that she probably made this poster, too. He's playing at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. I imagine it's all-ages, but I'd like it even more if it wasn't. Just for the weirdness of it all. $15. (LM)
Get Educated—This weekend, the Continuing Education Center at the University of New Mexico will present its annual Digital Arts Conference. “Photography and Filmmaking: Your Future on Camera” is an all-day conference designed to help participants explore current topics in digital photography and filmmaking. They’ll explore hands-on learning in state-of-the-art computer labs and learn how to initiate or expand specific careers on either side of the camera. Conference topic choices include makeup and costuming, screenwriting, camera operation, lighting, motion graphics, character animation, post-production, Photoshop techniques, executive portraits, digital SLR techniques and more. There will be a keynote presentation by award-winning Hollywood filmmaker Phil Nibbelink and demonstrations by Apple and Adobe.
Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of Tyler Perry. I don’t trust people who slap their name on everything, like Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion (the Ruth’s Chris Steak House of movies). I find Perry’s harmless, well-intentioned Christian-tinged morality plays perfectly suitable for Sunday morning sermonizing, but far too ham-handed for mainstream viewing. I’ve learned from past experience that criticizing the guy leads to all sorts of angry letters from rabid Perry disciples levying accusations of racism and anti-Christian sentiment. But honestly, it all boils down to one thing: I just don’t think the guy is funny.
Extended Run—Eat, Drink and Be Larry’s new comedy spectacular, Macbeth in Space, gets an extended run this weekend at the Box Performance Space (1025 Lomas NW). The production is directed by Jason Witter and features the Alibi’s own Devin O’Leary. It tells the story of a frozen Macbeth who wakes up 400 years in the future and starts murdering people. Sound like a good time? You bet. Check it out Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, at 8 p.m. $8. 404-1578.
How funny that the most famous New Mexican who ever lived just happened to be a ruthless killer. If we lived in a sane universe, you might think this would be bad for tourism. Luckily, we don't live in a sane universe. Most people might not realize New Mexico is part of the United States, but once they learn how William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, got embroiled in a Shakespearean revenge plot in Lincoln County in the 1870s, they're eager to visit our fine state, buy Billy the Kid T-shirts by the dozen, and revel in every detail of the outlaw’s bloody exploits and youthful demise.
Sara Paretsky has been worrying a lot lately. To a certain degree, this is nothing new. “I’m a pessimist by nature,” the 59-year-old creator of the V.I. Warshawski detective series says. “Some people say the glass is half empty, some say it is half full. I say: ‘I didn’t even get a glass!’”
New Perennial Favorites, Part One—It should be enough that chefs work punishing, 80-hour weeks and still manage to create beautiful plates of food. If they can come home and, still reeking of garlic and grease traps, find the romance—and energy—to produce a brood of their own, so much the better for the human race. (That's survival of the fittest in action, folks.) In the event these chefs survive that lethal combination and can create another fine restaurant to preside over, it's a near-miracle. And that's the sweet spot some of Albuquerque's brightest chefs are working themselves into right now. This multi-part edition of "The Dish" is devoted to Albuquerque chefs who are burning the candle at both ends, stepping up to the range at old favorites and new projects alike. If our beloved chefs don't keel over from heatstroke, we'll be eating well this year.
Waging a war against recruitment at Albuquerque’s public high schools
By Kate Trainor
In Albuquerque’s high schools, students are more likely to sign up for military service than join the student senate. The armed forces are as popular as any school sport and, on many campuses, military recruiters and the JROTC are a more prominent presence than college or career scouts.
Freecycle proves one man's ugly pink chair is another man's treasure
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
In many respects, ours is a throwaway society. We use untold disposable widgets: Razors, pens, lighters, napkins. Restaurants and households toss out foodstuffs like there's an unlimited supply. Cars break and are indifferently junked. Functional buildings are torn down and replaced with new ones. Lasting objects, underneath it all, seem to be an affront to this ever-revolving door, relentlessly enticing its consumers with new and better goods. As a result, landscapes are marred with dumps that teem with the discarded, both legitimate refuse and salvageable goods.
Bad Science, Bad News—I hope by the time this is published, it is but one more voice in a symphony of angry letters and editorials directed at the top story on the front page of Friday's Albuquerque Journal. The story, "Lean to the Left? It May Be Mommy's Fault," succeeds on no level. It's a bad headline on a bad piece of reporting about some bad science.
On May 21, Mayor Martin Chavez promoted his FY08 budget at a press conference outside City Hall, while inside councilors prepared to amend the mayoral package to reflect their own priorities. The amended FY08 Goals bill passed unanimously, and the Council's appropriations bill passed 6-3, Councilors Sally Mayer, Craig Loy and Ken Sanchez opposed.
Let’s run through this one more time. Maybe then it’ll make some sense to me, ’cuz I gotta say, so far this brouhaha over cutting the city’s share of gross receipts taxes seems like mayoral foolishness and not much else.
Dateline: Germany—Police are trying to decide whether or not to charge a wheelchair-bound man with drunk driving after he was found weaving down the road near the northeastern city of Schwerin. The unnamed 31-year-old was found to be 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers. “He was right in the middle of the road,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “The officers couldn’t quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That’s a life-threatening figure.” The intoxicated man told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was just trying to get back to his home some two miles away. Police said that because the man was technically traveling as a pedestrian, it is unlikely that he will be charged with a driving offense. “It’s not like we can impound his wheelchair,” the spokesperson said. “But he is facing some sort of punishment.”
Salsa, Salsa and More Delicious Salsa—“What do you think came first, the dip or the dance?" This question was recently posed at a Tuesday morning editorial meeting and is the kind of query that is either asked by: 1) A slack-jawed cretin, 2) One of many cloistered Americans, totally oblivious to Latin culture, 3) Both 1 and 2, or 4) A drowsy editor, exhausted from hours of mulling over every single word in the paper. The question in this case was asked by 4 (you know who you are). There, there, everyone says dumb things sometimes.
Glue your eyes to the rink as Albuquerque’s own Munecas Muertas knock the snot out of Minnesota Rollergirls away team, the Rockits. Saturday, June 2, at Club Fantasia (4901 McLeod NE). $5 in advance (www.dukecityderby.com), $7 at the door (opens at 3 p.m.). (LM)
Maybe you're craving something different, a little fever to fill your soul, an experience that stands out and stands alone in your next musical outing … seems like you're craving The Ringers. Promising more than your average rock show, this little band from Los Angeles is dedicated to high kicks and headlocks every time they take the stage.
Rap cassette release party featuring The Booty Green, North America and DJ Cherry Lee
By Amy Dalness
It wouldn't be a stretch to say the boys of Rap have a mean case of retrophilia. One of their main musical inspirations is the 1989 NES game Ninja Gaiden. Keytars are essential at every show. Both Brandon Bethancourt and Hari Ziznewski wear large aviators, vintage Reebok shirts and nylon track pants—even when not performing. And for their first album release, they're going pure plastic with the classic white cassette tape.
My German grandmother always had washing machine-sized rhubarb plants, with massive red and green stalks and leaves the size of cookie sheets. Despite adding fish emulsion, horse shit and compost, my rhubarb still remains minuscule.
I've even split up the massive root system, and all have sprouted. But all are small. What gives? How can I make Gramma proud?
The population of homeless women and children across the country is growing, says Lisa LaBrecque, director of policy for the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. Albuquerque's no exception. Families with children make up an estimated 40 percent of the city's homeless population, according to LaBrecque. The housing market booms. Rents jump. Affordable housing dwindles.
"There's a million stories as to why women are homeless," says Jill Criswell, development director of the Barrett Foundation, a system of services that houses the only emergency shelter in Albuquerque for women. There are way more services for homeless men in Albuquerque, because that's how estimates regarding the makeup of the homeless population skew, she says.
Goodnight, Editorial Independence—It's reasonably safe to say that FOX News is slanted and bizarre, its anchors and analysts need only begin donning "I <3 righty, lol" T shirts to confirm what everyone else already knows. Even moderates joke about it, or let out long sighs, slowly shaking their heads at the latest bout of FOX "reporting." FOX owner Rupert Murdoch, who appears only slightly more innocuous and kindly than, say, Darth Sidious, is stalking the Wall Street Journal, his monstrous bags of money ready to snap into their saliva-sticky orifices another morsel of mainstream media. Goodnight, editorial independence.
David Iglesias and I worked together in the Special Prosecutions Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. That was a long time ago. I went into private practice and David went on to become the United States Attorney for New Mexico.
To get at the truth behind the U.S. Attorney purges, we should listen to former federal prosecutor David Iglesias (see this week's "Talking Points" in the news section): Start at the bottom of the food chain, then work your way up.
Dateline: England—A judge presiding over the trial of three Muslims accused of using the Internet to incite terrorism admitted in court he doesn’t know what a website is. Judge Peter Openshaw brought a halt to the trial as a witness was being quizzed about an extremist Web forum. He told prosecutors at Woolrich Crown Court in east London, “The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a website is.” Prosecutor Mark Ellison tried to help the judge by explaining terms like “website” and “forum.” But the 59-year-old Openshaw admitted, “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.” Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case. Concluding last Wednesday’s session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison, “Will you ask him to keep it simple, we’ve got to start from basics.”
Docs Rock—Prior to the shocking declaration that he would be running for president of the United States (who knew?), Gov. Bill Richardson took time out of his busy schedule to announce the winners of the 2007 Governor’s Cup Short Documentary Competition. The Governor’s Cup is part of Richardson’s ongoing initiative to foster local filmmaking talent (along with last weekend’s successful New Mexico Filmmaker’s Showcase at the Guild Cinema).
Sweet/tart comedy-drama feeds the need for summertime romance
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s entirely possible that moviegoers are already burned out on the megabuck sequels trampling their way through America’s summertime cineplexes like so many celluloid Godzillas, Ghidorahs and Mothras. If the likes of Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Thirdand Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s Endhave you hankering for a nice, quiet movie with nary a Happy Meal tie-in in sight, then you’ll be pleased to note that the first sleeper hit of the summer season has already arrived.
Absorbing documentary mixes music and mental illness
By Devin D. O’Leary
For decades, singer/songwriter Roky Erickson has been a musician’s musician—the name to drop for industry pros and amateurs alike wishing to score serious street cred based on their meticulously researched list of non-mainstream musical influences.
Free Ozzy—The Prince of F***ing Darkness is cashing in on another run of Ozzfest, which includes a July 26 stop at Journal Pavilion. Fourteen uneven years after its debut, hope that this festival could retain more integrity than a fatted cash cow seems soundly, painfully extinguished—not least of all by the festival's pandering to "murderous clown" acts like Slipknot. But fans of the Bewildered Evil One have some redeeming incentives to come out this time. (I mean, besides the spectacle of Ozzy's stage handlers dousing his crotch with water at regular intervals ... No sir, no cover for incontinence there!)
At first it was simple pop-rock songs. Well, lighter on the rock, really. "Then things got progressively weirder," says Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear of the Animal Collective. AC members have known each other since grade school in Baltimore, but it wasn't until they all found themselves in New York for one reason or another that things got serious—and weird. If tape manipulations, sound collages and a genre commonly defined as "acid folk" are unfamiliar, "weird" might be a good place to start. Actually, the Collective is unconcerned with defining itself by genre and instead focuses solely on not repeating itself, bringing in elements of modern classical composition, prog-rock, jazz—you name it.
High Mayhem Studios (1703-B Lena Street, Santa Fe) presents an exhibit of Orwellian art posters by Michael Sumner and Melody Sumner Carnahan. 7 p.m., all-ages, free. Stick around for new music from Adobe Gillis ($5-$10 donation) at 9 p.m. (LM)
Tall Glass of Twine—New Mexico's very own Blythe Eden Dance Company has put together an original modern dance performance that will be staged this week during Wild Dancing West, a three-week dance festival over at the North Fourth Art Center (4904 Fourth Street NW). Twine is choreographed by Eden and features performances by company members Jacqueline Garcia, Allie Hankins and Jesse Wintermute along with original music by Jennifer Ruffalo. The show runs Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 general, $8 students/seniors. They can be ordered by calling 344-4542.
Laurie Thomas’ Mad Hattr is a jabberwocked reenactment of the biography of Charles Dodgson, the English mathematician, photographer and writer who, under the name Lewis Carroll, authored what are quite possibly the most beloved works of children’s literature ever composed in the English language. For decades, numerous societies and journals have analyzed the impact of this mysterious man, but despite recent scholarship based on new discoveries about his life, Dodgson remains a big question mark, a riddle just as mind-twisting as his books and poems.
Sometimes a girl needs something solid, reliable, even predictable, be it Chinese food or a nice guy. Before the age of 25, a gal like me needed a man who drove a fast car, had a criminal record, and always needed a shave and an aspirin. Guys who called me the wrong name, slept until 5 p.m. and wore leather pants on a Sunday were my specialty. They kept me waiting. They kept me wondering. And they provided me with enough wild, spicy adventure that I seldom noticed in time that my heart (and occasionally my checkbook and hubcaps) was gone.