You know the cartoon pizza chef who wears a white toque with his ears sticking out and a smile that takes up half his face? The one who sends dough soaring toward the ceiling in dizzying swirls? Well, Burque now has its own such pizzaiolo.
Who doesn’t love a friendly competition? Every year, our readers submit thousands of votes telling us what they think about the best and brightest our city has to offer. The results are in, determined entirely by our readers, not Alibi staff. Here’s to you, Albuquerque, and to your finest.
The fresh-faced congressman representing our city and the rest of CD1 in Washington won this most important race, the one to your hearts. Awwww. So far he's made good on his promise to support green legislation and cosponsored a bill that would require the United States to get 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.
Written, directed, filmed and edited by Chris Roybal, Descansos is a fine choice. The drama about love, loss and roadside shrines is made up of eight vignettes shot all the way across northern New Mexico. In addition to showcasing picturesque locations like Albuquerque, Taos and Chimayo, the film also shines a spotlight on more than 20 local up-and-coming actors and actresses.
When you're in the mood for a casual, food-based affair—you know, just a bowl of soup, an iced mocha latte or a big muffin—you head straight to one of the many (and still growing) locations of Flying Star. Who needs table service and linen napkins when you've got gooey, creamy mac and cheese?
A diverse array of drinkers stops by for a cold one every night at the Anodyne. No matter what social clique you belong to or what your beverage of choice is, the staff at the Anodyne makes sure you get it fast. It only takes a few visits before the bartenders know what you want before you even ask for it.
The movers and shakers behind New Mexico's largest independent bookstore recently shut the doors at Page One Two, folding most of that store's used stock into the original Page One. While it's sad to see Page One Two gone, it makes Page One even more vital. Where else can you find such a locally owned superstore filled with literary treasures both new and used?
Fast Heart Mart doesn't just talk the sidewalk talk; it walks the sidewalk rock. Rain, shine or mounted horse cops on the street, FHM gives the finger to holding down a job and high-fives the common man with a snare drum and that unmistakable double-necked acoustic guitar.
You put out an e-mail events newsletter called Subterranean Albuquerque. What's your motivation for doing it?
I think it's generally known as obsessive-compulsive disorder. But it also seems like there's a real need for something that gathers information into one place for people. It provides a big picture of how vital the "un-dependent" music scene (not to mention other alternative media) is in this town.
I've always been involved in the Boys and Girls Club. It's played a major role in who I've become. I grew up in a single-parent home and my mom worked. My coaches there were like my fathers. That was the first place I learned to take my hat off when I came into a room, and which is the salad fork and which is the dinner fork, and things like that. They have all kinds of great programs that helped me learn how to fit in wherever I went.
What’s an example of art you love in Burque, and why?
Ross Ward’s Tinkertown Museum (on the east side of the Sandias) embodies a theme that is unique to Albuquerque. Ward’s brilliant homage to himself expresses a wry and defiant sense of independence that does not answer to popular trends or fashions. Albuquerque’s creative community possesses this same need for self-invention. In the 18 years that I have lived in this city, I have witnessed the ebb and flow of a dynamic cultural landscape that demands a high level of engagement and participation but is always a whole lotta fun!
It's a chance for you to kick us in the pants, complain about categories we did and didn't have, and give shout-outs to your homies. We got a vote for Hamlet 2 as the worst movie filmed in Albuquerque. Gene Grant's "The Line" on PBS got a vote as the best local TV show. Grant got another nod when someone voted for him and Jim Belshaw as the best ex-newspaper columnists. Another Burqueño said we should nickname our fair city "The Cheap and Sunny," probably after that killer Fast Heart Mart song. And how's this for heartwarming? Best reason to live in Albuquerque: the people.
OK, so the democratic process yielded the Best of Burque winners. So what? What about the hidden treasures and awesome insider info lurking inside your own BOB ballot? If you want to share your incredibly discerning picks with the world via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or whatever your favorite web gizmo might be, we've cooked up a quick-and-easy page here >>. It's a crazy social media world! We only live in it.
Dateline: Germany—A Bavarian town is finally set to strip Adolf Hitler of the honorary citizenship he was granted—a mere 64 years after the fall of the Nazi leader’s regime. Austrian-born Hitler secured German citizenship from Bavarian burghers in Schwabach, located near Nuremberg, in 1933. Last Friday, city councilors voted to strip the deceased dictator and two other senior Nazi officials of their citizenship. “It would look strange if we didn’t withdraw it,” Mayor Matthias Thürauf told the Croatian Times.
This Friday, April 3, is the deadline to get your locally made films (shorts or features) in to the 2009 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase. The four-day event (May 14 through 17) is sponsored by the State Film Office and gives up-and-coming New Mexico film and video artists a chance to show off their work. This is a first-come, first-served “open sheet”-style screening. Organizers will accept a total of 30 hours’ worth of programming, and space is filling up quick. If you’ve got something you’d like to show off and haven’t submitted it yet, get on over to Guild Cinema in Nob Hill (3405 Central NE) and drop off your DVD! For more information, log on to nmfilm.com.
Judging from the trailer for Adventureland, casual viewers might assume they’re in for a lighthearted romp through post-collegiate hell. But save for a few full-belly laughs, the film is anything but blithe.
Epic biopic more bluntly informative than passionately provocative
By Devin D. O’Leary
Writer/producer/cinematographer/director Steven Soderbergh has had his name attached to enough big-ticket blockbusters (Out Of Sight, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) to be mistaken for a mainstream Hollywood filmmaker. He isn’t really. Dig through his résumé in full and you’ll find plenty of proof that—despite palling around with George Clooney and Julia Roberts—his heart lies in doggedly uncommercial independent cinema. For evidence, put Kafka, King of the Hill, Underneath, Schizopolis and 2005’s self-distributed Bubble in your Netflix queue—because you probably aren’t going to find them at your local Blockbuster.
Marianne Dissard was born in a small village in the South of France.
When Dissard was 16, her dad secured a job in Arizona and moved the entire family over. Her parents went back to France a few years later, but Dissard stayed behind. She went to USC for film school, then she returned to Tucson to film a documentary on the local band Giant Sand. The group featured future Calexico frontman Joey Burns.
Dissard says she planned to move back to France for good after her film was finished, but romance intervened. While visiting Paris, she met a French musician who adored Tucson, and the two returned to the desert.
Formerly an online-only gallery, it seems appropriate that ArtHaus66 is now housed in the same building where Bill Gates and Paul Allen began developing Microsoft. The gallery provides Albuquerqueans with the unique opportunity to see stateside exhibitions by contemporary Spanish artists, often before they show anywhere else west of New York or Boston. ArtHaus66 also shows work from other European and U.S.-based artists. The gallery specializes in photographs, prints and paintings.
I don't have kids, and because I've had more time to observe and judge how other people raise their kids, this pretty much makes me somewhat of an expert on child rearing. One trend that I hate is children's books that make noise. As if colorful pictures and a nice story involving a small animal and its loving parent, read by your own adoring parent, is just way too boring when you're 2. Now, I have never taken a class in psychiatry or psychology, but I'm fairly sure I'm 100 percent right when I say the formula is simple: Toys that make needless noise = future ADD.
The Desert Rose Playhouse is hard to find. Located in a Northeast Heights strip mall alongside an optician and next to a car wash, the MapQuest directions aren’t wrong; it's just that it doesn't seem like it’s supposed to be there. It's a long way from the theater nexus of Nob Hill and Downtown.
It’s a cold March morning when I meet with Shelley Simms at UNM’s Jonson Gallery. Simms is the administrative assistant at the gallery and a UNM alumnus. A few months back, she and I, along with the UNM Art Museum’s Esther Golden, discussed art in Albuquerque over French-style sandwiches. We had gotten together to talk about what programs and exhibits their organizations were offering, but it quickly became a larger conversation about UNM’s art presence in the city.
We were putzing around the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon (our favorite pastime) and decided to make some snacky nuts to have in a bowl on the kitchen table. We had a bouquet of fresh rosemary in our face, which had just been clipped from the garden and jammed into a vase, so herby nuts became the mission. As luck would have it, pecans were the only nut in the house. We just roasted, tossed and served ’em up.
Amy Adams and Emily Blunt work hard for the money in offbeat dramedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
That the new dramedy Sunshine Cleaning comes to theaters courtesy of “the producers of Little Miss Sunshine” will be of little surprise to those who end up watching both films. Aside from the titular noun, the films share a similar dysfunctional family ethic, a near-identical maudlin sense of humor, the same Duke City setting and crotchety old actor Alan Arkin.
A developmentally delayed man files suit against the system that put him behind bars for three years
By Marisa Demarco
The day started like any other. Christina Romero's nephew, 20-year-oldRobert Gonzales, was heading to West Mesa High School to say hi to his girlfriend. "I told him, ‘OK. Be back pretty soon so we can go to the store,’ ” Romero says. "I never even got to do that."
What legislation was turned into links, and what was left as greasy globs of guts? The session’s over, but Gov. Bill Richardson hasn’t taken action on everything that made it to his desk. We'll keep you in the loop as things progress by adding updates here.
Descansos are the roadside memorials that pepper our state. The word “descanso” comes from the Spanish word meaning “to rest” (as in a resting place, either a final one for a body or a temporary one for pallbearers making their way to a grave). Roadside memorials are both traditional and popular in the Southwest. Albuquerque Journal columnist Leslie Linthicum noted Dec. 21, 2008,that “the decorated crosses that dot our highways, marking the place where a soul left this earth in a car crash, are high on my list of what makes New Mexico the best place to live.”
Dateline: Australia—An Australian state minister has lodged a complaint after a city councilor put forward a motion to buy her a sex toy. Sydney Councilor Danny Lim lodged the motion to buy a "vibrator" for New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge. He wanted to encourage her to "stop screwing with the people of Strathfield and screw herself instead," reported the Australian Daily Telegraph. The Council refused to table the motion, but Ms. Judge has lodged a complaint calling for action against Mr. Lim. Lim admitted to the incident and said he had been behind a series of corruption allegations against Ms. Judge—claims that have been rejected. "The pattern of harassment and verbal abuse is intimidating and upsetting to me and my family," Ms. Judge said.
Though Weyrich Gallery is a small space, it presents work intended to surpass limits. Weyrich's focus is harmony. The gallery shows handmade jewelry, photography, etchings, hand-painted silk and mixed media. The gallery also carries ceramics and specializes in Japanese-style porcelain.
Though we've had a mild, even meteorologically boring, winter, that doesn't dampen the excitement at spring's arrival. Humans have always celebrated the thaw and bud of spring, mostly by dancing around in circles of some sort. Tune in to your tribal essence and celebrate spring with song and dance and venturing to San Francisco and the insertion of flowers in your hair.
Talking family with Sweet Nata author Gloria Zamora
By Lisa Lenard-Cook
Because Gloria Zamora is one of my own former writing students, Sweet Nata’s publicationgives me special joy. But despite the thrill of seeing her memoir in print, it’s been a difficult winter for Gloria. Only five months ago, Mike, her husband of 33 years, died suddenly while cutting wood in the Jemez. Still stung by this loss, Gloria chose not to change her biography on the back of the book; it states that she lives with her husband in Corrales.
Last week, Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García and State Historian Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez announced a film and photography contest for ninth-grade students in New Mexico. Students are encouraged to create an “original film or photomontage that relates a traditional trade or career to a community’s past.” These short film/video/photography projects should also aim to document the education and technology necessary to preserve that trade in the future. Suggested trades for students to document include farming, ranching, construction, weaving and the arts. The deadline for submissions is May 1. Although it sounds suspiciously like extra-credit homework, the four best entries will be selected and those schools will each receive a digital camera package. Student films will also be considered for inclusion in the Office of the State Historian’s Digital History Project, and the best projects will be included in a DVD for use by the Public Education Department and schools as a teaching tool. Not too shabby, really. For more information, go to ped.state.nm.us/press/2009/20090202-filmProjectStep1.pdf.
San Francisco, Calif. ... Gently nestled among the hipster coffeehouses, overpriced hotels and streets teeming with homeless poets sits the Moscone Center, a stark-white building erected in 1981 that serves as geek Mecca over the course of three caffeine-and-comic-book-fueled days. Every year, thousands of eager collectors and fans gather here to worship at the feet of popular culture at the annual WonderCon, the smaller cousin to San Diego’s gigantic Comic-Con. During a visit to WonderCon in late February, I had the pleasure of meeting David Gregory, president of Severin films, a DVD label based out of the U.K. that specializes in the distribution of classic Euro-sleaze titles. Personally, I’ll take the softcore antics of Emmanuelle over a major studio crapfest any day of the week, so David was a pretty easy guy for me to get along with. And I was surprised to discover that Severin’s latest offering is the amazing three-disc set of Inglorious Bastards, a great WWII “men on a mission” flick from 1978.
In what must go down in history as one of the most misguided attempts to come up with a newer, “hipper” image, the Sci Fi Channel is changing its name. Starting July 7, the longtime cable network will be known as ... drum roll, please ... SyFy! Yeah. Exactly. Huh?
This week, Albuquerque’s The Porter Draw celebrates its first recording. Trouble sometimes races, is sometimes slow and measured, is always at least a little forlorn. The album is a cross-country journey marked by excellent playing, refined harmonies and run-ins with the law. Formed in the summer of ’07 as a three piece, The Porter Draw is now comprised of Ben Wood, Josh Gingerich, Vince Edgerton, Russell Pyle and Mojo Atzberger. The bluegrass-y quintet, named after a Colorado off-ramp, e-mailed us answers to a few questions.
Top local musicians come to the rescue as the Outpost hosts five benefit concerts
By Mel Minter
A few weeks back, Tom Guralnick, executive director and resident visionary at the Outpost, was onstage introducing David Sánchez when he mentioned that the internationally recognized saxophonist had appeared at the Outpost previously. He couldn’t remember when, though.
Aristeia injects Amped (4200 Lomas NE) with a dose of Portland experimental shoegaze on Saturday, March 28. Locals Poema, Shekinah and Authors & Illustrator bring the rubbing alcohol. The show’s $3 and all-ages as ever. (Laura Marrich)
The path to growing your own food is lined with good seed catalogs
By Ari LeVaux
Gardening season starts when you open your first seed catalog in the dead of winter, and it doesn’t end until you’ve dug your last carrot, plucked your final Brussels sprout or eaten your last pickled pepper of the season.
With America’s Hispanic population poised to eclipse the white population any day now, it’s pretty cool to see a full-service Hispanic-focused supermarket chain. Pro’s Ranch Market started as a family store determined to meet the needs of an ever-evolving Latin community and has grown into a chain with locations in California, Arizona, Texas and now New Mexico.
A few miles from New Mexico, the border town is struggling for normalcy amid a drug war, corruption and exodus
By Maren Tarro
Walking through downtown Juárez, only steps from the border, Maria Vargas is unable to conceal her frustration and sadness. Where tourists and shoppers once crowded stalls and stores, heavily armed and masked Mexican troops now patrol. Shopkeepers lean in doorways, wariness at the edges of their eyes, their businesses deserted and hushed. The playful bargaining between customers and store owners is missing, along with the laughter and conversation that once spilled from restaurants and cantinas.
NMSU student uses poetry to fill in the blanks left by sparse reporting on the drug war
By Maren Tarro
Naomi Ruth Estrada, a 27-year-old English major at NMSU, was frustrated with the national media’s sparse reporting on Mexico’s violent drug war. So she put pen to paper last year to write "Speak a Stupid Brave," a poem using clips from articles she received through "Frontera NorteSur"e-mail updates. "Frontera"is an NMSU-based newsletter focusing on border issues.
Gov. Richardson sent out his annual call for entries to the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase. The 2009 showcase is a series of free public screenings designed to expose and celebrate the work of New Mexico filmmakers. This four-day event offers local writers and directors a chance to have their short or feature-length film shown publicly on the big screen at Guild Cinema in Albuquerque. Screenings will be free to the public, and there is no entry fee to submit. Narrative, documentary, animated and experimental films are welcome. The Guild will accept a total of 30 hours of films on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 3. Entry forms are available at the Guild Cinema box office (3405 Central NE) or online at nmfilm.com. The showcase will take place May 14 through 17. If you’re a filmmaker looking to get some exposure, here’s your chance. Get on it!
Directory Kelly Reichardt follows last year’s much-praised indie Old Joy with the tonally similar Wendy and Lucy. Like Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy is a contemplative tale of relationships. Though the former film told the story of two out-of-touch friends reunited for a camping trip, the latter explores the connection between a rambling woman and her loyal pooch.
Nonsensical thriller mixes supernatural, science, science fiction, religious prophecy, Nicolas Cage, whatever was on hand
By Devin D. O’Leary
Warning: This review contains spoilers. Seriously. Lots of them. I don’t normally give out spoilers. Studios hate when reviewers do that. So do a lot of moviegoers. But I simply can’t insult the new techno-supernatural-whatsis thriller Knowing without giving away its few meager secrets. If you really want to see Knowing, I suggest you spend your 10 bucks on 10 Big Beef Burritos at Taco Bell or give it to charity or throw it in a wishing well—something useful instead. If you really, really want to see Knowing, I suggest you stop reading this review right now.
Last year’s crippling Writers Guild strike signaled an end to TV’s traditional pilot season. Stuck with sagging ratings and crummy shows, however, the networks are scrambling to come up with new product for fall 2009. It’s hard to guess which of these shows will actually make it onto the air, but here’s a quick sampling of the star-studded series pilots shooting in Hollywood (and elsewhere).
The Arts Alliance Gallery primarily features exhibits from local and state artists and craftsmen, grouped by medium or artistic societies. Past exhibits showcased work from New Mexico Wood Turners, New Mexico Bead Society and New Mexico Silk Painters Guild. The space, located on the corner of Lomas and San Mateo, also hosts receptions and meetings for Albuquerque art organizations. Till the end of March, the 1,500 square-foot gallery hosts "Beyond the I: From the Personal to the Cosmic," featuring work by New Mexico and Arizona artists from the Society of Layerists in Multi-Media. The Albuquerque-founded society shares the commonality of the holistic ability art across all mediums. The gallery's April exhibit is the work the New Mexico Polymer Clay Guild. The juried show opens Friday, April 3 and will feature polymer clay jewelry and art.
Last week, President Obama touched upon some of his plans to address our country's increasingly disastrous education system. What garnered the bulk of the attention was the proposal of tying teacher pay to performance. Most teachers find this idea anathema, and many outside of education don't understand why. In the business world, it's easy to quantify someone's performance: It's all in the numbers. Education, however, cannot be run like a business, even though that’s been the trend for the past 15 years. The problem is: How is a teacher's worth determined? If it's solely tied to student performance, then good teachers who inherit struggling students could be penalized and poor teachers in good school systems rewarded. And what students have learned doesn't always show up in a test taken that same school year; it emerges over time as they learn to synthesize the information and skills into their lives.
Peace group cited for dishing up meals for the homeless without a permit
By Simon McCormack
A short line of young adults forms in front of a table covered with platters of cake, fruit salad, soup and bread. A few folks sit on the steps near the UNM Bookstore, noshing on their midday snacks while a man shouts, “Come have some free food.”
Something finally passed this session. Gov. Bill Richardson signed Rep. Gail Chasey’s controversial death penalty repeal into law on Wednesday, March 18, calling it the "most difficult decision" of his political career. According to the ACLU, 130 inmates on death row were proven innocent and released in the last 30 years. New Mexico is now the 15th state with no death penalty. (CC)
Dateline: Indonesia—Fundamentalist anti-porn protesters are threatening to ban a traditional Indonesian folk dance because it allows female dancers to expose their “erotic” underarms. West Java Governor Ahman Heryawan has warned practitioners of the jaipong dance—performed at official ceremonies and cultural festivals—to tone down their sexy moves and hide their underarms. Islamic parties in the multi-island nation are targeting the dance ahead of April general elections, after Parliament passed a controversial anti-porn law in December. “The worry is that once the anti-porn bill is fully implemented, the dance may be banned because it’s too erotic,” a senior leader of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party told Agence France-Presse. Outraged professional dance groups have called on Indonesians to teach the protesters a lesson at the ballot box come April. “What are they talking about?” Mas Nanu Muda of the Jaipong Care Community said. “The dancers are all covered up in long-sleeved traditional kebayas, not sexy tubes.” Bandung Tourism and Culture Office Chief M. Askary Wirantaatmadja admits, “Without shaking or gyrating, you can’t call it jaipong. I don’t consider it erotic, titillating or lustful. That’s all in the mind.”
It has been a surprising week with Councilors Debbie O’Malley and Michael Cadigan dropping out of the mayoral race. Both said it would be impossible to collect the more than 3,280 petition signatures and $5 donations required by the end of the month to qualify for public election financing. Those who qualify will get about $328,000 to run their campaigns.
CrazyFool releases its third album, Corruption Rock, on vinyl, CD and MP3 this week. Preview the funky madness at the Launchpad on Friday, March 20, as the band plays an all-ages show with La Junta, Fighting Chance and El Mono Sucio. Then stick around for the 21+ after show with Felonious Groove Foundation and Fantastic Planet. The music starts at 8 p.m., and cover’s $7. (Laura Marrich)
This weekend, on a testosterone-heavy desert camping sojourn, our friend Spencer enlightened us about a high school epiphany he once had: that Salsa Verde Doritos and a 20-ounce Coca-Cola are the "perfect combination" of flavors.