Q: Despite the fact that a link between aluminum cookware and Alzheimer's disease has been proven false, I still prefer to avoid using aluminum pots. However, all the stainless steel cookware that I've seen has aluminum in the base.
There’s a research info website called Smart QandA (qanda.encyclopedia.com); plug in a question and an answer comes back. How they hook you is by giving you a list of related local news stories, hoping you’ll want to expand your knowledge on the subject.
Dateline: England—The central English town of Birmingham has banned two street musicians from doing their thing because they only know two songs. Sick of hearing endless, out-of-tune renditions of “Wonderwall” by Oasis and “Faith” by George Michael, a judge at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court slapped a two-year performing ban on the bad buskers. Acoustic guitar player James Ryan, 40, and garbage can lid banger Andrew Cave, 39, were also barred from entering the Birmingham suburb of Moseley Village and playing instruments of any kind there. The city council added that it is now illegal for either man to beg for change anywhere in England or Wales. Next stop: France!
It's important to try new things. I'm somewhat of an expert at this. I've tried seven art forms, six sports, five languages and cooking. It is safe to say that I'm fairly horrible at all but one of these (hint: not cooking), but I'm better for having tried. In fact, I’m always on the lookout for the next thing I can be not very good at. Join me, won’t you?
Several years ago, art therapist Janis Timm-Bottos was inspired when she learned about Depression-era “community art studios.” These studios were created in response to the economic hardships of the day and gave people a free place to come together and express themselves. In 2001, Timm-Bottos founded OFFCenter, an art studio that provides supplies and studio space at no cost to just about anyone who wants to create.
Part café, part grocery store and part library, Persian Market is an oasis of Persian culture. A banal strip mall exterior gives little indication of the world inside; but when you open the door, things change. If you happen to read Farsi, help yourself to the pile of books by the door. If you’ve been wondering about Turkish delight ever since you read The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, you’ll find it on the shelves. (Turkey was conquered by Persian forces during the fifth and sixth centuries.) If you’re wondering what you might concoct with the gallon-bag of dried limes that’s for sale, take a seat and order a plate of khoresh-e ghormeh sabzi, a soupy dish of parsley, leeks and fenugreek fried with red kidney beans and dried limes.
On Friday, Sept. 11, the New Mexico Film Museum at Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe will host the premiere of Tamarind King and Paul Glickman’s just-completed New Visions 2007 Contract Award winning short “El Salon Mexico.” Inspired by the exuberant composition by Aaron Copeland, the animated film was made using Photoshop and Illustrator and consists of more than 22,500 individual frames. Previous animated films by King and Glickman will also be screened. There will be two free showings at 6 and 8 p.m. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP to email@example.com using “ESM Screening” in the subject line. The Jean Cocteau Theatre is located at 418 Montezuma in Santa Fe.
By-the-numbers sci-fi tale at least looks fantastic
By Devin D. O’Leary
Like the recent low-budget sci-fi hit District 9 (with which it shares a numerical kinship), director Shane Acker’s 9 also started out as an attention-grabbing short film. Nominated for an Academy Award in 2005, the 11-minute, 3-D-esque, CGI-animated silent film has been expanded into a 79-minute feature courtesy of producers Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride) and Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted).
Given the recent passing of Les Paul, the universally lauded godfather of the electric guitar, the timing couldn’t be better for Davis Guggenheim’s six-string-worshipping documentary It Might Get Loud. Aimed straight at the heart of the world’s most popular amplified instrument, the film is a love letter so obsessive it could be issued a restraining order.
Call it the “Susan Boyle Principal,” the naive yet endearing (and occasionally true) idea that, once in a great while, a dark horse, ugly ducking, underdog dreamer will be given a turn in the spotlight and seize it. In that one moment, they’ll shine, dazzling onlookers and naysayers with their incontrovertible talent, and it will be a victory for all those who weren’t fortunate enough to be born with money or looks or instant popularity. It’s a concept that speaks to the nerdy teenager buried in just about all of us.
Bid bon voyage to summer with your pals the Alibi this Saturday, Sept. 12. We're throwing a maritime-themed dance party with ’70s and ’80s soft rock out the yin-yang. Come dressed as a salty dog, Moby Dick, Jacques Cousteau, a pirate ... any oceanic costume that allows you to swim freely and shake "yarr booty." The Universal DJs Eve, Jessica, Bea and Grey man the jams, guaranteed to have 50 percent more yachts than your average Saturday night playlist—or your money back! Doors open at Burt's Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW, 21+, free) at 9 p.m.
In a way, The Thermals is the quintessential indie band. It’s attracted major label interest since forming in 2002, but its loyalty to the Northwest and strict DIY standards are testaments to punk rock ethics.
The Dandy Warhols is a band of many sonic hats. As its punny moniker suggests, the Portland four-piece harkens back to '60s bohemia, where psychedelia and art-rock experimentation are updated with indie-pop.
This Friday and Saturday night, Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will host the premiere of Flicker, a locally shot horror feature. The film is the work of writer-director Aaron Hendren, the man behind 2006’s The Faithful and the Foul. It stars a number of noted Albuquerque actors including Courtney Bell, Katy Houska, Kevin R. Elder, Julibeth Hendren, Abigail Blueher, Alex Knight, Kate Schroeder and Jason Witter. The story concerns a group of young people who encounter a host of crazed killers and creepy locals while on a camping trip. On Friday, Sept. 4, the cast and crew will be there for opening night, so show up and give them your support for a job well done. If you wanna check out a trailer beforehand, you can do so at apple.com/trailers/independent/flicker.
Misti Collinsworth and Cainan Harris met at a toga party in Kansas City, Mo. They reconnected in Albuquerque a few years later. Over drinks at a Downtown bar, they reached a conclusion. "We were like, There's not really a good gay happy hour place," Collinsworth says. "There's not really a whole lot of good gay anything here. We should probably do something about that."
Jami Hotsinpiller rang up the Alibi on a Friday afternoon. She nervously asked if I had a minute. She hates having her picture taken or her words printed for the world to see, and she describes herself as "really shy." She assured me she doesn't belong to any political organizations. But Hotsinpiller's got a media beef and is willing to go on the record about it.
On June 22, the City Council passed the extension of our famous Transportation Tax along to the voters for consideration in October; a reasonable and public-minded course of action, unless you count the arbitrary anti-rail preconditions and exclusions offered by a couple of councilors. But with these “amendments” or without, rail transit is in trouble in Albuquerque.
Dateline: The Netherlands—The Dutch national museum admitted last Thursday that one of its prize possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is actually just a hunk of petrified wood. The Rijksmuseum acquired the rock after the death of former Prime Minister Willem Drees in 1988. Drees received it in 1969 from then U.S. Ambassador J. William Middendorf during a European goodwill tour by three Apollo 11 astronauts. Middendorf, who now lives in Rhode Island, told Dutch broadcaster NOS news that he had gotten the rock from the U.S. Department of State, but couldn’t recall the exact details. The fist-size red stone was last exhibited in 2006. At the time, a space expert informed the museum it was unlikely NASA would have given away any moon rocks three months after Apollo returned to Earth. Researchers from Amsterdam’s Free University said they could see at a glance the rock most likely did not originate on the moon. Now, extensive testing reveals it to be a piece of common petrified wood. “It’s a nondescript, pretty-much-worthless stone,” geologist Frank Beunk concluded in an article published by the museum. Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra van Gelder said the museum would keep the curiosity anyway, adding, “We can laugh about it.”
Since 2007, the massive team behind Colorado’s Monolith Festival has made magic happen with a two-day odyssey into musical bliss. Hosted at the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Monolith Festival is quickly becoming the premier festival in the region. Last year saw appearances by Cut Copy, Justice, The Hood Internet, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Tilly and the Wall, Atmosphere, and Band of Horses. As if those performances weren’t enough, four additional stages were set up throughout the venue to ensure a variety of musical experiences.
Despite last year’s joyous release of an incredible live show from 1992 [Live at The Cat’s Cradle, 1992, Chocodog Records], all those early years when Ween consisted of Dean and Gene—two young, talented and hilarious Pennsylvania kids—and a drum machine seem like ancient history. Seeing a Ween show without drummer-extraordinaire Claude Coleman behind the kit has been impossible for the past 15 years, but that could change soon: Rumors have been spreading all over the Internet this summer about Coleman—a multi-instrumentalist who also leads the band Amandla and teaches at the Paul Green School of Rock in NYC—taking a break from Ween to make sense of a life that has perhaps appeared too fast and fun since his near-fatal auto accident. He even confirmed it in a heartfelt statement. However, when asked about Coleman’s departure, Dean Ween (born Mickey Melchiondo) told the Alibi, “Claude is still in the band the last time I checked.” In a follow-up e-mail, Ween’s manager Greg Frey told the Alibi, “Mickey's answer regarding Claude is spot on. Anything else is hearsay.”
It comes from the land of ice and snow, where the chief exports are IKEA and meatballs. Swedish five-piece Enforcer is proud to sport tight leather pants and play speed metal in the style of Iron Maiden. Hear the hammer drop at The Compound (3206 San Mateo NE) on Monday, Sept. 7, with Cauldron (from Canada, eh?) Torture Victim, Dread and Vetalas. 6:30 p.m. All-ages, $8. (Laura Marrich)
Drain the pool, buy a new Trapper Keeper and some No. 2 pencils at Target, put away your dress whites, and file out of the movie theaters in an orderly manner, because summer comes to a crashing end this weekend. Labor Day arrives on Monday, officially bookending what Memorial Day kicked into gear some 16 weeks ago: blockbuster movie-watching season.
Documentary traces dramatic grassroots fight to go green
By Devin D. O’Leary
Simple in both construction and style, The Garden is the sort of no-frills, shot-on-video documentary that lets its subject speak for itself. Wise move, given the magnitude of the tale this Academy Award-nominated film chooses to tell. Initially, you’d think a story about a humble community garden wouldn’t be the source of much drama. Boy, would you be wrong.
What if you took four online poker players, sent them to Las Vegas to live like high-rolling kings and tasked them with the goal of winning $2 million in two months? I’ll admit, it’s a “what if” scenario I’ve never actually contemplated. But thanks to the new G4 reality series “Two Months. Two Million,” it’s one with which we’re all now confronted.
When I was in college, I was paid by an installation artist to read mathematical proofs in a husky voice, the recording of which was then piped into a sculptural space of soldered steel and animal skins. I didn't get it, but I made 70 bucks. What I did take away from the project was the idea of sound as texture and color, working in similar ways to visual techniques. In that vein, The Very Rich Hours, created by Steve Peters, is an audio portrait of New Mexico. Designed especially to be heard at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales (966 Old Church Road) and presented as part of LAND/ART, the piece incorporates field recordings, readings and song. You can hear the landscape of our home Friday, Sept. 4, through Monday, Sept. 7, from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, go to 516arts.org.
Black Mountain College closed in 1957, and when the finances ran out, the faculty were paid in beef allotments from the cows roaming across school property. It makes sense. Founded in 1933, Black Mountain was owned by its faculty, a faculty that taught the classes, tended the school’s farm and did basically everything to keep it up and running. It was a 24-year flash-in-the-pan whose educational effects are still being reckoned with today. Even if you can set aside the revolutionary model of interdisciplinary instruction (which you can’t), you’d still be left with the formidable concept that creativity and play are necessary to the development of intellectual freedom. Sure, that means no grades, but it also favors real-world experience over Scantron tests and recitation.
In honor of tomato season, I've been experimenting with various forms of the BLT. I've tried adding avocado, hot peppers, cheese, ranch dressing, mustard and other logical players. Do you have any words of wisdom in this department?
Well yes, I do have a few thoughts on the BLT. First and foremost, the BLT is nothing without mayo, which interacts with the tomato in a very special way. And my preferred premade mayo is actually fake mayo: grapeseed oil Vegenaise, made by Earth Island.
Imagine for a moment that New Mexico is a sovereign land—a nation similar to the state we inhabit, but one that evolved strictly by its own devices, with no meddling from outsiders. It would be a place with its own official dictionary, wherein “Christmas” is formalized as a verb with several conjugated forms, as in: I would have Christmased my enchiladas, but August is such a green month.
Last year the popular South Valley Pupuseria y Restaurant Salvadoreño opened a satellite restaurant on Gibson and San Mateo, in the shadow of the infamous “Chevy on a Stick” statue. When I ate there recently, I was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a famous set of golden arches and the word “McShit.”
It’s all noise. Every word, every decibel. This is all just white (and black) noise on a long, messy trail called health care reform. Gray-haired misanthropes are screaming down elected officials; House leaders call them un-American. Whatever. All noise.
UNM is back in session, and that means the Student Union Building theater is back in business. The student-run Southwest Film Center is kicking off its fall semester this Thursday, Aug. 27, with a double-feature tribute to the late, great actor Karl Malden. A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront (both directed by Elia Kazan) will screen Thursday through Sunday. Upcoming films include the Best Director winner at the 2009 Cannes Festival (Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys), a return visit for The Best of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Peter Jackson’s 1992 horror comedy Dead-Alive. Log on to unm.edu/~swfc for the complete fall 2009 schedule.
Ang Lee gets groovy in an evocative, occasionally scattershot biopic
By Devin D. O’Leary
Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee may be the most successful, least categorizable filmmaker working today. His résumé includes an indie dramedy (Eat Drink Man Woman), a Jane Austen period romance (Sense and Sensibility), a gloomy ’70s drama (The Ice Storm), a Civil War Western (Ride With the Devil), a martial arts fantasy (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), a big-budget superhero action flick (Hulk), a gay love story (Brokeback Mountain) and a sexy thriller set in ’30s Shanghai (Lust, Caution). If you can find a common theme or a consistent style in all that, you’re a better man than I.
She’s crafty: DIY documentary chronicles indie crafts movement
By Devin D. O’Leary
Several years ago, Faythe Levine—photographer, businesswoman and prominent figure in the growing indie craft movement—set out to document the world of DIY art, craft and design. This deeply personal quest led to the creation of a just-released feature documentary called Handmade Nation and a popular companion book of the same name. Camera in hand, Levine traveled the country to interview a tight-knit (so to speak) community of creators who have thrown off the yoke of traditional, well-segregated arts (sculpture, photography, painting, lithography) to embrace knitting, embroidery, printmaking, zine publishing, glass jewelry fabrication, whatever—sometimes all at once.
Remember what your mama told you? It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Until last week, reality television was all fun and games (well, I wouldn’t call “Househusbands of Hollywood” fun, but you catch my drift). Then some dude named Ryan Jenkins allegedly murdered a swimsuit model named Jasmine Fiore. That tragic story would have been just another obscure, SoCal, TMZ footnote were it not for the fact that Jenkins was a rising star in the reality show world. That juicy tidbit is now shining an unwelcome light on the sleazy world of reality show one-upmanship.
I taught myself how to knit about eight years ago. I never finished the first item, which I can only describe as a pot holder with low self-esteem. Years later, I began knitting again, finishing a slew of scarves and two baby blankets before getting stumped by non-rectangular works. But though I'm a novice (at best), I count myself among the many folks with a deep respect for handicrafts, or as they're now referred to as, fabric arts. Through the Flower, a feminist art nonprofit founded by Judy Chicago, is calling for submissions of needlework and textile media from New Mexico artists for its 2010 show Subversive Stitching: Feminist Artists With a Needle. Entries should include a focus on issues of gender and be submitted by the Oct. 16 deadline. Laura Addison, curator of contemporary art at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and Judy Chicago, my BFF, will judge. For more guidelines and info, go to the “Feminist Art” page at throughtheflower.org.
Fashion has its rightful home on the catwalk, while visual art resides in contemporary art galleries. Both of these creative realms have traditionally existed as close but distinct neighbors, respecting and pulling from one another only as creative inspiration necessitates. But as Matrix Fine Art Curator Regina Held notes, “While fashion is often more craft than fine art, I stopped separating art from craft years ago.” For Held and co-organizer Stephen Cuomo, local fashion and local art need not exist as next-door neighbors. Thus, TheArt of Fashion was born.
An interview with mayoral contender Rep. R.J. Berry
By Marisa Demarco
It's the job of the challenger to stomp out of the saloon, guns blazing for the incumbent. That's the way this mayoral race has gone. State Rep. R.J. Berry and Richard Romero attack, and Mayor Martin Chavez deflects (though he's certainly squeezed the trigger a few times himself).
Rep. Martin Heinrich voiced support for a "robust public option" to a wash of boos and cheers at the health care town hall on Saturday, Aug. 22. But he was unable to say later whether he would vote in favor of a bill that lacked a government-run medical plan to compete with private insurance. "We'll have to see what the final product looks like," he said of HB 3200, the reform measure making its way through the House.
What damning piece of evidence do police say they found on a stabbing suspect? What kind of technology could help troops overseas? Who was arrested for burglary? What's changed since the Party Patrol started busting partygoers?
The Monday, Aug. 17 meeting opened with a stunner—Councilor Sally Mayer announced she had removed her name from the October election ballot. Mayer said she would be moving to Chicago in January for six months to a year. Mayer said her daughter’s family needed her. “My son-in-law has been a wonderful stay-at-home dad but now he has a job,” and the working couple needs Grandma to babysit. Mayer’s decision leaves one District 7 candidate still on the ballot and one write-in candidate, neither of whom she endorses.
When Barack Obama took office, I remember saying to a friend, “In a way, I feel sorry for the guy; there are so many messes, so many emergencies he has to deal with all at once, it’s gotta be overwhelming. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; an economy headed south in a hurry; immigration, health care and education reform; Guantanamo; the hopeless black hole of the ‘war on drugs.’ I mean, how’s he even going to know where to begin?”
R.J. Berry is a Republican contender for the mayor's seat and a legislator in the state’s House of Representatives. Here are extras from the interview he did with the Alibi that didn't make it into the paper. (See the original article here.)
Dateline: Florida—Does this count as a hate crime? Earlier this month, a man with Britney Spears’ name tattooed on his arm or neck allegedly stole a tiny Chihuahua with pink earrings from a South Florida gay bar. Brian Dortort, 48, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he has spent the last month searching for 4-month-old Hudson Hayward Hemingway. The dog, described as no bigger than a softball, was last seen lodged safely inside a “specialty pet bag.” Dortort said he let a man hold the Chihuahua for a moment during a friend’s birthday party at Georgie’s Alibi bar in Wilton Manors. When Dortort turned back, both of them had disappeared. Police say a suspect has not been identified, but it’s up to the Broward State Attorney’s Office to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant.
After 31 years, Charlie Zdravesky goes off the air
By Simon McComack
Charlie Zdravesky says he doesn't remember much about his first “Hot Lix” show.
That might be because it happened more than three decades ago. Since 1978, Zdravesky—better known as Charlie Z or Mr. Hot Lix—has hosted his signature oldies radio program on Saturday nights from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on KUNM 89.9.
We don't bake much. But we threw ourselves into baking a sweet creation for a beer tasting and a radical birthday dinner party. The goal was to find a treat that would stand up to the awesome power of dessert beers and high-octane stouts.