Fearless fantasy captures the imagination as well as the emotion of being a child
By Devin D. O’Leary
Where the Wild Things Are is the first kid-oriented film to come out of Hollywood in a great while that doesn’t begin with a voice-over narration. That might not seem like a very big deal, but I assure you it is. Almost every film aimed anywhere under the 18-to-49 demographic begins with a voice-over explaining the entire upcoming situation to kids. Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t. It just starts.
The results of the Alibi's fourth annual Scavenger Hunt
By Christie Chisholm
Zuri and Nancy Bennett combed our city for three days, enlisting the help of neighbors, friends and random shopkeepers. They drove to Corrales twice, to the top of the Tram, to the city dump. Team Bennett found the first bomb shelter built in New Mexico, snapped photos with a drag king and caught a martial arts class in session. They found all manner of livestock.
More than 10 years ago brothers Matt and Chris Dickens began what became a very popular, sometimes adored and sometimes notorious club night at Burt's Tiki Lounge. Thursdays, once reportedly dominated by electronica and ’80s pop, became a dance party based around British music, made for and by music lovers.
DJ Codebreaka, Mantis Fist, Solar 1 & MIC Raw, Zack Freeman & The Mundane Cliches, Government Cheese and Witchdokta Projeckt get live on Saturday, Oct. 17, and don’t stop the hip-hop until it’s Sunday morning. 9 p.m. at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW, free, 21+). (Laura Marrich)
Anyone who's ever been in any kind of human relationship with anyone knows that compromise is key. Whether it's eating at a home-style buffet that closes by 5 p.m. because that's where Grandma wants to go or sitting through your best friend's mime punk band / drum circle, we all do things we may not want to out of love. Sometimes, though, it works out so that everyone gets what they want.
In many ways, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex epitomizes the Ancient Greek tragedy. The narrative is framed by prophecy; poetic priests foreshadow and omniscient oracles foretell each ruinous event. Past and present collide with catastrophic consequences, raising the eternal question: Is the individual ruled by fate or freewill? (The Ancients seem deleteriously attached to the power of the former.) A chorus of citizens speculates incessantly, often in echo of the audience’s observations.
I first noticed Japengo Sushi while eating dessert at the neighboring Café Jean Pierre. As I sipped my coffee I watched the great chef Jean-Pierre dash from his just-closed kitchen and out the restaurant’s door, returning moments later with a plate of sushi. This quiet endorsement spoke louder than words.
Ben Miller sent five separate entries to the Sam Adams LongShot competition, each of them brewed in a kit he built himself (including a keg with its top sawed off). Miller took great pains to package the beer, enveloping individual bottles in bubble wrap and then in a Ziploc bag. If postal workers noticed a leak, they would trash the entire package.
New Mexicans join the national march for LGBT rights
By Maren Tarro
WASHINGTON, D.C.—They voted for change when they voted for Obama. Now, the LGBT community is making its growing impatience with the president heard. But calling for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act weren't the only reasons tens of thousands gathered in D.C. to put pressure on Washington. Unlike previous gay rights marches, the National Equality March on Oct. 10 and 11 was largely a grassroots effort, perhaps signaling a change in how the community—specifically the younger generation—will tackle equality issues.
Wait, wait, don't tell me. Something hot and spicy—green chile chicken enchiladas, perhaps, or, in far fewer cases, a tostada compuesta. (Furrows brow, scratches head, takes bite of sexy menudo, puzzles over six years of Albuquerque the Magazine asking "hot singles" to compare an imagined ideal lover to our regional foodstuffs. Sighs.)
An empty chair stood where outgoing City Councilor Michael Cadigan should have been during the Wednesday, Oct. 7 Council meeting. Cadigan took a thrashing from political newcomer Dan Lewis the day before, losing his Westside seat in the municipal election. The Build Unser Road Now group complained his absence meant the road project Cadigan championed is now dead.
Dateline: Afghanistan—A young girl became the first fatality in her country’s ongoing propaganda war when a crate containing public information leaflets fell on her. The crate was dropped from a British RAF transport aircraft over Helmand province on June 23. The crew of the RAF C-130 Hercules had been flying over rural parts of the province to try to reach local people with a leaflet campaign. The boxes of leaflets are supposed to open in midair, scattering the literature over a wide area. “But on this occasion, one of the boxes failed to open, and the young girl was hit,” an official with the U.K. Ministry of Defence admitted last week. The Ministry called the incident “highly regrettable” and is investigating. MoD officials weren’t sure what type of leaflets were involved, but typical topics include basic safety warnings about improvised explosive devices and “land mine awareness.”
On Friday, Oct. 16, the Lomas Tramway Library (908 Eastridge NE) will host a Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Celebration. Dress up as your favorite Oz character (the L. Frank Baum fantasy novel, not the HBO prison series) and show up to the library at 6 p.m. There will be “Emerald City” refreshments and a screening of the 70th anniversary edition of the classic Hollywood film. This is an all-ages family event, but seating is limited. Call in advance to reserve your space: 291-6295.
Inspirational documentary gives us a history of the environmental movement and cleans up after itself
By Devin D. O’Leary
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Robert Stone (Radio Bikini, American Babylon, Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Oswald’s Ghost) takes a contemplative look at the birth of the modern environmental movement here in America with his optimistic, easy-to-watch new eco-doc Earth Days.
On the list of lame network executive ideas for new shows—hovering just below “How about a rip-off of some other network’s reality show?” and “Can’t we just do another ‘CSI’ spinoff?”—comes this increasingly popular suggestion: “What if we buy some cheap web series and broadcast that?” While Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block has milked a few weeks’ laughs out of stuff like “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet,” most Internet-to-network translations have gone the way of NBC’s notorious 2006 outing “quarterlife.” One airing and that’s the last anyone ever heard of that particular meme.
It's a well-worn American story: ketchup meets burger. But this version is better. The stars of the show are beyond homemade—they're dirt-made, from the ground up: handmade ketchup from homegrown tomatoes, served on ground beef raised by good friends. It's a story about the potential of simple pleasures, carefully crafted—and how the history layered into food adds complexity and flavor, creating a terroir to rival the finest wine. It's a drama you could re-enact at home with a little legwork, and if enough people did, we could put McDonald’s out of business.
Welcome back to Best of Burque Restaurants! Inside, you'll discover nearly 100 lip-smacking categories of the best food in Albuquerque, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers. Why do we roll out such a smorgasbord of a poll every year? Well, for one, your Best of Burque votes reward local businesses with hard-earned recognition. And as long as you keep eating and voting, we'll be able to amass these indispensable guides to the best food our city has to offer. To see addresses, hours and other searchable information about the winning restaurants, just start on clicking names. Bon appétit!
Great prices and lunch specials, spitfire service, and some of the best potatoes in town make Olympia Café your top pick for Grecian delights. Olympia started dishing up piping-hot homestyle fare in 1972, and it’s been a University-area favorite ever since. (MD)
It's easy to find a place that serves toast and coffee in the morning, but true breakfast havens are treasured commodities in this city. Weck's prides itself on its "scratch-made" buttermilk pancakes, chile-doused papas and "full belly" meals that will not only keep you sated all day but will bring you back with the sunrise. Plus, it has gluten-free options. (CC)
Hey, guess what? Relish’s Uptown store is now open for dinner. Think about how much you love Relish’s sandwiches—how its chefs knead out creamy globes of mozzarella fresh each day, how they take time to hand-crank black pepper onto each sliced-to-order tomato. Now imagine the care and attention they lavish on every step of assembling your beloved, award-winning sandwich and what kind of magic they could work on a meal like dinner. Now go get the car keys, because your fantasy is a short trip away from becoming a reality. (LM)
While there are still some out there who have yet to be converted to Team Tofu, there are plenty of us who have, and we know a perfectly done piece of tofu is a magical thing. At Fei’s, everything is vegan, so tofu isn’t the poor stepsister of meat dishes; it’s frikkin’ Cinderella. (EAH)
If massive portions, killer Margaritas and a bustling atmosphere are the criteria for best New Mexican restuarant in Albuquerque, Sadie's is as down-home Land of Enchantment as you can get. Plus, there’s the salsa. Oh, the salsa. Don't be a tourist—get the hot variety. (MD)
Folks, it's an all-you-can eat Brazilian meat restaurant. If you're not loosening your top button, you're doing it wrong. In fact, loosen your fly a little bit, too, and wave another one of those skewer-wielding waiters over your way. There may be another meat there you haven't consumed. (DOL)
Dessert? Um, yes, please. We'll have the éclair. No, wait, warm raspberry-peach pie à la mode. No. A slice of the fruit tart. Actually, make that bread pudding. Wait—we've got it! Tiramisu. ... Or how about we just get all of the above? You don't need us to tell you Flying Star is the best place for desserts; you already know. (CC)
It's the atmosphere at El Pinto that will really charm your visitors. If they love the food as much as the lovely restaurant—open since 1962—they can take the perfect salsa, roasted green chile and red chile sauce back home with them in jars. (MD)
The brutal 1998 murder of college student Matthew Shepard just outside Laramie, Wyo., had repercussions far beyond the tragic loss of one young man; it became a clarion call for action to recognize and stop hate crimes against LGBT people across the country.
For 11 years, poet Dana Levin taught creative writing at the College of Santa Fe. Though CSF has managed to come back to life in an altered form after its near-total collapse, Levin has moved on. She is now the new Russo Chair of creative writing at UNM. Levin's first book,In the Surgical Theatre, won the 1999 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, among many others. She is also the author of Wedding Day. Her third book, Sky Burial, is slated for a 2011 release from Copper Canyon Press.
We sweat. We toiled. We tried to frame questions so mayoral candidates would give us something other than the polished nuggets espoused on their websites. But if this election cycle had one theme for me, it's this: The sound bites win again.
Here’s the problem with the idea of deploying broadband to “everyone,” be it Albuquerque or Pie Town: It gets policy-makers loopy. The holiest of postmodern grails, broadband for all has produced all manner of magic carpet ride promises in recent years. And some serious meltdowns. But the pull of broadband—and all its related economic and social theories—is just too juicy to resist.
Dateline: New York—In August, ultra-dissatisfied customer Dalton Chiscolm sued the largest U.S. bank, demanding “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” for poor customer service. He also asked for an additional $200,165,000 in punitive damages, according to court papers. Last Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin called Chiscolm’s lawsuit against Bank of America “incomprehensible” in Manhattan Federal Court. “He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a ‘Spanish woman,’ ” the judge wrote. Chiscolm’s unusual monetary demand is larger than a sextillion dollars, or a 1 followed by 21 zeros. The sum far exceeds the world’s 2008 gross domestic product of $60 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank. “These are the kind of numbers you deal with only on a cosmic scale,” Sylvain Cappell, New York University’s Silver Professor at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Science, told New York’s Daily News. “If he thinks Bank of America has branches on every planet in the cosmos, then it might start to make some sense.” Judge Chin gave Chiscolm until Oct. 23 to better explain the basis for his claims or else see his complaint dismissed.
The final weekend of Two Worlds: A Program of Native American & Indigenous Film, Theater, Dance & Photography wraps up at the VSA N4th Theater & Gallery (4904 Fourth Street NW) with the premiere of the short film “Indios Primeros.” The film will screen Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission. “Indios Primeros” is emerging screenwriter Roberto A. Jackson’s tale of a good-hearted Native American ne’er-do-well, who—in a spontaneous act of courage—assists an illegal Mexican immigrant family. Jackson’s screenplay was selected from among 24 submitted to be shot here in New Mexico as part of this year’s Two Worlds exhibition. Jackson’s recently completed film will be accompanied by a program of short films by other Native American moviemakers. For more information about other Two Worlds events, log on to vsartsnm.org.
The seventh annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
By Devin D. O’Leary
With less than a week to go before opening night, festival director and programmer for the Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Roberto Appicciafoco admits it’s “a little nerve-wracking” waiting for the numerous film prints to arrive, scheduling travel for special guests and organizing a host of parties—one in a venue so new it has yet to get its flooring laid. Nonetheless, the 2009 SWGLFF is off to an impressive start.
For whatever reason, we live in zombified times. From movies (Dead Snow) to video games (Left 4 Dead) to novels (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), the living dead are running rampant through 2009’s pop-cultural landscape. Fortunately, there’s still life in the old genre, as evidenced by the hit new horror comedy Zombieland.
Now is right about the time we might start discussing our fall TV season deadpool. Based on what we’ve seen so far, which of the new shows will be the first to get the cancellation ax? Unfortunately, The CW beat us to our little game by hacking “The Beautiful Life: TBL” from its Thursday night schedule after only two airings. Only NBC’s 2006 Internet drama “quarterlife” and ABC’s 2006 sitcom “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” fared worse, lasting only a single prime time airing.
Everything anyone ever wanted to know about Merge Records and more lies inside this nearly 300-page congratulatory volume. Twenty years after its creation by Superchunk's Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, the North Carolina label celebrates its triumph over recording industry standards—and rightly so—with photos, first-person accounts and a compilation CD (which, strangely, neglects the early days).
These days, a real punk band can almost never find its way onto the pop charts. But back in the day (see: mid-’80s), England’s New Model Army released political punk that didn’t merely sell to left-wing extremists. Almost 30 years ago, frontman/mastermind Justin Sullivan, who has been compared to punk legends like Joe Strummer and Dick Lucas, named NMA after Oliver Cromwell’s successful (at least for a while) 17th-century British anti-royalist forces. Sullivan’s intelligent, informed and captivating songwriting helped the group get signed by EMI—who the Sex Pistols swindled in the ’70s—and embark on a dozen British Top 30 singles before descending (or ascending, depending your worldview) to the worldwide cult status NMA holds today. The Alibi caught up with Sullivan just before the start of New Model Army’s North American tour, which hits the Launchpad this weekend.
To a certain percentage of the population—those who grew up in the dawning Home Video Age of the ’80s—the name Full Moon Entertainment still holds a certain nostalgic resonance. Founded by writer/director/producer Charles Band after the collapse of his small-scale theatrical studio Empire Pictures, Full Moon was created with the sole purpose of stocking America’s burgeoning video stores with slick-looking, low-budget horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. Thanks to popular series like Subspecies (four films), Trancers (six films) and Puppet Master (nine films) and successful one-offs like Meridian, Robot Jox and Oblivion, Full Moon was a staple of the direct-to-video realm for decades.
Every October, our streets flood with visitors while the skies swell with nylon orbs fueled by fire. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world. And while Fiesta activities are plentiful Oct. 3 through 11, there’s still ample time for exploring our fair city. To make sure you get the most out of your Southwest visit, the Alibi has interspersed this year's Balloon Fiesta schedule with other events you may want to add to your lineup. To narrow it down, we've chosen winners of this year's Best of Burque poll, the Alibi’s annual survey that asks readers about the best arts, shopping and nightlife Albuquerque has to offer. Also included are a few other events we just didn't think you should miss.
To find out about park-and-rides and other balloon-based information, visit the Fiesta's official website at balloonfiesta.com.
* 5:45 to 6:45 a.m. Dawn Patrol * 7 to 10 a.m. Flying Competition: Balloon Fiesta Hold ’Em presented by Sandia Resort & Casino 10:30 a.m. Burn off a few breakfast calories at Defined Fitness (voted Best Fitness Facility), which brags pools, massive weight rooms, state-of-the-art aerobic equipment and a loaded schedule of classes. If you don't have a membership, it only costs $10 for a day pass with a valid photo ID. (Multiple locations, defined.com)
* 5:45 to 6:45 a.m. Dawn Patrol * 7 to 8 a.m. Special Shape Rodeo™ * 7 to 10 a.m. Key Grab Competition * 8 to 9 a.m. Chainsaw Wood Carving Contest (north end of launch field) * 4 to 5 p.m. Chainsaw Wood Carving Contest (north end of launch field)
Whether you need the number for the nearest hospital or you just want to find out where to get a map of the city, call Albuquerque’s Citizen Contact Center at 311 and get all your questions answered for free. Plus, the customer service representatives are seriously friendly.
The back and one inside panel of alto saxophonist David Binney’s latest recording, Third Occasion, are adorned with an artfully arranged collection of Binney photographs taken at a wide variety of places and times. Sweeping landscapes, eccentrically cropped portraits, still lifes—each reveals a painterly sensibility, with a sure sense of line, color and form. Taken as a whole, each collection offers an engagingly episodic journey through a life rich in experience, undertaken with an open, visceral connection to the mysteries and delights of being.
Citizens without backing or big money run for political office
By Marisa Demarco
At the start of election season, it seemed like Mayor Martin Chavez had it on lockdown. Albuquerque lazily climbs into the sack with an incumbent, goes the thinking. Most people will check the box next to that old familiar name. But a 406-person poll released Sunday, Sept. 27, shows conservative Rep. R.J. Berry in the lead with 31 percent, followed by Chavez at 26 percent and Richard Romero at 24 percent. The survey was conducted by Brian Sanderoff’s Research & Polling, Inc. for the Albuquerque Journal. The next mayor has to snag 40 percent of the vote or we'll be facing a runoff. Which leaves us with the question: Could the Tuesday, Oct. 6 election really be anyone's race?
In political circles, people used to always talk about voting as a civic responsibility. That’s fine. Democracy will crumble (has crumbled?) without an engaged citizenry. But the conversation about voting has changed somewhat in the 21st century. People don’t talk about duty so much anymore. These days the message is usually about power. As in, use it or lose it, baby.
When the Alibi was born 17 years ago, it wasn't called the Alibi. It was called NuCity. Its first issue gingerly appeared on the Albuquerque scene on Oct. 9, 1992, a Friday, with a whole 12 pages. That magnificent dozen was created with a Powerbook 140 and Macintosh SE, with the help of a rented laser printer.
Whether in TV ads, on billboards or in magazines, one of Albuquerque’s claims to fame is the Sandia Peak Tramway. The twin red and blue cars make their way up the cables to the top of the mountain where tourists, skiers and diners can find magnificent views and a 20-degree temperature drop.
As the Sandia Peak website states, “A trip on the world’s longest aerial tramway transports you above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles.” The tram moves at about 12 miles per hour, carrying more than a quarter million people each year. It was completed in 1966, constructed by a Swiss firm for about $2 million. There are four steel cables, each of which is about an inch and a half in diameter, carrying passengers to 10,378 feet.
Genuine change in our school systems can’t happen until we get honest about education’s ugliest secret: “Dropouts” are actually push-outs, force outs and most teachers and principals have no interest bringing them back in.
Dateline: England—A Jedi Church elder (well, he’s 23) is considering bringing legal action against the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco on the basis of religious discrimination. Daniel Jones from Holyhead in North Wales claims the Tesco store in Bangor victimized his beliefs when it asked him to remove his hood for security reason. Jones, who founded the International Church of Jediism, told the Daily Post, “It states in our Jedi doctrine that I can wear headwear.” Jones went on to clarify the Star Wars philosophy on head covering: “You have the choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work, but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public.” Jones, who works in Bangor, had gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch break. Jones, who was wearing his traditional Jedi robes at the time, was told by store employees to take his hood off or leave. “They said, ‘Take it off,’ and I said, ‘No, its part of my religion. It’s part of my religious right.’ I gave them a Jedi Church business card,” Jones explained. A Tesco spokesperson responded to Jones’ complaint and schooled him on nerd trivia as well, saying, “Jedis are very welcome in our stores, although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side, and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.”
The project started as Mayor Martin Chavez’ response to the argument that there isn’t a lot for teens to do in Albuquerque. That point was raised repeatedly as the mayor put the hurt on all-ages shows happening in venues where alcohol was served—often in separate rooms or gated areas—to people over 21.
Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, the National Hispanic Cultural Center will begin a monthlong series of contemporary films from Latin America. The fourth annual Cine en Construcción series kicks off with the Mexican film Fuera del Cielo about a group of people, including a recently freed convict, who get involved in a robbery. The series continues on Oct. 15 with the Uruguayan film Alma Mater about a lonely supermarket checkout girl whose life is shaken up by a charismatic transvestite. Oct. 22 brings the Argentine film Extraño, which focuses on the delicate relationship between an ex-surgeon and a young pregnant woman. The series wraps up on Oct. 29, with the Argentine film La Demolición, in which a demolition worker befriends a delusional woman living in an abandoned factory. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Shows begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC’s Bank of America Theater (1701 Fourth Street SW). Cine in Construcción is free and open to the public. For more details, log on to nhccnm.org.
To paraphrase Mr. Keats’ most famous line: A thing of beauty is a joy for fans of “Masterpiece Theatre”
By Devin D. O’Leary
Jane Campion—writer and director of The Piano—is in familiar territory with Bright Star, a lush, intimate, swoon-inducing biopic about the doomed romance between 19th century English poet John Keats and his little-known personal muse, Fanny Brawne. Viewers are apt to find themselves in familiar territory as well, because even if you don’t know your literary history, you can rest reasonably assured knowing where this true-life Romeo and Juliet tale is headed.
When “The Jay Leno Show” premiered in primetime several weeks ago, eating up roughly a third of NBC’s primetime lineup, it was generally agreed that the network was making a calculated gamble. Even if the show failed to live up to expectations, it would be markedly cheaper than producing five hour-long dramas for the same time slot. Still, most onlookers were vocally dismayed over the similarity between “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Jay Leno Show.” All the signature bits—from Jaywalking to Headlines—were there. Kevin Eubanks was on the sidelines joshing along from behind his guitar. The monologues featured the same mixture of light political humor and Octomom references. The celebrity interviews were typical, slow-pitch affairs. About the only notable difference was the loss of Leno’s desk.
Do you love comics? Do you adore trucker speed? Well, then, 24 Hour Comics Day is your cup of Mountain Dew. Every year, artists of all abilities gather for 86,400 seconds to create 24 comic book pages. The event takes place all around the world, and the only Albuquerque location is at Harwood Art Center (1114 Seventh Street NW), brought to you by 7000 BC, which promotes indie New Mexican comics. The sketching goes from noon to noon, Saturday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 4. Participation is free and open to all ages, though kids better clear it with their parents, even if it's not a school night. To sign up, go to 24hourcomics.com, 7000bc.org or call Jeff at 262-2952.
It all started as one couple's dream: a scenic 10-acre ranch with lots of fresh air and a little cottage. For dogs. And cats. And then the couple got a few more cottages, a few more animals, and a little place called the Watermelon Mountain Ranch no-kill animal shelter was born.