For more than a decade, Tuesday nights at the Heights Community Center (823 Buena Vista SE, southwest of Yale and Coal) have been Albuquerque's haven for swing dancing and the hopped-up, vintage music that compels it.
The most ferocious of prehistoric reader polls is back
What's your favorite New Mexican food? What's your favorite dinosaur? Ok, now put them together and what do you get? An Enchiladodon? A Chileopteryx? A Tacoraptor? A Sopaipillatops? Awesome! Get ready for the T. Rex of “Best of City” contests: The original Best of Burque Restaurants will be hitting Weekly Alibi racks and website on Thursday, Oct. 12. The polls are open now. Vote on your favorite Frito pie, vegetarian food, Japanese restaurant and local brewery. Let your voice be heard! Rawr!
DJ Spooky on Antarctica, economics and sound art
Composer, writer, turntablist and conceptual artist Paul D. Miller, otherwise known as DJ Spooky, traveled to Antarctica with a studio in tow. There he visited barren ice fields in an attempt to explore the hidden connections between sound and the environment. From this frosty experiment, a large-scale multimedia performance piece called Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica was born. The visual and sonic portrait of that continent includes video projections, turntables and a DJ Spooky-composed score performed by local chamber musicians. He brings the performance to the KiMo Theatre this week as part of the LAND/ART project. In preparation for Miller's New Mexico visit, we conducted the following e-mail communiqué.
Let Me In, the American remake of the Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In, is gearing up to film right here in New Mexico. While I’m awfully mixed on the idea of a remake, I’m excited it’s happening in New Mexico. The story of a bullied young boy who befriends the little vampire girl next door is being directed by Matt Reeves (who gave us the monster romp Cloverfield). Casting agents are looking for children ages 8 to 18 in Los Alamos, Taos and Albuquerque. The two main roles are already filled by Kodi Smit-McPhee (from the upcoming film The Road) and Chloe Moretz (who appeared in (500) Days of Summer), but there are plenty of other roles to cover. If you’re interesting in getting your offspring involved, please register with Elizabeth Gabel online at egcasting.com or call 967-9533.
Japan’s favorite robot kid flies, but doesn’t soar, in Americanized version
It seems odd, in such a rabidly anime- and manga-literate culture—where practically every new pop-culture entry is stumbling over itself to emulate the style found in Japanese cartoons and comics—that we’d need such a watered-down, Americanized version of a Japanese classic like Astro Boy. But that’s exactly what Imagi Animation Studios, the folks behind the 2007 CGI version of TMNT, thought.
Buddhist quest opens door to exotic world
Kids these days are under a lot of pressure. There’s the pressure to excel in school, even at a young age. There’s the added responsibility of organized sports. There’s the fact that many kids are now growing up in broken homes. There’s the continuing pop-cultural lure of sex and drugs. And if 30 years’ worth of PSAs are to be believed, there’s an awful lot of peer pressure exerted on young people to smoke cigarettes. Imagine, then, that you’re a 3-year-old Nepalese tyke who’s just been fingered as the reincarnation of recently deceased 84-year-old Buddhist master Geshe Lama Konchog. No pressure or anything, kid, but pack up your stuff—you’ve got a 1,000-year mission of peace and enlightenment to get cracking on.
“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” on Cartoon Network
A certain percentage of the fanboy population has dismissed Cartoon Network’s “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” as a too-cartoony take on the Dark Knight Detective’s adventures. Haters may be eating their words after this weekend, however, when the show gets a healthy injection of awesome in the form of Neil Patrick Harris.
The Week in Sloth
The VSA North Fourth Arts Center (4904 Fourth Street NW) brings southern Africa to Albuquerque with Global DanceFest / JourneysAFRICA, Oct. 23 through Oct. 31. Since 2001, Global DanceFest has hosted groundbreaking contemporary dance from around the world, incorporating into the experience film, gallery exhibits and discussion. There's a lot to enjoy, so hang on to your unitard.
Confluencias: Inside Arte Cubano Contemporáneo
Impressions of Cuban culture are typically confined to two extremes—an island dystopia vs. an idyllic people frozen in time. The exhibition Confluencias: Inside Arte Cubano Contemporáneo, now at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, challenges these notions by peeling back the protective coating to offer a rare glimpse of contemporary Cuban art. The exhibition brings together the work of 40 artists who are creating within Cuba, employing an array of media and themes.
It wasn’t the usual championship match. Still, the finale on Sunday, Oct. 18, offered promise for seasons to come. All the skaters wanted in on the last 2009 game, part of the Rock the Ink tattoo fest at the Convention Center. So instead of pitting any of the league’s four teams against each other, Duke City Derby created two new squads, which allowed all the derby girls to roll in. On that fateful day, team Good triumphed over Evil, 85-62.
Study finds drugs in Albuquerque’s agua
Earlier this year the Rio Grande became a water lifeline for everyone living in the Albuquerque metro area. The San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project is intended to help alleviate the accelerating drain of the aquifer under the city. The water sources are blended together in the city’s reservoir tanks and sent out in hundreds of miles of pipes to a faucet near you.
There are a several things people can do to keep fecal matter and pharmaceuticals out of the surface, ground and river water. (Read the full story on recent discoveries in Albuquerque’s drinking water here).
Councilors had barely sat down when they were hit with bad news at their Monday, Oct. 19 meeting. Financial staff said the city is looking at a $12 million shortfall for the 2010 budget due to falling sales tax income and other revenues. The Council was told not to look to the Legislature for help because there just isn’t any money there, either. Come Dec. 1, when Mayor-Elect Richard Berry and the new Council take over, there will not be much of a honeymoon.
Why Richard Berry won the mayor’s seat
The morning after the municipal elections, as I was removing droopy “Romero for Mayor” signs from my front lawn while a steady drizzle soaked my jacket into a leaden metaphor for my soggy spirit, I got a cell phone call from a friend (actually, now a former friend) who was calling just to berate me.
Dateline: Gaza Strip—Two zebras at Gaza’s city zoo died of hunger earlier this year when they were neglected during a flare-up in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but they’ve finally been replaced—by a pair of painted donkeys. New zebras would have cost the zoo $40,000 apiece, so zookeepers simply used masking tape and women’s hair dye to paint stripes on two female donkeys. Zoo officials said the high cost of the animals was due largely to import restrictions placed by the Israelis. In addition to the two “zebras,” the zoo boasts an aging tiger, two monkeys, and an assortment of birds, rabbits and cats.
Tears of a clown
Rarely do face paint and hardcore rap seamlessly fit together, but for Kansas City’s Tech N9ne, it’s been his steez for the past two decades. The self-proclaimed “weirdo rapper” deals in fallen angels and other dark material that places him worlds apart from other MCs. It’s not all about bling, bitches or Bentleys—he rhymes like he’s narrating a horror film. Tech’s style murders the competition by combining wicked, tricky wordplay, melodic hooks and incredibly speedy rap. But the most impressive thing about Tech N9ne isn’t his music—it’s his work ethic.
Guitarist Michael Anthony makes it a point to recognize the people who have influenced him along the way.
For their birthdays, James and Mark get a Whitman’s sampler of psychedelic trails (Canyonlands, Arc Light), Brit-pop hooks (The Hollow Lines), electro beats (The Gatherers) and garage punk distortion (The Scrams). Basement Films ties them up with a big, graphic bow on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21+, free). (Laura Marrich)
North Valley outpost keeps the karma flowing
When asking for help in deciding between dishes, I’m sometimes skeptical if my server recommends the more expensive option. But the other day at Annapurna’s new North Valley satellite, I received some advice I just couldn’t question.
There's nothing wrong with potato chips in a bag. Except, we guess, their temperature: They are cold. Chips, like anything fried, are better hot. This is a scientific fact.
The results of the Alibi's fourth annual Scavenger Hunt
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.
Local’s beer to see national distribution
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
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.
He/she would be what and why?
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.”
DJ Eve's last Universal hurrah
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.
Claiming jazz for his generation
“Jazz is just what you are,” said Louis Armstrong.
When 36-year-old Stefon Harris hears this quote, he starts to laugh. “I could not agree more,” he says on the phone from San Francisco. “How beautifully, simply said, huh?”
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)
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.
Fearless fantasy captures the imagination as well as the emotion of being a child
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.
Inspirational documentary gives us a history of the environmental movement and cleans up after itself
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.
“Secret Girlfriend” on Comedy Central
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.
The Week in Sloth
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.
Oedipus at Aux Dog
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.
Go for deliciously irreverent sushi
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.
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).
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.
The Land Beyond the Forest: Dracula and SWOOP
The Carlisle Performance Space at UNM looks as if the total contents of the theater department—costumes, sets, actors and all—were dropped inside and tossed about by the West Mesa winds.
Poet and new UNM prof Dana Levin talks teaching
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.
Contract dispute grows bitter between NMSO and musicians
Stalled negotiations have pushed New Mexico Symphony Orchestra players into the cold—with picket signs.
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
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.
Who doesn’t find exploding brains hilarious?
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.
We have a winner!
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.
The Week in Sloth
Punk rock and poetry in motion
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.
Homemade ketchup and an honest burger
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.