You’ll actually want to go to the hospital. Really.
By Samara Alpern
“My children.” That’s what Dr. Jonathan Abrams calls the the gangster crouching in a silver gelatin print, the frail lilacs rendered with watercolor, the photo of a caped gray dog emerging from the water. Abrams is an art collector and emeritus professor of medicine at UNM Hospital, and he thinks of the all the artworks he has acquired over the years as his babies.
Top-placing burger makers to be celebrated June 20 to 27
Inquiring minds want to know: What’s your favorite burger in Burque? Weekly Alibi is hosting our first ever Burque Burger Week, which will showcase the city’s favorite burgermeisters as nominated by you, our lovely readers. The winning restaurants will each craft a special burger that they’ll only serve from June 20 to June 27. Nominations are open now, from May 23 to June 6. Flame on!
PJ Sedillo and Tony Ross put everything on the line for Albuquerque Pride
By Laura Marrich
Once you go, you know. Gay pride events have an energy unlike any other. They're blobs of Silly Putty rolling on a calendar, collecting a year's worth of impressions into one big, colorful gob. There's the romance of Valentine's Day, the all-American sizzle of Fourth of July, the candy-coated spectacle of Halloween, the goodwill and generosity of Christmas. And everyone buys shots like it's their birthday. Minus the shots thing, it's no wonder children love pride parades.
It's been in effect for 17 years. Openly gay, lesbian or bisexual men and women can't serve in the armed forces. Specifically, they’re barred from showing a tendency toward homosexual acts. The policy also prevents the military from rooting out those hiding their sexual preferences. Still, estimates suggest as many as 13,000 people have been discharged, and thousands more decided not to re-enlist because of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
A hundred or more people carrying flowers, white crosses, flags and heart-shaped cardboard signs showed up at the Monday, June 7 City Council meeting. They were protesting Albuquerque’s policy of allowing federal officers to check the immigration status of everyone who is arrested.
Don't forget your water bottles, you guys. It's getting hot out there. Betty Sprocket has been sweating so profusely she feels like she was baked in a salt crust after getting home from a ride. Today we're riding the South Diversion Channel trail in a big loop that circumscribes some South Valley neighborhoods and industrial yards, a short portion of Rio Bravo, and the dry, open throat of the South Diversion Channel itself. Get on at the southernmost tip of the Paseo del Bosque trail (near Rio Bravo and the river) and keep going south. Paseo del Bosque becomes the South Diversion Channel. I guess you could ride east on Rio Bravo and do the loop clockwise, but it's better to start out going south. The views are typical South Valley tableaux: junkyards, panels of endearingly bad graffiti, those dirt-bike-trail-covered hills rising up in the east. O, the many faces of Albuquerque. I love them all so much! Finish your ride coasting downhill on Rio Bravo, being sure to check out all the sweet South Valley rims you'll see rollin' by. Does anyone know where to get chrome dubs specially made for the velocipede? I'm ... asking for a friend.
I just spent a year campaigning for lieutenant governor. Looking at the experience through the lens of some of the many numbers involved gives a peek inside electoral politics. It also offers a glimpse of how much work it will take to recapture democracy in New Mexico. Consider these digits:
A Santa Fe County woman pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of impersonating a police officer on Friday, May 28, in return for probation and community service. Police said in August that she pulled someone over using flashing lights and a bullhorn. She attributes her lapse in judgment to "an unrecognized psychological obsession, brought on by many years of wanting to be a police officer."
Dateline: India—Media outlets are reporting that local police are keeping a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on an alleged “special mission of spying” for neighboring Pakistan. The white bird was found by a resident of India’s Punjab state—which borders Pakistan—and taken to a rural police station near the city of Amritsar. The pigeon had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink. Police officer Ramdas Jagjit Singh Chahal told the Press Trust of India news agency that the bird was suspected of landing on Indian soil with a secret message—although no note was actually found. To be safe, officials in the northern state ordered that the animal be held in an air-conditioned room under 24-hour-a-day police guard and that no one be allowed to visit it. According to PTI, senior officers have asked to be updated on the situation three times a day.
This Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12, the State Film Office will host its very first Film Finance and Distribution Conference. This free conference is open to all local filmmakers and will shine its focus on micro- and low-budget productions. If you’re hoping to get an independent film going here in the Land of Enchantment, this is a fine place to start. Panelists include reps from the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department and key NMSFO personnel. Friday’s topic will be “Maximizing Your New Mexico Film Incentives,” while Saturday’s topic will be “Film Financing & Distribution.” Certain select participants in Saturday’s session will be invited to take part in a practice film pitch session with producer Suzanne Lyons (The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, Candy Stripers). The two-day event will take place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) in Albuquerque. To register, log on to nmfilm.com.
Despite (or perhaps because of) a certain temporal, dawn-of-the-MTV-era cheesiness, The Karate Kid has become a fondly remembered classic of ’80s cinema. It spawned several sequels, frequent shouts of “Sweep the leg!” and is now responsible for a 21st century series reboot. Like all nostalgic reboots (an update of The A-Team also hits theaters this weekend, for crying out loud), it’s hard to tell if the world really needs this new version. Probably not, but we're stuck with it. So, let’s examine what we’ve got.
“Torchwood” Still Burning—Seems there’s still a spark of life in BBC’s adult “Doctor Who” spin-off “Torchwood.” The FOX network version of the show never came to pass (which I think we can all agree is a good thing). But now the American pay cable network Starz has announced it will finance a new season of the cult favorite—under the direct supervision of the BBC! The show, about a secret team of government agents hunting down dangerous alien technology, has been dormant since last summer’s epic Children of Earth miniseries. Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht told the Hollywood Reporter that the new series “certainly will” have a larger budget than the BBC original. Considering what producers were able to pull off on a limited budget, it’ll be exciting to see what they can create with more dough. “Torchwood” creator Russell T. Davies is writing the new series, which he says will consist of a 10-episode story arc. The new show picks up where Children of Earth left off—which shouldn’t be too difficult, considering everyone in the cast but John Barrowman and Eve Myles perished. According to the official press release, the show will no longer be set in exclusively in Wales but will “widen to include locations in the U.S. and around the world.” Starz has had solid success lately with the salaciously historical series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”—which certainly raises the hopes for a naked Captain Jack and Gwen. The new series premieres next summer.
Man, oh, man. Besides this week being the annual big gay party that is Albuquerque Pride (see this week’s feature schedule), a handful of festivals of less rainbow-y stripes are taking place around these parts.
Austin’s Horse Opera is an honest-to-goodness country band. The quartet’s debut album, Sounds of the Desert, is a two-steppin' joy chock-full of pedal steel and heartbreak. It’s fun. It’s lonely. It makes you want to jump in your car (or pickup truck, preferably) and drive a dusty road to Texas because, surely, that’s where the heartfelt music and dancing are happening. A look at Horse Opera’s photos shows earnest men in boots, cowboy hats and Western shirts. But wait a sec—these cowboys are really punk rockers.
The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus is beautiful, funny and fey
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Members of the New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus say its creation was not unlike an old movie musical where someone suggests, “Let's put on a show!” The chorus came together in the fall of 1981, coinciding with the founding of Albuquerque community center Common Bond. The LGBT organization had asked its members to fill out an interest list, and founding member Alan Stringer rang up those who had checked music—all of them men—and learned that they wanted to sing. That group became the Brash Ensemble (as some were uncomfortable being in an openly gay chorus), performing mainly at Common Bond events for several years. Nearly 30 years later, the chorus—whose numbers have fluctuated between eight and 40—is still singing, and in addition to regular concerts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it has performed around the states and internationally as well.
Travel to a lawless space frontier where the atmosphere is thick with metal. On Saturday, Leeches of Lore, Boar Worship and one Big Ole Asshole will guide intergalactic pioneers through three heavy sets and one Honky-tonk interlude at the Rio Grande Satanical Gardens. Liftoff takes place at 9 p.m. and all seats cost $5. Don’t forget to pack earplugs. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
God-Des is the divine half of hip-hop/pop/soul act God-Des and She. The duo, which dwells in the Big Apple but hails from the Midwest, got its start in the late ’90s and has been a big deal since its cunnilingual track “Lick It” appeared on “The L Word” a few years back. God-Des and She makes a stop in Albuquerque on Saturday as part of Pride Fusion (Hyatt Regency Downtown). Below are some random songs that appeared on God-Des’ iPod.
You've run amok in rainbows, you've been prouder than your mom was that time you got second place in the spelling bee back in fourth grade, and you’re all paraded out. Have no fear. There are several low-key, movement-unintensive ways to cash in on someone else's air conditioning. Holla.
The secrets of Argentine-style wood grilling and a recipe for chimichurri
By Ari LeVaux
I've always enjoyed casual conversation and rarely been averse to chewing on a nice hunk of fat. But the expression "chew the fat" never resonated with me—until some mochileros showed me the phrase's literal meaning.
Richard Rono is a member of two communities—and both have troubles. The Kenyan runner has lived in Albuquerque for about 12 years, and he sees that children in the U.S. struggle with obesity. Back in Kenya, the children suffer serious health problems resulting from a lack of sanitation and money. So Rono had an idea—he will train people here to run and help them lose weight naturally. The money he raises will go to Kenya to build latrines and help prevent cholera and other diseases.
MarchFourth is not your nerdy high school marching band
By Summer Olsson
If you see a horde of musicians dressed like pirates who raided a band uniform store flood out of a giant touring coach, followed by fire spinners on stilts and sequined dancing girls, you’re probably about to witness the concert extravaganza that is the MarchFourth Marching Band. On Monday, June 7, the band will stage a huge performance at the El Rey Theater. Adults and children alike have the chance to be wowed by the music and spectacle this band is known for.
The 23rd Annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque happens June 9 through 13. Among the many dance-based activities is the premiere of the feature-length documentary Flamenco School, the work of Albuquerque filmmakers Brent Morris and Reinhard Lorenz. It screens June 8, 10 and 12 at Keller Hall on UNM campus. Flamenco School takes an in-depth look at the world-renowned programs of the National Institute of Flamenco right here in town. The film covers music, rehearsals and the rigorous training process required to become a professional flamenco dancer. The first screening on Tuesday, June 8, is at 6 p.m. A Q&A with the directors and NIF personnel gets underway after the end credits roll. Admission is $7 general or $5 children/students. Tickets are available at the UNM Box Office (online at unmtickets.com or by phone at 925-5858).
Neighborhood drama paints vivid portrait of people, places and prejudices
By Devin D. O’Leary
The low-budget indie drama La Mission sure smells like a Hollywood vanity project. It’s produced by and stars Benjamin Bratt. And it’s written and directed by his older bro, Peter Bratt. But don’t let the nepotistic credits fool you.
TBS is jumping on the “adult” animation bandwagon with “Neighbors From Hell.” While the show isn’t the funniest or most innovative comedy on TV, viewers can at least rest assured in the knowledge that it—as opposed to everything else on TBS—isn’t produced by Tyler Perry.
When my trusty Twitter feed alerted me to a collaborative musical effort between Christina Aguilera and M.I.A., I tried, really tried, not to click the link. But I did, and I found a nice danceable song I’ll probably hear in a club sometime soon but will forget about in six months. “Elastic Love,” from Aguilera’s new album, did get me in the mood for teamwork and shared experience, though. (Bonus: As far as I know, unlike in M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video, no gingers were harmed in the making of those beats.)
For Musical Theatre Southwest, it isn’t a question
By Patricia Sauthoff
Theater requires transformation. Just as Erik converts from creepy, underground stalker to crestfallen, understanding admirer in The Phantom of the Opera, it is onstage metamorphosis that keeps curtains rising.
From late 1999 to early 2000, Lynette Chiang traveled by folding bicycle through Cuba. An Australian, Chiang wasn’t subject to the restrictions on visiting Cuba that Americans are, giving readers a detailed look at the forbidden land. Her memoir, The Handsomest Man in Cuba, published in 2007, details her solo travels around the island in a quirky first-person account, taken from Chiang’s diary. The Alibi caught up with Chiang in advance of her rolling through Albuquerque for a slide show presentation and talk.
So you stuck your bike on the Rapid Ride* and went up to the Northeast Heights to visit Grandma? The utilitarian Paseo del Nordeste will get you back home. The trail begins at Pennsylvania, where your enjoyment of the wide, well-marked bike lane will undoubtedly be mitigated by at least one jerkface parking a car on it. Cars! Fuck ’em! Heading west means heading downhill. Since you won't be occupied with pedaling, amuse yourself by admiring the Hahn arroyo on the north side of the trail or peering into the backyards that line the south side. (Confidential to homeowners whose properties abut the trail: Could you guys do more nude sunbathing, please? Betty Sprocket craves trailside titillation.) Be smart and slow way down at the low-visibility road crossings, and you'll have a quick and easy ride to the junction of the North Diversion Channel trail.
I recently attended my first fancy dinner that was paid for by a pharmaceutical company. Before the dinner, I reminded myself that I was walking into an infomercial. When health care providers are treated to a free meal at an upscale restaurant, it’s because drug reps are going to talk to them about a new pill or product the company is trying to sell. I was determined not to trust anything said any more than I’d trust the claims of those hilarious late-night “male enhancement” commercials that come on after "elimiDATE."
Dateline: France—A fashion model by the name of Zoe Renault is suing French automaker Renault over its proposed new car model, the Zoe. Zoe Renault, a 23-year-old from Paris who is not connected with the automaker, said she hates the idea of being compared to a car for the rest of her life. “I could not bear to hear ‘Zoe’s broken down’ or ‘We need to get Zoe overhauled,’ ” she was quoted in Le Parisien newspaper as saying. Renault isn’t the only Zoe suing Renault, either. David Koubbi, Zoe Renault’s lawyer, is drafting a class action lawsuit on behalf of several other Zoes. Koubbi said he had sent a letter to Renault’s chief executive arguing that the plans to release a Zoe vehicle were an attack on the rights of his clients. The proposed Renault Zoe ZE would be an all-electric, “zero emission” vehicle with a proposed launch date of 2012. A Renault spokesperson told reporters the company has produced several cars named after women but that Zoe was not a “definitive choice.” The word Zoe, which means “life” in Greek, was chosen to highlight the car’s environmental credentials.
You just can’t argue with animal hats. Especially kitten hats wearing hats. Get in on the fun Friday, June 4, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at OFFCenter (808 Park SW) where you can see a performance by JASPER, “a three piece rock n roots band,” while enjoying art, coffee and refreshments. We can assume this free event is all-ages in nature. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Good as Dead is an Albuquerque band that's been rocking for what’s nearing a decade. But in May, the group raked in three new honors at the New Mexico Music Awards for its 2009 album Learn to Swim (get your hands on the disc at cdbaby.com). To find out a little more about the musical leanings of this award-winning band, we asked drummer Sam Blankenship to shuffle his iPod to see what random items came up. Below are the “goofy” results.
Q: Cleaning out the freezer, I'm finding things like deer kidneys and elk livers that seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don't think I'll be getting to. Is it OK to feed meat scraps to my chickens? I've got turkeys and guinea fowl this year, too, and they're supposed to be getting more protein than the layers. Will meat taint the eggs and meat? Will the taste of blood make the kids go postal?
Since opening in September, Sushiya has gained a loyal following, and it’s easy to see why. The menu is a polished combination of Chinese and Japanese classics, with many twists—and some entire dishes—you probably haven’t seen before.
Once upon a time, in a museum far, far away, I had my iPod on random. I wandered through galleries listening to Genesis P-Orridge gently sing into my ears until, suddenly, a man spotted a Monet. His excitement was so infectious I followed him over to one of Monet’s “Water Lilies.” Without notice, the track ended, and my world was forever changed.
Hollywood has gotten to the point where it’s making more 3D films than there are 3D screens available. (Witness the recent multiplex traffic jam that was How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans and the last lingering shreds of Avatar). As a result, theater chains are rushing to install more digital projectors and more special 3D screens in order to show as many of these cash cows as possible.
“The Local Edge,” that venerable half-hour of New Mexico-grown rock on 104.1 FM The Edge, has a new overlord. Since May 2, the show has been hosted by Matt Orio, former drummer for Mechanism Of Eve, Ki and HalfGauge. Now Orio is calling for bands that make “all sorts of alternative / indie rock” to submit program fodder and postable flyers. To do so, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off music (labeled with attention to Orio) at the station—5411 Jefferson NE, Suite 100. For more on the show, or to see photos of bottle blondes with boob jobs in bikinis, go to 1047edgeradio.com. Listen to “The Local Edge” Sunday nights from 9:30 to 10 p.m.
Okkervil River helps pioneer of psychedelic rock tell his stories
By Summer Olsson
After a decades-long saga of legal troubles, drug abuse and mental illness, Roky Erickson—frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators, the ’60s garage bandoften credited with inventing psychedelic rock—has released an album that is both redemptive and cathartic. True Love Cast Out All Evil is a selection of songs written by Erickson over his entire career,chronicling an emotional journey—from incarceration in a prison for the criminally insane to his self-imposed isolation in a squalid housing project, and beyond.
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, a classy restaurant on North Fourth, has done very well pretending to be a speakeasy. Advertising has been low-key—what else would you expect from a speakeasy?—and you’ve got to know the password to get in. The windowless dining room looks and feels like a well-appointed back room in a Chicago basement, what with its elegantly polished black diamond plaster walls and period paraphernalia, and the speakeasy charade—complete with the “What’s the password?” routine—adds a little spice and corny fun to an evening out.
With one hand raised against the sublime forces of the sonically mundane, the man in the lizard costume seems to say, “Give heed!” His other hand clasps the record of truth and free expression. Accompanying text beckons the stifled, the weary and the weird to engage in a banquet of 7-inch vinyl at Coalmind (1016 Coal SW) on Thursday, May 27, from 8 to 11 p.m. Hurrah, I say, not hhhrrmmph. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Brent Bagwell is the reeds player for The Eastern Seaboard, a free jazz trio encased in a no-wave package. Formed, appropriately, in Brooklyn during the early Aughts, the band has since dispersed to other locations and is touring the Wild West in support of its fifth full-length, released on the Italian label Black Saint. The trio plays at the Undermind Collective (1016 Coal SW) on Friday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Below you’ll find five random pieces of Bagwell’s nano’s repertoire.
Let’s get this intro thingy out of the way. Hi! I’m your new friendly neighborhood arts and lit editor. Things I like: video art, Smokey Robinson, cats, red wine, vinyl records, bicycles, Shiva, stripes, crafting, bacon and the color orange. Things I dislike: not using turn signals, humidity, spiders, lavender, predator drones, cleaning my room, spandex, pickup lines and lights on when I sleep. Things about which I am indifferent: anime, boxers vs. briefs, Christmas decorations, manicures, BitTorrent, apple juice, Montana, plate tectonics and hedge funds. Some of you will love me; some of you will hate me. This is great! Send valentines / hate mail to email@example.com; I hang out in the twitterverse @gitagovinda. Also, don’t forget to read the Alibi every week, all of it, not just artsy stuff. Great. That was painless, no? Now, in honor of all 25 students who put up with my Japanese philosophy class last semester at the College of Santa Fe ...
A billowing mass of dark smoke enshrouded the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s 16-acre campus the afternoon of Monday, April 5. The smoke came from a wind-fed Bosque fire that raged as close as 200 yards away.
In the large, open dining room of El Rodeo, I sat by a painted mural of what appeared to be a successful serenade in progress. Near the front counter, a woman sat at a table evaluating me as if I was serenading her granddaughter. After the server took my order, the abuela ambled behind the counter and began patting out some fresh tortillas.
If m’lady is hankering to pedal her penny-farthing down a bucolic country lane, I'd advise her to stay away from the North Diversion Channel. This trail runs alongside the enormous eponymous arroyo, and the views are all concrete and desert sky. The trail starts at Balloon Fiesta Park, but you can pick it up at Paseo del Norte and head south, looking out over that mysterious industrial area around Jefferson where you've never had any reason to go in your car. (Has anyone?) After you cross Menaul, the urban terrain gets really interesting when the North Diversion Channel converges with another massive arroyo. You'll negotiate a swoop, twirl and dive through an underpass on your bike. I like to pretend that cars were never invented and all roads look like this miniature version of a mountain highway. You'll start to gain altitude and crest near the Big I. Gaze down upon all the pollutey motorists and enjoy a surge of smug cyclist's superiority. The trail ends at UNM's North Campus, but you'll be so close to the Frontier, it'd be foolish not to go get some huevos. You have to fortify yourself for the ride home, don't you?
Dateline: Italy—Investigators in Naples are looking into the possibility that pizzas in the famed city are being baked with wood stolen from a local cemetery. “Pizza, one of the few symbols of Naples that endures ... is hit by the concrete suspicion that it could be baked with wood from coffins,” wrote Italian daily Il Giornale. Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a stone oven over an oak-wood fire. The newspaper reports that local police believe criminals may be offering smaller, low-end pizza shops a cheaper alternative. “A gang might have set up a market for coffins sold to hardhearted owners of bakeries and pizzerias looking to save money on wood,” Il Giornale said. Naples’ historic graveyard has long been a target for thieves. Last year, some 5,000 flowerpots were looted from the cemetery grounds.
The Albuquerque-lensed superhero parody Defective Man! will have its premiere this Friday and Saturday, May 28 and 29, at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). The film is directed by D. Ryan Mowry and stars Paul Alsing, Arturo Negro, Stephen W. Eckles and Josh Saavedra. The gleefully campy, proudly lowbrow, resolutely Troma-esque comedy follows the adventures of an inept crime-fighting quartet led by an overweight, middle-aged superhero in Spandex. You can check out the yock-filled trailer by logging on to sb-films.com. Screenings start at 10:30 p.m. Cast and crew will be there in person. This one’s been a long time in the making, so come show your hometown support and wallow in your love of trash cinema!
In Sex and the City 2, a group of elderly New York hookers travels to the shifting sands of the Middle East where they encounter a hideous mummy who ... oh, no, wait. That’s just Sarah Jessica Parker. Never mind.
Last week, broadcast networks announced their prime time schedules for next season. We’ve got to wait until fall to actually see the new shows. But we can get disappointed just reading their descriptions now!