Mathematician has airborne art down to a science
All balloonists think they fly the most beautiful thing in the sky, says Jonathan Wolfe. "And they're wrong," he laughs.
All balloonists think they fly the most beautiful thing in the sky, says Jonathan Wolfe. "And they're wrong," he laughs.
Every autumn we are greeted with three things here in the Land of Enchantment—the aroma of roasting green chile, the deep-fried spectacle of the State Fair and the early morning sky filled with breathtaking globes of color, launched from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. From Oct. 2 through 10, hundreds of hot-air balloons will take flight over the Duke City at the world's largest ballooning festival. This schedule will keep you as occupied and cheerful as the skies above Albuquerque.
All minors, no matter how young, have the right to confidential reproductive health care services. This means your provider (a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) can’t tell your parents if you are having sex, if you want birth control, if you are being treated for an STD, if you are pregnant or if you want an abortion. Pregnant females can consent to prenatal care, delivery services and postnatal care without a parent.
When Patty Mugan goes to work, she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of her friends will die on her watch. Mugan is not the only one who faces this grim forecast every day. That's just reality for animal shelter employees. "Some days, it is very difficult to see some of the things that we see at our shelter," says the Valencia County Animal Shelter technician. "But I know that for some dogs and cats that have been abused or abandoned or on the streets for a long time, this is the best they have ever been taken care of; because they had shelter from the weather, fresh food and water, and someone that cares to spend time with them—at least for a little while."
[Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.]
How many elections have you participated in where your single vote decided the outcome? The answer is probably zero. Yet we have had a few ties here in New Mexico for local races in the past. Our state constitution requires that the outcome in such situations be decided by a game of chance.
Dateline: Australia—A pet dog has had to undergo surgery after downing a shot of Jägermeister—glass and all—at a house party. Billy the short-haired German pointer’s owner was out of town on vacation when some dog-sitting roommates decided to throw a party in the Northern Territory town of Darwin. A few days later, Billy began vomiting blood. The dog-sitters rushed him to the vet where an x-ray revealed a shot glass in his stomach. The 18-month-old dog’s owner told Northern Territory News that Billy the booze hound must have seen “everyone else having a whole lot of fun. He would have thought, I want to have a good time too. I’ll try their drink myself.” After three hours in surgery, the shot glass was removed from the Billy’s stomach. “We’ll put the shot glass and the x-ray photo in a frame and put it up on the wall where he can see it. I hope it reminds him of alcohol abuse,” added the owner.
Sometimes the right person for the job has to be imported. When the late Felix Wurman needed someone to manage The Kosmos performance space, he summoned Austin expatriate Maggie Ross. In a year’s time, Ross has made the space a versatile tool, a virtual Swiss Army Knife for the community with live rock shows, chamber music, yoga classes, movies, poetry readings and a full coffee bar. I managed to catch up with the industrious Ross (no easy task) for some Q-and-A.
You’re wandering through a labyrinthine mansion, lured on by eerily seductive voices. Spider webs audibly brush your cheeks and chimes ring out all around as you stumble into a room painted with murals of unicorns and rainbows. Some kind of plastic box emits scratchy beats and two beautiful sirens with mustaches and goatees beckon you with nonsense words. Crickets or perhaps a ceiling fan whir in the background. Did you watch a David Lynch movie right before bed? No, but you could’ve been listening to CocoRosie.
As Friedrich Nietzsche attests, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Maybe a newspaper is not the best forum for this idea, but the vast world of art can’t help but create infinite lenses through which we can observe the world.
Put on your antique deep-sea diving suit (everyone has one lying around somewhere) and take a trip under zee zea to a magical land where two-tone ska and Latin indie music intermingle with anemone/clown-fish symbiosis. The Blue Hornets and Con Razon perform on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) at 9 p.m. for a petite $5 cover charge. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Infamous Old West gunman Wild Bill is bringing Wild Bill’s Crazy Film Festival back to The Box Performance Space this Saturday, Oct. 2, starting at 8 p.m. All manner of locally made short films will be screened. But here’s the twist: You, the audience, are in control. Each film will be given two minutes to show off its stuff. After that, the audience gets to vote. Winners will continue screening in their entirety, losers will be put out of their misery by Wild Bill’s trusty six-shooters. For more information about “Albuquerque’s most dangerous short film festival,” log on to Amigo Production. Six bucks gets you in the door. Find The Box at 100 Gold SW, suite 112.
On paper, the story of how college nerd Mark Zuckerberg successfully programmed and marketed a more popular version of social networking websites such as MySpace doesn’t sound all that exciting. As envisioned by director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin, however, the story has surprising vibrancy, entertainment value and timeliness. It’s like Citizen Kane for the Internet age. And that’s not just the hyperbole talking.
Nostalgia is a thin bridge to walk. Everybody longs to return to those halcyon days of youth when music rocked louder, movies were less stupid and comic books kicked way more ass. The problem is nothing is ever as good as you remember it. Hollywood, hoping to make another buck or two off your faulty memory, is happy to exploit feelings of nostalgia. There’s hardly a movie, TV show, cartoon, comic strip, comic book, toy, video game or board game that hasn’t been or isn’t about to be brought back to life.
Tim Miller. This guy got his National Endowment for the Arts grant taken away under pressure from the first Bush Administration for the subject matter of his work being ... wait for it ... gay. And he wasn’t alone. There were three other performance artists in the same boat—a lady who talked about sex, a lady who talked about being a lesbian, and an actor who was in the ZZ Top video for “Legs” and a several shows in the “Star Trek” series—I’m not sure what he talked about, but someone didn’t like it. They later got it back after suing the federal government for violating their First Amendment rights (God, I love that amendment).
It can be a mural on a street corner, a piece of art pasted to a wall or a rainbow dripped down the side of a building. Sometimes it’s graffiti; other times it’s propaganda. Street art can be a legal mural painted on a wall or surreptitiously placed in the dead of night, ninja style. Banksy, a highly secretive street artist who operates out of the United Kingdom, has painted murals on the sides of cows, pigs and sheep. He placed his own work inside the Louvre in Paris (it was quickly removed).
Chaz Bojórquez has never been caught, but he has been chased.
He laughs when he admits it, because it seems slightly absurd: a world-renowned artist with work hanging permanently in the Smithsonian American Art Museum being pursued by cops for painting something on the side of a building. Such is the life of a graffiti artist.
Olo Yogurt Studio opened its doors on Sept. 4 in the heart of Nob Hill with some of the best fro-yo you’ve ever drawn from a tap. Located just east of Boba Tea Company and across from Kelly’s Brew Pub, Olo fits right in with Nob Hill’s eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. In case you’re wondering—Olo is not a franchise, but a dream made real by four creative entrepreneurs. This self-serve frozen yogurt shop sparkles with the energy of owners Paula Griego, Matthew Pope, Tom Haines and Precious Haines. Bold swaths of color swoop from the wall to the ceiling, drawing customers into the bright, contemporary space designed by local architect Mark Baker.
If you read the online reviews of Saffron Tiger, on Paseo del Norte, you’d think going there is like rolling dice. It’s interesting how many people label the restaurant as an Indian version of Panda Express, and how this contingent is split over whether this is a good thing.
New Mexico is a land of soaring altitudes and a dry-as-a-chuppacabra’s-bone climate. Most of Louisiana crouches at, or even below, sea level, wading in air that’s stickier than an Elton John song. New Mexico seems to only cut loose if balloons or a burning effigy are about, and the state isn’t so fond of the hooch. Louisiana likes to live large (save for the Evangelicals), using any excuse to tap its toe and take a sip. Other than obscene poverty levels and having been settled by the Spanish once upon a time, the two states have little in common.
Oud player Rahim AlHaj will take the stage Saturday night at the ¡Globalquerque! world music festival to premiere works from his new album, Little Earth. When he does, don’t be surprised to see tears in his eyes.
Even after five successful years with ¡Globalquerque!, festival co-founders Neal Copperman and Tom Frouge are still hearing the same thing from attendees: “It’s so much more than I thought.”
Conservative Judge James Gray was on the bench for 25 years in Orange County. He was a federal prosecutor and a Navy JAG before that. He ran for Congress as a Republican in the late ’90s and as a Libertarian for Senate a few years later.
We’ve gotten used to the lightning speed of the digital age. These days, we don’t have to wait for much. Want a T-shirt with your own face on it? I’m sure it can be printed, packaged and posted to your doorstep within three business days.
A range of public reactions to Albuquerque Police Department shootings took center stage at the Monday, Sept. 20 City Council meeting. So far this year, there have been 11 officer-involved shootings, and seven people have died. Brian Swainston and several other men said they saw the most recent incident, which happened Downtown on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Officer Leah Kelly shot Chandler Barr, who was cutting himself with what was later discovered to be a butter knife. Police Chief Ray Schultz says Barr lunged at Kelly.
The latest word in New Mexico government is “transparency.” Mayor Richard Berry’s administration released its new transparency website, ABQ View (cabq.gov/abq-view), on Aug. 25. Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit that focuses on the issue, says the city site “achieved not just every mark on Sunshine Review’s transparency checklist, but also nailed all our suggested data as well. Data is even downloadable in different formats.”
Dateline: Connecticut—A 37-year-old man who officially changed his name to “Almighty Supremeborn Allah” was arrested earlier this month after Special Services Unit officers found $2,000 worth of cocaine in his New Britain apartment. The New Britain Herald reports officers were executing a search warrant on Almighty Allah’s apartment when the suspect fled the scene. “He ran and the officers used a Taser to get him into custody,” Sgt. Jeanette Saccente told the newspaper. After Allah was subdued, officers searched his home—unironically located on High Street—and found three grams of cocaine on a bedroom dresser and a baggie with another 18 grams. Allah was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school or public housing project, and interfering with police. A judge held Allah on $300,000 bond following an arraignment hearing.
Local artist Katie Calico is working on a series of paintings based on the zodiac, and the results are decidedly titillating.
Art and science are usually viewed as separate, walled-off worlds.
It’s been said that art, while influenced by philosophy and strategy, maintains steadfast ground not in the head, but in the muse-directed heart and gut.
It also goes that science lives in the brain, plodding through cerebral pathways to carve out theories and observe minute truths.
The problem with this stereotype is that it just isn’t true. Art and science lease equal space in the head and heart, and they influence each other as much as they are each inspired by beauty and logic.
Like clockwork, local arts org Basement Films will sponsor its annual Audio/Visual Show at UNM’s Southwest Film Center this coming November. In the past, they’ve screened all sorts of insane/awesome/experimental examples of live music and moving image art. Last year, for example, quirky Albuquerque instrumentalists A Hawk & A Hacksaw performed a live score to “the most swimmingly bizarre film from Eastern Europe you’ve never seen” (as the event coordinators put it). This year, Basement Films is looking to expand its horizons even wider. Organizers are on the hunt for “musicians, filmmakers, celluloid manipulators and sonic outlaws” who want to contribute. Teams and individuals are encouraged to contact Basement Films. Deadline to submit proposals is more or less Oct. 15. There is no entry fee and there’s even the likelihood of compensation if you become one of the performers. If you’re interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to basementfilms.org for more details.
Much as Hollywood wants you, the ticket-buying public, to think of 3D movies as the next indispensable trend, they’re not. Given their exorbitant ticket price, 3D movies have become little more than “event” programming. People aren’t going to rush out and see one every weekend. With tickets up to $15 a pop, viewers (particularly those with families) aren’t willing to fork out that kind of dough on a regular basis. Sure, when the film is a big freakin’ holiday blockbuster must-see spectacular like Avatar, they’ll make it a runaway hit. But if it’s something as mediocre as last week’s Alpha and Omega (starring the voices of Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere!), audiences are perfectly content to wait until it hits DVD. (At which point they can own the movie for $15.)
In 1994, PBS premiered Ken Burns’ epic documentary “Baseball.” Little did those involved know that the grand old game of baseball was about to go through some seismic changes. Now, Burns has decided to pitch an extra inning, giving us an important postscript to his historic series. “Baseball: The Tenth Inning” is no Minor League effort, either. Though it begins in the 1990s, long after the legends of the sport had been well-established, it features some of the most gripping events in baseball history.
Why are landlocked New Mexican musicians helping out the oil-soaked Gulf Coast? The reason is simple, says local blues musician Todd Tijerina—it’s all about roots.
At the beginning of my love affair with Bollywood films, I made every single person I knew repeatedly watch the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” scene in Dil Se—a dance sequence that takes place on top of a moving train. While friends looked on with amusement, I would jump up and down, squealing and pointing at the screen. Something about the traditional Indian music and dance blended with club beats and ’90s hip-hop moves filled me with glee. “And they’re on top of a moving train!”
Music is the Enemy came to be two years ago with one guy writing crappy songs in a dark room. Now a five-piece (whose members wish to conceal their identities) that plays “fast, violent punk rock” in the loosest sense of the term, the band is taking a stand against music with an auditory manifesto titled Mr. Murdoch ... We're Ready For Our Target Audience. “We're trying to end music, basically," says *****. “You could consider it a parody. It's a parody that's real though." Find out what the annihilation of music sounds like, and score a free CD, at the band’s all-ages album protest on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Tree House—one of the space’s final shows. Tenderizor, Epiphany, The Balcony Scene and Spring-Loaded Hot Dog provide opening chaos beginning at 8 p.m. More about the belles of this ball at musickillsrockstars.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
***** is the front man for the local heaviness that is Music is the Enemy. ***** declines to be named because of the subversive nature of his music project, which releases its first album at an all-ages Treehouse show this Saturday, and a 21-and-over Burt’s Tiki Lounge show on Oct. 2 (next Saturday). Below you’ll find five random tracks that he likes ... whoever he is.
Ken Hays is wild about bees. He began beekeeping as a hobby in 1968. He would continue working as an air traffic controller until 1988, when the bees claimed him full time. With fellow beekeepers Joe Wesbrook and Andy Duran, Hays covers New Mexico with more than 150 hives and gathers a thousand pounds of honey every week. They collect spicy tamarisk (salt cedar) honey from Socorro, mesquite from T or C, sweet clover from “up north,” desert candle from southern New Mexico, and varieties including early and late summer, floral and more. With permission from farmers, the Bureau of Land Management and the forest service, he places hives on land where the pollination often benefits the local agriculture and flora. The honeys range in color from pale gold to deep amber, and their flavors reflect the bees’ foraging areas.
The concept of Bailey’s on the Beach, at Central and Girard, seems to put some people off at first, most notably because it’s not situated on a beach. On the other hand, “Bailey’s on the Taco Bell Parking Lot” doesn’t have the same ring. In any case, a few minutes on the restaurant’s third story deck at sunset will earn Bailey’s the benefit of the doubt.
Every city administration tiptoes on a precarious thin line, balancing public safety against the civil rights of its citizens.
The Albuquerque Police Department has not instituted any special de-escalation training due to the the high number of officer-involved shootings this year. The Tuesday, Sept. 14 shooting in Downtown Albuquerque was No. 11. In 2009, there were only six.
Lupe Lopez-Haynes' sister went missing 21 years ago. When the bodies on the West Mesa were first discovered, she wondered if her sister would be among them. Beatrice Lopez Cubelos' remains were not uncovered at the mass grave, but there are still families who believe their missing daughters could be near the site at 118th Street and Dennis Chavez, Lopez-Haynes says.
More than 100 people have taken advantage of the city’s anonymous fraud-reporting program. The Efficiency, Stewardship and Accountability hotline is supposed to encourage people to report concerns and deter wasteful spending. City Inspector General Janet McHard told the Council at its Wednesday, Sept. 8 meeting that the new program is gathering reliable information.
My brother did one tour in the land of the two rivers. He came back with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a brain injury, all in the name of ... nothing.
Dateline: Romania—Romanian senators—perhaps fearing magical repercussions—have rejected a proposal to tax their country’s witches and fortune tellers. Lawmakers Alin Popoviciu and Cristi Dugulescu of the ruling Democratic Liberal Party had drafted a law that would require witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts. The law, aimed at increasing revenue for the cash-strapped country, would also have held the soothsayers liable for wrong predictions. On Sept. 7, however, Romania’s Senate voted down the proposal. Popoviciu claimed lawmakers were frightened of being cursed.
Listening to the earthy, earnest songs of The Felice Brothers, it’s easy to hear the band’s roots and the influence of its journey. Palenville, N.Y., is a hamlet of about 1,400 residents, nestled at the base of the Catskill Mountains near the Kaaterskill Falls. The fictional character Rip Van Winkle was supposed to have hailed from the town. It was there that brothers Ian, James and Simone Felice, the poor sons of a carpenter, grew up and began playing music. The brothers often held neighborhood jam sessions and played regularly during family backyard barbecues.
You may remember a sweaty-palmed week in middle school when you were forced to square dance by an overbearing gym teacher. And you may shudder at the thought of repeating the event. Although contra dance has similarities to square dancing, there’s no need to be wary. People of all ages have discovered that contra dancing is fun. It might be time to heal the wounds and check it out. “The dance is having a renaissance around the country,” reports NPR, “thanks to a thriving youth scene.” The latest trend is dancing contra to hip-hop or techno, dubbed “crossover contra” or “contra-fusion.” Although it might be happening all around them, many people may have never heard of the style. Contra dance is a form in which people begin in two long lines, facing one another, and are led through a series of steps by a caller. Dancers cycle through moves with the person opposite and those on either side, ending up dancing with several different partners.
Trombonist Christian Pincock, curator of the new series at The Center for Grooviness, and his partner, Deian McBryde, are dedicated to helping people get in the groove—one way or the other. Their Central Avenue space hosts both the self-explanatory Nob Hill Yoga Center and The Center for Grooviness, which is dedicated to presenting unconventional music and arts. Both enterprises invite you to come in, kick off your shoes, lie down (not compulsory) and give yourself up to the moment at hand.
On the 40th anniversary of his death, SuperGiant, The Ground Beneath, Sandia Man and Dead On Point Five will worship in the acid rock temple of guitar god and distortion pioneer Jimi Hendrix. The holy services take place at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, Sept. 18, beginning at 9 p.m. Pay your respects, rock, roll, tune in, turn on and drop out for a $5 cover charge. Hand-painted, infinite afro art by Kyle Erickson—SuperGiant bassist. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
This Thursday, Sept. 16, marks your last chance to see the made-in-New-Mexico documentary A Nightmare in Las Cruces in a theater. The Century Downtown 14 theater will screen the film at 11:30 a.m., 1:25, 3:20, 5:15, 7:10 and 9:05 p.m. Sportscaster-turned-filmmaker Charlie Minn will be on hand to introduce the self-distributed feature.
Ben Affleck must have liked what he got a taste of in his 2007 writing-directing debut Gone Baby Gone, because he’s done his best to replicate the experience with his new film The Town. In fact, he’s even upped the ante, throwing himself into the mix as lead actor.
Cable net FX hasn’t quite caught up with rival AMC when it comes to original, hour-long series. But they keep trying. Currently, FX has “Rescue Me,” “Damages,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Justified.” Good shows, sure, but not quite up to the Emmy-winning pop and sizzle of AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”
It seems my journalism career has come full circle—I went from culture editor to police reporter back to culture editor; or arts and literature editor, as it were.
As far as cognitive peculiarities go, synesthesia seems pretty sweet. Instead of just hearing sounds, the brain translates the aural with another sense function, say vision or taste. What is for one person an F sharp can, for the synesthete, be a green- or raspberry-hued note.
Even if you've never read Moby-Dick, there are probably a few things you already know about the story simply by existing in modern American culture. For one, there's some guy named Ishmael. And there’s a crazy, one-legged captain called Ahab, who's made it his life's purpose to chase down and harpoon the titular, massive white sperm whale that bit off his limb. Like most classic tales, it doesn't end well.
“The pilot light in the stove had gone off, so when she turned the oven on to full bore, it did not light. A couple of hours later ... she opened the oven door. The flame from the top burners ignited the gas in a single terrifying rush, blasting Courtney three feet back and three feet into the air so that she landed, seated on the prep counter.”
As Central Avenue heads east toward the mountains, the gravitational pull of Nob Hill starts to wear thin. Groovy cafés and thrift stores are succeeded by storage units and mom-and-pop car lots. This sleepy urban backwater is where you’ll find the Babylon Grocery and Café, in a strip mall just east of Wyoming. The wood-clad Iraqi restaurant and grocery store has only been open for six months, but it already has the weathered and eclectic feel of a long-standing outpost in a desert far away.