Alibi V.20 No.17 • April 28-May 4, 2011

Thank You, Masked Man

We get heroic with Super filmmaker James Gunn

James Gunn started out his career writing the trashtacular 1996 Troma film Tromeo and Juliet. By 2002, he was penning the family-friendly hit Scooby-Doo for Warner Bros. In between, he found time to script the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. He’s currently racing around the country promoting his latest writing/directing effort Super. In it, a pathetic fry cook adopts the mantle of a violent superhero after his wife dumps him for someone more interesting. Though shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts an impressive cast, including Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler.

feature

Grammys Ditch the Native American Category

Those little trophies are heavy. They must weigh about 15 pounds, laughs Melissa Sanchez. She should know. She helped organize their arrival in Albuquerque for a presentation at the Gathering of Nations this year.

Powwow Guide 2011

Parties, exhibits, markets and more around Albuquerque

Community events going on around Albuquerque outside of The Pit.

news

Power Play

Symposium pitches nuclear energy in New Mexico

The Land of Enchantment is home to most of the major steps in the uranium fuel process, according to a news release from the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy. There's the Eunice, N.M. enrichment facility that opened just last year. There's the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad. And there's plenty of raw ore in the state's veins. But, says the center, one major piece is missing: reactors.

Utilities Protest Carbon Caps

Greenhouse gas rules in New Mexico just can’t catch a break. After escaping Gov. Susana Martinez—and demise in the Legislature—they’re in the crosshairs of utility companies. The death-defying regulations have a singular goal: to reduce carbon emissions in the state.

Seeing What We Want to See—Including UFOs

People are often unhappy when I can explain an “unexplained” photograph or video. If it’s a hoax, the hoaxers are not happy with me—and neither are the people who fell for it. Nobody likes to be fooled.

film

Reel World

Do you work as a below-the-line crew member in the New Mexico film industry? Are you a grip looking to make that big career leap to best boy? If so, you might want to pay attention to a meeting scheduled for this Saturday, April 30, in Santa Fe. Tobi Ives of the New Mexico Film Office will be conducting a “review’ of the New Mexico crew programs available to below-the-line crew. Learn how you can take advantage of the Film Crew Advancement Program, discuss upcoming policy changes and review the pre-employment training program. As things stand, FCAP allows production companies to be reimbursed 50 percent of a qualifying crew member’s wages in a “specialized craft position.” The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Center for Justice & Progress (1420 Cerrillos Road, next to the IATSE 480 union office).

Royally Overloaded

We got your royal wedding coverage covered

If you’re like me and completely sick of all the royal wedding coverage dominating the television airwaves in the last couple of weeks, you’ll be happy to know it all ends this Friday. If, on the other hand, you can’t get enough of diamond tiaras, hand-embroidered ivory wedding dresses and horse-drawn carriages, then rest assured it’s all coming to a head this Friday. Either way, you win.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

music

Rock The 9

Your guide to the three-night Native music festival

It’s been four years since Navajo and Hopi guitarist and vocalist JJ Otero co-founded the first annual Rock The 9 Native Music Festival in Albuquerque. This year the seasoned festival, which unofficially coincides with the Gathering of Nations, takes place over three nights at Low Spirits. Here’s the complete, illustrated schedule for the fest.

Expand Your Playlist

Dance, meditate, muse, romance, reflect and boogie

Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is obviously not on the email lists of music publicists. Press releases for new recordings swamp the inbox daily. Here’s a handful of recent local and national releases, culled from the flood, that deserve attention.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from North America’s Josh and Jesse Hasko

Twin brothers Josh and Jesse Hasko are the post-dance, psych rock duo North America. On Friday, April 29, the Albuquerque band hosts its spring/summer tour Push Off Party at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW). The show starts at 9 p.m., admission is $5 and The Fertile Crescent opens. Peer into the Haskos’ shared music collection via the random tracks below.

art

Culture Shock

Just in time for Gathering of Nations, Native American artists Jaque Fragua and Ryan Singer present their joint effort, Vision Quest.

A Walk in the Woods

Taos author settles on northern California for her sophomore effort

Summer Wood’s novel Wrecker is set in the heart of Humboldt County, Calif. But don’t let the location fool you. It’s not about that.

food

Café Trang

Flavorful forks in the road

Though the plating and presentation of the food at Café Trang is classy, the place has a no-nonsense pragmatism that’s just as pronounced. The walls of the clean, open dining room are nearly barren, sending the message that all artistry is reserved for the food. And the drink options are at the top of the menu, rather than the bottom where they’re usually found—a refreshing bit of sensibility given that your drink order is the first thing the server asks of you.

Beer Springs Eternal

Seasonal microbrews flower around the city

This fine spring weather we’re in the midst of brings out mixed feelings in me. On one hand, I enjoy the freedom to stroll the University and Nob Hill areas without the need to dress like a Sherpa. On the other hand, I’m forced to see a parade of Don Schrader dress-alikes maneuvering their long boards down Harvard. It’s enough to make me forego the sunshine in favor of a dark corner of the nearest brewpub, where our locals are ready and waiting with new beers for the season.

Alibi V.20 No.16 • April 21-27, 2011

Reel Sustainable

Whole Foods Market celebrates Earth Month with nationwide film festival

Whole Foods Market’s motto is "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet." From the Global Animal Partnership animal welfare rating system, to every item stocked in produce and on the shelves. Whole Foods Market’s Do Something Reel Film Festival is another expression of this philosophy.

feature

City: Trading Greenbacks for “Green”

Will changing the city’s building requirements be a boon or a bust?

The City of Albuquerque climbed aboard the sustainability bandwagon a few years ago, declaring victoriously that all new city vehicles would be powered with alternative fuel. In 2005, it even adopted a law requiring some new structures to meet the guidelines of the world’s most recognized and respected system.

But on Feb. 7, the City Council unanimously this law, replacing it with older conservation rules. Some green-building advocates worry the move may serve as a bellwether for the city’s attitude toward sustainability and speculate about the larger implications of this change.

State: The Rule-Makers

Meet Martinez’ new Environmental Improvement Board

A few months ago, Gov. Susana Martinez fired all seven members of the Environmental Improvement Board, the entity charged with overseeing the standards of food safety, our water supply, air quality, radiation control and more. We got to speak with new board member James Casciano, also a manager of the Corporate Environmental Health and Safety program at Intel, about environmental improvement and public health.

National: 25 by 25

Sen. Udall tells the country to get with the program—New Mexico’s program

Sen. Tom Udall has a nickname for his bill: 25 by 25. "We're talking about 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025." Along with his cousin and fellow senator, Mark Udall (D-Colorado), he introduced a measure in early April that aims to set a standard nationally. Utilities around the country would have to use sources such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal for a quarter of their supply.

film

Reel World

The newly minted Roswell International Sci Fi Film Festival is looking for eager filmmakers to fill out its schedule. Firstly, they’re looking for screenwriters. Submit your 12-page (or less) film script by May 6 (entry fee is $15) and you could be given a $1,500 grant to film your movie, June 25 through July 2, at the festival’s Seven Day Shoot Out. It’s like the Duke City Shootout, only ... in Roswell. You can also register now for a Roswell summer film camp, a 30-day intensive short-film boot camp, or submit a finished sci-fi/fantasy film for consideration. Deadline for film submission is June 10 (and will also run you $15 per entry). The festival itself is scheduled to take place at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in early July.

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

Compellingly awful adaptation argues the merits of capitalism

Online searches for Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's controversial 1957 magnum opus, spiked recently. It wasn’t some coincidental alignment of college lit classes driving the traffic. It was the surprising theatrical release of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1. The seemingly out-of-nowhere feature debuted in a meager 300 theaters this past weekend, prompting hordes of curious to ask, “Is this what I think it is?”

Just Can’t Cope Without My Soap

ABC dumps daytime programming

If you’re a dedicated watcher of daytime soap operas, you probably already heard. ABC has canceled its two long-running soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” With a grand total of four soap operas left on network television, I think we can officially declare that the era of soaps is over.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

art

Erf Day

To paraphrase Jimmy, the drunken misanthrope from the film Art School Confidential, I've been postponing suicide on the off chance I’ll witness some glorious plague inflict unfathomable suffering on my hateful species.

Las Palabras en Fuego

Festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers

The 11th annual Words Afire Festival of New Plays is in full swing at the University of New Mexico. The festival features four new plays by up-and-coming writers and creates opportunities to match the work they’ll do in the professional world.

Not Black Swan

Ballet company tries to change the art form’s image

Behind the observation glass of the studio of Alwin's School of Dance, eight dancers from the New Mexico Ballet Company glide through the air, articulating tiny gestures amid a flurry of footwork. They precisely and energetically execute Valse Fantaisie choreographed by George Balanchine, recently debuted at their last performance Springtime Dances.

news

“She Loved Strong”

The life of Tera Cordova Chavez

Tera Cordova Chavez was 26 when she died. Her husband, police officer Levi Chavez, reported that he found her body on Oct. 21, 2007, after she'd shot herself with his department-issued weapon. But questions arose. Police Chief Ray Schultz announced Levi’s termination this week.

News reports haven’t focused much on Tera as a person. This is her story.

music

Music to Your Ears

Two very different local acts are releasing shiny new recordings on Saturday, April 23. Read all about it after the jump.

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

In a world of nuclear meltdowns, political deception and never-ending piles of laundry, most of us could use a little fantasy. With a frilly and fanciful spirit, the Weekly Alibi’s Group Hug created the Spring Social—an evening of treats, mirror balls, balloons, flowers, unicorn horns and shimmery sounds. You’re invited.

Earl Who?

An interview with Adam Hurt

The first name that pops into the brain whenever the word “banjo” is spoken is usually Earl Scruggs, who largely invented bluegrass banjo picking from scratch back in the ’40s. There are other banjo-playing styles, though, that are less well-known but just as captivating. Among aficionados of this kind of banjo picking, Adam Hurt is considered one of the best.

Song Roulette

Random tracks from local hip-hop artist Justin Hood

Justin Hood is a local hip-hop musician and—once upon a time—was an excellent Alibi editorial intern. On Saturday, April 23, he releases The Falling Season at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). Peek into Hood’s music collection via the random selections below.

food

Three Gardens in One

A springtime strategy for maximum yields

Searching for the best crops to plant with garlic, Ari LeVaux developed a technique called "tossing seeds randomly." He put all the seeds he didn't get around to planting last year into a jar, shook it up and threw them by handfuls. This experiment produced the "garlic patch friends" and a springtime strategy for maximum yields.

Alibi V.20 No.15 • April 14-20, 2011

The Conspirator

True-life historical drama teaches, preaches, with lots of speeches

The Conspirator is one of those terribly well-intentioned films that crops up every so often, courting Oscar bonhomie and preaching to the choir of progressive-minded audience members. Like tomato juice, it’s probably quite good for you—but it’s not much of a treat

feature

Self-Styled

A transatlantic conversation with Interpol’s Sam Fogarino

The Alibi’s Jessica Cassyle Carr interviews Interpol’s Sam Fogarino about song writing, long-distance relationships, fashion and fighting crime.

film

Reel World

Experiments in Cinema v6.3 got underway Wednesday, April 13, at Guild Cinema. The annual festival of experimental film/video—curated by UNM’s Bryan Konefsky—continues through Sunday, April 17 at both the Guild and UNM’s SouthWest Film Center. On Thursday, April 14, however, the festival takes a detour to the National Hispanic Cultural Center for an evening of events from 6 to 9 p.m. A collection of Spanish video art will be on display in the NHCC’s main gallery. In addition, the center will host the premiere of a new live work by Spanish experimental filmmaker / installation artist Rafaël. (He must be good, he’s only got one name.) Capping off this evening of fine experimental art displays will be an after-party at The Normal Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW), featuring some awesome projections by local arts org Basement Films. All of the events on Thursday are free and open to the public.

The Colors! The Colors!

“Problem Solverz” on Cartoon Network

It’s no secret at this stage of the game that the madmen (and women) behind Cartoon Network’s long-running Adult Swim programming block like the weird stuff. They regularly air shows like “Squidbillies,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Superjail!” Now, they’ve teamed up with members of the Pittsburgh, Pa. / Providence, R.I. art collective Paper Rad to open up the cage and let loose their newest animated freak show, “Problem Solverz.”

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

music

Music to Your Ears

There’s such an abundance of exciting music events around town this week, it’s staggering. Here’s a rundown of the things not covered elsewhere in this here music section.

The Joy Formidable

Here comes happiness

The Joy Formidable transforms the Welsh landscape into sonic form with fuzzy guitar riffs layered over fast, heavy drum lines, with synth melodies and Ritzy Bryan’s vocals soaring over the chaos. The Joy Formidable’s U.S. tour includes a stop in New Mexico after swinging by Coachella—bringing aural Wales to the Launchpad on Wednesday, April 20.

Flyer on the Wall

Tesco Vee is the loudmouthed wiseacre who co-founded Touch and Go magazine and the subsequent record label. He’s also front sleazoid for The Meatmen, a band formed in Lansing, Mich., at the dawn of hardcore punk. He and his meaty minions will be making costume changes and dirty jokes at the Moonlight Lounge on Tuesday, April 19, at 8:30 p.m. Against The Grain opens the adults-only show, and $10 gets your degenerate form through the door. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

news

The Last Days of Joey Limas

Joey Limas—he was never anything but Joey to me—resided in an Albuquerque nursing home, and I was positive I would see him again. Sure, he was 78 or 82 years old, depending on the source. But in my mind he was still tough as cactus. Then suddenly he was gone, bested by a flurry of ailments. Old prizefighters seldom meet death gently.

Legislative Smackdown

This column's name, Making Sausage, is a reference to a quote widely attributed to Otto von Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg. "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." From the view in the press box in Santa Fe, running a state looks arduous and frustrating. Lawmakers volley back and forth, nitpick over details, argue, dissect, and wheel and deal. And a 60-day session doesn't come cheap: lawmakers voted to spend a max of about $8.3 million on this one.

art

Foolishness

Just like those old pictures of your great-great-grandpa E.T.

It all started with a gas mask. Looking like a menacing bug in a suit, photographer Wes Naman (formerly on staff at the Alibi) transformed his studio into an extraterrestrial time portal, from which he made a series of spooky, rustic self-portraits.

A Literary Object

Blue Mesa Review releases Issue 24

Finding a new beloved author and devouring everything he or she has written is exciting. So is adding a book to one’s top five, wait, top 10, OK, top 20 list of “best books ever.” But sifting through bestseller lists or taking off-base recommendations from friends and family gets tiresome. And how to find the newcomers, the undiscovered gems? Issue 24 of the Blue Mesa Review offers a way.

food

Japanese Kitchen

Hidden treasures await

Japanese Kitchen is doing something right. The well-established restaurant has barley a glimpse of street view—and from Americas Parkway, at that. Buried in a nondescript business cluster across Louisiana from ABQ Uptown, Japanese Kitchen is spread between two kitty-cornered buildings that are separated by a shaded plaza. Despite their near-invisibility, Japanese Kitchen’s sushi bar and steakhouse get quite busy—even rowdy at times, especially in the teppan corner.

Market Time

Los Ranchos rises early

Now that spring is upon us, Mina Yamashita’s gathering up recycled shopping bags, empty egg cartons and pocketfuls of small change and heading to Los Ranchos Growers’ Market.