Alibi V.20 No.19 • May 12-18, 2011

Reel World

The first graduating class of UNM’s innovative Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program (IFDM) is about to show off some of its magic. Students in the program have spent most of the last year working on a 30-minute short called “Haley.” The impressive-looking sci-fi-oriented film follows an ass-kicking father who must hunt a group of thugs through a post-apocalyptic wasteland after his young daughter is kidnapped. Most of the shooting was accomplished at the old Albuquerque Railyard and the local arm of Sony Pictures Imageworks even pitched in to help out with some digital special effects. The film will have its premiere this Friday beginning at 8 p.m. at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW). Admission is free, but seating is limited—so get there early. You can check out a trailer of the film at the official Haley website. Congratulations to all involved and good luck on future endeavors!

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7 Natural Wonders

This land is our land

Carlsbad Caverns, Valles Caldera, Tent Rocks, White Sands, Carrizozo Malpais, Otero Mesa and Bisti/De-Na-Zin

7 Wet Wonders

Where the water is

Blue Hole, Jemez, Heron Lake, Carlsbad Riverwalk, San Juan River, T or C and Rio Grande Gorge

7 Religious Wonders

Give thanks for these spiritual sites

Christ in the Desert, Plaza Blanca, Dar al Islam, Kagyu Shenpen Kunchab, San Francisco de Asis Church, Santuario de Chimayó, Ram Das Ashram and Loretto Chapel

7 Old-West Wonders

How the West was fun

Montezuma Castle, Shaffer Hotel, Rancho Bonito, Saint James Hotel, Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, Buckhorn Saloon, White Oaks and Las Golondrinas

7 Sci-Fi Wonders

Mostly stranger than fiction

The Lightning Field, Trementina Base, VLA, Taos Hum, Spaceport America, Roswell and Dulce Base

7 Roadside Wonders

Absolutely worth pulling over for

Tinkertown, Manzano Sunflowers, Ice Cave, Bandera Volcano, Echo Amphitheater, Belen Harvey House, Teako Nunn's Giants and Kokopelli's Cave

7 Underwhelming Wonders

Things that make you go ... Meh

Clines Corners, Trinity Site, Continental Divide, Mesilla Plaza, Camel Rock, Four Corners and Roswell Crash Sites

7 Weird Wonders

WTF, N.M.?

Atari Video Game Burial Site, Moore's Trading Post, The Oryx, Flying Paperboy of the Guadalupes, Toilet Rock, Lake Lucero and Mystery Stone

7 Grave Wonders

Rest in peace, famous dead Americans

Billy the Kid, Elfego Baca, D.H. Lawrence, Dennis Hopper, Smokey Bear, Randy Castillo and HAM the Astrochimp

music

Music to Your Ears

Q: What’s better than basking in the sunshine, sipping a cool drink and snacking on a delicious picnic lunch with good company?

Rock Action

An interview with Mogwai frontman Stuart Braithwaite

Glasgow's Mogwai has been hypnotizing its audiences with elaborate, spaced-out, guitar-driven dirges since the mid-'90s. This week, on tour in support of its wryly titled 2011 Sub Pop release Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the cosmic post rock band pays New Mexico a visit. Over the phone, the band's thickly accented frontman Stuart Braithwaite and I discussed recording techniques, favorite concert locales and distortion pedals.

A Spoonful of Glitter

Shoulder Voices on Shoulder Voices

Shoulder Voices is just that. An angel on one side, a devil on the other, murmuring in your ear. And it’s difficult to tell which is offering temptation and which is advising caution.

Flyer on the Wall

The Bricklight Underground Merchants' Association is getting a jump on the season by presenting a daylong block party on Friday, May 13. The theme, of course, is “13”—13 percent off at Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery and Free Radicals Clothes & Crap. Thirteen bucks will get you some ink from All Is One Tattoo or a dress from Frock Star Vintage. Look for deals at Bricklight Dive, Cheba Hut and psychic Mendy Lou. Music includes Jakob Insane, Vertigo Venus, Sons of Gray, Domestic Violence, Beke Dragoste, 15 Polk St., Slik 50 and even karaoke. This is your lucky day. (Captain America)

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7 Deadly Sins of New Mexico

It's important to remember how quickly the Land of Enchantment can become the Land That Can Frigging Kill You. Here’s a list of seven places and activities that you should absolutely avoid at all costs.

Black Lava, White Sands

I should not be writing this column. I should be speeding away from Albuquerque with the windows down and the music loud. I’ve got the travel part of this gig down. Now for the writing.

Save the Librarians

Cutting our way to the future won’t work

Rey Garduño, speaking from his place on the City Council dais, asked, “Why are we decimating libraries?” He characterized the situation as “disheartening.”

film

Everything Must Go

A low-key Will Ferrell dips his toe in the melancholy suburbs of Raymond Carver

While fellow funnymen Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Jack Black are content to stay in their comfort zones making the same mainstream, man-boy chucklefests over and over, Will Ferrell at least gets credit for trying something new now and again. Of late, he started his own Internet comedy channel (funnyordie.com), briefly replaced Steve Carell on “The Office” and even took over for Ad-Rock in a Beastie Boys video. Now, the ubiquitous comedian is headlining an intriguing little indie dramedy called Everything Must Go.

Bugs? Not as Much as You’d Think

“The Looney Tunes Show” on Cartoon Network

Change is scary. So it’s not surprising to see people scared, confused and downright rassafrassin’ angry over the prospect of Warner Bros. applying a reboot to the ass of venerable cartoon series Looney Tunes. “The Looney Tunes Show” attempts to rebrand Bugs Bunny and pals for a new generation—by putting them in a standard TV sitcom format. It sounds downright sacrilegious. (“Rape my childhood, will you ?!?” as one online pundit put it.) But it’s probably not as bad as you’re imagining. In fact, it may be the best thing to happen to these characters in a generation.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

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Your Ship Has Come In

Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf presents a massive interactive installation

The Due Return, an intergalactic ship 75 feet long and 25 feet across at its widest point, has landed in an alien environment. While traveling through time and space for two centuries, the vessel and its crew collected artifacts, images and stories from many universes. Ten rooms house the haul of 200 years of exploration. The ship has been stationed in TD-31, the 31st dimensional space, for several years now, and its occupants have learned how to live in the foreign land. Glowing trees, pulsating creatures and ancient cave dwellings are some of the mysteries of this world.

Culture Shock

Readers of last week’s Culture Shock know that I’m replacing the intrepid John Bear as Arts and Lit editor. It’s a pleasure to jump right into his scuffed and holey shoes (that’s for you, John) and, as one of my first projects, announce our annual Flash Fiction Contest. I encourage every writer and would-be writer in the area to take an hour, get that very short story that’s brewing in your brain down on paper and send it my way. The top four entries will be published in this here paper, and winners will get cool prizes, like books and gift certificates. Keep your submissions to 119 words and email to summer@alibi.com.

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7 Dive Bar Wonders

Our “7 Wonders”-themed Summer Guide feature would be remiss without a tour of New Mexico’s most infamous watering holes. While you’re out exploring this enchanting state of ours, remember to spend a few hours planted on a well-worn barstool. You’re bound to learn a story or two and pick up a little local color—not to mention the potential friends (or enemies) you’ll acquire along the way. Bottoms up!

Alibi V.20 No.18 • May 5-11, 2011

Mom and the Green Stalk

Three easy asparagus recipes your mamma will love

A Mother’s Day brunch menu without asparagus is like a tailgate party without beer. Un-American, that is.

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Deep Breaths

Burque native Saywut?! preps for an international tour with CocoRosie and a move to Brooklyn

When we meet, Ashley Moyer has a metronome in her purse. Her passport came in yesterday. She is, in a sense, working out. “I'm getting my train on. That's the least I can do right now—get physically fit, my stamina, my breath control, the tightness in my beats.” Moyer has to have the cardio health to support a 90-minute-plus show. As she tours Europe with the sister art-pop warriors of CocoRosie, she's going to have to be right on time, all the time. This is the story of Albuquerque’s beatbox queen Suywut!?

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Boise Noise

You’re not alone if you hear the word “Idaho” and your brain replies “potatoes,” but I am going to let you in on a little secret. Recently coerced into a trip to Boise (long story), I discovered it is actually a very cool little city. The locals we met were friendly, stopping what they were doing to have long chats with us. Cabbies were cheerful and gave unsolicited, but appreciated, history lessons. Beautiful brick buildings from the late-19th and early-20th centuries comprise the downtown, and street art—some municipally sanctioned—is prevalent. The compact city center is host to dozens of independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars, many using local ingredients. One of my favorite (and weirdest) discoveries was that the Bittercreek Alehouse—besides offering delicious local food and brews in a classy atmosphere, keeps a huge worm farm in the basement where almost all of the waste of the establishment is recycled.

John Maestas and Humoso

Old soul presents music from new album

One Wednesday night last summer, guitarist/vocalist John Maestas, bassist/vocalist Asher Barreras and drummer Enrique Chavez were hanging at Vernon’s Jazz Club, each looking to get up and play with saxophonist Doug Lawrence in the weekly jam. Lawrence called them to the stage at the same time, and something clicked.

Song Roulette

Lovers is a Portland synth pop act made of three super-talented ladies (find downloads for a couple of songs here: bit.ly/portlandlovers). The trio is in the midst of a massive U.S. tour and stops in at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) on Monday, May 9. Animals in the Dark opens the free, 21-and-over show at 10 p.m. Find out what Lovers loves below, where vocalist Carolyn Berk has put her MP3 player on random shuffle.

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Culture Shock

It is time once again for me to bid you, my fair reader, adieu.

I am moving back to Oklahoma, a state apparently bent on my destruction. I had some great tornado jokes lined up for this column—real grade-A material.

Alas, I woke up the other morning and the damn things had laid waste to most of Alabama. Severe weather humor is horribly inappropriate at this particular juncture.

So we’ll skip the tornado jokes.

Virtual Realities

An exceptional pair of plays

Take two of the city’s finest actors, shake them together with an inspired and masterful theater company, slather on a large dollop of Academy Award-winning talent, and the chances you’ll end up with something satisfying and delectable are all but guaranteed. Such is the case with Mother Road Theatre Company’s newest offering, Virtual Reality.

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Clovis’ LGBT Struggle

Students seek Gay-Straight Alliance

Starting a new club at Clovis High School is usually a routine process: Fill out forms, get approval from the administration, find members and establish meetings. All of this seemed to be going well for Steven De Los Santos, who spearheaded a Gay-Straight Alliance at Clovis High School—until administration postponed approval.

Pride Flag Flies in Clovis

Demonstrators from around the state gathered on a cold, windy afternoon in Clovis, N.M., to show support for LGBT student rights.

Schmidly’s Salary

Did UNM’s top dog sucker the regents into paying him too much?

With President David Schmidly’s late-April declaration that he will be stepping down next year, the time has come to contemplate what kind of pay might be appropriate for future UNM administrators.

A Close Call

Public broadcasting breathes a sigh of relief

PBS President Paula Kerger doesn't look battle-worn. But the last few months can't have been easy. Earlier this year, Republicans in Congress waged a campaign to ax all federal funding slated for public broadcasting. The Alibi sat down with Kerger during her brief time in Albuquerque to talk about the future of public media and this year's battle to save it.

Curbside Recycling

Albuquerque City Council will once again feature adoptable shelter animals. At the Monday, May 2 meeting, two dogs and a cat were shown via photos instead of being brought into the Council chambers, as they used to be under Councilor Sally Mayer. Either way, it is good to have the furry friends back.

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Reel World

New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award-winning filmmaker Federico Reade and community activist Richard Moore (founding member of the Black Beret organization) will discuss their documentary-in-progress American Blowback: New Mexico’s Black Berets on Thursday, May 5. The presentation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Los Jardines Community Space (803 La Vega SW) and will be hosted by Bianca Encinias of the Southwest Network for Environmental Justice. The film focuses on the historic Chicano movement here in New Mexico and was a recent winner of a New Visions / New Mexico Contract Award from the state.

Something Borrowed

Wishy-washy romantic comedy will leave you blue

To give credit where credit is due, Something Borrowed imagines a scenario weightier and more serious than most romantic comedies. The film, based on a book by Emily Giffin, starts out in surprisingly mature territory. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Something Borrowed is just another romantic comedy and stumbles into most of the same traps as others of its ilk.

King’s Cross

“Game of Thrones” vs. “Camelot”

It’s good to be the king. Or is it? Given the wealth of information available in fantasy literature, it seems like being the king is a lousy job. Take two new pay-cable series as evidence: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Starz’ “Camelot.”

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

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.

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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.

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.

Flyer on the Wall

The “sheeeeeeeee ... wwwuuuhhh” of filmic astronaut breath might be among the sounds you hear at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) on Tuesday, May 3, beginning at 10 p.m. The free show features the psychedelic sounds of Minneapolis’ Daughters of the Sun and local noise purveyors Luperci, Black Leaf #40 and Alan George Ledergerber. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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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.

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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.

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.