Alibi V.20 No.25 • June 23-29, 2011

Comic Speed Readin’

Tiny reviews of local creations

Sweet 7000's Baaadassss Comics. This is the full, funky name of 7000 BC, a local nonprofit that supports New Mexican comic book writers and artists. Yes, the moniker is partially inspired by the independent nature of that one Melvin Van Peebles film you just thought about, but it also references the elevation of Santa Fe, where the group was founded. The comic book lovers on the Alibi editorial staff reviewed a handful of new 7000 BC offerings.

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Speak Well, He Can

An interview with the voice of Yoda

Tom Kane can do a good evil robot. He gets a lot of computer voices thrown his way. Stanley Kubrick even picked him to be the new HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey just before Kubrick died. Kane's also done a ton of animation voicings, including Professor Utonium in “The Powerpuff Girls” and Monkey Fist on “Kim Possible.” He was both Tony Stark and Ultron in the "Iron Man" cartoons, so he got to fight himself.

La Forge to Bridge

An interview with LeVar Burton

As an actor, he's hit the trifecta. LeVar Burton has managed to be cast in three roles that played a major part in American culture: the young Kunta Kinte in Roots, himself as the host of "Reading Rainbow" and Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

news

Justice at a Price

The City locked up Michael Lee for murder, then paid him $1 million

Michael Lee spent 15 months in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center before being released in March 2009. He was facing the death penalty for the murder of the Yis, an elderly couple who'd been found dead in their Northeast Heights home in December 2007. "It's the scariest thing I've ever been through. Hands down."

Seven-Hour Cram Session

The Council crammed a lot into their last meeting before summer recess. Councilors voted to: review APD’s deadly force policies; allow big restaurants not to install fire sprinklers; and let the city to vote on red-light cameras.

art

Stranger Factory

Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous

Upon entering the Stranger Factory, three distinct areas of well-laid-out eye candy unfold before you. Carefully placed paintings and prints decorate the white walls, and plenty of natural light washes over displays of toys and figurines. Brandt Peters, who co-owns Stranger Factory with his wife, Kathie Olivas, says they decorate the shop as they do their home. “We show how you can actually put your own collection together,” he says. They salvage furniture, shelves and other recyclable cool stuff to mix in with the art pieces.

food

Jo’s Place

There’s nothing average about this Jo

If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.

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Cars 2

Sequel trades up to a newer, jazzier, more explosion-filled model

It’s been five years since Cars came out. Not a lot has changed in the bucolic Southwestern town of Radiator Springs. Except that beloved old race car Doc Hudson has expired alongside voice actor Paul Newman. (Wait. Cars can die? How is that ... never mind. The cars talk!) Whereas Cars was a sweetly nostalgic trip out of today’s fast lane and into the bygone era of small-town, roadside Americana, Cars 2 is a globe-hopping superspy action/adventure that combines James Bond, The Fast and the Furious and Thomas the Tank Engine. So much for the simple life.

Now With 50 Percent Less Host!

“Proving Ground” on G4

Whether his life is labeled “shockingly short” or “appropriately short” is a judgment best left to historians (assuming future historians of our planet will be interested in early 21st century pop-cultural blips). But there’s definitely something poetically fitting in the fact that 34-year-old Ryan Dunn, a regular fixture on MTV’s “Jackass” and host of G4’s new show “Proving Ground,” died in a fiery car crash in the early morning hours of Monday, June 20.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

music

Dr. Banjo

Wayne Shrubsall and his five-string circus

In 2009, banjo czar Wayne Shrubsall funneled much of his vast store of knowledge into a concert at Albuquerque's Covenant Church called The Really Big Banjo Show. It sold out to a standing-room-only crowd. Many people got turned away. A new incarnation, Dr. Wayne Shrubsall’s Really Bigger Banjo Show, happens this Friday night at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Shrubsall emphasizes that this is a different, expanded show. “Trust me,” he says with a smile. “This really is bigger.”

Tom McDermott

Big Easy pianist/composer off-kilter and on target

You never know where pianist Tom McDermott will go haring off to next. That’s because he often hasn’t a clue, either. A daring and inventive improviser, he’s more than willing to go striding (or ragging or rumba-ing or tango-ing) through doors that lead who-knows-where. In the middle of a Scott Joplin piece, he might find an opening that leads straight to James Booker and start mixing the rag’s more straitlaced syncopation with the saucy funk of New Orleans R & B.

Flyer on the Wall

Using pointillism and evil typeface, the artist’s handiwork indicates a show on Saturday, June 25, at the Small Engine Gallery (1413 Fourth Street SW). Metally bands Gnossurrus and Leeches of Lore (along with an opening acoustic performance Dan Gottwald, who will be playing handmade instruments) begin all-ages festivities at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

Alibi V.20 No.24 • June 16-22, 2011

Return Fire

Soldier files a racism complaint about his superiors

Adam Jarrell has wanted to be in the military since he was a kid. So his treatment in Afghanistan came as quite a shock, he says. During his yearlong deployment, he was subject to racial slurs and threats of physical violence, according to a complaint. Jarrell says someone even hung a noose outside his sleeping quarters.

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Thanks for Flashing Us

The winners of our Flash Fiction contest

Entries started pouring in as soon as we announced this year’s Flash Fiction contest. It was like that closet you haphazardly throw things into, without order, squeezing the door closed with your body weight to cram in all the stuff without a proper home. Toppling stacks of paper and files, bits of yarn, nightmare flickers, battered toys, love letters, unused sports equipment, dream diaries, lost hopes, failed romances―it’s all in there.

film

The Tree of Life

Acclaimed filmmaker gives us life, the universe and Sean Penn

Terrence Malick is an artist of singular abilities. Over the course of his distinguished, nearly 40-year career, he’s directed exactly five films (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World and The Tree of Life). Each one is easily identified as an incredibly languid, highly ruminative period drama. With voice-over narration. And trees. His films are frequently described as “painterly,” in that they are beautifully composed and often consist of very long static shots in which nothing moves. There are few filmmakers I am as impressed with or as bored by.

Live Alien-Free or Die

“Falling Skies” on TNT

Aliens are the new zombies. A lingering fear of foreign terrorists and a growing mistrust of undocumented aliens have turned Americans into full-fledged xenophobes. Hence, the most timely metaphorical monster we can imagine right now is the flying-saucer-piloting, death-ray-shooting invader from outer space.

Reel World

In our Super Summer Film Guide, we asked readers to submit their best “high concept” film suggestions at alibi.com. We thumbed through the entries to find the most ridiculous “Hollywood summer blockbuster” film pitches you folks were able to compose in a single sentence. Our first-place winner (scoring 15 free passes to a Regal Cinema theater) is Dominic Wingfield for Oh God, I Love You. In it, “Suzie Fungirl (Julia Roberts) is killed in a car accident, and on entering Heaven, falls in love with God (Owen Wilson), and has to convince him that, although he may love everybody, she is something special.” Second place (10 free passes) goes to Clay Beckner for Elizaborg. “In a last-ditch effort to restore the relevance of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) is transformed into a svelte, robotic, time-traveling killing machine (Angelina Jolie), who hunts down critics of extravagant royal pageantry throughout history, along the way teaming up with (or supplanting) other royal figures such as Elizabeth I (Judi Dench), Henry VIII (Zach Galifianakis) and Prince Charles (Paul Reubens).” Todd Quinn locks down third place (five film passes) with The Saturday Morning. “After leaving his wild bachelor party in Las Vegas early, thirtysomething Tom wakes early on Saturday (after eight hours of sleep), goes for a run, has a quiet breakfast alone, and calls his fiancée.”

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

art

Taco and a Haircut, Two Bits

Fades are out, Rough Edges are in

This month's tasty (and tasteful) exhibition at Ace Barbershop, Rough Edges, features the beefy, cheesy works of Gabriel Luis Perez. The taco and cheeseburger art—or more precisely, painted collages of beef, lettuce and tortilla colors—has inspired fresh gab topics in the tiny Downtown shop.

Southwest Guest

NHCC’s resident word-slinger will join Southwest Shootout

Joaquin Zihuatanejo radiates enthusiasm. When I was introduced to him at a poetry reading two weeks ago, he looked like a kid who just got a great present. In fact, he did: Zihuatanejo won an artist residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which pays for him to live in Albuquerque for a month and work on his various artistic projects. Not only did he perform the night we met, but, serendipitously, he’ll be here during the Southwest Shootout regional poetry slam (see this week’s issue). Zihuatanejo spoke by phone about the irons he has in the fire and his plans for the slam.

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I always want to see more art in the streets. Sometimes I walk past a banged-up paper distribution stand, electric box or dumpster and I think, Man, I could sure make that look cooler. I bet you do too. Since we just had a contest for writers (“Thanks for Flashing Us,” pg. 26 of this week’s issue), we thought we’d have a little fun with visual artists. We also need to do something to spruce up some of these old Alibi boxes.

BANG BANG!

Slam poets shoot each other with words

Poets from around the country will take aim and fire at one another, turning Albuquerque into an O.K. Corral of lyricism. The 2011 Southwest Shootout features wordsmiths from Louisiana, Colorado, Texas and, of course, New Mexico performing their particular flavor of poetry.

news

To the North Country

When the hazy Albuquerque skyline started to look like a yellowed Polaroid print, the Alibi’s travel writer decided to head for cooler climes beneath the pines at Heron Lake State Park.

music

Let Your Folk Flag Fly

The 13th annual Albuquerque Folk Festival says it’s hip to be square dancing

What can you do at the folk festival? Almost everything. (Within limits, people. Keep your pants on.) The aforementioned question is posed at the top of the online “festival overview,” and underneath is a long list of answers, like sing, dance, learn an instrument, perform for an audience, hear live music and bring your kids. The Alibi breaks down some of the weekend’s highlights.

Music to Your Ears

When I was little, my father made me memorize Wordsworth poems and frequently took me and my sister to Shakespeare plays. But he was also fond of propping us up on barstools in front of live bands, ordering us rounds of Shirley Temples. This is likely why, rather than being the affluent attorney my father wishes I was, I’m writing a music column and wondering how I’m going to pay all of my bills and afford to go record shopping this week. I’d rather be here than there, though, and I’m thankful to my dad for his part in creating my reality and, well, me.

Song Roulette

Peter Greenberg’s random tracks

Peter Greenberg is the guitar player for Taos rock and roll band Manby’s Head. In the ’70s and ’80s, he played and made records with Boston garage punk bands DMZ and Lyres, Cincinnati’s The Customs and funky rockabilly screamer Barrence Whitfield and the Savages (another Boston outfit). However, at age 30, he finished grad school, quit music and got into the energy business. Three years ago he downsized his career and moved from Texas to New Mexico, where he met Manby’s Head bandmates Michael Mooney and Paul Reid. Greenberg recently toured with Lyres and just finished a record with Barrence Whitfield, with whom he’s touring Europe this fall. In the meantime, he’ll play Saturday night with Manby’s Head, fellow Taos band The Blood Drained Cows and Albuquerque’s The Seeing Things in a rock and roll extravaganza at the Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). The free, 21-and-over show begins at 10 p.m. Below, Greenberg takes a break from his record collection and puts an iPod on shuffle. The random tracks that surfaced are as follows:

Flyer on the Wall

Multiple flyers featuring ladies’ backsides were available for this week’s micro-column. Of them, we most fancied the bold graphics and utter trashiness of this quasi-menstrual, fishnetted poster art. It announces the End of June Music Blowout at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW). See RAWRR!, The Glass Menageries, Techtonic Movement and Mrdrbrd on Saturday, June 25, at 9 p.m. This show is free for 21-and-over ages. Image by I Heart Machine. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

food

American Sardine

When tiny fish are hugely sustainable

A seafood meal is the one opportunity most Americans will ever have to eat a wild animal. Given the illegality of selling wild game, only hunters and their lucky friends get to munch the many tasty beasts that roam the boondocks. Eating a wild thing is like walking around in bare feet. It's exposure to an ecosystem, and a direct connection with the planet. Eating wild fish is like a swim in the ocean—except in this case, the ocean swims inside of you.

Route 66 Malt Shop Gets Into the Rhythm

Dance studio and diner combo comes out swinging

In 1927, Lindberg crossed the Atlantic and the world began dancing the Lindy. Energetic devotees swing on—and Rachel Green makes a career of the obsession. Green and I are chatting over lunch at the Route 66 Malt Shop, one door down from her dance space. I’m sipping a chocolate egg cream while Green enjoys a toasty crab cake sandwich.

Alibi V.20 No.23 • June 9-15, 2011

¡Viva Bailar!

Flamenco festival brings home the passion and soul of Spain

Festival Flamenco Internacional 2011 is upon us. Jose Maya and his company, who hail from Madrid, Spain, are some of this year’s guests. Eva Encinias Sandoval says that Maya is an icon. “Flamenco artists are on a real high level of notoriety there, in Spain, so these artists that are coming are young, but very, very renowned ... he’s like a rock star.”

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Pride Guide 2011

Where the gay things are

We tip you off to more than 30 LGBT-friendly events, including some of the summer’s hottest dance parties—spanning from now through mid-August.

Family Pride

Making a place for LGBT parents—and their kids—is a priority for nonprofits

Adrien Lawyer and Elena Letourneau are what they refer to as “invisible”—a white, seemingly straight couple with a 6-year-old son.

Lawyer had his breasts removed in 2004. A year later, he began hormone replacement therapy, which deepened his voice and sprouted hair on his face. Lawyer is now legally a man. Once recognized as a lesbian couple, he and his partner have undergone not only a physical but a cultural transformation. They appear to be the all-American family. And that’s exactly what they are.

news

Bidder 70

An interview with the activist who stood in the way of the oil industry

Tim DeChristopher walked into the oil and gas lease auction without a plan. Someone asked him if he wanted to be a bidder and handed him a paddle. "And I said, Yes." With that, DeChristopher became bidder 70. He claimed 22,500 acres of drilling rights in Utah that day.

Families Stand Against APD Shootings

There have been four officer-caused deaths this year. Another 14 people were shot last year, resulting in nine deaths. “A police force working for a city is supposed to protect and serve. Citizens count on them to help but not in Albuquerque. Here, citizens are afraid to call 911 because of APD’s shoot-to-kill policies,” said Mike Gomez, father of 22-year-old Alan Gomez who was killed by an APD officer on May 10.

The Real Addiction

Johnny Tapia says he’s finished in the ring. Is he?

It’s hard for Tapia to get clean from boxing when 2,000 people are screaming his name. And yet all week long, before Saturday’s fight with Mauricio Pastrana of Colombia, Tapia talked in interviews with the Alibi of pulling the curtain on mi vida loca.

A Diatribe Against Puritanism

Despite checking out every other adult store in town, I can't bring myself to enter a porn store in plain sight of I-25, especially with that giant eye staring at me. Do you have any advice on how to enter the store without the world (and the creepy eye) seeing me?

food

A Cut Above

I try a new take on steak and peppers

When it comes to flavor, it’s hard to beat a well-marbled rib eye. But when it comes to cost without sacrificing flavor, I go for the flatiron. It comes from the top of the shoulder and is sometimes called a top blade, top boneless chuck or petite steak. It’s used in steak frites in restaurants, and it’s sometimes hard to find at a standard grocer. When trimmed out by a good butcher, a tough, sinewy membrane down its center is removed to leave a perfect steak for the grill.

Cafe Green

Fresh ideas in seasonal cuisine

Meat, of all the ingredients a restaurant serves, is arguably the most deserving of care in how it is sourced. Unless, perhaps, the name of the restaurant in question is Cafe Green. At the three-year-old Downtown breakfast and lunch joint, the greens of both the salad and the chile persuasions are local. And some of the meat on the menu is too, if you consider Pueblo, Colo, to be local. (We do.)

Cafe Green Photos

The unpublished pics

We had some shots from Locovore’s recent visit to Cafe Green that we liked too much not to share ... kind of like that crème brûlée.

film

Inside the 48

A frenzied foray into flash film

This past weekend, I acted in the 48 Hour Film Project, a crazy weekend where multiple teams make seven-minute films in only two days. The format is simple: On Friday night, team leaders show up at a designated spot and draw a genre out of a hat. A list of parameters—a character’s name and occupation, a line of dialogue, and a prop—is given to each group. A complete film—shot, edited and scored—must be handed in on Sunday evening. They’re shown the following weekend and judged in several categories. I was part of a group of 29 people, trying to do something in one weekend that usually takes weeks or months. This is what it’s like.

What’s New?

Snap judgments on fall season

Last month, networks announced their official fall 2011-2012 prime-time schedules. Right now, it’s hard to tell which shows will be good and which will suck eggs through a straw. But a quick glance through the networks’ own sneak preview trailers leads us to a few conclusions.

Reel World

Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema is having an “open house movie event” on Thursday, June 9. The brand new, all-digital, 14-screen multiplex is at the corner of Southern and Unser Boulevards. Viewers are invited through the doors on Thursday for an all-day “sneak preview” featuring all the Oscar-nominated Best Pictures of 2010. In case you forgot, that’s The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Toy Story 3, The Fighter, Inception, The Social Network, 127 Hours and Winter’s Bone. Best part: The movies are all free, starting at 11:30 a.m. The theater will open for its first full day of business on Friday, June 10.

Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

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

music

American Glamour

An interview with David Johansen

Once upon a time, seemingly out of nowhere, came the New York Dolls. Formed in 1971, the band forged a distinct style of rock and roll and derived its shimmering androgynous look from transvestites. The music took elements from England’s glam rock movement, noisy and vulgar Detroit proto-punk acts like The Stooges and MC5, ’60s girl groups, and ’50s lo-fi rock and roll. The band endured through two albums before splitting up in 1977 as one of the most influential rock acts of all time.

Music to Your Ears

The accordion is one of my favorite instruments. Its sound can be peppy, polka-y, haunting, mournful and, yes, even sexy. As such, I am predisposed to like this show, and I think it might turn you on, too. At Winning Coffee Co. on Wednesday, June 15, let the spirit of the sexy accordion take you. Two sultry accordion-toting performers from California will join Burque’s own Zoltan Orkestar in squeezing out vaudeville, cabaret, traditional French stuff and more.

Far Out

Wolfstock is three days of peace, wolves and music

In 1969, baby boomers came together in New York to enjoy three days of peace, music and the company of fellow long-haired, establishment-scorning hippies. Now New Mexico is hosting an event that plays on the moniker of that infamous fest, and it comes with a furry little twist. Combining live music, sleeping under the stars and the howls of wolves, the first Wolfstock kicks off this weekend.

Flyer on the Wall

A balance of painterly and graphic techniques are lent to gloomy blacks, whites and grayscale in what appears to be a bird-laden landscape print. Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, Kade L. Twist and Nathan Young make up the interdisciplinary American Indian arts collective Postcommodity. On Friday, June 10, they'll be doing a noise show at the Santa Fe Art Institute's Tipton Hall. The show begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 general, $5 for students/seniors/members. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)

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Postapocalyptic Star-Crossed Lovers

The Vortex tackles Romeo and Juliet

Stuck in the middle of all of this is sweet, easily seduced Juliet Capulet and wayward Romeo Montague. As the story goes, the two kids come from rival families but meet when Romeo sneaks into a Capulet party. They secretly marry the next day but are torn apart when Romeo is banished for killing Juliet’s cousin. Meanwhile, Juliet is betrothed to another man, and in her attempt to escape and join her love ... well, we all know it’s a tragedy, right?

Culture Shock

There are so many cool art shows happening, all the time, everywhere in this city. I'm just going to cram in a mention for a few along the Central corridor right here.