French comic book artist pays cinematic tribute to a life lasciviously lived
By Devin D. O’Leary
Oh-so-French icon-cum-iconoclast Serge Gainsbourg finally gets the biopic he so richly deserves courtesy of French comic book artist Joann Sfar. Despite Gainsbourg’s legendary status in his native France, his celluloid enshrinement lags behind that of fellow singer Édith Piaf (played by Marion Cotillard in 2007’s La Vie En Rose).
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!
As the city plays a game of red light, green light with intersection cameras, voters will have their say during the Tuesday, Oct. 4 elections. Public opinion will be taken into account, but in the end the fate of the red-light cameras rests with the City Council. The vote will be considered “advisory,” yet councilors will be hard-pressed to ignore your advice.
There’s a hopelessness floating around Albuquerque. Our wallets are slim. That’s part of it. As a result, citizens might not turn out to the vote centers in 2011. Seats could change hands over a few scores of ballots cast by those who still believe. Let’s hope that red-light camera issue draws people to polling locations on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The clerk’s making it easy this year, too. We can vote at any of 49 spots around the city. Check out our endorsement guide, complete with council recommendations, a breakdown of proposed bonds and a clip-n-save cheat sheet, all below.
Councilor Debbie O'Malley, who's running unopposed this year, says the relationship between Democratic councilors and the mayor has grown increasingly strained. "The ideology starts to take over. We started seeing this first with the immigration issue." When the Council tried to get the city's budget together, the partisan divide became clear. "The budget was it. That was like, Yeah, there are Republicans and Democrats on that Council."
It's fair to say that challenger Bill Tallman has experience in city government. Stretching back decades, he's worked for various administrations around the country, typically for cities smaller than ours. But it's also fair to say Tallman doesn't know much about Albuquerque. That’s just part of why the Alibi was swayed to endorse incumbent Brad Winter.
You've got to hear unopposed incumbent Rey Garduño talk about the International District. Most of the editorial staffers at the Alibi have had a hard time adjusting to the term that replaced the War Zone. The new name went on like a glossy coat of paint on a busted fence—or so we thought. By the end of our endorsement interview with the councilor, we were sold.
In one corner, we've got Trudy Jones, a friendly, knowledgeable councilor with few accolades and a problematic position on APD. In the other, there's Greg Payne, a lively contender who says the Council has to do more to get in front of this police-shooting issue. He's got political experience, too. But it's not all good experience.
General obligation bonds are debt the city takes on and promises to pay back with interest. These bonds are paid with property taxes, and typically, new ones are issued when old ones are paid off. That way, property taxes don’t increase.
The City Clerk’s Office is changing it up this year. You can vote at any of 49 centers throughout the city instead of being required to vote at one predetermined location on election day. (Two were yet to be announced at press time. Check cabq.gov/clerk for updates and an interactive map.) Pick the place that’s most convenient for you and head on over between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Elvis is in the house—Chef Elvis Bencomo, that is. With co-owners Monica (Elvis’ wife) and Orlando (his brother), Pasión Latin Fusion serves up dishes found throughout Latin America with Elvis’ own creative flair. The chef has followed his love of cooking through culinary school at CNM, where an assignment turned his life around—fast. In April, his class was told to create a restaurant complete with a menu. Shortly thereafter, the building at Lomas became available. Pasión opened its doors just one month ago. Keep reading for more on this and P’tit Louis’ new Nob Hill location, as well as a gourmet beef sandwich shop in Los Ranchos.
When I want to store large amounts of basil, I don't make pesto. Instead, I prepare a bare-bones mixture of pureed basil, olive oil and salt, which I freeze in jars. If I want to make pesto at a later date I can always add pine nuts, cheese and garlic. But I can't remove those things from pesto if, in the middle of winter, I decide I want homegrown basil in my Thai coconut green curry.
Sixty-some women from across the globe are at the club this week to compete in the ColemanVision Tennis Championships, a United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit event. By the finals on Sunday, all of them will have confronted the hill.
“Up All Night” arrived early in the fall season with some high expectations. It’s created by “Saturday Night Live”/“MADtv” writer Emily Spivey. It stars two highly regarded sitcom vets, Christina Applegate (“Married ... With Children”) and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”). And it features strong support work by beloved “SNL” vet Maya Rudolph. Entertainment Weekly went so far as to preordain it one of the five best new series of fall. If that’s true, it’s gonna be a loooong winter.
Famed filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma) is self-distributing his latest indie effort with a special series of screenings/webcasts this weekend. On Sunday, Sept. 25, the KiMo Theatre will be one of only 50 venues nationwide to feature a screening of Smith’s sarcastic horror thriller Red Statefollowed by a live Q & A webcast with the writer-director himself. The film is described as a politically charged slasher set in Middle America, “where a group of libidinous teens encounters fundamentalists with a sinister agenda.” Also check out Spanish Cinema: Past and Present at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this Thursday at 7 p.m.
Mention The Stooges, and Iggy Pop—the brash and charismatic streetwalking cheetah himself—immediately comes to mind. His self-destructive persona (onstage and off) attracted an audience like a crowd of onlookers at a horrific traffic accident. They drifted off when the bleeding stopped and the ambulance pulled away. Those few who appreciated the ferocious music stuck around to see what brothers Scott (drums) and Ron (guitar) Asheton were doing.
I don’t know if it was the sizable strong ales I sampled at Steamworks Brewery in Durango or the sublime fog gathering in the valley, but I could already feel the Brews & Blues Festival building toward a magical, psychedelic climax.
It seems like it was over before it even began! Rock and roll duo the Elevator Boys plays for the last time on Friday, Sept. 23. The show—opened by Great White Buffalo and Joe Cardillo (Scrams singer, performing solo for the first time)—happens at 8 p.m. at The Tan (formerly Normal Gallery, 1415 Fourth Street SW). Admission to this all-ages night of loving and fighting and rocking is $5. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
A four-decade retrospective on display at Exhibit/208 shows Bruce Lowney’s range as a master of the tri-tone lithograph. Collected Works charts his evolution as a printer and visual poet, while making space for his equally impressive large-scale oil works.
First, find yourself a job in the mailroom of a large corporation, one big enough to ensure that no one really knows who you are or what you do. Then launch yourself out of that mailroom with a special blend of hard work, feigned humility and verbal dexterity. Pick up a few skills along the way, like knitting and chanting the fight song for your boss’ alma mater. Don’t forget to stay out of romantic entanglements, even when you’re in love. (Or especially when you’re in love.) Follow these simple rules and you’ll be sitting behind a desk bigger than your bathroom in no time.
Hidden in a nondescript cove on Fourth Street between Central and Gold, the space formerly known as 105 Art Gallery is reopening as Downtown Contemporary. Mixing old and new, this embodiment of the gallery is refreshing its motives and crafting a high-caliber debut with the upcoming concept show ca-thar-sis. Louie Va, who joined 105 directors Stacy Hawkinson and Val Hollingsworth, is heading up producing.
It’s not often that an actor gets to play a legendary leading role like Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. Matt Andrade gets to do it twice—and with the same director, no less. Salomé Martinez directed Andrade more than a decade ago, and they’re teaming up again for Teatro Nuevo México’s production of Streetcar at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW), Sept. 29 and 30, and Oct. 1 and 2.
After 12 years of feeding students at Escuela del Sol montessori, Robin Day and her husband Tom Day began selling her cooking to the public. The initial idea, she told me, was to take advantage of a semi-captive audience: parental units that are obligated to drop by the building twice a day, having been briefed by their kids on how good the food is.
If you’re putting together a world music festival, fiddler/accordionist/singer/songwriter Cedric Watson gives you a head start. The Creole music that the four-time Grammy nominee produces captures the contributions of at least three continents—North America, Europe and Africa—to the steamy cultural crossbreeding of Louisiana.
Musicians comment on their place in the global scene
By Summer Olsson
The term irks me like a pebble in the shoe. If it’s in the world and it’s music, literally all music is world music. Or, maybe the term applies to anything non-Western. As David Byrne says, “Western pop is the fast food of music,” so perhaps if music is complicated or has substance it’s “world.” But what about vapid French pop? World. If it comes from somewhere you’ve never been, or it’s in a language you don’t understand, world.
The festival is called ¡Globalquerque!, but it has a little addendum to its name that’s worth noting: “New Mexico’s Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.” Yes, there are great musicians from such exotic locales as Finland, Burkina Faso and the South Valley playing their hearts out for two nights, but there are also a number of other attractions that are well worth your attention.
The 11 tracks on Zoology’s debut Krush Love buzz with electricity, but the musicians keep the energy tightly controlled, unspooling it meticulously. It’s tense. In a good way. The lyrics are clever and the rapping is precise, with multiple voices flowing smoothly around each other. Under the beats—involuntarily head-nod-inducing ones—melodies conjure hints of soul and jazz.
It’s Wednesday at high noon. A half-dozen food trucks line the parking lot at Talin Market, and they’re ready to serve up more than the usual hot dog. I’m here to sample the goods, beginning with The Chopping Block’s soft fish taco garnished with mango salsa. I wash it down with organic limeade at Make My Lunch, then head to Oz Patisserie’s over-the-top desserts, where I’m handed one of the best crème brûlées I’ve had in town.
Occasionally (but not always) “well balanced” is a synonym for “flat”
By Devin D. O’Leary
Increasingly arresting actress Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up in the Air) strikes out in a bold new direction, directing and starring in her first indie feature. The disarmingly intelligent spiritual drama Higher Ground is based on Carolyn S. Briggs’ memoir This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, about the author’s born-again life in an independent, evangelical Christian church. The film approaches Christianity from a very different viewpoint—neither pandering to the converted (as most religious films do) nor demonizing the religion (as many Hollywood films are apt to do).
Aaron Hendren, the Albuquerque-based writer-director of The Faithful and the Foul and Flicker, is premiering his newest film, Psycho Bettys From Planet Pussycat, this Friday and Saturday at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The comic rock and roll musical traces the journey of a quartet of silver-miniskirted alien babes from a male-deprived civilization who come to Earth in search of mates. The film stars local talent Katy Houska, Hannah Kaufman, Lauren Poole and Rachel Shapiro. Cast and crew will, of course, be on hand for the big event. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 and 17. In the meantime, the film’s “dirty pop” soundtrack is available for download via iTunes and Amazon. Head on over to eggmurders.com for more info.
To call The CW’s new supernatural soaper “Twilight, but with witches” would be incredibly reductive. It would also be pretty darn accurate. “The Secret Circle” is custom-crafted to lure the same tweens-and-their-undersexed-moms crowd as the Twilight franchise. It’s based on a young-adult fantasy series (just like Twilight). And it’s the perfect companion piece to The CW’s current Thursday night hit, “The Vampire Diaries” (which, you guessed it, is also a supernatural teen romance based on a young-adult book series). That isn’t to say, however, that “The Secret Circle” isn’t rife with guilty pleasures.
Walking up post-apocalyptic Lead Avenue to the Talking Fountain gallery, I wondered for a split second if it was worth it. The landscape was bleak. Like many businesses along the Lead and Coal corridor, the gallery has seen a decline in visitors, as it’s buried somewhere behind the pile of street-construction rubble. Despite the renovation inconveniences, the gallery and its local supporters are determined to put a positive spin on it.
John Sayles dramatizes (and occasionally melodramatizes) the Philippine-American War
By Devin D. O’Leary
John Sayles is as close to an indie film demigod as the movie industry has got. He’s been a consistent, distinctive and fiercely independent storyteller—from his 1979 writing-directing debut Return of the Secaucus Seven straight through his lengthy string of art-house dramas (Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, Men of War, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Sunshine State). With his latest, Amigo, the quirky-brilliant auteur indulges his love for history by crafting an epic-yet-intimate fictional account of the rarely-if-ever-dramatized Philippine-American War.
Memorializing an event is really about solidifying how the story will be told—which facts will be remembered, and which ones will be left out. To do our job as Albuquerque’s alternative news weekly, we are voicing a range of perspectives to the narrative of this anniversary.
U.S. fighter jets have taken off. ... Where’s Bush? Cheney’s in a bunker. ... The White House has been hit. No, the Pentagon has been hit ... box cutters ... terrorists on a train . ... Saddam did this. No, the Saudis did it ... 10,000 dead. No, 4,000. ... Let’s roll.
Anniversaries like this ought to be as much about mapping the future as rehashing the past. If examining what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, doesn’t help us plot a wiser course, we haven’t gained anything at all from it.
There are so many others who were affected deeply, who suffered unknowable personal losses on Sept. 11, 2001. But as a country, the greatest loss we suffered was our sense of safety. Still we survive, and a new tower is being constructed in New York. shrouded in strings of lights and topped by a crane, it looks especially surreal. But there it sits, a palpable mark of progress, and the city continues to churn around it.
After a nine-month hustle in the streets of São Paulo, Santa Fe DJ and artist Pablo 77 (aka Pablo Ancona) will debut FUNK TERRA:Sao Paulo...in ABQ!The collection of mixed media, photos and music reflecting his time in Brazil opens at the art gallery and boutique El Chante: Casa de Cultura.
Kids’ novel is engaging and spooky for adults, too
By Summer Olsson
Young Henrietta doesn’t have much going for her. She’s squat, pimply and flushes easily. She ranks lowest in her class and is easily the least popular kid in the school. Yet this is the heroine of Steven Arntson’s The Wikkeling. In a brusque paragraph toward the beginning, Arntson tells the reader she will not become beautiful, find a cure for pimples or discover she’s actually a princess. He kindly suggests that if one wants a book of that nature, any school librarian can help.
The CW—being the young, impatient network that it is—looks like it’s going to be the first to get its new fall season off the starting blocks. The first and best of the four shows debuting this month from CW is the much-anticipated Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle “Ringer.” Gellar built up a lot of good will and a major fan base thanks to the seven seasons she spent on The WB (not to be confused with The CW) network’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Though “Ringer” isn’t quite in the supernatural-drama-action-comedy genre that “Buffy” was, it boasts enough entertaining elements to carry it through its first season with ease.
Movie lovers, I’ve got some sad news to deliver. Burning Paradise Video, Albuquerque’s only source for independent, foreign and cult cinema on DVD, is closing its doors. While we’re sad to see Burning Paradise go, we can at least give it a proper send-off. The store will be liquidating all of its stock, starting this week. Grab a piece of Albuquerque cinema history by purchasing a copy of your favorite Italian zombie movie, French vampire flick or American grindhouse classic.
When the folks who book the Music in Corrales series approached Grammy-nominated, world-traveling jazz trumpeter Bobby Shewto open their 25th anniversary season, Shew was happy to accept. First of all, no flying: He can practically walk from his house to Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales, where the concerts are held. Second, he could work with Grammy-winning L.A. pianist/vocalist/composer John Proulx(rhymes with Shew) again. The two of them established a good rapport when they fronted a tribute to Chet Baker for the series a couple of years back, and they could team up once more with bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Cal Haines. But what to play?
Carla Bozulich has crooned, screamed and keened her way across the musical spectrum, right to its noisiest end. Her name might ring a bell to fans of the vintage-inspired alt.country band The Geraldine Fibbers. Or perhaps she pops into mind for remaking Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger in its entirety. Way back in the early ’90s she was part of the cheeky, sexualized rock group Ethyl Meatplow. Today she’s the linchpin of Evangelista, a group that braids strange, moody threads of sound. The Alibi called Bozulich at home to talk about the creation process, emotional yin and yang, and positivity within the noise.
Growers’ markets have an oasis-like feeling to them. They’re sanctuaries of foliage, magnets for cool people and hives of activity. That effect is heightened in Socorro, where the surrounding landscape is sculpted by hot wind and sunshine. In the town’s charming plaza, cool green grass is shaded by immense cottonwood trees. On Saturdays, when the market is in full swing, it feels like a festival—or a barter fair.
Portland may be considered beer heaven, but forgive me if I spend eternity in beer purgatory here in Albuquerque. Portland (the hipster city, not the lobster city) is reputed to have 30 breweries in a city of 580,000 residents. Albuquerque is catching up quickly with three more breweries looking to open in the coming months. The only question is whether our city has enough craft drinkers to support that growth.