The breakfast burritos are warm. The air is crisp. And the coffee is strong enough to keep everyone awake for the Dawn Patrol. Saturday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 9, hot-air balloon pilots will take to the skies for Albuquerque's most iconic event.
New works inflate the fiesta
Park Van Tassell and Sid Cutter aren’t household names to most of us. But to the ballooning community they ring bells like, say, DiMaggio and Jordan. With the 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Festival on the horizon, two books tell how these figures helped develop ballooning in the Duke City—along with insider views into the mechanics, history and evolution of this wildly popular event.
Forty years after Sid Cutter founded the Balloon Fiesta, 555 balloons will grace the sky in his honor. This year's event is dedicated to Cutter, 77, who died in May from stomach cancer, and includes airborne tributes to the Albuquerque balloonist who started it all.
Tearjerking bromance asks, “Can you make a chick flick for dudes?”
At some point in their career, even the wackiest of comedians feel the urge to wring laughs from the least funny, most sentimental of situations. Adam Sandler dabbled in it with Funny People, playing a standup comedian with a terminal blood disease. Robin Williams, on the other hand, has wallowed in the maudlin so many times (Patch Adams, et al), he’s like a pig in mud. Most infamously of all, slapstick king Jerry Lewis wrote, directed and starred in a film so tonally at odds with itself (1972’s The Day the Clown Cried, about a circus clown at a Nazi death camp) that it’s never even seen the light of day.
“Person of Interest” on CBS
CBS does two things well: police procedurals and crappy sitcoms. Long after our civilization dies off, aliens will arrive to find cockroaches and reruns of “CSI” and “Two and a Half Men.” So it’s no surprise to see CBS’ fall season crammed with more crime shows and sitcoms. But there’s at least one standout so far—the Jonathan Nolan-created action series “Person Of Interest.”
In 1990, the annual number of murders in Juárez was in the double digits. Last year, it topped 3,000. It’s statistics like those that catch Charlie Minn’s eye. Minn used to be a sportscaster in Albuquerque, but in recent years he’s become known as a crusading documentary filmmaker. His 2010 film A Nightmare in Las Cruces, about a notoriously unsolved multiple murder in Southern New Mexico, was just released on DVD by Lionsgate. His follow-up film, the controversial 8 Murders a Day, has played in 17 cities so far and will open at the Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema on Friday, Sept. 30. Expanded screenings at the Starlight Cinema in Las Lunas and the Regal Winrock are tentatively set for Oct. 14.
The Week in Sloth
Quality that’s worth the drive
City cash creates eco-friendly living for the working class
Art’s healing effect on mental illness
ABQ Zine Fest unfolds
You don’t need an agent to say you’re OK. You don’t require a publishing house to distribute your work. You can tell your stories, share your drawings and project your rants all over town, as easily as one, two, three. (Copy, fold, staple.) There is no one who can censor you, no genre that can hold you. This is the creative and hyper-DIY attitude of dozens of local zinesters—and counting—who are coming out of the woodwork to share their talents at the inaugural ABQ Zine Fest.
A found skate zine compilation rolls into nostalgia
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.
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."
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.
This is a tough one.
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.
District 4: Brad Winter
District 6: Rey Garduño
The other Stooges
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.
The Flaming Lips in Telluride
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)
New restaurants in a neighborhood near you
A happy problem for season-end basil and corn
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.
Winners and losers confront the climb
Big opportunities for small fighters as the UFC warms up to a new weight class
French comic book artist pays cinematic tribute to a life lasciviously lived
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).
“Up All Night” on NBC
“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.
The Week in Sloth
Forty years of Bruce Lowney
Landmark means business
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.
Established gallery gets a new game plan
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.
Talking chance and divination with Teetotum
A world of music in one man
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
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.
Performers are listed here roughly in order of appearance, starting at 6 p.m. Go to globalquerque.com for detailed information.
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.
Healthy at the Harwood
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.
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”
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.
“The Secret Circle” on The CW
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.