The city is crawling with bicycles …and it’s fabulous!
Have a crafty Christmas and a handmade Hanukkah—all of these presents are made right here in New Mexico
Up-cycled bags for eco-crusaders
When Patio Screendoor (not the name his mama gave him) forgot to bring his reusable grocery bags to the market, he figured he’d simply pick one up along with his groceries. The store’s options—either too expensive or cheaply made—weren’t thrilling. “I had already replaced a few flimsy bags at this point and was determined not to own another crappy bag,” says Screendoor.
More options for yarn, fabric, notions and know-how
Fiber Chicks is hidden in a courtyard in Old Town between a coffee shop and an art gallery. It’s easy to miss. But once you’re inside, miles of yarn become a blank slate for knitting, crocheting and felting. Fibers from all over the world and a mix of crafters and tourists exploring Old Town are brought together by the common thread of fiber arts, with owner Lesley Miller serving as hostess and tour guide.
As a child, my favorite thing about Christmas was cozying up to the fire with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate after I’d unwrapped my presents. (And no, I wasn’t born in a Charles Dickens novel.) But really, some of the best parts of the frenzied holiday season are those moments of tranquility where nothing but a warm blanket and a good read envelop you. To aid in helping your givees achieve literary bliss, the Alibi reached out to some experts. Staff from Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139) and Alamosa Books (8810 Holly NE, 797-7101) gave us their picks on the year’s top works. So whether you’re looking for apocalyptic vampire fiction (The Passage) or a kid’s book about kingdom-saving scullery maids (The Silver Bowl), these local booksellers are bound to bring some verve to your gifts.
A shopper’s guide to locally sourced DVDs
Indie film production continues to impress, with more and more features being made throughout the Land of Enchantment. We’re not talking multimillion-dollar Hollywood outings like Thor. We’re not even talking low-budget studio features (which can dip down into the low seven figures, pricewise). We’re talking microbudget, made-in-New-Mexico-by-New-Mexicans movies. Here’s a sampling of some of the home-grown features that have been released to DVD in the past year.
Commissioner contends a key APD report never made it to the mayor
Squash dishes you’ll eat for pleasure, not duty
Winter squash—along with turkey, eggnog and perhaps your crazy aunt Bertha—reserves a place at most holiday tables. But unlike the others, there’s a seasonal reason for squash being there. And by seasonal, I don't mean the holiday season.
I’ve already started the spiced nuts [ “Go Nuts,” Nov. 10-16]. Next come dozens of jars of green-chile-cranberry chutney [ “In a Pickle,” Oct. 13-19]. But if you’ve got a little extra cash to spend, I can think of a few gifts that’ll make someone’s holiday happier.
Wine and cherubs combine to create occasionally lovely but inconsistent love story
New Zealand writer-director Niki Caro and actress / fellow Kiwi Keisha Castle-Hughes last teamed on the magnificent 2002 drama Whale Rider. At the time, Castle-Hughes was a mere 11 years old. In the intervening years, she’s grown into a lovely young woman. As expected, seeing the two artists reunite is one of the small joys contained in the new historical drama The Vintner’s Luck.
“Donald Glover: Weirdo” on Comedy Central
Donald Glover isn’t exactly a household name, but he damn well should be. Glover is best known as the character Troy on NBC’s Thursday-night sitcom “Community.” He first achieved cult notoriety, though, as a member of the Internet-famous sketch comedy troupe Derrick Comedy. (If you haven’t seen their 2009 feature Mystery Team, you’re missing out.) He’s written for “The Daily Show” and “30 Rock,” and he just released another rootsy rap album under the stage name Childish Gambino. (It’s witty, wonderful stuff, check it out.) Now, Comedy Central is gifting this underrated entertainer with a much-deserved stand-up comedy special.
Friends of Film, Video and Arts is back with another information-crammed monthly meeting. This Sunday, Nov. 20, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Albuquerque filmmaker Nina Knapp and Angie Beauchamp from Lightning Web Marketing will present tips on running a successful crowdfunding campaign. Whether you’re a filmmaker, animator, game developer or other creative type, Internet-based crowdfunding is the future of production. Knapp and Beauchamp will cover tips for running a successful marketing campaign that will attract donors. Building email lists, establishing social media contacts and setting up a dynamic website in advance of launching your project are just a few of the areas that will be covered in this month’s interactive lecture. The event takes place at the Harwood Art Center’s basement theater (1114 Seventh Street NW). It’s free to FoFVA members and $10 for nonmembers.
The Week in Sloth
All-ages venue makes a new home Downtown
Master craftsman and ex-luchador’s stitchwork is seamless
The first thing that struck me about Francisco "Pancho" León were his hands. Callused and scarred, his palms look like they belong to a cattle roper or someone who escaped a fire. Perhaps a knife fighter. Or maybe ... a man who's worked a sewing machine for the past 40 years.
One-man show at The Filling Station personifies mid-life crisis
It was on a plane back from Paris that David Garver felt his life shift. His wife had taken him to the city as a surprise gift for his 50th birthday. “My first and only time to Europe was Paris,” he says, “and it just blew my head wide open.”
Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion occupies the mind
J. Edgar Hoover vs. Margaret Thatcher, The Muppets vs. The Chipmunks, Santa’s son vs. Bella’s baby
Pedro Almodóvar trades campy for creepy in fleshed-out horror flick
“Hell on Wheels” on AMC
American Movie Classics, already rocking three of the best shows on TV right now—“Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead”—pushes its luck by jumping on yet another genre with the neo-spaghetti-Western “Hell on Wheels.” If the show seems somehow less than the sum of its parts at this early stage, perhaps it’s just that it’s got so much to live up to when compared to AMC’s other offerings.
A silent, experimental Japanese horror film with a live jazz accompaniment? How often do you get a chance to witness that particular messed-up mashup? Well, you will this weekend. On Nov. 12 and 13, the silent Japanese vampire film Sanguivorous (Kyuketsu) will sink its fangs into Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Written and directed by Japanese experimental filmmaker Naoki Yoshimoto and featuring a performance by avant-garde butoh dancer Ko Murobushi, the film focuses on a sickly young woman who is horrified to learn she is descended from generations of vampires. The film’s world premiere screenings will feature live musical accompaniment by renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and Chicago saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr. Presented by Tidepoint Pictures and the Albuquerque Film Office, the screenings will take place at 8 p.m. at Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre on Saturday and at 3 p.m. at Santa Fe’s Warehouse 21 on Sunday. Tickets will run $12 general admission or $10 students and seniors.
The Week in Sloth
The South Valley’s 13th annual Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade was on Sunday, Nov. 6. Revelers danced and cruised down Isleta while hundreds of costumed and face-painted onlookers snapped pictures, cheered, and snacked on duritos and cotton candy. Among the procession were flower tossing skeletons, vibrant lowriders bumping up and down on hydraulics, protesters speaking out against officer-involved shootings and Wall Street greed, and a ghastly rainbow of musicians and performers. Here are a few.
Yjastros showcases veteran dancer and symphony orchestra in nostalgic El Museo
A janitor spends his life working in an art museum. Over decades of quietly mopping the halls, he’s developed relationships with the people and places that adorn the canvases of his wide, rambling office. Through them, he sees the characters and memories that shaped his life. As he visits with the images, he watches them jump out of their frames and begin to dance.
Julian Barnes’ latest novel is a murky, ruminative masterpiece
Is the Dirt City’s H20 plan working?
Nah, it’s those kids in the park that are really dangerous
hONEyhoUSe lifts up a voice
Eclectic breakfast and lunch on a quiet Downtown corner
Café Lush is like a daydream of the way things might be in some future hybrid of Europe and Albuquerque. It’s an urban café on a quiet street corner, with a small menu of simple yet well-crafted dishes and a pledge to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. But unlike in Europe, the red and green chile won’t disappoint—unless you’re a member of the New Mexico anticumin coalition.
Holiday snacking with a local twist
Burque’s DIY culture emporiums of yore
Photos from our sixth annual scavenger hunt
Any one of the 70-odd teams that signed up will tell you: Our photo scavenger hunt ain’t easy. But they’ll also be quick to add that it’s one hell of a good time.
The brains behind a hundred arty calaveras at Boro Gallery
Donovan Richard knows how to get inside an artist's head. That's why he handed out 130 ceramic clay skulls he molded, cast and fired—for free. He asked artists to render the white skulls into a token of remembrance for a lost loved one to be enshrined in an altar. It's all part of a project titled A Day to Remember: Día de los Muertos, culminating at Downtown's Boro Gallery.
Jacob Lewis dazzles in Albuquerque Little Theatre’s Cabaret
ALT’s production of Cabaret is a good show. It has solid actors, a well-developed set and a live orchestra providing a strong backbone to its many musical numbers. But there’s one element to Cabaret that’s not just good, but great. That would be Jacob Lewis.
Artist Eva Avenue thinks police officers could be more Zen-like. That notion and the much-documented officer-involved shootings in Albuquerque are the driving inspiration behind I ♥ Cops, a group show she's curated at Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery.
From strip malls to busy intersections, three restaurants with new menus almost blend into the Heights’ neighborhood sprawl. You have to look twice or you may miss them; then be prepared to eat well and within your budget.
More than meats the eye
When I started getting fussy about which meats I’d eat in the line of duty, I knew it might limit the pool of restaurants I could choose from. But I also hoped my quest for clean meat would draw places out of the woodwork that I otherwise would have missed. Ariana Halal Market and Café is one such place.
Public access operator loses its contract with the city after 30 years
Who’s on first? I don’t know, but I want to meet her.
Shakespeare was a fraud, says the man who showed us space aliens building the pyramids
Speculating on whether Shakespeare actually penned the plays for which he is justifiably famous is the academic equivalent of wondering if Elvis is still alive. Famous people aren’t allowed to simply expire—they must be resurrected via silly conspiracy theories concerning their life, their death and the veracity of both. It doesn’t matter if the figures are historical (Abraham Lincoln, Jack the Ripper) or pop cultural (Jim Morrison, Tupac Shakur): The unwashed masses will keep them alive with talk of murder, scandal, cover-up and conspiracy. (Michael Jackson, shake hands with Marilyn Monroe.) Very often, these conspiracies involve some preposterous leaps of logic—up to and including alien intervention.
“Grimm” on NBC
The second of this TV season’s new, fairy-tale centric dramas is NBC’s “Grimm.” Unlike ABC’s occasionally preposterous and decidedly ungrounded “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s fantasy series at least has a clear-cut identity. It is, simply put, a standard-issue police procedural ... with monsters. While that might not be as creative a premise as “Once Upon a Time,” it does give the show an easy access point for viewers who might otherwise be put off by a show that requires a major suspension of disbelief and a lot of explanation.
Just in time for Day of the Dead, recently deceased movie rental mecca Burning Paradise Video has risen from the grave. After a frantic month in limbo, the store has reopened at its newest digs, 120 Yale SE (one block south of UNM). You can still go there to rent the best in cult/alternative/foreign/mainstream DVDs. But now you can also purchase just about anything in the store. Burning Paradise’s new business model is as a buy/sell/trade DVD store, meaning tons of fresh merchandise every week. The new location is larger than previous iterations, allowing for a welcome expansion of movie-related posters, toys, zines and T-shirts. If you wanna come check out the groovy new location, this Friday might be a good time. Starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4, the store will host a grand reopening party, complete with free snacks, live entertainment from local techno-punks Vertigo Venus and all kinds of super deals. Hit it up on Facebook for more details.