Underground dinner clubs pop up around Albuquerque
By Mina Yamashita
At 6 p.m., the September sun cast a rosy glow on the building across the street. I parked and my friend Mike checked the map. From the sidewalk, we saw a woman heading our way, red and white apron flapping in the wind.
MMA star Gina Carano debuts in one lean, mean action machine
By Devin D. O’Leary
Must be nice to be Steven Soderbergh. After kicking off the indie film revolution of the ’90s with sex, lies, and videotape, he went on to helm mainstream hits (Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven), Oscar winners (Erin Brockovich, Traffic), existential science-fiction films (Schizopolis,Solaris), micro-budget pay-per-view experiments (Bubble, The Girlfriend Experience) and even a TV series or two (“K Street,” “Unscripted”). Few, if any, filmmakers have had the freedom to build such a diverse résumé. Right now, Mr. Soderbergh could be producing and directing Ocean’s Fourteen and no one would be blinking an eye. Instead, he’s off making a low-budget, digital video action flick starring a first-time actor.
Dr. Rick Strassman stirred up both controversy and a cult following when he became the first doctor in 20 years to research the effects of psychedelic and hallucinogenic substances on human subjects. His work was carried out at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine right here in Albuquerque. Over the course of his project’s five-year life span, he administered approximately 400 doses of DMT to 60 volunteers and recorded their experiences.
Is ABC’s cross-dressing sitcom “Work It” the worst TV show ever made? Several critics are suggesting so. Me, I tend to doubt it. “Cop Rock” was pretty ridiculous. “Supertrain” was a notably bad idea. “Homeboys in Outer Space” didn’t do the world any favors. I defy any modern human to hunt down and sit through an episode of “She’s the Sheriff.” And despite the fact that 542 people actually subscribe to the “Out of This World” channel on YouTube, it was a brain-meltingly awful show. ... Which isn’t to say that “Work It” doesn’t give each and every one of them a run for their money.
Adobe Theater’s Irish-American drama is strong stuff
By Christie Chisholm
A Moon for the Misbegotten might just make you rethink your unhealthy obsessions. If you lust after the tortured Heathcliffs of the world (don’t we all?), it may coax you to consider putting down that penchant. If your days are a haze of drinking alone in the dark, well, maybe it’ll be the moment of clarity that finally sends you to AA ... or at least motivates you to consult an electrician.
A couple of guys sit around and shoot the shit. Sometimes it's over alcohol, coffee or food; sometimes it's in a dark room. Existential questions arise. A cloud of mystery looms heavy over the minimalist narrative. This is the theme of a lot of well-known scripts (The Seafarer, My Dinner with Andre and "The Dumb Waiter" come to mind). Another well-received guys-at-a-table piece is Derek Davidson's "Jack of Dover."
The only reason the death of this Iraq War veteran has attracted such attention is that he did not go alone. Had Barnes simply headed off into the frozen wilderness to die, his story would have been unexceptional. After all, scores of returning veterans, traumatized and afflicted, have committed suicide over the last decade.
Is Roman Polanski really the best guy to deliver a lecture about bad parenting?
By Devin D. O’Leary
The French play God of Carnage became the toast of Broadway in 2009 when it hit the Great White Way with high-wattage film actors Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden in the lead roles. All four actors ended up nominated for Tony Awards, and the production became one of the longest-running stage plays of the 2000s. Now infamous director Roman Polanski takes a stab at a movie version starring Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster. That’s hardly what you’d call a step down in quality from the stage version. But what soars on a stage doesn’t always fly on a movie screen.
Treasures from the Land of Enchantment’s interactive encyclopedia
By Sam Adams
If Wikipedia and Flickr got together in the Southwest and had a love child, it would probably look something like Celebrating New Mexico Statehood. The vastly comprehensive online historical archive is a collaboration between about a dozen institutions, spearheaded by UNM's Center for Southwest Research. Its director, Mike Kelly, says the site boasts about 50,000 photos, some of them dating back to prestatehood in the late 19th century.
Hollywood’s award season is in full swing. It began last week with the lowly People’s Choice Awards and continues though Feb. 26 with the handing out of the prestigious 84th annual Academy Awards. In between, we get award show telecasts of varying import, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (Jan. 12 on VH1) to the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 25 on IFC).
If you tried stopping by the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill sometime this week for a movie, you might have noticed the venerable venue was closed. The place took a four-day break to remove the old movie theater seats and install brand-new ones. The new seats are larger and more comfortable than the old ones. As a result, there will be fewer places to sit in the theater, but they’ll be much nicer. Patrons have been offered the option of “sponsoring” one of the new seats, having their name (or a loved one’s name) permanently affixed to a brass plaque on the back for a one-time fee. Guild owner Keif Henley says response to this special promotion has been swift and few unsponsored seats are left. (If you’re in the market for eternal glory, hurry up.)
It turns out cats aren't just waiting for you to die so they can eat you. You can, in fact, train them to perform a variety of tricks. Samantha Martin has 40 years of experience, and can tell you all about it.
Tap into your creative side and make a Valentine’s Day card for the Alibi. It may just net you prizes and eternal glory in the form of your work being printed in this here newspaper. Oh yeah, and it’s free. Get busy!
The Tune-Up Café is where the cool people in Santa Fe go. Not the ones who honk their horns while almost running me over by the Plaza, but the kinds of folks who look like they would be my friends if I lived there. That’s a good thing. Because when the small adobe restaurant is packed—as it often is—you’re usually within three feet of multiple strangers, some of whom might be sharing your table.
New Mexico lawmakers are considering a proposal from the Martinez administration to link teacher evaluations to student test scores. It will be a huge topic in the coming 30-day legislative session set to begin Tuesday, Jan. 17.
In an unprecedented move, the Cable Franchise and Hearing Board stepped into the fray over who will operate the city's public access TV channels. With a unanimous vote on Thursday, Jan. 5, the board backed Quote ... Unquote, Inc., the nonprofit that ran the channels for three decades before losing its contract.
In 1967, “Heavy Music” by Bob Seger and the Last Heard was a hit in the Detroit area. The protopunk song reveals a totally different, totally excellent side of the man most of us know as a Heartland balladeer.
Chez Bob is a little bit elegant or a little bit awkward, depending on your perspective. Mine changed dramatically between my first visit, two years ago, and my recent return. After writing the place off, I was drawn back by rumors of major improvements in both service and food.
Polarized reactions to the repeal of building standards
By Margaret Wright
At the tail end of 2011, Albuquerque's rules were replaced with state regulations—also weakened under Republican leadership. Reactions to the vote signaled the depth of the ideological division that has grown among citizens and politicians.
The end to the war has been declared. But the declaration hasn’t been that important. A private army of contractors remains in Iraq, funded in part by the $6 billion 2012 budget of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. So is the war really over?
This year’s cinematic trends: 3D Disney, Batman vs. Spider-Man and Keanu Reeves with a samurai sword
By Devin D. O’Leary
The year 2012 looks ... a lot like previous years in Hollywood. The explosions are epic, the stars are plentiful and the trends are limited. So what might the movie-loving masses be watching in cinemas over the next 12 months? Here’s a sampling of the good, the bad and the over budget. (Keep in mind, all opening dates are subject to change.)
Welcome to the start of a brand-new year, 2012 A.D. Or as we in the television biz call it: midseason. It’s time to put all the traumatic memories of the fall 2011 season out of our brains (“Charlie’s Angels” reboot? What “Charlie’s Angels” reboot?) and start pinning our hopes on a whole new crop of replacements. Let’s take a gander at what’s in store for us.
Tricklock’s three-week theater marathon gets physical and Herzogian
By Christie Chisholm
Albuquerque’s theatrical community is growing, at least for the month of January. If you’ve lived here long, you know these temporary citizens come to you by way of Tricklock Theatre Company. For 12 years now, Tricklock has brought acclaimed theatrical acts from around the world to our little city for the Revolutions International Theatre Festival. This year, it’s flown in artists from Israel, Switzerland, France, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Kansas and Chicago, along with hosting a few locals.