Best and worst Super Bowl ads
At Super Bowl XLVI, car companies clearly ran over beer companies. Anheuser-Busch—normally the King of Commercials—fumbled in 2012. The Budweiser brewer tossed off a couple of forgettably nostalgic spots before bottoming out with the introduction of Bud Light Platinum, which ... has a higher credit limit than other beers? I have no idea. Car companies, however, pulled out the stops with a string of notable ads. Hot babes made a good showing, as always, hawking cars, more cars and domain name registration. Dogs also had their day, starring in five spots (six if you count Snoopy in the MetLife commercial). Monkeys, bears and babies, on the other hand, seem to have worn out their welcome. Good riddance to them.
After a successful screening at the state Legislature’s New Mexico Film and Media Day, Brent Morris and David Jean Schweitzer’s Made in New Mexico will be shown at Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 9. The documentary explores the burgeoning film industry in New Mexico and the impact our state’s various tax incentives have had on the business of making movies. In addition to the documentary, there will be several shorts by New Mexico filmmakers. This includes the premiere of Governor’s Cup-winning Director Ramona Emerson’s “Opal,” about an 8-year-old Navajo girl taking on a town bully. A Q & A with filmmakers follows the screenings, which get underway at 7 p.m.
The Week in Sloth
Songs about love, loss and lust
Love is a many-splendored thing, and music reflects this complexity. Songs are written about first love, obsessive love, unrequited love, heartbreak and so on. Whether you consider Valentine’s Day a silly Hallmark holiday or a nice annual summit on the true meaning of the L word, here's an eclectic soundtrack that ranges from torch songs to tortured ballads. Raunch, romance and resentment are represented in this sonic valentine.
A trio of snakes suggestively swarming a red, scantily clad cartoon girl calls attention to an interesting lineup at Low Sprits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, Feb. 10. Sad Baby Wolf, St. Petersburg, Alan George Ledergerber and DJ Nicolatron provide sounds—the $5 show begins at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
It’s Gov. Martinez’ bash, and she’ll pack it with controversy if she wants to
Winners of the Alibi’s ninth annual Valentine’s Day Card Contest
Albuquerque’s best chefs share a five-star dinner at home
All right, sweethearts, here’s the deal. Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, which means restaurants are booked solid or filling up fast. If you haven’t already made a reservation, you could be gambling with your love life. But there’s no need to panic.
The controversial life of cacao beans
Valentine's Day is the chocolate industry's holiday season. With an eye toward this February's love-fest, the International Labor Rights Forum purchased an advertising slot on a JumboTron outside the Super Bowl's Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on which to broadcast a video called “Hershey's Chocolate, Kissed by Child Labor.”
The bastilla king is back
King’s bastilla has to be one of the craziest things I’ve ever eaten. A specialty at Kasbah, it looked like a flying saucer constructed out of phyllo dough. It was stuffed with a mix of chicken, almonds, cinnamon and eggs, then was dusted with sugar and splashed with rosewater. The flavors took off in so many ways at once I could hardly keep track of them all. I didn’t even know if I liked it, but I kept eating it.
Santa Fe’s LOW ON HIGH smooshes together. Maybe that’s why the filmmaking duo is up for a Grammy.
Finnish filmmaker goes Gallic for sentimental silent film tribute
In a year that celebrates the closed-mouth, open-eyed history of film by handing a Best Picture nomination to Michel Hazanavicius’ silent masterpiece The Artist, it seems only appropriate that we’d get another film from Finnish writer-director Aki Kaurismäki. Throughout his distinctively oddball indie film career (Leningrad Cowboys Go America, Drifting Clouds, The Match Factory Girl, The Man Without a Past), Kaurismäki has always shown a greater kinship to the silent film technicians of yesteryear than to the media-savvy moviemakers of today. His latest effort, the alternately gritty and whimsical modern fairy tale Le Havre, plays out like a politically minded remake of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.
“Alcatraz” on FOX
The first thing everyone points out about FOX’s new series “Alcatraz”—and I guess I’m doing it, too—is that it’s another mysterious, island-based sci-fi series from producer J.J. Abrams (who gave us a little thing called “Lost”). Unless the guy announces he’s rebooting “Fantasy Island” next, I wouldn’t get too worked up about the man’s creative obsessions, though.
Instituto Cervantes continues its Latin American film series this week at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. On Thursday, Feb. 2, the Bank of America Theatre at the NHCC (1701 Fourth Street SW) will screen the 2005 Ecuadorian film Anytime Soon (Esas No Son Penas). It’s the story of five women from Quito, buddies as teens, who reunite to visit an ailing friend after 15 years. Think The Big Chill, but with fewer hippies and more of an accent. The film screening is free and will be presented with English subtitles. Show gets underway at 7 p.m. Get there early to guarantee a seat.
The Week in Sloth
Art and music from the netherworld
Council considers eliminating Downtown-UNM district
Diego Sanchez and Carlos Condit strive to corner the UFC's Welterweight division
French horn quartet fuses pop hits and classical training
New Mexico santeros and santeras on devotional folk art
In the fall, 516 ARTS put out a call for New Mexicans to submit pieces that would serve as the face of the gallery's five-year anniversary show. Nearly 300 artists responded with an eclectic range of works. 516 Executive Director Suzanne Sbarge decided to put the judging process in the hands of renowned critic Peter Frank, after they met while Frank was in town on assignment. He operates out of L.A. as associate editor of Fabrik magazine and as a contributor to the Huffington Post. Frank may not be local, but he says he has a soft spot and deep regard for art from the Southwest. He whittled down the pool of entrants to about 80 works, with each artist represented by one piece. It's the largest group show 516 has put on to date, with talent representing more than 30 cities statewide.
Music doc turns to fans for insider info on indie band
In his first documentary, Friends (With Benefits) writer and director Gorman Bechard takes viewers through a chronological history of Minneapolis/St. Paul-based The Replacements, a post-punk quartet that once made a big splash in a small pond. Banding together in 1979, the pioneering alternative rockers lasted through the following decade almost despite themselves. Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements takes us on a trip down this musical backroad with the friends and fans who love them still serving as tour guides.
Scientist reflects on his psychedelic research
Albuquerque's oldest independent record store closes shop
It's true, music fans. After decades of peddling CDs, tapes, videos, DVDs, vinyl records and other merchandise, Natural Sound is going the way of Bow Wow Records (where music was “a man's best friend"). Natural Sound's last day of business is Saturday, Jan. 28.
Derek Caterwaul is a longtime promoter of local, underground culture. He’s a DJ on 89.9 KUNM FM’s “Music to Soothe the Savage Beast,” which airs Tuesday nights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., and he has ties to the Mystery Media Free(k) box—formerly in the 200-block Cornell/Stanford alley—and now other free art boxes around town. Caterwaul is also responsible for Low Life, a DJ night at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) that contains the sweet sounds of deep psych, garage, roots, post punk and punk, funk, and obscuro. On Thursday, Jan. 26, Low Life celebrates a one-year anniversary. This free, 21-and-over event includes guest DJs, free mixtapes and CDs, and video projections from Billy Da Bunny. Peer into Caterwaul’s music collection below.
Brussels sprouts swing both ways
Brussels sprouts with bacon is hardly a new idea, but the combination has taken off lately. Now the pairing is a menu meme, a darling of online recipe searches and food TV. But those green brassica balls also go effortlessly and deliciously, for example, in that most vegetarian of dishes: the leafy salad.
Two restaurants reach the decade mark
“Are You There, Chelsea?” on NBC
TV seems to have a very low opinion of us right now. Midseason replacement time is upon us, and we’re being assaulted by the likes of “Work It” (thankfully already canceled) and a sitcom starring Rob Schneider. (Seriously, what did we do to deserve that?) NBC, meanwhile, is making an all-out assault on our collective taste by pairing the execrable “Whitney” with the marginally less execrable “Are You There, Chelsea?” Both shows were no doubt generated at the roundtable of “Chelsea Lately,” the E! Network comedy chat show hosted by Chelsea Handler and frequented by Whitney Cummings.
Friends of Film, Video and Arts—the organizers of the fourth annual Laugh Out Loud Friends of Film Funny Film Festival—are looking for laughable local submissions. All works must be 15 minutes or less in length and postmarked by Monday, Jan. 30. It’s only $15 to enter the film of your choice. Winning submissions will be included in not one, but two film festivals: The LOLFFFFF (at Albuquerque’s Guild Cinema on March 31) and the Nickel Independent Film Festival in Canada (in June 2013). Cash prizes and other awards are up for grabs.