Alibi V.21 No.23 • June 7-13, 2012

Queen-to-King of Comedy

Transgender funnyman opens up about laughing at life

Ian Harvie is living proof that comedy and catharsis go hand in hand. Billed as the world's first female-to-male transgender comic, Harvie routinely uses his experiences with discovering gender identity as the basis of his stand-up act. The Alibi caught up with Harvie in advance of Laughter Links Us Together, the Albuquerque Pride comedy show, which he'll be starring in on Saturday, June 9, alongside his friend Jason Dudey and Southwest FunnyFest founder Dana Goldberg.

May 19 deadline for 2017 Operation Art Box Submissions

Get hip to the deets

Weekly Alibi is currently accepting artists' design submissions for our Operation Art Box project and May 19 is this year's deadline for arguments and illustrations coherently explaining in some detail why and how you would transform an Alibi box. Throw in some examples of your past and current artistic endeavors while you're at it. Using "art box" in the subject line, email us at artbox@alibi.com or address snail mail to "Art Box" c/o Weekly Alibi Circulation Department, 413 Central NW, ABQ, NM 87102; drop proposals off in person at the same address or hit us up on Facebook. All submissions must include your full name, a working telephone number and the right stuff.

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Lando of Enchantment

An interview with actor Billy Dee WIlliams

If we could put the suave, space-faring ladies’ man that is Lando Calrissian aside for a moment, we’d note that actor Billy Dee Williams has a long and distinguished career without the guy. Williams will be coming to town this weekend to sign autographs and to chat with fans as one of the guests at the 2012 Albuquerque Comic Expo. The Alibi talked with the actor before his arrival.

ACE in the Hole

Alibi’s top 10 picks for the Albuquerque Comic Expo

The Albuquerque Comic Expo enters its giant-sized (dare we say “Giant Man-sized”) sophomore year this weekend. With so many exhibits, lectures, signings, parties, screenings and gaming tournaments to choose from, how do you figure out what to spend your time on? Should you comb though the dealers’ room looking for bargains on back issues of Justice League, or should you get in line for Katee Sackhoff’s autograph? We’ve chosen our top 10 faves from the still-growing lineup of events.

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Snow White and the Huntsman

Familiar fairy tale looks ravishing but is ravaged by ambition

Hollywood, in one of those industrywide moments of serendipity, has suddenly realized that fairy tales are public domain and can be exploited for free. Hence, the explosion in Brothers Grimm-inspired storytelling (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s “Grimm,” Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood, Tarsem Sing’s Mirror Mirror, the upcoming theatrical versions of Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters). Arriving mere months after the last “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” adaptation (the aforementioned, slapstick-addled Mirror Mirror) comes Snow White and the Huntsman. While it may not go down in history as the definitive fairy tale feature, it will certainly tide us over until somebody pens a gritty, effects-filled reboot of “The Three Little Pigs.”

Southforked

“Dallas” on TNT

What with Hollywood snapping up every old TV show in creation to make campy theatrical comedies (21 Jump Street? Dark Shadows?), there’s hardly anything left for television to reboot. (Sure, we got a couple crappy episodes of “Charlie’s Angels” last season, but that was only after two big budget movies had their way with the series.) For the last five years, Hollywood bragged about shooting a feature film reboot of the once-popular nighttime soap “Dallas.” John Travolta was slated to be our new J.R. Perhaps mercifully, that seems to have fallen apart—and now TNT is free to rush ahead with its own brand-new prime-time version of the series.

Reel World

The Albuquerque Film Festival is hosting a fundraiser called Geek Fest on Film this weekend at the KiMo Theatre. The fest starts Friday at 7 p.m. with a double feature of With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (a documentary about the famed comic book creator) and Attention Span (a film festival made up of 60-second flicks). Tickets are $10 each and can be picked up at kimotickets.com.

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Great Scapes

The loveliness of garlic flowers

The first time I ate garlic flowers was for breakfast on a train from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The dining car didn't have a menu: You just sat down and they brought you food. A server delivered a plate of stir-fried chopped green things with pork and oyster sauce, along with a bowl of rice. It was years before that I realized that the pencil-thick green things were pieces of garlic flowers and flower stalks, collectively known as scapes.

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Live Smiling Girls!

Behind the photographs of Angeles City bar girls

The controversy over Commissioner Michael Wiener’s photo scandal died down. But Fields Avenue, the red-light district of Angeles City in the Philippines, remains a dark place.

“We’re Both Dad”

Health care’s LGBT blind spot

Considering all our nurse columnist has witnessed in her career—dramatic resuscitations and miraculous recoveries included—it’s a little funny that teaching a couple of dudes how to wipe a baby butt stands out as one of her proudest moments. But she met baby Melanie and her two dads years before "Modern Family" would air on prime time and the president would finally evolve enough to voice his support of gay marriage.

Walmart’s Fans and Foes

People turned up at the Monday, June 4 meeting to comment on the proposal to put a Walmart at Coors and Montaño. The Council deferred a vote on whether to give the big-box chain five years to create a development plan. Councilor Brad Winter was absent, and Councilor Rey Garduño said he had to recuse himself from the vote.

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Cosmic American Fanatic

PilGram Sheilah Siminuk talks about her shrine

It’s one thing to know and possess all of the music of your favorite artist, and quite another to light candles for him each night. There are fans, and then there are fans. In early March when I introduced the Music Chambers column, I tried to entice readers to show me spaces in homes that are devoted to music, asking unseriously, “Is there a shrine to Gram Parsons tucked away in your attic?” About six weeks later, photos of just that—a bona fide Gram Parsons shrine—materialized in my inbox. Ask and ye shall receive!

Song Roulette

Mike Giant is a visionary tattoo and graffiti artist who, although born in Upstate New York, grew up in Albuquerque. On Sunday, June 10, the San Francisco-based Giant makes an appearance in Downtown Albuquerque at the Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). He’s presenting a tea party for his zine, “The Skullz Press.” There will be art for sale, giveaways from his apparel and skateboard company, Rebel8, and ambience provided by Austin-based DJ Daze. The free, 21-and-over party happens from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Seven Dwarfs

Tall entries, short plays at Fusion Theatre’s annual fest

Now poetically in its seventh year, The Seven is one of Fusion Theatre Company’s most popular recurring events. Every year, Fusion puts out a call for new short plays. This year it received 748 submissions. The seven winners from that large pool will have their shorts produced this weekend at The Cell.

Alibi V.21 No.22 • May 31-June 6, 2012

History in the Houses

Downtown sector plan aims to preserve Albuquerque’s beginnings

Preserving the past within neighborhoods is what residents had in mind when they started asking the city to take a critical look at their sector plan. The proposed 2012 revision has been in the works for years.

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Best Western

The artistic history and impending comeback of the De Anza Motor Lodge

The De Anza Motor Lodge was once a lively outpost of the golden age of Route 66. Now, thanks to neighbors, the city and some rare works of Zuni art, the Upper Nob Hill motel is about to be salvaged.

A Ford in the Rio Grande

El Vado Auto Court’s uncertain but promising future

Amid the Spanish Pueblo revival architectural accents and painted figures from Native American mythology that adorn El Vado Auto Court’s peeling walls, a banner announces “The purest Route 66 motel surviving! 70 years of continuous hospitality!” It’s a sad irony for a business that has been shuttered since 2005 and whose ultimate fate remains in limbo.

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Preach the Gospel Always

If necessary, use words

Chuck Hosking is an American marvel, as close to a homegrown prophet as you’re likely to come across.

Ask a Mexican!

Dear Mexican: Why can’t the United States and Mexico agree on one name for the Rio Bravo-Grande river? And I don’t understand why the Americans lo dice in español?

What’s in the Mud?

Public Regulation Commission candidate Al Park is a member of a three-lawyer firm that contracts with the state to handle risk management cases.

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Eye in the Sky, Hole in the Ground

Postcommodity’s Raven Chacon on art without borders

Toward the end of 2012, arts collective Postcommodity intends to raise 20 acrylic balloons that are 10 feet in diameter parallel to the U.S.-Mexico border. "Part of this project is that it's this kind of sculptural piece," says Raven Chacon, "this kind of fence, which will run along the border. But part of it is performance in a way of us having to navigate what is safe to be called a battlefield."

Dogma Style

Heather Rutman’s anti-climactic guide to sex without love

Heather Rutman’s handbook on female hedonism is a vapid, substance-feuled journey into the mind of a despicable sociopath.

Culture Shock

Regardless of how adept your street art skills are, if you decide to go guerilla and throw up a piece in a prominent public location, chances are it'll get buffed pretty quick. Murals and sculpture are some of the most aesthetically alluring components to this city's streets. But government grants notwithstanding, it’s hard to manufacture public art in a way that’ll have a widely recognized, lasting effect.

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Sound of My Voice

Psychological sci-fi thriller hypnotizes viewers, leading them into a world of cults and questions

In 2011, fed up with the “cute blonde in horror movie” roles she was being offered, actress Brit Marling turned writer-producer-star for the handcrafted sci-fi film Another Earth. That intriguing (though not entirely fulfilling) drama was enough to mark Marling as an ambitious up-and-comer. With barely a pause, Marling follows it up with her second writing-producing-acting stint, the equally mind-bending indie Sound of My Voice. While the speculative, dialogue-heavy drama might not sit perfectly with all viewers, it proves Marling is a voice and a vision worth paying attention to.

Pilot Down

The would-be shows you’ll never see

Late in May, the broadcast networks announced their fall lineups. Some shows look good, others look meh. But it’s always interesting to note the series that could have been—the ones that never even got past the pilot stage. Here’s a look at the 2012-2013 TV pilots that never got off the ground.

Reel World

Albuquerque’s own Trifecta + Entertainment has teamed up with film!ABQ for a special event at the KiMo Theatre on Thursday, May 31. Trifecta + is about to start work on its latest feature-length project, the crowd-funded thriller Dead Billy. To celebrate, the company is screening a sneak preview trailer along with a collection of freaky short films shot in the last two years. “The Water” (featuring an appearance by Gordon Clapp of “NYPD Blue”), “The Devil’s Luck” and the Russian language short “VANYA” will be shown starting at 7 p.m. The evening starts with a musical performance by local singer/songwriter/actress Rebekah Wiggins. Admission is free. Concessions are available. You can hit up the Trifecta + folks on Facebook.

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Banjos on High

Elliott and co. ramble back to Burque

After a long absence, Elliott’s Ramblers, one of the most beloved bluegrass acts in New Mexico history, is returning to Albuquerque for a show.

Spaceballs

The New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra performs The Planets while Venus transits

Classical music has nearly been relegated to soundtrack status; it’s often playing while something else is happening. Few of us spend quality headphone time with Bartok. Amazing classical music in movies or TV gets used as a backdrop or part of the staging, thereby chaining it to pop culture. Most people can't hear Liszt's “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” without thinking of Tom and Jerry. Other times a movie is lifted by the music beyond its small budget and toward the heavens, as Star Wars was elevated by John Williams’ soundtrack.

food

Holy Cow

The omnivore’s deliverance

More and more, hamburgers are treated as high art. And Holy Cow is among Albuquerque’s vanguard of upscale burger parlors. The outdoor patio—on Central where Bob’s Fish and Chips used to be—is protected by a corrugated roof. Inside, you can dine on hamburgers at a table or the bar. The feeling is rowdy and friendly. A portrait of a single word, “burgers,” hangs from an otherwise bare wall.

Alibi V.21 No.21 • May 24-30, 2012

Desert Dancing

VSA’s regional series returns with Whitman, war and psychology

Meshi Chavez moved to Portland, Ore., at the age of 18. Sixteen years later, he’s returning with We Two Boys to Wild Dancing West, VSA North Fourth Art Center’s contemporary dance festival. Now in its seventh year, Wild Dancing West is “the sibling of Global DanceFest,” says Kearny, referring to VSA’s international spectacle that began in 2001. After celebrating dance from around the world, creators decided “it was important to also focus on contemporary dance happening in our region,” she says. 

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Summer Movie Smackdown

Your Seasonal Cinema Guide

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, movie studios will be sending their best fighters to duke it out at your local theater.

Batman vs. Spider-Man

The Match-Up: Director Christopher Nolan’s grown-up adaptation of DC’s Darknight Detective closes out with a trilogy-ending juggernaut. Marvel’s Friendly Neighborhood Web-Slinger, on the other hand, launches a ground-up reboot with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield taking over for Tobey Maguire. The Dark Knight took in more than $1 billion worldwide. Spider-Man 3, on the other hand, left a bad taste in a lot of viewers’ mouths. Do people really want to see Spider-Man’s origin story again? Probably not.
The Winner: Batman

The Animals of Madagascar 3 vs. The Animals of Ice Age 4

The Match-Up: Both of these CGI cartoon series are getting a bit long in the tooth. Both pulled in just under $200 million domestically on their last releases. Both boast all-star voice talent. So far, this is looking like a tie. But DreamWorks has done a better job of keeping its Madagascar franchise fresh in viewers’ minds with a TV show (“The Penguins of Madagascar”), video games and more. By a nose, it’s ...
The Winner: Madagascar

The Avengers’ Hawkeye vs. Brave’s Princess Merida

The Match-Up: Which bow-wielding hero will reign supreme? OK, this one’s a bit of an unfair fight, pitting a studly superspy against a little red-haired girl. The Avengers has already joined the billion dollar club, making it virtually unbeatable this summer. However, Avengers star Jeremy Renner will be stripped of his bow for The Bourne Legacy in August. Still, he looks pretty bad-ass there too. Brave, being a Pixar movie, will make plenty of money. But so will The Bourne Legacy. Jeremy’s looking strong (if a bit like a bully) in this fight.
The Winner: Hawkeye.

Battleship vs. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The Match-Up: Two time-tested militaristic toys go head-to-head. Mattel’s G.I. Joe became an action figure in 1964. Milton Bradley’s Battleship became a board game in 1967. Joe’s got multiple toy lines, several successful TV cartoons and a previous film (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra). Granted, Rise of Cobra wasn’t all that good. But Battleship? What’s it got—other than a bunch of plastic pegs and a $35 million opening weekend? The trailer for Retaliation actually makes it look like fun. Plus, Bruce Willis climbs on board to play “Joe Colton”—that’s the official name of the original 12-inch G.I. Joe figure!
The Winner: G.I. Joe

Heavyweight Champion of Summer: Bruce Willis

Plenty of actors have two films being released this summer (Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig). But good old Bruce Willis tops them all with roles in three feature films (Moonrise Kingdom, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Expendables 2). If you throw in the time-traveling hit man drama Looper (which hits theaters on Sept. 28), the guy logs four features. Throw in three other completed-but-not-released films (Lay the Favorite, The Cold Light of Day and Fire With Fire) and the man’s got seven films on the books for 2012. The people’s champion!

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Toys That Kill

Recess Records mastermind talks making albums, punks who go folk and nebulous band members

Todd Congelliere has been producing punk rock music in the California style for more than two decades. His band Toys That Kill just released its fourth album, Fambly 42, and is playing an all-ages show at The Gasworks on Tuesday. When the Alibi spoke to Congelliere over the phone, he was at his San Pedro home, which also serves as practice space, recording studio and headquarters for his record label Recess Records.

Song Roulette

Double Plow is a “Southern-fried jam band” that melds the hippy Southwestern aesthetic with blues and bluegrass. Hear it live at Marble Brewery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. ¿Que? Studio will be hosting an eclectic showcase from 1 to 8 p.m. (also on the bill is The Great Depression, Red Light Cameras, Vertigo Venus, Mrdrbrd and Temporary Tattoos). Food trucks and barbecue will be present, body painting and raffles will ensue. In observation of Double Plow's observation of the holiday, we asked singer Dwayne "Buzzard" Norris to put his music library on shuffle. Below are the random results.

Flyer on the Wall

DJ Caterwaul’s Low Life—an evening of garage, psychedelic and fine punk varietals—always comes with a good flyer. Notice the skeletons and greasy space/aquatic creature. Hear the music that goes with these images on Thursday, May 24, beginning at 9 p.m., or every second and fourth Thursday at Blackbird Buvette, 509 Central NW, for free. (JCC)

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Batter Up

Crepes, for their simplicity, offer nearly limitless possibilities. Christopher Raven has two batters, and dozens of sweet and savory sauces and fillings.

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Navajo Group Fights Aquifer Mine

The Navajo Nation outlawed uranium mining and processing in 2005 in response to high cancer rates. Yet Larry J. King is one of many members of the tribe who are fighting plans to mine uranium from an aquifer.

DA Talks Cop Juries

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg stopped in to talk to the Council about the investigative grand jury process police officers go through after they shoot someone.

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Bernie

Crime comedy gives Jack Black his best role in years. Too bad the movie isn’t better.

It's hard to reconcile Richard Linklater, the young-turk auteur who gave us 1991’s Gen-X manifesto Slacker, with Richard Linklater, the movie industry vet (Fast Food Nation, The School of Rock, Bad News Bears) who delivers Jack Black's latest: a pleasantly quirky crime comedy called Bernie. Not that Bernie represents any sort of sad, corporate sellout on the part of Linklater. It’s just that aside from the inclusion of fellow Austinite Matthew McConaughey (who worked with Linklater on Dazed & Confused and The Newton Boys), Bernie isn’t recognizable as something from Linklater’s résumé.

You’re Outta Here!

The Canceled Shows of 2012

The broadcast networks have already started showing off their shiny new fall schedules. That means, of course, the conspicuous absence of several shows you may or may not have liked. Yup, the ax has fallen, and a whole host of network shows have been canceled. Some escaped by the skin of their teeth. (ABC’s low-rated but highly regarded “Cougar Town” is moving to TBS in 2013.) Others emerged battered and beaten. (Fan-fave “Community” will return next season. For a truncated 13 episode run. On Friday nights. Paired with “Whitney.” Also, creator Dan Harmon was told to take a hike.) So which shows are gone, gone, gone?

Reel World

The South Broadway Cultural Center is hosting a three-day Bollywood film festival to benefit Peacecraft, the fair trade craft store in Nob Hill. On Friday, May 25, the show starts with Satyajit Ray’s 1964 romantic drama Charulata: The Lonely Wife at 7 p.m. On Saturday, it’s the 2009 road trip comedy Three Idiots at 2 p.m. followed by another Satyajit Ray film, the 1966 movie industry drama Nayak: The Hero at 7 p.m. Things close out on Sunday with the 2010 drama My Name is Khan, about an Indian Muslim with Asperger’s who embarks on a cross-country journey to speak with President Obama. That one begins at 2 p.m. Cost of each showing is $8 per person.

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Show Me the Way to Go Home

Toni Morrison’s tale of siblings searching for solace has character but lacks resolution

Like pretty much everything else she's written, Morrison's most recent novel is a work of historical fiction deeply ingrained in social injustices. Home’s story revolves around brother and sister Frank and Ycidra (aka "Cee") Money, who grew up in the destitute shantytown of Lotus, Ga. It was a place where, as Frank says in one of the book's many internal monologues, "There was no goal other than breathing, nothing to win and, save for somebody else's quiet death, nothing to survive or worth surviving for."

Culture Shock

John Chervinsky's Frames of Reference is an exquisite contemplation on the interplay between scientific principles and their worldly manifestations. In one of the series' subsets, Studio Physics, the Harvard applied physics professor went to great lengths for his final photographic prints. Chervinsky set up studio still lifes, then photographed portions of them. He mailed those photos to a painting factory in China and incorporated the reproductions of his photos by anonymous artists back into the still lifes. Elements of decay (a bowl of rotten bananas half covered by a painted “before” version of the ripe fruit) exhibit the enigma of impermanence in a visually straightforward way.