Alibi V.21 No.24 • June 14-20, 2012

Ballroom Blitz

The beat goes on for dancer Cissy King

For Cissy King, remembering lines has always presented a host of challenges. But the veteran dancer-turned-actress has no trouble firing off some of the funnier misspeakings of her former boss, television variety show icon Lawrence Welk. King, who grew up in Albuquerque, danced on the program for more than 11 years.

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Lions, Dead Cats and Snakes, Oh My!

Flash Fiction contest winners

The Flash Fiction contest results are in. And this year, our beloved readers / literary virtuosos went decidedly anthropomorphic and animalistic. Sure, the prompts we provided included a rattlesnake and a deceased feline, but the bite you brought more than answered the call of the wild (including a couple of great ditties about civilized lions and cancer-stick-sharing birds and fish).

music

The Final Sting

Germany’s foremost rock export performs one last high kick

For more than 40 years, Scorpions' career has spanned a vast breadth over rockin' rock’s subgenres. The band pioneered or played deftly through proto-metal, ’70s anthem rock, regrettable ’80s hair metal and the urgent whisper that is the power ballad. Now, after taking other bands to school for decades, the Scorpions makes one last pass across the world before calling it quits. The “Final Sting Tour” will be filling face holes in Albuquerque on Thursday at the Hard Rock Pavilion.

Music to Your Ears

Though Santa Fe de Nuevo México became a territory of the United States in 1850, six decades passed before it was finally anointed 47th state. Despite ongoing union-joining efforts on the part of the citizenry, the lapse was due to federal government reluctance—the inhabitants here were seen as uncivilized and just not quite Anglo enough—but in 1912 the state was judged adequately assimilated. This January, New Mexico observed its statehood centennial, and fiestas will continue throughout the year. One of the biggest will be effervescing in Downtown Albuquerque this weekend.

Jazzed Reducer

This week Mel Minter listened to the Chris Greene Quartet, Grégoire Maret and Jonathan Blake.

Flyer on the Wall

Here are some tried and true flyer techniques—mirroring and vintage photography—calling attention to a jangly, ruffled, bubbly evening. See the Roustabout Art Collective and Santa Fe’s Masnavi Dance Collective perform feats of belly dance on Marble Brewery’s patio stage (111 Marble NW). It happens on Friday, June 15, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation for performers. (JCC)

food

Waxing Brazilian

The rise of the churrasco craze has given people a narrow, if somewhat authentic, view of Brazilian food. There are, indeed, a lot of churrascarias in Brazil—though in my five trips there I’ve yet to see a red-and-green block that you position according to how hungry you are. You can eat all the grilled chicken hearts you want, but until you’ve had rice and beans made by a Brazilian, you haven’t truly sampled the cuisine.

news

Claws Out

Program for street cats stirs controversy

The city’s facing a problem: What to do with an immeasurable number of feral felines? Trap, neuter and return (TNR) efforts are the latest answer, but a veterinarian is calling the process unethical and inhumane.

Don’t Believe the Hype

The image of veterans flinging their medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where the summit was held, provided an incredibly strong statement that our columnist will never forget. As powerful as that was, the act was far overshadowed by the violence immediately afterward, he writes.

film

Hysteria

The advent of the vibrator gets the comic treatment, but filmmakers fail to touch a nerve

Imagine, if you will, a smirkingly lightweight comedy about the creation of the world’s first electric vibrator. Well, imagine no more, because the Brits have made one. Though nowhere near as odd as Alan Parker’s 1994 biopic about sexual health pioneer Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville), Hysteria is an unusual topic for cinematic enshrinement.

Biz Markie for the Block

“Hip Hop Squares” on MTV2

People in the entertainment industry prefer the term “reboot” as opposed to “remake.” That makes it sound like they’re doing something new and clever, when they really aren’t. Much as I was entertained, for example, by last week’s dusted off and relaunched nighttime soap “Dallas,” it’s basically the same old “Dallas,” but with cell phones. So, when MTV (MTV2, to be specific) said it was reviving the popular ’70s-era game show “The Hollywood Squares,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for rejoicing. However, by remixing the whole thing as “Hip Hop Squares,” producers have created something fresh, clever and rather cheeky.

Reel World

The KiMo Theatre is honoring the work of Japanese cinematic master Akira Kurosawa with a seven-film tribute. The chronological retrospective begins this Thursday, June 14, with the 1949 crime drama Stray Dog. In it, the legendary Toshiro Mifune plays a rookie detective whose gun gets stolen during a sweltering Tokyo heat wave. Things continue on June 21 with the film that brought Kurosawa his first international acclaim, 1950’s award-winning Rashomon. That historical drama will be followed by 1954’s action-packed Seven Samurai (June 28), 1958’s Hidden Fortress (July 12), 1961’s Yojimbo (July 26), 1963’s High and Low (Aug. 2) and 1985’s Ran (Aug. 9). Films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students and seniors.

Alibi V.21 No.23 • June 7-13, 2012

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.

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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.

news

“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.

art

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.

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.

food

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.

film

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.

music

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.

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

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."

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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.

news

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.

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.

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.

film

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.

music

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.

art

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.