Alibi V.21 No.29 • July 19-25, 2012

Denver on a Dime

Eating up a long weekend in the Mile High City

Denver is a big city with the easy-going personality of the mountain states. While it’s not much bigger than Albuquerque in square miles, it’s denser in population and infrastructure. The city is a warren of neighborhoods with names like Capitol Hill, LoDo and Cherry Creek, and I’ve watched them mature over 30-odd years of visiting friends and relatives there.

Gus Pedrotty’s Alibi interview [Video]

Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.

Eric Williams

Alibi Celebrates Pride

Guests of the N.M. Pride Celebration join Weekly Alibi to party

We would like to thank everyone who visited our booth at the Albuquerque Pride Celebration and the wonderful folx running the beautiful event.

feature

Bone Dry

Southwest farms bite the dust as “megadrought” becomes the new normal

In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Ariz., a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn't used his tractor in two years, he told me, and he’s cooking instead of farming because "there isn't any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said.

news

True Identity

Traditions heal young Native gang members

Gangs have infiltrated tribal nations, recruiting young people who seek identity. But activists say traditions can heal.

The Guv’s Crusade of Destruction

Gov. Susana Martinez is not being held accountable for much of what has happened on her watch. Until reporters begin to dig into the consequences of her policy initiatives, the public will continue to hold her in high regard.

Election or Imposition?

The dinosaurs rule Mexico once again.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, held power in Mexico from 1929 to 2000, using strategies of intimidation, corruption and outright voter fraud to maintain its position as the country's leader. After the opposition party PAN took the presidency in 2000, the PRI became known as "the dinosaurs," representing the antiquated, undemocratic system of the past.

food

The Globavore War

Making the case for mass-produced food

A major question that locavores have yet to answer satisfactorily, according to the book The Locavore's Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet: "If our modern food system is so bad for us, why do we now enjoy dramatically longer and healthier lives than our ancestors?"

film

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Swampy survival tale serves up a gumbo of the real and the fantastical

Riding high on a wave of film fest bonhomie (it snagged the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and four awards at this years’ Cannes), Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of those wildly creative, fiercely independent, proudly idiosyncratic films that will be regarded as little more than a curiosity in the harsh light of the American cineplex. That’s a shame, really.

Mixed Drinks

“Sullivan & Son” on TBS

Television has a long history of hanging out in neighborhood bars. Those watering holes have ranged from the cheerful (“Cheers”) to the skeevy (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”). TBS’ newest workplace sitcom, “Sullivan & Son,” plops us down somewhere in the middle.

Reel World

An incredible 53 teams of hardworking filmmakers spent the weekend running around Albuquerque feverishly trying to complete their short films for the annual 48 Hour Film Project. It’s all over now but the crying.

music

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Makin’ it do what it do for 35 years

Baritone sax player and Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member Roger Lewis has made a 35-year career out of making the New Orleans brass band tradition vibrate at a different level. His group brought club music—bebop, swing and blues, that is—to streets previously filled with repertoires of hymns and proto-jazz, essentially modernizing the brass band.

Flyer on the Wall

Partake in dark, synthesized rock action with Mrdrbrd, Witchbird, Between the Lines and Geophage at Boro Gallery (Downtown at 317 Gold SW) on Friday, July 20. Admission is by donation. Festivities begin around 7:43 p.m. (JCC)

art

Gallery Bite

The walls ooze with sex, bleeding hearts, birds of prey, snakes and skulls. This is the patchwork visual assemblage—comprised of more than 150 pieces by 20-plus artists—that's transformed Downtown's Boro Gallery into a mind-bending hall of tattoo culture.

Mix, Match and Meander

Desert Rose’s Durang series struggles to pin down a prickly playwright

There are certain playwrights whose brilliance is transcendent. When it comes to staging one of their plays, the selection, venue or even language doesn’t matter. Factors like the director, artistry of the set design or budget size—these may change or even heighten the experience, but no matter the circumstances, the power of the play will shine through. Christopher Durang is not one of these playwrights.

Alibi V.21 No.28 • July 12-18, 2012

Where Do We Go Now?

Middle Eastern farce finds inventive, if unrealistic, solution to religious strife

Somewhere, in the rocky wilds of Lebanon, lies a tiny village so isolated from neighboring communities that the residents can barely keep up on the latest trends. Cell phones don’t exist there. Reception on the village’s sole television set is spotty at best. Newspapers are a luxury item. Why, these folks aren’t even aware that Muslims and Christians are supposed to hate each other to death.

news

Presence of the Past

How exploitation in health care’s history informs medicine today

Professor Deleso Alford shines a light on horrors suffered for science. She tells these stories to create better doctors for the future.

music

A World of Connections

Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread

A round of applause, please, for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which had the intelligence and good taste to award violinist Regina Carter a MacArthur Fellowship (aka “Genius Grant”). Carter used part of that substantial and unexpected windfall—the grant pays out $500,000 over five years—to fund a project that had been steeping in her imagination for years: a world music album.

Millionaires

Sex, drugs and rap pop

It's not official, but the zombie apocalypse is upon us. Face eating is rampant. It's only a matter of time before full bodies are consumed. Since we're all gonna die, so just pass the Four Loko already and listen to Millionaires.

Music to Your Ears

Never believe those who say nothing good is happening musically in Albuquerque. They have given up. Small venues and performance spaces abound, vibrating with strange sounds for a few hours nearly every day. For months, touring and local musicians have performed in a small room in the back of a house Downtown. The unassuming Moldspores has been consistently curating lineups with a loose thematic connection. With no pressure to churn out shows like a sonic grist mill, Moldspores events deliver experimental, exciting and irregular performances.

film

Bad Break

Dish Network drops AMC

In less than a week, Albuquerque viewers will be able to satisfy their jones for the fifth and final season of “Breaking Bad.” This season’s final 16-episode story arc (which begins airing on July 15) promises to bring the dramatic story of high-school-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White to its final (perhaps fatal?) conclusion. But a certain percentage of viewers here and across the nation will be missing out on this season.

Reel World

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. are hosting a special, one-night-only event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the musical comedy classic Singin’ in the Rain. In addition to the digitally remastered film, there will be some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and a making-of featurette hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne. The event takes place Thursday, July 12, at 2 and 7 p.m. at Century 14 Downtown and Century Rio, and at 7 p.m. at Cottonwood 16. Tickets are available through Fathom Events.

art

Like Water in the Desert

SouthWest Rural Theatre Project ain’t afraid of small-town drama

When Leslie Joy Coleman was an undergrad at New Mexico Highlands University, she had an experience that forever changed her understanding of theatergoing. Her professor arranged for buses to bring students from outlying schools to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. “The show was supposed to start in the dark, and the light cue would come on one of the first lines,” Coleman says. “So here we go, we’re going to start the show. Down come the house lights, and as soon as it goes completely dark, all the kids start hootin’ and hollerin’. We tried to start, but you couldn’t hear the first lines over the noise. And standing there in the dark, I thought to myself, They’ve never been exposed to this, so they don’t know.” That's when Coleman, who grew up north of Las Vegas, N.M., realized how little experience rural communities can have with theater.

food

The Harvest Truck

CSA powerhouse unveils organic meals on wheels

A food truck, like a restaurant, is a logical vehicle for a farmer to add value to his or her product. It seems like an obvious idea, but until the Skarsgard Farms’ Harvest Truck got on the road, no area farms had stepped up to that plate. Now a month into this endeavor, farm/truck owner Monte Skarsgard has a contract with UNM to sell food at the Duck Pond five days a week starting in August. He says he already has plans for a fleet of trucks.

Alibi V.21 No.27 • July 5-11, 2012

Carne + Asada + Fries

On a steep Nob Hill side street behind Imbibe is a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen, clad mostly in stainless steel. It’s called The Last Call, or TLC, and its proximity to Albuquerque’s nightlife weighs heavily on the short, funky menu. There are pickup lines attached to the taco dishes, each of which contain three tacos, or “threesomes.” The slider plate promises a “couple.”

feature

Righter Than Right, Lefter Than Left

Ex-guv is ready to throw down with the donkeys and elephants

Gary Johnson changed his party affiliation and became the Libertarian presidential candidate in May. He needs to poll at 15 percent to get into the televised debates between ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama. The Libertarian candidate for president spoke with the Alibi about how his new party is working out, his opinion of Gov. Susana Martinez and what minimal government really means.

news

Waning Waiver

Major changes loom for the developmentally disabled

Even after Jenna Montoya was placed in one of the state's most high-needs categories, her mom says she’s concerned that alterations in the waiver program on Oct. 1 will mean big cuts to the therapy her daughter receives.

Tribal Leaders Call Out the State

Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim says his government had limited opportunity to weigh in on the massive Medicaid overhaul. He was one of several tribal leaders who spoke at a state hearing.

Downtown Action

How do we make it go?

A decade ago, Albuquerque was ranked No. 1 as having potential for a creative economy. Urban density was a key component. So how’s it going?

music

Wild Nothing

Jack Tatum’s indie pop revival

Wild Nothing is a one-man project of Brooklynite and Williamsburg, Va. native Jack Tatum. His music unapologetically harkens the twinkling melancholy of ’80s Britpop song and production qualities. In advance of a show at the Sunshine with Beach House, Tatum spoke with the Alibi about past, present and the definition of pop.

Music to Your Ears

It’s the child of country and Western and rhythm and blues, the hell-raising brother of rock and roll. Rockabilly roared into its own in the mid-’50s. Its rise was propelled by Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and his work with Elvis, which essentially repackaged a black sound for a white audience. Sixty years later, outfits here in Albuquerque keep that music alive—the acoustic slap bass, the electric guitar twang and the big, jumping beat.

Flyer on the Wall

Read about this five-way festo in the Club Calendar write up. Why the dualism? Because this flyer, and another flyer for the show, were the only good ones submitted this week. Nice work, noise people; I hope everyone fully enjoys that which you’ve promoted so artfully. Make more poster art, everyone else. (JCC)

film

To Rome With Love

Woody Allen’s having a wonderful time in Italy, but you’ll wish you weren’t there

Prior to 2005, when he was a strictly New York kind of guy, Woody Allen’s batting average was quite high. From 1969’s Take the Money and Run to 1987’s Radio Days, Allen pumped out an unbroken string of classic films (1987’s September was his first seriously meh effort). Even figuring in misses like 1998’s Celebrity and 2003’s Anything Else, you could put him at about a .750—pretty high for a guy who’s put out at least one movie a year since 1969.

Head Case

“Perception” on TNT

TNT is assuring viewers that its new crime-solving series is “unique.” And by “unique,” they mean “more or less identical to every other quirky, offbeat, crazy-but-brilliant amateur detective on TV.” Familiarity, however, isn’t a crime—certainly not on network TV—and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that “Perception” will score solid ratings for TNT.

Reel World

With a national election looming, 2012 is a major political year. Director/co-producer Kevin J. Williams and his wife/co-producer Tamara are tapping into that zeitgeist with their independent documentary Fear of a Black Republican. The film explores why there are so few black Republicans and features interviews with such luminaries as former chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, scholar Cornel West and commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin. The film will screen locally on Saturday, July 7, starting at 7 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center (310 San Pedro NE, in Expo New Mexico). The married filmmakers will be on hand for a post-film Q & A. Admission is “pay what you can.”

art

Wigged Out

Landmark Musicals animates Independence Day with song and dance

It takes a special kind of nerd to appreciate the joy that is 1776. One must be equal parts musical-theater geek, history buff and lover of all things patently silly. If you’re the type that gets a kick out of seeing the Founding Fathers dancing around in funny wigs and singing whimsical songs about the Declaration of Independence, 1776 is a great pleasure.