“We’re a little nervous,” James Mercer says into a cell phone as he stands outside the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., a slight unease in his voice. “But we’re really looking forward to it.”
Best of Burque 2007
Contrary to what you might a heard, Albuquerque ain't the sticks. Yeah, sure, we got our fair share a whiskey-chuggin', banjo-pickin' rubes in these parts, but our town is mostly a sophisticated sort a place, filled with a sophisticated sort a folk.
The title of this section of our annual Best of Burque readers poll seems a bit vague, doesn't it? "Life in Burque." What does that mean, exactly? Is our existence summed up by the flaws of our elected officials, by the who's who of local celebrities, by the best and worst ways we spend our public money? The answer, of course, is absolutely not. "Life in Burque" should, at the very least, apply to the entire landscape of the Best of Burque ballot--arts, music, shopping, etc.--but even that would leave us lacking. The joyful reality of it is that no reader survey, no matter how mammoth, could even come close to capturing what it means to live in Albuquerque. Which is a wonderful thing.
We're not overstating things when we say life in Albuquerque revolves around eating and drinking. Among the first items of business for settlers entering the Rio Grande Valley was planting vineyards (just after unhitching the horses, but before building the churches). A day without chile is said to be like a day without sunshine. Generations of families still feud about whether sopaipillas come with or after a meal, and volumes are told about a person by the way he or she orders his or her enchiladas.
Underneath the blue sky, in the shadow of pink mountains, amidst the brown sand, paved desert and faux mud structures lies Albuquerque's commons of inebriation. We're talking about drinking establishments, and to the fretful chagrin of temperance types, our dens of sin are here to stay. That's because most Albuquerqueans, like most humans, enjoy stepping out and cutting loose. We know it's fun to drink, dance, gamble, swear, flirt and listen to music at deafening volumes, but we also understand that the nursing of these arguably bad habits is best reserved for designated areas such as our city's voluminous selection of drinkeries.
Albuquerque has a working-class, blue-collar reputation that belies its artsy, sensitive soul. You might not know it from all the strip malls and less than stellar public art displays, but there are a ton of talented artists in this town and plenty of fine venues exhibiting art.
For years we've been running the "Best Local Band" category buried somewhere amid the bars and cinemas in the nightlife section of Best of Burque. Last year, "Best New/Emerging Band" was added. But any fan of local music knows our fair city is home to all manner of gifted musicians.
We're all consumers. We buy clothes and shoes and used guitars. We need skull-and-crossbones shower curtains and love cute teddy bears with fuzzy ears and googly-eyes. What we don't need is overpriced crap from soulless stores. Lucky for us, Albuquerque is a booming, green-conscious shoppers’ paradise. From recycled vintage fashions to hand-carved (and fair-traded) soap dishes, somewhere in the Q there's a store to meet your consumer-driven lifestyle. Proclaim your love of spending and tap into your inner shopaholic at one of Burque's favorite retail establishments.
The First (and Possibly Last) Best of Burque (BoB) Awards for Lifetime Achievement
We've rolled a plush red carpet out to the curb. The stars of Albuquerque are all dolled up in their finest designer dresses and suits. Anticipation is so high, if it stood up on tippy-toes it could brush its fingertips against the surface of Mars. Yes, fellow Albuquerqueans, it's time for the unveiling of our Best of Burque Lifetime Achievement Awards, otherwise known as BoBs. These Albuquerque fixtures win the same categories every single year. In most cases, they deserve to win (the exception being the beloved Bart Prince residence's long association with the Best Architectural Nightmare category). It's time to pay extravagant homage to their success—with an imaginary, highly collectible gold statuette of a monkey box—and give someone else a shot at the top.
Felix, roll the video tribute ...
For this year’s edition of Best of Burque, we decided to do something a wee bit different. As much as we respect the electoral will of our readers, every time Best of Burque comes around we find ourselves wishing we could point out some aspects of our lovely city that fall through the cracks when the poll results are released. These staff picks are meant to plug a few, but by no means all, of these holes. Keep in mind that Albuquerque—contrary to popular opinion—is a big, vibrant, active place. We aren’t aiming to be comprehensive. That would be impossible. These are just a few things about Albuquerque that folks would surely enjoy if they gave them half a chance. Dig in!
This year, a new section on the Best of Burque ballot required voters to send in digital photographs for five categories. Here are the winners, with lots of runners-up available for online ogling at alibi.com.
Political Blogger (joemonahan.com)
Readers gave us tons of suggestions about aspects of our city that aren’t necessarily reflected in this year’s poll. Here’s a sampling of some of the more useful and/or entertaining.
Theatertown, USA—Slowly but steadily, Albuquerque is transforming into a genuine theater town. This month, two more theater troupes open shop in our city.
Here's a sampling of a few of the poetry events going on throughout the month. For more information, go to www.poetz.com/nm/
The Grand Slam Poetry Finals at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
The Albuquerque poetry scene has come a long way in a very short time. Ground zero was the 2005 National Poetry Slam Championship, which people are still talking about two years later. Held in Albuquerque, the hugely successful four-day event brought a ton of attention to local poetic talents, partly because Albuquerque took home the team title, the first host team to do so since 1992.
An interview with David Tucker
David Tucker has been in the newspaper business 28 years and is a deputy managing editor at The Newark Star-Ledger. He writes odes to that sweet spot between deadlines, when time slows down and he can notice the world again.
Auspicious Chutney—In a city where restaurants open and close faster than a blinking eye (Starky's ABQ and California Witches are two recent examples of both), India Kitchen is a welcome anomaly. Saturday, April 7, marks the 25th anniversary of the restaurant.
Save it for the morning after
Procuring a hot pizza pie in this town can be easy, but the quality is not always above the bar. Ordering pizza from a delivery chain is a straightforward process—that is, until the driver shows up at the door. I’ve had my share of cold, sticky cheese, orders of hot wings lost in the Bermuda triangle and, worst of all, the parade of pizzas lacking heat, toppings and even sauce. This is why I was really looking forward to picking up a nice, fat pie from homegrown Rio Rancho staple Sal-E-Boy’s Pizzeria.
I’m frequently asked: “Andres, oh wise guru of wine, how much do I spend on wine for my date?” Giving this advice a friend is easy—I already know way too much about their lives and dating history. However, giving this advice to someone I don’t know well is trickier.
How Wise Wolfe turned Albuquerque into Pittsburgh
Last year, a television and film location scout found himself in Albuquerque with a mission that could justifiably be considered a location scout’s worst nightmare—to make places here look like scenes from, of all places, Pittsburgh, Penn. The towns are as distant aesthetically as they are geographically.
Burque makes a name for himself
It's hard to characterize Albuquerque. Some days, the politicians and headlines depict a city ready to modernize, courting businesses and industry found in real cities. But there's the rub. If Burque were a man, he'd have a pretty big little-dude complex.
Answers on the city’s new animal ordinance
The laws of living with pets changed for Albuquerqueans on Oct. 10 of last year, the day the city’s HEART ordinance went into effect. Yet the real deadline for the legislation is still a few days away, on April 10, when the six-month grace period for the new rules will expire. The legislation—which stands for Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment—requires a number of actions from pet owners within Albuquerque city limits: They must have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered or else buy annual “intact permits” for their pets that allow them to go unscathed; owners must have their pets microchipped or tattooed; and if their pets are going to have babies, owners will have to purchase litter permits from the city, set with a six-month expiration date.
Free Dumb of Speech--Move over, Fox News. Make way, Barbara Walters. There’s an even more despicable faux journalist out there.
Oppressive talkers might consider shutting up every now and then
Imagine this: You're surrounded by people you barely know. The conversation turns to a subject to which you can contribute. You're a shy person, and mustering the courage to speak around unfamiliar people involves a considerable amount of anxiety. There's a break in the banter, you finally begin to speak, but in the midst of what you're saying some dolt interrupts you, keeps talking and makes no amends for the discourtesy he or she has created. You feel humiliated and annoyed.1
Democrats are salivating over the prospect of watching Congresswoman Heather Wilson and the previously unassailable U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici struggle during their upcoming re-election campaigns.
Dateline: Gaza Strip--A woman who guards described as “strangely fat” was stopped and searched at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing last Thursday. Alerted by the woman’s unusual shape, a female border guard at the Rafah terminal searched the woman and found three crocodiles strapped to her waist. The animals, each about 20 inches in length, were concealed beneath a loose robe. Though it did not ultimately involve terrorism, the incident sparked a panic at the crossing. “The policewoman screamed and ran out of the room, and then women began screaming and panicking when they heard,” said Maria Telleria, a spokesperson for the European observers who run the crossing station. Still, “everybody was admiring a woman who is able to tie crocodiles to her body.” The animals, which were eventually returned to the Egyptian side of the border, were most likely intended for sale to Gaza’s small zoo or to private collectors.
Shootout + Early Bird = Dead Bird?--This summer, Albuquerque will play host to the 8th Annual Duke City Shootout. The idea of this script-to-screen film festival is to cast, shoot, edit and premiere a short film in just seven days. Organizers of this year’s festival are currently beating the bushes looking for quality scripts of 12 minutes or less. If Duke City chooses your script, you’ll get transportation to Albuquerque (not such a big deal for you locals) and help making your short film. The festival provides cast, crew, digital cameras, equipment, mentors and everything else needed to make your movie a reality. The early bird deadline for scripts is Monday, April 16. You can save five whole bucks on your entry fee if you submit your script by then. If you can’t get it done in time, the final deadline is May 11. This year, prizes for the best completed films will include screenwriting courses valued up to $1,300 from Writer’s Boot Camp and software from Movie Magic. The festival itself will take place July 20-28. For more information about submitting your hot little script for the Shootout, log on to www.dukecityshootout.com.
It’s good. Would I lie to you?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Writers rarely make good subjects for film. They’re too insulated, too self-centered and can rarely be considered men of action (Hemingway aside). Liars, on the other hand, are fine cinematic protagonists. Liars are interesting and complex and frequently quite outgoing. And when you think about it, there’s a rather fine line between writing and lying. It’s the job of writers--those penning fiction, anyway--to make things up. Consequently, people shouldn’t be too shocked to find out that even journalists occasionally fabricate their stories. Tales of disgraced journalists like Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass should come as no surprise to readers who demand more and more sensational stories on their front pages.
Short but sweet
It’s not surprising to find that documentary filmmaking--covering concepts from penguins to politics--is in the midst of a major renaissance. Considering that 70 percent (charitably) of Hollywood features are poorly made, profit-minded pabulum (from conception to completion), documentaries represent America’s last best chance of finding intelligent discourse, skillful cinematography and a near total absence of fart jokes. ... OK, so The Aristocrats might have slipped in one or two of those.
Nets ax shows
Clear the decks, people, it’s upfront season! In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s that nerve-wracking time of year when the broadcast television networks start greenlighting pilots for the fall season, hammer out their schedules and decide what will and will not be returning in 2007-08.
The Week in Sloth
In-demand vocalist emphasizes her jazzy self with new group
Vocalist Hillary Smith has so much on her plate right now she’s just going to have to get herself a bigger one.
Captured by Robots, The Teddy Bear Orchestra, and Unit 7 Drain play for your enjoyment at the Launchpad on Wednesday, April 11th!
The coming earthquake won't be no great shakes
Let's take a walk down hypothetical avenue: You are sleeping soundly in your bedroom in the spacious and surprisingly unaffordable new Downtown lofts. Suddenly your cocker spaniel begins to paw at you and whine. As you wake, you think, “That’s strange, Buster usually doesn’t bother me at this hour. Is there a midnight prowler outside?”
Senators stomp their feet while the House gets a recess
State legislators flooded the Roundhouse last Tuesday, March 20, on direct orders from the governor to convene a Special Session--only three days after the regular one had expired. At the same time, Bill Richardson was on a plane headed to California, where he would soon spend the next several hours shaking as many hands as he could (he does hold a record for such things), asking those on the other end to make him the next president.
Vets helping vets
“Single beak parrot,” says the smallest person in the room. His eyes sparkle behind thick glasses and his silver beard is almost long enough to tuck in his belt.
The GOP eats itself
Republicans have contracted a flesh-eating disease caused by a steady diet of unchecked power and severe deficiency of principle. It attacks the brain’s capacity to tell the truth. Loss of face follows. The only known cure is loss of the very unchecked power that triggered the disease in the first place.
And why a “Single Payer” health care option is ignored
The cartoon penned by “Toles” dated from 1994. Yet its relevance even today remains such that John McDonough, veteran health care reformer and consultant for Health Care for All, began his PowerPoint talk last weekend by showing it to a roomful of state legislators from around the country.
At the March 19 meeting, city councilors spent lots of time early in the evening on a land use appeal. Then, as 11 p.m. approached, they quickly passed several bills. In between, they wrangled with the recent controversy over taxes and transportation.
The Guts You Don't See—It’s a commonly used simile to say that making laws is like [urlhttp://www.sausagemania.com/[/url]making sausage[xurl] in that you don't want to see the process involved in creating them before they’re presentable to the public. Or maybe it's that both greasy products are full of lard and pig heads. Actually, that's not always true about sausage.
The city moves on its promise of a teen arts center unlike anything Burque's ever seen
We often think of giving second chances to those who've committed some crime against society. Thieves, recovering addicts, white-collar criminals—most are given the opportunity to bring positive change to their communities. Why not offer the same chance to a building?
Dateline: England--Apparently, the best way to get an upgrade to first class is to die. A first-class passenger on a recent flight from Delhi to London awoke to find the corpse of a woman who had passed away in the economy cabin being placed in the seat next to him. The economy section of the flight was full, and the cabin crew needed to move the woman and her grieving family out of the compartment to give them some privacy, British Airways said on Monday. The first-class passenger, Paul Tringer, told the Sunday Times newspaper that he was sleeping during the February flight from India and woke up when the crew placed the dead woman in a nearby empty seat. “I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” said Tringer. “The stewards just plonked the body down without saying a thing.” British Airways said in a statement that about 10 passengers die each year in flight and that while each situation is dealt with on an individual basis, safety is the primary concern. “The deceased must not be placed in the galley or blocking aisles or exits, and there should be clear space around the deceased,” a statement from the airline said. “We apologize to passengers in the first cabin who were distressed by the situation--our cabin crew were working in difficult circumstances and chose the option that they believed would cause the least disruption.”
Romeo Needs a Name—My favorite three-car-garage lotharios, Romeo Goes To Hell, are practically naked right now, having rejected the band name they've rocked for the last five years. I enjoy publicly humiliating them, so let's all listen in on their innermost musings on the subject, shall we? From the band's Rocksquawk.com forum, as posted by bassist, vocalist, art director and songwriting/sex machine, Levi Eleven.
Soular brings it's first national release to Burque
Marsh can't hold a day job. He tried for a while, but touring with his ambient-rock band, Soular, just wiped the "punctual employee" right off his résumé.
Gay hip-hop artists shouldn't surprise
Los Angeles rapper Deadlee wasn't wanting for media attention last year. On his release Assault with a Deadlee Weapon he fired back at hip-hop's most homophobic MCs: Eminem, DMX and 50 Cent, even accusing 50 of having deep-seated homosexual tendencies:
Former pop-ska figureheads have become a prog rock outfit to be reckoned with
Not so long ago, the RX Bandits were another cog in the gear of what seemed like an unstoppable ska machine. Propelled by bands like the Bandits, along with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish, the movement swept up millions of teens across the country … for about three months.
Sin for Free!--Albuquerque’s Sin Fronteras Film Festival (taking place April 20, 21 and 28) is gearing up with a series of free previews. On Monday, April 2, the festival will screen an English-subtitled print of the Argentine documentary Hotel Gondolin. Director Fernando Lopez Escriva’s film examines a group of transgender women who are squatting in a hotel in Buenos Aires and follows their efforts to organize as sex workers. The screening, organized by UNM Students of Latin American Studies, will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. at the UNM SUB theater. Following the 52-minute film, transgender community activists will be on hand to speak and lead a discussion. This event is free and open to the public.
Neo-noir thriller plays serious mind games
It’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch out for. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for example, is one of the quiet ones. After five years of scoring effortless sitcom laughs on “3rd Rock From the Sun,” Gordon-Levitt unceremoniously segued his career into a string of fine indie film performances (Latter Days, Mysterious Skin, Brick). Gordon-Levitt’s newest film, The Lookout, is one of the quiet ones, too--a low-budget thriller directed by first-time cameraslinger Scott Frank.
Turkish drama keeps its mouth shut and its eyes open
Thoughtful, contemplative, taciturn: These are words to describe the Turkish drama Climates. If you’re in the mood. If not, then “slooooooooooow” will suffice.
“The Tudors” on Showtime
Henry VIII: Fat dude, marriage addict, star of that maddening ’60s pop tune. Yeah, we all know him. But Showtime is determined to showcase a different side to the infamous English leader. “The Tudors,” premiering this Sunday, gives us a 10-part glimpse into the political backstabbing and naughty backstage antics of the early Tudor court. It’s sort of like “The Sopranos” but with fancier clothes and an easier-to-understand accent.
The Week in Sloth
Chamber Music X—In a valiant and sustained effort to broaden the tastes of local chamber music fans, Chamber Music Albuquerque has brought the hip, young Del Sol Quartet to town for a one-night-only performance this week. Focusing on compositions more challenging than the run-of-the-mill canon of 18th and 19th century classics, this dynamic quartet, which was founded in 1992, is more about the here and now than the dead and gone. They'll be at Albuquerque Academy's Simms Center for the Arts this Friday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. as part of Chamber Music Albuquerque's adventurous Chamber Music X performance series. Tickets are $20 in advance or $22 at the door. Student tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For details, call 268-1990 or go to www.cma-abq.org.
Art lover becomes art maker
A lot of people would love to be more like Wayne Berube. After teaching at Cibola High School for 10 years, the 40-year-old Albuquerque native was burnt. He loved teaching, but whining parents and intrusive administrators eventually ground him down.
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
The label says it all. There's the ice-capped mountains, the amber waves of grain and the pretty plains of Anderson Valley depicted in all their glory—and right there in the middle of this splendor is Brother David with his sick, furry mustache and his favorite death-metal monk hood. (Brother David also looks suspiciously like the mid-’90s cab-driving spokesman for MTV.) The point is this Abbey-style dark ale is unique in a way that takes some getting used to: It's not how you might have made it, and it kinda sticks out, but it touches you nevertheless.
Cookbook is the perfect vehicle for a discussion of feminism, ritual and, of course, great food
Marge Piercy remembers the seders of her childhood, where the rapid-fire Haggadah, read mostly in Hebrew, "had all the emotional content of the directions for installing a DVD recorder." Her book Pesach for the Rest of Us makes itself pretty clear in its first pages—this is not a text for traditionalists.
It’s a beautiful place
Cash only—not a concept that most of us are familiar with in this age of plastic-in-a-hurry. I cruised into Lindo Mexico for lunch on a busy weekday and was greeted, seated and my beverage brought out before I read the looming, fortuitous “cash only” warning on the menu. Crap. I got up and made tracks to the ATM up the block, apologizing on my way out the door for my lack of money that folded or jingled. When I returned, my drink and chips were gone, and two new diners were seated at the table.
A Gingerbread Homecoming—It's been less than a year since the Gingerbread Patriots dusted our desert from their keyboards and moved to Portland, Ore. But since they're so gosh darn sentimental, they couldn't stay away for long. Bless their little indie-pop hearts.
The Alibi's Fourth Annual Photography Contest
From beat-up cars to inappropriate costumes to what looked to us like possible criminal behavior (we've already notified the FBI), we saw a little bit of just about everything among this year's voluminous entries. To narrow it down, we sweated, we swore, we fought each other tooth and nail. Eventually, we reached some kind of consensus, however tense and grudging. The result is on these pages, with many more available for your viewing pleasure at alibi.com.
The Legislature’s stranger bills
Retired Cocks—It's nice to know the folks in our state Legislature maintain a sense of humor. Take, for instance, Rep. Thomas Taylor's memorial in support of good digs for feathered fighters out of the fray. He writes persuasively: "Whereas the lonely cluck of the warrior with no battle plucks at our heartstrings and stirs the very fabric of our compassionate souls." The cocks have probably not spent any time thinking about their golden years, Taylor laments, and it would be really unfair to cook them up and eat them. Therefore, the state should implement a retirement program "befitting the majesty" of the fighters. This would include "twice-weekly visits from the very best cage-free hens the state has to offer, one high-definition television for every six cocks and a subscription to ESPN, Animal Planet and CMT pure country, but not to the Food Network or FOX News." Amen.
In a world where television is all-consuming, we can turn it off
I mostly hate television, but ever since we got basic cable I watch it all the time. It pains me to see the parade of materialism and celebrity worship that dominates my chosen programming, but I can't help myself. Turning it on and checking out for a bit is easy. And that's one thing. Another thing entirely is being compelled to watch television in public. It's hard to impossible to find a place to eat, drink, shop, do your banking or travel without coming in contact with TV and being compelled to stare. And that's just frustrating. I am advertently and inadvertently wasting my time on something I despise, which is exactly what Mitch Altman was doing too, before he quit.
Why 60 days isn't enough
After the New Mexico Legislature had been in session for a couple of weeks this year, the Albuquerque Tribune ran an editorial suggesting New Mexicans would be better served by a 10-day session than by the “lengthy” 60-day session we were embarked upon.
The Alibi gives you the ups and downs of buzzword bills hashed out by the state’s Congress this session.
Politics are supposed to be about the people. We’re the intended deciders of the direction of our country and states, our counties and school districts. Our U.S. representatives are hired by us, and since we can’t all make the trek to Washington, they do it instead, taking with them our ideals and desires. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Isn’t that right?
Dateline: Finland--A Finnish Member of Parliament is aiming for re-election by campaigning in Klingon. Jyrki Kasvi, a self-proclaimed Trekkie, is hoping to lure hip young voters by translating his website into Klingon. “Some have thought it is blasphemy to mix politics and Klingon,” said Kasvi. “Others say it is good for politicians to laugh at themselves.” Kasvi said his politics posed certain translation problems, since Klingon does not have words for matters such as tolerance, or for many colors, such as green--the party under whose banner Kasvi is running. Kasvi’s site (in English, Swedish, Finnish and Klingon) can be accessed at www.kasvi.org.
A photo essay
This Saturday, March 17, hundreds of Albuquerqueans converged Downtown to march in protest of the Iraq War. Alibi Staff Photographer Tina Larkin was able to capture a few moments of the day.
Double Think—Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could leave 1984 in the past where it belongs? George Orwell's ever-timely novel gets the stage treatment this week when the Actor's Gang brings it to UNM's Popejoy Hall. War as peace? Ignorance as strength? Hey, some things never go out of style. The production occurs Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. The show contains partial nudity and strong language. You can purchase tickets by calling 925-5858.
Tuesdays With Morrie at Albuquerque Little Theatre
Tuesdays With Morrie is not a surprising play. Writers Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom chart a predictable course and rigidly stick to it. The message: Live. Give of yourself. Nothing new there, either.
The season's most notable releases
April comes like an idiot, Edna St. Millay wrote, babbling and strewing flowers. If she were alive today, Edna might add: books, too. The publishing lists are overflowing with titles. Mohsin Hamid, however, seems to get the wisdom of the less-is-more ideology. His streamlined second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Harcourt, April 3), fights well above its weight of 192 pages. Set in Lahore, and fashioned after Camus’ The Fall, it recounts a young Pakistani man’s tale of falling in and out of love with the U.S. after 9/11.
Love Bad Moves?--On April 6 and 7, the Alibi and Guild Cinema will present the first annual (we can only hope) “Worst Film Festival Ever.” This two-day cinematic stinkathon will feature a steaming pile of the absolute worst films with which the federal government will allow us to torture audiences.
The perfect New Age sci-fi film for kids who love cute bunnies and quantum physics
Ever have one of those “What the hell!?!” moments? You know, when you see or hear something that boggles the mind, beggars description and makes you wonder about the sanity of its source--something that just forces you to scream a rhetorical “What the hell!?!” to the heavens above? If you can’t recall the last time you did so, feel free to see The Last Mimzy, and the experience is sure to come flooding back.
Giant monster threatens Seoul! Enjoy!
What with all the torture-porn taking over American cineplexes (Saw, Hostel, Wolf Creek, Turistas, The Passion of the Christ), I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to have fun while watching a horror movie. Thankfully, the South Korean movie industry is either so far behind the trend or so far ahead of the curve that it’s managed to deliver The Host, a funny, scary, emotional, thrilling and occasionally bloody monster movie. You heard me right: This is a good, old-fashioned, B-grade monster movie--the kind with an honest-to-god monster in it, as opposed to a dirty psycho with a pair of wirecutters.
Tiny tidbits about proposed pilots
Drop Dead Funny--Have you ever thought to yourself, “What this here TV show needs is more zombies!” Lord knows I have. It would certainly spice things up on Wisteria Lane for “Desperate Housewives” and might actually cut down on all the whining over at “Grey’s Anatomy.” CBS apparently agrees with us and has just cast former “Picket Fences” star Kathy Baker for one of the lead roles in the network’s new comedy/drama “Babylon Fields.” The show focuses on the trials and tribulations of a small town dealing with a persistent outbreak of the living dead. According to industry trade publications, Baker and Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) will play a mother and daughter who have to deal with the abusive husband/father they recently dispatched with an ax.
The Week in Sloth
Some of the fine print says: "That's right. RollerCon, the international all-female roller derby convention, is looking for certified EMTs to volunteer their time and talents this summer, Aug. 8-12, in fabulous Las Vegas, Nev.!" Perks include undying gratitude and a nice little vacation in Vegas (paid for by you, but nice nonetheless). For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (LM)
Say "chick rock" and you die
If there’s one thing The Ettes aren’t, it’s a chick band. While both their lead vocalist and drummer are of the female gender, that doesn’t fit them squarely into the “chick” category, and they’d like you to know it.
You would not believe how many bands have named themselves A Murder of Crows. But only one lived in my Walkman throughout early high school until the tape, thin and weary from overplaying, snapped apart one time too many. No amount of scotch tape could aid its redemption. Little did I know this was an early Albuquerque band, around in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Young band mines innovation from inexperience
The guys in The Fertile Crescent don't know they're kind of geniuses. Or maybe they're in disguise as four shy 20-year-olds who mumble a little and say "like" too much. It's almost a shame to let them in on the secret that the music they're making is more innovative and well-constructed than a lot of what's put out by bands who've been on the scene for years and years. Sure hope they won't let it go to their heads.
We anticipate each one of Stone Brewery’s seasonal releases like a high schooler with a joint in their pocket anticipates the final minutes of Algebra II. Just when we’re getting over the bummer of the end the previous special release (we miss you already, Double Bastard), a new conception of an old favorite hits the shelves. This review is late in coming, as the official release date for Stone’s 2007 Old Guardian Barley Wine was Jan. 22, but you’ll be able to swill this beauty for another month … hopefully.
I’ve got hai shen in my tummy
Yummi House is owned by Carol Chiang, a former Chopstix waitress who struck out on her own with one of Albuquerque’s newest Chinese restaurants. Inside, the restaurant is clean and sunny, with buttercup yellow walls accented by red, knotted string creations. Charming plum booths are embossed with black and beige Chinese symbols. The kitchen is partially revealed by a window and, from the vantage point I had at the time of my visit, looked clean as a whistle.