It's an obscure "Simpsons" reference. An animated Burque mayor wants to steal Springfield's baseball squad, the Isotopes. In the final shot of the episode, he turns to the camera and says, "For I am the mayor of Albuquerque." Our non-cartoon city team takes its name from the ep.
Seeing how Albuquerque is home to two of New Mexico’s largest institutes of higher learning, literally tens of new students flock to the city every fall. What is a novice Burqueño to do? If this is you, consider us your new best friend. And even if you’ve been around for a while, with the economy bleeding jobs, you might be thinking about hitting the books yourself. So sit back and get educated; Prof. Alibi has the floor.
Who knows what you should and shouldn't do in college? Not us, really. Plus, you probably won't listen to anyone, you animal. We're tired. We're world-worn. We've got bags under our eyes. Maybe that qualifies us as advice-givers after all. Humor us.
Use these resources to get personal services on the cheap
By Rebecca Nieto
It's back to school season, and you want to leave summer behind looking and feeling good. But the moths in your wallet have begun to procreate. What's a prudent-pocketed spender to do this time of year? Some of the best deals on haircuts, acupuncture and massages can be found through services rendered to the public through trade colleges. You pay a discounted rate to get yourself poked, rubbed and coiffed by students, and they receive training that goes toward their accreditation. Aces! Go forth, and relax thriftily.
Albuquerque is, in many ways, a city of neighborhoods. Even though you can basically get anywhere you’re headed in 20 minutes, the scenery can change drastically from one place to the next. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the lay of the land.
Navigating Albuquerque's institutes of higher learning
By Devin D. O'Leary
Albuquerque Barber College
601 San Pedro NE, #100, 266-4900 Upside: Get a certificate in less than two years. Peruse old men's magazines while you wait. Downside: Trade not as exciting since the disappearance of Kid 'n Play-style box cuts
Albuquerque Grooming Academy
2115 San Mateo NE, 256-8388 Upside: Albuquerque Grooming Academy is the oldest pet grooming school in New Mexico licensed by the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education. And you get to work with puppies. Downside: They don't tell you about “expressing the anal gland” on Day 1.
Babies love salsa. The dance. Please don't give your baby salsa to eat, even if you think the crying is funny. Instead, scoop up your little pooper and head over to the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) for Baby Loves Salsa! With José Conde on Saturday, Aug. 15, at noon. Brought to you by the NHCC, ¡Globalquerque! and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, an imaginary band of cats and dogs weaves together a hearty mix of Afro-Latin musical styles that your wee bairn won't be able to resist. Come for the music, stay for the baby dancing. Have you seen babies dance? It's hilarious. Tickets range from $5 to $15 and can be had at the NHCC box office or through ticketmaster.com. For more, see nhccnm.org.
High School Musical 2 at Albuquerque Little Theatre
By By Simon McCormack
My cultural tastes are strikingly similar to those of a tween-age girl.
Please keep that in mind during the course of this review. When I say Albuquerque Little Theatre's production of High School Musical 2 is a beguiling and delightful family-friendly play, I'm not being facetious. It's well-cast, well-sung and should be seen by anyone who's been swept up by High School Musical fever.
I understand there’s skepticism surrounding a play based on a sequel of a made-for-TV Disney movie. Admittedly, it would be unfair to assert that you’d enjoy this production if you 1) hate musicals, 2) dislike teen dramas or 3) don't find high school catfights exhilarating. But those folks stopped reading this review immediately after the reality of the opening sentence set in. For those of you still onboard this train, stocked with adolescent intrigue, let's continue on down the track.
You’ve probably noticed the structure that houses One Up Elevated Lounge, located Downtown on Central and Third Street. It’s the building leaning ominously over the street, looking ready to fall on its face. This is appropriate, because everything about One Up seems designed to inebriate. In addition to the exhaustive list of beer, wine and specialty drinks at One Up, many of the tapas come in wine-based sauces. Others are accompanied by shot glasses of booze meant to complement the dish. And the “Recessionista Fridays” happy hour menu (5 to 8 p.m.) includes $3 well drinks and Coronas, $4 draft beers, and a free taco bar.
On a recent U.S. National Forest expedition, we broke a golden rule of camping and snapped off a piece of nature to take with us. It was to make an emerald beverage ... a pine sap-arac. Infused into a tart lemon-lime juice that's more whiskey sour mix than lemonade, this uses the bitter medicinal notes of pine to make whiskey that much sweeter. The stuff's fine hand-mixed and room temp if you're still out in the pines. But if you bring the loot back home, blended is better.
A tragic event in Albuquerque on June 25 cast a pall on the July 4 weekend. According to a front-page article by Albuquerque Journal writer Hailey Heinz, “A woman attending a church conference in Albuquerque with her husband didn’t call for medical treatment while giving birth to twins in a hotel room, even as one of the newborns struggled to breathe. ... That child died while church members gathered in prayer. ... Samuel and Tammy Kaufman told police at the scene they did not believe in man's medicine, only God, and that their child’s death was God’s will.”
Dateline: Russia—Russian soccer fans apparently have a sure cure for a worldwide epidemic. Russians heading to Wales next month to watch a World Cup qualifier match are being urged to down lots of whiskey in order to ward off the H1N1 swine flu virus. “We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whisky as a form of disinfection,” Alexander Shprygin, head of the country’s supporter organization (VOB), told Reuters. “That should cure all symptoms of the disease.” Russia’s Health Ministry has issued a public warning against traveling to Britain because of the spread of the H1N1 virus, but Shprygin said he expected several hundred fans to attend the Sept. 9 qualifier in Cardiff. “Russian fans don’t fear anything or anybody, so this virus will not stand in our way of supporting our team,” Shprygin added.
This past Tuesday, Aug. 11, saw the DVD release of a little film called Lonely Street. This information is of special note to Albuquerque residents because it’s based on the book by former Albuquerque Tribune columnist Steve Brewer. It was directed by Albuquerque native Peter Ettinger (whose short “The Phoenix” captured first place in the 2000 Alibi Short Film Fiesta). Part of it was even shot right here in the Duke City. The film is based on the first of Brewer’s popular Bubba Mabry mystery/comedy novels. Lonely Street stars comedian Jay Mohr as gullible Albuquerque P.I. Bubba Mabry, who’s hired by a still-living Elvis Presley (Robert Patrick) to recover some long-lost demo tapes. Order the film from Amazon.com, rent it from Netflix or just head to your local movie retailer for a copy. You can check out the trailer and get more info at www.lonelystreetthemovie.com.
We’re exporting our jobs, why not our sci-fi films?
By Devin D. O’Leary
Thanks to the ever-increasing worldwide domination of the Hollywood product, we don’t see a lot of films coming out of Mexico these days. Science-fiction films even less so. You’d have to go back to ... I don’t know, Santo vs. the Martian Invasion in 1967 to find a notable piece of Mexican sci-fi. (Nacho Vigalondo’s excellent 2007 flick Timecrimes was Spanish.) That alone makes writer-director Alex Rivera’s debut feature Sleep Dealer something of a must-see. Despite its micro budget, this intriguing experiment in south-of-the-border cyberpunk hits some definite high notes.
Effects-driven action film documents alien Apartheid
By Devin D. O’Leary
For the last year or two, famed New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and unknown South African digital effects wizard Neill Blomkamp had conspired to produce and direct (respectively) a film based on the Halo video game franchise. For whatever arcane Hollywood reasons, the collaboration fell through. Unwilling to sit on their thumbs, Jackson and Blomkamp opted instead to shoot a feature-length version of Blomkamp’s celebrated short sci-fi film “Alive in Joburg.”
Last week, ABC Media Productions announced it was firing the hosts of the long-running cinema review series “At the Movies.” It wasn’t a particularly shocking announcement. Since the departure of original hosts Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, a string of co-hosts have worked their way through the show’s balcony seats. Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz—collectively known as “The Bens”—were only the latest, added to the show last season. Ratings took a drop, and the duo will now be replaced by A.O. Scott, co-chief film critic of the New York Times, and Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips. No big deal. Happens all the time. So what’s with all the celebratory cheering?
Everybody and their mom hosts a music festival during the summer.
Only a few fests deserve the spotlight. Fewer still warrant a three-hour drive into the heart of Northern New Mexico. The first-ever Taos Mountain Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 15, is poised to make it worth your while. Genre-melding Ozomatli headlines a full day of music held on four acres of Taos Ski Valley. Bob Marley's backup band The Wailers and singer-songwriter Joan Osborne beef up the bill.
Alejandro Blake, events director for Taos Ski Valley, says the lineup reflects a desire for diversity. "What we were really trying to do is have an eclectic group of artists," Blake says. "Somebody who listens to Joan might not listen to Ozo, but I think they'll come up here and appreciate Ozo's music and vice versa. There's no music that's going to be too harsh for anybody."
There's a bevy of good-natured, aw-shucks groups that are happy to be where they are and relish every day they get to be paid for making music. We've spoken with few, if any, however, who are embarrassed by their success.
Los Campesinos! drummer Ollie Campesinos! says he sees more talented acts than his own on a regular basis. "It's a real shame when you see bands that are so much better than yours that haven't been signed," Campesinos! says. "They're all really talented, and you just feel embarrassed that you're not as good as them, but you've managed to be signed and release albums."
Weaving has been a hallmark of human culture for thousands of years, with evidence placing it back as far as 5000 BCE. Until about 150 years ago, that work was done by hand, taught to apprentices by masters. Though human hands have largely been replaced by machines, there are still those who patiently work their looms and teach their craft to others, as evidenced in Arts Alliance Gallery’s new show, Donna Loraine Contractor: Mentor and Apprentices.
Tracking down the citizens who use the most water at home
By Simon McCormack
Follow the Money
The 10 homes soaking up the most water in all of Bernalillo County, according to the Water Authority, take up real estate in Albuquerque's most affluent neighborhoods, including Tanoan, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Four Hills, Ridgecrest and the Albuquerque Country Club area. Five are in the far Northeast Heights, with three sheltered in Tanoan proper, and two just outside the neighborhood's gates.
The New Mexico State Fair has extended its deadline for the Moving Image Art entries to be exhibited in the Fine Arts Gallery at this year’s fair. You now have until Friday, Aug. 7, to have your work considered for inclusion. Cash prizes of up to $300 will be awarded to the best of show in this brand-new contemporary art category. All entries must be submitted in a DVD format and have a time limit of 15 to 20 minutes. Each entry needs to be accompanied by artist name, title, running time, date made, 50-word synopsis and artist biography. Online entry is no longer available, but you can contact Moving Image Art Judge Bryan Konefsky at 235-1852 or Expo New Mexico Art Director Sundi Tyler at 222-9738 for further information.
Seagoing documentary lets audiences in on a shocking secret
By Devin D. O’Leary
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but summer is rapidly coming to a close. It’s not ending tomorrow or anything, but vacations are wrapping up, the Fourth of July is a distant memory and back-to-school sales are in full swing. It’s evident in the summer box office as well. Star Trek, Terminator, Transformers, Ice Age, Harry Potter: The franchises have all come and gone. The only “big” movie left (and it definitely belongs in quotation marks) is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. With that, you can stick a fork in summer 2009 because it’s ovah. Perhaps, then, it’s time for a return to more somber cinematic fare. In other words: You got your talking gerbils in G-Force, now how about some endangered dolphins in The Cove?
Given our city’s growing importance in the film industry, it’s surprising that it’s taken Albuquerque this long to work up to hosting a mainstream film festival. There have been contenders in the past, of course: specialized fare like the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the New Mexico Italian Film Festival, Sin Fronteras Film Festival, TromaDance New Mexico and Experiments in Cinema; or shorts-based showcases like the Duke City Shootout, the 48-Hour Film Project, Local Shorts and the late, great Alibi Short Film Fiesta. Those weren’t good enough for Rich Henrich, though.
Mired as we are in summer rerun season, we might find time to take pause and wonder: Why bother with TV in the first place? No, I’m not talking sacrilege here, my friends. I still love television with an unhealthy devotion. But why, in this age of cable, satellite, TiVo and other technological wonders, are we still chained to the traditional fall/summer new/rerun loop created by the broadcast networks?
The third annual Ballet Pro Musica Festival comes to the National Hispanic Cultural Center Wednesday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 9. Just because ballet is a classic art form doesn't mean there aren't new innovations. Chamber Music Ballet is just such a new twist, partnering live chamber music and ballet. As I dropped out of ballet shortly after the infamous “Cuddle Bug” performance of ’81, I'll have to take their word for it. Also featured will be the work of the National Ballet of Mexico. Classes will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Seniors and students can get 50 percent off tickets one hour before the show. If you're neither, grab ’em at the NHCC box office, call 724-4771 or go to ticketmaster.com. See balletpromusica.org for more.
Alain Passard, founder and head chef at L'Arpege in Paris, pulled meat from his menu in 2001 because, he announced, he wanted more culinary challenges. "One day I woke up and asked myself, 'What have I done with a leek, with a carrot?' Nothing, or maybe just 10 percent of what can be done with a carrot."
What creature ambled into Albuquerque? Which type of renewable energy does PNM intend to use? What needs to be removed before Taos County can build its new judicial complex? And why are mountain rescue crews so busy?
The idea of putting "health care" in the headline of this Thin Line makes me recoil. We're inundated with health care stories. They're everywhere. And the subject isn’t exactly flashy or gripping—not like the news about the man who, according to Albuquerque police, made love to his car last week. (Though, he may have some health care issues of his own after that sweet night of passion in a Smith's parking lot. Remember, friends, you can love your sexy vehicle, you just can't love your sexy vehicle.)
After a month's vacation, the City Council looked gloomy on Monday, Aug. 3, facing an agenda that was impossible to complete. The house was packed with motorcyclists and more police than usual. The Council tried to address the most pressing and dated items and deferred what it could. The extra cops did not have to tangle with the biker folks but instead were called upon to escort out a woman who spoke against the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. She got a little upset when her allotted speaking time was up.
Dateline: Mexico—Tourists in Cancún were surprised to find a little piece of paradise ringed in crime-scene tape and filled with gun-wielding sailors. Environmental enforcement officers backed by navy personnel cordoned off hundreds of feet of pristine white beach in front of the Gran Caribe Real Hotel last Thursday, accusing the hotel of illegally accumulating sand. The Mexican government spent $19 million to replace Cancún beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Since then, much of that sand has been erased by tides, leading some property owners to relocate sand from neighboring beaches or from below the breakwater. “Today, we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand,” announced Patricio Patrón, Mexico’s attorney general for environmental protection. Patron said five people were detained in the raid for allegedly using pumps to move sand from the sea floor onto the beach in front of the Gran Caribe Real. The attorney general apologized to inconvenienced tourists but said this was simply a question of enforcing the law.
The Wildlife West Music Festival is wheeling in Grammy-nominated folk musician John McCutcheon and more than 10 other acoustic acts. If somehow you get bored of listening to McCutcheon, a man Johnny Cash called "the most impressive instrumentalist I've ever heard," you can always go gawk at a mountain lion.
New Orleans pianist/composer Tom McDermott has never played in a bordello (although he could once see one from his home), but he has absorbed the New Orleans piano professors’ traditional approach to the eighty-eights. That tradition owes a significant debt to the Big Easy’s classier houses of ill repute, which expected the solo pianist to reproduce all the excitement of a small combo—but at a much lower cost.
New Orleans' Quintron and Miss Pussycat entertain the Land of Enchantment
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Mr. Quintron is an inventor, organist and one-man band. Miss Pussycat is a puppeteer and musician. Together, as a married couple and an artistic team, they posses the gifted imaginations required in the creation of something truly original. In New Orleans the duo is an acclaimed part of the city's music and art scenes. In fact, next year the New Orleans Museum of Art will feature their work in a three-month exhibition. Meanwhile, the two are making their way across the country along with a Drum Buddy (the photoelectric rotating drum machine of Quintron's invention) and a bunch of murderous puppets. They appear in New Mexico this week. The Alibi spoke with each of them as they prepared for the expedition from their headquarters in the Ninth Ward.
It’s hard to feel average in a country where no one feels average. Everyone’s a unique snowflake, a maverick, one of a kind.
I am no exception. I feel exceptionally exceptional most days.
But in reality I’m not special.
I’m a pretty average American. I’m overweight. I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. On the other hand, I don’t have diabetes.
When I’m employed I work about 40 hours a week. I eat fatty foods and don’t exercise. At six foot three inches, I’m taller than the average American, who is between five and six feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What can't you do at the University of New Mexico next semester? How's the state’s favorite produce doing? Why is Mayor Martin Chavez being called out in a federal lawsuit? Public school students may be able to abstain from ...
Genuine change in our school systems can’t happen until we get honest about education’s ugliest secrets. Namely, the fact that what we call “dropouts” are actually push-outs, force-outs and ignore-outs. And that most schools—and the administrators, teachers and principals that staff them—have no interest whatever in bringing them back in.
The first few times Cody Duarte knocked on an unfamiliar door to talk taxes, he was nervous.
Duarte, 17, a summer community-organizing intern, says he had to get over himself to have a persuasive discussion with strangers about something he'd never thought about before.
“It was hard at first, but it got easier,” he says. Duarte and a dozen other teens spent six weeks of this summer getting paid to learn how to take action and educate others on social and political causes. The program let out Friday, July 24.
Dateline: Australia—Here’s a tip: If you’re huffing gas, try to avoid getting Tasered by the cops. An Aboriginal Australian who had been sniffing gasoline apparently burst into flames after a police officer zapped him with a Taser gun. Ronald Mitchell, who charged at police while brandishing a juice bottle full of fuel, is now recovering in a hospital in Perth. The incident happened in Warburton, an Aboriginal community 950 miles northeast of the city in the state of Western Australia. Cops said they were responding to a complaint at a house when Mitchell, 36, came out of the house and charged them. When he refused to stop, one officer hit him with his Taser. The man was immediately engulfed in flames. The officer threw Mitchell to the ground and extinguished the blaze with his hands. A police spokesperson said Mitchell appeared to have received third-degree burns over about 10 percent of his body.
A home for new and unorthodox music feathers its nest
By Mel Minter
These are some of the “normal” ways of getting music done. But for adventurous musicians, such everyday forms—even everyday instruments—don’t always serve their artistic impulses. These musical explorers search for new ways to communicate. They also need an audience with whom to share their discoveries.
Enter Mark Weaver, architect, tuba player, and adventurous musician and listener, who wondered how he could help out. His answer: The Roost, a series of “emergent creative music,” says the statement of purpose, “curated with an eye to originality, freshness of approach, and artistic vision.”
You can add TromaDance New Mexico to the growing list of local film festivals looking for entries. For the sixth year in a row, this Southwestern spin-off of Lloyd Kaufman’s infamous TromaDance Film Festival—held in Park City, Utah, every January—is returning to Albuquerque’s Guild Cinema. Swing by burningparadise.net to download the official rules and entry form. Festival dates are set for Nov. 20 through 22, but the sooner you start assembling your short- to feature-length Troma-style madness, the better. Deadline for submission is Oct. 16.
Hitting theaters at the apex of the summer movie season, Goodbye Solo represents the precise cinematic antipode of blockbuster, mega-budget, FX-choked fare like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Written and directed by North Carolina-born filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, Goodbye Solo is a microscopic character study involving two people, a taxi cab and precious little else.
Inspiring documentary about corporate farming asks, “Can you swallow the truth?”
By Devin D. O’Leary
There have been a number of films in the last few years (Super Size Me, King Corn, Fast Food Nation) breaking the not-so-shocking news that we, as Americans, aren’t eating very well. But Robert Kenner’s to-the-point documentary Food, Inc. may provide the clearest cinematic answer as to why. This one brings it all home and does so in a whispered, conspiratorial tone that makes you feel like you’re being let in on all the Big Secrets behind the curtain.
The problem with most reality shows is not that they’re populated by idiots, it’s that the formula requires them to be idiots. People always complain that the characters in horror movies are morons who wander off in the middle of the night to get slaughtered by masked killers. Of course, if the characters were smart, locked their doors and survived until some highly competent police officers showed up, we wouldn’t have much of a horror movie. By the same token, if MTV’s “The Real World” was staffed by sober, sane and sexually responsible individuals, you wouldn’t currently be watching Season 22.
The Alibi's annual Haiku Contest is finally here, so you can stop bugging me about it (and calling me Amy while you do so). As always, 10 categories offer you the chance to wax pithy, succinctly. This year, they are:
Our little flock of backyard chickens just started laying, and now I'm looking for a way to cook the eggs that doesn't hide the flavor with spices and vegetables, like a frittata does. I'm looking for a simple recipe that highlights their bright yellow yolks and creamy flavor.
A: Welcome to the world of egg-snobbery. I feel bad for anyone who invites you over for breakfast if they don't have their own flock. Ditto for the restaurant servers who bring you a three-egg breakfast, and anyone else within earshot. Everyone's going to have to listen to how yellow the yolks are in Buttercup's daily masterpieces.
If you’re from the Deep South, the food at Pepper’s might remind you of what you eat at family reunions. But this stuff is probably better. It’s high-end backyard food, at home on paper plates. Rolls of paper towels adorn every table, Kool-Aid flows, there’s a selection of hot sauces and smoke is in the air.