New Mexico is a land of soaring altitudes and a dry-as-a-chuppacabra’s-bone climate. Most of Louisiana crouches at, or even below, sea level, wading in air that’s stickier than an Elton John song. New Mexico seems to only cut loose if balloons or a burning effigy are about, and the state isn’t so fond of the hooch. Louisiana likes to live large (save for the Evangelicals), using any excuse to tap its toe and take a sip. Other than obscene poverty levels and having been settled by the Spanish once upon a time, the two states have little in common.
Like clockwork, local arts org Basement Films will sponsor its annual Audio/Visual Show at UNM’s Southwest Film Center this coming November. In the past, they’ve screened all sorts of insane/awesome/experimental examples of live music and moving image art. Last year, for example, quirky Albuquerque instrumentalists A Hawk & A Hacksaw performed a live score to “the most swimmingly bizarre film from Eastern Europe you’ve never seen” (as the event coordinators put it). This year, Basement Films is looking to expand its horizons even wider. Organizers are on the hunt for “musicians, filmmakers, celluloid manipulators and sonic outlaws” who want to contribute. Teams and individuals are encouraged to contact Basement Films. Deadline to submit proposals is more or less Oct. 15. There is no entry fee and there’s even the likelihood of compensation if you become one of the performers. If you’re interested, e-mail email@example.com or log on to basementfilms.org for more details.
Gorgeous but unoriginal fantasy is mostly for the birds
By Devin D. O’Leary
Much as Hollywood wants you, the ticket-buying public, to think of 3D movies as the next indispensable trend, they’re not. Given their exorbitant ticket price, 3D movies have become little more than “event” programming. People aren’t going to rush out and see one every weekend. With tickets up to $15 a pop, viewers (particularly those with families) aren’t willing to fork out that kind of dough on a regular basis. Sure, when the film is a big freakin’ holiday blockbuster must-see spectacular likeAvatar, they’ll make it a runaway hit. But if it’s something as mediocre as last week’s Alpha and Omega (starring the voices of Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere!), audiences are perfectly content to wait until it hits DVD. (At which point they can own the movie for $15.)
In 1994, PBS premiered Ken Burns’ epic documentary “Baseball.” Little did those involved know that the grand old game of baseball was about to go through some seismic changes. Now, Burns has decided to pitch an extra inning, giving us an important postscript to his historic series. “Baseball: The Tenth Inning” is no Minor League effort, either. Though it begins in the 1990s, long after the legends of the sport had been well-established, it features some of the most gripping events in baseball history.
At the beginning of my love affair with Bollywood films, I made every single person I knew repeatedly watch the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” scene in Dil Se—a dance sequence that takes place on top of a moving train. While friends looked on with amusement, I would jump up and down, squealing and pointing at the screen. Something about the traditional Indian music and dance blended with club beats and ’90s hip-hop moves filled me with glee. “And they’re on top of a moving train!”
Music is the Enemy came to be two years ago with one guy writing crappy songs in a dark room. Now a five-piece (whose members wish to conceal their identities) that plays “fast, violent punk rock” in the loosest sense of the term, the band is taking a stand against music with an auditory manifesto titled Mr. Murdoch ... We're Ready For Our Target Audience. “We're trying to end music, basically," says *****. “You could consider it a parody. It's a parody that's real though." Find out what the annihilation of music sounds like, and score a free CD, at the band’s all-ages album protest on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Tree House—one of the space’s final shows. Tenderizor, Epiphany, The Balcony Scene and Spring-Loaded Hot Dog provide opening chaos beginning at 8 p.m. More about the belles of this ball at musickillsrockstars.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
***** is the front man for the local heaviness that is Music is the Enemy. ***** declines to be named because of the subversive nature of his music project, which releases its first album at an all-ages Treehouse show this Saturday, and a 21-and-over Burt’s Tiki Lounge show on Oct. 2 (next Saturday). Below you’ll find five random tracks that he likes ... whoever he is.
Conservative Judge James Gray was on the bench for 25 years in Orange County. He was a federal prosecutor and a Navy JAG before that. He ran for Congress as a Republican in the late ’90s and as a Libertarian for Senate a few years later.
We’ve gotten used to the lightning speed of the digital age. These days, we don’t have to wait for much. Want a T-shirt with your own face on it? I’m sure it can be printed, packaged and posted to your doorstep within three business days.
A range of public reactions to Albuquerque Police Department shootings took center stage at the Monday, Sept. 20 City Council meeting. So far this year, there have been 11 officer-involved shootings, and seven people have died. Brian Swainston and several other men said they saw the most recent incident, which happened Downtown on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Officer Leah Kelly shot Chandler Barr, who was cutting himself with what was later discovered to be a butter knife. Police Chief Ray Schultz says Barr lunged at Kelly.
The latest word in New Mexico government is “transparency.” Mayor Richard Berry’s administration released its new transparency website, ABQ View (cabq.gov/abq-view), on Aug. 25. Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit that focuses on the issue, says the city site “achieved not just every mark on Sunshine Review’s transparency checklist, but also nailed all our suggested data as well. Data is even downloadable in different formats.”
Dateline: Connecticut—A 37-year-old man who officially changed his name to “Almighty Supremeborn Allah” was arrested earlier this month after Special Services Unit officers found $2,000 worth of cocaine in his New Britain apartment. The New Britain Herald reports officers were executing a search warrant on Almighty Allah’s apartment when the suspect fled the scene. “He ran and the officers used a Taser to get him into custody,” Sgt. Jeanette Saccente told the newspaper. After Allah was subdued, officers searched his home—unironically located on High Street—and found three grams of cocaine on a bedroom dresser and a baggie with another 18 grams. Allah was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school or public housing project, and interfering with police. A judge held Allah on $300,000 bond following an arraignment hearing.
Once the initial wave of creepy wears off, Bodies ... The Exhibition—well,maybe “creepy” is being too modest. The exhibit, which opened Sept. 9 at the Albuquerque Convention Center, features real human bodies in various stages of disassembly. The back of one of the specimens has been filleted to show the spine and muscles. A person with a constitution weaker than mine may regard “creepy” as being the understatement of the year.
The Aux Dog Theatre puts on Picasso at the Lapin Agile
By Christie Chisholm
Art and science are usually viewed as separate, walled-off worlds.
It’s been said that art, while influenced by philosophy and strategy, maintains steadfast ground not in the head, but in the muse-directed heart and gut.
It also goes that science lives in the brain, plodding through cerebral pathways to carve out theories and observe minute truths.
The problem with this stereotype is that it just isn’t true. Art and science lease equal space in the head and heart, and they influence each other as much as they are each inspired by beauty and logic.
Ken Hays is wild about bees. He began beekeeping as a hobby in 1968. He would continue working as an air traffic controller until 1988, when the bees claimed him full time. With fellow beekeepers Joe Wesbrook and Andy Duran, Hays covers New Mexico with more than 150 hives and gathers a thousand pounds of honey every week. They collect spicy tamarisk (salt cedar) honey from Socorro, mesquite from T or C, sweet clover from “up north,” desert candle from southern New Mexico, and varieties including early and late summer, floral and more. With permission from farmers, the Bureau of Land Management and the forest service, he places hives on land where the pollination often benefits the local agriculture and flora. The honeys range in color from pale gold to deep amber, and their flavors reflect the bees’ foraging areas.
The concept of Bailey’s on the Beach, at Central and Girard, seems to put some people off at first, most notably because it’s not situated on a beach. On the other hand, “Bailey’s on the Taco Bell Parking Lot” doesn’t have the same ring. In any case, a few minutes on the restaurant’s third story deck at sunset will earn Bailey’s the benefit of the doubt.
This Thursday, Sept. 16, marks your last chance to see the made-in-New-Mexico documentary ANightmare in Las Cruces in a theater. The Century Downtown 14 theater will screen the film at 11:30 a.m., 1:25, 3:20, 5:15, 7:10 and 9:05 p.m. Sportscaster-turned-filmmaker Charlie Minn will be on hand to introduce the self-distributed feature.
Ben Affleck must have liked what he got a taste of in his 2007 writing-directing debut Gone Baby Gone, because he’s done his best to replicate the experience with his new film The Town. In fact, he’s even upped the ante, throwing himself into the mix as lead actor.
Cable net FX hasn’t quite caught up with rival AMC when it comes to original, hour-long series. But they keep trying. Currently, FX has “Rescue Me,” “Damages,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Justified.” Good shows, sure, but not quite up to the Emmy-winning pop and sizzle of AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”
The Felice Brothers’ journey from the Catskills to the Rockies
By Summer Olsson
Listening to the earthy, earnest songs of The Felice Brothers, it’s easy to hear the band’s roots and the influence of its journey. Palenville, N.Y., is a hamlet of about 1,400 residents, nestled at the base of the Catskill Mountains near the Kaaterskill Falls. The fictional character Rip Van Winkle was supposed to have hailed from the town. It was there that brothers Ian, James and Simone Felice, the poor sons of a carpenter, grew up and began playing music. The brothers often held neighborhood jam sessions and played regularly during family backyard barbecues.
You may remember a sweaty-palmed week in middle school when you were forced to square dance by an overbearing gym teacher. And you may shudder at the thought of repeating the event. Although contra dance has similarities to square dancing, there’s no need to be wary. People of all ages have discovered that contra dancing is fun. It might be time to heal the wounds and check it out. “The dance is having a renaissance around the country,” reports NPR, “thanks to a thriving youth scene.” The latest trend is dancing contra to hip-hop or techno, dubbed “crossover contra” or “contra-fusion.” Although it might be happening all around them, many people may have never heard of the style. Contra dance is a form in which people begin in two long lines, facing one another, and are led through a series of steps by a caller. Dancers cycle through moves with the person opposite and those on either side, ending up dancing with several different partners.
New series at The Center for Grooviness welcomes creative music and arts
By Mel Minter
Trombonist Christian Pincock, curator of the new series at The Center for Grooviness, and his partner, Deian McBryde, are dedicated to helping people get in the groove—one way or the other. Their Central Avenue space hosts both the self-explanatory Nob Hill Yoga Center and The Center for Grooviness, which is dedicated to presenting unconventional music and arts. Both enterprises invite you to come in, kick off your shoes, lie down (not compulsory) and give yourself up to the moment at hand.
On the 40th anniversary of his death, SuperGiant, The Ground Beneath, Sandia Man and Dead On Point Five will worship in the acid rock temple of guitar god and distortion pioneer Jimi Hendrix. The holy services take place at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, Sept. 18, beginning at 9 p.m. Pay your respects, rock, roll, tune in, turn on and drop out for a $5 cover charge. Hand-painted, infinite afro art by Kyle Erickson—SuperGiant bassist. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
The Albuquerque Police Department has not instituted any special de-escalation training due to the the high number of officer-involved shootings this year. The Tuesday, Sept. 14 shooting in Downtown Albuquerque was No. 11. In 2009, there were only six.
Lupe Lopez-Haynes' sister went missing 21 years ago. When the bodies on the West Mesa were first discovered, she wondered if her sister would be among them. Beatrice Lopez Cubelos' remains were not uncovered at the mass grave, but there are still families who believe their missing daughters could be near the site at 118th Street and Dennis Chavez, Lopez-Haynes says.
Dateline: Romania—Romanian senators—perhaps fearing magical repercussions—have rejected a proposal to tax their country’s witches and fortune tellers. Lawmakers Alin Popoviciu and Cristi Dugulescu of the ruling Democratic Liberal Party had drafted a law that would require witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts. The law, aimed at increasing revenue for the cash-strapped country, would also have held the soothsayers liable for wrong predictions. On Sept. 7, however, Romania’s Senate voted down the proposal. Popoviciu claimed lawmakers were frightened of being cursed.
As far as cognitive peculiarities go, synesthesia seems pretty sweet. Instead of just hearing sounds, the brain translates the aural with another sense function, say vision or taste. What is for one person an F sharp can, for the synesthete, be a green- or raspberry-hued note.
Moby-Dick and the crazed sea captain who hates him
By Christie Chisolm
Even if you've never read Moby-Dick, there are probably a few things you already know about the story simply by existing in modern American culture. For one, there's some guy named Ishmael. And there’s a crazy, one-legged captain called Ahab, who's made it his life's purpose to chase down and harpoon the titular, massive white sperm whale that bit off his limb. Like most classic tales, it doesn't end well.
“The pilot light in the stove had gone off, so when she turned the oven on to full bore, it did not light. A couple of hours later ... she opened the oven door. The flame from the top burners ignited the gas in a single terrifying rush, blasting Courtney three feet back and three feet into the air so that she landed, seated on the prep counter.”
As Central Avenue heads east toward the mountains, the gravitational pull of Nob Hill starts to wear thin. Groovy cafés and thrift stores are succeeded by storage units and mom-and-pop car lots. This sleepy urban backwater is where you’ll find the Babylon Grocery and Café, in a strip mall just east of Wyoming. The wood-clad Iraqi restaurant and grocery store has only been open for six months, but it already has the weathered and eclectic feel of a long-standing outpost in a desert far away.
Little over a year from now I'll have endured three decades of carbon-based livin'. Approaching this mortal milestone, more and more I'm beginning to recognize the old hippie dictum—Don't trust anyone over 30—to be a valid, if not troubling, piece of advice. Last week I found myself talking all fuckin' punk about America's teeming population of brainless youth who pass the time sucking from television's homogenizing teat, living generally mundane, unconcerned lives.
Writing haiku sounds really, really simple, doesn't it? The form is elementary: Just five, seven and five syllables, and wham-o, you've got a poem. It's not as easy as it sounds, though. Since the early August announcement of this here contest, I've been trying to think up a congratulatory haiku for all the entrants and have come up with exactly nothing.
John Anczarski, 19, was cycling across the country with three friends to raise money for breast cancer research. The University of Colorado student began his trip in Pennsylvania and was heading for San Diego. He was 10 days from his destination on June 21 when an SUV in Laguna, N.M., ran him off the road. He suffered head trauma and died the next day at UNM Hospital.
The city and state have gone back and forth on whether they will allow ghost bikes to stand. Jennifer Buntz, president of the Duke City Wheelmen Foundation, champions the memorials for cyclists killed by motorists around the state.
Officers Jerome Armijo and Carmen Michaud catch a woman jaywalking at First Street and Central, just across from Alvarado Transportation Center. They run the woman’s name and it hits: She is wanted for felony burglary. After placing her under arrest, they call a detective.
Watching Susana Martinez' gubernatorial campaign ads, I've been struck by how much they seem to be in sync with many of this summer's big-budget flicks. I suppose both her politics and our taste in fantasy are reflections of our national mood in 2010.
Dateline: New York—A New York City man is being sued after losing track of a $1.35 million painting during a drunken night on the town. According to court papers, James Haggerty says he lost the Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot masterpiece “Portrait of a Girl” after a night drinking at The Mark hotel in Manhattan. Kristyn Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, who co-own the painting, had hired Mr. Haggerty to assist with its possible sale to London gallery owner Offer Waterman. Mr. Haggerty was ordered to take the painting to The Mark, where Mr. Waterman was staying, so he could see it in person. Ms. Trudgeon’s lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, says hotel security footage shows Haggerty leaving the painting at the front desk and entering the hotel’s bar with Waterman at 11 p.m. At 11:30 p.m., the two men return to the lobby, retrieve the painting and have a discussion. “Something just didn’t feel right and I didn’t want to be involved,” Waterman told the New YorkDaily News. “So I said no, and I said goodbye.” The lawsuit alleges Haggerty redeposited the painting at the front desk and returned to the hotel bar, where he stayed for 90 minutes. At that point, he returned to the lobby and stumbled out of the hotel with the painting, declining a doorman’s offer to call him a taxi. Haggerty finally returned home at 2:30 a.m.—without the painting. The next morning, he phoned Mr. Doyle to inform the owner he could no longer account for the million-dollar-plus painting’s whereabouts. “I think he’s a complete fumbling idiot,” Ms. Trudgeon was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. “He’s just a complete asshole.”
Sometimes life hands you lemons, and when that happens, you’re stuck squeezing the shit out of those lemons onto fried fish in hopes of extracting some flavor and thanking sweet baby Jesus you ordered the regular peas, not the mushy peas. Am I right? Or are you all wondering just how drunk I am, or if I’ve lost my mind and, in either case, what in God’s name I’m babbling about?
Ask any aficionado to list the foundational texts of cyberpunk and you will surely hear mention of William Gibson's 1984 debut novel, Neuromancer. Cyberpunk, for those not in the know, is a science-fiction sub-genre of urban-noir in which characters repurpose futuristic technologies to get by on the fringes of dystopian societies. Since those early days, the present has made great strides towards catching up with Gibson's imagined future. His latest cycle of books, which concludes with the just-released Zero History, examine our science-fictional present with the same skill set he once used to depict the 2030s. The Alibi caught up with Gibson through the magic of cellular technology in advance of his upcoming talk at the Albuquerque Public Library. In other words, the future is almost here.
Management at the historic KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque is rushing full-force forward with plans to return the venue to its glory days, screening recent and classic feature films via a spanking-new HD digital projection system. This Saturday, Sept. 11, for example, marks the beginning of the Monty-Python-A-Thon. Catch Life of Brian starting at 8 p.m. and Monty Python and the Holy Grail beginning at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8 each film or $12 for the double-feature. ... That takes care of the classic. Now for the new. On Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m., KiMo will screen Bette Gordon’s indie crime drama Handsome Harry. The well-regarded film stars Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage and Campbell Scott. It spins the story of a Vietnam vet investigating a decades-old crime for a former Navy buddy. Tickets are $8, available at the KiMo box office (423 Central NW).
Bleak-humored drama goes past black comedy into ... I don’t know, indigo?
By Devin D. O’Leary
There’s black comedy and then there’s Todd Solondz’ sense of humor. Which isn’t so much black as it is ... just plain wrong. Over the years, the writer-director has dug under the skin of middle-class suburbia, exposing the bleak, laugh-or-you’ll-cry ironies of life in these United States. Films like Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness, Storytelling and Palindromes are as likely to incite a cringe as a chuckle. Needless to say, he’s not everybody’s cup of tea.
One man’s quest to bring decent post-production to New Mexico
By Chris Quintana
Hidden at the back of dead-end road off a tiny side street in Santa Fe is Stepbridge Studios. The only indication of any musical virtue is a painting of John Lennon on the driveway wall. Entering the sound room, however, offers a different perspective.
With headless abandon and in slimming vertical stripes, a performance by Shoulder Voices, Grand Canyon and The Chimpz is announced. Those of legal drinking age can see the local acts for free at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Friday, Sept. 10. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Random tracks from Bodies of Evidence frontman Pietro Berardinell
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Pietro Berardinelli is frontman and rhythm guitar player for ass-shredding Burque metal band Bodies of Evidence. On Saturday, Sept. 11, the four-piece releases its first album, titled A Time to Rise. The party takes place at the Launchpad (21+, $5) starting at 9 p.m. with opening performances by The Ground Beneath, Caustic Lye and Tetelestai. Below is a five-song sampler of Berardinelli’s diverse listening material.
I feel sorry for tomatillos, the way I used to feel for the last kid to get picked for kickball. Tomatillos languish on otherwise empty tables at the end of growers’ markets, often destined for the compost pile because they're nobody’s favorite. It's not their fault. It's just that nobody knows what to do with tomatillos.
Ah, September. The month when I have to start accounting for 20 minutes of extra travel time because I always get stuck in 15 mph school zones. (Wouldn’t it make sense to up the speed limit in the zones of schools that are known for athletics? Those kids are pretty fast.)