NASA promises this is not the end of human space travel
By Natalie Willoughby
The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, marks the end of NASA's 30-year program, which began in 1981 with Columbia. Despite predictions that weather conditions would force a cancellation, an estimated 1 million visitors and 2,000 members of worldwide media looked on with awe.
Human and canine exterminators fight nationwide wave of pests
By Elise Kaplan
The unmarked white building on Candelaria holds one bed and two dressers but no personal belongings suggesting a home. It's eerily devoid of picture frames, stuffed animals and clothes. A cooler sits on the beige tile floor, and Patriot Pest Control's newest employee bounds into the room to check it out. Captain Dale, the bedbug-detection dog, has one thing on his mind.
Bedbugs hide in crevices and cracks until they venture out for a snack. Detection and eradication can be tricky because these little critters are hard to locate. David Erik Swanson from Patriot Pest Control just got a bedbug detection dog to ease the process (see “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), but he says some infestations have been so bad he didn't need help finding them.
Dragonflies are thought to be good luck, symbols of happiness and springtime. But they have a sinister side, too, with nicknames of “eye-snatcher” or the “devil’s darning needle.” These winged beauties have had millions of years to develop their reputations on planet Earth. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is once again unveiling their secrets at the Dragonfly Festival, buzzing with “discovery stations” where patrons can learn to identify species by color, size and wing color.
Many of the signatures on Art Duran’s memento belong to players lost to time: Ray Katt and Al Aber, for instance. Four scribbles, however, were done by Baseball Hall of Famers: Leo Durocher, Bob Lemon, Al Lopez and Monte Irvin. What is most important to Duran, 77, is that he gained this souvenir during a game, not at some memorabilia show or off eBay.
Holding back the tide of big money in New Mexico politics
By Steven Robert Allen
Five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seem hell-bent on dismantling campaign finance laws designed to prevent the wholesale buy-off of the American democratic process. The judges’ efforts are based on an eccentric interpretation of the First Amendment that could only be concocted by a bunch of insulated eggheads who are completely out of touch with political reality.
After realizing that working in a band was not conducive to his lifestyle, Andrew Goldfarb crossed the threshold into performing solo, fingering a guitar with his hands and beating drums with his feet. He underwent a metamorphosis, inventing a new personality—a traveling snake oil pusher, or tent-city preacher, or possibly a whacked-out Vodou mambo. One thing’s sure: The essence of all of these characters is present in his music.
Growing up on Lower Ranchitos Road in Taos, Jennifer Robin had a poster of Paul McCartney hanging in her bedroom closet. This month, with the release of her new recording, The Bird and the Beatles, the jazzy, folky singer/songwriter is bringing her Beatles love affair out of the closet and onto center stage.
Random tracks from Colourmusic’s Colin Fleishacker
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Colourmusic is a Stillwater, Okla.-based indie/neo-pscych/sex rock four piece. The band’s concept is based on the Newtonian theory that colors correlate with musical notes. On Wednesday, July 20, it brings its multihued performance to the Launchpad. Royal Bangs and The Great Depression open the 21-and-over show at 9 p.m. Eight ducats admits people into the venue. We asked Colourmusic bassist Colin Fleishacker to take his iPod for a spin and see what random items appeared. Below are the results.
Nice symmetry and use of clip art here. Beloved local Southwest funk rock five-piece La Junta plays at Monte Vista Fire Station (3201 Central NE) in Nob Hill on Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. The 21-and-over show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Fear of unemployment stokes conventionally crude comedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
In Horrible Bosses, three put-upon workers conspire to bump off one another’s evil employers. Yes, it’s a variation on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train, but it’s such a venerable framework upon which to hang a story that the familiarity of the tale only adds to the fun. Besides, we haven’t seen a blackly comic reiteration of this magnitude since 1987’s Throw Momma from the Train.
In Florida, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty for the murder of her daughter, little Caylee Anthony, whose body was found dumped in the woods in 2008. Days after the jury’s decision, the mainstream media was still devoting round-the-clock coverage to the case. Some networks didn’t even cut away to the launch of the final space shuttle, in the same state as the courtroom—so engrossed were correspondents in analyzing quotes from an anonymous alternate juror.
The Albuquerque Film Festival is looking for a commercial, and it wants you to pitch in and make the thing. It’s called “The Hip, Cool, Funny, Strange, Social Change Challenge”—which is really unwieldy, but definitely shows how “hip” and “cool” the festival is. Also this week are calls for the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and the news that Third Star films has completed production on “Plush,” a horror short starring several local actors.
Four men fling themselves off of a 30-meter pole and swing around and around, tethered to the top by ropes. A fifth performer balances on the end of the pole, dancing on one foot and playing the flute. These are Los Voladores, or the flying men of Veracruz. Their thousand-year-old ritual is just part of the ¡Viva México! this weekend at Rancho de las Golondrinas.
Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma seems geared toward people headed for careers devoted to the pursuit of lots of money. If you’ve chosen this lot, then you have already made your pact with the dark lord. And so the title is somewhat misleading. The phrase “street smarts” invokes things like how to fashion a crude weapon out of a lunch tray while in county lockup, or how to win at three-card monte, not how to rent an apartment or invest in real estate.
Kaleidospoke is an art exhibition project with many, um, spokes meant to foster awareness and love of cycling. Organizers are pushing bike culture through visual art, talks and a film showcase, all at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. The nearly two month exhibit begins with an opening gala this Friday.
[photo]You have the chance to see internationally renowned artist Gronk making his magic this summer. In fact, you can walk right up, stare at him and bug him with questions while he works—he won’t mind. Gronk (aka Glugio Nicandro) is known for his paintings and performance art, as well as a penchant for creating in front of an audience. He’ll paint a site-specific mural July 19 through 31 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.
Ideas worth spreading. This is the mission of the nonprofit organization TED, which works toward changing attitudes, lives and the world. It began with two annual conferences where some of the world’s greatest innovators and insight-givers were challenged to give the best talk they could in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are regularly posted online for everyone to watch, share and love.
I came late to whole grains—being brought up eating white rice at every meal. With the possible exception of rolled oats, most of the grains I encountered were hulled, bleached, sweetened and renutritionized before they hit my plate.
The most local salads in town might come from a bakery. An indoor growing operation—lights, fans, reflectors and of course plants—was germinated in the west end of Golden Crown Panadería last April. For the counter staff, it's almost too local for comfort, as the expanding tangle of greens, tomatoes and peppers is growing into their workspace. If you order one of the appropriately named “huge” salads, they find the scissors and start snipping. They also make one of the best loaves of green chile bread on the planet.
Courageous performers take the stage without parachutes
By Summer Olsson
The theater folks at The Filling Station are giving you a lot of ones. Solo shows, that is. The third annual Solofest showcases works by single performers, both tested and brand-new. These risky lone wolves are onstage with no one to share the limelight (or the blame, if things go haywire). Pieces range from autobiographies to complete fiction. Elements being investigated include women’s empowerment, a park ranger’s lecture, an uncensored Marie Antoinette and too many more to name. Complete descriptions can be found at fillingstationabq.com. Show your support over the next two weekends.
Some of the guests at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market are unknowns from rural areas who will board planes for the very first time to reach New Mexico. Others are world-renowned rockstars in their field. The majority of these artisans come from developing countries, and their crafts are the only source of income for themselves and their families.
Maybe Optimus isn’t past his prime; or, how to make the least awful Transformers movie ever
By Devin D. O’Leary
The best defense of the third Transformers movie is that nobody buying a ticket to Transformers: Dark of the Moon believes they’re about to see a great work of cinema. It’s like people who eat deep-fried Kool-Aid at the state fair. (It’s a thing, look it up.) They’re not doing it for the nutritional value. Transformers will kill your brain cells. Guaranteed. But then, so will beer—and we all love that in the summertime. So, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the mega-bazillion-dollar super-blockbuster franchise.
The one tiny bright spot that’s emerged recently among docureality shows is Oxygen Network’s “The Glee Project.” On the surface, it looks like yet another reality competition in which vocalists are voted off each week. The ultimate winner gets a guest spot on FOX’s “Glee.” It kinda sounds like a desperate attempt to drum up interest in the show—which, as I’ve said many times, has been floundering in the story department in only its second season. Surprisingly, though, the new series is proving better than the average televised talent show.
Martina Comstock, an independent filmmaker born and raised in Albuquerque, will return to her hometown on Friday, July 8, to show off her brand new short, “Pair of Opposites.” The 20-minute film is described as “an adventurous documentary exploring the paradox of deep-seated sibling rivalry and strong familial love.” The subjects of Comstock’s film are Martina herself and her brother, Alan. The film screens at 5:30 p.m. only at Guild Cinema and will be hosted by Martina and Alan. A mere $4 gets you in the door.
Middle Eastern cuisine is one of my favorites, but I only recently learned about eating halal—the Islamic version of kosher. The word “halal” simply means lawful or allowed. The Islamic laws that govern the preparation of food—especially meat—are nearly identical to the requirements for the best organic products. In accordance with Islamic law, the person taking the animal’s life must invoke the name of God at the time of the slaughter. Animals have to be treated humanely from field to table. Companies that sell halal products are certified. Pork is haram—unlawful.
The preparation and consumption of animal offal has become trendy in recent years. From headcheese to braised pig feet, there are all sorts of ways of turning animal refuse into delicacies. And while plant offal hasn't exactly become the new rage, B-list plant parts can be incorporated into tasty meals as well. Ari LeVaux provides recipes for three such underused ingredients: spinach roots and the greens of carrots and radishes.
“At this point the fire behavior is like nothing we've ever seen,” says Jessica Hall, 31, a wildlands firefighter. “Although we know how to fight fire really well, and we've gotten really good at it, this type of season is so intense and unpredictable. A lot of our methods that would work another year are really ineffective.”
Fires to the north of me, fires to the south, here I am
By Elizabeth W. Hughes
Sometimes New Mexico does not cooperate, and a glorious weekend in the mountains gets canceled due to a ring of fire. So the Alibi’s travel writer decided to take a “staycation” and went seeking adventures right in her own backyard: the North Valley.
On Saturday, July 9, SuperGiant releases its third (mystical, heavy, bitchin’) album Pistol Star, recorded over the past two years with Sid Garcia at Sight 16 Studio. The Alibi was previously unable to cover SuperGiant happenings given the fact that half of the band was employed by the paper. That no longer being the case, below, in our first article on the band, vocalist Joel Rogers discusses equipment, symbolism and the mysteries of existence.
The Alibi Group Hug's Rockabilly Blowout went down Saturday, July 2, at the Launchpad. Acts included Jakob Insane, The Hi-Lo Tones, Cowboys and Indian and The .357s. Pompadours and faux orchids decked the night, with patrons trickling in from the Hot Rod Hop—a burlesque show and movie screening at the KiMo and the vintage car show a few blocks east on Central. By the time Cowboys and Indian hit the stage, the place was packed wall-to-wall. The crowd was swingin’ to rockabilly rhythms into the wee hours. Click below for some rockin’ photos.
California-based Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are rock and roll with elements of rockabilly, boogie woogie, Western swing, traditional country and fine vocal arrangements. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame members are touring in support of their latest release, Turntable Matinee. They’ll make a long-awaited stop in New Mexico on Friday. The Alibi was able to catch up with Big Sandy via email.
Bears and cheetahs and bears (with silly string or anemone tentacles coming out of their mouths, and it’s on, like, a notebook), oh my! Three truly excellent local bands—The Glass Menageries, Sad Baby Wolf and Phantom Lake—play at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Friday, July 8, at 9 p.m. Admission to the 21-and-over show, celebrating the birthday of one Gena, is $5. DJ Dame Diana will preside over interim sonic action. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Guv-appointed commission yanks New Mexico’s support for wolf reintroduction
By Christie Chisholm
The state’s Game Commission voted unanimously to withdraw from the reintroduction effort. Gov. Susana Martinez appointed four new members to the six-member board in March. Bill Montoya is one of those new members. “It was costing us a lot of money,” says Montoya, who worked for the Game and Fish Department for 28 years. “We didn’t think we were going in the right direction.”
A soft-spoken young woman in a button-up shirt and black slacks bows her head. “Ya’at’eeh,” she says quietly in Navajo, then switches to English. “I became a mother at age 17,” begins Reina. She now has three young daughters.
Congolese gangster flick shot through with sex and violence
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s not every day you see a film from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, in all my years of sitting up, taking nourishment and watching a lot of movies, I’ve never stumbled across a Congolese film. Despite its seemingly exotic country of origin, however, Viva Riva! is hardly an unfamiliar product.
Eason Eige has been painting the same subject for six years. Like many artists, he has expressed his fascination with, and perception of, his muse in series after series. But what makes Eige a bit different from the others is that his model isn’t a person. It’s a cactus. Specifically, it’s the prickly pear growing in front of San Felipe de Neri, the church in Old Town’s plaza. When the Alibi called to learn more about The Black Series, his upcoming show at the Bright Rain Gallery, Eige was at home, working on a painting he started in front of the church the day before.
Throughout the growing season, New Mexico is home to fresh food markets every day of the week. You can follow the progression of summer by watching the diversity of produce unfold like a kaleidoscope on vendors’ tables. And you can travel to markets around the state and marvel at the differences that elevation and latitude make in what can be grown.
The Urban Store has been open since January and is the brainchild of Kathy Isaacson and co-owner Chuck Alex. The Nob Hill shop, on Silver, is deceptively ordinary. Issacson sports a T-shirt bearing the store’s working philosophy—“grow, eat, return.” How simple is that?
A golf course is a peaceful place—unless you’re a picker
By Toby Smith
Alibi sports writer Toby Smith rides shotgun inside a green cage that scoops up driving-range balls at the Championship Golf Course known to many as UNM South. The cage’s driver, Jim Dunn, is a picker. Thub! “That one got the wheel,” Dunn says. “No real damage. Just wait.”
I got an inquiry from Paul Gessing of conservative nonprofit the Rio Grande Foundation. He wanted to know: Would I be willing to go head-to-head against global warming skeptic Pat Michaels about manmade climate change on KKOB? I was intrigued.
Law enforcement think tank weighs in on APD’s shootings
By Marisa Demarco
A 91-page report spurred by the Albuquerque Police Department's spate of shootings was released on Friday, June 24. Among the findings: Violent crime and assaults on officers decreased over the last few years, but the number officer-involved shootings went up. The report also shows that the same officers are repeatedly involved in violent incidents, with 22 percent having a hand in 60 percent of such encounters.
This month, Alibi Group Hug is celebrating that rebellious marriage of early rhythm and blues with country and Western music. Despite being a nascent form of rock and roll, rockabilly, and its wild, raw, reverberating energy, has endured for six decades. On Saturday, an assembly of New Mexico’s most rockabilly-est citizens will provide their sonic services at the Launchpad.
The nihilistic party of pop and subpop culture rages on. Someone knocked over the lamp, and it sure is dark in here. The embers of lit cigarettes wink in the black. One such ember, Le Tigre, wants to make sure you don't forget. About them. About feminism. About gender-fucking. You know, but with, like, beats and shit.
Cleveland rapper Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) has been pioneering a style of emotionally raw, singsongy hip-hop ever since the release of his 2008 mix tape, A Kid Named Cudi. His songs are club-friendly, life-celebratory anthems just as often as they are meditative stoner jams. On Saturday, June 25, the man who moonlights as "Mr. Rager" played a show for more than 6,500 folks at Hard Rock Pavilion. The Alibi was there to photograph the event.
Shows worth attending this week are many, but space and time prevents me from giving them all the attention they deserve. Music editor Jessica Cassyle Carr tips her newspaper hat to some personally appealing selections.
In light of the fact that parts of the state are on fire, consider not celebrating America with explosives this year. "It just takes that one bottle rocket, that one match, to take out an entire community," Bernalillo County Fire Chief John Garcia told KRQE. Support the boycott here: on.fb.me/fireworksnm. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)