If you’re putting together a world music festival, fiddler/accordionist/singer/songwriter Cedric Watson gives you a head start. The Creole music that the four-time Grammy nominee produces captures the contributions of at least three continents—North America, Europe and Africa—to the steamy cultural crossbreeding of Louisiana.
Musicians comment on their place in the global scene
By Summer Olsson
The term irks me like a pebble in the shoe. If it’s in the world and it’s music, literally all music is world music. Or, maybe the term applies to anything non-Western. As David Byrne says, “Western pop is the fast food of music,” so perhaps if music is complicated or has substance it’s “world.” But what about vapid French pop? World. If it comes from somewhere you’ve never been, or it’s in a language you don’t understand, world.
The festival is called ¡Globalquerque!, but it has a little addendum to its name that’s worth noting: “New Mexico’s Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.” Yes, there are great musicians from such exotic locales as Finland, Burkina Faso and the South Valley playing their hearts out for two nights, but there are also a number of other attractions that are well worth your attention.
The 11 tracks on Zoology’s debut Krush Love buzz with electricity, but the musicians keep the energy tightly controlled, unspooling it meticulously. It’s tense. In a good way. The lyrics are clever and the rapping is precise, with multiple voices flowing smoothly around each other. Under the beats—involuntarily head-nod-inducing ones—melodies conjure hints of soul and jazz.
Occasionally (but not always) “well balanced” is a synonym for “flat”
By Devin D. O’Leary
Increasingly arresting actress Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up in the Air) strikes out in a bold new direction, directing and starring in her first indie feature. The disarmingly intelligent spiritual drama Higher Ground is based on Carolyn S. Briggs’ memoir This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, about the author’s born-again life in an independent, evangelical Christian church. The film approaches Christianity from a very different viewpoint—neither pandering to the converted (as most religious films do) nor demonizing the religion (as many Hollywood films are apt to do).
Aaron Hendren, the Albuquerque-based writer-director of The Faithful and the Foul and Flicker, is premiering his newest film, Psycho Bettys From Planet Pussycat, this Friday and Saturday at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The comic rock and roll musical traces the journey of a quartet of silver-miniskirted alien babes from a male-deprived civilization who come to Earth in search of mates. The film stars local talent Katy Houska, Hannah Kaufman, Lauren Poole and Rachel Shapiro. Cast and crew will, of course, be on hand for the big event. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 and 17. In the meantime, the film’s “dirty pop” soundtrack is available for download via iTunes and Amazon. Head on over to eggmurders.com for more info.
To call The CW’s new supernatural soaper “Twilight, but with witches” would be incredibly reductive. It would also be pretty darn accurate. “The Secret Circle” is custom-crafted to lure the same tweens-and-their-undersexed-moms crowd as the Twilight franchise. It’s based on a young-adult fantasy series (just like Twilight). And it’s the perfect companion piece to The CW’s current Thursday night hit, “The Vampire Diaries” (which, you guessed it, is also a supernatural teen romance based on a young-adult book series). That isn’t to say, however, that “The Secret Circle” isn’t rife with guilty pleasures.
Walking up post-apocalyptic Lead Avenue to the Talking Fountain gallery, I wondered for a split second if it was worth it. The landscape was bleak. Like many businesses along the Lead and Coal corridor, the gallery has seen a decline in visitors, as it’s buried somewhere behind the pile of street-construction rubble. Despite the renovation inconveniences, the gallery and its local supporters are determined to put a positive spin on it.
After 12 years of feeding students at Escuela del Sol montessori, Robin Day and her husband Tom Day began selling her cooking to the public. The initial idea, she told me, was to take advantage of a semi-captive audience: parental units that are obligated to drop by the building twice a day, having been briefed by their kids on how good the food is.
It’s Wednesday at high noon. A half-dozen food trucks line the parking lot at Talin Market, and they’re ready to serve up more than the usual hot dog. I’m here to sample the goods, beginning with The Chopping Block’s soft fish taco garnished with mango salsa. I wash it down with organic limeade at Make My Lunch, then head to Oz Patisserie’s over-the-top desserts, where I’m handed one of the best crème brûlées I’ve had in town.
After a nine-month hustle in the streets of São Paulo, Santa Fe DJ and artist Pablo 77 (aka Pablo Ancona) will debut FUNK TERRA:Sao Paulo...in ABQ!The collection of mixed media, photos and music reflecting his time in Brazil opens at the art gallery and boutique El Chante: Casa de Cultura.
John Sayles dramatizes (and occasionally melodramatizes) the Philippine-American War
By Devin D. O’Leary
John Sayles is as close to an indie film demigod as the movie industry has got. He’s been a consistent, distinctive and fiercely independent storyteller—from his 1979 writing-directing debut Return of the Secaucus Seven straight through his lengthy string of art-house dramas (Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, Men of War, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Sunshine State). With his latest, Amigo, the quirky-brilliant auteur indulges his love for history by crafting an epic-yet-intimate fictional account of the rarely-if-ever-dramatized Philippine-American War.
The CW—being the young, impatient network that it is—looks like it’s going to be the first to get its new fall season off the starting blocks. The first and best of the four shows debuting this month from CW is the much-anticipated Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle “Ringer.” Gellar built up a lot of good will and a major fan base thanks to the seven seasons she spent on The WB (not to be confused with The CW) network’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Though “Ringer” isn’t quite in the supernatural-drama-action-comedy genre that “Buffy” was, it boasts enough entertaining elements to carry it through its first season with ease.
Movie lovers, I’ve got some sad news to deliver. Burning Paradise Video, Albuquerque’s only source for independent, foreign and cult cinema on DVD, is closing its doors. While we’re sad to see Burning Paradise go, we can at least give it a proper send-off. The store will be liquidating all of its stock, starting this week. Grab a piece of Albuquerque cinema history by purchasing a copy of your favorite Italian zombie movie, French vampire flick or American grindhouse classic.
When the folks who book the Music in Corrales series approached Grammy-nominated, world-traveling jazz trumpeter Bobby Shewto open their 25th anniversary season, Shew was happy to accept. First of all, no flying: He can practically walk from his house to Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales, where the concerts are held. Second, he could work with Grammy-winning L.A. pianist/vocalist/composer John Proulx(rhymes with Shew) again. The two of them established a good rapport when they fronted a tribute to Chet Baker for the series a couple of years back, and they could team up once more with bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Cal Haines. But what to play?
Carla Bozulich has crooned, screamed and keened her way across the musical spectrum, right to its noisiest end. Her name might ring a bell to fans of the vintage-inspired alt.country band The Geraldine Fibbers. Or perhaps she pops into mind for remaking Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger in its entirety. Way back in the early ’90s she was part of the cheeky, sexualized rock group Ethyl Meatplow. Today she’s the linchpin of Evangelista, a group that braids strange, moody threads of sound. The Alibi called Bozulich at home to talk about the creation process, emotional yin and yang, and positivity within the noise.
Memorializing an event is really about solidifying how the story will be told—which facts will be remembered, and which ones will be left out. To do our job as Albuquerque’s alternative news weekly, we are voicing a range of perspectives to the narrative of this anniversary.
U.S. fighter jets have taken off. ... Where’s Bush? Cheney’s in a bunker. ... The White House has been hit. No, the Pentagon has been hit ... box cutters ... terrorists on a train . ... Saddam did this. No, the Saudis did it ... 10,000 dead. No, 4,000. ... Let’s roll.
Anniversaries like this ought to be as much about mapping the future as rehashing the past. If examining what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, doesn’t help us plot a wiser course, we haven’t gained anything at all from it.
There are so many others who were affected deeply, who suffered unknowable personal losses on Sept. 11, 2001. But as a country, the greatest loss we suffered was our sense of safety. Still we survive, and a new tower is being constructed in New York. shrouded in strings of lights and topped by a crane, it looks especially surreal. But there it sits, a palpable mark of progress, and the city continues to churn around it.
Kids’ novel is engaging and spooky for adults, too
By Summer Olsson
Young Henrietta doesn’t have much going for her. She’s squat, pimply and flushes easily. She ranks lowest in her class and is easily the least popular kid in the school. Yet this is the heroine of Steven Arntson’s The Wikkeling. In a brusque paragraph toward the beginning, Arntson tells the reader she will not become beautiful, find a cure for pimples or discover she’s actually a princess. He kindly suggests that if one wants a book of that nature, any school librarian can help.
Growers’ markets have an oasis-like feeling to them. They’re sanctuaries of foliage, magnets for cool people and hives of activity. That effect is heightened in Socorro, where the surrounding landscape is sculpted by hot wind and sunshine. In the town’s charming plaza, cool green grass is shaded by immense cottonwood trees. On Saturdays, when the market is in full swing, it feels like a festival—or a barter fair.
Portland may be considered beer heaven, but forgive me if I spend eternity in beer purgatory here in Albuquerque. Portland (the hipster city, not the lobster city) is reputed to have 30 breweries in a city of 580,000 residents. Albuquerque is catching up quickly with three more breweries looking to open in the coming months. The only question is whether our city has enough craft drinkers to support that growth.
Native activists protest a ski resort’s wastewater pipeline
By Elise Kaplan
The resort in Flagstaff began constructing a pipeline this summer to bring artificial snow to San Francisco Peak. The snow will be created from treated wastewater, but some Natives say it will desecrate land that 13 tribes hold sacred.
Radio project reaches out to inmates and their families, breaking the silence around America’s prisons
By Marisa Demarco
The Thousand Kites project reaches out to inmates and their loved ones, breaking the silence around America’s massive prison system. The project’s founder visited Albuquerque to collect narratives, and the Alibi was on hand to catch stories about local lockup.
Dark Irish comedy finds humor in murder, drugs, blackmail and hookers
By Devin D. O’Leary
The term “black comedy” has become a bit shopworn of late, covering a wide variety of films from mildly edgy dramedies to movies with a truly morbid sense of humor. So let’s try and expand the designation a bit and callThe Guard a dark gray comedy. It’s a fitting label, as the film takes place in the dingy, cloud-covered environs of coastal Ireland. And you couldn’t mistake its sense of humor for the lighthearted, good-natured laughs of a Tom Hanks comedy. Put it on a shelf next to other self-mocking, hardscrabble Irish comedies like Neil Jordan’s movie The Butcher Boy or Martin McDonagh’s stage play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, however, and you’ll find a fitting kinship.
Out: Charlie Sheen. In: Ashton Kutcher. This is the most painfully obvious transition of the upcoming fall 2011 season. In one of the most high-profile (and well-tweeted) Hollywood feuds of all time, “Two and a Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre booted troubled actor Charlie Sheen. And hired Ashton Kutcher to replace him. Sheen is busy shopping his TV adaptation of the Adam Sandler film Anger Management. So far, no network seems interested in even bankrolling it. Kutcher, meanwhile, steps into a sweet, $800,000-per-episode gig. Producers have estimated (perhaps a bit optimistically) that the Sheen-less season premiere of the CBS sitcom will draw 50 million viewers. Sheen, meanwhile, got a job hosting Insane Clown Posse’s annual Gathering of the Juggalos.
Eric Morrell—an art director, set decorator and props stylist out of New York—is looking for art department interns for an upcoming feature shooting here in New Mexico. The film is described as “a low-budget 3D feature with name talent.” (I believe that translates into the Zachary Quinto-produced psychedelic horror thriller The Banshee Chapter.) The film is scheduled to film in and around Albuquerque through September. On-the-job responsibilities include: “set dressing, runs, painting, small building and graphics.” No experience is necessary, but interested candidates “must have a willingness to learn” and are expected to make a commitment for at least three days a week. If you’re interested in being part of Morrell’s art department, send a résumé and a small paragraph about why you want the job to Eric Morrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn is nigh, and with the turning season come books and classrooms and new ideas and pocket protectors. Much music on the topic of school has to do with the rebellion against it, lust, alienation or nostalgia. Here’s a seasonal mix—most of the rock and roll or punk persuasion (sorry, no Van Halen)—to put you in the mood for education, be your participation willing or begrudging.
Right now tiny periodicals are alive and well, experiencing a renaissance right here in Burque. The zine scene comes into view as the first of five fundraisers for ABQ Zine Fest brings the local culture, its adherents and the fruits of their labor into focus.
Zach Condon leads Beirut deeper into the imaginary country that inspires his refreshingly original music. Malajube resembles beige, overproduced adult contemporary fare. Diamonds & Death—the first release in four years from dance rock duo VHS or Beta—is decidedly more dance and less rock.
A sleek, glitter-caked model stalked confidently down the runway while a dozen photographers flashed and snapped. This energetic spectacle was not in Paris or Milan. It was a teen fashion show held in Albuquerque’s youth arts and entertainment community center, Warehouse 508. The focus of Fall Into the Stars was original clothing lines designed and constructed by six high-school-aged girls.
Naming an improv troupe The Show means it’s destined for many, many Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first?”-style jokes. That bit was a classic, polished routine, but the new comedy team at The Box Performance Space & Improv Theatre lives in the unscripted and unexpected.
Each time I show up at a growers' market, it’s like coming home. Even if it's one I've never visited. As soon as it comes into view, I feel like I already know the people I'm about to meet, like I've slipped into a recurring dream that’s always different yet familiar. That’s why if, during the next few weeks, you don’t find yourself reading about too many restaurants in this space, I hope you understand. I haven’t been eating at restaurants much. Instead I’ve been haunting the markets, bringing home the goodness and cooking it into 10,000 permutations of green chile, corn, calabacitas, garlic and meat, and washing it down with melon juice.
Ten miles north from Bernalillo, right by theexit ramp for the San Felipe truck stop and casino, the San Felipe market convenes on Wednesday evenings. The vibe is funky, jovial, relaxed and no-nonsense, with a slightly lawless feeling: Some vendors drive into the market while it’s going full-swing to set up their booths. It’s also a reminder of what an amazing melting pot New Mexico is.
A good Alfredo has a kiss of nutmeg in the sauce. Masala means an amalgam of spices. Traditional Peking duck requires infusing the bird with star anise and other flavorings. What they all have in common are spices.