In the glow of wildfires, officials stare down the Fourth of July
By Russell Page
Under state law, no one can ban fireworks completely. Not a city council or county commission, not a mayor or the governor. Not after the largest blaze in New Mexico history or the Bosque’s been charred.
The next generation of LGBTQ activists comes of age
By Margaret Wright
It’s a hot Sunday afternoon, and east Nob Hill feels drowsy and quiet—with one exception. The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, on Silver just south of Central, buzzes with energy. A speech therapist counsels male-to-female transgender youth on how to practice raising the tones of their voices. Two visitors stop by to browse free clothes available in the center’s brimming walk-in closet. A parent volunteer shows a guest around the rooms, pointing out the computer lab and the small lending library.
If you like your gay on the Rob Halford end of the sonic spectrum, Leeches of Lore, Boar Worship, Fando and Contortionist are here to fill the void of distortion, aggression and medieval/occult imagery. Note that this show isn’t an official part of Pride. It just happens concurrently Downtown at Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Saturday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5. (JCC)
Río de Lágrimas links imperialism, La Llorona and Juárez slayings
By Leigh Hile
[photo]For 20 years, the stories of women and girls killed in Ciudad Juárez have been silenced in their own country and largely ignored by the world. A wave of roughly 60 femicides in 2012 is receiving even less media attention as the untold number of deaths continues to grow. In Río de Lágrimas (River of Tears), a multilingual music and storytelling performance at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the women of Albuquerque-based collective Las Meganenas nobly attempt to tell the victims’ stories.
Jill-Michele Meleán got started on her career path by humping her grandmother. "She would yell at me," says Meleán. "So I'd just start dry-humping her leg and then she'd start laughing. So I just kind of made the connection that if I make people laugh, they'll leave me alone.” At the tender age of 2, she picked up a lifelong habit of dealing with things through comedy.
Thirty years later, she's an acclaimed stand-up comic and established Hollywood actress. Her credits include roles as a cast member on "MADtv” as well as a recurring character on "Reno 911!" She's also a headliner on The Latin Comedy Jam, a touring act that hits the Kiva Auditorium on Saturday, June 30.
Sometimes I like to pretend I’m David Byrne exploring the fictional Texas town of Virgil in the 1986 art-house classic True Stories. That’s why I made the seven-hour car trip to Marfa, Texas (population: 1,981 in the last census).
Swedish cop walks the beat (literally) in singular musical crime comedy
By Devin D. O’Leary
Pity poor Amadeus Warnebring, born tone-deaf into a family of musical geniuses. His mother is a famous concert pianist, his father is a noted conductor and his little brother’s a musical wunderkind who composed his first concerto at age 12. Unable to play a note, Amadeus became a cop. Never mind that he’s quite good at his job. He’ll always be the artless black sheep of the Warnebring family. That is until a peculiar case lands in his lap—one attuned to his particular skill set. That’s the setup behind Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson’s madly inventive, percussion-heavy crime comedy Sound of Noise.
XIII came to life as a graphic novel series by the Belgian writing/drawing duo of Jean Van Hamme and William Vance. The property is known to a handful of Americans because it was adapted into a first-person shooter video game in 2003. Few who played that cult-fave had any idea of the story’s illustrated origins, however. In 2008, a French-Canadian miniseries (XIII: The Conspiracy starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer) adapted Van Hamme and Vance’s original storyline. That proved successful enough—in Europe, anyway—to inspire a spin-off series in 2011.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how scared are you right now? How would you like to up that number significantly? If you like the thrill of a good haunted house or the adrenaline rush that comes from the sound of a revving chain saw, you need to keep an eye out for the upcoming Dark Matters Film Festival. The festival is a newly formed showcase for horror, dark fantasy and weird science fiction films right here in New Mexico. The showcase is expected to launch in late-April/early-March 2013. Organizers are whetting appetites and quickening pulses, however, with a fundraising teaser event on Saturday, June 30.
Scientifically proven not to make them go, “Eeeeew.”
By Ari LeVaux
Kale is succeeding where spinach and other green things have consistently failed: getting swallowed by children. The key is to bake the kale into crispy chips. In a series of taste tests conducted in Montana, it was determined that kids will eagerly turn their mouths green with extra helpings.
I’ve wanted to visit Silver City since a serious foodie told me about Rob Connoley and the Curious Kumquat two years ago. The nearly six-hour drive—if you turn west from I-25 onto Highway 152 through Hillsboro—is a swath of New Mexico wilderness brimming with hawk sightings, spectacular rises and valleys, and an overlook of the Santa Rita copper mine east of town.
Literary legend Max Evans on the landscape of Western writing
By Margaret Wright
Age is relative for Max Evans. Technically 88, he’s many hundreds of years older, he says, if you count his extensive traversals of metaphysical time and space. When the Western Writers of America held its annual convention in Albuquerque the week of June 12, Evans—one of the association’s most acclaimed and long-standing members—didn't have to travel much further than his own backyard to attend.
The death of Ray Bradbury at the age of 91 sent us on a time-tripping flashback to 1999 A.D. The famed author passed through Albuquerque then as keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary of Los Alamos National Labs. We were lucky enough to score an interview with the man.
Disney and Pixar crown a medieval princess for the 21st century
By Devin D. O’Leary
In its surprisingly short existence (Toy Story came out in 1995), Pixar Animation Studios has rewritten the book on animation in general and computer animation in particular. When the plucky little company entered the big time less than 20 years ago, digital animation was a soulless enterprise suitable for trendy soft drink commercials and little else. Pixar not only contributed to a great leap forward in technology, it revitalized the animation industry by refocussing on the art and craft of storytelling.
The Internet is all atwitter (and Twitter is all abuzz, I suppose) with the shocking (shocking, I say) news that perhaps reality TV shows aren’t as real as they seem. It came as little surprise to anyone, I assume, earlier this year when it was alleged that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reshot several dramatic scenes surrounding Kim’s divorce on a soundstage in Hollywood. And it’s hard to believe that anyone actually thinks anything that runs on truTV is anywhere close to a documentary account. (Pawn shop customers do not attack store owners as often as they do on “Hardcore Pawn.” And the slapstick stupidity of “Operation Repo” is starting to make professional wrestling look like Shakespeare in comparison.) But when a blog called Hooked On Houses spilled the news that HGTV’s “House Hunters” was bogus, the fake poop really hit the ersatz fan.
The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is gearing up for its record-setting 10th year. The festival’s 2012 anniversary will be (appropriately enough) a 10-day event. Organizers are looking for an army of volunteers to help out. Among the positions that need to be filled are assistant volunteer coordinator, advisory committee, Pride Parade and booth volunteers, marketing and community outreach, distribution, fund-raising, and all door/ticketing shifts at the festival itself. Perks include parties, prizes and free movies (natch). If you’re interested in signing up or would like more info, please contact Shannon Peterson at email@example.com or by phone at 450-6520.
Foreign becomes familiar in Adobe Theater’s Men of Mah Jongg
By Christie Chisholm
Richard Atkins has been bugging the Alibi for months to see his show. Atkins is like a one-man band of the theater world, with a hand in playwriting and another in acting while his feet flit between directing and composing. Atkins was so persistent in his requests for our attendance that we actually started to get annoyed. But then we submitted. Now we understand why he was so adamant—The Men of Mah Jongg may be one of the best pieces of theater to come out of Albuquerque this year.
State turns down cash for the elderly and disabled
By Margaret Wright
Nursing homes can mean the loss of familiar comforts, routines, social connections and independence. So why was a plan to help increase the number of people moving into independent living situations axed by the state without warning?
President Obama's decision to cease deporting young undocumented immigrants will keep thousands of families together. It is rightfully being celebrated in many households around the country. But it may have come too late to help the Dorado family.
Judging from Ocho, the new album from Felix y los Gatos, Felix Peralta (guitar, vocals) has been knee-deep in some hard times lately: relationship problems, too much partying, trying not to party, homesickness (living in the Heights and aching for the South Valley), car trouble and so on.
You’re invited to the Alibi’s Pre-Pride Glam Dance Party
By Jessica Cassyle Carr
In the ’70s, rock and roll flew an intergalactic cruise ship to the planet Glitter and mined its three moons—Pleasure, Androgyny and Polyester. Its captains were the likes of Ziggy Stardust, The Sweet, Slade, Queen, Elton John, the New York Dolls, T. Rex and the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Incorporating outrageous costumes and highly conceptual theatricality, this jubilant yet heavy sound that we know as glam was not just about amazing guitar parts (though there were plenty of them).
Guitarist and vocalist Felix Peralta is releasing a new album—Ocho—with his band, Felix y los Gatos. We asked the multigenre-influenced musician to give his catalog of songs a spin. Here are the random results.
A skilled application of kelly green and robin’s egg blue with muted brown. Asymmetrical lines add an appealing graphic touch. A happy photographic depiction of man’s best friend inspires feelings of tenderness in the viewer ... that dog is a good boy. On Saturday, June 23, Gecko’s in the heights (5801 Academy NE) is throwing a patio party for pooches wherein 20 percent of sales between noon and 4 p.m. will be donated to Animal Humane. (JCC)
The appeal of Tía Betty Blue’s might seem skin-deep at first. The paint is fresh. The food comes fast enough to service a drive-thru window. A collection of bottled soda pops is so vast, it could be a gimmick. And the image of a raven-haired hottie—Tía Betty Blue, presumably—stares you down from the sign, the walls, the menu. But despite its candy-coated veneer, Tía B’s means business. The food is simple but thoughtful, and it’s different. And as long as food is the priority, who cares how cute the servers are?
The city’s facing a problem: What to do with an immeasurable number of feral felines? Trap, neuter and return (TNR) efforts are the latest answer, but a veterinarian is calling the process unethical and inhumane.
The Flash Fiction contest results are in. And this year, our beloved readers / literary virtuosos went decidedly anthropomorphic and animalistic. Sure, the prompts we provided included a rattlesnake and a deceased feline, but the bite you brought more than answered the call of the wild (including a couple of great ditties about civilized lions and cancer-stick-sharing birds and fish).
The advent of the vibrator gets the comic treatment, but filmmakers fail to touch a nerve
By Devin D. O’Leary
Imagine, if you will, a smirkingly lightweight comedy about the creation of the world’s first electric vibrator. Well, imagine no more, because the Brits have made one. Though nowhere near as odd as Alan Parker’s 1994 biopic about sexual health pioneer Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville), Hysteria is an unusual topic for cinematic enshrinement.
People in the entertainment industry prefer the term “reboot” as opposed to “remake.” That makes it sound like they’re doing something new and clever, when they really aren’t. Much as I was entertained, for example, by last week’s dusted off and relaunched nighttime soap “Dallas,” it’s basically the same old “Dallas,” but with cell phones. So, when MTV (MTV2, to be specific) said it was reviving the popular ’70s-era game show “The Hollywood Squares,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for rejoicing. However, by remixing the whole thing as “Hip Hop Squares,” producers have created something fresh, clever and rather cheeky.
The KiMo Theatre is honoring the work of Japanese cinematic master Akira Kurosawa with a seven-film tribute. The chronological retrospective begins this Thursday, June 14, with the 1949 crime drama Stray Dog. In it, the legendary Toshiro Mifune plays a rookie detective whose gun gets stolen during a sweltering Tokyo heat wave. Things continue on June 21 with the film that brought Kurosawa his first international acclaim, 1950’s award-winning Rashomon. That historical drama will be followed by 1954’s action-packed Seven Samurai (June 28), 1958’s Hidden Fortress (July 12), 1961’s Yojimbo (July 26), 1963’s High and Low (Aug. 2) and 1985’s Ran (Aug. 9). Films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students and seniors.
For Cissy King, remembering lines has always presented a host of challenges. But the veteran dancer-turned-actress has no trouble firing off some of the funnier misspeakings of her former boss, television variety show icon Lawrence Welk. King, who grew up in Albuquerque, danced on the program for more than 11 years.
The image of veterans flinging their medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where the summit was held, provided an incredibly strong statement that our columnist will never forget. As powerful as that was, the act was far overshadowed by the violence immediately afterward, he writes.
Germany’s foremost rock export performs one last high kick
By Clifford Grindstaff
For more than 40 years, Scorpions' career has spanned a vast breadth overrockin' rock’s subgenres. The band pioneered or played deftly through proto-metal, ’70s anthem rock, regrettable ’80s hair metal and the urgent whisper that is the power ballad. Now, after taking other bands to school for decades, the Scorpions makes one last pass across the world before calling it quits. The “Final Sting Tour” will be filling face holes in Albuquerque on Thursday at the Hard Rock Pavilion.
Though Santa Fe de Nuevo México became a territory of the United States in 1850, six decades passed before it was finally anointed 47th state. Despite ongoing union-joining efforts on the part of the citizenry, the lapse was due to federal government reluctance—the inhabitants here were seen as uncivilized and just not quite Anglo enough—but in 1912 the state was judged adequately assimilated. This January, New Mexico observed its statehood centennial, and fiestas will continue throughout the year. One of the biggest will be effervescing in Downtown Albuquerque this weekend.
Here are some tried and true flyer techniques—mirroring and vintage photography—calling attention to a jangly, ruffled, bubbly evening. See the Roustabout Art Collective and Santa Fe’s Masnavi Dance Collective perform feats of belly dance on Marble Brewery’s patio stage (111 Marble NW). It happens on Friday, June 15, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation for performers. (JCC)
The rise of the churrasco craze has given people a narrow, if somewhat authentic, view of Brazilian food. There are, indeed, a lot of churrascarias in Brazil—though in my five trips there I’ve yet to see a red-and-green block that you position according to how hungry you are. You can eat all the grilled chicken hearts you want, but until you’ve had rice and beans made by a Brazilian, you haven’t truly sampled the cuisine.