A Feast of Festive Filmic Fun
The holidays are upon us like cats on a bed full of winter coats at a neighborhood Christmas party. That means crowded parking lots at the mall, incessant toy commercials and more big film releases than you could possibly keep track of.
Politics and religion deliver New Mexico for Bush; where was Bill?
For Edward Gallegos, ballroom dancing is more than just a hobby, it's a way of life. He spent his professional career in dancehalls, teaching and perfecting the moves that he still breaks out at the Corrales Senior Center on Friday mornings. And to keep the elixir flowing, since he retired in 1994, Gallegos, an 83-year-old widower, has employed himself as a dance host on cruise ships, receiving discounted room, board and gratuity in exchange for palming the backs of well-to-do widows who still enjoy life's finer pleasures.
“Thin Line”'s Guide to Expatriation. Facts are sometimes hard to face, but, yes, George W. Bush, running on a record that even many Republicans found appalling, still won the election.
Reflections on the 2004 campaign
Like many of our fellow countrymen, we're glad the election season is over. Things got so nasty and vile in the final days of the campaign we found ourselves seeking solace in tabloid-esque yet nonpolitical Internet postings. Like the harrowing tale of a kitten surviving a spin through the full cycle of a washing machine. There was also a hair-raising report about marauding bands of blood-sucking monkeys in India.
How frightening is it that theologians, not political scientists, offer the best insights to help us understand what the heck happened at the polls last Tuesday?
New transportation plans offer a brighter, cleaner future
If you're like most Albuquerqueans, you probably don't ride the bus. For years folks have complained that they're rarely on time. They're sometimes filled with characters that, although interesting to read about in the latest dime-store novel, aren't the sort you want to find lurking over your shoulder while reading said novel. A rather disappointing way to start one's day.
Dateline: California—Unable to purchase an airline ticket for Australia, 31-year-old Neil Melly of Canada stripped naked, scaled a barbed-wire fence at the Los Angeles International Airport, ran across the tarmac and attached himself to the plane's wheel well. Melly had tried earlier to buy a ticket for a Qantas Airways flight for Australia with only a credit card receipt. Ticket agents refused to give him the ticket. Melly ignored police officers repeated request to remove himself from the airplane's wheel well. He eventually complied when city fire fighters arrived. Melly, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, had been listed as a missing person in Canada. He was booked on a trespassing charge and released. Airport authorities are looking into improving the fence Melly scaled.
If you're having people over to your house on Thanksgiving, you need to start getting ready now. The first thing on your list should be having your crazy, out-of-whack oven recalibrated. (Who does that? Check the Yellow Pages under Appliances—Major—Service and Repair.) I spent half an hour today talking to a repairman about my ancient Maytag Dutch Oven. The thing looks soooo cool, but it runs anywhere from 25 to 100 degrees hotter than the setting. (Sorry the cookies are burned to a crisp, but look at my cool old oven!) This year I do not intend to burn my turkey on Nov. 25. Unfortunately, the fact that my stove is so far off is an indication that calibration won't fix the problem. (Not sure how far off your oven is? Buy one of those cheap metal oven thermometers and burn some cookies while you compare reading to setting.) If you're more than 25 degrees off, or if the oven's temperature fluctuates wildly, you may need to replace the thermostat. If you're lucky, your oven is newish and the parts are still made. For an older oven, you'll have to do some serious scouting. It may end up being cheaper to replace the thing. (Nice cookies! Too bad you got rid of that old stove.) Whatever you do, don't put it off until the day before Thanksgiving.
You really should try Le French Corner (3905 San Mateo, south of Montgomery) for breakfast some day. I know, I know, the name is bad Frenglish and the place isn't even on a corner, but don't let that get in the way of a deliciously memorable meal. When eating another breakfast burrito is too boring to contemplate, switch it up with a simple but oh-so-satisfying French breakfast. Picture this: a big hunk of crusty baguette, a big pat of butter and two kinds of jams, and a cup of café au lait. Doesn't that sound good? If you want something more substantial, Le French Corner also has a Brie and pecan quiche (a diet buster for sure), huge chocolate-filled croissants and meat- and veggie-filled omelets. Plus, there's a huge case full of éclairs, tartlets and other goodies. They open at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Don't go on Sunday or you'll be looking at a closed sign through your tears.
The Mysteriously Named Tuber: Tasty or a Waste of Time?
Why would you bother eating a sunchoke? Honestly, I've cooked the things and I think the greatest pleasure comes from knowing you're eating the root of a sunflower, not from any particular yumminess. Yes, the sunchoke, also known as Jerusalem artichoke, is the edible tuber of a variety of sunflower native to the United States. Very romantic, yes. Very tasty, maybe.
Get Bogged Down with the Cranberry Companion
Cookbook co-author James Baker says that "Cranberries have played a supporting role in American cuisine for so long that we take the familiar red fruit for granted. ..." Now, just wait a minute. I may not be a food historian, but I think the American public knows a thing or two about the mother of all Thanksgiving fruits—we did invent the holiday, after all. Let's take a moment to assess what we can already say about our tart friends from the North.
Adult Anime—Albuquerque's Explora Science Museum has been running its “Jump to Japan” exhibit for a month now. The exhibit concentrates on the Japanese arts of anime and manga (cartoons and comic books). On Thursday, Nov. 11, the museum will host its first-ever “adults night.” Beginning at 7 p.m., the museum's theater will screen a collection of popular Japanese animated films, shorts and TV shows aimed at older teens and adults. Alibi film editor Devin D. O'Leary (yup, that's me) will be on hand to introduce the films and provide a little insight into the world of anime. This evening should be a fine introduction for people intrigued by this brave new world of animated entertainment. The Explora Museum is located at 1701 Mountain NW. Phone 224-8300 for more information.
Jandek on Corwood
"In 1978, a musician released his first album, Ready for the House. It featured a lonely voice accompanied by acoustic guitar. His subsequent recordings made him one of the most prolific artists in contemporary music. Almost nobody has noticed."
Sequel relies on slapstick, but reminds us why we fell in love with this mess of a girl
The smash hit nature of Bridget Jones' Diary, both in original book and eventual movie form, inevitably led to the release of author Helen Fielding's much-anticipated sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The success of that followup book has brought us, inexorably, to the filming of another movie.
“Tom Goes to the Mayor” on Cartoon Network
Some time in the future, at some as-yet-to-be-determined court trial, the new Cartoon Network series “Tom Goes to the Mayor” will be used to prove that the people in charge of CN's Adult Swim programming block have gone irrevocably insane. That isn't to say that the show is bad. It's certainly original and amusing in its own otherworldly way. But the show is definitely proof positive that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
The Week in Sloth
In May of this year, Chris Hotchkiss of local band Morning Wood was killed in a tragic accident. An all-ages benefit show for his family will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Launchpad featuring performances by Morning Wood XXX, Concepto Tambor, Feels Like Sunday, The Big Spank, Frostbite, The United, Mantis Fist, Caustic Lye, Romeo Goes to Hell, 2 Wise, and DJ Tino Mazon. I asked members of Chris' band to provide brief words of remembrance in his honor:
Although he's become an increasingly renowned saxophonist, Dave Pietro's fluid passages sound as though they were charted by a pianist. One is compelled to deduce that the decade he spent recording and touring as the lead alto saxophonist in Chinese pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi's jazz orchestra has quite a bit to do with Pietro's smooth phrasing. But there's also a highly evolved understanding of piano-like voicing at work in the musical mind of the young reed player from Southboro, Mass.
Saturday, Nov. 13 at Airdance Artspace (3030 Isleta SW, all ages, 8 p.m.): Prince Diabaté has been called "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora," a true innovator on the instrument. He and his former musical partner, vocalist Amara Sanoh, began wowing local audiences in 1997, making regular appearances at Outpost Productions' Fall Fundraiser for several years consecutively. Diabaté's masterful fusion of funk, reggae Caribbean rhythms and the traditional sounds of his Malinké roots in Guinea, West Africa makes his some of the freshest, most danceable music going.
Nearly two decades before Jack and Meg White went thrift store shopping for matching red polyester uniforms and spawned rock's latest Gap-like trend, guitarist Dexter Romweber and drummer Crow were actively putting the guitar/drums duo concept on the map; first in Chapel Hill, N.C., then across the country. After releasing nine records as Flat Duo Jets, Romweber and Crow split in 1998. Romweber is back with his third solo album, and it's a record that begs the question: Why did I spend all my dough on those White Stripes and Black Keys discs? This is the real thing, kids. Garage blues at its most surfalicious.
The fourth issue of actingnow.com is made up entirely of interviews. The online theater magazine, which is published by UNM theater professor Eugene Douglas, is a surprisingly attractive, well-edited, informative publication. The latest issue presents dialogues with some of the leading lights in the theatrical universe. This is a fascinating slew of interviews, including chats with expert vocal instructor Kristin Linklater (Freeing the Natural Voice), film director David Gordon Green (George Washington) and, believe it or not, William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Macbeth). Check it out at www.actingnow.com.
Vietnam Voices and Visions Unfiltered at UNM
Many Americans seem to think that art is merely an expendable luxury, an idle way to pass the time for spoiled trust fund kids and other lazy freeloaders. Such a misperception might seem excusable in a society as privileged as ours, but history reveals how misguided this view really is.
Drag your sorry butt out of the house this Saturday evening for License to Drag, this year's fabulous edition of the beloved Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are charity show. I mean, come on, who doesn't love to see a man in a dress? This year's show features performances by the Sinatra-Devine girls (Lana and Fontana), The Dolls (Geneva Convention and Tequila Mockingbird), Angelica del Rio, Raquel del Rio, Lorenzo Colorado, Cassandra del la Noche and many, many, many more. The glitter! The glamour! I think I may faint. It all goes down at 7 p.m. at the Hiland Theatre. $20, $15. Reserve tickets by calling 262-9301.
In Blue Surge, a new play opening this week at Sol Arts, a pair of Midwestern detectives attempt to bust a brothel that pretends to be a mere massage parlor. Who ever heard of such a thing?! The two detectives eventually develop some tricky relationships with two of the hookers. Playwright Rebecca Gilman milks this premise for all its worth in this Albuquerque debut, directed by Brandon Scott Jensen. Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 244-0499.
An interview with Philip Roth
No one could accuse Philip Roth of lacking a fantasy life. In a 1972 novel, Roth conjured up a man who slowly became a breast. Then, in 1993, he spun a big blowsy yarn starring a fantasy version of himself. This Philip Roth had worked in Athens as an Israeli spy and was fighting over his identity with an anti-Zionist doppelgänger in Jerusalem. "I'm not trying to confuse you," Roth cheekily told an interviewer that year. "This happened. I stepped into a strange hole, which I don't understand to this day."
Bill Maher Sets Things Straight
When ABC debuted "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" in 1993, America had never seen anything like it. Bill Maher, proffered an edgy, outspoken take on American and world politics that was a refreshing change from stuffy, Sunday morning programs like "Meet the Press," which were designed, it seemed, to give stuffed suits something to watch before NFL pregame shows that made them feel in-touch with the innerworkings of government. Granted, the guests were sometimes less than spectacular and often appeared to be in way over their heads. Maher himself would ask after the show's cancellation eight years later, "Can I really have a conversation with Carrot Top about gun control?"
By the time you read this, we'll most likely at least have some indication as to whether America is in for a new beginning and a chance at relative peace and prosperity or simply Dubya Dubya III. If the case turns out to be the latter, I'm either dead right now of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth or attempting to seek political refuge in Canada. Or if it turns out that this is my last column for the Alibi, I wish you all well. ... Anyway, The Oktober People will celebrate the release of their eponymous debut CD on Friday, Nov. 5, at the Launchpad with simple., Foma and The Mindy Set. If you haven't yet heard the record, you're in for a sonic treat that should get you through the holidays and right on up through Memorial Day 2005 without having to buy another record. ... Now calling himself a “reformed classical guitar champion”—he's won both international classical and fingerstyle guitar competitions—local guitar powerhouse Michael Chapdelaine has just released an exceptional new CD, Bach is Cool, featuring the music of, you guessed it ... Bach. He'll perform selections from the new CD as well as music by Brouwer, Villa-Lobos, Alben and a few of his own compositions on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 277-3928 or e-mail email@example.com for more information and reservations. ... In what is likely to be one of the most odd-ball rock shows of the past few months, San Francisco's The Slow Poisoners will join forces with Israeli indie rock duo, Mother's Anger (see this week's “Lucky 7” calendar) and Burque's own Rakes of Mallow on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Burt's Tiki Lounge. The Slow Poisoner's latest offering, Melodrama, is a beautifully strange conceptual piece of rock dinner theater. Trust me, it'll all make sense once you get there.
Sublime. Perhaps never before has the word been more gainfully employed than in the description of Perla Batalla's spark plug of a voice. The Los Angeles-born singer is the Latina Aretha Franklin and, at times, Patsy Cline. She runs a stylistic gamut that stretches wide between Arabic drone and Mexican lullabies, and no matter what she happens to be singing, it's quite likely among the most beautiful and inspiring things you've ever heard.
Tuesday, Nov. 9; Launchpad (21 and over, 8 p.m.): New Orleans' infamous Dirty Dozen Brass Band took their name back in 1977 from one of the Crescent City's innumerable "Social and Pleasure" clubs, where the ensemble came together specifically to provide musical diversion for those who came to relax at the club.
The world needs a 20th anniversary re-release of Twisted Sister's Stay Hungry LP like it needs another four years of George W. Bush. But, at press time, we're stuck with at least one of the above. Aside from a pair of bona fide, albeit criminally overplayed, '80s rock anthems (“We're Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”), the original album was basically a steaming pile of shit. And you just can't polish a turd into anything but a shiny turd. Not even with two “lost” tracks from the original sessions and five new TS songs recorded earlier this year.
Why, why, why do I agree to do these things? The American Dairy Goat Association had their annual conference here last week and they invited me, along with a dozen or so other chefs, purveyors and writers, to help judge their cheese competition. Now, I love cheese, and I love goat cheese, but it will be a very, very long time before I'm able to stomach another bite of chèvre. Seriously, judging these contests is brutal. “Oh, my God,” some of you may be saying, “I can't believe she's whining about getting paid to sit around and eat goat cheese for a living.” And to you people I say this: shove it up your @$$. Maybe you enjoy writing code and that's why you work as a programmer. But how would you like to spend hours taking in other people's code, the good, the bad and the very, very bad? OK, that analogy fell apart a long time ago. The point is, there are not 40 fabulous goat cheeses for sale at your cheese counter for a reason. Some are better than others. You may enjoy a few crackers spread with a little chèvre, as you sip wine and mingle at a party. But what if we made you taste 40 different cheeses, take copious notes and rate them on 30 different attributes? You might get cranky and lash out at perfectly nice people in your newspaper column, then wonder if you should perhaps take anger management classes. Uh-oh.
Chef Kent Dagnall, most recently of Blue Dragon Coffeehouse, is now Pastry Chef at Annapurna Chai House (Silver and Yale). Dagnall will be helping owner Yashoda Naidoo expand the bakery aspect of the business, a challenge since everything at Annapurna is vegetarian and much of it is vegan. Naidoo and her staff had been making a small amount of muffins, cheesecakes, different Indian sweets and cookies, but Dagnall, who has extensive experience with vegetarian cooking, will be greatly expanding the restaurant's sweet repertoire. Annapurna now has two locations, one at Juan Tabo and the other at Silver and Yale. The original Annapurna, at San Mateo and Copper, is now Mediterranean Café. Naidoo said she vacated that space because the kitchen was too small and she had outgrown it. In fact, business is so good, Naidoo says that she's in the process of opening another location of her vegetarian café and that's why she's especially glad to have Dagnall now. "He speaks my language," she told me. "I'm planning my Santa Fe store, and now I know I have somebody in the kitchen I can trust. He's just like me. He experiments." Naidoo didn't have full details on the Santa Fe location because she's still in negotiation for the space, but she did say that it'll be just like her Albuquerque restaurants, about the same size as the University location.
Say it soft and it's almost like praying
Rare is the commercial food product that inspires rhapsodies such as this, from one woman's Internet blog:
Fancy enough for a celebration and stiff enough to drown your sorrows
Whether this election day brings victory or defeat, election eve is a definite cause for cocktails. What will I be drinking? Martinis, of course. As far as alcoholic beverages go, the martini is about as close as you can get to doing a shot and still look classy while getting snockered. The fancy glasses, the cute garnishes, everything about the presentation says special occasion. But what's inside that conical cup is powerful stuff. A typical martini is mostly gin, with a splash of dry vermouth, that's shaken (or stirred!) with ice and garnished with lemon peel or olives. But for election day, you could sass it up a little bit ...
When the election ends, a complete Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse investigation should begin
Scott Horton became familiar with military doctrine long before he was fairly able to understand it. As a child, he was raised on Kirtland Air Force Base, the son of an officer, before leaving Albuquerque three decades ago to embark on a career as an international transaction attorney and human rights lawyer, most notably representing former-Soviet Union dissident Andreis Sakharov.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how foolish a policy it is for a state to funnel its public mental health funds through "for profit" HMOs—private companies charged with managing that care but which can increase their profit line by reducing services.
Dateline: Australia—A court has ruled that a convicted heroin dealer can claim a $165,000 tax deduction for money that was stolen during a bad drug deal. The Australian Taxation Office had been trying to make Francesco Dominico La Rosa of Perth pay tax on his 1994-95 income, which is estimated at $337,000. But La Rosa, who recently served a 12-year term for dealing heroin and amphetamines, insisted his taxable income should be reduced. La Rosa told the High Court that the $165,000 cash he had buried in his back yard was dug up to pay for a drug deal in May 1995. That transaction went badly and ended up with the money being stolen by unknown people. The High court agreed with a lower court decision that upheld La Rosa's claims. The federal government has now vowed to change the law to bar losses incurred in illegal transactions from being claimed as tax deductions in the future.
Gone Again—The Big Screen Classics series at Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center returns this weekend with one of the biggest classics of all time. The 1938 epic Gone With the Wind will screen on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5 and can be obtained by calling the Lensic box office at (505) 988-1234. The Lensic is located at 211 W. San Francisco.
What kind of man reads Playboy?
The original 1966 version of Alfie is a classic. But, unless you grew up in swingin' '60s London, the film probably doesn't count as a sacred cinematic treasure along the lines of, say, Gone With The Wind. Which means, of course, that it's prime fodder for a Hollywood remake. The odd thing about trying to remake Alfie, however, is that roughly 90 percent of the film's appeal lies in the star-making turn by fresh-faced leading man Michael Caine.
Boys will be girls in well-staged Restoration romance
Stage Beauty projects much of the same energy, wit and love of theater as the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love.
An interview with Rick Schroder
Former child actor Rick Schroder may never completely shake off his history. (Five years on a successful '80s sitcom will do that to a fellow.) Still, he has yet to rob any banks (which places him above many of his peers). And he did get good critical notice for turning serious on "NYPD Blue" (before dropping out to devote more time to his growing family). Most recently, Schroder took his biggest step toward breaking away from the "child actor" label by writing and directing his own independent feature. The film, Black Cloud, opened in theaters last month.
“Drawn Together” on Comedy Central
So-called “reality television” has been around long enough now, I suppose, that we can actually start making fun of it. And I don't mean providing self-referential little twists to the genre like in “Joe Schmo” and “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé.” No, I mean outright, vicious mocking of the whole preposterous trend. Thankfully we can always rely on Comedy Central to provide a rancorous, juvenile and often quite funny jab at the things in popular culture that annoy the crap out of us. (See also: “South Park” on its best nights, “The Daily Show” pretty much every night of the week.)
The Week in Sloth
Prolific local artist Rachel Allen recently passed away, but neither Allen nor her art will be forgotten by her admirers and friends anytime soon. She will be missed. A memorial exhibit of her attractively eccentric work opens this Friday, Nov. 5, at the New Grounds Print Workshop (3812 Central SE) with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. during which a silent auction of Allen's art will be held. All proceeds will go towards a printmaking scholarship. The exhibit, called Open Your Heart, will also include work by other members of the workshop. The show runs through Nov. 27. 268-8952.
Night Train to Bolina at Working Classroom
Working Classroom is fighting a guerilla battle for the hearts and minds of young artists and actors in Albuquerque. And it's doing it without ever lifting a weapon.
The National Poetry Slam competition won't be here until next August, but our city is already slowly transforming into slam central station. The latest in a series of hot shot competitive poetry events goes down Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Vortex Theatre (2004 1/2 Central SE) when Mighty Mike McGee, the 2003 Individual National Poetry Slam Champ comes to town. McGee has toured all over the country and possesses a rare ability to make his audiences both giggle and think. $5. The evening will include performances by the 2004 Albuquerque Slam Team. Proceeds will help fund next year's National Poetry Slam, which Albuquerque is hosting. 247-8600.
Anne Valley-Fox's latest volume of poetry, Point of No Return, is being published by Albuquerque's La Alameda Press this month. Miriam Sagan's excellent poetry collection Rag Trade was also published by La Alameda earlier this year. A third major figure in New Mexico poetry, Joan Logghe, released her latest poetry book, Rice (Tres Chicas Books), a couple months ago. These three stellar Northern New Mexico poets will appear at Bookworks this Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. to promote their newest volumes. Stop by the store to mix and mingle with three of our state's most distinctive poetic voices. 344-8139.
Heather Wilson's Voting Record Reveals Her True Colors
The Alibi is a progressive newspaper. Congresswoman Heather Wilson is a right-wing congresswoman. So it's not all that surprising that we would disagree with her on many issues, ranging from national security to the environment to women's rights.
Put Kerry and Edwards in the White House
Commander-in-Chief. Leader of the Free World. Both have become synonyms for President of the United States of America, and both beg the question: What set of qualifications does one need to hold such an office? Honesty and integrity go without saying, but what about near peerless intelligence and understanding of the underpinnings of politics? What about the ability to lead—not the kind of leadership that comes packaged with a title and billions of dollars in corporate cash—but the kind that comes from possessing a gift for bringing people with disparate views together in a collective effort to serve the greater good; to consider and reflect the will of the people? To quote Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of few." Yeah, it's a cheeseball reference, but it's an efficient, effective summary of what the presidency of this country should be about. But over the past four years, the factual evidence proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the needs of the few have taken priority over the needs of most of the country's populace, not to mention the rest of the world, under the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Afraid you'll draw a blank when you get into the voting booth on Nov. 2? Cut this cheat sheet out, stick it in your wallet and refer to it when you get there!
Election year politics cloud reality
By now, every young American has heard about it. Our leaders in Washington have declared the War On Terror an endless war, requiring endless military engagements and endless tightening of security and increased public surveillance back home. Both presidential candidates promise to keep the U.S. militarily involved in Iraq.
Collectable card game turns politics into War!
Theoretically, by next week we'll know whom the next president of the United States is. But, in all honesty, a close popular race, a conjectured Electoral College tie and what are guaranteed to be weeks of legal challenges could mean a month or more before we're assured of our next commander in chief.
Dateline: Austria—Somewhere in Europe a witch is homeless. Officials in Hietzing have decided to demolish a life-size gingerbread house constructed by a group of eccentric artists. The house, designed by the Austrian Guggenheim movement, was erected to “give locals something cheerful to look at.” Unfortunately, the locals say the structure has been a magnet for hungry rats and noisy birds, who have eaten away most of the gingerbread bricks and tiles. The Vienna-based artists have been ordered to dismantle the house after government inspectors declared it a health risk.
Phantom Film—Southwest Music and the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will be sponsoring two screenings of the 1925 silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney at the Central United Methodist Church (1605 Copper NE). Internationally acclaimed theater organist Walt Strony is scheduled to perform accompaniment and “musical enhancement” for the horror hallmark. Screenings will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct., 29, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets for either showing are a mere $5 and are available by calling 881-2232. Seating is limited, so reserve tickets early.
Is Kidman robbing the cradle in this unusual romantic drama?
Birth, at least from the trailers, appears to have the slightly uneasy concept of ravishing beauty Nicole Kidman falling in love with a 10-year-old kid. As it happens, that's not quite the film's plot. But it's close enough for spitting.
Stunning English drama turns controversy into crushing emotion
Vera Drake, the new film from noted British director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies), is not the most cheerful film of the year. But it is the first to scream “Oscar me!” in a loud, clear and rather difficult to dismiss voice.
Halloween around the Dial
If you love Halloween (and you damn well should), you're gonna wanna wake up bright and early this Sunday, so you can get right into the holiday spirit.
The Week in Sloth
Look, I wish just as much as you do that Albuquerque were overrun with fabulous Jewish delis where you could pick up a quart of whitefish salad for Sunday brunch. I'd love to have a neighborhood full of Italian restaurants that made their own pasta and fought with each other over which served the best cannoli. Who wouldn't love to wander around Albuquerque's version of Chinatown and wander from storefront to storefront nibbling on egg rolls, buns and things we couldn't pronounce? But this is New Mexico, not New York, Chicago or San Francisco. You people who harass me about the lack of lox at your corner coffee cart seem to forget that you moved away from the big city to get away from it all, and sadly, “it all” includes blue crabs and cheese curds. If every city had every other city's culinary treasures then no place would be very special, would it? If Boston had green chile, then our friends who moved there wouldn't come back as often, would they? No and no. So when you go to New Orleans you should eat all the étouffée you can. Hopefully you'll enjoy every minute of it. And when you get back you'll really appreciate your stacked blue corn and beef enchiladas with an over easy egg, red chile and extra onions.
La Montañita Coop will proceed with plans to take over Santa Fe's Marketplace Natural Grocery. My previous story on the subject incorrectly stated that the proposed deal would be subject to a vote by the membership. In fact, the decision on whether or not to bring the Marketplace under La Montañita's wing was made by the coop's board of directors. According to the Coop's Michelle Franklin, three community meetings the Coop hosted in Albuquerque and Santa Fe during October garnered enough positive feedback for the board to give the project the green light. Franklin says the deal is moving ahead slowly but that papers should be signed by January 2005. The Marketplace is now privately owned by Jill Markstein; by joining with La Montañita, it would become, like the coop, community-owned.
Instant, quick or old-fashioned, the words on the label make a big difference
Organic instant oatmeal. Here is one instance in which doing what I thought was the right thing was a terrible, terrible mistake. Now I've got a pound of the stuff and I'll use it to spackle the holes in my kitchen walls before I eat another bowl of that gummy goop. Where did I go wrong? Well, it wasn't the organic part, I'm fairly sure, so it must have been the instant part.
What to do with all those extra pumpkins after Halloween
You buy one, your roommate buys one, then your mom brings one over ... next thing you know you've got three pumpkins on the stoop and not one of them's been carved. You can't just let them rot. Cook with them! Here are a handful of recipes culled from new cookbooks that won't make you think of pumpkin pie and won't ruin Thanksgiving a month early.
Fittingly, local psychobilly-ists 12 Step Rebels will celebrate the release of their debut album, Go Go Graveyard Rockin' with 12 Step Rebels on Dead Body Wreckerds at the Launchpad on Halloween night (Sunday, Oct. 31, for those of you smoking too much chronic) with special guests Machine Gun Symphony, Feels Like Sunday and Abandon All Hope. This one's all ages. Go for the live music, stay for the costume contests. FYI: The Rebels' CD, which is sure to be on sale at the party, is pants-shittingly awesome! ... Also that night, El Rey Theater will present the “Rocky Horror Zombie Ball,” an event that includes a showing of the infamous film and performances by Darker Vision and horror rockers, Creepshow. And yes, there will also be costume contests. ... The Metal Movement Tour, featuring Kittie, Otep and Crisis, will be unleashed at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (that's Voting Day, for those of you huffing too much paint). Locals KI will open, in keeping with the female-fronted theme. ... The inaugural “Frostbite Food Drive" will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). Highlights include performances by Pipe Hustlers, 20/20 Blind, EvenKeal, the Dirty Baby Dolls and Frostbite, and the opportunity to donate nonperishable (that means canned-goods for those of you sniffing too much glue) food items to Roadrunner Food Bank for New Mexico families in need. Don't worry, I'll remind you of all the particulars next week.
When the dust settles on the 21st century and people begin to sift through the past for those artists whose work will most certainly reverberate for decades to come, Geoff Muldaur will be near the top of the list when it comes to the blues and folk traditions. Of Muldaur's chameleon-like voice, folk hero and Fairport Convention founder Richard Thompson has been quoted as saying, "There are only three white blues singers—Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them." Comedian (and accomplished guitarist himself) Martin Mull once commented that Muldaur is one of few white men who should own a guitar. They're both right on target.
Friday, Oct. 29; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Clarinetist Don Byron got his musical start thanks to instructions from his childhood doctor, who had diagnosed the Brooklyn-born youth with asthma and recommended that he take up a wind instrument for therapy's sake. It wasn't long before a young Byron was excelling on the instrument and absorbing the sounds of his neighborhood, which boasted a large Jewish population. It's no surprise, then, that Byron first came to notoriety as a Klezmer musician. And ever since those early days of his career, Byron has taken special care to absorb, adopt and/or adapt to any number of musical styles.
with Goatwhore, Macabre and Noisear
Monday, Nov. 1; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Grindcore progenitors Napalm Death returned last month with their second scalp-tingling tribute to classic hardcore and thrash metal, and the world is a better place for it. From the brutal recasting of Cryptic Slaughter's “Lowlife” to a thoroughly crushing take on Agnostic Front's “Blind Justice,” the 22-year-old band prove themselves not only to be masters of death metal, but well-versed in all of the different sub-genres the music they pioneered eventually became during the first decade and a half of their career.
Of course, you can expect plenty of trademark Napalm Death songs on this tour, as well as a smattering of the covers represented on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (Century Media). Time to dig out the Die Kreuzen T-shirt, kids.
Why not refer to Brian Wilson's latest CD as simply Smile? Because, essentially, it isn't that record. Smile, as pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in pop music is aware, was shelved by an increasingly mentally ill Brian Wilson in 1967. And, for all intents and purposes, it remains there, forever unfinished. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a recasting of the original material, finished and finally assembled 37 years later by Wilson, original lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Wondermints' keyboardist Darian Sahanaja. Splitting hairs? Not really. This, the first officially sanctioned compilation of the tracks written for the Beach Boys' follow-up to Pet Sounds, isn't the record the Beach Boys would ultimately have made. Without Carl Wilson, without Bruce Johnston, without Al Jardine, without Mike Love (whether you happen to love him or hate him) and, to a lesser degree, no Dennis Wilson, there's no Beach Boys. And with no Beach Boys, there's no infamous Beach Boys Smile album. All that aside, however, Wilson's presentation of his self-proclaimed "teenage symphony to God" is not without merit by a longshot.
Like Jim Cosgrove, local recording artist John Grant makes children's music that's designed to keep the adults engaged, too. But where Cosgrove's recordings sometimes veer into the land of children's television homogenization, Grant (a.k.a. Ticklefish) writes semi-acoustic upbeat rock songs with lyrics geared toward the kids. But his melodies and arrangements are clearly inspired by the modern “adult” world of the singer-songwriter. Icky Sticky is truly an “everyone's” record—with plenty of appeal for mom and dad, and enough camp, silliness and general oddness for the little ones. It's the perfect rock 'n' roll introduction for Junior. Available at www.ticklefish.net.
For the fifth year in a row, the Words Afire theater festival sets Albuquerque ablaze with a host of new work by up and coming UNM playwrights. From 10-minute wonders to full-length plays, Words Afire presents some of the best theater UNM's prestigious Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program has to offer. Every piece is written, directed, designed and performed by over 100 UNM students.
We can dream, can't we, of some better world where art rather than money is king? Sure we can. Allan Rosenfield isn't some lazy armchair artopian, daydreaming about impossible societies built on a foundation of art. Since last year, he's succeeded in transforming his modest Near Northeast Heights home into his very own bona fide Artopia.
South Broadway Cultural Center
There'll be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on when the Bellydance Superstars and the Desert Roses return to Albuquerque on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. to present one of the biggest belly dance spectacles on Earth. Performing a cross-section of Tribal, Egyptian and Cabaret styles, this popular show has rock star cred because it's produced by Miles Copeland, who served as manager for acts ranging from the Police to the Sex Pistols to REM. This one should be a doozy. $25 advance, $30 at the door. (800) 594-TIXX.
Just in time for Big Brother Bush's re-election, the folks at ConLab—Conspiracy Laboratory Theatre—are putting up a staged version of George Orwell's chilling negative utopian novel, 1984, adapted by playwright Wayne Rawley. Directed by Rafael Gallegos, this multimedia production, which incorporates work by video artists and sculptors, should offer a nice escapist relief from pondering the dire consequences of a second Bush term. The show will occur at SolArts (712 Central SE) every evening at 8 p.m. through Nov. 2 with an additional show on Halloween at 2 p.m. $10 general, $8 students/seniors. 244-0049.