Alibi Volume 19, Number 42
October 21, 2010
New Mexico breweries tackle America's largest beer fest
It’s May, four months before the Great American Beer Festival, but Justin Hamilton is already contemplating which brews to bring.
A fall beer face-off
There isn’t a true category of fall beers, as there is for winter warmers. But fall is the season when two popular styles, Märzen (commonly known as Octoberfest in the U.S.) and pumpkin are released. New Mexico gets imported versions of most of the beers served at Germany’s legendary Oktoberfest. Locally, Santa Fe Brewing has an Octoberfest available in cans, and Turtle Mountain has an excellent version available at their pub. Pumpkin beer choices are limited in the Albuquerque area as far as bottled offerings. I recommend the pumpkin releases from Marble, Hallenbrick and Chama River, which should be available in the next week. Chama will also debut a new version of theirs, dubbed “Punkin Drublic.”
A few dozen people spoke out at the Monday, Oct. 18 Council meeting on two main issues: feeding the hungry and nukes. The Council did not reply to the citizens concerned about efforts to feed some of Albuquerque’s homeless population. But councilors commented that the city will not speak against the weapons industry, which supplies lots of jobs.
Bruce Trigg is retiring from the state's Department of Health this year. The soft-spoken, scholarly and intensely committed public health physician has one last policy campaign he’s waging. It's a sort of farewell gift to us. He wants to wake New Mexico up to the silent plague that for at least 20 years has been mowing down hundreds of our young people. It kills them in the prime of their lives—and incredibly, draws scarcely any attention.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—A teenager who had just passed his driving test celebrated by crashing a car into a state driver’s license center. Bridgeville police Sgt. Brian Halbleib told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the accident happened when the unnamed teen pulled into the parking lot of the center to drop off the man who had administered the test. At least three people were injured, but officials said the injuries were not serious. The teen told officers he thought the car was in park, but it was not.
I prefer the term “Halloween Month,” because one day just isn’t enough to cover all the cool things you can and should be doing this time of year. So why not get started this weekend with the Halloween Spookshow and Monster Rally? Burning Paradise Video is sponsoring this event as a fundraiser for the upcoming 2010 TromaDance New Mexico Film Festival. For two nights only, Oct. 22 and 23, Guild Cinema in Nob Hill will screen Skeleton Farm’s Halloween Horrorshow. This virtual spook-house ride comes to us from the mad slice-and-splicers at Skeleton Farm, Albuquerque’s premiere found footage alchemists. This feature-length film is a madcap tour through hundreds of classic (and not-so-classic) horror film clips. Brain-melting shock, terror and outright confusion are sure to ensue. The film is only playing Friday and Saturday at 11 p.m., so get your seats early. And to make this an even cooler event, Burning Paradise is sponsoring a full-on monster rally on Friday night. What’s a monster rally? Well, it’s just like a zombie crawl, except it doesn’t discriminate against other forms of monstrosity. Throw on your best creature outfit and meet up on the southeast corner of UNM’s Johnson Field starting at 10 p.m.
Clint Eastwood’s new film isn’t dead, just resting
Who would have thought that, after decades (and decades) as Hollywood’s premier tough guy, Clint Eastwood would become such a stodgy formalist as a filmmaker? Not to insult his oeuvre or anything. Invictus, Changeling, Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Bridges of Madison County: They’re all classy pieces of old-school Hollywood cinema. Eastwood learned his lessons working for some of the finest directors in the business, and he knows how to construct a film with the best of them. But he seems more inclined toward stoic “Masterpiece Theatre”-inspired melodramas than anything with a discernible pulse.
“Raising Hope” on FOX
With sitcoms such as the unsung “My Name Is Earl” and the recently added “Raising Hope” under his belt, it’s time to name writer/producer/creator Greg Garcia the Patron Saint of White Trash. That’s not an insult, mind you. Nobody’s done as much to champion America’s questionably tasteful lower middle class since Roseanne Barr.
The Week in Sloth
Squash Blossom Boys’ debut album is sneaking up on you
A pioneering band in Albuquerque’s Americana scene, the Squash Blossom Boys brings expert musicianship and rollicking energy to standard and original tunes. The squashies have played in various locales—bars, growers’ markets, on tour earlier this year opening for the Meat Puppets, maybe even at your backyard barbecue—and the band’s popularity is on a steady upward climb. But even fans may not know the winding path these bluegrass men have traveled.
Producer John Sandlin gives us the lowdown on the low-down sounds of his Django Festival
The New Mexico Django Festival returns to Albuquerque in its fourth, nearly annual edition after a layoff in 2009 in deference to the imploded economy. Producer John Sandlin, perhaps best known hereabouts as the rakishly handsome, devilishly talented guitarist for Le Chat Lunatique, has once again put together a stellar lineup, including up-and-coming international acts as well as local favorites like Zoltan Orkestar, The Hot Club of Santa Fe and Django Rhythm Meat Grinder. For four days, they’ll all pay homage to the Belgian whiz-kid guitarist Django Reinhardt, who put a unique gypsy spin on swing.
Steve Eiland—of Beefcake in Chains notoriety—and his betrothed observe their upcoming nuptials at Cap’n Creepy’s Halloween Weddin’ Party. Music is to be provided by Icky and the Yuks, The Gracchi, Dead On Point Five and None of the Above. Beefcake in Chains will also stage a mini-reunion. The free, 21-and-over show/party happens at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) beginning at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Le Chat Lunatique vocalist and violinist Muni Kulasing has never heard most of these songs
Muni Kulasinghe is the talented vocalist and violinist for Le Chat Lunatique. He’s also a friendly, multilingual gentleman who’s always armed with a smile, a wink and maybe a dirty joke. This weekend his gypsy jazz band plays local host to the New Mexico Django Festival. In honor of the event, Kulasinghe was asked to provide shuffled tracks from his music library. “I don’t have an MP3 player, nor an iPod; only my computer, which means the music I happened upon is not necessarily music I have listened to much, if ever,” he explains. “As it turned out, I was wholly unprepared for what spouted forth.”
Stupid books are everywhere. Most of them will end up in thrift stores, clogging the shelves, mindless filler between musty copies of Fahrenheit 451.
Serial killer play dies on stage
Aux Dog is a good little theater. It has heart, and the productions that come out of it are generally well-conceived and entertaining. Many of its efforts are made by people who are new to the industry, but even though their greenness is noticeable, there’s a zest or charisma that rises above, making its shows nice, solid fun. Coming Attractions is, sadly, not one of those shows.
Ladies and gents, it’s time for the 22nd annual Equestrian Cup Wine & Food Tasting. Hosted by Albuquerque’s Active 20–30 Club and Wells Fargo bank, this gala event will benefit the Children’s Safe House (run by All Faiths Receiving Home) and other children’s charities. In keeping with the spirit of the national Active 20–30 Club, the Albuquerque chapter is dedicated to community service, particularly to provide financial and in-kind assistance to kids. Jason Deshayes, four-year member and president of the Albuquerque club for the past two years, tells me that this event is the highlight of the club’s activities and that it engages a broad cross-section of Duke City businesses.
The cure for the common sports bar
Albuquerque doesn’t have any professional sports teams. And while the Duke City Derby, los Lobos and the mighty Isotopes give us a strong tradition of amateur action, what few pro athletes we have tend to be cage fighters. Maybe we should call it “Put Up Your Dukes City.” But since there aren’t major pro Mixed Martial Arts competitions held here, our only public forum is to gather at sports bars and cheer the hometown fighters. This week’s column is the second installment of an occasional series on the best Albuquerque sports bars in which to watch televised hand-to-hand combat. The first installment in the series, in April, covered the Fox and Hound. The third installment, probably sometime next year, is a secret because I’m still actively researching and don’t want to tip anyone off. But if you want to suggest a sports bar in which to watch MMA, please do. Just remember it has to serve good food.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "There's one ultimate goal during sex," says Cosmopolitan magazine, a renowned source of erotic guidance for women. That is "to be as sensually stimulated as possible." I don't quite agree with that assessment. Having emotionally pleasing fun should also be an important consideration, as well as creating a playful ambiance and invoking spiritual grace. But sensual stimulation is good, too. So what, in the view of Cosmopolitan, is the key to cultivating maximum bliss? "Having lots of steamy info at your disposal." That's definitely sound advice for you right now, Aries. You're in a favorable phase for finding out more about everything that will enhance your access to delight, including the sexual kind.