Alibi Volume 20, Number 25
June 23, 2011
Our comprehensive guide to the Albuquerque Comic Expo–panels, prizes and super-powered personas galore.
An interview with the voice of Yoda
Tom Kane can do a good evil robot. He gets a lot of computer voices thrown his way. Stanley Kubrick even picked him to be the new HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey just before Kubrick died. Kane's also done a ton of animation voicings, including Professor Utonium in “The Powerpuff Girls” and Monkey Fist on “Kim Possible.” He was both Tony Stark and Ultron in the "Iron Man" cartoons, so he got to fight himself.
An interview with LeVar Burton
As an actor, he's hit the trifecta. LeVar Burton has managed to be cast in three roles that played a major part in American culture: the young Kunta Kinte in Roots, himself as the host of "Reading Rainbow" and Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
The City locked up Michael Lee for murder, then paid him $1 million
Michael Lee spent 15 months in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center before being released in March 2009. He was facing the death penalty for the murder of the Yis, an elderly couple who'd been found dead in their Northeast Heights home in December 2007. "It's the scariest thing I've ever been through. Hands down."
The Council crammed a lot into their last meeting before summer recess. Councilors voted to: review APD’s deadly force policies; allow big restaurants not to install fire sprinklers; and let the city to vote on red-light cameras.
What do you know about last week?
The Alibi’s advice-bestower talks about love lives in Burque and doing the robot.
Funny because it happens to someone else.
Sequel trades up to a newer, jazzier, more explosion-filled model
It’s been five years since Cars came out. Not a lot has changed in the bucolic Southwestern town of Radiator Springs. Except that beloved old race car Doc Hudson has expired alongside voice actor Paul Newman. (Wait. Cars can die? How is that ... never mind. The cars talk!) Whereas Cars was a sweetly nostalgic trip out of today’s fast lane and into the bygone era of small-town, roadside Americana, Cars 2 is a globe-hopping superspy action/adventure that combines James Bond, The Fast and the Furious and Thomas the Tank Engine. So much for the simple life.
“Proving Ground” on G4
Whether his life is labeled “shockingly short” or “appropriately short” is a judgment best left to historians (assuming future historians of our planet will be interested in early 21st century pop-cultural blips). But there’s definitely something poetically fitting in the fact that 34-year-old Ryan Dunn, a regular fixture on MTV’s “Jackass” and host of G4’s new show “Proving Ground,” died in a fiery car crash in the early morning hours of Monday, June 20. The epic Albuquerque Comic Expo launches this Friday with an incredible roster of guest stars. In addition to all the awe-inspiring comic book industry talent (click over to our ACE Panel Schedule or visit abqcomicexpo.com to see the lineup), there are some tantalizing names from film and television. And you can see them all here:
The Week in Sloth
Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.
Wayne Shrubsall and his five-string circus
In 2009, banjo czar Wayne Shrubsall funneled much of his vast store of knowledge into a concert at Albuquerque's Covenant Church called The Really Big Banjo Show. It sold out to a standing-room-only crowd. Many people got turned away. A new incarnation, Dr. Wayne Shrubsall’s Really Bigger Banjo Show, happens this Friday night at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Shrubsall emphasizes that this is a different, expanded show. “Trust me,” he says with a smile. “This really is bigger.”
Big Easy pianist/composer off-kilter and on target
You never know where pianist Tom McDermott will go haring off to next. That’s because he often hasn’t a clue, either. A daring and inventive improviser, he’s more than willing to go striding (or ragging or rumba-ing or tango-ing) through doors that lead who-knows-where. In the middle of a Scott Joplin piece, he might find an opening that leads straight to James Booker and start mixing the rag’s more straitlaced syncopation with the saucy funk of New Orleans R & B.
Using pointillism and evil typeface, the artist’s handiwork indicates a show on Saturday, June 25, at the Small Engine Gallery (1413 Fourth Street SW). Metally bands Gnossurrus and Leeches of Lore (along with an opening acoustic performance Dan Gottwald, who will be playing handmade instruments) begin all-ages festivities at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Reviews of new music releases. Now with MP3 previews!
Tiny reviews of local creations
Sweet 7000's Baaadassss Comics. This is the full, funky name of 7000 BC, a local nonprofit that supports New Mexican comic book writers and artists. Yes, the moniker is partially inspired by the independent nature of that one Melvin Van Peebles film you just thought about, but it also references the elevation of Santa Fe, where the group was founded. The comic book lovers on the Alibi editorial staff reviewed a handful of new 7000 BC offerings.
Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous
Upon entering the Stranger Factory, three distinct areas of well-laid-out eye candy unfold before you. Carefully placed paintings and prints decorate the white walls, and plenty of natural light washes over displays of toys and figurines. Brandt Peters, who co-owns Stranger Factory with his wife, Kathie Olivas, says they decorate the shop as they do their home. “We show how you can actually put your own collection together,” he says. They salvage furniture, shelves and other recyclable cool stuff to mix in with the art pieces.
There’s nothing average about this Jo
If you had to pick a single Albuquerque street on which to dine for the rest of your life, you could do worse than Fourth. The diversity of restaurants on this North Valley artery is matched by a uniform unpretentiousness, as if by some silent but Spanglish-speaking truce. Dennis Apodaca has built a restaurant empire on a single half-mile stretch of that pavement. First came Sophia’s Place, named after his daughter. Then came Ezra’s Place, named after his son. And finally Jo’s Place, named after his mom, joined the block party in March.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Golden orb spiders of Madagascar spin robust webs. Their silk is stronger than steel yet able to bend and expand when struck by insects. Here's an equally amazing facet of their work: Each morning they eat what remains of yesterday's web and spend an hour or so weaving a fresh one. I'm thinking that your task in the coming weeks has some similarities to the orb spider's, Aries: creating rugged but flexible structures to gather what you need, and being ready to continually shed what has outlived its usefulness so as to build what your changing circumstances require. (Thanks to the California Academy of Sciences for the info on orb spiders.)