Summer Guide 2012
Arty thriller thinks the kids are not all right
Evil children are a reliable movie trope. They’ve served well as the covertly malignant villains in films from 1956’s The Bad Seed to 1964’s Children of the Damned to 1976’s The Omen to 2009’s Orphan. Now, U.K. director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) takes the genre in an arty, esoteric direction with her darkly unnerving but deeply flawed domestic nightmare We Need To Talk About Kevin.
What might we be watching in fall?
As we speak, television networks are in the middle of “up front season.” That means the broadcast networks (and a few of their cable brethren) are showing off potential new shows to advertisers. The interest (or lack thereof) that Frito-Lay and General Motors show in these series will decide A) which ones go on the air in fall, and B) how much the networks are gonna charge to advertise on them. Weeding through the crop of possible new shows, there are a few that catch our eye.
Downtown Albuquerque’s historic KiMo Theatre is looking increasingly committed to classic silver screen entertainment. Starting this weekend, KiMo begins its new Friday Fright Night series. Every Friday in May, there will be a screening of a horror classic, freshly unearthed from the vaults of Universal Studios. The scares start with James Whale’s 1931 version of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff stars in the role that launched a thousand nightmares. On May 18, it’s 1933’s The Invisible Man starring Claude Raines. On May 25, we get Bela Lugosi vamping it up in 1931’s Dracula. Tickets are $7 general admission, or $5 students and seniors. You even get free popcorn with your ticket! All films start at 8 p.m.
The Week in Sloth
Retiring legislator fought for women and the working class
Danice Picraux is a pioneer, but don’t let her catch you saying that. Born, as she says, at the “head of the baby boom” in 1946, she was raised in the aftershock of World War II. It was a time when, like a rubber band pulled too taut, the nation snapped back to traditional gender roles. The United States fled from the cultural phenomenon of women working during wartime. Returning to pre-war gender norms with a glaze of extremism, the ’50s model of the powdered, curled and aproned white housewife was born.
Inexpensive custom creations have kept Casa de Piñatas a UNM-area staple for 16 years
The Vortex lines up David Mamet’s soulless film industry farce
Speed-the-Plow is a play about the coke-addled, fortune-obsessed, power-crazed workings of late-’80s Hollywood, fortified with typical David Mamet misogynistic underpinnings. Also in true Mamet fashion, it’s a story in which all of the characters prove themselves despicable, some more than others. Yet Speed-the-Plow still manages to be light, frivolous fun.
Note to the world’s marketing geniuses: Place the prefix “Octo” in front of any word and you automatically have something people won’t stop saying. Try it. Octomom, Octoplex, OctoStash. See, it’s fun. You can even make up something like “Octodog” and I bet it’ll catch on. I’m not even sure what that is, but I’ve got to have one.
Drink up, chow down
A skeptic’s cosmic quest for a reason to believe in astrology
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes gather for Hollywood’s greatest superhero movie
If you can’t use over-the-top superlatives when describing superheroes, what’s the point of even having extreme comparative adjectives? So, to cut right to the chase, The Avengers is completely freaking over-the-top-and-back-again awesome.
“Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” on ABC
There’s been an awful lot of talk about representations of the female gender in the current television lineup. And why not? Between HBO (“Girls” and “Veep”), CBS (“2 Broke Girls”), FOX (“New Girl”) and NBC (“Are You There, Chelsea?” and “Whitney”) there’s plenty to ruminate on. One of the more attention-grabbing debuts in the last month or so has been ABC’s midseason replacement sitcom “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.”
The city’s Cultural Services and Parks and Recreation Departments have joined forces to bring back the popular Civic Cinema film series. In past summers, Civic Cinema has presented big-time Hollywood films on an outdoor screen in Civic Plaza. This year, it’s back with a vengeance, and the Alibi is giving readers the opportunity to vote on the films. All you have to do is go to alibi.com/civiccinema and click on the one you want to see most. Rebel Without a Cause or Jailhouse Rock? Singin’ in the Rain or Back to the Future? True Grit or 2001: A Space Odyssey? The most popular title will be screened (for free) on June 1. After that, we’ll open the voting to films for the July 27 and Aug. 3 events. What are you waiting for? Vote it up!
The Week in Sloth
It is magic
I embarked upon this playlist just like others I’ve made—e.g., scary songs, songs about glitter, birds of prey songs—under the assumption that putting it together would be easy. Not so. As it turns out, the majority of music that deals with the zodiac is of the jazz or hip-hop persuasion. I wanted to make a rock and roll astrology mix in honor of this week’s feature (“Sign Language,” read here). As a result, some of the songs are only vaguely star-based, but, to quote Paul Stanley, “Do I care?” Listen to this mix at 8tracks.com.
Leeches of Lore is a three-headed monster responsible for disassembling brains far and wide with its warp-speed metal stylings. Steve Hammond (guitar, vocals), Noah Wolters (organ, Mellotron) and Andy Lutz (drums) complete the pulchritudinous trio, which is releasing dual albums at Launchpad on Friday. We asked Lutz to take his music library for a spin and see what random tracks might surface. Below are the results.
Celebrate Mexican pride and heritage (and Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862) with Burqueño bands Cultura Fuerte and Reviva. The Cinco de Mayo show happens at the Launchpad on Saturday at 9 p.m. Admission is $8 and solamente for those 21-and-over. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Adobe revitalizes N. Richard Nash’s tale of love-thirsty life on the range
In a dusty Western town, drought plagues the Currys and their Depression-era cattle ranch. There’s the literal drought, of course, which has made the whole burg fidgety for want of a single nimbostratus. Then there’s the one that resides in the heart of Lizzie Curry, who cooks and cleans for her father and two grown brothers.
UNM sophomore drops the stethoscope for a pair of Joffrey pointe shoes
Every April for nearly three decades, the Gathering of Nations has brought indigenous groups from around the continent to Albuquerque to celebrate Native culture and traditions. The powwow, which claims the title of North America’s largest, is three days of music, dance, markets, food and cross-culturalism.
The aftermath of the NY Times horse-racing exposé
The thing that hooked Debbie Coburn into nonprofit horse care: a 50,000-horse-long pee line. That’s the odd name for a controversial practice. Coburn explains that pregnant mares excrete a hormone in their urine that can be readily absorbed by humans. “There are pharmaceutical companies who buy the urine from farmers who collect it,” she says. The companies extract the hormone from PMU (pregnant mare urine) and put it in hormone replacement therapy drugs.
Got you under my skin
Duke City and Big Apple tag-team for scintillating show
Black Market Goods resurfaces for Gathering of Nations with eclectic bash
The flyer for Josh Jones' Injunuity art show depicts a head-dressed Native American cartoon character gleefully gassing an undersized hotrod beneath the tagline "Start your Injuns!" A throwback to the comically bizarre work of Ed Roth and R. Crumb, the illustration is indicative of the unhinged spirit of the event Jones has been assembling for four years during Gathering of Nations.
Sometimes when you think big, you have to think small. No, that's not a quote from Yogi Berra. It's the formula gallerist Cassidy Watt employed to curate In Microscale, a show of 150-odd pieces from about 45 artists, now in its second annual iteration at Metallo Gallery in Madrid. The criteria: create pieces of art that, if 2D, have a surface area of no more than 36 square inches. "I didn't want to tie the artists’ hands behind their backs. You could do a 1-by-36 if you wanted to," he says. If the work is 3D, well, just keep it small.
Burgers from scratch
Now seems like a good time to point out how easy it is to grind your own burger in the food processor. Grill season is starting, pink slime is everywhere and, for once, wouldn't it be nice to have a burger that isn't basically mystery meat? While most households don't have meat grinders, your old La Machine or Cuisinart can get it done like a champ.
New Jason Segel rom-com is happily married to the same-old, same-old
Romantic comedies about weddings are the cinematic equivalent of reality shows about wedding planners. They probably reach the exact same audience and involve about the same amount of creative effort. (“Eh, people watch those things. Let’s just make another one of those.”) The Five-Year Engagement has the benefit of a solid cast and a credible bunch of people behind the camera. But it’s still a lazy cut-and-paste job, combining elements of every nuptial-based rom-com since Four Weddings and a Funeral.
1-2-3-4 ... What are we fighting for?
This year, Albuquerque Pride is adding a new component—a cinematic one. The newly minted PrideFilm Festival is designed to promote the film industry and Albuquerque’s LGBT community at the same time. PrideFilm is on the hunt for folks who are eager to get behind the camera. You’ll have the entire month of May to create a five-minute masterpiece under the guidance of professional mentors from IATSE 480. Films will screen during the PrideFilm Festival on June 30. Entry fee is $50, and that includes one ticket to Albuquerque PrideFest. It also entitles you to a 50 percent discount on rental equipment at Serious Grippage. Details are still emerging, but if you’re interested in jumping on board, be sure and keep track on Facebook.
The Week in Sloth
The Tribute Trio—John Rangel (piano), Michael Glynn (bass) and Cal Haines (drums)—paid homage to iconic jazz pianists/composers in a series of monthly concerts from May 2010 to April 2011. Each focused on a particular pianist—except for the last. That final concert celebrated the release of the trio’s first album, Dedications, Vol. 1, which featured original compositions inspired by some of the pianists they’d been exploring. This week, they release Dedications, Vol. 2, with original compositions that find their inspiration across a wider landscape. On Vol. 2, the trio unhooks itself from specific pianists’ styles and explores its own identity with greater freedom. The high point comes in a tender homage to the trio’s artistic director, Victoria Rogers. Written by Rangel, the composition walks a line between jazz and classical terrains, offering an unguarded musical expression of gratitude that’s full of endearing quirks à la Satie (and à la Rogers). What the new release says more than anything is that the trio is its own man, with compositional skills and musicianship worthy of wider attention. You can catch an earful at the album release concert, where the CD will be available for a discounted price.
Music is a way to search for love and meaning, an avenue for people to plunge deep into their soul for an understanding of themselves and their world. “Weird Al” Yankovic knows our deepest part may be the stomach. For more than 35 years Weird Al has skewered popular culture and given us songs of food, animals and various absurdia. And on April 30, Weird Al brings his accordion and to-die-for hair to the Kiva Auditorium.
Styrofoam Sanchez, Hora Flora, The Jeebies, Kayfabe Quartet and Javelina coalesce into big bleepy, noisy, jazzy show. Happens on Monday, April 30, at 8:30 p.m. at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice (202 Harvard SE). Admission is $5 and all-ages. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)