Landmark Musicals animates Independence Day with song and dance
By Leigh Hile
It takes a special kind of nerd to appreciate the joy that is 1776. One must be equal parts musical-theater geek, history buff and lover of all things patently silly. If you’re the type that gets a kick out of seeing the Founding Fathers dancing around in funny wigs and singing whimsical songs about the Declaration of Independence, 1776 is a great pleasure.
Just in time for the holiday season! Win great prizes like hotel staycations and spa packages from The Remedy Day Spa and Rio Grande Bodyworks. Enter to win by voting for the prize package of your choice every day at alibi.com from November 15–December 5!
Ex-guv is ready to throw down with the donkeys and elephants
By Marisa Demarco
Gary Johnson changed his party affiliation and became the Libertarian presidential candidate in May. He needs to poll at 15 percent to get into the televised debates between ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama. The Libertarian candidate for president spoke with the Alibi about how his new party is working out, his opinion of Gov. Susana Martinez and what minimal government really means.
Wild Nothing is a one-man project of Brooklynite and Williamsburg, Va. native Jack Tatum. His music unapologetically harkens the twinkling melancholy of ’80s Britpop song and production qualities. In advance of a show at the Sunshine with Beach House, Tatum spoke with the Alibi about past, present and the definition of pop.
It’s the child of country and Western and rhythm and blues, the hell-raising brother of rock and roll. Rockabilly roared into its own in the mid-’50s. Its rise was propelled by Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and his work with Elvis, which essentially repackaged a black sound for a white audience. Sixty years later, outfits here in Albuquerque keep that music alive—the acoustic slap bass, the electric guitar twang and the big, jumping beat.
Read about this five-way festo in the Club Calendar write up. Why the dualism? Because this flyer, and another flyer for the show, were the only good ones submitted this week. Nice work, noise people; I hope everyone fully enjoys that which you’ve promoted so artfully. Make more poster art, everyone else. (JCC)
On a steep Nob Hill side street behind Imbibe is a tiny hole-in-the-wall kitchen, clad mostly in stainless steel. It’s called The Last Call, or TLC, and its proximity to Albuquerque’s nightlife weighs heavily on the short, funky menu. There are pickup lines attached to the taco dishes, each of which contain three tacos, or “threesomes.” The slider plate promises a “couple.”
Major changes loom for the developmentally disabled
By Margaret Wright
Even after Jenna Montoya was placed in one of the state's most high-needs categories, her mom says she’s concerned that alterations in the waiver program on Oct. 1 will mean big cuts to the therapy her daughter receives.
Woody Allen’s having a wonderful time in Italy, but you’ll wish you weren’t there
By Devin D. O’Leary
Prior to 2005, when he was a strictly New York kind of guy, Woody Allen’s batting average was quite high. From 1969’s Take the Money and Run to 1987’s Radio Days, Allen pumped out an unbroken string of classic films (1987’s September was his first seriously meh effort). Even figuring in misses like 1998’s Celebrity and 2003’s Anything Else, you could put him at about a .750—pretty high for a guy who’s put out at least one movie a year since 1969.
TNT is assuring viewers that its new crime-solving series is “unique.” And by “unique,” they mean “more or less identical to every other quirky, offbeat, crazy-but-brilliant amateur detective on TV.” Familiarity, however, isn’t a crime—certainly not on network TV—and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that “Perception” will score solid ratings for TNT.
With a national election looming, 2012 is a major political year. Director/co-producer Kevin J. Williams and his wife/co-producer Tamara are tapping into that zeitgeist with their independent documentary Fear of a Black Republican. The film explores why there are so few black Republicans and features interviews with such luminaries as former chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, scholar Cornel West and commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin. The film will screen locally on Saturday, July 7, starting at 7 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center (310 San Pedro NE, in Expo New Mexico). The married filmmakers will be on hand for a post-film Q & A. Admission is “pay what you can.”
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?