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Morning Word: Santa Fe's $3 Million Election

Morning WordWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Matt Grubs

Soda tax battle carries nearly $3 million price tag
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pumped $400,000 cash into Santa Fe's sugary-drink tax election, the latest campaign records show. With that infusion, proponents of the tax to fund almost 1,000 new pre-kindergarten program seats have taken the fundraising lead. Funded largely by soft drink makers and distributors, opponents aren't far behind and together they've raised nearly $3 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the May 2 election.

Looking for the last drink
A recent fatal drunken driving wreck where the driver admitted to having downed three beers on an empty stomach at a local brewery has thrust "source investigations" into the spotlight. SFR examines how police decide when to look for the source of a drunken driver's last drink and what's at stake for the people who hold liquor licenses and server's permits.

Federal court lifts ban on Mexican gray reintroduction
An appeals court in Denver has removed a temporary order blocking the placement of Mexican gray wolves into New Mexico's wild lands. The court said the state failed to show irreparable harm would come if the feds continued wolf reintroduction. The state refused to issue a permit for the program in 2015; the US Fish and Wildlife Service released the wolves anyway, citing low populations of the threatened lobos and the need to prevent inbreeding.

Dark clouds for Skylight
The unique downtown concert venue is shutting down, the latest in a long string of bigger-than-a-bar event locations to fail at making a go of it among the galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars downtown. Skylight plans to open for events that are on the calendar through October.

Here's why you shouldn't come to work
Despite being on track to collect $55 million more than expected this year, the governor's office insists the state's finances aren't stable enough to have every employee go to work every day during the next two months. The administration's furlough plans would likely force five days off for state workers between now and the end of June. Unions say it's political windowdressing and are skeptical of planned meetings with the State Personnel Office.

Judge stomps on sanctuary city order
A federal judge blocked the Trump administration's attempt to stop funneling federal funds to sanctuary cities, of which New Mexico has several. Court conundrums have abounded for the president, though they haven't slowed his rhetoric much.

'A few little measly little cones'
A blind man says the construction zone surrounding Albuquerque's controversial bus rapid transit project might as well be a minefield for him. He told KRQE he fell into a ditch while trying to navigate the construction.

Boy, were we wrong
Okay, admittedly Monday's declaration of "warm year, warm week" was not the headline to go with for the next few days. It's gonna be a warm year, but this week is sticking its thumb in our eye. Snow on Saturday? 

Thanks for reading! The Word is unpacking its winter gear.

Subscribe to the Morning Word at sfreporter.com/signup.

SFR Picks: Stick it to the Man

Indigenous artists come together to fight patriarchy and care for our planet

PicksWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Slaying the patriarchy and simultaneously caring for the Earth is hard work, but artists and activists usually don’t shrink from a challenge. Thus, we welcome Dear Patriarchy, a mind-blowing coming-together of Indigenous artists and musicians as means of resistance, raised awareness and fundraiser for Indigenous environmental justice nonprofit Honor the Earth. We’re talking Minnesota-based activist Winona LaDuke, a champion for renewable energy and food systems, Oregon folk musician Nahko Bear and friends (think Conor Oberst, Bob Dylan kinda jams), local visual artist Rose B Simpson, Arizona activist and water protector Kim Smith, artist/DJ Ginger Dunnill and so many more. “It revolves around anti-patriarchy and really bringing women to the forefront,” Smith says. “When we’re talking about a lot of the buzz, it’s been around what happened in Standing Rock, but the reality is that the way we treat our land is also the way we treat our women, and there has to be a paradigm shift.”

Smith, who hails from the Diné Nation, sits on the board of Honor the Earth and works as an activist all over the country. “A lot of the destruction or abuse gets normalized,” she says. “The protection of Mother Earth isn’t a hippie thing, it’s about survival.” Smith says Honor the Earth hosts many fundraisers and provides grants to other environmental groups, but that Dear Patriarchy is the first event of its kind they’ve mounted.

“This is really our first ‘show,’ which makes it exciting because it could become an annual thing and become bigger and better,” she says. “It’s really a stage for feminists to talk about where they stand and how a lot of their work revolves around caring for Mother Earth.” (Alex De Vore)



Dear Patriachy
8 pm Thursday April 27. $20-$100.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,
395-6369


The New King

Amuse
It would obviously take one hell of an animated film to topple records set by Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 masterpiece Spirited Away, but, as luck would have it, such a film has presented itself. Your Name from director Makoto Shinkai (2007’s 5 Centimeters Per Second) tells the story of a young boy and girl who set out to meet each other after they switch bodies. We hear this thing is downright magical and, as of earlier this year, it became the highest-grossing anime movie of all time. Now that’s spirit. (ADV)



Your Name:
7 pm Wednedsday April 26 (subtitled);
2:20 pm and 9 pm Thursday April 27 (dubbed). $8-$10.50.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
466-5528


Circ-in’

Kate Russell
Who doesn’t love Wise Fool? Santa Fe’s dedicated (and long-running) circus troupe not only provides educational programming for kids of all ages, they preside over shows of such death-defying wonder and whimsical beauty that you’re practically guaranteed to be charmed. For the third annual CircAspire event, Wise Fool welcomes all levels of students to perform what they refer to as “pre-professional” acts. This oughta be a good one. (ADV)



CircAspire:
7 pm Friday, April 28; 2 pm and 7 pm Saturday April 29;
4 pm Sunday April 30. $5-$20.
Wise Fool,
1131 Siler Road,
992-2588


Dream On

Courtesy Concert for Santa Fe Dreamers
OK, we’ll admit it—we’re pretty infatuated with the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and its founder, attorney Allegra Love. ICYMI, Love helps immigrants navigate the often tricky and tumultuous world of naturalization, visa and asylum paperwork in an effort to help them live in the US safely. Musicians have noticed her efforts, too, and a cavalcade of who’s-who champions descends upon Skylight. Performances from acts like Nosotros, Jono Manson and Joe West & the Santa Fe Revue oughta get you there, and the Dreamers Project scores another win. (ADV)



Concert for Santa Fe Dreamers:
6 pm Friday April 28. $10.
Skylight,
139 W San Francisco St.,
982-0775

By Any Other Name

I say Rosedale plays pop-punk, Rosedale says otherwise

Music FeaturesWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Canadian one-man power-pop act Rosedale returns to the Cowgirl this Thursday April 27 at 8 pm to make us all think things like, “Dude, blink-182’s Dude Ranch was actually pretty sick!”

Just kidding—nobody but my dumb friend Jasper thinks that anymore, and Rosedale’s Mike Liorti has a far more nuanced sound than that particular band’s early stuff anyway. “Throwback” would be too harsh a term, but for fans of acts like Honorary Title or later Green Day or, yes, blink-182, Liorti hits all the right notes (ha—music jokes) in a pop-punk way, yeah, but also as a songwriter who pulls from the heavy-hitters of the genre’s greatest hits and histories for inspiration, while simultaneously embracing his own damn thoughts and feelings and ideologies and celebrity crushes.

Anyway, legend has it Rosedale basically followed the infamous Warped Tour everywhere he could for years, playing the parking lots and winning the hearts of the people and honing his act. Even today he’s on the road basically nonstop playing solo, getting tighter and putting on one hell of a show. I spoke with Liorti to try out a little something where he was given a lead-in to a sentence to be completed on the spot with very little time to formulate an answer. Here are the results:

Pop punk is …
not what I play. I’m more along the lines of alternative power-pop, I guess. There’s some punk influence, but it’s more of the early-2000s/late-’90s realm. I guess there are some emo influences in there as well, but not so much lyrically. (Author’s note: Damn, genre lines get blurry.)

When I was setting out as a musician, I couldn’t stop listening to …
Box Car Racer
[by Box Car Racer]. That album, front-to-back, changed my life, and once I saw it live, it was over. Grades went down, couldn’t score anymore on the ice (Author’s note: This is probably about hockey because Canada) and music, production gear and skateboarding were the only things that mattered. I’d been playing music before that, but I really started leaning towards the idea of making it my life after seeing those kind of punk/club shows.

I play solo because …
it just has never worked out with band members or fill-in guys. Nobody else cares. Not only do I play solo, but I manage Rosedale. I’m the booking agent, the merch person, the producer, video director, designer, editor … everything.

These days, music is considered a hobby. A side gig. I get it—nobody is gonna love my baby as much as me, and that’s totally fine, but it seems like all these hobbyist part-timers [like] managers, producers, booking agents, drummers, etc. are so preoccupied with modern-day ‘growing up’ distractions that as soon as a speck of hard times hit, they’re out!

It explains why people don’t bother going to shows anymore. There’s so much doubt, because 99 percent of musicians don’t care to entertain their audience these days. They’re bored! So they leave right after their friends’ bands because they doubt it’s gonna get any better. The only real-lifers left are already in bands. If not, hit me up at rosedalebooking@gmail.com—everyone gets a chance.

When I perform, I secretly …
overthink: Sell it! Performance over passion! Eye contact! Open your eyes! Smile! Be grateful! Move! Body Language! Be Present! Get her eyes off her phone! Don’t do what you did last night at this part! Dammit! I guess it’s not all so secret, but it’s probably the reason I sweat so much.

People will like Rosedale if …
they give it a chance. I can’t count how many people have said, ‘Not gonna lie, this is really not my style of music, but you made me like it,’ then they buy a CD. I’m often considered a hater by my friends; there are so many bands I don’t like from all genres, but then there are about five bands from every genre that I can sing every word and feel something. I call those ‘Cleaners,’ referencing Tim Grover’s book Relentless. Call it conceited, but I believe I’m on my way to being a Cleaner. I just need more people to ignore doubt and give it a chance—a huge challenge these days.

My ultimate goal is to…
inspire mass audiences to pursue their passion and go all in. To be an example that getting through bad luck and loneliness builds a character that is unstoppable. The only way to fail is to quit, and there’s always a way to keep going if you reinvent and take the leap everyone else thinks you’re crazy for taking.



Rosedale
8 pm Thursday April 27. Free.
Cowgirl,
319 S Guadalupe St.,
982-2565


Skylight Set to Close

Owners of the downtown nightclub Skylight (139 W San Francisco St., 982-0775) tell SFR they plan to stop regular operations following this weekend’s activities, which include a benefit for the Santa Fe Dreamers Project on Friday and a farewell party on Saturday. The club’s hours had already been drastically cut.

Opened in 2014 after former tenant Milagro 139 shut its doors, the cavernous 7,000-square-foot space containing three separate bars became a haven for local and touring DJs, comedians and dance events such as EmiArte Flamenco. Skylight also hosted bigger-name touring bands such as The Dandy Warhols, X and Surfer Blood. With roughly 25 employees, the closure also comes as a blow to local service industry workers.

“The largest impact of this is not on me, it’s not on the partners,” managing partner Kate Kennedy says. “It’s the staff and the role we play in the community.”

Kennedy points to debt that they couldn’t climb out of, caused by slow winter business, the buying out of several partners who left the business last year and two citations from the Department of Alcohol and Gaming in 2015.

“That, coupled with the impact of immigration policies, have affected some of our customer base, specifically on our international nights,” Kennedy tells SFR. She also estimates that nearly 100 renters, promoters and entertainers will be affected by the closure.

For now, Skylight plans to honor all of the events currently booked through October and will possibly restructure. Kennedy says the liquor license allows the club to host one-off or picnic events. “We are working diligently to uphold those agreements,” Kennedy explains. “We refuse to be the bar that was going to just lock up and not say anything, and we do want everyone to come out this weekend—we want to own our mistakes and we want to thank our supporters.”

The farewell party will run from 2 pm-2 am Saturday April 29, and Kennedy says she’s helped employees find positions at other local businesses.


Angels at the Table

Get your halos out

Food WritingWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Michael J Wilson

When I was in college I spent a few weekends at local nonprofit Kitchen Angels as part of the College of Santa Fe’s volunteering outreach. Volunteering is not something that 19-year-olds usually want to do, and I was not an exception to this rule. I distinctly remember standing over a very large pot of borscht. The purple liquid was intimidating. I had never had it. I hated beets. The color was untrustworthy. (I’ve since come around on both volunteering and purple foods.)

One of the best things about writing this column has been reconnecting to why I fell in love with Santa Fe in the first place. I’m not an outdoorsy type, so the natural beauty is a visual bonus to what I really care about: community.

There is a sense that Santa Fe will take care of you. That no matter what, it’s here for those who embrace it and all of its endless weird and wonderful. And while I was not necessarily “into” volunteering back in 1999, I took away a sense of awe in the culture of making do and filling the gaps our money-poor but DIY-rich state has.

Ambassadors Jacqueline and Virginia at Café Fina for last year’s Angels Night Out.
It’s not edgy to talk about Kitchen Angels. The 25-year-old organization spends its resources preparing and delivering meals for homebound Santa Feans who don’t qualify for other meal services in the area. They serve people of all ages and types who are going through momentary trouble or long-term issues. And every day, they save lives with four paid staff members and more than 600 volunteers.

On Thursday April 27, Kitchen Angels’ largest fundraising event of the year takes place at restaurants across town. Angels Night Out is a day-long chance for Santa Fe to do two things it loves to do: eat and help others. This year marks the 19th iteration, and there are a record 35 restaurants participating (including eight newcomers). At those participating restaurants, 25 percent of your bill goes to Kitchen Angels. Restaurants participating include but are hardly limited to Jambo Café, Dr. Field Goods Kitchen, Counter Culture Café, The Teahouse and Fire & Hops.

I spoke with Kitchen Angels Community Liaison Lauren LaVail to get the details of the yearly tradition. Tony McCarty, director of the organization, started Angels Night Out in 1998. Originally based on the “Food Fight” fundraising model, where restaurants compete to raise the most for charity, McCarty’s version dropped the competition aspect in favor of simplicity. The restaurants don’t have to do much beyond open their doors to participate.

Ambassadors Linda and Carmen at Bourbon Grill.
The food industry is well-known for being very giving to the communities they cook for, and Santa Fe probably gives more than most. Rich Freedman, owner at The Teahouse, echoed this sentiment by saying that that Kitchen Angels’ “work in the community is important” and it is a “pleasure to support them.”

LaVail says 10 percent of the entire budget for Kitchen Angels comes from this one day of fundraising. I was surprised that so much of their revenue comes from people literally just paying a restaurant bill, which makes this one event deeply important to the 170 people served daily.

“No one should go hungry, especially in this country, where everything is done in excess and there is so much waste,” Fire & Hops chef/owner Joel Coleman says, adding that he appreciates what Kitchen Angels stands for as one of the reasons that Fire & Hops will participate this year for the first time.

Kitchen Angels adds a lot to Santa Fe; it embodies what I love about this place. On April 27, you can and should eat all three of your meals at one of the participating restaurants. A full list of participants is available on the Kitchen Angels website (kitchenangels.org). You may want to call ahead, though, as it can be one of the busiest evenings of the year, and seats fill quickly.


Dance Dance Revolution

Political turmoil won’t knock these performers off balance

Art FeaturesWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Jordan Eddy

“I was making phone calls and signing petitions and going on marches and spending too much time on Facebook,” says Amina Re. She’s recounting her activist efforts in the time since January’s presidential inauguration, a flurry of activity that left her oddly frustrated. “I thought, ‘I’m an artist, I want to do my art.’ That’s the artist’s role: to bring change.”

Re has been painting for 25 years, and commenced a foray into performance art about three years ago. She was involved in Santa Fe’s strain of the Occupy movement in 2011 and has organized a series of open mic nights to encourage community members to speak out. Perhaps, Re thought, her art and activism could fall into rhythm. She emailed 10 local artists—all women—and asked if they’d like to put on a show.

“I said, ‘I want to do a performance where everyone has their own piece in response to the current sociopolitical climate,’” Re says. That was a little over two months ago, and the impromptu collective has shifted in membership as word passed through the creative community. The performance, Fierce Feminine Risings, debuts this Saturday and features eight artists: seven women and one man. Each performer presents a vignette exploring the transformative power of feminine energy and its persistence in the face of violence and oppression.

Re initially met with local dancer Emmaly Wiederholt, and they worked to set a date and line up a venue. They connected with Elise Gent, owner of the Railyard Performance Center, who offered up her space. Gent also expressed interest in performing, and soon other artists organically entered the project’s orbit.

Lianne Joy, who participated in Re’s open mic nights and implements dance and theater into her work as a counselor, came on board. Fe Fox, who has a background in circus performance and collaborates with Re on contact improvisation workshops, threw his hat in the ring. Re engaged Robin Duda, an actress she has admired in a number of community theater productions.

They were intent on reaching outside of their immediate circles to reflect the diversity of Santa Fe’s larger community. “The majority of us were white women, and most of us were doing some kind of dance thing,” Re says. “I remember thinking, ‘I need to bring diversity into my sphere.’ Then I realized that what I need to do is actually leave my sphere. I need to step out of my zone and be ready to listen.”

They reached out to Esmé Olivia, a Dutch and Mestiza poet, dancer and singer who was born and raised in New Mexico. Just a few weeks ago, multidisciplinary artist Sina Soul—who has Pacific Islander, North African and Latina roots—joined the effort.

As the show took shape, the fledgling group examined their motives and came up with a message. “In some ways, I think the activism I was participating in was a more masculine way,” says Re. “‘Let’s fight. Let’s resist.’ That’s not what’s true in me. I want to get a bigger vision of the world, or be a mirror of the culture to hold up.” Early on, they considered naming the performance “Fierce Feminine Resistance,” but decided the title was too reactionary. They wanted to reflect a new path for the world rather than playing into a partisan feedback loop.

With the performance swiftly approaching, the artists convened to come up with an introduction that would set the tone for the interconnected pieces. “We just needed something that would help the audience get grounded and present,” says Re. “We had to communicate that this is not a light, chit-chatty thing.” The performances include stories of sexual violence and healing, parenting in the face of an uncertain global future, and the objectification of women. With a sliding scale ticket price of $10 to $20 (and no one will be turned away for lack of funds), the show also supports nonprofit organizations Girls Inc. and Honor the Earth.

At first, the group’s ideas for the introduction were elaborate and opinions were strong and scattered. Re was concerned that the group would break apart before the performance. “Within the hour, we all had a chance to speak and come up with a new plan,” she says. “I thought, ‘Wow—this is what strong, conscious women who have been around a while and know how to communicate can do together.’ What if we had more of that in our political system?”



Fierce Feminine Risings
7:30 pm Saturday April 29. $10-$20 (no one turned away).
Railyard Performance Center,
1611 Paseo de Peralta,
982-8309


A Happy Movement Don’t You Know That I’m Loco

Bed HeadWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Maria Egolf-Romero

As a famous chocolatier once posited, if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. This is also the mindset of designer Jeremy Salazar, aka the mind behind Happy Loco.

The young creator embraces everything that’s made him the positive thinker he is today, even his upbringing in a rougher part of Albuquerque. Expression wasn’t big in the South Valley. “Where I came from, it wasn’t a thing to be an artist or creative or to express yourself. It was more of this straight way of living. It wasn’t real,” he says. “It always took other people to show me something was possible.”

By painting messages of hope, peace and self-love on his designs, Salazar hopes to make others feel a sense of self-acceptance. “Maybe I could inspire a kid here who’s in whatever situation to want to do something too,” Salazar says. “I feel like it’s a little bit harder to do things here because it doesn’t seem like it’s possible—it’s easier when you know someone is from the same part of town as you or the same city, and you see them do something cool.”

Even Salazar’s look has a celebratory, exuberant feel. He ornaments his long dreadlocks with hints of gold in the form of beads or tiny spoons. He often incorporates leopard print into his ensembles and wears small peach-rimmed glasses. He has a naturally stylish, soft-spoken vibe, so you’re always leaning in because you want to hear what he’s saying. There’s something inherently peaceful about him, and maybe a little hint of Cheech and Chong.

Salazar says his look and design skills come from his skateboarding lifestyle. “I started noticing skateboarders had their own sense of self-expression,” he says. “They had their own individuality.”

As any skater knows, the sport isn’t easy on clothing. “My clothes started ripping really fast, and I couldn’t afford clothes, so I just decided I would learn how to sew my pants back together,” Salazar tells SFR. “I didn’t think they were really fashionable or anything. I was just trying to fix my clothes.”

Salazar’s friends and fellow skaters noticed the mending, and a pair of white pants with leopard print patches spawned his first commission for a friend in 2016. “I was super excited that somebody liked something that I did,” he says. “I had made some other pants. … My friend who’s into fashion saw me skateboarding in them in a video, and she wanted me to make shorts like the same design,” he says. And thus, Happy Loco was born.

Few designers have so successfully created hand-painted designs or reconstructed new garments from outdated ones. Many end up looking like 1980s disasters. But Happy Loco pieces embrace a future-punk aesthetic that feels as natural as Salazar does. Most feature simple symbols like eyes and flowers, or empowering messages like “be weird” and “happy loco por vida.” Some items make political statements, like the infamous red “Make America Great Again” hats—Salazar drew a bold line through the last two words and replaced them with (you guessed it) “happy loco”; or the fuzzy leopard jacket featuring an anti-pipeline patch he brought back from his trip to Standing Rock.

Before he was a designer, Salazar dabbled in public art, making social statements. Like the time he took a ton of chalk to the Central New Mexico Community College campus and drew a cross, heart, peace sign and skateboard figure (symbols he now frequently incorporates into his designs) next to the words “What makes you happy?”

According to Salazar, “Once I was writing it on the floor, people started telling me [what made them happy] and interacting with [the work], and I was really surprised.”

Such interest pushed Salazar to further pursue happiness as a topic in his work. “Eventually I started photographing people and asking them what makes them happy,” he says, adding that he wants wearers to “feel happy, confident, beautiful, to stand out; I really just want people to feel confident in expressing themselves and expressing their deepest darkest demons or their greatest feelings.”

The brand wouldn’t exist without what Salazar calls his “yin and yang,” which is the balance between the positive being he’s become and “where I came from, that whole loco kind of gang-culture stuff.”

You can experience Salazar and his happy-vibe in person this Saturday at Galaxy’s CD release party, as he live-paints an outfit and displays his post-punk-creative process.

To see more of Salazar’s work, check his website www.happyxloco.com or, if you want a Happy Loco piece of your own, his Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/HappyLoco). There are options for all genders, awesome unisex overalls and the majority of his designs are one-of-a-kind.

He says the Happy Loco aesthetic is “something from the future, maybe.” We say, most definitely.



Sounds Like Primal Feat. Perkulat0r, Soohan and Galaxy
8 pm Saturday April 29. $20-$50.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,
395-6369


'My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea' Review

Movie ReviewsWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Alex De Vore

With no shortage of memoir-esque graphic novels on the circuit, comic artist/animator Dash Shaw brings the gestalt to the big screen, albeit in a wildly exaggerated fashion. The film My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea is a bizarre and skewed recalling of high school wannabe life melded with Superhero adventure comedy (very) loosely based on Shaw’s own life—or at least his obsession with comics and independent film.

We follow sophomore Dash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) and his friends Assaf (Reggie Watts) and Verti (the inimitable Maya Rudolph) as the age-old perils of seaside high school coolness coupled with the pressures of a school newspaper drive a wedge between them. When Dash jealously lashes out against his pals in print and subsequently sets out to doctor a black mark on his permanent record, he discovers building inspection documents forged by the mysterious Principal Grimm (Thomas Jay Ryan), an eyepatch-wearing almost-villain (who, for the record, does ultimately seek redemption).

Indeed, Dash’s entire high school sinks into the sea, and it’s up to the student body to survive. Thrust into uncomfortable high school politics alongside his hurt friends, a popular-girl-type named Mary (Girls’ Lena Dunham) and a badass lunch lady with a heartbreaking past named Lorraine (Susan Sarandon), Dash still finds a way to access his own bias but, of course, that’s part of what makes it so funny. Teenagers can be self-absorbed—even as classmates are eaten by sharks—and though Dash is flawed and probably still carrying the scars from last year’s acne, he manages to become a lovable, understandably human hero.

High School is the coming-together of so many wonderful things, from comics and abstract animation to the excellent original score from Rani Sharone. John Cameron Mitchell of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame even makes an appearance in the cast and, hopefully, some weirdo kid out there who feels lost will look up at the screen and realize there’s a whole world out there waiting for them.

9

+ incredibly creative and weird
- maybe too weird for some

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
Directed by Shaw
With Schwartzman, Rudolph and Watts
Center for Contemporary Arts,
NR,
75 min


'Free Fire' Review

Movie ReviewsWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Julie Ann Grimm

Sans setup or messy character development, Free Fire drops the audience right into the story of an improbable meetup between dudes looking to buy guns and the dudes who have the guns.

The players in the one-scene drama are the right mix, and each in the list of mostly emerging actors is already wholly convinced of who they are: One you love, one you hate, one who is old, one who is young, one who is mysterious, one who is pompous—you get the drift.

A creative plot from screenwriters Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley dishes out surprises that really are surprising. Wardrobe also did a spot-on job, with the crew in 1978 Boston outfitted in a smart set of attire from Armie Hammer’s snug blazer as Ord the bodyguard-type, to the clown suit with shoulder pads sported by Vernon (Sharlto Copley, District 9) and the mustard number for the unforgettable Babou Ceesay (Eye in the Sky) along with a remarkable afro.

Knee high-boots and a great handbag complement the fixer’s quick thinking, and as Justine, Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island) makes a sizeable contribution as the only woman in the cast. She has all the room in the world to make an impression, and she does, notably crawling on the dirt floor of the warehouse with the same gusto as the rest of the gang.

We also dug on the sound, a sparse audio track with clear space for the witty dialog. Rather than a foreboding undertone of music, the singular instruments with spurts of jazz add a quality to the slow pace. The snappy editing means you trace every shot fired. Good old-fashioned rock-throwing, impromptu joint-smoking and poor marksmanship play their parts. Plus, bonus points for the juxtaposition between heavy weapons and John Denver. Be ready for a gore-fest that you might still be laughing at tomorrow.


7

+ Creative plot; good pace and laughter

- Guns and gore

Regal, Violet Crown,
R,
90 min

Savage Love

Restless

Savage LoveWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Dan Savage

I’m a 31-year-old gay male. I’ve been with my fiancé for three years, and we are getting married in the fall. I’ve got a question about initiating sex in my sleep—I read somewhere that “sexsomnia” is the “medical” term, but maybe the internet invented that? According to my fiancé, I have initiated or performed some kind of sex act in the middle of the night and then gone right back to sleep. The next day, I don’t remember anything. This freaks me out for a couple of reasons: My body doing things without my mind being in control is concerning enough, but it feels kinda rapey, since I doubt I’m capable of hearing “no” in this state. My fiancé doesn’t feel that way; he finds it sexy. The other thing—and maybe I shouldn’t have read so much Freud and Jung in college—is that I’m worried my body is acting out desires that my conscious mind doesn’t want to acknowledge. According to my fiancé, the last time I did stuff in my sleep, I rimmed him and told him how much I wanted to fuck him. Rimming isn’t a typical part of our sex life (although I’d like it to be), and my fiancé has never bottomed for anyone (I’ve topped guys in prior relationships, but in our relationship I’ve only bottomed). Is my body doing things that my mind won’t admit it wants to do? Is there a way to prevent it from happening?

-Sexsomniac Hoping Eventually Eager Trysts Stop

Sexsomnia is a real and sometimes troubling phenomenon, SHEETS, and not something the internet made up like Pizzagate or Sean Spicer. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says sexsomnia is real—a real clinical condition—but they prefer the fancier, more “medical” sounding name: sleep related abnormal sexual behaviors. Dr. Michel Cramer Bornemann, a lead researcher at Sleep Forensics Associates (sleepforensicmedicine.org), describes sexsomnia as “sleepwalking-like behaviors that have sexualized attributes.” And sleep-rimming your delighted fiancé definitely counts.

“Sexsomnia may be expressed as loud, obscene vocalizations from sleep (that are typically uncharacteristic of the individual while awake), prolonged or violent masturbation, inappropriate touch upon the genitals, buttocks, and breast of a bed partner, and initiation of sexual intercourse,” said Dr. Bornemann. “The vast majority of sleep disorders are not reflective of a significant underlying psychiatric condition.”

So your unconscious, late-night gropings/initiatings/rimmings don’t mean you secretly desire to be an ass-eating top. And there’s no need to drag poor Sigmund or Carl into this, SHEETS, since you’re not doing anything in your sleep that you don’t desire to do wide awake. You wanna rim your fiancé, you’ve topped other guys and would probably like to top this one too—so neither of the examples you cite qualify as desires your “conscious mind doesn’t want to acknowledge.” (Unless you wrote me in your sleep.) Like all sleep disorders, sexsomnia is just something that happens to a very small number of people, SHEETS, there’s no need to endow it with deeper meaning. Take it away, Dr. Bornemann…

“The brain is made of approximately 100 billion neurons, or electrical connections that allow effective communication between brain subunits. As with all electrical systems, errors in transmission may occur—these are called ‘switching errors.’ In sleep, switching errors may activate previously quiescent areas of the brain while other areas remain off-line. In sleep-related behaviors, it is thought that deep-seated subunits near the sleep-wake generating center become triggered, which activate primal automatic behaviors. Simply stated, electrical switching errors in sleep may unleash the animal that actually lies within us all—sometimes to an extent that may have unintended criminal or forensics implications.”

In most cases, sexsomniacs will hump a pillow or jerk themselves off. The sexsomniacs who tend to make the news—the ones we hear about—are the “unintended criminals” Dr. Bornemann alluded to, i.e., people who’ve sexually assaulted someone while asleep. Luckily for you, SHEETS, your fiancé is okay with your “primal automatic behaviors.”

But you might wanna watch Sleepwalk with Me, an autobiographical film by Mike Birbiglia, a comedian with a sleep disorder. Birbiglia wasn’t initiating sex in his sleep—he was jumping out of windows. A danger to himself and others, he sought treatment and is no longer jumping out of windows in his sleep. You’re not a danger to yourself or others currently, SHEETS, but if you got a new partner or your current partner’s feelings about surprise, middle-of-the-night rimjobs were to change, you could be a danger. So you should chat with a doctor now about drugs and/or other interventions.

“My catch-all advice is to read this book called The Promise of Sleep by Dr. William C. Dement,” said Birbiglia in an email after I shared your letter with him. “He’s sort of the father of sleep medicine. He talks about sleep hygiene extensively, i.e., how to have the best night’s sleep possible by avoiding TV, eating heavily, drinking, etc., a few hours before bed. I know this isn’t exactly an answer to SHEET’s specific question, but getting a better night’s sleep could probably help him across the board in ways that he doesn’t even realize.”


My boyfriend wants to visit a private gay sex dungeon in Europe this summer but we only want to play only with each other. Any tips on getting to play in an actual dungeon without having to put out for the guy whose dungeon it is?

-Requests A Curious Kinkster

Put Berlin on your itinerary, RACK, google “SM Apartments” or “Hoist Basements,” break out your credit card, splurge, and send pics.


I’m a straight married male. My wife has a very close male who happens to be in a poly marriage. Recently, my wife said she would like us to be able to date others, have sex, romance, etc., but still remain a married couple. She specifically wants to date her friend. I am struggling. I am not closed off to having a conversation about nonmonogamy, but I struggle with the thought of her having a boyfriend. I want to be able to give this to her, but I feel like my mind and body are not letting me. Any advice is so much appreciated.

-Help Understanding Spouse’s Blunt And New Demand

“Introducing nonmonogamy into an existing monogamous relationship can be tough, especially when it wasn’t your idea,” said Cunning Minx, host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, who has been providing poly news, advice, and insights to the masses since 2005 at polyweekly.com. “It’s even more stressful when there is a potential partner waiting in the wings! Yikes!”

While Minx is a poly activist and advocate, HUSBAND, she thinks both parties need to be on the same page before going poly. And before you take that step—if you take that step—Minx thinks you need to ask yourself some questions. “HUSBAND should do a fear inventory,” said Minx. “What is he afraid of? What would it mean to him if his wife had a boyfriend? What if she wanted to love a woman—does the penis make a difference? If so, why? Then he should sit with his wife and take stock of the health of their current relationship.”

You can say no to opening up your marriage, HUSBAND, but your wife may decide she wants out of the marriage if no is the answer—basically, this is a circumstance where one of you is going to have to pay a pretty steep price of admission. You’ll either have to accept polyamory, or your wife will have to drop it. There isn’t really a middle ground here—or is there?

“It’s perfectly acceptable for HUSBAND to self-identify as monogamous while his wife practices polyamory,” said Minx. “It’s a difficult path, and will require a high level of internal security and self-awareness on his part, but ultimately your self-identity is your own decision.”



On the Lovecast, a deep dive into the world of cuckolding:  savagelovecast.com


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3 Questions

with Dash Shaw

3 QuestionsWednesday, April 26, 2017 by Alex De Vore

We spent a good chunk of the weekend watching and loving and rewatching My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, the new animated film from celebrated comics artist Dash Shaw (see full review). The tale of a high school that quite literally sinks into the sea, the film is the culmination of nearly seven years of work from Shaw and his wife Jane Samborski and is one of the most delightfully bizarre and brilliant things we’ve ever seen. Obviously, we called the guy. (Alex De Vore)

Would you say the movie is based on your own life or experiences?
The joke was that it’s kind of combining the two opposing schools of comics from when I was a teenager. The majority of comics in the ’90s were the autobio comics, like Crumb, and I loved those comics. At the opposite end of the spectrum were the boy’s adventure or superhero comics. The joke was that it would be an autobio comic, but clearly warped into a boy’s adventure world where it has an extremely unreliable narrator. It was a joke, but also I was on the school newspaper and I had friends like those friends. So parts of it are real—I think I was kind of mean in the way that teenagers are mean, but I made [the main character] meaner because it seems like that was a part of it ... (I was) the person who would decide to make a movie where they’re the hero.

The film is in your style, but also other people obviously worked on it. How much did you draw or animate?
A whole lot. It was primarily made by Jane Samborski and myself in our apartment. We’re married, and we drew most of it in our kitchen. It was a very small operation. The script was written in 2010, but I feel like if I say ‘six years,’ I’m exaggerating to make it sound more, ... I don’t want to make it sound like it took longer than it did. Everything about the movie was based upon what I thought was possible with limited means. I thought about it like Evil Dead where the director has a cabin and a couple actors and it kind of gets by on its energy. The story is simple, it has a video game-like progression. The characters don’t change clothes, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of outfit changes in different scenes. I thought the main joke or the dissonance in the movie is that it’s a disaster movie, but they’re still talking about high school stuff.

Do you think that creative types or outcasts will find solace or inspiration in a film like this?
Well, that sounds nice. I guess that would be nice. I When I look at it, it feels like one of those movies that was very meaningful to me at a young age, like when I saw Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards. Maybe ‘anti-establishment’ is too strong a word, but it has, at least, a contrarian sensibility. I didn’t try to think of an audience, I didn’t play-test it for people and try to think of an audience. When it was finishing I thought, ‘This feels like a movie I would have really liked at a young age if I had come across it.’ I hope 16-year-old nerdy kids who are into art will find it.


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