News Column

El Paso Times, Texas, That's the ticket: Beyond 'The Counselor' column

October 25, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 25--Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," opening today, isn't the only new TV or movie project with an El Paso connection.

Several film websites and blogs report that "Parkland" director Peter Landesman has signed on to helm the movie version of Charles Bowden's "Down by the River."

The 2002 book, subtitled "Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family," chronicles the death of El Pasoan Bruno Jordan by a 13-year-old Mexican boy in 1995.

Landesman, a former journalist, has been hired to rewrite the script and direct, according to a report on Deadline.com.

No production dates have been announced, but the film sounds like it will be a fictionalized version of Bowden's nonfiction book.

The book was about Jordan's death and the search for the killers by his brother, former El Paso Intelligence Center Director Phil Jordan. The movie reportedly will be a fictional account of the younger brother of a DEA agent killed in a cartel-ordered hit. Landesman described Las Cruces resident Bowden's book as "haunting and epic" in the Deadline report.

Meanwhile, another movie with a drug cartel element, "Unlimited," opened Oct. 10 in suburban Kansas City.

The Christian indie was shot mostly in San Elizario this past March and April. It stars Fred Thompson, the former "Law & Order" star, Tennessee senator and presidential candidate, as Harold Finch, a fictional version of the film's real executive producer, a former NASA Apollo scientist-turned-Christian missionary, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. It's based on one of Finch's books.

It also stars Simon Orwell as a gifted student who has run afoul of a cartel. He crosses the border into Mexico to hide out in an orphanage and to find a former professor who is developing a technology supposed to deliver unlimited power.

It was directed by Nathan Frankowski. Some of the locally connected talent includes Oscar Avila, who just appeared in Frontera Repertory Theatre Company's "Tom Lea: Grace Note In a Hard World," and Adrian Castaneda Jr., who plays Juan, one of the orphans.

No word on a local booking yet.

El Komander coming

Alfredo Rios, better known as El Komander, will headline a Thanksgiving dance at 8 p.m. Nov. 27 at the County Coliseum.

El Komander is essentially a Mexican regional artist, a modern-day corrido singer and a guy known for his narcocorridos, songs often criticized for glorifying drug culture. It's sort of like a Mexican regional version of gangsta rap.

After he performed in Chihuahua City on July 27, his promoter was fined $8,000 for violating the city's 3-year-old ban on narcocorridos, according to Billboard. Rios claimed he went over the set list with the promoter, according to the magazine.

But the Culiacan-born singer says he's not just about narcocorridos. "We have a lot of songs to sing and have fun with, and who doesn't like us doesn't like us, but we play by the rules because we want to be able to sing anywhere," he told reporters at a press conference in Puebla, according the Aug. 6 Billboard story.

Tickets for the El Paso show cost $31.75 and $45.25, plus service charges, on sale at the box office and through Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.

Merry Kozmas

Switching from Thanksgiving to Christmas, tickets for the annual Dave Koz and Friends show at the Plaza Theatre will go on sale Nov. 8.

Sax man Koz will be joined by audience favorite Jonathan Butler, singer Oleta Adams and pianist Keiko Matsui on his 16th annual holiday tour, which comes to the Plaza at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18.

Tickets will range from $35 to $107, plus service charges, and will be available at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

Chopin at the Chamizal

With the federal shutdown a thing of the past (well, until they do it again in January?), the folks who run the El Paso Chopin Music Festival will move the event back to the Chamizal National Memorial Theater for this year's final event.

Festival co-founder Lucy Scarbrough will close out the 19th annual festival with a free concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Chamizal, which reopened last week.

The first two concerts were moved to First Christian Church, which was full both times.

"The last one (with Mei-Ting Sun) was so full. Every nook and cranny was filled with people," Scarbrough said.

Post-Halloween fun

Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, making the weekend the perfect opportunity for post-Halloween and D a de los Muertos events.

Take the La Parada folks. Their next First Fridays event will be the La Parada Costume Ball, their first, at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 inside and outside of the San Carlos Building, 501 Texas. Several out-of-town DJs from the "Scare Your Pants Off" tour will play the patio, including Pickster, DJ Tramlife and DJ Nyce1. The inside stage will include sets by Lank, Mijas and System.A with Rob Bass. There will be live art, tattoo art and more. It's an 18-and-older event. Cover is $5.

The next night, Chuco Soul Project, Bella Fusion and DJ Onemanjazz will perform at the Downtown D a de Los Muertos Celebration, a family event starting at 5 p.m., also at the San Carlos Building. It will include live art, card readings, fire dancers and more. Admission is $5 at the door, free for kids 5 and younger.

El Paso's Golden Goose Tattoo is going all out with Day of the Dancing Dead, an block party under a heated tent that will feature stilt walkers, food trucks, go-go dancers, a hookah lounge, food trucks and music. It will start at 5 p.m. Nov. 2, with everything taking place on Mills Street in front of the Network, between Kansas and Stanton streets. Admission is $15 general admission, $30 VIP. Tickets are on sale at the club, EP Party Bus, Golden Goose and Station Recreation.

Los Angeles DJ Clockwork, who is on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label, will headline Nightmare on El Paso Street, a Halloween/D a de los Muertos concert and party at 9 p.m. Nov. 2 at Tricky Falls. Heroes & Villains and Troy Lanez also are on the bill. It's an 18 and older show and includes a costume contest (and prizes). Advance tickets are sold out, but $15 general admission tickets are available at All That Music & Video, Craze Yogurt, J. Luxe and wantickets.com.

Cancellation blues

Some cancellations to report.

An "unforeseen scheduling conflict" led actor-singer Jada Pinkett Smith and her band Wicked Wisdom to cancel the rest of their tour, including an Oct. 21 show at Tricky Falls. The scheduling conflict (and wording) came from the venue. No new date has been announced. Venue staff said they hoped to reschedule it in early 2014.

That mariachi musical, "Que Bonito Amor," that I told you about last week is off. It was scheduled to play the Coliseum at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.

The "Cuff Me" musical, a spoof of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" books, also is off. It was supposed to play the Plaza Theatre on Nov. 9. Those refunds are available at the point of purchase.

Young country

Hunky country novice Chase Rice will bring his "Ready, Set, Roll!" tour to Whiskey Dicks at 10 p.m. Dec. 7. The tour is named for his new single and EP. Rice isn't exactly a big name in country music, though he did co-write the Florida Georgia Line single "Cruise." Fans of TV's "Survivor" probably know who he is. He finished second on "Survivor: Nicaragua." Tickets are $10 at ticketbully.com.

Former Godhead frontman Jason Charles Miller, who does more of a hard country-blues thing these days, will play Tricky Falls at 6 p.m. Nov. 3. He's touring last year's "Natural Born Killer" album. This is not your daddy's country, but he does cite Johnny Cash, among others, as an influence. The Lusitania and Trailer Band will open the show. Tickets are $15 at the club, All That Music & Video, Bowie Feathers, Eloise, Maria's Closet and holdmyticket.com.

Quick hits

-- Austin singer Bianca DeLeon, who combines country and Latin music, will headline a fundraiser for the El Paso chapter of Join Us for Justice, which advocates for the separation of church and estate, at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at Aceitunas, 5200 Doniphan. Tickets cost $20, or $30 for two, with dinner, on sale at joinusforjustice.org or by calling 525.8545.

-- Scottish folk singer (and former Old Blind Dogs member) Jim Malcolm returns to the area for a couple of shows, including a 7 p.m. Nov. 6 stop at St. Clement's School's theater. The affable singer-guitarist is known for his blend of originals and traditional Scottish and Celtic folks songs, not to mention his interpretations of the poems of Robert Burns. Tickets, $20, are available at the door or by calling 590-0557. Malcolm also will play a house concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in Las Cruces. Admission is an $18 donation. Call 575-636-4308.

This is a roundup of concert and other event information from Doug Pullen's blog, Pullen My Blog, at elpasotimes.com/blogs. He may be reached at 546-6397; tiempo@elpasotimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougpullen and on Facebook at facebook.com/dougpulleneptimes.

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