Weekend Preview: From Rock And Roll To The Art Of Politics
January 12, 2012 1:07 p.m.
Guests: Enrique Limon, CityBeat blogger and editor of "El Zonkey Show," and Maya Kroth, editor of "Where San Diego" and "Performance" magazines.
Related Story: Weekend Preview: From Rock And Roll To The Art Of Politics
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Just when you were getting a little bored with your new year's diet comes San Diego restaurant week. We'll be talking about that delicious topic, plus art shows and a rock and roll documentary on our weekend preview. Joining me, two people who really know what's going on in San Diego. Enrique Limon is author of the man about town blog for San Diego City beat, and editor for the website, El Zonkey show. Welcome back.
LIMON: Thank you for the invitation, and I would like to say I dedicate today's appearance to all my homies in the San Diego jails is.
CAVANAUGH: All right. I hope we find out more about that. And Maya Kroth is editor of where San Diego, and Performances Magazine. Welcome.
KROTH: I'd like to call myself woman about town.
KROTH: Someone's got to keep him in check.
CAVANAUGH: You can call yourself anything you'd like to this on show, Maya, as long as it meets our standards. Let's start with you then, woman about town. Everyday sunshine, the story of fish bone. It's a documentary screening at the whistle stop bar. But this bar is also known for holding film screenings. Tell us about this venue. What's it like to see a film at the whistle stop?
KROTH: It's like watching a movie in a war. But this place really came into its own as a place to see sort of semiobscure films that you're to the going to see at the big cinemaplex. And that happened several years ago when an indie video store called citizen video moved in across the street. That store has gone the way of the dinosaur, but it's nice to see that whistle stop is still keeping up with film screenings of interest stuff.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us about tonight's film, everyday sunshine.
KROTH: It's a documentary about the band fish bone, which is something that some of us '80s and ‘90s kids remember if you ran in alternative circles. They wound up being really, really influential on other musicians who sort of grew to eclipse them with their own career. But they came out of South Central LA in the mid-80s, and just combining all these different genres, from ska to punk, to hip hop and metal. And it was this really new sound for the time who influenced a lot of people, everyone from Gwen Stefani, to ice tea, to les claypool. And they're all interviewed in the film.
CAVANAUGH: Let's hear a clip from this documentary. Here's a scene explaining the roots of fish bone, and this documentary is narrated by Lawrence fishburn.
(Audio Recording Played)
NEW SPEAKER: The bottom line is that fish bone couldn't have come from any other city but Los Angeles. Beginning with the war-time economy of the 1940s, the lure of jobs, beaches, and 330 days of sunshine, many African Americans fled the historic racism of the south and came to LA.
CAVANAUGH: And that's a little bit from the documentary, everyday sunshine, the story of fish bone. Will there be any of the film makers at this screening tonight?
KROTH: Yeah, as I understand, the two decorates, Lev Anderson, and Chris Metzler will be there in person talking about the film.
CAVANAUGH: And a Q and A maybe?
KROTH: Yes, it'll be a great opportunity to ask them any questions you want.
CAVANAUGH: Everyday sunshine screens tonight at whistle stop in south park. And we have an art exhibit opening at the San Diego repertoire theatre. Does it have anything to do with your shoutout to the homies?
LIMON: All the art in the show is inspired by social/political topics. Installation art, painting, and some pretty nifty silk screen posters.
CAVANAUGH: So who are the artists that are going to be contributing?
LIMON: It's a joint effort between four, eena mix, Sasha warden, and one of my favorites, chicle.
CAVANAUGH: Is everything going to be political about this art?
LIMON: Yeah, what it is that it's conceptualized to be shown alongside the world premiere of a production called a hammer, a bell, and a song to sing, which is a musical journey through protest songs from the American revolution to the current occupy movement. It's very apropos.
CAVANAUGH: I see. So the art and the songs go together, and they all have a political point of view. What's special about the opening reception?
LIMON: It's free to the public from 3:30 to 7:30 PM, tell one of the ushers that you're there for the show. All artists will be mingling with people, and understand there's going to be light hors d'oeuvres served as well.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You say that part of it is free. How much does the other part cost?
LIMON: I don't have the cost here with me. It should be very accessible. It's a workshop. And it's sort of like a 2-in-one deal. So could be perfect date night material.
CAVANAUGH: Good! All right. The opening reception for the politics of art is Friday night at the San Diego repertory theatre. Back to you. Another art opening. This one at RB Stevenson gallery in La Jolla. Peter Halasz, is from New York City, and he's showing here.
>> He's actually from La Jolla originally. But he moved on out to New York and spent about six years there, and that was where he really began to make his national profile
CAVANAUGH: Hometown boy does good!
KROTH: Yeah, so he's come back, spending more time on the west coast recently, and working on paintings near Portland Oregon, then I think he's been hanging out in San Diego in preparation for this show.
CAVANAUGH: It's not just paintings. It's other forms of art as well?
KROTH: I think this show specifically is dedicated to his new paintings, but he has done a whole array of art, video projects and music projects. He's more about Craig a mood for his show, and his canvases are really moody. I remember seeing a show of his almost ten years ago at a gallery in San Diego that's no longer around. But it was really cool. He had a whole soundtrack he had mixed especially for the show, there were candles. It was a whole vibe.
CAVANAUGH: Is that the last time he showed here in San Diego?
KROTH: That particular show wasn't, but his last solo show here was about five years ago.
CAVANAUGH: All right. Will there be a chance for the people who attend this exhibit to meet the artist on Saturday night?
KROTH: Yeah, Peter is going to be there in person Saturday night during the reception, which runs from about 5:00 to 8:00†PM on Saturday night.
CAVANAUGH: And I forgot to 28 you the name of this particular exhibit. It's love songs and incantations, and it opens at RB Stevenson gallery in La Jolla on Saturday night. And OKAY, now, another art show.
CAVANAUGH: Another art opening this week. At doublebreak galleries.
LIMON: Doublebreak is a hybrid boutique/gallery space in Banker's Hill that has a great selection of art books, and features fresh art shows on a monthly basis.
CAVANAUGH: So there is a San Diego legend who's showing.
LIMON: Yes. Mr. Ruben Ortiz Torres.
CAVANAUGH: I wanted you to say it!
LIMON: He is an acclaimed conceptual artist whose work is in a number of museum collection, born in Mexico City, raised there as well, went to cal arts for his MFA in 1990, and he's a professor at the UCSD arts department. He'll be showing around 80 drawings, most of which -- it's a big body of work. Most of which are from early in his career, 1983, and 1990. And the cool thing about this, there will be a handful of updated drawings in which he revisited some of his previous subjects, did drawings based on them, and is displaying them in a before and after scenario.
CAVANAUGH: And there's a reception on Friday night before the show. Does that cost anything?
LIMON: Absolutely not. You know me, I'm a recessionista, if it's free, I'll be there. Opening reception is Friday from 6:00 to 10:00, and it will run through February†12th.
CAVANAUGH: And it's at the Doublebreak gallery on fifth avenue.
LIMON: And a couple of doors down, the tattoo shop, because it is Friday the 13th, they will be offering $13 tattoos. So doublebreak, double up --
KROTH: Is there a bar next door too?
LIMON: Yeah, so if I come back next time around and I have a huge hardwood Maureen across in old English? You know where I got it.
CAVANAUGH: I'm not taking the rap for that one! Now, Restaurant Week, Maya, it starts on Sunday night. Who is the California restaurant association and how are they involved in this event?
KROTH: The CRA is the main lobbying group for the restaurant industry, and their San Diego County chapter is the group sponsoring these two restaurant weeks that happen in it San Diego, two times a year. And the promotion, people by now are probably familiar with if, it's participating restaurants offer 3-course meals for 20, 30, or $40 per person. And I think they started it as an attempt to boost business in times of the year that are typically slow for restaurants.
CAVANAUGH: I saw restaurant week billboards up before Christmas. Apparently this is something that a lot of restaurants really depend on.
KROTH: Yeah, and people seem to like it. It's hectic a little bit for the people who work in the restaurants because they're just packed, and they're doing a lot of business. But people love it.
CAVANAUGH: So with so many restaurants in our city, are there any that you would specifically recommend?
KROTH: Well, the interesting thing is that in order to officially be a participant in restaurant week, I think you have to be a member of that group. And a lot of great restaurants, my favorite restaurants, aren't. But you'll see restaurants doing their own sort of guerilla-style restaurant week menus.
CAVANAUGH: To make it seem as if they're participating or to offer an alternative?
KROTH: Just to join in the zeitgeist, I think be. And people are out, they're eating, and even if you're not officially part of this group, maybe you find something special. But there are plenty of really good restaurants on the official participating list as well, including some kitchen 1540 in Del Mar is great. And newer restaurants like salt box next door to the house of blues downtown. They have a new name, chef, menu, and also a really interesting cocktail program in the bar.
CAVANAUGH: Now, you mentioned kitchen 1540. Now, this might be the last chance to experience their menu before a pretty big change, right?
KROTH: They have had chef Paul McCabe since the restaurant opened, and he recently left to go to Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe. And they've got Scott Thomas Dolby, who's going to be starting, but not until after restaurant week. He's going to be giving the menu an overhaul.
CAVANAUGH: What do restaurants do when they're trying to come up with a menu for restaurant week? Do they rely on what they usually do or create new menus for this kind of pick and choose thing that people do?
KROTH: I think it's kind of a blend. They put out some of their more signature dishes, then maybe some options to that. And most places also have a vegetarian option or two.
CAVANAUGH: Now, dining out for a full week can get pretty expensive. Even when the prices are reduced. Do you have any advice for our listeners on how to participate in restaurant week without going broke?
KROTH: Well, I think you might skip cocktails or wine if you're really watching your pennies. Those aren't included in the price of the meals. And alcohol can get pretty expensive pretty quick. But in any case, don't forget to budget for tipping. A lot of people go out and they just tip on the discounted amount. The more fair tip is to tip on how much it would cost on a normal night.
CAVANAUGH: Good point. Enrique, an art showcase is happening at the habitat house. This sounds like a big showcase. It's so say we all, best-of showcase. Tell us about a few of the artists.
LIMON: Like you mentioned, it's a really big showcase. Ten artists paired with ten writers, asked to create a piece based on a previously-written essay. Collage, illustration, and 3-D work on board. There's riggen Russell who draws these amazing photo-realistic drawings that are better than any computer rendering I've seen. So it's going to be a very varied show.
CAVANAUGH: It sounds like it want hosted by so say we all.
LIMON: So say we all is an arts nonprofit that work mostly with writers. They're great entertainers and storytellers. They do a lot of writers and outreach workshops with homeless teens.
CAVANAUGH: And they pair visual arts with the written art.
CAVANAUGH: So as we've been saying, there are equity a few art shows around town this weekend. There's so much happening.
CAVANAUGH: How is this one different?
LIMON: I think it's truly unique in the sense that they had the director pick ten essays from their monthly vamp series, and assembled this best-of all-star cast. So in that regard, I think it's going to be very original and super memorable.
KROTH: Those guys are so entertaining. I love their shows.
CAVANAUGH: And they're asking for donations.
LIMON: There will be a donation jar set at the door. Or a big old bowl for you to put some sugar in.
CAVANAUGH: We all need that, right?
LIMON: Spoonful of sugar.
CAVANAUGH: So say we all's best-of showcase is Sunday night at the habitat house in Golden Hill.