Some cultural options for your weekend itinerary
May 10, 2012 1:42 p.m.
Nate Benedetto, founder and publisher of Urbanist Guide.
Liz Bradshaw, curator at The Loft at UCSD.
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Movies about surfing, an irreverent take on mother's day, and the sounds of a trip down the Mississippi make up today's weekend preview. My guest, Nate Benedetto is founder and publisher of Urbanist Guide. Welcome to the program .
BENEDETTO: Thanks for having me.
CAVANAUGH: And Liz Bradshaw is curator of the loft at UC San Diego. Welcome back.
BRADSHAW: Hi, Maureen.
CAVANAUGH: Let's start with you. And there's a brand-new film festival in town. Testimony us about that
BRADSHAW: I'm very excite body this. It's the very first ever, ever, San Diego film festival this weekend.
CAVANAUGH: You think we'd have one before!
BRADSHAW: I know. But there you go. We're apparently catching up. So it's happening, it kicks off tomorrow night at Burt's surf shed on morenna boulevard, and it's the only California surf film festival too. So the founders of the festival, pierce and Patrick Cavanaugh, and Ed Lewis, film maker, water people, great community people. It's a festival that's been created by the community for the community. It's really grassroots in the sense that the founders are just doing this for the sheer love of independent film makers, the artists that kind of surround the whole surf genre, and want everyone to come along and get really involved.
CAVANAUGH: Now, you said that it's going to be playing at Bird's Surf Shed. That's an odd venue for a film screening.
BRADSHAW: Well, you might think that. But it's this amazing kind of, like, airport hanger style hut on Morena boulevard, and it doubles as like a surf museum. And for those people who are film with Bird in the surf community, you can hear him do the surf reports every day, and he's well known for that. And he's got that huge collection of about 400 boards from floor to ceiling in the shed. And so it just makes for a really cool setting for, you know, very fitting setting for this.
CAVANAUGH: Are all the films strictly about surfing?
BRADSHAW: Well, they all have their roots in surfing, but it's definitely not, you know, like a bunch of films that are just the lakes of Kelly Slater shredding up and down the same wave all the time. It's 13 feature films and 22 shorts. They run the gamut from shortboarding, longboarding, shaping, documentary style, films from Argentina, Australia, Scotland, Mexico.
BRADSHAW: One from Africa. Of there's one that's about 30,000 black and white negatives that were found at a flea market in Pasadena, and exploring the stories behind these cool old photos and talking to some of the people in them.
CAVANAUGH: What other events are happening during the festival?
BRADSHAW: Well, going back to kind of the idea of this festival being a whole community event, there'll be no -- H2O flash control, you can try your hand at womping, and they're going to be doing a surf board demo, there's an art lounge there, so you can check out some great original art all weekend, and there'll be some live art as well on Sunday.
CAVANAUGH: The San Diego film festival runs Friday through Sunday at Bird's surf shed on morenna boulevard. Nate, we go to you and mother's day!
LOBATZ: We have a very sweet art event forum.
CAVANAUGH: It's a mom-inspired art show happening Friday night. Where?
BENEDETTO: This is at a place called the Zef Alt-gallery. And that's on seventh avenue downtown.
CAVANAUGH: And it's put on by art fist collective.
CAVANAUGH: What types of art will we see?
BENEDETTO: Well, it's always interesting with the art fist collective. It's going to be a healthy dose of low brow, as well as, you know, just fun and funny artworks. But you're going to see paintings, illustrations, sculptures, video, so all types of different art, all about your mom.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us a little bit about the gallery. You said it was the Zef Alt-gallery, am I saying it correct?
BENEDETTO: You are, yes.
CAVANAUGH: It's fairly new, right?
BENEDETTO: It's about a year old. It's by a gay named Andrew Estrada, loves to make large installation pieces. He had a tough time finding a big gallery but was lucky to score this place on seventh in a basement. And there are a few artist who is have studios above him, and they got to be friends and decided why not throw some shows downstairs? So excited to see the place. I haven't been there yet myself, and I think a lot of San Diegans are going to be interested to see this cutting-edge art downtown in a unique basement setting.
CAVANAUGH: Now, you say cutting-edge art about mother's day. So we know this show is mom-inspired. But is it safe for us to bring our moms to the show?
BENEDETTO: Well, I think the litmus test has to be the special entertainment, which is a -- actually San Diego's top drag queen grandma. So if your mom would be open to that sort of thing, I think this show is going to be right up here alley. If she's a little more timid, maybe not the best show.
CAVANAUGH: Maybe just brunch.
BENEDETTO: Yeah, yeah. Traditional brunch in Coronado. But it's going to be a lot of fun. One of my favorite pieces at the show. Terry Beth Mitchell is an example of what you'll see there, her mom say police officer back in the midwest. So she has titled her piece Sprinkled, and incorporated actually sprinkles from a donut, and the whole piece is a glazed donut theme around --
CAVANAUGH: Yes, the donuts, the polices, yes.
BENEDETTO: So the outfits, the uniform is bright pink, and it's very cute and very funny. Perfect representation of art fist, and what you're going to see.
CAVANAUGH: Liz, you're excite body some bands playing Saturday at the. Casbah who are they?
BRADSHAW: We've got the super cool Australian indie pop quartet, the jezebels, who guys and two girls. Hard to pin down. But lots of cool synth indie pop or disco pop. I picked up some kind of Kate bush-style vocals. And I guess they call themselves intensity. Get if?
[ LAUGHTER ]
BRADSHAW: That's their genre. And a British singer songwriter, Benjamin Francis Leftwich.
CAVANAUGH: Do you enjoy his music?
BRADSHAW: I do. He is one of those artists that I came across whilst I was listening to another artist kind of in the style of radio playlists on the Internet. I've got a bit of an obsession with somebody called Ben hard right now, and Benjamin keeps popping up on that radio station too. I saw that he was playing with the jezebels and was pretty excited. For me, he was a great, singer songwriter, I like his melodies, I like his voice. Damian rice, great kind of la, la, putt around to, think to.
CAVANAUGH: We have something from him. Here is Atlas Hands.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: Nate, another art show is opening Saturday. Tell us about these artists at thumb print gallery.
BENEDETTO: Two good buddies, Nix McPherson, and to keyo, Juan morante is his real name. And it's called southern style, because they're both sort of from the south. We've got Nick from Texas, and to keyo from Miami. They're both graphic designers during the week, and great parents at night and on the weekend. So they are showing at thumb print, and they're both kind of in that street artist genre.
BENEDETTO: So youthful, low brow, good fun, good stuff. It's always a party when they have an art event. As much of a social gathering as introspective art show.
CAVANAUGH: The show is happening at, as I said, thumb print gallery. What are they known for?
BENEDETTO: They're known for these exact type of artists. Maybe born from graffiti style, these are more contemporary street artists and illustrators, so basically thumbprint is always known for youthful, cutting-edge, outsider art some people call it. And so, they've really got their finger on the pulse of the up and coming artist in San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: And there's an interesting live music event happening tonight downtown. Tell us about this, Liz.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, are so it's space for art tonight, downtown, another in the fresh sound series, which is a kind of contemporary music series created by a local contemporary music guru, Bonnie wright, and as part of this season, she's focusing on artist ares from New York. She spends a lot of time there. And one of her things is to really bring these great artists, these boundary-breaking artists out of New York, and across to San Diego, which I think is very cool. This particular concert, performance, is called brim, songs from the river project. And it's by composer Eve Baglarian, and eve rowel. She spent four months traveling down the Mississippi. She went from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and this is a music performance piece inspired by her voyage. So it's a collection of original compositions, adventurous river-related songs, tales of people she's met along the way, videos and spoke know-word readings.
CAVANAUGH: So it's sort of an audio diary of the trip
BRADSHAW: Yeah, it's definitely more inspired by the trip as opposed to kind of straightforward story telling. But it looks very, very cool.
CAVANAUGH: We know what we're going to be hearing. Is there a eventual aspect to this as well?
BRADSHAW: There is. So the whole way down she kayaked with this coordinates of electronics, kept a photo tech sound blog, and a video diary as well. So you'll be seeing some of the visual pieces to go along with that.
CAVANAUGH: And the whole idea is to bring these artists, these cutting-edge artists that would be performing on the east coast, maybe never see San Diego to us here in San Diego.
BRADSHAW: That's exactly it. Of I think Bonnie wright is a really great lady for the city. He's one of the biggest music lovers that I know. When she spends time in New York, she'll go and see two or three artists in one night. So it's a great, great opportunity. And these -- the CVs that these musicians have are huge. Look them up and you'll be impressed.
CAVANAUGH: That's brim, happening tonight, at space for art in downtown San Diego. And Nate, delta spirit will be performing Sunday at belly up, actually Saturday and Sunday, but the Saturday show is sold out. Tell us about this band.
BENEDETTO: Delta spirit started in San Diego in 2004. One of my favorite parts about this band is how they came to life. Matt Vasquez was playing outside of a bar at 2:00 AM in the Gaslamp, sitting on the street corner with his guitar case open, just belting it out. And two musicians came by saw it, loved what they were hearing, and traded contact information and the band was born. So from the Gaslamp, they ended up playing around town a few years, moved to long beach, and just recently moved to New York City. Over the last eight years, they've come out with three albums. The latest album is called delta spirit, the self-titled album. And so they have been known as a blues, rocky, southern-influenced rag timy kind of -- I compare them to, like, an older black crows.
CAVANAUGH: Let's hear a little bit. Dealt spirit performing just a clip from California.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: They put on a good live show, Nate?
BENEDETTO: Excellent live show. This is one of those band, people always say it in music industry, but you got to see them live.
CAVANAUGH: Okay! Delta spirit performs as I said, Saturday and Sunday, but you can go to the Sunday show at the belly up in Solana beach.
BRADSHAW: Thanks for having us.
BENEDETTO: Thank you.