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Katt Williams, Other Lives, And A Special Screening

November 1, 2012 1:22 p.m.

Comedy, Music, and an Artful Dia de los Muertos

GUESTS:

Seth Combs, a freelance writer in San Diego

Rosey Bystrack, author of the music blog SD Dialed In

Related Story: Katt Williams, Other Lives, And A Special Screening

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Halloween is over, but Dia de Los Muertos celebrations are just getting started. And music and comedy all coming up on the weekend preview. Joining me, Seth Combs, freelance writer in San Diego. It's good to see you.

COMBS: Good to see you too.

CAVANAUGH: Rosey Bystrak is author of the music blog SD Dialed-In.

BYSTRAK: How are you?

CAVANAUGH: Great, thank you. And the book cat put presenting the screening of the new film Crowd Atlas this Saturday. What is the book cat put?

COMBS: It started out as a blog by a guy named Seth Marcos, writing about various books and trying to spark literary discussions online. He calls himself a book seller. And this will be his first foray into doing an event. The catapult is more like rants, rave, and reviews on literature.

CAVANAUGH: The book, and now the movie. Is it fair to say it's a little bit -- it's attained cult status, hasn't it?

COMBS: For sure. I actually hadn't heard too much about it until the buzz for the movie started. But it's this guy, Seth, was telling me he's read it three or four times. And it's just -- I've read a review where they were comparing it to a cross word puzzle where every time you solve a puzzle, a new one starts. If you're not familiar with the book, you can go on the IMDB site, and the description for the movie is about as vague as it gets. To sum it up, it's about how your actions today affect actions in the future, distant, distant future. And it has this weird kind of metaphysical thing going on where people are reincarnated, and I couldn't get my head around it to be honest.

CAVANAUGH: Multilevel stories spanning times and generations. It's got a lot going on!

COMBS: Yes, it does. Including the writers of the matrix and the director from run, Lola, run.

CAVANAUGH: And there's going to be even more for fans. An interview with the author?

COMBS: Yes, he won't be there in person. He lives in Ireland. But they did a Skype interview and they'll have an open discussion with the audience after the screening. Everybody has those great discussions where they're comparing the film to the movie and whether they like this one better or whatever. And for anybody who wants to purchase a $27.50 ticket, they'll have an autographed copy of the book.

CAVANAUGH: And the screening is at the village theatre in Coronado. Let's move onto the band Other Lives, performing Sunday night at the Casbah what can we expect from other lives, rosy?

BYSTRAK: It's almost hard for me to talk about this band because I'm kind of a supergroupie. The band has played at soda bar, the Casbah and they opened for Bonnevair when they were here last year, and then they got recruited to open for Radiohead. It's a huge band, they have a lot of gear. And after they played soda bar, soda bar expanded their stage.

CAVANAUGH: I read a rundown of the instruments, and you've got a cello, you've got a lot going on there!

BYSTRAK: A lot going on.

CAVANAUGH: What can we expect from the live show then besides a crowded stage?

BYSTRAK: Well, are the band just -- their sound is just really unique and -- I don't even know how to tell you. There's so much going on, and every member is critical to the sound that they play. I just think that it's definitely a show worth seeing.

COMBS: Yeah.

BYSTRAK: Especially because they're back on the small stage after these huge tours. The

CAVANAUGH: Give us some background on this band.

BYSTRAK: They're from Oklahoma. The singer, Jesse, had a band I believe called Cuedic, and then they had a first record, and the second record came out, tamer animals, last year. They were featured on fresh air. And I discovered that, you know, that play of them and sort of just fell in love. I've gone to Las Vegas to see them, San Francisco to see them.

CAVANAUGH: Well, we've got to hear them, right?

BYSTRAK: For sure.

[ LAUGHTER ]

CAVANAUGH: This is Other Lives.

(Audio Recording Played)

CAVANAUGH: They're going to perform at the Casbah on Sunday night. And Rosy, I know you're the supergroupie. They've launched an interactive website called tameranimals.com.

BYSTRAK: It's an advanced TUMBLR account. You can ask questions. It's like being on twitter or Facebook, but they manage the site themselves. So if Facebook goes the way of Myspace, they have the complete control of their fans and can interact with them directly.

CAVANAUGH: And there's another band opening for them on Sunday night? The Animals?

BYSTRAK: Yes.

COMBS: Not the tamer animals.

[ LAUGHTER ]

CAVANAUGH: The flying panther tattoo annual Dia de Los Muertos art show. Leave it to Seth to find a very distinctive event. It sounds like a fun venue.

COMBS: Well, it's a fun place, yeah. It's your typical tattoo parlor in Golden Hill. A little bigger. But they have had some really great music and art events throughout the years. They'll just be showing off some great local underground talent, both of the tattoo doing genre, and of the more on the wall visual art esthetic, you know?

CAVANAUGH: Give us a 101 for anyone in the audience who is not familiar with this postHalloween holiday.

COMBS: Yeah, anybody who remembers the basic from Spanish 101 like I do can tell you that it translates to day of the dead, and it is celebratod November 1st. It's a little more rev rant than Halloween. It's a holiday to commemorate friends and loved ones who have passed away. They make offerings to the dead, like their favorite drink or favorite candy or their favorite flower even, and some people really go all out for it, and some people it's just a nice day to not really get morose about the passing of loved ones but to really say like oh, man, hisome really, really great times with you, thank you. And to ostensibly say please look over me.

CAVANAUGH: Right. And all the skeletons and the sugar skulls that we see have lost their spooky edge.

COMBS: Yeah.

CAVANAUGH: And it's more a tribute, an acknowledgement of the fragility of life.

COMBS: At the end of the day, it's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be rev rant but also a celebration. A celebration of a life, not a sitting around feeling bad for yourself, oh, why did they go, you know?

CAVANAUGH: Right. Now, back to the tattoo shop, flying panther tattoos has -- one of the highlights of the show is altar. What is that?

COMBS: Oh, well, basically, it's just an altar. A lot of places do, I know solo up in Solana beach does this as well, and a few other places around town, but they create altars to the dead. So if you -- you know, if your loved one is buried somewhere that's not really accessible or somewhere outside of San Diego, you can go to these altars and make your offerings this. And a lot of places do this. They're usually very grandiose displays. You go in there, you bring flowers, you bring candies, whatever you want to offer up.

CAVANAUGH: Who are some of the artists involved?

COMBS: Well, gosh. There's more than half a dozen of them. But rob Benavidez is one of them, Ben Grillo, Dominic Vasquez. And they're like the -- they're even more underground than underground. They're under the earth, if you will.

[ LAUGHTER ]

CAVANAUGH: In the morlack caverns underground.

COMBS: Yeah, and some of them are tattoo artists. There will be likely pictures and displays of their tattoo work. But also some really nice visual art as well, some paintings as well.

CAVANAUGH: Right. Because this is a tattoo shop, people might think it's all about tattoos.

COMBS: No, it's not all about tattoos. And I'm one to say any chance I get that I believe that body art tattoos are a form of art. The canvas is certainly hard to work on. There will be that but also some really cool visual art as well. As well as a band. I've never heard them. They're called Night Rituals. It says on the website, the solo project of San Diego occult wave godfather.

CAVANAUGH: All right! You got to go to appreciate it!

[ LAUGHTER ]

CAVANAUGH: There are many Dia de Los Muertos celebrations going on around town. You can find them by going to KPBS.org. Cat Williams performing at Viejas tonight!

BYSTRAK: Cat Williams is a comedian. He is really hilarious if you like stoner humor.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BYSTRAK: I would say if you took Eddie Murphy from his raw ear acrossed him with Snoop dog, you're going to have cat Williams.

CAVANAUGH: I see! So what is the performance like?

BYSTRAK: It's going to be just standup. So I feel like comedy is sort of the new rockstar, these comedians are now, there's this resurgence in the live act. Because you can't really find it on YouTube. He released a DVD recently for nine lives for this tour. But it's a lot different than music where you can find music anywhere, comedians are a bit more protective of their material, so you're got to go to the live show to truly appreciate it.

CAVANAUGH: Right. I saw on his website, I thought at first that he was a music act. Some of the videos, his spoken word is set to music. He's a rapper too, right?

BYSTRAK: Yeah. And he's also a movie star and --

CAVANAUGH: What movies?

BYSTRAK: Probably the most notable is Friday after next with ice cube. Hilarious stoner humor.

COMBS: Why did you point at me when you said that?

[ LAUGHTER ]

BYSTRAK: It's radio. No one saw.

[ LAUGHTER ]

CAVANAUGH: Another thing I just want to get in, Viejas is a large arena. Is it a good venue?

BYSTRAK: I haven't been there for a comedy show. So I wouldn't know. But it's going to be interesting to say the least. The more people in a room supporting a comedian on stage, it's going to be a chain reaction of laughter.


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