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Gram Rabbit Comes To The Casbah Easter Weekend

Audio

Aired 4/2/10

Easter weekend is here and of course there are parades to attend and Easter eggs to hunt. But we also want to suggest some art events for your weekend. Joining us on Morning Edition with some recommendations is KPBS arts and culture producer Angela Carone.

I was on local Morning Edition this morning chatting about what to do this weekend in San Diego. Listen or read...take your pick.

DWANE BROWN: Easter weekend is here and while there are parades to attend and Easter eggs to hunt, we also want to suggest some arts for your weekend. Joining us with some recommendations is KPBS' arts and culture producer Angela Carone.

Gram Rabbit members Ethan Allen, Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford. Gram Rabbit plays The Casbah on Saturday night.
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Above: Gram Rabbit members Ethan Allen, Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford. Gram Rabbit plays The Casbah on Saturday night.

PAMELA DAVIS: Angela, I suppose this is kind of Easter related. There are bunnies involved. A band called Gram Rabbit is playing at the Casbah on Saturday night.

MUSIC CUT: "COWBOYS AND ALIENS"

ANGELA CARONE: Gram Rabbit is a band from Joshua Tree, led by a voluptuous lead singer named Jesika von Rabbit. And they really make the most of the whole rabbit theme. They sell bunny ears for the crowd to wear. In turn, the crowd chants rabbit, rabbit throughout the show. They've been around for a while but have never quite made it mainstream though they have a very loyal cult following, sometimes referred to as The Royal Order of Rabbits.

DWANE BROWN: From what I can tell just sampling their music, the desert itself is a big influence on the band.

ANGELA CARONE: It is. They live in the high desert and make their music there. The band describes their music as "desert rock spacetronica" which works for me. There are a lot of genres at work in their music: there’s electronica, techno, rock, country, there are futuristic sounds – always a little desert twang. The song we just heard is called "Cowboys and Aliens" from their first album. But they have a new album coming out – their fourth – and it's called "Miracles and Metaphors."

MUSIC CUT: "CANDY FLIP"

You’ve both seen the music video for this song "Candy Flip" which is the first release off the new album. Overall, what do you think of Gram Rabbit?

DWANE BROWN: I give it a seven for "dance-ability."

ANGELA CARONE: So I'll be seeing you at the Casbah dancing in the front row with your bunny ears on?

DWANE BROWN: I don't know about that.

PAMELA DAVIS: (Laughs) Don't forget to yell rabbit.

ANGELA CARONE: Should we move on to theater?

PAMELA DAVIS: Angela, you're also here to tell us about two plays on San Diego stages, both involving debates.

ANGELA CARONE: Yes, but they couldn't be more different. One is called "Speech and Debate" and its protagonists are misfit teenagers who discover a sex scandal and the other is called "The Rivalry," which is about the Lincoln Douglas debates of 1858.

DWANE BROWN: You're right, they sound very different.

ANGELA CARONE: They are, except for the role of debates and the fact that both were inspired by real life politics.

"Speech and Debate," at Diversionary Theatre, was written by a young playwright named Stephen Karam who was inspired by a scandal involving an online chat transcript between the mayor of Spokane, Washington and a young man he was trying to pick up online. "The Rivalry," which is being staged by

Lamb's Players, is about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.(Listen to the These Days interview with the actors) So very different. In "Speech and Debate," you have technology front and center in these teenagers lives. That's how they discover the sex scandal and they google everything.

And then, in a play like "The Rivalry," you have political debates taking place long before there was even television. Some of those debates were attended by close to 20,000 people who would stand for hours listening to these politicians, who also didn't have microphones, by the way.

So depending on your mood, you could go historical and see "The Rivalry," or go with "Speech and Debate," a very modern, often funny, play about teenage life.

ANNOUNCER: You can find out more about the arts in San Diego by going to Angela's Culture Lust blog on KPBS.org.

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