Thursday, July 15, 2010
In a weekend of much-buzzed about art exhibits, "Survey Select" is a must-see. We'll also find out what's happening at this year's Gay Pride festival (Devo!) and hear some music from the alt-country singer behind "True Blood" theme song, Jace Everett.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. This weekend is the annual Pride event in San Diego, with a parade, parties, celebrities and musical acts including Devo. But that is not the only reason to march around town this weekend. Joining me to talk about some of the most interesting events coming up is my guest, Seth Combs. He is the editor of Pacific San Diego magazine. Hi, Seth.
SETH COMBS (Editor, Pacific San Diego Magazine): Hi, Maureen. How are you today?
CAVANAUGH: I’m doing great. You know, we’re going to have to buzz through these…
CAVANAUGH: …a little bit.
COMBS: I just had some coffee. I don’t usually drink coffee, so I’m ready to do it.
CAVANAUGH: Oh, we just talked about this art show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, but there’s another pretty ambitious art show opening downtown. It’s called Survey Select. What can you tell us about it?
COMBS: Well, it’s going to be a very large scale contemporary art exhibition. There’s something like 75 or 65 artists exhibiting in this really large space in the East Village area of downtown, which is – it’s the old Wonder Bread – Wonder Bread Factory.
CAVANAUGH: Wonder Bread Factory, yeah.
COMBS: And really, really good artists. I mean, up and coming artists, not really – no one really, really established yet. You know, have had some – a few gallery shows here and there but from all over the world: Brazil, France, Germany, Korea, Sweden, the list goes on.
CAVANAUGH: Now, any local artists in this show?
COMBS: Yeah, and there’s a very good one actually, a gentleman named Kelsey Brookes is showing some of his stuff there. He had a recent solo show up at the Quint Gallery in La Jolla, and he just – I’m not just saying this because he’s my neighbor, either. He had a – he does these very bright, very intricate sort of Eastern religion inspired pieces that just pop in front of you, they’re just full of color. He actually, you know, you just had Shepard and the guys on, he actually worked with Banksy in the West Bank in Israel and – Kelsey, that is. And there’s another gentleman named Hugo Crosthwaite. He actually lives in Brooklyn now but he went to SDSU. And…
CAVANAUGH: Oh, I didn’t know that.
COMBS: …and moved out there and he makes these really great like kind of charcoal portraits of like urban, you know, urban portraiture kind of thing.
CAVANAUGH: So how long will the show be up? And is – what’s the price of admission?
COMBS: It’ll be up for a few months. I don’t – I’m not positive on what the price of admission is. I know, I’m such a diva I get anywhere – everywhere and I get for free – I get in free everywhere, you know, so I don’t actually know the price of admission. But they are having like a lot of really cool workshops and film, you know, a film series that I, you know, I think maybe costs a few bucks but you can find out all that information online.
CAVANAUGH: That sounds fair enough. Survey Select opens this Friday night in the Wonder Bread Factory downtown. You know, if you’re like me and don’t keep up, you say to yourself, Over The Line, that was last weekend. But it’s this weekend, too, Seth. What’s going on?
COMBS: It’s the championships this weekend. And, you know, they’ve whittled it down to the best of the best. And if you don’t know what Over The Line is, I don’t really know how I could possibly explain it. It’s – I think I described it in Pacific magazine as what baseball would’ve – might’ve looked like if it had been invented by a bunch of drunk people on the beach. And I think that’s probably…
CAVANAUGH: I think that’s pretty good.
COMBS: …the best way to go for it. And, you know, drinking is encouraged at the event. I think Miller Lite actually sponsors it. So, yeah, and it started here in San Diego and now it’s all over the world.
CAVANAUGH: How did it get so popular?
COMBS: I’m not entirely sure because it’s, you know, played, you know, on, you know, on the beach, you know, and there’s not beaches everywhere but I guess maybe you can go get some sand and, you know, if you’re, you know, living in a different country you can, you know, practice out in your backyard or whatever. But it’s, yeah, it’s very similar – the rules and the way it’s played are very similar to baseball and, you know, baseball’s everywhere so I think it just, you know, traveled through word of mouth and now you have the internet and it doesn’t hurt and…
CAVANAUGH: Now this Over The Line always has a reputation of being quite rowdy and non-family friendly. What can people expect if they go to this?
COMBS: I would say expect a good time. I mean, you know, if anything – I don’t know how they get around this, to be honest but you can drink on the beach, which is a rarity these days.
CAVANAUGH: Special permit.
COMBS: Yeah, exact – Oh, special permit, okay. So, you know, there’s that. You know, I wouldn’t say it’s non-family friendly but, you know, there’s a lot of hooting and hollering and cussing and people yelling ‘over the line’ and, you know, because you’re not allowed to do that. Anyway, and so, yeah, I wouldn’t – I wouldn’t say it’s, you know, I’d say it’s a PG-13 event.
CAVANAUGH: Now it takes place on Fiesta Island. Any recommendations for parking?
COMBS: Yeah, if you go on the website, they actually do have a very detailed map of bus routes and they also have a shuttle that’s going to be, you know, going back and forth between, you know, where the main games are being played and, you know, all over Fiesta Island. So it’s, you know, not super easy to get to where you need to go but it’s, you know, better than – Oh, and they’re also having a – They also have a huge bike rack, so bike is, you know, biking down there is very – is encouraged. And they’ll have a place for you to lock your bike up.
CAVANAUGH: Over The Line Championships take place this Saturday and Sunday on Fiesta Island. It’s Pride weekend for San Diego’s gay community, in fact, for the whole community. There’s obviously the parade, so give us the highlights of the parade.
COMBS: Well, I – How could I poss – It’s different every year so I would say that the main highlights other than Constance being here, obviously, I was…
CAVANAUGH: Constance McMillen.
COMBS: …you know, listening to that on the way in, and she’s great. The Pride parade is amazing and one-of-a-kind and if you have never been to one, it’s an amazing experience. I don’t really know how to tell people, you know, what’s going to be in it because I don’t really know myself.
CAVANAUGH: Where will it be?
COMBS: Oh, it’ll be in Hillcrest. It’ll be, you know, on the main drag throughout Hillcrest going down University Avenue.
CAVANAUGH: And what besides the parade – what other kind of – because it’s a weekend Pride event…
CAVANAUGH: …right? What other things make up the Pride event?
COMBS: Well, there’s, you know, a large scale kind of festival that includes, you know, music and dancing and there’s like, I was reading, there’s like something like 85 line dancers performing. I mean, how can you turn that down? And, you know, there’s – and so there’s a large scale festival. I think it’s only like about twenty bucks and there’s some great acts this year, you know, Eve is performing. She’s, you know, the R&B, you know, rapper. Blake Lewis from American Idol, and one of my personal favorites, Devo is performing.
CAVANAUGH: Devo. Devo just released a new album. How is it?
COMBS: It is – it’s actually very good. It’s their first new album in 20 years so that’s saying something. And, yeah, and it’s gotten some really, really good reviews and it sounds exactly like De – what Devo sounds like which, you know, it’s not for everybody but it’s that weird synthie pop. I mean, most people know them from that song “Whip It,” but…
CAVANAUGH: Yes, yes.
COMBS: …the new album’s just as good.
CAVANAUGH: I think we have a song from the new album called “Something for Everybody.” This tune is called “Fresh.”
(audio clip of Devo performing “Fresh” from their new album “Something for Everybody”)
CAVANAUGH: Wow, I would not have known who that was.
COMBS: It sounds like it was made in nineteen-eighty, you know, ‘83. I mean, it’s exactly like a Devo.
CAVANAUGH: Tell us a little bit more about who is playing during the Pride event.
COMBS: Oh, okay, so yeah, so like I mentioned, Blake Lewis from American Idol, Eve, Devo, but there’s also some really great local bands at least on the, I believe, on the Sunday bill. It’s on Saturday and Sunday, Burning of Rome is playing, they’re a great local band and super – super fun, super energetic kind of rock, rock-psychedelic-rock. And another band is a three-piece all female band caller Bitter Sober. They’re more kind of Lillith Fair-y kind of singer/songwriter but they rock out a little bit, too, and I think they’re really great, too. So, yeah, I mean, there’s a – there’s some great local acts as well as national acts.
CAVANAUGH: So besides the great local acts and the parade and the line dancing and Devo, is there anything else…
COMBS: The line dancing, yeah.
CAVANAUGH: …that you think is a must see? Or that looks kind of interesting to you for this Pride event?
COMBS: I would say the rally. You know, it’s obviously been a, you know, not to get all, you know, Debbie Downer but like, you know, it’s been a big political year for gay and lesbian – for the gay and lesbian community and there’s – and they’re bringing back the rally this year. It’s on Friday and even if you’re not gay or lesbian yourself, you should go down and support, you know, support – if you do agree with that, and support, you know, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and as well as the right to get married.
CAVANAUGH: I want to tell everyone San Diego’s Gay Pride Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, this weekend, and, Seth, nobody ever accuses you of being a Debbie Downer.
COMBS: Oh, no, no. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of that, a lot of other things but not that.
CAVANAUGH: Thanks so much. We really had to rush through it and you gave us some really good information. Thank you.
COMBS: Okay. No problem. Thank you.
CAVANAUGH: Seth Combs, editor of Pacific San Diego magazine. These Days is produced by Angela Carone, Hank Crook, Megan Book – Burke, that is, Pat Finn, Julien Pearce and senior producer Natalie Walsh. Production Manager, Kurt Kohnen. Technical assistance from Chris Maui. Our production assistant is Hilary Andrews. I’m Maureen Cavanaugh, and, please, enjoy the rest of the week. You’ve been listening to These Days on KPBS.