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Culture Lust Radio: ‘Here Not There,’ Sage Francis, And More

Above: "And Perhaps in that Lockbox Everything Lay Hidden" by Glenna Jennings. On view in MCASD's "Here Not There: San Diego Now" exhibit.

Audio

Aired 6/4/10

Culture Lust joins Dwane Brown and Pamela Davis on the radio to talk about the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's new exhibit "Here Not There: San Diego Art Now" and Sage Francis' upcoming performance at the Belly-Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

DWANE BROWN: A new exhibit of San Diego's contemporary artists and alternative hip hop in Solana Beach. Joining us for the latest on the San Diego arts scene is Arts and Culture producer Angela Carone. Angela is also the editor of our arts blog, Culture Lust.

Angela, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a group show of San Diego artists opening this weekend. Why do you want to recommend it?

ANGELA CARONE: The show is called "Here Not There: San Diego Art Now" and the title pretty much tells the story – if you want to get a sense of what contemporary artists in San Diego are doing – then this is a good show to see. There are just over 50 artists in the show – all working in different genres. Some are solid mid-career artists, some are emerging. There are some collectives, and actually many of these artists went to school here in San Diego.

John Hogan, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, 2006, pigmented ink on paper, mounted to Sintra and Plexiglas, 36.5 x 28 in. Courtesy of the artist
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Above: John Hogan, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, 2006, pigmented ink on paper, mounted to Sintra and Plexiglas, 36.5 x 28 in. Courtesy of the artist

DWANE BROWN: Why the title Here Not There?

ANGELA CARONE: I think San Diego's visual art scene often gets overlooked, being sandwiched as we are between

Los Angeles and Tijuana. There's a lot of buzz generating around the art scenes in those two cities – particularly if you look at it from a national and international perspective. I think the title is meant to say this is what we have going on here – this is what contemporary art practice looks like in San Diego right now. In that respect, it's an important show for the museum to mount.

DWANE BROWN: Ok, that's visual arts, what about music, any recommendations there?

ANGELA CARONE: Sure. Hip-hop artist Sage Francis will be at the Belly Up Tavern on Monday night. Francis is considered part of the indie rap genre, which is the more experimental side of hip hop. It includes people like Gnarls Barkley and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. Francis is a major figure in that world, but also in the spoken word and slam poetry scene.

On view in "Here Not There: San Diego Now" is Heather Gwen Martin's "Recreational," 2009, oil on linen, 60 x 84 in.  Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
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Above: On view in "Here Not There: San Diego Now" is Heather Gwen Martin's "Recreational," 2009, oil on linen, 60 x 84 in. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

He's just come out with his fifth album, so he'll be performing a lot of new material Monday night. The new album is called LI(F)E. [Music plays]

DWANE BROWN: That was "Diamonds and Pearls" by Sage Francis. Angela, fill us in on your KPBS arts blog Culture Lust, what should people be looking for there.

ANGELA CARONE: Of course, there are arts and culture suggestions for your weekend.

DWANE BROWN: But you also highlight a new album from soul singer Bettye LaVette.

ANGELA CARONE: Yes, how could I not. I've listened to this album every day this week, I'm slightly obsessed. Bettye LaVette is a soul singer from Detroit who had early success in the 60's but had a hard time gaining any traction after that. Fast forward 40 years later and around 2005 things began picking up for her again. Now she's finally getting the recognition she deserves.

For this new album, she's taken songs from the classic British rock canon – Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, The Who - and made them entirely her own. [Music plays}

Shepard Fairey's cover art for Sage Francis' new album Li(f)e.
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Above: Shepard Fairey's cover art for Sage Francis' new album Li(f)e.

The album is called "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook" and I can't recommend it enough. Her voice and her ownership of these classic songs makes this one of my favorite new releases in a while.

DWANE BROWN: You're also looking for some suggestions from San Diegans.

ANGELA CARONE: Yes, we're looking for listeners input on the next One Book, One San Diego selection. This is the fifth year of the project, and this past year, the book was Warren St. John's "Outcast United." Well, the advisory committee is getting ready to select the three books that the public will vote on in July for the next book selection.

So on Culture Lust, we're adding another layer of public input early in the process, asking for suggestions as to what those three books should be. Already we've had some good suggestions, including Luis Urrea's "Into The Beautiful North." So just go to Culture Lust on KPBS.org and let us know what you think the next One Book One San Diego selection should be.

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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