Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-off, comedy night in Del Mar, and another salon at the San Diego Museum of Art. We'll get recommendations for your weekend from Liz Bradshaw.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. Summertime Weekend Previews are especially interesting because so much is going on. We have street fairs, comedy shows, a couple of great art shows to talk about, and we don’t have a lot of time this week. So here’s my guest, Liz Bradshaw, to tell us all about it, guide us through, curator at The Loft at UCSD, and she’s worked in the music industry for a lot of years. Liz, welcome back.
LIZ BRADSHAW (Curator, The Loft, University of California San Diego): Hi, there. How’s it going?
CAVANAUGH: Pretty good.
CAVANAUGH: First thing, Summer Salon Series at the San Diego Museum of Art, tonight. Now the Summer Salon Series has been going on for awhile.
CAVANAUGH: Tonight’s not the first night. It’s going to continue until September second. What’s the inspiration behind this series?
BRADSHAW: So the upcoming exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art that opens on July 10th is works by Toulouse-Lautrec.
CAVANAUGH: Ah, yeah.
BRADSHAW: The famous painter’s from the post-Impressionist era and he was very, very much involved in the independent salon movement that was happening in Paris around that time when the Moulin Rouge opened. And so this is really a series that accompanies that. And the aim with the Summer Salon Series is to act as a platform and a vehicle for, you know, new artists to present and showcase experiments and works in progress and things that, you know, aren’t the polished piece that’s on the wall but something that people can get involved with and come and check out and a chance for them to get feedback from that audience as well. So…
CAVANAUGH: So not anything like Toulouse-Lautrec but in the spirit of Toulouse-Lautrec.
BRADSHAW: So it’s more in the spirit of, the being experimental…
BRADSHAW: …and, you know, people can come along and they can flow between different pieces and art exhibits and they can go and grab a cocktail and they can converse with friends. And so it’s really more of a full experience than just going to look at some paintings on a wall, which…
BRADSHAW: …is exciting. Umm-hmm.
CAVANAUGH: An artist named Michael Trigilio…
BRADSHAW: Yep, that’s correct. Trigilio…
CAVANAUGH: …thank you—will be there, and his piece hits close to home for us here at KPBS. What is it about?
BRADSHAW: Yes, and Michael Trigilio is a San Diego-based multi-media artist and actually a faculty member at UC San Diego. He’s done a couple of things at The Loft, actually. And a few years ago, he founded a project called Neighborhood Public Radio…
BRADSHAW: …and so you’ll see the logo for that was actually the NPR logo. And a lot of Michael’s work is to do with demystifying things. And so he looked at this to demystify and explore the use of sound in electronics in a public space and so from that, this particular project that he’ll be showcasing, and it’s the first time this piece will have been showcased, this evening, is called “Everything is Up.” It’s a new experimental piece and it revolves around a similar workshop style. There’s going to be multiple participants. I think he said he has 12 guitarists coming along. And so they’re…
BRADSHAW: …going to be using electric guitars and analog synthesizer circuits and just to kind of create interesting sounds and patterns and to really explore the electronics and acoustics of a space.
CAVANAUGH: And also tonight, Judith Pedroza will be recreating an entire Mexico City block?
BRADSHAW: Yeah, and I’m really interested in this. There’s kind of three components to this. So Judith Pedroza grew up in Mexico City, has been in San Diego for a couple of years now, and I think this is somewhat born out of a bit of homesickness. And so what she’s doing is recreating her – the block that she grew up on but not from a photograph, completely from memory so the perspective is very, very much, you know, her perspective as somebody who grew up on this particular neighborhood block just as she remembers it. And so there’ll be little cut out houses and cars and things like that and people can come along and add to this neighborhood block and recreate, you know, other parts of the city. There’s also a large cardboard house with some of Judith’s possessions for folks to go into. And they’ve taken one empty gallery space and, again, some of these smaller houses and a ton of helium balloons and you can take a house that you want to represent, you know, your neighborhood or a piece of your memory and tie it to a helium balloon and they’ll all go floating off into the gallery. So…
CAVANAUGH: And that’s just a sample of what the…
CAVANAUGH: …Summer Salon Series is about. The San Diego Museum of Art’s Summer Salon Series continues tonight, as we’ve been saying, at the museum in Balboa Park. Well, you know, Liz, when we think about the Del Mar fair, we think about the rides and eating too much…
CAVANAUGH: …and so forth. But there’s really something different coming up Friday nights at the fair. Tell us about that.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, so there’s actually Friday Night Comedy at the fair this year. And this is part of a late night entertainment series at the fair that you can look forward to with your, you know, that is included in your admission along with Swifty Swine Pig Racing, a happy hour hypnotist and more music. You should look at the video. It’s kind of amusing. I’m not sure if it’s right, but it’s funny.
CAVANAUGH: I want to see it.
BRADSHAW: So performing this Friday are two San Diego-based comedians, Mal Hall and Mark Christopher Lawrence, both local comedians. Mal’s fairly new to the scene. He’s actually only been doing standup comedy for a couple of years but he’s gained a lot of – he’s only 26, he’s gained a lot of popularity locally. And in addition to hosting a monthly series downtown, Mal can be heard on a few local radio shows and he’s actually about to head off on an NBC-sponsored College Diversity Tour, which is really exciting, too.
CAVANAUGH: Yeah, it is. Yes, and Mark Christopher Hall (sic), we might recognize him from television as well?
BRADSHAW: Yeah, so Mark Christopher Lawrence is a slightly more seasoned comedian…
CAVANAUGH: Oh, I’m sorry, yes.
BRADSHAW: That’s okay. And he – you probably recognize him from all sorts of things. He’s currently a regular as Big Mike on the series “Chuck.” He’s also been in “Heroes,” “Weeds,” “My Name is Earl,” “Men Behaving Badly.” He appeared in movies like “The Pursuit of Happiness,” “Terminator 2.” I mean, his roster of work is actually pretty large so it’ll be a treat.
CAVANAUGH: Well, and he certainly deserves for me to pronounce his name correctly. Mark Christopher Lawrence and Mal Hall will perform at the SDG&E Showcase Stage at the Del Mar fair. That’s this Friday at 9:00 p.m. The comedy series continues Friday nights throughout the fair. Now let’s move on to the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cookoff if we can. The OB Street Fair is this weekend. What kinds of events can visitors expect?
BRADSHAW: Well, everything from a skate jam to music to, obviously, the world famous – well, San Diego world famous OB Chili Cookoff. You know, lots of food, fun, kind of street entertainers and, you know, in very true OB, hippie style. So…
CAVANAUGH: And they said there’s a skate jam. What is a skate jam?
BRADSHAW: Well, I don’t know if this is the official term but, you know, what you can expect is there’s going to be a skate ramp set up, a little kind of street area set up for skaters, local skaters, to just come and have fun and skate around and also to – there’ll be a competition as well in the afternoon.
CAVANAUGH: Now, you said, you know, just famous in OB and in San Diego, this – from the website, they are serious about this Chili Cookoff.
BRADSHAW: Oh, yeah, they’re really serious.
BRADSHAW: And, you know, a lot of my friends that grew up in San Diego, this is a huge deal, you know, every summer. And there’s about, I think, 35 different participants that are going to be taking part in the Chili Cookoff. You can buy a tasting card and be one of the judges and judge on things like taste, whether it looks like chili, smells like chili, you know, who’s got the best decorated chili, what’s the best theme, who’s got the hottest chili. It’s serious business.
CAVANAUGH: It it serious business.
CAVANAUGH: That’s the OB Street Fair and Chili Cookoff. It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. this Saturday in Ocean Beach. The La Jolla Festival of the Arts is this weekend, competing, I guess a little bit, with the OB Street Fair. What will visitors be able to see at the La Jolla Festival of the Arts?
BRADSHAW: So visitors to La Jolla Festival of the Arts are going to be seeing everything, you know, artwise from oils, watercolors, ceramics, multimedia work, photography, glasswork. There’s some live jazz. There’s a huge street chalking kind of live exhibit, which looks really, really interesting. A classic car show, celebrity chefs, book signings, all sorts of things to do that’ll be going on over the two days.
CAVANAUGH: Now is this art for sale?
BRADSHAW: I believe it is for sale. You might want to double check on the website but, yeah, there’s also a big merchandise tent and everything – the La Jolla Festival of the Arts, everything is to support disability programs in San Diego, so a lot of the proceeds from the merchandise that you buy will go back to that.
CAVANAUGH: What can you tell us about the featured artist, Cara Brown?
BRADSHAW: Yeah, so the – Cara Brown is an artist from Fairfax, California. She’s really inspired by striking light and intense color and she has actually created the poster, the official poster for this year’s La Jolla Festival of the Arts, and she’s really inspired by striking light, intense color and the astonishing natural beauty of the world in general. So…
CAVANAUGH: And, again, who are they raising money for?
BRADSHAW: So I counted around 20 organizations…
BRADSHAW: …but the proceeds from the La Jolla Festival of the Arts supports various recreational and rehabilitative programs for San Diegans with disabilities so among the programs that they will be sponsoring, there’s Ability First, there’s an adaptive snow and ski program, San Diego Wheelchair Tennis, ArtsBus Express, the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, Sharp Rehabilitation Center, Canine Companions for Independence. So, I mean, it’s really interesting because what they’re really putting their efforts and their money towards is these programs that aim towards getting people with disabilities out of the house and engaged in projects which, you know, I think is really wonderful, so…
CAVANAUGH: The La Jolla Festival of the Arts runs this weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. And we don’t want to leave without talking about music and a CD release party for a local band.
CAVANAUGH: Riddle the Roar is releasing a new album. Tell us about them.
BRADSHAW: So Riddle the Road is a five-piece San Diego band. They’ve been playing together as this particular project for about a year now and working on the album since the fall. They’re experimental folk rock, Americana, good downhome, roots style. Seems to be a theme this morning with Joel P. West as well.
CAVANAUGH: It does.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, and so – and they’ve got a real kind of structured improvisational jam element to their music as well.
CAVANAUGH: And now what kind of live show do these people put on?
BRADSHAW: You know, like I said, a lot of kind of structured improvisation. One of the most prevalent parts, I think, of the music is really the violin. It really gives it that kind of Americana, downhome roots style. And I know that they’re setting up Sushi where they’re playing…
BRADSHAW: …as almost like an extension of a larger living room for this event, so they’re bringing couches and comfy seats but then there’ll be a good amount of standing room as well. So they really want to just create a really nice, great, intimate vibe for people to hang out and dance if they want to, sit down and listen if they want to, so it’s a…
CAVANAUGH: It seems it’s a real intimate show then.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, I mean, the Sushi Art Space holds about 200 people so I think it’s, you know, it’s a perfect size for a local CD release party.
CAVANAUGH: We will hear a selection from Riddle the Roar as we leave. We don’t really have time for it right now but I want to say thank you so much, Liz.
BRADSHAW: Thank you.
CAVANAUGH: You got us through so much. Ah, these summertime – I tell you, there’s so much to do. I…
BRADSHAW: There is. There is a lot going on and a lot of outdoor stuff, too, so – and you’re certainly not stuck for choice this weekend.
CAVANAUGH: Liz Bradshaw, curator of The Loft at UCSD. Thanks for coming in.
BRADSHAW: Thanks for having me.
CAVANAUGH: And I want to let everyone know that this program is produced by Angela Carone, Hank Crook, Megan Burke, Pat Finn, Julien Pearce and, senior producer, Natalie Walsh. Production Manager is Kurt Kohnen, with technical assistance from Tim Felten. Our production assistant is Hilary Andrews. I’m Maureen Cavanaugh. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the week. You’ve been listening to These Days on KPBS. This is Riddle the Roar, “Devil In the Radio.”
(audio clip of the band Riddle the Roar performing “Devil In the Radio”