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Events: Steve Martin, DJ Muggs vs. GZA, Fantastic Forts


Steve Martin plays the banjo at the Balboa Theater this weekend while San Diego families can build forts in Escondido. Those are just two of the events our guests recommend for your weekend itinerary.

Steve Martin plays the banjo at the Balboa Theater this weekend while San Diego families can build forts in Escondido. Those are just two of the events our guests recommend for your weekend itinerary.


Kinsee Morlan is the arts and entertainment editor at San Diego CityBeat.

Peter Holslin is the music editor at San Diego CityBeat.

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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.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh you're listening to these days on KPBS. From music to wine to Swedish design. Of wee got a particularly eclectic and interesting lineup of events on this weekend preview. So let's get right to it. I'd like to welcome my guests, it's the City Beat crew. Kinsey Morlan is the arts and entertainment director at City Beat, and Kinsey, welcome back.

KINSEY MORLAN: Thank you for having us, we're so excited.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I believe it! Thousands wouldn't. Peter Hoslin is the music editor at San Diego City Beat.

PETER HOSLIN: How's it going? Thanks for having me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You're very welcome, and it's going Great. Let start out with these Swedish designers, 17 of them, 17 female Swedish designers it opens this week at Planet Ruth studios gallery tell us about it.

KINSEY MORLAN: Well, as the title implies it's 17 all female Swedish designers, and the show features everything from chairs and desks to vases and cook ware even, some glasses, some blown glass, and they try to keep it in the colors of black and white. So autoa very esthetically pleasing show with splashes of color here and there. And you'll see the design that the Swedes are famous for.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Is there any significance to the fact that this is it an all female show.

KINSEY MORLAN: Yeah, it's based on a book by the title of the same name, 17 Swedish designers and it was a gallery in stock home, and the gallery is female, so she put together a book, supporting progressive young mostly young females, if you any to the website, you'll look at these faces, and they're babies, they're all females and they're young and progressive and cooing hard working so basically she wanted to give this book life, bring it to life, and hence the traveling exhibition.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So forgive me for this question, but what separates this exhibits from, let's say, a trip to Ikea.

KINSEY MORLAN: Nothing. Just kidding. No, it's higher end. It's higher end, it's not you know, Ikea is a little insane. I go a little insane when I go there I've heard that they

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, it's a crazy horrible place, I am not a big fan myself.

KINSEY MORLAN: So this is without all the crap, it's sleek, modern high end design. Don't get me wrong. I own some Ikea furniture as well. I think we all do. We all went to college and had to buy that Ikea stuff.

PETER HOSLIN: Oh, yeah, sure.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You have to have some.

KINSEY MORLAN: So it's higher end. Well, I can tell you, the last time I went there, it was still covered in paint cloth. So it's this old over a hundred years old building, over 4000 square feet. It's huge. Gustav Ruth the owner and his friends came from Rathe street a little studio in north park. THEY had redo the floor and make it look like a gallery. So they have a lot of work to do. But now it's I mean it's set to be one of the biggest galleries in the city. So I'm pretty excited about the new planet Ruth. And there's also the owner is also a designer himself, he does wine barrel chairs so you'll see some of those. So it's just kind of a design arthaus. And it should be exciting. I wrote it about in this this week's city beat.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Terrific. So 17 Swedish designers opens Saturday at PLANET RUTH. Peter, Langhorne Slim is playing the casbah on Friday night and remind us who he, they are.

PETER HOSLIN: Langhorne slim is a lanky singer song writer from Pennsylvania, and he sings some kind of, you know, just some hard bitten florid folk kind of country folk. He sings a lot of songs about getting women and leaving women, and getting women become again. And he's he's pretty much been prowling the country side for, you know, a good, you know, for a good 5, 10 years, I guess his he really sort of really active in 2005, but he's been around before that too.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's play a song that a lot of people might recognize, we'll tell you why when it comes back. This is a track called worries from Langhorne slim.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's worries from Langhorne slim, and if you recognized it, you might have been watching television a little while ago. It's travellers' insurance commercial theme song there. Now, have you seen him perform live?

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, you know, he actually came to San Diego relatively recently, but the only time I've seen him was it must have been like six years ago, and it was in this this cramped little club in London where he was playing with this kind of quirky band called the tracton berg family slide show players.


PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, goes perfectly with his name, I might add.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Uh huhism and he was kind of just coming up at that point, and he was just it really stuck in my mind just because he put on such I wild, you know, fast, hard show. It was just him and his guitar and he was just full of energy, which is interesting because now his music is, you know, now what I've heard lately is way more ordinary care orchestrated, it's got piano in it, it's kind of prettier.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Who's he playing with now? Who will he be at the Casbah with?

PETER HOSLIN: Oh, there's actually a bunch of great local bands. The paddle boat is one of my favorites.

KINSEY MORLAN: Yay! Mine too.

PETER HOSLIN: They're kind of a trio with a they've got like a rock sound. But it's almost got this jazzy lounge feel? The clarinet is involved right?

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah. And they're just really tight and really different and just very cerebral. And another highlight is little hurricane who they just won best new artist in the San Diego music awards and it's just this spare this paired down blues rock duo, you know, just drums and guitar.


PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, they're just raw. And they have some really catchy songs and I've been getting a lot of attention. And it's cool 'cause they won in this, you know, it was I was really surprised that they won because I thought the nervous records with the Brian car sick from Luis the fourteenth, I thought they had that one in the bag but these guys ended up coming in and just taking that trophy.

KINSEY MORLAN: After only six shows didn't you tell me?

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, I was talking to the guitarist at some time, and he said they had only played 6 or 7 live shows.

KINSEY MORLAN: They're so hot right now. They're justify dominating.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Langhorne slim tops the casbah on Friday night. Art and wine.

KINSEY MORLAN: Who doesn't like art and wine and the combination? They chose down a few streets in downtown La Jolla so it's set against the village there, and there's over a 150 artists, so it's the tent thing where you you go from tent to tent, and it's, you know, all kinds of art from ceramics to fiber to paintings to traditional art. And there's the wine and beer garden, and the like, and it's just an art and wine party.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What kinds of wine? Do you know in will it be on tap so to speak.

KINSEY MORLAN: I've actually been told that it's wine, beer, and vodka. So watch out. And it's a lot of local breweries, all the local breweries we know and love, wine including Bodega San Rafael, Conway Family Wine, Regal Wine Company, and the list goes on. It's all on their website if you want to, you know, if you're a connoisseur and you want to check that out before you go. But yeah, lots of beer and vodka as well.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And this is one of these events where our schools win too. Testimony us about that.

KINSEY MORLAN: Yay for the kids! Three La Jolla elementary schools get pretty much all of the proceeds after they pay for costs so last year they gave those three schools, La Jolla, tory pines and bird rock $40,000.


KINSEY MORLAN: Yeah, and that goes under funded programs like art, science, they needed a nurse, so they got a nurse upon at one of the schools so it's money you can spend and feel good about.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. So that's the La Jolla art and wine festival happening this weekend. Of funny man act offer of proof and ply write and novelist, Steve Martin, will be playing also the banjo with the Steep Canyon Rangers at Balboa this weekend. Some of our listeners later on in Martin's career may not know him as a banjo player. Is he any good, Peter?

PETER HOSLIN: He's got chops of let me tell you, he used to in the 70's he incorporated banjo in his stand up comedy routine but let me tell you he is not doing stand up comedy at this show. Figuratively speaking she is plague the banjo. He's getting down. He's got the chops like I said he's performed with Earl Scruggs who's this old school banjo player who invented the three finger picking style, and he won Martin won a grammy this year in the bluegrass category for his album, the grow, new songs for the five string banjo, he's played at Carnegie hall. He's serious, and let me tell you, he could really hold his own against the hill Billy in Deliverance.

KINSEY MORLAN: I would like to see that.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: High praise indeed. How please playing with a band called the steep canyon rangers tell us a little bit about them.

PETER HOSLIN: Are, the steep canyon rangers, they're a five piece bluegrass band from Bravard, it's a town in west North Carolina, that's at the end of the Pisgah National Forest, in the Appalachian mountains.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So they're the real deal.

PETER HOSLIN: They're the real deal. For sure. And they played, you know, they first played with Steve Martin in a 2009 broadcast of prairie home companion. And they have been playing with him ever since. And they played at Bonoroo this year.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's listen to Steve Martin on the banjo, this is a composition that he wrote called Hoedown at Alice's.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Renaissance man Steve Martin on banjo and a compensation he wrote called hoedown at Alice's. Is there any chance that Steve Martin is gonna throw in just a little bit of comedy?

PETER HOSLIN: You know, I'm not sure, I've watched some videos of him playing and it doesn't look for comedy intensive.


PETER HOSLIN: But I did see eye video of him on letter man and he fired some fire works out of the end of his banjo so there's a possibility.

KINSEY MORLAN: The Jerk will come out.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Oh, that's great. The Steve Martin and the steep canyon rangers play the Balboa theatre this Saturday night. Fantastic forts, Kinsey at the California center for the arts Escondido. It's an exhibit inspired by childhood forts. What's going on here.

KINSEY MORLAN: Well, the the over all exhibit is actually inspired by interactive arts. So this is just one piece of four artists' interpretation of an art that you can play with it and interact with.


KINSEY MORLAN: So Wes Bruce is the guy behind the fort. And it takes up an entire gallery, so it's a huge fort filled with objects and there's this whole thought process that he went through and that you have to sort of discover by crawling through the fort. And then the other exhibits are just as cool, so I highly recommend going to see the show even if you don't go to this workshop that's happening.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now Wes Bruce, remind our listeners about him.

KINSEY MORLAN: He's young, and I hate to say it, but I think he's a young genius. I've seen different installations of his around town, it's always weaving in this narrative. So for the fort he envisioned this woman named Ms. August teen green and picked found objects and placed them in the fort and it's really intense it's sort of like I got the nostalgic feeling of going through, like, my dead grandma's house, and like, you know, all these objects personify this person and so he's an artist to look out for. His work is really moving.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So this is not necessarily a kid's plaything.

KINSEY MORLAN: It's not. I mean, it can be. And it can be an adult plaything too.


KINSEY MORLAN: I could picture you crawling through there.

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, I could have some fun going around those forts.

KINSEY MORLAN: And I think for this workshop, it really will be for the kids I mean adults will definitely enjoy it too but he's gonna teach you he's gonna supply some objects he's always works with found material and he'll teach you what goes into making a fort. So it really will be pared down for the kids.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. Now, some pretty impressive hip hop acts are coming to a club called Flux tonight. Tell us about DJ Mugs and GZA.

PETER HOSLIN: Well, DJ mugs and the DJ and producer for Cypress Hill, which is a pretty well known old school rap group. He makes all the beats. And the "jiza" is a founding

KINSEY MORLAN: Sorry. That was cute. I liked it. So white, Maureen.


PETER HOSLIN: But yeah, the GZA, he's a founding member of Wutang clan, which is the seminal no, rap group. And he's also had a pretty successful solo career as well. So it's definitely a prominent pairing, these two, they've collaborated quite a bit in the past in 2005, they came out with a really solid record called grand masters which is is all about chess and strategies and tactics, which I guess is a sort of reflective of the GZA's own, you know, way of thinking, way of coming up with rhymes and his mind set so

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So you already know I know nothing about this. So tell us, is this hard core hip hop? What is their sound like?

PETER HOSLIN: Well, I wouldn't necessarily say it's hard core hip hop as the whole chess references suggest, it's kind of more, like, artistic, you know, under ground hip hop. I mean that's not to say that it's not you know, hard core, it's not like kumbaya hip hop, I don't even know if there is such a thing but it's more cerebral I'd say, it's more mental and intelligent.

KINSEY MORLAN: Not as gang that?

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, it doesn't have that Gansta shoot 'em up vibe.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, we have a track here, this is deep rooted with Crazy.

That's deep rooted with crazy. What kind of venue is Flux, Peter?

PETER HOSLIN: Well, flux is a very chic almost phantasmagoric.

KINSEY MORLAN: It's like tacky chic.

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, it's got that sort of tacky vibe.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Nothing San Diego has ever seen before.

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, it's different. It feels like you're in a spaceship. They have a really great sound system and probably the craziest lighting system I've ever seen, and they've actually got some pretty good prices too. It's getting really hot right now. It's it opened like a few months ago, I think like in like earlier this year. And they've just been getting really hot and putting on all these really awesome live shows and, you know

KINSEY MORLAN: We were at the last live show, and the sound, it's probably one of the better sound systems in town.

PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, for sure. And the lighting itself is also

KINSEY MORLAN: It's a show, they have video, live video going on.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So flux live will be hosting a variety of hip hop artists tonight. We move to a very different exhibit. Los Rosarios de Doña Rosarillos. Tell us about that Kinsey.

KINSEY MORLAN: It's artist Roberto Salas, and he is doing his signature site specific installations and it's always commenting on, you know, current situations, he's actually the first artisan residence at la casa familiar, at the front there, they just launched this front. So he actually has this program right in San Ysidro. And he's built this play kind of on rosary beads, but instead of the actual beads he's replaced that with tools so it's definitely a comment and an homage to the immigrant labor force, which, if you're at this gallery, you can see the border cross, so it's relevant. And his work is always relevant so it should be a good show.

Well, I mean it's hard to say that his idea is one thing because his idea is to change and respond to whatever space or situation he's in. So who's to say why he I mean he explained to me this morning but very briefly why he chose rosary beads and he's not a religious man. You should go to the show, talk to him yourself. He's one of those artists that's really easy to talk to. If that's what you're looking for, is that he's a people's artist. He does art that people can understand and they get it, and he'll explain it to you if you don't get it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Los Rosarios de Roarillos. Will be on exhibt friday night, it will show through the 19th, and you can speak with artist, Roberto, Salas, about his exhibit. Finally, Tom Tom club, it could be familiar to many people. Playing the Casbah next Tuesday, even though they have been around 20 years Peter who are they?

PETER HOSTLIN: Tom Tom club is a band headed by two Talking Heads members, husband and wife duo Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth. And their big claim to fame is the song Genius of Love, which just has this utterly infectious hook, which goes it just sticks in your mind, and it's also got this really popular verse, what you gonna when you get out of jail? I'm gonna have some fun! That's just

KINSEY MORLAN: Very good, Peter.

PETER HOSLIN: It's been covered like a million times. It's within remixed and covered and used by tons of different artists. Lots of hip hop arts.

THE COURT: Well, we're gonna be playing that out. But I want even to know that the Tom Tom Club is gonna be playing the casbah next Tuesday night. And I want to thank you both so much the city beat crew and tell us what's going on this weekend.


PETER HOSLIN: Yeah, thank you so much for having us. We had a great time.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm glad you did.

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