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Events: Ghost Stories, Pumpkins, And Hyena

Events: Ghost Stories, Pumpkins, And Hyena
Ghost stories, pumpkin patches, and a lot of music fills our weekend preview.

Ghost stories, pumpkin patches, and a lot of music fills our weekend preview.


Liz Bradshaw is the curator at The Loft at UCSD and has worked in the music industry for many years.


Seth Combs is a freelance writer in San Diego.

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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 and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. It's not just music and merriment on this weekend preview. We're talking about some local events for charity. But then again, there is a lot of music in this weekend preview and a taste of Halloween spookiness. I'd like to introduce my guests. Liz Bradshaw is the curator at The Loft at UCSD and has worked in the music industry for many years. Liz, good morning. And Seth Combs is a freelance writer in San Diego. Good morning Seth.

SETH COMBS: Good morning to the three sexiest voices in radio. Let's do this.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: (laughs.) I see you're all ready for it.

SETH COMBS: I had some coffee again. Watch out.


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I have to start with liz though. You'll have to cool your jets. Singer, song-writer, Meklit Hadero, is that correct?


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Performs at the loft tonight. And tell us a little bit about her.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Yeah. So Meklit Hadero is actually a San Francisco-based singer, song-writer and performer. She's actually Ethiopian born, she grew up in Brooklyn and then she moved to San Francisco. She's on the Bay Area-based independent label called Porto Franco Records who really have this whole collection of very, very diverse music thing. You can't really put into, into genres too much. And over the last few years she's really, really embedded herself in the city arts and culture scene in San Francisco both as a residence and a programmer at the Papi Art House and actually founder of collective called the Arbur Minch Collective which is a group of artists, musicians, film makers, poets, and creative artists originally from Ethiopia and now living in North America. And they started to create this dialog between artists. The Ethiopian-born living in North America and artist-based in Ethiopia. And it's kind of get some dialog going.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's fascinating.

LIZ BRADSHAW: I'm really, really excited and she describes herself as singer and musician, a cultural activist, so...

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now her voice has been compared to Nina Simone’s. Before we hear her, describe herself for us.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Yeah. So I'll let you know this is part of the Archive Jazz Series but she has some really worldly tones to her music with some folk and then African flourishes as well. And she has a sophistication of a New York jazz singer and real kind of laid back sunny Californy-type sounds too. I have read that if you heard Joni Mitchell sorry, if Joni Mitchell were East-African and met Nina Simone for tea in San Francisco, then you would come out with Meklit Hadero, so...

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: (laughs) That's great. Well let's hear her a song from her album “On a Day Like This.” This is “Soleil, Soleil.”


Soleil (repetition). I've been dreaming, dreaming of the sound of smell in love melody. Only clean sun shine. Shining down on me. I've been dreaming, dreaming of the sand, of this lovely, lovely melody. Hold me clean sun shine, shining down on me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's Meklit Hadero and it's from her album “On a Day Like This.” It's “Soleil Soleil.” What's she like like?

LIZ BRADSHAW: Well I'm going to find out this evening. She's, uh, I mean. It appears to me, watching Youtube videos, she's just super vibrant and full of life and energy. And this evening, there's a full band a trumpet player, acoustic base player so I expect it's going to be a pretty fun show.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Meklit Hadero is performing at The Loft at UCSD. So Seth, some dance music is at the downtown club Voyeur tonight. What can you tell us about this show?

SETH COMBS: Yeah sure. It’s, uh, we have three electronic acts from L.A. I believe to be some of the most original in the genre. We have Daedelus, Gaslamp Killer, and a DJ called 12th Planet. And, uh Gaslamp Killer played at The Loft about a month ago.

LIZ BRADSHAW: He did. It's part of our opening night. It was very excellent.

SETH COMBS: And I did not go but I heard it was a really awesome show.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, tell us about Gaslamp Killer.

SETH COMBS: Well, yeah, if you can't tell by the name he actually starting here in San Diego before moving up to L.A. and I remember seeing his name in the early 2000’s or whatever we're calling them these days. And always wanted to go see him and he moved up to L.A. and just proceeded to blow up. I recently edited a piece in Pacific by Scott McDonalds(?) where he explained the origin of his name and it wasn't so much a statement about The Gaslamp in general but that, you know when he played, he said, you know, quote “People who show up to the Gaslamp expecting to hear Beyonce’ and I ended up playing Company Flow and DJ Shadow. However you want to take Gaslamp Killer, I either ruined a lot of nights but for others, I was killing it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: (laughs) This is definitely not Beyonce’. Let's listen to one of Gaslamp Killer's songs. Here's “Anything Worse.”


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That's Gaslamp Killer performing “Anything Worse.” So Seth what do you expect this show at the Voyeur to be like?

SETH COMBS: Well a lot of the acts the Voyeur generally books are pretty high energy, really dance friendly acts. I don't expect this to be as, I call them “Oonce, Oonce” shows. Like “Oonce, Oonce, Oonce, Oonce”, well I don't expect a lot of fist pumping tonight but I expect, you know some people to be dancing but I don't expect it to be like the normal Voyeur crowd. I know City Beat Music Editor Peter Holslin was asking me for the contact over there so he can go to the show and if Peter Holslin’s going to the show, then it's about the music and not so much about the, you know, like “Oh, let's get drunk and dance.”

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. All right. A high praise indeed. Gas lamp killer plays tonight and for your Downtown San Diego. Well, we're getting close to Halloween, Liz. It's time for things like ghost stories. So where can people go to hear some?

LIZ BRADSHAW: Well, all over (laughs). But, two in particular that I kind of like the sound of because of where they were. And they very much kind of like location places to go for ghost stories. And both Star of India (as in the historic warship down on Harbor) and then one in Old Town as well. Just really places that kind of steep in history. You know there's going to be a chill in the air. And so.

SETH COMBS: Is it a warship? I always thought it was a pirate ship.

LIZ BRADSHAW: It's a tall ship.

SETH COMBS: Looks like a pirate ship.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Yeah. We can debate that (laughs).

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's move away from Star of India for a minute and let's talk about the ghost story in Old Town first. What can people expect to hear, possibly see?

LIZ BRADSHAW: So, this one from old town, it's called séance, it's called Seeley Stable. Is anybody there? And so it's Halloween performances with real stories about real ghosts and tales from, you know about San Diegos, from times gone by, and stories about characters you know from the early 1800s, so. And they're saying meet the spirit of [inaudible]. But don't call him a pirate and find out if [inaudible] is still looking for his head.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Oh, I see. All right.

LIZ BRADSHAW: And then you'll be privy to a séance by, I'm probably going to pronounce this wrong so my apologies but. Madam, Stalk(?) Naya (?) as she attempts to summon some real ghosts. So, it’s actually a performance séance.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Oh, that's fun, okay. And what about the Star of India.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Oh, so the Star of India is a lantern tour so you can expect to expect a lantern trip. Kind of up and down the galleys and there Star of India can see the oldest active warship in the world and you'll hear the eerie legends from the ship's past maybe about some pirate activities that happened there in the 1800s. And this they're promised to “Shiver Your Timbers.” It says “Shiver Your Timbers”.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Somehow it's better when you say it (laughs).

SETH COMBS: I agree.

LIZ BRADSHAW: I imagine that this tour is free with museum entry. And it's worth noting that you should go ahead and purchase your admission at the maritime museum before going to the tour.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And just one fast, quick question. Are these events bloody, bad-for-kids events or family-friendly?

LIZ BRADSHAW: Well, they do say that children under the age of 12 won't be admitted to the one in Old Town, so that's for ages 12 and up. And I would imagine, you know, don't take these too seriously. I think it's a little bit of fun, but you know, it's scary as well, depending on what you're into.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well these ghost stories that we've been talking about, ghost stories that will be told at the séance at this Seeley stable in Old Town, and the lantern tours of the Maritime museum at San Diego this weekend and runs through October. Fruit of the Soul, Seth. It's an annual event. What kind of an event is it?

SETH COMBS: Well, I would describe it as an anti gala. It's a charity event that raises money for local arts organizations, but it's definitely not your average, you know, black tie, stuffy gala. It's held at the Specialty Produce warehouse downtown. I had to cover a lot of galas when I worked at Rivera, but I'm here to tell you this one is just way more fun. It's more hip and youthful and down to earth.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What are they raising money for?

SETH COMBS: Well, it started out as this benefiting the Monarch school, but you know, which is a school that helps homeless and at-risk youth, but it is -- since it's expanded been able to help 3 other arts organizations, this year, the other three are Arts, Reasons to Survive-- that also helps kids with a focus on visual performing and literary arts programs-- And Olivewood Gardens which focuses on cross-cultural education, you know about gardening and what have you. And it says the local arts, nonprofit website.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So you said this is sort of a different, maybe a kind of a hipper kind of fundraiser, so who's going to be performing? Anything names you want to throw out there?

SETH COMBS: Oh, yeah. Sure. My favorite part about the event is there's so much to see and do and you'd be hard-pressed to find yourself bored. It's not, you know your typical eat some dry chicken and chat with some, the mayor or whoever. I don't know. I love you, Sanders, but you're, oh, uhm (laughs) anyway, there's music from nine bands, there's tons of artists Bushwalla and Erika Davies are two performers that I really enjoy. [inaudible] and A Reason to Survive are helping with the visual arts side of things. There's over two dozen local artists, it's the food, the food really puts it over the top. There's more than 30 restaurants that will have samples of their signature dishes, cafe, Alchemy, Cowboy Star, kitchen cooking for a Sear Sucker, which is a new restaurant from Brian Malarkey from Downtown.


SETH COMBS: Really good stuff.


SETH COMBS: Oh, it's not a thousand dollars, again, for some dried chicken. I think it's a hundred and 30 a hundred 15 for VIP tickets that get you in early. It's admission is 6:00 p.m. and then it kind of goes down from there. If you don't have that much there's also a $65 ticket that gets you in an hour later and a $30 ticket that gets you in after 9:00 p.m. It's you still get all the food, you know moist of the bands and arts. Yeah it's cool.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Fruit of the soul, will hold its benefit Saturday night as their specialty produce warehouse. Liz you're getting all the seasonal kind of


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Susie farm is having something called a Pumpkin Palooza. Tell us about it.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Well as the name says Susie's Farm’s down in the South Bay, great, great local kind of produce form with a fantastic website. I love what they do. I'm very excited about them. Everything Saturday in October, they've got four acres of pumpkins. They've grown, all shapes and sizes, they open it up to the public. So they can go along, put your wellies on. Pick your own pumpkins on.

SETH COMBS: Wellies?

LIZ BRADSHAW: Wellies. [inaudible] Rain Boots. Wellington Boots (laughs).


MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm going to put my wellies on right now.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Yep and go down there and pick your pumpkin. So it's just it's a nice opportunity to just, you know, get together with some friends or your family. It's a Bear Barranca part of the farm and just mosey around and chat with the farmer and take home some “progies” as well.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That sounds great. They're also holding a Mistral Luncheon after the Pumpkin Plooza?

LIZ BRADSHAW: Yes, these are actually two separate events and they've held these Mistral luncheons before and, and it's chefs from the Mistral restaurant that loves Coronodo bay, they set a camp, dress the tables amongst their heirloom tomatoes a and prepare a luncheon and using all farms ingredients. If you go and take a part in this, you've actually got into pick. So what happens is you get there, you have champagne, cocktail on arrival, you get given a tour of the farm, you pick all the ingredients, then the chefs cook your food. You're given a quick mixology lessons you have some appetizers and then you get to sit down and eat the lunch.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Again, foodie’s paradise at Susie's farm. What a surprise going on this.

LIZ BRADSHAW: So it's the Pumpkin Palooza, pumpkin picking you just pay for the pumpkins, it's $75s for the Mistral lunch and that includes the reception and the tour. And they also give you a big goody bag full of fresh new picks, veggies to take away with you as well.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Pumpkin Palooza takes place every Saturday morning through October, the Mistral Luncheon is this Saturday following Pumpkin Palooza. Hyena at The Casbah, Seth. A local band named Hyena playing The Casbah this weekend. Tell us about that.

SETH COMBS: Well this is a band you can dance to.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Uh huh. What is the name “ooh, ooh, ooh”, what do you call them?

SETH COMBS: They're kind “Oonce, oonce, ooncey”, they're not the typical “Oonce, oonce, ooncey” but it's made up of two local musicians, one is Michael Cooper who used to be the drummer for a local band, big local band called Transfer. And local producer and songwriter Brian Strapman who runs the Capricorn Studios in Downtown and he's a local producer there. And they made a lot of noise with the two bands that they were in before. And they had a big buzz, but, you know, decided to do this project together and they've really done a good job. They've got a good local buzz going on right now.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What do you think of their music?

SETH COMBS: Well I have to be honest. I thought they were a little derivative at first. I thought here's two guys, you know, though didn't make a playing in an alternative rock band so they're going to start this extremely accessible dance rock band and all the, you know all the girls in the clubs will like, you know that's just me being jealous. I've slowly warmed up to them and just stopped I stopped hating and started congratulating.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Stop your hating, Seth!

SETH COMBS: Stop the hatred (laughs)! They're just too poppy to ignore. They speak to you know the club girl inside of me.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's listen to a song by Hyenas. It's called “Anyone's Guess.”

(Music. )

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: That was the Aggrolites and that's their song "It's Time to Go." And they're playing at the Belly Up Tavern on Saturday night. And we're going to close with an unusual event. Seth, artist, will be painting some bus this weekend in honor of breast cancer. And it's going to be happening at the Blind Lady Ale House. What is this event?

SETH COMBS: It's the Keep Your Breast Foundation. They've been doing events kind of like this over the years where women can literally get like, you know --

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: -- plaster cast --

SETH COMBS: -- plaster casts of their bests and have them painted by a local artist. I'm talking about breasts. Ha-ha ha-ha.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Yes, will any of the actual -- will they be breaking the plaster cast during this event?

SETH COMBS: I think the way it works is that the people -- or the women, in this case, will get the cast. And there will be some that have already been cast and that's where -- there's a local artist would, like, be painting them there. Her name is Pamela Yager. That's great. You should check her out if you're not familiar with her work. She's going to be doing some of the cast painting there live for the event, and she's really cool, so.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And I just wanted to mention there will be a special beer brewed for this event; is that true?

SETH COMBS: Yes, it is true. Automatic is the brewing company run by Blind Ladies Lead Shayson [ph]. You know, débuted some seriously good and experimental beers with names like "Sex Panther" and "Chocolate Rain." For this event, he's brewing up a batch of, I hope I'm saying it right, "Thank You Mamm Belgian White", which I have not tried personally, but there's a fantastic beer blog in town called, as it happens, And he describes it as looking like fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with a frothy white head, it's pink and sweet and isn't overpowering like a lot of craft here.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have got to go but I want to let everybody know that Keep a Breast Benefit is happening at the Blind Lady Ale House this Sunday. Now, we want you to send us your Halloween pictures. We're publishing San Diego's Halloween pictures on our Culture Lust blog. Send them to our producer, Angela at I needed to get that in or else I wouldn't be able to go home. Liz Bradshaw, Seth Combs, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

SETH COMBS: Thank you.

LIZ BRADSHAW: Thank you.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And if you have comments, please go online, These Days is produced by Hank Crook, Angela Carone, Megan Burke, Pat Finn and senior producer, Natalie Walsh. Production manager is Kurt Kohnen. Our production assistant is Hillary Andrews. Our intern is Jocelyn Maggard. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, and I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the week. You've been listening to These Days on KPBS.