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Weekend Preview: Righteous Exploits, Stay Strange and The Big Read

Sound artist Margaret Noble in "Righteous Exploits."
Courtesy Photo
Sound artist Margaret Noble in "Righteous Exploits."
Weekend Preview: Righteous Exploits, Stay Strange and The Big Read
GUESTSAlex Zaragoza, staff writer, San Diego CityBeat Claire Caraska, freelance writer & editor

CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. A couple of upcoming arts events in San Diego feature music of the experimental kind. The music is the anchor for experiences a little off the beaten path. My weekend preview guests, Alex Zaragosa, staff writer with San Diego City beat. Welcome back. ZARAGOSA: How are you? CAVANAUGH: Quite well, thank you. And Clair Caraska is here, free-lance writer and DJ. CARASKA: Great to be back! CAVANAUGH: Let's start with you. You'd like to tell us about an experimental event this Saturday. Who is behind Righteous Exploits? CARASKA: They are a new theatrical and sound experience created by Margaret Noble and Justin Hudnall. She wanted to create a new work for this event, and she took inspiration from a book called the unvarnished truth, which chronicles the stories of very poor people in the 19th century who sold their stories to make a living. And this book got here thinking about her own family stories, including her grand mother who was a workers' rights activist during the dust bowl era who had quite the thick FBI file. And so Noble collaborating with Hudnall wrote this piece, which tells the story of each of the 3 generations of their families. And the point of the piece is to raise the question what happens when you shake the family tree, and what falls down? They want to get the audience thinking about how their own family history affects their present, how each generation affects the next. &%F0 CAVANAUGH: And whether or not you should press that leaf on an restry.com, right? CARASKA: Yeah, you've got to be careful! [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: Give us some insight into how this story is actually told. CARASKA: This is a real multimedia experience. It combines elements of theatre, audio visual, and performance art. So Noble is going to be projecting over 300 images onto three screens via overhead transparency projectors. Old-school. So it's going to be really interesting to watch her manipulate all these images in the moment. She really wanted to get away from digital technology for this. So there'll be some live animation, and some live sound that she composed, more like minimal electronic sounds. CAVANAUGH: And testimony us a little bit about white box theatre where this is going to take place. The venue itself is experimental. CARASKA: Yeah, this is a brand-new performance space that opened in the former naval training center at liberty station. And it's created with artists in mind. It's a flexible space that artists and performing groups can rent and use as a rehearsal space or a performance space. It's also going to be the site of workshops and classes for artists, and right now, it's currently hosting the live arts fest, which runs through next weekend. CAVANAUGH: Okay. Well, righteous exploits is happening this Saturday, April 13th at the white box theatre in Point Loma. Alex, you'd like to tell us about a live show this weekend at space for art. What's the story behind the stay strange concert series? ZARAGOSA: Well, it's really cool, actually. It's this great music series, and it brings together these experimental noise-makers, outsider art, and music made by a lot of people that work in the experimental genre. A lot of them come out of the experimental music program in UCSD. And it's really cool. And it's great for anybody that's interested in anything that's a little bit weird or outside of the norm. It was started by Sam Lopez who is that experimental musician who is known for trashing around quite a bit on the stage. So it's not only just conically interesting, it's visually very interesting because a lot of the musicians build a lot of their instruments themselves. So it's really cool in this sense. And what's great is space for art is always such a great place to show these types of shows. But they just foster this kind of experimental quality in local artists. CAVANAUGH: Now, who'll be performing? Who will see we besides the thrasher? [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: Actually I don't think he's performing this time. But the main act is actually author and punisher is the name of the musician. It's Tristan Shone who is behind it. He builds these custom-made machines and controllers and speakers out of raw materials and open-source circuitry and creates this kind of dark industrial doom metal. Which I know sounds kind of terrible. [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: But it's definitely work experimenting with and checking out at least once. There's going to be two other performers as well. Isolde touch, I believe. And eyes of gemini. CAVANAUGH: Is this advertised that stay strange caters to the adventurous listener. How adventurous do you think one has to be in order to enjoy these shows? ZARAGOSA: Well, I think you definitely need to have an open mind and a taste for something off the beaten path. It's not going to be Justin Timberlake. [ LAUGHTER ] ZARAGOSA: But it's not too strange or dense that you don't know what's going on. Anybody that has an artistic sensibility or some form of creativity in them can go to a show like this and really be amazed by the work that these musicians and artists work. They put together these instruments that are just mind-blowing. And the sound they create with them is even more mind-blowing. It's definitely strange, but it's not something that you're going to, be, like, oh, this is weird, let's leave and go to Applebies's. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: I get your point though! Some people get afraid by things like that, especially if you're looking forward to applebee's after the show. But from what I heard, this really is adventurous music, and I think a lot of people would enjoy it. Stay strange is also happening on Saturday at space for art downtown. Do you have a favorite applebee's, is that why you -- CARASKA: No, I can't remember the last time I dined there. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: You want to also tell us quickly about the big read. CARASKA: They can find out more information at writeoutloudSD.com. And it's a national event sponsored by the national endowment for the arts. And it's trying to get people to read for fun again. Reading books has fallen a bit by the wayside in our digital age. So write out loud is holding 24 events in 30 days, all inspired by Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451. And the next event is on Monday. CAVANAUGH: And Thursday going to be performances from read out loud, right? CARASKA: Yes, that's the group. They'll be reading a short story by Brad bury, and also a notable science fiction writer will be speaking. He actually met Bradbury. So he'll be talking about his work interest his life. And it's at writeoutloudSD.com. CAVANAUGH: And you're going to tell us about turista libre's latest Tijuana excursion. ZARAGOSA: Yeah, I don't know if anybody out there, if you've been on any one of these tours, but it's really great. Derrick chin holds these am CAVANAUGH: He's been here talking to us about these, yes. ZARAGOSA: That's right. It gets people to go down into TJ and explore the city, the sides of it that a tourist wouldn't typically see. So they're going down to a lucha libre fight. So growing up and seeing those fights on TV or going to them every so often was always just a spectacle. These fighters are insane, and -- CARASKA: There will be flames. ZARAGOSA: Flames, lots of cool stuff. He really rounds out these tours by taking you to experience the food, taking you to grab a drink at a cool local bar in the downtown area or somewhere. So it's definitely worth it, especially for anybody that wants to revisit the city but it still a little bit nervous or wants to see a different side of it. It's a lot of fun. And there's always jello shots on the bus. [ LAUGHTER ] CAVANAUGH: Never hurts! ZARAGOSA: You can go to turistalibre.com, and all the information is there, and you can purchase tickets there as well.

This weekend's events look promising if you're curious enough to try something new. Whether you'd like to go south of the border, take in a spoken word performance, hear some live music or partake in a book discussion, the weekend has you covered.

First up is a full-length performance piece brought to you by the creative minds of Justin Hudnall and Margaret Noble. Hudnall is the executive director of So Say We All, the non-profit that puts on all-inclusive spoken word events. Noble is a sound artist whose work is known to intrigue. So, what do you get when you put these two in the same room? Righteous Exploits, an experimental performance piece that tells the story of the Hosmer family. Told through a combination of live audio/visual multimedia and performance art, the piece explores themes of morality, family and culture. The performance is happening Saturday at the White Box Theater in Point Loma. Learn more about it and get your tickets online.

The Stay Strange, a concert series brought to us by Sam Lopez, promises an out-of-the-box music experience on Saturday evening. Happening at Space 4 Art downtown, the fourth installment of the series features industrial doom and drone metal artist Author & Punisher, plus local electronic act Isolde Touch and LA-based Ides of Gemini. You can read more about the bands at the Stay Strange website

If you've been meaning to check out what Tijuana is like these days, Turista Libre is heading south of the border for a Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) outing. Turista Libre offers off-the-beaten-path Tijuana tours that give you a peek at the quirkier things the border city has to offer. Find out more about the tour at the Turista Libre website.

San Diego's voracious readers should already know about The Big Read, a program brought to us by the National Endowment for the Arts that encourages people nationwide to pick up a book and, well, read it. Books are selected by the NEA and then programs are developed across the country that get the community involved. San Diego is currently reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and there are plenty of events happening around town for you to stop by and discuss the reading. Check them all out here.