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Arts & Culture

Cultural Finds for October

Shannon Beer and Solomon Glave in a refreshing take on "Wuthering Heights."
2012. Oscilloscope Pictures.
Shannon Beer and Solomon Glave in a refreshing take on "Wuthering Heights."

With a fright in the air, it’s no wonder that October is also the perfect month to discover haunting bits of arts and culture, both locally and beyond. Have your own danse macabre, indulge in a chilling romance and perhaps spook yourself. It’s the ideal time to be someone else as the season shifts into a more serious, but equally satisfying time for the arts. Who knows what lurks around the corner? It’s up to you to find out.

The Black Keys

The Black Keys is a duo that makes a lot of noise. Akron, Ohio natives Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney formed 11 years ago and have been mastering their loud blues rock sound ever since. Last year, the band released its seventh studio album, "El Camino," featuring “Lonely Boy,” a song that could elicit a hip shake from even the shyest of wallflowers. The boys return to San Diego this month with another twin duo — Canadian sister songstresses Tegan and Sara. Don’t miss this night of dance party doubles, the right way to kick off the month. The Black Keys play Thursday, October 4, at Valley View Casino Center on Sports Arena Boulevard.



The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) journeys outside the box, quite literally, this month with the exhibition “Soapbox! The Audience Speaks.” With the mission of inverting the traditional museum space, “Soapbox!” is the museum’s first crowd-sourced exhibition, which asks viewers to become curators, and curators to become viewers. Using various technology, viewers will be able to select images from MOPA’s permanent collection, ultimately curating their own show. In a world of exclusive museum curation, it’s nice to know that art can be more democratic. “Soapbox” opens Saturday, October 6, at MOPA in Balboa Park and runs through Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Nobody Walks

Co-written by Lena Dunham, this independent film follows the story of 23-year-old Martine (played by Olivia Thirlby), an artist, who moves into a friend of a friend’s house in LA's Silver Lake neighborhood. Her youth and beauty greatly impact the family around her, with much seduction looming in the air. Though the film is tense, as it deals with moralistic meltdowns, there is still a sense of humor. Dunham’s self-deprecating style, showcased in her previous film "Tiny Furniture” and HBO TV show “Girls,” is evident throughout. “Nobody Walks” opens Friday, October 12 in select theaters.

La Mesa Oktoberfest


With October comes the promise of crisp leaves, the potential for the best Halloween costume and, of course, Oktoberfest. Though there are many opportunities to enjoy a slew of Oktoberfest events, the La Mesa Oktoberfest is note-worthy in its sheer size. With bratwurst, cool suds, the polka, art and chicken dancing, this may be the closest to Munich you’ll get. There’s no doubt that people watching will be at its prime. Grab your lederhosen and let loose. La Mesa Oktoberfest is Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7.


To listen to Grimes is to have an other-worldly musical experience. With spaced out vocals in a haunting range, backed by rhythmic beats, it’s no wonder that Grimes has received such a cult following. Grimes is the stage name for Claire Boucher, the young Canadian musician who promises a cosmic dance party, while donning her latest outlandish look. If you’re looking to get weird and wacky before the Halloween festivities begin, this is the show for you. Grimes plays at Porter’s Pub on Thursday, October 11.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

While 2012 may be the year of the “funny lady" — with “Bridesmaids,” quirky girl bloggers and HBO’s “Girls” — American female comedians have a long history. Though some naysayers dismiss funny females, a new book proves otherwise. “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy,” is an oral history that explores the revolution of women in American comedy. From Joan Rivers to the women of “SNL," it’s clear that the journey to funny has been an interesting one. In this year of outstanding funny ladies (writers, actresses, personalities), there’s so much potential for many more laughs on the horizon.

Ghosts of Halloween Past

Haunted houses and walks of terrors, modern-day standards of Halloween, often lack the nostalgic elements of holidays past. Luckily, Subtext Gallery in Little Italy is opening an exhibition dedicated to classic Halloween motifs, folk art and memories. The group show, “Ghosts of Halloween Past” will feature local and national artists with their own kitschy, surreal and reworked takes on the holiday's imagery. “Ghosts of Halloween Past” opens Friday, October 12, at Subtext Gallery and runs through Friday, November 9.

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” has been read, analyzed and re-imagined by university English classes and film studios alike. Though it was the only novel published by this Brontë sister, it has nevertheless left a mark and has shown that love can truly drive people crazy. The latest film interpretation premiered last year at the Venice Film Festival and featured two original songs by Mumford & Sons. With a chilling trailer, stunning imagery and a refreshing take on Heathcliff and Cathy, I can’t wait to see the on-screen angst unfold. Though Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” won’t be featured in the film, it will always play in my head. “Wuthering Heights” opens Friday, October 5, in select theaters.

American Horror Story: Asylum

American Horror Story” premiered on FX last year, shocking some and intriguing many. Last season followed a family who moved into a haunted mansion in Los Angeles, only to be met with ghosts and frights at every corner. A seemingly classic horror story on the surface, the show is so much more. It’s strange to think that Ryan Murphy, the creator of “Glee,” is also the creator of this much darker and disturbing show. Nominated for 17 Emmys, the show returns for an entirely new season (with a different premise) this month. Now set in an asylum, this season will feature Jessica Lange, Chloë Sevigny and Joseph Fiennes. I’ll likely be watching with one eye open, in sheer paranoia and curiosity. “American Horror Story: Asylum” premieres on FX on Wednesday, October 17.

DVA Damas

Los Angeles band DVA Damas encapsulates all that is spooky about this month, but is also equally appropriate for the other 11 months of the year. Frontwoman Taylor Burch sings and speaks simultaneously in a strange American/British accent, as dark synths and bass lines create a world of distortion behind her. To see DVA Damas live is an experience like no other, with their sheer moroseness, mixed-up charm and attitude. The band remains rather mysterious, which is part of what makes them exciting. Get your séance on with DVA Damas on Thursday, October 18, at the Soda Bar in City Heights.