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Weekend Preview: San Diego County Fair, Latino Music Festival

The San Diego County Fair starts Friday, June 10, and runs until Monday, July 4.
The San Diego County Fair starts Friday, June 10, and runs until Monday, July 4.
Weekend Preview: San Diego County Fair, Latino Music Festival
A sure sign that summer in San Diego is just around the corner is the start of the San Diego County Fair. We'll be talking about the fair and other great things to do this weekend, on our Weekend Preview.

A sure sign that summer in San Diego is just around the corner is the start of the San Diego County Fair. We'll be talking about the fair and other great things to do this weekend, on our Weekend Preview.


Kinsee Morlan, arts and entertainment editor at San Diego CityBeat


Peter Holslin, 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.

Joining me, it's the CityBeat team, arts and entertainment editor Kinsee Morlan.

MORLAN: Yay! Thanks for having me, I'm glad to be here.

CAVANAUGH: And CityBeats music educator Peter Holslin, hi Peter.

HOLSLIN: What's going down, Maureen?


CAVANAUGH: Everything's gonna start going down in just a moment.

HOLSLIN: Sure is.

MORLAN: Stay tuned.

CAVANAUGH: We're talking about the fair, first all. You start off, Kinsey with the fair itself. Some of us old timy San Diegans still call it the Del Mar fair. It opens tomorrow. So what can fair goers like forward to this year?

MORLAN: Well, we were actually just talking about this, I'm a small town girl so what I look forward to is kind of like -- it's the small town vibe no matter how big it is. And I like to kind of go off the beaten track and head into the exhibition halls.

CAVANAUGH: You want to see the animals.

MORLAN: I want to see the animals, but I want to see like who made the best pie, and who did the best needle work, and all of this stuff. There's all the fun flashy fried food stuff. But the exhibition halls in my opinion is where it's at.

HOLSLIN: I however just like the fried food.

CAVANAUGH: We're gonna be talking about that in a minute. Are there special days, special events that people might want to keep in mind when they look at the whole fair going to July fourth?

MORLAN: Well, you know, every day is special Maureen.

CAVANAUGH: That's very true.

MORLAN: But yes, there are. There are a ton of deals and discount type days that you can look at if you go to their website, I think Tuesday June fourteenth it's like three dollars to get in. My favorite, the Purina incredible dog challenge. We always get a little preview of that when we go for the media preview party. It's like awesome stunt dogs. Why are you laughing Peter? That is cool. And this year there's a car theme, so they have some special events resolving around that, I think a NASCAR guy's gonna come talk. And then there's the big annual international beer festival that happens at the fair every year. And that's June 24th through 26th. So there's a lot of special events and happenings, and Peter's gonna you can about all the music stuff that goes do you happen. Which is pretty stellar this year. I'm kind of blown back.

CAVANAUGH: About ever we get to the music, fried food, okay?

MORLAN: We gotta do it.

HOLSLIN: You can't talk about the fair without talking about fried food.

CAVANAUGH: What are we frying up? I talked about what I say, Kool-Aid doughnut fried, fried Kool-ade doughnut.

MORLAN: Yum. I had the deep fried Kool-ade, alongside the deep fried brownie which was probably my favorite item of the night when we went to the preview thing. But this year, last year it was all about the deep fried butter, and that particular food truck thing will be back with all kinds of interesting fried things like the chocolate covered bacon on a stick.

HOLSLIN: I got fry that.

MORLAN: That's deep fried of course. The deep fried pigs in a blanket, chocolate covered corn dog, deep fried beef jerky, deep fried Kool-ade like you said, deep fried girl scout cookies. And yeah, so -- there's all kinds of --

HOLSLIN: So you can have some deep fried bacon, and some deep fried Kool-Aid, and that'll be like your breakfast.

MORLAN: Breakfast of champions.

HOLSLIN: Breakfast of champions, indeed.

CAVANAUGH: Tell me over all, what do you think, Kinsey? Is it cool to go to the fair.

MORLAN: Well, you know, I've been contemplating this question, and if you ask me, again, going back to the small town thing, yes, it is cool. Because there's all these cool little elements like the home brew competition. Stop by there, see what's going on in the home brew scene in San Diego. But you know, do hipsters go? Maybe ironically.

HOLSLIN: Let me tell you what's cool. Last year my friend drove for the CityBeat team in a demolition derby.


MORLAN: That's cool.

HOLSLIN: That's coal.

CAVANAUGH: Can't argue with that. Let's move on to what is perhaps the coolest aspect of the San Diego County fair, Del Mar fair, and that would be the music. Wee focussing on Bruno Mars and Janelle Mon·e, performing together at the fair, this weekend, #0E7ing weekend. Tell us about them Peter.

HOLSLIN: Well, Bruno Mars is a young, dapper singer song writer who's been blowing up all over the radio waves he has a couple of really good pop hits for his solo material. But he's also really well known for co-writing songs, including C lo green's hit song with the unspeakable title, which radio broad casters call forget you.

CAVANAUGH: Okay. Thank you for that.

HOLSLIN: And you know like I said, he's dreamy and he's got a good voice, and -- but my personal favorite, Janelle Mon·e, I think is the far more interesting artist, in my opinion. She's young, she's got a great voice, she's got a -- you know she's got a giant pompadour.


HOLSLIN: And she has like an affinity --

CAVANAUGH: And that's not a euphemism. She has a giant pompadour.

MORLAN: I think it's taller than she actually is. 'Cause she's like four feet, right? And then the pompadour is like another four feet?

HOLSLIN: Yeah, yeah.

CAVANAUGH: Well, since she is the most interesting. We're gonna be playing a clip from Bruno Mars. Bruno Mars newest single, Grenade, from his EP grenade sessions.

(Audio Recording Played).

CAVANAUGH: That is Bruno Mars, grenade. And he and Janelle Mon·e are gonna be at the San Diego County fair this weekend. You were talking about Janelle Mon·e, and you're talking about her pompadour Peter, but what is her sound like?

HOLSLIN: Okay, so Janelle Mon·e is really into cyborgs and really into futurism. And she came out with this album last year that was kind of her big album, and it's called the arch android suites two and three. And basically it's a sprawling concept album with all of this, like, futurist mythology. And it seamlessly incorporates all these different music styles like glitzy pop, and rock and hip hop. And it takes together all these inspirations as far ranging as star wars and Stevie wonder.

CAVANAUGH: So does that mean there's gonna be, like, this massive live show? Is it does she bring all that with her?

HOLSLIN: Yeah, basically when these two started touring after they performed in the Grammies last year. Or this year, sorry. They put on a seriously spectacular performance. They played their hit songs, there were elaborate sets, there was a string section. BOB, the MC got up on stage in a tuxedo on and monocle. And Janelle even stage dived.

CAVANAUGH: All right, all right.

HOLSLIN: Spectacular, yeah.

CAVANAUGH: Ya had me at the monocle.

HOLSLIN: But I don't think -- there will be no tuxedo and monocle this time, unfortunately.


HOLSLIN: And I don't know if it'll be quite as spectacular, but I would say that it would be fantastical.

CAVANAUGH: Okay. Bruno Mars and Janelle Mon·e perform together Saturday night at the San Diego County fair. We're moving from the fair Kinsey, and we're going to an art show at Space for Art. It's called drawing expanse. Tell us about it.

MORLAN: Well, this is the first time that space for art has done a big open call, open submission process for artists. So they got over 80 submissions from artists across the country. And it's drawing, but it's kind of interesting. It is a drawing show, but you'll see kind of different takes on that and what that means to different artists.

CAVANAUGH: Who are some of the artists that are gonna be having works in this display?

MORLAN: Well, we ran a drawing by San Diego artist Lewis submit. So he's one of the artists, and I love his -- he kind of does he's like featureless faces, they look like lemmings or drones kind of in this very vapid landscape, and I don't know, I just -- every time I see his working it's kind of moving and jolting in a way. So he's one of the artists. The interesting thing are kind of the jurors, so they pulled in some big names, David White of Adjet prop, and Karen McGuire of Cannon Art Gallery, and they are the ones who went through the selection process and picked out the artists. There's other artists like Maylene Martinez. She has a studio inside space for art. So you'll see local artists alongside artists from across the country.

CAVANAUGH: And as you say, the idea of drawing is really expanded in this. I mean, there's other media involved, right?

MORLAN: There are. I actually called up Karen McGuire, one of the jurors this morning, to kind of get her explanation of it, and she kept going back to saying we use drawing as the departure. So there are sculptures that kind of explore the idea of line. It's not all graphite and pencil, which is kind of what you expect when you hear a drawing show. So there are some paintings that have kind of the line work as a focus. So it is a drawing show, you'll see mostly drawings but you'll also see this other work that kind of ties back into it. And another interesting aspect of this is literary arts group, so say we all, they put a call out to their regular constrictors, and they asked them to look at a singular piece and come up with a written work based on that drawing. So they will be there that night doing their performances so I think that should be pretty interesting.

CAVANAUGH: Drawing expanse will take place Saturday at space for art at Downtown. It's on 15th Street between J and K streets. We move on to the fifteenth annual Latino music festival this weekend, Peter. What's going on there?

HOLSLIN: The Latino music festival, it's a free festival featuring seven of the best Latino music bands in the city. There will be the Chula Vista social club, which is a group that features members of the band B-Side players. They're super funky. Bill Caballero is a local Latin jazz musician. So basically it's an event -- it's a free event that's put on by the Sherman heights community center, which is a really active organization in that area. And it'll actually be located right across the street from the community center, and I strongly suggest you check that place out because it's just a really cool looking complex like very modern looking, and it was designed by the architect rob questioningly. And yeah, so --

MORLAN: And Sherman heights is cool too, because it's got all these historical houses right around there. So you can kind of explore the neighborhood while you're there. It's pretty cool.

HOLSLIN: Beautiful Victorian home so it's I great excuse to just go explore that area and check out some great Latin music.

CAVANAUGH: Well, let's hear from one of the featured bands. This is la Pachanga, from Todo Mundo, from their album, Organic Fire.

(Audio Recording Played).

CAVANAUGH: That's a nice open there.

HOLSLIN: Beautiful.

CAVANAUGH: That's la pachanga by Todo Mundo. You also like another band playing, Chunky.

HOLSLIN: Yeah, Chunky y los Alacranes, and it's led by a guy calmed Ramon Chunky Sanchez, Chunky being his nickname.

CAVANAUGH: Sure, yeah.

HOLSLIN: And she's been a fixture of San Diego's Chicano community for decades.

CAVANAUGH: Right. He's been on this show.

HOLSLIN: And Caesar Chavez was a big fan of his. And he's perform at rallies for the united farm workers back in the 70s, and they'd play labor songs. But they also have some really good love songs, and my personal favorite is this song called chorizo sandwich, which is kind of an amazing song. It's about someone who makes her lover a poisoned chorizo sandwich.


HOLSLIN: And then this guy is disabled, and while he's in bed, his lover runs away with his best friend.

MORLAN: Oh, the plot thickens. Que horrible!

HOLSLIN: So the song is, like, this was bad, this was wrong, but I wish you hadn'ta given me that chorizo sandwich.

MORLAN: You guys are making me hungry. Now that this show is at noon, you know?

CAVANAUGH: I want to let everybody know that the Latino music festival takes place Saturday, as you said, at the Sherman heights community joint field. I have been speaking with Kinsee Morlan and Peter Holslin, both with San Diego City beat. And thank you.

HOLSLIN: Thank you.

MORLAN: Thanks Maureen.