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Celebrating Black Music Month with NPR Music's Tiny Desk

 June 13, 2024 at 5:23 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on KPBS. Today's arts and culture show is about music and film. We're celebrating Black Music Month , then getting highlights from the Tiny Desk contest , plus a grindhouse film marathon. Here's to conversations that keep you informed , inspired , and make you think. Giving black women in the music business their flowers.

S2: We encourage our audience , and we want them to shower these women with love and praises because you know someone like a Chaka Khan. We put our tiny desk out. You're just reminded of the greatness.

S1: We'll also check in to see who won and who stood out in this year's Tiny Desk contest , then defining grindhouse cinema. That's ahead on Midday Edition. It's the 45th commemoration of Black Music Month , at a time when we celebrate the historical and cultural significance of black musicianship. NPR's Tiny Desk is celebrating the month with nine performances by black women this year. Host and producer Bobby Carter joins us. Bobby , it's good to have you back here on Midday Edition.

S2: Hey , Jade. It's good to be back. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. So I want to talk about the significance of Black Music Month because , you know , it not only celebrates black music artists , but the influence this art form has had on music and culture in general.

S2: Yeah , I think it's important to highlight it. For me , Black Music Month should be Black Music Year given , like you said , given its influence on the world and influence on world music , but specifically what we want to do at the Tiny Desk , given what black music is , how black music music has influenced the tiny desk and where it's taken us. So I think it's just really , really important to stop for a minute and with a bunch of intent and said and saying that we're clearing the deck for the month of June and we're going all out for Black Music Month.

S1: Love it. And your show , Tiny Desk Concerts does a lot to showcase black music artists year round. And since shows like , You know , Video soul 106 and Park , they're long gone. Um , you know , since that's the case , this is one of the very few places you can see and hear artists.

S2: Video vibrations , of course , MTV unplugged. You know , for whatever reason , a lot of those , you know , we're just speaking of the legacy now. So it's just very , very important to take advantage of , uh , the impact and the spotlight that's on that desk and use it and use it to , to to make a statement and it use it to honor , uh , the , the , the greats that have made music what it is today. And also in this month , the women who are carving out their own path and creating a new future for music. So we're just taking advantage. We understand that our audience is very diverse. Um , and we know what they want. We pay attention and we , we , we're watching comments and taking suggestions. So this is this is for the people , you know. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. Well , you know , the show also introduces like a lot of up and coming artists to people who may not have otherwise heard of them. Exposure is so important , yet a big challenge when trying to break into the business.

S2: Uh , we hang our hat at NPR. We hang our hat on discovery. Um , I know with every , uh , with every juvenile , with every Charlie Wilson , there's about 3 or 4 artists that you've never heard of , um , that have played the Tiny desk. So when you look at our YouTube , a large majority of those acts we're introducing you to , um , and we still do that. You know , we we spend a lot of time looking at our calendar to make sure that it's a balance of artists that you love and artists that we think you would love. Right.

S1: Right.

S2: But like you said , it's just a difference of exposure. Um , and we know what a tiny desk could do for an artist who doesn't necessarily have a following yet. You know , we have a lot of our audience there just checking in and clicking on any video they see because they they trust that we're putting on our platform. Only artists that are really , really special , that are doing something unique. So we want to do this for the unknowns. You know , we have a tiny desk contest that I'm on the roll right now. And we we allow artists from around the country to submit a video. People who don't have a following , people who are unsigned and , uh , mostly unheard of. And we allow them the opportunity to enter for a chance to play a real Tiny Desk concert and hopefully get , um , a real start at , um , a career in music. So , yeah , we we take pride in opening this thing up to , uh , the greats and and the ones that. That could be great. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. And I want to get into that tiny desk concert that you're doing in a minute. But you mentioned that for this Black Music Month , you're featuring an all woman lineup. Tell me about that and why it's important to give black women their flowers specifically right now.

S2: Yeah , well , I was I thought about this , um , as we began to roll out , um , the artist from last year , um , and we started with , like I mentioned earlier , Charlie Wilson and Babyface and Tank and I , I thought to myself , um , we could probably flip this , you know , and we listened to our audience , you know , our audience. They keep our feet to the fire. I was like , hey , where are the women ? And it's not for the lack of effort on on our end , there are most of the artists and most of the , the , the big names or most of the. Most of my wishlist comprised of some of the some of my favorite women in the music industry. So I knew last year that we were going to put in a lot of effort to to line this thing up for all women , you know , all , all black women. Um , in the month of June , um , like you said , give them their flowers. The thing that I love about Tiny Desk , one of the things I love about what we do is that when you see a Tiny Desk concert , or if you see Tiny Desk trending on social media , they're talking about the music. They aren't talking about anything else. No gossip or an artist past. It's solely on the music and and the audiences. They we allow them the opportunity to give these women their flowers , to let them know how great they are and and what they've done for our for for the music industry and for society at large. So we we encourage our audience and we want them to shower these women with love and praises because , you know , someone like a Chaka Khan , we put our tiny desk out. You just reminded of the greatness , you know , when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame takes 50 years to honor her ? Um , we want to let these artists know you don't need the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame to to to feel the love from our community. You know what I mean ? You are great. You belong there. Um. And I hope , I hope today that that she's feeling that because it is just overwhelming. It's just overwhelming love out there for Chaka Khan today. Um , because of that unbelievable performance that she put on.

S1: I know salute. And I heard it yesterday. It was amazing. And when her performance went live , my social media blew up. The spill was overflowing. I mean , talk , talk a bit about her career and musical influence.

S2: It's just it's mind blowing that someone like a Chaka Khan has been doing that thing. The thing that we see on Tony , she's been doing that thing for 50 years and she hasn't missed a step. I just that's the amazing part. The voice is as strong as ever. She looks amazing. The band has been doing it for so long. It's like a it's like second skin. It's just. It's something else to to be in that room , but you can still feel that energy come off the screen if you weren't there when , when , when the audience is singing and she can just sit back , that's a moment I'll never forget because she has earned that , um , she has earned the right to sit back and allow us to sing to her. Um , and I'm just I'm just proud of that moment. I'm proud of our team , uh , for for making that moment shine the way it did. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. It's what Tiny Desk does best. Let's take a listen to some of her performance.

UU: What a night. Well , not only. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Tell me something good. Tell me , tell me , tell me that you love me. Yeah.

S2: I get chills.

S1: And she's 71 , 71.

S2: And just. No one can do it like that. No one can. I don't I don't even know if they're doing it like that today. Um , but it was just. But it's effortless , you know , it's effortless. She deserves all the praise because those songs that set list , it's like oxygen to us. We those songs , when you hear the first note , you just. You're taking back to a feeling , you know what I mean ? You're taking back to a time and we're missing a lot of that. So that's what we're trying to do at the desk.

S1: And I also just watched Lakisha Benjamin , who I'd never heard before , and I was blown away by her musicianship. She pulled out that alto saxophone and did her spoken word. I mean , tell me about her.

S2: I mean , Lakisha is just a young. A young band leader who's just keeping alive the legacy of the greats. Like , uh. Like a , like John Coltrane. Last song that she did that honored Coltrane and his wife , Alice Coltrane. She's just a she's just a fire in the jazz industry. Not right now. And it's in. The energy is just infectious. And again , like , you know , there may not be a there may be a large group of people out there that didn't know Lakisha Benjamin before she stepped behind that desk. But I'm really happy that that , that hundreds of thousands , um , are introduced to her through the tiny desk because , uh , she's going to be she's going to be one that we call legend , um , in years to come. Right.

S1: Right. Timms I also saw her on there.

S2: Yeah , we started off with Tim's. I mean , I think it was a great way to open it up because she. She is still up and coming , but she is right there at the brink of superstardom. Um , and her voice is just one of a kind. She can go down in that deep register and with ease , you know , she just put out an amazing album , and she was kind enough to debut some of those songs right at the Tiny Desk.

UU: I'll be down because I love and I love and I love and I love you only because I need and I need and I need and I need you more. Yeah. You know , I run and I run and I run and I run , fly. We can fly in the sky in the night with me. Your arms , your love , your love. I. I'm on your way right now. I'm on your way right now. So.

S2: So. Yeah. Yeah. Uh , Tim , Tim set it off , and we got a lot more to come.

S1: Yeah , and tell me about that.

S2: She's a young , fresh energy and country music. Flo Milli in mic. Who's coming in ? Another young woman who is really , really carving out her own , her own lane and has her own voice in hip hop. Uh , what else do we have ? The greats and Michelle and D.J. cello from DC , who has been at it since the late 80s , early 90s. And she just sort of every album we get from Michelle , it's like a new it's like a new artist. You know , she started in like in the neo soul lane and R&B and slowly started to get into the jazz world. She's great. And then , uh , we're closing it out with the one and only SWV.

S1: Well , and we mentioned the Tiny Desk contest earlier. Tell us about who won. Yeah.

S2: Yeah. Uh , for the contest , our 2024 Tiny Desk Contest winner is this guy out of Sacramento by the name of the Philharmonic.

UU: But I was told I could be anything that I wanted to be by God. So you can't make money off your dreams.

S2: The thing that I love most about the Philharmonic is that you can , once you hear them , you can't really classify them. He can rap a little bit. He can sing , he composes , he produces his music. He's a bandleader. He is just a breath of fresh air and music. He comes with a great energy. He has a vision with everything that he does and his voice and his look is just one of a kind. We I truly believe we found something really , really , really , really special in the , uh , in the Philharmonic. And yeah , we're on a roll right now. Turn it up.

S1: Oh my gosh , it's a close out.

S2: You know , just I love when people say , hey , I'm having a watch party. I can just put on tiny desk and just go down this rabbit hole. So all June long , stay locked. Um , and give this give these artists their flowers. Give these women their flowers because they have given us so much. So. Yeah , it's it's going down.

S1: I've been speaking with Bobby Carter , host and producer behind NPR's Tiny Desk concert. Bobby , thank you so much.

S2: My pleasure. Jay. Thank you.

S1: Coming up , the standouts in this year's Tiny Desk Contest.

S3: This is the first time we've really rounded up the locals and gone through and and intentionally selected our favorites and published them like this.

S1: More on that when we return. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. Welcome back. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. As you just heard in our interview with Bobby Carter , NPR music just announced the winner of their annual Tiny Desk Contest , which accepts submissions from bands and artists all around the country. KPBS Arts producer Julia Dixon Evans and KPBS web producer Brendan Nardi actually listened to every submission from San Diego and Imperial County. They picked out some of their favorite submissions , and now they're here to share them. Hey , Julia.

S3: Hey , Jade.

S1: And welcome to you , Brendan. Thanks.

S4: Thanks.

S1: It's so great to have you both here. So how does the Tiny Desk contest work ? Right.

S3: So every year , NPR accepts thousands and thousands of submissions from bands across the country. And there's only two basic requirements for this. The first one is the band is unsigned to any recording contract. And the other is that there is a desk of some sort somewhere in your video.

S1: And this isn't the first time KPBS has highlighted local submissions.

S3: Technically , no. I mean , I have managed to get my hands on the the list of local submissions for the past couple of years , and we've spotlighted a couple of bands randomly , like if if I had discovered an artist because of their tiny desk submission , and then I was recommending a show , we would play their song , but this is the first time we've really rounded up the locals and gone through and and intentionally selected our favorites and publish them like this.

S1: So I want to get into who caught your eye , Brendan.

S4: I loved that it was filmed at Sdsu. I'm an alumni , so go as Tex. Um , but Avery has such , like , a really rich voice. Um , and the double bass in the video adds such drama and depth to the song and really complements her really honest songwriting.

UU: You might think that's laughable. God help me. Female. To stay on.

S4: Has brings this really fresh perspective to relationships. That just is showcased in the song , and you just have to go listen to it because it's unconventional. And the way she writes the song , it's such a breath of fresh air. Nice.

S1: Nice. So Julia , one of these artists , has been on your radar for a while. Giuliana Zakaria , tell us about her. Right.

S3: Right. She is a singer songwriter , a super hard worker , does a lot of touring and live shows , and I also really love her live shows. She's a really , like , intimate performer. You. It's a good time to watch her , watch her play. And she's currently also trying to crowdfund an album , and she's really candid about what it means to to work as a musician right now. The song that she submitted to Tiny Desk is called Digital Paper.

UU: You check in all the time.

S5: Now there's digital paper everywhere.

S3: It starts out with a computer screen and then like an email composition window is open and it says digital paper is a song about life , love , death and our spam inboxes. And what she's done with the song is she's turned like some of the more absurd subject lines from businesses or places where we've bought things in the past , kind of the things that they send you as to get us to open the emails or click through , even things like the birthday emails that we get. It's a really great song , and she just has a really raw and inventive style.

UU: Every year you remember my birthday. Remember my birthday , boo ! It's like you read my mind. I mean , you chicken all the time. Any minute now.

S1: Well , Brendan , your next pick is a pretty timely one.

S4: Yeah , it's called June Gloom by the artist Kimiko. It's a pretty apt , given we're in the height of the season of these gloomy mornings , and , fingers crossed , Sundays in the afternoon. Um , but what I really like about this song is you can just feel the longing and the lyricism and the singing. Um , Kimiko submitted last year , and I remember being pretty impressed then. Um , last year's submission was more acoustic , but this year's takes on a more rock and shoegaze vibe. Um , and it's just so kind of fun to listen to and put yourself in this space of longing for a relationship that doesn't work out. And I also really loved a teeny tiny desk in the video. You kind of have to hunt for it , but it is there.

S6: All right , Julia.

S1: Who's your last.

S3: Pick ? Okay , so we have singer songwriter Shua and his song. Aren't You Tired ? Shua is great. He pulls from from soul , indie , even folk influences as well as well as R&B. And , um , the song is beautiful , his voice is incredible. It's just really pure and and honest. And when I saw this submission video , I went out and listen to everything I could of his. He is. He's really great.

UU: If you know that , I can feel it. Like every other day. I'm in your shoes.

S1: Well , those were some great selections , Brendan. It was a rare treat to have you join us here on midday today to talk about some of them.

S4: Thanks for having me.

S1: So glad you were here. Um , for a full list of all those artists they just mentioned , KPBS. Org and Julia , before we go , I wanted to check in with you about what's going on this weekend in the arts. I hear the Old Globe is celebrating Juneteenth with a special free family program.

S3: The celebration is this Saturday from 1130 to 130. It's outdoors at the Globe's Copley Plaza. There's always live music and food and art making activities for kids and all ages , really. But one of my favorite things about this project is they always debut a new colab play. Colab is a is an arts engagement program of the globe. It's a community playwriting workshop , so you'll get a chance to see one of those works. And the whole thing is hosted once again by poet and storyteller and playwright Gil SO2. And he'll be joined by a bunch of other artists and collectives. There's Kendrick , dial and the lyrical groove. Brittany Taylor Truth gospel mime group will do a dance performance. There's storytelling and music from Alice Smith Cooper , a gospel choir performance from David Drennan and The Undefeated and plenty more. And this is all free.

S1: Sounds like a great event. Also , we have classical music and video games.

S3: This is Final Fantasy , which was first released in 1987 , and they're still creating new , new iterations of this game. There's 16 games in the main series , but a bunch of sequels and prequels and spin offs. I looked this up online to see if I could find a number , and somebody said that there are 134 different Final Fantasy games. So this is like a huge legacy , and the music in the game is just really renowned. It was composed for the first game and a bunch of the games by Japanese composer Nobuo Matsu , and it's incredible music. Music is really playing a big part in video game music , and it clearly has since the 80s , but it's still is a big part of the storytelling and the world building. This is performed at the La Jolla music society in their Baker Baum Concert Hall. They're having the New World players , so this is like officially licensed classical music performance for for the game. And the concert takes us through a bunch of the pieces of music from the game. So things like character themes where each character , when they come through the game gets , gets like a little , little snippet of music to recognize them by. There's battle music and then of course , the main themes. So this is Saturday. There's two performances , one at 6 p.m. and another at 9 p.m. in La Jolla. Well , in. Carlsbad.

S1: Carlsbad. New Village Arts is opening their production of The Color Purple this weekend. This is it's a musical adaptation of Alice Walker's novel , right ? Yeah.

S3: So it is based on both the novel , which was published in 1982 , and the movie , which came out just a couple of years later in 1985. And together they have all of these adaptations of this , this work. There is a Pulitzer National Book Award , a bunch of Oscar nominations and even some Tony Awards. So it is a very decorated story. It follows Celie , who is an African American girl in rural Georgia , and we first meet her in 1909. She's just 14. She has one baby already as a result of abuse from her father , and is pregnant with her second , and we follow her over the course of decades through an intense relationship and affair that she has with Shug , a woman. And it's an incredible , powerful story. And this song that we're listening to , you hear is from the original Broadway cast recording of the musical. It's called Huckleberry Pie.

UU: Mysterious ways always go back to the Russell , but you're. You've got to be serious. Wherever you go. For various ways you pull back , breaking under all that weight.

S3: Saint Peter Arnett , New village arts. It's directed by Candice Crystal , and it starts in low cost previews this Friday night with shows all weekend , and then it will officially have the opening night next weekend.

S6: And in visual art.

S1: There's a couple of chances to check out artists in residence at museums.

S3: And I love the way that the Timken operates their artist residency program. They really let the artists play kind of with the space and with the existing art on the walls. Ortiz Rubio is a muralist. She's known for these super large scale things , and she'll render a clouds out of charcoal. But here she's working with the color blue. Her piece is called In Blue Time , and it's still going to be very atmospheric , like most of her work , and also deals with concepts of time , but she's drawing on the blue in the background of one painting that's that's up in the museum. It's called parable of the sower by artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder , and that painting is from 1557. So it's kind of cool that she is making something right now to to be in conversation with such an old work. And when she's done , the mural is going to take up an entire wall in the Timken Dutch Flemish gallery and will kind of be a backdrop for those paintings for a few months. But for the time being , you can go and watch her work. She's on site Wednesday through Friday from 10 to 330 during the day. Or you can just stop by whenever and kind of see the progress that she's made so far. And the Timken is always free.

S6: All right.

S1: And we have another artist in residence at Visions Museum of Textile Arts. Tell me about. That.

S6: That. Right.

S3: So this is Irma Sofia , poet , and she is a visual artist who makes garments. And these textile sculptures. She's a border artist. She is based out of Tecate , and she has this exhibit that is currently on view at visions called A dress. It's part of a group of four related exhibits , but she's also in residence creating new works at the museum , and you can catch her every Saturday in June. She'll be there from 10 to 4. And also at visions. This Saturday is a pop up market with a bunch of local textile artists. They're showing and selling their art , including Claudia Rodriguez. If so , Luca and a bunch more. And that's from 10 to 2. Visions Museum is in Liberty Station , and it is also always free.

S1: And one more quick one. Saturday marks the return of City High Street Food Fest.

S3: It's held along University Avenue between 37th and 38th streets in City Heights. You can expect food for sure , and there'll be music and performances and family friendly activities and art making stuff. You do have to get a ticket to get in. It ranges from $10 for City Heights residents and $15 for general audiences , but it is actually a fundraiser for street food vendors. It's put on by the City Heights CDC , and the ticket proceeds go toward essential services for the vendors , things like food security , job assistance and housing , as well as broader things like making the streets safer to get there. There's parking available that's at the Health Sciences High School parking structure , or you can find street parking , but it runs from 11 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

S6: All right.

S1: You can find details on these and more arts events. Or sign up for Julia's weekly Arts newsletter at Slash Arts I've been speaking with KPBS Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Julia.

S6: Thank you , thank you. Jade.

S1: Coming up , in honor of Film Out's Grindhouse mini marathon this weekend , Beth Accomando gathers some film programmers to define the appeal of grindhouse cinema.

S7: Grindhouse films operate outside the Hollywood system. There's always been a kind of a risk and an adventure associated with watching one. You're just always thinking like , where did this come from ? Like what ? Mind produced this ? And there's a joy in that here.

S1: More on that when KPBS Midday Edition returns. Welcome back. You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman , KPBS. Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando not only covers film in San Diego , but she's also active in programming movies. This weekend , she'll be one of the presenters at the best of Aids grind a thon triple feature at Hillcrest Cinemas. She invited two of her co-presenters to define exactly what grindhouse cinema is all about. Take a listen.

S8: Today I have Eddie Gorilla of Popcorn Reef and Matt Rothman of Bonkers Cinema. So to start off this conversation , Matt , why don't you tell me what you think Grindhouse is , in case there are people out there who don't know ? Well , I.

S7: Think it's easier to start with the pretty. The simple definition I always give for what is an exploitation fail. Usually I would call it a film that prioritizes sensationalism over artistic intent , and while it's not always the case , there usually be kind of a reflection on cultural upheaval that's taking place during the time. So if you think about the 50s and the 60s , like the teen rebellion films , I mean , that was obviously a reaction to the older generation being frightened by teenagers becoming more free and going against the norms of the prior generation. And then in the 60s and 70s , you have women's liberation , and a lot of that sexual freedom ends up on screen. So you have a lot of sexploitation and pornography. And then of course , 70s and 80s crime explodes across urban America , and you get vigilante films and revenge films like Deathwish. So the term Grindhouse , on the other hand , is kind of a catch all term that we use for , um , an urban theater that specialized in screening exploitation films and pornography. But now 2020 for the term grindhouse and the term exploitation film is just kind of interchangeable.


S9: And what we do at Popcorn Reef specifically , is we try to highlight movies that really lean in on the spectacle of what you can get from a film , and like that movie magic and kind of this larger than life type of feeling that you get when you're watching them. And a lot of exploitation films , which is why about half of our programming is exploitation and grindhouse films. They are wild and larger than life in a way that since there's so much freedom in the filmmaking , the independent filmmaking , and also just kind of leaning toward trying to appease like base fears and base primal instincts , I think that comes off on the screen. And I think a lot of people have made exploitation movies also , it's fun to watch because they kind of think that the audience wants to see something like really nasty or really absurd , and they kind of in a certain sense , I guess you'd say they demean the audience by thinking , oh , these guys just want to see a bunch of sex and violence and crazy stuff , and then you get to see , like , what they really thought of that. And to me , it's hilarious and it's really fun to watch.


S9: And these movies , I would equate them kind of to like foreign films in the sense that when you watch a foreign film , to me at least , I learned like maybe about five times the amount from watching a foreign film , whether it's good or not. Then I would just watching another studio film as far as seeing what a movie can be , and kind of opening my eyes to what you could possibly grab from something. And I would say most exploitation films , especially again since they were made independently and outside the studio system , can give you just like a bigger perspective on what you can really achieve with the form.


S7: I mean , they've traditionally had , uh , different theaters , different distributors , different genres than you're going to see in mainstream cinemas. It has a different kind of flavor. There's always been a kind of a risk and an adventure associated with watching one. You're just always thinking like , where did this come from ? Like what mind produced this ? And there's a joy in that. I also think , too , like we as a culture have built up these intellectual barriers to avoid seeing these kind of things. You know , we say it's too violent or too sleazy or too cheap , but at the end of the. Day , the exploitation film. It wants to engage with you like it's it's designed to. It's by definition , it's meant to latch on to that lizard part of your brain and just feed off the baser instincts via sensationalism.

S8: And you are one of the co-sponsors for this grind a thon. So tell us what that's going to be about. Yeah.

S9: Yeah. So Michael came to all of us actually , and asked if we wanted to participate in this 80s LA sleaze a thon , really , I guess is maybe an alternate title for this. And a lot of these movies are from the early 80s , and they depict what we think. At least I wasn't around in the early 80s in LA , but what we think was going on like on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard in those times where there was a lot of prostitution , a lot of gang stuff , and I guess anything went on the streets and you can kind of go and explore your crazier side. And so Vice Squad has been a favorite of mine for a really long time. I caught it on cable a long time ago , even probably one of the first exploitation movies I ever saw without even really knowing much about exploitation.

S10: Hollywood , the dream and the nightmare.

S9: That's one of the films we're going to be showing , uh , wings. Hauser , who's a incredible actor , and he hasn't really gotten his place in the Hall of Fame , I think , in acting. But this guy , you know , he is known for just playing a complete maniac in films. And this is arguably like a signature role. He plays a pimp named ramrod in this movie.

S11: Let me see a warrant right now , boy wise , we don't need you thinking. Why ? Because we're holding him in our right. Hands up a little brass. Check the bedroom. Hands on your head. Put your hands on you. Hey , cop. Come on , shoot me.

S9: A hooker like snitches on him , basically. And then he just tears up the streets murdering people and doing a whole bunch of stuff. I actually got to see him speak over up in Cinematic Void in LA earlier this year. He described the film when he was speaking during the Q&A with Jim Branscombe as jaws on land with him being jaws , and I think that's an accurate description of my squad. We're also going to be showing class of 1984 , which is a little bit of a different flavor , but it's about a school teacher played by Perry King , who's trying to get his class together in high school , and these guys keep attacking him and basically start threatening to kill him. And , you know , it's all about , as Matt was alluding to , too. There was a lot of crime on the streets and what's wrong with everybody right now ? And it leans into those desires.

S10: Class of 1984.

S12: Their only goal is power. I run this school and.

S10: They're only law is survival.

S13: If you want to survive around here , you have got to learn to look the other way.

S10: They're only allegiance is to themselves.

S9: Other film crimes of passion. I think I'm going to let Matt take the take the reins on that one.

S10: There are no secrets in the dark. There is no act that cannot be committed. In Women in Love , he crossed forbidden boundaries in altered states. He explored the unknown powers of the mind. Now he explores the most provocative power of all.

UU: A woman. Who lives in two worlds. A man who must.

S10: Lose himself to possess. Her.

S8: Her. So , yes , the Ken Russell film in this grindhouse marathon.

S7: Yeah , I think this is a perfect in the lineup of the three , because if we think about exploitation or Grindhouse , we're always talking about the titillation and the battle between sex and violence. And so while a class of 1984 certainly delivers the goods on the violence and Vice Squad , the third film showing definitely delivers the , uh , the combination of the two definitely violence as we see it towards sex workers. Ken Russell is right there in the middle , just delivering the most pervy film we can think of and the most Ken Russell way that we can think of. And if you're not familiar with who Ken Russell is , he's certainly , uh , notorious for directing the Devil's arthouse sort of exploitation film where he really combines , like all things like sexuality , religion and repression , and those are all things that he , uh , combines for , for crimes of passion here. Crimes of passion is also famous for , uh , Kathleen Turner doing a really risque role , coming right off the heels of romancing the Stone. So it was a very risky role for her. It pays off. She's really good in it. And it also has Anthony Perkins. So Norman Bates himself , who plays a very psychotic reverend. And so it's a film I love. I'm so happy , Michael showing it , and I'm so happy to be a co-presenter.

S8: And as I mentioned , both of you program films on a regular basis. Eddie , talk about the venues that you use especially. I love your description of this , but you call one of your venues the Imax of Grindhouse. So tell us which one that is. Yeah.

S9: Yeah. So we've been working with , uh , Jeff Carter downtown at the 10th Avenue Arts Center over in East Village , right by the ho dads. Have you guys ever been over there ? And we've been using the main stages of the Performing Arts Center , but we've been rolling a giant screen in there that was kind of a homemade screen , but it's the way it's positioned with the seating and we have stadium seating there. It puts you right in the screen , almost like you're floating in the screen. And the idea behind a lot of the shows we've been doing there is to give films that you would have never been able to see the ads really ever , even in the 80s or the 70s , or whenever they came out like a larger than life experience and can't get this at home. So we kicked things off this year by showing stripped to kill.

S14: Stripped to kill a maniac is killing strippers.



S9: Her body. You'll never see strip to kill in a theater anywhere. But you'll definitely never see strip to kill. Like , while you're , like , floating in the middle of a screen. I'm excited about everything we're doing over there because it's pretty. It's pretty fun.


S9: It's a concert venue , but we pack it down into a movie house and we're showing Con Air , uh , next week on the 18th of June over there. And that's the other side of Popcorn. Rivas again , it's like movie magic. And that's what we're kind of aiming for here. And our next double feature for Grindhouse is going to be in July. We haven't confirmed everything yet , but I know that I might be showing the movie Hot Moves , the early 80s sexploitation film. I think that might be something we're also going to be showing The People's Joker , which I know you guys that have run out with the digital gym recently. We're going to be doing a new thing called One Night Only , where we're trying to expect allies and make a big deal , just like with these other movies , for movies that are new , that are kind of keeping that spirit of everything alive , that have been kind of making their way through the film circuit and film festival circuit or whatever you will.

S8: And Matt , you run something called bonkers , half assed midnights because we're in San Diego and these started ten.

S7: And we are showing the long lost , uh , exploitation film Hollywood. 90028.

S16: This is the timely suspense story of the year , filmed in the most sex oriented locale of the world. Hollywood 90028. This is the story of the thousands of pretty young girls who come to Hollywood to find stardom and find. Instead , they have to survive any way they can.

S7: It's a film that's ostensibly about an Indiana transplant moving to LA to make it big in Hollywood , things aren't going well. He gets stuck shooting pornography , and it's really just prior to Taxi Driver , a film about alienation. And disillusionment and just. And what that does to a person in an urban environment. Remember , I defined exploitation as a prioritization of sensationalism over artistic intent. And Hollywood 90028 is 100% an artistic endeavor. But it's just like due to its like subject matter and financing. It's basically it's only home. When it was released , it was through the grindhouse circuit. So basically the mainstream didn't take it seriously and it was kind of lost with time until now , until Daily Grindhouse just did a new 4K restoration of it. It looks beautiful. We also have an additional perk in that the star of Hollywood 90028 will be in attendance , uh , Christopher Augustine , and he's gonna be available after the film. We will have a short Q&A and you can ask him anything you want.

S1: That was KPBS cinema Junkie Beth Accomando speaking with Eddie Gorilla and Matt Rothman. They'll both be presenting with her at the event. Film Out's best of 80 grind a thon starts at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas. That's our show for today. I'm your host , Jade Hindman. Thanks for tuning in to Midday Edition. Be sure to have a great day on purpose , everyone.

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NPR's Tiny Desk Concert set is shown in this photo, June 4, 2024.

It’s the 45th commemoration of Black Music Month, a time when we celebrate the historical and cultural significance of Black musicianship.

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts is celebrating the month with nine performances by Black women.

Bobby Carter, host and producer of Tiny Desk, joined Midday to break down the lineup and how Tiny Desk celebrates Black musicians year-round.

Plus, as part of our Weekend Preview, KPBS highlights some local artists who submitted to the Tiny Desk Contest.

Here are the top entries to the 2024 NPR Tiny Desk Contest from San Diego and Imperial County.

And finally, KPBS Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando will present at an upcoming Grindhouse movie marathon at Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas. She talks about what to expect from the event.