Honoring Daniel Jackson: Saxophonist Daniel Jackson was a giant of the San Diego jazz scene
Arsalun Tafazoli and Paul Basile make a great team. Tafazoli's the co-founder of CH Projects, the folks behind some of San Diego's best restaurants and bars—Polite Provisions, Craft & Commerce, Ironside Fish & Oyster among them. Basile, through his BASILE Studio, has made those places—and a number of other San Diego eateries—look cool. From , the two will sit down to talk about their collaborative work at Polite Provisions (4696 30th St., North Park), which won a 2014 Orchid Award for interior design. The chat's part of Designing Minds, an ongoing series of events that highlight the people who make San Diego a more attractive place. Your $30 ticket gets you in and hooked up with one of the bar's delicious craft cocktails. Can't make it to this one? Tafazoli and Basile will bring the talk to Ironside in Little Italy on .
Fresh Sound sounds off
Few live music series provide as outside-the-box a listening experience as the Fresh Sound concert series. Curated by Bonnie Wright, and now in its 19th year, Fresh Sound kicks off its 2015 season with a percussion concert by Red Fish Blue Fish. Directed by Steve Schick—founding percussionist of Bang on a Can and a professor at UCSD—the ensemble will be performing Michael Gordon’s "Timber," an hour-long complex and polyrhythmic piece that's played entirely on pieces of wood of different lengths and pitches. On paper it seems simple enough, but in person it promises to be a one-of-a-kind aural experience. The concert takes place at , at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights (1955 Julian Ave.). Admission is $15.
If you’ve ever made mental notes on what does and doesn't make a good IPA, you’re probably going to want to check out the 2015 San Diego Beer Fest. Yup: get those pretzel necklaces ready and head over to Liberty Station (2640 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma) on . With more than 50 breweries offering tastes, live music and a fleet of food trucks, the fifth-annual fest kicks off 2015 beer-tasting events in style. Breweries include locals like Hess, Green Flash and Monkey Paw, as well as out-of-town suds Lagunitas, Speakeasy and NInkasi. The event goes from and costs $40. Or, grab a VIP ticket for $50 and get in at
Last fall, Malashock Dance kicked off a series of performances, called "The Engagement Ring," with the aim of transforming the audience's understanding of what a dance performance should be. The first installment, Sadie Weinberg's happiness: an experiment, was less a dance performance and more of an experience, involving an audience survey, dialogue, a group dance- and sing-along and the strangely beautiful act of pouring sand into metal bowls. The second installment, directed by Emily Miller and Elyssa Dru Rosenberg and called Tour de Dance: Time and Again, takes place , when attendees will take a guided tour through Liberty Station's Dance Place San Diego (2650 Truxton Road, Suite 202, Point Loma) with each space featuring a different performance centered on how we experience time. The show starts at and admission is free, but RSVP is required.
In December 2013, Morgan Mandalay had an idea: Why not use the front room of his Chicago apartment as an art gallery? The artist and curator got his roommate to agree and was born, inviting emerging artists to use the room to experiment and play. Now the former San Diegan is now back in town—working on his MFA at UCSD—and he’s brought Project Project with him, though the project's got a new name and exhibitions aren't being held in Mandalay's apartment. Project For 15, or SPF15, is a series of art shows happening in a 10-by-10-foot pop-up canopy on the beach. The first one opens from , on Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and features site-specific, sound works, drawings and sculptures by Chicago artists Connor Creagan, Tim Mann and Jon Waites. Email info@ for details. -project.com
About the music
San Diego was once referred to as "the next Seattle," considered to have an underground music scene on the cusp of national attention. So, what happened? It’s Gonna Blow: San Diego’s Music Underground 1986-1996 documents that scene's wariness of making it big and looks at what became of the musicians caught amid the hype. Unfortunately, a screening at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park is sold out, but there's a second screening happening in Tijuana on , at 1250 (located next to Mous Tache Bar at Calle Madero #1250, between 6th and 7th avenues). The film starts at , followed by performances by band Octagrape, Innerds and Bumbklaatt. Admission is a mere 30 pesos, or $3.
Delicious happy hour
Chef Christian Graves has been creating tasty eats at JSix Restuarant (616 J St., Downtown) for as long as we can remember and reaping well-earned best-chef (and, last year from Eater San Diego, "hottest chef") honors. In January, Graves comes out of the kitchen and takes a post behind the bar for Tapas Takeover, when he'll be preparing small plates with a different theme each week from , starting , and happening each Monday in January (each plate is a mere $5). The first takeover is all about ceviches that'll be paired with dealer's choice cocktails (JSix's head bartender, Chris Burkett, kicks ass). Charcuterie is the theme for . is described as "The Egg in fun presentations" and cheese rounds things out on .
If you don’t have kids, there’s a good chance you haven’t seen Frozen, the 2013 smash-hit animated Disney flick, and you wonder why some parents of young children are always threatening to set their faces on fire if they have to listen to the film’s soundtrack one more time. Your chance to finally see it while sipping cocktails has arrived, because it’s the next film in The Pearl Hotel’s Dive-In Theatre series, screening at Tuesday, Dec. 23, on the hotel’s poolside patio (1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma). The movie, about two sister princesses’ struggle to come to terms with the older sibling’s special powers and save their kingdom from evildoers at the same time, is the fifth-highest grossing film of all time and the highest-grossing animated film ever. The following week, at , Dive-In Theatre will screen Mrs. Doubtfire, the 1993 comedy that stars the late, great Robin Williams as a voice actor who disguises himself as an elderly British housekeeper and lands a job with his estranged wife just so he can see his kids more often.
Rock The Casbah
Back in January, The Casbah celebrated its 25th anniversary with a month of outstanding shows that brought local favorites like Creedle, No Knife and Rocket From the Crypt to the club’s Naugahyde-lined stage for one corker of a rock ’n’ roll celebration. Now that the venue’s anniversary year is coming to an end, it’s throwing a killer wrap party to send off 25 in style. On 25th Anniversary Wrap Party is being held at SILO at Maker’s Quarter (753 15th St., East Village), featuring live performances from The Burning of Rome (shown here), Barbarian and Low Volts. The outdoor rock show will also include food trucks and alcoholic beverages, so it’s for ages 21 and up. Tickets are $12 advance, or $15 the day of the show., The Casbah’s
Happening from BLVD Market and BLVD Nights, two popular events created by the El Cajon Business Improvement District to highlight the enclave of shops, services and eateries on the Boulevard, between Utah and 28th streets. Participating businesses include Media Arts Center, Thrift Trader, The Homebrewer and Gym Standard—check out a homebrew competition, an art show and film screenings—while folks from Calexico Creamery, Anthem Vegan, The Heart and Trotter, Tribute Pizza, Pho Realz and others will serve up holiday-inspired eats. The whole thing’s free and open to all ages. , at #30ECB (shorthand for 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard) is a blend of
With 11 issues under its belt, The Radvocate’s mission is to give writers, poets and artists a place to publish their work. And what better way to further introduce those folks to the masses than with curated live readings held in cool spaces? The Radvocate Magazine Presents: Make it Snow goes from , and features readings by scrappy creatives like Juliet Escoria, Scott McClanahan (pictured), Lucy Tiven and CityBeat’s own Ryan Bradford. Swing by the The Hideout (3519 El Cajon Blvd., North Park) and listen to a few of the future famous belt out prose. With free admission and booze (The Hideout’s got a pretty decent craft-cocktail menu), it’s a no-lose evening.
Local art collector Sharon Gorevitz started theTalmadge Art Show in 1992 as a way to help artists and artisans find a place to show and sell their work. She held the first event in her Talmadge home, but it quickly outgrew the space and is currently held three times a year at NTC in Point Loma. But from , , the Talmadge Art Show will return to its roots with a special pop-up exhibition at Gorevitz’s house (4514 Norma Drive). The intimate, pared-down happening features a handful of art show regulars like Randy Au (one of his clay creations is pictured), Cindy Bolin, Bonnie Bowman and Miriam Chor-Freitas selling jewelry, clothing, pottery, textiles and more.
There's a new Grinch in town. Burke Moses has taken over from Steve Blanchard in The Old Globe's holiday perennial, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which is back for the 17th consecutive year. Other than that, this kid-friendly show is the same as always. Kind of like the Del Mar Fair, but good.
So how does Moses, a Broadway veteran (Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate) stack up against Blanchard, who was so hilarious that even adults like me enjoyed The Grinch? I don't know if this is a word, but Dr. Seuss would probably approve: Moses is definitely "growlier" than Blanchard, and he moves kind of like John Wayne might have if cast in the role of the big green guy. But in the long run, Moses is just fine and only the Blanchard fans like myself will notice any difference.
As always, this is a sugar-sweet show that, different from the classic cartoon-special version, makes the Grinch's transformation from bad to good more about his bond with Cindy-Lou Who than about realizing the Who's don't need presents to celebrate the holiday. There's no point in quibbling about that anymore. Not after 17 years.Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! runs through Dec. 27.
Au revoir, Mixture
After more than a decade of being one of the coolest design shops in San Diego, Mixture is closing its doors and saying farewell. Owners Brumby and Misti Broussard are moving to Louisiana to be closer to family, but before they go, they're throwing a final shindig. From , stop by Mixture (2210 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy) for live music, food and drink plus artwork by the Broussards' favorite artists—including Robert Verhees, Alicia Dunn, Kyle Boatwright and Monty Montgomery—and some shopping: everything in the store is marked 20 to 90 percent off.
Second City's Nut-Cracking Revue, which opened Thursday night at La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Forum, isn't exactly a subversive take on the holiday season, but it's probably as close as we're going to see to one on San Diego stages this December. Only Second City would have the inspired wickedness to turn Santa into Satan all because a child misspelled the salutation in his letter to the North Pole.
This two-act combination of sketches, set pieces and improvisation is nowhere near as satisfying as Second City's The Good, the Bad and the I-5, which the troupe presented at the Playhouse last year. That show had the benefit of low-hanging fruit like Bob Filner to skewer. But the Nut-Cracking Revue has its scripted highlights, and because the audiences are different every performance, the improv bits that spring from audience suggestions will change each night.
The trouble with those audience suggestions is that they frequently can be boneheaded, as on opening night, when some yahoo shouted "Wooden legs!" after a Second City member's call for something someone would be addicted to. Wooden legs? Well, the six-member cast made it work best they could. In fact, some of the funniest moments in the revue come when one Second City player makes fun of another's attempt at spontaneous comedy. That they can laugh at themselves makes it easier to laugh at them, and to laugh at the holidays that are already driving so many people crazy.
The Second City Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue runs through Dec. 21.