2 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 3
UP FRONT | FROM THE EDITOR
Kicking the can on storm water repairs
of infrastructure spending in the past. Howow ’bout this rain?” This was a common refrain through- ever, the percentage that the city and county out February and March as San Diego is spending on these repairs is way below seemed inundated with rainfall. For those what is needed. Road and sidewalk repair, who live on or near one of San Diego’s many while more tangible in our everyday lives, has canyons, such as myself, these rains can be always been a fix-as-needed type of project. particularly stressful. Sure, there’s always The real problem, as was reported by KPBS the fear of mudslides or one of the many dy- last year, was the City Auditor’s Office assessing, shallow-rooted eucalyptus trees falling ment that there was a $459 million funding over, but for anyone living near one of San shortfall (now $720 million) for storm waDiego’s roughly 150 canyons, the real threat ter infrastructure. In fact, they determined is much more pragmatic. (And no, it also has that the need for the storm drain repairs was nothing to do with the biblical amount of “greater than any other type of infrastruccrane flies I’ve seen this month or the inor- ture in the city, including streets, streetlights, dinate amount of mosquitos the city will see sidewalks, bridges, parks or fire stations.” Sure enough, the mayor’s budget for fiscal come summer). For those who don’t know, San Diego’s year 2020 came out last week and calls for a canyons are part of a complex watershed. massive increase in infrastructure spending. When there’s a large storm or series of And while a lot of attention was paid to the overall size of the budget storms, rainwater flows FLICKR / NICK DOTY ($4.15 billion, a 20 percent through a complex series of increase) and the $387 milstorm drains in the canyons, lion proposed for the initial which are connected by a staging of the Pure Water series of culverts and pipes, project (a purifying system all of which eventually flows that would convert sewage into the ocean. This can get into drinking water), there scary sometimes for a numwasn’t much chatter about ber of reasons. Lopez Canyon the budget reductions in alFirst, trash from the streets and debris in the canyons can back most every storm water project. This includes things up a bit, causing the runoff to, well, reductions in storm water channel mainterunoff somewhere it’s not supposed to go. nance, compliance monitoring studies and Second, a particularly large, torrential storm policy consultant services. This isn’t a glamorous issue by any can bring the water levels up to dangerous levels, causing flooding at some properties. means, but lest readers begin to think that But the most pressing concern is all the this is something that only affects people goddamn raccoons I end up having to save. living on canyons, think again. A majority of Those giant trash pandas always like to storm water infrastructure, if it fails, will result in catastrophic street and road damage scurry up to my place after a storm. Just kidding. Really though, for many can- that will make those inconvenient potholes yon-adjacent renters and homeowners, it’s look like a small blip. We have already seen the overall state of the storm drains them- some giant sinkholes begin to swallow sideselves that has them gritting their teeth. Back walks in Kensington. This isn’t a Chicken Little scenario. Yes, in January, I used this space to preview some of the coming legislative battles that would there are all sorts of projects and issues that be waged by the city council and the mayor. need funding now, but the city cannot afford One of these battles, I predicted, would al- to keep this on the backburner. We’ve seen most surely be over infrastructure spending. what happens when the city kicks the can However, I did feel the need to point out that down the road when it comes to important while potholes, pipes and street repairs often issues and projects that need to be addressed. get all the attention, it’s sewers and storm There shouldn’t have to be a disaster or crisis for the city to begin to take it seriously. drains that are being ignored. Percentage wise, repairs for storm water and sewer projects have received a majority —Seth Combs Despite this week’s theme, this issue of CityBeat still hates bro reggae.
Volume 17 • Issue 35 EDITOR Seth Combs WEB EDITOR Ryan Bradford ART DIRECTOR Carolyn Ramos STAFF WRITER Andrea Lopez-Villafaña COLUMNISTS Aaryn Belfer, Ryan Bradford, Edwin Decker, John R. Lamb, Rhonda “Ro” Moore CONTRIBUTORS Christin Bailey, Torrey Bailey, Jackie Bryant, David L. Coddon, Beth Demmon, Ombretta Di Dio, Julia Dixon Evans, Michael A. Gardiner,
Sara Harmatz, Glenn Heath Jr., Peter Holslin, Alfred Howard, Lizz Huerta, Tigist Layne, Lara McCaffrey, Scott McDonald, Jim Ruland, Ben Salmon, Ian Ward
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS David Comden
EDITORIAL INTERNS Steven Buriek, Marlee Drake
ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Interested in advertising? Call 619-281-7526 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRODUCTION MANAGER Tristan Whitehouse MULTIMEDIA ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Paulina Porter-Tapia SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jason Noble ACCOUNTING Perla Castillo, Linda Lam HUMAN RESOURCES Andrea Baker
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Steven Persitza
The advertising deadline is 5 p.m. every Friday for the following week’s issue.
EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICE 3047 University Ave., Suite 202 San Diego, CA 92104 Phone: 619-281-7526 Fax: 619-281-5273 sdcitybeat.com
San Diego CityBeat is published and distributed every Wednesday by Southland Publishing Inc., free of charge but limited to one per reader. Reproduction of any material in this or any other issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher and the author. Contents copyright 2019.
4 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
UP FRONT | LETTERS
A RETURN TO MANNERS
Joe Biden’s mistake is a mistake this entire culture has been making for too many decades now [“He’s from a different time,” From the Editor, April 3]. It is the mistake of informality and physicality, which can be found in every workplace, meeting, greeting on the street and other forms of communication. We have become a society where the “bro-hug” has replaced the handshake; where people feel free to cry and express private emotions and thoughts in public; and where the word “love” is thrown around like so much confetti. We need a new level of formality, decorum and politeness in America, which starts with a return to... dare I say it... manners. The Vice President should not have been so informal and touchy-feely with people, but then he is a product of a culture that has grown to be that way. When presidents cry at the drop of a hat, and everyone tells everyone how much they “love” them. It is not sexual assault or harassment to invade a person’s space in a time when so many people will hug people they have met for the first time, depending on the moment and gathering, but it is annoying, distasteful and it needs to stop. Democrats are upset at the way these accusations are being manipulated and exaggerated to the point of disgusting doctored videos of Biden with children; and implied suggestions that his actions are similar to Harvey Weinstein and Brett Kavanaugh. Frankly, many of us are upset that there is a clear political motivation to these attacks on Biden, and that they are coming from supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It is time for civility and intelligent discus-
sion to return to the public square in America. It’s time to bring back the handshake and leave the hugs at home.
Ernesto Barrera, via sdcitybeat.com
conservative columnist who is not constantly preaching from Rules for Radicals to your readers. If you identify as “tolerant,” you should at least consider this.
Billy Hicks, Jr., via sdcitybeat.com
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
CityBeat never disappoints when it comes to identity politics. You and your writers seem to have a bottomless well of topics and “issues du jour” related to identity politics to draw from. Now that we have established that CityBeat can supply this particular commodity, I’d like to know if there is a matching demand for this commodity from the reading public? From my perspective, Aaryn Belfer’s articles are, at best, hyperbolic... and at worst detached from the real world that the remainder of us live in [“The ripples of white supremacy,” Backwards & In High Heels, March 27]. While I can get through my day without reading her articles focusing largely on identity politics, I am amused by the degree of absurdity she consistently displays in her column when I do choose to read it. Speaking of the real world, please see this story regarding a heinous hate crime/massacre not prompted by white supremacist [Edit note: At this point in the comment, the writer links to a far-right Christian website that will not be linked to here]. Will this atrocity find itself into Backwards & in High Heels if it doesn’t fit your preconceived notions [Edit note: No, it won’t because it’s fatuous propaganda.]? As I have suggested before, if CityBeat has any interest whatsoever in a balanced approach, I’d recommend that you feature a politically
TABLE OF CONTENTS UP FRONT From the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . 5 News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 A Side-Eye of Sanity. . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sordid Tales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
FOOD & DRINK World Fare. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Final Draught . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
For the third year in a row, our 420-friendly cover comes courtesy of local artist Aubrey Sawicki, who goes by the name Skindiana Bones. Her love of skate culture, riot grrrl music and graphic novels is often evident in her paintings, and that’s certainly the case in “Paranoid Skate-Zophrenia,” which was recently on display at the all-women Venus exhibition at La Bodega Gallery. “Weed isn’t just Spicoli-esque burnout fuel anymore, and currently there are legions of badass business women at the forefront of the cannabis industry whose tenacity and radical progressivism matches that of most feminist collectives,” says Sawicki. We couldn’t agree more. Readers should definitely check out more of Sawicki’s work at skindianabones.com or on Instagram at @skindiana_bones.
THINGS TO DO
The Short List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Calendar of Events. . . . . . . . . 11-12
ARTS & CULTURE Theater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Feature: Cannabis Bars in TJ. . . 16 Seen Local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Film . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19-21
MUSIC Feature: Cannabis Corpse. . . . 22 Notes from the Smoking Patio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 If I Were U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Concerts & Clubs. . . . . . . . . 26-28
IN THE BACK Astrologically Unsound. . . . . . 27 CannaBeat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 5
UP FRONT | NEWS
County changing approach to juvenile justice With the closure of two facilities, probation officers raise concerns for the youth they supervise By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña
here is a small abandoned garden, rows of picnic tables and white vans with Probation Department decals outside Reflections Central in La Mesa. The building resembles a small strip mall but is actually one of two day sites where youth on probation attend school and have access to counseling, probation officers and mental health services. However, as a result of a recent overhaul to the San Diego County’s juvenile justice system, Reflections Central will close in two months. The county’s Probation Department is changing its approach to the juvenile justice system to place a greater emphasis on rehabilitative services that are close to the youth’s home, rather than sitespecific services like those at Reflections Central. On Tuesday, April 9, the County Board of Supervisors accepted the Probation Department’s new ap-
proach report, which includes closing the day site in La Mesa and Reflections Youth Day Center in San Marcos. Both sites are part of an overall program known as Breaking Cycles. Although the two sites will be closed, other counseling and mental health services provided by Breaking Cycles will be merged with the department’s regular juvenile supervision, according to a spokesperson for the Probation Department. The two sites will close officially on June 30. “We are moving from a primary focus on compliance to emphasizing rehabilitating our youth to achieve the best public safety outcomes,” said Probation Chief Adolfo Gonzales, during last week’s meeting. Over the last eight years, the number of youth on probation has decreased by 66 percent, according
6 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
to county officials. The decrease of youth under the supervision of the Probation Department promoted changes to its approach and eventually to the assessment of the Breaking Cycles Program. Created in 1997, Breaking Cycles is a sentencing alternative to detention at juvenile hall and is intended to provide an umbrella of services to youth and their families. The youth sentenced by the courts to this program are typically identified as medium to high-risk and are between the ages of 12 and 18. This risk level assessment is determined by how likely the juvenile offender will commit another crime. As of April 12, there were 49 youths enrolled at both day sites. Breaking Cycles is partially funded by the state, via the State’s Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA). A requirement of that funding is that any programs, such as Breaking Cycles, be evaluated by an independent organization. The local “Deep-Dive” evaluation for Breaking Cycles, released this month by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), found that 67 percent of youth in Breaking Cycles were rearrested after leaving the program. According to Sandra McBrayer—CEO of the Children’s Initiative, a community organization
Reflections Central that provides technical assistance to the county—the recidivism rate demonstrates that the Breaking Cycles program is not effective despite the intensive nature of the program. “If we are locking kids back up for any reason and we are saying we are doing this intensive service, it means it’s not working,” McBrayer said. McBrayer said she believes this new, in-home approach will support and protect kids based on research that shows that models based on compliance and supervision do not work. By focusing instead on intensive services close to the youth’s home and school, county officials hope it will reduce transportation barriers and help youth successfully complete their conditions of probation. “I realize that the union likes [Breaking Cycles] and change is hard but I also know that we need to make sure we follow what has been invented and learned all these years of ‘how do we get programs closest to the kids’ homes?’ And ‘how do we get them support so they are not getting locked back up again and again?’” McBrayer said. Still, unions such as the Probation Officers Association have spoken against the decision to end the program because they are concerned that it will negatively impact the youth they supervise at the sites. “I just don’t want to see a scenario where these kids aren’t getting the help now,” said Scott Laudner, president of the Probation Officers Association. The Probation Department has made it clear that no probation jobs will be lost during this transition. Laudner has been a probation officer with the juvenile division for over 24 years. He said officers have expressed they are fearful the youth they supervise will not have the same kinds of support systems at home or in the community that the intensive day sites provide. “A lot of them are in the system because they don’t have the family support system or, unfortunately,
their parents are incarcerated, on drugs, in gangs or in bad things themselves,” said Laudner. “It’s terrible because it’s a cycle.” Worst case scenario for Laudner and the officers he represents is that the youth will fall back into old patterns and end up back in the system, homeless, dead or even kill someone else. “This program has everything right on site… if the county’s point is to save money, I just can’t fathom why we’d be closing this program,” said Laudner. In Fiscal Year 2018-19 the Probation Department allocated $3.4 million for the sites, half of which came from the JJCPA and the other half from the County General fund ($1.2 million), Medi-Cal ($300,000) and the Supportive Therapeutic Options Program ($200,000). Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, who has been vocal about her support for the new at-home approach, said the union’s concerns are valid and has met with them to hear directly from those who work with the kids every day. “Changing a culture from within is not easy, and I would expect there to be concerns,” Gaspar wrote in an email. “I believe we have the right leadership in place to make this successful for both our youth and the officers who have committed their lives to this work.” “I will be following the transition closely and I have confidence in our Probation Department to meet the needs of our kids on probation, directly in their communities, while maintaining a high level of public safety.” Laudner believes the department will move forward with closing the sites despite the union’s push back. Although he hopes his concerns are wrong, he believes this new approach is going to be a failure. “If they are still committing crimes and doing things on this level of care, how is giving them a lesser level of care going to have higher positive outcomes?” said Laudner. “I could be wrong. Maybe hands-off can help, but I just can’t imagine how that’s possible.”
UP FRONT | VOICES
RHONDA “RO” MOORE
A SIDE-EYE OF
Big Pharma enters the CBD game
Plenty of people probably wouldn’t consider that a he increased talk about cannabidiol (CBD)based products in the mainstream news recent- backlash per se, but those same people probably never ly sent me down a research rabbit hole. Why are contradict their doctor’s advice either so, what do they so many folks suddenly all-fired up to discuss CBD oil? know? There are also the consumers who fail to pay atWell, it seems Big Pharma entered the game. In June tention to drug interactions and, in the end, end up mix2018, the FDA approved its first pharmaceutically-pro- ing a pharmaceutical drug with a CBD-based product. duced cannabidiol. That’s right—CBD’s gone corporate. When it doesn’t end well, they make us all look foolish. Yes, I’m being judgy. In December, the oversized toddler in the White Being unafraid to research means I have no House signed the 2018 Farm Act and removed industrial hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC) qualms about asking questions before handing over from the Schedule I controlled substances classifica- my money. I know to watch out for hucksters trying to tion. This is just a fancy way of saying hemp is no lon- pass off trash by leveraging the hype around CBD oil. No, this piece isn’t meant to throw shade on the ger categorized like cannabis so growing it in the U.S. is no longer federally illegal. Hemp is, once again, an regulation of commerce. That’s just stupid. Regulations are supposed to be about keeping corporate ordinary agricultural commodity. As a regular CBD user, I was pleased to see the interests from outstripping consumer protection. new law go into effect. To my thinking, folks being And this system would be functional if people hadn’t able to locally source ingredients means prices might ceded control of the legislative regulatory processes to corporate lobbies and greed. drop. But in reality, it was naive Regulation isn’t the enemy of of me to think about my wallet Big Pharma wants innovation and having a process to when there’s corporate money to vet products before consumer use be made. And let’s not pretend we you to believe CBD is of them isn’t a bad thing. If the FDA don’t know there were some deep dangerous unless it’s in creates an evaluation and approval pockets involved with the Farm their products. If they’re process more fitting to vetting Act passing the legislative process CBD-derived products, then estabwith so little pushback. not setting the bar, lished pharmaceutical companies Now, I’m watching as more then they will ensure won’t have the inside track. It’s all companies/people slither their products won’t make it to about manipulating the standards way into the market. Alleged experts started hawking certificate market without the FDA’s and practices. Put more simply: Big Pharma wants you to believe CBD is programs and training at insane approval first. dangerous unless it’s in their prodprices, while famous people and ucts. If they’re not setting the bar, influencers pimped their “high quality” CBD products. Slowly but surely, the CBD in- then they will ensure products won’t make it to market dustry has become the proving ground for cannabis- without the FDA’s approval first. They, unfortunately, have the money and clout to based commercial businesses. Everyone’s rushing to showcase his or her line of CBD products that will ensure their message is the one that penetrates nasupposedly cure everything from earwax build-up to tionwide. I’m not spouting conspiracy theories. Powerful corporate entities aren’t interested in heart disease. Now, I grew up in a house where not enunciating competition or fostering new business unless they clearly meant being assigned vocabulary lists and control the horizontal and the vertical. In order to book reports. As much as I love learning, I prefer it keep money flowing into existing revenue streams, to be by choice. The end-result? My default settings independent producers of legitimate CBD-based are: 1.) question the dominant paradigm; 2.) prepare products must be obliterated. If they succeed in forcing CBD research and develfor the worst because pragmatism always wins; and, 3.) always expect corporate officials to be self-serving. opment into the existing pharmaceutical machine, It’s probably why I’m low-key disinterested in joining this will be one more industry where scientific innomovements; too much unproductiveness. vation will fall by the wayside in favor of profit marSo I knew it was just a matter of time before there gins (see the alternative fuel industry, for example). was CBD backlash. This is how new businesses die. Shortly into this year, the talk about CBD shifted. This is how monopolies thrive. The narrative in the news now is skewing negative. But, one of the upsides to living in California is Complaints about the lack of standards or quality the robust alternative medicine options and access control due to the unregulated nature of the industry to knowledgeable naturopathy practitioners. There’s grew louder. Stories highlighting potentially danger- just no reason to fall for the pharmaceutical/governous interactions with existing drug treatments grew ment marketing okie-doke. more prevalent and pointed. No one’s coming for folks’ guns, but they most cerPurportedly so concerned about the wild claims tainly are coming for our wallets. Seems like the free about CBD’s efficacy, the Food and Drug Administra- market just keeps being less free every day. Even my tion (FDA) jumped in the mix. They took to Twitter to chronically-high self realizes that if we’re not interremind people that they control the regulatory frame- ested in having a government that works for us, corwork for product developers and that they’re not porations most certainly are willing to make sure it afraid to smack down companies over product claims. works for them.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 7
UP FRONT | OPINION
The lessons of King Vito and the Sea Hippies
or this 420 issue of CityBeat—while other writers celebrate the magic and the pleasure of Tetrahydrocannabinol—I’d like to share a cautionary
tale. I’m referring to the story of my Uncle Vito who, as I mentioned in a previous column, smoked his first joint at age 39 and had a conversation with Jesus Christ. Having heard this story many times growing up, I always assumed that Jesus spoke to him in a metaphorical sense; like in the same way nature speaks to us or art speaks to us or a side boob speaks to us. Years later, however, Vito told me it was literally true. He told me that after smoking an entire joint, Our Lord and Savior personally instructed him to change his life. “You must sell all your worldly possessions and buy a big boat,” I imagine Jesus saying. “You will call the boat Freedom and sail to a faraway island to begin a new world— a world built on peace, love, group sex and a shit-ton of reefer. Amen.” In order to appreciate the degree to which this encounter transformed Vito, we have to appreciate who he was before the magical Jesus joint. His father was a physically abusive bully and both parents were operatives for the New York Mafia, so there wasn’t much hope for little Vito to grow up happy and healthy. Financially he had done all right though. He was the spitting image of Clark Gable and amassed a bit of success as an executive in his mother’s mobinfested waste treatment business. “I knew America from the garbage pail up,” he told the Indiana Gazette in May of 1979. “I sat with the most powerful executives in America to discuss their garbage.” Then, sometime before his 40th birthday, Vito partook of that joint. And just like that, this slick-talking, upwardly-mobile, criminally-syndicated conservative capitalist became King Vito, a neck-bearded, tyedyed, dope-smoking prophet. King Vito promptly abandoned his second wife, sold off his possessions, bought an 80-foot schooner, assembled a ragtag band of disciples he dubbed “The Sea Hippies” and set sail to the—um, well, actually, they didn’t sail anywhere. Not only was his boat not seaworthy, neither he, nor his followers, knew how to sail. I remember visiting them on the boat one time and thinking, Sea Hippies that can’t sail? So they’re just regular hippies then? Clearly not ready for brine time, they lived on the boat—permanently anchored off City Island Harbor, New York—selling peanuts and pot bags with the hope of saving enough to fund their voyage. So who were the Sea Hippies? Well, over the years, hundreds came and went. But the core group consisted of General (the king’s right-hand man), Frog (the court jester), Flasher, Betsy, Typhoid Mary, Big Jew, Trench and Mini Jew. They were as devoted as they were subservient. I observed this on the few occasions when
the Hippies came to stay with my family. Those were some intense visits. I mean, yes, King Vito was charming, funny and adored by the countless people of City Island who considered him a local legend. But he was also a condescending gasbag. When he and the hippies visited us, he spent much of the time dressing us down, making demands or evangelizing his objectively twisted worldview. A cross between Robert Baratheon and Jerry Garcia, he would hold court at the head of the dinner table, incessantly puffing on a pot pipe and filling the house with clouds of smoke, which was yet another way in which he would take ownership of a space. Regardless, I was fascinated by the man—the hippy getup, his bellicose speeches, the open drug use, the lobotomized manner in which his followers obeyed him and the grandiose plans to start a new world. Plus, there was his country-gospel band of the same name (King Vito and the Sea Hippies), which was nothing like I had ever heard or seen before. Nor had my grandmother. Vito’s father had passed by then, but his mother, Mary LaGreca, was a devout Roman Catholic. She hated the blasphemy of it all. So volatile was their relationship because of it, she would periodically disown him, then re-own, then re-disown him again. One day, however, she decided she loved the whole King Vito thing and he was finally re-un-de-re-disowned for good! She even allowed the hippies to throw her a huge party at her house. Oh man, I remember them all scuttling around the house and yard like Technicolor rats—decorating, cleaning and cooking—as the King Rat sat on his fat ass barking orders, to which they always responded, “Yes, King,” and/or “Right away, King.” They were also instructed to address my grandmother as, “Mother Mary” as in, “Are you comfortable Mother Mary? Can I get you a drink Mother Mary?” He often assigned tasks for no reason other than to flaunt his authority. For instance he would summon one of his flunkies, clear on the other side of the yard, to come and hand him his drink which was at arm’s length on the table beside him! The ecstatic hippy would dart across the lawn, hand him the drink and unironically say, “The pleasure is mine, King, thank you!” Alas, Vito’s Ark never did sail away to the promised land. They just couldn’t seem to sell enough grass to restore it. And that, my friends, is the cautionary message: Never get high on your own supply. Well, that, and also, don’t smoke the whole blunt on the first time trying it! Lastly, if any readers have grandiose plans in the works, best to lay off the leaf a little. It’s hard enough to build an omelet, much less a new world, when we’re that faded all the time.
And just like that, this slick-talking, upwardly-mobile, criminallysyndicated, conservative capitalist became King Vito, a neck-bearded, tye-dyed, dopesmoking prophet.
8 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
Sordid Tales appears every other week. Write to email@example.com.
UP FRONT | FOOD & DRINK
BY MICHAEL A. GARDINER
Eating tacos isn’t one-stop shopping
mericans love one-stop shopping. It clearly works for the businesses and promises to be more convenient for the customers. But does it really work? It’s barely a degree removed from SNL’s Shimmer Floor Wax (it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!). The reality is that no one’s great at everything. Just because a restaurant has both vegan tweezer food and Texas barbequed brisket on the menu doesn’t mean it’s equally exceptional at both. That, in a sense, is the case at Taqueria el Flamazo (Av. J 787, Col. El Sauzal de Rodríguez, 22760 Ensenada). The first clue as to what El Flamazo is really all about stands just inside the restaurant’s space, which can be seen from the road: a giant trompo (a rotating vertical spit) with, perhaps, the single most massive vertical rotisserie of meat I’ve ever seen. It’s rotating and caramelizing before the gas flame, a skinned pineapple atop that serves as the meat’s crown, as well as a baster of the meat. Yes, El Flamazo is all about al pastor. Tacos al pastor, as I’ve documented previously in this space, originated with Lebanese immigrants who brought shawarma with them to the Yucatan. Lebanese lamb was swapped out for pork, Middle Eastern spices for Mexican, pita for tortillas, and al pastor was born. As El Flamazo’s example shows, it’s the flavors of the chiles and the pineapple that make al pastor what it is. Beguiling hints of sweetness mingle with the savory, fatty pork and it’s all tied together by the complex flavors of the chile peppers. Even without any of El Flamazo’s salsas, it is a thrilling taco, but it’s even better with some salsa. My favorite is the habanero, as the chile’s inherent fruitiness complements the al pastor perfectly.
Unfortunately, everything else on El Flamazo’s menu isn’t as extraordinary as the al pastor. There’s nothing wrong with the carne asada tacos. They’re just not that great. As is often the case, add in some tripa and it improves the dish. Better yet, just get the tripa tacos. Tripas aren’t what we generally refer to as “tripe” up north, but rather, they’re little tasty intestine tubes that caramelize on the flattop. The crisp texture on the surface, along with the soft texture inside, result in a mix of sweet and savory flavors that makes for a great taco. The combinada is good for those not ready to take the tripa dive, but a trip to El Flamazo might be a good time to jump right in. MICHAEL A. GARDINER
Taco al pastor There’s a lot more on El Flamazo’s menu than just al pastor, carne asada, tripa and the combinada. And while the tripa tacos are good, the best bet at El Flamazo is to get that al pastor. It’s what they do. It’s what the place is about. And it’s always the sure bet to order what a restaurant does best, not what else it can do. At the end of the day, Shimmer is probably a better floor wax than it is a dessert topping, right? The World Fare appears weekly. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 9
UP FRONT | FOOD & DRINK
BY BETH DEMMON
FINAL DRAUGHT Getting buzzed
annabis beer is not a thing. Marijuana beer is not a thing. I don’t care what it’s called, there’s no such thing as beer that will get you high and buzzed. “You cannot put marijuana in alcohol,” emphatically states Alva Mather, aka the @alcohollawyer on Twitter. Mather is a Philadelphia-based attorney who specializes in the highly regulated alcoholic beverage industry. He led a session at last year’s California Craft Beer Summit titled “Beer and Cannabis: What You Can & Can’t Do.” Ever since cannabis legalization started gaining steam a few years ago, there’s been a huge push in the beer industry to somehow incorporate the two by any means necessary. Deceptive marketing and intentionally confusing language has left many consumers perplexed and often mistaken about the effects of the beverages they ingest. Mather explains some of the ways breweries are claiming to offer cannabis beer. “There are people who are putting CBD, but hemp-based CBD, into beers, and other folks that are doing non-alcoholic THC beers, so there’s no alcohol in it, but it tastes like a beer. Then obviously there’s folks who put other hemp products, like hemp seeds or hemp oil, in beer. But in terms of a true combination of THC in alcohol, that’s not allowed, nor will it ever be allowed.” To put is simply, THC gets you high. CBD does not. Both are compounds derived from the cannabis plants and share many similarities, but what it all boils down to is this: if a brewery is claiming to make a beer with marijuana in it, they’re either lying, breaking the law or taking some serious liberties with the public’s perception of what getting buzzed means. It’s worth pointing out that the word “marijuana” itself is heavily laden with racist baggage. I only use it here because legally, non-psychoactive hemp falls under the term cannabis and hemp-derived CBD is allowed on a federal level in food and bev-
10 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
erages by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. (Strangely enough, that same compound is prohibited by California state law.) In light of this, Mather uses “marijuana” rather than cannabis when breaking down these technicalities, calling it “misleading, but factually accurate” to refer to some alcoholic beverages without THC as “cannabis beer.” But as cannabis use becomes more mainstream, it seems likely that more San Diego breweries will continue to dabble in it. Pizza Port’s Chronic Ale has been around for over 10 years and historically used hemp seeds in the recipe. In 2016, Thorn Brewing THORN BREWING CO.
Thorn Brewing Co.’s OG HighPA was the first local brewery to partner up with a cannabis company to create OG HighPA, a session IPA with a 4.20 percent ABV that relied on the aromatic similarities of hops and cannabis to generate buzz from both camps. High Style Brewing Company out of Miramar is promoted as “pot-infused craft beer.” But with less than half a percent of alcohol by volume, it’s hard to seriously call it beer. There are also package tour deals like the “Kegs-N-Kush” tour, which mixes brewery tours with dispensary stops to get the best of both worlds. Buds and brews can, and will, coexist. Consumers will simply have to get cross-faded one puff (and pint) at a time. Write to email@example.com or check her out on Instagram at @thedelightedbite.
THREE YOU HAVE TO SEE
UP FROM THE UNDERGROUND
It’s very difficult for younger generations to imagine a world without the internet, smartphones and social media. These days, it doesn’t seem like anything that’s underground or counterculture remains that way for long, even though people in their 30s and older certainly remember a time when things such as hip-hop, punk and even skateboarding were frowned upon. That’s what makes an exhibition like I’m Not Like You: Notes from the San Diego Underground not only educational and enlightening, but fun to experience as well. Opening on Saturday, April 20 at the San Diego History Center (1649 El Prado, Ste. 3, sandiegohistory.org), it showcases over a decade (the late 1970s through the early ’90s) worth of ephemera that highlights a time when the local skate, punk and hip-hop scenes were decidedly under the radar and being documented by a handful of passionate and talented individuals. The exhibition is a result of a collaboration between the History Center and Margaret Nee from the San Diego Punk Archive. After Nee gave a presentation at the Center last year, the History Center curator Kaytie Johnson says the idea of an exhibition— one that included photographs, video footage, music, print, zines, posters, art and other forms of media—just seemed natural. Johnson says they wanted
DANCE PARTY Every year thousands of people gather under the towering murals of Chicano Park in Barrio Logan to celebrate and honor the history of the resilient community. This year’s 49th annual Chicano Park Day will honor “Danzantes” or indigenous dancers as the protectors of traditions and the park. There will be an Aztec Indigenous dance performance coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca in addition to performances by local bands and dance groups. There will also be guest speakers, arts and crafts workshops for people of all ages, food, and hundreds of lowrider cars displayed along Logan Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. The celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20 and more information can be found at chicano-park.com. ANDREA LOPEZ-VILLAFAÑA
“Danzantes” at Chicano Park
COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
HEccentricity Has Room: Artists from the MFA Program at UC San Diego at Museum of Contemporary Art Downtown, 1001 Kettner Blvd., Downtown. Works from graduating artists in the Master of Fine Arts program at UC San Diego. Artists include Yasmine Kasem, Lisa Korpos, Paolo Zuñiga and nearly a dozen more. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free-$10. 858-454-3541, mcasd.org
HErica Jong & Kim Dower at Warwick’s Bookstore, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla. The celebrated poet and the Pushcart Prize nominee will discuss and sign their new books, The World Began with Yes and Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. warwicks. com
HDowntown at Sundown at Museum of Contemporary Art Downtown, 1001 Kettner Blvd., Downtown. MCASD’s afterhours event offers free admission and guided tours of exhibitions at MCASD and the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Includes specials at local businesses and live music. From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. 858-454-3541, mcasd.org
“ZENO, RAID, ESCAPE and TAKEN in front of Zeno’s ‘Crush’ piece, The Pits, 1988” by Christopher Kinney to include skateboard, punk and hip-hop culture all at once, as opposed to focusing on just one. “There are connections between the three that really were revealed to me as I started looking at it more closely,” says Johnson. “They have a lot of things in common. At that time, there was this outlaw spirit, this DIY ethos. Self-expression was important to all of them, as well as music.” As part of the exhibition, the Center also commissioned old-school graffiti artist ESCAPE to do a new piece. In addition to the opening on Saturday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., Johnson says there will be additional events, lectures and programming throughout the exhibition’s run through Oct. 27. Both the opening and the Center’s general admission is a $5 suggested donation. More info at sandiegohistory.org.
SCHOOL SOUNDS We’ve been longtime fans of the Museum School, an arts-focused public charter school in Bankers Hill committed to project-based learning that extends beyond the basic subjects. We also like the fact that they hold some cool fundraising events such as This Includes You, a musical benefit show that features an all-star lineup of local bands such as Pinback, El Ten Eleven and The Color Forty Nine. If that isn’t enough, there will also be a special performance from a secret project that features Pinback’s Rob Crow and John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes). It happens Saturday, April 20 at the Music Box (1337 India St., musicboxsd. com) Tickets range from $33 to $75 for reserved seats and proceeds benefit the Museum School’s special education programs. DREW REYNOLDS
HArctic Immersion at Calit2 Auditorium, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. This audiovisual experience combines sounds from an Arctic Ocean environment, ocean and climate data, as well as graphics generated from natural material, to show rapidly changing conditions at the top of the world. From 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. ideas.calit2.net HIn Transit at SDSU Downtown Gallery, 725 W. Broadway, Downtown. Multidisciplinary exhibition that features the work of five international artists who have forged relationships with and documented the lives of individuals fleeing intolerable hardship. Artists include Daniel Castro Garcia, Tanya Habjouqa, Stefanie Zofia Schulz and more. From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. 619-501-6370, art.sdsu.edu Minoru Ohira at Lux Art Institute, 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas. Artist-inResidence Minoru Ohira, known for his sculptures made from found objects and construction waste, shows his most recent work at this studio series. From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free-$10. luxartinstitute.org Absent/Present at Sepehri Gallery, 4410 Park Blvd., University Heights. New works from Kathleen Mitchell, an artist who specializes in glass works that demonstrate her personal experience of loss through color or the absence of color. Opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. facebook.com/events/695381380877368 HI’m Not like You: Notes From the San Diego Underground at San Diego History Center, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. This exhibit displays photographs, video, art, and other mediums from the individuals who formed the local skate, punk and hip-hop cultures of the 1970s through the 1990s. Opening from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free-$5. sandiegohistory.org HPerformance Night: Walking the Line at The Front Arte Cultura, 147 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Performance art event consisting of works that demonstrate the breaking down of social constructs like gender, femininity and masculinity. Opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. 619-962-6757, casafamiliar.org/thefront Victorio Villa at obrARCHITECTURE, 3817 Ray St., North Park. As part of their new quarterly art series, obrARCHITECTURE welcomes San Diego based contemporary artist Victorio Villa, known for his mixed media paintings and sculptures. Opening from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. obrarchitecture.com HTetsunori Tawaraya at Teros Gallery, 3888 Swift Ave., North Park. The Japanese artist will be displaying new works, as well as signing his two new books, Fingerprints and Toonice Junk. Opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 21. Free. instagram. com/terosgallery
H = CityBeat picks @SDCITYBEAT
HMatt Coyle at The Book Catapult, 3010 Juniper St., South Park. The award-winning local crime novelist will discuss his new novel, Wrong Light, with San Diego radio host and podcaster Jeff Dotseth. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. 619795-3780, thebookcatapult.com Margaret Dilloway at Mysterious Galaxy Book Store, 5943 Balboa Ave., Ste. 100, Clairemont. The novelist will be promoting her latest middle grade book, Summer of a Thousand Pies. At 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20. 858-268-4747, mystgalaxy.com Kirk W. Johnson at Warwick’s Bookstore, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla. The author of To Be a Friend is Fatal and the founder of the List Project will discuss and sign his new book, The Feather Thief. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. Free. 858-454-0347, warwicks.com HGraham Hancock at La Jolla Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave., La Jolla. The internationally bestselling author of Magicians of the Gods will discuss and sign his new book, America Before. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. Free. 858-454-0347, warwicks.com Alex Marshall at Mysterious Galaxy Book Store, 5943 Balboa Ave., Ste. 100, Clairemont. The bestselling writer will sign and discuss his latest, A War in Crimson Embers, the final installment of the Crimson Empire trilogy. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. 858-268-4747, mystgalaxy.com
COMEDY Joe Rogan: 4:20 at Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, College Heights. The stand-up comedian, podcast host and MMA commentator is stopping in San Diego for his latest tour. At 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20. $39.50-$55. as.sdsu.edu Ali Wong at Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. The stand-up comedian, writer and actress will perform as part of her national Milk & Money Tour. At 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21. $46-$98. sandiegotheatres.org
FILM HSan Diego Film Week at Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Screenings of over 100 local films as well as “Best of” selections from other film festivals, a film market, workshops, panels and awards presented by KPBS. Various times. Through Saturday, April 20. $60$200. sdfilmweek.com HWomen’s Film Festival San Diego at Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Two-day festival highlighting the importance of female representation in the film industry, that includes women both in front of and behind the camera. At 6 p.m. Friday, April 19 and 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20. $10-$75. 619-233-7963, womensfilmfestivalsandiego.com
FOOD & DRINK HSpring Fling Food Truck Festival at Balboa Park Conservancy, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Sample food from over a dozen local food trucks while watching live music and dance performances. From noon to 7 p.m. Through Friday, April 19. Free. balboaparkconservancy.org
EVENTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 11
EVENTS EVENTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 Taste of Liberty Station at Liberty Station, 2875 Dewey Road, Point Loma. Food tastings from popular eateries, live entertainment and art from a variety of galleries and artists. From 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. $30. libertystation.com
MUSIC Campanile Music Festival at San Diego State University Scripps Cottage, 5500 Campanile Drive, College Area. Criticallyacclaimed musicians will offer students and chamber music aficionados the opportunity to learn from and interact with guest artists. Times vary each day. From Wednesday, April 17 through Saturday, April 20. Free. music.sdsu.edu Susan Narucki at UCSD Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. The longtime collaborative soprano and pianist partners explore distinct works of composers drawn from different generations and diverse personal histories. From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. Free-$15.50. musicweb.ucsd.edu SDSU Jazz Ensemble with Guest Artist Christopher Hollyday at SDSU Smith Recital Hall, 5500 Campanile Drive, College Area. Celebration of jazz music under the direction of Bill Yeager and featuring a graduate alum of the SDSU jazz program. From 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18. $10-$20. music.sdsu.edu HSan Diego Guitar Festival at Japanese Friendship Garden, 2215 Pan American Road E., Balboa Park. The annual festival will focus on cutting-edge women performers, scholars and educators, and includes performances from Bokyung Byun, Alexandra Iranfar and more. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27. $15-$65. 619232-2721, niwa.org/sdgf HFreedom Rider: An Art Blakey Centennial Celebration at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., Downtown. Series curator Gilbert Castellanos gathers a group of neotraditional jazz practitioners on the trumpet, saxophone, piano, drums and bass to celebrate drummer Art Blakey. From 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20. $24-$76. 619235-0804, sandiegosymphony.org Harpeth Rising at the Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad. Three classically trained musicians play original music intricately arranged as a string quartet and lyrically rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition. At 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20. $25. 760-438-5996, museumofmakingmusic.org HMokoomba at Price Center East Ballroom, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. The Afrofusion and traditional Tonga rhythms band
will perform music from their latest album, Luyando. From 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. $9-$30. artpower.ucsd.edu
PERFORMANCE HBeyond Prison Walls at SDSU Experimental Theatre, 5500 Campanile Drive, College Area. Join Playwrights Project for a workshop production of new plays written by incarcerated playwrights followed by a talk back with a panel of experts. Various times. Thursday, April 18 through Saturday, April 20. Free. 858-384-2970, playwrightsproject.org HSuper Awesome Showdown: Time Runner at Tango Del Rey, 3567 Del Rey St., Mission Bay. This wrestling event draws from outer space video game superhero combat as well as pop culture. From 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20. $5-$20. 858689-2422, superawesomeshowdown.com
POETRY AND SPOKEN WORD HLizzie Wann at Whistle Stop Bar, 2236 Fern St., South Park. Hear Wann read from her new book, The Hospice Bubble and Other Devastating Affirmations. She will be joined by other authors including Judy Reeves, Julie Corrales and Robt O’Sullivan. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. Free. whistlestopbar.com Breakthrough: The Seventies at IDEA1, 899 Park Blvd., Downtown. This quarterly spoken word series is themed around catalytic moments in the history of art, science, fashion, music, pop culture and more. From 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free-$40. 562-334-5156, eventbrite.com Poetic Youth Literary Festival at San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, College Area. Nationally recognized poets such as Safia Elhillo and Fatimah Asghar will lead creative writing workshops and perform in an open-mic. From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. facebook.com/events/422962568468203 HGabrielle Civil at Geisel Library’s Seuss Room, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. The Black feminist performance artist, writer and poet will read from her latest book, Experiments in Joy. At 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. Free. ucsdnews.ucsd.edu
SPECIAL EVENTS HPadres Pedal & Pints at Culture Brewing Co., 111 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. The annual event includes a ride through Torrey Pines with beer stops in between. A large portion of the proceeds will go toward cancer research. From 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. gopedal.org
12 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
BOOKS: THE FLOATING LIBRARY Oklahoma burning
hat do most people do when their marriage suddenly falls apart? For the protagonist of Black Gum, J. David Osborne’s slim and sinister 2015 novel, the answer is seemingly simple: He moves in with his friend Charlie, a mechanic in the tiny town of Comanche, Oklahoma, until his wife takes him back. The book settles into a kind of slacker story of recreational drugs and blue collar doldrums until Charlie’s cousin Shane arrives with an odd request: He wants Charlie to tattoo his gums. When asked why he would want such a thing, Shane replies, “When I meet the devil, I want him to know I’m a friendly guy.” A few pages later, Charlie admits his cousin is “a little off.” That goes without saying, but just as “off” is the mystery that drives this unreservedly gritty and unapologetically masculine novel to its tantalizing, psychosexual conclusion. Osborne became so enamored with the dynamic between Shane and the somewhat hapless narrator that he brought them back in 2017’s A Minor Storm, which picks up where Black Gum left off. In A Minor Storm, we learn that Shane has been to jail for brutally killing a dog, a fact that somehow
HChicano Park Day at Chicano Park, National and Logan Avenues, Barrio Logan. Visitors to this 49th annual event will experience traditional music and dance, live bands, classic lowrider cars, food, arts and crafts vendor booths, and much more. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. chicano-park.com HHappy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! at Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Celebrate The Bard’s 455th birthday with live music, sonnet writing, sword-fighting workshops and more From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. 619-231-1941, theoldglobe.org HApril Mixer and Lotería Fundraisers at Attitude Brewing Company, 1985 National Ave., Barrio Logan. Raise money for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists with food, drinks and Mexican bingo, as well as networking and chapter news. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. facebook.com/ events/791688837891375
does nothing to diminish his unusual hold over the protagonist. Is Shane a misunderstood young man who exaggerates rumors about himself to create a persona that’s larger than life? Or is he a violent psychopath who is one bad day away from ruining the lives of everyone in his path? The reader is never quite sure, which makes the weird tension between Shane and the narrator so irresistible. There’s a Sal Paradise/Dean Moriarity dynamic between the two characters. Similar to Kerouac’s friend and mentor Neal Cassady, whom he fictionalized for his novels, Shane is a charismatic and sexually adventurous felon. The difference is Shane has an enormous appetite for drugs and might actually be a shaman, albeit one who conducts bizarre rituals to hide firearms that have been used in crimes. Also, I’m fairly certain Kerouac never wrote about Juggalos, who pop up with unnerving frequency in Osborne’s Black Gum novels. Osborne, who is also the publisher of Broken River Books, is currently working on book three of the series, Tomahawk, and it’s a safe bet Shane will be back—with or without his sanity intact.
The Floating Library appears every other week.
HWelcome Home at Fair at 44, 4350 El Cajon Blvd., Kensington. This community art event highlights more than 20 City Heights-based artists. There will also be a live poetry reading, dance performances and the release of the Welcome Home photo book. From 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free. beingathomeproject.com
SPORTS HOut at the Park at Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Show your LGBTQ pride at the Padres game. Includes a pregame “Tailgate Party” happy hour event, a ticket in the Out at the Park section and a commemorative Out at the Park Padres hat. From 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 19. $25. padres.com/pride
TALKS & DISCUSSIONS HEcology Education at Eppig Brew-
ing Waterfront Biergarten, 2817 Dickens St., Point Loma. In honor of Earth Day, San Diego Green Drinks will be hosting a discussion about approaches in ecology with Diane Ebert-May, distinguished professor from Michigan State University. From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. greendrinks.org George Awde at San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, College Area. The visual artist currently based in Doha, Qatar will discuss some of his work featured in the exhibition, In Transit. From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. Free. 619501-6370, art.sdsu.edu Kurt Hunker: Brutalism Architecture at FSDA at New School of Architecture & Design, 1249 F St., Downtown. Lecture focusing on the genesis of the 20th Century phenomenon called “Brutalism” or, sometimes, “The New Brutalism.” From 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 20. $5. 619-224-8584, friendsofsdarch. com
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 13
THEATER JIM COX
Reaching for the stars
errie Cobb has been rescued from ob� scurity thanks to Laurel Ollstein’s They Promised Her The Moon, which just made its West Coast premiere at the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. Cob could—and probably should—have been the first woman in space (that distinc� tion belongs to Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova). But politics and sexism kept Cobb, as well as 12 other women dubbed the Mercury 13, from becoming American astronauts in the heroic era of John Glenn, Scott Carpenter and Alan Shepard. Giovanna Sardelli ������������������������������� directs what is essen� tially a biopic-on-stage that follows Cobb (Morgan Hallett) from fearless pre-teen aviator through a record-breaking career in flying (with scenes ingeniously staged), and finally to the precipice of making his� tory in the space race. The engrossing and entertaining first act interweaves Cobb’s upbringing—by a doting father and a Biblethumping mother—with her adventures as a pilot and her grueling NASA tests. Less so is the second act, specifically a heavyhanded showdown with an overly loud con� gressman. Yet this is a sincerely told story and a production buoyed by star turns from Hallett and Mary Beth Fisher as the pio� neering woman aviator Jackie Cochran. They Promised Her The Moon runs through May 12 at the Old Globe’s Sheryl
14 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs through May 5 at Diversionary Theatre in Univer� sity Heights. $15-$75; diversionary.org
—David L. Coddon
Theater reviews run weekly. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPENING: Sweat: In Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning drama, citizens of a blue-collar town must deal with their own prejudices and anger after word gets out the local steel plant might close. Presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it opens April 18 at the Lyceum Stage in Horton Plaza. sdrep.org
They Promised Her The Moon and Harvey White Theatre in Balboa Park. $30 and up; theoldglobe.org ••• wenty years on, the transgender glam-rock show Hedwig and the Angry Inch feels less urgent and certainly less outrageous than when it debuted Off Broadway in 1998. But Diver� sionary Theatre’s legacy production of the show by John Cameron Mitchell (text) and Stephen Trask (music and lyrics) remains one hell of a hoot, as audiences at the Uni� versity Heights space will testify.
Diversionary’s Matt Morrow has the privilege of directing a powerhouse duo for Hedwig. Jeremy Wilson absolutely brings it as the title character, whose cir� cular rise to fame is told in the one-act musical. Cashae Monya is just as dynamic in the supporting role of Hedwig’s partner, Yitzhak. This revival is also a reminder of how lyrical and revealing the show’s songs are, and at Diversionary, The Angry Inch Band (Patrick Marion, Jim Mooney, Linda Libby and David Rumley) transforms the theater into a rocking club.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead: Repertory productions of the two plays based on Charles Schultz’s beloved Peanuts characters. Presented by the OB Playhouse & Theatre Co., it opens April 18 at the OB Playhouse in Ocean Beach. obtheatrecompany.com Nine: Maury Yeston’s musical about a philandering film director is loosely based on Federico Fellini’s comic masterpiece, 8 ½. Directed by George Bailey, it opens April 19 at the Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa. lamplighterslamesa.com The Cave Dwellers: A staged reading of William Saroyen’s play about a group of homeless people who are camping out in front of an abandoned theatre that’s scheduled to be torn down to build new housing. It happens April 23 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org For complete theater listings, visit sdcitybeat.com
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 15
COURTESY OF TIJUANA HIGH CLUB
CULTURE | CANNABIS
The patio at Mi Pueblito, the front of Tijuana High Club and opening flyer for Tijuana High Club
ou’re at Zacaz? Wow, that’s ratchet.” So read a text message from my friend, Tony, a few weeks ago. I was in Tijuana at a beloved bar called Zacaz. Located in the Zona Norte, or Tijuana’s red light district, the bar’s name is short for Bar Zacazonapan and is just around the corner from the famous Monumental Arch. While a lot of people go to Zacaz for the cheap, bloated caguamas of either Pacifico or Corona, most people are there to smoke weed. It’s one of the only places in Tijuana—maybe in all of Mexico—where people are free to toke in public. Smoking weed at Zacaz has been allowed for as long as anyone can remember. Rumors abound as to why that is, seeing as how consuming cannabis in Mexico is illegal and has been since 1920. But there seems to be a general understanding among patrons that some kind of alliance with local police and/ or cartels has been reached. Decriminalization for personal possession of cannabis occurred in 2009, while medical use for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) below 1 percent was approved in 2017. Then, in November 2018, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the illegality of cannabis was unconstitutional, putting the plant and its consumption in a serious legal gray area, where it remains today. Many Mexicans are hopeful that full recreational and medical legalization is not far off. Still, the scene has largely remained unchanged in the dimly lit Zacaz. Tony, whose full name is Antonio Ley, is a Tijuana resident who grew up in Chula Vista and now runs the Corazon de Torta taco truck in San Ysidro. He’s not only a pot-smoking friend of mine, but my de facto expert for all things Tijuana, as well. Anthony Bourdain thought so, too; he tapped Tony to be his on-camera fixer for his Baja episode that
16 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
aired in 2012. Whenever I cross the border to hang out or bring friends who want to explore Tijuana, I call Tony and our first stop is usually Zacaz. The scene at Zacaz is interesting, to say the least. Narrow, steep stairs lead down to a basement bar that smells like the dorm room of the dankest kid at college. Naturally, Bob Marley can often be heard wafting from the jukebox. Large fans are set up to keep things moving and, in a surprising move for the dive-iest of dives, the staff is ever at the ready to seat people, rearrange groups if necessary and take orders. Nearly everyone is rolling something up or smoking. Some are there to inquire about buying meth, but nobody tries to buy weed anymore. Smoking only. Pedro G., who prefers that his last name be withheld due to the sensitive nature of cannabis consumption in Mexico, is positioning himself to take the reins from Zacaz once recreational legalization passes. He’s one of the partners behind the upscale Tijuana High Club, which will be Tijuana’s first cannabis club when it opens its doors in the upscale Cacho neighborhood on April 20. In the future, he wants it to be a cafe where people can smoke and purchase flower or other cannabis products. Pedro also wants to operate a monthly buy-in option, like a box-of-the-month club for smokers. For now, Tijuana High Club will serve as an informal social network and head shop, selling bongs, bowls, legal hemp, clothing and CBD products. They also plan to open a CBD coffee shop, either on the premises or in another location, though they understand that may be risky. “We are a legit business right now,” Pedro says. “We are waiting for legalization in Mexico and we hope to become the first club
in Mexico and, really, in all the surrounding countries.” Close-knit connections are common in Tijuana—even more so in an illicit cannabis community. “I don’t want to sound cocky,” says Jose Figueroa, a Tijuana-based chef who cooks at both the La Carmelita food truck in TelefonJACKIE BRYANT
Smoking at Zacaz ica Gastropark, as well as Corazon de Torta. “But it’s been years since I or any of my close friends smoked any narco weed.” He’s referring to the inexpensive street shake available on many Tijuana corners around Avenida Revolucion and the Zona Norte. Baggies start at around 50 pesos, which is around $2.65 at current exchange rates for what amounts to a joint or a couple of bowls. Figueroa buys from friends who bring
cannabis illegally across the border from California dispensaries. This practice is becoming increasingly widespread throughout Tijuana. A Tijuana-based delivery club group called Harvest Collective gets highquality weed direct from Northern California, which is then smuggled into Mexico and distributed to club members. Club members get three grams at a time for 500 pesos a month. Social media has proven instrumental in binding Tijuana’s cannabis community, though outright cannabis advertising and posting is prohibited by apps like Instagram. As has long been the case all over the world, discretion goes a long way. One account, @tijuanagrifa, is a cannabis lifestyle account and clothing line promoting their own hashtag, #relaxedsociety. The account promotes cannabis happenings around town, and they’re also known for making fun of people and organizations that are against legalization, such as the local Cacho community members who are fretting over Tijuana High Club’s opening on Facebook forums. Offline, there are a couple of other places where people can gather to smoke outside the home. Chip’s on Calle Sexta was a wellknown place where people could spark, but a rumored meth-heavy crowd and a shooting at the bar last year was understandably bad for business. Mi Pueblito is an exceptionally dingy, graffiti-covered bar that is open air in the back due to a fire that took it out years ago. Still, it’s a known go-to even if it’s unlikely to survive Revolucion’s gentrification. Despite the uncertainty of cannabis’ status in Mexico, there is one thing everyone who smokes in Tijuana agrees on. “Whatever you do,” Tony says, “Just don’t smoke in the street. You’ll get arrested, sure, but it’s just something that only pinche gringos do.”
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 17
CULTURE | ART
SEEN LOCAL FINE LINES: LIZZIE WANN A semi-regular column where we review notable new poetry collections and chapbooks.
he words of Lizzie Wann will strike hard and fast for anyone who has an aging parent. Throughout The Hospice Bubble & Other Devastating Affirmations, her debut collection for Puna Press, she reminds the reader of the preciousness of time. Time wasted. Times of discovery. That time when. In the case of Wann, who has been a presence on the local spoken word scene for over two decades, much of that time is devoted to her father. Written during her father’s time in hospice care and his eventually passing, The Hospice Bubble is brilliantly reflective without coming across as sentimental or forced. Anyone who’s lost someone close to them will recall the way the brain works when that person is dying; the stress of balancing compassion and rest with our own need for a sense of closure before it’s too late. While mortality and fatalism are poetry’s bread and butter, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a poet who was able to tap into these emotions so lovingly and realistically. This mix of realism and reverence comes early in the book with “Dad’s Wisdom,” where Wann recalls receiving an email from her father and discovering she may have inherited her writing skills from him. small truths are revealed he writes, “mechanical things do break down, just like people” unexpected poetry In “Christmas Day,” Wann recounts her father’s last holiday via a play-by-play breakdown of the tender and stressful moments of the day. This is followed by what is arguably the collection’s best poem, “The Magical Cheesburger,” where the family eats In-nOut cheeseburgers together and finds that they have an “otherworldly” effect on the father’s diminishing blood pressure. we laughed about it as Dad slept as we wondered if we would, in fact, soon have to face losing this man
18 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
or if it was something else completely, if this might be the one time that a man was brought back from the brink of death by a cheeseburger When death inevitably comes, Wann begins to reflect on the memories that remain, while also recounting the trivial duties that come with death (burial costs, identifying the body, etc.). The last few stanzas of “This is a True Story,” which closes out the “The Hospice Bubble” chapter in the book, are talismanic, so much so that I dare not reprint them here lest they actually be some kind of beautiful incantation. From here, the collection moves onto the “Other Devastating Affirmations” portion of the book. These poems are presented in four thematic sub-chapters (“Death,” “Depression,” “Writing” and “Love”). While the poems in this portion of the book are much more cerebral, they are still accessible and relatable if the reader leans into them a bit. Wann describes herself on Twitter as a “believer in ghosts & witches,” and in “Phantoms & Flights,” she describes a longing to have more ghosts in her life, especially ones that she can relate to. there’s a ghost in the house across the street but she doesn’t bother me I say “she” because it seems to be a neighborhood of women who live long who outlive their lovers who fold sheets by themselves in their living rooms who sing softly to shadows sit barefoot on their porches One might get caught up in words like “death” and “depression,” or even be tempted to think that the “devastating affirmations” are going to be all doomand-gloom. This is not the case. Here, Wann’s concept of “devastating” is anything that has the capacity to change our overall worldview. And that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Devastation is, after all, an opportunity to rebuild. Lizzie Wann will read from The Hospice Bubble & Other Devastating Affirmations at a book-release event on Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. at The Whistle Stop.
CULTURE | FILM
Director Claire Denis enters a new cinematic orbit with High Life by Glenn Heath Jr. Flashbacks of Earth begin to perforate Monte’s s a relatively new parent, the lacerating baby screams in the otherwise hushed first sequence perspective similarly to Willow’s screams. The origins of High Life hit especially close to home. Few of his criminal acts pop up like random visions. Denis films would be gutsy enough to imagine the sudden pays little attention to the social and political implishift from intimate quiet to disorienting panic as such cations of the film’s Sci-Fi context, opting instead to a blow to one’s equilibrium, but this is no ordinary immerse the viewer inside the hallways, laboratories space opera. Claire Denis’ riveting genre dismember- and gardens of a cramped intergalactic purgatory that ment has similarly visceral triggers throughout, as Monte and his inmates call home. Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche), the mad scientist conwell as indelible moments that are equally haunting ducting fertility experiments on each prisoner, has and perplexing. In the grand scheme of modern French cinema, constructed an environment where individual eleDenis remains a singular figure. The emotional and ments of reproduction are completely removed from thematic aspects of her work exist between the shots. sexual intercourse. Denis’ aesthetic response to the That is, what’s not on screen is often more important repression is a visual cornucopia of water, blood, sethan what’s presented. Jarring narrative gaps destroy men, urine and breast milk seemingly unfettered from all constructs of linear editing and time. Denis is less the limitations of gravity. Only Monte deems himself interested in traditional story than brazen confronta- different. “I kept my fluids to myself,” he reminds Dibs. Does this make him a saint tions between memory, sound and amongst sinners, or just someone image, which helps illustrate the who has found god in restraint? fragile relationship between body HIGH LIFE Denis refuses to answer since she’s and mind. Directed by Claire Denis not that kind of filmmaker. InThere’s no better face to illusStarring Robert Pattinson, stead, mounting unease drives her trate this suspended state of unJuliette Binoche, Mia Goth images of rot and growth, and the certainty than Robert Pattinson, pulsating music complementing and André Benjamin whose unshakeable combination them. She parallels this psychoof anxiety and volatility has made Rated R logical unrest with close-ups of him one of the most exciting acwounds that will be scars, and scars tors of his generation. A blockthat will be wounds forever. buster dreamboat many Twilight’s If High Life (opening Friday, April 19, at Angelika ago, Pattinson has since disavowed mainstream work almost entirely, instead hitching his wagon to auteur Film Centers Carmel Mountain and Landmark Hillfilmmakers like David Cronenberg, James Gray and crest Cinemas) has one centering image, it’s that of Willow, the baby that will grow up to become a woman the Safdie brothers. By playing a marooned death row inmate and sci- who only knows metal interiors and blackness. The entific guinea pig named Monte, High Life offers Pat- innocence Denis establishes in the prologue becomes tinson something even more challenging. Here, he compromised later with a staggeringly menacing is one of multiple prisoners sent into orbit for pro- flash-forward sequence. Yet, this erotic, savage hallucination of a film is Delonged experimental study. Denis captures the actor’s patented boiling energy in the film’s more violent nis’ most hopeful in years. Pattinson’s Monte never rimoments, but it never becomes the defining attribute vals the sexual predators of Bastards or the colonialist zombies in White Material. Despite being a murderer, of Pattinson’s deeply layered turn. Take the beautiful opening sequence with the he’s presented as someone responsible for stabilizing aforementioned infant, a little girl named Willow. the internal and external chaos threatening to engulf Living in solitude aboard an abandoned space ship the people he cares for most. It seems that the endless (which looks like a shipping container), Monte tries (and numbing) act of being selfless has rendered him to balance his maintenance duties with parental ones. a cypher in all other respects. Denis shuttles between the two in beautiful long stretches that find the actor displaying previously un- Film reviews run weekly. seen tenderness. Write to email@example.com
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 19
20 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
CULTURE | FILM Clocking in at nearly 150 minutes, the film’s atrocities are made all the more devastating because Leigh has intimately wrestled with the possibility of hope despite the overwhelming inequality and social cruelty.
—Glenn Heath Jr.
Breakthrough: A devoutly religious mother prays for her son to be brought back from the brink of death after he drowns in a lake. Opens in wide release Wednesday, April 17.
High Life: Claire Denis’ elliptical, challenging art film follows a death row inmate (Robert Pattinson), who is sent into space for medical experimentation. Opens on Friday, April 19 at the Angelika Film Centers Carmel Mountain and Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas. Mary Magdalene: Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix take on the roles of Mary and Jesus in this feminist take on the gospels. Opens on Friday, April 19, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. Penguins: Narrated by Ed Helms, this nature documentary follows an Adélie penguin as he tries to find a life partner in the wild. Opens in wide release Wednesday, April 17. Peterloo: Set in early 19th Century Britain, Mike Leigh’s historical epic traces the
sociopolitical tensions that led to a terrible massacre of unarmed protesters. Opens on Friday, April 19 at the Angelika Film Centers Carmel Mountain and Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas. Teen Spirit: A shy small-town teenager who dreams of making it as a pop star enters a singing competition under the guidance of an unlikely mentor. Opens in wide release Friday, April 19. The Curse of La Llorona: This horror film weaves classic Mexican folklore into a modern story about a social worker and her children drawn into a supernatural realm. Opens in wide release Friday, April 19.
For complete movie listings, visit sdcitybeat.com.
ike Leigh’s Peterloo is proof that political cinema doesn’t need to be flashy or incendiary to be effective. Dry and plodding at times, this carefully detailed historical epic is nevertheless perceptive to how small, pivotal decisions by everyday people inform the momentum of grand historical events. Beginning at the battle of Waterloo, where the Duke of Wellington’s allied forces have defeated Napoleon’s French army, Leigh’s slow moving camera tracks shell-shocked bugler Joseph (David Moorst). He’s futilely trying to blow his instrument despite deafening cannon fire and agonizing screams—a bloodied face in a mostly dead crowd. The sobering war scene makes for an apt introduction to the common man’s pointless suffering. That suffering will take on many economic, emotional and psychological forms throughout the film. Even more disturbing is Joseph’s unceremonious long walk home to Manchester where his destitute family of mill workers struggles to make ends meet. Once on the ground in northern England, Leigh shows local parliamentarians and religious leaders plotting against labor organizers and silver-tongued orators like Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear) who are riling up public unrest. Some of these anti-establishment leaders are equally opportunistic even as they talk of confronting issues like decreasing wages, universal suffrage and aristocratic corruption. Peterloo (opening Friday, April 19, at Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas and Angelika Film Centers Carmel Mountain) meticulously traces those socio-political tensions between the working class and elites that eventually led to the eponymous 1819 massacre at St. Peter’s Field. There, innocent pro-democracy protesters were cut down by aggressive cavalry troops, and Leigh harrowingly depicts those final moments with sudden and fierce acts of random cruelty born from a climate of hatred.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 21
COURTESY OF CANNABIS CORPSE
hen thinking about the intersections of cannabis and music, death metal doesn’t immediately come to mind. “I feel like weed smoking is something that's universal,” says Cannabis Corpse singer and bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall over the phone from a tour stop in South Carolina. “There's songs about weed in hiphop. There's songs about weed in country. So we're just bringing the death metal part to the equation too. I'm sure there was a certain niche that we're filling by creating this music.” As if it wasn’t clear from the name, Cannabis Corpse is a cannabis-centric death metal band from Richmond, Virginia. While that name might make it sound like the group is a parody of Cannibal Corpse or a tribute group, Cannabis Corpse plays alloriginal death metal that’s dead serious. Phil Hall started Cannabis Corpse with his twin brother Josh “Hallhammer” Hall (drums) in 2006, releasing their first EP, Blunted at Birth, in 2012. In between shows and recordings for Cannabis Corpse, the brothers have been hard at work with other bands. Phil is in crossover thrash band Municipal Waste, and Josh has played in Cruelsifix and Gatecreeper. Guitarist Adam Guilliams, who has played with Josh Hall in Cruelsifix, joins the twins on tour to make Cannabis Corpse a three-piece. Hall says he and his brother came up with the Cannabis Corpse moniker when they were teenagers. They think the humorous
22 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
From left: Adam Guilliams, Phil Hall and Josh Hall name helps them stand out from other death metal bands, but Hall acknowledges that listeners often incorrectly identify them as a parody or tribute act. “We try very hard to make good death metal,” says Hall. “We're fans of the style and we love trying to recapture that feeling that we got when we were kids listening to Florida death metal. And we try to keep it pretty dark and evil and brutal.” Cannabis Corpse does, indeed, sound dark, evil and brutal despite using stoner humor in their album and song titles. Songs off their latest release, 2017’s Left Hand Pass include titles such as “The 420th Crusade,” “In Battle There Is No Pot” and “The Fiends That Come to Steal the Weed of the Deceased.” The album title itself is a reference to passing a joint, while also serving as a pun of Left Hand Path, an album from fellow death metalers Entombed. Inspired by the storytelling in the lyrics
of metal bands such as King Diamond, Hall says Cannabis Corpse’s lyrics are like mini horror movies with plenty of content about weed thrown in.
“On each song we tell a story about some stoner meeting his death by some horrific way, or weed aliens, or just apply any sort of ’80s horror movie story and inject some weed in there,” says Hall. “When you're reading the lyrics, you get transported into a death metal world of marijuana smokers.”
The weed humor extends to Cannabis Corpse’s live shows. Hall says they have a “weed mascot” (a friend dressed like a cannabis bud) that jumps into the crowd and gets a pit going. So, yeah, cannabis is clearly a big part of Cannabis Corpse’s music, but it’s also been a big part of Hall’s life. Hall doesn’t smoke as much as he used to but he still abides by the band’s weed etiquette. This involves avoiding spliffs (cannabis mixed with tobacco) at all costs. “When we travel Europe, they have a bad habit of putting lots of tobacco in their joints and I am not a tobacco smoker, so it just kills me,” says Hall. “We've even come up with a hand signal; if I see another band member across the room smoking weed with someone, I'll throw up the hand signal and he'll throw one back… it gives me the signal whether or not it has tobacco in the joint or not.” Unlike California, recreational cannabis is illegal in Virginia where Hall and company reside. He doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon, although a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch says the state’s medical cannabis and hemp-derived CBD programs are evolving. “We live in Virginia, where I doubt it will ever become legal because we're like Texas where it's real down-home country boys,” says Hall. “I've yet to reap the rewards of living in a legal state.” Touring does offer Cannabis Corpse access to all kinds of weed products, however. “There's something really great about being able to just go to the store and buy some real quality bud,” says Hall. “Amsterdam was the first place that I ever got to experience something like that... And now that it's come over to the states, you gotta love it. Places like Denver and L.A.— you can get real quality weed and once I go back to Richmond, Virginia, I feel like the weed quality suffers a little bit.” Cannabis Corpse will also be releasing their seventh album later this year. Hall is reluctant to share details, but says they worked with producer Jared Pritchard who has worked with established metal bands like Gruesome and Goatwhore. “I would give you the title, but that hasn't been revealed yet,” says Hall. “We have tried to make the music much more organic in its performance... I'm really happy with this new album’s tone and the songwriting is killer.”
BY SETH COMBS
NOTES FROM THE SMOKING PATIO
SPOTLIGHT CATHLEEN BERENYI
JOSHUA BLACK WILKINS
t was only a matter of time before local promoter Mario Orduno would launch a music festival. He’s been putting on shows and releasing records on his labels (Art Fag and Dream) since the mid-2000s, securing a reputation in the scene as a bespectacled man-about-town with discerning taste. Now he’s bringing some of his favorite groups together for Dream ’19, a two-night showcase of post-punk and synthwave happening at The Casbah on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Orduno launched Dream as a label in 2012, but he’d been promoting shows under that name even before that. The festival will serve as a celebration for the kind of underground music he’s long championed. “I’ve been working with a lot of these bands for over a decade, and I have relationships with these bands and I’ve been networking in this scene for a long time,” he tells CityBeat. “I thought it would be kind of cool to celebrate the music, the scene and Dream even as a thing, and create something cool for San Diego.” Most of the bands will hit right at the goth pleasure zones, as the emphasis is on ritualistic vibes and electronic instruments. The best thing about the lineup is just how varied and surprising it is. Playing on Friday night, post-punk trio Second Still sound equal parts leather and silk, what with their high-gravity drum machine stomp and Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals. Meanwhile, L.A.-by-wayof-Brooklyn’s Black Marble summon the ghost of Joy Division with stark bass-lines and spooky atmospheres. L.A.’s Provoker sounds a bit like Pornography-era Cure, while Riki promises a propulsive
ALBUM REVIEW SIXES Champ (Self-released)
here are two types of people when it comes to garage-rock. There are those who like it so much, they embrace current bands playing within the genre. Then there are the ones who think there’s nothing new or novel about the music anymore. The latter might still listen to a band they grew up with but overall, it’s unlikely they’ll embrace new bands all that much. After all, their generation’s bands did things way better. Those bands were the real innovators. Fuck that. Anytime I hear someone complaining about how new music sucks, I get about as triggered as Tucker Carlson at a Bernie Sanders rally. So look, this was a very long-winded way of leading me to my first point: SIXES aren’t doing anything particularly innovative on their new EP. It’s four sonic blasts of bouncy, pissy garage-rock that,
Xeno & Oaklander dance party. On the local level, San Diego synth conjurer O/X specializes in Videodrome rituals and Vangelis soundscapes. On Saturday, SRSQ’s Kennedy Ashlyn will perform gripping, hauntingly beautiful pieces off her album Unreality, written in the wake of the death of her best friend/bandmate Cash Askew in the 2016 Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Minimalist New York duo Xeno & Oaklander whisper sweet cyborg nothings into the listener’s ear over dreamy synths, while the hypnotic Chasms explore dub textures and tape-delay rhythms in a fresh take on ’80s sounds. Body of Light’s synthpop anthems will go over well with anyone in need of a Depeche Mode fix, and Riverside’s The Victoriana has the ornamental beauty of a wilted red rose.
given enough people enclosed in a small space, has the capacity to get people moving. A few listens and each song has the capacity to get stuck in your head, remaining there for days. And look, anyone who gets caught up in the fact that Sixes are yet another group of scraggly white guys playing the same chords and singing about the same subject matter as all the scraggly white guys before them is missing the point. This is fun music and any claims of derivativeness is just hipster posturing for the sake of being a contrarian. Just shut up and enjoy the attitude on tracks like “What Sherry Said” and the especially silly “Zonie Go Home” (anyone who knows what a Zonie is will want to singalong to this song all the time). And while SIXES are certainly a welcome to addition to the local music scene, my fear is that we’re at a point now where the scene is already oversaturated with these types of bands. But who knows? Maybe that’s the market. It makes sense that a city already inundated with good vibes would flock to a peppier genre, any genre, that isn’t bro reggae or mellow singer/songwriter fare. If that’s the case, then SIXES’ brand of punky garage-rock should do just fine.
t seems fitting that, back in 2014, Rolling Stone knighted Cory Branan as one of the “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” It wasn’t like Branan was some kind of spring chicken, having already released four records over 15 years. Doubly ironic was the fact that Rolling Stone had pretty much said the exact same thing about him 12 years earlier. Well, if at first you don’t succeed… The fact is that Branan’s music has always been ripe for discovery and has remained one of the most consistently underrated singer/songwriters in alt-country. Even lumping him into that particular genre seems ill-fitting. Sure, he’s from Mississippi and can write a heartfelt ballad that’ll make the most grizzled of people cry in their Lone Stars, but Branan’s real gift is his ability to cross genres and make music that defies characterization. Overall, Branan is one of those artist’s artists, similar to John Prine and Townes Van Zandt, destined to be revered and respected by the few who listen to him. I certainly count myself among that company. I was one of those people who saw that 2002 Rolling Stone article and immediately went out to buy his debut, The Hell You Say. That record, along with his 2006 follow-up, 12 Songs, remain two masterpieces you need to know now. Cory Branan plays Tuesday, April 23 at Soda Bar.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 23
IF I WERE U
BY CITYBEAT STAFF
Our picks for the week’s top shows
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17
PLAN A: Ages And Ages, The Harmaleighs @ Soda Bar. Portland’s Ages and Ages specialize in what they call “raw choral pop” that incorporates transcendent harmonizing and orchestrated call-and-response singing. The result is moving and beautiful without any of the pretension that sometimes comes with that folksy, revival sound. BACKUP PLAN: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony @ House of Blues. I miss my Uncle Charles, y’all.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18
PLAN A: Smino, EarthGang, Phoelix @ The Observatory North Park. A solid bill of up-and-coming hip hop and R&B acts. Both St. Louis’ Smino and Atlanta duo EarthGang have put out a steady stream of solid tracks over the last couple of years, but we’re particularly excited about Phoelix, a Chicago producer and singer who’s set to break out big this year. Check out the videos for “Dreams” and “Drip” and go from there. PLAN B: Jon Snodgrass, Garrett Dale, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Davey Tiltwheel @ Whistle Stop. A great lineup of country and singer/ songwriter acts. Alt-country fans will remember Snodgrass as the frontman for Drag the River, while Dale is best known for fronting punk band Red City Radio. BACKUP PLAN: Doc Hammer, Mick’s Jaguar, Bosswitch @ Bar Pink.
PLAN: Night Beats, Cosmonauts, Wild Wild Wets @ The Casbah.
SUNDAY, APRIL 21
PLAN A: Mdou Moctar, Marisa Anderson @ The Casbah. Hopefully readers caught Peter Holslin’s excellent feature on Nigerien Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar in last week’s issue. His new album, Ilana (The Creator), is filled with hypnotic solos and heartbreaking tributes to his home country. PLAN B: Ufomammut, Belzebong, Deep Sea Thunder Beast @ Brick By Brick. Italian band Ufomammut are practiclally sludge-metal legends at this point. Their latest release, 2017’s 8, is filled with blisteringly epic jams that are proof the band hasn’t lost their edge over the years. BACKUP PLAN: Brent Cowles @ Soda Bar. INGRID POP
FRIDAY, APRIL 19
PLAN A: Kirin J Callinan, Heavy Hawaii, Christian Club, Rinse & Repeat @ Soda Bar. Sydney, Australia’s Kirin J. Callinan’s 2013 debut, Embracism, remains a perplexing and hypnotizing batch of aggressive artpop that’s somewhere in the same universe as Nick Cave and Scott Walker. This show should be mind-blowing. PLAN B: Monolord, Yob, Nebula Drag @ Brick By Brick. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Monolord combine psychedelic, stoner and even some doom metal for a sound that’s as aggressive as it is entrancing. Either way, power chords and riffage abound. BACKUP PLAN: The Blank Minds, Creature Culture, Okay, Whatever, Gummiez @ Che Café.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20
PLAN A: Pinback, El Ten Eleven, The Color Forty Nine, John Reis, Rob Crow @ Music Box. A great lineup of locals for a great cause. Check this week’s Short List on page 11 for more info. PLAN B: Ritual Veil, Kontravoid, Mannequin, The Passengers @ SPACE. Yeah, yeah… it’s 4/20, which means most venues are packed with thematic, stoner-friendly rock bands. That’s fine and all, but we’d much rather smoke some sativa and dance around to this synthy dark-wave trio from Portland. BACKUP
24 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 22
PLAN A: Ben Kweller, Mainman, Modern Love Child @ The Casbah. Ben Kweller broke out big in the early ’00s with his debut, Sha Sha, 11 songs of pure slacker-rock gold. Some may have lost track of him since then, but he’s consistently put out catchy indie jams that are heartfelt and fun. BACKUP PLAN: Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Johnny Deadly Trio @ Soda Bar.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23
PLAN A: Superorganism, Simpson @ Music Box. We’re generally a fan of any band that signs to Domino Records and the London-based Superorganism is no exception. The co-ed, multi-cultural septet specialize in goofy psychedelic-pop that deals in important topics such as prawns and the public’s desire to be famous. Their live show is rumored to be fantastic. PLAN B: Cory Branan, Vandoliers @ Soda Bar. See this week’s Spotlight section for more on the great Cory Branan. BACKUP PLAN: The Strawberry Moons, Heather Nation Band, Kathryn Cloward and Jennifer Klein @ Belly Up Tavern.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 25
CONCERTS HOT! NEW! FRESH!
FairPlay (Soda Bar, 4/29), SIXES (Soda Bar, 5/1), Canelo vs. Jacobs (Music Box, 5/4), DJ Esco at (Music Box, 5/5), Cumbia Machin (Casbah, 5/5), Wargirl (Soda Bar, 5/7), Black Taffy (Soda Bar, 5/21), THICK (Soda Bar, 5/29), Branches (Soda Bar, 5/31), Dani Bell & The Tarantist (Soda Bar, 6/1), The Ataris (Brick By Brick, 6/9), Sadistik (Soda Bar, 6/11), The Weight Band (BUT, 6/13), RVG (Soda Bar, 6/13), Greg Douglass (BUT, 6/16), Tom Gun (Music Box, 6/22), The Spits (Casbah, 7/1), Ceremony (The Irenic, 7/3), Tim Skold (Brick By Brick, 7/11), The Silent Comedy (Casbah, 7/12), Jackie Mendoza (Soda Bar, 7/14), Dylan LeBlanc (Casbah, 7/17), Andy McKee’s Guitar Masters (Music Box, 7/25), Everything Is Terrible! (Casbah, 7/31), Easy Wind (BUT, 8/1), Holy Grail (Brick By Brick, 8/3), Bars of Gold (Soda Bar, 8/4), The Bacon Brothers (BUT, 8/5), Summer Salt (HOB, 8/16), Band of Skulls (BUT, 9/6), Peter Bradley Adams (Soda Bar, 9/14), Marc Broussard (BUT, 10/5-6), Dropkick Murphys (Park At The Park, 10/9).
ALL SOLD OUT Kero Kero Bonito (Casbah, 4/18), Playboi Carti (SOMA, 4/18), Los Lobos (BUT, 4/19), The Interrupters (Observatory, 4/19), Big Thief (The Irenic, 4/20), Michael McDonald (BUT, 4/20), Steel Pulse (BUT, 5/2), El Vez (Casbah, 5/3), Omar Apollo (The Irenic, 5/4), Phantom
Planet (Casbah, 5/7), Gone West (BUT, 5/8), The Japanese House (HOB, 5/14), IDLES (BUT, 5/21), The Lemonheads (Casbah, 5/25), John Hiatt (BUT, 5/25), Billie Eilish (Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, 7/13), Death Cab For Cutie (Observatory, 8/9-10).
CANCELLED Lebanon Hanover (Casbah, 4/23).
GET YER TICKETS David Archuleta (California Center for the Arts, 4/17), Playboi Carti (SOMA, 4/18), Julia Michaels (HOB, 4/20), Earl Sweatshirt (SOMA, 4/27), Passion Pit (Observatory, 5/1), Seth Meyers (Balboa Theater, 5/3), Chromatics, Desire (Observatory, 5/4), The Spazmatics (Music Box, 5/10), Dead Boys (Casbah, 5/22), New Kids On The Block (Viejas Arena at SDSU, 5/23), FIDLAR (Observatory, 5/30), Bryce Vine (Pechanga Arena, 5/31), Brad Paisley (North Island Credit Union Ampitheatre, 6/1), Jennifer Lopez (Pechanga Arena, 6/10), Toby Keith (Del Mar Fairgrounds, 6/14), Rebelution (North County Credit Union Amphitheatre, 6/15), Local Natives (Observatory, 6/19), Rob Thomas (Humphrey’s, 6/20), Khalid (Pechanga Arena, 6/23), Aly & AJ (Observatory, 6/25), Priests (Soda Bar, 6/26), Carrie Underwood (Pechanga Arena, 10/10), The Who (Viejas Arena, 10/16), Judah & The Lion (Observatory, 10/17), Hozier (Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, 10/26).
APRIL WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 Sebastian Maniscalco at Humphrey’s.
26 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
David Archuleta at California Center for the Arts. Joey Harris and the Mentals at Belly Up Tavern. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at House of Blues. Ages and Ages at Soda Bar. Manwolves at Ché Café Collective. The Lil Smokies at The Casbah. Bernie & The Wolf at Bar Pink. Lindsay White at Whistle Stop.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18 Integrity at Brick By Brick. Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash at Soda Bar. The Floozies at Belly Up Tavern. Smino at Observatory North Park. CloZee at Music Box. Jon Snodgrass at Whistle Stop.
FRIDAY, APRIL 19 Monolord at Brick By Brick. Metalachi at Music Box. Kirin J. Callinan at Soda Bar. Emo Nite at The Casbah. DMX at House of Blues. +Plus at SOMA. The Blank Minds at Ché Café Collective.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Julia Michaels at House of Blues. Night Beats at The Casbah. Imagery Machine at Soda Bar. Pinback at Music Box. The Plot In You at SOMA. Deixion at Brick By Brick. Vista Kicks at Ché Café Collective. Helsott at Brick By Brick.
SUNDAY, APRIL 21 Ufomommut at Brick By Brick. Brent Cowles at Soda Bar. Puddle of Mudd at House of Blues. Pg.99 at Ché Café Collective. Mdou Moctar at The Casbah. Fanclub at SPACE.
MONDAY, APRIL 22 Wayne Hancock at Soda Bar. Ben Kweller at The Casbah.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23 Superorganism at Music Box. Epik High at Observatory North Park. Vandoliers at Soda Bar. The Strawberry Moons at Belly Up Tavern.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 Party Nails at The Casbah. Sully at Belly Up Tavern. Biskwiq at Soda Bar. Jon Anderson at Humphrey’s.
THURSDAY, APRIL 25 Los Straitjackets at The Casbah. The Reverend Horton Heat at Belly Up Tavern. Epic Beard Men at Soda Bar. Love Angels at Music Box. Aterciopelados at Observatory North Park. Reverend Horton Heat at Belly Up Tavern. Laundry Day at House of Blues. Skeletal Remains at Brick By Brick. Sugar Candy Mountain at The Merrow. Tommy Tuton at Humphrey’s.
FRIDAY, APRIL 26 Psycroptic at Brick By Brick. Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact at The Casbah. Weatherbox at Ché Café Collective. Secrets at SOMA. Run River North at Soda Bar. The Main Squeeze at Belly Up Tavern. Vokab Kompany at Music Box. Yung Baby Tate at The Irenic. Groove Internation at House of Blues.
SATURDAY, APRIL 27 Com Truise at Music Box. Livin’ On A Prayer at Belly Up Tavern. Earl Sweatshirt at SOMA. Telekinesis at The Casbah. Kiefer at Soda Bar. Rivals at Brick By Brick. Raffi at Balboa Theatre.
SUNDAY, APRIL 28 The Kingston Trio at Balboa Theatre.
White Denim at Belly Up Tavern. Perturbator at Music Box. Show Me The Body at Ché Café Collective. Knocked Loose at SOMA. Anomalie at House of Blues. Electric Mud at The Casbah.
MONDAY, APRIL 29 Aunt Cynthia’s Cabin at The Casbah. Oliver Tree at Music Box. Chefs Bands 9 at Belly Up Tavern. FairPlay at Soda Bar.
TUESDAY, APRIL 30 Tech N9ne at House of Blues. Texas Hippie Coalition at Brick By Brick.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 Passion Pit at Observatory North Park. Young Jesus at Ché Café Collective. Cattle Decapitation at Brick By Brick. Polyrhythmics at Belly Up Tavern. SIXES at Soda Bar.
THURSDAY, MAY 2 The 69 Eyes at Brick By Brick. Kid Trunks at House of Blues. Freddie Gibbs at SOMA. Hante at SPACE. Flaural at Soda Bar. AJ Mitchell at The Irenic. Brownies & Lemonade at Music Box. Almost Monday at The Casbah.
710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. Wed: Open Mic. Thu: ‘Bringing Back Rock ‘N’ Roll’. Fri: The Gentle Giants, Chugboat, Black Leather Couch. Sat: Superunloader. Sun: Karaoke. Tue: Fairplay, The Gershom Brothers.
MUSIC CONTINUED ON PAGE 27
BY CHRISTIN BAILEY
MUSIC MUSIC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 Air Conditioned Lounge, 4673 30th St., Normal Heights. Wed: ‘Hip House SD’. Thu: Jay Davis. Fri: ‘House Music Fridays’. Sat: ‘JUICY’. Sun: ‘Possession’. Mon: ‘Organized Grime’. Tue: ‘Kizomba Night’. American Comedy Co., 818 B Sixth Ave., Downtown. Wed: Industry Comedy Show. Thu: Marc Maron (sold out). Fri: Marc Maron. Sat: Marc Maron. Sun: Shane Mauss. Tue: Open Mic. The Bancroft, 9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley. Wed: Karaoke. Thu: Dirty Magic, Dangerfield, Hyperactive Slackers. Fri: Bastard Noise, Secret Fun Club, Those Darn Gnomes, Happy Pill Drama, Speculum. Sat: Mechanical Manson, Midnight Nightmare, Black Heroin Gallery, 5150, Siniestra Kabaret, Darling Dead, Mortis. Mon: Trivia. Tue: Karaoke. Bang Bang, 526 Market St., Downtown. Fri: Angelz, Sly Turner. Sat: Lost Desert. Bar Pink, 3829 30th St., North Park. Wed: Vaginals, Bernie and the Wolf, Of Ennui. Thu: Doc Hammer, Bosswitch, Mick’s Jaguar. Fri: ‘Soul Set’. Sat: ‘Neon Beat’. Sun: ‘Rat Sabbath’. Mon: Donny Finnell Jazz Band. Tue: ‘Tiki Tuesday’. Beaumont’s, 5665 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla. Thu: Aquile. Fri: Part Time Model. Sat: Slower. Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. Wed: Joey Harris & the Mentals, Brawley, Ginger Cowgirl. Thu: The Floozies, Band of Gringos. Fri: Los Lobos, Althea Grace (sold out). Sat: Michael McDonald (sold out). Tue: The Strawberry Moons, Heather Nation Band, Kathryn Cloward, Jennifer Klein.
Black Cat Bar, 4246 University Ave., City Heights. Fri: The Pynnacles, The Loons, Thee Allyrgic Reaction. Blonde, 1808 W. Washington St., Mission Hills. Wed: ‘Dance Klassique’. Thu: ‘Chocolate: Afro House & Forward Thinking Music’. Fri: ‘WE ARE YR FRIENDS’. Sun: ‘Spectrum: Diverse Dance Party’. Mon: ‘R3straint One Year Anniversary Fetish Party’. Tue: ‘Techit EASY’. Boar Cross’n, 390 Grand Ave., Carlsbad. Sat: Big Dude. Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave., Bay Park. Thu: Integrity. Fri: Yob. Sat: Wacken Metal Battle. Sun: Ufromammut. The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. Wed: The Lil Smokies, Michigan Rattlers. Thu: Kero Kero Bonito, Jaako Eino Kalevi (sold out). Fri: Emo Nite. Sat: Night Beats, Cosmonauts, Wild Wild Wets. Sun: Mdou Moctar, Marisa Anderson. Mon: Ben Kweller, Mainman, Modern Love Child. Che Cafe, 1000 Scholars Drive S, La Jolla. Wed: Manwolves, Postcard Boy. Fri: The Blank Minds, Creature Culture, Okay, Whatever, Gummiez. Sat: Vista Kicks, Fashion Jackson, Hate Drugs, Arms Akimbo. Sun: PG. 99, Majority Rule, HIRS, Portrayal of Guilt. Dizzy’s, 4275 Mission Bay Drive, Bay Park. Sat: The JW Trio. F6ix, 526 F St., Downtown. Thu: ‘TakeOver Thursdays’. Fri: Dynamiq. Sun: ‘Reggae Sundays’. Fluxx, 500 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Fri: Playboi. Sat: Dynamiq. House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., Downtown. Wed: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
MUSIC CONTINUED ON PAGE 28
ASTROLOGICALLY UNSOUND Weekly forecasts from the so-called universe ARIES (March 21 - April 19): It’s important to be yourself, except on your tax return. There you should be someone who is buying a lot of things for your business. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): Why investigate the rustling in the bushes? Do you actually have a plan if it turns out to be anything other than a raccoon? GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): It only takes two weeks to establish a new habit but it takes several lifetimes for all of the single-use plastic waste you’ve used to disintegrate in a landfill. CANCER (June 21 - July 22): The best skill you can learn is how to forgive yourself. No, that’s not true. The best skill to learn is a trade that is protected by a union. LEO (July 23 - August 22): It is true that a rising tide lifts all boats. What they don’t tell you is that it also submerges all coastline property. VIRGO (August 23 - September 22): Every day for decades the owner of Wite-Out must have thought, “Well today’s the day no one buys Wite-Out.” Still, horrifyingly, every day someone like you has, indeed, bought Wite-Out.
LIBRA (September 23 - October 22): You can’t really prepare for all the variances of an experience. Everyone thinks they could defeat a murderous haunted doll until it’s standing in front of them with a can of gasoline. SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21): Here’s something to say to people if you just feel like aggravating them for no reason: “It may not have ever been true that Koko the gorilla actually knew how to speak English.” SAGITTARIUS (November 22 December 21): You know, for the great multitude of ways there are to skin a cat, they all are virtually the same to the cat. CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19): If you begin your day on a bad note then the rest of your day might be bad as well. Still, there’s nothing you can really do about coyotes breaking in through your bedroom window. AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18): This week when I examine the transits of the stars and planets, there is one resounding phrase that I keep returning to: “Never mind.” PISCES (February 19 - March 20): You can always change your mind but please bear in mind that it does become a little more difficult to stop whitewater rafting while you’re speeding down the rapids.
Astrologically Unsound appears every week. Follow Christin Bailey on Twitter at @hexprax.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 27
MUSIC MUSIC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 Thu: ‘One-Hit Wonders’. Fri: DMX. Sat: Julia Michaels. Sun: ‘Mudd Fest 2019’. Humphreys Backstage, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island. Wed: Come Together. Thu: DJ Chuck. Fri: Full Strength Funk Band. Sat: Detroit Underground. Mon: Nathan James. Tue: Fuzzy Rankins. The Irenic, 3090 Polk Ave., North Park. Sat: Big Thief (sold out). Kava Lounge, 2812 Kettner Blvd., Midtown. Thu: ‘Acid Varsity 57’. Fri: ‘Digital Cocoon’. Sat: ‘Umbrella Nights’. Sun: ‘Deep Tech’. Tue: Roberta Busechian, Fivepaw, Mystery Cave, Hidhawk, Bowen Stidger. Kensington Club, 4079 Adams Ave., Kensington. Fri: Dinettes, Funky Thigh Collectors, Wicked Echoes. Lestat’s Coffee House, 3343 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. Fri: Clean Cut Hippies, Greasy Wheels, Erick Tyler and the Vibes. Sat: Subspecies, Creature Culture, Suburban Park. Mon: Open Mic. Tue: Comedy Night. Loft @ UCSD, Price Center East, La Jolla. Fri: E. Arenas, Sister Mantos, Chulita Vinyl Club. Mon: Symbolic Interaction with Creative Agents. Mc P’s Irish Pub, 1107 Orange Ave., Coronado. Wed: Fish, JG Duo. Thu: Fish, JG Duo. Fri: In Midlife Crisis. Sat: Ron’s Garage. Sun: Street-Heart. Tue: Sophisticats. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Wed: Clifford Bell, Michael Lavine. Sat: Michael Krop. Tue: Leigh Scarritt. The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., Hillcrest. Wed: Karaoke. Fri: The Brain
28 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
Ghosts, Swiss Rolls, Flower Animals, The Fogels. Sat: Strange Crew, RackBox. Mon: ‘Playground Monday Night Dance Party’. Mother’s Saloon, 2228 Bacon St., Ocean Beach. Tue: Trivia. Mr. Peabody’s, 136 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas. Thu: Steelehorse Country. Fri: The Chrome Domes. Sat: Adrienne Nims & Spirit Wind. Sun: ‘Tony Ortega Jazz Jam’. Mon: Open Mic. Tue: Karaoke. Music Box, 1337 India St., Little Italy. Thu: CloZee, Axel Thesleff, MEMBA. Fri: Metalachi, Spice Pistols. Sat: This Includes You!, Pinback, El Ten Eleven, The Color Forty Nine. Tue: Superorganism, Simpson. The Office, 3936 30th St., North Park. Wed: Karaoke. Thu: ‘No Limits’. Fri: ‘After Hours’. Sat: ‘Strictly Business’. Sun: Tribe of Kings. Mon: ‘Motown on Mondays’. Tue: ‘Night Shift in The Office’. OMNIA Nightclub, 454 Sixth Ave., Downtown. Thu: ‘Undone on Thursday’. Fri: Crankdat. Sat: Devin Lucien. Panama 66, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. Wed: ‘The Wednesday Jam Session’. Fri: Erika Davies. Sat: Clinton Davis. Sun: The Walter Brothers. Parq, 615 Broadway, Downtown. Fri: Karma. Sat: Ikon. Pour House, 1903 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Wed: Open Mic. Thu: Anita O’Night & the Mercury Trio. Fri: Zig Zags. Sat: Custard Pie. Sun: Anna Zinova, Pinkeye. Mon: Trivia. Tue: DJ Lexicon Devil. Proud Mary’s, 5550 Kearny Mesa Road, Kearny Mesa. Wed: Chicken Bone Slim. Thu: Tomcat Courtney. Fri: Billy Watson, RJ Mischo. Sat: Nathan James. The Rail, 3796 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Thu:
‘Country Dance’. Sat: ‘Sabados en Fuego’. Tue: Trivia. Rich’s, 1051 University Ave., Hillcrest. Wed: ‘Mischief with Bianca’. Thu: ‘#LEZ + House Music’. Fri: ‘Dirty POP!’. Sat: ‘Fuel’. Sun: ‘Super Discoteka’. Riviera Supper Club, 7777 University Ave., La Mesa. Wed: ‘Boss Jazz’. Thu: The Spiritual Motels. Fri: Six String Outlaws. Sat: Rosa’s Cantina Duo. Tue: ‘Everything & Anything Jam’. Rosie O’Gradys, 3402 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. Thu: DJ Ratty. Fri: Gaby Aparicio, La Buena Onda. Sat: Frankie T. & the Triple B. Mon: ‘Jazz Jam’. Tue: Rosa’s Cantina Duo. Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights. Wed: Ages and Ages, The Harmaleighs. Thu: Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. Fri: Kirin J Callinan, Heavy Hawaii, Christian Club, Rinse & Repeat. Sat: Imagery Machine, The Gooch Palms, Future Human, The Anodynes. Sun: Brent Cowles, grampawdrew. Mon: Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Johnny Deadly Trio. Tue: Cory Branan, Vandoliers. SOMA, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway. Thu: Playboi Carti (sold out). Fri: Beyond My Afterlife, Alternate Era, ALPHA, Sociocide, Alexander the Great feat. QuincyDavis. Sat: The Plot in You, LIke Moths to Flames, Dayseeker, Limbs. SPACE, 3519 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights. Wed: Moonsugar, Tubular, Cowboygirls. Fri: ‘Rollin’ Wit Tha Funk’. Sat: Ritual Veil, Kontravoid, Mannequin, The Passengers. Sun: Fanclub, Battery Point, Bad Kids, Hug. Tue: Karaoke. Spin, 2028 Hancock St., Midtown. Thu: ‘HOUSE of Fitness’. Fri: Eskuche, Mirco Caruso. Sat: Lucas Flamefly, Techniche.
Sycamore Den, 3391 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. Wed: Paul Gregg. Sun: Clinton Davis. Tue: Trivia. Til-Two Club, 4746 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights. Wed: Open Mic. Thu: ‘Sound in Color’. Fri: ‘Lao New Year Event’. Sat: ‘Original Stylin’ 420’. Sun: ‘PANTS Karaoke!’. Tin Roof, 401 G St., Downtown. Wed: Hull & Deez. Thu: Scott Porter. Fri: Keep Your Soul Duo. Sat: Cassie B. Band. Sun: Karaoke. Mon: Erick Tyler. Tue: Keep Your Soul Duo. Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St., Bay Park. Wed: Leonard & the San Diego Troubadours. Thu: Mercedes Moore Band. Fri: Funks Most Wanted. Sat: Sleepwalkers, Mercedes Moore Band, Sue Palmer. Mon: ‘Sexy Salsa & Sensual Bachata’. Tue: The Jazz Pockets. Tower Bar, 4757 University Ave., City Heights. Thu: Ryuichi & The Dicetones, The Grease, The Howlin’ Roosters, Ruff Enuff. Fri: Resilience, Informal Society. Sat: Chinese Rocks, Shit Coffins, RAAG. Sun: Nightmarathons, Corporate Citizen, Midnight Block. Tue: Typesetter, Tiny Stills, Allweather, City Windows. U-31, 3112 University Ave., North Park. Wed: Trivia. Thu: ‘BoomBox Thursdays’. Fri: DJ Freeman. Sat: DJ Nvious. Sun: DJ Non-Profit. Mon: ‘#31 Flavors’. Whistle Stop, 2236 Fern St., South Park. Thu: Jon Snodgrass, Red City Radio, Bad Cop Bad Cop. Fri: ‘F#$%ing in the Bushes’. Sat: ‘’80s vs. ‘90s Dance Party’. Mon: ‘Electric Relaxation’. Tue: ‘Sketch Party’. Winstons, 1921 Bacon St., Ocean Beach. Wed: ‘Club Kingston’. Thu: ‘OB Hip Hop Social’. Fri: Grateful Shred. Sat: GrooveSession, Joe Marcinek Band. Sun: Karaoke. Mon: Electric Waste Band. Tue: DJ Williams.
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 29
BY LARA MCCAFFREY
IN THE BACK
CannaBeat For the love of 420
ason Gann didn’t intend to create a “stoner comedy.” In fact, the Australian actor and creator of Wilfred didn’t even know the term until adapting the comedy for U.S. audiences. On the FX show, the titular character played by Gann (who is a dog, but presented as a dope-smoking man in a dog costume) often gave the timid Ryan Newman (played by Elijah Wood) bad advice. Wilfred won over American audiences until it ended in 2014. Gann has now stepped into the cannabis industry with Wilfred Cannabis Pre-Rolls. He’s releasing his product at Mission Valley dispensary March and Ash (2835 Camino del Rio S., Ste.100, marchandash.com) on, naturally, Saturday, April 20. The event is just one of the many happenings on 420, the unofficial holiday that celebrates cannabis. “I’m marketing a feeling as much as anything else,” says Gann of his pre-roll product, which comes in a variety of strains. “It’s a celebration of being in California and it’s a lighthearted angle into the cannabis industry as well. The industry can take itself a bit seriously lately as it tries to understandably break free of this stoner stigma.”
30 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · APRIL 17, 2019
Fans will be able to “meet Wilfred” (Gann dressed in the dog costume he wore on Wilfred) at March and Ash. The dispensary will sell Gann’s pre-rolls, in addition to offering discounts on different products. There will also be over 25 vendors, a pop-up skate park, a magician and more. Around San Diego, other dispensaries are getting in the spirit of 420 with their own events and promotions. Down the street from March and Ash, The Healing Center San Diego (3703 Camino del Rio S., Ste. #215a, thcsd.com) will also have deals. Buy any product from APEX, KIVA, Kahna or Select and get another of the same for $1. Caliva products will be 25 percent off. There will also be free tacos from noon to 6 p.m. for those with munchies. Also in Mission Valley, San Diego Recreational Cannabis (1299 Camino del Rio S., sandiegorecreationalcannabis.com) is celebrating 420 from April 15 to 21 with daily specials on various cannabis brands. Over the weekend, it’ll be doing top shelf flower at “bottom shelf” pricing. Some joints, vapes and edible products will be discounted as low as $1. San Diego is getting a new dispensary
various brands will be tabling at Harbor Collective (2405 E. Harbor Drive, harbormmcc. com) with storewide buy one, get one free deals and 50 percent off of the same brand and product category. There will also be DJs and free tacos from 2 to 7 p.m. Companies Canndescent, Kikoko, WinCOURTESY OF JASON GANN berry Farms, Dosist, Mozen and Platinum Vape will be tabling at Miramar dispensary Mankind (7128 Miramar Road, mankindcannabis.com) at various time slots in between 7 a.m. to 8pm. District Edibles and Grizzly Peaks Farms will also be there with some deals (25 percent off District products and get two pre-rolls for $1 with purchase of an eighth from Grizzly Peaks Wilfred Cannabis Pre-Rolls Farms). Finally, Torrey Holistics in Sorrento products on sale for $4.20 and 30 percent off Valley (10671 Roselle St. Ste. 100, torreyentire purchases before 10 a.m. holistics.com) will have in-store deals, penUrbn Leaf is setting up a Feel Good ny pre-rolls and swag bags, as well as TorLounge at Embarcadero Marina Park for rey Holistics hats on sale for $4.20. Includes Bayked, a music festival that will feature music and complimetary vendor merch all rapper Rick Ross, as well as electronic day long. There will be deals on delivery artists such as Gramatik and Brasstracks. specials for those wanting to spend a calm Tickets range from $35 to $80. The dispen- 420 indoors. sary will have in-store deals as well. Near Bayked festivities in Downtown, CannaBeat appears every other week. on 420 as well. MedMen (medmen.com) is opening a second location in Sorrento Valley. The cannabis giant has stores in other cities, with its first San Diego location in Kearny Mesa. Both locations will have extended hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with select
APRIL 17, 2019 · SAN DIEGO CITYBEAT · 31