This month, Sight & Sound went up against two major heavyweights: the San Diego Pride Festival in Hillcrest and the StayClassy.org Padres Tailgate at Petco Park, with both events boasting some great local and national talent. Even so, S&S held their own, which was no surprise considering they had some ringers themselves. The visual and aural exhibition—hosted by Bart Mendoza, of Blindspot Records and The Shambles—offered up quite the selection this weekend.
But first, I’ve gotta tell you: This is just about the best $5.00 you could spend for a night out, or even to get your night started. Not only can you get an evening full of entertainment, you can also feel good about supporting the local music and art scene in general, and proceeds for this month’s event also went to benefit Pride and Little & Large. People who arrived before 8:00 p.m. received a free “adult beverage,” plus first dibs at free concert tickets from House of Blues. This last part alone was worth way more than the cover. HOB was giving away pairs of tickets to shows ranging from Journey and Sublime tribute bands to Gomez and Michael Franti & Spearhead, and a whole slew of others.
Back to the show . . .(click keep on reading for more)
At Planet Rooth & 4 Walls Gallery, past their current exhibit in the front, the back section of the gallery—essentially where all the art magic happens—housed a makeshift stage where the Afghan fusion trio of Brothers Nasrat opened up for Astra Kelly’s one-woman acoustic set.
In between these music sets, the Lotus Theater Collective performed a preview of what can only be described as the best bastardized versions of Shakespeare plays that one could hope for. What they were lacking in costumes, they made up for in witty dialogue and clever antics. (You can catch their full show, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare[abridged] by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield, at Swedenborg Hall, August 6th through 29th.)
Just beyond the workshop, in the small courtyard, the talented comic book artist Sean Dietrich was live painting. (He’s currently working on a painting depicting a quasi-tapeworm/lifesucking beast sporting a Commie hammer and sickle with three people dangling from it, all of the people appearing to have had the life sucked out of them. Hmmm. Also, for all the Comic Con fans, since he’s exhibiting his work at The Con this week, you can catch him out at various venues just about every night.)
Beyond the courtyard near what we’ll call the “outdoor stage,” the San Diego Art Journal and local abstract artist Mark Jesinoski hosted a booth with a giant canvas for a collective group art project. Kathleen, the Fire Fairy, and Silke Polanco entertained the crowd with their hypnotic, light-up hula hoops.
On the outdoor stage, opening for Monsters from Mars, was the Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra. Deeeelightful! The mastermind Professor B. Miller was dressed in a white lab coat and stood behind a fur podium, where he appeared to be mixing while dancing. The real star of the show, SPO-20, was a life-sized robot with a brain inside of a clear domelike head and devil horns on top, of course. On SPO-20’s torso, a mesmerizing round screen provided the perfect visual complements to the bizarre lyrics—all sung in a robot voice. He/they opened with “Ornithophobia,” a hilarious song about the possibility of poisonous birds.
Monsters from Mars headlined and finished off the night, in spite of some technical difficulties.
You just never know what to expect from Jon Block and Adam Rosen, the creators of Sight & Sound. According to Block, next month’s event will be revamped significantly and will undergo a major facelift.