1 MAKING CLASSICAL COOL
Classical music can intimidate. At concerts, most people feel the need to sit down, shut up and pay rapt attention. And silencing one's cell phone is, of course, an absolute must.
"We're telling people to keep on their cell phones and log in to Twitter or Facebook or text message and feel free to get into it," says violinist Anna Williams, one-third of the Neave Trio, a young chamber-music ensemble that's hosting the kickoff of a new kind of classical-music concert series on Valentine's Day. "And if there's something you're noticing in the music that you want to respond to, we want to hear from you."
The inaugural Stein 2.0, at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in the Mississippi Room of the Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd. in University Heights), is indeed a classical concert. But, in the spirit of author Gertrude Stein and her famed Parisian salon-style gatherings, where artists and creatives met to exchange ideas and let loose, the music will be played in a casual, fun and relaxed environment. There'll be plenty of booze, appetizers and a projected screen showing people's real-time event-related social-media conversations. Williams says she and the rest of the ensemble will interact and engage with the audience throughout the night, helping to set the casual tone.
"We're not going to be stuffy about it at all," she says. "We really want people to meet and greet and enjoy themselves."
The $50 show will include free valet parking, cocktails, antipasti and desserts. The Neave Trio will play both classical and tango, plus debut a brand-new piece of music written specifically for the event by San Diego composer Amanuel Zarzowski. steinevents.com
2 THE REGAN ERA
"I think the world would be a beautiful place if it weren't for—others. What are they doing here?" That's comedian Brian Regan, speaking CityBeat's language, during one of his 26 appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. The astute observation came right after a quip about nincompoops on airplanes hitting people in the face with their backpacks and before a bit about whole families cutting in line at Disneyworld. He's our kind of guy—we hate people, too! If he sounds like your kind of guy, you can catch Regan's act when he does two shows—at 7:30 and 10 p.m.—on Friday, Feb. 14, at the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). Maybe he'll say something hilarious about people being annoying on Valentine's Day. $45. sandiegotheatres.org
3 NATIVE SON
Maybe you don't immediately know the name Byron Kim, but you'd probably recognize his series Synecdoche, which debuted at the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Composed of panels in various skin tones, Synecdoche made the La Jolla-born Kim (who now lives in Brooklyn) practically an overnight sensation. His work's been described as "abstract sublime"—it's simple, yet meaningful. And Kim himself is refreshingly downto-earth. "Being an artist is presumptuous," he once told the arts blog Microcosm. "I would not want to live in a world without art, but any given artist is expendable, even Picasso." Interest piqued? At 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, Kim will discuss his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's La Jolla location (700 Prospect St.) for MCASD's annual Russell Lecture. Admission is $15. mcasd.org
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.