OUT OF EXILE
In a way, the holiday spirit has always been behind Exile on Kettner Blvd., The Casbah's (2501 Kettner Blvd.) yearly holiday show featuring a host of notable local musicians covering Rolling Stones songs. Started more than 20 years ago, El Monte Slim guitarist Joe Camacho says Exile was started for reasons commensurate with the spirit of the season.
"The great thing about this show is that there are people who only come to The Casbah once a year and it's Christmas Eve just to see this show," says Camacho, who has been involved since the night's beginning and took the reins in organizing the musicians and set lists this year. "You have friends that grew up here who moved away and they'll come back to see their families, but they'll always make it out to this show and that's the only time of year you get to see them."
This year's performers include Andrew McKeag (The Presidents of the United States of America), Patrick Dennis (Wirepony, Truckee Brothers), Gary Shuffler (Ziggy Shuffledust) and singer-songwriter Steve Poltz. As always, there will be surprise guests and old friends dragged up on stage to sit in on a Stones jam. It's also worth showing up early to see local fuzz-rockers burn through a set of covers of soul and R&B classics.
"It's funny, one day I was sitting in an HR office at this new job," Camacho says, "and this woman who had just been hired the same day as me looked at me and said, 'I know you from somewhere. You do that Rolling Stones cover night every Christmas.' I said yes and she said, 'Wow, that's so cool. I met my husband at that show.' I thought that was cool and just shows how it's an institution. It's nice to work on something that's so much fun for people."
This year's Exile on Kettner Blvd. happens Thursday, Dec. 24, at 9 p.m. and the cover at the door is $5. casbahmusic.com
DOUG IT UP
With the holiday movie apocalypse upon us and award season just around the corner, movie-goers might be scouring the 'net looking up reviews and asking friends for their opinions on what to see. Luckily, the weekly Doug Loves Movies podcast has been keeping it real with listeners for nearly a decade. Hosted by comedian Doug Benson and featuring notable stand-ups, the podcast is recorded in front of a live audience and includes the comics participating in bits like "How Much Did That Shit Make?," "Whose Tagline is it Anyway," and "F, Marry, Kill: Movies." The smack talk goes down at American Comedy Co. (818 B 6th Ave.) on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 4:20 p.m. Tickets are $18 and as if it wasn't obvious by the start time, Benson also really likes weed. americancomedyco.com
NUTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS
Is it Christmas if sugar plum fairies aren't pointing and flexing their twinkle toes across a stage? Catch The San Diego Ballet's Nutcracker to ensure all sickly sweet Christmas traditions are accounted for this year. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27, more than 100 performers from China, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Mexico will put on Tchaikovsky's classic, which the ballet has performed for 26 years. Some ballerinas-in-training from the San Diego School of Ballet will also be prancing across the stage. To persuade the grinch of the group, be sure to mention Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall (705 B St.) carries a full bar to soften the blow of its full-sized organ. Tickets range from $20 to $100. sandiegoballetdancecompany.org