June 27 2016 11:51 AM

Our picks for cool things to do this week

San Diego County Fair
Photo courtesy of San Diego County Fair


Between terrorist attacks, the ongoing gun control debate, the Brexit and the prospect of a Trump presidency, the idea of celebrating the greatness of America just seems, well, ham-handed and bittersweet.

But that's exactly why we need to get out there and celebrate! Our country wasn't founded on, "Oh, well, shit's really bad right now. Guess I'll just stay home." It was founded on, "Hey, shit's bad but I'm gonna get drunk and maybe throw some tea into that harbor over there. Then I'm gonna cheer as I watch some shit blow up." Or something like that.

We've been celebrating that kind of "America! Fuck yeah!" logic with fireworks since 1777. The Big Bay Boom at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 4, along the San Diego Bay remains the biggest, baddest show in town (bigbayboom.com), and even after the downright apocalyptic Boom of 2012 (where all the fireworks went off at the same time), it's still cool to hear youngsters oooh and ahhh over the display.

What's more 'Merican than going to the San Diego County Fair (sdfair.com) and eating a bunch of artery-clogging fried food? Independence Day weekend includes demolition derbies, monster truck shows, professional wrestling, a Kool & the Gang concert and, yes, a fireworks show. To quote William Wallace, "FREEDOM!!"

The San Diego Padres have the pretty cool distinction of playing America's favorite team to love/hate, the New York Yankees, over the weekend (Friday, July 1, 2 and 3). Like the Sox and Cubs, there will be plenty of visiting fans in the stands, so if you need extra incentive, there's a laser show on Saturday. Lasers, bruh. Lasers.

If fried pickles and America's pastime aren't your thing, the rather (in)famous Booty Bassment club night will be at The Casbah (2501 Kettner Blvd.) on Sunday, July 3, at 9 p.m. for a one-night-only, bass-heavy, dirty hip-hop party that's bound to include debauchery. It will sell-out so get $10 tickets at casbahmusic.com.

Booty shaking...Fuck yeah, America invented that!

Photo courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre


It's nothing new for celebrities to dabble in areas outside their expertise, but pianist Hershey Felder has fashioned himself into something of a double threat. That is, he's mastered the art of acting while also playing the piano at an expert level. In the past, Felder has channeled Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt and Irving Berlin to tell the tales of some of the most influential musicians. For his new show, Maestro, he transforms himself into world famous musician Leonard Bernstein to recount the story of how Bernstein rose to worldwide fame as a multitalented composer, conductor, author and pianist. It runs from Wednesday, July 6 through Sunday, July 17, at the San Diego Repertory Theatre (79 Horton Plaza). Tickets range from $20 to $75. sdrep.org

Photo by Matthew Baldwin


Let's face it: We don't deserve the top spot on the food chain. Regressive thinking has turned us into an idiocracy obsessed with celebrities, guns and Making America Great Again. Frankly, we should probably just hand the keys back over to our animal brethren. Literary nonprofit So Say We All's live storytelling showcase VAMP: Animal Control will pay tribute to all that is furry, slimy and/or scaly via eight writers telling stories about psychic pets, reptile friends, parasites and more. Some of the writers include Matthew Baldwin, Amy Thorton and CityBeat web editor/columnist Ryan Bradford. The stories start at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, at Whistle Stop Bar (2236 Fern St.). Admission is free but a $5 dollar donation is strongly suggested. Don't be cheep! sosayweallonline.com


See all events on Monday, Oct 24