Sept. 29 2010 10:32 AM

Our picks of this week's events include a reading by author Tao Lin, the Tour de Fat and more

"Drugs" by Jocelyn Duke

A love of words: Jocelyn Duke is one of CityBeat's favorite local artists, in part because we have the privilege of watching her work develop day to day because her studio is across the hall from ours. In previous series, Duke has painted chewed-up dog toys, tiny matrices of genitalia and dense grids of colors. This time, she works in large, one-word statements, dizzyingly repeated in brilliant, almost blinding colors, to engage viewers' sense of lovesickness. The large paintings amused us for months, since we share with Duke a love of dirty language. The show, Lovesick, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and runs through Nov. 2 at The Ballpark Loft (1041 J St., Downtown).


'Freak show': Mucca Pazza isn't your average marching band—as they put it, they're a “circus punk” marching band. A 30-piece outfit of horn players, percussionists, cheerleaders and self-described “freaks” who play accordion, violin, mandolin and electric guitar, the Chicago-based group perform everything from Balkan brass music to '60s TV show themes to the works of Shostakovich. Compared with the standards set by the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, their formation could best be described as a train wreck: Videos show the musicians dressed in mismatched uniforms, falling out of line and ambling around in circles. Marching bands are normally limited to parades and football fields, but in keeping with their eccentric ways, Mucca Pazza will instead perform at The Casbah—along with The burning of Rome and Martian Horses—on Saturday, Oct. 2. $10 in advance, $12 day-of.


Selfish pleasures: once described author Tao Lin as “perhaps the single most irritating person we've ever had to deal with” because of his shameless self-promotion. We were disappointed that he didn't bother us at all to get this write-up. All we got was a press release that plagiarized filmmaker Miranda July. Whatever. Lin is young and full of ego, but we found his work in Seattle's alt-weekly, The Stranger, to be—let's say, unique. He'll be at Ducky Waddle's Emporium (414 N. Coast Hwy. in Encinitas) promoting his new novel, Richard Yates, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1. Despite his self-important reputation, he's inviting local writers to read five- to 10-minute passages after his reading.

Art & Architecture

Intellectual creativity: The late Jacob Bronowski was the kind of guy who dug the creative use of the human brain. The author / biologist and his wife Rita are the namesake of the Bronowski Art & Science Forum, happening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. The Bronowskis would surely approve of the upcoming lineup, which includes artist Ruben Ochoa, architect Teddy Cruz and former U-T art critic Robert Pincus, who'll moderate the talk. Cruz and Ochoa will give short presentations about their work and philosophies on art and architecture, and Pincus will help the audience explore the differences and similarities between the two. Classical guitarist Pablo Gomez-Cano will help kick things off. The forum will be in the auditorium of The Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive in La Jolla. Free.


All in a life's work: British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who splits her time between London and Del Mar, is perhaps not as well known here as she is in Europe, but she's kind of a big deal: She's designed for Freddie Mercury and Princess Di, she was named a Commander of the British Empire by the Queen in 1997, and in 1977 she was one of the first designers to incorporate holes and beaded safety pins into her runway collection. See a retrospective of her work when A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles opens at the Mingei international Museum in Balboa Park, starting Sunday, Oct. 3. The display will be on view until April 3, 2011.

Food & Drink

Taste the neighborhood: Trying a new restaurant is always a gamble, even if the place has five stars on Yelp. That's where Taste of North Park comes in: For $30 (in advance, $35 day-of), you get tastes from restaurants like Sea Rocket Bistro (known for sustainable seafood), El Take It Easy (Jay Porter of The Linkery's new gastro cantina) and the freshly opened pizza joint Urbn Coal Fired Pizza. And that's only three of the 33 that are participating. Plus, several North Park shops (including Pigment, Mimi & Red and the just-opened buy / sell / trade boutique Home Mercantile) will provide samples of local craft beers. This way, the next time you want to try a new restaurant, you'll have given a bunch of restaurants test runs. The event happens from 11 a.m. to Oysters from 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.

Special Events

Beer and bikes: The New Belgium Tour de Fat has certainly picked up some bicycle-powered steam in the last few years—and why wouldn't it? The traveling bike-and-beer festival is a chance for all the brew-drinking, bicycle-riding hipsters (and families and friends) to gather and celebrate the two-wheel ride. According to New Belgium, our fair city set the record for the biggest Tour de Fat ever, so let's do it one better this year and show up at 9 a.m. (bike-parade registration time) Saturday, Oct. 2, in costume and on our bikes ready to ride. For those too shy to get dressed up, just show up between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy a weird-bike display, beer and food. Your donation benefits the local bike organizations putting the event on.

C'est la vie: We remember one of San Diego Museum of Art's first Culture & Cocktails events, held during the museum's Legacy of the Pope exhibit—not really a theme you can have much fun with. Toulouse Lautrec's Paris, on the other hand, practically writes itself. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, the museum will stay open late for a French-themed party featuring cocktails and appetizers and performances by the ladies of Keyhole Cabaret. The arts-and-crafts portion of the evening involves handmade mustaches for guys and feathered headpieces for girls (though we're guessing there's no problem switching things up). The $15 cover includes admission to the afterparty, 9 to 11 p.m. in the museum's Sculpture Court Café, which will be transformed into a French nightclub.


See all events on Monday, Oct 24