If you were to trace the evolution of hip-hop, just as much credit should be given to music labels as the rappers themselves-Sugar Hill, Def Jam, Rawkus, Death Row and, in more avant-garde circles, Stones Throw. Founded in 1996 by Chris Manak, aka producer and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, the L.A.-based label has long been the outlet for a number of innovative and forward-thinking sounds in hip-hop, from Madlib's twisted take on boom-bap, to DOOM's lyrical villainy. Stones Throw's history is documented in the new documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, which features interviews with Manak and artists, as well as hip-hop luminaries like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. On , The Whistle Stop (2236 Fern St., South Park) is hosting an screening that'll include after-film DJ sets from Myson King, Phil and BIGG HIPP, serving up the beats while they're hot. ---
The sun sank steadily into San Diego's beach-front horizon, and CityBeat knew it wouldn't be long before night swallowed the last of another lost weekend. It was , around , and the alt-weekly reflexively rolled another cigarette while sipping suds on the patio of the La Jolla Brewing Company at 7536 Fay Ave. The battered rag had been here before, silent contemplation among the disaffected, but tonight promised something different. That's when a gang of local writers poured into the establishment, bent on sharing their favorite hard-boiled prose. It was something that was heard of in other towns, but CityBeat was pretty sure this was the first time America's finest city had caught the craze. They called it Noir at the Bar. It would be going all night until , featuring writers like Don Winslow, Lisa Brackmann, Debra Ginsberg, Ken Kuhlken, Jeri Westerson, Matt Coyle and Cameron Pierce Hughes (pictured). And, like the scrappy rag, the event was free.
The summer solstice is coming, and the fine folks at Pigment want to celebrate with the return of their annual Solstice Party. It's a relatively casual affair-a chance for people to hang out at Pigment's spacious North Park building (3801 30th St.) while drooling over their design-conscious goods (Pigment's collection of baby succulents are always fun to peruse this time of year). Free food and drinks will be on hand for the celebration, which will help mark the almost imperceptible change of season. Craft booths will keep the kids entertained, and for everyone else, there's the Photobus, a photo booth built into a VW bus, which lets party guests immortalize the moment and share their photo strip on pretty much every social network imaginable. MIHO Gastrotruck will also make an appearance. The party is happening from .
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