Poetry & Art Series 2013, Acoustic Evenings, and Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth
Our top three picks of San Diego events this week
1 OI! OI! POETRY!
Punk rock and poetry often go hand-in-hand, from Patti Smith to Jim Carroll, who, before his death, had published six books of poetry and appeared on Rancid's ...And Out Come the Wolves album (which takes its name from a poem that appeared in Carroll's best-known work, The Basketball Diaries). Unlike traditional poetry, these artists' works are marked by transgressive language, DIY ethos, subversive performance and stark realism.
During the past two decades, Jimmy Jazz has been a thriving voice in San Diego's poetry scene by upholding the values and integrity of these punk icons.
"When I started writing, I published my own books, 100-page photocopy chapbooks sewn together by hand," he says in an email. "I gave them away to friends and tried to sell them at coffee shops and Off the Record. I went to see Jim Carroll at The Improv in PB and gave him one of my books.
"That showed me when you do it yourself, it can be raw, wild and unaccountable to lawyers, bean counters or whoever dulls down art."
Jazz has organized readings for Lollapalooza, written five novels (including his newest, The Book of Books, a 1,000-page behemoth about every book he's ever read) and enticed countless alternative poets to San Diego. Jazz's Friday, March 1, appearance at the Museum of the Living Artist's Poetry & Art Series 2013 in Balboa Park will be his first public reading in eight years, and, from the sound of it, it should be a spectacle.
"Going to open mics, you learn very quickly that you must distinguish your performance from the mob," he says. "If the guy before you stands up at the mic, you forego the mic and sit on people's laps in the audience. If three [readers] bore the crowd to sleep, you wear a clown suit and hit someone with a pie while you read your poem."
2 DELIGHTFULLY UNPLUGGED
Always a go-to spot for high-brow cultural happenings, La Jolla's Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St.) will be an ideal place for NPR-type listeners once the spring edition of the Acoustic Evenings concert series kicks into gear. Hosted by kooky new-ager Jefferson Jay, each evening features three acts, an intermission and a post-concert meet-and-greet. The first one goes down at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, with performances by local folkies The Midnight Pine, veteran singer-songwriter Jeff Larson and New York composer Kelli Rudick. Rudick may prove to be the highlight if her introspective, glimmering 2012 album, We Would Love Each Other, is any indication. $12-$17. ljathenaeum.org
3 IRON MIC
In the ring and in his personal life, Mike Tyson's always been a controversial figure. His face tattoo alone was enough to make the world ask, "What the hell?" The former heavyweight champion can bite off Evander Holyfield's ear and raise pigeons, but can he do theater? He'll certainly try with Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, a one-man show, directed by Spike Lee, for which Iron Mike will open up about his triumphs and tribulations. In recent years, Tyson has surprised people with his honesty and openness. He'll reveal more when he takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at the Balboa Theater (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). $22.50- $94.50. For your safety, we recommend against heckling. tysonontour.com