Photo by Ivan S Harris
James Brown was often called the "hardest working man in show business," and while local producer and promoter DJ Artistic would likely shy away from ever being compared to Brown, Artistic has been one of the hardest working artists in the local music scene for over two decades. While the San Diego hip-hop scene is decidedly under-the-radar both nationally and locally, Artistic has never stopped hustling to bring attention to local MCs, DJs and dancers.
And while the legendary music venue, The Casbah (2501 Kettner Blvd.) is well known for hosting indie bands, it's refreshing to find it the host of Artistic's new monthly hip-hop night, Battle Bot. Harkening back to the old-school days of battle rapping and break dancing, the night features competitions in dance, DJing, beat making and rapping. For Artistic, the night is particularly special in that it gets him back to his roots.
"This night has a long history," says Artistic. "Back in the '90s, I did an event at a coffeehouse called the Friday Night Breakthrough. The reason I did the event is because I was working with all these artists and we didn't have a place to share the material in front of an audience... Everybody loves cash prizes, so let's do a rap battle, a DJ battle and a dance battle."
Artistic has hosted similar events at varying venues over the years, but the premise hasn't changed much. Patrons can watch local talent battle it out or, if they're so inclined, battle it out themselves for an entry fee of $10 to $20. The crowd and a group of judges ultimately decide the winners and Artistic says past winners have ultimately gone on to do big things.
"There's a huge need for this event," he says. "So many people make music in their home and don't have an outlet to play it on a soundsystem in front of people and get some feedback. That's how people grow as artists."
The battle begins on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at casbahmusic.com.
Photo courtesy of SMARTS Farm
Doug Loves Movies
As the holiday spirit fades and the existential dread sinks in, listening to a comedian talk about movies is the perfect escape. Doug Benson, the star of Super High Me and Comedy Central's The Benson Interruption, is hosting a live recording of his podcast, Doug Loves Movies. Benson's podcast typically features movie reviews and a lot of smack talk with prominent, surprise guest comedians. You'll have to attend to find out more specifics about the material and guest stars. For $18, you can experience this podcast up close and personal at the American Comedy Company (818 B 6th Ave.) at 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26. Alternatively, readers can sit at home in their PJs and listen to the podcast a few days later, but either way, Benson will bicker for our entertainment. americancomedyco.com.
Photo courtesy of San Diego Bowl Games
San Diego Bowl Games
HOLIDAY BOWL STROLL
As if San Diego didn't have enough to brag about (e.g., perfect weather, proximity to the border, craft beer haven), we also have the prestige of being home to "America's Largest Balloon Parade." The 26th Annual Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 10 a.m and features marching bands, drill teams, specialty units and of course, ridiculously sized character balloons from Mr. Potato Head to Gumby. The parade will advance down Harbor Drive along Downtown's bayfront as initiation to the Holiday Bowl Game. While grandstand seats for the parade are available for $20, street-side viewing is free. Taking place the night before, Monday, Dec. 26 at 6 p.m., marching bands and spirit squads from the participating universities will gather at Horton Plaza Park (900 Fourth Ave.) to rally the public with holiday classics and crowd-favorite tunes. sandiegobowlgames.com