Arts & Entertainment

Hiatus Weekly Calendar

All tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497 or by going to http://www.ticketmaster.com, unless otherwise noted. Courtesy of http://www.flecktones.com Fleck: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will perform at Spreckels Theatre this Friday. 12 Thursday Venice has been compared to the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. You can catch this harmony-laden group at the Belly Up Tavern at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Go to Dizzy’s and check out some “”adventuresome”” jazz from Return to One. Shows start at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The cost is $6. For more information call (858) 270-7467. 13 Friday One of the most talented jazz-funk-bluegrass groups you’ll ever see is Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. Bela Fleck and her nontraditional style of banjo playing leads the group. Fleck is backed by Roy Wooten, who plays a hybrid drum machine and synth module that is shaped like a guitar, as well as bassist Victor Wooten and avant-garde saxophonist Jeff Coffin. They will be performing at Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $28.50. The Melvins are arguably the band that started the grunge phase before bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden made it accessible to the masses. The Melvins all but disappeared along with grunge, but they are touring again behind their recent release, “”Crybaby.”” Watch them perform at the Brick By Brick. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $12. Joe Walsh, ex-guitarist from the Eagles, will be performing at the Belly Up Tavern. After the Eagles self-destructed in 1980, Walsh went on to have a successful solo career. His show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $40. 14 Saturday This Computer Kills and Durga will perform at the Che Cafe at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5. For more information call (858) 534-2311. The Gilbert Castellanos Quartet will perform at Dizzy’s at 8:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. with an $8 cover. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. 15 Sunday Joe Jackson offers a darker form of pop music and may be best known for his 1982 hit “”Steppin’ Out.”” Jackson will perform at 8:30 p.m. at 4th & B. 17 Tuesday Tonight you can envy your friends when they go to the U2 revival at 7:30 p.m. at the San Diego Sports Arena. 19 Thursday After spending a lot of time in the Dallas club scene, the Toadies will perform at Canes Bar & Grill. They have opened for acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Butthole Surfers and the Supersuckers. The Toadies’ new CD is titled “”Hell Below/Stars Above.”” The show starts at 8 p.m. ...

Night of Fusion

Fusion 2001 was a large success, packing RIMAC Arena on Sunday night. This event, put on by the Multi Asian Student Alliance and the dance group 220, was a dance competition involving a plethora of dance styles. Many hip-hop dance groups performed at the show, as did several traditional ethnic dance groups. Below are some photos depicting the high-energy feel of the night. — David Pilz ...

Album Reviews

Aerosmith“”Just Push Play””Sony/Columbia A- :: It is rare when a rock ‘n’ roll band can maintain fame throughout generations. But every time my dad and I listen to the radio, Aerosmith always keeps us on the same station. Emerging over 25 years ago, Aerosmith has defined the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Along with immortal songs like “”Walk This Way”” came the fame, the power and the women. Subsequently, internal conflicts and battles with substance addiction were also present. Yet through the ups and downs, frontman Steven Tyler and his bandmates forged through long enough to be inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame on March 19, 2001. “”Just Push Play”” is the thirteenth studio album released by Aerosmith, and it is just what the fans have been waiting for: vintage Aerosmith mixed with more contemporary tunes. From beginning to end, “”Just Push Play”” rocks. The first single off the new album, “”Jaded,”” is already climbing the charts faster than anything off their previous album, “”Nine Lives.”” Again, “”Jaded”” rings true to the contemporary style Aerosmith is mixing with their rock ‘n’ roll flair. “”Light Inside”” is one of the power ballads on the album, resonating with guitar-driven solos. When will Aerosmith stop releasing super kick-ass, yet classic, albums? My dad and I are keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t be any time soon. — Tara Jones Rocket from the Crypt“”Group Sounds””TVT/Vagrant Records A :: Three long years after their last studio release, San Diego rock band Rocket From the Crypt have thrown their fans a high-energy, intense album that gets inside your mind and doesn’t let go until you bite the head off a small furry creature (take it from me!). Rocket From the Crypt are a six-piece rock band, complete with a saxophone and trumpet. Their guitar riffs are very powerful and extremely catchy, and the horns serve to build up emotion in the songs. They are one of the hardest bands out there and have a very strong underground following. In fact, their Web site has pictures of about a dozen people’s Rocket tattoos. The new album is much more reminiscent of their 1995 release, “”The State of Art is on Fire,”” than of their most recent album, “”RFTC.”” It is a lot louder and contains more simple, crunching guitar riffs than “”RFTC.”” The names of their songs describe the vibe of the band, which include tracks such as “”Heart of a Rat,”” “”Return of the Liar”” and “”Ghost Shark.”” Songs that stand out on this album include “”White Belt,”” “”Out of Control”” and “”Savoire Faire.”” The album doesn’t experiment at all; instead, it is simply a reiteration of the group’s old style. It is done very well, however, and has been considered by many die-hard fans to be their best album yet. Overall, it is an awesome follow up to a somewhat disappointing previous release. — David Pilz Run-DMC“”Crown Royal””BMG/Artista B :: Before listening to Run-DMC’s new release, “”Crown Royal,”” my opinion of the trio was that they were old. These guys began when most of us were “”terrible”” (i.e. 2-year-olds). I thought their style was the kind the Beastie Boys capitalized off of: one rapper finishes another’s rhyme and the last word of the rhyme is shouted. That opinion changed at the sound of the opening song, titled “”It’s Over,”” which is probably the best track on the album. Jermaine Dupri talks over a haunting choral piece, “”Marcia Religioso,”” which was first used in “”The Godfather III.”” Run does the rapping, and it’s the fast-flowing rap characteristic of modern day. A few songs later, I realized that the album actually features a conglomeration of styles and talents, perhaps the sign of a group laced with success — Run-DMC was the first rap group to appear on MTV, “”Saturday Night Live”” and the cover of Rolling Stone. They’ve sold over 20 million albums. “”Queens Day,”” featuring Nas, has an easy, relaxed pace to it, as does “”Ahhh,”” featuring Chris Davis. “”Crown Royal,”” the title song, though not having the most catchy chorus, still features great lyrics, attesting the group’s right to the throne of rock. “”Them Girls,”” sung partly by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, is a fun, comical song, though hearing the phrase “”them girls”” over and over may destroy your libido. The album contains several songs with more of a rock guitar sound than a rap song beat. “”The School of Old,”” performed with Kid Rock, is the best of these because the tempo doesn’t shift and Kid Rock’s screams add to the entertainment. “”Take the Money and Run,”” with Everlast, is done well but it’s not as good as the Steve Miller original. Another remake is “”Let’s Stay Together,”” a romantic song taken from Al Green. It’s the same as the “”Let’s Get Married”” song, if you’ve heard it. The beat is good, but how many times can a song be remade before it sounds like Michael Jackson? Both “”Rock Show”” with Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind and “”Here We Go”” are songs similar to the old-school style I expected of the group. “”Ay Papi,”” featuring Fat Joe, adds a spicy Latin flavor and the flow is more modern and more pleasing to the ear. The song with the best beat is the last: “”Simmons Incorporated,”” featuring Method Man. Sonically the song is very electronic and definitely intriguing. Though some songs don’t come together as well as others, Run-DMC’s latest release proves that the group can still produce great music. — Eric Dean Halfbreed“”Kontamination””Siccmade Muzicc A :: Halfbreed Eminem and Kid Rock are by far the most popular hip-hop artists to come out of Detroit, but they are in no way representative of what’s really going on there. The real Detroit sound is in its underground rap scene. Many undiscovered artists are awaiting an opportunity to be heard, especially Halfbreed. Halfbreed, formerly known as House of Krazees, is comprised of rappers Sol and Skrapz, and their newest album, “”Kontamination,”” is their best collaboration to date. Throughout the 21 tracks, Sol and Skrapz show off their versatility as artists and also their evolution as writers. “”Don’t Get Caught Up,”” and “”Welcome To …”” represent your basic head-bobbing, smooth-style rap. Halfbreed embody a well-established base that allows them to branch out creatively. That creativity is shown in “”Kaoz,”” which spews intensity and has a heavy-metal feel to it that instantly gets you hyped. “”Unstoppable”” features raw, aggressive lyrics such as Skrapz’s intro verse: “”Run away, I’m chasing for your fears, and almost got ’em in my possession, my sweat is your tears. Smoke clears, repentance in the west side of bounds, disciplining wack MCs for all 10 rounds.”” “”What’s Wrong With Me,”” “”Porn Star”” and the self-titled song “”Halfbreed”” contain hypnotic beats, and mix in many intriguing sound effects. Prevalent are futuristic, robotic noises, people screaming, and howling whistles. It’s important to stress that this genre of music is not mainstream “”TRL,”” Jay-Z or P-Diddy. It’s a style all its own. It’s hardcore, intense and wicked, and it reflects Sol’s and Skrapz’s views of society. It is horror-core rap at its finest. Also, like many of Detroit’s underground artists such as Natas, Esham and Project Born, Halfbreed say they make music for their fans, not for money. They’re interested in quality and content rather than flashiness and notoriety. Halfbreed’s “”Kontamination”” is unique and is a must-have for any underground collector. — Mike Barker ...

Mission: Food

Tucked away, just off the beaten path of downtown La Jolla, is the Mission Coffee Cup. Located on Wall Street, it is removed enough to be at odds with what one expects to find in La Jolla’s bustling yuppie atmosphere. The restaurant is delightfully small, with an intimate but casual setting. When it is not busy, seating tends to be immediate and service prompt. A good number of locals eats there regularly, so peak times can be backed up. You’ll find a mix of business types and locals who find their way here for a very different kind of attitude about healthy food. During good weather, a small outdoor seating area makes for a lovely change in scenery. Amenities are kept very simple — paper napkins, paper menus and metal tabletops are as fancy as it gets. The highlight of the Mission Coffee Cup, sparsely decorated with a funky but retro ’50s flare, is the food. All menu items are very affordable, the high-end being around seven or eight dollars for a “”large lunch plate.”” The lunch menu is quite extensive, with many vegetarian options. Besides sandwiches, main dishes described as “”health-Mex”” and “”health-Chinese”” are available. Ignore the connotations of the word “”health;”” these items are still very good. Everything is very hearty and fills you up. You really get your money’s worth. The breakfast selection, though limited, has been the focus of my experiences there. The cinnamon French toast is especially good — light fluffy inside with toasted edges. The mission potatoes, which come with eggs and squaw bread, are also good. In addition, there is a power breakfast menu that has very light energy foods. The Mission Coffee Cup also offers a wide array of coffee drinks that have as much flare as the food. Cuisine here has a simple elegance that can be traced to owner Marla Reif’s attitudes about healthy eating. The slogan on the back of her sweater says “”Conscientious Cuisine,”” which is an accurate summary of her restaurant. Her intent is to sell food that is interesting to eat and see, and that is made with a health-conscious attitude. There is little dairy usage; perhaps two items I noticed actually had sour cream. There is little cheese used in the majority of dishes, and there is no butter at your table, though you can order it. The Mission Coffee Cup in La Jolla is the second restaurant with that name. The original Mission Coffee Cup sits on Mission Boulevard in Mission Valley. Both were started by Reif, but she has little to do with the original now. Reif’s unique and eclectic take on cuisine has been at the La Jolla location for almost five years. As of now, the Mission is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Reif has plans to extend its hours of operation to include dinner. This will mean an entire new menu of similar items. Mission Coffee Cup1109 Wall St.(858) 454-2819 ...

Hiatus Weekly Calendar

All tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling (619) 220-8497 or by going to http://www.ticketmaster.com unless otherwise noted. 5 Thursday STEVE WHITE with percussionist STEVE TOMAI will play the blues at Dizzy’s. Perfomances start at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Cover charge is $5. Call (858) 270-7467 for more information. UGLY DUCKLING brings together old-school hip-hop with a funky jazz flavor. With beats that are reminiscent of Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples, UGLY DUCKLING will be at `Canes Bar & Grill. Tickets are $10. Local San Diego group BUCKFAST SUPERBEE will be at The Casbah for their CD release party. Just think, lots of guitars and high levels of energy. Tickets cost $7. Call (619) 232-4355 for more information. 6 Friday Groove to Latin jazz at Dizzy’s with KOKOPELLI featuring Turiya Mareya and Dave Millard. The sets are at 8:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The cover is $8 and the phone number for more information is (858) 270-7467. ATERCIOPELADOS means “”The Velvety Ones”” and this Coloumbian group has brought together the fire of Latin American music with a trip-hop-like groove. This velvety group has been nominated for a Grammy in 1997 and 1998. They will be at `Canes Bar & Grill at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are $20 apiece. 7 Saturday The MIKAN ZLATKOVICH QUARTET with special guest Joe Marillo will be at Dizzy’s. The shows start at 8:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. with a $8 cover charge. For more information call (858) 270-2467. With their Brit-pop sensibilities, the American quintet, GUIDED BY VOICES, hits you with great pop sound guaranteed to get your feet moving. They will perform at the Brick By Brick and tickets are $14. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. If you’re in a ’70s-funk-dance-soul kind of mood, GOLDFISH will provide you with that and more. They will perform in the Belly Up Tavern at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $7. Led by the unmistakable voice of Richard Butler, the PSYCHEDELIC FURS will perform at the Cannibal Bar on Mission Blvd. This London group made a huge splash in the ’80s with their unique sound in the New Wave movement. Their best songs are classics on the ’80s radio stations. Tickets cost $35 and for more information call (619) 220-TIXS. 8 Sunday Jazz it up at Dizzy’s before you get ready for the week with saxophonist DICK McGUANE, trumpet player PHIL TAUBER, piano player LYNN WILLARD with BILL ANDREWS on bass and MIKE HOLGUIN on the drums. The show start at 7 p.m. and the cover charge is $5. For more information call (858) 270-2467. 11 Wednesday AT THE DRIVE-IN has cancelled their show at `Canes Bar & Grill. Explore “”Feminine”” bodies at Price Center Ballroom B at 4:30 p.m. The event will feature Judith Halberstam, Daphne Brooks, Kathy Jones, George Lipsitz and Lisa Yoneyama. Event is free to the general public. 12 Thursday VENICE will be at the Belly Up Tavern. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12. ...

Whatever Happened to the Hollywood Classics?

The majority of movies released today seem to have a sole purpose: to sell tickets. And what types of movies sell tickets? The movies full of gratuitous violence, nudity, sex and special effects. Every once in a while, however, one might be lucky enough to stumble upon movies worthy of praise, but even these movies do not get the proper recognition they deserve. A good number of noteworthy films are produced by small companies or are independent films and are not well-publicized nor widely viewed. Instead, the films that are produced by large companies, with big-name celebrities, are the most popular, whether the actors can act. It makes me wonder about what happened to films that were actually good — the great black and white movies that had recognizable plots and talented actors. With vast technological resources and a large pool of willing actors available, one would think that the film industry would be able to produce better films, yet it still can’t. The lack of good films, with the exception of those that somehow manage successfully to incorporate technology, good acting and a well-written script, can cause one to overlook the films of Alfred Hitchcock or Leo McCarey. In our society today, many people lack the capability to recognize — let alone appreciate — classic films because of the overwhelming presence of films that are visually dazzling yet completely bereft of any real content. It is sad that some people only know of Alfred Hitchcock for “”The Birds”” or “”Psycho”” and believe that he only made horror movies, or that some people do not even know who Humphery Bogart or Gregory Peck are. The ’50s were a landmark time in Hollywood history as an interval between present-day technological Hollywood and the historic silent film era. It was during this time that many talented actors and actresses, writers and directors were able to use their talents to utilize the available technology to produce remarkably touching, exciting or long-lasting classics. Films such as Tennesee Williams’ “”A Streetcar Named Desire”” or “”Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”” showcased popular actors such as Paul Newman, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor in roles that were complex and in films that were disturbing yet remarkable. In contrast, there are the perennial feel-good classics such as “”Roman Holiday”” or “”An Affair to Remember,”” starring the ever-popular Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Alfred Hitchcock was a genius at combining romance, suspense and mystery in films such as “”Spellbound”” and “”Suspicion.”” In order to preserve these film classics, people must watch them. Many of these classic films are being lost annually because so few care about these films that efforts to preserve them are diminishing. There are only a few organizations that participate in preserving classic films, and they will not continue to do so unless the public actively shows that they want these films to be preserved. So show these organizations that we don’t want these films to disappear by renting classics like “”To Have and Have Not”” or “”Sayonara,”” or call the cable company and demand Turner Classic Movies. ...

Film Reviews

Chocolat Chocolat :: “”Chocolat”” blends reality and fantasy in a depiction of a French town seemingly devoid of passion. This begins to change as single mother Vianne (Juliette Binoche) comes in with her daughter (and the wind) and proceeds to open up a chocolate shop at the same time Lent begins. The conflict arises when Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina) recognizes the presence of temptation in Vianne and her chocolates (which have various magical attributes). Soon a battle ensues between the purity of willpower and the sinful pleasure of giving in. The film features strong performances all around, though special mention should be given to those who take their characters up a notch. For example, Judi Dench was excellent playing Armande, the landlady renting out to Vianne. She’s enjoyable in that gruff, live-while-you-can way reminiscent of “”Grumpy Old Men.”” Also, Molina’s personal struggle with temptation as the pious Comte de Reynaud is as real as it can get. He fights against desire for the town but it’s clear from the beginning that he’s fighting for himself as well. The narrative style and presence of fantasy give the story a fable-like edge. The issues Chocolat contends with are ancient. It’s the solution proposed that is unique. There’s a reason this film was nominated for Best Picture — see it. — Eric Dean Enemy at the Gates :: “”Enemy at the Gates”” does well in presenting a picture of a war-torn time but struggles with details of individual characters. The setting is Stalingrad, 1942. The Russian army is depleted and falling fast to the Nazis. It lacks hope and a hero. That hero becomes Vasili (Jude Law), a humble sniper. Eventually, he is opposed by his Nazi counterpart, Konig (Ed Harris). The winner of their snipe-off will turn the tide of the war. In addition, there is a love triangle involving Vasili, Danilov (Joseph Fiennes) and Tania (Rachel Weisz), a triangle of which Danilov gets less than 60 degrees: Tania does not love him as he loves her. The movie loses points for wasting Harris’ talents — Darth Maul had more lines. It also fails to play up the love triangle. Fiennes has the most intriguing character, yet he never gets to confront Vasili and Tania at the same time. I got tired of the eyeball shots, and the originality of sniping lost its flair after an hour. I actually found myself wanting to see more love stuff and less sniping. That’s where the best acting was. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s empty-colored vision of crumbling Stalingrad, several intense war scenes and the suspense between sharpshooters were all plusses. Also, Vasili and Tania’s sex scene occurred in a unique and provocative way — based on its location. The Russians were the good guys for once, too. This picture just might be worth a shot. Pun intended. — Eric Dean ...

The People vs. Shawn Green

What happens when law enforcement holds a personal grudge against a citizen? The answer is the violation of constitutional rights. Take the case of Shawn Green’s “”Campin’ Trip”” back in 1997. This event was billed as a two-day event with reggae, hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and dance music. The festival included international foods and arts, pro skateboard demos, inline skate and bike vertical ramps demos, laser shows, and the amenities of the Stage Coach Trails RV Park, which included pools, volleyball courts and camping. The event was meant to be peaceful and orderly and was to be held in the small community of Shelter Valley, near Julian. If the event was a success, Green would then try to create an annual event at the site. As a law-abiding citizen who had faith in law enforcement, Green went to every length to run the event completely within the letter of the law, doing whatever was asked of him in order to facilitate working with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He went through the proper channels to obtain all the required permits and tried to address the concerns of the community members of the area. The event was illegally shut down by sheriff’s deputies, and at the core of this action was a local deputy’s personal quest to see that his community was kept free of “”undesirable”” elements, regardless of the legality of his own actions. These are the accounts of a citizen’s right to party. MARCH 1997 Six months prior to the event and slated for Sept. 20 to Sept. 21, Green brought his intentions to the County of San Diego. He sat down with resident deputies and the proprietor of the facility and expressed his desires for the event. “”The immediate response out of the deputies, especially resident Deputy Ralph Rinder, was that this constituted a rave,”” Green recounted. “”And the County of San Diego would not tolerate any raves, but nevertheless, they gave me the name and number of the permitting department and the people I had to talk to in order to legalize the event.”” Green describes the process of moving through official channels as “”the daunting task of facing probably 12 to 15 different agencies, with unknown delays trying to discourage me from doing the event.”” His frustrations began because “”others who were doing similar events didn’t have to go through the same hurdles that I had to.”” Furthermore, Green says that “”the sheriff’s department did not want the festival, and I always felt there was communication between the sheriff’s department and the permitting department.”” Hostility arose among a small section of the community, who were friends with the local sheriff’s deputies, as they felt that Green was going to attract “”undesirables”” because he was bringing hip-hop and reggae musical acts. They were concerned that he could not control 5,000 to 10,000 “”unruly”” patrons, who would bring out-of-control drug use, drunk driving, property destruction and disrespect for the community as a whole. Green says he was seen as an outsider bringing in big city attitudes to a small community. Yet Green maintained that “”any business owner has the right to run a business anywhere, as long as it is done legally and with the proper permits.”” Green found that he was bringing in a festival welcomed by the majority, but a minority was opposed. That minority had the connections to law enforcement agencies through local deputies, whom they were agitating. Nevertheless, Green continued to complete the required permits and move forward with the planning and booking of the event. AUGUST 1997 About a month before the concert, there was so much hostility from a group of about 10 families that Green volunteered to go to a town meeting in Shelter Valley where the party was to take place. On Aug. 6, 1997 he attended the meeting, which was the largest in the history of Shelter Valley. Green’s aim was “”to address the issues and concerns of the citizens.”” The meeting was quickly turned into what he describes as a “”witch hunt.”” He recalls the attitudes of the townspeople as “”Who the fuck are you coming out to our town, bringing a rock concert, a punk concert, an acid-rock concert?”” He found that the event was being labeled everything but what it was. The residents tried to point out that Green could not control the “”undesirable people”” and that he could not keep the patrons within the camping site. Green continued to petition the County of San Diego and the sheriff’s department, reminding them that the majority of people wanted the event to continue as planned. However, there were a few who could not be satisfied. Despite the opposition, Green had done everything to ensure a safe and legal event for the patrons and the community members alike. During that time, Render continued to refer to the event as a rave. “”Coming up to the date of the event, I continued to receive information that the event was still being referred to as a rave,”” Green said. “”So finally I called the deputy at home, but it was to the point that I thought it was going to damage the event. I didn’t want people thinking it was a rave, and also it put law enforcement in a position that meant I would be doing something illegally.”” Green tried to plead his case rationally. “”Look, what you’re doing to me is wrong,”” Green said. “”You cannot label my event a rave, because it’s not a rave. Doing so will cost me money and damage the event’s attendance.”” Green recalls Rinder response: “”Well, Mr. Green, that’s my feeling, and regardless of what you tell me, I think that this event is a rave. But if you can jump through all the hurdles, and that’s IF you can, then you can have your party.”” As things proceeded, the motions of legality were upheld. “”A couple weeks before the event I was introduced to Sgt. Ken Prue, incident commander over the whole event, meaning that he was going to supervise all the deputies, the patrolling and the responses to the event,”” Green said. “”I was told by Prue, who treated me as a professional, that [law enforcement officials] cannot and would not come onto the site. Furthermore, that if I needed any assistance from the Sheriff’s Department, that I need to call a certain number.”” Green saw this as a turnaround in the process of getting the festival put on. “”I felt that was great,”” he said. “”I felt really good about everything, and despite Rinder, I thought I was developing a relationship with the sheriff’s department that would ensure no interference with the event, and that would be helpful in the future.”” Green went on to discus safety plans for the event. “”I informed Prue that I was bringing in Elite Security from Qualcomm Stadium and that I would have 40-plus guards on duty during the concert. As attendance grew, we would bring more security members onto the site to ensure the safety of all.”” The response from Prue indicated that this was fine. He reiterated that law enforcement could not and would not go to the event site; that Green and Elite Security would be the eyes and ears of the sheriff’s department. This greatly pleased Green, as he says, “”because if I display a safe event, and did everything by the books, then the next go-around of getting permits wouldn’t be such a difficult task.”” DAY 1 of the Campin’ Trip Festival Saturday, Sept. 20, 1997: The gates officially opened at noon, but some people, between 200 and 300, had been waiting since the night before. People had driven long distances. Green heard of people coming from “”as far as Salt Lake City, Utah, to enjoy the festival,”” which was uplifting news for Green. “”It looked really good. There was a great response from the people waiting in line,”” he said. Noon to 4 p.m.: There were more than 150 cars arriving every hour, with an average of three to four patrons per vehicle. Most had camping gear, and Green noted their demeanor as “”very positive, very excited about the event. The music was going, we had three stages — it was a really nice day. Everything, for me as a promoter, was just coming together seamlessly, and that feeling was incredible.”” Smooth operation was especially important when there were so many elements and issues on the line, including multiple bands over two days, vendors and performers. After 4 p.m.: It was around 4 p.m. that a person came to Green, highly agitated and rattled. He informed Green that at the last turn onto the last road (Stage Coach Road), sheriff’s deputies and border patrol agents had set up a roadblock and checkpoint. This was set up as a search for illegal immigrants, but the exit off Stage Coach Road heads south, not north, going against the reasoning for that excuse. People were being pulled out of their cars without their consent, patted down, their belongings removed and searched and drug dogs were being taken into the cars. The officials were turning people away, saying the event was canceled, or sold out, or that tickets were $50 and parking $25. The rumors and lies were endless. So many people had respect for law enforcement, as did Green at that time, that they believed what they were told, turned around and went home. From the time that Green was informed of the situation, attendance was directly affected. After 4 p.m., attendance went from 150-plus vehicles every hour to a dismal 20 to 30. Green realized that “”with headliner acts going on at 9, 10, and 11, if this traffic flow continues, then I’m a bust financially. It’s over!”” “”Not surprisingly, he said, “”it never got better at all.”” Some did continue to pass through, but the flow stayed at about five to seven cars every 15 minutes. “”Those that did make it through and were able to perceive enough to get to our gate came into contact with law enforcement at the check point, went through the experience and continued on, only because they did not believe what they were told by law enforcement,”” Green said. “”Mostly, this is because they had some kind of personal connection with the event and did not hear that it was canceled, so they wanted to see for themselves.”” Others made it through the checkpoint because law enforcement was so busy with vehicle searches that the cars were able to slip through without notice. More interesting is that there were those, like Green’s father, whom Green said “”looked conservative enough, as a white male in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, that he was allowed to go through without any sort of search.”” “”Ninety percent of the people at that check point were subjected to illegal searches,”” Green estimated. While all this was happening at the checkpoint, deputies started to enter the facility on dirt bikes, contrary to what they had said would happen. Then they entered and occupied the event site for 14 consecutive hours. They raced around the park, kicking up dirt and breaking the 5 mph speed limit. Rather than driving in any sort of safe manner, they maintained speeds of 20 to 30 mph throughout the park and around people. In what Green believes were attempts to intimidate, deputies were staring down patrons, coming into contact with people and upsetting everyone. As people later testified in court, they were made to feel very uncomfortable and always had to watch out for the reckless deputies. Prue and several other deputies came into the site with Ford Broncos and patrol cars, all of this without the necessary consent of Green, which was directly the opposite of what he had been told by officials. Green was left to ask himself, “”What is going on?”” “”I am being betrayed for what I had done, and the efforts I have put into this event,”” Green answered. “”What I was told by the sheriff’s department was not the truth, and they had some kind of goal, some kind of plan to destroy the event by way of their ‘checkpoint,’ and by way of their harassment.”” Green tried to continue with the event, but while people were performing, the sheriff’s helicopter did multiple fly-overs “”at what I estimate to be an altitude of about 300 to 400 feet, which is extremely low.”” At this height, debris and dust were kicked up constantly into the crowd and onto the stage. Green began to get reports from the bands about feedback in monitors and of being completely drowned out by the helicopter. The extreme noise and its problems helped to push Green over the edge. “”I just threw up my hands and realized that this was a disaster,”” he said. “”There was nothing I can do but try and continue my responsibilities as a promoter.”” The strong-arm tactics began to weigh more heavily on the event and on Green as people began to take their frustrations out on him. The endless question of “”Why?”” was central: “”Why can’t you do something about the check point?”” “”Why can’t you do something about the deputies?”” “”Why can’t you do something about the helicopter?”” “”Why are we being treated this way by law enforcement?”” Sunday: With $15,000 worth of bands to perform on Sunday, not a single deputy or border patrol agent was in sight. “”The damage had been done,”” Green said. “”They knew that Saturday night was the big push for attendance.”” And then on Sunday it was all over — no checkpoint, no one in the event site, nothing. 2 p.m.: Time to pay the talent and the service providers, which brings a menacing realization to Green. He is over $80,000 in debt because the event’s attendance was so low. “”I didn’t get anywhere near the attendance I needed,”” Green said. “”I needed 3,200 people to attend, but I had about 800 paid attendees.”” Green said that the border patrol testified that “”approximately 250 cars came through the check point every hour,”” which easily would have supplied Green more than the necessary attendance for a successful event. The Aftermath: In trying to figure out what legal action he could take against the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Green attempted to obtain an attorney. It took several attempts before Green found Mike Marrinan, who was actually willing to put forth the effort needed and would not be intimidated by the authorities. It would be three years before the case went before a judge. Then, after a mere three-week trial, with two days of deliberation, the jury would return a unanimous verdict: The San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the County of San Diego, with named sheriff’s deputies, primarily Prue, were found guilty of violating Green’s First and Fourth Amendment rights, along with state claims, including negligent interference with prospected economic advantage, and awarded the full $1.5 million, as requested by Marrinan. The verdict was a decisive emotional victory for Green. “”It was incredible to know that what they did was wrong,”” he said. The power of the verdict was also in the fact that the case was such a credibility contest between Green and San Diego law enforcement. “”That’s what it boiled down to,”” Green said. “”Who did they believe? I mean, they put up 15 deputies, and the jury didn’t believe any of them.”” Now: Post-trial motions were heard on March 26. Unsurprisingly, the County of San Diego has not admitted its guilt. The county is requesting a new trial and reductions in the verdict. The countly also claims there was an error in allowing hearsay, and that cumulative damages were overlapping, so there should be only one award. Green and Marrinan have filed countermotions. Now the judge is doing further research on the issue and should return his findings in the next few days. If all of the county’s motions are denied and the verdict is upheld, the county can try to settle with Green or take the case to the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court. If the county’s motions are granted, Green has to face the financially and emotionally daunting task of taking the case to the next level of appeals, or trying to settle out of court. The Disagreement: Kevin Kennedy, a spokesman for the county and senior deputy county counsel member, told the Union-Tribune that “”The San Diego Sheriff’s Department handled itself professionally and appropriately …. The deputies did nothing wrong and they dispute that any illegal searches were conducted.”” Green feels that “”the county will most likely have [its] motions denied and the verdict upheld, which means they will come back and offer me most of the money to see if I’m willing to finish.”” Unsure of what his response will be, Green considers the possibility of spending two more years in the Court of Appeals, where anything can happen. “”That’s a gamble,”” he said. “”You don’t want them to come back in favor of the county, or possibly award a new trial, which would mean finding all the people who previously testified and trying to get them to speak out again. Those people want to get on with their lives, and so do I.”” The prospect of ending the ordeal hangs heavily as Green considers whether he will take the money the County will inevitably offer. “”The San Diego Sheriff’s Deputies were willing to pacify the few angry voices of Shelter Valley,”” he said. “”They knew that if the event was a success with the minimum estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people, as stated in my permit, I would hold subsequent events at Stage Coach Trails, and they absolutely did not want that.”” Now, after the trial, Green wonders “”why the county won’t honor a jury’s decision, and why they continue to waste taxpayers’ money to fight a fight that I feel is done and over.”” The jury foreman was a county employee, someone who would be concerned about the effect that his ruling might have on his job. However, the verdict still speaks of the level of misconduct that took place. One has to keep in mind that Green was fully within the boundaries of the law. In fact, he should have been protected by the very people who sabotaged his event. They could not deny the permits, for all the requirements were met. Instead, the officers of the law took it upon themselves to interfere with the concert as it took place. When the people who are supposed to be enforcing laws can move outside the system, we suffer. Though thankfully there were no losses of life because of the actions of law enforcement, the implication here is that those with power feel that they can do anything they want. This verdict, if upheld, could send a clear message to San Diego’s law enforcement that this is not a police state. To put this case in perspective, it is the largest verdict in the history of San Diego for Police Misconduct. Green’s willingness to fight back against the brutality of police misconduct, and his refusal to be intimidated by government scare tactics, is a lesson for all of us. We must be ever vigilant for threats to our rights. As Green said, “”The fight is for everybody in the county; my struggle is that of every promoter in the nation.”” The point is that injustice will harm us if we do not stand up against it. “”I have a right, as validated by the verdict,”” Green said, “”that a concert promoter has a right to reach his intended audience, who have the right to attend his facility without government interference, which the check point was. My freedom of speech is in part, the bands that I book to perform, not just the words that I say. A promoter may have reasons for having a hip-hop act, or a reggae act, because it is a reflection of who they are.”” As proven now in federal court, police interference with a music concert just because they don’t like it or its attendees is illegal. To Green, the ordeal sent the message “”So what? You have your permits, we’ll destroy you anyway.”” His adherence to legality is what has saved him after the fact. “”If I hadn’t had the permits, I would have won nothing,”” Green said. Ironically, Green thinks that he “”probably would have had a much better event if I had done it illegally, promoting and holding it underground style,”” which begs the question: What kind of actions are being encouraged? The legal and safe ones, or the underground and unregulated ones? My final question to Green was this: Would he hold a similar event now that he is supported by the rulings? “”I don’t know,”” Green said. “”I put my career on the line every time I have an event, and from the experiences with the police, I’m not sure that it wouldn’t happen again.”” ...

Film Review

The Mexican :: Ok, it’s got some big names, such as Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, but is “”The Mexican”” really any good? Surprisingly, yes. With some good acting and a spicy mix of mobsters, romance and Mexican folklore, “”The Mexican”” pulls together to make for a worthwhile flick. The hard-headed bagman Jerry (Pitt) is forced to retrieve a priceless gun from Mexico while his overemotional girlfriend Samantha (Roberts) leaves him and runs off to Las Vegas. Jerry heads to Mexico and Samantha gets kidnapped. Throw in some twists and turns, and you have your movie. As the story unfolds, the history behind the cursed gun is told in a corny but strangely powerful tale in black-and-white scenes. Samantha dodges death and engages in deep psychobabble with her gay kidnapper, while Jerry stumbles through his problems like a modern-day Forrest Gump. The film ignores all genre lines and keeps the audience members on the edge of their seats in a story you can’t quite pin down. The interaction between such drastically different characters seem unlikely, but stellar performances by Pitt and Roberts create a chemistry that makes the relationship believable. The movie is like a compilation of different worlds fighting for control of the plot as the story seems to support one view of the world and then the other. From mobster murders to killers in love, you are always wondering what the real point is, what is going to happen next and what world to believe in. Tied together with the theme of love, this movie occasionally borders on cheesy but ends up being original and amusing. — Heather Clark Fifteen Minutes :: Take a small marmot, roll him into a ball and throw him down a bowling lane. You may knock over a few pins and you may have a fun time but you’re probably not going to throw a strike. That’s exactly what John Herzfeld’s image and media-probing film, “”Fifteen Minutes,”” does. Two Eastern Europeans have come to New York and are so vicious so to not only murder, but to film and murder at the same time. Their plan is to exploit the media by selling the films to the highest news show bidder. Should the murderers be caught, they will plead insanity and utilize America’s forgiving heart to escape the consequences. After all, if America can swallow the trash on talk shows, why not forgive killers? Trying to catch these two is a weak version of the buddy-cop formula in Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) and Eddie Flaming (Robert De Niro). The movie falters in its details. The title isn’t lying. There are so many top actors (a few surprise cameos) that it feels like Herzfeld was compelled to give everyone his or her 15 minutes. There is little development of De Niro’s character — including a mention of alcoholism that disappears like the La Jolla sunshine — and even less development of Burns’ character. Apparently his character dreamt of fighting fires as a kid. Now you know as much as me. What this means is that by the end, you might not care who dies, who lives, or what grand message it is you’re supposed to have gotten. Kudos to the two villains, Emil (Karel Roden) and Oleg (Oleg Taktarov) for playing killers who seem to be getting better at being bad as the movie progresses. They look like they have fun but it’s hard to tell if that should be thought of as frightening or absurd. Herzfeld’s movie tries to point a critical eye at America, and in this he succeeds. However, the lack of suspense and involvement will leave you apathetic. Rent this one, or catch it on HBO. — Eric Dean ...

Club Fais Do Do Delivers

In light of the usual images of young promiscuous teenyboppers, it seems as if there is a shortage of good or at least halfway decent underage clubs in Southern California. Even though The Epicenter in Mira Mesa deserves an honorable mention with its devotion to youth in the punk and ska scene, there are few options in our measly backyard. Otherwise, most people are heading to Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a variety of big underage clubs, although its two most popular clubs, The Playground and The Arena, are little more than TJ-style sex-on-a-dance-floor. The real problem is finding something a little more mature and a little closer to the atmosphere of the finer 21-and-over venues. If this is what you’re looking for, then you have to check out club Fais Do Do. Since its opening last year, Fais Do Do has quickly become one of the best 18-and-over clubs around. With a variety of live bands and DJs, the music ranges from Latin Salsa to alternative rock. While the music varies, the atmosphere stays a steady cool. The crowd is at ease and free to mingle with the laid-back musicians. In a creative and artistic environment, there is a lot of space to dance, watch and mingle with the many quirky personalities. Among the latest trends is Rodney Bingenheimer from the world famous KROQ hosting “”Rodney’s English Disco.”” The disco, which is meant to “”get people out to dance to different kinds of music,”” certainly does just that. The event, which is held on the fourth Friday of every month, allows the in-the-know youth to come and rub elbows with Bingenheimer. Members of “”Blondie”” and “”Hole”” have been known to make appearances and roam among the crowd. Observing the outfits, personalities, and the likes of Bingenheimer hitting on 18-year-old girls can bring plenty of amusement. So whether you want to dance the night away, listen to some interesting music or just have an exciting place to party, the drive is well worth it. Check out club Fais Do Do at 5257 W. Adams Blvd. in L.A., and come out for a little glitter rock at the next English Disco on March 23. For more information call (323) 954-8080. ...