Eyes will be opened and thoughts provoked when author Iris Chang speaks about her latest book: The Chinese in America: A Narrative History. This free lecture examines the sacrifices, achievements and contributions Chinese immigrants have given to American culture, tonight at 8 in Campbell Hall. Escaping a war-torn country and seeking refuge in the land of pineapples doesn’t sound too bad, but learning a second language can turn paradise into an intimidating place. Laotian-born refugee Ova Saopeng will explore his struggles learning English by inviting you to learn his native tongue in his performance of “Lao as a Second Language” tonight at 8 in the Multicultural Center Theater. Call 893-8411 for info.
Support your local bands! Head on down to Velvet Jones for the trumpet-laced raps of El Jefe, the jam band beats of Tabularasa and new comers Lica Sto. They will take the stage tonight starting at 9. For info, call 965-8676.The MultiCultural Center welcomes you to experience the passion and beauty of traditional Pakistani folk music. Riffat Ustad Salamat and her ensemble will perform a wide-variety of music played with instruments that include a 12-string guitar and a tabla. Tickets are $5 for this 8 p.m. show. Call 893-3535 for tickets and info.
You’ve seen the movie, now see the real cars that can drag a quarter mile in 10 seconds and are dolled up, too. The Kustom Kar Expo is today at Seaside Park in Ventura. As an added bonus for those so inclined, a Southwest Indian Art Show will be occurring simultaneously in another section of the park. For info on either of these events, call 654-3951. Crawl out of your shell, shave off that beard and head up to Pismo Beach for the 57th Annual Clam Festival. There will be the famous Clam Chowder Cook-off, as well as a carnival, clam dig, music and tasty maritime food. It only costs $4 for admission and will run through Sunday. For info call 773-4382.
Pop quiz, hot shot: Cat’s got your tongue and you’re trapped in a box. What do you do? What do you do? Recognized as one of America’s leading international mime performers, James Donlon will premiere new material and revisit favorites today at 3 p.m. at Studio Theater in Snidecor Hall. He will also perform Oct. 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. For info, call 893-3535. Do you enjoy being duped by magic or prefer to criticize the impossibility of it all? Either way, 22-year-old Jason Latimer, the current World Champion of Magic, and an all-star lineup will amaze with big-stage illusions, disappearing acts, sleight of hand and lots of comedy at the Lobero Theater at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Call 963-0761 for info.
Monday 10/20 and Tuesday10/21
They command like thunder and captivate like lightening with deeply rooted Japanese culture and really big drums. Yamato, the Drummers of Japan, will instill a new beat of life with a mix of intense, fun and soulful techniques in Campbell Hall tonight at 8. Tickets start at $16 to see this 10-member percussion troupe perform. For info, call 893-3535. Cruise on over to the Biko House, where they will have their garage doors open for you to sweat and scream the night away with hardcore bands Hot Cross, Bleeding Kansas and Lickgoldensky. The show starts at 7 p.m. sharp so as to pack in as many songs in before the po-pos shut them down. The Biko is located at 6612 Sueno Road in Isla Vista. Your $5 donation will go to all bands.
Artsweek knows how lame it is to feature awesome shows in L.A. but c’mon, you’re not seriously going to miss the Strokes play tonight at the Hollywood Palladium, right? Okay, good. If you’ve got $32.50 sitting around, doors open at 6:30 and you might even see Drew making out with Fab. *sigh* Yeah, “Bear in the Big Blue House” is a kids’ show, but we figured that if you were as desperate to have something to do today as we were to find something for calendar then you’ll appreciate our efforts. See this dancing bear and his gang today at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Arlington Theater. Tickets start at $14. For info, call 963-4408.