A sea of students canvassed a packed Harder Stadium one pleasantly breezy evening in late August, singing along to the summery songs of UCSB alumnus Jack Johnson’s catalogue as the sun sank behind the stage. Though there was still a month of summer to go for UCSB students, the feeling that summer was winding down was palpable, and the kick-off event of Arts & Lecture’s 2008 season was the perfect denouement. It’s now September: Time to put away the board shorts, cut back (a little) on the Natty Ice consumption and hit the books, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all work, no play from here on out. Artsweek scopes out Fall Quarter’s essential concerts, lectures, films and exhibits that will serve as a welcome reprieve from all that schoolwork.
Local Art Exhibits
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art recently opened up its new exhibit, “Picasso on Paper: Drawings and Prints From the Permanent Collection (1899-1967),” which will run through early December. Visitors have the pleasure of viewing 25 works by one of the most famous artists of all time, spanning his entire career. On Oct. 7, the exhibit’s curator, professor Alfred Moir, will give a free lecture on the private life of Picasso, in connection with the art at SBMA. Visit www.sbma.net for more info. And if you’re interested in taking in fine works of art without leaving campus, the University Art Museum is currently exhibiting “A Beautiful Nothing: The Architecture of Edward A. Killingsworth.”
Coming up next weekend, Sept. 26-27, Arts & Lectures presents the 10th annual Santa Barbara Book and Author festival, featuring appearances by L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy, global studies professor Mark Juergensmeyer, scribe of Terror in the Mind of God, and Brian Fagan, who has penned numerous books on timely environmental issues. All of these lectures will be held downtown at Victoria Hall Theater, and all tickets are $5. Check out www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu or call (805) 893-3535 for more information.
A&L will also be presenting lectures from a variety of other writers, including Paul Theroux (Oct. 12), acclaimed essayist David Sedaris (Oct. 24), L.A. Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez (Oct. 20), in addition to many others.
Film fans have much to rejoice over: First, UCSB alumnus Don Hertzfeld will be on hand at I.V. Theater for the premiere of his latest animated gem, “I Am So Proud of You” (for more details, see the Lineup on p. 5C); a screening of last summer’s hit animated Pixar film, “Wall-E,” on Oct. 1 (A&L); a presentation of Telluride Mountainfilm programming on Oct. 8 (A&L); a screening of Werner Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the World” (A&L; Oct. 15); a showing of “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson” (A&L; Nov. 6); and a screening of “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” (A&L; Nov. 12).
That’s not even getting into the slate of eagerly anticipated films like “Miracle at St. Anna” Spike Lee’s war epic (Sept. 26); art house family drama “Rachel Getting Married” (Oct. 3); Fernando Meirelles’ bleak futuristic thriller, “Blindness” (Oct. 3); Oliver Stone’s interesting take on our current president’s life story, “W” (Oct. 10); Baz Luhrmann’s latest beautifully photographed epic, “Australia” (Nov. 14) and Gus Van Sant’s Harvey Milk biopic, “Milk” (Nov. 21).
As for music events, the next couple months are almost a flurry of shows; so many in fact, that you probably won’t be able to take in everything you’d want to check out. T.S.O.L. roll through Velvet Jones tomorrow evening; shoegaze outfit Beach House will enchant Muddy Waters Cafe on Sept. 29 (all ages); folk singer Loudon Wainwright III will be joined by Leo Kottke at Campbell Hall on Oct. 2 as part of A&L (all ages; $15 for UCSB students); Talking Heads frontman David Byrne will appear at the Arlington Theatre on Oct. 4 hosted by A&L (all ages); Montreal’s indie rock darlings, Stars, will cruise through the Hub on Oct. 4, courtesy of A.S. Program Board (all ages, $15 at the A.S. Ticket Office); former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins plays SoHo on Oct. 11; the Morning Benders will play in the Hub on Oct. 28, thanks to ASPB; and Eef Barzelay will enchant the Lobero on Nov. 15.
Additionally, fans of classical and world music will be interested in checking out A&L’s presentations of the Soweto Gospel Choir (Oct. 5); Cesaria Evora (Oct. 7); Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra (Oct. 17); Lang Lang (Oct. 28); and Milton Nascimento & Jobim Trio (Oct. 30), in addition to many others.
Also, Artsweek looks forward to forthcoming albums by Ben Folds (Sept. 30), of Montreal (Oct. 7), the Cure (Oct. 14) and the Secret Machines (Oct. 14) in the next couple of months.
Dance & Theater
Last but certainly not least: Santa Barbara has plenty to offer those fond of theater and dance, from A&L’s presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre (Oct. 21); an A&L-sponsored performance by the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (Oct. 23); the Lobero Theatre will play host to the 2008 Lit Moon World Shakespeare Festival (Oct. 16-23) as well as a performance of the musical comedy “Nunsense” (Oct. 5).