April 24 2013 02:16 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Kristen Gallerneaux’s “Sentinels”


Kitchen drawers slam, walls ooze and visitors are attacked by unknown forces. They’re the kind of eerie events attributed to poltergeists, the mischievous ghosts popularized by movies and paranormal investigators. The Unknown, an art exhibition opening from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Space 4 Art (325 15th St. in East Village), will draw attention to these phenomena, as well as other aspects of the occult.

Folklorist and artist Kristen Gallerneaux, whose family had monthly séances in her home when she was growing up, has collected debris from sites believed to be haunted, ranging from her hometown of Wallaceburg, Ontario, to San Pedro, Calif. She used cotton and horsehair from a broken armchair, for instance, to create “Sentinels,” a piece made up of roughly 40 small statue-like dogs, each around 6 inches tall, that look like they’re decaying.

“It’s basically about conjuring the invisible, visualizing the invisible and creating an awareness of the hidden elements of our lives,” says Vabianna Santos, who curated the show along with Gallerneaux. “We wanted to see how this could be redefined in contemporary terms.”

The show features six artists, including Berlin-based Kandis Williams, whose collages explore the intersection of themes like nationalism, violence, ritual and magic. Other participating artists include Adam Nelson, whose large-scale sculptures look like flowing liquid that’s been frozen in time, and Portland’s Carl Diehl, whose video work incorporates the sometimes-ghostly glitches, disruptions and odd sounds of audio-visual devices.

The evening also features a performance by the band Looming—who promise on their Facebook page to “sonically scourge the halls of the Space 4 Art”—and food from the Flavors of East Africa food truck. Space 4 Art is a live-work space for artists, many of whom will have open studios during the event. The Unknown will be on view through May 25.


Jug bands. The world needs more jug bands. Banjos, mandolins and autoharps— they’ve all had their day. Bring on the jugs. Start with G Burns Jug Band, who’ll perform at Adams Avenue Unplugged, a two-day aural feast of music happening in restaurants, coffeehouses, bars, stores and parks on and around Adams Avenue in Normal Heights on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday). Find the full schedule of roughly 180 performances at adamsavenueunplugged.com. Our picks: Tomcat Courtney, Marie Haddad, Nena Anderson, Josh Damigo, Los Alacranes (who’ll be joined  by Louie Perez and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos), Euphoria Brass Band, the John C. Reilly-fronted Reilly & Friends, Colorado’s The Haunted Windchimes and, of course, the G Burns Jug Band.


The 2000 film Billy Elliot tells the story of a working-class boy in Northern England during the miners strike of the mid-1980s. Amid an awesome soundtrack that includes The Jam and T. Rex, Billy discovers his passion for ballet despite his family’s disapproval. Seriously, nothing warms the heart like seeing Billy dance his heart out to “A Town Called Malice.” You can see the Broadway-musical adaptation, featuring a score by Elton John and original screenplay writer Lee Hall, when Billy Elliot the Musical comes to the San Diego Civic Theater (1100 Third Ave., Downtown) starting Thursday, April 30. It runs through May 5, with evening and daytime performances. Tickets range from $25- $140. Check broadwaysd.com/billy-elliot.htm for show times. And bring tissues. Your heart will melt.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.