Nov. 2 2011 03:30 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

A piece by Dough Wheeler on view in Phenomenal
1 Days of yore 

Some fairly radical art and music was being made in the ’60s and ’70s. Artists like Robert Irwin were moving away from straightforward painting and experimenting with acrylic and other materials that turned light into a medium. The resulting work played with people’s perception and forced viewers to pay attention to details.

“At certain points in the day, when light comes through, this piece casts rainbow patterns and shadows on the walls,” said Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego curator Robin Clark on a tour of Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, the exhibition currently showing at the museum’s La Jolla and Downtown locations as part of the big Pacific Standard Time initiative.

“I love this piece in this space,” Clark continued, walking around one of Irwin’s untitled works created in the ’70s and currently on view at MCASD’s Downtown location. “The siting of it was determined by the artist, and it’s really perfect here because this is a tough room for artwork—the architecture is pretty busy and there’s all the activity outside. Instead of competing with all that, the work engages it.”

In music, the ’60s and ’70s saw bands like America, who produced lighter-sounding, California-style folk songs filled with esoteric, sometimes controversial lyrics. America’s top single, “A Horse with No Name,” was banned from U.S. radio when it was first released because people thought the song was a reference to heroin.

Immerse yourself in both art and music made in the ’60s and ’70s during MCASD’s Phenomenal Weekend, which kicks off from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, with TNT: Phenomenal at the museum’s Downtown location (1001 Kettner St.). Experience the works in the Phenomenal show and enjoy cocktails, live music by Hyena and Lesands, an immersive installation by Ela Boyd, art-making activities and food from MIHO Gastrotruck and Viva Pops ($10). Then, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, spend An Evening with America at MCASD La Jolla (700 Prospect St) for an acoustic set and a Q&A ($15).

See for more Phenomenal events happening over the weekend.

2 Soccer to ’em

When San Diego attorney Nick Lewis was in college, he’d visit his friend Ranko Tututlugdzija at the University of Illinois, where Ranko played soccer with Jay DeMerit. After graduation, DeMerit packed his cleats and moved to England in an unheard-of bid to go pro. But determination paid off, and he eventually led his team, Watford, into soccer’s upper echelons before playing for the U.S. national team in the 2010 World Cup. Lewis and Tututlugdzija, neither of whom had made a film before, tell his tale in Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, which reached the pinnacle of crowdfunding success, raising more than $225,000 on Kickstarter with help from celebs like Rivers Cuomo and Seth Meyers. The movie has two screenings—7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Nov. 3 and 10, at UltraStar Mission Valley.

3 A dangerous job 

In Mexico, it’s not uncommon for journalists to be murdered as a result of snooping into drug cartels and government corruption. According to reports, roughly 80 reporters have been killed since 2000. Four of those deaths occurred this past September alone. Mexican journalist Anabel hernandez has had her share of death threats. In a talk called Mexican Drug Cartels: Violence, Corruption, and Effects on the U.S., Hernandez will discuss the explosive information that has led to those threats, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Room ENS 280 at San Diego State University. hernandez will also read from, and sign copies of, her 2010 book Los Señores del Narco, which chronicles how Mexico became ground zero for large, violent Latin American drug cartels.