BEST ART GALLERY
Andi Campognone Projects
Unlike Morrissey, we actually love it when our friends become successful. And one of those successes is longtime local champion of the visual arts Andi Campognone, who has recently opened the doors on a brand new location for her gallery. Housed in a former bank right in the heart of the Pomona Arts Colony, we can count on Campognone to keep her space loaded with some of the coolest lookin‘ creations in the area. (JC)
Andi Campognone Projects, 300 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 629-4500, www.andicampognone.com.
Unless it’s Los Angeles or New York or some other high-profile metropolitan area, when it comes to fashion, who wants to watch Riverside? Riverside Style Watch, that’s who. The blog is filled with photos of local people in a range of styles from clean cut to T-shirt and jeans. Although the blog seems to focus on college campuses, there are a few picks from the streets. Who knew this city was so fashionable? (LL)
BEST COMEDY SHOW/COMEDIAN
Bruce Jingles of Upland
Through a dare from a friend, Bruce Jingles started his comic career at the Ontario Mills Improv. Jingles entered an amateur contest at that venue and won, not just the contest that night, but ultimately his dream career. From that contest, Jingles went on to perform on his own and then alongside the likes of Chris Tucker, Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook. Jingles is known for ranting about living in Upland, DUIs, marijuana or just his day, which, who knew could include all of the above? (LL)
BEST DRAG SHOW
Graced by this year’s Best Drag Queen, The VIP in Riverside is the location for the Best Drag Show. With a cover charge of just $5, The VIP offers a large room and patio, strong drinks and lots of seating to a diverse crowd. This place isn’t limited to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community—everyone is welcomed. The drags shows here don’t just feature queens, they define queens. (LL)
The VIP, 3673 Merrill Ave., Riverside, (951) 784-2370; www.vipriv.com.
BEST FILM FESTIVAL
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Since 1989, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has been an annual event held each January. The event has been noted for screening most foreign Oscar nominees and has been graced with the presence of the likes of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio—not surprising since Palm Springs has been drawing Hollywood stars since the days of Frank Sinatra. Next year’s festival will be held on January 6 through 17 and will host more than 200 films from 70 countries. (LL)
Palm Springs International Film Festival Headquarters, 1700 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 3, Palm Springs, (760) 322-2930; www.psfilmfest.org.
San Bernardino County Museum
While some museums offer little-to-nothing outside of their regular displays, the San Bernardino County Museum keeps every week packed full of fun, family-friendly events. Sure, the place itself is a cool spot for kids and adults to peruse, but it’s all those extras and bonuses—Family Fun Days, Moon Parties, special events and themed outings—that sets this museum apart and keeps it special on a recurring basis. (FLA)
San Bernardino County Museum, 2024 Orange Tree Ln., Redlands, (909) 307-2669; www.sbcounty.gov/museum/.
BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
Look, we seriously owe a lot to Coachella. There’s stuff like those sunburns (terrific memories of our non-SPFed weekend spent outdoors), the allergies (those desert winds sure know how to kick up in the evening hours), the long walks back to the car we couldn’t find amidst myriad dirt parking lots and the truly cool artwork that we’ve found far more interesting than some of the bands on the bill. We also owe our gratitude and respect to a festival that’s fast become an international beacon of golden-note greatness for over a decade, annually hosting some of the world’s most amazing musicians (can you say Prince, Paul McCartney or The Pixies?) in a Europe-esque festival setup, all within a few days and mere minutes down the I-10. For all that sonic wonderment sitting in our desert neighbors’ turf every year, who cares about dealing with a little residual skin redness anyways? (GD)
BEST PLACE TO SEE LIVE MUSIC
The Glass House
Granted, Pomona existed long before The Glass House opened its doors in the mid-’90s in the Pomona Arts Colony, but the venue really helped to emphasize Pomona’s importance on the map for many musicians and music fans alike, who wouldn’t have normally ventured to the Inland Empire otherwise. The free and easy parking, nice staff and bitchin‘ band bookings are terrific assets for this long-standing all-ages venue that we hope will always remain in existence. (JC)
The Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us.
BEST RADIO STATION
Folks, we don’t own a pair of horses. We don’t live in Norco. We’ve never participated in a rodeo. We don’t drive a Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty dually with a fifth-wheel and a big, throaty V-8 under the hood. We can’t line dance. We’ve never even called a violin a fiddle. But we do know that if we want our country music fix, San Bernardino’s K-FROG’s the only way we’ll go. (GD)
San Bernardino hip-hop MC Noa James isn’t the kind of guy to throw out a few tracks and wait for the acclaim to return his way. Of course, if you’ve heard his latest, Beautiful Darkness, you’ll know getting that acclaim’s the easy part. James is actually involved in all sorts of music-related endeavors, including overseeing a website (BrickToYaFace.com) and running a consistent club night. Yes, he’s stepping up to the mic in more ways than one. (FLA)
BEST ROCK BAND/MUSICIAN
Upon initially checking out Inhale’s itinerary, the band looks like they’re on tour with a laundry list of shows that appear to be booked almost nightly. However, it’s only when you stop to read the venues and cities do you realize that, yes, this band’s one of the busiest local acts—and they oftentimes remain local. Popular enough to have staked longtime residencies at places like Friar Tucks in Pomona, Inhale make most other area bands seem downright lazy. (GD)
BEST THEATRE COMPANY
MainStreet Theatre Company
MainStreet Theatre Company, now in its fifth season, is still producing theatrical productions at Rancho Cucamonga’s Lewis Family Playhouse. The company has been gathering actors throughout Southern California to produce live theater entertainment suitable for children and families. Three plays adapted for the playhouse stage are still running for this season: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, The Gingerbread Man and Anne of Green Gables. (LL)
MainStreet Theatre Company, 12505 Cultural Center Dr., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 477-2752; www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com/mainstreet.
BEST TRIBUTE/COVER BAND
If your band’s called Twitching Monster, then it’s pretty apparent what kind of a cover band you might be in. We’re not all that sure, to be honest. All we know is that, through a little Internet sleuthing, Twitching Monster was once on a bill with another local band called The Vinyls. Anything more, you’ll just have to find out for yourself the next time they hit the stage . . . whenever/wherever that might be. (GD)
BEST VISUAL ARTIST
Some like paint. Some like clay. J. Edwards likes paper. Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, Je’Von Edwards or J. Edwards, has been perfecting his paper dolls—better described as urban origami. Culturally relevant, Edwards paper friends, once called his “Paper Matez,” depict urban trends seen throughout the hip-hop community and the Inland Empire. Now, with a new brand, “Toygami,” Edwards continues to fold new toys complete with their very own signature Edwards kicks! (LL)
Christopher Michno has been bringing an incisive intelligence and formidable knowledge to arts reviews here at the Weekly for some time. So many times when you pick up a weekly and read a review, you get the feeling it’s written by a robot, with no style, sense of culture or artistic identity. Michno has all of these in spades, dishing up reviews that coherently place his subjects within their cultural framework, and providing feedback for his readers that is always astute in its judgments and is gracefully written. (Donald Powell)