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;TcCPg2dcb4g_XaT Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to get the deficit under control

By Kevin Russell

C

he debate about whether or not to extend Bushâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tax breaks for the wealthy is raging. Indeed, the new Republican leadership in the House has been very clear that this is their primary agenda item on which they will not budge. Democrats, though still in power, seem to be losing resolve. In the meantime, we watch daily as infrastructure, basic services and jobs disappear, and of course, the deficit looms larger everyday. Nevertheless, the facts speak for themselves: the wealthiest 10 percent of the population takes home 50 percent of the wealth in this country. Given this obvious imbalance, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to ask how we got here and what can be done about it. Questions like where we are going to get the money to fix roads or pay for basic fire, police and school services deserve real answers. The problem is that real answers are mystifyingly unpopular. Simply put, we wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have money for these basic needs until the wealthy in this country return to paying their fair share of taxes. The greatest period of income growth for the middle class was between 1950 and 1980. Why? Because until 1980, when Ronald Reagan enacted tax polices that favored the rich, a fair taxation structure was in place. Now, 30 years later, wealth has trickled up while income for the middle class has stayed the same. It used to be that the Democratic Party spoke for the middle class. But make no mistake, many Democrats have been as collusive in the erosion of a healthy middle class as Republicans. Moreover, Republicans, and the wealthy or spineless Democrats that collude, have been ingenious at convincing working-class people that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social programs that threaten our economic stability. Nothing could be further from the truth. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recipients of social programs that nearly brought down our economy, was it? No, it was that bloated monster called the banking industry. Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the real threat here? Some out-of-work schlob who finds a way to bilk the system out of a few hundred dollars, or the corporate scholbs who sell bad loans to good people, make a legal killing and then play a cat-and-mouse game to avoid paying taxes on it?

When everyone puts in his or her fair share, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s money for basic services, park protections and the aging members of our society to live in health and dignity until they pass. Indeed, fully funding healthcare for every person in the country is affordable when corporations and the wealthy who stand behind them behave honorably by paying a fair share. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that since Reagan opened that floodgate in the early 1980s the wealthy have influencedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and some would say boughtâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the political arena in this country. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not rocket science when you see how the wealthy fund the political careers of people who will make policy that turns in their favor. But it creates an unfair advantage against the middle class who have less discretionary income to spend on things like elections. The Founding Fathers understood that power corrupts. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why they created the brilliant system of checks and balances. When power (i.e., money) invades the political landscape as never before, the only tool left to restore democracy is the ballot box. So far, workingand middle-class folks still have the right to vote. If weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re smart we wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t vote based on left or right, or even Democratic or Republican, but on who stands for the middle class and who stands against the corporate leeches that exploit every possible resource for private gain but refuse to pay their share. Economists are predicting that restoring the tax burden to pre-Bush levels would eliminate $160 billion of looming national debt over the next 10 years. Hell, even billionaire Warren Buffet came out recently in favor of increasing taxes for the wealthy. Rebuilding prosperity for the middle class can only happen when a fair taxation system is applied to all Americans, and letting Bushâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfair tax breaks for incomes above $250,000 expire at the end of this year is a step toward restoring a more fair and equitable tax burden.

It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recipients of social programs that nearly brought down our economy, was it?

Kevin Russell is a therapist and musician living in Sebastopol. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 700 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

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02A0IH;4CC4A In the mid-1930s, the great threat to Western democracies was the expansion of fascism, already on display in Germany and Italy. Fearing the same fate for Spain, volunteers from more than 50 countries came to fight. The international brigades were disbanded and allowed to leave Spain in late 1938 when Francoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forces, supported heavily by Germany and Italy, were on the verge of victory. Communism never was the opposite of the fascism of Mussoliniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Hitlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brownshirts. Both possessed the same totalitarian nature. There was only one distinct

difference between the two: communism was internationalist, while fascism was ultranationalist. American fascism has proved it is not one bit interested in the democratic process! The rich of the world, who back the forceful fearful fascist governments to protect them, the capitalists who claim to be proponents and the supporters of democracy are hypocrites. The fascist but socalled democratic governments will be no more democratic than the solidly communist countries when faced with total socialism.

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A>D=3C7A44 Sen. Leland Yee promises heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll send a third university auxiliary transparency bill to new governor Jerry Brown next year.

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Vetoed bill allows university auxiliaries to remain veiled By Sara Jane Pohlman

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e are absolutely glad itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jerry Brown,â&#x20AC;? says Adam Keigwin, chief of staff for State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. Had Meg Whitman won the recent gubernatorial election, he sighs, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it would have just been another four years of Arnold Schwarzenegger.â&#x20AC;? Keigwinâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Yeeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;has every reason to be glad. A bill created by Sen. Yee that would have opened university auxiliariesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; financial statements to the public record was vetoed this past September by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and with a new governorelect on the horizon, Yeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team has a chance to introduce a third version of Senate Bill 330 in the coming months. The idea behind the transparency bill

is simple. Ninety auxiliary organizations in the California State University perform functions such as food service, commercial operations and student services, existing in a not-for-profit status designed to support the university. If passed, SB 330 would have made the financial dealings, donations and contracts of these groups public under the Public Records Act. Yeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first attempt at providing transparency among university auxiliary organizations came in the form of SB 218, in February of 2009. Schwarzenegger vetoed it the following October on the grounds that publicizing the names of donors to universities and volunteers for the auxiliaries might discourage those individuals from sharing their resources. Senate Bill 330 came as a revised version, arriving on the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desk with bipartisan support this year. Conceding

donor anonymity, the bill ensured volunteerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s names would have been kept private along with the names of any donor who received no reciprocal gift valued at more than $500. Only those donors who did receive gifts or attempted to influence curriculum through their donation would have had their names made public if the bill had passed. According to a veto message released by Schwarzenegger, the bill still did not provide sufficient protection for donors who deserve a level of privacy in return for giving. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oftentimes, these generous private citizen donors do not want to be in the glare of publicity, and I cannot support a bill that makes it more difficult for our public universities to raise private funds,â&#x20AC;? Schwarzenegger said in a statement. In the North Bay, Sonoma State University is home to four of these auxiliaries, including Associated Students of SSU, & %

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the Academic Foundation Inc., Sonoma State Enterprises and the Student Union Corporation. The Academic Foundation works to gather and direct donations for projects such as the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center and the Green Music Center. Both complexes were funded in large part by donations, and foundation president Patricia McNeill says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the nature of local donors to want to stay anonymous. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our community has individuals who have significant financial resources but live modest and very private lifestyles,â&#x20AC;? McNeill says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our concern is that if donors and their private gifts are subject to the same transparency that is and should be accorded to the spending of public dollars or student fees, they may be reluctant to be as generous as they would like.â&#x20AC;? According to media relations specialist Erik Fallis, the CSU had taken a â&#x20AC;&#x153;support if amendedâ&#x20AC;? position while the bill made its way to the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desk on the grounds that the language used was too vague. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We offered potential amendments that would have met our concerns while still allowing the auxiliaries to perform their functions,â&#x20AC;? Fallis says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These were not considered, so we asked for a veto when it reached the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office.â&#x20AC;? But the billâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reach is not limited to donations. Supporters say the bigger issue exists in providing transparency for auxiliary contracts, including financial details of construction contracts, food-supply service and performer agreements. All contracts between these groups and outside companies are currently confidential. Yeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bill aims to end that secrecy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Contracts should be uncovered,â&#x20AC;? says Keigwin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The public deserves to know. Most of these auxiliaries are fully staffed by public employees, taxpayer-funded and student-feesfunded. The public should know where their money is going.â&#x20AC;? David Edwards, president of the Auxiliary Organizations Association, says the bill would negatively impact the ability for university auxiliaries to get the best-valued contracts. Currently, auxiliaries fall into a loophole of the Public Records Act to which all CSUs must subscribe. Peter Scheer of the First Amendment Coalition explains that auxiliaries function like private nonprofit groups in that they must release tax returns and audits. If the bill was passed, he says, information about contracts made yesterday would be just as available as consistently belated tax returns. Associated Students Inc. vice president Alexander Boyar says his problem with required transparency is that it would undermine ASIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to cut a deal with performers and speakers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They provide major incentives and discounts because their contracts can come with confidentiality,â&#x20AC;? Boyar says. Without the veil, he fears, prices would rise and control of programs would fade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being fully transparent would dilute the power of our fully student-managed operation.â&#x20AC;? Obviously, Yee disagrees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For a governor who wanted to blow up the boxes and whose rhetoric is filled with platitudes of open government,â&#x20AC;? he said in a statement, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is a disgrace and completely hypocritical to then veto legislation to bring real transparency and accountability to our public universities.â&#x20AC;? His office plans to draw up a revised version of SB 330 for Governor-Elect Jerry Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approval next year.

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By Daedalus Howell Do you or someone you care about rely on prescription or opioid pain medication or heroin to get through the day? Ask the following questions: â&#x20AC;˘ Have they ever given up activities to use them? â&#x20AC;˘ Are they spending more time on activities to get them? â&#x20AC;˘ Have they ever used them despite negative consequences? If the answer to any of these questions was YES, they may have unintentionally become opioid dependent. Help might be closer than you think.

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f all our cultural franchises on â&#x20AC;&#x201C;philias, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the cinephiles, audiophiles and bibliophiles who foster perhaps the most socially acceptable proclivities, and yet somehow theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still left out in the cold of mainstream culture. Fetishists par excellence, they are the true fans, the ones who remind us that the etymological root of â&#x20AC;&#x153;fanâ&#x20AC;? is â&#x20AC;&#x153;fanaticâ&#x20AC;? and all of the idolatry, zealotry and evangelism that might suggest. Some fanatics horde warehouses of ephemera related to their passions; others shoot rock stars. The more productive fanatics enshrine their beloveds in encyclopedic exegeses, as is the case with Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film by Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, with a forward by punk frontman Richard Hell. Meticulously executed, the nearly 500-page book is as much a mash note to punks and film as it is to the notion that obsessivecompulsive disorder has a curatorial upside. Case in point: In the low-aiming, high-concept comedy Brewsterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Millions, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apparently a scene in which Richard Pryor leaves a hotel, and in the extreme far right of the frame, a punk with a spiky Mohawk is visible for a second. Of course, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only visible in widescreen home video releases of the film, for, as the authors of Destroy All Movies point out, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cropped in the others. Attention to detail such as this demands a redefinition of â&#x20AC;&#x153;completist.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier to find credible footage of Sasquatch than it is to track every single punk who ever appeared in every single commercially released film, and for mere seconds, at that. Yet these guys found them all, and if on the off-chance that their neurosis failed them, they invite updates and corrections via their website, PunksOnFilm.com. Those who weaned themselves from the teat of mainstream media in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s found quick refuge in such films as The Decline of Western Civilization and Suburbia (both directed by Penelope Spheeris, who deservedly garners puddles of ink), but how many saw director Nick Zeddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s They Eat Scum, Geek Maggot Bingo or War Is Menstrual Envy? Enough said. Destroy All Movies (or DAM, as the book refers to itself in transcribed interviews with the likes of Exene Cervenka, Ian MacKaye and Repo Man director Alex

Cox) is a browserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s delight. Not only will it confer punk cred to oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coffee table, its brief, elliptical entries and occasional interviews with punk film luminaries will make for exquisite bathroom reading. (Other places in oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home this book might complement include any door in need of stopping, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the size of a small-town phonebookâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;remember those? Yeah, they went out of fashion like liberty spikes.) The broader-themed volume Music on Film, which takes a more agnostic approach to the cultural connection between music and movies, is a pocketsized series of scholarly tomes on music-themed films ranging from chestnuts like West Side Story to the chests-and-nuts faux glam rock of This Is Spinal Tap. For the latter release, author John Kenneth Muir draws a genealogical relationship between the lauded mockumentary and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;comic philosophy that arose in a specific context: America on the Watergate era of the late 1970s.â&#x20AC;? This is the same font from which the most iconic iterations of Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon and a bevy of other comedy troupes would spring, alumni of which are comprised in the core of Spinal Tapâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creative team: director-performer Rob Reiner and his cast of mock-rockers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Though slim, Muirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book presents copious Tap trivia, most of which has yet to be warmed over on the internet (score one point for print). Apparently, at one point the creators considered involving a subplot based on a â&#x20AC;&#x153;backstage Rosencrantz and Guildenstern angleâ&#x20AC;? and some hapless roadies. Another point is that Reiner had originally intended to portray a character in the band himself, but bowed out, taking a note from Martin Scorseseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Last Waltz and instead conducting candid if softball interviews with the musicians. Throughout both Music on Film and Destroy All Movies, the question as to whether such expeditions into the depths of cultural arcana are necessary is answered. They are necessary, because in the very least, the work of fanatics such as these allows the rest of us to just be fans.

This book might complement any door in need of stopping.

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Norman Solomon on getting out there and doing something By Juliane Poirier

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e need to become agitators,â&#x20AC;? says Norman Solomon, Marin County activist and co-creator of the Green New Deal for the

North Bay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the agitator that gets the dirt out in the washing machine,â&#x20AC;? he explains, borrowing an analogy from Jim Hightower. Solomon sees the wash cycle as a good behavior model for those of us who avoid political activism in favor of safe and lazy pondering over how much trouble the world is in right now. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a hassle to get involved with strangers and go to meetings. Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we just whine to our friends about corporate greed and corruption in the comfort of our own homes? We can, at high cost. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So much is at stake for future generations and for the planet,â&#x20AC;? declares Solomon, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that we need to be willing to organize as if our lives and the lives of those close to us depended on it.â&#x20AC;? For Solomon, this means that as individuals and as communities we need to get more serious about our involvement with one another and with things we care about. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Getting involved is essential,â&#x20AC;? says Solomon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not into politics.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;But politics is into you.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; When you turn on the tap for a drink of water, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s politics.â&#x20AC;? For those who turn off like a faucet at the mention of political activism, Solomonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach may inspire willingness to open up and f low. The secret seems to be finding out how â&#x20AC;&#x153;agitatingâ&#x20AC;? looks for each individual. (I can just hear Garrison Keillor asking, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What are the shy folks supposed to do?â&#x20AC;?) Agitating can be direct or it can be as uncomplicated as pursuing something we love with greater gusto than we ever have before. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One simple step,â&#x20AC;? Solomon explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is to learn and to agitate.â&#x20AC;? This means choosing something close to your heart, learning everything you possibly can about it and then becoming a source of information for others, the go-to font of knowledge in your neighborhood or community.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;People get afraid that they will have to do something they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to do. Everyone is different, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that everybody engage at their level of passion and interest and capacity.â&#x20AC;? Can political involvement be something more uplifting than a dose of corporatesponsored news each night? â&#x20AC;&#x153;People look at the news and are depressed, but activists tend to be less depressed,â&#x20AC;? Solomon says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something so enlivening that happens when you share your thoughts and feelings and ideas with othersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; people inspiring because of who they are.â&#x20AC;? A critical byproduct of all this social agitation is a changed relationship with power. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Powerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is a word that causes a lot of ambivalence,â&#x20AC;? says Solomon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For progressives, we need power to shape the future instead of just having it created for us. I know we will not like it if it is created by the most powerful forces that exist right now.â&#x20AC;? Referencing what one beloved agitator, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., called the paralysis of analysis, Solomon says we need to stop pondering and get out and do something, and as a consequence, we â&#x20AC;&#x153;get to find out what we are capable of.â&#x20AC;? He believes that sinking roots more deeply into the communities where we live is part of a broad social movement that can take on corporate power. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These roots already exist,â&#x20AC;? says Solomon. And because these roots feed the community in various ways, as we learn to become agitators, we allow ourselves to be more extensively nurtured by roots that already exist. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone cares about something,â&#x20AC;? Solomon says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Learn about it and agitate about it. If you care about it and you want things to get better, then you get with your friends and your neighbors, and together you say we can get this done, yes we can turn this around. Si, se puede. There are reasons to be engaged, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the future. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a clichĂŠ, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true, that if the people will lead, the leaders will follow.â&#x20AC;?

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not into politics.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; But politics is into you.

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6>>34E4=8=6 5A84=3B Note the absence of anyone singing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jingle Bellsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in this serene scene. Ahhhh . . .

FWT]4VV]^V9dbcF^]žc3^ Christmas and Hanukkah beers to keep you warm By Alistair Bland

A

ain and darkness cloak the land. The earth has turned to mud. The sun appears reluctantly each day, hunkering low on the horizon where it seems to take a doubtful peak at our dreary land and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thanks but no thanks, man. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be in Australia.â&#x20AC;? And so we shiver through the winter; we burn our furniture to stay warm, eat boiled turnips, fuss over Christmas shopping, bundle up in damp blankets and wait for warmer days. We also drink beer. Naturally. During these cold months, beers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get much better. Nowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the time when microbreweries put their watery lagers on hold and brew up highalcohol, big-boned malt bombs strong enough to ward off the frost, not to mention make â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Twelve Days of Christmasâ&#x20AC;? tolerable. Locally, the Christmas beer list includes Moylan Breweryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager, Marin Brewingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hoppy Holidaze, 21st Amendment Breweryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fireside Chat and Anchor Brewing Co.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Christmas Ale, all available in either bottles or cans at local markets. On draft, find an experimental version of Lagunitas Brewing Co.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brown Shugga, usually an ale but this year fermented in part with a

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lager yeast, pouring at the brewery taproom starting in early December. Up in Healdsburg, the downtown taps flow with the Scottish Wee Heavy at Bear Republic Brewery. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, a Christmas beerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aromas should be â&#x20AC;&#x153;reminiscent of Christmas cookies, gingerbread, English-type Christmas pudding, spruce trees or mulling spices.â&#x20AC;? Traditionally, English and German breweries never spiced their Christmas beers, but the Belgians did, and the technique has become a favorite method. Moylanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winter beer is heavy on pumpkin pie spices and also bears grainy, biscuity notes of a lager. And Fireside Chat, 21st Amendmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ode to Franklin Rooseveltâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weekly radio talks with the nation, contains the warm and sugary essence of â&#x20AC;&#x153;spicesâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re willing to tell us on the can. Anchorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christmas Ale also carries an undisclosed curry of ingredients that changes from batch to batch. In the Russian River Valley, autumn means apples, the core ingredient at Ace Cider Company. Honey from Gipsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Golden honey farm in Santa Rosa also finds its way into the Sebastopol cidery, and the sum of these sugars makes Ace Apple Honey cider, a current wintertime release now on shelves at most better beer stores. (You might even buy a second bottle and baste a ham

or turkey with the off-dry, fruity-nosed brew.) Avery Brewingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Old Jubilation Ale stands in a gray area, brewed with no special ingredients yet redolent of hazelnuts, ginger and espresso. Would one ever imagine that the Shmaltz Brewing Company, renowned for its Jewishthemed brews, would deign to release a Christmas beer? Hell no. The irreverent San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;based brewery is famed for its Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;brew: The Chosen Beer label, and every year since 2004 has released a special birthday beer called Jewbelation. Last December, when the brewery turned 13, Shmaltz releasedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;what else?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah. Currently hitting shelves is Jewbelation Fourteen, a brown ale of 14 malts, 14 hops and 14 percent alcohol. In our melting pot of a world, Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;brew representatives will be celebrating Christmasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and pouring beerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at the Toad in the Hole Pub (116 Fifth St., Santa Rosa; 707.544.8623) on Tuesday, Dec. 7, where the Jewsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; brews will be matched to traditional Christmas soups and roasts and pies of England. The following Tuesday, Dec. 14, the owners of Anchor Brewing will pour their famed Christmas Ale and other classics at the pub. And on Tuesday, Dec. 21, the weekly event will feature an all-star lineup of Christmas beers English, Belgian and American. Drink up. The carolers are coming.

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THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

17

thumbprint cellars

LIVE MUSIC. DELICIOUS FOOD. GREAT DISCOUNTS. AMAZING WINES.

PRESENTS

wine’d up

Enjoy the Perks of Being a Wine Club Member at over 15 Downtown Healdsburg Wineries! If you are a wine club member at ONE participating winery, then you get a discount at ALL.

a wine club affair in downtown healdsburg

saturday, december 11, 2010

Visit www.thumbprintcellars.com/winedup for a list of participating wineries and happenings throughout the day.

102 Matheson St. Healdsburg 707.433.2393 www.thumbprintcellars.com

Ayurvedic

Indian Head Massage • relief from tension headaches, eyestrain, and sinusitis • improves mobility in neck and shoulders • balances energy

Margery Smith 707.544.9642

18

12.01.10-12.07.10

THE BOHEMIAN

Sazon ´ Santa Rosa

Peruvian Cuisine i e

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0A428?45>A 270=64 onoma County foodies have a chance to dine out for a cause this week as part of the ninth annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 2. Over 60 local restaurants will be donating 25 to 50 percent of every meal tab to Food for Thought, the grassroots Sonoma County food bank. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dining Out for Life raised over $90,000 to continue Food for Thoughtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission of providing meals to Sonoma County men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS.

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A report by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services estimates that between 1,900 and 2,200 individuals live with HIV in Sonoma County, and ranks the county as having the seventh highest population of persons living with AIDS in California for 2008. Donations to Food for Thought help the organization provide free weekly grocery bags ďŹ lled with canned and boxed food, fresh produce, nutritional supplements and vitamins to more than 645 people. A smattering of restaurants are donating 25 percent to the cause, including but certainly not limited to the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville; Underwood and Willow Wood in Graton; Barndiva and Ravenous in Healdsburg; Howard Station Cafe in Occidental; Bistro 29, Macâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Momboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Santi, Starkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Williâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Santa Rosa; Hopmonk in Sebastopol; Rocker Oysterfellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Valley Ford and many others. Some restaurants have opted to donate a whopping 50 percent; those include Sunshine Roasters, Dawn Ranch Lodge Roadhouse Restaurant, K&L Bistro, Sunshine Roasters at Andyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Produce in Santa Rosa, Bistro M and Restaurant Mirepoix. Food drives are also taking place to beneďŹ t Food for Thought from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 at Food for Humans (16385 First St., Guerneville) and from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 at Kaiser Permanente (401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa). A complete list of participating Dining Out for Life restaurants is available at www.diningoutforlife.com.

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Yo el Rey Roasting locally roasted organic fair trade coffee

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Available for shipping online 1217 Washington St Downtown Calistoga 707.942.1180 www.yoelrey.com

THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

19

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W E SERV E ORG A N IC L O CA L F O OD

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Simply Vietnam

Traditional Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Thank you

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East County

We Need Your Jugs! (growlers)

kegs & cases to go too The local preference for authentic Vietnamese

fresh ingredients large dining room friendly staff always affordable

dine in & take out

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Now Open for Refills Fridays, 12-5pm or call for an appt. 2064 Gravenstein Hwy N, building 4 -iL>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;ÂŤÂ&#x153;Â?Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2021;äĂ&#x2021;°nĂ&#x201C;Â&#x2122;°£Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D; Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;°>ViVÂ&#x2C6;`iĂ&#x20AC;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C;

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463 Sebastopol Ave . Santa Rosa In the South A Arts District Open Tues-Thurs 10-4 . Fri-Sat 10-9 THE BOHEMIAN

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THE BOHEMIAN



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1A0<1;414AAH14BCB electing from a few personal favorites and a mixed bag of likely candidates, we recently searched for Zinfandels that might pack our winter evenings with ďŹ&#x201A;avor. Blind tasted by a hardto-please crew of eight and scored from 1 to 5.

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Woodenhead Vintners 2007 Braccialini Vineyard, Alexander Valley Zinfandel ($34) Further down this list, opinion was more divided, but Woodenhead was the standout favorite. Spicy, toasted nut and fruity potpourri accents to bright raspberry, strawberry jam ďŹ&#x201A;avors in this medium-bodied wine. Some tasted rum, but nobody felt the heat on a smooth ďŹ nish that lingers for a day. Score: 4.5 Woodenhead 2007 Guido Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County Zinfandel ($34) Most agreed that this deeperhued Zin gushes with brambleberry, blueberry and cherry fruit, infused with vanilla or hazelnut. This one, however, ties it off with lingonberry tartness. Score: 4.1 Courtney Benham 2008 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($20) Silky, cottony, airy and woody were applied to the round, satisfying mouthfeel; chocolate and raspberry took turns on ďŹ&#x201A;avor. With 14 percent Petite Sirah, a smooth and appealing Zin. Score: 4.0 Cline Cellars 2009 California Zinfandel ($12) Mixed aroma impressions from rose to Concord grape, geranium to sweaty saddle. Some popsicle-stick woodiness to the ďŹ nish, but balanced and jammy overall. Score: 4.0 XYZin Vine Age Series 2007 California Zinfandel ($16) Spicy, with mint or juniper, dried fruit including banana; a dry, briery ďŹ nish. A versatile table wine. Score: 4.0 Ravenswood Winery Barricia Vineyard, Sonoma Valley Zinfandel ($35) Pine bough, almond, charred wood and chocolate cordial aromas; intense ďŹ&#x201A;avors of cherry cola, barbecued blackberries, wrapped up in bristly, dry tannins. Not a wimpy wine. Score: 3.8 Gamba Vineyards 2008 Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($35) Deeply colored, a high-octane Zin with warm aromas of berry pie ďŹ lling, leather, freesia, brown spice; ďŹ&#x201A;avors of blueberry and mincemeat pie. Some found it simpler than all that. Score: 3.6 Kokomo Winery 2008 Mounts Vineyard DCV Zinfandel ($30) Leather, mineral oil and smoke aromas dominated; berry ďŹ&#x201A;avors undermined by some heat. Score: 3.6 Kokomo 2008 Timber Crest DCV Zinfandel ($32) Leather, char and cedar aromas; bitter chocolate and blackberry liqueur with an aggressive, astringent ďŹ nish. Cellar it! Score: 3.6 Kokomo 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel ($22) Black licorice, cassis and charred wood lead to chili powder heat, brambleberry ďŹ&#x201A;avors and a lip-shrinking, puckery ďŹ nish. Score: 3.5 Harvest Moon Winery 2007 RRV Zinfandel ($30) Floral, berry blossom, saffron, citrus zest, cherry and vanilla aromas; solid cherry ďŹ&#x201A;avors that some found agreeable, while others diverged. Score: 3.5 Harvest Moon 2008 RRV Zinfandel ($28) Vibrantly colored, with aroma impressions from berry blossom, sandalwood, cinnamon and chocolate to new wine, with a distinctively deep, sour-cherry ďŹ&#x201A;avor; this singularly tart and fresh Zin may share more in common with a style of fruit-forward Russian River Pinot than some of its Dry Creek brethren that it was tasted against. Score: 3.4

James Knight

32.AB?2

2CA;0;C34; The writer, amazingly still making deadline after one too many.

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3aX]ZD_?^fTa3^f] One girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s immersion in the mystifying existence of anti-energy drinks By Aimee Drew

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he overhead light is buzzing, and so are the inhabitants of the living room. Pencils, dice and character sheets are strewn everywhere. How long have my friends and I been playing this game of Dungeons and Dragons? Eight hours? Ten? A collection of slain Red Bulls, Rockstars and Monster drinks adds to the increasing body count of goblins, skeletons and giant spiders, and as the quest continues, the dungeon master cracks open yet another energy drink. While this scene may seem a little desperate (and embarrassingly geeky), my friends are not alone in excessive energy-drink consumption. In the last decade, energy drinks have firmly wedged their way into our lives, with regular old caffeine and its regular old buzz taking a backseat to ingredients like taurine, acai and ginsengâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and in the case of the original Sparks (RIP) and its nextgeneration spin-off, Four Loko (soon to be pulled

from shelves nationwide), good olâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; devil alcohol. Though the majority of the market share of energy drinks consists of only a handful of varieties, the market experienced growth of 240 percent between 2004 and 2009. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, energy shot sales reached $560 million in 2008. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of tiny bottles. I have not been immune to this trend. Cheaper and far easier to acquire than, say, methamphetamine, energy drinks are more than able to provide that extra, sometimes much-needed boost a girl needs. But what about the aftereffects, when stress is sky high and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible to relax? Or those endless nights when the clock is ticking the hours away, but the brain is still going at warp speed? Dear readers, a solution has emerged, fast making its way into the mainstream. Behold the anti-energy drink. This budding microindustry isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t unlike its energetic predecessor, featuring eye-catching logos, bullet-style cans and names like iChill and

Dream Water. And while these magic, somnolent potions may have different ingredients and ad campaigns from each other, they all make essentially the same claims: a feeling of relaxation, an increase in concentration, a reduction of stress and even a good nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleep. While their composition may vary slightly, the majority of relaxation drinks contain at least one of a select few ingredients. Gammaaminobutyric acid (otherwise known as GABA, not to be confused with GHB) is a nerotransmitter that regulates nueroexcitability throughout the nervous system. 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is a naturally occurring amino acid, sold over the counter as a sleep aid, antidepressant or appetite suppressant. Valerian, a perennial with pink flowers, is used to treat insomniaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what the doctor in Fight Club recommends to Edward Nortonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character to help him sleep at nightâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and kava roots possess mild sedative properties and are traditionally consumed by Pacific Island cultures. Finally, melatonin is a hormone that may aid sleep but is not to be messed with carelessly. ') THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

23

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With so many ingredients and effects, I decided to get to the bottom of this antienergy-drink thing. Were any of them truly effective? Relaxing? Stomachable? Determined to find out, I scouted as many as I could find, hopped on that crazy melatonin train and drank it all the way to the end of the line.

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$30 per Gingerbread kit. Pre-registration required. Register online. Includes Museum admission for 1 adult & 1 child per kit

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24

12.01.10-12.07.10

THE BOHEMIAN



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y inaugural drink in this experiment is a beverage called Neuro Sleep. Suspended in a sleek orange bottle, it looks more like a lava lamp than a consumable beverage. According to Neuro Sleepâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, the drinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specific combination of melatonin and magnesium â&#x20AC;&#x153;work together to aid in healthy sleep quality and normalize the circadian rhythm.â&#x20AC;? Sounds scientific, right? Feeling a little like Alice in Wonderland as I down the bottle, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m expecting it to have that familiar vaguely chemical taste of the typical energy drink, a delicate bouquet of citrus and pomegranate with hints of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tylenol. I am pleasantly surprised. Neuro Sleepâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flavor harks back to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;orange-drinkâ&#x20AC;? memories of childhood, somewhere between Tang and Gatorade with a bit of a chalky aftertaste. My initial reaction after downing the bottle is a slight headache, though admittedly itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably nothing more than a standard, run-of-the-mill brain freeze. After a while, what can only be described as a warm, fuzzy feeling kicks in, bringing a lazy smile to my face and even goose bumps to my arms. Forty-five minutes later, after a hot shower, I am left with a feeling of relaxation but a trace of nausea and a headache that still wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t subside. The end result isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much different than the crash after a few beers or a large Long Island iced tea. While Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m undoubtedly experiencing a mildly relaxing experience, on the whole, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also mildly disappointing. Next on the list is Jones Gaba, from the makers of those delightful, brightly colored Jones sodas. Each 12-ounce can of Jones Gaba contains an entire 150 mg of the intimidatingly named gamma-aminobutyric acid. While not so much a sleep aid as a relaxation and concentration aid, Jones Gaba promises â&#x20AC;&#x153;focus and clarityâ&#x20AC;? in each obnoxiously energy-drink-sized can. This so-called juice-tea comes in four different flavors: lemon-honey, grapefruit, nectarine and Fuji apple, all of which sound at least slightly unappealing, especially considering Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been a big fan of tea to begin with. But this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about a pleasant taste. That became my mantra, in fact: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about the effects,â&#x20AC;? I chant, as I struggle to finish that 12-ounce can. Upon first opening the can, the drink itself smells strongly and very apple-y, like a Jolly Rancher. The taste is more like watereddown apple juice with a distinctive tea-like flavor. Again, allow me to reiterate that I am not a big tea drinker. Tea makes me gag and always has. Jones Gaba is technically classified as a tea-juice, contains white tea, and, dear Lord, it is no exception. It does manage to give me a fuzzyheaded

feeling of relaxation, though, but not exactly what I would describe as â&#x20AC;&#x153;focusâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;clarity.â&#x20AC;? And while it does make me want to take a nap, I decide to fight the urge to succumb to sleep and indulge in some creative pursuits instead. I have an art project that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been neglecting for a while, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to work on it. After all, creativity and substance abuse go hand in hand, right? Maybe not. Rather than bursting with inspiration, my project that is supposed to consist of illustrations of people and cats ends up with the people looking a little cubist (but not in the good, Picasso-esque way) and with one of the cats wearing shoes. Ugh. So much for heavy machinery. It seems I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even operate a mechanical pencil under the influence of this stuff.

The more of these drinks I sample, the worse they get, and the more I feel like Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m slowly poisoning myself. Dream Water ensures users that its ingredients will lull them to sleep and lead to a more refreshed state the next day. On the whole, I find the idea of a good nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleep without feeling like a groggy zombie the next day very appealing. But for my Dream Water trial, I decide to try a bit of an unorthodox, wake-and-bake-style approach. Rather than drinking it right before bed, I drink it first thing in the morning and plan to spend the entire day fighting off its effects, like a character in a Nightmare on Elm Street movie. One, two, Dream Waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming for you. While still in my flannel nightgown and bathrobe, I throw back the 2.5-ounce shot of snoozeberry flavored Dream Water and wait for it to kick in. Snoozeberry, it turns out, is not merely a bastardization of Willy Wonkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;snozzberryâ&#x20AC;? flavor, but a combination of blueberry and pomegranate. The scent is light and subtle, but the flavor is gag-inducingly sweet. The snoozeberries taste like snoozeberries. The bottleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warning label cautions me not to drive, operate heavy machinery or do â&#x20AC;&#x153;other important tasksâ&#x20AC;? while under the influence of Dream Water. Voting doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t count as an important task, right? Under the influence or not, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business as usual on Election Day, but as the elixir begins to take effect, it suddenly occurs to me that I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read up on any of the candidates or propositions and have no idea how to vote. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s then that I find myself, still in my nightgown, curled up on my bathroom floor, poring over a sample ballot and marveling at what a lovely name Meg Whitman really is.

SPONSORED BY CHARLES M. SCHULZ MUSEUM & NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN warns consumers not to drive or operate equipment while taking the product. I’m excited about this one, because according to its website, it’s nothing but orange juice and kava root extract—kind of like a screwdriver, only better. Surely there’ll be no awful chemical taste with this one. Alas. While the taste isn’t exactly chemical, it is most certainly awful. My first thought upon opening the can and sniffing the contents is that it has somehow gone bad. Does a canned drink have the ability to go bad? Even holding my nose, squeezing my eyes shut and just chugging isn’t enough to make the liquid nightmare palatable. After getting through about half the can, I promise myself I’ll finish it later and stash it in my fridge. Luckily, I never have the chance. Sometime within the next 24 hours, one of my poor, pitiable housemates drinks the last of my RZO. I take it as a sign. The anti-energy experiment has reached its end.

4

ven after all my research, I still cannot figure out why these products exist in the first place. Sure, relaxation and a good night’s sleep are great, but do they really need to be marketed in liquid form? Are energy-drink junkies so far gone that they need to detox with a similar-looking bottle? Perhaps someone simply realized that with the success of energy drinks, an opposite product might result in some backlash profit. The free market abhors a vacuum, after all. I’m beginning to suspect that any drink that promises a good night’s sleep is just as ridiculous as a drink that promises an energy boost or weight loss or a cure for erectile dysfunction. Maybe it works, but probably it’s too good to be true. The drinks I’ve tried have been effective, there’s no doubt about that, but the unpleasant tastes and sometimes scary side effects simply aren’t worth it. As for me, I’ll stick with an extra large helping of Tylenol PM.

NE W!

BOHEMIAN READERS’ SPECIAL

2 FOR 1 READERS PASS EVERY SECOND SATURDAY

Saturday, December 11 • 1–3pm Meet Local Artist & Illustrator

Pete McDonnell Mention Bohemian Readers Pass at the Front Desk for Your Discount Regular admission: $10 Adults, $5 Seniors & Children Discount valid for equal or lesser value

707-579-4452 www.SchulzMuseum.org

CHARLES M. SCHULZ MUSEUM 2301 HARDIES LANE, SANTA ROSA

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www.artquestonline.org THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

Photo by Devon Shaw

Lucky for me, the polling place is only a few blocks from my house, so I’m able to zigzag down the sidewalk and do my civic duty. I am determined to vote for the right candidates, and am not swayed by my dopedup fascination with the name Meg Whitman (like some glorious combination of Leaves of Grass and Little Women). After I get home from voting, I think I eat lunch, but I honestly have no idea. Around 4pm, my eyelids are getting too heavy to fight. I decide to take a quick power nap to wake up feeling “refreshed and energized.” The next thing I know, the room is totally dark and I’m struggling to sit up and squint at the numbers on my alarm clock, which read 7:39pm. What the hell? If I thought my experiences thus far were unpleasant, they were only teasers for the main event: Aimee vs. iChill. Monday night finds me staying up way past my bedtime and completely wired. Knowing I need to get to sleep so I can be up early the following morning, now seems like the perfect opportunity to put one of these drinks to the use for which it was actually meant. According to iChill’s website, it is the world’s first relaxation shot—a dubious honor at best. Its unique blend of melatonin, valerian root and rose hips promises to “help calm the body and mind at the end of a stressful day.” Perfect. Just what I need on this frazzled night. The flavor is called Blissful Berry, and while the scent is most certainly berry, the taste is what can only be described as horrific. It’s sickly sweet berry, but also something else. Something that tastes the way bug spray smells. Just drinking the twoounce bottle is difficult, like swallowing some terrible green cough syrup that burns the throat and makes the eyes water. Like every other relaxation drink I’ve tried, iChill starts off by giving me a slight headache and a trace of nausea. Similar to my Neuro Sleep trial, I figure I’ll take a shower and be fully ready for bed by the time the drink takes effect. But the shower actually makes the nausea worse, until I’m doubled over and praying to the relaxationdrink gods that I won’t throw up. If that mix of berry and bug spray was bad going down, it would surely be worse coming back up. As luck would have it, I keep my composure and am able to stagger back to my bedroom where I spend the next half an hour lying in bed, listening to my pulse pounding in my ears, feeling the room spinning around me and wondering about the strange pain in my chest. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I am miraculously able to fall asleep. Needless to say, this will be the first and last time the wretched substance known as iChill will pass through these lips. The more of these drinks I sample, the worse they get, and the more I feel like I’m slowly poisoning myself. After trying several containing melatonin, I decide to switch things up and try one emphasizing kava. RZO looks deceptively like an ordinary energy drink: the black 10.5-ounce can is emblazoned with the name of the drink in bright, blue, graffiti-style letters, and a small disclaimer at the bottom of the can

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4HE"EST.EW $ISPENSARY.ORTHOF THE'OLDEN'ATE

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18610=314;CF0H The Rio Nido Lodge once played host to Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton and others before falling into disrepair.

AdbbXP]AXeTaATeXeP[ Once seedy and unsafe, the Rio Nido Lodge slowly rises again By David Templeton

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emories That Linger.â&#x20AC;? That concise sloganâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a curt blend of goofy-sweet nostalgia and well-meaning optimismâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;once greeted all visitors to the onetime vacation resort of Rio Nido, where the three promising words stretched across a sign at the entrance of this tiny river town. The glory days of Rio Nido appear to be long gone, but memories from the 1930s and â&#x20AC;&#x2122;40sâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;when the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest big bands played for those who came from all over to swim, dance and fall in loveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;do linger, although most of those carrying them are now in their 70s and 80s. Many still recall the old wooden dance f loor that stood over the river, lit at night by bonfires on the beach. They remember the names that once appeared on posters all over Sonoma County: Harry James, Woody Herman, Ozzie Nelson, Buddy Rogers. More often than not, standing at the shady, treelined geographic center of those lingering memories is the Rio Nido Lodge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In â&#x20AC;&#x2122;43, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;44, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;45, my girlfriends and I used

to go out there as a group, which was the best way to goâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a great big group of girls,â&#x20AC;? says MaryEvelyn Panttaja, retired schoolteacher and Analy High School graduate, class of â&#x20AC;&#x2122;44. Born and raised in Sebastopol, Panttaja fondly remembers summer nights during the war, bouncing along the unpaved country road out to Rio Nido, driving on rationed gas toward an assortment of eager young men always waiting for a dance. The war years, Panttaja recalls, were a confusing and fearful time, with many of her closest Japanese friends suddenly sent away to internment camps. The promise of an eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entertainment out on the river was eagerly awaited as an antidote to widespread sadness and uncertainty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you went up to Rio Nido on a Saturday night,â&#x20AC;? Panttaja says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it was always much more fun not to go with a date. Of course, we were mainly into the bands. We saw Stan Kenton! We saw both Dorseys. Sometimes, we would stand in front of the stage and just listen all night. Rio Nido was such a magical place, a very important place to so many of us.â&#x20AC;? But the hard realities of a changing world have transformed Rio Nido into a

still-charming but definitely not bustling community, with concerns about crime, economy and a lack of local jobs. Meanwhile, passing from owner to owner, the lodgeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a charmingly ramshackle place with chateaustyle architecture, a moss-covered roof shaped in a series of rain-repelling peaks and a grove of towering redwoods clustered all aroundâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; has suffered the most over the last decade. Mismanaged and allowed to fall apart, the place rapidly became a haven for drug dealers, prostitution and other criminal activity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really bad,â&#x20AC;? says Rio Nido homeowner Elizabeth Parker, who writes about the town in the entertainingly opinionated online blog Russian River Rattina. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The last owner, Jim Friedman, did try at first to fix the place up and to run it as an inn, but thenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I think it was mainly after the f loodsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;he seemed to just give up. The place just completely went to hell. He started renting to a lot of parolees from San Quentin, where he supposedly worked as a psychologist, and he made rooms available to people coming out of prison. That was the death knell.â&#x20AC;? According to Parker, many units had no 'running water because thieves had THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

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stolen the copper piping. Discarded needles could be found across the grounds. Soon, the entire Rio Nido community saw the local crime rate increase. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were all these stories,â&#x20AC;? Parker continues, â&#x20AC;&#x153;stories of kids sitting on the step in front of a room while their mother was inside earning her next fix. There were tweakers all over the place. It was pretty obvious. It was so sad.â&#x20AC;? But now, the identity of the Lodge appears to be changing . . . again. Into what is not yet clear. The change began two years ago, when Friedman lost the property to foreclosure. The building was boarded up and surrounded by a chain-link fence, occupied only by squirrels and squatters. Its only remaining assets, its physical charm and remaining historical significance, were fading faster than a foxtrot. A series of potential buyers looked at the place but immediately disappeared. Then Sonoma County developer Dennis Judd appeared on the scene. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The architecture of that building has always attracted me,â&#x20AC;? admits Judd, who purchased the property last fall at auction reportedly for just over a quarter-million dollars. Judd, who has a history of purchasing and rehabilitating troubled properties, has lived in Sebastopol since 1986. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never really knew Rio Nido very well,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but I always found the Lodge to be an attractive building. So when the opportunity came and it went on the market again, I started investigating it. I like fixing up old buildings. I like to bring new life back into them. And I like it when that brings new life back into a community.â&#x20AC;? Though Judd initially knew little history of the building, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learned a lot in the last year. Former owners and nearby residents have brought him boxes of memorabilia: photos, posters, newspaper clippings. What originally seemed to be an architecturally appealing fixer-upper soon became something much more: a symbol of youth and innocence, thick with cherished memories. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just people in Sonoma County who remember the lodge fondly,â&#x20AC;? Judd acknowledges. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not even just in the Bay Area. Memories of Rio Nido have spread all over. I was at a conference in San Diego and I happened to mention the Rio Nido Lodge, and one of the people there, an older gentleman, said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You know, I remember going there. It was a really special place. It was the class act of the North Bay!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? After purchasing the Lodge, while the job of cleaning the place up began, Judd started meeting with area residents, brainstorming about what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to see happen to the place. The first such meetings were contentious and highspirited. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was clear to me,â&#x20AC;? Judd says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that what had been going on there had devastated the community, and it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

just the Lodge that had become rundown. There were overgrown pathways and graffiti all over. It became obvious that this project isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about coming in and rehabilitating the Lodge. That wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough. I suggested that the community, to a degree, needed to be rehabilitated, too. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in my power to do. The community has to do that.â&#x20AC;? Little by little, those changes are taking place. Though much of the Lodge is still unoccupied, Judd has been gradually renovating it piece by piece, with major new improvements getting ready to be implemented. Last fall, the Pegasus Theater Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;nomadic since losing its longtime site in Monte Rioâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;took over the back portion, converting it into a small theater.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;It was clear to me that what had been going on there had devastated the community.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Since moving to the new Lodge theater, attendance has reportedly been better than itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been in years for Pegasus, with audiences from all over the Russian River once again trekking to the Lodge for an evening of entertainment. That should only increase with the show Pegasus opens this weekend: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Wonderful Life: A Staged Radio Play with Music, taking place in the 1940s as Hollywood royalty drop by for the holidays. In the play, the Rio Nido Lodge plays itself; one could say itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the star of the show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think Dennis Judd has been good for the community,â&#x20AC;? says Parker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are people worried about him, as a developer, afraid that he might put affordable housing in. But the truth is, he does manage his properties. He takes care of them, and he does have a vision for the Rio Nido Lodge. In my view, anything he does with it is better than what was there before.â&#x20AC;? Most residents seem to agree. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rio Nido is one of the most beautiful places in the world,â&#x20AC;? asserts Judd, â&#x20AC;&#x153;with the incredible redwoods and the Russian River. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gorgeous spot, and the Lodge is a great buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it just hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been utilized to its fullest potential in a long, long time. My hope is that, one way or another, the Rio Nido Lodge will be a place for people to come and heal, just as the town of Rio Nido is healing itself.â&#x20AC;?

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; meets Utahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canyonlands in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;127 Hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; By Richard von Busack

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12.01.10-12.07.10

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his is the kind of horrific thriller that feels so good when it stops. Might it feel better if it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even start in the first place? 127 Hours is Danny Boyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of the true-life story of climber Aron Ralston, who, in 2003, became pinioned under a half-ton boulder in a remote Utah canyon. What he did to surviveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;amputating his armâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;became worldwide news, and those who prayed a movie would never be made of it will be teased early on. As Aron (James Franco) packs for the fateful trip, for instance, we see his face from the inside of a cupboard, where a Swiss army knife lies waiting. 127 Hours records an ordeal so singular, Poe couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have improved on it. Unfortunately, director Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) starts it with a burst of relentless motion, the type famously seen in his breakthrough Trainspotting. (This ADD style has been thoroughly appropriated for sportsdrink commercials, which is appropriate, because the products more or less advertised in 127 Hours are Gatorade and Coors.) The title sequence shows the crowded worldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;driving, praying, rushingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all at once on triple-screen. Twenty-something Aron is running away from this hectic existence, first driving through the night in his truck into the desert and then speeding on his mountain bike over the hills. Ralston isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an ordinary Joe. Franco plays him as a showman, recording his thoughts with a digital camera. (At times, Aron imagines himself as a guest on a hallucinatory TV show, as if forecasting the real-life Ralstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s later fame as the subject of a major motion picture.) The camera plays back visions of the life that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely to lose, and the battery never seems to go dead.

rgine e b u A

30

;4CC74A414A>2: James Franco portrays climber Aron Ralston, whose survival skills translate terrifyingly.



There are other video-game essentials; for example, a digital thermometer onscreen menacingly recording the drop in the temperature. The film is the work of someone terrified of boring the audience. And yet all this relentless f lashâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the camera even snakes up inside the tube of a CamelBak water carrierâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t illuminate something that was essentially a terrible incident. Instead, it finds a moral lesson: Aron should have connected with the multitude; with his plaintive mom, whose calls he never returned; with the girlfriend who dumped him for his breeziness. ClĂŠmence PoĂŠsy plays the girl, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an oasis in this picture, a refreshing vision in a movie thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loaded with tight closeups of a man expiring slowly. Her parting line, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be so alone, Aron,â&#x20AC;? underscores the weak idea of the cave ordeal as a kind of payback for someone young and disengaged. Francoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visceral acting in the service of this horror story should be praised, even if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a pleasure to watch. 127 Hours will effect anyone not numbed by disgust, but equally numbing is Boyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attempt to scratch up a narrative. The detailsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like an antâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mandible pinching Aronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;mirror the sense that Boyle had ants on his spine, that he was without enough calm to make visions of a home life look homey or a lover look compassionate or a desert look serene. Watching 127 Hours, the audience ends up trapped themselves: trapped between the longing to see Aron just get it over with and the longing to not see it at all. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;127 Hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows daily at Summerfield Cinemas (551 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa; 707.522.0719) and opens Friday at Boulevard Cinemas (200 C St., Petaluma; 707.762.7469).

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186B2A44=F8==0A08=1>F â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Saint Misbehavinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: The Wavy Gravy Movieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; screens Dec. 5 at the Smith Rafael Film Center with documentary subject Mr. Gravy himself in discussion. See Film, p40.

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N O R T H B AY M O V I E T I M E S www.sonomamovietimes.com www.marinmovietimes.com www.napamovietimes.com THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

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“A MEMORABLE THRILL RIDE.” “

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MEAT & 2 VEG NOW OFFERING A

Traditional

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12.01.10-12.07.10

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Christmas, Daddy-O

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Grand Opening

a.k.a. the Motherland

The everything-grandma-likes-we-like-too swing revival of 10 years ago always did benefit greatly from cross-generational appeal, which makes the uptempo retro swing of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy the perfect Christmas serenade. For a time, it seemed like BBVDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job was to quell the pre-millennial tension of 1999, riding high on a wave that began with â&#x20AC;&#x153;You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonightâ&#x20AC;? from the cult movie Swingers and culminating in a Superbowl halftime show. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say that their current Christmas tour is a sad decline, though; the band actually self-released a Christmas album ages ago, before being signed to Capitol Records. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in their blood with songs like â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Zat You, Santa Claus?â&#x20AC;? and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all onstage for the family to enjoy on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $37â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$47. 707.546.3600.

Pianos have souls, and if anyone doubts it, the documentary â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Miracle in a Boxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should set the record straight. Covering the drama and aftermath of the First Berkeley Piano Competition, the film glides over the winner to turn the camera on the bequeathed prize: a 1927 Steinway grand piano in need of repair. Piece by piece and string by string, the piano is restored with delicacy, care and measurements down to the 10th of a gram. Anyone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given time and love to once-beautiful works of art, be it furniture, automobiles, bikes or instruments, will find much in common with the craftsmen in the film, and John Lithgowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s narration helps Oscar-winning documentarian John Kortyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film drive home the triumph of restoration. Korty appears in person to screen the film on Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Bay Model Visitor Center. 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. 6pm. Free. 415.381.4123.

Elsewhere in these pages this week youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll read about the recently renovated Rio Nido Lodge, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a brand new stage opening this week as well. The Cloverdale Performing Arts Center has for the past few years stood along Main Street as an almost-completed vision, replete with laminated blueprints posted on the front of the building and projected completion dates that never saw completionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;until now. The new quaint space befits the plucky town thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done nothing but bounce back from a crippling freeway rerouting over 10 years ago, and its impressive slate of upcoming plays serves to bring even more art to an increasingly art-friendly burg. Starting this weekend, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s A Christmas Carol, while a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by live music and a tour gets underway on Friday, Dec. 3, at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center. 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. 4pm. Free. 707.894.2214.

Despite the recent announcement that the Sebastopol Community Center will no longer host the annual Celtic Music Festival, the town this weekend hosts a new tradition in the African-International Music Festival. Benefiting more than 10 local nonprofit organizations, the event sees a wealth of music representing Africa and beyond within the wood-paneled walls of the center. With headliners the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Masters of World Musicâ&#x20AC;? living up to their titleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Stephen Kent, Gurdeep Singh, Sukhawat Ali Khan and Mamadou Sidibe are truly mastersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the afternoon and evening are rounded out by Midnight Sun, Dgiin, Carnaval Spirit, the Sweet Penny royals, the Linda Ferro Band, Mr. Music, Sena, the Wildcard Bellydancers and the Sonoma County Pomo Indian Dancers. Food, beer and a raffle complete the fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Sebastopol Veterans Memorial Hall. 282 High St., Sebastopol. 4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9:30pm. $15. 707.565.2041.

6PQT<T[X]T THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

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DI N N E R A N D

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RUBBER SOULDIERS

Dec 3 Dec 4 Sun

Dec 5

AND

Ho, Ho, Ho! Comedian

WILL DURST PLUS DEB AND MIKE

7:00pm Fri

Dec 10 Sat

Dec 11 Fri

Dec 17 Fri

TOM RIGNEY & FLAMBEAU

Cajun Orkestra 8:30pm

VOLKER STRIFLER BAND

Red Hot Original Blues 8:30pm

CHROME JOHNSON

Original Rock 8:30pm

Our 4th Annual

Dec 24 GOSPEL CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER SHOW WITH

THE KINGDOM TRAVELERS

6:00pm Thur

FAUX NEW YEARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EVE WITH

Fri

NEW YEARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EVE PARTY WITH

Dec 30 Dec 31

ELVIN BISHOP

THE ZYDECO FLAMES

A46604A>H0;CH

415.662.2219

On the Town Square, Nicasio www.ranchonicasio.com

34

12.01.10-12.07.10

No frigginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Ky-Mani Marley performs and signs his new book in Sebastopol at Monday Night Edutainment Dec. 6. See Concerts, above. THE BOHEMIAN



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THE BOHEMIAN

12.01.10-12.07.10

35

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36

12.01.10-12.07.10

THE BOHEMIAN



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Doug Jayne revisits topical tunes with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Folk Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; oug Jayne not only hosts two radio shows, on KRCB-FM and KRSH-FM, and co-owns one of the few remaining independent record stores in the area, the Last Record Store, he also heads Jackalope Records, a label releasing local artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work. This week, Jackalope releases Jayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Folk University, his homage to the post-Hootenanny, pre-electric acoustic music of the early â&#x20AC;&#x2122;60s. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It sounds like a big â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;duh,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Jayne says on the phone from his Jackalope studio, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but I really tried to make a record that people would want to listen to. My inspiration was certainly the folk era of the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;60s, which I really enjoyed as a kid. But I realized . . . you know when a kid has a toy, and sees a bigger toy, he drops the one toy and moves on? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly what happened when I saw the Beatles. No more folkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I must rock!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? A few years ago, Jayne discovered much of that same forgotten music on his brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iPod while reading How Can I Keep from Singing?, David Dunawayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biography of Pete Seeger. The rediscovery came at a perfect time, when Jayne was unhappy with his own songwriting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I write a lot of songs that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the light of day,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and I was inspired by this strong material.â&#x20AC;? But why these particular tunes? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most of them were chosen because they suited me and my ability. If I were to put together a compilation of folk music, I would probably choose totally different songs.â&#x20AC;? The album features 12 tracks, including songs by Phil Ochs (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Draft Dodger Ragâ&#x20AC;?), Fred Neil (â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Other Side of This Lifeâ&#x20AC;?), Stephen Foster (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hard Times Come Again No Moreâ&#x20AC;?) and Bob Dylan (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only a Hoboâ&#x20AC;?), among others. Jayneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s release show this weekend is split into two sets: one of material from Folk University and one of original songs, backed by the ever-present talents of his many friends. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d probably do better if I worked with strangersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;then I could charge more,â&#x20AC;? he jokes of Jackalope Studios. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d much rather spend a few hours with friends and make a 10th of the dough than with a douchebag band.â&#x20AC;? Jayne celebrates the release of Folk University backed by a non-douchebag band on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Studio E in rural Sebastopol. Address provided with ticket. 8pm. $20 admission includes CD. 707.542.7143.

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Aubert Lemelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Battle Piecesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; debuts with the Santa Rosa Symphony orn in 1932, the French composer Aubert Lemeland lived through and wrote amid both the glory and damnation of the 20th century. His large-scale symphonies from 1975 onward evoke the triumph of humankind, while Lemeland when younger swung darker; Songs for the Dead Soldiers, inspired by the liberation of his hometown by American troops in 1944, is as evocative a piece of work one might find in a budding talent soon to amass a repertoire of over 200 pieces, including recordings by Arturo Toscanini and performances by RenĂŠe Fleming. Despite his proliďŹ c output, Lemeland remains an obscure ďŹ gure outside of France. His death just two weeks ago at the age of 77 merited barely any ink in the American press. In France, however, all proverbial eyes are on the Santa Rosa Symphony, where the world premiere of his ďŹ nal commissioned work, Battle Pieces, will make its debut this weekend. Expanding on Songs for the Dead Soldiers, Lemelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transcription for strings provides backing for ďŹ ve poems written by soldiers in La Haye-du-Puits. Recited by longtime Santa Rosa Symphony patron and WWII veteran Bernard Sugarman and under the baton of admirer and fellow Frenchman Bruno Ferrandis, expect a moving tribute to a giant talent. Lemeland would no doubt be thrilled by the fact that Battle Pieces is being unveiled in the shadow of the Sonoma Coast, where John Adams, a late inspiration, spends quiet time composing; in fact, his friend Pascal Lanco wrote in a French paper that before his death, the composer was â&#x20AC;&#x153;very emotional when he thought of the coming premiere in Santa Rosa.â&#x20AC;? With the program rounded out by Poulencâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gloria and FaurĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Requiem, a more ďŹ tting honor to the man couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been arranged. The Santa Rosa Symphony performs Lemelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Battle Pieces Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Monday, Dec. 4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm Saturday and Monday; 3pm Sunday. $28â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$55. 2pm Saturday rehearsal, $10. 707.546.8742.

B

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37

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DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T FORGETâ&#x20AC;ŚWE SERVE FOOD TOO!

Mc Nearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dining House

AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE PARTIES, BANQUETS, FUNDRAISERS AND OUTSIDE PROMOTERS 707.545.5876 12/2 9:30 PM SHOW > $22 > REGGAE

Breakfast â&#x20AC;˘ Lunch â&#x20AC;˘ Dinner BBQ â&#x20AC;˘ Pasta â&#x20AC;˘ Steak SAT 12/3 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $23 ADV/$26 DOS â&#x20AC;˘ ALL AGES ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC

REBEL LION PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS

FENDER PRESNTS GUITAR LEGEND

THIRD WORLD

DICK DALE FEATURING JIMMY

DALE

+ tHRIVE + DJ JACQUES 12/3

SAT 12/4 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $21 ADV/$24 DOS â&#x20AC;˘ 21+ ROCK/POP/ALT ROCK

FRANK (OF HANNON TESLA)

THE POSIES PLUS BRENDAN BENSON

12/4

After nasty rifts and breakups, the Posies have bounced back with a stellar power-pop album.

9:30 PM SHOW > $10/15 > POP HIP HOP

CHRISTY'S ON THE SQUARE PRESENTS

WED 12/8 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $21 ADV/$23 DOS â&#x20AC;˘ 18+ JAZZ/FUNK/BLUES

BW^^cX]VBcPab

"fistpump" "HARDNOX" performing

CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO

+ EVAN PHILLIP S TRUTHLIVE + dj primo + dj enfo

SAT 12/11 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $16 â&#x20AC;˘ 21+ JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE BAND

12/5

1:00 PM SHOW > $10 > DIXIELAND

After Alex Chiltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death, a resurrection for the Posiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; quirky pop

FOURTH STREET JAZZ BAND

CASHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;D OUT

+ JAM SESSIONS BY T.R.A.D J.A.S.S.

PLUS LARIATS OF FIRE

12/7

8:30 PM SHOW > $12/15 > ROCK

FRAMING HANLEY

SUN 12/12 â&#x20AC;˘ 5:30PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $16/$11 W/2 CANS â&#x20AC;˘ ALL AGES BLUEGRASS

HOLIDAY HOEDOWN â&#x20AC;&#x153;THE BIG GIVE-BACKâ&#x20AC;? WITH

+ IT'S ALIVE + TRANSMIT NOW

ARANN HARRIS & THE FARM BAND

12/8 7:30 PM SHOW > POP ROCK Chris-Mix Warm Up Party with American Idol season 9 winner

PLUS THE WRONGLERS

LEE DEWYZE

SAT 12/18 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $23 â&#x20AC;˘ 18+ FOLK/ACOUSTIC/ROOTS MUSIC

CHRISTMAS JUG BAND

12/9

WITH SPECIAL GUEST BARRY MELTON

8:30 PM SHOW > $10 > BLUES ROCK

THE CHRI S DUARTE GROUP

FRI 12/31 â&#x20AC;˘ 8:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $51 â&#x20AC;˘ 21+ BLUES

12/10

9:30 PM SHOW > $17/20 > REGGAE

THE ABY SS INIAN S

TOMMY CASTRO

12/11

PLUS FROBECK

8:30 PM SHOW > $15/20 > POP ROCK

KRI S ALLEN

SAT 1/15 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $25 â&#x20AC;˘ ALL AGES BLUES

BILL BOWKER'S HOLIDAY BLUES BLOWOUT 12/12 7:00 PM SHOW > $20/23 > BLUES

ROOMFUL OF BLUES

KIM WIL S ON' S BLUE S ALLSTAR S

BENEFIT FOR

PETALUMA HS MUSIC DEPARTMENT

+ the aces 12/13

7:30 PM SHOW > $20 > BLUES

THE GENE TAYLOR BLUE S BAND W/DAVE ALVIN

SAT 1/29 â&#x20AC;˘ 8:45PM DOORS â&#x20AC;˘ $18 â&#x20AC;˘ 21+ PARTY HITS COVER BAND

WONDERBREAD 5

all shows are 21+ unless noted for reservations: 707.545.5876

For All Ages Shows â&#x20AC;˘ No Children Under 10 Allowed

23 Petaluma Blvd, Petaluma

707.545.2343

707-765-2121

120 5th street @ davis street santa rosa, ca

www.mcnears.com 12.01.10-12.07.10

3424<14A1>HB

+ THE HIT SYSTEM

PLUS AQUEDUCT

38

9:30 PM SHOW > $15 > ROCK

lastdaysaloon.com

THE BOHEMIAN



By Alan Sculley

B

hould the Posiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jon Auer come across a bad review of his groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new album, Blood/Candy, chances are it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t faze him. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already impressed the only critic that matters, his longtime band mate Ken Stringfellow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even though we do a lot of writing separately, we are kind of trying to impress each other,â&#x20AC;? Auer says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kind of like saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hey, what else have you got in your bag of tricks, my friend? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve known you forever. What are you going to do next?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Blood/Candy is one of the best power-pop albums of 2010. Always masters of the hook, Auer and Stringfellow boast several gems that deliver inventive melodies and unexpected twists of arrangements and lyrical phrases (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Plastic Paperbacks,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Licenses to Hide,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cleopatra Streetâ&#x20AC;?). Even though the two logged 17 years backing up songwriting giant Alex Chilton in a revamped version of Big Star before Chiltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death earlier this year, it had been ages since Auer and Stringfellow had been able to challenge each other as songwriters, evidenced by the mixed reaction to their 2005 disc, Every Kind of Light. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether you liked all of the songs or not,â&#x20AC;? Auer says of that album, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think you have to at least concede that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made by some people that are creative and know what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel as unified to me.â&#x20AC;? As songwriters for the major-label, Seattle-based alternative band throughout the 1990s, Auer and Stringfellow suffered a nasty breakup in 1998. It seemed like an unfortunate end to a band that had shown great promise over the course of 10 years

and five albums. But in 2000, Auer and Stringfellow were coaxed onstage to sit in during a concert they were both attending. Their relationship was strained, but they realized the musical chemistry was still there. This led to some acoustic shows as a duo, the reformation of the Posies and the gradual repair of what had been a fractured friendship to make Every Kind of Light. But even then, Stringfellow admits in a separate phone interview, things werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t entirely on track. His relationship with Auer has gotten â&#x20AC;&#x153;way betterâ&#x20AC;? since then and the group is now in a good place, something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reflected on Blood/Candy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is us not clouded by a bunch of dramatic, emotional, moody stuff that was just always around us in the past,â&#x20AC;? Stringfellow says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything was a problem and everything was a crisis, and blah, blah, fucking blah. That might make you think that that makes everything more intense in a way. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a distraction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We still are emotional and the songs are emotional, and we had passionate debates about things,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But this is a record made the way we want it, and this is what we want to say.â&#x20AC;? The Posiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; satisfaction with Blood/Candy will be apparent in their live shows, which showcase plenty of new material. This weekend in Petaluma, the band will play a headlining set after Auer and Stringfellow back opening act Brendan Benson, who besides having an estimable solo career also plays with the White Stripesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jack White in the Raconteurs. The Posies and Brendan Benson play Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Mystic Theatre. 21 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma. 8pm. $20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$23. 707.765.2121.

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SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS Finding inspiration and connecting with your community Compassion Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center Offers ongoing daily and evening classes for Adults and Kids Everyone is welcome. Bookstore open Fri & Sat 10am - 2pm. Check the online calendar www.meditateinsantarosa.org or call 707-477-2264 for more info. New Location - 436 Larkfield Center, Santa Rosa

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The Jewish Meditation Retreat of Sonoma County Led by the outstanding Rabbis Lavey Derby and Ethan Franzel, powerful sacred chant music by the Beit Ayin Band, OPEN TO ALL and includes yoga, nature hikes, drum circles, and delicious organic food. To register, and for more info www.beitayin.org or beitayin@pacbell.net

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Mark Schaumann 707.795.0924

schaumann1@earthlink.net

Hope Healing Health

Donate Your Auto 800.380.5257 We do all DMV. Free pick up- running or not (restrictions apply). Live operators- 7 days! Help the Polly Klaas Foundation provide safety information and assist families in bringing kids home safely.

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