TAXES ATTACK! see Bites, page 8
ANTE W D $ REWARD $
BIKE FRIENDLY? see Frontlines, page 10
VOTE! see Opinion, page 15
SHERMAN BAKER VS.
BY PAUL KOBERSTEIN & JOHN WILLIAMS JOE HARDESTY HOLDS GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS IN CONTEMPT. BUT TWO LOCAL RIVERS MAY SUFFER CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS THEORY THAT HE IS IMMUNE TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROSECUTIONS.
VOLUME 24, ISSUE 07
POETS see Arts&Culture, page 22
PAGE SIXTEEN SACRAMENTO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
see Music, page 36
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012
Victoria has learned some things in the past 147 years. The art of toasting malts to perfection. Adding just enough hops to be intriguing but never bitter. And mastering the ﬁne balance of rich taste and clean ﬁnish in a world-class Vienna-style lager. History awaits you in every pint of Victoria.
2 | SN&R | 05.31.12 130051_CVICOR12023_103E.indd 1
4/25/12 5:29 PM
INSIDE Our Mission To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Melinda Welsh Managing Editor Nick Miller Senior Staff Writer Cosmo Garvin Arts & Culture Editor Rachel Leibrock Copy Editor Kyle Buis Associate Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Calendar Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Kel Munger Special Sections Editor Becca Costello Editorial Interns Jonathan Nathan, Kate Paloy, Matthew W. Urner, Amy Wong Contributors Sasha Abramsky, Gustavo Arellano, Rob Brezsny, Larry Dalton, Joey Garcia, Jeff Hudson, Eddie Jorgensen, Jonathan Kiefer, Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord, John Phillips, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Seth Sandronsky, Amy Yannello Design Manager Kate Murphy Art Director Priscilla Garcia Associate Art Director Hayley Doshay Editorial Designer India Curry Design Melissa Arendt, Brennan Collins, Mary Key, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Art Directors-at-large Don Button, Andrea Diaz-Vaughn Director of Advertising and Sales Rick Brown Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Joy Webber Advertising Consultants Rosemary Babich, Josh Burke, Vince Garcia, Dusty Hamilton, April Houser, Cathy Kleckner, Dave Nettles, Kelsi White Senior Inside Sales Consultant Olla Ubay Ad Services Coordinator Melissa Bernard Operations Manager Will Niespodzinski Client Publications Managing Editor Kendall Fields Sales Coordinators Shawn Barnum, Rachel Rosin Director of First Impressions Jeff Chinn Distribution Manager Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Nicholas Babcock, Walt Best, Daniel Bowen, Nina Castro, Jack Clifford, Robert Cvach, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Ramon Garcia, Wayne Hopkins, Brenda Hundley, Wendell Powell, Warren Robertson, Lloyd Rongley, Duane Secco, Jack Thorne
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My being born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Estelle’s Patisserie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 The V Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Dish Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Eat It and Reap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Food Stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Joe Hardesty believes he was vested, in part by a proclamation from President Ulysses S. Grant, to engage in local mining operations on his property while ignoring modern-day regulations to protect the environment. But the state of California’s mining board, and Sacramento and El Dorado counties beg to differ. Hardesty’s theory that he is immune to environmental prosecutions will soon be tested in an upcoming trial. Investigative reporters Paul Koberstein and John Williams report.
It’s a busy week. The poet laureate visits Sacramento; Kel Munger has the interview. Anthony Nathan looks at some cool skateboarding events, Greg Lucas finds a pretty flakey (that’s a good thing) croissant, a ravin’ Willie for Recent Tragic Events at Big Idea Theatre, and Nick Miller plays dueling interview with Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky. Popsmart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Poems live someplace. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Scene&Heard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
GREEN DAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Advertising Policies All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes full responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message.
OPINION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Community organizers and pirate-radiostation enthusiasts tried 10 years ago to convince the Federal Communications Commission to open up the airwaves to small, community-focused stations. Surprisingly, they won. In the coming months, a plan for locally grown radio is set to double in size, scope and, correspondingly, impact. Phil Busse looks at the future of community radio in Sacramento. Also this week: Cosmo Garvin preps all for the forthcoming tax attack in Bites, Christopher Arns rides the city’s new bike lanes to see if Sacto is bike friendly, and SN&R repeats its endorsements for the coming election. Bites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bike friendly? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Beats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Pirate radio catches airwaves . . . . . 10 Bye-bye $15 milk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Chief Operations Officer Deborah Redmond Human Resources Manager Tanja Poley Credit and Collections Manager Renee Briscoe Business Shannon McKenna, Zahida Mehirdel Business Intern Carlos Zuluaga Systems Manager Jonathan Schultz Systems Support Specialist Joe Kakacek Web Developer/Support Specialist John Bisignano
Editorial Policies Opinions expressed in SN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permission to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. SN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel.
VoÒume 24, Issue 07 | May 31, 2012
Greenlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Good times. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
COOLHUNTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 ASK JOEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 STAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Recent Tragic Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Wicked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Now Playing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Monsieur Lazhar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Check out SN&R’s FREE searchable EVENTS calendar online at www.newsreview.com.
MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky . . . 36 Sound Advice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Eight Gigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Nightbeat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
THE 420 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Sacramento surge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
COVER DESIGN BY HAYLEY DOSHAY
Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Adult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Free Will Astrology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 15 Minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
NIGHT&DAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Events Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 How to survive a skate jam. . . . . . . . 24
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“The Human Centipede is the worst movie I have ever seen.”
Asked on 20th Street between J and L streets:
Worst. Summer blockbuster. Ever.
The Human Centipede is the worst movie I have ever seen. A mad scientist took three individuals and redesigned their body where food intake would be taken from another person’s body. They were on their hands and knees like dogs, and they were eating the other person’s waste. ... It was a waste of my time.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, both the first and second parts. It didn’t go according to the book. The entire series of books was different from the movies. When you read it and imagine how the storyline goes, they just took the fun out of the whole book, and I just hate that.
The worst one, I gotta say, is Twilight. The movie disappointed me a lot, but the books I couldn’t stop reading. The moment the movies came out, I was so excited, but it was such a disappointment.
4 Annual Auburn Brewfest Presented by Auburn 20-30
An open tasting of beer, wine & ciders
on Saturday, June 9th
The worst ... in recent memory—and I hate saying this as a lesbian woman—but Burlesque sucked ass. Even Cher, bless her heart, couldn’t carry the horrible, horrible, horrible acting surrounding her. And even girls in corsets wasn’t quite enough to pull it through. Christina [Aguilera] is gorgeous, but just a horrible actress.
4pm - 10pm
Haywire. It was an action movie, but the plot was loosely held together. It was one of those action movies where the lady was a spy, and in the end, her people set her up, and she found out about it and wanted revenge. But you never know why she was set up or how she found out about it, because there were a lot of misleading plots.
The Rum Diary, with Johnny Depp. I couldn’t even finish the whole movie, it was so awful. And usually I like Johnny Depp, but couldn’t finish it. Bad acting on his part. It’s about someone who can’t work because he drinks too much.
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A RT S & C U LT U R E
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7HERE¬THE¬VINES¬MEET¬THE¬PINES 6 | SN&R | 05.31.12
Visit us at www.newsreview.com or email sactoletters @ newsreview.com
Scared to get food
FIRST SHOT SN&R reader photo of the week PHOTO BY WADE BROWN
Re “Money from the feds” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, May 17): I wanted to weigh in on the “welfare” thing you talked about in SN&R this week— the CalFresh food-stamp benefits that go unused in Sacramento. I am one of those who pretty much lost my job in the Bush [administration] meltdown. A year or so ago, I went to apply for CalFresh (at the office near 28th and Q streets), and besides an estimated two-hour wait time in conditions far more hideous than the worst [Department of Motor Vehicles], I was accosted LETTER OF twice as I walked up by very scary and aggressive panhandlers. THE WEEK Until the whole already-humiliating experience is made safer and saner, we will never get participation above where it is right now. As a 50-something white male, I will never put myself in a position of being as scared as I was walking into that building. There is so little information online that going there is the only way. We are screwed as a society if we don’t make the whole process a little easier and a lot less terrifying. I can’t even imagine how awful it must be for a woman with kids to walk into that place. Ron Westover Sacramento
Shame on you, SN&R
She’s not fooled
Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Editorial, May 24): It is with a tremendous disappointment that I saw SN&R’s mayoral endorsement of Kevin Johnson. I cannot believe you call this wannabe king of world class/strong mayor-dom “exceptionally intelligent.” How can you? He’s like a puppet with his army of advisers; like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way; and he makes grammatical errors whenever he speaks on his own. But that’s not why he shouldn’t be mayor again. All of your other comments—tunnel vision, needed leadership for police, fire, homelessness, etc., are valid and have been neglected with K.J.’s obsession with the Maloofs-NBA arena fiasco. He won’t accept blame for his part in the resulting nonsense. ... Sacramento deserves better; not a celebrity-, fame-chasing former NBA player who doesn’t know how to compromise and lead. ... I’m voting for Jonathan Rewers, and urge others to do the same. I thought SN&R was better than this. Shame on you. Wanda Au Sacramento
Re “Don’t get fooled” (SN&R Editorial, May 10): I think Proposition 29 is a good idea. I encourage voters to educate themselves on the issue by checking out the facts on the Californians for a Cure website (http://californiansforacure.org). Some people seem to think that somehow being an American means doing whatever you want without consequence. We enjoy our rights, but don’t want to accept responsibility. Are we a nation of teenagers? When my neighbor smokes, I have to close the windows to my baby son’s room. Doesn’t that infringe on my baby’s right to clean air? Today I saw a driver flick his cigarette from his window—won’t that eventually make it to the ocean? We are not living in the Wild West, nor would many of us want to. Our actions have consequences for ourselves and others, and rather than “curb freedom,” this proposition means that smokers pay their own way. And don’t we want everyone to “pay their fair share” these days? Lastly, I like to think we are not so cynical that we believe that big, corporate, outof-state tobacco companies have our interest at heart more than our fellow citizens— Prop. 29 is, after all, a ballot initiative.
Dismayed in Carmichael
Sharla Lloyd Carmichael |
who lied to Congress and the public for too many years would be in prison. So, I am all for increased tobacco taxes, and if the money raised by Prop. 29 was to go into the general fund, I’d be all for it. But I am voting no on 29. To mandate a new nonemergency spending program when the state is in a fiscal crisis is irresponsible. Raising the tobacco tax and then mandating it be spent on a new program removes it as a potential source of revenue to help balance the state budget. This new spending isn’t needed at this time: Some of the Prop. 29 money would go toward our existing smoking-reduction programs. But according to SN&R’s own editorial, our current smoking-reduction programs, since 1988, have done exceedingly well. We don’t need to increase funding for them. The federal government already spends upward of $6 billion a year on cancer research. And there is much cancer research being done with private funds and in other countries. We need to take the state budget crisis more seriously. Smoking reduction and cancer research are worthy causes. If you insist on spending more money on them now, then you tell the Legislature what current services and programs you want reduced or cut to help balance the budget.
Jennifer Williams via email
Re “The secret life of Google” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Feature, May 17): I read your piece on Google and found it very interesting. The day I picked up the paper (Thursday), I had just received an email from Amazon.com to buy bird feeders, listing choices and prices. Three days prior to that, I had Googled bird feeders. I also watched a YouTube video on how to make bird feeders. I couldn’t believe that this info was shared or sold, and it has really freaked me out! I may stop using Google and Amazon.com now.
The egret has landed. On the American River. Along with boaters and revelers. It’s that time of year.
Prop. 29 devil’s in the details Re “Don’t get fooled” (SN&R Editorial, May 10): I am a cancer survivor and am infinitely grateful for all the cancer research that’s been done around the world. Also, I grew up in a haze of tobacco smoke. My mother chain-smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes; my father chain-smoked unfiltered Camels (that’s not a camel, it’s a horse with tumors). If I had my way, tobacco companies wouldn’t be allowed to advertise at all, and all of the tobacco-corporation execs |
Jan Bergeron Sacramento
He wants to know our second choice Re “Pan’s the man” (SN&R Editorial, May 10):
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I was surprised and disappointed that SN&R did not list the other candidates in the endorsement article and explain why they picked [Dr. Richard] Pan over the other candidates. ... Even The Sacramento Bee did an online comparison of all of the candidates. I guess freedom of the press does not mean that the press will provide all of the information for a person to form an opinion or make a decision, but it does mean that those who can afford to own the press can print what they want.
Have a great photo? Email it to firstshot@ newsreview.com. Please include your full name and phone number. File size must not exceed 10 MB.
C.T. Weber Sacramento C.T. Weber is the Peace & Freedom Party candidate in the state Assembly 9th District.
POET’S CORNER Sermons of Crows They try to systematize this earth, these stars, our moon, Wrap it up in a tight cocoon of logic and reason. They ask me to Have faith in Senses, and to trust numbers. “A is A” they say, and they actually keep a straight face. But I have always known to laugh. As a boy, I’d skip school and let them count and measure space. I’d lilt to the creek and lay there under a tree Listening to the sermons of crows. —David Wright
FRONTLINES Tax measures multiply government—at the statehouse, in City Hall, and at the Serna Center (where Sac city schools are run). by COSMO GARVIN And everywhere government has come up with the same idea—go to the ballot and ask citizens to dig into their pockets to help. The Sacramento City Council has polls showing that local voters generally support a small sales-tax measure, either a quarter- or a half-cent, to help bring back city services, like community swimming pools, or police protection, or parks maintenance. Voters are even more likely—76 percent or so—to support a specialpurpose tax measure, going just toward cops or just toward fire protection. But in California’s screwy system, it’s actually easier to raise a general-purpose tax than it is to raise taxes for specific programs or projects. A general-purpose tax just needs more than 50 percent of the votes, where a narrower measure funding just cops or parks has to pass the two-thirds threshold. So, we’ll likely end up with two city ballot measures: one to raise the tax, and one to tell the city how to spend it. Those two measures will join two tax measures on the state ballot: Gov. Jerry Brown’s millionaire tax, which will raise taxes on California’s high-income residents, and Molly Munger’s competing measure raising taxes on most Californians, mostly to pay for schools.
That’s more than enough to make for a taxing experience at the ballot box this fall. But that’s not all.
Sacramento Regional Transit’s general manager Mike Wiley has for years nursed a dream that one that one day Sacramento County voters will approve a modest increase in the local sales tax, or some other revenue measure, to build a public-transit system that provides “full access and full mobility for all.” November would be the time to ask voters, a high turnout election, with a higher portion of Democrats and liberals. But the prospect of competing measures from the city and state have got to be a little chilling for RT’s chances.
But wait, there’s more. Sac city schools Superintendent Jonathan
Raymond and some school-board members and administrators have been quietly exploring the possibility of some voter-approved bonds or even a parcel tax to raise money for the beleaguered school district. Sacramento schools have approved a Everywhere brutal $28 million in cuts, and are looking at slashing $15 million more if Brown’s tax government has measure fails in the fall. A parcel tax, assessed to property come up with the owners, would close some of that gap. same idea: Go to But it sounds like the movers and shakers the ballot and ask in the district have already decided that a bond measure, worth more than $300 citizens to help. million, is the way to go. It’s easier to pass a bond than a parcel tax with just 55 percent of votes needed, instead of the 66.7 percent. The schools do need upgrading. The district right now is making a wish list: roofs, science labs, bathrooms, wiring, you name it. But the bonds could be a tough sell. First off, any whiff that this money is going toward unneeded fad technology with pricey consultants attached, and Bites is going tea party on this one. And if the bonds go to legit projects, it still won’t directly solve the district’s most pressing problems: larger class sizes, cuts to vital programs, hundreds of pink slips every year. Hopefully, if schools can be upgraded and the district can save general-fund money—through energy efficiency for example—that’s potentially millions more freed up to bring back programs and teachers, bus drivers, librarians and counselors. But the case has yet to be made. And the schools will have competition. Ω
ILLUSTRATION BY PRISCILLA GARCIA
The recession grinds on everywhere in
After decades of corporate consolidation, FCC is poised to license more community radio stations in Sacramento The radio station is little more than a back office tucked into a strip mall on the outskirts of the city on Folsom Boulevard, just past a lonely Home by Phil Busse Depot and two different Starbucks drive-thrus. Filled with one desk and a short stack of electronics—primarily a CD player and some sort of jet-black transmitter with blinking red lights—KDEE pumps a feeble 100 watts into the Sacramento Valley, pushing radio waves only as far as the foothills a few miles away. But with its unique programming—a fearless song choice that bounds from thumping Grandmaster Flash to lesserknown Stevie Wonder songs, music that commercial stations rarely play, and earnest public-service announcements that urge black men to get diplomas and women to eat more healthfully—the station is, in fact, part of what may be one of the most important trends in broadcast media. “Radio needs to speak to something,” said Tristen Mayes, a 40-hour-a-week deejay and self-proclaimed talk-show host who is one of only three paid staffers at KDEE, a microbroadcasting station managed by the California Black Chamber of Commerce. He pushed away a crane-neck microphone bolted to the desk, leaned back in his chair, and crossed his broad arms over his middle-aged belly. “Radio is broken,” he said, “and no
one is speaking to us.” He paused before clarifying, “In Sacramento, nothing spoke to Afro-Americans, unless it was for some political advantage.” Historically, radio has represented its sense of place better than other forms of media—consider iconic shows like the Grand Ole Opry and A Prairie Home Companion, or even music itself, often labeled as the Seattle, Minneapolis or British scene. But over the past 15 years, radio, more than any other medium, has experienced the quick consolidation of ownership and control of stations by corporate interests. In the mid-1990s, the nation’s 10,000 radio stations were owned by some 5,000 entities. By 2008, four companies—most notably, Clear Channel—had gobbled up more than half of the radio airwaves, and were increasingly elbowing out locally produced programming in favor of formulated playlists and nationally syndicated talk shows. Yet in a quixotic effort to counter this trend, community organizers and pirate-radiostation enthusiasts tried 10 years ago to convince the Federal Communications Commission to open up the airwaves to small, community-focused stations. Surprisingly, they won approval, and over the past several years roughly 800 hyper-local stations have
Is Sacto bike friendly? see FRONTLINES
Stop ripping off moms see FRONTLINES
Obama’s appointments matter see GREENLIGHT
Good times for underserved Del Paso see GREEN DAYS
SN&R endorsements see EDITORIAL
Business and politics popped up around the country—including 61 in California, like KDEE in Sacramento. And, in the coming months, this plan for “locally grown radio” is set to double in size, scope and, correspondingly, impact. In January, President Barack Obama signed into law the Local Community Radio Act, an order to open up the airwaves to a second batch of 1,000 or so micro broadcasting stations—or, in FCC parlance, LPFM stations (low-power FM). The FCC currently is hammering out final details, but as soon as this summer, an opportunity for those licenses will become available. Yet these new opportunities will hardly be a slam dunk for groups like the California Black Chamber of Commerce or other community organizations: For starters, the competition for these new licenses promises to be intense, and if past practices are any indicator, the FCC tends to favor religious organizations when it hands out licenses. In Sacramento, one of the few urban areas to receive permission for a LPFM license, these micro broadcasting stations are critical for defining communities, a duty ignored by the syndicated programming from the mega-chains, Mayes said. “We have a space for Curtis Mayfield,” he said, “and we’ll also tell you about some great job opportunities, and help you go back to school, if that’s what you want. We’re a radio station designed to speak to people.” Nearly 20 percent of Sacramento residents are African-American, but the black community traditionally has not been well-defined. It wasn’t until two years ago that the city elected its first black mayor, Kevin Johnson, and only one of 15 Sacramento commercial radio stations, KSFM 102.5 FM, ostensibly plays to a black audience—and that station is owned by CBS and plays pre-programmed set lists. Mayes claims that listenership at 102.5 KSFM has dropped 10 percent over the past year as KDEE has gained popularity. He admits that he has no idea how many people listen to KDEE, but the studio phone rings steadily. During an hour-long interview, he received five calls and each time answered with a booming, “Good morning, family.” Yet that rising popularity doesn’t directly translate into economic security for KDEE— or for any LPFM station. FCC rules demand that LPFM stations be hosted and managed by nonprofits, ruling out opportunities for commercial ads or similar revenue streams. Mayes is more interested, though, in talking about the role that the station plays in building community rather than making money. “I left Clear Channel,” he explained, leaning forward, his voice gaining pitch and momentum. “I was just tired of it. You couldn’t pay me enough to play the same BEFORE
old stuff. I’m a grown-ass man, and I had to listen to that crap.” Accordingly, his morning drive-time radio is called Grown Folks Music. But economics are a reality and an Achilles’ heel for LPFM stations. The California Black Chamber of Commerce, like most nonprofits, relies on grants and donations, a revenue stream particularly susceptible to economic ups and downs. Over the past two years, according to filed Internal Revenue Service returns, donations to the California Black Chamber of Commerce have fallen almost 50 percent. In 2010, the organization raised only $305,000, yet retained its $500,000 annual budget.
When Congress and the Federal Communicatins Commission hammered out rules for the first round of LPFM stations a decade ago, they were successfully petitioned by a bevy of existing, full-powered stations. In particular: National Public Radio. And, while KDEE’s operating expenses may seem bare-bones, with only three fulltime employees, the Sacramento station actually enjoys what seems like a princely budget when compared to other LPFM stations. In nearby ag town Davis, for example, is the aptly named KDRT 95.7 FM, which, like most LPFM stations, it’s run by volunteers. “From 8 to 80 years old,” asserted station manager Jeff Shaw. All told, about 70 volunteers staff the Davis radio station, working the front desk, cataloging recordings and hosting various call-in shows that provide advice on everything from sex to soil conditions. Shaw pointed out that, last year, KDRT put one person on the payroll, a sound engineer who spends dozens of hours each month recording local bands, as well as hosting a popular show that plays those live-recorded tracks, all for an annual salary of $2,000. “He certainly earns it!” exclaimed Shaw. In addition to the tight economic constraints in which LPFM stations must operate, they’re also hamstrung by other FCC rules. Commercial radio stations treat them as unwanted step-siblings. Technically called a “secondary service,” LPFM stations cannot interfere with any commercial broadcast. |
When Congress and the FCC hammered out rules for the first round of LPFM stations a decade ago, they were successfully petitioned by a bevy of existing, full-powered stations to place large buffer zones on the radio dial to protect existing signals from interference and static from the community radio stations. In particular, the group lobbying for these rules included an unlikely foe for community radio: National Public Radio. What resulted was called the third-adjacent rule, perhaps the greatest constraint for LPFM stations: They could not be within three clicks on the dial from any full-power station. The combination of the secondary service status and third-adjacent rule proved to be a potent one-two punch against LPFM stations. If a commercial station moved into the area, it could bump a LPFM station from its frequency—which is exactly what happened to KDRT in Davis five years ago, when KMJE, an adult-contemporary station, decided to expand into Sacramento Valley and requested the very frequency—101.5 FM—on which KDRT was broadcasting. The request threatened to knock KDRT off the dial and out of business. Davis’ mayor stepped up and declared a “Media Democracy Month,” and several local bands held benefit concerts. Support and small donations poured in. But all that community backing was to no avail. The commercial station was granted its license, and KDRT was pushed from its home on the dial. KDRT later found another radio frequency in the area where it could shoehorn its broadcast signal without interrupting any commercial broadcasts. The station now resides at 95.7. During the past year, the FCC has been busy negotiating new rules for LPFM stations, deciding what allowances and restrictions would be in place for this next round of licenses—and, not surprisingly, the most heated debates flared up over the thirdadjacent rule. NPR was steadfast in its support to keep the buffers—a position that made few friends in the LPFM circles but has helped it add 150 more stations to its 635 affiliates over the past decade, stations that would have had a decidedly more difficult time finding adequate space on the airwaves if not given priority over LPFM stations. Yet in spite of the heavy lobbying, the FCC released in March a tongue-tying report entitled, The Fifth Report and Order, Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Fourth Order on Reconsideration. It was a shocker; it sided with LPFM stations and tossed out the third-adjacent rule. It was a remarkable decision, and will allow more LPFM stations to squeeze in on radio bands around the country, especially in urban areas like Sacramento. Ω A RT S & C U LT U R E
City-council candidates, and the interest groups who want their candidates elected, are spending lavishly on campaigns again this year. In District 2, which covers the city’s northern neighborhoods such as north Sacramento and Del Paso Heights, candidate Allen Warren is the money leader by far, raising more than $83,000 since March and $113,000 this year. But a big chunk of that is $50,000 Warren loaned to his own campaign. (Though he’s not had enough to cover property taxes on buildings he owns in the district; see “North by northeast,” SN&R Feature Story, May 10.) After himself, Warren’s biggest donor is the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, which gave him $5,050. Over the course of the entire campaign, Warren has raised $152,000. Rob Kerth is second in the District 2 money race, with $48,420 raised in the last quarter and $109,000 raised so far. Kerth had the most money on hand; this should help if he winds up in a run off, which seems likely. Kerth’s biggest patrons include the Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522 ($5,050) and the Sacramento Central Labor Council ($5,000). It’s even more competitive in the Land Park/downtown/Midtown District 4 race, where Phyllis Newton raised $34,000 in the last quarter, including the maximum possible ($5,050) donations from Sacramento Area Fire Fighters and the California Apartment Association. Starting last fall, Newton has raised more than $150,000, including a $50,000 loan to herself. Her opponent Steve Hansen has raised $130,000 over the campaign. The last quarter brought $32,000, including $3,000 from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and $1,500 each from the Rainbow PAC and the Northern Alliance of Law Enforcement, and $1,000 from councilman Jay Schenirer’s campaign fund. Joe Yee raised a respectable $33,000 in the last quarter, with large donations from Councilman Darrell Fong’s campaign fund ($1,500), and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 447 union ($1,500). Terry Schanz’s campaign picked up speed, raising almost $30,000 in the last quarter. Big infusions came from the Central Labor Council PAC ($5,000) and Sacramento City Teachers Association PAC ($4,000). But the biggest money story this campaign cycle is independent-expenditure committees, which can get around the usual campaign limits. Well, one independent-expenditure committee in particular, called the Better Sacramento PAC, which spent nearly $30,000 on behalf of Newton. Better Sacramento PAC has also spent $30,000 in support of Betty Williams in her race against incumbent Bonnie Pannell, along with another $15,000 on attack mail against Pannell. SN&R earlier pointed out that the Williams mailers wildly exaggerated unemployment numbers in the district. The Sacramento Bee last week also took the Williams campaign to task for using misleading crime statistics. These attack pieces are funded primarily by a handful of businessmen who have poured money into the PAC, including developer Mark Friedman, Armour Steel’s Michael Ayers, and MARRS building developer Michael Heller’s company Heller Pacific. The Better Sacramento PAC’s lawyer is Tom Hiltachk— who was Meg Whitman’s campaign lawyer, the lawyer for Kevin Johnson’s “strong mayor” effort and for Proposition 23, the effort by out-of-state oil companies to undo California’s climate-change laws. (Cosmo Garvin)
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Galen Hunter commutes on his bike to work—and suffered a concussion last month. He was riding on 23rd Street in Midtown, a roadby way that doesn’t have marked bike lanes, Christopher Arns when a hit-and-run driver knocked him off of his ride. Hunter believes that without more dedicated lanes, Sacramento’s on-street bikeways will always be dangerous. “You have to stay close to curbs, and you’re having to weave into traffic to avoid car doors,” he said. This summer, though, the city is expanding and creating new bike lanes. It hopes this will create more awareness about cyclists and make the situation safer. But some bike advocates say its not enough.
New bike paths, lanes and routes will open downtown this summer, but bicycling advocates say the new options don’t connect well with existing ones.
They argue that local cyclists usually just have two options: either ride in busy traffic, or hop the curb and pray cops don’t see you on the sidewalk. The city insists options could improve by September, when officials plan to add 7 miles of mostly Class II on-street bike lanes on busy downtown streets near the Capitol. Most of the work will occur west of 16th Street and south of F Street (see map), with some new routes running all the way to Broadway. For cyclists committed to making Sacramento a safer place on two wheels, it’s a welcome improvement. Still, they’d like to see Sacramento officials do even more. “The project is a good first step,” said Tricia Hedahl, executive director of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates. But she says that “what’s really needed in downtown are preferred and dedicated routes that are continuous.” For instance, Hedahl pointed out the new city project doesn’t even connect existing bike lanes on Sacramento’s busiest streets. Even after the new lanes are in place,
cyclists will have to scramble at, say, 13th and J streets, where one of the new routes abruptly stops, she noted. It’s not perfect, but how does Sacramento compare to other bike-friendly cities? Actually, fairly well, according to the League of American Bicyclists. The national advocacy group gives Sacramento a silver rating— not the platinum status of Davis or San Francisco, but still commendable. Ed Cox, city coordinator for bicycle and pedestrian programs, says the city is improving. “I think Sacramento is doing pretty well,” he said. “Yes, we’re silver, but a few years ago we were bronze, so we’ve moved up. We’re up-and-coming.” As proof, Cox mentioned projects like Sacramento’s bike-parking program, which pays for specially designed racks in front of downtown shops. So far, the program has installed 100 racks around town and has funding for another 150. He said officials are also considering a test program for on-street “bike corrals,” where the city would remove a parallel parking space and install racks or a bike-parking area instead. Still, Cox isn’t sure more routes or parking are the only answers for a more bike-friendly city. “A lot of people think it’s all about building infrastructure,” he explained. “There’s no shortage of things we can be building, facility-wise, but we should be working on the side of promoting education and enforcement as well.” Cyclists and advocacy groups see it differently. Hedahl said Sacramento is being lapped by cities such as Portland, Ore., which has painted bike lanes and cycle routes protected from traffic by special barriers. “One of the things that the gold and platinum cities excel at is connectivity, not just creating isolated areas where there’s a bike lane here and a bike lane there,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, a spokeswoman for League of American Bicyclists. City officials are open to new ideas, said Cox, who will begin updating Sacramento’s master bike plan this summer. The only thing holding back a local bike-route makeover in the near future is money— the city currently faces a $15.7 million budget gap. “There are definitely people involved in city infrastructure and city administration that are for [new projects],” said Adrian Moore, owner of IkonCycles in Midtown. “There’s a will, but there’s only so much they can do.” Ω
Bye-bye $15 milk Store owners ripping off women and children get slap on wrist, prompt changes to federal WIC program The federal government hopes retailers charging $10 for cereal in Sacramento will no longer cash in by on a special program designed to Hugh Biggar help feed low-income mothers and children. In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture capped the amount vendors can be reimbursed for foods sold through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children, more commonly known as WIC. “Concerns were raised over the deliberate overpricing of certain WIC foods, particularly in smaller stores,” said Ronald Owens, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health. Under the WIC program, mothers can buy healthier items such as carrots, milk and whole-grain bread using vouchers. Retailers then submit these redeemed vouchers for reimbursement at a market price—but many retailers have been scamming the system, charging sometimes three times as much, such as $25 for baby formula, and making a profit off of women and children.
Small stores with one or two registers had prices for WIC foods that were up to 50 percent higher than other larger retailers. Now, smaller retailers and stores that generate 50 percent of their food sales from WIC will only receive lowered amounts in exchange for vouchers. California will also stop adding stores to the program until it develops an effective cost-containment strategy. The USDA, which funds WIC, has estimated that overpricing has cost the government millions of dollars. But some WIC vendors have countered that the high prices are necessary, because they end up throwing away unsold items. In Sacramento, there are 87 WIC-authorized stores, seven of which only sell WIC items. Roughly 60,000 Sacramentans
receive nutritional support from WIC, according to the CDPH. Meanwhile, food costs for California’s WIC program have risen more sharply in the past three years than in any other state. In California, prices for WIC items rose by nearly 5 percent, while in other states they declined by 8 percent, according to the USDA. During this same period, California added 1,700 retailers to the program, more than half of them stores with only one or two cash registers. USDA Food and Nutrition Service numbers also show that small stores with one or two registers had prices for WIC foods that were up to 50 percent higher than other larger vendors. Additionally, stores with one to five registers charged roughly 10 percent more than larger WIC stores. “The new reimbursement rates for smaller vendors will close loopholes in WIC that have been exploited by some of these stores to increase their profits,” Zoë Neuberger, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., explained. In particular, Neuberger pointed to stores that lure customers through incentives such as free strollers or diapers. These stores are also the ones likely to have higher than average prices for WIC foods such as cereal and milk. Neuberger said that the California WIC program needs to reassess criteria for authorizing stores to be part of the program. Overall, California has nearly 1.5 million WIC participants, and 60 percent of infants born in the state are enrolled. Still, the federal government remains committed to WIC. “It is vital to the health and nutrition of our nation’s low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children,” said Kevin Concannon, USDA’s undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “[The reimbursement cap] is a critical first step … to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.” Ω
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Apples and oranges by jeff vOnkAenel
One more reason why Obama’s re-election is so important
On a recent beautiful Wednesday evening at the Davis Farmers Market, I had a delightful, wonkish chat on the state of farming and food policy with U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. This chat reminded me why it is so important that President Barack Obama is re-elected and what we’d lose if we returned to a Republican administration. When thinking of reasons to choose a president, I doubt that many SN&R readers are evaluating Obama’s agricultural policies vs. Mitt Romney’s. Hell, I don’t even know what Romney’s agricultural policy is. Most likely, he has several contradictory agricultural policies. Note: That’s meant to be a joke. What I do know is that Obama’s agricultural policies have been very different from those of the Bush administration. And those differences are perhaps best symbolized by his choice of Merrigan. Selected by Time Magazine in 2010 as Unlike gay marriage one of the 100 Most Influential or Mitt Romney’s People in the World, Merrigan helped write the USDA’s high-school bullying, this organic-labeling rules during choice will not make the last years of the Clinton administration. Over the last Fox News or CNN. three-and-a-half years, she has worked for the Obama administration, supporting sustainable agriculture with her signature Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food campaign. This campaign has brought much needed attention to local farmers and organic farmers. Perhaps you are wondering who President George W. Learn about the Know Bush chose as deputy secretary of agriculture? Well, that Your Farmer, Know would be Chuck Conner, the former president of the Corn Your Food campaign. Refiners Association. As you may guess, Conner had very Go to www.usda.gov and search for different priorities. Under Chuck, it was more like a Do Not “know your farmer.” Know Your Food campaign. Some people think there’s not much difference between the two political parties. But there’s a huge difference here: One administration appoints the president of the Corn Refiners Association and the other administration appoints the person who wrote the organic-labeling code. And in chatting with Merrigan—who, by the way, never mentioned Bush’s policies or Conner—I was reminded of the importance of having progressive people in key positions. Both Merrigan and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack have presented a very different vision for agriculture. Vilsack and Merrigan have advocated policies to encourage environmentally sound farming, support food-stamp programs, Jeff vonKaenel and promote farmers markets and smaller, local farming. is the president, CEO Now, these differences will most likely not be noticed and majority owner of the News & Review during the presidential campaign. Unlike such hot topics newspapers in as gay marriage or Romney’s high-school bullying, Sacramento, choosing someone who developed the organic-labeling Chico and Reno. code to replace the former president of the Corn Refiners Association as the USDA’s deputy secretary will not make Fox News or CNN. But while the choice of Kathleen Merrigan and the hundreds of other impressive Obama appointees may not make the news, it’s still one of the most important reasons why Obama should win the election. Ω
Toke by Deedee Kirkwood
Performances May 31–June 30 Thur thru Sat 8:00pm Matinee Performances Sunday June 3 + June 17 2pm
New ‘shop local’ food, art and design market serves Sacramento’s most underserved neighborhoods along Del Paso Boulevard When Sacramento’s more innovative and adventurous business owners—food truck operators, designers, artists—converge on one of the by loneliest strips in all of the region this Nick Miller Sunday, their stab at revitalization isn’t just nickam@ “green” or “eco-friendly.” It is, according to newsreview.com local business owner and green advocate Andrea Lepore, “new urbanist.” PHOTO BY WES DAVIS
“It is more than just green,” Lepore explained of Good: Street Food + Design Market, which launches this Sunday. “It involves quality of life, design, transit-oriented [living] open to various income levels.” Basically, the event—a four-hour farmers market-type gathering on the struggling Del Paso Boulevard—showcases trendy farm-totable eats and artisan designs in a neighborhood that doesn’t even have a grocery store. It’s only $3 to get in. And, while parking abounds on the boulevard, two light-rail stops are less than a half-mile from the market, which is vital to sustaining a progressive carbon footprint. “We plan to bridge that gap and create a sustainable local eco-system,” explained Good promoter Roshaun Davis. He says he wants the market attendees from the neighborhoods surrounding Del Paso Boulevard, which also don’t have a weekly farmers market, to embrace the local brands and foods. This hopefully will spur more events—and perhaps even a real farmers market—in the area sometime soon. “A lot of the best things come from underdeveloped areas where people can’t rely on things to be handed to them,” Davis reminded, “so they create their own.” Environmental advocates for years have championed the idea of urban infill, such as
Food trucks such as Wicked ’Wich—owned and operated by (left to right) Chris Jarosz, Joelle Dennis and Leila Mann—often serve food deserts, which is an eco-friendly practice. This week’s Good festival will revitalize Del Paso Boulevard.
The inaugural Good: Street Food + Design Market happens this Sunday, June 3, at 1409 Del Paso Boulevard; 1 to 5 p.m.; $3 admission. The event continues every Sunday through November; find out more at www.facebook.com/ goodstreetfood designmarket.
ooley Theater 2007 28th St. Sac
revitalizing underserved neighborhoods and tapping into existing transit corridors for retail and residences. And, while the Good market is just a weekly event, it’s also the kind of happening that can spark interest in a neglected block. Dan Friedlander, who owns The Greens Hotel on Del Paso Boulevard, initially wanted to kick-start the boulevard with a seven-days-a-week farmers market. This idea is still being developed, but in the interim the idea of the Good market—in the vein of Artisanal LA market in Los Angeles or Dose Market in Chicago—evolved. The Del Paso Boulevard Partnership got on board with the Good idea, and Friedlander allowed for the use of his 1409 Del Paso Boulevard building—the same site he hopes to one day operate a farmers market. Shopping local, or buying local products or brands, is a big part of Good’s green credentials. Local shops will run the gamut: a mobile clothing store, an ice-cream vendor, a record store with original vinyl tunes, an onthe-go coffeehouse. And, of course, food trucks, including Mama Kim Cooks and Wicked ’Wich.
Tickets $15 www.brownpapertickets.com
It’s Always Something.
“It is more than just green. It involves quality of life, design, transitoriented [living] open to various income levels.”
CARSON CITY RENDEZVOUS June 8-10 Live Western history, Mountain Men, Civil War re-enactments and Native American dances.
Andrea Lepore on Good: Street Food + Design Market
TASTE OF DOWNTOWN June 16
“We have people with internationally known brands, as well as different entrepreneurs that were developed here in Sacramento, that would love to tell their story to the locals, but there aren’t a lot of platforms for that type of engagement,” Davis said. The promoters of Good argue that we don’t have to drive to San Francisco for snacks and a stroll through the Ferry Building Marketplace to embrace urbanmarket culture. “We shouldn’t have to go to other cities to admire culture and established brands,” Davis said. “They are right here in our own backyard.” Ω
A festive gathering with hearty samples from dozens of restaurants, plus live music.
For more information, including tickets, lodging, and other events and attractions:
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My being born Politicians claiming to protect the sanctity of life are missing the point
SAC news&review qtr.indd 1
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Yikes! A fertilized-egg-person! But what’s this conception of always already a person? That first by cell-division is stunning enough—the Richard Andresen process now being rather straightfora Sacramento-based ward toward the exciting six-week student and teacher mark to either girlhood or boyhood! in worldwide Whatever; but happy enough to liberal arts progress toward zygote-person, embryo-person, fetus-person and then—voila—person-person! Trepidations abound, however, with certain angst regarding this womb-ensconced living and the aftermath of emerging into the bright light of day. It seems that a motley group of legislators are insisting on my arrival—regardless of possible dangers to either me or my mother. So, is it enough just to insist on my being born? What measures are these legislators taking to ensure that I have a healthy development? Have they mandated that my parents not be smoking, imbibing too much alcohol, or using illicit drugs? What sort of food will my parents be eating? How will the legislators keep violence and cacophony at bay? Will they arrest anyone kicking my mom in the stomach, or re-educate those perpetuating negative psychological environments, which, according to many studies, are not good for healthy social development?
It seems that a motley group of legislators are insisting on my being born—regardless of possible dangers to either me or my mother. Other studies reveal lifelong adverse effects for babies who are not wanted, neglected or unloved by their mother and father. Without normal bonding between mother and infant, such babies are prone toward conditions of impaired social adjustments and developments. Or, will they just say, “Good luck, kid. We got you this far, and now you are on your own”? It is noteworthy that these moral plenipotentiaries have not bothered to ask me, a person, what I think of these matters. Under the cardinal principle of “one person-one vote,” do I not have a say in this matter? In solipsist theology, equal to any other theology on the planet, I feel that these legislators know little of what is best for any woman or
parent, or for the embryos and fetuses themselves. Who, pray tell, gives these modern-day despots power over the life and fortunes of those embarked (willfully, criminally or accidentally) in the reproductive adventure? In our collective universe, I am a spirit, part and parcel of the great cosmos. Having “chosen” my would-be parents through which to incarnate as a sentient human does not mean that such a decision is final and unchangeable. Should any unfixable malady occur in this marvelous 15-billion-year-old, ever-evolving blueprint, I am perfectly happy to have this particular attempt ended, as I shall have another chance later on. Should there be risk of injury or death to my mother, then it is the same principle—she can choose to end the pregnancy. If medically (and psychologically) feasible, she can conceive anew if she so wishes. Equally important are the psychological aspects of being prepared to be a parent. Such considerations justify the need for well-established sex education, and a resolute commitment toward having offspring as “wanted,” and not merely from unpreparedness. These particular legislators claim to be protecting sanctity of life by insisting on draconian precepts forbidding natural, healthy and God-given individual choices. But such insistence reveals their hypocrisy regarding respect and well-being of life at any age. Of what benefit is it to insist on pro-life (i.e., no abortions) policies, when at the other end of the age spectrum their policies reduce or eliminate social structures supporting the elderly in dignity and ability to function as fully as possible? Such heartless policies contravene one of their (forgotten) professed commandments of honoring their parents. Entering the world in either joy or horror will not necessarily preclude eventual paths that transcend a lessthen-healthy pregnancy. But when dire conditions of prenatal development reveal dangers insurmountable for mother or embryo or fetus, then it is only right and fair to offer another time and place for one or the other. Kindhearted souls will silently warble the bittersweet lyrics of Vera Lynn’s plaintive love song from Dr. Strangelove, “I know that we’ll meet again some sunny day” for any delayed traveler. Ω
THIS MODERN WORLD
BY TOM TOMORROW
Vote with us! SN&R endorsements for June 5, 2012 election SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL
CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY
Assembly, District 9
Dr. Richard Pan
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
As a Sacramento firefighter, you’d think my work would Since last year’s theme was religion, include all the death risks I’m willing to take. competitors had to memorize Bible verses But on June 15, I’ll be in Pittsfield, Vermont, while climbing 2,000-foot inclines—with participating in a race with the motto “You penalties, including starting over, for forgetmay die.” ting a single word. The Death Race is a 48-hour-plus ultraIn short, it’s a crazy race. So why do it? endurance adventure race, with a completion Because it’s not often that you have the rate of about 15 percent. It’s made up of opportunity to truly test yourself; to find the both physical and mental elements, includlimits of what your body and mind can take. ing just about any ridiculous or grueling I want to push myself to my absolute limit— challenge the race’s organizers—called and then push myself a little further. I figure by “undertakers”—can the best way to do Paul Januario think up. Some of the is simple: one It’s not often that you that a happy husband and events from past races step at a time. the father of two include 1,500 dead lifts Oh, yeah, and have the opportunity beautiful children; never, ever quit. a U.S. Navy veteran; of 40- to 60-pound to truly test yourself; stones and hay bales When I try to and a city of Sacramento while wearing a explain to people what to find the limits of firefighter 50-pound pack. That’s this race is or what I been followed by a what your body and will be doing or even 3-mile river hike why I’m doing it, it’s mind can take. upstream in 45-degree always the same water, finished up with I want to push myself response: “Why?” seven loops on a mileAs crazy and to my absolute limit. long obstacle course, impossible as it may Have a comment? using only a hand-held sound, I know that the Express your views candle to navigate the human body and mind in 350 words on mud and cold in the darkness. is capable of much more than what the avera local topic of interest. And that was just the first five hours of last age person believes it can do. I am going out Send an e-mail to year’s race. there to prove that, especially to myself. Ω
Assembly, District 6 Reginald Bronner
Assembly, District 4
District 4 Gary Blenner
TWIN RIVERS SCHOOL BOARD Area 1
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE Senate, District 3 Lois Wolk
U.S. House 4
U.S. House 6
Area 3 Christine Jefferson
Find SN&R’s complete local endorsements at www.news review.com.
U.S. House 7
U.S. House 9
Area 7 Francisco Garcia
SACRAMENTO COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION Area 4 Eleanor Brown
Assembly, District 7
SACRAMENTO COUNTY SUPERVISOR
Don’t be afraid to really live
Assembly, District 8
Proposition 29 (tobacco tax) Yes
Proposition 28 (term-limits reform) Yes
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REBEL JOE HARDESTY HOLDS GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS IN CONTEMPT. BUT TWO LOCAL RIVERS MAY SUFFER CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS THEORY THAT HE IS IMMUNE TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROSECUTIONS.
PHOTO BY MIKE RAFFERTY, MOUNTAIN DEMOCRAT
BY PAUL KOBERSTEIN
Paul Koberstein is a former award-winning environmental reporter for The Oregonian. In 1995, he launched the Cascadia Times to educate the public about the continuing changes affecting the economy, communities and environment of the Pacific Northwest. Koberstein and his publication won the 2004 Oakes Award, given annually for the nation’s most outstanding environmental journalism. John Williams has investigated environmental matters throughout the United States for 26 years for a variety of community-based groups. Joseph Hardesty’s operation came to his attention in late 2007 when he received a call from a woman motorist who was run off the road by a gravel truck exiting Hardesty’s Sloughhouse operation. Williams researched Hardesty during 2007 and 2008 on behalf of Valley Citizens, an environmental group active on gravel-mining issues. Williams testified briefly about Hardesty’s mining rights at a Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District hearing, and a 2010 Sacramento County hearing on code violations at Sloughhouse. Williams was not involved in the investigation of Big Cut Mine. Williams brought the Hardesty case to the SN&R’s attention, provided his files and interpreted the information for writer Paul Koberstein.
Joe Hardesty faces felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with a wide variety of violations of state environmental statutes. But his lawyer denies that he is polluting anything.
OSEPH LEONARD HARDESTY NEVER MET AN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW HE WOULDN’T DEFY.
Local gravel miners Hardesty, 55, and his business partner, Richard David Churches, 44, have earned the unsolicited adoration of tea party activists across the country for their unrelenting contempt of government regulation. Ultimately, however, defiance of the law comes at a price. Together, the miners face felony and misdemeanor charges in a 24count criminal complaint in connection with violations—many of which impact two of Sacramento’s three rivers—of a wide variety of environmental statutes. They must also pay more than a million dollars in fines. Both have entered not-guilty pleas to the charges. Hardesty, who lives in Elk Grove, has been disregarding mining regulations for as long as he has been in the business— now 32 years—state-mining-board documents show. He did not return this reporter’s several phone calls seeking comment on the allegations against him, but his San Diego attorney William Brewer says Hardesty “denies that he is polluting anything.” But there is no denying that Hardesty has been indifferent to the consequences of his actions on the environment. For example, his mine in Sloughhouse, located some 20 miles southeast of downtown Sacramento, threatens to literally rip the guts out of the Cosumnes River. His other mining operation, the Big Cut Mine in Placerville, another 30 miles to the east, has carried pollution and mining waste into the American River, a recreational mecca for thousands of Sacramentans. Until his arrest on February 9, Hardesty had been free on probation (the result of a January 2011, conviction on one misdemeanor charge in an oil-spill incident at one of his mines), but a Sacramento County Superior Court judge revoked his probation on May 10. Further action on the probation violation has been stayed until after a pretrial hearing in El Dorado County on June 14. If found guilty, Hardesty could be ordered to serve the remaining 364 days of his suspended sentence behind bars, plus whatever additional jail time is levied in El Dorado County.
As for Churches, he is free on his own recognizance. He will be tried alongside Hardesty. His attorney, Glenn Peterson of Sacramento, denied that Churches was engaged in any commercial gravel mining. “The mining activities have been limited to mining gravel for their own road,” he said. A third partner, Daniel Tankersley, has not been charged.
THE FERVENT PRACTITIONERS
f you are curious how the tea party form of government might play out in the real world that exists beyond Washington, D.C., or Sacramento, consider Hardesty and Churches’ Thelma & Louise-style leap from reality. This is not to imply that they are leaders in the tea party movement, or even followers, despite their countless fans who are. Like many of us, they are just regular Joes out to strike it rich. What makes them unusual is that they are not just true believers in the fringe group’s peculiar brand of political ideology. They are fervent practitioners. Judging by their actions, they appear to align more closely with the Gordon “Greed Is Good” Gekko wing of the tea party, rather than the Rick Santorum Christian evangelical wing. As Kerry Shapiro, Hardesty’s San Francisco attorney, explains, Hardesty has simply been trying to exercise a right to mine that he believed was vested, or grandfathered, at his two mining sites, in part by a mineral certificate by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1876, which “extends to their heirs and assigns forever” that right. He believes that his “historic” mining rights also give him the right to ignore modern-day regulations to protect the environment. But the state of California’s mining board and Sacramento and El Dorado counties, all determined in 2009 and 2010 that Hardesty held no vested rights at either mine. Hardesty’s theory that he is immune to environmental prosecutions surely will be tested in the upcoming trial. “The Sacramento [County] Board of Supervisors took the vested right without notice to Mr. Hardesty,” his San Diego attorney, Brewer, said. Despite the rulings that Hardesty held no vested mining rights, Hardesty continued to mine. He felt he needed no one’s permission to dig holes on his own properties or sell whatever he hauled out to the highest bidder. No need to worry about the impacts of the pollution he sent offsite. Several local, state and federal agencies and some of his neighbors insisted he did, in fact, need the permits. They also allege multiple violations of air- and water-pollution laws, hazardouswaste regulations, and land-use rules that are supposed to ensure that what he does on his property doesn’t interfere with someone else’s ability to enjoy their property. “We enjoy the rural setting and quality of life in our community, and are outraged that surface mining would be considered in such a populated area so close to the city of Placerville,” said
Dorothy and Glenn Harris of Placerville in a letter that was typical of messages from the community sent to the state mining board. “We are concerned about the impacts to our health when the winds, which come up the hill, carry dust onto our property and into our lungs,” said a letter from other neighbors of the Placerville mine, Gary and Lana Lentz. As of this writing, Hardesty and Churches still don’t have any mining permits. Hardesty’s legal troubles began more than a decade ago, but they became much more acute after 2007, when state and county agencies began aggressively investigating the mining operations. A close review of the investigators’ reports shows they were unable to find few if any instances where Hardesty complied with environmental laws. Instead, Hardesty stiff-armed anyone who tried to get him to obey the rules. “He’s a rogue miner,” said Stephen Testa, who, as executive officer of the State Mining & Geology Board, knows a thing or two about the breed. “There are many regulations and laws all mine operators have to abide to in order to mine in California.” Usually, Testa said, the law looks leniently upon miners who quickly and compliantly respond to notices of violations issued by the state board or the county. If they don’t have a permit, for example, they usually stop mining and go get one, or if out of compliance, works toward correcting the problem. “But in Hardesty’s case, he knowingly showed total disregard of local and state law,” he said.
“[JOE HARDESTY IS] A ROGUE MINER. … HE KNOWINGLY SHOWED TOTAL DISREGARD OF LOCAL AND STATE LAW.” Stephen Testa California State Mining & Geology Board Although the courts issued several search warrants, things turned ugly for investigators as they tried to crack down on the miscreant miner. For a time, the Hardesty investigation was able only to limp forward. Hardesty and his men threatened investigator John Williams (who later became co-author of this article) outside a public meeting in 2009 at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. Hardesty called Williams a “lying perjuring snake,” exclaiming, “I hope you are all right with Jesus, because you are about to meet your maker.” If anything, officials met Hardesty’s refusals to cooperate with timidity, and were often discouraged when they found their path to the mines blocked with bulldozers and ornery characters. Hardesty’s efforts to resist authorities are detailed in agency records.
“REBEL MINER” CONTINUED ON PAGE 19
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“REBEL MINER” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
Inspectors says Hardesty’s mining operation in Sloughhouse, located some 20 miles southeast of downtown Sacramento, has chewed away part of a river levee and burrowed a deep pit below river level.
He fueled the tension by filing countersuits against the agencies and a score of low-level government employees. The suits, charging them as individuals with conspiring to deprive him of his rights, were clearly meant to intimidate everyone involved with enforcement actions against him. When contacted by SN&R, many officials refused to comment on the record about Hardesty. If his goal was to dissuade them from talking about his misdeeds, the strategy of intimidation worked. For a while.
RAID AT SLOUGHHOUSE
n May 9, 2009, a hot and sunny day in the Sacramento Valley, 21 officers from a half-dozen government agencies, armed with search warrants, descended upon Hardesty Sand & Gravel at 15000 Meiss Road in rural Sloughhouse, once a bustling wayside for miners headed for the Sierra foothills during the gold rush. The officers arrived around 9:30 a.m. and stayed all day. At the same time, another 10 officers raided Hardesty’s home and business office at 10176 W. Stockton Boulevard in Elk Grove. The raids included investigators from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the Elk Grove Police Department, as well as several geologists, engineers and game wardens from various other agencies. Their aim: to inspect an illegal gravel pit, interview employees, seize computer hard drives and collect water samples, as well as visual evidence of damage to the environment. The raids were among several in the last few years that documented illegal activities at the Sloughhouse site. Hardesty Sand & Gravel, situated on the historic 3,900-acre Schneider ranch, hugs a southward bend in the Cosumnes River, about a half-mile south of the gated Rancho Murieta suburb.
DESPITE THE RULINGS, HARDESTY CONTINUED TO MINE. HE FELT HE NEEDED NO ONE’S PERMISSION TO DIG HOLES ON HIS OWN PROPERTIES, NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF THE POLLUTION HE SENT OFFSITE. At the Schneider ranch, Hardesty removed rock from ancient channels clogged with high-grade gravel. He excavated massive open pits with heavy diesel equipment—which he operated without required air-pollution permits—crushing the river rock on site to the desired sizes. His mining operation chewed away part of a river levee and burrowed a deep pit below river level. Over the last few years, inspectors were often accompanied to the mine site by California Highway Patrol officers and county law-enforcement representatives to keep the peace during inspections. Hardesty, his attorneys and employees were seldom more than minimally cooperative with inspectors, usually refusing to allow a full inspection of the mining operation at any one time. But according to their reports, inspectors were still able to document significant environmental damage. They also discovered that Hardesty’s plan to reclaim the site contained “numerous omissions, inconsistencies and false statements,” many of which conflicted with state regulations requiring environmental restoration once mining is finished. A 68-acre gravel pit situated on the Cosumnes River’s 100-year floodplain—within 30 feet of the river—became a preoccupation for inspectors at the Sloughhouse mine. Because the bottom of the pit is deeper than the river bottom, river water has been slowly seeping through the ground and into the bottom of the pit—creating an additional hazard for the river. Salmon in the Cosumnes, which often runs dry during late summer, cannot easily withstand water losses.
A RT S & C U LT U R E
“Fish need water,” said Trevor Kennedy, executive director of the Fishery Foundation of California. But seepage was never the biggest worry. What concerned the state mining board the most was the pit’s potential to rupture the banks of the Cosumnes River and change its course, according to a 2010 state report, which said: “The subject mining operation has provided no safeguards to prevent the active river channel from flowing through the mining pit, which likely would turn the floodplain pit into an instream pit, a process known as pit capture.” The report said pit capture could lead to severe downstream erosion and irreversible damage to the river and its prized chinook salmon fishery—in short, cause an environmental disaster. “The resulting environmental damage likely would be technically infeasible or cost prohibitive to correct,” according to the mining board’s report. In 2008, inspectors from the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Fish and Game found that Hardesty had unlawfully filled wetlands and creeks, operated heavy equipment in rivers during salmon spawning season, removed state and federal property, and misappropriated river water. The Army Corps was one of several agencies that filed cease-and-desist orders against Hardesty, who ignored them all—until now—with impunity. Property owner Jay Schneider, who himself is suing Hardesty for pollution at the mine site, had invited the Army Corps of Engineers inspectors to the Sloughhouse mine, but grew frustrated with their thorough methods. Expecting something a little more cursory, he called the inspection “a witchhunt,” and promptly ordered the government officials to leave his land. When they returned with a warrant, this time it was Hardesty and his associates who angrily and loudly ordered them again to leave the property. The next time the agencies visited the mine, they brought the police.
“REBEL MINER” CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
“REBEL MINER” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
uring their raids, police found gold-processing equipment at Joe Hardesty’s two mines. Digging for gold can be quite lucrative for a sand-andgravel outfit in the western Sierras. Gold-rich placer deposits in the Sierra—known in geo-speak as auriferous gravels—can yield as much as 0.005 ounces of gold per ton of rock, said Donald Drysdale, a spokesman for the State Mining & Geology Board. “One needs to move a lot of earth in those circumstances to make money, assuming 100 percent recovery, which is seldom the case,” Drysdale said in an email. However, a 1970 book, Gold Districts of California, by William B. Clark of the California Division of Mines and Geology, said ore from the Deep Blue Lead in Placerville is capable of yielding one-fourth to oneseventh of an ounce of gold per ton, exceeding Drydale’s estimates by a factor of between 28 and 50. Clark said the Deep Blue Lead was one of the richest and best known veins in the area. “The lode-gold deposits are massive quartz veins as much as 20 feet thick with numerous parallel stringers,” he wrote. Hardesty denies that he is mining gold. But how much gold could he have been finding, hypothetically, from moving a lot of earth at his two mines? You do the math. Hardesty reported that his mines produced approximately a half-million tons or more of sand and gravel every year, yielding about 2,500 potential ounces of gold, if he truly extracted the ore at the rate Drysdale said was possible. But using Clark’s higher estimate, Hardesty could have mined 71,000 to 125,000 ounces of gold per year. An ounce of gold sells for about $1,700 on the commodity markets these days. Using Drysdale’s rate, Hardesty’s annual gold sales could have exceeded $4.25 million. Using Clark’s estimate, such a mine would have yielded between $120 million and $212 million worth of gold each year. —Paul Kobertstein and John Williams
IF YOU ARE CURIOUS HOW THE TEA PARTY FORM OF GOVERNMENT MIGHT PLAY OUT IN THE REAL WORLD THAT EXISTS BEYOND WASHINGTON, D.C., OR SACRAMENTO, CONSIDER THIS LOCAL THELMA & LOUISE-STYLE LEAP FROM REALITY. But the enforcement actions against Hardesty rarely produced results. Hardesty appealed everything, using the courts to wear down the bureaucrats, who eventually neglected their unclosed cases against Hardesty. All the while, he kept selling the daylights out of his cheap, compliance-free gravel. Since he wasn’t paying the cost of complying with environmental laws, Hardesty was able to vastly undercut his competitors’ prices. His gravel business boomed while he raked in profits from the lucrative building-materials market in the Sacramento area. Some of his competitors say they laid off workers, unable to match Hardesty’s compliance-free gravel prices. A state law forbidding government agencies from using unsanctioned gravels slowed him down. The mining board later cited Hardesty’s illegal competitive edge when it levied the heavy penalties against him.
BIG CUT MINE
n the afternoon of February 8, 2012, police officers with guns drawn came knocking at the gate of the Big Cut Mine, which is situated just outside downtown Placerville in El Dorado County on a narrow, windy suburban road near several school bus stops. Hardesty had been forewarned through his attorney, that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. So
when police arrived at the property, they found the road blocked by heavy equipment, according to a report in Placerville’s Mountain Democrat, but no Hardesty. The Big Cut Mine, located at 2261 Donovan Ranch Road, is a 149-acre spread about 10 miles south of Sutter’s Mill, the birthplace of the 1849 California gold rush. Hardesty bought it in 1998 for $2.5 million. The mine is accused of polluting Weber Creek, a tributary to the south fork of the American River, degrading the stream as it runs toward Sacramento’s “greenway” which is enjoyed by thousands of fishers and hikers. As the Mountain Democrat pointed out, Rick Churches’ 17year-old son and a friend were there. Churches, who lived at the Big Cut Mine, told the paper that the youths were “intimidated” and “threatened” by the heavily armed officers during the afternoon incident. Later that night, the newspaper said, the elder Churches said he was “rousted” from bed and “forced to stand naked on the front porch” with spotlights and assault weapons aimed at him. Still, there still was no sign of Hardesty. Police knocked on his mother’s door, with no results. They hunted for Hardesty for 24 hours before he turned himself in at the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office in Placerville. A locked gate now guards the entrance of the Big Cut Mine. Police arrested him on 23 criminal charges of illegally operating the Big Cut Mine without permits and a host of other water-pollution and hazardous-waste offenses, and later charged Churches as a co-conspirator on 18 counts. Eight of the charges were felonies, including seven against Hardesty and four against Churches. Counting the six counts at Sloughhouse, Hardesty has now been charged with a total of 29 violations of environmental laws in just the last three years. He was booked into El Dorado County Jail, but was later released on a $75,000 bond. The State Mining & Geology Board began looking into operations at the Big Cut Mine in 2002, when El Dorado County found that illegal surface mining was occurring at the site. After the mining board confirmed that report, it issued a $220,000 fine. Instead of paying the fine, Hardesty shut down the mine. He reopened it in 2006, and resumed the illegal mining. In 2010, after he was shut down a second time, he again resumed mining. In 2010, the mining board issued a $100,000 fine and another $750,000 penalty for disregarding state mining laws, based on $5,000 per day per violation since the day the notice of violation was first issued. Hardesty still has yet to pay a dime on any of the fines, Testa said. By mid-April, the total amount of fines owing was $1,070,000 and counting, according to the mining board.
According to officials, Hardesty’s Big Cut Mine in Placerville has carried pollution and mining waste into the American River, a recreational destination for thousands of Sacramento fishers and hikers.
At the beginning of another inspection, Hardesty jumped into his pickup truck and scurried back to his office, where he fumbled with a padlock that he tried, unsuccessfully, to fasten to a cabinet containing his business records. He was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer. In 2009, Hardesty failed to report a spill of waste oil on his site. That year, he was charged with a total of six criminal misdemeanor counts for toxic-waste and water-pollution violations. After a crime lab accidently discarded evidence, all but the oil-spill charge were dropped. That was the charge that led to the recent probation.
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n 2010, after the state mining board tried to shut Hardesty down for the second time at the Big Cut claim, he quickly moved several pieces of heavy equipment onto the site and began erecting a plant for processing gravel and, for all appearances, gold. As Hardesty’s angry neighbors told the mining board when they called to complain: “You won’t believe this, but …” In response, county and state staff members drove to a ridge about the Big Cut Mine and peered down, staggered by the sight of Hardesty’s brazen activities. Below them, workers scurried around like ants as bulldozers and backhoes tore away at the land, stripping bare an area the size of two football fields and gnawing away a hillside. You could almost hear the workers laughing at the mining regulators as the pile of uncollected fines continued to grow day by day. Despite all the talk about California’s supposedly punitive environmental laws, Hardesty has unerringly targeted regulatory agencies’ common weakness. Enforcement of environmental regulations relies heavily on cooperation from the regulated industries. Agencies are not prepared for uncooperative companies. In other words, agencies are geared to simply handle and approve permit applications, even those that are filed belatedly, not to prosecute polluters in long-lasting civil and criminal suits. Hardesty was able to continue his acts of raw defiance thanks in part to the countless thousands of dollars he has spent on no less than 11 attorneys, who raised marginal issues during a six-year long legal battle that is still wending its way through appeals courts. Despite the agency documents that indicate otherwise, lawyer Brewer told SN&R: “So far, there haven’t been any violations for polluting the water, air or anything else.”
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he Big Cut Mine sits atop the fabled Mother Lode and what’s said to be a fabulously rich vein of gold known locally as “the deep blue lead”—a dried-up underground stream that once upon a time flowed through a blue-quartzite rock formation in the Sierras. Quartzite is known to leach out gold dust when it comes in contact with water. Hardesty’s lawyer Brewer and Churches’ attorney Peterson both deny that their clients are mining gold, but the precious ore appears to have been at least a side business for Hardesty. A state study from 1992 said some of the gravel from the Big Cut Mine was worthless for most construction jobs, but the site contained plenty of gold. During their raids, police found gold-processing equipment at the two mines. Digging for gold can be quite lucrative for a sand-and-gravel outfit in the western Sierras.
HARDESTY WAS ABLE TO CONTINUE HIS ACTS OF RAW DEFIANCE THANKS IN PART TO THE COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS HE HAS SPENT ON NO LESS THAN 11 ATTORNEYS. By any measure, Hardesty was making some serious coin, one way or the other. The latter-day forty-niner admits to more than $5 million in annual income in recent years, and has been paying the undoubtedly bloated legal billings from his 11 attorneys as he battled with the agencies. Clearly, jail time for Hardesty will cost him a lot more than just the time served, and raises this question: Why would he risk his freedom and all that income just to make an arcane political point? Apparently, Hardesty didn’t want to make that point with SN&R reporters, as he failed to return several phone calls asking for an explanation. But Rivas, the planner for El Dorado County, believes Hardesty was probably willing to “take his lumps” from the courts for the chance to take a sizable chunk out of the Mother Lode. Rivas said he was willing to give Hardesty a mining permit for a much smaller operation. Hardesty must have known that, one day, cops would come and haul him away like just another truckload of gravel. But the ending to this story could be something only a tea party patriot would truly love. According to Brewer, Hardesty filed a federal lawsuit on May 10, alleging that his civil rights had been violated in the investigations against him. And court papers on file with El Dorado County indicate that Hardesty has applied to receive only probation for his latest round of environmental crimes, an indication he still hopes to get nothing more than a scolding for his 30 years of defying the law. Ω BEFORE
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A Texas state of mind Everything, it seems, is bigger in Texas: its sky,
its fields, its slabs of red meat. Such expansiveness, however, does not extend to include the state population’s general beliefs on morality and politics—a realization that dawned on me during a recent by RACHEL LEIBROCK trip to the Lone Star state to visit family. Here’s what happens when you leave California and venture somewhere even remotely Bible Belt-ish: You learn, way too clearly, just how divided the country really is, be it politically or spiritually. Or, in my case at least, you relearn it. I was born in Texas and, after moving around for several years, spent many of my formative years—ages 6 to 13 to be exact—in Austin, a city that is, by Texas standards at least, very liberal. Much of the rest of the state, however, is decidedly not. I know—shocker. Fox News is the state’s most popular source of media information, after all, according to a new Forbes study, “The Media Map.” (For a point of reference, by the way, Montana and Mississippi are the nation’s other two biggest Fox supporters.) Still, when you’re an Austin kid with parents who vote Democrat, it’s easy to think that the rest of the people there are the same—progressive and generally accepting of people with “different” lifestyles and beliefs. After I moved away, however, return trips to Texas—primarily to the Dallas-Forth Worth area to visit my grandparents—showed me that much of the rest of the state hardly followed Austin’s lead. Rather, during those excursions, I routinely overheard racial and homophobic slurs dropped in casual conversation—in line at the grocery store, at restaurants, at the Vacation Bible School camps in which my grandparents insisted on enrolling me. On this particular trip, Texas’ deeply branded beliefs came back into sharp relief, illustrated in the Bible phrases plastered behind cash register counters and on bumper stickers; evident in the national and state flags decorating countless front porches and waving from countless cars. Painfully obvious by way of the overheard racial and homophobic Fox News is slurs. Clearly manifested in the framed Texas’ most photographs of Gov. Rick Perry that hang on numerous diner and shop walls—right next to popular source the aging photos of former conservative of media politician Ross Perot, who ran on the Independent Reform ticket in 1992. information, after The state, of course, is solidly red—nearly all, according to a 56 percent of Texans voted Republican during the 2008 presidential election. Likewise, the state new Forbes study. known as the “buckle” of the Bible Belt is home to a concrete majority: A whopping combined 73 percent of residents identify as either Catholic or some denomination of Christian, according to 2010 census data. Meanwhile, back home in California, I’ve found, it’s easy to live in a social, cultural and political bubble. Which is not to say that there aren’t those who are ultra-conservative or ultra-religious here. We live in the state where voters approved Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, after all. There are anti-abortion protests and religious zealots. There is homophobia, not to mention racism and a fanatical reliance on the Bible to prove a point. And yet it doesn’t feel as prevalent here as it does nearly halfway across the country, where waitresses regularly bless you on God’s behalf and every other billboard seems to be selling drivers on a church, a Republican political candidate or various pro-life convictions. Don’t get me wrong. I love Texas. People there are—if you happen to look like them and, presumptively, think like them—friendly to a fault. This is to say nothing of the state’s exquisite terrain, its undeniable pioneer spirit, its vastness, its raw, rugged scenery, its breathtaking geographical openness. Almost everything’s bigger in Texas—if only more of the minds of the people who lived there actually boasted such enormity when it came to diversity and tolerance. Ω Smarted by Popsmart? Got something to say? Let Rachel know: email@example.com.
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VERYBODY LIVES SOMEWHERE,”
said U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, “and unless you’re writing abstractly—and some people do; they just have that aesthetic—so unless the poems are largely mental, they are situated somewhere.” Levine, one of America’s bestknown poets, is speaking of the importance of place in poetry, a subject with which he is intimately familiar. He divides his time between New York City and Fresno—half the year spent in each—and all of his work is infused with a sense of place.
Levine will be the keynote speaker at SummerWords: The American River College Creative Writing Colloquium, which begins Thursday, May 31, on the campus at ARC and runs through Sunday. The colloquium, which is sponsored by the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation and the American River College Foundation, is both affordably priced ($85 for a four-day event) and is providing scholarships to onethird of the attendees. Registrants will attend workshops and discussions with ARC’s creative-writing faculty members and area writers and poets, including Sacramento poet laureate Bob Stanley, and will have time to do some writing of their own.
LEVINE CREDITS THE RISE IN INTEREST IN POETRY, AND DESCRIBES IT AS “INCREDIBLE … I KNOW SUCCESSFUL NOVELISTS WHO DON’T GET THAT MANY BOOKS SOLD.” Levine’s reading is open to the public, but will require tickets. Levine—whose National Book Awardwinning collection, What Work Is, has sold more than 40,000 copies—has strong ties to the Central Valley and to writing
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Getting’ dirty about the work regular people do; that makes him popular with those who think they don’t care for poetry. Among Levine’s duties as poet laureate is attending poetry and writing events all over the country, which, he said, has allowed him to meet “a lot of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and some of them have been quite astonishing,” he said. He’s been able to see for himself the number and variety of poets writing in the United States, in all their diverse styles. Levine mentioned several Page to Stage events, in which he shared the spotlight with younger generation spoken-word artists. “I gave a reading with a stage poet, which is supposed to be a guy who invents his poems up on the stage,” he said. “But he actually memorizes the poems and performs them, he told me. He was very young—he was like, 25—but also quite good.”
“I DON’T THINK THAT POETRY HAS ANY SPECIAL FUNCTION. POETS DO, BECAUSE WE’RE CITIZENS. POETRY DOESN’T SEPARATE US IN ANY WAY.” Philip Levine U.S. poet laureate This expansion of the audience for poetry is something he both enjoys and profits from, said Levine. When he was young, his mother was in the book business, and he learned a bit about the publishing industry from her. “She’d given me a first edition of one of William Carlos Williams’ books, and it was signed,” he said. “I asked how many were in the first edition, and she said 900. Now, these days, my books print about 10,000.” He credits the rise in interest in poetry of all kinds, and describes it as “incredible.” “I know successful novelists who don’t get that many books sold,” he said. “Levine has been a champion of working people and the disenfranchised his entire career,” said Michael Spurgeon, a professor of English at ARC and one of the colloquium’s organizers. “We thought he was the perfect match for the program at ARC, given that such an important part of the community college mission is to educate and train the working class and people who otherwise might have fallen behind.” Levine is, indeed, a natural fit. Like many California community-college students, he was the first in his family to attend college. He also shares with many of these students
the experience of working while going to school; in Levine’s case, that was in the Detroit auto industry. And there is also the sense of place. Levine came to the Central Valley in 1958 and fell in love with it. “Fresno was a much smaller town, maybe 120,000 people [ then],” he said. “You could almost always see the mountains. It was the first time I’d seen mountains like that, when I came West. I found them awesome. They dwarf you.” Levine bought a motorcycle so he could “shoot up” into the mountains in a relatively short period of time. “In Fresno, during some of the winter months, you get this heavy tule fog, which can be a little depressing,” he said. “But if you shoot up to [5,000 or 6,000] feet, you’re above it. I just loved it, being up in the mountains. It gave me a different view, both literally and metaphorically, of where I was living. I would look down on it—the valley and the city—quite literally. I’d think, ‘What a filthy mess it is down there, and how sublime it is up here!’ “I’d get a little snobbish sometimes,” he chuckled. “I found the mountains inspiring.” He soon found that there were surprising similarities between Fresno and the industrial center in which he’d grown up. “That sounds nuts, but socially and culturally, the two were quite similar,” he said. “You had a very small minority—you might almost say ‘royalty’—who owned everything and who ran everything, even politically. And then you had the workers, a class with its own mythology attached.” Levine found a similar mythology about the workers in place even during his stays in Spain. “I found that same in mythology in Barcelona: This mythology about the useless people from the south who come up to the city and ruin it,” he said. “In Barcelona, they came from the rural south of Spain, and in Detroit, of course, they came from the southern U.S., and in Fresno, they come from Mexico.” The mythology is that these southern laborers “are lazy and stupid and useless,” said Levine. “And yet, of course, all the labor that takes place is done by those people, and they get just enough of the rewards to stay alive and produce the next generation of serfs.” This succinct analysis finds its way into Levine’s poems—like, for example, “Coming Close,” from What Work Is, which describes an imaginary face-to-face encounter between a woman working on a factory floor and a suited member of the ownership class:
... No! No! You must come closer to find out, you must hang your tie and jacket in one of the lockers in favor of a black smock, you must be prepared to spend shift after shift hauling off the metal trays of stock, bowing first, knees bent for a purchase, then lifting with a gasp, the first word of tenderness between the two of you, then you must bring new trays of dull unpolished tubes. It may not be well-known that poets write about work, “and yet we do,” says Levine. He’s been compared to Walt Whitman a number of times, most recently in the numerous encomiums addressed to him since his nomination as American poet laureate. But Whitman’s poetry of work is far more romantic than Levine’s. “He’s our greatest poet, and he talks about work as if people are playing in the Philharmonic instead of moving a big piece of granite, this big rock,” said Levine. In romanticizing work, poets like Whitman and Carl Sandburg “forget that work is, really, work.” And poets’ work? To be citizens, he said. “Poetry does not usually play a major role in uniting or dividing people,” Levine said. “Very occasionally, it can, though,” he added, and mentioned W. H. Auden’s poem, “September 1, 1939,” which he said he’s heard frequently in connection to 9/11. “It’s about the beginning of World War II, the invasion of Poland. But I can’t remember a poem like that about Pearl Harbor, which is the analogous event to 9/11.” Poetry certainly is no panacea. “I don’t think that poetry has any special function,” Levine said. “Poets do, because we’re citizens. Poetry doesn’t separate us in any way, other than perhaps we think about these things more.” So what work is a poet to do in the face of economic disasters and growing divisions between red and blue, left and right America? “Weep,” he said. “Look on and weep.” Ω U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine will read and sign books at 7:30 p.m. on June 2, in the American River College Theatre. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online through the ARC website at http://tinyurl.com/arclevine. Read the entire transcript of the SN&R interview with Philip Levine online at www.newsreview.com/sacramento.
A RT S & C U LT U R E
The Home Depot Garden Center was one zombie short of an apocalyptic outbreak last weekend, as the suburban gardeners and wannabes who’d waited until the very last minute to plan for the summer shambled past annuals, vegetables and materials. Yeah, I’m one of them. The kind of person that wishes I could have all the neat, raised beds and tidy, hanging herb gardens made from old rain gutters that abound in photo essays from urban-gardening websites. I know there are people out there who can turn a patio into a locavore Eden, but I’m not one of them. Instead, I have a driveway garden—as in “There’s just enough space for two big pots on wheels next to the garbage and recycling bins, while still leaving enough room for the car to get out without dinging anything.” But even though I’d come for just a couple of cubic feet of potted vegetable soil and some starter plants, the carnival atmosphere caught me quickly. On the Sunday of a three-day weekend, everyone thinks of home-improvement projects—especially when the weather’s on the cool side. I coveted a neat little divided plastic tub for gardening by the square foot ($24.95), which would allow me to give that urban farmer’s holy grail a try without knowing how to hammer-and-nail together a container. Nope. Too wide for the Honda to get around while backing out. Then there was the momentary flirtation with the mushroom-growing kit, self-contained in a brown cardboard box ($19.95). That was a close one, but my wife put her foot down and ruled the guest-room closet For the guest off-limits to fungi. closet, right? What about some hanging planters? They’ve got Topsy Turvy planters for tomatoes, strawberries and hot peppers ($3.98 to $6.97). “Do those things even work?” my wife asked, before pointing out that I’d need to put in heavy-duty hangers to hold them. She was more congenial as I dithered over which plants to start with: heirloom cherry tomatoes (too fragile; I tend to be a forgetful gardener) vs. hybrid grape tomatoes, green peppers vs. hot peppers (which, she helpfully reminded me, neither of us eat). Meanwhile, swarms of shoppers were loading carts with everything from birdbaths (wrought iron with a crane, $153) to plastic Adirondack chairs ($17.98 and stackable). The latter caught my eye, but I was quickly reminded that we don’t use the stackable outdoor chairs we have now, which are extremely dusty and marked with the paw prints of neighborhood cats. Thanks to an alert and helpful spouse, I left with my fresh dirt, a hybrid grape tomato, a Bigger Boy tomato (because size, apparently, matters a great deal when it comes to fruits and vegetables) and a green pepper. The only impulse buy I made was a nifty convertible tomato cage ($12.95) with three possible configurations. A half-hour of actual gardening was all it took to get things set up. Now I just have to water regularly, feed occasionally and wait for the results. But I may need to go back for that mushroom kit. After all, what she can’t smell won’t hurt her. —Kel Munger
NIGHT&DAY 31THURS DON’T MISS! US POET LAUREATE AT SUMMERWORDS: American
River College will bring current U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine to Sacramento as part of SummerWords, a creative writing event featuring workshops, panel discussions and readings. Th, 5/31, 8am-9pm. $25-$85. American River College, 4700 College Oak Dr.; (916) 484-8101; www.summerwords.org.
List your event! Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview. com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.
Special Events EAST SAC BENEFIT BIKE CRAWL: Grubcrawlusa.com in partnership with Bikes & Bites presents a bike crawl where participants bike from spot to spot, enjoying free appetizers and drink specials all night. It’s a benefit to raise money for the upcoming Team In Training Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Ride. Th, 5/31, 6:30-10:30pm. $30. The Shack, 5201 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 730-0977; http://grubcrawlusa.com.
Classes BEGINNING JAZZ DANCE: Instructor Stephen Hatcher will help students teach students how to build strength, balance and extension. Students will grow technically and physically throughout this lesson for kids ages 7-12. Th, 8-9pm through 6/28.
$65. Roseville Theatre, 241 Vernon St. in Roseville; (916) 772-2777; http://roseville theaterartsacademy.com.
Film THE PRACTICE OF THE WILD: Legendary Beat figure, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and naturalist Gary Snyder is the focus of this documentary, which intertwines the many fascinating aspects of his journey across nature and the page. Presented in collaboration with the California Film Foundation, CFF Director Martin Anaya will introduce the film and offer post-screening remarks. Th, 5/31, 7pm. $5-$8. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.; (916) 808-7000; www.crockerartmuseum.org.
Poetry POETRY UNPLUGGED: Sacramento’s longest-running spoken-word open mic, with guest hosts Frank Andrick, Mario Ellis Hill, Geoffery Neill and B.L. Kennedy. Th, 8pm. $2. Lunas Café & Juice Bar, 1414 16th St.; (916) 441-3931; www.lunascafe.com.
Concerts NICO VEGA WITH MOUNT WHATEVEREST: Nico Vega returns to rock the Miners Foundry. Known for its dynamic live performances led by lead singer Aja Volkman, Nico Vega’s popularity soared in 2009 when it performed three songs on Last Call with Carson Daly. Th, 5/31, 7pm. $12-$15. Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St. in Nevada
a six-foot balloon. F, 6/1, 4pm. Free. Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave.; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.
City; (530) 265-5040; www.minersfoundry.org.
Concerts PRIDE KICKOFF PARTY: Enjoy a
Special Events AUTHOR AMY ROGERS: California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch presents author Amy Rogers at its Writers Network breakfast meeting. Rogers, an author, critic and educator, has been closely following developments in the book business over the past few years. She will discuss the myriad paths to publication available to writers today. F, 6/1, 9-11am. Free. IHOP, 2216 Sunrise Blvd. in Rancho Cordova; (916) 213-0798; www. cwcsacramentowriters.org.
SHOW & SHINE: Rods & Relics car club of Lincoln presents the Thunder Valley Show & Shine, featuring American classics on display for awards plus music, a raffle and refreshments. This year’s Show & Shine serves as the prelude to the 2012 Downtown Lincoln Car Show on Saturday, June 2. F, 6/1, 4-10pm. Call for pricing. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln; (916) 408-7777; www.thundervalleyresort.com.
party for women loving women, queers, transgender folk and allies. Bay Area deejays will spin music and there will be drink specials before 10:30 p.m. Call for bottle service. F, 6/1, 9pm1:30am. $10. Blush Ultra Lounge, 1200 K St.; (916) 698-4137.
DON’T MISS! 2012 SACRAMENTO PRIDE:
Join for the annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The Pride Parade is a big tradition in the Pride movement, dating back to the original concept 40 years ago. Enjoy entertainment and fun for the whole family at a festival following the parade. Sa, 6/2, 11am-5pm. Parade is free. Festival is $10. Capitol Mall Greens, 1300 7th St.; (916) 307-5130; www.sacramentopride.org.
THE MAGIC OF DAN CHAN: Magician Dan Chan blends magic, illusions, juggling and comedy into his unique show. A special element of Dan’s program involves
HOW TO SURVIVE A
SKATE JAM 1
Looking for something to do? Use SN&R’s free calendar to browse hundreds of events online. Art galleries and musems, family events, education classes, film and literary events, church groups, music, sports, volunteer opportunies—all this and more on our free events calendar at www.newsreview.com. Start planning your week!
DON’T ASK THEM FOR THEIR BOARDS. If they give their board to you, what are they supposed to skate on? You should only do this during the product toss.
LET THEM SKATE. There is a time and place for everything. Don’t be afraid to let them know you think they’re rad—but right before they drop in on a ramp is not one of those moments.
Zumiez Couch Tour happens Saturday, June 2, from noon to 6 p.m. Sunrise Mall, 6172 Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights. Free. For more information, call (916) 723-1146 or visit http://zumiezcouchtour.com/tour/sacramento.
Special Events A CELEBRATION OF THE ROUSH RESIDENCE: Join Sacramento Modern for a celebration of the Roush Residence in Sacramento. The Roush Residence was designed by Terry Waters, a Taliesin Fellow and friend/colleague of renowned modernist John Lautner. Waters was also an apprentice of desert modernist Walter S. White. Appetizers and beverages will be served and a commemorative booklet will be given to attendees. Sa, 6/2, 1-6pm. $30-$45. Roush Residence, Arden Oaks Arden Oaks Neighborhood, (916) 813-7528; www.brown papertickets.com/event/244435.
DAVIS BEERFEST: Citizens Who Care, in partnership with Sudwerk Brewery in Davis, present the annual BeerFest. More than 100 handcrafted beers from 30 breweries will be available for
GATHERING OF HONORED ELDERS: To honor and commemorate California’s Native American elders, the State Indian Museum will host the 35th annual Gathering of Honored Eldersù. During the special event, the State Indian Museum and California Indian community honor the keepers of the traditions for their role in passing down the important history and culture of Native California people. Sa, 6/2, 10am-3pm. Free. California State Indian Museum, 2618 K St.; (916) 324-0971; www.parks.ca.gov/ indianmuseum.
MOBILE GAMING WEB HACKATHON: Join for a fun and fantastic weekend of coding, biz dev, and designing, a solid 30 hours of hacking. Join other folks or bring a team to create mobile, gaming and web applications. Meet people, build a team and create products. Cereal included. Compete for prizes. Sa, 6/2, noon. $35-$55. Sacramento Press, 431 I St. 107; (510) 394-4462; www.cerealhack.com.
RALEYS GRAPE ESCAPE: Talented local chefs and boutique wineries come together at Cesar Chavez Plaza to tempt palates with culinary delights grown
ARTURO SANDOVAL: Spend an evening listening to sixtime Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. The virtuoso has also been known to play piano and drums, and sing at his shows. Sa, 6/2, 8pm. $25$39. Cache Creek Casino Resort, 14455 Hwy. 16 in Brooks; (888) 772-2243; www.cachecreek.com.
HAVING BEEN A SKATEBOARDER FOR 10 YEARS NOW, I have been to my fair share of skateboard demonstrations. A skate demo is the equivalent to a band being on tour; a way for fans to meet and see their favorite professionals and amateurs do what they do best. Demos, however, can be intimidating events for a newcomer or outsider. They attract an eclectic group of people, bring out the animal in even the tamest personalities and can make or break careers—a truly unique experience. This Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m., Zumiez will be hosting a skate demo with the Almost skate team at Sunrise Mall, featuring musical guests A Skylit Drive and Daytrader. The following is a guide to surviving the upcoming event.
HOW TO ACT IN FRONT OF THE PROS Wait, there’s more!
tasting. Included in the admission price are a commemorative glass, brewery tours, live music and food. Sa, 6/2, 2-5pm. $35-$40, $10 for designated drivers. Sudwerk Restaurant and Brewery, 2001 Second St. in Davis; (530) 758-3704; www.davisbeerfest.org.
ENJOY. YOU WILL BE IN THE PRESENCE OF LEGENDS. Skateboard magazine TransWorld puts Rodney Mullen at No. 3 and Daewon Song at No. 29 on its list of the 30 Most Influential Skaters of All Time. Every trick you love to do has most likely been invented or pioneered by these two individuals; the two together at a demo is a sight seldom seen.
AVOID THE BROS. These guys are easy to spot because they will most likely be sporting white sunglasses and a tank top. They offer little to no insight about the event—unless you’re looking for the sunglass or watch booth. LITTLE KIDS. They will undoubtedly be the toughest to avoid, as they are everywhere, zipping by on skateboards and scooters. No one is safe from their most pressing question: “Hey, are you sponsored?”
YOUR GIRLFRIEND. As a matter of fact, don’t bring her; she probably doesn’t care about skateboarding. Plus, if you think she’s hot, you definitely won’t be the only one. Contests and demos are full of bros and little kids.
and produced in Sacramento’s thriving agricultural region. The all-inclusive outdoor evening event also includes live entertainment and a cooking competition. Sa, 6/2, 4-7pm. $40-$50. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I Street; (916) 808-7777; www.raleysgrapeescape.com.
and the Pops in the Park Committee are pleased to present the annual Pops in the Park summer concert series, featuring The Nibblers. Food and beverages will be for sale and all proceeds go to neighborhood and park improvements. Sa, 6/2, 6-9pm. Free. McKinley Park, 601 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 808-5240; www.eastsacpopsinthepark.com.
CLEAN AIR FUN FEST: Everyone is invited to this family-friendly event to enjoy entertainment and learn about ways to reduce air pollution. Numerous local vendors will also attend to share their services. The first 300 visitors will receive goodie bags, and there will be raffles and prize giveaways throughout the day. Sa, 6/2, 11am-3pm. Free. Fremont Park, 1515 Q St.; (916) 239-4605; www.SpareTheAir.com.
Concerts CONCERT ON THE GREEN: The DHS Blue and White Foundation is proud to announce the 4th Annual Concert on the Green. The mission of the Blue and White Foundation is to encourage, strengthen and sustain the interaction between Davis Senior High School, its alumni and friends, and to encourage philanthropic support for Davis Senior High School. Sa, 6/2, 5pm. $10-$15. Wildhorse Golf Club, 2323 Rockwell Dr. in Davis; (530) 400-3514; www.showclix. com/event/ConcertontheGreen.
Kids’ Stuff BRYTE & BRODERICK COMMUNITY KICK OFF: The Bryte and Broderick Community Kick Off is an annual one-day youth and coed adult soccer tournament and community event. Along with fast-paced soccer matches, the community can enjoy a free soccer clinic by the Women’s Premier Soccer League’s California Storm, West Sacramento Police and Fire demonstrations, local youth performances, a healthy snack bar, information booths and other fun. Sa, 6/2, 9am-4pm. Free. Bryte Park, 1276 Carrie St. in West Sacramento; (916) 335-1044; www.bryteandbroderick.org/ bbckickoff.cfm.
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED: Creedence
fun at Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District’s Community Yard Sale. Make some extra cash, shop to your heart’s content, or do both at a massive yard sale. Food and drinks will be available for purchase during the event. Su, 6/3,
9am-1pm; Su, 8/5, 9am-1pm; Su, 10/7, 9am-1pm. Call for pricing.
Howe Avenue Park, 2201 Cottage Way; (916) 927-3802 ext. 125; www.fecrecpark.com.
DON’T MISS! GOOD: STREET FOOD + DESIGN MARKET: Good: Street Food
+ Design Market features deejays, live music, good beer and wine, and good bike parking. There are a few things that set it apart from other markets: high quality products that are locally made or grown, one-of-a-kind items, and custom goods designed to improve the consumer experience. First Su of every
SUMMER READING KICK-OFF PARTY: Everyone is invited to the Sacramento Public Library’s Summer Reading kick-off party. There will be free activities for kids and families, including costumed book characters, face painting, balloon art, henna tattoos, a juggling demonstration and craft activities. Su, 6/3, 1-3pm. Free. Sacramento Public Library (Central Branch), 828 I St.; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.
month, 1-5pm through 11/4. Opens 6/3. $3 entry. Street Food and Design Market, 1409 Del Paso Blvd.
Clearwater Revisited is essentially a cover band of Creedence Clearwater Revival, minus John Fogerty, but with many of the original band members. It’ll be performing old CCR songs. Sa, 6/2, 8pm. $20-$50. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln; (916) 408-7777; www.thundervalleyresort.com.
EUROPEAN TRADITIONS: The
POPS IN THE PARK SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: Steve Cohn
COMMUNITY YARD SALE: Join the
Fremont Presbyterian’s new pipe organ and sanctuary. Sa, 6/2, 8pm. $25-$35. Fremont Presbyterian Church, 5770 Carlson Dr.; (916) 536-9065; http://sacramentochoral.com.
Sacramento Choral Society and conductor Donald Kendrick present choral music from the courts of Europe and salute
Concerts LA GIOIA DELLA PRIMAVERA:
Soprano Catherine Webster and violinist Maia Silberstein return to Davis to present a concert of songs and sonatas from early seventeenth-century Italy together with cellist Elisabeth Reed and harpsichordist Katherine Heater. Join them for an afternoon of works by Monteverdi, Castello, Marini and Merula. Su, 6/3, 3pm. Free. Davis Community Church, 412 C St. in Davis; (510) 459-1582; www.dccpres.org.
BEST OF GEEKY SACRAMENTO: The Best of Geeky Sacramentoù project comprises of a communityvoting contest over the course of the summer, and a collaborative collectible playing card project featuring some of the best “geeky” businesses, organizations, and artists that Sacramento has to offer. Su, 6/3, 4:30pm. $5. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.; (916) 452-5883; www.sacgeekscards.com.
ELK GROVE COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND: The Elk
Kids’ Stuff A CAMPFIRE SINGALONG: The camp-
Grove Community Concert Band will perform its final concert of the 2011-2012 season. The group will be performing music reflecting the American westward expansion. The Elk Grove Community Concert Band is a non-profit, volunteer group of wind and percussion players from the Elk Grove area and surrounding community, conducted by Jay Roberts. M, 6/4, 7pm. Free. Laguna Town Hall, 3020 Renwick Ave. in Elk Grove; (916) 920-2272; www.face book.com/Elk-GroveCommunity-Band.
fire is imaginary, but the singing is real as Bonnie brings the night-time tradition of spirited singing around the fire. From familiar camp songs to original compositions, the program will inspire sing-along, move-along and play-along participation for all. W, 6/6, 3:30pm. Free. Elk Grove Library, 8900 Elk Grove Blvd. in Elk Grove; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.
Concerts PALLADIO WEDNESDAY NIGHT SUMMER CONCERTS: The Palladio
Classes GROUP VOICE LESSONS: Instructor Pavel Kravchuck will teach this class for beginning to intermediate vocalists looking to explore theory, sight singing, placement and technique. Class will benefit all singers who want to learn to optimize their talent. M, 6-7 & 78pm through 6/25. Opens 6/4. $65. Roseville Theatre, 241 Vernon St. in Roseville; (916) 772-2777; http://rosevilletheaterarts academy.com.
LOCATION IS KEY.
TIME YOUR JUMP.
Unless you are a small child, front and center is not prime real estate among a hungry crowd looking for free shit. Looking for any kind of cheap laugh, the team will most likely throw give-away products over a fence or several feet past the crowd. So if you are on the outskirts of the mob, you’re not out of the game just yet.
The majority of the crowd will jump at the first sight of a free board. Wait for the eager to miss their chance and jump when it feels right.
THE PRODUCT IS NOT YOURS JUST BECAUSE YOU GRABBED AT IT FIRST. These free giveaways are unruly and they bring out the worst in people. Good rule of thumb: If you can hug it, then it’s yours.
Looking for something to do? Use SN&R’s free calendar to browse hundreds of events online. Art galleries and musems, family events, education classes, film and literary events, church groups, music, sports, volunteer opportunies—all this and more on our free events calendar at www.newsreview.com. Start planning your week!
ONGOING COMMON DIVERSIONS: TOY TRAINS AND SCALE MODEL RAILROADS:
Join a workshop designed to provide challenging techniques for writers to begin or finish their book this year. Once completed, writers may publish their book on the library’s Espresso Book Machine. Tu, 6/5, 6pm. Free. Franklin Community Library, 10055 Franklin High Rd. in Elk Grove; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.
you are here.
at Broadstone Wednesday Night Summer Concert Series will be a night the whole family can enjoy. Come for dinner or shopping and join for free musical entertainment located in the Piazza near White House Black Market. W, 7-9pm through 8/1. Opens 6/6. Free. Palladio at Broadstone, 240 Palladio Pkwy. in Folsom; (916) 983-9793; www.gopalladio.com.
Wait, there’s more!
I WILL FINISH MY BOOK THIS YEAR: ILLUSTRATIONS BY HAYLEY DOSHAY
HOW TO SURVIVE THE PRODUCT TOSS
and L.A. See two teams every week in Sacramento’s first Harold show. W, 9pm. $5. Sacramento Comedy Spot, 1050 20th St., Ste. 130; (916) 402-4757; www.saccomedyspot.com.
Special Events CROCHET AND KNITTING CIRCLE: Enjoy conversation and companionship at the Fair Oaks Library Crochet and Knitting Circle. All ages and skill levels welcome. This is not an instructional class, but some assistance will be available. Bring your own hooks, needles, yarn and a project to work on. First W of every month, 6:30pm. Free. Fair Oaks Library, 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks; (916) 264-2920; http://saclibrary.org.
LIVE WITH THE CHEF: Just in time for the start of the summer grilling season, the next Live With the Chef cooking class at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa is focused on creating a barbecue blast in your backyard. W, 6/6, 6pm. $20. Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 1220 Arden Hills Ln.; (916) 213-4373; www.ardenhills.net.
Comedy HAROLD NIGHT: The Comedy Spot
While small in size, miniature trains are always a big attraction for guests who visit the California State Railroad Museum. In this exhibition, guests will learn the primary difference between model trains and toy trains has to do with scale. Through 9/14, 10am-5pm. $4-$9. California State Railroad Museum, 111 I St.; (916) 417-1159; www.californiastate railroadmuseum.org.
TIMELESS FASHIONS: The Nevada City Elk’s Ladies of 518 is hosting a Fall Fashion Show. It features timeless fashions, from vintage to contemporary styles. Preregistration required. Through 9/30. $20. Nevada City Elks Club, 518 Hwy 49 North in Nevada City; (530) 265-4920.
Kids’ Stuff ON-CAMERA BASICS CLASS: This workshop will focus on the disciplines, techniques and theories of acting for the camera, covering everything from the audition to “Action!” M-Th, noon-4pm through 6/14. Opens 6/4. $150. Victory Life Church; 800 Reading St in Folsom; (916) 207-5606; www.actorsworkshop.net.
IMPROVISATION AND PLAY FOR CHILDREN: This class will develop your child’s creativity and confidence as well as increase their abilities on the stage. Kids will learn important theatrical fundamentals such as vocalization, movement, group cohesion and more. This class will culminate in a short, fun, one-act improvisation production. M-Th, 9-11am through 6/21. Opens 6/4. $200. Victory Life Church, 800 Reading St. in Folsom; (916) 207-5606; www.actorsworkshop.net.
presents Harold Night, a form of improvised longform comedy popular in Chicago, New York
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26 | SN&R | 05.31.12
Gringo-wiches See FOOD STUFF
Beyond pastries Estelle’s Patisserie 901 K Street, (916) 551-1500 by GREG LUCAS
★ ★ ★ 1⁄2 Breakfast or lunch for one:
$6 - $10
★★ HAS MOMENTS
Search SN&R’s “Dining Directory” to find local restaurants by name or by type of food. Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Italian— discover it all in the “Dining” section at www.newsreview.com.
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the French language that can make the most mundane mellifluous. Who wouldn’t want to spend several hours at the laundromat if it were called a blanchisserie? Even the most inveterate vegetarian might stop by the pork butcher if the establishment were called a charcuterie? One might even wolf down headcheese if it were called tête pressée. Then again. This is preamble to saying that Estelle’s Patisserie at 901 K Street—alliteratively enough the former home of Danielle’s Creperie & Gallery— has a built-in allure, which is enhanced by the winsome Laura, one of the servers, and a menu offering more than just pastries. With its big glass windows, marble tables and light wooden chairs, there’s an airy atmosphere, casual and cozy. It can be a bit too cozy around noon when the tables fill, and the line to order snakes down one wall. Sitting outside on the mall ain’t the Champs Elysees but there’s plenty of intriguing foot traffic that ebbs and gets edgier as the afternoon wears down. Estelle’s offers an espresso bar and a wide assortment of teas and muffins and rolls for the breakfast crowd as well as sweets for the sweet-toothed, including an assortment of DayGlo macarons. For the lunch-inclined there are soups, salads, sandwiches and meat or meatless quiche. And while the soup and sandwiches are not as varied or nuanced as those of Daniel Pont at the previous La Bonne Soupe Café, the 12-inch Brie, prosciutto and arugula on a fresh and flaky baguette—other than not being wrapped in white paper—could be something purchased at Montparnasse Train Station in Paris and contentedly munched between sips of rosé on the one-hour ride to Tours. One of the authentic touches here is the spare—often nonexistent—use of condiments. No mayo or mustard slathered on these sandwiches. The smoked salmon is enlivened by dill and the flavor of its croissant. The Brie, prosciutto and sharp arugula are offset by the sweet baguette. Like a traditional salade lyonnaise in which four dots of mustard comprise the sole counterpoint to the frisée, lardoons and egg. Similarly, Estelle’s roast beef and Gruyère with red onion is a sandwich in which the roast beef is almost incidental to the flavor of the brioche it is wedged between. The ripe red grapes in the tuna salad add both color and a tasty contrast. This sandwich is best on the roll with the nuts and cranberries. Speaking of fresh, a fruit salad often tastes like prefab—like the contents have been waiting, steadily losing flavor. Not Estelle’s. There’s nothing prefab about this FRONTLINES
crisp, bull’s-eye sweet mix that includes blueberries red grapes and strawberries. Equally refreshing is the fresh-squeezed passion-fruit lemonade, which belies its handmade qualities by being a bit heavier on passion fruit one day (sweeter) and more lemony on another. However, on every occasion it is deliriously
The 12-inch Brie, prosciutto and arugula on a fresh baguette could be something purchased at Montparnasse Train Station in Paris. frosty. Not quite a throat freeze but wondrously close. Living in a household that is picky about the caliber of its tomato bisque earns Estelle’s more kudos. Theirs is thick and richly flavored, and, in a nice touch, a puff pastry floats in the tureen as accompaniment. While the portion is mountainous, the pasta salad comes off a bit bland. Partly that’s because the chief additive to the elbow pasta are squares of fresh tomato. Some green bell pepper and red onion bits, sliced olives and shredded Parmesan are also present but the overall mildness makes enjoyment of it equally mild. Finally, everything from the pastries to the espresso to the sandwiches and salads is surprisingly reasonable. The fruit salad is $3.95. Half a sandwich and soup is $7.25. A caprese baguette is $5.25. Ham and cheese is $5.75. There’s a lot to like about Estelle’s—except dinner. Doors close at 6 p.m. Ω
NOW SERVING TURKEY BURGERS! Midtown’S neweSt ico n
THE V WORD Martha’s heart, eaten From the author that brought you The George Foreman Next Grilleration G5 Cookbook comes the 350 Best Vegan Recipes (Robert Rose, $24.95)—yes, really. But are Deb Roussou’s indeed the best? It’s going to take a while to try them all, but it looks like a tasty process. In addition to familiar dishes, there’s plenty of inventive ones, like the book’s cover model, a pile of sautéed shredded Brussels sprouts over a crispy golden patty of wild rice. Roussou also includes sections that are wonderful for vegan newbies, listing useful kitchen tools, staple ingredients, menu suggestions, plus recipes from breakfast to cocktails. And the Rustic Open-Faced Peach Pie looks drool-worthy enough to make Martha Stewart eat her heart out (such a nonvegan expression, isn’t it?). —Shoka STORY
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urgerS Squeeze b gerS Veggie bur eaK SqueezeSt eS Sandwich
Tu-Thur 11am -9pm Fri-SaT 11am-11pm Sunday 11am-6pm CloSed mondayS
1630 K St • Sacramento • 916-492-2499 SN&R | AFTER | 05.31.12 | | 27
DISH Where to eat? Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations, updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.
Mati’s There’s a reason “Indian Express” was part of Mati’s previous title. A variety of dishes are offered daily in a buffet, but Mom serves instead of diners slopping stuff onto their own plates. Options are fairly straightforward: A small dish at $6.99 with rice and two items, and a large, which has up to four items, at $8.99. Subtract $1 if going vegetarian. There’s five dishes in the daily veg rotation, most of them vegan. Offerings run the gamut from mild to spicy, although the temperature of spicy is well within tolerance, except for the most heat adverse. This is straightup, nicely prepared Indian food without frills. Mom and daughter make it even more appealing. Indian. 1501 16th St.; (916) 341-0532. Dinner for one: $9-$12. ★★★ The Porch The Porch is light and
pork sandwich elevates its status, and its pickled vegetables are sweet and tart, adding an additional dimension. The shrimp and grits dish, while laden with cheddar and gravy, is a synergistic mélange— perhaps The Porch’s trademark dish. Also in the running is the purloo, the low country’s version of jambalaya, with andouille, crunchy crawfish appendages, and the same sautéed bell peppers and onions that also appear in the grits. Southern. 1815 K St., (916) 444-2423. Dinner for one: $20-$30. ★★★
The Press Bistro There are flashes of Greece, such as the crisscross rows of bare light bulbs over the front patio. Or the summery small plate of stacked watermelon squares with feta and mint. Even Italian vegetarians get cut into the action with mushroom ravioli and its corn, leek and dill triumvirate. Another special is a colorful small plate of pepperonata—slightly-pickled-in-champagne-vinegar stripes of peppers awash in olive oil. Speaking of olive oil, it’s all that’s needed to accompany the fluffy, light focaccia, whose four rectangles come neatly stacked. Share The Press with someone you love. Mediterranean. 1809 Capitol Ave., (916) 444-2566. Dinner for one: $15-$30. ★★★1⁄2 The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar
white with a vibe that suggests the airy sweep of an antebellum Charleston eatery. One can only envy the extensive on-site research conducted by chef Jon Clemens and business partners John Lopez and Jerry Mitchell, creators of Capitol Garage. The most enjoyable menu selections are salads or seafood sandwiches or entrees. Slaw on the barbecue
Resistance is futile when it comes to Red Rabbit’s desserts. The berry-infused ice-cream sandwich is bright and refreshing with a chewy shell that dovetails neatly with the smooth fruity interior. But there’s less effusiveness for the entrees. The Bastard Banh Mi doesn’t improve on the original.
A number of items from the “Farm to Plate,” “Tasty Snacks” and “Buns” sections of the menu land high in the plus column, however. Any place that offers chimichurri rocks hard. Here it enlivens the Farm Animal Lollipops snack—particularly the lamb—and the mayor-ofMunchkin-City-sized lamb bocadillas. American. 2718 J St., (916) 706-2275. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★1⁄2
Sampino’s Towne Foods Sampino’s Towne Foods turns out to be a bright jewel in a drab Alkali Flat strip mall of paycheck cashers and laundromat. It’s everything an Italian deli should be and more, right down to the Louie Prima on the box and the timpano in the refrigerated display case. Several
lobbyists, who elect to drive the six to seven blocks from their offices near the capitol, to pick up sandwiches or—in one instance—five meatballs, begin spewing superlatives when asked their views on Sampino’s. Italian Deli. 1607 F St., (916) 441-2372. Dinner for one: $7-$15. ★★★★1⁄2
Thir13en From the start—and, lo, these many weeks hence—the situp-take-notice plate remains the pork tonnato sandwich. It’s the Italian peasant spread or sauce made with tonno—tuna—tonnato that empowers this open-face masterwork. Spread on a toasted half baguette, the tonnato is the foundation upon which the pork rests. Above the pork is an awning of mixed greens, with a generous overhang, sprinkled with not
EAT IT AND REAP It seems the more strawberries are bred to grow bigger, travel farther, be healthier and get tougher, they seem to be less like strawberries and more like foam-rubber balls. Gone are the strawberries that have to be eaten within the day, that are blood-red throughout, that ache with flavor, and that drip juice down your fingers and stain teeth scarlet. Still, these cumbersome, disappointing strawberries we’ve all grown used to can be redeemed. For a quick cooked strawberry jam, toss each cup of chopped berries with 2 tablespoons of sugar, a
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2600 Fair Oaks Blvd. #103 Monday-Friday 8am-7pm • Saturday-Sunday 9am-6pm 916-481-4800 • estherscupcakes.com 28
Formoli’s Bistro Formoli’s is the other half of the restaurant swap on J Street that sent Vanilla Bean Bistro (formerly known as Gonul’s J Street Cafe) to Formoli’s old warren and brought Formoli’s into its current high-ceilinged, spare, dark cranberry space of black tables and chairs just six blocks away. Flavor combinations are a big part of the
Formoli playbook, and the blend of the tower’s components is the payoff just as it is in the salad of beets—wafer-thin enough to be used interchangeably in the carpaccio—with shaved fennel, frisée, a few orange segments and pistachios laced with a stentorian balsamic vinaigrette. Mediterranean. 3839 J St., (916) 448-5699. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★★★
Mamma Susanna’s Ristorante Italiano There’s something endearing, almost Norman Rockwell-esque about a neighborhood restaurant that is most commonly referred to by its patrons as the neighborhood restaurant. There is no shortage of options on the menu with nearly a dozen or so pastas, even more types of pizzas, a smattering of
by GARRETT MCCORD
More berries, more problems
FRESH PROdUCE HOT dj Rodg FOOd PT WE ACCE AMP S D T EBT/FOO E MATCH W CARDS & R $1! $1 FO
enough crispy onions and paperthin slices of pickled fennel. There isn’t space to wax poetic about the cordon bleu sandwich, the burger, the designer cocktails or the fizzy water from Wales. See for yourself. Very authoritative. American. 1300 H St., (916) 594-7669. Dinner for one: $12-$20. ★★★★1⁄2
spritz of lemon and cook in a saucepot over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, or until thick and jammy. If you want something simpler, toss the chopped berries with thyme, sugar and orange-blossom water and macerate for 10 minutes for an ephemeral treat spooned over yogurt. You can also do as the Italians do and toss the berries with balsamic vinegar and ground black pepper for an eclectic and worldly dessert. Lastly, never forget that any pie or scone can give new life to a boring berry.
57 Years of Family Tradition ◆ Famous Monster Burritos ◆ Featured on Man vs. Food ◆ One of Travel Channel’s
“101 Best Places to Eat in the U.S.”
6835 Five Star Blvd Rocklin CA ◆ 916.625.0165
BUY 1 GET 1 1/2 OFF EXP 6/6/12
Buy any dinner entree at regular price, get the second for 1/2 OFF! Must present coupon, cannot combine with other discounts. One per table - Valid MOn-thurs Only
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3–6pm 1315 21st Street, Sacramento 916.441.7100
Vanilla Bean Bistro Gonul’s J Street Cafe has moved up the street and evolved into the Vanilla Bean Bistro. Its narrow, lowceilinged coziness is consonant with its understated, whateverthe-impulse-inspires alchemy that owner/chef Gonul Blum, has shown over the past eight years. Blum hails from Turkey. That country’s culinary tradition provides a sturdy foundation, but for her, it serves more as a launching pad. A recurring feature practiced here is the inclusion of fruit—preserved and fresh—in many dishes. And the tabbouleh delivers a roundhousepunch flavor combination. Turkish. 3260-B J St., (916) 457-1155. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★1⁄2 The Wienery The Wienery is wondrous, metaphysical, even. This 35year-old East Sacramento landmark sells old-fashioned steamed franks and sausages. The menu warns that the Fiesta Dog— refried beans, onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and taco sauce—is “surprisingly good.” Who can quarrel with truth in advertising?
Land Park/ Curtis Park
Pangaea Two Brews Cafe Tables, tall and short, are large and communal, fostering that casual camaraderie that should be the goal of any self-respecting brewpub. There’s a fairly extensive menu, including breakfast items. Not to put too fine a point on it: Pangaea’s offerings are not beers that will be found at a Save Mart Supermarket or even Nugget. They are nuanced. Brewed with artisanship. In some cases, for hundreds of years. There’s the usual panoply of French dip, hot pastrami, Reuben and so on. Among the signature offerings is The Gobbler. Turkey, natch. Cranberry sauce, natch. Then red onion, several roma tomato slices, a thicket of green leaf and pepper jack cheese, all shoehorned into a big baguette. Brewpub. 2743 Franklin Blvd., (916) 454-4942. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★1⁄2
ILLUSTRATION BY MARK STIVERS
Even a simple, straightforward creation such as the Ranch Dog, starring—natch—ranch dressing, can engender a “Whoa, tasty!” The sausages—such as the Polish or Tofurky Kielbasa—are grilled as is the bacon-wrapped dog with its not-easily forgettable jalapeño relish. American. 715 56th St., (916) 455-0497. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★
salads and various entrees, including the piccata chicken or veal dish that Mamma Susanna’s counts as one of her specialties. Of the pastas and pizzas, the norcina tastes like and looks like an orangey vodka sauce with roasted red-pepper slices and sausage rounds tossed in a bed of penne. While the menu claims spicy, some red chili flakes do the trick. Italian. 5487 Carlson Dr., (916) 452-7465. Dinner for one: $12-$20. ★★★
A recent $32 prix-fixe meal begins with a rectangular plate upon which is served an alternating line of caramelized plantains and campaign-button size pork tenderloins. The accompanying wine is a 2008 white burgundy, Olivier LeFlaive “Les Setilles.” The one-two punch here is, obviously, the food and wine. But the knockout punch—at least when all cylinders are firing—is the delivery. American. 1431 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 922-6792. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★★★1⁄2
Las Islitas Scrawled on the front window below Las Islitas is the phrase “de Nayarit.” Nayarit is a state on the western coast of Mexico of which Las Islitas is a coastal town that, one must infer from the menu, goes for seafood in a major way. The shrimp a la cora serves up plenty of grilled, red-dusted, exoskeleton-still-attached shrimp sprinkled with chili that set off with tomato and cucumber slices and red onion half moon slivers. Spicy, messy and memorable. The cazuelitas is a cold seafood stew punctuated with tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado slices and a lime sauce so intense that bits of tostada are needed to leaven its potentially overpowering impact. It’s a joyful discovery that appears to be complimented, as many of the meals are at other tables, with michelada in foot tall mugs with chili-peppered rims. Mexican. 3618 A St., North Highlands, (916) 331-4302. Dinner for one: $15-$25. ★★★★
Ninja Sushi There’s nothing stealthy about Ninja Sushi. But like its namesake, Ninja delivers food with swiftness and skill. Naturally, there are other offerings besides fish bits. There are dozen lunches starting at $6.95 and 17 dinner entrees beginning at $11.95 with chicken, beef, tempura, gyoza, tonkatsu, donburi and curry all part of the mix. But they’re way at the back of the colorful sushi-centric, heavily illustrated menu. There are more than 85 rolls here: Old Auburn, deep-fried fake crabmeat with salmon on the outside; Brandi’s Special Roll, with spicy crabmeat, avocado, yellowtail and spicy tuna; and Folsom Blvd., with freshwater eel, avocado and cream cheese are just some notables. Overall, festive and crammed with options. Leave the nunchucks at home, sensei. Sushi. 8937 Folsom Blvd., (916) 369-1935. Dinner for one: $10-$25. ★★★1⁄2
Enotria Restaurant and Wine Bar Enotria is an enophile’s dream. The waiters here speak fluent wine and their knowledge is both capacious and definitive. Enotria promises “Food made for wine made for food,” and it delivers on the pledge. The paella remains Enotria’s signature dish.
Wine-and-dine week Sacramento has some great restaurants, and the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to highlight them. That’s why it has organized an event called Sacramento Wine & Dine Restaurant Week, Wednesday, May 30, through Sunday, June 10. During the week-plus event, a number of restaurants in the greater Sacramento area—most of them in Midtown and downtown Sacramento—will be offering special prix fixe dinners. These menus are designed to show off the culinary talent and expertise in each restaurant’s kitchen, and, to top it off, each meal comes with tastes of local wines. Sure, some of the meals cost upward of $50 per person, but with high-end restaurants like Grange Restaurant & Bar, Mulvaney’s Building & Loan and Hawks Restaurant participating, this celebration is actually a good way to save money while trying out some of the area’s ritziest restaurants. For a full list of participating restaurants and more information, visit www.sacramentowineanddine.com.
RECYCLE THIS PAPER. Open 7 Days Mon-Sat 11am - 9pm, Sunday 11am - 8pm
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For more information visit: www.thaibasilrestaurant.com
Thai Basil Midtown 2431 J Street Sacramento (Corner of J & 25th)
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Thai Cultural Center of the SF Bay Area www.tccsfbayarea.org
COOLHUNTING Planes, trains, no automobiles
*Not valid with other offers or on holidays. Expires July 4. One coupon per table
*Not valid with other offers or on holidays. Expires July 4. One coupon per table
*Not valid with other offers or on holidays. Expires July 4. One coupon per table
Now that airfare is lodged in the arm-and-a-leg category with no signs of coming back down in price, it’s important to put a little time into finding the best deals. Compared to Travelocity and Priceline.com—discount travel sites that present a rundown of flights one by one and can be a chore to click through—Hipmunk shows you every flight TRAVEL available to your destination on your travel day in a single, easy-to-digest spreadsheet, either ranked by “agony” (total duration of flight), price or time of departure. One of the cooler features is that it also includes train trips, which are invariably the cheapest and most scenic routes, for intra-California trips. www.hipmunk.com. —Becky Grunewald
Sactown’s got talent David Garibaldi on America’s Got Talent You may remember reading about performance-artist painter David Garibaldi in SN&R’s Best of Sacramento issue last September. Forgot to pick it up? Well, you can make up for that by watching him on the current season of NBC’s hit show, America’s Got Talent. Garibaldi received a standing ovation for his performance painting: a two-minute speed portrait of Beethoven, accompanied by four backup TELEVISION dancers splashing additional color onto the canvas and B-boying to a remix of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Cheer Garabaldi on and keep up with his progress on the show Mondays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent. —Jonathan Mendick
Buy One Entree get One FREE
OMG! So cute! Let’s Draw Cute Animals As part of her ongoing Illustration School book series, Japanese artist and animator Sachiko Umoto’s Let’s Draw Cute Animals (Quarry Books, $15.99) gives step-by-step instructions on how to draw animals in her signature style that’s whimsiBOOK cal, charming and notably kawaii—an aesthetic of cute that permeates much of Japanese popular culture. Geared at children, it’s a neat book for an adult to pick up, too, especially if you are serious about doodling. It’s not for people who turn their noses up at all things twee and charming. Plenty of books teach drawing techniques, but few are specific about how to draw delightful creatures. Umoto makes it accessible, breaking down the complex into digestible and adorable forms. If you never thought an ostrich could be cute, think again.
Buy one entree and 2 drinks at regular price, get the second entree of equal or less value free! Max Value: Lunch $8.00 Dinner $12.00. Limit one coupon per table. Dine in only Not valid with any other offers. Exp 6/15/12.
D GRAN ING! OPEN
Happy Hour 3-6 Daily 12-6 Sundays
Serving Certified Premium Angus Beef
Finding wonderland The Lost Thing
Steaks • Seafood • Oyster Bar • Cocktails
400 Bercut Drive, Sacramento (Just off I-5)
(916)441-3474 See our full menu online:
www.grillmastersteakhouse.com Mon-Thu: 11am to 9pm • Fri-Sat 11am to 9:30pm • Sun 12pm to 8:30pm
Cynthia Linville’s new collection is intimate and sensual, as befits a contributing member of the Sacramento-based poetry group Poetica Erotica. The Lost Thing (Cold River Press, $12.95)—which includes several poems originally published in SN&R—addresses “sacred places,” and whether that place is a lover’s lips or his favorite fishing spot in the wilderness, the location is completely, simultaneously holy and physical. Each detail is an BOOK invocation of the senses, but heightened, as in “this is a place where time flows backwards”: “a hedonist’s paradise where expert hands / rub rosemary oil into your flesh / and even the chocolate is good for you.” www.coldriverpress.org. —Kel Munger
ASK JOEY Shrinking yourself by JOEY GARCIA
loved reading The Paris Wife.
Got a problem?
Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question— all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 3206; or email askjoey@ newsreview.com.
My best friend of four years told me that her counselor said our relationship is toxic and ended our friendship. She will not return my phone calls or respond to my emails. I am so hurt and angry. I have been there for her through her husband’s affairs, her divorce, surgery and problems with her kids. Now that I need a friend, she’s gone. I left a message for her counselor, but she has not returned my call. And, if she is a good counselor, she won’t. You crossed a boundary by contacting your former friend’s counselor. Be clear: You do not have the right to participate in or interfere with your friend’s healing process unless she invited you to a session or unless you have direct knowledge of abuse by the counselor. So, please, take a breath. Redirect your energy into your own life. Focus on quieting your mind. It is overcommitted to protecting its image of itself. I suggest that you accept the closure of this relationship gracefully. Then, see a therapist yourself (not the same person your friend is working with) and confront your toxic behavior. And remember, true friends don’t keep a tally of what they do for each other. So stop obsessing about how she abandoned you when you needed her most. It drags you places you don’t need to go. I am really struggling during meetings at my new job, because I can’t hold my own power. When I get around certain people I agree to whatever is said. Afterward, I’m angry because I’m not in agreement at all. I am afraid I am sabotaging myself, but don’t know how to stop. Think of each meeting as an opportunity to exercise your communication skills. If you listen to yourself deeply, you’ll hear the small but confident voice of your true self. On the rare occasion that there is no immediate inner response, wait patiently. Silence invites you to investigate your thoughts and feelings through questions like, “What happens in my body
when I think about this possibility?” Or, “What is the spiritual significance of this experience?” Be willing to give yourself all the time you need to inquire. Doing so might be uncomfortable at first. We are indoctrinated in elementary school to answer questions quickly and correctly. It’s difficult, but worth it, to unlearn this behavior for the purpose of investigating our own thoughts and feelings. Once you have clarified your beliefs, give them voice. Remember, too, that it’s OK to change your mind. Just do it with integrity by stating what you believed before, what you believe now and why your opinion changed. Taking the time to focus on yourself will distract you from the tendency to agree to things that are not in your best interest. Shedding that people-pleasing behavior is not easy, but it is worth it. I am strongly intuitive, and it gets in the way of dating. When I go out with a man, I find myself picking up details of his life, like snapshots. My mind then fills in whatever I might have missed. Later, I am not certain what is real and what is fantasy, so I end up believing things about a person that are not true, and this leads to clashes that are awkward and difficult. Any ideas? Yes, pour your creative imagination into writing, filmmaking, theater or visual art. Stop wasting your creative power by projecting it onto others. You deserve a more honest approach to developing a relationship. The next time your mind starts to tell you a story about a man you are dating, interrupt. Tell yourself that you are content getting to know him without bias. He deserves that and so do you. Ω
used record cd sale
Donate at participating La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries and Barnes & Noble stores through June 8
Accepting used records, CDs, DVDs and video games.
Meditation of the week: “Out beyond the field of rightdoing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there,” wrote Rumi, the Sufi sage and mystic. Can you see possibilities outside of a pro and con list?
Use your smartphone to scan for donation locations: For more information: capradio.org/recordsale | (916) 278-8900 BEFORE
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LIKE STAGE US. Some very big ideas
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Starry Nights at the Crocker Outdoor Classic Film Screenings
German cultural theorist Theodor Adorno famously wrote, “To write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Certainly, then, after 9/11, comedy is by also barbaric. But as did Adorno, we are led Kel Munger by art and time to re-evaluate this assessment. kelm@ And that leads to amazement at Craig newsreview.com Wright’s play, Recent Tragic Events, which turns a traditionally comic set-up (blind date from hell) into a funny (in the most absurd way) and thought-provoking (in the most philosophical fashion) play about human relationships, literature, history, stage artifice and, ultimately, a discussion of determinism and free will, with which Martin Luther, Thomas Hobbes and Henri Poincaré, among others, would be quite comfortable. Oh, and there’s a hilarious rapidfire series of one-line summaries of the oeuvre of our most prolific living novelist, Joyce Carol Oates, who is a character in the play—sort of.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BIG IDEA THEATRE
Superman Thursday • June 7 Activities, 7:30 PM • Screening, 8 PM
Recent Tragic Events
Check out the original superhero blockbuster starring Christopher Reeve • Cocktails and snacks available for purchase • Comments by A-1 Comics owner Brian Peets • All-ages draw-along
Pizza, beer, tragedy, philosophy, Joyce Carol Oates and a sock puppet. It’s a comedy.
The summer lineup: Casablanca, July 5 • Coraline, August 2 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, September 6
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5 SUBLIME-DON’T MISS
In short, this is the sort of big-idea play that seems written precisely for Big Idea Theatre and, under of the direction of Gina Williams, they do it justice. The frantic, emotional Waverly (Kassandra Douglas) and the equally emotional but far less decisive Andrew (David Blue Garrison) are having a blind date on September 12, 2001. It’s complicated by Waverly’s neighbor, Ron (Jes Gonzalez), a Tommy Chong-like philosopherpoet musician, and Ron’s visiting lady friend, the pantsless Nancy (Carrie Joyner, who also performs an outstanding second role). But the stage manager, David (David Fox), introduces further complications: He breaks the fourth wall immediately, the first of several such intrusions that provide the perfect platform for both absurdist laughter and a serious intellectual discussion of the nature of possibility versus probability. And did we mention that Waverly’s twin sister, a design student in New York City, hasn’t been heard from since before the attack?
With a detailed and realistic set design by Brian Harrower—so lovely you’ll want to hire him to redecorate your apartment—and outstanding sound design by Wade Lucas and Jouni Kirjola, the company at Big Idea has accomplished a huge feat: They make clear that Wright’s play is “about” 9/11 in the same way that Moby Dick is “about” a whale. Ω Recent Tragic Events, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 3; $10-$15. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www.bigideatheatre.com. Through June 16.
A wicked good time Wicked
Wicked is in town for the next couple of weeks, and it’s a great way to close out Broadway Sacramento’s all-around wicked good 2011-2012 season. Instead of the usual crowd of middle-aged, well-to-do season-ticket holders, this show drew youngsters, the elderly and everyone in between. It’s apparent from the stage design that the production’s appeal is sheer grandness. First, there’s a mechanical dragon the size of a Cessna 172 hanging above the stage; it doesn’t play a particularly large part in the plot, but spectacle is served. The rest of the stage trim is stylized in an intricate rusty steampunk-metal finish, a work of art in itself. This raises audience expectations, rather like the fancy opening sequence in a summer blockbuster film. Not up to speed? Well, Wicked rewrites, subverts and redefines the canon of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, and is also a fully realized alternate take on the classic 1939 film. After nine years on Broadway, Wicked is one of the most popular modern musicals, winning Tony awards, Grammy awards and earning billions in ticket sales. Oh, and it’s convinced a new generation to try musical theater. The two leads—Elphaba (Nicole Parker) and Glinda (Alli Mauzey) have great chemistry as frenemies. Mauzey, in particular, is a great physical actress, prancing around the stage like a Barbie princess on crack. The push and pull between Glinda and Elphaba drives the plot. They’re basically polar opposites, but prove that you can find friends—and enemies—in anyone. Basically, you’ll like Wicked because it’s hard not to—whether you’re a fan of musical theater or just like The Wizard of Oz. It’s wellwritten, well-acted and well-designed. If you find it boring, unentertaining, or dull, check your pulse. You may have become the Tin Man. —Jonathan Mendick
Wicked, 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $25$225. Broadway Sacramento at the Community Center Theatre, 1300 L Street; (916) 808-5181; www.broadwaysacramento.com. Through June 17.
EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM
HANSEL AND GRETEL
HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE
B Street’s West Coast premiere of this developmental work from the 2011 Humana Festival of New Plays is a tale of the formation of a very unconventional family formed by three teenagers in a stressful situation. T,W 7pm; Th 2 & 7pm; F 7pm; Sa 8pm. Through 6/17. $25-$35. B Street Theatre, 2727 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.com. J.C. This play with songs for younger kids is “loosely based” on the Brothers Grimm, adapted by B Street’s Jerry Montoya and son Malachi (a fifth grader). Rick Kleber and Amy Kelly are a hoot as a witch and a goblin; John Lamb manipulates waist-high puppets; the music by Noah Agruss is a nice touch. Sa, Su 1 & 4pm. Through 6/3. $18-$27. B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. J.H.
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With music by Cole Porter and original story by William Shakespeare, it’s hard to go wrong here—but director Bob Baxter adds Tevye Ditter and Andrea St. Clair as the leads, which takes this musical battle of the sexes into “well done” territory. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/3. $12-$22. Runaway Stage Productions at the 24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th St.; (916) 207-1226; www.runawaystage.com. J.C. What happens when an optimistic asshole and a depressive sociopath cross paths? Laughter and disaster, in this smooth-running production directed by Ed Claudio, with Matt Moore as the relentlessly self-promoting Lawrence, and Eason Donner as his misanthropic friend, Holloman. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/3. $15-$17. The Actor’s Theatre in the Three Penny Theatre in the California Stage Complex, 25th and R streets; (916) 501-6104. K.M. Buddy Butler directs Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play with Lisa Lacey as Mama Nadi, the brothel keeper who takes in women and girls who’ve been “ruined” by the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons in the Congo’s perpetual war. F, Sa 8pm; Su 3pm. Through 6/3. $15-$20. Images Theatre Company at the Guild Theatre, 2828 35th St.; (916) 428-1441; www.imagestheatre.org. J.H.
The winning elements of this romantic comedy about a pharmaceutical company’s new drugs to combat workplace depression and heartbreak come from the pleasing variations that director Buck Busfield and his B Street regulars spring. With Stephanie Althoz, Kurt Johnson and Jason Kuykendall. T 6:30pm; W 2 & 6:30pm; Th, F 8pm; Sa 5 & 9pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/10. $23-$35. The B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. J.H.
Short reviews by Jim Carnes, Jeff Hudson, Kel Munger and Patti Roberts. Longer reviews of these plays are available online at www.newsreview.com/sacramento/home.
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Stephanie Gularte is outstanding as Li’l Bit in Paula Vogel’s play about a young girl learning her own sexual power while learning to drive with an uncle who has improper yearnings. Janis Stevens directs, includes an excellent supporting cast and a spare but exceptionally well-done set. W 7pm; Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/17. $20-$32. Capital Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; www.capstage.org. P.R
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FILM Adieu, Mr. Chips Monsieur Lazhar It’ll be a spoiler of sorts to describe the opening scene of Monsieur Lazhar, but the movie itself doesn’t make much fuss about it, so here goes: It’s by middle school, winter, just before the end of Jonathan Kiefer recess. One particular boy and one particular girl have a special rapport. There’s sharing, but also real tension. What’s going on with these two? Meanwhile, other kids are playing. The camera attends but does not intrude. The boy remembers a chore he must do and hurries inside. He peeks into one classroom and sees that a teacher has hanged herself.
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The boy runs for help. The camera waits. The bell rings and the now-empty hallway fills with the suspense of wondering whether all the other kids are about to come rushing in to this same grim discovery. Another teacher appears and makes a frantic effort to stop them. But the girl pushes her way through, and she sees it, too. Stepping away now to the opening credits seems like the right thing to do. It allows us a private moment with the horror and heartbreak at hand, but also a chance to revel in the beauty and tact with which writer-director Philippe Falardeau, adapting Évelyne de la Chenelière’s play, has set everything up. No, Monsieur Lazhar is not just another greeting card of a movie, with just another inspirational teacher among schoolkids in need of inspiration. Obviously, it is a movie about mourning, but in Falardeau’s nontrivially light touch there is cause for optimism. It’s also a movie about the protection of innocence—a gesture both heroic and highly presumptuous. The eponymous figure, played by Mohamed Fellag, is the teacher who arrives unexpectedly to replace the suicide, and perchance to broker the evolving rapport between that boy, Simon (Émilien Néron), and that girl, Alice (Sophie Nélisse). As should come as no surprise, he finds that relations between parents and the school administration also are strained. Lazhar’s is not a job that many people would apply for, but it soon becomes
clear how much he needs it: an Algerian by birth, he also has applied for political asylum. The broader setting here is Montreal, where the default language is French, the default behavior is politesse, and the substitute’s outsiderhood is nonetheless an issue. Bureaucratically, at least, his credentials don’t quite check out. Needless to say, Lazhar’s acclimation to this workplace culture involves much expectation adjustment. First, he raises eyebrows by undoing the politically correct arrangement of his students’ desks, and baffling them with dictation from Balzac. Then, after reflexively dishing out a disciplinary smack on the back of Simon’s head, it’s Lazhar who winds up in trouble with the principal (Danielle Proulx), who lectures him on litigation-phobic prohibitions against physical contact—of any kind—between adults and kids. As a fed-up fellow teacher puts it, they’re to treat the students “like radioactive waste.” Might this have had something to do with Lazhar’s predecessor’s unequivocally aggressive self-destruction? Finally, Lazhar commits an apparently ultimate faux pas by noting the maturity with which Alice uses a class composition to cope with her grief, and wanting to share it with the school’s extended community. The problem is that it’s a community fortified against itself. But another of the film’s feats of narrative economy is its refusal to prescribe some too-easy solution. There seems to be an understanding here that bereavement and politics both are overbearing enough in real life; movies about them do well when maintaining some poise. Because Monsieur Lazhar accumulates complexity by hewing to simplicity, its sheen of white, wintry-soft light offers clarity instead of just forgiving diffusion.
There seems to be an understanding here that bereavement and politics both are overbearing enough in real life; movies about them do well when maintaining some poise. Best known for socially critical stand-up comedy, Fellag left Algeria himself in 1995 after a bomb exploded during one of his performances. He’d be within his rights to overplay the themes of Monsieur Lazhar, not to mention the man himself. But he and Falardeau seem to have made a pact not to let that happen. And they’ve made a film, therefore, with the authority but also the humility to remind us that civilization is indeed a delicate thing, with teachers among its bravest stewards. Ω
A booze-sodden loser (Taylor Kitsch) joins the Navy and rises to lieutenant just in time to lead the counterattack against an invading army from outer space. Put that way, it sounds incredibly dumb—and it is, but not without a little fun. Of course, it’s all the rankest fantasy—not the alien invasion, but the idea that this screw-up would last in the Navy long enough to make lieutenant. The script is supposedly inspired by the Milton Bradley game, and writers Erich and Jon Hoeber actually manage to work the game in rather cleverly, having our terrestrial ships fire blindly on the enemy using deductive reasoning and a grid of marker buoys. But that’s the only vestige of cleverness on hand; the rest is pretty standard CGI mayhem, hammered across by director Peter Berg in his usual unsubtle style. J.L.
A mortician in a small Texas town (Jack Black) befriends a rich, cantankerous old widow (Shirley MacLaine); soon they’re taking trips all over the world on her dime. Director Richard Linklater and co-writer Skip Hollandsworth (adapting Hollandsworth’s magazine article) recount the true story of Bernhardt Tiede, currently serving a life sentence for the murder of wealthy Marjorie Nugent. The movie adopts the style of a Dateline NBC true-crime feature, mixing dramatization and interviews with local townspeople (some of whom are the real McCoy). We’re probably not getting the whole story— we’re left with a clear impression that Tiede did the world a favor by blowing the old battleax away—but the movie is wry and strangerthan-fiction quirky, and Black gives the performance of his career (so far). J.L.
Johnny Depp shines, albeit pallidly, in Tim Burton’s over-the-top take on the late-’60s supernatural soap. Returning in 1972 after two entombed centuries to his coastal Maine homestead—and to an amorous feud with a jealous spurned witch (Eva Green)— Depp’s blue-blooded bloodsucker yearns for his true love (Bella Heathcote), befriends his baffled descendants (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz), and piques the interest of their in-house shrink (Helena Bonham Carter). With an exquisite collaboration between cinematographer Bruce Delbonnel and production designer Rick Heinrichs, and an occasionally hilarious but uneven script by literary-mashup maestro Seth Grahame-Smith (see also: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Burton’s movie sometimes gets away from him, blurring its own otherwise beguiling camp-gothic clarity. Depp’s soulful deadpan is the best thing about it—even when climactic contrivance or giddy overacting doesn’t agree with everyone else in the cast, which also includes Jackie Earle Haley and Alice Cooper as himself. J.K.
A lost dog exposes the hitherto ignored cracks in the comfortable marriage of a self-absorbed surgeon (Kevin Kline) and his over-emotional wife (Diane Keaton); before the long weekend is over, the mini-crisis embroils the doctor’s sister (Dianne Wiest), her working-class boyfriend (Richard Jenkins) her son (Mark Duplass) and a gypsy psychic (Ayelet Zurer). Written by director Lawrence Kasdan and his wife Meg, the picture has the feel of a gentle Woody Allen movie (an impression underlined by the presence of Keaton and Wiest). Second-rank Allen, to be sure—we keep waiting for things to
first position Not Rated
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chirs Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) band together to defend the world from the dreams of conquest of Thor’s rogue brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a warmongering alien race called the Chitauri; the focus of their conflict is a source of infinite energy called a Tesseract, stolen by Loki, coveted by the Chitauri, and the key to the defense of Earth. Writer-director Joss Whedon (working from Zak Penn’s story and the Marvel Comics characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) is back in top form, and the movie is tremendous fun—lighter and faster than Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, and feeling an hour shorter. J.L.
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Men in Black III : Does this look like what I ordered?
Men in Black III
An alien criminal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from prison, goes back in time, and kills the Man in Black who sent him up: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones). This leaves K’s partner J (Will Smith) the only person in the present who remembers him (the reason is foggy but never mind— if he didn’t, there’d be no movie), so J travels back to 1969 to work with K’s younger self (Josh Brolin) to prevent the murder—and by the way, also to save the world. Written by Etan Cohen and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, this second sequel to the 1997 smash is a vast improvement over the first one, and may even be better than the original. The story is fast and funny (with a sweet and surprising twist at the end), the pacing sharp, and Brolin does a bang-up impression of Jones. The only drawback is the dim (and superfluous) 3-D. J.L. get really good, but the movie never digs as deep as it leads us to believe it’s going to. It starts out pretty good and stays that way to the end, meandering aimlessly but amiably, the cast personable and professional. J.L.
making talented young women central to its entertainments. Movie appreciation requires its own kind of cult surrender, eh? J.K.
Four couples (Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson; Romany Malco and Meagan Good; Jerry Ferrara and Gabriel Union; Terrence J and Regina Hall) travel the rocky road of romance, with the women taking tips from Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Keith Merryman’s script isn’t an adaptation of Harvey’s book, it’s a commercial for it, and a none-too-subtle one; Harvey makes several guest appearances, of course, and we half-expect him to say, “Operators are standing by.” Director Tim Story huffs and puffs trying to juggle all the stories, and things tend to bog down in the third act. Still, the actors are all extremely appealing (Henson and Union, as usual, particularly shine), and the movie goes down easily enough. Kevin Hart, as a newly divorced pal of the guys, has most of the best lines. J.L.
The Deep Blue Sea
In post-war London, an emotionally volatile young woman (Rachel Weisz) flees her marriage to an aloof magistrate (Simon Russell Beale) for an affair with a differently aloof ex-RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston). Destruction ensues. As adapted and directed by Terence Davies, Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play transcends merely tasteful period English melodrama; expectedly well-appointed and well-shot, it’s also somehow newly vitalized, a smoldering cauldron of soft lamplight and exquisitely intense feelings. Davies’ directing style is a carefully modulated meditation, and the script eschews sentimentality in favor of abetting elegant performances. What a pleasure, if also a heartbreak, to see how well these three actors respond. For aspiring thespians, or anyone who appreciates great displays of range, a Hiddleston doublefeature of this and The Avengers is recommended. J.K.
A North African despot (Sacha Baron Cohen), visiting the United States, is replaced by a lookalike—part of a plot by his uncle (Ben Kingsley) to introduce democracy back home. Wandering the streets unrecognized, he meets and begins to fall for the owner of an organic grocery store (Anna Faris). The script by Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer is a raunchy riff on The Prince and the Pauper with Cohen’s patented offendeverybody brand of tasteless jokes (the movie’s motto might be “Sick semper tyrannis!”). Cohen is a 21st-century Andy Kaufman: He can vanish into his character, but (like Kaufman) without being naturally funny like, say, Robin Williams or Jim Carrey. Between genuine amusement (rare) and squirmy discomfort (frequent), there are enough laughs to satisfy Cohen’s fans—but only them. J.L.
Sound of My Voice
In director Zal Batmanglij’s feature debut, co-written by him and star Brit Marling, a substitute teacher (Christopher Denham) and his recovering-party-girl partner (Nicole Vicius) attempt an undercover investigative documentary about a Los Angeles cult leader (Marling) who claims to be from the near and troubled future. Exposing fakery by way of fakery has its perils, of course, especially in America’s capital of dubious fame. Is that what this slight and somehow tensely ethereal film really is about? Trafficking in modish indie asceticism with only the subtlest of science-fiction accents, Batmanglij seems so proud of ambiguousness that he practically demands viewer ambivalence. But Marling sure knows how to create a role for herself: this delicate yet domineering fetish object, so willfully inscrutable to a culture still uneasy about
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We Have a Pope
Feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, a newly elected pope (the great Michel Piccoli) flees his duty, and director Nanni Moretti steps in as the secular psychotherapist hired for desperate damage control. This could go very and variously wrong, but Moretti and his co-writers Francesco Piccolo and Federica Pontremoli settle neither for cutesy comedy nor cheap-shot satire of official Catholicism. Instead, they opt into sympathetic and fablelike simplicity, with surprisingly poignant results. If the movie’s pacing periodically slackens, it also gives a graceful sense that some meandering is of the essence: With the noble humility of Henry V disguised among his troops on the eve of Agincourt, this reluctant pontiff roams Roman streets in order to become reacquainted with life and with himself. Also with the also great Jerzy Stuhr as a putupon Vatican spokesman. J.K.
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What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Six different couples cope with impending parenthood—five through pregnancy and one by adoption—in different ways. Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel’s self-help bestseller serves as the pretext for an all-star rom-com along the lines of Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. Shauna Cross and Heather Hach’s script is, on balance, a parade of humdrum banalities, with matching direction by Kirk Jones, but there are a handful of good lines scattered here and there (though none come to mind even a few minutes after leaving the theater), and the ensemble cast (Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, etc.) delivers the goods in fits and starts. The washedout cinematography by Xavier Pérez Grobet is another drawback, giving the movie the look of cheap lo-def video. J.L.
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Dueling interviews Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky share album-release party, get two-for-one Q-and-A treatment
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Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky, may actually have a lot in common. They’re from the same block, for instance, and also boast new releases this month. by His is Seventeenth Street, a folkie ode to woe, Nick Miller and hers is The Hallelujah Chorus, an indie ni c k a m @ blowout. And Baker and Sky will grace the same ne w s re v i e w . c o m stage this Saturday for a double-album release gig. So, why not a dueling SN&R interview?
Boots” that will probably go on the next record. … I love them more than anyone I’ve ever known, honestly. You both live in Midtown, which definitely influenced Seventeenth Street, right Sherman?
Baker: I lived on 17th near Broadway at the lowest point in my life. There was a lot of drug action, or at least I knew where to find it. … I see things differently these days, because I am healthy and have a better outlook. I think there’s a lot of poverty, despair and addiction in Sacramento, though. That’s pretty hard to ignore. Tell me about the songs, then.
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Sherman Baker (left) and Autumn Sky, two singer-songwriters, two different people, one album-release show this week.
The Sherman Baker and Autumn Sky double-album release, featuring special guest Ricky Berger, goes down this Saturday, June 2, at Beatnik Studios, 2421 17th Street; 7 p.m.
Autumn, you seem eternally optimistic. Sherman, your album’s songs are raw accounts of troubling times. You’re opposites.
Autumn Sky: I definitely won’t deny that I do come off as being a happy person. I am a happy person. I honestly don’t know how I’m not jaded yet; by all accounts, I should be more messed up by now. But I think I either just have a fantastically evolved filter, or maybe I just am easily pleased by the little, beautiful things around me. Either way, I think that what Sherman and I have in common is an overwhelming willingness to overshare about our personal struggles and fears and stories in front of hundreds of strangers. Sherman Baker: Basically, I like to be surrounded by beautiful, talented women as much as possible. Much better than smelly dudes that take everything too seriously. ... As different as Autumn is in personality— and we are pretty much polar opposites—we are very similar in musical background. We like a lot of the same music, and there is an exuberance and dedication that is enviable and something I can learn from. If you were going to write a song about each other, what would it be called?
Baker: Autumn has enough creepy dudes writing songs about her. Ha-ha! Sky: “I Have a Lot of Cats.” And it would be a duet between him and his cats.
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Sherman, I dig your love of cats.
Baker: I have two cats, Tiny Boots and Tony Bologna. I just wrote a song called “Tiny
Baker: On Seventeenth Street, things are obviously pretty dark. I don’t subscribe to the “artists must be tortured to be good” theory at all, so the new songs I’ve been working on are less pained and heartbroken. … [But] I want to avoid romanticism in my songs at this point. I’m in my mid-30s and don’t have time for escapist, Coldplay-type crap. Autumn, your new band is sharp, catchy. I think people underestimate you.
Sky: I think that the trouble with starting out in Sacramento as a very young—16!—and inexperienced musician is that people remember you from way back then, when you were still learning and figuring out who you were. Then suddenly, they come out to a show again and realize somewhere between then and now you’ve begun to take what you do seriously. But that’s OK; I know I’d think the same thing in their place. I like proving myself. ... Challenge accepted. Come to the show. What will they hear at the gig?
Sky: I’ve actually just had the most rewarding spurt of creativity I’ve experienced yet this year; 2011 was personally the worst year of my life, and it sort of shook me to the core. Having to get over the hill and rediscover who I am sort of set this unquenchable fire in me to write it all down. I let go of feeling embarrassed or restrained and just wrote. Random question of the week: Where’s your favorite place for brunch?
Baker: I used to like Lucky Cafe, because it was cheap and I have a moral thing against waiting in trendy lines full of girls with Juicy Couture for eggs—Portlandia episode-esque. I really can’t stand waiting for breakfast. Sky: My heart is wrapped in a crepe from Crepeville. Ω
SOUND ADVICE The ugly friend does Del Paso Cool and interesting gig on the Boulevard: Generally, when it comes to hip-hop shows, you know what to expect. There will be a deejay playing way too loud to have any kind of conversation, followed by an emcee who asks you to make noise way too many times, followed by more from DJ Deafstyles. All this before finally bringing out the headliner, who cuffs the mic so much you can’t really make out anything he’s saying. Called The Blacklight Lounge, this past Friday night at The Artisan was billed as an alternative to the usual live hip-hop fare. And while it was disorganized, if you squinted a little bit from the back row, you could see the promise in an event like this, especially for the struggling Del Paso Boulevard neighborhood. The event was a welcome home of sorts for Dahlak Brathwaite, Sacramento poet and hip-hop artist
who may be known best for his appearances on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Dahlak has been in New York for the last couple of years, and I got to sit down with him for a few minutes before the show. In particular, we discussed his master’s project, which will encompass all of his poetry, hip-hop and theater work—like hip-hop’s version of a rock opera. Incredibly exciting stuff—but if I hadn’t talked to him prior to the show on Friday, I’m not so sure I would have seen the vision judging by his performance. Dahlak seemed distracted, perhaps by the empty seats, during his performance. He rushed through a few of his classic poems, played a really dope version of “Black Genius,” and then left to host an after-party at Harlow’s. Granted, the turnout was a little disappointing—but it kind of left the crowd feeling like the ugly friend.
The real highlights were the house band (which didn’t have a name), and an unplugged DLRN performance. When you see DLRN, all eyes are typically on frontman 5th Ave. But Friday night, the select few in The Artisan got to really meet DLRN’s Iman Malika. Somewhere between Macy Gray and Billie Holiday, the sultry vocalist featured on DLRN’s The Bridge lit up the stage and stole the show with the help of John Johnson and the house band. When the night was over, I couldn’t help but think of it as a moral victory. The overall vibe of the Artisan, the nameless house band, and DLRN unplugged was refreshingly grown. The city’s musical landscape could use more events like this, although they’re going to have a hard time getting people to Del Paso at $12 a ticket. —Andrew Bell
EYE-FI Sacramento live-music scene grabs PHOTOS BY JON HERMISON
Local legends 7 Seconds (below) took to Vegas this past Memorial Day weekend for the 14th annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, along with countless other bands (above). Contributing photographer Jon Hermison bit the bullet and made the pilgrimage on the behalf of SN&R.
A RT S & C U LT U R E
02SAT 02SAT 02SAT 04MON Fate Under Fire
The Javalounge, 8:30 p.m., $5
Harlow’s, 7 p.m., $7 Still in high school, Julianna Zachariou is quickly developing into a first-rate talent. Her spritely scratchy vocals are akin to Danielle Ate the Sandwich’s Danielle Anderson, and her groovy acoustic guitar stylings (especially on “Love Me and Leave Me”) are reminiscent of indie singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale. “31st Floor” is a cute ditty about two INDIE FOLK people who are made for each other but don’t know it yet, while “Don’t Let Them Talk You Down” showcases Zachariou’s more serious side, as she sings about the importance of loving yourself for who you are. This is a CD release party for her debut full-length Tell, Tell, Tell. 2708 J Street, www.julianazachariou.com.
When local band Fate Under Fire was getting started, it recorded several polished, Jimmy Eat World-esque alternative-rock songs— heavy on vocal harmonies and ROCK loud distorted guitars. The group competed in a battle of the bands, where a cover song was required in order to compete. It chose the hip-hop/R&B track “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” by Soulja Boy. Quite naturally it gave the song the heavy-alternative Fate Under Fire treatment. Plus, it got some local attention. Lately, the group’s sound has matured a bit. The release of a new video, “On the Water,” shows more indie-rock elements and a higher range of dynamics. 2416 16th Street, www.facebook.com/fateunderfire.
James & Evander Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9:30 p.m., $5 Oakland-based electronic duo James & Evander may have a name that sounds like a mall store featuring scented candles or crafts; but as the name becomes more wellknown nationwide and worldwide, it will come to conjure thoughts of stoner-synth bliss. Having much in common sound-wise— sans the heavily reverberated vocals—with Neon Indian and the ELECTRONIC rest of the so-called “chillwave” genre, it’s easy not to realize the sound is far more ’80s new wave-derived than anything else in recent years. A new album, Bummer Pop, dropped May 15 on Velvet Blue Music, and J&E will be opening for Oakland pop singer Jhameel. 129 E Street in Davis, www.jamesandevander.com.
Caulfield KDVS Studios, 6 p.m., no cover KDVS often invites bands to visit its studio in Davis and broadcasts a live set for all to hear. This time, it’s down-tempo metal band Caulfield. This group has turned up the volume METAL/HARDCORE since 2008, performing mostly at house shows from Vancouver to Oakland. Sure, Caulfield has rocked a few big venues in its career, but it continues to prove bands can forgo promoters and venues altogether and do it themselves. All the band requires: a room and an audience that appreciates its music. Now fans and radio heads can experience their own, private Caulfield show within the confines of their home or car. KDVS 90.3 FM, www.kdvs.org.
NEED ATTENTION? THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY.
A MUDDY GOOD TIME.
Form your own muck squad for the Reno River Festival’s 5th Annual Run Amuck. This year, teams run together in our wildest and weirdest race yet! Register today!
OFFICIAL HOTEL PARTNER
800-879-8879 GET 20% OFF PUBLISHED RATES*
SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2012 2PM | $35 PER PERSON
June 15-17, 2012
*Call 800-879-8879 and use booking code RIVER12 to receive the Reno River Festival package rate, valid June 15 – 17.
renoriverfestival.com 05. 31.12
06WED 06WED 07THURS 07THURS Steve Smith
rocK on live bandrocKKaraoKe
FRIDAY, JUNE 1
JOSH GRACIN WITH FRANK HANNON
(PERFORMING SONGS OFF HIS NEW ALBUM “GYPSY HIGHWAY”) THE DRY COUNTY DRINKERS THE ZAC & JAY BAND - ERIN MCKINNEY
acouStic 9:30pm // Free
nicKi bluhm & the gamblerS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6
RICK DERRINGER/ FRANK HANNON
(TRIBUTE TO RONNIE MONTROSE FEATURING MEMBERS OF MONTROSE)
FolK rocK // 9:30pm // $10
(TRIBUTE TO GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
uthpiece mo 9:30pm // $10
THURSDAY, JUNE 14
ABK (ANYBODY KILLA)
DJ CLAY - DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE SYNDICATE OF SILENCE - KICKUINDATEEF LOWER LEVEL
woodS bob americana // 5:30pm // Free
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
ROCK&ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINEE
open mic acouStic Se // 8pm // Free talent Showca
AND SPECIAL FRIENDS
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
ote grace coy 9pm // $15
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
RESTRAYNED - FORCE OF HABIT - SUCKER PUNCH
ticKetS now on Sale For these upcoming shows at www.marilynsonk.com $3 TallbOy Pbr
Sea of Bees is like Mazzy Star with better lighting and the soft-focus haze dialed back. It vacillates between folk-pop fueled by ringing guitar jangle and dreamy rock of gathering intensity, cloudy keyboards building to a storm as trebly guitars rain down. Frontwoman Julie Baenziger FOLK-POP offers similar heart-tugging intimacy as Star’s Hope Sandoval, blending tender childlike innocence and desperate stirring evocation. Her limber trilling soprano vibrates from delicacy to sultry shimmy, affording a wide emotional palette. Sea of Bees is supporting Orangefarben, a prettier, more roots-inflected answer to 2010’s debut, Songs for the Ravens. 1815 19th Street, www.seaofbees.com.
Here’s a two-fer that comes with a premiere film screening and live musical performance. Documentary filmmaker Tom Weber is currently traveling through the West with his film Troubadour Blues, which focuses on the world of traveling singer-songwriters. These itinerant working musicians are the last in a traditional genre forged by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Lead BLUES/FOLK Belly. Some of those include Dave Alvin, Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither and Peter Case, who performs live following this screening. Case, a very credible musician in his own right, left his early power-pop leanings behind in the mid-1980s for a solo career devoted to folk music and blues. 2114 P Street, www.petercase.com.
Bows & Arrows, 8 p.m., $10
Antiquité Maison Privée, 6:30 p.m., $25-$30
For nearly 30 years, master drummer Steve Smith has been touring and recording with different configurations of his jazz JAZZ ensemble Vital Information, while enriching the sonic resonance of such groups as the Ragabop Trio, Steps Ahead, Journey and Hiromi’s Trio Project. On the road in support of the May release of Live! One Great Night, Smith and keyboardist Tom Coster (Santana, Gabor Szabo), bassist Baron Browne (Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham) and guitarist Vinny Valentino (Bill Evans, Jimmy McGriff) are serving up a veritable buffet of jazz, rock, New Orleans, and South Indian-based jams. To hear this band live is a treat. 314 W. Main Street in Grass Valley, www.vitalinformation.com.
LMFAO has been a guilty pleasure for me ever since the group’s single “Shots” — featuring Lil’ Jon—was the de facto theme song to a booze cruise I was on several years ago. The duo blends house music with dance party-themed hip-hop, creating two albums (aptly titled Party Rock and Sorry for Party Rocking) full of party starters. While the content of the music may lack anything of substance, it’s all about attitude with LMFAO. It’ll surely HIP-HOP be a party at Power Balance Pavilion with special guests the Far East Movement and America’s Best Dance Crew winners Quest Crew—which features several local B-boys. 1 Sports Parkway, www.lmfaomusic.com.
Sea of Bees
The Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $22
Power Balance Pavilion, 7 p.m., $30-$60
UPCOMING EVENTS: 6/8 mr. p chill 6/9 mr. december
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
DIZZY WRIGHT BOSS BIZ
THURSDAY, JULY 12
DGAF - THE DRP - KUNG FU VAMPIRE AMERICAZ MOZT HAUNTED
SATURDAY, JULY 14
ROYALTY K OTTIC
908 K Street // 916.446.4361
++Free parking aFter 6pm with validation @ 10th & l garage+ BEFORE
Tipsy Thursdays, Top 40 deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover
Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover
1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400
THE AVERY WOLVES, THE JETSINNS, THE LOVELESS; 9pm, call for cover
ICONOCLAST ROBOT, STUCK, STORYTELLERS; 8:30pm, $8
9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 SHEEPHERDER; 8pm, $10-$12
LONG IN THE TOOTH, SUNBURN,
JOSH GRACIN, FRANK HANNON, DRY COUNTY DRINKERS, ZAC AND JAY; 8pm
Champion Sound Reggae, 10pm, $5
2003 K St., (916) 448-8790
List your event!
Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo, and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview.com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.
1500 K St., (916) 444-3633
CENTER FOR THE ARTS
314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 271-7000
MAMUSE, THE RAILFLOWERS; 7:30pm, $15-$18
Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover
Mad Mondays, M; Latin video flair and Wii bowling, 7pm Tu
PREGNANT, CARLOS FORSTER, MIKE COYKENDALL, MARBLE FAUN; 3pm C-DUBB, BRUTHA SMITH, KICKUINDATEEF, GUERO & LIL JESS; 8pm, $10-$12
RICK DERRINGER, FRANK HANNON, FREIGHTLINE; 8pm W, $25-$27 Papasotes’s Karaoke Explosion, 9pm, no cover
Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover
JOHNNY MOJO, 8pm, $8
MIND’S BODY, RADANTE KEYS, THE ORIGINALS; 9pm, $8
1016 K St., (916) 737-5770
House deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover
DJ Billy Lane, 9 pm, call for cover
DJ Foley, 9pm, call for cover
Deejay dancing and karaoke, 9pm, $3
Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10
Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10
FOX & GOOSE
AARON WELCH, SCOTT GRAHAM; 811pm, no cover
COLD ESKIMO, SURROGATE, CAUGHT IN MOTION; 9pm-midnight, $5
BRIGHT FACES, ARTS & LEISURE, THE FOUR EYES; 9pm-midnight, $5
Dj Chrispix, 10pm-1:15am, no cover
DJ Alazzawi, 10pm-1:15am, no cover
1001 R St., (916) 443-8825
G STREET WUNDERBAR 228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227
DJ Nate Davit and DJ Elements, 9pm W, call for cover
IAN MCFERON, 8-11pm W, $5; Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu, no cover
DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover
DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover
DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover
Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover
YOUNG DUBLINERS, 7pm, $15
CASH’D OUT, 7pm, $15-$18; DJ Wrech, Charlie Ramos and DJ Mario V, 10pm
JULIANA ZACHARIOU, 7pm, $7; KERI CARR, JB & THE SLINGTONES; 9:30pm
A SILENT FILM, 6:30pm, call for cover
2416 16th St., (916) 441-3945
MAX MINARDI, BRETT MILLER; 8pm, call for cover
WHITE RUSSIAN, INSTAGON; 8pm, $5
ASTRO ZOMBIES, BAD ENDING; 4pm, THE MARROW, ODD MONIKER; 8pm, $5 $5; FATE UNDER FIRE, WITZEND; 8:30pm
LEVEL UP FOOD & LOUNGE
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
DJ Rock Bottom and The Mookie DJ, 9pm, no cover
One Two, One Two with DJ Los, 9:30pm, no cover
LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR
Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2
CHELSEA SHAYE HUGHES, AMY REED & SPANGLER BAND, DEVEN FARREN, ROSS HAMMOND; 9pm, $6 JACKSON GRIFFITH; 9pm, $6
Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6
MARILYN’S ON K
“Rock On” Live Band Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, WALKING SPANISH; 9:30pm, $8-$10
MISS MOUTHPEACE, 9:30pm, $10
BOB WOODS, 5:30pm Tu, no cover
JARRETT KILLIN, MASON & DAMON, INFINITY WRITER; 9pm, $5
MONDO DECO, BLAH BOUTIQUE, JEM & SCOUT, WAR ELEPHANT; 9pm, $5
The Lipstick Weekender, 9:30pm, $5
NUANCE, 7:30pm M; Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Open-mic w/ Lare Crawley, 8:30pm W
2326 K St., (916) 441-2252 2708 J St., (916) 441-4693
908 K St., (916) 446-4361 1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504
5(67$85$17 %$5 %$5 &20('< /8% 5(67$85$17 &20('<& &/8% &/8%
=6;,+),:;*64,+@*3<))@ ;/,:(*9(4,5;65,>: 9,=0,>
MAY 31 & june 3
2 FOR 1 ADMISSION!! (WITH THIS AD)
tHu May 31 7PM $15
sun June 3 6:30PM $12
a silent film
fri June 1 7PM $15
CaSh’d out fri June 1 10PM
r&b Club ClassiCs
w/DJ wreCK, CHarlie raMos & Mario v
sat June 2 7PM
Juliana ZaChariou sat June 2 9:30PM $8
Mon June 4 7PM $15
jd mcpherson tHu June 7 10PM $12
georgia anne mulDrow
fri June 8 7PM
Tommy casTro & tHe PainKillers sat June 9 10PM $10
keri Carr iConClast robot w/guests Kb & tHe slingtones & live manikins
Coming Soon June 14 Darrell Scott June 15 Feva in tha Funkhouse June 16 the blues broads June 16 rock & rhyme June 19 Parlotones June 20 Joe Craven June 21 Sizzling Sirens June 22 the Hits June 23 Midnight Players June 24 Muriel anderson June 27 Russian Circles June 29& 30 tainted love July 3 James Hunter July 6 Dean-o-Holics July 7 Joel the band July 14 Modern english July 18 steve Kimco July 19 Asleep at the Wheel Aug 1 Paul thorn aug 8 ottmar liebert Aug 10 Fungo Mungo Aug 13 Heartless bastards aug 18 Mother Hips Aug 19 Strung Out Aug 24 Dan Curcio Aug 25 Hapa Sept 13 Growlers Oct 17 Star F***er
Dress CoDe enforCeD (Jeans are oK) • Call to reserve Dinner & Club tables
2708 J Street • Sacramento • 916.441.4693 • www.harlows.com |
JD MCPHERSON, 7pm M, call for cover
Hip-hop and R&B deejay dancing, 9:16pm Tu, no cover
CELEBRATING OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALL YEAR LONG!
Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3
Dragalicious, 9pm, $5
THE GOLDEN BEAR
1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931
Big Band Swing DJ, 8-11pm Tu, $6; Top 40, R&B, House, 10pm W, $7
Latin music and Top 40, 9pm, $7
THE COZMIC CAFÉ
2431 J St., (916) 448-8768
Geeks Who Drink pub quiz, 8:30pm W, no cover
STEVE SMITH AND VITAL INFORMATION, 7:30pm W, $20-$22
WONDERBREAD 5, 8pm, $15-$18 Salsa Fridays, 9pm, $5
1119 21st St., (916) 443-1537
2000 K St., (916) 448-7798
Want to be a hot show? Mail photos to Calendar Editor, SN&R, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 or email it to sactocalendar@ newsreview.com. Be sure to include date, time, location and cost of upcoming shows.
Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover
WEST OF SUNSET, WESLESTER; 8pm, no cover
3512 Stockton Blvd., (916) 317-9999
594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481
Hey local bands!
THURSDAY 5/31 - SUNDAY 6/3
LARRY “BUBBLES” BROWN, MYLES WEBBER WEDNESDAY 6/6
SACRAMENTO COMEDY SHOWCASE
2 FREE TIX WITH THIS AD!
SAM BAMM’S COMEDY JAM DVD RELEASE PARTY!
FRIDAY 6/8 - SUNDAY 6/10
FROM COMEDY CENTRAL’S LIVE AT GOTHAM AND SHOWTIME’S “COMEDY WITHOUT BORDERS”
LET’S NOT GO TO EXTREMES.
EDWIN SAN JUAN
GEORGE PEREZ, BUTCH ESCOBAR
THURSDAY 6/14 - SUNDAY 6/17 FROM THE SKEPTIC TANK AND JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE PODCASTS!
KRIS TINKLE, SEAN KEANE
FRIDAY 6/21 - SUNDAY 6/24
FROM EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS AND ALL OF US
CRISTELA ALONZO, NICK ARAGON
CALL CLUB FOR SHOWTIMES: (916) 925-5500 2100 ARDEN WAY • IN THE HOWE ‘BOUT ARDEN SHOPPING CENTE
ON THE Y
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
CHAOS IN MIND, EMBODIED TORMENT, VITAL PERCEPTION; 8pm, $5
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
Open-mic comedy, 10pm, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover
THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE
JON DEE GRAHAM, 8pm, $15
DAVID LINDLEY, 8pm, $25
CHRIS WEBSTER, TRACY WALTON, BILL EDWARDS; 8pm, $20
THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222
NEON HITCH, 8pm-2am, no cover before DJ Joe Maz, 9pm-2am, $15 11, $10 after
DJ Peeti V, 9pm, call for cover
PARLARE EURO LOUNGE
Top 40, 9pm, no cover
Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover
DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover
Top 40 dance mixes, 9pm W, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
PRIVATE CRIMINALS, 9pm, $8
THE 8 TRACKS, 9pm, $5
Karaoke, 9pm W, no cover
PO’ BOYZ BAR & GRILL
Jam with Roharpo, 7pm, no cover
TOM DRINNON, 9:30pm, call for cover
TAINTED LOVE, 10pm, $20
THE PRESS CLUB
THE INVERSIONS, 8:30pm, $5
Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5
J POINT THE VET, GRITTY AKA SELFMADE, T JONES, CHERRI RED; 7:30pm
IZREAL GRAHAM, J ROSS PARRELLI, TASK1NE, MIC JORDAN; 9pm, $5
670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825
1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960
140 Harrison Ave., Auburn; (530) 885-5093 9580 Oak Avenue Pkwy., Folsom; (916) 987-2886 614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586 2030 P St., (916) 444-7914 2574 21st St., (916) 832-0916
SOPHIA’S THAI KITCHEN 129 E St., Davis; (530) 758-4333
STONEY INN/ROCKIN RODEO
GLEN TEMPLETON, CHRIS GARDNER BAND; 7:30pm, $10-$12
1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023
5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088
Open-mic comedy, 9pm M; Jam with Dave Channell, 7pm Tu; Trivia, 7pm W
COALITION, 10pm, $10
THE AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS, 3pm, $12
DJ Alazzawi, DJ Rigatony, 10pm Tu, $3; POLITICAL PLUM, LP SESSIONS, 9pm W
Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5
Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5 Curanderismo Series, noon, call for cover
Microphone Mondays, 6pm M, $1-$2; Liberation Permaculture, 6pm Tu
Country dance party, 8pm, no cover
Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Barbecue, blues jam, karaoke, Tu, call for cover
COTTON JONES, OLD LIGHT, EMILY JANE WHITE; 9pm, $6
JHAMEEL, JAMES & EVANDER; 9pm, $5
Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm
Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm
MARSELLUS BRIEFCASE, 5-7pm, $10; PATO BANTON, 8-10pm, $10
INDIAN FROM PLUTO, IN THE NO, GRASS FOREST FLANIGAN, ZUHG, HANS, CHILD, ENOECA, K39; 3-11pm, $8 QUINN HEDGES; 3-10pm, $8
X TRIO, 5pm, no cover
PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; FUNK REVIVAL, 9pm, $7
JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; TWILIGHT DRIFTERS, CHARLY BATY; 9pm, $8
Live music and deejay dancing, 9pm, no cover
X-GVNR vs. Record Club, 9pm, no cover before 10pm, $5 after
Pop Freq w/ DJ XGVNR, 9pm, $5
1517 21st St., (916) 613-7194
Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover
Blues Jam, 2pm, no cover
904 15th St., (916) 443-2797
RAY WYLIE HUBBARD, 8pm W, $22
Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; BONE MCDONALD, 8pm, $5
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers with Walking Spanish 9:30pm Friday, $8-$10. Marilyn’s on K Rock and soul
TESS MARIE, 9pm Tu, $4; KERI CARR, 9pm W, $5 Open-mic, 9pm M, no cover; Live-band karaoke, W
All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES
HED P.E., MUSHROOMHEAD, AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE, CORVUS; 6pm, $20
1417 R St., (916) 448-3300
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, STRIFE, STEPCHILD, KILL THE PRECEDENT, 6:30pm
YO GOTTI, GAUDY BOYZ, FR3E BOYS, ONFC, HIGHER LEARNING; 7pm, $20
LEFTOVER CRACK, APATHY CYCLE; 6:30pm, $15
MAGI-KOOL DOODS, THE SECRETIONS, CONCUSSION; 8pm, $5
213 E St., Davis; (530) 231-5177
THE SHINE CAFÉ
Screenplay Slam: actors on stage performing local scripts, 8:30pm, no cover
1400 E St., (916) 551-1400
ZUHG LIFE STORE
545 Downtown Plaza, Ste. 2090, (916) 822-5185
Comedy hosted by Tim Logan and Ray Molina, 8pm M, call for cover
MANGO JENNINGS, 8pm, call for cover
NYCERIA, PENJULA, ONE-LEG CHUCK; 8pm, $5
Open jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith, 8pm Tu; Poetry With Legs, 7pm W
AWKWARD LEMON, 2pm, no cover
UKULELE JAKE, MAC RUSS, ORANGE MORNING; noon, no cover
Open-mic, 6-8pm Tu, no cover
ace of spaDes thursday, may 31
1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com
All Ages Welcome!
saturday, june 9
(HeD) pe & mUsHRoomHeaD
mickey avalon dirt - rock & rhyme - k-ottic richard the rockstar
american head charge - corvus tenaFly viper - americaz mozt haunted
Friday, june 1
6/28 Who’s Bad (Michael Jackson Tribute) 6/29 Jonny Craig
liFeForms – tempest - take pride – desiderata - your own destroyer - the war within
saturday, june 2
saturday, june 16
DamaGe oveR Time
gaudy boyz - Fr3e boys - the onFc higher learning - quen
drop s7ven - serpent & seraph – egostall neckrocyst - From cities to salt
sunday, june 3
sunday, june 17
my DaRkesT Days
apathy cycle - another damn disappointment the scowndrolls - the aberzombies
striFe - stepchild - kill the precedent
COMING 6/22 Arden Park Roots
Friday, june 15
Izreal Graham with J Ross Parrelli, Task1ne, Mic Jordan and Chad Adams 9pm Saturday, $5. Sol Collective Hip-hop
allinaday - Fair struggle - overwatch
The Jacka & Husalah
Reverend Horton Heat
The Demon Hunter
8/25 Full Blown Stone
Friday, june 8
tuesday, june 19
8/30 Pop Evil
mayeR HaWTHoRne & THe coUnTy
hands like houses - liFe in 24 Frames - tragic culture
David Allen Coe
9/24 Kreator 10/11 D.R.I
tickets available at all dimple records Locations, the Beat records, and armadillo records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202 BEFORE
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FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 31, 2012
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Let’s waltz
the rumba,” said jazz musician Fats Waller, suggesting the seemingly impossible mix of two very different types of dancing. That’s an excellent clue for you to follow up on, Aries. I suspect that in the coming week you will have an unusual aptitude for hybridization. You could do folk dancing and hip-hop moves simultaneously. It will make sense for you to do the cha-cha as you disco and vice versa. You’ll have a knack for bringing the spirit of belly dance into the tango, and for breakdancing while you do the hokeypokey.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Have you
been feeling a warm fuzzy feeling in your money chakra? I hope so. The cosmos recently authorized you to receive a fresh flow of what we might call financial kundalini. Your insight into money matters should be increasing, as well as your ability to attract the information and influences you need to refine your relationship with prosperity. It may even be the case that higher levels of economic luck are operating in your vicinity. I’m not saying you will strike it rich, but you could definitely strike it richer.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your core
meditation this week is Oscar Wilde’s belief that disobedience is a primal virtue. Be ingeniously, pragmatically and cheerfully disobedient, Gemini! Harness your disobedience so that it generates outbreaks of creative transformation that improve your life. For inspiration, read this passage by Robert Anton Wilson: “Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and progress, everything on earth that is manmade and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of someone’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent.”
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Some
people tell me I’d invented the sounds they called soul,” said musician Ray Charles, “but I can’t take any credit. Soul is just the way black folk sing when they leave themselves alone.” I urge you to experiment with this idea, Cancerian. In my astrological opinion, you need to whip up a fresh, hot delivery of raw soul. One of the best ways to do that might be to leave yourself alone. In other words, don’t badger yourself. Don’t pick your scabs and second-guess your enthusiasms and argue yourself into a knot. Create a nice big space for your original self to play in.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Where’s the most
convenient place to discover a new species?” asks QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance. What do you think the answer is, Leo? The Amazon rainforest? The high mountainous forests of New Guinea? Northwest Siberia? None of the above. In fact, your best chance of finding a previously unidentified life form is in your own garden. There are hundreds of thousands of species that science still has no knowledge of, and quite a few of them are near you. A similar principle currently holds true for your life in general. It will be close to home that you are most likely to connect with fascinating exotica, unknown influences and far-out adventures.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Now and then
my readers try to bribe me. “I’ll give you $1,000,” said a recent email from a Virgo woman, “if you will write a sequence of horoscopes that predict I’ll get the dream job I’m aiming for, which will in turn make me so attractive to the guy I’m pursuing that he will beg to worship me.” My first impulse was to reply, “That’s all you’re willing to pay for a prophecy of two events that will supercharge your happiness and change your life?” But in the end, as always, I flatly turned her down. The truth is, I report on the music of the heavenly spheres, but I don’t write the music myself. Still, I sort of admire this woman’s feisty resolve to manipulate the fates, and I urge you to borrow some of her ferocity in the coming week.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A solar eclipse
happens when the moon passes in front of the sun and blocks much of its light from reaching our eyes. On a personal level, the metaphorical equivalent is when something obstructs our ability to see what nourishes us. For example, let’s say you’re in the habit of enviously comparing your own situation to that of a person you imagine is better off than you. This may blind you to some of your actual blessings, and diminish your ability to take full advantage of your own talents. I bring this up, Libra, because you’re in an especially favorable time to detect any way you might be under the spell of an eclipse—and then take dramatic steps to get out from under it.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Some
secrets will dribble out. Other secrets will spill forth. Still others may shoot out and explode like fireworks. You won’t be bored by this week’s revelations, Scorpio. People’s camouflage may be exposed, hidden agendas could be revealed, and not-quite-innocent deceits might be uncovered. So that’s the weird news. Here’s the good news: If you maintain a high level of integrity and treat the brouhaha as good entertainment, you’re likely to capitalize on the uproar. And that’s your specialty, right?
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If
you go to a psychotherapist, she may coax you to tell stories about what went wrong in your childhood. Seek a chiropractor’s opinion and he might inform you that most of your problems have to do with your spine. Consult a psychic and chances are she will tell you that you messed up in your past lives and need a karmic cleansing. And if you ask me about what you most need to know, I might slip you some advice about how to access your untapped reserves of beauty and intelligence. Here’s the moral of the story, Sagittarius: Be discerning as you ask for feedback and mirroring. The information you receive will always be skewed.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The
state of Kansas has a law that seems more confusing than helpful. It says the following: “When two trains approach each other at a crossing, both shall come to a full stop and neither shall start up again until the other has gone.” From what I can tell, Capricorn, a similar situation has cropped up in your life. Two parties are in a stalemate, each waiting for the other to make the first move. At this rate, nothing will ever happen. May I suggest that you take the initiative?
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Should
you get down on your knees and beg for love and recognition? No! Should you give yourself away without seeking much in return? Don’t do that, either. Should you try to please everyone in an attempt to be popular? Definitely not. Should you dilute your truth so as not to cause a ruckus? I hope not. So then what am I suggesting you should do? Ask the following question about every possibility that comes before you: “Will this help me to master myself, deepen my commitment to what I want most and gain more freedom?”
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Do you know why flamingos have their distinctive orangepink color? It’s because of the carotene in the shrimp and other food they consume. If they change their diet, their feathers turn dull grey. That’s a dramatic example of the adage, “You are what you eat.” Let’s use it as a prompt to contemplate all the stuff you take into the holy temple of your body, Pisces. Not just the sandwiches and chocolate bars and alcohol but also the images, sounds, ideas, emotions and energy you get from other people. Is the cumulative effect of all those things giving you the shape and color and texture you want to have? If not, this would be a good time to adjust your intake.
You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18 or older. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at www.realastrology.com.
WONG PHOTO BY PRISCILLA GARCIA
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
True steampunk As they tell it, James and Mary Lyons have always been collectors of broken gadgets. Coming from a painting and graphic-design background, the Lyons began designing steampunk jewelry full time in 2010. Today, the couple collects all sorts of things, like antique clocks, scattered game tiles, brass drawer handles, antique pins, and vacuum tubes from old-world amplifiers and radios and repurposes them into jewelry. The Lyons sell their upcycled pieces at events and festivals throughout Northern California, and at their online shops The Castle Walls and Steampunk Jewelry Company.
I can see steampunk being commoditized on a mass scale at places like Urban Outfitters or Forever 21. James Lyons: It was really frustrating in the beginning, seeing people who have no interest in what steampunk represents mass producing a fake gear that’s supposed to look like something that came out of a working timepiece and selling it off as steampunk. We stand out because, we don’t cut corners. Our pieces are telling a story.
Why does steampunk’s mix of science-fiction and fantasy appeal to so many adults? James: I think it’s the celebration of invention; kind of a mixture of old and new together—a collision. During the Victorian times, there was an aesthetic, a décor, a passion put into everything we built, so much so that we decorated our inventions. Steam-engine trains were decorated with embellishments and gold trim. It wasn’t just functional; it was a piece of art. Mary Lyons: I’ve always been into that genre, the Victorian age and older things, castles, beautiful French furnishings—so it all kind of fell into place for me. All the pictures I would paint, draw, everything was kind of into The Castle Walls—that aesthetic. We just love old things. Our house is filled with old things. Even if it’s broken … it’s beautiful, and I don’t want it to go to waste.
Do you have any steampunk influences? James: Oddities. Jules Verne is a perfect example. It’s me, because it’s antique science-fiction. Mary: To me, it’s Queen Victoria. She’s my influence. I just adored her, because that kind of crossed both genres for me— the castle thing and the steampunk thing.
How did you start making jewelry? James: My wife started making game-piece charms, and we started going to Second Saturday with just the game-piece charms. It got a huge response, and so we started
A RT S & C U LT U R E
James (left) and Mary Lyons.
experimenting with other media. I started working on clock parts and old jewelry.
Where do you get your raw materials? Mary: Everything is secondhand. All the [game] tiles I use are secondhand. They’re from thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales, flea markets. We have vendors at flea markets who are looking out for stuff for us. James: One of the rules that we have is, it has to be a broken timepiece. It’s about finding something that might end up in a landfill and making it useful again.
What are the best and worst media images of steampunk? James: I don’t know if it’s necessarily steampunk, but the Victorian-era movies are really hot right now, like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I think one of the best has got to be Hugo. Worst is Cheap Thrills, the costume shop in Midtown. It’s kind of like how Hot Topic is punk rock. Mary: And Evangeline’s. They’ve got all that mass-produced steampunk. … They’ve somehow turned goth into steampunk, and it’s all mass produced, and it’s all overdone. It’s like a comedy of steampunk.
science-fiction flair that goes all the way back to childhood. When you go in and can buy a cardboard top hat and you call it steampunk, it’s kind of sad. Mary: He was really upset and pissed when we first went into Cheap Thrills. Not because they had it, but because they were charging so much for it. We try to keep it low. You want your art out there. You don’t want it to be so ridiculously high. James: We’re making enough money to keep doing it and to support ourselves, but the truth is that if we raised our prices too high, people automatically love it, but can’t afford it. In this market, in this economy, that’s kind of why we got into it. My work being a painter, work is hard to come by, and so this was an opportunity for us to take control.
That’s the case you would make for people to buy artisan things? James: Absolutely. It’s found art. It’s not just something that can be put into a mold or crust and then called “steampunk.” It may have something that stylizes steampunk, but it doesn’t have the identity. Ω To see more of James and Mary Lyons’ jewelry collections, visit www.thecastlewalls.com and www.steampunkjewelrycompany.com.
Does it really bug you? James: I guess I take it seriously because I grew up on science-fiction, so I have that |
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Published on May 30, 2012