Page 1

vp from hell see Editor’s Note, page 3 see Streetalk, page 5 see Greenlight, page 12 see Sound Advice, page 39

battle for

midtown continues see Frontlines, page 8 see Frontlines, page 10

cocktail week bartenders belly up see Arts&Culture, page 24

KJ INC. BY COSMO GARVIN

KJ

PAGE

18

THE MAYOR’S GROUPS AND NONPROFITS BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTERESTS. OUR WRITER CONNECTS THE DOTS.

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2012


What the hell? Paul Ryan? Seriously? What the hell? When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his running mate, my first thought was, “Really? This guy? Ryan has made a career out of trying to strip citizens of social services and personal choices. Of course, not everyone sees him this way. Conservatives praised Romney’s choice, pointing to Ryan as proof of the candidate’s shrewd confidence; here is a seven-term Wisconsin congressman that serves to galvanize an uber-conservative base. Certainly Ryan’s admiration of Ayn Rand satisfies Libertarian ideologues. It also highlights his attempt to gut services for anyone who doesn’t fall into the category of Financially Secure Heterosexual White Male. Ryan is a man who fiercely took to heart Rand’s belief that man “must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.” Ryan’s political agenda reveals a disturbing, hardline fiscal ambition that aims to privatize Social Security and replace Medicare with a voucher system. And you thought death panels were scary. It gets worse. The so-called “Ryan Budget” would double interest rates on student loans and eliminate Pell grants for more than 1 million students. Ryan also opposes samesex marriage and, in a departure from Rand, supports “personhood” legislation that would criminalize all abortions. Think this is just another election that comes down to the lesser of two evils? Think again. Perhaps voters should take a cue from Rand and cast ballots solely in the name of self-interest this November. If they did, those who stand to lose the most—the poor and elderly, college students and women, members of the LGBT community, et al—can all but guarantee an epic Romney and Ryan election fail. —Rachel Leibrock

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STREETALK LETTERS NEWS GREEN DAYS OPINION FEATuRE STORY ARTS&CuLTuRE NIGHT&DAY DISH ASK JOEY STAGE FILM MuSIC + sound Advice 15 MINuTES cover design by hayley doshay bites will be on vacation the rest of august.

32 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. Co-editors Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller Senior Staff Writer Cosmo Garvin Staff Writer Raheem F. Hosseini Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Calendar Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Kel Munger Editor-at-large Melinda Welsh Editorial Interns Kate Paloy, Sarah Vorn, Amy Wong Contributors Sasha Abramsky, Rob Brezsny, Joey Garcia, Becky Grunewald, Mark Halverson,

rac he ll@ n ews r ev i ew . com

BEFORE

August 16, 2012 | vol. 24, issue 18

FRONTLINES

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Jeff Hudson, Jonathan Kiefer, Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Seth Sandronsky, Amy Yannello

Director of First Impressions Jeff Chinn Distribution Manager Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert

Website www.newsreview.com SN&R is printed by The Paradise Post using recycled newsprint whenever available.

Design Manager Kate Murphy Art Director Priscilla Garcia Associate Art Director Hayley Doshay Editorial Designer India Curry Design Melissa Arendt, Brian Breneman, Brennan Collins, Mary Key, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Art Directors-at-large Don Button, Andrea Diaz-Vaughn

Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Nicholas Babcock, Walt Best, Daniel Bowen, Nina Castro, Jack Clifford, Robert Cvach, Lob Dunnica, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Wayne Hopkins, Brenda Hundley, Wendell Powell, Lloyd Rongley, Duane Secco, Lolu Sholotan, Jack Thorne

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.

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 Client Publications Writer/Copy Editor Michael Blount Sales Coordinators Shawn Barnum, Rachel Rosin

STORY

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President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Chief Operations Officer Deborah Redmond Human Resources Manager Tanja Poley Credit and Collections Manager Renee Briscoe Business Manager Grant Rosenquist Business Shannon McKenna, Zahida Mehirdel Systems Manager Jonathan Schultz Systems Support Specialist Joe Kakacek Web Developer/Support Specialist John Bisignano

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.

1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone (916) 498-1234 Sales Fax (916) 498-7910 Editorial Fax (916) 498-7920

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STREETALK

“She is a much better bread thrower than me.”

Asked at McKinley Park:

Who would you pick as your vice president?

John Eaton

Jacqueline Emojong

Brian Wheat

sales

registered nurse

musician

For second-in-command, I would anoint my daughter Ava. We’re feeding ducks at the pond right now, and she is a much better bread thrower than me.

I would pick my husband. He is awesome! He has great faith and doesn’t give up easily. He’s very wise and loving, as well as committed. In addition to being a wonderful husband and father to our children, he is my best friend. He sacrifices for the greater good, and so he has good values and morals.

Ben de la Torre

I’d like to bring Colin Powell out of retirement and make him my second-in-command. I think he would have made a fine president. He’d be a good leader. I like him.

Donn McGinnis

Christopher Phillips

photographer

registered nurse

I’d pick Jon Stewart. He seems like a fun guy to hang out with and [also seems] pretty grounded. He’s got an objective point of view mixed with some comedy. Although, who knows if it’s just a persona.

retired

I would choose Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. He could think outside the box and bring some ideas that no one else can. He’s everyone’s favorite; I think he’d be an excellent choice.

I think Condoleezza Rice would be my pick—but she’s also smart enough not to run [for] vice president. She’s a deep thinker, and her experience as secretary of state makes her aware of all the situations that are going on.

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LETTERS

Visit us at www.newsreview.com or email sactoletters @ newsreview.com

Killer cars

FIRST SHOT SN&R photo of the week PHOTO BY NICK MILLER

Re “Riches to rags in Roseville” by Corbyn Hightower (SN&R Feature Story, August 2): The experiences shared about living car free really resonated with me. Having been a bit over two years car-free myself, I can validate the change in how I relate to my world now. I’d like to add that I calculate savings of at least $20,000 that has not gone to fund the military-industrial complex or toward fouling the air and water we all need to live. Sorry to be so harsh, but the daily experience of terror by speeding bullies in their cars racing each other to the next red light has had an effect on me. The author has identified something important here, which is the social disconnect drivers have from as a result of being enclosed in their bubble. Folks that are nice and LETTER OF friendly turn into dangerous killers behind the wheel of a car. THE WEEK Thousands of people are maimed for life, and 117 people die every day in car collisions. Our public roads are unsafe for people, pets and kids, because we have surrendered them to cars. Too bad it takes economic disaster to help people find the benefits of slowing down, looking local and living simpler lives. Clearly, the kids get it. I really hope more drivers choose to get out of their cars before they are forced to by economic disaster. It really is a better view from “out here.” Tim Castleman Sacramento

Add menudo to the mix Re “Behold the torta” by Becky Grunewald (SN&R Dish, August 2): La Fiesta Taqueria is the best! I give them five stars. It’s so hard to find great ceviche, made Guadalajara-style, and they do just that. Fresh, mild fish is key, and yes, the unique add-on of mayo on the tostada is a real Guadalajara touch. I’ve been getting the tostada de ceviche for several years now. The other winner for my family is the menudo (weekends only, and get there early or they might run out). It’s got a rich, meaty broth and generous portions. Ask for “con grano” or “sin grano” if you like or dislike hominy. You can even have patita, if you’re a fan. I’m glad to read a review of them; I want them to stay right where they are!

Worst of all are the god-awful “farrowing crates,” where pregnant sows are imprisoned for three straight weeks, unable to turn around, barely able to move, and forced to give birth on a metal grid, without an ounce of bedding in sight: a true crime against nature. Do this to a dog, go to jail. Every veterinary study I’ve seen recommends against transporting pregnant animals about to give birth. UC Davis should practice what it teaches. Concerned citizens should contact Norbert Bartosik, Cal Expo CEO and general manager, and the board of directors at 2600 Exposition Boulevard, Sacramento, CA, 95815; or at calexpoboard@calexpo.com. It should be noted that ex-officio member of the board, [Senate President Pro Tem] Darrell Steinberg, has given his stamp of approval to these exhibits.

Do it to a dog, go to jail

Gaga, God and steaming piles

Re “Who wants to be born in public?” by Mary Ellen Williams (SN&R Guest Comment, July 26): Thanks to Mary Ellen Williams for her sensitive op-ed. Despite having received nearly 3,000 emails and petition signatures protesting the “birthing exhibits” at the California State Fair, nothing has changed. Newborn calves were still immediately separated from their mothers, which stresses both. (One of the UC Davis vet students there told me that “the mothering instinct has been mostly bred out of the animals.” Yeah, right.)

Re “Gaga over God” by Mark Drolette (SN&R Essay, July 26): Well, now that’s a steaming pile. “I once thought I touched God, then shit happened, I was wrong, and no one knows any better than I do there is no God.” Really? Kind of like saying, “When I was a little kid, I couldn’t dunk a basketball. Then, one time, I was able to. Now I can’t again. Therefore, no one can dunk a basketball.” Get real. The only point I can see of publishing this logically fallacious and shallow piece is to get comments outta people like me.

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Yeah, [I] built my whole life around studying God. God is, though, I don’t know that you and I have the same conception thereof; the truth is beyond our words and conceptions. I still can’t dunk a basketball and am working to make my steaming piles much smaller. Less fiber in the diet and all. Maybe this one will be small enough to print. Geoffrey Wood Sacramento

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I often see bikes insecurely locked, and have you seen a white ghost bike? As there are no testing requirements for bike use, people must educate themselves—even if they “know” how to ride. Hopefully, they will shed the childhood misinformation from parents, etc. Motorcyclists must get special instruction and testing before getting a license. So, cyclists: Open a book or take a course. It will still be fun. Brian Lambert Sacramento

Bike education FTW Re “Steal this bike” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Feature Story, July 26): As 30-plus years of Reaganomics continue to drive us into the ground, a cheap ride will be increasingly valuable. This is especially true of one that uses no fuel, requires no insurance, testing, license or registration to operate. But as with any activity, there is a right way and wrong way to go about it. Many sports for example, can be enjoyed without harm even when corners are cut or when “not playing by the rules.” But with cycling, the wrong way can get you hit in more than one way. The impression I get from our local bikeadvocacy groups is “build it and they will ride.” And it’s great that more people are getting on bikes from their efforts. But how to ride—and lock? They gave us lanes, but nothing on safely navigating traffic or intersections. They gave us bike racks, but no info on how to lock up.

Eric Mills coordinator Action for Animals

Carla Castro Sacramento

BEFORE

Rising dirty: Those who didn’t sleep on Monday night due to the Solano County fires, whose remnant smoke caked Sacramento, at least were treated to a hazy sunrise Tuesday morning.

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POET’S CORNER Survival of the Fittest When my mother was four she broke her nose in a horse and carriage accident while escaping pogroms and possibly the plague, chanting, I had a little bird, its name was Enza, I opened the window and in-flu-enza. I inherited her broken nose, hooked at the end, off-center, the bridge bumped, the injury genetically coded for future generations. They had no phone to call for help or insurance for surgery, just dusted themselves off and found another buggy. —Irene Lipshin

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Neighbors grumble over drunks, businesses grab for fun, city leadership gets a makeover—just another year on the grid This Thursday is Midtown hot spot BarWest’s one-year anniversary. It’s a party—but not for a handful of persistent, angry neighbors. If they had their by Nick Miller way, this Thursday would be BarWest’s last anniversary. nickam@ There’s no denying the bar—one of the newsreview.com more recent additions on a J Street entertainphotos ment strip that includes Harlow’s, Centro by Cocina Mexicana and The Red Rabbit Kitchen Steven Chea & Bar—is a popular spot for young adults who perhaps like to drink and party a bit too much. But these Midtown residents complain that BarWest crosses the line. That its patrons over-imbibe cauldronesque “It is backward and, frankly, on cocktails, then pile ignorant to allow out after last call into developers and a narrow the neighborhood, making noise and a portion of the business mess—even vandalcommunity to decide how to izing—before driving back home. develop a neighborhood.” “BarWest and other bar/club owners Tom Wendel and their patrons Midtown resident create a party scene in Midtown,” resident Dale Kooyman told SN&R in an email, “and are costing the city in [police department] enforcement and loss of nearby businesses.” 8

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Kooyman and about a dozen other neighbors regularly bemoan these Midtown drunks in email communiques to local media and city leaders. They’ve been shooting off these missives for years—a decade, even—and BarWest is just the latest Midtown bar in their crosshairs. They say the growing concentration of central-city bars and clubs devalues their properties. And squelches quality of life. They lament City Hall, which they say makes it easier for alcohol-serving venues to open and also initiates policy that encourages drunks to park in their neighborhoods rather than garages. “It is backward and, frankly, ignorant,” resident Tom Wendel argued, “to allow developers and a narrow portion of the business community to decide how to develop a neighborhood based on their perceptions of where a quick buck can be made.” It’s worth noting that Kooyman, Wendel and their coterie are but a small assembly of neighbors; there are thousands of others, including neighborhood association leaders who spoke with SN&R, who think BarWest and nightspots are just fine. But this group is a loud one. And passionate. They want something done.


City Hall protest ban gets real See FRONTLINES

10

Is Second Saturday over? See FRONTLINES

11

Salmon: easy come, easy go See GREEN DAYS

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15

RainbowChick-fil-A conflict

See GUEST COMMENT

Kudos, SMUD smart grid See EDITORIAL

15

BEATS

Dam it, again Because, as Wendel asked, “What are BarWest’s owners and patrons doing for Midtown?” Well, it turns out, BarWest’s does do a few things. And its owner is actually a Midtown resident, as well. Trevor Schultz lives with his wife and young child minutes from BarWest. Some might say his family is the future face of Midtown—and Schultz himself a businessman with a new-generation’s vision for the community. What is that vision, exactly? “Something a little more fun,” he told SN&R. The restaurateur said when he sees bad press and gripes surrounding his restaurant and bar, he can’t help but dismay. “Negative publicity sucks,” he admitted. “I’m a Midtown resident, too. I have a 1-year-old son and a daughter on the way.” Schultz is also quick to point out that BarWest, despite its party-hard reputation, has a “good line of communication” with leaders at the Marshall School/New Era Neighborhood Association. And BarWest has even hired security to patrol nearby streets on busy nights—and will soon bring in off-duty police, which city leaders say are more effective at trafficking rabble-rousers. “So when I see ‘BarWest vs. the neighborhood,’ I laugh at it,” Schultz said. “It’s BarWest vs. a few neighbors. BarWest isn’t the problem.” Binge-drinking vandals, cranky neighbors and naive restaurateurs—it’s a battle. But it’s also just one front in Midtown’s latest growing-pains saga. Now, however, Midtown has a new guard of leadership—what with a newish executive director at the Midtown Business Association and a fresh council member to be elected in November. “We really have an opportunity now,” is how Beth Hassett, executive director of Women Escaping a Violent Environment and MBA board member, put it. She insisted that this year will be a chance for people to share “their vision for Midtown.” Midtown’s kumbaya moment became more of a reality earlier this month, when the city council approved the renewal of the MBA’s property business-improvement-district, or PBID. A PBID is a clunky acronym for a really simple idea, namely that some 500 Midtown properties and parcels can be assessed to generate nearly $650,000 in funds, which the MBA then can spend on things such as maintenance, picking up trash, coordinating events and marketing. Elizabeth Studebaker, who took over as MBA executive director

BEFORE

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this past December, says she has big plans, and also some elbow-grease-type work, in store for 2013, when the new PBID kicks in. This includes less-glamorous toil, such as servicing all those new, quaint red trash cans in Midtown, which the MBA installed earlier this year to be more aggressive about litter. And also spending coin—in the past, upward of $85,000 annually—to abate the work of Midtown’s graffiti taggers.

“So when I see ‘BarWest vs. the neighborhood,’ I laugh at it. It’s BarWest vs. a few neighbors. BarWest isn’t the problem.” Trevor Schultz owner BarWest But there are exciting possibilities, too, such as a proposed Midtown-based farmers market near J Street. Meanwhile, it will be up to either Joe Yee or Steve Hansen—the two candidates for city council’s District 4 seat, which includes Midtown, downtown and most of Land Park—to strike a balance between a growing Midtown economy and watchful residents. Hansen, who works for biotechnology firm Genentech and placed first in June’s District 4 primary heat, says he’s not interested in “chasing development fees” for revenue, but instead hopes to focus on new ways to build a “stable and sustainable revenue base that is tied to the Midtown economy.” In nonpolitico speak, this means less building of new stuff just for the sake of generating sales and property taxes and fees. The candidate said he would forgo his $60,000 council salary as seed money to kickstart a fund that, among other things, might provide microloans to central-city entrepreneurs. Or help connect and build “synergy” among the business leaders who will shape Midtown’s future. Hansen cited Ground(Ctrl), who is actually based in District 4’s Old Sacramento

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area, and Midtown software-programmer startup Hacker Lab as two examples from a blossoming tech sector that city leaders should more aggressively embrace. Joe Yee, a lifelong Sacramentan who placed second in June’s primary, is a veteran of City Hall’s planning commission and told SN&R he hopes Midtown’s future economy includes more “businesses that serve the community.” He says Midtown’s biggest challenge when it comes to revenue will be how to move forward in a post-Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency world. “Redevelopment is gone. … It’s going to take a while to figure out what to do to replace that,” he said. One thing Yee did champion is Midtown’s variety—or at least the possibility of growth in that area. “We need diversity of use, diversity of types of businesses, more office spaces,” he said, explaining that more people working in Midtown will bolster the neighborhood. But, regardless of who’s elected, both candidates will invariably have to sit down for peace accords with neighbors and bar owners. Just probably not at BarWest. Ω

Activists say there were taken aback recently when a private Canadian company applied to build a hydroelectric facility downstream of the South Yuba River just outside of Nevada City. That’s because river conservationists, who’ve worked for decades to save fish species and preserve agricultural interests on the Yuba, thought the river had a special designation that prohibited new dams or facilities. “This application flies in the face of current conservation science and river management,” argued Gary Reedy, a river-science director with the South Yuba River Citizens League. The company who aims to build the facility, Archon Energy, has until January 31, 2013, to submit its project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Activists worry that there won’t be opportunity for public input. “It’s mind-boggling, frankly,” SYRCL president John Regan stated in an email. “[We] are going to fight this project tooth and nail from the outset.” (Nick Miller)

Arts and business kudos The Arts & Business Council of Sacramento announced nominees this week for its annual Prelude to the Season awards, which will be handed out in October. ABC celebrates creators and movers and shakers who prop them up, such as the Arts Executive of the Year nominees, which includes Shelly Willis of Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Kathy Fleming of Fairytale Town, and Julie Hirota of Blue Line Gallery. Artist of the Year noms are Glenn Casale, Julie Didion and Mary Youngblood. There are 10 categories in all this year, including nods for Arts Journalism (for the record, SN&R isn’t bitter to not have made the cut, and kudos to nominees Tim Foster of the now-defunct Midtown Monthly; Dennis Spear of N Magazine; and Jonathan Carabba and Melissa Welliver of Submerge Magazine). (N.M.)

Thief alert Speaking of Submerge Magazine—the local music and arts rag got some bad news this week: Someone burglarized 10 of its street-side newsstands. Sometime over the weekend, a truck backed into its office parking lot in Midtown and stole a dime’s worth of metal newsstands, which Submerge owners Jonathan Carabba and Melissa Welliver were planning to clean up and use for distribution of their biweekly paper. Anyone with info can contact them at www.submergemag.com. (N.M.)

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Occupy permits Freedom isn’t free—coming soon to City Hall? There’s a new ordinance making its way through city council, one that includes provisions to quell protests—by banning cowbells, sponge baths, by Christopher Arns confetti, smoke machines, chalk and even activists, such as Occupy Sacramento protester Michael Nettles, from City Hall’s grounds. Nettles has camped out at historic City Hall for the past month. A homeless man with bundles of clothes and other gear leashed to his bike, Nettles joined Occupy Sacramento’s small but loyal protest on the building’s front lawn and says he doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. During the day, he hands out flyers from a folding table on I Street and tries to explain why the Occupy group demonstrates in front of the city’s headquarters. “I believe this is a way for people to participate in their government,” he said. But if the city council approves a controversial new law, Nettles You don’t pay unless we win! and his fellow Law Office of Steven H. Berniker Occupy 2500 Marconi Ave Ste 212 members www.familylawfirmsac.com won’t be allowed to stay. Last Thursday, SELL US YOUR WOMEN’S & MEN’S CLOTHES - CURRENT STYLES the council’s Law NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY - CASH ON THE SPOT - FRIENDLY BUYERS No cowbell?! and Legislation Committee approved changes to a proposed ordinance that would, among other things, require a paid permit for planned demonstrations at City Hall. Protestors hoping to use tables, chairs, microphones and loudspeakers would only be able to demonstrate during the week between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. And permit applicants would also need liability insurance before getting the city’s approval. The city hasn’t decided how much to charge for the permits, but individuals who violate the law would be slapped with a hefty fine—anywhere from $250 to $25,000. City council members will vote on the proposed ordinance next month. If they approve it, local activists say the new law would have a “chilling effect” on freedom of speech. Cres Vellucci, a spokesman from the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said Sacramento’s elected officials seem hell-bent on undermining peaceful expression. “It’s kind of a way to create laws where they can successfully attack Occupy or certainly other demonstrators,” said Vellucci. Before last Thursday’s hearing, the ACLU sent a letter to city council members complaining about key provisions in the proposed ordinance, including the permit requirement for demonstrations. In the letter, the group argued that “permit requirements are prior n e w s & r erestraints v i e w b uon s ispeech n e s s uand s e therefore o n ly carry a heavy burden of unconstitutionality.” 03.17.11 designer ss issUe dATe ACCT eXeC clk SACRAMENTO: 2935 arden way • 916.972.9900 ROSEVILLE: 1850 douglas blvd • 916.781.9900 have FiLe nAMe steveberniker031711r1Predictably, city officialsreV dATedisagreed. 03.10.10 STOCKTON OUTLET: 5756 pacific ave.#26 • 209.476.1300 crossroadstrading.com At last Thursday’s hearing, committee please carefully review your advertisement and verify the following: 10 | SN&R | 08. 16.12

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members defended the ordinance, which they claimed doesn’t limit free speech for “spontaneous” protestors who aren’t using props or amplified sound. These demonstrators, argued chairman Jay Schenirer, don’t need a permit. “I believe from what I’ve seen, we are the most accepting form of government around here,” committee member Darrell Fong said during the hearing. “If you go to the Capitol, you have to get a permit; you have to do certain things. We allow you to come out here, to protest and demonstrate.” According to Schenirer, city staff members have already changed parts of the ordinance to reflect concerns about civil rights, and said the proposed law had “come a long way.” Originally, protestors could only use a permit between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.—a provision fiercely opposed by the ACLU. “We got rid of some of the things in here that I personally thought were a little bit onerous,” Schenirer said during the hearing. For their part, staff members say the new rules are necessary. Rhonda Lake, the city’s facilities and realproperty superintendent, said the new policy clarifies things for protest leaders. Before drafting the ordinance, Lake said the city had a patchwork system for approving demonstrations. “Without having those rules in place, I think it causes confusion,” she said.

“We are the most accepting form of government around here.” Councilman Darrell Fong Lake also defended the proposed ordinance and said the law wasn’t directed at specific groups like Occupy Sacramento. She said staff members first discussed the rule changes nearly 18 months ago. But opponents say that’s hogwash. They point to certain provisions in the law, such as the ban against cooking food or washing dishes, as proof that city officials have a target in mind. “It’s pretty obvious that it’s aimed at Occupy,” said Vellucci, who believes the city, which he says has tried and failed since last October to remove protesters from downtown, wants to stamp out the Occupy movement. Lake said the city council would probably vote on the new law by mid-September. But if the council approves the ordinance, opponents may try to block it with a lawsuit, said Vellucci. “If the ACLU doesn’t file one officially, I’m sure we can find an attorney to file locally,” he said. Ω


Second bumming? Some people say Second Saturday is over. Midtown business and gallery owners weigh in. If Second Saturday is done, you wouldn’t have thought so this past weekend. Dozens of teenagers lined the by wooden boardwalk along the Sarah Vorn MARRS building at 20th Street, eating pizza and flirting. Zocalo’s outdoor patio on Capitol Avenue was packed. And if you wanted to park your car anywhere on Midtown streets, good luck. Second Saturday may not be what it used to be, but the art walk hasn’t flatlined yet. And some Midtown business owners even argue that the event, what with its downtick in partiers, is better than ever. Jewelry artist Susan Rabinovitz has been an active part of Second Saturday for more than five years. Earlier in 2012, she opened Little Relics Boutique & Galleria on 21st Street, where she showcases artwork and one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry. “Public drunkenness has thinned out,” Rabinovitz observed. “People are coming down for nice dinners, and they are actually participating in the art walk, which is really cool.” She said she gets a lot of walkthrough traffic on Second Saturdays, and that it’s still a “great pull” for business. “Even if the crowd is smaller, it generates income,” Rabinovitz said. Attendance dipped on Second Saturdays when city leaders implemented a curfew following the September 2010 shooting of Victor Hugo Perez Zavala, who was caught in a deadly crossfire during the art walk’s after hours. Now, street closures must end and musicians and vendors must wrap up by 8 p.m. “They seem to be breaking it up Sarah Vorn is an intern with SN&R. Nick Miller at 8:30, 9 o’clock,” said James contributed additional Wells, general manager going for reporting to this story. seven years at Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse on the popular corner of J and 20th streets. “I know it’s to keep people safe, but we would appreciate it if it was later, like at 10.” The curfew has had its impact on businesses’ bottom lines. Shop owners along J Street and in the Handle District, near L and 18th streets, told SN&R that Second Saturday was once their best sales day of the month.

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“The earlier they break it up, the less business we get,” explained Wells. “A lot of businesses bank on the money we get from that day; it fixes our sales for the month. It’s our busiest day.” Despite his disagreement with Second Saturday’s curfew, Wells said that he still loves the event. And business has started to pick up again over the past year: Pete’s serves approximately 600 customers during Second Saturday—more than double its average crowd.

“Even if the crowd is smaller, it generates income.” Susan Rabinovitz owner Little Relics Boutique & Galleria City of Sacramento police told SN&R that Second Saturday has run “extremely smooth with no arrests or citations” this year. But city police Sgt. Andrew Pettit did add that “vehicle burglaries are on the rise,” and that “patrons should remember to lock their vehicles and not to leave valuables inside or visible.” There were resident reports, however, of vandalism after this past weekend’s event. Meanwhile, gallery owners are pleased with the event’s return to focus on the arts. Judy Yemma, instructor and membership coordinator at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center on J Street, can attest to the influx of visitors on Second Saturday who are there for the art. “The crowd has not diminished,” she said. “It has been pretty constant. Yemma said she sees 1,000 to 1,200 people flow in and out of the gallery between 5 and 9 p.m. Yemma said that Second Saturday is good for the gallery. “It helps get us more known in the community,” she explained. And, she added, they even sell some artwork. Ω

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY PRISCILLA GARCIA

RUTH

The salmon boom, bust

Hot future now As mentioned here two weeks ago, Generation X is

Scientists insist that the up-down salmon cycle will continue unless state’s hatcheries, dams change After years of going begging, Northern California is awash in salmon. Charter boats are booked up to two by Maria Finn weeks in advance, and anglers claim to be bagging their limits before noon. The return is also a boon to eager chefs, diners and fishmongers who saw California salmon disappear from dinner plates when the fishery was closed for the 2008 and 2009 seasons and declared them an endangered species. Last year, 114,741 fish came in from the sea to spawn in the Sacramento River—nearly triple the number from two years before. But this year, fishery scientists expect 820,000 chinook to swim up the Sacramento and even more to head to the Klamath River. Based on new studies about the Maria Finn is with the Food & Environment state’s waterways, however, it might Reporting Network. This be too soon to celebrate. A certain story originally amount of fluctuation in the annual appeared at www.californiawatch.org. salmon yield is natural, but some scientists think that the collapse in ’08 and ’09 was part of a more dramatic— and unpredictable—boom-andbust cycle. The problem, they say, stems from the fact so much of the catch— a full 90 percent—originates in state hatcheries. California’s eight salmon hatcheries were built in the 1950s and 1960s to make up for the loss of spawning grounds when the state’s Green Days is on the major rivers were dammed for lookout for innovative hydroelectric projects and irrigating sustainable projects throughout the the Central Valley. Hatcheries have been a lifesaver Sacramento region. Turn us on at for the salmon population, but hatchsactonewstips@ eries also have a tough time newsreview.com. mimicking nature; salmon choose their mates based on evolutionary instinct, but the hatched fish are paired randomly. The result is a lot more fish but a lot less biodiversity, which makes the fish more fragile and more vulnerable to extreme changes in ocean conditions. BEFORE

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by AUNTIE RUTH

A new study says it’s too soon to celebrate Northern California’s 2012 salmon boom.

Those extreme conditions likely produced the last crash. Scientists believe that unusually warm water between 2004 and 2006 killed much of the zooplankton that young salmon eat, so by the time they would have reached maturity four to five years later, the population had been decimated. Since then, ocean conditions have improved—but there’s no telling when that could happen again or whether some new disruption could occur.

“We’re … doing our best to raise fish as close to the wild salmon as possible.” William Cox program manager Nimbus Fish Hatchery “Look, this isn’t natural,” said William Cox, program manager at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery just outside of Sacramento. “But we can do a better job diversifying the hatchery fish. We’re increasing our genetic-fitness program here and doing our best to raise fish as close to the wild salmon as possible.” But even if such efforts succeed, another concern is that the fish produced in hatcheries can actually harm the river population: Because they’re well-fed and cared for in the hatchery, they’re larger than their river-spawned counterparts, so they out-compete them for food and eventually take over the habitat. Studies are pouring in from around the Pacific Rim, collected under the title “State of Salmon,”

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about the ecological risks of mixing hatchery and wild fish. Peter Moyle, a fish expert at UC Davis, has been sounding the alarm about California salmon for some time, and he points out that hatcheries are only part of the problem. Moyle wants to relocate the hatcheries, or at least release the hatchery fish down river, so they don’t compete with river-spawning salmon. He also thinks the state needs to restore the rivers and estuaries so the wild fish can thrive. But the best possible scenario for salmon, environmentalists say, would be to remove major dams in California that block the salmon migration. “There are some dams that have outlasted their usefulness,” said Curtis Knight, Mt. Shasta regional manager of the environmental group California Trout. But until these measures are taken in California, scientists say, the boom-and-bust cycle from the hatchery-based system may be here to stay. Ω

stepping back from the climate-change discussion—it’s too complex, according to a survey by University of Michigan. Science is like that, which is why many of us choose to wear electric guitars instead of lab coats. Still, sometimes even climate change is simple, fitting into a grocery list: • Richard Muller, well-known climate-change skeptic, concluded in a report funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (yep, that Koch) “that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” • Bill McKibben, noted climate-change activist, reported in Rolling Stone last month and in an interview with Living on Earth that while most agree we must limit the increase in global warming to 2 degrees Celsius—limiting carbon emissions to 565 gigatons total— “the really scary one for me in this piece is the amount of carbon that Way hotter than peppers. [is amassed by] the fossil fuel companies … in their reserves … [is] about five times more … that we could safely burn.” Who will stop an oil company from making a profit when it’s just there waiting for them? • James Hansen, NASA’s prescient climatologist, wrote in The Washington Post on August 3: “I was too optimistic … for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change. … The future is now. And it is hot.” • Who is advising Mitt Romney on energy issues? “Bush-era energy-policy wonks are finding a new home with Mitt Romney” reports Politico. ThinkProgress reports that Romney’s chief energy adviser is the oil-shale billionaire Harold Hamm; Jack Gerard, “top oil lobbyist in the country as president of the American Petroleum Institute” is “rumored to be on the list” for Romney’s chief of staff; Jim Talent lobbies for the one of the largest coal companies, Peabody Energy, and wrote a chapter for Romney’s economic plan calling to amend the Clean Air Act to exclude carbon emissions. Hum-ditty. • The New York Times wrote recently that President Barack Obama is once commanding cash advantage has evaporated, leaving Romney with about $25 million more cash on hand than the Democrats at the beginning of July.” Complex? Nah. Auntie Ruth could draw this for you with three crayons and a paper towel. The future is now. And it is hot. Ω (Come friend Aunt Ruth on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

ECO-HIT The sounds of sustainability

This weekend’s Ridgestock Music and Sustainability Expo in Nevada City serves up sustainability with a side of music. Now in its 13th year, the festival is essentially the hybrid of a local-music showcase (this year featuring Dead Winter Carpenters, Archilles Wheel, Shakina, Aedryan Gantt and Wonderfunk) and a green expo— complete with speakers, forums and vendors. It also features organic food, farmers and a picnic area. A kids’ program will educate children on various green topics. It takes place at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center (17894 Tyler Foote Road in Nevada City). Tickets are $25-$30 for adults and $15 for children. For more information, call (530) 477-4724, or visit www.ridgestock.org.

Fiddling in the forest.

—Jonathan Mendick STORY

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My son was 2 years old when my mother-in-law told me that all the sex education he’d ever need was on view in her backyard. It wasn’t what the mother of a toddler wants by to hear, but my son is 24 now, and the intimate relationAlison Rood a freelance writer ships in Felice Rood’s turtle and tortoise sanctuary are still going strong. and a very good That much was evident on a recent afternoon when daughter-in-law I sat in Felice’s yard and watched four Hermann’s tortoises enjoying a picnic of lettuce and apples. Claudia was doing her best to focus on the food, despite the annoying affections of an unnamed male. “Maybe I should call him Sex Maniac,” my mother-in-law observed, and I gave silent thanks that my son never learned about the birds and the bees from tortoises. Felice has operated a turtle-and-tortoise habitat in her Sacramento backyard for nearly 40 years. A club she founded in 1981 now boasts more than 900 members; the group exchanges information with other turtle and tortoise lovers on the club’s Facebook site. Every August they host a free educational exhibit called the Turtlerama, where the public can learn more about these animals. Felice says one of the biggest mistakes people make is keeping them in the house. “They’re wild animals,” she says, “and to keep them inside is not a good thing.” As if to prove her point, The hot, steamy she showed me one of her love enjoyed by current rescue efforts, a tortoise from having previFelice Rood’s pets deformed ously lived in an aquarium. While many of her tortoises makes procreation roam free on the lawn or take inevitable. shelter in doghouses, the redeared sliders (water turtles) swim and sun themselves in a pond area lush with water hyacinths, pineapple sage and geraniums. I think it’s repressed guilt and horror that draws me to the sliders whenever I visit. These are the same turtles as the “painted” turtles I’d win at the state fair when I was a kid. The fair turtles were the size of a silver dollar, just babies, and I’d keep them in my bedroom in a plastic bowl with a palm tree and feed them fish food. They always died. Felice’s water turtles live outside year-round and have shells the size of dinner plates. The backyard tour isn’t complete without a look at Felice’s two enormous, 30-year-old tortoises, Tarzan and Blondie. There is a prehistoric look to these beautiful animals; and, actually, age is a factor that should be considered if adopting a tortoise. They can Felice Rood’s website outlive a human. is www.turtle The hot, steamy love enjoyed by Felice’s pets makes bunker.com. procreation inevitable. She can usually catch the females The Turtlerama is in the act of digging a nest, and she’ll retrieve the eggs Saturday, August 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and bring them in the house for incubation. In fact, at Belle Cooledge incubation of eggs is another chapter in her encyclopedia Library, 5600 S. Land of knowledge in the realm, and it was the reason I Park Drive. was visiting that day. I knew she had just hatched a Hermann’s tortoise, and I wanted to hold it. And I did. I held that tiny, exquisite 4-day-old miracle in the palm of my hand. It was all the sex education I needed. Ω


ThiS ModERn WoRLd

by tom tomorrow

Chick-fil-A change from within When tolerance is exercised only out of convenience, is I believe franchisees who are supportive of it still tolerance? the LGBT community can impact CFA corpoChick-fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy espouses rate through their dialogue much more than things with which I vehemently disagree. those of us who are shouting from the outside. CFA, through its charitable arm, the By standing with a chamber-member business, WinShape Foundation, donates to foundations will it demonstrate to that business and others opposing the ideals, values and goals I strive the importance of tolerance? I hope so. for and strongly support. By standing in line next to those who That said, what now of those stuck in the believe my civil rights are not as important as middle? Chick-fil-A Arden Fair, like many their religious beliefs, will they see that real of the CFA stores, is people are affected when by a franchise, and this they impose their values Ben PhillipsI believe franchisees franchise is a member of onto others? I hope so. Leseñana the Sacramento Rainbow If one more person who are supportive of a small-business Chamber of Commerce, understands that love is advocate the LGBT community love—regardless of who serving on the boards an LGBT business of the Sacramento can impact Chick-fil-A loves whom—then this organization. August 1 Rainbow Chamber was a day designated by was all worth it. corporate through of Commerce, some on the other end Frankly, it would have Sacramento Gay their dialogue much of the political spectrum been much more conve& Lesbian Center, to show support for nient for me to sit on the and Sacramento more than those of Cathy and his polarizing sidelines and watch all Metropolitan us who are shouting Lions Club statements about gay of this unfold or to be marriage. another person shouting from the outside. It appears the line to deaf ears. However, I Have a comment? was drawn leading up felt compelled to advoExpress your views cate for LGBT rights and marriage equality in 350 words on to that day. While some stood hours waiting a local topic to purchase food at a nearby CFA, others by being an example of support for those of interest. protested and boycotted. As an advocate for who support us. Ω Send an e-mail to editorial@ our chamber members, what would happen if I newsreview.com. patronized the one regional CFA franchise that is a member of our organization? BEFORE

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Climate smarts Extreme weather is the new norm. And the NASA scientist who first rang the alarm in 1988 about global warming just revealed once and for all that human activities—mostly the burning of fossil fuels—are responsible. In a new study for the National Academy of Sciences, James Hansen used statistical analysis instead of climate modeling to prove that the European heat wave of 2003, Russian heat wave of 2010, Texas heat wave of 2011, and current U.S. drought and consequent irreparable damage to huge swaths of crops across Oklahoma and the Midwest all are a direct result of the humancaused warming of the Earth. “This is not some scientific theory,” Hansen said. “We are now experiencing scientific fact.” Could the undeniable “fact” of these extreme weather events finally cause the people and “I think [the smart governments of the world to wake up and take action to grid] will be a avert the worst consequences of game changer.” the climate crisis? We believe its possible. John DiStasio And the first step in that chief executive officer process will be to learn from SMUd the institutions that have already been successful in creating large-scale programs that reward energy efficiency, utilize renewable energy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Surprise: One of those institutions is right here in Sacramento. We’re talking, of course, about SMUD, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, an entity that has been working hard and smart in this realm for decades. Case in point: the smart grid. SMUD was way out front when it launched a plan to install high-tech or “smart” meters in 600,000 of the region’s residential and business establishments. Before the smart meters, people got feedback on their home or office energy usage after the fact, only once a month. But as of last spring, a new smart grid makes two-way communication possible, in real time, between an individual at his or her meter and the central To view James system. The new grid allows for all kinds of indihansen’s new report, vidual awakenings (about personal-energy usage), go to the website for Proceedings of the group efficiencies and cost savings. national Academy of The smart grid—versions of which have been Sciences of the United (or are now being) rolled out in a dozen other States of America at cities in America—has already been heralded as a www.pnas.org, and search for “Perception windfall for local ratepayers, the city and the utilof climate change.” ity. It’s just one of many climate-wise tools that will help us achieve the transformation we need to make soon. We’re proud of SMUD and its environmental leadership on behalf of our community and the planet. In speaking to SN&R many years ago, SMUD’s chief executive officer John DiStasio postulated, “I think [the smart grid] will be a game changer.” Well, here’s to changing the game. Ω

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I

ran into Kunal Merchant a couple weeks back. It was a little after 6 p.m., and Mayor Kevin Johnson’s chief of staff—sorry, make that former chief of staff—was just leaving City Hall. I was curious about that, since he didn’t work there anymore.

Merchant had left the mayor’s office back in June for a new job heading up Johnson’s Think Big Sacramento organization, whose self-appointed mission is to generate ideas for downtowndevelopment projects. Think Big is one of several policy initiatives created by the mayor—funded by private money but that serve as auxiliary organizations to the mayor’s office. Sources inside City Hall told SN&R that Merchant and his colleague, the mayor’s former special assistant R.E. Graswich, were in City Hall, even though they were already employed by Think Big and no longer on the city payroll. So, this was a lucky meeting, a chance to ask Merchant directly about the seating arrangements. “Hey Kunal, how’s it going? Are you still working up there?” Merchant wouldn’t bite. “I’m headed home. Which is that way. Nice to see you!” he said, not breaking stride. So it goes. Johnson’s colleagues on the council have long grumbled that the mayor uses City Hall as an office space— and a personnel pool—for his private organizations. The phrase “shadow government” gets tossed around, only half-jokingly.

Sure, it sounds a little over-the-top and sinister. Still, there hasn’t been much scrutiny of the mayor’s private groups: their structure, where they get their money or how they spend it, or how they connect to City Hall. You won’t find any newspaper or television stories about the Sacramento Public Policy Foundation, the umbrella organization that gave birth to Johnson’s policy initiatives and also controls most of the money. But it’s worth taking a look. These organizations do seem to blur the line between the public and private interests. They also allow Johnson to collect unlimited amounts of money from donors—many of whom have business before city council—in a way that would be illegal under regular campaign-finance regulations. And they also benefit from free labor via the city’s internship and fellowship programs. But even though these organizations serve as something of an adjunct to the mayor’s office, they are not required to disclose all of their donors or give a detailed account of how the money is spent. “It’s almost like a parallel government structure has been created,” said Derek Cressman with the watchdog group Common Cause. “But one that doesn’t have the same transparency and accountability.” Hmm. “Parallel government structure.” Is that anything like a shadow government?

SIZE MATTERS

Kevin Johnson came into office promoting a vision of a city that was more world-class, more big time. He seemed to long for the clout enjoyed by men such as Mayor Adrian Fenty in Washington, D.C., or Michael Bloomberg in New York City, and to resent that all he got when he became mayor was just four staff members and one vote on a city council of nine. Within weeks of swearing in, he launched the first of several unsuccessful attempts to get a “strong mayor” initiative on the ballot, which would have dramatically expanded his power and budget. But strong-mayor measures one, two and three were all blocked by city council.

UNLIMITED MONEY FROM BIG DONORS, FREE CITY LABOR AND A LOT OF SECRECY—THE MAYOR’S GROUPS AND NONPROFITS BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTERESTS. OUR WRITER CONNECTS THE DOTS.

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KJ INC. BY COSMO GARVIN

Derek Cressman, regional director with Common Cause, has also qualified as a candidate for the Sacramento Charter Review Committee.

Still, Johnson collected some trappings of a more important office. The black SUV and entourage, complete with off-duty police escort, for example. And he tried to add capacity to the office in other ways. Johnson moved from City Hall’s fifth floor and took over the underused third floor, which created a physical separation, and also a political rift, between the mayor and city council. He filled out his staff with volunteers, interns and fellows. This, in fact, is a Johnson trademark. Starting with his St. Hope charter-school organization, Johnson has always used groups of students to fill out audiences at speaking events and public meetings. Early on, Johnson’s staff of four city employees was also supplemented by a cadre of “professional volunteers.” These were people such as political consultants Steve Maviglio and Michelle Smira, who weren’t employees but who had access to City Hall all the same. Volunteers would sometimes sit in on staff meetings, which sometimes included confidential information, much to the dismay of other council members. Some of the volunteers came to City Hall from St. Hope—which runs local charter schools and a development company. Among these was Dana Gonzalez, who along with Johnson was briefly banned from receiving federal funds when the government found that St. Hope used AmeriCorps money to supplement staff salaries and used young AmeriCorps volunteers to help political campaigns for local school-board candidates. And also to wash Johnson’s car. The city attorney at the time, Eileen Teichert, put in place policies to rein in the use of professional volunteers. She laid down rules stating that such volunteers couldn’t be in on meetings where confidential information was discussed, and that they would need to register with the city manager. This was an obstacle—but Johnson wasn’t deterred. He created several new policy organizations to tackle specific areas, such as the environment, the arts and homelessness. You’ve probably heard of most of them by now. They all have catchy names, and it’s obvious some care was taken in branding each. They included Greenwise Sacramento, formed to help transform Sacramento into an “Emerald Valley” of environmental sustainability and green jobs. There’s For Arts’ Sake, initially launched to

KJ


BETTY

WILLIAMS

K.J.’S

K.J.

CONNECTIONS A BREAKDOWN OF HOW KEVIN JOHNSON’S WEB OF GROUPS AND NONPROFITS CONNECT BACK TO THE MAYOR’S OFFICE

STAND UP

INTERNS

ANDIE CORSO

DANA GONZALEZ

GREENWISE

INTERNS

2012

DAVID

FRED HIESTAND

INTERNS

TOWNSEND

R.E. GRASWICH

SPPF THINK

CHRIS TAPIO FOR ARTS’ SAKE

SAC 2020

ST. HOPE

INTERNS

STEPS

FORWARD

TOM HILTACHK

BIG

KUNAL MERCHANT

JOE RODOTA

TRACY STIGLER

SCHWARZENEGGER bring millions of dollars in new money for the Sacramento arts community but later scaled back to “convene and coordinate” with existing arts groups. And Sacramento Steps Forward, which was created to work toward a solution for homelessness in Sacramento. Then there was SacramentoFirst Citizens’ Task Force, the mayor’s initiative to vet ideas for a new Sacramento Kings arena, which was later superseded by Think Big Sacramento, launched in the scramble to try and keep the Kings in town. This network of policy initiatives made the mayor’s office bigger, more powerful, more like what those other mayors have.

adviser, Cassandra Jennings, a 26-year veteran in City Hall and the Sacramento redevelopment agency. She had recently retired as assistant city manager but returned this summer when Merchant left in order to “supervise Johnson’s policy initiatives.” That’s from a press release announcing Jennings’ hire; the mayor’s office wouldn’t elaborate further on her role. The mayor’s office is also directly connected to the various nonprofits through its many interns and volunteers. In fact, the groups get a certain amount of free labor from the city’s internship and fellowship programs. One mayoral fellow was placed in Johnson’s office by San Francisco-based outfit Fuse Corps, which describes itself as “a platform to connect entrepreneurial professionals with governors, mayors and community leaders.” Her bio says she’s a journalist with 16 years of experience at CNN, and she’s spending the year working for Greenwise. Two other fellows, Ph.D. candidates from Rutgers University and the University of Illinois, have been assigned, through the mayor’s office, to Stand Up. This summer, the mayor’s office has 16 interns and fellows. It appears some of these interns also work for the mayor’s SPPF organizations, though this is not spelled out in the documents provided by the city. At the end of the day, they work for the city of Sacramento—even if they are assigned to the mayor’s nonprofits. SPPF bills itself as a philanthropic organization. But the organization’s paid staff member, Chris Tapio, is a political consultant with no experience running nonprofits. He owns a company called Legislative Strategies. His address, and the address of SPPF, is 1717 I Street, the same as political consulting firm Townsend Raimundo Besler & Usher.

MEET K.J. INC.

But you may not have heard of the Sacramento Public Policy Foundation. That’s the umbrella organization through which all of the other groups were first created, and where they got their money. SPPF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation created in 2010. More recently, Greenwise and Sacramento Steps Forward have been spun off into their own 501(c)(3) organizations. And the mayor has yet another nonprofit under his control called Stand Up Sacramento, which is focused on education issues. More on those in a bit. All of the initiatives are routinely referred to as “the mayor’s initiatives,” by the mayor’s office and in his campaign materials and speeches—even though the mayor himself is not on the SPPF board of directors. (He is on the Stand Up board, according to the most recent documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.) Lately, the mayor’s office coordinates with the nonprofits through the mayor’s special BEFORE

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David Townsend ran Johnson’s election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Tapio was Johnson’s appointee to the Sacramento Charter Review Committee in 2009 to study possible changes to the city charter, including an early version of Johnson’s strongmayor plan. He voted in favor of strong mayor. He also ran an organization called Sacramento 2020—which produced campaign materials and a website and wrote letters to the editor on behalf of Johnson’s strong-mayor effort. Tapio refused to be interviewed for this story and did not respond to emailed questions—other than to write, “There is a lot of additional information about SPPF available on our website.” SPPF is required to file information with the IRS every year, in a document called Form 990. The filing lists three men as members of SPPF’s board of directors: Fred Hiestand, Tracy Stigler and Joseph Rodota. Hiestand is a longtime friend and personal attorney to Johnson and has had his back through various legal scrapes over the years— including accusations of an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl while he was an NBA player in Phoenix. Hiestand’s son, Kevin Hiestand, was also treasurer of Johnson’s re-election campaign. Stigler was at one time president of St. Hope development company, worked as a project manager for developer Buzz Oates and served on the board of St. Hope Public Schools. Rodota is a political strategist who was an adviser on Johnson’s first election campaign. He also served as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s director of policy and research during the 2003 recall election and, before that, in the administrations Gov. Pete Wilson and President Ronald Reagan. (Another Schwarzenegger alumnus, GOP campaign lawyer Tom Hiltachk, would also later help

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craft Johnson’s strong-mayor proposal and then unsuccessfully defend it in court.) In addition to SPPF, Johnson created another 501(c)(3) organization called Stand Up Sacramento, focused on education reform. Its executive director is Dana Gonzalez from St. Hope. The deputy director is Andie Corso. Corso ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for Sacramento City Unified School District board with the mayor’s endorsement. More recently, Corso managed the unsuccessful city council campaign of Betty Williams, who was Johnson’s pick to topple one of his political opponents, incumbent Bonnie Pannell. Overall, the SPPF roster is pretty heavy on personal friends and political operatives—not philanthropists. That’s a little troubling, says Jessica Levinson, an attorney with Loyola Law School Los Angeles and an expert on campaign and political-practice rules. “If it’s created and controlled by him, and it’s run by his friends, that raises some red flags,” she said.

SHOW US THE MONEY

Because they are private nonprofits, none of the organizations in the mayor’s network are required to disclose their donors. But when the mayor directly solicits donations for his organizations, his office is required to make a record of these “behested payments.” Behests are nothing new: Council members have used them for years, and the city discloses them on its website. Historically, city council members in Sacramento have raised respectable chunks of

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money via behests—$5,000 here, $10,000 there—for charitable organizations. A good example is something like Pops in the Park. Or, for a more recent example, the Save Our Pools campaign. In fact, there’s a nonprofit that the city runs, called Gifts to Share Inc., which predates SPPF by more than 20 years and distributes money to charitable causes. It is administered by a city employee, but Gifts to Share is fairly detailed in how all of its money is spent. Johnson’s use of behests is different in some important respects. All of the money he raised with behests went into just his organization. And he has raised much more money via behests than his peers and predecessors—about $1.1 million since he took office (see chart, right). For example, he received $200,000 from Kevin Nagle, the wealthy CEO of Envision Pharmaceutical Services, who gave money to Johnson to help save the Kings. Another big donor is Hollywood producer Barry Katz, who gave SPPF $100,000. There are strict limits on campaign contributions—the money politicians use to run for election. The idea is to limit the influence of certain interest groups. But since behests aren’t campaign contributions, Johnson can raise unlimited amounts of money from companies and individuals. The problem with such unlimited contributions becomes clear when you look further down the list of donors. For example, Waste Management gave $45,000 to SPPF last year— even while the company was angling to become the city’s new garbage hauler. (The company was successful.) Vision Service Plan, the insurer which provides vision benefits for city employees, gave $100,000 to the fund earlier this year. The Kings gave a little more than $22,000 earlier this year. Developer Mark Friedman gave $7,500, and earlier this year, foundations associated with developer Buzz Oates gave $10,000. All of those donations are far more money than is allowed under the usual campaignfinance laws. These behested payments are only part of the money that the SPPF takes in. The other contributions aren’t required to be disclosed to the public. “Whenever you have an elected official collecting large sums of money, there’s a concern that donors want something in return,” Common Cause’s Derek Cressman said. “If you’ve got Waste Management or the Kings writing a fivefigure check—yeah, that’s concerning.” To be sure, other council members raise money via behests, from interest groups that want to influence city policy. Councilman Steve Cohn, for example, received $5,000 each from Winn Communities and David S. Taylor Interests Inc. and Sutter Health to help the Save Our Pools campaign earlier this year. But again, those checks are always for particular causes; you can’t tell from city records what SPPF is spending its money on.

CHECK THE MATH

Likewise, even though SPPF is a sort of appendix to the mayor’s office, its books aren’t open in the way public agencies must be. The one set of tax documents available for SPPF—from 2010—are pretty vague. It seems BEFORE

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$1.2 MILLION

$900,000

$1,109,723

“K.J. INC.”

that SPPF spent $120,000 on behalf of Greenwise that year, mostly to put on a series of eight public meetings, which included guest speakers such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Thomas L. Friedman. That year, it appears SPPF spent $27,870 on Sacramento Steps Forward. But there are no specifics about how the money was spent. Likewise, it seems that $16,000 was allocated to For Arts’ Sake, though it’s not made clear. Nowhere in SPPF documents is there any information about salaries or compensation, though, presumably, each of the policy initiatives paid their staff for their time. Nowhere is Tapio’s compensation recorded. Of course, salary information is not legally required unless an employee makes more than $100,000. But the vagueness of the SPPF’s documents makes it impossible to tell how much of the money raised—$249,000 in that first year— went to pay employees and how much was spent doing projects. Stand Up did report salaries in 2010. According to the 990 form filed with the IRS, Corso made a little more than $60,000 in 2010. Gonzalez from the St. Hope schools also made just more than $60,000. It’s not that unusual for a nonprofit organization to keep private the salaries of its employees or the identities of its donors. The difference here is that Johnson is a public official, using his office to raise money for these organizations. Indeed, SPPF and the other organizations likely wouldn’t exist at all, and certainly wouldn’t benefit from the city’s internship and fellowship programs, if Johnson were not mayor. “The disclosure issue is definitely a big one. These are elected officials who are raising all this money,” said Levinson. “There’s a strong argument for the public’s right to know.” Johnson lists the policy initiatives as accomplishments during his time in office. And they help keep the K.J. brand out there. They have also, on occasion, been used in overtly political ways. During a particularly nasty fight over redistricting of council seats, Johnson enlisted the help of his nonprofits. Jeremiah Jackson, then-director at Think Big, and Deborah Edward, then-director of For Arts’ Sake, both used their organizations’ address books to send out an email blast encouraging people to support the mayor’s redistricting objectives. Further blurring the line between the political and philanthropic: Earlier this year, Johnson found that he had raised far more than he would ever need to get re-elected in June. He started shoveling campaign funds from his re-election campaign into SPPF. About $180,000 was transferred in all. Other California politicians, such as Schwarzenegger, have in the past been accused of misusing nonprofits and the behest system. Schwarzenegger was criticized for using behests to create a slush fund run by his political chums. Cressman’s group Common Cause has for years argued for contribution limits and tougher disclosure rules on behested payments. “Allowing unlimited contributions made at the behest of an elected official creates an avenue for powerful interests to curry favor with elected officials and to bypass the limits on candidate contributions,” he said. Levinson said she doesn’t necessarily see anything wrong with politicians behesting money for worthy charities and philanthropic organizations. After all, local government doesn’t have a lot of

MONEY RAISED VIA BEHESTS 2008-2012

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$121,000

$150,000

$100,000

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$50,000 $0

$0

$0

$5,000

$17,333 $20,000

Y Y Y G LL R NG HN ON RT HB ED ON NE FO CO IRE CA NS AS HE L AN C E BF S L EN P E OH V M O E H U J Y E E R R N I C T Q R S S ND VI LI NN VIN DA SA KE GE BO J AY KE AN

money. But she warns that, “If it’s not a charity that’s very effective, if it’s just a platform for the politician, that becomes more problematic.” “At some point, you have to ask if it’s an end run around campaign contribution limits.”

CONVENE. COORDINATE. CONNECT.

Is the benefit the mayor gets from his nonprofits—in power and influence and additional staff—outweighed by the good that those organizations do in the community? Are the mayor’s nonprofits effective?

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“For me, the objective is to convene and coordinate and to amplify all the work that’s going on in the arts community. … That is where our niche is,” Johnson told The Sacramento Bee earlier this summer regarding his arts initiative. Early on, there was grumbling from the arts community and concern that For Arts’ Sake was going to duplicate—or worse, undermine—the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

“K.J. INC.” 08. 16.12

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Also listed is an item called facilitating green building retrofits. The website says, “We’re matchmaking existing commercial building retrofits with $100 million in private financing.” But Ygrene doesn’t mention Greenwise at all on its website. In fact, the Ygrene Energy Fund has a contract with the city of Sacramento. But Ygrene spokesperson Beth Ross said it has little to do with Greenwise. Some Ygrene employees do share office space with Greenwise. “But that’s it,” said Ross. Burrows explained that her organization helps promote good ideas, like the Ygrene project, or President Barack Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, which is also listed by Greenwise as a signature project. “My job is to speak at different events and to tell the story of why this is a great thing,” she said. SN&R asked if Greenwise has conceived and implemented any of its own projects, and Burrows said that her organization is working on a program to finance green school retrofits in area districts. “That’s a project that will be owned by Greenwise.”

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SMAC is a partnership between the city and county of Sacramento and, as you might imagine, it struggles for funding. “Initially, I think there was some confusion over what the relationship between the commission and this new thing,” said Shelly Willis, interim executive director at SMAC. Willis said that concern eased when it became clear that For Arts’ Sake was not a competing organization. “Basically, what they’ve become is an advocacy group and a convener of people,” said Willis. As such, it’s hard to put your finger on any particular project conceived and executed by For Arts’ Sake. Or to identify any dollars that For Arts’ Sake raised for Sacramento artists or arts groups. The projects it highlights on its website were thought up by someone else. Which is not to say that For Arts’ Sake hasn’t been helpful in other ways. “I think they’ve really broadened the conversation

When the arena deal fell apart, Think Big no longer had a purpose. But the mayor didn’t dissolve the organization; he rebranded it. Now Think Big is presented as a sort of think tank on economic development and downtown projects in general. Merchant and Graswich’s first efforts in this regard were something of a flop. The new big thought was that Sacramento should try to attract a Major League Baseball team. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon flipped out a little bit and called the proposal “offensive” and “reckless.” A MLB team in Sacramento would almost certainly mean the end of the Sacramento River Cats, who play their games in a nice little stadium in West Sacramento. (Merchant did not return calls or emails for this story.) Like Greenwise, Sacramento Steps Forward, the homeless initiative, also took on something of a life of its own this year, when it too was spun off into a separate 501(c)(3). Steps Forward hasn’t filed its own 990 forms yet, either. Steps Forward is about to take over the administration of most of Sacramento County’s programs for the homeless. It has a

TOP FIVE CONTRIBUTORS IN BEHESTS TO THE SPPF

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As it happens, voters who live in the Sacramento City Unified School District will vote this fall on a bond measure to raise $300 million and upgrade school facilities. Burrows added that her organization is not just a middleman: “There are projects and programs that would not happen without us.” Greenwise was spun off into a separate nonprofit organization earlier this year, with Burrows as the paid executive director. As a new not-for-profit, Greenwise is not required to file its form 990 until next year. Burrows was willing to disclose her salary: She makes $130,000 a year. Greenwise’s other fulltime employee, Liz Salmi makes $66,000. Greenwise rents a space at 431 I Street. And Burrows said she doesn’t work in City Hall at all, other than for the occasional meeting. Perhaps the most difficult to peg of all the mayor’s nonprofits is Think Big, which, at one time, had the most straightforward goal: to get a new Kings arena built. But it was never clear exactly what role Think Big was playing in the process. Think Big held meetings and put out position papers on the possible benefits of an arena. It acted as a cheerleader and a convener and coordinator. And also as a sort of political organization. But the financing proposal—the idea of privatizing the city’s parking and using the money to build an arena—came from city staff. All the vetting and negotiations—or lack thereof—were entirely done by city employees.

about art to different sections of the community,” said Willis. And connecting and convening can lead to good things, too. Willis said that Johnson introduced SMAC to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. One thing led to another and, pretty soon, SMAC was getting help from the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program. It’s SMAC’s program. “But the mayor made that initial connection,” said Willis. (Incidentally, when SN&R asked For Arts’ Sake executive director Michelle Alexander for more details regarding the funding and spending for the initiative, she referred questions to Jennings in the mayor’s office. Jennings didn’t return SN&R’s calls.) Similarly, the main work product of Greenwise Sacramento—recently renamed the Greenwise Joint Venture—is convening and connecting and coordinating. For example, Greenwise lists as one of its signature projects for 2012 a partnership with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to plant 30,000 trees. According to Greenwise executive director Julia Burrows, the money for the project comes from a $25,000 grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Greenwise wrote the grant and then kept $8,000 of it to help pay the salary of the Burrow’s one employee, Liz Salmi. The other $17,000 went to the Tree Foundation to plant the trees. BEFORE

BARRY KATZ

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budget of about $900,000, and will control up to $15 million in federal grants. Its board includes members of several established charities and nonprofits, including Loaves & Fishes and WEAVE and El Hogar Community Services, along with representatives of government agencies. In many ways, Steps Forward is now quite independent of the mayor—although its executive director, Ben Burton, said Johnson stays “very much involved” through Jennings. Sister Libby Fernandez, head of Loaves & Fishes, says she thinks Steps Forward will be a big improvement over the county’s current administration of homeless services. Since Steps Forward is a private nonprofit, some important information about its operations and private contributors may remain out of reach for the public. But Burton notes that with such large amounts of public money flowing through, Steps Forward is obliged to follow certain public-records rules. “There’s no secrecy here. We want people to feel secure that these are public dollars. Our goal is to be transparent,” said Burton. He’s paid $110,000 a year. So, are the mayor’s charities effective? There are at least five different answers to that question, and they’re all some variation of “depends on what your idea of effective is.”

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SHINING A LIGHT ON THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

Earlier this summer, the mayor’s friend, assistant and former St. Hope employee Lisa SernaMayorga resigned suddenly after it was reported that she had accumulated at least $9,000 of personal charges, including a trip to Disneyland, on her city-issued credit card. For Johnson’s critics, this was more smoke, pointing toward some sort of fire, even if they weren’t sure what sort. And it renewed suspicions about the mayor’s quasi-public, quasi-private-policy apparatus. In early August, Kerri Asbury, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, wrote to City Manager John Shirey asking for an investigation: Are the mayor’s nonprofit organizations being run out of City Hall, and is that an improper use of city resources? “By allowing individuals or organizations, no matter how well-meaning, to use City Hall as their office, without a rent or lease agreement, the City runs the danger of having gifted tax dollars without receiving public benefit,” she wrote. Cressman with Common Cause agrees, saying City Hall shouldn’t donate office space to a private organization unless it’s a publicly available space, like a library or community center made available on a “first come, first served” basis. He said the appropriation of city interns was suspect, too. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for city staff, including city interns or fellows, to be working for a private organization, whether it’s nonprofit or for profit.” So far, the city manager hasn’t responded to the DPSC’s calls for an investigation into the city’s alleged “gift of funds” to the mayor’s nonprofits. The issue got a little attention in the media—reports in The Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Press mostly focused on Johnson ally and political consultant Steve Maviglio, who scolded Asbury for harassing a fellow democrat when she should be out raising more money for Obama. Think Big is now officially sharing office space with Greenwise at 431 I Street. According to Burrows, Merchant and Graswich moved in during the beginning of August. The mayor’s office has said in the past that none of the nonprofits or their employees have a “permanent office” at City Hall. When SN&R asked for further information, the mayor’s aide Joaquin McPeek did reply that, “The city manager is reviewing a query about these issues. ... The mayor’s office is cooperating fully with his review.” This month, Tapio and Johnson and SPPF will be required to release a little more information in its public filing with the IRS. But they have a long way to go to achieve the kind of transparency you would expect from public officials and public agencies. “I think it is wonderful that there are people and organizations who are willing to commit time and resources toward improving Sacramento and our local government,” said Cressman. But he said that overall lack of transparency in funding and spending and refusal to be open with the public about the group’s activities, “should be troubling to all Sacramentans.” “Philanthropists should have nothing to hide,” he said. Ω

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ARTS&CULTURE

HIGH

SPIRITS

day, one of our bartenders couldn’t show up, so I stepped up and said, “I know all the cocktails, and I know what to do.”

SACRAMENTO drink do you order BARTENDERS What when you go out? POUR ANOTHER FOR Someone says, “Make me a whatever.” MIDTOWN COCKTAIL WEEK

I always enjoy ordering something new— asking the bartenders what they like or what they’re working on is generally good. But you also can’t go wrong with a nice shot of whiskey with a nice craft beer behind it.

I always enjoy it if they’re willing to try something new. Or, if they tell me they [don’t like] a certain spirit—like they hate gin—I’ll make them a White Linen. I love to tell people, “If you hate Jagermeister, I’m sure I can make you a Jagermeister drink you’ll like.”

Signature Sacramento cocktail?

BY

BECKY GRUNEWALD AND

SN&R STAFF PHOTOS BY

WILLIAM LEUNG

W

HEN IT COMES TO PICKING YOUR POISON, the choices are dizzying. Vodka or gin? Tart or sweet? Maraschino, olive, pickled onion or a twist? While Mad Men has revived an interest in classic cocktails—or a neat pour of scotch slugged in the office to dull all the pain—cocktail culture goes much deeper and is ever evolving. This is an industry that at once honors its past with faithful sidecars, Manhattans and old fashioneds, all while looking ahead to the next trend or innovation. The caipirinha yields to the bacon martini, which quickly becomes pedestrian—and on it goes. When we surveyed seven bartenders for the fifth annual Midtown Cocktail Week—which runs August 19-26—with a series of events including contests and specialty tastings, we were surprised not just by the diversity of answers, but by the details that connected them, such as bartending pet peeves, Sacramento’s signature cocktail and Andrew Calisterio’s Instagram feed. Here are some boozy bits to ponder next time you ask the barkeep for another.

CHRISTOPHER SINCLAIR

THE RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR What are your current favorite liquors and drinks to mix with them? Two things that haven’t even hit the market yet: George Dickel [Tennessee Whisky] 24 | SN&R | 08.16.12

six-year-old rye and House Spirits [Distillery] rum. With the rye, I’d mix a classic Sazerac, and with the rum, [I’d make] a classic daiquiri.

Bartending pet peeve? Sticky tools, sticky bottles, sticky anything. I like a clean bar.

Favorite bar joke? It’s a nerdy one: A neutron is sitting in a bar, and he wants to pay his bill. He summons the bartender and says, “Hey, pal, what do I owe ya?” The bartender says, “No charge for you.”

Tired trend? I’m really bored with lazy ordering; people who are brainwashed by brands, and that’s all they know to order. I’ve had people go jump from Hennessey to Jack [Daniel’s] and Coke. That’s going from a cognac to a Tennessee whiskey!

Big trend? Anything [Grange Restaurant & Bar bartender] Andrew Calisterio posts on Instagram.

ANDREW CALISTERIO

GRANGE RESTAURANT & BAR How long have you been bartending? About three years. I started bar backing and bussing tables [at Grange] and took any opportunity I had to walk behind the bar to pick [Grange bartender] Ryan Seng’s brains. One

The White Linen, a cocktail created by [former Ella Dining Room & Bar bar manager] Rene Dominguez, who now works in New York. It has gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and StGermain elderflower liqueur with [sliced] cucumber. It’s such a clean, refreshing cocktail that works well with hot, dry weather. It’s amazing. I’m kind of watering for one right now.

What’s the deal with your Instagram feed? I like to make sure people know what I’m doing, and the easiest way is to throw a picture up on Instagram and say, “I’m over here.” It’s immediate interaction.

IAN BEIGHTLER

HOT ITALIAN How long have you been bartending? About five years.

How do you put a Hot Italian spin on your cocktail list? We always try to add Italian flavors and spirits to all our cocktails and bring out the modern Italian influence.

What drink do you mix to impress someone? I do infusions with fresh ingredients. I’ve been liking a lot of cucumber and jalapeño infusions; [they’re] super refreshing, especially with the summer to beat the heat.

Bartending pet peeve? When they say “Make it good”—like I was going to make it any other way.

What do you order when you go out? I like to do bartender’s choice or, depending on where I am, whatever the place specializes in. Other than that, it’s definitely whiskeyinfused whatever.

Whiskey’s your drink; what brand and what classic cocktail?

Probably an old fashioned or a Sazerac. I’m into Bulleit Rye right now; my go-to is Maker’s Mark. When in doubt, drink it straight!

AMY BATTAGLIA

THE GOLDEN BEAR How long have you been bartending? I’ve bartended on and off throughout the years, but never in a setting like The Golden Bear. I’ve learned so much about the cocktail working here, that I feel like I’ve started completely over.

What drink do you order when you go out? Depends on the setting and my mood. My tastes run the gamut from Fernet and a Bud Light to a good scotch.

Bartending pet peeve. People who get annoyed about being [asked to show identification]. If you’re over 30, take the compliment, and show me the ID.

You’re about to die: What cocktail do you enjoy? Shady Lady [Saloon’s] Penicillin. I’m completely addicted to its tart, smoky complexity.

What drink do you make to impress someone? It’s basic, but probably a Sazerac. The proportions are so vital, that even the slightest differences totally change the cocktail.

PATRICK O’NEILL

BLACKBIRD KITCHEN & BAR How long have you been a bartender? I’ve been in the restaurant business for 15 years.

How do you develop a cocktail? We use all fresh ingredients. I like to pair my drinks with the food. I go into the kitchen and find herbs and fruits and play with them and make a cocktail.

Where do you get your inspiration? I like to look at what people have done in the past and take it and put my twist on it, make it more modern, more relevant.

What drink do you mix to impress someone? I’ve made at least 90 to 100 Moscow Mules in a service. We serve them in the traditional copper mugs, and once one goes out and people see it, everyone at the table will order one.


Corner-shop beers

30

See BREW THE RIGHT THING

Get some tail See COOLHUNTING

On drunken fistfights

32

See ASK JOEY

33

Godfather of Goth See EIGHT GIGS

42

The art of blood See 15 Minutes

55

Hold the damn cherries: Sacramento bartenders (left to right) Brad Peters , Andrew Calisterio and Christopher Sinclair know how to pour the right thing.

Bartending pet peeve?

Someone says, “Make me a whatever.”

There’s no bad way to order a drink. Part of your job as a bartender is to try to figure out what people want and to read people.

RYAN SENG

I usually ask the person a couple of questions: “Would you like a long, taller drink? A spiritforward drink?” [and] from there … “Citrus or sweet?” Sometimes, I just guess, and I’m right or totally wrong.

GRANGE RESTAURANT & BAR

Big trend?

BRAD PETERS CENTRO COCINA MEXICANA, SHADY LADY SALOON AND POUR HOUSE

Signature Sacramento cocktail? The White Linen, although Jason Poole over at Pour House has a new drink called a Whiskey Fig, which might give it a run soon.

Where do you drink in Sacramento?

What drink do you order when you go out? I’m really into ciders and Sazerac right now.

I love boozy drinks, I love bourbon—but if the bar has something amazing, I’ll always try that. I’m always looking for new things.

The most exciting are highly executed drinks, new flavors, innovative glassware and techniques. ... I like it when the drink is like a temporary piece of artwork, like a sandpainting, totally in the moment and beautiful.

Sunday and Wednesday nights at Club Raven— Mark Neuhauser is the best bartender in Sacramento.

Signature Sacramento cocktail?

Tell me a good bar joke.

Signature Sacramento cocktail?

Signature Sacramento cocktail?

Someone says, “Make me a whatever.”

What do you order when you go out?

One we can’t dump is the Tusk, our bacon Manhattan with a candied piece of bacon.

Bartending pet peeve?

Rene Dominguez’s White Linen—that drink follows you everywhere you work [in this city].

Any classic cocktail with mescal switched in as the base spirit.

What do you make to impress someone?

Big trend?

I like using candy. Sometimes I’ll use usually discarded ingredients from a syrup or infusion. I’ll dry them out and cook them in to a thin candy to garnish the drink. Dried almonds from a syrup cooked into a brittle, for example.

I hate those damn red cherries in adult drinks! Of course, we have them at Grange for the poor kids who have yet to outgrow them, but I love our dried cherries in the Manhattan or old fashioned.

[After] so many years at Centro, anything with tequila.

A three-legged dog walks into a bar and says, “I’m looking for the man that shot my paw.” It’s my Dad’s favorite joke.

You’re about to die: What cocktail do you enjoy? A Last Word—fittingly.

Anything Andrew Calisterio posts on Instagram.

Tired trend?

Ω

Belly up to the bar for Midtown Cocktail Week, August 19-26. For more information on participating venues and a schedule of events, visit http://midtowncocktailweek.org.

The title “mixologist.” Mixologists work in a lab, bartenders work behind a bar.

So many choices, so little drinkin’ time.

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NIGHT&DAY 16THURS Special Events

MAKEUP & LINGERIE FASHION SHOW: This event will feature beautiful models ripping up the runway in designer lingerie and makeup by celebrity makeup artist Shauntee Thompson. Th, 8/16, 8pm. $10. Miami Beach Night Club, 7942 Arcadia Dr. in Citrus Heights; (866) 739-3961; www.rawartists.org/ sacramento.

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.

Film WAR OF THE WORLDS: The original 1953 version of War of the Worlds stars Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. It was the first on-screen adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel. It is one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s, and won an Oscar for special effects. Th, 8/16, 7pm. $8. The State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way in Auburn; (530) 885-0156; www.livefromauburn.com.

Concerts OUTDOOR CONCERT: UC Davis Health System and its Communiity Advisory Board will host the popular dance band Mercy Me! at its sixth annual outdoor concert. Participants should bring blankets or lawn chairs, and they can pack picnic baskets or purchase food and beverages on site. Th, 8/16, 5:30pm. Free. Shriners Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd.; (916) 453-2000.

LEE BOB WATSON & THE PARK: Anyone who thinks that modern music has lost it’s magic will be pleasantly surprised by Lee Bob Watson and the Park. This is up-tempo soulful dance music that brings the crowd together and gets the party started from the first beat. Th, 8/16, 9pm. $10-$12. Haven Underground, 228 Broad St. in Nevada City; (530) 264-6900; www.havenunderground.org.

17FRI

Special Events NIGHT OUT TO HELP REBUILD MCKINLEY PARK: The Blue Cue and XOSO Sports are teaming up to raise funds to help rebuild McKinley Park’s playground after their recent arson disaster. Twenty-five percent of the night’s sales will go back to the McKinley rebuild fund. F, 8/17, 7-11pm. Free. Blue Cue, 1004 28th St.; (916) 4416810; www.bluecue.com.

OUTREACH FOR A CAUSE CONFERENCE: The Outreach for a Cause Conference is a conference for non-profits’ outreach staff and volunteers to discuss, collaborate and improve their outreach in Sacramento. The event is hosted by Blank Notebook Creative and My Sister’s House. F, 8/17, 10am-3:30pm.

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$65. Sierra Health Foundation, 1321 Garden Highway; (916) 494-2571; www.nonprofitpr network.org/conference.

Concerts THE PLEASE & THE CHAMELEONS: Hailing from Nevada City, the Please pump out a glammy mix of anglophile Brit pop and storming garage rock. Sharing the bill is another bona-fide indie-rock legend, Mark Burgess of the Chameleons. F, 8/17, 9pm. $12-$15. Haven Underground, 228 Broad St. in Nevada City; (530) 264-6900; www.havenunderground.org.

18SAT

Special Events JUG BAND FESTIVAL: The International Jug Band Festival returns. Jug Bands from as far away Japan have joined the festivities. This humble, intimate smalltown festival has unexpectedly set off the fourth great national revival of jug-band music. Sa, 8/18, 11am-9pm. Free. Sutter Creek Inn, 75 Main St. in Sutter Creek; (209) 267-5606; www.suttercreekinn.com.

THREE STAGES BENEFIT: Support Folsom Lake College students and enjoy an evening with Grammy award-winning artists Manhattan Transfer. The black-tie event features a champagne reception, Manhattan Transfer’s performance, and post-event festivities including food, wine and entertainers. Sa, 8/18, 7-11:30pm. $150. Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Pkwy. in Folsom; (916) 608-6643; www.threestages.net.

TIBETAN ORPHANAGE FUNDRAISER: Sammie Hall of Fame member Mike Blanchard, of the Tattooed Love Dogs, and his wife are hosting a fundraising event for the Namaste Children’s House orphanage. Local artist and music historian Cactus Pete will be spinning records. There will be a silent auction, food, craft beer and cider. Sa, 8/18, 6pm. $10. Barber’s Shop Automotive, 1116 18th St.; (916) 448-6422; www.barbersshopauto.com.

Film SCREEN ON THE GREEN: Councilman Steve Cohn and Pops in the Park are present the Screen on the Green movie series. This week’s film is The Wizard of Oz. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating, and snacks. Sa, 8/18, 8pm. Free. Glen Hall Park, 5415 Sandburg Dr.; (916) 808-5240; www.sac screenonthegreen.com.

Volunteer ASSEMBLE AIDS CAREGIVER KITS: The Third Annual World Vision AIDS Caregiver Kit

BEST THE TOP

BETS 9WAYS

TO BURN YOUR CASH

SUMMER IS COMING TO AN END.

You’ve probably already spent much of your copious free time and disposable income on summer music festivals, vacations and the cost of admission to blockbuster movies. Still have a few dollars to spare? Here’s your last chance for no regrets: There are tons of events happening this week that you can spend your hard-earned dough on. Here are SN&R’s best bets—some free and some expensive.

SACRAMENTO FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL

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SUMMERFEST BANANA

Highlights include Sac Music Seen, which unites local filmmakers with musicians and bands to create music videos; the 10x10 Filmmaker Challenge, in which filmmakers create 10-minute videos in 10 days; and Student Days, a presentation of studentcreated films. August 15-19, ticket prices vary; all-event passes are $60. Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; www.sacfilm.com.

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FESTIVAL

$60

TIME TRAVEL WEEKENDS

IN OLD SACRAMENTO

This street-theater program conjures gold-rush days, and this weekend’s theme is the Civil War, with performers in period attire performing scheduled and impromptu era-appropriate skits. Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free admission. Old Sacramento, (916) 808-7059; www.historicold sac.org/timetravel.

$0

Sponsored by the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum, this festival features bananas galore (a chef challenge, banana splits, banana pancakes—you name it), an open-air marketplace, live bands, dance groups and activities for kids. Saturday, August 18; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, August 19; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $5. William Land Park, 1401 Sutterville Road; www.bananafestival.sojoarts.net.

$5

MIDTOWN COCKTAIL WEEK

In short: a weeklong excuse to dine at local restaurants, sip cocktails and have a good time. Events include a “classic summer cocktail” class and an old-fashioned cocktail competition (see Arts&Culture, page 24). August 19-26, prices and locations vary; (916) 442-1500; www.midtowncocktailweek.org.

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CIRCUS

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This animal-free circus comes to Cal Expo with a mix of singing, classic daredevil stunts, dancing, juggling and, of course, a clown. Come on, there’s even a “Human Rocket.” August 16-20, $25-$65. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; (877) 468-3861; www. circusvargas.org.

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$5-$10

$25-$65

VARGAS

Listen to some of Sacramento’s best wordsmiths, or try your own hand at reciting romantic lines. It’s hosted by local poet Terry Moore and also features live music and an open-mic. Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m.; $5-$10. Florin Business Arts Complex, Obama Room, 2251 Florin Road; (916) 208-7638; www.mybmsf.com/terrymoore.

LOVE

POEM SLAM

Build is taking place on Saturday. HIV and AIDS are still the greatest humanitarian challenges in our world today. Put together kits that contain items that help caregivers in Uganda minister to people with HIV and AIDS. Sa, 8/18, 9am-noon. Free. First Baptist Church of Elk Grove, 8939 East Stockton Blvd. in Elk Grove; (916) 685-4821; www.fbceg.org.

Davis. She brings soprano jazz vocals and complex guitar melodies to a folk-influenced, jazz-rock hybrid sound. Su, 8/19, 2pm. Free. Armadillo Music, 205 F St. in Davis; (530) 758-8058; www.taishanmusic.com.

20MON

Concerts

Meetings & Groups

SPYRO GYRA WITH LEE RITENOUR: The Sunrise at Night Concert Series continues. Take a trip around the world from the Caribbean to South America with the sounds of Spyro Gyra and hear Grammy award-winning guitarist, Lee Ritenour. Sa, 8/18, 8pm. $25.50-$46.50. Sunrise Market Place, 5912 Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights; (916) 536-1195; www.sunrise marketplace.com/info/concerts.

CLIP ART LIBRARY DISCUSSION: The Linux Users’ Group of Davis will host a presentation on the Open Clip Art Library, a collaborative project aimed at creating an archive of public domain clip art, and the software that powers it. M, 8/20, 7pm. Free. Yolo County Library, Davis Branch, 315 East 14th St. in Davis; (530) 757-5593.

JACKIE GREENE: Jackie Greene

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY SCREENING Artist Ai Weiwei’s critque of the Chinese government landed him in prison. Nevertheless, his rebellious spirit survives, highlighted here in the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. The screening also features an introduction by the Verge Center for the Arts’ Jiayi Young. Friday, August 17, at 7 p.m.; $12-$15. Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; (916) 442-7378; www.thecrest.com.

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$12-$15

21TUES

returns to Fairytale Town for an annual benefit concert. Taking place on the park’s Mother Goose Stage, the outdoor concert supports Fairytale Town’s education programs and park improvements. Sa, 8/18, 8pm. $35. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr.; (916) 808-7462; www.fairytaletown.org.

Special Events QUESTIONABLE TRIVIA: Join Questionable Trivia at the Blind Pig for three rounds of questions, where the winner is given a $25 gift certificate to the bar. Grab a beer and a bite to eat, take a quiz and have some fun. Teams must be between two and six players. Tu, 8pm through 12/18. Free. The Blind Pig, 4720 El Camino in Carmichael; (916) 482-2671; http://questionable trivia.com/where-and-when.

19SUN Special Events

PABLO FRANCISCO Pablo Francisco performs his signature sound effects, impersonations and situational comedy. August 23-26, $25. Punch Line Sacramento, 2100 Arden Way; (916) 925-5500; www.punch linesac.com.

$25 BOM VINHO

8 HA

HA

HA HA

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$0

Celebrate all things Portugal at the Bom Vinho festival, highlighting Portugese wine, food and music. Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free (plus cost of food and wine). Old Sugar Mill, 35265 Willow Avenue in Clarksburg; (916) 744-1625; www.carvalhofamilywinery.com.

9 ALES

HORNET CAR & BIKE SHOW: Join the Engineering & Computer Science Alumni Chapter for the Hornet Car & Bike Show. It’s a fundraiser for student clubs, with residual funds allocated toward future scholarship through the ECS Alumni Chapter. The show will feature a car and bike contest, music and door prizes that can be won by entering a raffle. Su, 8/19, 10am-4pm. $10-$15. Sacramento State, 6000 J St.; (916) 278-5155;www.ecs.csus.edu/ alumni/chapter/carshow.

ON THE

22WED Special Events A TOAST TO CLEARING THE AIR: This reception is an intimate gathering of California’s most influential environmental and political leaders, including key legislators, top regulators, industry officials, business leaders and environmentalists. The reception features a wine tasting and music. W, 8/22, 5-7pm. $40. Sutter Club, 1220 Ninth St.; (213) 223-6869; http://ccair.org/events.

COCKTAIL CAUCUS: Midtown

RAILS

Cocktail Week kicks off with an afternoon filled with libations and tastings. This will feature artisan cocktails, spirits, craft beers, regional wines and delicious food tastings. Attendees can sample from more than 40 featured products, and will receive a souvenir tasting glass. Su, 8/19, 12-4pm. $20-$25. MARRS building, 1050 20th St.; www.midtowncocktailweek.org.

Here’s where you get to ride off into the sunset, beer in hand, grin on your face: Sample brew from Track 7 Brewing Co., eat appetizers from Crisp Catering and take in a nice view of the river. Saturday, August 18, at 7:30 p.m.; $40. California State Railroad Museum, 111 I Street; (916) 445-5995; www.californiastate railroadmuseum.org.

Classes CALIFORNIA’S WAGE-HOUR LAWS: Learn to address a number of timely wage-hour topics, including reporting time pay requirements, appropriately classifying employees and contractors, rest break and meal period requirements, suitable seating requirements, how to draft a compliant bonus or commission plan, and final pay requirements. W, 8/22, 8-10am. $35. Drexel University, 1 Capitol Mall; (415) 291-1992; www.nchra.org.

Sports & Recreation PADDLE THE PRESERVE: Join a leisurely paddle along the Cosumnes River. The Cosumnes River Preserve’s Volunteer Naturalists will be awaiting your arrival at the Visitor Center. Arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. departure on the water. Once you have your lifejackets on and boats in the water, be prepared for a breathtaking experience along the Cosumnes River. Su, 8/19, 8:30am-12:30pm. Free. Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center, 13501 Franklin Blvd. in Galt; (916) 870-4317; www.cosumnes.org.

$40

Art Galleries LITTLE RELICS BOUTIQUE & GALLERIA: Vacation for the Soul, Jay Spooner and David Arnold take photographry enthusiasts around the world to view the most sacred places and create an exquisite exhibit. Through 8/31, 11am-6pm. Free. 908 21st St.; (916) 716-2319.

TAI SHAN: Seattle-based singersongwriter Tai Shan will perform at Armadillo Music in

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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

Concerts

—JONATHAN MENDICK

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Against the grain Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches 6825 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 200; (916) 428-1188 With banh mi, it’s the bread that sets the tone. In fact, banh mi simply means bread in Vietnamese, but by has come to serve as the shorthand for a Becky Vietnamese sandwich. I think everyone who Grunewald could possibly care knows by now that this marvelous sandwich is a result of the French colonization of Vietnam, so no need to explain it again. Just know that this is the best cultural mash-up since big trouble arrived in little China. Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches is shaking things up in the bread department, going against the grain for a Sac banh mi joint. First, its bread is more football shaped than submarine shaped; second, it makes garlic bread; third, it offers preRating: made grab-and-go sandwiches right by the ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 counter; and fourth, it also offers a small and a large version of each banh mi. These details may Dinner for one: seem trivial, but with banh mi, such small varia$5 - $10 tions make all the difference. When you walk in the door, the smell of fresh bread slaps you in the face. This busy deli and bakery likely sells as many baguettes as it does sandwiches, as well as a variety of prepared takeaway items, including the aforementioned bahn mis. To the uninitiated, the appearance of the deli items can seem confusing. The savories by the register all look like dessert (i.e., slices of pork cake that look like pumpkin bread, disc-like eggy ★ chive cakes that look like enormous cookies), POOR while the restaurant’s many desserts are made in ★★ shades of neon orange, green and yellow—hues FAIR not found in nature, save for a few flowers or ★★★ tropical fish. GOOD The service is brisk and non-Vietnamese ★★★★ diners are very likely to receive a stern “You tried EXCELLENT before?” for any item involving headcheese or ★★★★★ anything else possibly considered weird. I even EXTRAORDINARY got the third degree for ordering xui mai, a delicious, inoffensive pork-meatball dish. Back to the headcheese that I had to go through a background check to order. It’s on the banh mi dac biet, has more than a passing acquaintance with red dye No. 5 and is shot through with cartilage squiggles. It’s not my favorite jellied organ slab. Luckily, the rest of the ingredients are ham, bolognalike pork cake, porkStill hungry? liver pâté and butter. The small menu is limited to eight sandwiches Search SN&R’s “Dining Directory” to (mostly pork) and No. 9 and No. 10 on the menu find local restaurants are actually soups: chicken curry soup and a beef by name or by type of stew called bo kho banh mi, which comes with— food. Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Italian— you guessed it—bread. There’s a thick float of discover it all in the chili oil on top of the yellow, turmeric and lemon “Dining” section at grass-laced curry soup, which, at first, is off-putwww.newsreview.com. ting until I realize it can be dipped into the yeasty, crusty, fluffy bread. Hey, you can’t put much past me. But wait, can I also dip the bread in the spicy beef stew? That’s what it’s there for, silly! It quickly becomes clear that the meats in the soups, while tender and flavorful enough, simply serve as a flavoring agent for the broth, which, in turn, is most important as a moistening liquid for BEFORE

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the bread. I am helpless to stop dipping and crunching until all the bread is gone. Many of the deli items beckon as well: a still-warm container of coconut pudding, sticky rice and black-eyed peas are at once ravishingly rich and earthy, with just a hint of salt. My husband said he couldn’t think of a dessert on Earth that he would be less excited about tasting, but hey, I’m the reviewer here.

The meats in the soups, while tender and flavorful enough, simply serve as a flavoring agent for the broth, which, in turn, is most important as a moistening liquid for the bread.

2968 Freeport Blvd Sacramento, CA 95818 916-447-3237 ilovedadskitchen.com

With its substitution of butter for mayonnaise and the emphasis on pâté, Duc Huong shows a stronger than usual French influence. When I inquire of the cashier whether both are made inhouse, she says “Of course” in a teenaged “duh!” sort of tone. Another cashier overhears and suggests I take a small banh mi with just pate and butter to go. I jump at the chance, even though I am more than stuffed, and later in the car, I experience a full-on foodie freakout with the first bite. If I had been the driver, my passengers and I would all be dead. Duc Huong: so good, it just might kill you. Ω

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THE V WORD The perfect pair Rice-and-bean dishes are classically accessible and nutritious. But just because these two ingredients are inexpensive, doesn’t mean the combo’s got to taste cheap. Get creative: Add different herbs or mix in sauces for delicious variance. And, of course, start with a solid foundation, such as Massa Organics whole-grain brown rice. It’s grown locally by the nearly century-old family-owned farm near Chico, and these grains are exceptionally wonderful. Maybe it has to do with the farm’s ethos and goal that “the water that leaves our land needs to be cleaner than when it arrived … and we must share our land and harvests with wildlife.” How perfect. Find the rice at the Central Farmers Market (Eighth and W streets) on Sundays.

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DISH

The Porch The Porch is light and white with a vibe that suggests the airy sweep of an antebellum Charleston eatery. One can only

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

Shady Lady Saloon So many bars try to do bar snacks, and so many fail. Shady Lady, however, nails it. The fried green tomatoes are punched up with a tarragon rémoulade and the huge charcuterie board is more like a groaning board, stocked with abundant regional meats and cheeses. The pickle plate looks like Peter Rabbit’s dream, all teeny turnips and tangy carrot chunks. Generally excellent, the saloon’s cocktail list veers from the classics with a list of bartender-created

drinks with unusual, but wisely considered flavor combinations: cilantro and tequila, blackberry and thyme, and the surprisingly sublime mixture of celery and pineapple. American. 1409 R St., (916) 231-9121. $10-$20. ★★★ 1⁄2 B.G.

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 enough crispy onions

and paper-thin 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 G.L.

East Sac

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

BREW THE RIGHT THING

The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar Resistance is futile when it comes to Red Rabbit’s desserts. The berry-infused icecream 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

superlatives when asked their views on Sampino’s. Italian Deli. 1607 F St., (916) 441-2372. Dinner for one: $7-$15. ★★★★1⁄2 G.L.

Badger on the corner

MUST DRINK:

Local craft-beer lovers have been rewarded lately not only in the form of boutique bars and bottle shops, but also in the increasingly sophisticated stock of our city’s corner stores. Case in point: Curtis Park Market, which has expanded and improved its beer selection in recent months, adding selections from Dogfish Head to Drake’s Brewing. Curtis Park Market is also the only place in Sacramento TON BREW IN TE D that I’ve seen Grand Teton Brewing Co.’s Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse, the summer seasonal in the Idaho-based brewery’s Cellar Reserve series. Hazy gold with a nose of citrus and wheat, Snarling Badger has a refreshing, lemony tanginess, but there is depth and body on d a g B e r g n Snarli the finish, thanks to an earthy farmhouse must. Curtis Park Market, 2703 24th Street; $9.99 for a 25.4 ounce bottle.

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Midtown

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 G.L.

G

Estelle’s Patisserie With its marble tables and light wooden chairs, there’s an airy atmosphere, casual and cozy. Estelle’s offers an espresso bar and a wide assortment of teas and muffins and rolls for the breakfast crowd as well as sweets, including DayGlo macarons. For the lunch-inclined there are soups, salads, sandwiches and meat or meatless quiche. One of the authentic touches is the spare use of condiments. The smoked salmon is enlivened by dill and the flavor of its croissant. Its tomato bisque is thick and richly flavored, and, in a nice touch, a puff pastry floats in the tureen as accompaniment. Everything is surprisingly reasonable. 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 6pm. French. 901 K St., (916) 551-1500. Meal for one: $5-$10. ★★★1⁄2 G.L.

GR AN

Downtown

EY DO SH AY ON BY HAYL

Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Becky Grunewald and Greg Lucas, updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.

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 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. ★★★ G.L.

IL LU ST RATI

Where to eat?

Beer: Double Dorado IPA Brewer: Ballast Point Brewing Company Where: The Davis Beer Shoppe, 211 G Street in

Davis; (530) 756-5212

Beer: Bink Tripel Brewer: Brouwerij Kerkom Where: Pangaea Two Brews Cafe, 2743 Franklin

Boulevard; (916) 454-4942

Beer: Belgo IPA Brewer: New Belgium Brewing Where: Samuel Horne’s Tavern, 719 Sutter

Street in Folsom; (916) 293-8207

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Juno’s Kitchen & Delicatessen To quote Gov. Jerry Brown from his first iteration as California’s chief executive more than 30 years ago: “Small is beautiful.” Juno’s proves this axiom in spades. The menu is fairly compact and slanted more toward lunch than dinner. Juno’s macaroni and cheese, which comes with rock shrimp on rigatoni, a Grana Padano, Gruyère and cheddar trio and a dusting of paprika, is a creative take on a comfortfood classic. In the traditionalsandwich realm, all start out with the advantage of Juno’s homemade sour—but not sourdough—bread with its crunchy crust and soft interior. In the soppressata salami sandwich, the bread amplifies the tartness of the pepperoncini while the turkey sandwich with provolone, tomato, arugula and pesto requires several napkins as the oil in the pesto seeps inexorably through the airy bread slices. American. 3675 J St., (916) 456-4522. Dinner for one: $5-$10. ★★★★ G.L.

North Sac

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 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. ★★★ G.L.

Vanilla Bean Bistro Gonul’s J Street Cafe has moved up the street and evolved into the Vanilla Bean Bistro. Its narrow, low-ceilinged coziness is consonant with its understated, whatever-the-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 roundhouse-punch flavor combination. Turkish. 3260-B J St., (916) 457-1155. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★ 1 ⁄ 2 G.L.

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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. ★★★★ G.L.

“cured” in lemon juice, is coated with sesame oil, herbs and chili flakes and is meant to be piled on rice crackers studded with black sesame seeds. It’s an incredible dish, and one you won’t find on a menu very often. Vietnamese. 6830 Stockton Blvd., (916) 395-9244. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★ B.G.

Asian Café Asian Café serves both Thai and Lao food, but go for the Lao specialties, which rely on flavoring staples such as fish sauce, lime juice, galangal and lemongrass, lots of herbs, and chilies. One of the most common dishes in Lao cuisine is larb, a dish of chopped meat laced with herbs, chilies and lime. At Asian Café, it adds optional offal addons—various organ meats, entrails, et al—to three versions of the dish: beef with tripe, chicken with gizzards, or pork with pork skin. The beef salad offers a gentle respite from aggressive flavors, consisting of medium-thick chewy slices of eye of round with red bell pepper, chopped iceberg and hot raw jalapeño. The single best dish here is the nam kao tod, a crispy entree with ground pork that’s baked on the bottom of the pan with rice, then stirred and fried up fresh the next day with dried Thai chilies and scallions. Thai and Lao. 2827 Norwood Ave., (916) 641-5890. Dinner for one: $10-$15. ★★★★ B.G.

Tacos & Beer This is one of the area’s best Michoacán restaurants. Of its regional dishes, the enchiladas Apatzingán are unusual, filled with only a smattering of sharp cheese and diced onion, soaked in a vinegary sauce, and smothered in very lightly pickled, shredded cabbage with raw hunks of radish and avocado slices. Another specialty is the morisqueta—the ultimate comfort dish due to the unique texture of the white rice, which is as soft as an angel’s buttock. Diners also have the option to order hand-shaped, griddledto-order tortillas. They are warm, soft, taste like corn and barely resemble those cardboard things you get at the store. Mexican. 5701 Franklin Blvd., (916) 428-7844. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★ 1 ⁄ 2 B.G.

South Sac

Pho King 2 Pho King 2 takes diners on a trip to crazy-delicious town with its salads, including one off-the-menu salad featuring cold, pink tendon smothered in pickled daikon, carrot, crunchy garlic chips and peanutss and served with sweet fish sauce dressing. A beef with lemon salad, with thin slices of eye of round

Foodie festivals If you didn’t already think Sacramento was a foodie destination, this weekend alone should convince you otherwise. Food lovers will be treated to a buffet of events, namely: California’s Grape & Gourmet at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Boulevard), the Sacramento Banana Festival at William Land Park (1401 Sutterville Road), and Eat Local Sacramento, a seasonal tasting fair held at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (1900 Alhambra Boulevard). To help you decide which one (or more) you want to attend, here’s the skinny: Saturday’s Grape & Gourmet (www.bigfun.org/events/californias-grape-gourmet) will offer tastings of some of California’s best wines, plus a large selection of craft brews and gourmet local food. The Sacramento Banana Festival (www.bananafestival.sojoarts.net)—which is sponsored by the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum and happens Saturday and Sunday—features a diverse array of community entertainers, a healthand-wellness fair, and, of course, tons of bananas and banana-flavored foods. Saturday’s Eat Local Sacramento event (www.sacfoodcoop.com) highlights local food growers, artisans and distributors. —Jonathan Mendick

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COOLHUNTING Live LOLz Nevada City Film Festival Comedy Night The 12th annual Nevada City Film Festival, which runs August 16-19, at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, isn’t just about COMEDY movies—the event encompasses music and comedy, too. This year’s showcase features comedians such as Eric Andre, Tim Heidecker and Nick Kroll—the latter who, following stints on TV series such as Parks and Recreation, Portlandia and Community, just wrapped up shooting for his debut selftitled Comedy Central show, set to air later this year. DJ Douggpound (pictured) hosts the night with something billed as an “absurdist DJ set.” We have no idea what that entails, but we’re betting it’ll be good for at least a few LOLz. Tickets are $15. Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street in Nevada City; www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com. —Rachel Leibrock

Totally chill dinner Lifeway Foods Frozen Kefir We’ve reached that hot and sticky point of the summer when frozen yogurt makes for a perfectly acceptable dinner. Actually, it can be (well, kind of) if you scoop out a bowl of Lifeway Foods Frozen Kefir. Kefir—a cultured probiotic dairy product similar to yogurt in taste and texture—is high in protein and calcium and low in calories. Lifeway, a Chicago-based company founded in 1986 by a Russian immigrant drawing on his family’s traditional Eastern European techniques, makes it in several flavors including mango and pomengranate. Dish up a half-pint, throw on some fresh sliced berries and almonds, FOOD and call it a meal. Available in pint-sized containers at local grocers, including Sunflower Markets. Or shop online: The company offers cold shipping and also sells drinks and ProBugs push-up pops in kid-friendly flavors, such as Orange Creamy Crawler. www.lifeway.net. —Rachel Leibrock

Heavy mettle Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury—the beating heart of Queen—was an awesome singer who refused to repair his overbite for fear of ruining his voice. He was also a great songwriter, producer, and performer—just check out video from the fantastic show Queen gave at Live Aid in 1985 on BOOK YouTube. In Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury (Touchstone, $26), music journalist Lesley-Ann Jones has done an outstanding job of writing about his life as an artist and a man, putting his work in the context of his passion for opera, art and fashion. It’s all there, without pointless gossip but with a useful discography. —Kel Munger

Not just for furries Kigu animal tails Dressing up like an animal is a big part of some people’s lives. Whether it’s for a fun night out or because the furries’ convention is in town, animal costumes seem to be more popular than ever—and definitely not just on Halloween. But for people who don’t want to commit—who maybe just want a hint of animal to offset their humanness—Kigu’s got the solution via its line of animal tails. The tail is, after all, the biggest, most obvious difference between a human and most animals. FASHION Priced from $42.50 to $59.50, the British retailer offers tails in lizard, squirrel, dinosaur, lion, fox and lemur—the latter has a particularly impressive wildness to it. www.kigu.co.uk/shop/tails.html. —Aaron Carnes

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Dealer!

Learn to be a

No more fistfights I used to self-harm. Once, I punched myself hard enough to get a black eye. My mother thought my boyfriend hit me. She disapproves of him. He’s unemployed and got in a drunken fistfight in her house. He is also artistic and strange. My mother is practical and traditional (she says I should marry for money). My boyfriend and I took a break to get ourselves in order, but we’re so dependent, it was hard to mend. I went to therapy and got my self-harm under control. He learned how to take care of himself. A year ago, we got back together. I never told my mother. Last night, she sent a text: “I haven’t heard or seen you. You must be back with that guy!” I said: “I am seeing him and tired of keeping it a secret. I know you don’t approve, but I am happy. Also, the last two times I came by, you were with your boyfriend.” She hasn’t responded.

by JOeY GArcIA

Joey

devours Magnum ice-cream bars.

Are you savoring her silence? If your mom dislikes your boyfriend and her comments about him make you unhappy, not having to listen to her complaints should delight you. If it doesn’t, maybe you don’t really trust that your guy is right

Picking a guy according to a parent’s fears is an ancient story line. Ditch it. for you. Dating him could be a way to rebel against your mom. If so, that’s très traditional. The definition of traditional is something that has remained unchanged for centuries. Picking a guy according to a parent’s fears is an ancient story line. Ditch it. Choose a partner based on self-knowledge, shared values, communication, ease of resolving conflicts, trustworthiness, friendship and attraction. I want you to know that it broke my heart to read that you have engaged in self-abuse. I am deeply grateful that you have discovered another way to live. Thank you for going to therapy and for employing the courage necessary to shed the lies that demanded self-harm. Now, apply your creative energy toward reducing stress and anxiety. Refuse to tolerate any chaotic behavior from your boyfriend. No more fistfights, drunkenness or irresponsibility. If he’s strange,

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.

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well, we all are, honey. Some of us just wear that quality a little closer to the surface. But a few people are so desperate to be seen as special, that their behavior is severely awkward or deeply disturbing. If that’s the case, therapy is recommended. One last thing: Why haven’t you shifted into an adult relationship with your mother? Even if she treats you like a child, you must do the emotional and psychological work necessary to respond to her as a mature adult. If you want her to mind her own business, treat yourself like a woman capable of navigating this world alone but able to ask for help when necessary. Otherwise, the power imbalance in your relationship with your mother will always create more harm than good.

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Don’t do anything. At least not until your actions are motivated by compassion, not revenge. When your motivation is compassion, you may feel nervous confronting her but can trust that doing so is an act of love. In that conversation you will not blame, accuse or project. You will state the facts and own your feelings. When motivation is revenge, there is a need to be right and prove that the other person is wrong. Remember, too, that being a truth teller is no guarantee that your friend will appreciate you. It’s OK to move on. You deserve trustworthy companions. Ω

Meditation of the Week “Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sign that you will recognize it,” said the Jewish mystic Simone Weil. How do you measure love?

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worst sin a writer can commit—is bandied about, but not fully explored. What is clear, though, is that enough feral writers have used the world for their litter box to make Leonard’s opening charge ring true to a wide audience. There are plenty of laughs— apparently, too many for the woman who kept turning around to glare at this critic after each guffaw. Perhaps not everyone was in the same seminar. Ω

publication, Izzy (Tara Sissom); the privateschool-educated, unwilling-to-take-risks Kate (Stephanie Altholz); and the intense, poor, hides-his-work-so-you-don’t-know-ifhe’s-brilliant-or-awful schmuck, Martin (Joe O’ Malley). Here’s a hint: Usually, that latter type is awful, not brilliant. And then there’s Leonard, the relatively well-known writer, only too willing to bust chops and dreams, talking of exotic locales and the holy grail of good writing about something authentic. He drinks too much, sleeps with his students and hasn’t lived up to his potential. Oh, you’ve been in that workshop, too? Well, it probably wasn’t this funny. As directed by Buck Busfield, Seminar has plenty of laughs, usually at the expense of pretension—which is fairly easy to laugh at, provided it is not your own. The actors do yeoman’s work, appropriately nuanced; the problem is, it’s impossible to like any of these people. Even if we’re similar to them in some ways, who would want to admit it? That vaguely uncomfortable feeling remains through the less-than-satisfactory resolution, in which a charge of plagiarism—the

Seminar, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; 2 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. Through September 23. PHOTO BY CHARR CRAIL

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“Writers are as civilized as feral cats,” says Leonard (Kurt Johnson), early on in Theresa Rebeck’s by Seminar, a play about a private fiction-writing Kel Munger workshop that is roughly as cutthroat as The Hunger Games, currently having its West kelm@ newsreview.com Coast premiere at the B Street Theatre. Those of us who have survived a few of these workshops—nay, paid for the privilege, often with borrowed money—will see all too quickly the various types that frequent writing graduate programs, workshops, seminars and retreats. There’s the career-obsessed, namedropping, merely competent brownnoser, Douglas (Dan Fagan); the decadent, promiscuous chick trying to screw her way to

4

Restoration upheaval Or,

It’s been barely a year since Capital Stage mounted the historical farce Or, as its final production on the Delta King Riverboat. The perky, semi-serious comedy links the sexual hedonism and social instability of England in the 1660s—when King Charles II had multiple mistresses, and Aphra Behn became London’s first famous female playwright— with the 1960s, when women ardently aspired to roles previously reserved for men, free love reigned, and society was nearly derailed by riots and assassinations. Barnyard Theatre, the artsy cadre of 20somethings who mount ambitious summer shows on a real-deal farm just west of Davis, does Or, with a cast of six, none doubling on parts. Actress Hope Raymond (as Behn) flashes a knowing smile and projects Behn’s attraction to lovers male and female while allowing us to glimpse her steely determination to make it as a writer, even if that means deferring certain pleasures. Rachel Pinto plays the prominent actress Nell Gwynne (keen to get Behn to write her a leading part); Sean Olivares is Charles II, bedder of countless ladies; and Geoffrey Albrecht plays a desperate spy on the run. While the acting isn’t quite as slick as the Equity cast in the Capital Stage production, Barnyard’s young performers are nonetheless on the mark, and the story unfolds smoothly. Director Heidi Voelker times the constantly opening/closing doors quite nicely, with couples ducking into the bedroom just as a potentially dangerous visitor arrives. —Jeff Hudson

Or,; 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; $10-$15. Barnyard Theatre in the historic Schmeiser Barn, 35125 County Road 31 in Davis; (530) 574-1318; www.barnyardtheatre.org. Through August 17.


Art, Wine & Food Tasting Classic Saturday, August 25th 5pm – 9pm Sutter Lawn Tennis Club 3951 N st (916) 452–5356 x216

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The Great American Trailer Park Musical: What’s life without corn bread?

5

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THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL

It’s easy to see why director Bob Irvin calls this show—back for a second year at the festival “by popular demand”—a guilty pleasure. It revels in rednecky humor, but beneath the grits and homilies lie a tale of deception, infidelity and jealousy—plus music! F, Sa, Su 7:30pm. Through 9/9. $10-$15. Fair Oaks Theatre Festival in the Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Blvd., Old Fair Oaks; (916) 966-3683; www.fairoakstheatre-festival.com. J.C.

easy.

The Majestic Kid: A real man just wants to ride the range with a horse—and maybe a sidekick.

4

THE MAJESTIC KID

This comedy-of-evolving-expectations contrasts the chivalrous singing cowboys from Hollywood serials (who never marry the “gals” they rescue) with complicated modern relationships, lampooning ranchers (keen to sell and create a toxic dump) and a Native American tribe (planning to turn their reservation into a huge resort/casino). F, Sa 8pm. Through 9/8. $12-$17.50, with a $49 family pack (four seats). Main Street Theatre Works in the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre on North Main St. in Jackson; (209) 295-4499; www.mstw.org. J.H.

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Presenting the easiest finance lesson ever.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

Director Charles Fee cross-weaves streamlined Shakespeare with live indie-pop and contemporary cafe culture in this smooth, hilarious and moody production. “Best friends” hotly pursue their newfound loves; the buddies nearly split due to some sneaky misbehavior. Tu, W, Th, F, Sa, Su 7:30pm. Through 8/26. $20-$80. Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park, 2005 Highway 28 in Incline Village, Nev.; (800) 747-4697; www.laketahoeshakespeare.com. J.H.

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Short reviews by Jim Carnes and Jeff Hudson. Look for SN&R’s review of Fiddler on the Roof at Music Circus online at www.newsreview.com.

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SHOW TIMES VALID AUGUST 17 – 23, 2012 OPENING FRI AUG 17 ALSO OPENING AUG 17

FAREWELL MY QUEEN Starring Diane Kruger Rated R Fri-Sun 11:35 2:35 5:35 8:20 Mon-Thu 5:35 8:20

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY

AUGUST 15-19

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Ever since denouncing his own consultancy on China’s National Stadium as the “fake smile” of propaganda for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, by Jonathan Kiefer the art-star activist Ai Weiwei has been having problems with authority. Last year, he was detained by his government for nearly three months, then put under house arrest until just recently, whereupon he wrote in London’s Guardian that “China has not established the rule of law and if there is a power above the law there is no social justice.” He still hasn’t gotten his passport back.

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The sunflower seeds of dissent.

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Of course, this only stokes Ai’s celebrity, which owes much to his having positioned himself as an artful antagonist to injustice. Also, as Alison Klayman’s documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry reveals, it’s the sort of thing that tends to inspire him. So far, at least, the worse Ai’s problems get, the more creative his solutions. At heart, he’s a concepts guy, and his biggest concepts—transparency and persistence—seem very useful to the study of an ascendant China at its historic crossroads between repressive hermeticism and gluttonous freedom. The essential insight in Klayman’s conscientious yet unfussy film is about how the contemporary Communist Party of China has produced a culture so desperately in need of jamming and also the jammer it most deserves. “I’ve become a measurement of how the government moves and how it acts,” Ai says. How true: One moment he’s been authorized for a handsome new Beijing studio, the next he’s watching helplessly—and photographing, less helplessly—as the barely used space gets revoked and demolished. Klayman’s aesthetic sense is a lot less refined than her subject’s, but a more important qualification might be her receptiveness. Ai says early on that he prefers hiring helpers to implement his big ideas, and the filmmaker’s access to him seems, agreeably enough, like a sort of enlistment. Anyway, it’s a good cause. Governmental response to the catastrophic 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which claimed thousands of

children’s lives because their school buildings weren’t safe, added the insult of intimidation to the injury of incompetence, provoking Ai into a hostile contest of mutual scrutiny. Looking cutely aggressive, like some post-punk Buddha, and confronting the surveillance operatives who always seem to follow him around, he achieves absurd camera-on-camera standoffs in which opposite tyrannies—of old totalitarianism and new media—stare into each other’s abysses. Obviously, Ai has considered how attention from a camera might be applied to both artistic and authoritarian purposes, with illuminating but also deranging consequences in either case. The measure of his tenacity isn’t that he eventually recorded himself getting roughed up by cops; it’s that he recorded himself returning later to endure the bureaucratic tedium of filing official complaints. Arguably, Klayman’s title, which also plays on the name of one of Ai’s own films, is a sort of bait and switch. It so happens that perpetual sorriness is the very engine of his defiance. Filled out by summaries from various eloquent observers, flickering biographical details do emerge: the departed father, a statebullied, suicidal poet; the proud but frequently worried mother; the 1980s stint as a New York art punk; and, more recently, the delicate matter of the young son Ai has with a woman who is not his wife. But for every suggestion of a bratty personality cult, it seems, there is corresponding subversion. It’s one thing to photograph yourself flipping off the White House, but something else, especially for a Chinese national, to flip off Tiananmen Square. Ultimately, what redeems Ai from prankish indulgence or political hooliganism isn’t ironic audacity so much as expressive sincerity. It’s how haunted he seems by the deaths of those

It’s one thing to photograph yourself flipping off the White House, but something else, especially for a Chinese national, to flip off Tiananmen Square. kids in that earthquake—and thus how moving the art his agitations produced, including a painstakingly crowd-sourced commemoration of the young victims, whose names their craven government refused to release, and a museumwall mural made of children’s backpacks. Ai’s affronted mischief is a human rebuke to bureaucratic subjugation, and within Klayman’s portrait lies a warming hope: that China won’t let him leave because it needs him. Ω


by JONATHAN KIEFER & JIM LANE

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

2 5 0 8 L A N D PA R K D R I V E L A N D PA R K & B R O A D WAY F R E E PA R K I N G A D J A C E N T T O T H E AT R E “ESSENTIAL NEIL YOUNG.”- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE “HONEST, DEEP & TRUE.” - Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

The debut from writer-director Benh Zeitlin, working with playwright Lucy Alibar and a New Orleans collective, rides in on a murky flood of festival hype. And what caused that, anyway? The inevitable confluence of poverty porn and indie quaintness? Newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis steals the show as a brave 6year-old who yearns for her missing mother, copes with her ailing father (Dwight Henry), and navigates the archly magical-realist realms that lurk amid the muck and grit of her doomed Louisiana bayou. It’s a flamboyant indomitablespirit demonstration, with undeniable vitality but also a sort of heavy, beastly dullness. Zeitlin has talent and guts, yes. Ultimately, though, he inspires not wonder or awe so much as our awareness of the pride he takes in his own presentation. J.K.

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2

The Campaign

In director Jay Roach’s comedy, Will Ferrell plays an entrenched North Carolina congressman challenged by an unlikely opponent in the form of Zach Galifianakis. With strings pulled by callous sibling super funders modeled on the Koch brothers and played by John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd, the candidates’ contest escalates from gaffe-intensive buffoonery to outrageously dirty mudslinging. And before long, it’s a slog, too broad a cartoon and too soft a satire, full of easy targets and uninspired vulgarity. Writers Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell try to repurpose the usual campaign-movie clichés as punch lines but can’t fully forsake their pieties; Roach and his complacent stars take that cue to churn out a film whose heart seems as much of a cynical calculation as the politically corrosive corporate profiteering it limply sends up. This sort of thing is best fallen into for a while on cable, and eventually channelsurfed away from. J.K.

3

The Dark Knight Rises

Its historical moment unavoidably marred by mass murder in Colorado, this grand finale to writer-director Christopher Nolan’s rebooted Batman trilogy offers Christian Bale once more as the caped crusader, challenged at length to come out of retirement, win back public trust, secure his city and his legacy, and pass his torch. Along with the familiar comforts of series regulars Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, Nolan also makes room for a burly respiratorfaced nemesis played by Tom Hardy, a cat woman played by Anne Hathaway, and, of particular interest and appeal, a clever beat cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There’s also a pudding of topical politics, noisily and unsmilingly processed to the tune of a thundering Hans Zimmer score. Sometimes it’s fun being inside a big movie for a long time, and so this one sprawls—both visually, with the considered aesthetics of the summer-blockbuster set piece, and verbally, with Nolan and his co-writer and brother Jonathan Nolan keeping their characters rather garrulously philosophical about virtue, power and justice. J.K.

3

Farewell, My Queen

Adapting Chantal Thomas’ novel, with Gilles Taurand, French director Benoît Jacquot delves into the uneasily gradual onset of the French Revolution, as observed from Versailles. It’s hard not to read this, for better and worse, as a reclamation from Sofia Coppola and consequent restoration to the presumed dignity of sumptuous, period-accurate detail. This Marie Antoinette, played by a gleaming Diane Kruger, preens herself into a triangle with a reader servant (Léa Seydoux), from whose

BEFORE

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“BEGUILING AND ENDEARING.”

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY WOODY ALLEN

MoonriseKingdom ToRomeWithLove - Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL ST JOURNAL

WED-THUR: 11:05AM, 1:20, WED/THUR: 3:30, 5:45, 8:00, 10:15PM ENDS THUR., 8/16 1:30, 3:45, 8:20, 10:35PM FRI-TUES: 11:15AM, 1:30, 3:45, 6:00, 8:30, 10:35PM FRI-TUES: 11:00AM, 1:15, 10:15PM WED/THU: 11:00AM, 6:00PM F O R A D V A N C E T I C K E T S C A L L FA N D A N G O @ 1 - 8 0 0 - F A N D A N G O # 2 7 2 1

The Bourne Legacy

Matt Damon may have declined a fourth go-round as Jason Bourne, but Universal Pictures wasn’t about to let a good franchise die just because their star bailed on them. So guess what: In the script by director Tony Gilroy and his brother Dan, Jason Bourne isn’t the only product of the program that made him a hyperefficient, conscienceless assassin. Meet Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who must be disposed of so the higher-ups (Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Scott Glenn) can cover their tracks. Fans may miss Damon, but Renner makes a nicely glowering action hero, and the globe-spanning chases and fights are staged with the usual high-voltage panache. Still, the movie is all middle with no beginning—and, of course, no end, so the franchise can go on. Rachel Weisz adds some spice as, basically, the “Bond girl.” J.L.

WED/THUR: 11:30AM, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30PM FRI-TUES: 10:45AM, 1:05, 3:25, 5:45, 8:05, 10:25PM

Relax. If she embarrasses you, you can just write her some new lines.

4

Ruby Sparks

The young author of a sensational first novel (Paul Dano), paralyzed by writer’s block ever since, tries to break the curse with a simple exercise to write his ideal woman, and succeeds beyond his dreams—the woman comes to life as his new girlfriend (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script). But like all well-written characters, she takes on a life of her own, and his efforts to rewrite her back into line bring misery to them both. Kazan has written herself a starmaking part (and a damn good one for Dano, too), and directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) deploy their penchant for freewheeling quirkiness to good effect. There’s good support too from Chris Messina as Dano’s brother, Annette Bening as their aging hippie mother, and Antonio Banderas as her alpha-male lover. J.L.

increasingly alert perspective the film plays out, and a very special friend (Virginie Ledoyan). After a few nonverbal raptures and some slinking, candlelit camera moves, the heat of libidinous sensuality dissipates into lukewarm suds. What’s left is Jacquot’s discretion, his delicate way with impending doom. J.K.

2

Hope Springs

An unsatisfied wife of 31 years (Meryl Streep) drags her husband (Tommy Lee Jones), grumbling all the way, to a series of sessions with a best-selling couples counselor (Steve Carell). Vanessa Taylor’s threadbare script amounts to a padded-out two-person one-act play; Streep and Jones decorate their characters with an array of actorish tics and mannerisms, like tinsel on a scruffy Christmas tree, but both remain more interesting than the people they’re playing. Others in their lives— children, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances—are dismissed with a line or two of dialogue, wasting talents like Elisabeth Shue, Mimi Rogers and Jean Smart along the way. Even Carell, who can carry worse movies than this in his sleep, is reduced to twiddling his thumbs refereeing the Oscar Derby between the two stars. J.L.

3

Neil Young Journeys

3

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Director Jonathan Demme’s third concert-film collaboration with the abiding rocker finds him back in his native Ontario, surveying old familiar landscapes— both physical and sonic—and meandering by car to Toronto’s Massey Hall to close out his 2011 solo tour. What to say? Hope you like Neil Young. With cinematographer Declan Quinn’s cameras doting at very close range (one micmounted lens even gets sprayed with spittle), Demme’s casual reverie is personal, periodically mesmerizing and unabashedly indulgent. Nonfans surely will come away more aggravated than persuaded; the rest of us luxuriate once more in Demme’s superb sound design and in Young’s tuneful sincerity. J.K.

A childless couple (Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton) write down the attributes of an ideal son and bury them in their garden; the perfect boy (CJ Adams) sprouts overnight, with leaves growing from his ankles. Director Peter Hedges’ script (from Ahmet Zappa’s story) never quite finds the bullseye it’s groping for, mainly because little Timothy’s odd life doesn’t really change anybody: In the end, Garner and Edgerton remain the same nice people, Garner’s boss (Dianne Wiest) the same prissy battle-ax, Edgerton’s boss (Ron Livingston) the same oily weasel they all were at the beginning; Timothy’s only effect is to come up with a new way to make pencils. It’s rather solemn whimsy, but hard to dislike when it tries so hard. Shohreh

FRONTLINES

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FEATURE

RECYCLE THIS PAPER. YOU’RE WELCOME, TREES.

Aghdashloo, David Morse and Rosemarie DeWitt contribute from the sidelines. J.L.

4

Ted

3

Total Recall

4

The Watch

In 1985, a friendless boy wishes that his Christmas teddy bear could come to life and be his friend, and his wish comes true. But by 2012, nothing has changed except their voices; the boy (now played by Mark Wahlberg) and the bear (voice by director and co-writer Seth MacFarlane) haven’t grown up; they just sit around smoking pot and talking trash, and the boy/man’s girlfriend (Mila Kunis) is getting tired of it. MacFarlane’s first feature (he’s the brains behind TV’s Family Guy) just misses being a real classic. The script (co-written by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild) is raunchy and irreverent, riddled with pop-culture jokes and nonstop laughs; the visual effects are seamless; and there’s a good message about friendship and growing up. Come to think of it, it may turn out to be a classic after all. J.L.

In a grimy, rainy city of the doomed future, a factory worker (Colin Farrell) takes a mental vacation from his job manufacturing law-enforcement robots, only to find himself dodging law-enforcement robots—and by extension their boss, an evil tyrant (Bryan Cranston) with a world-domination agenda. There follows a headlong rush of implanted memories, confused identities and variously toxic atmospheres, not least which is that of our hero’s suddenly troubled marriage. And so another Philip K. Dick story gets another shot at being another movie.This one, from director Len Wiseman and a bunch of writers, seems fun enough but, well, not totally recallable. It’s just fine as midsummer popcorn dressing. Farrell’s half-innocent badass beefcake plays well with his co-stars, whose ranks include Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, enlivening rote roles as the women in his double life. J.K.

An Ohio Costco manager (Ben Stiller) forms a neighborhood watch in the wake of a grisly murder in his store, but his only volunteers (Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade) are a pretty unfocused and none-toobright crew. Soon they find themselves in over their heads and dealing with a stealth invasion from outer space. Jared Stern, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s script rings some surprising changes on its premise, and it smartly lets Vaughn loose in his trademark motormouthed middlebrow rants (here they’re so pungent, we wonder if they were scripted or ad-libbed). The four-way synergy of the boys keeps the pot bubbling, and director Akiva Schaffer wisely doesn’t interfere, confining himself to calling “action” and “cut.” The result is great fun, and one of the funniest movies of the year. J.L.

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

In Theaters Friday, August 17 ! |

AFTER

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SN&R

SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW

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37


Playing both sides Greyspace emcee Matt Lowe goes solo on a new  project—with a little help from his friends Usually, when a band’s frontman puts out a solo album, it signifies the beginning of the end. But when Greyspace emcee Matt Lowe started work by Andrew Bell on Median, he had no intentions of stepping away from his band. In fact, his Greyspace bandmates—drummer Adam Odello, guitarist Patrick Meneses, and bassist Kenny Osborne—played a big behind-the-scenes role in shaping their frontman’s album.

singing parts, focused more on melody-driven hooks, and I challenged myself to shoulder more responsibility over the parts. However, throughout the process I would run the material by my bandmates to get their opinions. You self-produced the album. How does that work? You play a little bit of everything?

Photo By Steven Chea

I only really feel confident calling myself a drummer. I’m like a kid with music. I’ll fiddle with it until I get the sounds out that I like, but I am in no means a technician with most instruments. I play some bass and guitar, but I would never call myself a bassist in front of a bassist or a guitarist in front of a guitarist. What do you want listeners to take away from Median?

When I was growing up, there were artists that described what they were going through in a way that helped me to understand something that I was experiencing. ... My primary goal is to provide the listener with something that will help them the same way it helped me. Whether it’s an escape, a new perspective, a parallel or plain-old entertainment. Not stuck in the middle at all.

Here, Lowe’s delve into the singing world gives the album an unorthodox Modest Mouse kind of feel at times. But, far from being experimental, Median exhibits a raw, personal lyricism, addressing issues such as the pitfalls of chasing the hip-hop dream to dealing with the passing of a loved one. Lowe recently spoke to SN&R about finding perspective, adolescent bravado and how songs are like children. Why the title Median?

Median represents the middle of a situation or topic where both sides can be seen. It’s how I personally handle life, and I wanted to illustrate that. Many of the songs end with a different perspective than when they start. What was the motivation to do a solo album? Check out Matt Lowe on CD Baby at www.cdbaby.com/ cd/mattlowe.

I always try to further myself as a musician, rapper and artist. A handful of the songs existed without an official project. Gathering those and working on new material that would make a cohesive project just seemed like the logical thing to do. I’ve been involved in making music in some capacity since I was 13 years old and writing terrible music for my middle-school drum line—though, at the time, I was a selfproclaimed genius/prodigy. I’ve since learned a lot about music, and my passion for learning new techniques to express myself through music has been strong ever since. How was making Median different from making the first Greyspace album?

I experimented with using my voice in 38   |   SN&R   |   08.16.12

What were your musical influences for Median?

At the time, I was listening to a lot of Sapient’s stuff before it worked out to have him on the album. He uses a lot of musicality and harmonies in his work. Other than that, I listened to a lot of Gorillaz, Cold War Kids and really a lot of non-rap.

“I’vebeeninvolvedin makingmusicinsome capacitysinceIwas 13yearsoldandwriting terriblemusicformy middle-schooldrumline.” Matt Lowe emcee

What’s your favorite track?

Hard to answer without sounding arrogant, but all the songs offer slightly different things. In some songs, the beat is simple, and I experiment with different lyrical techniques, while others are more musically driven. I guess, depending on the day, different tracks could be my favorite. I forget where I heard it, but someone said that songs are like children in that you love them all the same even though some treat you different. Ω


SOUND ADVICE Paul Ryan loves ‘the grunge’ Vetting the veep’s iPod: Scripts and handlers drive politicians, so it’s always difficult to get a feel for the person behind the persona that is the polling results. Yet, for some reason, scripts get thrown wayward when it comes to the music a candidate listens to. A politician’s playlist is the only truth, it seems. Their musical tastes reveal whether a guy is cool—think President Barack Obama and Al Green, or Bill Clinton’s sax—or if he’s a shameless panderer to hick voters—see Lynyrd Skynyrd playing this year’s Republican National Convention. Everyone says Mitt Romney’s recently announced vice-presidential hopeful and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is a good dude. Obama’s campaign strategist David Axelrod even called him “genial” on this past Sunday morning’s talk shows. At the same time, there’s no denying he’s this far-right ideologue—one completely out of touch with the needs of Americans and the significance of the U.S. government safety net. Ryan wants to hand your Social Security over to Wall Street via privatization. He aims to crush the American Dream via eliminating Pell grants for low-income college students. And he would put Medicare and Medicaid on life support. The guy’s policy speaks to a heartless machismo—brutal, merciless, extreme. So, which is it: nice guy or cruel beast? Had you bothered to vet the congressman’s iPod, you would have known the truth: He does bro-sculpting, P90X workouts while listening to Metallica. It’s healthy, yes, but also sad (but true). And, as he told Fox News recently, he’s really into “the grunge.” That’s right, the man who might be a heartbeat away from the presidency rocks out to the beat of the biggest asshole in the modern music, Lars Ulrich. And uses a definite article before his favorite genre—just like Grandma. Meanwhile, Joe Biden chills it to Prince and Elvis Costello. ’Nuff said. For the Pour folk: Everyone should be excited about the Pour House. Chris Sinclair, who mans the bar at The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar and is president of the local United States Bartenders’ Guild chapter (see this

week’s Arts&Culture, “High spirits” by Becky Grunewald and SN&R staff, page 24), told me that Pour House has some great bartenders on staff. Plus, Pour House’s owners took a derelict and vacant property at 1910 Q Street in Midtown, threw some investment cheese at it, and emerged with a relaxing yet refined place to sip cocktails and nosh on brisket barbecue. And they hire local musicians. Including DJ Shaun Slaughter, whose bringing hot dance each Thursday to Pour House with his new night, DEPT. This past week was DEPT’s debut. Slaughter perched in a balcony above the bar and mixed indie-dance and tropical beats. (He was in the dark, sadly, yet I’m sure they’ll shine a light on the dude in the coming weeks.) A mirror ball flickered and bass bumped as partiers poured their own Jameson shots or pints in the booths. A fleet of bartenders in buttoned-up shirts tended to the thirsty. It was packed—and this was DEPT’s soft opening. Night No. 2 is Thursday, August 16, then the party continues at Pour House every Thursday, beginning at 9 p.m. There’s no cover—for the poor folk. Actual fun at The Press Club: While I’m busy patting the local music scene on the back: Three cheers for The Press Club. Wait, Press Club? Yeah, it’s been a while since those bumping, even legendary Club Pow! nights when Ira Skinner owned the corner of P and 21st streets. But I nit you shot. The fun mix of punk and hardcore nights and dance parties with deejays Larry Rodriguez, Crook and Mike C each week has brought new life to the bar. Consider: This past Thursday, chef Michael Thiemann of Ella Dining Room & Bar served up free spicy jerk popcorn, complete with zesty oil and toppings, while Scott Miller and Mike C spun reggae tunes. Andrew Henderson, from G. Green, cameoed in the deejay booth, as well. And punk trio legends Bananas knocked out one of their most raucous—and drunken—sets in recent memory. Two of them, actually—and the second one lasted nearly till 2 a.m. You know it was special when you’re two hours late to work the next morning—press your luck, indeed.

AN EVENING WITH SPIRITUAL MEDIUM

JAMES VAN PRAAGH

SEPT 2 - COLONIAL THEATRE

HAPA

AUG 25 – HARLOW’S

BELA FLECK

AND THE MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO SEPT 5 – THREE STAGES:STAGE ONE

STEELIN’ DAN

DEAD WINTER CARPENTERS AUG 16 · POWERHOUSE PUB

A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF STEELY DAN OCT 20 · HARLOWS

MISSY HIGGINS

OMAR RODRIGUEZ LOPEZ

BLAME SALLY

ZACH DEPUT Y

AND SPECIAL GUEST KATIE HERZIG SEPT 5 · HARLOWS

GUITARIST FROM THE MARS VOLTA OCT 23 · HARLOWS

SEPT 9 · HARLOWS

OCT 24 · HARLOWS

K ATIE KNIPP

JAKE SHIMABUKURO

CD RELEASE PARTY SEPT 22 · HARLOWS

OCT 25 · SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

thu aug 16 9pm $12 adv

ExquiSitE CORPS

tHE SiZZLiNG SiRENS PRESENt

tRiPPEN tO FALL

WitH GuEStS FiERCE CREAtuRES

fri aug 17 9pm $25

sat aug 25 7pm $25

hapa

peter murphy

VOCALiSt FOR BAuHAuS sat aug 18 9pm $20

tHE MOtHER HiPS

sat aug 25 10pm $20

ryan leSlie

WitH ROSE’S PAWN SHOP AND StEAK

wed aug 22 8pm $10 adv

tue aug 28 6:30pm $12

animal kingdom AtLAS GENiuS

civil twilight

fri aug 24 7pm $10

wed aug 29 10pm $20

beres hammond

Dan CurCio

—Nick Miller

nickam@newsreview.com

Coming Soon

fri aug 24 9:45pm $8 adv

FROM StiLL tiME

Aug 30 Mustache Harbor Aug 31 Arden Park Roots w/ Wooster Sept 1 Gene Loves Jezebel Sept 5 Missy Higgins (EARLY) Sept 5 Chelsea Wolfe (LAtE) Sept 7 tainted Love Sept 8 By Sunlight / Doombird Sept 9 Blame Sally Sept 13 Growlers Sept 14 Goapele Sept 15 New Monsoon Sept 16 Mason Jennings Sept 21 Orgone/Rubblebucket Sept 21 Catherine Russell (EARLY) Sept 22 Katie Knipp Sept 24 the Features (Nashville) Sept 25 Matt Schofield Sept 28 Coyote Grace Oct 9&10 the Lumineers Oct 11 Saint Vitus/Weedeater Oct 12 Nick Gravenites & David LaFlamme Oct 17 Star F***er Oct 19 tea Leaf Green Oct 20 Steelin’ Dan Oct 23 Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group Oct 24 Zach Deputy Oct 25 trailer Park troubadors Oct 26 Red Fang / Black tusk Oct 29 Other Lives Oct 30 Storm Large Nov 3 Robert Glasper

Dress CoDe enforCeD (Jeans are oK) • Call to reserve Dinner & Club tables

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17

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08.16.12     |   SN&R     |   41


EIGHT GIGS

17FRI

18SAT

18SAT

19SUN

Peter Murphy

Local Band Cover Night

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Strung Out

Old Ironsides, 8 p.m., $7-$15

Harlowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 9 p.m., $25 The Godfather of Gothâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Peter Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is back. He laid the groundwork down for the goth movement when his group Bauhaus released its eight-minute spooky punk epic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bela Lugosiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dead.â&#x20AC;? GOTH ROCK After it broke up in the early â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s, Murphy began a prolific solo career that became increasingly pop-oriented the longer he played. His biggest hit, 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cuts You Up,â&#x20AC;? was precisely the kind of jangle-pop, alternative-rock song that dominated college radio before Nirvana changed everything one year later. No matter how straight-forward Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s songwriting would seem at times, his eerie baritone voice and vampirelike appearance keeps him a cult figure. 2708 J Street, www.petermurphy.info.

A handful of Sacramento bands are getting together at Old Ironsides to show you what makes them tick. In other words, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be playing covers of artists that influenced them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sort of peek-behind-the-curtains evening with prominent bands in the Sacramento scene. See what artists inspired them: Bands include Musical Charis (pictured), Autumn Sky, and Whiskey and Stitches. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all for a good cause, too. Money raised goes to COVER SONGS Developmental Disabilities Service Organization. It, as the name suggests, provides services to adults with developmental disabilities in Sacramento and Stockton. 1901 10th Street, www.facebook.com/ddso.shortcenters.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Aaron Carnes

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Aaron Carnes

Ace of Spades, 6:30 p.m., $15

The Center for the Arts, 8 p.m., $12-$15 Nicki Bluhm got her musical start when future husband Tim Bluhm (of Mother Hips fame) heard her belt out a blues song at a New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve party. Mr. Bluhm helped his missus record her debut, 2008â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tobyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Song, and her work fronting AMERICANA the Gramblers has earned big kudos. Earlier this year, a video of the band covering Daryl Hall & John Oatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;I Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Go for That (No Can Do)â&#x20AC;? went crazy viral thanks to its stripped-down countryrock take on the blue-eyed soul classic. No guarantees theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll bust that out live, but rest assured, the Gramblersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; own tunes are pretty damn good, too. 314 W. Main Street in Grass Valley, www.nickibluhm.com.

Not Your Average Pub Food.

Jason Cruz and guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos have been driving Strung Outâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldschool blend of punk and metal for nearly a quarter of a century. The Simi Valley quintet was one of the first bands signed to Fat Wreck Chords. Its punchy, catchy melodies race like Orange County pop-punk, but the guitar has a metal edge from right before hardcore went thrash. After eight studio albums, a 26-track greatest-hits compilation came last year, testimony to both to the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-crafted brevity and depth of catalog. Last month, Cruz released his glamroots solo debut EP Loungecore, PUNK which sounds like Social Distortion with Guns Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Roses envy. 1417 R Street, www.strungout.com.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Rachel Leibrock

nominated for

LIVE MUSIC DAILY

Vote for us

2 FOR 1 WITH THIS AD August 16th to 19th

Best Place to See Live Music

CHAD AND COREY W/ SPECIAL GUEST STEPHANIE GARCIA

Live Music in the Legends Lounge: Saturday 8/18 at 4pm Man's Ruin Band Sunday 8/19 at 3pm Yesterdays News - No cover Tuesday 8/21 - 8pm Open Mic Showcase Wednesday 8/22 - 7pm Kul Black's Comedy Competition Finals Karaoke with KJ Ryan @ 9pm

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S N&R

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08. 16.12

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Chris Parker

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: Laughsunlimited.com Call Club for showtimes, prices and reservation (916) 446-5905 â&#x20AC;˘ 446-8128 Two item minimum - 17 and over 1207 Front Street in Old Sacramento

Best Place for 40 -and-over Thur, Aug 16

DEAD WINTEr CArPENTErS 9PM / $5

frI, Aug 17

BESO NEgrO 9PM / $7

SAT, Aug 18

ThE COALITION 9PM / $8

best karaoke in sac! every tues, thurs & sat

YOu bE THE

rOckSTAr! mONdAYS - FrEE pOOl

livE bANdS EvErY FridAY Like

SuNdAY: OpEN mic cOmEdY vOTE FOr uS! bEST kArAOkE

904 15th St.

Btwn I & J Downtown Sac

ON THE Y

(Across from Memorial Auditorium) 44 3 - 2797 ¡ www.torchclub.net

670 Fulton Ave., Sacramento

916.487.3731


19SUN 19SUN

19SUN

21TUES

Verano Brown Soul Festival

Chiddy Bang

Country in the Park

Tom Peron and Family

Gibson Ranch Park, noon, $25-$30

JB’s Lounge, 5 p.m., $5-$10

What’s more summery than country music and Sacramento heat? Take advantage of the season and head to COUNTRY Country in the Park. Ronnie Dunn—from Brooks & Dunn fame—is the big name on the bill. Opener and Dixon native, Jon Pardi (pictured), moved to Nashville determined to make a mark on the country scene, and will release his debut LP later this year. Playing guitar-driven honky-tonk twang, he’ll leave slow jams to married duo Thompson Square, who will join James Wesley and Lee Brice to round out the lineup. Expect songs about living, loving and goodhearted women. Bring blankets, sunscreen and your cowboy hat. 8556 Gibson Ranch Road in Elverta, http://kncifm.cbslocal.com.

This 25-year-reunion concert features jazz trumpeter Tom Peron and his extended family of sonic conspirators who were—in various configurations—a vital force of the nightly downtown jazz scene which flourished too briefly in such venues as On Broadway Cafe, House of Jazz and the Bull Market. Expect a smorgasbord of standards, originals and improvisation from a stalwart lineup of friends, players, composers, arrangers, educators and mentors JAZZ of local young jazz talent that includes Joe Gilman (piano), Kristen Mirianda (vocals), Bootza Necak (bass), Scott Collard (piano), Rick Lotter (drums), Steve Homan (guitar), and Darius Babazadeh (tenor sax). 1401 Arden Way, www.tomperon.com.

Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $20

Rio Ramaza Marina RV & Event Park, noon, $20-$30

Chiddy Bang is this year’s the Cool Kids. The Philadelphia-based alternative-hip-hop duo seemingly rose out of nowhere, mining popinfluenced samples to create a sound fit for a hipster’s summertime pool party. Driven by its catchy singles “Ray HIP-HOP Charles” and “Mind Your Manners,” the group’s debut album, 2012’s Breakfast, proves that even clean-cut kids with witty wordplay can be successful in the world of hip-hop. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart—it definitely appeals to skateboard- and beer-pongloving youth, as evidenced by the group’s videos on YouTube. J. Sirus, K-Ottic and Brodi Nicholas open this Tuesday-night Ace of Spades show. 1417 R Street, www.chiddybang.net.

Imagine a band whose members have played with Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, War, Ray Charles, and Bobby Womack—and you have the beginning of the Latin All Star Band that will close out a day of soul and funk (Latin style, of course). Add singer-songwriter Carlos Xavier, the Scribe Project, Puro Bandido and Los Cochinos, Latin-inspired rock, ballads, and LATIN salsa, and you’ll be grooving from noon to 7 p.m. Don’t forget your blanket and sunscreen, since this is an outdoor event with the Sacramento River as the backdrop. Buy your ticket early and save $10. 10000 Garden Highway, www.facebook.com/omraproductions.

—Trina L. Drotar

—Allison Mayoral

—Mark Halverson

—Jonathan Mendick CELEBRATING OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALL YEAR LONG!

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ThUrSdayS

SAT AUG 18 7PM $7-$15 donATion

inflUenCeS benefiT:

rocK on live aoKe Kar banicdrocK // 9pm // Free acouSt

MUSiCAl CHAriS, AUTUMn SKy WHiSKey & STiTCHeS

THURSDAY 8/16 - SUNDAY 8/19

FrI 8/17

RUBEN PAUL

fri AUG 24

THreAT Con rAdio

CelebrATinG 77 yeArS SAMe fAMily SinCe 1934

SAT AUG 25 7PM, $15 WiTH dinner, $10 WiTHoUT

8PM / $12

dinner & liVe MUSiC CATered by MoMo'S bbQ. CAT STeVenS TribUTe bAnd MArTy TATerS, lAre CrAWley, SAl VAlenTino, AdriAn bellUe

tix available in advance at old ironsides

VoTe for US beST KArAoKe

AUGUST 16 & 19

2 FOR 1 ADMISSION!! (WITH THIS AD)

monomyth inception StucK applewhite 9pm // $7 SaT 8/18

zepparella

THE EVOLUTION OF COMEDY TOUR IAN HARRIS, JASON RESLER, MAURICE NORTHUP SPECIAL EVENT, NO PASSES

PABLO FRANCISCO

SmirKer $15 8:30pm //

WEDNESDAY 8/29

TUES 8/21

VINCE ROYALE

happy hour SerieS

mrq

THURSDAY 8/30 - SUNDAY 9/2 FROM FREE AGENTS, MODERN FAMILY AND CHELSEA LATELY!

acouStic // 5:30pm // Free

mic acouStic open 8pm // Free

MO MANDEL

DANIELLE STEWART, MAX CURRY

THURSDAY 9/6 - SUNDAY 9/9 FROM CHELSEA LATELY AND “FILTHY OPERATION”

wEd 8/22

beST liVe MUSiC

DOV DAVIDOFF

tba

beST oPen MiC

ticKetS now on Sale For these upcoming shows at www.marilynsonk.com $3 TallbOy Pbr

UPCOMING EVENTS:

cover me Badd “sanity not included” comedy tour chuck’s annual pirate party

SUPPorTinG THe liVe MUSiC SCenCe for 22 yeArS!

Corner of 10th & S Streets

916.443.9751 theoldironsides.com |

TONY BAKER, JIMMY EARLL WEDNESDAY 8/22

THURSDAY 8/23 - SUNDAY 8/26

talent ShowcaSe //

BEFORE

FROM CBS, ABC, NBC, BET

908 K Street // 916.446.4361

++Free parking aFter 6pm with validation @ 10th & l garage+

FRONTLINES

|

FEATURE

KURT WEITZMANN, DAVE THOMASON

THURSDAY 9/13 - SUNDAY 9/16 OVER 40 APPEARANCES ON LETTERMAN!

JAKE JOHANNSEN JOE KLOCEK, JOHN ROSS

-6336><:65;>0;;,9 ;>0;;,9*647<5*/305,:(*‹-(*,)662*6473:(*

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CALL CLUB FOR SHOWTIMES: (916) 925-5500 2100 ARDEN WAY • IN THE HOWE ‘BOUT ARDEN SHOPPING CENTE

+905240504<4 6=,90+9,8<09,+

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STORY

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ARTS&CULTURE

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AFTER

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08. 16.12

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43


NIGHTBEAT

THURSDAY 8/16

FRIDAY 8/17

SATURDAY 8/18

SUNDAY 8/19

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 8/20-8/22

BADLANDS

Tipsy Thursdays, Top 40 deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

Mad Mondays, 9pm M; Latin video flair and Wii bowling, 7pm Tu

BLUE LAMP

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

LIL ESTHER AND HER TINSTARS, THE LOVELESS; 8pm, $8

BURNING WAVES, SUPA SAA, GRACE TAHOLO, TONGAN HONEY; 9pm, $10

TIMES OF DESPERATION, SAME SEX DICTATOR, WANING; 8pm, $8

JOHNNY DILKS & THE HIGHWAY KIND, SHELBY COBRA & MUSTANGS; 7pm

THE BOARDWALK

HUMAN FILTH, SERPENTERA, FALL OF

DIRE PERIL, SOLANUM, LEGION’S REQUIEM, ZOMBIE DEATH STENCH; 8pm

RIFF RAFF, LOVE DRIVE, RUE THE NIGHT, LANDBOAT; 8pm, $10-$12

12 STONES, EDISUN, FAIR STRUGGLE, TWO NOOSES, MERCEDES AVE; 7pm W

BOWS AND ARROWS

Women in Music forum, 1-3pm, no cover

IVAN & ALYOSHA, GARRETT PIERCE, THE PARLOURS; 8pm Tu, $6-$8

THE CAVE

LETHA LUNGS, HIGHER GROUND, SAINTE JEANNE, DAYO, JEWELZ; 8pm, $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.

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 MAN, VITAL PERCEPTION; 7:30pm 1815 19 St., (916) 822-5668

3512 Stockton Blvd., (916) 317-9999

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Poetry by Heather Donahue and Christian Kiefer, 7:30pm, $5

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481

SPORTS KID, ISAAC BEAR, HOT WORLDS; 8pm, $5

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

ELKHORN SALOON

18398 Old River Rd., West Sacramento; (916) 371-2277

THE FORTUNATE FEW, 7pm, no 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

THE MIKE JUSTIS BAND, 8-11pm, no cover

POMEGRANATE, WIFE AND SON, NICK COHEN; 9pm-midnight, $5

FRIENDSHIP, ANAURA; 9pm-midnight, $5

DJ Smilez, 10pm-1:15am, no cover

MAJOR POWERS AND THE LOW-FI SYMPHONY, COOCOO BIRD; 10pm, no cover

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

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.

STONE KOLD, 7pm, no cover

FACES

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

Hey local bands!

NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, THE MOORE BROTHERS; 8pm, $12-$15

G STREET WUNDERBAR 228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227

MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE, 7:30pm, $5

GRAFFITI CATHEDRAL, JOHN MACDONALD; 8pm Tu, $10

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3 Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu; STEVE MCLANE, 8pm W, no cover

THE GOLDEN BEAR

DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover

HARLOW’S

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

Sizzling Sirens present Trippen to Fall, 9pm, call for pricing

PETER MURPHY, 9pm, $25

MOTHER HIPS, ROSE’S PAWN SHOP; 9pm, $20

LEVEL UP FOOD & LOUNGE

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

DJ Rock Bottom and Araka Satamen, 9pm, no cover

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2

NATE BEIER, KILO Y PEPPER; 9pm, $6

MAX CHAPARRO, TURNBUCKLE BLUES, MIKE SALIANE; 9pm, $6

MARILYN’S ON K

“Rock On” Live Band Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

MONOMYTH, STUCK, APPLEWHITE; 8:30pm, $7

ZEPPARELLA, SMIRKER; 8:30pm, $15-$18

Electronic, house, dub and Top 40 deejay dancing, 10pm-2am, no cover

DJs Mike Diamond, My Cousin Vinny, Chrisupreme, 10pm, $5

Sactown Swings, swing dance lessons, 8pm-midnight Tu, $6

2326 K St., (916) 441-2252

2431 J St., (916) 448-8768

1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931 908 K St., (916) 446-4361

MIDTOWN BARFLY

1119 21st St., (916) 549-2779

Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover ANIMAL KINGDOM, ATLAS GENIUS; 8pm W, $10-$12 Hip-hop and R&B deejay dancing, 9:16pm Tu, no cover Nebraska Mondays, M; ACLU meeting, 4:30pm Tu; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN

NATAN RODRIGUEZ, JEFF CAMPBELL, KAT JONES; 8:30pm, $5

STONEBERRY, THIRDSTAR WEST, BARRY CRIDER; 8:30pm, $5

DOUG CASH, BLAQUELISTED, JR; 8:30pm

Jazz session, M; LONESOME BILLY HOOD, Tu, $5; INDIAN LAKES, 8:30pm W

OLD IRONSIDES

Acoustic Bluegrass jam, 7:30pm, no cover

MALAKITE, BLOSSOM ROCK; 9pm, $5

MUSICAL CHARIS, AUTUMN SKY, WHISKEY AND STITCHES; 7pm, $7-$15

THE NUANCE, 7:30pm M; Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Open-mic, 8:30pm W, no cover

1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504

ace of spades thursday, auGust 16

nashville pussy horseneck - Avenue sAints BAllistic Burnout - AstrAl cult FrIday, auGust 17

Great White FAster pussYcAt - prettY BoY FloYD - Bullet BoYs

1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com

All Ages Welcome!

thursday, auGust 23

travis porter plus speciAl guests

saturday, auGust 25

full bloWn stone

street urchinz - el lomA prietA - Devin wright

saturday, auGust 18

stepchild soul motor - zeroclient For All i’ve Done - Are we humAn

sunday, auGust 19

strunG out

the DArlings - hAnDguns - lonelY kings

tuesday, auGust 21

chiddy banG k-ottic - j. sirus - BroDi nicholAs

sunday, auGust 26

savinG abel trAck Fighter - overwAtch thursday, auGust 30

turquoise jeep kmAc - 2me - F.A.m.e.

FrIday, auGust 31

altessa ABstrAct ABYss

Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202

44

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08.16.12

COMING

SOON

9/2 The Melvins 9/3 Against Me 9/5 Powerman 5000 9/6 Buckethead 9/7 Static X 9/8 Rehab 9/10 Blaqk Audio 9/11 The Fresh & Onlys 9/12 The Melvins 9/12 Iration & The Expendables 9/13 Aesop Rock w/Rob Sonic 9/14 Anthrax/Testament 9/15 Quiet Riot 9/18 Flobots 9/20 Tomorrows Bad Seeds 9/22 The Used 9/24 Kreator 9/26 GZA 9/27 Hatebreed 10/6 Zion-I 10/10 Steve Vai 10/11 D.R.I 10/13 Morbid Angel 10/23 Motion City Soundtrack 10/24 Alesana 10/27 Groundation 11/3 Colt Ford 11/6 Gwar 11/8 Miss May I 11/9 Blue October 11/14 Minus The Bear 11/18 Pierce The Veil


THURSDAY 8/16

FRIDAY 8/17

SATURDAY 8/18

SUNDAY 8/19

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 8/20-8/22

ON THE Y

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

DRAWING OUT OF LIFE, IN THE SIILENCE; 9pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Open-mic comedy, 10pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

DAROL ANGER & THE FURIES, JOY KILLS SORROW; 7:30pm, $20

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, 8:30pm, $20

NICK GRAVENITES BAND, 8:30pm, $20

DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Politik, 9pm-2am, $15

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825

THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 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

PISTOL PETE’S

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

REVOLVING DOORS, 9pm, $5

BAD IRON, 9pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm W, no cover

POWERHOUSE PUB

DEAD WINTER CARPENTERS, LEFT OF CENTRE; 8pm, call for cover

STEEL BREEZE, 10pm, $10

ELEMENT OF SOUL, ZUHG, STREET URCHINZ; 10pm, $10

JASON KING, 3pm, $10

Karaoke, 9pm M; DJ Alazzawi, Rigatony, 10pm Tu, $3; ASH FORD LANE, 9pm W

THE PRESS CLUB

RED CITY RADIO, BASTARDS OF YOUNG, Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5 CIVIL WAR RUST, URBAN WOLVES; 8pm

Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5

KILL THE PRECEDENT, WALKING DEAD, RAD!, STRANGE PARTY; 5pm, $5

CITY OF VAIN; 8pm M, $6; HANS & THE HOT MESS, BELL BOYS; 8:30pm W, $5

SHENANIGANS

Comedy Night and DJ Selekta Lou, 9pm, $5

ADDICT MERCHANTS, PAK-TEN; 9pm, call for cover

SHINE

Thursday Night Jive: a stand-up comedy night, 8pm, $5

1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960

140 Harrison Ave., Auburn; (530) 885-5093 614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586 2030 P St., (916) 444-7914 705 J St., (916) 442-1268 1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

SOPHIA’S THAI KITCHEN 129 E St., Davis; (530) 758-4333

STONEY INN/ROCKIN RODEO 1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023

JASON BUELL, 9:30pm, $5

SWABBIES

5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088

HERO’S LAST MISSION, LINDSEY PAVAO, MARC DEL CHIARO; 7:30pm

BLUE OAKS, GRAHAM VINSON; 2pm; CIRCA:NOW, HUNGRY, PARIE WOOD; 8pm

DREW GROW & THE PASTORS’ WIVES, OCEANOGRAPHY; 9:30pm, $5

ADVENTURE GALLEY, GIRAFFAGE, GENIUS; 9:30pm, $5

Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm

Open jazz jam, 8pm Tu; Poetry With Legs with Primal Urge, 7pm W

Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover, $5 after 8pm

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover

URBANFIRE, 6-10pm, $10

MOTHER MAYHEM, 4-8pm, $5

HIP SERVICE, 3-7pm, $8 Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; THE GOLDEN CADILLACS, 8pm, $5

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; DEAD WINTER CARPENTERS, 9pm, $5

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; BESO NEGRO, 9pm, $7

JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; THE COALITION, 9pm, $8

TOWNHOUSE LOUNGE

Blitz, gothic and dark pop deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

X-GVNR, 9pm, $5

Pop Freq w/ DJ XGVNR, PLAYBOY SCHOOL, DOLORATA; 9pm, $7

904 15th St., (916) 443-2797 1517 21st St., (916) 613-7194

Karaoke, 8pm W, call for cover Book Swap with alt+library, 4pm, no cover

TORCH CLUB

DIPPIN’ SAUCE, 9pm Tu, $4; Open-mic, 5:30pm W; OUT TO LUNCH, 9pm W, $5 Open-mic, 9pm M, no cover; Eyewitness Wednesdays, 9pm W, no cover

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

NASHVILLE PUSSY, HORSENECK, AVENUE SAINTS; 6:30pm, $15

CLUB RETRO

1529 Eureka Rd., Roseville; (916) 988-6606

4:12 CREW, CORRODED MASTER, CROW, DJ Bob O; 6:30pm, $13

LUIGI’S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN

TUMBLEWEED WANDERERS, 8:30pm, $6

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300

1050 20th St., (916) 552-0317

ZUHG LIFE STORE

545 Downtown Plaza, Ste. 2090, (916) 822-5185

GREAT WHITE, FASTER PUSSYCAT, PRETTY BOY FLOYD; 6:30pm, $20

Medicine for the People 7:30pm Sunday, $5. Cozmic Café Hip-hop and alternative pop

STEPCHILD, SOUL MOTOR, ZEROCLIENT, FOR ALL I’VE DONE; 6:30pm, $10

STRUNG OUT, THE DARLINGS, HANDGUNS, LONELY KINGS; 6:30pm, $15

CHIDDY BANG, K-OTTIC, J.SIRUS, BRODI NICHOLAS; 7pm Tu, $20

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End on the road A trip aiming to stop the   country’s war on drugs Drug-law reformers, it’s time to road trip. This past Sunday, more than 100 organizations joined by the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and David Downs Dignity on a monthlong caravan across the United States. Renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, whose son Juan Francisco was killed in prohibition-related violence last year, will lead other victims and family members from Mexico to unite with victims and supporters across the United States. “Our purpose is to honor our victims, to make their names and faces visible,” Sicilia said in a press statement. “We will travel across the United States to raise awareness of the unbearable pain and loss caused by the drug war.” Several police officers, judges, prosecutors and other drug-war veterans will escort the caravan with a mock police vehicle decorated with anti-prohibition slogans. “I spent decades as a police officer trying to make these drug laws work, but in the end, it didn’t do one bit of good,” Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a retired narcotics cop from Baltimore, said in a press statement. Franklin says that keeping drugs illegal doesn’t reduce abuse, but instead causes death and destruction “by creating a lucrative black market where violence is the primary tool used to protect profits.” “The blood of the 60,000 dead Mexicans and countless Americans who have lost their lives in illegal-drugThe United States market violence here in the ranks first in the U.S. is on the hands of politicians who refuse to fix our world in incarcerating clearly broken drug policies,” its own citizens. he argued. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is also part of this activist project, noting that the drug war has become the new Jim Crow in America, and has led to the purported “land of the free” having the highest incarceration rates of any country in history. The United States ranks first in the world in incarcerating its own citizens, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Roughly 500,000 people are behind bars for a drug-law violation today. Blacks and Latinos are vastly overrepresented among those arrested and incarcerated for drug offenses, even though drug-use rates are similar across racial and ethnic lines. The caravan started in Baja California border town Tijuana on Saturday, August 11, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to San Diego, and is now traveling through 20-plus cities and communities in 10 states before arriving in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 10. The caravan will officially conclude on Wednesday, September 12, by calling for an International Day of Action for Peace in Mexico. Rather than curbing drug use or supply, prohibition has enriched violent traffickers, armed with illegal weapons and sustained by laundered money, both of which flow into Mexico from the United States unabated. The militarization of drug policy has only escalated the violence, corruption and impunity, leading to more deaths and disappearances that have torn the fabric of Mexican society. Ω

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08.16.12     |   SN&R     |   49


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0((7


by ROB BREZSNY

FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 16, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): These days,

you have a knack for reclamation and redemption, Aries. If anyone can put fun into what’s dysfunctional, it’s you. You may even be able to infuse neurotic cluelessness with a dose of erotic playfulness. So be confident in your ability to perform real magic in tight spots. Be alert for opportunities to transform messy irrelevancy into sparkly intrigue. By the way, how do you feel about the term “resurrection”? I suggest you strip away any previous associations you might have had, and be open to the possibility that you can find new meanings for it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The game of

tic-tac-toe is simple. Even young children can manage it. And yet, there are 255,168 different ways for any single match to play out. The game of life has far more variables than tic-tac-toe, of course. I think that’ll be good for you to keep in mind in the coming weeks. You may be tempted to believe that each situation you’re dealing with can have only one or two possible outcomes, when, in fact, it probably has at least 255,168. Keep your options wide open. Brainstorm about unexpected possibilities.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Let’s turn

our attention to the word “mortar.” I propose that we use it to point out three influences you could benefit from calling on. Here are the definitions of “mortar”: 1. a kind of cannon; 2. the plaster employed for binding bricks together; 3. a bowl where healing herbs are ground into powder. Now please meditate, Gemini, on anything you could do that might: 1. deflect your adversaries; 2. cement new unions; 3. make a container—in other words, create a specific time and place—where you will work on a cure for your suffering.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Nirvana’s

song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was a megahit that sold well and garnered critical acclaim. But it had a difficult birth. When the band’s leader Kurt Cobain first presented the raw tune to the band, bassist Krist Novoselic disliked it and called it “ridiculous.” Cobain pushed back, forcing Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl to play it over and over again for an hour-and-ahalf. In the course of the ordeal, the early resistance dissolved. Novoselic and Grohl even added their own touches to the song’s riffs. I foresee a similar process for you in the coming week, Cancerian. Give a long listen to an unfamiliar idea that doesn’t grab you at first.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): One of history’s

most notorious trials took place in Athens, Greece, in 399 B.C. A majority of 501 jurors convicted the philosopher Socrates of impiety and of being a bad influence on young people. What were the impious things he did? “Failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities.” And so the great man was sentenced to death. This is a good reminder that just because many people believe something is true or valuable or important doesn’t mean it is. That’s especially crucial for you to keep in mind. You are in a phase when it might be wise and healthy to evade at least one popular trend. Groupthink is not your friend.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): With all the

homework you’ve done lately, you’ve earned a lot of extra credit. So I’m thinking you’ll get a decent grade in your unofficial “crash course” even if you’re a bit sleepy during your final exam. But just in case, I’ll provide you with a mini cheat sheet. Here are the right answers to five of the most challenging test questions: 1. People who never break anything will never learn how to make lasting creations. 2. A mirror is not just an excellent tool for self-defense, but also a tremendous asset in your quest for power over yourself. 3. The less you hide the truth, the smarter you’ll be. 4. The welldisciplined shall inherit the Earth. 5. You often meet your destiny on the road you took to avoid it.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Hubble

Space Telescope has taken 700,000 photos of deep space. Because it’s able to record details that are impossible to capture from the Earth’s surface, it has dramatically enhanced astronomers’ understanding of

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by KIMBERLY

BROWN

PHOTO BY WILLIAM LEUNG

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY stars and galaxies. This miraculous technology got off to a rough start, however. Soon after its launch, scientists realized that there was a major flaw in its main mirror. Fortunately, astronauts were eventually able to correct the problem in a series of complex repair jobs. It’s quite possible, Libra, that you will benefit from a Hubble-like augmentation of your vision in the next nine months. Right from the beginning, make sure there are no significant defects in the fundamentals of your big expansion.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To some

people, sweating is regarded as an indelicate act that should be avoided or hidden. But there are others for whom sweating is a sign of health and vigor. In Egyptian culture, for example, “How do you sweat?” is a common salutation. In the coming weeks, Scorpio, I encourage you to align yourself with the latter attitude. It won’t be a time to try to impress anyone with how cool and dignified you are. Rather, success is more likely to be yours if you’re not only eager to sweat but also willing to let people see you sweat. Exert yourself. Extend yourself. Show how much you care.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

“Whatever I take, I take too much or too little; I do not take the exact amount,” wrote poet Antonio Porchia. “The exact amount is no use to me.” I suggest you try adopting that badass attitude in the coming days, Sagittarius. Be a bit contrarian but with humor and style. Doing so would, I think, put you in sweet alignment with the impish nature of the vibes swirling in your vicinity. If you summon just the right amount of devil-may-care jauntiness, you’ll be likely to get the most out of the cosmic jokes that will unfold.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

What is the longest-running lie in your life? Maybe it’s a deception you’ve worked long and hard to hide. Maybe it’s a delusion you’ve insisted on believing in. Or perhaps it’s just a wish you keep thinking will come true one day, even though there’s scant evidence it ever will. Whatever that big drain on your energy is, Capricorn, now would be a good time to try changing your relationship with it. I can’t say for sure that you’ll be able to completely transform it overnight. But if you marshal a strong intention, you will be able to get the process underway.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You may

have heard the theory that somewhere there is a special person who is your other half—the missing part of you. In D.H. Lawrence’s version of this fantasy, the two of you were a single angel that divided in two before you were born. Personally, I don’t buy it. The experiences of everyone I’ve ever known suggest there are many possible soulmates for each of us. So here’s my variation on the idea: Any good intimate relationship generates an “angel”—a spirit that the two partners create together. This is an excellent time for you to try out this hypothesis, Aquarius. As you interact with your closest ally, imagine that a third party is with you: your mutual angel.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the coming

weeks, you’ll be wise to shed your emotional baggage and purge your useless worries and liberate yourself from your attachments to the old days and the old ways. In other words, clear out a lot of free, fresh space. And when you’re finished doing that, Pisces, don’t hide away in a dark corner feeing vulnerable and sensitive and stripped bare. Rather, situate yourself in the middle of a fertile hub and prepare to consort with new playmates, unexpected adventures, and interesting blessings. One of my readers, Reya Mellicker, sums up the right approach: “Be empty, not like the bowl put away in the cupboard, but like the bowl on the counter, cereal box above, waiting to receive.”

You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18+. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at www.realastrology.com.

FRONTLINES

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FEATURE

Blood, guts and gory Sacramento resident Nicole Chilelli has a thirst for blood—and making it gush from a fake wound in your neck. The 28-year-old special-effects makeup artist took a longtime love for Halloween and turned it into her life’s work, churning out busted lips, broken noses and bizarre creatures for photo and film. Next week, her passion is put to the test on the third season of the reality-show competition Face Off, which premieres Tuesday, August 21, at 9 p.m. on the Syfy channel.

Can you tell me anything about the show? No. [The show’s producers are] really strict [about] what I can say and what I can’t.

OK, we don’t want you to get sued. Yeah. For a lot (laughs).

How did you originally get involved in special-effects makeup? I kinda got started with ... my love for Halloween. … I’ve always had art in my life. … In school, it was like every art class I could take, I would take it, whether it was sculpting or jewelry making or theater. … But I never really knew how that was gonna be a job—like, what am I gonna be, like some painter, selling my art … for $20 a pop or something?

It’s not necessarily an easy living. No ... I decided that a good way to make it a career was to be a tattoo artist. So I started at a tattoo shop. But it just wasn’t a good fit. So I ended up just working at an art-supply store, and I was still really big into Halloween

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and always messing around with blood effects and trying to make stuff as scary as I possibly could. That was … my passion. ... One year, I bought this fake hand [at] a 24-hour Halloween store. … I had it hanging out from the back of my trunk, just to scare people for the whole month of October. I got all the paints and makeup stuff and started painting it to make it look gross and dead and just as scary as I could.

You made a mafia trunk? (Laughs.) Yeah, just made it as bloody and gory as I could. I guess I was out there working on it for, I don’t know, like three hours or something like that, and my dad came outside, and he was like, “Dude, do you realize how long you’ve been out here? This is, like … you’re sick. Something’s wrong with you.”

Ha! That’s great. So, he’s like, “Why don’t you do this for a living? Why don’t you do movie makeup?” I’d never even thought about that. That’s my two loves in one. … One day, my dad came home with a [community-college] pamphlet, and it had a Halloween “Blood, Guts, and Gore” class. … And the very first day in that class, I was like, that’s it. This is what I’m meant to do. … I felt, like, super excited and driven by that … so I went on to take a fantasy-makeup and professional-makeup class.

Is there work for you in Sacramento? There is a film industry in Sacramento; there are photographers. … I get a lot of student filmmakers, and I’ve just started working with some bigger-named people in Sacramento. … A lot of people don’t think there’s much going on here, but Sacramento has a lot of artists.

I know some effects artists get tired of the gore. Are you the opposite?

blood tube in my hand, and I have to make blood spurt out of somebody’s neck or something, I’ve got a grin on my face the whole time.

Do you have a particular blood recipe that you use? It depends on what the project is, you know? If somebody’s going to be lying in a huge pool of blood, I’m going to make that. It’s not a big deal. But if it’s gonna be going into somebody’s mouth or something, I’d probably want to buy the mint-flavored one.

On Face Off, you work closely with industry names, like Ve Neill and Glenn Hetrick. What’s it like working such well-established makeup artists? It’s probably the biggest awesome thing on the show, being able to have … people who have been in the industry, people who really know makeup—to have people of that level look at your work, and be like, “This is good,” or “This sucks,” or “This is what you need to work on.” Having their critique is a gift.

Even if they tell you it stinks? You’re learning from the best. You know, sometimes it sucks to hear bad things from anybody. … But it’s always a learning process. … If everybody always tells you, “It’s beautiful, you did a great job,” you’re never going to learn anything. Those bad things anybody ever says are just going to make you a better artist. And it’s just as good and amazing when people love it—it feels wonderful. Ω Check out Nicole Chilelli’s work at http://itsbeen kissed.wix.com/makeup. For more information on Face Off, visit www.syfy.com/faceoff.

I like doing all of it. … I really enjoy the fantasy and the creatures ... but if you put a |

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