ProP. 32â€™s extremism see Frontlines, page 9
Cloudy AtlAs with a chance oF cheese balls see Film, page 36
Vote! Vote! Vote! see opinion, page 17
hella-ween see night&Day, page 26
see world series, on a tV this week, perhaps at a local restaurant or bar
Sacramentoâ€™S newS & entertainment weekly
Volume 24, iSSue 28
thurSday, october 25, 2012
HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o
Shredding the Cost of Healthcare for those In Need By Sukhi Br ar
nna Herrera has been dependent upon government assistance her entire life. Now 30 years old, Anna was born blind, with developmental delays and requires extensive in-home care. After her father tragically passed away when she was 25, the social security benefits that Anna received due to her condition increased, but so did her share of cost for Medi-Cal. “Her share of cost became enormous,” said Anna’s mother and caretaker Connie Herrera. “It was an increase of about $400 a month.”
Connie asked if Anna could go back to receiving the lower benefit payments she had gotten before her father’s death so that her “[LegaL Servi ServiCeS Medi-Cal share of cost would be lower.
of NortHer erN CaLiforNia] ia] made me feeL tHat at tHere are peopLee wHo reaLLy Care...if you doN’t kNow you CaN’t take advaNtage.”
“I was told Anna did not have the option to stay on the payment program she was already on. It was ridiculous because the higher benefit payments were actually hurting her,” explained Connie. “I tried to call Medi-Cal for help but no one was answering. Then a friend and told me about Legal Services of Northern California.”
Anna to find and shred. Anna loved shredding so much she began shredding anything she could find including important documents that Connie wanted to keep. “One time I gave her the telephone directory to shred because she loved shredding so much,” said Connie. Eventually, this passion for shredding turned into a job for Anna. One of Connie’s acquaintances offered to pay Anna to shred documents a couple of times a month. Jane at LSNC identified this job as the solution to Connie and Anna’s high share of cost problem with Medi-Cal. Jane informed Connie that Anna’s job qualified her for the little-known 250% California Working Disabled Program. This Medi-Cal program brought Anna’s monthly premium down to only $20 a month. “I would have never known to look up something like this. Even after Jane told me about the program, there were people at Medi-Cal I called who did not know about it,” said Connie.
Connie called and spoke with Jane at LSNC. “Jane asked me what Anna did. I told her that even though Anna was 25 years old, she only had the mental capacity of a 7- to 9-year old, but she did work a few hours a month shredding documents for a friend,” said Connie. Anna’s love for shredding began at home. Connie would place documents to be shredded in a special basket for
free LegaL HeLp from LegaL ServiCeS for Low-iNCome iNdividuaLS Legal Services of Northern California provides legal representation to low-income clients in 23 Northern California counties. LSNC helps uninsured people obtain assistance with medical bills, health benefits and obtaining necessary care. LSNC offers free legal services regardless of income for health related programs. LSNC’s health law
attorneys are spread across LSNC’s Northern California offices located in Sacramento, west Sacramento, auburn, Chico, ukiah and redding. more information about LSNC can be found at www.lsnc.net.
paid with a grant from the california endowment 2 | SN&R | 10.25.12
Share. Repost. Like. It’s almost over. Soon, we’ll finally make several important political decisions, including who will be tasked with running the country for the next four years. Decisions that may or may not be shaped by our Internet addiction. “You didn’t build that.” The 47 percent. Big Bird. Binders full of women. Romnesia. Horses and bayonets. Issues? Sure, we’re talking about them—but in easily digestible bits that make yesterday’s sound bites seem like fusty old-fashioned political commentary. When it comes to the 2012 election season, it’s a meme, meme, meme, meme world—a social mediafueled race propelled by endless Facebook posts, Twitter blasts and Tumblr feeds. Romney’s “binders full of women” comment during the October 16 debate, for example, had its own Facebook page (with nearly 100,000 “likes”) and Tumblr feed before the televised showdown was even over. Share. Repost. Like. Certainly, it’s funny and entertaining and it serves, inarguably, to draw more people into the conversation. A new study released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, for example, shows that 66 percent of all social-media users “have employed the platforms to post their thoughts about civic and political issues.” And such users, the study reveals, tend to skew younger and female with politically liberal or ideological viewpoints. How that actually breaks down when it comes to cold, hard votes, however, won’t be known until at November 6 at the very soonest. Until then, we’ll continue to share, repost and like. But it’s almost time to disconnect from the fray and move beyond the memes. It’s almost, finally, time to vote. And for now at least, there’s no app for that. —Rachel Leibrock
rac he ll@ n ews r ev i ew . com
OCTOBER 25, 2012 | Vol. 24, Issue 28
05 07 09 15 17 18 24 26 29 33 34 36 38 55
STREETALK LETTERS NEWS gREEN DAyS OPINION FEATuRE STORy ARTS&CuLTuRE NIgHT&DAy DISH ASK JOEy STAgE FILM MuSIC 15 MINuTES cover design by priscilla garcia jerry brown photo by thomas hawk
55 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 Staff Writer Raheem F. Hosseini Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Calendar Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Kel Munger Contributing Editor Cosmo Garvin Proofreader Deena Drewis Editor-at-large Melinda Welsh Editorial Intern Maddi Silva Contributors Sasha Abramsky, Christopher Arns, Ngaio Bealum, Rob Brezsny, Joey Garcia, Becky Grunewald, Mark Halverson, Jeff Hudson, Jonathan Kiefer,
Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Seth Sandronsky, Amy Yannello
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Design Manager Kate Murphy Art Director Priscilla Garcia Associate Art Director Hayley Doshay Design Melissa Arendt, Brian Breneman, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Contributing Photographers Steven Chea, Wes Davis, Ryan Donahue, Taras Garcia, William Leung, Salvador Ochoa, Shoka, Justin Short, Anne Stokes
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1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone (916) 498-1234 Sales Fax (916) 498-7910 Editorial Fax (916) 498-7920 Website www.newsreview.com SN&R is printed by The Paradise Post using recycled newsprint whenever available. 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. 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.
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“He love them cookies.”
Asked at Cathedral Square on the K Street Mall:
What Muppet would you be?
The drummer, the crazy drummer, [Animal]. I can relate to him, just being a crazy kind of a character he is. Remember the inchworm [Slimey]? The little inchworm, he was a Muppet, too.
I would have to go with Kermit [the Frog]. He was unique by virtue of the fact that he was green. He was always proud of it and not afraid to be himself, to be an individual. I am a Kermit fan.
The Swedish Chef. I think he is comical. I just have good memories from a co-worker and I: On our breaks, he would pull up [videos of The Swedish Chef], and he kind of got me hooked.
Miss Piggy, ’cause she always wants to be prissy, dressing nice, sassy. I have two little ones, and we have seen The Muppets Take [Manhattan].
The Swedish Chef. He likes to cook, I like to cook. He’s kind of messy when he does it, so that kind of fits the bill for me. I see a lot of similarities there with his talents and mine. I do help my wife out with cooking. I am married, with four children.
Cookie Monster. He love them cookies. I like his personality. I saw Muppets From Space, and I am a Muppet fan.
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This Modern World
Morality at the polls
by ToM ToM orroW
Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Opinion, October 18): Proposition 39 on the California ballot, which would close a corporate-tax loophole, is a moral issue. Our faith principles lead us to support it enthusiastically. Since 2009, the state has discriminated against letter of California-based businesses that create jobs here. the week It has allowed out-of-state businesses to pay a lower tax rate than California businesses. This is unjust, and it drives businesses and jobs out of the state. Prop. 39 will do away with this discrimination and help keep jobs here. Prop. 39 also will provide more jobs in California by creating greenenergy jobs. By being better stewards of creation, we can create good jobs with a real future. the Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser
execut i v e di r ect or , Cal i f or n i a Coun ci l of Chu rc h e s I M P A C T
Double illegal? Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Opinion, October 18): Thanks for clearing up the deal with Proposition 35. I always wondered when people told me it was to stop [the] sex trafficking of children why we needed a new law for that. As far as I know, all these arrests we see in the paper are proof that molesting kids is already illegal, and it looks like the police are doing a decent job of arresting the pervs who do it. Now that I know somebody will be getting tax money from this proposition, I know it’s not what it seems to be. So when are you going to go after these two-faced props, anyway? They shouldn’t be able to get away with hiding who will get the money or with making it sound like something is legal when it’s not. Mitch Martinson Sacramento
Yee in District 4 Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Opinion, October 18): Sacramento is at a crossroads. We continue to experience challenging economic times and are experiencing a continued flight of businesses from our community. Joe Yee brings the insight of a successful local business with proven leadership abilities. I served with Joe Yee on the city’s General Plan Advisory Committee for four years. Joe led this successful effort to create a new general plan and vision for the city which was unanimously supported by committee members representing each council district and diverse interest groups, which was adopted by the [Sacramento] City Council.
This is the leadership we need in District 4. It is one thing to have a great idea, it is another to bring the business acumen and leadership skills to bridge diverse viewpoints and develop consensus in the divisive political environment we have today. Steven Kahn Sacramento
A psychic prediction? Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Opinion, October 18): Hold on to your coffee cup: [Barack] Obama by a landslide—or wins easily. Why do I say this? Because Republicans and their tea-party mistress have tried 50 different ways to blame and tag President Obama for failing to improve the economy but to no avail. Republicans are a day late and a dollar short as usual. Another problem for the Republicans is that the economy has turned around. Any of you who don’t live in ivory towers have seen the change every time you walk out the door. People are having a good time again, eating out, partying till the break of dawn, shopping, spending money. There are even stats to go along with this consummate turnaround: The housing market is making a comeback after years in hiatus; housing prices and sales are up around the country; stock markets have surged to the highest point in years; car sales are up; retail sales are up; and construction workers are back on the job. So, my question is, who are you going to believe: [Mitt] Romney and Republican lies or your own eyes and common sense? Ron Lowe Nevada City
F E AT U R E
Let the time fit the crime
Don’t generalize about homeless people
Re “Blue state, red meat” and “Minority report” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, September 27, and October 4): Thank you for reporting on Proposition 36. California’s three-strikes law is a form of enslavement. People punished by three strikes are lifers, because their sentence will state 25-[years]-to-life or more. This is crazy. The punishment shouldn’t be worse than the crime committed. Resentencing on crimes for which someone has already served prison time is against our constitution, plus, it is just cruel. I believe victims deserve to see their offenders locked up, but the sentence needs to be proportionate. Something is terribly wrong and unjust when property theft becomes more serious than murder. I am voting yes on Proposition 36. Let the time fit the crime. Elizabeth Stewart via email
Re “War on homelessness” by Nick Miller (SN&R Midtown&Down, September 27) and “SN&R doesn’t really see homeless” (SN&R Letters, October 18): Nick Miller’s piece is some of the most accurate local journalism on homelessness I have seen in a long time. Most news on the subject is extremely biased. Having 19 years of field experience in homelessness, including service-provider experience, I can say so with a level of authority. I can also state with authority, concerning David Gonzalez’s letter on October 18 addressing homeless issues, that he is highly misinformed. I interact with homeless on a daily basis also, and have for a long time. It is my job. This blanket assumption made by him and many people that the majority of homeless are homeless because of mental illness and/or drug addiction, or they are somehow to blame for their misfortune, has no factual basis [whatsoever], and in reality, these people’s circumstances vary as much as mine or yours from every other person on the planet. We do not know these people’s history, and/or what lead them to where they are. To assume they are to blame, that they choose that life or otherwise, is purely ignorant. We
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have a responsibility as productive members of society to avoid such ignorant acts for the humanity of everyone. Sonny Iverson Sacramento
Haiku for the Undead Ganja Zombie They smoked their brains out, slogged to Mickey D’s, ordered large fries, extra salt. Commitment Zombies One by one, they both consumed them all. Now they had only each other. Sex Zombie He finished first and she laid there, still, not knowing if they were done yet. The Zombie Goes to the Halloween Party, Dateless He shunned the costume, and everyone asked, “Who are you supposed to be?”
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New lipstick, old pig
A glance at the familiar extreme-right faces vying—again—to quash unions with Proposition 32 Backers of Proposition 32 are portraying it as a fresh, nonpartisan attempt to clean up California’s political system. But the by statewide measure, in fact, has origins Darwin that date back both to legislation crafted BondGraham 15 years ago by conservative lawyers and also to a pair of propositions that sought to ban unions from taking part in what has become the most important part of the political process: raising and spending money. Although voters rejected those previous measures, wealthy corporate interests have decided to return to the ballot box again this year with Prop. 32, an initiative that not only is similar to the previous two, but also, in some ways, much more extreme. The idea that eventually led to Prop. 32 was hatched in the late 1990s by attorneys paid by the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. They wrote anti-union legislation that was inspired by conservative charter-school activists in Orange County, who put a proposition on the California ballot that would have radically undermined union participation in state politics. Backed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, Proposition 226 sought to prohibit unions from using member dues for political purposes. It was funded with five- and six-figure checks from a handful of überrich conservatives such as Carl Lindner Jr., Richard Scaife and Jerrold Perenchio. Voters, however, defeated the measure by a seven-point margin. In 2005, some of the same corporate elites returned with Proposition 75, this time using Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as their salesman. They polished the proposition through ALEC’s national network of anti-labor lawyers, but Prop. 75 was basically the same as Prop. 226. It would have undermined unions’ abilities to use payroll deductions to fund political expenditures, and California voters rejected the measure by the same sevenpoint margin. BEFORE
ILLUSTRATION BY PRISCILLA GARCIA
FRONTLINES 2 p.
This year’s Proposition 32 is a cut from similar—and unsuccessful—ham-fisted efforts to limit or ban unions from raising money to spend on the political process.
Although Prop. 32 is being billed by supporters as more evenhanded than 75 and 226, it in fact goes beyond the longtime conservative strategy of requiring unions to obtain annual written consent from their members before using paycheck deductions on political campaigns. Prop. 32 would enforce an outright ban on union money in politics by making it illegal for unions to give contributions to candidates.
Corporations spent roughly $108 million on this year’s California elections, while labor unions contributed only $30 million. And $8 million of that went to defeating Proposition 32. Prop. 32’s sponsors also seem to have learned from the prior defeats. This time, they’re soft-pedaling the anti-union measure as one that targets all “special interests.” The wording of the proposition implies that it would ban both union and corporate contributions to candidate committees, thereby stemming the flow of labor and corporate dollars in elections.
But legal experts who have analyzed Prop. 32 say this is disingenuous. “This measure disproportionately affects unions,” said Michael Salerno, associate director of the Center for State and Local Government Law at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He shared an old saying in politics: “You’ve got the sizzle, and you’ve got the beef. The sizzle is the stuff that appeals to voters,” such as the notion that businesses shouldn’t be able to make contributions to politicians that decide on their contracts. “The beef is: Unions can’t use payroll deductions to get political contributions from their members. Corporations don’t use payroll deductions from their employees. They just use their corporate resources,” said Salerno. In other words, Prop. 32 would slightly restrict the channels through which corporations can funnel their money into the political process, but the measure would absolutely cut off union money, because it outlaws the one method available for unions to raise dollars on anything approaching the same scale as businesses and wealthy individuals: paycheck deductions. “What makes labor powerful is that aggregation,” said Edwin Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics. “Labor is able to aggregate the small contributions of its members through paycheck deductions to have a seat at the table alongside big business.”
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Even so, Bender said labor unions are still overshadowed by the influence of corporations: “When you add up all the business dollars together spent in a typical state election, to get a picture of the people on the other side of the table from labor, labor always ends up being dwarfed by five to seven times or more.” This is true in California. Although unions such as the Service Employees International Union; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and the California Teachers Association are among the largest single sources of campaign contributions, many more corporations rank equally as high. And when you add up all the union money and compare it to the dollars corporations spend to elect and influence state and local leaders, it turns out unions are not at all in the driver’s seat. This year, for example, none of the top-five contributors to candidates and committees in California are unions: Two are tobacco companies, one is a hedgefund manager, another is Molly Munger (whose wealth is mostly inherited from her father, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) and the fifth is the American Cancer Society. Data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics shows that corporations have spent roughly $108 million on this year’s elections in California, while labor unions have contributed only
“NEW LIPSTICK, OLD PIG” continued on page 11
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about $30 million. And $8 million of the unions’ total has gone toward defeating Prop. 32. The dollar-for-dollar big picture then is that unions are significantly weaker than corporations and wealthy individuals under the current system. Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, said it’s important to keep in mind that unions are raising money from thousands, even millions, of members, while corporations and the wealthy are representing much smaller, more elite interest groups, making comparisons between the two adversaries inappropriate. “What unions do is aggregate small amounts of money from lots of people,” Jacobs said. “This enables working people to come together in politics and have some say to be a counterbalance.”
“What unions do is aggregate small amounts of money from lots of people. This enables working people to come together in politics and have some say, to be a counterbalance.” Ken Jacobs chairman, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education Jacobs said it’s imperative for voters to also understand that Prop. 32 threatens much more than union political representation. “I think it’s really important that people appreciate what it is that labor fights for,” he said. “When we step back and look at the role unions played in increasing the state minimum wage, for example, that’s something union members weren’t directly affected by, but that’s something all workers in California have benefited from, with the biggest impact on nonunion workers.” Jacobs added that this is true for so many protections unions have fought for: public education, labor and environmental standards, tax fairness, anti-poverty programs, occupational health and safety. “There’s a whole slew of areas where labor has pitched in to improve the quality of life for all Californians,” he argued. It’s this wider agenda of undermining democratization, equality and environmental justice that might explain the motives of some of Prop. 32’s biggest funders. Like previous efforts to gut union power in California, Prop. 32 is funded by BEFORE
conservatives whose agenda stretches far beyond conflicts between workers and management over wages and benefits. For example, Carl Lindner Jr., a major backer of 1998’s Prop. 226, was the owner of the Chiquita Brands International Inc. banana and fruit company. Lindner’s opposition to environmental regulation and labor standards ran so deep that his company was accused by the U.S. Department of State of secretly using banned pesticides and hiring a paramilitary outfit classified as a “terrorist organization” to attack plantation workers and forcibly displace villagers near its Colombian land holdings. Prop. 32 has similarly extreme funders, whose goals stretch far beyond a desire to limit collective bargaining and who perceive unions as impediments to their larger agenda. For example, Howard Ahmanson Jr., one of Prop. 32’s biggest funders, is well-known for his anti-gay crusades. He has spent millions supporting anti-gay politicians and ballot propositions like Proposition 8. And, at one time, he belonged to a Christian sect that advocated the death penalty for homosexuals. He once explained his overarching political goals as the “total integration of biblical law into our lives.” Another Prop. 32 funder is George Hume, who owns Basic American Foods, a food-manufacturing company. Hume’s deceased father, Jack Hume, was a founding member of Ronald Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet, the far-right unofficial advisory group composed of wealthy businessmen who pressed Reagan for corporate-tax cuts and major increases in military spending. Under George Hume’s control, Basic American Foods has battled its low-wage employees on several occasions, including a brutal, two-year-long strike at a vegetabledehydration plant in King City, Calif., in 2001. Hume is a major Republican money source and contributes nationally to anti-labor politicians. In 2012, he gave $10,000 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was fighting a recall effort prompted by his attempt to repeal collective-bargaining rights for government workers. “Prop. 32 is part and parcel of an agenda to move the state and nation to the right,” said Jacobs. “This comes partly from interest in pushing for privatization which unions oppose, but also pushing for deregulation, reduction in environmental laws and other areas where unions have helped to serve as a counterbalance to corporate America.” Ω
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Independent thinking On California’s true colors and the coveted no-party-preference voter California’s an all-blue all-the-time state, right? Certainly it’s understood we’re going with the incumbent in the presidential race, which is why the Golden State is spared the TV carpet-bombing that the poor folks in battleground places like Ohio and Nevada have endured for months. We should be grateful for that blessing. But as far as California being all about indigo, that’s not so true. CAS by GREG LU The latest statistics show Democrats are 43.3 percent
of California’s 17.1 million registered voters, down from around 47-plus percent when President Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. Republicans are at 30.1 percent and falling. (Based on their public utterances, apparently, this is by choice.) And no-party-preference voters stand at 21 percent and some change: almost 3.7 million people.
Independent voters could just take a pass this time around.
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Greg Lucas’ state-politics column Capitol Lowdown will appear every-other week in SN&R. He also blogs at www.californias capitol.com.
“No party preference” is what California calls folks who aren’t signed up as Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian or whatever other flavors are out there. They tend to be young—18 to 39—better educated, distrusting of government, more forgiving on social issues, more likely to be informed through social media. And that’s one reason why “no party preference” doesn’t really cut it as a definition of these folks. “No party preference” sounds like something written on an Internet-dating questionnaire to euphemistically describe an undiscriminating willingness to perform the horizontal mambo. But “no party preference” is a major step up from “decline to state,” which is what indie voters used to be called. Judging from the no-party-preference tag, it would seem that upward of 3.7 million Californians would rather jab needles in their eyes than spend 30 seconds seated next to a scummy Democrat or putrescent Republican. Not exactly. No-party-preference voters actually have preferences, according to an August Public Policy Institute of California poll on the subject. The PPIC says 43 percent of likely “independent” voters lean Democrat and 30 percent Republican. (Shocking,
eh? A mirror of the state’s overall voter-registration statistics.) The remaining 27 percent says a pox on both parties. Well, sort of. From the same poll, 59 percent of independents say they’re down with same-sex marriage. Two-thirds of independents say jack up taxes on the wealthy until their wallets bleed. Then again, independents can be just as divided as party-affiliated voters. Legalization of marijuana: 49 percent for and 46 percent against. Death penalty for first-degree murder: 50 percent say warehouse the scum bucket, and 46 percent say stick a needle in the rat bastard. And, as if this hasn’t yet been parsed six ways from Sunday, although a majority of indie voters tilt Democrat, 55 percent say the Democratic Party sucks, 61 percent say the same thing about the Reps and another 56 percent think the tea-party chuckleheads bite. Clearly, not a monolithic group of voters. And are they ever fickle. Nationally in 2008, independent voters went with Democrats by an eight-point spread. In 2010, they broke with Republicans by 19 points. In the old R. Crumb cartoons, someone invariably says, “What’s does it all mean, Mr. Natural?” It may, in fact, as Mr. Natural usually answers, not mean shit. Independent voters could just take a pass this time around. A large-scale independent opt out hurts the president. But it doesn’t significantly enrich former-Gov. Mitt Romney and the GOP, either, except in so far as there are less votes for the Democrat. The fear is if these alleged independents are so alienated, they’ll actually bogart the party the PPIC says they generally align with. It’s not by accident that President Obama doesn’t stand under banners trumpeting “Change” this time around. He’s the “Forward” guy now. The tag implies, of course, his opponent is “Backward,” and encouraging “Change” might lead someone—like, say a recently graduated from college independent voter who can’t find a job—to switch his or her political allegiance. And, as president of the United States in a difficult election year, that would be very, very, seriously bad. Ω
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Sacramento’s power trio
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Meet your SMUD board candidates
They don’t call it public power for nothing. Unlike the for-profit Pacific Gas and Electric Company—which is owned by shareholders—the Sacramento Municipal Utility District is owned by us, the ratepayers. The elected members of SMUD’s board of directors each represent about 200,000 residents, each organized into “wards.” That reminds Bites of Thomas ArviN Jefferson’s “ward republics,” though by CoSMo G these wards contain enough people to cos mog@ n ewsrev iew.c om fill a midsize American city. If you live in downtown, Midtown, north Natomas, north Sacramento or other points north, you’re in Ward 5, and it’s time for you to elect a new representative. He or she will help oversee SMUD’s $1.3 billion budget, which is kind of a big deal, though a lot of voters don’t have a clue who to vote for. “A lot of people don’t even know there is a SMUD board. They don’t know that they have a voice,” SMUD candidate Samara Palko told Bites last week. “Some people don’t know what SMUD is,” agreed Michael Picker, an energy consultant also running for the Ward 5 seat. The voter’s choice is made more difficult by a respectable crop of three smart, articulate candidates who seem sincere about public service. Palko was a middle-school teacher and now serves on the board of the Midtown Neighborhood Association, where she puts on events like National Night Out. She told Bites she’s interested in getting customers more engaged and bringing SMUD into the classrooms. Ben Phillips is an appointed member of the SMUD Community Advisory Panel and is active in the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce. He’s running on a platform of engagement, too, with an emphasis on letting customers know how they can save money on their bills. Phillips has a ton of endorsements from local political groups, including the Democratic Party of Sacramento County and the Stonewall Democrats of Sacramento, as well as several elected officials, including current SMUD board members Genevieve Shiroma and Nancy Bui-Thompson. Picker’s got a long résumé that includes a recent stint as Gov. Jerry Brown’s advisor on renewable-energy facilities; he was also chief of staff to Mayor Joe Serna and was involved early on in the movement to shut down SMUD’s Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station in the 1980s. He’s also got the most campaign money of all the candidates. Picker’s raised about $75,000 compared to Phillips’ $25,000.
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The two men seem to have a bit of a rivalry. The Picker campaign complained to county elections officials about the way Phillips’ name was listed on the ballot. Phillips had it down as “SMUD community advisor,” which is accurate, but team Picker said that made it sound like Phillips was a SMUD employee. Fearing a lawsuit, Phillips changed it to “SMUD community volunteer,” and then had to change it again to “municipal utility advisor.” All very insidery, but Bites just brings it up to show that even if this election isn’t much on the public radar, these folks aren’t running for class president. Another example: Phillips put together a short video ad and posted it to his website tying Picker to Jerry Brown’s peripheral-canal plan. He says that the peripheral canal will hurt SMUD’s hydropower operation. “And if we have to purchase that power from somewhere else, that’s going to cost us.”
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“If we have to purchase that power from somewhere else, that’s going to cost us.”
Ben Phillips SMUD Ward 5 board of directors candidate
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The video shows Picker speaking at a recent forum saying, “I can’t say that I really know very much about the governor’s peripheral-canal proposal.” To be fair, neither does Bites. But Picker is a Brown appointee—he ought to have a better answer. And, in fact, Picker has since said water experts tell him the peripheral canal is not a threat to SMUD. “Our water rights are very strong.” He said he’s more concerned about drought and other ways that climate change could affect us. “I think we need to worry more about these severe weather events.” Palko seems a little bemused by the tussle and what she calls the “special interest” nature of the race. “It seems preprogrammed, like it’s all based on who knows who.” “Those two can go at it. My reason for running is to engage customers,” she added. Anyway, good luck Ward 5 voters, and more power to you. Ω
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Money is not free speech Ben and Jerry support amendment to overturn Citizens United ruling Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream fame has discovered an incredibly effective speech-making technique. He demonstrated it at a recent alternativenewspaper-publishers convention in Burlington, Vermont. Setting down a gigantic bag filled with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Jerry began his remarks by L saying that the ice cream would take about 10 minutes by JEFF VONKAENE to soften up. j e ffv @n e wsr e v ie w.c o m Anticipating free ice cream, the room of publishers softened up much sooner. It is amazing how much more insightful and interesting a speech is that concludes with ice cream. Unfortunately, Jerry’s message was not so sweet. When asked to explain Ben & Jerry’s tremendous success when there are so many great ice-cream makers across the country, Jerry suggested it was the anti-corporate, pro-socialIt is amazing how much movement position of Ben & more insightful and Jerry’s that really separated it its competitors. That led interesting a speech is from to great growth and the need to when it concludes take the company public by sellwith ice cream. ing shares in the company. Once the company went public, Jerry said they had a responsibility to maximize shareholder value. So when an offer to buy the company came in, Jerry said they legally had to sell. So, sadly, they lost their company. Perhaps happily for them, however, they also became rich. According to Jerry, he and his boyhood friend and business partner Ben Cohen are now employed without responsibility and without authority. This gives them a tremendous amount of time and freedom to work on whatever they chose. Although he was scheduled to speak to the publishers, Ben could not make the convention, because he was out of town working with Move to Amend, supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United. Even though our Founding Fathers conducted a revolution to free our country from royalty and landed gentry, a few Go to www.moveto hundred years later, the Supreme Court decided to turn over amend.org to the country to the corporate royalty. The average person gets learn more. Click one vote, but the rich can spend as much money as they want on “Get involved” to join more than to buy the election. I do not get it. And neither does Ben Cohen. 235,000 people who have signed the Move to Amend supports a constitutional amendment Motion to Amend. encouraging us to stamp a message on dollar bills. In addition to giving me some great ice cream, Jerry gave me two stamps: “Not to be used for bribing politicians” and “The system isn’t broken, it’s fixed.” Ben plans to travel across the country with a soon-to-be-created gigantic money-stamping machine, Jeff vonKaenel encouraging people to stamp their money. It’s a fun idea to is the president, bring attention to a national problem. CEO and Ben and Move to Amend are asking citizens and cities to majority owner of sign a petition stating, “We, the People of the United States the News & Review newspapers in of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United Sacramento, ruling, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish Chico and Reno. that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.” That idea is delicious—as was the Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Frozen Yogurt. Ω
Against the grain
by Auntie Ruth
Into the blue
UC Davis scientists explore solutions for removing arsenic from groundwater— and foods like rice and fish
UC Davis experts agree: Don’t eat too much of anything— even rice—and eat fresh, healthy foods.
recommendation is to eat seafood in moderation,” he said. “You won’t have trouble with eating fish a couple of times a week, but if you eat it every day, you could have some problems.” The key, he said, is moderation. But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore the presence of arsenic in rice. “Over the long term, we need to see that we’re addressing monitoring arsenic in rice,” he said. Arsenic is “ubiquitous in soils.” “There are places with very high accumulations, and in those instances there needs to be remediation,” Schenker said. “Arsenic is natural: It occurs in the Earth’s crust. That doesn’t mean we can’t monitor it and set limits for what’s acceptable in food.” Ultimately, the experts agree on the best advice. Schenker quoted well-known foodie author Michael Pollan and pointed out that “if you don’t eat too much of anything, you’re probably OK. Eat good, fresh, healthy foods, all in moderation.” He did note that information about the levels of arsenic in rice would be of interest to people who are following a gluten-free diet. “Gluten-free diets tend to be high in rice,” he said. “You’ve solved one problem and created another, so vary the grains.” Green agrees. “Eat a variety of food, and you’ll probably be good.” Ω
trees on 13th Street, lined up near the Sacramento Community Center Theater. It’s the kind of color you wouldn’t wish on your niece’s hair, which is why so many nieces favor it: That electric shade of blue that because it is so unnatural, leaves you uncomfortable, unsettled. Somehow, the Clash line about “electric shockers” comes to mind, but Ruthie can’t say exactly why. Auntie Ruth was wandering around the project in its early stages, and a paint-stained Konstantin Dimopoulos was happy to chat a bit. He’s the Australian artist, whisked out our way for a project that will endure until the hard rains come. The project, part art-inLick the paint!? public-places and part eco-activism, came courtesy of a what-if article in Sactown Magazine and some $25K in public and private fundraising. That’s a bargain—presenting an event featuring one night with a good dance company can easily cost that much. Conversationally, his eco-rap was good—very pro-tree, pro-environmental, attention must be paid to Ma Earth and her mighty trees—and he tried to tie in his work in Sacramento with a “nearby” old-growth forest (Auntie thinks he was referring to Humboldt County, meaning Mr. Dimopoulos’ grasp of Northern California is as spot-on as Auntie’s grasp of Devils Marbles, Australia—no harm done), and when asked about what would happen to the blue paint after it washed off, he noted it was environmentally harmless and licked the paint right off his hand. And then grinned, toothily.
We environmentalists lack the startle factor more often than not. Not that your average day perusing the news isn’t startling enough, but the startle factor sometimes crouches beneath the science, the complexity, the nerdy truths of it all. That and the peculiarly American inability for taking the long view makes us slow to alarm. Show us a polar bear drowning for lack of a nearby iceberg, and we get it. Or show us a blue tree. And when Mitt Romney says he’s going to aggressively develop coal, or that half the renewable-energy businesses that received stimulus money went bust, or that “I don’t think We bet your aunts carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming aren’t as cool as ours. our bodies,” somebody has got to paint it blue. Friend Auntie Ruth A bright, startling blue. Ω on Facebook and let’s hang out. Check out the Blue Trees project at www.sactree.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SIERRA COLLEGE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Arsenic in rice? But we put rice in everything. That’s the shocked response from many households to the recent news that Consumer Reports magaby Kel Munger zine’s testing had found inorganic arsenic in more than 200 samples of 65 different rice products. ke lm@ Arsenic, an element that is used industrially to newsre view.c om strengthen metal alloys, is found in both organic and inorganic forms—and not just in the rice, according to Peter G. Green, a researcher at UC Davis’ John Muir Institute of the Environment. “You can get arsenic in any plant,” he told SN&R. “The process is simple. If arsenic is in the groundwater and plants put their roots in the ground, there will be arsenic in the plants.” While Green said that arsenic can be found in a variety of foods, including apple juice, it’s most likely to be found in fish and rice. “But if you set aside the fish, rice is the going to be the higher” “We have an in the amount of arsenic absorbed advantage in and passed on, he said. Rice is “efficient at taking up water, and California. We the arsenic is in the water.” Green noted that toxicity don’t have nearly depends entirely on what kind the arsenic in our of arsenic it is and how much groundwater that a human is likely to receive. they have in some Inorganic arsenic is far more toxic to humans than the organic type. parts of the world.” Unfortunately, in groundwater, inorganic arsenic is much more Peter G. Green common. researcher “Removing it from the UC Davis’ John Muir groundwater is a major goal Institute of the Environment for us, and at UC Davis, we’re working on ways to do that,” Green said. “Since it’s suspended in the water, we’re working on ways to pull it out.” Arsenic in food crops is a problem worldwide, but especially in Asia. “We have an advantage in California,” Green said. “We don’t have nearly the arsenic in our groundwater that they have in some parts of the world. For instance Asia, particularly Bangladesh. But arsenic can be found in our water.” The long-term solution is, Green said, to get the arsenic out of the groundwater. But there are also other agricultural options, such as growing rice in a way that minimizes the amount of arsenic it takes up Green Days is on the from water and soil, as well as developing strains of lookout for innovative rice that are less efficient at absorbing arsenic. sustainable projects Dr. Marc Schenker, a professor in the Department throughout the of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis, has done Sacramento region. research on arsenic levels in kelp products that are Turn us on at sactonewstips@ sold as dietary supplements. newsreview.com. “I’m delighted to see attention paid to this issue,” he told SN&R. “It’s a contaminant that should be regulated and monitored.” Schenker compared arsenic in rice with arsenic and mercury in fish. “We’ve known for a long time that arsenic is in seafood along with mercury. The basic
They are startling, they are meant to startle: the blue
Iced out The Sierra Nevada of California are home to numerous beautiful glaciers that are quickly dissapearing due to climate change. This weekend, the Sierra College Natural History Museum at Sierra College (5000 Rocklin Road in Rocklin, Sewell Hall 111) highlights the issue during the two-day lecture series California Glaciers: Going, going, gone? The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 26, with a lecture by geologist Dick Hilton, titled “How the Sierra Obtained its Beauty.” It concludes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with writer and photoghrapher Tim Palmer discussing his latest book, California Glaciers. Friday’s lecture costs $2 to $5; Saturday’s discussion is free.
F E AT U R E S T O RY
Going, going, gone.
—Jonathan Mendick |
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“As an actor here in Sacramento, it was
Past/president/future This time, it’s about change we can accomplish I’m a longtime fan of Dave Eggers—author, editor, originator—so I became a quick enthusiast of his 90 Days, 90 Reasons project with its by Melinda Welsh countdown-to-election stream of essays from people on why they’re voting to re-elect m e l i nd a w @ President Barack Obama. So far, we’ve heard ne w s re v i e w . c o m from Jonathan Franzen, Khaled Hosseini, Jamaica Kincaid, Judd Apatow, Paul Simon, Michelle Tea and plenty of others. Inevitably, the website led me to consider my own reason for supporting Obama. This time, it doesn’t have to do with how I felt in the full sweep of “change we can believe in,” with the idealistic bumper stickers and “Hope” posters. It doesn’t have to do with the elation with which I listened to each one of Obama’s speeches in 2008 as he hopped ahead from one gleaming victory to the next. It doesn’t have to do with the unanticipated and whole-cloth optimism I felt suddenly, and at last, about the future of the country. No, this time, my reason for supporting Obama is less breathless, not as wide-eyed. But it’s just as genuine. This time, it’s not about change we can believe in—it’s about change we can actually accomplish.
This time my reason for supporting Barack Obama is less breathless, not as wide-eyed. But it’s just as genuine.
important for me to work for an organization that supports the arts. Whether it be music, spoken-word poetry or live theater, SN&R is on the forefront of promoting Sacramento’s rich and diverse art scene.” Check out Dave Eggers and Co.’s project to re-elect President Barack Obama at www.90days 90reasons.com.
Like so many, I’m enormously distressed by the ultra-conservatives in Congress and across America who want a return to the failed policies of the Bush administration. But lately, I find myself even more unglued by progressive-slash-liberal friends and readers who say having Obama in office would be pretty much the same as having Mitt Romney there. On the Opening Salvo page on the 90 Days website, Eggers and Co. speculate that some members of the left simply want “to punish President Obama [for not achieving all that was hoped for] by electing an arch-conservative to rule the most powerful nation on Earth.” I can relate to this. And it’s not because I haven’t thought through what it takes to become president. I’ve interviewed three candidates for the country’s top job. In 1992, I interviewed presidential contender and California’s now-Gov. Jerry Brown while driving in a van from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. He may not think it timely to offer this recollection, but make no mistake: As a national candidate two decades ago, Brown was very much a liberal progressive in his outlook and platform.
It was 2000 when Ralph Nader came to SN&R’s offices and spoke to a small group of us about his bid for the presidency. (I remember him offering a shrug when I asked if his candidacy in a general election might actually wind up helping a Republican become president.) Finally, in 2004, I wrote about presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, another leading progressive voice in America. I still remember him striding back and forth on the stage of Davis’ Varsity Theatre with a handheld microphone, thrilling the crowd with his call for economic justice and a new grassroots democracy. What do all these presidential contenders have in common? 1. They inspired. 2. They moved the political debate to the left. 3. They would never, ever become president of the United States. It can be difficult to grasp from inside a liberal political bubble (i.e., the state of California), but history teaches pretty clearly that a majority of voters in this country embrace moderate views and are never going to support an agenda that calls for a fundamental left restructuring of how things work in America. They can be manipulated by fear into voting to the right, but so far, there seems to be no equivalent motivating force to convince them to vote to the left. All this brings us back to Obama—brilliant, liberal and challenged out of the gate by an alarming recession, giant deficit, two wars and, all too quickly, a hostile right-wing Congress. One can certainly criticize him for a too-accommodating record. But I think Obama is, in every way, as good as we’re ever going to get. He signed the landmark Affordable Care Act that, though it’s not a single-payer program, expanded access to care for all and stopped insurance companies from denying care to people with pre-existing conditions. He ended one war and will soon achieve the same with the other. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and stood up to a GOP hell-bent on rolling back a woman’s right to choose. He appointed two women to the Supreme Court, and he supports gay marriage. He passed the DREAM Act. He saved the auto industry from collapse. He invested lots into clean energy and put a lid on the building of new coal-fired power plants. He’s attempting to end tax loopholes that favor billionaires and millionaires. Voting for Obama this time won’t feel like it did in 2008, and that’s OK. This time, it’ll feel practical, steadfast—smart. The last thing this country needs is to go backward. As Dave Egger’s realized 79 days ago, the direction has got to be forward. Ω
Vote with us! SN&R endorsements for the November 6, 2012, election
Sacramento City Council District 2: Rob Kerth
Proposition 30: Yes
Rob Kerth’s served this neighborhood— and the city as a whole—for a long time. He knows how to get things done.
Sacramento City Council District 4: Steve Hansen Steve Hansen has a unique, specific vision for how a burgeoning arts and entertainment scene in Midtown and downtown can serve as catalysts to power economic growth and redevelopment.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District board member: Michael Picker Michael Picker will bring unequaled expertise and a rich history of leadership to SMUD’s board. He has advised Govs. Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger on renewable energy and knows how to develop viable green-energy products for Sacramento consumers.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren is far too conservative. Measure M: No If Measure M passes, the resulting commission will likely resemble a kind of larger, messier doppelgänger of the city council itself. In the absence of real leadership, is more always better?
Measure T and Measure U: Yes Measure T will help the city curb illegal yard-waste dumping and also make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Measure U will raise the city’s sales tax by half a percent—from 7.75 percent to 8.25 percent—over six years. Sacramento city services—police, fire, libraries and solid waste—have experienced unprecedented cuts, and the estimated $28 million in added revenue from Measure U will go a long way to ensuring these fundamental services are preserved.
Measure Q and Measure R: Yes Measure Q would approve a bond to raise $346 million to pay for new classrooms, science labs, heating and air conditioning, and bathrooms in schools. Smaller bond Measure R will raise $68 million for playgrounds and athletic and kitchen facilities. The measures are a smart and needed investment in Sacramento’s education infrastructure.
To find SN&R’s full endorsement related to the upcoming election, go to www.newsreview.com.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 calls for a temporary, quarter-cent sales tax (from 7.25 to 7.50 percent) and personal income-tax increase for Californians earning more than $250,000. Passage of this proposition will prevent an immediate $6 billion in further cuts to schools, provide billions in new school funds, prevent more tuition hikes, protect public safety by halting further cuts to cops and firefighters, and save billions in future prison costs.
Proposition 31: No This attempt by good-government groups simply does not fly. Proposition 31 would make cuts and austerity the “go-to” method for dealing with our problems when what we need is a governor and legislature free to consider both cuts and revenue creation.
Proposition 32: No This measure is a familiar attack on unions by a core group of super-rich Republicans, like the billionaire Koch brothers. Without the influence of union spending in elections and in the lobbying realm, giant corporations would hold even more power and influence.
Proposition 33: No
were sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. Proposition 36 would make things more equitable by requiring that the third strike be a serious or violent felony. The state would save nearly $90 million annually in prison costs.
Proposition 37: Yes A company should not be allowed to label a food product “natural” if it contains genetically modified organisms. Companies such as Monsanto, General Mills, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and others shouldn’t hide ingredients from consumers. But those companies have donated more than $32 million to the No on 37 effort.
Proposition 38: No Multimillionaire civil-rights lawyer Molly Munger’s Proposition 38 is not the schools fix it claims to be and would create many more problems than solutions. Also, passage of this measure would mangle Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to fix our budget crisis. A vote for Proposition 38 is a potential vote against Proposition 30.
Conceived and funded by 91-year-old billionaire George Joseph, founder of Mercury Insurance Group, Proposition 33 would allow insurance companies to discriminate against the young and the poor and drive up costs up for everyone.
Proposition 39: Yes
Proposition 34: Yes
Proposition 40: Yes
The Savings, Accountibility, and Full Enforcement for California Act—a.k.a. the SAFE California Act—which seeks to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, is a long-awaited fix for a system that SN&R has always argued is enormously flawed, practically as well as morally.
U.S. House of Representatives District 3: John Garamendi
Proposition 35: No Human trafficking is already illegal. If the penalties aren’t severe enough, they can be changed in the Legislature. What’s more, we’ve seen no real data—other than the anecdotal evidence put forward by the law-enforcement agencies and nonprofits that stand to gain—that this so-called crisis exists.
Proposition 36: Yes We’ve all heard of criminals, convicted under the state’s three-strikes law, who
F E AT U R E S T O RY
District 7: Dr. Ami Bera
This measure would close an unjust and costly corporate-tax loophole which gives an advantage to out-of-state corporations and create new jobs in the “green” sector. What could be bad?
A yes vote would safeguard the state Senate districts that were drawn up by the Citizens Redistricting Commission in 2011, following the process established by California voters in 2008.
U.S. Rep. John Garamendi deserves another term. His challenger, Republican Kim Vann, supports the political agenda of the “do nothing” Congress which has been so ineffectual in Washington, D.C., these past two years.
District 4: Jack Uppal In this suburban and foothills district, fiscally conservative voters with a moderate view on social issues can look to tech businessman Jack Uppal as the sort of Democrat who will best represent their interests.
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The local physician would enter Congress as a bright but independent Democrat. His opponent U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren is far too conservative to represent a district that incorporates huge swaths of Sacramento County.
District 9: Jerry McNerney Throughout his three terms in Congress, U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney has shown himself to be an worthy representative. He’s a moderate Democrat (despite his Republican opponent’s claims in television ads) and deserves another term.
California State Assembly District 6: Beth Gaines Since voters in this district clearly want a far-right conservative, we urge them to elect Beth Gaines.
District 7: Roger Dickinson Serious, thoughtful and pragmatic, Roger Dickinson resoundingly deserves a second assembly term.
District 8: Ken Cooley As opposed to Peter Tateishi (an employee of ultraconservative U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren), former Rancho Cordova city Councilman Ken Cooley takes a moderate approach, favoring realistic pension reform and a sound combination of budget cuts and revenue increases.
District 9: Richard Pan Richard Pan has proven himself to be a smart, responsive and compassionate legislator during his first term.
National U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein We don’t always see eye to eye with longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but she’s rock solid on many issues we care about.
President: Barack Obama America faces colossal challenges. This is no time to go backward. We must allow the president to continue leading us forward. Ω 10.25.12 | SN&R | 17
With California at a crossroads, the governor gets down and dirty on Proposition 30â€”and what happens if it fails
PHOTO BY THOMAS HAWK
hen California Gov. Jerry Brown addressed the state chamber of commerce earlier this year to gain support to raise taxes, he seemed to revel in admitting he was stuck in a box. This was precisely the dilemma that existentialist heroes relish: At a time when the word “taxes” had become dirty, he was more or less leveraging his political future, and the state’s, on a measure to broadly raise revenues. This seemed like the only way out for a government that was running up massive deficits while firing teachers, shuttering libraries and cutting back support for the poor. But Brown embraces his image as one resolute man pitted against a cold and indifferent political universe. “Aristotle’s poetics talks about three acts—the beginning, the middle and the end,” he told the business crowd in what was considered a well-received speech. “We’re just beginning act two. It’s true some politicians don’t have a third act. I hope I’m not one of them, because the third act is when it gets good. Act two is when the protagonist is under pressure to get out of the box he’s in,” he added. “You wait. We’re going to get to act three very soon.” Over the past several decades, the Golden State has become a dyspeptic brew of deficits, faltering services and decaying schools—presided over by a government whose popularity rating barely clears the single digits. Californians are indeed waiting to see what Brown will do to get himself, and us, out of this mess. The 74-year-old Brown is at his do-or-die moment: He came into office with an ironclad pledge that, with no higher political aspirations, he would deploy all of his accumulated political skills to solve, once and for all, the state’s perennial budget crisis and deficit. Brown bolted out of the gate, vowing to engage the populace in a massive, straight-shooting “civic dialogue” that would do away with decades of empty political rhetoric and rationally approach tough fiscal realities. And then he disappeared. “Frankly, he became invisible,” says a longtime Brown associate and admirer. “For the first six months, he was the most fucking boring guy in the state. It was really infuriating, and it was intentional.” The governor wasn’t goofing off. He was cloistered inside the Capitol, talking mostly with Republicans, a weak party that has just enough legislative seats (by four, to be exact) to block the absurd two-thirds majority vote required to raise taxes.
Brown was sure he could use his powers of persuasion to peel them off and make a grand bargain: budget cuts and pension reform in exchange for tax increases. Or so he thought. Instead, Brown hit a brick wall. “Jerry’s had sort of an Obama trajectory,” says Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Los Angeles-based Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs, named for the governor’s father, the 32nd California governor. “At first, he spent more time with the Republicans than Arnold did. But like Obama, Jerry didn’t understand he could do nothing with them and get nothing from them. I don’t think he fully grasped the cynical dynamics of the current Republican Party.” Walking away empty-handed, Brown had to ruthlessly chop social spending so the state wouldn’t capsize. He slashed billions from already battered schools and health-care programs. What Brown emerged with this year, finally, was a broad financial plan, one that he reluctantly—then enthusiastically—fused with a popular “millionaire’s tax” proposed by the smaller of two statewide teachers unions. The medulla of the plan is Proposition 30: a four-year, quarter-of-a-percent sales-tax increase, and a seven-year increase of 1 percent to 3 percent on incomes of $250,000 or more. If voters approve the measure on November 6, it would rake in about $9 billion for the next fiscal year, and it should significantly close the budget gap narrowed by Brown’s draconian spending cuts. “Jerry’s a very shrewd politician,” says Dan Schnur, the director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California and a former communications director for Gov. Pete Wilson. “He’s written the biggest ransom note in history. He’s telling voters: ‘Either pass this initiative or your kids are gonna get it in the head.’” Brown is managing the country’s most populous state and the world’s ninth-largest economy. But he has no communications director, and no chief of staff. His daily schedule is, well, daily, with little to no public advance notice of events. The governor should be leading a broad campaign promoting his plan to buck the national trend of no tax increases. Even his fiercest critics concede that Brown is about as smart as they come, the person best prepared to make the case for his crusade. But he’s not. Instead, he’s running what some critics see as little more than a mom-and-pop operation, with Brown and his wife, the lawyer Anne Gust Brown, making virtually all decisions on their own. If the bombastic Arnold was overproduced, the ascetic Jerry is underproduced. “What’s missing in Jerry’s austerity program is his taking the sufficient time to explain it’s a choice,” says Sonenshein. “Those of us who know Jerry sure wish we would see him out there more.” Even some of his most reliable political allies have thrown their hands in the air. “He’s a brilliant guy, but he has no strategic skills, no organizational skills,” says a highprofile former state legislator. “He has a lot of interesting thoughts, but he can never correlate these thoughts into action. His office has no one you can deal with. His wife has the appearance of organization but no political skills, and there’s nobody else. You’ve got a state of 38 million people, and he’s a mess.” Brown has heard all this before, and he’s built up his immunity. In fact, the criticism probably only encourages him to keep doing what he’s been doing. He’s brilliant and he knows it. And given the deplorable state of American and California politics, he clearly wears criticism as a badge of honor and believes firmly that he alone can begin to resolve the crisis that has become synonymous with California.
“ The moment of truth is upon us. We see it in Europe, we see it in Washington. We have to stand and meet our maker here, which is fiscal balance.” Gov. Jerry Brown
“MOMENT OF TRUTH” continued on page 21
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continued from page 19
When I sat down to speak with Brown in the once stately Ronald Reagan Cabinet Room—which he has remodeled with a Spartan touch, not unlike that of a high-school faculty lounge—he was determined to push ahead with what he sees as his historic mandate: to build a stable water system for the state, construct a futuristic $68 billion high-speed rail system, turn more power over to local governments, move the state to alternative energies, and stabilize and reform the heretofore uncontrollable budget process—even if he has to do it on his own. As of press time, Proposition 30 is too close to call, and Brown is fully aware of the possibility of defeat at the ballot box. So far, he has done an admirable job of placating the state’s business lobbies, which have traditionally been taxophobic. Most have either signed on to his measure or remained neutral. Depending on how the election unfolds, Jerry Brown round two will be remembered as the man who saved California, or as the grinch who presided, solely, over its dismantling.
Marc Cooper: It’s difficult to imagine why you would come back to the California statehouse knowing you’d be jumping into a historic mess and would be forced to make very unpopular cuts. Did you misjudge something? Jerry Brown: I came to this job fully and deeply aware of the dilemma—of the huge gap between revenue and spending obligations. I came as someone who has known every governor in my lifetime except Culbert Olson, who was elected in 1938. … I’ve followed every single election since that time. I would say I have a fair grasp of what’s going on in terms of politics, the Legislature, the governor and the budget. I full well knew that failure was and is an option, and will always be an option. This dilemma has defied every governor since Earl Warren. Ronald Reagan raised the income tax. Fact! George Deukmejian raised the gas tax from 9 to 18 cents. Fact! But we’re in a world now where Republicans have a brand: “No taxes.” It’s as much a part of their identity as right to life is for Catholic bishops.
Given your knowledge of the state, did you expect to be so alone? Gov. Pete Wilson’s former communications director, Dan Schnur, says you are “standing on the 50-yard line while the two parties have retreated to the end zones.” I knew cutting [programs] could run into a lot of opposition, and the result might be howls of execration. But if you’ve ever read The Stranger, then you can say that for all that I have tried to accomplish, all I ask is to be greeted with howls of execration on the day of my execution. (Laughs.) So I had that in mind, and I thought about it.
You refer to the existential hero Meursault. Right, Meursault. Not many people read that anymore. So there it is. I didn’t know if being excoriated would happen, but I knew it could happen.
At a Sacramento rally in 2010, Gov. Jerry Brown pledged to tackle the state’s tough fiscal realities head-on. It’s been a headache, too, for Brown—and the coming election may not be an ibuprofen moment.
That you could go down in glory? Certainly there’s a better endgame for California than your personal sacrifice. What does the state need to get back on track even if your initiative passes? That’s not the end of it. We need budget cuts. We need the continued growth of the economy for a long period of time. We’re suffering from the mortgage meltdown that killed 600,000 jobs in the construction industry. … We’re recovering from a national recession slowly—over 300,000 jobs [gained] since the recession. We’ve got a million to go. That needs to continue, but that depends not only on [President] Barack Obama and the Congress and the Federal Reserve, but also on [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, China, the European Union, and the selforganizing quality of the world economy. We need all that, which we don’t have control over. What we do have control over is managing affairs to win public regard and confidence, and technically we need to make these hard cuts that Democrats don’t want to make, but a gimmicky sort of budget won’t lend itself to voters passing new taxes.
up with. They all cost money. Rarely if ever are they ever paid for on a long-term basis. I would like not to create nirvana, but to create a greater measure of balance and reserve. … And we’ve got to live with what the voters want. If people say no, that’s a message to Democrats: “Knock it off, people don’t want it.” Or, if they [understand the problem], that will be: “Well, you can spend some, but not as much as you’d like, because we’ve still got to make serious cuts.” This is why my program is half cuts, half taxes.
“ I think there’s a sense that those who’ve been blessed with so much good fortune should help the state in its dire need. I think that’s a belief.”
The Legislature approval rating is near single digits. Legislators seem to have declined radically in quality. How did we get into a place where state government seems both scorned and impotent? It is what it is. The measure of inequality is getting worse—to be precise, the Gini coefficient shows America has more inequality than other comparable nations. California has more inequality than most of the states, more than 40 of them. The Democrats want to help people who have been disadvantaged by this economy these last decades. The Republicans want to weaken and roll back various aspects of what the Democrats have tried to do—all sorts of good programs that good people come
the shocks of capitalism on the families of California? How much do we want the people who pick our food in the hot fields of Imperial County to make? And if they don’t make much, how much should we help them in terms of supplement by the state? I’d say many compassionate people would say a lot more help is needed than is conceivable by any tax regime that could be imagined. Now, if you go to the Republican regime, and you keep cutting back, and you see what that does to the safety net, to the quality of our society, what it does to the space program, what it does to research, what it does to highways and roads, what it does to universities and schools— it’s pretty much a nightmare. The Republicans are pushing us further and further into the ditch, and the Democrats have perhaps some unrealistic expectations of where the people want to go. It isn’t so much what I, trained in a Jesuit seminary for almost four years, would say is right, it’s: What does the democratic polity say it wants? It appears people in California are saying they don’t want a lot of these cuts, but they’re also saying they don’t want to spend the money to prevent them, and that’s the management task that politicians have. In California, I know from a credible survey, when you ask people, “How much waste is there in government?” the most popular answer is, “About 40 percent.”
You say your agenda is not liberal, but you certainly have made a public commitment to social justice and compassion. Yes.
So how do you find balance in the cuts you are making? You have to ask: How much university do you want? How much do we want to cushion
Yes, 40 percent is unthinkable, and yet that is the considered judgment I’ve seen on the surveys. So until we cut 40 percent, I guess people won’t be happy. Cutting 40 percent would mean virtually eliminating schools, the court systems, prisons—we can’t function with that. There is a disconnect. Part of it is the propaganda from the right, part of it is the
“MOMENT OF TRUTH”
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MOMENT OF TRUTH
continued from page 21
American tradition that we’re rugged individualists. It’s a dilemma that we don’t live in a small community where we can assess what the services are and what the taxes are and adjust to it on a smaller scale. The diversity of belief and experience in smaller communities makes state government very contentious, and that’s why local control was a good idea. Local schools, cities—not some megastate. I am not presenting a perfect solution, because we live in a fallen state, if I can use that term. This is not a perfect world, but we have to do the best we can. We have a [proposal] that I think will work but it is opposed by Republican and Democrats.
As a former chairman of the Democratic Party, you refer quite a bit to Democrats in the third person. Well, I’m the executive, and then we have these other branches. And the courts don’t want the cuts I’m asking for, nor do the legislators. So I do have to say, the executive is in a somewhat solitary position.
Proposition 30 will hit the top percent of income earners the hardest. Some of your critics say, “Here we go again. Jerry is staking the state’s future on the cyclical income of the business cycle. It’s too volatile.” The top 1 percent in the state increased its share of the income from 10 to 22 percent. The bottom 80 percent of the state is declining. That’s just a fairness fact. The surveys indicate very clearly that no other tax [other than the one I propose] is going to pass. The alternative is not some broader-based tax, it’s doubling up on the cuts. People don’t want that either. The voters say they do want this tax by a majority, so why not give them a chance to vote on it? To me it’s logical, but you say, “It’s going to be cyclical,” or, “There we go again, relying on just a few people.” Yeah, I’d rather have a broader tax—there should be ways to have a more rational tax—but that is not viable. It’s not going to pass the Legislature. It’s not going to pass by initiative. It’s a nonstarter. So the only choice is even more cuts, or the tax I’m proposing— or one very close to it.
Some of your natural allies suggest that you don’t know what you are doing.
That said, there is a political reality. You do have to win this campaign.
They’ve been saying that since 1970. I can read you a litany.
Right. And it does take money to buy the ads. And some debate. But messaging is a very manipulative concept made by advertisers. Like “Pepsi beats the others cold.” That’s messaging. Not a message.
They say that with the immense challenge of getting this tax increase, you need a more robust staff, a real communications office, more public presence, better messaging. What are you talking about? We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people! You see this hallway? It’s loaded with people. This is the biggest press office I’ve ever had in my life— we’ve got five people down there. Bigger than when [I was] running for president, running for governor. So, I don’t know what that means. That’s a silly critique. Who made that critique? As soon as you have too many people around, you can’t manage them. A lack of messaging? I think the message is pretty clear. What message hasn’t gotten through?
I’m not saying this. Your allies are. First, you need to define what you mean. “You need a message,” but “I can’t tell you what the message is.” There’s a gap here, but what? I need to put out more paper?
Most of what I’ve heard has been from Democrats who say you have been too invisible. They want you out there on the bully pulpit, pounding home the tax message. Not enough of me? I have an acute sense that people have only so much tolerance for the political face. There was a fellow in Greece called Aristides the Just, and he offended some people in Athens, and they decided to ostracize him. “Why are you voting to ostracize me?” And the guy said, “We are tired of hearing from Aristides the Just.” So based on that, I like to limit my public exposure.
First of all, we don’t know how open they are to it until we get to the election.
But you think they are, or you wouldn’t propose it.
22 | SN&R | 10.25.12
The message is: “We have this much money, we’re making some cuts, we’re doing some pension reform. It’s your call—if you can give us more revenue, we won’t have to make more cuts. If you can’t give us the revenue, we’ve got to make more cuts. The moment of truth is upon us. We see it in Europe, we see it in Washington [D.C.]. We have to stand and meet our maker here, which is fiscal balance.” That is what I am presenting as my value proposition.
Let’s say you do achieve victory. Today we have a $16 billion deficit. Your tax increase will meet only half of that. We need more cuts.
Back to cuts? We need half cuts, half taxes. I keep saying that.
Even with Prop. 30? Or double. It’s either $16 billion or $8 billion. That’s the issue. You can’t stop the cuts— we’re living beyond our means.
While speaking to the state chamber of commerce, you said this is merely act two, with a lot more to come. Well, I didn’t want them to think we’re finished. (Laughs.)
“ Climate change is serious stuff. Extreme events—they will happen. We’ll cope with them. But there’ll be more expenses. We’re storing up a lot of liabilities that we’ll have to deal with.”
Californians have spent 20 years giving the thumbs-down to higher taxes. What makes you think all of a sudden things have changed?
There’s no choice—I’m doing the best I can. We’ve got our backs to the wall here. It may prove to be illusory, but we have an opening and we’re gonna take it. I think there’s a sense that those who’ve been blessed with so much good fortune should help the state in its dire need. I think that’s a belief. Secondly, the constant reductions—the university, public schools, police, other public services, library hours, all that. Enough already.
So, what’s your message?
If Proposition 30 fails on November 6, it could seal Brown’s fate: to struggle onward as a governor without a third act.
So is act three another term? That I don’t know. We’re just in the struggle. We’re not waiting for a second term to get the budget balanced. I came in to fix things, if I can. A lot of people question that.
Some people say the state will never be fixed until Proposition 13, which passed in 1978, is reformed. We need a split roll, they say, that would raise taxes on commercial property to see the revenue we need. Are we going to see any proposals like that in another term? I just don’t want to go there. I’m just not ready to recommend a split roll on Prop. 13. If you want a split roll, go organize your friends and put it on the ballot. There’d be a hell of a lot of opposition. I don’t reject any idea out of hand—everything is possible. But lots of businesses are hurting. You increase their property taxes, that’ll be a problem.
What about other reforms, like doing away with the two-thirds majority needed to raise taxes? You can’t get [the Legislature] to lower the two-thirds [majority] on taxes; you’ve got to put it before the people. It’s all up to the voters. I took the path I felt had the highest probability of success, and it is by no means guaranteed. So we’re moving forward carefully. Reform is always on the table, but people who say they’re going to transform whole systems have to be careful.
Because? Because things are rarely transformed. That’s not how it works. When I was in the seminary, there were all these treatises on perfection. You know—how to become perfect, how to get rid of all your faults. Didn’t happen. After doing meditation, after doing penance, after reading the ascetical treatises, the lives of the saints, you wind up pretty much where you started. You know, some people said they were going to go to Washington and were going to transform Washington. And that hasn’t been transformed. Even the Adams-Jefferson race was nasty. Not much has changed since. Incremental change, except in times of massive crisis. War, depression—that is when you have brief moments when you can make a decisive move. We have had some of those moments. Whether we have made the decisive moves is another question.
When you came into office this time, you talked with Republicans for months. A lot of people warned you not to try, but apparently, you thought you could transform them. Would you do it over again, even though you got nothing? I don’t think there’s an absolute here. But true, we couldn’t get the four votes we needed. The Republicans who voted for Arnold [Schwarzenegger], they lost their jobs, and most of these people just don’t want to lose their jobs. That’s just the way it is.
Some observers say the current California gridlock will disappear in 10 to 15 years when the demographics of the state catch up with the electorate. The voters are older, whiter, wealthier than the population, but that is changing. That sounds a bit utopian to me. First of all, in 10 or 15 years, we’ll probably be suffering
PHOTO BY ALAN LIGHT
B.B. KING NOV 4 During Brown’s first term as governor in 1978, voters approved Proposition 13. And he’s not about to go after the 30-plus-year-old law. “[Go] organize your friends and put it on the ballot. There’d be a hell of a lot of opposition.”
extreme weather events. We’ll have plenty of problems then. Not to mention the aging European stock that will feel besieged.
humming along, and the environmental leadership of California has been picked up by other states in the nation.
Barring extreme weather, if the state becomes increasingly majority-minority, when it becomes browner—browner, with a small “B”—won’t we see a political sea change?
We also need schools, and they have been battered. I have to imagine that these cuts are quite painful.
It’ll be browner because we’ll be having forest fires.
Come on, you’re more optimistic than that. No. Ever read Jim E. Hansen? Climate change is serious stuff. Extreme events— they will happen. We’ll cope with them. But there’ll be more expenses. We’re storing up a lot of liabilities that we’ll have to deal with. Yes, there will be a different demographic balance, different environmental challenges, and there’ll be a different economic picture. It’s very hard to predict. I would say it’s not going be any easier than it is today. It will probably be harder.
Something to look forward to. I’m looking forward to it.
Why’s that? I enjoy this type of work.
The challenge. So what’s the best scenario after your tenure—where are we in two or three years? We have balance, and people feel confidence in our fiscal management. We have our water plan launched, our cap and trade is working, our prison realignment is reducing recidivism at a lower cost, we’ve gotten some reform in our educational funding—being more successful particularly among low-income families. We are building our track for our high-speed rail. Our trade and ports are BEFORE
“I’m me. Blues is what I do best.” —B.B. King
I don’t want to cut more universities, although there might be trigger cuts in the universities [if the bill fails].
But you didn’t answer. Do you feel a sense of regret? I’m forced to make the cuts, but a lot of the spending didn’t exist the last time I was here. … The government has taken on much more responsibility—in many ways rightfully so, given the problems we’re encountering—but the electorate is not there. We absolutely have to do more in government. But we have to bring the people along. Yet we are facing a wellarmed neoliberal propaganda lobby that is promoting the notion that the market, however big the corporate players, should get bigger and government has to get smaller and smaller.
You see yourself as someone who doesn’t have the luxury of ideology, rather just some guiding principles. You’re kind of a pragmatic implementer of what is possible.
with special guest
Tell Me Something Good NOV 3
I don’t want to deal with the impossible. That sounds rather futile. I know—I worked with Mother Teresa. Guys would come in half-dying, she feeds them, and the guys get a little better. She gives them a shirt, and out the door they go. Onto the streets of Calcutta. They’re not getting a pension. There it is, that’s life. That’s life on planet Earth. Ω
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ARTS&CULTURE SK E L E T N KEYS Songs about the dead should always be played in B minor chords.
by KEL MUNGER
photos by GORDON HUANG
A FOUR-PART DIA DE LOS MUERTOS -THEMED OPERA USES MULTIMEDIA, MUSIC, DANCE, ART—AND, OF COURSE, BONES—TO UNLOCK A CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEAD
F T H E FAT L A DY S I N G S AT T H I S O P E R A , HER BONES W I L L R AT T L E .
Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta, 7 p.m. Sunday, October 28; $12-$35. Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888; www.threestages.net.
That’s because John Jota Leaños’ Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta (“a dead opera”), which will be presented for performance at the Three Stages at Folsom Lake College on Sunday, October 28, makes use of the traditions of Día de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—and images popularized in the work of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. Short form: It’s got lots and lots of calaveras, the familiar skulls and, occasionally, full-size skeletons that represent the dead in celebrations for the traditional November 1 Mexican holiday. Imperial Silence comprises four acts, made up of mariachi music, animation and dance. While each act has its own style, each is also linked by how it represents our cultural understanding of death. “We call it an opera—a dead opera— to offer a commentary about elite cultural expression,” said Leaños, a Bay Area artist whose works have been exhibited at the Sundance Film Festival; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Leaños is currently an assistant professor of social documentation in the Film and Digital Media department at UC Santa Cruz. It’s important to remember, he adds, that opera was once popular culture,
consumed by the working classes when they had leisure time. “It was the equivalent of people going to the movies today,” Leaños said. “Then, over the years, it developed into the elite form we know now, where many of the opera houses produce work from previous centuries over and over again. “It’s work, sometimes, that’s kept alive in a petri dish.” Since the opera’s so close to dead, why not invite the dead into it? One possibility for making opera accessible is to introduce the incredibly popular cavaleras figures from the Day of the Dead to reinvigorate the genre. So Leaños— and his collaborators in Imperial Silence, choreographer Joel Valentin-Martinez; deejay and composer Cristóbal Martinez; and Los Cuatro Vientos, a Tucson, Ariz., mariachi ensemble—created a mixture of animation, music, dance, and visual spectacle. This is what’s called “social art,” and, in this case, it’s a multimedia extravaganza. It is, Leaños said, “cultural and creative activity intended to comment on the world, to witness with the hope that personal and social transformation will occur through it.” And social art bears a close relationship to guerrilla theater, agitprop, and such diverse pop-cultural phenomena as street art and graffiti. But it’s also an opera—of the dead. It really does go back to Posada. A century ago, he made cartoon-style drawings of skeletons that are still widely used and imitated in Mexican and Mexican-American folk and popular art.
Hella Halloween See NIGHT&DAY
Steal this bread?! See DISH
What lies beneath See COOLHUNTING
Cumulus stimulus See FILM
She’s crafty See 15 MINUTES
Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta incorporates dance, music, art, and costumes to tell its story of death, dying and the ones who are left behind.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF SMAC
Posada printed “broadsheets that had But the story has “no meaning to us any The final act, “DNN: Dead News stories and images of calaveras, these skele- longer,” he said. “It has become kind of a Network,” depicts the calaveras taking over tons who were always making fun of the hollow story, a dead story, and in the second the newscast and putting their own unique living and offering social commentary,” act, we use animation and music to till this spin on current events. Leaños said. open field. “[It’s] more adult—not in the R-rated One of the most famous is “La Calavera “We’re using this hollow, open space of sense, but in the sense of being an adult,” Catrina.” children’s rhymes and stories to tell a new, Leaños said. “She’s wealthy, upper class, one of those more engaged story.” The big advantage to such a multilayered, ladies who thinks she’s better than everyone It’s a reminder to the audience that multimedia approach to art is the accessibility else. Of course, the reality is that she’s dead. although we live in a media-saturated time it grants to both artist and audience. Using There’s no one left to be better than.” and place, we are also capable of producanimation in addition to other art forms is a It’s this funny, satirical approach to ing and reproducing our own stories using big plus, because who doesn’t love a cartoon? death that makes the subject tenable for that media. “You can build audiences in various difus, Leaños said. He noted the irony in “As artists, our obligation is to comment ferent circles,” Leaños said. “This piece has having a cultural obsession with death on society, to offer alternatives to corporate been shown in film festivals. The animation while remaining unable to discuss it. media. So we’re getting at the idea that our is online and can be downloaded to your “Cornel West says we’re death denying culture is our own to make,” Leaños said. iPhone. It’s been shown on public television, and death defying, and it’s to be shown in refusing to come to “WE’RE BLOWING UP PEOPLE IN FANTASY, BUT WE CAN’T FACE the theater as well.” terms with death,” (The installation THE REALITY OF DEATH. WE CAN’T SEE THE COFFINS COMING aspect of Imperial Leaños said. All this, he adds, even as we’re BACK FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN; WE CAN’T LOOK UPON Silence, unfortufascinated by video nately, won’t be at WHAT OUR FASCINATION WITH VIOLENCE DOES.” games, movies, televithe Three Stages proJohn Jota Leaños, director sion shows and music duction. It’s a car, El in which people die Muertorider [“the constantly and gruesomely. death rider”], and it Imperial Silence makes use of animation, “We’re blowing up people in fantasy, can be seen on Leoñas’ website.) mariachi music, folkloric dance (baile folkbut we can’t face the reality of death,” And, while the multimedia aspect might lórico), drums, and what Leaños calls Leaños said. “We can’t see the coffins be new, the idea of art as a social agent is as “hybridized flamenco and modern dance.” coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan; old as—well, as bones in a crypt. “We’re putting in everything,” he said. we can’t look upon what our fascination “People have been practicing it for many The first act is “Los ABCs ¡Qué Vivan los with violence does; we can’t see too much years,” Leaños said. “The Mexican muralists, Muertos!” (“The ABCs: How the Dead reality.” the indigenous potters who embodied their Live”), in which animation and music are Enter the calavera. And the cartoon. used to explore issues of war, colonialism and cosmology in their work, or even contempoOne act of Imperial Silence is titled rary social action like the Occupy the acquisition of empire. The second act is “Deadtime Stories With Mariachi Goose made up of the reimagining of nursery rhymes. movement—it’s all a legacy of art as a cataand Friends,” and the animation, songs and lyst for social change.” In “¡Radio Muerto!” the third act, the stories in this section derive from familiar It’s a tradition that Leaños finds possiscene is ever changing, but the channel isn’t. childhood rhymes. These stories, Leaños bilities in, and, he said, he hopes people “Imagine that you’re sitting in the back of a said, “originally had some indigenous will recognize “how the Day of the car, and you don’t have control of the radio,” European meaning.” For instance, the Dead—Día de los Muertos—has crossed said Leaños. “It’s a long road trip, which is Humpty Dumpty story may have been the border and inserted itself into theater the story of the American West.” about a large cannon that fell from a dam“¡Radio Muerto!” simulates a road trip, he and art.” aged wall and could not be remounted. “It is a live tradition—no pun intended. It said, and “there are certain things to deal is this undying tradition of undying death.” with. It’s the coming of age.”
Fall’s finally in the air, painting flora rust and gold— except at the northwest end of the Sacramento Convention Center, where the trunks and limbs of 20 young sycamores sport a coat of shocking ultramarine blue. On 13th Street, the blue trees startle. Juxtaposed against the contrasting golden leaves, the painted wood offers a surreal, otherworldly and whimsical touch to the little esplanade that separates the convention center from the K Street Mall. A couple of Thursdays ago, the culprits were caught blue-handed. Australian environmental artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, abetted by the Sacramento Tree Foundation executive director Ray Tretheway, worked from a cherry picker as he slapped the nontoxic paint on the trees. Blue paint spattered Dimopoulous’ face— even his lower lip, as if he’d been sipping through a straw—and stained Tretheway’s crisp white Sacramento Tree Foundation shirt. “I try to get trees that are close together, so that it’s like walking into a cathedral, the trees become like pillars in a church,” the artist explained. “Normally, I start painting in the spring. Not just art—good for the With these,” he gestured, environment, too. “the leaves will disappear and then come back.” (The environmentally friendly paint lasts six months to create a temporary publicart installation.) With an international focus to call attention to global deforestation, Dimopoulos’ hand has already marked trees in Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Vancouver, Canada; and Seattle, Washington; with his future stops scheduled for Gainesville, Florida; and Houston. “The Blue Trees is part of a wider question that I ask: ‘Can art save the world?’ Maybe not on its own, but it can generate thinking and discussion throughout the global community,” he said. And Sacramento—the City of Trees—is a perfect venue for this message. “The project includes 40 container trees we painted, too,” Tretheway said. “Ten heat-tolerant maple trees and 30 hybrid Dutch elm disease-resistant trees, to bring attention to the plight of our elms dying.” The container trees are making their way around the region, some serving as conversation pieces at events, others in it for the long haul at 555 Capitol Mall. Shelly Willis, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission interim executive director and arts-inpublic-places director, praised the efforts. “It’s amazing how this project came together,” she said. “The community came together, donating $25,000 to fly him from Australia and fund this project.” But even without one cent of public funding for Blue Trees, some grumble the money could have been used for something else. What? Trees make cleaner air and we need to breathe. Compared to the billions poured into promote this election, Blue Trees smells like a sweet deal. —Saunthy Nicolson-Singh Learn more at www.sactree.org. |
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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.
BY JONATHAN MENDICK
SAFE & SUPER HALLOWEEN: A GRIMM HALLOWEEN Kids can view decorations inspired by the Grimm brothers’ classic fairy tales, trick or treat at 17 candy stations and view puppet shows throughout the day. October 26-28, 5 to 9 p.m. daily; $10-$12. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive; (916) 808-5233; www.fairytaletown.org.
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY MIDTOWN TRICK-OR-TREAT & POOCH PARADE An annual tradition in Midtown, this event often sees upward of 100 costumed dogs roaming through the central city. Kids’ activities and trick-or-treating follows the pooch parade. Saturday, October 27; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; free. Marshall Park, 915 27th Street; www.exploremidtown.org/MidtownHalloween.
TRUNK OR TREAT A good opportunity for kids to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating, Trunk or Treat at the California Automobile Museum features trunks filled with candy, tours and a car-education center. Saturday, October 27; 1 to 4 p.m.; $8 for adults, free admission for kids. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street; (916) 442-6802; www.calautomuseum.org.
MONSTER MASH Knock down some pins, wear costumes, win prizes and hear the surf and retro rock of the Lava Pups, the Sneaky Tikis and the Rockabilly Love Cats. Sunday, October 28; 1 to 4 p.m.; free. 900 West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento; (916) 371-4200; http://capbowl.businesscatalyst.com.
BOO AT THE ZOO Geared for kids 10 and under, this event features trick-or-treating, games, a costume party and magic shows. The Spooky Train and Creepy Carousel cost extra. Tuesday, October 30, and Wednesday, October 31; 5 to 8 p.m.; $10-$12. Sacramento Zoo, 3930 West Land Park Drive; (916) 808-5888; www.saczoo.org/page.aspx?pid=360.
WEE HALLOWEEN For kids ages 5 and under, Wee Halloween is an artistic alternative to trick-or-treating. Kids can dress in costumes, view art, create treat bags, and see live music, poetry and dance performances throughout the museum. Wednesday, October 31; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
$15. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street; (916) 808-7000; www.crockerartmuseum.org.
PANTEON DE SACRAMENTO Celebrate Día de los Muertos with La Raza Galería Posada’s Panteón de Sacramento public-art installation. The annual exhibition features traditional Mexican altars honoring ancestors for Day of the Dead. Saturday, October 27; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, October 28; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; free. Parking lot at 2020 J Street, (916) 446-5133, www.lrgp.org.
NIGHT OF 1,000 PUMPKINS An annual tradition to line the street with 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns continues for the fourth year in Folsom. This bring-your-own jack-o’-lantern event also features trick-ortreating and screenings of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters. Friday, October 26; 6 p.m.; free. Sutter Street in Folsom, www.1000pumpkins.com.
FOR THE GROWNUPS
EXOTIC HALLOWEEN BALL
PROFESSIONAL GUILD’S HALLOWEEN PARTY This huge party—for those 21 and over—is geared toward single professionals—though couples are also welcome. Attendees are encouraged to dress in a funny, sexy or lighthearted costume. Friday, October 26; 8 p.m.; $10-$20. Hilton Hotel Arden West, 2200 Harvard Street, (800) 838-3006; www.proguildsocial.com.
A NIGHTMARE ON TRASH STREET Catch a screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street hosted by the Trash Film Orgy. The 18-and-over event also features a live stage show, horror shorts, drinks, costumes and games.
Presented by KZZO 100.5 FM, the Exotic Halloween Ball attempts to be the sexiest 21-and-over party of the year, with lap dances, Sizzling Sirens Burlesque shows and pole dancers. Pop music will be performed by Gavin Degraw and Pete Wentz & the Black Cards. Saturday, October 27; 8:30 p.m.; $34-$39. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; http://now100fm.cbslocal.com/ 2012-exotic-halloween-ball.
stage with deejays David V, Bryan Hawk and Norman Stradley. Saturday, October 27; 8 p.m.; $20 in advance. Placer County Fair & Events Center, 800 All America City Boulevard in Roseville; www.shannonmccabe.com.
Wednesday, October 31; 8 p.m.; $10 ($9 with a costume). Crest Theater, 1013 K Street; http://trashfilmorgy.com.
ZOMBIE … RUN
MASQUERADE BALL FOR THE FALL
Run for your life in this high-concept variant of school-yard tag. Runners (age 15 or older) attempt to complete a 5k run featuring zombies and man-made obstacles. Preregistration is required. Saturday, October 27; 8 a.m.; $20-$40 for participants; $5 for spectators. Miller Park, 2790 Marina View Drive; www.sacramentozombierun.com.
No Halloween costumes at this 21-andover party; just high-class masquerade masks and “cocktail attire,” according to organizers. Hear live music and eat hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds go toward the Sacramento City College Outstanding Women Awards. Saturday, October 27; 9 p.m.; $50-$95. Antiquité Maison Privee, 2114 P Street; (916) 670-4035; www.gayetrimaya.com.
SHANNON MCCABE’S VAMPIRE BALL This vampire-themed 21-and-over party features tons of music: an outdoor stage with bands including the New Pioneers, Restrayned and Vamp Le Stat, and an indoor
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SCARY SITES HEARTSTOPPERS HAUNTED HOUSE
IF YOU DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW,
Halloween is basically the most celebrated holiday in Sacramento. In fact, a quick search yielded more than 40 major Halloween events this week alone. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that October weather is often pleasant—or that Sacramentans love to dress up in costumes. But really, who cares? It just means this week is full of hella cool Halloween-themed events. Here are SN&R’s top 20 picks.
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!
1 Shields Avenue, Wright Hall in Davis; (530) 752-5863; http://theatredance. ucdavis.edu.
MANSION AFTER DARK
Located at an abandoned arcade and mini-golf course, this haunted attraction features four separate buildings titled: The Deadlands, Dr. Lash’s Slideshow, Steamghast Asylum and Hangtown Trail. October 25-28, and October 31; $15-$20. 2300 Mine Shaft Lane in Rancho Cordova; (916) 572-2733; www.scaredyou.com.
Mansion After Dark is a kid-friendly haunted house alternative held upstairs at Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park. It features dim lighting, scary music and fortune tellers. October 26-27, 6 to 9 p.m.; $4-$8. 1526 H Street, (916) 323-5916, www.parks.ca.gov/governorsmansion.
THE HAUNTED FORT
This event at the Central Branch of the Sacramento Public Library will feature “re-enactor ghosts,” classic horrorfilm screenings and haunted tours of the Sacramento Room, according to a publicist. Friday, October 26; 7 to 9 p.m.; free. Sacramento Public Library, 828 I Street; (916) 264-2770; www.saclib.org.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park turns into a family-friendly haunted house with actors portraying pioneers. Hear tales of historical deaths while taking tours of the fort. October 26-27, 6:30 to 9 p.m.; $6-$8. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L Street; (916) 445-4422; www.parks.ca.gov/suttersfort.
THE HAUNT AT WRIGHT HALL
FRIGHT PLANET—AMERICA’S HAUNTED THEME PARK
The UC Davis Department of Theatre & Dance has organized a performance-based haunted house and dance party at its headquarters on campus. It features seven stages and nightly costumed dances to end each evening. October 25-28, and October 30-31; 7:30 p.m. to midnight; $10-$15;
Cal Expo turns into a haunted theme park during the month of October. Attractions include a blackout room, a 3-D theater, a distorted maze, rides and a haunted doll house. October 25 through November 2; $20-$40. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; (866) 666-1313; www.frightplanet.com.
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No cookie for you! Desperately seeking Sac’s most popular foods Several Seinfeld episodes touch on the subject of eating out and the fickle nature of obtaining food from popular restaurants and bakeries. There’s by the episode about a Jewish deli that always Jonathan runs out of marble rye (Jerry steals the last loaf Mendick from an old grandma); the one about a Chinese jonathanm@ restaurant so busy that no one can seem to newsreview.com reserve a seat; and, of course, the one with the infamous Soup Nazi, a talented but temperamental chef who refuses to serve customers who rub him the wrong way. Sacramento has its own quirky food experiences. Here’s a list of seven local foods that you’ll be lucky to get at all. Queen of cookies
Often called the “queen” of Sacramento’s cookies, Goodie Tuchews owner and lone baker Terry O’Reilly makes a limited amount of cookies every day. Some flavors run out fast, and when they’re gone, you’ll have to wait for another day to get one. The place officially closes at 3:30 p.m. every day, but O’Reilly says she’ll shut it down before that if she sells out of cookies first. Then, she’ll put up a sign that says, “No more cookies today.” Goodie Tuchews, 1015 L Street; (916) 444-6048. You’ll get served
Daniel Pont is known by some locals as Sacramento’s Soup Nazi. His former lunch-only restaurant La Bonne Soupe Cafe had notoriously long lines and prioritized quality over everything else—including service. The same philosophy applies at Chez Daniel, Pont’s newer dinner-only restaurant, which serves traditional French food paired with a side of unusual service. It’s difficult to obtain reservations, and once seated, one might get served a dish not of one’s choice—just because it’s the only dish left in the kitchen. Chez Daniel, 49 Natoma Street in Folsom; (916) 353-1938. Prince of pizzas
Pizza Rock only sells 73 margherita pizzas per day. Why? It’s to honor the day owner Tony Gemignani won the World Pizza Champions with the aforementioned pizza: June 13, 2007, or 6/13. According to the restaurant’s website, combine the 6 and 1 to make 7, then slap the leftover 3 on the end to get 73. Yes, it’s a twisted logic, and Pizza Rock has only run out of the margherita on one occasion since the restaurant opened a few years back. Pizza Rock, 1020 K Street; (916) 737-5777; www.pizzarocksacramento.com.
Search SN&R’s “Dining Directory” to find local restaurants by name or by type of food. Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Italian— discover it all in the “Dining” section at www.newsreview.com.
Steal this bread?
Freeport Bakery is revered for its cakes, muffins, doughnuts, cookies and potato knishes. But it’s the challah, a kosher bread eaten on the Jewish Sabbath, that often runs out here. It’s chewy, eggy and semisweet. It’s like Sacramento’s marble rye: You might need to steal a loaf from BEFORE
someone’s bubbie to get yours. Freeport Bakery, 2966 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 442-4256; www.freeportbakery.com.
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Saturday, October 27th Kids Costume Parade at 11am Celebrate local food, farms & the harvest!
Saturday 8am–1pm Year-Round Wednesday 2–6pm thru March 20, 2012 Central ParK at 3rd & C StreetS www.DavisFarmersMarket.org • 530-756-1695
Peanut-butter mochi time
Osaka-Ya is equally famous for its sweets and shaved ice. The rarest sweet treat here is a peanut-butter-filled mochi creation, prepared only on the weekends. There are four styles to choose from and all four run out quickly. Osaka-Ya, 2215 10th Street; (916) 446-6857; www.osakaya-wagashi.com.
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Here’s another so-called Soup Nazi: The Vietnamese mother running Pho Anh Dao has a reputation for making the best chicken pho in town. There are often long lines during lunch, and the place regularly runs out of the daily soup. Word on the street is that Anh Dao reopens for late-night eats on Friday and Saturday nights. Pho Anh Dao, 6830 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 165; (916) 428-2826.
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Swallow your pride and order some Chinese buns, or bao, from Lam Kwong Deli & Market. Reviewers on Yelp have long complained of a “Bao Nazi”—a certain employee who treats customers coldly, expects a quick transaction and never partakes in small talk. But who needs small talk? The buns here are reputably delicious. Lam Kwong Deli & Market, 2031 12th Street; (916) 443-8805; http://themenupage.com/lamkwongdelimarket. Ω
BLACK LIGHT PARTY October 27th
THE V WORD Luxury wields no whisk Plunging a spoon into premade cookie dough is such an act of decadence, because, really, it’s so easy to make dough oneself. But, like Barack Obama, let me be clear: Luxury wields no whisk. So when a craving for indulgence presents itself, options for quelling it include EatPastry’s 14-ounce tubs of chocolate chip, peanut-butter chocolate chip or gluten-free chocolate chip—or take home one of each, since excess is the theme (more flavors and where to buy at www.eatpastry.com). The vegan dough from this San Diego-based company can be baked into cookies, too, of course. However, sprinkling salt on the cookies when they’re removed from the oven is strongly recommended.
1501 L STREET • SACRAMENTO, CA (916) 267-6823 www.3FiresLounge.com
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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. Grange Restaurant & Bar You won’t find any “challenging” dishes on this menu—just delicious local and seasonal food such as the Green Curry & Pumpkin Soup, which has a Southeast-Asian flair.
The Porch The Porch is light and white with a vibe that suggests the airy sweep of an antebellum Charleston eatery. One can only envy the extensive on-site research conducted by chef Jon Clemens and business partners John Lopez and Jerry Mitchell, creators of Capitol Garage. The most enjoyable menu selections are salads or seafood sandwiches or
A sports bar with a focus on craft beer isn’t exactly a groundbreaking concept, but two local and prominent restaurant families, the Wongs and the DeVere Whites, know what Sacramento wants: good beer; solid pub grub; and a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. Here, the bar is the centerpiece with a full stock of liquor and 60 beers on draught. The menu features savory appetizers—the tortilla soup with poached chicken, avocado and tomato is particularly noteworthy—and a
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Beer: Hoptologist (double IPA, on draft) Brewer: Knee Deep Brewing Company in Lincoln Where: Burgers & Brew, 1409 R Street;
(916) 442-0900; www.burgersbrew.com
Beer: Rainier Brewer: Rainier Brewing Company Where: Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co.,
1630 S Street; (916) 442-4885, www.facebook.com/HookandLadderSacramento
Beer: Black IPA Brewer: Mikkeller Where: Pangaea Two Brews Cafe,
2743 Franklin Boulevard; (916) 454-4942; www.pangaeatwobrews.com
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,
For Women & Men
and thyme, and the surprisingly sublime mixture of celery and pineapple. American. 1409 R St., (916) 231-9121.$10-$20. ★★★1⁄2 B.G.
1712 L Street • Sac
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
The pilgrimage to Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa is the equivalent of Mecca to any Californian beer lover, but if you are tired of the crowds and the cardboardy pizza there, why not pay a visit to Drake’s Brewing Company’s Barrel House in beautiful … San Leandro. Maybe not so picturesque, tucked as it is in a warehouse behind a Walmart. But they’ve got some intriguing beers on tap and a cooler of bottled Drake’s beers that can be elusive in Sac, including the seasonal Aroma Prieta, an IPA made with all the trendy New Zealand hops. The hoppy beers at Drake’s run the international-bittering-unit gamut from the dainty 1500 Pale Ale and the fresh-hopped Batch 4000 (at 48 and 55, respectively), to the palate demolisher that is the Denogginizer (at 90). There is also a full selection of nonhoppy braus, including a Märzen that is a textbook example of that style, a Hefe (for the ladies), and three different blends of porters, stouts and ales aged in bourbon and brandy barrels. Take that, Russian River! 1933 Davis Street, Building 177 in San Leandro; (510) 568-2739; http://barrelhouse.drinkdrakes.com.
R E E M N U T T A S L O S C
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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.
Welcome to beautiful San Leandro
Firestone Public House
D O S H AY
selection of sandwiches and pizzas, including a simple pie with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. American. 1132 16th St., (916) 446-0888. Dinner for one: $15-$20. ★★★ B.G.
Y Y H AY LE AT IO N B
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.
A spinach salad features ingredients that could be considered boring elsewhere: blue-cheese dressing, bacon, onion. But here, the sharply cheesy buttermilk dressing and the woodsy pine nuts make it a salad to remember. Grange’s brunch puts other local offerings to shame. The home fries are like marvelously crispy Spanish patatas bravas. A grilledham-and-Gruyere sandwich is just buttery enough, and an egg-white frittata is more than a bone thrown to the cholesterol-challenged, it’s a worthy dish in its own right. American. 926 J St., (916) 492-4450. Dinner for one: $40-$60. ★★★★ B.G.
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Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches With banh mi, it’s the bread that sets the tone. Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches goes against the grain with bread that’s more football shaped than submarine shaped, garlic bread, and a selection of premade grab-and-go sandwiches right by the counter. And, with its substitution of butter for mayonnaise and the emphasis on pâté, Duc Huong shows a stronger than usual French influence.These details may seem trivial, but with banh mi, such small variations make all the difference. The small menu is limited to eight sandwiches (mostly pork) and two soups: chicken curry soup and a beef stew called bo kho banh mi, which comes with bread. There’s a thick float of chili oil on top of the yellow, turmeric and lemongrass-laced curry soup, which, at
first, is off-putting until you realize it can be dipped into the yeasty, crusty, fluffy bread. Vietnamese. 6825 Stockton Blvd., Ste. 200; (916) 428-1188. Dinner for one: $5-$10. ★★★1⁄2 B.G.
served on tortillas fried in oil— which just adds to the decadence of the piled-up tacos. Mexican. 6830 Stockton Boulevard, (916) 427-1745. Breakfast or lunch for one: $5-$10. ★★★ B.G.
Pho King 2 Pho King 2 takes din-
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, griddled-toorder 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.
ers 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 “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.
La Victoria Mercado y
Carniceria No. 2 If you breakfast or lunch here on a weekend, you’ll likely encounter parties of bleary-eyed men conversing over large bowls of menudo, but La Victoria has plenty of other dishes on offer: breakfast plates, chile verde and roja, tacos, and tortas. In general, the food here has a reliable mid-level heat, but it distinguishes itself with its “normal” tacos, especially the cow-based ones, such as cabeza and lengua, and also its asada, which demonstrates a mastery of the cow: fatty, well-salted steak with a hint of garlic. They are
ILLUSTRATION BY MARK STIVERS
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.
mirin soy sauce. It also features inventive desserts. The “uji kintoki parfait” (it translates roughly to “Best. Dessert. Ever.”) is served in a sundae glass filled with layers of green-tea ice cream and sweet red beans, and it’s topped with whipped cream, chocolate Pocky candy, salty sesame crackers, peanut clusters, and warm, soft squares of mochi. Sushi. 132 E Street in Davis, (530) 753-0154. Dinner for one: $10-$25. ★★★ 1⁄2 B.G.
The Willo The Willo’s menu is simple, centered on a slab of meat and starchy sides— although the restaurant has added a veggie burger to its lineup. While the thick, smoky pork chop and the tender, butterflied half-chicken suffice, here it’s really all about the New York strip steak offered in small, medium and large portions. If you’re not the designated driver, slip into the bar for a shot to lull you during the long drive home. The sassy bartender will fix you right up as you take in the curving walls of this prefab structure from a long-gone era, the E Clampus Vitus plaques and the regulars’ birthdays listed on the wall. American. 16898 State Hwy. 49 in Nevada City, (530) 265-9902. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★★★ B.G.
Zen Toro Japanese Bistro & Sushi Bar Zen Toro features a large sushi menu, made up of both the steroidal Americanized rolls and traditional nigiri, but it also changes seasonally and features some uncommon offerings: Kinpira gobo with renkon (braised lotus and burdock-root salad) comprises matchstick-sized fibrous pieces of burdock root and juicy slices of lotus in a sweet
Pull up a seat at the trough Attention, foodies: Head to Dinner on the Farm this Saturday. Sit with the 149 other guests who will each throw down $100 to support the Center for Land-Based Learning (5265 Putah Creek Road in Winters). It’s well worth the money for cuisine prepared by famous chef Nate Appleman, star of the Food Network show The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. Currently helming Chipotle Mexican Grill’s test kitchen in New York City, Appleman won the Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation, and was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine—both in 2009. He’ll create an innovative menu of Mexican-influenced food, using strictly local ingredients. It features sea-urchin tamales with radish and jalapeño; sweet-potato crepes with kale and queso fresco; and walnut polvorones with chocolate, quince and cinnamon crema. It’s on Saturday, October 27, from 5 to 9 p.m. Visit http://landbasedlearning.org/dinner for more information. —Jonathan Mendick
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Earlier this month, the University of Phoenix Sacramento Valley Campus teamed with the online charity program DonorsChoose.org and crowdLOCAL funding site GOOD Maker to launch the Sacrameno Region Literacy Challenge. The goal: to invite community members to come up with new ways to foster literacy in the region. The open submission period ends at noon on Friday, October 26. Then, from Tuesday, October 30, to Tuesday, November 13, the ideas go up for public vote. The winning submission earns a $10,000 DonorsChoose.org gift card, and 10 runners-up will each be awarded a $2,500 gift card. In an election season mired in heated and oftconfusing rhetoric, this is one vote that really does count. http://sacramento-literacy.maker.good.is.
BILLIARD BALL RINGS Fashion mavericks have something the rest of us do not—the ability to look at everyday mundane items and see the potential beauty that lies within. Eleanor Salazar, a jewelry maker from Maine, saw a set of billiard balls and thought, “Those would make lovely rings.” And indeed, they’re quite stunning. Salazar carves billiard balls down and polishes FASHION them to whatever size fits your ring finger. (You get to choose your ball, too.) At $160, the price is a little steep, but then again, the only other option is to carve and polish a billiard ball yourself. And that would take forever. http://supermarkethq.com/ product/rounded-numbered-rings. —Aaron Carnes
On the menu, in the garden DRAGON GOURMET MUSHROOMS
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Ever since Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms’ Roxana Walker and Sabina Monteiro decided to “go big or go home,” their mushrooms have shown up on menus all over Sacramento. I especially like the grilled-cheeseand-mushroom sandwich at Midtown Village FOOD Cafe. You can also buy them at just about every farmers market in town, and, even better, the company gives away free compost at its “mushroom farm” every Saturday at 10 a.m. Made out of wheat bran, sawdust and mycelium, this compost is great for houseplants and perfect for gardens. 1225 N. B Street, (916) 668-4754, www.dragonmushrooms.com. —Ngaio Bealum
32 | SN&R | 10.25.12
Simon Winchester has written evocatively about the volcanic eruption that destroyed twothirds of Krakatoa in the 19th century, the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, the subject is skulls, those bony inner faces without which our great minds would be impossible. In Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, BOOK $29.95), Winchester curates and describes—with stunning photographs by Nick Mann—skulls collected by Dudley. Dudley seems nothing short of obsessed: In some cases, items in his collection were “harvested” and sold illegally, which led to his arrest in 2008. Despite that distasteful bit of knowledge, clearly conveyed upfront, the images are incredible, and Winchester’s accompanying essays are intriguing. Winchester points out details such as the sagittal crests on the skulls of predators, which makes possible their ferocity, yet are barely visible in a living animal. It’s a reminder that we’re all similar under the skin—in a certain sense, a skull is a skull is a skull—except where differences illustrate how adaptation to our environment and evolution have changed us so thoroughly. But the book does take a dark detour when Winchester describes the rapid extinction of the dodo. “The dodo died before our very eyes,” he writes, “and its passing shames us still.” Yet, there is its skull, a stark reminder that every gorgeous skull in this beautiful book once housed the brain, ears and eyes of something alive. —Kel Munger
Hold on to the towel My wife schedules activities every weekend with extended family, and she loses it in front of the kids when I tell her that I don’t want to go. She is extremely controlling, never sees it and spins the whole thing like I don’t care about her and our kids. The truth is, I’m exhausted. I run around at work, run around keeping stuff together at home, and I just want time to chill. She doesn’t get it and makes by Joey ga me into the bad guy every rcia time. After five years, I’m sick of it and her. Is there any way a skj oey @ ne wsreview.c om to get her to see that she’s completely unfair? Or should I just throw in the towel? Joey Hold on to the towel, honey. Use it to absorb your frustration. The probjuices beets, carrots, apples and lem is that you and your wife have ginger. Yum! opposing methods of replenishing energy. Hanging out with a frothy mix of kids and adults appeals to her because she is an extrovert who gains energy by being around scads of people. You are an introvert who needs time alone to replenish your energy. Unscheduled time on the weekend rejuvenates you. Introverts and extroverts approach life differently, but neither way is superior. The important thing is to take care of yourself in the manner best suited to your personality.
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.
Introverts and extroverts approach life differently, but neither way is superior. The important thing is to take care of yourself. Your wife’s extroverted personality is only a fraction of the equation. She believes that a full schedule of activities with extended family is the right way to live. Her family of origin believes so, too. She may experience their affirmation as evidence that she is right. And instead of understanding that you have a different perspective, she thinks you are wrong. Engaging in black-and-white thinking is easy for your wife, far easier than facing her internal fears about what others will think if she’s
flying solo. She is also afraid that you don’t really love her. In her mind, if you loved her, you would do what she wants you to do. Yes, that means she is controlling and somewhat inflexible. No, that doesn’t mean divorce court is in your future. But you do need to have a heartto-heart conversation. Explain, in detail, why you require downtime. Tell her how drained you feel when subjected to a schedule full of social activities. Let her know that you love her and want to spend time as a family. Be willing to negotiate commitments so that you can join her on occasion but also have time to yourself. It might be wise to have this chat in the presence of a third party, like a skilled psychotherapist. A neutral third party can help your wife value your needs and vice versa. One of my co-workers always gives advice to other married women in our office. The thing is, she is on her third marriage. I am single and find it extremely irritating when she goes on and on talking about how perfect her marriage is. What is the best thing to say to shut her up? Nothing will work. So try it: Say nothing to her. Instead, have a dialogue with yourself. Ask yourself why you stick around to listen to a co-worker’s opinion when you know that the experience irritates you. What is it about being irritated that you enjoy? Why not smile kindly and excuse yourself? Of course, you could also open your heart and mind when she opens her mouth. That’s right, glean any tidbits of wisdom that might appear. After all, it is possible that a twice-divorced woman has something to teach you, but you can’t know until you ditch your resistance.
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Dear Readers: Tune in to www.1musicnetwork.com and catch my new show Love and Reality on the Today’s Talk channel. Ω
Meditation of the Week: “I developed a resistance to authority. Not to discipline—I learned that. But to authority. I like to think for myself. And I like to cause trouble,” said Hal Holbrook. And you? Do you realize that thinking for yourself can cause trouble?
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10.25.12 | SN&R | 33
STAGE It’s astounding! The Rocky Horror Show
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The Rocky Horror Show and steampunkers: a match made in heaven—or, as heaven is known to Rocky cult followers, Transsexual, Transylvania. Green by Valley Theatre Company presents its annual Patti Roberts Halloween production of The Rocky Horror Show, and as usual, mixes it up a bit. This year’s production, labeled “Rocky IV,” is a midnight-madness marriage of two creative cult followings, the Rocky’s and the steampunkers.
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For the uninitiated, Rocky Horror is a campy sci-fi B-horror-movie sexual-fantasy musical, while steampunkers are fantasy fans that pay homage to Victorian-era costumes and sci-fi technology of the sort celebrated by writers like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Though the two groups are not known to hang around together, they do have much in common—roleplaying, costuming, loyal fans, great visual effects and a passion for audience participation. The first two weekends of the show (midnight on Friday and Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday) brought out the fans of both, with audiences much engaged and creatively attired. And before the show, Rocky virgins are taught the “time warp” dance, a move that hypes the anticipation. Then, the impressive live band hits the first notes, and Brad and Janet seal their fate when their Victorian-era “buggy” breaks down, and they knock on castle door of pansexual, cross-dressing mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The rest of the plot doesn’t really matter, since none of this makes much sense, anyway. This talented cast is so much fun to watch, with enthusiastic leads and backup “phantoms.” But the equally impressive co-stars of this Rocky are the amazing costumes (designed by Lindsay Grimes) and the remarkable props (by “Mad Scientist” Phillip Baldwin), all visual wonders to behold. Ω The Rocky Horror Show, midnight on Friday, Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday; plus a special Halloween performance at midnight on Wednesday, October 31; $18. Green Valley Theatre Company at the Grange Performing Arts Center, 3823 V Street; (916) 736-2664; www.greenvalleytheatre.com. Through October 31.
Shades of gray The Sunset Limited
Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 play The Sunset Limited has no coin-flipping hit man or postapocalyptic cannibals, but in this production by the Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento, it benefits from a couple of major advantages: Ed Claudio and James Wheatley. The two local master actors face off against each other in this existential play of ideas, and despite it being—rightly so—a play that critics have found entirely too tied to dialogue, they make it as lively as its subject: life itself. Claudio plays White, a college professor and avowed atheist. Wheatley is Black, an exconvict-turned-evangelical Christian. The entire play takes place in Black’s small, Spartan apartment, as the two wrangle their way around the meaning—or lack thereof—of life. Did I mention that immediately before the play began, White had attempted to kill himself by jumping in front of the Sunset Limited train? That puts a bit of pressure on the discussion, and it’s as well-played as one would expect from these two, who were both recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards at the annual Elly Awards Ceremony, sponsored by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance a few weeks ago.
Two local master actors face off against each other in this existential play of ideas. Claudio and Wheatley give masterful performances, as one would expect. Director Mark Heckman must surely have delighted in working with them, as they bring a natural quality to the conflict. The Sunset Limited does suffer, however, from an excess of talkiness that is only rescued by the talent that Claudio and Wheatley bring to the—quite literal—table. The deep ideas are much better handled when the two actors are illustrating them with narratives about their characters’ lives or with a dash of humor. In fact, what happens here is that the quality of the performances serves to reveal the flaws in the play quite clearly. And, like all of McCarthy’s work, The Sunset Limited play revels in moral ambiguity: It takes a high caliber of acting to do that sort of role justice. In this particular case, justice is served. —Kel Munger
The Sunset Limited, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$17. Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento at the Three Penny Theatre, 1723 25th Street in the California Stage complex; (916) 501-6104; www.actinsac.com. Through November 18.
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THE K OF D: AN URBAN LEGEND
It really doesn’t get much better than this pull-out-the-stops production of Lucy Prebble’s play about the rise and fall of the world’s least ethical company. W 7pm; Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 10/28. $18-$38. Capital Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; www.capstage.org. M.M.
Oct 26 - Nov 25, 2012
The Year of Magical Thinking
Fridays and Saturdays 8pm and Sundays at 2 PM Dennis Wilkerson Theater at the R25 Arts Complex, 1721 25th Street at 25 and R Streets in Midtown Sacramento.
TICKETS: General $25 Students, SARTA, seniors $20 Groups of six or more $15 NO LATE SEATING
by Joan Didion, Starring Janis Stevens
From the Garden of Eden—or the primordial ooze—forward, the course of true love has never run smoothly. A talented foursome (Michael Dotson, Jerry Lee, Jennifer Malenke and Melissa WolfKlain) shows us the story, one musical vignette after another, of how romance plays out in our lives. W 7pm; Th 2 & 7pm; F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 11/18. $20-$43. The Cosmopolitan Cabaret, 1000 K St.; (916) 557-1999; www.cosmopolitancabaret.com. J.M.
RESERVATIONS: Call (916)451-5822 or online at www.CalStage.org
Playwright Laura Schellhardt explores the twists and turns of urban myths in this two-actor (Jason Kuykendall and Tara Sissom) play with characters of multiple ages, races and backgrounds. It’s a tour de force of gymnastic acting feats under the direction of Jerry Montoya.
Tu 6:30pm; W 2 & 6:30pm; Th, F 8pm; Sa 5 & 9pm; Su 2pm. Through 11/11. $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. P.R.
THE MIRACLE WORKER
This tale of blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller (Bella Bagatelos and Courtney Shannon alternate) and the teacher who ends her isolation, Anne Sullivan (Brittni Barger), may be an old chestnut, but director Greg Alexander and a wellchosen cast make the case that it’s still worthy and relevant, with a genuine payoff. W 6:30pm; Th
12:30 & 6:30pm; F 8pm; Sa 2 & 8pm; Sa 2pm. Through 10/28. $15-$38. Sacramento Theatre
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Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org. J.H.
NEXT TO NORMAL
What looks like the perfect family is actually more than a little dysfunctional: Mom Diana (Melinda Parrett) is mentally ill. She struggles to keep it together while her husband, daughter and son provide varying levels of support or sabotage. This is not your typical musical. Directed by Matthew Schneider. Th, F 8pm; Sa 2 & 8pm. Through 10/27. $20-$35. New Helvetia Theatre at the Studio Theatre, 1028 R St.; (916) 489-9850; www.newhelvetia.org. J.C. Big Idea Theatre’s production of the Don Nigro play about the last months of American writer Stephen Crane’s life is suitably spooky and dark, with snarky one-liners threaded throughout. Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2:30pm. Through 10/27. $10-$13. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 960-3036; www.bigideatheatre.com. K.M. This outstanding production of one of Arthur Miller’s lesser-known works features David Pierini and Brian Dykstra as brothers who are finally clearing out their deceased parents’ house. Directed by Buck Busfield; it also stars Elizabeth Nunziato and David Silberman. T, W
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7pm; Th 2 & 7pm; F 7pm; Sa 8pm; Su 1pm. Through 11/3. $23-$35. The B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.;
LET’S NOT GO TO EXTREMES.
(916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. M.M.
KOLT Run Creations kicks out all the stops for this feminist play, ostensibly about a 17th-century witch trial. It’s actually an ensemble piece about betrayal, community and the choices women are forced to make, and it’s an excellent example of how site-specific theater works. F, Sa 8pm; Su 7:30pm. Through 11/4. $20-$30. KOLT Run Creations in the basement of the historic Elks Tower, 921 11th St.; (916) 454-1500; www.koltruncreations.com. K.M.
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Cloudy with chance of confusion Cloud Atlas Where am I? What month is it? Did they have the election? Sorry, it’s just that I’ve been in a screening of Cloud Atlas, and it feels like I’ve been by Jonathan Keifer gone forever. Not in a good way. The problem isn’t that the movie’s three hours long. The problem is that it feels 30 hours long. But I shouldn’t say “the” problem. Really, it’s one of several. Because if you can have several plots whirling around simultaneously within a single film, you can have several simultaneous problems. That’s what Cloud Atlas proves.
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Written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, it was adapted from David Mitchell’s novel. While admiringly familiar with Mitchell’s work, your correspondent is big enough to admit he hasn’t read this particular novel. How could he, having been stuck in the movie for half his life? But the Internet says there are six distinct stories at play in Cloud Atlas, and I’m so exhausted by now, that I’ll just say yes, fine, that sounds about right. The outermost framework of the story’s setting, a primitive, sea-adjacent woodland, is described as “106 winters after the Fall.” Others, then, are litanies of prelapsarian tedium—respectively the Pacific Ocean in the 19th century, England in the 1930s, San Francisco in the 1970s, England again in the present day and Korea in 2144. Each has its own hokey melodrama to contend with, usually to do with stifled lives seeking some manner of liberty or consummation. They’re woven together by countless selfdelighted segues, plus several lead actors prosthetically gunked up to play multiple roles. The intended effect is an awe of human connectedness, but the result is closer to the giddily apocalyptic recurrence of Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, except criminally less fun. For all the attention it draws to its stars—including but not limited to Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant and Susan
Sarandon—Cloud Atlas has a way of treating them all as puttylike extras. Maintaining his fine touch, Whishaw is the best of the lot. Hanks delivers some substance—and some rotten ham. Bae has a hard time in English; Berry goes bland; Broadbent, broad; Sturgess, soft; and sameness sets in all around—which is not the same as unity. Well, maybe de-emphasizing people is a way to emphasize ideas. Cloud Atlas does have breathy high-minded platitudes about freedom, music, science, journalism, literature and love. What intentional humor it has is low and crass. Maybe these are populist touches. Admittedly, my audience laughed a few times—perhaps most robustly at the moment when a critic got thrown off of a skyscraper balcony. But cheese is cheese. To call Cloud Atlas “ambitious,” as people already have and maybe always will, is to hedge on questions about its actual entertainment value or respect for audience intelligence. The book, I understand, is a puzzle of pleasure—or, if you prefer, a vast sanctuary in which the readerly imagination becomes entwined with the writerly one. The movie is a booklet of vouchers for sweep and spectacle. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of an epic to keep dicing it up into shorthanded mini-epics? Soon enough— soonness being relative here—it seems like a film that exists more to challenge the notion of unfilimability than to pay forward whatever inspiration its source material may once have provided. Compulsively digressive, Cloud Atlas the movie nullifies its own suspense. After a while, each return to any particular storyline brings only a pang of resentment that none in particular has yet been wrapped up. Rather than boggle the mind, it benumbs.
Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of an epic to keep dicing it up into shorthanded mini-epics? The tone, too, is a poorly tossed salad: geriatric farce here, gloomy dystopian satire there, not enough real flavor anywhere. Grand camera moves and music swells nudge a theoretical awareness of deep feeling, but under these circumstances, real emotional investment is fleeting at best. Somewhere along the loopy line, one character asks another how he knew they might become friends. The other points at his eyes and says, “All you need.” So true. And yet here’s a movie overflowing with so much more than it needs. As you read this, someone somewhere may be going into a panic of wondering whether it’ll ever end. Ω
SHOW TIMES VALID OCT 26–NOV 1, 2012
by JONATHAN KIEFER & JIM LANE
A homicide detective (Tyler Perry) investigates the work of a torturer and killer (Matthew Fox), which causes him, his wife (Carmen Ejogo) and his detective team (Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols) to become targets. Author James Patterson’s character, played twice before by Morgan Freeman, is taken over by Perry in an apparent effort to break out of the Madea trap he’s been in for so long. He does reasonably well and is supported by a reasonably good cast (Cicely Tyson, John C. McGinley and Jean Reno are also along). Unfortunately, the movie itself is pretty slapdash. Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson’s script junks most of Patterson’s plot without coming up with a very good one, and they change the locale from Washington, D.C., to Detroit to take advantage of General Motors product placement. Rob Cohen directs with a heavy hand. J.L.
In November 1979, as Iranian revolutionaries overrun the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and take the staff hostage, six Americans manage to escape and find refuge in the residence of the Canadian ambassador (Victor Garber). A CIA exfiltration expert (Ben Affleck) hatches an elaborate cover story to smuggle the Americans out disguised as members of a Hollywood film crew. Director Affleck and writer Chris Terrio fictionalize a real-life story, the CIA component of which wasn’t declassified until 1997—and is here emphasized somewhat to the detriment of the Canadian contribution, which was considerable and highly risky. Still, it’s a crackling good suspense thriller, told with mounting tension and just the right splashes of humor. John Goodman plays Oscar-winning makeup artist (and CIA contractor) John Chambers. J.L.
Atlas Shrugged: Part 2
The second third of Ayn Rand’s long novel comes to the screen with an entirely new cast and director (John Putch); only producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow and writer Brian Patrick O’Toole (joined by Duke Sandefur and Duncan Scott) are back from before. Still, the result is the same: a respectable effort hampered less by its limited budget than by the dogmatic contrivances of Rand’s plot and the straw-man polemics of her wooden, declamatory dialogue. Samantha Mathis steps easily in as railroad magnate Dagny Taggart; Jason Beghe is less successful as Hank Rearden (speaking in a raspy whisper like a dinnertheater Clint Eastwood). As with Part I, Rand’s detractors will hate the movie as much as they do her, but her fans will be satisfied, both of them for the same reasons. J.L.
Young Victor Frankenstein (voice by Charlie Tahan) applies elementaryschool science and native genius to bring his dog back to life after it’s run over by a car— but keeping the secret opens a Pandora’s box of problems. Writer-director Tim Burton remakes his 1984 live-action short as a blackand-white stop-motion feature—literally reanimated—with mixed results. It’s an odd, not-always-comfortable blend of sweetness and doleful gloom, with dozens of in-joke references to 1930s horror movies that few viewers under 30 will get. Burton has plowed this ground before (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride), and it’s not that fertile; this one feels like exactly what it is: a padded-out short. The melancholy atmosphere sometimes plays as lack of energy, but it’s still an interesting novelty. J.L.
A teenager (Victoria Justice) has to pass up the coolest Halloween party to baby-sit her kid brother (Jackson Nicoll). Then, she loses the boy when he wanders off and falls in with a lovesick 7-Eleven clerk (Thomas Middleditch). She goes searching for her brother with her best friend (Jane Levy) and two nerds (Thomas Mann, Osric Chau) in tow. This may not be the worst movie of the year (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a hard act to follow), but it’s probably the most amateurish. Max Werner’s script recycles the worst clichés of every
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
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How to Survive a Plague
David France’s documentary chronicles the turbulent formative years of ACT UP, a socially essential and historically momentous response to the AIDS epidemic. Working with a wellassembled archive-footage mosaic, France builds a group portrait of unequivocally heroic activists organizing themselves under apocalyptic duress, raging against unconscionably sluggish drug research and regulation, and most certainly earning the authority implied by the film’s title. One through-line is the eloquent, desperate fury of Bob Rafsky, the man who was told “I feel your pain” by President Bill Clinton, before being told off by him. “The question,” Rafsky says elsewhere, “is what does a decent society do with people who hurt themselves because they’re human?” In the grand scheme to which France remains warmly receptive, even the group’s infighting yields hard-won understanding, and points the way toward a deeply touching epilogue that summons much power from simple images of living, aging faces. J.K.
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 “BLENDS HUMOR AND POETRY WITH DELIGHTFUL ARTISTRY.”
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teen big-night comedy since American Graffiti, larding them over with dumb gags that thud like stifled belches. Acting never rises above high-school level, not even from pros like Chelsea Handler and Ana Gasteyer, so the fault must lie with first-time (mis)director Josh Schwartz. J.L.
Here Comes the Boom
A high-school teacher (Kevin James) springs into action on behalf of his school’s music teacher (Henry Winkler), whose job is about to be eliminated by their cash-strapped school. James’ plan: to raise the needed money by becoming a mixedmartial arts fighter. Try to imagine a bizarre hybrid of Rocky, Warrior and Mr. Holland’s Opus produced by Adam Sandler and directed by Frank Coraci—the accomplice in several of Sandler’s cinematic crimes—then you’ll have an idea of this dim-bulb rabblerousing comedy. Fortunately, it’s not as bad as it might have been, mainly thanks to James—who co-wrote with Allan Loeb and Rock Reuben, and who brings a surprising hangdog dignity to his performance (more than the movie deserves). There are a few hearty laughs scattered here and there, and Salma Hayek for romance. J.L.
In the 2070s, organized crime controls time travel, using it to send people they want dead back 30 years to be offed and disposed of. The catch is that each assassin will someday have to kill his older self, thus “closing the loop.” When one such looper (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tries to close his loop, the old boy he will be in 30 years (Bruce Willis) has some surprises up his sleeve. Director Rian Johnson’s script is a wildly convoluted ride. It plays as if he made it up as he went along, and it doesn’t always make sense, even on its own sci-fi terms. But the movie has an irresistible energy and a don’t-give-a-damn unpredictability that holds your attention and keeps you guessing. Emily Blunt plays a farmer caught in the crossfire, Jeff Daniels portrays a coldblooded gang lord and Paul Dano is a luckless fellow looper. J.L.
A college student (Anna Kendrick) is dragooned into a campus a capella singing group, where her experimental nature clashes with the conservative style of the group’s self-appointed leader (Anna Camp). Kay Cannon’s script (based, ever so loosely, on a book by Mickey Rapkin) parodies, by faithful imitation, the silly adolescent soap opera of Glee, with plenty of sly
winks at the audience, congratulating them on having such a knowing postmodern sense of humor. Broadly directed by Jason Moore, the story grows tiresome before long; what redeems the movie is the musical numbers, energetically danced and sung, hopefully (but maybe not) in the actors’ own voices. (Oddly enough, though, Kendrick and Camp’s group doesn’t sing a capella at the climactic competition: It’s accompanied by an unseen percussionist.) J.L.
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A true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) moves his family into the house where an entire family was murdered— except for one child who disappeared. In the attic, he finds a stash of home movies dating back to 1959, snuff films showing not only the murders in this house, but other families being slashed, torched and drowned. Writerdirector Scott Derrickson does absolutely nothing right. His characters—especially Hawke’s—are incredibly stupid even by the rock-bottom standards of don’t-go-in-thatdark-room trash like this; his “supernatural” explanation stumbles into accidental self-parody; and he can’t muster any suspense or decent scares. He doesn’t even seem to know anything about the Super 8 movie format his nitwit plot hinges on. Hawke’s career bottoms out with a thud; it can only get better from here. J.L.
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Liam Neeson returns as the CIA agent whose daughter (Maggie Grace) was kidnapped back in 2008. This time, in Istanbul, Neeson and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) are snatched by the vengeful father of the original villain—and daughter gets away to help Dad free himself by following his orders over her cellphone. Writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen press their luck by trying to recycle their earlier success, but they can’t wring another story out of it; they just repeat the old one, with flourishes that make it less credible, less suspenseful and less satisfying than it was before. They compound their mistake by bringing in the aptly named Olivier Megaton to direct. Megaton employs his usual style, hammering away at us like a bully in a bar. The ending sets us up for—shudder!—Taken 3, 4 and 5. J.L.
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Massive Delicious fuses reggae, soul, funk and jazz to craft a big sound and tight community Massive Delicious isn’t just the name of the band—it’s a moniker that describes the group’s scene and its sound. This is an act that blends reggae, soul, by Ngaio Bealum funk and jazz into big, tasty dubtastic grooves for large crowds of cute and costumed dancers—creating a mass of delicious energy, rhythm and movement.
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On the road, Zuhg drummer Russell “Rooster” Lundgren filled in for Rosato—a natural fit, as the two bands have integrated their members ever since Massive Delicious relocated from the East Coast to Sacramento in November 2011. In addition to Lundgren’s substitute percussion work, for example, Conn and Crawford also play in both bands. “We played some shows with Zuhg, and they needed a bass player. Then Dylan sat in with them, and everybody really dug it, and now it’s a big orgy,” Rosato explains. “There’s just three of us in Massive Delicious, so we can keep the jam open for other musicians to jump in.” So how, exactly, did three college kids attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music wind up endlessly touring and smashing festivals? It’s a classic story: Three guys form a reggae jam band. Things start to go well, and the three guys decide to move to Los Angeles. Things don’t go so well there, however, and the trio ends up in Sacramento, because that’s where the bass player grew up. Then, things start going well again. It’s also a classic phrase: “Ended up in Sacramento.” As if most people who move here have no plan or no choice. In this case, that underlying reason may be true, but it’s proof that sometimes “settling” also means making the smarter, more advantageous choice.
The genre-defying group may also be one of the hardest-working bands in Sacramento. Along with troupes such as Zuhg and Arden Park Roots, the band’s part of a local live-music scene that exemplifies a DIY ethic—one built upon artists that are young, produce their own music festivals and, perhaps most importantly, seem to understand that part of making a living as a musician is paying attention to the “business” part of “show business.” Massive Delicious, indeed. Of course, sometimes everyday life gets in the way of show business and art. The band tours constantly—it recently embarked on an 11-state, 30-shows-in-35-nights trek with Zuhg that culiminates Wednesday, October 31, at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub (2708 J Street)—so much so, that even its own members can’t always keep up. Josh Rosato, Massive Delicious’s drummer, for example, wasn’t able to join bassist Andrew Conn and singer-guitarist Dylan Crawford on the current tour because his straight gig as a music teacher kept him at home. It was weird not heading out on the road with this band, Rosato admits, but it also felt good to have time off after a tour-intensive summer. “We’ve gigged almost every day from April to August. Then, [the rest of the band] went on a five-week tour,” says Rosato, who will, however, be onstage for the band’s homecoming show. With nearly an album’s worth of material ready to record, Massive Delicious is also set to return to the studio in January.
“Weplayedsomeshows withZugh,andthey neededabassplayer. Then[ourguitarist] Dylan[Crawford]satin withthem,andeverybody reallydugit,andnow it’sabigorgy.” Josh Rosato drummer, Massive Delicious Sacramento, Rosato explains, may not be as high-profile of a music city as, say, Boston or Los Angeles, but it’s one that takes care of its own. “I’m very happy that we ended up here. [There’s] more of a community here than a competition,” Rosato says. “All the bands [in Sacramento] support each other a lot more. It’s very refreshing.” Ω
Divey, dirty fun TownHouse’s last stand: Who didn’t
worry that, during some largerthan-life moment at a sold-out bass-bumper blowout, the TownHouse Lounge’s second floor would come crashing down onto its first? Hell, I was convinced of such a calamity one night a few years back during a capacity-crowd Chk Chk Chk gig at the much-loved, much-loathed club. The band hadn’t played Sacto in a while—I believe now-defunct bruisers Mayyors also were on the bill, just to rub it in—and the two-story ToHo at 1517 21st Street brimmed with off-the-chain vibes. Upstairs was a mishmash of sweaty undulation, bodies so knotted hip to hip that you couldn’t even glimpse the venue’s black-and-white checkered floor beneath your feet. And this humid stink permeated the squarish, low-ceilinged room, but it was a ribald-if-ripe revelry worth enduring: a night of Sacto rock legends at a special funky place. But then Chk Chk Chk broke into “Must Be the Moon”—arguably the guys’ most popular hit, what with its cruising bassline and four-on-thefloor thumps—and I was more than a little bit uneasy about the structural efficacy of TownHouse’s upper half. Basically, it was a moment of panic. The ceiling was gonna cave in. We were done for, for sure. Of course, this was not our fate. And it likely will never happen: ToHo will close its doors at the end of October after nearly a decade of grimy grooves and infamous good times. DJ Shaun Slaughter was one of the pioneering promoters who rescued TownHouse from nightlife irrelevance some years ago, around 2005. He (smartly) recognized the space’s potential for stacking pancakes: dancing downstairs and bands such as Wallpaper upstairs. But, perhaps more importantly, TownHouse’s owner, Desmond Reynoso—who I’ve known over the years simply as “Desi”—was game for anything. For instance: At one of Slaughter’s regular birthday soirees, the deejay rented a mechanical bull. First, what club owner in their right mind is gonna let Shaun Slaughter transport hundreds of pounds of vibrating faux cattle into his club? Exactly. Secondly: “We had the guy begrudgingly lug it up the stairs,” Slaughter recounted, “and brought in, like, a million bails of hay.” Trouble. And by the night’s end, clubgoers had ripped the hay from the bails and festooned the entire club with straw, from the bar to the
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deejay booth. “It was seriously nuts,” the deejay said. And Desi didn’t fire anyone. Kudos to the chaos. But the end of those nuts days is nigh. And, as Slaughter shared recently on Facebook, there aren’t too many other free-for-all options in Sacto’s nightlife scene. “Despite it’s flaws, [TownHouse] was an AMAZING place to cut loose,” he wrote, “and somehow created this very weird, no holds barred vibe no other venue could duplicate.” This past Friday, I did what any intrepid and appreciative music journalist should do—admittedly, after a handful of cocktails—and tripped into TownHouse just before midnight for one last hurrah. And those couple hours before last call were a blur of boozy boneheadedness: DJ Roger serenading a filled floor of butt wigglers upstairs, DJ Whores downstairs driving a packed dance floor with bassy techno and house, Slaughter sneaking me behind the bar for a shot of bourbon. It was dizzying, probably embarrassing—but one of riches. So, why not give the old ToHo a go this Friday, October 26, with Slaughter and Roger’s annual Halloween party? DJ Adam J joins the team, too, and the place will be decked out as a “haunted forest.” (Again, what other local club owner’s gonna allow that?) Sure, TownHouse’s bathrooms are hardly the Four Seasons’. And yes, the bar often ran out of liquor. And Grimey wasn’t just its most popular night. But the old 1910 building—with its “secret” back staircase, chatterbox parking lot filled with ciggie suckers and Sega Genesis console at the bar—filled a void. And will be missed. Meanwhile, DJ Whores’ Grimey night surely will land new digs. And Slaughter says Midtown BarFly (1119 21st Street), which has settled in to the former Club 21 spot, and the new Purgatory Restaurant & Nightclub venue—you know, heaven upstairs and hell downstairs—on J and 16th streets could be future homes for his Friday nights. Change, except in the case of Gov. Mitt Romney, can be a good thing. “But I also can’t help feeling like we’re losing one of the last divey, dirty and fun to party in, spots in Sacramento,” Slaughter lamented.
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Hangtown Halloween Ball
Be Brave Bold Robot
The Cave Collective, 8 p.m., $5
Autumn Sky, Reggie Ginn and Lindsey Pavao are just a few singer-songwriters many in town recognize as avid performers. ALT-POP But now, there’s a new kid on the block: 20-year-old Xochitl Hermosillo. With her acoustic guitar, Xochitl writes material that dances along the image of innocent teeny-bopper princess, but her lyrics are both entertaining and clever. Xochitl’s voice in her original “The Chico Song” channels a bit of an upbeat Kimya Dawson at first listen, but her harmonies and songbirdlike trills separate her completely. Lyrics in Xochitl’s tunes consist of video-game references, stories of first loves and, of course, breakups. 3512 Stockton Boulevard, www.facebook.com/xochitlofficial.
El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 1:45 p.m., $60-$160
Pitch a tent, bring a costume and jam-band groove to the Hangtown Halloween Ball. With three stages, three days of music ’til the wee hours of the morning and on-site camping, it’s like a baby Bonnaroo. Americana jam band Railroad Earth (pictured) will play all three days, including an improvised score to the film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A Saturdaynight tribute to the Beastie Boys via Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will feature members of Slightly Stoopid. Other acts include FESTIVAL Delta Spirit, Orgone, ALO and Blind Pilot. Get lost in the music—just don’t forget where you parked your car. 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, www.hangtownhalloween.com.
Beatnik Studios, 8 p.m., $5-$10
Local acoustic-folk popsters Be Brave Bold Robot make amusing music. Whether it’s Dean Haakenson spitting out humorous, tongue-twisting lyrics on “Bigelow’s (Wish I Was),” the band diving into the absurd “Were I to Be a Woman” or the imagery it provides FOLK POP (its description of the traditional minivan family in “Gridlocked” is subtly hysterical)—there is much to enjoy. The group’s wordplay is also quite clever: The potentially provocative rhyming opportunities on “Take a Deep Breath” veer in unexpected directions. And sometimes, titles alone are downright silly (read: “Hecka Stuff”). Combining traditional acoustic folk pop with viola, violin and banjo, these guys (and gals!) create engaging tunes. 2421 17th Street, www.bebraveboldrobot.com.
Old Ironsides, 9 p.m., $12
If you were born before October 27, 1991, then scrape together $12 and head to Old Ironsides on Friday for a night of music sure to make your ears ring. Guitars, aggressive riffs, drums and an outlaw attitude will greet you at the door, courtesy of local Internet station Threat Con Radio. Stockton-based Clockwork Hero—fronted by Sam York and known for melodic vocals over some of the area’s most aggressive riffs—will join ROCK/METAL tailgate-rock band Sil Shoda from Southern Nevada and two Sacramento favorites: progressive metal band Zeroclient and 2011 Sammie-winning metal band Prylosis, which released Moral Insanity in July. 1901 10th Street, www.facebook.com/clockworkhero.
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Hip Hop Halloween Dance Party
Sacramento Jazz Orchestra
Isn’t it unfortunate that seminal hip-hop acts are relegated to obscure venues while the new generation forgets about them? Such is the case with the three acts performing in the Hip Hop Halloween Dance Party: Naughty by Nature (pictured), the Sugarhill Gang and Kool Moe Dee. I mean, it’s all the way in Lincoln, where all those retirement communites are. Still, expect to see hip-hop purists singing and/or B-boying to songs such as “Hip Hop Hooray,” “Rapper’s Delight” and “Wild Wild HIP-HOP West.” If you can’t breakdance, just do the moves from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during the Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache.” Google it. 1200 Athens Avenue in Lincoln, www.thundervalleyresort.com.
Busdriver is the kind of emcee who is too weird to exist anywhere but underground. HIP-HOP He raps a mile a minute, trying to cram as much thought and contradiction into each verse as possible. His rhymes are filled with inner turmoil, blunt honesty, strange humor and lots of tangents in nearly every line. The music is dizzyingly fast paced—the perfect backdrop for his off-the-wall delivery. Busdriver’s sound is far removed from mainstream rap, so he attracts a certain amount of hip-hop purists. Yet, because he’s so different, he also attracts people who don’t otherwise listen to rap music. 2708 J Street, www.busdriverse.com.
Thunder Valley Casino Resort, 9 p.m., $45.50-$55.50
Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 8:30 p.m., $12
JB’s Lounge, 5 p.m., $5-$10
The nonprofit 18-piece Sacramento Jazz Orchestra has been on a mission since 2009 to “preserve the rich heritage of jazz, nurture its growth, and encourage the appreciation of America’s original music … as a viable art form.” This eloquent body of fulltime, professional musicians and jazz educators (including Capital Jazz Project veterans Joe Gilman, Mike McMullen and Rick Lotter) continues its laudable quest this Sunday JAZZ with tunes plucked from the playbooks of Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Maria Schneider, and such arrangers as SJO trumpeter Joe Mazzaferro, Bill Holman, Kenny Werner and Bob Brookmeyer. 1401 Arden Way, www.sacjazzorchestra.com.
Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 7 p.m., $15
Oklahoma quintet Other Lives is like a landscape painter working in deep majestic colors and late-night shades, fashioning moody cinematic set pieces. Frontman Jesse Tabish’s willowy tenor croon has a freak-folk air, but ALTERNATIVE the music channels chamber-pop sophistication through dreamy, undulating arrangements. Think Meddle-era Pink Floyd attempting to fit in at a Rufus Wainwright party. Other Lives is certainly cute enough but could flub the small talk. Even short tracks like the two-and-a-half minute “Woodwind” are epic and expansive. At times, the twilight orchestral swells recall such textured U.K. piano-pop acts as Coldplay or the Editors but more NPR and less darkly romantic. 2708 J Street, www.otherlives.com.
ACE OF SPADES FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
DEATH ANGEL DEADLANDS - LEGION’S REQUIEM CHERNOBOG - DAMAGE OVER TIME
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
GROUNDATION SQUAREFIELD MASSIVE J*RAS OF SOULIFTED - SUPA SAA
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2
DANCE GAVIN DANCE
A LOT LIKE BIRDS - I THE MIGHTY - THE ORPHAN THE POET - HAIL THE SUN
1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com
ALL AGES WELCOME!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8
THE AP TOUR:
MISS MAY I THE GHOST INSIDE
11/16 The Faint
LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES THE AMITY AFFLICTION - GLASS CLOUD
11/17 Halestorm 11/18 Pierce The Veil
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9
11/19 Woe, is Me
PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS
11/24 Trapt 11/25 The Acacia Strain
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10
SOME FEAR NONE TERRA FERNO - OVERWATCH ZEN ARCADIA - NEW FANG
12/08 Motionless in White 12/10 NOFX 12/11 Blood On The Dance Floor
MINUS THE BEAR
12/12 Never Shout Never
CURSIVE - GIRL IN A COMA
PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6
DEVIL DRIVER - CANCER BATS LEGACY OF DISORDER
11/30 7 Seconds 12/07 Streetlight Manifesto
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3
11/25 Veil Of Maya
12/14 The English Beat 12/15 The Grouch That Stole X-MAS
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15
EVERCLEAR EVE 6 - NAMESAKE
12/27 X (All Original Members) 03/05 Reverend Horton Heat 03/06 Black Veil Brides
Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202
B E F O R E | F R O N T L I N E S | F E A T U R E S T O R Y | A R T S & C U L T U R E | A F T E R |
10.25.12 | SN&R | 41
Skratchpad Sacramento, 9pm, no cover
WARP 11, 9pm, $8
CASH PROPHETS, 9pm, call for cover
DEAD BY NIGHTFALL, SERPENTERA,
BEYOND ALL ENDS, OUTSIDERS, OH! THE HORROR, NEKROCYST; 6:30pm
HELMET, TOADIES, UME, ALLINADAY; 8pm, call for cover
1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400
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9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 WEARING IT OUT IN PUBLIC; 8pm
BOWS AND ARROWS THE CAVE
HAVENSIDE, NIGHTMARE IN THE TWILIGHT, COVENTRY SQUARE; 7pm, $12 Nerd Night: Dorktoberfest Halloween party, 7pm W, $1
3512 Stockton Blvd., (916) 267-7576
AUTUMN SKY, ALYSSA COX & THE FLATLAND BAND, CHELSEA HUGHES; 9pm
THE COZMIC CAFÉ
Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover
MISS SHEVAUGHN AND YUMA WRAY, PATRICK WALSH; 8:30pm, $8
TOO MUCH FICTION, KING NEVER, MIKE JAMES; 8:30pm, $6
THE GRAVEDIGGERS SOCIAL CLUB, 8pm W, $5
DJ Morgan Page, 9pm, call for cover
DJ Zhaldee and DJ Louie Giovanni, 9pm, call for cover
DJ G Squared, 9pm, call for cover
DJ Donald Glaude with DJ Billy Lane, 9pm W, call for cover
594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481 1016 K St., (916) 737-5770
BABS JOHNSON GANG, LOYALTY IS BLUE, HE HATE ME; 8pm, $3-$5
FOX & GOOSE
1001 R St., (916) 443-8825
IN OUR TIME, SECOND TO LAST, ON MY HONOR, MISSIVE; 8pm, $5
THE EERIES, STANLEY, THE SEARCH; 8pm Tu, $5
VANDELLA, 7pm, no cover
18398 Old River Rd., West Sacramento; (916) 371-2277 2000 K St., (916) 448-7798
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
TOR HOUSE, SEAN O’BRIEN & HIS DIRTY HANDS; 8-11pm, no cover
MYLER & STARR, PAT HULL, BROTHER JIMMIE & THE NEW DEAL; 9pm, $5
STOUT REBELLION, WHISKEY & STITCHES; 9pm, $5
DJ Smilez, 10pm-1:15am, no cover
MIDNIGHT RAID, 9pm, call for cover BUSDRIVER, OPEN MIC EAGLE, NOCANDO; 9:30pm, $12
G STREET WUNDERBAR Hey local bands!
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 10/29-10/31 ANGELSPIT, 8pm W, $10
MR P CHILL, MS. VYBE, CENTURY GOT BARS, LIGHT SKINNED CREOLE; 7pm, $5
1815 19 St., (916) 822-5668
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.
228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227
Dragalicious, 9pm, $5
Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3 SACTO SOUL REBELS, RUDE ROOTS, MUSICAL CHARIS; 8-11pm W
ANTSY MCCLAIN & THE TRAILER PARK TROUBADOURS, DEAN-O-HOLICS; 7pm
RED FANG, BLACK TUSK, LORD DYING; 9pm, $15
LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR
Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2
The Spectacular Theatrics of Hell’s Belle The Spectacular Theatrics of Hell’s Belle and the Good Intentions play, 8pm, $10 and the Good Intentions, play, 8pm, $10
Nebraska Mondays, M; DAVID HOUSTON; ALLYSON SECONDS, 7:30pm W, $10
MARILYN’S ON K
908 K St., (916) 446-4361
“Rock On” Live Band Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
ALMA DESNUDA, PUSHTONAWANDA; 9pm, $10
STEPHEN YERKEY, 5:30-7:30pm Tu, no cover
DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, $10, free before 9pm DJ Elliot Estes, 9pm, $15
DJ Mike Moss, 9pm, $20
NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN
World’s Worst Doctors Comedy Improv, 8:30pm, $5
WALKING SPANISH, JULIANNA ZACHARIOU; 8:30pm, $5
AJ JOHNSON, JIM FUNK, LOVELORN DUO; 8:30pm, $5
Jazz, 8:30pm M; DELTA CITY RAMBLERS, PINE ST. RAMBLERS; 8:30pm W
1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504
LUCKY TUBB, CASH PROPHETS, FORTUNATE FEW; 9pm, $9
PRYLOSIS, CLOCKWORK HERO, ZEROCLIENT, DEDVOLT; 8pm, $10-$12
KILL DEVIL, ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, LIGHT BRIGADE, JENN ROGAR; 7:30pm
THE NUANCE, 7:30pm M; Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Open-mic, 8:30pm W, no cover
ON THE Y
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
CHRONAEXUS, HUMAN FILTH, ROTTEN FUNERAL, VALDUR; 9pm
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
PACIFIC GUITAR ENSEMBLE, 8pm, $20
THE HOBART BROTHERS, LI’L SIS HOBART, JON DEE GRAHAM; 8pm, $15
2708 J St., (916) 441-4693 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931
1531 L St., (916) 442-8899 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927
670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731
THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE
13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825
OTHER LIVES, 7pm M; STORM LARGE, 7pm Tu; ZUHG, 8pm W, call for cover
THE RIPOFFS, 9:30pm, $5 Pirate and wench party w/ DJ Stonerokk, 9pm-2am, $10
Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover
DJs Gabe Xavier and Peeti V, 8:30pm2am W, $10
Karaoke, 9pm Tu; GARY BUSEY AMBER ALERT, KENNEDY VEIL; 9pm W
Sac Only, Not Valid with Other Offers, Exp. 11/08/12
Milan L. Hopkins, M.D. is pleased to announce the opening of his remodeled office at 9425 Main St., Upper Lake, for general practice. He wishes to remind all Medical Cannabis patients that there has been NO CHANGE in California state law, and that his recommendation still protects from prosecution for NINETY-NINE PLANTS AND NINETEEN POUNDS of processed cannabis. Every county is passing its own ordinance, and California State Supreme Court ruled years ago that doctors are the only authority on amounts. Law enforcement has NO RIGHT to destroy your property. Cannabis patients have successfully sued for the value of crops destroyed.
New patients can call (707) 275-2366 42
9425 Main St. | P.O. Box 638 | Upper Lake, CA 95485 Phone (707)275–2366 | Fax (707)275-9043
THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222
DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm-2am, $15
DJ Peeti V, 9pm, $15
Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover
DJ Crooked, 9pm-2am W, $15
PARLARE EURO LOUNGE
Top 40, 9pm, no cover
Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover
DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover
PINE COVE TAVERN
Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
BAD IRON, 9pm, $5
JELLY BREAD, POLITICAL PLUM, BONE MACDONALD; 9pm, $5
LEFT OF CENTRE, 9:30pm, call for cover
TAINTED LOVE, 10pm, $20
SPAZMATICS, 10pm, $20
LORI MORVAN, 3pm, call for cover
Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5
Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5
Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5
1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960 502 29th St., (916) 446-3624
140 Harrison Ave., Auburn; (530) 885-5093 614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586
THE PRESS CLUB
2030 P St., (916) 444-7914
Comedy Night and DJ Selekta Lou, 9pm, $5
DJ Katz, 8pm, no cover before midnight
MONK WARRIOR, GARAGE JAZZ ARCHITECTS; 8pm, call for cover
XOCHITL, 8pm, $5
705 J St., (916) 442-1268 1400 E St., (916) 551-1400
Top 40 dance mixes, 9pm W, no cover ISLAND OF BLACK AND WHITE, 9:30pm, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm Tu, W, no cover
STONEY INN/ROCKIN RODEO
DOG PARTY, LITTLE MEDUSAS, PETS; 8pm, $5
SacFAN Meet-up, noon, no cover
JANA KRAMER, ANDY GIBSON; 7pm, $15-$20
DAVE RUSSELL BAND, 8pm, $5-$10
904 15th St., (916) 443-2797
X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; BUSTER BLUE, 9pm, $5
PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30pm; RON JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; THOMPSON & THE RESISTORS, 9pm, $8 COALITION, 9pm, $10
Deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover
1517 21st St., (916) 613-7194
Open jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith & Friends, 8pm Tu, no cover Microphone Mondays, 6pm M, $1-$2
ACES UP, 9:30pm, no cover
1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023
Country dance party, 8pm, no cover
Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover
DIPPIN’ SAUCE, BONE MACDONALD, TESS MARIE, LUCKY BROTHERS; 3pm
ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, 9pm Tu, $4; KERI CARR, 9pm W, $5 Open-mic, 9pm M, no cover; Eyewitness Wednesdays, 9pm W, no cover
Pop Freq w/ DJ XGVNR, 9pm, $5
All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES
DEATH ANGEL, DEADLANDS, LEGION’S REQUIEM, CHERNOBOG; 6:30pm, $15
APPETITE, COLD ESKIMO, BE BRAVE BOLD ROBOT, BUZZMUTT; 6pm, $5-$10
1417 R St., (916) 448-3300 2421 17th St., (916) 443-5808
1529 Eureka Rd., Roseville; (916) 988-6606
Jelly Bread with Political Plum and Bone MacDonald 9pm Saturday, $5. Pistol Pete’s Funk and rock
Country Karaoke, M; DJ Alazzawi, DJ Rigatony, Tu; DOGFOOD, LITE BRITE; W
DJ JB, 8pm Tu, call for cover
D-FELIC, EL INDIO, EL CONDUCTOR, ALLENLOGIK, 9pm, no cover
2574 21st St., (916) 832-0916
Open-mic, 10pm-1am Tu, no cover; Trivia, 9-11pm W, no cover
Warp 11 9pm Friday, $8. Blue Lamp Star Trek rock
GROUNDATION, J*RAS & SOULIFTED, SQUAREFIELD MASSIVE; 7pm, $18
JOSH DOTY, TAYLOR CULLEN, FATE UNDER FIRE, DEVIN WRIGHT; 6pm, $10
LUIGI’S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN 1050 20th St., (916) 552-0317
JONNY CRAIG, THE SEEKING, HEADLINES; 7:30pm, $13
JONNY CRAIG, THE SEEKING, HEADLINES; 7:30pm, $13
ZUHG LIFE STORE
SOLWAVE, 6:30pm, no cover
AUTUMN SKY, MANTRA BAND, MELVOY; 1pm, call for cover
545 Downtown Plaza, Ste. 2090, (916) 822-5185
CARLOS GUZMAN, LEE MILHOUS TRIO; 1pm, no cover
ADRIAN BELLUE, 6pm Tu, no cover
LIVE MUSIC THURSDAY 9pm & SATURDAY 8pm Daily Fish Specials & BBQ Menu | Sat-Sun Brunch 10-2pm
Thurs 10/25 - Bright Faces (Country/Pop) Sat 10/27 - OPUS (Pop/Rock) Thurs 11/1 - Burning Waves (Reggae) Sat 11/3 - Crescent Katz (New Orleans Jazz) *Tuesday Night Music Coming in November*
57th & Jst | 916-457-5600 57th & Jst | 916-457-5600 Happy Hour M-F 3-6 pm TH 9:30-1am Happy Ha Happ Hour| M-F 3-6pm - Th-930pm-1am Tickets Available at: The Beat, All Dimples, Cherry Records, Clock Tower Records, Yabobo & Tribal Weaver
www.greatwhiskey.eventbrite.com www.KeepSmilingPromotions.com $15 Advance / $20 Day of Show
Saturday, November 10
Chris Webster & Nina Gerber Saturday, December 1
New Riders of the Purple Sage Saturday, December 15
Melvin Seals & JGB
YOU’RE WELCOME, EARTH. BEFORE
For a full listing of all our bands & events visit us on the web at www.powerhousepub.com
614 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom CA (916) 355-8586
A RT S & C U LT U R E
WHAT’S ON YOUR
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3600 Power Inn Rd Suite 1A Sacramento, CA 95826 916.455.1931
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Got all my plants in and trimmed. I had a really good harvest this year. What’s the best way to store all of this cannabis? —Weed Is Not Zucchini No more than a quarter-inch stem. No lollipops. No crows feet. Huh, what? Well, hello, there. Me? Nothing. I’m just sitting at an undisclosed location in the Emerald Triangle, trimming until my arms fall off. As seasonal labor goes, I’d rather trim weed than pull live halibut from a fishing line. M LU A E B Ah, yes, you had a question. OK: Once you get IO A by NG all your cannabis collected and trimmed, make sure it’s nice and dry. If your weed is too wet, mold can become a big problem. The best way to store a sk420 @ n ewsreview.c om your weed is in a glass jar. Mason jars work well. There are a few other companies that also sell nice custom-made jars. Airtight is best. Tupperware and other plastics are just OK. And make sure your jars are clean. You don’t want your weed to end up smelling like mango yogurt or Grandma’s homemade salsa. The biggest dangers to your stash, besides law enforcement, are heat and sunlight. These two villains will strip your pot of all of its flavor and potency, so find a cool, dark place to keep your stash. The freezer works, if you have enough space and don’t live with children or moochers. If you’re fancy, you may Weed will remain potent and want to use the delicious for a few months if wine cellar. You could always dig a stored properly. hole in the ground and bury your jars, but I would only do that with my I’m-saving-this-for-theend-of-the-world weed. For optimal results, open your jar every once in a while. Check the dryness of the bud. Humidipak (www.humidipak.com) makes little packets you can use to control the humidity in your jars. Everyone has their own preference for how dry they like their pot. Use different packets until you find the right one. Weed will remain potent and delicious for at least a few months if stored properly. Bon appétit! Harvest is going great. The thing is, I have a lot of marijuana trimmings and shake. What can I do with it all? —Shake It This is a good problem. It used to be that people couldn’t give shake away. Now, with the advent of the cannabis-infused edible industry as well as the rising popularity of making hashish (by the way, making butane hash oil in California is against the law), shake has become a valuable commodity. I would use the best trimmings to make cold-water hash. A quick search on YouTube will show you more ways to make hash than you would have thought possible. The other, leafier parts can be used for tinctures and salves. It is also really easy to make cannabis-infused olive oil in a Crock-Pot. Dump in a bunch of shake, pour in some olive oil, set the pot to its lowest setting and leave it be for a few hours. It will make your house smell, though, and the more shake that is used, the stronger the oil will be. Let it cool. Strain it well, pressing on the shake to extract every bit of oil. Store the oil in a cool, dry place. Keep away from children. Cannabis-infused olive oil always makes a great gift. And, if you are extra crafty, you may want to look into making cannabisinfused lotion or balm, which many people use to help with arthritis and other joint and muscle pain. Ω
Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@ newsreview.com.
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10.25.12 | SN&R | 47
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by ROB BREZSNY
FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 25, 2012
ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming
days, many of your important tasks will be best accomplished through caginess and craftiness. Are you willing to work behind the scenes and beneath the surface? I suspect you will have a knack for navigating your way skillfully and luckily through mazes and their metaphorical equivalents. The mists may very well part at your command, revealing clues that no one else but you can get access to. You might also have a talent for helping people to understand elusive or difficult truths. Halloween costume suggestions: spy, stage magician, ghost whisperer, exorcist.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The coming
week could have resemblances to the holiday known as Opposite Day. Things people say may have meanings that are different or even contrary to what they supposedly mean. Qualities you usually regard as liabilities might temporarily serve as assets, and strengths could seem problematical or cause confusion. You should also be wary of the possibility that the advice you get from people you trust may be misleading. For best results, make liberal use of reverse psychology, freaky logic and mirror magic. Halloween costume suggestion: the opposite of who you really are.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I don’t have a
big problem with your tendency to contradict yourself. I’m rarely among the consistency freaks who would prefer you to stick with just one of your many selves instead of hopscotching among all nine. In fact, I find your multilevel multiplicity interesting and often alluring. I take it as a sign that you are in alignment with the fundamentally paradoxical nature of life. Having said all that, however, I want to alert you to an opportunity that the universe is currently offering you, which is to feel unified, steady and stable. Does that sound even vaguely enticing? Why not try it out for a few weeks? Halloween costume suggestion: an assemblage or collage of several of your different personas.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): An avocado
tree may produce so much fruit that the sheer weight of its exuberant creation causes it to collapse. Don’t be like that in the coming weeks, Cancerian. Without curbing your luxuriant mood, simply monitor your outpouring of fertility so that it generates just the right amount of beautiful blooms. Be vibrant and bountiful and fluidic, but not unconstrained or overwrought or recklessly lavish. Halloween costume suggestion: a bouquet, an apple tree, a rich artist or an exotic dancer with a bowl of fruit on your head.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I hope your father
didn’t beat you or scream at you or molest you. If he did, I am so sorry for your suffering. I also hope that your father didn’t ignore you or withhold his best energy from you. I hope he didn’t disappear for weeks at a time and act oblivious to your beauty. If he did those things, I mourn for your loss. Now, it’s quite possible that you were spared such mistreatment, Leo. Maybe your dad gave you conscientious care and loved you for who you really are. But whatever the case might be, this is the right time to acknowledge it. If you’re one of the lucky ones, celebrate to the max. If you’re one of the wounded ones, begin or renew your quest for serious and intensive healing. Halloween costume suggestion: your father.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Do you know
how to tell the difference between superstitious hunches and dependable intuitions? Are you good at distinguishing between mediocre gossip that’s only 10 percent accurate and reliable rumors that provide you with the real inside dope? I suspect that you will soon get abundant opportunities to test your skill in these tasks. To increase the likelihood of your success, ask yourself the following question on a regular basis: Is what you think you’re seeing really there or is it mostly a projection of your expectations and theories? Halloween costume suggestions: a lie detector, an interrogator with syringes full of truth serum, a superhero with X-ray vision, a lab scientist.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I am officially
protesting you, Libra. I am staging a walkout and mounting a demonstration and launching a boycott unless you agree to my demand. And yes, I have just one demand: that you take better care of the neglected, disempowered and underprivileged parts of your life. Not a year from now, not when you have more leisure time, now! If and when you do this, I predict the arrival of a flood of personal inspiration. Halloween costume suggestion: a symbolic representation of a neglected, disempowered or underprivileged part of your life.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “It’s so fine
and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas,” said French painter Paul Cezanne. Many writers make similar comments about the excruciating joy they feel when first sitting down in front of an empty page. For artists in any genre, in fact, getting started may seem painfully impossible. And yet there can also be a delicious anticipation as the ripe chaos begins to coalesce into coherent images or words or music. Even if you’re not an artist, Scorpio, you’re facing a comparable challenge in your own chosen field. Halloween costume suggestion: a painter with a blank canvas.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): As
you contemplate what you want to be for Halloween, don’t consider any of the following options: a Thoroughbred racehorse wearing a blindfold, a mythic centaur clanking around in iron boots or a seahorse trying to dance on dry land. For that matter, Sagittarius, I hope you won’t come close to imitating any of those hapless creatures even in your non-Halloween life. It’s true that the coming days will be an excellent time to explore, analyze and deal with your limitations. But that doesn’t mean you should be overwhelmed and overcome by them. Halloween costume suggestions: Harry Houdini, an escaped prisoner, a snake molting its skin.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Does
anyone know where I can find dinosaur costumes for cats?” asked a Halloween shopper on Reddit. In the comments section, someone else said that he needed a broccoli costume for his Chihuahua. I bring this up, Capricorn, because if anyone could uncover the answers to these questions, it would be you. You’ve got a magic touch when it comes to hunting down solutions to unprecedented problems. Halloween costume suggestion: a cat wearing a dinosaur costume.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Live
Monarch Foundation made a video on how to fix a butterfly’s broken wing (http://tinyurl.com/FixWing). It ain’t easy. You need 10 items, including tweezers, baby powder, toothpicks and glue. You’ve got to be patient and summon high levels of concentration. But it definitely can be done. The same is true about the delicate healing project you’ve thought about attempting on your own wound, Aquarius. It will require you to be ingenious, precise and tender, but I suspect you’re primed to rise to the challenge. Halloween costume suggestion: herbalist, acupuncturist, doctor, shaman or other healer.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It’s not a
good time to wear Higher Power Spanx or any other girdle, corset or restrictive garment. In fact, I advise you not to be a willing participant in any situation that pinches, hampers or confines you. You need to feel exceptionally expansive. In order to thrive, you’ve got to give yourself permission to spill over, think big and wander freely. As for those people who might prefer you to keep your unruly urges in check and your natural inclinations concealed, tell them your astrologer authorized you to seize a massive dose of slack. Halloween costume suggestions: a wild man or wild woman; a mythical bird like the garuda or thunderbird; the god or goddess of abundance.
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.
Dress you up Leendah Muñoz-Roberts made her first costume when she was just a child. “My parents would always get me the most unattractive clothing, so I started just cutting things up and making stuff out of it,” she says. Now 39, the Woodland native turned her passion into Leendah’s Custom Designs, her home-based seamstress-and-custom-clothing-design business. She’s also worked at Cheap Thrills (1712 L Street) since 1994, helping others suit up for Halloween, parties and even concerts at Ace of Spades. She recently found a few minutes between helping customers to speak with SN&R about local costume culture, superhero movies and zombie weddings.
How did you begin a career as a seamstress? I couldn’t go to college because my parents wouldn’t let me go to art school. They didn’t think it was good. So, I moved out [and left Woodland], and … my very first job was here at Cheap Thrills. That’s actually what led me into full-blown costume design and everything.
How many costumes do you have at home? I have over 100 costumes—lots of bits and pieces, too. A lot of them are handmade stuff that I make for photo shoots, because I like playing dress up with my friends. That’s my passion.
How often do you wear costumes? Every October and whenever I’m doing a photo shoot. And they’re usually pretty spontaneous. We play dress up to go to the movies and things like that—any kind of event at the Crest Theatre, or even at the drive-in. We like to do takeovers at the drive-in: You know, like when [Pirates of the Caribbean] came out … we dressed up and acted like pirates out in the drive-in, just because it’s fun.
Is Sacramento really big into dress-up culture? I can tell you that since 9/11, things kind of changed, and people’s attitudes changed. … People wanted something fun to do, and they embraced costumes, and they embraced the whole Zombie Walk [Sacramento] and just everything that Sacramento [people are] doing to keep their chin up. … Costumes are incorporated into just about any event you can think of—even going to shows at Ace of Spades. I have people coming in [who] want to get dressed up as the band that they’re going to go see. I’m like, “Hey, rock ’n’ roll. Let’s do this!” … You tell them when and where, and they’ll be there, and they will get geared up. It’s awesome. I’ve never seen a town like it.
What’s the go-to costume for this season? For the last two to three years … everybody wants to be a superhero because of all the movies that [came] out. I mean, movies are
PHOTO BY JONATHAN MENDICK
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
A RT S & C U LT U R E
what influence what Halloween [costumes] are going to be. That’s the bottom line.
Do you have a kids’ section? We do have a kids’ section coming up. We don’t carry it year-round; it’s only for Halloween.
What are you doing for Halloween? What am I not doing is the question, because every weekend [in October] for Halloween here [at Cheap Thrills], we have to dress up. That’s just mandatory. And, if I wanted to, I could do it every day, just to give it spice. … So, I’m thinking this weekend it’s probably going to be Day of the Dead. It’s comfortable, and I have everything at home.
What’s the coolest costume that you’ve ever seen or ever done? The coolest costume we’ve ever done is the Headless Horseman. The reason it’s interesting and awesome is because we used our own stuff. It was something we created out of a large frock. And the way that we rigged it to make it work was |
incredible. And it was creepy. … It was a stage production. To me, still, that one resonated in my mind because, it was like, “Wow, we really did a number on this.”
I heard Cheap Thrills does weddings. Yes, we’ll do whatever you tell us. If you say, “Hey, I need to do this,” we will find everything that you need. We have done wedding parties, we have done quinceañeras; we’ve done all kinds of things. If you have a theme, we’re the people you want to go to. If you’re looking to do just formal regular stuff, we don’t [do it]. We’ll try to do it, but that’s not what we specialize in.
What are some themes you’ve done? If you want to do zoot-suit weddings, 1940s, the whole [swing-era] look, we got it. We have people who do steampunk weddings, gothic weddings, Old West weddings, ’70s weddings—basically, anything that you could do for Halloween. We’ve done zombie weddings. They do it at the cemetery: Get married at the cemetery and [dress up as] zombies. It’s hilarious. Ω
10/4/12 2:06 PM