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gine a m i s r e t wri R & lit N p S s , y o l t u n J e cram th of a r S u o f i F s n i e h T happ ation n d l e u h o t w f t o wha rest e h t m o fr

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Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

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Volume 25, iSSue 12

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weDneSDay, July 3, 2013

THIS AMERICAN 07 RIVER & 09 LIFE

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EQUALITY

THINGS THAT 21 GO BOOM!


17 Nights of FREE Concerts! Concert Series at 8pm on the JULY 13 True2Crue

Stage

JULY 14 – “Weird Al” Yankovic The Alpocalypse Tour

Motley Crue Tribute Band

JULY 15 The Four Tops

JULY 16 – Third Day

JULY 12 – Night Ranger JULY 17 – Hoobastank

July 12–28 BigFun.org JULY 18 – Lonestar JULY 19 – Evolution

JULY 21 Ana Victoria with Special Guest Irene Davi

The Ultimate Tribute to Journey

JULY 24 Air Supply

JULY 22 – EnVogue

JULY 23 – LeAnn Rimes

JULY 20 Grand Funk Railroad

JULY 28 Randy Houser

JULY 26 Queen Nation

JULY 25 – Kool & the Gang

JULY 27 – Zendaya

Share your favorite State Fair memory at BigFun.org/memories and it may be in a commercial! All concerts start at 8pm on the Golden 1 Stage. Gold Circle seats will be available for purchase at BigFun.org. Gold Circle prices range between $12-20 per seat. General viewing is FREE with fair admission. All dates and times subject to change.

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July 3, 2013 | vol. 25, issue 12

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happy birthday, America This week marks America’s birthday and a time to reflect on battles  fought and freedoms won.  Of course, it often seems like this  country is locked in as brutal a war  as ever—only one that it has waged  against itself. A fight over fundamental rights, inherent belief systems,  culture and tradition. Recently, a friend and I discussed  that idea, sharing stories of how we’d  watched our families struggle with  change. His hails from central Ohio,  mine from Northern Texas—both  staunchly conservative regions that  are mired in religion and largely resistant to evolving views.  I’ve thought about this a lot lately.  It’s hard not to in a time rife with  news of Paula Deen’s racist comments, and Supreme Court rulings on  affirmative action and voting rights.  I thought about it on June 26, when  the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated  the Defense of Marriage Act by ruling  that married same-sex couples were  entitled to federal benefits. That same  day, the court also declined to decide  in a case regarding Proposition 8, thus  effectively allowing same-sex marriages in California. I thought about  it on June 28, when a federal appeals  court in San Francisco ruled to immediately resume issuing marriage  licenses to same-sex couples. By day’s end, Sandy Stier and Kris  Perry, the plaintiffs in Prop. 8, had  married at City Hall in San Francisco.  A true milestone.  Still, it makes me wonder. My  grandparents could have never  fathomed the idea of same-sex  marriage—if not for moral reasons,  then because the concept wasn’t a  cultural norm.  To that end, which of my own  deeply held beliefs will eventually  be upended? What notions will we  ultimately reflect upon, challenge and  change? Happy birthday, America. Here’s  to finding out. 

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STREETALK LETTERS NEwS + SCOREKEEPER OpiNiON FEATuRE STORy NighT&dAy diSh ASK JOEy STAgE FiLm muSic + SOund AdviCE 15 miNuTES COVER ILLUSTRATION BY CELIA KRAMPIEN

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“I had a roommate who would walk around naked all the time.”

Asked at Arden Fair mall:

What’s your most horrific roommate story?

Shanté Evans student

director of operations

I moved into this house in Oakland. My roommates were pigs; they were sloppy. I’m a tidy person. ... One Halloween, I came home at 2 a.m., and there were people naked on the couch, passed out; food everywhere; underwear on the lampshades. And they had a dog that ate up my pillows.

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Joey O’shea

07.03.13

I had a roommate who would walk around naked all the time because he was very free with himself. That lasted about four months. And he was not a very attractive roommate. Then I moved out. It was in college. He was way too much for me.

Hosea Leavy father

I was living with somebody, and I was helping them out. I asked them if I could stay with them for a few days. ... I gave them a loan. I was waiting on my loan back, so I could leave. They never gave it to me. So, when I got paid, I just moved out of their house. I just loaned them a little bit, like 80 bucks.

Kevin McIntosh software engineer

One roommate in college professed how he was … going to graduate school and become a big businessman like his dad. The first week of classes, he started failing everything. Within one month, his parents drove up from the Bay Area to Oregon ... and moved him back. ... I was stuck with ... the rest of the [lease] contract.

Tina Emmett environmental worker

My husband and I were dating at the time, and we lived with two guys. ... They used to get high all the time. We could never have any food in the house. ... Waking up in the morning, [we could tell] they had been partying all night, and there would be random girls in the house.

Taylor Brumley sales associate

My Yorkie is my roommate. … [She] figured out that if she jumped up on the bathroom counter, she could turn the faucet on and get fresh water whenever she wanted. Normally, I shut the bathroom door, but [one time I forgot]. ... The sink was overflowing. ... It was so adorable, but I was so mad at her.


Email your letters to sactoletters@newsreview.com.

Delta plan a bad movie Re “Water fight!: Will Jerry Brown’s tunnel plan save or destroy the Delta?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, June 27): This sounds like a job for James Bond 007. It would seem that the governor is under the spell of a multinational water conglomerletter of ate owned by an the week evil mastermind. Bond must stop a plan to siphon all the water from the nation’s food basket, the California Delta, and send it to a warmer climate in the south. The sea will push more salt into the Delta, laying waste to rich farmlands. The catastrophe will be blamed on global climate change and bureaucratic bungling. Naturally, the villain purchases billions of parcels of tumbleweed desert for $6 per acre and hopes to strike it rich with this transfer of liquid wealth! In the final reel, our governor will be rescued, and the good people of California will be spared this calamity. Now, who will they pick to play the part of James Bond? Steven Bourasa

It’s Kafkaesque

Art over dollars

Re “Smart money” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R News, June 27): It is with a sense of awe that I read the interview conducted with California Controller John Chiang. As someone [who has] recently arrived in California, I find it almost Kafkaesque that one of the chief financial officers of a state that was bordering on bankruptcy last year, and is the home of several large cities who are in various stages of bankruptcy, would be able to chastise the financial skills and morals of those who run large-scale financial institutions with a straight face. But, then again, given the featured photo of the controller, perhaps it is all a joke to him. Perhaps it is as the Bible says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Or, perhaps, it is merely the shrewd calculations of a politician looking at running for another political office to appeal to the 1 percenters and populists that make up a large portion of the California electorate. Jeffery Cassity Sacramento

Re “Restaurateur Randy Paragary yanks controversial paintings off new bar’s walls” by Rachel Leibrock, (SN&R News, June 20): After reading this article, it appears bullying isn’t something reserved for the schoolyard. Shame on you, Randy! You should have stuck with the artist and not let someone (a lobbyist, no less!) bully you. I guess dollars are still the motivation for everything nowadays. Even though the artist’s works were sold en masse and it turned out positively for her, the public loses out on the artist’s freedom of expression. So sad. John Caputo Antelope

S acr am en t o

More on bicyclists and sidewalks Re “Should Sacramento ban outdoor smoking at bars?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Midtown&Down, June 20): I felt compelled to respond to the subject of sidewalk bikers. First, let me state that this is also a pet peeve of mine, because it is dangerous and makes all bicyclists look bad. I am a bike commuter and get frustrated when bikers fail to offer

pedestrians the basic courtesy that bikers expect from cars. Your piece did not have much information on your location on N Street, but quite unusually for this area there are portions of N Street where it is legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Specifically, the city of Sacramento bike map shows that it is legal to ride on the sidewalk on N Street from Third Street to 13th Street. You will see signage to that effect on the sidewalk itself. Unfortunately, in that area, N Street is one-way, with three lanes, no bike lanes, and parked cars on both sides, and is thus unsuitable to biking on the street. However, please do not misunderstand my point; what happened to you and your dog should never happen, even if the bikers were riding on the sidewalk lawfully. When bikes are allowed to share the sidewalk with pedestrians, the bikers are obliged to ride slowly and cautiously, taking extra care around pedestrians. Pedestrians always have the right of way, and the bikers should act as guests until they can turn off onto a more suitable street for biking. There are always a few bad apples, but most bicyclists that I see are following the rules. Hopefully, your next encounter will be with more courteous bikers. Drew Brereton Sacramento

@SacNewsReview

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@SacNewsReview

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6/28/13 5:52 PM


Homeless happy hour See NEWS

11

See BITES

Gay marriage wins See EDITORIAL

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Known ranger

PHOTO BY WES DAVIS

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Arena vote effort

Chief park ranger  Stan Lumsden (and his  boss!) wants you to  have fun without dying Stan Lumsden’s taste in wall art explains everything you need to know about Sacramento by County’s chief park ranger. Framed postRaheem ers for A Few Good Men and Heartbreak F. Hosseini Ridge are signs that the big, clear-eyed ra h e emh@ Lumsden digs tough-guy movie fare, while newsr evie w.c om a replica portrait of Seinfeld’s Kramer indicate an appreciation for wacky hijinks. And it’s a good thing, too, as the retired Roseville police captain approaches his second year on the parks beat. He took over enforcement of the 23-mile American River Parkway vein during interesting times in September 2011. As the summer season gets cracking—and as Rafting Gone Wild plots a “secret” river-party return—Lumsden welcomed SN&R into his office for a chat on homeless garbage, trail etiquette and the best way to stop a speeding cyclist. Regional parks director Jeff Leatherman popped in partway through.

It’s getting busier on the trails. Have you cited any cyclists for speeding yet?

Sacramento County chief ranger Stan Lumsden knows people consider the American River Parkway their outdoor gym: “That should be a very happy experience, a stress-free experience, and so it’s really a balance for all of us to make that happen.”

full-time job, is camp enforcement. They make contact with them and do whatever is appropriate at the time, whether that be to issue a citation … [or] if it’s an unoccupied camp, to post a notice for that camp to move.

Stan Lumsden: All warnings at this point.

What has the reaction been so far? Lumsden: Initially, when we announced to the community that we were going to do this, we got a lot of negative feedback. That has dwindled in the last few days.

What’s the best way to stop a cyclist? Lumsden: For us, it’s to wave them over. To get them on the lidar at a distance, give them plenty of time to see the ranger. Clearly, we’re not going to engage in pursuing people in an automobile. Potentially, we could on our dual-sport motorcycles, but it hasn’t come to that. Most people are pretty reasonable. Read a longer version of this interview at www.newsreview.com.

Last year, you participated in a few warrant sweeps along the trail. How do those come about? Lumsden: There’s really no criteria, if you will. It’s a subjective call, really, as to when we do that. Obviously, our rangers are out contacting people on a regular basis, and when they have warrants, they go to jail.

You’re doing daily raids on homeless camps. Is it the size that dictates? Lumsden: If it exists. We contact people that are breaking the law. If they’re camping illegally in the park—whether it’s one tent or three tents, one person or 10 people—we have rangers, that’s their BEFORE

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Are rangers seeing more of these illegal camps? Lumsden (to Jeff Leatherman): This might be an opportune time to show him [the] Mobile 311 [Citizen Self-Service application]. (Lumsden pulls up a software application on his desktop computer showing a satellite-view map of the parkway. Two areas in particular—along Highway 160 and around Discovery Park—are clustered with icons indicating occupied and unoccupied camps and garbage noted in the past 90 days. Rangers in the field use their smartphones to upload photos.) Lumsden: You can see here what looks like the remnants of a camp. There’s just stuff strewn all over the place. That’s fairly common.

Where do you take all this stuff? Is it just sent to the landfill? Lumsden: Yeah, it’s just garbage. At Discovery Park, we’ve got a great big openended Dumpster there, and our crews take it in there, and throw it away. Leatherman: There is property, so the garbage, once the camp is cleared out, there’s some other rules associated with it if we contact somebody that has personal property, then there [are] other steps to take. Lumsden: Yeah, if we encounter an unoccupied camp, we will post that for STORY

48 hours. If there’s still no one there, we will collect that and book that into one of the ... storage facilities ... [where we] rent space. We take it in our truck and drive it over there and stack it up neatly and tag where we took it from. And then, a lot of times, people will contact us and say, “Hey, I was in jail,” or, “I was in the hospital,” whatever, “I was visiting friends. That’s my stuff,” and then we return that stuff to them.

That would be an interesting Storage Wars auction. Anyway, as of now, 600 people have signed up for Rafting Gone Wild’s “secret” event. Lumsden: (Laughs.) It’s not a real secret if 600 people have signed up.

Its Facebook page promises mud wrestling, jungle juice, a little bit of nudity. It says, “This year we are trying to make this trip even wilder than the last. We must build on last years epic success and put the American River on the map…again!” How do you keep this group off the map? Lumsden: (Laughs.) Well, they’re entitled to use the park like anyone else, and we’re just going to enforce the law. That’s all I’ll say.

My favorite quote from its Facebook page is, “Use common sense and don’t get blacked out, you will get aids and then drown.” Does that make you feel better? Leatherman: Consumption of significant amounts of alcohol on the river is never a good idea, regardless of what day of

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the week it is. ... We’re going to do our part—and we have to—to foster [good] decisions, but we would rather people make those themselves.

What do you guys see as the future of this particular parks system five years down the road? Leatherman: The American River Parkway is governed by the American River Parkway Plan. The first one was written in the ’70s, there was a revision in ’85, and there was a revision in 2009 that we’re operating under now, essentially keeping the parkway as rural and scenic as possible, as it is right now.

Do you anticipate any significant revisions to that plan? Leatherman: It hasn’t been talked about in recent years. The parkway plan calls out for a new look every five or six years. That hasn’t been done; 2009 is the latest version that we have. It’s fairly expensive to go through the parkway revision-plan process.

What don’t people know about your job that is pretty critical? Lumsden: You know, what I would say is just the complexity of it. If people are using the parkway, they’re usually using it one way or the other. And they see that piece of it. They don’t necessarily see the complexity, all the various government agencies that we have to play nice with and all the rules entailed in those government agencies, and all the pressure coming from the other interest groups. There’s no way to make everyone happy. We try our best. Ω

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Tahoe Apex Adventure Bungy and Ropes Challenge The Villager Candle Shop, Po�ery Painting, and More STRIDER Adventure Zone Retro Skate Night Gem Panning Mini Golf Live Music on the Village Stage Village Cinemas

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graphic designer wanted

Disc Golf

SCORE KEEPER Sacramento’s winners and losers—with arbitrary points

‘Farm-to-Silver-Spoon’?

Hot stuff Sacramento isn’t as cool as  Modesto. At least, that’s what  some housing advocates are saying  about our town’s strict criteria for  opening cooling centers during heat waves. Whereas Modesto opens  one whenever temperatures hit  100 degrees, Sacramento requires  three 102-degree days in a row, with  nighttime temps above 70 degrees.  This resulted in Sacto’s five cooling  hubs staying locked up until Sunday.

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Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Week  goes down in September, and SN&R  agrees that celebrating regional  farmers is a great thing. Not so  hot: $175 a seat for the event’s  flagship dinner, a four courser  on the Tower Bridge. Yes, we get  that it’s expensive to host a prix  fixe on a bridge. But there’s the  principle: Farm-to-fork should be  for everyone, not—as Bee scribe  Chris Macias coined it—“Farm-toSilver-Spoon.”

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PHOTO BY SHERMAN BAKER

Balance Holistic Health Spa

for more information, visit www.newsreview.com/sacramento/jobs

NorthstarCalifornia.com 1.800.GoNorth

by SN&R staff

No more getting wasted City voters approved  yard-waste bins last  year, and beginning  this past Monday,  residents can no  longer leave leaves  and tree limbs in  the streets. Big piles  remain, for now—but  fewer crashes in the gutters while biking at  night on the grid will  soon be a reality.

Seattle’s shaken, stirring controversy.

+2

Vodka-toriums

While visiting Seattle recently, local musician  Sherman Baker snapped a photo of a liquor  advertisement on a billboard, which read:  “Seattle quality Sacramento pricing.” Zing! As  in Zing Vodka, owned by the Maloofs—because  Sacramento is now a scorched market for not  only Zing, but also this billboard’s Wódka Vodka  progeny. Ypa!

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Walmart’s influence

When in doubt, lie

Both SN&R’s Cosmo Garvin and  Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee  recently reported on donations  by Walmart to Mayor Kevin Johnson  and Councilman Jay Schenirer’s  private initiatives. The two should  recuse themselves from the  forthcoming big-box ordinance  vote, which would allow stores like  Walmart inside the city limits. And,  more importantly, City Hall needs  increased transparency when it  comes to these millions of dollars in  charitable “behest” donations.

Mayor K.J.’s former attack  dog, R.E. Graswich, elevated  self-delusion to an art form  on Monday. After SN&R dinged  Graswich for bashing Councilman  Darrell Fong (again) on Twitter  (see Beats, page 9), and conflating  Fong’s arena skepticism with  cleanup issues in his district,  Graswich spun the bad press  and thanked SN&R via Twitter for  supporting his petty rampage.  Um, sure, Gras. Now, can we get a  follow?

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Passed over

BEATS

Our writer spends the afternoon with dozens of Sacramento’s  homeless under the Highway 160 bridge north of downtown Beneath the rumbling overpass where Highway 160 crosses Northgate Boulevard, some two-dozen homeless men and by women rest, shaded from the relentDave Kempa less afternoon sun. Sleepy pit bulls, dave k@ bicycles and crumpled camping equipnew sreview.c om ment lay among them as the people socialize, read and nap on this dusted plot of land. Stacy Selmants, lounging beneath a small tree, rises to join two women seated next to the bike trail as they talk about why they’ve chosen this hardened plot to see out the day.

to Friendship Park at Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, where they can spend the morning eating and cleaning up, as well as utilizing the center’s other services for the homeless. When Friendship Park closes at 2:45 p.m., its destitute patrons must find a place to rest and wait for the sun to set. Often, they post up under a building’s shade in the neighborhood surrounding Loaves & Fishes and Quinn Cottages. Some cool off at the beach or, like Selmants today, set up in the Highway 160 underpass photo by nIck mIllEr

No respite from hundred-degree weather for American River Parkway campers, who gathered—as always—underneath Highway 160 this past Monday afternoon. Compassionate Sacramentans also passed through to donate food and water.

Independent reporting for this story is funded by a grant from Sacramento Emergency Foodlink.

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path. But it is a necessary thoroughfare for bikers commuting between the central city and north Sacramento, so traffic remains high. Bicyclists, as well as joggers, pass the campers with increased frequency as the workday ends, and while it’s certainly not the safest place to spend an afternoon, Linda notes that even Gov. Jerry Brown used to run by on occasion—security in tow. Ask just about anyone down here, and they’ll tell you the homelessness problem has gotten worse in recent years. Linda says she’s noted a rise in women on the streets, estimating that they now make up 35 to 40 percent of the homeless population.

Gov. Jerry Brown used to run by on occasion—security in tow.

When asked about last January’s Sacramento Steps Forward Homeless Street Count, which found 2,538 folks without homes in the Sacramento region—only 786 of them unsheltered—the women scoff. Linda recalls the volunteers coming through that rainy evening at around a quarter to and wait for the rangers to go home midnight. “I didn’t even get out of my “We’re here to avoid the rangers,” tent,” she says. Though her camping Selmants, 56, says as she takes off her around 6 p.m. “Sometimes, they’re even out until partners were counted, she was not. battered 49ers cap. “We’re afraid to 7,” says Linda, an acquaintance of “Should tell you how accurate go back to our camps, because they’ll Selmants’, who prefers not to give her that was.” kick [us] out.” last name. The afternoon wears on, and those Each afternoon, up to 30 homeless Linda, roughly Selmants’ age, below the highway begin to pack their men and women congregate alongside wears dark sunglasses and a black things and move on down the trail, the bike path under Highway 160 zip-up sweatshirt. She sits in a black where the Wednesday food truck will to escape not just the harsh summer camping chair, right hand over a be arriving. elements, but also Sacramento paperback copy of Steve Berry’s The Many Sacramentans, in fact, come authorities. This is one of the few Third Secret—a summer thriller read. to the underpass to help the campers spaces in the region they can rest without police or rangers forcing them Her left hand and forearm, also resting out. They bring leftovers from parties, on her lap, are badly swollen, though or they give away some clothing or to move. As a result, it has turned she does not mention why. used camping gear. On hot days, into a spot for them to socialize and Alcohol is prohibited here, and much to the campers’ delight, they’ll receive donations before the evening, though the rangers never make the hand out frozen bottles of water. when they can again set up camp campers move out from under the Selmants begins packing her along the wooded river. highway, they closely monitor the things. Linda again picks up her book. Whenever someone down here crowd. The campers seem to be on They’ll both be going down to the asks how you’re doing down here, good behavior (many are), but after food truck shortly. Then, after the park Selmants says, you usually say, some time, a man ducks behind a tree rangers leave, they’ll return to set up “Same shit, different day.” This is to take a swig of beer. A few minutes their camps. Neither is sure how long only in part a joke. later, a light, lingering scent of marithey’ll be out here. They’re pursuing The average American River juana wends through the crowd. housing options through Loaves & Parkway camper’s day starts at At first blush, there is a toughness Fishes, but this can often take time. 5:30 a.m., when he or she packs up to this group. Most Sacramentans Until then: wake up at 5:30, afterand hurries onto the streets before might not feel comfortable down noons in the underpass and evenings park rangers arrive (usually around here, and rumors often spread among at camp. 6 a.m.) to hand out citations. The cyclists of run-ins with campers on the Same shit, different day. Ω campers then make their twilit exodus   N E W 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

Graswich goes garbage R.E. Graswich, former Sacramento Bee columnist and former special assistant to Mayor Kevin Johnson, really doesn’t like Councilman Darrell Fong. Mostly because of Fong’s skepticism on the King’s arena deal, but there’s probably more. Graswich took to Twitter last Saturday to savage Fong for some nasty-looking garbage that had accumulated in a canal in part of Fong’s district in the Pocket area. And the arena deal. “Sac Councilman D Fong has made stopping Kings top priority, while people in his district live with disgusting condition,” Graswich tweeted. There were pictures, too, then more tweets. It is true that most city council districts have problems with illegal dumping. The avenues off Franklin Boulevard in Jay Schenirer’s District 5 come to mind. Atrocious, but probably not related to his support for arena subsidies. And it’s true that Fong’s office contacted the city utilities department in early May, asking for the canals to be cleaned, and was told they would be done “ASAP.” On Saturday afternoon following Graswich’s tweet attack, Fong’s district director Noah Painter again made contact with the utilities department, asking why the cleanup hadn’t occurred. Around that same time, high-school teacher and Pocket resident Will Cannady, seeing Graswich’s rant, bought himself a pool skimmer and went to clean the canal alone, even though the temperature was above 100 degrees. After several hours of cleaning, Cannady went home, determined to finish the next morning. City crews finally showed up that evening to finish the job. At that point, Graswich claimed victory—and credit. “Twitter followers: Let me know what outrage you want resolved next,” he wrote. This and other heroic tweets were dutifully retweeted by many of Graswich’s 1,347 followers. As for Cannady, “It just felt good to do my part.” (Cosmo Garvin)

Mental-health upgrade A north Sacramento neighborhood that raised all kinds of fuss when a card room moved to town in November 2012 is keeping mum about a 120-bed psychiatric hospital racing through the city’s approval process. During a brief hearing on June 27, the Sacramento Planning and Design Commission unanimously recommended approval of the 70,860 square-foot inpatient facility to the city council. The roughly 7-acre project site sits in a vacant suburban center at 1400 Expo Parkway, just south of the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel, where a contentious card room took root late last year. Unlike that effort, which drew community outcry and claims of political favoritism, no one from the nearby Woodlake neighborhood registered opposition to this project, a fenced-in transitional-care hospital that will run 24 hours a day and treat alcohol and substance abuse, as well as mental and behavioral illnesses. A typical patient’s stay would last from three days to two weeks, a city staff report states. An outpatient therapy component would serve an additional 20 to 30 clients a day during normal business hours. The hospital would beef up mentalhealth services in a county with a marked need. Woodlake resident and noted businessman Bob Slobe said the project applicant, Signature Healthcare Services LLC, “did a good job” reaching out to people in his neighborhood. The eight commission members in attendance last Thursday noted they had also met with the applicant, with Commissioner Edmonds Chandler crediting Signature Healthcare with taking “positive” city input on the proposal. Project planner Antonio Ablog explained that since the proposal involves a zoning amendment to allow hospital development, final approval of the one-story facility rests with the city council. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

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On July 1, 2013 Recycling Collection is changing from weekly to every other week.

Playing to vote Paid signature gatherers took to the streets last week in hopes of placing a Sacramento Kings arena measure on the ballot

Walker is a veteran signature gatherer. He’s worked in Washington state, Michigan and all around California. The heat, the drab storefront, the trickle of shoppers. Bites asked why he didn’t head for a friendlier spot, or at least one with more foot-traffic. He said that Kmart is actually a pretty good spot for a city-only measure. At the Walmart, for example, too many people live outside the city limits. Also, “The validity here is good.” He means the signatures collected here are more likely to be found valid by elections officials when they are turned in. He thinks it’s because the shoppers here tend to be a little older. In fact, the next person to approach is a grandmotherly type, who heads straight for Walker’s table on her way out of the store and signs efficiently. He’d waved to her earlier, as she was hurrying in, “Maybe on the way out?” At that point, Walker said he’d gathered 16 signatures in the last half-hour. Asked if he thought the petitioners would gather enough valid signatures for the arena measure to reach the ballot—about 35,000—Walker replied, “Oh, we always get enough signatures.” For a bunch of different reasons, the folks for this ballot measure—Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork—have been written off as a ragtag group of amateurs, who lack the organization or the juice to stop the arena juggernaut.

Bites doesn’t entirely disagree. It’s clear who has the money in this fight. If it is a fight. Thanks to a cash infusion from a conservative Southern California PAC, there is now about $100,000 to hire people like Walker. Organizers are cagey about just how many signatures have been gathered as of last week, saying only that it was in the “thousands.” That could be 2,000 or 10,000 or more. Either way, they’ve got nearly six more months to get the rest. And they’ve hired a couple professional political consultants. Republican strategist Tab Berg has worked on state and local campaigns around California, and has been very critical of the various arena subsidies that have come forward over the last year. He’s joined by Democrat Cory Black of Public Policy Solutions Inc., who has handled candidates like Ami Bera and Dave Jones.

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PHOTO: Dominic Saavedra

It’s not everybody’s idea of a good time, sitting out in front of the Kmart on Stockton Boulevard as the temperature heads toward 104. But Early Walker seemed cheerful enough trying to get shoppers to sign his petition. A young woman walked by, smiling but turning Walker down, “No, I’m for the arena.” “So far, a lot of people have told me they want the arena, and they won’t sign it,” ARvIN Walker said. He’s one of a small force of by COSmO G paid signature gatherers who took to the cos mog@ newsrev iew.c om streets last week to gather support for a ballot measure on Sacramento’s proposed publicly subsidized basketball arena. If the signature drive is successful, it would put a ballot measure before voters that, if passed, would require voters to approve any plan for the city of Sacramento to spend public money on a new facility for the Kings or any other pro-sports team. “Everybody here wants the arena,” Walker said, though he added many have reservations about using general-fund money to build it. He said his efforts were more complicated on this particular day because, of all things, the U.S. Supreme Court had just dealt the final blow to California’s Proposition 8 the day before. “Some people don’t want to sign any petition. They don’t believe in the voting process anymore.” “Really?” Bites asked. “Weird.” Walker pitched another Kmart shopper. “I don’t vote!” she snarled, not stopping.

Certainly, if STOP succeeds in qualifying for the ballot, the whales will be merciless, beating us over the head with a big-money pro-arena publicrelations campaign like this town has never seen. Bites looks forward to the mixed messaging: “Support the arena, vote no!” Or, on the other side, “Vote yes if you believe in public approval for arenas!” And what of the deep pockets on the opposition’s side? Bites is wondering the same thing you are about that Southern California political action committee. Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods it’s called, based in Orange County. The same Orange County that nearly got themselves an NBA team called the Anaheim Royals a while back. Aren’t the local folks trying to stop public giveaways to the billionaire Kings owners also inadvertently doing the dirty work of some other billionaire would-be Kings (or Royals or Sonics) owners in another town? Maybe. One could argue that at least the billionaires will be somebody else’s problem. Still, many, many signatures to go before we worry about that. Ω

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graphic designer wanted

for more information, visit www.newsreview.com/sacramento/jobs 12   |   SN&R   |   07.03.13

What if ... Imagine that fire insurance  worked like health insurance Fox News is concerned about the Affordable Care Act. Some people who did not have to pay for health insurance will have to under the new system. The cost estimates sound scary, until you realize that Fox conveniently forgot the government subsidies that will help make insurance affordable for young and low-income people. This made me wonder why we think about health insurance so differently from other types of insurance. Imagine, if you will, how it would be if fire insurance worked like old-fashioned health insurance. A young couple, the Joneses, buy a home l by JeFF VoNkAeNe and purchases fire insurance from the Conditional j e ffv @ne wsr e v ie w.c o m Insurance Company for $1,000 a year. They feel lucky, because other companies wanted to charge them $2,500. Unfortunately, soon afterward, a fire destroys their house. The couple calls the insurance company to report the fire. The friendly, sympathetic agent is relieved that no one was hurt. The replacement cost for their home will be around $200,000. The agent says he will start processing This made me wonder the paperwork as soon as the why we think about couple sends in the 20-percent copay: $40,000. health insurance so Freaking out, Mrs. Jones differently from other cries, “A $40,000 copay?!” friendly agent replies, types of insurance. “Oh,The yes. It is explained very clearly on page 47, paragraph three, in your insurance policy. I’m sure you read all 98 pages before you signed them. Here’s where you send the check.” So Mr. and Mrs. Jones borrow money from their parents. If you know They each get an advance at work. Their friends have a someone who is uninsured, send bake sale. They finally come up with the $40,000. Mrs. Jones calls the insurance agent with the good news. them this link: www.covered Her agent says, “Great! We will start processing your claim ca.com/ right away, as soon as we receive your monthly insurance calculating_ the_cost.html. payment. By the way, it just went up to $12,000 a year.” “We can’t afford that,” says Mrs. Jones. They can use it to get an estimate of “I know, it is a hefty increase. But you have to rememwhat health care ber, we gave you such low rates because you never had will cost them a fire. We adjust your rates based upon your experience. once government subsidies have Since you had a fire, you need to pay more. As soon as we been applied. get your payment, we will begin processing your claim,” says the friendly agent. Mrs. Jones is, by now, quite aggravated. “This is ridiculous. I will switch to another company.” The friendly agent sighs. “That will be quite difficult. Jeff vonkaenel is the president, You have a pre-existing condition.” CEO and majority “What pre-existing condition?” asks Mrs. Jones. owner of the “The burned house,” replies her friendly agent. News & Review Next time you hear Fox News railing against the new newspapers in Sacramento, Affordable Care Act, remember: Sometimes you have to Chico and Reno. spend some money up front to make sure you have security and peace of mind in the event of a catastrophe. Sometimes you have to think about the long-term well-being of the group instead of the short-term benefit of a few. And you definitely don’t want to be in the situation where your neighbor’s house burns down, and everyone on the block has to pay to rebuild it. Ω


This Modern World

by tom tomorrow

Justice delayed, not denied The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t go as far as it should have in affirming the rights of same-sex couples, but its rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act still amount to landmark victories for gay rights, and set the stage for full marriage equality. To no one’s surprise, the conservative court proved unwilling to rule on the constitutionality of Prop. 8, dismissing the case on a technicality in a move that allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California, but left gay couples in the 37 states where such marriages are still banned to wait for another chance at equality. More encouragingly, the DOMA decision struck down portions of that law in language strongly supportive of the rights of same-sex couples. DOMA, the court ruled, was unconstitutional because its effect was to The DOMA ruling “disparage and injure” gay couples provides potent and treat their marriages as “less respected than others.” The ammunition. strongly worded ruling, as conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in outraged dissent, essentially declares “anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency” and “arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.” For once, we agree with Scalia: The DOMA ruling provides potent ammunition for attacking state bans on same-sex marriage. The next time marriage equality comes before the Supreme Court, the justices will be hard-pressed to ignore the DOMA case and their decision that unequal treatment of same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Let’s hope that day comes soon, and the justices stay true to their words. Ω

We were always married While in Iowa recently—one of those states that recognizes government’s disdain—documents we’re never the right of adult citizens to marry the person certain they’ll respect. by of their choosing—we stopped to pick up a “Your marriage isn’t real,” I was told by an Kel Munger rental car. adolescent protester a few years back. “She’ll be driving, too,” my wife said. For better or worse, in sickness and in “That’s an extra $13.95 per day,” said health—graduate degrees and student loans; the clerk. new jobs; new homes, moving, adjusting and “We’re married. Does that make a differall the rest of that crap; pets being cute, annoyence?” asked my wife. ing, wonderful; then getting old and dying; “It sure does! That’s free.” family members graduating, getting married, It’s been almost having babies—that’s as real 22 years for us—five as it gets. We laughed academic degrees, two We’ve been married cross-country moves, years longer than the official and cried when four states and one “five-year anniversary” we’ll the Defense of major medical crisis. celebrate this summer. The We’ve drawn up wills Marriage Act and failure to recognize and and power of attorney honor that marriage by our Proposition 8 bit forms in Missouri, where neighbors, our fellow citizens, the dust last week. even the lawyer didn’t our government—and, yes, think it would do any even some members of our good. We were “civilly family—doesn’t diminish it. Kel Munger was Still, we laughed and cried when the Defense a longtime sn&r united” in Vermont, which became meaningless of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 bit the dust staffer and is now a as soon as we crossed into New York. We were regular contributor. “domestically partnered” in California, only to last week. have emergency-room personnel ask for the We’d be married even if no one else on the paperwork while one of us was having a stroke. planet recognized it. Our rights exist even when We married here during the legal window in unrecognized, and we’ve always known that. 2008, but until this week, it was “marriage But does it make a difference to have our lite,” unrecognized by the federal government. government acknowledge and respect our We travel with a folder of legal documents to marriage? protect us from our neighbors’ prejudice and the It sure does. Ω BEFORE

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On cannabis laws If you’re part of the majority of Californians who believe that recreational marijuana use should be legal, you may not be happy with the state Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the authority of cities and counties to regulate placement of medicinal-marijuana dispensaries. But you should be. For one thing, it’s important to support the right of local governments to regulate land use. That’s how they plan for growth, assess environmental impacts and control placement of a variety of businesses, from farms to liquor stores. We see no reason dispensaries need be exempt from zoning laws. Besides, the court decision marks a step forward in the process toward what polls show most Californians really want: properly regulated, decriminalized recreational use. As even supporters will admit, California’s medical-marijuana laws are a bit of a mess. The passage of Proposition 215 left a great many legal gray areas as to how medicinal pot can be grown, distributed and used. The court ruling provides important clarification regarding the role cities and counties can play in regulating dispensaries, and in the long run, that is going to be a good thing for all of us who want to put an end to marijuana prohibition. Ω | 

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ILLuStRatIoNS by CeLIa KRaMpIeN

s

o t p c ia a by

SN&R staff

This FourTh oF July, sN&r wriTers imagiNe whaT would happeN iF sacrameNTo spliT From The resT oF The NaTioN To creaTe iTs owN perFecT socieTy. you’re welcome.

W

SN&R’s Sactopia issue was written by Cody Drabble, Deena Drewis, Raheem F. Hosseini, Dave Kempa, Rachel Leibrock, Jonathan Mendick, Jessica Rine and Shoka.

e’ve had iT wiTh ’ murica.

Not America, mind you, but the jingoistic bastard cousin that too often gets passed off in her sweet stead. According to the citizens of ’Murica—which include cable-news blowhards, right-wing survivalists and Stephen Baldwin—the end is nigh. There’s a war on Christmas, guns and all those unfortunate, oppressed white people. Minority groups, the poor and us godless heathens, on the other hand, have been skating along easy street. Chances are you’re someplace where nonnative fireworks are smearing sulfur across a boiling sky. As the shallow festivities rage, the real threats to national security party on. Massive financial institutions remain too big to fail or regulate, but your personal emails and LOL-ing cellphone texts are just the right size to snoop on. Militia freaks want to take over. We say, let them.

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On this, the 237th occasion of this great nation’s birth, SN&R is rolling back the dial to year zero and starting over. You say you want a revolution? Well, you’ve got it. Just leave us the good ol’ United Grid of Sactopia. In these pages, we cover the essentials— food, shelter, transportation, culture—to show you what to expect and how to remake Sacramento into the hipster utopia we all know it can and should be. Learn how to master your own bee colony, pedal the rails and keep that ’stache looking sweet for the utopia. We’re creating our own ideal society, and peopling it with diverse DIY enthusiasts who can cobble together the most basic of necessities: booze, bikes and backyard concerts. Because if a revolution is approaching, we’re cranking up the volume and getting drunk. Love it or leave it.


d o fo Colonize S aCtopia Like many concerned, NPR-listening citizens, colony collapse disorder has been on my terrifying-worldproblems radar for a few years now. The crisis, believed to be largely due to pesticide use in commercial farming, has resulted in drastic reductions in the honeybee population. On an abstract level, it’s not hard to understand that the world would, uh, likely end without honeybees (bye, crops). But on a personal level, bees make me nervous. I’ve never really been able to get over what they did to Macaulay Culkin’s character in My Girl, and getting stung is the pits, even if you aren’t deathly allergic. But the emergence of Sactopia calls for conquering those fears, seeing as we’ll need to be squared away in the bee department in order to keep this whole thing going. Enter Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies (2110 X Street), the city’s ultimate resource for amateur and experienced beekeepers alike. The 28-yearold shop, run by husband-and-wife team Nancy and Fred Stewart, is a curious little time warp, decked out in dusty-rose shag carpeting and packed with with the latest in apiary fashion, honey jars, beeswax beauty products, beehive boxes and sundry other beekeeping essentials. So, how does someone overcome a phobia to start keeping bees? Nancy Stewart suggests it happens quite naturally. “People begin to learn about [bee behavior], and it’s so fascinating that, most of the time, the fear falls away,” she said. She then added (dare I say conspiratorially), “You know, the worker bees are all females. The drones are there only to mate, and in the wintertime, they kick the drones out, because they’re not going to feed them. And a lot of women take to that!”

food

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“Sactopia”continued from page For Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies co-owner Nancy Stewart, reversing colony collapse disorder and bucking gender stereotypes go hand in hand: Look to the honeybee for both.

photo by william leunG

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ia p o t c sa e h t k drin

i pa

beer

Local home brewer Mike Lambruschini generously  created a West Coast-style IPA recipe specifically for our new utopia, which we’re calling the  Sactopia IPA. Creative, right? We originally wanted  to call it Hop-pocalypse because, Lambruschini  said, “it’s going to be dry and hoppy, just like  Armageddon,” but that name’s been used multiple  times by other breweries already. Besides,  Lambruschini pointed out that Sacramento has  long been a haven for harvesting brewing grains,  so Sactopia denizens will have access to ample  supplies for making their own beer, a survival  necessity if there ever was one. (C.D.)

Get the full recipe online at www.newsreview.com!

For those interested in taking on a backyard colony of their own, a starter kit will cost from $200 to $400, depending on the materials you choose, and your first batch of bees will run from $100 to $150. Place your order in the fall, and come spring, you’ll have a couple thousand new pets, plus anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds of honey per month, once your colony is established. That will be quite a prized resource in our new economy. All this, plus you’ll be helping to save the planet—a gift from Sactopians to the rest of the world, sent with love from our high horse. (D.D.)

Build the Butcher If you want some good oldfashioned protein in the new world, you’re going to have to slaughter it yourself. Enter Paul Carras, the meat-department manager at Taylor’s Market (2900 Freeport Boulevard), and just the person to show you how to wield that butcher’s blade. Carras has 17 years of experience carving meat and 10 years as a deer hunter, so he’s a useful friend to have. Here are his three essential tips for staying fat and happy: sharp knives, cleanliness and practice. If you’re hunting your own game, you’ll want to preserve as much of the kill as possible. Carras urges hunters “to field dress the animal as soon as you can.” Remove the guts and esophagus and cool the

meat by wrapping it in cloth. But if you’re on the squeamish side, you can always trade your wares with Carras, who plans on building a smokehouse to cure his venison, rabbit, salmon and wild turkey. “I’d be a bartering fool!” he said. (C.D.)

We can pickle that Pickling is so hip, Portlandia made

fun of it (they pickled cucumbers, a parking ticket and a Band-Aid). But aside from that, it’s a highly practical way to preserve food, and if we’re going to be striking out on our own, it’s time to get creative. Did you know you can pickle hot dogs? Did you know you can make Sriracha-flavored pickling brine? Are you now thinking about Sriracha-pickled hot dogs? To learn the basics of pickling, consult the Master Food Preservers (4145 Branch Center Road), which only sounds like a guild from the Middle Ages: They are, in fact, part of the University of California Cooperative Extension, and they offer a wide range of food-preservation classes either for free or for $3. Affordable even by Sactopia standards. (D.D.)

harness the sun While the rest of the United States is scrambling for the last remaining gas and electric-powered stoves, Sactopia can benefit from the wisdom and expertise of local

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company Solar Cookers International (1919 21st Street, Suite 101). The nonprofit specializes in educating people—especially those without many resources—on how to harness the power of the sun to fire up solar grills. These inexpensive cookers can be assembled out of simple existing resources (cardboard and tin foil) or can be purchased for as little as $30. SCI also sells solar water-pasteurization kits, which will be incredibly useful to create a clean supply of drinking water. (J.M.)

use What your mama (nature) gave you It’s hard to live off the land in urban areas, right? But in a metropolis with such a lush canopy that it earned the nickname City of Trees, don’t be surprised that lots of those arbors harbor fruit. And instead of letting them ripen and fall onto the sidewalk to get squashed, potentially tons of food can be harvested to fuel the united state of Sacramento. Gleaning fruit from trees or shrubs on public property—or branches that hang over sidewalks—is

kosher. On the grid, bellies can be kept full by harvesting figs, feijoas, oranges, jujubes, loquats, avocados and mulberries. Blackberries and grapes can be plucked along the American River Bike Trail. Flour and mush can be made with the fruit from the numerous desert fan palms lining the capital’s streets. There’s also carob, bay laurel, Mediterranean hackberry, ginko, cherry plums and small-leaved linden, the flowers of which can be used to make an anti-inflammatory tea for colds and flus! Take that, Tylenol! We will live off the land. Locate the trees with the map at http://fallingfruit.org. (S.)


Jonathan Mendick applies the lessons of Yardcore’s sibling co-hosts Jake and Joel Moss in his own backyard. Mendick is currently repurposing an old hot-tub cover for a patio-gazebo project.

photo by william leung

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Helter sHelter In their DIY Network show Yardcore (www.diynetwork.com/yardcore), Jake and Joel Moss scrounge up reclaimed wood, scrap metal and otherwise useless construction waste to create functional yard furniture and landscaping. They’ve perfected the art of reuse to the extent that the show basically consists of the duo and their construction partners turning trash into treasure. In one episode, they repurpose empty beer kegs into stools by adding some padding. In another, they use a few old wooden beams to create rustic outdoor tables. Following their lead, I’ve attempted a few DIY house projects that use reclaimed stuff. None have been as fancy as any of the Moss’ projects, but here’s what I’ve accomplished so far: I used a couple of old 2-by-4-inch pieces of lumber to create a sturdy wooden mount for my heavy plasma television; I reused a handful of dried bamboo sticks and rope to create a trellis for some tomato plants; and I repurposed a bunch of stray stones to create a makeshift retaining wall around my landscaped front yard. In the works is a patio gazebo—or, perhaps, a small greenhouse—made out of a wooden roof that once covered a broken outdoor hot tub. Obviously, these projects aren’t anything near as MacGyver-esque as what the Moss brothers do on Yardcore. But they’re a start, and they’ve helped me gain some sort of semispiritual (but probably unfounded) confidence in my handyman skills. Hell, if we all do our part and watch the entirety of the Yardcore catalog, we might be able to hone our collective skills enough to craft a DIY barricade around Sactopia à la Les Misérables or The Walking Dead. Or at least some shanty-style tin-roof huts. (J.M.)

Go mobile Cramped living isn’t just for New Yorkers anymore. It’s time to give up the McMansions and luxury lofts, and what better way than to follow the so-called small-house edict, which serves as an antithesis to sprawl and needless consumerism. The movement, whose origins are credited to British architect Sarah Susanka, author of the 1997 book The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live, advocates that people downsize into compact, BEFORE

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British sports car undergoing a needed paint job. “I’m a hands-on guy,” he said. “I like to fix things and ... make them better.” And when Sactopia gets going, his skills will be in premium demand. Which is why he’s only giving out his email address: neontim2001@ yahoo.com. (R.F.H.)

Travel

environmentally friendly homes. Think cute cottages, cozy bungalows, sturdy yurts and even sky-high tree houses. Small-house enthusiasts have also taken to the road. Outfits like Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (www.tumble weedhouses.com) make portable, towable houses, and some enthusiasts are hitting the highways and byways, retrofitting Grandpa’s vacation luxury trailer into a new living standard that redefines the concept of property lines. Figure out a way to convert these motor beasts from gas guzzlers into hybrids, and there goes the neighborhood, from zero to, er, well, to as fast as an Airstream trailer can conceivably manage. Here’s another idea: Get a bunch of friends to join in with similar on-the-go microhomes, and take Sacramento wherever the spirit (or cops) move you. (R.L.)

make love, not babies Crossing borders to illegally acquire South American condom rubber or selling kidneys on the black market for birth-control pills sounds like a lot of work just so we can get a little sumpin’ sumpin’ without overpopulating Sactopia. Beyond the standard old-fashioned, primitive methods, there must be better ways to have sex, not babies—right? Um, maybe. Herbs like rue, cohosh, pennyroyal and Queen Anne’s lace have been ingested for centuries because of their unproven anti-fertility qualities. Sactopia will have space for a contraceptive community garden, dedicated solely to growing prophylactic plants. But for showers, not growers, who barter for their neighbor’s sheep, keep the intestine to make a natural, old-school sausage casing. Those favoring a less scientific, even grosser method can always do it vermin-style: Women once believed that wearing weasel testicles on their thighs during sex prevented insemination. What say we put Sacramento’s rat population to good use? Or not. (Disclaimer: SN&R does not promote the usage of these birth-control methods, and shame on you for thinking so.) (J.R.)

Follow tHe arrow Guns are so Middle America. In Sactopia, citizens wishing to hunt should familiarize themselves with the not-ancient-but-old-enough art of archery. We suspect this will significantly

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reduce violence because: 1. It’s really hard, and 2. it’s difficult to conceal a bow and a quiver full of arrows in your slim-fit hoodie. For those interested in living your life more like Katniss in The Hunger Games, Hawkeye in The Avengers or Robin Hood (that’s everyone, no?), MAYA Archers Inc. in Roseville (750 Galleria Boulevard) offers a range of classes starting at $29 for a single two-hour lesson, or $119 for a five-day course. Once you get good, you can have your custom arrows made at Rendezvous Primitive Arms in Ione (28 W. Main Street). (D.D.)

CHeCk out tHat tool If Sacramento is going to be its own island, it’s going to need its own tool library—and no, that is not a euphemism for K Street clubs after dark. It’s a community pool of hedge shears, hoes, hammers and handsaws that citizens can check out and return when the job is done without having to buy and store all that expensive hardware in their garages. Which is a good thing, since most garages in Sactopia have been turned into moonshine labs. These kind of libraries exist in other California cities— Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Rosa—and a local group is currently in talks with the Sacramento Public Library to launch this resource, but it needs community members to show interest to secure funding. Direct letters to sactoollibrary@ gmail.com, or Nina Biddle, Sacramento Public Library, 828 I Street; Sacramento; CA 95814; and check in on the progress at http://sactoollibrary.tumblr.com. (S.)

Hand s, Free Working with one’s hands is a disappearing art. But it ain’t kaput. In Sactopia, all us callous-free dandies who’ve never changed our own oil or fashioned a splint out of maple wood are at a huge disadvantage in this do-it-yourself idyll. Luckily, we’ve got handyman of all trades, Tim Gene Sanders, on speed dial. The sun-kissed 57-year-old has worked on Alaskan oil rigs and fishing boats. He’s curled LED tubing through neon strip-mall signs, and hewed and distressed slabs of wood into medieval-style castle doors. Today, he holds court behind a Citrus Heights cigarette shop, where you’ll see a refurbished

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don’t impede tHe veloCipede Sactopia residents don’t have to choose between riding the rails and pedaling the bike path—they can do both. At the same time. With something called a velocipede. The 19th-century bicycle designed for riding on train tracks has a whimsical, steampunk quality, combining the best modes of beatnik transportion without reinventing the wheel. But Zach Waddle, general manager and part owner of the Bicycle Business (3077 Freeport Boulevard), reminded velocipede designers to “weld the steering wheel in a fixed position” to keep your ride on track. For a single-bike design, the most important feature is “a counterweight to keep the other side heavy,” the 20-year bike-industry veteran added. For a double-bike design, the other rider should provide extra power and a counterweight. To get the best traction on train tracks, Waddle recommended “smooth and fat tires,” which provide the most grip, adding that velocipede enthusiasts should “pump up to a high P.S.I.”— pounds per square inch, that is—for a premium ride. Premium, indeed. (C.D.)

neitHer r ain nor snow nor tHre at oF Fl at tire Even if the citizens of this new Sacramento cut themselves off completely from the rest of the world, there still needs to be a system of physical intracity exchange. You know, a post office of sorts for letters and packages. According to users of the DIYCity website, residents of Portland, Oregon, experimented with that idea in the early 2000s by implementing an “anarchist post office,” using a free and independently run bike-messenger service that served the central city. It’d be a relatively easy idea to adopt here as well. Stock up on sturdy basket-laden cycles, divide the city into regions (perhaps by existing zip codes?), and use social media or text messages to post pick-up and delivery requests. Need to go further? Create a delivery fleet of sorts using

“Sactopia”continued on page

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Sacramento’s one-of-a-kind nautically named mechanical maestro “Captain Bill” Son stands beside one of the Farmall tractors he’s revived. If you’ve ever wanted to drive a toilet (and who doesn’t?!), he’s your guy.

“Sactopia”continued from page photo by william leung

17 privately owned vehicles and allow people to rent them, Zipcar style. (R.L.)

Captain Bill’s wild rides Many people have knocked Sacramento as a place where you absolutely need a car to get around. Not so. Just ask the 74-year-old “Captain Bill” Son. After all, how many people can fashion a motorized “you are your own airbag” barstool out of a tricycle, yardtrimmer engine and a go-cart in a few hours? Granted, he was aided by a friend and “too much tequila,” but still, it’s got to be a short list. Which is why Son tops our list to head Sactopia’s unofficial Department of Unusual Transportation. Seriously, this guy can make any hunk of machinery go. Son looks equal parts mechanical engineer and seafaring boat captain—a blue, short-sleeve button-up shirt, reined in by thick black suspenders, covers a sloping belly, while his straight, white locks are capped under an old-fashioned black captain’s hat with a gold anchor in the center. Completing the look is a saxophone-shaped pipe that extends the length of his blanched beard and grazes his chest. Folks started calling him “Captain” back when he ran his own fishing boat and was the former harbor master at the Virgin Sturgeon Marina on the Sacramento River. “But they call me a lot of other things, too,” he cracked in his gruff but kind voice. How about mechanical wizard? Although Son has helped build one-eighth scale steam engines with Sacramento Valley Live Steamers Railroad Museum, the vehicles he’s currently bringing to life are antique red Farmall tractors. The tractors, often neglected for decades, come to him as masses of rust. But in his large workshop behind his north Sacramento home, he’ll blast the rust, paint the pieces a glossy, lipstick red, and build engines for them from blueprints, cutting the gears himself. So what’s next on the captain’s to-make list? Son points to a photo he found online and keeps on his workbench, calling it the “senior scooter”: It’s a motorized cart with a toilet as the seat, and the tank is an ice chest (http://tinyurl.com/seniorscooter). Grab a cold one from back there, Sacramento, and let’s roll. (S.) 18   |   SN&R   |   07.03.13

waterproof that fixie Since stolen fixed-gear bicycles will most likely be our “beasts of burden” to transport ourselves and all our stuff around Sactopia, we’ll need some panniers— a.k.a. containters that latch onto our bikes—to carry all our stuff. Local company Carsick Designs (www.carsickdesigns.com), run by Monica and Brian Laplander, offers several handmade waterresistant panniers that will be able to hold lock cutters, mustache survival kits and homemade prophylactics. They come with a roll top, which ensures that whatever’s in the bags will be protected against the elements. Carsick Designs also sells clutches, tote bags and ankle straps—so we don’t get our pants caught in our bike chains. Duh. (J.M.)

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ents m d n a o m m (Yes, C e n i i a’ s n p o t C sa nine) So writing 10 commandments is hard. We don’t know how Moses and that burning bush did it. Anyway, Sactopia is so rad, it doesn’t need a full set. Here’s nine commandments for the new world order:

1

guard Kevin Johnson, collegebaseball prospect Allen Warren and swollen body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger believe physical success made them good leaders. At least Ronald Reagan knew he was playing pretend. The next mayor has to have asthma and terrible hand-eye coordination.

2 Bring the BaCk Yard noise Food, shelter, protection—great, the basics are covered. Now it’s time to blow off a little steam. Chill. Relax. Hang out with some friends. But if you thought there was nothing to do in Sacramento before, now you’re really screwed. The bars and clubs have shut down, which means it’s time to bring the noise yourself. It’s easy (really!), especially if you have access to a fenced-in backyard. I know a guy who throws a massive backyard concert nearly every year as a fundraiser for various

Thou shalt not worship false idols and ex-athletes. All-star point

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image of Walmart. Or

any huge discount retail chain that underpays employees and drives out local businesses.

3

Thou shalt not juke stats.

Official tallies of homeless people, underenrolled schools and gang members are massaged to fit budgetary priorities over the common good. Knock it off.

4

Remember the nightlife, to keep it holy. Sactopia is done with

venues and food joints closing at 2 a.m. How are we supposed

to get David Hasselhoff to tour here? The Hoff requires a 24-hour discotheque.

5

Thou shalt not kill—seriously. This includes prisoners, the mentally ill and that Bluetooth guy who bumped you without apologizing.

6

Thou shalt buy local. We kind of

have to now that we’re on our own. Besides, farm-to-fork ventures and other sustainableagriculture projects have gotten even yummier since the salmonella outbreak of ’13. (Oh, you haven’t heard of that yet? Wait.)

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Thou shalt not use “Sac” to mean “Sacramento.” Enough already.

We don’t live inside a testicle.

Thou shalt build up, not out. End the sprawl. The next Cordova Hills project has to build its subdivision vertically, not horizontally. Hope the upper class isn’t afraid of heights.

9

Thou shalt be more secure. Jeez, Sacramento, you’re pretty, OK? I just looked at San Francisco. Let it go. (R.F.H., D.K., S.)


causes. He does this without much hassle because he: 1. plans ahead—scrupulously, 2. follows the basic rules of human decency and 3. never, ever allows the music to play past 10 p.m. With that in mind, here are some other dos—and don’ts—to staging your own backyard gig: Do let your neighbors know as soon as possible that a band (or two, or three) will be playing. Reassure them it won’t be too loud or go too late. Don’t break your word. Even if you’ve managed to siphon off some precious electricity from the grid, there’s no need to crank it to 11. Also, this might not be the time to give your nephew’s death-metal band its first gig. Do provide the necessities. If you’ve been to one crappy music festival and tried to find a bathroom, then you’ve essentially been to all crappy, bathroom-deficient music festivals. Make sure you have clean accommodations. Don’t forget to fuel up: Stock up on drinks and food—in fact, turn it into a co-op experience and have people bring booze and baked goods to resell. Profits cover any expenses, and the money you’ll need to pay off your neighbors if you broke the first rule. Speaking of which ... Do establish rules: Whether you’re starting to freak out about an open invite list or the stoner kids from down the street, now’s the time to set guidelines covering sex, drugs and curfews, etc. It’s a brave new world, so the rules are yours to make—and break. (R.L.)

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Who Wants a mustache guide? For better or worse, Sacto-Darwinian law heavily favors hipsters and homeless residents. The upside to that? Some crazy facial hair. Whether it be the new Charlie Chaplin look in the Roseville and Folsom region, the Mayor Kevin Johnson-inspired pencil-mustaches near the old state Capitol, or the ironically bare-lipped Lincoln beards in east Midtown, facial hair now draws the cultural lines across the region. As a recent mustache acolyte myself, I’ve taken to keeping my lip protector clean and shapely using an ordinary comb, trimming scissors and ye olde mustache wax, which nowadays is made from unwashed hippie-hair grease and honeysuckle drippings. But a warning: Groom that facial hair too much, and you’ll be suspected of being an uppity infiltrator from the north country. And thems we hang. Oh, did we forget to mention that women have facial hair now, too? Well, they do. Because equality. (D.K.)

get religion City data says about 37 percent of Sacramento’s population is religious. But when Sactopia is cut off from the rest of America’s influence, what happens to faith? Will people continue searching for higher meaning through one creator? Take up meditation and focus on personal spiritual health? Build a temple of fire to sacrifice virgins and politicians every full moon, while dancing naked to appease the gods? Scott Eaton, executive pastor at Impact Community Church, thinks there’s no substitute for the classic Coke version of a higher

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power, and says people need a relationship with God to function. But Sacramento is already so diverse that the Rev. Doug Kraft, of the United Universalist Society of Sacramento, said the challenge is to reach across ethnic identities and work toward a common good. Meanwhile, local atheist James Miller hopes people will just practice what he calls “moralistic humanism”: “Do what is best for other people, even if they are different from you,” he said. Sounds like a spin on the old golden rule. Sactopia can dig it. (J.R.)

time bank it In the new society, money is meaningless, and the bartering system is back. And what’s a more valuable commodity to trade than time? Time banking mashes capitalism with a Karl Marx-approved exchange of equal services. The only denomination is the hour, and time traders have to spend hours to make hours. How do you do this? Well, let’s say you spend the next 60 minutes grooming and feeding your neighbor’s dog. You’ve just earned one time dollar that you can cash in for an hour of service yourself. The concept has caught on in Davis, which has a virtual time bank set up at http://davis timebank.weebly.com, and in Portland, where people on a fixed income can actually trade time dollars for medical service. “The potentiality is great,” said Eileen Murray, who pitched the startup Community Skills Exchange Sacramento during a June potluck at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. Another one is scheduled on August 3, at the Southside Park Cohousing common house (434 T Street). Interested time traders can RSVP at emurray68@att.net. “We’re getting born … and looking for people to come and be a part of it,” Murray said. Well, what are you wasting those time dollars for? (R.F.H.)

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5. “You Shook Me All Night Long,” by AC/DC. I know,   AC/DC is one of the  all-time great rock bands  or whatever, but if getting  rid of this song means  you don’t have to watch  anyone mime the line  “Knocking me out with  those American thighs”  ever again, it’s worth it.

4. “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” by Def Leppard. The song  triggers stripperlike/ strip-club-patronlike  behavior in even the  most self-possessed  (albeit, drunken) citizens.  Let’s save everyone the  potential shame.

3. “All Summer Long,” by Kid Rock. Perhaps it’s  not fair to pick on Kid  Rock. He’s had a rough  time with the ol’ English  language: “Bawitdaba da  bang a dang diggy diggy,” 

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ia

for example. And in “All  Summer Long,” he rhymes  “things” with “things.”  But still.

2. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper.  Nothing against Cyndi. If  she’s up for rerecording it  as “Girls Just Want to Be  Paid Equally For Doing the  Same Jobs as Men,” we’d  totally reconsider.

1. “Santeria” or “What I Got,” by Sublime. After an officewide poll, it was a dead  split between which was  worse. On the one hand,  get rid of “Santeria,” and  you’ll never have to hear  a novice guitar player  fumble through that solo  ever again. On the other,  “What I Got,” without fail,  incites a barwide singand-clap-along, and with  drinks raised, a feeling of  bonhomie becomes viral.  And it’s gross. (D.D.)

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For the week of July 3

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It’s July Fourth. Which means it’s time to make like a pretwerking Miley Cyrus and party like a rock star in the United States of America—Sacramento, to be specific. SN&R presents a Fourth of July guide to help you plan an insane

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explosions

July 4th Pyrospectacular The city and the county of Sacramento team up with Cal Expo to run a huge firework display on Thursday, July 4. Head to Cal Expo’s Miller Lite Grandstand for front-row seats (parking is $10), or find a spot on the levee near the B Street Skate Park (20 28th Street) if you want to hang out with a bunch of Midtown residents. It’s free to see the fireworks, although there is limited assigned seating at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Boulevard) available for $10. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Visit www.calexpo.com for more information.

If you’re a fan of roping, riding and rockin’ country music, the Folsom Pro Rodeo is a must-see. In addition to nightly fireworks in the arena, there’s freestyle motocross riding, rodeo clowns, patriotic dance performances, food and live music. The event happens from 6 p.m. to midnight, July 4 to July 6, at the Dan Russell Rodeo Arena, 50 Natoma Street in Folsom. Tickets cost $15 to $37 per person. Call (916) 985-5555 or visit www.folsomrodeo.com for more details.

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Front-load your calorie burning by speeding up your metabolism on the morning of the Fourth of July. Take part in The Buffalo Chips Running Club’s 37th annual 4th of July 5-miler. In Sacramento’s “oldest running event”—according to the Buffalo Chips website—runners can choose to run or walk 5 miles. A half-mile race for kids 10 years old and younger begins at 7:45 a.m. and the main event begins at 8 a.m. The starting line is at Glenn Hall Park (5415 Sandburg Drive). Find out more at www.buffalochips.com/358-2.

Family-style barbecue Finally, here’s a way to afford a meal at Enotria Restaurant Wine Bar: Executive chef Pajo Bruich and pastry chef Edward Martinez are throwing a Fourth of July feast. The menu includes all-American favorites, such as beef brisket, ribs, baked beans and peach cobbler. The meal costs $39—which is a pretty damn good deal for Enotria—and reservations are required by calling (916) 922-6792. It happens on Saturday, July 6, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Find out more at www.enotria.com.

Folsom Firecracker For a slightly more challenging race, head to the Folsom Firecracker run on Thursday, July 4. Pick between a 5-kilometer or 10K and run (or walk) through paved streets and up a few dirt few hills along Lake Natoma. The run starts at 8 a.m. at the Lake Natoma Trail entrance (145 Parkshore Drive in Folsom). Same-day registration begins at 7 a.m. and costs $25. Funds raised will go to several local and one international organization. Visit www.folsomfirecracker.com for more information.

Raley Field will host its first ever July Fourth celebration on Thursday, featuring fireworks, food trucks, live music and games. Basically, it’s set up like Brewfest, with food trucks dotting the outfield and plenty of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink options. It happens from 6 to 10 p.m. and costs $8 for adults, $5 for children. Raley Field is located at 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento. Head to www.raleyfield.com for more information.

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calories

4th of July 5-miler

Fourth on the Field

Folsom Pro Rodeo

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evening or two full of all-American entertainment—i.e., watch some explosions, stuff your face with beer and barbecue, and then try to work off all the extra calories you consumed.

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Beer, then pizza Hot City Pizza 5642 J Street, (916) 731-8888, www.hotcity-pizza.com Sacramento seems to have a diverse and knowledgeable crowd of pizza lovers. Many of the city’s pizzerias specialize in a certain style of the dish and by Jonathan Mendick attract patrons interested in eating one particular style of pie. For example: Hot Italian, Masullo, j o nathan m@ Pizza Rock and OneSpeed cook up authentic newsreview.c om Neapolitan pizza; Zelda’s Gourmet Pizza and Chicago Fire serve hearty Chicago-style deepdish pizzas; and Giovanni’s Pizzeria and Uncle Vito’s offer thin New York-style slices. Then there’s Hot City Pizza in East Sacramento, which is probably better known rating: for its beer than its food. HHHH Of course, Hot City Pizza serves pizza, too. And it’s pretty decent. Each slice is made dinner for one: with a unique multigrain crust that’s soft, airy $10 - $20 and helps soak up a belly full of beer. Hot City’s pizza menu is full of interesting topping combinations, notably a section full of chickentopped pizza, plenty of vegetarian options, and handful of Pacific Islander-themed pies, such as the Polynesian, Hawaii on Fire and Lolo’ono— many of which feature copious pineapple. On one trip, I sampled the Hawaii on Fire pizza, which comes topped with sweet Thai chili sauce, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, green H peppers, pineapple, jalapeño and mozzarella flawed cheese. Its ingredients play well together, HH with the sweetness of the chili sauce and haS momentS pineapple nicely juxtaposing the spiciness of HHH the jalapeño and the saltiness of the pepperoni appealing and bacon. The downside of the ubiquitous fruit topping is that it’s canned, and its overly HHHH authoritative soft, soaked-in-syrup texture makes the whole pizza a bit soggy. On another visit, in a futile HHHHH epic attempt to try every topping, I ordered The Primo, Hot City’s take on a combination pizza. It’s hearty and full of flavor, but lacks the inventiveness of the Hawaii on Fire. The hot wings aren’t particularly adventurous, either, but they still pair well with any craft beer and a sports game playing in the background. The chicken salad—a Still hungry? green salad topped with chicken, but not the Search Sn&r’s creamy mayonnaise-and-egg-filled chicken “dining directory” to find local salad common at American barbecues—looks restaurants by name and tastes impressive. Copious mushrooms, or by type of food. tomatoes, onions, almonds and mozzarella Sushi, mexican, indian, blend together for a nice smorgasbord of italian—discover it all in the “dining” color, texture and flavor. In my book, atmosphere is an important section at www.news component to Hot City Pizza’s success. It’s a review.com. small business, with only 10 to 15 seats inside, and eight or 10 chairs outside. There’s not much in terms of décor, save for a couple walls filled with beer advertisements. Nevertheless, the pizzeria—hidden in a strip mall between a dessert shop called Sweeties and a tanning salon—exudes a shabby-chic aesthetic, and its patrons collectively give off the vibe of a secret, hip college-town gathering. During several visits to the eatery, diners included a mix of families, students, cyclists and soccer

july 13 @ 2pm

fans. (On one visit, a Hot City television set was showing the World Cup qualifier game between the United States and Jamaica’s soccer teams.) In addition to their jobs as cooks and waitstaff, the employees here all seem to double as personal beer concierges—offering plenty of advice and samples to those looking to order a certain type of beer. A recommendation to quaff Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge—a red sour Flemish ale from Belgium’s Bockor Brewery—satisfied my growing addiction to both Belgian beer and sour ale. Luckily, Hot City has one of the best selections of sours in town—probably second only to Pangaea Two Brews Cafe.

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Each pizza slice is made with a unique multigrain crust that’s soft, airy and helps soak up a belly full of beer.

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Overall, the pizza here is average. But Hot City gets an extra star for the fine beer selection and staff members’ willingness to help customers decide which beer to choose. With so many choices—there are several fridges full of beer bottles and a handful of rotating taps—selecting a brew can be a tremendously difficult undertaking. Taps rotate “as often as possible,” according to one employee. Pro tip: Head to the eatery on a Saturday for discounts on bottles of craft beer. Ω

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Hijack the marshmallows What’s a sensitive little vegan to do around the campfire this summer when everyone wants to roast white puffs of sugar and gelatin over an open flame and sandwich them with chocolate between graham crackers? Hijack the marshmallows. Be evil to be kind by pulling a switcheroo: Swap the “classic” confections for Dandies marshmallows. No one will suspect meddling, since the texture and taste of these heavenly pillows are spot-on, uncooked or cooked. And when the campers are stuffing their faces, moaning how delicious their treats are, that’s when you reveal that those melted saccharine clouds between their lips are vegan, gluten- and genetically modifiedorganism-free. “Aw, they’re so sweet!” they’ll cry. And so are you. Kumbaya, bitches.

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Downtown Estelle’s Patisserie With its marble 

Where to eat?

Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Becky Grunewald, Greg Lucas, Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord and Jonathan Mendick, updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.

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. 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. HHH1⠄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. 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 grilled-ham-andGruyere sandwich is just buttery enough, and an egg-white 

frittata is more than a bone  thrown to the cholesterolchallenged; it’s a worthy dish   in its own right. American.   926 J St., (916) 492-4450. Dinner  for one: $40-$60. HHHH B.G.

Zia’s Delicatessen Zia’s  Delicatessen isn’t really about  trying every sandwich: It’s  about finding your sandwich.  In addition to a large selection  of salumi, there’s the worthy  eponymous offering, served  with a wedge of zucchini  frittata, a slice of provolone,  romaine lettuce, grainy tomato,  and a simple dash of vinegar  and oil that adds tang. Order  it hot, so that the provolone  melts into the bread. Also tasty:  the hot meatball sub with  small-grained, tender meatballs  bathed in a thin, oregano-flecked tomato sauce that soaks  into the bread. A tuna sandwich  is sturdy, if not exciting. It  is just mayonnaisey enough,  with tiny, diced bits of celery.  A rosemary panino cotto with  mozzarella could benefit from  a more flavorful cheese. For a  meatier option, try the Milano:  mortadella, salami, Muenster;  all three flavors in balance.  The turkey Viareggio has a thin  spread of pesto mayo, and the  smoked mozzarella accents  rather than overpowers.  American. 1401 O St., Ste. A;   (916) 441-3354. Meal for one:  $5-$10. HHHH B.G.

Midtown 24K Chocolat Cafe This cafe serves  a solid, if very limited, brunch  and lunch menu. One offering is 

a firm wedge of frittata with a  strong tang of sharp cheddar  that almost but doesn’t quite  jibe with the slightly spicy mole  sauce on the plate.The spinach  curry, made creamy by coconut  milk rather than dairy, comes  topped with cubes of tofu and  tiny diced scallion and red bell  pepper and rests atop a smooth  potato cake. A side of garbanzobean salad is well-flavored with  the surprising combination of  mint and apricot. The place,  located inside Ancient Future,  has “chocolat� in the name,  and chocolate is in many of the  menu offerings, including a tiny  cup of hot Mexican drinking  chocolate, and chocolatecherry scones served crisp and  hot, studded with big chunks of  bittersweet chocolate and tart  dried cherries. American.   2331 K St., (916) 476-3754.   Meal for one: $10-$15. HHH B.G.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. The restaurant, by the same  owners as Midtown’s The Golden  Bear, sports a firefighting  theme (a ladder on the ceiling  duct work, shiny silver wallpaper with a rat-and-hydrant  motif, et al) and a bar setup  that encourages patrons to talk  to each other. An interesting  wine list includes entries from  Spain and Israel; there are also  draft cocktails and numerous  beers on tap. The brunch menu  is heavy on the eggs, prepared  in lots of ways. One option is  the Croque Madame, a hamand-Gruyere sandwich usually  battered with egg. This one  had a fried egg and bĂŠchamel,  with a generous smear of mustard inside. The mountain of 

potato hash alongside tasted  flavorful and not too greasy.  The menu also features pizzas  and house-made pastas, but  one of its highlights includes  an excellent smoked-eggplant  baba ganoush, which is smoky  and garlicky and served with  warm flatbread wedges and  oil-cured olives. The bananas  foster bread pudding is equally  transcendent, accompanied  by very salty caramel gelato,  pecans and slivers of brĂťlĂŠed  bananas. American. 1630 S St.,  (916) 442-4885. Dinner for one:  $20-$40. HHH1â „2 A.M.R. 

LowBrau This place specializes in  beer and bratwursts. Both are  done smashingly. The sausage  is wrapped in a tight, snappy  skin like a gimp suit, which gets  nicely charred by the chefs.  Within it lies a beguilingly spicy  and juicy piece of meat. Get it  with a pretzel roll for a truly  exciting experience. There are  vegan options, too: The Italian,  an eggplant-based brat, has  a surprisingly sausagelike  texture that no self-respecting  carnivore will turn it down for  lack of flavor. Toppings include  sauerkraut, a “Bier Cheese�  sauce and caramelized onions.  The idea behind Duck Fat Fries  is a glorious one, yet somehow  still falls short. You just expect  something more when you see  the words “duck fat.� The beer  selection is epic. If you’re lost  and confused, the staff will help  guide you to the right brew via  questionings and encouraged  tastings. German. 1050 20th St.,   (916) 706-2636. Dinner for   one: $10-$15. HHHH G.M.

East Sac Istanbul Bistro Turkish chef  Murat Bozkurt and brother  Ekrem co-own this paean to  their homeland, with Ekrem  usually at the front of the  house, infusing the space  with cheer. Turkish cuisine  features aspects of Greek,  Moroccan and Middle Eastern  flavors. The appetizer combo  plate offers an impressive  sampling. Acili ezme is a  chopped, slightly spicy mixture of tomatoes, cucumber  and walnuts that’s delicious  paired with accompanying flatbread wedges. For  entrees, try the borani, a  lamb stew with garbanzos,  carrots, potatoes and currants. The meat is very  tender, while the veggies  arrived nicely al dente. Also  good is the chicken shish plate  (souvlaki), which features two  skewers of marinated grilled  chicken that’s moist and succulent. There are also quite a  few choices for vegetarians,  including flatbread topped like  pizza, with spinach and feta or  mozzarella and egg.  Turkish.  3260 B J St., (916) 449-8810. Dinner for one: $15-$20.   HHH1⠄2 A.M.R.

North Sac Asian CafĂŠâ€ƒAsian CafĂŠâ€ƒserves 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 CafĂŠ, it adds optional offal  add-ons—various organ meats,  entrails, et al—to three versions of the dish: beef with tripe,  chicken with gizzards, or pork  with pork skin. The beef salad  offers a gentle respite from  aggressive flavors, consisting  of medium-thick chewy slices of  eye of round with red bell pepper, chopped iceberg and hot  raw jalapeĂąo. 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. HHHH B.G.

South Sac Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke In  Sac, most people equate Hong  Kong-style cuisine with dim  sum, but this restaurant,  which also features private  karaoke rooms, serves up  tasty, familiar food by way of  rice plates, sandwiches, noodle  bowls, soups and stir-fries.   A few random Japanese  (ramen, fried udon), French  (sweet or savory crepes),  Russian (borscht), Korean  (beef and kimchi hot pot) and  Italian (various pastas) foods  add to the feeling that whatever your cultural background,  you’ll find a comfort dish from  your childhood to wrap its  arms around you and give you  a hug. Cultural diversity aside,  one of Blue Moon’s best dishes 

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Arden/ Carmichael Skip’s Kitchen You know you’re at an American restaurant when a cheeseburger is one of the healthiest items on the menu. Sure enough, Skip’s Kitchen features a lot of calorie-rich items, such as fried macaroniand-cheese balls, ravioli, chicken strips, chicken wings and shrimp, plus creamy Oreo milkshakes. There are salads, too, but the best dish on the menu is the burger. All five styles (original, mushroom and Swiss, bacon and cheddar, three-cheese, and Western) are served on a brioche bun and cooked “medium,” unless otherwise specified. The kitchen offers a house-made veggie burger as well. If there’s such a thing as a “gourmet” burger that can rightfully sell for $10, this is probably it. American. 4717 El Camino Ave. in Carmichael, (916) 514-0830. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH1⁄2 J.M.

Taqueria Garibaldi One of this restaurant’s biggest pulls is its choice of meats. The chorizo is red, crispy and greasy in all the best ways. The lengua (tongue) is soft and dreamily reminiscent of only the most ethereal bits of beef. The fish is fine and flaky and the cabeza and pork are

herculean in flavor options worthy of note, too. Tacos are small and served on two tiny tortillas (flour or corn, your call) with a bit of house salsa that has all the kick of a pissed off Girl Scout who’s just tall enough to nail you right under the kneecap. Or, feel free to customize, too, courtesy of the fully loaded salsa bar. Be sure to pick up a glass of the homemade horchata, which is sweet and milky with seductive whispers of cinnamon. You will want seconds. Mexican. 1841 Howe Ave., (916) 924-0108. Dinner for one: $8-$10. HHH G.M.

Buffalo also offers Gunther’s Ice Cream, side salads, fried chicken and canned sodas, but here, it’s breakfast pizza for the win. American. 2600 21st St., (916) 451-6555. Meal for one: $10-$20. HHH1⁄2 J.M.

Burgess Brothers’ Burgers This burger joint’s motto is “Committed to Service,” and that’s evidenced in its outstanding customer service. The food is also exceptional. There are plenty of burgers on the menu— all smoked before they’re grilled. The one-third pound Tactical Blue Burger is served with blue cheese, tomato, lettuce and fried onions. With a generous slathering of the “Patrol” sauce, it’s full of flavor but not too smoky. Don’t miss the barbecue, though. The pulled-pork sandwich is nicely smoked and shredded, piled on a garlic roll. There are also kid-sized sliders and the Code 4 vegetarian burger, made with a portobello mushroom. Barbecue. 2114 Sutterville Rd., (916) 209-0277. Dinner for one: $5-$10. HHH1⁄2 A.M.R.

Land Park/ Curtis Park Buffalo Pizza & Ice Cream Co. The eatery, which offers take-out only, keeps the menu simple. Customers can choose from two types of pies: breakfast or lunch. Breakfast pizzas consist of standard pizza dough, on top of which rests a thin layer of egg, cheese and toppings (read: no sauce). One pepperoniand-jalapeños morning pie starts off well, but then the dough disappoints. It doesn’t quite fit in either the “thick” or “thin” category; it’s not yeasty enough and too chewy and firm. A mushroom-and-spinach pie offers better texture. Lunch pizzas here are less unique, but still hit a nice mark via a few standout ingredients. The garlic pizza reaches a nice balance of sweet and salty with a creamy white sauce, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni and sausage.

The Hideaway Bar & Grill This bar fills a niche Sacramento might not have known it lacked with its vague rockabilly vibe, lots of greased hair on the men, brightly dyed hair in retro styles and cat-eye glasses on the ladies, and an abundance of black clothes and tattoo sleeves for all. The liquor selection is basic (no craft cocktails here). The menu’s heavy on fried appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers, the latter of which are architectural, towering assemblages. Happily, the fluffy

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

is the braised pig ear with soy sauce and peanuts. Asian. 5000 Freeport Blvd., Ste. A; (916) 706-2995. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH J.M.

charred buns are sturdy enough to hold up when the tower is squeezed to a more realistic height. A meaty veggie burger (one of three veggie sandwich options) gets crunch from fried pickles and sweet heat from barbecue sauce. Overall, the Hideaway offers cheap beer, adequate bar food and a comfortable place to hang with out friends. American. 2565 Franklin Blvd., (916) 455-1331. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHH1⁄2 B.G.

Folsom Mylapore This restaurant may not work for those still following the Atkins diet—100 percent of its savory dishes contain or are almost wholly composed of some starchy ingredient. But every dish on the menu here is also vegetarian, and many are vegan. There’s much to like here: Try the dosas, ultrathin crepes with a savory filling. Mylapore also serves unusual pakoras. Here, they’re very lightly coated in flour, well-salted and extremely greasy in a satisfying way. The sambar, a thick lentil soup, is worth ordering as a bowl on its own. It’s creamy and comforting, and within it floats cubed turnips and carrots—miles away from a pedestrian dal. Indian. 1760 Prairie City Rd., Ste. 160 in Folsom; (916) 985-3500. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH B.G.

Wheeling and mealing Food-truck customers and senior citizens aren’t the only people eating meals on wheels these days. Last month, Burger King launched an in-home food-delivery service in Sacramento. In case you are tempted to try BK Delivers, but would rather eat something much tastier and healthier, here’s another option: A national company called Eat24 lists plenty of restaurants in the region that can be called when there isn’t time to cook for oneself—let alone a family. Eat24’s Sacramento-specific section of its website allows users to order from restaurants online, and the company’s app— The Hunger App—helps you to see what food is around you and order from a smartphone or tablet. Sacramento’s Eat24 page (http://sacramento.eat24hours.com) includes both chains (Chevys, Togo’s, Rubio’s) and local restaurants (Ma Jong’s Asian Diner, Sandra Dee’s Bar-B-Que & Seafood, Roma’s Pizzeria), and delivery charges range from free to $5.99. —Jonathan Mendick

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Performance artist Miranda July’s latest project focuses on the seemingly mundane: everyday  WEB emails. The kind National Security Agency  employees fall asleep reading. July asked  myriad notables—Lena Dunham, Kareem AbdulJabbar, Kirsten Dunst, et al—to forward her emails  sent to others (parents, significant others, etc.).  “How [people] comport themselves in email is so  intimate,” July explains. Give her your own email address in return for a weekly update. The project was  commissioned by the museum Magasin 3 Stockholm  Konsthall in Sweden for the exhibition On the Tip  of My Tongue, whose works “point away” from the  museum and toward “virtual or parallel existences.”  www.wethinkalone.com, www.magasin3.com/en. —Rachel Leibrock

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De-junk your trunk FAT MAgneT Eating healthier and controlling food  portions can be tough, but the alternative usually leads to some unwanted  junk in the ol’ trunk. This is why Handy  Gourmet created the Fat Magnet, a device that sucks the fat and grease (and  therefore calories) out of food. Online messageboard chatter reveals that many agree with the  company’s claim—but sometimes at the expense of  flavor. Still, for an average retail price of  FOOD $14 (check sites such as Amazon.com and  Newegg) and a slight sacrifice of flavor, you’ll be fitting into those old high-school jeans in no time.  —Aaron Carnes

Murder time machine The shining girls

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Lauren Beukes’ latest, The Shining Girls (Mulholland  Books, $26), is a devastating and gruesome serialkiller mystery wrapped up in a time-travel tale that  satisfies on both levels. The question surrounding the  BOOK murders isn’t so much “who” as “when,”  and it’s further complicated by a victim who  wasn’t actually murdered, despite the careful efforts  of the killer. With multiple perspectives, Beukes has  her work cut out for her, creating a number of fully  realized characters, the most compelling of which  is Kirby, the girl who refused to die. Time travel unleashes all sorts of paradoxes, but Beukes navigates  smoothly and keeps up a machine-gun pace that  makes this novel an up-all-nighter. —Kel Munger

The real superman The Young ProTecTors For the umpteenth summer in a  row, movie-studio executives are  hoping that a bevy of PG-13 rated  cape-and-tights blockbusters will  COMIC draw flocks of comicbook fans and their  wallets to the multiplex. Say it with me, Thor fans: “I say  thee nay!” Put down the unnecessary 3-D  goggles and treat yourself to the  real cutting edge of experiencing  comic books: crowd-funded Web  comics. San Francisco-based writer  Alex Woolfson is bucking the  trend with the Kickstarterfunded Web comic The Young  Protectors. Woolfson writes  the story, which is drawn by  Adam DeKraker and inked by  Veronica Gandini. Woolfson’s superheroes  struggle to fight bad guys,  come out of the closet, deal  with the pressures of fame and  flaunt the heteronormative mores  of comic-book culture.  “As a gay kid growing up, I loved  sci-fi, fantasy and action stories.  But I never got to see what I wanted  to see and that’s kick-ass genre  stories with gay heroes,” Woolfson  explains on his Kickstarter page.  The format liberates Woolfson and his collaborators to tell a  story that Marvel and DC Comics  would likely never print. The series,  updated every Saturday, isn’t constrained to the standard 22-page  issue, which allows the storylines,  action sequences and jokes plenty  of space to breathe. Presenting The Young Protectors online also allows Woolfson to  chronicle an adult-themed superhero story that will probably never  be adapted for film or TV—unless  HBO decides to option it when   Game of Thrones wraps up.   http://webcomics.yaoi911.com. —Cody Drabble


Back to the old school I am a transgender woman and my high-school reunion is a few months away. I can’t decide whether or not to attend. I moved away from my hometown immediately after high school, never went back, and have not been in touch with anyone (my parents are deceased) for decades. I am certain that no one knows anything about me. I was a wallflower in high school and didn’t have many by Joey ga friends, but I feel compelled rcia to go to the reunion. At the same time, I am nervous a s kj oey @ ne wsreview.c om about attending and dealing with people’s reactions to how I’ve changed. Any thoughts? Joey High-school reunions don’t veer too far from the cliché: Nearly everyone thinks the film Frances Ha is awkward has managed a 180-degree shift and uncomfortable. from their teenage self. Most of the popular kids are now ordinary, and the studious kids who had been overlooked in high school are now attractive and accomplished. Here’s the crash course: If high school counts as the best years of your life, you haven’t yet matured into the best, most honest version of yourself. But that’s not your problem, is it? You are wondering how to reintroduce yourself to the kids who spent four years mostly ignoring you. The reality is that when you will show up, shining as your truly gorgeous self, some people will slide over to chat with you. Others will fall back to talk about you. A handful won’t know what to do. In other words, your experience will mimic the experiences everyone else is having at the reunion (and the experiences many people had in high school). Whatever happens, sip this nectar: The only opinion you need Got a problem? to concern yourself with that night Write, email or leave is your own. Pay attention to your a message for Joey at emotions as you allow the people the News & Review. Give your name, from your past to meet you as you telephone number are. Notice how you feel meeting (for verification each person as they are now. After purposes only) all, you are not the only person and question—all correspondence whose appearance has radically will be kept strictly altered. Few people will resemble confidential. their yearbook photos due to weight Write Joey, gains and losses, or plastic surgery, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., stress and other health crises. Hey, Sacramento, CA 95815; it’s what’s on the inside that matters, call (916) 498-1234, right? Allow your intuition to ext. 3206; or email askjoey@ guide you toward the people worth newsreview.com. chatting with that evening. And remember that prejudice is the sign of a small mind. If anyone behaves

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badly toward you, sass the fool by saying, “Do you need to be sent to detention?” or a similarly silly one-liner. My father just passed away, although he was dead to me already, because we had been estranged. My family thinks I am cold for not going to the funeral, but they don’t understand that my relationship with him was different than what they know of him. I am happy he is dead and that he will face the truth of what he has done. I plan to go on a retreat and deal with this on my own. Any words you have would be appreciated. Every life experience contributes to our freedom, but most humans are terrified of being free. We frequently choose fundamentalism, a way of thinking that worships the past and illusions (like parents are perfect), instead of employing our freedom.

If high school counts as the best years of your life, you haven’t yet matured into the best, most honest version of yourself.

COURTYARD CLASSIC FILM SERIES

Love on the Big Screen This summer, the Crocker’s Courtyard Classic Film Series will present some of the silver screen’s greatest love stories. Matías Bombal, Sacramento’s favorite film historian, will guest host each screening that will be held outdoors in the beautiful E. Kendell Davis Courtyard. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this classic film series in a special place – under the stars at the Crocker Art Museum! WEST SIDE STORY t JULY 25 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE t AUGUST 22 ROMAN HOLIDAY t SEPTEMBER 26

4TH THURSDAYS 8 PM $5 MEMBERS $8 NONMEMBERS

Evolve beyond fundamentalism by respecting your individuality, using free will wisely and serving the greater good to ensure a better, more sacred world. Begin by ditching the notion that your life would have been better if your father had been different. Your life would be different, certainly, but better? That’s a mystery. So, forgive your father, for your own sake. Forgive yourself for expecting more of your father than he was capable of providing. Grieve what you’ve got, then pour everything else into art or service to the world. You are free now to live the life you have imagined. Ω

Meditation of the Week “In convergence lies genius,” wrote  Rebecca Solnit, the author of astonishing books on politics, environment,  art and human rights. Can you  embrace the brilliance of what is  coming together in your life? 

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crockerartmuseum.org

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sometimes torture is funny!

The heat is on Venus in Fur

June 15 – July 7

www.OvationStage.com Davis Musical Theatre Company

presents

Much of the pleasure derived from this sexy, compact, complicated play stems from figuring out the true agenda of the two characters on stage. And by Jeff Hudson we use the term “pleasure” advisedly, because playwright David Ives springs plenty of surprises in this masochistic comedy of dark intent. It begins simply. A weary writer-director is coming off a long, fruitless day of auditions, about to head home. In comes a breathless actress, begging for a chance at the part. She says her name is the same as the character in writer-director’s script. The skeptical writerdirector can’t find her name on his audition list,

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Davis Musical Theatre Company www.dmtc.org 530-756-3682

Sacramento Vedanta Reading Group Every Friday 7:00 - 8:30 pm · Free admission Sacramento Yoga Center @ Sierra II Community Center, Room 6 2791 24th Street, Sacramento

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28   |   SN&R   |   07.03.13

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The Pajama Game

The Fair Oaks Theatre Festival is an annual summertime treat. Presented in collaboration with American River College Theatre, the festival presents musical comedies performed in the pleasant—and constantly being improved upon—openair theater at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater. The sound system still needs some fixing, as there were plenty of crackles and lots of lost dialogue during the opening performance of The Pajama Game, a sweet, old favorite of 1950s musical theater. A new superintendent at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory has an almostimmediate run-in with Babe Williams, leader of the union grievance committee. Gordon Hanley and Christianne Klein play the sparring couple, and they are delightfully wellmatched as actors, although she is by far the better singer. The plot reveals some illicit workplace relationships, some cooking of the books and a union strike as workers demand a 7.5-cent per hour raise. Based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell, the play has music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Bob Irvin directs with his characteristic feel for how comedy should be played, but he surprises this time out by playing it straight. There’s no campiness, no exaggeration for effect, just a light, old-fashioned musical comedy. A live band provides accompaniment to the songs, which include the classic “Hey There” as well as “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway.” PhOTO COurTeSy OF B STreeT TheATre

June 21-July 14, 2013

Parking in back For more information please see www.SacVRG.org

gathers gloom. This is not a show for kids, and you might want to consider what message you might be sending if you pick it for a first date. But it’s a captivatingly effective production—also the first opportunity in Northern California to see a production of a script that is a hot property. Ω

Is this what they mean by “casting couch”?

Venus in Fur, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 5 and 9 p.m. Satuday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; 2 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreet theatre.org. Through August 11.

but he reluctantly gives her a try. She seems eerily right for the role. And she knows more about the source material (a tale of domination, submission and desire) than she initially lets on. Disclosing more might spoil the spooky and kinky fun. Let’s just say this script (a Tony Awards nominee for Best Play in 2012) explores the degree to which the writer’s inner mind is reflected on the page, how much of herself the actress brings to the role, and the big enchilada: Who’s in charge. Actress Dana Brooke (formerly called on to play wholesome types) draws an altogether different assignment here, and shines. Actor Tyler Pierce, a newcomer, is also excellent. Tracy Prybyla’s costumes gradually shift to black leather and studs. Director Buck Busfield raises the heat gradually—the story unfolds in linear time, with growing momentum. Ron Madonia’s lighting includes fluorescents (it’s supposed to be a cheap rehearsal space) and

—Jim Carnes

The Pajama Game, 8:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday, Sunday; $5-$15. Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Avenue in Fair Oaks; (916) 966-3683; www.fairoakstheatrefestival.com. Through July 21.


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THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

A nostalgic, outdoor version of the Mark Twain classic as  Tom (Colin Choate) romances Becky  (Carissa Meagher), pals around  with Huck (Matthew Taul) and  thwarts Injun Joe (Ernesto Bustos).  Directed by Susan McCandless.  Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for picnicking; bring low-back lawn chairs and  a sweater, as it becomes quite cool  in the evenings. F, Sa 8pm. Through 7/30. $12-$17.50, with $49 family  four-pack. Main Street Theatre  Works in the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre, 1105 N. Main St. in Jackson;  (209) 267-5680; www.mstw.org. K.M.

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A CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN’S GUIDE TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE © 1959 

Robert Bastron’s quirky comedy  deconstructs the disaster that is  American “traditional” marriage,  using laughter to offer insight  into how poor communication,  rigid gender roles and unrealistic  expectations are at the root of  what ails the institution. Unhappy  couples (Ian Cullity, Amanda  Johnston, Stephanie Hodson and  Joshua Glenn Robertson) get  advice from a 1950s instructional film narrator; Justin Muñoz  directs. Th, F, Sa 8pm. Through 7/13.  $10-$20. Big Idea Theatre,   1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 960-3036;  www.bigideatheatre.com. K.M.     

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THE PAJAMA GAME

The Fair Oaks Theatre  Festival opens with an old  favorite, the 1954 romantic, The  Pajama Game. Director Bob Irvin  plays it straight with this popular,  somewhat dated, musical comedy  about romance and a strike for  a 7.5-cent-per-hour raise among  workers at the Sleep-Tite Pajama  Factory. Musical highlights include  “Hey There,” “Steam Heat” and  “Hernando’s Hideaway.” F, Sa, Su 8:30pm. Through 7/21. $5-$15.   Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre,  7991 California Ave. in Fair Oaks;  (916) 966-3683; www.fairoaks  theatrefestival.com. J.C.

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TWELFTH NIGHT

FAIR

The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival kicks off  with a hustling start to the season  as Matt K. Miller’s disco-flavored  version of the classic woman-indisguise story turns a mirror ball,  some jive talkin’ and Qiana shirts  into a giggle fest. Kelley Ogden fills  her John Travolta-style white suit  with physical comedy as Viola;  Greg Hanson brings the bro to  Sir Toby Belch; and Anthony M.  Person’s Fool Feste lights up the  dance floor. Good nostalgic fun. 

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4 WELL-DONE

8pm on 7/12, 7/20, 7/25, 7/27; 6pm on 7/7, 7/14. Through 7/27. $15-$18. 

Sacramento Shakespeare   Festival, William A. Carroll   Amphitheatre in William Land  Park, 3901 Land Park Dr.; (916)  558-2173; www.sacramento  shakespeare.net.  K.M.

5 SUBLIME-DON’T MISS

“Thisismy ‘because Isaidso’ face.”

There’s mom rock and mom jeans and, apparently, there’s also mom comedy.  Unlike the first two genres, however, jokes of the maternal nature involve  neither coffee-shop-friendly jams nor high-waisted fashion choices.   The Los Angeles-based comedian Kelly Pryce shows how it’s done with  stories of childbirth; boring married sex; OK married sex; and really, really bad  married sex. Pryce, a former comedy writer for the TBS network, has penned jokes for  the likes of the late-night talk show Lopez Tonight. Now, her stand-up routine  chronicles the seemingly mundane details of life as a mother and wife.   There are jokes about natural childbirth (“I had that first contraction and  was like, ‘I didn’t conceive this baby sober, so why ruin a good thing?’”) and  riffs on her husband’s yawn-inducing fantasies about their sex life (“‘In your  fantasy, I go to a community college? … It couldn’t be Harvard or Yale?’”). Certainly, she knows her material. With three kids and a fourth on the way,  Pryce gives keen insight into what it likely feels like when your life morphs  from that of a fun, edgy party girl to one of carpools and routine, missionarystyle sex (presumably, the kind accompanied by Jack Johnson tunes).  Friday, July 5, at 8 p.m.; $18.50; Punch Line Comedy Club, 2100 Arden Way,  Suite 225; (916) 925-5500; www.punchlinesac.com. —Rachel Leibrock

r achel l @ ne w s re v i e w . c o m

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Bucket List #47

Learn to Sail

Monster mash-up Despicable Me 2 What makes a cartoon movie work? What about a cartoon-movie sequel? Obviously, there’s a difference between timeless archetypes and tepid by Jonathan Kiefer reworks of all the stuff today’s filmmakers cherished before they grew up. But by this point in movie history, the rehashing itself starts to seem like an archetype. Especially with those movies designed to channel or cater to the inner kid. Despicable Me 2 does, at least, presume some pre-existing awareness of Despicable Me, as is the inarguable prerogative of any marketsaturating animated franchise nowadays, but it’s not like you’ll have any trouble figuring out

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5 excellent

what’s going on. Or, if you do, it surely won’t be on account of having missed the first one. Less inspired than its predecessor, which wasn’t entirely inspired to begin with, and not exactly a necessary sequel, this madcap caper nonetheless makes for a righteously looney ’toon. The reformed Euro-supervillain Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) has retired to rear his three adopted daughters and develop a line of jams and jellies. His resident gadgeteer, Dr. Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand), has had a better offer—“more evil, full dental”—and Gru can’t begrudge the doctor’s departure, for the shared glory days of grand malfeasance seem by now long behind them. Then, Gru finds himself recruited by a spazzy special agent (voiced by Kristen Wiig) to thwart an incognito rival. As it happens, this heretofore unknown opponent’s dastardly scheme involves, among other nutso ideas, morphing Gru’s multitude of cute yellow minions into pernicious purple monsters. The minions, those rambunctious little globules of mutual aggression and improbable resiliency, should already be quite familiar, if only from this movie’s relentless merchandising. Collectively, they’re the Despicable Me mascot, and the next sequel is specifically about them. You might say the monsters were created already. So their dubious metamorphosis is a relatively organic turn of plot—or, at least as much so as you can hope for nowadays from a market-saturating animated franchise.

With writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul supplying a deep grab bag of subplots, directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud mostly just stay busy romping around within their gleefully designed environments. Broad, brightly colored slapstick ensues, with some favorably Muppetish mayhem; the most logical thing about this film is its use of 3-D as an extension of cartoonishly exaggerated proportions. Coffin and Renaud seem genuinely enthused by the delicate and nearly lost art of bringing off a movie that even finds itself increasingly ridiculous. Some nice touches are in evidence, like a sweet and very funny good-mood montage of Gru, subsequently annulled by a newly depressed reprise—it’s a good buildup, and even better for its later breakdown. Or a fellow supervillain called El Macho, remembered with reverence by Gru and presumed to have died in the most macho way possible—riding a shark into an active volcano while wearing a vest full of TNT. As the minions’ unending shtick also rather strenuously implies, silliness is a supreme value here, and sometimes the movie just has it, without even seeming to try. Still, the overall construct has a strange and unpredictable effect on performances: As in the first Despicable Me, Carell’s almost better this way, with his complacent mugging fully abstracted by animation, whereas here we start to miss Wiig’s actual face. Brand, for his part, might as well be someone else, someone completely unknown. Other voice talents include those of Steve Coogan, more or less squandered, as he often is by American films; Ken Jeong, also at a disadvantage with physical comedy that’s illustrated and therefore not his own; and Benjamin Bratt, making good strides, at least, to get beyond his humorless comfort zone.

The most logical thing about this film is its use of 3-D as an extension of cartoonishly exaggerated proportions. So, the subplot grab bag, being innately episodic and somewhat suggestive of classic Saturday-morning cartoons, also is a mixed bag. Disjointedness isn’t necessarily a disadvantage to cartoon-movie humor, except when your audience comes to expect a whole and coherent movie. But, of course, this is a not exactly a necessary sequel, rather a marketsaturating animated franchise, so why would they expect that? Ω


by JONATHAN KIeFeR & JIM LANe

4

Before Midnight

Director Richard Linklater returns to the story he began with 1995’s Before Sunrise and continued in 2004’s Before Sunset. Another nine years, and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) have 7-year-old twin daughters. In the first movie, the two walked around Vienna talking; in the second, Paris; now, Crete, Greece. As before, their conversation is uneventful but fascinating; they’re both intelligent and interesting, and we hang on every word, even as nothing really “happens.” (Well, not nothing, exactly: A crisis brews, but somehow, we sense it’ll pass.) It’s amazing to think Linklater, Hawke and Delpy (who all cowrote the script) have sustained this talk-fest for three whole movies, but it’s true, and the pleasure of their company is as keen as ever. We can hardly wait nine years to see them again. J.L

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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 “STELLAR CAST AND HEARTFELT SCRIPT.” - Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

UNFINISHED SONG WED/THUR: 11:30AM, 2:00, 4:30, 7:10, 9:40PM FRI-TUES: 11:30AM, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30PM

3

The movie is an eye-glazing parade of frontier grunge, lame comedy and Rube Goldberg CGI action scenes devoid of excitement. The original radio and TV versions found their audience in hero-worshipping kids; this one caters to sneering baby boomers embarrassed that they ever liked it. Written (poorly) by Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. J.L.

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1

The Purge

In 2022 America, the “New Founding Fathers” have decreed 12 hours every year when no crime will be punished, including murder. When the time comes, the well-off either hunker down behind their security systems or form hunting parties to stalk and exterminate the homeless and other social undesirables. This night, a suburban couple (Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey) and their two kids see things go horribly wrong. Writer-director James DeMonaco’s cockamamie premise tries to lend things an aura of wry social satire, but it’s just gaudy lipstick on an old whore; the movie is nothing more than a standard home-invasion slasher flick, and a lousy one at that. DeMonaco poses and answers an ironic question: Does the Purge really “make America a better place”? But he raises a more pertinent one: Do movies like this? J.L.

The Lone Ranger

Radio and TV’s daring “masked rider of the plains” takes a vicious beating at the hands of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, flushed and overconfident with their Pirates of the Caribbean success. They signal their intentions early on, when Tonto (Johnny Depp) drags the Ranger (Armie Hammer) through a pile of steaming horseshit. And that’s precisely what Bruckheimer and Verbinski proceed to do for two-and-a-half endless, leaden hours.

NEWS

Man of Steel

Superman gets a makeover from writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan. This isn’t your father’s Superman—or your great-grandfather’s, for that matter. Nolan and Goyer twist him to fit their Dark Knight template: The planet Krypton is a decrepit, grimy place, and the infant KalEl’s parents (Russell Crowe, Ayelet Zurer) could both use a shower. From ugly Krypton they dispatch their son to even uglier Earth, where he suffers through a miserable, friendless childhood to grow into a sullen, misfit Clark Kent (Henry Cavill, as drab and colorless as the movie around him), who spends more time fighting Earthling bigotry than the Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon). If this dingy, joyless movie is the only way to make Superman work these days, maybe the character really has outlived his time. J.L.

The Kings of Summer

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The Heat

ENDS THU., 7/4 WED/THUR: 11:45AM, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45PM

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This Is the End

Visiting from the Canadian motherland, Jay Baruchel meets up with his pal and countryman Seth Rogen in Los Angeles, where they try to get past post-Rogen-sellout estrangement through partying at James Franco’s place. It’s not really Baruchel’s scene, but the apocalypse begins just as he’s about to bail. That means holing up with Rogen, Franco,

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9th Annual

Sacramento Japanese Film Festival

White House Down

July 12-14, 2013 Crest Theatre

World War Z

A former special agent for the United Nations (Brad Pitt) is called back into service to investigate a mysterious pestilence that has infected the entire world, turning hundreds of millions of victims into—wait for it—rabid zombies. Based on the mockumentary novel by Max Brooks (son of Mel and Anne Bancroft) and directed by Marc Forster, the movie’s too-many-cooks roster of writers (Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof and J. Michael Straczynski) gives testimony to production problems and frantic reshoots that ballooned the budget from $125 million to $200 million. The end result is a mixed bag; Pitt makes a deft thinkingman’s action hero and Forster stages some effective scenes, but too often—especially in the hasty, anticlimactic ending—the movie stumbles into unintentional comedy. J.L.

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A paramilitary gang led by a traitorous Secret Service agent (James Woods) storms the White House, killing and taking hostages, leaving only the president (Jamie Foxx) and a feckless Capitol police officer (Channing Tatum) to save the last best hope of Earth. Writer James Vanderbilt and director Roland Emmerich follow Marx’s principle on history repeating itself—first time as tragedy, second time as farce—by turning September 11, 2001, into a rolicking action comedy, with odd couple Tatum and Foxx as the buddyheroes at the center of all the fun. Since this is not a terrorist strike but an inside job, the movie also evokes distant memories of 1964’s Seven Days in May and its attempted bloodless coup—this time, of course, there’s a lot more blood. Shame on you if you can’t guess who’s behind it all. J.L.

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y tomers13Onl New Cp.us06 /26/

Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill—and all playing (with) themselves—and for the desperate stoner-raunch survivalism of roughing out a lo-fi sequel to Pineapple Express, dodging violent death and bucking for redemption. As proof of concept for a reality series about crudely dueling Judd Apatow alumni, this might work. As a summer movie? Well, fine, whatever. A lark for Rogen and his co-writer and co-director Evan Goldberg, it is at least on preposterousness par with celebrity-stuffed disaster-movie precedents. And it does make the most both of Baruchel’s natural appeal and of a solicitously slumming Emma Watson cameo. The joke of Hollywood self-indulgence as the last straw for a vengeful God is not entirely unfunny. J.K.

2

SAVE $$$

$

An uptight, unpopular FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) is forced to team up with a less uptight but equally unpopular Boston cop (Melissa McCarthy) to bring down a drug kingpin. The plot of Katie Dippold’s script is barely serviceable, but it’s beside the point anyway: The real purpose is to set up Bullock and McCarthy as an oil-and-water comedy team, and for that, it serves perfectly. Bullock’s straitlacing and McCarthy’s slovenliness play to hilarious effect—quick, somebody put these two into the female version of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple! It’s essentially a two-woman show, with Bullock playing straight woman to McCarthy’s foul-mouthed tornado, but the supporting cast is decent, including Demian Bichir as Bullock’s patient boss and Michael Rapaport as McCarthy’s jailbird brother. Director Paul Feig avoids getting in anyone’s way. J.L.

The Internship

BEFORE

ENDS THU., 7/4 WED/THUR: 11:10AM, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:35PM

- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

F O R A D V A N C E T I C K E T S C A L L FA N D A N G O @ 1 - 8 0 0 - F A N D A N G O # 2 7 2 1

The Bling Ring

The exact origins of this feature debut from writer Chris Galletta and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts are unclear, but it sure feels like a promising short film stretched to feature length through too many Sundance Film Festival workshops and zealously musicsupervised slo-mo scenes of teen boys at play in nature. At stake is the coming-of-age that occurs when three sweet young dudes—attractive protagonist Joe (Nick Robinson), best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso), and weirdo hanger-on Biaggio (Moises Arias)—run away from their glibly oppressive suburban Midwestern homes to build a makeshift house in the woods. A peculiar synthesis of Spielbergian sincerity and Wes Andersonian indie quirk ensues, with the likable central trio needing a shapelier story or a more original narrative vision. Presided over from its periphery by Megan Mullally as Patrick’s overprotective, oddball mom and Nick Offerman as Joe’s melancholy-widower dad, this bid for arthouse approval sometimes feels so stiflingly familiar that you might prefer to take your chances in the unspoiled forest instead. J.K.

2

Before Midnight THE EAST

“Who are you calling Felix and Oscar?”

Two salesmen with no skills but the gift of gab (Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson) find themselves out of work when their company goes belly-up, so in desperation, they go for a summer internship at Google, where their coworkers are half their age with twice their IQs. The script by Vaughn and Jared Stern is silly and far-fetched, and the sucking up to Google throughout is just a tad unseemly. Still, the movie has charms in spite of itself; it’s pretty funny and rather sweet. Vaughn and Wilson’s comic rapport is as strong as it ever was, and the supporting cast is a big help: Rose Byrne as Wilson’s romantic interest, Aasif Mandvi as the men’s doubtful supervisor, and Josh Brener, Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar and Tobit Raphael as their geeky teammates. Shawn Levy’s direction is uninspired but unobtrusive. J.L.

3

20 FEET FROM STARDOM

STARTS FRI., 7/5 STARTS FRI., 7/5 FRI-TUES: 11:00AM, FRI-TUES: 11:20AM, 1:30, 1:10, 3:25, 5:35, 7:50, 9:55PM 3:40, 5:50, 8:00, 10:00PM “ONE OF THE GREAT MOVIE ROMANCES.” “A SMART, WELL-ACTED DRAMA.” “IRRESISTIBLE BLEND - Justin Chang, VARIETY OF MIRTH AND MALICE.” - Bill Goodykoontz, ARIZONA REPUBLIC

Writer-director Sofia Coppola gets into the caper game, aloofly, with this true tale of the rich-club kids who in 2009 stole millions in flashy loot from Tinseltown celebrities. No doubt many a term paper soon will expound on the vapid American post-downturn fame fetishes described by this and Spring Breakers, and maybe there really is more to learn about the obvious link between grasping consumerism and adrift adolescence, but is The Bling Ring glib or credulous? Satire or tragedy? Coppola seems indecisive about which of the robbers she wants to single out and, generally, reluctant to editorialize—to that end, Emma Watson’s creeping theatricality becomes a liability—so the movie’s dry humor comes across as lazy and empty. By imbuing a familiar flat-affect numbness, its maker merely invites us to infer some ambivalence about her own lifelong kinship with Hollywood culture. Noted. But she’s drawn better stuff from the same source before. J.K.

3

“JOYOUS.” - Tomas Hachard, SLANT MAGAZINE

A RT S & C U LT U R E

Crest Theatre 1013 K Street Sacramento, CA Validated Parking at 10th & L www.sacjapanesefilmfestival.net

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Dress you up Mount Whateverest glams up its look,   strips down its sound and learns that   being accessible isn’t a bad thing If Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, then it seems safe to infer that, as its name implies, Mount Whateverest breaks the record as the by Rachel Leibrock world’s most chill, who-cares kind of band. Yes. And no. ra c h e l l @ The Grass Valley-based band, says singer and ne w s re v i e w . c o m guitarist Chris Streng, once existed as an “indie band with heavy-metal aspirations.” Now, he says, it’s evolved into a “classicrock band with no aspirations.”

PhoTo BY LaUra Marie aNThoNY

drifted in and out of their musical circle for a few years, rejoined for good. The result, Streng says, was more straightforward. “We all kind of accepted that being accessible wasn’t a bad thing,” he says. Accessible, perhaps, but even though a Mount Whateverest set is fun with all its shaking and shimmying and crowd-pleasing glam sound, this is hardly just another two-bit party band. Rather, it’s a sophisticated group whose members draw on years of experience playing in bands such as Psychic Zoo, Jeepster, the Stratford 4, and Sasha and the Shamrocks. And on the topic of Soukup and Harrell as hot backup singers? Disabuse yourself of any notions that these two women exist merely as ornamental ladies in waiting. In addition to singing background vocals and generally getting the party started, both take the lead on various songs and play instruments. “There’s this idea—it just being the dudes who rock out with the chicks singing [backup], but we don’t want people to get too settled in that idea,” Soukup says. The band released a self-titled album in 2012 and recently rented a house “deep in the woods” of Grass Valley to record its follow-up. The resulting record, Electric City, is set for a release later this year, sometime before Mount Whateverest launches a European tour in September.

Keep staring. It’s better than your yoga pants and boring khakis.

Check out Mount Whateverest on Saturday, July 6, at Cooper’s, 235 Commercial Street in Nevada City; call (530) 265-0116 for cover and time. The band also performs Sunday, July 7, at Synthetic Unlimited, 120 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley; call (888) 957-4697 for cover and time. Visit www.facebook. com/m.t.whateverest for more information.

32   |   SN&R   |   07.03.13

But that doesn’t mean they’re slackers, exactly, just that they’ve changed their approach by shedding pretensions and re-evaluating goals. It started last fall when the band’s existing members were asked to play a Halloween show. Streng and bassist Steven Melendez thought it would be a good idea to play some covers—T. Rex, David Bowie, Kiss and that sort of thing. But, in order to do it right, they reasoned, they’d need the look: flashy clothes, hot backup singers, etc. “We wanted something to visually signify that this was different,” Streng says. They embraced the concept full force. Streng, for example, morphed into Kiss’ Ace Frehley, while his wife Sasha Soukup got into the spirit as the David Bowie alter ego Ziggy Stardust. After everyone else put away their costumes and jack-o’-lanterns, however, the members of Mount Whateverest kept up appearances. “We adopted these personalities, and it just carried over,” Streng says. “We really got into dressing up. No one wants to see a band in the clothes they wore to work. It’s good to get a break from reality.” The band’s sound shifted, too. Cynthia Harrell joined Soukup on backup vocals, and drummer Jonah Wells, a longtime friend who’d

“Noonewantstoseea bandintheclothesthey woretowork.It’sgoodto getabreakfromreality.” Chris Streng Mount Whateverest Here or abroad, Soukup adds, it’s about making people happy—hell, it’s about making themselves happy. “We are having the best time,” she says. “I love ‘serious’ music, but there’s something about where we are at in our lives. We had a couple of really serious years, and then, we thought, ‘If we’re going to do this, why can’t we just be the band who plays to a bunch of happy people on the weekend?’ It’s just more fun.” Ω


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Hot-weather jams and high-school Spanish What you listened to on your summer vacation: The summer record-release horizon continues to hold great promise. I can’t offer too much detail just yet, but experimental pop band Doombird, whose Cygnus EP continues to age well, will put out a new record in August. In the meantime, stream Cygnus on the group’s Soundcloud page (https://soundcloud. com/doom-bird). I’m rather impartial to “An Die,” which feeds the pristine measures of Swedish electronic pop into an airy, stargazing retreat along the Pacific Crest Trail. Elsewhere, Stevie Nader, an electro-soul singer-songwriter and collaborator with DLRN, is placing the finishing touches on his debut, 333, set for release in August. His first single, “Take You On,” is now streaming at his website (http://music. stevienader.com). Meshing the deep rhythms of a Voodoo-era D’Angelo vibe and the synth flourishes of Balearic beat, Nader approaches “Take You On” with a bravado that hints of a debut that will likely have little space for tender-footed hesitancy. In fact, Sacramento will have a record for every genre in August, as teenage punks Dog Party are also set to join the schedule. It seems like only yesterday that the Giles sisters were singing covers of TV on the Radio’s “Young Liars” and writing songs about summer vacation. Now they spend their months off from school earning their stripes on the road with Kepi Ghoulie in preparation for their Asian Man Records debut, Lost Control. Given my working knowledge of records produced by Chris Woodhouse, I feel safe in declaring Dog Party the youngest band to record with one of the Hangar studio’s finest, with Gwendolyn being 17 and Lucy having just recently celebrated her 15th birthday.

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Deportation is pretty punk rock: Later that night, Los Headaches, on tour from Mexico City, arrived late to its gig at Luigi’s Fun Garden, fresh off its 15-hour Greyhound ride from Portland, Ore. But the venue had been changed at the last minute to The Press Club, where the band found itself double booked, joining an already hopping show in honor of Mike C, a.k.a. MC Ham’s birthday. I sat at the bar with Nico Ventura, the group’s bleach-blond guitarist, who stood drinking a whiskey with his sunglasses on, looking like a young Richard Hell. He pointed to the stage where roadhouse rockers the Scouse Gits were performing in full form and taking no prisoners, the frontman dancing wildly and running around the crowd with his harmonica. “You like this type of music?” Ventura yelled over the band with an approving grin. Los Headaches took the stage next, launching into a jolted and haphazard set. Two of the group’s four members were deported back to Mexico at the start of tour a few weeks earlier, leaving Ventura and Pepe to vast improvisation. Unfortunately, most of the merch was deported as well, leaving them revenueless and vanless. They split a 30-minute set with their tour mates the Vincent Black Shadow, who launched into a similar vein, albeit more fleshed out, of Clash-era garage rock. The drummer wailed away in an MC5 shirt as the lead singer danced around the mic for a cover of the Modern Lover’s “Roadrunner” closing out the night. “Uno mas!” the audience cried at the end, invoking the only high-school Spanish they could muster. Whether they were crying out for more tunes or cerveza was debatable, but the celebratory mood lost nothing in translation.

Straight out of Portlandia: On the evening of June 28, a small but mighty crowd converged for a house show for the Portland Bike Ensemble. By name alone, I had this pegged as a group of punks that would defy expectations by deftly performing classical suites during a tour traveled strictly on bikes that they referred to, with only a whimper of irony, as their “whips.” That guess proved dead wrong, except for the “whips” referral, when three unassuming individuals casually flipped their bikes over on the living room

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floor, propped up on the saddle and handlebars, and hand cranked the pedals as they held contact microphones to the rims, spokes and tire treads. The result was a 15-minute amplified and distorted cacophony that emerged as—at least according to one observer—“the sounds of the worst city in the world.” Jackhammers, chain saws, obnoxious farting noises—those sounds were all there in the bicycle, laying dormant until drawn out for a crowd and administered with an eerie lack of emotion on the pedalers’ faces, as if they too were unsure of exactly how to feel.

—Blake Gillespie

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05FRI

05FRI

06SAT

06SAT

The Hot Break

Zicke Zacke

Cave Women

Steel Pulse

Blue Lamp, 9 p.m., $5

LowBrau, 9 p.m., no cover

Once upon a time, there was a local band  called Indecisive Youth. That group has  since changed its name in order to better  reflect a maturing sound. Thus, the Hot  Break was born. Despite the new moniker,  it hasn’t abandoned its profound punk-rock  energy, but now it utilizes more sophisticated eclectic-guitar work and expresses  a wider range of emotions—not  ROCK just angry and more angry. Its  heavy alternative sound (or as the group  calls it, “accelerated rock”) is not too dissimilar to bands like Jimmy Eat World but   is somewhat more complex in execution.   1400 Alhambra Boulevard, www.reverb  nation.com/thehotbreak.

—Aaron Carnes

Harley White Jr. received Sammies in 2010  and 2012 for his work as a jazz musician.  He’s a composer, the founder  POLKA and frontman of the orchestra  bearing his name and has collaborated with  numerous local musicians. His repertoire  also includes swing, blues, funk and pop, but  he’s stretching his musical legs as a member of Zicke Zacke to bring some fun and  funk to polka. He’ll play tuba and bass, Jim  Shoemaker and Steve Stizzo will bring the  accordion to life, and Erick DaPrato will hit  the skins. Expect polkas like only these guys  can play them. And a few party favorites.  1050 20th Street, www.harleywhitejr.com.

—Trina L. Drotar

Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightcub, 6 p.m., $8-$10 The members of Cave Women exude sounds  inspired from around the world with an  African, Latin and light-jazzy flair. Their  style is particularly fitting as coffee-shop  background music while fancy, blended  JAZZ/FOLK beverages are made.  Between the five ladies,  a diverse array of instruments are used to  create their aesthetic. Flute, accordion and  even the soft plucks from a thumb piano are  all present, guiding each song from beginning to end. These women have kept busy,  releasing their debut self-titled album last  year and are now celebrating the release of  a nine-track follow-up album on a bill also  featuring XD 7 and the Element Brass Band.  2708 J Street, www.cavewomenmusic.com.

—Steph Rodriguez

Ace of Spades, 8 p.m., $25 Despite hailing from Birmingham, England,  Steel Pulse is a fairly traditional rootsreggae band. The first non-Jamaican reggae  group to win a Grammy Award for Best  Reggae Recording (with 1986’s Babylon the  Bandit), Steel Pulse first formed in 1975 and  has headlined reggae shows and festivals  around the world for the past several  decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the group’s  sound leaned toward the dancehall-tinged  styles that gained popularity in Jamaica at  REGGAE the time. On its latest album,  2004’s African Holocaust,  Steel Pulse returns to a more rootsy sound,  and the track “No More Weapons”—featuring Damian Marley—is arguably the group’s  catchiest song to date. 1417 R Street,   www.steelpulse.com.

—Jonathan Mendick

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06SAT Wild Ones Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9:30 p.m., $5

07SUN

08MON

11THURS

William Mylar

Chris Pureka

California WorldFest

Marilyn’s on K, 5 p.m., no cover

Every once in a while, a band comes along  and you forget, for the duration of a record,  why you were ever disenchanted with music  as it continues to electronicize itself into a  mess of errant beeps and fuzzy thumping.  INDIE ROCK Wild Ones, the prize pony  for indie Portland, Ore.,  label Party Damage Records, is a project like  that—technoesque without seeming robotic,  modern without being obnoxiously obscure.  Danielle Sullivan’s vocals are sweet but not  saccharine, running point on a sound that  comes off at times like an upgrade on the  Cranberries. The new album, Keep it Safe,  drops July 9. 129 E Street, Suite E in Davis;  http://wildonestheband.tumblr.com.

Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 7 p.m., $10

Folk music gets co-mingled with so many  genres these days (indie rock, punk, country)  that it’s hard to imagine a time when it was  in fact a totally separate genre of music.  Back in the 1970s, when Sacramento native  William Mylar first brought his acoustic  guitar to coffee shops, he shocked audiences  with his sweaty, punk-infused  FOLK table-hopping energy. He called  his sound “folk wave,” though musically, it  more closely resembled the Grateful Dead.  Through the years, his sound has come to  adopt elements of rock, jazz, country and  bluegrass. He’s gigging quite a bit still, with a  new monthly residence at Marilyn’s on K.   908 K Street, www.mylarville.com.

—Deena Drewis

Nevada County Fairgrounds, 5 p.m., $15-$170

I try my best to avoid the perpetual musicwas-better-back-when-I-was-a-teenager  conversation (it’s only ever a valid  FOLK point to you and your peers), but  it’s hard to listen to Chris Pureka and not be  reminded of the female singer-songwriters— Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco—that  were prominent a decade before Pureka was  touring the country, and how that depth of  feel they cultivated seems to have dissipated  somewhat among the singer-songwriters that  presently abound. Not so with Pureka, who  embodies the same listen-here gravitas with  a subtle, hushed urgency. Her latest album,  Chimera II, dropped on June 25. 2708 J Street,  www.chrispureka.com.

—Aaron Carnes

—Deena Drewis

This four-day world-music festival kicks off  at 5 p.m. on Thursday with an opening ceremony. And then, in the following days, more  than two-dozen artists will play seven  different stages at the Nevada County  Fairgrounds. Thursday’s headliner is Yemen  Blues, a unique jazz-folk-fusion project  led by Yemeni-Israeli musician and singer  Ravid Kahalani (pictured; the group also  has another performance scheduled for  11:30 a.m. on Friday). Other highlights of the  WORLD four-day event include touring artists Delhi 2 Dublin, Pink  Martini and Vieux Farka Touré, plus locals  Alasdair Fraser, Mamajowali, and Rita  Hosking and Cousin Jack. 11228 McCourtney  Road in Grass Valley, www.worldfest.net. 

—Jonathan Mendick

JUST ANNOUNCED

2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com

– July 30 • 6pm • $10 adv –

THE BLIND PETS THE TIDELANDS

COMING SOON

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CHRIS PUREKA

- July 5 -

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MISS MADDY’S F STREET STOMPERS, MAC RUSS

- July 16 -

HRVRD SILVER SNAKES

EMILY REYNOLDS BAND, AWKWARD LEMON

9pm • $5 adv

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- July 12 -

CAVE WOMEN

ANTSY MCCLAIN

5:30pm • $8 adv

6:30pm • $30

- July 17 -

PICKWICK THE SANDY’S

7pm • $12 adv

AND THE TRAILER PARK TROUBADOURS

XD 7, ELEMENT BRASS BAND (DINNER SHOW)

- July 18 -

- July 13 -

July 19 July 20 July 21 July 26 July 27 Aug 01 Aug 02 Aug 03 Aug 08 Aug 09 Aug 14 Aug 17 Aug 19 Aug 23 Aug 25 Aug 27 Aug 29 Aug 30 Aug 31

Tainted Love Diego’s Umbrella Jelly Bread Asleep at the Wheel Agape Soul Shuggie Otis Doey Rock Cheeseballs Antoine Dufour Youth Lagoon Anuhea Midnight Players Keiko Matsui Brothers Comatose Andrew Belle Deerhunter Casey Abrams Bumptet Tipsy Hustlers

MUSICAL CHARIS GOOD NIGHTS ELZHI ALL WHITE PARTY CD RELEASE PARTY

FOLLOW US

- July 6 -

OF SLUM VILLAGE

9:30pm • $20 adv

WITH DJ ANTHONY VINCENT 10pm • $20

BEFORE

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  NEWS

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  F E AT U R E

STORY

HARLOWSNITECLUB HARLOWSNIGHTCLUB

JESI NAOMI & THE TRIPPERS, ORION WALSH AND THE RAMBLING HEARTS

  |    A R T S & C U L T U R E    

HARLOWSNIGHTCLUB

8pm • $6 | 

  AFTER

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  35


NIGHTBEAT

SATURDAY 7/6

SUNDAY 7/7

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 7/8-7/10

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

Mad Mondays, 9pm M; Latin videos, and Wii bowling, 7pm Tu; Trapacana, 10pm W

BLUE LAMP

THE HOT BREAK, DENVER J. BAND; 9pm, $5

ASHTRAY, THE SECRETIONS, THE MOANS, THE HARBOR; 9pm, $5

THE BOARDWALK

RIOTMAKER, THE OLD SCREEN DOOR, RADIOACTIVE; 8-11:30pm, call for cover

WITH WOLVES, SOMA RAS, DEFY THE BERMUDA, BEYOND THE SHORE, ODDS, DR. DOOM; 6:30pm, call for cover BARRIER, IN THEORY; 6:30pm, $12-$14

ASSEMBLY

1000 K St., (916) 832-4751

List your event!

Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo, and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview.com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.

BADLANDS

2003 K St., (916) 448-8790

THURSDAY 7/4

FRIDAY 7/5

B Street: Live!, 7pm, $15

B Street: Live!, 7pm, $15

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

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400 9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247

BOWS & ARROWS

1815 19 St., (916) 822-5668

POPPET,; DJs Whores and Jurts, 4pm, no cover

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

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

Stand-up comedy open-mic night w/ Ray Molina, 8pm W, no cover JOHNNY MOJO, 8pm, $8

DISTRICT 30

1016 K St., (916) 737-5770

FACES

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

Deejay dancing, 9pm, no cover before 11pm, $5 after

FOX & GOOSE

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

THE GOLDEN BEAR

2326 K St., (916) 441-2252

Hey local bands!

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.

DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover

HALFTIME BAR & GRILL

5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin; (916) 632-8200

HARLOW’S

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

LEVEL UP FOOD & LOUNGE 2431 J St., (916) 448-8768

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

HYPERCRUSH, DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, call for cover

DJ JB, 9pm, call for cover

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

INFINITE VASTNESS, FOX COLTON; 9pm, $5

FREEPORT, ONE EYED REILLY; 9pm, $5

DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover

METAL SHOP, 9pm-midnight, no cover

BIG GUNNS, 9pm-midnight, no cover

Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu; Northern Soul, 8pm W, no cover Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover

RENDEZVOUS WITH COOL BEANS, MISS CAVE WOMEN, 6pm, $8-$10; MADDY’S F STREET STOMPERS; 10pm, $5 ELZHI, 10pm, $20

CHRIS PUREKA, 6pm M, $10

DJ Rock Bottom and The Mookie DJ, 9pm, no cover

Hip-hop and R&B deejay dancing, 9:16pm Tu, no cover

LOWBRAU

Wunderbar Day Party w/ Adam J., Shaun Slaughter, noon, no cover

1050 20th St., (916) 706-2636

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

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

MARILYN’S ON K

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

1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931

Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

Roger Carpio spinning vinyl, 5pm W, no cover Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; ANDY CLAUSEN, 7:30pm M, $5-$10

KEITH ANDREW BAND, NOW! MILES, TRIKOME; 9pm, $5

GOLDEN CADILLACS, THE WOODEN REVOLT; 9pm, $7

BILL MYLAR, 5pm, call for cover

Beer pong, 8pm-2am M, no cover

MIDTOWN BARFLY

Get Down to the Champion Sound, reggae and dancehall deejays, 10pm, $5

Elevate: electronic, house and dubstep deejay dancing, 9pm-2am, $5

Gothic, Industrial, Darkwave, EBM, Retro, 9:30pm-2am, $5

Swing. Lindy Hop, 8pm Tu, $6-$10; Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, 8:30pm W, $5

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN

NORTHBOUND TRAIN, CRAZYFINGERS TRIO, MAC RUSS; 8:30pm, $5

DELTA CITY RAMBLERS, SEAN FLEMING; 8:30pm, $5

908 K St., (916) 446-4361 1119 21st St., (916) 549-2779 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

Jazz, 8pm M; JUSTIN FARREN, PLASTIC ARTS, ADRIAN BELLUE; 8:30pm W, $5

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THURSDAY 7/4 OLD IRONSIDES ON THE Y

1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504 670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731

FRIDAY 7/5

SATURDAY 7/6

JENN ROGAR, 5pm, no cover

WILLIAM MYLAR, 5pm, no cover

Lipstick Weekender w/DJs Shaun Slaughter, Roderick Mar Carpio, 9:30pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

OTIS, ZOMBIE DEATH STENCH, DECIMATE THE OPPOSITION; 8pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Peeti V, 9pm-2am, $15

Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover

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

SUNDAY 7/7

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 7/8-7/10 Karaoke w/ Sac City Entertainment, 9pm Tu, no cover; Open-mic, 9pm W Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover

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

Open-mic, 10pm-1am Tu, no cover; Trivia, 9-10pm W, no cover

PJ’S ROADHOUSE

DJ Michael Johnson, 9pm, no cover SHANE DWIGHT, 3pm, no cover

Country Karaoke, 9pm M, call for cover; DJ Alazzawi, DJ Rigatony, 10pm Tu, $3

1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960 502 29th St., (916) 446-3624

5461 Mother Lode, Placerville; (530) 626-0336

POWERHOUSE PUB

614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586

THE PRESS CLUB

‘90s Night w/ DJ Meek Da Kat, 9pm, no cover

2030 P St., (916) 444-7914

SAMMY’S ROCKIN’ ISLAND

238 Vernon St., Roseville; (916) 773-7625

Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5

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

HOUSES OF THE HOLY, 10pm, $5

HOT FOR TEACHER, 10pm, $5

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

THE BODY, BLACK MACKEREL; 8pm Tu, $7; LA URSS, RULETA RUSA; 8pm W, $8

Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; CHAD BUSHNELL, GEORGIA RAIN; 9pm Tu, $5

SHENANIGANS

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

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

DAVID MAYFIELD PARADE, HALSTED; 9:30pm, $5

STONEY INN/ROCKIN’ RODEO

DJ Patrick, 9pm, $5

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

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

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

SWABBIES

BUMP CITY, 3pm, $5

DEPARTMENT OF ROCK, 6pm, $5

JOY & MADNESS, 5pm, $5

AMANDA GRAY AND WHISKEY SAVAGE, BIG TROUBLE; 6pm, $5

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30, no cover; JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; Honky tonk band and barbecue, 9pm, $8 DENNIS JONES, 9pm, $8

705 J St., (916) 442-1268

1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023 5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088 904 15th St., (916) 443-2797

Amanda Gray and Whiskey Savage with Big Trouble 6pm Sunday, $5. Swabbies Country and Americana

DJs Nebakaneza, Big Joe Daddy, 5th Bar Drop, Gost, 9pm, $5-$10 WILD ONES, MY BODY, YOU ARE PLURAL; 9:30pm, $5

Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; TESS MARIE & THE POOR MAN BAND, 8pm, $5

DIPPIN’ SAUCE, 9pm Tu, $5; QUINN HEDGES BAND, 9pm W, $5

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300

COFFEE GARDEN

Open-mic, 8-10pm, no cover

2904 Franklin Blvd., (916) 457-5507

SHINE

BAND ON THE MOON, 8pm W, no cover FULKERSON & CLARKE, SCOTT BARTENHAGEN; 8pm, $5

1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

Jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith, 8pm Tu; Poetry With Legs, 7pm W, call for cover

BOOKER LONG DUO, 8pm, call for cover

Lunch

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SAUL VALENTINO, PARIE WOOD FOLK // ROCK // BLUES // 9PM // $7

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SHOWCASE // SINGER // SONGWRITER // 8PM // FREE TUE 7/9

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CLASSIC ROCK & BLUES REVIEW LUC AND THE LOVINGTONS, THE BENNYS

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Elzhi 10pm Saturday, $20. Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub Hip-hop

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57th & Jst | 916-457-5600 |

FEATURE

STORY

|

A RT S & C U LT U R E

|

AFTER

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07.03.13

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WHAT’S ON YOUR

HORIZON? Join Horizon Non-Profit today for safe access to a wide variety of high quality medical cannabis. Whether you prefer flowers, extracts, edibles or topicals, indica or sativa, we have the right medicine for you. Whatever your medical condition or employment situation, you can come to Horizon knowing that we respect and hold your

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SN&R   |  07.03.13

3600 Power Inn Rd Suite 1A Sacramento, CA 95826 916.455.1931


Doctor, doctor I’m wanting to get myself a cannabis card for a sleeping disorder. Can you—or do you—recommend a place near Elk Grove, Sacramento or even Stockton, where I can purchase a card that is very well-known throughout all dispensaries in California? I’m looking for the American Express Gold card of cannabis cards. I don’t have a doctor’s recommendation. —John Let us discuss cards and letters for a moment. All you really need is a letter of recommendation from BEALUM by NGAIO your doctor. Technically, a verbal recommendation also works, but the authorities and cannabis clubs love paperwork. There are plenty of doctors out there that a s k420 @ n ewsreview.c om will write you a letter; www.canorml.org has an easy-to-use list. When you go into a club, it will check your letter and your ID. It will also check on the doctor issuing the recommendation to make sure that he or she is in good standing with the medical board and to make sure that doctor even exists. You would be surprised at how many people try to forge a doctor’s letter. When medical marijuana clubs started out in Northern California, most of them weren’t set up to verify every patient with a letter. The Patient ID Center in downtown Oakland established itself as one of the best in the patient-verifying, cannabis-card-issuing business. It also issues the Alameda County medicalcannabis card (more on that below). PDIC keeps excellent records, and its verification process is A medical- impeccable. There was a when many clubs in marijuana doctor’s time the Bay Area wouldn’t let recommendation from you in if you didn’t have the PIDC card. Sacramento County Down in Los Angeles, will cost you about it was different. More than a few “fly-by-night” $166, or $83 if you are businesses tried to get in on cannabis-card-issuing on Medi-Cal. the game, but broke trust by not verifying patients or doctors and allowing anyone to walk in and get a card. It got to the point that no club in Los Angeles would take a card; they all wanted to see a letter. For people that traveled back and forth from NorCal to SoCal, it was kind of a drag. Now, of course, you can use a card or a letter, I Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento suppose. The clubs have verifying patients down to a comedian, activist science, and most doctors offer some sort of 24-hour and marijuana expert. verifying service. Email him questions The Cadillac of cannabis cards would be the one at ask420@ newsreview.com. issued by the health department in the county where you reside. County-issued cards are accepted everywhere, and the cops can’t front about forgery or bogusness (is that a word?) [Editor’s note: Yes, it is.] when you hand them one. And the county doesn’t keep a record of your name or address. You get an identifying number on your card, and the county destroys your personal info. These cards are expensive, though. The one from Sacramento County will cost you about $166, or $83 if you are on Medi-Cal. That’s on top of what you will pay the doctor for the examination and recommendation. Welcome to the world of medical cannabis. Sweet dreams. Ω BEFORE

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STORY

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aBove all DISPENSARY

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STORY

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SN&R   |  07.03.13


by ChRistian KiefeR

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his book

The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden, Robert A. Johnson says many of us are as much in debt with our psychic energy as we are with our financial life. We work too hard. We rarely refresh ourselves with silence and slowness and peace. We don’t get enough sleep or good food or exposure to nature. And so we’re routinely using up more of our reserves than we are able to replenish. We’re chronically running a deficit. “It is genius to store energy,” says Johnson. He recommends creating a plan to save it up so that you always have more than enough to draw on when an unexpected opportunity arrives. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to make this a habit, Aries.

unexpected in common hours. He will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws will be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.” Given the astrological factors that will be impacting your life in the next 12 months, Libra, you might consider adopting this philosophy as your own.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Thirteen-

thousand years ago, lions and mammoths and camels roamed parts of North America. But along with many other large beasts, they ultimately became extinct. Possible explanations for their demise include climate change and overhunting by humans. In recent years, a group of biologists has proposed a plan to repopulate the western part of the continent with similar species. They call their idea “rewilding.” In the coming months, Scorpio, I suggest you consider a rewilding program of your own. Cosmic forces will be on your side if you reinvigorate your connection to the raw, primal aspects of both your own nature and the great outdoors.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the

course of your long life, I estimate you will come up with approximately 60,000 really good ideas. Some of these are small, like those that help you decide how to spend your weekend. Some are big ones, like those that reveal the best place for you to live. As your destiny unfolds, you go through phases when you have fewer good ideas than average, and other phases when you’re overflowing with them. The period you’re in right now is one of the latter. You are a fountain of bright notions, intuitive insights and fresh perspectives. Take advantage of the abundance, Taurus. Solve as many riddles and dilemmas as you can.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Who was Russia’s greatest poet? Many critics say it was Aleksandr Pushkin, who lived in the 19th century. His abundant creativity was undoubtedly related to his unruly libido. By the time he was 31 years old, he’d had 112 lovers. But then, he met his ultimate muse, the lovely and intelligent Natalya Goncharova, to whom he remained faithful. “Without you,” he wrote to her, “I would have been unhappy all my life.” I half-expect something comparable to happen for you in the next 10 months, Sagittarius. You may either find an unparalleled ally or else finally ripen your relationship with an unparalleled ally you’ve known for a while. One way or another, I bet you will commit yourself deeper and stronger.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): No one

knows the scientific reasons why long-distance runners sometimes get a “second wind.” Nonetheless, such a thing exists. It allows athletes to resume their peak efforts after seemingly having reached a point of exhaustion. According to my reading of the astrological omens, a metaphorical version of this happy event will occur for you sometime soon, Gemini. You made a good beginning but have been flagging a bit of late. Any minute now, though, I expect you will get your second wind.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It’s

Grease Week—a time when you need to make sure everything is as well-oiled as possible. Does your car need a quart of Castrol? Is it time to bring more extra virgin olive oil into your kitchen? Do you have any K-Y Jelly in your nightstand, just in case? Are there creaky doors or stuck screws or squeaky wheels that could use some WD-40? Be liberal with the lubrication, Capricorn—both literally and metaphorically. You need smooth procedures and natural transitions.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Thomas

Gray was a renowned 18th-century English poet best remembered for his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” It was a short poem—less than 1,000 words, which is less than the length of this horoscope column. On the other hand, it took him seven years to write it, or an average of 12 words per month. I suspect that you are embarking on a labor of love that will evolve at a gradual pace, too, Cancerian. It might not occupy you for seven years, but it will probably take longer than you imagine. And yet, that’s exactly how long it should take. This is a character-building, life-defining project that can’t and shouldn’t be rushed.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Two

years into the War of 1812, British soldiers invaded Washington, D.C. They set fire to the White House and other government buildings. The flames raged out of control, spreading in all directions. The entire city was in danger of burning. In the nick of time, a fierce storm hit, producing a tornado and heavy rains. Most of the fires were extinguished. Battered by the weather, the British army retreated. America’s capital was saved. I predict that you, Aquarius, will soon be the beneficiary of a somewhat less dramatic example of this series of events. Give thanks for the “lucky storm.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The 18th-century

German philosopher Georg Christoph Lichtenberg accepted the possibility that some humans have the power of clairvoyance. “The ‘second sight’ possessed by the Highlanders in Scotland is actually a foreknowledge of future events,” he wrote. “I believe they possess this gift because they don’t wear trousers. That is also why in all countries women are more prone to utter prophecies.” I bring this to your attention, Leo, because I believe that in the coming weeks you’re likely to catch accurate glimpses of what’s to come—especially when you’re not wearing pants.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Like the

legendary Most Interesting Man in the World who shills for Dos Equis beer, you will never step in gum on the sidewalk or lose a sock in the coming weeks. Your cereal will never get soggy; it’ll sit there, staying crispy, just for you. The pheromones you secrete will affect people miles away. You’ll have the power to pop open a piñata with the blink of your eye. If you take a Rorschach test, you’ll ace it. Ghosts will sit around campfires telling stories about you. Cafes and restaurants may name sandwiches after you. If you so choose, you’ll be able to live vicariously through yourself. You will give your guardian angel a sense of security.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Were you

nurtured well by caring adults in the first year of your life? If so, I bet you now have the capacity to fix whatever is ailing your tribe or posse. You could offer some inspiration that will renew everyone’s motivation to work together. You might improve the group communication as you strengthen the foundation that supports you all. And what about if you were not given an abundance of tender love as a young child? I think you will still have the power to raise your crew’s mood, but you may end up kicking a few butts along the way.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Summing up

his experiment in living at Walden Pond, naturalist Henry David Thoreau said this: “I learned … that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success

BEFORE

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NEWS

PHOTO by LISA bAETZ

by Rob bRezsny

For the week of July 3, 2013

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.

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F E AT U R E

STORY

Life as a boy In the last few months, Jodi Angel has seen her celebrity rise with a staggering velocity. Those lucky enough to have already read the UC Davis alumnus’ short-fiction debut, 2005’s The History of Vegas, already knew Angel as a skilled writer of short fiction, but it is her new volume, You Only Get Letters From Jail (Tin House, $14.95)—set for release July 16—that truly cements her as a master of the form. These are stories of grit and longing, love and loneliness, desperation and decision, told with an almost dizzying and fearless skill. Her work has appeared in publications such as Esquire and Tin House magazines, One Story, Zoetrope: All-Story (to name but a few), and has been praised by the likes of literary rock stars Dorothy Allison, Ron Carlson, Donald Ray Pollock and Pam Houston. Her book tour launches with a Sacramento release book party and reading at Time Tested Books (1114 21st Street) on Monday, July 8, at 7 p.m. Angel talked to SN&R about teenage boys, Raymond Carver and why writing short fiction is like writing poetry.

How did you become a writer? Did you start very young? For as far back as I can remember, I always had a love for writing and words. By seventh grade, I had learned about the elements of fiction—plot, character, setting, dialogue. That year, I wrote a 30-page story from the point of view of a boy who lives in the mountains alone with his grandfather. After the grandfather dies—tragically, of course—the boy must survive on his own. My English teacher didn’t know what to do with me. I wrote because I loved the sound of the words on the page, and I didn’t care whether anybody liked it or not. I was writing stories in Cockney dialect about a boy who escapes on a ship—but there is tragedy—and a woman trapped in the basement of a castle who accidentally kills her only chance at being rescued— also tragic. I was hammering out stories before I could drive a car.

There’s certainly tragedy in your work, but I also find so much of your fiction to be sharply funny. What’s the balance there? Reality is pretty rough. I got roughed up quite a bit as a kid, and I learned at a very early age that life got a whole lot easier if I found a little humor in things. I don’t think that I should change those rules in my fiction.

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

Let’s talk about form. As a culture, we tend to appreciate novels more than short fiction. What is it about short fiction that draws you to it? From the time I started writing, I was a short-story teller, and as I got older, I seemed to intrinsically understand the demands that a short story makes on a writer. It is closer to poetry than it is to a novel—everything about it is grounded in compression—every sentence, every scene, every choice must be exact and necessary and accomplish about 10 different things at once. There’s no room to wander. A story must go deeper than wide, and it has to hit very, very hard—knock a reader right out of his or her comfy little reading space, and I love that challenge.

And yet I understand you’re working on a novel. I am working on a novel right now, for better or for worse, and some days, it’s very, very bad. I guess the reasons I took up writing a novel is to: A. see if I can sustain fictional elements for more than 25 pages, and B. because of what you just pointed out—our culture tends to appreciate novels more than short fiction, and when somebody finds out you’re a writer, and you tell him or her that you write stories, they tend to look at you with sort of a blankness in their eyes and sympathy, as if it’s sort of sad that you’re not good enough to write

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something “real.” Like a novel. I don’t know how Raymond Carver ever avoided that phenomenon, and I wish I had his confidence to just be a short-story writer and let people deal with it.

With Carver, it might have been confidence, or it might have been alcohol. Well, maybe it was his drinking that gave him the attention span to only write short stories. He had a window of opportunity to get the words down on the page before he got too drunk to write.

The protagonists in You Only Get Letters From Jail are all teenage boys. What is it about that age or gender that interests you as a writing subject? I like writing from the teenage-boy point of view because it stretches my imagination—I can’t get more opposite than teenage and male—and because I think the teenage years are a golden time of confusion between childhood and adulthood. And in that gap, there is the potential for a lot of trouble—and I always figure that boys have more of a chance to get away with more things—it’s our cultural double standard. So, I like to use boys for the trouble that fiction requires if it’s going to be anything any good. Ω

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