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25 Kevin Johnson

THE YEAR’S WORST FLICKS see Arts&Culture, page 18

WILD TURKEYS OUTTA CONTROL! see News, page 7

NEW NEIGHBORHOOD COMING TO EAST SAC? see News, page 9

OBJECTS THAT DEFINE S ACR AMENTO PAGE 13

THINK OUTSIDE THE MALL:

FOR SALE SACRAMENTO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

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VOLUME 25, ISSUE 33

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013

25 CRAZY-AWESOME GIFT IDEAS see Holiday Guide, inside


©2013 Latrobe Brewing Co., Rolling Rock® Beer, St. Louis, MO

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November 27, 2013 | Vol. 25, Issue 33

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Real talk This Sunday’s episode of Showtime’s Homeland zeroed in on Iran, and in a big way. Which, despite the show’s wildly improbable fits and starts, was pretty damn timely. Here in the real world, from Sacramento to Shanghai, everyone’s talking about this past weekend’s U.S.-Iran nuclear accord in Switzerland. The New York Times called the pact “a seminal moment.” Israeli leadership and the Congressional Republicans called it dangerous. I wonder what Iran’s citizens must be thinking. They’ve been subject to some pretty horrible sanctions. Inflation in their country is completely out of whack, to the tune of 40 percent or higher, which is decimating Iran’s middle class. Like most people in most countries, Iranians have very little control over the decisions of their government, yet suffer the brunt of their leaders’ poor judgment. This week’s easing of sanctions and, importantly, the promise of six more months of dialogue will hopefully bring about unprecedented change for them. (Yes, “change” is oftentimes a code word for globalized, corporate, Western assimilation. But, in this case, let’s just hope it simply means fairness, justice.) Avoiding Westernization may be unlikely in the long game. But the Geneva Accord remains a big win for Iranians and Americans: It could forever end a certain U.S. contingent’s hawkish desire for war in Iran. That’s huge; there’s no place for such drumbanging in a peaceful 21st century. And that’s why, just like armsreduction chats with Russia and peaceful diplomacy with China, the big-cop America and the rebel Iran finally talking to each other again is truly seminal. Ten years ago, during the throes of the Iraq War, such diplomacy would’ve seemed impossible. And now real talk is happening. Instead of war.

STREETALK

04 05 07 10 13 18 21 23 26 27 28 30 37 47

LETTERS NEWS OPINION FEATURE STORY ARTS&CULTURE NIGHT&DAY DISH ASK JOEY STAGE FILM MUSIC + SOUND ADVICE THE 420 15 MINUTES COVER DESIGN BY HAYLEY DOSHAY

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28 Kate Paloy, Jessica Rine, Patti Roberts, Ann Martin Rolke, Steph Rodriguez Creative Director Priscilla Garcia Art Director Hayley Doshay Junior Art Director Brian Breneman Designers Vivian Liu, Serene Lusano, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Contributing Photographers Lisa Baetz, Steven Chea, Wes Davis, Ryan Donahue, Taras Garcia, Shoka

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Co-editors Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller Staff Writer Raheem F. Hosseini Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Entertainment Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Becca Costello Contributing Editor Cosmo Garvin Editor-at-large Melinda Welsh Contributors Ngaio Bealum, Daniel Barnes, Rob Brezsny, Joey Garcia, Blake Gillespie, Becky Grunewald, Mark Halverson, Jeff Hudson, Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Garrett McCord, Kel Munger,

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47 Director of First Impressions Alicia Brimhall, Matt Kjar Street Team Jolynn Conrad, Charissa Isom, Anna Lovas, Ashley Ross, Colton Stadtmiller Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Walt Best, Daniel Bowen, Russell Brown, Nina Castro, Jack Clifford, Lydia Comer, John Cunningham, Lob Dunnica, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Joanna Gonzalez-Brown, Aaron Harvey, Wayne Hopkins, Brenda Hundley, Greg Meyers, Kenneth Powell, Wendell Powell, Lloyd Rongley, Duane Secco, Lolu Sholotan, Jack Thorne President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Chief Operations Officer Deborah Redmond Human Resources Manager Tanja Poley Nuts & Bolts Ninja Kalin Jenkins Human Resources Intern Aleasha Yates Business Manager Grant Rosenquist Accounting Specialists Renee Briscoe, Tami Sandoval Accounts Receivable Specialist Nicole Jackson Business Intern Allison Hill Systems Manager Jonathan Schultz Systems Support Specialist Joe Kakacek Web Developer/Support Specialist John Bisignano

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“I don’t know if it is a possession, but probably tattoos.”

Asked on Sunrise Boulevard in Roseville:

What is your most prized possession?

Rhiannon Tabious

Ryan Dulvie

Kiley Goodwin

day-care worker

store manager

My most prized possession would probably be my dog. I love my dog, Bristol. She is my baby. When she was 2, my dad brought her home. That was about three years ago. She is a black lab. She is very loveable. She follows me everywhere.

Virginia Bracamonte

government employee

I don’t know if it is a possession, but probably tattoos. I have a pretty big gypsy thigh piece. To me, it is priceless because it is going to last forever. I kind of live like a gypsy. It’s true. We moved a lot when I was growing up, so I just kept that same thing.

My gun. I like it. I like having it. It is a gift to me from me. It is a shiny Smith & Wesson. I am glad to have it, and I love it.

Terry Parker

Dillon Smith

unemployed

cashier

My most prized possession is my relationship with a true god. To me, it is a possession, a spiritual possession. It is the thing that matters the most to me. I got baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 2003. It is a progressive spiritual possession. [It] gets stronger as time goes on.

cook

I have a baseball autographed by Joe Morgan. I got it about two years ago when he was doing a hitting clinic in Sacramento. My uncle participated in that, so he got it for me. Joe Morgan is a Hall of Famer. It has a glass case around it.

My bike right here. I got it July 21, I believe from the place where I got my last bike. It is a Vespa. I really like riding it. I am going to paint it. It is black, and I am going to make it [an Oakland Raiders] bike by painting it black and silver all over, just like my helmet.

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Email your letters to sactoletters@newsreview.com.

Housing should be on top Re “58,000” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 21): Naturally, affordable housing is a constant issue in Sacramento’s inner city. The city has its priorities upside down. We need to create more affordable housing, built up or sideways letter of or whatever. Plus, the week attend to the homeless, who haunt the area, by providing proper homeless services. I live right off the K Street Mall and am formerly homeless. Mayor Kevin Johnson is lost. Forget the arena. The rich always have a way of taking care of themselves. Peter S. López

s acr am en t o

where the glory of victory of the winner is directly proportional to the despair and suffering experienced by the vanquished loser. It is clear to see that if I engage in meaningful competition and defeat my opponent, and he remains indifferent to and unaffected by his loss, then my victory is hollow. I believe all of this stems directly from the influence of the irrational hormone testosterone, which makes many of the world’s leaders to see security in massively destructive nuclear weapons entirely due to their immense firepower, never realizing the serious threat these weapons pose to all life on Earth. We are told that competition is essential to motivate people, but the struggle for survival should sufficiently encourage us into each other’s arms to cooperate and work for our mutual benefit. Don Knutson Sacramento

No sympathy for the poor

Blame testosterone Re “A low-down, dirty, shameful dozen” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature Story, November 14): It isn’t surprising to see the war on the poor continue unabated. To me, it is just an indication of the pathology of competition,

Re “Strong mayor, weak priority” (SN&R Editorial, November 14): The last two paragraphs of this editorial clearly define the issues. I agree with the author about Mayor Kevin Johnson’s policies and the strong-mayor proposition. It seems the three most publicized

events during the mayor’s tenure have been: dealing poorly with the homeless in Sacramento, building a new arena to keep the Kings and being granted more power as mayor. His actions on those items seem to indicate intolerance for the poor and needy, but sympathy for wealthy businessmen and himself. Edward R. Legenza Sacramento

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Re “Weed is winning” by Ngaio Bealum (SN&R The 420, November 14): Since marijuana has been batting almost a thousand at the election booths, about the only way remaining to stop the plant from becoming relegalized, medically or otherwise, is to completely stop citizens from voting on the issues. That’s exactly what Attorney General Pam Bondi, law-enforcement agencies and their unions, along with fellow prohibitionists, are attempting to do in Florida: keep citizens from even voting on it. One of their fears is that if allowing sick citizens to use cannabis gets to the ballot, the prohibition farce is over. Stan White Colorado

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Big ballot bucks See CAPITOL LOWDOWN

8

McKinley Village onward

9

See NEWS

SN&R gives thanks See EDITORIAL

11

Turkeys gone wild This Thanksgiving, there’s a big bird problem in Davis.   Can the city have its wild turkeys and eat them, too?

The wild turkey—Meleagris gallopavo—is not native to modern California, although a closely related species occurs in the state’s fossil record. In the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles, for instance, wildturkey remains accompany those of more glorified megafauna, such as mammoths and saber-toothed cats. A state program from 1959 to 1999, which released turkeys captured in Texas into the forests and fields of California, planted the seeds for a population that scientists believe is roughly 250,000 today, and counting. The same trend is seen nationwide, with wild turkeys now estimated to number some 6 million coast to coast. BEFORE

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McNerney’s job includes fielding complaints about problem turkeys— generally hungry birds feeding on private property, though occasionally a testosterone-driven male, or tom, will aggressively swell its chest feathers beside a park pathway and intimidate a pedestrian, prompting a nervous call to the city. McNerney says actual attacks are very rare. One of the Davis turkeys’ most frequent stomping grounds, according to McNerney, is the Davis Cemetery, while residents of the Rancho Yolo Mobile Home Park have called in many complaints over the years about turkeys in their gardens. But there is not a simple legal means of dissuading the birds from unwanted visits. Wild turkeys are a species designated by the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife as a game species. To kill and eat one, a person must buy a state sporthunting license as well as a bird tag.

“The turkey population is crazy now. I’ve seen groups of 20 turkeys right in town, and they go into yards and entirely de-veg people’s gardens.” Marc Palmer Davis-area resident In Davis, though—as in any municipality—discharging a firearm is generally illegal, and because turkeys are a game species, taking one by any means other than using a projectile (usually a bullet or arrow) is prohibited. The Department of Fish and Wildlife may issue a depredation permit for an especially problematic bird, though such measures have rarely taken place in Davis. Some Davis turkeys have been captured alive, though. In 2009, state biologists, assisted by the National Wild Turkey Federation, fired a large net over an entire group of turkeys grazing in a field, capturing about 20 birds and sending them to Nevada, where state game officials are attempting to establish a huntable population. A second effort in 2011 captured a dozen more.

STORY

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY BRIAN BRENEMAN

The wild turkeys that strut fearlessly about the greenways of Davis, pooping on doorsteps by and devouring gardens, have become a Alastair Bland center of attention among residents fed up with the rapacious grazers. Others enjoy and appreciate the presence of the large birds, and at least one city official wants to have his wild turkeys and eat a few, too. John McNerney, the wildlife-resource specialist with the city of Davis, responds regularly to calls from locals about wild turkeys raiding vegetable beds, leaving droppings on welcome mats and sometimes just frightening the town’s more timid residents. Indeed, the number of wild turkeys statewide has been growing for years. They regularly enter the city limits of Sacramento, and within Davis, the birds—which first began entering the town about seven years ago—seem to have plateaued at a maximum population density. About 60 resident turkeys, McNerney says, live comfortably within the town’s street grid on acorns, fallen fruit and free handouts, and with few predators to send them flying for the trees. But McNerney, who says he is “a big proponent of urban foraging” and frequently makes use of public plum and walnut trees, sees the two distinct populations of wild turkeys that dwell on either side of Covell Boulevard as more than just charismatic city wildlife: He views them as a potential opportunity for urban hunter-gatherers. “We have this resource, and it would be great to use it in a way that’s sustainable,” McNerney said. “We could reduce the numbers of conflicts we have between people and turkeys while allowing a few people to feed on them.”

There’s no DVD yet, but residents say it’s turkeys, not co-eds, running amok in Davis.

But by and large, the city’s turkeys have free run of the town. Area resident Marc Palmer would like to see this dynamic change and believes Davis could sustainably harvest a small number of turkeys each year. “The turkey population is crazy now,” Palmer said. “I’ve seen groups of 20 turkeys right in town, and they go into yards and entirely de-veg people’s gardens.” He says the turkeys of Davis appear especially plump. “I saw this one that must have been the equivalent of a 29-pound market turkey,” Palmer said. “They obviously eat well.” Palmer is an avid hunter who supplies his home with wild game, like deer and wild pig. He has taken several turkeys, too, though he says he is reluctant to drive several hours to remote areas, burning gallons of fuel, just to take a single bird. He’d rather go hunting in Davis—but not with a gun, of course. Rather, Palmer’s idea would be to use a bola, a simple hunting weapon made of a line and two stones, which can be used to entangle and trip one’s quarry. “It’s a primitive method but effective and safe,” he said. Communities elsewhere are already taking a consumptive approach to pest control. In New York City, for example, an urban population of thousands of Canada geese has grown problematic, even causing the nonfatal yet highly

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publicized crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River in 2009. A culling effort began the next year but received criticism when officials dumped several hundred birds into a landfill. The decision was later made to begin donating depredated geese to a Pennsylvania food bank. Similar goose problems have developed elsewhere, along with plans to cull and consume the birds. McNerney envisions a comparable program in Davis, and he expects that a reasonable level of take—perhaps a dozen birds per year—would be offset by turkeys from outside the town moving in, as well as by reproduction. While recreational-hunting-license sales have been declining for years in California, according to Pat Foy, a warden with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, turkey hunting is actually on the rise. That’s because the numbers of turkeys are climbing, Foy said, and because turkeys tend not to inhabit high-elevation or otherwise difficult-to-access regions. The birds are also popular because they are delicious—less fatty than farmed turkeys, but flavorful and gamey. But as for the fat and fearless garden-fed turkeys of Davis, it remains anyone’s guess how they taste—for this Thanksgiving, anyway. Ω

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Mondavi CENTER

“Jeff Tweedy is one of the most daring songwriters of his generation.�

JEFF TWEEDY, SOLO

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SCOTT MCCAUGHEY, SOLO TUE, DEC 10 The founding member and leader of the American rock band Wilco is also one of contemporary American music’s most accomplished musicians and performers.

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Cha-ching 2014 is poised to be an epic year   of pimping ballot measures The Legislature might be flatlining and cobwebs are gathering around the White Sepulcher’s Corinthian columns, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole lotta politickin’ going on in the Golden State. A largely under-the-radar industry is shifting into second and third gear in anticipation of 2014, evennumbered election year that it is. This motley band is the ballot measuremongers who profit off S A C U by GREG L pimping and pillorying initiatives they help put before voters. They are pollsters, strategists, caplowdown@newsreview.com ad buyers, signature gatherers, lawyers, videographers, direct mailers, fundraisers, mouthpieces and coalition builders—a phalanx of folk who critics claim feast off the host body of the vox populi. If that’s true, it’s quite the sumptuous spread.

Like boogers, a lot of initiatives are flicked at the wall but few stick.

80% OFF

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Conveniently located at the corner of 8th & P 8   |   SN&R   |   11.27.13

In the last 10 years alone, total spending on initiatives has been $1.8 billion—$514 million in the 2012 election cycle alone. Some of those in the initiative industry, like ad buyers, rake off 15 percent. Others, like lawyers or consultants, charge a monthly retainer with four or five zeros on the end. Some, like signature gatherers, are bounty hunters, whose loyalty is controlled by the initiative backer with the most open wallet. In the signature-gathering world, $2 trumps $1 every day of the week. And twice on Sunday. Ballpark: The initiative enablers pocketed 10 percent of that $514 million last year. Probably more. And, with the exception of the odd-numbered, semi-off years, it tends to be steady work. The health-care industry has turned to Sacramento’s Goddard Claussen Public Affairs for several decades to fight its ballot battles—just as it’s doing in 2014. Goddard Claussen and others in its field appear to have no worries meeting payroll in 2014. Placing a change in state law on the ballot requires at least 504,760 valid voter signatures and more than 807,615 to shoehorn something new into the state’s already swollen

constitution. To the great joy of paid signature gatherers, that means initiative proponents build in a margin of error of at least 30 percent, so it’s more like 1.1 million legit signatures to horse around with the constitution. The signatures must be obtained in 150 days and be OK’d for the ballot at least 131 days before the next election. So, to get on next November’s ballot, all signatures must be rounded up, verified and certified before the end of August 2014. That’s why now is the time to start to commence to begin to get the process rolling. A peek at the California Secretary of State’s website, chronicler of what’s up in the wacky world of ballot measures, shows two measures have already made it to the 2014 ballot— one of which the health-care industry is paying to torpedo. Signatures are being sought for 15 other measures and 24 are waiting for the attorney general to write the official description of what mischief those measures will make if approved. Cha-ching. Two initiatives have failed to qualify, either for not enough signatures or not meeting a deadline. More will follow. Like boogers, a lot of initiatives are flicked at the wall but few stick. Joining the two already-qualified ballot measures will likely be one by trial lawyers to make doctors pay more for the “pain and suffering� of a patient they’ve done wrong to. Back in 1975, Gov. Jerry Brown the First (the one with hair) placed a limit of $250,000 on “pain and suffering� payments by doctors—what lawyers call punitive damages. Now, the lawyers want to “adjust the cap for inflation.� The initiative doesn’t say inflation has increased 334 percent since 1975, more than quadrupling the damages limit to $1.1 million. Lawyers are still grabbing signatures and the doctors have written a $5 million check to slap them down on next year’s ballot. Lawyers will respond in kind. That’s just one big budget ballot measure. There’ll be more—further proof initiatives remain a solid, recession-proof segment of California’s economy. And to think the process was created 100 years ago to help voters break the stranglehold of monied interests on government operations. How quaint. Ί


Here comes the (newest Sacramento) neighborhood

BEATS

It’s raining wine

East Sac’s McKinley Village community   poised for approval next year Just about everyone who commutes to Sacramento on Business 80 from Roseville’s suburbs has at one time by or another likely wondered about Nick Miller that empty plot of land just past Cal n ic kam@ Expo. The vacant 48 acres left of newsreview.c om the freeway before the E Street exit is home to a few billboards, a lot of brush and a couple train tracks in the distance. But in a few years, this could all change: It is poised to become the city’s biggest urban-infill neighborhood in decades.

all environmental impacts to below “significant” levels. EIRs, which take months to complete, evaluate a project’s effects on topics such as air quality and water quality, urban design and public safety, and even climate change. McKinley Village, it was found, would generate significant increases in carbon emissions and would also impact nearby intersections and neighborhood traffic during construction. But the report recommended photo courtesy of riVerView capital inVestMents

The city could green-light McKinley Village, a planned development on the almond-shaped sliver of land just north of East Sacramento, as early as next spring.

BEFORE

Earlier this month, McKinley Village, the planned 328-unit residential community that’s sparked the ire of some central-city neighbors, received a favorable preliminary environmental review, paving the way for city approval sometime early next year. Lead project developer and former State Treasurer Phil Angelides was optimistic but also tempered in his enthusiasm about the project during a chat with SN&R. “We’re optimistic because of what’s transpired in the past couple weeks … but we also know we have a lot of work to do,” he said. Neighbors, some of whom vociferously opposed McKinley Village during community meetings this summer, awaited this month’s draft environmental-impact report with anticipation. Its release, however, was an affirmation of the project’s credentials: The draft report, released on November 8, found that McKinley Village would be able to mitigate |

  NEWS

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“mitigation measures” that would render these impacts “less than significant.” The favorable report increases the probability that city council and the design and planning commission will approve the new neighborhood as early as March 2014.

“We’re optimistic because of what’s transpired in the past couple weeks.” Phil Angelides lead developer, McKinley Village Neighbors are still concerned about how residents traveling to and from the community will increase traffic on nearby East Sacramento, McKinley Park and Midtown streets. McKinley Village will have only two points of entry, one at 40th Street and another at A and 28th streets; current residents envision swaths of new commuter

  F E AT U R E

STORY

traffic converging on their quiet, heritage neighborhoods. But the EIR says this won’t happen. “It did find that the traffic impact would be less than significant,” Angelides reaffirmed. Some community groups, such as the East Sacramento Preservation Neighborhood Association, still maintain that traffic will be a nightmare and are fighting the city’s report. The group is circulating a petition and is also asking residents to email the city to voice disagreement on the findings. Other groups, such as Neighbors United for Smart Growth, have said that the city’s EIR went too easy on McKinley Village, and that the developer won’t have to address issues such as jammed roadways or overcrowded schools because of an influx of new residents. “[T]he City has gone by the book in using the minimum standards for assessing impacts,” NUSG wrote in response to the EIR earlier this month. Angelides said the traffic studies have been “more than ample.” Before the report surfaced, a coalition of Sacramento leaders and policy groups had expressed support for McKinley Village. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments, or SACOG, cited the project as consistent with its Sustainable Communities Strategy for 2035. The three former and current council members representing East Sacramento approve the community. The city’s planning and design commission, in a meeting this past October, unanimously praised the project’s design scheme. They nitpicked about a few small details, such as the variety of housing styles, but they ultimately set the table for approval when Angelides brings McKinley Village back to the board for a final stamp in late March 2014. “Yes, we’ve made substantial progress,” Angelides said. “But we’re continuing to refine the plan. We’re continuing to meet with a range of community groups.” Moving forward, the hearing period for the draft EIR ends in late December. If approved by the council early next year, McKinley Village could begin construction in spring 2014, with model homes by December and sales in April 2015. Ω

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Two consecutive seasons of wretched rainfall haven’t yet dampened the profits of Sacramento- and Delta-area farmers. Grape growers have fared best, with Sacramento County’s harvest producing nearly $150 million last year, the latest figures available.

Agricultural commissioner Juli Jensen attributed the resilience of the county’s winegrape industry to the efficient drip-irrigation systems used to water many vineyards. These simple pipe grids release water in a meager trickle directly into the earth, minimizing runoff and evaporation loss. No rain, still good crops. In San Joaquin County’s Delta area, the wine industry has also boomed in spite of persisting drought. Farmer Aaron Lange, of the Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards near Lodi, said his vineyards drink up less than a foot of water each year. Moreover, some of Lange’s vines are dry-farmed, a relatively common grape-growing method completely void of irrigation. Alfalfa fields, on the other hand, can require 4 to 5 feet of water per year. Alfalfa is fed to horses, dairy cows and—during drought years when dryland pastures turn dusty—beef cattle. Milk, Sacramento County’s second most valuable commodity, produced nearly $59 million in sales last year. Poultry produced about $43 million, Bartlett pears $31 million, beef cattle $16 million and alfalfa $16 million. All crops combined countywide produced a record high of $460 million. Meanwhile, just 12 inches of rain—two-thirds of normal— fell in the 2011-2012 season, with the 2012-2013 season barely better, thanks only to heavy bouts of rain a year ago. The months from January through October have been dust-bowl dry, wringing only 4.6 inches of precipitation. Though wine grapes are a huge boon locally, Jensen hopes the industry never dominates like it has in the Napa and Sonoma valleys. “We like our agricultural diversity,” she said. “If a pest came through and killed all our vines, and we had nothing else growing, we’d be dead in the water.” (Alastair Bland)

Arena road map Sacramento now has a better idea of the Sacramento Kings vision for the future of Downtown Plaza. Preliminary development plans for the proposed downtown arena went to the city this past week. The documents detail the new Kings home, plus a possible hotel, mixed-use housing and retail, and even two towers with at least 550 units of apartment housing. Specifically, and in addition to the $448 million proposed arena along L Street between Fifth and Seventh streets, is a hotel that would boast 250 rooms, 350,000 square feet of retail space and 450,000 square feet of office space. City staff will update council on the plan on December 10, plus a planning-commission meeting two days later. A draft environmental-impact report on the arena will be out next month, on December 16. (Nick Miller)

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The holidays are upon us. This means you will soon be bombarded with message after message linking your happiness and your family’s happiness to purchasing this item or that item. Or, more likely, purchasing this item as well as that item, and then a whole bunch more items. You can pay for it later. During this holiday season you may also hear a message inviting you to attend religious services. I would like to suggest that your happiness will be more likely to increase by spending a couple of your weekend hours in a house of worship, rather l by Jeff VonKaene than in the malls of consumer devotion. Recently, while studying the nonsacred text of j e ffv @ne wsr e v ie w.c o m Wikipedia, I learned that a review of 850 research papers on the subject of religious involvement and happiness concluded that “the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse.” I didn’t find this surprising. Perhaps this study was not as elegant as the Psalms, but it provided convincing evidence that belonging to a religious group will increase your happiness. The other point made by these studies was that it doesn’t matter which religion you choose. It seems that nearly all religious organiEscape from the zations have a similar impact pressure of endless upon well-being. Having attended religious preparation for the services at more than 125 differholidays and take a ent venues here in Sacramento, the happiness studies make sense moment for reflection. to me. While the services are noticeably different—different music, different beliefs, different The Interfaith buildings, different dress—the similarities between all the reliCouncil of Greater gious organizations are more noteworthy. The common theme Sacramento among all the religious services I have attended was a feeling provides a partial list of faith groups of belonging to something bigger than yourself, with a caring, in the Sacramento empathetic group of fellow humans in an organization that region at http:// offered many options to be of service to the larger community. tinyurl.com/ It is similar to exercise, where one can debate the SacFaithGroups. benefits of running or yoga, of tennis or football, but the more important question is not which of the sports is the best, but rather, should one be getting exercise? The same is true of religion. There are many options. Chose one this holiday season. Escape from the pressure of shopping and of endless preparation for the holidays, and take a moment for reflection. And enjoy this moment of reflection not Jeff vonKaenel alone, but with others. I believe—and thanks to Wikipedia, I now have discovis the president, CEO and ered numerous studies to back up the belief—that this will majority owner of make a difference in your life. It could easily make a differthe News & Review newspapers in ence in your happiness when the come-to-Jesus (or other Sacramento, deity of your choice) moment occurs when your January Chico and Reno. credit-card bill arrives. Ω


This Modern World

by tom tomorrow

SN&R gives thanks Our editorial and design staffers are thankful for: Health insurance (some of us new hires and part-timers will have it for the first time in years, thanks to health-care reform).

People who choose not to use leaf blowers. Renewed urban development, particularly projects such as the Broadway Triangle in Oak Park. Everyone following us on Twitter. Collaborative playlists on Spotify. We don’t have to worry about finding new music; our co-workers do all the work for us.

Hot bowls of pho and ramen. Living in Midtown and getting exercise by walking to all our favorite restaurants and shops.

People who don’t buy animals, and instead adopt them from local shelters. Beer, beer, beer.

The city’s (slowly increasing) bike-friendliness. Edward Snowden, and that he hasn’t yet intercepted

our emails. Latkes at Thanksgivukkah dinner.

Your guide to navigating Thanksgivukkah

Our mayor, because no matter what people say, at least he doesn’t smoke crack.

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah intersect this year on drinking games. Gifts must be exchanged in a Thursday, November 28, and some people have white-elephant style to keep costs low. by already started calling it Thanksgivukkah. The Thou shalt not participate in Black Friday Jonathan two holidays have never overlapped before shopping—unless there’s a good deal on sports Mendick (well, they did in 1888, but I’m pretty sure equipment. Black Friday shall instead be anyone who was alive then isn’t now), and it’ll reserved for a sacred, traditional day of pseudonever happen again (at least in our lifetime—not sport: pingpong, beer pong or Ultimate Frisbee. for another 78,000 or so years). Frisbee golf is acceptable in some circles, but The fact that these two frowned upon in general. minor (in my opinion) Here’s the catch: I’d love I hereby propose holidays intersect has upset to stay in Sacramento and new traditions some Jews—including some participate in all of the above in my family. One particular Thanksgivukkah celebrato be enjoyed for relative enjoys eating each tions, but by the time this one day only. holiday’s traditional foods essay is published, I’ll be in and doesn’t want any of sunny Los Angeles, spending those dishes to fall by the holiday with my wife and the wayside because of some calendar-based her family. On Thursday, we plan to eat turkey anomaly. prepared in one of two styles, depending on their That’s nonsense. In the spirit of this mashedprice and availability: Cajun deep-fried turkey or potatoes hybrid holiday, I hereby propose new Chinese barbecue-style roast turkey (we already traditions to be enjoyed for one day only: have leads on the two restaurants that will The traditional meal shall be anchored by a prepare these for us). Then, on Black Friday, we’re heading to An online version of this turkey burger (or homemade black-bean-andessay can be found at sweet-potato burger for vegans), with buns made Universal Studios Hollywood and riding all the www.newsreview.com/ out of latkes (potato pancakes), all served with roller coasters we can handle without puking up sacramento/ sweet-potato fries and a Sriracha-sour-cream or leftovers. Finally, on Saturday, the women of pageburner/blogs. curry-applesauce dip. the family plan to enjoy a spa day, and I plan on Dinner shall be paired with wine or craft beer wading into the ocean for stand-up paddleboard(kosher or vegan, if possible). And afterward, ing, kayaking or surfing. thou shalt play board games, card games or Happy Thanksgivukkah, suckas. Ω BEFORE

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Having a job (especially, for some of us, after 14 months of unemployment). Local artists who push, try and succeed getting by with good word of mouth and a little help from their friends.

Sacramento’s coffeehouses—the good, locally owned ones. Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully not running for re-election. Clean water. Crunchy, colorful leaves underfoot in the urban

forest. Keeping the Kings in town. Garden tomatoes, which are still producing in November. (Thanks, climate change!)

Sacramento’s jankiness. Our readers!

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Ω

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by

S N & R S T AFF

25 illustrations by

BRIAN BRENEMAN, HAYLEY DOSHAY & PRISCILLA GARCIA

OBJECTS SN & R T EL L S T H E S T OR Y OF S AC R AM EN TO WI T H A C OUP L E DOZEN P I C T UR ES How do you tell the  history of something?  Textbooks and classroom  lessons only tell part of a  story, particularly when  it comes to a place. To that end, we know the basics about Sacramento: The city was, for all intents and purposes, founded by Swiss settler John Sutter in 1839. In 1849, citizens adopted a city charter, which was recognized by the state legislature in 1850. Now, as the state capital, it’s a town known primarily as a political hub filled with government workers, rivers and an abundance of trees. But what else tells its story? Inspired by a 2012 New York Times photo feature “A History of New York in

50 Objects” (which was, in turn, inspired by the British Museum’s BBC Radio book and series A History of the World in 100 Objects, SN&R writers got to thinking about what makes Sacramento Sacramento. Some choices here—presented in no particular order of importance—are obvious. Others, perhaps not so much. Some objects are concrete and tangible, even museumworthy. Others, however, entries skew esoteric and abstract. Likewise, many of the picks here are serious, reverential. But others? Not quite. As with any history, however, this is an incomplete one, subject to bias and memory and personal experience. More than anything, it’s also a story in progress, one that’s up for endless debate and reconsideration.

“25 OBJECTS”

continued on page

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The “25 Objects” historians are: Becca Costello, Becky Grunewald, Raheem F. Hosseini, Rachel Leibrock, Jonathan Mendick, Nick Miller, Jessica Rine and Shoka.

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Sacramento Vedanta Reading Group

“25 OBJECTS”

continued from page

01

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GOLD NUGGET

A few months after James W. Marshall saw little golden flecks in the water of the American River in the foothills in 1848, the “greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere” was underway, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s website. Many of these people left their families and their countries—life as they knew it—to come to Sacramento and its surrounding hills to be the next one to strike it rich by unearthing a glowing nugget of gold. But many other enterprising souls also came along to strike their fortunes in other ways, by selling provisions or providing services to the gold-fever afflicted. The reaction to the discovery of this valuable metal shaped what Sacramento became, what it is today. Otherwise, who knows? It may have kept its pre-gold-rush name that John Sutter gave it: New Helvetia. S.

02

GRAIN OF RICE

This city might be nicknamed “Sac o’ Tomato,” but rice is the No. 1 crop in the Sacramento Valley area, making up to 26 percent of total agricultural areas, according to the Sacramento River Watershed Program. California is the second-biggest rice-producing state (strangely, Arkansas is the biggest), with 95 percent of California’s crop produced in the Sacramento Valley, according to statistics from the California Rice Commission and the Agricultural Presidents’ Council. By volume, it’s also the No.1 product shipped out of the Port of West Sacramento. J.M.

Kindergarten Cop. In 2003, Schwarzenegger won a recall election against Gov. Gray Davis. At first, it almost seemed like a surreal political fluke that a cigar-chomping action hero could commandeer the highest office of one of the union’s most powerful states, but then, in 2006, California citizens overwhelmingly re-elected the Governator. It still feels weird typing that. R.L.

04

‘FOR SALE’ SIGN

The asymmetrical crosses with a real-estate agency’s logo and phone number dangling from their horizontal arms planted in front yards became a frequent and familiar sight in Sacramento Valley neighborhoods in the late 2000s. This was, of course, after the value of homes were inflated, the housing-development boom and devastating crash of the economy in 2007 (thanks, dud loans). The homes were worth less than what the buyers’ paid for, so some residents abandoned them, and the homes became bank owned. Yes, this also happened all over the country, but the Sacramento region was one of the worst hit. In the past few years, investors have been swooping up those reduced-priced properties to flip them, new-home construction is experiencing a surge, and buyers seem to have more confidence in the housing market, all of which has been resulting in property values being driven up. And “for sale” signs have resumed residence on many front lawns. S.

05

DIRTY SHOVEL

Sacramento has had more than its share of serial killers. Like the “I-5 Strangler” and KINDERGARTEN the “Vampire Killer,” there’s no denying the imprint of local murders on the city’s COP VHS TAPE psyche—and, sometimes, its soil. In 1971, Juan Corona was convicted of murdering Sacramento’s played host to its share of color25 farmworkers and burying their bodies in ful governors since the state’s 1850 induction peach orchards off Highway 99. In the 1980s, into the union. Of course, there’s Ronald Morris Solomon Jr. Reagan, a former preyed on prostitutes, B-movie actor who Rush Limbaugh’s hiding their remains in reportedly believed shallow graves in Oak Sacramento tenure was in UFOs and honed Park. In 1988, police his political chops short-lived; he quickly discovered the bodies as the state’s 33rd of seven of Dorothea moved on to New York governor from 1967Puente’s lodgers in 1975. Then, there’s City and beyond. But her backyard at 1426 F Jerry “Moonbeam” others, such as Tom Street. Thus, the shovel Brown, the state’s becomes a dark part of current chief execuSullivan, stepped up to Sacramento’s history, tive, who, during the mic locally to perfect used by murderers his first two terms to cover their crimes his brand of major-league (1975-1983) dated and by authorities to Linda Ronstadt and blowhard. uncover the truth. B.C. famously eschewed

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the tony official governor’s digs in favor of a modest Midtown apartment. None, however, were as worldfamous and, well, just plain weird as the state’s 38th head of state, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Where do we even start? A young Austrianborn Schwarzenegger trained as a weight lifter and, at age 20, was crowned Mr. Universe. He eventually conquered Hollywood, becoming famous worldwide for cinematic gems such as Terminator, Total Recall, Twins and

06

VINYL RECORD

It started modestly. Russ Solomon sold some vinyl records in his father’s drugstore in Sacramento during the 1950s. But the idea bloomed into the full-fledged record store Tower Records, which opened in 1960 on Watt Avenue. Solomon didn’t stop there, however. Over the next few decades, Tower grew into a chain, with stores across the country, and


across country borders (there were dozens of locations in Japan alone). Culturally speaking, it became a haven for music nerds and an enticing place to work for thousands needing entry-level jobs, locally and elsewhere. A former employee of a Phoenix branch wrote the 1995 film Empire Records, about an independent record store that was in danger of being bought out by a large chain. For Tower, though, the empire of records, cassettes, CDs, books and magazines began to crumble in the mid-2000s, as its management was not prepared to deal with the age of digital music. The stores closed down in 2006, but www. tower.com (and stores in Japan) still exist. S.

07

KEVIN JOHNSON’S  SENIOR CLASS PHOTO

Say what you will about Kevin Maurice Johnson—Sacramento’s charismatic and sometimes infuriating mayor—but the kid looks good in pictures. Specifically, his senior class photo from 1983. Raised in Oak Park by his maternal grandparents after his father died in a boating accident, the precocious, fleet-footed Johnson bloomed into a full-fledged stud at Sacramento High School. Star of the varsity Dragons basketball and baseball teams, the 17-year-old BMOC famously went on to play college b-ball at UC Berkeley and enjoy an all-star NBA career with the Phoenix Suns before returning home to “save” the Sacramento Kings. But before all that, Sactown’s prodigal son flashed a grin local voters and NBA Commissioner David Stern know all too well. “Cheese.” RFH

08

ROWBOAT

The flat plains of the Midwest have to contend with tornadoes. Sacramento, located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, must contend with flooding. When a levee broke in December 1861, it left much of the city underwater, and famously, in January 1862, newly elected Gov. Leland Stanford used a rowboat to travel to his inauguration. It was after this massive flood that the streets downtown were raised. Still, over the century, there’s been several more floods of varying sizes—and its citizens relying on rowboats to get around. S.

09

A DUSTY FILM REEL 

Sacramento’s movie houses of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s are largely forgotten. Traces remain: the neon marquee of the Esquire Plaza on K Street, a monument to the Alhambra Theatre tucked in the Safeway parking lot on Alhambra Boulevard. Fortunately, Sacramentans still have the Tower Theatre and the Crest Theatre to remind us of cinema’s golden age. The Crest first opened as the Empress vaudeville theater in 1913, and later became the Hippodrome. In 1946, the building was remodeled into the Crest and screened its first movie, That Midnight Kiss starring Mario Lanza. The Tower also still shines on Broadway, a neon landmark since its construction in 1938. B.C.

10

GOOD OLIVE OIL

The reason olive oil represents Sacramento is twofold. Famed grocer Darrell Corti of the Corti Brothers grocery store was one of the first importers of fine olive oil in the country—and no doubt largely responsible for its ubiquity in the United States. He’s been lauded for this by, among others, food-world giants Ruth Reichl and Alice Waters. Second, the UC Davis Olive Center, an arm of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, is currently leading the way in olive oil research. In 2010, the Institute issued a study finding that 69 percent of imported olive samples and 10 percent of California samples were falsely labeled as “extra virgin.” This may not sound like a big deal, but it awakened those in the culinary sphere, and news quickly spread to the popular press. It’s not a stretch to say that the region is a big player in both olive oil’s history and its future. B.G.

11

02

A BOTTLE OF REALLY 

01

F OR S A L E 04

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RAILROAD SPIKE

07

In late 1995, right before construction on the Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse (501 I Street) began, a team of Sonoma State University archeologists found a trove of Chinese artifacts at the soon-to-be construction site. Untouched since an 1855 fire razed the site of the former Chinese district, the archeologists discovered several hundred artifacts here, including soy-sauce containers, bones and Chinese coins. Today, many of these artifacts are displayed in the lobby of the courthouse, including a pair of railroad spikes—a reminder that Central Pacific Railroad employed “12,000 Chinese workers, more than 90 percent of the workforce,” according to the Smithsonian Program for Asian Pacific American Studies. The full death toll and exact hardships of these workers might never be known, but an 1870 article in the The Sacramento Reporter mentioned that the bones of 1,200 Chinese workers passed through Sacramento on a Central Pacific train. J.M.

12

03

08 on Kevin Johns

09

RADIO MIC

Once upon a time in an America unbeknownst to O’Reillys and Olbermanns, there used to be something called the Fairness Doctrine: Any time a radio station aired a commentary or opinion, it had to give play to the opposing view. Hard to imagine. That’s because in 1987, three years after Rush Limbaugh arrived in Sacramento on KFBK’s airwaves, the Reagan administration told the Federal Communications Commission that equal airtime was for suckers. Rush embraced this newfound free speech right here on 1530 AM, which spawned the Fox News style, right-wing media-spin machine as we now know it. Limbaugh’s Sacto tenure was short-lived; he quickly moved on to New York City and beyond. But others, such as Tom Sullivan, stepped up to the mic locally to perfect his brand of major-league blowhard. N.M.

11 12

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“25 OBJECTS”

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15

PHARMACY   SHOW GLOBE

In the 1800s, show globes hung outside Sacramento’s pharmacies. They weren’t just a pretty adornment, however—the ornate orbs were filled with red liquid to signal an epidemic sweeping the city. An overpopulated boomtown burdened by flooding and a troubled sanitation system, Sacramento likely displayed red show globes fairly often in the mid-19th century. Perhaps the worst epidemic was the cholera plague in October of 1850, just months after Sacramento was officially incorporated as a city. Historical accounts disagree on whether the disease arrived overland with pioneers or via boat from San Francisco. Either way, within three weeks, nearly 1,000 people died and 80 percent of the town’s population had evacuated. B.C.

14

A BOOZE-FILLED  COPPER STILL

The prohibition of alcohol in the United States lasted 13 years, beginning in 1920, but that didn’t stop the city of Sacramento and its surrounding areas from tippling. In the city, saloons and speakeasies remained open, and out in the countryside, including Jackson and the Delta, is where many gallons of moonshine were produced, including whiskey in copper stills. The capital city was known as one of the “wettest” places in California. James E. Henley, the city’s former historian, was quoted in a 1999 Sacramento Bee story as saying, “There was a full-blown saloon that never stopped operating during Prohibition—in the Capitol.” So, no, it wasn’t very difficult to get one’s hands on some alcohol during Prohibition in this town, legally or illegally: Doctors offered prescriptions for medical alcohol. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? S.

15

SCOOPY BEE

James McClatchy, founder of The Sacramento Bee, named his newspaper after the industrial, hard-working bee. The little buzzer has represented the paper since it was first published in 1857, but it was Eleanor McClatchy, James’ granddaughter, who approached Walt Disney to commission a cartoon mascot. On September 4, 1943, Scoopy Bee was introduced on the front page of the Sacramento Bee. Since then, Scoopy’s gone through many renditions. Different versions include the bee spinning a Sacramento Kings basketball on his finger, braving the rain, and celebrating our independence atop a spray of fireworks. Today, Scoopy continues to embody the three Bee newspapers, bringing the scoop to his home in Northern California. J.R.

16

DELTA SMELT

One look at Sacramento’s famed Delta smelt and you might wonder, “All this trouble for a bug-eyed sardine?” Well, yeah. The translucent fishlet has been at the cause of much environmental consternation since making the Endangered Species Act of 1993. (Happy 20-year anniversary!) It hasn’t helped that the 16   |   SN&R   |   11.27.13

little guppies—Hypomesus transpacificus, if you’re nerdy—swims the in-demand waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which keeps Central Valley farms in business and Southern California hydrated. If the Delta is a punch bowl with too many straws, then the smelt is the orange pulp that gets chewed up. RFH

17

NATIVE AMERICAN  WOVEN BASKET

Northern California Native American tribes such as the Patwin, Nisenan (Southern Maidu) and Miwok all wove baskets for various uses. Baskets made out of pine needles, wormwood, twigs, roots, fern and feathers were used by all three tribes for food storage, traps and cooking. Many master basket weavers still reside in the greater Sacramento area, and a number of these functional and beautiful baskets are on display—and for sale—at the State Indian Museum (2618 K Street.) J.M.

family currently operates four—in 1939, and it is still going strong. This year, it won a prestigious America’s Classics award from the James Beard Foundation. No dish represents this legacy more than Fat’s banana cream pie—except perhaps the honey-walnut prawns. The pie is a decadent, tall slice, with almost as much real whip cream on top as there is banana filling. The crust shatters into flaky layers on every bite. Even though its namesake founder died in 1997, Frank Fat’s still got it. B.G.

20

JOHNNY   CASH’S VOICE

Johnny Cash had never set one boot inside Folsom State Prison when his hit single “Folsom Prison Blues” flattened the music world in 1955 like a train crushes a penny. It would take the man in black another 13 years to rectify that. In 1968, Cash recorded At Folsom Prison, a live album forged inside a sweaty chapel packed with the condemned. There, he

Sacramento has had more than its share  of serial killers. Like the “I-5 Strangler”  and the “Vampire Killer,” there’s no  denying the imprint of local murders on  the city’s psyche—and, sometimes, its soil. 

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CHRIS   WEBBER’S KNEE

It was that moment Sacramento sports fans knew could happen, but didn’t want to think about: Chris Webber, sprinting toward the basket in hopes of snagging a pass, suddenly collapses onto the hard court. His hands immediately grab at his left knee. Teammates carry him off. Afterward, he tells reporters that he “heard something go pop.” The Kings were resilient, even dominant, during the 2002-03 season. They’d crushed the Utah Jazz in the playoff’s first round, which was followed by a clutch road win in Dallas in game one of the semis. Webber scored 24, and the team cruised: They were destined to succeed. Fans dreamed of redemption for the previous year’s choke job against the Los Angeles Lakers. It. Was. Gonna. Happen. Then, pop. To this day, River City sports fans fear C-Webb’s knee is an omen: that no matter how close, Sacramento will surely, devastatingly, fail. N.M.

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FRANK FAT’S  BANANA CREAM PIE

The story of Frank Fat is legendary in Sacramento, and rightly so. Frank Fat founded his flagship downtown restaurant—the

sang about cocaine binges and shotgun murders, of redemption and grace. He sang a song written by an inmate and congressed with his kindred sinners. The iconic country outlaw may have left the stage, but he never left Folsom. RFH

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COWBELL

The simple cowbell says Sacramento in so, so many ways. For starters, it’s emblematic of this city’s “cow town” reputation. You know, we’re simple-minded folks yearning to live in a world-class city. But the cowbell also represents the city’s fervent love for all things Sacramento Kings. Back in the day—you know, when the team actually won games—Kings fans were known for raising the roof at the then-Arco Arena by shaking those damn metal bells. No eardrum was safe. Then, the bell seemed to toll a bit more quietly compared to how it sounded during the Kings’ glory years. But now, with new team ownership (thank you, Vivek Ranadivé!) and, finally, the promise of a new arena, fans are starting to shake it like they mean it again. Proof: Kings lovers broke a Guinness World Record earlier this month for indoor crowd noise by yelling, stomping and, yes, clanging the cowbell, past the 126 decibel mark. R.L.

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A PERFECTLY   RIPE TOMATO

You know it’s summer in Sacramento when the tomato trucks start rolling by on the freeway, adding thousands of vibrant spots of red when tomatoes inevitably roll off the vehicle’s load. There are also periodic tomato-truck accidents, no doubt due to tired drivers—these trucks run 24-seven during peak periods. OK, maybe these aren’t the foodieworthy artisanal tomatoes—those delicate fruits would never survive being loaded 10-feet deep—but tomato production is part of what makes the region a major food supplier to the world. In 2012, California tomato growers harvested 261,000 acres to produce 13 million tomatoes, mostly from the Sacramento Valley. And if you want heirlooms, you can always hit up Watanabe Farms at the farmers market during the summer months—it produces more than 50 varieties. B.G.

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BULLDOZER

Sacramento County’s population is an estimated 1,418,788, according to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, but only about 466,000 of those people actually live in the city proper. The rest of the population, meanwhile, takes advantage of the surrounding suburban areas, like Rio Linda, Carmichael and El Dorado Hills. With an increasingly expensive cost of city living and the influx of commuters from the Bay Area, these communities are rapidly expanding, bulldozing over outlying farmland to meet the needs of an ever-growing population. Sacramento city planning paves the way for the city outliers, converting acres of rural beauty into housing units and shopping centers galore. What was that about paradise and a parking lot? J.R.

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A CHEAP TENT

When the recession hit in the late 2000s, Sacramento was one city most affected by the slew of layoffs and home foreclosures. Many suddenly found themselves unemployed and unable to pay their rent. And, as homeless shelters quickly filled beyond capacity, Sacramento’s tent cities emerged. Other towns across the United States have also harbored these makeshift-shelter neighborhoods, but in February 2009, with an estimated 1,200 tent city dwellers putting Sacramento on the map—journalist Lisa Ling visited one such community along the American River for a segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Not surprisingly, this garnered much national news attention, and the tents became a national symbol of the homeless plight. J.R.

25

JOAN DIDION’S WIT

Sacramento’s rich in literary history. Mark Twain lived here and even worked as a reporter for the original, now-defunct Sacramento Union newspaper. Other famous scribes include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dale Maharidge and William T. Vollmann, a novelist, journalist and


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essayist known for his gritty examinations on, among other subjects, war, poverty, prostitution and drugs. And then there’s the novelist and literary-journalism pioneer Joan Didion. The Sacramento-born writer has long lived in New York City, but she’s still distinctly ours. The 79-year-old Didion, named earlier this year as a recipient of a 2012 National Medals of Arts and Humanities award, forged a career writing novels, memoirs, essays and journalism with a keen insight and seemingly bottomless emotional well that’s tempered only by her razor-sharp wit. Didion won the National Book Award for Nonfiction (and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist) for her 2005 memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, which chronicled the year following the death of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne. Still, it’s Didion’s brief writerly stops in Sacramento that resonate. Her 1977 study of the unused multimillion-dollar Ronald Reagan-commissioned governor’s residence in “Many Mansions” is spot-on in its satirical take on politics and consumerism. Similarly, “Pretty Nancy,” her 1968 Saturday Evening Post profile on Nancy Reagan scath- ingly portrayed the future First Lady as a sheltered governor’s wife unforgivably out-of-touch with her adopted Sacramento home. She gets Ω us, she really gets us. R.L. BEFORE

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t’s beginning to look a lot like—the end of the year.

BIRD by D A N I E L

BARNES AND JIM LANE

Film critics Daniel Barnes and Jim Lane roast the worst of the worst in SN&R’s Turkey Day shoot 

You know, the season when critics of all stripes share their most profound thoughts on the year’s best, most prestigious fare worthy of awards. But what of all the dreck? Each year, SN&R film critics Daniel Barnes and Jim Lane are forced to sit through a lot of bad movies. Really bad ones. That said, in the spirit of the holidays, it’s the least we can do to let them vent and roast the worst of the worst.

We don’t need another superhero The family gatherings, food orgies, football marathons and four-day weekends have long made Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. An added bonus for a moviemad child in the 1980s was reading Sacramento Bee critic Joe Baltake’s annual Thanksgiving roundup of cinematic turkeys. That was my first exposure to that most petty and delightful critical task—the negative review. As food critic Anton Ego said in Ratatouille, “We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” You know something? He’s right. Negative criticism is fun (the rest of the speech is pure drivel). In that spirit, here are my picks for the year’s most overstuffed turkeys and the trends for which I’m least thankful. this Is 40: For a filmmaker with a

Hey, Superman, do that thing where you make the world spin backward—anything to turn back time and save the universe from the bad superhero movie trend.

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previously impersonal output, Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 revealed a lot about its creator, all of it quite troubling and sad. Apatow cast his wife Leslie Mann and their own nonprofessional kids as the wife and children to Paul Rudd’s Apatowesque industry schmoozer, then wrote all of them as neurotic, shrieking idiots. Perhaps the film makes more sense if you have children—or a prescription-drug problem—of your

own. The entire point seems to be that Apatow’s marriage is some kind of painfully unfunny waking nightmare of a hell on Earth, and if This Is 40 is any indication, it’s a point well taken. Baggage Claim: In all the time I’ve been

writing film reviews, Baggage Claim is the movie I’m most annoyed that I watched and didn’t get paid to write about. Desperate for a date to her sister’s wedding, Paula Patton and her pals launch a wacky romantic scheme that would be the envy of every terrorist organization, celebrity stalker and serial killer in the world. Did I mention that the scheme was wacky? Patton also uses a rehearsal-dinner toast to goad her sister into calling off the wedding, and true to the film’s cuckoo-bird moral compass, it’s portrayed as a sane and selfless act. Playing a stereotypically mincing gay flight attendant, Adam Brody gives by far the best performance. That’s a problem.

World War Z: This is neither the worst

film of the year (I still vote for The Fifth Estate), nor the worst blockbuster (Oz the Great and Powerful or anything starring Melissa McCarthy, take your pick). However, World War Z is the most successful movie that is the most overrated by the largest number of seemingly sensible people possible. A zombie plague sweeps the planet for unknown reasons. Brad Pitt pouts and broods like he’s in a United Zombies of Benetton ad for unknown reasons. There are some awful special effects, some disconnected action scenes, a distinct lack of horror, I think Pitt had a family at some point and then boom! Zombie apocalypse solved for unknown reasons—or is it? I guess we will continue to not know until the sequel.

superhero movie fatigue: This is an

ongoing bad trend (see Thor: The Dark World). Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012 took four terrible superhero franchises and merged them into one insanely terrible superhero supergroup film. Those characters have all spawned sequels whose storylines will eventually join into a The Avengers sequel. In the next Batman film, the plan is for Ben Affleck’s crime fighter to meet Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel. The last Wolverine movie previewed the upcoming X-Men movie, in which old Xavier and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, respectively) send Wolverine back in time


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Bizarro Black Friday See See NIGHT&DAY NIGHT&DAY

Cheating cheaters cheat See See ASK ASK JOEY JOEY

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Shut up, Death Grips haters See See SOUND SOUND ADVICE ADVICE

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Sexy mom rock See See EIGHT EIGHT GIGS GIGS

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THIS IS 40 REVEALED A LOT ABOUT JUDD APATOW, ALL OF IT QUITE TROUBLING AND SAD. to to meet meet young young Xavier Xavier and and Magneto Magneto (James (James McAvoy McAvoy and and Michael Michael Fassbender), Fassbender), and and every every character character from every other timeline from every other timeline meets meets every every other other version version of of everyone everyone else. else. How How long long before before they they all all meet meet the the Harlem Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island? Island? Entire Entire world, world, II command command you you stop stop liking liking this this crap crap immediately! immediately! D.B. D.B.

nobody nobody liked liked it—after it—after aa month month in in release, release, the the film film had had only only netted netted aa $1.1 $1.1 million million gross. gross. The The Lone Lone Ranger Ranger:: Nobody Nobody liked liked this this one, one, either. either. Johnny Johnny Depp Depp tried tried to to blame blame the the critics critics for for the the $200 $200 million million Walt Walt Disney Disney Pictures Pictures lost, lost, but but he he need need only only have have looked looked into into the the nearest nearest mirror, mirror, and and taken taken aa gander gander at at that that stupid stupid bird bird hat. hat. Looking Looking on on the the bright bright side, side, at at least least this this turkey’s turkey’s box-office box-office nosedive nosedive had had one one good good outcome: outcome: Disney Disney has has decided decided to to “postpone” “postpone” the the next next Pirates Pirates of of the the Caribbean Caribbean sequel. sequel.

HEY, DON’T BLAME JOHNNY DEPP Any Any time time an an annual annual worst-movies worst-movies list list is is made, made, if if Adam Adam Sandler Sandler or or director Michael Bay director Michael Bay released released anything anything that that year, year, it’s it’s aa good good bet bet it it will will belong belong on on that that list. list. But But that’s that’s too too easy. easy. Making Making lousy lousy movies movies is is their their calling calling in in life, life, the the way way Mother Mother Teresa Teresa was was called called to to serve serve the the poor poor in in India. India. I’ll I’ll just just mention mention that that in in 2013 2013 Michael Michael Bay Bay made made Pain Pain & & Gain, Gain, while while Sandler Sandler made made Grown Grown Ups Ups 2, 2, and and leave leave it it at at that. that. More More disheartening, disheartening, however, however, is is the the unexpectedly unexpectedly bad bad movie, movie, one one that that you you might might have have reasonably reasonably thought thought (or hoped) would (or hoped) would be be much much better. better. And And there there were were certainly certainly those those in in 2013. 2013.

Planes Planes:: After After revolutionizing revolutionizing the the field field of of feature feature animation animation with with Toy Toy Story, Story, A A Bug’s Bug’s Life, Life, Toy Toy Story Story 22 and and others, others, John Lasseter’s place in movie John Lasseter’s place in movie history history is is secure, secure, and and there’s there’s every every reason reason to to believe believe his his best best years years are are still still ahead of him. Now that he’s ahead of him. Now that he’s cranked cranked out out this this dreary dreary paint-by-numbers, paint-by-numbers, follow-your-dream follow-your-dream fable, fable, we we can can only only hope hope that that his his worst worst work work is is behind behind him. him. Word Word was was that that Planes Planes was was originally originally slated slated to to go go straight straight to to video, video, but but Lasseter Lasseter insisted insisted on on aa fullfullblown blown theatrical theatrical release, release, with with all all the the prestige of Pixar Animation Studios prestige of Pixar Animation Studios (which (which didn’t didn’t produce produce it) it) and and Walt Walt Disney Disney Animation Animation Studios Studios (which (which did) did) behind behind it. it. It It was was aa mistake. mistake. What What might might have have passed passed (and (and may may yet yet pass) pass) for for aa harmless harmless baby baby sitter sitter on on DVD DVD looked looked tired tired and and empty empty on on the the big big screen. screen.

Man Man of of Steel Steel:: This This ugly, ugly, joyless joyless

mess mess did did absolutely absolutely everything everything wrong. wrong. Writers Writers David David S. S. Goyer Goyer and and Christopher Christopher Nolan Nolan adopted adopted the the same same kill-the-fun kill-the-fun style style that that served them so well in served them so well in the the wildly wildly overrated overrated The The Dark Dark Knight Knight trilogy, trilogy, with with the the result result that that their their movie movie made made aa quick quick $400 $400 million, million, then then sank sank like like aa rock rock once once word word of of mouth mouth got got around. around. The The same same crew, crew, plus plus director director Zack Zack Snyder, Snyder, are are hard hard at at work work now now on on Batman Batman vs. vs. Superman, Superman, laying laying an an early early claim claim to to the the worst worst movie movie of of 2015. 2015.

The The Counselor Counselor:: Cormac Cormac McCarthy McCarthy is is aa

revered revered novelist novelist (The (The Road, Road, All All the the Pretty Pretty Horses, Horses, No No Country Country for for Old Old Men) Men) and and no no stranger stranger to to screenwritscreenwriting (The Sunset Limited), ing (The Sunset Limited), but but what what the the hell hell was was he he thinking thinking when when he he concocted concocted this this pretentious pretentious gobbledygobbledygook gook of of aa script? script? An An incoherent incoherent plot plot crammed crammed with with unplayable unplayable scenes scenes and and indigestible indigestible dialogue; dialogue; not not even even direcdirector tor Ridley Ridley Scott Scott and and an an all-star all-star cast cast could could salvage salvage it. it. J.L. J.L.

Romeo Romeo & & Juliet Juliet:: We We needn’t needn’t waste waste too too much much space space on on this this amateurish amateurish botch botch of of aa surefire surefire property. property. Almost Almost B BE EF FO OR RE E

  

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Three Three cinematic cinematic bad bad birds birds from from the the past past year (top to bottom): year (top to bottom): The The Counselor Counselor,, The The Lone Lone Ranger Ranger and and This This Is Is 40 40..

  

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building a

HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o

Planting the Seeds of Change by m i k e b lo u n t

W

hen it came to zoning the city of Sacramento, the old mindset was that agriculture should take place on large swaths of land far outside of the city. Once produce was ready to harvest, it would be trucked in and distributed. But with more and more research showing that quality of life is directly related to access to fresh foods, that mindset is slowly eroding. Residents are now pushing to change the zoning codes that prohibit them from growing and selling food within city limits. In South Sacramento, Pesticide Watch is helping to raise awareness of the benefits of urban agriculture. The nonprofit was started in 1991 with the mission of reducing Californians’ exposure to pesticides. To help community members organize, Pesticide Watch launched Sacramentans for Sustainable Community Agriculture (SSCA), which is funded by the Building Healthy Communities grant of The California Endowment. Community Organizing Associate Laurel Rhodes says that by allowing residents to grow their own food and sell it, it not only increases community access to fresh food, it also reduces their exposure to pesticides. The group is currently lobbying city officials to adopt language that supports urban agriculture. “We’re helping the group plan a campaign, and it’s really taken off since it started,” Rhodes says. “Residents are becoming more concerned about where their food comes from, and they want to be more connected with the production of their food. As an organization, Pesticide

Watch has really been able to nurture the local food activists.” Chanowk Yisrael, an urban agriculture advocate and member of SSCA, says urban agriculture provides new economic opportunities and job creation, and it also helps beautify the community. But to Yisrael, it’s much more than that — to him, the movement is really about rebuilding the community from the inside out. “I’m from South Oak Park, and in my

“RESIdEnTS aRE BECOmIng mORE COnCERnEd aBOuT wHERE THEIR fOOd COmES fROm, and THEy wanT TO BE mORE COnnECTEd wITH THE pROduCTIOn Of THEIR fOOd.”

10 students created a garden over the course of five weeks on a previously empty lot. The food produced in the garden will go to local food banks to distribute to people in need. Student Amanda Barrera says she was honored to have the opportunity to help create the garden. “This is not about just growing for yourself,” Barrera says. “It’s for everybody. I grew up in this community, and it just feels wonderful to give back to it.”

BuIldIng HEalTHy COmmunITIES In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10-year, $1 billion plan to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state. Over the 10 years, residents, community-based organizations and public institutions will work together to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges contributing to the poor health of their communities.

urban farming advocate, Chanowk yisrael, and S.a.V.a. School student, amanda Barrera, work in an urban garden in Sacramento. The garden was created by 10 students in five weeks over 21 hours. photo by mike Blount

laurel Rhodes, community organizing associate for pesticide watch neighborhood, it’s nothing but liquor stores and convenience stores,” Yisrael says. “There’s no access to any kind of healthy food. As a result of that, people are in a depressed state of mind. Being able to go in and put up a garden beautifies the community, and people take notice. Food is a universal thing and it brings people together.” One small garden is doing just that in a neighborhood in Oak Park. As part of a community service learning project with the S.A.V.A School, a Twin Rivers district charter,

your ZiP code shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live – but it does. Staying healthy requires much more than doctors and diets. Every day, our surroundings and activities affect how long – and how well – we’ll live. Health Happens in neighborhoods. Health Happens in Schools. Health Happens with prevention.

paid with a grant from the california endowment 20 

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www.SacBHC.org


For the week of November 27

WEEkLy PICkS

Hmong New Year Thursday, November 28, Through suNday, december 1 Hmong New Year has nearly everything the California  State Fair does, but with much better food. Head  FESTIVAL to Cal Expo for a Miss Hmong  California Pageant, eats, dancing,  music, shopping and intramural-sports tournaments. $4 per day ($10 for parking per car), 8 a.m. to  4 p.m. at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Boulevard;   www.sacramentohmongnewyear.com.

—Jonathan Mendick

The Final Beard-Off suNday, december 1 Finally, all the creepy hipster facial hair that sprouted in November can be shaved off. This charity event,  organized by the Beards of Old Sacramento Society,  will feature men’s beards up for auction—or rather,  FACIAL HAIR participants can donate  money toward having  someone else’s beard either shaved or saved. Free,   9 p.m. at River City Saloon, 916 Second Street.

—Jonathan Mendick

World AIDS Day suNday, december 1

B

lack Friday is notorious for crazy (and sometimes  violent) shoppers. Some people head to department  stores at midnight; others don’t even wait that long.  Many brave the mall and megastore crowds on Friday morning, risking  life and limb to grab the latest Nike sneaker or PlayStation console.  Fortunately, Sacramento has some holiday-shopping options that  don’t involve going to the mall. If you really must shop this week, several events can help you get a head start on your holiday shopping list.  Here are some that SN&R recommends. East Sacramento Mercantile (3257 Folsom Boulevard) celebrates  its one-year anniversary with a Black Friday party. The first shoppers at the event, which happens from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., receive a  free swag bag. Basically, the store is a conglomerate of individual  boutiques, so it’s a good way to browse a bunch of unique local  products. Visit www.eastsacmercantile.com for more information. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (2620 Capitol Avenue) hosts its  Alternative Christmas Fair on Sunday, December 1. From   8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., patrons can shop for goods created by local artists and craftspeople. Meanwhile, Spiritual Life Center’s Alternative  Gift Fair for the Season of Giving is designed for givers who want to  donate to nonprofits in someone else’s name as a gift. It also happens  on Sunday, December 1, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the City Cafe at  Sacramento City College (3835 Freeport Boulevard). The State Indian Museum (2618 K Street) next to Sutter’s Fort will  hold its Indian Arts & Crafts Holiday Fair. Browse jewelry, basketry,  pottery and other handmade goods by Native American artisans from  all over California. Admission is $3, and the sale happens on Friday,  November 29, and Saturday, November 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

—Jonathan Mendick

As part of World AIDS Day, the Sacramento LGBT  Community Center and Strength in Numbers  Sacramento hosts several events. From 2 to 5 p.m.,  Golden Rule Services will provide free HIV testing at  the Center (1927 L Street). There’ll be a candlelight  vigil that starts at the Center at 6 p.m. and ends at  AWARENESS the First United Methodist  Church (2100 J Street),  where there will be a resource fair beginning at   6:30 p.m. Free, (916) 442-0185; www.saccenter.org.

—Jonathan Mendick

DIY Skin Care for the Young at Heart WedNesday, december 4 The rabbit hole of anti-aging skin care is deep, expensive and often sketchy. For those not quite ready  to slather chemicals, caviar, sheep stem cells and  snail mucus all over one’s face in the  CLASS quest for Hayden Panettiere-esque  skin, learn how to concoct skin-care products out of  natural ingredients. $20-$25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the  Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, 1900 Alhambra  Boulevard; (916) 455-2667; www.sacfoodcoop.com.

—Deena Drewis

Pop-Up! A Private Collection of 3D Children’s Books Through suNday, december 29 The thrill of pop-up books can be experienced once  again as Sacramento State University professor  of art emeritus Maria Winkler shares her private  collection of pop-up books and games to discuss  the history of the 3-D storytelling technique. Free;  Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to   ART 5 p.m.; at Pence Gallery, 212 D Street in  Davis; (530) 758-3370; www.pencegallery.org.

—Jessica Rine BEFORE

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Taiwanese steez Yang’s Noodles 5860 Stockton Boulevard, (916) 392-9988 Chinese food is endlessly complex and diverse. I’m Chinese from my mom’s side (via Taiwan), and I’ve been eating Chinese food the greater part of by Jonathan three decades—yet I never seem to get beyond Mendick scratching the surface of the national cuisine’s vast culinary history and tradition. j o nathan m@ newsreview.c om Much has been written about the “Eight Schools” of Chinese food: Anhui, Guangdong (Canton), Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang. But this neglects other regional styles: Beijing, Hakka, Mongolian, Shanghai, Tibetan, Xinjiang and Taiwanese rating: cuisine—the latter of which is served at HHHH Yang’s Noodles. Adding yet another twist, dinner for one: Yang’s Noodles doesn’t even serve traditional $10 - $15 Taiwanese food—stuff like “glutinous pancakes with oysters and egg, glutinous rice with minced meat, and mushrooms steamed in hollow bamboo stalks”—according to my mom, who grew up there. Confused? Me too. So, I asked my mom to clarify. She told me that after the communist takeover of mainland China in the late 1940s, a lot of Chinese people backing the Kuomintang (a.k.a. China’s Nationalist Party) moved to Taiwan, including my family. H “Taiwan is [a] melting pot of the provincial flawed food from all over mainland China, so when HH you go to so-called Taiwanese restaurants, haS momentS [they] usually [serve] specialty dishes originatHHH ing from the North or the Northeast (soy milk, appealing [green onion] pancake, dumplings, beef noodle HHHH soup) or Shanghai (steamed small [Chinese authoritative buns], stir fried [rice cakes]),” she wrote in a HHHHH surprisingly detailed email. “You won’t find epic dim sum in Taiwanese restaurants though; that’s strictly Cantonese.” Enough history, already. I came here because Yang’s Noodles is the only place in town I know of that serves niu rou jian bing (sliced beef rolls)—a specialty of northern China—and the ones at Yang’s hit the spot. The dish is basically the Chinese version of a burrito: meat (thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce) plus veggies (diced green onion, Still hungry? cucumber and cilantro) wrapped in a large, flat Search Sn&r’s and circular carbohydrate crepe (a thin Chinese “dining directory” pancake made out of flour, water and green to find local onion). I also sampled the niu rou shao bing, restaurants by name or by type of food. a more sandwichlike version of the same dish, Sushi, mexican, indian, with the sliced beef and veggies placed inside italian—discover it a baked sesame flatbread. It doesn’t quite pack all in the “dining” the same complicated punch of flavor. section at Elsewhere on the menu, Yang’s eponymous www.news review.com. noodles are homemade, alkaline and chewy. They are featured in both the niu rou mian, a hearty beef noodle soup with roots in the Muslim Chinese minority group, the Hui; and zha jiang mian, a black-bean and ground-pork noodle dish found in the both Sichuan and Beijing styles of cooking. I highly recommend the niu rou mian—which tasted similar to a beef stew made by the Muslim Cham people of Southeast Asia, and called bo kho in Vietnam BEFORE

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and kor ko in Cambodia. At Yang’s, it’s one of those soups you might imagine hugging your insides on a particularly cold day. Additionally, Yang’s serves Shanghai-style dumplings. The ones I tried—xiao long bao (a pork dumpling) and a chive dumpling—both didn’t disappoint but also didn’t stand out. To round out my experience, I paired one of my lunchtime meals at Yang’s with a bowl of hot soy milk, a sweet and soothing beverage for a cold day.

THAI ONE ON IN MIDTOWN •HOT FOOD •COLD BEER •OPEN LATE

1830 J ST SACRAMENTO 916.329.8678 www.sawasdeesac.com

opening december 2nd

Yang’s Noodles is the only place in town I know of that serves niu rou jian bing (sliced beef rolls), and the ones here hit the spot. All this—plus catering and a separate, more Americanized Chinese-food menu—from a mom-and-pop eatery with only one chef and one server. Caution: A sign out front reads “QQ Express,” but the restaurant’s name is definitely Yang’s Noodles. And there are only a few tables, so the place often fills up quickly. That’s not surprising though, given how unique the food here is compared to the rest of Sacramento’s Chinese restaurants, which are mostly Guangdong style. Yang’s Noodles aims for something different and succeeds. Ω

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Black Friday kindness

The day after Thanksgiving has been claimed by consumerism, early morning bargain hunters and people not always on their best behavior (search for “Black Friday fights” online for dozens of videos depicting shopping hordes getting violent). But the Cruelty-Free Friday demonstrators—the event evolved from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Fur-Free Friday—wants to encourage these cutthroat consumers to give pause and eschew purchasing items that were tested on animals or consist of animal products including fur, leather, wool, angora and feathers. It takes place on Friday, November 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arden Fair mall (1735 Arden Way). Hopefully, the anti-cruelty demonstration will also inspire folks to be kind to their fellow shoppers. Lest they want their 15 minutes of fame to be a YouTube clip of them fighting over a $2 waffle maker.

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cheddar-and-apple melt. Or  try the ambrosial Wine Country  sandwich, with salty prosciutto,  sweet fig jam, oozy mozzarella  and peppery arugula on grilled  bread. There are also a variety  of flatbreads loaded with  topping combos like capicola,  three cheeses, piquillo peppers  and green onions. The bread for  these is nicely crunchy but not  too chewy and comes across   as more than a pizza trying to  be fancy. American. 1200 K St.,  Ste. 8; (916) 228-4518. Dinner for  one: $10-$15. HHHH A.M.R.

Darna This Palestinian restaurant 

Where to eat?

serves an excellent baba ghanoush that, instead of being  blended into a smooth paste,  is served chunky and studded  with eggplant seeds. Its smoky,  deep flavor is balanced out  by a lemony brightness, and  it’s good on the somewhat  flabby pita bread with which  it’s served,  but it’s even  better on the  house-made  za’atar bread.  Chicken-breast  kebabs are  not particularly flavorful but  have some char from the grill,  while the falafel and chicken  shawarma are underwhelming.  Do order a side of tabbouleh  salad, however. It’s pretty   to look at—bright-green  chopped parsley studded with  white grains of bulgur—and  tastes refreshing. Palestinian.  925 K St., (916) 447-7500. Dinner  for one: $15-$25. HHH B.G.

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-hamand-Gruyere sandwich is just  buttery enough, and an eggwhite 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.

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

and wine bar spotlights the local  farm-to-glass movement. Here,  diners can order 2-ounce tasting flights of wine. Choose three  from the same vintner to compare styles, or mix and match  to contrast similar wines from  regional wineries. Wines are also  available in larger pours and by  the bottle. Wine is meant to be  enjoyed with food, of course:  The menu offers a wide selection of tidbits and hearty dishes.  Worth sampling: the goatcheese stuffed peppers, chilled  Spanish-spiced shrimp, and a 

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 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 ham-and-Gruyere  sandwich usually battered  with egg. This one had a fried  egg and béchamel, 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 brûléed  bananas.  American. 1630 S St.,  (916) 442-4885. Dinner for one:  $20-$40. HHH1/2 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 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.

Starlite Lounge Kitsched up with  midcentury modern details  such as a giant metal starburst  sculpture and a jukebox stocked  with the likes of Frank Sinatra  and Lady Gaga, the Starlite features food made by chefs from  the Papa Dale’s Drivin’ Diner  food truck. Almost everything  here is either fried or accompanied by a creamy sauce,  which makes for a heavy meal,  but perfect bar food. Try the  What a Pickle appetizer: crisply  fried cornmeal-dusted pickle  chips served with a garlic-dill  dip. The Tara-Dactyl Wings are  three chicken drumsticks that  have been slow-cooked and  brick-seared. This translates to  moist, flavorful meat, with not  a hint of grease. There are also  onion rings, two kinds of french  fries and fried mac-and-cheese  balls. Brave diners should  order the Oh! That’s a Burger, a  half-pound of juicy beef, served  with cheddar cheese, thick-cut  bacon, barbecue sauce and an  onion ring. It’s a Dagwood-style  sandwich that’s hard to get  your mouth around—but do  your best. American. 1517 21st St.,   (916) 706-0052. Dinner for one:  $10-$15. HHH A.M.R.

Tank House BBQ and Bar The décor  here is “suspenders and suede  oxfords”—both homey and 

eat out and save! purchase gift cards for up to 50% off Bacon & Butter: $25 for $17.50 Kupros: $20 for $10 Sawasdee Thai Cuisine: $25 for $12.50 New Helvetia Brewing Co.: $20 for $10 Bento Box: $15 for $7.50 Clark’s Corner: $30 for $15 Kathmandu Kitchen: $25 for $12.50 Pho Aroma: $20 for $10 Vallejo’s: $20 for $9 24   |   SN&R   |   11.27.13

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eclectic with old wood, new  wood and wallpaper that is to  die for. A large patio is welcoming and allows diners to bathe in  the haze from the drum smoker.  You’ll leave perfumed in whiteoak and almond-wood smoke; a  good thing if your date digs the  smell of meat and wood, bad if  you have a meeting after lunch.  Recommendations include the  ribs, which are astounding in  texture. The meat falls off the  bone with confidence that your  mouth will catch it. A lack of salt  or spice on the ribs, however,  robs them of the chance of  being truly astonishing. (An  easy fix.) The brisket is also  fantastic—as tender as the  first time you held hands with a  high-school crush, with a sweet,  smoky flavor that’s just as  memorable. Loaded onto   the sandwich and served with  white American cheese, it makes  for an epic meal. Barbecue.   1925 J St., (916) 431-7199. Dinner  for one: $10-$20. HHH 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 


Thai chilies and scallions. Thai and Lao. 2827 Norwood Ave., (916) 641-5890. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHHH B.G.

South Sac A&A Tasty Restaurant and Bar This Little Saigon eatery boasts such an extensive menu of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes that it’s hard to pinpoint its crown jewel. Notable options include a salty fish and chickenfried rice entree with stir-fried vegetables. The fried rice offers copious pieces of the diced salty fish. This may seem a bit weird to the uninitiated, but the reward is a unique, jolting pungent flavor that spruces up an otherwise boring chicken-fried rice. Elsewhere on the menu, the Vietnamese pork-chop rice plate, served with a small bowl of fish sauce, surprisingly stacks up to similar dishes from other strictly Vietnamese restaurants in the area. The pork is thinly sliced and tender, easily cut with a simple butter knife. A&A’s mash-up of hu tieu and huáng máo ji is unusual: The dish is commonplace, yet here it shines when set atop a steaming bowl of noodle soup. Chinese and Vietnamese. 6601 Florin Rd., (916) 379-0309. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH1/2 J.M.

North Sac Asian Café Asian Café serves both Thai and Lao food, but go for the Lao specialties, which rely on flavoring staples such as fish sauce, lime juice, galangal and lemongrass, lots of herbs, and chilies. One of the most common dishes in Lao cuisine is larb, a dish of chopped meat laced with herbs, chilies and lime. At Asian Café, it adds optional offal 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 jalapeño. The single best dish here is the nam kao tod, a crispy entree with ground pork that’s baked on the bottom of the pan with rice, then stirred and fried up fresh the next day with dried

the bibimbap with the brown rice—it imparts a delightful nutty flavor. The sliced mushrooms add to the umami of this dish, and the shoyu, mustard and spicy sauces that come on the side should all be used liberally. Meat is very easily avoided here: The restaurant emphasizes the healthful aspect of its dishes, and tofu can be substituted for any meat, as can vegetarian broth in most of the soups. On the Japanese side of the menu, the ramen broth lacked a much-needed, salinated quality, the chashu lacked succulence and the hardboiled egg was served overcooked with an ugly green yolk. A steaming bowl of Japanese curry, however, boasted a comforting flavor, and, unusually, a bit of spice. Japanese and Korean. 807 Howe Ave., (916) 922-6227. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHH1/2 B.G.

Stirling Bridges Restaurant and Pub

Arden/ Carmichael Ramen & Rice At Ramen & Rice, a ramen restaurant that also makes Korean dishes, it’s best to stick to the latter. Order

buy 1 meal, get the 2N*d half off!

This British- and Scottishthemed gastropub offers an adequate beer selection and an extensive menu that goes beyond standard deep-fried pub fare. Try the Irish onion soup, a French onion-styled soup kicked up with Irish whiskey and Guinness beer. Or order the house-made veggie burger—it’s one of the tastiest black-bean patties around. The most unusual dish on the menu is the Scottish Mafia Pizza. Topped with turkey pastrami, potatoes, cabbage and Swiss cheese, it falls short with its too many flat flavors to actually benefit

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

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.

from their unusual pairing. Thankfully, there’s Tabasco sauce on the table. Pub. 5220 Manzanita Ave. in Carmichael, (916) 331-2337. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH1/2 J.M.

Auburn Carpe Vino This quaint wine shop and restaurant boasts excellent service and food. Try the musque de Provence pumpkin soup—it’s lighter than your wallet will be when you leave, but one bite and wallet be damned. The flavor is exquisite with whispers of vanilla and pops of pumpkin seed. A cider-brined pork chop, bejeweled in bacon and prune and sitting atop a bed of savoy cabbage, defies expectations. A quartet of lamb meatballs corseted in harissa, mint sauce and yogurt is surely the dish to convert anyone who (confusedly) refuses lamb. The eclectic dessert menu covers all the bases: fruit, cake, custard and chocolate. A sour-cream apple cake is soft with crispy edges, but it’s the caramel-apple ice cream that takes it over the top. The restaurant—being primarily a wine bar—does not serve anyone under the age of 21. Those of a legal drinking age, rejoice, for there will be no parent cooing to a child to settle down. American. 1568 Lincoln Way in Auburn, (530) 823-0320. Dinner for one: $50-$75. HHHHH G.M.

Let’s talk turkey

Many people will prepare elaborate meals on Thanksgiving Day, yet others don’t know when or from where their next meal will come. Thankfully, some people in Sacramento are helping out the less fortunate with a number of free Thanksgiving dinners this week. Sacramento Loaves & Fishes already hosted a free dinner on Tuesday and will be closed on Thanksgiving, so it’s been handing out a reference sheet for those in need of a meal on the holiday. Here are some free-meal options from that sheet, which Loaves’ executive director Sister Libby Fernandez shared with SN&R: The Salvation Army (corner of 12th and N. B streets) offers food from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, November 28, Thanksgiving Day; the Union Gospel Mission (400 Bannon Street) serves dinner at 8:30 p.m. after a mandatory service at 7:30 p.m. also on Thanksgiving Day; and the Cordova Neighborhood Church (10600 Coloma Road in Rancho Cordova) serves meals at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 29. —Jonathan Mendick

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26   |   SN&R   |   11.27.13

848-2687

My boyfriend secretly rejoined the dating website that we met on. He did this once before, and when I found out, he said he was disappointed in himself. He’s a dialysis patient, unemployed with little money, a glass-half-empty personality. We started backward—by the third month, he wanted to marry me. When I moved to Sacramento, he decided he wasn’t mentally by Joey ga rcia or physically prepared for a relationship. We still acted like a s k j o e y @ne w s re v i e w . c o m a couple. Lately, he has been depressed. When I confronted him about the dating site, he said Joey he was going to drop off my key is thankful for and leave my life. Today, I checked your friendship. the dating site, and he deleted his account. Why would he create an account to find someone, then delete it after we fell apart? He isn’t trying to find a date. He’s searching for the part of himself that can pretend to be charming and romantic. By hiding behind the screen of an online profile, he can flirt with a new woman and construct a fantasy of who he is. His online life is likely a welcome distraction from the

Please stop seducing yourself with a few flimsy romantic memories from the infatuation stage of your relationship. The man he is now is the man he really is. Got a problem?

Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 3206; or email askjoey@ newsreview.com.

drudgery of his financial, health and relationship problems. The truth is that he’s overwhelmed, and those feelings descend into depression. He reaches for something to jolt himself out of the darkness. Attention from attractive women does the trick, but only for a bit. Someone else’s attention can’t cure what he’s suffering from. The other reason he set up a profile then deleted it is because its work was done—the relationship you shared with him is over. He decided that cheating on you was an easy way to break up. He surmised that when you discovered the betrayal, it would initiate an argument that he could use to end the relationship. Yes, he expects you to leave. So do I. Please stop seducing yourself with a few flimsy romantic memories from the infatuation stage of your relationship. The man he is now is the man he really

is. It is difficult to let go of your hope for love and marriage with this man. But holding on is not healthy for your self-esteem. If two people who had an affair divorce their respective spouses, marry each other and love faithfully for life, isn’t the affair justifiable because the two people who cheated were soul mates in real love? It was selfish love, actually. True love would inspire a couple to recognize their attraction to each other and tell their respective marriage partners about the change in their hearts. True love would wait until after legal separation or divorce to act on that attraction. Genuine love always inspires the most ethical behavior. People in love want everyone else to feel loved, too. You can argue that two cheaters are in love with each other, but it is a narrow love that lacks the greater spiritual dimension. I am in love with a good friend. We dated for a short time, but she just wasn’t feeling it. We love one another as friends, and she left the door open for a relationship, but can’t see it happening right now. I have tried dating others but find myself thinking of her. I wish I knew what changed. Any advice? It is deeply painful to love someone who does not return our love. And yet genuine love would ask you to release her and every hope of anything beyond platonic friendship. That’s hard to do. It requires spiritual maturity. Right now, your love is needy. You need this woman to love you back, according to a romantic ideal you carry in your head. That’s a sign that the love you feel rises from your ego, not your soul. Pull your mind back from obsessing about her, and use that energy for self-improvement instead. Ω

Meditation of the Week “The soul of a country is its culture.  … Our future, if we’re going to have  any, depends on art, culture, beauty  and tourism. That’s where we should  be putting our minds, our hearts  and our money,” says Italian movie  producer Marina Cicogna. Where  does basketball fit in? 


A love fable, well told

Now playiNg

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Crazy Horse and Custer

Beauty and the Beast Scrooges, Santa and snow onstage

This classic fairy tale (first published in French in the 1700s) has been variously adapted as the film classic by Jean Cocteau (1946—and if you’ve by Jeff Hudson never seen it, you should), an animated Disney movie (1991), and a Philip Glass opera (1994, as music for the Cocteau film). Now we have the B Street Theatre’s Family Series version—which playwright Dave Pierini has customized with a few Christmas and New Year’s references. It’s this year’s “holiday surprise.”

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PhoTo courTeSy of B STreeT TheaTre

Beauty and the Beast, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday; $5-$20. B Street Theatre, 2727 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreet theatre.org. Through December 27.

City Theatre at Sacramento City College is staging an updated version of Snow White: The British Panto, first staged in 2008. For the uninitiated, British panto involves fairy-tale characters, corny jokes, song, dance and always a loud, overdressed, sarcastic man in drag. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday through December 15, at the Main Auditorium Performing Arts Center (3835 Freeport Boulevard). Purchase tickets ($10-$15) by contacting (916) 558-2228 or www.citytheatre.net. The B Street Theatre’s Buck Busfield writes an original play each year for the December slot, and this year’s entry is Not in the Stars. Originally drafted as a one-act in 1994, the play has now been expanded to full length and stars three veterans (Kurt Johnson, Elisabeth Nunziato and David Pierini), who first appeared at B Street as interns 19 years ago. Showtimes are 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 2 and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 5 and 9 p.m. on Saturday through January 5, 2014, at the B Street Theatre (2711 B Street). Contact (916) 443-5300 or www.bstreettheatre.org for tickets ($25-$35). Capital Stage is doing The Santaland Diaries, a one-man stage adaptation of the sardonic 1992 radio essay for NPR by David Sedaris, which launched his career. It’s about the pitfalls and stresses encountered by a temp working as a department-store elf. Aaron Wilton stars in this production, which will show from December 4, through December 29, at Capital Stage (2215 J Street). Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Contact (916) 995-5464 or www.capstage.org for tickets ($24-$38). Sacramento Theatre Company offers It’s a Wonderful Life – The Musical, based, of course, on the iconic 1946 film. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through December 22, at the Wells Fargo Pavilion (1419 H Street). Get tickets ($20-$40) at (916) 443-6722 or www.sactheatre.org. And if you just gotta see Scrooge, Rodger Hoopman is once again doing his musical version from December 5, through December 23. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. on Friday through Saturday at Chautauqua Playhouse (5234 Engle Road, Suite 110 in Carmichael). Buy tickets ($10-$15) at (916) 489-7529 or www.cplayhouse.org. Lastly, Broadway Sacramento brings The Buddy Holly Story from December 27 through January 2, 2014, at the Sacramento Community Center Theater (1301 L Street). Call (916) 808-5181 or visit www.broadwaysacramento.com for showtimes and to purchase tickets ($22-$88).

W 12:30 & 6:30pm, Th 6:30pm, F 8pm, Sa 2 & 8pm, Su 2pm. Through 12/15. $12-$35.

Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org. K.M.

4

Outrage

Playwright Itamar Moses deserves an A for ambition in this academic satire that aspires to be nothing less than the history of knowledge. And Big Idea Theatre deserves equally high marks for presenting this messy essay with its trippy script so expertly.

1 fouL

2

Th, F, Sa 8pm (except 11/28).

Through 12/14. $10-$20. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 960-3036; www.bigidea theatre.com. J.C.

faIr

3

4

Tommy J & Sally

Celebration Arts’ production of this play by Mark Medoff is an intense, tightly paced journey through privilege and bias, as T.J. (Anthony Person) and Sally Hemmings (Nicole DeCroix) navigate contemporary American racial relations by way of re-examining their personal pasts—which may or may not have actually happened. Directed by James Wheatley.

GooD

4 WeLL-DoNe

5

Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 12/22. $8-$15. Celebration Arts,

SuBLIMe–DoN’T MISS

4469 D St.; (916) 455-2787; www.celebrationarts.net. K.M.

Short reviews by Jim carnes and Kel Munger.

PhoTo courTeSy of harrIS ceNTer for The arTS

It’s a charming show—geared to enchant kids, but sophisticated enough to keep adults happily onboard. The largely professional cast includes actor and director John Lamb as snooty Prince Tristan, who offends a meandering crone (Amy Kelly). In revenge, the crone transforms Tristan into the Beast (Michael Stevenson, in an effective mask and wig) and servant Pascal (comic specialist Greg Alexander) into a dog. There’s also an old man (reliable Ed Claudio), his generous daughter Belle (intern Emily Killian) and self-serving daughter Magette (Kelly). Nancy Pipkin’s costumes and Samantha Reno’s set add a lot. The challenge in a show like this is to strike the right balance in presenting the Beast—he needs to represent a degree of menace, ugliness and angry impulse. But you don’t want to scare the children to the point that they need to leave the theater. Playwright Pierini, director Lamb and actor Stevenson get it just right. The other challenge is to illuminate the love that slowly blossoms between Belle and the Beast without putting off the kiddies who think that holding hands and kissing are pretty icky. And again, this production hits the right balance; there is very nice chemistry between Stevenson and Killian (and here’s hoping we’ll see Killian in other roles). This 90-minute production also has possibilities as a teen-date opportunity, as well as a show for grandparents and kids to see together. It’s a love fable, well told.

“Tale as old as time.”

Sacramento Theatre Company stages an original play by Sacramento writer Jon George, in which the ghosts of Lakota warrior Crazy Horse (Louie Leonardo) and Gen. George Armstrong Custer (Kirk Blackinton) revisit their own lives and the history of United States genocide. Featuring topnotch acting and one really bad wig, it’s also controversial—the descendants of Crazy Horse are angry about the representation of Lakota spirituality—and is guaranteed to stir up discussion of U.S. policy. It’s directed by Michael Laun.

Narrated by Bertolt Brecht (Jouni Kirjola), the scene shifts seamlessly from academia to ancient Athens and then to the Inquistion and Nazi Germany. Benjamin T. Ismail deftly directs a cast of 15 actors portraying 25 characters.

Opa Gaelic style: This brush dance is a traditional Irish folk dance.

Happy holidays from Dublin An Irish Christmas combines traditional work songs (“Ding Dong Dedero,” “Si Do Mhaimeo”) and Christmas carols (“Little Drummer Boy,” “What Child Is This?”) with traditional Irish songs and tales. Narrator Sheelagh Cullen tells the story of a traditional Irish Christmas with straw boys, a shoemaker and groups of children and adults who carry a wren from door to door on the day after Christmas. Witness the brush dance and dancing on the half-door, and learn about butter making and the importance of dance shoes. Watch for the bodhrán, a frame drum with roots dating to the 14th century. Principal dancer Kevin Horton (Riverdance) is joined by a cast of award-winning dancers, singers, actors and musicians. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 29; 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 30; 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 1; $20-$49. Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888; www.harriscenter.net. —Trina L. Drotar

—Jeff Hudson

BEFORE

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I must have a higher tolerance for Vince Vaughn than other moviegoers. Many are put off by his motormouth free-association riffs, his film persona of by Jim Lane boundless, unjustified confidence marinated in defiant, clueless aplomb. They tolerate Vaughn only insofar as he serves as companion or foil to a more sympathetic co-star—Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers or The Internship, Ben Stiller in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story or The Watch, or Reese Witherspoon in Four Christmases.

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There’s a good actor lurking under Vaughn’s Midwestern crust, a better one than you might expect from vehicles like the dismal Fred Claus or Gus Van Sant’s harebrained photocopy of Psycho. That’s the Vaughn on display in Delivery Man, and that’s why I enjoyed it. I was tempted to pop an extra star onto this review’s rating, but in good conscience, I can’t; Delivery Man isn’t good. In fact, it’s barely a notch above idiotic. And the only reason to see it is an unshakeable affection for Vince Vaughn. Vaughn plays David Wozniak, slacker scion of a family-owned New York meat-supply business. He’s $100,000 in debt to loan sharks; director Ken Scott’s script never tells us why, though it may have something to do with his scheme to run a hydroponic marijuana farm in his apartment. In any case, his family knows David can’t be depended on for even the simplest things. So does his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders). Emma’s a cop, a fact Scott drops on us without explaining why she would hook up with a 40-something pot grower. Anyhow, she did, and now she’s pregnant. She breaks this news to him when he shows up on her doorstep at 3 a.m. after standing her up earlier that night. That’s not all. When David comes home one day, he finds a man in his apartment. David wields a baseball bat, repeatedly insisting, “Yo no soy David Wozniak,” but the man isn’t fooled. He’s the lawyer for a fertility clinic. Some 23 years earlier, David made a series of

sperm donations to this clinic for money, using the pseudonym “Starbuck.” Hundreds of donations, in fact, and through some slipup—yet another thing that the script doesn’t trouble to explain—David’s seminal torrent resulted in some 533 live births. Now, 142 of those young adults have joined in a class-action lawsuit to peel off Starbuck’s layer of anonymity and learn the identity of their biological father. The lawyer leaves a packet containing the profiles of the 142 plaintiffs with David. David’s friend Brett (Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt) urges David not to open the packet. (Brett has four kids of his own and appears to be some sort of attorney, possibly disbarred— yet again, not explained.) The thought of all those sons and daughters out there—and the one that’s on the way— sparks a sudden sense of responsibility in David. He throws out all his pot plants. He not only opens the packet and removes the profiles of the plaintiffs, he tacks them up on his wall. He sets out to look up his “children” one by one—one, a coffee-shop barista and aspiring actor; another, a museum docent and history re-enactor; a third, a street musician; a fourth, an addict trying to clean out; a fifth, severely disabled and institutionalized—and serve as a “guardian angel” to them. He even stumbles into a meeting of the plaintiffs, where he passes himself off as the adoptive father of the disabled one, who naturally can’t attend (though he was somehow able to join the lawsuit).

Delivery Man isn’t good. In fact, it’s barely a notch above idiotic. The only reason to see it is an unshakeable affection for Vince Vaughn. This mention of an adoptive father brings up a question that, on top of everything else it doesn’t explain, proves fatal to Scott’s script: Where are the people who raised all these offspring? Never mind adoptive fathers, where are the mothers? In the bizarro world of Delivery Man, they have no stake in the outcome; not one of them is there to support or oppose. They simply don’t exist. Delivery Man is a remake of a 2011 FrenchCanadian movie, Starbuck. Ken Scott directed that one, too, and co-wrote it with Martin Petit. Reliable reports say the remake is virtually a word-for-word translation into English. Astonishingly, the script for Starbuck won a Canadian Genie Award. Well, maybe it played better in French. In English, it has nothing to recommend it but Vince Vaughn. Maybe that’s enough. Ω


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5

12 Years a Slave

Director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley tell the true story of Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man of color in 1841 New York who was kidnapped into slavery, finally freed in 1853, and wrote a book about his years of bondage. Ridley and McQueen take only minor dramatic license with Northrup’s extraordinary narrative—such abductions were all too common in pre-Civil War America; what’s extraordinary is that Northrup got free again—and the movie is searing and indelible. Even the most despicable characters are given their full dimension with no trace of 21st-century hindsight. The movie’s centerpiece is Ejiofor’s remarkable performance, giving it a core of unquenchable humanity. Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o shines as a tormented slave woman, as does Alfre Woodard in a striking cameo. J.L.

4

It’s the ’80s, there’s nothing ironic about this mustache.

All Is Lost

3

A man alone on a sailboat deep in the Indian Ocean (Robert Redford) is beset by a series of disasters, beginning with a collision with a derelict cargo container— and getting worse from there. Redford is the entire cast, and we don’t even know his character’s name (he’s identified in the credits only as “Our Man”). With no one to talk to, he speaks hardly a word, facing each crisis with a preternatural calm, sinking almost imperceptibly into despair. It’s a one-man show, all right, but the one man isn’t Redford, it’s writer-director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), who turns in a virtuoso performance in both areas. Comparison with Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is unavoidable, and it’s high praise that Chandor’s movie holds up under it—it’s not as tense as Gravity, but just as suspenseful, and almost as exhilarating. J.L.

2

The true story of Texas good old boy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), who was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s and, after a period of I-ain’t-no-homo denial, embarked on a resourceful enterprise to treat himself and other AIDS sufferers, skirting—and sometimes running afoul of—the sluggish FDA bureaucracy and its pharmaceutical business cronies. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack’s script is plodding and episodic, and director Jean-Marc Valée doesn’t build much dramatic momentum. But it hardly matters; the story is dramatic enough. The movie is sparked by its two central performances: McConaughey, whose Woodroof grows from a careless, promiscuous bigot to someone almost noble; and (even more) Jared Leto, electrifying as a transgendered AIDS patient who becomes Woodroof’s business partner. J.L.

from becoming entirely unbearable. Despite Clooney’s presence, it’s a virtual one-woman show for Bullock, and she’s as brilliant as the movie itself, showing the panic, despair, hope and hopelessness in her character’s struggle to survive. The story is so riveting that Cuarón’s virtuosic touches go almost unnoticed, but they’re there, with stunning visual effects to boot. J.L.

The Best Man Holiday

The circle of friends from writerdirector Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 The Best Man get together for Christmas, where their suitcases aren’t the only baggage that gets unpacked and aired out. The result is much like the first movie: a glossy beautifulpeople soap opera (with the shadow of death adding extra suds) leavened with occasionally awkward comedy, too long by at least half an hour and instantly forgettable (although Lee seems to believe we’ve had the DVD of the original flick sitting on our TVs and have watched it every week since 1999). Like the first movie, there’s a plus side: Lee stocks his cast with some of the best (and in some cases most underrated) African-American actors around: Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan. Another plus: their clear pleasure in working together. J.L.

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3

Ender’s Game

2

Two astronauts (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney) are stranded in space when a debris storm demolishes their space shuttle and wipes out the rest of the crew. Director Alfonso Cuarón, who co-wrote the script with his son Jonás Cuarón, has crafted one of the great whiteknuckle thrillers of all time—as airtight as the pressure suits the astronauts wear, without a wasted syllable and just enough featherlight touches to keep the tension

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NEWS

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Who the hell is Katniss Everdeen? This uninitiated-to-the-novels critic is two plodding films into the cinematic saga of the fascistic future world of Panem, and Katniss still feels devoid of personality. It’s safe to assume that star Jennifer Lawrence is too smart for these one-dimensional dramatics, and the result is an indifferent performance. But then, every actor is constrained by the cluttered script by Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn. Catching Fire crams in a lot of stuff that’s seemingly unnecessary to the film story, presumably as a sop to fans clamoring for a more literal adaptation. As a result, we learn more about Panem politics and less about the people we’re supposed to care about. The violent and eerie unpredictability of the Games makes for a decent third act, but without a strong investment in the characters, the PG-13 slaughter is just a distraction. D.B.

Gravity

BEFORE

Great Expectations

The umpteenth dramatization of Charles Dickens’ novel of a country orphan raised to the gentry by a secret benefactor arrives from writer David Nicholls and director Mike Newell. David Lean’s 1946 version remains peerless and untouchable, but this one is quite respectable, hampered only by Nicholls’ occasional struggle (especially in the last act) to juggle Dickens’ complicated plot. Newell’s pacing is brisk, and the look and sound of 19th century rural and urban England is spot-on. Star turns from Ralph Fiennes (as Magwich), Helena Bonham Carter (slightly miscast but still effective as Miss Havisham) and Robbie Coltrane (ideal as lawyer Jaggers) bolster a corps of well-cast unknowns including Jeremy Irvine as Pip, Holliday Grainger as Estella, Olly Alexander as Herbert Pocket and Jason Flemyng as Joe Gargery. J.L.

For years now, the trend in Hollywood franchise entertainment has run toward pompous bloat, and writer-director Gavin Hood doesn’t stray far from that formula in adapting Ender’s Game to the big screen. It’s a schlocky sci-fi film that wants to bring up weighty concepts like genocide, neofascism, domestic surveillance and technological dehumanization specifically to avoid dealing with them. An adequate Asa Butterfield plays Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a ferocious child genius in a future world decimated from attacks by an insectlike race known as the Formics. Determined to prevent any future attacks, the world leaders establish a brutal training program to transform video-game-obsessed kids into hyperaggressive military masterminds. Much of Ender’s Game feels strangely anonymous, a grab bag of loose ends borrowed from more notable sources. There is a seething ambition present here that is not only unrealized, but largely not even attempted. D.B.

5

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2

Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings is the second bad Allen Ginsberg biopic this decade, and while it improves upon 2010’s strident Howl, it’s still a static and flimsy drama. Daniel Radcliffe is unconvincing as the college-age Ginsberg, who leaves a miserable New Jersey

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F E AT U R E

STORY

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family life to attend Columbia University, where he meets many of the aspiring poets who would come to form “The Beats.” None of the actors are bad, but there is the distinct impression of young men playing dressup, and first-time director John Krokidas relegates Ben Watson’s droll William S. Burroughs and Jack Huston’s rough-hewn Jack Kerouac to glorified cameos. Instead, Krokidas focuses on a phony, bourgeois sidecar about the homosexual Ginsberg’s puppy love for a troubled student (Dane DeHaan), which demythologizes the poet without humanizing him. The only thing a Ginsberg biopic can’t be is square, and Kill Your Darlings is as square as they come. D.B.

3

Last Vegas

2

Thor: The Dark World

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Four old buddies (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline) gather for a bachelor party in Las Vegas for the last one to marry, where they unpack ancient baggage in the course of proving there’s life in the old boys yet. Indeed there is, and writer Dan Fogelman and director Jon Turteltaub should thank God for it. Without these guys—plus Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer who befriends them—the movie would be less than nothing. (It’s hard to believe that this wheezing retread of The Hangover came from the man who wrote the marvelous Crazy, Stupid, Love.) Douglas and De Niro add some dramatic heft while Freeman and (especially) Kline handle comic relief. Steenburgen blends right in, and has a nice singing voice, to boot. Joanna Gleason adds bookend cameos as Kline’s wife back home. J.L.

The superhero gets a second solo album with Thor: The Dark World, which manages to outpace the first Thor in terms of atonality and gobbledygook. This time, the crown prince of Asgard battles elves who seek to bring darkness to the interconnected universes, for reasons that probably make sense to them. These elves have been hiding for millennia in the far reaches of outer space, unnoticed by Asgard, even though they have a guy whose sole purpose in life is to watch the entire universe. Natalie Portman is back as Thor’s wooden love interest Jane, who gets possessed by a powerful form of energy that the elves want to use as an apocalyptic weapon. It would be nice to credit director Alan Taylor for the hilarious irony of having the drowsy Portman play a woman “consumed by energy,” but it’s probably just bad acting. D.B.

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

Wine Pouring Provided by Bogle Vineyards s Terra d’Oro Winery

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AFTER

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MUSIC: A GALA NIGHT WITH

DAVID GARRETT

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Sacramento’s Egg scrambles up genres to make its experimental metaljazz-funk sound.

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Catch Egg on Saturday, November 30, at 8 p.m. at Bows & Arrows, located at 1815 19th Street. Adrian Bellue and Orange Morning are also on the bill. Cover is $5; see www.eggeth.com for more information.

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30   |   SN&R   |   11.27.13

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Hawley says. “I have an idea of what a certain song can feel like and need. All the other guys also have an idea of what that part should feel like. ... We’ll try and find a middle ground.” Egg started as a trio, with Hawley, Figueroa and Sanders, and it initially exuded a much heavier, darker prog-rock vibe. One day, the three asked longtime friends Hendrickson and Patton to jam, with no real expectations of how a keyboard and trumpet would impact the sound. They liked what they heard. “The addition of keyboards and trumpets brought a brighter sound, so it’s not such stark, heavy stuff,” Figueroa says of the change. As a five-piece, they also had more room to experiment with style, expanding their sound practically to the point of making it indecipherable as to what their original influences were—though a good deal of it seems to stem from various art-rock subgenres of the ’70s (prog, jazz, glam), with some sprinkling of the ’90s-era club sounds (funk, swing, math rock) also thrown in. The band’s debut EP, Overly Easy, was released in February, approximately a year after the five came together. Despite claims that the process was rushed, the tracks here sound refined, making for a good representation of the songs’ often subtle intricacies. Considering the disparity of styles just within a single song—think simple three-chord rockers that grow into complex instrumental space-rock jams—the band manages to weave it all together in a way that sounds surprisingly natural. phOtO By liSA BAEtz

4USBJHIU /$IBTFS

With a band name like Egg, it’s fair to assume the people behind the music aren’t the most serious guys on the planet. Just a quick scroll through the by Aaron Carnes group’s Facebook page reveals a penchant for the absurd. “It’s time for an eggve-ture,” reads one post. Or, there’s: “EGGSOMNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “To EGG or not to EGG?” and the particularly goofy (and totally out of nowhere), “One time, I farted an entire egg!”

Well, OK then. And even when the band members are actually discussing music, they say things like “yolks” instead of “folks” when addressing fans. “We’re trying to cut down on the egg puns,” guitarist and lead singer Joey Sanders says. Still, as much as they goof around with the name, there was little thought in choosing it, nor is there really anything deep behind its meaning. Rather, the experimental band had its first show lined up and realized it didn’t have a name. “We came together, and we’re like, ‘How about Egg?’ Then Egg was born,” says drummer Carlos Figueroa, apparently unable to resist the opportunity to make another egg-related joke. Much like its name, there isn’t much premeditated thought behind the band’s experimental sound, which is particularly eclectic. Joining Sanders and Figueroa are Nick Hawley on bass, Brett Hendrickson on keyboards and Chris Patton on trumpet. Musically, Egg’s sound hops around between straightforward rock anthems and jazz fusion, instrumental prog-rock jams, funk metal and pretty much anything goes—often within the same song. It’s a sound rooted, at least in part, in its members’ past bands. Figueroa and Hendrickson previously played in a Tool-esque experimental band, while Sanders and Hawley played together in a band that combined classic rock and Metallica. “We really just get into a room and we play, and if it feels good, just keep doing that,”

“Theentiresongshould beanexperience.” Brett Hendrickson Egg “I don’t think we’re trying to make anything complicated or simple. We’ll add complexity if we feel like the song needs complexity,” Hendrickson says. “We tend to keep simple songs in mind. The entire song should be an experience.” Their songwriting process is wholly collaborative. Someone starts a new song with a riff. Then the other members add parts and keep working at it until they feel as though they’ve completed the song. “None of us really have an ego going into it,” Sanders says. “We just mash them all together.”Ω


RESTAURANT ss BAR BAR CLUB ss RESTAURANT COMEDY COMEDY CLUB

VOTED BEST COMEDY CLUB BY THE SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW!

Terrorists of noise

WEDNESDAY 11/27 - SUNDAY 12/1 FROM NBC’S THE OFFICE!

MIKE E. WINFIELD

monday

trivia @ 6:30pm

JASON DOWNS, LANCE WOODS

wed 11/27

big trouble gibson and gray joshua macrae // $5

country // rock // 8pm a mixtape—a placeholder of sorts— WEDNESDAY 12/4 tuesday fri 11/29 SACRAMENTO COMEDY rather than an official record. It takes taco tues SHOWCASE diva kings the tableau of “Culture Shock,” off the THURSDAY 12/5 - SUNDAY 12/8 band’s original mixtape Exmilitary, $1 tacos, $2 coronas, 2–8pm dane dre wis THE UNITY THROUGH LAUGHTER TOUR! rock // 9pm // $7 and treats it like the album’s foundaGABRIEL tion. There’s more dance beat to this wednesday sat 11/30 IGLESIAS collection than previous records would city cats open mic FRIDAY 12/13 - SATURDAY 12/14 dare allow. Much of the experimental classic rock covers // 9pM // $7 sign-ups at 7:30pm FROM E’S CHELSEA LATELY! cacophony is softened, like the esoteric sun 12/01 MICHAEL YO transmission segments of “Bootleg thursday NICK GUERRA, TREVOR HILL open mic talent (Don’t Need Your Help),” or the KaraoKe @ 7:30pm showcase THURSDAY 12/19 - SATURDAY 12/21 synth flourishes thwarted by a broken FROM THE OPIE & ANTHONY SHOW! 7pM // free interlude of backward drums and COLIN KANE open for lunch & Mon 12/02 glitched vocals on the near-seven ROBERTO VILLALOBOS, JULES POSNER dinner 7 days a weeK kar aoke minute epilogue of “Whatever I Want THURSDAY 12/26 - SATURDAY 12/28 doors open at 11:30 8pM // free FROM COMEDY CENTRAL & (Fuck Who’s Watching).” THE DOUG LOVES MOVIES PODCAST! The majority of the record strains tue 12/03 live music NGAIO BEALUM the notion of MC Ride as the group’s gre ate st stories KIRK MCHENRY, CORY LOYKASEK dec 06 riot maker frontman; of Zach Hill and Andy SUNDAY 12/29 ever told garcia dec 13 in letter form STAND UP Morin (a.k.a. Flatlander), as the greatful dead // jerry MONDAY 12/30 cavalry to Ride’s war path. razor blade monalisa bob dylan revue 8pM DOUG LOVES MOVIES PODCAST TAPING The absurdly titled opener “You screature DOUG BENSON wed 12/04 Might Think He Loves You for Your dec 14 dread lullabies pub night 4pm FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! Money But I Know What He Really ;>0;;,9*647<5*/305,:(*‹-(*,)662*6473:(* dec 20 bad behavior Loves You for It’s Your Brand New WWW.PUNCHLINESAC.COM UPcOMING sHOWs: blues band Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat” distinctly 12/07 chuck’s bad santa party dec 21 iron hearts incorporates live drumming (in what CALL CLUB FOR SHOWTIMES: (916) 925-5500 908 K Street • sac 2100 ARDEN WAY sIN THE HOWE ‘BOUT ARDEN SHOPPING CENTER sweet talk feels like a first for the band), though 2 DRINK MINIMUM. 18 & OVER. I.D. REQUIRED. 916.446.4361 it also bears striking similarity to the facebook.com/bar101roseville TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE CLUB BOX ww wM arilynsOnK.com No Love Deep Web opener “Come Up 101 main street, roseville • 916-774-0505 OFFICE WITH NO SERVICE CHARGE. and Get Me.” Besides “You Might Think,” the remaining tracks on which MC Ride is given license to operate fail to eclipse 2708 J Street the previously released track “Birds,” Sacramento, CA which sounds like Death Grips oscillating between harmless psychedelia 916.441.4693 and the intense rapture of a DMT www.harlows.com trip. Tracks such as “Two Heavens” and “Anne Bonny” are strong, but *All times listed below Are door times* “Birds” remains one of the group’s finest achievements, as it muses with - December 04 - November 29 Coming Soon clarity without sacrificing the band’s dec 07 Al stewart trademark terror in noise. The release of Government Plates dec 08 Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas was timed to exactly 13 months, NEWSPAPER: SAC NEWS & REVIEW dec 09 Howie day 13 days and 13 hours after the release VVomen, Aequovea PUBLISH DATE: 11/28/2013 $8 • 7:30pm date of No Love Deep Web. Should dec 10 tHem Hills this prove not to be an early peek - December 05 ART DUE: 11/20 dec 13 dead winter Carpenters into Hill’s upcoming film, it at least $15 • 9pm dec 14 two Gallants holds a fragment of significance CONTENT: PUNCHLINE - November 30 knowing that. For me, it has renewed dec 15 Joe Kye / James Cavern SIZE: 1.87” X 5.67” an admiration for the Death Grips dec 19 Aggrolites oeuvre. The bad taste left inART my PRODUCTION: SACHA PFEIFER (720) 239-3411 step Jayne, bellygunner dec 20 Joy and madness mouth from past records’ fatty hype $7adv • 7pm NOTES: his now absolved by Death Grips dec 22 Adrian marcel san Francisco tribute to tom ability to quietly give away a record Petty & the Heartbreakers dec 27 Foreverland (mJ tribute) - December 06 without controversy. It’s jumped no (Healiner), Zoo station: the shark, burned no bridge and bit no dec 31 lovefool Complete U2 experience feeding hand in the making of this $15 • 9pm Jan 04 mark Curry/ 58 Fury / FmK musical Charis record.

Their aim is true: Try as I might, I can’t hate Death Grips. When the Sacramento experimental rap trio signed to Epic Records, it was a meteoric head fuck. When Death Grips canceled its summer tour, effectively screwing over the 2012 Sacramento Electronic Music Festival, I swore them off to a degree. Living blocks away and blowing off a commitment so close by? Friggin’ amateurs. The media largely praised Death Grips’ subversive punk aesthetic: leaking its second official album No Love Deep Web, airing out internal correspondence with the label, and virtually burning advance money on a residency in the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. I, however, failed to see what was so punk about room service, since punk has never been synonymous with privilege. Epic finally dropped Death Grips, and rather than exist as untamed beasts of the music industry, the group inked a partnership with Harvest Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records, and created its own imprint, Thirdworlds. By this point, attempts to define the band became futile—which is in part the aim of Death Grips, immunity to definition. Then, earlier this month, Death Grips released Government Plates without warning via its Facebook page. Within an hour, links to the record were dead, the band’s website was down, and the comments section was 700 posts deep. Theories abound that Government Plates is not a new album like 2012’s No Love Deep Web or its predecessor The Money Store (also 2012), but rather that the soundtrack to a film directed by band member and drummer virtuoso Zach Hill. Naturally, there’s no press release to either deny or confirm, so until someone comes forward or Hill’s film is streamed on the Internet, it’s merely speculation. Regardless, the theory carries sway since Government Plates features fewer of MC Ride’s (a.k.a. Stefan Burnett) maniacal tirades, casting his contribution as a sample source to be looped in compliment to the instrumental compositions. One could imagine a film based around this soundtrack, based on the series of videos on Death Grips’ YouTube channel. It’s still unmistakably Death Grips, but Ride’s dominance here is subdued to aggravated couplets and repetitious declarations like, “This is violence now” or “creeping under my skin.” The slight mutation in style makes Government Plates feel like

utZ! and the shuttle cocks

Petty theft:

number station

mount whateverest

dishwalla $18 • 9pm

- December 01 -

church of misery:

—Blake Gillespie Download Death Grips’ latest album Government Plates at www.thirdworlds.net.

Jan 08

Andy mcKee

follow us

Saviours, Giant Squid, Wizard Rifle • $15 • 7pm

- December 07 -

HArlowsNiteClUb

krs-one

HArlowsNiGHtClUb

$20adv • 10pm

HArlowsNiGHtClUb

BEFORE

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NEWS

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FEATURE

STORY

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ARTS&CULTURE

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AFTER

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11.27.13

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SN&R

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31


30SAT

01SUN

01SUN

Brigitte

The Knockoffs

State Capitol Holiday Music Program

Rad

Bows & Arrows, 8 p.m., $5

Old Ironsides, 9 p.m., $7

With a background in musical theater and a  penchant for R&B—and a voice that goes quite  well with it—Bree Anderson is a unique local  talent that falls someFOLK/SOUL where between lo-fi soul  and piano-folk. Originally  from British Columbia, she currently resides  here in Sacramento and fronts a band called  Brigitte. Her live performances and YouTube  videos—in which she covers Kimbra, Lady  Gaga and Rascal Flatts—really show off her  stellar voice and range. She’s also a talented  pianist. She’s been at a piano almost as long as  she’s been singing, which is a quite long time for  the young perfomer. She has some tracks of  her just playing piano, and it’s incredible—not  a skill most pop stars have. 1815 19th Street,  http://soundcloud.com/brigitte-kylie.

Sacramento punk-rock veterans the  Knockoffs just celebrated their 20th anniversary. During the band’s career, it has racked  up a nice list of bands it’s performed with,  including the Queers, Youth Brigade and U.S.  Bombs. Now, the Knockoffs’ last performance of the year features the Decibels and  Little Elvis opening. Fret not, though: This  four-piece is simply in need of a little hibernation for the winter season. So, join Danny  Secretion, Bobby Jordan, Tim White and Tom  Amberson for a night of punk rock and power  PUNK pop, and be sure to bid adieu to  the Decibels as they head off to  Spain on tour. 1901 10th Street, www.face  book.com/theknockoffs916.

—Steph Rodriguez

California State Capitol rotunda, 1:30 p.m., no cover What’s better than one holiday concert? How  about 23 consecutive free concerts, all happening during lunchtime and featuring seaHOLIDAY sonal songs? This year’s State  Capitol Holiday Music Program  features a bunch of high-school choirs (Lincoln  High School, Sheldon High School and Ibaraki  Christian High School—from Japan), community ensembles, an accordion club, a flute  ensemble and even a local world-music band,  Sambandha (pictured). It’s a great way for  performers to show off their musical ability  in a stress-free environment. Plus, it’s a good  way to see live music after you blew all your  disposable income on presents. 10th and   L streets, www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov.

—Jonathan Mendick

—Aaron Carnes

The Colony, 8 p.m., $6 Listen, even if superfast, gritty hardcore  isn’t your thing, you should still check out  this band. Fronted by singer Lory Gil (who,  full disclosure, is an occasional SN&R contributor), this Sacto group is raw, smart and  totally fun. Seriously, how can you not like  HARDCORE a band that has a song  called “Cover Your Tits in  the Pit”? Answer: You have to like it. Gil, who  writes a majority of the four-piece’s lyrics,  is heart of this group. Onstage, she moves  about wildly, thrashing and singing with  energy that revs up the audience and then  leaves it spent and satisfied. The bill also  features Plague Widow, Xtom Hanx,   and from Czechoslovakia, See You in Hell.  3512 Stockton Boulevard, www.face  book.com/rad.sacto.

—Rachel Leibrock

happy holidays! extended happy hour tuesday & wednesday $

4pm – 10pm 3 food items | $ 2 pints on tap

give the gift of food, drinks, friends & fun with a skybox gift card

not juS t A Sp ort S bAr 2110 L Street | Sacramento, CA | 916.441.4151 | skyboxgrillsac.com 32   |   SN&R   |   

11.27.13

PhOTO By BeN ClARk

29FRI


03TUES

04WED

05THURS

05THURS

Chris Isaak

Cage the Elephant

Disney Super Hero skate night

George Watsky

Harris Center for the Arts, 8 p.m., $49-$79

Sleep Train Arena, 7 p.m., $39.50-$89.50

When “Wicked Game” came out in 1989, I  was too young to pay much attention, but  it’s not a song you can escape. For some,  it’s inseparable from the footage of Chris  Isaak rolling around on the beach with a  topless Helena Christensen; for others, it’s  the song from a David Lynch film and two  movies starring Nicolas Cage. Personally,  it’s a song I associate with suburban mothers who would inevitably describe it as  “sexy” when it came on the radio, though  the Stockton-raised Isaak possesses songwriting talent that extends far beyond the  mournful ballad that made him famous,  and his oeuvre has aged remarkROCK ably well. 10 College Parkway in  Folsom, www.chrisisaak.com.

—Deena Drewis

Cage the Elephant headlines this year’s Radio  94.7 Presents Electric Christmas show, which  also features Alt-J, Grouplove, Capital Cities,  the Features and MS MR. With its new album,  Melophobia, the band continues its intriguing  creative trajectory. After breaking out with  rocker tunes “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”  and “Back Against the Wall,” it followed up with  more melodic numbers (“Shake Me Down”),  glam rock (“Black Widow”), Motown-flavored  rock (“Spiderhead”), soul (“Telescope”) and  jazz (“Teeth”). The kooky rocker “It’s Just  POP/ROCK Forever” proves the group  hasn’t abandoned its  frenetic-rock sound entirely, but is mirroring  Silverchair’s artistic decisions with each   new release—and that is not a bad thing.   1 Sports Parkway, www.cagetheelephant.com.

Sacramento State University Union Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $10-$15

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, 6 p.m., $8 Are your plans to do anything cool forever  hindered by the fact that you decided (or  were forced) to have kids? Here’s a solution: The Disney Super Hero skate night at  the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink features  venerable Sacramento deejay Shaun Slaughter  (pictured) spinning holiday tunes, and welcomes people of all ages wearing Mickey ears  HOLIDAY and other Disney apparel.  You never know what rare  gems Slaughter will dig up, plus he always  seems open to requests as well, so head to the  event’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ events/413961015397354) and post your favorite  holiday jams—however obscure. 701 K Street,  www.downtownsac.org/events/ice-rink.

The viral video “Pale Kid Raps Fast,” in which  San Francisco rapper George Watsky spits  mind-bogglingly fast verses, earned him an  appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  HIP-HOP In fact, even before all of  that, Watsky had gotten  acclaim for his poetry-slam skills (including an appearance on season six of Russell  Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO). Even  with a “white kid can rap fast” video online,  Watsky actually produces some great, nongimmicky songs. The verses are clever and  authentic, with catchy hooks. He owns his  nerdy whiteness, but doesn’t fall into   the nerdcore or comedy-rap niche genres.  6000 J Street, www.georgewatsky.com.

—Aaron Carnes

—Jonathan Mendick

—Brian Palmer

1000 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

for tickets to all sHows Visit assemblysacramento.com

For Rentals or Private Parties please contact AssemblyMusicHall@gmail.com

wed nov 27

fri nov 29

sat nov 30

7pm

brodi nicholas | 7pm | all ages

7pm | all ages

arden park roots

big b

orgy

tue dec 3

crystal bowersox seth glier, bossa zuzu 7pm | all ages | seated show

Upcoming ShowS

thu dec 5

sat dec 7

winds of plague

ed kowalczyk

impending doom, no bragging rights city in the sea, destruction of a king, defy the odds 7pm | all ages

BEFORE

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  NEWS

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  F E AT U R E

VIP seats emaIl assembly@Paragarys.com

STORY

frontman of live 8pm

  |    A R T S & C U L T U R E    

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  AFTER

Dec 08 Dec 12 Dec 13 Dec 19 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 27 Dec 28 Dec 31 jan 04 jan 10 jan 17 jan 24 jan 30 feb 07 feb 09 feb 12

metalachi flow los rakas k. flay rock for tots - fate under fire andrew w.k. mother hips dj quik utz! & the shuttlecocks karega bailey fair struggle merchants !!! (chk chk chk) zion i st lucia this or the apocalypse bettye lavette

  |    11.27.13    

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  SN&R    

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  33


NIGHTBEAT

THURSDAY 11/28

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

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

BISLA’S SPORTS BAR

ORGY, KOREAN FIRE DRILL, ZEROCLIENT, AWOKEN SHADOWS; 7pm, $16-$18

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

BLUE LAMP

KB & THE SLINGTONES, 9pm, call for cover

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

THE BOARDWALK

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247

RA THE RUGGED MAN, WHITNEY PEYTON, LACE LENO, COOL GUY WIILLY, SNFC, BLACK PEGASUS, POTLUCK; 7:30pm KINGDOM, YOUNG SAM, WMJ; 8pm

BOWS & ARROWS

BRIGITTE, EPSILONA; 8pm, $5

EGG, ADRIAN BELLUE, ORANGE MORNING; 8pm, $5

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

ELVIN BISHOP, 8pm, $25-$28

NAHKO, TREVOR HALL, DUSTIN THOMAS; 8pm, $18-$22

1815 19th St., (916) 822-5668 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384 594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

DISTRICT 30

DJ Elements, 9pm, call for cover

FACES

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

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

FOX & GOOSE

DAMON & MASON, DAVID HOUSTON, KEVIN SECONDS; 9pm, $5

OLYMPUS MONS, A. TOM COLLINS, MATT SERTICH; 9pm, $5

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798 1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

G STREET WUNDERBAR 2326 K St., (916) 441-2252

DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover

HALFTIME BAR & GRILL

5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin; (916) 626-6366

HARLOW’S

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

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

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover

ROCK 2000, 9pm-midnight, no cover

TERRY SHEETS BAND, 9pm, no cover

UTZ! AND THE SHUTTLECOCKS, 10pm, $15

PETTY THEFT, ZOO STATION; 10pm, $15

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX, SETH GLIER, BOSSA ZUZU; 7pm Tu, $27.50 Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

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

THE DICK GAIL QUINTET, 8:30pm, $5-$10

College Night deejay dancing, 9:30pm Tu; Country Night deejay dancing, 9:30pm W

Get Down to the Champion Sound reggae night, 9pm-2am, $3

Michael Llewellyn, photographer, 6:30pm Tu, $7-$10

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

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

Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover CHURCH OF MISERY SAVIOURS, GIANT SQUID, WHITE WIZZARD; 8pm, $15

NUMBER STATION, VVOMEN, AEQUOVEA; 8:30pm W, $8 Hip-hop and R&B deejay dancing, 9:16pm Tu; ’80s deejay dancing, 5pm W

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

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

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

KALLY O’MALLY, COAL MINE ENGINEERS, MIKE BLANCHARD & CALIFORNIOS; 8pm

DAVID HOUSTON & STRING THEORY, LARISA BRYSKI, KEATON NELSON; 8pm, $6

MARILYN’S ON K

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

DIVA KINGS, DANE DREWIS; 9pm, call for cover

CITY CATS, 9pm, call for cover

908 K St., (916) 446-4361

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 12/2-12/4

STATE TO STATE, PALACE BALLROOM, THE LURK; 10pm, no cover

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

THE GOLDEN BEAR

SUNDAY 12/1

SAN SIMILAR, DARK RIVER, OLD HANGTOWN; 8pm, $8 DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, call for cover

1016 K St., (916) 737-5770

Hey local bands!

SATURDAY 11/30

BIG B, BRODI NICHOLAS; 7pm, $13-$15

Friday Night Hype w/ DJs Evolve and My Cousin Vinny and MC Skurge, 10pm

7042 Folsom Blvd., (916) 383-0133

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

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.

FRIDAY 11/29

Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6 Open-mic night, 7pm, no cover

Karaoke, 8pm M; Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan Revue, 8pm Tu

SN&R REAdERS GET Up To 50% off TICKETS

Nov 08 - Dec 01 Davis Musical Theatre presents “Oliver!”: $18 tix for $9 Nov 22 - Dec 09 EMH Productions presents “After Hours”: $25 tix for $12.50 Nov 22 - Dec 21 Arden Playhouse presents “Arsenic and Old Lace”: $18 tix for $9 Nov 24 - Jan 05 B Street Theatre presents “Not In The Stars”: $35 tix for $14 Dec 03 Crystal Bowersox at Assembly: $27.50 tix for $13.75 Dec 07 Al Stewart and Dave Nachmanoff at Harlows: $25 tix for $12.50 Dec 09 Howie Day at Harlows: $25 tix for $12.50 Jan 12 Shawn Colvin at The Crest Theatre: $35 tix for $17.50

New shows added weekly for Ace of Spades & Assembly, be sure to check the sweetdeals website for show dates! 34

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SN&R

|

11.27.13

www.newsreview.com


THURSDAY 11/28

FRIDAY 11/29

SATURDAY 11/30

SUNDAY 12/1

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 12/2-12/4

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

Swing or Lindy Hop, 8pm Tu, $6-$10

MIDTOWN BARFLY

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

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN

GUERO, THE CONSTELLATIONS; 8:30pm, $5

JESUS CHRIST, MISTER, HERD MINDSET, HIT RESET; 8:30pm, $5

Jazz session, 8pm M, no cover

OLD IRONSIDES

BLOOD PARTY, AMOUR, HESSLER, ONCE AN EMPIRE; 8pm, $6

LAVA PUPS, SURFACE TENSION; 4pm, $5; THE KNOCKOFFS, DECIBELS; 9pm, $7

Karaoke w/ Sac City Entertainment, 9pm Tu, no cover; Open-mic, 9pm W, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

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

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

ON THE Y

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

MUMBO GUMBO, 8pm, $20

THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE

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

13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover

Kally O’Mally with the Coal Mine Engineers and Mike Blanchard & the Californios 8pm Friday, $5. Luna’s Café & Juice Bar Americana

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

PARLARE EURO LOUNGE

Top 40, 9pm, no cover

Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover

DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover

PINE COVE TAVERN

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

RADIO, 9pm, $10

DJ dance party, 9pm, $5

DJ Old Griff, 9pm, no cover

DJ Old Griff, 9pm, no cover

WONDERBREAD 5, 10pm, call for cover

MIDNIGHT PLAYERS, 10pm, call for cover

A.C. MYLES, 3pm, call for cover

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

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

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

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

DC FALLOUT; 8pm M, $5; CALI BEAR GANG, CENTURY GOT BARS; 9pm W

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

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

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

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

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm; ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, 9pm, $7

JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; MIGHTY MIKE SCHERMER, 9pm, $8

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

LEW FRATIS, 9pm Tu, $5; Open-mic, 5:30pm W; GREG NAGY BAND, 9pm W, $5

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

PINS N STRIKES

3443 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 226-2625

PJ’S ROADHOUSE

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

DJ Michael Johnson, 9pm, no cover

POWERHOUSE PUB

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

THE PRESS CLUB

DJ MEEK DA KAT, 9pm, no cover

2030 P St., (916) 444-7914

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

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover

904 15th St., (916) 443-2797

Battle of the Musicians, 9:30pm-1am Tu; Open-mic, 10pm Tu; Trivia, 9-10pm W

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

PROBLEM, CLYDE CARSON, TEEFLII, ERIC E; 7pm, $20

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300

PUSHA T, ARAMI & YAE, SUAVE DEBONAIRE, BABNIT; 7pm, $23

Pusha T with Arami & Yae, Suave Debonaire and Babnit 7pm Saturday, $23 Ace of Spades Hip-hop

BACKSTREET BOYS, THE FRAY; 7pm W, $49.50

CLUB RETRO

ZENDAYA, 3:30pm W, $65.50-$80.50

SHINE

Open jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith & Friends, 8pm Tu, no cover

1529 Eureka Rd., Roseville; (916) 988-6606 1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

?

y a d i l o H s i Family th

! a v a K

h t i w k c a b k c i k Come e Tired of th

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iving g s k n a h T Open

Monday Nights $20 All you can drink shells

an

SU

de

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Saturday Nights LIVE music or dj

ISE

Ladies Night every Wednesday $1 Shots and Shells for ladies

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50

happy hour mon-fri BEFORE

|

NEWS

|

FEATURE STORY

|

A RT S & C U LT U R E

|

AFTER

|

1949 Zinfandel Dr Rancho Cordova, CA 916.468.8189 4pm-1am every day

11.27.13

|

SN&R

|

35


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SN&R   |  11.27.13

HORIZON NON-PROFIT COLLECTIVE 3600 Power inn rd suite 1a sacramento, Ca 95826 916.455.1931


Happy Danksgiving

Bring in any competitor’s coupon and we’ll beat it by $5 Must present competitor’s ad. Some restrictions apply.

Is it possible to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner using cannabis-infused foods?

VOted 3rd best ’13 420 physician in sac!

—The Weedish Chef Of course. The active ingredients in weed are fat soluble, so if you have some pot-infused butter or oil, you could add some weed to almost any dish on the table. But if every dish is loaded with pot, all of your guests will probably be asleep even before they eat the turkey. It’s probably best to just make one or two pot-infused dishes. Or BEALUM you could make cannabis-infused gravy. Mmm. by NGAIO Gravy.

a sk420 @ n ewsreview.c om

Did the pilgrims smoke pot?

’13

’13

’13

—May Flowers I have no idea. But I do know that hemp was an essential crop for early Americans. In fact, some colonies made hemp farming mandatory. People were also allowed to pay their taxes with hemp. That’s right. Hemp was so valuable, I am extremely people were allowed to use grateful to all of the it instead of money. Britain cannabis activists. wouldn’t allow the colonies to process their own hemp. Even the crazy ones. They had to send it back England to be made into Hell, especially the to cloth and stuff, then England crazy ones. would sell the finished products (cloth, rope, thread, etc.) back to the colonies at inflated prices. And everyone knows George Washington was big fan of the plant. He would even separate the male plants from the female plants, and we all know it’s the female plants that get you high, so you can draw your own conclusions. Happy Danksgiving! What are you thankful for?

’13

’13

’13

Sacramento

420 Doc MEDICAL MArIjuANA EvALuAtIONS

FALL COMPASSION SPECIAL

34 44

$

$

—Pot Pilgrim I am thankful for many things. Most of them aren’t weed related. But if you want to know what I appreciate about the world of marijuana, I can think of a few things. I am thankful to the scientists and doctors that study the medicinal aspects of cannabis. Despite enormous interference from the federal government, these brave clinicians have gathered proof that cannabis helps people deal with Must bring ad. Limit one per patient. Must bring ad. Limit one per patient. Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, multiple Some restrictions apply. Some restrictions apply. sclerosis, and a host of other diseases and afflictions. To all of the scientists that are discovering the many benefits of cannabis, thank you. I am extremely grateful to all of the cannabis activists. Even the crazy ones. Hell, especially the crazy ones. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah and idealism to think 2 CONvENIENt LOCAtIONS tO SErvE YOu you can challenge the government. To all of the people that organize rallies, attend city-council meetings, offer court 2100 Watt Ave, Unit 190 | Sacramento, CA 95825 | Mon–Sat 11am–7pm support, visit prisoners, circulate petitions and all of the 2633 Telegraph Ave. 109 | Oakland, CA 94612 | 510-832-5000 | Mon–Sat 10am–5pm other things that go along with being in the forefront of the recommendations are valid for 1 year for qualifying patients battle to relegalize weed, I offer you thanks and a second Walk-ins Welcome all day everyday helping of pie. I would also like to thank the politicians that are finally coming around to the idea of weed legalization. I know for Your information is 100% private and confidential some of you it’s a cynical ploy to remain in office, but I thank you just the same. Visit our website to book your appointment online 24/7 at And to all of the readers of this column, I thank you all for your comments and criticisms, and for your questions and answers. I couldn’t do this without you. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Ω   |   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   |    11.27.13     |   SN&R     |   37

rENEWALS

Ngaio Bealum

is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@ newsreview.com.

NEW PAtIENtS

916.480.9000

www.Sac420Doc.com

BEFORE


n oW aCC e p ti n g n e W pati e nts!

W E L C O M E

B A C K

T O

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OG KUSH

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Huge selection of fall harvest greenhouse, outdoor varieties, edibles, and concentrates.

donate a canned food item and we will match it!

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Daily deals, knowledgeable staff, and rated #1 customer service by SNR

fOr the remainder Of the year we are Offering a free 1/8th tO new patients!

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with min dOnatiOn

medical cannabis collective $ $ ths $ & wide variety of edibles | open till 3pm on thanksgiving

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38 

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SN&R   |  11.27.13

expires 12/5/13

’13

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STORY

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caNN-Medical ARTS&CULTURE 

- Physician Evaluations - 24/7 Online Verification

Routier

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mon-fri 10:30Am to 7pm | SAt 10Am to 8pm | Sun 11Am to 5pm

  FEATURE

Sun 11am-5pm ’13

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w/ couPoN exP. 12/04/13 ’13 SNR

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w/ couPoN exP. 12/04/13 SNR

great prices! limited quantities! insane vaped specials!

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- Cultivators Welcome ’13 9719A Folsom Blvd. Sacramento, CA 916-822-5690 • www.cannmedical.org 11.27.13  

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  39


must present coupon. expires 12.12.13

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SN&R   |  11.27.13

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  NEWS

Donate 3 canned food items, get a free gift

For complete menu & more specials visit

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ARTS&CULTURE 

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AFTER

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11.27.13  

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  SN&R  

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  41


HAND CRAFTED IN COLFAX, CA

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SN&R   |  11.27.13

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1730 Santa Clara Dr #3 | Roseville 95661 10am – 10pm Daily | 916.781.2828

11.27.13  

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  SN&R  

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  43


IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING WITH US, PLEASE CONTACT CLASSIFIEDS AT 916-498-1234 EXT. 1338.

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GET ON TO GET OFF


by shOka

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Thinking

inside the box will be a crime against your nature in the coming weeks. The last place you want to be is in a pigeonhole. I advise you to stay far away from tight squeezes, claustrophobic “sanctuaries” and “convenient” confinements. If you’re in a onesize-fits-all situation, you simply won’t be able to access your highest intelligence. So then, where should you be? I am rooting for you to wander into the wild frontiers where unsanctioned wonders and marvels await you. I’d love for you to find virgin terrain and uncharted territories where the boring old rules don’t apply.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Mike

Finnigan is a veteran keyboardist and blues vocalist who has toured with more than 20 major acts, including Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Leonard Cohen and Los Lonely Boys. There’s a primal quality to his singing. It’s gritty and fluid and tempestuous, almost feral at times. I understand perfectly why Bonnie Raitt has called him a “tall drink of bacon.” The sound he makes with his voice is that lush and tasty. Can you guess his astrological sign? It’s Taurus, of course. I’m naming him your patron saint this week, because you yourself are as close as you have ever come to being a tall drink of bacon.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): French

painter Henri Matisse thought highly of his own work. He tended to ignore critics because he didn’t think they understood his art well enough to produce intelligent critiques. There was one person whose opinion he was willing to heed, though; a single colleague who he said had earned the right to evaluate and assess his art: Pablo Picasso. I encourage you, Gemini, to come up with your own short list of people whose judgment you totally trust and respect. It’s a good time to seek out their feedback on how you’re doing.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): How is it

possible that you have come so far and worked so diligently only to be resigned now to hanging out in limbo, waiting around for the lucky break that may or may not ever arrive? I’m here today to escort you out of this infernal place. If you resist, my assignment is to drag you out. Why am I so adamant? Because I am sure it’s a mistake for you to be passive and hope for the best. You need to resume working diligently, focused for now on what’s right in front of you without worrying too much about the big picture. In my opinion, that approach will lead you to unforeseen help—and a clarification of the big picture.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your levels of per-

sonal magic are high. The radiance beaming out of your eyes is extra sparkly. There’s an artistry to the way you are expressing yourself. Without even trying, you’re exuding natural charisma and animal magnetism. In light of all these advantages, I suspect you will have an elevated capacity for both giving and receiving pleasure. In fact, I predict that your ability to feel really good and make other people feel really good will be at a peak. I hereby designate this the Week of Supreme Bliss.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The BBC

reported on an expert who combs Switzerland’s Risoud Forest to find the spruce trees whose wood can be made into the highest quality violins. After years of experience, Lorenzo Pellegrini knows which few trees will produce instruments with the most resonant tones. They grow slowly and have few knots. They need to have had enough water to grow strong, but not so much water that they’re mushy. Your task in the coming weeks, Virgo, has a certain resemblance to the master tree picker’s work. It’s time for you to start selecting and gathering the raw materials you will use to craft your own lyrical story in 2014.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here’s the bad news: For all of us, including you, there is a gap between our intentions and our actual effects. Here’s the good news: Now is your special time to narrow that gap. More bad news: All of us, you included, are periodically guilty of sending out mixed messages. We confuse people with our ambivalence; what we say is sometimes different from what we feel. More good news: Now is your special time to reduce your mixed messages to as close to zero as possible. One more taste of bad news: Like all of us,

BEFORE

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NEWS

bRezsny

you are a bit hypocritical. You engage in behavior that you criticize in others. You don’t practice what you preach. One last piece of good news: Now is your special time to work on being forthright, genuine and consistent.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I am very

fond of strawberries and cream,” said author Dale Carnegie, “but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish.” That’s a good teaching story for you, Scorpio. In order to get your desires fulfilled by the people who have the power to do that, you should give them what they actually long for—not what you long for, nor what you wish they would long for. This is always true, of course, but it’s especially applicable to what’s going on in your life right now.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Touted as a prime source of “kick-ass spirituality,” author Danielle LaPorte has advice that’s good for you to hear. “You will always be too much of something for someone,” she says, “too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy.” But that’s exactly as it should be, she adds. It would be a mistake to “round out your edges,” because then you would “lose your edge.” And I’m here to tell you that you need all of your edge right now, Sagittarius. It’s time to ignore people’s mediocre expectations and push past their limits. To be true to yourself, you will probably have to be too much of something for several someones.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Going into my spiritual mentoring session with the priestess, I had the intention of discovering truths about myself I didn’t know before. That meant stirring up revelations about my ignorance as well as my potentials. I wanted assistance in facing my flaws as well as in tapping into my dormant powers. It worked. Her guidance was a potent catalyst. I was able to shed the debilitating nonsense stories I’d been telling myself about who I am. I awakened strengths that had been asleep. What I wish for you, Capricorn—indeed, what I predict for you—is a comparable experience. To expedite matters, go out in search of a person, adventure or breakthrough that can help provide you with the kind of prod I received.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I bet

people will be gossiping about you more than usual. Is there anything you can do to ensure that it’s mostly benevolent gossip? Yes, there is. First, make sure that when you gossip about others, you are unfailingly positive in your comments. If you don’t have anything good to say about someone, don’t say it. Second, be on your best behavior. Communicate clearly, and don’t even think about taking unethical shortcuts. Finally, contribute more inspirational energy than usual to every group you’re part of. Be an effervescent team player.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Maybe your ego isn’t big enough. I’m serious. Is it possible that you could benefit from being more proud of yourself? Would it be healthy for you to give yourself more credit for the struggles you have weathered and the skills you have mastered and the beauty you have managed to forge out of the chaotic raw materials that life has given you? I’ve got a good feeling about this, Pisces. I can imagine you summoning the playful courage you will need to express more confidence. I can even picture you beginning to fantasize about embarking on certain stirring adventures you’ve never believed you were strong enough to try before now.

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

Photo by bobby Mull

by ROb

For the week of November 27, 2013

STORY

Gold-dust man Like most other small towns, there wasn’t a lot for its younger residents like Seth Walker Pereira to do in Kelsey, which is nestled in the Northern California foothills, just a yellow stone’s throw away from Coloma, the birthplace of the gold rush. And so in his teens, he took up panning for gold. Now in his 30s, he—who is part-Paiute Native American—continues his forays to creeks in seek of the precious metal, but more for fun rather than income. Along the way, he has encountered the remnants miners and panners left behind and been caught with his pants down by a mountain lion (not figuratively, mind you).

Where do you pan for gold? I’ve done it pretty much everywhere on the Divide. “The Divide” is what they call the Georgetown Divide, which is Kelsey, Georgetown, Placerville. ... And then I have permission from another landowner for another spot that’s on a creek that I get to go to that’s really cool. … I read this in a gold-panning journal, that if you were supposedly a successful gold panner or gold-miner guy, you could make like $68 a day. I don’t know if that’s completely correct, but that’s like minimum wage if you’re going at it hard-core, full time. Unless you get really lucky. My brother, with a metal detector, found a $15,000 chunk of gold.

What have you found panning? I always find gold, not very much, but usually every time I go, I’ll find gold. Kind of an interesting thing about it is every little creek up here has mercury in it—and especially in the river. ... It’s like a gray sludge. It’s mercury from the gold rush, because they used so much mercury to process gold, so you’ll find it in the creek. ... It’s kind of gross how much there is up here.

They mined mercury somewhere else and brought it here? They get it out of a stone called cinnabar, and ... they had a lot of different ways to use the mercury [to process gold], but ... mercury’s really nasty stuff, so you figure a lot of these gold miners probably had a pretty high level of mercury poisoning. ... And a lot of those chemicals are still left over from a hundred years ago.

How much gold do you find on outings? I always find a flake or two. Sometimes I get a good little haul, 40 bucks worth, maybe. I found a pretty big piece of quartz with gold in it with a metal detector that I crushed up and then … [took] an oxygen-settling torch and melted the gold with borax in a crucible, and I sold that one of to those kind of [swindler] gold-dealer people. I got $680 total.

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

Do you always sell the gold? I’ve always kept it, but I sold the stuff I processed out of rocks, because I needed money at the time.

What other weird stuff do you find out here? Bullets. We found the round, black-powder type, where you put the wadding, powder and bullet down into the gun, pack it down and shoot—a black-powder rifle. Lots of square nails, like, they’re in places you wouldn’t think. … And lots of old cabin sites where you’ll find the square nails are actually in a roughly big square shape, so they had something built there. There’s lots and lots of mines, because, you know, it’s gold-rush country. I’ll just come across a mine that I never knew existed.

How often do you pan? A lot in the spring when the creeks start running. And I usually go six or seven times a year with my dad to look for arrowheads.

Have you run into anything frightening? There’s a really nice trail off of [Highway] 49 … when you leave Coloma and head toward Placerville. ... I was with my half-brother— we were going to go pan in little spots along the river. We got to the bottom, and there’s this old ditch line that used to run [during] the gold rush to carry all the water they needed, but you can walk on it now. I had to use the bathroom very bad, so he went ahead, and … when I finished, I looked up, and there was a mountain lion on the path staring at me. It was pretty big, and I freaked out. I know you’re not supposed to |

AFTER

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run from them, so I’m pulling my pants up and breaking branches and shaking them around and yelling like a maniac. And the mountain lion just kind of casually looks at me, and jumped onto the cliffside and went into the brush. ... My brother, I see him running toward me, saying, “Where did you get bit?” He thought I got bit from a rattlesnake when I was going to the bathroom.

When you tell people you do this, does that make them want to do it? Yes, that’s usually how I trick people into going with me. I went with a few people, and they’re kind of into it at first, and the diminishing returns kind of turned them off, but I still think it’s fun. A long time ago, I worked on a fourthgrade gold-rush history program, and we [would] teach kids about the gold rush, and partway through the day, they had goldpanning demonstration. ... The kids would be well-behaved, and then we’d do the gold panning, and it was amazing, because they would turn into ... these capitalist psychopaths all of a sudden. We would have this lesson afterward about how devastating the gold rush was to the whole area to try and bring them back to earth. ... I can see when people say they have gold fever, it’s actually a real psychological thing that happens.

Do you have it? I definitely get it. But ... I try to leave the area looking nice before I leave. But there’s a lot of people who are obviously full-bore, they don’t care about the environment: They’re just gold-seeking psychopaths. Ω

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