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S A C S T A T E HO O PS

DON’T SUCK see Arts&Culture, page 20

BUSTED BLACK FRIDAY ON

see Beats, page 11

HF OER MT H EP

HOLIDAYS See The 420, page 41

SACRAMENTO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

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VOLUME 25, ISSUE 34

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013


ACE OF SPADES FRIDAY, DECEMBER 06

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Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202 2 

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SN&R   |  12.05.13


December 5, 2013 | Vol. 25, Issue 34

No big, fat deal Elk Grove blogger Maria Kang is making news again. The self-described social entrepreneur made headlines in October after posting a picture on Facebook. It showed Kang dressed in a sports bra and booty shorts (toned abs on display), accompanied by her three young sons and the caption, “What’s your excuse?” The take-away: If this busy mom can squeeze in exercise, why can’t you? Not surprisingly, the post garnered backlash for its perceived arrogance, and Kang took to the national media circuit to defend herself. “What you interpret [from the photo] is not my fault. It’s yours,” Kang said during an appearance on Today. OK, fine, point taken. But now Kang is back. Last week, she claimed to have been banned from Facebook after a post in which she criticized Chrystal Bougon, founder of the Curvy Girl plus-size lingerie line, for encouraging customers to post lingerie pics of themselves on social media. Kang’s take? She’s “annoyed” by “news stories of how overweight, nearly obese women should be proud of their bodies.” In reality, Kang was only temporarily prohibited from the site after her post was flagged as offensive— by none other than Bougon. Last weekend, the two women squared off against one another on CNN. During the segment, Kang declared it “great” that obese women love themselves. Wonderful. But why exactly does Kang care so much about other people’s bodies? And more importantly, why does anyone (Bougon included) care about what she has to say about them? While one’s weight can contribute to poor health, it’s not necessarily a surefire indicator of overall well-being. And while one person’s uninformed opinion may be hurtful, it’s hardly a gauge of someone else’s self-worth.

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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 COVER PHOTO BY JONATHAN BUCK

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“I look just like my dad, but my character comes from my mom.”

Asked at the Sacramento Zoo:

How are you like your parents?

Deb Elite

Charlie Allen

retired

criminalist

I have a sister and a brother, too, but I’m most like Mom [Vialmond Elite, pictured left]. We’re both fun-loving and lighthearted. We’re the only family that makes “naked spaghetti” with garlic and butter instead of marinara sauce. I also always say, “When the sun goes down, so do I.” We’re both early to bed.

I think I’m like my parents in that I don’t let what’s going on in society prevent me from having a good time. If it’s skiing weather on a Wednesday, there’s no point in going in to work. That’s what we were taught as kids. Take advantage of the situation when it comes up: It may not come up again.

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I use their vocabulary, idioms and speech patterns. My family is from the South, so they used to say things like, “Don’t waller on me!”—like when kids waller around and just sit on you. So, now I say to my 3-year-old, “Don’t waller on me!”

student assistant

I’m serious like my dad and financially savvy. I’m good with investments and so forth. I like to see a return on whatever it is I’m spending. My parents are very savvy at business, too. They’re government people, play it safe, like bankers, moreover. They’re definitely very safe. They taught me to make sure I have money saved up.

I’ve watched my mom take a lot of children into her home that I think people wouldn’t want in their home. But because she has that type of spirit, her children have taken that. And I work with foster children, too. I don’t know how I got into that, but it pulled me right on in.

Jack Jimenez state worker

I look just like my dad, but my character comes from my mom. I look like Dad, but act like Mom. We share the eyes and shape of the face, the smile. I get Facebook [comments from my cousins] saying, “You look like my uncle!” and “You look like my uncle!”

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Email your letters to sactoletters@newsreview.com.

Housing, yes! Re “58,000” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 21): Bites is spot on in calling for more housing in Sacramento. No development will succeed unless LETTER OF there is a population THE WEEK base to support it. Put a high-rise at the east end of K Street Mall, for example. Evan Jones

S acr am en t o

Sacto DA’s office needs change Re “Word of the law” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R News, November 21): Thanks for the interview with Todd Leras, candidate for Sacramento district attorney. I am a certified specialist in criminal law and a former prosecutor. I have worked in our criminal-justice system for over 30 years. Sacramento desperately needs a change from Jan Scully’s rigid and conservative practices toward the more reasonable and flexible approach offered by Leras.

I represent many individuals charged with marijuana offenses that are related to state medical-marijuana laws. The Sacramento DA’s office, under the Scully-Anne Marie Schubert administration, routinely presents a grudging and aggressive approach to dealing with such cases, as if they saw no difference between medical producers and foreign cartels. They have taken positions in court that—if the court actually adopted those positions—would eliminate dispensaries completely. Fortunately, our courts have put a check on the district attorney’s aggressive views. In other contexts, the ScullySchubert “tough on crime” persona does not fairly consider the individual circumstances that bear on the ultimate question of what penalty will be imposed on offenders. There is a wide spectrum of individuals who cross legal lines: No doubt some need lengthy incarceration. On the other hand, all of them do not. The ability to differentiate between the seriously bad and the not so bad, who can learn a lesson and probably not re-offend, is the mark of a good prosecutor. It has been missing in Sacramento County. John Duree Sacramento

Homeless shelter at arena? Re “58,000” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 21): I have suggested on official arenainput websites that the arena complex include a homeless shelter and service center. They say they want it to represent Sacramento, and we’re known at least as much for our homeless population (even at the United Nations) as for our barely professional basketball team. Jan Bergeron via email

Not so poor Chelsea Manning Re “The forgotten news,” by Project Censored and Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez (SN&R Feature Story, November 21): Your most recent issue bemoans that poor Bradley, née Breanna, née Chelsea, Manning’s release of classified documents wasn’t well covered by the media. Perhaps you missed the very early, well-researched long-form documentary

eMotorsWest.com

about Manning. PBS Frontline included the 911 tapes from his butcher knife threat on his stepmom, and the affidavit from the female army soldier he punched. Ms. Manning is no heroine, driven by ego, not love of country. Christine Craft via email

Correction In last week’s news feature on McKinley Village (“Here comes the (newest Sacramento) neighborhood,” by Nick Miller, SN&R News, November 28), it was reported that the current council member representing East Sacramento has voiced support for the project. That is false: Councilman Steve Cohn has neither approved of nor taken a position on McKinley Village.

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PHOTOS BY ARVIN TEMKAR

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Indomitable and unthinkable A California writer’s dispatch from   the islands hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan The road north from Mandaue is much like any other in this part of the Philippines. It’s by narrow and dusty, cramped with cement and Arvin Temkar wood homes, bamboo fruit stands, shops plastered with Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew advertisements. The road winds along the coast, offering glimpses of muddy shores and ocean on one side, palms and papery banana trees on the other. But at some point, the scenery begins to change. The palms, once stiff like soldiers, turn tilted and weary, as if broken from war. The banana trees look as if they’ve been put through a shredder. Power lines are felled like dominos, iron roofs caved in. This is how we know we’ve entered typhoon territory. And then the disaster zone. Groups of people gather on both sides of the street, as if onlookers in a parade. Boys in basketball jerseys, shirtless men, small girls and their mothers. “Tubig!” they shout at passing cars, scooters, buses. “Bugas!” They plead with their eyes, beg with their hands. Water. Rice. I’m on Cebu, one of the islands hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 8. It’s not Leyte, where the city of Tacloban was laid flat and thousands died. But the situation here is also dire: More than 100,000 were displaced after the typhoon ripped through the northern cities, destroying homes and killing dozens. Arvin Temkar I was on vacation to see my family—my is a California-based mom is from Cebu—when the storm hit. A reporter at Monterey County Weekly. few days ago I accompanied a couple of my cousins, who live in Mandaue where I’m staying, to their relatives’ home four hours away in Bogo, one of the cities hit hard by Haiyan. When the typhoon landed, I was safe in a building near Mandaue. The area didn’t flood and businesses reopened the next day. I watched and read the same news reports as the rest of the world. Saw photos of bodies on TV and in the local paper, kept updated on the overwhelming global response. One account in particular stuck with me: a blog post for The New Yorker called “When Haiyan Struck,” by Filipino writer Jessica Zafra. Zafra tells the story of a Manila housemaid whose parents’ house was crushed by a tree in Leyte. In a few days her father had built a new shack, secured some necessities. “They had their homestead, a little rice, water they had collected from a spring, and a measure of calm,” Zafra writes. “The Merinos don’t have much, but they are accustomed to fending for themselves, and they take care of each other.” BEFORE

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Multiply this story thousands of times, she writes, and you’ll get an impression of the aftermath of Haiyan. She distills the spirit of the Filipino: a people constantly battered by disaster, from earthquakes to typhoons, yet adaptable, resilient, accustomed to struggle. My relatives in Bogo, a city of nearly 70,000, were lucky. Windows of their sea-foam green house were blown out, parts of the metal roof carried away. But nobody was injured, and the concrete structure remains intact. When we visited, people were reattaching corrugated iron to the top of the home and chopping branches with a machete to make a cooking fire. Power in Bogo could remain out for a month or more. Others escaped with little more than their lives. I went with my cousin Rosemarie to meet her co-worker Edna Galarion, who was traveling from Mandaue to bring food and money to her family. Galarion led us down a dirt trail into a grassy field. Whatever homes were there—and they must have been little more than shacks before the typhoon—have disappeared in a tangle of broken wood and concrete. Of the 200 residences once in the area, only three remained standing, she said.

Bernada Verdida’s home was destroyed by the typhoon. Her husband built a small shack out of wood he found.

Rebuilding a roof in Bogo, Cebu.

The palms, once stiff like soldiers, turn tilted and weary, as if broken from war. The banana trees look as if they’ve been put through a shredder. Her mother, 60-year-old Bernada Verdida, sat at a wooden table beside her new home, built in two days by her husband with salvaged scraps. It’s one room, wooden, with no roof except for tarps and blankets draped above. Their former roof was in a tree a few hundred feet away, their toilet in pieces in the yard. Nine people will sleep here. The family stayed in their old home as long as they could bear it, until it was clear the typhoon would rip everything away. Then they linked arms against the wind and ran to the nearby evacuation center. When they returned, little was recognizable. “If I had money I’d build a new home,” Verdida said. “But there’s no money.” Galarion, a bookkeeper at a manufacturing plant, is the only one of her relatives with a steady job. STORY

Filipino children play among ruined houses in Bogo, a city with nearly 70,000 residents in the Cebu province of the Philippines.

I asked whether the aid was enough. Volunteers from across Cebu have been packing goods and shuttling them north. On the way up we saw a taxicab with its back seat stuffed with cardboard boxes. An Israeli medical team is providing help in everything from delivering babies to treating cataracts and removing cysts. Hand-painted signs along the road say things like “TY For Your Help.” Verdida smiled, nodded. Each day they receive a plastic bag filled with goods like rice, sardines, corned beef. There’s a

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well for water, fallen bananas in the yard. They’re making do. “They have no place to go,” Galarion explained. “They just want to die here, because this is their only land.” That indomitable Filipino spirit, born too often of necessity. But everyone is playing a part. Before we left, my cousin pressed a few bills, about $23 U.S., into Verdida’s hand. Enough to keep them going just a little while longer. Ω

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Thief relief City, police, SABA launch ‘free and easy’ bike registry to stop theft Chances are that, if you’re a bicyclist in Sacramento, you’ve had your ride lifted. And that, with annual bike thefts numberby ing in the thousands, you’re not alone. Lovelle Harris In a joint effort to help put the brakes on thievery, the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Police Department launched an online registry program last week. The hope is that if more people register their bikes, police will be able to return stolen bikes back to their owners. Spearheaded by District 4 City Councilman Steven Hansen, the free registry called “Ride On!” will allow anyone to go online and register their bike. The information entered into the police department’s internal database will allow officers to help determine the owner of a recovered bicycle. “People haven’t had a way to register them, so when their bike is stolen, if they haven’t kept the serial number, they can’t give police that information if they do file a report,” Hansen said. “What we want to do is get people to register their bike so that any police officer can look up a bike, see if it’s registered and contact the person who last registered it to see if they’ve sold it, or if they’ve just misplaced it, or if it was “We’ve tried to stolen.” Hansen explained that the registry, design something essentially, had no startup costs since that is free the police department already had the and easy.” technology and the databases in place. And the only cost going forward will City Councilman Steven Hansen be staff time. Ride On! came about from the request of Midtown residents at a public-safety meeting. “They said bike theft was an issue, and they didn’t feel that the city was doing enough,” Hansen said. The councilman conceded that registries in other cities haven’t worked very well, but he says that’s “because there were a lot of barriers to registration,” such as charging people to sign up and difficulty of use. “We’ve tried to design something that is free and easy,” he said. The city is also enlisting the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates to assist with a public-education component, to be rolled out in January 2014. Jim Brown, the executive director of SABA, explained that registration is especially important since a fair number of stolen bikes are recovered, but only a small proportion are returned because the police simply don’t have the information about its ownership. Brown also stressed the importance of proper locking habits. “Make locking a habit wherever you go,” Brown said, adding, “Not all locks are created equal, and if you’re Register your bike going to protect your investment, you want to invest in a today at http://ride on.sacpd.org. good lock.” Brown says the program is a work in progress. “I’ve been impressed with how open the [information technology] staff at the police department has been to making refinements,” he said. Refinements aside, it appears that the public’s interest has been roused. “We posted on our Facebook page an announcement of the registry, and I think we had about 800 people view that page,” Brown said. “So a lot of people are interested, and I’m curious to see what this looks like down the road.” Ω


Roller coaster of gov

BEATS

Legislative Analyst’s Office advises leaders   on how not to blow newfound fiscal surplus California’s government finances are riding the roller coaster again. Buoyed by a soaring stock market by and rising home prices, personal Daniel Weintraub income-tax receipts are flowing into the state treasury at a rate exceeding all expectations. The result: a surplus of $6 billion or more is likely if Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature simply stay the course on spending and taxes for the next 18 months.

next economic downturn is greater than ever. Why? Because the state is more dependent than ever on the personal income tax, which is a highly volatile revenue source. At last count, two-thirds of the revenue coming into the state’s general fund is generated by income tax, up from 60 percent a decade ago. The biggest reason for that growth is that California’s income-tax rates are fairly progressive, meaning people IMAGE: DYNAMIC GRAPHICS/THINKSTOCK

And that’s after taking into account billions of dollars in higher spending on the schools that the state Constitution will require if tax revenues grow as now projected by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. The fiscal outlook is also rosy for several years down the road, because a rising real-estate market will likely mean higher local property-tax revenue, and when that tax money goes to the schools, it offsets some of the state’s obligation to pay for kindergarten through communitycollege education. But one big question looms as lawmakers and the governor consider how to spend the government’s newfound riches: What will happen when the music stops? Californians have seen this movie before. The economy grows, revenues rise and the folks in Sacramento commit the money to new programs, expansions or tax cuts. Then the economy slows, revenue growth slows or even declines and deficits emerge. This time around, the risk of a crash in state finances during the

Even though California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office projects budget surpluses for the coming years, spending is not urged—as revenue could dip, too.

This story originally appeared at www.healthycal.org. Daniel Weintraub has covered California public policy for 25 years and is editor of the California Health Report.

BEFORE

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with higher incomes pay a significant amount of the tax. And California, for all its problems, has a lot of higherincome people. They pay a lot of tax. On top of that, the voters in 2012 passed a temporary tax increase, pushed by Brown, to help balance the budget and preserve funding for the schools, and that tax hike hit the wealthy even harder.

The report suggests lawmakers do something that California has not done in a long time: build a rainy-day reserve. Thanks largely to this surge, the Legislative Analyst’s Office now projects that annual state revenues will climb from about $102 billion now to $129 billion in 2019-2020, an increase of nearly 30 percent over six years.

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STORY

Selling atheism At the same time, under current law, state spending would grow from $99.6 billion to $119 billion. In a report issued last month, the analyst cautioned lawmakers to not commit too much of the new money to ongoing programs, since the revenue projections are uncertain at best and at some point, we know, the growth will pause or even reverse itself. As an alternative, the report suggests lawmakers do something that California has not done in a long time: build a rainy-day reserve. The Legislative Analyst’s Office advises that a fund in the neighborhood of $8 billion, built over several years, would be big enough to cushion the state against the inevitable downturn to come. But that’s not all. The report also suggested that lawmakers pay down the remainder of a “wall of debt” left over from the last cycle of deficits and begin catching up on billions of unfunded obligations for pensions and health benefits promised to retired public employees. The magic in that strategy is that the spending, rather than creating new commitments, would relieve the state of existing ones. Finally, like a parent handing out treats to the children, the Legislative Analyst’s Office says lawmakers should satisfy their urge to spend more by giving inflation adjustments to programs that have gone without them and then setting aside $500 million for new and expanded programs, growing that amount by $500 million a year. That idea flips the normal legislative impulse on its head. Instead of approving new priorities and then finding the money to finance them, lawmakers would create a limited pot of money and then approve only as much new spending as would fit within that limit. It remains to be seen whether California lawmakers can ever exhibit that kind of discipline. The first test will come next spring, when, for the first time in more than a decade, legislators will be arguing over how to spend a surplus instead of figuring out how to make ends meet. Ω

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A tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign that hopes to counterprogram God is set to roll out across Sacramento in the coming months. The Sacramento branch of the Freedom From Religion Foundation recently purchased enough space to scatter 55 billboards in the Sacramento area. The advertising effort is intended to raise atheism’s community profile and to let individuals who don’t affiliate with any religion know there are plenty of godless folks just like them. Billboard ads will feature individuals and families from the Sacramento area who identify as humanists, atheists, freethinkers and other non-religious tags next to a chosen quote—lines like, “I believe in one less god than you,” and, “History has thousands of gods—I choose none.” FFRF has 54 ads designed and billboard-ready. The atheism ads have already generated quite the buzz on Reddit’s Sacramento page. Online commenters have typed north of 230 furious missives about whether the quotes are condescending to the religious, how the billboards will be terrible eyesores and about the base morality of advertising, all with fierce rebuttals. Regardless of its intended impact, the advertising campaign is already giving Sacramento’s diverse religious community an existential jolt. And just in time for the holidays. (Jessica Rine)

Black (and blue) Friday All families fight. But not all families use knives or baseball bats when doing so. The day after Thanksgiving proved a fraught one for Sacramento police and four city-dwelling families who solved their disputes the old-fashioned way. Blood relatives were bludgeoned, stabbed and booked as officers responded to two family disturbances and a pair of all-out assaults involving adult siblings. The two more violent confrontations occurred within minutes of each other the morning of November 29 in different parts of the city, police logs show. Around 8:30 a.m. that Friday in a north Sacramento neighborhood on Del Paso Boulevard, police arrested one individual for allegedly striking an adult sibling with a baseball bat. Roughly 20 minutes later, a stabbing brought officers to the door of a residence in Parkway-South Sacramento. Police believe a woman used a knife to fend off her brother, who was assaulting her at the time of the incident. Arrests were also made in two separate family disputes reported that day in north Sacramento, including one that resulted in the granting of an emergency restraining order. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

Point in crime While point-in-time counts are notoriously unrepresentative of America’s homeless problem, they’re pretty damning just the same. According to its recently released annual homeless assessment, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says California actually lost ground last year in its attempt to get people off the streets. The state witnessed a 4.5 percent uptick in its homeless population and, overall, accounts for 22 percent of the nation’s homeless citizens. The California Homeless Youth Project spotlighted the young people caught up in this national shame. 2013 represented the first year communities like Sacramento were required to identify 18-to-24-year-olds during their one-night counts. The data submitted tallied more than 61,500 such youth in California, with the biggest concentrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose. (RFH)

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916

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Sacramento County Superior  Court Judge Michael Kenny 

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–68 billion

No smoking, students UC Davis plans to ban smoking and  tobacco products from campus on  January 1 as part of statewide UC  ban. And now Sacramento State’s  president announced last week that  Big Tobacco might be banned as soon  as 2015. This is a good thing: Smoke  that chem final, not Marlboros.

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12   |   SN&R   |   12.05.13

Who said planning commission  meetings were boring? This  week, the city board will  consider conditional-use  permits for the proposed  BevMo! on J and 17th streets,  and two city medical-marijuana  dispensaries. (It’s worth noting  that the new BevMo! will not  be allowed to sell single craft  beers, only packs of two or  more.) Scorekeeper enjoys an  affordably priced libation every  so often (and a lil’ tokie-toke).

+1,700

Jeremy trash talked in class today Eddie Vedder and Seattle-based Pearl Jam  gigged in Oklahoma City last week, where  the conversation invariably turned to  how OKC stole the SuperSonics. And then  it turned to being butthurt about how  Seattle couldn’t steal the Kings. “Fuck  Sacramento,” Vedder told the crowd,  then adding: “If you think about it, if  you’ve ever been to Sacramento, they’re  already kind of fucked.” In other news,  tens of thousands of Sacramentans  converged on Dimple Records to return  their copies of Vitalogy.

–10


Go frequency Dozens of Sacramento-area groups apply   for new low-power FM radio licenses Gina Spadafori lives in a pretty unique community. “I can see the dome of the state Capitol from my backyard. But I’ve got goats and chickens. I can ride a horse in my neighborhood.” If you guessed West Sacramento, pat yourself on the back. Spadafori is a writer of books and columns about animals, she’s a former Sacramento Bee reporter and had a long-running column there on pet care. ARVIN Since West Sacramento sort of G O SM CO by gets short shrift in the regional press, cos mog@ n ewsrev iew.c om Spadafori has teamed up with likeminded folks to try to enhance local news and community-affairs reporting. As part of their effort, Spadafori—along with West Sacramento News-Ledger editor Steve Marschke, former West Sacramento city council member Wesley Beers, and some others— are applying for a new low-power FM radio license, at 92.9 on the dial, so they can build a station to help cover West Sac. If successful, the station would be part of a media effort Spadafori describes as a “tiny ProPublica, but in West Sacramento.” “It has to serve the community, and inform and engage the community,” she says. Spadafori and her neighbors are just one of more than a dozen groups in the area vying for new LPFM licenses. As Bites wrote a few columns back, nonprofit organizations around the country are right now making their pitches to the Federal Communications Commission for the right to build new community stations. The FCC recently released all of the applications and supporting documents to the public. You can sift through all the info at the link provided in the column note, if you’re into that kind of thing. If not, Bites has done it for you. Here’s the run-down on the crop of potential new broadcasters: In Davis, a group called Solar Garden Learning and Entertainment has applied, promising public-affairs programming, “dealing with art, environment, current affairs and media education.” They want a station at 93.1. Another Davis group, Music Only Makes Sense, has applied for a license at 102.9, which will support local live music performances, broadcast artists that don’t get regular airplay elseLook up applications where and help train youth in radio production. for new low-power On the Sacramento side, applications FM radio licenses have come in from an array of groups. The (and other licenses, too) at Sacramento Old City Association, Ubuntu http://www.fcc.gov/ Green and Sacramento Area Peace Action have encyclopedia/fmall applied for a license at 95.7. And the Verge query-broadcastCenter for the Arts, Sacramento French Cultural station-search. Society, and Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen have all applied for a license at 103.1. Bites knows that most of the above groups have been working with another nonprofit called Common Frequency, which helps would-be community broadcasters. And even though all those applications are separate, there may be more cooperation going on there than competition for these spots on BEFORE

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the dial. Also applying for a station at 103.1 is the Women’s Civic Improvement Club of Sacramento Inc., which submitted a broadcast schedule of gospel music, youth radio, and local talk radio. Each potential broadcaster specifies a transmitter location and an estimated service area. Most of the potential Sacramento stations would cover downtown Sacramento and the inner neighborhoods nearby. Some are more centered on South Sacramento, some on North Sacramento, you get the idea. The FCC got applications from the Process Theater Inc. and the Sacramento Blues Society for 93.3, and each has submitted similarlooking programming schedules heavy on the blues and rock.

n e a r

b r o a d w ay

every second sunday

Most of the potential Sacramento stations would cover downtown Sacramento and the inner neighborhoods. Two church groups submitted applications for LPFM licenses. Williams Memorial Church of God in Christ applied for a license at 99.1, which would cover much of the Florin, Parkway, Valley Hi, Laguna areas. North Sacramento Community Radio has applied for 104.7. Bites called the number on that application and was told by a nice man in Texas that North Sacramento Community Radio is a project of some local pastors. Finally, the community media organization Access Sacramento has applied for a license at 96.5, which would cover an area roughly from West Sac to Sacramento State, Natomas to Mack Road. For the last 30 years or so, Access has helped community members produce publicaffairs and educational programming via cable channels 17 and 18, and trained citizens in TV and radio broadcasting skills. The new director, Gary Martin, told Bites the LPFM is a natural extension of their mission, and Access is fortunate in being the only applicant at that particular frequency. “It’s encouraging that we’re a solo requester. But it’s a bit frightening no one else has applied for this frequency. Maybe they know something we don’t.” So, there’s no guarantee that Access Sacramento or any other group will get a license. If Access is successful, Martin says, “For anyone who doesn’t get that chance, if they still have a message they want to share, come to Access Sacramento.” Ω

STORY

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Re-imagining Mack Road

All days are not created equal. For 5,000 Sacramentans, Saturday, April 26, 2014, will be a very happy day. That will be the day that they, the lucky ones, get to work their tails off sanding, painting, planting, fixing and performing numerous other tasks during the ReImagine Mack Road project. I am totally serious. Even though I absolutely hate—and I do mean hate—sanding, painting, planting, fixing and similar tasks, I will also have one of my happiest days next year doing these very things. The reason is simple: I will not be doing it for myself. And, in addition, there is joy when you are doing something good with 4,999 other people. L by JEFF VONKAENE Next April, thousands of soon-to-be-giddy Sacramento residents will fix up parks, restore playj e ffv @n e wsr e v ie w.c o m grounds and upgrade a selected group of homes in the Mack Road area. This innovative neighborhood makeover is coordinated by the Mack Road Partnership, the Mormon Helping Hands program and Rebuilding Together Sacramento. I myself have experienced the good deeds of the Latter-day Saints. One Friday evening, I picked up my little ones at a Knowing the limitations weather-beaten YMCA day-care of my skills, I offered center. On Monday morning, I dropped off the same little ones to paint the inside of a at a freshly painted and newly closet. Fortunately, it landscaped day-care center. The was wonderful. I was a dark closet. transformation could not believe it. Even better, a group of SN&R staff members participated in a Rebuilding Together If you have worked on a Rebuilding home-improvement project in Oak Park. As I mentioned Together or a earlier, I hate home-improvement projects. But since this was Mormon Helping an SN&R project, I grudgingly agreed to participate. When I Hands project, arrived, there were already dozens of people the N Eat W work S & Ron EV IEW BUSINES I would like to a plastic chair was ISSUE DATE hear about your run-down home. Sitting in the driveway on DESIGNER ALof amaze- 06.18.09 experience. Please the elderly widowed homeowner. She had a look email me at jeffv@ ment on her face. FILE NAME newsreview.com. And her feeling was understandable. InTRINITYCATHEDRAL061809R1 the next few hours, the house that she had been living in for decades went through USP (BOLD SELECTI an incredible transformation, as if her fairy godmother had PRICE / ATMOSPHERE / EXPE waved a magic wand. The whole backyard was fixed up and landscaped. The dangerous wiring was replaced.PLEASE There was at CAREFULLY REV ADVERTISEMENT AND VERIFY T least one donated appliance. And the whole house was painted. AD SIZE X INCHES) Knowing the limitations of my skills, I offered to (COLUMNS paint the inside of a closet. Fortunately, it was a dark closet. But at SPELLING the end of the day, the change in the house was unbelievable. NUMBERS & DATES When the amazed widow walked through herCONTACT new house, INFOshe (PHONE, ADDR broke down in tears. And so did most of the tired but happy AD APPEARS AS REQUESTED Rebuilding Together fairy godmothers, including myself.BY: APPROVED Jeff vonKaenel So prepare to be happy. Bring your family, your friends, is the president, CEO and your faith buddies and your work buddies. Call the head of majority owner of the Mack Road Partnership and chief fairy godmother Jenna the News & Review Abbott at (916) 706-3833, or email her jenna@mackroad newspapers in Sacramento, partnership.com to get more information on how to increase Ω Chico and Reno. your happiness. See you on April 26.


THIS MODERN WORLD

BY TOM TOMORROW

More housing Ask the people who actually live on the central-city grid, and they’ll tell you: Full, vibrant neighborhoods aren’t just safer. Neighborhoods where people actually get out of their cars and walk around, spend their money, relax and talk to the people next door are also healthy and prosperous. It’s been a long time since those things could be said of Sacramento’s downtown core. While Midtown has changed dramatically in the past decade or so, as local historian William Burg told Cosmo Garvin in these pages a few weeks ago (see “58,000” SN&R Bites, November 21), the number of people living in the inner city is still far from the population high point of 58,000. How far? About 20,000 people. While there have been numerous attempts at revitalization, these have all relied on getting people to come to grid for something: arts, nightlife, restaurants, booze. And now, an arena. But what about a revitalized grid that didn’t need freeways to bring people in for short periods, and instead, had people there all the time? We applaud the inclusion of housing in the recently released plan for the new arena. It’s a move in the right direction. But are the proposed 550 apartment units enough? No. Let’s hope that the project spurs further housing development of all kinds, affordable and otherwise. As well as the neighborhood amenities like grocery stores and small shops to support a population that will really bring things back to life. A commitment to a renewed downtown and Midtown has got to rely on having people live there. If we build shiny things to attract visitors, we’re left with empty and desolate streets in between visits. And that’s simply no way to live. Ω

Hypno’s cave Hypnosis is a Greek word inspired by a god who dwelled in While Sacramento’s artisan espresso houses a dark cave the sun could never penetrate. This brim with atmosphere, they’re largely peopled by lonesome fate is actually being replayed in local by customers behaving like silent automatons— Scott coffeehouses all around us, but I wasn’t aware of their faces locked blankly onto phones, tablets Thomas it until a recent trip to Greece. and laptops. Few, if any, speak to anyone. Anderson Consider Athens: With its refugee port They sip coffee in isolation, hardwired to the hustlers, 28-percent unemployment rate, a net. I’m as guilty of this behavior as anyone, but paperless sewer system that barely works and I’m also bothered that such inventive spaces are (allegedly) more public graffiti than private often relegated to soundless vaults. And at least windows, it’s easy to see why some view Athens some of the personalities building Sacramento’s as the Tijuana of western coffee scene share this concern: Europe. But if today’s When Chocolate Fish Coffee Scott Thomas Anderson While Greeks are poor in Roasters opened its new East is an author Sacramento location at Sacramento’s and journalist currency, they’re rich in residing in Folsom. elán vital. 4749 Folsom Boulevard, it artisan espresso That becomes more posted a sign that read: “No houses brim with obvious when holding up wifi Zone—conversation Athens’s bustling cafe atmosphere, they’re encouraged!” The idea of an culture to the urban-chic, indie coffeehouse without wifi largely peopled third wave coffee hubs of is unthinkable; and yet that sign Sacramento. remains intact. by customers An online version of this Walking into On a recent fall Sunday, behaving like silent I strolled into Chocolate Fish essay can be found at an Athenian cafe, www.newsreview.com/ you’re greeted by the to see how the bold decision automatons. sacramento/ was playing out. The cafe’s pageburner/blogs sight of friends and strangers engaging in tables were packed with people animated conversations while unapologetically enjoying genuine dialogue. It was loud. It was people-watching. If a Greek coffee-lover isn’t energized. For a moment I felt like I was in interspersing cappuccino with gossip or raucous Greece again, until I realized I’d stepped through debate, then they’re absorbed in a newspaper a portal to a Sacramento that thrived just a or book, the contents of which anyone is free to decade ago, before we fell in love with an evercomment on. Greek cafes are sonorous, lively connected mode of face-to-face detachment. Ω centrifuges of human connectedness. B E F O R E   |   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    

Arts and the arena Proponents of the downtown arena maintain that the plan to spend at least $300 million in public money and assets on a new home for the Sacramento Kings won’t force spending cuts in other areas. But a city report on proposed financing for a remodeling of the Community Center Theater raises serious concerns. The 2,400-seat facility is clearly an important community resource, serving as a home for the California Musical Theatre, the Sacramento Philharmonic, the Sacramento Ballet, the Sacramento Opera and touring acts, and it attracts 250,000 patrons per year. It hasn’t been remodeled since it opened in 1974, and the city is facing a judge’s order to improve access for the disabled. Arts groups are lobbying for a $50 million upgrade, which could be financed via bonds and repaid from hotel taxes, but a report from the City Treasurer’s Office advises postponing the project, partly because the city plans to use hotel taxes to finance the arena. Also, some balk at the $50 million fix, arguing that an entirely new performing-arts center is needed—if only there was the money to pay for it. In other words, the arena is already impacting the way the city addresses other budget priorities even before the project is built. That’s just one more reason the arena shouldn’t go forward without a public vote. Let’s put the project on the June 2014 ballot. Ω | 

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Savannah grew up in an abusive home, became pregnant at 15—and turned to escorting at 18. This past January, two clients abducted, raped and tortured her.

DESPERATELY

bY RAhEEm F. hoSSEINI AND SCoTT ThomAS ANDERSoN r ah eem h @ ne ws re v i e w. c o m

ILLUSTRATIoNS bY JoNAThAN bUCK

SEEKING JUSTICE 16   |   SN&R   |   12.05.13

When a Sacramento SEx WoRKER is ASSAULTED, the system often treats her like a CRImINAL instead of a vICTIm—if she’s even comfortable reporting a CRImE in the first place


Savannah knew she was going to die. Tortured and trussed in handcuffs, cable ties and electrical tape, the 23-year-old escort from Sacramento cowered in the empty bathtub of a hilltop home somewhere in the remote foothills. The woman’s wobbly-eyed captors had spent the past hour brutalizing her with their bodies and the long stem of a shotgun they stuck in Savannah’s face soon after she entered their odd home, with its old-lady knickknacks scattered throughout. Now, her two abductors hovered outside the bathroom, whispering about the next stage of their escalating plan. Savannah (not her real name) is but one member of a persecuted sisterhood. Violence against sex workers is both common and largely ignored, according to the limited data available. When the Urban Justice Center examined the issues facing New York City sex workers in 2005, 46 percent of those surveyed said they had been attacked on the job. Another 30 percent said their interactions with police either involved violence or sex—but not help. Here in “progressive” California, state law actually disqualifies sex workers from receiving statutorily provided victims aid, even in cases of rape. “You have a lot of enemies,” said Kristen DiAngelo, a Sacramento-based escort who has survived multiple attacks. “You have the guys who want to harm you, you have the pimps and you have the police. ...You are in a battle zone 24-seven.” As a result, a silenced community of sex workers has nowhere to turn when attacked. Most never get justice. With her bruised, aching face shrouded under a blanket, Savannah refused to be another statistic. She raged against her maniacal captors as long as she could. And when they battered her into submission, she did the only thing she could think of: spit. Watercolor sputa of blood and saliva slapped the tub’s filmy basin between her legs, its dry porcelain walls and bowed lip. If Savannah was going to die, then she would leave signs that she was here. That she existed. Maybe, she thought, someone would come looking for her in this spooky old house after she was dead. Maybe someone would care.

The assaulT Raised in a home of chronic abuse and neglect, Savannah struck out on her own at the age of 15 and gave birth to her first child soon after. Minimum-wage jobs pulled the single mother to the brink of homelessness and alternative prospects proved bleak without a high-school diploma. When Savannah turned to escorting at

18, she thought she’d found a way to provide her kids all the things she never had. Most of her clients were successful businessmen from Sacramento and Roseville. Except for being stiffed a few times, she’d never experienced danger. Until January 23. According to law-enforcement accounts, firsthand testimonies and eyewitness interviews, this is what happened that drizzly afternoon in a blue-collar suburb of Plymouth, about an hour out of Sacramento: Shortly before 1:30 p.m., Savannah turned her car onto a country lane off state Route 49—an avenue curving up a grassy, rust-yellow hill. Storm clouds rolled above a strip of homes looming on the bluff. The 30-year-old-man who claimed to live at an address beyond this ascent was Vincent Michael Brewer, one of the few clients Savannah neglected to screen through other escorts. On two previous meetings with Brewer, he’d been accompanied by a stocky 38-year-old named Michael Lynn Gunn. During Savannah’s second appointment, she says Gunn morphed into a bully, pulling a fake-cop routine and driving her out of the house in tears.

The state denied Savannah victim compensation. Twenty-eight sex workers received similar rejection letters last year from the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. Braking in front of the dirt-brown residence, Savannah decided she would leave if she saw Gunn again. Brewer opened the door and led her into the sparsely furnished living room. “Is your asshole friend Mike here?” she asked. Brewer smiled and laughed a little, but didn’t answer. He motioned down the hall toward a bedroom adorned with neatly folded women’s clothes, photos of children and a baby bassinet decked with pink-and-white lace. As Savannah leaned against the bed in the middle of the room, Gunn leaped out from under it. “So I’m an asshole, huh, bitch?” he yelled, pointing a black-and-silver 12-gauge at her skull. Both men tore her arms behind her back. Savannah felt a pair of handcuffs bite into her wrists. She screamed for help. Gunn jammed the shotgun’s sawed-off barrel in her mouth. “Shut the fuck up, bitch, or I’ll kill you,” he commanded. Brewer wrenched her head down and mummified it in duct tape. Savannah kicked wildly into a

framed portrait and prayed neighbors would hear the clatter. He grabbed a pillow and jammed it over her face. She bit deep into his chest. Both men rammed their fists into her head and stomach until she stopped. As her mind clouded, the animals set upon her in other ways. And when they had their sickening fill, after more than an hour, they loaded her into a bathtub like a desecrated corpse. By this time Savannah had accepted her fate, explained Chris Crandell, an investigator with the Amador County District Attorney’s Office. “The thing I’ll never forget about the case is that … she had come to terms with this being her last night of living,” shuddered Crandell, a deputy sheriff at the time of the attack. In the back of Brewer’s speeding car, faint shapes blurred by the weather-slicked window. Savannah tried to etch the word “help” with her nose against the fogged glass, but no one noticed. Through the knit blanket covering her head, she saw highway exit markers streak by: VallejoSan Francisco, Benicia, Emeryville, Oakland, Richmond—farther away from home and deeper into the nightmare. At some point, the car slouched to the side. Squeezing her knees together, Savannah tugged the blanket off her face enough to see they were in a parking lot along the water. She spotted a couple standing outside a white truck just two spaces away. Forcing open the back passenger door with her mouth, Savannah spilled onto the concrete and screamed at the top of her lungs. Brewer and Gunn rushed over, sealing her back inside. “What’s wrong with her?” one of the bystanders asked. “Nothing,” Gunn said quickly. “We got into a fight. She’s acting crazy. She’s just tripping.” Savannah didn’t hear the onlooker say another word. The men got back into the car and started the engine. Driving through San Pablo, Brewer asked Savannah if she was going to start cooperating. “I just want you to stop hurting me,” she pleaded. Brewer pulled the wires off her ankles, burned the duct tape off her legs with a Zippo lighter, ripped the tape from her mouth and set flame to the zipties. It was a momentary reprieve. Within seconds, Brewer was sexually assaulting her again. Savannah directed her eyes at Gunn, who steered down an exit road into a dumping site. She made out a sign that read, “Bio-hazard area—stay away.” Brewer leaned over the woman in his lap. “I could throw you in the water in a 50-gallon drum and no one would ever find you,” he hissed. The car slowed.

The hospiTal Tammie Crabtree is used to 2 a.m. wake-up calls. The executive director of Operation Care has held the hand of domestic-violence survivors for 18 years. But she had never laid eyes on someone like Savannah. When Crabtree arrived at Sutter Amador Hospital’s emergency room in Jackson early that Thursday, Crandell was standing in the hall. No one wants to cop to it, but when the call first went out on the radio—that a woman had been abducted and tortured for 10 hours, and then dumped in a neighborhood 2 miles away—everyone was

“seeking justice” BEFORE

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“seeking justice”

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Savannah was ignored for nearly four hours at Sutter Amador Hospital. A woman who works with domestic-violence survivors says there were “judgment issues” at the hospital.

a little suspect. In a tweaker town like theirs, that’s a wolf that gets cried quite often. But Crandell’s “holy shit” expression told Crabtree this was the real deal. “When I walked in [her hospital room], she looked just like a feral child,” Crabtree recalled. “Her hair was matted and she was in a fetal position on the bed. It was just awful.” Draped in a flimsy hospital smock, Savannah gathered herself into a ball for warmth, and to avoid resting on her backside, gashed from being dragged around by the chain of her handcuffs. She’d been at the hospital for nearly four hours, but no one had tended her wounds, including the deep rings around her bloated, nerve-damaged hands. Only Crandell kept her company, switching off his tape recorder after their interview and sitting with her. “When I got there, I knew there were some judgment issues,” Crabtree told SN&R. Judgment isn’t unique to rural areas. The Urban Justice Center says federal funding efforts to curb sexually-transmitted diseases and human trafficking come with strings that often force health-care and social workers to “deny sex workers around the world the health services they need to survive.” To that point, a 36-year-old sex worker who was raped and strangled in Oakland last 18   |   SN&R   |���  12.05.13

year told SN&R she was also treated coldly by emergency-room staff. “I cooperated from the get-go,” said the woman, who asked that she be identified as Ms. R. “I gave them my real name. I gave them access to my home. I gave them access to my body for evidence, thinking I would get medical care.” Ms. R. claimed that didn’t happen, but she did get a big, fat bill. Back at Sutter, Crabtree marched toward a nurse and demanded a blanket and socks. Fifteen minutes later, when Crabtree pulled her client’s discharge papers, there was another muted confrontation. The paperwork said Savannah was being discharged “into custody,” which is what’s written when a suspected criminal is released from hospital care. “You need to put that she’s here for a [rape] exam,” Crabtree told the admitting nurse. “She’s a sexual-assault victim.” The nurse amended the line item. By that time, Savannah had changed back into her soiled clothes and wandered outside into the twilight. Crabtree led the young woman to her car. “I had to put newspapers on the seat of my car because she was seeping clear liquid from

her butt through her clothes,” Crabtree said. “They didn’t do anything.” Sixteen hours after she was shoveled onto an unfamiliar street, Savannah’s wounds were cleaned and bandaged at a neighboring hospital the following afternoon. Sutter Health charged her $1,500 for its care.

The sTigma The myth that sex workers are somehow unrapeable because of their profession was explored in a 1995 research paper that appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Deviant Behavior. After interviewing 16 street prostitutes, the authors, two sociology professors from the University of Southern California and Ohio University, concluded that violence against prostitutes sheds light on violence against all women. But efforts to shelter sex workers under the umbrella of campaigns aimed at stopping violence against women have fallen short. More recent—and relevant—studies are hard to come by. “There are no stats, because nobody cares enough to fund those studies,” said Maxine Doogan, president of Los Angeles-based

advocacy group the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project, and a working escort herself. “They only care if we have a pimp.” According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 67 percent of all rape victims never come forward, but actual figures are probably even higher. In a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Research Council determined last month that crime statisticians drastically undercount sexual assault, in part because their surveys lump rape in with other offenses and don’t provide the option of anonymity. Even when brave victims do come forward, most rape cases go nowhere. According to the FBI, arrests occurred in only 21 percent of rape cases last year in California. Clearance rates dipped to a shade under 19 percent in Sacramento County. The results are even worse for sex workers, even though they’re more likely targets. Following a brutal rape in 1983, Sacramento escort DiAngelo, now 55, lay in a hospital bed at UC Davis Medical Center while police officers told her that pressing charges would only get her arrested, too. Even after she went over their heads to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, her attacker ended


up accepting a knocked-down plea deal and a The courTroom 45-day sentence of picking up trash along the highway, which he served during weekends. In a tea-colored superior courtroom on a “That was typical,” said DiAngelo, who has slow-cooked May morning, a visiting judge become an advocate for sex workers’ rights. who resembles a svelte Wilford Brimley seats “You can’t call the police. Nobody’s going to himself and gavels the matter to order. help you. They won’t even listen to you.” Brewer and Gunn stand behind a rich, Thirty years later, that belief remains intact. burnished table wearing matching jumpsuits and “It seems pretty obvious that a number blank expressions. Horizontally striped in pale of sex workers don’t report the assaults orange and tawny white, the accused rapists they suffer for a whole host of reasons,” resemble toddlers observed Kimberly in shackles. Brewer A. Horiuchi, an especially, with his attorney with the round, slack face American Civil and pinking cheeks. Liberties Union of But the litany of Northern California. charges—forced Most sex workers rape, forced oral that come through copulation, anal or Crabtree’s shelter genital penetration doors seeking help with an object, decline to report their kidnapping, assault assaults to authorities. with a firearm, on The majority return and on—is the work to their abusers. of monsters. “No matter how It’s only when much assurance Savannah enters that we’d give them … the co-defendants’ there’s no way they’d expressions shift. report,” Crabtree said. They glance back Fear is often the at the woman they overriding factor—of tormented, trying to retaliation, of being Even though Savannah was assaulted, make eye contact. arrested or not being tortured and left for dead by captors outside Savannah trembles, of Sacramento, the state denied her victim believed, and fear even with three burly compensation because she was a sex worker. of starting over. bailiffs crowding the That last wrinkle is defense table. especially unique. Absorbing none “The added factor of this, the judge for these women … arrives to the point: this is like their job,” “The defendant Crabtree explained. has the mental “It completely not just competency to changes you emotionstand trial,” he ally, but now it’s declares. “Criminal financially affecting her proceedings are as well.” now reinstated.” As a result, female Brewer’s prostitutes are 34 public defender more times likely to quickly starts be killed by homicide sniffing around than the average for a plea deal. Californian, says a Deputy District 2003 study in the Attorney Gabrielle American Journal of Stidger is amenable Epidemiology. Most to the idea. In her sex workers have mind, she’s already drafted out a 25-years-totaken to self-policing through unofficial life offer that both men would have to accept, or escort websites like myRedBook, where they risk going to trial, where a mountain of physical tag “bad dates” in online forums to warn evidence, and a motivated victim, could doom each other away from violence and robbery. them for multiple lifetimes. But with a widened campaign against human But Stidger wants to spare her star witness trafficking—one that’s created new federal the trauma of testifying, where she’d be raked and state income streams for law-enforcement over the details of the crime and her profession agencies—escorts like DiAngelo say they could by both defense attorneys. The prosecutor be prosecuted simply for sharing information also knows there’s a risk, even a small one, in or providing support. For instance, someone putting Savannah before a conservative county who drives an escort across county lines to an jury and asking them to sympathize with an appointment and then waits in the car to make escort. sure she returns safely could be accused of Stidger’s boss, District Attorney Todd Riebe, trafficking. crunched the mental math himself. “It hasn’t manifested itself yet, at least to “I think there were a few potential hurdles my knowledge, but theoretically that could be a if the case went to a jury trial—just because concern … given the extraordinarily expansive you might be up against jurors who are put off definition of human trafficking,” Horiuchi by it, or have a really judgmental mindset,” he allowed. “That shouldn’t be the way that sex acknowledged. “But I don’t think that detail was workers find safety in sex work.” a fatal challenge at all. I was confident that no Maybe not. But what’s the alternative?

matter what she was doing at the time, nothing would justify to jurors the crimes these men committed.” Reality doesn’t always break that way. In 2007, a Philadelphia judge reduced the charges of four men accused of gang-raping a female escort at gunpoint to theft of services. Ms. R. described her dealings with Alameda County prosecutors as traumatizing. “They have hurt me way more than the rape ever could,” she said. But even when you have a sympathetic district attorney on your side, as in Savannah’s case, there are still setbacks. Ten months, 18 court dates and seven judges passed since two sadists tried to bury Savannah in their own hatred. They almost did. Savannah’s returned to the ER seven times for panic attacks. She has nightmares that it’s her teddy bear of a husband accosting her instead of Brewer and Gunn. The state has also denied her victim compensation application for counseling and moving costs twice—because she was “involved in the underlying crime of prostitution.” “I was embarrassed that that came from anyone who even pretends they’re representing victims,” Crabtree scolded. Twenty-eight sex workers received similar rejection letters last year from the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. Savannah isn’t alone, but she feels like she is. “It’s hard. It’s still hard,” she admitted, her earthy brown eyes glistening. “But I’ve had to move on with my life.”

Last month, she took a big step. Savannah and her family caravanned from their patchwork life in Carmichael so she could speak at the felony sentencing hearing. After a tragicomedy of courtroom miscues—starring bickering defendants, dismissed attorneys and politically hamstrung judges—Brewer and Gunn finally swallowed a 25-to-life deal and admitted their guilt. November 1 was the first time Savannah’s attackers heard her voice since she begged them for her life. Her back to a shushed audience, the young mother of two steadied her trembling hands and explained what it felt like to have her sacred things taken. As she read, Brewer clenched his reddening jaw. His collaborator adopted a more hapless expression, looking both shameful and dopey. “I am so thankful that I am here today to tell my story about the two monsters that now get to pay for their evil ways,” she said in a soft, steady voice. After concluding her statement, the woman who wouldn’t stop fighting waded through an orange-glow courtroom that’d fallen pin-drop silent. There are thousands of stories like hers, untold by a repressed sorority whose contours may never be known. Survivors often ask Crabtree whether coming forward is worth it. The advocate doesn’t always know what to say. “You have to be really, really strong,” she advises them. Then she thinks of Savannah. “It’s really pretty amazing how much inner strength she found.” Ω

Arrests occurred in only 21 percent of rape cases last year in California, and 19 percent in Sacramento County. The results are even worse for sex workers, even though they’re more likely targets.

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After much delay, Savannah’s captors pleaded guilty to 25-years-to-life sentences.

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ABOVE BY BLAKE

GILLESPIE

PHOTO BY LOVELLE

HARRIS

THE RIM SACRAMENTO STATE’S MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM MAY NOT BOAST A WINNING RECORD, BUT HEAD COACH BRIAN KATZ STILL MAKES SURE HIS PLAYERS GOT GAME

To outsiders, it may not seem that Sacramento State’s head basketball coach Brian Katz has much to offer when it comes to recruiting blue-chip players or peddling the luster of a Division I sports team to wide-eyed high-school athletes. For local hoops followers, however, there’s a bit of lore surrounding Katz. Basketball enthusiasts speak of a man who’s more focused on building a family than selling recruits on the promise of something bigger, the promise of something difficult to deliver.

Sac State head men’s basketball coach Brian Katz, now in his sixth season with the Division I team, places an emphasis on team camaraderie, community and academics.

20   |   SN&R   |   12.05.13


Happy birthday Jane Austen! See NIGHT & DAY

23

A very atheist Christmas See COOLHUNTING

Katz, after all, can’t be that coach as the head of a program that’s boasted no winning seasons since it entered Division I athletics way back in 1991. As such, he doesn’t fall into the prestigious ranking of a legacy team coach, nor can he offer a recruit the opportunity to put up the kind of big statistics that catch the NBA’s attention. He doesn’t even have the goods needed to lure in a player on the idea of playing in a first-class facility.

Still, even with seemingly less to offer, Katz has managed to improve his recruiting talent. And in 38 years of coaching (the last six of those spent with the Hornets), he’s recorded three significant improvements in every program he commands: emphasize defense,

Rather, Katz can offer future Hornets a modest 1,200-seat gymnasium known as The Nest, the university’s solid curriculum and an invitation to join a family. And for Katz, only two of the three factor into his beliefs on how an athlete should select a college. “There [are] four reasons to choose a school, and I’ll defy anybody to argue with me,” Katz says. Ultimately, he says, those factors come down to major, the university and its surrounding community, the head coach, and, finally, a player’s teammates. “The rest is all immaterial, it’s all fluff and it erodes away after a month,” Katz says. Those features regularly attract players to the Hornets. In 2012, for example, then-recruit Cody Demps—now a sophomore starting forward for the Hornets— turned down Columbia University to play for Katz and enroll in Sac State’s mechanical engineering program. Likewise, Nick Hornsby, an all-state player from Irvine; Eric Stuteville, a center from Casa Roble High School; and Trevis Jackson, a point guard from Santa Monica who played in the MaxPreps 2013 California Division I All-State championship game, also joined the team for similar reasons on signing day in April. Sure, these aren’t acquisitions on the level of Nick Nolte bringing in Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal, à la the 1994 film Blue Chips, but that’s because Katz’s philosophy is plausible, modest and geared toward teaching young men how to be leaders on and off the court. While the NCAA’s bigger programs draw criticisms for their alleged exploitation of players and recruitment scandals, for players at this smaller level, the essence of being a college athlete—of majoring in something other than a smooth jump shot— can still ring true.

steadily improve program and graduate players. When it comes to speaking with outsiders, however, there’s only so much Katz is willing to offer up, but the insights he does share suggest his program is run on the basis of simple, easy-to-remember mantras for the players. “Get better everyday,” he says, by way of example. Also: “Win the next game,” and “Have more fun than any other team in the country.” Or, as a gold-lettered sign above the locker-room exit reads: “Everything you do and don’t do affects your teammates.”

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Travel the soul See ASK JOEY

THE HIVE MIND It’s a Thursday-afternoon practice; just three days earlier the Hornets lost to UC Los Angeles by 36 points. Now, Katz pauses a drill that’s designed to better the team’s transition defense—a problem he saw in the team’s play against the Bruins. During an inner-squad scrimmage, he notices that one team is taking it easy on the other team. He stops to ask the collective group a question: “Is it better to be harder on ourselves or easier to help out our teammates?” The players respond in choir: “Harder.” The UCLA players, Katz tells his players, offered no favors. There is no opposing team offering to fix their defensive holes. He ends his speech with the mantra from that locker-room sign: “Everything you do and don’t do affects your teammates.” The drill resumes and the results Katz has demanded are finally met. Defensive positions are sound,  

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SACRAMENTO STATE HEAD BASKETBALL COACH

proper assists and rotations are made. There are even a few forced turnovers. In short, everything you do and don’t do affects your teammates. Katz’s players hear this in practice when the coach wants to emphasize a teaching point or criticism. It is echoed by teammates when more effort is needed. When the players finish warm-ups and stretches, they gather beneath a basketball hoop and chant, on three, “Together.” Stuteville, the team center, says he keeps the phrase close. “That runs off everything,” he says. “It relates to study hall, even. If someone is late, it affects our teammates because we’ll all have to run. It’s a system you have to buy into, but you realize in time that it is beneficial and not just words being put out there softly.” Earlier that day, in his office, Katz elaborated on his philosophy. The mantra, he says, is applicable in any team-oriented setting: on the court, in the office, at home with family. “Everyone talks about the things you do,” he says. “But how about the things you don’t do?” He gives a few examples of such: “Are you eating properly? Are you in good enough shape? Did you do your homework in advance so that you’re not up until 2 or 3 in the morning the night before a game?”

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See THE 420

All factor into the responsibility he demands. “The only thing you are accountable to is the guys in the locker room and your coach,” Katz says. “We can’t be interested in how it turns out for any one individual, it’s about the team.” In a sense, he’s wants his players to maintain a hive mentality. To Katz, the tendency to separate a player from the team to be responsible for success or failure runs counter to the inherent nature of the sport. It even applies to incoming recruits. Katz’s philosophy on such dates back to his graduate assistant work under Carroll Williams and Dick Davey at UC Santa Clara 25 years ago. Ultimately, he aims to “get the kids that want to be coached, want to be at the school and be a part of the community.” The decision of who is welcomed into the hive does not rest entirely on Katz’s opinion. It’s earned through the respect of the entire program, from the coaches to the players. Prior to committing to Sac State, Stuteville recalls feeling welcomed by the team in biweekly open gym meets and hanging out with the players. Junior guard Dylan Garrity says when he was a freshman, the upperclassmen did the same for him. Now, he follows their example of helping incoming students assimilate into university life. And when the players don’t respond well to a recruit, the coaches notice. On November 1, in an exhibition game against Menlo College, one particular sharpshooter came off the bench immediately firing from beyond the arc to keep the game close in the first half. The player was a former Hornets recruit, who stepped into The Nest with a chip on his shoulder and a message to send: “You passed on my game.” What that athlete will never understand is that it had little to do with his shooting ability and a lot to do with his character.

“THE ONLY THING YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO IS THE GUYS IN THE LOCKER ROOM AND YOUR COACH.”

B ri an K at z

Vaping for the holidays

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His attitude rubbed the Hornet players the wrong way and, in the end, factored into his future. The players found him to be too bossy, a “know-it-all”—both undesirable traits for a recruit. Brandon Laird, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Hornets, sees it this way: “I’m not dealing with the problems and issues that player brings to the table. You have to believe your value system. We believe we’re building a brotherhood.” Katz agrees. “A kid has to be good enough, that’s the cut line,” says Katz. “[A player who is] good enough, does he want to be part of a team or a family? “A lot of times the mid-major schools [such as Sac State] are viewed as a place where a guy can go and put up numbers,” he says. “If that’s why a guy is here, we probably don’t want him. A guy can come put up numbers, but it has to happen within the framework of the team.” Katz says this year’s roster has a want-to mentality as opposed to a have-to one. Junior guard Garrity agrees. The teams boasts a definite sense of camaraderie, he says, regularly organizing post-practice hangouts and tailgates for Hornets football games. And while outsiders might consider the team’s 2-3 start to be a slow one, Katz views it as not much different than the 3-0 start last year. The players don’t have the same confidence, he says, but they are still figuring out the team and working to better their execution. In the locker room after that particularly disastrous game against the Bruins, Katz posed a question to his players: “Do you want me to lower the bar? Do you want me to tell you we can’t beat them?” For the coach, that’s not even an option. “Losing’s not OK, and I’m not lowering the bar,” he says. “There’s not one game on our schedule that we can’t win. I’m not saying we’re going to win, but there’s a way if you’re willing to search hard and find it.” Ω For more information on the Sacramento State men’s basketball team, including a schedule of games, visit www.hornetsports.com/sports/mbkb.

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SN&R   |  12.05.13

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For the week of December 5 PHOTO BY KEITH LEVIT

ALT-IDAYS

HAPPY by J O N ATHA N M E N D I C K

L

ET’S BE HONEST:

  There are way too many holiday  events happening this month, and  I’m probably not the only one who’s already  starting to get sick of Christmas music. This  is the time of year when I start avoiding the  mall like the plague, duck out from holiday  parties and question where all these strange  holiday traditions even came from. Thankfully,  lost among the deluge of carolers, Santa costumes and Christmas trees, there are a few  alternatives to traditional holiday happenings.  Following are some of Sacramento’s quirkiest,  outside-the-box holiday events this week: It sounds like a tradition Dwight Schrute  might have invented to trick the rest of his  co-workers on The Office, but it’s real: The  Laternenumzug Children’s Lantern Parade happens Friday, December 6, at Sacramento Turn  Verein (3349 J Street). Kids can build lanterns  starting at 6 p.m., followed by a lantern parade  (with songs) at 7 p.m., which will end back at  Turn Verein for cookies and hot chocolate. Visit  http://sacramentoturnverein.com for more  information. Make your own holiday cards and ornaments  at MyStudio, an urban art studio in Midtown  that just opened this summer. According to its  Facebook page, this event, which starts at 4 p.m.  on Saturday, December 7, will teach participants  how to make up to four “holiday hangie thingies,” plus artistic holiday cards. Materials, hot 

chocolate and cookies are included in the $25  admission fee. Head to www.mystudio  sacramento.com or www.facebook.com/  mystudiosacramento for more information. Christmas is all about the decorations. But  decorations look even better when they’re  affixed to architecturally splendorous homes.  The 2013 Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour lets  you tour five houses in East Sacramento’s  “Fabulous Forties” neighborhood, all decked  out with custom interior design and elaborate  holiday décor. Tickets are $25 in advance and  $30 the day of the event. Tours are available Friday, December 6, through Sunday,  December 8, and start on 38th Street between  M and Folsom streets. More details at   www.sacredhearthometour.com. This year’s most unusual toy drive is  probably the Golden Ticket Toy Drive, a collaborative effort between Mikuni Japanese  Restaurant & Sushi Bar, de Vere’s Irish Pub  and Sacramento Kings player DeMarcus  Cousins. Here’s how it goes: Bring gifts to any  Mikuni or de Vere’s location (which go to The  Kylee Lillich Charitable Giving Tree, a nonprofit  benefiting children in need) and receive an  envelope. Some envelopes have golden tickets,  exchangeable for such prizes as gift cards,  Kings tickets or sushi-making classes with  Big Cuz. The drive lasts through December 10.  Head to http://goldenticketca.com for more  details.                                                                                   

WEEKLY PICKS

Femme: Women Healing the World

Good: Holiday Edition

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, THROUGH SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

Femme: Women Healing the World  is a documentary that looks at the  world’s crises and women actively  engaged in healing global society’s myriad maladies.  FILM Sacramento-area author  and one of the film’s producers,  Margie Yee Webb, will be joined  after the screening by several  other producers and the film’s  director, Emmanuel Itier, for a  post-screening Q-and-A session.  $12, 7:30 p.m. at the Crest   Theatre, 1013 K Street;   www.femmethemovie.com.

For those who would rather eat  coal than brave the Westfield  Galleria at Roseville during the  holidays, an appealing alternative  is the Good: Street Food + Design  Market Holiday Edition. In addition  to plenty of opportunities to shop  local, there are  SHOPPING cocktails, food  and a hot-chocolate bar, which  could even make hearing “Santa  Baby” for the 100th  time (almost)  tolerable. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at   1409 Del Paso Boulevard,   http://gooddesignmarket.com.

—Deena Drewis

—Jonathan Mendick

Jane Austen Birthday Tea

Makers Mart

Obamacare & You: An Evening with ‘Ask Emily’y’

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

There is a certain code of conduct  among hard-core Jane Austen fans.  For instance, you are unofficially  LITERATURE required to  prefer the  BBC series of Pride and Prejudice  over the film starring Keira  Knightley. Austen devotees are also  surely aware it’s the 200th publication anniversary of said novel this  year, and will celebrate with tea,  an auction and English country  dancing. $15, 2 to 4 p.m. at the  Sacramento Public Library,   828 I Street; (916) 264-2880;   www.saclibrary.org.

Browse handmade gifts and  goods, with a likely shot at getting  something more creative than  socks and a beanie. Or, if you do  end up with socks or a beanie,  they’ll be of a creative oneof-a-kind variety, so you can’t  lose. Makers Mart is part of the  Midtown Business Association’s   12 Days of  SHOPPING Midtown   (www.exploremidtown.org).  11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bows   & Arrows, 1815 19th Street;   http://makers-mart.blog  spot.com.

—Deena Drewis

—Deena Drewis

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9 Yes, the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act’s website had  a comically bad launch. But thanks  to political smear campaigns and  unoriginal comedians with nothing  else to joke  INFORMATION about, the  law’s good intentions have been  muddled underneath the surrounding chatter. California HealthCare  Foundation Center for Health  Reporting senior writer Emily Bazar  will break down the ACA—which is no  joke for the uninsured—at this informational session. Free, 6:30 p.m. at  Sacramento State University Union  Ballroom, 6000 J Street.

—Jonathan Mendick BEFORE

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‘Tis the Season FOR THE SEASON OF AUDI At Niello Audi

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*$3,958.51 due at signing. 10,000 miles per year, $0.25 in excess. No security deposit. On approved credit. First payment made by AOA. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document, preparation charges, and any emission testing charge. See dealer for details. Five at this price. Offer expires 1/2/14.

Niello Audi 2350 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95821 888.451.4324 24 

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*$4,419.92 due at signing. 10,000 miles per year, $0.25 in excess. No security deposit. On approved credit. First payment made by AOA. $1,000 Lease Cash Bonus. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charges, and any emission testing charge. See dealer for details. Two at this price. Stock #18101, 18050. Offer expires 1/2/14.


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Wicked West Pizza & BBQ 3160 Jefferson Boulevard in West Sacramento, (916) 572-0572, www.wickedwestpizza.com I once made the mistake of going to Chuck E. Cheese’s house of cacophony for a birthday party. As if the noise wasn’t reason enough to flee, the food by Ann Martin Rolke and beer served there were subpar at best. At the time, I thought a place with good food and higher-end alcohol would make parents more likely to chill out while the kiddos were off their rockers on video games. Fortunately, the owners of Wicked West Pizza & BBQ thought the same. Wicked West, which opened three years ago in West Sacramento, satisfies the wee gamblers in trainRating: ing by offering a wealth of arcade-styled games. HHH But the restaurant’s owners are also savvy Dinner for one: enough to ply adults with better-than-expected $5 - $10 food and drink. Even more impressive is that the food here is made primarily with organic and locally sourced ingredients, including whole-wheat crusts and pastas. Wicked West is a popular destination for sports teams and birthday parties, but it also caters to adult diners with live music inside or on the patio. Most importantly, the food is good. We were pleasantly surprised to see healthier choices, such as organic whole-wheat crusts as the default option for the pizzas. Gluten-free H and vegan options are also available. Be careful FLAWED about the size of the pizza you choose: The HH “Wicked” is a 20-inch behemoth, and singleHAS MOMENTS serving slices are cut from these giants. With a HHH texture closer to Chicago style than New York APPEALING style, the pizzas are tasty but quite filling. HHHH The dough, pleasantly reminiscent of soft AUTHORITATIVE pretzels, is braided over a bit of cheese and HHHHH sauce at the edges. You can choose from houseEPIC made sauces and fresh toppings, or pick from one of the inventively named presets. The Old Lady is especially good, with pesto, potatoes, spinach, lots of veggies and a zingy balsamic drizzle. The much meatier Rib Feast sports tomato and barbecue sauces, beef and pork rib meat, caramelized onions, and cilantro. Still hungry? Another choice, The Campbell River, has a Search SN&R’s lighter, brunch-inspired combination of garlic“Dining Directory” Parmesan sauce, smoked salmon, red onions, to find local restaurants by name tomatoes and capers. or by type of food. The biggest secret here, though, is the barbeSushi, Mexican, Indian, cue. While “BBQ” is in the joint’s name, you Italian—discover it might not expect such an array of slow-smoked all in the “Dining” section at meats and well-executed sides, but that’s what www.news you get. Wicked West delivers with shredded, review.com. tender meat that’s lightly smoky and tossed with a vinegar-based sauce. While the sourdough bun isn’t classic (that would be Wonder Bread), it holds up well to the juicy meat. The pork ribs are dry-rubbed and toothsome, while the tri-tip is well cooked but leans toward a dry texture. A bit of sauce on the side would fix that right up. The chicken is rubbed with olive oil and herbs and rotisserie-smoked to produce a moist and juicy result. The best deal BEFORE

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4717 Whitney Ave | Carmichael, CA 916.485.4446 Open Mon–Sat 11am to 8pm

1830 J ST SACRAMENTO 916.329.8678 www.sawasdeesac.com

is the 3 Meat Sampler, which can be served with two sides. Make sure that one of those sides includes the sweet corn fritters. These are nuggets of panko-crusted creamy corn that we couldn’t stop eating. The requisite mac and cheese is a nice version with whole-wheat elbows and sharp cheddar, baked with crumbs on top. It’s not an uber-creamy style, but offers plenty of cheesy goodness and homemade cred.

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Wicked West Pizza & BBQ delivers with shredded, tender pulled-pork meat that’s lightly smoky and tossed with a vinegarbased sauce. Rounding out your happy meal is a choice of mainstream beers and microbrews, plus California wines by the glass. Kids can get organic milk or juice boxes or bottomless fountain drinks. For dessert, Wicked West serves organic gelatos and sorbettos made from scratch. The fat-free dark-chocolate sorbetto is amazingly rich and creamy, while the salted-caramel gelato is clearly made with a well-crafted amber caramel that renders it not just sweet but nuanced. Ω

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Soldiers of change

Soldiers are trained to be killing machines, more or less. But Slate recently reported that the Norwegian Armed Forces will be supporting less killing—one day a week, anyway. The army announced it’s instituting “meatless Mondays” at all of its bases to reduce the negative impacts that animal farming has on climate change. It expects this will reduce the army’s consumption of flesh by 150 tons in just a year! No, this one program by this one army won’t solve climate change, but it does set a fantastic example, because if every army, school or household followed suit, then imagine that impact. So, for taking a step in the right direction for the environment, personal health and the animals, we salute the Norwegian Armed Forces. Now, are you ready to fight climate change?

STORY

any o re* $20 or mo exp 12/12/13

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—Shoka

A RT S & C U LT U R E

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Downtown

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.

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.

Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Becky Grunewald, Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord and Jonathan Mendick, updated regularly. Downtown & Vine This tasting room  and wine bar spotlights the local  Check out farm-to-glass movement. Here,  www.newsreview.com diners can order 2-ounce tastfor more dining advice. ing 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  cheddar-and-apple melt. Or  try the ambrosial Wine Country  sandwich, with salty prosciutto,  sweet fig jam, oozy mozzarella 

Midtown

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.

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

Starlite Lounge Kitsched up with 

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 

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  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 

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Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm • Fri & Sat 11am-10:30pm

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 

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

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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.

Arden/ Carmichael

Yang’s Noodles Chinese food is endlessly complex and diverse with “Eight Schools,” or regional styles, including Taiwanese cuisine, which is served at Yang’s Noodles. Except this isn’t really traditional Taiwanese food (you won’t find dishes such as glutinous pancakes served with oysters and egg, or mushrooms steamed in hollow bamboo stalks, for example). This is, however, perhaps the only place in town that serves niu rou jian bing (sliced beef rolls)—a specialty of northern China—and the ones at Yang’s hit the spot. This is basically the Chinese version of a burrito: meat (thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce) plus veggies (diced green onion, cucumber and cilantro) wrapped in a large, flat and circular carbohydrate crepe (a thin Chinese pancake made out of flour, water and green onion). Elsewhere on the menu, Yang’s eponymous noodles, featured in various dishes, are homemade, alkaline and chewy. Chinese. 5860 Stockton Blvd., (916) 392-9988. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHHH J.M.

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 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.

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

ILLUSTRATION BY MARK STIVERS

three versions of the dish: beef with tripe, chicken with gizzards, or pork with pork skin. The beef salad offers a gentle respite from aggressive flavors, consisting of medium-thick chewy slices of eye of round with red bell pepper, chopped iceberg and hot raw jalapeño. The single best dish here is the nam kao tod, a crispy entree with ground pork that’s baked on the bottom of the pan with rice, then stirred and fried up fresh the next day with dried Thai chilies and scallions. Thai and Lao. 2827 Norwood Ave., (916) 641-5890. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHHH B.G.

Auburn Carpe Vino This quaint wine shop

Stirling Bridges Restaurant and Pub 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

s r e m o t s u c r u o g n i Wish

y p p a H s y a d i l Ho

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. 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.

Boba and brown sugar

Sadly, Sacramento’s boba tea selection (a.k.a. bubble tea or pearl milk tea—whatever you want to call it) isn’t what it could be. After living for five years in Orange County, I found myself spoiled by incredible bubble-tea shops, such as Cha For Tea; 85C Bakery Cafe and Class 302 Cafe. After returning to Sacramento in 2008 and sampling the few boba franchises that the city does have—Quickly, Lollicup and Tapioca Express—made for a sort of five-year-long tapioca-tea letdown. Fortunately, a pretty good boba place popped up a few months ago inside the 99 Ranch Market called Brown Sugar Bubble Milk, and it stacks up against some of the best pearl milk tea drinks in Southern California. It uses brown sugar, cooks its boba to a nice, soft consistency, and offers toppings such as grass jelly, chia seeds and green beans. It’s located at 4220 Florin Road, Suite 106. Find out more at www.brownsugarbubblemilk.com. —Jonathan Mendick

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José Montoya, the esteemed local poet, art professor  and activist, died on September 25, and his colleagues  at Sacramento State University will pay  POETRY tribute to him with A Salute to José Montoya. The event, which takes place Thursday, December  5, will feature poets honoring the pioneering artist— known globally for his work with the 1970s-era Rebel  Chicano Art Front (later renamed the Royal Chicano Air  Force). The event is billed as a precursor to an upcoming art exhibit by the same name, which will highlight  Montoya’s art and poetry as well as works by other artists. The poetry event starts at 7 p.m. in Solano Hall at  Sacramento State (6000 J Street). The exhibit runs from  Wednesday, December 11, through Sunday, January 12,  2014, at the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento  (1519 J Street). www.al.csus.edu/art, www.ccasac.org. —Rachel Leibrock

Double the trouble MEAL DEAL WITH THE DEVIL!! AND BOBBY JOE EBOLA SONGBOOK Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits, the  East Bay folk-punk satirical duo, is venturing into the  publishing world. For their first endeavor, Dan Abbott and Corbett Redford have written not one, but  two books. The first, Meal Deal With the Devil!! (Microcosm Publishing, $19.95), features two illustrated  stories drawn by Jason Chandler: “Down at the  Jamboree” and “The Town With No Beer.” It comes  with a CD of related songs and reads like a parody  of ’70s-era sing-along storybooks. The second book,  BOOK Bobby Joe Ebola Songbook ($15.95),  includes a collection of lyrics and guitar  chords from the band’s 98-song catalog.   http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/4761. —Aaron Carnes

Picture the city SACRAMENTO SKYLINE PRINT If you’ve got some bare walls in dire need of a pop of  color—and personality—check out these graphic prints  SHOP from Bao Studio. The New York-based  gallery sells bold graphic city prints under  the Etsy name PineShore, and while it might seem a  bit strange to buy your Sactown homage from an East  Coast shopkeep, these are definitely worth a look.  Ranging in size and price ($16-$260, plus shipping), these  prints feature a pretty line drawing-esque filtered  black-and-white photo of the Sacramento skyline,  available in a choice of 56 colors. Printed on acid-free  archival art paper. http://tinyurl.com/lwe28hm. —Rachel Leibrock

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The (funny) war on Christmas ATHEIST CHRISTMAS (OR X-MAS OF INFAMY) A self-described “Level 12” atheist,  Keith Lowell Jensen isn’t shy about  his beliefs as a nonbeliever.  But, unlike some who make a  habit of belittling those with different opinions (be  COMEDY it a fundamentalist  Christian or fellow atheist), Jensen  is more polite about his viewpoints. And, perhaps more importantly,  he’s funny. Jensen will take to the stage  at the Sacramento Comedy Spot  on Saturday, December 7, to joke  for the cause in a show set to  be recorded for the comedian’s  fourth album. Atheist Christmas (or X-mas of  Infamy)—will feature the comedian  riffing on all things Santa Claus,  reindeer, gift-giving and sweet  baby Jesus. It won’t be the first time he’s  gone off on the jolly holly season. In a recent blog post, Jensen  mused on why Christians resent  what they see as an atheist  co-opting of the holiday. Simply  put, you should expect to suffer  through church and sermonizing if  you want to cash in. “It takes 52 Sundays of getting  up early to be bored out of your  skull by someone who has no business being on a stage except that  he excels at self righteousness  before you’re qualified to get new  guitar strings and a reindeer who  poops chocolate covered raisins   in a fluffy red sock,” Jensen wrote  on his blog, http://keithlowell  jensen.blogspot.com. “You can’t just  march in here for the good stuff!” He’s got a point, really. 8 p.m., $12, Sacramento   Comedy Spot,1050 20th Street,   Suite 130; (916) 444-3137; www.sac  comedyspot.com. —Rachel Leibrock


The soul’s small voice I just graduated from college, and I don’t know what to do to begin the next step in my life. I enjoy talking to people, travel and photography. If I keep saving money, I could have $6,000 by August. I want to use this money to travel to Europe, but I worry that I should be practical and spend it on creating a new professional life in San Francisco. I have asked a lot of people what to do, because by JOEY GA I want to make the most RCIA educated decision possible. What’s your advice? a skj o ey @ n ewsreview.c om Live an uncompromised modern life. After 16 years in the U.S. education system where you studied what other people think, and Joey wants to be in New how other people have seen, shaped Orleans for the or merchandised the world, it’s your Réveillon. turn. Re-enter the childhood experience of wonder, curiosity, creativity and grace by allowing the world to be your playground. Go to Europe or any other continent or country that requires you to push yourself beyond the familiar. Listen to the soul’s small voice (it’s small, so we must be still and quiet to hear). Trust its wisdom. The call to your vocation is alive in you. Follow that call.

Safety cannot be bought or guaranteed, not by wealth, not by conservative choices, not by faith and not by practicality. When you do, doubt may arise occasionally to test your commitment. The choice to value freedom, self-awareness, personal experience and the call to a creative life means you will meet resistance. People you love dearly may express their disappointment or anger when you do not align yourself with their expectations or advice. Do not buckle. Honor your backbone. Most often, these friends and family members are reacting to the tattered threads of their own ruined dreams. Your courage to pursue a creative life threatens their choice to continue lockstep with whatever they imagine will ensure approval and safety. The truth is, safety cannot be bought or guaranteed, not by wealth, not by conservative choices, not by faith and not by practicality.

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.

I wrote recently on the Ask Joey Facebook page about thought leader Daniel H. Pink. He has clarified society’s progression from farmers to factory workers to knowledge workers to creators. He says that as we move out of the information age and into the “conceptual age,” new capabilities are required. People who have artistry and empathy, who are capable of seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent will lead and innovate. Following your call to travel can open your eyes, heart and mind so that you are poised to lead. Here’s how to prepare: Before you leave for Europe, read Daniel Pink’s website at www.danpink.com. Watch author Byron Katie’s videos at www.thework.org. Read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles, and Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Read Anita Barrows and Joanna Marie Macy’s Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. Read any book of poetry by Mary Oliver. When you pack for your adventure, take only blank journals, pens and a small packet of crayons or watercolor pastels. While traveling, empty your mind and record what you feel, see and believe. Grow into the person you were created to be. P.S. Send me a postcard! My boyfriend and I broke up after he fell for someone else. Each time we talk he says, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” It hurts so much to hear these words. What does he mean? He is justifying his unkindness by hiding it beneath a cloak of romanticism. But here’s the spiritual translation of his words: “The ego wants what the ego wants and will employ words like ‘heart’ to justify manipulating others to win its way.” So it’s not that he doesn’t want you, it’s that he doesn’t deserve you. You’ve been saved. Rejoice and be glad. Ω

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Sacramento Vedanta Reading Group

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Join us out here Please drink responsibly.


Beyond holiday flings

NOW PLAYING

4

Beauty and the Beast

Not in the Stars You can always bank on B Street Theatre’s Buck Busfield to buck the oversaturation of seasonal sentimentality with his annual holiday plays. Over the years, Busfield has incorporated by Patti Roberts elements of the holidays in his original plays, but lately he’s stuck with giving us nonthemed glimpses into family, friends and romance—both functional and dysfunctional. That’s what the holidays really end up being about to many of us: past, present and future relationships.

By putting two one-acts in repertory, Busfield allows the audience to savor the talented acting skills of this tried-and-true trio, who have acted in productions at B Street for the last two decades. And Not in the Stars also lets the audience appreciate Busfield’s subtle and poignant characters as they try and navigate through life’s big and small moments. Ω

4

B3, 2727 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. J.H.

4

Crazy Horse and Custer

Surging teenage hormones, curiosity about sex and impulsive choices leading to tragic outcomes—that’s the thumbnail summary of Spring Awakening, the indie-rock musical (incongruously set in a stiff, authoritarian German prep school in the 1890s), that collected eight Tony Awards in 2006. Spring Awakening drew a chilly reaction from certain Broadway Sacramento subscribers when a touring production visited in 2009; some elders in the audience were put off by the electric score, winced at the F-bombs, disliked the front-and-center sex scene at the close of Act I and departed during intermission. But the current production by the UC Davis Theatre and Dance Department is packing in audiences; some performances have sold out the 470-seat venue. This is mostly because the show was always intended primarily for 20-somethings, so an audience top-heavy with undergrads (including a few still in their teens) is ideal. Visiting director Stafford Arima (who’s piloted Broadway shows in addition to Music Circus productions here in River City) offers a somewhat different take on the material. In the touring production, the show felt like a string of semi-linked scenes staged largely for jarring effect; Arima focuses on the arc of this dark story, which unfolds in a more visually comprehensible form (and with less bare flesh) than the tour. All in all, Arima’s is the superior version. The cast ranges from Master of Fine Arts candidates (who are basically professionals) to undergrads (some theater majors, others studying other disciplines). Musical director Erik Daniells, who’s handled several shows in Sacramento, gets a good sound from his band. Costumes (Maggie Morgan), lighting (Michael Palumbo) and scenic design (John Iacovelli) are professional, and take advantage of the Main Theatre’s overhead spaciousness.

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 top-notch 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. 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.

1

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. 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. 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.

FOUL

2 FAIR

3 GOOD

4 WELL-DONE

4

Tommy J & Sally

5

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.

SUBLIME–DON’T MISS

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

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

Short reviews by Jim Carnes, Jeff Hudson and Kel Munger.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MINDY GILES/SWELL PRODUCTIONS

Not in the Stars, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreet theatre.org. Through January 5.

special holiday shows 12/26 & 12/27 1 & 4pm, 12/24 11am & 1pm. Through 12/29. $15-$20. B Street Theatre

4Spring Awakening PHOTO BY B STREET THEATRE STAFF

In Busfield’s 16th original holiday offering, Not in the Stars, he gives us two separate one-acts in which he creatively casts three B Street regulars in repertoire: Elisabeth Nunziato, Kurt Johnson and David Pierini. The first selection is about the awkward dance of a possible romance, while the second is about the slow dissolution of a non-nurtured relationship. The first act is one Busfield revised from a 1994 production in which he features the same three actors that starred in the original, though he’s reworked and updated the story of two hesitant blind daters: Yvonne (Nunziato) and Clare (Johnson). And with the characters a little older than in the 1994 production, the concept of bitterness and regret rings more true when we witness Yvonne’s brittle responses to Clare’s dry and off-handed attempt at a romantic connection. Pierini makes an appearance as a waiter and a telephone repairman named Mac. The second act switches it up, placing Pierini’s character Mac center stage as his blustery character blindly ignores the wants and needs of his soft-spoken, timid girlfriend Maria (Nunziato). Mac isn’t a bad guy, just sadly clueless, and his wake-up call comes in such quiet resolve from his long-suffering girlfriend that the audience cheers them both on, though not necessarily as a couple.

Does this relationship look like it’s functional?

Playwright Dave Pierini has customized B Street Theatre’s Family Series version of Beauty and the Beast with a few Christmas and New Year’s references. It’s this year’s “holiday surprise.” It’s a charming show— geared to enchant kids, but sophisticated enough to keep adults happily onboard. 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. Sa, Su 1 & 4pm, and

“The (folkloric ensemble) got us fallin’ in love again.”

Feliz navidades A trio of Latino arts groups has teamed up to put a new spin on the traditional shepherd’s play, as Calidanza Dance Company, La Raza Galeria Posada and El Teatro Espejo bring Navidades! Christmas on K Street to downtown on Sunday, December 15. First up is a modern take on the pastorela, in which good battles evil with slapstick comedy, little devils and St. Michael. In La Pastorela de Sacramento, an adaptation by Tomas Benitez, Manuel J. Pickett and Marie Acosta, a pregnant Mary and her man, JoJo, must be helped to Sacramento by the Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Following the pastorela, 22 dancers from Calidanza Dance Company will perform Navidades y Tradiciones, with musical accompaniment from Vinic-Kay, a folkloric ensemble. Free for La Pastorela de Sacramento at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, at the Convention Center plaza (13th and K streets). $10-$22 for Navidades y Tradiciones at 2 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; (800) 225-2277; www.tickets.com.

—Jeff Hudson

Spring Awakening, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; $16-$22. Main Theatre at UC Davis’ Wright Hall, Hutchinson Drive in Davis; (530) 754-2787; http://theatredance.ucdavis.edu.

—Kel Munger

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Ashes to ashes Out of the Furnace

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In the opening scene of Out of the Furnace, Woody Harrelson’s slimy, steroidal backwoods crime boss forcibly shoves a hot dog wiener down by Daniel Barnes his date’s throat, and then savagely beats the man who comes to her aid. The film doesn’t get any more lighthearted from there, wallowing in cruelty, unpleasantness and stylized suffering with no end goals other than a vague air of ominous significance. Out of the Furnace was directed and co-written by Scott Cooper, and like his more manageable but similarly flawed debut movie Crazy Heart, this is a pretty empty exercise in overblown emotional “intensity” and unchecked actor worship. The film has vivid and powerful moments, but just as often it feels exploitative, empty and false.

3

REEL

REVIEWS. EVERY THURSDAY. YOU’RE WELCOME, FILM GEEKS.

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What’s a nice girl like you doing in a film like this?

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★★★★”

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Sacreamento News and Review Wednesday, 12/4 2col(3.9)x3.5

5 EXCELLENT

It doesn’t help that Cooper invites comparisons to Michael Cimino’s sprawling masterpiece The Deer Hunter, with its remarkable mix of pulp violence, Americana, human drama and political allegory. Unfortunately, Out of the Furnace has none of the mythological mystique of The Deer Hunter, only the pretensions. It tries to stand on the shoulders of giants, and is forced to settle for a piggyback ride. Christian Bale stars as Russell Baze, a blue-collar worker in a burnt-out husk of a Pennsylvania mining town, a city whose only growth industries are off-track betting, bare-knuckle boxing, meth dealing and alcoholism. The town is dying around Russell and his family—it’s so bleak and economically depressed that you half expect to see Jennifer Lawrence sneaking through the streets with a bow and arrow. Russell works in the town’s one source of legitimate employment—the mine, where he likes to take off his mask and stare meaningfully into the flames (that has to be a safety violation, right?). His shifty younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) is an Iraq War veteran repeatedly stop-lossed back into combat, leaving him

emotionally scarred and unwilling to settle for the same dead-end mining job. In one of the sequences where Cooper’s meticulous portent pays off, a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, and while he’s inside Rodney sinks further into the underworld of bareknuckle boxing. This is where the story finally collides with Harrelson’s dirtbag kingpin, and when Rodney turns up missing after a backcountry boxing match, the increasingly disconnected Russell defies the law to bring him back. As an actors’ showcase, Out of the Furnace is a mixed bag. The performances are for the most part individually strong, but the spin-the-wheel casting and vacuum-sealed emotions fail to add up to a coherent universe. It doesn’t even seem like Bale, Affleck, Zoe Saldana, and Forest Whitaker should know each other, much less share a long and tortured history, and therefore key moments ring false. Bale’s lack of identity is also a problem, although perhaps it’s just the cumulative effect of too much chameleonesque humorlessness in too many mediocre movies. He might be one of the most consistently solid actors working today, but his performances are always surrounded by a diagrammatic web of actorly choices—Bale tends to disappear into his characters without ever really becoming them. Of course, the main problem here is that all of Cooper’s characters are defined by their suffering, not by any internal lives. Only Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson are natural enough to cut through the fraudulent emotional grime, and their scenes together are the best in the film.

As an actors’ showcase, Out of the Furnace is a mixed bag. Harrelson’s work deserves special notice, since it’s a summation of everything great and terrible about this film. He is genuinely terrifying as Harlan DeGroat, a figure of pure redneck menace whose every pause and gesture holds the screen in a vise grip of impending violence. That said, Harrelson has a tendency to swallow the screen and everyone on it, and Cooper neglects to harness his power. After a fair amount of gut wrenching and soul punching, Out of the Furnace builds to a protracted, fairly ridiculous final sequence where we can feel Cooper straining for an important moment. While Cooper may court comparisons to The Deer Hunter, the real antecedents of Out of the Furnace are pompous, overrated chest beaters like Mystic River and Crash. Ω


SN&R ReadeRS Get Up to 50% off

by DANIEL BARNES & JIM LANE

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.

2

Who you calling artsy-fartsy?

The Best Man Holiday

4

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.

2

When a booze-addled old man (Bruce Dern) gets the idea in his head that he’s won one of those million-dollar publisher’s sweepstakes, his estranged son (Will Forte) humors him, hoping they can reconnect on a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim the old boy’s prize. Bob Nelson’s script is a mine of mordant humor and wry insight, and director Alexander Payne carefully brings out the best in the script and his actors, including Bob Odenkirk as Forte’s brother, Stacy Keach as Dern’s lifelong frenemy, Angela McEwan as a long-ago sweetheart Dern barely remembers, and (most especially) June Squibb as Dern’s cantankerous wife (Oscar, are you watching?). The movie’s only drawback is Phedon Papamichael’s black-and-white cinematography, a pretentious artsy-fartsy touch that is flat, textureless and distracting. J.L.

has little going for it but Vaughn’s performance. Vaughn is a bit of an acquired taste, but a better actor than he sometimes gets credit for, and he gives the movie what little conviction it has. J.L.

The Book Thief

It is tempting to dismiss Brian Percival’s The Book Thief on the grounds that “we don’t need another Holocaust movie.” Besides being glib, this attitude presumes that there’s a limit on the number of cinematic stories that can be harvested from any one subject or setting, and wrongly values content over substance. In regard to The Book Thief specifically, it suffices to say that we don’t need another insipid, honey-glazed, grossly self-important awards grubber about any subject at all. Sophie Nélisse plays Liesel, an illiterate but plucky blond girl adopted by a couple of working-class Germans (including Geoffrey Rush, acting on auto-twinkle) at the dawn of World War II. The cutesy framing device of Death narrating his affection for Liesel while the Holocaust discreetly occurs off-screen leaves a bilious taste. Too often, The Book Thief feels like Hallmark Presents: Kristallnacht, A Coming-of-Age Story. D.B.

3

3

Dallas Buyers Club

2

A 40-something screw-up (Vince Vaughn) gets an attack of mature responsibility when he learns that his long-ago sperm donations to a fertility clinic have resulted in 533 now-grown children, 142 of whom are suing the clinic to learn the identity of their biological father (apparently their mothers don’t count; not one is shown or even mentioned). Director Ken Scott’s script is barely a notch above idiotic, with more holes than the entire PGA tour. Astonishingly, it’s a translation of an award-winning French-Canadian movie Scott co-wrote with one Martin Petit. Well, maybe it plays better in French. In English it

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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.

Delivery Man

BEFORE

Frozen

After years of lucratively re-imagining old properties like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast as live theatrical spectacles, Frozen is a blatant attempt by Disney to reverse engineer their own Broadwaybound cash cows. Everything in the film feels constructed with an eye towards the inevitable splashy stage adaptation, right down to the big opening number, a sweeping ode to the awesome power of large blocks of ice (no, seriously). Frozen empties a promising box of mismatched characters, tones and plot strings on to the screen, including a genetic “curse,” magical trolls, a plethora of scheming royals and a wisecracking snowman, but never quite figures out how to fit them together. Much like recent Disney princess adventures Tangled and Brave, the limber visuals and appealing heroines can’t hide the smear of on-the-fly rewrites, as the film frequently loses track of its own moving pieces. D.B.

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-nohomo 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.

2

Nebraska

3

Last Vegas

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

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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.

1

tICKetS Nov 22 - Dec 15 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

Oldboy

The worst-case scenario for a de-weirded, point-missing, dumbeddown remake of Chan-wook Park’s modern revenge-movie masterpiece comes to fruition with Spike Lee’s absolutely awful Oldboy. Josh Brolin stars as a womanizing drunk who, for reasons never explained to him, is kidnapped and imprisoned in a single room for 20 years. Even more mysterious is his sudden release, which starts him on a bloodsoaked path towards discovering the truth. Brolin’s mannequinlike performance doesn’t even result in a mentally unhinged protagonist, which is a key character trait and essential to understanding Park’s genre-influenced, hyperstylized universe (by comparison, Lee’s Oldboy seems to take place in “the real world”). Instead, Brolin is just another hardened Hollywood vengeance-bot running off Jason Statham’s operating system. All of the perverse lumps of the Korean original have been flattened down into a trite, pathologically unimaginative revenge thriller designed to displease everyone. D.B.

3

Nov 24 - Jan 05 B Street Theatre presents “Not In The Stars”: $35 tix for $14 Jan 03 - Jan 26 Davis Musical Theatre presents “Cabaret”: $18 tix for $9 Jan 12 Shawn Colvin at The Crest Theatre: $35 tix for $17.50 Jan 14 Chef Robert Irvine at The Crest Theatre: $40 tix for $20

New shows added weekly for ace of Spades & assembly, be sure to check the sweetdeals website for show dates!

Philomena

Judi Dench plays the real-life title character in Philomena, an Irish woman still pining for her out-of-wedlock child that was shipped to America 50 years prior. However, the actual focal point is Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a cynical ex-journalist who gloms on to Philomena’s story as a potential career savior. The closer they get to the truth, the more he has to subtly manipulate her, which makes him feel like a big jerk. Ace in the hole it is not, but Philomena does have a TV-sized appeal that’s difficult to describe without using the words “quaint” and “tidy”. It’s never clear why Martin is the star of Philomena, except that Coogan’s sharp tongue is more entertaining than Dench’s relentless homily spewing. Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, Dirty Pretty Things) directs with the competent efficiency of a veteran hired hand, which is depressing. D.B.

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Fiddler in the groove Alasdair Fraser’s yearslong musical pairing   with cellist Natalie Haas makes for a   journey of creativity and adventure

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Have instruments, will travel. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas have toured together globally for more than a decade.

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Catch Alasdair Fraser with Natalie Haas on Sunday, December 8, at 7 p.m. at Harlow’sRestaurant & Nightclub, 2708 J Street. Tickets are $25. See www.alasdair fraser.com for more information.

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34   |   SN&R   |   12.05.13

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someone and you want to have a conversation. Natalie is incredibly focused but wonderfully free in her playing, musically. I would toss out ideas and she would say, ‘Let’s try it!’ She was kind of fearless, which was incredibly refreshing.” The two have applied that aesthetic to recordings as well, first with the 2004 release Fire & Grace, and later with 2007’s In the Moment and 2011’s Highlander’s Farewell. On each recording, the pair’s crafted music that encompasses both the traditional and the modern, with as much emphasis being placed on standards such as “The Pitnacree Ferryman” as on songs composed by Fraser himself, such as his ode to the beauty of the Yuba River (“Whitewater”) or a track he wrote to commemorate the marriage of two friends (“McLaughlin’s Strathspey”). When it comes to writing original works, Fraser says he tries to make the experience personal. “A lot of it, for me, is about people,” says Fraser. “If I’m asked to write a song for someone’s birthday or for a certain occasion, then I have that person in mind, the qualities of that person.” PHOTO COURTESY OF ALASDAIR FRASER

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Master fiddler Alasdair Fraser takes a very philosophical view when talking about the music he makes with cellist Natalie Haas. by Brian Palmer “We’re always living in the question,” Fraser says with a laugh. “Questioning tradition, questioning ourselves, trying to learn new talents, taking on new challenges and techniques,” he adds.

This willingness to grow and find new ways to make their engaging take on Scottish and Celtic music more interesting embodies the adventurous spirit that has filled each of their previous releases. Their forthcoming album, Abundance, set for a January release, promises to continue this trend. “Neither of us like to be idle, and neither of us want to feel like we’re just reinventing stuff we’ve already done. We wanted to explore some new ideas, add a few more colors to our musical palette,” Fraser says of the new album. Some of those changes comprise the inclusion of percussion player, a pianist and Haas’ sister Brittany on the fiddle. “Although it’s a duo, it’s a duo sort of having a great celebration with our friends, and enriching the tapestry,” Fraser says. Fraser and Haas have toured the world together as a duo for over a decade. Haas, now 29, was first introduced to Fraser at the age of 11 at one of Fraser’s annual music camps, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School in Santa Cruz. Over the years, Haas’ love of Celtic music intensified and the musical connection she shared with Fraser grew stronger, to the point that the idea of a pairing proved intriguing. “When [Natalie] was 17, we decided we would go on the road with a fiddle and cello, which was—and is—quite an unusual combination,” says Fraser, 58. “But you connect with

“You connect with someone and you want to have a conversation. Natalie is incredibly focused but wonderfully free in her playing, musically.” fiddler Alasdair Fraser, on his partnership with cellist Natalie Haas This sort of insight, whether it be of musical styles or of people, has helped Fraser and Haas create a number of dynamic tunes. It doesn’t hurt, either, that the two continue to individually and collectively evolve as musicians, both aiming to reach new levels of artistry. And, as their music has evolved and grown, so has their relationship. “At the beginning we had sort of a teacherstudent relationship, but that has long since evolved into an utterly equal partnership,” Fraser says. “We’re always reaching for new heights. We’re two kindred spirits who really enjoy music and like to have many ideas for consideration. I’m absolutely lucky to have someone to journey with in that way.” Ω


RESTAURANT ss BAR BAR CLUB ss RESTAURANT COMEDY COMEDY CLUB

Juice packs, babies and bittersweet goodbyes Big brother needed: The album Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse is one of the best rap records ever made. Don’t listen to me, just think about the fact that XXL magazine gave it an XXL rating (the equivalent of five stars) upon its 2006 release; that’s an honor they’ve only bestowed upon a handful of records. Clipse, two brothers from Virginia— Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton and Gene “Malice” Thornton—mine the familiar themes of drugs and money

with dark humor and poetic phrasing. Here’s a sample Pusha T verse about the cocaine trade: “Out in Panama in the amazing sun / I’m amazing, son / You niggas wonder where my grace is from / I speak with corrupted tongue / Recognized the underworld since I was young.” The Neptunes produced the entire Fury album, which gives it a coherent sound—one that’s snaky and ominous, leavened by tinkling triangles and bubbling synth lines. Pharrell raps and sings on so many of the tracks on both this album and its predecessor, 2002’s Lord Willin’, that he practically seems like the group’s third member. Which raises the question: Now that Pusha T has released his first solo album, how does he fare without the support of his brother and the Neptunes? The artist’s November 30th visit to Ace of Spades gave him an opportunity to answer that question. But first the audience was made to suffer through three hours of opening acts of varying quality. One guest crew wandered sleepily out onstage only to have a couple of its members proceed to plop down by the deejay platform and text. At one point there was also a baby onstage. Some rappers tossed out Capri Sun juice packs to the crowd. The DJ played tracks such as the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize,” which made me realize that this song is now my generation’s equivalent of “Pretty Woman”: a great song that I never,

ever want to hear again. Pusha finally took the stage at 11 p.m. for a large but only moderately enthusiastic crowd. The sound was super muddy—he performed a couple of Clipse songs early, but I didn’t recognize “Grindin’” until the song got to the chorus. If anyone thought Pusha T would perform Clipse’s greatest hits (OK, I was kind of hoping he would), the artist quickly dashed

BEFORE

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NEWS

those hopes by declaring, “Enough of that throwback shit.” Almost half of his set consisted of his recent Kanye West collaborations, including two tracks from West’s 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Makes sense; Pusha T’s latest album, My Name Is My Name, was released via West’s GOOD record label (a subsidiary of the Island Def Jam Music Group), and West produced and co-wrote much of its music. The hip-hop artist performed standout tracks from that record, including the spare and intense Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Nosetalgia” and the moody tune “Sweet Serenade” which, on record, features a chorus by creepy fedorawearer Chris Brown. It was a treat to see Pusha T in the flesh, but the energy of the crowd was low and the 30-minute show lacked that frisson that takes things to the next level. Maybe Pusha does need Pharrell and his big bro after all. These days, Malice goes by the name No Malice and has found God—so that one’s iffy, but Pharrell produced two of the best tracks on My Name Is My Name, so King Push just might reign again.

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FRI 12/6

CHUCK’S BAD SANTA PARTY:

DJ KATZ & DRUMMER FLASH

KIRK MCHENRY, CORY LOYKASEK

SUNDAY 12/29 STAND UP MONDAY 12/30 DOUG LOVES MOVIES PODCAST TAPING

2013’S LAST LAUGHS NGAIO BEALUM, MIKE BETANCOURT & MORE! TUESDAY 12/31 • 10PM

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SAM BAM’S NEW YEAR’S COMEDY JAM

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9PM//$5 WED 12/11

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From Tony Toni Tone, also performing Suga T! PreSale Tickets $35 | Contact 916.226.2907 for purchasing | VIP available! Dress code will be strictly enforced.

JONN HART

TUESDAY 12/31 • 7:30PM

TUES 12/10

DWAYNE WIGGINS FRI 12/13 ~ 9PM

DOUG BENSON

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KEN KOENIG // DOUG CASH SINGER SONGWRITER // 9PM // $5

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OPEN MIC TALENT SHOWCASE 7PM // FREE KARAOKE

ROBERTO VILLALOBOS, JULES POSNER THURSDAY 12/26 - SATURDAY 12/28 FROM COMEDY CENTRAL & THE DOUG LOVES MOVIES PODCAST!

COSTUME PARTY // 9:30PM // $25 ($20 ADV) SUN 12/8

MON 12/9

THURSDAY 12/19 - SATURDAY 12/21 FROM THE OPIE & ANTHONY SHOW!

COLIN KANE

SAT 12/7

GROOVE THANG

Dance cover music including R&B, Funk, Motown, Disco, Smooth Jazz, Rock and yes, even some Country from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

CHRIS NEWBERG, ORLANDO LEYBA, TREVOR HILL

YOU FRONT THE BAND LIVE KARAOKE 9PM // FREE

FRI 12/6 ~ 9PM ~ $10

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—Becky Grunewald

Goodbye is never forever: Sacramento power-pop legends the Decibels played what will likely be the band’s final show on November 30 at Old Ironsides. Well, its final stateside show, anyway. The four-piece, fronted by Dean Seavers, is making a NEWSPAPER: jaunt to Spain this month to play a few gigs, but due to ongoing PUBLISH DATE: throat problems for Seavers—the ART DUE: songwriter-vocalist is dealing with a recurring condition that CONTENT: causes tumors to grow on his vocal chords—this was probably the SIZE: last chance to see them locally. ART PRODUCTION: band, At least it was a doozy. The which has been around in one form NOTES: or another since 1993, played to a packed and sweaty crowd, and despite the emotional weight that the evening carried, the mood was nonetheless festive and energetic, joyful even. Seavers may not sing again after that trip abroad, but if this must be the end, then what a beautiful end it has been.

SAC NEWS & REVIEW 12/5/2013 11/29 PUNCHLINE 1.87” X 5.67” SACHA PFEIFER (720) 239-3411

—Rachel Leibrock

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

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06FRI

06FRI

06FRI

06FRI

The Mowgli’s

Sacramento State Jazz Singers

Kaki King

Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong

Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $13 Listen to a few tracks from the Mowgli’s  and you’ll get that it believes: the answer  for everything is love; that everyone, deep  CHORAL ROCK down, is good; and  that freedom is  yours if you want it. The eight-piece band  offers a similar brand of choral rock as  the Lumineers, the Head and the Heart,  and Of Monsters and Men—and at times it  hearkens back to the cheery pop punk of  the Ataris or Taking Back Sunday (though  lyrically, it offers less ennui). This is music  for the sunny, flower-crown-wearing set,  and just a heads up: The band is really into  having the audience sing along. 1417 R Street,  www.themowglis.net.

—Deena Drewis

Sacramento State Capistrano Hall, 7 p.m., $5-$10 Two of my favorite blackbird-themed   songs will be mashed up and performed in  concert this Friday: the Beatles’ “Blackbird”  (in which, I think, the blackbird is a  metaphor for death and rebirth) and “Bye,  Bye, Blackbird” (a jazz standard by Ray  Henderson and Mort Dixon, which seems  to be about eternal sadness). Sacramento  State’s Jazz Singers (pictured) will team up  with Christian Brothers Vocal Jazz Choir at  this performance. In addition to the unique  avian mashup (originally performed by  VOCAL JAZZ Sara Gazarek and transcribed by Sacramento  State student Tim Weiss), hear other jazz  standards such as “Le Nommage” and  “Round Midnight.” 6000 J Street,   www.csus.edu/music/jazz/vocal.html.

—Jonathan Mendick

The Center for the Arts, 8 p.m., $10-$20 Nobody’s scrawling “Kaki King is God” on   subway walls, but the Atlanta native’s possibly  the finest guitarist of her generation. Initially  an instrumental acoustic guitarist, King  employs percussive tapping and harmonizing  techniques reminiscent of Michael Hedges,  ROCK resulting in surprisingly rich, complex compositions sometimes augmented by looping effects. With her 2006 third  album, … Until We Felt Red, King embraced  electric guitar, a greater variety of instrumentation and vocals. She then went from singersongwriter to a band approach for 2010’s fifth  album, Junior, and returned to instrumentals  for last year’s Glow. King conjures mood with  mesmerizing sonics and insistent rhythms  balancing both delicacy and power. 314 W. Main  Street in Grass Valley, www.kakiking.com.

The Palms Playhouse, 8 p.m., $20 Sourdough Slim is a vaudeville cowboy who’s  been compared to W.C. Fields and Will Rogers.  Robert Armstrong wrote and illustrated the  comic Mickey Rat. When this pair brings a  saddlebag of jokes, cowboy songs, country  blues and yodels, you’ll know why they’ve  performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for  the Performing Arts, and on A Prairie Home  Companion. From string band rural Americana  songs of the 1920s and ’30s to the pirate sound  of “Barnacle Bill,” Slim and Armstrong play  harmonica, ukulele, National steel guitar, musical saw and accordion, and will have you wanting to yodel right along  AMERICANA with them. 13 Main Street  in Winters, www.sourdoughslim.com.

—Trina L. Drotar

—Chris Parker

1000 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

FOR TICKETS TO ALL SHOWS VISIT AssemblySacramento.com

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

THU DEC 5

IMPENDING DOOM, NO BRAGGING RIGHTS CITY IN THE SEA, DESTRUCTION OF A KING, DEFY THE ODDS 7PM | ALL AGES

SUN DEC 8

SAT DEC 7

WINDS OF PLAGUE

METALACHI

ED KOWALCZYK VIP SEATS EMAIL ASSEMBLY@PARAGARYS.COM

ELLIPSIS 7PM | ALL AGES

FRONTMAN OF LIVE 8PM

UPCOMING SHOWS

FRI DEC 13

THURS DEC 19

A-1 - NIMA FADAVI – CATACLYSM - PRO MANON 7PM | ALL AGES

SIRAH 7PM | ALL AGES

LOS RAKAS

36   |   SN&R   |   12.05.13

K. FLAY

SUN DEC 22

ANDREW W.K. LONELY AVENUE, MAXXX 7PM

DEC 12 DEC 20 DEC 21 DEC 27 DEC 28 DEC 31 JAN 04 JAN 09 JAN 10 JAN 17 JAN 24 JAN 25 JAN 26 JAN 30 FEB 07 FEB 09 FEB 12 FEB 22

FLOW ROCK FOR TOTS - FATE UNDER FIRE THE SIREN SHOW MOTHER HIPS DJ QUIK UTZ! & THE SHUTTLECOCKS KAREGA BAILEY NIPSEY HUSSLE FAIR STRUGGLE MERCHANTS !!! (CHK CHK CHK) LOS RABANES EMERY ZION I ST LUCIA THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE BETTYE LAVETTE SOME FEAR NONE


06FRI

07SAT

08SUN

10TUES

Black Uhuru

Blue Oaks

Talib Kweli

Jeff Tweedy

PowerHouse Pub, 10 p.m., $20

Starlite Lounge, 7 p.m., $7

Black Uhuru’s made reggae for four decades,  including a particularly propitious period during the ’80s and early ’90s. It won the first ever  Grammy for Reggae with 1984’s Anthem. It’s  endured a number of lineup changes—including several lead singers—and its last release  was 2001’s Dynasty. The sole consistent  member has been Derrick “Duckie” Simpson,  though the last album’s singer—Andrew  Bees—has returned, accompanied by female  vocalist Kaye Starh. Whatever the membership, Black Uhuru purveys danceable reggae  REGGAE rhythms, sticky melodies,  cooing co-ed backing, positive  vibrations and panglobal chic—epitomized by  the infectious ode to New York, “Chill Out.”   614 Sutter Street in Folsom, www.thereal  blackuhuru.com.

Ace of Spades, 6:30 p.m., $18

Brendan Stone and Cory Walker of bluesrock duo Blue Oaks celebrate the release  of their debut 7-inch single, “Hit by a Train  BLUES-ROCK From New York City  Blues,” with a jampacked evening of music and giveaways  that includes seven bands, for seven   bucks, at 7 p.m. Apparently, the two are  fond of sevens. Blue Oaks will perform  with Mason Rex, the Kelps and Drive-Thru  Mystics. Throughout the evening, hear   rock ’n’ roll vinyl of the ’50s and ’60s in  between sets provided by DJ Roger Carpio,  and the first 50 in attendance receive a  free download card for the single’s B-side,  “Skeleton Key.” 1517 21st Street,   www.facebook.com/blueoaksmusic.

—Steph Rodriguez

Mondavi Center, 8 p.m., $40

In an era when so many hip-hop acts have  basically exhausted ways to describe the  female posterior, Talib Kweli is somewhat of an  outlier. He writes with integrity and passion  about the personal and social struggles we all  face in today’s increasingly complex world.  His 2013 album, Prisoner of Conscious, veers  between a philosophical platform for selfempowerment and a travelogue for the rapper, who regularly crisscrosses the globe playHIP-HOP ing solo shows, and sporadically  teams with Yasiin Bey (a.k.a.  Mos Def) to form the supergroup Black Star.  Kweli engages the listener with high-order  vocabulary enveloped in beats and a delivery  that gets people moving to songs challenging  injustices and the status quo. 1417 R Street,  www.talibkweli.com.

—Chris Parker

As of press time, this Jeff Tweedy show still  had tickets available—a fact that elicits a big,  fat “huh?” Seriously, guys, you know this is  the lead singer for Wilco, right? The same band  whose 2012 show at the Mondavi Center sold  SINGER-SONGWRITER out in  minutes?  Maybe Tweedy by himself doesn’t entice in  the same way, but rest assured, the Chicagobased singer-songwriter is pretty much  the same whether he’s backed by a band or  swinging it alone. You get the same acerbic  wit, croaky voice and cliché-free, razor-sharp  songs. Scott McCaughey (the Minus 5, the  Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.) opens the show.  Maybe he’ll play something from the 2003  Minus 5 album, Down With Wilco? 9399 Old  Davis Road in Davis, www.mondaviarts.org.

—Paul Piazza

presents

second saturday

—Rachel Leibrock

SKYBOX PINT NIGHT $4 KEEP GLASS $2 REFILLS 6PM TO CLOSE!

december 14

at 5pm featuring artist john huerta

GIVE THE GIFT OF FOOD, DRINKS, FRIENDS & FUN

great art, great food & vallejo’s seasonal drink ✮ tequila with egg nog, Hot Muerto nog: Muerto a delicious heated drink

WITH A SKYBOX GIFT CARD

NOT JUS T A SP ORT S BAR

authentic Mexican Cuisine & tequilla bar since 1983

1100 O ST • 916.498.1744 BEFORE

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  F E AT U R E

STORY

2110 L Street | Sacramento, CA | 916.441.4151 | skyboxgrillsac.com   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E    

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  37


NIGHTBEAT

THURSDAY 12/5

FRIDAY 12/6

SATURDAY 12/7

SUNDAY 12/8

ASSEMBLY

WINDS OF PLAGUE, IMPENDING DOOM, NO BRAGGING RIGHTS; 6pm, $13-$15

Fringe: a non-stop night of comedy and sideshow, 9:30pm, $15-$25

ED KOWALCZYK, 8pm, $25

METALACHI, ELIPSIS; 7pm, $12-$15

BADLANDS

2003 K St., (916) 448-8790

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

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

BAR 101

Karaoke, 7:30pm, no cover

RIOTMAKER, 9:30pm, $5

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.

101 Main St., Roseville; (916) 774-0505

BISLA’S SPORTS BAR

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

BLUE LAMP

1ST PLACE, LONELY AVENUE, SQUAREFIELD MASSIVE, SCRIPT; 9pm

7042 Folsom Blvd., (916) 383-0133 1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

THE BOARDWALK

ROCC STEADY, BABNIT, TIZZY B, RYAN

BOWS & ARROWS

BANJO FIDDLE, 8pm, $5

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 RINAURO, NIPS, ROWDY LOCUS; 8pm 1815 19th St., (916) 822-5668

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Hey local bands!

RECONNAISSANCE FLY, FURIOUS TONE QUARTET; 8pm, $5

Makers Mart w/ live deejays, 11am, no cover

Open-mic, 8pm Tu, no cover; Bites, Beats and Beer, 8pm W, no cover

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

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

JOHNNY RICHTER, DEMENTED NAYCHIR, GRINN LIFTID, 420 DARKSIDE BOYZ; 8pm

MARC BLACK, 8pm, $10

THE RITA HOSKING TRIO, 8pm, $14-$16

EDM deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, call for cover

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

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

FACES

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

FOX & GOOSE

JAY SHANER, JACKSON GRIFFITH; 8pm, no cover

G STREET WUNDERBAR

BOCA DO RIO, WEST NILE RAMBLERS; 8pm, no cover

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825 228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227

HALFTIME BAR & GRILL

LUCKY LASKOWSKI, MIKE MILLER & THE CITY OF TREES, ANTIQUE NAKED SOUL; HIGH LIFE; 9pm, $5 9pm, $5

Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu; Northern Soul, 8pm W, no cover

TOM DRINNON, 9pm-midnight, no cover

ANT BEE, 9pm-midnight, no cover

Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover; Karaoke, 8pm W, no cover

AL STEWART, DAVE NACHMANOFF; 7pm, $25; KRS-ONE, 10pm, $20

HARLOW’S

STEP JAYNE, BELLYGUNNER, MOUNT WHATEVEREST; 8pm, $7-$10

DISHWALLA, MUSICAL CHARIS; 9:30pm, $18-$22

LEVEL UP FOOD & LOUNGE

The Lick: A Different Kind of Ladies Night, 5pm; Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

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

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931

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

TAMARA PHELAN TRIO, AMY REED; 8pm, $5

EPSILONA, 8pm, call for cover

MARILYN’S ON K

THE ARM LADIES, GOLDBOOT; 9pm, $5

Live band karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Chuck’s bad Santa Party w/ DJ Katz and Drummer Flash, 9:30pm, $25

908 K St., (916) 446-4361

2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com *ALL TIMES LISTED BELOW ARE DOOR TIMES* - December 05 -

STEP JAYNE, BELLYGUNNER MOUNT WHATEVEREST $7adv • 7pm

- December 08 -

COMEDY NIGHT IN MOMO WITH

ROBERT DUCHAINE NGAIO BEALUM $8 • 6:30pm

- December 08 -

ALISDAIR FRASER AND NATALIE HAAS

- December 06 -

DISHWALLA Musical Charis $18 • 9pm

$25 • 5:30pm

- December 07 -

AL STEWART David Nachmanoff $25 • 5:30pm

- December 9 -

HOWIE DAY Tyler Hilton, Anna Rose $25adv • 6pm

THEM HILLS

KRS-ONE $20 • 10pm

$10adv • 7pm

12.05.13

COMING SOON Dec 13 Dec 14 Dec 15 Dec 17 Dec 18 Dec 19 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 27 Dec 31 Jan 03 Jan 04 Jan 08 Jan 09 Jan 24 Jan 08 Feb 09 Feb 10 Feb 14 Feb 16 Feb 28 Mar 15 Mar 18

Dead Winter Carpenters Two Gallants Joe Kye / James Cavern Charlie Hunter Denver J Band Aggrolites Joy and Madness Adrian Marcel Foreverland (MJ Tribute) Lovefool Hans and the Hot Mess Mark Curry/ 58 Fury / FMK Andy McKee Chop Tops Stick Men Steelin’ Dan Duncan Sheik Secret Chiefs 3 ALO The Duhks Diego’s Umbrella The Tubes Galactic

FOLLOW US - December 10 -

- December 07 -

|

MASTA ACE, FREAS ZOOLAY; 7pm M, call for cover

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

2431 J St., (916) 448-8768

SN&R

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

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

|

DRUNK INJUNS, SHOVE IT, RHYTHM SCHOOL; 8pm, call for cover

ENSEMBLE GALILEI, NEAL CONAN; 8pm, $35-$40

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

38

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

KAKI KING, JEROME HALLOWAY; 8pm, $10-$20

1016 K St., (916) 737-5770

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.

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

LORRAINE GERVAIS, TONY UNGER; 6pm, $10

DISTRICT 30

Mad Mondays, 9pm M; Latin videos and Wii bowling, 7pm Tu; Trapacana, 10pm W Trivia, 6:30pm M, no cover ; Open-mic, 7:30pm W, no cover

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384 594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 12/9-12/11

HARLOWSNITECLUB HARLOWSNIGHTCLUB HARLOWSNIGHTCLUB

ALASDAIR FRASER AND NATALIE HASS, 7pm, $25

HOWIE DAY, TYLER HILTON; 7pm M, $25; THEM HILLS, 8pm Tu, $10 Hip-hop and R&B deejay dancing, 9:16pm Tu; ’80s deejay dancing, 5pm W Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6

Open-mic, 7pm, no cover

MONDAY

TRIVIA @ 6:30PM TUESDAY

TACO TUES $1 TACOS, $2 CORONAS, 2–8PM WEDNESDAY

OPEN MIC

SIGN-UPS AT 7:30PM THURSDAY

KARAOKE @ 7:30PM OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK DOORS OPEN AT 11:30

LIVE MUSIC DEC 06 RIOT MAKER DEC 13 IN LETTER FORM RAZOR BLADE MONALISA DEC 14 DREAD LULLABIES DEC 20 BAD BEHAVIOR BLUES BAND DEC 21 IRON HEARTS SWEET TALK FACEBOOK.COM/BAR101ROSEVILLE 101 MAIN STREET, ROSEVILLE • 916-774-0505

Karaoke, 8pm M, no cover; LONNA MARIE, 9pm W, $5


THURSDAY 12/5

FRIDAY 12/6

SATURDAY 12/7

SUNDAY 12/8

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 12/9-12/11

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

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

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

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

MADI SIPES, LAKE STOVELL, JAMES CAVERN; 8:30pm, $5

KEVIN SECONDS, 8:30pm, $5

Jazz session, 8pm M; BIDLOVE, LANCE MISHLEAU; 8:30pm W, $5

WILLIAM MYLAR, 5pm, no cover

Lipstick Ugly Holiday Sweater Party w/ Shaun Slaughter, Roger Carpio, 9pm, $5

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

STIGBOB, RAVENTHRONE, CHERNOBOG, KRYPTIC MEMORIES; 8pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

SOURDOUGH SLIM & ROBERT ARMSTRONG, 8pm, $20

THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS, 8pm, $17

THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE

DJ Eddie Edul, DJ Peeti V, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Eddie Edul, DJ Peeti V, 9pm, call for cover

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

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

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

KATYA NOVSKAYA, 9pm, no cover

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

GROOVE THANG, 9pm, $10

DWAYNE WIGGINS, 8:30pm, call for cover

MIDTOWN BARFLY

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

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN

KATIE JANE, DUST BOWL DAWN, ROYAL JELLY; 8:30pm, $5

1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

OLD IRONSIDES

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

ON THE Y

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

PINE COVE TAVERN

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

502 29th St., (916) 446-3624

PINS N STRIKES

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

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

PERISH LANE, FAIR STRUGGLE; 9pm M; MICAWBER, THE KENNEDY VEIL; 8pm W

PJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ROADHOUSE

DJ Michael Johnson, 9pm, no cover

DOG PARK JUSTICE, 9pm, $5

DJ Old Griff, 5pm, no cover

POWERHOUSE PUB

SWEET REVENGE, 10pm, call for cover

BLACK UHURU, MIKE PINTO, SQUAREFIELD MASSIVE; 10pm, $25

ATOMIC PUNKS, 10pm, call for cover

ICE HOUSE BLUES BAND, 3pm, call for cover

Karaoke, M; Deejay dancing, Tu, $3; RESTRAYNED, WHITE MINORITIES; 8pm W

THE PRESS CLUB

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

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

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

DYNAMIC FUZZBOMB, 8pm M, $5; DEATH VALLEY HIGH, HORSENECK; 8pm W, $8

STONEY INN/ROCKINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; RODEO

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; Open-mic, 5pm Tu; AARON WATSON, 8pm W, $10-$15

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; STEVEN ROTH, 9pm, $7

JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; QUINN DEVEAUX, 8pm, $8

Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; JARED JAMES NICHOLS, 8pm, $4

WILLIAM MYLAR, 5:30pm Tu; Open-mic, 5:30pm W; KERI CARR BAND, 9pm W, $5

TALIB KWELI, M-THEORY, M. BORN, LUKE TAILOR; 6:30pm, $18

BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR, FAREWELL MY LOVE; 6:30pm W, $16

5461 Mother Lode, Placerville; (530) 626-0336 614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586 2030 P St., (916) 444-7914 1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; JERAMY NORRIS, 9pm, $5

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

The California Honeydrops 8pm Saturday, $17. The Palms Playhouse Roots and blues

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

THE MOWGLIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S, BLONDFIRE, HUNTER HUNTED; 7pm, $13

CLUB RETRO

CAUSA MORTIS, VITALITY, CROSSFACE, RETRACE, BAD TIMES CREW; 7pm, $7

LUIGIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN

BOBBY JOE EBOLA, MAD JUDY, HIT RESET, JULIE THE BRUCE; 7:30pm, $7

SHINE

DESARIO, THE FOXTAILS, COED PAGEANT; 8pm, $5

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300 1529 Eureka Rd., Roseville; (916) 988-6606 1050 20th St., (916) 552-0317 1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

Mondavi

FRANK HANNON, JOHN CORABI; 7pm, $17

Open jazz jam w/ Jason Galbraith & Friends, 8pm Tu; Poetry With Legs, 8pm W

INSTAGON, SRO; 8pm, $5

NEW YEARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EVE

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jeff Tweedy is one of the most daring songwriters of his generation.â&#x20AC;?

CENTER

PARTY

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Salon

JEFF TWEEDY, SOLO

Katie Jane with Dust Bowl Dawn and Royal Jelly 8:30pm Thursday, $5. Naked Lounge Downtown Acoustic rock

SCOTT MCCAUGHEY, SOLO TUE, DEC 10

LIVE MUSIC BY

The founding member and leader of the American rock band Wilco is also one of contemporary American musicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most accomplished musicians and performers.

- Comedy Show - Fireworks Show - Dinner - Deluxe Room

CONFUNKSHUN

PACKAGES START AT $289 PER COUPLE Preffered seating available with package Show tickets, dancing and champagne toast at Midnight ONLY $75 PER PERSON Reservations required

500 Leisure Lane | Sacramento, CA 916.922.2020

5JDLFUTBOENPSFNPOEBWJBSUTPSHt BEFORE

|

NEWS

|

- Bottle of Champagne - Party Favor - Breakfast in the morning

FEATURE STORY

|

A RT S & C U LT U R E

|

AFTER

|

12.05.13

|

SN&R

|

39


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

What’s up with the raids in Denver? I thought weed was legal in Colorado? —Jeff Right? It would seem that the folks running these particular clubs aren’t doing as good of a job as they could be doing. According to published reports, Hector Diaz, one of the owners of the raided clubs, has ties to Colombian cartels and was also sending legally grown medical cannabis out of state. John Ingold BEALUM from The Denver Post has an excellent article about by NGAIO the raids at www.denverpost.com. The thing about marijuana no longer being a black’13 market—or even a gray-market—commodity is that a sk420 @ n ewsreview.c om more than a few club operators are going to have to clean up their acts. The feds and the local authorities are still a little miffed that the laws have changed, so they will definitely be looking harder at marijuana business owners to make sure they aren’t fucking up the new game, as it were. As long as the accused get their day in court, and this isn’t another one of those infamous Drug Enforcement Administration smash-in-and-grab-all-the-money-andweed-and-don’t-arrest-anyoneThe feds and the and-leave raids, then I think (and it really really pains me to say local authorities are this) the DEA may have done the still a little miffed. right thing. Damn it. I know a lot of stoners, and I would love to get them some sort of cannabis-related gifts. Any ideas? —Canna-Chris Cringle But of course! Hempy holidaze to you! Smoking devices are always a great idea. I have been hearing great things about the Cloud vaporizer (http://cloudvapes.com). Magic Flight vapes (www.magic-flight.com) are still awesome, especially for using at home. If you can afford one, the Volcano vaporizer (http://volcanovaporizer.com) is a great choice for the heavy-duty cannabis user. How about giving the gift of travel? Washington and Colorado will have legal recreational pot shops open in 2014. Hell to the yes! Fly your friend to Denver or Seattle (or Pueblo or Vail or Tacoma), hit all the clubs, and have your own little Cannabis Cup in the privacy of your hotel room. Not only will you have fun, you will be supporting the cannabis movement by showing other states that legal weed means extra tourist dollars. A win-win for everyone. For the fashion forward, Grassroots California (http://shop.grassrootscalifornia.com) makes great snapback baseball caps, and it donates a portion of the proceeds to worthy causes. Rasta Empire (www.rastaempire.com) makes excellent T-shirts. There are weed-inspired items all over the place. Check my column from last year (see “Happy holidaze” SN&R The 420; December 6, 2012) for some more good ideas. Happy Chrismakwanzaahanukkah to you and yours.

Ngaio Bealum

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

This is kind of off topic, but what’s your favorite holiday? —Nick I love Kwanzaa, because each day has a theme that can also be used as a guide for the rest of the year. My fave themes are co-operative economics (ujamaa) and self-determination (kujichagulia). Check out this website (man, I am full of links today) for more info: www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org. Hempy holidaze to you all. Ω BEFORE

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STORY

VOted 3rd best ’13 420 physician in sac! ’13

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50

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www.newsreview.com

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MASSAGE THERAPISTS

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by CODY DRABBLE

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Sometimes

I think too fast and too much. My logic gets sterile. My ideas become jagged and tangled. When this happens, I head off to Turtle Back Hill for a hike through the saltwater marsh. The trail loops around on itself, and I arrive back where I started in about 15 minutes. Sometimes I keep walking, circumambulating four or five times. Going in circles like this seems to help me knit together my fragmented thoughts. Often, by the time I’m finished, my mind feels unified. I recommend you find your own version of this ritual, Aries. From what I can tell, you need to get rounder and softer.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the

mid-19th century, French art was dominated by the government-sponsored salon, whose conservative policies thwarted upcoming new trends like Impressionism. One anti-authoritarian painter who rebelled was Camille Pissarro. “What is the best way to further the evolution of French art?” he was asked. “Burn down the Louvre,” he replied. The Louvre, as you may know, was and still is a major art museum in Paris. Judging from your current astrological omens, I surmise that you might want to make a symbolic statement equivalent to Pissarro’s. It’s time for you to graduate from traditions that no longer feed you so you can freely seek out new teachers and influences.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Lead us

not into temptation, and deliver us from evil” is a request that Christians make of God when they say the Lord’s Prayer. If we define “temptation” as an attraction to things that feel good even though they’re bad for you, this part of the prayer is perfectly reasonable. But what if “temptation” is given a different interpretation? What if it means an attraction to something that feels pleasurable and will ultimately be healthy for you even though it initially causes disruptions? I suggest you consider experimenting with this alternative definition, Gemini. For now, whatever leads you into temptation could possibly deliver you from evil.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “You

get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks,” said the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. But you don’t have to worry about that outcome, Cancerian. The storm might howl and surge, but it will ultimately pass. And although your tree may bend pretty far, it will not break. Two weeks from now, you won’t be mourning your losses, but rather celebrating your flexibility and resilience. Congratulations in advance!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It’s a perfect time

to start reclaiming some of the superpowers you had when you were a child. What’s that you say? You didn’t have any superpowers? That’s not true. Before you entered adolescence, you could see things and know things and feel things that were off-limits, even unknown, to most adults. You possessed a capacity to love the world with wild purity. Your innocence allowed you to be in close touch with the intelligence of animals and the spirits of the ancestors. Nature was so vividly alive to you that you could hear its songs. Smells were more intense. The dreams you had at night were exciting and consoling. Your ability to read people’s real energy—and not be fooled by their social masks—was strong. Remember?

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Not all dark-

ness is bad. You know that. Sometimes you need to escape from the bright lights. It can be restorative to sit quietly in the pitch blackness and drink in the mystery of the Great Unknown. The same is true for silence and stillness and aloneness. Now and then you’ve got to retreat into their protective sanctuary. Dreaming big empty thoughts in the tranquil depths can heal you and recharge you. The magic moment has arrived for this kind of rejuvenation, Virgo.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the movie

Clueless, the character played by Alicia Silverstone describes someone as a “fullon Monet.” What she means is that the person in question is like a painting by the French Impressionist artist Claude Monet.

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“From far away, it’s OK,”says Silverstone. “But up close, it’s a big old mess.” You may still be at the far-away point in your evaluation of a certain situation in your own life, Libra. It appears interesting, even attractive, from a distance. When you draw nearer, though, you may find problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should abandon it altogether. Maybe you can fix the mess so it’s as engaging up close as it is from far away.

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

power animal for the coming months is the bateleur eagle of Africa. In the course of searching for its meals, it covers about 250 square miles every day. It thinks big. It has a spacious scope. I hope you get inspired by its example, Scorpio. In 2014, I’d love to see you enlarge the territory where you go hunting for what you want. Fate will respond favorably if you expand your ideas about how to gather the best allies and resources. As for this week, I suggest you get very specific as you identify the goals you will pursue in the coming months by exploring farther and wider.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

The standard dictionary says that “righteous” is a word that means virtuous and highly moral. The slang dictionary says that “righteous” describes someone or something that’s absolutely genuine and wonderful. Urban Dictionary suggests that “righteous” refers to the ultimate version of any type of experience, especially “sins of pleasure” like lust and greed. According to my analysis, the coming week will be jampacked with righteousness for you. Which of the three definitions will predominate? It’s possible you will embody and attract all three types.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

In the dreams you’re having at night, Capricorn, I bet you’re traveling through remote landscapes in all kinds of weather. Maybe you’re recreating the voyage of the Polynesian sailors who crossed hundreds of miles of Pacific Ocean to find Hawaii 1,500 years ago. Or maybe you’re hiking through the Darkhad Valley, where the Mongolian steppe meets Siberia’s vast forests. It’s possible you’re visiting places where your ancestors lived, or you’re migrating to the first human settlement on Mars in the 22nd century. What do dreams like this mean? I think you’re trying to blow your own mind. Your deep self and your higher wisdom are conspiring to flood you with new ways of seeing reality.

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

wouldn’t be too extreme for you to kiss the ground that has been walked on by people you care about deeply. And it wouldn’t be too crazy to give your special allies the best gifts ever, or compose love letters to them, or demonstrate in dramatic fashion how amazed you are by the beautiful truths about who they really are. This is a unique moment in your cycle, Aquarius—a time when it is crucial for you to express gratitude, devotion and even reverence for those who have helped you see what it means to be fully alive.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In a letter

to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway described his vision of paradise. It would have a trout stream that no one but him was permitted to fish in. He’d own two houses, one for his wife and children and one for his nine beautiful mistresses. There’d be a church where he could regularly confess his sins, and he’d have great seats at an arena where bullfights took place. From my perspective, this is a pretty vulgar version of paradise, but who am I to judge? I suggest you draw inspiration from Hemingway as you come up with your own earthy, gritty, funky fantasy of paradise. It’s an excellent time for you to get down to earth about your high ideals and dreamy hopes.

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 TARAS GARCIA

by ROB

For the week of December 5, 2013

STORY

A potter’s life Mark Pratton is a rocket scientist by day (yes, really) and a master potter by nights and weekends. His work is currently on display at the Kennedy Gallery Art Center (1931 L Street), and on Saturday, December 7, Pratton will host an open house at Old Home Pottery, his Elk Grove studio, to mark the 25th anniversary of designing and building his first kiln. In the years since that milestone, Pratton has collected three additional kilns and plenty of secret recipes for beautiful stoneware pottery and a rainbow of iridescent glazes. Pratton stepped away from his kiln long enough to discuss the creative process, his pottery playlist and what he keeps on his wall of shame.

Before pottery, what did you think you’d do with your life? I probably thought I was going to work industrially. I have a contractor’s license. Around the time I was 14 or 15, I was rebuilding small engines and car engines. I’ve always been a very handy guy. I fell right into chemistry and science; it was just easy for me. I’m actually dyslexic, so I don’t read a ton of books, aside from my pottery books. It was hard for me to write essays, but science and technology comes to me pretty straightforward.

When did you start making pottery? I started around 1982. I took a pottery class at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, [California]. I was about 21 or 22.

How do you mix your clay? I use a pug mill. It mixes fresh-out-of-thekitchen clay. I get my clay from [a place] on the south side of town. Because I’m a chemist, I have different ingredients to mix in. They use a lot of these same materials for face makeup. The pug mill takes all the air out of it and packs it really tight, and it gets warm enough that it’s steamy in the winter. Then, it comes out of the end like a big spaghetti maker. I’ve built a lot of my own tools, too.

Are your pottery pieces functional as well as beautiful? I envision my pieces as utilitarian, this is what a family could eat soup and everything else out of. It’s all microwave safe, dishwasher safe. You could bake bread or little casseroles in the oven with my smaller bowls.

Are you really a rocket scientist? I’ve been building rockets, rocket fuels and all that stuff for 10 or 15 years, as well as pharmaceuticals. You have to build a lot of equipment in the laboratory, too. I worked for Aerojet for 18 years and AMPAC Fine Chemicals for the last five or six—[that company] came out of Aerojet. Aerojet started a side business for chemicals, and they turned into AMPAC. So, I designed rocket fuels, but my current day job is pharmaceutical chemistry.

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How dangerous is working with a kiln? You build a fire that’s 2,300 degrees, so the box and materials have to be able to hold that. One of the things I always like to say is: “We had pots before we had plows.” It’s pretty easy to melt the metal oxides, which are in glasses and ceramics. Then, if you handle your fire correctly, you can go from a metal oxide to a metal. Also, ceramics are very sharp. Every year when I open the kiln, somebody gets a bloody finger. I always tell everybody to be careful when handling the pieces, but you don’t even know you’re cut, [it’s] like a razor. I’ve singed my hair a few times, too.

What do you do with your pieces that don’t come out right? I have a wall of shame. Everything that’s completely unacceptable for a multitude of reasons hangs there. A few are slumped, completely melted down flat. It got overheated, and because of the formula, it melted at too low a temperature. When I first started, I realized I wanted the glazes to get drippy and runny down the sides because I like the texture. I want to have control over that, but the first time or two it was so runny that a few melted onto the shelf.

What’s on your essential potterymaking playlist? I’m an AC/DC fan and a Led Zeppelin fan. I like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. I have pretty eclectic taste. Any kind of coffee-shop |

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music is good for working. Especially when I’m by myself and throwing a pot, I feel akin to that same artist. I’ll hear the music get really intense, and I know there [were] people putting it together [and think to myself], “Where did they come up with that?” I see my pottery in the same way, too.

Do you feel connected to history when you make pottery? I do know the recipe for certain glazes the way some people know the recipes to make a cake. These recipes have been handed down for thousands of years. Some of my favorite glazes are actually from the 1600s in Japan, called shinos. The texture and color are special, they behave in their own way, giving special effects in the light. We stand on the shoulders of thousands of years of potters, because really all of our current technology and lifestyle is based upon controlling that hot fire and breaking down the earth like volcanoes do. I feel connected to history all the time. I want to finish my pieces, with my name and date on it, in a way that people will appreciate it who will never ever know me. They will judge me, they will know it was made by a human, but it is truly treasure, because it won’t go to the landfill. It might go to a secondhand store or be handed down in a family, but I always keep in mind that these will last. Ω Mark Pratton will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the kiln he built on Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Home Pottery, located at 8611 Mackey Road in Elk Grove. See www.old homepottery.com for more info.

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