Page 1

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 26, iSSue 01


thurSday, april 24, 2014



the warlocks saturday, may 3

shovels & Rope Wednesday, may 7

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SN&R   |  04.24.14

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SN&R   |  04.24.14

April 24, 2014 | Vol. 26, issue 01

XXv I hesitated at first when SN&R’s co-editors Nick Miller and Rachel Leibrock asked me to ante up an editor’s note for the 25th-anniversary issue. As the former editor of the paper, I’d written such remarks many times over the years—on the occasions of our fifth, 10th and 20th anniversary issues. What did I have to add? Then I thought of three things. One is I can’t help noticing that SN&R still exists. The struggle to have accomplished this, given the severe challenges the paper has faced over the decades, cannot be overstated. Lots of large, successful alt-weeklies across the country simply did not make it, and some that survived (the San Francisco Bay Guardian) seem a shadow of their former selves. Two is I can’t help observing that the paper’s latest incarnation has consistently been a joy to read— smart and surprising, a regional touchstone. How lucky we are to live in a town where such a space endures, where crucial reporters and writers like Nick, Rachel, Cosmo Garvin, Raheem F. Hosseini, Joey Garcia, Alastair Bland, Janelle Bitker, Becca Costello, Shoka, Jonathan Mendick and others are free to tell us stories of our town? Three is I can’t stop reflecting on the secret ingredient that binds the SN&R together in the first place: the paper’s owners Jeff vonKaenel and Deborah Redmond. The pair somehow infused the company early on with an ethos that routinely overcomes the odds and gathers just the right talent at just the right time. Unlike many newspaper owners, they’ve always backed an editorial philosophy that pokes, challenges and, occasionally, even illuminates. Most astonishingly, they have mixed love and ideals throughout it all. Anyway you slice it, the Sacramento region has been the 25-year beneficiary of a great weekly newspaper. SN&R, long may you run!

07 09 11 16 20 33 35 43 44 46 50 57 67

15 46

STREETALK LETTERS NEWS + scorekeeper OPINION + bites 25TH ANNIvERSARy NIgHT&DAy DISH ASK JOEy STAgE FILM MuSIC THE 420 15 MINuTES cover photo by SereNe LUSANo cAKe provIDeD by Freeport bAKery


67 Kel Munger, Kate Paloy, Jessica Rine, Patti Roberts, Ann Martin Rolke, Steph Rodriguez

Our Mission To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Co-editors Rachel Leibrock, Nick Miller Staff Writers Janelle Bitker, Raheem F. Hosseini Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Entertainment Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Becca Costello Contributing Editor Cosmo Garvin Editor-at-large Melinda Welsh Contributors Ngaio Bealum, Daniel Barnes, Rob Brezsny, Cody Drabble, Joey Garcia, Blake Gillespie, Becky Grunewald, Mark Halverson, Jeff Hudson, Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Garrett McCord,

—Melinda Welsh

former s N& r edi t or

Creative Director Priscilla Garcia Art Director Hayley Doshay Junior Art Director Brian Breneman Designers Serene Lusano, Kyle Shine, Skyler Smith Contributing Photographers Lisa Baetz, Steven Chea, Wes Davis, Ryan Donahue, Taras Garcia, Lovelle Harris, Shoka Director of Advertising and Sales Rick Brown Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Joy Webber Advertising Consultants Joseph Barcelon, Meghan Bingen, Teri Gorman, Dusty Hamilton, Dave Nettles, Lee Roberts, Julie Sherry, Stephen Swanson, Kelsi White Senior Inside Sales Consultant Olla Ubay Ad Services Specialist Melissa Bernard Director of Et Cetera Will Niespodzinski Custom Publications Editor Michelle Carl Custom Publications Managing Editor Shannon Springmeyer

Custom Publications Writer/Copy Editor Mike Blount Custom Publications Staff Writer Meredith Graham Executive Coordinator Jessica Takehara Directors of First Impressions Alicia Brimhall, Matt Kjar Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Daniel Bowen, Russell Brown, Nina Castro, Jack Clifford, Lydia Comer, John Cunningham, Lob Dunnica, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Joanna Gonzalez-Brown, Aaron Harvey, Wayne Hopkins, Brenda Hundley, Greg Meyers, Kenneth Powell, Wendell Powell, Lloyd Rongley, Duane Secco, Lolu Sholotan, Jack Thorne President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Chief Operations Officer Deborah Redmond Human Resources Manager Tanja Poley Human Resources Intern Courtney DeShields Business Manager Grant Rosenquist Accounting Specialists Renee Briscoe, Tami Sandoval Accounts Receivable Specialist Nicole Jackson Business Intern Allison Hill Lead Technology Synthesist Jonathan Schultz Senior Support Tech Joe Kakacek

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SN&R   |  04.24.14

“It will be huge, probably solid all the way out to El Dorado Hills.”

Asked at McKinley Park:

What will Sacramento be like in 25 years?

Andrew Chavarria

Shavonne Powell

Aztec dancer

program director

I like the arena and the progress, but it seems like we’re losing that feeling of community. Nobody knows each other anymore; the neighbors don’t know each other. You can live next door to somebody for 10 years and not know their first name. It was different 10 or 15 years ago.





It’s going to be more technological. I think we’re going to become more of a metropolitan city where people want to come here not just because the housing is cheaper, but because it’s a hot spot. I hope we have [Bay Area Rapid Transit] trains. Light rail does not make sense. It disrupts traffic. We need BART.

Tony Russo

customer service

Hopefully, there’s a good governor or senator that can straighten up Sacramento to make our town bigger and better than what it is now. We need better transportation that goes out to Roseville. I’m looking forward to the bullet train. I think once we get the bullet train, like the new arena, it will make everybody come here.


Dan Diederich

Andrea Silva

property manager


It will be huge, probably solid all the way out to El Dorado Hills. I don’t want to see all the parks change. We’ve got to maintain all the green spaces in the area. We should keep the old homes, old houses, that character, all the trees. I don’t want to see more high-rises.


David Nevezi

California Conservation Corps


Growth is inevitable. I’d like to see that it happens in a smart way. Increasing the density of what we have already is not a bad thing at all. If it’s done properly, I think it could be attractive, hopefully with considerations for affordable housing for everyone, not like San Francisco.




I honestly don’t see it getting better as a city. I see the nice areas getting nicer and the run-down areas getting worse. I’m concerned about people not being willing to work or being dependent on other kinds of income like welfare, extended unemployment—people getting comfortable. It’s going to get worse.







We’re inviting every craft raft brewer in the country on a nationwide beer festival al tour, and we’re kicking it off in your backyard where incredible ncredible brewing talent abounds.

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Learn more at www.SierraNevada.com/BeerCamp Proceeds from this festival will benefit the California Craft Brewers Association to keep craft brewing alive and well today and in the future.

Please drink responsibly.

© Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.




SN&R   |  04.24.14

Healthcare Vendor Fair & Expo Thursday, April 24th 2014 Over 100 + Exhibitors! Hosted by SacMetro Magazine

It’s the bicyclists’ fault Re “Biketopia?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, April 17): The lack of bike safety you talk about is mostly the bike riders’ faults. Ninety-nine percent of the people who ride bikes in Sac don’t obey the traffic laws. They don’t stop at stop signs or red lights. They usually wear dark clothing with no lights, or very dim lights and ride along as if letter of they are the only ones on the road. Then they wonder the week why they got hit by a car.


Tom McDowell

WIN up to $1,000

Sa c ra m e nt o

Sacramento is a bike utopia

do that is to go north on 17th or 18th Street until the end, where you can catch a very friendly bike path that goes under the same tracks. Similarly, I can’t fathom the route executive director Jim Brown takes to get from the Capitol to the train station, cutting across L Street against a red light, turning right on Fifth and cycling through the Downtown Plaza tunnel, while competing against the motorized traffic that races through there. You might as well wear dog tags with your burial instructions. Don’t get me wrong. There are many difficult and challenging routes for Sacramento cyclists. Ever try accessing the American River [Bike] Trail from the Carol Miller Justice Center using Howe Avenue? You need a police escort. But let’s not portray it as worse than it is by taking crazy cycling routes when better options are readily available. Paul Berger Nevada City

Re “Biketopia?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, April 17): Sacramento is an excellent biking city! Quit whining! The [IkonCycles] bike-shop guy and the bike-delivery guy quoted in this article are either shameless, disinformation specialists or complete wussies that need to get out of the biz and back in their cars (or both). Can’t get to the train station on your bike? Take a cab, fatty. Sacto is flat, there are copious amounts of bike lanes, the weather is great, and the drivers are almost too courteous. (Don’t believe me? Cycle in the South or East or Phoenix. Ouch!) This place is biking nirvana compared to San Francisco, Portland [Oregon] and Brooklyn or Manhattan, for a variety of reasons (e.g., weather, terrain, attitude, etc.). My biggest problem with autos is that my car battery goes dead, ’cause I never drive mine. If we have to spend public money on cycling improvements, let’s finish the southern extension of the American River [Bike] Trail. Doug Morgan Sacramento

Re “Biketopia?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, April 17): The second paragraph says everything that’s wrong with organized biking in Sactodemento. Sacto bicyclists don’t operate in a safe manner. I’m approaching 200,000 miles on my ’72 Schwinn Varsity, and I find Sacto a delight for the ride. But! I carry a map. I am a master of the stop-sign downshift and stop. I have an upshift just as swift. I get off and walk around pedestrians and in construction zones, and often at traffic-signal lights. I use vehicle hand signals most assertively. My light and reflectors all work. I wore a hard hat a decade before there were Eurotrash styles of head protection. I commuted from Midtown to work in Rocklin for several years. Get a grip, old geezers and stupid punk bikers. It doesn’t hurt to get off and walk for safety (unless you’re wearing Eurotrash bike shoes). Paul Henderson Sacramento

Re “Biketopia?” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, April 17): As a former downtown Sacramento bicycle commuter, I was amazed and bemused at the routes your “prominent cycling advocates” took to get around town. The article opens with the harrowing tale of two veteran cyclists heading north on 12th Street, which requires one to ride on a narrow sidewalk through a tunnel that goes under the train tracks. That sidewalk is notorious for regular use and loitering by the homeless and transient population. Why, one must ask, are they doing that? Unless they are visiting Loaves & Fishes or the porn superstore, they must be trying to access the American River [Bike] Trail. But every cyclist familiar with the city knows the only sane way to |


Enjoy music.

Email your letters to sactoletters@ newsreview.com.


B Sharps

Hors d'oeuvres. ne Wine tasting. “This event can best be described as a symposium, convention, trade show, job fair combined with live music, delicious hors d’oeuvres paired with wine tasting and education for further professional and personal development,” said Dante Louis, founder and host of this annual event.

Bicyclists are the problem

Crazy bike routes?




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This page has been removed from the flipbook version of the publication

Fix 50 helicopters suck See SCOREKEEPER



On future media See BITES


Morel of the story



‘Obamacare’ and heroin

U.S. Forest Service  bans mushroom   hunters from prime  multimillion-dollar  bounty near   Rim Fire site One of the largest wildfires in state history swept the western Sierra Nevada last summer. by The blaze burned for two months, Alastair Bland devoured 257,000 acres of forest and destroyed 11 homes. The Rim Fire also primed the region for a potentially massive uprising of morel mushrooms. These finger-sized, wrinkly headed delicacies grow in the springtime, and they sprout most prolifically in regions where fires have burned the previous summer. Mushroom hunters know this, and every April, they swarm into burned woodlands, baskets in hand, as they reap the bounty that rises from the ashes. But this spring, there will be no such foraging bonanza in the Stanislaus National Forest, some three hours southeast of Sacramento. The U.S. Forest Service has closed the Rim Fire zone to the public, and morels hunters are in dismay. Forest Service officials are naming safety as the reason for the closure. Dead, burned trees, they say, are liable to drop branches and pine cones onto foragers and other hikers. Even those accessing the area by vehicle are at risk of being crushed by falling trees, they claim. “Hazardous trees are lining the roadways,” said Rebecca Garcia, public-affairs officer with the Stanislaus National Forest. Other large areas that experienced forest fires last summer have been opened to the public—such as the large American Fire area in the Tahoe National Forest. But Garcia explained that the Rim Fire zone has remained closed because of the especially high temperatures at which this particular fire burned. The extreme heat left each standing tree at a higher-than-usual risk of falling and injuring hikers and drivers, according to Garcia. Mushroom hunters are not convinced. “We’ve hunted morels in areas identical to the Rim Fire, where the burn was just as hot, and we’ve never had problems,” said Curt Haney, president of the Mycological Society of San Francisco. BEFORE   |   NEWS   |

Selland Family Restaurants owner Josh Nelson says that even though the U.S. Forest Service is blocking access to the Rim Fire site, there’s plenty of options for morel hunters in the nearby Sierra Nevada.

Also baffling to mushroom hunters is the fact that 77,000 acres burned by the Rim Fire within Yosemite National Park were opened to the public several weeks ago. “So if it’s safe there, why not outside the park?” Haney said. Garcia said the Forest Service is now conducting an assessment of the Rim Fire area in order to locate all the trees at risk of falling onto roadways. The review will be finished in May. “That will be the first step before we can even think about opening the area up to the public,” Garcia said. But the Forest Service has already allowed a logging company—Sierra Pacific Industries—to use closed roads to access privately owned pockets of land within the burn zone. Garcia said plans are underway to allow logging companies to salvage burned trees from the Stanislaus National Forest, too. How real the dangers of hiking in burned forests are is a matter of ongoing debate. Donald Hughes, a mushroomhunting enthusiast in Oakland, says he has hunted morels in a dozen or more fresh burn zones. One gets covered in soot and ash, he said. “But I’ve never heard of anyone getting hurt,” Hughes said. Haney, in fact, claims it has never happened. In an April 3 letter to Susan Skalski, the forest supervisor of the Stanislaus National Forest, Haney wrote, “There is no reported case of any member of the general public sustaining an injury while hiking or pursuing recreational activities in a burn zone, whether or not related to mycological activities.”

Anyway, even if the forest was dangerous in the weeks after the fire ended in October 2013, wind and rain have probably caused most loose branches and brittle trees to fall by now, making the area safe for hiking, according to Robert Belt, a Sonora resident and morel hunter. “If [those branches and trees] didn’t come down this winter, they aren’t coming down now,” Belt said.

“They’re really a versatile mushroom, with a great nutty flavor,” he said. Morels do grow in unburned areas—collectors call them “naturals”— including in the Sierra Nevada just east of Sacramento. But these morels don’t sprout anywhere near as abundantly as they do in burned forests. Todd Spanier, a commercial mushroom collector and owner of the wholesale business, King of Mushrooms, says a single-acre forest burned the year prior will produce, on average, about 5 pounds “There should be of springtime morels. As of April 15, the about $23 million, wholesale price for morels was $30 per pound, according to Spanier. wholesale, of “There should be about $23 million, wholesale, of morels in that [closed morels in portion of] burn,” he said. Nelson, who was recently hunting that burn.” morels in the Sierra, says the closure of Todd Spanier the Rim Fire zone is hardly a disaster for mushroom-business owner morel hunters. “There are other nearby options,” Morels are among the most valued of he said. “There are a few burns off of edible mushrooms. A variety of morel [Highways] 80 and 50 that are accesspecies occur worldwide, with nations sible, and they should be pretty producin Europe especially prizing the earthytive for a couple of years.” tasting, meaty-textured fungus. Across Officials are standing by the closure— the United States, annual morel festivals and threatening intruders with $5,000 and group collecting outings reflect fines and up to six months in jail—yet the huge popularity of this particular some locals have reportedly skirted the mushroom, which may retail for more outer edges of the closed area. According than $40 per pound. to their reports, woodcutters are at work Josh Nelson, owner of Selland Family along area roadways and near campRestaurants in Sacramento, says his grounds—and the morels are already favorite method of cooking morels is to erupting in huge numbers. grill them over an open flame. They do Hughes, like many others, is already well in a veggie sauté, too, and on pizzas. mourning the loss. “It’s really sad to know that so many morels will just rot in the ground out there,” he said. Ω   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |    04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   11

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SN&R   |  04.24.14



Big Brother: Sacramento


Sign off

- 15

- 1,984 Worse than leaf blowers?

Central-city dwellers are used to helicopters. But the ones Scorekeeper and others heard this past Tuesday morning—early—were from local media covering the Fix 50 debacle. Nice one, fellow journos.

- 50


- 36,780

- 1,200







Scorekeeper urges central-city dwellers to be safe while walking late at night. Again. On Saturday morning just after 1 a.m., the city police’s crime log states that several assailants attacked a man, even breaking a bottle over his head, at O and 20th streets. Police are investigating.


Be safe

The University of California system continues to cash in by accepting more out out-ofstate students as its overall admission rates dip. The numbers are especially striking at UC Davis, where Chancellor Linda Katehi leads the push to add 5,000 more students by 2020. The goal is not just more students, but also more international and out-of-state students, who pay $36,780 in tuition and fees instead of the $13,902 paid by homegrown undergrads. We get that colleges are hard up, but can they be a little less brazen?


Admit none



Sacramento County code enforcers apparently took it easy on businesses in the unincorporated areas that displayed signs during the recent economic downturn. But now that the market is recovering (kind of?), the self-promotional honeymoon is over. Tomorrow, code-enforcement teams will offer courtesy notices to businesses that violate the county’s zoning code by displaying signs in the public right-of-way or on utility poles. Owners who remove the offending placards within 15 days will be spared fines.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones last week invited residents and business owners to register their personal surveillance systems with his department, in the hopes of tapping that footage when a crime occurs nearby. Jones swears this isn’t Orwell’s Big Brother, as the department could only access videos with the owners’ permission. Maybe he’s right: A growing network of cameras pointed at Sacramento residents sounds less like the recipe for a classic novel and more like a terrible reality show.


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SN&R   |  04.24.14


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Clean but sobering


Heroin addiction on the rise in Sacramento as health-care  expansion opens doors for addicts trying to quit Kurt Wagner was 12-years clean when his life began to unravel. He lost his job, his wife left and the money ran out. by Homeless and alone, the uninsured Dave Kempa Wagner had to pay $300 a month for methadone treatment. When he could no longer afford it, it was only a matter of time before he fell off the wagon. “I couldn’t keep up with the payments, so they feetoxed me,” said the 58-year-old Wagner. He explains while seated outside CRC Health

we’ve also seen people that didn’t have insurance that were struggling to pay for the program get insurance and stabilize.” Stenson estimates a 5 to 7 percent increase in visitors to his clinic since the year began, thanks largely to patients gaining coverage with MediCal, the state’s iteration of the federal Medicaid program that provides coverage for low-income Americans. Under the ACA, states have the option to expand Medicaid coverage ILLUSTRATION BY BRIAN BRENEMAN

Heroin accounts for 17 percent of Sacramentans seeking treatment at county clinics.

Group in south Sacramento this past Thursday that “feetox” refers to the process methadone clinics undertake for patients who run out of money. They wean them off treatment over two to three weeks to minimize the inevitable shock of withdrawal. This was when Wagner turned to heroin for the first time in more than a decade. And this was how he lived for years after: on and off of methadone, then relapsing whenever money for treatment ran out. It wasn’t until three months ago, when he joined the millions of Californians who have signed up for Medi-Cal since last year, that Wagner was able to clean up for good. He is among 7,774 Californians taking advantage of addiction services newly available to them thanks to the expanded coverage and services mandated under the Affordable Care Act. Since the law’s January 1 inception, methadone clinics across the Sacramento region have noted an increase in care provided. And they’re encouraged. “We certainly have seen a small spike,” said Garrett Stenson, program director of downtown Sacramento’s CORE Medical Clinic Inc. “And then

to include residents at 133 percent of the poverty level (for instance, a family of three earning around $27,000 per year). California is among the 26 states, as well as Washington, D.C., to opt into expansion. Some 1.9 million Californians have enrolled for Medi-Cal benefits since October 1, 2013, according to Carol Sloan of the California Department of Health Care Services. While numbers on who among them were newly eligible under ACA won’t be available until next month, the expansion has opened a path for low-wage earners seeking to escape heroin addiction in the midst of what law-enforcement agencies are now calling an epidemic. According to DHCS, Sacramento County saw 1,062 admissions to treatment for heroin addiction in fiscal year 2012-2013, a staggering 33.4 percent increase from the year before. Heroin accounted for 17.1 percent of the county’s treatment admissions, a higher share than the previous six years of data provided by DHCS. Almost one-fifth of the 175,000 treatment admissions across California last year were heroin addicts.

Heroin addiction has risen as abuse of prescription opiates like OxyContin and Vicodin went up in the last decade, with heroin serving as an economical substitute to painkillers. Addiction experts claim the correlation is significant. Government data shows some 620,000 Americans recently reported using heroin in the past 12 months—almost twice the respondents in 2007. Given such unsettling numbers, can increased access to methadone treatment through Medi-Cal really make a difference? On one hand, methadone is a tried and true deterrent to opiate addiction. The California Society of Addiction Medicine says methadone treatment is associated with success rates between 60 and 90 percent, compared to 5 to 10 percent rates with drug-free treatments. Beyond that, the National Institutes of Health says that treatment is a sound societal investment, estimating that every dollar spent on treatment will save the community $4-$7 in justice system and drugrelated crime costs. On the other hand, Sacramento is home to a number of methadone treatment facilities owned by private organizations, whose owners take in millions treating the vices of society’s lower classes.

Sacramento County saw 1,062 admissions to treatment for heroin addiction in fiscal year 2012-2013, a staggering 33.4 percent increase from the year before. Take MedMark Services Inc. and CRC Health Group, both nationwide corporations with locations in south Sacramento. Both of which feetoxed Wagner when the money ran out, he says. Neither of which responded to SN&R’s requests for interviews. But maybe that’s a fight for the future. Today, Wagner is clean, because today he is covered. “I think it’s all positive for people who don’t have any money.” Now three months sober, he says the next step is to find work. Ω

The big ban Marijuana and Sacramento County never really hit it off. In 2011, the county banned medical-pot dispensaries. And now, Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan wants to prohibit indoor and outdoor pot growing, too. In a letter, MacGlashan wrote that outdoor pot grows have “proliferated” in recent years. Complaints to her office abound, she says. Last summer, she claims that law enforcement seized more than 67,000 illegal plants. She’s proposing two separate ordinances to stop indoor and outdoor grows. “Time is of the essence for adoption of these ordinances due to the impending marijuana grow season,” she wrote. On Tuesday, supervisors opted to ban outdoor cultivation. The city of Sacramento passed an outdoor ban in 2012. At the meeting, the board listened as dozens spoke out against bans. Don Duncan with Americans for Safe Access, a group that fights for citizen access to medical pot, told SN&R that while the courts sometimes allow for bans, doing so usually increases crime. “Sensible regulations reduce crime and complaints while preserving access to medicine for legal patients,” he wrote. “A ban on cultivation may leave patients without access … or force them back into the unregulated illicit market.” Patients argued that they cannot afford to grow weed inside, as it is more costly to do so. They also said indoor growing uses more chemicals and electricity, both bad for the environment. Instead of a ban, they want the county to approve smart regulations. The cultivation debate will continue into May: On the 28th, supervisors will discuss how to regulate indoor grows. (Nick Miller)

Postal voting With mail-in ballots for the upcoming statewide primary set to go out in a couple of weeks, a recent study examines just who makes most use of the remote-voting tool. The California Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change looked at disparities in use of vote-by-mail ballots from 2002 to 2012. Specifically, Asian voters in California are turning to mail-in ballots in greater numbers than Latino numbers. Project director Mindy Romero said the “large and growing gap between Latino and Asian [voters]” surprised the researchers. Both groups have been historically underrepresented in voting and “have a high percentage of naturalized citizens and language access needs when voting,” she said. The Sacramento region had the second highest percentage of vote-by-mail use among Asians, following the Bay Area. As a region, Sacramento used the second highest percentage of mail-in ballots after the central coast. As a group, Sacramento Latino voters’ use of mail-in ballots ranked second after central coast Latino voters. Latino voters in the Sacramento region had the smallest gap between general vote-by-mail turnout and such users generally. Despite this, Sacramento County was “in the middle of the pack” of voteby-mail use in the state, Romero said. The Civic Engagement Project plans to look at why certain groups use mail-in ballots in upcoming studies. Possible explanations would include convenience and voter turnout operations directed at certain groups by political campaigns. More than half of young voters (ages 18 to 23) in the Sacramento region resorted to mail-in ballots, beating the statewide average of 39 percent. While voting by mail is well-studied in Oregon, not enough data on California voters has been gathered to answer some of the bigger questions that might guide politicos in forecasting beyond 2014. Mail-in ballots go out in the first week of May, 29 days before the election. (Cody Drabble)

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Develop Your Child’s Future!

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I had a great time at the Earth Day festival. Earth Day is an odd duck. Not a real holiday, like Presidents’ Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where government employees and bankers do not have to work. But it’s more of a holiday than Administrative Professionals Day and Boss’s Day. Those days are really just about selling greeting cards. I did not receive any Hallmark cards for Earth Day. I did not see any special Earth Day sales where everything “green” related was 15-percent off. Nevertheless, the 44th annual celebration of l nE aE nK by JEff Vo Earth Day still meant something to me. When I was a student at UC Santa Barbara, j e ffv @ne wsr e v ie w.c o m I attended the very cutting-edge first Earth Day festival. So, for me, Earth Day festivals are also a time to reflect on the many changes in the environmental movement over the last four decades. This is, of course, a very mixed bag. There have been huge advances: the removal of leaded gas, the use of carbon trading and energy-efficient housing. The victories are huge. Yet, at the same time, all the efforts seem to If we printed all of be too little too late. Global warming is already occurring. the stories suggested And I believe its impact will to me on Earth Day, be of biblical proportions. Nevertheless, I still have the paper would be hope. Hope of a Hail Mary that saves the so heavy that our breakthrough planet. Hope that we can distribution staff play a role in minimizing the damage. So I went down to could not lift the Environmental Council of Earth Day celeone paper. Sacramento’s bration at Southside Park on April 19. This was a low-key event. No major acts, a solid but modest crowd; it was a free community event with music, food and booths. I dropped in at many of the booths, usually talking with an unpaid volunteer who was willing to sit behind Sen. Gaylord Nelson a table on a beautiful sunny day. The presentations of Wisconsin were not smooth or canned. Instead, I heard about the proposed a national teach-in so people dangers of fracking, the protection of animals, concerns could learn about about a strong mayor, the hopes of young Democrats, the environment, the wonders of vegetarian eating, the need to tax stock and in April 1970, trades, and more. Every presentation had real informaEarth Day tion, given by someone who cared. Cared enough to give was born. To learn more up their Saturday afternoon to sit at a table and wait for about the history someone like me to come by. of Earth Day, go to I was moved. After talking with someone for a few www.nelsonearth minutes, I sometimes told them I worked for SN&R. day.net. Often they would encourage me to write a story about their subject. If we printed all of the stories suggested Jeff vonKaenel to me on Earth Day, the paper would be so heavy that is the president, our distribution staff could not lift one paper, let alone a CEO and bundle of 50. majority owner of Spending a sunny afternoon with people who cared the News & Review newspapers in enough to freely give their time was better than an Earth Sacramento, Day card or a green sale. It was a little hope break. Hope Chico and Reno. for the planet. And hope for the people on it. Ω

Sticking around What the Sacramento media   landscape might look like in 25 years If you were to travel back 25 years to Sacramento in 1989 and pick up a newspaper, much of what you would read would probably seem pretty familiar. There was a lot of hand-wringing about the revitalization of downtown and plans to spend millions in public money to upgrade the floundering Downtown Plaza. The cops were rousting homeless people from Discovery Park. The VIN Ar G Kings were losing. o Sm by Co Other stories would remind you how cos mog@ n ewsrev iew.c om long ago 1989 really was. Sacramento’s first modern high-rise, Renaissance Tower, a.k.a. the Darth Vader building, was built that year. It was the year early AOL customers first heard, “You’ve got mail!” The media landscape was different, too. Bites recently came across a column from 1989 by The Sacramento Bee’s former ombudsman Art Nauman, addressing a reader’s complaint about the frustratingly large amount of advertising in her daily paper. “Without advertising in this newspaper, you probably wouldn’t have it to read,” he explained. Newspaper ombudsmen and advertisers are sorely missed. The Sacramento Union still existed in 1989, as did the Suttertown News. And that, of course, was the year the Sacramento News & Review launched, bringing the alternative-weekly tradition to Sacramento. Bites grew up on papers like SN&R. Living in the South during the Reagan years, the local alternative weekly was a lifeline, with its antiestablishment politics, listings for live music and indie movies. Without it, you’d just be lost in the sprawl. Just as importantly, alt-weeklies have always turned a critical eye on the cities they operate in. Way before Bites ever took a journalism class or learned anything about the muckrakers the local weeklies were giving lessons in how to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” They were as unforgiving in their reviews of plastic politicians as they were of plastic pop stars. That’s where SN&R has been at its best over the last 25 years, Bites believes. As when California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush came after this paper for investigating his cozy relations with the insurance companies he was supposed to be regulating—shortly before Quackenbush had to leave office in disgrace for said cozy relations. Or when a SN&R reporter was detained by the National Guard at Los Angeles International Airport for trying to report on new security measures being implemented after 9/11. Or when it published a hard-hitting investigation of decades of collaboration between UC Davis scientists and the tobacco industry which used that research to market cigarettes.

Not that SN&R has always been righteous. The paper has run its share of puff pieces and advertorial. But as long as it keeps publishing, part of SN&R’s mission will be to speak truth to power. Bites hopes. Another 25 years? Well, that depends. Does anybody really need an alt-weekly to find a show or a restaurant or a date or a drummer for their band? Does anybody need a paper newspaper at all? Vinyl is cool and all, but LPs are never again going to be the way most people listen to music. And for all the fondness Bites has for print, weeks go by without picking up a newspaper or magazine in its dead-tree form. Why would a young person in 2014 pick up a newspaper if they’re looking for listings or restaurant reviews, or for anything else that they can get anywhere else? They’ve got so many other ways to connect with their community. Good for young people out in the sprawl. Not so good for alt-weeklies.

Alt-weeklies like SN&R also have something that readers can’t get anywhere else: local long-form journalism. It’s possible The Sacramento Bee will be around in some form—probably not paper— 25 years from now. A daily is simply indispensable for the brute-force task of covering a bunch of stuff every day. And it can still bring impressive resources to bear on big investigative projects. You can always tell what stories are the ones the Bee hopes will win a bunch of prizes. You just wish they’d save some of that investigative juice for the regular beats such as schools or downtown-development deals. Alt-weeklies like SN&R also have something that readers can’t get anywhere else: local long-form journalism and muckraking and an explicit willingness to question authority— as old-fashioned as those things may sound. There are lots of places to get show listings. There is some great food blogging and some admirable experiments in citizen journalism going on in the Sactosphere. But there are few places to find reporters who are paid to dig into powerful institutions. And no one has figured out a way to pay for that, in Sacramento at least, without the support of print advertising, same as in 1989. That problem needs to be solved if SN&R, or anything like it, is going to be around in 2039. Ω

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it’s the

BIG SacramentanS Share their viSion of the region in 25 yearS

photo by serene lusano

20   |   SN&R   |   04.24.14

SN&R staffers enjoy 25th-anniversary cake.

Close your eyes:

Visualize Sacramento’s transformation over the past 25 years. Try to remember what 16th, 20th, L and K streets felt like in 1989, long before the nightlife and housing that exists on those strips today. Way out in the burbs, the Roseville we know now was but mile after mile of empty fields in ’89. Ditto Elk Grove. Two-and-ahalf decades isn’t much time—but this region’s seen a major population and development shift. For this 25th-anniversary issue, we asked Sacramentans to look forward and share what they want Sacramento to be in another 25. The year 2039 seems far away. But if looking back teaches us anything, it’s that we really don’t have that much time after all.

Kevin SecondS musician

Street musicians, artists and food trucks will run the city, and people will no longer care about or support soulless, overpriced, corporately owned bars and restaurants. They will have vanished. The city will finally recognize the value and importance of locally owned shops, cafes, art spaces and live-music venues, and all will flourish. As the future mayor of the city, I will do everything within my power to see to this.

Phil Serna

Sacramento County supervisor Twenty-five years from now, I’m hopeful our downtowns, suburbs, residential neighborhoods, office parks and industrial areas alike all reflect today’s conscious planning efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. It will have been more than three decades since both Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375 were adopted, and it will be telling to see where and how we work, live, play and travel either respects the intent of this historic legislation or not. I’ll be 71 years old in 2039 (hopefully), and the optimist in me says I and others will see evidence that back in 2014, we took seriously our charge to minimize climate-change impacts by pursuing more infill-development opportunities, reducing vehicle-miles traveled, expanding access to alternative transportation and otherwise taking seriously the fact that the status quo was not an option. This is my hope.

StePhanie rector manager, Sac Geeks

In 25 years, Sacramento will be run by the next generation of geeks—playful

but efficient young adults who are constantly connected to each other and always have a wealth of information at their fingertips. They’ll talk in constant references to favorite memes, books, film, TV and music in ways that would make all exchanges and conversations sound obscure and confusing to anyone who’s not keeping up with pop culture. The kids of the future will be color-blind in terms of race, and not concerned with sexual orientation and probably not as obsessed with appearance, but might be kind of elitist when it comes to cultural knowledge and technological aptitude! They’ll be critical thinkers who challenge the status quo and love innovation and ideas that improve the planet.

Shelly WilliS

executive director, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission By 2029, the Studio for the Performing Arts is well into its 40-year lease of the historic Fremont School for Adults building. The Verge Center for the Arts has grown to be one of the most important contemporary art museums on the West Coast. Sacramento is now home to a major theater complex (that incidentally launches the career of a young Sacramento architect). The development of the sports and entertainment complex motivated the implementation of the only public art walk in the country. The death of Sacramento poet and visual artist José Montoya in 2013 stirs a publicprivate partnership to develop a multicultural center, which is completed in 2018. The success of Ali Youssefi’s low-income artist-housing project on R Street inspires a migration of artists to Sacramento. These artists, in a remarkable collaboration with Sacramento State University and the Sacramento Valley Conservancy artist-in-residence program at Camp Pollock, establish the Center for Art and the Environment. Sacramento’s 13 school districts have become a model of collaboration, resulting in arts teachers in all four arts disciplines in every school. All this makes Sacramento one of the most desirable places to live and visit in the country.

olivia coelho

co-owner, Witch Room music venue I hope Sacramento feels the way it feels right now forever. I want to take my bike out of my house and ride it directly to see a band, meet friends for drinks or good food, go to a dance party, and then wake up the next day and jump off a boulder into the river. I hope the rents stay low and the trees stay tall. I have lived in and traveled to many cities in many countries, but none have accepted the wide variety of cultures and interests that we do here.

William Burg historian

The first priority for Sacramento’s next 25 years is avoiding the disastrous effects of climate change. We can’t do that on our own, but as a city and region at risk of disaster, we can set the example. If we fail to change our course, there isn’t much hope for a long-term future. Fortunately, most of what has to be done to change course is pretty simple. The simplest way to reduce our carbon footprint is live closer to work. Twentieth-century autocentric regions like ours disconnected the traditional proximity of home and work via the automobile, exchanging massive resources and energy use for short-term convenience. The long-term effects are the long commutes and traffic jams familiar to Sacramentans today, and the consequences of climate change. Limiting greenfield sprawl and reconnecting our neighborhoods via transit can reverse this process. Mixed-use and transit-oriented development is familiar enough in Sacramento’s central city neighborhoods and streetcar suburbs, as that is how they were originally built. The same ideas can help turn the region’s auto-dependent suburbs into interdependent cities, and dramatically reduce our energy consumption. Building a sustainable city in the next 25 years does not mean demolishing the city we have. Rehabilitation of neighborhoods and infill on our abundant parking lots means having our city and keeping it, too; the greenest building is one that is already built. Those [old] romantic photographs of crowds shopping on K Street were made possible by an abundance of nearby housing, not automobiles. Returning population to our traditional neighborhoods, especially the depopulated central business district, is a proven strategy to revitalize cities while reducing per capita energy consumption. We must make a conscious, regional effort to change course inward instead of sprawling outward.

SiSter liBBy Fernandez Sacramento Loaves & Fishes

I would like to see Sacramento embrace all of its citizens, especially those who are homeless! I would like to see the city of Sacramento end the anti-camping ordinance and allow those of means—private, faith-based and public-property owners—to allow homeless people to sleep at night on their property until adequate, affordable and supportive housing is provided.

Brian crall

owner, Sacramento Comedy Spot I have traveled through time in my Spaceship of the Imagination to Sacramento in the year 2039, and I am happy to report the following: Sacramento no longer cares what Seattle or San Francisco is doing since Mayor Clay

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Farmer Shawn Harrison of Soil Born Farms hopes that Sacramento shores up its regional food infrastructure and collaboration. This would make it easier and more affordable to feed people here and beyond.

Nutting passed the “I am Somebody” city ordinance in 2024. With this new sense of self, Sacramento created a network of solar arrays and wind turbines, which produce enough energy so that every citizen has free power. Sacramento also recycles 80 percent of its water. The combination of energy and water independence has allowed the city to prosper. On my return trip to 2014, I flew past Sacramento’s G.T. (Gondola Transit) system that runs from western Sacramento (formerly West Sacramento), through downtown’s beautiful skyline of multiple 100-story buildings, over Midtown’s numerous residential buildings, restaurants, art and entertainment venues, and ends at the world-renowned Sacramento State University.

Chris Cabaldon

mayor, West Sacramento In the same way that we no longer conceive of Land Park or East Sacramento as the remote suburbs they once were, our concept of urban Sacramento will extend far beyond the grid. We’re doing that quite deliberately in the waterfront districts of West Sacramento, but you can bet that the scope of “the city” grows in all directions. It is a phenomenon enabled partly by the extension of urban transportation forms—we’re building more light rail, streetcars, bike lanes and “complete streets” in the inner-ring suburbs—and partly by the oversupply of four- and five-bedroom homes as changing demographics, land-use policies and consumer preferences diversify the housing market. Innerring suburbs like Carmichael or Arden Arcade or even full-blown cities like Rancho Cordova (which uses the term “first-tier suburb”) will be transformed as both empty and underutilized strip malls, and even housing tracts convert, due to these market forces, to new urban forms that might riff off what we see today in Midtown.

Tina reynolds

owner, Uptown Studios

photo by taras garcia

In 25 years, it is my hope that Sacramento is known as the most walkable city. Dreams of total pedestrian thoroughfares in Midtown and downtown with wide bike lanes. Stores stay open til 9 p.m. for walking and biking shoppers. Regional Transit is free and has been free for 20 years, and it has become the preferred transportation for people commuting to work. The homeless have respite space that keeps them comfortable and safe and transitions them into permanent residences. Midtown and downtown are the places that the creative class has taken over and created a living and working paradise— fair housing, transportation and bikes and walking rule the way instead of cars, because the city has abundant alternative ways to move people with vehicles. It’s a mecca of a greener city!

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sofia laCin

artist and co-owner of L/C Mural & Design If Sacramento were a woman, in 25 years she would have traded a conservative and slightly self-conscious wardrobe for a colorful and eclectic one that reflects a confidence and open spirit. Sacramento will attract visionary leaders—creatives who are motivated to take risks and do the unexpected. The more diverse voices, the more collaboration, the more full and inviting the city. Sacramento will have developed an attuned eye for the elegant and be rewarded by appreciative and somewhat surprised smiles.

roberT slobe

president, North Sacramento Land Company We might be a place that then welcomes the poor into rich neighborhoods—for access to their safe parks, streets and schools, and simple things like grocery stores and garbage-free streets—unlike today. That we would measure ourselves as a “world-class city” not by arenas and pituitary cases going back and forth on maple planks, but by the quality of our educational system, our arts and dance and music institutions, our open spaces, to escape and reflect and our culture of giving back. Hope springs eternal.

bob erlenbusCh

executive director, Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness 2039 will mark the 95th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union address to Congress, often referred to as the “Second Bill of Rights” or the “Economic Bill of Rights.” Among these rights, FDR reaffirmed the right to a living wage, the right to be free from hunger, the right to a decent home, the right to good health and the right to a good education. In the next 25 years, the vision I have for Sacramento is that it will have fully embraced FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights. For me, it is important that we are located on a river evoking the phrase, “Let justice flow down like water and righteousness like an everlasting stream.”

shawn harrison

founder, Soil Born Farms Over the next 25 years, Sacramento has an opportunity to set the gold standard when it comes to demonstrating how a community can feed itself and feed the world while promoting long-term personal, environmental and economic health. This potential hinges on the creation of a single regional food-system plan that guides both

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25th anniversary

FOR SN&R’S moSt  memoRable  coveR    StoRieS oveR  the yeaRS,  aS choSeN by  ouR Staff

Guide to the GanGs April 27, 1989


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This investigation by reporter Nick Budnick found that California Insurance Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Quackenbush was having his strings pulled by the very industry he was elected to watchdog. After the story, Quackenbush’s office came after SN&R in an attempt to discover Budnick’s sources and a resulting First Amendment battle was joined. SN&R won, both in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

newspapers, r.i.p.

November 25, 1992



September 12, 1996

November 21, 1996

Reporter Curt Guyette began a series of “immersion” stories with his award-winning “Down by the river” cover. In the series, the writer went out to live, work and sleep among Sacramento’s poorest working and homeless people—camping along the river, checking in to single-room-occupancy hotels, getting hired as a day laborer—so as to better tell the stories of the region’s disadvantaged and dispossessed.

rl over 250 flavors in our gigantic e-juice bar.

SN&R’s associate editor Tom Johnson wrote “Guide to the gangs” in our first month of publication. The piece revealed, for the first time, what kind of journalism SN&R intended to introduce to Sacramento—especially with its inclusion of a map outlining which local gang held what territory.

what’s up, ChuCk?

JuNe 16, 1994

Just in time for Father’s Day 1994, SN&R’s R.V. Scheide wrote “From here to paternity” about how he discovered he was a dad 13 years after the fact.

In this memorable cover, SN&R CEO and owner Jeff vonKaenel became one of the first in the newspaper industry to predict the demise of the daily newspaper. He claimed dailies would go out of business in the next 10 years. (He was just a few years off.)

i was a teenaGe spy December 12, 1996 SN&R reporter Rachel Leibrock spent three weeks during 1996 as an undercover student at C.K. McClatchy High School. Her mission was to reveal truths she couldn’t otherwise find

big-time skaters got their start in the 916. Becca Costello jumped into the local scene to shine some light on skateboarding.

The war issue: 3 years laTer

The hearT of The (gray) maTTer August 19, 2004 SN&R has always been a place for everyday Sacramentans to tell stories in their own words. Joel Davis’ story of his brain surgery and battle to overcome Parkinson’s disease went on to win multiple awards, and he also inked follow-up cover story for SN&R in 2007.

The killing game

OctOber 14, 2004

SN&R reporter Gary Webb rose to international fame as a journalist with his disturbing San Jose Mercury News series of articles linking the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras with the spread of crack cocaine in inner-city America. After being banished from traditional journalism for the controversy that ensued, Webb came to work for a short time at SN&R. He wrote a memorable cover story about the U.S. Army’s new recruiting strategy and the millions it spends on first-person-shooter computer games. Sadly, Webb experienced grave depression after his fall from grace with the mainstream press and took his own life two months after “The killing game” was published.

Confessions of an eBay opium addiCT MArch 31, 2005 Peter Thompson’s 2005 cover-story confession of his addiction to order-by-mail opium, which he’d brew into tea, has been SN&R’s most read cover story in the paper’s digital history. We’d like to think this isn’t solely because there are thousands of people out there Googling how to get high on poppy pods.

round up The hood!

June 23, 2005

In this award-winning story, SN&R’s Cosmo Garvin was first to report that West Sacramento police had put hundreds of its citizens on a gangsuppression list that limited freedom of speech, travel and association. The Yolo County district attorney lauded the gang injunction for reducing crime, but its use was prohibited anyway when the court decided this version of the list swept up people who had no connection to gangs or gang crime.

skaTeBoarding is noT a sporT

MArch 16, 2006 On the third anniversary of the war in Iraq, SN&R decided to hand over its space to seven local artists. SN&R’s Don Button led the project and orchestrated the issue wherein artists had the opportunity to add their voices to the public dissent and discourse about the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The artists’ works were reproduced and sold as 11-by-17-inch printed posters, with the proceeds donated to a local group that uses artistic expression to challenge assumptions about violence in the world.

Joe Carnahan’s Crossroads

all-ages all over?

MArch 6, 2008

Nick Miller’s first cover story is still his most controversial. This requiem for a bygone music scene motivated one local venue owner to throw an SN&R newsstand into a Dumpster.

pink CouCh

June 21, 2007

SN&R’s Ralph Brave wrote a scathing investigative story revealing that some UC Davis scientists collaborated with the tobacco industry over a 35-year period, from the mid-’60s to 2000. He discovered, for the first time, that the scientists had conducted research that directly aided tobacco companies in designing their products with the goal of expanding the sales market for their cigarettes.

DeceMber 16, 2010

Rachel Leibrock shared her story of how she and her husband lost her home during the recession despite never actually missing a mortgage payment. An honest, frustrating look at a broken bureaucracy and a shattered American Dream.


No shortage of print and broadcast media members were on hand when gays and lesbians all over California were at last able to legally marry. How could SN&R honor the landmark development in an alternative way? The answer involved living-room furniture. A team of SN&R talent asked the new couples to pose in iconic environs all over Sacramento on an amazing pink couch. BEE’S LAYOFF TIPS

smoked ouT!


see 15 Minutes, page 87 see Scene&Heard, page 29

see Essay, page 13

SN&R film writer Jonathan Kiefer’s profile of local boy Joe Carnahan drew blood. Kiefer’s portrayed Carnahan as a filmmaker with little to say and lots to explode. Or at least that’s how Carnahan himself interpreted the piece. We know this because the filmmaker called Kiefer the very day his story hit newsstands and dropped an obscene number of F-bombs via voice mail. Did Kiefer get it wrong? Is Carnahan a director of substance? Let’s just say he went on to make The A-Team.

it’s a list that no other local media outlet could come up with, placing developers and politicians on the same pages as singer-songwriters and pastors.

June 26, 2008

JAnuAry 25, 2007


ROCK? see Dish, page 41

This awardwinning special project shared everyday Sacramentans’ attitudes on end-of-life issues. SN&R readers answered questions on what they would do if they were terminally ill. WHO KILLED

ZAVALA? see Frontlines, page 18


AND SUNSHINE! see d’ART, inside






living homeless

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

battle for


see Frontlines, page 8 see Frontlines, page 10





100 miscellaneous things

that define us

and our region


August 16, 2012


This awardwinning collaboration between SN&R and Capital Public Radio by freelancer Ted Cox and art director David Jayne captures the stories and faces of the region’s least fortunate. Eighteen homeless residents sat down with SN&R to share how they ended up on the streets, where they were staying now—and what they thought would happen next. |

k.J. inC.


see Race to the Bottom, page 11

see Frontlines, page 8


June 9, 2011

see Streetalk, page 5

June 11, 2009




everyBody dies

you know you’re a saCramenTan when ...

Cosmo Garvin blew the lid off cocktail week bartenders Mayor Kevin belly up Johnson’s surreptitious fundraising schema. He connected the dots between the mayor’s office and K.J.’s private groups, through which he’s raised millions of dollars in “behests,” or secret donations that are not required to be disclosed to the public. After the story, the mayor received a record-setting fine from the California Fair Political Practices Commission. see Arts&Culture, page 24





Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 24, iSSue 18


NOMINEES s e e pa g e 1 6

thurSday, auguSt 16, 2012

desperaTely seeking JusTiCe DeceMber 5, 2013

MArch 11, 2010

Blow up The mall

septeMber 20, 2007

It was a simple idea by SN&R arts editor Jenn Kistler: Come up with 100 things that define Sacramento and our region. For instance: You know you’re a Sacramentan when “… you kind of like the service at Zelda’s.” The issue became a uniting force that spurred dozens of comments on our website and Facebook. SACRAMENTO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

This cover story is on our minds these days because, seven years ago, Cosmo Garvin was telling this city to do what it will be doing this summer: blowing up the Downtown Plaza. Of course, Garvin didn’t anticipate building a new arena with a massive public subsidy.

kyoTo proJeCT





DeceMber 6, 2007

nOveMber 10, 2005 All eyes are on the Sacramento Kings, but the argument can be made that skateboarding is the city’s premier athletic export. Numerous

working together to halt climate change. Along with a team of SN&R writers, editors, designers and techies, author and activist Bill McKibben wrote a lead piece for the package detailing how little had yet been done in the fight against global warming.


about the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the newly scapegoated generation. The story caused a giant stir; the publisher, editor and Leibrock later appeared at back-to-back schoolwide public forums at the high school to defend the story.

SN&R lead 53 alternative weeklies across the country in a joint cover project to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Kyoto accord, the first international attempt to get the world’s countries

The saC 100

DeceMber 9, 2010

SN&R staff writer Raheem F. Hosseini and freelancer Scott Thomas Anderson pulled back the curtain on the world of sex-worker discrimination. On the heels of this cover story, the law changed, and now victims can receive financial assistance and other aid.

25Th anniversary continued on page

SN&R made a list, checked it some five-dozen times, and highlighted the region’s most important and influential 100 citizens. We like to think

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   


04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   25


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25 continued from page

25th AnniversAry

phOtO by sERENE lusaNO


Jeff vonKAenel

Jeff vonKaenel is the CEO of News & Review.

jeffv@ newsreview.com

Thank you


JEff vOnKaEnEl On 25 yEars Of publishing sn&r

This week, 25 years ago, the Sacramento News & Review came into the world. Weighing only a few ounces, 22 inches long, with tens of thousands of identical brothers and sisters, the newborn SN&R could barely hold up its head, woke up its parents during the nights, was often colicky and needed constant changing. Finally, it started to grow. Our little baby put on extra pages and started to come alive with its own personality. All of us at SN&R work on different parts of the paper, but each week the paper comes out as a whole. A whole that is bigger than all the parts. A whole that has its own voice and its own point of view. Winston Churchill once said that, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” The same is true about newspapers. Working at the paper, and working with the people working at the paper, has made me a better person. I care more about people and community, less about money, and have joy that my life has a meaning beyond just a paycheck. I am very grateful. For me, this journey started in December 1988, when my wife, Deborah Redmond, and I moved down from Chico with our 6-month-old baby to launch SN&R. Deborah and I, the majority owners of the weekly Chico News & Review, played the role of Lewis and Clark, quickly trying to understand a new community. In the few months before the first issue, I met with more than 300 very different Sacramento residents. It was through this process that I started to love and care deeply about Sacramento.

But first, we had to assemble a team that Since 1989, we have been through recessions would produce the paper. In January 1989, and booms. Each week, we’ve gone on, putting before we even had an office, we worked from out another paper. We’ve never missed an issue, our family home. Every weekday morning, a bank payment or a payroll. In this space, I our new baby would wake us early. Next, Tom cannot thank everyone who has made a differJohnson, our associate editor, would rise up from ence. But I would like to mention a few people. his bed—which was our couch. Then, the rest of On the editorial side, longtime editor Melinda our team would show up: Melinda Welsh, our Welsh has been and still represents the heart editor; Laurie Waters, our advertising manager; and soul of the paper. She, more than anyone, and Chuck Leishman, our national-advertising established the paper’s DNA. And now, Rachel manager. We sat around the kitchen table to Leibrock and Nick Miller, the paper’s co-editors, make plans. have continued and enhanced the tradition. I knew we would be able to put out a On the design side: Don Button, who gave successful paper in Sacramento. At our first the paper its look; Anne Lesemann, who ran meeting, I said that after we succeeded, there the design department for many years; and our would be those who would give me credit. current design manager Priscilla Garcia, But I wanted everyone at the table who not only runs the production to know that I would not department, but has also created deserve that credit. I knew the look for our custom then, and I know now, publications division. I would like to   that the group around On the business side: the table would be Tanja Poley, who is say how much I   responsible for our hands down our besthave appreciated the  success. ever human-resource Our first office manager, and Grant last 25 years of putting  was at the corner of Rosenquist, who out a paper that I love,  V and 20th streets, has the business then we spent many office running like with people that I love  years in Midtown. clockwork. and in a community  In 2009, we moved In the operations to our own building department, we were that I love. on Del Paso Boulevard. lucky to have Ric Marques This building is larger and Glenn May, who both and the conference tables are left a legacy behind, passing the longer, but the philosophy is still baton to our current amazing team. the same: We expect our people to figure I must have done something pretty wonderthings out. ful in a past life to be so lucky as to have Greg My office is the exact same size as my Erwin, our distribution manager, at the paper. executive assistant’s office. In fact, we recently In advertising, Rosemarie Messina and Joy switched offices. Office size is a small thing, but Webber have been our foundation, with Kelsi believing that every position is critical is a big White and Olla Ubay supplying the walls. And thing. A big thing that has gotten us through the the architect for our advertising home has been last 25 years, and I expect will get us through the Rick Brown. His return to the paper has been next 25. a godsend. And Will Niespodzinski keeps the wheels on the bus.

All of us at the paper are most grateful to you, the readers. All 350,000 of you who pick up SN&R at least once a month. Our hope is that we do not disappoint, and that within our pages, you feel that your voice is heard. We hope you appreciate the community dialogue. I hope that the paper plays a role in making Sacramento a better place. And we appreciate our advertising clients. Without you, we could not have a paper. We hope that we can help your business, and we appreciate you helping ours. I want to thank Karen Ewing from Java City for being our first client and for providing the advertising support to help us launch Second Saturday. I’d like to give a shout-out to Russ Solomon of Tower Records, who was our largest advertiser for many years, supporting us when The Sacramento Bee was actively trying to put us out of business. And I’d like to also give a shout-out to the marijuana collectives, who have provided so much support to the paper. When we moved to Del Paso Boulevard in ’09, Deborah and I took out a 25-year mortgage on our building. I may not be at the News & Review table when it comes time to tear up that lease. But I believe that there will be SN&R staffers at the table, still creating a paper in some form or another. The paper played an important role in 1989. It has an important role in 2014. And it will have an important role in 2039. At this midpoint between the paper’s birth and its 50th anniversary, I would like to say how much I have appreciated the last 25 years of putting out a paper that I love, with people that I love and in a community that I love. Thank you. Ω

25th AnniversAry

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

continued on page


04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   27


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learning. By then, “writing a paper” may not involve paper at all, and computer labs with rows of individual machines may only exist as museum exhibits. By 2039, I hope our graduates enter a job market that needs their skills and appreciates their connections to local neighborhoods and the world at large. I hope students still enjoy hanging out in the campus pizza place. Mostly, I hope public higher education in 2039 is ready to meet the challenges of 2040 and beyond.

the fifth graders that I’m teaching might be chiefs of staff in the California Legislature. They might be cooking at Sac’s best restaurants or running local school cafeterias. Their ability to influence change will be profound. Let’s ensure that these kids are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to form healthy, produce-centered habits that will influence Sacramento for the long term.

liv Moe

executive director, Safe Ground Sacramento

executive director, Verge Center for the Arts This summer marks my 20th year out of high school, which seems impossible and makes me wonder where the time went. In reflecting on this fact, I realized that my experiences over the past 20 years have been so varied that I almost don’t feel like I’ve lived in Sacramento this entire time. Our region has grown in leaps and bounds, with the past 10 years especially expanding at what feels like a warp-speed pace. As we embark on this next chapter, the words of Oscar Wilde are perhaps the most apt: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Sacramento boasts a beautiful waterfront, a wealth of talented artists, a tenacious live-music community, a growing list of creative and outstanding new restaurants as well as a rich ethnic-food scene, outstanding agriculture, a unique civic history marked by the discovery of gold, a burgeoning beer and spirits industry, and a community of young entrepreneurs who are invigorating a variety of industries in the community. We are often compared to cities like Portland and Austin. In 25 years, my dream is not that we look more like these cities, but rather that we look distinctly, essentially and gloriously like Sacramento.

robert lee ChAse Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission head Shelly Willis envisions a Sacramento where multiple art projects succeed—and make the city a desirable place to live.

urban and rural communities in collaborative food production, food education and foodinfrastructure investments.

Jerry Perry music promoter

I would like to see a Sacramento that does more than just pay lip service to the idea of nurturing a thriving live-music scene. Anyone who knows anything about what creates momentum in a live-music scene, which I would guess is no one who had anything to do with implementing the arbitrary stipulations in the current entertainment permit, would know that true momentum and growth comes from the involvement of young people in the scene. But rules such as “venues serving alcohol must have the minors out by 10 p.m.” discourage businesses from even wanting to make the shows all-ages. It is far more lucrative in this current “get your beer on” Sacramento to make a venue 21-andover, than to sacrifice losing their whole audience at 10 p.m. when the show has to be over. If Sacramento wants to be a place known for introducing great talent to the world (and not just for great bands from 20-plus years ago),


I moved here 20 years ago from Los Angeles and have seen many (and unfortunately, not so many) changes in that time period. In 25 years, the rail yards will be built out and integrated into our existing downtown. and where local acts are held in the same Midtown (where I live) will high regard as touring acts, and truly continue to blossom as a wants to embrace and celebrate wonderful mixed-use part its own unique cultural qualiof town—more housing, ties (as is the case when more restaurants, etc. “We must make a  a great band emerges I hope to see more from any city), then conscious, regional  bridges across both we need to re-examine rivers—not only for effort to change  the strange stumbling enhanced connectivblocks placed in front course inward  ity for residents, but of anyone trying to for public safety in instead of sprawling  successfully present live the event of mass music to everyone in outward.” evacuation. I would Sacramento. Otherwise, like to see housing William burg we will slowly slip backand restaurants built at historian ward into a scene where the the Sacramento Marina most “popular” bands are the in Miller Park—think Jack ones that go best with the chatter of London Square [in Oakland] or a marginally engaged crowd ordering yet Benicia. Housing with water views is specanother cold brew. tacular—most cities do not have that amenity to exploit—we should make the most of it!

AlexAnder GonzAlez

president, Sacramento State University Imagine, in 25 years, if college students can experience a Sacramento State education that seamlessly aligns technology with face-to-face

AMber stott

founder, California Food Literacy Center

steve WAtters

Twenty-five years from now, I believe we will live in a Sacramento that has been refocused on improving the lives of all the people who live in the city and region. There is little doubt that the Sacramento of 2039 will be very different from today, probably in ways we barely envision now. However, my conceptual vision for the future Sacramento is a community that cares about its citizens and provides increased equity in terms of educational and housing opportunities, transportation choices, availability of healthy food, universally available health-care choices. All this is aimed at building our neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable communities.

GinA luJAn

co-founder, Hacker Lab I have been in Sacramento most of my life. I have spent of most if it wanting to leave and go back to my hometown of Los Angeles. I even moved to the Bay Area for three years. When I returned, I was pleasantly surprised by the change of scenery, in more ways than one. Sacramento is very fortunate right now to have an army of civic, city and social leaders who care strongly about progress and change. I think Sacramento will be a destination city for both business and leisure in 25 years. It is very exciting to see an emphasis on entertainment, technology and civic goodness. Exciting times ahead!

seAn KohMesCher CEO, Temple Coffee

A city open for business 24-hours a day. A city whose freeways are not any wider than they are now. A city where there are food vendors on the sidewalks selling locally inspired eats. A city that has a fully developed river surrounded by houses, parks and businesses, with river taxis running up and down taking people to and from work. A city whose bike trails are full of commuters. A city government that is pro-business by making it easier to open, own and operate within the city limits. A city where education is equal and free regardless of what neighborhood you live in. A city where the museums and state parks are free to all. A city that is not afraid to set the trends, rather than follow them.

25th AnniversAry continued on page

I hope that in 25 years, food-literacy education is mandatory like math and reading. By then,

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   


04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   29

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Marci Landgraf owner, Muse ArtHaus


In 25 years, I would like Sacramento to be a superchic true river city. With shops and eateries developed along the river—and ferries and boats that take you from one area to the next. I think that downtown and Midtown should be thriving with walking areas like R Street is on its way to becoming. There is so much that Sacramento has to offer. I think developers need to start considering the culture of our city as they are creating it. We are rich with music and art and food—more needs to be developed to celebrate this. I would love to see more openair markets and farmers markets; we need to support our regional bounties. We are Northern California, let’s act like it! Oh yeah—superchic and way pet friendly.

photo by taraS Garcia

Architect Robert Lee Chase hopes to see more development of Sacramento’s riverfront—including bridges to improve the city’s connectivity.

Scott BriLL-Lehn SBL Entertainment

If people like me had their way, Sacramento in 25 years would be a major metro city akin to San Francisco, Los Angeles or Atlanta. Culture, music, theater. We’d have venues of every size we needed, we’d have a city government who wanted their buildings to be affordable and a strong arts-supporting population. We’re making progress in that direction, but certainly not anywhere close to where we could be and where other cities are already.

Lt. roMan Murrietta

commander, Sacramento Police Department’s Cops and Clergy program





removing most of the asphalt and concrete that currently smothers so much of the Valley.

JoShua Wood

executive director, Region Builders In 2039, Sacramento will be one of the most prominent regions in the Western United States, with the first skyline built in the green era of development. Cities like Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and Roseville will have their own massive metropolitan footprints. Sacramento will boast of its professional sports base with its NBA, MLS and NHL teams.

thoMaS dodSon

president, Selvage Media I think I’ll leave all predictions alone. But I do see one thing with great clarity. It’s not so much a prediction, but more of a foregone conclusion. And it’s this: Sacramento is destined to capture imaginations, attention and, ultimately, respect. The work we’re doing today lays the foundation for this radical shift. All of us are playing a part in this renaissance, whether we know it or not. Hell, whether we believe it or not. Let me explain. Sacramento spent a generation in stagnation. Our city and business “leaders” enjoyed their big fishiness in our small pond, patting each other on the back after each new land and or construction deal, then retiring to the Sutter Club for dinner and cigars. They never bought into the idea of a brighter tomorrow. They never had an eye to the future. But in the early 2000s, the tiniest of shifts started. Outsiders came. People who had never been to Sacramento. People who weren’t jaded by decades of the nothingness. People who had new ideas about art, culture, the environment, technology and government. Little by little, these people brought their energy and fresh perspectives to the table. Few at first, these people catalyzed change. This group of outsiders found pockets of likeminded locals who’d been yearning for progress but were unable to bring it to life. They partnered and built a new, vibrant Midtown, unlike anything that had been seen in Sacramento in decades. They opened restaurants, art galleries and businesses. They shared ideas, they bought into the idea of a better future for our city. So what does all of this have to do with Sacramento in 2039? Quite a bit. For this is how it began. This is how we won. Say the words “Austin,” “Denver” or “Portland,” and you instantly get a visual, perhaps even a feeling. That’s the Sacramento of 2039. The work that has been started will continue. The engaged, intelligent and selfless people who began this movement in our city will grow their businesses, their families and leadership roles. Their businesses will create jobs in a more diversified economy than this city has ever seen. Their families will make our streets safer. Their leadership will create more transparent governments. In 2039, when you’re vacationing in Europe and you mention you’re from Sacramento, you’ll get, “I hear great things. I’ve always wanted to go there.” Ω

MichaeL J. heLLer developer, Heller Pacific

So what lies ahead for Sacramento? I am no futurist, but it is clear that technology has forever changed the way we communicate, work and interact. And it will change the way we live, shop, drive, study, read, vote, socialize and fill our leisure hours.

What will Sacramento be like in 25 years for at-risk youth? We will see these youth not as at-risk, but rather underserved. The d. neath community will see us not just as director, Archival Gallery the whipping boys of society, Sacramento has an everbut rather as teachers and growing art commumentors to our youth. nity, and I hope to We, as a department, see more commerwill continue to partner “Sacramento will cial galleries as with our faith-based well as a return to leaders, so that they be run by the next membership-type continue to affect spaces. I am sure positive change. It generation of geeks.” Second Saturday really does take a will continue its Stephanie rector community! metamorphosis manager, Sac Geeks and hopefully return Marcy friedMan to the original intent philanthropist of showcasing art. Our downtown has become If the changes that will occur in more vibrant in the past 10 the next 25 years are as transformayears, and I expect it will continue tional as those of the last 25, then we are in to grow. Though I am not a big fan of the placefor lifestyle changes that we haven’t even begun ment of the new arena, maybe a river breeze will to imagine. improve the team’s abilities. In 1987, an apple was something that you ate. Climate change meant going from summer to winter. GM was too big to fail. The iPhone wouldn’t even be invented until 2007. Stem-cell research and genetic testing were just ideas.

For that matter, centralcity neighborhoods like R Street, Township Nine and The Bridge District will be established, and the rail yards will be the new up-andcoming neighborhood. We’ll have a transit system that is robust and widely used. We’ll also have a full streetcar network that connects the grid to West Sac, and a museum campus that starts at the Crocker Art Museum and extends through Old Sac and up the river to the Powerhouse Science Center and rail yards. And we’ll finally embrace the river with waterfront development visà-vis the rail yards. And after years of cultivating local entrepreneurs [the city will] be headquarters for a handful of homegrown Fortune 500 companies born and built in Sacramento.

MichaeL auLt

executive director, Downtown Sacramento Partnership In 25 years, Sacramento will have a thriving downtown that is not just a place where people go to work, but a place they call home.



City that the creative class wants to be in. Full of young people. City where cutting edge architecture matters and is embraced. City with significant density of housing of all kinds. City less reliant on government. City with private-sector company headquarters in our central business district. City that has a thriving technology district. City with lots of bridges connecting people and places. City that embraces public transportation and less cars. City with streets activated not only by restaurants and bars, but also by great retailers. City that thinks progressively without limitations. City that collaborates with all municipalities to accomplish big visions.

MurieL Strand

former mayoral candidate Sacramento should look very different in 2039. Sacramentans should have kicked their fossil-fuel addiction, which is unhealthy in so many ways for humans as well as for the planetary ecology. (Readers will be happy to know this will mean no more leaf blowers!) And Sacramentans should have replaced aging fossilfuel infrastructure such as freeways, parking lots and big-box malls with sustainable infrastructure, such as solar buildings, composting privies, solar cookers and permaculture gardens. Sacramento’s suburban sprawl should have been relocalized and rearranged into many eco-villages of a few dozen houses and a fewhundred residents, surrounded by lush urban farms maintained by each eco-village. Much of this farmland will need to be reclaimed by










S ’ R N&












SN&R   |  04.24.14

The prizes: First place will receive a $2,014 award, plus $750 for second place and $250 for third place.

The rules:

High-school seniors graduating in 2014 are eligible. Only one entry allowed per student, and you must live in the Sacramento region to apply. No SN&R employees or relatives may enter.

The deTails:

Essays must be 650 words or less. Email essays as a Word document or PDF attachment to collegeessay@newsreview.com, with the subject line “College Essay Contest.� Deadline is Friday, May 9, at 5 p.m.


For the week of April 24


Spike and Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation Thursday, april 24 For those of us that grow older but never really grow up, it doesn’t get much more ridiculous than Spike and Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation. FILM For more than 20 years, the festival has premiered material from the likes of South Park and Beavis and Butt-Head. The festival strictly enforces its 18-andover rule, so expect some pretty raunchy ’toons. $12, 7:30 p.m. at Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive; www.spikeandmike.com.


s last week’s SN&R cover story pointed out (“Biketopia?” by Alastair Bland, April 17), it can be scary for cyclists in Sacramento. But with the May Is Bike Month campaign taking place in the sixcounty region (Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties), cyclists will at least have strength in numbers. MIBM is designed to encourage more cyclists to get riding through events, challenges, classes and even “energizer stations” for water breaks (which started last week). It’s a tremendous undertaking with many facets, and the following are just some of the highlights. To kick off May Is Bike Month, multiple bike rides will start off in different parts of the city and end at Fremont Park (1515 Q Street) between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 1. The first 100 registered cyclists there will get a free T-shirt. A week later, on May 8, is MIBM’s keystone event, the Capitol BikeFest, on the west steps of the Capitol. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., it’ll offer free music, prizes and booths from bike businesses and cycling-related groups. Things shift gears a bit with the Bicycle Film Festival, sponsored by Kind Healthy Snacks and Hot Italian. Taking place on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10, in Fremont Park, screenings happen nightly at 8 p.m. Friday night will be “cinematic shorts,” and Saturday night will feature “urban bike shorts,” according to the festival’s website (www.bicyclefilmfestival.com). Then, cycling fans can take a break from the bike and become spectators when the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California (www.amgentourofcalifornia.com) starts in Sacramento on Sunday, May 11. The day’s fastest cyclist gets the honor of wearing the yellow jersey for the start of Stage 2 in Folsom. Dozens of events happen throughout the rest of the month, including bike swaps, scavenger hunts and kid-friendly rides. For the full schedule, visit www.mayisbikemonth.com.

—Deena Drewis

Thirsty Thursday Thursday, april 24 This week, Sacramento’s own River Cats are taking on the El Paso Chihuahuas, and, in Raley Field tradition, on Thursdays, 12-ounce Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lites are $2 and 24-ouncers are $4. It’s a BASEBALL great way to drink on the cheap and bet on a fight between cats and dogs. $5-$67, 7:05 p.m. at Raley Field, 400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento; www.raleyfield.com.

—Jessica Rine

Spring Carnival Thursday, april 24, Through sunday, april 27 Regional carnivals are sensory overloads featuring the smell of deep-fried foods and popcorn, blinking lights and cheerful-yet-eerie music, good old-fashioned Gravitron-induced nausea, and hopeless carnivalgame ambitions. This one’s organized by the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership, which is dedicated to improving the district. Free admisCARNIVAL sion, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Rite Aid parking lot at Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue; (916) 923-6200; www.dpbpartnership.com/carnival.html.

—Deena Drewis

Firebirds Friday, april 25, Through saTurday, april 26 The Fenix Drum and Dance Company performs dances and drumming inspired by the Caribbean, Congo and West Africa. Firebirds incorporates these types of drumming and dance to tell the story of DANCE three birds: the Phoenix, the Freedom Bird and the Firebird. $15-$22, 7:30 p.m. at the 24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th Street; (916) 205-3970; www.fenixdrumanddance.com.

—Jonathan Mendick

—Jessica Rine

Spring Forward! 2014 saTurday, april 26 Local nonprofit community-development organization Ubuntu Green celebrates its five-year anniversary with a party. Revolution Wines provides the food and wine, SUSTAINABILITY Earcandy will perform live music, and the raffle prizes should be worth it: local businesses like Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters and Sacramento Pipeworks are involved. $60, 5:30 p.m. at Revolution Wines, 2831 S Street; (916) 669-0671; www.ubuntugreen.org.

—Jessica Rine BEFORE















Best of the Burbs nominee for

Best RestauRant

Featuring Executive Chef Russel Okubo, from The Firehouse & Fat’s Family Restaurants and owner Nick Dedier, who hails from the Thomas Keller Group and Restaurant Gary Danko. Uncompromising quality in a casual, beautiful setting with a one of a kind, world-class cocktail program. Japanese street food with a top notch Happy Hour on both food & drinks! 4361 Town CenTer Blvd | el dorado Hills, Ca 95762 | (916) 941-9181 | www.aji-BisTro.com 34 


SN&R   |  04.24.14




a d n a G I P PINT!

A plate of nostalgia SN&R food critics, past and present, toast the restaurants and food memories they miss from the last quarter-century


It’s no secret: Sacramento is a happening place for new restaurants and a growing foodie community. But many of these new restaurants opening by Becky Grunewald, now won’t make it in the long run. It’s a Ann Martin Rolke, tough business, and this town’s been home Garrett McCord, to many an eatery that boasted amazing food Jonathan Mendick and a loyal customer following. Well, here’s and Kate Washington to them: A roll call of great food favorites that came and went since 1989. May their memory live on.

Dollar hand rolls and medieval torture devices Ricksha: This was the spot to go for dollar

hand rolls on Tuesdays before going to dance at Lipstick at Old Ironsides. It’s the first place I tried natto, fermented soy beans, and was the only local spot that served chawan mushi, a seafood custard dish. Market Club: I didn’t eat there

many times, but I did eat there on the most important day of my life: my wedding day. It was close to my wedding spot, so I met my bridesmaid there to get some food in me and calm my nerves. We sat on stools at the counter and ate starchy breakfasts— it was practically the only food I ate that day, unless champagne counts as food. New Helvetia: The cafe in Curtis Park was one of two New Helvetias; the other was where Mulvaney’s Building & Loan is now. I worked there making coffee about 15 years ago, starting way too early in the morning. I miss its scones with Devonshire cream; the huge, crusty biscuits with jam; and the Mexican hot chocolate. Cheung Hing Company: Years ago, I lived on the corner practically on top of this place. On weekend mornings there would be lines out the door for its dim sum and roast duck. I’d see workers slinging whole hogs over their shoulders and roasting them in a contraption in the back that looked like a medieval torture device. I miss being able to run there for its pork bao and shu mai in a fancy pink box. La Bonne Soup Café: I love jury duty, and one

of my favorite things about it was going to La Bonne Soup Café for lunch. The French onion soup! The salmon! The pork loin! The only things I didn’t like: seat savers and





dumb Yelpers calling supernice owner Daniel Pont the “soup Nazi.” I need to get out to his Folsom restaurant, Chez Daniel, stat!




2406 J Street | 916.442.1400 Midtown Sacramento Tiki Patio NOW OPEN | 11 Craft Beers



Hot and local and not gourmet Joe Marty’s: This bar and grill located adjacent to the Tower Theatre closed in 2005 following a fire. There was briefly hope it would reopen, but nothing came of it, and the space is still vacant. Happily, the iconic sign with the baseball still hangs in place.

The word cappuccino actually comes from the Capuchin friars in Italy, and refers to the color of the habits that they traditionally wore.

votE for us: Best Coffeehouse

Ford’s Real Hamburgers: This Sutterville Road

joint closed in 2012 due to an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit, although the end was nigh when it stopped sourcing meat from Taylor’s Market. The burgers weren’t gourmet, but they were hot and local and around for 25 years.

Edwin’s Coffee & Tea

2600 Sunset Blvd | Rocklin, CA | (916) 632-9753

Luis’s Mexican Food: This Mexican restaurant on Alhambra Boulevard was where my husband and I signed our mortgage papers




continued on page 39

No kitten mitten swapping

That leaning stack of magazines has long been an eyesore on the end table, but they need not be laid to rest in the recycling bin. Those old issues of Cat Fancy can find a second life in the hands of the other attendees at the Vegan Swap Party—along with any other items in good condition you’re willing to part with, as long as they aren’t made with any animal products. So bring clothes and household items, but maybe leave those kitten mittens you made when you were really into that Crafting With Cat Hair book at home. This pro-community swap hosted by the Sacramento Vegetarian Society is on Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California State Grange (3830 U Street). There’ll be food, drinks and a raffle, because it’s a party, after all, and swap items left over will be donated to the Sacramento SPCA Thrift Store.







DRAFT BEERS SHAKES • FRIES • DOGS ALWAYS FRESH ALWAYS LOCAL All locally farmed fresh ingredients, always made to order!


1407 HOWE AVE | SACRAMENTO, CA 916.564.6300 |











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Coffee Art &








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1029 del paso blvd | sac | mon-fri 7am-3pm, sat-sun 8am-12pm


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Bistro Michel: $25 for $12.50 Capital Dime: $50 for $30 Clark’s Corner: $30 for $15 Easy on I: $25 for $12.50 Monsoon Cuisine of India: $20 for $10 Jensai Sushi: $25 for $12.50 Ten22: $25 for $15


perfecto lounge cigars | wine | brew 973 Pleasant Grove Blvd | roseville, Ca 95678 | (916) 783-2828 36 


SN&R   |  04.24.14




ATTENTION RESTAURATEURS! illustration by Hayley DosHay

Sure, you can still buy a Merlino’s Orange Freeze at various locations, but it’s just not the same thing as buying the sweet treat straight from the stand.


continued from page 37

for our first house. The walls were covered in photos of owner Luis Leyva and locals until it closed after his death in 2003. His son opened Luis Jr.’s Mexican Food a few blocks away in 2011 with a lot of the same menu items, but much less history. Market Club: Opened in 1933 and closed in

2013, it was one of the few places to serve Wiener Royale, a cross-cultural favorite from internment-camp days. Sort of a secret spot, it was the epitome of the locals-only greasy spoon. Texas Mexican Restaurant: Once located down-

town on Eighth Street, it served dishes unique to Tex-Mex cooking in addition to Mexican favorites. It closed due to legal issues, reopened, then closed again soon after. The owner tried reopening as Tex Mex Bar & Grill in Midtown, but that didn’t last long.


Brought to tears Istanbul Bistro: If you blinked, you missed

it. Authentic, well-prepared and affordable Turkish food at its finest. It filled a culinary niche in Sacramento. Sadly, it was only open

for less than a year before it suddenly shuttered without even a whisper. I pray these great shoes are someday filled. Enotria Restaurant Wine Bar: Closed under

the dubious assurance that the owner simply wanted to “retire,” the lauded chef Pajo Bruich and the entire staff was given a day’s notice that the place would close immediately. Sure, it recently reopened with a new focus, but Sacramento, you’re going to lose your great waiters and chefs with this bullshit. Stop it. Restaurant 55 Degrees: This was a glasswalled, white-linen restaurant that was truly poised to revolutionize fine dining in Sacramento. The food focused on mussels and fine steaks and served some of the thinnest, crispiest frites you could find. Sadly, timing was against it. Shortly after it opened, the planned Saca and Aura towers both failed, and soon thereafter, the economy fell out.







Thurs – Sat Show hours: May 1 – 3 8 – 5:00 pm daily SACRAMENTO 415 Richards Blvd. (916) 447-6600 (800) 710-9530

Lounge on 20: Yep, owner Ali Mackani of

Restaurant 55 Degrees and chef Bruich


continued on page 41

More information @ www.TriMarkEconomy.com

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   37




to Paul Martin


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continued from page 39

struck again with this venture. Big! Bold! Excellent food! Bruich’s epic cuisine— rooted in molecular gastronomy—is still a thing to behold. Do not ever pass up a chance to eat that man’s food, wherever you may find it. Thai Cottage: I almost cried last week when I learned my favorite Thai restaurant closed. Cried. The curry had layers and layers of flavor. The service was spot-on. And it was dangerously close to my house. Sob.


Too bad, so sad Tuli Bistro: This place made some of the best pizzas in Sacramento. Their memory is still fresh in my mind: There was one that had Mexican-flavored pulled pork and jalapeños. Then there was a brunch pizza with egg and bacon. The crust and flavor profile were perfect on both. Royal Hong King Lum: This restaurant was

almost 100 years old when it closed down in 2004. Located in Sac’s old Chinatown area on J Street, I used to visit quite a bit because my immigrant Chinese grandparents lived nearby in the ’80s. In 2005, it turned into a nightclub called Zokku, which subsequently also closed. Nowadays, there’s no Chinese food around the area anymore—sad. Merlino’s Orange Freeze: This was a

Sacramento institution. It was a great treat in the summer, and there was one located right near my house in Carmichael. Yes, Merlino’s is now sold inside Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shops, Sacramento River Cats baseball games, etc.—but I still miss the convenience of dozens of locations around the Sacramento area. The one I used to frequent is now called Hagen’s Orange Freeze, but still tastes a lot like the old Merlino’s. Penguin’s Yogurt: A great place to walk to

when I was a kid. It had flavorful frozen yogurt, a simple topping bar, and classic black-and-white tile pattern throughout (penguin colors—get it?). The Carmichael location I used to go to closed in 1993, and was replaced by a Bella Bru Cafe—OK, fair enough trade. Still, I yearn for my old favorite: a vanilla yogurt with gummy bears. Corti Brothers: Thank the food gods that

there’s still one Corti Brothers left. But back when I was a kid, there was one in a shopping center in Carmichael. Now it’s a 24 Hour Fitness. Oh, how I would love to have that one back.


Hangovers didn’t stand a chance Joe Marty’s: The night Joe Marty’s burned, I was nine-months pregnant and had a severe craving for its supercrunchy broasted chicken. Too tired to go out, I planned to go the next night. Alas. That baby is a thirdgrader now, but I still get wistful passing the neon sign on Broadway—and I’m still craving that chicken. Real Pie Company: This small bakery beloved

for its flaky all-butter crusts and amazing Jumbleberry pie, sold the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever had. Recently, owner Kira O’Donnell reopened as a special-order-only business in East Sacramento, but it’s back on hiatus. I’ll be watching in case it rises again, phoenixlike.

The deliberately down-at-heel Market Club was chockfull of rough-edged Depression-era atmosphere, but regrettably short on health-code compliance. Red Lotus: Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine chef-owner Billy Ngo’s modern Chinese restaurant was refreshingly bold and like no other place in town. The five-spice bone marrow alone was worth the price of admission, but sadly, the restaurant’s adventurous spirit (tongue, tendon, jellyfish) may have done it in. Masque: I don’t so much miss the restaurant

(let’s be real, I don’t drive to El Dorado Hills that much) as much as look back in wonder at the mid-aughts, pre-bust, money-is-noobject ’tude that made an opulent, four-star Italian restaurant, complete with star chef, in the exurbs seem like a fine plan. Was it excessive? You bet. But the pasta was legit. Market Club: The deliberately down-at-heel

place down by the docks was chock-full of rough-edged Depression-era atmosphere, but regrettably short on health-code compliance at the end. But who cared? Hangovers didn’t stand a chance against breakfasts like a giant linguica plate with rice, or (my fave) a platesized, pounded-thin, fried pork steak. Sigh.


mother’s day Brunch Sunday May 11th

Carved Prime Rib Au Jus

Honey Glazed Ham & Smoked Bacon

Sautéed Salmon Julliette

Roasted Red, Gold & Purple Potatoes

Braised Pork Shoulder Spring Pasta

Spring Vegetables

Smoked Chicken Stir-Fry

Smoked Salmon & Chilled Seafood Display

Belgian Waffles & Omelets Made to Order

Freshly Prepared Salads

Eggs Benedict

Fresh Fruit, Assorted Pastries & Desserts

Cheese & Fruit Blintzes $

34.95 Adults | $31 Seniors | $16.95 Kids 5-12 | Under 5 Free

500 Leisure Lane | Sacramento, CA (916) 922–2020 B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   39

Downtown Darna This Palestinian restaurant 

Where to eat?

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

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.

Mother It’s no secret that Mother  is a vegetarian-vegan restaurant, but this is not just a  place that replaces the meat  in a meal. Instead, Mother  celebrates an endless array of  fresh vegetables and grains.  The chile verde here comprises  chunky potatoes, pinto beans  and hominy for a “meaty”  texture. Try it topped with a  soft-poached egg, and stir the  yolk into the zingy chile sauce.  Kale has been done almost  to death, but Mother’s version is a take on the Waldorf  salad that makes eating your  greens easy. Lots of golden  raisins, celery, walnuts and  balls of apple with a bit of skin  attached join dilled yogurt and 



baby kale. Dessert includes the  now-legendary brown-butter  and sea-salt cookies. Do  yourself a favor and get some.  Vegetarian. 1023 K St.,   (916) 594-9812. Dinner for one:   $10-$15. HHHH1/2 AMR

Midtown The Coconut Midtown The food  here travels a path between  standard and inventive.  Cream-cheese wontons, for  example, aren’t the epitome  of culinary Southeast Asian  traditions, but damn it if they  aren’t delightful. Soft cream  cheese and chives in a crispy  wrapper and served with a  sweet chili sauce? Nothing  wrong with that. The chicken  larb—a spicy minced-meat  salad—is fragrant and  intense. Mint, chilies, basil  and iceberg lettuce are  drenched in a spicy lime  dressing punctuated with  a heavy hand of fish sauce.  The Coconut has warnings in  its menu about which dishes  are spicy, but unless you’re  a newborn kitten, trembling  and mewling, you might not  even be aware of the chilies  in your food.  Thai. 2502 J St.,   (916) 447-1855. Dinner for one:  $10-$15. HHH1/2 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) and  a bar setup that encourages 

patrons to talk to each other.  An interesting wine list  includes entries from Spain  and Israel; there are also  draft cocktails and numerous  beers on tap. The brunch  menu is heavy on the eggs,  prepared in lots of ways. One  option is the Croque Madame,  a ham-and-Gruyere sandwich  usually battered with egg.  This one had a fried egg and  béchamel, with a generous  smear of mustard inside.  The mountain of potato hash  alongside tasted flavorful and  not too greasy. The menu also  features pizzas and housemade pastas, but one of its  highlights includes an excellent smoked-eggplant baba  ghanoush, which is smoky and  garlicky. The bananas foster  bread pudding is equally  transcendent.  American. 1630 S St., (916) 442-4885.  Dinner for one: $20-$40.  HHH1/2 AMR   Thai Basil SN&R readers   consistently vote this place  among the city’s top Thai  restaurants for this paper’s  annual Best of Sacramento  issue. And for good reason.  The restaurant’s tom yum  soup may be one of the best  foods served in the City of  Trees. It features an incredibly savory broth with layers  of flavor. Likewise, the tom  kha gai—a coconut-broth  soup—is a veritable panacea  against Delta winds. Salads  make up a large part of Thai  cuisine and should not be  overlooked. Larb gai consists  of simple shredded chicken  over mixed greens, cucumber 

happiest hour in

and tomatoes. Fresh mint and  a chili-laden dressing heavy  with fish sauce and vigorous  squeezes of lime juice pull it  all together for an addictive  and satisfying lunch. One of  Thai Basil’s true highlights is  its homemade curry pastes.  These balanced constructions  of basil, lemongrass, shallots, chilies, kaffir lime leaves  and other ingredients, when  roasted, have been known to  drive hungry Sacramentans  into a berserk craze. Service  here is impeccable. Thai Basil  has earned its reputation. Thai. 2431 J St., (916) 442-7690.  Dinner for one: $10-$20.  HHHH G.M.

Tidbit Catering & Gelateria Chef  Eric Lee has crafted an  eclectic, bargain-friendly  menu. Fried calamari are  lightly seasoned with a crispy  exterior and served with a  marinara-ish bland sauce.  A carrot-and-ginger soup  possesses a slow burn, and  a chicken-lettuce wrap is  sophisticated: a modest portion of food of moderate size  that’s highlighted with slivers  of cucumber and a shaking  of vinegar. The frozen bits,  however are the real winners.  Gelato and sorbet are both  available in astounding offthe-cuff flavors that mostly  draw inspiration from Asian  cuisines. A vanilla-and-adzuki-bean gelato tastes sweet  and earthy, with a flavor  reminiscent to Chinese moon  cakes. A nutty soy-based  black-sesame-seed gelato  is as rustic and charming as  your favorite Instagram filter. 

American. 1907 Capitol Ave.,  (916) 442-7369. Dinner for one:  $5-$10. HHH1/2  G.M.

Land Park/ Curtis Park Spice Kitchen The menu here  has a few tangential dishes  like pad thai, but it’s mostly  focused on Japanese cuisine, with a side menu of  Chinese-American favorites.  Tasty options include the  vegetable tempura, lightly  fried with slices of Japanese  sweet potato and yams. If  you want ramen, the hot  soup dish these days, try  the red tonkotsu version:  It’s served with lots of nicely  chewy noodles, spinach and  the requisite soft-boiled egg.  Spice Kitchen also serves  bento boxes in lunch and dinner portions for a good price.  Here, diners get soup, rice,  salad and tempura, as well as  a meat of choice.  Japanese.  1724 Broadway, (916)   492-2250. Dinner for one:   $10-$15. HHH AMR

East Sac Cielito Lindo Mexican Gastronomy  Instead of cheese-blanketed  entrees, diners here can  order upscale dishes such  as enchiladas de mole:  tortillas wrapped around  amazingly moist, flavorful  chicken, bathed in a housemade mole poblano. The  sauce has a million wonderful  flavors. The portions here  are quite generous. A green 

salad with fruits and nuts  was big enough for a meal,  even without the optional  meat or seafood topping. The  restaurant’s empanaditas  de salpicon con papas are  little turnovers standing up  amid a drizzle of ancho sauce.  The crust features a bit of  leavening that makes it both  crunchy and fluffy. The filling  of beef, potatoes and vegetables tastes well-flavored  and a bit spicy. Or try the  tacos de arrachera—three  soft tortillas enclose marinated strips of meltingly good  steak, topped with roasted  poblano chilies, lots of fresh  cilantro and crema. They’re  drippy, but worth every napkin. The menu is meatcentric,  but the kitchen is vegetarian  friendly as well. The crema  de rajas poblanas, fully vegan  and similar to a Mexican minestrone, is full of chickpeas,  poblanos and onions in a rich  broth uniquely flavored with  vanilla and epazote.  Mexican.  3672 J St., (916) 736-2506.  Dinner for one: $20-$25.  HHHH AMR

South Sac Bodhi Bowl This Vietnamese  eatery’s menu is all vegetarian  and mostly vegan, with plenty  of high notes. The Heavenly  Noodle is a can’t-go-wrong  salad comprising snow-white  vermicelli noodles with cooling  mint, cucumber slices, houseroasted peanuts and jagged  pieces of faux beef. The “beef”  actually is slightly sweet,  plenty umami and pleasantly 


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Kansai Ramen & Sushi House This place serves its own take on ramen and sushi, with varying degrees of success. The kakuni ramen, which features three thick slices of braised pork belly in lieu of the house ramen’s thin slices of chashu, boasts a nice, sweet marinade; tender consistency; and copious flavor. Be sure to order noodles al dente, and it’ll make for a good option, even with its run-of-the-mill broth. Or amp it up with the spicy tan tan men, which uses a beefy and seafood-tinted soup base that teems with flavor. The sushi rolls here are Western style—a.k.a. loaded with toppings. Try the Mufasa roll. With crab and avocado on the inside and salmon and sauce outside, it’s particularly tasty, seasoned in sesame oil and baked—a somewhat

unusual technique for sushi. Japanese. 2992 65th St., Ste. 288; (916) 455-0288. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH J.M.

Yang’s Noodles This is 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 carbohydrate crepe. Elsewhere on the menu, Yang’s eponymous noodles are homemade, alkaline and chewy. Chinese. 5860 Stockton Blvd., (916) 392-9988. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHHH J.M.

Arden/ Carmichael FreshMed Mediterranean Cuisine This restaurant broadens the definition of “Mediterranean.” In addition to the usual options—gyros, hummus, falafel, etc.—it also serves dishes from a wide range of cultures. For example, FreshMed offers a $6 Indian and Pakistani lunch buffet. Selections include stir-fried eggplant; curried chickpeas, lentils; and a creamy, spicy and hearty chicken tikka masala. The Mediterranean Nacho and chicken panini are examples of what the restaurant does well: culinary mashups that aren’t derivative, but instead rely heavily on flavor

and innovation. The paninis are standouts: The bread is sweet, thicker than one might expect, and pressed nicely on a grill, with char marks on both sides. Mediterranean. 1120 Fulton Ave., Ste. I; (916) 486-1140. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH1/2 J.M.

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

inoffensive, as far as fake meat goes. Nearly everything here has a faux-meat product or tofu element. So, sorry diners with soy allergies—it can’t even be escaped in the papaya salad. Not an issue? Soldier on with the Hot & Sour soup, a not-too spicy sunset-orange broth that teems with a tomatoey and citrus flavor, chunks of pineapple, semicircles of trumpet mushrooms, cubes of fried tofu and slices of faux crab. Or, try the stir-fried Eight Fold Path. It features al dente celery, red bell pepper and triangles of the most savory, salty, dense tofu perhaps ever. Vietnamese. 6511 Savings Place, Ste. 100; (916) 428-4160. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHHH S.

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.

Roma’s Pizza & Pasta This eatery claims to serve “authentic Italian-style” food, but that’s only partially true when it comes to its pizza. That’s because it actually serves two types: one with the kind of thick, doughy crust usually found on an American-styled pizza, and another with a thinner crust, resembling a pie one might actually have in Italy. The thicker crust is chewy, but ultimately lacking in flavor. However, the tomato sauce makes up for the dough with a nice, spicy kick, and Roma’s doesn’t skimp on the toppings. The thin-crust pizza impresses: It’s light and crispy like a cracker and clearly is the superior option. Italian. 6530 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael, (916) 488-9800. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH J.M.

Tasty Thai It’s hard to find a better lunch deal than the one offered here: Each one includes rice and a salad with an entree—and costs $11 or less. There are 23 options, plus daily specials. (The dinner menu is similar—only bigger). Choose from four categories— wok, rice and noodles, soup, or curry—and add a protein. The Thai basil, served with green beans, onion, bell pepper and basil in a spicy garlic sauce, is cooked in a wok and has a nice smoky flavor with veggies cooked slightly al dente. In the rice and noodles category, the pad Thai and the pad see ew both impress, but the latter has just a bit more of that savoriness that make Asian noodle dishes uber-comforting. Service is friendly, even when it’s busy, and nearly every order is big enough for two meals. Expect leftovers. Thai. 2598 Alta Arden Expy., (916) 977-3534. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHHH J.M.

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 around. The most

Munchable mash-up

When I think of California cuisine, I often think of the California roll, the Korean taco and the so-called Chinese chicken salad. Then, I immediately get angry that most Asian food has to be radically altered from its traditional recipe just to be deemed “acceptable” by the hegemonic American palate. Ironically, I’m also a big Asian-fusion fan—including the three aforementioned dishes—when it’s done right. As such, I was both excited and upset when two new Asian-fusion places popped up in town recently: Wrap N’ Roll Sushi Burrito (www.wrapnrollsushi burrito.com), which launched last year in Elk Grove and opened on April 1 in the former TreyBCakes spot at 1801 L Street (see “Foodie fusion” by Janelle Bitker, SN&R Food Stuff, March 13). The much-buzzedabout place serves giant burritolike sushi rolls with raw fish and other ingredients wrapped up in seaweed. And there’s also Ciao Chow (www.ciaochowfoodtruck.com), a Woodland-based food truck that describes itself as a mix of Southeast Asian and Italian cuisine, that started serving in Yolo and Sacramento counties earlier this year. —Jonathan Mendick

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Self-love and other lessons I never wanted to give you advice. When the idea of writing an advice column was initially suggested to me, I couldn’t think of anything more awful. Listening to people—strangers, friends, family members—and sharing my perspective about the real cause of their pain is something I’ve done naturally since childhood. But I didn’t think I could write my responses down in a way by Joey ga rcia that would carry the nuances and insight of verbal conversation. I was wrong. I’m so grateful a s kj o ey @ n ewsreview.c om to SN&R for encouraging me to try. Writing the Ask Joey column has pushed me to hone my skills as a writer and forced me to evolve as a person. I’ve also uncovered some Joey secrets. Here are a few I’ve realized will appear on Dave since 1996 when I began writing this Pierini’s Sactown column. Tonight talk show at

8 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, and Friday, April 25, at the B Street Theatre (2711 B Street). Tickets are $10-$15; get them at www.bstreettheatre.org.

Everyone struggles in relationships:

We’re all dog-paddling in the same dating pools, trying to keep from sinking as we search for someone to evolve with. Marriage and other long-term commitments are in the same boat. After all, partnerships are a series of subtle and overt negotiations and trade-offs, sometimes spoken, frequently not. A union that seems perfect now, can be dead in the water tomorrow. Between those struggles, intimate, committed relationships are a blessing of connection, affirmation and spiritual growth. That’s also true for those who see dating as an experience on a spiritual path, rather than as a path to an end: partnership. We all need relationship education: Only a sliver of the adult population has had healthy relationship role models. So it’s an act of self-love to educate ourselves about creating and maintaining healthy connections with family, friends and intimate partners. There are plenty of books on these topics, and a few are quite good. But if transformation is the true goal, we must develop a friendship with silence. Meditation and contemplation are essential to strengthen the skill of reflection. So is journaling. We must also engage in therapeutic conversations with someone who has the backbone to compassionately, but directly, call us on our hypocrisy, inconsistencies and delusions. A safe environment in which to practice new behaviors is also necessary.

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.





Yes, relationships require effort, and self-understanding is among the most important skills to develop in life. It’s a gift to live life backward: While most of my friends and co-workers were deeply invested in building careers, raising families and hitting the gym, I was unpacking my mind and heart. In my early 30s, I practiced and taught yoga and self-inquiry, studied world religions, herbal medicine, poetry, myth, dream interpretation, meditation and energy medicine. In my early 40s, I studied spiritual direction, relationship education and practiced meditation. I had experienced and witnessed significant amounts of violence growing up, and as a result I had symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that was not well-understood 20 years ago when I was first diagnosed. Determined to heal, I devoted myself to healing. I lost friends and other significant relationships along the way, because, as many people told me, I was just “too different.” Funny thing is, embracing my own path and choosing to think differently than the prevailing culture is exactly what saved me. Why my advice seems so insightful: I’ve made a lot of mistakes. (That number in your head right now? I’ve made far more bad choices than that.) But my commitment to selfunderstanding and to friends who possess the rare capacity to see and tell the truth, has transformed my errors into elegant insights. I’ve also carefully chosen therapists, spiritual directors and workshop facilitators who understand spiritual evolution. Anything gold I’ve gleaned along the way, I offer to you with the prayer that it lights your path, too. Your willingness to invite me to pay attention to your problems has inspired me to continue to be fully attentive to my own. In the process, I have grown more fully conscious than I imagined possible. For that, dear reader, I will always be grateful to you. Ω

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Fresh prince of Denmark Hamlet That angst-ridden youth Hamlet has known myriad incarnations, and most people think they’re familiar with Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of by Kel Munger Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, even if all they’ve seen is the musical version done as parody on Gilligan’s Island. At last, here’s a truly fresh prince: Hamlet as a smart, confused, angry and grieving young man much like many others, with less oration and more action. Theater Galatea has not only simplified the casting—four actors in 11 roles—and cut the time on Hamlet from butt-numbingly long to a swift, less-than two hours, but it’s also cut straight to the heart of the story.


might have gone very badly wrong and instead resulted in palpable stage chemistry—so much so that we want to yell at Hamlet to stop treating his mother so badly; he’s making her cry. It is this immediacy that makes theater work, of course. And Theater Galatea’s production of Hamlet is full-immersion 3-D. No glasses needed.

4 Inventing Van Gogh PHoTo by LiSA bAeTz

By tracing Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces from poor painter to the modern-day multimillion-dollar art-trade business, Inventing Van Gogh explores the fascinating world of art from the original creation to the eventual appreciation and the ultimate exploitation of the artwork. This Steven Dietz story also looks at what inspires creativity, what connotes art, when madness inspires and when it deters, and what drives the underworld of art forgery. Add in a struggling modern-day painter who converses with Van Gogh, a couple of romances, time jumps between late 1800s France to the present day and a mentor-professor relationship, and you end up with a multilayered, swirling story that can be quite convoluted. The majority of time, the Big Idea Theatre’s production of Inventing Van Gogh really engages, thanks to some strong performances, but it does lag a bit when the story takes on too many artistic goals. The play begins when the art world is abuzz about a newly discovered Van Gogh that could sell for tens of millions of dollars—the kind of money that would entice a dealer (Ed Gyles Jr., who also doubles as Paul Gauguin) to approach a young gifted artist (Brennan Villados) about forging a “new” Van Gogh masterpiece. The artist is torn, intrigued and then blackmailed by the dealer into producing the “found” Van Gogh. His ethical and artistic struggles call up the spirit of Van Gogh (a captivating Brian Watson), who we observe both as the modern artist’s muse and in flashbacks to Van Gogh’s own struggles. The three actors portraying the artists are cohesive and intriguing: Villados as the modern young artist, Watson as Van Gogh and Gyles as Gauguin, with director Benjamin T. Ismail keeping the ever-changing play’s sentiments in check. Very cool staging incorporates Van Gogh’s paintings and painting styles into various scenes, enveloping the story in Van Gogh’s beautiful artwork.

It’s not a production of Hamlet without an examination of Yorick’s skull.

Hamlet, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday, April 27; $18. Theater Galatea at the William J. Geery Theatre, 2130 L Street; www.theater galatea.com. Through May 10.

44   |   SN&R   |   04.24.14

With an emphasis on clarity and aided by the significant acting chops (P. Joshua Laskey, who also adapted the play, as Hamlet; Jessica Goldman Laskey; Blair Leatherwood; and Kellie Yvonne Raines in all the rest of the roles), the smart, dark humor in Shakespeare’s writing peeks through, and the entire tale takes on an immediacy that, frankly, makes it possible to be surprised. In fact, it’s possible to forget for a while that they all end up dead. A bare stage, props laid out on a table, and four chairs make up the set. Costuming is also minimal—black all around—and the actors rely on the use of prop markers to indicate who they are playing at any given moment. It’s far less confusing than it might seem: “Top hat” is Polonius, and the transformation is so complete that “tiara” means Gertrude, fully and completely, even though both parts are played by Raines. The same is true for Leatherwood’s Claudius and his ghostly brother (crown, of course, and skeleton gloves, respectively), and Goldman Laskey’s Laertes (red sash) and Ophelia (flowered headband). What makes it work, though, is an incredibly talented, proficient and collaborative cast. They directed each other, an unusual decision that

—Patti Roberts

inventing Van Gogh, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; $10-$16. big idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www.bigideatheatre.com. Through May 17.

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Now Playing


The Book of Liz



The Vanishing Point

Resurrection Theatre’s production of The Book of Liz is a hoot and a half, as the Squeamish might say. The Book of Liz gives us a peak at the Squeamish, an isolated religious community similar to the Amish that dresses like Pilgrims, does not engage in modern life, and comes up with its own versions of Bible teachings. Nod to director Nina Collins, who deftly keeps this comedy on the right keel, as well as partnering with Margaret Morneau in a very clever flipping wall-panel set design. F, Sa 8pm. Through 4/26. $15-$20. Three Penny Theatre in the R25 Arts Complex, 1723 25th St.; (916) 223-9568; www.resurrectiontheatre.com. P.R.


The Family of Mann

The central character (Belinda) has quit her job as an English professor to write TV scripts in Los Angeles. This staging by the Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento fits the company’s pattern. Director Mark Heckman’s clearly thought through the script, and some of the acting is pretty good. Jeff Machado, a former morning-radio host, does well sketching in the egotistical, manipulative producer Ed; acting by some supporting cast members is closer to “fair.” The multiple short scenes make for much furniture moving in the dark. Production values are basic and low-budget, fitting with the company’s priority. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 5/4. $15-$17. Wilkerson Theatre in the R25 Arts Complex, 1723 25th St.; (916) 501-6104; www.actinsac.org. J.H.

Disappearing lowlands in coastal Louisiana combined with shifting economic fortunes are seen through the viewpoint of a Cajun family caught up in an intergenerational struggle. There’s plenty going on, and playwright Nedra Pezold Roberts manages to combine it all into a tasty gumbo. Ray Tatar, working on a shoestring budget, makes effective use of his mixed professional and community cast, and keeps the narrative simmering. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 4/27. $12-$20. California Stage in the R25 Arts Complex, 1723 25th St.; (916) 451-5822; www.calstage.org. J.H.


Visiting Mr. Green

Gary S. Martinez depicts the title character, and the first time he hobbles across the stage to answer a knocking door, he appears so weak, you want to jump out of your chair and help him as he stumbles along. But help is on the other side of the door in the form of a young Ross Gardiner (nicely portrayed by Ryan Blanning). Ross is ordered by the court to make weekly visits to Mr. Green after a reckless driving conviction that involved the elderly man. Under the delicate thumb of director Marie Bain, the empathetic performances keep you rooting for this unusual friendship and ultimate resolution. W 12:30 &

6:30pm, Th 6:30pm, F 8pm, Sa 2 & 8pm. Through 5/4. $12-$35. Pollock Stage at Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org. P.R.

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David Garibaldi’s performance art is part athletic, part painting.

Painting for a purpose Sacramento performance painter David Garibaldi not only supports himself through art, but he’s also raised more than $1 million for charity. And he’s certainly not done: On Thursday, April 24, he’ll perform at the Crest Theatre to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Garibaldi, who’s still in his early 30s, is a multitalented painter. He can paint on a small canvas in a home studio, a large mural on a building or a portrait on a large canvas in a packed arena. It’s the latter that he’s probably best known for. His large, Denny Dent-esque speed-painting portraits of celebrities and pop musicians have earned him a worldwide audience beyond the art world. He’s also a great supporter of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and a huge advocate of the arts in general. David Garibaldi, $30-$55, 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; (916) 442-5189; www.garibaldiarts.com. —Jonathan Mendick





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Where the wild things are Bears HAVE YOU EVER DREAMT ABOUT FOOD FROM YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? Enjoy the movie GoodFellas while you dine on a three-course Italian meal! Next movie: Office Space - May 18th.

Following in the footsteps of films like Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee, Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey’s Bears is the latest by Daniel Barnes Disneynature documentary released to coincide with Earth Day. Bears does not break any new ground in the nature-doc genre, and the storytelling is old-fashioned enough to invite comparisons to Disney’s True-Life Adventures series from the 1950s, but it is also a grand technical achievement and a stirring family entertainment.




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5 excellent

46   |   SN&R   |   04.24.14

The film follows a trying year in the life of Sky, a female brown bear in a protected portion of the Alaskan wilderness, as she tries to lead her two ridiculously adorable bear cubs to the salmon pools. Over the course of the year, Sky will have to shepherd her cubs over treacherous mountains, protect them from wolves and more aggressive bears, and fend off exhaustion and starvation in a desperate attempt to store enough food to make it through the next winter. Of course, the kid-skewing Bears paints this bestial life-or-death drama with the usual Disney brush, de-emphasizing disturbing or dispiriting elements in favor of measured suspense, awe, inspiration, high spirits and mini-moral tales. Not to mention insanely cute, humanized without quite being anthropomorphized baby animals! The adorable cubs are dubbed Amber and Scout, and they are the real breakout stars of the film. Scout is a rambunctious male whose adventurous spirit nearly gets him killed on several occasions, including a cuticle-nibbling suspense scene where the napping cub gets stranded by rising tides. Meanwhile, the sad-eyed Amber is a timid mama’s girl who never strays far from Sky’s protective haunches. Sky is certainly a formidable protector, but the fact that she is dwarfed by most of the other bears they come across raises the stakes even higher. John C. Reilly narrates Bears with the doofiness of a slightly soused uncle, but he also has the acting chops to sell emotional moments without getting broad or bathetic. Reilly is somehow able to strike a balance between gravitas and warmth, and his narration is indispensable to the film’s genial nature. The story does get a little

tacky and forced at times, and the accumulation of cute moments occasionally devolves into something resembling an episode of Alaskan Brown Bear Cubs Do the Darndest Things. Apparently, animals occasionally need to yawn, stretch or scratch themselves—who knew? Still, even as I acknowledged in my head the pandering artificiality and absurdity of projecting human traits and emotions on to inherently wild and unknowable creatures, gosh darn it if my heart didn’t race, sink, leap and break upon the filmmakers’ every cue. The story may have been manufactured in postproduction, but that’s true of even the greatest films. Bonnie and Clyde was supposedly an unwatchable mess before legendary editor Dede Allen sliced it into shape. Between the two of them, directors Fothergill and Scholey have worked on pretty much every Disneynature production, and they capture some truly beautiful images here. An early sequence that shows the bears narrowly avoiding a massive avalanche is a powerful display of the natural world’s brute force, and it should play brilliantly on IMAX screens. But there is just as much wonder in the smaller moments, such as the easy flick with which Sky slashes a mussel out of its shell, or the way a bald eagle gracefully perches on a treetop branch. For better or worse, Bears has been scrubbed clean of any eco-political message-mongering, other than a generalized appreciation for the power and beauty of nature. There is the suggestion that a salmon shortage may be to blame for Sky’s meager diet, but no mention of any man-made root causes. However, in a somewhat surprising turn, the film does emerge as a touching ode to the fierceness of mothers, especially single mothers.

Bears has been scrubbed clean of any eco-political message-mongering, other than a generalized appreciation for the power and beauty of nature. The tough and tender Sky is the real hero of Bears, and she has to do it all on trial and error and instinct. Her single-minded determination to protect her babies from the dangers of the Alaskan wilderness ultimately makes her a role model to her mentor-seeking son. From the studio that gave us Bambi’s dad and Mars Needs Moms, that’s progress. Ω

by daniel barnes & JiM lane


A Haunted House 2

It’s a sure sign that you’re watching a Wayans joint when the first “joke” about molesting a comatose woman comes during the opening credits. Marlon Wayans co-writes and stars in A Haunted House 2, his second attempt at shadowing the Scary Movie franchise, here ostensibly satirizing both found-footage horror and newfangled creak shows like The Conjuring and Insidious. Aside from the occasional obvious and toothless genre parody, the humor mostly centers around rape, butchered house pets, rape, and that old chestnut, the differences between white people and black people (hot tip: black men have a great fondness for large butts, whereas white men do not like them as much). Wayans spends most of the movie screaming at inanimate objects (including Jaime Pressly, as his wife), and there is a scene of him sexually violating a wooden doll that is Oscar-worthy work in my hell. D.B.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

SHIELD, the agency for which Captain America (Chris Evans) and the other Avengers work, has been subverted by the terrorist organization HYDRA. Col. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is dead, and only the Captain and Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) remain to fight for freedom, aided by Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). The movie is a letdown from 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, partly because much of the first supporting cast is gone, partly because director Joe Johnston has been replaced by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, a lackluster change. Still, it’s diverting enough, and the Russos’ when-in-doubt-start-a-CGI-fight approach will please the fans. Evans is, once again, the best reason to see the movie, and Johansson makes a fun partner-cum-sidekick. J.L.



In the Chicago of a distant future, when society is divided into five factions based on perceived virtues, a teenager (Shailene Woodley) learns that she’s Divergent, not fully fit for any faction. She must keep it a secret and trust no one, but she doesn’t know why. Writers Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor and director Neil Burger adapt the first novel of Veronica Roth’s trilogy (an obvious imitation of The Hunger Games) and do a creditable job. Woodley may not have the stunning versatility of Jennifer Lawrence, but she has a sensitive, appealing presence and carries this big movie well. The supporting cast is also a plus (Theo James, Miles Teller, Kate Winslet, etc.), as are the movie’s sweeping yet believably lived-in look and Burger’s brisk pacing. It all bodes well for the next installment. J.L.


The Grand Budapest Hotel

A 4-year-old (Connor Corum) comes through emergency surgery saying he visited heaven, where he met the greatgrandfather he never knew, an unborn sister whom his mother miscarried before he was born and Jesus. His minister father (Greg Kinnear) finds his faith tested when he doesn’t know what to make of the boy’s story. Unbelievers will scoff, as they do at the book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent on which Chris Parker and director Randall Wallace’s script is based. Truthfully, the movie gives them reason: Its vision of heaven and angels is pretty white-bread and borderline cheesy. Still, the movie tugs the heartstrings, thanks to sincere performances, especially from young Corum. Good work too from Kelly Reilly as Kinnear’s wife and Thomas Haden Church and Margo Martindale as friends and neighbors. J.L.



Dom Hemingway

Jude Law grew mutton-chop sideburns and added about 30 pounds of English-ale belly to play the title character in Dom Hemingway, and that slight deglamorization seems to have recharged his batteries. This is easily his best performance in a decade, and it is especially nice to see him resharpen the comic timing that had been blunted by hacks like Guy Ritchie and Nancy Meyers. For a while, this stylish mix of hard-man moxie and mannered British comedy works quite well, thanks to Law’s excellent lead performance and oddball supporting work by Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir and Jumayn Hunter. Law’s braggadocio-filled Dom is a criminal who “plays by the rules,” an enormous mistake in a world where all of the rules are unwritten and rarely followed. Unfortunately, for a film that begins by soliloquizing its protagonist’s penis, Dom Hemingway ends up surprisingly short on balls. D.B.


Make Your Move

A New Orleans street dancer (Derek Hough) jumps parole to join his foster brother up north (Wesley Jonathan), who runs an underground dance club in Brooklyn. There our hero steps into the middle of a feud with another club by falling for the sister (BoA) of the rival club’s owner. The movie’s subtitle might be But Let a Stunt Double Make Some of the Moves for You. Even so, the dancing is lively and the actors (especially Hough) do enough of it themselves, without doubles or digital trickery, that the movie flares occasionally to life. Between dances things get pretty stale and predictable in the hands of writer-director Duane Adler, writer of the dreary Step Up movies, from which he borrows indiscriminately here. It’s Flashdance meets Romeo and Juliet, only nobody dies—and it sure ain’t Shakespeare. J.L.

Muppets Most Wanted

The reunited Muppets set off on a world tour, never suspecting that their new manager (Ricky Gervais) is using the tour as cover for a crime spree masterminded by an escapee from a Russian gulag, “the world’s most dangerous frog”—a near-perfect double for Kermit. The movie opens with one of many clever songs by Bret McKenzie, “We’re Doing a Sequel,” frankly admitting that “the sequel’s never quite as good.” Happily, the movie belies that truism. It’s not only even better than 2011’s The Muppets, it’s the best Muppets movie since the first one in 1979. Nicholas Stoller and director James Bobin’s script is a riot of groan-andguffaw jokes, and Bobin’s pacing is sprightly and joyous. Gervais, Tina Fey (as a gulag guard) and Ty Burrell (a French cop) head the customary all-star supporting cast. Pure fun. J.L.

Heaven Is for Real




In an Eastern European country between the World Wars, a meticulously correct concierge at a gleaming luxury hotel (Ralph Fiennes) basks in the crisp stylishness of his position—until he runs afoul of the heirs to one of his richest and most besotted customers (Tilda Swinton plays the old woman under pounds of hilarious age makeup; Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe lead her cabal of greedy relatives). Director and co-writer (with Hugo Guinness) Wes Anderson begins in the present day, moving back to the 1930s in stages, like a time traveler, and his movie overflows with endearing comic invention, countered by an undercurrent of melancholy nostalgia for a lost (and maybe imaginary) elegance. It’s a funny, sad movie and a rueful delight. Tony Revolori is fun as Fiennes’ adoring sidekick. J.L.


You’d look pissed, too, if you had to wear these clothes.




The great flood of Genesis gets a typically idiosyncratic retelling from director and co-writer (with Ari Handel) Darren Aronofsky, as Noah (Russell Crowe), his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) and eldest son Ham (Logan Lerman) prepare for rain, while Noah’s grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) kibitzes from a distance and some rocklike fallen angels called Watchers help build the Ark. Not everything works—those Watchers seem to have beamed in from one of Lerman’s Percy Jackson pictures—but the movie often has the raw energy of a primitive legend handed down from the prehistoric, torch-lit past. Crowe’s Noah is more tortured prophet than white-bearded patriarch; it’s a bold concept, and it works. Emma Watson plays an orphan adopted by Noah’s family, while Ray Winstone plays a savage, sinful king. J.L.


The Raid 2

Among the many pleasures of The Raid 2 is the way that it recreates the bonecrunching “karate horror” of the low-budget 2011 original, while simultaneously expanding its universe into a languorous crime epic. The showstopping fight sequences are amplified here, and mostly get announced with a slow-building, operatic fanfare worthy of a Sergio Leone gunfight. Writer-director Gareth Evans’ ballsy vision suggests that he also has the chops to direct romantic comedies, costume dramas and jukebox musicals where everyone beats the living shit out of each other. Evans and star Iko Uwais stage these hyperbolic hand-to-hand combat sequences with a ruthless, almost hallucinatory perfection—this is what a Busby Berkeley movie would have looked like had he been a sadist instead of a pervert—and the demonic glee that Evans feels in unpacking his model train set of cinematic influences is palpable. D.B.


Rio 2

Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) and Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), those rare blue macaws who lived happily ever after at the end of 2011’s Rio, now have three kids, and the whole family takes off deep into the Amazon rain forest, where they find a large colony of other such birds (including Jewel’s long-lost family). They also run afoul of a rapacious developer (Miguel Ferrer). The first movie was so utterly forgettable I had to look up my review to refresh my memory. I called it a “noisy animated foofaraw” and a “pathetically total misfire.” Nothing has changed—there are still no characters, story or good scenes—except that director Carlos Saldanha and his co-writer Don Rhymer seem to think we’ve been breathless for three years wondering what comes next. Which is pretty insulting, when you think about it. J.L.



A brilliant scientist (Johnny Depp) is given a fatal dose of radiation by a cabal of anti-technology Luddites. Before he dies, he, his wife (Rebecca Hall) and best friend (Paul Bettany) transfer his personality to an experimental artificial-intelligence computer— with unexpected (if predictable) consequences. Performances are good—also featured are Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy and Cole Hauser—and the movie is consistently interesting, but first-time writer Jack Paglen and first-time director Wally Pfister have bitten off more than they can chew. The story lumbers and becomes muddled, finally winding down into a bizarre variation on Romeo and Juliet. The ending, which leaves the door wide open for Transcendence 2, is annoying, and not as clever as Paglen and Pfister probably think it is. J.L.



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SN&R โ€ƒ |โ€ƒ 04.24.14




05.15 2014



B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   | 

A RT S & C U LT U R E  


A F T E R   | 






10 music writers on 25 years of Sacramento music How, exactly, do you distill two-and-a-half decades of Sacramento music down to its essence? It’s not easy, but we tasked 10 writers to try by naming three local artists from the last 25 years that they consider most important, influential or just damn great. The results are hardly definitive, but here, each writer reveals favorites, must-hears, and sometimes, a personal history as told through the soundtrack to a particular point in time. Whatever the parameter, all selections remind why the scene remains great: It’s quirky, eclectic and, in the best way possible, difficult to define.

photo courtesy of brotha lynch hung

SN&R S ReadeRS Save oN ticketS

Our hit parade

upcomiNg May 1

mike e. Winfield / Harlow’s: $20 tix for $10

May 9

tainted Love / Harlow’s: $15 tix for $7.50

May 14

parade of Lights / Harlow’s: $8 tix for $4

May 25

metalachi / assembly: $12 tix for $6

May 30 - Jun 1

BottleRock / Skyline park in Napa: $149 1-day pass for $96.85

Jun 14

auburn Brewfest / gold county Fairgrounds in Farrell Wrenn park: $25 tix for $12.50

June 26

cultura profetica / assembly: $20 tix for $10

June 28

Louisiana Sue’s gumbo Ya Ya / Yolo county Fairgrounds: $15 tix for $7.50

aNd moRe... concert listings for ace of Spades are only available for review on our Sweetdeals website.

Brotha Lynch Hung put the 916 on the global hip-hop map.

Janelle Bitker, SN&R The Cramps: Lux Interior and Poison Ivy, the mainstays behind the Cramps for more than 30 years, met in Sacramento before diving into New York’s new-wave punk scene. With mock-goth costumes and outlandish theatrics, the Cramps basically—and accidentally—invented the whole psychobilly subculture. Cake: Few can deny that “The Distance” and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” are a couple of the most ubiquitous, lasting alternative rock hits of past 25 years. And fewer can resist the joys of John McCrea’s deadpan vocals paired with soaring trumpet lines. Tera Melos: Math rock is about pushing boundaries, but Tera Melos doesn’t make complex music just to be complex. As major innovators of the genre, Tera Melos blends a bunch of styles of rock and jazz and does weird, avant-garde things to it—in a sort of accessible, catchy way.

Jonathan Carabba and Melissa Welliver, Submerge magazine

w w w. n e w s r e v i e w . c o m 50   |   SN&R   |   04.24.14

Death Grips: Even though they flaked on Sacramento Electronic Music [Festival] a couple years back, Death Grips did a lot to get Sacramento’s name out to the masses when

their aggressive, in-your-face blend of hardcore punk and rap took the music world by surprise. Dance Gavin Dance: Ever since Downtown Battle Mountain came out in ’07, despite multiple lineup changes, DGD has churned out amazing albums and toured almost year-round, representing Sacramento hard all along the way. Post-hardcore/screamo may not be as popular these days, but these guys are staying true to their roots. Red Host: RIP Red Host! If you blinked, you probably missed it. This grunge-esque trio consisted of Chelsea Wolfe on vocals and guitar, Jess Gowrie on drums (who went on to play in killer bands like I’m Dirty Too) and Ian Bone on bass (now in Darlingchemicalia).

Jackson Griffith, formerly of SN&R and Pulse! Frank Jordan: That this melodic hard-rock

trio never made it to the big time is a massive head-scratcher. Its live shows were jaw-dropping great, and its 2004 album Milk the Thrills contained a complex and heady mixture that referenced Led Zeppelin, the Cure, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and others, but in a wholly original and not-at-all derivative way. Deathray: This quartet, perhaps the closest thing to a homegrown American version of the Kinks, consisted of the former rhythm section of Cake plus its guitarist Greg Brown and ex-Little Guilt Shrine frontman Dana Gumbiner. The band’s two albums were loaded with great songs, but both albums fell victim to record-label politics and ineffective promotion. Daisy Spot/Mike Farrell (solo): While Mike Farrell may be better known in these parts as a supporting guitarist in a number of bands, and for the thrilling onstage moves that have marked him as Sacramento’s only true rock star, his more tender songwriting side, both under his own name and as the guiding creator of Daisy Spot, have been eclipsed somewhat. Too bad, because Farrell’s softer creations are complex and delicious, drawing from nuanced Brazilian pop, sweet lounge jazz, ’60s English rock gone all sensitive, and other forms.

Blake Gillespie, music writer Hella: The slang came before the band. Regardless, the continued formation of experimental outfits proves we never recovered from Hella’s spastic assault manned by Spencer Seim’s mathy guitars and the primal crash of Zach Hill. X-Raided: Gangster rap was strictly entertainment in the ’90s, unless you’re referring to X-Raided, whose 1992 Psycho Active album— produced by Brotha Lynch Hung—contained enough true-to-life rhymes to help indict him for gang-related murder and a 31-years-to-life sentence.

An Angle: Plagued by claims of Kris Anaya biting off Bright Eyes in its 2002-2007 run on Drive-Thru Records, the missing narrative from the record books is An Angle’s contributors such as Angel Deradoorian, Chelsea Wolfe, Terra Lopez and Evanescence’s Tim McCord—among dozens of others—began recording alt-rock jamborees in The Hangar.

Lynch Hung put the 916 on the country’s hiphop scene with spitfire raps and NC-17 lyrical imagery from a splatter movie. Trash Talk: Hella hardcore anthems, like Suicidal Tendencies reborn in Sacramento, and the first non-hip-hop crew in the Odd Future collective. Now, how about a Sacramento gig, already?

Becky Grunewald, music writer

Jerry Perry, Alive & Kicking and music promoter

Daisy Spot: I vividly remember the first time I

saw the two beautiful dreamers in Daisy Spot at The Guild Theater in 1997—so catchy that I could sing you a couple of songs from that night, even though I never heard them perform again. Yah Mos: The biggest band from the Loft scene and one that was instrumental in my transformation from shy Lincoln kid to downtown punker, and I have never left. The Bananas: I experienced possibly the most freedom and joy of my life when I toured with them twice, and I am married to the drummer— need I say more?

Rachel Leibrock, SN&R DJ Shadow: The former UC Davis deejay’s 1996 debut full-length Endtroducing... earned acclaim for the way it turned modern hip-hop into a bold, jazzy and gorgeous amalgamation of found record-store sounds. Tiger Trap: Short-lived ’90s twee-pop band. Some bands just make you miss everything and everyone you used to be. Anton Barbeau: Barbeau, who now lives across the pond, writes weird, wonderful and supersmart pop music. Mostly though, I have to thank him for all those early ’90s-era cassettes, energetic house shows and kinda awkward cafe gigs that fueled my enduring love for Sac’s fun, sometimes oddball and always unparalleled scene.

Chris Macias, The Sacramento Bee Deftones: Founded in a south Sacramento garage,

this multiculti band somehow connected the dots between Anthrax-style guitar chunk and brooding Depeche Mode-isms. Many of their peers have turned into nu-metal punch lines, but Deftones are still cranking out some of the most righteous music of their multiplatinum career. Brotha Lynch Hung: Straight outta south Sacramento’s infamous “Garden Blocc,” Brotha

photo courtesy of deftones

No surprise that Deftones, one of Sacramento’s most iconic bands of the last quarter-century, made this list.

Earwigs: This psychedelic swig of surf riffs, country twang, and Stones infused rock ’n’ roll was the coolest Sacto band of the late ’80s and early ’90s and a helped usher in an amazing era of music in the scene. Las Pesadillas: This 2000s-era fearless foursome could tackle anything musically, including Mozart, Gypsy polka and the Pixies, and their CD Quantum Immortality is a true high-water mark among any and all local releases to date. Low Flying Owls: Haunting melodies, swirling musical arrangements, mesmerizing stage shows, and a series of lushly produced CDs made for a very exciting era where these guys were the hippest band in the late ’90s, early 2000s scene.

Dennis Yudt, music writer Mayyors: If a meteorite slammed into Earth, and there was only 10 minutes left before all life was destroyed, I would throw Mayyors on the stereo as it is the sound of the world being torn asunder and the perfect soundtrack to the end of everything on this shitty planet. Thin White Rope: My all-time favorite band from around here was the heat-warped desert psych of this Davis band—NorCal’s psychotic answer to Television, replete with twin guitars blasting off to the heart of the sun and vocals (courtesy of Mr. Guy Kyser) that sounded like the death croak of the last man standing in Death Valley. Th’ Losin Streaks: If life was fair—which, in case you didn’t know, it ain’t—the busts of Tim Foster, Mike Farrell, Stan Tindall and Matt K. Shrugg would be erected in lieu of a stupid arena for their 1965-garage-meets-1977-punk combo. Every song by this band was an ode to juvenile delinquents (of all ages); the wrong side of the tracks; and the belief that real rock ’n’ roll can still make people shimmy, shake and tear this motherfucker down. Ω

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   51





Drive-By Truckers

So Stressed

Marsha Ambrosius

Matt Buetow

Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $28

Luigi’s Fun Garden, 8 p.m., $10

The Drive-By Truckers are skilled   storytellers, offering Southern-fried versions  of Springsteen’s working-class odes to desROCK peration and survival. The sound’s  evolved from raw three-guitar  Southern rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman  Brothers Band) to a more nuanced midtempo  approach. They’ve undergone several lineup  changes, but core songwriters Mike Cooley  and Patterson Hood have remained constant.  In March they released their 10th studio album,  English Oceans, and it’s among their best. Give  credit to Cooley who contributes six songs  from the ringing “Primer Coat” to chunky  barnstormer “Shit Shots Count.” Hood’s writing is also in top form, highlighted by the spacious seven-minute ballad “Grand Canyon.”  1417 R Street, www.drivebytruckers.com.

Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 10 p.m., $40-$45

Attracted to Open Mouths is the latest   cassette release from Sacramento noise-punk  band So Stressed. The eight-song recording  features tunes that step into dramatic and  chaotic territories, only to suddenly split off  into composed and flamboyant vignettes.  The three musicians are all over the place,  in a good way. The song “Hairstyles” is more  than four minutes of spastic and energetic  percussion, synthesizer and guitar—no vocals,  and none needed. The trio changes pace with  “Secret Breasts,” where steady guitar leads  NOISE PUNK the way with percussion gradually following  behind, complemented with itchy vocals. Circle  Takes the Square, Loma Prieta and Leer are  also set to perform. 1050 20th Street,   www.sostressed.bandcamp.com.

—Chris Parker

Marsha Ambrosius is probably best known  for formerly being one-half of the R&B duo  Floetry with her friend Natalie Stewart.  But the singer’s also got some serious  songwriting chops, having penned lyrics  for Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys and Angie  R&B/SOUL Stone. Her neo-soulinflected voice has also  made her a good guest vocalist on hip-hop  tracks, and she’s sung hooks for talented  emcees including Busta Rhymes, Nas and  Talib Kweli. She put out her solo debut  Late Nights & Early Mornings in 2011, and it  reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/HipHop Albums chart. It’s still her only album,  but it remains a good one. 2708 J Street,  www.marshaambrosiusmusic.com.

Coming Soon

- april 24 -

- April 27 -

matt andersen

the ultimate led zeppelin experience 8pm • $15adv

7pm • $12

- April 25 -

marsha ambrosius

- april 30 -

the diva kings

9pm • $40adv

- April 26 -

kevin russell’s cream of clapton

mandolin avenue out of place

5:30pm • $12adv

- April 26 -

trentino 2013 red bull us thre3style champion $10

52   |   SN&R   |   

6pm • $8

- may 1 -

mike e winfield rico the great 8:30pm • $20


Matt Buetow sounds a lot like other indie,  folky acts coming out of Portland, Ore.,  these days. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s  quiet and thoughtful at times, high-energy  and rocking at others. The four-piece’s  consistent use of a pedal steel guitar—the  rectangular kind you sit down at—keeps  songs in the old-timey Americana world. On  Tuesday, Matt Buetow dropped a brand-new  record, The Valley, which is the frontman’s  first album with a full-band under his name.  (Previously, they were known together as  the Royal Blue.) Check out the track “You  Won’t”—a powerful slow-builder that showcases Buetow’s hauntAMERICANA ing vocals. Locals Be  Brave Bold Robot and Simon Pure are also on  the bill. 1001 R Street, www.mattbuetow.com.

—Steph Rodriguez

2708 J street sacramento, ca 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com


—Jonathan Mendick

Fox & Goose, 9 p.m., $5

May 2 May 4 May 8 May 9 May 10 May 12 May 14 May 16 May 17 May 19 May 20 May 21 May 22 May 23 May 24 May 24 May 30 June 3 June 4 June 7 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 25 June 27 June 28 July 5 July 11 July 15 July 16 July 20

David Wilcox Toad the Wet Sprocket Asleep at the Wheel Tainted Love Tycho / Dusty Brown Skid Row / Black Star Riders Parade of Lights / Ugly Bunny Dustbowl Revival Curtis Mayfield Tribute Tab Benoit The Cave Singers William Fitzsimmons / Ben Sollee The Revivalists J Ras & Soulfited Wayne “The Train” Hancock Jeremy Briggs Pimps of Joytime Nice Peter Old Man Markley The Tubes Hillstomp Prezident Brown Average White Band Southern Culture on the Skids The Brothers Comatose SambaDa / The Nibblers Midnight Players Robert Francis The Infamous Stringdusters Eric Bibb Rakim

—Janelle Bitker

thu 04/24

direct divide, the chick p’s, vanishing affair alternative // rock // pop // 8pm // $5

fri 04/25

jenn roger band, mike justis band, tamara phelan trio folk americana // 9pm // $5

sat 04/26

joe friday 80’s rock covers 9pm // $5 sun 04/27

showcase sunday open mic

comedy 7-9p // talent 9-12am // free

tues 04/29

sneaky pete & the secret weapons greatest stories ever told gena perala funk // 8pm // $5 wed 04/30

bump day wendesday with the bumptet & friends funk // jazz // rock // reggae // 9pm // $5


05/01: for sayle, the royal jelly, blue oaks

908 K Street • sac 916.446.4361 wwwMarilynsOnK.com





Trails and Ways

Walking Spanish

Sarah Jarosz

The B-Side Players

Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9 p.m., $7-$10 Oakland’s Trails and Ways does a bumping  cover of Frank Ocean’s “Lost.” It mixes in  a light bossa nova beat with a Haim-esque  indie-electro sound and is sung in both  Portuguese and English. These are also the  defining characteristics of Trails and Ways’  debut EP, Trilingual. As the title suggests,  it jumps around languagewise, which is a  nice addition to a world-beat-influenced  indie sound. Unlike Tune-Yards, Yeasayer  and Dirty Projectors, who have also incorporated world elements into their indie  INDIE sound, Trails and Ways is actually able to do it in other languages. It also has a lighter pop sensibility  than its contemporaries. 129 E Street,   Suite E in Davis; http://trailsandways.com.

—Aaron Carnes

Torch Club, 9 p.m., $8

The Center for the Arts, 7:30 p.m., $20-$22

Formed in 2006, Walking Spanish has already  received three Sammie awards. It’s on tour  for its third album, Phoenix Down, recorded  ROCK to magnetic tape—fitting for a  band whose music is reminiscent  of some of the best late ’60s and early ’70s  classic rock (think the Eagles, Neil Young,  Santana or Led Zeppelin). Walking Spanish  does not rehash what’s already been done,  though. Its members are influenced by jazz,  metal, punk, classic rock, swing and bluegrass. The songs are stories, and the jams  can take you to another place and return  you once again. These guys know their  music and their instruments, and prove it  in each live performance. 904 15th Street,  www.walkingspanish.com.

—Trina L. Drotar

Sarah Jarosz is only 22. Let this fact sink in  as you consider that she already released  three albums (two of which have earned her  Grammy Award nominations, including last  year’s Build Me Up From Bones); performed  with bluegrass luminaries like Béla Fleck,  Alison Krauss and Chris Thile; and won praise  from NPR, The New York Times and Rolling  Stone. When you hear Jarosz’s soaring  vocals on the electric bluegrass track “Fuel  BLUEGRASS the Fire,” the easygoing  Americana stylings of  “Mile on the Moon” and her subtly spellbinding mandolin playing on the title track, you  won’t have to wonder what all the fuss is  about. 314 W. Main Street in Grass Valley,  www.sarahjarosz.com.

—Brian Palmer

Sacramento State University, noon, no cover For the better part of 20 years, San Diego’s  B-Side Players have garnered much acclaim  while concurrently amassing a large enough  following to tour the entire United States. If  you haven’t heard the band’s special brand  WORLD/FUNK of world music  infused with rock,  funk and all things in between, you owe it to  yourself to take an extended lunch break and  head over to the beautiful outdoor stage on  the Sacramento State University campus.  Although the group’s most recent release  is 2012’s Revolutionize, expect the band to  play a varied set that culls much of its back  catalog. This is your chance to catch a highprofile national act for free: Don’t blow it.  Serna Plaza at the University Union,   6000 J Street; www.thebsideplayers.com.

—Eddie Jorgensen

1000 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814


For rentals or Private Parties please contact assemblyMusicHall@gmail.com

GONDWANA Beware of darkness THUR APR 24 @ 8Pm

Fri Apr 25 @ 6:30pm

CD Release IndubIous, RIotmakeR, kayasun sat apR 26 @ 8:30pm

the soft white sixties, the hungry, the baddest beams sun apr 26 @ 8:30pm

Upcoming ShowS

fortunate youth true press, street urchinz, los rakas fri may 2 @ 7pm

sat may 3 @ 8pm

sun may 4 @ 9pm

may 05 may 07 may 08 may 09 may 10 may 11 may 16 may 17 may 20 may 23 may 24 may 25 may 30 may 31 JUN 6 JUN 7 JUN 14 JUN 17

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

gza late night alumni will hoge tig notaro finn stephen ragga marley upon this drawing the siren show hellogoodbye / vacationer the green the unlikely candidates metalachi nicki bluhm & the gramblers awoken shadows dance gavin dance afterparty supersuckers king buzzo of melvins dog fashion disco

04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   53












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

Mad Mondays, 9pm M

BAR 101

Karaoke, 7:30pm, no cover

SARALYN ADKINS, 9:30pm, call for cover


VAGABOND BROTHERS, 2-5pm, no cover

Trivia, 6:30pm M, no cover; Open-mic, 7:30pm W, no cover




SIN, TIPSY HUSTLERS, ONE SHARP MIND, Get Down to the Champion Sound CLUTTER FAMILY SINGERS; 8pm, $7 reggae night, 9pm-2am, $3







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 1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 TOOTH, KORY GIBBS; 8pm, call for cover OSTRICH THEORY, SIMPL3JACK; 8pm, $10 YOUNG GO, ARTHUR HAYWARD; 8pm


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


1022 K St., (916) 737-5999

Deuling Pianos, 9pm, no cover


2000 K St., (916) 448-7798


1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

CHICKEN & DUMPLING, 8pm, no cover

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

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



G STREET WUNDERBAR Hey local bands!

SARAH JAROSZ, 7:30pm, $20-$22

Community Music Jam, 6:30pm M, no cover

THUNDER COVER, 9pm, no cover

THE CHARLEEE TRIO, GUERO; 9pm Tu, no cover

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

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

DANGERMAKER, 9pm, no cover

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

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.


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

POP FICTION, 9pm-midnight, $7

THE TONE MONKEYS, 9pm-midnight, $5

Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover



MARSHA AMBROSIUS, 10pm, $40-$45

CREAM OF CLAPTON, 7pm, $12-$15; TRENTINO, 10pm, $10


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






JOE FRIDAY, 9pm, $5

Showcase Sundays, 7pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm M; Greatest Stories Ever Told, 8pm Tu; THE BUMPTET, 9pm W, $5


Electronic, house and deep-bass deejay dancing, 9pm-2am, call for cover

EDM, house, deep bass deejay dancing, 9pm-3am, $5

Gothic, industrial, EBM, ’80s, synthpop dancing, 9pm, $5-$8

Goth, darkwave, industrial, electronic deejay dancing, 9pm-3am, call for cover

Swing dancing lessons $6, 7:30pm Tu; Salsa lessons, 7:30pm-midnight W, $5





Jazz session, 8pm M, no cover; JOSH LANE, BREE ANDERSON; 8:30pm W, $5


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




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


Karaoke, 9pm, no cover


Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931 908 K St., (916) 446-4361 1119 21st St., (916) 549-2779 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731

Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

1517 21ST STREET | 916.704.0711

K A R A O K E E V E RY W E D N E S D AY F R I D AY, A P R I L 2 5



S AT U R D AY, A P R I L 2 6





live MuSic


25th saralyn adkins & emily o’neill

26th jras, massive delicious 27th the vagabond brothers 2-5pm


3rd simple creation 5th bad behavior blues 101 Main Street, roSeville 916-774-0505 · 9:30pm · 21+ facebook.com/bar101roseville |




Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover


events calendar PAPASOTES EXPLOSION 4/23-4/30



2nd the pressure lounge



EVErY FrI & Sat 9Pm

aPrIL 25

raDIO KInGS dance hits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s / $7

aPrIL 26

tHE tOnE mOnKEYS cover band / $5

maY 2

mC KEnna FaItH country / $5

aPrIL 19

PLaYBaCK classic rock hits / $5 EVErY tUESDaY

taCOS - 2 FOr $2 LIVE trIVIa - 7:30Pm

HaLFtImE Bar & GrILL InSIDE StrIKES UnLImItED 5681 Lonetree Blvd • rocklin 916.626.3600 HaLFtImEr OCKLIn.COm




THURSDAY 4/24 13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825


MUMBO GUMBO, 8pm, $20


DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Devin Lucien, DJ Peeti V, 9pm, call for cover



MERCY ME, 9pm, $10




TAKE OUT, 10pm, call for cover

SPAZMATICS, 10pm, call for cover

THE BAD CATZ, 3pm, call for cover


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

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

HATCHET, 8pm, $8


SKERIK’S BANDALABRA, 9pm, no cover

GOLDEN CADILLACS, 9pm, no cover

DOUBLE P REVIEW, 9pm, no cover

HARLEY WHITE JR., 9pm W, no cover

1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

3443 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 226-2625 5461 Mother Lode, Placerville; (530) 626-0336


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

CHRIS GARDNER, 10pm, call for cover


2030 P St., (916) 444-7914


AFTERLIFE, 9pm, no cover

1409 R St., (916) 231-9121


Sacramento Halloween Show, 4pm, $5


TRAILS & WAYS, DANK OCEAN; 9pm, $7-$10

129 E St., Davis; (530) 758-4333


1517 21st St., (916) 706-0052

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



5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088

CITY OF VAIN, RAT DAMAGE, SHOVE IT; 9pm, call for cover

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

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

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover



MACH 5, 3pm, call for cover


Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; BIG STICKY MESS, 8pm, $5

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; DIPPIN’ SAUCE, 9pm, $5

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; KAYE BOHLER, 9pm, $8


POPPET, GENIUS, MICHAEL SAALMAN; 9pm, call for cover


1815 19th St., wwwwitchroomsaccom

Chicken & Dumpling 8pm Thursday, no cover. Fox & Goose Blues

Microphone Mondays, 6pm M, $1-$2



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

Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover Ballroom dancing with Jim Truesdale, 6:30pm W, no cover


2574 21st St., (916) 832-0916


Papasote’s Karaoke Explosion, 9pm W, no cover Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover


Millionaires with AG, Lilly Love, Jaded Jesse and Internet Friends 7:30pm Monday, $12-$15. The Boardwalk Pop

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES


1417 R St., (916) 448-3300



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



1400 E St., (916) 551-1400




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

a l l e y k at z p r e s e n t s

saturday, april 26 at 5pm

2019 O st | sacramentO | 916.442.2682 BEFORE




2 5 T H A N N I V E RS A RY I S S U E


A R T S & C U LT U R E









what’s on your


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

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

420 to the future What will the marijuana world look like in 25 years? —SN&R Staring into my crystal bong, I see the future spread out gloriously in front of me. By 2017, weed should be legal in all of the Western states. I am including Alaska and Hawaii in the West. Canna-tourism will be booming, with all kinds of festivals and competitions, and I expect a farm or two to open its doors to visitors. Maybe guests will even be able to take part in the M LU A E B by NGAIO harvesting and the trimming (would you call that a “doob ranch”?). I also expect most of the East Coast (although maybe not New York for some reason) to have a sk420 @ n ewsreview.c om legal cannabis by 2020. I think Florida will try to get on the legalization train as well. ’13 Once we get the East and West Coast, we can start to make our way inland. Michigan is almost ready. Missouri may take a little longer. Illinois is getting there. Texas will probably be the last state to “go green.” Heh. When it comes to how we will ingest weed, who knows? What’s after dabs? Tabs? They already have cannabis-infused breath strips. I don’t think anything will ever replace a joint, but there could be an even bigger explosion in art glass and cool smoking devices. There will probably be more vaporizing They already have and less smoking, though. And yes, many big cannabis-infused corporations will try to get breath strips. in on the mass production of cannabis. It will be up to us to make sure that the mom-and-pop growers don’t get cut out of the market. Just think, in 25 years, the hipster kids will smoke “PBR” (Pot’s Blue Ribbon) ironically while us O.G.s and chronissuers will enjoy small-batch, superspecial strains while we sit in our fancy pot parlors. I could be completely wrong. I remember when Bill Clinton got elected president, and we all thought marijuana legalization was right around the corner. That was almost 25 years ago. Weed is not yet legal all over the country, but we are definitely getting there. Here’s to 25 more years of smoking weed and writing about it! I like to get high and surf the Web. Can you recommend any sites I might dig?

Ngaio Bealum

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

—P.C. If you are looking to learn more about pot, YouTube has some cool things. Master grower Subcool has a really cool channel, as does my homegirl Coral Reefer. Oh, and Doug Benson has a show called Getting Doug With High that comes out on YouTube every Wednesday. I was just on it, and it is hella fun. If you are looking for noncannabis things to look at, there’s always www.thisiswhyimbroke.com and searching for exploding-zit videos. Both of those will entertain you and probably gross you out a little. Have a good one. Ω

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

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






420 Doc MEDiCAL MArijuAnA EvALuAtiOns

spring COMpAssiOn spECiAL

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Must bring ad. Limit one per patient. Some restrictions apply.

Must bring ad. Limit one per patient. Some restrictions apply.

916.480.9000 2 COnvEniEnt LOCAtiOns tO sErvE YOu

2100 Watt Ave, Unit 190 | Sacramento, CA 95825 | Mon–Sat 11am–7pm 2633 Telegraph Ave. 109 | Oakland, CA 94612 | 510-832-5000 | Mon–Sat 10am–5pm recommendations are valid for 1 year for qualifying patients Walk-ins Welcome all day everyday

Your information is 100% private and confidential Visit our website to book your appointment online 24/7 at

www.sac420Doc.com B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

04.24.14     |   SN&R     |   57

now open!

new patient specials & gifts! welcome back!

1404 28th Street

Corner of 28th & N, Midtown Sac Open 10am-9pm 7 days a week

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Best medical marijuana clinic - Sacramento News and Review Readers’ poll ’13



Buy a Top Shelf 1/8th, get 50% OFF our 1/8th of the day


FREE pre-roll with a $35 donation


Buy 3 grams, Get one FREE

(of equal or lesser value)


Buy three 1/8ths get the fourth FREE


SN&R   |  04.24.14

515 broadway | sacramento, ca 415.935.8005 | open mon thru sat 10am-7pm




X st broadway


10% OFF all concentrates (max: 3 grams)



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conveniently located near all freeways!

Will mAtCh ANy lOCAl CliNiC pRiCe With COpy Of theiR Ad thAt iS CA mediCAl BOARd StANdARdS COmpliANt Get AppROved OR NO ChARGe! 24/7 verifications! hipAA Compliant 100% doctor/patient Confidentiality


2015 Q Street, 95811 • (916) 476-6142 OPEN Monday through Saturday 11am to 6pm • CLOSED SUNDAY valid through 05/01/14


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HoNey, BuTTer, soda

6666 Fruitridge Road, Unit C • Sacramento, CA 95820 916.476.4431 • www.916THC.com * Can’t be combined with other

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4020 Durock rD, Ste 1 • Shingle SpringS, cA • (916) 757–0980

offers. One coupon per person, per day. Expires 04/16/14.

4.9 stars

Cannot be combined with other offers. Strain determined by HHWC.

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B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   | 

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Main Ave

135 Main Avenue • Sacramento CA, 95838 Open Mon thru Sat 10AM–7PM // Closed Sun

B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y I S S U E   | 

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free gram with purchase of $35 or more


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SN&R   |  04.24.14

Arden Mall

r Joellis Way

nfe ld D

Sacramento, CA

Arden Way


3015 H Street

1030 Joellis Way, Sac







Monday–Saturday 10am–8pm Sunday 10am–6pm


40 $50


The history of medical marijuana (part 1 of 3)


hile there is still much debate in the United States on whether to legalize cannabis for recreational use, the medicinal benefits are hard to dispute. People have been using cannabis for its healing properties across different continents and cultures for thousands of years. The idea that cannabis can be used as medicine is not a new idea. It’s one we’re slowly getting back into. Using cannabis for its medicinal benefits most likely predates recorded history. But one of the first written references dates back to 2900 B.C. when a Chinese emperor described cannabis as a popular medicine of the time. Egyptian doctors were prescribing cannabis for glaucoma and inflammation as early as 1200 B.C., and an ancient Persian religious text cites medical use of cannabis in the Middle East by 700 B.C. A few hundred years later in ancient Greece, doctors were prescribing cannabis for earaches and inflammation. During the Middle Ages, Europeans also used cannabis as medicine. In North America, the first settlers in Jamestown brought cannabis — or

hemp, as it was commonly known at the time — to make clothes, rope and other goods. Founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both hemp farmers. By the late 1700s, early editions of American medical journals recommended using hemp seeds and roots to treat inflamed skin, incontinence and venereal disease. Hemp remained the most valuable crop in North America until it was supplanted by cotton in the early 1800s. In early American history, hemp was legal, and growing it was encouraged. The change in attitude came in the early 20th century. The U.S. government passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 in response to a growing number of people who were addicted to morphine, a popular ingredient in medicines of the time. This created the Food and Drug Administration but also required the regulation of all chemical substances. While this didn’t specifically target hemp or its use, it marked a major shift in American drug policy. Next in the series: Doubts cast on cannabis and the first drug war.

Cannabis use timeline: 2900 B.C.

– Chinese emperor describes cannabis as popular medicine

1906 700 B.C.

Medical use of cannabis is cited in Persian religious text


First settlers in Jamestown bring hemp plants

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storing up raw materials for soul making, and now the time has come to express them with a creative splash. Are you ready to purge your emotional backlog? Are you brave enough to go in search of cathartic epiphanies? What has been dark will yield light.

inexplicable reason you are not simmering with new ideas about how you could drum up more money, I don’t know what to tell you—except that maybe your mother lied to you about exactly when you were born. The astrological omens are virtually unequivocal: If you are a true Aries, you are now being invited, teased and even tugged to increase your cash flow and bolster your financial know-how. If you can’t ferret out at least one opportunity to get richer quicker, you might really be a Pisces or Taurus. And my name is Jay Z.

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

potential turning points that might possibly erupt in the coming days will not become actual turning points unless you work hard to activate them. They will be subtle and brief, so you will have to be very alert to notice them at all, and you will have to move quickly before they fade away. Here’s another complication: These incipient turning points probably won’t resemble any turning points you’ve seen before. They may come in the form of a lucky accident, a blessed mistake, a happy breakdown, a strange healing, a wicked gift or a perfect weakness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You

remind me of a garden plot that has recently been plowed and rained on. Now the sun is out. The air is warm. Your dirt is wet and fertile. The feeling is a bit unsettled because the stuff that was below ground got churned up to the top. Instead of a flat surface, you’ve got furrows. But the overall mood is expectant. Blithe magic is in the air. Soon it will be time to grow new life. Oh, but just one thing is missing: The seeds have yet to be sewn. That’s going to happen very soon. Right?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If

you happen to be an athlete, the coming week will not be a good time to head butt a referee or take performance-enhancing drugs. If you hate to drive your car anywhere but in the fast lane, you will be wise to try the slower lanes for a while. If you are habitually inclined to skip steps, take shortcuts, and look for loopholes, I advise you to instead try being thorough, methodical and by the book. Catch my drift? In this phase of your astrological cycle, you will have a better chance at producing successful results if you are more prudent than usual. What?! A careful, discreet, strategic, judicious Sagittarius? Sure! Why not?

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Here’s an

excerpt from “Celestial Music,” a poem by Louise Gluck: “I’m like the child who / Buries her head in the pillow / So as not to see, the child who tells herself / That light causes sadness.” One of your main assignments in the coming weeks, Gemini, is not to be like that child. It’s true that gazing at what the light reveals may shatter an illusion or two, but the illumination you will be blessed with will ultimately be more valuable than gold.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): My

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Would you

interpretation of this week’s astrological data might sound eccentric, even weird. But you know what? Sometimes life is—or at least should be—downright unpredictable. After much meditation, I’ve concluded that the most important message you can send to the universe is to fly a pair of underpants from the top of a flagpole. You heard me. Take down the flag that’s up there, and run the skivvies right up to the top. Whose underpants should you use? Those belonging to someone you adore, of course. And what is the deeper meaning behind this apparently irrational act? What exactly is life asking from you? Just this: Stop making so much sense all the time—especially when it comes to cultivating your love and expressing your passion.

like to forge new alliances and expand your web of connections and get more of the support you need to fulfill your dreams? You are entering the season of networking, so now would indeed be an excellent time to gather clues on how best to accomplish all that good stuff. To get you started in your quest, here’s advice from Dale Carnegie: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Does Jamaican

sprinter Usain Bolt run faster than any person alive? As far as we know, yes. He holds three world records and has won six Olympic gold medals. Even when he’s a bit off his game, he’s the best. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he set the alltime mark for the 100-meter race—9.69 seconds—despite the fact that one of his shoelaces was untied and he slowed down to celebrate before reaching the finish line. Like you, Bolt is a Leo. I’m making him both your role model and your anti-role model for the foreseeable future. You have the power to achieve something approaching his levels of excellence in your own field—especially if you double-check to make sure your shoelace is never untied and especially if you don’t celebrate victory before it’s won.

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

need to take some time out to explore the deeper mysteries of snuggling, cuddling and nuzzling. In my opinion, that is your sacred duty. It’s your raison d’etre, your ne plus ultra, your sine qua non. You’ve got to nurture your somatic wisdom with what we in the consciousness industry refer to as yummy-warm-fuzzy-wonder love. At the very least, you should engage in some prolonged hugging with a creature you feel close to. Tender physical touch isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your body

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In his

contains about 4 octillion atoms. That’s four with 27 zeroes after it. Believe it or not, 200 billion of that total were once inside the body of Martin Luther King Jr. For that matter, an average of 200 billion atoms of everyone who has ever lived and died is part of you. I am not making this up. (See the mathematical analysis here: http://tinyurl.com/AtomsFromEveryone.) As far as your immediate future is concerned, Pisces, I’m particularly interested in that legacy from King. If any of his skills as a great communicator are alive within you, you will be smart to call on them. Now is a time for you to express high-minded truths in ways that heal schisms, bridge gaps and promote unity. Just proceed on the assumption that it is your job to express the truth with extra clarity, candor and grace.

unpublished book The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, John Koenig coins new words that convey experiences our language has not previously accounted for. One that may apply to you sometime soon is “trumspringa,” which he defines as “the temptation to step off your career track and become a shepherd in the mountains, following your flock between pastures with a sheepdog and a rifle, watching storms at dusk from the doorway of a small cabin.” To be overtaken by trumspringa doesn’t necessarily mean you will literally run away and be a shepherd. In fact, giving yourself the luxury of considering such wild possibilities may be a healing release that allows you to be at peace with the life you are actually living.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “The supreme pleasure we can know, Freud said, and the model for all pleasure, orgasmic pleasure, comes when an excess tension built up, confined, compacted, is abruptly released.” That’s an observation by philosopher Alphonso Lingis. I bring it to your attention, Libra, because I expect that you will soon be able to harvest a psycho-spiritual version of that supreme pleasure. You have been gathering and




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.


photo by bobby MULL

by ROb

For the week of April 24, 2014

by nick MilleR

The line crusher Justin Nordan is a crucial player in the local music scene, whether he’s putting on local shows or helping power major international festivals. These days, the 37-year-old’s working at Queue, a music tech company based out of Old Sacramento. Queue helps venues, festivals and more sell tickets and make the concertgoing experience that much more awesome. Local spots such as Ace of Spades and Assembly Music Hall use Queue, but that’s not all. Nordan says Queue made a splash at South by Southwest in Austin by powering more than 15 events, including The Fader Fort, arguably the festival’s premier gathering. Nordan shared with SN&R his local music-scene story.

This issue celebrates SN&R’s 25th anniversary. What were you doing at age 25? Well, I had a 3-year-old daughter at that time. I was working in the events industry and trying to figure how I could make a difference in the local music space. I was going to a lot of shows, that’s for damn sure. The rest is hazy.

What kind of music does your daughter listen to? She is seriously all over the place. One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, Bastille, AFI and lots of country. Is that a dad fail? Possibly.

You work for Queue. Does Queue mean I will never have to wait in line again? [It] will allow you to wait less, drink more. You will definitely love venues and festivals that use Queue. We are crushing lines nationwide.

What’s the longest line you’ve ever waited in? At customs, coming back from Jamaica. It sucked.

How’d you get hooked on local music? I kinda hung around the scene, starting in 1995, by going to shows at Cattle Club, Crest Theatre, The Boardwalk, etc. In 2004, Eric Rushing gave me an opportunity to help street-promote for 720 Records. Just watching him crush it at The Boardwalk made me want to put on shows myself.

Do you remember your first local show? The first show that I went to, after I moved to Sacramento from the East Bay in 1995, was Cake at Crest Theatre. They performed [songs from] Motorcade Of Generosity.

The music scene is riding a wave these days.



I agree! I have to give a lot of credit to Ace of Spades, Assembly, Abstract Entertainment, LowBrau, and Punch and Pie [Productions] for bringing shows to Sacramento. ... I’ve seen shows selling out left and right, and I think that’s a great thing!

be in a successful band. A lot of bands expect everything will be handed to them. Reality is, it won’t.

But I feel like people aren’t starting new bands. Or maybe I’m just old?

Man, this is a hard one. Ozzy [Osbourne], Jim Morrison, Robert Plant, Kurt Cobain, Ian MacKaye, Cat Stevens, Daniel Johns, Kanye West, Sam Cooke—and I have to choose just one? And this doesn’t include music-industry people like Butch Vig, Cameron Crowe and Rick Rubin. I don’t think I can narrow the field, man.

Autumn Sky’s new band, and her change of style and direction, has given me some hope. But in terms of new artists, you may be right. There’s a lull in the force.

What’s your preferred drink while watching a band? Ice-cold beer. My favorite is Shiner Bock. Can some bar carry Shiner here in Sac?!

Help this guy out! CDs, records or mobile? I love the raw sound of vinyl, but to be honest, I listen to Spotify in the car and at work.

Tell me more about the local bands you’re into. In the past year, artists like Paper Pistols, Autumn Sky, Contra, Survival Guide and James Cavern have given me faith in the scene again.

If you could change one thing about the scene, what would it be, and why?



Aww, you can do it. I’d have to say Daniel Johns. Seems kinda weird, right? He’s the lead singer of Silverchair, a band who isn’t widely recognized in the [United States], unless you were a teen in the ’90s. Well, the unique thing is that their music didn’t stop in the ’90s. They put out two of the most amazing albums in the 2000s, Diorama and Young Modern. They ditched the grunge vibe, and Daniel started writing from some pretty dark places. He quit taking antidepressants, and I think he made some of the band’s best music. Not to mention his work with the Dissociatives, the collaboration between Daniel Johns and DJ Paul Mac. He just seems like a dude I could totally relate to, and I could finally pick his brain a little bit.

Last question: Best spot for brunch?

The sense of entitlement. It’s hard work being in a band. It’s even harder work to


You get to have a beer with any musician, living or dead.


I love The Porch. If I’m in the burbs, I prefer Awful Annie’s. Ω Discover more about Queue at www.queueapp.com.






RT_FemaleHipster-BlueLine_3-17-14 PRINT.pdf



4:04 PM











RT is my direct line to my scene. With light rail, I can text friends and tweet about the perfect spot to meet up. And, when I’m ready to head home, I can leave the driving to someone else. Find your line. Visit sacrt.com today for routes and schedules.


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