Kings arena benefit doubt see news, page 9
b y N i c k M i l l e r, p a g e 1 9
MeMorial Day— you’re doing it right see night&day, page 27
Not oK on K Street see bites, page 15
or shut up election guide There's not an app for that, so we previewed June's big vote the old-fashioned way
Summer film preview! see arts&Culture, page 24
four-star, $135-food Coma see dish, page 29
Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly
Volume 26, iSSue 05
thurSday, may 22, 2014
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May 22, 2014 | vol. 26, issue 05
Last Frontier I should’ve spent every waking hour last week dissecting the latest Kings arena deal. All those hundreds of pages—in a perfect world I’d let the people know the facts, maybe change minds before the city council vote. Or at least get people saying, as one local blogger wrote, “Yeah, this could be a financial mess, but boy, I really want to keep the Kings in town.” But the more I chatted with friends, the more I realized there is no longer reason. One guy even posted on my Twitter page, “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.” So, I flew to Alaska. Alaska has its own unique political dysfunction. It’s a place where, for instance, people see melting glaciers and a receding snowpack right before their eyes, yet reject the idea of climate change. Politicians run with this. A teaparty candidate vying for U.S. Senate accused his adversaries of being global-warming sympathizers, demanding that they “come clean with voters” about their support for the man-made climate change “agenda.” Equally loony observations from the Last Frontier: Every political ad on TV is about building more pipeline, and the people eat friggin’ reindeer. The take-home? Everywhere has its special brand of crazy and denial. Here in Sacramento, it’s definitely City Hall’s commitment to revitalizing downtown without investing in housing. Over the past two decades, we’ve thrown hundreds of millions at redevelopment projects, hotels, Mexican restaurants, mermaid bars, water fountains and cosmopolitan theaters. Now, we’re gazillioning-down on a $370 million arena investment. There are no guarantees for more downtown development. Neither is there a promise of significant fiscal return to offset our $22 million annual debt obligation. Can’t you see those glaciers melting?
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â€œWhatâ€™s after the Empire? Whoâ€™s the next Darth Vader?â€?
Asked at the May the Fourth Be With You event in West Sacramento:
What are your hopes for Star Wars: Episode VII ?
Episode VII is going to be about Han and Leiaâ€™s twins, their kids. ... The essential element will be the next generation, the twins and who will be the next bad guy. Whatâ€™s after the Empire? Whoâ€™s the next Darth Vader? The Sith are gone, the Empire is gone, whatâ€™s next?
I think itâ€™s going to be awesome. Itâ€™s going to be one of those movies like when Titanic came out, billion dollars in sales. If they have the right storyline, of course. It will be hard to beat Episode IV, though. Theyâ€™ve already done switching to the dark side and coming back, so it will be tricky.
They should avoid campiness, go for more darkness. [Star Wars: Episode IIIâ€“Revenge of the Sith] was the best of the new trilogy because there was something to lose, a risk factor to care about. The unpredictability of the next trilogy will help a lot, since we already knew where the prequels were heading.
I hope itâ€™s like the rant by Patton Oswalt from Parks and Recreation. Iâ€™d love for that to happen. I think it would probably be something more along the lines of a revamp of the Jedi order with Luke Skywalker further along and a new group of Jedis in Episode VIII and IX. I want a new group of characters to follow.
I was not a super big fan of the casting of [Hayden Christensen as] the young Darth Vader. Maybe Darth was a whiny kind of guy? But I really wasnâ€™t vibing on that. I donâ€™t see how you get from whiny to Darth Vader. Iâ€™m hoping that whatever arc they take this part of the story in, it will be more heroic.
Episode VII will be epic. Theyâ€™ve already destroyed all the booksâ€™ continuity; everything I know is gone. I hope they donâ€™t get too kiddie-poofy, too campy. I want it to still be a space opera. It doesnâ€™t have to be dark and heavy, but itâ€™s Star Wars. Itâ€™s about war in space.
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Re â€œCocktails and killingsâ€? by Tom Gogola (SN&R News, May 15): The proponents of the initiative to â€œspeed up the killingâ€? have now adjusted their proposed ballot date to 2016, due to lack of support and signatures. This alleged reform would only serve to clog up the system letter of even further, as each part of what would be an amendthe week ment to the constitution would be challenged in court. Time to end the death penalty in California and admit something we should have known all along: â€œThere is no right way to do the wrong thing.â€? Christine Thomas
S a c ra m e nt o
Re â€œCocktails and killingsâ€? by Tom Gogola (SN&R News, May 15): My issue is these convicted murders are nothing more than animals. At the moment they commit their inhumane act, they have given up the right to be treated humanely. The man executed shot a woman and had her buried alive. The second man, given a stay in his execution, raped an 11-month-old girl. My point is, we put down 1,000 pound-plus horse and cattle on a regular basis. What is the magical brew that veterinarians use? I think we should give these animals (convicted murders) the same amount of compassion that their victims were afforded. That would be zero. Clayton Lockett got what he earned. If these animals knew the penalty would be firm and painful, I think a few may choose not to be a murderer. Michael Mello Elk Grove
Union revenge Re â€œBarking at big moneyâ€? by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, May 15): Who is Ali Cooper, and what has he done for the community? From what I have read, it seems that he is a stooge for the Sacramento City Teachers Association and SEIU (both unions had given him money). The unions are still angry at Councilman Jay Schenirer for a vote he made 12 years ago that allowed Sacramento High School to become a charter. This is union payback time. Beverly Lamb Sacramento
Pot and oxy the same? Re â€œMom and marijuanaâ€? by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Essay, May 15): While I am not opposed to cancer sufferers and othersâ€™ medical use of
Sad time for teachers Re â€œMarshall Tuck bucks the establishmentâ€? by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, May 1): Marshall Tuck is not an educator. Heâ€™s the same as the ex-right-wing politician who carried out said agenda for rich, ultraright contributors while leading the Sacramento City Unified School District. SN&R has some sneaky right-wing suck-ups putting this nobody into the limelight. All of the private-charter teachers came through virtually the same training program as public-school teachers. But public-school teachers are now being demeaned and looked down upon so the right wing can have New Orleansstyle charter-school dominance. So sad for the wonderful teachers of the country. Anthony Damiani Sacramento
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marijuana, two statements made by the author himself encapsulated my reasons for applauding Sacramento Board of Supervisorâ€™s Roberta MacGlashanâ€™s stand. â€œ[M]y brother scored some edibles from a dispensary workerâ€? (obvious his mom didnâ€™t have a medical-marijuana card, but was still able to obtain medical-grade pot), and â€œnibbling tiny morsels at bedtime and sharing her supply with curious relatives and neighbors.â€? The sharing (again, people with no medical card). Pot is a drug! There is no difference between people sharing their pharmaceutical-grade pot and sharing their oxycodone. If a driver hits you under the influence of pot or alcohol the effect is the same! If end users were more responsible, the government wouldnâ€™t have to do it for them. Mari H. Sacramento
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End the death penalty, finally
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SN&R | 05.22.14
City council secrets See NEWS
Not OK on K Street See BITES
PHOTOS BY NICK MILLER
Common (hard) Core
Kings, mayor snub group working to ensure equal community benefits from new arena On Monday, the Sacramento Kings and Mayor Kevin Johnson kicked housing, environment, by local business and fair-wage advocates Nick Miller to the new arena’s curb. Since March, a group called the ni ck am@ newsr eview.c om Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity has been trying to negotiate a deal with the Kings. Its members want to secure things like well-paying jobs and traffic mitigation as part of the arena deal. They argue that this is more than fair, since the city is forking over a public subsidy north of $300 million. Just like many city leaders, the group also points to the Staples Center and L.A. Live down south, where developers have given millions of dollars and more to neighborhood groups as part a “community benefits agreement.” But during a press conference on Monday at the footprint of the forthcoming new Kings home, team officials and the mayor announced the formation of a different group, Sacramento First, to execute and oversee its own community-benefits agreement. Not only were SCSP members not invited, they also didn’t even know about the new group or the event until that morning. “They’ve sort of not been talking to us,” says SCSP member Tamie Dramer, who also staffs the Sacramento Housing Alliance, a group advocating for fair and affordable housing. Raheem F. Hosseini Even though SCSP wasn’t standing contributed additional behind the mayor at the press conferreporting to this story. ence, Dramer went anyway to distribute material to attendees. Her fliers explained SCSP’s goals: fair labor practices and sustainable wages for arena and new-development workers; 380 affordable-housing units and grants for more subsidized light-rail and bus tickets for arena employees and money to pay for game-time transit costs; environmental development; small-business loans and compensation for lost revenue during construction; and other community-preservation assurances. That may seem like quite a list of demands. But SCSP says it’s common. Down south at the Staples Center, a neighborhood group’s CBA with its developer included $1 million in parks-and-rec improvements, livingwage contracts, an agreement to hire residents within 3 miles of the project and $100,000 for hiring programs, a 20 percent affordable-housing requirement, BEFORE
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$650,000 in interest-free loans to build more affordable housing, and many other benefits. On another Los Angeles project, the California Reinvestment Coalition worked with a different neighborhood group and got the University of Southern California to agree to a CBA worth tens of millions in 2012. “We’re not even asking for close to that,” Dramer says. The 30 Los Angeles-based neighborhood groups who negotiated the L.A. Live deal are also part of an oversight committee to ensure follow-through by the developer. SCSP says this is needed here in Sacramento, too, so that Kings officials hold true to any promises. But the mayor’s new Sacramento First group is weighted heavily by a narrow swath of business and development interests with ties to the Kings, plus pro-arena City Hall insiders.
“We’re researching our avenues, legal and otherwise, for making the Kings talk to us.” Tamie Dramer Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity member Councilman Allen Warren, who’s voted yes on all the arena financing, plus a Kings lawyer, are Sacramento First’s chairpersons. The group’s members include arena architect firm AECOM, labor unions working on the project, pro-building group and unofficial mayoral-office attack dog Region Builders, chamber of commerce groups, and even Johnson’s chief of staff Daniel Conway. Will this K.J.-Kings friendly coalition keep other groups like SCSP from achieving any sort of meaningful CBA like the one in L.A.? “That is not broad community representation,” worries Dramer.“That is them conducting oversight on themselves.” She remains hopeful, however, that the Kings will listen, even as they were set to increase their negotiating leverage with Tuesday’s council vote. STORY
Sacramento First announced two CBA goals on Monday. For instance, the Kings would up the number of apprentice jobs in high-need communities from 60 to 70, and the new arena would bring over Sleep Train Arena’s existing employees and labor contracts. Both of those are positives, Dramer says, but they represent relatively minor concessions that fall far short of CBAs negotiated in other cities. Paulina Gonzalez with the California Reinvestment Coalition says the Kings and the mayor’s move to create a separate CBA group is typical. “That’s one of the tactics I’ve seen time and again,” she says. “It’s a way of addressing the issues when you’re really not.” A Kings contact for Sacramento First wouldn’t discuss with SN&R why SCSP was not invited to be part of the coalition. Kings vice president of strategic initiatives and former Johnson chief of staff Kunal Merchant did not respond to SN&R by deadline. The mayor’s office did not respond to an email. Nationwide, CBAs are common for sports arenas. The development of arenas often impact local businesses (read “Not OK on K Street” by Cosmo Garvin, SN&R Bites, page 15, to see how this is already happening on K Street). Poorer neighbors, parking and traffic also change in unexpected ways because of arena projects, and this costs money to the city and residents. That’s why CBAs exist. Groups sometimes sue developers using the California Environmental Quality Act to get them to negotiate. Dramer’s coalition recently hired local environmental attorney Don Mooney—who recently litigated over the Cordova Hills sprawl project to no avail—in the hopes of encouraging the team to communicate with it. The group could sue the Kings using CEQA, but its ability to do so will be hindered by a special, eleventh-hour law passed last fall by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. “We’re researching our avenues, legal and otherwise, for making the Kings talk to us,” Dramer says. Ω The Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity wants the Kings arena developers to help out with affordable housing, public transit, traffic, local businesses and more impacted by the project.
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City council confidential Secret Kings arena memo debacle leads to policy tweak Elected representatives who want to share sensitive information with the public now have to ask their colleagues for by Raheem permission first. F. Hosseini On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council was set to replace its ra heemh@ four-year-old confidentiality policy newsre view.c om with a more explicit version. This one requires the council’s majority approval before a single member could disclose confidential communications, or else face a public censure. Councilman Steve Hansen first suggested the changes back in March. A city staff report states the confidentiality policy was revised “to address concerns regarding recent disclosure of confidential attorneyclient privileged information.” The privileged information in question refers to a confidential legal analysis in January that raised doubts about whether the city could win a court battle to prevent a public vote on a $258 million subsidy for a new Sacramento Kings arena.
There was talk among officials that they should stop using electronic documents to discuss privileged matters altogether. Disclosure of the memo, which SN&R first reported, is prohibited under the original confidentiality policy, confirmed Assistant City Attorney Sandra Talbott. But the leak reverberated within City Hall, with Hansen saying there was talk among officials that they should stop using electronic documents to discuss privileged matters altogether. It’s made for less open dialogue in closed-session meetings, he added. “Everybody is sort of on edge just because of the arena,” Hansen said. The city’s original confidentiality policy was approved in February 2010, after some privileged memos regarding a Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency issue were leaked, Hansen said. When the revision was originally discussed in April, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby disagreed with public commenters who said it would limit government transparency. “This policy is about accountability,” she said. On Monday, Hansen said he had no illusions that the revised policy BEFORE
could keep those who want to leak privileged information from doing so. “Some people feel righteous doing this,” he said. But he said he hoped it would provide “a clean, honest path” to elected officials who want to reveal “an honest or serious dispute on litigation issues.” Hansen said the more detailed policy wasn’t connected to disclosures Councilman Kevin McCarty made last year to two individuals who oppose public investment in a new downtown arena. According to court documents and The Sacramento Bee, McCarty criticized a tentative arena deal between the city and the Kings to attorney Patrick Soluri and arena opponent Isaac Gonzalez, saying the term sheet offer included hidden subsidies—or “sweeteners”—intended to make the deal more palatable to investors. “Everyone has known that Councilman McCarty has had an opinion on this for a long time,” Hansen told SN&R, adding that what McCarty did wasn’t so different from what other council members do regarding other topics. Under the proposed new policy, a council member wanting a confidentiality waiver must first ask the city attorney to review the information he or she wants to disclose, then make a case to the full city council. Hansen believed a majority vote would rule the decision. Additionally, the revised policy adds language that specifically requires a council member’s recusal from any matter in which the member “is a named party in litigation with a financial interest against the City of Sacramento,” the staff report states. If the council member has no financial interest in the litigation, Talbott said, “The situation would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.” Hansen, an attorney, said he was surprised there wasn’t already something on the books to deal with such conflicts of interest. The revised policy was on the council’s May 20 consent calendar, which typically means automatic approval. With the council scheduled to vote on a series of binding agreements related to the Kings arena, Hansen didn’t anticipate pulling the confidentiality item for discussion “with everything else going on.” Ω
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SN&R | 05.22.14
More rigorous Common Core exam intimidates adult students, teachers While education experts stop short of saying the test is downright tougher to pass—the test is “aligned with today’s high school standards,” according to GED Testing Service, which built the new exam—the learning curve could prove steeper for people who have been out of a formaleducational setting for a while. Statewide, GED Testing Service says 44,231 people completed the equivalency test in 2012, with nearly 30,201 of them—or 68.3 percent—earning a passing score. PHOTO BY ZIMMYYTWS/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK
said the troublemakers quickly learn they’re unwelcome and eventually drop out. “They choose not to be there because they’re not vibing,” he said. For probationer Aaron Glen Metcalf, who was preparing for the test in April, he says he noticed a jump in severity in the math section. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yeah, this is different,” he said. Which is why instructors like Marine, at one of the Sacramento County Probation Department’s three adult day reporting centers, rushed to help students complete all sections of the GED test by December 31, 2013. With an accommodating test site and wrangling by Marine, 16 students made it through crunch time. At work the next morning, Marine found one of his graduates waiting for him. “Well, how do you feel?” Marine asked. The man hadn’t gotten Marine’s voice mail message letting him know he got his GED certificate after 20 years of trying. Hearing the news, the student sat down and put a hand on his cheek. Then came the tears.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yeah, this is different.” Bye-bye multiple choice, hello number lines and “analytic responses to source texts.” Common Core is intended to position students for greater success in the real world. It’s the new No Child Left Behind Act, but supposedly better. But transitioning to these new standards, with their unfamiliar terms and increased focus on logic and reasoning skills, hasn’t been easy, even for the young and more adaptable. (Just ask comedian Louis C.K.) “It’s a whole different way of analyzing or working through problems,” said GED instructor Tereze Lear, with the Sacramento County Office of Education. So the standards have been absolutely terrifying to older, less-fortunate students with more riding on the GED Test’s outcome. “If you don’t have a GED, laborer is as high as you can climb [in the construction field],” said assistant division probation chief David Semon.
A more rigorous GED Test, adopted in January, has some adult students and teachers worried about passing.
About 5.5 million adults didn’t have a high-school certificate in California that year. The average age of test-passers has risen slightly over the years, to almost 26 years of age in 2012. Probation’s class of GED students range in age from 18 to 60, with many in their mid- to late-30s, according to Semon. They not only learn how to craft a geometric proof, but also how to leave street drama and gang beefs at the door. “They’ve learned how to become students,” Lear said. “This is voluntary,” Semon added. “There’s a line.” Most of the students who show up are serious about hitting the books and forgoing previous bad habits. “All that past stuff is done now. We’re all here to take care of business,” said Brian Scott Aduca, a probationer who got one of his class’s highest GED scores, before it switched to Common Core. He
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Aaron Glen Metcalf probationer, on the new Common Core GED Test “You don’t know how long I’ve been working on this,” he said. “Oh, yes I do,” Marine answered. “Now knock it off, or I’m going to start crying, too.” GED Testing Service says that while it’s implementing the new content now, it’s keeping the passing standard matched with the performance of graduating highschool seniors in 2013, who weren’t instructed in career- and college-ready content. According to the California Department of Education, the highschool dropout rate in Sacramento County dropped to 11.3 percent in 2013, down 2.3 percent from the previous year. Ω
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The Sacramento region’s only resource specifically for homeless youth may get some much-needed dough to keep kids out of juvie. Under a still-evolving partnership, the Sacramento County Probation Department is in the process of applying north of $107,000 in grant funds to Wind Youth Services to use as an
PHOTO COurTESY Of THE SaCraMENTO COuNTY PrOBaTION DEParTMENT
The final 90 days of 2013 were a mad scramble for Tony Marine and his students. The Elk Grove Adult & by Community Education employee Raheem F. Hosseini teaches a General Educational Development test course for mostly r a he emf@ high-school dropouts just getting out news review.c om of jail or prison. These students face an uphill battle to get their lives back on track. As if that’s not difficult enough, this was the year the national GED Testing Service aligned its exam with more rigorous standards called Common Core.
alternative to detention for low-
level offenders who might otherwise be sent to the county’s Youth Detention Facility. Two young detainees enjoy the offerings of the Sacramento County Chief Probation Youth Detention Facility’s new library. Officer Lee Seale broke the news in an email to SN&R early Tuesday, saying the partnership was “still coming together.” “We are channeling some of our budget to them to open up some beds and programming to create alternatives to detention for kids,” he added. “[There] appears to be a really good partnership forming that will help kids to stay out of the juvenile justice system.” And, in particular, black kids. Seale said one of the racial disparities revealed by probation data is that black youth are detained at higher rates, in part, because family is less available or willing to pick them up once they’re ready for release. “These beds at Wind would give us an alternative to detention,” he added. Nothing has been finalized just yet, and the board of supervisors would need to approve any contract, but both parties are looking forward to a partnership. “These youth are often homeless, and end up in juvenile hall simply because they had no other safe place to go,” said Wind executive director Suzi Dotson. According to Seale, a mutual friend put him in touch with Dotson, who took over the cash-strapped endeavor this past January. Wind raised more than $7,600 during Sacramento’s recent Big Day of Giving single-day charity drive, but ended 2013 on a string of tough funding news. Wind’s popular youth center nearly folded last November, in part, after losing out on a three-year $540,000 federal grant the organization had relied on for years. A bid for $30,635 in Sacramento Employment and Training Agency grant money also fell by the wayside. According to its website, Wind uses the funds to provide daily meals, medical attention and case management to homeless youth at its center, as well as emergency overnight shelter in north Sacramento, among other efforts. Those 12 beds are all that exist for runaway and homeless youth in five counties. Through May 20 this month, the Sacramento Police Department booked eight minors from the city into juvenile hall, including a young couple who police say became physically hostile with officers when they tried to take the 15-year-old girl, who was reported missing, home. The probation department also recently unveiled its new juvenile hall library, converted from the old “E” housing unit at the youth detention facility on Kiefer Road. Underground Books and the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association sponsored a book drive to stock the shelves. Detainees can utilize the library on a weekly basis, the department said on its Facebook page. (Raheem F. Hosseini)
– actual cust omer –
the first time was it.
by SN&R staff
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haircuts starting at $ 15
Sacramento’s winners and losers—with arbitrary points
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Where the ladies at?
Breton facts fudged
The first female executive editor at The New York Times was fired last week. On the same day, the first female editor-in-chief of Le Monde, France’s paper of record, resigned. Scorekeeper would like to point out the impressive gender balance among SN&R’s editorial team. And kudos to The Sacramento Bee for having a female editor-in-chief and publisher, even if 70 percent of its reporting staff is still male.
The latest in “What the hell is Marcos Breton saying”: His column last week on schools blasted Sacramento’s for lagging behind Los Angeles and the Bay Area’s in test scores. That would be fair—except that the most recent scores were ahead of L.A. Unified School District. And really not that far behind San Francisco Unified School District, either.
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Bag ban back
Wow. In a feature titled “The Man Who Helped Bring Down Donald Sterling Is An Asshole, Too,” Mayor Kevin Johnson sure got the Deadspin treatment last week. Go read it yourself: http://tinyurl.com/ KJdeadspin.
A bill to ban plastic bags in California passed committee last week, bringing a canvas-bag lifestyle in the Golden State that much closer to a reality. Plasticbag manufacturers and autoerotic-asphyxiation enthusiasts oppose the bill.
+ 270 No benefit for you You can read this week’s News feature and Bites for more details (see pages 9 and 15), but the city and the Kings’ move to block out a group seeking more community benefits from the arena was pretty weak. And typical.
- 300 million
Not OK on K Street Old-school downtown businesses suffer on the eve of arena construction Sheila Finch is a survivor of the K Street experiment. She owns Alley Cuts hair salon, just across Seventh Street from Downtown Plaza. Bites talked to her just days ahead of the final vote on the Kings arena plan and the beginning of demolition of the mall. The city still hadn’t contacted Finch about how the arena work would impact her business. Nothing about street closures, or foot traffic, or dust and debris. “No arviN communication at all,” she said. by COSmO G Finch’s neighbor Mike Doyle, who cos mog@ n ewsrev iew.c om owns the watch-repair shop next door, was frustrated, too. “They haven’t been telling us anything. Just some basic information would help us prepare.” Finch and Doyle have each been in business at their current locations for nearly 30 years—through three decades of various K Street redevelopment schemes. It may surprise you, but they say the city has a track record of being sort of half-assed when it comes to executing projects on K Street. For example, back in 2010, the city took out a grassy area at the corner of Seventh and K and built a water park, part of a $4.5 million redo of the old plaza. But the water was never turned on, because the city forgot to include a bathroom and shower, required by county law. So, on a warm day, it forms a giant heat island instead of an attractive fountain. “This used to be a grassy area, and now it’s just this heat radiator,” Finch explained, laughing and shaking her head. K Street didn’t get this way because of a lack of pretty drawings or public investment. It was bad planning. All around the abandoned water park are empty storefronts. “The city took them and forced the businesses out. Then they just sat there,” Finch said. The neighborhood deteriorated over the years, as the city threw money at what Doyle described as, “all the bullshit plans that never came through.” Now Downtown Plaza is empty, too, waiting for the wrecking ball. Finch’s business has plunged. “I’m off $500 a month since Christmas,” said Finch. But both Finch and Doyle just had their rent increased by their landlord. “I’m pretty sure it’s related to the arena,” Doyle explained. The arena project is supposed to energize the blocks around the mall and generate more economic activity to benefit nearby businesses. “I think a grocery store and a park and some apartments would have done that better,” Finch countered. Doyle also wonders if he’ll be forced out. “I think some landowners are rubbing their hands together. So maybe some guy with a sports bar comes in, it would be good for him. Maybe not for me.” For the last few months, a coalition of community groups called the BEFORE
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Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity has been pushing for a “community benefits agreement” to be part of the arena plan. CBAs are common practice in cities that approve big development projects. They help spread around some of the benefits of the project and help offset some of the costs to local businesses and residents who are impacted. The SCSP is asking for affordable-housing development and additional support for homeless services; transit passes and vanpools for arena workers; and a loan fund to help small businesses make improvements, expand or buy new equipment—among several other requests. But it’s been stonewalled by city officials. Then, out of the blue on Monday, the Sacramento Kings and Mayor Kevin Johnson announced the creation of the Sacramento First community-advisory panel to discuss community benefits. It’s the usual Johnson approach of branding over substance. Heading up the panel, the mayor’s chief of staff, Daniel Conway, his city-council buddy Allen Warren, and the Kings attorney Clothilde Hewlett. No one from the SCSP was invited to join.
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The water was never turned on, because the city forgot to include a bathroom and shower, required by county law.
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That’s because the mayor’s handpicked panel is really meant to undercut the coalition and water down the idea of community benefits. Call it community-benefits lite. (Read more in this week’s News feature, “Benefits doubt” by Nick Miller, on page 9.) So, keep an eye out for a lawsuit, likely using the California Environmental Quality Act, to try and leverage a better communitybenefits plan. The smear artists at Region Builders and at The Sacramento Bee will call the litigants “obstructionists”—anyone who objects to a rip-off is an obstructionist. They’ll bitch about CEQA abuse. They believe courts are for invalidating citizen petitions and exercising eminent domain, not for grubby community groups to demand handouts. Those handouts are already spoken for, by the Kings. And the demolition will begin, and some people will get rich, and others will get hurt. And the city will likely handle the whole thing with the same careful consideration and attention to detail that it has always brought to its K Street projects. Though hopefully not. Ω
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Support community libraries Vote ‘yes’ on Measure B on June 3
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Over the years, libraries have been there for us. Now it is time for us to support the libraries. Sacramento’s citizens have this opportunity on Tuesday, June 3, when they vote for Measure B. Measure B puts a $12 per year property tax on residential parcels to support Sacramento city libraries. Commercial property is also taxed. One dollar per month will bring an additional $1.9 million to our 12 city libraries each year. This much-needed revenue will ensure and enhance “after-school reading programs, homework assistance, library operating l by Jeff VONkaeNe hours, 24/7 online access, programs for seniors, and other services,” according to the ballot. j e ffv @n e wsr e v ie w.c o m It sounds like a no-brainer. Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, a Measure B supporter, pointed out to me that there was no voter pamphlet argument against the measure. The problem is that it needs two-thirds approval of the voters. Requiring two out of three Californians to agree on anything is tough. And when the word “tax” is involved, it’s even tougher. Community libraries are wonderful. Everyone, regardless of wealth, race, sexual orientation or age, has free access to virtually whatever book or resource Requiring two out of they want. Libraries provide neighborhoods with a friendly three Californians community-oriented learning to agree on anything sanctuary. And then, there is the is tough. library staff. With very few exceptions, the librarians I have met are devoted to helping their patrons. Not only do they answer every silly question cheerfully, but with an attitude that they are so glad you asked. The two-thirds vote would be easier if all of us could To learn more about Measure B, vote. But, unfortunately, many of those who are most go to www.bethere dependent upon our libraries will not be voting, because of forlibraries.org. the pesky 18-years-and-older rule. When you go to libraries after school and on weekends, you will notice numerous school-age kids working very quietly and very intently on their schoolwork or some project. For many of these kids, the library is a home away from home. And for some, it is a home better than home. Our libraries communicate an important message: If things are messed up at home, if there is no quiet or no safe place for you to study, you can go to the library. You can do your homework there. But you can do more than your Jeff vonkaenel homework. You can have adventures in the books. You can is the president, also dream. You can sit at the tables and do your schoolCEO and work just like the college kids are doing theirs. And yes, if majority owner of the News & Review you do your homework, perhaps you too can go to college. newspapers in You can be a doctor or a teacher or a business owner or Sacramento, Chico anything else you can dream of. But first, you have to do and Reno. your homework. The people at the library will help you. The people at the library believe in you. And I hope the people of Sacramento believe in you as well. If they do, they will vote “yes” on Measure B. Ω
This Modern World
Sacramento Vedanta Reading Group
by tom tomorrow
Every Friday 7:00 - 8:30 pm · Free admission
The whole world is your own. — Sri Sarada Devi
Sacramento Yoga Center @ Sierra 2 Community Center, Room 6 2791 24th Street, Sacramento Parking in back For more information please see www.SacVRG.org
“Having abandoned attachment for the fruits of action, ever content and dependent on none, though engaged in action, yet he or she does nothing.” – Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord) Chap 4.20
Respecting the rails Pity the intermodal container. Yet trains retain a critical role in commerce Freight containers that could be in the United States. Railroads carry nearly by moved easily from boat to train to truck— 40 percent of intercity freight—more than Jacob Waters “intermodal,” in industry jargon—only became trucks and planes combined. The freight-train standard about 40 years ago. This enabled easy industry generated more than $76 billion in transport and, thus, easy access to a stunning revenue in 2012. variety of goods. Yet many view this revoluThis helps create the consumer utopia tionary invention as little more than a steel box we enjoy. If I want to make an omelet, I moving in the background. can purchase what I need and be home in 15 Except, of course, in Midtown Sacramento. minutes—impressive, considering that I live Jacob Waters is a political writer and Union Pacific trains loaded with intermodal nowhere near chickens (at least as far as I sacramento newbie. he containers regularly know). At the store, popular or tweets at perishable products are magi@jacobwaters. rumble up the tracks Trains retain a between 19th and 20th cally replenished, whether they streets, paralyzing trafare made in Fresno, Florida or critical role in fic. Drivers, pedestrians France. commerce in the and cyclists alike have That’s why I’ve grown no choice but to wait as to appreciate Union Pacific. United States. they roll by. Nearly anything that fits in When I first encouna container rides those rails. tered this, having moved to Sacramento last Coal, chemicals, manufactured goods and farm August, I futilely tried to construct a detour. products are frequent passengers. I’m reminded An online version of this I stewed and grumbled, muttering to myself that products I buy had a long journey before essay can be found at about how this never happened in Philadelphia. I find them, dolled-up and shiny, on wellwww.newsreview.com/ Trains are unglamorous and geriatric organized shelves. sacramento/ It may be possible to look up the times of pageburner/blogs. compared to the flashier, frequently redesigned automobile and airplane. In historical recretrains to avoid waiting for them to pass through ation areas, including Old Sacramento, train town. But I’d rather chance it—after all, those rides are a fun novelty used to connect to the minutes were only mine to lose because of the past. The Cars movies are big hits, but when’s containers that whiz past. I shift to park, roll the last time you saw Thomas the Tank Engine my windows down and am reminded. Ω chug-a-chug into Shining Time Station? BEFORE
F E AT U R E
| A R T S & C U L T U R E
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by Nick Miller
or shut up election guide
There’s not an app to make this June’s primary sexy. Voter turnout will suck. It shouldn’t: A balance of power in Sacramento is at stake.
In less than two weeks, you probably won’t be voting.
F E AT U R E
Just like how the Denver Broncos didn’t show up for this year’s Super Bowl. And if the nose-plug politicians we so loyally check boxes for every couple years don’t even bother, then why should voters show up just for that fuzzy feeling and a damn sticker?
I write this because it seems nobody gives a lick about this primary election. Those voter-turnout prognosticators, whoever they may be, predict woeful Democracy on June 3. Maybe this is because so many races, from Gov. Jerry Brown on down, are “uncontested.”
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That’s why SN&R made a quiz for this spring’s election issue. You like quizzes. You see your co-workers and Grandma sharing them on Facebook and BuzzFeed all day long. There’s even QuizUp, an app that came strong out the gates last fall. QuizUp offers multiple-choice questions, which you answer in head-to-head format, and you can play strangers online or challenge friends. Basically, it’s what you do with your boyfriend or girlfriend once you’ve deleted your Tinder app. Because if your newly anointed partner catches you still parlaying for a paramour on Tinder … I digress. Fun and games aside, this vote is serious business.
Yes, the mayor’s power grab is disruptive. But equally disconcerting is another trend: the wealth of uncontested races and joke candidates. Perhaps this is because too few political aspirants have the sea legs to take on Capt. K.J.? Or maybe the region is devoid of next-generation leadership? This is not to pass judgment on unchallenged incumbents such as Angelique Ashby or Phil Serna. But there should be voices out there challenging the status quo. And then there’s the race to succeed Supervisor Jimmie Yee. School board member Patrick Kennedy, a passionate Sacramentan, is going to waltz into this open seat. He has an opponent, former
I miss the steadfast tenets of political bloodsport— liberalism vs. conservatism, with a healthy slathering of nasty sauce. Sacramento electioneering and political shenanigans started early this cycle, last summer, when the now-defunct Kings arena ballot measure was still in the mix. Signature gatherers faithfully pitched a vote on the city’s subsidy. Arena proponents painted them as anti-Christs. A judge ultimately nixed the petitions. But let’s give credit where credit is due: Justice delivered the coup de grâce, but the Mayor Kevin Johnson machine won the war. I bring this up because June 3 is all about K.J. First, there’s “strong mayor,” Johnson’s ad nauseam pitch to co-opt more executive power. Strong isn’t on the ballot until November, but the makeup of city leadership is at stake. In two weeks, three seats are up for grabs. They’ll be in office for four years. Will they be five easy votes for K.J.? Or will these new members deep-six his agenda, bringing what I would argue are much-needed checks and balances? These council races are contentious. Dirty. Big bucks descended on the battle between K.J.’s candidate in south Sacramento’s District 7, former school board member Rick Jennings, and former Fire Chief Julius Cherry. A furtive darkmoney mailer, purportedly thumbs-upped by Jennings, trashed Cherry for his pension, which at north of $180,000 a year admittedly is beyond generous. But should this race hinge on whether a public servant with 30 years under his belt takes home too much retirement cheddar?
20 | SN&R | 05.22.14
reality-TV star and nice guy Jrmar Jefferson. But the young man isn’t qualified—at all—and an open seat shouldn’t go unchallenged in Sacramento. It’s a familiar story at the top of the food chain, however, where Gov. Brown will sleepwalk into his second term. The Republicans, sans even a crutch let alone a leg to stand on, can’t even muster viable candidates for a race like state superintendent of schools. That one’s an intriguing battle between a quotidian Democrat and a Dem-supported charter-school reformer. The GOP is MIA. It’s not difficult to argue that this is a good thing. But I miss the steadfast tenets of political bloodsport—liberalism vs. conservatism, with a healthy slathering of nasty sauce. At least they persevere in the district-attorney contest. Frontrunners Maggy Krell (on the left) and Anne Marie Schubert (on the right) are in a war of ideas and invective. They’ve accused each other of being soft on crime and hard on incompetence and corruption. And, in true Ross Perot fashion, there’s a third-wheel wild-card candidate, Todd Leras. The first meaningful DA race in two decades has lived up to the hype. And, with that, some hyperbole: Take SN&R’s first-ever QuizUp-inspired election primer because it’s better than voting. Answers are at the end, prizes are at stake and—if you believe in these machinations of electoral politics—so much more. QuizUp or shut up, and see you on June 3. Ω
for the Sacramento primary election SN&R asks the tough, ridiculous and pub-quizworthy local-politics questions. Can you hack it?
1 There are 13 candidates running for the Sacramento City Council. How many would have voted “no” on the Kings’ arena deal? A. B. C. D.
A. For city council B. For state Assembly C. Trick question, they’re not running for office D. With the devil
Five 10 One Zero
2 During a recent League of Women Voters forum, who admitted that he is “not the flashiest”?
3 Which candidate has raised the most money since January 2013? City City City City
Councilman Jay Schenirer council candidate Cyril Shah council candidate Rick Jennings council candidate Julius Cherry
4 Who did district attorney candidate Todd Leras say he would prosecute? A. Mayor Kevin Johnson B. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg C. Assemblyman Richard Pan D. Justin Bieber
City council candidate Ali Cooper dinged opponent Jay Schenirer for accepting too much money from: Unions Kmart Wal-Mart Donald Sterling
County supervisor candidate Jrmar Jefferson has appeared on:
Which candidate fought to stop city school district closures last year? A. Rick Jennings B. Assembly candidate Diana Rodriguez-Suruki C. Jay Schenirer D. Cosmo Garvin
Mayor Rob Ford Mother Teresa Julius Caesar Kevin Johnson
A. B. C. D.
Human trafficking Realignment White-collar crime Remembering to record Law & Order
A. American Idol B. America’s Got Talent C. The X Factor D. America’s Next Top Model E. The Bachelorette F. A, B and E G. A, B and C
To whom did a dark-money campaign mailer compare candidate Julius Cherry? A. B. C. D.
10 One Four Seven
All three district-attorney candidates agree that the most important issue is: A. B. C. D.
Mayor Johnson has endorsed:
One Seven Two Zero
Of the 13 city council candidates, how many support “strong mayor”? A. B. C. D.
A. Rick Jennings B. Assembly candidate Jim Cooper C. State Superintendent Marshall Tuck D. Marijuana legalization E. All of the above F. Only A and C G. Only A, B and C
How many District 3 candidates would’ve voted “yes” on McKinley Village? A. B. C. D.
A. County supervisor candidate Patrick Kennedy B. Dale Schornack C. County supervisor candidate Jrmar Jefferson D. Mayor Kevin Johnson
A. B. C. D.
The only two politicians to vote “no” on the Kings arena term sheet are running:
14 State Senate candidate Richard Pan is also a: A. B. C. D.
Lawyer Former athlete Doctor Craft-beer enthusiast
F E AT U R E
Which candidate sports a ponytail?
IF yOu AnSWERED ALL 20 CORRECT:
A. District attorney candidate Maggy Krell B. DA candidate Anne Marie Schubert C. City council candidate Efren Guttierrez D. All of the above
16 Which candidate has more than two decades of public-service experience? A. State Sen. candidate Roger Dickinson B. Julius Cherry C. Assembly candidate Steve Cohn D. Anne Marie Schubert E. All of the above F. A, C and D
You earned the “Karl Rove of the 916” badge. Great work! Now get a life.
IF yOu GOT MORE THAn 15 CORRECT:
Who is running unopposed?
A. City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby B. County Supervisor Phil Serna C. Sheriff Scott Jones D. All of the above
18 Which candidate declined to sign an agreement to not partake in negative campaigning or attack ads? A. Gov. Jerry Brown B. Kevin Johnson C. Rick Jennings D. Gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly
You’re a cheater, a politician or a City Hall insider. Probably all three. You get the Scandal badge.
IF yOu GOT AT LEAST HALF CORRECT:
19 Measure B increases city parcel tax to pay for libraries by how much each month? A. $100 B. $1 C. $10 D. $1,000
Candidate Rick Jennings: A. Won a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders B. Won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers C. Lost an NBA title to the Los Angeles Lakers D. Once beat Sylvester Stallone at arm wrestling
Thank you, loyal SN&R reader! We present to you the “I Kinda Know What’s Going on, Don’t Underestimate Me, Fool” badge.
IF yOu GOT LESS THAn FIVE CORRECT:
AnSWERS 1. A (Julius Cherry, Ellen Cochrane, Ali Cooper, Efren Guttierrez, Jeff Harris); 2. A; 3. B (District 3 candidate Cyril Shah has raised approximately $132,000 since January 2013); 4. C; 5. G; 6. C; 7. C; 8. B; 9. A (Rosalyn Van Buren); 10. C (Angelique Ashby, Rick Jennings, Adam Sartain, Jay Schenirer); 11. B; 12. G; 13. B; 14. C; 15. C; 16. E; 17. D; 18. C; 19. B; 20. A.
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The county should take away your right to vote. You get the “I (Almost) Voted, but SN&R Violated My Rights” badge.
21 U.S. representative, District 4 Jeffrey D. Gerlach
U.S. representative, District 6 Doris Matsui U.S. representative, District 7 Ami Bera It’s imperative to re-elect Ami Bera and keep this congressional seat Democrat. Bera in Congress should be one of the national party’s top priorities.
Our editorial board approves these candidates for the June 3 primary election
There’ll be a new electoral system in place on June 3. This doesn’t mean buff security guards in front of polling places asking for birth certificates and Costco cards. It means that now, in statewide races, the top two vote getters will move on to the finals in November, regardless of party affiliation.
Secretary of state
Will this change anything? Perhaps not. Or maybe a lot more races will be Democrat vs. Democrat in November (since Republicans are too busy worrying about concealed weapons and Islamic law). SN&R’s editorial board recommends that you vote for the following candidates on June 3:
Derek Cressman or Alex Padilla These two candidates, the former a progressive and the latter a Democrat, should square off in November.
Controller John A. Pérez or Betty T. Yee We hope Assembly speaker Pérez and Board of Equalization member Yee, both Democrats, face off this fall.
Attorney general Kamala D. Harris
Insurance commissioner Governor Jerry Brown
Board of Equalization, District 1 Chris Parker
Lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom
U.S. representative, District 3 John Garamendi
22 | SN&R | 05.22.14
U.S. representative, District 9 Jerry McNerney
State Senate, District 6 Roger Dickinson Current Assembly member and former county supervisor Dickinson is a longstanding progressive voice in the community. Recently, he fought at the statehouse for more transparency when it comes to the dangerous—and potentially explosive—Bakken crude-oil train shipments that pass through our central city and neighborhoods each day. Dickinson stands up to monied interests and has represented the neighborhoods for nearly 40 years. He’s earned your vote for state senator.
State Assembly, District 7 Kevin McCarty SN&R doesn’t want to see Councilman McCarty leave City Hall, where he is needed to keep the mayor’s “strong” majority in check. But we nevertheless support him as District 7’s next assembly member: He will fight for the environment and question corporate interests.
State Assembly, District 9 Darrell Fong and Diana Rodriguez-Suruki Councilman Fong has also been a crucial voice at City Hall, asking tough questions about the arena when others have bowed to political pressures. City school board trustee Rodriguez-Suruki’s fight against school closures was critical, too, as were her efforts to increase transparency in the school district. We endorse these candidates and hope to see them compete in the fall.
State superintendent of public instruction Tom Torlakson
Sacramento City Council, District 5
We like some of candidate Marshall Tuck’s ideas and understand the urgency for solutions in the world of education. But we also worry that his charter-schools vision will incite war instead of revolution. What California needs is gradual, smart, progressive education reform. We hope that Torlakson will bring that in his next term.
Schenirer has stepped up and led during tough economic times. He is respected by his colleagues and supported by the community. Yes, we agree with his opponent Ali Coopers’ call for greater transparency in government. And we also would like to see more checks-and-balances to the mayor’s agenda, that which Schenirer does not often provide (see the councilman’s pro-arena and probig-box store votes). But removing this incumbent from the dais is not a solution. He has been crucial in leading the city, from pension negotiations to homelessness solutions, and we support his re-election.
Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 2
Patrick Kennedy The election of Kennedy will hopefully tip the scales at the board of supervisors. We want a new era of leadership at the county, with a left-leaning coalition of Kennedy, Phil Serna (who will be re-elected in an uncontested race) and Don Nottoli.
Sacramento County district attorney Maggy Krell and Todd Leras We support Krell as a leading voice for change when it comes to how the region deals with low-level, nonviolent and first-time offenders. She believes in preventative treatment and rehabilitation. Ditto Leras, whose diverse experience and progressiveliberal values are an asset. Both Krell and Leras are strong candidates for reform at the DA’s office.
Sacramento City Council, District 3 Jeff Harris Harris stands out among the seven council candidates in this region. He’s a proven neighborhood leader who will have taxpayers’ backs. We like the way he thinks about issues, such as the new arena, which he does not lend support because it puts the city’s general fund at too much risk. We also like that he rolls his sleeves up in the community, such as his advocacy for neighborhood parks and his work rebuilding the McKinley Park playground. He will make a formidable city councilman.
Sacramento City Council, District 7 Julius Cherry Former fire chief and planningcommission chairman Cherry is Sacramento’s opportunity to elect a voice who will challenge the Kevin Johnson status quo. We like his opponent Rick Jennings, but fear the nonprofit executive and former school-board member’s connections to the mayor’s office will equate to a rubber stamp. There are also reasons alone to elect Cherry, such as his impressive understanding of the city’s fiscal house and knowledge of budgets, which will be needed in the coming years. His top-level leadership experience is something that the council lacks, too; his election will be an asset to City Hall.
Proposition 41 Yes Voting yes here allows for $600 million to be spent statewide on affordable and transitional housing for homeless Californians.
Proposition 42 Yes Transparent and open governments aren’t always popular in Sacramento with politicians, but they should be. Prop. 42 ensures that governments follow public-access laws. It also puts the burden of doing so onto local governments. Let’s just hope Sacramento doesn’t kick this cost down to its residents.
Measure B Yes SN&R supports the $12-a-year parcel tax dedicated solely for city libraries. Ω
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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
SN&R film cRiticS ShaRe theiR moSt aNticipated SummeR filmS, fRom majoR blockbuSteRS to SleepeR iNdieS
E EvEr sincE thE latE 1970s,
summer movies have been inextricably linked with the Hollywood blockbuster. It is the season of big movies, big budgets and big stars; a time for mindless and monolithic films whose script flaws often vaporize under the euphoric blast of industrial-grade air-conditioning. However, it is also a time for shrewd indie counterprogramming—in 2013, Before Midnight, Frances Ha, Fruitvale Station, The Grandmaster, Stories We Tell and 20 Feet From Stardom all debuted in Sacramento between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In that spirit of balance, SN&R film critics Daniel Barnes and Jim Lane have each selected their six most anticipated films: their three “big” ones first, followed by three “small” flicks. Save up that popcorn money—all are due in theaters sometime during this stretch of hot-weather months between the holidays.
2 4 | SN&R | 05.22.14
Ambitious, brainy and flatulently self-indulgent Guardians of the Galaxy: Perhaps it’s
a bad sign that a movie produced by the increasingly formulaic Marvel Studios made my list, and certainly the summer 2014 release slate shows no shortage of sequels to movies I hated on the first go-round. Of course, I never would have believed that something called The Lego Movie would be one of my favorite films of the year so far, and that picture’s irreplaceable vocal lead Chris Pratt stars in corporeal form here. Bonus points: Guardians of the Galaxy is the only film of the summer to feature a machine-gunwielding CGI raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper (August 1). Jupiter Ascending: Even at their most flatulently self-indulgent, Lana and Andy Wachowski make my kind of effects-driven blockbusters—ambitious and philosophical explosion factories that are simultaneously
heady and brainless. I was one of the few people more gassed than annoyed by their heedlessly insane, three-hour co-adaptation of Cloud Atlas, and this space opera starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis appears to offer another helping of that film’s sublimely twisted mumbo jumbo (July 18). Sin City: A Dame to Kill For: A sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s groundbreaking Sin City has seemingly been promised every year since the original became a surprise 2005 hit, but this time, it is not a drill. I was a fan of the original’s highly stylized graphicnovel visuals and blithe nihilism, but Rodriguez’s career has been on a slow slide ever since, and the sudden delivery of this long-delayed sequel to his career high point comes off as slightly desperate. Still, with returning cast members like Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, and Jessica Alba joined by intriguing Rodriguez newcomers like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin and Eva Green, I can’t wait to find out for myself (August 22). Boyhood: Richard Linklater’s decade-plus-in-the-making, literal
coming-of-age story is not only the most anticipated film of the summer, but also the season’s most fascinating social experiment. An actual record of a child’s physical and emotional growth told in episodic narrative form, Boyhood was shot with the same actors over the course of 12 years. It could be The 400 Blows by way of the Michael Apted Up documentaries in the form of a humane Linklaterian gabfest. Say no more! (July 11.) The Rover: It has already been four years since David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom anointed him as one of the most promising filmmakers of the decade, and The Rover is his long-awaited follow-up. The trailer makes the film out to be a throwback Australian outback revenger, a more refined take on Wake in Fright with shades of Mad Max, but I have also seen The Rover tantalizingly categorized as science fiction (June 20). The Immigrant: This is my obligatory hope-and-a-prayer pick, since this turn-of-the-century epic starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix has no set Sacramento release date. However, this apparent
Everybody into The Kitchen See DISH
Twilight killers See FILM
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Boyhood, RichaRd LinkLateR’s decade-pLus in the making, LiteRaL coming-of-age stoRy is not onLy the most anticipated fiLm of the summeR, But aLso the season’s most fascinating sociaL expeRiment.
Bad fairies, aliens and Meryl Streep Maleficent: I’m looking forward to this one not because I expect it to be good, necessarily—I’m not sure what to expect on that score—but because I’m curious. This penchant for telling old tales from the villain’s side is a stunt that dates back at least to Jane Smiley’s 1991 novel A Thousand Acres (which retold King Lear), and reached its apex with the contemporary Broadway smash Wicked. Disney’s telling of the backstory of the bad fairy from Sleeping Beauty sounds like a clever way to steal a march on the long-rumored movie adaptation of Wicked (albeit without songs). Besides, Angelina Jolie is perfect casting (May 30). BEFORE
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Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Lloyd, Giovanni Ribisi and MacFarlane himself—plus, it’s said, a wagonload of star cameos (May 30). Wish I Was Here: Scrubs star Zach Braff made a worthy debut as writerdirector with Garden State. That was 10 years ago—which suggests that he doesn’t do this sort of thing unless he has something he wants to say. This time (co-writing with his brother Adam J. Braff), Braff plays a struggling actor who decides to homeschool his two kids when his father (Mandy Patinkin) stops paying for their private school tuition. Now there’s an intriguing premise: If you’re 35 and Daddy’s been paying for your kids’ education, who’s the real child here? Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Braff’s Scrubs crony Donald Faison co-star (July 25). The Giver: Yet another movie from a young readers’ novel about the plight of an adolescent in a dystopian future—except that Lois Lowry’s 1993 book, for all its awards, wasn’t quite the blockbuster that The Hunger Games and Divergent have been, so the movie probably won’t be, either. Still, with Philip Noyce directing and Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep headlining, it may surprise us at the box office. There’s one yellow flag, though: The 11-year-old hero is played by Brenton Thwaites, who is 24 (August 15).
Guardians of the Galaxy
Edge of Tomorrow: Tom Cruise plays a soldier battling invading aliens, who is caught in a time warp that sends him out to fight and be killed over and over again, learning from his mistakes and gradually becoming a better warrior. It’s a high concept reminiscent of both Groundhog Day and Algis Budrys’ classic sci-fi novel Rogue Moon. Toss in Emily Blunt, director Doug Liman and writer Christopher McQuarrie, and this one just might have some IQ to go with the CGI (June 6). Jersey Boys: I’m curious about this one, too. Will the actors playing the Four Seasons do their own singing (as those in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical did), or will they lip-sync to the group’s actual records? Either way, this promises to be a hip update of the showbiz biopics of the past. I’m also curious to see how director Clint Eastwood translates the hypertheatrical stage show to the screen. And let’s give Eastwood credit: At 83, he’s entitled to rest on his laurels, but he’s still willing to try new stuff (June 20). A Million Ways to Die in the West: Could this be Blazing Saddles for the 21st century? Writer-director Seth MacFarlane just might be the guy to pull it off. While there are no comic geniuses in the order of Gene Wilder or Madeline Kahn, the cast does have possibilities: Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Neil
Edge of Tomorrow
riff on Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America from perpetually promising director James Gray (Two Lovers) is already playing to raves in New York City and Los Angeles, so there’s a chance it will make its Sacramento debut in a theater instead of via a video-on-demand platform. This spot could also have gone to Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer or Life Itself, the Steve James documentary about Roger Ebert (no scheduled opening date).
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livestock, motocross, music and that sketchy hypnotist act you see every year. Admission is free for kids age 12 and under, $5 for everyone else, and parking is $10. On Saturday, May 24, two free events provide cultural arts and entertainment for kids: the International Kids Festival at William Land Park (3800 S. Land Park Drive) and the Piñata Festival at Sol Collective (2574 21st Street). Hosted by Russian American Media, the 10th annual International Kids Festival (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; www.russian americanmedia.com/ourevents/international-kidsfestival) offers kids activities such as pony rides, face painting and bounce houses, as well as children of different ethnic backgrounds participating in cultural performances.
ILLUSTRATION BY BRIAN BRENEMAN
t’s Memorial Day on Monday, May 26, which makes this weekend Memorial Day weekend. Yes, it’s a federal holiday that commemorates people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, but it’s also considered by many as the unofficial start of summer. And in Sacramento, it sort of seems like an unofficial kid’s weekend, with a handful of familyfriendly events and fun-filled festivals. To start off, the Sacramento County Fair (www.sacfair.com) happens from Thursday, May 22, through Monday, May 26, at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Boulevard). It’s like a miniature version of the California State Fair, with carnival rides, fair food, bull riding, a demolition derby,
For the week of May 22
Meanwhile, the Piñata Festival (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; www.face book.com/pinatafestival) features a piñata exhibition, piñata making, vendors, food, live music and other art activites for kids. Then, the Crocker Art Museum (216 O Street, www.crockerart museum.org) will be open with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. And from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., it hosts an event called FamilyPalooza: A Free Family Festival, with circus performers, the Sacramento Banjo Band, a photo booth, face painting and interactive art activities for kids.
The African Cypher THURSDAY, MAY 22
Springtime in the Vineyard
The last film in Sol Collective’s Fist Up Film Festival—which uses film “as a way to expand community awareness around issues of social responsibility, and cultural idenFILM tity” according to a Facebook page— The African Cypher follows the story of a South African poet and B-boy battling cancer. Free, 6:30 p.m. at Sol Collective, 2574 21st Street; www.face book.com/artcultureactivism.
Vettes for Vets & American Muscle
SATURDAY, MAY 24
MONDAY, MAY 26
California has a handful of designated winemaking regions, and Sacramento is sort of smack-dab in the middle of them. One nearby winery, Berryessa Gap Vineyards in Winters, will open its vineyard to tours this weekend during this event where you can also sip wine, eat food and listen to live music. $50, WINE 11:30 a.m. at Berryessa Gap Vineyards, 27260 Highway 128 in Winters; (530) 795-3201; www.berryessagap.com.
Enjoy free museum admission and good old-fashioned American muscle cars—like Chevrolet Corvettes—in the CARS parking lot of the California Automobile Museum on Memorial Day. There will also be a military helicopter on hand, plus food and a raffle. Free, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street; (916) 442-6802; www.calauto museum.org.
F E AT U R E
Ready, Set, Collect!
Urban Art, Food & Libations Walking Tour
THURSDAY, MAY 29 Ever wonder what to do with all that disposable income you’ve got coming in? Become an art collector, duh. For those just getting into the game, gallery owners, curators and seasoned collectors offer advice on starting to build a collection grounded in the Sacramento art scene. $10 for members, ART $20 for nonmembers; 6 p.m. at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street; (916) 808-7000; www.crockerartmuseum.org.
ONGOING Combine food from local restaurants, wall murals and wine tasting, and you get a pretty ART & FOOD good reason to walk around Midtown for three-plus hours. Tours, limited to 12 people, will cover six to seven spots and provide the opportunity to interact firsthand with some of the city’s finest purveyors of food, drink and art. $60-$68, 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; (800) 407-8918, http://local-foodtours.com.
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Theater of food The Kitchen 2225 Hurley Way, Suite 101; (916) 568-7171; www.thekitchenrestaurant.com Diners at The Kitchen don’t receive a menu. They receive a program. It’s divided into seven acts, and, yes, there’s an intermission. by Janelle Bitker The Kitchen is full of such playful touches. And thinking of The Kitchen as a theater j a ne lleb@ instead of a restaurant makes shelling out $135 newsreview.c om for dinner—plus more for wine pairings, tax and tip—feel a little less absurd. Guests all eat together, like a giant dinner party. And unlike most dinner parties, no part of The Kitchen is off-limits to guests. I felt a thrill in knowing I could open up all the refrigerators and stick my nose anywhere I pleased, rating: though I resisted. HHHH Then, executive chef John Griffiths signaled, and his team huddled for a pep talk. dinner for one: The show was about to begin. $135 - $300 We took our seats at a U-shaped bar, with a perfect view of Griffiths manning the stove and his cooks preparing to plate 50 dishes at a time. Griffiths is still relatively new to The Kitchen, considering the establishment’s multidecade-long history. Up until 2005, chef-owner Randall Selland ran the show with a big, bold H flaWed personality. An injury forced him to the side, and he asked his chef de cuisine Noah Zonca to HH HaS momentS take the helm. Zonca followed Selland’s theatrical lead, but eventually bailed to open Capital HHH Dime in Midtown. Selland had to, for the first appealing time, hire someone new to run his baby. After a HHHH several-monthslong national search, he landed autHoritative on Griffiths, a fine-dining chef from Detroit by HHHHH way of St. Louis. epic Griffiths is quieter, perhaps more refined. But he’s not stuffy—his speech is peppered with dry wit and self-deprecation. His work stays true to The Kitchen’s commitment to seasonal, artistically plated cuisine. The menu changes every month, but it’s always five courses with a glorious intermission and tea service. On a recent evening in April, we started with chilled, minty pea soup, served with Still hungry? creamy pea pudding, cured scallops and Search Sn&r’s Sterling Caviar. The textural contrasts were “dining directory” lovely, and I sopped up every drop with vadouto find local restaurants by name van curried brioche. Butter-roasted asparagus or by type of food. arrived next, prepared in the vein of French Sushi, mexican, indian, culinary legend Alain Passard. The stalks are italian—discover it cooked in a pan standing up, so the bottoms all in the “dining” section at become soft and buttery, while the tips remain www.news crisp. Vibrant-yellow lemon sabayon and review.com. pickled beets dotted the plate, and thin slices of jamón Ibérico—the finest Spanish cured ham—satisfied the carnivores. At intermission, we stretched our legs and feasted on nibbles placed all over the restaurant. This is a new Griffiths touch. Instead of only the sashimi and oysters galore, he has his cooks prepare their own tasters, and he scatters them so diners are forced to explore. I could barely stop myself from visiting the oyster bar a third time. Another cook prepared faux-lasagna bites. Another, citrusy BEFORE
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duck. By the sake bar, “kettle corn” cones of puffed wild rice, amaranth and corn with black-truffle caramel tasted sweet, salty and positively deadly. The rest of the meal was a blur. Handmade Sardinian, saffron-infused pasta with olives, octopus, red wine and fava beans. Bright-red, incredibly tender wagyu beef with pickled carrots and pepper sauce. Soft, creamy crescenza cheese with strawberries and balsamic that was almost as old as I am.
John Griffiths’ work stays true to The Kitchen’s commitment to seasonal, artistically plated cuisine. Diners started to order seconds—because diners can order seconds. Think of it as an expensive, extravagant buffet, where the chefs will walk around to talk baseball with you. The menu for May features some of the same items—asparagus, beef, strawberries—though they’re prepared in different ways. The value and balance remain consistent. Granted, I’ve had better food at significantly lower prices. I’ve been more surprised, more excited by flavor combinations and technique at upscale restaurants in other cities for less than $100 pretax. But if you’re considering splurging at The Kitchen, it’s not because of wagyu, anyway. It’s because of the show. Ω
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Achiote marinated tofu with dreamy refried
black beans: This is why among all of the fantastic places in San Francisco’s Mission District to eat, Papalote Mexican Grill has long been a favorite spot for a burrito. Although the restaurant includes meat and cheese on its menu, it was one of the first taquerias in memory providing vegan options before all the cool kids were doing it—lard-free beans, Soyrizo or vegan mole, anyone? Papalote has since expanded into the salsa-slinging business, with three variations: roasted tomato, serrano-tomatillo and habanero. Now, the habanero sauce is not for the weak of tongue: A little from the 15.75-ounce jar goes a long way. Make a delicious pit stop in the Mission for the full experience, or get the salsas locally at Ikeda’s, Nugget Markets or Whole Foods Markets (addresses are at www.papalote-sf.com).
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Downtown Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery
Where to eat?
Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord, Jonathan Mendick and Shoka updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.
Blackbird is back with chefowner Carina Lampkin again at the helm. It’s located in its original space with a similar aesthetic, though with more focus on beer and bar food to better complement the seafood-inspired dinner menu. A burger served with house pickles, seven-day house-cured bacon, cheddar and sweet ’n’ chivey “awesome sauce” make for one of the city’s best burgers, no question. Chowder fries, however, are nifty in theory—fries covered in bay shrimp, bacon and parsley, then doused with chowder. It’s a play on poutine, but a lack of acid and serious sogginess issues mar it from being a landmark dish. Better yet? Fish tacos featuring fried pollock served with pickled cabbage and chipotle crema. These and a beer will remedy any bad day you’re having. American. 1015 Ninth St., (916) 498-9224. Dinner for one: $10-$30. HHH1/2 G.M.
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.
Der Biergarten This spot is a slightly quirky, low-key place with only nine food items on the menu: four appetizer-style
Take a break from the
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6821 stockton Blvd #110 30 | SN&R | 05.22.14
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 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-andginger 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 off-the-cuff flavors that mostly draw inspiration from Asian cuisines. A vanillaand-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.
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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
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’tgo-wrong salad comprising snow-white vermicelli noodles with cooling mint, cucumber slices, house-roasted peanuts and jagged pieces of faux beef. The “beef” actually is slightly sweet, plenty umami and pleasantly inoffensive, as far as fake meat goes. Nearly everything here has a faux-meat product or tofu element. So, sorry diners with
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options, four sandwich-type offerings and a sausage platter, plus about 30 cold ones on tap. Patrons order from a building that was built from a couple of cargo containers and dine outdoors on communal benches, traditional German biergarten style. The Derfinater Dog is a gussied-up hot dog, and despite its seemingly excessive number of toppings, everything served a tasteful purpose. The mayo and garlic sauce helped moisten a somewhat dry roll, and the bacon added saltiness, which balanced the sweetness of cream cheese and barbecue sauce. The pretzel disappointed by being a bit on the flaky and brittle side. The sausage platter was the best item on the menu: a pork sausage, chicken sausage, and a veal-and-pork sausage—much more plump, juicy and flavorful than the frankfurters—served alongside piles of sauerkraut and German potato salad. German. 2332 K St., (916) 346-4572. Dinner for one: $5-$10. HHH J.M.
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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 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.
Stirling Bridges Restaurant and Pub
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.
This British- and Scottishthemed gastropub offers an adequate beer selection and an extensive menu that goes beyond standard deep-fried pub fare. Try the Irish onion soup, a French onion-styled soup kicked up with Irish whiskey and Guinness beer. Or order the house-made veggie burger—it’s one of the tastiest black-bean patties around. The most unusual dish on the menu is the Scottish Mafia Pizza. Topped with turkey pastrami, potatoes, cabbage and Swiss cheese, it falls short with its too many flat flavors to actually benefit 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.
Elk Grove 1st Choice Pizza & Curry This place serves a surprising mash-up of traditions that includes American and Indian pizzas on standard pizza dough in five different sizes. The pizza crust is not quite deep-dish, but relatively thick; different options include butter chicken, chicken curry and malai paneer. All feature generous amounts of toppings, with moist chunks of chicken or paneer and vegetables—primarily bell peppers and onions. What really makes this place stand out, however, is its other Indian-food options, including a well-executed selection of chaat and entrees. Try the samosa chaat, comprising two fried pastries filled with spiced potatoes and peas, then smothered in a tomatoey sauce of chickpeas, red onions and cilantro. It’s finger-lickin’ good for sure. Indian. 9308 Elk Grove Boulevard, Suite 100 in Elk Grove; (916) 478-4444. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHH AMR
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
Be cool, Sacto
It’s too darn hot. In other words, it’s time to start fantasizing about Sacramento’s many frozen treats. Of course, hot spots (or cold spots, rather?) like Osaka-Ya (2215 10th Street), Hagen’s Orange Freeze (2520 Walnut Avenue in Carmichael) and Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates (1801 L Street, Suite 60) are perennials on many lists—for their snow cones, orange freezes and ice-cream sandwiches, respectively. So this summer, I’ll probably skip lines at those popular places and head to three under-the-radar spots for cold treats: Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke (5000 Freeport Boulevard, www.facebook.com/bluemoonktv), Vampire Penguin (6821 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 110; www.facebook.com/ vampirepenguin916), and Bambu Desserts & Drinks (various locations, including spots in Sacramento, Davis, Rocklin and Stockton; www.drinkbambu.com). Blue Moon serves up French-style crepes and Belgian waffles topped with ice cream; Vampire Penguin offers shaved snow, which is like ice cream with the texture of snow; and Bambu specializes in chè, cold Vietnamese desserts that come in many varieties. —Jonathan Mendick
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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.
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on the inner light and the inner sound
I was dating this girl, everything was good, I even went on vacation with her family. She went on a trip with friends and told me that she would probably see her old boyfriend. He broke up with her, she was over it, but they hung out in the same friend group, and she knew she would see him. Long story short, she came back, broke up with me and is back with him. She said she wants to be friends by Joey ga rcia with me. But whenever I talk to her, she gives really short a s k j o e y @ne w s re v i e w . c o m answers and acts like I’m bugging her. I said I thought we were going to be friends. She said we are friends, and then kept Joey being really difficult, so I gave up. stuffed herself at Any advice? Mother restaurant at Keep waving the white flag. Giving 1023 K Street up is a smart choice, and will save (www.mother you a lot of heartache. Here’s sacramento.com). the hard truth: Your ex-girlfriend doesn’t really want to be your friend. She dangled the promise of friendship in front of you to soften the blow of the breakup. You bought it because you care for her. And, because you care for her, your brain
Sant Baljit Singh
meditation sant mat
Forget the Hollywood ending
Risking rejection is a wonderful exercise in nonattachment that has extraordinary evolutionary power.
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.
translated the promise of an ongoing connection as evidence of her deep and unshakeable feelings for you. The part of the brain that can’t let go (even when we should) smiles as it imagines the sweetness of two hearts sharing that not-quite-romantic but not-quite-platonic fuzziness that could blur into a happily ever-after ending. Or maybe your brain fantasizes about a sudden, unexpected and electric sensation that draws you both into such amazing sex that waiting until she notices you again seems worthwhile. But you do know those are scripts for a Hollywood romantic comedy, right? There’s a reason rom-coms are a dying genre. What your ex-girlfriend really wants is to be friendly. Friendly is a cheerful wave from across the street before you continue on your way. Friendly is a short, superficial chat about pets and vacations if you
accidentally run into each other. She definitely does not want you to thoughtfully inquire about her family or her plans for the weekend. She has no desire to hear about your life, either. It’s not rude; it’s a boundary. One last thing, don’t try to be friends with an ex immediately after a breakup. Always allow three months to one year to air out your interior life, rearrange your emotions and wash away every shred of sexual attraction. Most people fail to do this, so they re-engage with their former partners like pound puppies. Don’t bide your time caged in by your ex-girlfriend’s confusing behavior. You’re a free man. Behave accordingly. All of your advice for the 44-year-old single mother who can’t get a date (“Unlock the mystery,” SN&R Ask Joey, May 8) was good for anyone who is dating. But her statement “I try to dress attractively and keep myself up, but nothing works to attract a man” is a schoolgirl’s expectation that her only contribution to the process is looking good. The female assumption that males should risk rejection just for the pleasure of basking in an attractive presence is a wonder to me. Forty-something men might be looking for something more out of a woman. That’s an interesting take on her dilemma. Thank you. I read that sliver of her letter as a paradoxical blend of self-care (she invests time to look her best) and insecurity (she feels attractive but isn’t attracting men). But you’re right that a well-rounded personality can trump appearance for the right person. I don’t agree that it has anything to do with chronological age, though. I’ve met mature 20-year-old men and highly immature 50-year-old men. But for anyone, risking rejection is a wonderful exercise in nonattachment that has extraordinary evolutionary power. Ω
Meditation of the Week “I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be,” wrote musician Bob Dylan. How free is your mind?
Astounding and heartbreaking
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Bluest Eye With a spare stage and minimal props, the company uses its physical and vocal talents to create an entire world. It is, for the most part, successful, though some problems with lighting cues and long blackouts between scenes break up the pacing. That is not, however, enough to disrupt the power and tragedy of Pecola’s story, nor the terrible, terrible beauty of the resistance to institutional racism mounted by the defiant Claudia and her bright and funny sister.Ω
Celebration Arts gives this stage adaptation of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, her first novel, the attention to language and emotion it by Kel Munger deserves. Some give credit for that, no doubt, to the work of adapting playwright Lydia Diamond; the rest may be rightfully laid at the feet of director James Wheatley and an excellent cast that includes a number of astounding and heartbreaking performances. Morrison’s story is set in the black community of an unnamed Ohio town and is told, for the most part, through the eyes of the young Claudia (Brooklynn Solomon) and her sister, Frieda (Eliza Hendrix), as they approach adolescence in the post-war years. The subject of their tale is their friend, Pecola Breedlove (Carol Jefferson), and the tragedy that racism, poverty and abuse wreak in her life.
4 PhoTo CouRTESy oF CElEBRATion ARTS
The Bluest Eye, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$15. Celebration Arts, 4469 D Street; (916) 455-2787; www.celebration arts.net. Through June 14.
A Steady Rain
In David Lindsay-Abaire’s searing story of South Boston’s working-class neighborhood, two Southies whose paths drastically diverged after high school find out they have radically different views on self-determination. Director Stephanie Gularte deftly directs this talented cast, careful not to teeter into stereotypes or overplayed accents or attitudes. Rebecca Dines (in an achingly honest, memorable performance) shines as a wounded Margaret—so much so that, in a moment when her character breaks down, the audience lets out a collective moan of painful recognition. W 7pm; Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/1. $22-36. Capital Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; www.capstage.org. P.R.
Remember that old adage: “When it rains, it pours”? Well, in B Street Theatre’s A Steady Rain, there’s a veritable deluge of accidents and incidents, physical and emotional turmoil, disappointment and despair that tests the lifelong friendship of two Chicago cops. Throw in a Jeffrey Dahmer-like cannibalistic killer, and you’ve got one dark drama that spills out in a torrent of words, words, words. The story of two cops in crisis unfolds in a series of “he said, he said” recollections, monologues, dialogues and addresses to the audience. Lyndsay Burch’s direction is swift and sure, and Ron Madonia’s punchy lighting design effectively illuminates playwright Keith Huff’s script. Despite a few line lapses on opening night, this is one tight production. Joey and Denny (Dave Pierini and Kurt Johnson, respectively) are the cops, so close since kindergarten that they are more than partners—they’re family. Fictive family, anyway. Denny has a real family: a wife, two kids and a dog that he often neglects for his job and his “second job,” shaking down prostitutes and drug dealers for supplemental income. Joey—the usual moral compass of the pair—doesn’t support Denny’s actions (or his racism or his sometimes taking the law into his own hands), but he’s loyal to his “brother.” Then comes a domestic-violence incident when Joey and Denny make the wrong call, and their lives and careers really turn to shit. Ultimately, one cop will “win” and one will not, but it’s hard to cheer the outcome. In A Steady Rain, moral ambiguity reigns.
The Madwoman of Chaillot
Though this political and social satire by French playwright Jean Giraudoux was written in 1943, notably during World War II—and not performed until after the playwright’s death in 1945—it’s fascinating to pick out the modern parallels that Ovation Stage director Penny Kline refers to as a “parable for our times.” Unfortunately, there tend to be so many swirling, buzzing characters—such as singers, musicians, a fortune-teller, a juggler, a mime and a flower girl—constantly milling about, that they become distractions to a main storyline that’s puzzling to begin with. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/1. Ovation Stage at the California Stage, 2509 R St.; (916) 606-5050; www.ovation stage.com. P.R.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
B Street Theatre’s regional premiere of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning satire is based on—and pokes fun at—the works of Chekhov. While there are laughs aplenty, the production does veer from satire to farce. It’s directed by Buck Busfield, and stars B Street company members Greg Alexander, Jamie Jones, Stephanie McVay and Jason Kuykendall. Tu 6:30pm; W 2pm & 6:30pm;
Th, F 8pm; Sa 5pm & 9pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/15. $23-$35. B Street
Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. K.M.
Short reviews by Kel Munger and Patti Roberts.
PhoTo CouRTESy CoMEDy WARRioRS
Not without its humorous moments—and Solomon, Hendrix and Jefferson are able, at times, to elicit the delight of childhood— this play is also not for the faint of heart, as it examines the way that the ingrained racism of American culture rejects and ignores African-Americans from infancy on. For Pecola, it is as if she doesn’t exist— until she finally doesn’t. Kudos for outstanding performances in painful and somewhat unsympathetic roles go to KT Masala (Mrs. Breedlove) and Zarati Depaz (Cholly Breedlove). The strength of both the story and their portrayals leads us to understanding and some measure of compassion for the way their wounds are inflicted doubly on their child. Both the writing and directing, though, combine to make the most painful scenes— Cholly’s abuse at the hands of armed white men during his first sexual experience and his rape of his daughter—more powerful and less graphic than might be expected. Still, this is not a play for younger children or sensitive audiences.
As this photo suggests, this isn’t exactly a happy story.
We all have them: terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. We just forget the slights and injustices that plagued us as kids are just miniature crises we go through as adults. We still get gum in our hair, don’t always get the cereal prize, get snubbed by friends, and do wish we could just escape to Australia. The B Street Theatre Family Series’ 90-minute version of Judith Viorst’s 1972 book follows the story of Alexander; is supplemented by funny, appropriate songs; and shines with a wonderfully engaged cast who endears themselves to kids and adults alike. Sa, Su 1 & 4pm. Through 6/1. $15-$20. B Street Theatre, 2727 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. P.R.
This comedy team knows how to find the humor in tragedy.
Witty warriors Usually comedians are the ones traveling to tell jokes to troops overseas. Now, there’s a comedy troupe made up of former U.S. military members, Comedy Warriors, that tells stories and jokes about their combat experiences, injuries and healing. Their tour stops at Tommy T’s Comedy & Dinner Theatre from Thursday, May 22, through Sunday, May 25, which is coincidentally Memorial Day weekend. Each of the five budding comedians—Bobby Henline, Rob Jones, Joe Kashnow, Steve Rice and Darisse Smith—were injured during combat. Their stories are told in the documentary Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor (www.comedywarriors.com), which hit the international film-festival circuit in 2013 and won multiple awards. The war veterans worked with a team of veteran comedians including Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, B.J. Novak and Bob Saget, to hone their acts. Comedy Warriors, $15-$30; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday; at Tommy T’s Comedy & Dinner Theatre, 12401 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova; (916) 608-2233; www.tommyts.com/sac.
A Steady Rain, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday; 2 p.m. Saturday, June 14; $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2727 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. Through June 15.
F E AT U R E
A RT S & C U LT U R E
alley katz presents
Blood lust Only Lovers Left Alive Much as he did with the Western in Dead Man and samurai-gangster movies in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, writer-director Jim Jarmusch has by Daniel Barnes a blast recontextualizing genre rules we thought we knew by heart with his latest film, the droll comedy Only Lovers Left Alive. In this case, he infiltrates the bloodstream of the “vampire movie” with a deadpan critique of cultural vapidity, and he doesn’t spare the imperiously condescending bloodsuckers too drug-addled and self-pitying to make a difference.
saturday, may 24 | 5pm 2019 O st | sacramentO 916.442.2682
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www.punchingmama.com 34 | SN&R | 05.22.14
4 Very Good
The deep connection between the ancient vampires played with serpentine coolness by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston can be felt from the opening shots of Only Lovers. Jarmusch shoots them from overhead in twinned rotating shots, matching their motions with a turntable upon which plays a heroin-laced remix of the Wanda Jackson song “Funnel of Love.” It’s a perfect mood setter, at once seductive and stomach-turning, just right for a film that acts as a carpe diem for the undead. Swinton and Hiddleston’s elegantly dusty separated lovers are “sands at the bottom of the hourglass,” two of the last vampires in a world where human blood has become increasingly poisonous. As the film opens, both Hiddleston’s faded ex-musician Adam and Swinton’s brilliant Eve have completely withdrawn from society and exist as shuffling shadows, living only for their next dainty goblet of hopefully untainted blood. While a vaguely suicidal Adam sleepwalks through a solitary, off-the-grid existence in his bombed-out Detroit neighborhood, Eve lounges in Tangier, Morocco, and scores “the really good stuff” from her old pal Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt)—yes, the Christopher Marlowe. While Only Lovers Left Alive revels in just this sort of 10-percent-too-cuteness, it also possesses the wit and style to make it work. At one point, we catch a glimpse of a wall of heroes in Adam’s mildewed bedroom,
and there is the unspoken suggestion that nearly every tortured genius including Buster Keaton, Bo Diddley and Edgar Allan Poe was a vampire or friend of vampire. Once again, there is the potential here for an eye-rolling goof, but instead, the screen exudes the reverent glee that Jarmusch must have felt while creating his own Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. Adam and Eve have seen literally everything that humans have had to offer, feeding not only on their blood, but on their potential for transcendence. It is clear that they have arrived at our lowest tide, with blood becoming more and more dangerous and the threat of an even grander global sickness bearing down. Yet Jarmusch also needles these haughty bloodsuckers—Adam and Eve derisively refer to human nonvampires as “zombies,” and yet they both dispassionately drag from fix to fix with a thoughtless duty reminiscent of an actual zombie. Only Lovers Left Alive is hardly the first film to draw a connection between the insatiable blood thirst of the vampire and the dehumanizing urge of drug addiction. But ever the old-school hipster, Jarmusch also locates Adam and Eve’s disaffection in a romantic excoriation of intellectual and artistic shallowness. The metaphoric potential of Detroit as a center of artistic and industrial innovation gone to ruin is obvious but well-used, and Jarmusch and cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (I Am Love) emphasize the city’s quiet emptiness. Some of the most haunting images involve Adam and Eve driving through the nearly abandoned city at night, a tour that includes a stop at Jack White’s childhood home.
Ever the old-school hipster, Jim Jarmusch locates Adam and Eve’s disaffection in a romantic excoriation of intellectual and artistic shallowness. Both Swinton and Hiddleston are brilliant here—it’s certainly great casting, but it also takes restraint to pull a conceit like this back from the edge of smug. Adam and Eve assume myriad identities throughout the film, often drawing on great literary and stage characters, and their slithery timelessness indicates they could have been the muse for every classic doomed couple from the original sinners to Sid and Nancy. Their inspirational effect certainly worked on Jarmusch, who delivers his best film in 15 years. Ω
by daniel barnes & JiM lane
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Peter Parker/Spider-Man returns in the person of Andrew Garfield, and he’s as miscast as he was the first time around, again slouching and mumbling like a James Dean wannabe. Four writers are credited, but there’s no real story beyond what’s left over from the previous movie. There’s plenty of CGI action, blasted at us at high velocity, but as so often happens, there’s little weight or sense of real danger. It’s just so much visual noise. As Spidey’s squeeze Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone still has little chemistry with Garfield, but she’s always welcome. Also welcome, and also wasted, are Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Chris Cooper and Paul Giamatti (the latter apparently being set up to be the next movie’s villain). Fans may convince themselves they’ve gotten their money’s worth, but the movie doesn’t make it easy. J.L.
Almost every “costume drama” deals with the inequities of privilege, with the focus usually falling on class and gender divides. Amma Asante’s Belle adds racial inequality into the mix, and the wrinkle is almost compelling enough to forgive the superficial treatment it receives. Newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw is all big, pleading eyes as Belle, a biracial orphan left with wealthy white relatives and forced to live under a set of dehumanizing guidelines. This is where Belle should burrow into the intersecting and often contradictory concepts of power and privilege, but the film is content to skim the surface. Draco Malfoy himself (Tom Felton) is cast in the role of an invective-spewing rich bigot, just to prove that racism is bad. The courtroom drama subplot, which invokes a real-life case instrumental in dismantling the British slave industry, feels tacked on for the sake of a quasiinspirational finish. D.B.
From the Rough
A women’s swim coach at Tennessee State University (Taraji P. Henson) gets the chance to coach the men’s golf team, a dream assignment for her—but obstacles include a hostile athletic director (Henry Simmons) who has little confidence in her team of international misfits. The movie is inspired by the career of Catana Starks, but we can only hope that Starks’ real life has not been so riddled with clichés as the script by Mike Critelli and director Pierre Bagley. Every go-for-the-gold sports-movie trope is recycled here, while Bagley’s slack pacing and awkward compositions fail to make golf an interesting spectator sport (an uphill battle anyway). Earnest performances all around (including former Harry Potter nemesis Tom Felton and the late Michael Clark Duncan), but the material defeats them. J.L.
Next stop: Vegas, baby.
Although strapped with an exponentially larger budget, director Gareth Edwards gives his Godzilla recharge the same lo-fi Spielbergian treatment as his debut feature film Monsters. In that low-budget 2010 business card, Edwards kept the creatures and their destruction largely out of frame, instead focusing on a squabbling couple wandering through the aftermath. It’s an admirable strategy, and a potentially profound one, but it only works if the characters are well-rounded and the story is worth a damn. Unfortunately, Edwards lacks Spielberg’s storytelling zest and deep reservoir of humanity, and the execution in both films is humorless and dull. There are moments of spectacle and mystery in Godzilla, and the San Francisco-set “big finish” is impressive, but it takes 90-plus minutes of one-dimensional characters, ancient clichés, and idiotically awestruck gazes (there are more here than in Spielberg’s entire oeuvre) to get there. Giant, radioactive lizards deserve better. D.B.
In 1975, empowered by two very profitable cult films, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) attempted to mount a massive, acid-laced production of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic Dune. He worked on the film for more than two years, but failed to secure the final funding (he caught Hollywood in a pre-Star Wars phase of rare fiscal restraint and fantasy aversion), despite assembling a group of “spiritual warrior” collaborators (including Moebius, H.R. Giger and Dan O’Bannon), who would go on to shape Hollywood’s future. This affectionate documentary from director Frank Pavich tells the story of that lost film, offering copious storyboards and conceptual art, and yet it wisely makes the lively 80-something Jodorowsky the centerpiece.
The chef at a high-end Los Angeles restaurant (writer-director Jon Favreau) melts down under a barrage of problems—a bad review from a critic (Oliver Platt), frustration with his pompous boss (Dustin Hoffman), issues with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and son (Emjay Anthony)—and impulsively quits his job. Trying to rebuild his career, he takes on operating a broken-down food truck, bonding with his son and a colleague (John Leguizamo) while driving the truck back from Florida, serving as they go. Favreau’s movie is looselimbed, even a tad aimless, but it’s appetizing in more ways than one (you’ll probably be famished by the time you leave the theater), and it may prove to be the feel-good movie of the summer. Big-name cameos provide seasoning: Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Bobby Cannavale and Amy Sedaris. J.L. Jodorowsky claims that he was “searching for the light of genius” in his Dune collaborators, and after four decades, that light has finally been allowed to shine. D.B.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
Dorothy (voice by Lea Michele) is drawn back to Oz on a rainbow to save her old friends (and some new ones) from the Jester (Martin Short), evil brother of the Wicked Witch of the West. Meanwhile, back in Kansas, a shady real-estate appraiser (Short again) is trying to steal Uncle Henry and Aunt Em’s farm after a tornado. Adapted from a book by Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of Oz’s creator, there’s sadly nothing about this candy-colored animated feature that isn’t hopelessly dreary, from the textureless animation (outsourced to India) to the forgettable-as-you-listen-to-them songs that bring the story to a screeching halt. J.L.
Million Dollar Arm
One of the businessmen in Craig Gillespie’s Million Dollar Arm refers to India as “the last untapped market.” It is intended to be a dig at global capitalists who worship money and treat humans like assets, but it’s more evocative of the mercenary-missionary strategy at the heart of this dog-eared Disney sports film. Jon Hamm plays struggling sports agent J.B. Bernstein, and although this emotionally withdrawn huckster is right in his Don Draper wheelhouse, the film’s dewy-eyed sentiment is a bad look on Hamm. J.B. launches the “Million Dollar Arm” talent competition throughout India, hoping to convert hard-throwing cricket players into pitchers. Once the film flies to Mumbai, we are treated to a half-hour of racial stereotypes, before returning to America for another hour of fish-out-of-water stereotypes. At one point, J.B. calls India “a study in extremes,” but Million Dollar Arm is a study in squishy middles. D.B.
Moms’ Night Out
A harried housewife (Sarah Drew) plans a night out with her best friend (Andrea Logan White), who is almost as stressed out over her twin toddlers, and their pastor’s wife (Patricia Heaton), who has issues of her own with a rebellious teenager (Sammi Hanratty). Of course, Murphy’s Law kicks in big-time. There are worthy intentions in this frantic, noisy farce directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin (which the latter co-wrote with Andrea Gyertson Nasfell), and the preaching stays low-key. But the comedy is shoveled on with clumsy hands—also, Drew’s character is a compulsive, neurotic whiner, and she doesn’t have the comic chops to engage our sympathy. The effect is more obnoxious than amusing; everybody would have done well to take a cue from Sean Astin, restrained and low-key as Drew’s supportive husband. J.L.
F E AT U R E
The Other Woman
In Nick Cassavetes’ imbalanced and unfunny The Other Woman, Cameron Diaz plays a successful lawyer and voracious man-eater who finds out that her “boyfriend” already has an unsuspecting wife (Leslie Mann). The two women form a weird bond, and after discovering the existence of a second mistress (Kate Upton, mostly acting in slow motion), they bring her into the fold and start to plot their revenge. Diaz and Mann rehash their respective personas at full volume throughout, but the comedic bar is set excessively low (revenge montage set to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” anyone?), and the long leash on Mann’s highstrung idiot shtick is especially unbearable. Although the script is by first-timer Melissa Stack, The Other Woman is virulently misogynistic (even our female “heroes” refer to Upton’s character as “the boobs”), and the mix of low comedy and trite sisterhood clichés becomes borderline schizophrenic. D.B.
The Railway Man
Colin Firth plays Eric Lomax, a former prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, who learns that the soldier who tortured him is still alive and serving as a guide at the Burmese camp where Lomax was held. Lomax decides to confront the man in an attempt to come to terms with his terrible memories. Adapted from Lomax’s autobiography by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, the movie simplifies the story (eliminating Lomax’s first marriage completely), then jumps back and forth between the 1980s and the war (where Lomax is played by Jeremy Irvine). The movie is rather reticent and uninvolving, but well-acted all around, especially by Irvine. Nicole Kidman is also fine as Lomax’s loving wife. J.L.
A RT S & C U LT U R E
auGust 15 & 16
Nor Cal’s oNly CampiNg all FuNk musiC Festival Featuring
A middle-class couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) try to stay cool when a party-hearty fraternity (led by Zac Efron) moves in next door, but hard feelings sprout and escalate into an all-out war. This one goes straight onto the guilty-pleasures list. The script by first-timers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien is short on logic, with important scenes apparently never written, never filmed or left on the cutting-room floor. Director Nicholas Stoller keeps the joke parade rolling but can’t iron out the script’s wrinkles. Rogen’s comic-schlub shtick is well-deployed, and Byrne shows a nice flair for comedy, while Efron’s earnest performance feels piped in from a different movie. Still, enough of the jokes land to make the movie pretty funny, even with enough misfires to put the “guilt” in guilty pleasure. J.L.
tickets availaBle at ftffest.com
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EntErtaInmEnt E VErY FrI & Sat 9 P m
Off set, but still singing
Jeremy Briggs reflects on The Voice, social media and kale
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Jeremy Briggs chugged a whole lot of kale juice before leaving for Los Angeles. He was about to compete on NBC’s hit competition show by Janelle Bitker The Voice, and sing for star judges Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher. j a ne l l e b @ And 15.7 million viewers. ne w s re v i e w . c o m
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trivia mondays @ 6:30pm taco tuesdays $1 tacos, $2 coronas open mic wednesdays sign-ups @ 7:30pm karaoke thursdays @ 7:30pm o p e n 7 d ay s a w e e k f o r l u n c h & d i n n e r
36 | SN&R | 05.22.14
Jeremy Briggs performs on Saturday, May 24, at 10 p.m. at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, located at 2708 J Street. Tickets are $15-$20. Visit www.jeremybriggs music.com for more info.
Beyond the cleanse, the Sacramento rocker didn’t prepare too much for The Voice. It all just sort of happened. A recruiter contacted Briggs’ manager about a different singer, and Briggs ended up thrown into the mix. Suddenly, he was at a private audition in San Francisco. He passed through. And he kept passing through. Until he was on television. In the season premiere, he impressed the judges with his rendition of “Bad Company” from the band by the same name. Shakira picked Briggs for her team, but then eliminated the singer during the next round. It may have looked like a brief stint to viewers, but Briggs insists he was involved for a long, long time. “It’s really tough,” he says. “You’ve devoted so much to this show and the process, and literally, it’s done. The next day, you’re on a plane.” Sounds harsh, but Briggs still says the whole experience was amazing. He had his doubts, sure. For years, friends hassled him to audition for American Idol and other singing shows. He didn’t want to sell out. He wanted to build a fan base in a grassroots way.
Now he says the grueling competition show is most definitely not an easy way to fame. And for a lot of contestants, it offers a second chance after years of unsuccessful efforts. But before he knew any of that, Briggs still thought the popular show was different because it was built on mentorship. “The Voice was the first time I watched a show where you could really see the artist development from start to finish,” he says. “I wanted to surround myself with other singers who are incredible and work with people who could make me better.” Briggs has no regrets. He learned loads—The Voice gave Briggs his first formal vocal training, and even social-media lessons. Since the show’s debut in February, he’s amassed 3,000 followers on Twitter, and he posts YouTube videos nearly every week to keep them engaged. Now, he’s focused on his future, hopefully as a full-time musician. “A television show doesn’t make your career,” he says. “You gotta come out of it swinging hard.” Saturday marks his first hometown show since The Voice, and he’s a little nervous. In a way, it’s his coming-out party. He used to perform as the frontman for local rock band Relic 45, but now he’s performing under his own name. At Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, he’ll open his show with an acoustic set before bringing out the full band. Perhaps more than anything else, he’ll show off new confidence. Briggs used to view himself as a guitarist first, and a singer second—he picked up his first guitar when he was 12, and in his high-school band he wrote song lyrics for someone else to sing. He attributes his former aversion to playing under his name to his teamoriented background in baseball, playing and coaching at Sacramento City College.
“Atelevisionshow doesn’tmakeyourcareer. Yougottacomeoutofit swinginghard.” Jeremy Briggs on appearing on The Voice “Now, moving forward, it’s all on me,” he says. Still, he’s writing and performing the same music that he loves: danceable rock ’n’ roll with a Southern edge. It’s a sound that would probably do well in, say, the South. The Elk Grove native is eyeing a move to Texas or Tennessee someday soon—it’s the wiser business choice, he says. But Briggs will miss Sacramento’s fresh produce. Juice cleanses probably aren’t a big thing in Texas. Ω
Not all that jazzed Stay for cabaret: The 41st annual Sacramento Music Festival takes
The other music festival: With a focus on punk, metal, rock and reggae, the Sacramento Colonial Music Fest last weekend was pretty intense—and a steal at $35 for presale tickets for three fulls days of music. The bill was stacked with more than 60 mostly local bands, and they played in the historic Colonial Theatre down on Stockton Boulevard. I dropped by and caught a few sets Sunday night. About 20 people stood at the foot of the stage, with 40 more seated and scattered throughout the vast, 600-person room. Sitting back in a wooden box seat was a strange match for the music, and there wasn’t enough space up front for a mosh pit—though a few certainly tried. Honestly, I was most captivated by the go-go dancers—and the idea of go-go dancers at a hardcore show. Two ladies from KV Entertainment jumped up onto speakers for a few songs each set. Usually the dancers appear at dance clubs and electro parties, wearing neon and glitter. But, apparently, a quick costume change to black boots, fishnets, black underwear and studded belts makes them totally metal. I giggled at the contrast between the scantily clad and the men of local metal band Solanum—even though they were similarly thrashing their hair around. The dancers actually caused the singer of Sour Diesel to pause mid-song and say, “Oh, wow.” Twice. The specific song was a version of Run-D.M.C.’s hit “It’s Tricky.” But as a weed-themed, rap-meets-rockmeets-mock band, the lyrics didn’t repeat “To rock a rhyme.” Instead: “It’s time to toke.” Fittingly, the fest awarded a most-valuable player award to a musician who played in three different bands over the three days. And when asked what advice he had for aspiring rockers, he hardly hesitated: “Smoke weed all day, every day.” —Janelle Bitker
jan el l eb @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
F E AT U R E
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SCANDALIZING NEWSSTANDS 06.12.14
over Old Sacramento this holiday weekend, and its main selling point seems to be: “More music than you can possibly see in 4 days!” This is true. With nearly 100 bands and around 20 locations, you get a lot of bang for your buck timewise. A four-day pass runs about $100, or $40 a day for adults. But the quality this year? Yikes. Traditionally the festival, previously known as (among other incarnations) the Old Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee, used to be all about jazz and its various forms. In recent years, the festival shifted focus, got a new name and started booking some serious legends, like leading rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson, and superclassy blues stars John Lee Hooker Jr. and James Hunter. This year, the festival is stressing more modern acts. It’s an admirable effort, but not when the headliners are ’90s band Collective Soul and singer-songwriter Mat Kearney. If I’m spending my whole day tapping my feet to jazz standards and doing the Lindy Hop, I don’t want a soft-rock ballad to be the grand finale. Trombone Shorty plays on Friday night—and I’m a real sucker for his New Orleans funk—but he can’t carry the whole festival on his own. Other acts playing the main stage are local bands Mumbo Gumbo, and Joy and Madness. Talented, of course, but they play around town all the time. There are a few shining lights, though. I highly recommend checking out Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, who play multiple times Friday through Sunday. Meschiya is a former circus performer who toured through New Orleans, fell in love and made it her home 10 years ago. She put her powerful, rich, ragtime voice to work and now sings with a band of brass behind her. Expect solid, spunky sets from Red Skunk, who return to the festival with ’30s European-inspired swing and vintage theatrics. It plays multiple times, all four days. But for ’30s New Orleans jazz and a full-blown narrative to go along with it, look no further than Vaud and the Villains. The 19-piece orchestra and cabaret show should be a wild, costumed spectacle, with fiddle, banjo, harp and plenty of brass. Catch them on Saturday and Sunday.
If this all sounds fun, but maybe not $100 fun, consider attending the Sacramento Music Festival kick-off party on Thursday, May 22, at the Starlite Lounge (1517 21st Street). It starts at 5:30 p.m., and Oakland-based, Delta-blues trio HowellDevine headlines the soiree. It’s a fun band. With a washboard. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
© SFNTC 2 2014
SCANDALIZING NEWSSTANDS 06.12.14
| A R T S & C U L T U R E
Sacramento News 05-22-14.indd 1
4/16/14 11:02 AM
Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 8 p.m., $10-$12 The Revivalists have fast become one of New Orleans’ must-see bands. The young group is fronted by vocalist David Shaw, a bushyROCK haired, rasping bundle of kinetic energy whose feet seem to never stop moving. It combines multiple styles of music, including traditional American rock, smooth soul, and dark and heavy rock. The solid septet also features the pedal-steel talents of Ed Williams, who played a sweet, skronky solo on a bombastic, funky cover of “Bulls on Parade” at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival a few weeks back. The band recently re-released its 2012 album City of Sound with eight new live tracks recorded at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. 2708 J Street, www.therevivalists.com.
Cesar Chavez Plaza, 5 p.m., no cover Local rockers the Snobs are back in action. Driven by catchy choruses and a wailing saxophone, the Snobs mix the best of early ’80s new wave with pop. Interestingly, the band has roots in the ska scene: Snobs frontman Jason Boggs was in classic ’90s Sacramento ska-funk group Filibuster. There is a hint of ska, funk, reggae and soul in the Snobs’ rock tunes, not unlike the later work of the English Beat and Madness (when those bands moved to pop and away from ska)—or even the Clash album London ROCK Calling, which started to fuse reggae and soul grooves into a previously classic punk sound. 910 I Street, www.myspace.com/thesnobsrock.
Shine, 8 p.m., $5
Witch Room, 9 p.m., $8-$10
With former and current members of Forever Goldrush, 50-Watt Heavy, and Stars & Garters, the Foxtails are basically a Sacramento supergroup. And you might recognize frontman Erik Hanson as the host of the Living Room Sessions at Old Ironsides. Here, AMERICANA he crafts heartbreaking tales and croons to the quartet’s melodic, indie-country rock (pedal steel guitar is prominently featured). Friday marks the Foxtails’ first gig since January, so definitely catch them in case they retreat into hibernation again. Plus, the evening features even more notable local talent: Gabriel Aiello of Drop Dead Red and Pete Barker of Whiskey and Stitches also will perform. 1400 E Street, www.facebook.com/thefoxtails.
Tera Melos is weird, man. For just three dudes, they create a lot of noise. And strange noises. They use “rapidly alternating time signatures,” “two-handed tapping” and “start-stop dynamics.” Don’t know what that means? It doesn’t matter. Just know that it’s complicated, experimental and awesome. You could call it math rock, but Tera Melos doesn’t like being boxed into genres—there are elements of improvisational jazz, ambient electronic, post-punk and even pop going on. Tera Melos also doesn’t really like admitting they’re from Roseville, but they are. Tera Melos does like being weird, EXPERIMENTAL though. Just ask their stuffed hot-dog man onstage. 1815 19th Street, www.teramelos.net.
1000 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
FOR TICKETS TO ALL SHOWS VISIT AssemblyMusicHall.com
For Rentals or Private Parties please contact AssemblyMusicHall@gmail.com
Thurs May 22 @ 9pM
the movement, kayasun Fri May 23 @ 7pM
dance gavin dance after party
fri May 30 @ 8pM 38 | SN&R |
sat May 31 @ 6:30pM
nothing less sun May 25 @ 7pM
Sat May 24 @ 7pM
fri june 6 @ 7pm
Upcoming ShowS JUN 7 JUNe 12 JUNe 13 JUN 14 JUN 17 JUNe 20 JUNe 21 JUNe 26 JUNe 28 JUly 1 JUly 2 JUNe 15 JUly 17 JUly 19 JUly 29 AUg 10 AUg 16 AUg 17
supersuckers The LipsTixx review GeoGrapher kinG buzzo of meLvins doG fashion disco sLaves The siren show cuLTura profeTica asher roTh Touche amore axe murder boyz ok Go foreiGn exchanGe The siren show kevin GaTes israeL vibraTion & The rooTs radic The siren show The reaL mckenzies
Robert Glasper Experiment
Crawdad’s on the River, 10 p.m., $7-$10
Blue Lamp, 8 p.m., $8
Crawdad’s on the River is shaping up to be a hip venue this summer with “party king” (according to Sacramento Magazine) Trevor Shults and “celebrity chef” (according to The Sacramento Bee) Adam Pechal pairing to reopen the business along the banks of the Sacramento River a few months ago. Yes, you can order cool tiki-themed libations and Cajun-influenced bites to enjoy. But the Hipsies, who open for pop cover band the Baja Boyz on Friday—part of the venue’s weekly Rockin’ the River concert series, which lasts FOLK ROCK through May 30—won’t rile up any mosh pits. Their original tunes conjure ’60s psychedelic folk rockers like Fleetwood Mac and the Grateful Dead. 1375 Garden Highway, www.facebook.com/thehipsies.
Red Lion Woodlake Hotel, 7 p.m., $30-$45
Mr. Hooper raps about everyday life, which, on some songs, translates to love, family and facing the trials and tribulations of relationHIP-HOP ships. But on one song, it’s about finding snakes in his backyard—not metaphorically, but literally finding snakes in his garden. The local rapper has been in Sacramento a long time, though most people might know him by his previous moniker, Crazy Ballhead. He’s been DIY from the beginning, writing and releasing all his own tunes. His flow is old school, and his beats are funky, bluesy and packed with cool grooves. He was inducted into the Sammies Hall of Fame in 2008 and keeps bringing the funky rhymes every year. 1400 Alhambra Boulevard, www.mrhoopersmusic.com.
Witch Room, 8 p.m., $6
While the headliner for Robert Glasper Experiment’s upcoming Sacramento show this weekend is Ledisi, let it be known that Glasper’s quartet will draw its own contingent. Led by the group’s namesake keyboardist, expect to hear material from the RGE’s highly praised Black Radio 2 on Blue Note Records, which features such standout tracks as “Calls” featuring Jill Scott and “Trust” featuring Marsha Ambrosius. JAZZ Even though the band’s previous release Black Radio won a Grammy Award for Best R&B album just a year earlier, let’s just say that Glasper has been anything but idle in the songwriting department. Get there on time, OK? 500 Leisure Lane, www.robertglasper.com.
Darlingchemicalia returns to Witch Room for a second live performance since the band’s latest album, Spun in White, released via New York City-based record label A Wicked Company in March. The band’s music alternately ignites ROCK with mood and emotion, and comforts with ambient soundscapes and melancholy vocal melodies. Darlingchemicalia combines ingredients such as the crash of percussion with elements of fuzzy guitars and the pulse of a steady tambourine. The fivepiece—consisting of Ian and Stephine Bone, Michael Feerick, Justin Gonzales and Andrew Henderson—is influenced by other Sactownnatives such as Chelsea Wolfe, Screature and G. Green. It opens for Los Angeles band Tweak Bird. 1815 19th Street, www.facebook.com/ darlingchemicalia.
ACE OF SPADES FRIDAY, MAY 23
DEVILDRIVER / WHITECHAPEL SATURDAY, MAY 24
1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com
ALL AGES WELCOME!
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
RICHARD THE ROCKSTAR - HOPE IN DISGUISE
SATURDAY, JUNE 21
EL GRAN SILENCIO
ANDRE TRUTH - PLAYAH K & REIGN - RAE ROCK - EL CAPITAN - I80 PLAYAZ – GFN - DTR
TUESDAY, JULY 1
FRIDAY, MAY 30
QUE - RICO LOVE
FREDDIE GIBBS - KRIZZ KALIKO - JARREN BENTON PSYCH WARD DRUGGIES - CHERRY RED
FRIDAY, JUNE 6
07/17 JBoog 07/19 Blood on the Dance Floor
07/25 Soulja Boy
CALI BEAR GANG – WEDDOJANSON - DIAMOND DEZ
LES CLAYPOOL’S DUO DE TWANG
06/23 Ingrid Michaelson
07/24 Moonshine Bandits
SATURDAY, JULY 12
SATURDAY, MAY 31
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16
08/23 Y & T 10/28 Airborne Toxic Event
Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202
F E AT U R E
| A R T S & C U L T U R E
DJ Mark West, 9pm, $15-$20
THE GREEN, THE MOVEMENT, KAYASUN; 7:30pm, $15
THE UNLIKELY CANDIDATES, OH BE CLEVER, LIFE IN 24 FRAMES; 7pm, $10
METALACHI, NOTHING LESS; 7pm, $12
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
Karaoke, 7:30pm, no cover
ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, 9:30pm, $5 RADIO HEAVY, 9:30pm, call for cover
VAGABOND BROTHERS, 2-5pm, no cover
Trivia, 6:30pm M, no cover; Open-mic, 7:30pm W, no cover
THE RASKINS, GTM, THE ALEX VINCENT BAND; 8pm, $7
Open-mic, 8pm M; PIGEON JOHN, GRAYSKUL; 8pm Tu, $12; Trivia, 8pm W
MARC RIBOT’S CERAMIC DOG, NICK REINHART, JON BAFUS; 8pm W, $25-$30
ASSEMBLY MUSIC HALL 1000 K St., (916) 832-4751
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101 Main St., Roseville; (916) 774-0505
1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400
SOMEKINDOFWONDERFUL, WESTERN NENEMOE GUNNA, AYE TEE, SESMATIC, HAUNTS, ECHOICS, STEP JAYNE; 8pm, $7 JAMIE SOVICIOUS REDMOND; 8pm, $7
FAILED DIPLOMACY, THE CREEPOIDS,
FALLRISE, 9 ELECTRIC, KNEE HIGH FOX, CONCEIVED IN CHAOS, TYPE19, PETTY DEDVOLT, ALPHA COMPLEX; 7:30pm, $20 EDUCATION, RUINS, STROKERZ; 8pm
CENTER FOR THE ARTS
SUZANNE VEGA, ARI HEST; 8pm, $45-$55
SHAWN COLVIN, STEVE EARLE; 8pm, $65
CATHERINE SCHOLZ, 8pm, $18-$22
SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO; 2pm, $10-$12
DJ Audio1, 10pm, call for cover
DJ Ellen Degenerate, 10pm, call for cover
Heroes and Villians, 9pm, call for cover
9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 OCCUPY THE TREES, XOCHITL; 8pm 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384
1016 K St., (916) 737-5770
SEA LEGS, DYLAN MASSIVE; 9pm, no cover
2000 K St., (916) 448-7798
FOX & GOOSE
DOUG MARTIN, 8pm, no cover
1001 R St., (916) 443-8825
Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10
Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10
SACTO SOUL REBELS, BLACK STAR SAFARI; 9pm, $5
SHAWN BROWN III, 9pm, $5
G STREET WUNDERBAR Hey local bands!
MR. HOOPER, RETROGRADE REVOLUTION, MR. P CHILL, NSAA; 8pm, $8
Deuling Pianos, 9pm, no cover
1022 K St., (916) 737-5999
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.
Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3
Dragalicious, 9pm, $5
Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu; Northern Soul, 8pm W, no cover
WALKING TALL, SUCKER PUNCH; 8pm, $5
228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227
THE GOLDEN BEAR
DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover
DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover
DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover
TAKE OUT, 9pm-midnight, $5
INNER SOUL, 9pm-midnight, $5
THE REVIVALISTS, 8pm, $10-$12
J*RAS & SOULIFTED, LOVE MISCHIEF, WHITE BOY DANCE PARTY; 10pm, $8
JEREMY BRIGGS, 10pm, $5-$20
1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931
Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2
THE SIGNIFIERS, KILO & PEPPER; 8pm, $5
GARY WEINBERG, AARON LINKIN; 8pm, $5
MARILYN’S ON K
REMIX, ABBY NORMAL; 8pm, $8-$10
EXILES ON MAIN STREET, TRES HOMBRES; 9pm, $10-$12
POLLYWOG CREW, REVOLVER, THUNDER COVER; 9pm, $10-$12
FOXTROT MARY, JOHNNY THROWBACK; 8pm, $8-$10
Karaoke, 9pm M, no cover; Greatest Stories Ever Told, 8pm Tu, no cover
Gothic, industrial, EBM, ’80s, synthpop dancing, 9pm-2am, $3-$5
Goth, darkwave, industrial, electronic deejay dancing, 9pm-3am, call for cover
Swing dancing, 7:30pm Tu, $6; Salsa lessons with Nicole Lazo, 7:30pm W, $5
2326 K St., (916) 441-2252
HALFTIME BAR & GRILL
5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin; (916) 626-6366
2708 J St., (916) 441-4693
LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR 908 K St., (916) 446-4361
Electronic, house and deep-bass deejay dancing, 9pm-2am, call for cover
NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN
DUST BOWL DAWN, HIDDEN EMPIRE; 8:30pm, $5
1119 21st St., (916) 549-2779 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927
CLASS M PLANETS, PAT HULL, WESTERN LIGHTS; 8:30pm, $5
2708 J street sacramento, Ca 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com
XOCHITL, THE SAD JUICEES, STEP JAYNE; 8:30pm, $5
Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover
Trivia night, W, call for cover Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover
Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6
Jazz session, 8pm M, no cover; Sean Lehe Presents: Rare Grooves, 8:30pm W, $5
cocktail lounge & concert hall THU MAY 22 | 8PM | $7 COVER
- May 22 New OrleaNs FuNk
the revivalists the nibblers •
7pm • $12
- May 30 -
pimps of joytime
jelly bread • 8pm • $15 adv
- may 31 -
ancient astronaut - May 23 -
j ras & soulifted love mischief, white boy dance party, rubbidy buppidy 9:30pm • $8
nice monster 5:30pm • $7
- may 31 -
reggae vibes with dj hype 10pm • $10
- May 24 -
jeremy briggs 9:30pm • $15 adv
- June 3 -
nice peter the jackpot golden boys 6:30pm • $18 all ages
Coming Soon June 04 June 06 June 07 June 08 June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 21 June 25 June 27 June 28 July 03 July 05 July 11 July 15 July 16 July 18 July 20 July 21 July 23 Aug 07 Aug 14
Old Man Markley Emily Kollars Band The Tubes Walking Spanish Ages and Ages Brown Sabbath Hillstomp/Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit Prezident Brown Global Guitar Greats Average White Band Robin Zandr of Cheap Trick Tainted Love Southern Culture on the Skids The Brothers Comatose SambaDa / The Nibblers Esau McGraw Midnight Players Robert Francis The Infamous Stringdusters Eric Bibb Matt Schofield Rakim People Under the Stairs The Hold Steady A Snarky Puppy Built To Spill
SOMEKINDOFWONDERFUL, WESTERN HAUNTS, ECHOICS, STEP JAYNE FRI MAY 23 | 8PM | $7 COVER
PT/LL PROMOTIONS PRESENTS HEAT 4 DA STREETS-LIVE HIP HOP SAT MAY 24 | 8PM | $8 COVER
MR. HOOPER, RETROGRADE REVOLUTION, MR. P CHILL, NSAA, LAUREN WAKEFIELD, VAN GO THE POET TUES MAY 27 | 8PM | $12 COVER
PIGEON JOHN, GRAYSKUL, ALUMNI, LIL’ BIT & CHRIS HENERY, WHO CARES, RAFAEL VIGILANTICS THU MAY 29 | 8PM | $5 COVER
MRS HOWL, SIX BEERS DEEP, SAD JUICES EVERY 2ND & 4TH MON | 7:30PM
EVERY WED | 8-10PM | NO COVER
NAUGHTY TRIVIA EVERY DAY | 2-7PM
HAPPY HOUR EVERY SUN | 9-CLOSE | FREE BEFORE 10PM $3 COVER
1400 Alhambra Blvd 916.455.3400 www.bluelampsacramento.com
THURSDAY 5/22 OLD IRONSIDES
1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504
ON THE Y
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE
DJ Cash Cash, 9pm-2am, $20
PARLARE EURO LOUNGE
Top 40, 9pm, no cover
670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222
1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960
BLAQUELISTED, SLEEPROCKERS; 9pm, $5
50-WATT HEAVY, AMERICAN DIRT, MATT WOODS; 8:30pm, $6
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover
DJ Eddie Edul, 9pm-2am, $15
DJ Peeti V, 9pm-2am, $15
DJ Crooked, 9pm-2am, $10
Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover
DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover
PINE COVE TAVERN
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 5/26-5/28 Karaoke w/ Sac City Entertainment, 9pm Tu, no cover; Open-mic, 9pm W, no cover Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover
Sleeprockers with Blaquelisted 9pm Friday, $5. Old Ironsides Hip-hop
HERO’S LAST MISSION, 9-11pm, no cover Open-mic, 10pm-1am Tu, no cover
502 29th St., (916) 446-3624
PINS N STRIKES
3443 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 226-2625
DJ Supe, 10pm, $10
SOLSA, 9pm, $10
Ballroom dancing with Jim Truesdale, 6:30pm W, no cover
ASHLEY BUCHART, 10pm, call for cover
WONDERBREAD 5, 10pm, call for cover
BOOMBOX, 10pm, call for cover
LANE BALDWIN, 3pm, call for cover
Lve-band karaoke, 8pm Tu; OUTLINED, THE CASH CARTELL BAND; 8pm W, $5
THE PRESS CLUB
DJ Missy Mark, 9pm, no cover
Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5
Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5
Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5
PAUL GORDON, 9pm M, no cover; HECKARAP, 9pm W, no cover
SHADY LADY SALOON
AFTERLIFE, 9pm, no cover
JULIE AND THE JUKES, 9pm, no cover
GOLDEN CADILLACS, 9pm, no cover
DOUBLE P REVIEW, 9pm, no cover
DJ Shaun Slaughter, 9pm Tu, no cover; ARLYN ANDERSON, 9pm W, no cover
SOPHIA’S THAI KITCHEN
Latin Night w/ DJ Ciel, 9pm, no cover
HOWELL DEVINE, THE AFTERLIFE; 9pm, call for cover
JUDGE UNGER, WE ARE RELENTLESS, CONTRADDICTION; 9pm, call for cover
JEDI SCUM, JKKFO; 9pm, call for cover
STONEY INN/ROCKIN’ RODEO
JACKSON MICHELSON, DAVE BERNAL; 8pm, $5
Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover; $5 after 8pm
Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover; $5 after 8pm
Country dance party, 8pm, no cover
STEEL BREEZE, GWEN IN DOUBT; 6pm, $5
8 TRACKS, 5pm, $5
CINEMA 7, ASHLEY BUCHART; 2pm, $5
614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586 2030 P St., (916) 444-7914 1409 R St., (916) 231-9121
129 E St., Davis; (530) 758-4333 1517 21st St., (916) 706-0052
1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023
BOMBA FRIED RICE, EGG; 9:30pm, $5
5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088
DAVE GONZALEZ & THE BRANDED MEN; 9pm Tu; Karaoke, 9pm W, call for cover Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover
X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; HUNTER & THE DIRTY JACKS, 9pm, $5
PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; JOHN NEMETH, 9pm, $10
BIG EARL & THE CRYIN’ SHAME, STEVEN HARLIS SWEETWATER, BIG STICKY ROTH, DANIEL CASTRO; 6pm, $15 MESS; 4pm, $15
ISLAND OF BLACK & WHITE, 9pm Tu, $5; Open-mic, 5:30pm W; LEW FRATIS, 9pm W
THE ZEBRAS, IMAGINARY PANTS, ARTS & LEISURE; 8pm, $6
TERA MELOS, GENTLEMAN SURFER, SO STRESSED; 9pm, $8-$10
WIMPS, MEDIA JEWELER, VASAS; 9pm, $5
TWEAK BIRD, DARLING CHEMICALIA; 8pm M, $6
904 15th St., (916) 443-2797 1815 19th St., www.witchroomsac.com
Suzanne Vega with Ari Hest 8pm Thursday, $45-$55. Center for the Arts Folk and pop
All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES
H.I.S., 7pm, $20
DEVILDRIVER, WHITECHAPEL; 6:30pm, $20
EL GRAN SILENCIO, BANG DATA; 8pm, $20
THE STUFF, CHICKEN & DUMPLING; 8pm, $5
THE FOXTAILS, DAMON WYCKOFF, PETE BARKER; 8pm, $5
JOSEPH IN THE WELL, BRIAN CHRIS ROGERS BAND, PENDING BLACK; 8pm, $5
1417 R St., (916) 448-3300 1400 E St., (916) 551-1400
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Regulators, mount Everyone says that California needs to do a better job regulating marijuana. What’s going on at the Capitol? —J.A. Bill Senate Bill 1262 and Assembly Bill 1894 are both making their way through the various committees and whatnot as we speak. Let’s take a look: A.B. 1894, sponsored by Tom Ammiano (I love him; we used to do comedy together way back in the day), would place the medical-cannabis industry BEALUM under the auspices of the California Department by NGAIO of Alcoholic Beverage Control and allow cities to impose a tax of up to 5 percent on top of state sales tax. A.B. 1894 also places a few more regulations a s k 4 2 0 @n e wsr e v ie w.c o m on doctors. Pros: statewide medical-marijuana regulation. Cons: more regs on doctors and the worry that the ABC will try to shut down smaller grows in favor of larger facilities, displacing mom-and-pop businesses. S.B. 1262 from Sen. Lou Correa would put clubs under the aegis of the California Department of Public Health and direct it to work with the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to come up with workable regulations. Pros: statewide medical-cannabis regulation. Cons: The rules prohibiting doctors from recommending butane hash oil have been removed, although it seems the rule requiring all transported cannabis California should to be inventoried on video raise privacy and set up a separate may self-incrimination concerns. medical-marijuana This may be a necessary trade-off. department. Colorado requires video surveillance from seed to sale. I get that the authorities want to make sure there is no diversion to the black market, but until marijuana is legal at the federal level, it seems risky to record yourself around large amounts of marijuana. The feds can be kind of capricious sometimes (see the Ogden memo). Also, 1262 sets no timetable for implementation. Without a deadline, things like this tend to drag on and on. Bottom line: Neither of these are perfect, but they are steps in the right direction. I personally think California should set up a separate medical-marijuana department, but Gov. Jerry Brown is against that idea. Americans for Safe Access has come out against A.B. 1894 in its Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento current form, but has some hope for S.B. 1262. We comedian, activist will see if the California Legislature can get it together and marijuana expert. enough to pass one of these bills. In the long run, it may Email him questions all be moot, as legalization is on the way in 2016. at ask420@ newsreview.com.
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say that Blue Dream is my all-time favorite hybrid ever! I haven’t ever heard anyone say the same, so I was stoked to read that it’s yours, too! Happy smokin’! —Heather My pleasure! Happy smoking to you, too! But I may be changing my mind about Blue Dream because Blue City Diesel is moving up in my personal rankings. Let me ask you guys: What are your favorite hybrid strains? Any new ones I should know about? Ω
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counterculture shapes attitudes on medicinal use The history of medical marijuana (part 3 of 3)
y the mid-1960s, the cultural landscape in the United States was beginning to change. Federal and state governments still enforced harsh punishments for possessing or using cannabis, but more people began using it. It was particularly popular among white, upper middle-class young adults, who adopted more liberal positions on issues such as Civil Rights and the ongoing Vietnam War. This counterculture movement became highly influential in helping shape cannabis legislation in the next decade. With cannabis use on the rise, both President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned studies on its use, finding that it neither caused violent behavior, nor led to the use of harder drugs. Still, laws across the country remained largely unchanged until 1970, when Congress repealed most of the mandatory penalties for drug-related offenses. By this time it was widely acknowledged that the drug war that began in the 1930s had been unsuccessful and costly, with unnecessarily harsh punishments. But it wasn’t over.
When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, he vowed to take a hardline approach toward drug use and drug users. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act signed into law by Reagan in 1986 reraised the federal penalties for cannabis possession and dealing. Marijuana and heroin became considered equally dangerous under the new guidelines. However, after another decade of failed drug policy, the pendulum of public opinion began to swing the other way. The Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, was passed by California voters in 1996, allowing the sale and medical use of cannabis for people diagnosed with AIDS, cancer and other illnesses. In 2003, SB 420 established an ID card system for patients, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1449 in 2010, making possession of up to one ounce a minor violation. Today, medical cannabis use in California remains decriminalized. But state laws stand in conflict with current federal laws regarding cannabis use.
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Timeline: 1965-1969 Counterculture movement adopts more lenient attitudes toward cannabis
1980 Reagan is elected president, vowing to enact harsh punishments for drug users
1970 Congress repeals mandatory penalties for people arrested using cannabis
2003 Gov. Gray Davis signs SB 420, establishing an ID card system for medical marijuana patients
1996 Proposition 215 is passed by California voters, allowing the sale and use of medical marijuana for AIDS, cancer and other illnesses
2010 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs SB 1449, making possession of up to one ounce a minor violation
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): I believe
your persuasive powers will be stronger than usual in the weeks ahead. The words coming out of your mouth will sound especially interesting. I also suspect that your intelligence will get at least a temporary upgrade. The clarity of your thoughts will intensify. You will see truths you have been blind to in the past. Innovative solutions to long-running dilemmas are likely to occur to you. The only potential snag is that you might neglect to nurture your emotional riches. You could become a bit too dry and hard. But now that I’ve warned you of that possibility, let’s hope you will take steps to ensure it won’t happen.
was a hall of fame for scientists, physicist Isaac Newton (1642-1727) would have been the charter member. He was like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were to rock ’n’ roll, like Babe Ruth was to baseball. The theory of gravity and the three laws of motion were his gifts to the world. He made major contributions to mathematics and optics, and was a central figure in defining modern science. There is also a legend that he invented the cat door, inspired by his pet felines. Whether or not that’s true, it serves as an excellent metaphor for this horoscope. It’s an excellent time for you to apply your finest talents and highest intelligence to dream up small, mundane, but practical innovations.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “We are
all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours,” wrote novelist Heidi R. Kling. That’s good advice for you to keep in mind these days, Scorpio. Those little imps and rascals that live within you may get you into bad trouble if they feel bored. But if you arrange for them to have play dates with the imps and rascals of people you trust, they are far more likely to get you into good trouble. They may even provide you with bits of gritty inspiration. What’s that you say? You don’t have any demons? Not true. Everyone has them.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
“When people tell you who they are, believe them,” wrote blogger Maria Popova (www.brainpickings.org). “Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.” Those suggestions are especially crucial for you to keep in mind these days. You are entering a phase when your best relationships will be up for review and revision and revitalization. To foster an environment in which intimacy will thrive, you’ve got to be extra receptive, curious, tolerant and tender. That’s all! Not hard, right? A good place to start is to proceed as if your allies know who they are better than you do—even as you ask them to return the favor.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): During the
next 12 months you will have exceptional opportunities to soak up knowledge, add to your skill set and get the training you need to pursue interesting kinds of success in the coming six to eight years. What’s the best way to prepare? Develop an exciting new plan for your future education. To get in the mood, try the following: Make a list of your most promising but still unripe potentials, meditate on the subjects that evoke your greatest curiosity, brainstorm about what kinds of experiences would give you more control over your destiny, and study three people you know who have improved their lives by taking aggressive steps to enhance their proficiency.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
“Kludge” (pronounced klooj) is a slang word that refers to a clumsy but effective fix for an engineering problem. It’s a cobbled-together solution that works fine, at least temporarily, even though it is inelegant or seems farfetched. Let’s use this concept in a metaphorical way to apply to you. I’m guessing that you will be a kludge master in the coming days. You will be skilled at making the best of mediocre situations. You may have surprising success at doing things that don’t come naturally, and I bet you will find unexpected ways to correct glitches that no one else has any idea about how to fix.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): The moon
shows us a different phase every 24 hours, which makes it seem changeable. But in fact, not much actually happens on the moon. It has no atmosphere, no weather, no wind, no plant life, no seasons. There is some water, but it’s all frozen. Is there anything like this in your own life, Cancerian? Something that on the surface of things seems to be in constant motion, but whose underlying state never actually shifts or develops? According to my analysis, now would be an excellent time for you to revise the way you understand this part of your world and then update your relationship with it.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I
hesitate to compare you to your fellow Aquarian Kim Jong Il. When he was alive and ruling North Korea, he was an egomaniacal tyrant. You’re definitely not that. But there are certain descriptions of him in his official biography that remind me of the kinds of powers you may soon exhibit. He was called The Great Sun of Life and Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradely Love, for instance. Titles like that might suit you. It is said that he invented the hamburger. He could command rain to fall from the sky. He once shot 11 holes-in-one in a single round of golf, was a master of gliding down waterslides, and never had to use a toilet because he produced no waste. You may be able to express comparable feats in the coming weeks. (Do it without falling prey to excessive pride, OK?)
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Have you thought
of organizing a crowdfunding campaign to boost your pet project or labor of love? I suggest you get serious about it in the next four weeks. This coming phase of your cycle will be a favorable time to expand your audience, attract new allies and build a buzz. You will have a sixth sense about how to wield your personal charm to serve your long-term goals. More than usual, your selfish interests will dovetail with the greater good—perhaps in unexpected ways.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Even if
you had a sensitive, nurturing mommy when you were growing up, and even if she continues to play an important role in your life, now would be a good time to learn how to mother yourself better. You are finally ready to appreciate how important it is to be your own primary caregiver. And I’m hoping you are no longer resistant to or embarrassed about the idea that part of you is still like a child who needs unconditional love 24-seven. So get started! Treat yourself with the expert tenderness that a crafty maternal goddess would provide.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Years ago
I had a Virgo friend who was a talented singer. She had technical skill, stylistic flair and animal magnetism, making her worthy of being a lead vocalist in almost any great band. And yet when she was asleep and had dreams of performing, she often found herself standing in the shadows, barely visible and singing tentatively, while her backup singers hogged the spotlight at center stage. Moral of the story: Some of you Virgos are shy about claiming your full authority. It doesn’t always come easy for you to shine your light and radiate your power. And yet you can most definitely learn to do so. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to make progress in this direction.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “There is
always an enormous temptation in all of life,” wrote Annie Dillard, “to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and
meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. ... I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright.” Your assignment in the coming weeks, Libra, is to transcend whatever is itsy-bitsy about your life. The alternative? Head toward the frontier and drum up experiences that will thrill your heart and blow your mind.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If there
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. |
F E AT U R E
PHOTO BY BOBBY MULL
For the week of May 22, 2014
Church of the changing heart The Rev. Alan Jones’ studies and ministry have taken him across the globe—from his hometown of Halifax, England, to Africa and on to Sacramento where he’s served as the senior pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church (2391 St. Mark’s Way) since 2011. Jones, whose degrees include a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Wales and a Doctor of Ministry from Claremont School of Theology, also has extensive training in marriage and family counseling. Jones, who says he believes in church as a place of inclusion and growth, recently chatted with SN&R about the politics of poverty, the doctrines of faith and his odd association with James Earl Ray.
You had a whole career before you ended up here at St. Mark’s, but it took a different route than most ministers. [In college] I was really interested in international politics ... and in economic justice and poverty as international issues. So that was where I was heading and then found myself suddenly hijacked into ministry and into the life of the church.
Then you went on to Africa. I’ve lived in Africa twice, both in former British colonies and [have seen] the good side, but mainly the disadvantages of the colonial system and what that does to people and how it leaves countries when you suddenly have independence and you’re trying to get things organized.
After seminary you ended up at Holman United Methodist Church, an African-American church in downtown Los Angeles. Right, [it was] a very rich experience and really wonderful to be in an AfricanAmerican world and discover the beauty and the dignity of the African-American experience, the sort of refining that came out of the experience of slavery and oppression. But also, I spent a lot of time in court with kids and saw the way the justice system, white justice, was really abusing black people. It was horrendous. And what made it even worse was that if I was there with a kid from the youth group, the judge would review them very differently, if they had this white guy standing there. It was just hideous.
I heard the most bizarre story of Jim Lawson, a colleague of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, performing a marriage ceremony for— James Earl Ray’s wedding? That was strange for me because then I [did press |
A RT S & C U LT U R E
for the church at that time in 1978]. And so here’s this wise Englishman talking about this African-American guy who is doing this wedding ceremony for King’s assassin. But it was entirely consistent. Jim Lawson believes in a God of grace and a God of justice, and every person is a child of God and needs to be treated equally.
One of the big issues, of course, with the United Methodist denomination was gay marriage. The church started performing ceremonies, and one of them was conducted by the “Sacramento 68” in 1999. I’ve done a lot a lot of weddings throughout my clergy career, and I tell you, it’s an odd business. Some of them are really wonderful, and it’s an opportunity to enter into the intimacy of people’s relationships. I’ve said repeatedly, I do think the gay community at St. Mark’s or in the church generally is a real gift to the church and our generation because what they have done is pushed the rest of us to be much more open about who we are and about sexuality and just about life.
In 1999, the official United Methodist position was that being gay was a sin. You couldn’t be in the Christian faith and be gay. What were the words the church used? “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” is the language. |
This was in the late ’90s. And [the language is] still there.
And nonetheless, 68 people, primarily ministers, all came together to marry a gay couple here in Sacramento. Right, and there were 68 of us who ... felt that it was important to say that we trust gay people to make good decisions about their lives and relationships.
When people talk about all of these issues, they act like they’ve been the same for centuries. Yet, clearly in our own lifetimes we’ve seen them changing. Anybody who believes that they have the definitive answer to whatever, I believe they are fooling themselves. It’s a constant process of reviewing, experiencing and entering into people’s experience of life to discover the new revelation.
You said a changing church is a more vibrant one? Or? What other kind of church could there be?
One that sounds like they don’t change. Anything that is not changing is dying. If you are to be alive, you have to be constantly reviewing and doing things in different ways. Ω