ALL THE NEWS NOT FIT TO PRINT
Project Censored’s top 10 stories of 2016
COuRAgE HOuSE’S LATEST dRAmA
Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly
mORE K.J. EmAILS
Volume 28, iSSue 33
47 thurSday, decemBer
HOLd ON TO THOSE POT bROWNIES
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dECEMBER 1, 2016 | Vol. 28, iSSuE 33
18 13 Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Rachel Leibrock Associate Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Arts & Culture Editor Janelle Bitker Assistant Editor Anthony Siino Editorial Services Coordinator Karlos Rene Ayala Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Contributors Daniel Barnes, Ngaio Bealum, Alastair Bland, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Willie Clark, Deena Drewis, Joey Garcia, Cosmo Garvin, Blake Gillespie, Lovelle Harris, Jeff Hudson, Dave Kempa, Jim Lane, Kel Munger, Kate Paloy, Patti Roberts, Ann Martin Rolke, Shoka, Bev Sykes
32 Design Manager Lindsay Trop Art Directors Brian Breneman, Margaret Larkin Production Coordinator Skyler Smith Designer Kyle Shine Marketing/Publications Design Manager Serene Lusano Marketing/Publications Designer Sarah Hansel Contributing Photographers Lisa Baetz, Darin Bradford, Kevin Cortopassi, Evan Duran, Luke Fitz, Jon Hermison, Shoka, Lauran Fayne Worthy Director of Sales and Advertising Corey Gerhard Sales Coordinator Joanna Graves Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Olla Swanson, Joy Webber, Kelsi White Advertising Consultants Stephanie Johnson, Matt Kjar, Paul McGuinness, Wendy Russell, Manushi Weerasinghe Lead Director of First Impressions & Sales Assistant David Lindsay Director of First Impressions Hannah Williams Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Kimberly Bordenkircher, Daniel Bowen, Heather Brinkley,
59 Allen Brown, Mike Cleary, Jack Clifford, Lydia Comer, Rob Dunnica, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Joanna Gonzalez-Brown, Greg Meyers, Aswad Morland, Kenneth Powell, Gilbert Quilatan, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Jonathan Taea, Lori Lovell N&R Publications Editor Michelle Carl N&R Publications Associate Editor Kate Gonzales N&R Publications Writers Anne Stokes Senior N&R Publications Consultant Dave Nettles N&R Publications Consultant Julie Sherry Marketing & Publications Consultant Steve Caruso President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Executive Coordinator Carlyn Asuncion Director of People & Culture David Stogner Project Coordinator Natasha vonKaenel Director of Dollars & Sense Nicole Jackson Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Dargitz Sweetdeals Specialist/HR Coordinator Courtney DeShields Nuts & Bolts Ninja Christina Wukmir Developer John Bisignano, Jonathan Schultz System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins
04 05 06 13 14 18 21 23 28 30 32 39 47 59
STREETALK LETTERS NEwS + beaTS ScoREKEEpER FEATuRE SToRy ARTS&cuLTuRE NighT&dAy diSh + off MeNu STAgE FiLm muSic + SouNd adVice ASK joEy ThE 420 15 miNuTES
coVER dESigN By mARgARET LARKiN
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Use it or lose it On Tuesday, Donald Trump tweeted that “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Whether the tweet was meant as a distraction from other issues, it nonetheless served to remind that Trump either has a startling contempt for Constitutional rights or a basic lack of understanding about what such rights entail. Perhaps both. The First Amendment, of course, protects freedom of expression. The right to speak freely, the right to protest, the right to burn flags, if you will. The First Amendment also protects, among other things, the right to a free press. Trump’s clear mockery and reckless disregard for journalists, however, make that right feel tenuous at best. But it’s journalists and reputable news outlets that will hold Trump accountable. It’s journalists and reputable news outlets that will dig beneath the surface and shed light on subjects that might otherwise get overshadowed by blustery distractions and, yes, inflammatory tweets. That’s why this week’s feature story is so important. For 40 years the folks behind Project Censored have found and highlighted important topics that the corporate mainstream media has missed. And this year’s list is a must-read (See “All the news not fit to print,” page 14): the massive expansion of U.S. military forces across the globe; Big Pharma’s ever-creeping corporate greed; the possible impact of search engine algorithms on the recent presidential election. Freedom of the press is still a constitutional right; the more we exercise it, the less danger there is of losing it.
—Rachel leibRock r a c h e ll@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
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“EvEryonE I know haS a mInImum of two jobS.”
askEd at J and 10th strEEts:
Is Sacramento affordable?
I do not think Sacramento is ... affordable. Everyone I know has a minimum of two jobs. And if they only have one, they are homeless or stacked like sardines in some house. I feel Redding has more opportunities, and has more ... affordable ... living, but they don’t have ... access to things like cities do.
I used to live in the Bay Area. We moved out here because Sacramento is so much more affordable to live. The house we used to live in Fremont, was probably three times smaller than the one we live in now and cost four times as much as the house we live in now.
ashEEk a hEndErson call center worker
Sacramento ... can be an affordable city to live in, especially compared to San Francisco. Me, having a minimum wage job, I can make it in Sacramento. There’s so much diversity in Sacramento. I love downtown, everything’s got it’s own unique touch. Sacramento is definitely home.
Mat t rEEVEs
ElizaBEth ChoutE au
I definitely think so, with the comparison of it being next to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. As far as living costs, it’s affordable, but businesswise, it’s ... getting a little bit expensive with the arena. Rent around the area is going up, just because of the estimated economic boom, and the potential of the market.
With ... recent improvements ... prices have been going up everywhere. Especially with minimum wage being $10, and some one bedrooms are over $1,000 a month. Downtown is becoming unaffordable, but on the outskirts, like Oak Park and West Sac, it’s still affordable, but even ... they’re raising the prices.
Sacramento is not as affordable as it used to be. There are a lot of things they are trying to improve, so prices are higher. We have to pay back stuff to have what we want, basically. It’s more affordable compared to LA or Chicago or New York, but it’s definitely not as affordable as it used to be.
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Still in Sac Re “Make America dumb again” by Raheem F. Hosseini and John Flynn (SN&R News, November 24): Trump announced he is not hiring Michelle Rhee for Department of Education Director and she stated she was not interested in the position after meeting with Trump. Too bad, because if she had been hired for the job it meant both Rhee and K.J. would leave town just like the Maloofs. K.J. doesn’t even bother to show up the majority of the time for Tuesday night city council meetings and Darrell Steinberg already started working on mayoral duties several months ago. Why is K.J. still collecting a paycheck if he is not doing his job?
Colleen Whalen S acr am e nt o
To better health Re “A place to go” by Corey Rodda and Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R News, November 24): Thanks for sharing the opening of a modern mental
health facility in Sacramento. It seems to me, like many others, that there cannot be enough mental “health.” So having new, easily accessible and affordable resources to attend to brain health is commendable. I differ with
[Darrell] Steinberg’s closing remarks about his daughter in this article. This does seem typical of a bad family mentalhealth pattern, which appears prominent to me. “Everybody knows one” might be better put as “everybody is one,” including the Mr. Steinbergs, the Mr. Trumps and workers in the mental health system themselves. Claire Warshaw Sacramento
Election trickery Re “Not their president” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R News, November 17): Some people are still saying Donald Trump won the election. For all you braindead nonthinkers and Republicans, Donald Trump is losing the presidential election by 2 million votes; Hillary Clinton, the winner of the 2016 presidential election, is
ahead by 2 million votes. But what difference does it make when another election has been turned upside down by Republican’s and their legislative trickery? Ron Lowe Nevada City
Correction Re: “Throwing flames” by John Flynn (SN&R News, November 24): The story incorrectly stated that Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Michelle Eidam confirmed the employment of Don Martin, whose Facebook posts have come under question. A different SMFD employee confirmed Martin’s employment. SN&R regrets the error.
On whEThEr ThE planET Can SurvivE Trump: hes a climate denier. no hope at all ChriS Matheny v ia Fa c e b o o k
on Kanye’S tWo-Song ShoW at the golden 1 Center and hiS SubSequent hoSpitalization: What some may deem an “artist’s temperament” is most likely undiagnosed mental illness. It’s entertainment to the masses but it is probably an honest glimpse into the truth of what many deal with in themselves or their family members.
erin duarte v ia Fa c e b o o k
online Buzz contributions are not edited for grammar, spelling or clarity.
12.01.16 | SN&R | 5
Courage House founder Jenny Williamson says “all hell has broken loose” since her anti-human trafficking organization declared its intent to expand operations. IllustratIon by serene lusano
absence of courage Anti-trafficking charity defends itself against regulatory violations, says state would force it to accept Satan by Raheem F. hosseini
an extended version of this story is available at www.newsreview .com/sacramento.
standing before a partisan congregation and the live-stream audience she hoped was donating at home, Courage Worldwide Inc. CEO Jenny Williamson did her best to Christsplain the troubling accusations blemishing her chances for sainthood. It was August 28, just days after a raft of state regulatory violations against her six-bed group home for sexually trafficked girls had come to light in the pages of The Sacramento Bee. More than two months before the Bee story ran, however, internal turmoil had prompted
6 | SN&R | 12.01.16
the group home to quietly suspend operations until Williamson could put her so-called Courage House in order. That has yet to happen. Now entering the sixth month of what was supposed to be a six-week “pause,” SN&R has learned of two additional complaints regarding poor medical care, including one that resulted in a girl’s medical emergency. Fundraisers like the one in Elk Grove, meanwhile, never stopped. Standing on Living Water Church’s warmly lit stage, for an 11-year
r a h e e mh @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
anniversary “gala,” Williamson framed the crisis in religious terms. “It’s just really interesting to me that a year ago … we had the same celebration,” Williamson told the gathering, referring to an event where she reiterated plans to expand Courage House’s capacity tenfold. “And ever since we said ‘expand,’ it seems like all hell has broken loose. It makes sense from biblical proportions, right?” Williamson has shown an aptitude for playing the martyr. On one side, it’s “Mama Jenny,” as she likes to be called,
the children and her dream of 1,000 Courage homes in 100 countries. On the other side, the media that elevated her and the state regulators she’s accused of forcing her organization to accept Satan-worshipers and policies that could boomerang kids back into trafficking. But if anyone seems to be making money off of exploited children, it’s Williamson. Not long ago, if you asked anyone in the Sacramento region about the problem of child sex trafficking, odds were pretty good you’d be referred to Williamson. Cop, prosecutor, FBI official—they all deferred to the Granite Bay life coach who built an international empire out of her Christianity-infused mission to rescue kids conscripted to sexual slavery. It’s an effective story, one that Williamson first promoted in a Bee profile eight years ago and has been retelling ever since. For at least four years, the story has included an appeal for money that will finance new cottages here as well as a “national expansion plan” slated to begin in her home state of
K.J. emails, redux see NeWs
HuNger’s NeW cHalleNge see greeNligHT
ucd club HosTs breiTbarT ediTor see scoreKeePer
No THaNKs Mississippi and in Texas. Funding poured in from both private and government sources, but those additional homes were never built. Some of Courage’s young clients and former employees, meanwhile, feel they’ve been forgotten. According to records from the California Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing division, the licensed group home has been cited 36 times since February 2012. That’s almost one regulatory violation for each of the approximately 40 girls who have come through Courage House since it opened August 2011 in an undisclosed part of Northern California. Taken as a whole, Courage House’s regulatory demerits portray an organization that puts the care of its trafficked clients second to the financial goals and reputation of its ambitious founder, who advertises her motivational speaking brand and book on the Courage Worldwide website. Williamson has characterized the problems as overblown (or, alternately, biblically important), and she and her board have vowed to contest state regulatory actions they claim will put their vulnerable charges in danger. “As long as there are children being sold for sex, we will move forward until we cannot move anymore,” Williamson told the anniversary gathering. “That is the vow that we made.” The strain began showing this spring. The state received word on June 6 that Courage House was planning to temporarily shut down its group home due to a staffing shortage that could no longer “meet the needs of the clients in care,” according to a facility evaluation report dated that same day. But the organization’s internal problems didn’t become known until the media forced Williamson’s hand several weeks later. Today, her attempts to reshape the narrative have included telling the public that the state began citing her facility after it announced its intent to “pause” operations—hinting at some sort of bureaucratic backlash after years of hands-off government aid. “We didn’t close because of those citations. They came after we made the decision to pause,” she told attendees in Elk Grove. “Everything changed for us after that happened, because now, the state has drawn a line in the sand that we believe are safety issues.” That first part, at least, is inaccurate. Formal complaints brought state investigators to Courage House’s bucolic
grounds eight times before its administraratings from charity evaluators like tors stopped accepting new girls. GuideStar and Charity Navigator. Both On March 30, more than two months scores were based on self-reported before the “pause,” state investigators financials from 2014, before the current substantiated a resident’s complaints troubles. Charity Navigator gave Courage that staff had confiscated and searched Worldwide three out of four stars. her cellphone without reasonable cause, Williamson also described the girls as resulting in two citations. Two months far more challenging than she anticipated. earlier, state investigators deter“It’s very, very difficult to love mined that Courage House someone that does not love was posting photos themself,” she said. “I of its clients on its don’t work at Courage Facebook page, House. Sometimes including one that people think I “As long as there are identified a client do. Honestly, I children being sold for sex, by the tattoo couldn’t.” across her face. Living there we will move forward until we While operacan be trying cannot move anymore.” tions behind as well. the scenes grew Former Jenny Williamson problematic, employees told founder and CEO, Williamson and the Bee that their Courage Worldwide Inc. her organization requests to spend projected a stable some of the organizapublic image, and tion’s revenues on continued to solicit healthier food, clothing and donations from the public by new furniture for the children appealing to its sympathy for the very were denied. girls whose treatment was at issue. Meanwhile, in September of last year, Historically, that state investigators flagged numerous strategy has proven effective. deficiencies that had to do with Courage House brass using the safe house to conduct courage Worldwide reported more than business, displacing the kids living there, $1.7 million in 2015 revenue—67 percent records show. According to the September higher than in 2012—according to partial 25, 2015, facility evaluation report, residents tax-exempt filings posted on the organiza- either had their daily activities disrupted or tion’s website. Nearly $990,000—or 57 were forced to relocate while Williamson percent of reported revenue—went to and others hosted business meetings, church paying employee salaries and benefits. luncheons and tours at the 52-acre campus. According to the organization’s full While those violations have been tax-exempt filing from 2014, made availreported, two recently publicized complaints able by the Foundation Center, president have not. and CEO Jennifer Williamson earned According to a complaint investigation $109,896 in total compensation that report released September 16, one of the year—almost as much as the $117,627 safe house’s residents suffered an unspecithe nonprofit spent on its safe house fied medical emergency in May, when staff residents. Occupancy and travel expenses failed to provide her with the medication accounted for another $62,201 in 2014, she had been taking prior to her April 20 while $23,358 was spent on promoting arrival at Courage House. (While the resithe Courage Worldwide brand. dent’s age and gender are not listed in the Williamson defended the compensastate’s report, Courage House only admits tion she and other staff received during female sex trafficking victims between the the summer anniversary gala. “It’s not ages of 11 and 17.) bad to get paid to do what we did. The The state was unable to substantiate the liability and the responsibility of 24/7 second complaint, received June 10, that care—there’s no holiday, there’s no Courage House’s underage clients were Christmas, there’s no day off,” she told being coerced to take prescribed medicaattendees. tions as a condition of admission, despite In an emailed response to a list hearing similar accounts from numerous of questions, Courage House says its sources. spending practices have been cleared by an outside financial audit from the Sacramento public accounting firm “abseNce of courage” Fechter & Co., and pointed to gold-star continued on page 9
Four homicides and one grisly self-mutilation marred the long Thanksgiving holiday in Sacramento. On Saturday, an 18-year-old woman was found lying on a North Highlands street bleeding from what ended up being a fatal gunshot wound to her upper torso. According to a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department release, detectives believe the victim was sitting in a parked vehicle with two men when a handgun went off. That same day in another part of the county, 24-year-old Myron Sarahn Dailey surrendered to city police officers responding to a shooting near John F. Kennedy High School in the Pocket neighborhood. Police say a canvas of the area led them to a nearby apartment complex where they located Dailey, whom they believe fatally shot the unidentified victim following an argument. A suspected suicide closed a stalker-murder investigation on November 25, when sheriff’s deputies serving a search warrant at a city of Sacramento home found the body of 37-year-old Gildardo Llamas Ramos. Ramos was the suspect in the November 23 killing of his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Chavez, 28, of Antelope. Police are still looking for the person responsible for the death of Tina Louisa Morales, 48, of Sacramento one day earlier. Morales’ body was discovered in a motel room at Best Western John Jay Inn on Massie Court by staff approximately 40 minutes past checkout time the morning of November 25. On Thanksgiving Day, an erratic 911 call from a male who said he was angry with cops brought sheriff’s deputies to a 7-Eleven convenience store in Carmichael, where a teenager plunged a knife into his own neck and an officer fired his weapon. The teen was later pronounced dead at the scene. (Raheem F. Hosseini)
THe dyiNg Tree Scores of trees line the middle of 21st Avenue in colonial Heights, in a wide median strip where a streetcar line once ran. These trees offer shade in a part of Sacramento where they are sometimes scarce and heat deserts are common. They might be in trouble. California’s been in a well-documented drought for five years. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown called for various restrictions to reduce water usage by 25 percent. Among the restrictions was an end to “irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians.” In September, Colonial Heights resident Barbara Steinberg said she’s noticed dying trees in the 21st Avenue median as well as on nearby 65th Street and a frontage road along Highway 50. Steinberg said the city isn’t deep-watering the trees, only providing surface sprinkler water. Weeks after the city council’s August 4 adoption of an updated tree ordinance that helps protect trees from developers by requiring removal notices on the city’s Department of Urban Forestry website, Steinberg wanted the city to take action. “It’s about quality of life and creating a healthy environment in the city, and I think people need to be more concerned about that,” Steinberg said. In a September 2 email to Councilman Eric Guerra and other city employees, Steinberg included 11 photos of browning and dried tree patches. Guerra told SN&R the state restrictions on watering put the city in a bind, though he acknowledged Steinberg’s concerns and said he’s been working with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to help it plant 3,000 trees in south Sacramento. (Graham Womack)
12.01.16 | SN&R | 7
HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o
Walking the Walk by a n n e s to k e s
mboldened by long, wide straightaways and unencumbered by stoplights, cars rush down Power Inn Road at freeway speeds. People regularly dash across four lanes of traffic rather than walk a half mile to the closest crosswalk and then back the same distance. “There’s not a lot of crosswalks or stoplights to cross over, so it’s scary,” says Nailah Pope-Harden, resident and president of the Avondale-Glen Elders Neighborhood Association (AGENA).
pedestrian facilities, new bike facilities — but also really build the capacity of neighborhood associations to have a voice in the urban planning process,” says Kirin Kumar, WALKSacramento’s Interim Executive Director. “It really is a way for us to engage residents in the conversation around planning and how design affects their day-to-day life.”
“It really Is a way for us Pope-Harden was one of a handful of residents, volunteers and representatives of the city of to engage Sacramento who spent a Saturday afternoon surveying a portion of Power Inn Road and resIdents In the nearby residential areas, documenting hazards faced by pedestrians and cyclists. conversatIon Volunteers on this walk audit noticed that utility poles and illegal dumping impede around already narrow sidewalks. They saw just how fast traffic moves, even during the plannIng and weekend, and the potential risks to children walking or biking to school. They noted how how desIgn drivers didn’t always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and that the marked crossings affects theIr aren’t always used. To find solutions to these types of issues, AGEday-to-day lIfe.” NA has partnered with WALKSacramento, a nonprofit organization that works with community groups, elected officials and planning agencies to advocate for safe, healthy and walkable environments. For the past several years, The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative has funded the nonprofit organization’s efforts to identify viable solutions and give communities tools to enact change. “The point of our program is not only to help communities come up with neighborhood active transportation solutions — like new
Kirin Kumar, Interim Executive director, WalKSacramento
Thoroughfares in the Avondale and Glen Elder neighborhoods can be hazardous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Yet in these neighborhoods — where the median annual income averages $32,000 — many residents need to walk or bike to get to work, school or to access public transportation.
Volunteers, city officials and residents took to the street on Saturday, Nov. 12, to assess and document the challenges faced by pedestrians and bicyclists on streets in the Avondale and Glen Elders neighborhoods, such as Power Inn Road. Photo by Anne Stokes viable solutions that AGENA can cite when working with agencies such as SMUD, Regional Transit and the City of Sacramento. Solutions range from immediate issues, like calling code enforcement to remove debris, to long-term projects, like creating safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists along Morrison Creek. “We love our neighborhood but we want to make sure we have access to the rest of Sacramento as well,” says Pope-Harden.
For WALKSacramento, the end goal is to create an active transportation analysis that details
your ZIP code shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live – but it does. Staying healthy requires much more than doctors and diets. Every day, our surroundings and activities affect how long – and how well – we’ll live.
In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10-year, $1 billion plan to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state. Over the 10 years, residents, communitybased organizations and public institutions will work together to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges contributing to the poor health of their communities.
to find out more about walKSacramento, visit www.walksacramento.org or call 916-446-9255.
Health Happens in neighborhoods. Health Happens in Schools. Health Happens with Prevention.
paid with a grant from the california endowment 8 | SN&R | 12.01.16
BuIldIng HEalTHy COmmunITIES
“AbsenCe of CourAge” continued from page 7
Under California’s Foster Child Bill of Rights, children have the right to refuse medication prescribed to them. But because there was “no documentation” to support the accounts of the various sources, the state determined the allegations to be “inconclusive.” In its emailed response, Courage House says no medical emergency took place and contended that state investigators didn’t interview staff with direct knowledge of the situation. The organization also argued it was being penalized for programs the state had previously approved, but provided no documentation to support that claim after a public relations representative initially offered to do so. Courage Worldwide has officially contested nine of the state’s citations, received between April 4 and June 9. According to California Department of Social Services spokesman Michael Weston, three have been overturned and one was downgraded from a Type A violation to a less serious Type B violation. The state dismissed two citations concerning the health privacy rights of group home residents. One concerned a resident’s belief that her brain scan was used without her permission for training purposes, while the other involved the claim that disclosures made in therapy were being shared with other residents. Both were dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Upheld was a finding that the CEO “repeatedly made clients uncomfortable by hugging, touching and grooming them without asking permission.” The state also upheld its finding that Courage House pushed its brand of Christianity onto at least one resident, which has led to one of the more bizarre claims by Williamson. In both public statements and social media posts, Williamson has contended that the state’s insistence on honoring religious freedom would force her faith-based nonprofit to allow trafficking victims exposed to “satanic ritual abuse” to continue their dark practices at the group home— including human and animal sacrifices. “Many of the girls who have come to Courage House have suffered what is called ‘ritualistic abuse.’ It kind of freaks a lot of people out. I didn’t know anything about it until I started serving in this world with these kids,” she said. “We’ve been told that is a religious freedom we have to allow. And that practice in satanism is human and animal sacrifice.” Courage House stuck by these claims in its emailed response, but an appeals ruling found them to be as fictional as they sound. According to the official appeals decision, written by Sacramento Children’s Residential Program interim regional manager Lenora Scott, the devil-red flag Williamson has been waving is based on one girl who drew satanist imagery, not because she worshiped the fallen angel, but because she was curious.
“In the investigation of this allegation, it was determined that the child did not threaten to perform sacrifice or define what she meant by wanting to practice Satanism,” Scott ruled. “She only made a general statement that she enjoyed drawing some of the images and was uncertain of her beliefs.” Scott went on to write how Courage House employees responded to the girl’s curiosity: “staff placed oil upon the client’s forehead and recited a religious verse in response to this declaration.” Staff also “impressed upon the client that she had to be of Christian faith to be in placement.” Williamson told the Elk Grove crowd that her employees have been “overzealous” about not pushing their Christian faith onto residents. Williamson also said she hopes to reopen Courage House by Christmastime. That can’t happen until the organization hires a new administrator, which it told SN&R it’s close to doing. It doesn’t appear that Courage House’s dark period is greatly affecting the Sacramento region’s ability to care for trafficked kids. The safe house has hosted only seven Sacramento County children since opening in 2011, and none since 2015, when a local girl stayed at Courage House for five months, according to county spokeswoman Samantha Mott. Yolo County placed only one girl at Courage House this past March, then promptly moved her to a Fresno group home three months later when Courage House suspended operations. El Dorado County placed one girl in 2014, and none since. Placer County has placed zero children in its care. That’s not to say there aren’t capacity issues, Mott noted. In Sacramento County, Child Protective Services has identified 107 local children who have been commercially sexually exploited in the past year. Mott said group homes can be reluctant to accept these kids because their issues are complex and they run away often, which, in turn, attracts unwelcome scrutiny from state licensing inspectors. While Sacramento County works with at least five other programs in California that are licensed to serve sexually-trafficked minors, Mott said in an email that the county prefers to place these kids in foster care, “ideally with a relative or someone who knows and loves the child.” Now, Williamson and her board have decided the best defense is a good offense—painting both the state and the media as adversaries to their moral crusade, and ramping up fundraising efforts to reopen locally. “Blessed when you go through trials. Blessed when you’re persecuted,” Williamson told the Elk Grove audience. “That’s when the church grew the fastest.” And like the church, Williamson keeps promising to expand, one day, when she’s gotten enough money. Ω
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We Are All Californians 10 | SN&R | 12.01.16
Hostile makeover New email batch details exchange between K.J. proxy to rival: ‘Why don’t you just leave already?’ by Raheem F. hosseini
In case there was any doubt about the draft email’s purpose, written on behalf of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the suggested subject line spelled it out: “Why don’t you just leave already?” The date was August 22, 2013. Aisha Lowe—pulling double K.J. duty as the mayor’s interim director of African-American affairs and executive director of his education nonprofit Stand Up—wanted her boss’s approval before firing off the blunt missive, written under his name. The email’s recipient would be Vanessa Williams, executive director of the National Conference of Black Mayors, whom Johnson had been trying to oust for months in a bitter fight over the future of the troubled organization. The email, part of a new batch recently released to and reviewed by SN&R, shows the hostile takeover was hitting bumps, and Team K.J. was losing patience. “[D]ear vanessa,” the draft email read, “please find attached a letter from members of the ncbm board of directors requesting you resign.” Lowe signed the email, planned to be sent the next morning, with a thorn: “your president, kevin johnson.” Johnson’s May 2013 election as NCBM president remains in sharp dispute today. Johnson and the 20 black mayors who supported his ascension say he wrested control of a sinking ship that had misappropriated more than $600,000 and lost its tax-exempt status under Williams’ watch. The above email illustrates the nasty power struggle that ensued, and is part of the last batch of electronic documents that the city of Sacramento released to SN&R in mid-November—approximately four months after the mayor lost his yearlong legal battle against this newspaper to keep the details of his coup secret. In July, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled that 441 such documents were subject to the California Public
ra h e e m h @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
Records Act, ending a protracted—and unusual—standoff in which Johnson sued both SN&R and the city he represents to prevent their release. (The city has held back another 88 documents it claims are protected under attorney-client privilege, while several of the released items contain redacted portions or are duplicates of other files.) Many of the released emails were sent through Gmail accounts organized under the prefix “OMKJ”—for “Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson”—rather than through city-issued addresses that are more clearly subject to public disclosure laws. A sampling of this electronic fusillade further shows the extent to which Johnson blurred the lines between his public duties and private interests. (See “K.J.’s alternate reality,” by Nick Miller, News, July 28, 2016.) In a July 2013 email, for instance, a city staffer assigned to the mayor’s office through a summer fellowship program tried to coordinate exit interviews between Johnson and two departing NCBM employees before Williams could reach them first. In his email, the fellow, Alex Brakebill, requested the presence of “a witness and a second board member” to join Johnson. One of the stated goals of the exit interview, according to an attached document: “Find specific items that will contribute to removing VW as ED.” In another July 2013 email, Lowe circulated a bullet-pointed rebuttal to NCBM general counsel Susan M. Winchester, who asserted that Johnson’s election was invalid. But the document didn’t dispute Winchester’s arguments that certain election bylaws were violated, like counting the votes of nonNCBM mayors and recording the vote by voice instead of through a secret ballot, as required. It rejected these arguments as “irrelevant,” saying a quorum of eligible board members voted to elect Johnson. Ω
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Run to feed the hungry Why the election jeopardizes efforts to reduce hunger in America by jeff vonkaenel
It is Sacramento’s finest hour. Between 8:15 and 9:15 every Thanksgiving morning, thousands of Sacramento’s citizens, regardless of the weather, lace up their running shoes to run in an annual benefit for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services organization. The largest Thanksgiving run in the country, Sacramento’s annual Run to Feed the Hungry raises approximately $1 million—roughly 20 percent of the Food Bank’s annual budget. I love the run. And the runners—the serious ones who are trying to improve their time, those who are having a wonderful time running in costume and the vast majority of us who experience the run as a way to give thanks. And somehow, getting up early and running in the cold means that the 29,000 people who ran this year have some sweat in the game. They have helped to reduce hunger in Sacramento. But all of us who want to reduce hunger in America should be concerned that the viability of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as food stamps), is now in jeopardy because of the election of Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. Food banks are important for supplying emergency food, but eating healthful food should be an everyday event. And for 46.4 million Americans, 44 percent of whom are age 18 or younger, the average $126.39 in monthly SNAP benefits helps ensure that eating is an everyday event. The Republican platform supports separating the SNAP program from the Farm Bill, which many believe will make it easier for them to cut benefits. Many Republicans have been critical of the number of Americans eligible for SNAP benefits, called CalFresh in California. Particularly if there are tax cuts for the rich, which appears likely,
je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
there will almost certainly be pressure to cut expenditures on social programs to try to offset these increased costs. The SNAP program, with its $74 billion budget, is in the Republican crosshairs. House Republicans have already made cuts in the SNAP program. They wanted to cut deeper, but were stopped by a Democratic president. But now what will happen? Trump is concerned that there are too many people on food stamps. Personally, I don’t understand why billionaires need a tax cut more than a hungry person needs food on their plate. This will be the new Republican issue that has a solution without a problem. Concerned that minorities were voting Democratic, the Republicans put in voter ID measures that did nothing to reduce voter fraud, but were very effective in reducing minority turnout. Next on the agenda? Food stamp fraud reduction measures that do little to reduce fraud but are very effective at reducing participation. Republicans hope to institute revised work requirements for SNAP benefit eligibility which could cut off benefits for the working poor who have not tried “hard enough” to find a job. Many of the SNAP recipients are parents working for near-minimum wage who don’t make enough to cover both rent and food. SNAP benefits ensure they don’t have to make that choice. Here in Sacramento County, 200,000 of our neighbors depend upon food stamps. It is critical that we work, run or let our elected officials know that we don’t want our neighbors to go hungry. Our neighbors need our hearts and our sweat in the game. Ω Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.
’S mento SacraerS and winn S—with loSer ry pointS ra arbit
TEA MD SERVES UP SUGGESTIONS ON PAIRINGS
- 50 illuStration by Sarah hanSel
Hot 103.5 announced it’s banning Kanye West’s music from its programming following the abrupt, midshow cancellation of his recent performance at the Golden 1 Center. Even though West offered full refunds following the incident and has since checked into a hospital for temporary psychosis, sleep deprivation and dehydration, Hot 103.5 program director Justin “JayMArZZ” Marshall explained on air that “Everyone can get a refund back, but you can’t get your time back.” OK, but there’s also only one Kanye and if he self-destructs we can’t get him back, either.
- 103.5 FundS, aFter the FireS
SChooL oF troLLS UC Davis’ Davis College Republicans club is hosting a lecture with controversial Breitbart editor and internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos on January 13. Breitbart, of course, is the fringe right-wing “news” site that espouses so-called “alt-right” —i.e., neo-Nazi and racist—viewpoints. In addition to working as the site’s technology editor, Yiannopoulos is probably best known as one of loudest voices behind the 2014 sexist GamerGate scandal and, more recently, for being permanently banned by Twitter after instigating a racist campaign against Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones. Yiannopoulos’ “Dangerous Faggot” tour has already been canceled by many universities abroad, but so far his string of West Coast dates remains, shamefully, intact.
The California State Library is providing grants to five county libraries affected by wildfires this year. Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Siskiyou counties will receive $10,000 for the 25,000-to-100,000-acre damages incurred, while Monterey County will receive $15,000 for damage to 100,000 acres. In a statement, California State Librarian Greg Lucas said, “It is clear how essential libraries are to the affected counties. Hopefully, this grant money will help these county libraries respond to the unique challenges created by the wildfires that have ravaged these communities.”
Congratulations to local comedian and Insight Coffee barista Alfonso Portela for garnering enough votes to win a life-size sculpture of his face in butter, a butter bust, if you will. The prize is part Organic Valley’s War on Butter promotion.
- 113 a Better Butter
Contrast is generally the desired function of tea with spicy foods. Darjeeling black teas or an organic jasmine green tea, with it’s sweet and flowery notes, cut spices well and are often served in many Asian restaurants to complement the sought-after spices of the culture. The last frontier is balance and it can be tricky to hit just the right note. . Balance is all about countering the weight of the meal. The weight of the food is determined by the fat content of the meal. When your dish is high in fat, your mouth becomes coated with it, producing a distinctive mouthfeel. Astringency is just what the doctor ordered. This is the perfect time for a traditional Chai Assam black tea. Black tea has a high tannin content. Tannins are the component in tea and wine alike that will give the dry, tart mouthfeel. Follow this combination with the chai spices of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom to help ease the digestion process. As you can see, pairing tea with food is an art and a science, a journey that must be explored. Classy Hippie Tea Company invites you to explore the world of tea with us at one of our upcoming pairings. Visit our website for upcoming events at www.ClassyHippieTeaCo.com.
ALL TEAS AVAILABLE ONLINE ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THESE LOCATIONS: classyhippieteaco.com
Drivers heading east on Highway 50 toward Rancho Cordova recently caught sight of a new holiday-themed billboard that gave new meaning to our so-called “War on Christmas” concerns. Ammo Depot, a Rancho Cordovabased gun shop, roadside ad depicted a Santa armed with an AR-15 for its Black Friday sale. A disturbing image for children—or anyone, really—who fear they may be on the naughty list.
hink of this advice in terms of music. Pairing fine beverage with food is where the rock stars of the tea sommelier world reside. It’s the corner where the cool kids hang out. Sommeliers create melodies of expression, culture, creative skill and imagination — all dancing in harmony when the sommelier performs a pairing. Every pairing should expose new aspects of both the tea and the food that neither one could achieve if consumed on its own. But first, what is a tea sommelier? Tea sommeliers are trained professionals that work in high-end tea rooms, restaurants and hotels where they source tea, create a tea list, oversee storage of the tea, train employees about the inventory and have sophisticated knowledge of the origin and flavor profile of individual teas. Time to visit the chef! Pairing tea with food is similar to pairing wine with food — it all comes down to mouth feel. When I meet with chefs to plan our Hippie High Tea menu the focus always comes down to three things: complement, contrast or balance. If you want the tea to complement the meal an easy pairing is to choose teas with a similar origin to the food Sushi, for instance, pairs well with a Japanese Genmaicha (roasted brown rice) Sencha green tea.
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ALL THE NEWS NOT Project Censored’s top 10 stories of 2016
hroughout its 40-year history, Project Censored has covered a lot of ground that the corporate
mainstream media has missed. Begun by Carl Jensen, a sociology professor at Sonoma State University shortly after Watergate in 1976, it’s become an institution involving dozens of faculty members and institutions working together to come up with an annual list of the Top 25 Censored Stories of the Year.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MARGARET LARKIN
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fit to print The Watergate burglary in June 1972 “sparked one of the biggest political cover-ups in modern history,” Jensen later recalled. “And the press was an unwitting, if willing participant in the cover-up.” “Watergate taught us two important lessons about the press: First, the news media sometimes do fail to cover some important issues, and second, the news media sometimes indulge in self-censorship,” he said. On the upside, it led to the creation of Project Censored. As with the Watergate story, these aren’t censored in the overt heavy-handed manner of an authoritarian dictatorship, but in the often more effective manner reflecting our society—an oligarchy with highly centralized economic power pretending to be a “free marketplace of ideas.” It may give people what they think they want in the moment, but it leaves them hungry for more, if not downright malnourished in the long run. The missing stories concern vital subjects central to the healthy functioning of our democracy. The problem is, we may not even realize what we’re missing, which is precisely why Project Censored is essential. Another way to think about it is as censorship of what the people as a whole can hear, rather than what any one individual can say. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes it very clear: freedom of opinion and expression includes the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” This year, 221 students and 33 faculty members from 18 college and university campuses across the United States and Canada were involved. A panel of 28 judges comprised of media studies professors, professional journalists and even a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission also participated. All of these reflect the fact that news isn’t just created for individuals to consume, but for citizens to debate, discuss and then take action on. The real Project Censored, in short, includes you, the reader. Project Censored has always dealt with specific stories, but on anniversaries like this one, the larger patterns those stories fit within are impossible ignore. Economic inequality, global warming, petro-politics, suppression of health science, government spying, corporate influence of government; these are all familiar
themes that appear again on this year’s list. But a bit more ought to be said by way of introduction to this year’s top censored story, before starting the list proper. Jensen began the preface to Project Censored’s 20th anniversary edition with the story of how John F. Kennedy killed a detailed New York Times story blowing the whistle on the planned invasion of Cuba. A shrunken, muted version ran in its place. Afterward, Kennedy told a Times editor, “If you had printed more about the operation, you could have saved us from a colossal mistake.” This years’ No.1 censored story is a direct descendent of the story JFK wished he hadn’t managed to kill.
1. U.S. military forceS deployed in 70 percent of world’S nationS The covert exercise of U.S. military power is a recurrent subject of Project Censored stories. This year’s top censored story joins that long tradition. It deals with the massive expansion in the number of countries where the officially unnamed war on terror is now being waged by U.S. Special Operations Forces—147 of the world’s 195 recognized nations, an 80 percent increase since 2010. This includes a dramatic expansion in Africa. The majority of the activity is in “training missions,” meaning that this expansion is promoting a coordinated worldwide intensification of conflict, unseen at home, but felt all around the globe. Writing for TomDispatch, the Nation and the Intercept, Nick Turse exposed different aspects of this story and its implications. Turse’s story for the Intercept focused on the development of a single base, Chabelley Airfield, in the East African nation of Djibouti. It’s an “out-of-the-way outpost” transformed into “a key hub for its secret war … in Africa and the Middle East.” In the Nation, Turse tackled the question of mission success. Project Censored noted that, “Turse [had] reported skepticism from a number of experts in response to this question, pointing out that “impacts are not the same as successes.” In Vietnam, body counts were mistaken for signs of success. “Today, tallying up the number of countries in which special operations forces are present
by Paul RosenbeRg and TeRelle JeRRicks
repeats this error,” Vietnam veteran and author Andrew Bacevich told Turse.
2. criSiS in evidence-baSed medicine coUrteSy big pharma’S inflUence The role of science in improving human health has been one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but the profit-oriented influence of the pharmaceutical industry has created a crisis situation. That research simply cannot be trusted. Burying truth for profit is a recurrent theme for Project Censored. The top 1981 story concerned fraudulent testing from a single lab responsible for one-third of the toxicity and cancer testing of chemicals in America. But this problem is much more profound. “Something has gone fundamentally wrong” said Richard Horton, editor of the
Horton’s conclusion echoed Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, who went public in 2009. A classic case was Study 329 in 2001, which reported that paroxetine (a.k.a. Paxil) was safe and effective for treating depressed children and adolescents, leading doctors to prescribe it to more than 2 million U.S. children and adolescents by the end of 2002, before being called into question. The company responsible (now GlaxoSmithKline) agreed to pay $3 billion in 2012, the “largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Nonetheless, the study has not been retracted or corrected, and “none of the authors have been disciplined,” Project Censored points out. This, despite a major reanalysis which “‘starkly’ contradicted the original report’s claims.” The reanalysis was seen as the first major success of
This year’s top story deals with the massive expansion in the number of countries where the officially unnamed war on terror is now being waged by u.s. special operations Forces.
Lancet, commenting on a UK symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research: “[M]uch of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. … The apparent endemicity of bad research behavior is alarming.”
a new open data initiative known as Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials. While Project Censored noted one Washington Post story on the reanalysis, there was only passing mention of the open data movement. “Otherwise, the corporate press ignored the reassessment of the paroxetine study,” and beyond that, “Richard Horton’s Lancet editorial received no coverage in the U.S. corporate press.”
“all the newS not fit to print” continued on page 16
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“all the neWs not fit to pRint” continued from page 15
3. Rising caRbon dioxide levels thReaten to peRmanently disRupt vital ocean bacteRia Global warming is a recurrent Project Censored subject. Systemic changes associated with global warming threaten human welfare and all life on earth through a multitude of different pathways. These remain largely hidden from public view. One potential pathway—directly dependent on carbon, not temperature—is through the catastrophic overproduction of Trichodesmium bacteria, which could devastate the entire marine food
Technology can potentially undermine democracy as well as empower it.
chain in some regions. It lives in nutrientpoor parts of the ocean, where it fixes atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium, an essential nutrient for other organisms—from algae to whales. A five-year study by researchers at the University of Southern California and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that subjecting hundreds of generations of the bacteria to predicted CO2 levels in the year 2100 caused them to evolve into “reproductive overdrive,” growing faster and producing 50 percent more nitrogen. As a result, they could consume significant quantities of scarce nutrients, such as iron and phosphorus, depriving the ability of other organisms to survive. Or the Trichodesmium bacteria could drive themselves into extinction, depriving other organisms of the ammonium they need to survive. “Most significantly, the researchers found that even when the bacteria was returned to lower, present-day levels of carbon dioxide. Trichodesmium remained ‘stuck in the fast lane,’” Project Censored noted, a finding that one researcher described as “unprecedented in evolutionary biology.”
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4. seaRch engine algoRithms and electRonic voting machines’ possible impact on the 2016 election Social media has played an important role in recent social movements, from the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter, but technology can potentially undermine democracy as well as empower it. This has become obvious now— from email and server hacks, to international cyber warfare, to floods of fake news stories from dedicated fake news sites—but early warnings about technological election threats were very hard to find early on, which is why the subject made Project Censored’s list, with overlooked stories about how search engine algorithms and electronic voting machines provide opportunities for manipulation of voters—and votes—in this year’s election. Mark Frary, in Index on Censorship, describes the latest research by Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology on what they call the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, or SEME. Their study of more than 4,500 undecided voters in the United States and India showed that biased search rankings “could shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more” and “could be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation.” In an earlier article for Politico, Epstein wrote that the Search Engine Manipulation Effect “turns out to be one of the largest behavioral effects ever discovered. … [W]e believe SEME is a serious threat to the democratic system of government.” Because courts have ruled that their source code is proprietary, private companies that own electronic voting machines are essentially immune to transparent public oversight, as Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis documented. In 2016, about 80 percent of the U.S. electorate voted using outdated electronic voting machines that rely on proprietary software from private corporations, according to a September 2015 study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. The study identified “increased failures and crashes, which can lead to long lines and lost votes” as the “biggest risk” of outdated voting equipment, while noting that older machines also have “serious security and reliability flaws that are unacceptable today.” “From a security perspective, old software is riskier, because new methods of attack are constantly being developed, and older software is likely to be vulnerable,” Jeremy Epstein of the National Science Foundation noted. On Democracy Now! and elsewhere, Wasserman and Fitrakis have advocated universal, hand-counted paper ballots and automatic voter registration as part of their “Ohio Plan” to restore electoral integrity.
While there has been some corporate media coverage of Epstein and Robertson’s research, the transparency and reliability advantages of returning to paper ballots remain virtually unexplored and undiscussed.
Europe and its white settler states for half a millennium.” “Europeans will never accept Turkey into the fold, because it is Muslim and not-quitewhite,” Ford concluded.
5. coRpoRate exploitation of global Refugee cRisis masked as humanitaRianism
6. moRe than 1.5 million ameRican families live on $2 peR peRson peR day
The world is experiencing a global refugee crisis (60 million worldwide according to a June 2015 report, 11.5 million of them Syrian). This has been covered in the corporate media—though not nearly enough to generate an appropriate response. What hasn’t been covered is the increasingly well-organized exploitation of refugees, particularly those displaced in Syria. An AlterNet article by Sarah Lazare— cited by Project Censored—warned of the World Bank’s private enterprise solution to the Syrian displacement crisis. “Under the guise of humanitarian aid, the World Bank is enticing Western companies to launch ‘new investments’ in Jordan in order to profit from the labor of stranded Syrian refugees,” Lazare wrote. “In a country where migrant workers have faced forced servitude, torture and wage theft, there is reason to be concerned that this capital-intensive ‘solution’ to the mounting crisis of displacement will establish sweatshops that specifically target war refugees for hyperexploitation.” A World Bank press release touted “the creation of special economic zones or SEZs,” but Project Censored noted, “Myriam Francois, a journalist and research associate at SOAS, The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told Lazare that the development of SEZs in Jordan ‘will change refugee camps from emergency and temporary responses to a crisis, to much more permanent settlements.’” The SEZ proposals, Francois said, are “less about Syrian needs and more about keeping Syrian refugees out of Europe by creating (barely) sustainable conditions within the camps, which would then make claims to asylum much harder to recognize.’” Another story, by Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report described a related agreement between Turkey and the European Union to keep millions of refugees from entering Europe as “a deal between devils,” adding that Turkey has “cashed in on the people it has helped make homeless.” In addition to the $3.3 billion in EU money, Project Censored noted that Turkey has also sought admission to the European Union, and, with this, the right for 75 million Turks to enter Europe without visa restrictions as a condition for controlling its refugee population. Thus, according to Ford, Turkey has engaged in a “vast protections racket trap,” effectively agreeing to protect Europe from further incursions by “the formerly colonized peoples whose labor and lands have fattened
Even the working poor receive scant attention, but those living in deep poverty—less than $2 per day—are almost entirely absent. Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, sociologists and authors of the book $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America state that in 2011 more than 1.5 million U.S. families—including 3 million children—lived in deep poverty at any given month. Their depiction of what poverty looks like reads “like a Dickens novel,” Marcus Harrison Green wrote in YES! Magazine, Project Censored noted, while in the Atlantic, economist Jared Bernstein noted that their research highlights the problematic long-term consequences of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform initiative, with its “insistence on work without regard to job availability.” Project Censored notes that Edin and Shaefer proposed three policy changes to address extreme poverty in the United States: First, policy must start by “expanding work opportunities for those at the very bottom of society.” Second, policy must address housing instability, which Shaefer described as both a cause and a consequence of extreme poverty. “Parents should be able to raise their children in a place of their own.” Third, families must be insured against extreme poverty, even when parents are not able to work. William Julius Wilson, a leading sociologist in the study of poverty, described their book as “an essential call to action,” in a New York Times book review, but this was a rare recognition in the corporate press.
7. no end in sight foR fukushima disasteR Five years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the nuclear disaster continues to unfold, with the ongoing release of large quantities of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean, in turn affecting ocean life through “biological magnification.” Meanwhile the Japanese government has relaxed radiation limits in support of its efforts to return the refugee population—a move that younger people, prime working-age taxpayers, are resisting. Project Censored cites a media analysis by sociologist Celine-Marie Pascale of American University. Pascale covering more than 2,100 articles, editorials and letters to the editor on Fukushima in the Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, and the Huffington Post
8. Syria’S war Spurred by conteSt for gaS delivery to europe, not MuSliM SectarianiSM The Syrian war and its resulting refugee crisis have repeatedly gained headlines over the past five years, but the origins of the conflict, control of oil and gas, are rarely considered— the politics of which have dominated the region since before World War II. The hidden influence of oil—from climate change to campaign finance and corporate lobbying to foreign policy—has been a recurrent subject of Project Censored stories. Project Censored cites a single September 2015 story by Mnar Muhawesh for MintPress News, but that story cites others as well, notably an August 2013 story in the Guardian by Nafeez Ahmed. “The 2011 uprisings, it would seem—triggered by a confluence of domestic energy shortages and climate-induced droughts which led to massive food price hikes—came at an opportune moment that was quickly exploited,” Ahmed wrote, as part of a broader strategy to undermine governments in the region, as well as manipulating social movements and armed factions for the purpose of maintaining control of oil and gas. Muhawesh and Ahmed both point, in particular, to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s choice between competing pipeline proposals. He refused to sign a proposed agreement for a pipeline from Qatar’s North Field
through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey in 2009, because it would have hurt his ally, Russia. “The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom,” Project Censored notes. Instead, Assad pursued negotiations—finalized in 2012—for a pipeline through Iraq from Iran’s South Pars field, which is contiguous with Qatar’s North field. Muhawesh cites U.S. cables revealed by WikiLeaks as evidence that “foreign meddling in Syria began several years before the Syrian revolt erupted.” Ahmed came to the same conclusions by drawing on multiple sources, including a RAND corporation document, “Unfolding the Future of the Long War,” which discussed long-term policy options (trajectories) dealing with the complex interplay of energy interests and ethno-religious-political manipulations. There’s a whole deeper level of driving forces not being reported on behind the Syrian war and refugee crisis.
9. big pharMa political lobbying not liMited to preSidential caMpaignS The pharmaceutical industry already appeared on this list’s second entry due to the destructive influence of its financing on the practice of basic science in testing and developing new drugs. But that’s not the only destructive impact of its spending. Although they spent $51 million in campaign donations in the 2012 presidential election, and nearly $32 million in the 2014 midterms, Mike Ludwig of Truthout reported they spent $7 lobbying for every dollar spent on the midterms. “The $229 million spent by drug companies and their lobbying groups that year was down from a peak of $273 million in 2009, the year that Congress debated the Affordable Care Act,” Project Censored noted. Legislation influenced involved all the industry’s top concerns, “including policy on patents and trademarks, management of Medicare and Medicaid, and international trade.” The last item includes pressuring other countries to suppress the manufacture of lifesaving generic AIDS drugs in India, to cite just one example. “Pharmaceutical lobbyists also consistently lobby to prevent Medicare from negotiating drug prices,” Project Censored also noted. Coverage of its spending is scant, and virtually never tied directly to the issues that Big Pharma itself is lobbying on.
10. ciSa: the internet Surveillance act no one iS diScuSSing In July 2015, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to attach the
The Syrian War and its resulting refugee crisis have repeatedly gained headlines, but the origins of the conflict, control of oil and gas, are rarely considered.
Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, as an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act. However, the Senate blocked this by a vote of 56-40, in part because, unlike an earlier version, it essentially enabled intelligence and law enforcement officials to engage in surveillance without warrants. Yet, on December 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed CISA into law as part of a 2,000-page omnibus spending bill, amid media silence—with notable exceptions at Wired and the Guardian. The act authorized the creation of a system for corporate informants to provide customers’ data to the Department of Homeland Security, which, in turn, would share this information with other federal agencies—the National Security Agency, FBI, Internal Revenue Service and others—without privacy-protecting safeguards. In one sense it followed a familiar—if distressing—pattern, as the Guardian reported, civil liberties experts had been “dismayed” when Congress used the omnibus spending bill to advance some of the legislation’s “most invasive” components, making a mockery of the democratic process. But this one was different, since censored stories usually do not stifle powerful voices, as Project Censored observed: [Andy] Greenberg’s Wired article noted that tech firms—including Apple, Twitter, and Reddit—as well as 55 civil liberties groups had opposed the bill, and that, in July 2015, DHS itself warned that the bill would “sweep away privacy protections” while inundating the agency with data of “dubious” value. In April 2016, Jason R. Edgecombe reported for TechCrunch on the glaring inadequacies of interim guidelines to deal with privacy and civil liberties concerns, while the corporate media silence continued. And in May, Violet Blue wrote for Engadget about candidates’ positions on cyber issues. Only Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul opposed CISA, but it never became the subject of any broader media discussion. Ω
Paul Rosenberg is the senior editor for Random Lengths News at the Port of Los Angeles, and is a contributing columnist for Salon.com. Terelle Jerricks is managing editor for Random Lengths News. Learn more about Project Censored at http://projectcensored.org.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARGARET LARKIN
between March 11, 2011, and March 11, 2013, focused on two basic questions: “Risk for whom?” and “From what?” She found that just 6 percent of articles reported on risk to the general public, and most of those “significantly discounted those risks.” Pascale concluded that “the largest and longest lasting nuclear disaster of our time was routinely and consistently reported as being of little consequence to people, food supplies, or environments. … In short, the media coverage was premised on misinformation, the minimization of public health risks and the exacerbation of uncertainties.” In contrast, Dahr Jamail’s reporting for Truthout pointed out that the cooling process— still ongoing after five years—has produced “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tons” of highly radioactive water, much of which has been released into the Pacific Ocean. Such nuclear disasters “never end,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president told Jamail. Project Censored also cited Linda Pentz Gunter, writing for the Ecologist about the Japanese government’s ongoing coverup. “In order to proclaim the Fukushima area ‘safe,’ the government increased exposure limits to 20 times the international norm,” Gunter wrote, in order to force refugees to return home, despite medical or scientific evidence to the contrary.
12.01.16 | SN&R | 17
No such thing as too many mics.
Photo BY JoN hERMISoN
How Patrick Hills of Earth Tone became one of Sacramento’s most sought-after producers
One man’s One-man-studiO BY MOZES ZARATE
18 | SN&R | 12.01.16
Stop GrinchinG See niGht&DAY
EvErYthinG holiDAY See StAGE
tExAS, forEvEr See MUSic
ike a lot of sound engineers, Patrick Hills learned how to mix and record in his parents’ garage—and out of necessity. “I played in bands for a long time,” he says. “I always loved documenting stuff that I made, but my friends and I didn’t have $5,000 to record at a really nice studio.” And now, Hills, who runs Earth Tone Studios, has decided to take on sound engineering full time, still out of necessity, though of a different kind—his phone hasn’t stopped ringing. “I was getting so much work that I couldn’t keep up,” he said. “I had to make the change.” Right now, Hills is booked for the next two months, producing new projects for neighborhood bands like Keres, (waning) and Battle Hag. He quit his job teaching private guitar lessons at the Music Store in Rocklin to catch up on his deadlines. The one-man studio recorded some notable Sacramento artists over the past eight years, including Chrch, 7Seconds, King Woman, the Moans, So Stressed and Sun Valley Gun Club. That’s a fraction of the names. Hills built his rep mostly from word of mouth. “I’ve literally never taken out an ad or anything,” he says. His enterprise used to be called In My Garage, an appropriate Weezer reference given his first workspace. Hills eventually moved into his parents’ attic, and his earliest professional recordings date back to 2007, when he produced a set of demos for an experimental punk group called bygones, featuring Zach Hill (Hella, Death Grips) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos). At some point, bands started asking what studio to credit on their albums, and Hills brainstormed a new name. He settled on Earth Tone for simple reasons (he wears a lot of earth tone colors, for example), even though it was already taken. “Other people have it, but I’ll just use that until someone sends me a cease and desist letter,” he says. “There’s a million Patricks in the world. I don’t know why every Patrick doesn’t get a cease-and-desist letter.” About a year and a half ago, Hills moved the studio into the backroom of a building on 18th Street in the New Era Park neighborhood of Midtown. The space is dimly lit by a corner lamp suspended by a statue sporting a sinister grin, a chubby golf caddy with a red and black beret. Guitar pedals scatter across an electronic keyboard, with more stuffing a bookshelf. The walls are painted light brown, and a massive tree stump props one of three computer monitors surrounding a mixing board. “I might be sort of nailing the Earth Tone thing to a ridiculous extent,” Hills said. A narrow window peeks into the live room, wood pallets and paneling lining its walls for better acoustics and creative ambiance. There lies another bookshelf (this one of amplifiers), an abandoned piano from down the street and a “tree” of hanging guitars. Before Hills took it over, the building was called Erich Musical Enterprise. A framed calendar sits on a studio wall, hinting at its history. Penciled in between all sorts of faded scratch is Deftones, slotted for a Monday and Tuesday. In the ’90s, the band rehearsed in one of two practice spaces down the hall. So did Papa Roach, at some point. Really, too many bands to name. Hills put out a Facebook post recently, calling on artists who practiced there in the past to share their memories.
“Between two weekends, I can go from recordIng doom Bands to uptempo, poppysoundIng musIc.” Patrick Hills founder, Earth Tone Studios
AbovEboArD fAntASY See ASK JoEY
“Hundreds of bands came through these doors,” he says. “It would be cool if some people wrote down their stories, and we turned it into a book.” When bands aren’t practicing or recording, it’s just Hills, and it can get eerily quiet between mixing. Nights may get unpredictably long, and it can be hard to manage time. Some projects take three weeks. Others, four months. A couch in the hallway is a place reserved for occasional naps, but not too many. “I’ve tried to not to get super-comfortable here,” he says. “Otherwise, one night might turn into two.” Some bands are just starting out and don’t always have it together, so the process lengthens. But, he’s been there. Two of his bands, the Hanover Saints and Bastards of Young, have done well locally, but he still remembers what it was like in his first middle school band, Acillatem. “We thought we were super clever because it was Metallica spelled backwards,” Hills says. “And yeah, it was pretty bad. You have to spend a few years figuring out what works and what doesn’t.” Regardless, he takes an all-hands-on-deck approach to recording, offering ideas and gear to make the music sound its best. Most bands welcome the expertise. “Sometimes it hurts people’s egos when I tell them that their drum set doesn’t sound like a million dollars,” Hills says. “But, they also didn’t spend a million dollars to get the drum set.” But again, he understands. Most artists don’t have a million dollars. Matthew Woods, a guitarist in Keres, first worked with Hills when he was still in the attic. They needed recordings for Bog Oak, a black-doom metal band Woods used to play in. Back then, cheap, quality production was hard to find. There was the Hangar, which closed in 2013, but recording costs were upwards of $2,000 for a few songs recorded on a tight deadline. Corey Wiegert, a guitarist for Peace Killers, referred Woods to Hills. The recording process was surprisingly quick, and after listening to the finalized tracks, and how Hills had layered the music to sound massive and otherworldly, Woods was adamant about going to him to record for Keres years later. “It costed less than a quarter of anything I had ever done and sounded probably 20 times better,” he says. Being flexible with money is a must these days, as most bands don’t have large recording budgets backed by labels, Hills says. “Some bands don’t have a lot of money and want to record,” Hills says. “So I have to say, ‘Hey, let’s just figure out something that’ll make us both happy. That way I’m not making you eat Top Ramen for the duration of the recording.’” It’s not without its sacrifices, but Hills relishes the unpredictability of his work days. And, to the city’s credit, he’s produced everything from J-pop to heavy metal. “Between two weekends, I can go from recording doom bands to uptempo, poppy-sounding music,” he says. “And that’s all within Sacramento, which is a tribute to the scene that we have. It’s really diverse.”
For more information about Earth Tone Studios, visit www.earthtonesacramento.com.
12.01.16 | SN&R | 19
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www.MELLOWMEOUT.com (Corner of Watt & Arden behind Burger King) 20 | SN&R | 12.01.16
Photography: Keith Sutter
FOR THe Week OF DeCemBeR 1
TFO Ho Ho a Go-Go Holiday Party Friday, december 2 We’re all tired of the stale, old Christmas parties. It’s time to get weird. Trash Film Orgy is holding its freaky holiday bash at Public House Theater PARTY this Friday, with proceeds going to their newest film project. Sit on a nasty couch with Big, Gay Santa and his sexy elves, watch some bizarre holiday flicks, and then try your luck in the shaggy elephant gift exchange. $5; 7:30 p.m. at Public House Theater, 5440 14th Avenue; http://trashfilmorgy.com.
Hmong Queer Suab Saturday, december 3 Suab means “voice” in Hmong. That’s what the Sacramento LGBTQIA support group wants us to remember during this celebration. There will be a half-dozen artists showcasing their talents, and food will be provided at no cost. This is a safeCulTuRe space event. Hmong clothing is encouraged, but not required. Free; noon at the Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative, 4625 44th Street; www.facebook.com/events/208248239587355.
Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch Saturday, december 3
Get Out of
Grinch Mode W
e get it. You’re feeling a little Grinchy this year, what with the fact that 2016 has kinda been the worst. Bowie. Prince. Leonard Cohen. The election of Voldemort’s dumb, orange cousin. And Christmas Eve and Christmas are on Saturday and Sunday, so we don’t even get extra days off. I could go on. But instead, let’s direct our attention to an event you might casually dismiss as too touristy, too chamber of commerce-y, to be cool: 12 Days of midtown, which kicks off on Thursday, December 1, and ends 12 days later. Hey, guess what—there are some cool events mixed in there. Seriously. Check it out:
Any excuse is a good excuse to pop into Ginger elizabeth Chocolates (1801 L Street, Suite 60), and the chocolate specialist kicks off the first day on Thursday, December 1, with a selection of special treats. On the third day, Saturday, December 3, pick up one-of-a-kind and locally made gifts at the midtown makers mart: Holiday edition from noon to 6 p.m. at 1831 J Street. On the fourth day, cut loose with at Team Trivia Night at Kupro’s Craft House (1217 21st Street) at 7:30 p.m. Cut loose again on the fifth day with half off all volcano bowls at The Jungle Bird (2516 J Street) from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. On the sixth day,
Tuesday, December 6, Golden Bear (2326 K Street) is hosting its sixth annual hot toddy competition starting at 6 p.m. The seventh day brings with it an ugly sweater contest for dogs at Der Biergarten (2332 K Street) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Catch some theater on the ninth day with the Capital Stage (2215 J Street) production of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries at 8 p.m. or the Sacramento Ballet’s Nutty Nutcracker (1301 L Street) at 7 p.m. And, on the 10th day, catch the luminaria lighting in the Handle District (L Street between 18th and 19th streets) at dusk.
Gremlins is arguably one of the all-time best Christmas movies. Gremlins 2: The New Batch is pure campy, ridiculous fun. There will also Film be an ugly sweater contest, a Gremlins art show, and a canned food drive. Christmas cosplay is encouraged. $12-$15; 7 p.m. at Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Boulevard; (916) 595-9770; www.colonialtheatre.biz.
Christmas movie Night Sunday, december 4 Round up the family for an early Christmas surprise with this movie night. Attendees are encouraged to bring pillows, blankets and lawn chairs to make it comfy as possible. There will also be Film pizza, treats and caroling, and the surprise film pick will definitely be family-friendly, so don’t hesitate to round up the little elves. Free; 5 p.m. at Clunie Community Center Hall, 601 Alhambra Boulevard; www.facebook.com/SanctuaryCovenant.
Succulent Wreath Workshop WedneSday, december 7 Dust off your glue gun for instruction on how to prepare cuttings, assemble a wreath, and care for it in the years to come. An investment in your gift-giving game and your Insta game both! $80; 6 CRAFTS p.m. at Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova; www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/2592301.
ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH HANSEL
12.01.16 | SN&R | 21
LET it SNOW
team! • accounts Receivable Rock staR
• maRketing & • aRts editoR Publications consultant
EE I LT- F R AT U G A RE WY T E SNO H T AT ¼ S O F E I R CALO REAM E IC C
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Sacramento’s Original Shaved Snow
VAMPIRE PENGUIN 907 K STREET SHAVED SNOW & DESSERTS /VampirePenguin916
ONLY 2 BLOCKS FROM THE ARENA
to keep you warm! live music..cocktails..grill house UpCOmiNg SHOwS:
DEC 02 Damage, inc | DEC 15 ho ho hoey | DEC 16 nightmare Before DEC 17 a classic rock christmas | DEC 31 new years eve: lynch moB
local BanD weDnesDay | rock a roake thursDays Jazz cluB theater sunDays | voDka Bar | over 100 voDkas
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To see event schedules and purchase tickets go to:
211 N Virginia St. Reno, NV 89501 Entrance on Virginia Formerly The Knitting Factory 22 | SN&R | 12.01.16
5644 J St • 916. 451.4000 08
Additional Parking @ 5700 J St. • Visit us at
IllustratIons by serene lusano
Gas station quality Cinnamon bun, SpinnerS I’ve had enough top-quality cinnamon buns to up the bar pretty high. So when Spinners moved its operations to the 76 gas station in Land Park from the Downtown Plaza shop it had for 28 years, I was skeptical. Turns out owners Sandy and Larry Taing easily cleared that bar. The puffy spirals ($3.25) are almost as big as your head and drenched in sweet buttery cinnamon. Get there early, because they run short sometimes and you don’t want to settle for packaged pecan rolls. 1400 Sutterville Road.
—ann martin rolke
Sake game on otokoyama man’S mountain, kru Contemporary JapaneSe CuiSine
IllustratIon by Mark stIvers
Jar salads and more by Janelle Bitker
Morning destination: A new breakfast
and lunch spot is open near the Capitol with an emphasis on speed. Wild Flour Cafe (1331 O Street) replaced Eliana’s Cafe, which closed earlier this fall. While Eliana’s was known for basic American breakfasts that rang up to $3, Wild Flour promotes a focus on healthy, organic and local ingredients—including to-go salads in a Mason jar, which you then return during your next visit. It also sports an easy-to-use online ordering system for quick pickup and even free delivery for large orders in the neighborhood. For breakfast, consider a smoked
jan el l e b @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
trout breakfast sandwich ($7.50) or gluten-free pancakes made with almond and rice flour ($5.50) with a side of thick-sliced bacon rubbed with brown sugar and cayenne ($6). For lunch, there’s an assortment of salads, wraps and sandwiches in the $7.50-$12.50 range with vegan and gluten-free options. Hungary, get it?: More and more food
trucks keep popping up in the area, but one exciting newer addition is the Who Is Hungry? truck. Standing out from the crowd with bright, primary colors, Who Is Hungry? specializes in lángos, a deep-fried
bread traditionally served hot with sour cream, cheese and garlic on the streets of Hungary. Who Is Hungry? offers that typical style as well as flavors (usually $10) from other countries: tzatziki, Kalamata olives and bacon; pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes; Nutella and bananas. Find Who Is Hungry? at food truck festivals and outside breweries. Kitchen changes: Chef Matt Masera is settling into his new digs at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. (1630 S Street). The former executive chef of Mother and Empress Tavern left his post at Saddle Rock in November, after just three months at the latter and critical acclaim—and some straight criticism—started to pour in. He’s replaced longtime Hook & Ladder chef Brian Mizner. “We are longtime fans of chef Matt Masera and are confident that this marks the beginning of a long and successful partnership,” said co-owner Kimio Bazett in a press release. With full creative control, Masera is expected to redo the menu at some point. And he’s still not sure whether he’ll bring his popular brown butter cookies with him. Ω
The new Kru is a visual stunner in every way, but one exciting, still-to-come development is its sake bottle shop. Even still, the sake menu in the dining room is topnotch, divided by flavor profile so you can quickly decide whether you want something bright or bold. For a clean, dry and extra smooth sake with subtle earthy, sweet and fruity notes, try the Otokoyama Man’s Mountain ($26 for medium pour), a tokubetsu junmai from Hokkaido. Served chilled in Japanese ceramics, this sake pairs beautifully with Kru’s sashimi, sushi and grilled fish. 3135 Folsom Boulevard, http://krurestaurant.com.
I yam not a yam Sweet potatoeS If you overdid it with the Thanksgiving candied yams, that’s no reason to give up those colorful tubers. Skip the syrup and marshmallows and rediscover these nutritional powerhouses. Even though many people call the orange-fleshed veggies “yams,” they’re technically sweet potatoes—even those Garnet yams at the farmers market. Sweet potatoes score high in vitamin A and fiber, but they’re really full of vitamin C. Bake or microwave them for a quick, low-fat dinner or cook them with oil, serrano pepper and mustard seeds for a zingy side dish.
—ann martin rolke
12.01.16 | SN&R | 23
We’ve got soul
Come get sticky
• BBQ / Fried Chicken / Catfish • Good Old Fashioned Comfort Cooking
2322 K Street, Sac • 916-382-9178 • StickyGatorBBQ.com Monday - Friday 11am - 9pm Saturday - Sunday 12pm - 9pm
Mexican market by Janelle Bitker
HH 6241 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite B, in Carmichael; (916) 283-4081 http://mesamercado.com
Starting friday dec 16 • 5pm-9pm at the Downtown Sacramento
Dinner for one: $15-$20 Good for: full-service Mexican in the Milagro Centre Notable dishes: chile en nogada, tacos al pastor
Ice Rink (7th & k street)
to reserve your spot, go to: snrsweetdeals.newsreview.com Proceeds Benefit sierra forever families
Thai Food & gluten free options MIDTOWN
Now Open on 1110 T Street
Coconut on T Happy Hour 4:30-6pm: $3 Appetizers, House Wine Draft Beers
vOTED #1 BEST THAI fOOD
10 beers on tap @ coconut on t!
Ye l p . c o m / b i z / t h e - c o c o n u t - o n - t - s a c r a m e n t o 24 | SN&R | 12.01.16
Inside Mesa Mercado, your view consists of a black wall of construction on one side and a sea of empty parking spaces on the other. Eventually, that black wall will become Insight Coffee Roasters, Jaynee Cakes and a farmers market, and the parking lot will hopefully look full. About three months ago, Mesa Mercado became one of the first businesses to open at the long-promised Milagro Centre, a still-inprogress, 46,000-square-foot food hall in Carmichael that aims to emulate Napa’s Oxbow Market or San Francisco’s Ferry Building. But for now, it’s the lonely, enormous home of Ernesto Delgado’s new restaurant, a more casual counterpart to his popular Tequila Museo Mayahuel downtown. Just like Mayahuel doubles as a museum of sorts, Mesa Mercado acts as a market within Milagro’s greater marketplace. To the right of the main entrance, there’s a small shop filled with Mexican cookbooks, cooking tools and tchotchkes. Similar artifacts surround you in the lime green dining room, a bright space rich with detail but devoid of much character—an oddly corporatefeeling design you might find in an Ikea catalog with accents courtesy of Pinterest. Still, it’s nice enough. And there’s easy parking. The food echoes the atmosphere. If you think traditional taquerias serve grub that’s unsanitary, horribly spicy and gosh darn too affordable, then Mesa Mercado will probably appeal. Here, you pay $7.50 for “deconstructed” guacamole—diced avocado, tomato and onion with salt and citrus on the side so you, essentially, make your own guacamole—and $3 for chips and salsa.
ja ne lle b @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
At the start of dinner, a server drops a small plate of chopped mango, a change of pace that would be very exciting if the mango wasn’t underripe and out of season. If you love Mayahuel’s smoky poblano soup, Mesa Mercado serves it as well ($5). In general, the menu lightly echoes Mayahuel, though it’s much smaller, a bit cheaper and inspired by the markets of Mexico City and Oaxaca. So, instead of Mayahuel’s excellent Pueblan mole, Mesa Mercado carries a dark Oaxacan version ($18). The exception to the regional rule is also perhaps Mesa Mercado’s best dish: the chile en nogada ($10), a Pueblan wintertime tradition. A roasted poblano gets stuffed with ground beef and raisins and blanketed in a sweet, creamy walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds. It’s a rare find. Other appetizers fared less well. The chicken tinga tostadas ($7) promised spice and smoke but only delivered sloppy blandness. The sweet tamales ($6) were OK—the masa felt nice and light, but the topping of hard mango chunks was a bummer— but the ceviche ($11) truly disappointed. Mealy bits of out-of-season tomato mingled with lots of red onion and only a little fish, which smacked of lemon juice and not much else. I hoped the chips on the side would provide some much-needed salt, but they reeked of rancid oil. For entrees, the carnitas ($16) was barely edible: dry, chewy strands of pork with burnt edges. I felt relieved to find the steak ($21) tender and juicy, though its temperature quickly dropped under a sleet of cold guacamole. The tacos al pastor ($13) get the job done. Blue corn tortillas burst with soft, juicy pork, pineapple, onion and radish. Texturally, I longed for some char on the meat, but the sweet-tangy flavors are sound. A taco bar is still in the works, and servers promise its arrival any day now. There’s also a full bar—and an intriguing cocktail menu dominated by mezcal—but the place still exudes family friendliness. Though the Milagro Centre is expected to draw visitors from all over the region, Mesa Mercado alone probably won’t. But judging by the steady crowds at lunch and dinner, it’s certainly filling a niche in Carmichael. Ω
Here, you pay $7.50 for “deconstructed” guacamole.
German festivities Every December, Christmas-themed street markets pop up throughout much of Europe—a picturesque scene in a beautiful, historic plaza, with vendors touting handmade ornaments, freshly carved nutcrackers and hot mulled wine. They originated in Germany and surrounding, German-speaking areas, probably in the 1300s, and continue to be a beloved tradition that draws millions of tourists to cities like Nuremberg, Dresden and Munich each year. Sacramento’s Turn Verein (3349 J Street) will host its own Christkindlmarkt Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4, with 28 booths selling items prime for holiday shopping and festive eating. Wash down a bratwurst dinner with glühwein, the German style of spiced, warm wine. And pick up some edible gifts, such as gebrannte mandeln, burnt sugar almonds; stollen, a fruit-studded bread; and magenbrot or lebkuchen, two cookies similar to gingerbread. Admission is $3 or free with a donation of a coat. More at http://sacramentoturnverein.com.
• • • •
AUTHENTIC IRISH FARE 1903 BANK BUILDING WHISKEY VAULT LIVE MUSIC THURS-SAT
FatherPaddysPu b.com 530.668.1044 � 435 Main Street � Woodland, CA
happy hour indulge in
in The V Word test kitchen for the unofficial title of official 2016 holiday sweet treat. In this corner, from My California Roots (mycaliforniaroots. com), with nutmeg and Earth Balance and ground flax seed, it’s The Best Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies. It faced off with VegKitchen’s (www.vegkitchen.com) basic, six-ingredient Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies. Both opponents are delicious, and MCR’s symmetrical
sugar-rolled cookies are Instagram picture perfect, but take more than hour to make. The VegKitchen cookie clocked in at a half hour to make and called for a whopping 2 cups of peanut butter. They were so soft out of the oven, I thought it may be a total fail, but after cooling, the texture was soft and the flavor vibrant versus MCR’s, which was less peanutty and more crunchy. The winner: VegKitchen’s fast and easy vegan cookies! Because slutty cookies always win.
Friday december 16 • 5pm-9pm
Two vegan peanut butter cookie recipes recently went head-to-head
reserve your spot at snrsweetdeals.newsreview.com
proceeds benefit sierra forever families
Peanut butter cookie battle
happy hour 3-6, M-F | appetizers $3 off $5 well, crafts & cocktails | Upscale Atmosphere
2nd floor Nightclub
419 J St
www.thepierlounge.com call now to reserve your vip room for nye17 12.01.16 | SN&R | 25
A PAID ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
Where to ﬁnd the region’s best craft brews
Crooked Lane Brewing Co.
• Roaky Mandarina New England IPA yeast, citrus-forward hops and Mandarin flavor • Klasse Vienna Lager Toasted German malt, brilliant amber color and a crisp, dry finish • Swamp Angel IPA Unfiltered tropical and citrus hop character. Hop heads rejoice!
• Veedels Bräu Kölsch Crisp malt with noble hop aroma. Pear, apricot notes with a clean finish • SR16 IPA Unfiltered tropical hops create intense flavors upon a light malt background • Dottie’s Habit Chewy, chocolatey, stone fruit flavors roll through with an oatmeal mouth feel
Kupros Craft House CITRUS HEIGHTS
SACRAMENTO 5 14
• Lagunitas High West-iﬁed Ale brewed with coffee and then aged in rye barrels • Device Salted Caramel Porter Smooth, salted caramel dark deliciousness
Track 7 Brewing Co.
• English Mild Ale Releases 12/2 • Contact Low Northeast-inspired pale ale; release 12/7 • L&H in VT Northeast-inspired pale ale; release 12/7 • Pint Club Winner Holiday Ale Releases 12/9 in both taprooms • Golden Guava IPA Citra and Cascade hops flavor Golden Guava, with tropical and citrus nuances; releases 12/14 on tap and in cans
Capitol Beer and Tap Room
Pitch and Fiddle
2222 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento 916-922-1745, www.capitolbeer.com, Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Curtis Park Market
8704 La Riviera Drive, Sacramento 916-573-4782, www.pitchandfiddle.com
Doyle’s Pub and Taproom 312 E. Bidwell St., Folsom 916-983-8277, www.doylespubandtap.com Tue-Thurs 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-midnight Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
1217 21st St., Sacramento 916-440-0401, www.kuprosbistro.com Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Friday 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-midnight KuprosCraftHouse
26 | SN&R | 12.01.16
536 Grass Valley Hwy, Auburn 530-878-5232, www.crookedlanebrewing.com Mon/Wed/Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m. Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. CrookedLaneBrewing
3514 Broadway, Sacramento 916-660-2723, www.opbrewco.com Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. OakParkBrewingCompany
Track 7 Brewing Co. 9
3747 W. Pacific Ave., Ste. F, Sacramento (Curtis Park) 826 Professor Lane, Ste. 100, Sacramento (Natomas) 916-520-4677(HOPS), www.track7brewing.com Mon-Thurs 3-9 p.m.; Fri-Sun noon-9 p.m. Track7Brewing
9331 La Riviera Drive, Sacramento 916-364-8701
Nugget Markets 13 14 15
Oak Park Brewing Co.
Kupros Craft House
Crooked Lane Brewing Co.
9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville 916-782-1166 Mon-Wed noon-11 p.m., Thurs-Sat noon-midnight Sun noon-8 p.m.
La Riviera Market & Spirits
Final Gravity Taproom & Bottleshop 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste. C-300, Auburn 530-889-2175, www.finalgravitybeer.com Tue-Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.
2703 24th St., Sacramento 916-456-6488 Sun-Mon 8 a.m.-11 p.m. CurtisParkMarket
• Mo’Suka Northeast-inspired double IPA Double IPA verson of Sukahop: Mo’Haze, Mo’Juice, Mo’Piña; releases 12/21 on tap and in cans; releases 12/21 on tap and in cans • Anniversary Collaboration Anniversary brew released in 16-ounce four-packs; collaboration ales with six breweries released in six-packs; all release 12/31
TAP ROOMS 1
New Glory Curiosite Raspberry Berliner Weisse sour German wheat ale fermented with raspberries • Berryessa Tufts Ship IPA Aromas and flavor characteristics of fresh cut flowers, melon and overripe citrus • Lagunitas Dark Swan An experimentally hopped sour ale fermented with dark red wine grapes
16 17 18 19 20
1414 E. Covell Blvd., Davis 530-750-3800, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m. 409 Mace Blvd., Davis 530-753-6690, Sun-Sat 7 a.m.-10 p.m. 4500 Post St., El Dorado Hills 916-933-1433, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m. 7101 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove 916-226-2626, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-10 p.m. 1040 Florin Road., Sacramento 916-395-2875, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-10 p.m. 771 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville 916-746-7799, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m. 2000 Town Center Plaza, West Sacramento 916-375-8700, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-11 p.m. 157 Main St., Woodland 530-662-5479, Sun-Sat 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
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TAP MAP craft happenings T HU RSDAY, D E C. 1 • Tap Map Happy Hour 3-7 p.m., Kupros Craft House 1217 21st St., Sacramento • Singer/Songwriter Night 8-11 p.m., Kupros Craft House • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • $4 Thirsty Thursday 3-10 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
F RI DAY, D E C. 2 • Second Annual Into the Barrel Noon-11 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn
SAT U RDAY, D E C. 3 La Riviera Market & Spirits has a selection of more than 1,000 beers. PHOTO BY KEN MAGRI
BY KEN MAGRI
CRAFTY GIVING Local gifts for your beer-loving friends Want to avoid the mall and shop local this holiday season? If there’s a craft beer lover on your list, we have some ideas. Bike Dog Brewing Co. in West Sacramento offers 35 different styles of beer annually, giving their customers plenty of options. Their gift cards start at just $25, enough to sample everything on tap during a visit. If your friend wants to show off his or her love for Bike Dog, the brewery also offers shirts with their popular logo for $25 to $45. And if the person you’re shopping for is a huge Bike Dog fan, you can go all out for Bike Dog’s membership program, The League. For $450, this includes a four-pint steel growler that you can fill with your favorite brew every week for a year, and an extra pint to sample. If you want to keep it simple, pick up some craft beer at a bottle shop. La Riviera Market & Spirits offers so many craft beers it looks like a beer archive. There are full aisles dedicated to beer types, like sours and stouts. With more than 1,000 different beers representing breweries from along the Golden State’s coast, you can even create a sampler pack of four to six beers — perfect for a holiday party. You can still grab
a Budweiser there, but why would you when you’re surrounded by a thousand great alternatives? Closer to downtown, Curtis Park Market on 24th Street stocks around 1,200 craft beers, including a large selection from local breweries. “Sacramento is full of hop heads,” says Keenan Gorgis, who manages Curtis Park Market. “If you look at the local scene, they like a lot of hoppy stuff.” He says freshness is what makes his market a standout. One of his personal favorites right now is Panic IPA from Track 7. Maybe you have a more adventurous friend who wants to experiment with brewing their own beer. The Brewmeister, a brewing supply store, has home brewing kits that let ale lovers concoct their own batches. For as little as $100, you can gift a starter outfit that covers the basics. But if this is something your beer lover will want to do more than a few times, upgrade to the deluxe set for $350. Brewmeister also has an outstanding variety of local and regional hops and grains at their four Sacramento stores. They also teach classes, at shopbrewmeister.com.
If you need a gift for the craft beer lover in your life, the Sacramento beer scene has you covered.
• NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn
S UN DAY, D E C. 4 • Coffee beer and donuts pairing 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Music by Amber Rojo w/Bacon Straw, all day Crooked Lane Brewing Co., 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Track 7 Trivia, 5-7 p.m. Natomas Taproom
M O N DAY, D E C. 5 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn
T UES DAY, D E C. 6 • Taproom Trivia 6:30 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
W EDN E SDAY, D E C. 7 • Trivia Night 6-8 p.m., Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Taproom Trivia 6:30 p.m., Final Gravity 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville • $5 IPA Wednesday 3-10 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
TH URSDAY, D E C. 8 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • $4 Thirsty Thursday 3-10 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
F RI DAY, D E C. 9 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Cycles for Hope Fundraiser 6 p.m., Final Gravity 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville
SATURDAY, D E C. 10 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Stouterday 12 p.m., Final Gravity 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville
SUN DAY, D E C. 11 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Music by Amber Rojo w/Bacon Straw All day, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Sacramento Beer Enthusiasts Tipsy Santa 4:30-7:30 p.m., Final Gravity 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville • Track 7 Trivia 5-7 p.m., Curtis Park taproom • Leonardo da Vinci School Art Show Fundraiser Noon-4 p.m., Track 7 Curtis Park taproom
MO N DAY, D E C. 12 • NFL Ticket During all NFL games, Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn
TUE SDAY, D E C. 13 • Taproom Trivia 6:30 p.m., Final Gravity 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
WE D N E SDAY, D E C. 14 • Trivia Night 6-8 p.m., Crooked Lane Brewing Co. 536 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn • Taproom Trivia 6:30 p.m., Final Gravity 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Ste. 100, Roseville • $5 IPA Wednesday 3-10 p.m., Final Gravity, 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste C-300, Auburn
12.01.16 | SN&R | 27
Seasonal tidings Holiday plays and concerts to make things merry by Jeff Hudson
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Behold the ghosts of holiday entertainment.
’Tis the season for holiday words and sounds. This year, most local theater companies are going with shows they’ve done before, the tried-and-true crowdpleasers, if you will. If words and thoughts are too much to take in during this craziest time of the year, there are also plenty of concert options. Following is a quick guide to where to find some onstage cheer, be it theatrical or musical. B Street Theatre: This year, B Street is reviving
Buck Busfield’s irreverent spoof of A Christmas Carol, with Greg Alexander as Scrooge. 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m Wednesday; $26-$38; 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. Through December 31. Sacramento Theatre Company: Kids and family alike
should enjoy this take on Cinderella; here the fairy tale is reimagined as a British-style panto featuring Michael R.J. Campbell in drag as Mrs. Baden-Rotten. 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Wednesday; $17$27; 1419 H Street; (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org. Through January 1. Capital Stage: David Sedaris’ modern classic The
Santaland Diaries is a one-man show about a disgruntled temp worker doing seasonal work as a department store elf. Opens December 7. 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; $33-$38; 2215 J Street; (916) 995-6464; www.capstage.org. Through December 31.
Photo courtesy of B street theatre
Broadway Sacramento: It doesn’t get much more classic than Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. C’mon, you know all the songs, right? The show opens December 27. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; $25-$82; Sacramento Community Center Theatre, 1301 L Street; (916) 557-1999; www.californiamusicaltheatre.com. Through January 1. Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra: Go “Home for the
Holidays” with this large local chorus (100-plus voices) conducted by Donald Kendrick, with the Sacramento Children’s Chorus and puppets from the Green Valley Theatre. It’s a mainstream tinsel-and-reindeertype show. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 10; $35-$50; Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J Street; http://sacramentochoral.com. American Bach Soloists: This top-notch baroque Bay Area orchestra and choir performs “Handel’s Messiah.” Under conductor Jeffrey Thomas, the ensemble has mastered Handel’s famous oratorio, which sounds fresh and vigorous. 7 p.m., Saturday, December 10; $13.50-$51; The Mondavi Center, 1 Shields Avenue in Davis; (530) 754-5000; www.mondaviarts.org. Chanticleer: This polished, professional 12-voice
male vocal ensemble tours nationally with “A Chanticleer Christmas” each year, singing everything from medieval chants to modern jazz. 8 p.m., Thursday, December 15; $35-$75; Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 1017 11th Street. www.chanticleer.org. Sacramento Master Singers: This 40-voice chamber choir will be joined by a string quartet for a multidate production of “Angels We Have Heard On High.” 7 p.m. Thursday, December 15; 8 p.m. Saturday, December 17; 3 p.m. Sunday, December 18; 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 21; $22; St. Francis of Assiosi Parish, 1066 26th Street; 7 p.m. Sunday, December 11, at Harris Center at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; www.MasterSingers.org. Ω
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A Christmas Carol
Greg Alexander plays a sly Scrooge in Buck Busfield’s comic adaptation of the Charles Dickens tale. Challenging his ghosts and tempting his fate, this Scrooge finds redemption in a most unorthodox way. Director Dave Pierini puts a marvelous ensemble through fast-paced action and plenty of costume changes. Th, F 8pm, Sa 5 pm
and 9pm, Su 2pm, T 6:30pm, W 2pm. Through 12/31. $26-$38;
B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www .bstreettheatre.org. J.C.
A Christmas Carol
With a cast of 40, and a huge set that encompasses the entire community center theater, the Winters Theatre Company’s production of this holiday classic makes for a multimedia extravaganza. The rendition of the classic boasts many very good performances. F, Sa 8pm. Su 2pm. Through 12/4. $8-$12; Winters Community Center,
201 Railroad Avenue in Winters; (530) 795-4014; www .winterstheatre.org. B.S.
I Ought to be in Pictures
In one of Neil Simon’s lesser-known comedies, daughter Libby arrives unexpectedly looking for the father who left her family 16 years before. Father Herb is a writer and Libby wants him to use his nonexistent connections to get her into the movies. Excellent acting, particularly by Kate Brugger as Libby, makes this a superb production. Th 6:30pm, F
8pm, Sa 2pm and 8pm, Su 2pm, W 6:30pm. Through 12/11. $15-
$38; Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H Street. (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre .org. B.S.
Robin and his merry men swing through the Sherwood Forest, fighting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in this delightful one-act play from the B Street Theatre. The show, which features five talented
The 39 Steps
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 spy movie gets a madcap comic interpretation in this adaptation by Patrick Barlow. A cast of four wildly talented actors—Ian Hopps, Stephanie Hodson, Scott Divine and Zachary Scovel—play more than 100 characters, sometimes more than one at a time. Directed by Jouni Kirjola, it’s a marvel of timing and execution. The play itself, however, could be better. Th, F and Sa 8pm. Through 12/17. $12$18. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www.bigideath eatre.org. J.C.
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B Street regulars performing multiple roles, is recommended for all ages. Sa, Su 1 pm and 4 pm. Through 12/24. $18-$23. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre .org. B.S.
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Gift Certificate PhOTO COURTESTy OF ThE SACRAMENTO BALLET
Sugar plums and snowflakes Let it snow! And it will—on stage, at least—in the Sacramento Ballet’s annual production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker. Here, Clara and her living doll share a wondrous Christmas adventure through the Snowflake Forest and beyond where more than sugar plums dance all around. Consider this an early heads-up for a popular tradition—the show opens December 10 and some performances will accompanied by live music. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday; $28-$88; Community Center Theater; 1301 L Street; (916) 808-5181; www.sacballet.org.
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30 | SN&R | 12.01.16 SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW
Rules Don’t apply The look of a couple far too excited about visiting makeout Ridge.
by Jim Lane
the 1940s and backward from the ’70s to fit them into the time frame of the story. The movie opens in 1958, when (we are From the first time I saw the trailer until the credits told) Hughes is running RKO Pictures. In fact, by then he had already run it into the crawled by at the end of the movie itself, I wanted ground and sold out, but in the movie he’s still to like Rules Don’t Apply. It’s beautifully photobringing starlets to the studio. One of them is graphed by Caleb Deschanel, gorgeously designed Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), a Baptist virgin by Jeannine Oppewall with an eye for the period from the South, whom the unseen Hughes (1958-64), and conscientiously acted by a large and ensconces with her watchful mother (Annette glittering cast. But it’s an ungodly mess. It’s one Bening) in a mansion on a hill overlooking the of the most beautifully photographed, gorgeously Hollywood Bowl. Here Marla chastely bonds designed and conscientiously acted ungodly with her driver Frank Forbes (Alden messes to flash across movie screens in Ehrenreich), a less virginal but years. And even as I write this now, I equally devout Presbyterian from still want to like it. Fresno who hopes to interest Warren Beatty has been absent Hughes (whom he, like Marla, from the screen for 15 years, has yet to meet) in a real and he’s been wanting to make I’ll bet the lunches and estate deal. a movie about Howard Hughes coffee breaks were a lot Collins and Ehrenreich are since at least 1979. Now that he’s appealing, but their characters of fun. done it, the result offers proof are barely sketched in Beatty (like Martin Scorsese’s 2002 and Goldman’s script, which Gangs of New York) of the dangers betrays present-day Hollywood’s of letting a project simmer too long typical sneering incomprehension on the back burner. of people of faith. Beatty, who also wrote (with Bo Barely sketched characters are Goldman) and directed the picture, plays common in this movie; Beatty assembles Martin Hughes with such relish and charm that it’s easy Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Matthew to overlook the fact that he’s nine years older Broderick, Paul Sorvino, Ed Harris, Oliver Platt than Hughes was when he died, and more than and Steve Coogan, among others, then gives 20 years older than Hughes when the movie takes them almost nothing to do. place. Beatty’s Hughes is boyishly enthusiastic in But I’ll bet the lunches and coffee breaks a way that makes it possible to understand why were a lot of fun. Ω people would continue to work for him even as his peccadillos became more exasperating and his obsessions increasingly bizarre. In these scenes we get a glimpse of the movie we might have had if Beatty could have made it 20 years ago. But this is 2016, and Hughes becomes a supportPoor Fair Good Very excellent Good ing role, with his life’s events moved forward from
1 2 3 4 5
BY DANIEL BARNES & JIM LANE
Bleed for This
for voting us #1 place to knock down pins
During World War II, on a covert operation in Casablanca, a Canadian military intelligence officer (Brad Pitt) and a French Resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) fall in love and later marry back in London— then suspicions arise that she’s a German spy. Crisply written by Steven Knight and slickly directed by Robert Zemeckis, the movie rashly invites an obvious comparison, but there’s only one Casablanca. Still, this solemn, romantic melodrama bears up under the comparison surprisingly well; Pitt and Cotillard have classic movie-star chemistry, and the picture, for all its state-of-the-art CGI, deftly evokes the look and style of 1940s wartime movie-making, with everything ending exactly as it should. Jared Harris, Simon McBurney, Lizzy Caplan and Matthew Goode round out the rather sparse supporting cast. J.L.
Writer-director Ben Younger gives us the story of champion boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), who suffered a broken neck in a near-fatal auto accident in 1991 at the height of his career; warned he might never walk and would certainly never fight again, Pazienza returned to the ring 13 months later in an amazing comeback. Younger has a dramatic story (hewing reasonably close to the facts) and a first-rate cast—besides Teller, there are Aaron Eckhart as Pazienza’s trainer, Ted Levine as his manager and Ciarán Hinds and Katey Sagal as his parents—and Younger imbues the picture with a palpable air of grubby, sweaty working-class realism. The movie never really overcomes the basic familiarity of its formula—Triumph Over Adversity (Sports Division)—but within those limits, it’s extremely well-done. J.L.
“You just had to go and call me Ben again.”
Manchester by the Sea
The long and tortured birth of Kenneth Lonergan’s 2011 masterwork Margaret would have been enough to destroy the directorial ambitions of weaker men, so the fact that Manchester by the Sea exists at all is a minor miracle. And while it’s not quite the same scorched-earth triumph, Manchester by the Sea possesses a lot of the same novel-like textures and soul-gutting performances that made Margaret so powerful and compelling. Casey Affleck stars as Lee Chandler, an unhappy handyman still licking the wounds of an unspoken past tragedy when he receives the news that his brother has died. That leaves Lee to care for his hot-headed teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), a task for which he appears woefully ill-equipped. Affleck gives the sort of crumpled, seething, fully lived-in performance that De Niro and Pacino gave in their primes, and he gets strong support from Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Gretchen Mol. D.B.
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The Edge of Seventeen
At this point, it’s almost an unfair advantage for flimsy indie films to stuff Woody Harrelson into a supporting role, kind of the Sundance-Toronto International Film Festival analogue of juicing. In first-time director Kelly Fremon Craig’s generally likeable but thoroughly unremarkable The Edge of Seventeen, Harrelson plays the prickly teacher and anti-mentor to Hailee Steinfeld’s harried high school student Nadine, a social maladroit whose world falls apart when her only friend starts dating her brother. Harrelson steals every single one of his scenes, sometimes by doing little more than furrowing his brow or leaning forward in his chair. It doesn’t amount to much, but it sure is great theater. Beyond that, the film offers an assured lead performance from Steinfeld, some humorous insights into adolescent angst and a curious lack of narrative urgency. The Edge of Seventeen is generally devoid of the trappings of ticking clocks and artificial ultimatums, but it’s also barely a movie. D.B.
A princess of ancient Polynesia (voiced by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho) answers the mystical call of the ocean, venturing beyond the safety of her island lagoon to seek help from the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) in correcting the imbalance of nature that threatens to destroy her world. With four directors and eight writers credited, this may be a case of too many cooks; the story is paper-thin and uncompelling, but serviceable enough as a framework for some breathtaking animation. It’s a two-character show, and the stars deliver the goods with irresistible charm (not surprising from Johnson, and 16-year-old Cravalho may be a real find). Songs by LinManuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i are catchy while they last but quickly forgotten. So is the movie itself, but it goes down smoothly enough. J.L.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
In 1926 New York, young wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives with a suitcase full of the magical creatures he will later catalog in one of Harry Potter’s textbooks—but first he has to round up the ones that have escaped, creating havoc and straining relations between the wizard and nonwizard communities. J.K. Rowling, already rich beyond the dreams of avarice, tries her hand at screenwriting, but alas, she’s not very good at it: Her story is absurdly convoluted, and worse, direction is by the mediocre David Yates, who encourages his actors to mutter their lines in barely audible whispers (Redmayne is the worst offender; we don’t catch half the creature names he mumbles). This is reportedly the first of five movies. Well, Rowling’s audience is hard to alienate, but we’ll just see about that. J.L.
Even if all you ever want from a film is moral affirmation and a basketful of the warm-fuzzies, writer-director Jeff Nichols’ mildewed biopic Loving is still a fusty and unengrossing watch. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star as Richard and Mildred Loving, a real-life Virginia interracial couple who married in D.C., but were arrested at home and forced to leave the state in 1958. The ACLU picked up their case in the 1960s, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court in a landmark case that effectively eliminated anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. Nichols works hard to make Richard and Mildred as banal and devoid of personality as possible, but for all of the film’s drowsy respectfulness, the script is still loaded with clunker lines. (“Is there anything you’d like me to say to them … and by them, I mean the Supreme Court justices of the United States?”) D.B.
Writer-director Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight follows a bullied, painfully shy, gay African-American male named Chiron from tortured boyhood through tortured adolescence and on to tortured young adulthood. The story is divided into three chapters, and each one is titled with one of the protagonist’s various identities—the belittled “Little” as a child, the tentatively self-realizing Chiron as a teenager, and the self-denying criminal “Black” as an adult—to symbolize the various personae he tries on for size throughout his life. The film is short on subtle symbolism but overflowing with empathy and beauty and grace. It’s hard to single out a performance for praise in the film’s terrific ensemble cast, but Mahershala Ali casts an enormous shadow over the film, even though he only appears in the first third. It’s only Jenkins’ second feature, but Moonlight feels more like a hard-earned career-capper rather than the career-igniter that it should become. D.B.
Tom Ford made his name as a fashion designer and creative director for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, so when he released his 2009 directorial debut A Single Man, it was hard to tell if Ford was a cinematic devotee or a dilettante. It didn’t help that the film was eminently tasteful and immaculately appointed, as much designed as directed, the sort of bloodless actors’ showcase created to court awards voters. Seven years later, Ford delivers his follow-up film Nocturnal Animals, and it finally feels like he means business. The storytelling is both more refined and more brutishly personal, and the film strikes a balance between inscrutability and accessibility, between Lynch-ian art horror and Deliverance-like exploitation. A Single Man was the work of a talented tourist; this is the work of a true filmmaker. Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow, an art gallery owner whose life has become a series of false surfaces. D.B.
12.01.16 | SN&R | 31
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bands. Everyone referred to the project as a “half-ass band,” an idea the group embraced when naming its debut album, 2014’s Half Ass Is Badass. But wanting to play Austin was no joke. This goal has transformed the side-project status into something much more serious. To get there, they’d need to tour. To book a tour, they’d need a press kit. The band already released its sophomore album in January at The Boardwalk—the members were all dressed as South Park characters—but only pressed 100 CDs and didn’t do much to LoL? promote it. Now they are giving the album a proper release. But even before they started dreaming of playing the greatest city of all time, the members were Austin, Texas, is the best city on the planet. already starting to put more effort into the band. It’s That’s what you’d hear, anyway, if you asked right in that title of the second album, More Badass anyone in local comedy-rock band Korean Fire Than Half Ass. (“We actually work hard to make Drill. The band members love Austin so much they things seem like they’re half-ass,” Reed says.) The even wrote a song about it. production is slick, and the concept highly involved. “Austin is the leading city in everything. You There’s a weird story connecting the songs name it,” says Matt Thomas, the group’s bassist told via voicemail messages: Gavin and vocalist. “Figure skating, Austin is joins the band. The band fires her. the place to go. Fun fact about beans: She sticks her lawyers on the Austin, Texas, is the leading city in “We actually band. Thomas somehow ends beans.” up in a Korean prison, which He’s joking, but the song work hard to make he escapes. The band relocates is real: “Austin, Texas (The things seem like they’re to Austin (best city ever!) and Good, The Bad and the Fkyaah half-ass.” then a bunch of other oddball [Concerto in G & F, and G]).” It’s stuff happens. on Korean Fire Drill’s sophomore Carl Reed The reissue of More Badass album, More Badass Than Half guitarist, Korean Fire Drill Than Half Ass is just the beginAss, which gets its official release ning. Thomas and Reed say they on Saturday, December 3, at The have at least three more albums in Boardwalk. their heads. One is a holiday record, Austin is in actuality a leader in tech jobs. but holidays that don’t normally get songs: Thomas and guitarist Carl Reed were discussing this Columbus Day, Arbor Day, Halloween. one day, and—because they turn everything into When Korean Fire Drill does get to play Austin, a joke—they decided Austin is the leading city in the members don’t care if the tribute is welleverything. Then it became a song. received or not. Eventually, a different thought occurred: What if “They might hate it. I hope it happens,” Reed Korean Fire Drill played the song “Austin, Texas” says. “That would be hilarious. Then the next album in the actual city? At this point—January of this we’d have a story about our trip to Austin, Texas.” Ω year, to be exact—the band was still mostly a fun side project. All the members either had been or were recently in “serious” bands, like FallRise Check out Korean Fire Drill at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 3, at the (Thomas, drummer Ian Peterson), Prylosis (Reed) Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane in orangevale. tickets are $20. Learn and Aroarah (singer Lydia Gavin). Korean Fire Drill more at www.facebook.com/KoreanFireDrill. formed in 2013 as a way to escape the stress of said Photo BY LUKE FItZ
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SNRSWEETDEALS.NEWSREVIEW.COM 32 | SN&R | 12.01.16
Sacramento’s Korean Fire Drill gets serious about its funny songs
2251 Douglas Blvd. | Roseville, CA 95661 Tel: 916.774.7200 Fax: 916.774.7203
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YG’s ‘FTD’ on wax and IRL
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ity, institutional racism, the drug war and rampant income inequality, to list only some of the disenfranchisement that hip-hop speaks of. Hip-hop, like many art forms, has to be kept in its social and historical context to be appreciated at times; unfortunately, that social context has not changed much. Bluntly, hip-hop would not exist if black lives mattered; neither would the blues, jazz, soul or funk. Since the ’70s, groups such as the Last Poets to Dead Prez and artists like KRS-One to Kendrick Lamar have added to this tradition of speaking to issues found in marginalized communities, ones that may feel voiceless otherwise.
VIEWING PARTY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30 4PM | $30 AT THE DOOR $20 PRESALE TICKETS ONLINE
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art form embedded in the history of American protest against police brutal-
YG’s song began as a protest to a possibility, but now it’s a nationwide rallying call to those that dissent against our political reality. On Saturday, YG performed two sold-out shows at Ace of Spades. During the second set, a predominantly young crowd packed the space. Before, and in between performances, I noticed the occasional attendee twirling in circles, like a displaced musicbox ballerina, while taking a video of him or herself. Very short sets by Sad Boy, RJ, Kamaiyah were punctuated with reminders that “This is the Fuck Donald Trump Tour,” with intermittent chants of “Fuck Donald Trump” from the crowd and emcees. Eventually, YG was rolled onstage on a gurney while a screen that stretched the length of the stage played footage of surgeons seen from a patient’s point of view and of the peaks and valleys of a medical monitor; YG, still on the prop medical cot, rapped the first few bars of “Who Shot Me?,” a song he wrote and recorded the same day in June of 2015 after he was shot three times by an unidentified shooter. Throughout the rest of his set, YG commanded the stage and brought an energy and charisma that the other acts didn’t match as he breezed through hits like “Left, Right,” rapping portions of songs a capella, before transitioning into his more politically charged material, like “Blacks & Browns.” At one point, YG requested that some of those who would be discriminated against by Trump’s most prejudiced promises volunteer to come to the stage for some postelection therapy: beating a Trump pinata. As the president-elect’s papiermâché limbs flew into the crowd, YG claimed that Sacramento did the best job of destroying the Cheetos-esque demagogue’s doppelganger of the entire tour. As YG’s set ended, it was clear the emcee is utilizing his platform to motivate people to become more aware of minority issues, police brutality and to engage in the necessary process to not allow Trump to spew his racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, xenophobic hate-politics upon the country and the backs of those that built it. And that’s what hip-hop culture is all about.
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N.W.A released the song “Fuck tha Police” in 1988. The next year, the lyrics of the song became subject of an FBI investigation. Similarly, Southern California rapper YG released the song “FDT” (“Fuck Donald Trump”) in March 2016. It, too, was part of an investigation when the Secret Service called Def Jam to inquire about the song’s lyrical content—and that of his entire album, Still Brazy. As a result, a couple of lines on “FDT” have been censored. But that Secret Service phone call did little to dissuade the rapper from any further politically minded provocations—even when, in April, the video shoot for “FDT” was shut down temporarily by police due to calls concerned over large crowds that had gathered. That same month in an interview with Billboard, YG explained that all he wished to do with his song was incite young people to vote or else “it could be all bad for us.” YG’s vocal distaste for the reality show candidate led him to announce his Fuck Donald Trump Tour back in September. Fast forward to November: On Election Day, YG commissioned the Yeastie Boys bagel truck to pass out free red bagels to hungry early morning voters in his native city of Compton; the bagels were named after YG’s protest song. Most likely intended as a morale boosting breakfast of sorts and a final farewell middlefinger to the orange oligarch, “FTD” is now enjoying a longer lifespan than anyone, even YG, had imagined or hoped for. “FTD” continues in the rich tradition of hip-hop as an American
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12.01.16 | SN&R | 33
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Community Center theater, 7 p.m., $50-$110 For those who’ve never seen Celtic Woman, be prepared for a wild stage show quite literally replete with all the bells and whistles. This year’s classically themed show Home for Christmas: The Symphony Tour will feature music from the successful Home for Christmas. Expect Irish jigs, traditional dance and a seasonal twist. This ensemble is one of the best of the batch when it comes to Celtic music and festivities. The SeASoNAl current touring troupe includes vocalists Mairead Carlin, Susan McFadden, Eabha McMahon and the multitalented Tara McNeill doubling on harp and violin duties. 1301 L Street, www.celticwoman.com.
— eddie Jorgensen
starlite lounge, 8 p.m., $8
antiquité maison privée, 7 p.m., $10-$15
Soft Kill delivers solid post-punk with its arsenal of brooding, synth-drenched songs abundant with pensive disillusionment. Somber vocals coupled PoST-PUNK with shoegaze tendencies amplify the sense of dark rumination into the realm of the meditative—how pain is sickly sweet, how affliction is proof of existence. You know, post-punk stuff. Soft Kill has been honing its melancholic sensibility since 2010, and this year’s album, Choke, shows off a continuing refinement of said sensibility, with eight songs chockfull of wounded energy, cloaked anticipation and aggrandized despair. 1517 21st Street, www.anopendoor.bandcamp.com.
It seems fitting that Ruby Jaye’s singing voice carries a childlike tint in a style that otherwise takes cues from the decidedly not-childlike genres of jazz and Americana. That’s because the Sacramento-based artist performed all over southern California as a ragtime and SINGeR-SoNGWRITeR blues pianist during her childhood, recognized by then-Gov. Gray Davis and portrayed in magazines as an abnormally cool, talented kid. Now, 15 years later, she’s releasing her debut full-length album, a collection of pop songs written on ukulele and piano, with whimsical lyrics and influences dating back to the 1920s. 2114 P Street, www.rubyjaye.com.
Colonial theatre, 7 p.m., $12-$16 The mutants in Ghoul eat babies. First time I saw them, they pulled out a crying baby and bit its head clean off before flinging its blood across a raging mosh pit. If that somehow isn’t enough to make you buy a ticket right now, you should GoReGRINd know that some heavyduty Gwar worship is not all that’s going on here. Ghoul’s blend of goregrind, skate thrash and surf metal is as imaginative and fun as it is spine-breaking in its viciousness, and the band’s sense of humor is unmatched—assuming you like laughing at baby butchery. 3522 Stockton Boulevard, www.creepsylvania.com.
LIVE MUSIC DEC 02 CYNTHIA RENEE DEC 03 SCOTTY VOX DEC 09 A NEW PAST DEC 10 COMANCHE JOEY DEC 16 DYLAN CRAWFORD DEC 17 CHAD WILKINS DEC 24 CLOSED DEC 25 CLOSED DEC 30 SCOTTY VOX
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34 | SN&R | 12.01.16
falliNg baCKWaRD iNTo a DiSiNTEgRaTiNg maRShmalloW iN SloW moTioN.
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Ace of SpAdeS, 7:30 p.m., $32.50
Blue lAmp, 8 p.m., $14
Founding members Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake will celebrate 40 years as one of the most influential punk rock bands out of Los Angeles on its upcoming anniversary tour. Albums like Los Angeles and Under the Big Black Sun gave fans a sonically diverse mix of songs like “Nausea” and “Dancing With Tears in My Eyes” that, too, dance along the lines of myriad genres from punk to folk PUNK to blues without ever losing sight of their foundation. With many longtime bands losing members to death or creative differences, X is an exception that remains intact. 1417 R Street, www.xtheband.com.
lowBRAu, 9 p.m., no coveR
Sims is the type to drop a rap record in 2016 with pastel pink artwork. Likewise, his tourmates Air Credits stay vocal on Twitter about ending gender roles. If you still RaP think rap music maintains retrograde politics, update your understanding. This is here-and-now music; simply listen to Showyousuck of Air Credits on “Passport” rap, “My PlayStation just got deported/cuz it’s foreign, everything foreign.” Air Credits (a collaboration between Showyousuck and producers The Hood Internet) just released Broadcasted, while Doomtree member Sims is touring off the strength of his solo More Than Ever record. 1400 Alhambra Boulevard, www.doomtree.net/sims.
hARlow’S ReStAuRAnt & nightcluB, 8 p.m., $20-$25
December is here, and local dream-pop duo Trophii is finally releasing its debut record, Vitamins and Flowers. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and the results are sublime—like Bon Iver meets Beach House, falling backward into a disintegrating marshmallow in slow motion. Folks DREam-PoP might already be familiar with singer Lindsey Pavao, who competed on The Voice four years ago. She teamed up with Richie Smith—at the time a member of local indie ensemble Life in 24 Frames—and the chemistry between the two has created something ethereal, yet accessible. 1050 20th Street, www.facebook.com/trophii.
I was first introduced to Pere Ubu, an underground band from Cleveland, in 1978 from a co-worker at Rasputin Records in Berkeley. The freak at Rasputin who flipped for its first album, The Modern Dance, may have dropped out of sight, but the experimental band soldiered on for another 30-plus years. Many of its records have been unjustly neglected RoCK over time, particularly the ones featured in this fast-moving show, Coed Jail! Songs From 1975-1982. If you’re not accustomed to lead singer David Thomas’ caterwauling vocal style, you’re in for something different. 2708 J Street, www.facebook.com/official.ubu.
ALL AGES WELCOME!
1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95811 • www.aceofspadessac.com SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
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12/02 21 Savage SOLD OUT! 01/06 Puddle of Mudd SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 01/07 Kane Brown 01/14 Chevelle SOLD OUT! SMALL WIGS 01/19 DNCE 01/20 & 01/21 Iration 01/22 August Burns Red MONDAY, DECEMBER 5 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23 01/24 Switchfoot & Relient K HOW THE GROUCH 01/27 Tribal Seeds STOLE CHRISTMAS LIVING LEGENDS: THE GROUCH – MURS – MISTAH FAB – K-OTTIC - TENT CITY 02/01 Juicy J ELIGH – AESOP - SUNSPOT JONZ – SCARUB ANDREW AND AJ 02/03 Powerman 5000 & Orgy – BICASSO - LUCKYIAM - DJ FRESH 02/11 Sevyn Streeter 02/13 Reel Big Fish & Anti-Flag TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30 02/14 & 02/15 Rebelution THE CHRIS ROBINSON HOLIDAY HANGOVER! 02/17 Louis The Child BROTHERHOOD ARMORED SAINT - MIDNIGHT ETERNAL 02/19 J Boog 03/09 Common Kings 03/17 The Cadillac Three NEW YEAR’S EVE SHOW FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31 03/29 STRFKR 03/30 Locash 04/10 Grouplove EVOLUTION EDEN - SJ SYNDICATE ANARCHY LACE 04/12 The Damned TICKETS AVAILABLE AT ALL DIMPLE RECORDS LOCATIONS AND WWW.ACEOFSPADESSAC.COM 12.01.16 | SN&R | 35 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
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2003 K St., (916) 448-8790
List your event! post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo, and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview.com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.
Hey local bands! Want to be a hot show? Mail photos to: calendar editor, Sn&R 1124 del Paso blvd., Sacramento, ca 95815 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. be sure to include date, time, location and cost of upcoming shows.
#turnup Thursday, 9pm, no cover
101 Main St., RoSeville; (916) 774-0505
1400 alhaMbRa, (916) 455-3400
YUKMOUTH, THE GATLIN, YOUNG CHEDDAR; 9pm, call for cover
9426 gReenbacK ln., oRangebale (916) 988-9247
ceNTer for The ArTS
314 Main St., gRaSS valleY; (530) 274-8384
LEGENDARY COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA, 7:30pm, $37-$42
cooper’S ALe workS
235 coMMeRcial St., nevada citY; (530) 265-0116
Spectacular Saturdays, 10pm, call for cover
Sunday Tea Dance and Beer Bust, 4pm, call for cover
Big Mondays happy hour all night, M; Karaoke, Tu; Trapicana W Trivia, 6:30pm M; Open mic, 7:30pm W, no cover
CYNTHIA RENEE, call for time and cover
SCOTTY VOX, call for time and cover
DEAD HORSE TRAUMA, PURGE THE PERFECT; 8pm, call for cover
TOMMY GUERRERO, THE BONESHAVERS; 8pm, call for cover
BADXCHANNELS, 6:30pm, $13
PSYCHOSTIK, MOTORIZE, DIGITAL HAVOC; 6:30pm, $20-$25
AGAINST THE CURRENT, 6:30pm M, $15; MUSHROOMHEAD, 6:30pm W, $18-$20
Holiday winterdance, 7pm, $14-$17
Holiday winterdance, 1pm, $14-$17
TAYLOR JEAN AND THE BLACKBIRD VOX, 7pm W, no cover
THE MERMEN, call for time and cover
THE MERMEN, call for time and cover
couNTry cLuB SALooN
Good Vibes with DJ Nocturnal, 10pm, call for cover
The spotlight, 9pm, call for cover; SIMS, AIR CREDITS, 9pm Tu, call for cover
ASHLEY BARRON, 9pm, call for cover
2007 taYloR Rd., looMiS; (916) 652-4007
1016 K St., (916) 737-5770
Everything happens dancing and karaoke, 9pm, call for cover
foX & GooSe
MARTY COHEN & THE SIDEKICKS, 8pm, no cover
2000 K St., (916) 448-7798 1001 R St., (916) 443-8825
Absolute Fridays dance party, 9pm, $5-$10
GoLDfIeLD TrADING poST GrAcIANo’S SpeAkeASy 1023 fRont St., (916) 321-9480
2708 j St., (916) 441-4693
Jazz jam with Reggie Graham, 5pm, no cover
8 TRACK MASSACRE, 9pm, $5
BRICKHOUSE, 9pm, $5
AESOP ROCK, HOMEBOY SANDMAN; 9pm, $25-$30
GOAPELE, 10pm, $30-$35
GOAPELE, 10pm, $30-$35
‘80s new wave/post punk, 10pm, no cover
TOTAL RECALL, FUNK IN THE TRUNK; 10pm, no cover
Joseph One, 10pm, no cover; Ignorant, 10pm, no cover
5681 lonetRee blvd., RocKlin; (916) 626-6366
BARNYARD STOMPERS, 7pm W, call for cover
ASHLEY BARRON, 9pm, call for cover
Poker tournament, 6:30pm, call for cover Old school r&b and hip-hop, 9pm, $10
hALfTIme BAr & GrILL
EDM & karaoke, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, no cover
Sunday Mass, 2pm, no cover
open mic, 7:30pm M, no cover; Pub quiz, 7pm Tu, no cover; BOB WOODS, 5pm, call for cover; SIMPLE CREATION, 9pm, call for cover
1603 j St., (916) 476-5076
Party Time with Sequin Saturdays drag show, 9:30pm, $5-$12
PETER MURPHY, 8pm, $35-$40
PERE UBU, OBNOX; 8pm, $20-$25
The hIDeAwAy BAr & GrILL 2565 fRanKlin blvd., (916) 455-1331
1910 q St., (916) 706-2465
Heavy, 10pm M, no cover; Tussle, 10pm Tu, no cover; Good stuff, 10pm W, no cover
2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com COMING SOON
12/9 $25 5:30PM FOLK LEGENDS:
12/1 8PM $25ADV
GEOFF MULDAUR & JIM KWESKIN
AESOP ROCK W/ ROB SONIC AND DJ ZONE
12/10 $20ADV 6PM COMEDY OF
12/3 AND 12/4 $30ADV 9PM
GOAPELE 12/11 $20ADV 7PM
12/4 $35ADV 7PM
THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS
12/7 $20ADV 7PM
PERE UBU – COED JAIL
(SONGS FROM 1975-1982) OBNOX
36 | SN&R | 12.01.16
12/13 $20ADV 8PM
BIG DADDY KANE
12/14 12/15 12/16 12/16 12/17 12/17 12/18 12/18 12/23 12/30 12/31 01/07 01/09 01/13 01/17 01/19 01/22 01/25 01/26
Anuhea Cam’Ron Ken Emerson & Jim “Kimo” West Joy & Madness Todd Morgan & The Emblems Charlie Hunter Rat Pack Christmas Barrington Levy The Funky 16s Daisy Spot NYE w/ Mustache Harbor Irishpalooza Midge Ure Purple Ones Stick Men Led Kaapana Metalachi Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Mac Sabbath
KNCI IS IN THE HOUSE HOT COLLEGE COUNTRY DANCE NIGHT 2.50 WELLS TIL 11PM
$2 TALL PBR CANS $4 JAMESON COUNTRY DANCING & KARAOKE
B 92.5 IS IN THE HOUSE 9-11 $10 PRIME RIB DINNER SPECIAL AT 6PM FREE DANCE LESSONS AT 7PM
GREAT COUNTRY DANCING IN THE BACK, KARAOKE UP FRONT, FREE LESSONS AT 7PM
18 & OVER COUNTRY COLLEGE DANCE NIGHT STONEYS HAS GREAT FOOD, FREE DANCE LESSONS NIGHTLY, MECHANICAL BULL, KARAOKE NIGHTLY 10 HD TVS FOR SPORTS (NFL PACKAGE) AND SUNDAY FOOTBALL PLUS BRUNCH! BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY AT STONEYS OR WE CAN CATER TO YOU!
1320 DEL PASO BLVD IN OLD NORTH SAC
thursDaY 12/1 luna’s cafe & juice bar
1414 16th st., (916) 441-3931
4th annual too naughty for Santa, 8pm, call for cover
Comedy, 8pm W, no cover
The Boombox, 9pm, $5
Salsa Wednesday, 7:30pm W, $5
1119 21st st., (916) 549-2779
naked lounge downtown 1111 h st., (916) 443-1927
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
1901 10th st., (916) 442-3504
on the y
DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, 8pm, $12-$14
Open mic stand-up comedy and karaoke, 8pm, no cover
670 fulton ave., (916) 487-3731
Saturday night karaoke, 8pm, no cover INSPECTOR 71, 10pm, $10
614 sutter st., folsom; (916) 355-8586
the press club
Open 8-ball pool tournament, 7:30pm, $5
Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Dart & movie night, 7pm W, no cover
40 OZ TO FREEDOM, 10pm, $10 Top 40 with DJ Larry, 9pm, no cover before 10pm
GHOUL SCHOOL, TEDROW; 7pm, $6
2030 P st., (916) 444-7914
HEATH WILLIAMSON, 5:30pm, call for cover; Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover
Lipstick, 9pm, $5
Sunday night dance party, 9pm, call for cover
DJ KATHAROS, BINO PRASSA; 9pm Tu, no cover
shady lady saloon
with Homeboy Sandman 9pm Thursday, $25-$30 Harlow’s Hip-hop
1409 r st., (916) 231-9121
1517 21st st., (916) 704-0711
stoney’s rockin rodeo
Country dancing & live band karaoke, 9pm, no cover
1320 Del Paso BlvD., (916) 927-6023
904 15th st., (916) 443-2797
SOFT KILL, TWO PASSENGERS; 8pm, call for cover
MAIDEN CALIFORNIA, JUDAS THIEVES; 8pm, $10
RAMBUSH, BOY ROMEO; 8pm W, call for cover
Country dancing & live band karaoke, 8pm, $5-$7
Country dancing & live band karaoke, 8pm, $5
Country dancing & live band karaoke, 9pm, call for cover
THE NIBBLERS, call for time and cover
SOLSA, call for time and cover
YOU FRONT THE BAND, call for time and cover
Country dancing & live band karaoke, 8pm, $5-$7
All ages, all the time ace of spades
21 SAVAGE, sold out
1417 r st., (916) 448-3300
DJ SNOOPADELIC, 7pm, $42
OTHERS, PEACE KILLERS, CHROME GHOST; 8pm, $6-$10
3520 stockton BlvD., (916) 736-3520
3512 stockton BlvD., (916) 718-7055
SACRAMENTO CLASSIC JAZZ MESSENGERS; 8pm, $10
1400 e st., (916) 551-1400
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X, SMALL WIGS; 7:30pm, $32.50-$35
MURS, THE GROUCH, 6:30pm M, $30; CHRIS ROBINSON, 7pm Tu, $24.50-$27.50
Peter Murphy 8pm Friday, $35-$40 Harlow’s Rock
SPANGLER, YESTER YEAR; 8pm, $6
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Affection and absence My husband was under pressure at work and didn’t want to take a family vacation this summer. The kids and I went without him. On vacation, I ran into a high school acquaintance. My kids liked him right away—unusual for them. He joined us for a lunch, a dinner and a day at the beach—all aboveboard. But I find myself fantasizing about him. He has texted me several times but I have not responded. I am afraid that I might cross the line. Should tell my husband about this? Yes, if you crave increased emotional intimacy in your marriage. But the first honest conversation to have is with yourself. Your husband’s commitment to his career clearly rankles you. It’s easy to translate his choice to forgo vacation as evidence he cares more for work than family. Our minds often default to that kind of comparathon when fueled by insecurities. But with effort, a healthy thinking pattern is possible. Yes, that means you are not the victim and your husband is not a villain. Don’t try to punish him with a story of how he might lose you just because he opted out of the family holiday. Here’s the story you do want to tell: You missed him. On vacation, you ran into an acquaintance and had a lovely visit, but you would have preferred having your husband’s companionship. Schedule a child-free weekend getaway for you and your man. You need time to reconnect with why you love one another. Oh, and about those fantasies— completely normal. Our minds are creative and endlessly seek opportunities to spin stories about ourselves and the world. The trick is to be conscious enough to determine which stories are meant to be lived into and which stories would birth hell on earth.
The first honest conversation to have is with yourself.
I’m in high school and one of my friends set me up on a prom date with her cousin who goes to a different school. He was creepy at dinner, so at the dance I ditched him. He told my friend that he
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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 Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email email@example.com.
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Cannabis … for free? So can we just give away weed now that we passed Proposition 64? Does that mean I can hand out pot brownies as a way to kick off my new edibles business? —Baked Alasondra Hold your cannabis-infused horses. While Prop. 64 does allow you to give away cannabis or cannabis-infused goodies, it does not allow you to give away pot for commercial or promotional purposes. I know, it’s a giant bummer, and something we will probably have to work on in the next few years. I mean, if you can go to a farmers market and try the peaches, why shouldn’t you be able to do the same thing with the weed at a cannabis event? And don’t tell anyone, but clubs and events have been giving away cannabis goodies for years. I have a feeling that this is gonna be one of This is gonna those things that is easy to prohibit but hard to enforce. You know, kinda like smoking be one of those in public. Prop. 64 says that people aren’t things that is easy allowed to light up in public spaces, but to prohibit but Prop. 215 allows medical cannabis patients to smoke wherever cigarette smoking is hard to enforce. allowed, except for moving vehicles. It’s a fair bet that most cops (at least cops in larger metropolitan areas; police officers in small towns may have more free time) are not gonna take the time to check everyone engaged in pubic cannabis use for their letter of recommendation. I would say: Be discreet. Good luck with your new venture. I often get migraines the day after taking edibles. Is this unusual? —Anne U. Rhism Not really. You are most likely dehydrated. People don’t talk about it much, but it is possible to have a sort of “hangover” after ingesting a bunch of pot. Think about the cottonmouth you get after smoking a joint. Now think about how much more THC is in an edible. Boom. Problem solved. Drink way more water next time. If you still get headaches, lay off the edibles and maybe see a doctor. Good talk.
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With weed being legal and all, does this mean that Child Protective Services will stop bugging me about my marijuana garden? —Hy Mahm CPS isn’t supposed to bug you about marijuana anyway. As long as you aren’t getting in trouble with the law for things like driving under the influence or doing dumb shit like leaving your weed lying around where you children can get it or letting them roam around in your pot garden, you should be fine. If they are giving you trouble, tell them to look up this court case: Jennifer A. v. Superior Court, a case in which a mother successfully defended her right to use cannabis. Using marijuana isn’t a crime, and most of the pot-smoking parents I know are really good at the whole parenting thing. Assert your rights. Have fun raising your kids. Ω Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jane’s Brew has long been a proponent of easy-as-heck medicating.
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Free will astrology
by Scott thomaS anderSon
by rob brezSny
FOR THE WEEk OF DECEMBER 1, 2016 ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I frequently tramped
eight or 10 miles through the deepest snow,” wrote naturalist Henry David Thoreau in Walden, “to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” I’d love to see you summon that level of commitment to your important rendezvous in the coming weeks, Aries. Please keep in mind, though, that your “most important rendezvous” are more likely to be with wild things, unruly wisdom or primal breakthroughs than with pillars of stability, committee meetings and businessas-usual.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For you Tauruses,
December is “I Accept and Love and Celebrate Myself Exactly How I Am Right Now” Month. To galvanize yourself, play around with this declaration by Oscar-winning Taurus actress Audrey Hepburn: “I’m a long way from the human being I’d like to be, but I’ve decided I’m not so bad after all.” Here are other thoughts to draw on during the festivities: (1) “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone.” —Barbara De Angelis. (2) “The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.” —E. E. Cummings. (3) “To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” —Sandra Bierig. (4) “We cannot change anything until we accept it.” —Carl Jung.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Are your collaborative projects (including the romantic kind) evolving at a slower pace than you expected? Have they not grown as deep and strong as you’ve wished they would? If so, I hope you’re perturbed about it. Maybe that will motivate you to stop tolerating the stagnation. Here’s my recommendation: Don’t adopt a more serious and intense attitude. Instead, get loose and frisky. Inject a dose of blithe spirits into your togetherness, maybe even some high jinks and rowdy experimentation. The cosmos has authorized you to initiate ingenious surprises.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): I don’t recommend
that you buy a cat o’ nine tails and whip yourself in a misguided effort to exorcize your demons. The truth is, those insidious troublemakers exult when you abuse yourself. They draw perverse sustenance from it. In fact, their strategy is to fool you into treating yourself badly. So, no. If you hope to drive away the saboteurs huddled in the sacred temple of your psyche, your best bet is to shower yourself with tender care, even luxurious blessings. The pests won’t like that, and—if you commit to this crusade for an extended time— they will eventually flee.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Nobel Prize-winning novel-
ist Gabriel García Márquez loved yellow roses. He often had a fresh bloom on his writing desk as he worked, placed there every morning by his wife Mercedes Barcha. In accordance with the astrological omens, I invite you to consider initiating a comparable ritual. Is there a touch of beauty you would like to inspire you on a regular basis? It there a poetic gesture you could faithfully perform for a person you love?
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “For a year I watched
as something entered and then left my body,” testified Jane Hirshfield in her poem “The Envoy.” What was that mysterious something? Terror or happiness? She didn’t know. Nor could she decipher “how it came in” or “how it went out.” It hovered “where words could not reach it. It slept where light could not go.” Her experience led her to conclude that “There are openings in our lives of which we know nothing.” I bring this meditation to your attention, Virgo, because I suspect you are about to tune in to a mysterious opening. But unlike Hirshfield, I think you’ll figure out what it is. And then you will respond to it with verve and intelligence.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A reporter at the
magazine Vanity Fair asked David Bowie, “What do you consider your greatest achievement?” Bowie didn’t name any of his albums, videos or performances. Rather, he answered, “Discovering morning.” I suspect that you Libras will attract and generate marvels if you experiment with accomplishments like that in the coming weeks.
So yes, try to discover or rediscover morning. Delve into the thrills of beginnings. Magnify your appreciation for natural wonders that you usually take for granted. Be seduced by sources that emanate light and heat. Gravitate toward what’s fresh, blossoming, just-in-its-early-stages.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to
traditional astrology, you Scorpios are not prone to optimism. You’re more often portrayed as connoisseurs of smoldering enigmas and shadowy intrigue and deep questions. But one of the most creative and successful Scorpios of the 20th century did not completely fit this description. French artist Claude Monet was renowned for his delightful paintings of sensuous outdoor landscapes. “Every day I discover even more beautiful things,” he testified. “It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all. My head is bursting.” Monet is your patron saint in the coming weeks. You will have more potential to see as he did than you’ve had in a long time.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A journalist
dared composer John Cage to “summarize himself in a nutshell.” Cage said, “Get yourself out of whatever cage you find yourself in.” He might have added, “Avoid the nutshells that anyone tries to put you in.” This is always fun work to attend to, of course, but I especially recommend it to you Sagittarians right now. You’re in the time of year that’s close to the moment when you first barged out of your mom’s womb, where you had been housed for months. The coming weeks will be an excellent phase to attempt a similar if somewhat less extravagant trick.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Hundreds of
years ago, the Catholic Church’s observance of Lent imposed a heavy burden. During this six-week period, extending from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, believers were expected to cleanse their sins through acts of self-denial. For example, they weren’t supposed to eat meat on Fridays. Their menus could include fish, however. And this loophole was expanded even further in the 17th century when the Church redefined beavers as being fish. (They swim well, after all.) I’m in favor of you contemplating a new loophole in regard to your own self-limiting behaviors, Capricorn. Is there a taboo you observe that no longer makes perfect sense? Out of habit, do you deny yourself a pleasure or indulgence that might actually be good for you? Wriggle free of the constraints.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “The Pacific
Ocean was overflowing the borders of the map,” wrote Pablo Neruda in his poem “The Sea.” “There was no place to put it,” he continued. “It was so large, wild and blue that it didn’t fit anywhere. That’s why it was left in front of my window.” This passage is a lyrical approximation of what your life could be like in 2017. In other words, lavish, elemental, expansive experiences will be steadily available to you. Adventures that may have seemed impossibly big and unwieldy in the past will be just the right size. And it all begins soon.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I have a deep fear
of being too much,” writes poet Michelle K. “That one day I will find my someone, and they will realize that I am a hurricane. That they will step back and be intimidated by my muchness.” Given the recent astrological omens, Pisces, I wouldn’t be shocked if you’ve been having similar feelings. But now here’s the good news: Given the astrological omens of the next nine months, I suspect the odds will be higher than usual that you’ll encounter brave souls who’ll be able to handle your muchness. They may or may not be soulmates or your one-and-only. I suggest you welcome them as they are, with all of their muchness.
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.
Payam Fardanesh (right) and Travis Ward bring a bit of Iran to Sacramento with their beverages. PHOTO BY LUKE FITZ
Taste of home When Payam Fardanesh started his own business in 2012 there was the regular cohort of disbelievers watching from the sidelines with a shrug— including a few members of his own family. After all, Fardanesh’s plan to bottle his Iranian grandmother’s recipe for the ancient Persian mint and vinegar drink sekanjabin didn’t strike many as a culinary genie waiting to get out of the bottle. Yet after releasing Silk Road Soda, and selling ginger, pomegranate and cucumber flavors out of car trunks, some of the region’s top restaurants and organic food stores began to take notice. Just four years later, Silk Road Soda has a commercial warehouse, a major distributor and a client list from the Pacific Northwest to Texas and Arizona. The drink is an emerging presence on high-end menus and is a favorite on tech company campuses in the Silicon Valley. We caught up with Fardanesh along with Silk Road’s director of operations, Travis Ward, between business meetings to ask about the company’s evolution.
Your father still lives in Iran’s capital, Tehran. What does he think of Silk Road Soda? In the beginning, my dad just thought it was funny. The idea was basically crazy to him, because so many people in Iran drink this every day that he just saw it as the American equivalent of when people first started bottling lemonade and charging $3 for it. “Who’s going to buy that?” is what he initially thought. Now, he views it differently, He sees it as a way of reaching out culturally.
So how important is the cultural aspect for you?
Up—we weren’t just going up against their products, we were going up against their lawyers. They have a lot of contracts with places, for example, entertainment venues, that stipulate if the place is carrying their drink, it’s barred from serving any [other] carbonated beverage of any kind. It’s really locked us out of a lot of opportunities. Fortunately, our drinks have won the top awards in a couple of these big vendor showdowns on the West and East coasts, which led to a lot of calls, especially with different tech companies in the Bay Area interested in having it for their employees. That’s turned into a niche we’ve found.
Personally, it’s giving me a chance to talk about Iran all the time to people. I basically get to talk about that part of my identity every day now. Iran is not exactly a beloved country at the moment, partly because the government has been a militant theocracy for the last 40 years. With this business, I’m sharing another side of Iran—I’m giving people a little glimpse into the food, history and tradition … I’m on my way right now to a meeting in the Bay Area where I’ll be meeting with the owner of a tea company who’s served the Dalai Lama four or five times, and I’ll be giving him a small bag of saffron from Tehran, because that’s a traditional way of sharing within the culture.
So how else have you grown the company?
Do you make trips to Iran? No, my father comes here to visit once or twice a year. I can’t go over there right now.
How has Sacramento’s Iranian community responded to the drink? Good, but this style of drink is one that’s been a part of life all over the Mediterranean and areas of the East where cultures were tied to [the] old Silk Road, so it’s not just popular with Persians; it’s really been embraced by local people with roots in India, Greece and Spain, too. It’s ended up at a lot of parties around here for that very reason. I guess it’s Indians and Persians who have commented the most on its authenticity. They say it’s like having a little taste of home.
Anything unexpected happen once you got going? I didn’t realize that when we started going up against the giants—Pepsi, Coke, 7
Sacramento itself was an excellent incubator for a new business like this: The city’s restaurateurs really took us in, the local store owners started carrying our products and the farm-to-fork movement welcomed us with open arms. Sacramento was small enough to really give us a shot. It might not be our top market now, but it was the market that opened the door for us. If you look at everything from Broderick’s [Roadhouse] getting us into the State Capitol to the Selland family showcasing us in their restaurants, that is a level of support we never would have gotten if we had tried to start this business in Seattle or San Francisco. We’re really expanding now, but I know without Sacramento we never would have gotten the most important chances we needed. Ω
Learn more at http://silkroadsoda.com.