your guide to WEEKEND
One writer’s paranoid head trip into the high-tech marvel (and privacy rights nightmare) that is the Golden 1 Center
special aDverTising supplemenT
By Dave Kempa Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly
Volume 28, iSSue 48
mp’s u r T King laims n u B e D uD c a r f voTer
ivaTe r p . s vs nimBy company n priso
arT K o i r ma 16, 2017
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maRch 16, 2017 | Vol. 28, iSSuE 48
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. Interim Editor Robert Speer Associate Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Arts & Culture Editor Rebecca Huval Assistant Editor Anthony Siino Editorial Services Coordinator Karlos Rene Ayala Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Contributing Editor Rachel Leibrock Contributors Daniel Barnes, Ngaio Bealum, Janelle Bitker, Alastair Bland, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Willie Clark, John Flynn, Joey Garcia, Lovelle Harris, Jeff Hudson, Dave Kempa, Matt Kramer, Jim Lane, Kel Munger, Kate Paloy, Patti Roberts, Ann Martin Rolke, Shoka, Bev Sykes, Mozes Zarate
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What if they gave an election and nobody voted? That’s the question being asked these days in Los Angeles, where less than 12 percent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots in a recent countywide election. Yes, local elections usually have a lower turnout than general elections. But several LA City Council seats were up for grabs, as were the mayoralty and three significant and controversial ballot measures. The election was also a de facto referendum on President Donald Trump, the first since his stunning win in November. As political strategist Mike Madrid noted in a Los Angeles Times post-election op-ed piece, politicians and activists tried to gin up excitement about the election by injecting Trump in the races. “His name and face were everywhere and a part of almost every campaign,” Madrid wrote, with the candidates all vying to be more anti-Trump than their opponents. “And after millions of dollars were spent making Trump the issue on everything from land use decisions to fixing potholes,” Madrid concluded, “Angelenos stayed home.” That has to be worrisome to Democratic leaders. They’re well aware that all across the country Republicans have whupped their candidates in local elections, such that the GOP controls not only Congress and the presidency, but also most governor’s offices and state legislatures. Democrats are counting on the anti-Trump energy that has generated raucous town hall meetings, millionwomen marches and a push for sanctuary cities to give Democrats a boost in the 2018 midterm elections. But if their voters don’t turn out, all that anger, dislike and disgust will be for naught.
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“It Is not stalkIng unless you tHreaten tHem.”
asked at West eL Camino avenue and GateWay oaks drive:
Have you ever spied on anyone?
L aurie Pruit t cake decorator
I thought my boyfriend was cheating on me so I followed him. I did discover things, but it didn’t make me feel any better. ... Confront the person verbally instead of sneaking around. Then you find out it is everything you suspected and it doesn’t feel good.
4 | SN&R | 03.16.17
call center representative
future patisserie owner
I have definitely spied on my sister. We still do it. It is a big thing in my family. Whenever one of us is being secretive, we all get together and try to figure out what’s up. The secret behavior instantly draws attention. I have never been caught. I’m the youngest of five, so I got away with everything.
When my best friend and I were in middle school we spied on my older sister. She was going to have her first kiss. We even made a song on the piano about her … it was so embarrassing for her. It did happen, but we didn’t get to see it. My little sister did the same thing to me.
rudy GonzaLes training mentor
No. I am a straightforward person. I will talk to people to see how they’re doing. I haven’t ever done something like that. If someone I loved was having a real hard time, was in some kind of trouble and they couldn’t tell me, I might have to. But I never have.
de andr a Jones referral processor
I tell everyone I missed my calling. I should have been a private investigator. I get to the bottom of things. If I want to find out, I’m going to find out. It is not stalking unless you threaten them. I have pretty good intuition. If I’m asking then I already know the answer.
nan BroW artist, writer
I creep on my six grandkids on Facebook. I get to see their friends and what they are doing. I just love my grandkids, and they have their own lives. I get joy when I see they are graduating or if they are so busy at school or how they are doing with their music.
Email lEttErs to sactolEttErs@nEwsrEviEw.com
Cops on film
Patriots in Spain Re: “A death in Syria” by Scott Thomas Anderson (SN&R Feature, March 9): The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was composed of American patriots who traveled to Spain on their own dime and fought for its legitimate, elected, republican government. They fought against the fascist insurgents who were supported by Nazi Germany. Had the United States joined them in this fight, as President Roosevelt wished, there might not have been a Holocaust. For their bravery and righteousness they were blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and harassed by the United States government until the end of their days. They were placed on the attorney general’s list of subversive organizations, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover saw to it that they were denied military promotion when they returned to the fight after the United States entered World War II. Beware the fascists in your midst and who are now your leaders.
Luke WiLson s acr am e nt o
Re “Hollywood sheriff,” by Raheem Hosseini (SN&R News, March 2): Well, good deal, let ’em record. Mostly it’s criminals who do not want the truth to be shown. I realize that, under our present political state of mind, some people might think the story told will not be the story on the street. I agree, perhaps it will be “shaded,” but the same accusation might be leveled over, let’s say, the funding for the new arena when our schools so desperately needed the funds. Bobby Ingram Sacramento
Steinberg’s chutzpah Has the office of the mayor become a part-time job? If so,
let’s ensure it offers a part-time salary. At 127,000 simoleons a year plus perks, medical and retirement, this is a wonderful, enviable position. Darrell Steinberg’s incipient “consultancy” business following his win to become mayor displays chutzpah beyond comprehension in this city struggling to be recognized as “world class,” not déclassé. Perhaps he’s just channeling his inner Donald Trump. Definition: chutzpah. You murder your parents and then plead for clemency on the grounds that you’re an orphan. In 84 years of life I’ve known my share of gonofs, connivers of many stripes. Mr. Steinberg now stands out among the best of them. Will the city fathers let him skate, slide, uncontested? You betcha. (“Move along, nothing to see here.”) Stu Goldberg Sacramento
On SOlving hOmeleSSneSS: Unless everyone in our city ... is able to put skin in the game we are never going to see this problem go away no matter how contented it might make some feel to not have to encounter it on a regular basis.
Tre Borden v ia Fa c e b o o k Those who are advocating for the plight of the homeless should show some leadership in their own life by taking a person in or letting them camp on their property.
richard BurTon v ia Fa c e b o o k Of course there’s going to be unwanted consequences to attempts at solutions, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying. Good for Darrell for not shying away from unpopular, unsolvable issues.
Tracy PoWeLL v ia Fa c e b o o k
read more letters online at www.newsreview .com/sacramento.
online Buzz contributions are not edited for grammar, spelling or clarity.
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An investigation into voter fraud showed there was no truth to the president’s charge that millions of fradulent ballots cost him the popular vote in California. Photo courtesy of Danny howarD via flickr
The president who cried wolf Valid voter fraud complaints in California? They’re in the dozens, not the millions by LaureL rosenhaLL calmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining california policies and politics. learn more at https://calmatters.org.
With President Donald Trump alleging serious voter fraud in California, and the state’s top election official calling his claim untrue, how much voter fraud is actually under investigation in the Golden State? Not much—certainly not enough to sway the election, in which California voters chose Hillary Clinton over Trump by 4.3 million votes. And while the California secretary of state is investigating some cases of potential fraud, not a single case opened last year involves allegations of voting by an immigrant who is in the country illegally—a stark contrast to the picture painted by Trump.
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The secretary of state received 948 election-related complaints in 2016, according to its response to a CALmatters Public Records Act request. The office determined that more than half (525) did not merit criminal investigation. Of the remaining complaints, 140 are still being screened, 194 were noncriminal problems referred to local officials, and 89 triggered investigations by the secretary of state. The office did not provide details on the 194 cases it sent to local authorities. But of the 89 investigations the secretary of state opened in 2016: 56 are allegations of double voting, 16 are allegations of fraudulent voter registration and one is an
alleged case of fraudulent voting. The rest allege wrongdoing by candidates, petition circulators and others who work in the elections arena—not by voters themselves. Together, the cases the secretary of state is investigating and those it referred to counties amount to one onethousandth of one percent of the more than 23 million votes cast in California’s primary and general elections last year. The miniscule number “undercounts the amount of potential fraud because a lot of it would not be reported,” said Richard Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine. It also doesn’t include investigations that could be underway if initiated
by prosecutors in the state’s 58 counties. Still, Hasen said, “I see no evidence that voter fraud is a major problem in California.” He cited an exhaustive study that found just 56 cases of election fraud in California between 2000 and 2012, most of it perpetrated by campaign officials, not voters. The view held by Hasen and supported by many academic studies conflicts with claims by Trump, who has been complaining about fraudulent voting for months without citing evidence of a widespread problem. In November, Trump tweeted that “the millions of people who voted illegally” had cost him the popular vote, and that there was “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California.” He repeated similar claims in a meeting with congressional leaders in January and then announced in February that he would put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of investigating voter fraud. Pence is forming a task force to do the investigation, though a recent poll found that only one in four voters believe Trump’s claims. “The burden is on the president and his team to bring forward proof or
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Millions of votes, few investigations
More than 23 million votes were cast in California’s primary and general elections last year. The secretary of state received 948 election-related complaints, of which 89 have resulted in investigations being opened.
illustration by serene lusano
evidence,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat. “We’ve been asking them for it since November, and they’ve had nothing to show.” There are no signs yet that the White House investigation has begun. No one from Pence’s task force has contacted the California Secretary of State’s Office, said Padilla spokesman Sam Mahood. In response to the records request, the Secretary of State’s Office would not provide copies of the complaints it received last year, saying they are exempt from disclosure. It did provide tallies of the number of complaints and the categories of potential violations of those that are being investigated. Republican state Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine, a Trump delegate who is vice chairman of the Senate’s elections committee, said he’s seen signs of fraud while campaigning in his San Diego-area district. He’s encountered houses where a registered voter—marked as voting in the last several elections—turned out to have been dead for years, and empty lots carrying addresses where people are registered to vote. “All you have to do is walk a precinct and you know there is fraud,” said Anderson. “The question is: Is it rampant?
Is it rare? We don’t know.” But when told of the small number of voter fraud complaints tallied by the secretary of state, Anderson called the figures “spectacular.” He said if the White House audit similarly finds an insignificant number of problems in California, Padilla deserves a gold star. “If those are the numbers and those hold true, that’s a phenomenal job. We should hold up those numbers to 49 other states.” While Trump claims that large numbers of people in the country illegally are voting, past prosecutions in California include few cases of voting by noncitizens. In 2012, an unauthorized immigrant in Escondido pleaded guilty to voting illegally in the 2008 presidential election by using the name of a U.S. citizen. In 2008, a man was sentenced to jail in Orange County for registering two underage teenagers and a noncitizen to vote. In a more high-profile case in 1996, Congress opened an investigation after a Republican congressman from Orange County argued that voting by noncitizens had caused him to lose reelection—but the investigation was eventually dropped. Instead, election crimes prosecuted in California more typically involve
wrongdoing by political candidates and public officials. In recent years, a state senator from Inglewood, an Escondido school board member, the former mayor of Vernon and the manager of a community services district near Redding were convicted of voter fraud for lying about their addresses. Officials in the Southern California city of Cudahy pleaded guilty to tampering with ballots to favor incumbent city council members and discard votes for challengers. Some Trump supporters have said it would be easy for undocumented immigrants to vote in California because of two state laws approved in recent years. A bill passed in 2013 allows undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. And a bill passed in 2015 creates a system to automatically register people to vote when they get a driver’s license. But the notion that these two laws have filled California voter rolls with undocumented immigrants is false. The automatic registration process allowed by the new law has not yet gone into effect. Padilla said he expects it to roll out this summer, with a protocol he’s certain won’t allow undocumented immigrants to register to vote. Ω
Decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic, California lawmakers are looking to reform outdated Hiv laws that critics say backfired and put the public more at risk. Legislators convened March 8 for a joint session at the state Capitol to discuss Senate Bill 239, which aims to lessen the stigma associated with HIV by reforming laws that target HIV-positive individuals throughout the state. Under three current state laws, not disclosing one’s HIV status before engaging in unprotected sex, prostitution or donating blood are considered felonies. There’s also a three-year sentencing enhancement on the books for HIV-positive people who commit nonsexual crimes. The proposed bill would treat Hiv like any other communicable disease under California law, making it a misdemeanor, rather than a felony, to intentionally expose someone to HIV. Some experts who spoke at Wednesday’s session claim the legislation would improve public health. “These laws deter people from disclosing their HIV status,” said Naina Khanna, executive director of Positive Women’s Network USA, who herself is HIV-positive. “They deter access to testing. They may deter people from seeking treatment or being engaged in care and consequently actually increase risk for everyone.” Another Senate hearing has been scheduled for later this month. (Faith Lewis)
WalK sacramento Sacramento County supervisors signed off on safety improvements first called for a decade ago to the bustling Watt Avenue thoroughfare at a board meeting last month. The enhancements to Watt avenue were part of a Pedestrian Master Plan first approved by supervisors in 2007. According to Ron Vicari, principal civil engineer for the county’s Department of Transportation, the plan’s long-term goal is to connect all of unincorporated sacramento through pedestrian-friendly walkways. “We have somewhere around $350 million worth of needs [throughout the county],” Vicari said. “Obviously, [the plan] is going to take many, many years to provide that type of infrastructure.” The Watt Avenue improvements, completed in December, added curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps along the heavily-trafficked corridor. Storm drain improvements were also part of the package. Specifically, the project focused on the west side of the thoroughfare. Pedestrian safety was a major focus, Vicari said. He added that the Watt Avenue corridor was initially built for vehicle traffic with little to no planning for pedestrians. The new accommodations reflected a changing suburban landscape, the engineer said. “Now with so many people using that corridor to get to shopping and businesses and other destinations, the need to provide a connected pedestrian facility along the major … corridors is definitely a big need,” Vicari told SN&R. Though there was no specific pedestrian-involved accident that triggered the Watt Avenue project, such accidents are not unheard of in Sacramento. According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 440 pedestrian-involved collisions in Sacramento County that resulted in fatality or injury in 2014, the latest year with complete numbers. Vicari said it’s difficult to predict the funding landscape under President donald trump, but viewed the governor’s 2017 budget, released in January, in a positive light. Still, he said, the Pedestrian Master Plan won’t be completed anytime soon. (Matt Kramer)
03.16.17 | SN&R | 7
Above, the proposed site of Geo Group’s reporting center. Left, a county-run reporting center. Photos by karlos rene ayala
Prisoner of policy Embattled private corrections company hits the skids in North Sac bid by Scott thomaS anderSon
One of the nation’s most controversial private prison companies is finding it hard to open a franchise in Sacramento. On March 9, the city’s Planning and Design Commission denied Geo Group Inc. a streamlined path to opening a reporting center for its paroled inmates in north Sacramento. According to city officials, the corporation has a contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons to run a day reporting center in the region and picked 2454 Del Paso Boulevard for its location. The prolific Geo Group operates more than 60 for-profit prisons across the United States. But one thing that doesn’t appear on its local application is the myriad legal challenges it’s faced. In March 2012, an investigation by the Department of Justice concluded that officials at GEO’s juvenile-detention center in Mississippi were turning a blind eye to officer brutality, inmate-on-inmate 8 | SN&R | 03.16.17
rape and teenage prostitution and were “deliberately indifferent to gang affiliations within the ranks of the correctional staff.” Reviewing similar findings in a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, federal Judge Carlton Reeves called GEO Group’s Mississippi facility “a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts.” In 2014, GEO Group was hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging it pushed thousands of immigration detainees into forced labor in violation of American anti-slavery laws. That suit is ongoing. In 2015, a group of female correctional officers working for GEO Group in Arizona filed an action claiming they had been retaliated against for bringing sexual harassment concerns to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is not, however, GEO Group’s documented record of abuses while
sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
maximizing shareholder profits that has slowed its progress in Sacramento. According to Principal Planner Sandra Yope, the application GEO Group filed for its day reporting center listed the facility as “an office space” rather than a correctional facility. That classification would have allowed GEO to skip getting a conditional use permit, thus limiting input from neighbors, local businesses, law enforcement and other stakeholders. Since the day reporting center would conduct drug testing, finger printing, DNA sampling and random searches, Yope’s team decided that it qualified as a correctional facility. “These types of services that were to be provided go well beyond the scope of a typical office use,” Yope told the commissioners March 9, defending her decision. Brett Jolley, an attorney for GEO Group, strongly disagreed. “They are
under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons, but not in their custody,” Jolley said of the individuals whom the facility would serve. “They’re not shackled. They’re not accompanied. They come of their own volition.” Jolley added the day reporting center would employ no correctional officers. City staff confirmed that the Sacramento County Probation Department didn’t have to obtain a conditional use permit before opening a similar reporting center on Del Paso Boulevard because it’s an official branch of county law enforcement. A group of residents and business owners spoke out against the project, claiming it would exacerbate the neighborhood’s ongoing crime problems, as well as hinder an ongoing effort to revitalize the boulevard. Three former prison inmates who have been assisted by GEO Group’s rehabilitation services in Stockton and Napa spoke in favor of the project. Each said GEO’s programs for drug treatment, counseling and job training were major assets in rebuilding their lives. “According to the state, my name was AA7435,” Robert Masara told the commissioners. “The day I showed up to the day reporting center, I was Mr. Masara again. … I paroled in August of 2011. I’ve never looked back since. They helped me get my family back.” The commissioners voted unanimously that GEO Group must seek a conditional use permit to move its project forward. The decision cannot be appealed. One person who was glad was Larry Glover-Meade, a Woodlake resident who reminded the commissioners that a quick scan of newspaper headlines paints a very different picture of GEO Group than the one offered by Masara and others. “It’s a publicly traded company with revenues of a billion and a half dollars a year,” Glover-Meade pointed out. “They have a track record of maybe not running the best facilities. … You can read about them—they’re currently being sued for violating federal slavery laws.” This isn’t the first attempt GEO has made at opening a local reentry facility. In 2014, the company offered the county $15 million over 30 years to take over a 140-acre site that once hosted a Probation Department boys ranch for delinquent youth. The GEO bid was to open a residential reentry center at the location, on the outskirt town of Sloughhouse, but county supervisors took no action, according to online meeting minutes. Ω
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Capitol offense Activists nervous about CHP recommendation to charge 106 people in summer clash with neo-Nazis BY RAHEEM F. HOSSEINI
ra h e e m h @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
The CHP announced last week it had completed News that the California Highway Patrol has an exhaustive investigation that included hundreds recommended criminal charges for more than 100 of interviews and a review of hours of video footage people involved in a melee at the state Capitol last from multiple sources, culminating in a 2,000-page summer has some activists worried that their efforts report delivered to the Sacramento County District to stop a neo-Nazi rally that day will put them Attorney’s Office. The agency is recommending 68 behind bars. felony charges and 514 misdemeanor ones, ranging The CHP announced on March 8 that it had from assault with a deadly weapon to unlawful completed its investigation into an eight-month-old assembly, for a total of 106 people. case that brought national infamy to the city of That number represents approximately one Sacramento. third of the people the CHP estimates were there On June 26, 2016, about two dozen white that day. That has alarmed some activists and nationalists and skinheads attended a permitted groups who fear that law enforcement has cast too rally of the Traditionalist Worker Party on the wide a net. western grounds of Capitol Park. That faction was “The National Lawyers Guild of Sacramento is confronted by a much larger group of so-called concerned about [the] protected rights of peaceful anti-fascists intent on preventing the rally from activists ... who now might get rounded up happening. Both sides had been stoking their in an overzealous prosecution,” board supporters for weeks on various social member Cres Vellucci wrote in a media platforms to show up in statement to SN&R. “That may numbers, and the results proved may or may not be the case, but combustible. “We are more we are monitoring the situaDespite a large law interested in getting tion closely.” enforcement presence that The local chapter of it right than in getting it was aware of the possibility the NLG has requested the of violence, the groups fast.” names of the individuals clashed almost immediately, Shelly Orio recommended for criminal taking part in chaotic, swarmspokeswoman, Sacramento County charges. Vellucci said its pro ing battles fought with knives, District Attorney’s Office bono legal team is preparing to signposts and projectiles offer its services if any peaceful as officers with the CHP and activists are charged. Sacramento Police Department The unlawful-assembly charge, in largely held back. particular, could be applied to those who According to SN&R reporters who were attempted to stop white nationalists from participatthere, horseback-mounted CHP officers avoided ing in a rally the CHP had given them permission getting between combatants. One SN&R reporter to hold. saw a highway patrol officer shove his boot into a “Apart from some serious felonies alleged in female demonstrator, who fell at his horse’s feet. this case, we do know that the CHP and Capitol Other CHP officers deployed crackling Taser wires Park have ‘rules’ that are questionable from a and tear gas to quell the crowd. constitutional point of view that, in fact, may well After the dust settled, seven people had been violate people’s rights,” Vellucci said. He added stabbed as part of 14 reported injuries. No arrests that his chapter was optimistic District Attorney were made. More than eight months later, that Anne Marie Schubert would be “judicious in her remains the case. CHP and police officials say their decision.” efforts were hampered by the unwillingness of In an email, DA spokeswoman Shelly Orio said victims and witnesses to cooperate with the investigation. Rather than talk to the cops, people affiliated there was no timeline for the office to complete its review of the CHP’s report and decide what charges with each side urged a code of silence and flirted with online vigilantism instead—posting their oppo- to file, if any. “We are more interested in getting it right than in getting it fast,” Orio wrote. Ω nents’ personal information on social media. Still, recriminations that authorities didn’t do enough to stop the violence have now turned into An extended version of this story is available at www.newsreview.com/sacramento. concern about overreaction.
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Constituents push Bera to fight by jeff vonkaenel
Democracy is not a spectator sport. It certainly was not for the approximately 350 people who showed up for the little publicized town hall meeting that Democratic Rep. Ami Bera held at the Unity Church of Sacramento last Saturday afternoon. When I arrived at the town hall, I was handed a leaflet created by Democratic Party Executive Board Member Amar Shergill, questioning fellow Democrat Bera’s voting record. Specifically, it listed multiple issues where Bera voted with the Republicans—on trade, on sanctuary cities, on restricting Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and more. The leaflet concluded, “We must know if he is truly ready to fight with us against the Trump administration.” While our other local congressional representatives, Republican Tom McClintock and Democrat Doris Matsui, are in safe districts, Bera resides in a highly competitive district. In the last three general elections, he has never won more than 51.7 percent of the vote. By comparison, McClintock won in November with 62.7 percent of the vote. Matsui scored 75.4 percent. Being in one of the country’s few competitive congressional districts, where political parties and special interests regularly pour millions of dollars into the race, Bera is in campaign mode all the time. He is constantly raising money. And he knows that any congressional vote could be used against him in an upcoming campaign. This has put him in a difficult position. Bera is often seen as taking positions based upon polling results rather than what he thinks is best for the country. Being in a district that is fairly equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, Bera wanted to focus on his ability to “reach across the aisle.” But most people attending the town hall would be more comfortable reaching
je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
across the aisle with an uppercut to the chin instead of a handshake. In this time of polarization, neither Democrats nor Republicans believe Bera is on their side. The newly formed Indivisible Sacramento group was out in force at the town hall meeting, with prepared questions such as “Would you support and/or introduce legislation for singlepayer health care?” Their questions were thought-provoking. At one point during the meeting, Mitch Prefach, a woman wearing a Donald Trump 2016 T-shirt, interrupted Basim Elkarra, head of Sacramento’s Council on American-Islamic Relations. Elkarra, who is also on the Twin Rivers Unified School District Board of Trustees, was talking about Trump’s travel ban. Prefach shouted that she was a police officer for 25 years, holding up her police badge. She demanded to be heard. The moderator, Unity of Sacramento Minister Kevin Ross, asked her to wait her turn. There were way more questions than time allowed, but as it turned out, Prefach’s question was read a few minutes later. Surprisingly, the question was about the affordability of health care. I asked her after the meeting what she thought of Rep. Paul Ryan’s health care plan. She said she was not sure, not having seen the details. If she voted for Trump because she wanted more affordable health care, she may need to rethink her position. As should Bera. When the Republicans are trying to ram through a fatally flawed health plan, rubberstamping Trump’s cabinet nominees and going along with a Muslim travel ban, it is no longer the time to reach across the aisle. It is time to fight. Ω Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.
GO GREEN in 2017!
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On March 12, Capitol Beer Fest attracted 120 brewers and more than 7,000 people to guzzle suds on the Fifth and H streets bridge overlooking the Railyards. Event organizer Larisa Perryman estimated that patrons consumed roughly 3,720 gallons of brew (a half-gallon each) while benefiting Runnin’ for Rhett, a nonprofit that provides after-school fitness programs to 60 schools and will host a 5K at Sacramento City College on April 2. Shoutouts to all the philanthropists who woke up with dry mouths and sunburns on Monday.
Led by insufferable twerp Paul Ryan, Republicans unveiled the American Health Care Act on March 6. The Obamacare replacement will raise premiums on older, sicker, poorer patients (many in red, rural districts) and rip insurance away from an estimated 24 million Americans by 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. All to finance $275 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent over the next decade. Ryan’s heartlessness merits a doctor check of his pulse—which he can easily afford thanks to the taxpayer-funded coverage he denies his constituents.
- 24 million
photo illuStration by Serene luSano
New Name, same jaNk sacramento can’t decide what to call itself. On March 10, the s slogan slogan on the 130-foot water tower alongside Interstate 5 abruptly changed from “The City of Trees”—a designation abruptly affirmed affirmed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over over 24 other cities of trees—to “America’s Farm to Fork Capital,” Capital,” a more froofy title inspired by Sac’s fresh foodbeer-coffee-weed beer-coffee-weed scene and naked “world-class city” ambitions. ambitions. Whatever. Days later, news emerged that Old Sacramento Sacramento business interests were lobbying for a major investment investment and, potentially, a new name. One idea? “The Front.” Front.” Sounds shady. But not, like, under-a-tree shady.
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Assemblyman Jim Cooper has a weakness for soft rock.
On March 7, the Sacramento City Council
As the Sacramento Bee reported last week, the Elk Grove Democrat accepted more than $9,000 worth of gifts last year from lobbyists, including seats in AT&T’s corporate box to see Paul McCartney and Maroon 5 at Golden 1 Center. Disney and Comcast also treated him to trips to Disneyland and Universal Studios, respectively. From nonlobbyists, he received more than $8,000 in sponsored trips to Australia and Maui. All that free leisure ought to have him relaxed and ready to make totally unbiased legislative decisions.
approved a $40 million measure to outfit all police officers with body cameras, 890 in all.
Officers should be fully equipped by September. Body cameras provide a valuable look into police conduct, not only for concerned residents, but also officers seeking to avoid false accusations. A good step, so long as the SPD doesn’t cherry-pick what footage to release as they did after the April 8, 2016, shooting death of Dazion Flenaugh.
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One writer’s paranoid head trip into the high-tech
by Dave Kempa
marvel (and privacy rights nightmare) that is the
Illustrations by Jason Crosby
Golden 1 Center
he silver-haired concessions man slides over the $13 beer and drops his voice in a conspiratorial tone. “Vegas,” he says. I squint and nod. High in the upper reaches of Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center, I’m taking a break from the Kings game to hatch theories with my new beer-slinging friend, Jet. We’ve got questions about this year’s Super Bowl. And we think a crooked desert city in Nevada has the answers. Patriots behind 21-3 in the second quarter? Please. There’s no way a team comes back from that on the world’s biggest stage without a little help. And Las Vegas stood to lose a lot of money that day.
12 | SN&R | 03.16.17
Shuffling back to my seat, I reflect on the things so many know to be true but cannot prove. A faked moon landing. Area 51. Tapped phone lines in Trump Tower. In my line of work, there are few rewards to pursuing conspiracy theories. A buzz in my pocket. I pull out my iPhone and fiddle with the app the voice from the arena sound system recommended we download for the chance to win a prize. The app zaps me again. It wants access to my location settings. It promises things in return—deals, values, a chance to be truly satisfied. My index finger shakes before dropping to oblige. From rumors last summer of Facebook listening to users’ conversations to target them with ads to WikiLeaks’ recent dump
of documents outlining how the CIA hacks straight into our phones to know what we’re doing at any moment, Americans are victims of Big Brother’s ceaseless assault on privacy. Yet few seem to care. Since it opened in October of last year, the Golden 1 Center has drowned out gripes over its $255 million public subsidy with glowing reviews about its advanced design. Before it even opened, The New York Times called it the “most technologically advanced arena in the National Basketball Association.” More recently, Mobile Sports Report called it both “future-proof” and a “living blueprint.” As I peer around at the blacks and the purples of the arena, the flashing, gargantuan scoreboard and the seated, sated fans, I can’t
help but wonder at the cost. Somewhere far below my nosebleed seat, I can feel the arena’s thrumming central nervous system. I need to find it, to understand what information it’s collecting and for what purpose. The sound system calls for noise and I obey. I need to fade into the crowd if I’m going to learn the truth. I open the app’s cowbell function, raise my phone to the air and tap the screen. “Clang,” it knells. “Clang-clang.”
Sp y Te C h In y o u r p o C K e T Rather than the fan checking into the arena, the Golden 1 Center checks into the fan. At
least that’s what Kings majority owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a recent interview with Fast Company. I’m trying to decipher what that means as I navigate through the functions of the Kings + G1C app. It’s Sunday, February 12, the end of an ominous weekend of mudslides, dam scares and Oroville evacuations. The Sacramento Kings are playing the New Orleans Pelicans at home. Boos and jeers erupt from the crowd as the Kings app alerts me of a flagrant foul called on Pelicans rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield. He’ll be ejected for hitting hometown
“They don’t care about your privacy. In fact, that’s the last thing they care about.” Ga r y M i l i e f s k y
“The arena has eyes” continued on page 14
consumer privacy advocate
03.16.17 | SN&R | 13
“The arena has eyes” continued from page 13 favorite DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins in the groin. No one here knows it yet, but the Kings front office will deliver a similar blow to Cousins and the Sactown fanbase exactly one week later when it trades him to New Orleans in a fiveplayer deal involving Hield. This app is handy, and not just for real-time game stats and updates. I can order food and drinks from my seat, find
14 | SN&R | 03.16.17
restrooms with the shortest lines and pay for seat upgrades. But the app’s demands are unsettling. The moment I open it, a box pops up. “Turn On Location Services to Allow ‘Kings + G1C’ to Determine Your Location,” it reads. It wants to use GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi hot spots to know where I am. Why?
The following week I reach out to Amul Kalia of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nation’s leading nonprofit fighting for personal privacy and security in the digital age. A former Sacramentan himself, Kalia is interested to hear more about the Kings app. He stresses the importance of users knowing what they sign up for. “You always want to be conscious of what kind of data [an app] has access to on your device,” he says. “It naturally lends itself to collecting a lot of information on you.” On one hand, granting the app access to such information is necessary for the hyperpersonalized experience the Kings want to provide. Location and contacts will let fans see on a little map which of their friends are also in the arena. Bluetooth access allows the app to build a profile on visitors’ concessions
and facility preferences. Over time the app will let fans know about deals and services it already knows they prefer. On the other hand, I feel my sense of privacy wither with every swipe of my phone. Consider the folks behind the app: Before his time as lead owner of the Kings, Ranadive made his first millions as founder and CEO of Tibco Software Inc. In a 2014 interview with Fortune, Ranadive described Tibco as “probably the most sophisticated and well-known and biggest big data company.” “We are able to look at large, large quantities of data,” he told the magazine. “Not just old data, but new data, real-time data. We call that data ‘fast data.’” Tibco’s forte was taking this real-time data and putting it to use on global stock markets. And also on people. Aside from its Wall Street work, Tibco is known for applying real-time big data to the gambling world, keeping high rollers happy and chips flying at casinos around the globe. The company built profiles on gamblers’ behaviors, focused marketing on the biggest spenders based on their habits, and maximized casino profits through rewards initiatives that kept folks gambling longer than they otherwise would. Those same big data strategies have come to Sacramento. Ranadive says the new arena has a “psychological router” and that his people “are using deep machine learning to allow a unique experience for each fan.” In the September 2016 unveiling of the Kings app, the team’s press office said it would use machine learning to provide hyperpersonalized experiences: “By using the app and coming to games, fans will be eligible for these tailored offers and rewards based on their activity within the app and at the arena.” I take a break in my call with Kalia to stare down at my phone. What do the Kings know about me so far? Kalia cautions against such wild-eyed responses, stressing that one can both appreciate the technology and be vigilant of his or her personal privacy. “You’ll be tracked in the arena, but simultaneously your activities will be used to sort of guide their services,” he says. Two days later, I’m on my couch exploring the app’s “Find Friends & Destinations” arena map, which is supposed to use GPS and Bluetooth technology to tell fans when their friends are in the arena and show them nearby attractions. I zoom out on the map to view the rest of downtown, and freeze when I see a flashing
“If the app tracks your
J osepH t urow
author, The Aisles Have Eyes
location and also tracks other kinds of behaviors, then the company can know what you’re doing way outside the arena.”
blue dot a mile south of the arena—right over my house. They know where I live.
H ot mi cs , cold cHills Silver and angular, the Golden 1 Center is the latest Great Hope in a long line of illinformed downtown revitalization projects. I circle the structure—its industrial-chic style, absurd and absurdist art installations, sporadic shocks of foliage growing off the venue’s walls—and watch the sun set behind Downtown Commons. Is this place the surveillance hub I am coming to fear it is? Despite my concerns, I still have the app in my phone, though I make sure to turn it off when not in use. I’ve recently learned some valuable information about NBA team apps from a class-action lawsuit put forth by one LaTisha Satchell against the Golden State Warriors. Filed last September, Satchell’s suit charges the Warriors and their mobile app partner Signal360 have been unlawfully wiretapping private conversations through her phone’s microphone for their own marketing purposes. She claims they’re doing this to hundreds of thousands of Warriors fans with the app. According to the complaint, the app can pinpoint your location by secretly turning on your phone’s microphone and “listening” for nearby audio beacons. Apparently this is all for marketing purposes. Chillingly, the suit claims, a Warriors app user’s microphone is always on, so long as the app is open. So if Joe Warrior is using his app, then jumps to the home screen and forgets the app is live, his mic is perpetually hot until he returns and gives
it a hard close. For some people that could mean days. I’ve tried to contact Satchell’s lawyer for some answers, but he never responds. The Kings’ beacons don’t use audio, but I still wonder: Are they doing something similar? I manage to dig up some clues. At the Golden 1 Center, the Kings partner with a company called Gimbal for their Bluetooth beacons. A Seattle startup called Cartogram handles the beacon technology, using Bluetooth for mapping and movement technologies like tracking employee and visitor locations, bathroom line wait times and indoor navigation. (They’re watching where we go, when we go.) Kalia says some parts of the Kings’ Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology make sense, such as the ability to help guide a user to his or her seat or to find shorter lines for food. “That’s sort of the convenience factor,” he says. But if users are concerned about who is viewing their personal information, they might want to look into terms and services on the app, as well as who has access to their data. For instance, the Kings partner with Atlanta-based Southern Experience, which is owned by the media conglomerate Cox Enterprises, for their app. “Just be aware of where this information is going, how they’re looking at it,” Kalia warns. That’s what I’m trying to find out. After multiple emails with no response from the press office, and strikes from contacts at partnering companies like Anixter and Johnson Controls, I eventually go down to the offices to see what I can find. Cordial guards at the L Street security entrance introduce me to Kings security manager Kevin Curran, who happens to be walking by at that moment. He’d love to talk, he says, but he can’t say anything until
he has the go-ahead from director of public relations John Jacobs. Great. Jacobs has a bit of a reputation, and I don’t feel confident about being able to get him on the line. Still, I take down his number and leave a voicemail. As luck would have it, I happen to nab Jacobs’ cell number from a friend. I give him another call and shoot him two more text messages. Jackpot. Jacobs responds with a text saying that, as he mentioned in his email, he was out of the office. But I never got an email from him. A colleague of Jacobs’ calls me back. No one will be available to show me around the arena any time soon, she explains, as the whole comms staff is attending the All-Star Game over the weekend. Perhaps we can set up a tour early the following week. Interesting. With the Kings brass out of my hair this weekend, I’ve found my chance to do some snooping on my own terms. Tonight, as the Kings staff prepare to leave for All-Star weekend, I’ll return to the Golden 1 Center for perhaps the greatest evening in the venue’s history—opening night of Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment.
i c e p ri n c e s s e s u nd e r s u rve i ll a n c e In a sea of princesses, Olaf hats and flustered dads and moms, I wait in line to enter the arena. I am struck by the glee, the electric energy emanating from this mass of 5- to 8-year-olds. Small black orbs protrude from the ceiling near the entrance—surveillance cameras— reminders of Ranadive’s promise to one day equip the arena with facial recognition technology in lieu of paper or digital tickets. This building pulsates with data and connectivity, with some 1,000 miles of cable and over 1,000 internet access points. They say that fans could send out more than 500,000 Snapchats or 200,000 Instagram photos per second. I find my seat in the upper deck alongside a gaggle of kids and settle in for Disney on Ice’s Toy Story production. I have a good cry as Andy says goodbye to his favorite toy, Woody, then remember why I’m here. I set out to the arena’s recesses. Wandering the darkened, closed-off sections of the upper level, I wonder what sort of profile the Kings have built on me. They know I attend basketball games and Disney on Ice, that I’ve lingered and chatted with Jet as he served me Heretic Brewing Co. beer. They know I enjoy chicken and fries, and that I
moved to better seating to be with friends at the game. They may even know how many times I’ve cased this joint in recent weeks, where I live and the coffee shops I work in, how often I eat out and where I like to drink. The venue is about half-full for this event, so tonight’s security is remarkably lax. The egg-shaped Knightscope K3 security robots are packed up and plugged into their sockets. Their time to surveil, humming across the arena’s walkways in the dead of night, will come after the show. Staffers meander and joke. I’m stopped twice trying to climb the stairs to the exclusive suite level but eventually succeed by entering an elevator with the haughty air of a man willing to pay the big bucks to watch mermaids ice-skate. I wander the empty halls, peeking into vacant suites before finding a closed bar at the end of a shadowy hall. It seems to have beer on tap, and there are empty plastic cups. Any other time I might take advantage of my luck, but I spy on the wall another of the black surveillance orbs that checker the arena’s ceilings and walls. Am I being filmed? There’s no way to be sure. That’s the thing about Big Brother, I realize. It’s not whether or not he’s watching at all times. It’s that we come to believe he is.
in tH e b e l ly o f b ig v iv ek Disney on Ice leaves me more questions than answers. I feel no closer to proving the Golden 1 Center is sentient, learning. That it diverts us with sports, pop music, monster trucks, ice-skating piggy banks and the largest indoor video scoreboard in the world to develop profiles on us. I call up Gary Miliefsky, a consumer privacy advocate and CEO of cybersecurity firm SnoopWall, to see if I’m reading too much into this whole arena-surveillance thing. He takes a minute to look at the app’s permissions on Google Play. Then he gives me his answer. “The Sacramento Kings app is a piece of creepware,” he concludes. Miliefsky says that, should sports fans let it, the app can access personal contacts, see what other apps they’re using and “read sensitive log data.” He says the trend of the modern world is one where tech companies stop viewing users as people and start looking at them as products. Companies don’t make money off software anymore. They make it by selling the data their software gathers on their users. “They don’t care about your privacy,” Miliefsky says. “In fact, that’s the last thing they care about.”
“The arena has eyes” continued on page 17 03.16.17 | SN&R | 15
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“The arena has eyes” continued from page 15 A few days after Disney Ice, I’m flanked by Jacobs and Kings Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya in the room I’ve been obsessing over these past three weeks—the Golden 1 Center’s 6,000-square-foot data and command center. “Vivek has brought two concepts to the world,” Montoya says as we face a wall lined with 10 massive monitors showing the arena’s activity. “One is real-time. And the second is the bus concept. Tibco actually stands for ‘the information bus company,’ and that’s the core of his software.” By “bus,” Montoya and Ranadive mean that all the information from seemingly disparate departments—concessions, security, maintenance—come together in one place. This is the hub where endless streams of information flow in—food sales, security footage, traffic updates, police activity and, yes, the mobile app—and consolidate to make the arena run as smoothly as technologically possible. Down here, arena staff can tap into the thousands of phones on-site to provide fans with their “personalized experiences.” Not only does security know the moment you’ve entered the venue, it knows what food and merch you’ve bought, where your seat is, the bathroom you’ve used and—believe it—exactly where you are at any moment. Cables of neon green and Kings purple snake the ceilings in the command center’s pristine white anteroom, where toy stormtroopers guard the reams of data the Kings have gathered since opening last October, and will continue to gather in years to come. The command center itself is manned by more than a dozen staffers. Each monitor on the wall shows something different. Real-time attendance and concessions statistics on one, a Waze map showing downtown traffic on another. Outdoor surveillance footage for the Sacramento Police Department officer sitting at the end of the room. Kalia warned me about the concerns of having police officers in the room alongside Kings staff who have access to such robust profiles on attendees. Jacobs says they don’t share anything with the police more than any other arena would. What does that mean? One of mankind’s truisms is that people will always approach new technologies with trepidation. I feel it here today. An arena that “checks in” to me, learns about me and builds a profile on me. Walkways and seating peppered with countless Bluetooth beacons that tap into my phone as I pass by. I ask Montoya about public fears surrounding such new technology. “See, that’s the beauty. The technology here is not really in your face. It’s in your face if you come in here,” he
says, gesturing to the command center. “Most fans will never come in here. But it’s manifested in shorter restroom lines, shorter entry points, getting your food fast, getting advanced stats, getting everything in real-time.” He’s right. In the arena itself, a fan won’t see many surveillance cameras. The square, inch-and-a-half-wide Bluetooth beacons blend into their surroundings. Same goes for the thousand Wi-Fi connection points. By all accounts, the Golden 1 Center feels like
app until her next visit? Because she used the Kings’ Wi-Fi. Once Jenny did download the app, the Kings gathered all sorts of information on her. How much she has spent at the arena and the goods and services she is likely to buy. They know how many kids she has and where she usually sits. They know the social media she uses, and how often she posts. They know where she is at any moment. I try to keep my cool and ask what this sort
a welcoming arena with comfortable seats, a rich, warm sound system and the highest definition video scoreboard money can buy. Before leaving, I ask if Montoya will show me the profile that the Kings have developed on me since I downloaded the app. He says no. But they agree to show a sample profile they’ve created of one Jenny Jetson. It’s unnerving. Jenny’s page is at once a timeline and a stat book. It shows the first day she entered the arena with her phone—that she checked out the Kings store on her smartphone and left an item in the cart, and that she posted on Twitter. How do they know this if she didn’t download the
of thing might be used for. It’s all about the machine learning, Montoya and Jacobs say, which will personalize the experience. Do you usually buy a hot dog? At future games, you may get a special offer on your phone. Grabbing a beer on your birthday? This one’s on the house. As with Tibco’s casino strategy, they can also target deep pockets, keep the privileged class happy. “Our president has the ability to tell his assistant, ‘If there are any CEOs coming into the game tonight, let’s just automatically give them a pass,” Montoya says. “So they walk into the kiosks and they immediately get
a notification: ‘Here’s a pass to the chairman’s office. You’re a guest of the president.’”
Ex iting thE m atr ix The following week, I call University of Pennsylvania Professor of Communication Joseph Turow. He’s just published a book called The Aisles Have Eyes, which discusses how brick-and-mortar retailers are growing just as invasive as internet companies when it comes to invading our privacy to learn our shopping habits and preferences. When I tell him about the Kings app and its capabilities, Turow wonders if fans really know what they’re signing up for when they download it. He also cautions that the app’s capabilities may go far beyond the arena walls. “If the app tracks your location and also tracks other kinds of behaviors, then the company can know what you’re doing way outside the arena, both to sell your data to advertisers and next time you come into the arena to target you more successfully or more directly,” Turow says. I email Jacobs some follow-up questions asking if the Kings or their partners sell information on Kings app users to outside companies. He tells me his team is working on getting answers. I haven’t heard back yet. There’s reason to believe Big Vivek’s reach goes far beyond K Street. In a recent write-up on NBA. com, a press agent wrote that fans can expect “special offers from Kings’ partners” when “out and about in the Sacramento area” from the app. Exploring the Kings + G1C app one last time, I stumble across something I never before noticed in the Fan Zone section: Kai, the Kings Artificial Intelligence chat bot. “Do you believe the trade with the Pelicans was a good move?” I write. Kai responds with a link to the Kings press release, quoting its evasive headline: “The Kings acquired Hield, Evans, Galloway, and 2017 Draft selections on Feb. 20.” “Yes,” I say, “but what is your opinion on the Cousins trade?” “Shoot,” says Kai. “You have me a ” little confused. Same here, Kai. I delete the app. But in the days to come I'm haunted by an occasional buzz, phantom push notifications from a service I no longer have. Is it all in my head? Ω
03.16.17 | SN&R | 17
ancient u n D e r s ta n D i n g s
undreds of years before Western dentists developed the skill to drill human teeth, implanting fillings and ornamental
jeWels in the enamel, mayan dentists had Worked out the technique. in excavated ruined cities in southern mexico, guatemala, belize and honduras, archeologists have found skulls, the teeth of Which are adorned With delicate little gems. I have visited many Mayan ruins over the decades, drawn back time and again by the beauty and the mystery of these ancient cities in the lush rainforests. This time around, in December, I was on a large cruise ship to give lectures about the post-election political landscape in the United States. I managed to get in some day trips to the ruins, while the boat docked at ports in Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The Maya weren’t only superior dentists, they were also extraordinary mathematicians, astronomers and engineers. Starting well over 2,000 years ago, they built up an understanding of the starry sky and calculated the movements of the planets with an accuracy that European astronomers wouldn’t approach until the 16th century. They constructed vast cities, some now thought to have contained populations hundreds of thousands strong, in land that is now dense jungle. The writer in front of a The Mayan world functioned pyramid in Chacchoben, somewhat as did the ancient Greek Mexico. world, revolving around shifting 18 | SN&R | 03.16.17
constellations of powerful city-based alliances, linked vaguely by shared religious beliefs, language and cultural practices. Every so often, in the millennia of Mayan influence that preceded the Spanish conquest, an old center of power would fade and a new one, often led by a charismatic local king, would arise. At Chacchoben, nearly 70 kilometers inland from the windy Yucatán port of Costa Maya, huge pyramids, the bases dating to 600 B.C., the more recent layers a mere 1,400 years old, rise up out of the humid rain forest. They vie with the gnarled ceiba trees for height supremacy. The bare stones of these monuments are now slippery with green moss; but millennia ago they were covered with adobe, their surfaces painted a deep, ceremonial red. Along paths off of the main religious complexes are the foundations of houses, government buildings and the tiered stone seats, where enthused audiences sat at ancient ball games. Every Mayan city had such a sports complex; they were as ubiquitous as football and soccer stadiums are today throughout the Americas. There was, however, one big difference: Frequently, at the end of a game, several players were ritually sacrificed to appease the local deities. This was a culture of extreme contradictions: one of extraordinary intellectual accomplishments and also one preoccupied by highly orchestrated, ritualistic bloodletting. Think of a culture
today that on the one hand produces Nobel laureates in abundance and, on the other, fetishizes guns and stands by while tens of thousands of people per year die of gunshot wounds as a result.
Different worlD, common grounD Cruise-ship life is a strange, disembodied way of being. One stands somewhat outside of time, outside of the rhythms of everyday life. True, there are alternative rhythms onboard, largely revolving around the times the buffets and bars open; but the sense of participation in a place and a time is put on hold. It’s a slow-paced existence—one that would drive me mad after more than a few days, I suspect, but that for those few days is remarkably rejuvenating. One can sit on the deck, or in the little patio outside one’s bedroom, watch the endless blue sea and listen to the gentle sounds of the calm Caribbean waters sloshing around the side of the ship. When one disembarks, however, there is an unfortunate theme-park quality to the ports, an exploitative, superficial take on local culture that consists mainly of stalls selling tchotchkes and restaurants hawking foods heavy on the local names and light on the real and spicy local flavors. But beyond the awfulness of the ports, farther inland, one can start to see some
PLAN YOUR ST. PADDY’S See NIGHT&DAY
AVOCADO WITH BRAVADO See DISH
BEAUTY AND THE WORST See FILM
One writer’s visit tO Mayan ruins reveals truths clOse tO hOMe Story and photos by Sasha Abramsky
A stelae at Quiriguá in Guatemala.
EATING PIE WITH POP PLAYERS See MUSIC
Banana-slip into the ’90s Last Tuesday evening, drunk driving was encouraged—nay— required. Beers, adults disguised as teens from the ’90s, ass-like aromas and smack talk permeated Sactown Union Brewery for its Mario Kart Tournament, a first-time event for Sacramento Beer Week. Sactown Union was packed before the “official” racing began in pursuit of prizes that mostly included gift certificates to the brewery. Men with babies strapped to their chests were shoved against dogs licking their owners’ pint cups. The host of the evening, Joshua Kress, from the pub trivia group Geeks Who Drink, kicked things off with a roll call and rules. Imagine second grade but with beer and profanity. The 32 team names included gems like Yoshi’s Dirty Tongues and Toadstool Samples. The rules were simple: No beers, no play—teams had to drink in order to drive. Swearing was to be kept at a minimum due to the family friendly nature of the brewery. This was immediately followed by a message to parents: “This is a brewery and people are going to swear,” Kress said. “Also, shittalking is encouraged.” The last golden rule from the host? “I am Josh, Josh gave up his Joshua Kress playing time to host so buy Josh Geeks Who Drink a beer,” Kress said. After looking organizer at the overstuffed room: “Actually, everyone doesn’t have to buy Josh a beer or he’ll be shitfaced.” The crowd’s passionate obsession with Mario Kart was anything but understated; we’re talking die-hard fans of the game and its associated trash-talk. The room howled when a player slipped on a banana during the first Mushroom Cup round. Picture the Sacramento Kings beating the Los Angeles Lakers … in overtime … with two seconds to go. Audience members screamed:
“Shittalking is encouraged.”
very different worlds. At Santa Tomás de Castilla, in Guatemala, the ship docked for a full day. Our tour guide was a feisty archeologist keen to talk about not only the ruins that we were approaching, but also the history of his country: the decades-long civil war that ended 20 years ago; the impoverished state of the countryside; the power of the banana cartels; and the corruption and ineptitude of his country’s political leadership. The previous government, he explained, had been driven from power by huge protests—more than a million people, out of a population of 16 million, in the streets. They protested, he explained, outside of the homes of cabinet members, making it clear that unless the officials resigned and faced prosecution, “we will burn your houses, your dogs and your cats.” It was a visceral, not particularly pleasant image.
The protests apparently bore fruit. Eleven of the 12 ministers, the president and his deputy, were incarcerated, our guide further explained. The 12th committed suicide. These days, Guatemela’s president is a one-time professional clown who shot to fame through his television show and won power by promising voters he would use his outsider status to sweep clean a filthy, dysfunctional system. This information struck a bit too close to home; half the bus, filled with tourists seeking to escape the current realities of the United States, audibly groaned. At Quiriguá, however, contemporary politics faded away as we walked through an overgrown field of tall stone stelae, or Mayan monuments, each one intricately carved with the faces of kings such as Lightning Warrior—who threw off the rule of the powerful city-state of Copan
This was a culture of extreme contradictions: one of extraordinary intellectual accomplishments and also one preoccupied by highly orchestrated, ritualistic bloodletting.
in the mid-eighth century—and symbols telling their stories. There are more than 700 symbols in the Mayans’ written language—a glorious hybrid of phonetic, alphabet-like symbols, along with complex imagery designed to communicate numeric and literary ideas. It’s beautiful imagery that hints at a very different world. That world was codified in magnificent detail throughout hundreds of years by the scribes of the Mayan codices—a body of knowledge akin to modern encyclopedias. The conquering Spaniards did their best to eradicate it, burning the codices and destroying the scholars and priests who were stewards of this alien, non-Catholic universe. One can feel this distant culture when wandering through Quiriguá. One can envision the stelae in their full, painted splendor, and the temples and plazas fully populated with vendors and artists, the jade and obsidian artisans, the medics, the priests and promenaders. One can unleash the imagination in such a place, stepping outside of time for a few hours That evening, the ship set off again toward the northeast, past the west coast of Cuba, up the western edge of Florida and back to Tampa once more. After a week of separation from the pressures of daily life, it was back to the airport and off again to California. Ω
“You can slip on my banana any time!” “Can I taste the tears?!” “Peach, you should be ashamed of yourself!” Kress said. “If anyone is buying a beer, I could use one.” Chris Martin, a Sacramento local, was on the one-man crew Shells and Cheese. As his friends noted, they weren’t talented enough to play alongside him. Mr. Shells and Cheese—having just won the tournament at the Napa Valley Museum in December—was clearly on a confidence high. “I smoked a lot of pot and played Mario Kart all the fucking time for a decade,” Martin said. “I am going to win that $50 gift card.” Spoiler alert: He did not win, but made it to the last round, when Power and Green Shells raced to first place. The brains behind the event belong to Aaron Taylor, a Sactown Union employee. The brewery is interested in turning it into a monthly event with a philanthropic twist: Teams will buy in, and the winners will not only get a gift card, but will choose a charity to which they can donate the entry fees. “It isn’t just about brewing beer, we brew community,” Taylor said. Well, Sacramento millennials flocked with their newborns and pets in tow, so mission accomplished. On to the next lap.
—Caroline Minasian Sasha Abramsky is a Sacramento-based writer.
03.16.17 | SN&R | 19
For tickets visit sacballet.org or call 916.808.5181 M-Sat 10am-6pm
Peter Pan & Viva Vivaldi
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A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF WHAT’S HAPPENING EVERY DAY IN SACRAMENTO.
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For the WeeK oF MArCh 16
Who Killed Wild West? THURSDAY, MARCH 16 For those who yearn for a good detective story, this is one “whodunnit” mystery you should not miss. For one wild night, the Sacramento History Mystery Museum will be transformed into the Hawg Jowl Restaurant, where attendees can use their street smarts to uncover the criminals. Bring your thinking caps and Western hats to join in on the fun. $10-$20; 5:30 p.m. at Sacramento History Museum, 101 I Street; http://sachistorymuseum.org.
Direct from palestine FRiDAY, MARCH 17 Get a glimpse into the lives of Palestinian refugees at this unique show. Movement and original music will paint a picture of both the present and hisDAnCe tory of Palestinian refugees, and in between dance numbers there will also be inspirational hiphop songs performed in English and Arabic. $10-$20; 7 p.m. at Benvenuti Performing Arts Center, 4600 Blackrock Drive; www.mecaforpeace.org.
Get lucky S
t. Patrick’s Day is here—as if you need another excuse to get drunk on a Friday. The most obvious thing to do would be to waltz into de Vere’s Irish pub (1521 L Street), the most authentically Irish drinking establishment in town, at 9 a.m. for a rich Irish coffee and then linger all day with hundreds of new friends. In this case, the most obvious plan just happens to be a great one, but if you feel like trying something new this year, consider the following: From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on March 17, Malt & Mash Irish pub is throwing an outdoor rager with a beer garden, six additional bars, a bagpipe session at noon and live music from 5 p.m. onward. This decidedly not familyfriendly party at St. Rose of Lima Park, right across from the Golden 1 Center, costs $5 to enter. More at www.facebook.com/ maltandmash. The sixth annual St. Patrick’s Day Bartender Speed Competition takes place at Bottle & Barlow (1120 R Street), which is sure to be popular
storytime at Verge FRiDAY, MARCH 17 Your little ones are never too young to be exposed to the beauty of art. Verge is inviting children to join in a story reading hosted with the Sacramento Public Library. Once the story is over, your younglings can participate in a scavenger hunt Art throughout Verge’s current exhibit, We Buy White Albums. Free; 10:00 a.m. at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street; www.vergeart.com.
—loRY gil with industry folks. Eight local bartenders will compete head-to-head from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and you can expect some tantalizing, whiskey-based cocktail specials all night. Look for more details at www.facebook.com/bottleandbarlow. Inject a little all-American action into your Irish fun at stoney’s rockin rodeo (1320 Del Paso Boulevard) with live country music, corned beef and cabbage, and the promise of free, late-night shepherd’s pie. If that mashed potato-and-meat combo doesn’t excite you now, just imagine how it’ll feel after a few $5 car bombs during happy hour. The cover costs $5 for those 21 and over, $10 for the 18-20 set. Visit www.facebook.com/ stoneyinn to learn about other specials. For a more cozy night out, head to public house theater (5440 14th Avenue) at 5 p.m. and enjoy a festive dinner of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes paired with a local stout. Highway 50 West will provide the tunes. More at www.facebook.com/publichousetheater.
ILLUSTRATION BY MARGARET LARKIN
Uprooting White Fragility SATURDAY, MARCH 18 Get uncomfortable for all the right reasons. Dr. A. Breeze Harper will share tools to pinpoint your conscious and unconscious racism. The feminist author will share real-life anecdotes about how white fragility dominates vegan and health communiCULtUre ties. If you care about social justice, ethical consumption, food or well-being, this should be fodder for a meaningful afternoon. $20-$30; 4 p.m. at the Moorish American Resource Center, 6965 Luther Drive, Suite 3; https://moorishresourcecenter.org.
republic FC vs. san Jose earthquakes WEDnESDAY, MARCH 22 Now that all the Sactown soccer drama has finally subsided, it’s time for Republic FC’s faithful to crack open a cold one and get back to the pitch. Join the preseason fun at the newly sports rechristened Papa Murphy’s Park this Wednesday as Sacramento Republic FC takes on the San Jose Earthquakes. $24-$105; 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park, 1600 Exposition Boulevard; www.sacrepublicfc.com.
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IllustratIons by saraH Hansel
No-doubt sauerkraut Bavarian goulasH, la trattoria BoHeMia It’s heating up, but there are cold, overcast days to savor yet. One of the best places to get comfy and warm up your soul is the casual and charming La Trattoria Bohemia—a hearty soup will soothe any fried-brain-related workday traumas. The Bavarian goulash is a wholesome heap of pork chunks stewed in tomato broth and sauerkraut, and the sides of Czech dumplings and sour cream add some wonderful options for sweetening and sopping up stray juices. 3649 J Street, (916) 455-7803.
Suspended sweetness Cool tea Bar, grass jelly roasted Milk tea
IllustratIon by Mark stIvers
Meaty feast By John Flynn Bathed beef: “St. Patrick’s Day is
for corned beef, you can’t just serve whatever,” said Eric Veldman Miller, owner of V. Miller Meats (4801 Folsom Boulevard; Suite 2), who has been preparing since January for March 17. The butcher shop starts with “pinnacle quality, grass-fed-andfinished” beef from Stemple Creek Ranch in Marin County. A big hunk of fatty, flavorful brisket gets plopped into a brine that includes sugar, black pepper and coriander. After at least 15 days, they take it out and vacuum-seal the juices. When it’s taken home, Veldman Miller recommends boiling the beef for at least four hours to tenderize the tough cut and unlock the deeply ingrained flavor, which leaves behind a tasty broth for cooking traditional sides like cabbage and carrots.
Mature balding: Chef Patrick Mulvaney, captain of the Sactown Baldies, shaved his head on March 13 at de Vere’s Irish Pub (1521 L Street) to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity for children with cancer. The Baldies, which now boast around 30 members, have raised more than $1 million over the last eight years. “Not bad for a bunch of drunk restaurant guys,” Mulvaney said. Subbing out: After running the
Italian Importing Co. since 1990, owner Larry Otten is hanging up his apron. His landlord sold the building at 1827 J Street, which will be converted into high-rise lofts priced around $900 a month. His shop closes on April 29, the last day to nab their famous beef-and-pork meatball sub.
Otten said he’ll miss his loyal customers, but he “won’t miss the work. “I’ve been working all my life,” he said. “I want to take it easy from now on.” After 27 years of working 10 to 12 hour days, six to seven days a week, Otten will take a “few, nice vacations” to acclimate to retirement. Once he’s properly rested, he plans to work one to two days a week at Sampino’s Towne Foods (1607 F Street), recreating his younger days when he and owner Bill Sampino used to work behind the counter at Corti Brothers (5810 Folsom Boulevard). Caffeinated culture: Starting this summer, Seasons Coffee, a nearly 2-year-old roaster and subscription service, will open its first brickand-mortar shop inside the CLARA Auditorium (1425 24th Street). Currently, Seasons Coffee can be found in local stores and restaurants, including Nido and Bottle & Barlow. Its own shop will offer a “health-conscious menu” and serve single-source coffee and its signature cold-brewed beverage, Bold Crew. Ω
Sacramento is in a boba bubble, and Cool Tea Bar in Florin kicked off the latest surge with its opening in 2014. The shop serves a delightful alternative to standard bubble tea: grass jelly roasted milk tea ($4 regular, $4.50 large). Unlike tapioca pearls that sink to the bottom, the housemade grass jelly hovers beneath a layer of ice. The jiggly clouds— made of a minty plant and starch—are sipped in surprising bursts. Roasted milk tea has a fuller, almost nutty flavor. And if you’re put off by the saccharine quality of bubble tea, this shop has your number, literally. You can choose the exact percentage of sweetness that floats your boba. 5555 Sky Parkway, Suite 207; www.coolteabar.com.
Cryptic chicory Coraline If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman—and vegetables—you must seek out Coraline chicory. While it’s not really named for Gaiman’s novel, it is mysterious and intriguing like the story. Grown only in Rio Vista, the first commercial production is now in markets and restaurants. Unlike its close cousin the endive, Coraline has a sweeter, less bitter flavor and curly leaves, somewhat like frisée. It’s high in potassium and vitamin C and should be refrigerated in a loose bag. Use Coraline in salads to add crunch and offset sweet ingredients or grill it lightly with oil and salt.
—ann Martin rolke
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Toast laureate by Rebecca Huval
at the bottom of the page, they proclaim: “Of course everything is gluten free. We’re Pushkin’s!” Some dishes make what seem to be their first 1813 Capitol Avenue, (916) 823-5520 appearance on a permanent menu in Sacramento: http://pushkinskitchen.com shakshuka ($11), a North African and Middle Eastern breakfast, and coddled eggs with salmon Meal for one: $9 - $14 roe ($11). Though you may find heavily spiced Good for: Vegan or carnivorous (yet healthful) brunch or lunch shakshuka in a skillet at Oakland’s Beauty’s Notable dishes: Avocado toast, shakshuka, coddled eggs Bagel Shop, the dish at Pushkin’s might surpass it. Two soft, baked eggs sit among a swirl of stewed tomatoes, squash, garlic and chile peppers, seasoned with cayenne and earthy Sacramento might be known as the city of burgers cumin. The slow burn of the spices, the acidity and beef. San Francisco, of gussied up vegetables of the tomatoes and the fresh pep of cilantro and $4 toast. create a pleasing counterpoint. A gossamer layer On those terms, walking into Pushkin’s of Parmesan adds nuttiness. When piled on top Restaurant in Midtown is like stepping into a of the accompanying sticks of crisp toast, the wormhole. You are transported to certain cafes contrasting textures sing. in San Francisco’s beach-y Outer Sunset by On the vegan menu, the tofu scramble ($10) is the wall of potted plants, wooden tables and sautéed in oil to achieve an eggy fluffiness with recycled glass saltshakers. The menu does the fried golden flecks. They offer a fun, hearty altersame. Even the coffee is from the Mission native to eggs. However, the hash browns District’s Ritual Coffee Roasters. upstage the scramble. The edges are But in the food department, carefully fried to a burnt sienna Pushkin’s vaults ahead of the that frames fine crosshatches pack: The avocado toast is of fresh potatoes that taste so not $4, but $11. It is worth strongly of potato. It makes each of those dollars. One you realize how often hash for the slightly bitter It makes you realize how often browns are a cookedclovers on top. Another from-frozen afterthought hash browns are a cookedfor the specks of chives at other breakfast joints. from-frozen afterthought at with a delicate onion The only dish that flavor. Two for the other breakfast joints. didn’t match the rest in poached eggs that ooze quality was the quinoa their yolks into the bread bowl ($12), but even it was (and oh, the bread). Three, great. Cured, salty salmon the lightly salted avocadotasted delicious next to the and-cilantro mix spritzed with mutlicolored quinoa. Curled lime. Five just for the bread, ribbons of carrot and diced cucumcrisped on its crust, then porous in the bers added verve. But the side greens were center with soy-based butter—a yin-and-yang underseasoned, as was the dish on the whole. between soft and crunch in a wedge of houseIt could have used one squeeze of citrus. Still, made white bread. that’s a small quibble. It only makes sense that the bread would be Pushkin’s Restaurant adds a much-needed so good. For four years, Pushkin’s Bakery on California-style brunch destination to the 29th and S streets has established itself as the Handle District. It competes on the level of most reliable source of gluten-free and vegan Orphan Breakfast House and Bacon & Butter, pastries and sandwiches in town, treats that with a more healthful and vegan-conscious even omnivores go out of their way to taste. The menu. Heck, it stacks up against the some of the owners, Danny and Olga Turner, have infused best Bay Area restaurants. Soon, they might be their new restaurant’s two menus, carnivorous copying the Sacramento style of brunch. Ω and vegan, with the same values. Literally,
Thai Food & gluten free options
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Irish you were here This St. Paddy’s Day, while your friends are surrounded by sweaty bros downing food-colored beer, you can raise your pinky at a fine dining restaurant. The Wildwood Kitchen & Bar (556 Pavilions Lane) opened last year, and so far the fledgling Arden-Arcade restaurant has drawn attention for its international twists on highend California cuisine. On March 17, it will go full-on Irish with a special of corned beef and cabbage along with traditional fixins. You won’t miss out in the booze department, either: Happy hour starts at 3 p.m., with Irish whiskeys and Guinness served at a discount. While looking up through your empty glass, be sure to admire the $2 million restaurant’s interior, including the metallic branches of light on the ceiling sculpted by the Petaluma artist Matt Devine. Sure beats looking skyward while shotgunning a beer. Find the details at www.facebook.com/events/1897244303892479.
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‘Vegetarian’ includes chicken at La Fiesta by SHoka La Fiesta Taqueria’s vegetarian tacos, burritos and tostadas are not actually vegetarian: The rice included in them is cooked in chicken stock. Until scientists prove chickens photosynthesize and have cell walls, it is factual to say chickens are not vegetables, and these are not vegetarian items. But La Fiesta has been around forever in restaurant terms—three decades—and prominently says on its website, “YOU Have a Voice,” and urges
customer feedback. So let ’em know! Call the Folsom location at (916) 984-3030, tweet @LaFiestaTaqueri or send an email through http:// lafiestataqueria.com, and tell them it’s inaccurate and misleading to call something vegetarian when it has meat products in it. Ask the business to make the rice without any animal products, label the veg options clearly and add a vegan burrito to the menu, please and thank you.
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2-6/9-cloSe • cocktailS • draft beer • appS 3698 n. freeway Blvd. • Sacramento, ca • 916-419-8100 9105 w stockton Blvd. • elk Grove, ca • 916-684-8978 03.16.17 | SN&R | 25
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Where to find the region’s best craft breWs
Fountainhead Brewing Co. 7 AUBURN
Oak Park Brewing Co. 16
Track 7 Brewing Co.
3 10 21
Twelve Rounds Brewing
101 Main St., Roseville 916-774-0505, Mon-Tue 11:30 a.m.9 p.m., Wed-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Capitol Beer and Tap Room 2
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 20
Father Paddy’s Local Irish Public House 6
CAP’s Pizza & Tap House 8760 La Riviera Drive, Ste. A, Sacramento 916-399-4217, Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
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. DoylesPubandTap
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.
Placerville Public House 11
6601 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento 916-330-3973, Mon-Thurs 11:30 a.m.10 p.m., Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat noon-11 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.
La Riviera Market & Spirits 21
22 23 24 25 26
Crooked Lane Brewing Co.
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
Fair Oaks Brew Pub 14
7988 California Ave., Fair Oaks 916-241-3108 Mon 3-10 p.m., Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thurs-Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat 9:30 a.m.11 p.m., Sun 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
9331 La Riviera Drive, Sacramento 916-364-8701
2703 24th St., Sacramento 916-456-6488 Sun-Mon 8 a.m.-11 p.m. CurtisParkMarket
Kupros Craft House 1217 21st St., Sacramento 916-440-0401 www.kuproscrafthouse.com Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat 10 a.m.2 a.m., Sun 10 a.m.-midnight
414 Main St., Placerville 530-303-3792, Tue-Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
zpizza and Tap Room
8704 La Riviera Drive, Sacramento 916-573-4782 www.pitchandfiddle.com PitchandFiddle
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.
26 | SN&R | 03.16.17
7040 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights 916-560-3196, Sun-Thurs 4–9p.m., Fri-Sat 4–10:30 p.m.
Doyle’s Pub and Taproom 5 312 E. Bidwell St., Folsom
435 Main St., Woodland 530-668-1044, Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cattle Rustlers Steakhouse 4
Pitch and Fiddle
Final Gravity Taproom & Bottleshop
866 57th St., Sacramento 916-476-5384, Mon 5-8:30 p.m., Wed 5-9 p.m., Thurs 4-9 p.m., Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
TAP ROOMS Bar 101
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
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
4621 24th St., Sacramento 916-228-4610 Mon 5–9 p.m., Thurs 5–9 p.m., Fri 3– 10 p.m., Sat 12–10 p.m., Sun 12–9 p.m.
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.
RoCo Wine & Spirits 30
2220 Lake Washington Blvd., West Sacramento 916-760-8135 Sun-Thurs 10 a.m.-midnight, Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
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Father Paddy’s Local Irish Public House owner Patrick Redmond first fell in love with pub culture as a 19-year-old touring Edinburgh with his college band. PHoto by MELIssa URoFF
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Woodland pub is a lifelong dream for owner by Thea Marie rood
— and after 4 1/2 years, we said, ‘Well, we’re not ather Paddy’s Local Irish Public House in getting any closer,’” says Redmond with a laugh. Woodland opened its doors in May 2016. But But then some information came across Kathy’s the idea for the pub had simmered in owner desk at the county: The historic Yolo Community Patrick Redmond’s head since 1980, when he was a 19-year-old French horn player visiting Edinburgh with Bank building (circa 1903) was available. After much “angst and conversation,” the Redmonds decided it his college band. was the perfect spot to turn “I fell in love with the pub his teenage pipe dream into culture,” says Redmond of a reality. that summer in Scotland. “I It also met his selfwas a music major — was imposed deadline: They going to be a music teacher. took over the building in But I figured if music didn’t December 2015 and he work out, I’d go open a turned 55 the following pub.” month. In fact music did not Father Paddy’s is a nod work out — as a profession to Redmond’s Irish ancestry anyway — but the pub Patrick Redmond Owner, Father Paddy’s Local Irish Public House and offers 16 rotating idea got shelved too, while taps, which include classic real life (and marriage and British and Irish beer, such children) pushed Redmond as Guinness, Bass and to get what he calls a “real Murphy’s. But it also offers local brews, like Blue job.” (He is the former owner of Redmond Pools Note Brewing (Woodland), Sactown Union Brewery & Spas.) On his 50th birthday in January 2011, and Heretic Brewing (Fairfield). however, he told his wife Kathy he’d be happier as a pub owner — and she agreed. He also told her he could make it happen by his 55th birthday. “So we Continuedonpg.28 began reading, studying, putting things together
“Ifiguredifmusic didn’tworkout, I’dgoopenapub.”
GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD TIMES, GREAT BEER
4621 24TH STREET Sacramento, CA • 916.228.4610
03.16.17 | SN&R | 27
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is our C R A RIETY F A R 0 C FT BEERS,
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SN&R’s Father Paddy’s is the perfect spot to grab a pint and a bite on St. Patrick’s Day.
Thursday, March 23
e & Spirits Win
2220 LAKE WASHINGTON BLVD WEST SACRAMENTO
• Lagunitas Pint Night, 7 p.m. Pitch and Fiddle, 8704 La Riviera Drive Sacramento
916.760.8135 • www.HopsGrapes.com
OngOing EvEnTs • Trivia Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Final Gravity, 9205 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville
Continued from pg. 27
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Possibly the pub’s most interesting feature is its whiskey vault, housed in the original bank vault, with a tasting table and three cabinets containing Scotch, Irish and American whiskeys. In addition to educational tastings, Redmond and his chef, Justin Severson, hold Whiskey Society Dinners, pairing whiskey and off-menu dinner entrees for up
to 50 guests (the next event is March 28; call 530-668-1044 for reservations). But you don’t need to be over 21 to enjoy Father Paddy’s, where you can read a book on the couch or play darts while you wait for your plate of shepherd’s pie. “This is comfort food,” says Redmond. “And it’s a family-friendly place.”
• IPA Wednesdays $5/glass of Hoppy beers on draft Final Gravity, 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste. C-300, Auburn • Thirsty Thursdays Select $4 draft beers Final Gravity, 1850 Grass Valley Hwy., Ste. C-300, Auburn
6051 ENTERPRISE DR. #102, DIAMOND SPRINGS, CA • WWW.ELDOBREW.COM • 530-558-4188
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Cra Beer TAPS
wood fired pizza
spotlight taps PiTch and FiddlE • Anderson Valley Huge Arker Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout • Ballast Point Manta Ray • Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange Pale Ale • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA • Belching Beaver Hop Highway IPA • Sudwerk The Big DIPL
Family Friendly • Billiards • Darts • Games 7040 Sunrise Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA | 916.560.3196 | MyCattleRustlers.com
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Sun-Thurs 11a-11p • Fri-Sat 11a-1a 916-399-4217 • 8760 La Riviera Dr. A • www.CapsPizza.com
• Ninkasi Megadolon Double IPA • Lagunitas SF Fusion 43
& PEDALS SacTown SocialBikes
For availability & to book a seat go to: www.sactownsocialbikes.com 28 | SN&R | 03.16.17
FIND OF THE WEEK
ROCKIN’ CELEBRATION Photo courtesy of ed fletcher
Free expression in all its movements
Seeking equality Panel Discussion: Women in the arts The art world is still a male-dominated one, with women typically making up just 20 percent of an art museum’s collection. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Crocker Art Art Museum is hosting a discussion on this pervasive inequality. Kathrine Lemke Waste, president of American Women Artists, will moderate the panel, which will include artists Donna Howell-Sickles and Micol Hebron. It costs $15 for nonmembers, $10 for members and $5 for students to attend, and advance registration is recommended. 216 O Street, www.crockerart.org.
Big ideas creativity + Perfection Since last summer, Creativity + has been organizing dialogues that illuminate the kinds of creative thinking happening Art in Sacramento. Creativity + Perfection will be the group’s first three-part series, with discussions on March 16, April 20 and May 18. Each will host two different speakers musing on what perfection really means. Does perfection even exist? Sacramento multimedia artist William Ishmael and social media professional Faith Lopez will give their takes this week in the Warehouse Artist Lofts’ community room. Though it’s a free event, organizers request you register in advance on Eventbrite. 1108 R Street, www.facebook.com/ creativityplussacramento.
Do the Dance Obscenity can be difficult to define. As the quote goes, “I know it when I see it.” This famous phrase came from a 1964 case regarding whether the French film Les Amants should be considered smut. A lesser known case of “I know it when I see it” happened here in Sacramento in 1969. Two Orangevale go-go dancers from the Pink Pussy Kat bar were arrested for lewd acts. The judge ordered them to come FILM to court and show the jury their dance moves so they could see if it was indeed appropriate or not. In its time, the case made national headlines, but it’s been lost in history. That is, until Sacramento Bee reporter Ed Fletcher learned of it while digging through the archives. Originally, he was working on a narrative film, dramatizing the case, which he called Pink. When he learned that one of the dancers died in 2015, Fletcher decided to shelve the narrative and capture the story via documentary while others were still around to interview. He’s raising money for Do The Dance via Indiegogo until March 23 to fund the cost of shooting interviews and paying for archival footage, such as the above image of Pink Pussy Kat owner Leonard Glancy with defendants Susanne Haines and Sheila Brendenson. The story is certainly an attentiongrabber, but also an important moment in the country’s history in regards to censorship and the First Amendment. Fletcher hopes to finish the documentary this year, and then he will return to Pink. Learn more at www.indiegogo.com/projects/ do-the-dance-a-documentary-film.
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“Ain’t no party like a ‘That Guy’ Party” 30 | sN&R | 03.16.17
8 p.m. friday and saturday, 2 p.m. sunday; $15-$20. Wilkerson theatre, 1723 25th street; (916) 491-0940; www.resurrectiontheatre.com. through april 1.
As Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage opens at Resurrection Theater, two couples meet for a civilized discussion. Veronica (Adrienne Sher) is reading an agreement they are all to sign concerning their young sons, who have had a playground scuffle that cost one of the boys a couple of teeth. Veronica and husband Michael (Steven Minow) want to be very civilized about the damage done to their son. Over a delicious apple clafouti (recipe included in the program), the other parents, Annette (Beth Edwards) and Alan (Shawn B. O’Neal) arrange for the boys to work out their differences. Pleased with how reasonably they are all behaving, one parent asks “How many parents, when standing up for their children, become infantile themselves?” Over the next 90 minutes, we find out just how infantile four reasonable parents can be as the discussion turns heated, through a series of very funny disagreements and violent attacks, as all four bare their souls, and relationships shift. Veronica, an art historian, is a stark contrast to her husband, who runs a hardware store. The veneer of the apartment’s expensive art books falls apart when he lets loose his inner Neanderthal. Edwards’ Annette is nervous and fearful of her bombastic attorney husband, who answers cellphone calls until his wife finally cracks. What makes this production soar is not only Reza’s very funny script (translated by Christopher Hampton) but Natasha Hause’s crisp direction and the verbal dexterity of her strong cast, each of whom gives a spellbinding performance. Ω
Photo courtesy of resurrection theatre
oingWest:TheStory 4 GoftheTranscontinental Railroad If you grew up (or raised kids) locally, you have likely visited the California Railroad History Museum in Old Sacramento. Going West: The Story of the Transcontinental Railroad is basically a 90-minute live-action version of this elementary school ritual, staged with five professional actors in a cozy venue, in a snappy neovaudeville style. The ensemble cast includes B Street regulars Rick Kleber and his booming voice, John Lamb, Amy Kelly and Darek Riley, plus newcomer Jina Nam. Each has multiple roles (filthy-rich railroad barons, starving Chinese workers). They present the temptations of the flesh that could slow construction (cheap liquor, houses of ill repute) in a humorously indirect manner that kids will intuitively grasp. There are also catchy tunes by composer Noah Agruss, incorporating accelerating engine rhythms, hammer-slamming work songs and fanfare-like, brassy, Copland-esque orchestrations. One quibble: The script seemingly indicates the rails crossed the Sierra at “12,000 feet.” At last check, Donner Pass reaches 7,057 feet—a daring, impressive feat of 19th-century engineering, but let’s not gild the lily. —Jeff Hudson
Going West: the story of the transcontinental railroad; 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. saturday and sunday; $18-$23. B street theatre, 2711 B street; (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org. through april 2.
Peter and the Starcatcher
Jack Gallagher is, first and foremost, a storyteller who can tell a sad story or a funny one and keep audiences enthralled. It’s no surprise then that his new one-man show is funny and touching—and always entertaining. The premise derives from a concussion the comedian suffered after riding his bike when he collided with a car and hit his head. Out of this experience came a stream of reflections on life, love, growing older and parenting. Th, F 8pm;
Sa 5pm and 9pm; Su 2pm; Tu 2pm; W 6:30pm. Through 4/16.
B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www .bstreettheatre.org. B.S.
Young expats Zack and Abby seem to have created an ideal life—they’re a newly mar-
ried young couple living in an old apartment in Paris. But from the opening scene of this play, when Abby returns home unexpectedly and finds Zack enjoying sketchy websites, you know there’s more beneath their carefully constructed surface. Directors Jouni Kirjola and Jamie Kale skillfully steer a solid four-person cast: Zachary Scovel as Zack, the patient husband to an emotionally fragile wife; Nina Dramer as Abby, the needy-and-naive spouse; and Vernon Lewis and Sarina Krastev as the Parisian landlords who are dragged into the slowly escalating drama of the American couple. Th, F, Sa 8pm. Through 3/26. $12-$22. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 9603036; www.bigideatheatre .org. P.R.
Short reviews by Patti Roberts and Bev Sykes.
5 SUBLIME– DON’T MISS
PhOTO cOURTESy OF ShANE KOyczAN
Living through words Canadian poet Shane Koyczan is a powerful storyteller with tangible stage presence. He’s also a writer and recording artist with multiple books and albums to his name. Oh, and he’s a YouTube phenom who has so far netted 20 millionplus views for his “To This Day Project,” which tackles school bullying. He’s also a major award-winner, earning first place in the 2000 National Poetry Slam. Recurrent themes in his work include finding satisfaction—even joy— in being different. Learn more when Koyczan performs at the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre for three nights of spoken word. 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16, through Sunday March 18; $35; www.mondaviarts.org; (530) 7542787.
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“So what if I grew this beard to match my newsboy cap.”
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Concussed: Four Days in the Dark
The creative and imaginative staging, sets, music, costumes and cast performances of this Green Valley Theatre Company’s production magically transport the audience into the enchanted world of Peter Pan, Wendy and the Lost Boys. This Tony-winning musical gives Peter Pan a fun, whimsical back story, with inventive interpretations of the familiar characters and storylines, including why Peter Pan flies, how Wendy (renamed Molly in this story) became a feisty young lady and caretaker of the Lost Boys, how Captain Hook (renamed Black Stache) lost his hand, and how Neverland came to be. F, Sa 8pm. Through 3/26. Green Valley Theatre Company at the Grange Performing Arts Center, 3823 V Street; www .greenvalleytheatre.com. P.R.
03.16.17 | SN&R | 31
Less remake than demake
CONTEST THE PRIZES: First place
will receive a $2,000 award, plus $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.
THE RULES: High-school seniors graduating in 2016 are eligible. Only one entry allowed per student, and you must live in the Sacramento region to apply. No SN&R employees or their relatives may enter. THE DETAILS: Essays must be no longer than 650 words. Email essays as a Word document or PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “College Essay Contest.” Deadline is Friday, April 21, at 5 p.m.
Beauty and the Beast is living houseware always this depressed?
by Daniel Barnes
center around cynical adaptation envy—this is a film that wants to stand on the shoulders of giants, while still acting like it’s winning the dunk contest. Remakes always present a challenge for critics, As Belle, the fiercely intelligent and indeespecially remakes of widely seen films, since the pendent peasant girl who takes her father’s place obvious urge is to make insipid apples-to-apples as prisoner in the Beast’s haunted castle, Emma comparisons between the two, rather than judge each Watson has all the beauty and smarts for the part movie on its own merits. Any critic who dismissed but none of the spark. She’s an airless and joyless Brian De Palma’s Blow Out in 1981 because it wasn’t actress, often contributing little more than a an Antonioni clone now looks like an inveterate hack. recitation of the script, and her Belle ends up more Even Gus Van Sant’s misbegotten Psycho remake grumpy than feisty, more resigned than smitten. presented unique invitations to comment on meanings Extra storylines add very little—there’s no pressing and methods in film, rather than simply rehashing the reason to see scenes from the Beast’s pampered rhyming plot points. (Most critics, naturally, declined childhood, or learn the back story of Belle’s the invitation.) mother, other than to pad the running time. Bill Condon’s ghastly live-action remake The biggest issue with Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, the Beast still has to be Condon, a practically pleads for comparisons to the flat-footed director who previously 1991 Disney-animated feature. Rather brought the film adaptation of This slavish than reimagining or recontextualizing Dreamgirls to lifelessness—his remake is an old Disney chestnut, this new Beauty bland and cramped approach to and the Beast is essentially a scenebloated and smug the movie musical makes Rob for-scene, beat-for-beat, note-for-note Marshall look like Vincente and clumsy. recreation of the original, Howard Minnelli. This is an ugly film, Ashman and Alan Menken songs and devoid of style or personality, and everything. That film, in turn, is based on an strangely claustrophobic to boot—the 18th-century French fairy tale adapted numerous movement of human actors in the frame times before, most notably by Jean Cocteau, but the is generally restricted to a couple of steps or a kick 1991 animated film is the only version given any and twirl (probably due to extensive green-screen weight here. work), while the myriad CGI characters all do This latest incarnation is a high-gloss recycle backflips and acrobatic interpretive dances. job, designed to do nothing more than massage your It’s a jarring juxtaposition, but bad decisions nostalgia sensors for two interminable hours. The and unappealing images are all that Condon’s problem for Condon and company is that every single remake has to differentiate itself from the Disney scene in their remake pales in comparison to the original. Ω animated feature—every place that Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s enchanting animated feature is fun and magical and nimble, this slavish remake is bloated and Poor Fair Good Very excellent smug and clumsy. Most of the film’s myriad issues Good
1 2 3 4 5
32 | SN&R | 03.16.17
Before I Fall
A high-school girl (Zoey Deutch) is killed in an auto accident with her three besties (Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu, Medalion Rahimi), then wakes up to find herself living the last day of her life again—and again and again and again. Ry Russo-Young directs Maria Maggenti’s script (from Lauren Oliver’s young adult novel), and if it sounds familiar, it is: It’s Groundhog Day with teen angst and mean-girl snark instead of comedy. It’s not an advantageous trade, and the movie’s construction and editing are a shade haphazard (the cause of the accident is kept obscure longer than it should be). Still, there are compensations—an attractive cast, crisp cinematography (Michael Fimognari) and a nice pop music soundtrack. If nothing else, the movie will be worth it if it finally makes a star of Deutch; she’s overdue. J.L.
It was only a matter of time before the Black Lives Matter movement got its own horror movie. Several documentaries last year tied Black Lives Matter into a larger examination of the American civil rights movement, but no genre provides anxietyexorcising catharsis quite like horror. By their very outlaw nature, horror films can go places other films would never dare—that’s why it’s a shame that most of them never go anywhere at all. Writer-director Jordan Peele’s Get Out, though, is a smart and stylish sociological horror movie with a healthy helping of What We Do in the Shadows-level belly laughs. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris, a young black man going to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time and realizing right away that something is dangerously amiss. Making his directorial debut, Peele manages to continually pique our interest, even when we know where the story is heading. D.B.
I Am Not Your Negro
Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript for Remember This House, a proposed book about the civil rights struggle that focused on Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, I Am Not Your Negro tells a decades-old story that carries a disturbing relevance. In that respect, it’s a lot like Jason Osder’s clear-eyed 2013 scorcher Let the Fire Burn, but in a formal respect the film piggybacks on the in-their-own-words documentary trend made popular by movies like Amy and Janis: Little Girl Blue. Directed by Raoul Peck (Lumumba) and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson (every film made in the last quarter-century), this deeply personal docu-bio is a thoroughly engrossing, powerful and necessary film. At the risk of losing all credibility, I will even use the dreaded “I” word, and declare that this is one of the most “important” films you will have the opportunity to see this year. D.B.
BY DANIEL BARNES & JIM LANE
Kong: Skull Island
In 1973, as the Vietnam War winds down, a party of soldiers and scientists goes off to explore an uncharted Pacific island—but the military leader (Samuel L. Jackson) doesn’t know that the civilian leader (John Goodman) is hunting for monsters, including the legendary ape Kong. Put King Kong out of your mind; this is neither sequel nor remake, but a whole new approach to the premise, with passing nods to Heart of Darkness, Jurassic Park, Moby Dick, and a host of other classic and pop culture touchstones. And somehow it all works; there’s the right blend of excitement and humor in the script (by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly and John Gatins) and Jordan VogtRoberts’ lickety-split direction keeps us on the edge of our seats. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson make appealing romantic leads. J.L.
ON BREWS Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery: $25 gift certificates, you pay $12.50 The start of an unending cat street brawl straight out of They Live.
If you are a cat person, you need to watch Ceyda Torun’s amiable documentary Kedi as soon as humanly possible. This point cannot be stressed strongly enough. Part God-mode Cats of Instagram story stream, part sly travelogue of modern-day Istanbul, Kedi follows about a dozen different street cats (the city teems with homeless felines) and the lives that they have touched. The cats range from heroic mousers to therapeutic companions to polite gourmands, and slowly Kedi forms into a portrait of an ancient city in transition (we gets intimations of gentrification and modernization, while one cat is pointedly framed in front of anti-Erdogan graffiti). Although not exactly ambitious or envelope-pushing in terms of style and narrative, Kedi is an absolutely delightful film experience, fluffy and humanist, with an off-the-charts adorable quotient. The film runs only 80 minutes, but I could have watched a version at least three times as long. D.B.
Caps Tavern and Taphouse: $20 gift certificates, You pay $10
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Former X-Man Logan, the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and the near-senile professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart)—living in squalor in Mexico, hiding from dark forces (led by Richard E. Grant) seeking to bend the race of mutants to their evil will—are forced to help a fugitive mutant child (Dafne Keen) flee to safety. The gloomiest and grisliest of the X-Men franchise is expertly crafted in detail but overlong, dreary and dispiriting as a whole. Rated a hard R for its Grand Guignol violence, in which every decent person meets a bloody and horrible end, the movie has an ugly edge: Keen looks about ten years old, and putting her through these paces amounts to a distasteful kind of kiddie porn. Written and directed by James Mangold as if he’s bored to death with the series—a feeling it’s easy to share. J.L.
The Last Word
A cranky old control freak (Shirley MacLaine) dragoons a journalist (Amanda Seyfried) into preparing her obituary now, while she’s still alive—except that the writer can’t find anybody with anything nice to say about the old battle-ax. Like 2015’s Grandma with Lily Tomlin, the movie’s chief pleasure—its only one, in fact—is watching MacLaine and Seyfried in action. That alone is enough to make us wish we could overlook Stuart Ross Fink’s smug and smarmy script. But we can’t; it’s just too contrived, at its most banal when it thinks it’s being profound, and it doesn’t add up on any real level. The whole movie is a concerto of squawking false notes. Sometimes the locations don’t even seem to match, as if the company suddenly had to shoot somewhere else (maybe that’s director Mark Pellington’s fault). J.L.
A grieving father (Sam Worthington) gets a cryptic note signed “Papa”—the nickname his devout wife (Radha Mitchell) uses for God—inviting him to the remote shack where his missing daughter was presumably murdered. There he meets nothing less than the Holy Trinity: the Father (Octavia Spencer), the Son (Avraham Aviv Alush) and the Holy Spirit (Sumire), who try gently to urge him back to faith. Giving full credit for sincerity and better-than-average production values for a faith-based film, this one nevertheless falls short, thanks to the plodding direction of Stuart Hazeldine, who also lets Worthington engage in the kind of mumbling whisper that some actors mistake for intensity. As the Supreme Being, Spencer and (in a later male incarnation) Graham Greene preserve a surprising amount of dignity. J.L.
A former maid of honor (Anna Kendrick), who withdrew from the wedding party when the bride’s brother (Wyatt Russell) dumped her, winds up sitting at the table reserved for the losers who didn’t have the sense to RSVP their regrets. Writer-director Jeffrey Blitz, working from a story by Mark and Jay Duplass, turns all the overworked wedding-comedy clichés inside out; just when we think we know where a gag will lead, the movie surprises us with a subversive twist we should have seen coming but didn’t. Blitz instills a lurching sweetness to the action that might look amateurish in a different movie, but it works here; like the hapless denizens of that table (Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori), we squirm through some awkward moments but in the end we’re glad we came. J.L
Pitch and Fiddle: $15 gift certificates, you pay $7.50
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COMING SOON: Crooked Lane Brewing Co., Fountain Head Brewing Co.
03.16.17 | SN&R | 33
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34 | SN&R | 03.16.17
Vasas’ darkly sunny sounds are built on a foundation of solid friendships by Rachel leibRock
Naify, Zeff and Gutierrez each write and sing. Instead of making for a disjointed record, however, the tracks on Diving Bells seamlessly dip and soar with catchy melodies and a darkly sunny ethos. The guitar intro for “Bad Farkle Day” revs with urgency; “Stoners” exudes a ’60sera vintage feel; and “Jenny,” a cover of a Minders song—a band Naify once played with—sounds gorgeous and bittersweet. Vasas’ approach to recording has been decidedly unorthodox. oompa, loompa, doompety—oops Instead of holing up in a studio for a few days, the group recorded the tracks over a long stretch at every place possible (bookstores, warehouses, basements, etc.) using every It’s a chilly Monday night, and the members of format available (tape, four-track, digital, etc.). Vasas are camped out in the alley behind Time “It’s fun to mess around and start something on Tested Books. Guitarist Pablo Gutierrez pulls a tape and then add something on computer and not freshly made Key lime pie from his car, sets the dish be on the clock at all,” says Naify, who produced on the hood and starts slicing. He’s brought ceramic the record. plates and real utensils. It all feels festive. By the end, they had multiple versions of each But why pie? Is it a special occasion? track, something that might have proved problematic “Absolutely not. I just said I’d make a pie,” in the wrong hands. Gutierrez says as the band settles onto folding The process has solidified and chairs and starts eating at the onset of a polished the band’s sound. So has recent interview. its endless slew of gigs—a bit of a Still, somehow the appearance of “We’re rule-breaker for a local band that homemade dessert says much about bridging the gap should theoretically be worried the Sacramento psych-pop quartet. between psych about not exhausting its fan base. That is to say: This is not just a “We play too goddamned group built on the usual foundation and poppy.” much,” Gutierrez says with a of friendship, collaboration and Aaron Zeff laugh. inspiration, but also one that’s free of bassist “What happens is you agree irony and pretense. to play a show to fill out a bill And, the band—which also includes that’s two months away and then guitarist Andrew Naify, drummer Finian another show comes up that you really Scott-Small and bassist Aaron Zeff—is marking want to play,” Scott-Small says. “Then you end up a special occasion with the release of its new album playing two shows in two days.” Diving Bells on Bearded Beauty Records. There’s In the end, though, that’s OK. After all, this is a also a video for the single “Such a Dog,” which band that turned a broken-down tour van in Idaho recently premiered on Sly Vinyl, featuring the band into a weeklong vacation bonding over karaoke and accompanied by not a canine, but a large papierdips in the lake. It’s about making music and good mâché cat. Shot in rich, oversaturated colors, the clip times, they say. and its mood, coupled with the song’s melancholy It’s about eating pie with your mates in an alley vibe, capture Vasas at its inventive, melodic best. just after sundown. Ω The band formed approximately five years ago. Vasas quickly established itself as a local must-hear act, well-regarded for smart sonic tracks that hint at a love for the Kinks and beyond. Check out Vasas’ record release gig April 15 at old Ironsides. “We’re bridging the gap between psych and Learn more about Vasas at https://vasas.bandcamp.com. poppy,” Zeff says. Photo BY ShoKA
Psych pop pie
The handmaid’s cello
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pleasantly dry mix of free verse and rhymes against repetitive rock chord
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progressions and patterns. All but one of twelve songs were original, and of these, four appear on her newest album released last month, My Kingdom As Great. Its mesmerizing title song borrows dialogue from the 1986 film Labyrinth, in which a young girl breaks free of a manipulative goblin played by David Bowie, setting it to a Pachelbel-like canon. In the same vein, “Bad Boy” best demonstrates Unwoman’s cool but sharpened feistiness, using a plodding string quartet accompaniment to rebuke the “Mr. Rochester” character from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre— after all, he is a married man preying on a teenaged girl in his employ. With understated irony, she convincingly covered Dessa’s “The Chaconne,” which references Bach’s famous solo piece often performed on cello. For “Flowering Vines,” a waltz aptly critiques the naïve anarchy of author Hakim Bey. His ideologies dizzily spin and drift away from any lingering punk sympathies.
Electric hip-hop: Acoustic loop artist Symytry swung his guitar behind his back and shuffled over to his leopard-print-covered drum. He beat it while singing, a midsong transition that elicited a cheer from the crowd. Opening a Saturday night showcase at the Starlite Lounge, Symytry blended rhythmic guitar, pedal loops and smooth vocals in an effective one-man-band performance—despite a technical issue with the backup beat that was resolved after the first two acts. That night, Starlite Lounge played host to a packed showcase of local talent, headlined by Sparks Across Darkness and T.I.P. Vicious. A modest but engaged crowd turned out to support the local rappers, DJs and soulful songcrafters who blended styles of acoustic, electronic, indie rock and hip-hop. Capably emceed by Edgar Granados and DJ Darealwordsound, the lineup flowed seamlessly from one act to the next. Following Symytry, rapper Ase Royal delivered a heartfelt and impassioned performance. His colorful dashiki outfit demanded attention, which he maintained throughout a politically charged set. During a performance dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, Ase Royal contrasted his style of hip-hop with popular party music: “They want you to turn up, I want you to turn in,” he rapped. Ase Royal gave shoutouts to Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, assassinated in a raid orchestrated by the FBI in 1969, and civil rights activist Medgar Evers, decrying a “war on black leaders.” Amateur rapper Alex Salveson gave a heartfelt performance. In verse, he divulged his experience as a struggling performer in Sacramento and relayed the story of a car crash and the new perspective on life it gave him. Caliscope, a self-described “ratchet ass indie rock band,” delivered an energized set combining hip-hop, live beats and acoustic and electric guitar, reminiscent of the Denver, Colo., band the Flobots. Rounding out the evening, Anthony Giovanini as Sparks Across Darkness and rapper-and-trip-hop artist T.I.P. Vicious delivered a solid performance, supported by funky electronic beats that energized the small but enthusiastic crowd.
Vintage punk: In his final years, composer John Cage all but predicted the rise of a new type of troubadour: soloists playing original music with portable electronics. On March 9, Unwoman gracefully fulfilled Cage’s prophecy at Crocker Art Museum’s monthly event series, ArtMix. A noisy, imbibing audience— mostly in ’20s attire for the evening’s “Vintage Swank” theme—appreciated the Bay Area songwriter, singer and cellist, but they could have put their drinks down more often to listen during the two half-hour sets. Accompanying herself on stand-up electric cello, she nevertheless sang passionately and unflappably to her would-be flappers. Taking her name from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Unwoman (a.k.a. Erica Mulkey) insists she is herself onstage and not channeling a character. Otherwise, she also enjoys dressing in neo-Victorian garb (outer corset, hoop skirt and feather hairpin), while her songs calmly lilt, supported by classical bowing techniques and electronic sampling. Even if some goth, postpunk, or steampunk scenes have claimed her, she alone owns her
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PUBLICATION: NEWS REVIEW
19 S UN
The Cadillac Three
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
Keys N Krates
An Irish Hooley
Ace of SpAdeS, 7 p.m., $14.81-$22 The Cadillac Three is proud of its roots. The band has multiple songs celebrating it. (“Boots and buckles, red clay and sand / My point ain’t subtle here / I’m a Southern man.”) The trio’s anthems have been a hit on country radio the last couple of years. All this talk of being Southern boys reveals a greater truth about the Tennessee group; they aren’t a pure CoUNTRy-RoCK country band. Southern rock influences à la Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd can be heard all through the group’s laid-back grooves. With their ripped shirts and long hair, they even look more rock than something out of Music Row. 1417 R Street, www.thecadillacthree.com.
StArlite lounge, 7 p.m., $15-$20 Jello Biafra is living proof that punk still matters. The former Dead Kennedys frontman is just as passionate about PUNK activism as he is about performing with his new band the Guantanamo School of Medicine. Its latest album, White People and the Damage Done, covers everything from government corruption, corporate media and the disasters of American foreign policy with a fusion of punk rock, rockabilly and Biafra’s boisterous and energetic vocal delivery. 1517 21st Street, www.facebook.com/jbgsm.
Ace of SpAdeS, 7 p.m., $22-$27
hArriS center for the ArtS, 7 p.m., $12-$39
In just a few years, Keys N Krates has grown from a live hip-hop band into a dynamic trio of electronic music producers doing pretty cool things with club music. ElECTRoNIC The Toronto, Canada-based team of turntablist Jr. Flo, keyboardist David Matisse and drummer Adam Tune crafts bangers with soaring highs, house-friendly drops, heavy bass and some trap style without falling into any obvious EDM tropes. Still, the party-throwing responsibilities are taken very seriously—and unlike the vast majority of standalone deejays, Keys N Krates members actually perform and are, therefore, legitimately enjoyable to watch. Really. 1417 R Street, www.keysnkrates.com.
Looking for a real Irish celebration aside from the ones held at nearly every watering hole across the globe? Look no further than this soiree held in Folsom each year much to the delight of showgoers. This year’s festivities will be headlined by the Kerry Traditional Band, which features all the right festive instruments, including (but not limited to) flutes, guitar, banjo and even uillean pipes. IRISH/CElTIC Also included on the bill is a talented dance troupe led by champion dancer and team leader Connor Leider that bring its own twist to traditional Irish dance. 10 College Parkway in Folsom, www.harriscenter.net.
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36 | SN&R | 03.16.17
eveRYTHiNG FROM GOveRNMeNT CORRUpTiON, CORpORATe MediA ANd THe diSASTeRS OF AMeRiCA’S FOReiGN pOLiCY.
19 S UN
21 T Ue
G. Love and Special Sauce
emily kollars Band
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
press club, 7 p.m., $8
Dive bar, 9:15 p.m., no cover
Harlow’s restaurant & nigHtclub, 8 p.m., $30-$35 Has there ever been a cooler band name than G. Love and Special Sauce? It’s obvious the genre of a group with a name this cool—hip-hop. That was the thought back in the ’90s when they got heavy rotation on MTV. In retrospect, G. Love and his grooving, laid-back Special Sauce owed a greater debt to blues than rap music. The three-piece locks in on some funky, bluesy licks. Even G. Love’s flow brings to mind the call-and-response of ALT-Hip-HOp early blues. All right, if you insist on calling them a hip-hop group, that works too. They do it all. 2708 J Street, www.philadelphonic.com.
Hayden Eller considered leaving his remote Washington state town, Bellingham, by joining the Peace Corps. He had a change of heart, instead opting for sticking around town and strumming his acoustic musings at local venues. In no time, iNdie ROCk people took notice. He flushed the project out to an indie-rock trio called Co-Founder. Eller’s emotionally raw contemplations gained potency with the backing of crunchy guitars and midtempo classic rock ‘n’ roll beats. Their last album, Wye, is the product of the trio’s collaboration as a band, and not just Eller as a songwriter. 2030 P Street, www.thecofoundermusic.com.
Harlow’s restaurant & nigHtclub, 8 p.m., $18-$20
For Emily Kollars, life is music. Not only did she grow up in a household with musician parents, but she used to write in her diary as a child about how singing was her passion. The Emily Kollars Band is by far the place to catch her singing these days. (The Steely Dan cover band she sings backing vocals in is cool, too.) Her group plays a combo of originals and covers: smooth soul, relaxed R&B and top-notch jazz R&B tunes. She sings with class and a sultry voice that will melt your mind. 1016 K Street, www.emilykollars.com.
No one would slight Alec Ounsworth for shedding the name Clap Your iNdie ROCk Hands Say Yeah. And yet, save for one solo album under his birth name, CYHSY is the house he built from a self-released debut in 2005. Over a decade later, “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” remains the band’s most streamed song on Spotify. Even favorable reviews for this year’s The Tourist LP cannot eclipse the debut. Yes, most will come for the nostalgia, but Ounsworth has built a fanciful home in CYHSY that does not require rose-colored lenses to enjoy. 2708 J Street, http://cyhsy.com.
Friday, April 7
Friday, April 21
ANTHONY HAMILTON Friday, April 28 Voted Best Overall Gaming Resort & Hotel In Reno o Again! (800) 501-2651 • GrandSierraResort.com 03.16.17 | SN&R | 37
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 email@example.com. be sure to include date, time, location and cost of upcoming shows.
#Turntup Thursdays College Night, call for time and cover
Green Ball St Patrick’s Day Bash Friday 10pm, no cover
Monday-WedneSday 3/20-3/22 Karaoke, Tu, call for time and cover; Trapicana, 10pm, W, no cover
THE INSIDE STORY, call for time and cover
101 Main St., RoSeville, (916) 774-0505
CARIS KEYE, 8:30pm, call for cover
1400 alhaMbRa, (916) 455-3400
FRANK HANNON, GREG GOLDEN; 8:30pm, $20
9426 GReenbacK ln., oRanGevale, (916) 988-9247
CenTer for The arTs
AQUA FISHNET, 8pm, W, call for cover FRANK HANNON, GREG GOLDEN; 8:30pm, $20
314 Main St., GRaSS valley, (530) 274-8384
KEOLA BEAMER AND JEFF PETERSON, MOANALANI BEAMER; 7:30pm, $27-$34
DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS, JEALOUS ZELIG; 8pm, $22-$24
Cooper’s ale works
Karaoke, call for time and cover
ELECTRIC HEAD, DUSTED HEAD; call for time, $10
HANNA JANE KILE, MAU; call for time, $7
Karaoke, Tu, call for time and cover
Absolut Fridays, call for time and cover
Country Dancin’, 7pm, no cover
Every damn Monday, 7pm, M, no cover; Purgatory, 8pm, W, no cover
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with The Pikeys and More!, 4 pm, $2-$10
Fem Dom Com (Female Dominated Comedy), 9 pm
Open-Mic, 7:30 P.M., M, Free; Pub Quiz, 7 pm, T, Free; DJ ANUFF, 8 pm, W, Free
235 coMMeRcial St., nevada city, (530) 265-0116
2000 K St., (916) 448-7798
fox & Goose puBliC house 1001 R St., (916) 443-8825
DONAVON FRANKENREITER, GRANT LEE PHILLIPS; 7:30pm, Tu, $27-$30
Goldfield TradinG posT
GEOFF TATE, 7 pm, $20-$25
DJ HYPE, 9:30pm, $5
1603 J St., (916) 476-5076
1023 FRont St., (916) 321-9480
halfTime Bar & Grill
5681 lonetRee blvd., RocKlin, (916) 626-6366
Karaoke, 7pm, no cover
HIT PARADE, 9pm, $7
COMPLICATED SHADOWS: A TRIBUTE TO THE PURPLE ONES - INSATIABLE ELVIS COSTELLO, 6:30 pm, $10-$12 TRIBUTE TO PRINCE, 10 pm, $17-$20
2708 J St., (916) 441-4693
hideaway Bar & Grill
JOSH ABBOT BAND, 7:30pm, W, $15
JOURNEY’S EDGE, 9pm, $7 G.LOVE AND SPECIAL SAUCE, CITY OF THE SUN; 8pm, $30-$35
WILL WHITLOCK , 9 pm, $20
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, VITA AND THE WOOLF; 8pm, W, $18-$20
PINE STREET RAMBLERS, TIM AND THE ANGLERS; call for time and cover
2565 FRanKlin blvd., (916) 455-1331
On the low, 10pm, no cover; Loveless, 10pm, no cover
1910 Q St., (916) 706-2465
Movement, 10pm, no cover; WELL DRESSED MANNEQUINS, 10pm, no cover
Salty Saturday, 10pm, no cover; Eric & Juan, 10pm, no cover
Heavy Mondays, 10 pm, M, no cover; Tussle, 10pm, Tu, no cover; good stuff, 10pm W, no cover
LIZ RYDER, PATRICK GRIZZELL; 8pm, $6
STAB! 8pm, W, no cover
MUD FOLK, 9:30pm, no cover
1217 21St St., (916) 440-0401
luna’s Cafe & JuiCe Bar 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931
Sac United Poetry Slam, 6:45pm, no cover
Salsa and Bachata Friday, 8:30pm, $8
1119 21St St., (916) 549-2779
2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com 3/22 $18ADV 7PM
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
3/16 $10ADV 6PM
A TRIBUTE TO ELVIS COSTELLO FEAT. PETER PETTY, BELLYGUNNER, KEVIN SECONDS AND MORE.
VITA AND THE WOOLF 3/17 $17ADV 9PM
THE PURPLE ONE:
SAVE FERRIS (SOLD OUT)
INSATIABLE TRIBUTE TO PRINCE
3/25 $15 5:30PM
3/18 $20 8PM
MOUTHS OF BABES
WILL WHITLOCK 3/19 $30ADV 7PM
G LOVE AND SPECIAL SAUCE 38 | SN&R | 03.16.17
3/25 $10ADV 9:30PM
BOB’S CHILD REUNION SHOW
BROKEN AND MENDED
COMING SOON 03/26 Beatles vs. Stones 03/28 Guidance Band 03/29 The Blasters 03/30 Roger Creager 03/31-4/1 Tainted Love 04/02 Beatles ‘67 04/04 That 1 Guy 04/05 Yonder Mountain String Band 04/06 Andy McKee 04/07 The Sextones 04/08 Choir! Choir! Choir! 04/11 Mitski 04/12 Marco Benevento 04/13 B. Dolan 04/14 Rutabaga Boogie Band 04/14 Wonderbread 5 04/15 Bilal 04/16 Dave B 04/21 Petty Theft 04/23 Mike Love
VOTED BEST DANCE CLUB IN SACRAMENTO! KCRA
STAGE COACH TICKET GIVEAWAYS
AT STONEY’S EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT VALUED AT $300 EACH WITH B92.5 THE BULL. HORNS UP!
COLLEGE NIGHT $2/$3/$4 DRINK SPECIALS 9-11
INDUSTRY NIGHT SPECIALS $1,000 PROGRESSIVE KARAOKE CONTEST
B 92.5 COUNTRY FRIDAYS .50 CENT BEER & $2 JACK SPECIAL 8-9
COUNTRY DANCE SATURDAYS/KARAOKE UP FRONT
18 & OVER COUNTRY DANCE NIGHT PLUS .50 CENT BEER & $2 JACK FROM 7-9PM FREE LATE NIGHT BISCUITS N GRAVY FRIDAY FEB 24TH B 92.5 HONKY TONK BOOMBOX
STONEYS ON ST PATTIES DAY
LIVE MUSIC Mar 17 3:00 4:45 6:30 8:15 9:30 Mar 18 Mar 24 Mar 25 Mar 31 apr 01 apr 07 apr 14 apr 15 apr 21 jun 09
ST PATTYS ANDREW CASTRO KEN KOENIG MUD FOLK SCOTTY VOX RUBBIDY BUBBIDY THE INSIDE STORY THE BONGO FURYS THIRD STONE BLUE MUD FOLK MATHEW FRANTZ CHRISTIAN DEWILD JACOB WESTFALL ORION BAND BROKEN & MENDED LILLIE LEMON
33 BEERS ON DRAFT
CORNED BEEF, RUEBEN AND MORE PLUS FREE LATE NIGHT SHEPHERDS PIE $3 GREEN BEERS, $4 JAMESON & $5 CAR BOMBS 7-9PM PLUS THE BAND THE CORDUROYS WILL TAKE THE BIG STAGE, KARAOKE UP FRONT!
MONDAY PINT NIGHT 5-8 PM, TRIVIA @ 6:30 PM TACO TUESDAY $1.25 TACOS NOON - CLOSE WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC – SIGN-UPS @ 7:30 PM
1320 DEL PASO BLVD IN OLD NORTH SAC
101 MAIN STREET, ROSEVILLE 916-774-0505 · LUNCH/DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK
FRI & SAT 9:30PM - CLOSE 21+
1111 H St., (916) 443-1927
THIRD STONE BLUE, INSTAGON; 8:30pm, $5
THE CUTBACKS, NEVER LET THIS GO; 8:30pm, $5
EMMA SIMPSON, LARISA BRYSKI; 8:30pm, $5
ISCARIOT, MARIGOLD; 8:30pm, W, $5
Open Acoustic Jam, 7pm, no cover
FUDI, STORYTELLERS; 7pm, $7
LIPSTICK, 9pm, $5
HEATH WILLIAMSON &, 5:30 pm, M, no cover; Karaoke, 9pm, Tu, no cover
oN the Y
Karaoke, 8pm, no cover
Resonance, 9pm, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
HOARDE OF DRAUGAR, 7:30pm, M, $7; Karaoke 9pm, Tu, no cover
JANIVA MAGNESS, 8pm, $20
WAKE THE DEAD, 8pm, $20
Naked LouNge dowNtowN 1901 10tH St., (916) 442-3504 670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 13 MAin St., WinterS, (530) 795-1825
PLacervILLe PubLIc house
414 MAin St., PlAcerville, (530) 303-3792
SPAZMATICS, 5pm, $10
614 Sutter St., FolSoM, (916) 355-8586
the Press cLub
SMARTBOYZ, CLASS SYSTEM, MOB RULE; 8pm, call for cover
shadY LadY saLooN
HARLEY WHITE JR. ORCHESTRA, 9pm, no cover
2030 P St., (916) 444-7914 1409 r St., (916) 231-9121
NICKEL SLOTS, 9pm, no cover
JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE; 7pm, $15-$20
stoNeY’s rockIN rodeo
1320 Del PASo BlvD., (916) 927-6023
904 15tH St., (916) 443-2797
JASON WEEKS, 7:30pm, call for cover
TEPID CLUB OF COOL, 1:30pm, call for cover
LOST IN SUBURBIA, 10pm, $10
ZOLA MOON, 3pm, $10
Janiva Magness 8pm Thursday, $20. Palms Playhouse Blues
THE GOLDEN CADILLACS, 9pm, no cover ALEX JENKINS, 9pm, no cover
Resisting Oppression: Building Autonomy; 6pm, no cover
1517 21St St., (916) 704-0711
PLOTS, MALLARD,;7pm, M, $8; Cleopatra Records Prospective, 8pm, Tu, no cover
soL coLLectIve 2574 21St St.,
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
BOBBI ZOPPI AND THE CORDUROYS, 9pm, $5-$10
GLASS HOUSE, 5pm, no cover; VANDELLA 9pm, $6
MIND X, 5:30pm, no cover; GROOVE SESSION, 9pm, $8
THE EXPERIMENT, 5pm, Tu, no cover TRUCKFIGHTERS, GREENLEAF AND PEACE KILLERS, 8 pm, $13-$16
WRATHOFTIDES, MISHA ALLURE; 8pm, $12 Karaoke, country dance, 9 pm, $5
THE TRAVELING HEARTBREAKERS, 4pm, no cover; ANDY SANTANA , 9pm, $8
Blues jam, 4 pm, no cover; Front the band, 8pm, no cover
MICHAEL RAY, 8pm, Tu, $5; THE FONTAINE CLASSIC, 9pm, W, $5
All ages, all the time ace of sPades
THE CADILLAC THREE, BLACK ROSES; 7 pm, $14-$22
HAVOK, EXMORTUS, WARBRINGER; 8pm, $16
SIN-KONTROL, GET OUT, ROTTEN BITS; 8pm, $5
1417 r St., (916) 448-3300 3520 Stockton BlvD., (916) 736-3520 3512 Stockton BlvD., (916) 718-7055
ISCARIOT, CARDBOARD HOUSES; 8 pm, $6
1400 e St., (916) 551-1400
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The Purple Ones
KEYS N KRATES, 7 pm, $22-$27
Game night, 6 pm Tu, no cover SPELL, WITCHSTONE; 8pm, $12
PSYCHIC & TAROT CARD READINGS Mind, body, & spiritual healing! Find the answers today for a brighter tomorrow. 514 Riverside Ave, Roseville. Purchase a psychic reading, get a free Tarot Card reading! 916-472-4787 The Fourth Way; An Esoteric Tradition for the Modern Age Please join us on Saturday March 25, at 10:30 AM for a 1 hour introduction to a system of inner development rooted in the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and Peter Ouspensky. We will discuss the practice of being present and using sublime hidden messages in art and literature to be present to our lives. Please call for location and to reserve a place: (916) 347-0448 To reach divine presence is the greatest miracle in the universe; every esoteric tradition offers its unique expression of this ultimate truth.
Oriental Magic Hands
Jason Shimomura CMT 601-1292 (9am-9pm daily)
COLD AS LIFE, HOODS; 8pm, W, $13-$15
AS YET UNTITLED, SICFUCS, 7 pm, $8
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10pm Friday, $17-$20. Harlow’s Cover band
CHRONIXX, 6 pm, Tu, $24-$27
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by JOEY GARCIA
Bad dates I found a bunch of questions online to ask on a first date so things wouldn’t be awkward. I decided to memorize a few and use them. It was a disaster. Somehow, without realizing it, I only asked questions about childhood. The guy I was having drinks with had a terrible childhood and didn’t want to answer questions. He accused me of pulling some Freudian analysis thing on him, threw down cash to cover his drinks (not mine) and left. I felt, and still feel, awful, but he’s not responding to my apologies. The worst part is we had real chemistry before the conversation got weird. I don’t know why I kept pressing him to answer except that I was nervous. How can I let him know I’m sorry and want to try again? Your apology let him know that you are sorry. Now let him go. He said no, you pushed and he took care of himself by leaving a situation that no longer felt fun or safe to him. Expecting an acquaintance to respond to your apology seems odd. He’s not responsible for helping you to feel better. That’s your job. Forgive yourself for ignoring his refusal to let you riffle through the chapters of his life. Praise yourself for being interested. Caution yourself to slow down and pay attention in conversation. No means no. You would be better served in the future by challenging your own thoughts. Like this: Why were you concerned that the date would be awkward? That worry drove you to find a solution outside of you. Clinging to that solution distracted you from seeing that the icebreaker questions were not working as you had hoped. If you want to create a connection that feels open and vulnerable, be open and vulnerable. Say that you are nervous. Tell a story from your own childhood. Pick a memory that doesn’t make you seem needy for consolation or anything else. Choose a story that inspires your happiness or reveals your capacity to overcome
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Why do people date so haphazardly? They don’t want marriage or a lifetime commitment. They want to have fun without responsibility or friendship. How can a black woman find a man worthy of her? Should I keep trying to meet someone or just work on myself? Detach yourself from the duality. It isn’t “find a worthy man” or “work on myself.” Find the “and” within you and live from that place. Start here: Be a woman who trusts herself to be worthy of the life she desires and who invests in being her best self. Practice openness in regard to time, too. Your mind is locked on the clock and calendar. If you enter the flow (time outside the box), frustration eases because your energy is devoted to creating the life you desire, not on what you imagine is lacking. In other words, be intentional. Don’t live haphazardly by basing your choices on who shows up in your life and who doesn’t. Make a lifetime commitment to you. Ω
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I’ve been told “No cellphones in line” at just about every dispensary I’ve visited. They usually cite “patient privacy” rules while referencing HIPAA regulations. My regular pharmacy and my (noncannabis) doctor aren’t as strict. What gives? —Reasonable Bloke It’s about more than just privacy. Cellphones are wonderful and fun, but they can also be a drag in certain situations. When I worked at a club, we didn’t allow cellphones for a variety of reasons: Volume: No one wants to hear a loud ass conversation in a small waiting room. Also, if you are on the phone talking to that one friend who doesn’t have a letter of recommendation about how y’all are gonna split up the weed, you just broke the law. Congrats! Security: Cannabis clubs often have large amounts of cash on hand. Criminals love large amounts of cash. There are all kinds of ways someone could use a cellphone to set up a club for a robbery. Privacy: Your doctor may be cool about it, but I know more than a few medical clinics that have strict policies prohibiting cellphones. It’s very easy to take someone’s picture in a surreptitious manner. While citing HIPAA rules may seem like a convenient excuse, they do serve a purpose. As someone who is almost always glued to his phone, I understand your frustration. Look at it as an opportunity to prove that you aren’t addicted to your phone. Bring a book. Strike up a conversation. Sit in quiet meditation. I am sure you will be fine.
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How do I include my current cannabis experience on my resume? —Bud Tinder Be honest and professional. Working for a weed club isn’t a big deal anymore. You just gotta know how to phrase it. Don’t say “budtender,” say “retail sales clerk.” Good customer service is good customer service. Marketing is marketing. Managing is managing. Get your former boss to write you a nice reference. Make sure your office skills are up to par. Be on time. Dress like a professional, and don’t smell like weed when you walk in. Ace the interview. Get the job. Wait, there’s a difference between dabs and hash? —Khanzen Trait Yeah, but not really. Hashish is made by separating the THC glands from the leaf of the cannabis plant, creating a kind of “concentrate.” Back in the day, we used to smoke hash on top of a bowl, or rolled in a joint. Now that hash, er, concentrates, are all the rage, people use specialized hash-smoking apparatuses. Generally these thingamajigs work by placing a “dab”—a small bit of concentrated cannabis—on a heated surface and inhaling the vapors. So a “dab” is just a small amount of hash. Or wax. Or shatter. You get the idea. Language is ever-changing, like bong water. Ω Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at email@example.com.
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n this column, one of the metrics that we use to judge product quality is “discretion.” That attention to avoiding attention is often an important concern for medical cannabis users, even those with a valid prescription. No matter your legal status, the less involvement cops and the courts have in your business the better. But how important is discretion in the state of recreational-use legalization? Both the battery and the cigarette-style carrying case that Legion of Bloom sent us for review came in a fairly flashy shade of pearl white. The case is ostentatious by my standards, not something I would normally carry around despite its sleek design and retro charm, but it’s all legal now, so what the heck. We sampled Legion of Bloom’s Monarch vape ($77), a potent sativa weighing in at 73.51 percent THC. The
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Produced by the Custom Publications division of News & Review.
03.16.17 | SN&R | 51
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Has Medical Marijuana iMproved Your life? Capital Cannabis Guide is looking for stories of people whose lives have been positively impacted by the use of medical marijuana.
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Ask A MAster Bud Grower
Growers Choice offers 21 strains of cannabis seeds.
We ask a pair of experts why cannabis seeds have a growing advantage over clones by ken magri
Grant: From my perspective, it’s variety. You’re not going to get the wide variety of strains from clones, whereas we have 21 strains, like high-CBD strains and autoflowering strains.
tephan has grown cannabis in Humboldt for over 25 years. Grant is representative from Growers Choice Seeds, a “cannabis seed and lifestyle company” based in Eugene, Ore. “We guarantee our genetics,” says Grant, when asked what makes their disease-free seeds different. “And we back up our product.” We asked Stephan and Grant about growing with their seeds, available at GrowersChoiceSeeds. com, and locally at Abatin and All About Wellness.
CGG: What is an auto-flowering strain? Stephan: It includes 15 percent of the [cannabis] ruderalis plant. They have a very short growing season and start flowering when they’re ready. We have taken some of that genetic material and put it into our seeds.
CGG: Why are seeds better than clones?
CGG: I read that clones don’t have tap roots like seeds do. Is that important?
Stephan: We prefer to grow from seeds ourselves because you can get the right phenotypes. If you decide to start cloning, seeds also give you the best and strongest mother plant.
Stephan: The tap root is the main one that’s going to dive for water and nutrients, so you’re going to get a better yield.
Photo courtesy growers choice
CGG: What’s the best method for germinating seeds? Grant: We use the “paper towel” method. It was started in Amsterdam many years ago, and is one of the best methods for germinating seeds. Germinate until you see the tap root is a quarter to three quarters of an inch long. Folk de on our website.
CGG: We’re down here in the Central Valley. When is the right time to plant outdoors? Stephan: Not until the point where there
is no more frost, but that depends on what side of the valley you’re on. If you grow in pots, you can move them indoors for a freak frost. Grant: Actually, half of our customers are over 50 and growing indoors.
Produced by the Custom Publications division of News & Review.
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58 | SN&R | 03.16.17
FRee will aStRology
by Matt KraMer
by rOb brezsny
FOR THE WEEk OF MARCH 16, 2017 ARIES (March 21-April 19): The more unselfish
and compassionate you are in the coming weeks, the more likely it is you will get exactly what you need. Here are four ways that can be true: (1) If you’re kind to people, they will want to be kind to you in return. (2) Taking good care of others will bolster their ability to take good care of you. (3) If you’re less obsessed with I-me-mine, you will magically dissolve psychic blocks that have prevented certain folks from giving you all they are inclined to give you. (4) Attending to others’ healing will teach you valuable lessons in how to heal yourself—and how to get the healing you yearn for from others.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I hope you will
consider buying yourself some early birthday presents. The celebration is weeks away, but you need some prodding, instigative energy now. It’s crucial that you bring a dose of the starting-fresh spirit into the ripening projects you’re working on. Your mood might get overly cautious and serious unless you infuse it with the spunk of an excited beginner. Of course only you know what gifts would provide you with the best impetus, but here are suggestions to stimulate your imagination: a young cactus; a jack-in-the-box; a rock with the word “sprout” written on it; a decorated marble egg; a fox mask; a Photoshopped image of you flying through the air like a superhero.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Many Geminis verbal-
ize profusely and acrobatically. They enjoy turning their thoughts into speech, and love to keep social situations lively with the power of their agile tongues. Aquarians and Sagittarians may rival your tribe for the title of The Zodiac’s Best Bullshitters, but I think you’re in the top spot. Having heaped that praise on you, however, I must note that your words don’t always have as much influence as they have entertainment value. You sometimes impress people more than you impact them. But here’s the good news: In the coming weeks, that could change. I suspect your fluency will carry a lot of clout. Your communication skills could sway the course of local history.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your world is
more spacious than it has been in a long time. Congrats! I love the way you have been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the wilder frontier. For your next trick, here’s my suggestion: Anticipate the parts of you that may be inclined to close down again when you don’t feel as brave and free as you do now. Then gently clamp open those very parts. If you calm your fears before they break out, maybe they won’t break out at all.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I like rowdy, extrava-
gant longing as much as anyone. I enjoy being possessed by a heedless greed for too much of everything that feels rapturous: delectable food, mysterious sex, engrossing information, liberating intoxication, and surprising conversations that keep me guessing and improvising for hours. But I am also a devotee of simple, sweet longing … pure, watchful, patient longing … open-hearted longing that brims with innocence and curiosity and is driven as much by the urge to bless as to be blessed. That’s the kind I recommend you explore and experiment with in the coming days.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You know that forbid-
den fruit you’ve had your eyes on? Maybe it isn’t so forbidden any more. It could even be evolving toward a state where it will be both freely available and downright healthy for you to pluck. But there’s also a possibility that it’s simply a little less risky than it was before. And it may never become a fully viable option. So here’s my advice: Don’t grab and bite into that forbidden fruit yet. Keep monitoring the situation. Be especially attentive to the following questions: Do you crave the forbidden fruit because it would help you flee a dilemma you haven’t mustered the courage to escape from? Or because it would truly be good for you to partake of the forbidden fruit?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I expect you will get
more than your usual share of both sweetness and tartness in the coming days. Sometimes one or the other will be the predominant mode, but on occasion they will converge to deliver a complex brew of WOW!-meets-WTF! Imagine chunks of sour apples in your vanilla fudge ripple
ice cream. Given this state of affairs, there’s no good reason for you to be blandly kind or boringly polite. Use a saucy attitude to convey your thoughtfulness. Be as provocative as you are tender. Don’t just be nice—be impishly and subversively nice.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I want to gather
your darkness in my hands, to cup it like water and drink.” So says Jane Hirshfield in her poem “To Drink.” I bet she was addressing a Scorpio. Does any other sign of the zodiac possess a sweet darkness that’s as delicious and gratifying as yours? Yes, it’s true that you also harbor an unappetizing pocket of darkness, just like everyone else. But that sweet kind—the ambrosial, enigmatic, exhilarating stuff—is not only safe to imbibe, but can also be downright healing. In the coming days, I hope you’ll share it generously with worthy recipients.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Saturn has
been in your sign steadily since September 2015, and will continue to be there until December 2017. Some traditional astrologers might say you are in a phase of downsizing and self-restraint. They’d encourage you to be extra strict and serious and dutiful. To them, the ringed planet is an exacting taskmaster. There are some grains of truth in this perspective, but I like to emphasize a different tack. I say that if you cooperate with the rigors of Saturn, you’ll be inspired to become more focused and decisive and disciplined as you shed any flighty or reckless tendencies you might have. Yes, Saturn can be adversarial if you ignore its commands to be faithful to your best dreams. But if you respond gamely, it will be your staunch ally.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Born in the Afri-
can nation of Burkina Faso, Malidoma Somé is a teacher who writes books and offers workshops to Westerners interested in the spiritual traditions of his tribe. In his native Dagaare language, his first name means “he who befriends the stranger/enemy.” I propose that we make you an honorary “Malidoma” for the next three weeks. It will be a favorable time to forge connections, broker truces and initiate collaborations with influences you have previous considered foreign or alien.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Every relationship
has problems. No exceptions. In the beginning, all may be calm and bright, but eventually cracks will appear. Here’s the corollary to that rule: Every partner is imperfect. Regardless of how cool, kind, attractive or smart they may seem in the early stages, they will eventually unveil their unique flaws and troubles. Does this mean that all togetherness is doomed? That it’s forever impossible to create satisfying unions? The answer is hell no!—especially if you keep the following principles in mind: Choose a partner whose problems are (1) interesting; (2) tolerable; (3) useful in prodding you to grow; (4) all of the above.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Would you like
some free healing that’s in alignment with cosmic rhythms? Try this experiment. Imagine that you’re planning to write your autobiography. Create an outline that has six chapters. Each of the first three chapters will be about a past experience that helped make you who you are. In each of the last three chapters, you will describe a desirable event that you want to create in the future. I also encourage you to come up with a boisterous title for your tale. Don’t settle for My Life So Far or The Story of My Journey. Make it idiosyncratic and colorful, perhaps even outlandish, like Piscean author Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
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.
Our poet Indigo Moor, poet, playwright and author, was recently named
Sacramento’s poet laureate—a title he will hold for the next three years. Moor’s poetry authorship includes the books Tap-Root and Through the Stonecutter’s Window—which won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. Moor has a third book, In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers, which will be published in July. Moor is also an accomplished playwright and musician—his musical weapon of choice being the upright bass. A North Carolina native transplanted to Sacramento since 1999, Moor has been making his mark on the local scene and beyond.
How does it feel to be named poet laureate of Sacramento? Luckily, I have a lot of time to think about it, it’s not something that comes out of the blue. The stake is up. At first, you’re wondering, “Is this something you can handle?” Because it’s not as if there’s some set rules or things that you have to do. You come up with your plan and what you’d like to present … after you get it, the first thing I believe everyone would probably say is, “What the hell have I done? Am I even going to live up to what they want of me, or require of me?” Because there’s no set way. You go about it based on your own personality and what you feel that you can provide. At this point I feel very comfortable with what I’m providing. Which means I’ll [be] pushing for more at some point and fail miserably. But it’s better to fail miserably and aim high.
What’s it like being a poet laureate during the Trump administration? It actually has a lot to do with why, especially near the end … why I wanted to do it. I’ve had a very diverse background. At a time like this I think showing how poetry and the literary arts and arts in general are more a part of our lives than a lot of people—and perhaps our current administration—might … think it is. [I’m] reaching out to different organizations and bringing poetry in to help them unify certain things.
Are poetry and politics intrinsically linked? No. But they can be. Every time you go to a different event you’re choosing what you want to read and what you want to present. If I’m going to a place where I know the people don’t normally listen to poetry, I may be reading poetry about family, and also … reading poetry about war. [Its about] bringing in a human face to many things. … From that I get so many people who will come up—God, I sounded like
PHOTO by evan duran
Trump when I said that, didn’t I?—so many people will come up to me after readings and tell me, “You know, I never really thought about poetry before but now I’m thinking about it more.” And that’s what I’m looking for. To get them to understand that art isn’t just something that a few people are doing, it’s something that’s intrinsic to their lives. It gives them a chance to explain things that they’ve never thought about explaining or never found the words to explain.
Are you still playing bass? Sporadically, unfortunately. There’s only so much time in the day.
What’s the hardest thing about being a poet in Sacramento? Sacramento—it’s not as if it’s San Francisco or San Jose or you’re going up from Washington to D.C. I don’t want to say it’s a way station, but it’s far away from everything. Many of my friends, some prominent poets, when they’re talking about going to the West Coast for a tour … they may head out to Nevada City or Tahoe or something, but they don’t think of stopping in Sacramento; it’s on the way to somewhere else. That makes it a little more difficult because you don’t get a lot of the main poets … but it’s an energizing thing when they come here.
What’s the necessity of poetry in 2017? I have a hard time thinking that anything is really necessary besides food and water, but if we’re talking about poetry itself and why do I feel it’s necessary—it brings
about the human nature, the humanity in what we’re doing. It’s so easy to get caught up in, “I have to make a living, I have to maintain safety, I have to protect what I’m doing.” If you repeat that you start losing humanity—the face to all of this, and poetry helps remind us of that.
Are you currently working with any musicians? Gerry Pineda. Yes, quite often. At the inaugural reading he was there. It’s always a blast to get a chance to work with him because we sync very well. What I do is, I’ll make an audio of what I’m going to read in the exact order and I’ll send it to him and let him compose whatever he wants with it. When I get to the reading I have no idea what he’s going to play—but we’ve done this so well together—there’s a trust in it. There’s a wonderful journal of jazz literature and interviews and essays called Brilliant Corners. Of course, it’s named after Thelonius Monk’s Brilliant Corners, and to get in that magazine, that journal, you have to be writing about jazz and to a lesser extent blues. I know there’s more than enough people in this area, and on the West Coast, who have been in that journal, and I’m so looking forward to getting myself and a bunch of others at this jazz place in West Sacramento. We just started Brilliant Corners night once a month where poets and jazz musicians will be playing together … it’s in the works now. Ω
Learn more at https://indigomoor.org.
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