Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

August 31, 2006
Shocking revelations!

Usually, I can't get past the multitude of plastic-surgery ads to actually read the editorial content in each month's Sacramento Magazine. But the September issue just arrived in the mail, and it features this irresistible headline: "Local TV Stars, Their Private Lives."

Oh boy, I thought. What gossipy nuggets promised to lurk inside? Maybe we'd even get snippets of pillow talk between Dave and Lois.

Alas, the venerable KCRA anchors weren't even profiled. But many other local TV "celebrities" bared their souls (or, at least, their closets and family rooms) for Sac Mag.

Here's what we learned upon close reading:

* Channel 3 traffic reporter Adrienne Bankert (the cover girl, by the way) has changed her hairstyle 10 times.

* News10 morning anchor Dan Elliott whistles show tunes.

* "Good Day Sacramento" news anchor Stefanie Cruz has two cats named Fidel and Kennedy.

* Fox40 reporter Tim Sakahara has a dog named Kennedy.

* Channel 19 anchor and "Voz y Voto" co-host Pablo Espinoza wears shorts and sandals underneath the anchor desk.

* "Good Day Sac" weekend anchor Taryn Winter Brill wears flip flops behind the desk.

* My58TV anchor Chris Riva is a stand-up comedian. Not on the air - he has won a couple of comedy awards in Cincinnati.

* And, check out this quote from News10's Mark Hedlund: "If I ruled the world, I would demand that every television reporter spend a year as a print reporter to learn how to use the language better and to get in-depth in a story."

August 30, 2006
New home for conservative talker

As we reported a few weeks ago, KTKZ (1380 AM) is going to a fully syndicated, conservative talk radio format, which means that morning host Eric Hogue's show is history.

But Hogue followers will be heartened to know that he'll still be on the air. Hogue, an ordained minister, is moving to KFIA (710 AM) in Sacramento and KFAX (1100 AM) in San Francisco to start a Christian-focused program. Both stations are owned by Salem Communications, as is KTKZ. Salem says Hogue's show will air from 5-7 p.m. and will be "faith-based."

So, does that mean no more rants against the left?

Probably not.

No word yet from Hogue about his new gig.

August 30, 2006
"Idol" Part 2: The dissing of Mandisa


"Good Day Sacramento's" obsession (there's no other word for it) with showing live car chases with bad guys and the cops has got to stop.

This morning, "Good Day" spent way too much of its 8 o'clock hour following a "moderate-speed" chase in Dallas, of all places. When the show finally broke away for an interview with "American Idol" alum Mandisa (pictured at left), a Sacramento-area native, it cut her off in mid-sentence and flashed a "Breaking News" graphic.

Yes, the show went back to the car chase and its denouement. Mandisa (see Leigh Grogan's take below on the "American Idol" concert in Sac) wasn't heard from again.

Maybe they should change the program's name to "Good Day Dallas."

August 30, 2006
"Idol" wild

Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

Where to begin with this posting about Tuesday night's "American Idol" concert? Should I start with how fabulous Mandisa looked - and sang - while her mom sat proudly, two rows in front of me? Or should I throw something in about Ace Young's obvious bicep blowout and beanie-tossing? Maybe I'll just say that Chris Daughtry rocked Sacramento - and then some.

Or perhaps I'll have to admit that, fashion-wise (and don't get mad McPheever fans), Katherine McPhee's long black gown for her set just didn't mesh with the rest of the fashion statements that the other nine performers made. The gown just seemed too "pageant-like" for the show, but maybe she's just not a jeans kind of gal.

Anyway. In an interview that ran in Scene earlier this week with Mandisa, she told me that the "Idol" performers could wear anything they wanted for their sets as well as for the finale, so here we see Mandisa in a beautiful charmeuse top and cropped pants; Paris Bennett and Lisa Tucker in jeans and cute tops; the guys in mostly jeans and hip tops; Kellie Pickler in a black, studded leather jacket, black denim jeans with a red top and fab red shoes (plus hair extensions, I think, because she had cut her hair earlier this summer), Elliott Yamin with his trademark newsboy cap (he wore a Monarchs jersey for the finale), and Ace with his beanie.

Mandisa clearly was overwhelmed by the reception she received from the hometown crowd, and there's no question she - and all the "Idols" - have been blessed with some mighty, mighty pipes. Even as auditions continue around the country for Season Six, I can say, with some certainty, that it will be difficult to top this talented bunch. Their energy level is amazing. Paris' duet with Lisa - a cover of TLC's "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" - was superb, as were the four guys (minus Taylor) with their country quartet.

Speaking of Taylor, well, as Mandisa had so aptly put it, he does, indeed, have vocal chords of steel. At one point, he emerged, I believe, from section 105 and descended the steps. His version of "Taking it to the Streets" was especially fun, and he got to play both guitar and harmonica.

After the show, Mandisa had a special backstage gathering all to herself. I got a hug and then left through one of the back entrances to Arco Arena. And get this - heading up the steps were three or four guys, chatting. I paid little attention to them, until, well, one of them caught my eye.

There was Taylor, dressed down in a T-shirt and shorts, just hanging out, waiting to board the bus, I assume. We did a meet and greet. He remembered talking with me over the phone back in May - right after he won the "American Idol" title - about turnip greens and growing up in the South.

He asked how I liked the show. Well, duh! And said how much he enjoyed performing in Sacramento. OK, the guy can sing, but for those of you who are devoted Soul Patrol members, I have to tell you, up close, he's also quite easy on the eyes. And a true gentleman. For that alone, good things will come to him.

I know I've gone groupie. Now, if I had just bought that Taylor Hicks button....

August 30, 2006
Keep on rockin' in the free world

The State Fair's gonna be gone before you know it so, if you haven't already (or, if you're like some people I know, have had the need to visit multiple times), head out to Cal Expo for some deep-fried, roller-coaster fun.

AA-BRIAN-WHEAT-BEATLES1.jpg And oh yeah, don't forget the tunes. Tesla, Sacramento's own native-son rockers, are the headlining act on Friday. Part of the State Fair's AT&T Concert Series, this show is free, free, free.

Well, you could pay $10-$20 for choice reserved seats (available via but, if like moi, you're on a tight, end-of-summer budget, then free rock is a good, good thing.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

A plus from us: If you want to know what Tesla bassist Brian Wheat (pictured) has been up to lately, read my interview with him or check out our photo gallery featuring his cool, eclectic Victorian here.

And for more State Fair concert info, point your browser here.

August 29, 2006
What time is it again?

Memo to News10: Promos should be aired BEFORE the special report.

On Monday's 11 p.m. newcast, Channel 10 aired an insightful report for the Hurricane Katrina anniversary, with a fresh local angle from Jennifer Smith in New Orleans.

Right after the eight-minute segment, the show went to a commercial. And yup, the ad was a promotional spot urging viewers to "tune in tonight at 11" to catch Jennifer Smith's live report from New Orleans.

August 28, 2006
Theater alternatives

Making good on their promise to offer alternative theater in Sacramento, Capital Stage last week announced an eye-catching 2006-07 schedule, which opens with the intriguing Rebecca Gilman and closes with the infuriating Neil LaBute, who has become their poster boy. Here’s the schedule:

“Boy Gets Girl” by Rebecca Gilman, a Sacramento premiere (Sept. 23 - Nov. 5, 2006).

“Every Christmas Story Ever Told” by Michael Carleton, John Alvarez and Jim Fitzgerald, a West Coast professional premiere (Nov. 25 - Dec. 31, 2006).

“Les Liaison Dangereuses” by Christopher Hampton, from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos (Feb. 3 - March 11, 2007).

“Three Days of Rain” by Richard Greenberg (April 7 - May 13, 2007).

“Fat Pig” by Neil LaBute, a Sacramento premiere (June 23 - July 29, 2007).

Interesting titles all. This season, Cap Stage will also institute a five-play, staged-reading series. Though the performance details haven’t all been worked out, four of the five plays have been selected: “The Exonerated” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley, “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” by Rolin Jones and “Frozen” by Byrony Lavery.

August 28, 2006
Our number's up, er, down

In what undoubtedly will be an incredible blow to our community self-esteem, Sacramento has dropped from being the 19th to the 20th top TV market in the nation, according to Nielsen Media Services.

Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne has passed us to claim the No. 19 spot. That market has 1,395,830 viewers, as opposed to our paltry 1,368,680 viewers. (Our market, it should be noted, also includes Modesto and Stockton). Not to fear, though: We're still ahead of St. Louis, at 21st, with 1,228,980 viewers.

What does this all mean, beyond civic pride?

Not much.

"It really doesn't affect ad sales for our stations," says News10 general manager Russell Postell. "As long as you stay in the top 20, you don't see much change. Now, in 1997, when we jumped from number 21 to 19, we saw an increase in revenue."

August 28, 2006
Flights of fashion


If you're planning on one last summer-vacation jaunt to L.A. between now and Sept. 9 and you already know you're gonna get sick of hanging with the Pirates of the Caribbean or climbing Magic Mountain, then here's an alternative: the FIDM Museum & Galleries' exhibition titled "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design."

Even though I watched the fashion parade before and during Sunday night's Emmy Awards (see my fashion wrap-up here), I still haven't had enough of all things television, especially when it comes to what the stars are/were wearing - either on the red carpet or on screen.

The L.A. exhibit is the first of its kind, honoring 40 years of TV costuming. And that doesn't include "F Troop." What you will see are such exhibits as designer Bob Mackie's "Starlett in Went With the Wind" as seen on "The Carol Burnett Show" (shown above). No one looked more dapper - Western-style - than Robert Conrad as James T. West in "The Wild Wild West." And, of course, it's worth the trip just to check out the shoulder pads worn by Linda Evans and Joan Collins in "Dynasty," courtesy of designer Nolan Miller.

Plus, see styles from "Falcon Crest," "Moonlighting" and "The Sonny and Cher Show" as well as more recent TV shows like "Desperate Housewives," "Six Feet Under" and "Cold Case."

August 28, 2006
Hooked on phonics


This happened more than a week ago, but it's taken me this long to stop laughing and get down to blogging. (Plus, I was on vacation, but that's TMI.)

Julissa Ortiz (pictured at left), filling in as co-host on the weekend edition of "Good Day Sacramento" along with Taryn Winter Brill, decided to read some viewer e-mail on the air. She was going along fine, reciting platitudes from an admiring viewer, when she stumbled upon a polysyllabic word that threw her.

"I'm a ...," she read, pausing and furrowing her brow. "I'm a Flay-Bow-Mat-Toe-Bist in Davis and --"

Oritz turned to Brill and asked, "Is that right? What's a Flay-Bow-Mat-Toe-Bist?"

Brill shrugged.

Ortiz: "Maybe someone will call in and tell us."

After a commercial break, Ortiz came back on the air and said, "It's phlebotomist. I feel like such a dork."

Brill: "Contray to popular belief, we anchors are not perfect."

August 25, 2006
Fashion Week: The hustle and bustle...

monroe photo.jpg Over at The Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center, it was nothing but hustle and bustle, hairspray and frayed nerves, as designers geared up for their shows.

A familiar face popped up at the makeup tent, sponsored by M.A.C cosmetics - Monroe Casado (pictured at left), who is often seen around the M.A.C counters in Sacramento, doing makeovers and hosting big events for the line. He's been here all week doing the shows, and he just happened to get assigned to local designer Richard Hallmarq's finale event.

"I also designed the makeup for (designer) Teresa Romero's collection," he says. "I call it 'Dichtomy.' Richard's show will have a totally different look."

When Hallmarq and Casado finally hooked up around 4:30 p.m., they discussed the particulars - including really "out there" smoky eyes - to match Hallmarq's fashions, which feature a variety of animal prints and quite a bit of black. Casado made a few mental notes and it was back to the makeup tent.

Meanwhile, Hallmarq geared up for a quick walk-through with his models; showtime is shortly after 9 p.m.

I better have a front-row seat!

(See Wednesday's Scene section for a complete wrap-up of Fashion Week.)

August 25, 2006
Fashion Week: Local model does good

Among the eight female models for local designer Richard Hallmarq's show tonight at San Francisco Fashion Week is 17-year-old Chelsea Weilstein of Sacramento.

And get this. I almost didn't recognize her because I think the last time I saw her, she was dancing the role of Clara in the Sacramento Ballet's "The Nutcracker." (I did her makeup for several shows that year.) She was just a little girl then! Now she's a model and getting ready for her very first runway.

Even though Chelsea (pictured in the center) is no stranger to the stage, she admits she'll still have some jitters before walking the walk in the show.

"I'm so excited because it's my first fashion show, and the outfits Richard has created are out of control," she says. "I'll be nervous, but I know the show is going to be great."

Chelsea, who is a high school junior, has signed with Sacramento agency Cast Images. And by the way, she's traded in her pointe shoes for ballroom dancing shoes. She's an official competitive dancer in the style.

So, where might we see her again? "Dancing With the Stars" would benefit from her beauty - and her fleet feet.

August 25, 2006
Fashion Week: Hair today


The air conditioner is running full on as the curling irons continue heating up and the bodies start piling up in a 12th-floor room at the Westin San Francisco.

But the coifs for designer Richard Hallmarq's show - in about six hours - are coming together well, courtesy of Sacramento stylist and salon owner Jacquie Crabtree (pictured at left) of Strands Salon & Spa. Crabtree and her able assistants - Danielle Greenbaum and Jen DiMercurio - are creating a look called "the morning-after updo."

"Basically, it's curly, messy, tousled hair," Crabtree says, "and we've got about two hours to do eight models." (A couple of the products Crabtree and her crew are relying on include Aveda's Air Control hairspray and a hair potion called Pure Abundance.)

As he takes in the hair makeovers, Hallmarq says his first choice was a more sleeked-back look, but "Jacquie convinced me this was the way to go. I know it will be amazing."

And look! Hallmarq's guest performer, Ingrid Chavez, just walked into the room looking fabulous - sans makeup - and actually delivering the fashions for tonight's show. "I can't wait to wear the outfit Richard made for me. It's incredible," she says.

The group has until to get everyone coifed, then its off to the show venue for makeup from the M.A.C national makeup artist team.

As Hallmarq puts it: "Now things are REALLY getting crazy!"

August 25, 2006
Fashion Week: But first, a little shopping...


On the way back to the hotel to meet the models, designer Richard Hallmarq wants to stop at the H&M clothing store on Powell (shown at left). The must-see: the Madonna collection, featuring clothes based on the singer's current worldwide tour.

"I like this line," he says. "It's simple, but nice."

The collection just launched on Thursday and, according to a sales associate, the tracksuits sold out the first day. Lucky for me, the store got a new shipment today, so I grabbed an outfit in black (it also comes in white) for $29.90 for the jacket, $24.90 for the pants.

There's also sweater dresses, strapless jumpers, tie-front blouses and short skirts. Of course, Madonna's face - and her music - are everywhere, plus photos of her back-up singers, dancers and crew wearing the outfits.

H&M is a fun store, but it's way crowded. Fortunately, there's plenty of folks to handle the check-out lines; bookmark it as a shopping destination the next time you're in S.F.

August 25, 2006
Fashion Week: Here we are!

Richard Hallmarq in front of S.F.'s Neimans

So, we're now on the streets of San Francisco, in the heart of Union Square and all its shopping. From the size of the crowds, it looks like they're giving it away.

I'm with Sacramento designer Richard Hallmarq, in front of Neiman Marcus. He's in the city for San Francisco Fashion Week; his show is the finale tonight. He's excited, but still in need of an energy booster.

He left Sac at 5:30 a.m. to do a radio interview at 8. Now, he's on the prowl for the perfect pigmented eye shadow. He admits to being "dead tired." And, after seeing a screaming baby on the street, comments, "That's how I feel right about now. I need a nap."

We peruse the makeup counters at Neimans, but nothing piques his interest. He does nab one of those fab eyelash curlers from Shu Uemura.

Richard says that his ensemble for hitting the runway after the show tonight is an $8 Yves St. Laurent suit that he picked up at a thrift store. But he is looking for some expensive underwear to wear underneath it.

His guest performer tonight, Ingrid Chavez, will be wearing "the most fabulous outfit," he continues. "There's a hand-beaded fishnet jacket. It's just the bomb."

The models are scheduled to arrive around 1:30. Hair begins soon thereafter, followed by makeup at the fashion venue, a soundcheck and a run-through.

Maybe I can fit some shopping in before then.

August 25, 2006
Back in time

Fashion has no sense of time. I mean, gauchos made a comeback this spring and will be hanging around this fall. But to get a truly historical perspective on where clothing styles have come and gone, check out an upcoming vintage fashion show titled "Journey Back in Time."

It's being put on by the Folsom History Museum (co-sponsor of the event is FolsomElDoradoStyle magazine), and will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. It will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 410 Wool St., Folsom.

What will show-goers see? Well, the fashions date back to 1877 and work their way up to 1970. There are work and play outfits, plus some other interesting pieces, from a military uniform to swimwear.

Perhaps the next big fashion trend will emerge from the show.

Tickets are $12 (museum members get a discount). For more information, call(916) 985-2707 or visit here.

August 24, 2006
Moving on


Northern California’s loss is Colorado’s gain as it was announced earlier this week that Philip Charles Sneed has been appointed the new producing artistic director of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Sneed guided the Foothill Theatre Company of Nevada City for 12 years during a period of remarkable growth before being terminated by the board 18 months ago. He is a wonderful actor; smart, sensitive director, and level-headed administrator - making him an ideal artistic director.

The CSF presents four shows in repertory each summer - two indoors and two in the Mary Rippon amphitheater. According to the Denver Post, which wrote about Sneed’s appointment, CSF attendance last year was 28,226 - down nearly 14,000 from the year 2000; furthermore, its annual operating budget had dropped to $896,000, about $100,000 less than the last budget Sneed managed for FTC.

Sneed wrote in an e-mail: “CSF is the nation’s second-oldest Shakespeare festival, and I will have the privilege of planning the company’s 50th-anniversary season, to be held in the summer of 2007.”

The loss is double for us because, not only will Sneed be leaving, but his wife, the highly regarded costume designer Clare Henkel, also will be heading off to Colorado.

“Although we will miss Nevada City and our many friends here, we are happy to be starting this new chapter in our lives and in our careers,” Sneed wrote.

Still, it will be something of a long good-bye, as Sneed will be back next month to direct “To Kill A Mockingbird” at the Sacramento Theatre Company; he'll also be directing its holiday production of “A Christmas Carol.”

In my dealings with Sneed, I found him to be thoughtful, articulate, passionate and consummately professional. He will be missed.

August 24, 2006
Rumors, blowin' in the wind

No official confirmation yet on this one, but Pitchfork and are reporting a Dylan/Raconteurs fall-tour pairing that's to hit Arco Arena on Oct. 18.

Now, I'm a big ol' Dylan fan and was bummed that I had to miss his last Sac-area show (that took place in Davis), only to find out from those who did attend that the whole affair was very hit-or-miss, musically speaking.

But, hey, he's Bob-freaking-Dylan and gets more than a few free passes. Personally, I'm very excited at a chance to see him.


And, having the Raconteurs (pictured at right), featuring the White Stripes' Jack White and pop singer-songwriter Brendon Benson, on the bill is a major plus. The band's debut album, "Broken Boy Soldiers," is (at least in my humble opinion) one of the best releases of 2006; the disc didn't leave my car CD player for months. If you haven't heard it yet, this is smart and snappy pop with a garage rock edge.

Rumor also is that Nashville's Kings of Leon will be the opening act.

More details as they emerge.

August 24, 2006
Deathray, redux

Photography/Simon Weller

Here's the sweet and lowdown on that Deathray-Paul Westerberg connection we
told you about Wednesday.

Seems Deathray got the hook-up after a well-placed friend put a copy of the local (and currently unsigned) pop band's "Believe Me" record in the hands of a Sony Pictures music supervisor. Long story short, the guy liked it so much, he asked Deathray to cover a new Westerberg track for the upcoming animated flick "Open Season."

Deathray recorded the song at lead singer Dana Gumbiner's home studio, sent it back to L.A. and then got word that the studio liked the track well enough to include it on the film's soundtrack.

The overall experience, Gumbiner says, was "intense."

"It was crazy work, (with) deadlines and a lot of back and forth as the filmmakers were very particular and detail-oriented," Gumbiner wrote in a recent e-mail. "Plus, there were multiple directors working on the movie so the communication was challenging. But overall, it was totally fun and the people involved were so much easier to work with than anyone we've ever dealt with in the 'music industry.' "

The best part, Gumbiner adds, will come when he gets to take his 7-year-old son, Jack, to the September premiere in Hollywood. "He's excited because I've told him he'll be one of the first kids to see it."

And, as a fan of the Replacements, Gumbiner's excited, too.

"(Westerberg's) new stuff in the movie is really cool and
inspired; a few songs sound like they could be off of (the Replacements') "Let It Be" - they're very raw and unpolished," he says. "I just hope Paul Westerberg likes our cover."

August 23, 2006
M.A.C on the attack


They've traveled all over the world - Paris, Milan - and held court in New York City. Now, M.A.C's most-reknowned makeup artists are ensconced in the Bay Area, lip gloss and mascara in hand, to create the looks for 16 of the designers participating in San Francisco Fashion Week, which runs today through Saturday.
(Visit 21Q on Friday to read my posts from behind the scenes at Fashion Week.)

One of those artists is Louise Zizzo, who says the team is used to doing five or six shows a day in different venues; in S.F., they'll be working in the same space, and it won't be nearly as crazy.

"I can say with certainty that it will be a lot easier because we're not moving from one end of the city to another," Zizzo says.

So far, the team has met with designers to get a feel for their fashion collections: What's the inspiration - perhaps a pop icon or a fairytale? "From there, we come up with suggestions for how their models should look," Zizzo says.

So, does she see any particular makeup trends emerging?

"You might see everything from a 1930s-inspired silent-movie look to using '50s eyeliner with a 2006 edge," she says. "I'm sure we'll be doing some looks that have never been done before. I can say for sure we'll be using a couple of key M.A.C products, including the Desire lipstick (a deep plum) and Blacktrack Fluidline liner on the eyes.

"We're very excited about this," she says. "Even though we have the experience of working big shows around the world, we really want to make San Francisco Fashion Week something people will talk about."

August 23, 2006
Yes, it's that Deathray

"Open Season," the new animated film starring Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher, doesn't open until Sept. 29, but that's OK - I'm more excited about its soundtrack, which hits stores Sept. 26.

The 12-track disc features 10 original songs from my not-so-secret pretend boyfriend Paul Westerberg (you know, of Replacements fame) - two of which feature his former bandmate Tommy Stinson on bass. Westerberg also scored the film.


But wait, there's more goodness! Local pop band Deathray is also nicely represented with two songs, "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)" and "Wild as I Wanna."

I know - what the hey? (Oh yeah, Pete Yorn and the Talking Heads are also on the soundtrack, but whatever....)

A quick e-mail to confirm that the Deathray in question was, in fact, the Deathray, netted this brief, coy response from singer Dana Gumbiner:

"Yes, that's us! Crazy, huh?"

Crazy, indeed. And super-cool. More details as fast as I can pry them out of Gumbiner.

August 22, 2006
Chemistry class 505


Andre Price, left, a regional training exeutive for Chanel, could just as well be my chemistry teacher. (And I didn't do so hot in that class.) But Price has a ton more personality than my former prof, and his recent "lecture" to a group of cosmetic-department associates from Nordstrom Arden Fair on the line's newest skin-care product made me sit up and take notes.

I was invited to hear his talk about a fascinating anti-aging product called Sublimage, which has been six years in the making and has taken a team of scientists, dermatologists and others to the island of Madagascar in search of one of 117 varieties of vanilla from which is extracted an ingredient that Chanel hopes to seek three patents.

Whew! I'm not going to get much more technical with this because it also has to do with a process called "polyfrationing" and something called "polyketones." What I will say is that getting this variety of vanilla is like pulling teeth. It's slow-growing and can only be harvested one month out of the year - in an organic field with constant vigilance and tender care. Sort of like a rare vineyard.

Chanel's main research lab in France is where the product came to exist. Now, it has officially arrived in the United States and will be sold in very select stores -only 25 Nordstrom venues nationwide. And one of those is Nordstrom Arden Fair where - and don't burst a blood vessel - it will sell for $350 for 1.7 ounces.

Therefore, training about this product is crucial. And not too soon; word is already out about the product. Apparently, Jennifer Aniston is bathing in it. Others - not so well known - are pre-ordering and paying on the spot, sight unseen.

I got a chance to take a whiff and to dab a little Sublimage on my hands. And I can say this with certainty: My left hand looked light years better (read: younger) than my right. And the smell is heavenly. Something to do with camellia oil, if I listened closely enough.

For more information about Sublimage, check out the Looking Good section on Page 3 in Wednesday's Scene. You'll get details on how to use it and who should use it. And how you might be able to get your hands on a sample.

August 22, 2006
October rising...

A couple of shows that slipped past the Coming Distractions print deadline. First, show promoter Jerry Perry tells us he's in charge of putting together this year's benefit for the Sacramento Housing Alliance.

The Oct. 8 shindig takes place at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St.) and will feature Antsy McClain & the Trailer Park Troubadours as the headliner. The show starts at 7 p.m. - stay tuned for ticket info.

Perry's also got two tribute shows coming. The first is actually part of a tribute double-header paying homage to bassist Erik Kleven, killed last month in an auto accident: On Oct. 14, tribute shows will take place at both Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) and the Fox & Goose (1001 R St.). No word yet on the line-up, except for Kleven's longtime friend and musical colleague Anton Barbeau.

Then, on Oct. 21, pay tribute to indie pop songwriter Elliot Smith. Though the details surrounding Smith's 2003 death remain cloudy (it was officially ruled a suicide), one thing is clear: The Oscar-nominated artist left behind a beautiful catalog of moody pop.

Aside from the Kyoto Beat Orchestra, there's no definite line-up on this show, either. We'll keep you posted.

August 21, 2006

aquaqe haircare

As new salons in our area continue to open - and open, and open - each one is looking for some sort of, er, cutting edge to attract and retain customers. That's why partners Linda Elvrum and Cyndi McCluskey, owners of Firefly Salon & Boutique, are not only coifing hair, they're also giving customers the opportunity to purchase jewelry by local designers, plus an assortment of handbags, wallets and specialty lines of beauty products.

Their East Sac location - 5539 H St. - is also convenient to many.
"What's great is that both the commercial and residential components of this community have supported us since we opened (last spring)," McCluskey says.

Check out the Aquage line, which takes the whole seaweed, organic approach to hair care. McCluskey also points to the La Bouquetiere line of bath and body products, loaded with shea butter and other goodies.

"For a short time, we feared this line from France was going to be discontinued, which would have been a big disappointment," she says. "But the good news is we'll still be able to offer the products."

August 18, 2006
Extra, extra

You know you've always thought you have a face for television, so here's your chance to prove it.

The Crocker Art Museum is looking for extras for an upcoming TV commercial and it could be you, kid. They want a diverse group of people, and potential stars have to be able to give a one-hour commitment Monday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; contact Kathleen at (916) 264-5157 or

Anyone who actually makes the grade will be given a family pass to one of 24 museums as thanks. Hey, it's no Underoos commercial, but Oprah's gotta have something to embarrass you with when you make it big.

August 18, 2006
Funky and fallish

C&C California dresses and Johnny Was print tops.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to pack up the pastels (not that I own that many) and slip into something jewel-toned - and throw some black in there because, well, fashion folks LOVE it!

But contrary to some of our recent balmy days, any of the TV weather types will tell you we ain't out of the heat yet. So, I continue to look for ways to incorporate more fall-like colors into temperature-appropriate apparel. And Denise Masunaga, owner of Madam Butterfly boutique in Pavilions shopping center, has just the right tips.

"Two of our favorite lines that mix lightweight fabrics with fall colors are C&C California and Johnny Was," she says. "They're both lightweight (Was prints are 100 percent rayon), easy to wear now, but you don't look so summery."

Masunaga says rather than the whites and brights of spring and summer, customers will start seeing these shades in stores, as well: wine colors (merlot and burgundy), teal, a variety of purples, charcoal gray, ruby, forest green and dark brown.

"It almost looks like harvest time," she says.

And speaking of fall, we'll be having some flashbacks. Remember leggings? Well, they're everywhere, in lots of different colors. But, if you believe you've aged out of this look, don't be too quick to pooh-pooh it.

"Women who are 50-plus can pull off leggings with a long wrap sweater and boots," Masunaga says. "Layer, layer, layer. That's what fall will be all about."

And funky. Remember that.

August 18, 2006
Another loss for KFBK

Loyal morning listeners of KFBK (1530 AM), already reeling from the loss of anchor Chris Lane, soon will have to deal with the loss of reporter Rick Worthington.

Worthington, who's been at the news-talk giant since 2004, is leaving KFBK next week to become the news director at KKOH in Reno.

August 18, 2006
Fresno, the JV team


That lonesome road that is Highway 99, linking Sacramento to Fresno, has been well traveled of late by TV news people - after all, whenever there has been an opening in the past year, our local media outlets are saying "Fres-Yes" to talent from that Central Valley metropolis.

First, Channel 13 stole anchors Brandi Hitt and Lisa Gonzales from stations in Fresno. Then, Fox40 tapped Fresno news producer Tom Burke as its new news director. Burke turned around and hired Kye Martin from his old Fresno station, KMPH. Martin started at Fox40 this week.

And now, Channel 3 has raided KSEE in Fresno, hiring reporter Sharokina Shams (pictured at right). Shams covered city hall for the station and will be the new Modesto bureau reporter for KCRA. (Jim Stimson, Channel 3's assistant news director, says Grace Lee has been re-assigned to work out of the station's Sacramento newsroom.)

Shams is a refugee from print media. She once worked for the Modesto Bee and the Lodi News-Sentinel.

August 17, 2006
What was that again, Bruno?

When we ran a story in June about Channel 3 deciding to air live Webcasts of its noon news, Bruno Cohen, president of CBS-owned channels 13 and 31, reacted thusly: He threw cold water on the live Webcast idea, saying, "You don't watch a TV report and then go to the Web site and watch the same report."

Well, guess what?

On Thursday, CBS announced it will stream the new "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" live on the Internet, becoming the first network newscast to Webcast.

August 17, 2006
Follicle follies

michelle kane.bmp

I couldn't resist combing through the videos from "Good Day Sacamento's" hair-flip contest, which is being waged between Channel 31 and Channel 13's best-coifed on-air personalities.

Seems the whole brush with flipping hair started with a Channel 31 story recently about warm-weather hairstyles. At some point during the broadcast, anchor Michele Kane, pictured above, took down her ponytail and, well, flipped her locks.

Talk about hair-raising - there's now an ongoing contest pitting Kane's flip with those of four other on-air folks: Jeff James, Julissa Ortiz, Tina Macuha and, yes, Mark S. Allen.

Allen's flip, by the way, was made possible by tying up his bangs - and then quickly releasing them.

At last check of viewer online voting, Ortiz had a strong lead for best hair flip. I have to say - based on my trips around the local TV dial - no other station is having a better affair with their hair than Channel 31. They've got a lock on it.

So, I humbly toss my hat, uh, hair, to its onging efforts for a better-coifed Sacramento.

August 17, 2006
Another conservative cancellation?


Two months after conservative radio talker Mark Williams got canned by KFBK (1530 AM), will Eric Hogue (pictured at right) of KTKZ (1380 AM/105.5 FM) be the next to go because of budget cuts?

That's what conservative blogger and former Sac City Council candidate Craig DeLuz is saying. DeLuz reports that the station is planning to dump Hogue by Labor Day and go with all syndicated talkers. Check out the blog item here.

We called the normally chatty Hogue, who clammed up really quick when the subject was broached. He referred us to Tom Holiday, the general manager of Salem Communications' Sacramento stations, which include KTKZ. Holiday referred us to Denise Davis, director of communications at Salem's headquarters in Camarillo.

"We have not announced anything," Davis tells us. "The information out there is premature. We have nothing to say about it."

Stay tuned....

August 16, 2006
One last pet peeve


Loyal reader Ted Langdell (who runs Creative Broadcast Services, a production company in Marysville) was watching the Channel 3 news today and ... well, let's let Ted tell his story.

"You can't see the fire! This is typical of most television stations I've watched in the last several years. Graphics cover up the bottom third of the picture...and often OBSCURE the very thing that viewers want to see...and that the station is
spending sometimes TONS of MONEY to get.

"The graphic remained across the screen the whole time...and the shot
was not adjusted in such a way that the head of the fire was visible.
One would think that a director or show producer would tell the camera
operator to tilt down so that the head of the fire would be visible
above the top of the graphic.

It seems to be REALLY common in helicopter shots (think back to recent
"storm coverage"), but is also a problem with ground-based stories.

The graphics USED to be faded or wiped up long enough to see the info
and get the point, then wiped or faded off so everyone can see.This is kind of like the visual equivalent of talking on the cell phone during a movie."

August 16, 2006
A sweet treat

I feel like a thief for writing this entry, as cupcakes and sugary confections are unarguably Rachel Leibrock's domain, but - what the heck? - she's on vacation.

So, legendary local artist Wayne Thiebaud has been putting Sacramento on the map for years, and now we're giving back some of the love. The California State Fair will be honoring him with a Visual Artist of the Year award.

As part of that, there will be a rare Thiebaud exhibit in Expo Center Building 7. The unveiling of said exhibit is at noon on Friday. I'll definitely be checking out Thiebaud's famous cake paintings, although I'll definitely be avoiding the heart attack that is the fair's Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich. I prefer my calories to be visual.

August 16, 2006
Fighting to hear?

If you, like me, often feel oddly soothed by Five For Fighting's song "100 Years," you're in luck - especially if you're quick.

The band is coming to Sacramento's Hard Rock Cafe today to play a short set exclusively for listeners of The Zone (KZZO 100.5 FM). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the 45-minute set starts a half hour later. A hundred listeners will even get to meet the band.

Win tickets by tuning in and being the 10th caller after the cue to call. But start listening now, 'cause most of the seats are already gone.

August 16, 2006
Topsy turvy


Getty Images
Heidi Klum introduces New York to her new bra by Victoria's Secret.

I needed to weigh in on the big "Body" controversy between super-duper-uber models Heidi Klum and Elle MacPherson:

The background: In an item picked up by a number of papers, including The Bee, it was recently reported that MacPherson is "flabbergasted" that Victoria's Secret's latest bra is called "The Body" and that Klum is appearing in promotions and ads for it, saying, "They call me 'The Body' - and now I have a bra named after me."

Well, if it's been 20 years since MacPherson was dubbed "The Body" by Time magazine, then maybe it's time for a new bod to assume the title, and Klum certainly seems to fit the bill. Of course, a Bee sports columnist, when asked who he thought was the original "Body," piped up with Jesse Ventura, the former wrestler-turned-governor. Good answer.

Meanwhile, speaking of Klum, I thought it might be interesting to find out how "Project Runway" contestant Angela Keslar's I.N.C ensemble for Macy's is doing.

It was hard to get a line on the online activity, but a sales associate for the Macy's in the Roseville Galleria - the closest local venue, as I had posted earlier, that is carrying the outfit - told me recently that she's yet to ring up any of the items: cropped jacket, long-sleeve top or the trousers.

Apparently there have been plenty of looky-loos, she says, but few takers. Why? Well, if you ask me, maybe it's because the short, cropped jacket ($129) has no hooks or buttons, so it won't close. It's a little pricey for the line - especially if you buy the entire suit. And it's not very business-like.

Still, if you thought there was no chance you could own a part of "Runway" glory, head to the Galleria. Your pants ($89) are waiting.

Or, you can just do like the rest of us and catch the latest episode on Bravo tonight.

August 15, 2006
Bright lights, big city music

The new Bright Light Fever CD doesn't come out until September, but I found an advance copy in my mailbox and am now having a hard time taking it out of my CD player.

"The Evening Owl," set to be released on the Stolen Transmission label, is 11 songs that nicely capture this quartet's big-city-rock sound. Think lots of jangly guitars, snappy melodies and smart lyrics. I caught 'em live during a recent Old Ironsides show and yes, they've plenty of stage presence, too. They list the Beatles, Fugazi and Tom Waits as influences. We hear a lot of the Killers and Bloc Party - but that's not a bad thing. At all.

You can check them out during the Concert in the Park this Friday at Cesar Chavez Plaza (10th and J streets); on Saturday at the Blue Lamp (1400 Alhambra Blvd.), or at old I (1901 10th St.) on Sept. 29.

Or, surf over to their MySpace page and listen to a couple of tracks.

August 15, 2006
Vacation with your radio

Gas prices being what they are and airline travel becoming such a hassle, why not just stay home?

That's what the folks in the news department of our local news and jazz affiliate, KXJZ (88.9 FM), decided to do. And this morning, they debuted a four-part series, "Tourist in Your Own Town," with an in-depth look by reporter Marianne Russ inside the state Capitol.

Wednesday morning's segment will be at the Medical History Museum, featuring an iron lung. Other destinations: The Governor's Mansion and Old Sacramento.

Joe Barr, KXJZ's news director, says he hopes to make "Tourist in Your Own Town" an ongoing series. Check out the station's Web page featuring the series here.

August 14, 2006
This is where the good times went

The Buck Owens birthday show at Old Ironsides on Saturday was one of those nights that'll be remembered for years for its fun, inventive vibe. A dozen bands or so ponied up to the stage to pay tribute to the late country singer, and the results were totally rollicking and inspired.

It helped, too, that the bar was so packed you had to shimmy sideways just to breathe - that kind of crowded but controlled chaos always adds to the spirit and shared love for music.

Some of the highlights (aside from the Bud Lights we drank to feel more country): Rowdy Kate singer Kerry Carr has one of those pure, country-crooning voices, a la Loretta Lynn.

On the other side of the country-pop continuum, local duo Pets pulled out an amazing version of "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail." Leave it to them to turn a country-and-western standard into a modern, Jesus & Mary Chain-inspired noise-pop song.

And Th' Losin' Streaks, despite a Tim Foster confession that they'd only just practiced their set upstairs in the club office, turned in a short but raucous set that included a trashed-out version of "Act Naturally."

The Devestates with guest Bobby Jordan closed the night and really, if you haven't seen this band yet, you need to. Fronted by Kortnee Randall and Ted Angel, it's a showcase for Sacramento's own George Jones-Tammy Wynette dynamic - a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll and always heartfelt. Also featuring Keith Lionetti on drums and Danny Secretion on bass, the band played sweet versions of "Above and Beyond" and "We're Going to Get Together," plus a medley that included "Wham Bam" and "Cryin' Time."

The only thing missing from the night? The kind of chair-tossing bar fight we always mentally associate with an Owens-esque Bakeserfield bar. Just kidding. ...

August 14, 2006
Channeling my inner Ed Sullivan

I'm feeling a little bit like Ed Sullivan, 'cos we've got a really big show for you.

OK, well, not right now, but the tickets do go on sale soon.

Anyway, the show: On Thursday, Sept. 28, you'll want to be at the UC Davis ARC Pavilion to check out the Strokes and Muse. The show will be presented by KWOD (106.5 FM.)

The Strokes, of course, are credited with pushing garage rock back into the mainstream (and for also kickstarting that trend in which every cool band has a name that begins with "The").

Muse is a British trio acclaimed for its live performances - they played Empire a few years back. Here's another chance to see them before they blow up totally big.

The particulars: Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday; your cost: $35.
Visit the KWOD site or for more details.

August 14, 2006
News nepotism

You know what they say - you can't spell "media" without the "me."

We've noticed a troubling trend in local TV news, namely that the "talent" is putting offspring on the air. Can you say nepotism, folks?

For instance, on Sunday, News10 was finishing a report on a kids' triathlon in Davis when tape was shown of a boy crossing the finish line. It was anchor Alicia Malaby's son, and she proudly told viewers how cute he was.

Cuteness aside, there were hundreds of children participating in the event. But, hey, let's focus on the anchor's kid, shall we?

Then, on Monday's "Good Day Sacramento" (Channel 31), Mark S. Allen's daughter, Madison, conducted an interview with pop star Jesse McCartney. This is not unprecedented on "Good Day"; Tina Macuha brought her teenage daughter in to "co-host" the weekend show two weeks ago.

Hey, we love our kids, too, but there's no way we'll have them do guest blogging for us.

August 11, 2006
Salon selections


There's never any rest for the fashion/beauty weary.

At Suede Salon & Spa on Fulton Avenue, fashion is fusing with hair and makeup as owner Ashkan Bashiri prepares for some exciting changes in the next month or so:

Ashkan, as he prefers to be called, will be opening another salon in Folsom that will not only handle clients' hair-care needs but also will help them stock their closets. The boutique end of the business will be under the direction of Suede's Nichole Dwyer, who on Thursday hosted a fashion show at the Fulton Avenue salon. The event featured both designer collections (some local) and a variety of other lines (some from Italy) that likely will be carried in the Folsom location.

For example, the outfit shown at right was a combo effort. Mona Lisa designs did the top, and the pants are by Altiere.

Dwyer says when she first started in the salon business, she was struck by the comparisons between hair and fashion trends.

"My objective at the new boutique/salon is to correlate both of these trends," she says. "We'll take a look at what's popular for hair and dress to help a customer complete a head-to-toe look."

The Folsom location also will be a hotspot for fashion shows.

For a look at more of the fashions shown at Thursday night's show, local photographer Jeremy Scott has them posted here.

And, I'll keep you well-posted as Ashkan and Dwyer's new venture draws closer.

August 11, 2006
Walt, play 'Freeee Birrrd'

Sacramento Bee file 2004/Randall Benton
Walt Gray, left, and anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick.

By day, Walt Gray is the straight-laced, serious newsman who anchors Channel 3's morning and noon newscasts.

But at night - or, at least on Tuesday night - he will channel his wild side and be a guest DJ on classic rock The Eagle (KSEG, 96.9 FM). Gray will be hosting the station's "Six Packs at 6" from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. (That's usually his bedtime, since he gets up at 3:30 every morning for his TV gig.)

No, Gray will not play Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry," the song that excoriates local TV news. But he will play some Allman Brothers, Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band. The finale will be Little Feat's "New Delhi Freight Train."

Gray's a native of Rhode Island - not exactly good ol' boy territory. But his first TV job was in Macon, Ga., and that's where he got his Southern Rock chops.

August 10, 2006
Terrific twos

Turning 1 is nothing. Now turning 2, well, that's something to celebrate.

This weekend marks the second anniversary of Zocalo, everyone's favorite midtown Mexican hot spot. So maybe the zocalo in Mexico City is still teeming with protesters, angry over Andrés Manuel López Obrador's apparent loss of the Mexican presidency, but hey, our hometown version will be a bit more on the partying side.

The festivities start at noon Friday, and salsa band Humbria will usher in the evening. Saturday's party, with mariachi band Jalisco, starts at 5 p.m.

Zocalo (at 18th and Capitol) is famous for its mojitos, but methinks this calls for a round of margaritas.

August 10, 2006
TV smackdown - in Ceres


Check out this gentleman on the right. He's Santiago Lucero, the normally mild-mannered Channel 19 (KUVS) reporter.

But, beware. Don't mess with this guy.

On Wednesday, on Channel 19's late news, Lucero reported from the Central Valley town of Ceres, where the owner of a local gun shop, Down Range, had put a racist poster on the store's front window. Depicting a dog defecating on the Mexican flag, the poster drew many complaints from nearby residents.

Enter Lucero. He confronted the ranting store owner, who had at least six inches and a good 30 pounds on the intrepid reporter.

"Get that out of my face!" the man screamed at Lucero. Then he swatted away a microphone. But when he started to shove Lucero himself, the reporter barked, in English: "Don't touch me!"

When the owner started coming toward Lucero again, the reporter didn't back down, saying, "Sir, we want to get your side of the story."

Not even Mike Wallace could've done it better than that, Santiago.

August 10, 2006
Feet first

shoe photo

It's a sign of the times. Everywhere you shop - from malls to midtown - sale signs are everywhere. But Noah Schwartz, owner of Shoefly (shoes and handbags) at 2418 K St., says his super sale is the one "people
get in line for."

And here's why: If you find three pairs of shoes you can't live without (and we're sure you will), you'll get a fourth pair for a penny. That's right, one red cent. And, you still get the discounts on the other three pair.

Schwartz says available styles include shoes from spring and summer, in particular wedges - check out the pair at right, shot by Bee photographer Kevin German - which will have some wearing power even into fall if temps stay up. And don't they always?

"Some of the boots also will be on sale," Schwartz says.

You can stop by the store early and pick up a discount postcard prior to the sale, which starts Friday and runs through Aug. 20.

So, if the shoes fit....

August 9, 2006
Jeff back in the morning

Folks at The Flash (92.1 FM) have changed their minds, and now plan to move just-hired DJ Jeff Jensen (late of Shawn & Jeff of The Zone) to the mornings. He'll be on from 5 to 10 a.m., starting Thursday. As I had posted earlier this week, Jensen had been doing the afternoon shift after being hired by the station last week.

"We just wanted to put him back in the mornings, where he used to be," says Bob Ryder, The Flash's station manager.

That means, however, that morning DJ Jess Rogers gets the axe.

The Flash announced two other on-air hires today: Dave Diamond (formerly of Mix 96) will be DJing nights and weekends, and Jeff Andrews (a DJ from Wisconsin) will be the weekday afternoon host and program director. He replaces longtime favorite Staci Anderson, who resigned last week.

August 9, 2006
Dude, KVIE's pledge drive rocks


Normally, I find public television pledge drives maddening. Yeah, yeah, I know. They're a necessary evil. But they'll cut into a really great program every 10 minutes, begging for donations.

But Tuesday night, as I was watching KVIE's (Channel 6) airing of George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh" from 1971, I was entertained almost as much by the commentary/pledge-begging from David Hosley, the station's president and general manager, as I was by the concert.

You wouldn't know it by looking at the corporate suit he is now (that's Hosley on the right), but apparently, he was quite the long-haired, hippie-rock dude back in the day. And he regaled viewers Tuesday with some stories about organizing rock benefits in S.F. Impressive that he could still remember those days. Great stuff.

August 9, 2006
Where's Richard?

Sacramento Bee file 2005/Kevin German
Designer Richard Hallmarq at last year's San Francisco Fashion Week.

So what's been up with one of Sacramento's most notable fashion designers? We're talking about Richard Hallmarq, of course, who has hosted more shows in this town than in New York.

I caught up with Hallmarq recently and discovered change is afoot for him. For one thing, he's closed his midtown boutique after opening back in the spring. "I just didn't have enough time to run a business, design clothing - and have a life," Hallmarq says. (His clothing is still being sold at Madam Butterfly in Pavilions shopping center on Fair Oaks Boulevard.)

In the meantime, Hallmarq, 33, is working full time on his spring/summer 2007 collection, titled Phantasmagoria, which he will debut Aug. 25 at San Francisco Fashion Week. This will be the second year that he is participating in the show, which spotlights some of the most-talented designers in the Bay Area and Northern California.

So, how are the nerves?

"This time, I feel more at ease," Hallmarq says. "The first year it felt like I was running with the big dogs. My team is more organized, and I'm setting my expectations high."

Hallmarq's collection will include both men's and women's clothing. And, here's the kicker, folks: His show will feature a live performance by former Paisley Park recording artist Ingrid Chavez who - no surprise - will be wearing a Hallmarq original.

For more information about San Francisco Fashion Week, go here.

August 9, 2006
A menagerie of pet peeves

Our call for pet peeves from readers about local TV news must have struck a nerve, because the peeves just keep on coming. And coming. We've received scores of rants, too many to appear in my Media Savvy column here on Tuesday . Here's some from the latest batch to hit my inbox:

From Meg Genova: "Will somebody PLEASE tell Pamela Wu on KCRA how to breathe while giving the news? I called the station once and they said they'd try moving her mike to another location on her shirt, but it hasn't helped. By the way, Edie Lambert could use some help in breathing lessons, too."

From Sharon Orris: "The thing that irritates me the most happens on Channel 3's noon news broadcast from Arden Mall. During the spot where they are actually reporting the 'Top News Stories,' there is always some yahoo behind Walt Gray, mugging the camera. To me, it is more than a little disconcerting when you are hearing about war in the Middle East or some murder or other and there is goofiness going on behind the reporter."

From John Wright: "Why does (News10's) Cristina Mendonsa always look to her right - our left - while she's talking on camera? Is she looking at the monitor to see how she looks?"

From Pat Freeman: "Brandi Hitt...she thinks everything is funny, from murders to hurricanes. Needless to say, when she comes on, I have two choices - mute or change the channel."

From Ralph Miller: "My wife and I were thrilled to realize others were upset by the language of the many broadcasters. We want news, not human interest fillers and personal opinions; presently channels 40 and 10 seem the least offensive. Our main complaint - 'Back to YOU GUYS in the studio.' When is a female broadcaster a GUY?"

From Kevin Shira: "Putting everything in present tense, no matter when it happened. Saying 'a local dog barfs to death, we're live with the story,' makes it sound like we're about to see live barfing, even though the sad
event occurred two days ago."

From Sylvia Fitzpatrick: "I do not understand why 90 percent of the women on TV news have the same awful hairdo: straight, long bangs, shaggy ends, bleached blonde with dark roots...."

From Robin Connor: "I read your column this morning with amusement until the comment about Edie Lambert by (reader) Bob Bosworth. What a cruel way to express one's opinion. We had the pleasure of seeing Edie in action last year after a tornado demolished our backyard in north Natomas. The Channel 3 news team set up their base in our backyard and we spent the day in between live shots chatting with Edie. She was extremely sincere and sympathetic about our loss and, as a result, we are now fans of Channel 3 news instead of the other local news stations."

August 8, 2006
I get e-mails

chorus.jpg Following my review of the Wednesday-night opening of "A Chorus Line" in San Francisco, I was flooded with e-mails regarding Mara Davi (seated, in middle).

First, there was this nicely informational note from Marc Valdez: "Regarding 'Chorus Line' actors familiar to Sacramento audiences, there was a third that should be mentioned: Mara Davi (Maggie), who comes from Folsom, has appeared in numerous local high school and community theater productions, and who has a sizable contingent of Sacramento-area fans following her Broadway career (as well as that of her equally talented and younger sister, Melody) with considerable interest."

Wow. Cool, I thought. Thanks, Marc. I wish I had known before the show. I would have loved to do a story about Davi, or at least mention the fact that she's a local in the review. Well, I'll put something in my blog, I thought.

Then, Trina Lee sent a classy, informative note with some of Davi's background, and added: "I imagine you'll hear from many of us about Mara today. We are all thrilled about her much-deserved success! She is not only lovely and talented, but a truly delightful person."

And, the always-charming Mikey Coleman wrote proudly: "I directed her in her first and last Sacramento shows!"

But then, the tone of the missives started taking a turn.

Andrea St. Clair told me local community theater is suffering because it doesn't get enough attention from The Bee, and local performers get the short end of the stick from the Music Circus when it comes to casting, no matter how talented they are. "It is a blatant oversight to include (I think she meant 'exclude') someone that actually learned their craft here in Sacramento ...." St. Clair opined.

Like I said, if I had known...but Davi declined to mention her Folsom roots in her short bio, giving titles of regional shows though no specific theaters or locations. And while I'm quite sure she's proud of where she comes from, Davi only gives a shout out to Psalm 150.

Ray Fisher rightly pointed out that I "missed an opportunity to share a source of area pride," adding that community theaters "are constantly struggling with higher performance- and- rehearsal-space rent, skyrocketing energy prices, and diminishing audiences because we have less money to spend on advertising."

Finally this, from Laura Daniells: "I am writing to inform you that I am in the process of canceling my subscription to the Sacramento Bee."

She wasn't only upset that I hadn't written about Mara Davi, but also because I had declined to review a production by her son's new theater group, Artistic Differences Theatre Company (www.ArtisticDifferences.Net).

In any case, I hope it's not too late to say to Folsom's Mara Davi: Congratulations and break a leg on Broadway in September.

August 8, 2006
Fair's fair

POSTCARD_FAIR.jpg Neither my carefully cultivated sense of irony nor my jaded journalistic sixth sense has managed to stamp out the fact that I freakin' love the fair. The rides, the food, the unnaturally large farm animals - I heart it all. I am even dubiously proud to say that I attended the California State Fair an incredible FOUR times last year. Admittedly, a couple of those times were work-related, but that Huey Lewis concert I attended with my family was all voluntary and, yes, I even partook in their infectious enthusiasm for a man who has looked 50 since he was 25 and still looks 50 now that he's a nearly a decade past it. Aaand that tangent just may haunt me for life. Anyway....

Fellow Bee person and fair lover Manny Crisostomo has been hitting Cal Expo for the past three years to bring photographic fair coverage to you, dear readers, and he's compiled a pretty awesome multimedia presentation called "Postcards From the Fair" for those who just can't wait to hit the hay (ha!) on opening day Friday. Or who would just rather enjoy the event from afar. Either way, it's totally worth a check-out here.

Of course, we will also have all the fair particulars in our guide in Friday Ticket. You can check that out, too.

August 8, 2006
Let Freedom ring!


Remember J. Freedom du Lac, former Sacramento Bee media critic who broke a thousand hearts (OK, maybe just Mark S. Allen's) by going off to the Washington Post?

Well, Josh (as we intimates call him), is now locked in a tight campaign in our nation's capital. That's right - he's up for the title of "Hottest Male: Off Air" among D.C. journalists.

How's he doing? Let's just say that as of this posting, Josh has a lot of ground to make up in a short amount of time. That's where you, his large Sacramento fan base, can come in. Log on here and cast a vote - heck, maybe even five or six votes - for Josh.

C'mon. We can't let that other Josh (Josh Gross of CBS) or that nerdy Richard Wolffe of Newsweek beat out our Sac homeboy.

So, vote Josh! Early and often.

August 7, 2006
Jeff's back on the air

Two weeks after his firing from The Zone (KZZO 100.5 FM), Jeff Jensen returned to the radio Monday as the afternoon DJ on The Flash (KXCL 92.1 FM).

And get this: He's competing directly against his longtime radio partner, Shawn Cash, who now holds down the 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. slot on The Zone.

As soon as Jeff was shown the door after 13 years of partnering with Shawn as morning drive-time jocks at KWOD and The Zone, Bob Ryder, The Flash station manager, got on the phone and offered him a job.

"It would be criminal not to have both these guys on the air," Ryder says. "They're kind of like the Paul and Phil of our generation. He was a little shell-shocked when I called, but he was also eager to get back."

If you miss Shawn and Jeff on the air, here's an idea: You can switch back and forth between stations each afternoon and it'll amost be like having them back together.

August 7, 2006
Ozzy rocks with a new tee

Getty Images
Ozzy Osbourne, left, and his wife Sharon show off the new Signature Series T-shirt in New York.

Is there anything Ozzy Osbourne hasn't done?

Let's see. Reality TV - check. The whole heavy metal thing for decades - check. And yes, even scoring an invite once to the White House.

Well now, he's entered the fashion business, designing a T-shirt for the Hard Rock Cafe's Signature Series. And, of course, it's for a good cause and one that's close to Osbourne's heart. Proceeds are to benefit the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Ozzy's tee - which joins the likes of other Signature Series tees designed by such music icons as Elton John, Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen - features a hand-painted stick figure, supposedly representing the rocker's "stage persona," according to the Hard Rock. And, just like Osbourne, the artwork is a little out there, but definitely a keeper. His is the 22nd in the series.

The tees sell for $25 (women) and $24 (men.) And hey, the shirts can be purchased at local Hard Rock Cafes (read: Downtown Plaza) and will be specific to that city. So shirts purchased in the capital will feature the "Hard Rock Cafe Sacramento" logo on the front, Ozzy's artwork on the back.

August 7, 2006


Well, we finally got rid of UPN 31.

No, not the station. Rest easy, "Good Day Sacramento" fans. They've just changed the station's name because of the merger with the WB.

And, we're happy to report that the folks at "Good Day" have chosen not to adopt the nauseating, puke-green colors that the new network has chosen; "Good Day" is keeping its background red with the silver CW graphic in the right corner.

Still, about that logo: What marketing genius came up with that awful '70s-style "CW"? Looks like something "The Love Boat" or "Three's Company" might have sported.

Meanwhile, My58TV, the former WB58, has launched its new Web page. Check it out here.

August 4, 2006
Blogging on a show on bloggers blogging

Oh, how very meta it all is.

Today, KXJZ's Jeffrey Callison devoted half of his "Insight" program to mainstream news organizations that have let reporters blog on their Web sites. And, yeah, it's a shameless plug, but 21Q was touted on the air by Ralph Frattura, The Bee's director of interactive products.

Nothing personal, Ralph, but one of the more interesting aspects of the show to me was the fact that Callison had John Myers on as a guest. See, Myers is the Sacramento l bureau chief for KQED (which broadcasts as KQEI here in Sac). In other words, he is the competition to KXJZ, which labels itself "the local choice for NPR." It's kind of like Dave and Lois from Channel 3 being featured on Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento." Not gonna happen.

But it did on the radio Friday. And kudos to Callison for being secure enough to have Myers as a guest. Now let's see KQED's Michael Krasney interview Callison sometime.

We won't hold our collective breaths for that, though.

Check out Callison's show on blogging here

August 4, 2006
Hot off the 'Runway'

runway outfit Bravo Network

Macy's has wasted no time getting the winning outfit from this week's "Project Runway" into stores.

For those of you who missed it, contestant/designer Angela Keslar won the competition by creating a three-piece ensemble for I.N.C., one of the department store's most popular brands.

And guess what? You don't have to live in New York to buy it.

It's being sold at and in select stores, including Macy's in the Galleria at Roseville. The cost: $129 for the cropped jacket, which drew raves from the "Runway" judges. It's trimmed in satin, with those satin rosettes that were driving Angela's two teammates crazy. The matching trousers, also trimmed in satin (and with the requisite rosettes), are $89. Both are made of a polyester/rayon/spandex blend. The ruched long-sleeve tee is $39.

Bravo to Roseville for snagging the winning ensemble.

August 3, 2006
Total trash

Fans of the Trash Film Orgy midnight-movie series will want to check this out: The Beach Blanket Benefit Show on Friday night at the Studio Theatre (1028 R St.).

The fun will start - when else? - at midnight (doors open at 11:30 p.m.) and seating is limited. Your $10 door charge will get you a screening of the "classic sea monster exploitation" film "Humanoids from the Deep"; there'll also be some short films, trailers, games and prizes.

Proceeds will go toward financing the film, "Monster From Bikini Beach," being produced by the folks with the Trash Film Orgy. These are the same people, of course, known for their scare-tastic B movies and campy, cheesy fun.

For more info, visit the Trash Film Orgy site.

August 3, 2006
Dancing fool

Do they teach this in meteorology school?

Channel 13's new weather guy, Jeff James, appeared on wacky "Good Day Sacramento" - on sister station Channel 31 - on Thursday and showed viewers his qualifications: break dancing.

Yeah, you heard me right. Break dancing.

The station was so impressed with James (who comes here from Tucson), that they posted his dancing exploits on its Web site. Watch it here.

August 2, 2006
HeadOn humor

Armstrong & Getty, the morning talkers on KSTE (650 AM), are known for going on outrageous rants. Today's was a particularly good one.

They were talking about an annoying television ad that, while not new, certainly is getting a lot of attention lately. It's for a product called "HeadOn" - a headache-relief gel stick that you rub on your noggin.

Armstrong (or was it Getty?) was riffing on the cheesy and unintentionally comical nature of the ad, which features a woman with a pleasing expression rubbing the stick on her head and saying three times in succession, in almost a monotone: "HeadOn: Apply directly to the forehead...."

Slate magazine's Seth Stevenson was the first to pick up on the simplistic genius of the ad. "With this one 10-second spot, the makers of HeadOn have torn down all the pretenses that have gummed up the advertising industry for years," Stevenson wrote. "Production values? Persuasion? Emotion? Humor (of the intentional kind)? These are stalwarts of the old, outmoded advertising paradigm. The new, head-on (or HeadOn) approach holds that advertising is about blunt force."

Quipped Armstrong: "It's a great product, yeah. But how do you apply it again?"

Fork over $5.24 at Walgreens and find out, Jack.

August 2, 2006
Blondes have more fun(ny)

There's "mom rock," "mom lit," "mom jeans" and now, "mom comedy."

But don't worry, there's nothing safe, staid or ill-fitting about the 3 Blonde Moms comedy troupe featuring Maryellen Hooper, Helen Keaney and Joanie Fagan.

The mothers, who dish on their "adventures in mommying," perform Aug. 3-6 at the Punch Line Comedy Club (2100 Arden Way).

And nothing's sacred:

Breastfeeding, for example: "My advice to you ladies who don't have kids but plan on breastfeeding: Switch sides - I was Pamela Anderson on one side and Calista Flockhart on the other."

The moms also dish on the PTA, personal hygiene and potty training. If you're a parent, you can probably relate. And if you're not? Sit back and laugh in horrified fascination.

Check them out during their four-day run at the Punch Line. Show times are 8:30 p.m. Thursday; 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15-$20. For more information, visit

August 1, 2006
Attention, insomniacs

Bad news for Sacramento-area night owls who are worried about their relationships and their finances - and how the two intertwine.

Talk-radio host Dave Ramsey, a staple at 2 a.m. on KTKZ (1380 AM, 105.5 FM) will be off the air as of Aug. 10. Ramsey had an unusual hybrid of a show. It was about money. It was about marital troubles. Well, actually, not so weird a hybrid, after all.

The reason for Ramsey's departure from KTKZ and other Salem-owned stations is (irony alert!) money.

"Salem asked us to pay for our affiliate clears on their stations," says Bill Hampton, executive vice president of "The Dave Ramsey Show." "After some consideration and negotiation, we decided that we would continue to do business as we've always done. We don't pay for clears."

So what are "clears"?

Simple. Salem wanted Ramsey (who owns his own syndication rights) to pay a fee to air his program on its 21 affiliates. On principle, Ramsey balked. So now he's down to 260 affiliates - none in Sac.

Which means we'll now have to find something else to fill our media-consumption needs at 2 a.m.

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