Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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


October 31, 2006
Good neighbor

At Swanberg's On J, I found owner Lauren Lundsten's collection of "neighborly" sweatshirts too fun to pass up. In addition to his huge cadre of Hawaiian apparel (read: Santa on a surfboard), Lundsten will take a plain old crewneck or hoodie sweatshirt and letter it up to show off your favorite area of Sacramento.

For example, he's got "Midtown," "East Sac" and "Land Park" sweats. But, you don't have to go there. My teen son wants one that just says "College" on the front; he saw John Belushi wearing a similar shirt in the movie "Animal House." Nice role model, huh?

Anyway, some of the sweatshirts are already in stock, ready to go. But, if you don't find your size - or neighborhood - Lundsten will hook you up via an order. My Land Park forest green hoodie arrived last week. For $55, I'm showing my civic pride - and staying warm at the same time.

October 30, 2006
The 'forbidden' fragrance

Wow! Do I smell like a 75-year-old fragrance!

Actually, it's not so bad - more reminiscent than anything. I'm talking about the fragrance once advertised as "forbidden" - Tabu by Dana. I just got a sample the other day and tested it on some of my younger colleagues. Only the ones over 40 had the slightest recollection.

The legendary fragrance, which most of our grandmothers or mothers wore at some time, is celebrating its diamond anniversary. Created in Barcelona, Spain, Tabu was sniffed all over Europe before debuting in the United States at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1940s.

Ads for Tabu always featured a woman in the embrace of a well-turned-out gentleman or swathed in fur. In fact, the folks at Dana Classic Fragrances say the original advertising campaign was based on the Rene Prinet painting, "The Kreutzer Sonata."

To mark the anniversary, Dana is releasing a limited-edition version of Tabu - an eau de parfum spray with a special jeweled top, set in a velvet keepsake box. So, if you recall anyone who loves the fragrance, or you want to try it for the first time yourself, it's $19.99 at most drugstores.

October 30, 2006
Do you Tuaca?

OK, so here's a little something to put in the old random-information file. Apparently Tuaca, the Italian liquour, is wildly popular in Sac. According to the PR dude, we're one of the top 10 markets for the citrus-y, vanilla-y spirit, which I suppose comes as no surprise given that it seems to be in every bar in town.

Personally, I've never tried it, as my libational tastes tend to run to the extremely traditional trifecta of beer, vodka and whiskey, but I think now I'll have to give the stuff a try. I actually considered it while at my regular football-watching bar on Sunday, but it's hard enough to take down a Pabst after a wild Saturday night without bringing hard alcohol into the mix.

But hey, today is Monday and the Patriots are taking on Minnesota, and my man Jeff, who bartends over at Cheaters (and who is a Vikings fan and with whom I am theoretically not speaking because his team beat mine last week), is making clam chowder. And nothing washes down a bowl of soup like an Italian liquour? Yeah. Maybe for dessert.

October 27, 2006
Rocktoberfest

Hey, an fyi for anyone wanting to take a break from the Halloween shindigs this weekend: The Randies, an L.A. power-pop quartet, will be playing at the Hard Rock Cafe at 10 p.m. Saturday. The whole thing is a benefit for breast cancer research, and proceeds from CD sales and breast cancer awareness pins will go to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

The show is $10 at the door and is all-ages; doors will open at 9:30 p.m. I like the band if only for a how-we-met anecdote on the band's Web site. Apparently, two of the bandmates met when one witnessed the other dumping a Bud Light on a "well-deserving scenster's" head. 'Cause that's just awesome.

October 27, 2006
Time for a change

At 2 a.m. Sunday, longggggg after I've hit the hay, Daylight Saving Time will end.

Many folks use that as a reminder to perform certain "chores," such as changing the batteries in their smoke detectors, checking home air filters, adding more Band-Aids to their emergency kits.

But the folks at Undergear have another suggestion, which I find totally entertaining and, actually, very helpful: It's an opportunity for guys of all ages to update their underwear drawer.

According to Undergear, men get their underwear supply from two sources: their mothers or their wives/significant others. But, when it comes to getting rid of faded, out-of-shape or - yikes! - holey-moley undies, men have a fear of just letting go.

So, add this task to your list of to-dos this weekend, guys. And don't forget to take out the garbage.

October 26, 2006
Faces first

bare escentuals.jpg For women interested in seeing the "face" behind the Bare Escentuals makeup line, you're in luck. This Friday, the company's CEO, Leslie Blodgett (shown left), will make an appearance at the Bare Escentuals Boutique at the Galleria in Roseville.

Here's how it will work: Blodgett will be in the mall's Circle Court from noon to 2 p.m. Friday. Then, from 2 to 3 p.m., she will meet and great customers during a champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception.

Plus, if you're interested in having your makeup done, the Bare Escentuals team will be in action from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday AND Saturday. Walk-ups are welcome.


October 26, 2006
Real deal, 'Real World'

This just in on the "Real World" front - and you know you totally want to know.

The MTV reality show was casting in Sacramento a while back, and rumor has it that at least three people had what it takes to move on to the next round, which I guess is more than usual from just one casting. No word yet on who they are (MTV keeps that very under wraps), but I'll keep my ear to the ground to see if I can hear who represents our fair city in the inevitable hot tub.

Meanwhile, the latest incarnation of the show, shot in beautiful Denver, Colo., premieres Nov. 22. And yes, Sacramento will be represented - this time in the form of a guy named Stephen. A Sac native, he's now a D.C. resident who fills the always-important household role of the uber-conservative who is deeply religious and against gay marriage. And - surprise! - there's a gay guy in the house.

But really, would it really be a reality show without absolutely predictable, manufactured conflict? Methinks not.

October 25, 2006
A&G hits YouTube, Part 2


Last week, we told you about the "make an ad for us" contest that KSTE (650 AM) talkers Armstrong & Getty are sponsoring. There are two more YouTube entries - both featuring not-so-great Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonations. One is entirely animated and sort of lame. But the one featured above, which steals a trope from Conan O'Brien, is better.

We're still waiting for someone with true inspiration to weigh in.

October 25, 2006
There's no sitting in rock 'n' roll

mattpondpa.jpg I visited Harlow's Tuesday night for another show. Last week, it was Yo La Tengo; this time out, I wanted to check out Philadelphia's Matt Pond PA.

When I arived at Harlow's around 10:30, the band was about two songs into its set and the club ... well, the club was, predictably, not that full.

Although, actually, my first thought on seeing the approximately 40 to 50 people who had turned out was - and maybe this is sad - "Hey, not a bad turnout for Sacramento on a Tuesday night!"

My second thought was: "Why are so many people sitting down?"

Yes, Harlow's has all those nice seats and tables, but this is an indie rock show! Back in the day (when I had to trudge four miles in the snow, wearing threadbare Converse, to get to a show), one always stood to properly show some respect.

There's no sitting in rock 'n' roll, kids.

Anyhoo. The band delivered a really good, rockin' set - the kind that makes you tap your foot and shake your hips despite any better judgment about how such activities might actually make you look in public.

Afterward, I bought a CD and then joined my husband at the bar to talk to a friend. As I was standing there, clutching my CD, Matt Pond (the singer, not the entire band) walked by, noticed the CD and came over. He thanked us for coming out - in fact, he bought both my husband and I a beer and chatted with us for a while about books, touring and favorite bands. Still, I could tell he was a bit bothered by the show's relatively sparse attendance.

Looking at the room through his eyes, I understood how he could feel maybe a wee bit bummed out but, well ....

"It's not you, it's us," I said.

And then, I felt kind of stupid and guilty - how many times have I said that to a touring band that visits Sacramento? I hated to have to say it to a band that Rolling Stone magazine dubbed one of its "top 10 bands to watch" in 2005.

But really, it is us.

If Yo La Tengo can't sell out Harlow's, then it's no surprise that an up-and-coming indie band on a small label can't, either - even if they do really well in markets such as Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.

Still, those of us who did show up could at least get up off of our collective duffs and stand there like we meant it.

October 25, 2006
Traffic, er, accident?

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Remember News10 traffic reporter Julie Durda, the former 49ers cheerleader and contestant on "The Bachelor" (at right) who got a big promotion to KRON in San Francisco in July?

She's out of a job now.

Station officials at KRON won't elaborate, other than to say Durda no longer works there. juliee.jpg But the word is that an on-air "incident" may have hastened her departure.

Durda apparently blurted out the phrase, "What the heck?" while at the anchor desk recently, apparently not knowing her microphone was on. (Some viewers who called to complain said they thought Durda had used the F-word instead of "heck," but a replay of the tape showed she did not.)

No word on what Durda is doing now. Her old afternoon traffic spot on News10 is now being handled by the very capable Angel Cardenas.

To some longtime TV news watchers, Durda's alleged on-air slip is reminiscent of an incident in Sacramento in 1992, when former Channel 3 anchor Stan Atkinson mouthed the word "bitch" after a news story about then-U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Boxer.

Atkinson told The Bee at the time that he used the word not about Boxer but about an "appliance" while chatting with a consumer reporter. Atkinson apologized later in the newscast and faced no disciplinary action.

Maybe Durda should've used the "Appliance Defense."

October 24, 2006
Model behavior

AMERICA_NEXT_MODEL.jpg Calling on her cell phone from the Burbank airport, Sacramento's own A.J. Stewart sounded tired but game when it came time to chat about getting kicked off "America's Next Top Model."

Well, mostly game.

Actually, I have to applaud her honesty. When I asked the usual psychobabble question about "taking away anything good" from the reality show experience, the 21-year-old art school student was fairly candid.

"I'm sorry, but I'm really tired and I have to wait four hours for my plane," she says. "I don't know how to be positive right now."

But then, she sucked it up and said something about being grateful for the experience and the Earth continued to rotate on its axis and another PR crisis was averted.

And, good or bad, Stewart's discovering that her "Top Model" experience has brought her some fans. In fact, our converation was briefly interrupted after she was approached by some airport admirers.

"It happens quite a bit," she says, back on the phone after thanking her well-wishers. "I'll see (people) looking at me and then they look away."

Actually, she says, that part isn't new.

"I've always been awkward-looking," she says. "And people have always stared at me. I'm kind of used to people talking (behind my back) and saying that I look funny."

Yeah, but now, it comes with the chance for some real fame and/or fortune - now, there's an experience she should gratefully capitalize on.

For more, read my Q&A with Stewart in Wednesday's Scene section.

October 24, 2006
Hip hop comeback

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We're back, Bomb...Snap!

That's probably what the staff of KSFM (102.5 FM) was crowing this afternoon as they smoked cigars in the station's parking lot on Madison to celebrate its Arbitron ratings victory over rival KBMB (103.5 FM).

The new "book" shows that, in the 18-to-34-year-old category (hip hop's targeted demographic), KSFM finished in first place with an 8.0 rating, while The Bomb placed fourth, at 5.9. Overall - meaning all age categories - KSFM finished sixth, with a 4.5 rating, and The Bomb 10th, with a 3.5.

It's quite a change from the previous two ratings periods, when The Bomb finished ahead of KSFM. To rub it in the last time around, The Bomb employees even papered the KSFM parking lot with mimeographed copies of the ratings.

"That last ratings book was a big wake-up call for us," says Steve Cottingim, honcho of CBS' stations in Sacramento, which includes KSFM. "I've got to give credit to Byron (Kennedy, the program director). He put together a great team on the morning show, and the station has been very visibile in the community."

October 24, 2006
Will Julie Angelides ask for equal time?

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Sirius, the satellite radio channel, will be opening up its network to non-subscribers - go to the Web site here to find out more - for two days starting Wednesday.

Yeah, you can hear Howard Stern for free. Big whoop.

More compelling - not to mention, educational - will be the replay of the only radio coverage of the Conference on Women that Maria Shriver (left), California's first lady, hosted last month in Southern California and attended by 13,000 women.

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You can hear all the speeches by the likes of astronaut Sally Ride, author Anna Quindlen, Fergie (as in Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, not the Black Eyed Peas singer), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and - we kid you not - the Dalai Lama (right). Shriver also interviewed all the speakers.

It will be broadcast at 9 a.m. Wednesday on Sirius "Stars" Channel 102.

October 24, 2006
Calling all divas

fleet feet.jpgI'll be the first to admit I can't run from here to there ... but I like the idea of Fleet Feet's Diva Night because, well, I like WEARING running shoes and comfy sportswear. And, the notion of a chocolate-covered strawberry station sounds intriguing.

The midtown store (2311 J St.) is hosting the after-hours event just for women tonight and Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30. Registration is required, and I was told that tonight's event is already full, but there are openings for Wednesday evening. You can register by calling the store - (916) 442-3338 - or e-mailing diva@fleetfeetsacramento.com.

The itinerary includes chair massages, injury assessments and treatments, body composition testing, merchandise discounts, music, hors d'oeuvres and a wine-tasting. Also, personal bra fitting appointments will be offered every 15 minutes from 4 to 9:15 p.m.

And don't forget those strawberries.

FYI: In a previous posting, I mentioned the launch of Fleet Feet's Outdoor for Women store next door. That opening is scheduled for Nov. 1. So get set to toss the leftover Halloween candy and get ready to work out!

October 24, 2006
Big loss for Channel 13

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Lori Waldon, the assistant news director at Channels 13 and 31, is leaving to become the news director at WISN in Milwaukee.

Waldon (right), who has been in Sacramento just over a year, was instrumental in bringing together the 13 and 31 newsrooms. Longtime Channel 13 staffers say Waldon was considered to be the "good cop" to news director Steve Charlier's "bad cop" and that reporters often went to her with their concerns about the bevy of changes at the stations.

This will be Waldon's first news director position. Before coming to Sacramento, she was the managing editor at KPIX, the CBS station in San Francisco.

"This is a good opportunity for Lori," Charlier says. "We are very sad to see her go. She’s been a great newsroom leader through a lot of positive change."

October 23, 2006
Sac mag and the media

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It's always interesting to check out what the readers of Sacramento magazine select in the annual "Best of" issue.

And when it comes to local broadcasting, the magazine's readers clearly get their news from Channel 3. How else to explain why KCRA nearly sweeps the categories?

Edie Lambert wins best reporter. Lois Hart and Dave Walker are best anchor team. Walt Gray is the best morning anchor, Del Rodgers best sportscaster and Mark Finan best weatherperson.

It should be interesting at the Best of Sacramento party on Nov. 30 at the Sacramento Convention Center, when the winners are announced by ... "Good Day Sacramento" morning anchors Marianne McClary and Nick Toma.

October 23, 2006
Channel 3's DUI scoop

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Cheers to Channel 3 for being the first news organization on Saturday morning to report on Kings coach Eric Musselman's DUI arrest.

Jeers to Channel 3 for making the core of its report the supposed linkage between the arrest and the arena measure on the November ballot. One mention of whether the arrest would hurt the arena vote would've been enough, thank you. But featuring that aspect of the story was a biiiig stretch, one that Channel 3 didn't need to make.

October 23, 2006
Up and decorated

xmas tree.jpg Out and about this weekend, I got the feeling that we're just blowing right past Halloween and Thanksgiving and falling face first into Christmas. Actually, it's not a huge shock to see life-size neon letters that spell "N-O-E-L" at Costco or festively decorated trees at Macy's.

After all, the National Retail Federation says the average shopper will spend almost $800 on such holiday stuff this season. Heck, you could pull that off in a couple of trips (not counting your online purchases).

And, get this - the NRF says we'll also cough up almost $100 on goodies for ourselves. Yes, that leather iPOD case is looking better all the time.

Fortunately, there's still trick-or-treat candy and a few masks left. I just wish there was more Pilgrim paraphernalia. Thanksgiving seems to be relegated to little more than stuffing - a turkey and ourselves - and getting up a 3 a.m. for the Black Friday onslaught. I have a feeling my $800 will be long gone by then.

In the meantime, ho, ho, hurry.

October 20, 2006
Costume shop

dracula.jpgIf you still haven't come up with an idea for a Halloween costume, check out the UC Davis Costume Shop Auction, Sale and Rentals.

This is the third year for the event, which will be held Saturday through next Friday, Oct. 27, in the Arena Theatre, 140 Wright Hall, on the campus.

Here's how it works: The costume shop staff has assembled more than 60 costume "kits" that include wigs, headpieces, jewelry, makeup, etc. Plus, there are 16 special costumes that will be up for auction. The highest bids will be announced at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

So, what's it going to be? A pirate or a pirate wench? Dracula or Elvis?

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through next Friday. Payment by cash or check only. For more information: (530) 752-0740.

October 20, 2006
No booze for Benny's

The unofficial after-work bar for many - Ok, for at least me - is, alas, not currently in the business of providing thirsty folk with after-work drinks. Benny's - also inexplicably known as the Q Street Bar & Grill - was shut down on Oct 17 by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for not complying with its business license, according to a spokesman.

Apparently, Benny's was supposed to serve a certain amount of food to wash down those drinks - and it kinda really wasn't. So the bar will be shut for a minimum of 10 days, provided the always-delightful guys there can come up with some eats. And here I thought it was so awesome that I could bring in food from the taqueria next door.

October 20, 2006
Cristina and Dale: Here to stay

News10 announced Friday that main anchors Cristina Mendonsa and Dale Schornack have signed "long-term agreements" to continue in their current positions. Details of the contract, however, were not released. Cristina and Dale have been together nine years - longer than most local TV news teams, Dave and Lois on KCRA excepted.

October 20, 2006
If the shoes fit ...

tim gunn.jpg I'm glad I was running late this morning because I caught the opening segment of "Live With Regis & Kelly." But, instead of Regis, "Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn was co-hosting.

Now, I love this guy because he makes no bones about what he likes and doesn't like when it comes to fashion - whether it's on his hit Bravo show, which just ended for this season, or walking along the streets of Manhattan.

Anyway, the topic turned to shoes. That's when Kelly plopped a way-expensive Christian Louboutin red patent leather stiletto on the desk. She quipped about having wide feet and how hard it is to wear tight shoes. Then, she talked about flying and how she takes her shoes off to get comfortable.

ugg.jpgWell, one thing led to another and Kelly confessed that she likes wearing Ugg boots when she flies because she can get them back on easily if her feet swell. Tim was mortified, let me tell you. The man says "Ugh!" to Uggs.

crocs.jpgThe conversation then turned to Kelly's affection for Crocs, those popular rubbery shoes with holes in them. Tim doesn't like those, either. Kelly tried to convince him she only wears them to "garden."

When Tim asked how many pairs she owns, Kelly says "two. In black and gold."

"You mean they having evening Crocs?" Tim asked.

To top it all off, the show produced a pair of green Crocs for Tim to model. A good sport, he obliged and was admonished by Kelly to "make it work" as he strode across the set. He asked for aluminum foil to complete his "man from Mars" look.

Goofy, yes. But it proves Gunn has a good sense of humor - even for trends he'd just as soon see banished.

Speaking of Crocs, they may be comfortable, but I think they make your feet look big. As for Uggs, well, I confess to owning several pairs - in assorted colors.


October 20, 2006
Friday media raves

It's a crazy world. It's gettin' crazier.
- Unidentified man interviewed by Channel 3's Mike TeSelle.

Raves easily outdistance rants in this week's local-media rundown. Here's our list:

1. I really, really wanted to hate TeSelle's report on the theft of a Smokey the Bear statue in Elk Grove. I mean, why spend five minutes on this fluff when there are people dying in Iraq?

smokey.jpg

But after watching Channel 3's report, TeSelle won me over. The best part was not how the culprit returned Smokey with painted-in bloodshot eyes and wearing some cool silver sneakers. And it certainly wasn't TeSelle's too-cute stand-up, where he popped out from behind The Bear to report that the thief was a 50-year-old man from Contra Costa County.

No, it was the information that Elk Grove fire officials are arming the bear statues (there are actually two of them off I-5 in Elk Grove) with pricey GPS tracking devices so that they can be easily found if stolen again.

Crazy world, indeed.

2. Channel 13/Channel 31 gets breaking-news kudos for its coverage Thursday of the lockdown at McClatchy High School after a student fired shots nearby. Reporter Naj Alikhan provided live updates on the station's Web site even after "Good Day Sacramento" signed off.

Great use of real-time reporting on the Web.

3. Nobody does light features better than Channel 10's Jonathan Mumm. He took that obligatory Halloween-preview assignment and produced an entertaining feature about the Folsom Ghost Train. Mumm's report was fun and playful without going overboard. He delivered the voiceover in Vincent Pricean tones and his photographer used Hitchcockian camera angles.

4. Give it up for Capitol Public Radio's on-air staff, who gamely made it through pledge week without once cracking from the mind-numbing sameness of the spiels they deliver.

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Even late this morning, Jeffrey Callison (left) and Donna Apidone were still positive and perky when asking for support. It was kind of heartbreaking to hear Callison say, "We've got $109,000 to go and just 24 minutes left in the drive. I know you can do it. Get to the phone and call...."

Obviously, CPR didn't reach its goal of raising $380,000. And now, the pledge drive's over. If you feel guilty for not pledging, I'm sure the station wouldn't mind if you send 'em a check.

5. Sound bite of the week: "The media is the nervous system of the human condition." - Michael Harrison, editor of "Talkers" magazine, on Enid Goldstein's show on KCTC (1320 AM).

Yeah, I don't know what it means, either. But it sounds great.

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6. And finally this: Hardened newsman Walt Gray at Channel 3 sported a new look on the noon news the other day. He was interviewing a group of Red Hat Society members - you know, those women of a certain age who wear purple dresses and gaudy red hats - when he donned a floppy bright red sombrero with a purple feather.

We fully expected Gray to break into a rendition of Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" but, alas, he ran out of time.

October 19, 2006
It's all about 'US'

molly and jason

Well, we're not sure if Molly and Jason (now the "Waggoners") - the "Today" show couple who were wed (read my last blog posting on it here) almost two weeks ago in front of 6 million viewers - have returned from their honeymoon in New Zealand, but one thing's for sure: They're still getting plenty of publicity.

They're featured in a double spread in the Oct. 23 issue of US Weekly magazine, just moments after saying "I do."

The happy couple (she's a native of Sacramento) are shown dancing at the reception in Central Park, sharing a toast with the "Today" hosts, and posing for pics with family and friends. US was able to track down the total cost for the nuptials - $113,000. That sounds reasonable for a morning wedding in the Big Apple, don't you think?

The mag goes on to say that the reception menu featured mini crab cakes and filets of beef, plus that enormous, four-tier vanilla wedding cake that viewers picked. About $25,000 was spent on flowers - reception only. And according to US, the garden of delights included more than 3,000 hydrangeas.

Meredith Vieira helped toast the newly wed couple; it was her first Rockefeller Plaza wedding since taking over for Katie Couric in September. She cried (Well, didn't we all?) as the couple exchanged vows, and the morning show's ratings soared.

What's on my mind now? How are the other six couples doing - the ones who wed before Molly and Jason? At more than $100,000, they better still be hitched!

October 19, 2006
Brilliant ratings move

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Just in time for the November sweeps period, Channel 13 has hired a new reporter - Koula Gianulias.

How will the addition of another reporter (it seems as if Channel 13 adds a new one each week) ensure ratings success?

"(Koula) tells me she has 100-plus Greek family members watching in our viewing area," says news director Steve Charlier.

Yeah, well, that's assuming they all aren't watching Fox40 instead.

Gianulias, a Sacramento native who comes from an ABC affiliate in Reno, will work the weekend shift both on Channel 13's news and "Good Day Sacramento's" weekend show.

October 19, 2006
Not on top anymore

OK. Well. There you go.

Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor, I'm here to ask the question that all Sacramento "America's Next Top Model" fans must be asking: What happened?

Last time we checked in with Tyra Banks & Friends, Sacramento contestant A.J. was riding high.

And then, then it was over.

Just. Like. That.

Frankly, I'm shocked.

OK, yeah, A.J.'s turn at "celebrity interviewing" (i.e., pretending to be an "Entertanment Tonight" reporter) was pretty dismal. And when the models were required to take a shot at dressing up as both halves of celebrity couples, A.J.'s turn portraying Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony? Yawn.

But still? Eliminated?

This for a girl who, until this last episode, was consistently at or near the top of the competition? This for the girl who not only won the viewer-picked "Cover Girl of the Week" honor last week, but nabbed it this week, as well?

It didn't even register for me at first. But, as I sat there with my "Top Model"-watching girlfriends, it sunk in. She was gone.

Then again, A.J. actually seemed relieved - no, make that happy, to go -and it made us wonder: What did we miss? What footage never made it past the editing room?

I will try to get to the bottom of this End of A.J. saga when I hope to interview the former contestant in the near future. But my first question for her won't be about her elimination. Rather, the most pressing question is why, oh why, she insisted on wearing that weird pink hat - the one that looked like a dog sweater - throughout much of the episode. Even the Queen of Tacky Mean, Janice Dickenson, was offended by her choice in chapeaus. That says a lot.

But aside from that major crime against fashion, I honestly think the judges went too far in kicking A.J. off this week. I don't think she got a fair shake, and I'm definitely interested to see where she ends up next.

Good luck - but lose the hat.

October 18, 2006
A stand to ban

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What happens when celebs hook up with deodorant?

That's easy. The "Ban It!" charity auction.

Ban asked a bunch of musicians and actors what they would ban if they could. The celebs were given T-shirts and asked to create a design that best represents their cause.

If you're an eBay shopper - and you know who you are - the one-of-a-kind shirts are currently on auction through Oct. 25 here. Go find a favorite cause and make a bid - proceeds from each winning bid will go to the celeb's charity.

Designs include those created by folks such as Beverly Mitchell of "7th Heaven," recording artist Mya, Ashley Parker Angel of MTV's "There & Back," and singer JoJo. Some of the tees are shown above.

My personal favorites are the Ban Prejudice and Ban Hate versions.

So do your part, Sacramento - and let the bidding begin.

October 18, 2006
Ready for their close-ups

kelly and travis

So now that they've survived the rigors of reality TV and won My58TV's "host hunt" - prize: a one-year contract as on-air talent - it's time for Kelly McAlister and Travis Ross to get busy.

They've already taped a promo for the station's 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. programming, airing now. And soon, they'll be all over the station's Web site.

Which begs the question: Just who are Kelly and Travis?

Well, Kelly is 25, lives in Carmichael and works as a compliance auditor for a large insurance company. She has no formal training in acting, TV or journalism, but "it's always been a lifelong dream," she says. "But I always have wanted to be myself, not some character.

"For a long time, I thought it'd be cool to host my own radio show. But what I'd really like to do is host a travel show."

Travis, also 25, lives in Turlock and owns a commercial produce business while dabbling as a real estate agent. Unlike Kelly, he has long been interested in acting. He's even taken a few classes, done a couple of commercials and taped a pilot for a syndicated show, "Brews Travelers."

"It didn't get picked up, but it was a great experience," he says. "This is a good break. Who knows where it might lead?"

Right now, neither has quit her or his day job, since being a My58TV host is strictly a part-time gig.

October 18, 2006
Our little corner of the world...

Tuesday's Yo La Tengo show at Harlow's was a reminder of how Sac still has some growing up to do.

While the New Jersey band is able to play three nights at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco (Three nights! In a decent-sized venue!), they couldn't sell enough tickets to fill our very own Empire, and thus the eleventh-hour venue switch. And even then, Harlow's was only about two-thirds full.

The change was a shame for the under-21 set - my 16-year-old niece, Amanda, had finagled a ride from me to the all-ages Empire, but is too young for Harlow's. Still, for the rest of us, Harlow's was a good place to see the noisy pop band (though I could've used more pop to soften the edges of noise). And kudos to Abstract Entertainment for continuing to put on such shows in Sacramento.

Abstract promoter Brian McKenna knows that many of the shows he puts on here could very well be a wash - it doesn't help that most indie artists can't get mainstream-radio airplay here - but he continues to book now and ask questions later.

On that note, y'all should go see Be Your Own Pet Monday at the Library or, on Tuesday, check out Matt Pond, PA at Harlow's. They're both up-and-coming acts that'll probably do really well in S.F.

We'll see how they do here.

Come on, Sacramento, represent!

October 17, 2006
A&G is going commercial

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For a week now, morning talkers Armstrong & Getty (KSTE 650 AM, My58TV simulcast) have been urging listeners to post video ads for the show on YouTube.

How has it gone?

Well, let's just say it hasn't taken off like Stephen Colbert's green-screen challenge on his Comedy Central show. So far, there have been two entries.

One is a funny spot featuring a lonely, almost suicidal, guy in front of his TV, watching A&G. He winds up shooting up the TV, a la Elvis. The other is a more conventional ad featuring the YouTube staple - cleavage.

C'mon. We know there are A&G fans in Sactown and the Bay Area who are Web savvy enough to come up with a hilarious bit.

October 17, 2006
One last Mike Boyd story

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Huge response today for Media Savvy's tribute to former KCRA reporter Mike Boyd (right), who died over the weekend.

One of the most touching phone calls came from former KCRA staffer Adrian Woodfork, now a public information officer for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. (Woodfork, pictured at left, was profiled in The Bee in April for his hobby of being a dog show judge.)

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"I was the first African American hired at KCRA in 1970," Woodfork says. "The FCC was kind of forcing stations to make minority hires. And when I stepped into the all-white newsroom, I felt like I was integrating a Little Rock school in the '60s...(Boyd) treated me with respect, and I've never forgotten that. Mike helped me a lot."

Woodfork went on to host a KCRA public affairs program, "To Be Somebody," for 18 years.

October 17, 2006
We're shocked!

Channel 3's "Learning Matters" report last night featured results of a "controversial" new survey - teenagers lie to their parents!

Dang, wish The Bee had that scoop.

The funniest part of the story was when reporter Sarah Gardner said that "27 percent of respondents say they lied on this survey."

October 16, 2006
This just in ...

Our sources at KXJZ tell us that the sounds of ringing phones are real and not just dubbed in to make it seem as if people are flooding the switchboards during pledge week.

Whew. We can rest easy now.

October 16, 2006
Sure sign of fall

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For some people, fall means chill in the air, football weekends, the constant raking of leaves. But for us, it's NPR pledge time.

The fall drive at KXJZ (90.9 FM) began on Monday morning with Donna Apidone (right) telling us to dig deep. This time around, they eschewed the hard-sell "power hour" on Monday morning for a more traditional approach. The drive continues through Friday, and the station needs to raise $380,000.

And speaking of traditional, the pitches from the on-air staff remain the same. But, there was something we noticed while listening on the way into work. The soft jazz that the station plays in the background as the announcers make their spiels is punctuated every five or 10 seconds with the ringing of a telephone.

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Not to go all Oliver Stone on you, but we think it's a canned sound and not truly a listener calling in at that precise moment. We have no hard evidence to support our claim, other than the ringtone sounds old-fashioned (circa 1970s), when we used rotary models. No business uses those blaring rings anymore, right?

Well, maybe an NPR station, since they have to sing for their supper and probably can't afford a fancy phone system.

We're talking to our KXJZ sources and we'll get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, call and pledge so that they can end the fund drive ASAP.

October 13, 2006
Gender studies

beffapicture.jpgSacramento expat Irina Beffa returns from Portland this weekend for a showing at the Phoenix Gallery, which will be featuring her work this month.

The show is called "Women Do Men" and is, as Beffa explains, all about "women artists exploiting the male form."

The three-person show also features painter Holly Calderone and photographer Trina Allen.

"We did our best to objectify naked male bodies - and we're pretty proud of the results," Beffa says.

Relax, Grandma - most of the work, such as Beffa's "Gazing in the Grass" (at right) is fairly, er, grandma-safe.

Whimsical even.

The Phoenix Gallery is at 1729 L St. and will hold an artists reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.

For more infomation, call (916) 447-1632.

October 13, 2006
It's a festivus

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OK, enough already with the football! Head over to Davis on Sunday for the first annual Davis Fest. It's from noon to 5 p.m. And, of course, I'm the most interested in the beauty/fashion events, so here are some to check out:

Tangles Salon Spa at 630 Second St. will do complimentary makeup touch-ups and stress-relieving treatments (AHHHHH!) starting at 1 p.m. The salon's stylists and consultants just participated in an Aveda "New Looks for Fall" makeup class last month, so they're eager to try their new tricks on some friendly faces. Also, 20 percent of the sales of Aveda pink ribbon hand products will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Also, The Wardrobe at 206 E St. will host a jewelry trunk show from noon to 5 p.m. featuring local designer Nancy Shapiro. (One of her necklaces is shown above.) Shapiro, who is a metalsmith, does incredible things with silver and pearls, and her jewelry is sold nationwide. She'll stop by the store from 2 to 5 p.m.

If that's not enough to keep you busy, amble over to the Davis Commons for the Davis Fest fashion show from 1 to 2 p.m. You might pick up some ideas for holiday attire - or something you can't live without.

Most of the events are free. However, tickets for unlimited wine, beer and food tastings can be purchased for $25 at various locations, including Tangles.

October 13, 2006
R15 on 21Q

So, I checked out the new bar, R15, on Wednesday. Then I checked it out again on Thursday. Today being Friday, I think I might just head on over to R15 and check the place out again.

Did I mention that I've been spending a lot of time at R15?

To be fair, my Wednesday visit was for a press conference - a rather unorthodox to-do for a bar opening, but shoot, I'm not complaining. Then last night, I arrived with my adult kickball league and we proceeded to swill our $2 Pabsts in our dorky team T-shirts until closing. Tonight, I'm officially going under the auspices of my night life column, so I swear I don't have a sleeping bag and toothbrush there. Yet.

Though I do know a lot of folks who might as well. A bar/club hybrid, people dig the fact that they can feel classy sipping their martini at the bar, or slum it back by the pool tables with a pitcher of fine domestic ale. It should be no suprise what catagory I'm in - they even let me make a playlist on their sound system that contained nothing but butt rock, and they let me play a good five or six songs of it.

For more, check out my official review in Weekend Ticket next Friday. And, if you ever see me there, buy me a drink, cause I'm obviously wasting my rent.

October 13, 2006
Misguided musical choices

Hey, it's great that Phil Angelides has finally stopped running those ads linking Schwarzenegger and Bush (it had a whiff of desperation) and produced a 30-second spot trying to humanize himself.

bellamy brothers.jpg But why, oh why, are we subjected to the Bellamy Brothers' treacly "Let Your Love Flow" as the background music to the ads? Note to Phil: If you're trying to attract young voters, picking a song from 1976 is not a wise move.

newtwist.jpg It's the most annoying choice of music since the recall election, when Schwarzenegger himself adopted Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It."

And don't even get me started on Clinton using Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" and Reagan trying to hijack Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."

Just asking: Has there ever been a politician who picks a CURRENT song for his/her campaign?

October 13, 2006
Back to life

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Olivia Coelho is going to be one happy retailer this Saturday. That's because her little boutique, Olipom, is officially having its Reincarnation Party!

In August, Olipom was severely damaged in a fire at its previous location on 19th Street. (Read my last post on it here.) Even though Coelho was able to salvage much of her merchandise, the building was uninhabitable. So, she found new digs - next door to her husband's skateboard shop, Flatspot, on 21st Street, between L and K.

In an e-mail, Coelho says that "after some sleepless nights, a barrel of tears and a million favors, Olipom is ready to open." The new space is pretty cool, with tall ceilings and great light. So great that, in addition to celebrating the reopening, Coelho is also hosting an art opening for local artist Judd Hertzler.

Festivities kick off with the store opening at 11 a.m. Saturday.


October 13, 2006
Friday media raves

We spend all week ranting about local media, but reserve Fridays for raves ....

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1. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but it's a delicious one. Today on "Insight" (at 2 p.m., KXJZ 90.9 FM), host Jeffrey Callison will interview former Attorney General John Ashcroft (at right) in a segment. After that, the Sac State theater department will perform a scene from "The Crucible."
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Arthur Miller would have loved the irony.

2. Channel 3 anchor Edie Lambert's series of candidate profiles are must-sees. She manages to tell the personal side of a candidate without becoming maudlin, while also weaving in the candidate's position on the issues.

Take her two profiles this week of insurance commissioner candidates. She made a salad in Cruz Bustamante's kitchen and talked about how much weight he's lost. Now, that might sound like an Oprah-like moment, but Lambert related it to Bustamante's health initiatives. The next night, she profiled opponent Steve Poizner at a 911 call center - he made millions developing emergency tracking technology for cell phones - and engaged him in talk about how to computerize the current "clipboard record keeping" at hospitals.

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Often, TV news directors stay away from politics because they feel it's a dry-as-dust topic that will turn off viewers. Lambert (at right) proves otherwise.

3. "Good Day Sacramento's" segments with psychic Nancy Bradley are just too funny - in an over-the-top way. Bradley sits at the anchor desk, bejeweled and with the heaviest eye makeup we've ever seen, and fields viewer calls, while "Good Day" anchors sit there and nod sagely.

In Friday's segment, host Marianne McClary had an exchange with Bradley and said, with a straight face and not a hint of irony, "Yes, just because you knew him in a previous life doesn't mean he's right for you in this life."

Great TV.

4. DJs Monica Lowe and Keith Brooks of The Zone (KZZO, 100.5 FM) did a great bit on "cankles" this week. The station's Web site polled listeners on whether they were offended by the term. The results: 52 percent said no, 7 percent yes, and 19 percent didn't know what cankles meant.

Here's a cankles primer for those of you who are curious.

October 12, 2006
This is the last ...

The not completely surprising demise of Tower has a deeply personal sting, of course, for many here in Sacramento. And for numerous friends and associates who are losing jobs, there is more than a sting.

As Dr. Johnson once famously observed, the end of anything brings forth some deep and uncomfortable emotions, and the end of Tower is no exception.
Like many, the record store (at Watt and El Camino) was an early high school hangout and endless source of information for me. In the days of more time than money, I whiled away the hours and learned a lot about music, especially jazz, standing in the stacks, reading liner notes. (And often surreptiously splitting the cellophane wrappers to open up double albums to read what was stashed away on the inside.)

Later, I worked at the 16th and Broadway store. We sold vinyl then (the mid-70s) and had a small cassette section in the back. From opening the store on a Sunday morning to closing at midnight on a full moon, it was a great gig. And my record collection was greatly enhanced during that time. After a couple years of trying to find “that record by that guy” - with that guy being anyone from John Kay to Perez Prado - I finished college and left the job. Many I worked with went on to manage their own Tower outlets from here to L.A.

My good friend and Bee colleague David Barton, who is currently on sabbatical in New York, sent a poignant message on Saturday, which I excerpt here:
“Tower played as crucial a role in my development as my parents or my schools did ... The thing I still remember best is going up to Tower Watt with my little brother Bobby in the summer of 1967, dresssed in our best approximations of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper garb - me in my dad’s WWII dress jacket, a black wig and drawn-on mustache (I was George) - and casually thumbing through the records, which were, I believe, $1.99 for mono, $2.99 for stereo.”

There's more that happened here than just a business failing.

To quote Dr. Johnson: “There are few things not purely evil, of which we can say, without some emotion of uneasiness, “This is the last.”

October 12, 2006
She's a man-eater

Happy times. A.J. continues to impress - even when covered in fake blood and surrounded by creepy, fake body parts. The Sacramento resident and "America's Next Top Model" contestant did well once again on the show.

This week's photo shoot had the girls posing in "freak show" settings. While some of the aspiring models had the unfortunate luck of being asked to wear beards or bird beaks, A.J. had an assignment that lent itself to creating a dark and edgy prettiness.

Of course, A.J. had to remind us that she is dark and edgy - not the first time she's made that point for us. Obviously these shows were taped a while back, but if I could offer advice to the A.J. of a few months ago, I'd ask her to drop that schtick. She doesn't need a gimmick.

Anyway, her resulting pictures were fab. The shots depicted A.J. crouched over her "victim" with a bloody, man-eating grin and prompted host Tyra Banks to declare that A.J. was one of those girls who modeled "from the top of her head to her fingertips."

Totally.

Apparently she's a hit with viewers, too, nabbing enough votes for the latest "Cover Girl of the Week" award. (To garner homegirl another win, represent Sactown and vote here.)

I'm still thinking A.J. could go very far in this shindig. Caridee's the one to beat, but A.J. stands a really good chance if she keeps up this head-turning pace.

October 12, 2006
TV analyst on GOP payroll

Our item Wednesday about Rob Stutzman being retained by Channel 13 as a political analyst questioned the station's wisdom of using Gov. Schwarzenegger's former communications director as a nonpartisan commentator.

What we didn't know - until now - is that Stutzman is currently on the payroll of the California Republican Party. According to the California Secretary of State's campaign report, released Sept. 30, Stutzman has been paid $60,000 since April as a consultant.

Still, Channel 13 maintains Stutzman - who could not be reached for comment - is "middle of the road," according to CBS 13 boss Bruno Cohen. And the station apparently has no plans to retain a Democratic analyst.

October 11, 2006
Doolittle-Brown debate on the Web

Political junkies following the John Doolittle-Charlie Brown race for the 4th Congressional District seat - which has been gaining national attention as a referendum on the Jack Abramoff scandal and President Bush's war policies - can watch tonight's debate, streamed live, on Channel 10's Web site. It starts at 7:30 p.m.

Unless you live in the district, the Webcast is the only way to see the debate. TV viewers in the district can catch it on Starstream cable systems channel.

October 11, 2006
Hair-raising

Ellin LaVar.jpg Sacramentans love a good hair story - especially when it comes to someone else's coif. So, if you were a big fan of Bravo's "Blow Out," you'll probably want to tune in at 7 tonight for the debut of WE's "Hair Trauma."

The show - six half-hour episodes - focuses on celebrity stylist Ellin LaVar (shown left), who tends to the tresses of folks like Oprah Winfrey, Missy Elliot, Iman and Mary J. Blige.

The show looks at LaVar as the boss and founder of a salon in New York, LaVar Hair Designs. WE says "between the blowouts, the cuts, missing hairpieces, last-minute quick fixes and clients with 'tude, there is never a dull moment."

I admit I loved stylist Jonathan Antin's antics on "Blow Out," so more highlights and lowlights in the salon industry are must-see TV for me.

Check it out.

October 11, 2006
Blue set, red analyst

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Imagine our surprise when we saw that Channel 13, which usually ignores politics for wildfires and crime news, is using a political analyst.

Imagine our extreme surprise when that analyst turned out to be Rob Stutzman (right), who until recently had been Governor Schwarzenegger's communications director and an unabashed conservative voice.

But following Saturday's debate, Stutzman was introduced as "CBS 13's new political analyst." We kept waiting for the camera to pull back for a two-shot and show Stutzman's liberal counterpart. But no, it was just Rob.

Says Bruno Cohen, Channel 13’s boss: “We’re aware of his background, but he’s an articulate insider into politics and we think we hit it down the middle in his commentary.”

But you'll be shocked - shocked! - to learn that Stutzman proceeded to trash Democratic challenger Phil Angelides. Stutzman did everything short of waving pom-poms for Arnold.

Some excerpts:

* "The momentum that began for Schwarzenegger is continuing ... It's the true juggernaut effect. And it has an impact on money."

* "(Angelides) has to do something to change the atmosphere of the race to affect news coverage, and he didn't do anything like that tonight."

* "Clear winner is Schwarzenegger - just by the fact that Angelides wasn't a clear winner, if that makes any sense."

October 11, 2006
Makeup, makeup!

mercier.jpg Laura Mercier cosmetics is back on the makeup radar screen, and that's good news for the line's devoted customers, so take note.

Starting today and running through Saturday, the Mercier counter at Nordstrom at the Roseville Galleria will host Barbie Martin (at left), a national makeup artist and a specialist with the Mercier line for the past five years.

Because she's based in Los Angeles, Martin obviously mixes and mingles and does makeup for celebrities, including the charity event "Women in Rock." She's also a familiar face at awards shows and in fashion magazines.

Martin, along with a team of artists from Laura Mercier, will oversee in-store makeovers during the four-day event, which is from 11 a.m. - Yipes! That's right about now - to 6 p.m. each day. A highlight wil be the launch of the holiday collection and the Starstruck eye pallette. To book an appointment: (916) 780-7300, ext. 1417.

FYI: I have my personal favorites within the line. If you've never tried it, Mercier's Secret Camouflage concealer is one of the best on the cosmetic shelf. It's part of the Flawless Face collection.

And, for that elusive bath some of us dream of, the Creme Brulee Honey Bath is to die for. Fifteen minutes - that's all I ask.

October 10, 2006
And the winners are ...

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... Kelly and Travis.

If you've been following My58TV's "host hunt," you had to figure that these two would prevail. They have the right look - young, good-looking, freshly-scrubbed. Not that Ana and Akiba, the other finalists, didn't have the same qualities. But the voters (My58.com users) have spoken.

Kelly and Travis (no last names given) have received a one-year contract to appear on the air between shows on My58TV and to be present and perky at station promotional events.

Find out all about Kelly's hidden talent and Travis' best asset on the station's Web site.

October 10, 2006
Runway romance?

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This just in (courtesy of Star magazine): Michael Knight, a "Project Runway" finalist, has a secret, uh, now-public admirer: pop star Brandy (of "Moesha" and "America's Got Talent.") According to the gossipers at Star, Brandy, 27 - a.k.a. Brandy Norwood - and Knight, 28, locked eyes on each other during a meet-and-greet in Atlanta.

Sources close to Brandy told Star that "he's the perfect gentleman and has really won her affection. They're so smitten with each other that they're racking up frequent flier miles."

Now, for "PR" fans, that means we'll have to watch Wednesday night's Part 1 finale episode (at 10 p.m. on Bravo) even closer as they lead up to Olympus Fashion Week. Will Brandy be sitting front row and center? Will she blow Michael a kiss when he takes his bow?

Will the other three finalists be upstaged by a high-profile romance?

Personally, I picked Michael weeks ago to win it all. I still think he will, even after his recent fashion fiasco with that plum-colored silk charmeuse gown. Mentor Tim Gunn thought it was "rather basic." And I agreed. Not to mention: Too much skin!

Come on, Michael, sportswear is your fashion passion. Show us the goods. Brandy apparently will be watching - so will the rest of us.

October 10, 2006
Busted ...

No sooner did I spit out the news about (+44) playing a show at the Boardwalk and, blammo!, I get confirmation that frontguy Travis Barker busted his arm and the tour has, indeed, been cancelled.

Dude, I could've told him that that's the sort of thing that happens to those who hang out with Paris Hilton - but he probably wouldn't have listened.

Anyhoo - refunds are available at point of purchase. And the band's rescheduled at least a few dates - the new tour starts Nov. 8 in Tampa. But no word yet on a new Sac show - as soon as I hear anything, you'll be the first to know.

October 9, 2006
Fight night

MORGAN_BO_993_FINOUT.JPG I don't care what anyone says - and that includes my blogging colleague Sam McManis -"Fashion House" is addictive. Stupid, but addictive.

And get this: I just got it from a very reliable source that a top-ranking editor at The Bee is now watching. So, the My58TV prime-time soap has at least TWO viewers!

Tonight's show (on Channel 58) is being billed as "Fight Night." That's because the characters played by Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild (we finally get to see all of Morgan instead of just her lips) are going to square off. You see, Bo got dumped at the altar after her groom-to-be, who is in cahoots with Morgan, told her he wouldn't marry such "a heartless ...," well, you get it.

Cake and fists will fly. "Fashion House" is on at 7 and then again at 8. It's up against "Dr. Phil," "Green Acres" and "Wheel of Fortune" first. Then, "Deal or No Deal," "Wife Swap" and "Mama's Family" at 8. Oh yeah, there's a baseball playoff game, too.

October 9, 2006
Undercover radio

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So, Christine Craft - the liberal talk-show host on KSAC (1240 AM) - had this idea. And, if you are at all familiar with Craft, you'll know it figured to be either wacky or controversial. Or both.

It seems the Promise Keepers (a conservative Christian men's group) were in town over the weekend, and all last week, Craft asked her listeners for a woman to dress in drag and infiltrate the gathering.

"I asked if there were any Hilary Swank-types in my audience who could convincingly portray a man," Craft says. "One marvelous woman came forward."

The woman, Deanne (Craft declines to give her last name), bound her chest with a bandage, a la Swank's character (pictured above) in "Boys Don't Cry," and, in Craft's words, "witnessed two days of bonding, crying, putting your woman on a pedestal, but you are the 'Decider' ... and preaching about leaving your porn predilections behind."

Deanne, who told the Promise Keepers her name was "Dean," will tell of her experiences at 3 p.m. Wednesday on Craft's show. We certainly will be tuning in.

October 6, 2006
'Fall Funderland'? Nooooo!

"Good Day Sacramento" weekend anchor Chris Burrous, who also does weather and reports from Blue Canyon during snowstorms, noted our plea to stop saying "the wet stuff" when talking about rain and "the white stuff" with snow.

Burrous writes in an e-mail: "I wanted to let you know that ('Good Day' news director) Brent Baader has a rule that we are not allowed to refer to Blue Canyon as a 'winter wonderland.'

"He issues a fun list each winter of such banned phrases. My wife, who anchors the news at KOLO in Reno, came up with a way around that phrase...FALL FUNDERLAND. I am eagerly looking forward to my first opportunity to use it and watch as yet another phrase is added to our banned list!

"By the way, I agree with you, if I ever call it 'wet stuff' on the air, I will immediately hit myself in the head."

October 6, 2006
Face the day

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I had to let you in on the following because I found it such a, well, "about face" when it comes to celebrations:
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Saturday has been declared National Complexion Day.

And let's face it - it's about time someone stepped up and made our complexions worthy of a special date on the calendar.

Furthermore, beauty giant Sephora has the goods to deliver. (There's one stand-alone store at Arden Fair and a newly opened store-within-a-store at J.C. Penney.) In other words, some of the best products to attain flawless skin, from skin-perfecting primers to foundations, concealers, tinted moisturizers and powders. We show a couple here, including Stila's Perfecting Foundation ($30) and BeneFit's Get Even blotting powder ($28).

Au naturel? We think not!

October 6, 2006
They're married!

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Associated Press

Molly and Jason are officially an "old married couple." The twosome tied the knot Friday morning on the "Today" show before family, friends and millions of their closest TV-viewing fans.

So Molly Mouchka, a Sacramento native, is now Molly Waggoner. (For more on her story by my Bee colleague Lisa Heyamoto, click here. And she couldn't have looked more radiant. In fact, the entire wedding party was well-turned-out for such an early-morning event.

Lyle and Jason.jpgThe bridesmaids' sapphire-blue dresses looked pretty on each and every one of them. And the groomsmen - and the groom - were quite dapper. I loved their boutonnieres and elegant tuxes. And the groom's parents, former TV star Lyle Waggoner and his wife, Sharon (shown right), looked quite sharp as they escorted their son down the aisle.

But it was Molly, resplendent in her viewer-chosen strapless gown, who stole the show. It was one thing to see the dress when it was on a model, but on Molly, well, she made it something special. She wore her hair down, which suited not only the dress but the incredibly beautiful veil, which billowed in the wind. The stylists went easy on the makeup, which was a good thing because everyone was tearing up. (Including yours truly. I had to redo my mascara three times this morning.)

Molly's bouquet held sentimental value. Molly's mother, who died two years ago from cancer, was with her in spirit, and the bouquet contained a mix of white and pink flowers. Pink being her mom's favorite color. As the newly married couple came down the aisle, Molly lightly planted a kiss on the flowers.

After receiving a champagne toast from anchors Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann, the couple got to open a festively wrapped box that contained the final piece of their TV-wedding itinerary: Where would they go on their honeymoon?

There were a variety of choices that were given to viewers to vote on, from Peru to Barbados. (When asked if she had a preference before finding out, Molly said she herself voted for the trip to Antarctica. "What was I thinking?" she said, laughing.)

Lucky for them, the viewers selected New Zealand, and it sounds like they'll be doing the things they love, like swimming and horseback riding.

Then, it was off to an elaborate reception in New York's Central Park.

Unlike other weddings you see on TV, like those on soap operas (I cry at those, too), I'm betting that this one's for keeps.

October 6, 2006
Strait from Grass Valley

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Well, no, George Strait (right) is not from Grass Valley. But, the creator of a nationally syndicated country-radio special on Strait does hail from them thar parts.

Bob Utley, a former DJ, moved to Grass Valley two years ago with thoughts of starting a show called “25 Years of Hits.” Turns out, the show itself is a hit; it’s been picked up by 89 stations - none, however, in Sacramento.

But a two-hour special Utley produced on Strait and his 53 No. 1 singles will air locally at 7 p.m. Sunday night on The Wolf (101.9 FM).

And, stay tuned for more about Utley and radio syndication in a forthcoming Media Savvy column in Scene.

October 6, 2006
Friday media raves

As your local media observer, it's not enough to just rant. So, here's sending out a few raves for a change:

stark.jpg 1. "Good Day Sacramento" weather guesser Cody Stark (left) has a hilarious new feature called "Doppler Knee 3000," which pokes fun at all the fancy meteorological gizmos that local TV news uses.

Stark pointed to stiffness in a knee's joint and predicted it would be partly cloudy today. Funny stuff.

2. KXJZ (90.9 FM), our local public radio station, aired a five-minute profile of pianist Mose Allison, playing in Grass Valley this week.

Reporter Paul Conley caught the essence of Allison's allure and had a funny anecdote about why Allison left Columbia Records ("They wanted me to play 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' on a Christmas record.")

armstrong.jpg 3. Armstrong & Getty (right) are biting the hands that feed them - again - and it's great radio. Jack Armstrong went on a tirade at his Clear Channel corporate bosses Friday morning because "the lawyers" are trying to stop the duo from asking listeners to create ads for their show and post them on YouTube.

"I'm angry at myself for bringing it up to anyone (at the station)," Armstrong says. "We should've just done it...It's a lawyer's job to say, 'No, you better not.

October 5, 2006
Going, going ...

California Musical Theater artistic director Scott Eckern was on Seventh Avenue looking toward Central Park (that’s in New York City, kids) as we spoke this afternoon, but he had glowing reports from Sacramento on the Free Night of Theater program.

“We anticipated there would be a great response," he says. "My concern is always, ‘Did we get the word out enough?’ and, apparently, we did.”

While Eckern, along with CMT executive producer Richard Lewis, is in New York for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre fall conference, he's staying on top of the local news.

Free tickets to participating area theaters became available beginning Oct. 3 through the seeaplay.com Web site here and were so sought-after that the computers were initially overwhelmed.

“We’re in partnership with Theater Bay Area and it was their computer that was processing the requests,” Eckern says.

“They’re making sure now that there aren’t duplicates. If there are, the campaign is set up to not have any so it may free up some shows, which are currently listed as being gone.”

Eckern suggests people check back to the Web site on a regular basis between now and Oct. 17 to see if more tickets become available. The shows take place between Oct. 19 and Nov. 19. Eckern says theaters might also decide to make more tickets available, as well.

Here are the numbers as of this afternoon: 27 Sacramento region theaters... 29 productions ... 40 performances ... and 2,112 tickets claimed.

“People got very excited about this opportunity, and I think there are people out there who are taking advantage of this by either going to theater for their first time or going to a theater they haven’t been to before,” Eckern says.

“There’s nothing to lose - take a chance. If you don’t recognize the title, it’s OK -
check it out anyway. Any live theater production adds value to your life.”


October 5, 2006
The big '3-0'

LH BROWN HOUSE 1.JPG Doris Pittell (at right) has no problem admitting to turning the big "3-0." After all, it's not often a retailer can say they've been in business that long.

In fact, Pittell, owner of Brown House clothing store in Loehmann's Plaza, is so eager to celebrate her 30th anniversary that she's hosting a series of special trunk shows to honor keeping those doors open all these years.

The first is coming up this Friday and Saturday, when she will host a variety of fashion lines in the store. For example, Allen Abrams, who represents several L.A. showrooms, will bring samples of a custom trouser line called Mondo of Canada. And then there's the LUXX New York sweater collection and a weekend-wear line from Jessica Barkeley.

This is the perfect opportunity for those of you who don't want to put off ordering those must-haves for the current season and even for spring 2007.

(Appointments are always welcome by calling (916) 973-1693. The store will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.)

October 5, 2006
Bueno! Bueno!

Good news for KNCI (105.1 FM) listeners: The country station's disappearing DJ, Freddie Bueno, has been rehired.

Last month, Bueno abruptly walked out on his afternoon shift for "personal reasons." Those reasons apparently have been resolved, and KNCI has given Bueno the evening shift (7 to 10 p.m.)

"He never had a problem with the station," says Steve Cottingim, general manager of Sacramento's CBS stations. "We love Freddie and are glad he's back."

October 5, 2006
Walk the line

Wow! Go A.J.!

Wednesday night, my impression of A.J. - contestant on "America's Next Top Model" and a Sacramento resident - amped up from an eh to a major woah.

As you may recall from my previous blogging on "Top," A.J. appeared to have no confidence and, perhaps even worse, the judges feared she had a lack of desire to be there.

This week, however, Miss Spikey Hair came back with a vengeance.

First, A.J. was picked as the winner in a challenge that required the model hopefuls to walk a straight line (in high heels, natch) on cobblestones. Girl rocked, impressing even the normally unflappable Mrs. J.

That win netted A.J. the opportunity to walk a real runway fashion show. Well, if by "real" you mean there were clothes involved. No offense to all those involved, but the Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend Fashion Show in Austin, Texas, doesn't exactly scream couture (Austin is the fashion capital of what - central Texas? And oh shut it, I can say that because I grew up there).
Actually, it looked like a fun show, and A.J. got to take two pals. (She picked the increasingly annoying Megg and serious contender Caridee).

Returning to Cali, A.J. continued to impress in a challenge that involved walking in heels on a wobbly runway perched precariously over a pool. While several of the contestants did do well during this photo shoot, A.J.'s strut earned praise all around, with one of the participating fashion designers declaring her presence "breathtaking."

Finally, pre-judging, the models were asked to don heels and do their best runway walk while balancing a fruit-filled bowl, Carmen Miranda-style, atop their heads.

And A.J.?

Killed. Tyra Banks called her poise "Zen" and bestowed upon A.J. the honor of being the first girl saved from elimination.

Awesome.

Based on Wednesday night's performance, I'd even go as far to say that we just might see A.J. get to the Final Four (along with Caridee and at least one of the twins). I know it's early, but her sudden spark of confidence (and ability) really won me over.

Stay tuned.

October 5, 2006
The 'wet stuff'

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This week's media pet peeve: Use of the term "the wet stuff" instead of rain by weather guessers and anchors on local TV. I've heard it three times (twice on TV, once on radio) in the past 12 hours.

Please, please, please. Call it rain. Or, if you want to be fancy, precipitation.

I send out this plea now because it'll only be a matter of time before we are subjected to live shots from Blue Canyon in which reporters talk about "the white stuff." Arrggh!

Yeah, I know. I need to turn off the TV and pick up a book.

October 4, 2006
Oh, and don't forget Marcey

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News10 honcho Stacy Owen points out that in our item about her station's new political bloggers, we failed to mention that reporter Marcey Brightwell (pictured) has a blog, too.

Here's part of Marcey's entry on covering President Bush's visit on Tuesday. It involves hitchiking, sensible shoes and former attorney generals. (Great stuff, but Marcey, please, use paragraph marks in the future):

"After the fundraiser ended I walked out to the main road to find cars were still being blocked from traveling up the hill. I was stranded. But with deadlines looming I needed to hustle back to the TV truck staging area at the bottom of the steep hill – a good ten-minute walk. I decided my 'sensible shoes' were not sensible enough to make the journey by foot, but thought if I could hike up the hill there should be no reason why I couldn’t hitchhike down. Cars were allowed to travel down the hill so I watched about a dozen pass by before I got the nerve to wave one down. A man in a large SUV pulled over, rolled down his tinted window, and out popped the large head of a scary looking dog. A 'police dog' the driver called it, and neither appeared to want company. I decided to pass on that ride but was determined the next car that passed would have to be it. I stuck out my right thumb and figured someone would give me a lift. I was right. The very next car pulled over. A dark sedan. The passenger seat window went down and when I asked the female passenger for a lift the male driver said 'get in.' Thankful I would not have to humiliate myself any longer, I opened the back door, threw in my purse and computer case and climbed inside. That’s when the driver, and former California Attorney General, looked back and said, 'Hi Marcey, where are you going?' Congressman Dan Lungren and his wife Bobbi drove me to the bottom of the hill, dropping me off outside the News10 Big Red Satellite truck."

October 4, 2006
And this, from Dan Elliott

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News10 this morning featured a new segment - dueling political discourse by Karen Hanretty, conservative (pictured at right), and Robin Swanson, liberal (pictured left). The two are campaign-strategists-turned-bloggers on the station's Web site.

And they are as smart, pointed and personable on the air as in print - a rare combo in the broadcast medium.

But News10 morning anchor Dan Elliott felt the need to point out something else, as well: These women aren't hard on the eyes, either. Check out Elliott's introduction to today's segment:

Elliott: "I said our 'blogger babes,' and I think I misspoke, although it was meant as a compliment. And I don't think you were offended."

Hanretty: "You don't think we're babes? Is that what you're telling us, Dan?"

Elliott: "I was politely advised not to use that term in the future...."

Hanretty: "We don't care."

October 4, 2006
Two stores in one

sephora.jpg JCPenney is getting a big beauty boost on Thursday. That's because Sephora is partnering with the department store at Arden Fair to open a "Sephora Inside JCPenney," one of five ventures happening nationwide.

Here's how it'll work: The Sephora department will take up about 2,375 square feet of space in the center of the store, and will carry the usual bevy of cosmetics, fragrances and skin-care lines - about 50 brands, including the Sephora label.

I think this is a plus for JCPenney because the retailer's cosmetics presence has drastically dwindled over the years. Keep in mind, Sephora already has a successfull free-standing store on the first floor of Arden Fair.

The JCPenney addition will offer the same type of service as the existing Sephora. For example, there will be sales associates available to answer questions, but the merchandise is all-access. Which means, customers can find what they want without asking for help. Always a bonus when you're in a rush.

And let's face it, we all need more places to buy lipstick. Check out the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the morning and prepare to shop!

October 3, 2006
This is the true story ...

... of several hundred strangers, trying to get picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.

Whew. That was really hard to exhume from my TV memory. And I must confess, I had to Google it to make sure I got it right, which should give you an idea of how long it's been since I watched MTV's "The Real World." But that's OK. I figure the audience is primarily made up of people who could ostensibly be on the show, and I moved out of the 18-24 category when I starting thinking about how it would really be very sensible of me to start a 401(k).

But for those of you who spend countless hung-over Saturdays watching "Real World" marathons - and you know who you are - you might be interested to know that the show is having a local casting call at the Library (7042 Folsom Blvd.) on Thursday.

That's right - you could be the next slutty/religious/gay/girl-next-door/uptight stereotype to ever hop in a hot tub on the show! The casting goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and hopefuls should bring a photo ID, a picture that they don't expect to get back, and like I said, be between 18-24.

As always, they're looking for the kind of people who can't be ignored, the kind of people who really take over a room, and give examples like Teck, Pedro and Melissa as past alumni who really stood out.

The casting coordinator said they try to get up to Northern California each time they're casting, but didn't think they'd been to Sac in quite some time. Which means now's your chance.

Plus, stay tuned for an upcoming 21Q look at where some of the past cast members are now, cause that's just fun.

October 3, 2006
Dead, but still electable

Ron Cooper, the driving force behind Access Sacramento, says he's run into some prickly dilemmas over the years in keeping to the public access TV credo to "serve all fairly."

But he's never run into the kind of problem that his colleague Elizabeth Swenson at Mendocino Coast TV recently did. Here's how Ron tells it:

Swenson had invited all candidates for public office to submit brief video spots, introducing themselves to viewers. In the heated district attorney's race, both the incumbent and challenger complied. But then the incumbent, Norm Vroman, died, and Swenson stopped running his campaign spot.

Big mistake. Vroman's campaign manager fired off an angry e-mail to Swenson, saying: "Although Norm is deceased, he is still a viable candidate."

October 3, 2006
Hats off

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Associated Press

Another fall-fashion victim is in my clutches. This morning, I caught Jerry McNerney (shown above), who is running for Congress against Rep. Richard Pombo, on TV. He was campaigning at a rally that, ironically, was being held for Pombo and President Bush in Stockton.

OK, politics aside - what Bush and Pombo had for breakfast interests me not. However, McNerney's sporting of a straw fedora on a crisp autumn day serves as yet another reminder that vigilance by the fashion police is still necessary.

Women are FINALLY putting away the white shoes. Now this!

Jerry: If you're going to wear a fedora in October, make it felt or something more substantial. Your hat belonged at a Fourth of July barbecue. What are voters to think of anyone who gets their seasons confused?

I'll have to be on the lookout for more Mad Hatters roaming the streets.

October 2, 2006
Wedding countdown: If the cute shoe fits

Dang. Viewers of the "Today" show sure have good taste. For the past couple weeks, they've chosen a lovely wedding dress, a classy tux, a fabulous cake, gorgeous rings and all manner of beautiful elements for Sac native Molly Mouchka's upcoming live, televised wedding - and they did it fast.

The ceremony will be held in Rockefeller Plaza on Friday morning, and many of Molly's friends and family will be there in New York to share it with her. In a freakish, totally Sacramento moment, I was standing in line on Saturday at Macy's Arden Fair (buying the cutest, red patent-leather heels, I'm sure you wanted to know), and who is standing in front of me but Molly's sister, Cathy? I know - right?

I recognized her from her appearance on the show when she was there, viewing potential bridesmaid dresses - and she is just the sweetest, ever. She was getting her bridesmaid shoes, and said she can hardly wait for the big day.

Tune in beginning at 8 a.m. Friday to see the wedding yourself. And hey, even if you miss it, KCRA Channel 3 is taping a viewing party for local friends and family, which we'll presumably see on the news.

Oh, but first, you can see my article in Tuesday's Scene.

October 2, 2006
She asks the tough questions

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We mistakenly thought Channel 13's new weekend anchor, Anny Hong, was sort of a lightweight.

Forgive us. They brought her on "Good Day Sacramento's" weekend show to help Chris Burrous and Taryn Winter Brill interview Charles Brown, the Democratic Fourth District Congressional candidate trying to oust incumbent John Doolittle.

Hong: "Very important question. Hey, Charlie Brown, do you have a dog named Snoopy?"

Brown: "No, I have a dachsund named Sam."

We bet Dave and Lois are kicking themselves for not getting that scoop when they interviewed Brown last Thursday on Channel 3.

October 2, 2006
The puffy shirt

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When I first saw this shirt this summer, I immediately thought of our state's esteemed governor and his penchant for a good cigar and a nice dress shirt.

Indeed, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a perfect fit for shirtmaker Thomas Pink's "Mogul." I mean, what better place to pack a smoke than in its ingenious breast pocket? It looks like a normal pocket, but, upon closer inspection, we see that it is divided in half. The small section can expand to hold cigars in a variety of sizes - anything from a Grand Corona to a Panatela.

I got these names from the Thomas Pink release, by the way. I wouldn't know which brand a cigar was if it spoke to me.

Anyway, the other pocket can be used to hold a lighter or something called a cutter.

The shirt itself seems right up the guv's fashion alley. It's traditionally formal, made from Egyptian cotton. (That's 140-yarn count to the rest of us.)

The shirtmaker likes to quote Mark Twain in its advertising pitch: "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."

If he were still living, Twain could join the governor in his designated smoking area.

The Mogul is a pricey $195 and is available at www.thomaspink.com. The shirt is also available at the Thomas Pink store in Vegas.

October 2, 2006
Paul Joncich update

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It's been almost a year now, but I'm still getting plaintive voicemails beginning with the lament, "I really miss Paul Joncich at Channel 13...." Then the callers will inevitably ask where Joncich has landed, and I'll call 'em back and talk about his weekend anchor gig in Cleveland.

Now, we get word from the blog Ohio Media Watch that Joncich's star is rising. Barely a month into his new anchor gig, he's been promoted to the more prestigious weeknight duties.

Here's betting Paul's admirers in Sactown are not surprised by his ascension.



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