Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

April 30, 2007
I scream, you scream

Drumroll please ... Time to ready your tasting spoons - come Wednesday, it's Baskin-Robbins' 31¢ Scoop Night.

That's right. On Wednesday, from 5-10 p.m. and for just 31 cents per scoop, you can enjoy Jamoca Almond Fudge, Old Fashioned Butter Pecan or whatever your kid-like heart desires.

I mean, really, who doesn't love ice cream? It's cold, it's creamy and even if you're anti-dairy or anti-fat, you can still get that ol' ice cream feeling with some sorbet.

My personal fave: the simple and sweet Mint Chocolate Chip.

Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. (Baskin-Robbins, fyi, also will donate a cool $100,000 to the organization).

Visit the Baskin-Robbins site for more info and store locations.

April 27, 2007
Sylvia? Yes, Mickey

Back before Jennifer Grey rhinoplastied herself into obscurity, she starred in a little film we like to call "Dirty Dancing." Because, well, that its name.

And it was love. What hard-hearted misanthrope wouldn't love the story of a naive teenager on a family vacation in the Catskills who meets a rebellious, um, dancer who teaches her not only a mean pachengo, but several valuable life lessons to boot? I still think it was robbed at the Ocsars. Oh, you say it wasn't nominated for an Oscar? You hush your mouth. Nobody puts "Dirty Dancing" in the corner.

And, if you, like me, hold the firm belief that there aren't enough "Dirty Dancing" viewings in the world, then you're in luck. In honor of the movie's 20th anniversary (gah, has it really been 20 years?), a special edition DVD is being released May 8 AND 300 movie theaters across the country will be hosting a special, two-night-only showing of the classic.

And, of course, I would hardly be getting you all worked up if there weren't some screenings to take place in Sac and its environs.

The scheduled area theaters: the Regal Natomas Marketplace Stadium 16, the UA Laguna Village 12, the UA Olympus Pointe 12 in Roseville, and the Regal El Dorado Hills Stadium 14. Show dates and time: May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Hey, at $10, it's a few cents more than your average movie, but then, DD has never been average. I can still sing every lyric of "She's Like the Wind."

And I do. Every morning. At my shrine to Patrick Swayze. Because I've had the time of my life. And I owe it all to you.

April 27, 2007
'Love' this jewelry

trunk_show_2.JPG There's an addition to the sunglasses trunk show that Madam Butterfly is hosting Saturday at its Pavilions boutique.

So besides checking out the hottest shades from designers Tom Ford and Roberto Cavalli, shoppers also can peruse the Love Heals jewelry line, which you can check out here. The bohemian-themed jewelry is the work of a mother/son design team - Adriana Goddard and Gunnar Lovelace - who handcraft their creations in an Ojai commune. They're sending their entire collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Both trunk shows are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. And, just in time for Mother's Day, there will be a 15 percent discount on purchases.

Want more info? Call (916) 920-1220.

April 26, 2007
New magazine in the works


Come September, area newsstands will have to make way for yet another locally produced magazine.

It will be called Saluté, and it will focus on Italian culture in Northern California. Brainchild of Rancho Cordova graphic designer Rob DeFao, Saluté will be a bi-monthly covering subjects you often see in lifestyle magazines - travel, food, wine, profiles, book reviews - but with an Italian American spin.

There also will be features you don't normally see in mags - Italian lessons, great moments in Italian history, and a department titled "Collar & Habit," about the local clergy.

DeFao, who moved to the Sacramento area three years ago from Columbus, Ohio, had been on the editorial staff of an Italian American publication there for several years. And when he came West, he thought it was a natural to do the same here.

"We have a big population of Italian Americans, from Modesto to the wine country - basically all through Northern California," DeFao says. "At the same time, we don't want to limit ourselves to just Italian American readers. It certainly will be influenced by the Italian American experience, but we want it to appeal to everyone."

Starting a new magazine is a daunting, money-draining task, but DeFao says Saluté will be funded through subscriptions and advertising.

"I'm not really looking for investors," DeFao says. "We want it to be a self-sustaining magazine."

Check out Saluté's Web site here.

April 26, 2007
Score: Musselman $5 million, Jensen $450

Former radio DJ Jeff Jensen, now gainfully employed at public relations giant Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn, is thankfully continuing his insightful and often funny blog on Sacramento magazine's Web site.

His latest posting compares his stint in unemployment, after being laid off from The Flash (92.1 FM), to ex-Kings coach Eric Musselman, who will receive a $5 million buyout on the remaining years of his contract.

Let's take a second to compare his unemployment situation to mine, since mine was probably typical for most people who've been thrown out of work. My employer was gracious enough to qualify me for unemployment insurance, which meant I got a check for $450 every two weeks. Not a ton, but enough to keep the lights on and serve the family a big steaming bowl of Mac & Cheese on special occasions. During that same two week span, Musselman's "unemployment plan" will pay him roughly $96,150. And he gets one of those checks every two weeks for the next two years, as opposed to us regular working stiffs who get cut off after six months. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is an unemployment plan.

April 26, 2007
Seeing 'Red'

The Gap

Even though "American Idol's" big "Idol Gives Back" TV campaign is over (you can still donate), U2's Bono, who appeared on Wednesday night's show, still has his sights set on raising more funds through the sale of Product Red fashions, especially those at the Gap.

I thought this might be a fashion trend that wouldn't survive, because how many things "Red" can one person really own? However, whoever is creating the apparel is cleverly adding new pieces as the seasons change. In other words, they're now shifting from hoodies and leather bomber jackets to tank tops ($28 each, shown above) and T-shirts.

One of the beneficiaries of the program's fund-raising efforts is the Global Fund, which is also working to help poverty-stricken areas of Africa. So, if you donated Wednesday night and want to do more - in a fashionable way - the Gap's got you covered.

For updates on the "Idol" efforts, check out my blog, Idol Chatter.

April 26, 2007
Kelly Clarkson coming to Sac

clarkson_tour.jpgThere's no release date yet for Kelly Clarkson's new album, "My December," so until then, we'll all just have to make do with a Kelly Clarkson tour.

Yep, the Texas native kicks off her U.S. tour at the July 7 Live Earth concert in New Jersey. And then, look for her in Sac on July 15.

More details later - as for now, I'm totally not ashamed to admit that I've got "Since U Been Gone" stuck in my head.

As I was TiVo-ing my way through "American Idol" Wednesday night, I couldn't help but think how Clarkson, the original "Idol" winner, really kind of kicks everyone's butt.

Like, she can pretty much out-sing, out-cute and out-charisma most of this year's contestants. I mean, maybe if you married Melinda Doolittle's vocal chops with Jordin Sparks' magnetic personality - then you'd have a contender. Just sayin'.

(By the way, for more on "Idol," check out my colleague Leigh Grogan's blog,
Idol Chatter.)

April 26, 2007
Graswich's voyeuristic debut

So, here's R.E. Graswich's first feature commentary for Channel 13 (see my posting below). The subject - we kid you not - was how office workers are distracted by the Sheraton's guests having sex with the draperies open.

And this fashion note: He sorta looked good sans Hawaiian shirt and with the CHP-esque dark shades.

April 25, 2007
Graswich goes to Channel 13 news

Former Bee metro columnist R.E. (Bob) Graswich is now on the staff of Channel 13 and will give nightly (Monday through Friday) commentaries on the 6 p.m. newscast.

The segment will be called "The Scoop" and he will debut tonight.

"This is very similar content to his former Sac Bee columns," says Steve Charlier, vice president of news for channels 13 and 31. "I expect to stir up some controversy with Bob. We'll get that same, snarky, smirking attitude he had in the print column."

Since leaving The Bee in January, Graswich has written a blog and a monthly print column for Sacramento magazine, filled in as an anchor on the weekend edition of Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento," and started a media consulting business.


But now, he's officially a full-time TV guy, which means he's going to have to abandon that omnipresent Hawaiian shirt. Yes, you read that right.

"We've been coaching him and trying to get him up to snuff on TV," Charlier says. "He's not going to wear that (shirt). God knows, he's tried to sneak it onto the set."

* In other Channel 13 news, Edmundo Aguilar will join the station as a general assignment reporter, starting Monday. Aguilar comes to Sacramento from Boise, Idaho. Also, weatherman Dave Bender will expand his role and report on a consumer segment called “Save with Dave” at 5 weeknights.

April 24, 2007
The return of Justin Timberlake

Well, I could lie to you and say that y'all are the very first peoples with whom I shared this info, but in reality, I e-mailed my bestest dance-party girlfriends the very nanosecond I heard that Justin Timberlake is, indeed, bringing his 2007 FutureSex/LoveShow world tour back to Arco.

The date: Sept. 10.

Yes, that is five months away. And no, I can hardly stand it.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday (that's April 28, to be exact). They'll set you back $56-$152.75.

If you head on over to JT's Web site, you may be able to dig up some pre-sale info (nothing's posted as of this moment, but they've been doing them for most major cities so it's worth a check back).

Or, just wait until Saturday and snap 'em up through

April 24, 2007
Aural assault on NPR

So, I'm getting ready for work this morning, listening to NPR's "Morning Edition" and hoping to hear something about Iraq or Paul Wolfowitz's situation at the World Bank.

What do I get instead?

It's Donny Osmond. What's worse: It's Osmond singing Barry Manilow's "Mandy."

Says 90.9 FM KXJZ's host Donna Apidone: "Wow, after subjecting you to Donny Osmond singing the Bee Gees and Barry Manilow, we will now allow you to engage in primal scream therapy."

There was silence for about four seconds, then Apidone returns. "You feel better, don't you?"

Speaking of NPR's "Morning Edition," co-host Renee Montagne and executive producer Ellen McDonnell will speak at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis on May 23. Tickets are $40. Go here for info.

April 24, 2007
A day for denim

FASH DENIM 2 CC.JPGSacramento's own WEAVE is making a fashion declaration, asking businesses and schools to break their dress codes for just one day for a good cause.

Wednesday is being dubbed Wear Jeans for Justice Day, which takes place during April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The denim statement packs some punch - and it has a good storyline. It began back in 1999 when an Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans and - get this - somehow aided the attacker!

Anyway, the day has been set aside to enforce the notion that what someone is wearing is never an excuse for rape. Now, that's making a fashion statement.

WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment), at 1900 K St., will have Jeans for Justice packets available. The packets include posters and ribbons. Donations also will be accepted for the center.

In addition, on Wednesday, WEAVE will be joining the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault on the west steps of the Capitol from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to support survivors. Some of your favorite legislators will be showing up, too.

And hey, let's hope they'll be wearing jeans instead of suits.

April 24, 2007
A new morning crew for The End

new mess.jpg

The End (KDND, 107.9 FM) has hired a new morning-show crew to replace the DJs on "The Morning Rave," who were fired in January after staging an on-air water-drinking contest that resulted in the death of contestant Jennifer Strange.

Starting in mid-May, "The Wake-Up Call with Jason, Kelly and Gavin" will assume the morning duties. The trio comes from KISS-FM in Harrisburg, Pa., where their show was called "The Morning Mess."

Perhaps it's wise, given the circumstances, that John Geary, general manager of Sacramento's Entercom stations, chose to rename the show for Sacramento. (Ten station employees have been fired following the water-drinking contest, and a civil lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Strange's family.)

"We had been aware of (the Harrisburg DJs) for while," Geary wrote in an e-mail response to The Bee's queries. "When the opportunity opened up at The End, they were one of the first shows we contacted.

"I think they fit very well with the station. Listeners will hear a very entertaining show."

Jason, Kelly and Gavin have been together at KISS-FM since 2003. Their last day on the air there was Friday. Judging by the comments on "The Morning Mess' "MySpace page, they enjoyed a loyal following in Harrisburg, with fans sad to see them go.

April 24, 2007
Celeb-rating fashion!


On Sunday, the Discovery Museum hosted its 10th annual Golden Tea Party fashion show at the Radisson Hotel.

I had the honor of co-hosting the runway extravaganza with morning radio personality Lee Perkins from V101.1 (KHYL-FM). It was deep, sultry voice meets slow, Southern drawl. I think we made a good team.

And props to the other media personalities (and all the VIP models for that matter) for doing such a great job getting up and down the runway. No spills, and plenty of smiles.

Lee also modeled, alongside his radio co-host Andrea Gomez. They made quite a pair, as did some familiar TV faces, including Fox40's Thomas Drayton (pictured) and his co-anchor Donna Cordova. And, for a second consecutive year, the duo of Guy Farris and Kristen Simoes from News10's "Sacramento & Co." strutted their fashion stuff. They always liven up the catwalk.

This year's theme was "Women in Business Attire," but the men looked as dapper as their female counterparts. The show even featured a segment on changing a day look into an evening look, which is becoming somewhat of a necessity in Sacramento.

It was a fashionable way to spend a Sunday afternoon and, best of all, I got home in time to ditch my cashmere and stilettos for a sweatshirt and UGGs just as the Red Sox-Yankees game got underway. It doesn't get any better.

April 23, 2007
Via Sacramento

Planning a trip to New York City in the next couple of months? If you are, here's one more activity worth squeezing in.

Esteemed Sacramento artist Fred Dalkey (husband to The Bee's art correspondant, Victoria Dalkey, of course) will have an exhibit at the Paul Thiebaud Gallery from May 8-June 23.

The "Life Drawings" show has another local connection - it was curated by the acclaimed Wayne Thiebaud (who, yes, is father to Paul Theibaud).

So if you find yourself in the Big Apple, the gallery is at 42 E. 76th St. Visit its Web site for gallery hours.

April 23, 2007
Dispatches from the Spidey front

Excited about the upcoming “Spider-Man 3” film that hits theaters on May 4? Thought so, and here’s a little tidbit to hold you over.

My colleague, Bee film critic Carla Meyer, just got back from a L.A. press junket (jealous!!!) and not only did she get to attend a sneak preview of the hotly anticipated sequel, but she also got to attend a press event for the film. And who was at said press event? Yes, Spidey himself, Tobey Maguire (I am now, officially, consumed with jealousy).

Anyway, Carla e-mailed us a little candid peek:

“After five years of playing Peter Parker and Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire has learned that it’s better to maintain the Spidey illusion when approached by young fans.

When a little boy once asked him how he climbed buildings, Maguire responded truthfully, informing the kid that that on-screen buildings that appear vertical are actually horizontal, allowing Maguire to crawl across them.

“The kid was just, like, really bummed out,” Maguire said.

The actor then had to work extra hard to win back the kid’s favor. “But we ended up hugging," Maguire said with a grin.

So there you have it. Tobey Maguire – talented actor, hot action star and kid-friendly, too! Gotta love it. And I would, if I could just get that taste of bitter-green envy out of my mouth.

April 20, 2007
Watch yo back, yo

Word on the street is that there have been some recent muggings going down on K Street between 19th and 21st streets, right around clubs like Faces, Badlands and Headhunters. Seems some ne'er-do-wells are targeting club-goers for their wallets and employing some tricky tactics to boot.

Like: A few weeks ago, around 2 a.m., a man was robbed of his wallet after two dudes stopped him, asking for help, and a few days before that, a woman was purse-snatched after two dudes (maybe the same ones) asked her for her ID, which she presented, thinking they were bouncers.

If you're carrying on around that area in the wee hours, be cautious. You may have emptied your wallet at the club, but you don't want to lose it entirely.

April 20, 2007
Vogue on the cheap?


I don't know if any of you fashionistas out there caught the style segment on the "Today" show this morning, but interestingly, it featured inexpensive looks as demonstrated by Vogue magazine (May issue shown above).

What makes this newsworthy - fashion-wise - is that Vogue rarely, if ever, features clothing that's not haute couture. In other words, bucks deluxe.

Sally Singer, Vogue's fashion news/features director, was on hand to discuss the looks, several of which come from the Gap's new "Design Editions." There are shirts and great dresses - all in white. Prices range from $68 to $88 at the store's Web site and select flagship stores. (There's one in San Francisco.)

As for the May cover, Vogue, also for the first time since 1992, put its picks for "The World's Next Top Models" on a two-fold cover.

A copy of the 1992 cover appears on page 70. And guess who was in that mix? Who else but Cindy Crawford (who's now selling furniture) and Naomi Campbell (who likes to throw phones).

On the current cover, the top 10 models are all wearing white shirts from the Gap - with uber-expensive skirts. Love the fold-out. It's nice to see models wearing great clothes instead of a close-up of yet another air-brushed celebrity. It's also nice to see Vogue coming down a bit in their fashion price points.

Not every girl can afford Oscar de la Renta. Although we can dream!

April 19, 2007
New act added to Endfest


Endfest, the annual summer concert sponsored by KDND (The End, 107.9 FM) is thankfully adding some soul to the bill, which has as its headliners Hilary Duff and Katherine McPhee.

He's Ne-Yo, an Arkansas R&B artist whose new CD is scheduled for release May 1.

You can get tickets for the June 1 concert at Raley Field on Ticketmaster.

April 19, 2007
'The Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 7


That's News10's Dave Marquis interviewing a shrub.

The shocking news: The shrub (oh, OK, brush, if you must be a stickler) answers him back.

Extraordinary! An incredible "get" for News10!

Just listen to the shrub in this clip uploaded to YouTube.

April 19, 2007
Burns in Sacramento

TV Protesting The War.jpg

His documentary, "The War," won't be aired on PBS until September, but there's a palpable buzz in these parts about filmmaker Ken Burns' look at World War II.

Why? Because when Burns chose to frame his documentary through the prism of how four American cities reacted during the war, one of the quartet was ... Sacramento.

We've blogged about this before, but you can hear Burns talk about the work and its Sacramento angle on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. That's when he'll give a lecture at the Community Center Theater as part of the Sacramento Speaker Series. Tickets range from $80 to $105.

April 18, 2007
Triple whammy

OK, as I told you in Tuesday's Coming Distractions column, Def Leppard is playing Sept. 14 at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre.

That's cool enough - in a musty, good memories sort of way - but now, it turns out that Foreigner and Styx also are on the bill.

Wow, talk about your nostalgia trip.

True story: First records I ever purchased with my own, hard-earned babysitting money were the "Grease" movie soundtrack and Styx's "Paradise Theater." I was in the fifth grade.

I also once owned Foreigner's "4" but lost the album after I left it under the gym bleachers during an assembly on my last day of the seventh grade. Bummer. I lost my Go-Go's "Beauty and the Beat" album that day, too, but I quickly replaced that one.

(Question to self: Why were you toting such highly unportable vinyl albums to school? Like they were going to let you rock out "Juke Box Hero" during English Lit? As if.)

And no, I don't currently own either the Foreigner or Styx albums on CD - although I do have some Def Leppard tracks on my iPod.

No details yet on ticket prices or when they go on sale, so stay tuned.

April 18, 2007
A very busy man


Tim Gunn and I have several things in common: He mentors on "Project Runway"; I watch it. He loves fashion and can afford it; I love fashion and shop at Target (where I can afford it).

He has two jobs; I have two blogs.

Anyway, I caught up with this incredibly busy man the other day. Speaking on the phone in New York, he filled me in on what's keeping his days - and nights - occupied.

For one: The newest addition to his fashion plate is his book, "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style," which he co-authored with Kate Moloney, assistant chairwoman of the fashion design department at Parsons The New School for Design.

Tim actually admits he never "invited this upon myself, but the editors (at Abrams Image) approached me about doing a book."

The guide, which is a prelude to a new show soon to come to Bravo (which also produces the wildly successful "Project Runway"), is not his "prescription for fixing everyone's fashion foibles," he hastens to add.

"It's more about asking yourself some simple questions: 'Who am I, with whom do I interact, what do I want to achieve?' It's more fashion therapy than anything," Tim says.

He says he makes no assumptions because, after all, "what works on my friend doesn't necessarily work for me."

As for the upcoming show (which has no set air date), Tim says it will focus on the everyday woman and taking a look at what's in her closet. He even did sort of a test run on a recent episode of "Oprah," in which 10 women were going through a makeover. Even though there were stylists on hand, Tim ended up taking the women to Neiman Marcus because they weren't happy with the clothes that were pre-selected for them.

"There were tears, stubborness and, eventually, an epiphany for all of them, including one woman who was dead set on just wearing jeans," he says. "When we gave them back to her, it was like she was receiving her kidnapped child."

In other words, you have to take who you are and just make it better.

As for "Project Runway," the nationwide auditions have ended. The team made stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and New York. Tim says shooting should start in late May and run through June.

As for the design talent? "We had our highest level yet," he says. In Season 3, he says, there was more of a dialogue about design than on clothing that's just poorly made.

"This season, it's stronger still," he says. "Of course, we had our share of misguided nut cases who showed up (at the auditions), but overall, it was rewarding."

The contestants have been narrowed to about 120; between 12 and 16 will actually compete.

Add to this incredible mix of responsibilities, Tim also has assumed his job as chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc., where he's overseeing more than 46 brands.

"It's absolutely thrilling to be working with such incredible designers," he says.

But is it all too, too much?

"I hope it doesn't kill me," Tim says, laughing, "but I'm not complaining. I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world."

And one of the best-dressed!

April 17, 2007
Cristina's, ahem, fan mail


We in the media are used to getting not-so-flattering correspondence from the public. Hey, it's part of the job. We read the hate mail, roll with it, sometimes even respond in a professional manner.

News10 anchor Cristina Mendonsa, on her blog on the station's Web site, decided to share one of the more flaming e-mails she's received. My favorite part is when the angry crank viewer says it's "nothing personal" after having just eviscerated Mendonsa's appearance, personality and journalistic skill.

Check it out below (we feel for you, Cristina). By the way, the typos and punctuation are the way it was received:

"there is nothing pleasing in your presence on News 10, viz., your physical appearance ranging from your long, stringy, dyed hair to your lipstick that rarely matches your outfits. And, while Dale is reading his lines from the teleprompter and you are waiting your turn, you turn and look at him longingly while nodding your head up and down in the affirmative. Your delivery is choppy and, instead of looking at the camera and at least makeing believe that you are addressing your viewers, you oftentimes look at Dale as though it is he alone to whom you are addressing your commentary. How disgusting and unprofessional. As stated earlier, you would do well to take your cues from Jennifer Smith and Alicia Malaby because they cover you like a dollar covers a dime and they are classy ladies in all aspects of Communications 101 as well as personal appearance. But I don't blame you entirely because the person(s) who hired you must share some of the blame. Your first contract can be excused because they didn't know what they were getting......sorta like "a pig in a poke". But, after knowing what they got, they chose to renew or extend your contract and that was sheer lunacy. From here, I can only conclude that: you come cheap; you are related to the person(s) who hired you; or you've "got something" on those responsible for your contract and its renewal. Worthy of note is the fact that there is nothing personal in my remarks...........strictly objective comments not meant to offend you in any way. In a nutshell, it's just my personal preference for any other co-anchor at News 10 and my dissatisfaction with management for being so stupid as to extend your contract with utter disregard for its viewers. Accordingly, we will continue to seek our news from another station when the circumstances warrant."
April 17, 2007
My chemical memories

I know you know April is National Poetry Month - and here's another way you can show some respect to this official celebration of word and thought.

"A Mimeo Gathering," which starts at noon Saturday at the Book Collector (1008 24th St.), takes a look back at that archaic form of mass communication - the mimeograph.

For those of you too young to remember, it's a '60s and '70s percursor to the copy machine and inexpensive computer printer. I remember them from junior high school when, in class, we received freshly mimeographed handouts, tests, etc. Decades later, I still recall how a stack of still-damp papers felt in my hand, how the ink was purple and smelled slightly sweet, in a chemical sort of way.

I'm not sure why I feel nostalgic about the paper on which I took an eighth grade English exam on "Animal Farm" - but I am.

OK, moving on - "A Mimeo Gathering" pays homage to the mimeograph as a cheap means of distribution for chapbooks, zines, etc. The event is part of the local Poems-for-All series hosted by the Book Collector's Richard Hansen. It's fitting really - Hansen is, of course, the guy who puts out those tiny "Poems-For-All" chapbooks. Ok, they're not mimeographed, but still, you get the spirit of the idea.

Here's a rundown of the readers:

At noon, check out Lob, James Lee Jobe, Josh Fernandez, Crawdad Nelson and Kevin Jones.

Then, at 8 p.m., take a seat for Sal Mimeo & the Process Rebels Without Applause Tour of Words.

Also on the bill: John Dorsey, S.A. Griffith and Bill Roberts.

For more information, call (916) 442-9295 or visit the Poems-For-All site.

April 17, 2007
KCRA losing reporter


Grace Lee, the Channel 3 reporter many people wake up to on the morning news, has announced that she will be leaving KCRA on May 4 to become an anchor at KGMB in Honolulu.

This will be the second tour of duty at the Honolulu station for Lee. She had her first reporting job at the same station before leaving in 2004 to become KCRA's Stockton bureau reporter. Lee later was moved to the mornings in Sacramento.

"I missed Hawaii and wanted to get back," Lee says. "They are expanding their news coverage, so that's exciting."

April 16, 2007
Stupid DJ tricks? No - KDVS pledge time

College radio is known for wild and wacky stunts and off-the-wall programming. It's what we love about it.

It is in that spirit that KDVS (90.3 FM), based at UC Davis, launched its week-long pledge drive today. If past drives are any indication, this one should be a doozy. (By the way, yours truly recently volunteered to answer phones at Capital Public Radio's latest drive and wrote about it.)

In the latest issue of KDVS' newsletter, KDViations, a few staffers penned memories of past transgressions. Here are some highlights:

* A guy named DJ Mucky promised he would lick the studio floor if the station reached a pledge goal. He did it.

* Another DJ was dared by a listener to tap dance on air, while DJ Ryan ate snails he gathered from his backyard on a dare.

* A DJ named Acadius Lost vowed to drink a can of Red Bull and remove an article of clothing for every donation.

* During a late night heavy metal show, no one was calling in to donate. But, at 2:45 a.m., the DJ, Pirate, was surprised when he got a call from Stephen Carpenter, of the Sacramento group the Deftones. Carpenter picked up the tab for the entire pledge amount.

* And, our favorite, a DJ named Fuzzbox Flynn snorted a line of cayenne pepper after her show reached a goal of $500 in donations.

Flynn writes: "Immediately after northing the red hellish pepper, I felt a warm burning sensation in my nostril and the back of my throat. I immediately went to the bathroom and tried to flush out my nostril, but it was too late...It was painful, yet in a weird way, somewhat euphoric."

April 13, 2007
KFBK parlor game


So, the big question swirling around Ethan Way is: Which smooth voice will replace Jay Alan as the co-host (with Kitty O'Neal) of the KFBK (1530 AM) afternoon news? KFBK honchos are playing this one close to the vest, but here's word we've picked up on the street:

The candidates:

* Marty Lenz. He's a former Denver DJ and voiceover artist who did a tryout shift with Kitty this week. KFBK operations manager Alan Eisenson used to work in Denver, so ....

* Dann Shively (pictured). Yes, the Channel 3 helicopter (excuse me, HD helicopter) pilot-reporter also co-hosted as a tryout recently. Will Dann give up being in the air to spend more time on the air?

* John Alston. The former Channel 3 anchor certainly fits the Jay Alan mold. Alan, you may recall, had just left as a TV anchor at Fox40 when he landed at KFBK.

* R.E. (Bob) Graswich. KFBK has been talking to the former Bee metro columnist about doing some fill-in anchoring. But, who knows? With Graswich's strong name recognition, he might get the full-time gig.

* Tim Lantz and Bob Moffitt. The two current KFBK reporters are said to be in-house candidates.

Stay tuned. All we know for sure is that Alan starts his new gig as communications director of the California Conservation Corps on May 14.

April 13, 2007
Silver belle

Fox/Frank Micelotta

I know I wasn't the only "American Idol" fan to notice the armful (as in up to her elbow) of glittery, silver bracelets that this week's guest mentor Jennifer Lopez sported while working with the contestants and during her performance (shown above) on the results show Wednesday night.


I loved the mix of bangles, cuffs and skinny bracelets. She pulled it off with a bulky sweater and leggings, and then again with her incredible performance attire.

Now, we all know JLo's jewelry has got to be high, high, high end, but if you like the look as much as I do, you can find silver in just about any price range. I found some fun Merona silver bracelets at Target for less than $10. Then, while perusing a Nordstrom catalog, I spotted handcrafted sterling silver cuffs by Lois Hill for a whopping $475 and $625.

So, pick your price and get armed. It's a hot look.

Oh, and for more on Jennifer and "Idol," check out my other favorite blog,
Idol Chatter.

April 13, 2007
Local Emmy nominations


Nominations for the 36th annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards were announced this morning, and the station in Sacramento that's been recognized the most: Channel 19 (KUVS), our Univision affiliate.

Channel 19 garnered 11 nominations, including one of the biggies: News Excellence. News10 received 10 nominations, and channels 3 and 13 each had five. Channel 3 was nominated for Station Excellence and News Excellence, an impressive double.

Sacramento stations were shut out in the Best Evening and Daytime Newscast categories. But, local stations had six of the nine nominations for Feature News Report - Light category. (Nobody does news "light" better than Sac!)

Here are some highlights, but you can read the entire list of nominees here:

* The oft-maligned (at least in this space) Kurtis Ming (pictured) of Channel 13 was nominated twice - in the Investigative Report and Feature News Report - Light categories. (Channel 3's Josh Bernstein and former Channel 19 reporter Tatiana Bedoya also were nominated for Investigative Reports.)

* Channel 19's Santiago Lucero was nominated in three categories, News10's Jonathan Mumm in two.

* Channel 6 (KVIE), Sacramento's PBS station, received three nominations for Current Affairs and Cultural programming.

* News10's Ryan Yamamoto was the only Sacramento sports anchor to be nominated.

April 12, 2007
Needed: shock jock commentator

So, who you gonna call?

Well, Mark Williams (pictured), of course.

Mark Williams.JPG
Fox News Channel's morning show, searching for an expert on radio shock jocks to bloviate on Don Imus' firing today, looked no further than former KFBK talking head Williams, who consistently pushed the envelope and offended some listeners at KFBK (1530 AM) before being yanked from the air last year.

Williams will appear Friday at 6:10 a.m. to mull what Imus' firing means to shock jocks everywhere. Tune in - if you dare.

April 12, 2007
Listen globally, download locally

Being the music geek that I am, I'm always on the Internet prowl for groovy music-related Web sites. A while back, I was hunting around the Net for stuff about local band Agent Ribbons and came across Muted and Tender.

It's an MP3 blog with downloads by artists, including Agent Ribbons, Norwegian pop singer Sondre Lerche and '80s throwback, the B-52s - and it just happens to be local. Well. Kind of.

The blog is run by artist Graciela Guardado, who attended UC Davis and now lives in L.A. Hey, makes her local to me. And, yes, that’s the same Concordia/Discordia artist whose work you’ve seen at the Fools Foundation gallery and in Exit Strategy magazine. So, if that doesn't make her local ....

Anyway, each download comes with a post about the song or artist - or sometimes just the feeling or memory that the music evokes. It's like reading someone's music diary - kind of intimate and personal.

Just wish they'd update more often. Please.

April 12, 2007
Good news for local radio DJs

Gee, you go on vacation for a few days and the local radio landscape changes once more.

That's the way it is in radio - blink and you miss something.

On Tuesday, K-Hits (92.1 FM) unveiled its new local - yes, local - on-air staff for the oldies station. And the names are familiar - Joey Mitchell (pictured) in the morning, Big Jim Hall in the afternoon.

Check out the complete DJ lineup here.

April 11, 2007
Can't. Look. Away.

If you haven't already been e-mailed the link to this site like, a million times, it's high time you checked out Truly Awful Stuff.

The blog is the brainchild of local comedian and writer Keith Lowell Jensen and his Hollywood pal Brett Wilson. And, well, the name kind of says it all.

Simply put, this is a place "dedicated to the truly awful things we've given each other over the years."

Intrigued? Sorry, but of the many items of questionable taste on display here, the only example my editor will probably let me tell you about is the "Easter Bunny's Headstone" lawn ornament.

Nice! Makes a person long for the understated kitsch of a hot-pink plastic flamingo.

That said, Truly Awful Stuff is like an Internet trainwreck - you kind of feel bad reading about (and looking at photos of) some of these items, but once you click there, it's really, really hard to click away.

And apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way, because after the Metafilter link portal spotlighted the site last week, Truly Awful Stuff has logged thousands of hits.

Which is truly cool.

April 11, 2007
Running with scissors

From left, Sally Hershberger, Michael Carl, Jaclyn Smith and Rene Fris.
Bravo/Mitch Haaseth

I don't know how Bravo does it, but the network launches another reality show at 11 tonight (TiVo if you're too tired!). It's called "Shear Genius," and it airs right after the season finale of "Top Design."

So basically we're shifting our TV focus from interior design to exterior looks - more specifically, hairstyling. Makes sense to me. I like coifs a lot more than countertops.

The premise? To follow 12 hairstylists as they "cut their way to the finish." In other words, there better not be any "bad hair days," or you turn in your blow-dryer and your mousse. The big prize? The ultimate title of "Shear Genius," $100,000 in cash from Nexxus, and the chance to style hair for an Allure magazine feature.

Starring in the eight-episode series: Actress/designer Jaclyn Smith as the host, plus celebrity stylist Sally Hershberger and Michael Carl, fashion director of Allure, as lead judge and judge, respectively. Some of the guest judges will include Frederic Fekkai, Ken Paves and a reinvented Jose Eber.

Stylist Rene Fris serves as the "salon manager" to the stylists, sort of like the way Tim Gunn is the fashion mentor on "Project Runway" (which is gearing up for its fourth season on Bravo. Keep an eye on this space to see some highlights of my interview with Mr. Smooth.)

The 12 contestants come from all over the world: Hertfordshire, England, to Surfers Paradise, Australia, and from Canton, Ohio, to Oakland (a guy named "Dr. Boogie.") There are seven men and five women, ranging in age from 22 to 49.

The stylists will face two challenges per episode: the short-cut challenge, which tests technical styling skills, and the elimination challenge, which tests creativity and advanced skills. And, unlike some of Bravo's other reality shows, the contestants also have to deal with "real" clients, manage a salon staff and work as a team.

When I heard about this show, my first thought was, "What if they muck up someone's hair?" It's not like "Project Runway," where the models can just take off the really lousy fashions. But Bravo cleared that up for me. Initially, the contestants will be working on the heads of mannequins. Then, it's on to live models who are willing to have their long locks cropped.

After the first episode tonight, the show moves to its regular time slot of 10 p.m. Wednesdays beginning next week (April 18).

Here's to more hair-raising reality TV!

April 10, 2007
American Identity

Michael Height, general manager of the ID America Festival, a theater festival taking place this November on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, reached out to me, saying he’s seeking plays on the topic of American identity. And he’d like the Sacramento theater community to participate.

Says Height: “We are seeking submissions of one-act plays that deal with this subject from all corners of America and the world. Our hope is to have these plays foster a dialogue between those with differing points of view.”

Height represents an organization called Quo Vadimus Arts, which his Web site says is “an international community of artists working to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences between cultures. Quo Vadimus means ‘where are we going?’ ”

He says that between 10 to 16 short plays will be chosen for performances at the Clemente Solo Velez Center in New York City, from Nov. 6-21. Four to five plays will be selected for a national tour of universities and regional theaters in 2008.

Go here or here to submit your play or to learn more about the festival.

April 10, 2007
Booze you can use

Whoever was the first to make that quip about knowing your audience should take a page out of the Active 20-30 group's fund-raising plan. So, there's this local service organization, right? And they've been around since 1922. Though the group is national, the men's and women's Sac chapters are the biggest and strongest in the country, and have been for years. This organization is dedicated to getting 20- and- 30-somethings out in the community, networking, raising tons of money for local charities, and generally doing good things for good people. The stuff they do is impressive, especially for a group of people in two notoriously selfish decades.

Well, in order to give money, they've got to raise it. Bake sale? Car wash? Selling magazine subscriptions at the Arden Fair mall? Oh, no. That's the stuff of high school bands. No, those smarty-pants over at Active 20-30 know their audience.

What, they asked themselves, will 20- and- 30-somethings shill out for - without fail? And the answer, as always, is booze.

So. The group's biggest fundraiser of the year is a party. A great big, huge party. They've been doing it for years, and raised tens of thousands of dollars for carefully chosen local charities. This year's is set to be as big a blowout as in year's past. The theme is "A Wild Night in Cabo," and for $35 ($45 at the door), attendees get a night of beloved band Wonderbread 5 and - brace yourselves - all you can eat Mexican food and all you can drink beer and margaritas all night.

If you break it down, it's a heckuva deal.

The whole thing goes down this Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. So show up, pay up and drink up for a good cause. After all, it's for the children.

Oh, and for more information, go here.

April 10, 2007
Mall is making its move

Sacramento Bee file

Arden Fair mall (shown above) is not one to sit back on its shopping heels. I'm excited because new stores are on the way, and I've been saving my spring shopping dollars in anticipation.

OK, so I don't have a ton of $$ to spend, but a gal can always look, right? Here's what's coming:

* J.Crew: It's about time we got another area location (in addition to the Downtown Plaza and the Roseville Galleria). J.Crew continues to expand its offerings, so I'm certainly hoping for a bigger store. And bring back the shoes! Yes, the flip-flops are the best, but a girl can only own so many. We want the cute ballet flats, the espadrilles - and more. The Web site is fine for the Wedding & Special Occasion apparel. But there's great stuff in the catalog that Sacramento shoppers (both men and women) would like to pick up and finger before purchase.

Location: On the lower level, between JC Penney and Nordstrom. Scheduled to open the end of July.

* Aeropostale: I don't know as much about Aeropostale, so I checked out the store's Web site and discovered it's very similar to American Eagle, i.e., graphic tees, denim, swimsuits, hoodies, shorts, skirts, etc. Should give AE some competition as well as the higher-priced Abercrombie & Fitch, and all three will be relatively close to one another.

Location: Already open on the upper level near Macy's.

* M.A.C Cosmetics: This is huge to have a stand-alone M.A.C store - just like they do in the really big cities! What does this mean? More room for makeovers and to get in-store advice. Who benefits the most? The devoted M.A.C customer. Who benefits the least? Well, it's hard to say until it opens, but a stand-alone store could hurt sales at the M.A.C counter in Nordstrom. And check out the ... .

Location: On the lower level, near Nordstrom. Scheduled to open the end of April.

* Skechers: This is another store that will definitely appeal to the younger shoppers, even though they stock casual and dress shoes for men and women, too.

Location: On the upper level near Nordstrom. Scheduled to open in May.

April 9, 2007
JLo after hours

GAD.jpgJennifer Lopez has a new album, a new movie and, whew!, a new fragrance. Busy girl, that Jennifer.

The new scent is called Glow After Dark by JLo (pictured). As part of the launch, she's also got an online reality series called "The Glow After Dark Show." The first episode was Saturday, and there are seven more 15-minute episodes left. Fans can watch the show here. There's one airing at 6 tonight.

If you watch, you can even interact with the cast, appropriately dubbed the Glow Girls, by posting comments. (The episodes will be available as a podcast and can be downloaded to an iPOD, iTunes or your cell phone. Cool, huh?)

The five Glow Girls range in age from 22 to 25 and come from Georgia (two of them), California, New York and the United Kingdom. So, check out their escapades.

As for the fragrance, it's priced from $27.50 to $60 at department stores, including Macy's.

Oh, and did we mention that Jennifer has entered the world of another reality show, a little thing called "American Idol," where she's mentoring the Top 8 contestants for a Latin-themed week.

For more on that, check out my other favorite blog, Idol Chatter.

April 6, 2007
Walk in their shoes

From left to right, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon arrive Thursday at the premiere of the HBO series "Entourage.
Associated Press/Gus Ruelas

Those fun, hip guys from HBO's "Entourage" are back - in high style. The new season starts at 10 Sunday night, and what I think is cool about these fab five is that Vince, Eric, Turtle, Johnny Drama and Ari have such distinct personalities, which really shows up on the small screen in their fashion choices.

While "Sex and the City" made stilettos and cute handbags girly, girly, the dudes of "Entourage" love dog tags, high tops, hip wristbands and shiny loafers.

Fyrebird.jpgAnd, hey, men of Sacramento - you, too, can get the looks, courtesy of two Web sites: for the shoes and for accessories and jewelry. In fact, I was able to grab a pic of one of their favorite shoes, designer Steve Madden's Fyrebird sneaker (shown right), which costs $69.95.

Welcome back, guys!

April 6, 2007
KDRT vs. FCC: An update

Last week in The Bee, we wrote about the low-power FM station in Davis, KDRT (101.5 FM), which is in danger of being shut down because a full-powered station based in Gridley wants to move its tower to Woodland.

Jeff Shaw, station manager at KDRT (a nonprofit, community-run station), says it will take at least $20,000 in legal fees to fight the FCC petition by KMJE, which had been serving most of the Yuba and Sutter county areas.

So on Sunday, the station will be holding a fund-raising concert at the Delta of Venus (122 B St., Davis), featuring local musicians such as Patrick Ferris, Ben Lewis and Kate Delwiche.

The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information: (530) 757-2419.

April 6, 2007
STC's new familiar face

Sacramento Bee/Michael A. Jones

Mark Standriff (shown above as the Ghost of Christmas Present), who’s made such an impact on stage with the Sacramento Theatre Company this season, will assume an even larger role, off stage, quite soon.

On Monday, STC will officially announce Standriff’s appointment as managing director, succeeding Kendra Lewis, who steps down after two and half years on the job. Standriff will leave his position as a morning DJ on The Fish (KKFS, 105.5 FM) at the end of the month to concentrate on his new duties.

Standriff has more than 25 years of experience in theater and radio, including a stint as the artistic director of the Toledo Repertoire Theatre in Ohio. He became an artistic associate at STC this fall and appeared in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “A Christmas Carol” and “Private Lives.”

He’ll still be seen on stage, even though his off-stage visibility will increase.

“This is going to be a labor of love for me,” says Standriff earlier today. “I’m excited about the opportunity."

April 6, 2007
The ship hits the fan at Channel 13


Oh, those pesky typos....

The graphics guys at Channel 13's morning news made a little boo-boo today. Forget about the scatological misspelling of "ship." ... They couldn't even spell Greece correctly. And, upon closer inspection, they also misspelled "cruise."

Then they compounded the error by putting the clip on the station's Web site.

April 5, 2007
I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft


So, Y92.5 FM (KGBY) has this feature called "Y On Demand" between 2 and 3 o'clock, and it's strangely interesting the songs listeners select via vote.

Today, we heard Isaac Hayes' "Theme For 'Shaft.'" That's got to be a first for Y92.5. Imagine the surprise of all those people in dentists' offices. But, hey, we're down with that.

We felt sorry for the listeners, though, when they had to choose one of these three options: "Key Largo," by Bertie Higgins; "Man! I feel Like a Woman," by Shania Twain, or "If It Makes You Happy," by Sheryl Crow.

How about a "none of the above"?

But, hey, "Shaft," starring Richard Roundtree, above? Oh yeah, a big thumb's up.

April 5, 2007
Empathetic or exploitative?


One of our favorite bloogers, Cool DMZ over at, has taken local TV news to task for what he sees as the sensationalized coverage of the spate of fatal DUI car accidents in town.

Specifically, he points to Channel 3 reporter Mike TeSelle, who on bended knee interviewed the 8-year-old daughter of victim Annette Brodovsky (pictured).

As Cool DMZ writes, it's painful to watch. But, is it painful because it strikes an emotional chord in each of us? Or because a news reporter is shamelessly using a little girl's grief to get a juicier story?

In this case - and this case only - I tend to go with the former. I don't think TeSelle crossed a line by using the sound bite. I think it made us empathize with the victim's family. Yes, local TV news goes too far many, many times, as I chronicle in this space almost daily, but I've got to side with Channel 3 this time.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, The Bee's story also chose to quote one of Brodovsky's daughters, the 5-year-old.

An aside: I've watched the video of the 8-year-old girl's interview three times now and what strikes me most is her poise and wisdom when saying, "She was strong and gentle, as many women are."

I know many adults who can't articulate their thoughts as well.

April 5, 2007
Picking up the blogging gauntlet

The other day, we good-naturedly chided News10 folks for being very tardy in updating their blogs.

Well, reporter Dan Adams has responded.

April 4, 2007
I want a tiara!

19STIL0737db.JPGI'm soooo bummed! I just received an announcement that Sacramento will be hosting a casting call this weekend for "American Princess," a new show on the WE (Women's Entertainment) network.

Hey, I played "princess" as a kid with my friends, dressing up in their older sisters' cast-off prom dresses and sporting faux crowns. But this show offers a chance to wear a real crown and spend time in a real castle.

Alas, the age requirement - 18 to 30 - and the marital status - single - make me a non-candidate. The only requirement that I meet is being employed. But then there's that part about enjoying a challenge. Too tired.

However, if you're a younger woman with no ball-and-chain and you've got some excess energy, a zest for life and would like to wear a tiara, here's the scoop on the audition process:

It will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Empire Events Center, 1417 R St. You need to reserve a time slot by calling (212) 367-7434 through Thursday. After that, call (646) 772-4157.

The show is looking for 12 women from all over the U.S., including Sacramento. The lucky 12 will travel to New York (all expenses paid) to be groomed and taught how to be a princess by some of Britain's top royal experts. That would be walking, talking, curtsying and wearing princessy dresses, etc.

If you pass muster in the Big Apple, you'll be one of nine contestants who advance to the next level - in London! You'll live in a castle for a month and get more training. Probably stuff like walking with a book on your head.

Of course, just like with pageants, only one contestant can be the winner. She gets an official title, a boatload of prizes, a big wad of cash and, yes, a diamond tiara that she can bobby-pin on for the Gala Ball in her honor and attended by international celebrities (maybe Sanjaya from "American Idol") and royalty (cross your fingers for Prince William).

If you love "Cinderella," maybe glass slippers are in your future.

April 4, 2007
STC's 2007-08 season

The Sacramento Theatre Company has just announced its 2007-2008 season, with four Mainstage shows and four plays in the smaller Stage 2. Here’s what they’ve got going at 15th and H streets in the next year:

* “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck (Oct. 3 - Nov. 11) on the Mainstage: The classic story of friendship and morality.

* “Virgo, Hebrew Rising” by Brian Diamond (Nov. 7 - Dec. 2) on Stage 2: Diamond’s autobiographical one-man comedy about growing up half Jewish in the inner city.

* “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, adapted for STC by Richard Hellesen and David de Berry (Nov. 28 - Dec. 23) on the Mainstage: A reprise of the classic telling of the Dickens tale.

* “Sophie Tucker’s One Night Stand” by Chris Burgess (Dec. 12 - Jan. 6, 2008) on Stage 2: English actress Sue Kelvin will portray Sophie Tucker in this play with music.

* “Topdog/Underdog” by Suzan-Lori Parks (Jan. 23 - Feb. 17, 2008) on the Mainstage: The Pulitzer Prize-winning play about two brothers - one named Lincoln and the other Booth.

* “Resting Place” by Richard Broadhurst (Feb. 20 - March 16, 2008) on Stage 2:
A world premiere from the Sacramento-based writer.

* “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmund Rostand (March 19 - April 13, 2008) on the Mainstage: Anthony Burgess translates and adapts the timeless romance.

* “Magdalene” by Katie Ketchum (April 16 - May 11, 2008) on Stage 2: Ketchum’s one-woman musical-comedy takes on the Gospel of Mary of Magdala with a '50s rockabilly slant.

April 4, 2007
Rappin' Dave Walker

It's always cringe-worthy when a local news legend tries to go "hip." Yet, the other night, opening the 6:30 p.m. news, Channel 3's Dave Walker made a valient effort at Snoop Dogg speak: "Fo-shizzle, KCRA Reports at 6:30 starts nizzle."

OK, so it doesn't translate quite as hilariously in print. Check out the video. The Snoop speak comes near the end.

April 4, 2007
Make sure there's thunder in your hearts, baby

As I mentioned a few weeks back in my Coming Distractions column, Placebo's coming to town - that would be April 25 at Harlow's.

Now, because I love y'all, I give you the chance to star in one of the London band's upcoming videos.

OK, so the video for "Running Up that Hill" won't be all you, all the time. (But, yes, that is a cover of the awesome Kate Bush song).

Rather, the idea is that you'll shoot a video of yourself singing the song, in its entirety, and if the folks in the band like what they see, they'll include you as part of the fan montage.

The contest is hosted by Motionbox, a personal video-sharing site. Go here to check out the contest's rules, download lyrics and upload your artistry. Hurry, the contest ends April 13.

Oh, and for more on the band's Sac show, visit Harlow's Web site.

April 3, 2007
Blog wars, local TV news-style


Not only is there heated competition between local TV news stations - both on the air and with live video streaming on their Web sites - now the battle has moved to the blogosphere.

News10 has joined Channels 13/31 in having newsroom staffers create blogs. So now, you can read the innermost musings of Dale and Cristina as well as their counterparts Sam and Pallas.

(Channel 3 and Fox40 are still contentious objectors in the blogging war, alas.)

The problem is that, like Channel 13, News10's scribes don't feed the blogging beast enough. As we here at 21Q know all too well, the blog must be fed daily or it gets way cranky. These TV types need to buy into how the Web is the future of media and all that.

Here we are in the first week of April and the last blog posting from Dale Schornack is March 19. (However, we give props to Schornack for posting an embarrassing old photo of himself in 1977 at KABY in Aberdeen, S.D. Nice jacket-tie combo, Dale. See above.) For Cristina Mendonsa, March 15. News director Stacy Owen must be hopping mad. Oh, wait: Owen has a blog, too, but hasn't posted anything since March 16. Doh!

There is one notable exception: Michael Langley, the assistant news director for new media, rarely lets a few days go by without posting. And they are compelling postings, covering everything from journalism ethics to how the public perceives the media to how producers make news decisions.

At last, a local TV news blog that's not merely a vanity project. Good going, Michael.

April 3, 2007
News10 dances later


Fans of the increasingly popular "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC are eagerly awaiting tonight's results show. But in Sacramento, they're going to have to wait a heckuva lot longer - like, into early morning.

News10 is choosing to pre-empt "Dancing" to broadcast the Kings game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Hey, if the Kings were anywhere close to making the playoffs, we maybe - maybe - could see the wisdom of bumping "Dancing" to 1 a.m.

But the Kings are just playing out the string. Bad move, News10. People want to see Apolo Anton Ono (pictured, with Julianne Hough).

We suspect it's part of the station's contract with Maloof Sports and Entertainment. However, we don't know for sure because when we tried to reach News10's general manager Russell Postell and marketing director Margaret Mohr, we were told both are on vacation and that no other station employee can speak about the matter.

You may recall this isn't the first time News10 has caused controversy by pre-empting programming for the Kings and/or Monarchs. Last June, News10 chose not to air a World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and Italy in favor of the Monarchs. Viewers howled.

April 3, 2007
Special shoppers

If you're over 50 and luvvv to shop, and you don't mind a leisurely drive to the wine country (and who doesn't?), the Napa Premium Outlets is celebrating "50 Plus Shopper Day" from noon to 4 p.m. today.

Here's how it works: Outlet merchants who are participating members of the 50 Plus Shopper Club offer a variety of discounts and special deals to their 50-plus customers every Tuesday. The festivities will take place in the Courtyard Cafes, where there will be a complimentary welcome with refreshments.

All attendees are eligible to enter a raffle for the chance to win a gourmet gift basket filled with goodies from the outlet stores.

Napa Premium Outlets is at 629 Factory Stores Drive. For directions and a list of stores, visit the Web site or call (707) 226-9876, ext. 5781 for more information.

April 2, 2007

David and Kitty Czarnecki, producers of Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre, have announced they will be leaving the business following the run of “Smokey Joe’s Café,” which closes May 20.

The couple has owned the long-running theater and restaurant since April of 2004, and David has been general manager since 2002.

Kitty will produce children’s theater through a non-profit company called Art & Soul Productions, while David plans to teach acting and theater management. He’s also currently serving as managing director for River Stage.

Garbeau’s won an Elly Award for best comedy in 2005 and the Best Dining Experience Award from Sacramento magazine for the last four years. There's no official word yet on who will take over ownership and management of the business.

April 2, 2007
Everything was just wonderful

I will admit I went into Sunday night's Lily Allen concert with some low expectations. I mean, I love her album "Alright, Still," but this is her first major tour and, well, frankly, I'd read a couple of lukewarm reviews.

With that in mind, I was more than pleasantly surprised by her show at the Crest. (Read my Ticket+ interview with Allen here.) First of all, it was great to see someone who's only working her first U.S. single and album actually sell out a decent-sized venue like the Crest. Also, it was great to see such a mixed-age group - tweens and teens all the way up to a couple of gray hairs.

As for Allen herself, the 21-year-old London native wowed the crowd with some smokin' renditions of "Smile," "Knock 'Em Out," "LDN," and my personal favorite, "Everything's Just Wonderful." Oh yeah, and a killer take on Blondie's "Heart of Glass." Backed by a seven-piece band - including three horn players - the music leaned heavily toward the reggae and ska sounds that flavor her album. Cool by me because it gave the night even more of a party feel.

Now, some people in my group weren't totally enthralled with Allen's attire - a loose-fitting (OK, we'll say it: maternity) sundress worn over cut-off jeans and paired with a new pair of "trainers" (i.e., some white Air Jordans). I, however, was kind of charmed by her loopy style statement. Then again, maybe that was due more to Allen's sparkling, albeit potty-mouthed persona.

Really, don't all swear words sound better when uttered in a clipped British accent?

Anyway, fun show - she could've played longer (Allen clocked in at under 90 minutes), and word has it that she pretty much uses the same stage banter, word-for-word, show-to-show. But, whateves, she seemed to be in good spirits, was friendly to the enthusiastic crowd (including the, at times, overly zealous front-row attendees), and I woke up this morning humming a Lily Allen medley. Works for me.

April 2, 2007
A crowning achievement

Photograph/Spice Rack

Tracie Stafford slept in her crown Saturday night. Well, sort of. She had it on, along with her bright-red flannel pajamas, right before her head hit the pillow.

As you may remember from my posting Friday on the Mrs. California pageant, Tracie, 40, was one of seven local contestants who participated in the Saturday-afternoon event at the Radisson Hotel.

And, she won! She becomes the first African American woman to hold the title in the pageant's 21-year history. Now she'll proudly represent the state in the Mrs. United States pageant this July in Las Vegas.

Odds are good she'll take that title, too. But I'm biased because I've met Tracie (shown above with her family), and she's a winner just for raising four kids, starting her own business and, well, overcoming some tough times in her life.

Chatting with her today, she said the event was fun, but exhausting. An interview with the judges Friday night - which only lasted four and a half minutes, incidentally - counted for 50 percent of her score. Her first question? "Why do you get up in the morning?" And the answer couldn't have anything to do with her family. Yikes! Then why get up if they're not up? But, I digress.

"It was tough, but I told them I did it because I'm happy to be me," Tracie says. "I'm excited about my business and my clients and what I'm going to do next in my life."

Good answer!

On Saturday, things got rolling for Tracie around 7 a.m., with rehearsals running until 12:30 p.m. Contestants then had little time to get their hair and makeup done before the 2 p.m. curtain.

"I couldn't curl my hair the way I wanted, and the makeup artist had to work really, really fast!" Tracie says.

The four judges (three women and one man) watched as the contestants came out and introduced themselves - each of them wearing a red dress of their choice. Next, the dreaded swimsuit competition. But, because Tracie had been working with a trainer (and she had her "butt glue"), she wasn't nervous.

At least, not until she got to the end of the runway. "There was this big roar. I looked at the judges, told myself to hold it together and then started tearing up," she recalls.

Later, as the contestants were backstage, changing into their gown for the next round of competition, their husbands, dressed in tuxes, took the stage for their own musical number, dancing to Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack." The audience hooted and hollered.

"You would have thought they were performing at a Chippendales' show," Tracie says.

The hubbies then escorted their wives onstage for the evening gown portion, which Tracie believes was one of her finest moments. The bronze-y/gold gown rocked! And, hey, no tears!

The outgoing Mrs. California, Melanie DeMure of El Dorado Hills, took her final walk and her family joined her as contestants returned to the stage for the final part of the competition - answering two questions drawn randomly.

Tracie's questions were:

* Do you believe that single parents should be able to adopt children?
A: "So many kids need love and support. I think anybody who is able to provide the security and help them grow into complete and whole adults should be able to adopt."

* What makes you unique?
A: "I've been through some intense challenges in my life - losing my mother, growing up in poverty and being in an abusive relationship at one point. I came through them and saw them as opportunities to grow, learn and not relive them. And, I'm probably the first contestant to cry during swimsuit. That's unique."

Some other awards were handed out, i.e., for congeniality and best ad in the program (Tracie won this). Then, it was time for the big moment.

Because there were only seven contestants, they only picked second and first runners-up (Tiffany Garvin and Stevi McShane, respectively). That left Tracie and four other women. They held hands, shaking. Drumroll.

"They called my name and everything went silent," Tracie says. "I was in complete shock. I don't remember how long I stood there, but Melanie looked at me and said, 'Come over here, I have to crown you!' "

Tracie got a big ol' crown, a sash, a bouquet of red roses and a huge trophy. Her husband and kids joined her onstage. Everyone was crying, especially her youngest, Bryan Jr., age 4, who kept asking, "Are you coming home, Mommy?"

Afterward, family and friends went for a well-deserved dinner at the Elephant Bar, where Tracie's sister, Heather, presented the newly crowned Mrs. California with one of her favorite treats - a Cinnabon. Then the family went back to the Radisson and spent the night.

Tracie has three months to prepare for Mrs. United States. In the meantime, she'll be traveling and making personal appearances. One of her goals is to get her picture taken with Gov. Schwartzenegger and/or Maria Shriver. Her biggest goal is about giving hope to younger children who are facing adversity, just as she did as a child. "Their circumstance does not define them," she says.

"It really is a hoot," she says. "I'm really excited, but I still can't believe it."

Tracie, just revel in your crowning glory.

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