Looking for something to do this weekend? Boy, do we have plans for you?
Toys rule at Power Balance
Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the rest of the "Toy Story 3" gang decide to clear out of the Sunnyside Daycare and head for home. By the way, don't be surprised to see Barbie's pal, Ken, horn in on the action.
Info: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. today-Sunday; 3 p.m. Feb. Saturday-Sunday; noon and 4 p.m. Monday; Power Balance Pavilion, One Sports Parkway, Sacramento; $15.75, $18.75, $24.75, $41.75, $61.75 (Parking is $12.); (916) 928-6900, www.powerbalance pavilion.com
An upcoming comedy night in Old Sacramento will help a baby with serious health problems.
Laughs Unlimited will host a benefit Feb. 26 for Harlow Crisamore and Hope 4 Harlow, a non-profit fund set up to provide medical equipment for the 11-month-old girl, who was born with cerebral palsy. Blind and epileptic, the baby needs special care.
Harlow is the daughter of Iraq war veteran Sgt. James Crisamore, who was featured along with his family Dec. 26 in The Bee.
Crisamore, who was severely injured while on duty overseas, has campaigned relentlessly for his infant daughter's health needs while trying to cope with his own recovery from a Humvee rollover accident that smashed both hips.
Since the Christmas story in The Bee, Harlow has been in and out of the hospital, Crisamore said. "She was in ICU for 10 days. It's been an ordeal, but she's home now."
Crisamore hopes that the comedy show in Harlow's honor can become a semiannual event.
"Laughs Unlimited is a very generous organization," he said. "They're giving us the floor and sponsoring Harlow for the fund-raiser. They're doing a wonderful thing for the community. Not enough people out there are like that."
Raffle donations are now being accepted for the Feb. 26 event, which includes live music from 3 to 6 p.m. and a comedy show at 7 p.m.
Tickets are a $15 donation and available from Laughs Unlimited's reservation hot line at (916) 446-5905 or online at www.laughsunlimited.com. The club is located at 1207 Front St., Sacramento.
The Foster Youth Education Fund of Sacramento is celebrating its 10th anniversary with two fundraising events -- a Casino Night Gala and a Casino Royale Fashion Show.
The organization is hoping to raise $100,000 to support foster youth who become too old for the foster care system. These young men and women typically have no support system in place to help them to pursue their dreams after high school.
The Casino Night Gala is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 6 at the California Chamber of Commerce's Esquire Building.
The Casino Royale Fashion Show, in which current and former foster youth strut their stuff on the runway, is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. at the California State University, Sacramento, Ballroom, 6000 J St.
Tickets to the gala are $100 per person and $150 per couple. Tickets to the fashion show are $25 for adults and $15 for children and students.
To purchase tickets in advance, email email@example.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.
To make a tax-deductible donation, contact the organization at Foster Youth Education Fund, 3323 Watt Ave., Suite 253, Sacramento 95821.
For more information about the organization, go to www.fyef.org.
The Nevada City Film Festival - which is much more than a collection of fabulous films - starts Thursday in the foothill town that's also known for its live music. The festival runs through Sunday.
Among the documentaries that will be screened are "Kevin," which celebrates a musician who pairs flamenco guitar with New Age lyrics, "We Are Wizards," which chronicles Harry Potter-inspired bands, and "Everyday Sunshine" a film that follows the L.A. ska/punk/funk band Fishbone.
These and other films will play at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way. The cost: $9 for individual programs ($7 students and seniors), $90 for an all-festival, VIP pass.
Tickets are still available for a charity event benefiting the Sacramento Children's Home.
Luxe for Life, presented by Sactown Magazine and Wells Fargo Bank, includes gourmet food, cocktails, silent and live auctions, dancing and entertainment that includes performance painter David Garibaldi.
Tickets are $85 per person. Ticket packages also are available.
The event, which will be held at the Aerospace Museum of California at McClellan Park, (3200 Freedom Park Dr., North Highlands), begins at 8 p.m.
The movie's free and starts at 8 p.m. in the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre (on the corner of Land Park Drive and 15th Avenue, behind Fairytale Town and across Land Park Drive from the Sacramento Zoo).
In one weekend, at one venue, you can catch a bluesman who had a seminal influence on rock and a woman whose persona and guitar work set a standard for both genders in the world of rock 'n' roll.
Every note and line of music from Bobby "Blue" Bland testify to the fact that he has lived the blues. Although he did not achieve the pop icon status of B.B. King, blues enthusiasts treat the "Lion of the Blues" as royalty. He has an impressive list of awards from a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement to a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If you love rock 'n' roll, then you can probably sing at least the refrain of the song Joan Jett made famous: I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come an' take your time an' dance with me
Both artists will be at Thunder Valley. But wait, there's more. Here's the line up for the week:
WHAT: Few musical productions achieve the heights this one scales in every imaginable way. It is anchored by Steffanie Leigh as the magical, unflappable nanny.
WHEN: 8 p.m. today- Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
WHERE: Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento
INFORMATION: (916) 808-5181, (916) 557-1999, www.tickets.com
- Marcus Crowder
This week, we've completely fallen for the thumping rockabilly house beats of New York-based DJ and electronic producer Drop the Lime. He pumps up the volume late, late Thursday night at Mix Downtown. Maybe you could call in sick on Friday. Did we say that?
If you can't keep your eyes open much past midnight, you'll find some can't miss entertainment with Nashville-Hollywood darling Tim McGraw this evening or a discussion with classical pianist Charles Rosen on Saturday afternoon.
And, there's more.
WHAT: This genuine star lays claim to plenty of No. 1 hits and music awards, but fans buy up his albums because they see it as "sure bet" entertainment. Luke Bryan and The Band Perry open the show.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2677 Old Forty Mile Road, Wheatland
INFORMATION: (800) 745-3000, www.livenation.com
- C.M. Anderson
WHAT: He's got a great head of hair and big jokes. Born in Mexico but reared for seven years in Kentucky, he considers himself an expert on "hick-spanics" - and has done a Comedy Central special on the subject. He is one of the "The Original Latin Kings of Comedy."
WHEN: 8 p.m. each night, 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
WHERE: Punch Line Comedy Club, 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225, in Sacramento
WHAT: This master of the classical guitar plied his trade as musician for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 18 years and studied historical plucked strings at Scola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. But his expertise goes beyond 16th century Baroque music, as this evening of solo guitar work will attest.
WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: Our House Gallery & Framing, 1004 White Rock Road, Suite 400, El Dorado Hills
COST: $15 advance, $20 at the door
INFORMATION: (916) 933-4278
- Jim Carnes
Wine and food festival
WHAT: Sample wines from Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yolo counties. Buy food from Lucca Restaurant and Bar, Ludy's Main St BBQ and Catering, Mulvaney's B&L counties and more.
WHEN: 4-7 p.m.
WHERE: Cesar Chavez Park, 10th and J streets, in Sacramento
COST: $40 in advance, $50 at gate (Save $5 when you buy tickets at Raley's.)
Foreign and Exotic
WHAT: Enjoy a stroll through one of the best preserved historic districts of our region as you admire 200 foreign cars and motorcycles at this inaugural event. There will also be live music and a wine stroll.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. car show, noon to 3 p.m. wine stroll
"Twilight: Return to the Fort"
WHAT: Celebrate 35 successful years of the fort's environmental living program with a grand cannon fire welcome, a scrumptious pioneer dinner, Gold Rush-era entertainment, dancing, hands-on crafts and storytelling.
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Sutter's Fort, 2701 L St., Sacramento
COST: $35 for adults, $20 for children (under 17 years of age)
Here's one more reason to look forward to Friday - it marks the start of Fountains at Roseville's summer entertainment series.
During summer months, the shopping center hosts Wednesday and Saturday night concerts, plus family events on Fridays, and a street fair every first Friday of the month.
The summer series drew more than 25,000 people last year, and the Friday events typically drew between 1,500 and 2,500 people, said Heather Atherton, spokeswoman for the Fountains.
The inaugural Friday family fun night event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. June 3 and will feature street crafters, artisans, face painting, storybook princesses, a classic car show, live music by Classic Neon and performances by Johnson Ranch Racquet Club Jumpin' Jaguars, a jump rope exhibition team, and Silverman, a live human "statue."
The Saturday concert series will kickoff June 11 with The Sun Kings, a Beatles tribute band. The Saturday concerts are held from 8 to 10 p.m.
Wednesday concerts are held from 7 to 9 p.m. and will begin on June 15 with Cherry Bomb.
Looking for something to do? Take your pick from big-name entertainers such as Usher, Kiss or Jamie Foxx or the last weekend run of B Street's "Searching for Eden" or an array of intimate experiences with Boz Scaggs, the Sacramento Ballet and the Young Dubliners.
"Searching for Eden"
WHAT: This romantic comedy drops in on the original couple, Adam and Eve, and the actors' sweet, airy performances lift the clever idea without overburdening the story. The Bee gives it 3 1/2 stars.
WHEN: 8 tonight and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday (last show)
WHERE: Mainstage at B Street Theatre, 2711 B St., Sacramento
INFORMATION: (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org
We l-o-v-e the lasting cool of brilliant artists Tony Bennett and John Fogerty, and we can't believe our region will be treated to performances by both of them in one week.
But we have three other events that you might have overlooked because they fell into the long shadows cast by these two stars. Our very own Pacific Rim festival, which unfolds Sunday in Downtown Plaza and Old Sacramento, is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the art, tastes and heritage of another culture without heading 75 miles to San Francisco's Chinatown.
Can't wait until Sunday to get the party started? Head over to Grass Valley for a concert by the House Jacks. This a capella quintet's vocal boxes provide the instrumentation and the voices for their daring shows.
If you want to get the party started early next weekend, head over to District 30 where UK DJ James Zabiela will be scratching, looping and linking up a storm. "Disco" hasn't died. It's evolved.
A capella music
The House Jacks
WHAT: This quintet calls itself "a rock band without instruments," and hearing is believing. The members are offering a workshop ahead of their performance to teach their art.
WHEN: 5-7 p.m. workshop, 8 p.m. performance
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley
COST: Performance, $23 general, $15 students; workshop, $10, free for ages 18 and under
INFORMATION: (530) 274-8384, ext. 14, thecenterforthearts.org
- C.M. Anderson
Tribute and cover bands have become hot in a tough economy as music lovers seek familiar sounds they feel are worth paying to hear.
Well, Saturday brings Sactopalooza to Raley Field, where you can pay $25 for a lot of solid gold - and some platinum - memories from bands covering music by the Dave Matthews Band, INXS, Journey, U2, Van Halen and others.
Wander over to Raley Field on Friday, and you'll find it awash in music and suds. Brewskis, that is. Take a look below for price and time.
Raley Field Brewfest
WHAT: More than 40 Northern California breweries, including Lagunitas Brewing Co. and Sudwerk Brewery, will be pouring their crafted brews, and you'll be able to boogie to live music on two stages.
WHEN: 6-10 p.m. VIP, 7-10 p.m.
WHERE: Raley Field,
400 Ballpark Drive,
COST: $30 advance, $35 at the door; $50 VIP, plus fees. Food will be sold at concession stands.
INFORMATION: You must be 21 or over to attend. (916) 376-4676, www.raleyfield.com
- C.M. Anderson
We're ready for fair season, and the Dixon May Fair definitely fills that bill. The concerts draw from a wide spectrum of musicians. We're particularly pleased to see country legend Merle Haggard on the bill tonight, along with Trace Adkins. They have both weathered personal trials and have lived to sing their tales.
Then tomorrow, there's the fresh-faced Selena Gomez who's holding down a singing career in addition to television shows and big-screen movies.
If you're looking for other types of fun, here's a diverse list:
WHAT: If you wanted to catch the elegant revue Rodgers & Hammerstein's
"A Grand Night for Singing," you'd better act quickly. The production, which received 3½ stars from The Bee, closes this weekend.
WHEN: 7 tonight, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
WHERE: Cosmopolitan Cabaret, 10th and K streets, in Sacramento
COST: $20-$43 (plus fees)
INFORMATION: (916) 557-1999, www.californiamusicaltheatre.com
Cinco de Mayo, celebrating the Mexican army's 1862 victory over the French, will be observed Thursday at restaurants, ballparks and historic venues in the Sacramento region.
Celebrants looking for a family-oriented event may want to head for Auburn.
Old Town Auburn will hold its 20th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. The event will feature performances by the Folklorico Dancer Troupe from Sacramento, pony rides, rock climbing, an electronic riding bull, and piñatas for the children. Old Town restaurants will participate in a salsa making contest, and festival-goers can buy a tasting kit to help choose the winner.
We don't consider ourselves easy to please, yet we found a great deal to like about the lineup of entertainment headed our way this week. There's living history, stand-up comedy, soulful balladeers, Southern rockers, dance and a man whose story was one of the most poignant that the "American Idol" juggernaut has offered to date.
Danny Gokey's wife had suggested he audition for the show, but he had put it off. Then she died after heart surgery - and he felt compelled to fulfill her wish. The fashionably bespectacled singer didn't win the show's big prize in the eighth season, but much of America agreed with his wife: This man's got talent. He'll visit the Powerhouse Pub in Folsom next week. No one's revealing how many changes there will be in eyewear.
WHAT: This comedian has appeared in movies such as "Little Fockers" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," and his Comedy Central specials have won him a solid fan base - so solid that he added a second show here in Sacramento.
WHEN: 8 and 10:30 p.m.
WHERE: Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento
COST: $49.50 advance, $59.50 day of show (plus $3 fee)
INFORMATION: (916) 808-5181, http://tickets.com
- C.M. Anderson
We didn't have to tell you that Buddy Guy would be a great show. You already knew that. Consider his appearance on this list to be just a gentle reminder that he's in town.
We are, however, concerned that you might have missed a couple of events on this list. Each features a national treasure -- but swirls in a bit of Sactown flava. We're talking about the fashion event at the Crest Theatre and the performance of Capitol Steps at this same venue.
Local boutiques and designers such as Bows and Arrows, Modaspia, Crimson & Clover, Thunderhorse and Babyfloss will have a trunk show ahead of the "Bill Cunningham New York" film, and fashion bloggers Bella Q (Sac Street Style), Lorena Beightler (Sac Cycle Chic) and Kari Shipman (Juniper James) will stay for a panel discussion when it's over. This event is a fitting tribute to the man who's kept his camera focused on New York fashion for decades.
A whole lot of Kings fans are wearing purple today as a statement of support for the Sacramento pro basketball team - and the fight to keep them in town. And some area businesses are offering good deals today, especially for their purple-clad patrons.
Check these out:
Alley Katz: $1 purple beers
de Vere's Irish Pub: $4 "King Hooters"
Ella: Happy hour all day for people wearing purple
Esquire IMAX: Free popcorn for movie-goers in purple
Ettore's Bakery: Free cup of coffee for customers in purple
May we suggest you go old school for this weekend's entertainment? Polish off those disco moves or invent some for Rose Royce and Evelyn Champagne King at Thunder Valley Casino. Flash back to psychedilic times with Deadheads aplenty as "The Grateful Dead Movie" hits theaters for one night only. See how tough life could be -- even for a demanding diva who lived large -- in Sacramento Theatre Company's "Master Class."
If you are not interested in these options, then read on because we've included other events for you.
R&B and Funk
Rose Royce and Evelyn Champagne King
WHAT: Clear some space, everyone, for those disco dance moves invented just for "Car Wash," the Rose Royce melody that crossed over and ruled the airwaves in 1976 and 1977, and for "Shame" by Evelyn Champagne King.
WHEN: 8 p.m.
WHERE: Pano Hall at Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln
This week in Sacramento, you can consort with some "Reel Classy Broads," take a seat on "The Bare Bones Tour" with rocker Bryan Adams, or get lectured by Sarah Silverman. If none of that suits your style, The Bee's staff has some other options for you. Just read on ...
"Reel Classy Broads"
WHAT: This three-day film festival at Auburn's recently restored State Theatre will celebrate the great female stars of the Hollywood in classic roles. The festival starts with an ensemble of talented women, including Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, in "The Women" (7:30 p.m. Friday) before moving on to the individual achievements of Myrna Loy ("The Thin Man," 11 a.m. Saturday), Barbara Stanwyck ("Double Indemnity," 3 p.m. Saturday) Bette Davis ("All About Eve," 7 p.m. Saturday) Judy Garland ("A Star Is Born," 3 p.m. Sunday) and Katharine Hepburn ("The Philadelphia Story," 7 p.m. Sunday).
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-10 p.m. Sunday.
Where: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn
Cost: $9 for individual films, $45 for festival passes.
Vicki Lewis has suddenly become a go-to star for California Musical Theatre.
Lewis, a belter with style and heart, will come to Sacramento on May 8, performing a one-night-only benefit concert at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret. Lewis has been stunning in three Music Circus appearances debuting in 2008 as Mama Rose in "Gypsy," then returning in 2009 as The Baker's Wife in "Into the Woods" and then in 2010 as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl."
This summer Lewis will bow as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter's "Anything Goes." California Musical Theatre artistic director Glenn Casale will help Lewis in developing the concert.
Tickets for "An Evening with Vicki Lewis" are $125 for tables and $90 for the tiered seats. Proceeds will go to California Musical Theatre's artistic and educational efforts.
"An Evening with Vicki Lewis" starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret at 1000 K Street (between 10th and 11th). Tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. through the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H St. or at (916) 557-1999.
Singer Melanie Fiona, whose single "It Kills Me" slayed many a soul music fan, will be performing at 10 p.m. Wednesday at Harlow's, along with Marsha Ambrosius, as part of the BET Music Matters Tour.
Fiona (pictured left in a Kirk Edwards photo) is of Guyanese descent and grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and her fans know she can also spin off reggae rhythms with zeal. Just 27 years old, she released her debut album two years ago, and her sophomore effort is "just about done." She's already released the single, "Gone and Never Coming Back."
Elle magazine celebrated Fiona as one of 25 game-changing artists in the industry today. She cites Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Whitney Houston and Patsy Cline as some of her musical influences.
Late last week, Fiona slowed up for a few moments to check out our e-mail with these questions:
You probably know him as the voice of Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders and a host of others on The Simpsons. Or for his string of mockumentaries - from This is Spinal Tap to A Might Wind.
At 7:30 tonight, you can meet Harry Shearer at The Crest Theatre for the opening night screening of his real documentary, The Big Uneasy.
Shearer also will attend the 5 p.m. Sunday showing of the film with Maria Garzino, a whistleblower in the film that examines whether much of the devestation of Hurricane Katrina was avoidable.
Check out a review .
Dropped and Chopped
The California Automobile Museum exhibit explores the classic years of traditional hot rods and custom cars between 1946 and 1960. The exhibit includes the "Lightning Bug," credited with launching the "T-bucket" craze. It became known as the car of beatnik Edd "Kookie" Byrnes on the television show 77 Sunset Strip. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for students. For more information, call (916) 442-6802
Final weekend for 9 to 5: The Musical
Broadway Sacramento's national touring production of the musical version of the story of office friendship and revenge wraps up Sunday at the Community Center Theatre, 1301 L St., Sacramento. For information or tickets, call (916) 557-1999, (916) 808-5181, californiamusicaltheatre.com.
Fête de la Francophonie
The 2011 Fête de la Francophonie (French Heritage Festival) on Sunday focuses on the southern Mediterranean, French-speaking countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon. The festival, which starts at 1 p.m. at at Beatnik Studios, 2421 17th Street, Sacramento, features music, cooking demonstrations, activities for children, a film screening, food and drinks and belly dancing. The finale will be a concert by North African fusion band, The Dunes.
Do you know of a teen band that's eager to perform somewhere outside of the garage?
The Cordova Recreation and Park District may have a solution. The district is looking to fill two teen band spots in their third annual Battle of the Bands.
Eight bands in all will be chosen to compete at the event, scheduled for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. April 8 at Cordova High School, 2239 Chase Dr., Rancho Cordova.
The winning band will score $200 cash and get to perform at the 4th of July celebration at Hagan Park, an event that draws about 10,000 people, said Rachel Durnbaugh, recreation coordinator for the district.
Start St. Paddy's Day a little early
The 15th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival will be held - rain or shine - in Old Sacramento on Saturday. The parade steps off at 1:00 p.m. from 2nd & L Streets and meanders through historic old town.
It's Second Saturday
Galleries put their party dresses on, restaurants fling the doors open and people flock to the heart of Sacramento for the monthly Second Saturday. Join them!
Boat show at Cal Expo
Check out more than 500 boats - from some 8-footers to the 40-foot big boys - at the Sacramento Boat Show & Off Road Extravaganza. It runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission's $10, but kids younger than 12 and uniformed law enforcement and military get in free.
Guaranteed to get a goodnight kiss
To commemorate the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Kensington Park Hotel in San Francisco is offering a "Shag Like Royalty" package. Included in the deal: Union Jack condoms, two mini bottles of gin, a copy of "Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang," and a list of San Francisco's best British pubs. The package is valid through May 15, in case it doesn't work out for you this weekend. Nightly room rates start at $189. For more information, call 800-553-1900 or visit www.personalityhotels.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Andrew Henkin of Sacramento painted his Great Dane Madeline green for the 2009 St Patrick's day celebration in downtown Sacramento. Paul Kitagaki Jr., The Sacramento Bee.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Mardi gras - that hair-raising party that marks the end of the Festival of Carnival - comes next week, but Sacramento's getting an early start on "fat Tuesday" celebrations this weekend. Check out the Mardi Gras Pub 'n Grub Crawl starting 6 p.m. in Old Sacramento. There'll be beignets, jambalaya, po'boys and hurricanes all over old town. And the Crescent Club's hosting Bal masque' du Mardi Gras at 8:30 p.m.
Sacramento - the Camellia City - celebrates its signature flower Saturday and Sunday during the 87th annual Camellia Festival at Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento.
Hosted by the Camellia Society of Sacramento, the festival will be run from 3 to 6 p.m. next Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6. Admission is free.
Last sip of Beer Week
The second annual Sacramento Beer Week wraps up Saturday with Capitol Beer Fest from 1 to 4 p.m. at Cal Expo. A VIP session from noon to 1 p.m. will give you a taste of rare, special selections. More than 60 breweries are expected to participate. $30 general admission includes unlimited beer samples. VIP's pay $60, and designated drivers get in for $5.
PHOTO CAPTION: A worker dusting one of the Mardi Gras sculptures last year at Mardi Gras World located in New Orleans. Judi Bottoni, AP Photos.
There's lots going on out there this three-day Presidents Day weekend, and we've got some suggestions.
Make it an Oscar weekend
The Crest Theater is playing 2011 Oscar-nominated short films on Saturday. Live action films play at 4:30 p.m., animation films at 7:30 p.m. The Crest is at 1013 K Street.
The Crest is also playing Biutiful , which is nominated for best foreign film and best actor (Javier Bardem ), and The Illusionist , nominated for best animated film.
For a full list of Oscar-nominated movies playing in the region - and more Oscar trivia - check out Ticket in Friday's edition of The Bee.
Check out more than books at the Sacramento Public Library Fenix Drum and Dance Company presents African music, dance, and storytelling for children ages 5-12. 3 p.m. Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St., Sacramento. It's free. For more informatin, call (916) 264-2920.
Get all presidential at the Crocker
The Crocker Art Museum will be open Monday, and in honor of Presidents Day is offering "Patriotic Tours" of artwork that celebrates U.S. history.They're at 10:15 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Kids can work on patriotic art projects from noon-3 p.m. And, the Sacramento Youth Symphony performs at 2 p.m.
The Crocker, at 216 O St., will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Admission is $10 general, $8 ages 65 and older and college students, and $5 ages 7-17. Members and kids 6 and younger get in free. For more information, call: (916) 808-7000
Year of the Rabbit celebration Chinese New Year celebrations include the Lion Dance and martial arts, music, dance performances, vendors, children's games, and ballroom dance. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. CSUS University Union Ballroom, 6000 J St., Sacramento. $6 general, $1 children ages 12 and younger. (916) 393-3250.
Sweet Potato Festival
Entertainment by local performers, retail vendors, and sweet potato pie baking contest. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pannell Community Center, 2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento. Free. (916) 381-5879.
A Taste of Chocolate
Music by The StringAlongs and appearance by the Sugar Plum Fairies. Noon-3 p.m. Old Town Auburn, Auburn. $20 (includes 10 treats from Old Town businesses). (530) 888-1585.
Growing up, Super Bowl Sunday always meant one thing: big ol' party. Friends, some of whom we hadn't seen since the Super Bowl the year before, would converge on the designated host's house with snacks, drinks and families in tow. It never mattered much who was playing. For me, the day was meant for reunions, for eating too much and for yelling at the television for no good reason.
As an adult, I still find the game perplexing - it's not a sport I was reared watching, unlike so many Americans are - but the camaraderie and joviality surrounding the game is something I definitely embrace.
Of the 100 or so bars I've checked out in my two years of Night Life wandering, these are the ones I've found that provide the ideal atmosphere to kick back for the Big Kickoff.
Can it get much better than a free movie and popcorn under the stars? We don't think so.
Neither to hundreds of people who've been gathering in Auburn for the free movie nights this summer.
The Wednesday night events, organized by the City of Auburn, Chamber of Commerce, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center and the Downtown and Old Town business associations, have grown more popular each week.
About 350 people gathered at Recreation Park last week for a showing of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Linda Robinson, president of the Old Town Business Association, wrote in an e-mail.
There are three more chances to participate. On Wednesday, "Ghostbusters" will be shown at 9 p.m. on a big screen in the center of Old Town Auburn.
"Back to the Future" is on schedule for Aug. 4 at Recreation Park, located at 123 Recreation Drive, and "Black Stallion" will be shown on Aug. 11 at the State Theater at 985 Lincoln Way.
Moviegoers are encouraged to bring low-back chairs, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
A Roseville shopping center is launching an encore of its free summer concert series after a wildly popular debut last year.
More than 15,000 people attended the Fountains at Roseville's summer entertainment series in 2009, Fountains spokeswoman Heather Atherton said.
This year's series will again feature concerts on Saturday and Wednesday evenings, as well as street fairs, music and dancing on Friday nights.
The first of the series' weekend concerts begins Saturday with The Sun Kings, a Beatles tribute band. The Saturday night concerts are held from 8 to 10 p.m. every Saturday through early September.
Wednesday night concerts, held from 7 to 9 p.m. weekly, feature a wide range of music genres, from funk to country.
This summer, street fairs will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. every first Friday of the month (June 4, July 2, Aug. 6 and Sept. 3). The festivals include live music, a beer and wine garden, artisans, crafters and car clubs.
The remaining Friday nights will be "Flashback Friday" themed nights from 7 to 9 p.m. and feature music and dancing. Roseville Dance will provide dance exhibitions and lessons every third Friday of the month, she said.
Click the link below to see a line-up of bands and events, .
Fountains at Roseville is launching a summer entertainment series, with the first of the free events commencing tonight.
Shoppers and music lovers can enjoy free concerts and other entertainment Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights until Sept. 30.
The series is modeled after a "tremendously" successful Saturday night concert series held at the shopping center last summer, Heather Atherton, a spokeswoman for the Fountains, said in an e-mail.
The Wednesday night concerts will feature bands, trios and duos from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday night entertainment includes a street fair, farmers market, strolling performers, sidewalk sales and car show from 6 to 9 p.m. Main street will be open only to pedestrian traffic.
Saturday night concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are located on the main stage.
Concert-goers are asked to bring folding chairs or blankets to enjoy the entertainment, she said.
Fountains also is hosting a kids club complete with entertainment, crafts and activities for children every second Saturday of the month throughout 2009. The first children's event will be held June 13 and will have a Father's Day theme.
Here's a lineup of the summer entertainment, listed by date and name:
Wednesday: Rhythm Vandals
Friday: DJ/Latin dance lessons
Saturday: Chicago Tribute Authority
June 10: Frankie Soul & No Control
June 12: Rising Star Karaoke
June 13: Cold Shot
June 17: Bayou Boys
June 19: DJ/Beach Party
June 20: The Movement
June 24: California Beach Band
June 26: DJ/50's Rock 'n' Roll
June 27: GG Amos
Fountains at Roseville is located at the corner of Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard in Roseville.
The shopping center has adjusted its hours for the summer as follows: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The performance, which opens Friday at the Northern California Dance Conservatory's Black Box Theater, combines nine new dance pieces created by internationally-recognized choreographers with artwork inspired by the performances.
The performance is hosted by the conservatory and JoinTheArts.com, a cultural arts advocate organization based in Roseville.
Tickets are $45 per person for the opening night gala, which includes a reception at 6:30 p.m. catered by Robert Mondavi Winery, SuedeBlue and CRUSH29. The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the theater, 920 Reserve Dr., Roseville, and will be followed by a reception with the performers, artists and choreographers, according to the JoinTheArts Web site.
Additional performances will be held at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for those shows are $18.
An art auction also will be held at the events Friday and Saturday. Online bidding also is available until 9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to the JoinTheArts Web site.
Tomorrow night, the fearless, freewheeling ladies of the Sac City Rollers will be trading in their knee pads and roller skates for fishnets and stilettos. But their unmistakable derby girl sass--that will remain.
Sacramento's fiercest roller derby vixens are celebrating St. Patrick's Day with their Second Annual Burlesque Fundraiser, an evening of burlesque dancing, featuring the shimmying shoulders and gorgeous gams of the Sac City Rollers themselves.
I attended last year's event, which was packed with pinup enthusiasts, skating queens and their wide-eyed male (and female) admirers. The men weren't the only ones who were entranced by the extremely colorful performances, one of which featured a derby dame in a silk robe professing her love to a stuffed animal.
No, they may not burlesque pros (they specialize in kicking ass and taking names), but the ladies managed to bring enough enthusiasm, humor and good-old shock value to the stage that their audience was in a constant state of hootin' & hollerin' uproar. Come feast your eyes tomorrow night at The Fire Escape Bar and Grill (7431 Madison Ave., Citrus Heights). Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8:30. Admission is $10 at the door.
For more information, check out the Sac City Rollers Web site.
For more St. Patrick's Day events, check out this week's "Live This City" column.
Sasha Soukup wanted to get away from it all. So, she and husband Chris Streng packed up their San Francisco home and moved to Grass Valley.
Soukup found it quiet and peaceful and, well, kind of boring.
"We lived by ourselves at the end of a dirt road and I got really tired of myself," Soukup says. "I needed some hobbies and I'd started to notice my own crappy patterns when it came to not making art."
And, so armed with a desire to get something done, she joined a local artists' group and started exploring music. Soukup had sang and played before - but never really beyond her bedroom.
"I had terrible stage fright," she says.
But, as she started to feel at ease with her art, Soukup decided it was time to take it public - with a little help from her husband and a set of makeshift drums.
"We didn't have drums at first, he was just playing on pans and a bucket."
That stopgap approach fits the music.
Anchored by Soukup's raw, punk voice, the Shamrocks, who recently added bass player Taylor cook, make music inspired by everything from '50s pop vocals, and doo wop to calypso, punk and pop.
"I've been listening to a lot of music from the San Francisco psychedelic music scene lately - a lot of Jefferson Airplane," she says.
"We've been doing a cover of White Rabbit' - I love the way Grace Slick sings, it's so operatic and trippy."
Sasha & the Shamrocks
Song: "Happy Anywhere" Style: Lo-fi experimental pop with a nostalgic flair Behind the song: The musical structure came first.
"It's just a fun little thing, the chord is a happy little thing."
The lyrical content follows a parallel to Soukup's life.
"The words are all about different places around the world - places my close friends have been," Soukup says. "There's someone who spent time on a fishing boat in Alaska, another friend lives in Dubai.
"It's just about making that choice to move out of our comfort zone, when you get that bug to change something up geographically."
Listen to "Happy Anywhere" here;
See them: Saturday at the Center for the Performing Arts (314 W. Main St, Grass Valley). Uni & her Ukulele and Tippy Canoe also perform. The 8 p.m. is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information: www.thecenterforthearts.org and (530) 274-8384.
Chelsea Wolfe was a good girl. The Sacramento singer-songwriter still is actually.
"I don't think I've ever been a rebel - I've always considered myself a good person," Wolfe says. "I believe in honesty and kindness and integrity and kindness.
"I have a dark side that I keep to myself - I only show it through my music. The rest of the time I'm very happy-go-lucky."
Certainly, with its ethereal dirge of guitars, keyboard and strings floating beneath a mournful voice, Wolfe's music is anything but cheerful. Still, its roots have somewhat happier origins.
The 20something Wolfe's been making music since she was nine and she and her sisters crafted "gothic hip-hop" songs in her country musician dad's home studio.
"They were hilarious but some of the songs were kind of awesome considering we were so young," she says.
Now, she adds, it seems as if she's "been writing songs forever."
It took her years to get them out of the house. Wolfe didn't start performing live until 2005, a year after she returned home from Capetown, South Africa where she'd been attending bible school and working with children.
Today, Wolfe says, her Christian faith is still part of her music.
"There are a lot of themes that relate to spirituality," she says. "It inspires the things I write."
Wolfe is currently at work on a new album. It will be, she says, "grittier" than her first CD, 2006's "Mistakes in Parting."
"I'm working with a friend (Sacramento musician) Scott McChane but it's mostly self-produced," she says. "I'm using some of the original demo tracks for the songs so rather than having everything sound so sparkling clean, it has a much more personal sound."
Style: Ghostly folk-pop
Behind the song: Wolfe's new album follows a delicate thread of self-doubt.
"It's about feeling you're going crazy, like you're lost in your head, attempting to fit into a normal world," Wolfe says. "This song is the first track and it sets the mood. I wanted it to be droning and spacey and moody."
"Underwater"'s narrative draws on the story of the writer Virginia Woolf's suicide by drowning.
"I wanted to explore her situation - what drove her to walk into a river with stones in her pocket," Wolfe says.
"I wanted it to sound like what it felt like when she went underwater."
See her: 7 p.m Saturday, March 14 at the Blackwater Cafe (912 North Yosemite, Stockton).
Why let Second Saturday have all the fun? Get some art action a week early this Saturday when the Artisan (1901 Del Paso Blvd.) hosts "Movement in Design," an evening of music, fashion and art.
"Movement in Design" - a.k.a. MODSAC - will highlight fashion area boutiques and designers including Van Der Neer, United State and Havoc. There will be live music too via DJ Greg J, the New Humans,Diamond Monsterrr and DJ Rock Bottom.
There will also be a "Battle of the Boutiques" fashion-inspired art exhibit.
The all-ages event starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5 at the door.
If you're still on the prowl for things to do this weekend (and ever-so-slightly beyond), here are a couple of good possibilities.
Tonight at Luigi's Fun Garden (1050 20th St), it's Detroit garage rock band Tyvjk with Sacramento pop band Desario and, straight outta Davis, some country via San Kazakgascar. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. and is $6 at the door.
Saturday night there's a great hip-hop show at Harlow's (2708 J St) with Lyrics Born. A little pricey - $25 a ticket - but worth it if you've got the cold, hard cash. Starts at 9 p.m., 21-and-over.
Finally, skipping over Sunday, there are not one but two good shows on Monday night. For jazz fans there's the Mitch Marcus Quintet, an SF ensemble whose live shows are equal parts improvisation and crafted composition. Also on that bill, Sacramento's delightful electro-pop duo Hearts + Horses. The all-ages show is at the Java Lounge (16th & Broadway), costs $5 and starts at 8 p.m.
Finally, also on Monday night, L.A. rock band Everest returns to Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) The band, which makes pretty 70s-era pop rock, just finished a tour opening for Neil Young. The Cowboy Killers are also on that bill. The $8 show is 21-and-over and starts at 8 p.m.
Rock, rock til you drop: Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick are embarking on a 40-city tour this summer and the show stops here, Sept. 3. The venue's yet to be named, but I'm guessing it lands at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre.
Wherever it's at, tickets go on sale next Friday, March 6 via LiveNation.com. Or, if you're a Citi credit card member, you can get special pre-sale access beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 4. Visit privatepass.citi.com for more information.
Just a reminder, tonight is that A.C. Newman show at Harlow's (2708 J St, Sacramento). The New Pornographers singer is playing songs off his two solo albums including the most recent, "Get Guilty."
Also on that bill, Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele, The Mississippi-based singer-songwriter plays quirky, sophisticated pop and is signed to the Animal Collective-founded label Paw Tracks - if that's not enough to get your music geek-loving heart out of the house, I don't know what is.
The 21-and-over show starts at 8:30 p.m. and costs $14 at the door.
David Shapireau first picked up the guitar to play funky Southern-tinged R&B in high school. Now, several decades later, the 58-year-old musician, building on musical liaisonswith the likes of Norton Buffalo, is finally fronting his own rock'n'roll band, West of Next.
"I've had my own jazz bands before but never anything like this - it's the first time I've ever sung," he says. "I'm enjoying it very much."
The path to this point was long and musically winding. Shapireau moved from Europe (by way of Baltimore) to California in 1972 and quickly became immersed in the Northern California rock scene, playing with, among others, Norton Buffalo, Jerry Garcia and Maria Muldaur
Shapireau's personal set of songs arrived long before he had a band to call his own.
"I just got this songwriting fever in 2002 and had hundreds and hundreds of songs - I finally decided I should do something more with them than just sing them to myself."
And so, finally, after moving to Sacramento in 2008, Shapireau put together a band that reflected his musical aesthetic (everything from western swing and bluegrass to Zydeco), all cut with a diamond-like precision.
"I have a background in jazz composition ... and I needed someone who could play very well technically and read music."
Shapireau found like-minded musicians in guitarist Steve Randall, drummer Tony Dey and bassist Paul Knutson.
Now, West of Next's sound is an amalgation of eclectic sounds, melancholy observations and pop sensibilities.
It is, he says, an equation that adds up to the unexpected.
"The average rock band doesn't usually do it that way."
West of Next
Song: "Something to Go On"
Style: Off-kilter pop
Behind the song: "Most of my songs are about melancholy and loneliness but this is more positive," Shapireau says.
"I just thought that everyone needs something to get them through - we all have our belief system, be it religion or another person."
The song's structure, he adds, diverges from rock's usual verse-chorus-verse framework.
"Most of my songs are usually very Broadway or Beatles," Shapireau says.
"I'm not exactly sure why this one came out different but when you're writing you want the mood to fit the lyrics - I wanted something upbeat but, because of my personality, also a little eccentric."
See them: Thursday at the Java Lounge, 2416 16th St, Sacramento; the all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. and is $5 at the door.
It began as a simple idea: A classic bar band that married rock music with a twist of twang.
Brian Guido, on break from his guitar duties in Grub Dog & the Amazing Sweethearts, decided the time was right to start his own band.
"I'd been writing music but I really didn't know how people would respond," Guido says.
The Regulars, CA's first incarnation fit that rock-meets-country vibe but as members came and went, the music evolved.
The band's current line up, rounded out by Jay Shaner (guitar), Mason DeMusey (bass) and Ross Levine (drums,) has pushed the band in a different direction - the band'ssecond album, "Songs About Love & Depression," is a mix of no-frills rock and hooky pop.
"The songs have progressively been getting more pop-oriented," Guido says.
"There's still some rock involved but not as much of that country twang."
Their name, a nod to the Replacements tune, "Here Comes a Regular," epitomizes the local music scene and the band's place in it.
"Everyone in Sacramento plays in three bands and everyone knows everyone," he says
"We are the regulars. Whether we're playing or not, we go out all the time and see (our friends) play."
The Regulars, CA
Song: "Songs About You"
Style: Melancholy rock
Behind the song: "The album is about a certain period in my life - I guess the only good thing that comes out of depression is that it inspires you to write and be creative," Guido says.
"This song is about trying to kill the thing inside of me that makes me feel down."
Guido says he relies on his band mates to take his ideas and make them better.
"I come in with a song and everyone is involved in the process," he says. "Ross adds a lot of music theory to the process. Mason and Jay can really change it up too, (suggesting) we make a part shorter or longer.
"I trust them and just let them do their thing," he says. "It makes me a better songwriter."
See them: Friday at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St, Sacramento). The Tattooed Love Dogs and Kate Gaffney are also on the bill. The 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m. and is $7 at the door.
I'll admit I didn't realize that the great Rev. Al Green finally won an R&B Grammy. He's previously won some in the gospel category but - and this is no slight to the gospel category - never in the higher-profile R&B category.
That's finally changed, Green took home the R&B performance by a duo or group for his work with John Legend on "Stay With Me (By the Sea."
And, his stagework with Justin Timberlake wasn't too shabby, either.
The 2009 Noise Pop schedule is now up and it's a winner. While the San Francisco music festival, which runs Feb. 24-March 1, doesn't have quite the same industry recognition as, say, South By Southwest, it's nonetheless a pretty awesome way to check out great new bands, established indie acts and certifiable rock gems.
How's this for starters: Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh) and Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) will give the keynote address for this year's conference. The one-day event will examine the state of independent music and how it intersects with new technologies, touring and industry trends. Confirmed panelists include singer-songwriter Penelope Houston; Live 105 music director Aaron Axelson and Wired magazine's writer Nancy Miller.
Mould also headlines the February 28 show at the Swedish American Music Hall (a tiny little place above Cafe DuNord at 2170 Market St., SF),
Other scheduled acts include the French Kicks, Martha Wainright, Stephen Malkmus, A.C. Newman.Matt Costa, Kool Keith and Ra Ra Riot.
The festival, now in its 17th year, also highlights art and film and this year's line-up includes a screening of the 2008 documentary "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison."
The 2008 Bestor Cram film chronicles Cash's (pictured, right, outside Folsom Prison with then-girfriend June Carter Cash) 1968 Folsom Prison concert (and its subsequent concert album). It also touches on the political and cultural events that shaped the event and includes archival footage and interviews with people who witnessed the show.
"Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" will screen Wednesday, February 25 at the Roxie (3117 16th St.)
For a complete list of performers, films, exhibits and ticket prices visit the Noise Pop web site.
It's been nearly two months since DJ Rated R was injured in a Philippines car crash. Now, the Sacramento-based musician born Ronald Florente is undergoing physical therapy in Visalia and, friends say, is on his way to a full recovery.
"He's doing really good at the moment," says Justin "Self" Brown, Florente's band mate in the Sacramento hip-hop group Live Manikins.
Florente, who was performing in the Philippines with his other group Live Audible Soul, was seriously hurt in a Dec. 11 crash near Baguio City.
The accident occurred when the brakes gave out while the van in which Florente was riding crashed after its brakes gave out. Florente, 26, was in the van's back row of seats and went through a window upon impact, sustaining major head and spinal injuries as well as a broken collarbone and clavicle.
Another member of the group, Runt Rock (real name: Gabriel Pizarro - he also performs in Live Manikins), was also injured but only suffered scrapes and bruises.
Florente, who underwent several major surgeries in the Philippines, was finally allowed to return home in mid-January..
Live Manikins will briefly regroup for a "Rock 4 Ron" show to benefit Florente but, Brown says, he hopes the whole crew will be back on stage by March.
"We don't want to really play again until Ron's back," Brown says.
"He's the backbone of our sound and it doesn't feel right without him."
Style: Rock meets hip-hop
Behind the song: "We were hanging out one day, playing with music and Ron was scratching this guitar riff and when he started riffing Gabe started putting down drum beats and freestyling," Brown says.
The track, Brown says, epitomizes Brown's energy.
"Most of the sounds on this track are just Ron scratching," he says. "The vibe is "like Run DMC and Aerosmith on 'Walk this Way' - it's not crazy or dangerous angry it's just us rocking out."
See them: Thursday at the Image VIP Lounge (705 J St). Addict Merchants and Righteous Movement are also on the bill. Admission is $10.
Word is there are still a few tickets left for tonight's TRV$DJAM show at the Park Ultra Lounge.
TRV$DJAM is, of course, the two-man musical mayhem featuring Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrated club mixmaster DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein). Together the two create a mix that covers everything from hip-hop to '80s rock.
Both men, as you probably remember, were badly injured in a September air crash that killed Barker's assistant, Roseville native Christopher Baker. It was a tragic accident that left two musicians injured and grieving - but also with a renewed sense of spirit and an appreciation for life. It's good to see them back on their feet so soon.
The pair perform tonight at the Park Ultra Lounge (15th & L Streets, Sacramento). Doors open at 8:30 p.m.. $40 tickets available via WanTickets.com.
His idea was to keep it simple: Guitar, bass and drums and an exploration of the spaces in between each sound.
Dan Elkan was on break from a guest stint playing for Hella on tour and the former Pocket for Corduroy musician wanted to put together another band of his own. So he contacted his old PFC bandmate Thad Stoenner who was living in Elkan's Nevada City hometown.
Next thing Elkan knew he'd moved back to the foothills and, with the addition of drummer David Torch, had put together Them Hills.
The band was born in January 2006 but wouldn't play its first show until the end of that year.
"I didn't want to just start a group and play before we were ready," Elkan says.
During that time, the band explored its dynamic.
"Most bands have two guitars, bass and drums - or maybe even more (instruments) than that, I wanted something that was simple," he says. "I wanted to (work on) creating a sound where each instrument would matter more than if you had a bunch playing - especially in a live setting."
The band tried to capture that ethos on its debut CD, "Greener Grassing."
"I wanted to have a simple sound that was (also) dynamic," he said. "I wanted there to be more spaces where instruments were not playing - it's like when you think about a song like U2's 'With or Without You.' That's a powerful sound but it's just bass."
Song: "Grow Down"
Style: Jangly indie rock
Behind the song: The track stemmed from a single drum beat, Elkan says.
"David came up with this really quirky punk sounding (riff) and the concept came out of just us thinking about punk rock," he says. "It's about how you deal with the idea of getting older while still keeping your mind young and fresh."
It's OK, he says, to not conform to so-called "adult" standards.
"That's an old punk idea: You can grow up but still be young at heart."
See them: Jan. 25 at Luigi's Fun Garden, 1050 20th St, Sacramento. Tera Melos and Sbach are also on the bill. $5.
OMG grab your eyeliner, Fall Out Boy is headed to Sacramento.
Just two years after the emo-pop band cancelled its headlining appearonce at Sleep Train, the band is now scheduled to bring its Believers Never Die Part Deux tour to town, April 8 at Memorial Auditorium.
Also on the bill: Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low and Hey Monday.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 23 through Tickets.com but if you're part of the FOB fan club you can get in on some pre-sale action on Jan. 21 via OvercastKids.com.
That icon of 70s pop-rock Fleetwood Mac's been talking reunion for a while and now the rumour is true. Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood (but, sadly, no Christine McVie) just announced tour dates and Sacramento made the list.
Fleetwood Mac Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009 will arrive May 18 at Arco Arena.
Pre-sale tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this Saturday. Get details via the band's Web site.
I'm sorry - did someone say "recession"? Judging by the New Year's Eve festivities planned for downtown Sacramento this evening, it seems that 2009 might just be Sacramento's sweetest year ever.
Tonight, Sacramento will celebrate its first-ever New Year's Eve ball drop, a Times Square-style tradition that only occurs in a handful of U.S. cities, none of them located on the West Coast. Mayor Kevin Johnson will oversee the ceremonies, which will shut down 10th Street between J and L streets.
And Sacramento's induction into ball drop history isn't even the half of it. Event sponsors Crest Theatre and Sacramento Film & Music Festival have teamed up to provide an evening of free music and film that includes local music videos from the Festival's Sac Music Seen program, live performances by Autumn Sky and The Dirty Feet, and a selection of some short films and music videos from the Festival's submission pool.
The event takes place at the Crest Theatre from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), so once you've gotten your Sacramento-area art & culture fix, you can stroll over to 10th Street to see performances by STOMP and Forever Plaid. The evening concludes with the ball drop at midnight, and after that, well, you're going to have to come up with your own plans.
The members of Tesla have come a long way since their late '80s, early '90s hey day. Then, the Sacramento hard rock band, touring the world on the success of albums such as "Five Man Acoustical Jam" was forced to squeeze recording sessions in between shows.
It was an exciting time, sure, says Tesla bassist Brian Wheat - but tiring, too.
The band's latest album, "Forever More," on the other hand, was recorded in Wheat's Midtown home studio. The five-month process, Wheat says, was considerably more relaxed than all those tour pit stops.
"We were in our own beds every night - this is a much more civilized way to make a record," Wheat says.
Produced by longtime Tesla friend Terry Thomas, the album reflects the band's decades-long work ethos:
"You get the idea, you work it out and then you just go in the studio and do it," Wheat says.
It's a simple enough foundation for the band's working man's rock blues sound but, Wheat says, Tesla has definitely evolved since its early days.
"We've been making records for 22 years and have traveled the world and gone through marriages and divorces and kids and other life experiences," he says.
"Those life experiences translate into your music, of course. We're the same band but now we're seasoned like an old baseball."
Caitlin Gutenberger had never been in a band, hadn't really sang - certainly never in front of anyone - had never written a song.
She didn't have the experience but she did, however, find she had a musical connection with husband, bassist Johnny Gutenberger and his Jackpot bandmate Rusty Miller.
"Johnny and Rusty had some downtime and I wanted to learn to play drums so we'd just goof off and we had this real chemistry," she says of the collaboration that eventually became Two Sheds.
"So I wrote a few songs and then switched over to guitar and Rusty started playing drums."
Yes, it really was that simple.
"I was freaked out at first - I never thought I could write songs - I was an English major, used to writing things that were longer," says the 27-year-old singer.
"But then I got over the hump and wrote a handful of songs really fast.
That was 2004 and in the years since, Two Sheds, also featuring James Finch Jr. on guitar, has released a album (2006's "Strange Ammunition") and this year's digital-only, self-titled EP.
The music, grounded by Gutenberger's soft yet decidedly assured voice, is a mix of ghostly folk-pop and bouncier indie rock.
With Two Sheds geographically divided - the Gutenbergers live in Sacramento, Miller and Finch live in San Francisco - it's sometimes difficult to get the band in the same room for anything other than a show.
Still, the members of Two Shed are planning on spending some quality time together in 2009 with plans for a tour, a South By Southwest appearance and a new album on the calendar.
The new record, Gutenberger says, is still little more than a hazy notion.
"Second records are weird because the first one is just a big solo barf," she says with laugh.
"I have a lot of ideas that are all over the place but I really don't have a clue what it will sound like - we'll see what happens in the studio. I just want it to be (recorded) in a cozy environment with no pressure."
Style: Upbeat yet moody, wistful pop
Behind the song: The track's sunny sound belies its dark take on a particularly bad spell and a chorus which, yes, is acronym for "What the #$ !."
"Have you ever had one of those days or weeks or months where a bunch of bad things happen?" Gutenberger asks.
It's just, perhaps, a rhetorical question but the her viewpoint is disarmingly straightforward.
"Honestly, it's just one of those stupid choruses because I couldn't think of anything else to sing," Gutenberger says.
"I wanted to think of a more lyrical, nuanced way to say that but this is what came out instead."
Initially, "WTF" was a slow, meditative song but, over time, evolved into something faster and brighter.
"We just started playing it fast at practice because we wanted it to have this Tommy James & the Shondells sound - very 'la la la' with a quiet little heartbeat," she says.
"It just ended up being very fun."
See them: Tuesday, December 9th at Luigi's Fun Garden,
1050 20th Street, Sacramento. The 8 p.m. show is all-ages and $5 at the door. Chelsea Wolf and the Parson Redheads are also on the bill.
On the Web: http://www.myspace.com/twosheds
The collaboration started a decade ago in a Sacramento High School classroom.
Lee Bob Watson was a musician but he was also a substitute teacher and, sometimes between classes, he found himself talking music with one of his students.
That student, Derek Taylor, had a band called Bucho and he invited Watson to come check them out sometime.
Watson did and, now 10 years later, the teacher and the student are bandmates in Happy Mayfield, which releases its debut CD Friday at Old Ironsides.
The four-piece, based in Sacramento and San Francisco, connects its members' electric influences to craft an oddly compelling hybrid of folk, soul, hip-hop, world beat and rock.
For Watson, who's played with the likes of Jackpot and recently released a solo album, it's an affirmation of how music can define your life. The birth of Happy Mayfield, he says, came at a point when he'd started to question the very act of making music.
It was 2004 and, back home after a stint teaching English abroad, Watson reconsidered his path: Playing endless bar gigs, touring on the cheap and subbing to make ends meet.
"It'd been 10 years of the grind of doing music and so I took a hiatus and stepped away for a minute - I just had to take it all in and ask myself, 'is this what I want to do?'" It's a crazy life."
Finally, he decided yes - but with a catch.
"I wanted it to be fun and positive, I wanted to find something that was uplifting."
That meant sifting through the sounds that got him interested in music in the first place - old funk, soul and jazz.
Watson, already writing and recording music for his 2007 solo CD "Aficionado," set aside songs that didn't quite fit that album's Americana vibe.
"Sometimes I'd write something that was more upbeat and dance-oriented, so I put them aside and waited until the time came when I would have the proper band."
The time arrived when Watson approached his old friend and student.
Watson had jammed with the members of Bucho before and now he wanted them to give his songs new life.
"The first batch I wrote came out pretty realized but I'm an old school cat and I knew that ... they would bring in some more contemporary influences."
By this point Bucho had disbanded and Taylor was living in San Francisco, playing drums with his old Bucho bandmate Josh Lippi and pal Ben Schwier in The Park, an ensemble that combines funk and jazz with hip-hop and R&B.
Taylor was ready to play.
"Lee used to burn us mix CDs and really opened my eyes to old (music)," says Taylor, whose Bay Area band now backs up neo-soul and pop acts such as Alice Russell and Nino Moschella.
"I loved his songwriting - when he had this Happy Mayfield idea, it just seemed totally natural."
And, although Watson already had the songs, Taylor says, Happy Mayfield has transcended the sum of its parts to create not just a sound but a sense of place,
"We're all from California and we all have this genuine love for soul and dance and that kind of cross-cultural sound."
Bassist Josh Lippi sees Happy Mayfield as unmistakably "authentic" but also something larger-than-life.
It's like we all are (playing) as these alter-egos," he says.
"Lee Bob's coming from this folk singer-songwriter background but in his heart of hearts he's this real James Brown kind of soul singer."
Dana Gumbiner was also struck by the band's dramatic flair - both on stage and in song.
"Lee Bob has this real cinematic way of looking at music, it's almost theatrical," says Gumbiner, who produced the Happy Mayfield record at his Grass Valley-based Station to Station studio.
And with songs that touch on everything from love and religion to outlaws and inspiration, it's Watson's viewpoint that keeps it fresh.
"It's like Happy Mayfield became this character with a sub-narrative on subjects" Gumbiner says,
"That's what makes it click."
Still, although Happy Mayfield may be Watson's creation, the singer-songwriter says the rest of the band is force that makes it breathe.
"This is all happening because the band is hitting its stride," he says.
"They've played with tons of different people and they bring a playfulness to the music that pretty much goes beyond any boundaries."
Style: Jazzed out, Booty-shaking funk
Behind the song: The track, which references everything from street poet/ R&B singer Gil Scott-Heron to the El Camino High School-run station KYDS 91.5, chronicles Watson's lifelong musical journey - and sets the mood for the rest of the record.
"I wanted to write a bio for the band so I started writing down things and it occurred to me that it was a song - a declaration of principles," he says.
"This song became a genealogy of Happy as a character - why I feel the way I do, why I feel I have the right to say this."
See them: Friday at Old Ironsides(1901 10th St, Sacramento); the 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m. and is $7 at the door. Friendly Creatures and Casual Fog are also on the bill.
Autumn Sky had 150 songs from which to choose so when it came time to narrow the selection down for an EP she wanted to pick songs that represented her range of musical loves and influences.
"A lot of pop, a lot of toy pianos and little bell sounds," Sky says. "(But) then there also my angry songs and things that are serious."
Just six songs long, "Diminutive Petite" packs a Goliath-sized wallop and is an aural history of Sky's musical progression. The Orangevale resident started playing piano as a child and, by the age of six, already had already written a several dozen tunes.
She eventually moved on to the cello and then the guitar. Now, a voice major at American River College, Sky is studying voice and jazz, Recently, she and a group of classmates formed a jazz combo which, she says, has had a major impact on her songwriting approach.
"It's difficult (because) I don't really know jazz chords so it makes me respect my limits - it's made me more creative and more respectful of all the people who came before."
Sky, who grew up performing in worship groups, also credits church as an important, if subtle, influence.
"I don't write Christian music, per se, but spiritually definitely influences what I choose to write and how I write about," she says.
Simply put, she says, her faith helps her set a personal songwriting standard.
"I would never write a song that I wouldn't my little brother to hear."
Sky will release a full-length album in April. Her EP will be available Thursday at a Luigi's Fun Garden CD release show or online at iTunes or CDBaby.com.
With a pedigree that includes Papa's Culture, Seventy and the Original Heads, Harley White Jr.'s been making music in Sacramento for years now, playing everything from jazz and hip-hop to rock.
These days, White's concentrating on jazz but still wearing many musical hats as the songwriter, arranger, stand-up bassist and leader for his big band-styled Harley White Jr. Orchestra.
"Doing the big band - it really covers everything I want to do," White says. "It allows me to do all those things that I'm interested in doing."
And what interests him, White says, is incorporating all of his musical loves - pop, jazz, hip-hop, rock, swing, etc - into one cohesive sound.
White finds inspiration in two music greats.
"Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones are my ideal musicians," he says. "They have hubris - they see the whole picture."
As such, White says he has no plans to release a CD version of his big band work.
"To release a big band record that sounds like a big band record? I wouldn't do it when Duke Ellington's already done it so perfectly," he says. "Those guys were on the road 200 nights out of the year and the music they play sounds like it - it was done so perfectly."
Fans can, however, find the Harley White Jr. Orchestra online as White turns to the Web to release experimental versions of his music. Check out one of those tracks, "Autumn Returns" at www.sacbee.com/ sacramentosingle.
Harley White Jr. Orchestra
Song: "Autumn Returns"
Style: Ethereal, dubbed-out jazz
Behind the song: "This a Harley White Jr. Orchestra song remixed by the Original Heads," White says. "I went into the studio with producer William Prince and we started with a regular square mix - like what you'd hear the band do at a show - and then dubbed it out.
"Dub (music) is what happens when you strip things out - it's about the (concept of) less is more."
Here, less is more means taking out some sounds while giving new life to others.
"You start with a bare bones skeletal mix and then add reverb and delays," he says. "It's about making the music more spooky and ethereal. "For example, there's a horn sound that, in the original version of the song goes "pow!"
Then, White says, lowering his voice to a whisper, "when you dub it out for the remix, it sounds like 'pow, pow, pow."
"It's about finding the subconsciousness of the song."
See them: Friday at the Distillery (2107 L St, Sacramento ) with the C.U.F. and Red Tape; the 21-and-over show starts at 10 p.m. and is $7 at the door.
Or, Nov. 11 the HWJO plays World War II-era music at a Veteran's Day party at Club 21 (1119 21st St, Sacramento). Patrons are encouraged to dress up in their best '40s finery. Admission is $10 and the music start at 9 p.m.
Because, as I always like to say, Thursday is the new Friday there are a couple of good shows to check out tonight (you know, after the vice presidential debate). Best of all, given the troubling economy, they're both on the cheap side.
In Sacramento at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.), check out quirky folk-pop singer-songwriter Ricky Berger with San Francisco band Uni & Her Ukelele (pictured) and, coming atcha live from Foresthill, the wonderful western swing'n'twang sound of the Poplollies. That show is 21-and-over and costs $5 at the door. For more information: myspace.com/theoldironsides.
Or, head over to Sophia's Thai Kitchen (129 E St, Davis) to check out Tim Williams. The New York-based singer-songwriter crafts moody, earnest pop and because there's a melodica in the mix it all sounds so sparkly and pretty. That show is all-ages and only $3. For more information: myspace.com/sophiasthaikitchen.
The show's not listed on the club's calendar yet, but looks like Mates of Statewill be playing a show at Harlow's on Oct. 6.
The Kansas-based married couple - they used to call San Francisco home - are on tour with Santogold. The Brooklyn artist doesn't list Sacramento on her tour calendar but here's hoping that hip-hop /pop (hip-pop?) singer will also make the show.
If you have yet to hear Mates of State's latest album, "Re-Arrange Us," give it a whirl. It took me a while to take a shine to the critically acclaimed disc but then after about the 10th listen all if its beautiful nuances clicked into place (I'm a big fan of their earlier discs so I knew it was just a matter of being patient).
Mates of State's Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner recently did a Peta ad - kind of a surprising choice for the animal rights organization given that the duo's not very well known outside of indie rock circles.
Maybe it's just that they look so darn good all naked-like.
The band may list Brooklyn as its hometown on its MySpace page but the members of !!! wanted to make one perfectly clear: Sacramento was, is and always will be home.
"This band is not afraid to say it's from Sacramento," said back-up singer Shannon Funchess as the band played to a packed house at Harlow's on Tuesday night.
"Sacramento you own !!!."
And Sactown made good on its investment as the band ripped through its blistering set. With singer Nic Offer - clad in a polo shirt and shorts - leading the groove, there wasn't a stationary pair of feet in the building.
Well, there was that one guy in front me who kind of barely tapped his Converse in time to the rhythm, but he doesn't count. Seriously, how can you go to a !!! show and not shake what your mama gave you?
As always, !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk" - or you can use any rhythmic, repetitive sound really) proved that "disco" and "punk" aren't mutually exclusive tunes. Moving through tracks off of their three albums, the band delivered beats so raw they seemed to cut to the very core of your soul. With horns, keyboards, tambourine and killer guitar riffs, !!! marries its dance floor vibe with gospel, soul and hard rock.
The show, a benefit for Concerts 4 Charity, also featured Touchez in the opening slot and more skinny jeans, thrift store tees and ironic mustaches per square foot than is probably legal. But I mean that in a good way, really. Hey, if you're not too cool to dance (Converse-tapping guy, I'm looking at you), then you understand what I mean.
A couple of shows that slipped past the Coming Distractions print deadline. First, show promoter Jerry Perry tells us he's in charge of putting together this year's benefit for the Sacramento Housing Alliance.
The Oct. 8 shindig takes place at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St.) and will feature Antsy McClain & the Trailer Park Troubadours as the headliner. The show starts at 7 p.m. - stay tuned for ticket info.
Perry's also got two tribute shows coming. The first is actually part of a tribute double-header paying homage to bassist Erik Kleven, killed last month in an auto accident: On Oct. 14, tribute shows will take place at both Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) and the Fox & Goose (1001 R St.). No word yet on the line-up, except for Kleven's longtime friend and musical colleague Anton Barbeau.
Then, on Oct. 21, pay tribute to indie pop songwriter Elliot Smith. Though the details surrounding Smith's 2003 death remain cloudy (it was officially ruled a suicide), one thing is clear: The Oscar-nominated artist left behind a beautiful catalog of moody pop.
Aside from the Kyoto Beat Orchestra, there's no definite line-up on this show, either. We'll keep you posted.
OK, we get it - it's hot. And in the never-ending quest to find ways to make the heat more bearable, I joined Pets, the local noise pop duo, at the Pyramid Alehouse (1029 K St.) a few nights ago.
On the agenda: a chat about their new CD - and lots of beer. Only, the Pets - Allison Jones and Derek Fieth - were tragically shut out of their drink of choice, the pear cider.
"It's always this way," Jones said, with a good-natured sigh. "They're always out of what we like."
Instead, we all settled for the no-frills Hefeweizen and, ultimately, it seemed like the perfect pick. Because what says "Sacramento in the summer" better than a refreshingly ice-cold wheat beer (with plenty of lemon) paired with good people-watching and the late-day sun?
And luckily, Pyramid had that beer, the patio had the people-watching, and Sac -as always - has the sun. Oh, and Pets has a CD-release party on July 14 at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) Look for a story in The Bee's Ticket section that same day. For more info before then, visit the Old Ironsides site.
Anyone who has ever tried to make their own mojito at home can testify to their inexplicable grossness. I mean, I had the lime, the sugar, the fresh mint - I followed the Internet recipe to the hilt. OK, so maybe my muddling stick was the back end of a hammer, but a blunt object is a blunt object.
Anyway, after choking down a pitcher of my homemade swill recently, I felt a call to the experts was in order. And Cristian Lara, bartender at Zocalo, had a few tips that I feel confident will turn my life around. Instead of using sugar, he recommends triple sec, which is pretty ingenious if you think about it. And don't squeeze the lime, he adds. Crush it when you're going to town with that ice. Now where'd I put that hammer?
In yet another example of how it takes me forever to notice things right under my nose, Hukilau - the Hawaiian-themed joint at 16th and O - has closed its doors and morphed overnight (in my mind, at least) into Pronto, a fast-service Italian eatery from the guys who brought us Paesanos.
In real time, Hukilau served its last meal in late April, and Pronto's public debut is scheduled for later this month. So maybe I'm not as unobservant as I thought. The new place will offer salads and panini on-the-run, but reportedly, no drinks. I guess wine just doesn't go well in a to-go cup.
Free tonight? Check out the Crocker Contemporaries lecture with photographer Nigel Poor. The Bay Area photographer will discuss her take on the medium - and all the new ways it's being pushed. There's a pre-lecture reception at 6 p.m. and Poor speaks at 7. Cost is free for members of the Crocker Art Museum (at 216 O St.) and $10 for non-members. If you're really feeling thrifty, check out the museum's Web site to download a two-for-one coupon.
If you're not already familiar with it, Crocker Contemporaries is part of the museum and a part of its efforts to bring more young people to art. It's got people like Olivia Coelho (Olipom clothing store and the utlra-cool quarterly Sellout/Buyout) on its board of directors - definitely worth checking out.
Every day on my way home from work, I experience a small heartbreak. There it is - my neighborhood bar, Joe Marty's, its windows boarded up, its ratty little canopy singed from the fire that closed its doors last summer. I feel I simply can't go on without the sound of dice being slapped on the cozy little bar, or the feel of a $2 can of Olympia in my hand. I have waited, yes, but hopefully for not much longer. Owner David Garibay told us that he's hoping to re-open the much-loved haunt by the end of this month. Until then, it's tears in the beers for me. And considering I have yet to see a single worker repairing my beloved bar, it's looking like I may be shedding quite a few before the month is done.