Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The face of a new movement?

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

Last week after the Animal Collective show I got really excited talking about my theory of the Next Big Thing in music and fashion, and I talked about it so much that now I'm kind of over it, but I thought I'd write about it a little bit here, because, well, I don't really have anything else to write about today. One problem is I can't think of a name for it, D.P. suggested "clog rock" but I can tell you that that's not gonna catch on and I don't agree that it sums it up. Pitchfork already has a "freak-folk" category, but I hope that this will expand a bit beyond just the folky stuff or it won't have much staying power.

Anyway, these are my ideas: the eighties shit is over, coke is over, the east coast isn't going to dictate what's cool for a little while. Well, it will because it always does, but east coasters are going to be trying to emulate west coast casual style. People are going to be smoking a lot more pot and hash (I swear hash already has a buzz around it, people are talking about it all the time). These are the inspirations that I see for this stuff: Hansudatta Swami (ooh, I should do a blog post about him tomorrow, I was listening to his album the other day and it's sooo good), the Beach Boys of Smile, Friends, and 20/20, Vashti Bunyan, tropicalia. For girls, all that extremely layered hair is going to be out and everyone is going to have long, straight hair, some even all one length. Peasanty, hippy-ish kinds of embroidered tops and dresses with maybe cowboy boots or suede boots will be a big look. I bet everyone will stop wearing high heels all the time, especially pointy ones, thank god. Men are gonna have long hair and beards will be huge (this is already happening) Men may even be rocking-gasp!-tie dye (don't laugh, Animal Collective were wearing it the other night and it looked normal). People will cultivate a kind of cultish, hare krishna vibe and everyone will be much nicer.

I'm not saying I endorse this trend or even that it will get that big, just that there has to be something to fill the eighties void and that that shit better be over, for real. We've been suffering through it for like four or five years! I've heard that there's kind of a style vacuum in New York right now (I'll see for myself in a few weeks), and maybe this trend will rush in to fill it.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Party of the summer?

Marcus Kreidler had a column in yesterday's Bee that took the stance that we need to keep quaking in fear that the Kings will leave. Here's a statement that pretty much sums it up, "It has nothing to do with whether or not you believe it fair. It certainly is a notion completely removed from the separate - and critical - debate over what constitutes a decent use of public money in our community." Oooh, he's so authoritative! He also throws in a little point about the supposed other benefits of an arena, "The Kings, at maximum tilt, would occupy any facility only about 20 percent of its available dates in any given year, leaving the city - or county, or regional consortium - free to book the rest of the dates and count the booty - if it owned the place." Yes, but he fails to point out that sometimes teams demand a cut or even all of the profits that are generated from other events at the venue. He is very much falling in line with what the authors of "Field of Schemes" warn that we can expect in a community that is about to be forced to pay for an arena. The press' role in this whole thing is to basically work the theme of inevitability. They'll just say over and over, "sure, it's not fair, it's blackmail, it's unjust, but that's business, baby, what're you gonna do?". Of course he's going to say that, he's a career sportswriter. He'd be fucked if the Kings left. I, however, will go about my daily life with no change even if the Kings decide to move. And so would 99.9% of everyone in Sacramento. And if the Kings have a bad season in Las Vegas or Kuala Lampur or wherever, they probably will be abandoned by their new fairweather fans. So there!

Monday gossip!

So, the party of the summer was this saturday at T and 18th and it continued the general theme of parties this summer, which can be summed up as: weak (except for my birthday party of course). Highlights:

-tweaked out dude who strolled up to me, Grace, and Nicola and asked right off the bat if we would like to go home with him. He also mentioned that he had crashed the party after spotting it while being chased by an "old Asian dude".

-A lively roundtable discussion about shaved vs. unshaved was initiated with playboy Darrin's friend Ross confirming my suspicions that it's a generational thing, and that many younger girls do some sort of trimmage in that area. I quipped that I try to trim, but I keep losing pairs of scissors in there.

-Due to a combo of whiskey and soma I started channeling my mother and obsessively pointing out which celebrities are Jewish. This combination also made me feel that I was being very witty, which is a sure sign that I am too intoxicated.

-Hey, guy who keeps throwing bottles, quite throwing bottles at me and Vince.

Blind Items

-Which electroclash slut was hitting on my boyfriend? Ha, like it was only one.

-Which local musician was wearing a t-shirt of his own band?

-Which platinum selling artist was macking on girls younger than his ever-present trucker hat?

Friday, August 27, 2004


damn! check out the pitchfork review of the new !!! single:

well, in !!!s defense, this guy obviously has some kind of axe to grind with the dance rock thing. He's probably just mad because he's a really bad dancer.

To be continued...

So I was waiting in line to get into the Animal Collective/Black Dice show and I was bringing up the fact that I had seen Black Dice like six years ago in a basement in Sac, but when I said it, I said it in this weird voice that was supposed to indicate that if I were to be bragging about this, this is what I would say. But really, I simultaneously was mocking someone who would name-drop the Black Dice and name dropping the Black Dice. This is an annoying habit. I quickly vowed to never do that again, but really if I start cataloguing my annoying habits and trying to stop them, before you know it my entire personality will have disappeared

I'm frustrated because today I was going to review the show and write about the new musical movement that will be the Next Big Thing, but I am too busy monkeying around with brains so I don't have time. Monday I should have time, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

an opossum's best friend

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

I am in a very bad mood. This may have something to do with the fact that I had to get up every four hours last night to feed baby opposums (see above picture) and stimulate their genitals. Does this make me a whore? Regardless of why, I have decided that the remedy is to write something positive. So here are some reason why my new neighborhood (11th and T)rules. I will just say right off the bat that all of the people I am mentioning are Chinese. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but I feel compelled to mention it.
1) The old lady who walks around the perimeter of the elementary school across the street every night vigorously swinging her arms.
2) The old dude who chills for hours in his pajamas on his stairs, smoking.
3) The two guys down the block, one old, one younger (with a balding mullet hairstyle) who renovate and try to sell many old junker vans and are often chopping wood on the sidewalk.
4) The neighborhood electrician who the old lady downstairs summoned when D.P. blew our fuse. He had a briefcase and a faux professional air. He changed the fuse and the electrical plate for five bucks.
5) The fact that everyone has gardens in whatever tiny yard they have.

Now for something negative. The Maloofs suck it. They are not Chinese. Connection? Anyway, Anna sent me a link to a Sab BizJournal article from yesterday http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2004/08/23/story1.html?page=1 about how the Maloofs are now generously offering to pay for 20% of the new arena. I am so tired of this issue dominating city politics. Aren't there more important things that the city could be focusing on? Like reining in the raging sexuality of our randy firemen? And even of our firemen that aren't named randy?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Are these guys cooler than you? Or just richer?

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

How's this for a gross quote about the Maloofs in the Bee today, "They're in the sweet spot of the culture engine," . This is in reference to a new indian casino that the Maloofs are thinking about opening. I was looking for a picture of the scary Maloof mom, when I found this article about George Maloofs 40th birthday. In the article, George heads to the casino to spend a quiet birthday with his nephew, but there is a surprise in store," But as Maloof drove up to the Palms, it wasn't a baby who greeted the curly-haired bachelor, but sexy actress Tara Reid and boy-band heartthrob Lance Bass, who gave him a birthday present of an expensive watch. Turns out, there was a surprise party waiting at the hotel's Skin pool lounge and among the guests were Robin Leach of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" fame, supermodel Rachel Hunter, baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and another boy-band heartthrob, JC Chasez, who teamed up with his 'N Sync buddy, Bass, to croon "Happy Birthday" to Maloof. In addition to the stars, the family turned out as well, including, yes, baby Gavin and mom, plus Maloof's three brothers, Joe, Gavin and Phil Maloof. The party continued in the hotel's lounge, where Kevin Martin of Candlebox and Puddle of Mudd were performing. OK, so if the Maloof's are really that cool, how come all they could get were C list celebrities like Tara Reid and Lance Bass (not to mention Z-listers like Robin Leach and Reggie Jackson)? And there's something really pathetic about a 40 year old man spending his birthday with Tara Reid. Doing further research, I was interested to find out that the Maloofs are the richest family in New Mexico. And of course they made their money the old-fashioned, American way: they inherited it. Well, a lot of it anyway.

There's an article in the Sac Bee today about how the city council is increasingly dismayed at the worn-down state of the downtown plaza. I really like the downtown plaza. I'm not a major-league shopper, so it's the perfect size for me. My limit is usually hitting 3-4 stores in about an hour and then I get that mall-madness feeling where you can't focus your eyes and you start thinking that ugly things like one-shoulder tank tops look good. Plus, it's cool that you can ride your bike there. In response to the bitching of the city council, Westfield has said that they might open a Target or Wal-Mart, and councilwoman Pannell was very saddened that the mall would go for something so downscale. What a snobby bitch. Most people who live at the Berry Hotel probably won't be doing much shopping at the Pottery Barn. Oh, but I forgot that part of the grand plan for that area is to bulldoze over the unsightly poor people that live in that neighborhood. Poor people are just so passe. When was the last time you saw a poor person hanging out with Tara Reid?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

interview below


Charles Albright, reclusive billionaire

Well readers, you are in for a treat today. I have an exclusive interview with the elusive Charles Albright. Charles first roared into the public consciousness in his early twenties. He is an aviator, inventor, and bon vivant. He amassed a fortune and squired a bevy of starlets around town. In recent years his eccentricities have taken over his life. He now lives in squalor in one boarded-up room in his mansion. He is naked save for a pair of filthy white underwear. His hair is long and matted and his fingernails are yellow claws. He has an overwhelming fear of germs and will only eat food that his servants pass to him swathed in kleenex. Oh wait, this is the intro to my interview with Howard Hughes. Um...yeah, Charles. He's cool too:

Where did you grow up?
Well, I was born here in Sacramento and my family moved to Baltimore Maryland right before I turned 3 in 1982. We moved back to the Sacramento Area (read: Citrus Heights) in 1991. If I’m ever asked I just say I grew up in Baltimore. It sounds more urban.

Why did you move to Sacramento?
My Dad is under the belief that the world is crazy and not he. Basically folks, if you have problems just keep moving around the country and your bound to find a place where you won’t were out your welcome. Wait…

What is your first memory of Sacramento?
Well, it’s actually over by the executive airport on Freeport blvd. My family lived in duplex over there and I remember walking with my dad past the airport. I guess I was 2 years old. I also remember going to that Chucky Cheese that had the plane crash into it in the 80’s. Before the plane crash that is.

Where have you lived in Sac?
Lots of places. Most notability Citrus Heights, North highlands, Oak Park and Land Park.
What is your dream neighborhood?
Well besides Gondor and Rivendale I’d have to say a neighborhood that had grocery stores with in walking distance, nice big bike paths and lots of trees. Wait, where you asking abstractly or my favorite Sacramento neighborhood?

Do you think you will ever move?
Yeah. Kind of. I definitely see my self-traveling. I kind of feel rooted here in Sacramento and I like that. I haven’t had many roots in my life. My parents move around so much I have lost a lot of friends and I don’t feel very connected to my extended family. I also realized when I was EUROPE this past summer that I want to make Sacramento as good as it can be. That’s one thing anyone can do make the world better I feel, focus on there own community.

What bands have you been in?
As of now, and depending on how you count, 15-17. Such bands as Milhouse SMF/USA, Ric and the Young Rogues, The Reaydmades, The Colonels, King Robot, Sir and the Young Men, The Elfs, Rock the Light, The Frenchmen, Thrillhouse, Sunshine Smile, The Knightmares, October Surprise, Christ on Welfare II/Rowsdauer, Van Halen. I also filled in for The Lizards for a show, The Secretions for a few shows and The Four Eyes for a tour.

What’s the best thing about being in a band in Sacramento?
Never practicing, having no place to play, lack of groupies and friends not wanting to pay for anything. Wait…

What’s the worst thing?
Being in bands with the same four people and lack of groupies. Ok, I am just kidding. Being in a band in Sacramento has some great aspects. People know how to have fun here and not take themselves too seriously. How can you REALLY be a hipster here? All the real smart hipsters figure this out after the second person they sleep with and move to Oakland, San Francisco or New York. That said, my friend Vince says, people don’t take themselves seriously at all. I don’t know if I completely agree with him on that but I can see where he is coming from.

What is your favorite Sacramento band?
Right now? Either the Bananas, the Hotel Pistol, Knock Knock or any band I am in. There are so many great bands here though. That’s another plus to our little music community: quality over quantity. Also the mixing of music styles here because there are so few musicians here in Sacramento. I figured out really quickly the lines between indie and punk here are as meaningful as the lines at the Crest Theater concession stand. Sorry, that was a work joke.

How have you seen Sacramento change over the years?
Well, I’d say yes except for the fact that I have changed so much; it is kind of hard to tell how much it really has changed. But I am pretty sure I changed in some way.

What do you think of the dating scene in Sac?
Hmmm, well contrary to Nic Offer’s blasphemous statements a few years back in a nameless national publication, there are lots of smart/hella fine ladies in town. The real problem is how small our town is socially. You can’t even get an HJ with out some dude or chick writing a mediocre pop song about how you suck. Its kind of Bullshit.

Most romantic spot in Sac/place to take a date?
I’d say the River or Land Park. Maybe the Tower Theater tower? I know some chick that used that one on me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how am I in bed?
****CENSORED******Wait, that was kind of serious for such a silly question. Can I just answer 69 or 88 instead? Why 88? Cuz you get “8” twice! Ha! That joke was told to be by a work friend named Kristie, so I really don’t feel comfortable taking credit for it. But I will!

What’s your favorite restaurant in Sacramento?
Am I legally bound to say Los Horrittos? Café Bernardo, Andy Nguyens or Roma Pizza. I know I am missing something. La Favorita!

Favorite bar?
The Flame Club. End of story! Well, maybe the Hedgecove on a Monday night (Hedge-cove = Pinecove)

Tower or the Crest?
Tower is who gave me my start, but the Crest is my new lady now. Sorry. One-dollar popcorn. That’s all I’m saying.

Ask Joey or R.E. Graswich?
Well, first of all, Ask Joey is definitely not as bad as everyone says. But I will have to go with Grasswich. Only because I have hated his columns since I was in high school and he wrote on the sports beat. I don’t even know why I used to hate him. I like his new column a little better. Hey, what about “Bites” in the SNR? That guy thinks he’s so cool.

Your favorite local celebrity/celebrity sighting-
Well, the only dude I have seen multiple times around is Mark S. Allen. Wait, I have seen KJ twice. I am going to go with that or Danny Offer.

Predictions for the Kings-
The disillusionment of a returned fan and the blame for my disinterest in pro basketball for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Poet laureate of the Kings

So Peja had his baby and this is what he had to say:

Stojakovic said from Salonika, Greece. "I can see already how everything means nothing once you have a child."

So his life has lost all meaning now that he's had a baby? That's really sad. That's kind of how I feel about having children, but I didn't know that anyone shared this opinion.

It's funny, too, that Peja is all peeved that the Maloofs have commented in the press about Niki Hilton's wedding at their casino but they won't return his calls about the trade. They're not gonna trade you, Peja. Give it up!

Man, I wish I would have been at the city council meeting last night to hear them dissing Mayor Fargo's plan for a retreat on friday to "facilitate communication". It sounds like everyone was bagging on her for being too new agey. Maybe they can get that guy that was in the Metallica movie to help the council get along.

Oh my God! Heather just pointed out that Soriano is in the new R.E. Graswich column. This is unbelievably awesome! Scott's pointing out how a lot of the people that want the arena downtown don't even live downtown. That's just like the guy I got in the argument with at the meeting that when I asked "do you live downtown" he stammered "uh, I live in the greater Sacramento area". I wonder where that fucking little putz Grant Napier lives. He was making me so mad when he talking on the radio about the arena that I had to turn it off. He was explaining with some made up Limbaugh-style "facts" how the money for the arena doesn't mean there is less money for other things in the city budget. Unless the city council is printing that money in the basement of city hall, that is just not true. I hate that argument! People say it really convincingly in a way that makes it seem like you, silly little citizen, just don't understand economics and budgets, but that' s bullshit! The article in the Bee that said that the same tax that they want to put towards the arena was going to be used by the County to finance parks and police shows that that's not true.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Kings sign a Jew! I'm plotzing!

The Kings signed David Bluthenthal as a backup for Peja. He previously led his team to the Eurocup championships for the Maccabi Tel Aviv team. The website for this team even mentions that he is Jewish but didn't travel to Israel until he was 17. I think it's really weird that they mention his religion, but the team logo has a Star of David on it. That's Israel for you!

Harsh words from King's fans in letters to the Bee: "As Peja prepares for the arrival of his child in a few weeks, he may want to consider getting some diapers and bottles for himself, especially since his baby security blanket has decided to move to Los Angeles." oh, snap!

There is an article in the Bee today about a UC Davis pilot program in which a doctor can visit you without interrupting his golf game by using a robot with a TV screen for a head. The article goes on to say "Ellison said an earlier trial of the robot at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore found that when the robot was added to usual postoperative care, patients of all ages were more satisfied than were those who did not have the robot visit them after surgeries". I've seen enough movies to know that this will end badly for the human race.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday Reviews!

Persia House-somewhere on fulton (sorry, i can't find the address, but I will try to call them around lunch and post it later). Grace, Jenny and I tried to go to Maalouf's on fulton, one of my favorite restaurants and home of the region's #1 lamb. Sadly, Maaloufs is closed on sunday, so as we were searching for another restaurant, Persia House caught our eye and we decided to check it out. It seems to have just opened recently. We were met by a very handsome Persian waiter with eyes as blue as the Caspian Sea. He was wearing a vest covered with mirrors. As soon as we sat down two middle eastern gentlemen started talking to us on and off for the course of the meal, offering suggestions and joking around. At first it was a little irritating because they immediately assumed that we had never eaten Persian food and were confused young ladies that were scared by spices or something. After I recommended Maaloufs to them, they chilled out on that and were just friendly. I got the chicken soltani, which was a kind of combo platter of saffron chicken kabobs and beef soltani, which is a kabob with spiced ground beef. Grace got a stew called Gormeh Sabzi. The dudes told us that the work "gourmet" actually comes from the Farsi word for this dish and said that it is a Persian home-cooked favorite. Jenny got another kind of eggplant stew that I can't remember the name of. There was a third stew on the menu that had a pomegranate sauce that sounds very intriguing. All dinners come with a little green salad that I thought was just pretty standard, but Grace loved the dressing. The dinner took a really long time to come, which I like because it gives you time to chat and relax, so you may want to order some beer or wine for the wait. I also enjoyed the wait because I got to spend a lot of time waving at this little Persian kid who was obviously the fucking cutest, happiest little boy in the whole world. When our food finally came, the kabobs were excellent, well spiced and flavored, especially the soltani. I ordered the soltani medium and it was kinda rare. It kept turning the rice pink from blood but it tasted great. I sampled Grace and Jenny's stews and I would have to say just OK. The beef in the gormeh sabzi was a little stringy and dry. Overall, I would say Persia House is very similar but not quite as good as Famous Kabob (which is right down the street), but the ambiance is nicer than Famous Kabob. Persia House definitely has the potential to improve over time, so I say check it out. On a side note, after leaving Persia House, which was only about 25% full, we passed by the Cheesecake Factory, where people were lined up to eat. This is so sad to me.
Persia House- B
Persian Kid-A+

Alien vs. Predator-Not as bad as it could have been. Grace kept covering her eyes with her hands, which made me tense and augmented the small amount of tension generated by this poorly written movie. There was an unintentionally funny moment when the intrepid guide opens the door on the aging eccentric billionaire and he appears to be hitting a bong. Then in a second you realize he's sick and he was using some kind of asthma inhaler.
Alien vs Predator-D+

Ollipom-(on 21st st. where Big Mama's Soul Kitchen used to be)-There is a lot of buzz about this store, so after a largely fruitless hour at the Thrift Town on Stockton (fuck you, Bay Area clothes sellers, quit buying everything!) I decided to stop by, and it did not disappoint. I got a really cute shirt for six bucks that is the kind of thrift store find that you just don't see anymore. She has lots of cute boots and bags, and the prices are pretty reasonable. The owner is very nice and was wearing a flamboyant orange dress that appeared to have had a previous life as a shower curtain. All this, and a pomeranian with a broken leg that gave me a half-hearted tail wag but no real love.
Handicapped Dog-C

Friday, August 13, 2004

And she's a good dancer, too!

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

Finally, my first interview! I plan for my interviews to mostly be centered around the interviewees thoughts about Sacramento. This interview is with Heather Conway, the lovely Miss Chooch Cinciripino-to-be. Heather grew up in a small hick Cali town (as did I), so in a way, both of us probably view Sacramento differently than most people because compared to our home towns it was the big city, full of exciting music and people who didn't think 4-H was cool. Of course I'm speaking for Heather right now, so let's get to the interview and let her speak for herself..

B: Where were you born?
H: Merced, California
B: So you grew up in Merced and lived there your whole life?
H; Yes, until I was 21.
B: So, what was it like growing up in Merced?
H: I grew up outside of Merced, about three miles outside of town, so it was a very rural, country living, a lot of creating your own entertainment. I have two brothers so a lot of just running wild in orchards and ditches and fields.
B: How has Merced changed over the years?
H: It's changed a lot. Probably since I was a kid it's doubled in population, and they're getting the tenth UC. The University of Merced is supposed to be open in a year, two years?
B: So what's the population now?
H: It's a little over 60,000. I remember my first time being aware of the population it was 30 or forty thousand. And, um, it's sprawling of course. I just remember being really shocked, coming home from college, like, Oh my god, that's southern California, that can't happen here! But of course it can happen here, it's gonna be the same, sprawl everywhere.
B: So the changes have mostly been negative?
H: I feel like mostly negative, just covering up agricultural land because it's so precious, but another side that's really positive, there's a really good music scene. There's always been a good music scene that's sort of come and gone because it's so small and people move away to pursue music or whatever, but I feel like it's finally big enough to sustain a music scene and people are stickin' around. And national acts are coming through and the downtown survived that 70â's, 80's period where everything was going out to the suburbs and stripmalls, so the downtown was pretty much intact although recently they have taken out some of the really cool old buildings. But the downtown is thriving, so in that sense it's good. I think that there are people on the city council that view urban infill projects as a good idea, but overall, yeah, it's just sprawl and developers runnin' things.
B: How many of your brothers have mustaches?
H: None! Right now, but until recently it was one. My little brother shaved it off.
B: Oh, I guess I'll see it at the wedding. Where else have you lived besides Merced?
H: When I went to school I lived in Arcata, I went to school for three years and then stayed a year after. Then I moved back to Merced and back to (mumble) for about five months and then back to Merced.
B: So do you remember the first time you visited Sacramento?
H: Well, we came for grade school field trips. So that's my first memory of Sacramento-Sutter's fort, the capitol-I remember seeing in the 80's the women with the white tennis shoes walking around the capitol and thinking "Oh my God this place is so weird" and then visiting with just me and my friend Heather, when I lived in Arcata, and we had seen the movie "Hype" and I had always been curious about Sacramento and thought "there's gotta be something happening in Sacramento with music", so we stopped in Sacramento, got off on I-5 and we were on J st. We walked the K street mall. We had coffee at Espresso Metro, it was still open then and then walked to the cigar store and got my friend a cigar and then walked back and there was a parking ticket on our car. Fuck Sacramento!
B: Wait, did the movie "Hype" feature Sacramento in any way?
H: No, but I think what's great about that movie is it shows how great insulated music scenes and I sort of felt like Sacramento was this undiscovered treasure. Plus, my valley love and I thought it's the one true city, besides Fresno, in the valley that has potential and I would never, ever wanna move to Fresno.
B: So why did you move to Sacramento the first time?
H: The first time was because I met my friend, Allan (Maxwell), who we all know and love in Arcata and we just made a connection both on being friends and playing music, because I had never met anybody-I hadn't been playing music for very long-so I just connected with him musically and I thought, "well I have to follow this guy wherever he goes". And he was from Yuba city but he wanted to go to Sac State, and I was done with school. We made plans that we would both move to Sacramento. He was gonna move back to Yuba City, I was gonna move back to Merced, and then we'd both move to Sac. He got set up before I did, and by the time I came, I just followed him here and it wasn't working for me at that time. I got a really good job in Merced so I went back there for two years. Oh yeah, and I briefly lived in San Francisco after that. For a summer, so that doesn't really count.
B: But through that time you had plans to move back to Sacramento?
H: Yes, yeah. I planned to move back. I stayed in Merced a while, got that out of my system, then save money, move back to Sac, and do music.
B: So I was gonna ask how Knock Knock got together, but I guess it was when you met Allan Maxwell, first right, so what happened after that?
H: Allen and Nicola (Miller), who played in Slumber Party were in another band with Allan Campos and when I came out Allen (M.) said, "Oh, you should come join our band". So it just worked out, luckily.
B: What are the good things and bad things about being in a band in Sacramento?
H: The good things are, obviously, are that we're a pretty tight-knit community. I like all my friends band, luckily. It just feels more isolated. We're more able to come up with our own sound, without any pressure, like you would have in L.A. or San Francisco. It just really feels more fun, like more of a community. The bad things are, gosh, there are bad things. Well like right now, there's no place to play shows. That really sucks. And..at some point you just feel like a stepchild. It's great that we can fly under the radar and I ultimately I prefer that any day, but when you see all these bands and they're getting all this press and they're not good. I mean they may know how to play their instruments well, but there's no creativity, I don't know how to say it. They're just not that good.
B: So I love Knock Knock. They're definitely one of my favorite local bands so I wish that you guys would play in more cities and I wonder why you don't and do you have plans for the future of Knock Knock?
H: Yeah, that's something that we've actually talked about, that we want to play out more. I think it's just been¦well, we're lazy for one. Maybe that's part of what's bad about being a band in Sacramento. It's really easy to fall into just kinda playin' with friends and not really getting motivated to play out, but we want to start playing weekend shows in other places close to Sacramento-San Francisco, other parts of the valley. We definitely want to kick it up a notch.
B: Bam! OK, so I forgot to ask you before we started talking about Knock Knock, do you think about moving away from Sacramento, and if you do, why?
H: I don't think I seriously do think about it because I'm just so old now, in my thirties, it just doesn't make any sense. When you're young it's easy to move away and make friends, but I think you're only happy places where you have friends and I have friends here and I'm close to my family and I like it here a lot. There are things happening lately, like the rents going up, that I don't like at all, but I can't imagine where I would go if I did move, unless I could convince all my friends to move to Merced or something.
B: I thought about that before, like moving to Merced with you guys. Cuz I'll never afford a house here, so I'm like "maybe if there were enough people we know that move there."
H: Let's all do it! It'll be fun.
B: What's a favorite Sacramento restaurant?
H: I have a special love for Jalapenos. (laughter from Becky) I know they're not the best, but I take into consideration on certain days they do have the best beans and rice in the grid. They're cheap, which in these parts is hard to come by, and the people that run it are so nice and you can eat outside.
B: I know you caused some controversy on Sacramento websites talking about this, but what's your favorite local band right now?
H: Right now it's probably the Knightmares, because I listen to them every day when I get home from work.
B: Awwww
H: And I love the CD. So right now, but that doesn't mean they're the best band of all time.
B: Cuz that's Magnolia Thunderfinger
H: We all know that's Magnolia Thunderfinger.
B: What's your favorite neighborhood in Sacramento or dream neighborhood to live?
H: My dream neighborhood is definitely Southside Park. I love it-the trees, it's beautiful, it's close to the farmers market, there's diversity. It's the nicest feeling neighborhood, for sure.
B: In the past I've heard you defending Mayor Fargo-on what grounds can you defend Mayor Fargo and possibly you vote for Mayor Fargo?
H: Why, because we have the same name. It makes sense! Actually, I'm trying to remember why. I would never vote for her again. I voted for her the second time because she seemed the least of all evils that were running. She is really up on stopping urban sprawl and I think that's probably the second most important issue in California, besides water conservation. But, she's an idiot, so I would not vote for her again.
B: Any predictions for the Kings this year?
H: I think it's going to be a bad season with Ostertag this year.
B: Osterfat!
H: I don't see them doing well. But they surprised me last year because I thought it was going to be a rebuilding year but they had the best record all the way until they screwed it up in the last month.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

slow news day

I'm reading this book "Empire of the Sun" by J.G. Ballard and it's crazy. Maybe you saw the movie, but I didn't. It's a semi-autobiographical account of this rich British kid who was living in Shanghai when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Immediately, his life of luxury was over and he is starving and thrown into an internment camp. The language and imagery are very vivid and shocking, and it's interesting to get a different view of World War II than the one I'm used to. I guess there was a Jewish ghetto in Shanghai, which is intriguing. Well, Jews do love Chinese food, so I guess it makes sense. What's really interesting about J.G. Ballard is that the majority of the rest of his writing (and there's a lot of it) is science fiction. His most famous book in America is "Crash", the source of the David Cronenburg movie of which I am the world's only fan. I actually thought some of my friends might stop speaking to me when this movie came out and I revealed I liked it. I can't help it though, I have a weakness for pervy Spader characters and car crashes scare the crap out of me, so I liked the exploration of that topic. I read "Crash" and it didn't do much for me, and I attempted another J.G. Ballard book on the strength of an essay that Martin Amis wrote about Ballard's writing but I couldn't hack it.
Tomorrow: an interview with Heather of Knock Knock

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Arena building 101

Today in the Bee they're talking about the Peja trade. They mention that Peja wouldn't mind moving to the Bulls because Chicago has a large Serbian population and because he knows the coach. Talk about soft, Webber is right. Is that the path of a champion? He'll go wherever he can get his favorite lamb kapana and sarma? Or where he knows a guy? I guess I should stop thinking of Peja as a world-class athlete and fierce competitor and start thinking of him more like, well, me. I wouldn't want to stay in a city after my friends moved away and my coworkers were talking shit about me. Unless someone paid me like, say, 7 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. OK, OK, he could make that in any city, so I guess that's all he cares about and he doesn't care if he's on a winning team. And I have to accept the fact that the Kings are not like the cast of Friends-they don't hang out when they're not working (well, except when J. Will and Chris Webber used to ride their BMX bikes together). It's really gonna take the fun out of watching him play if he stays. So I don't care if they trade him.

So as promised, a six point plan by the Maloofs to get us to build this arena. How do I know what they're going to do? I'm not psychic. This list was presented in a book written in 1997 called "Field of Schemes". These are the tried-and-true methods used by team owners over the last couple of decades. They have honed and perfected these methods to get the maximum handouts possible in city after city. This may sound like some kind of wacko conspiracy theory, but team owners and managers have conferences where they discuss this shit. And it always works.

1) Pretend your arena is about to collapse. Commision a study that backs you up on this. After reading this book I can't believe I was stupid enough to believe that Arco can't be remodeled after reading that in Voison's column. Can't be remodeled? What kind of building can't be remodeled? You could remodel the fucking Pantheon if you wanted to (and they should, that shit is TACKY-it looks like Carmela Soprano's dream gazebo). In a study commisioned by the owners of the Detroit Tigers they said that the historic baseball stadium had to be torn down because salt used to melt snow over the years had corroded the steel girders. This was a total lie and a study commisioned by a citizen's group that wanted to save the stadium found that it needed minor remodeling. By the way, after a decade of fighting to save their beloved stadium, the citizens lost and it was torn down. On the other hand, it has led to a complete revitalization of Detroit, making it safe, prosperous, and a popular tourist destination. Oh wait. No it didn't.

2) Start indirectly threatening to move your team. This is delicate, because owners have learned that if they outright threaten to move, this can cause a backlash against them. If local fans start hating you, it can make your life miserable. So the trick is to publicly say over and over that you're not moving, you love the city, etc., while all the while having your spokesman or the press say that you will move if you don't get the new arena.

3)Start claiming you can't be "competetive" on the existing field. This is a very vague claim, but if you can pull this one off it helps to get loyal fans on your side. Fans want their team to win, after all. I don't think I've heard this one from the Maloofs yet, but these arena fights usually last years, so it could be still to come.

4) Trumpet the supposed economic benefits of the stadium. This tactic has been going on for a few years now.
Trouble is, the numbers can be manipulated any way you want and in city after city the new arenas have been shown to have little or no economic impact.

5) Declare a crisis. If the negotiating has been going on longer than you'd like, start whining that time is running out. This is why the Maloofs stormed out of the city council meeting. It seemed weird and inappropriate until I read this and understood that this was a calculated move. And it had its desired effect, which was to shake everyone up (the Bee even referred to the city council as "shaken" after the Maloofs left) and make them think that they had better push the arena through.

6) the author's call this one "moving the goalposts" and i'm sure we'll see some examples of it over the next few years. Once we agree to build the stadium, the Maloofs can renegotiate for ever more favorable terms, because once we start building they have us where they want us. They can always threaten to leave in the middle of construction if they don't like the way things are going.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Feel Good Blog of the Summer!

The reviews are in:

heckasac = heckafunny! Your blog is explosive and a real competitor
Charles Albright

No real entry today because I spent most of my day at a mouse handling class. But I can handle the fuck out of some mice, let me tell ya'

Tomorrow expect to see the five point plan that the Maloofs are using to get the arena pushed through as published in the book "Field of Schemes" and you'll see how they're playing the city like a violin.

Also...Heather's interview is still coming, I swear! After this I'm switching to email interviews as recommended by Charles.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Gossip Monday!

I decided to do an R.E. Graswich-style blog inspired by Graswich's recent excellent column in which he busted people at the dowtown EPA office for making out in the courtyard.

-Charmed life-singer-songwriter-boyish-man Scott Miller met his idol Vic Godard at the baggage claim in Sweden and Mr. Godard was heard to tell Scott that the cover song Scott performed during his guest singing spot with local indie band the Frenchmen was his favorite performance at the Swedish indie festival where they were both on the bill. Kudos Scott!

-You put it where?-Sacramentan-cum-Brooklynite Nic O. (no relation to Karen O.) of the white-hot band !!! was in town briefly on friday night and was kind enough to share some hash and good conversation with old friends. Rumor has it that he smuggled said hash out of Japan in a certain orifice. Which orifice? I'll never tell.

-My throat hurts-Did a certain local blogger do way too much coke this weekend after the special Larry Tee dj set this saturday? Let's just say that this blogger has become frustrated with the fact that after a couple of lines her entire conversational repertoire consists of "Wow, that's really good coke" and "I'm sooo high right now". Reason enough to swear it off for another six months.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

And the Oscar for best village idiot goes to....

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

1)I saw the Village last night and this morning I was having a dream that I was interviewing Adrian Brody, and then the interview started to turn into a date and then...my alarm went off. Goddamnit!
2)Have you hear the NPR commercial for the acid jazz show in which the guy with the whitest voice in history says "Get your funk here". Or is it "get your funk on" or "the funk stops here" Of course now I can't remember, but it's mortifying no matter which one it is.
3)Last night I had an interesting conversation about the arena with local sports expert Dan Barnes, in which I was saying that after reading Aileen Voison's article in the Bee, I could see how maybe the Maloofs weren't making any money. Dan pointed out that it was their own fault that they don't have a lucrative TV package because they screwed up a deal with Fox due to the fact that they were trying to start their own channel. Further, he said that Sacramento has been so supportive of the Kings during the entire time that they sucked that if they were to move the NBA would probably have to award us a new franchise. He felt that the threat of the Kings moving is empty. It just shows how easily swayed I am by a persuasive argument. I totally believed Voison. This is why I keep swinging between voting for Bush or Kerry. Kerry has that whole war hero thing, but Bush seems stupid, like me, and that makes me feel better about myself. On the other hand, Edwards is a "trial lawyer", which sounds menacing when Bush says it (he says it like he's saying "child rapist"), but he is cute, so I may vote for him. I like Bush's dog, Barney (actually, it's true that I have uncontrollable warm feelings for Bush when I see him carrying or talking about Barney-cuz what's cuter than a read dumb guy who loves his dog?). This makes me wonder, does Kerry have a potential first pet? Perhaps this will be the deciding factor.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This just in-rich guy worried he won't make more money!

The Maloofs, through the president of their sports and entertainment company, warned today in the Bee that the city is jeapordizing talks by putting a cap on the spending and saying that the Maloofs have to pay for half. Local developer Tony Giannoni is worried (seriously, who the fuck is this guy and why should I care if he is spending sleepless nights fretting about whether this deal is going to go through?) and said, ""I believe that setting the terms of negotiations in public, which is what's happened, will only lead to the failure of negotiations in private," . Wait a goddamn minute, why should there be ANY private negotiations? This is a public issue. If the Maloofs wanted to privately buy the property and privately pay for it and privately build the arena then they're entitled to negotiate in private. However, if they want the city and county to pay for any of it, then it is a decidedly public issue.

Anyway, the city council meeting is tomorrow. I am going to go, and try to make signs if I have time, but I probably won't have time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

sweet success!

It's official. The cinearts project at 10th and K is dead! I received an email to this effect a few weeks ago from Jimmy Yee's assistant, and here is the email that Heather received from Steve Cohn:

Thanks to the outpouring of public support for the Tower Theater andCrest Theater, and with an assist from the Mayor's 7th and K Arenadistraction, I believe that the City's proposal for a "Cine Arts"theater complex at 10th and K Streets is now dead. The dramatic supportfor the Tower Theater especially has been quite compelling. And therecent box office success of the hit documentary "Fahrenheit 911"has also helped their bottom line. Meanwhile, the French Film Festival,which I sponsored, and other attractions have helped the Crest Theater. But both of these theaters need our continued support.Meanwhile, unless the misguided proposal for an arena at 7th and Kmiraculously moves forward, I would still like to convince CenturyTheaters and Westfield Downtown Plaza to relocate their proposed16-screen theater complex to the edge of K Street, at 7th and K, insteadof their favored site at 5th and L Streets. This way, the millionvisitors expected for the theater complex will be able to also filterout on to K Street and help retail there.But whether the new Century theaters go to 5th and L or 7th and K, Ishare your concerns about the need to preserve the Crest and Towertheaters. Both of these theaters have been adversely affected bychanges in the exhibition industry, generally, but may be particularlyvulnerable to competition from a new CineArts Theater.In conclusion, I will oppose the Cine-Arts Theater concept at 10th andK Streets. Instead, I will push for more housing at that site andelsewhere Downtown. If enough people live Downtown, the retail shouldtake care of itself. It is an oft proven maxim that where there arerooftops, retail will follow. Again, I thank you for your interest andencourage you to stay involved and voice your concerns/supportthroughout this process.Yours truly,Steve Cohn

I guess the new stupid cineplex could go on 7th and K. I still don't think we need a new one because the other one a few blocks away gets most major movies that come out, but I guess it sucks for people with no car to try to get to Arden to see movies out there. And at least it's not at all in competition with the Crest. But anyway this just shows that at least on the local scale, a few people can make a difference. Maybe Tower will take down that stupid "remember the Alhambra" sign. Why is that phrase in quotes? Who are they quoting? This email reminds me, too, in case you missed the French film festival, it was great! Try to go next year. I was amazed at how many great movies were playing. The Battle for Algiers was amazing and A Woman is A Woman was, well, Godard, but at least I got to look at Anna Karina a lot.

Monday, August 02, 2004

sure, it's all vlade's fault

Originally uploaded by becklerg.

Well, Chris Webber, big fat baby is at it again. Heather clued me in to this interview with him in yesterday's bee:
It's really funny the way he beats around the bush not coming out and saying that Vlade was out of shape and goofing off. I think it was Jana who pointed out that it was odd that Vlade, a professional athlete, could have such flabby upper arms. She said that even going to practice without working out or anything should have given him more definition than he had. Webber also seems to be saying that Brad Miller doesn't really have the intensity he's looking for, either. That's real nice how he implies he was going to start a $30 million project to help kids, but after he got booed he decided not to do it. What a philanthropist. I do like his statement that he can make a "grape feel like wine" and it's sweet that Doug Christie buys him bath salts.
The best is when he claims he's never heard anyone call him "soft" and then the interviewer says "oh i have" and then Chris claims he can't be soft because he "fights the world everyday". Does that mean he fights his masseuse and his supermodel girlfriend everyday? Or what about his chef and driver? If these people are fighting him maybe he should find a new staff, or at least threaten to dock their pay.