Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The Morrissey photo from last year just happened to be in my photo file next to the Mike Love one.

Some wifi nextworks near my house are "chuck Norris' Beard" ( I do not understand why young people find him so funny) and the best is "Router? I hardly knew her"

There's a good beer event at Mother next Monday. I plan to go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I have been using the word "scofflaw" more times lately than I have ever in my life because I've been thinking about possibly working with RS and JB about trying to change the biking conversation from the miniscule and fungible problem that bike scofflaws pose (DO NOT start debating this in the comments) since he got a raft of shit for that article, and lo and behold, watching the Ken Burns Prohibition doc I learned that it was a phrase coined in a contest that a newspaper held. That was a long sentence.

Also rad to be learning some stuff about Prohibition and reading The Group which is about a bunch of rich Vassar grads written during that time. In the first 20 pages they've already talked about making a punch with bootlegged "New Jersey Applejack".

Got about 6 1/2-7 hours last night including a stint of reading at 3 am and feel fresh and rested today. Stoked.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I can't wait for the next Halloween show!

I got the closest to 8 hours of sleep without a sleeping pill that I've had in weeks and I'm insanely tired. More proof that sleep makes me tired. I actually never never feel tired on days where I've gotten 6-7 hours so maybe I need to stop stressing on this insomnia, thing, huh? I know, fascinating.

Wow, Halloween show. Still coming down as probably everyone who went is. I did about 8 hours of breaking it down the next day with friends including hottest, the band that actually made you feel the saddest, etc. Already talking about next year. I feel bad for you few non fb peeps that all the discussion is going on there. Heckasac used to be the only place to discuss it. I was looking for the Secret Blog today because who knows maybe people are still posting on it but it's so secret even I can't find it.

Last night we went to Ace to see Julieta Venegas. How cute is this woman? She's the only Mexican pop artist I've really listened to (well, classic Los Tigres Del Norte seem like they might be worth getting into at some point. She is huge, especially mid-2000s. She's sold about 8 million records, and won album of the year at the Latin Grammys. I had to think about but I think her voice reminds me of the singer of the Sundays the most.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Energizer Bunny

To take your (my) mind off of the Halloween show, let's talk about the new Hops To Table mag. It's the preeminent (and only) local beer pub and the publisher John Zervas starts the new issue with a lengthy rebuttal of the SNR beer rating cover story. Like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going...

I have not read it, and indeed, Scott said he considered hiding his copy from me. He summarized it for me (I will read it when I'm mentally prepared), and it really could be written in a sentence. John and I corresponded about it, and I'm not revealing anything private that he doesn't say in the rebuttal by summing it up thusly:

No one who is not a certified beer judge (certified by I forget what acronym) can ever review a beer.

He is including himself in this assertion. We in fact did have a certified beer judge but this doesn't count, for various reasons.  I would include in this summing up (although perhaps he might not agree):
No one who is not a certified beer judge can ever review a beer - at least not negatively.

BAR's beer column is out today, and I think due to his enormous influence it's a good thing for Sacramento, but his reviews can be summed up thusly:

It's all good.

Subsequently,  he does not get shit, either on social media or in local publications. I am being very reductive about his beer writing, and he tastes carefully and thoughtfully. However, his review
columns are sometimes a hodgepodge of random styles. This one is organized around the Cap City International Beer Fest, so this week there is a clear reason for that. His part of the piece about what makes a good beer list is interesting. The column where a Cantillon Kriek didn't rate more favorably than an Ovila Quad from Sierra Nevada went down about as easily as...a Ruhstaller HopSac.

Certainly some criticism of the SNR piece is warranted, but not much of it. I publicly challenge JZ to assemble a panel of certified judges to blindly taste these same beers and see if their rankings differ significantly from ours. I realize that the tasting notes will but I didn't take the notes seriously in the first place. I focused on the grades. I have heard from a pro beer judge that even in that world there is pressure to not say anything negative, so I imagine on a grading system their grades would probably range from A-C, which would be grade inflation, so a ranking would be better.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

adult finally

aaahhhh!! Halloween show!!! How are you all feeling about it? I got my costume and wig. I got my makeup session set up. I got my drinking plan (alternating a beer with a refreshe, perhaps shotgunned), laying a foundation of food before the show starts no matter if I'm nervous and not hungry or what.

I am currently working from home and surrounded by 2 laptops, 2 phones and a tablet. Feeling very adult. That always surprises and delights me, even at 39.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

dream story

I felt like that cover story about biking in the SNR was my dream story. It was not sidetracked by the endless circular argument about cyclists breaking traffic rules. I always say - build the infrastructure and people will not break the rules. The article starts with Jim Brown, director of the Sacramento Area Bike Association trying to get to the Amtrak station. It even mentions that he, an avid (if not rabid) cyclist feels forced to ride on the sidewalk at times.

This is timely for me because I took the train to Davis today for the first time in a long time because of Fix50. I ride about 25 blocks down 5 and the train station might as well be surrounded in barbed wire for that last little jog. If you can picture F street where you cross the street to where it ends, I really felt like I might get hit because I was going straight on a green and I feared that the giant truck crowding me might assume I was going right and hit me, since most people on that ride don't use their turn signal. Then, the endless construction has blocked the safe side route through the parking lot and up that little alley, so I have to ride on the sidewalk up to the station, and then cross that busy street with no light or stopsign (and a crosswalk that every car ignores). Not to mention the irritating walk to the train. Took about 25 minutes for a 25 block ride. Granted I bike hella slow.

Then, I arrive in Davis and the campus is seriously like Amsterdam at certain times of the day. So cool. And they have copious functional bike locks, rather than decorative, or the kind on the side of the R street corridor where you can only lock your front tire. Those are your 2 choices right there - a giant stupid bike-shaped one where two bikes can fit, or locking your front tire. The best choice is a traffic sign right. Last night at Lowbrau I did the usual lock it to the fence. I'm stoked that they are going to take over a couple of parking spots for bikes soon.

Monday night is such a great night to hang at Lowbrau. Not too crowded and they tap special brews. Last night they had 2 tart Zymatore beers that were both delicious. Did NOT dig the snotty bartender, though.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marley on 4/20

Pretty excited for the Halloween show! I have multiple tambourine injuries (blisters, bruises). I shotgunned for the first time at practice, but it was a refreshe, not a beer.

Nar really burned the house down at Old I. It was great.

I heard Marley practiced on the streets of SF on 4/20? Is this rumor true?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kanye wishes

I think it's funny that in 2 Kanye West songs, one pre and one post-Kim, he mentions that after years together he deserves a ménage a trois. I'm thinking there's a 50/50 chance Kim is not down with that. She is super nasty for sure, but I don't think there has ever been the slightest mention that she is into the ladies.

Wow, speaking of infidelity, I just started season 6 of Mad Men to get ready to watch 7 and jeez the cheating is just rampant. I won't say who! I know it has been but now it's more depressing than ever. 

Heckarap tonight! I am positive it is going to be popping off because of a couple of birthdays in the house. However, some people have kind of wrested control over the schedule and it's a little unsettling. I know it will be fun regardless and this will be the only time that will happen. I get way less nervous now about djing.

Nar on Friday! Monumental. Both bass players (not at the same time)! Old Ironsides.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


A lengthy NYtimes Mag piece about the Mikkeller bros

Take a look at today's foodways. I posted a good interview with Sac Beer Week dude Dan Scott.

Have you guys ever looked at Garfield without Garfield? It's insane.

Heckarap tomorrow! Pretty excited. Nar on Friday night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'll get between those staves

I didn't go see 3-6 Mafia but I did go to Lowbrau and have one of these. Man, this beer is spectacular. It smells just like Consecration to me and tastes like a Russian River brew, too. It's only 8% ABV, rad. Too bad it's insanely rare.  wa wah

Does anyone know why the Bee and SNR have ads that say the Tower has a documentary about Jodorowsky's Dune that started on April 11th when it isn't actually playing there? This went on for at least a couple of days.

Monday, April 14, 2014

still hamstering

Happy Monday! I am trying to muster up the energy tonight to go see 3-6 Mafia, but I don't know when the last time I got 8 hours of sleep was. I stayed up late Friday and Saturday and then had to get up for B52s practice both days. By the way we are ripping it up to the trillionth degree squared. Not calling out any other bands. I view the Halloween show as a collaboration and scene love-fest not a competition.

Stop reading here if you are really bored of reading about the ongoing debate over our SNR IPA tasting panel or if you have no idea what I'm talking about. I keep hearing a few negative comments and there may be a rebuttal column in a local beer publication so I just keep hamster-wheeling about it.

A real sticking point is one single comment that a beer had a "butterscotch nose" in the positive side of the notes. Some people are searching for a reason to discredit the integrity of the whole panel because this can be a characteristic of diacetyl, an organic compound that can be a natural byproduct of brewing, and which is sometimes felt to be desirable in English pale ales, but in other styles is often considered a flaw.

I admit I had to look up what diacetyl is when I heard this rebuttal. I tend to evaluate beers as a gestalt, both because my palate is not exquisitely sensitive and also because that level of beer nerd-ery bores me. I can pick out an ester aroma and I hate it. I can sure detect a hop smell (which about 2/3rds of these IPAs did not have). I hate a buttery chardonnay and now I know that this is probably because of diacetyl.

There are debates on beer advocate about diacetyl sometimes with some raters noting it in beers where others don't, or some noting it as pleasant, even in an IPA. OK, just rando beer raters, but surely some of them are credible.

On to another point of mine: this column is viewed as a slap in the face to "supporting the scene". Ay yi yi.

When the music scene in Sac was smaller, people were supposed to support the scene in all writing - even bad or mediocre bands. All hell broke loose when Christian Kiefer criticized a few bands in the SNR. Now everyone just writes positively for the most part (including me) so most of the writing gets little notice.

We're supposed to support the art scene, and since it's still pretty small that's remained the party line. Maybe that is part of the reason it's stayed small. How can someone stand out if it's all good?

Some mild criticism of the theater scene seems to be acceptable, although I don't think anyone ever gets a really poor rating. I don't know if I've ever seen the Shakespeare barfing icon or whatever denotes zero stars in the News and Review.

Harsh criticism of movies is OK cuz they're not local.

Critics are supposed to support the restaurant scene, with no humorous snark or sarcasm ever. BAR gets raked over the coals for this sometimes. The restaurant scene is exploding, so now people are getting used to real criticism. It will take time.

Keep in mind that this only refers to on-the-record criticism. All critics, people in the industry, and serious fans all criticize, talk shit, and gossip like mad but will never go on record as doing so.

I chalk this up to growing pains. There is no room for mediocre or bad beers locally anymore. I stand by all our letter grades. I will openly say that I will give the Rubicon IPA a C- or D+ and most beer nerds if they were being honest would, too. I say the HopSac and River City also earned their Fs.  I think the top 3 (1 Berryessa 2 Bikedog 3 Track 7) are exactly right and I was chuffed that I rated them that way in a blind tasting.

Friday, April 11, 2014

don't let smiller see this bucket hat - it was for sale at the show

There's a fun dance party at Witch Room tonight and also Paul from !!!s band got added. He is a really cool guy (and known Deadhead to boot) so they should be good. I am going to a play first so I may miss him. Dead h8ters I'm sure his band doesn't sound like them and side note don't drink your h8terade because it might be laced with acid.

First b-52s practice this weekend and I am excited/trepidatious. Is that a word? If not a word, a feeling.

I had a hilarious experience sneaking in to schoolboy q at assembly. I actually had passes but I didn't want to wait in the giant slow moving line. I was with a certain person who knew of certain underground access. After various fits and starts, the funniest of which was that we thought we had gotten in but we were actually in the karaoke bar next door, we ended up backstage and couldn't figure out how to get down for a minute. I was petrified we would accidentally end up on stage. We finally exited stage left and we were in.  He was pretty amazing but probably still not my jam.  About half the dudes there were wearing bucket hats. This is kinda funny because if I am going to see someone who wears a particular accessory I would not make sure to wear this accessory.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Barber Bros

There are a lot of Barbered Bros around now. I'm not using Bros necessarily as a pejorative, but it's alliterative and catchy. I can only hope the term does catch on. I was pointing it out to WB at Lowbrau and we agreed he is going to have to start some intensive barbering to fit in. He's been living in the wilderness where there are no barbers. Right now there are about 2 barbershops on every block and he was saying that perhaps he would visit all of them, getting his hair cut shorter every time.

I actually think the picture above might be really old?

I think the barbering looks very sharp, although is being taken almost to fascism in some cases. The head fascism is sometimes countered confusingly by things like 90s shirts, but most often is paired with head-to-to J. Crew or some other store I don't know about. Red Wings, docksiders, you know the drill. SF and other big cities have lots of stores with this kind of sharp, expensive clothing but to my knowledge Sac does not. Smiller and I went to one in London with some lovely men's clothes but it would have been thousands upon thousands for even a few outfits.

I mostly see these men at Lowbrau and wonder where the heck they are the rest of the time. I love Lowbrau and they cause me no problems.

Also, the beards are holding on pretty well, so the extreme barbering is often balanced out by beards. Barber on the top, beard on the bottom is kind of the new mullet. Mustaches on their own don't seem that big and definitely not waxed ones. That guy I saw with a gun at E-40 had a waxed curlicue one, which I probably mentioned, but he looked more like a Gangs Of New York wanna-be gangster than a J. Crew Barber Bro.

I think men's fashion is in a more interesting phase than women's right now. Pretty bored with the short shorts (I know, I know, no dudes agree). Crop tops are going right now which can be cute.  Maybe part of it is because most of the young lady's fashion looks very cheap and the  men's looks very expensive. Don't get me wrong, I totally buy the cheap stuff and my most recent shopping occurred at forever 21, but that stuff looks poorly contructed with cheap material, which it is.

Monday, April 07, 2014


Had a fun bout of light daydrinking on Sunday and a fantastic Mikkeller with brett on draft at Lowbrau. We had a dog with us and turns out Block currently won't do a charcuterie board for outside but the guys up front wrapped up some meat and pate and cheese for us and I bought crackers and cornichons and voila! There was also a Berryessa golden ale and even though it was Berryessa I just don't like that style. The yeast is gross to me, and it probably had a high ABV I am guessing. Oh and a warm pretzel with the cheese sauce that was perfect.

Boy is Sac into Sunday daydrinking! So many buzzed folks at Lowbrau and saw a guy staggering down the street at like 2.

I did my drinking on Sunday cuz I stayed very sober for the Buff $lut dance party to DJ. I was so flattered to be asked and it was a lot of fun although many people stayed on the patio and didn't come on the dance floor or watch MOM, which was surprising. I went right after MOM and it was pretty funny because she had just peed on the floor and sponged the host down with blood so they had to rope off the whole front part. Funny because I didn't have to clean it up, although I did clean the blood off Sergio.

I felt very pro to DJ with a Bay Area dude who was soooooo nice. The local guys who went first vibed me out cuz I guess I'm not pro enough, ha ha. One of them didn't even say hi and later wastedly said I looked like Drew Carey, although in fairness I had just claimed that Drew Carey was my dad (not worth explaining). Whatevs, I don't care to be pro. I made people dance more than they did and that's all I care about. I did a warm up set too because they eschewed playing until more people were there. I just want to enjoy the music so I was happy to spin for a few peeps who were stoked early in the night.

People enjoyed the e-40 wine although I personally would not touch the mangoscato at 18% alcohol. Fuck no!

Friday, April 04, 2014

album nostalgia

OK, so album covers that scared the crap out of me. There are many many many more. I think quite a few of them were designed by Hipgnosis. The top four were for sure

Jesus Christ, horrifying
This Led Zep one is more subtly scary and in an awesome way. It's like some 2001 obelisk shit. What is the object? Why is this creepily perfect family staring at it?

This one I was fascinated with in a pervy way cuz of how far down the jumpsuit goes.
So amazing
Love this one.  In the album there is a order form for a teacher of this that must be the best tshirt ever. Thin 70s girl tee.
Fuccckkk! This one is from a Breughel painting called "the triumph of death" and it is about the black plague. So intricate that I stared at it FOREVER!

This is another hipgnosis one that isn't creepy but tells an awesome story that I would muse on. Obviously an executive breaking up with his mistress. My dad loves 10cc.

And of course ANYTHING to do with Pink Floyd The Wall was the scariest.

Loved the Ummagumma cover because of the house of mirrors endless aspect. You know that that was probably done with exacto knives and glue. All these years later I notice how weird it is that the album in the picture is Gigi

Another cool Hipgnosis/10cc cover. I had my dad explain the bends to me because of this.

Loved this one, loved the terrible song "Dreamer".
Makes me sad that kids don't have this now because it really made my imagination run wild. I'm sure they have other things like that, but it was such a window into the adult world but in a way that was just scary enough to be fascinating. It wasn't nightmare scary like horror movies or anything.

And of course, MC Ham's aunt and uncle were responsible for some good 80s metal ones (which my dad didn't listen to) like the quiet riot mask and the Van Halen angel with the cigarette.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The dad in Sound of Music? Yipes.

Since after 10 years I often have the vague feeling that I have written most posts/made most jokes before, perhaps I have done so here, but for your amusement I present SOME of my copious childhood crushes (Skipper just reminded me of Hogan's Heroes, which made me think of my Bob Crane crush):

Bob Crane in HH
Cartoon Superman in Superfriends (this was probably my first - at like 4, I'm glad it didn't warp me forever)
Christopher Reeves as Superman
Han Solo (hardly treading new territory here)
Greatest American Hero
Gopher on Loveboat
Hawkeye on MASH (this one is still going)
Andy Griffith
Christopher Plummer in Sound of Music
Dick Van Dyke
Kirk, obvs, Spock too (but never McCoy)
Barney Miller

It's weird but I can't think of any PBS ones despite how much I watched it. Started looking at a couple sesame street videos and how rad is this one? Indelibly etched in my memory.

I'm sure I will remember more crushes throughout the day. What about yours? Jack Tripper may have been in there but I think he was too much of a fool. Can you tell how much frigging TV I watched? In my tweens in the summer I would watch TV like 10 hours a day. Pretty sad.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

rant, reconsidered

Wrote a real rant this morning about SNR Beer report card criticism and then thought twice and took it down. I cooled off and also considered the feedback I've gotten that is reasonable. Got some encouragement from a couple of brewers who were happy or didn't care (which is a ok with me!). I'm just speaking for myself, not the other people involved. None of whom I'm sure care as much as me.

A couple of really good posts on foodways right now. I'm stoked that people are stoked on the food diary thing. It's fun.

Good shows coming up: Nar on the 18th first of all. 2014 THIS FRIDAY at Café Colonial. Schoolboy Q, 3 6 Mafia (but without Juicy J, which is really not the same), GZA, Julieta Venegas. She's rad. Ty Dolla $ign might be good. I haven't heard him except for one song and he looks creepy.