Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Great Show!!

The Trash Talk show was really fun. If you don't know, that's a hardcore band that is really popular, and they're from Sac (link to Blake's article). The crazy thing is that despite being around for years, they have only played once here. Sounds kind of jerkish, right? The show was at Harlows and was 15 bucks. I would say that it was not very well attended. In SF they are playing the Independent, which is big, but who knows, maybe that wasn't that well attended either. They were really fun and really good. Super pro in the showmanship sense of the word. I was poking around for videos (some of which have almost a million views) and I see that Jay Howell animated one, which makes sense as to why they gave him a shoutout. They also gave a shoutout to Tales of Terror. I felt disappointed in (at?) Sacramento that it wasn't better attended. I'm guessing they won't play here again, although in fairness Harlow's is a really weird venue for it. Blue Lamp would have maybe been a good substitute. The front dude is still charismatic enough that he got a huge pit going and urged everyone to ignore the stage diving policy at the end. NM counted 16 stage dives in one short song. Harlows kicked a lot of people out.

Rat King opened and they were janky, cute little crew. Pretty creative and I liked the electronic drum/beat machine that they use. They were not psyched on the crowd and they seemed to be in a fight at the end because they were told they only had one song left and the white dude wanted to do two. The other guy left the stage while he did the last one. Another weird thing about the show is that it had to end really early because it was all ages - by ten.

A rap producer originally from Sac (Lee Bannon) opened the show, and he was really interesting, too! I thought he was a rapper so I didn't know what I was watching but I was digging it. He did a jungle-house-ish mix of an old Erykah Badu song. I didn't know that Blake interviewed him, but here it is. I'm going to have to check out the Alternate/Endings album. Maybe jungle will be my new thing? Scott will be psyched about that!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Heckarap RIP

So that's going to be my last Heckarap. It was really well attended, it's not that. I am out 60 bucks cuz I paid the rappers 100 and then had to split the money we did make around to other peeps, but it's not the money. It's a combination of things. One is that I am too tired to function well at my job today, which is just not acceptable to me. Considering I earn about 1 1/2 days of vacation time a month, there is no way I am going to use a vacation day a month after Heckarap so this is always a problem. I try to not imbibe too much since I have to work, but it's hard when you're there from 9-2 am.

Two is that we just can't get a consistent crowd going. It's always different people every month. People will come and have fun and be like "this is the best, how did I not know about this?" and then they never come again. Tired of trying to figure that out. Tired of promoting it and thinking about how to get people to come.

I could go into reasons 4, 5, 6, 7 - 69 but I won't. The reasons for it are just that it's fun sometimes and I have met some cool people through it. Way more reasons against.

 It's been like a year and a half and we still never recaptured the vibe we had at the first few. I don't know what people want to dance to and I'm tired of trying to figure it out. Ready to start listening to other music, too. I was driving around with Scott last weekend and we were listening to new country radio for amusement, and I started getting choked up that the people in the songs wanted love and relationships and it made me really think about the ugliness of the music I've been listening to almost exclusively for about two years. I love it, don't get me wrong, but the fact that I wanted to tear up at the corny sentiment of just men and women wanting to be together romantically made me feel like what I'm listening to is getting to me in a way I didn't realize.

I always waffle on Heckarap and whether I enjoy it or not, but I'm putting this in writing so I'll stick to it. Smiller is skeptical.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

going to be so tired tomorrow

Soooo.....tonight it Heckarap, hopefully a big one since we have these two popular local rappers and I would like to be able to pay them not out of my pocket. I suspect it will be mostly out of my pocket. They didn't ask for anything, but I appreciate them doing it.

I was thinking that you could make a Bad News Bears-style movie about Heckarap. I had written out a scenario of that below that could be really funny if I was honest but unfortunately because of all the trumped-up vitriol on social media and the fact that I've been mocked for writing about rap before I erased it. Suffice to say it would be our rag tag Heckarap band vs. a monster, cult-y trap/EDM night and a more popular rap night run by skater bros.

Having that pedometer app has been interesting, but more because it's keeping track of how long my commute it, and it's depressingly long. Usually I almost try not to figure out how long it is since there's nothing I can do about it, but it's longer than I thought on average. Today it randomly took me 46 minutes to get to work. The app can tell when you're riding your bike too, which I didn't expect. If you are tracking my sleep progress, got about 6 hours again last night and pretty tired, but I also drank for the first time in a week. Tonight I will likely get 4ish. Hopefully 8 will be on the horizon at some point.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Koons! Not just on facebook!

Night two of very little sleep and not stressing on it. Sanity: holding. I got about 5 1/2 hours last night and when I laid down and wasn't tired at all, which is what happens to me all the time, I watched an episode of Empire rather than laying there calculating how many hours of sleep I would get if I feel asleep right that minute. Slept about 12:30-6. Not tired at all. Perhaps you can watch for signs that my sanity is slipping.
So this article about the Jeff Koons "debate" (the deal is done I'm pretty sure so it really doesn't matter) was covered in a national art blog. If you could see my iphone case, you'd see a photo of one of Koons' big silver balloon bunnies, so that's the side I come from. Sure, he's become a hack I guess (although I don't know enough about what he's been doing in the last five years to even say I agree with that), but he's in the late stages of his career, and it's hard for an artist with 100 bajillion dollars to stay good and relevant, whether we are talking about a singer, visual artist, whatever. I think some of his best work was his earliest, which is going all the way back to the mid-80s. Plus, I have always loved the Cicciolina series, I think it's hilarious, but I like smut. I don't care that he doesn't fabricate his own stuff, that has it's place, but "art" and "craft" aren't necessarily synonymous. People objecting to it mostly seem to just hate Koons, or the price tag, not so much the work, which is innocuous. I think it's going to look a lot better in person. I'll refer you to a Soriano quote re: the price:
"And as I mentioned elsewhere, complaining about Coloring Books cost is akin to quibbling about the size of a tip when you just got served a Shit Sandwich which will bloat your credit card for years. "
PS am I the only one who likes the Indo Arch?

Monday, March 09, 2015

local theat-ah

I saw a play at UC Davis and it made me a bit depressed about local theater. It was a guest director who has directed at BAM and Lincoln Center, among other places, so I guess the bar is pretty high. The staging, including a scrim with film projected, was mind-blowing. They were student actors so the performances varied in quality, but it was the performances of two male actors in their 50s that really drew a line for me between what they were doing and most local performances. One big thing was that their accents were so good. I have come to dread any local production with accents. They are so labored as to be very distracting. These actors were just so comfortable and natural. This was a much bigger theater than Cap Stage, Big Idea and B street so that brings limitations to their staging but still. It doesn't help that in the last Cap Stage play I saw the actors were really struggling with their rhythm and lines, which is not normal. It sucked because I really liked the actual play. In the case of Woyzec (which is the UCD one - adapted by Neil Labute) the play was befuddling.

Staying off social media today for the whole day! Planning to check it once around 4. I am pretty addicted and now I bought an ipad so it's one more device for me to be on with fingertip access to all of it. And I started tweeting again recently so another time-waster. It drives me nuts. I really would get off facebook if I didn't have heckarap to shill. I don't know if we're ever in danger of getting the night canceled since attendance is sparse and I guess that would be a blessing in disguise. It provides amusement for sure, and connection, but I follow so many feeds that if I don't check it for a day it can take a half hour or more to check it. Between checking time, taking photos, listening to music, texting a lot, etc. sometimes I reach for my phone every few seconds. It sucks.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


I saw Michael Hunter's obituary in the paper today and I thought back to the film class I took with him at Sierra College in 92-93. Might have been more than one. He was very influential on me thinking of film as an art form and getting more into  it. I can't remember if it had any influence on me getting a job in a movie theater, but it very well could have, and that's something that had a ripple effect on my life. I remember he was an elegant, theatrical speaker and that I thought he was cute. He was probably 46 at the time, but his hair was already totally gray. I remember that he showed Cutter and Bone (which is a cool choice) and Children of Paradise. RIP!
I guess BAR is out as the critic of the Sac Bee. Crazy. Six years. I haven't seen much on social media, and a few of the comments have been snide (surprise!) I think he's done a service to Sac and raised the level of the conversation. He's written some scathing reviews, which were also really funny, and me might have been the first person to ever do that in a food review in Sacramento. He took the food criticism from something that I never read to a must-read (except when he's reviewing spots in like, EDH or something). I've definitely checked out places I never would have otherwise, and he's boosted business at some favorite spots, sometimes to annoying levels. There are a lot of armchair critics who think they or someone they know could do it better. Most couldn't. It's hard to have the chutzpah to write things as critical as he has and live and eat in this town. Nobody likes writing something critical and then seeing the person you wrote about, and knowing that even if your criticism is legit they won't take it as such and will always defend and deflect and turn it around or find some way to discredit you. His tenure was a good one. We'll see what they do. Sounds like they may not even have a set food critic, which would be too bad.

Monday, March 02, 2015


This is my favorite film I've seen in a long time. Well, since Inherent Vice, but one of my favorite Japanese films ever. Up there with Kurosawa. The use of  sound is incredible, and it has an intense, earthy sexuality. It's nice to get DVDs in the mail because I got to watch an interview with the director, who was 90 at the time and still making films. He lived to 100. Kaneto Shindo. 45 credits as director and over 150 writing credits. He talked about how the cast and crew all lived in a hut in a rice field for 30 days to film it to create the atmosphere he wanted, and it shows. Now this is what I'd like to see on the big screen, no offense to Goonies! But I know 5 people would show up.

Satan Wriders were typically good the other day in Davis and they have a show with Vasas and Monster Treasure at the Press on March 24th. SW just moved to Sac! Maybe the young Stockton crew can be the new Yuba crew as far as moving here and enriching the city. Satan Wriders AND Jeff Koons, we are all set.

Beer Week! Woo! Beer week! Tuesday Magpie is having a Faction tap takeover and Bike Dog is at West Capitol Bowl. I am going to try to hit both. Thursday Pangaea is having a Shelton Bros night with unbelievable brews on. Tonight is Madre at Mother with a crazy keg from Santa Adairus but it is sold out.