Archive for August, 2008

Nobunny + Wax Mueseums Live on KDVS tonight

If you missed NOBUNNY and the WAX MUSEUMS yesterday at Luigi’s Fun Garden, they will both be playing live tonight on KDVS Radio on DJ Rick’s show. Catch them at 10pm on 90.3 fm or stream online at


I will probably never review Masullo’s because I have no desire to join the fray of the pizza wars(Zelda’s sucks! No, Zelda’s rules, you suck! etc, ad infinitum), but it’s the most exciting grid-ish place that’s opened in a long time. The decor is understated and pleasant. I love the long communal tables, and I have ended up interacting with fellow diners when I’m seated at them. The chef, Bob Masullo really lives by the fresh, seasonal, local credo but without making too much of a fuss about it. The pizza is divine. The crust is ultra-thin and charred in spots, the cheese is applied with a light hand, and the toppings are chosen well. I was delighted by the piggy-tasting Molinari pepperoni and the Fra’mani sausage, but the vegetarian pizzas are even better. My favorite so far had eggplant and red onion. Masullo’s background is in baking, and his desserts and pastries are also wonderful. I had a small slice of peach tart with a restrained dollop of lightly-sweet whipped cream that was the perfect way to end the meal. Notice I say “restrained” and “small”. This is not a place that will leave you groaning and unlacing the drawstring on your sweats as you leave, but I have a pretty large appetite and I find a pizza and maybe a split dessert to be plenty filling. Oh yeah, I’m not crazy about his wine list but he only charges 8 bucks for corkage.

New Lai Wah impressions

Besides dim sum, which I’ve eaten a truckload of and which has a fairly finite number of types of offerings, I’m really intimidated to tackle the subject of Chinese food. Not only is it mind-bogglingly complex and diverse, but in America it typically has the largest disparity between what the Chinese people and the non-Chinese are ordering. I’ve been mulling over a possible article for quite awhile, so I’ll just write some impressions here and continue to educate myself.

Last night I had dinner for a friend’s birthday at New Lai Wah (full disclosure, MM wine writer Michele Hebert was also in attendance and brought a nice New Zealand riesling). We began with a cold steamed chicken dish. The chicken was velvety and was seasoned with mild red chili oil, cilantro, strong, hot chunks of raw garlic, and roasted peanuts. Next, we ordered two pounds of geoduck from the tank at 16 bucks a pound. The server quizzed us on our desired preparation and we thought she was saying “sesame”, which we agreed to. Turns out, to our delight, that she was saying “sashimi”. The thin, pale clam slices were served on a bed of ice with lemon and jalapeno garnish, with accompanying bowls of wasabi. It was delicious; cold and tender and tasted like oysters without the guts. The sizeable “head” of the geoduck was made into a tasty soup that had a chicken-based broth, chunks of the savory meat, soft tofu and bok choy. For our main course we had sauteed ton choy (someone remind me of the English name?) with garlic and lobster clay pot with glass noodles. The whole elegant and technically complex feast came to 100 bucks including corkage and was plenty to feed 5.

This just in, MM’s own Michele Hebert gets a shout out in the Bee!

Photo by Florence Lo
Our very own Michele Hebert just got profiled in the Sacbee as a part of “Wine’s next generation,” accompanied by a rather stunning photograph if we do say so. Check out her blog – Sniff and Quaff – if you haven’t already. If you’re one of those Cali Cab people (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) give one of her wines a try. I thought that the thing Sylva says about Gabe’s beard is mean!

Thanks to Becky Grunewald for the tip!

Matt K. Shrugg on the street

Hot Off the Press!

Just picked up Matt K. Shrugg’s brand new debut solo record, Matt K. Shrugg, out on Chicago’s Tic Tac Totally label. It’s good. Really, really good. Four brutal, blazing jazz-inflected garage punk songs in three-track lo fi glory, first 100 on clear vinyl with a cute lil booklet describing how Tic Tac Totally came to put this out. Raw like the Sonics, recorded like the Mummies and written and sung and played by nobody (but nobody) like Matt K. Shrugg.

I’m not gonna pretend to be unbiased. I’ve known MKS since he was 12 years old, and we’ve played together in various bands for over a decade. I’ve watched Matt go from being an awkward pre-teen Beatle nerd with a mismatched, busted up drum kit to being a full-on Sammies Hall-of-Famer musical juggernaut with a mismatched, busted up drum kit.

So yes, I am totally biased, but others have been taking note. KDVS DJ and indie tastemaker Rick Ele featured a batch of MKS material on a recent show and then followed it up with a blog post recounting Matt K.’s history that sums up, “Bottom line…dude’s awesome at whatever he tries.” And then there’s this line from SS Records head honcho Scott Soriano: “A fixture of Sacramento’s music scene, Matt K. is probably this town’s best pop songsmith since Nar’s S. Miller.” Please note that this is probably the only example of DJ Rick, Scott Soriano and the Sammies folk ever agreeing on anything.

I lack the contemporary musical vocabulary to describe exactly what this record sounds like. Hasil Adkins once explained that he developed his unique one-man band style because he grew up hearing Hank Williams on the radio and had no idea that there was a whole band backing him up. This record sounds as if Matt K. Shrugg had grown up thinking that one guy had played everything on the Angry Samoans records and gone on from there. It’s loud, it’s distorted, it’s fast, it’s catchy and it features Matt K. Shrugg playing every instrument on every track all while operating the tape as well. And he drew the cover (of course).

If you want to get a copy before it sells out and ends up going for $40 on ebay, try Time Tested Books on 21st between L and K. Last I heard they had it in stock…

The NEW Midtown Monthly blog!


Welcome to the new Midtown Monthly blog.  We’ve been meaning to get a blog up for, oh, a year and half or so, and finally we’re here.   
Why a Midtown Monthly blog?
Because paper is expensive.  And because we only hit the streets once a month.  There is so much going on in and around Sacto that we’ve have been unable to cover, either because we didn’t have the print space, or because our press time would make coverage irrelevant.  We’re hoping that the Midtown Monthly blog will allow us to get around those constraints.
There’s another reason as well- we want to hear back from you.  Sure, we get Letters to the Editor sometimes, but we all know that it’s much easier to make a quick comment on a blog than to compose an ‘official’ letter.   We’re looking forward to having an interactive part of Midtown Monthly.   So, a blog.
Welcome aboard, and I’m sure we’ll talk soon.