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April, 2009 | Midtown Monthly

Archive for April, 2009

Cactus & Succulent Show and Sale this Weekend!

Every year I look forward to the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society’s Annual Show and Sale at the Shepard Garden Art Center in McKinley Park.

My parents became cactus nuts as soon as we moved to California from the snowbound wilds of New Jersey. They surrounded our brand new ‘spanish style’ ranch house in the burbs with a massive cactus and succulent garden that was either the star or scandal of the neighborhood, depending on your perception of what a front ‘lawn’ should look like. When Liv and I finally bought a house I too began replacing lawn (well, weeds) with cacti and succulents. The SC&SS; sale played a big part in filling out our landscaping since the prices are so reasonable and the sellers are eager to share tips and advice.

This year’s show will be this Saturday and Sunday, May 2- 3, from 9AM – 4 PM. Don’t miss!

Black Lips plus Rock N Roll Adventure Kids at Blue Lamp!

Sure, sure, everyone loves the Black Lips — crazy kids, tiny amps, treble-y no name guitars, grills and peeing on each other.  Adorable!  The indie masses will surely flood the Blue Lamp tomorrow (Tuesday, April 28) to check out these Vice mag faves and fawn all over their Back From the Wavy Gravy sound.  As well they should.

But the really cool kids will get there early – the Rock and Roll Adventure Kids just got added.
The Rock and Roll Adventure Kids are not to be denied.  Only two dudes – and they don’t need anybody else.  They’ve been turning in blistering sets of full tilt Link Wray meets Hazel Adkins meets MC5 gronk for at least the past couple of years, and now they’re just back from a month-long US tour (playing TWICE every fucking night, once as RnRAK, then again backing NoBunny) so you know they are going to be on fire.  I’ve had the misfortune to play after these shmucks and let me tell you it’s no fun having your ass handed to you by young whippersnappers any time, but it’s especially lame when there’s half as many of them as there are of you.  
Go early.  Buy a beer.  Spill it all over yourself when you’re dancing with joy.  Repeat.

SML: Grow Your Own!

by Rachel Gregg

seedlingsIt is Earth Month and for we dwellers of the fertile central valley it is a prime planting time. It’s time to get your hands dirty and get down with the earth. Sewing your seeds now means salsa all summer long. It is all part of the beauty of living in SacOfTomatoes. Read more »

Sacramento’s First Skyscraper

by William Burg

926 OriginalSacramento in the 1920s was an optimistic place, a bustling transportation center served by five railroads (two transcontinental steam railroads and three electric interurbans) and several riverboat lines. The Southern Pacific shops employed thousands of workers building and repairing steam locomotives. Canneries and grain mills turned the Central Valley’s agricultural bounty into packaged products to ship around the world. The success of Sacramento’s first streetcar suburbs, recently annexed into the city, spurred a second wave of suburban development across the rivers in West Sacramento and North Sacramento. Downtown, a growing number of businesses and professionals sought offices close to streetcar lines and government offices. Read more »

Let’s Get Whimsical

It’s hard to miss Autumn Sky as she weaves her way through a crowded room of fans, friends and well-wishers. On this cold Saturday night at Luigi’s Fungarden, the 20 year-old folk-pop singer/songwriter’s vintage canary-yellow dress and sparkling silver high heels flitter like a lightning bug against the bundled-up dark browns and grays of the all-ages audience. Sky is sharing a bill with Ricky Berger and Be Brave Bold Robot in support of Sister Crayon’s CD release, and making last-minute arrangements before her set. Read more »

Musical Chairs

We asked local singer songwriter Autumn Sky to take a spin in the musical chair this month to coincide with the release of her debut album this month (and Tony King’s article about same).   She promptly obliged, sending over the following, which she titled “The Up-and-Comers, Or, All the Local Musicians I Would Stalk if I Wasn’t a Busy Musician Myself.” Read more »

Where Have all the Good Times Gone?

Micah Kennedy, R.I.P. 2009

I Just got the news that Micah Kennedy passed away last night.

I first met Micah in 1993 at a hastily thrown together Midtown music ‘festival’ called the Garage Sale-A-Go-Go.  Micah and his buddies rolled up on vintage bikes, sporting 60′s polaroid sunglasses and generally looked as if they had just ridden out of an episode of My Three Sons.  Turned out that they were a surf band, or were about to become one, and were looking for a bass player.  Enter Tim White, who was about to go onstage with his frat/garage combo, The Trainspotters.  White was a perfect fit for the band that was soon named the Tiki Men, and within weeks they had made their first recordings at Micah’s warehouse lair, the Sing Hing Bean Sprout Factory.
Though Scott Miller and Pete Husing had formed the Tiki Men with Micah, it was clearly Micah’s band.  He wrote and arranged most of the songs, played lead guitar, recorded and produced the records, and generally set the tone for the group.  Never quite comfortable in band ‘outfits’ like the Hawaiian shirts they wore early on, Micah gave the group an edge that no other ‘retro’ band of the period could touch.  And his playing didn’t hurt either.  Probably the best rock and roll guitarist that Sacramento has ever produced,  Micah’s work in the Tiki Men and in later groups such as the Lazy J’s cemented his reputation from nearly the moment he set foot on stage.  
For a time, anything Micah touched seemed to be solid gold.  The Tiki Men immediately found themselves the darlings of the 90′s garage/surf revival, playing the prestigious GarageShock festival in Bellingham and releasing records on a variety of labels.  He produced the debut single from Tiger Trap, Sac’s now legendary riot girl band, and the first record from Lil Bunnies- which ended up at #1 on Rolling Stone‘s punk charts for a week.  Relocating to San Francisco in the late nineties, he formed the Original Sinners, a sort of proto-Alkali Flats with future Flatter Chris Harvey.  Their whiskey-soaked hillbilly blues were devastating, with Micah and Chris channeling the spirit of the Louvin Brothers.  
Health and other issues challenged Micah over the past decade, and though he never stopped playing music, his output decreased dramatically.  He and I were never particularly close, but we kept in touch, and I enjoyed running into him now and again, almost invariably when he was working on an old car or motorcycle.  Micah was a sensitive soul, much beloved by his friends and family.   Very sentimental, he’d stayed close to friends he’d met as far back as preschool, and he died surrounded by those close to him.  
When my first band put out our first record in 1995, it came with a questionnaire which asked each of us our musical goals.  My answer was short: “To play guitar like Micah.”  The answer would be the same today.
He will be missed.

Musical Chairs

We asked local singer songwriter Autumn Sky to take a spin in the musical chair this month to coincide with the release of her debut album this month (and Tony King’s article about same).   She promptly obliged, sending over the following, which she titled “The Up-and-Comers, Or, All the Local Musicians I Would Stalk if I Wasn’t a Busy Musician Myself.” Read more »

Good Life Garden

My first introduction to the Good Life Garden was through a listing for an event called, “The California Gold Rush: What We Ate”, which was a benefit for the garden.  That sounded so immediately intriguing that I knew I had to attend.  The setting for dinner was quite dramatic: the high-ceilinged train car display room in the Sacramento Railroad Museum. Read more »

Wine Picks

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