Archive for January 6th, 2011


You may have noticed the teaser for Midtown Monthly’s new ad contest in the latest issue… it’s a find-the-ad type contest to win a $100 Gift Certificate to Raku Sushi – one of our favorite sushi places!  You can enter by sending in the form printed in the magazine, or by sending us an email with the following information:

Your Name:

Your Phone #:

The ad and page #:

send your entry to:

One entry per person per month.  Entries must be received by Noon on January 20, 2011.  Winner will be notified by phone no later than January 26, 2011.

Good luck!

Editor’s Letter

Putting this issue together has been a real trip down memory lane.

Talking about Sacramento art with Beth Jones and Lynda Jolley for the article on JAYJAY brought back near-forgotten memories of my first trip to a ‘real’ art gallery in Sacramento – Lynda’s Big Art on L Street.  I had gone out on a Second Saturday to see a show by one of my fellow Tower Records store artists, Galelyn Williams.  I liked the show, but felt woefully unable to fully appreciate her assemblage works – it was one of the first times I’d encountered non-narrative art, and I did not know what to make of it at all.   Two decades later, I’ve gone from skeptic to unabashed conceptual art fan, Tower Records is long gone, and Williams has been living on the east coast for at least a decade – but is still showing with Jolley.

Back in those days, I, like Galelyn, was making a living painting displays for one of Russ Solomon’s Tower Records stores, but I really considered myself more of a cartoonist and graphic artist.  I’d had a very short-lived career as a ‘professional’ comic book artist in the mid eighties, but I was much more serious about my newspaper comic strip-styled work, specifically a strip called Little Orphan Anton, inspired equally by the classic Little Orphan Annie strip and a local musician named Anton Barbeau.  Since I had no publishing outlet for Anton I’d simply make three or four dozen photocopies of each new episode and anonymously post them up on telephone poles around Midtown in the middle of the night.

Little Orphan Anton circa 1990

Midnight flyering runs were familiar territory for me, having spent the late eighties as one of Barbeau’s two semi-official ‘poster guys.’  My pal Stan Tindall and I had gone from being Anton Barbeau fans to poster designers simply by volunteering to draw and print the posters ourselves.  Stan and I shared a predilection for sixties psychedelic art which Barbeau encouraged and tolerated in equal measure – chiding us only when the Fillmore poster-style lettering on our posters was completely illegible; Anton may have been playing at Café Montreal or Mansion Cellars, but you’d never have known it from our Haight-Ashbury-inspired graphics.  Telephone pole flyering had a quasi-legal status at the time, so we tended to post our wares in the middle of the night, with one eye over our shoulders, a practice I carried over into my Little Orphan Anton postings.

To his credit, Anton rarely complained about the trials I put him through in the strip, or about the fact that I didn’t sign them, leaving him as the most obvious ‘point person’ for any complaints. I can only remember one problem – when I made fun of another anonymous Midtown flyer-poster who was lobbying against disinvestment in South Africa’s then-Apartheid government, and Barbeau got an angry phone call or two from him.  After that I put my home phone number on the strips.

Anton and I have lost touch a few times over the intervening decades, so it was a treat to hear from him recently and to receive a copy of his latest record – the Psychedelic Mynde of Moses, reviewed by Dennis Yudt here.   While we were chatting I also asked if he’d be interested in contributing the ‘Musical Chairs’ column for this issue.  He happily obliged and dashed off his picks for his fave records of the past ten years, and dead-on the word count too!  Anton may be based in Oxford, but he’s still a Midtowner at heart.


Second Saturday

By Liv Moe  Photos by Scott Duncan

December is not the best time to survey the status of Second Saturday.  Each winter, the monthly event goes into a sort of suspended animation; it gets cold, Christmas parties start to rival art receptions, and the galleries themselves have holiday parties which upstage their own monthly events.  Bit by bit Second Saturday starts to look like a ghost town. Read more »

Greek to Me

by Becky Grunewald  Photos by Scott Duncan

Greek food has never really done it for me.  I’ve watched its trendiness rise (and then ebb) in food magazines; I’ve sampled it periodically, a bowl of avgolemeno here, a souvlaki there, but it has never really excited or intrigued me the way other Mediterranean cuisines do Read more »

JAYJAY Turns 10

By Tim Foster  Photos by Scott Duncan

In the grand scheme of things, ten years isn’t an awfully long time.  A decade can skip by, seemingly in the blink of an eye. That’s in the real world.  In the art world, a decade is more like an eternity. Read more »

Art Picks, January 2011

Read more »

Harley White Jr.

By Dennis Yudt  Photos by Scott Duncan

While the rain drizzled over Midtown and the Bill Evans Trio whispered a soundtrack in the background, Harley White Jr. turned his head toward the window. Tears rolled down his face, mirroring the raindrops’ slow, hesitant voyage on the pane. Read more »

Musical Chairs, January 2011

Midtown expat Anton Barbeau started recording and releasing his own cassette-albums long before he’d left high school; his newest, Psychedelic Mynde of Moses (reviewed here) is something like his 25th (!) release. A mainstay of Sac’s musical scene since the mid eighties, Barbeau stunned many when he up and moved to England half a decade ago Read more »

Anton Barbeau: Psychedelic Mynde of Moses

It’s been several pots of Darjeeling since my last encounter with this fine lad, so it has made my flippin’ day/week/month to be gifted with a new Anton to cup cochlea to. And to the screaming young hoards and throngs of ne’er-do-well’s, I attest – no – affirm, that this is THEE one y’all been waiting for. Read more »

Brooks Truitt Redux

By James W. Cameron  photos by Scott Duncan

A little less than five years ago I interviewed veteran Midtown activist Brooks Truitt for SN&R and reminded him that in an earlier interview he had referred to Sacramento’s City Council members as a “chickenshit bunch of putzes” Read more »