Archive for February, 2011


Here at Midmo HQ, we have been working hard to catalog all giant’s debris left around Sacramento. They seem content to leave their belongings everywhere! Please note the following examples.

forks half smoked cigars

empty cans

Coke cups

coffee cups

paintbrushes and palettes. 

We are very concerned with this phenomenon and are currently following up on all reports of giant trash. Please comment with any information you have below. We thank you for your time.


Sacramento Fashion Week kicked off yesterday with a showcase of this year’s up and coming local talent.

Six designers had the chance to strut their stuff on the runway for the elites of the Sacramento fashion world. Two lines which really stood out where by Brenda Vie and Faatui Toele. While all the collections had strong pieces, these two really showed a cohesive message.

Toele’s line was all black and white, a bold move for such a novice designer. Cocktail dresses and men’s jeans were anchors for Toele’s line. The collection finale was a gorgeous ruffled evening dress. Toele said he was pleased with the response to his collection and he really put his whole heart into his pieces.

Vie’s line was playful, fun and yet professional. She called her collection, “Pink Tuxedo,” drawing from classic tuxedo wear and incorporating ruffles, bows and everything feminine. Her line felt so cohesive and while over the top, some of the pieces were very wearable. The models glided down the runway dolled up like Harajuku girls; the hair and make-up really completed the designers bubblegum-sweet aesthetic.

The other Emerging Designers included:

  • Kira Martinson – Women’s street fashion, featuring interesting hoodies and jackets.
  • Maisha Bahati – Eco-sheet jersey-knits.
  • Nkaujer Jules Thor – Pop-music inspired collection, heavy diva influence.
  • Noognuv Thao – Avant garde plays on proportion, short skirts and rompers with big collars.

Tonight local established designers will display their fall lines in the Finale Designer Showcase.

Sac beer week starts with a bang

The opening night event last night at The Crocker for Sacramento Beer Week was bursting at the seams. I spotted the MidMo beer issue front and center at the Beer Week Merch area. I have been pleased with the high profile of this issue. We are a crew that cares about beer, and I’m glad we would spread our enthusiasm.

I’m looking forward to some other beer week events. Which ones are you guys attending?

Beer, Brats, and Beethoven!!!

Tempo, the Sacramento Philharmonic’s young professionals group, will host a fundraiser to support the Philharmonic and promote the orchestra’s Feb. 19 “Basically Beethoven” concert. The Beer, Brats and Beethoven event will include a beer tasting, German-inspired food and a live polka band at the Shack restaurant in East Sacramento. The Shack is a venerable landmark among beer connoisseurs, serving more than 100 varieties from around the world!Beer, Brats and Beethoven

6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 17

The Shack, 5201 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento

Advanced tickets are sold out, however there are still some $25 tickets remaining at the door.

A Conversation with Fred and Victoria Dalkey

. It would be hard to find a couple more engaged in the Sacramento art scene than Fred and Victoria Dalkey.  Fred Dalkey is a well-known local artist who also taught at Sacramento City College for decades.  He’s been making art in Sacramento for over 50 years and has shown everywhere from the Belmonte Gallery to the Crocker.  Victoria Dalkey is the longtime art critic for the Sacramento Bee, and in her 30+ years of reporting has covered nearly every important artist in the area.  Her column is the most widely read – and most widely respected – art writing in the region.  Together they have perhaps the most comprehensive body of firsthand knowledge of Sacramento art history that exists anywhere.  At this Living Library event they will speak about the development of Sacramento art over the past half-century, touching on great artists like Wayne Thiebaud, important gallerists like Sal Yniguez and Michael Himovitz, the role of UC Davis and other schools, and the influence of movements like Pop and Funk. After the discussion they will take questions from the audience, so come prepared!  This will be a very special night with two treasures of Sacramento’s art scene – Don’t miss.

Sacramento Living Library
Sunday, February 20, 7PM

1114 21St Street, All Ages, Free

thanks to Russ Solomon for the photos!

Sac Vernac

I have been trying to blog at least every other Monday. What I am interested in may not float everyone’s boat, but I want to focus on Sacramento’s vernacular landscape. Or in other words, the boring shit that people don’t really pay attention to. Your bus benches, your signposts, what have you.  Hands down, the best class I took in college, was taught by Paul Groth, whose main interest was ordinary architecture.  I wrote a 25 page paper on curbs for that class. No joke. Curbs. 25 pages. Unfortunately it was pretty crappy and got and deserved a C. I would love a do-over on that. Since that class I have kept my eyes open and paid attention to the mundane. So that will be the boring-to-some Mondays.  There will be some exciting stuff too. For people who like exciting.

Here is a rad old barn that is in the alley between P & Q and 17th & 18th.

If you happen to be interested in ordinary cultural landscapes as well, you may also want to read some articles by Professor Groth’s mentor J.B. Jackson.

Art Picks, February 2011

American Gothic: Regionalist Portraiture from the Collection
Nelson Gallery
Through March 13,

I zipped over the causeway last month to check out the Grand Opening of the new Richard Nelson Hall – I’ve got plenty of fond memories of the old Nelson Gallery, so I was somewhat concerned.  Wow. Read more »

Editor’s Letter, February 2011

Given that my taste in beer runs to Miller High Life, I’m probably not the best choice to be writing an introduction to this month’s issue.  That said, I can appreciate enthusiasm, and I know that no issue topic in memory has generated more interest from our contributors – we were barely able to fit all the stories that came in this month!

Shooting the cover at Pangaea was a natural.  Owner Rob Archie has created an amazing little scene on his corner, nestled between Oak Park and Curtis Park, across the street from Gunther’s Ice Cream.  Though Pangaea started off as a coffee café, Rob has since expanded his offerings to include an incredible selection of imported and craft beers.  In so doing, he’s broken down the invisible wall that exists between coffee shop and bar.  Archie cites European cafes as his model, and he’s got it down – Pangaea has the same vibe I’ve found in cafes in Turin, Barcelona and Lisbon – but never before in Sac.  Archie has not only survived the recession, he’s thriving – a heartening example of a nice guy doing well.

Another nice guy doing well is the author of this month’s history of Sacramento Brewing, Ed Carroll.  I first met Ed nearly twenty years ago, when he was the drummer for a scrappy punk band called Nar. Unlike most punk drummers of the time, Carroll was a master of understatement, playing stone-steady beats with driving intensity.  It was no surprise then when I discovered that he was a Kinks fanatic – Mick Avory’s meat and potatoes backbeat was the antithesis of incendiary stagehogs like Keith Moon, the essence of rock and roll tastiness.

I was surprised when Ed also turned out to be a complete history nut – especially on subjects related to the Gold Rush.  Ed enjoys nothing more than digging through the archives, searching for crumbling documents and faded photographs of early California.  Actually, let me amend that – he does enjoy one thing more: beer – which brings us full circle.

Several of Ed’s passions, then, are consolidated in Sacramento: City of a Beer, the 1998 record profiled by Dennis Yudt in this issue. Ed wrote the liner notes, played on two of the tracks (one by the aforementioned Nar, and the other by the incredible Lazy J’s) and can be credited with being a general inspiration for the project.  We wanted to include info about where to buy the record, but discovered that it is long out of print and nigh-impossible to find these days.  Sorry!

We rounded out the issue with my article about Austrian-born, LA-based artist Gottfried Helnwein, whose Inferno of the Innocents show opened at the Crocker at the end of January.  Helnwein’s work is not standard Crocker fare, and Director Lial Jones says she’s not expecting everyone to like the show.  I suspect she’ll be right.  Midtown is proud to be one of the listed sponsors of the exhibit, and I’ll be curious to see what the crowd’s take is on it.  One thing’s for sure – it’s not your father’s Crocker anymore!

A Tale of Two Brews

By Becky Grunewald  Photos by Scott Duncan

It’s lunchtime at Pangaea Two Brews; the sun slanting through the large windows warms the quietly buzzing, multi-racial crowd.  The owner, Rob Archie, gave the cafe this rather odd name – the designation for the supercontinent that existed before the shifting of tectonic plates gave us the current seven continents – because it’s situated at the intersection of the disparate worlds of Oak Park and Curtis Park (it even has two zipcodes); the “two brews” he’s referring to are coffee and beer. Read more »

Crossing the Rubicon

By Niki Kangas, Photo by Scott Duncan

Many Midtowners have tossed back copious happy pints at Sacramento’s favorite brewpub, The Rubicon, but most of us don’t have a clue about the brains behind the brew. These days the taps belong to quite a nice chap, Glynn Phillips. I sat down with Glynn on a bottling day for their winter seasonal, and so was able to enjoy a conversation paired with a freshly bottled 22 oz. Capricorn Black, all before noon Read more »