Archive for July, 2011
Blank City Sacramento
On July 15, I attended two very similar events that showcased the underground New York arts scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s: Midtown Business Association’s annual gala at Harlow’s, and Verge Gallery’s premiere of “Blank City” at the Crest Theatre. Both spurred discussion about the factors behind the creative environment that emerged from a dangerous, decaying neighborhood during the nadir of New York’s greater economy, and what that might mean for arts scenes in cities like Sacramento.
Sorry this blog has been so moribund people. Here’s the video for the August MidMo cover. Old Man Foster spins a tall tale about coffee.
This show commemorates the release of Perseverance, an impressive new cd by Alex Jenkins’ Sound Immersion, on Ross Hammond’s Prescott Recordings label. Jenkins is the percussionist in this local jazz outfit, also prominently featuring the bass of Alex Rieff, and the rousing saxophones of Tony Passarell and Michael Dale. The compositions are smart and upbeat; playful and compelling phrases and hooks open up stretches of improvisation in which the players show tremendous skill, confidence and grace, while energetically carrying each other through variations on the theme. Hearing it, you may forget it’s not a lost gem of some Ornette Coleman band, or an exciting new Ken Vandermark undertaking. What a prize to know that such talent lives and breathes among us. -TM
Luna’s Café, 9PM, $6, all ages
This seems like a great showcase of what’s new in indie rock (but don’t take my word for it, I only pop my head out to type these words each month!) Generationals are from New Orleans; think Psychedelic Furs meet the Flaming Lips, with a bit of Bruce Springsteen tight-jeans flare? But not quite as exciting as that. They’re joined by Santa Barbara’s Gardens & Villa (on Secretly Canadian), and two guys from Portland called Hossanas. Each of these bands has their own distinctive and tasteful take on mixing the old in with the new, combining to make one hell of a line-up, and a solid night of engaging indie jams. -TM
Sofia’s Thai Kitchen,129 E St., Davis
The Silent Comedy has rolled through town a few times over their impressive years of existence, last time playing the stage at Chalk-It-Up. These super-talented lads from San Diego are steeped in all forms of what might be called Americana, or Alt-Country, or whiskey-drinkin-women-lovin-soft-hearted man-sounds. Their stage presence is alive and exhilarating, often leaving an audience with little to do but dance in response. They’re on tour with Saint Motel, from LA. The song of theirs I heard sounded just like Coldplay playing a Cake song. I’d bet they get into some Barry Manilow covering Caetano Veloso territory, too. Ah, just go to the show, put a few back, and have a great time! -TM
Harlow’s, 8PM, $10 21+
VERGE MOVIE NIGHT IS BACK AT THE CREST!!!!!!!! This time around we’ll be featuring Blank City, a raw, and exhilarating romp through the late 70s/early 80s New York avant garde film scene. Prior to the film, Associate Professor of Digital Media and Film at CSUS, Jenny Stark, will be presenting a pre-lecture and screening some of her own work. Some may remember Stark’s outstanding pre-lecture for John Waters last summer as part of the California Lecture Series which made her the perfect compliment to this program. Also, before the film we’ll have the bar open and DJ Mike C will be spinning records to set the mood!
To make the night even cooler VCA has partnered with Record Clob and will be auctioning off a signed movie poster inked by Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, Debbie Harry and more!
For more on the film and Stark read on!!!!!
BLANK CITY tells the long-overdue tale of a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. From the late 1970′s through the mid 80′s, when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors crafted daring works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film as we know it today. Directed by French newcomer Céline Danhier, BLANK CITY weaves together an oral history of the “No Wave Cinema” and “Cinema of Transgression” movements through compelling interviews with the luminaries who began it all. Featured players include acclaimed directors Jim Jarmusch and John Waters, actor-writer-director Steve Buscemi, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, photographer Richard Kern as well as Amos Poe, James Nares, Eric Mitchell, Susan Seidelman, Beth B, Scott B, Charlie Ahearn and Nick Zedd. Fittingly, the soundtrack includes: Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Contortions, The Bush Tetras, Sonic Youth and many more.
JENNY STARK was born in Bellaire, Texas. She received her BFA in Photography from the University of Houston and went on to receive an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She is an Associate Professor of Communications and Film as well as the Film Coordinator at Sacramento State. Her films and videos have shown at South by Southwest, The New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Viennale, Vienna, LA Film Forum, The Aurora Picture Show Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, IMT London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City.
RECORD CLUB http://www.facebook.com/recordclubsacto
Given that there is a natural fascination with superlatives- the first, the biggest, the most, the worst, etc, it is surprising how little we knew about the extremes in our own home town. It didn’t take much prodding to get us to explore the idea, and we set out to track down Sacramento’s superlatives Read more »
By Sarah Singleton
The most exclusive restaurant in town only has eight seats. It’s not in the phone book. It’s not even on Yelp. Read more »
I’m just going to say it: Zach Hill is the most extreme musician in Sacramento. A self-taught drummer and founding member of the deconstructionist duo Hella, Hill has earned accolades and fans both here and abroad for his signature brand of hyperkinetic drum destruction. Read more »