Archive for November 4th, 2011

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot- TONIGHT

“These songs are not for the tourists,” says the Brooklyn teenager who ran away from home to join the rodeo back in the mid-1940s. The same one who became the last travellin’ partner to Woody Guthrie, the same one who taught young Bob Dylan his talkin’ blues. The mother of folksinger Odetta dubbed him ‘Ramblin’ Jack Elliott for his laconic Will Rogers-like drawl and drawn out storytellin’.. Now at age 80, he is a National Medal of Arts winner and just picked up a Grammy Award last year for a great album of dark county blues titled A Stranger Here. Would there be anywhere else to be than Harlow’s ( 2708 J St.) on Friday, Nov. 4 to see him ? Early show-7 pm.


Things to do: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train, Saturday & Sunday, November 5-6

Celebrate 40 years of railroad passenger history with Amtrak and the California State Railroad Museum by touring a special Exhibit Train that is making a stop in Old Sac for free public tours one weekend only! The Exhibit Train showcases memorabilia from the national passenger railroad’s history and offers visitors a chance to see Amtrak memorabilia like photos, vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, and period uniforms. Plus, just outside the California State Railroad Museum on the 1849 Scene lawn, there will be a fun “Chuggington Depot” set-up with lots of free activities for kids. And on Saturday only, visitors to will have two opportunities to watch a new Amtrak 40th Anniversary film with a special in-person introduction by producer Rich Luckin.

Old Sacramento

Exhibit Train tours:10AM – 4PM
Film screening: Nov. 5, 11AM ; 3PM

Things to do: Cinematic Titanic: Doomsday Machine, Friday November 4

 Cinematic Titanic is a feature-length movie-riffing show from Joel Hodgson, the creator of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The show features the original cast that first brought the Peabody Award-winning cult-classic series to life: Trace Beaulieu (Crow, Dr. Forrester), J. Elvis Weinstein (Tom Servo, Dr. Erhardt), Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), and Maru Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester). Cinematic Titanic continues the tradition of playing on the “unfathomable,” “the horribly great” and the just plain “cheesy” movies from the past.

The riff light will be on as the crew goes head-to-head with the 1972 non-classic Doomsday Machine. Will the crew of the Astra make it safely to Venus? Will the human race survive? Will you wish it didn’t once you’ve seen this movie? Not when you watch with Cinematic Titanic!

Mondavi Center, Davis, 8PM

Tickets: $45 / $35 / $25; Subscriber Add-On: $38 / $30 / $21; Student: $22.5 / $17.5 / $12.5

Editor’s Letter- November 2011

Those of you who start at the back of the book and work your way forward (they’re out there, believe me) have already seen that Brattleboro Vermont’s favorite son, King Tuff, has rescheduled his aborted August appearance at Davis’ Bike Collective for November 4.  We listed the earlier Bike Collective performance as a ‘must see,’ only to have him bail out on the show at the very last minute.  I’ve never seen KT as a live act, but the record rules – in some alternate reality, Tuff’s “Connection” was a top 10 hit.

Tuff’s 2008 Was Dead album has been on constant rotation around the house (and in the car) since Liv picked it up on cassette a couple of years ago.  Though King Tuff tours with a full band, Was Dead was recorded as a solo project by Tuff leader Kyle Thomas.  The album sounds like an cross between ’70s glam and ’60s garage, with a little bit of The Strokes sprinkled on top. It took a few listens for me to grok the genius therein, but these days I find one (or more) of his songs stuck in my head at any given time.  I’ll be heading to Davis on the 4th to see how KT holds up as a live act.

Moving a bit closer to the front you’ll see Ed Hunter’s interview with Don Marquez, AKA Donnie Jupiter.  Reading through the interview brought back a lot of memories; I first met Donnie Jupiter back in the 1980s at Markee Records, the tiny record shop he ran out of the back of Dave Downey’s World’s Best Comics when it was located at 14th and J.

In those days I was a much bigger comic nerd than record nut, so I probably went to the shop looking for 1950s EC comics or early issues of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi.  While browsing the comics I spotted two issues of Cartune Land, a black and white sci-fi/fantasy comic book that Marquez had self-published.  Drawn in a style that knowingly mimicked fantasy art star Frank Frazetta, Cartune Land was a nerdy teenage boy’s dream come true: ray guns, rocket ships, dinosaurs and nubile, scantily clad ladies in distress.  I bought both issues that day.  It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I made the connection that Marquez was the same Donnie that was then playing bass in Downey’s punk rock band, the Lizards, and it wasn’t until the late nineties that I made the Twinkeyz connection.

It’s no surprise that it might take so long to connect the dots.  Unlike many folks involved in creative endeavors – and surprising for a guy who took the name Donnie Jupiter – Marquez is waaay low key; he just doesn’t have the self-promoter gene.  Reading Ed Hunter’s interview is a fun window into Marquez’ punk rock past and serves as a sort of capper to last month’s epic ‘Sacramento Underground Music’ article.  Be sure to check the Letters page for our goof ups in that article.

So, you may have noticed that we’re almost to the end of the Editor’s Letter and I still haven’t mentioned wine.  True.

I have to confess a deep and profound ignorance of the subject.  That said, I feel comfortable leaving you in the care of Michele Hebert, Becky Grunewald, Bill Burg, Liv Moe, Kara Sheffield, and Niki Kangas, all of whom have turned in wonderful bits on the subject.

Bottoms up and carry on!

Next Gen

by Michele Hébert  Photos by Scott Duncan

Opinions about wine are as varied as the number of people involved in making or selling it. At one end of the spectrum are those who try to stay out of the way of the natural process: they tend the vine, harvest the grapes, and do little more than put them in a vessel and rely on native yeasts to start the fermentation. Read more »

Wine Picks- Novermber 2011

Read more »

Raise a Glass

By Becky Grunewald Photos by Scott Duncan

My taste in wine has been heavily influenced by MidMo wine writer Michele Hebert,  though my knowledge is but a thimbleful compared to her ocean. Read more »

Bottle List

By Bob Masullo  Photos by Scott Duncan

Bacchus, the Roman wine god, certainly must have a warm spot in his heart for Sacramentans. Read more »