Musical Chairs – David Kulczyk

Posted on November 3, 2011 – 10:16 PM | by Admin
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David Kulczyk (pronounced Coal-check) is a Sacramento-based freelance writer who is probably best known for his book Death in California, published in 2009. He has also written for The SF Guardian, East Bay Express,  The Sacramento News and Review and many other publications.  He entered college at the age of 40 and has worked as a factory worker, sous chef, musician, warehouseman, fish butcher, barista, bike messenger and process server, and was only shot at once. He is currently finishing his next book,  Eccentrics – Fruits, Flakes and Nuts which will be published next spring. He has lived in Sacramento since 2002 and here he brings us the top five local concerts he’s seen since his arrival.



Red Planet and The Returnables at Old Ironsides – Summer 2002

The Returnables were friends of mine from Madison.  Their punk pop songs were great, but they also knew every song by the Undertones.  They were so excited about being in California that they had driven from their SF show to the Winchester House in San Jose, on their way to their Sacramento gig.  They did a bang up job in the opening slot, and when Red Planet played, the Returnables and I threw our arms around each other like we were 16 year old punkers.  That was the last time that I saw guitarist John Glick.  He was killed in a 2005 car accident in Chicago, along with Michael Dahlquist from Silkworm, and Doug Meis of The Dials.  They were waiting at a stoplight and were rammed from behind by a suicidal fashion model.  She barely did two years for her crime.

Nevada Backwards every time that they played

Admit it, Nevada Backwards rocked it.  Their shows were like watching a cement mixer with no brakes going down a mountain pass.  At times they were totally professional, others they were a drunken mess, but it never stopped their high octane performances.  Brian Ballentine, one of Sacramento’s leading cads, wrote some incredible songs, which is amazing because he doesn’t know Bruce Springsteen from David Bowie.  Sounding like he swallowed a Brillo Pad, Ballentine led his band like a conductor at a monkey concert.  After numerous personnel changes and an ever-expanding cast of musicians, Nevada Backwards’ trajectory was halted when multi-instrumentalist, Mick Stevenson fractured his skull while riding a motorized skateboard, and had to relearn how to play his instruments.  The second nail in Nevada Backwards was the departure of drummer Troy Kimura, who left his substitute teacher job in Sacramento to live and teach in Japan.  Ballentine went on to form Blvd Park, and hauled the band to Seattle where they are thriving.


Whispertown 2000 at Old Ironsides – Summer 2009

I was really excited to see Whispertown 2000 and I was stunned by the friendliness of the band.  They were the nicest bunch of musicians that I’ve ever met.  Just like their songs.



Enon and Dusty Brown at the Blue Lamp – April 2008

It was a moonless night and I only knew two people at the show, which was highly attended.  Dusty Brown was flawless, even though guitarist Zac Brown had a broken leg and looked like he was in extreme pain.  Enon came on, mysterious as all get out and they blasted out their set perfectly, despite some technical problems.  This was one of the best double bills that I witnessed anywhere this century.   




Th’ Losin Streaks in front of Cheap Thrills on a 2nd Saturday – Summer 2004

I love the Losin Streaks and have seen them multiple times, but this occasion was special because my 8 year old nephew from Susanville was with me.  His excitement reminded me why Rock and Roll is so great.

  1. One Response to “Musical Chairs – David Kulczyk”

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    By Bill Forman on Nov 4, 2011 | Reply

    Saw the Losin’ Streaks play between stunts at a Johnny Crash-O-Rama show. Great band, great event.

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