United State v. City Hall

United State boutique
United State boutique, from Yelp

Via the sac for tourists blog we learn that the City of Sacramento pulled the September Second Saturday permit for United State, a “DJ/Clothing Boutique” in Midtown. According to the United State blog, Sac PD cited “Attract(ing) a younger audience” as the reason for the notice. Sac For Tourists’ Nick Miller (also of SN&R) followed up on the gossip with a roundup of mostly nonevents between Sac PD and hip-hop folks at last weekend’s Second Saturday.

While there could be more to the story involving United State, the preponderance of evidence that Sac does indeed Hate Hip Hop inclines me to believe that there is something fishy going on regarding urban trendy kids getting a fair shake from the City of Sac. The institutional memory of Sac PD probably does see the local hip hop scene as being violent, as this commenter pointed out. If that’s the case there is not much local hip-hop fans can do to fight that stereotype except maybe embrace the mainstream approach and engage some good PR.

I have had limited exposure to Second Saturday in the last few years, mostly due to the fact that I hate bad art. But it has grown so much in the last decade, meaning much more good art, so I know I should check it out, as I generally like Sacramentans, even the ones who create bad art. But my limited experience with Midtown After Dark these days has mostly jibed with what Stickie said. So it sure seems like there are issues with Second Saturday (I can’t believe you can have open liquor these days, with all the high profile DUI cases our area has seen) that warrant closer attention than a few dozen trendy urban kids hanging out at a store listening to their loud music on the Walkmans and wearing their dungarees and drinking the Moxie Cola.

However, I am sure that Sac PD’s case is probably much stronger than United State lets on. Is there lots of loud music going on at Second Saturday these days?

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

6 thoughts on “United State v. City Hall”

  1. I know the owners personally and they are a young couple with three small kids. The serve on the Midtown Business Association and are constantly working on events (like the Halloween event for kids) that will bring more folks into midtown. This is total crap.


  2. That stinks. Maybe they’ll be able to appeal and get reinstated. I’d hate for Second Saturday to go the way of the Thursday Night Market.


  3. CoolDMZ,

    You don’t know how much I wish that SAC PD had a stronger case, because this whole deal has been a ridiculous show of power… We went through a list of reasons of why they didn’t want us to have a high audience attendance, and they can only stick to “allowing drinking AROUND our business”. I can stick the letter onto our website, which I think I will do because of the doubting parities.. They also retracted all of the other reasons because of how insane they sounded and possibly showed their discriminating views.

    Paul Brizuela


  4. Paul, everyone,

    The PDs argument is bogus. All you have to do is take a stroll around Midtown between 8pm and midnight on Second Saturday to realize that underage drinking is part its culture. Pinning this trend on one venue–one that doesn’t serve alcohol but happens to draw a younger crowd interested in hip-hop and turntablism–isn’t cool.

    The city and code enforcement instead should collaborate with Paul and US to create a safe, alcohol-free entertainment environment.

    Instead, they’ve turned toward hyper-vigilance. No big surprise here, but it’s a shame.


  5. To answer DMZ’s original question, yes, there is a ton of loud music during Second Saturday. However, most of it does not have that “urban beat” that police departments seem to be so terrified of these days.

    After all, you know what happens when those young urban kids begin listening to the hip-hop music? Murder! Thuggery! Saggy Pants! What’s worse, what if young, innocent white children get exposed to these demonic jungle beats? More saggy pants wearing murder thugs!

    Meanwhile, music with a 4/4 backbeat is perfectly allowable, as it has not corrupted the minds of innocent white children since 1964.

    SFT, the problem with providing a safe, alcohol free environment is that nobody makes any money off of that. Insurance and permits cost big bucks and the only way to get that money back is high ticket prices or selling booze. But booze + hip hop music = thousands of virginal white women getting raped by crazed drunken urban youth possessed by demonic jungle beats, which is why hip-hop are limited to free venues such as United State on nights such as Second Saturday. You see the vicious circle? It is, as has been implied, institutionalized racism, through and through.

    So. Answers? Can somebody establish a non-profit, all ages, no booze venue in Sacramento? Take 924 Gilman in Berkeley as a model. What if musicians and those that support them begin to lobby Mayor KJ to provide this cultural outlet that could be something really positive for Sacramento? I honestly don’t see an alternative. I don’t think things are going to change with the police’s paranoia of saggy pants youngsters or the lack of profit in staging all ages shows.


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