Happy Birthday SNR!

Sacramento News and Review celebrates its 25th anniversary this week.

25bugThis week marks the 25th anniversary of the Sacramento News and Review‘s first issue. As Melinda Welsh points out in her editorial, one of SNR’s greatest accomplishments is remaining locally owned and independent while alternative weeklies throughout the country are bought by media conglomerations or ceasing publication. This freedom allows writers to focus on Sacramento area interests and to not take any shit from anybody.

Publisher Jeff von Kaenel pushes a strong progressive and forward thinking agenda in his weekly column, a view that is sorely lacking in other major Sacramento media. His staff produces some of the best writing in Sacramento, from capitol and local political coverage to navigating local food and entertainment choices to in-depth cover stories on everything Sacramento.

This Sacto-centric view is displayed this week with more than two dozen notable and interesting locals and also Brian Crall envisioning Sacramento in 25 years. With luck and diligence, the Sacramento News and Review will be there to tell us all about it.

Boxed Cake Mix

Like this, but much cooler.
Like this, but much cooler.
On April 19th, Record Store Day 2014 will feature a number of limited release records from more than 100 artists. The eight record box set from CAKE is sure to create a local buzz among collectors and vibraslap aficionados. The set will include their entire LP discography plus the unreleased LP Live at the Crystal Palace recorded in 2005. I was there, it was awesome.

Sacramento area vinyl vendors are likely to get a good supply of this career spanning retrospective from our most famous hometown band, but fans will have to be smart and quick to snatch one up. Otherwise, the only option will be massively inflated prices on eBay.

SacBee reporters honored by Pulitzer

Bee staffers Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese were named finalists for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. While they did not bring home the top award, only two stories win the distinction of being a finalist. High praise, indeed.

Their investigation started with allegations that a mentally ill man was discharged by Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services in Las Vegas and sent to Sacramento on a Greyhound bus with no supporting resources or plan of treatment. They uncovered a shameful legacy of more than 1500 patients over five years who were similarly shipped to cities across the country.

Hubert and Reese previously won the 2013 George Polk Award in Journalism and the 2013 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism. Their entire series can be read here.

Whoop Whoop!

Brotha Lynch Hung headlines the 2013 Gathering of the Juggalos.

That's not beef
That’s not beef
Congrats to Sacramento’s Brotha Lynch Hung for securing a headlining spot at this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos. He is touring behind his new album Mannibalector, the third in his concept trilogy Coathanga Strangla. This release focuses on the struggles of a cannibal serial killer trying to balance his murderous urges with his family life. The video for the first single “Meat Cleaver” has multiple viewer warnings.

Insane Clown Posse’s 14th annual celebration at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, is not only the world’s largest horrorcore music festival but also features hip-hop, comedy, hardcore, old nu-metal, obesity, drugs, “celebrity” poo assault, Continue reading “Whoop Whoop!”

Special Delivery

FedEx delivered 11 pounds of high grade marijuana to a Sacramento-area man. He was not pleased.

“There must be some mistake. I ordered weed killer, not killer weed”
News10 reports that a local man received an unexpected package that would have had many locals exclaiming “Thank you, God!”

George Burton was shocked when he opened the FedEx box left on his porch and found 11 pounds of high grade marijuana. The package sat unclaimed at the J Street FedEx Office with his house as the return address. Burton turned the package over to police, who estimated the value of the stash at $24,000.

Burton and his family temporarily hid out in case the real owners of the pot came looking for it and wanted to extract information on its whereabouts.

Zach Hill gets props from SPIN

Sacramento’s Zach Hill is ranked #24 on SPIN Magazine’s list of the Best Drummers of Alternative Music.

Sacramento’s Zach Hill is ranked #24 on SPIN Magazine’s new list of the Best Drummers of Alternative Music. While lists like this are a paradigm of subjectivity, it is a solid complilation that only sometimes ignores the definition of alternative music. Lenny Kravitz? James Brown? Slayer? Sigh.

But Hill is a solid choice in terms of talent, influence and indie-cred. SPIN notes that he is a “Present-day mythical… superhero of drumming” and “a reminder that I don’t know anything at all”. He is currently listed above widely worshiped contemporaries Danny Carey and Glenn Kotche. Only 33 years old, Hill is a strong candidate to be a future top ten lister among similarly bombastic legends Terry Bozzio and Stewart Copeland.

Hill rose to prominence with Hella, check out their performance of “City Folk Sitting, Sitting” at Capitol Garage. For a recent example of his work with the hip-hop combo Death Grips, listen to “World of Dogs“.

Hank Shaw wins!

America’s best food blogger of 2013
Congratulations to Hank Shaw, winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Individual Food Blog.

This was Shaw’s third nomination for his blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook which chronicles his pursuit of honest food.

In addition to writing, Hank teaches food classes in the Sacramento area. His next appearance will be Friday May 10 at Whole Foods for Cajun 101.

RIP Scott Miller (1960-2013)

scott millerScott Miller, leader of the bands Loud Family and Game Theory, died this week. While fame eluded him, Miller was influential and respected among musicians and critics. His passing is noted in an obituary in Spin Magazine.

Miller was also a music writer, publishing Music: What Happened? in 2010.

According to his website, Miller had reformed Game Theory and was planning a new album. He was 53 years old.

N.B. Scott Miller, founder of 80s Sacramento record label Secret Center, is alive and well.