Guest Post: Ugly Sweater Run

By Jeff Gonzales and Cintia Lopez, journalism students at American River College.

Nothing says the holidays like ugly sweaters, inflatable Christmas decorations and charitable acts. Especially when those acts are rewarded with beer.

More photos by cintia.lopez92 on Flickr

Blow-up candy canes and a Christmas tree arch lined the sides of William Land Park as masses mustachioed with temporary tattoos dressed in their best, or worst, ugly Christmas sweaters gathered to partake in the third annual Ugly Sweater Run.

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Great show at Harlow’s

I saw one heckuva great band last night at Harlow’s. The funny thing is, this band has been together for slightly more than 30 years, yet they outrock bands half their age.

I speak, of course, of X, one of the best bands to come out of the LA punk scene, back in 1977. However, X is about far more than punk rock, although that is certainly integral to who they are. But they also bring in many other influences to their sound, such as country, rockabilly, old time rock n’ roll (a la Chuck Berry), even hints of jazz and funk. And there’s no denying that singers Exene Cervenka and John Doe are two of the most talented lyricists ever in the rock world. Continue reading “Great show at Harlow’s”

Best Band in Sacto?

I went to the Chalk It Up festival on Saturday to meet up with an old friend and to enjoy the nice weather and chalk art. But I also was going to check out some of the bands that were playing. 

That’s a change from this festival in the past. Before, the music was kinda hippy-dippy, singer-songwritery, lightweight poppy stuff. I have nothing against that kind of music, but it just don’t float my boat.

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Sorry Kings fans, not this year

I say this as a fellow Kings fan, but my years of following the NBA tell me that the team’s chances of reaching the playoffs this coming year is slim to none, with slim being a 100-1 long shot. (Hmmm, in the face of the semi-resolved Tim Donaghy scandal maybe quoting odds isn’t the best choice,)

Now the team has finally traded away its second-best player, Ron Artest. I will miss the good things he brought to the table, namely a never-say-die attitude on the court, a presence in the post, and, of course, most of all, his defensive intensity. But, I will happily wave goodbye to his penchant for off-the-cuff, contradictory statements to the press, which grated on Kings fans’ nerves after awhile. And, on the court, his self-delusion he could create offensively like a Kobe Bryant proved ill-founded and would lead to a poor offensive possessions on a team that could not afford very many of those.

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Valentino Day

I wasn’t planning on going out Saturday night. I was tired from work, I had fallen behind on my movies to watch from Netflix, I just figured I’d lay low, maybe pop into Old I for a little while for a fix of live music if the mood hit me later in the evening.

Then I got a call from my buddy, Jerry Perry. “Hey, I’m going to see Sal Valentino at The Palms tonight. You interested in going?”

Yes, I was, for two main reasons. First, I had not been to The Palms since they moved to Winters. I’d been to a good amount of shows in the old Davis barn location, but Winters just seemed so far away, especially when there are usually several good options for live music on any given weekend night here in town.

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I intend the focus of my posts here to be primarily on local music, so consider this entry an aberration. Yesterday, my department took me out to lunch for a belated birthday celebration. We had wanted to try Chicago Fire, but for some reason they are only open for dinner. I thought it a bit odd to hear of a pizza place that doesn’t do lunch, but perhaps the lunch crowd isn’t so big on that end of J Street, since our substitute restaurant, Gianni’s Trattoria only had about a 10-12 other diners the entire two hours we were there.

However, the primary reason I am writing this is not to review the cuisine – which folks like sac-eats can do much better than I – it’s more to give y’all a couple heads-up warnings. First, that if you want to go to Chicago Fire you’ll have to make it for dinner. Second, it’s probably not a good idea to visit Gianni’s right now, because they are renovating the space next to the restaurant and the entire time we were there they were hammering on the walls, which put a bit of a damper on the affair.
Continue reading “whadjasay?”

Sac’s got bands

I went out and about to several shows since Thursday and caught some cool acts, which I recommend for your consumption.

Lite Brite: A young Sacramento three-piece band that reminds me of what you might get if Sonic Youth met The latter-period Jam. But they don’t slavishly ape their influences; it’s more the occasional feel to the music here and there. They also pulled off a nice cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “In the Night,” not an easy thing to do.

Kevin Seconds & The Altruistics: The latest rock project from Sacto’s resident punk rock legend. The music seems to me a mix of hardcore punk with melodic pop sensibilities. The band is tight, and, as always, Mr. Seconds has a very deft touch with songwriting.
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Prieta is not a car

Last night I went to the Three Dollar Thursday at Old Ironsides, or as I like to call it, “343,” since you get three bands for three bucks. (I shoulda had a career in ad writing!) Anyway, the bands were Bright Light Fever, Prieta and Broken Poet. Broken Poet offered up with a serviceable, if unremarkable, set of poppy punky music. It was OK, just not all that exciting. Bright Light Fever is one of the few bands on the local level right now who seem capable of getting a label deal from somewhere. They are tight and have some cool songs in the modern indie rock vein. To me, they sound like Hot Hot Heat only more rockin’.

But the band I really wanted to see was Prieta. Continue reading “Prieta is not a car”

The Sac Rag: The First 365 Days


Today marks the first year of publication here at The Sac Rag, and we couldn’t have done it without You, our dedicated readers and commenters, and the occasional wack job who helped us cause a mild stir. What started with two writers has ballooned into a crack writing staff of a dozen covering everything from shopping and eating to news and sports. Some numbers: 615 posts, 1651 comments, zero awards, 2 mentions in the Bee, 399 visitors on our biggest day (11/4/2005).

We thought we would share some of our thoughts on this momentous occasion, and the thoughts of at least one local celebrity…
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