Kid Sister in Sacramento

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Wow, Where to begin?

Should I start with the overzealous security staff, or should I start with the fact that Kid Sister played for approximately 15 minutes?

No, I won’t start with my gripes; I will start with the highlights of the show. The staff and event coordinators at the Beatnik Studio were extremely nice and accommodating, hats off to them especially The Sol Collective and DJ Whores. The folks who came to the show were collectively in a great mood the atmosphere was very nice. The local bands and DJs did a fantastic job and really rocked the crowd. Moookiesaake, a group with Adam Saake on the drums really hyped up the crowd, people were feelin’ it. I’ve been to many hip-hop shows in Sacramento, and normally you don’t get this many hip-hop enthusiasts in the same place at the same time. I was very happily surprised. Set Theory, a live electro funk band rocked the place, but unfortunately I missed it because I was drinking in the spacious back patio.

Now on to the stories…

I walked up to the Kid Sister show with the pure intent on going there to do this review and to see some local hip-hop of course. My photographer Josh Johnson and I were assured we would breeze right through the line and get in, after years of having these assurances from doing what I do, I told Josh that we would surely be hassled. And we were, oh yes we were. Finally after some finagling and multiple phone calls, DJ Whores came out and assured them we were present to cover the event for our magazine and website. I still had to get patted down, so I decided why not crack a joke and lighten up the mood? Big mistake. I told the security to, “please not find my heroin in my hat rim”, he didn’t laugh. So when he felt my digital camera in my pocket and asked to see it I pretended that it was a gun hoping to finally squeeze a laugh out of him. Mistakes were made. He said “You’re out, there is no way in hell you’re getting in this club tonight!” I replied, “Are you serious? I was joking man.” Well, he was serious as a heart attack. After another call to DJ Whores, we came upon an agreement that if I apologized I could have a 5 minute “time out”, delete all my photos I had taken of them, and then come in. I begrudgingly agreed keeping it light spirited the whole time. I was in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it. But I didn’t really delete my photo. Wink-wink, oops.

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We got pat down again, and got in after a thorough man-groping. They had neon non-removable bracelets to assure that you had paid, although there were no ins and outs anyway, maybe they have a huge problem of people sneaking in over their 15 foot walls. They put the bracelets on us so tight my photographer had to go get a new one put on because his hand was turning white. After this fiasco we finally were able to get the party started. Downing some whiskey shots here and there, we were in and out occasionally taking photos of the Local Sacramento groups, Moookiesaake, DJ Whores, Mike Diamond, and Set Theory. All of which, like I said, did an outstanding job.

Everyone rushed to the main room as the word got out that Kid Sister was coming on shortly. The people were hungry to see her, they were excited to see the Chicago native perform, I mean, she does hob-knob with Kanye West for Christ’s sake! She comes on stage and played a great remix of her well known song pro-nails. I was watching her do her thang and all of a sudden she was done…and gone. She played for 10 minutes. Maybe 15, max. Not cool. The last time that happened to me was back in about 2000 when Too Short played at the Colonial Theatre, although his tickets were $20 more apiece, it is always unacceptable to do a grab-n-run like that. I am sorry if Kid Sister was sick, or had family issues or some other problem, but she should have canceled. Josh, our photographer was on stage with her and her DJ,  she commented to Josh something about  not taking more photos of her because she wasn’t looking good or was too sweaty or something. He said that she was nice about it, flashing him a smile. It was good to know that at the very least she is a nice person. But last time I checked when you perform you get, well sweaty.

ks4web

Photos: Josh Johnson

I am sorry to whoever put the G up to get her to come to Sacramento. I hope you made your money back. Kid Sister is good at what she does but bottom line, whether she meant to or not she gave Sacramento the middle finger.

Update: Taking a look at Kid Sisters Twitter account, she made it clear she was hosting the show/doing a 4 song set. So the flier should have said HOSTED BY: Kid Sister.

Event Photos: http://www.anomie1.com/photofixx/15minutes

Like Lipstick Traces // Book Review

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Like Lipstick Traces, Daily Life Polaroids from thirteen graffiti writers, is an absolutely beautifully published hardcover book which showcases Polaroid photos from 13 different graffiti writers from all over the globe. The artists who participated in the project are, Aroe, C.B.S., Dumbo, Honet, Kegr, O’clock, OS Cururus, Rate, Remio, Rocky, Scan, Smash 137 and The E.R.S. The name of the book Like Lipstick Traces comes from the book Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus. In the beginning of the book the publishers described that they thought that the graffiti movement could have been a part of that book, and so as a sort of extension they decided to create this book.

Some of the Polaroid photos showcase the graffiti culture aspect of the photographers, showing a lot of graffiti on walls and subway cars, while some others photos such as Remios, had many photos on the west coast of California including a photo from Sacramento, California, which showcased more his daily life. Many of the photos are labeled by the artists that took them. Smash 137s photos are all labeled with different tag styles which I thought turned out very aesthetically pleasing. Part of the fun that I had thumbing through this book was looking at the captions and trying to correlate them to the photo.

At the beginning of the book there are Polaroid photos from the different artists blown up as full pages. Following these multiple pages there are four short stories/ poems. At the beginning of each artists section they had the artists fill out 3 sections, titled: Nowadays, Secret Stories, and Instant Photography, which can be interesting reads.

This book was put together by Dokument Press extremely well, and is a coffee table must. If at all you are into Polaroid photography, photography or graffiti, purchase a copy of this book.

Friday Morning Musings

Two things are dominating the news right now, and I will address them thusly:

  1. Joe Stack flying his plane into an IRS building in Austin, TX.  Look, I’m up to my eyeballs in debt and unemployed.  I get the urge to do something crazy, especially since bills seems to pour in nonstop and our tax money has gone to bailing out banks, but those banks won’t clear our debt.  Everything costs money, yet no one has anything to show for it.  I get it.  The world is fucked up.  But… this guy had his OWN FUCKING AIRPLANE.  I don’t care how “poor” you claim to be, if you have a plane, any kind of a plane, go fuck yourself.  Plus, to make things worse,  he was in a jam band.  Kinda early to tell just yet, but Joe Stack might be the douche of the year.  Glad to see you go, Joe!
  2. Tiger Woods.  What can be said about Tiger Woods that hasn’t been already been said about pro golf?  It’s boring as shit, there’s waaaaaaaay too much money involved, and it’s pretty irrelevant to 90% of the population (unless you’re an old guy that can’t get a boner or you’re an asian girl who is better at golf than math).  He cheated.  Who the fuck cares?  Newsflash: everyone cheats, has been cheated on, will cheat, or will be cheated on.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles.  The real mystery should be why a Swedish model would marry some weird blaxiasian robot, and why Tiger Woods is worth a billion dollars.  Guess I just answered the first part of my question…  Rats off to ya, Tiger!  Next time don’t text/leave voicemails with the Vegas whores you fuck.  I know that gatorade can get on top of you quick, but keep your mind right champ, you’re married for chrissakes!

There’s my two cents.  Have a great weekend.

-r

Notorious

notorious

Last year the biopic “Notorious”, about Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) came out and I have to say that I never thought that I would ever watch it.  I just assumed Notorious was going to be another one-sided pop bullshit movie that was going to reanimate the east side/west side something-or-other from the 1990’s.  Plus this really isn’t a subject matter I’m too passionate about.  It’s going to be garbage, right? 

            Well, I was wrong.  The movie was actually really good.  There are no major actors and therefore no ego.  Even though the movie is produced by Sean Combs it is surprisingly objective in that it shows that Biggy was kind of a piece of shit a lot of the time.  He dealt crack, was a deadbeat dad and cheated on all his girlfriends.  He also took care of his friends and his mom (especially when she got cancer) and as soon as he got the opportunity to go “legit,” he took it.  The nature versus nurture thing comes into play, but it’s up to the viewer to decide.

            The movie also shed a lot of light on the 2Pac/B.I.G. “rivalry” and how it seems that it was just the producers (namely Suge Knight) who perpetuated the feud which ultimately led to two murders, just to sell records.  One thing that particularly stood out for me was that Biggy was killed when he was only 24.  I had thought he was in his mid thirties when he was shot.  It’s pretty amazing that someone was able to go so far and be five years younger than I am now.  It’s impressive what talent and hard work can accomplish regardless of your station in life.

            I’m sure most people know a lot more about the story than I did.  As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short.  I don’t really listen much to rap, especially any that gets radio play, but this movie really changed my perspective on the people involved.  This isn’t an amazing movie; it’s not going to change your life or anything like that.  But it is just an all around good watch.  Regardless of your opinion on the likes of Biggy, Puff Daddy, 2Pac, etc. if you’re bored and have on demand, it’s definitely worth checking out.  I’m glad I did.

SCION INSTALLATION L.A. GALLERY PRESENTS “IT WAS ON EARTH THAT I KNEW JOY” CURATED BY SIXPACK FRANCE

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Scion Presents: ‘It Was On Earth That I Knew Joy’ curated by Sixpack France from Scion ART on Vimeo.

Exhibition Features 15 original Posters, 10 Installations and 1 Short Film Exploring The Theme of Man Vs. Machine
Opens February 20 Through March 13

Opening February 20, Scion’s Installation L.A. Gallery Space presents “It Was On Earth That I Knew Joy,” a group exhibition curated by Lionel Vivier of Sixpack France that explores the increasingly blurry boundaries between humans and the technology we create.

Scion’s 4,500 square foot Installation Space in Culver City will host this exhibition, which will feature Sixpack France’s first ever short movie, directed by Jean-Baptiste de Laubier. The art in the show is centred around the movie – participating artists from the international modern and contemporary art scene were invited to create an authentic interpretation around the movie. The featured artists are: Akroe, Honet, Ill-Studio, PMKFA, Jonathan Zawada, Brigitte Sire, Neil Krug, Steven Harrington, Justin Krietemeyer, Daniel Sparkes, Cody Hudson, Russel Maurice, and Mark Owens.

JEAN-BAPTISTE DE LAUBIER is a French producer and filmmaker, alumni of La FEMIS, the most prestigious film school in France, who invented a new kind of rap with French hip hop phenomenon TTC. He’s currently writing his first feature film.

MARK OWENS is an American designer, writer, and filmmaker who works in Los Angeles. He earned an MFA in graphic design from Yale University and contributes regularly to the postpunk / Marxist design journal Dot Dot Dot and Tagbanger blog.

PMKFA was born in Sweden, has lived in Copenhagen and London and now resides in Tokyo. Perhaps best known for his graphic design for music and brands such as Nudie Jeans, WESC, Arkitip, Lo-Fi-Fnk and Kocky, PMKFA most recently became art-director of the Swedish furniture newcomer Vujj. He is also the co-founder/designer of the clothing label It’s Our Thing.

CODY HUDSON AKA Struggle Inc is a Chicago-based artist whose aesthetic is part urban modernism, and part organic visual deconstruction. He has exhibited throughout the US, Europe and Japan and was commissioned by the City of Chicago Public Art Program to create a permanent installation at the Sox/35th CTA station as part of the Arts in Transit Program.

BRIGITTE SIRE is a Los Angeles based photographer. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she now works for a variety of advertising and editorial clients including: Adidas, Arkitip, Dazed and Confused, Spin, Sixpack France, Wallpaper and W magazine.

STEVEN HARRINGTON’s art might be termed contextual objectivism. Some of his most recent projects include a four board series for Burton, contributions to the French clothing brand Sixpack, and a series of prints based on the idea of «community».

JUSTIN KRIETEMEYER co-owns and operates National Forest Design with Steven Harrington. His new works are an investigation and celebration of the common moments and experiences that happen beyond conscious thought and are meant to defy our concept of the conceived limits of perception, reality, space, and time.

JONATHAN ZAWADA is an Australian graphic designer who won an Australian Recording Industry Award for best album art in 2008 with The Presets, ‘Apocalypso’ artwork. Jonathan is also one third of TRU$T FUN! makers of the backstage fashion comic, Petit Mal! and their self-titled accessory range which is sold worldwide in stores such as Liberty of London and Colette in Paris.

AKROE a.k.a. Etienne Bardelli is a recognized player in the French graphic design scene, and a figure of the «post-graffiti» art scene. He has designed record sleeves and identities for majors companies and underground labels alike.

HONET joins gothic illustration, mostly inspired by his life in motion, together with the romantic exploration and recycling of abandoned, forgotten and hidden places. All around Europe, he meticulously chooses the spots where he will leave his creatures and his words.

NEIL KRUG is a photographer and filmmaker whose work often touches on a vintage, psychedelic feel and yet he manages to capture beauty simply. His body of work ranges from music promos for bands Ladytron, Sea Wolf, Boards of Canada, DRI, and White Flight, to photography and commercial work for collaborative project PULP ART BOOK with Joni Harbeck.

RUSSEL MAURICE became famous in the world of anonymous graffiti (Gasface) and later in the worlds of graphic design and textiles (Gasius). His work has been presented in different exhibitions such as the “New Technology Needed”, or “La Maison Verte” at the Maharishi Churchill Gallery in London.

DANIEL SPARKES (Müdwig) has become distinctive within the subversive British art scene since early part of this century with his disturbing style of surreal situationism born of rare debauched determination. His work has been featured in books published by Thames and Hudson, Die Gestalten Verlag and magazines such as The Face, Juxtapoz and Dazed & Confused.

ILL-STUDIO is a French group of collaborators devoted to fine arts. Their goal is to bring ten individuals together, working in various artistic areas such as graphic design, photography, typography, illustration, video, motion design, etc. The ill-studio is Léonard Vernhet, Thomas Subreville, Nicolas Malinowsky, Thierry Audurand, Sébastien Michelini, Pierre Dixsaut, Harold Urcun, Artus de Lavilléon, David Luraschi and Fred Mortagne.

More information on this and previous exhibitions is available at:

http://www.scion.com/space

The opening reception takes place on Feb. 20th, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Scion Installation L.A. Space, 3521 Helms Ave. (at National), Culver City, CA 90232. The reception is free with complimentary valet parking and an open bar. Many artists will be present and available for comment. The exhibit will run until March 13, 2010.

Dedicated to fostering independent artistic expression, Scion Installation L.A. is a space that allows artists to explore their creative visions. The Scion Installation L.A. Space hosts art shows and art-related events for cutting-edge contemporary artists from across the globe. 100% of all sales go directly to the artists. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and by appointment – 310.815.8840.

petitioning an empty sky

I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with Southern California.  There are creative/business oportunites everywhere and it certainly provides a platform that should you succeed in whatever it is you are pursuing, you set the bar pretty high for any future competition.  What I’m not so clear on is that for some reason the majority of the world aspires to something that really isn’t that impressive once experienced in person.  Like anywhere else, L.A. is what you make of it.

That being said, I do have a gripe.  This city is enourmous and you have to travel to reach nature or experience silence.  Some people love this, but I’m not a big fan.  I like cities, but I also like to get away.  The second part of my gripe is the weather.  It NEVER rains here.  It’s fucking scary.  I’ve told a few friends that I now have a new appreciation for “Hotel California,” which is huge since I hate The Eagles.  There is nothing in the sky except for smog and sun, which feels like it’s crushing you; the monotany is sickening.  There is a storm system wrecking the country and down here it looks like any day in June…every day of the year.  I guess this is appealing to some people, but give it a shot before you make those blind assumptions.  Sometimes it feels like some insane alternate universe where the homeless and mad are juxtaposed next to Ferraris and twenty year old millionaires who all roam free under God’s indifferent, cataractous eyes.  I wouldn’t mind some cold, depressing rainy days.  Dostoevsky style.  And like Dostoevsky, I’m whining now.

Moral:  no one made me move here, and I actually like it fine most of the time.  I just haven’t had much to write about this week and I miss the rain.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

-r

Abuse of Power: Culture Clash Ends in Show of Force

Editors Note:

Back in the mid 90’s I was into going to a lot of punk shows – I still am from time to time even now. The other day I was rummaging through some of my old stuff and I found an article that I had cut out that reminded me of one show I attended. It was a more memorable one that I went to with a few friends, I forget exactly who, But I remember my friend Jarret Cook was there. I could be way off on some of the minor details but I think the show was in 1996 and the band Dystopia was slated to play there. It was a benefit show to build classrooms in Chiapas, Mexico.

From a first hand account of a person that was there, I can say that the show of police force was extremely overkill. You have a room full of harmless teenage punk rockers and you look out the window to see a line of officers in riot gear surrounding the building and threatening to throw in tear gas. What do you do? As the article below explains, the leader of the event really was trying to diffuse the situation, despite what the police said.

Another turn of events that is kind of funny but I do not believe directly effect this article is that ex-bee writer Diana Griego Erwin wrote it. She was let go from the Sacramento Bee because he higher ups say that she was making up sources, though she claims that is not true.

After you read the article below that I retyped, because I could not find it in the Bee archives, you will find various links that are related to these topics. Lastly, if you were there and can give me any more information or follow up on this so I can make it more comprehensive, please email me.

Culture Clash Ends in Show of Force

The purpose of the now-disastrous event at the Sierra 2 Center in Curtis Park Saturday night was to raise money to build a classroom in Chiapas, Mexico.

What it turned into, however, was a lesson on how to incite a riot without even trying. The Zapatista Solidarity Coalition, an organization dedicated to advocating democracy for Mexico’s indigenous people had no plans to cause havoc that night and neither did the assembled punk bands. The evening was about raising money, not hell.

ASC members showed up to the 6 p.m. event early to set up a table where they would hand out literature and sell T-shirts. The itinerary included performances by five punk bands , a poetry reading and a slide show explaining the Chiapas situation. It was to end at 10.

David Lawlor, a Sierra 2 employee who monitors evening events, helped the group set up. ZSC members said he was cordial and expressed interest in their cause. He was the first one to sign their mailing list.

Sacramento police records show a citizen called in at 6:18 PM to report that kids gathered in the parking lot were loud and profane. Four officers responded and said there were noise complaints. This seemed suspicious to those inside; after all, the bands were still setting up. What “noise” meant never was clarified.

Accustomed to being singled out by adults leery of their leather, pierces bodies and unconventional hairstyles, the punks surmised they were in for an evening of harassment. Even the event flier forecast problems. “NO ALCOHOL,” it read. “The cops are looking for an excuse to shut us down – don’t give it to them.”

At 7:15 p.m., Sgt. Tom Cooper showed up to check permits, police records show. Lawlor, meanwhile, was struggling to accommodate the group even though the youth who booked the hall had described it as a “birthday party” with a band – not a benefit concert featuring punk bands.

The event was moved to Sierra 2’s theater. Things started unraveling when Lawlor found himself jumping from group to group in the hallway outside to tell kids they couldn’t smoke or drink alcohol in the building at all. Everything inside the theater was going well.

In the hallway, some of the punks respected Lawlor’s requests and others didn’t. It wasn’t until a young punk with a double mohawk kicked a door, “chest-butted” Lawlor and took a swing at him that he called the police non-emergency number to say he’d been assaulted and needed help. The call came in at 8:48 p.m. as a “disturbance.”

The folks in the theater knew none of thi. Their first clue that anything was amiss occurred during a poetry reading at 9:04 p.m. Suddenly there was Sgt. Cooper announcing that the event was over. Poet Phil Goldvarg said the crowd looked up to see one end of the theater lined with officers in riot gear.

A young man threw a beverage container against a wall angrily (police say at an officer; others say not) and was immediately wrestled to the ground and arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

The crowd grew hostile. A few people called the police “pigs” and “Nazis.” At 9:06 p.m., officers called for a paddy wagon and advised backup units to bring riot gear. Police say that the crowd didn’t disperse because ZSC member Victor Rivera encouraged them to disobey police orders. Rivera maintains he told the kids to sit down because the overzealous police response was elevating the situation.

He was arrested for inciting the crowd. “I was calming the people down,” said Rivera, a house painter and a respected activist. “I couldn’t believe the show of force.”

By 9:10 p.m., the police reported the event was “out of control” and officers continued to arrive. In all 46 Sacramento city officers, 21 sheriff’s deputies, canine units and a California Highway Patrol helicopter responded to the scene.

“There is no doubt about it. This was an intimidating sight,” police spokeswoman Pam Alejandre said. “That’s what it’s supposed to be. . . . There was definitely the fear that this had the potential of escalating.

The punks and pro-Zapatista folks agree, but they blame the cops that it did. The community officers wouldn’t have handled it like that, someone said.

It’s a classic clashing of cultures. Police don’t understand punk culture; punks don’t understand the cops. The night unraveled, thread by tender thread. Emotions surged. People stepped to the brink. And Jumped

Article by: Diana Griego Erwin, originally published in the Sac Bee

The Zapatista Solidarity Coalition: http://zsc.org/

Scandal-stung Bee columnist talks to SN&R: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=35418

Standing with People that are Standing by Haiti

Last night I had the opportunity to go music/comedy extravaganza “Stand by Haiti” hosted by Jack Black at what I consider an awesome venue, the Wiltern (probably just because I saw NIN at the Wiltern for their last show, so it has a special place in my heart).  To be honest I didn’t much want to go out on a Tuesday, and an earthquake in Haiti is nowhere near the top of my priority list, but it was free, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

The lineup was broken into two groups: stand-up acts (Maya Rudolph, Tig, Will Ferrell, Bob Odenkirk, Jason Segel, Nick Kroll v. Ben Stiller, Patton Oswalt and Russell Brand) and musical performances (Frank Black/Black Francis of the Pixies, James Mercer of the Shins, Aimee Mann of ‘Til Tuesday fame, and Tenacious D).  There was also a special guest that can’t quite be categorized: The Iron Sheik!

Comedy highlights started with Bob Odenkirk as “Sandy Jobs” (Steve Jobs’ deadbeat brother) who developed “new” technology while partying with Clint Howard at his brother’s estate.  The new items he revealed are just cumbersome and expensive versions of items that most Americans already take for granted, such as the “iOldtimeyphone,” a rotary phone you use to call a friend with the internet so they can look stuff up for you.  I paraphrase, but it was pretty damn funny.

The only other comedian I really laughed at was Patton Oswalt.  I had heard him on the Adam Carolla show before and as the voice of one of the mice on Ratatouille (I was on a long flight, and it was that or My Life in Ruins).  The guy ripped.  Lots of potty humor coming from a little chubby dude.  The segment of him being behind some fat guy at the deli counter who ordered “all the ham” which caused Patton to run away he was laughing so hard, was hilarious.

The rest of the stand-ups were pretty good as well.  Tig’s deadpan delivery was something I can appreciate; Will Ferrell just did a quick dance to the “Popcorn Song” by Hot Butter which was short but sweet, Nick Kroll tore Ben Stiller a new one, but went into some awkward silences, and Russell Brand… well, he’s funny, it’s just that he makes some Dennis Miller-style references in that accent of his that left the crowd hanging a few times.

As for the music, I have to say that everyone was incredibly talented and sounded just like they do on their records.  That being said, the guy that stole the show musically was Frank Black.  I never thought I would see Pixies songs played live, “Monkey’s Gone to Heaven” being my favorite of the set, which he pulled off perfectly and completely solo.  Reminds me of the time I saw Two Live Crew in Sac and only one dude showed up and STILL rocked the party.

Tenacious D wrapped things up and kept the crowd pumped.  Not really my kind of music, but it was fun nonetheless.  I had the opportunity to meet Jack Black once, and I have to say the guy is super cool which is not what I would have expected from any celebrity.

Last but not least, as I mentioned earlier, the Iron Sheik was there.  I don’t know how or why, but the poor guy hobbled out on stage, did a back and forth with Jack Black, threatened to put him in the Camel Clutch and then waved and walked painfully to the wings.  After the show he was backstage in a wheelchair watching the news by himself which was both cool and sad at the same time.  It was nice to see a wrestling legend.

In conclusion, it was a good, albeit long (getting too old for 4 hour shows) night.  Putting it out as a small disclaimer: I got a free ticket because my girlfriend works in philanthropy not because I try to get involved with Hollyweird bullshit…although I am willing to admit that every once in a while it can be a lot of fun.  As far as Haiti goes, I got a $5 bottle of water so I hope that the proceeds go to a good cause.