Musician Joe Kye performing in Midtown Out Loud's event, "Guitars, Poetry, Pints...and Paws," at Shine Cafe on July 2, 2014.

Musician Joe Kye performing in Midtown Out Loud’s event, “Guitars, Poetry, Pints…and Paws,” at Shine Cafe on July 2, 2014.

What is the sound of public art? Midtown Out Loud

Twice a month, Shine Café hosts one of Sacramento’s most prominent and provocative open mic nights, Midtown Out Loud. From 8 p.m. to well past 10, musicians, poets, and authors alike take the stage for five minutes apiece to perform, to share, and to celebrate their artistic endeavors. “Midtown Out Loud is a place for artists,” said Heather Anderson, the founder of MOL. “Be they spoken word artists or musicians, they are able to freely express themselves in an incredibly forgiving space where they’re not just appreciated but celebrated.” Beginning in 2010, the open mic night was originally hosted at what is now the Midtown Village Café, but after the passing of her mother in 2012, Anderson was forced to place the event on hiatus. Now, almost four months after its relaunch and relocation, it’s apparent that MOL has encouraged long-lasting connections among Sacramento’s artistic community. “You’re in a space where people want to do good,” Anderson said. “The time that we have, let’s spend it wrapping ourselves in art and pushing out love into the community. That’s what it’s all about.” Anderson’s take on life undoubtedly reflects certain tenets of MOL, which has raised contributions and awareness for local organizations such as the Sacramento Poetry Center’s Real Poets Writing Project and Breaking Barriers, a support service for people with HIV. Most recently, the MOL event […]

Continue reading

Special Film Screenings This Week

  There are several exclusive screenings this week – here are a few details, taken from the venue websites and distributor press releases: Wednesday, July 9th: Crest Theatre, “And So It Goes” – 7:30pm Here’s the official synopsis: The New York Film Critics Series screening for July will feature a special preview of the new romantic comedy And So it Goes, directed by Rob Reiner (The Princes Bride, When Harry Met Sally), and featuring the first-ever onscreen pairing of acclaimed actors Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. In And So it Goes, a cranky, self-centered realtor (Douglas) enlists the help of his reluctant neighbor (Keaton) when he’s suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home. Can the two highly-mismatched neighbors learn to overcome their differences in order to take care of this unexpected “bundle of joy, and maybe even find love in the process? Films in this series are introduced via video feed from New York and then followed by a question and answer session with key members of the cast and crew. This is an advance screening of a film due to open in Sacramento on July 25th. More information at www.thecrest.com. Thursday, July 10th: Crest Theatre, “Stop Making Sense” – 8:00pm This 30th anniversary one night screening of the Talking Heads […]

Continue reading

Hot Dogs and History at the CSA Carnival!

The public is invited to spend Independence Day at the Center for Spiritual Awareness as it presents the CSA 4th of July Carnival: Picnic & Performance. This family-friendly event runs from 12 noon – 4 pm on Friday, July 4th at the Center for Spiritual Awareness in West Sacramento. The Carnival includes activities for kids, picnic food and beverages, and two special performances that explore America’s dynamic past and multifaceted present. The CSA 4th of July Carnival will begin at 12 noon, when children are invited to go outside and jump in bouncers, coast down the slip and slide, have their faces painted, and get dunked in a dunk tank. Traditional 4th of July fare such as hot dogs, potato salad, and apple pie will be offered inside CSA’s spacious social room. At 1:30 pm CSA Teens will present America the Change, an episodic new theatre piece created by teenagers who are exploring their relationship to the country in which they are living. A pastiche of spoken word, dance, and music, the cast of America the Change will offer its unique perspective on the values and viabilities of growing up American. At 1:30 pm Generation Next Media will perform The Living Constitution: A Lively Look at the Creation of America. Told with wit, humor, and breakneck energy, The Living Constitution portrays the kings, generals, statesmen, […]

Continue reading

Open Studios Tour Offers an Inside Look at Artists’ Art

Skip the galleries and go straight to the source this weekend when 27 Davis artists open their studios to visitors during the Davis Art Studio Tour. The event will offer a rare insider’s view of the artists, their work, and their process. This year’s participating artists include both well-established and emerging talent working in a variety of mediums. “It really is a behind-the-scenes experience,” says Sara Post, artist and organizer involved with this year’s tour. “When you go to a gallery, especially a group show, you only see one or two of an artist’s pieces. It’s only a little slice of what they do. A studio gives you the whole idea behind the artist’s work. A lot of people have work in their studio that is never shown and you can’t see anywhere else.” Prior to the tour opening on Saturday, a Gala Reception will be held at The Artery in downtown Davis on Friday, May 30 from 7pm-9pm. The exhibit will feature works from all artists participating in the tour, giving “people the opportunity to meet the artist, see their work and really prioritize which studios they want to visit,” says Post. “It should be a lot fun. There will be some sparkling wine. Good drinks and good company.” The tour will be self-guided, with studios spread throughout the city of Davis. There are […]

continue reading

TAOHH Bridging the Literary Gap: Rap/Write Now! Lecture

The opening event of a month long celebration of graffiti art and hip hop music will take place in historic Oak Park’s Brickhouse Art Gallery (2838 36th Street) on Thursday, June 5th at 6pm. Dr. Eugene Redmond, the Poet Laureate of East St. Louis and Emeritus Professor of English, will share and discuss his views on the importance and correlation between Rap lyrics and Poetry during this opening reception of The Art of Hip Hop exhibition. The award-winning poet, writer, and educator will be joined by guest performers Noah ‘Supernova’ Hayes (Poet, Rapper, Actor and Musician), Dante’ Pelayo (Poet and Writer) and Paul Willis (Poet and Emcee). The event will be facilitated by Michael Benjamin Jr., and followed by a Q&A, performance and book signing by Dr. Redmond. General admission is $10; seniors and students admission is $7. Contact Barbara Range, Brickhouse Art Gallery Curator, at 916-475-1240, or visit the gallery’s website at www.thebrickhousegallery.net for additional information or questions. The Art of Hip Hop: Celebrating the 5 Elements is an art exhibition and hip hop festival designed to empower and educate the Sacramento community. The event will begin June 5th and ends with a closing reception on Sunday, June 29th. It is a cultural resource to promote the development, rich history and legacy of Hip Hop Culture.    

continue reading

Cheers and Beers for the Sacramento Ballet

  One of the most enjoyable programs of the Sacramento Ballet season is its annual Beer & Ballet featuring dances created by company members for other members to perform. In addition to being highly entertaining, this year’s program is especially impressive as it comes only one week after the troupe performed three world premier dances created for the company by a trio of female choreographers (May 15-17 at the Harris Center at Folsom Lake College). This year’s Beer & Ballet opened Friday (May 23) and continues with eight performances through June 1. Three shows already are sold out (May 24, May 30 and 31). In the past, performances have been held in the Ballet’s studio (1631 K St.), where they have been advertised as “so up close and personal you can see the dancers sweat!” Moving off-site to the Art Court Theatre at Sacramento City College, the performances are no less intimate and the dancers sometimes still sweat, but mostly they are cool customers. The dances they create for each other — the Sacramento Ballet is rare among dance companies in providing this creative outlet — play to the dancers’ strengths as only another dancer would know them. But they don’t take it easy on their comrades. Oh, no. They’re using the opportunity to grow and improve as dancers and dance-makers. Beer & Ballet 2014  comprises […]

continue reading

New films: X-Men Days of Future Past, Blended

X-Men: Days of Future Past Directed by Bryan Singer Most viewers of the latest X-Men chapter will be too young to remember Patrick Duffy, as Bobby Ewing, appear in the shower in the original “Dallas” TV series, thus annulling an entire season of the show as nothing more than a character’s dream. If they were older, they might feel more familiar with the odd let down feeling that accompanies this new film. There’s an obvious marketing appeal to time travel as a narrative device – not least because you can co-mingle a young cast and an older cast, playing the same characters, and attract fans of both sets of actors. It also opens plot possibilities where one can revisit places and times and even play them out again with a different twist. But the problem with any of these tricks, as with the “Dallas” approach, is that they diminish the importance and significance of death itself as a narrative element. If time can be turned backwards and characters can be brought back to life by revisiting them before their deaths, why worry about characters dying in the first place. And this is in a genre where lead characters already tend to feel invulnerable, causing the rare deaths to carry extra impact. The whole of “X-Men: days of Future Past” feels like a manipulative attempt to […]

continue reading

New films: Godzilla, Million Dollar Arm, Belle

Godzilla Directed by Gareth Edwards “Godzilla” is one of those flawed movies where the flaws don’t really matter. After all, with that title, most audience members probably haven’t shown up looking for great character development and arcs. Which is good, because there aren’t any. What there is, instead, is plenty of good creature feature action, with more ancient kaiju than either the title or the previews might suggest. Indeed, with hindsight, the preview for “Godzilla” feels like it was made for a different movie. But it’s a slow build up, in that regard, with little of the big guy himself until the second half of the film – and while it’s unlikely anybody will go home feeling short-changed, they might have felt a little impatient at times along the way. We’re given a storyline that ties things like past nuclear testing and power station failures with appearances of giant creatures that feed on radiation, with prior occurrences shrouded in secrecy and cover ups. Joe and Sandra Brody (Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche) are American scientists working at a Japanese nuclear facility when weird seismic patterns are discovered immediately prior to the destruction of the plant. Years later, Joe is still trying to find answers as their son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) gets dragged into his world of apparent paranoia and conspiracy theories. Of course, he’s not […]

continue reading

Local Music This Week: Fun, Fundraiser, Jazz, and a Dinner Tribute to Cat Stevens

This weekend is, as most weekends are, filled with music. Thursday night features Peter Petty and his Titans of Terpsichore as the popular Jazz in the Courtyard program at the Crocker Art Museum returns. Petty is a master of disguise. On Thursday, along with his 11 piece band, he’ll focus on music that reflects the Harlem Renaissance, an important time in literature, dance, visual arts, and music. Some of America’s greatest artists come from this period, and many more continue to influence the works of new artists. Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, and Romare Bearden are a few of the non-musician names associated with the Harlem Renaissance. The sounds that would come to define this artistic period can be heard in the poems and literature and seen in the dance and visual arts of these talented and revered artists. The sounds Petty will bring will reflect the music of names like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, and a list of others who helped create the jazz sound that defined the Harlem Renaissance and has inspired musicians for over 80 years. Although a bit soon, this show is connected to the June arrival of the exhibit, “African American Artists: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond.” Petty’s credits include stints with the Music Circus, The […]

continue reading

Crocker Art Museum’s Spoke-tacular ArtMix Brings Bicycle-Inspired Art and Activities

The theme of the Crocker Art Museum’s monthly ArtMix, held this month on Thursday, May 8, was Spoke-tacular, a bike-centric theme that coincides with Sacramento’s Bike Month activities throughout May. The Spoke-tacular was an evening of bicycle inspired art, music, and a multitude of activities reminding us to get out and get on the bike in this fair city of ours. What follows in this photo and video essay is a sample of the sights and sounds of the Crocker’s Artmix Spoke-tacular. In keeping with the theme of the evening a complimentary bicycle valet service was set up at the entrance to the museum. Upon entering the courtyard, awaiting visitors is a plethora of funky bicycles all crafted by local artist Kevin Greenberg. Check out this video interview and the following gallery of photos of Kevin’s work. Monkeylectric builds and markets a line of high tech bike spoke lights that are out of this world. Buy online through amazon.com. Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen offered guidance on how to lock your bikes, complete with a display of the suggested locking techniques. Attendees were treated to a bike-inspired aerial performance by Aerial Evolution. Bike enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes enjoyed the festivities. Kids of all ages made bicycle bracelets crafted from used bike inner tubes. A bicycle-inspired gears and glam fashion show was presented by Juniper James. […]

continue reading