Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

July 25, 2013
It's Dodgeball time in Sacramento

By Brittany Torrez

Dodgeball fans will be bouncing off the walls at the local qualifier of the Second Annual Ultimate Dodgeball Championship held at Sky Zone Sacramento, an indoor trampoline park.

dodgeball.jpegThe competition begins at 6 p.m on August 4th. Teams can register at, players must be 16 years or older, and the entry fee is $50 per person. Deadline to register is August 2.

Winners have the chance to compete for the championship in Las Vegas to win $20,000.

Also, the Friday before the competition, younger ultimate dodgeball players can hone their skills and compete in a mini-tournament at 6 p.m. at Sky Zone.

Sky Zone Sacramento is at 1091 Tinker Road in Rocklin.

July 23, 2013
Beat the heat at the fair as temperatures rise this week

By Brittany Torrez

As temperatures continue into the mid-to-high 90s this week, fairgoers should take care to stay hydrated and cool off throughout the day.

Here are some tips on staying cool at the State Fair:

1. Water -- Stay hydrated and save money by bringing paper and plastic containers of non-alcoholic beverages into the fair.

2. Indoor exhibits -- Browse through the air-conditioned shoppers' expo in Buildings A/B and C/D or look at furry rabbits and guinea pigs in Expo Center Building 6.

Thumbnail image for Frozentreats.jpeg3. Cool treats -- Try some unique frozen fair food--for those adventurous enough to take on the challenge, Colossal Gelato is offering its "Worlds Largest Gelato Cone"--filled with a gallon of gelato--for $15.

Other frozen treats include the maple bacon sundae--complete with bacon bits--and more traditional favorites like fresh squeezed lemonade and frozen bananas.

For other activities, see the daily fair schedule.

July 22, 2013
Fairgoers check out comics, sit in Batmobile at Hall of Heroes

By Brittany Torrez

Those planning on heading out to this last week of the State Fair can cool off awhile in the Hall of Heroes. fair-hallHeroes.jpeg

This interactive exhibit, presented by California Family Fitness, allows fairgoers to discover their superpowers while walking through displays of some classic superheroes -- such as Superman -- and some newer favorites, including Doctor Who.

Fans of the BBC show have the opportunity walk through the Tardis or take their picture with a cardboard cutout of a weeping angel.

Other features of this exhibit include games to test strength, memory and reflexes and an opportunity to take a picture in the famed Batmobile.

Classic comic fans, check out the wall of DC and Marvel comic books and superhero stories, including Aquaman and the Fantastic Four.

The Hall of Heroes is free with State Fair admission and located in Building B.

For other activities, see the daily fair schedule.

July 19, 2013
New tickets available for Taylor Swift Aug. 27 Sacramento show

If you thought you would, never ever get tickets to see Taylor Swift Aug. 27 at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena, here's another chance:

A new batch of tickets for the previously sold-out show will be released at 5 p.m. today. So if you want to see the Grammy winner and America's favorite ex-boyfriend-buster-via-song, go to or call (800) 745-3000.

July 18, 2013
Emmy voters binge-nominate Netflix shows


It's not TV, it's Netflix. But the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored the online streaming service with 14 Emmy nominations anyway on Thursday.

Nine of those nominations were for "House of Cards," Netflix's Washington, D.C.-set political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.

Thursday's nominations were the first for the streaming service, which dove into episodic original content earlier this year with "Cards." Netflix made all 13 "Cards" episodes available at once, tapping the viewer trend of "binge-watching" series online. (I wrote about "Cards" and the binge-viewing phenomenon in February).

"Cards" will compete against Showtime's "Homeland," HBO's "Game of Thrones," AMC's "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" and PBS's "Downton Abbey" for the outstanding-drama trophy at the Sept. 22 Emmys, to be broadcast on CBS. Spacey is up for best dramatic actor for his performance as a wheeler-dealer congressman, and Wright will vie for best dramatic actress for her performance as the congressman's Lady MacBeth-like wife.

The presence of "Cards" in the Emmys' top categories underscores the television industry's embrace of alternative content-delivery methods.

"We are ... honored by a warm welcome which corroborates what we have always believed - that great television is great television regardless of where, when and how it is enjoyed," Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said Thursday in a statement released in response to the Emmy nominations.

"Arrested Development," the beloved cult comedy Netflix revived in May, received three nominations including an outstanding comedic actor nod for Jason Bateman. "Orange Is the New Black," the Netflix women's-prison dramady released last week, debuted too late for Emmy consideration this year.

FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum" led all Emmy contenders with 17 nominations.

PHOTO: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix

July 17, 2013
'American Idol' runner-up to give free performance in Roseville this weekend

By Kurt Chirbas

She's performed for President Obama, received approval from TV's best known curmudgeon and gone toe-to-toe with the singing-and-dancing kids from "Glee."

Now, she's coming to Roseville.

Better yet: it won't cost you a dime to see her perform once she arrives.

Jessica Sanchez, an "American Idol" runner-up, who also had a brief cameo on this past season of "Glee," performs 4:00 p.m. this Saturday at Club Retro, which is located at 1529 Eureka Road. Admission to the musical event is free.

To see the wunderkind perform, one just has to print out a free PDF ticket, which can be accessed here.

Sing Inc, a locally-based music instruction company, is hosting Sanchez as part of its summer singing camp. The camp's participants, who range in age from 8 to 18, are spending the week receiving formal voice instruction, learning the ropes of song-writing and getting tips on stage presence from celebrity guests.

July 17, 2013
New book chronicles 42 years of Folsom executions


Ninety-three men were hanged at Folsom State Prison from 1895 to 1937, and a new book tells their stories for the first time.

April Moore will discuss "Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men" on Saturday at the Folsom Prison Museum and July 24 at Time Tested Books in Midtown. The Folsom Prison Museum entrance fee is $2, but the Time Tested Books reading is free.

"Folsom 93" is based on records Moore's great-great-uncle somehow acquired in the 1940s. When Moore discovered the material in 2008, she researched the lives, crimes, trials and executions of the 93 men.

Moore, a Colorado-based writer, blogged through her research and included anecdotes that weren't included in her finished book. Get a taste here.

Retired Correctional Peace Officers Museum at Folsom State Prison, 312 Third St., Represa, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Time Tested Books, 1114 21st Street, Sacramento, 7 p.m. July 24

July 15, 2013
'Chad Deity' actor injured during preview performance

By Janelle Bitker

As discussed in Sunday's A&E cover piece about Capital Stage's "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," professional wrestling can be a dangerous art.

And as it turns out, wrestler/actor Rob August (playing the minor roles of "The Bad Guy," "Billy Heartland" and "Old Glory" in "Chad Deity") injured himself during a preview performance on July 11.

According to a statement from Cap Stage spokesperson Brian Kameoka: "He is doing well and will have a full recovery with rest, however he is unable to perform the physical demands of the roles at this time."

Kameoka would not specify how exactly August injured himself.

But the show must go on. Professional wrestler James Long, currently of Ohio Valley Wrestling as "Paredyse," has replaced August. Long played the same character last September at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C. and was a wrestling consultant to the Actors' Theatre of Louisville production.

"Capital Stage Company would like to welcome Mr. Long to Sacramento
while wishing Mr. August a speedy recovery," Kameoka stated.

PHOTO: James Long as "Paredyse," courtesy of Pamela Barnett

July 15, 2013
Louisiana's Brass Bed comes to Sacramento, Davis

By Janelle Bitker

Brass Bed will bring their dark, psychedelic pop all the way from Lafayette, Louisiana to Sacramento on Wednesday and to Davis the next evening.

The quartet released their third album, "The Secret Will Keep You," in April, to sweet praise from NPR and The New Yorker. It's a record about growing up, and realizing all your dreams were just dreams. It's romantic, mysterious and fuzzy, and of course there's synth.

Take a free listen here , and catch them at one of two intimate venues for $5.

Brass Bed:8 p.m., July 17 at Bows and Arrows, 1815 19th St., Sacramento, and 9 p.m., July 18 at Sophia's Thai Kitchen, 129 E Street, Suite E, Davis.


July 14, 2013
Screen on the Green offers free kids' films at Sacramento parks


Bring the kids, blankets and lawns chairs to Screen on the Green, the Sacramento outdoor movie series presented by Councilman Steve Cohn's office.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Screen on the Green will show "How to Train Your Dragon" at South Natomas Community Park, 2901 Truxel Road. The beautifully animated, action-packed 2010 movie follows a boy and his favorite fire breather. It's rated PG.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, "101 Dalmatians" -- offering lots of cute puppies and Glenn Close as a puppy coveter with distinct mean and silver streaks -- will show at Glenn Hall Park at Sandburg and Carlson drives. "Dalmatians" is rated G.

Shows start at sunset, or around 8:15 p.m. For information, see the Screen on the Green site or call (916) 808-5240.


July 13, 2013
Long leaps of faith are part of State Fair's Splash Dog event

By Anthony Siino

Candis Amasalian gives Legend a prep talk before lift-off. But it's hard to tell if Legend is listening, mostly because he's an 11-month-old Doberman who clearly just wants to jump in the water.

He can hardly wait as Amasalian runs to the front of the dock and wags the chew toy. She shouts "OK, go! Go! Go! Go!" and he's off, galloping to the edge and leaping out to catch the flung stick. Legend clamps down as he gracefully slams into the water just at the 20-foot, 5-inch marker. Two young girls at the pool's edge giggle as they whisk splashed water out of their eyes.

Amasalian, a Hanford resident who's been participating in Splash Dogs events for about 11 years, proudly says that this is a new personal best for Legend. His previous? 19 feet, 10 inches.

"We do it for the fun of the dog," she said.

She brought five dogs to Saturday's Splash Dog event at the State Fair, which can be found near the entrance of the Miller Light Grandstand in the east side of the fair lot. While you won't find Amasalian and her troupe of flying dogs, the rest of the Splash Dogs outfit will still be out Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Video: Splash Dog competition at the state fair:

The daily schedule offers other suggestions at the California State Fair.

July 11, 2013
BottleRock financial woes continue to grow

20130509_PK_ BOTTLEROCK_2258.jpg

From the outset, all looked groovy at Napa's BottleRock Festival, which ran May 8 - May 12. Bands including The Black Keys, Cake and Kings of Leon played great sets, the masses noshed on food and wine from some of Napa's star purveyors, and the crowd mostly kept it mellow. But once the final notes played, BottleRock organizers have been swamped with unpaid bills and a debt that now tops $2.5 million, according to the Napa Valley Register. Among the numerous creditors, 142 union workers are still waiting for $630,000 in wages

Some of those debts stretch to the Sacramento area. NES West, a Rocklin-based company which provided security for BottleRock, claims it's owed $217,000. Also among the Sacramento-area creditors is Neumann Enterprises, which was BottleRock's parking vendor, and runs a prominent valet and limousine service in Sacramento.

And now, the financial fallout is getting really nasty. According to a complaint unearthed by the Napa Valley Register, one of BottleRock's co-founders is being sued by his own father to the tune of $169,089. Emil Meyers, the father of BottleRock co-founder Gabe Meyers, names his son and other BottleRock entities in the suit over a last-minute loan.

July 10, 2013
Tickets on sale Friday for Jason Aldean concert

By Janelle Bitker

One of the country's biggest country rock stars is passing through Sacramento on Oct. 11.

Nashville's Jason Aldean, the man behind hits such as "Dirt Road Anthem," "Big Green Tractor" and "Don't You Wanna Stay," is coming to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, and tickets are on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Seats are $59.50 and a spot on the lawn costs $29.75. Get them by calling 1-800-745-300, online at Livenation and Ticketmaster, or even at some Walmarts.

If you miss him, Aldean will also play at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on Oct. 12 as part of his cross-country Night Train Tour, named after his fifth album. The title track is also the album's most recent single, which you can listen to in the official lyric video below.

July 9, 2013
Sacramento quartet Arts & Leisure releases recording

Thumbnail image for Arts-and-Leisure-band-jpeg.JPGBy Marcus Crowder

Regaling fans in fuzz-toned, power pop, Arts & Leisure, pictured, officially release their first long player "Choose Your Adventure" today (though it modestly checks in at just under 30 minutes).

The quartet of highly regarded veteran local music makers features Gerri White on vocals and guitar, Becky Cale on vocals, bass, and keyboards, Cory Vick on guitar and Tim White on drums.

Released by Matt & Ross Levine's Sacramento-based but outward looking Test Pattern Records the album is available digitally for $8 or you can get vinyl and digital for $12 on The music's also available on iTunes and through online sources, including Amazon.

The band tunes up this Saturday at The Bike Kitchen in Sacramento before making a European jaunt later this month (Glasgow, London and three locations in Belgium). Arts & Leisure return home for a show Aug. 24 at Old Ironsides.

July 9, 2013
The State Fair used to... stage train crashes?

By Janelle Bitker

If you're anything like us, you can't wait for the rides, food and family fun that come with the California State Fair, which kicks off Friday.

One of many State Fair-related stories came out in today's Bee, with Debbie Arrington guiding us through a quick history lesson of the fair's 160 years.

What's been most surprising to many of our readers - and to us - is the fact that the State Fair staged train wrecks from 1913 to 1917. The spectacle was purely for fair-goers' amusement, until someone decided it was maybe a bad idea.

But you can still see the destruction in all its smoky glory on YouTube. Fast-forward to the 27 second mark to cut straight to the action.

July 2, 2013
Middle Class Rut releases second album

By Janelle Bitker

Last we checked in with Middle Class Rut, the Sacramento-based band was working on their sophomore effort, "Pick Up Your Head." It came out June 25 and you can stream it right now on SoundCloud, PureVolume, Rdio and Spotify.

Guitarist-singer Zack Lopez and drummer-singer Sean Stockham recorded the 12-track album in a Sacramento studio in the fall. It was mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Dave Sardy (Johnny Cash, LCD Soundsystem), and the end result resembles a cross between Jane's Addiction and Rage Against the Machine.

You may have seen them at Concerts in the Park in 2012, Warped Tour in 2011, or on the road with the likes of Muse, Linkin Park, Social Distortion or Them Crooked Vultures. Or you've at least seen them on YouTube, where their hit single "New Low" has racked up nearly 4.5 million views.

Local fans won't be able to see MC Rut at home in the near future though, as their North America and Europe tour seems to take them virtually everywhere else. The closest they'll get is the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, for the Sept. 11 Uproar Festival alongside Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction and Coheed and Cambria. Tickets roughly range from $20 to $100.



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