An exclusive peek at K.J.’s iPod

DJ Whores provides the tunes at skater Omar Salazar’s Nike shoe launch party (see the link below for details).

DJ Whores provides the tunes at skater Omar Salazar’s Nike shoe launch party (see the link below for details).


K.J. and the Kracker:
It’s a lonely Monday in Sacramento. You’re Mayor Kevin Johnson. You’ve got an iPod, yeah, but in the end you’re a true music enthusiast: Nothing beats a tangible CD or LP. And so, you make your way to The Beat in Midtown, because nothing cures the strong-mayor blues like shopping for new tunes.

You walk through The Beat’s glass doors and your bones ache for something special, that perfect balance of hip-hop spirit and rock flavor. Only one artist fits the bill: Uncle Kracker.

And so K.J. shopped local for music this past Monday, purchasing a CD by the guy who brought the world lyrics such as: “Follow me / Everything is all right / I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night / And if you want to leave / I can guarantee / You won’t find nobody else like me.” Seriously, K.J.: Uncle Kracker?

The only way this makes sense: Uncle Kracker’s “Follow Me” will be K.J.’s 2012 re-election campaign theme song. (Nick Miller)

And the Jammies winner is … not James Cameron:
The person in charge of SN&R’s Jammies is backstage at the Crest Theatre, gently reminding rock-rap teen band A1’s lead singer not to cuss during his set. And so, the first thing he does when he hops in front of the sold-out Crest crowd at last Friday’s eighth annual Jammies Night of Contemporary Music? Drops an M-bomb: “Motherfucker!”

The Crest was fresh out of bars of soap.

Still, it was a memorable and otherwise PG-13 night of under-18 music at this year’s Jammies. Jerry Perry, of venerable Jerry Perry Presents, produced the showcase, which was hosted by Danny Secretion, who was professional and restrained, cracking only one urinal-cake joke the entire evening.

Each year, the Crest audience votes for the Jammies’ winner, and this year’s victor was blues-rock act One Eyed Rhyno, which won 10 hours of free time with Joe Johnston at Pus Cavern recording studios. Second place went to folk chanteuse Julianna Zachariou, who performed solo and also with a percussionist and stand-up bassist. Popular rock trio Simpl3Jack—who I thought would steal the prize, what with their hundreds of loyal S3J fanatics—took third.

My picks? I’d have to say Davis foursome Hotwire and Sacto duo Dog Party were favorites. So I’ll give them a tie for second place. Hotwire—fronted by “Brady,” a pre-University of Virginia history Stephen Malkmus doppelganger—had stage skills to spare. And everyone knows Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles of Dog Party always knock it out, what with their stripped-down garage-pop styling and cooler than cool ’50s doo-wop outfits, special for the Crest occasion.

But in the end, I have to give A1 the first-place vote. I mean, they dropped an “em-effer,” a handful of “N” words and, best I can recollect, were the first band to be booed in the history of the Jammies. Dang. (N.M.)

Collective, Sol:
It’s a good idea to have a music venue across the street from a cemetery. Even if it gets too loud—though the new Sol Collective on 21st Street a block south from Pancake Circus never does—dead people won’t call the cops.

Anyway, it’s been a couple years since the nonprofit art gallery/occasional music venue’s Del Paso Boulevard location went up in flames, so last week’s show, Sol Collective’s second since opening in February, still had that new car smell. Fans, a bit over 100, showed up just to scope the fresh digs. Bands—Sister Crayon, Nice Nice, Adventure Playground—were stoked to perform at the latest spot.

Sol Collective doesn’t have a stage and bands set up on the floor in the southwest corner, where the roof rises high even though the squarish venue mostly has Fools Foundation-low ceilings.

Adventure Playground is apparently a new band, what with their novice interpretation of the Explosions in the Sky playbook and itch to jam for an inappropriate 40 minutes. But there’s promise. Nice Nice drew mixed response; some dug their less-circusy Battles-esque sound. Still, percussionist Mark Shirazi’s mind-blowing proficiency on the kit was more than enough to redeem the Warp Records’ band’s lackadaisical funk-groove indulgence.

Sister Crayon headlined and, at first, was hampered by sound-check snafus; a friend with a colorful imagination likened it to the sound of “ghosts being gang-raped.” But technical difficulties were resolved, and the band’s first single and video, “(In) Reverse,” sucked the crowd in like a siphon draining a reservoir. Only Nicholas Suhr’s Neanderthal-esque pounding on the kit, and the drums’ subsequent shrill reverberations, led astray their set. I’d like to see him chill back on the heads, like Nice Nice’s Shirazi. In the end, the Manimal Vinyl records act is still one of the city’s most exciting new acts. And the spot was a damn promising new venue. (N.M.)