Another venue, another tombstone

What is it about this city? One would think that somebody in that new semicircular glass palace on I Street might have one of those cartoon-light-bulb-over-the-head moments, especially with all the clue sticks flying around. And even more especially, now that lawn signs depicting the name of a certain former NBA player, with the words “for mayor” appended, are ubiquitous in front yards all over town—all but screaming “I’m well-funded and I’ve come to take your job.”

One would think that somebody in that new semicircular glass palace on I Street might figure another all-ages venue on the city grid suddenly ceasing to offer live entertainment presents a slight problem—especially in an election year.

So let’s share a moment of silence in memory of the CoolCat Gallery on 24th Street, which, over the past weekend, appears to have followed the late, lamented Fools Foundation into all-ages-venue heaven.

Now, some brief editorializing: Old-school election-year campaigning might center around pointing to potholes fixed, streetwalkers and inebriates vanquished from business-fronting sidewalks or neighborhood nuisances shut down by code enforcers. And with city administrators dealing with the catastrophic fallout of the Bush recession, perhaps they have their hands full these days.

Still, were I a candidate seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in an incumbent city government, I’d be looking at how that government works with its arts community, specifically the edgier, more alternative sectors thereof—because that’s the engine that’ll drive the vibrant business climate of the future. I’d look at cities like Austin, Texas, where conditions are much more conducive to nurturing the talent pool in the local music scene, and I’d be figuring out how that might work here. And I’d be proposing some kind of communications interface so that artists, musicians, promoters and entrepreneurs have a way to work together with the city to nurture the emerging arts in Sacramento.

But I’m not a politician. Somebody feel free to pick that idea up and run with it.

On the subject of ears: The other night, a bunch of us sat around a brewpub batting around nominees for this summer’s Sammies, to be held in July at the Crest Theatre. I realized I was hearing a lot of names that didn’t have the ring of familiarity—and some of those names might have their music available on CD.

So: Send your music to the arts-and-culture department at SN&R (1015 20th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811). I’ll rip the tracks and put them in a local-music playlist on my iPod. And listen to them.

Speaking of listening, Sean Kilcoyne of Trainwreck Revival handed me a CD of his band a while back. Three tracks—“Tonight,” “I Want You By My Side” and “I Can’t Believe This Shit”—were recorded by Dana Gumbiner at Station to Station, his studio near Grass Valley; the other three—“Wandering Eye,” “Sweet Carolina” and one lunar cover—were cut live. The music is a bit left of center, on a spectrum defined by Cracker at one end and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the other. You can listen at