Bigger, better, faster

A town becomes a big city when a single weekend can take you from the depths of basement rock to the higher end of fashion, from the late, late hours of an impromptu dance party to an all-day granny-friendly crafts fair hosted by the state’s oldest art museum. In short, when you have options.

When your Friday night finds you skipping through the dark with your friends, tugged in the direction of a woman’s voice rising up from the basement of a Midtown Victorian. When two bucks at the door reveals new-ish post-punk outfit Queens of York, delivering the kind of set that makes a fuzzy soundsystem, an already-tapped keg and plenty of low-ceilinged visual obstructions worthwhile—even appropriately raw. When you can be glad, for once, that an acquaintance asked you to come check out his band, fronted by Aisha-Natasha Ogle’s surprisingly mature voice that falls somewhere between the liquid femininity of Siouxsie Sioux’s lower register and the haunting echoes of Placebo.

“There are a lot of ‘secret’ bands that people haven’t even heard—including us—and everyone is getting better and better all the time,” Ogle said of the local music scene.

It’s great to see DIY alive and well. And it’s great when folks who don’t want their weekend defined by peeling plaid wallpaper have options, too. When hipsters can dance at the “secret” disco of MySpace party planners/deejays Diamondmonsterrr + Friends. When liquid comfort seekers can recline in the leather chairs of brand new Whiskey Wild on 19th and Q streets, and anticipate (or dread) what next Friday’s grand opening has in store for the sturdy stage of a bartop. When grandmothers can scale the Crocker Art Museum’s winter crafts fair while younger craft-junkies browse Bows and Arrows vintage clothing and furniture showroom on 17th and L streets in anticipation of its opening party on December 1.

Or when Saturday night lands you in a crowd of bottle blondes and lanky fashionistas, sharing ground along Article boutique’s catwalk (1919 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 921-7400). Article’s one-year anniversary fashion show, held in the courtyard between Supper Club and Fran’s Café, showcased a utilitarian femininity from Swedish label Acne Jeans and French designer Sonia Rykiel, and the high-end punk influences of NYC’s Rogan label. Audience members clutched their Bumble and Bumble freebies, and watched models pivot against the poetic backdrop of Marji Automotive Repair. Glitter against grit. High end clothing on a street that normally hawks its wares through neon signs from the era of Pink Flamingos. The early tremors of Del Paso’s revitalization as a nightlife destination beyond Second Saturday.

“That’s one of the goals we’re trying to bring down here,” said Article owner Andrew Floor of the neighborhood’s impending transition. “Art isn’t limited to painting. It can be exposed through music and fashion.”

Another weekend, another glittering event, another step closer to Sacramento’s place in the big (city) leagues.