Goodbye and good luck

Migratory musicians: It happens all the time. Artists bloom in Sacramento, and then, just as they’re gaining a following, they move somewhere else.

In April, Kristofer Jackson, better known as the rapper JustKristofer, left for Los Angeles. His reason was the usual: expand his fanbase, explore new opportunities and, hopefully, get famous for his smooth, soulful style. In light of a costly move, he recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to assist with producing his next album. Find it at

Now, Sacramento must prepare to say goodbye to one of its most prolific, ubiquitous local musicians of the moment, who blew into town in summer of 2013 and will leave with four Sammies under his belt. Violinist Joe Kye is moving to Portland, Ore., in July. Unlike Jackson and most other artists who leave, Kye says the move is purely because his wife got a new job. He says Sacramento feels like home now—it’s, remarkably, where he first started his music career.

He’ll say goodbye with a special show on Friday, June 10, at Beatnik Studios (723 S Street). Called “Seed to Sprout,” the evening will touch on a common theme: the future, investing in growth and why our society has failed to do so. (Spoiler: “our corporate overlords,” he says.) It will also be a multisensory, multimedia experience, with projection art by Jiayi Young and Shih-Wen Michael Young and a set featuring a new, original piece by the CORE Contemporary Dance company. General admission costs $20, and the event doubles as a fundraiser for the Mustard Seed School.

Kye is careful not to call “Seed to Sprout” a “farewell show,” because he’s playing California WorldFest in Grass Valley later in July and planning to circle back to Sacramento on a hopefully international tour in October. It will build anticipation for his first full-length album, Migrants, due in 2017.

Migrants is about the idea of travel and living in many places—Kye has also lived in Korea, Seattle, New Haven and elsewhere—and absorbing something from each place. His classical edge comes from Seattle. His time at Yale University gifted him a cappella. What about Sacramento?

“Learning it’s OK to take from lots of places instead of narrowing yourself into a box,” he says, citing his collaborations here with rappers, blues artists, ballet dancers and others.

And as he looks ahead to a new life in Portland, what does Kye hope he’s left behind in Sacramento?

“A positive spirit, communal understanding, using art for something greater,” he says. “Creativity is a responsibility. You’re tasked with imagining on behalf of the public. How you choose to paint the world for people is a great power.”

And ideally, he says, imagine a future that’s a little better than our present.

—Janelle Bitker

Hot piss for days: “How many fuckers like to drink hot piss? We got some hot piss drinkers tonight?”

That was how a four-song suite about drinking hot piss got kicked off at the tour-closing Tim Heidecker and His Ten Piece Band show at Harlow’s on Friday.

Heidecker, of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame, toured on his latest album, In Glendale, which is not about drinking hot piss. (Those songs were cribbed from another band of his, the Yellow River Boys.)

Despite the piss, most of the show reflected the less obviously absurd style of his latest album, which focuses more on the mundane nightmares of fatherhood and suburban living, with songs like “Cleaning Up the Dog Shit” performed in a Warren Zevon or Jackson Browne sort of style.

Heidecker die-hards filled up Harlow’s and seemed to love every bit of it, but I’ll admit that, hot piss and a song about Herman Cain as the Christ aside, I felt like I was stuck in a two-hour Andy Kaufman bit testing how long I’d sit there listening to dad rock.

—Anthony Siino