Last days of The (old) Hangar
Goodbye, hello: You know how it feels after you give notice at a job? Like, suddenly, there’s nothing more urgent than packing up and moving on already. Yeah, that’s exactly where The Hangar owner John Baccigaluppi’s head is at these days.“I think I’m already past the emotional-grief stage, and I’m on to the anger stage,” Baccigaluppi said with a laugh recently as he finished packing boxes.
Yes, The Hangar studios, which has seen artists as varied as Wild Flag, Sea of Bees, Two Sheds and Kanye West, has finally closed up shop. Long story short, the landlord needed to make costly repairs that would’ve forced the crew to shut down for six months—and then return to higher rent. But you know the saying: When one door shuts, another one opens. In this case, make that
two doors: In Sac, Baccigaluppi and Chris Woodhouse will operate a new studio located in the General Produce Co. building on North B Street. Meanwhile, Baccigaluppi will also run a studio in Marin County, where the location should serve as something of a mecca for touring acts. The Sac space should be operational by May with the Marin locale following suit sometime this summer.
In the meantime, Baccigaluppi’s been involved in a media goodbye tour of sorts, sharing stories about the studio’s ramshackle accoutrements (skateboard ramp, stacks of Heckler magazines, etc.) and famous guests. Kanye’s chair earned a lot of ink this month, you know? But now, it’s time to move on. For reals. And the whole thing’s more than a little bittersweet, Baccigaluppi says.
“I’m bummed we lost our space—the [original] Hangar was so unique … but it evolved into something more complex with more out-of-town bands, more freelance engineers, and we started catering more to that,” Baccigaluppi says. “Now, in the new [Sacramento] location, the goal is to get a rock band up and running. You can just walk in the door, and an hour later start hitting tape.”
Of tassels, glitter and hip-hop: For the initiated, Paid Dues is an independent hip-hop festival (www.paidduesfestival.com) started by Living Legends pioneer Murs in 2006. As the festival, happening on March 30, in San Bernardino, Southern California, approaches, The Road to Paid Dues tour is taking over cities along the way—including a stop in Sac.
The real story of the March 21 show at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, featuring Murs along with Prof and Fashawn, existed in emcee Prof’s innate ability to move a crowd with a crazy fusion of styles that ran the gamut from poetic to crunk. The real story that cannot go untold however, exists in the magical tale of the chance meeting between underground hip-hop and some burlesque dancers.
As we walked up to the venue, two women swaggered out of Harlow’s. Clad in costume lingerie, one sported a skimpy police “uniform.” Either this was the going to be the best hip-hop show ever or the Sacramento entertainment police had drastically changed its image to appeal to a younger, sexier generation.
As it turned out, the Sizzling Sirens Burlesque Experience had just finished its set—just in time for the hip-hop show. And so, after a brief layover in the club’s upstairs Momo Lounge as the Harlow’s staff cleaned the tassels and glitter off the floor, it was time for the music.
Fashawn played the opener, starting the show off with his signature style of hard-hitting, personal raps. The Fresno phenom ran through classic verses from his critically acclaimed Boy Meets World album before dropping some fresh, new material.
Up next was Prof, who used the crowd as a sixth man, whipping them into a frenzy, so he could fuel off of its chaotic energy. His set was both hyphy and conscious at times, reminiscent of a white Tech N9ne without the face paint. The wiry, mustached Minnesotan jumped around, spitting lyrics like Atmosphere on an intravenous Red Bull drip.
Murs closed the show with his typical high-energy performance, but sans dreadlocks. Newly clean cut, he performed all the classics, including “Whatuptho.” Murs patented the no-frills, California-underground style, and he’s just as good at it today as he was a decade ago.
Paid Dues boasts a killer lineup that includes Black Hippy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Sacramento’s own First Dirt. The only thing that could make it any better is if it opened with a burlesque show.