Love and (pop) rockets

Yes, yes, we’ve clobbered you readers over the head with plenty of True Love Coffeehouse minutiae over the years. What can we say? The place is smack dab in the center of the Midtown grid, at 2406 J Street; it has good food and drinks; there’s art on the walls (this month, the graphics of musician Matt McCord); kids can go there and feel comfortable; it’s open late; and it books a lot of excellent, young local talent—like Adrian Bourgeois and Christopher Fairman, whose recent Friday-night appearance together there turned out to be a sellout. (That isn’t a difficult feat, given the old Victorian basement joint’s cramped quarters, but it’s impressive nonetheless.)

But given the ephemeral, here-today/gone-tomorrow nature of modern life, and the rapid evolution (or, some might say, devolution) of the Sacramento grid into a playground for the shiny, happy people who appear to be emerging from the extraterrestrial pods opening under Capitol Park flora with increasing regularity, perhaps it’s time to take notice of some of the homegrown joys that may or may not be disappearing in a cloud of Hummer H2 exhaust before long.

First, where else are you going to go for a waffle late at night: Lyons? Denny’s? The True Love serves really good waffles, and you don’t have to deal with drunken furniture salesmen, and there’s nice music.

Second, there’s Monday night’s True Love Science Theater, hosted by Deathray frontman and film buff Dana Gumbiner. This month, he’s showing punk flicks, with upcoming features starring Fugazi (Instrument, May 24) and the Clash (Rude Boy, May 31). Future themes include an entire month of white-trash cinema, including such choice 1970s baby sitters as Walking Tall—no, not the crappy current remake, but the original starring Joe Don Baker—and Deliverance.

Third, where else are you going to see Sacramento’s own Dark Lord, David Houston, holding court on a regular basis? Yeah, you could go to the Weatherstone (812 21st Street) in the afternoon, and if you’re lucky you’ll run across Anton Barbeau, too, but Houston is in his proper milieu at the True Love. Show up there Friday, May 21, and you can see him play some really great original music, with Nice Monster opening. (And exactly one week later, on May 28, you can catch Barbeau there, with the fabulous Bob Barango the Devil’s Troubadour opening.)

Now, nothing against P.F. Chang’s, or the Empire, or any of the countless other groovy spots opening up on the grid, but there was a time when one could bicycle around Midtown on a fat-tire cruiser on a warm summer eve, and one wouldn’t get run over by a Hummerload of young Republicans or a stretch Lincoln Navigator full of partying rich kids. Places like the True Love deserve a spot on the grid, too.