News in a plain brown wrapper

I’ve hung up a new calendar, but somehow the start of 2005 doesn’t feel much different from the start of 2004. Some local musicians are still almost famous, and many of the same bands are at the same levels they were last year, playing essentially the same tired music. The two biggest local-music news items of last year were the disappearance of two popular Midtown all-ages venues. True Love Coffeehouse closed, and Capitol Garage moved and went 21-and-over. There’s still no clear replacement, leaving something of a chasm in the city’s nightlife. Word on the street is that Kevin Seconds, owner of True Love, is talking about putting together a new venue. In the meanwhile, he’s doing all-ages “True Love in Exile” shows at Mother India restaurant. It’s not the same cozy coffeehouse scene, but at least it’s something in the right direction.

Meanwhile, my in-box is filled with random bits of news to accompany your post-New Year’s hangover. Metal quartet Maven will perform a record-label showcase and CD-release show on January 15 at the Roadhouse. Check out for more information on that. Jeff August, known to some for his contribution to the SacPop 3 compilation, has a new band booking under the name Oscar. Upcoming dates at The Distillery, the G Street Pub and San Francisco’s Hotel Utah Saloon will get that project up and running. And lastly, fans of Urban Jazz Session’s longstanding Wednesday-night residency at the Fox & Goose can tune in at work, via the Internet, to the band’s streaming radio station. Point your browser to and type in “Urban Jazz Radio.” You’ll be streaming funky urban-jazz rhythms in no time.

From the breakups-and-departures department comes the news that local alt-hard-rockers Circle of 5ths have decided to disband. The band will perform one final show on January 15 with Downshift, Nephilim and Desperation Theory at Club Retro, located at 6521 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale. The show is all-ages.

Lastly, for those who have resolved to be better citizens this year, first you should learn to recognize Sean Perkey’s car. It’s relatively easy to spot, in large part because it has “Bob’s Child” emblazoned across it in huge letters. (The uninformed might wonder if Bob Perkey sired Sean. Alas, “Bob’s Child” is the name of a local band.) Perkey and Bob’s Child have teamed up with Clay Nutting, co-founder of Concerts 4 Charity, to bring the national nonprofit to the Sacramento area. The organization aims to raise awareness about community issues using music and art.

Perkey’s own pet project is FireChild Music Education. According to the press materials, the project is “designed to restore music education in Sacramento area schools by bringing instruments and lessons to children.” Perkey has told me that he’s specifically trying to get guitars and guitar teachers into local schools.

Just think: Hundreds of guitars in the hands of children and teenagers! Parents everywhere clutching their bleeding ears! Illicit drugs and wanton sex! Priests and politicians demanding moral rectitude! Look to for more information on how you can bring about the moral downfall of Sacramento youths.