Shake-up on ‘The Kay’

New venue alert!: Cosmopolitan Cabaret just didn’t fit in. Tucked away between bro bars, mermaid bingo, sushi karaoke, bassy dance floors and hard-rockin’ pizza, the theater destination, which opened in 2008 and was operated by the California Musical Theatre, wasn’t Pleasure Island enough for the new-look K Street.

So now musical theater is out, and Randy Paragary and Co. are in.

The new concept—which thankfully is called The Assembly and not, uh, Venue—is club meets live comedy meets touring bands. Paragary, Bob Simpson and Trevor Shults are reportedly meeting with local promoters, including those who put on this past summer’s Friday Night Concerts in the Park series, about how local bands can be part of The Assembly mix. And this week, Marcus Crowder over at this town’s daily reported that Paragary also will be teaming up with Buck Busfield of B Street Theatre for a comedy component at the club.

It’s worth noting that, as Cosmo Garvin has reported on in the past, there was a hot debate over whether the city should spend nearly $14 million to renovate the Cosmopolitan building on the corner of 10th and K streets. So much for that: The theater’s gone and, voil&#;agrave;, a new club arrives with little fanfare (granted, developer David Taylor owns the building now, not the city).

Anyway, stay tuned for a grand reopening on March 1, 2013.

Detroit in the 916: Local emcee and musician Chuck Taylor calls me up. “Hey, it’s Chuck,” he almost whispers. Then he gets excited, because—while he seldom puts on shows—he says he’s got a pretty sweet gig Friday, December 7, at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub; something that Sacramento hasn’t seen in a long time.

Surely, the lineup impresses at a local level. Rapper Npire Da Great is one of the city’s finest breakout emcees, a dude with long braids and penchant for catchy street raps with good bass and fast hooks. And there’s Dibiase, formerly of Los Angeles now of Natomas, one of the most respected producers and beatmakers in the city. These two are enough on their own.

But Taylor’s selling point for the gig is that he’s bringing the quintessential sounds of Detroit hip-hop to Sacramento for a night: Guilty Simpson, collaborator with J Dilla, and some of the Motor City’s finest, plus DJ House Shoes, who good ol’ Wikipedia calls “Detroit’s Hip-Hop Ambassador to the World.”

The show kicks off at 10 p.m., and it is 10 clams in advance, $15 at the door. Needless to say, it’s a don’t-miss event.


Tuff enough: I don’t play beer pong often, but I can easily imagine a scenario in which my apartment is filled with liberal-arts baccalaureates in the throes of their respective professional-life crises. After several bottles of chardonnay, the conversation would wander to the carefree days of studentdom and, voilà, a rousing game of beer pong is just what the doctor ordered.

The soundtrack to this scenario? King Tuff.

I swear to God this exact situation has happened across the United States several times since King Tuff dropped its self-titled rock ’n’ roll party album earlier this year on Sub Pop Records. It is upbeat, body moving and magnetic, and the shoulder-to-shoulder audience at Bows & Arrows (1815 19th Street) this past Sunday night seemed to hold back the urge to mosh on grounds of propriety alone.

As bodies swayed and joyfully careened, the girls behind the counter struggled to meet demands for beer, deftly changing out kegs and slinging overflowing mason jars of foaming IPA as quickly as they could be poured. Beer was drunk; heads were bobbed; and hips were nonchalantly swung as smokers warmed themselves by a smoldering fire pit on the patio, tendrils of smoke wrapping the area at-large in a thick blanket of wood ash and nicotine.

Another perfect December night in Sacramento that makes me thankful for all those boons we so often take for granted: comfortable cafes, high-alcohol-content IPA, and totally legit rockers who seem to love what they do as much as we enjoy them doing it. King Tuff, rock on.

— J.B.