SN&R looks at 45 new trends and whether they will succeed or fail in Sacramento

It's the trend game

Sean Rougeau enjoys a smoke-free smoke at Midtown's VaPour House. The e-cigarette trend is lighting up in Sacramento.

Sean Rougeau enjoys a smoke-free smoke at Midtown's VaPour House. The e-cigarette trend is lighting up in Sacramento.

photo by shoka

Sactown Cosplay group's “Jackie Fairy” as Himari Takakura, Anna Padilla as Moriarty and Kaitie Beckman as Sebastian Moran from Sherlock. (Cosplayers apparently have impeccable taste in TV shows.)

photo by shoka

It’s OK to reject the idea of the “tastemaker.” Someone who’s (allegedly) moving the trend needle forward. An individual with a golden finger held to the wind.

Our experience is that tastemakers lack flavor. They’re often spotlight-craving, wannabe-trustafarians, probably with an affection for either Technicolor denim or European house music, and surely toting a pug or a some breed of sub-10-pound canine. Despite their self-professed connectivity, this individual is completely out of touch with au courant movements. The kind of person who spends dinner parties championing the merits of data collection. Or who thinks it’s hip to pontificate on the etymology of the term “fap.”

Tastemaker, bad.

So, it’s with a heavy dose of irony that SN&R’s writers play gatekeeper to some 45 trends hoping to unlock Sacramento’s heart. Some of these trends, like electronic cigarettes and Kickstarter panhandling, are here now. Others, on their way. And some, we hope, stay the hell out of town (we’re talking to you, hipster sorcery).

We’re not tastemakers. We just, as they say, buy ink by the barrel, and figured a feature story on new trends would be better than 2,000 words on artisanal porridge. You’re welcome.

Belly flops

Just when the world seemed safe from bad ’80s and ’90s fashion (designers, please stop trying to make mom jeans happen), along comes the crop top. What should only be worn in the company of exercise equipment (if even then) is suddenly showing up in fashion rags. Sure, a very-pregnant Kerry Washington successfully rocked the hell out of a crop top at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But unless your alter ego is named Olivia Pope, it’s best to ditch this trend. Oops, too late: Sacramento’s run of springlike temps probably means that half of Midtown is taking shears to its ironic T-shirt collection right now. R.L.

We hate the way we write subheadlines

Overly confessional, self-loathing humor used to be edgy and cathartic—until so many people started doing it. Lately, stand-up comedy shows feel more like forced group-therapy sessions. We’ve heard so much about tragic Internet-porn habits, body insecurities, social anxiety and how relentlessly you hate yourself. Let’s bury that material in the joke graveyard next to the ones about airline food and how white people can’t dance. The world is wide! There are infinite subjects to laugh about and plenty of power structures to subvert with your well-honed wit. We’re giving self-loathing stand-up the five-minute light. B.C.

Sriracha ice cream?!

We’re talking about combos that make absolutely no sense on paper: goat-cheese-basil-Sriracha, honey-jasmine-yam, burned-rose-bacon-caramel. Top your scoop with olive oil and smoked sea salt, and you’ve got “artisan ice cream.” It hasn’t quite found its footing in Sactown, but we—seriously—look forward to waiting in line on a sweltering summer day for the stuff. J.B.

Kick 'em in the listicles

“This Man Read a Breathlessly Hyperbolic Headline on Facebook—What Happened Next Will Amaze You.” Uh, he kept scrolling. Didn’t see that one coming, BuzzFeed headline, did you? B.B.

War on poverty

A local homeless man told me this past week that he has a warrant out for his arrest—because he neglected to register his dog with the city. Criminalizing the poor remains an issue in Sacramento, and it’s not just canine tags. America’s spending a lot of time revisiting its war on poverty lately, but the country’s least well-off are, well, less well-off than they were decades ago. N.M.

Family feud

Prepare to be bummed: Domestic violence is trending in Sacramento County. Between Christmas Eve 2013 and January 20 of this year, nearly a quarter of the crimes recorded by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department involved violence between current and former lovers or family members. And that’s for a crime that often goes unreported and unprosecuted. Domestic violence reports have actually steadily fallen in California since 1994, when more than 250,000 calls for service were recorded. The California Department of Justice says there were 157,634 such calls in 2012. RFH

Straight to the isthmus

I’ve been entering concerts in SN&R’s music calendars for the last three years. Everything seemed to be going fine. But then last year, a disturbing trend started emerging: geographical band names. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind, but they all came at once: Geographer, Maps & Atlases, Atlas Genius. There’s even an Australian band called Cartographer that’s working with the Aussie division of Sacramento’s The Artery Foundation. J.M.

Two wheels gone

I have a dream that one day this city will rise up and condemn bike theft as the intolerable crime that it really is. That bike thieves will be pursued by citizen bikers and bike police alike, until the thieves can pedal no farther. And if they really needed a bike that bad, they would be directed to a community-bike depository, where wheels would be available to those otherwise unable to afford them. J. Boggs

Double entendre aside

Bacon is much like a too-drunk one-night stand. At the time, it seems like a really good idea, but the next day, it appears to have been a tremendously bad idea. Can we mix it up, indulge in something that’s not a salted pig? J. Boggs

Economics 916

Saying that the proposed new Kings arena will inject $11.5 billion into the local economy is the trendiest line of BS this year. N.M.

Bands reuniting to play 'classic' albums _ in their entirety

Crass commercialism? Check. Shameless cash-grabbing? Check. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Breeders’ Last Splash? Check. Good God, I feel old. B.B.

Toilet tube

Remember that thing called “prime time”? Neither can we. Thanks to instant-streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it leaps in home-entertainment technology, we inhale movie franchises and television seasons on our own schedule, thank you very much. Sitting on the toilet has never been so productive! Even Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly conceded the traditional pilot season for broadcast networks, which was created to help automakers sell their new fall lines, is on its way out. There’s no slowing this pop-culture bingeing trend now. We want everything all the time now and constantly. Including Beyoncé’s next secret album. RFH

Artisanal toast

Doughy Cronuts? Dunzo. It’s now time for the humble slice of bread to take center plate at breakfast. And it already has in such aggressively hipster enclaves as San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Be it house-made stone-ground whole-wheat, rustic sourdough or some sort of gluten-free quinoa-spelt hybrid, toast is a trend that’s time has finally come. This city already has some tasty options (Orphan Breakfast House’s rosemary toast, for starters), but now it’s time to dial up some real flour power. We’ll gladly pay upward of $5 to carbo-load with bourgie bread. R.L.

On the juice

Peel’d on 20th Street got it started, and a new juice bar is planned for P Street. But, as an American, I crave an inordinate level of choice. I want to mix and match up to 500 individual ingredients for a unique fruit-and-veggie juice blend to cure what ails me, and I want it at expanded hours in several convenient locations for all my snacking, detoxing and health-balancing needs. Is that so crazy? J. Boggs

Nefertiti up in it

Inspired by “ancient Egyptian” hand and arm movements, “tutting” is a dance where limbs and fingers pose in a variety of positions, set mostly to dubstep or hip-hop beats. Although tutting found a place in nearby cities like San Francisco, this trend to pop ’n’ lock remains far away from Sac. Perhaps that’s a good thing? S.R.

Better when you can't see them

Speakeasies have taken San Francisco and Los Angeles by storm, and we’re ready for Sacramento to be next. These Prohibition-esque bars—dark, underground spaces with reserved tables, passwords, craft cocktails and swingin’ tunes—are admittedly gimmicky, but they feel so badass that we don’t care. J.B.

Toilet tech

Please, never ever send me a Snapchat while you’re on the can again. N.M.

Gluteus ridiculous

Although gluten sensitivity is a real thing for the approximately 3 million Americans with celiac disease, few others seem to know what gluten actually is—other than a diet to get them looking, like, hella gorge for bikini season (it’s a protein in grains such as wheat and barley, by the way). So the casual dieters will continue to spend 242 percent more on gluten-free products than the gluten-laden counterparts. Even though they don’t have to. S.

Moonshine and porch parties

Thank Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers for bringing more folks in vintage vests, suspenders and feathered fedoras out from hiding. Nostalgia is in. That means hokey outfits, fiddles—yes, Andrew Bird is officially forming a new, old-timey trio soon. J.B.

Arena zeal

Stop asking people if they are pro-arena or anti-arena. Reducing the complex arena debate to an either-or question is tantamount to “you’re with the arena or with the terrorists” Dubya logic. And we all know how that worked out. N.M.

What's more annoying than a selfie?

When friends consistently post photos of themselves dressed as anime characters. Like it or not, cosplay is here to stay, and it’s huge in Sacramento. Still, there comes a point when it takes over someone’s life, especially when you’re constantly posting photos of yourself working out, or styling your hair in a certain way, just so your next cosplay will turn out better in time for the next Comic Con. J.M.

Waste not, want not

Whoever invented coffee pods—you know, those single-serve capsules you stick in those fancy-schmancy machines—was a genius. And also an idiot. Not only do typical coffee pods not brew a full-sized cup of caffeine (seriously, what the hell?), they’re also pricey and wasteful. So, of course they’re only getting more popular. The U.S. single-serve market grew into a $3.1 billion industry in 2013, according to the research company Mintel Group. Here’s hoping local cafes shun the trend and continue serving java via no-nonsense pot or snobworthy pour-over. R.L.

So cheap it hurts

When you buy a garment at a retail chain for less than the cost of a restaurant entree, you’re probably paying for a garment worker’s unlivable wages. You’re paying for a fashion statement that likely will unravel after just a couple of washes. And if you’re buying knockoff stilettos or flats with soles so thin they curl up in the shoebox, you could end up paying for some ibuprofen and a foot brace to heal subsequent chronic inflammation in your feet. Cheap clothing is too painful to afford. Our in-house fashionistas predict sustainable, quality clothing is the next big trend. B.C.

Sure thing

National chain stores and restaurants, such as BevMo! and Claim Jumper, are coming to the central city. It’s, of course, predictable to bemoan their arrival. I will err on the side of predictability. N.M.

Rich little poor girl

When bands like rap-rock duo Twiztid perform in Sacramento, their scary clown-faced Juggalos follow. Let’s not fall down the rabbit hole twice by welcoming the zef movement, or its lifestyle, or—worse—its fashion. Vocalist, rapper, or whatever she fancies herself, Yo-Landi Vi$$er described the poor-and-proud zef movement best in an interview with The Guardian: “It’s associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you’re poor but you’re fancy. You’re poor but you’re sexy, you’ve got style.” Or not. S.R.

One good bro deserves another

We’d like to shine a light on some of the good that bros do. Bro-ologists now know that many bros abide by the ancient concept of “quid bro quo”—a seemingly simple idea that has become the cornerstone of inter-bro relations. Discovered by the philosopher Brocrates, quid bro quo states that one bro must reciprocate any benevolent act performed by a fellow bro. It could be anything from letting your best bro borrow your copy of the Falling in Reverse album, or something as simple as hooking up a bro of a bro with a cold Natty Ice. We know how ridiculous this sounds, but we’re also pretty sure that it’s the only thing standing between us and complete and total societal breakdown. B.B.

Weakly podcasts

Sometimes it feels like we’re all talking and there aren’t enough listeners. We’d rather hang out with you in person than sit at home listening to your weekly podcast. Can we grab lunch sometime, or do we have to wait for an invitation to be a guest host in your living room? B.C.

Vaped out

Let’s just hope dads start puffing with those uber-trendy electronic cigarettes. Then, maybe they won’t be so damn cool, and more young ’uns will quit the nasty habit. N.M.

Here today

Javie Wallbanger and Scout enjoy some 
good old-fashioned “cat lady” R&R.

photo by shoka

After many storefronts had to close because of the recession, it makes sense that new businesses are dipping their toes in with temporary pop-up shops all over the city, slowly working their (financial) way into permanent locations. S.

Sunday denial

We all saw the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s atheist billboards around town over the holiday season. The New York Times and NPR have reported on the growth of Sunday Assembly, self-described as a “godless congregation” that celebrates life, which holds weekend services for atheists in major cities around the world. San Francisco launched its own Sunday Assembly in November 2013. Can Sacramento’s atheist community be far behind? B.C.

What the font?

Legendary font house Hoefler & Frere-Jones may have split up earlier this month, but we’re sure that won’t have any impact on the creeping ubiquity of its most famous creation: Gotham. We don’t use this font in SN&R, because it’s too expensive, but you’ve seen it everywhere: the titles of Saturday Night Live, President Barack Obama’s famous “Hope” poster. But we didn’t really comprehend its oversaturation until we noticed that the famous ’green band screen’ the opens movie previews trailers has been redesigned. In Gotham, naturally. B.B.

Super Bowl 420

Let’s legalize pot already. Let’s get all Washington state on this bitch and enjoy a fine spliff after work; meet up at weed cafes &#;agrave; la Amsterdam; share the wealth of pot-shop ad revenue for local publications (cough cough, sorry, I inhaled); and make available an unstigmatized, affordable pain medication for those in need. Maybe if we’d legalized it along with Colorado and Washington, the 49ers would have made it to the Super Bowl. Get it? Super bowl? J. Boggs

The next craft beer

Not many places in town have cold, caffeinated coffee on tap yet, but in 2014, most of the local major-player coffee roasters will be pouring it. S.


The hashtag symbol, way back in the day, was meant for numbers. Like, “#2.” Then Twitter started hyperlinking hashtagged words as way to track trending topics, and then every microblogging and social-media network picked it up. Now it’s all too common to read hashtags in text messages, alongside a line of unrelated emojis—because ramen-smiley-face-scissors-camel totally makes sense. Even better, we hear people say “hashtag.” Audibly. In public. #YOLO. J.B.

The new litter

Huge cat faces on T-shirts, or little ones on earrings and stationery, plus memes and websites (such as Boys With Beards With Cats), and Snoop Dogg dropping the dog in him to become a kitty—all unironically. Everyone is turning into unapologetic cat ladies. Pups, we still love you, but the end of this feline trend is nowhere in sight. S.

Open house

Where are all the house shows that double as house parties? When did we get all ritzy and start paying to see shows at places where you can’t BYOB? SN&R implores its readers to boldly open their homes to the public at large and invest in kegerators. You provide a place for the band, we’ll provide the brew and some spare change for gas. J. Boggs

Kings of tech

You want to know the next tech trend? Go to a Sacramento Kings game. The team recently wowed your gadget-loving dad with announcements that it would begin working Google Glass technology into its home games and accepting Bitcoin virtual currency as payment for tickets, grub and merch. Money is pretty much a theoretical concept these days, anyway. (What is this “doll-hair” you speak of?) But Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé—who made his name “digitizing” Wall Street before starting real-time computing company TIBCO Software Inc.—seems set on carving out a unique, nonjock niche for his rebuilding organization. Hey, if you can’t rack up the Ws, might as well make the 1s and 0s. RFH

Farm to f**k

Who isn’t tired of politicians rubbing elbows with celebrity chefs, touting mega-party dinners on bridges, and taking photos with eggplants and tomatoes? Political foodies sure like to pretend they care about locavorism, organic eats and so on. But then look at all the subsidies and tax breaks for the processed-food and refined-sugar industries. N.M.

This dud's for you

Dear restaurateurs: Don’t put 99 beers on draft and think you’re going to ride the craft-beer craze straight into Uncle Scrooge’s vault of gold coins. That’s a move for craft-beer phonies—and the region’s beer lovers will reject your drafts before you can say “IPA.” N.M.

Global norming

Denying climate change when Sacramento’s soaked in hardly any rain. Nice try. Do deniers even have a leg to stand on these days? N.M.

Noah's arc party

In Sacramento, the river is king. So how did we end up with a party as dim-witted as Rage on the River? Can’t we just keep it civil and have a river jam that doesn’t require riot police? Our new state of drought may dry up the fun next summer, but when the rains return, I think we should build an arc to commemorate the inaugural American River Citizen Flotilla. J. Boggs

Home, sick

The city and county’s cuts to low-income housing requirements are not about rebooting development. It’s about going after the contingent with the softest, quietest megaphone. Typical. N.M.


When Bows & Arrows closes its Midtown doors for good, it’ll serve as another stark reminder of the local music scene’s constant state of flux. Sure, venues open and close in other cities all the time, but when a spot like Bows can’t hold its own, at least financially speaking, it’s a real blow for a town that already suffers from a dearth of venues. R.L.

Marathon ban

Those 5k theme runs have to be near the finish line, right? N.M.

Pay me, meow

We may scoff at the guy at the freeway offramp with his cardboard sign, but apparently see no problem shaking the digital cup for our own passion projects. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and an accumulating number of crowd-funding platforms are making it easier to beg without shame. Reports NBC News: “In 2012, the amount spent on crowdfunding projects exploded by 81 percent from the year before to $2.7 billion, according to research firm Massive Solutions. The total for 2013 is expected to be around $5.1 billion.” Which means that accordion-jazz concept album about the shelter cat you adopted could soon be a reality. RFH