Sounds like Second Saturday

There’s more to Sacramento’s art walk than drunken caravans, free cheese, a hefty police-overtime tab—oh, and art

Clockwise from top right: The West Nile Ramblers, Walking Spanish, Musical Charis and the Speed of Sound in Seawater all gig Second Saturday (hopefully the guys from SOSIS can keep their pants on).

Clockwise from top right: The West Nile Ramblers, Walking Spanish, Musical Charis and the Speed of Sound in Seawater all gig Second Saturday (hopefully the guys from SOSIS can keep their pants on).

Check out SN&R’s d’ART special section for more Second Saturday and visual-arts coverage, including an art-walk map and list of galleries and exhibitions.

Midtowners enjoy complaining about the bands and musicians that overtake—some say devastate—their neighborhood each Second Saturday. Even out-of-towners bemoan the noisy, stiff-fingered blues guitarist on J Street or the grating chanteuse near Crepeville. And who actually likes the Hare Krishna jam band near Starbucks on 19th each month?

Of course, all these musicians are what make Second Saturday different and cool. At least once a month, city officials compromise their red-tape-laden and miserly bureaucracy and allow bands and artists to perform without paying astronomical fees or fear of the fuzz.

On Second Saturday, an acoustic strummer doesn’t need an entertainment permit. And if you’re rocking a Marshall half-stack or spitting verse on a mic (with perhaps break-dancers or guy donning a bear costume shouting into a megaphone), there’s a special, affordable permit for such shenanigans.

This is why there are more than two dozen legit music shows going down this upcoming Second Saturday, November 13—not to mention the dozens of other “impromptu” (legal or otherwise) performers who pop up between the hours of 4 and 10 p.m., during the heart of the monthly art walk. There’s no missing these musicians if you amble anywhere down J Street between 16th and 28th, including the many side streets. Or along L Street between 17th and 19th. Or up and down 20th Street in Midtown. Or on R and 10th streets—or at 15th Street. Or pretty much everywhere.

Basically, the only predicament is where to go and when. And so, SN&R’s staff of writers and editors recommends a handful of Second Saturday’s myriad live-music happenings:

One of Second Saturday’s charms is that normal businesses can moonlight as live-music venues. So it goes at Barber’s Shop Automotive (1116 18th Street), a regular art-walk spot known for uptempo rock ’n’ roll and good family-friendly vibes. This month, Pronouns (, an instrumental-rock troupe with a penchant for addictive, math-rock-esque guitar noodling; the Speed of Sound in Seawater (; and Brassaï ( will kick the night off early, at 5:30 p.m. And, as most Second Saturday events, this gig is free and all-ages.

Clockwise from top left: DJ Peeti-V, the Silent Comedy, Pregnant, the Polymers and MRQ have show plans on Second Saturday.

Around the corner after the sun goes down, local deejay Flower Vato will celebrate the day of his birth with a party at the Bicycle Kitchen (1915 I Street, facing the train tracks; 7 p.m.; free; all ages), featuring an art show and gig with performances by DJ Hailey and the Buk Buk Bigups. Be sure to take a moment and learn about possibly volunteering at the Kitchen.

A few blocks south at Bows and Arrows (1712 L Street, 8 p.m.), Placerville-based experimental electronic artist Daniel Trudeau, who performs as Pregnant, will play a calming in-store as a part of his own art exhibition, along with artwork by Leslie Andrews. Trudeau recently lost a bunch of his rare, irreplaceable gear, so I’m sure he would appreciate folks buying art or making a donation. Or purchase his new album at

Did you know that Friday is songwriter Neil Young’s 65th birthday? Celebrate the old man Saturday night at Harlow’s (2708 J Street, 7:30 p.m., $10, 18 and over) with a tribute show featuring Young cover tunes by local acts such as the Silent Comedy, Musical Charis, Sal Valentino, David Houston, Walking Spanish, the Babs Johnson Gang and Roman Funerals. The question we all want answered: Who will cover “Cortez the Killer”?

Off the beaten path, indie-pop duo Dreamdate, plus Spurm and (again) the Buk Buk Bigups will lay it down. Go online for details, but the tunes should begin sometime around 8:30 p.m.

At Blue Lamp on the east side of Midtown, you can check out an always interesting art exhibition—which is oftentimes music-related—tipple at the bar and take in the sounds of the West Nile Ramblers, Miss Lonely Hearts and other honkabilly strongholds (1400 Alhambra Boulevard, 8 p.m., $5, 21 and over).

If it’s the blues you crave, then venerable tavern Torch Club (904 15th Street) has a twofer: classic rock cover band the Q-Balls at 4 p.m. (no cover, 21 and over) and S.F.-based blues rocker Ron Hacker at 9 p.m. ($8, 21 and over).

The jazz-blues MRQ, folky the Family Bandits and some guy who calls himself Urban Artist RP “Tito” will headline Marilyn’s on K (908 K Street, 7 p.m., $10). Jack Ketch, Get Shot, Kenny Beasley and Murderlicious will rip up The Distillery’s dining room (2107 L Street, 10 p.m., $6). Cerro Negro and Whitewash Station hold down Fox & Goose (1001 R Street, 9 p.m., $5). Ian McGlone and the Polymers sing and songwrite at Naked Lounge Downtown (1111 H Street, 8:30 p.m., $5, all ages). And the Shady Lady Saloon chills it out with Django Gypsy jazz (1409 R Street, 9:15 p.m., 21 and over).

Dance nights on Second Saturday run the gamut but are always 21-and-up and include a new wave ’80s dance night at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street, 9:30 p.m., $5), Top 40 at Mix Downtown (1531 L Street, 9 p.m., $15), and DJ Peeti-V at The Park Ultra Lounge (1116 15th Street, 9 p.m., $15).

And when Second Saturday ends, please: Try not to wake the neighbors as you stumble back to your cars just after 2 a.m.