Summer Guide 2013 Nightlife & Entertainment picks
Run for the Assembly
Say what you will about the ongoing dueling K Street-development philosophies (“Keep building!” vs. “Keep downtown janky!”), the new Assembly nightclub occupies a much-needed niche in Sac’s live-music scene. No mermaids here, just a focus on regional and touring acts. Past shows include the Sacramento Electronic Music Festival and local singer-songwriter Autumn Sky. This summer, the club’s diverse lineup includes a trio of ’80s nostalgia acts with the Fixx (July 22), Wang Chung (August 4) and the Psychedelic Furs (August 31), as well as alt-country singer-songwriter Iris Dement (June 26) and jazz artist Larry Carlton (July 1). 1000 K Street, www.assemblysacramento.com. R.L.
Avoid pit stains
If you’ve never spotted several Segways in a row rolling along a downtown or Old Sacramento sidewalk, rest assured, it is a hilarious sight. The absurdity of adults, decked out in helmets and neon-yellow reflective vests, standing upright on the two-wheeled electric “futuristic” vehicles is inescapable. The company that offers these Segway tours in town certainly knows that, too, based on its name, Hysterical Walks & Rides (it specializes in comedic tours). If anything, riding one of these machines may be a way to avoid pit stains on toasty days and could be an amusing way to share Sac with out-of-town visitors this summer, but if you don’t have the $80 to $120 to drop on a hour-long tour, consider the cheapskate alternative: Track down the tour on bicycle and take pictures of the tourists, because, let’s face it, they’re a moving Sacramento target, er, novelty. Hey, no one ever said it was a polite alternative. (916) 44-2527, http://hystericalwalks.com. S.
Best place to walk with the mermaids
Last year, the Promenade of Mermaids was led by “grand marshal” DJ Larry Rodriguez. This summer’s promenade, happening Saturday, August 17, at 1 p.m., will follow the same route as last year—starting and ending near the Delta King. It’s open to mermaids, mermen, pirates and all other sea life. A still-to-be-announced grand marshal will judge costumes, and prizes will be awarded for the best child and adult costumes. 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, www.sacramentomermaids.com. J.M.
Know your cabbie
Taxi drivers are like snowflakes: Each one is special and unique. So when the bars close, and every hack is crammed with tipsy ruffians, you want a go-to cabbie you can rely on. Our favorite was a guy named Twon. He fist-pumped to something called “Dumpstaphunk” and railed against the use of animal byproducts in gummy snacks. Needless to say, best cabbie ever. But then Twon’s “party van” blew its transmission, so we graduated our eastern Sacramento County bull pen to starter status. Freddie has the privately operated Express Cab and smooth-as-Persian-silk demeanor. Amiable Paul of Folsom City Cab likes to joke about his wife. If you’re downtown, the rapping Taxi Dave is an Internet phenomenon, but we’ll take the black-and-yellow driven by Yellow Cab Company of Sacramento’s inquisitive Mark Jackson, who blast-texts philosophical bon mots. Sample: “Kings stadium will be a great incubator for biotech, science, energy tech & efficiency tech, nanotech, Sac o’ tomato tech, etc. I’m not sure how, but I believe.” Yeah, wow. Freddie of Express Cab, (916) 221-0005; Paul of Folsom City Cab, (916) 983-8877; Mark Jackson of Yellow Cab Company of Sacramento, (916) 862-7872. R.F.H.
Boozy outdoor film fun
There is no better summer social event than an evening of picnicking in the park, followed by a film screening once the sun has gone down. The snacks. The friends. Awkwardly hiding your drinks from roaming park rangers. Unfortunately, Sacramento is lacking when it comes to hosting quality films in public spaces. But Calvine Storage Kings in south Sacramento holds summer screenings for those of you who need to scratch that outdoor-movie magic itch. Pack the picnic blanket, wine and four of your best friends into the car and check out this summer’s screenings of Brave and Toy Story 3. 8704 Calvine Road, (916) 681-4994, www.storagekings.com/calvine-storage-kings-summer-movies.aspx. D.K.
Sushi and drunken karaoke all night
If you’re looking for a literally and figuratively “cool” evening, here’s the plan: Head to Oishii Sushi Bar & Grill Karoke Lounge, located upstairs from Assembly and Kbar. First, eat a roll or two of cold sushi. Then, rent a karaoke booth, order a few cold brews and select “Ice Ice Baby” or “Cold Cold Heart” on the touchscreen. Oishii’s flashy lighting, sleek furniture, and tile-and-stone interior will make you feel like you’re in a cool modern lounge. If this doesn’t bring some refreshment to your sweaty summer nights, then you don’t really have a heart at all, do you? 1000 K Street, Suite 200; (916) 557-8088; http://oishiisushikaraoke.com. J.M.
Dance yo face off
Given the choice between sitting on bar patio on a summer night and going to a “club,” I will invariably pick the patio—unless that club is Faces. It’s no secret that the clubs in the Lavender Heights district are far and away better places to go dancing if you actually want to dance, rather than do whatever it is people do at places like The Park Ultra Lounge. The many conjoined rooms in the club are divided by genre (Beyoncé is considered a separate genre there), and it’s on just the right side of overwhelming. Theoretically, in the span of three minutes, you can attempt to imitate Shakira, drop it like it’s hot, vogue and samba. Top it off with a Jell-O shot in a vial (totally unacceptable anywhere else) served by a ridiculously ripped cocktailer, and there’s no way you’re not going to have a good time. 2000 K Street, www.faces.net. D.D.
Dust off the corsage
Were you a late bloomer who missed out on the epicness of high school? Good. This means you’re probably well-adjusted. But if you still regret not making it to your senior prom (hey, it’s hard to do the Dougie in a back brace), the solution is as simple as TI-84 Tetris. Borrow your dad’s frilly tuxedo, gather some friends and plot your very own grown-up prom. We recommend springing this summer formal on unsuspecting suburban bars with jukeboxes and hard-nosed regulars. (Swiss Buda in Hollywood Park, Black Stallion in Orangevale and City Slickers in Folsom all fit the bill.) You want a spot where your mere presence wins over the tip-hungry bartenders, and where you can set an era-appropriate rotation of late-’90s R&B and hip-hop. And then party like it’s circa 1999. Do this right, and the initially wary regulars will join in the fun. You can even pretend you’re being the Alanis version of ironic. Which is to say, not. Swiss Buda: 2342 Fruitridge Road; (916) 421-6947; Black Stallion, 9353 Greenback Lane in Orangevale; (916) 988-4763; www.facebook.com/blackstallionlounge; City Slickers, 97 Natoma Street in Folsom; (916) 985-3435. R.F.H.