Take Ecstasy with me

Lines of sight at Shady Lady Saloon were rough, but here’s what went down at the Agent Ribbons CD release show last week, just in case you couldn’t viddy a lick.

Lines of sight at Shady Lady Saloon were rough, but here’s what went down at the Agent Ribbons CD release show last week, just in case you couldn’t viddy a lick.


Politicians to train-wreck deejays, raves:
This past week, Northern California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma introduced a bill called the “Anti-Raves Act of 2011,” which would ban electronic and deejay-dance parties throughout the state. Her reasoning? Kids are overdosing on Ecstasy and other drugs at both legal and underground parties, such as events in downtown Los Angeles and also at San Francisco’s Cow Palace this past summer.

But deejays, promoters and music lovers say the loosely worded law won’t curb Ecstasy use and instead will be a pretext for cops and local governments to ban electronic music. On Facebook, fans of various pages, such as “SAVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC: Tell your state rep and senator to OPPOSE AB 74!!” all cite one passage—“Any person who conducts a public event at night that includes prerecorded music and lasts more than 3 1/2 hours is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine”—as evidence that lawmakers have gone too far.

This isn’t the first time politicians have blamed deejays. Four years ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger inked a bill that made it illegal for anyone to possess more than 100 counterfeit CDs. The intention was to curb piracy, but instead it made every deejay and music lover in Sacramento and beyond a criminal. Visit a deejay’s home and you’ll surely find thousands of ripped CDs lying around.

This time, though, the deejays aren’t going quietly. Hundreds of electronic artists and promoters complained to Assemblywoman Ma’s office last week—call (916) 319-2012 if you want to chime in—and lambasted her bill. And, turns out, they were heard: In a December 27 press release, Ma announced that she would be suspend the anti-raves bill until meeting with deejays, musicians, promoters, law enforcement and club owners in January.

This is good timing: On New Year’s Eve, the Assembly member will host a $500-a-head fundraiser and dance party featuring—you guessed it—a deejay, one DJ I-Cue. (Nick Miller)

Great name for a label:
A couple of months back, TerrorEyes.tv mogul Sean Stout asked if I’d write a cover story on his forthcoming music label, MythLab. I explained, sarcastically, that it’d only be a good cover story if one of his label artists were a reformed murderer or something like that. So I sat on the news—and subsequently was scooped by another local media outlet last week. Bummer.

Anyway, let’s get it out there: Stout will be partnering on MythLab with Bows and Arrows owners Olivia Coelho and Trisha Rhomberg, who intend to release music by talented Sacramento and Golden State artists. According to the rumor mill, the first release will be by East Bay’s Religious Girls sometime in early 2011. (N.M.)

Ribbons cutting:
Lauren Hess and Natalie Gordon of Agent Ribbons returned to Sacramento last week to celebrate the launch of their latest release, Château Crone, with two shows: an all-ages gig at Luigi’s Fun Garden and an adults-only soiree at Shady Lady Saloon. The latter gig was packed, the queue extending at least 45 minutes. This is why I decided to pull my “I write for SN&R” routine and see if I could cut in line. Which succeeded, thanks to some cajoling from the city’s best bartender, Russell Eastman, and the kindly, patient and dapper doormen at the club.

Anyway, the ladies of Agent Ribbons have had a rough go of late. Former bandmate, Naomi Cherie, recently ditched the girls and, while gigging in San Francisco, some lowjack swiped Gordon’s trusty Danelectro guitar. On the flip side, Agent Ribbons also received good ink from Vice and Bust Magazine. And both Sacto shows were more than well-attended, a reminder that even though Hess and Gordon now hail from Austin, they’ll always be a Sacramento band.

Back at Shady Lady, it was impossible to witness the ladies perform unless you were hugging the stage. Tracks from the new album, ballads that skew downtempo, didn’t play as well as favorites from Ribbons’ debut, On Time Travel and Romance. But this more so a testament to how those well-worn songs resonate with the locals than the appeal of the new ditties, which are equally somber and lovely.

It’ll be a while before Gordon and Hess return to the 916. Show up early next time and get a spot near the stage. (N.M.)