Teen angels

It’s been a difficult year for local teens, many of whom have experienced something people usually don’t have to come to grips with until later in life: the sudden deaths of close friends and classmates. At C.K. McClatchy High School alone this year, four students have perished.

So, when Elisa Hough, Rose Griffith and Elizabeth Topham, a trio of McClatchy High seniors, were putting together their third annual Rock This Town concert featuring local bands, they decided it would be appropriate to dedicate the proceeds from their show to benefit the family of Roberto Treadway, a 15-year-old who was shot to death on the sidewalk in front of the school at the end of September; the family of Samuel Veu, who jumped off the 59th Street overpass onto Highway 50 at the beginning of August; and the children of Hue Nguyen and Loi Ngo, who were killed in a robbery at their South Sacramento jewelry store in late July. A memorial fund established in honor of Kevin Keane and Travis Whitaker, two seniors who were killed in a head-on collision north of Redding as they were returning from a backpacking trip the weekend before school began, also will be a beneficiary.

That—not to mention several other recent deaths at other schools in the area—is a lot of tragedy for kids to absorb in a short time.

So, Rock This Town, which will be held this Friday, December 19, in the auditorium at McClatchy High at 3066 Freeport Boulevard, may serve as a point of catharsis, not to mention a really good time. Music usually works as a catalyst to bring people together, and this year’s show, which starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m., will feature longstanding Sacramento pop-punk action figures the Groovie Ghoulies and the Cuf offshoot Good 4 Nuthin’, along with Mister Metaphor, Didley Squat and the Ramblers. All ages are welcome, and admission is $5.

The trio of organizers started doing these shows in 2001 as sophomores; they’ll graduate in the spring and, according to Hough, they hope to find someone willing to pick up the torch and carry on the tradition next year.

Previous years have featured ¡Bucho! as headliner in 2001 and 2002, along with the Secretions, Stereotypes, Western Civ and Zodiac in 2001 and Red Sauce, Felix Cat, Alta (formerly Zodiac) and Bob’s Child in 2002.

Hough initially aimed high for her headliner. She’s a big fan of Jonathan Richman, and she asked the alt-rock icon to do the honors. “He couldn’t make it because of scheduling,” she said. “But his record label [Vapor Records] sent a big box of stuff to give away.”