The afterlife is in Roseville?

Various music critics—including those in this paper—have been bemoaning the lack of all-ages venues on the Midtown grid. It’s true that Capitol Garage’s location change and subsequent 21-and-over status and the closing of the True Love Coffeehouse have left something of a hole in the all-ages music scene. Nonetheless, there is still life for the under-21 crowd in the Sacramento area—a fact proven last weekend when upwards of 400 kids convened at Roseville’s Underground Café for a five-band bill, featuring Gooser, the Divine Romance, Catherine, Before I Wake and Nephilim. Needless to say, the teen rock scene isn’t dead. It has just moved to the ’burbs and, weirdly enough, to church.

It’s a strange irony that draws kids interested in hardcore, metal and pop-punk shows out to Roseville, a town that is about as hip as Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The Underground staff noted that most of the teens who attended the show were from Sacramento, rather than the immediate area. Although there are certainly hip goth kids hiding from SUV-driving adults all over conservative American suburbia, there most likely aren’t 400 of them in Roseville.

But that’s one of the beautiful things about the Underground’s success. While it is, at some level, a Christian teen outreach center, it seems to have limited its proselytizing to booking the occasional touring Christian band. Instead, the Underground’s focus is on providing a safe, comfortable place for kids, as well as an actual venue with professional lighting and sound. And its association with a church might have at least one strong advantage: parents might feel less wary about dropping their kids off there.

The Underground has crafted itself into a magnet site for a relatively disaffected subculture, for these are kids who probably don’t fit into the status quo, and I’d like to thank them for having the courage to do that much. Whether or not these kids fit in well at school (somehow I doubt it), they certainly fit in well at the Underground last weekend. Nice job all the way around. Visit for more info.

Only a masochistic songwriter would challenge him- or herself to write an entire album in a month. Local singer-songwriter Josh Schramm is just such a man. Not only that, but he’s managed to hook up with 119 other songwriters online through the February Album Writing Month Web site, the brainchild of musician Burr Settles and the Roman Candles’ Matt Hopper. The goal is that each songwriter writes (and records, if possible) 14 songs during the month of February, posting them on the Web site as they go. It’s an interesting site with a variety of good, weird and just plain awful songs. (Even the awful ones are great in a weird way.) Check it out and cheer Schramm on at

And finally, former Raigambre vocalist Sam Miranda has announced his new project: Sol Peligro. Fans will need to wait until April 24 to hear it live, when the band debuts at the Festival De La Familia at Cal Expo. In the meantime, check for more details and mp3s.