The falafel factor

Dang! Where’s a venture capitalist when you need one?

Now, there just aren’t a lot of Middle Eastern-food joints in Gridland (i.e., downtown and Midtown; and yes, there is the excellent Juliana’s Kitchen, at 1401 G Street). But given the recent unintentional endorsement of this tasty and nutritious cuisine by none other than Fox News star Bill O’Reilly, we figured a rollout of Middle Eastern-themed fast-food franchises—we were figuring on calling them “The Falafel Factor”—might be a ticket to untold riches, or at least a quick buck or two. Patrons would choose from a limited but delicious menu of falafel, tabbouleh and mujadara, while some of this area’s better varietals would be administered intravenously; no cheapo box wines at the Factor, no siree. Loofah massages would be offered for an additional but nominal charge.

Alas, startup capital was not to be found. But we have noticed that a cottage industry has sprung up across America in the past year, one that’s expressly dedicated to defeating President George W. Bush in the November 2 election. Some of the items generated—clothing, music and books—will be dated come November 3, ready to be filed away until they can be unloaded on eBay in 10 or 20 years as period kitsch. But other items, like the local-music compilation The Peasants Are Revolting—Sacramento Bands Against Bush, will have lasting value.

The CD, packaged in an oversized DVD case, is a bargain: 15 bands for $5, with proceeds going to The bands included—Knock Knock, Baby Grand, Rock the Light, Th’ Losin Streaks, Bright Ideas, Army of Trees, the Jay & Joel Show, the Readymades, the Lousy Bums, Frenchmen, Sunshine Smile, the Bananas, Black Dahlias, the Knightmares and the Four Eyes—represent that part of Sacramento’s indie-rock community, let’s call it the StateNet aesthetic, that typically doesn’t turn up on any Entercom-owned radio station’s local-band compilations.

No, none of these bands will be courted or signed to a major label anytime soon, and that’s a really good thing. The music runs from the pop of Frenchmen, Baby Grand and Knock Knock to over-the-top inebriated noise from the Readymades, the Lousy Bums (Ed Hunter is God, by the way) and others. Somewhere in between are some top-notch tracks from Th’ Losin Streaks, Army of Trees, Black Dahlias and more. Even if you’re a die-hard Bush Republican, if you’re an indie-rock fan and you can stomach giving five bucks to MoveOn, just download these tracks to your iPod and lose the package.

You can buy The Peasants Are Revolting at The Book Collector, at 1008 24th Street; additional retail outlets may be posted at