Time to cut red tape for music venues

Sacramento Music Scene Complaint No. 1 is that the city is too restrictive when it comes to permitting live-music venues. Mayor K.J. wants a City of Festivals. He wants a vibrant night life where arts and music collide in a whirl of ultra lounges, indie darlings and Downtown James Brown.

But what he has instead is a City of Red Tape.

And so I cried a lone tear last week when a friend, who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, e-mailed me a story from that city’s weekly rag with the headline: “City of Vancouver Votes to Reduce Red Tape for Live Performance Venues.”

Basically, Vancouver conducted a review of its live-music venues in 2009, after years of complaints that liquor policies were negatively impacting the local music scene (read: Cops were busting unregistered venues and one-off shows).

So the Vancouver City Council is revising its liquor and live-music policies to allow 18-and-over kids to attend shows and streamline permitting for special events.

If the damned Canadians say the gigs are all right, then we should, too.

Compiled from Sound advice.

Kings of woe

The hits just keep coming. Forbes just listed Sacramento as one of the most miserable cities in the country—thanks in part to the poor play of the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings barely have won one in four games over the past two seasons, contributing to the area’s diminished quality of life, Forbes says. Other factors include high foreclosure rates, double-digit unemployment and high state taxes for the middle class.

Forbes looked at the largest 200 metro areas nationally. Stockton was named the most miserable city, thanks to nearly 15 percent unemployment and, of course, foreclosures. Miami, of all places, was second, with Forbes writing: “The sun and lack of a state income tax are the only things keeping Miami out of the top spot.”

Sac’s Convention and Visitors Bureau should take note. Possible slogan: “Better than Miami and we don’t even have beaches (just a mermaid bar).” Suck on that, LeBron James.

Also hating it: Merced (64 percent drop in housing prices), Modesto (want to get your car stolen, go there), Fresno (16 percent unemployment), and Bakersfield (enough said). Overall, California clocked in with eight of the 20 most miserable cities, including Vallejo just down the road. A lot of fruit in this agricultural heartland dying on the vine, so it seems.

Compiled from Purple Drank.