The daylight in the evening hours is now only going to get shorter, the World Cup is done, the Fourth of July fireworks have already left their atmospheric smoke trails, and this week is Major League Baseball’s All-Star Break (also known as the “mid-summer classic”).
This is usually the point where the “oh %&$#, summer is half over!” panic usually starts to set in.
That feeling of the smell of freshly cut grass and the joys of wearing shorts at night quickly slipping away is probably compounded this year by the fact that we got such a late start to our summer weather, with the warm temps hiding themselves like a BP executive on the lower deck of his yacht.
So, that got me thinking about just some of the events for the second half of the Summer of ‘10 still locked and loaded on the local calendar, perhaps as the antidote for those mid-summer blues.
Drop an orange in your Blue Moon and flip down your shades – let’s do this!
State Fair – You don’t need my help with this one, but it does come earlier this year, FYI
Concert in the Park – With no disrespect to great showings from the likes of Izabella and Mike Farrell in recent weeks, the free CIP series has saved the best for last, with a singer-songwriter showcase featuring Kate Gaffney and Autumn Sky (July 16), a cream-of-the-crop local rock show with throwback rockers Lite Brite and Prieta (July 23), and a firecracker of a finale featuring pop rock/diet punk wunderkinds the Brodys and their off-the-wall ‘80s medley (August 13). 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays through August 13. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 10th and J St. Free. www.downtownsac.org.
Admiral Radley – A new name with familiar faces; specifically, Jason Lytle and Aaron Burtch from famed Modesto indie rockers Grandaddy, along with Ariana Murray and Aaron Espinoza of the equally beloved Earlimart. Grandaddy was perhaps Modesto most prized musical export, and along with Stockton’s Pavement left an indelible mark on the family tree of indie rock. AdRad picks up in much the same place that Grandaddy left off, with quirky, frisky atmospheric tunes devoted to the likes of California, good wine, fries, old men and the sea, and plenty of other off-kilter topics that make them a delightfully imaginative new outfit. For the true fans, also keep your eyes out for a barn show in Escalon later in July (yes, you read that right). With Jared Dreams and Sea of Bees. 9 p.m. July 16. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd. $10. www.myspace.com/bluelamp.
Steve Miller Band – Perhaps lost in the age-old popularity of Stevie “Guitar” Miller is how talented he actually is with that six-string paintbrush that he so freely wields, and what a bluesman-at-heart he really is. “Fly Like an Eagle,” “The Joker” and his myriad of other hits tended to camouflage the deep southern blues roots that he rediscovers on “Bingo,” the first new studio album in 17 years and swan song of the late Norton Buffalo, Miller’s sidekick since the 1960’s. Expect to see a grittier, bluesier Miller at this performance (but it should still feature all the faves). 7 p.m. July 17. Raley Field, West Sacramento. $17-$56. www.ticketmaster.com.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Raise your hand if you bought a zoot suit or some two-tone dancing shoes back in the swing craze of the late ‘90s? Keep your hands raised if you miss the days when seemingly every band had a horn section. Raise your other hand if you had no idea that these guys were actually still around, partying it up ‘20s style with hits like “Go Daddy-O” and “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight.” Order up a sloe gin fizz and pretend you know how do the Charleston! July 30. Marilyn’s on K, 908 K St. $27 adv/$32 d.o.s. www.marilynsonk.com.
Fruit Bats with These United States – One of the coolest double bills of the summer lands in Davis with a couple of psychedelica-infused outfits, one of them a rowdy breed of acoustic-electric and frisky Americana (Fruit Bats), and the other quirky and at times grungy guitar-driven indie party rock (These United States) reminiscent of groups like Dinosaur Jr. and Meat Puppets. Both will make fans of Neil Young and Wilco feel a little warm and tingly inside. Check out the rest of a great weekly lineup of patio shows at this cozy little gem of a venue. 8 p.m. July 30. Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St., Davis. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com. Check out Fruit Bats and These United States sessions on Daytrotter.
Aaron Beaumont – We need more piano men these days (ones that don’t charge you $300 to see them in Vegas), and Aaron Beaumont is happy to step in. This enigmatic young performer is a total throwback, dipping into the kind of ragtime flavor we usually see only at the Jazz Festival, but glossing it over with a laudable pop sensibility and alluringly affable nature; shades of Elliott Smith and the Beatles run strong with the creative flair of Tom Waits (if someone swept the gravel and paved the dusty road). You’ve got two chances to catch him here in town along with prized local songstress Shannon Curtis; 11 a.m. August 5 at Fremont Park, 16th and P St. at the free Hot Lunch concert series; 9 p.m. August 6, Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St. $7. www.theoldironsides.com.
Beach Boys Tribute Show – If you read this space, you’ve already heard me implore this: Don’t miss a Jerry Perry tribute show. The local promoter has a history of putting together Sacto’s best band for crackerjack cover shows for artists from Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash to David Bowie to the Beatles, and this time, he’s after the original safari surfin’ outfit that changed the face of rock and roll. Scheduled to perform their favorite B.B. hits are Aaron King & The Imperials, Baby Grand, David Houston, Dog Party, Life in 24 Frames, Jem & Scout, Saucer and more to be announced. 8 p.m. August 7. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St. $TBA. www.theoldironsides.com.
Oleander – Yep, it’s for real. Somewhat anonymous between the Deftones, Cake and Papa Roach’s breakouts from our local scene in the 90’s, there too was Oleander, who slid into the decade’s alt-rock heyday (along with the likes of Collective Soul and Live) with their bust-out 1999 single “Why I’m Here” and enjoyed a brief period of mainstream success before disbanding in 2004. Rumors have been swirling about new material and concert dates for some time, but their triumphant return to Sactown is official, and it’s happening right in the heart of downtown. 8 p.m. August 21. Venue (formerly Empire), 1417 R St. $15. www.boardwalkrocks.com.
California Brewer’s Festival – Sadly, this date will be easy to remember (9/11), but what better way to mark the final single-digit anniversary of one of our nation’s great tragedies than to not dwell on the heartache, but to lift a few (dozen) samplings of ale in celebration. Contrary to Miller’s Park’s West Coast Brew Fest’s brazenly celebratory nature, Disco Park’s annual event is usually geared a little more towards actually sampling the beers from over 60 breweries from California and beyond; but that’s not to say that the usual good times and hopped-up shenanigans won’t ensue at Sacramento’s own Fall Classic. Here’s an insider tip: Fan out and find the stations that aren’t quite as stringent about taking a token for each pour, your day will last longer. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 11. Discovery Park. $25. www.calbrewfest.com.
Tea Leaf Green – Gotta love a band that holds whiffle ball tournaments with fans while hanging out at music festivals like High Sierra (I’m not making that up). San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green are hardly the household name of Phish or Widespread Panic, or even OAR or Gov’t Mule, but they’ve become a staple of improvisational jam rock over the last decade-plus, and have become one of California’s most accessible outfits for kickin’ up your heels at cozy venues and festival stages. They’ll throw you some wicked curve balls; both with guitars and with vacuous plastic balls! Up and coming Americana powder keg Truth & Salvage Co. opens the show; you may remember them as support for the Avett Brothers at the Crest back in April. 8 p.m. Sept. 28. Harlow’s, 2708 J St. $15. www.harlows.com. Check out Truth & Salvage Co. on Daytrotter.