This is your weekend on Mardi Gras

Photo by Jesse Vasquez

By Julianna Boggs

It’s Mardi Gras season, and while that may not mean much outside of New Orleans here in the Golden State, it should. It should matter because Mardi Gras is better than Christmas. It should matter because it is a holiday that ramps up for several weeks until the big day, consisting of drinking, running around the streets half naked, staying up too late, listening to excellent music, and wearing elaborate head-dresses. It is, in a word, untouchable. While we’ve still got some time until Fat Tuesday (which lands on March 4 this year) you can take matters into your own hands by not letting the parades pass you by.

While there are statutes of limitations that make Sacramento a little more uptight than NOLA (taking your drinks out of the bar in to-go cups? Hah! We can’t even buy single beers on the grid) you can retain some of the raucous spirit. 

To keep spirits high through the weekend, catch Dead Western (pictured above), the most excellent psych-folk in town, that’s usually costumed and ready to put on a captivating and darkly-humored show. This gig takes place Saturday, March 1; also performing will be Halfpence and Haypenny, a group that describes itself as an “Old World/Celtic/Medieval/Gypsy/Jug-Band.” Medicine Moon, a Santa Cruz neo-folk with a pension for drone, is also on the bill.  The show starts at 8 p.m. at Shine (1400 E Street)and costs $5

Also Saturday night you can head over to Luigi’s Fungarden (1050 20th Street) for a three-band bill featuring some of what the West Coast does best. Michael RJ Saalman has played under many monikers over the years including Afternoon Brother, Woman Year, and as one-third of Biosexual, but Saturday will find him performing his own tunes for the first time in two years, joined onstage by Molly Raney of Poppet, one of the best vocalists the Sacramento scene can boast these days. Also on the bill: PDX, the experimental pop group Aan, and Social Studies, a highly evolved pop five-piece from San Francisco that has been making a name for itself everywhere from SXSW and CMJ to Noise Pop and Outside Lands. That show starts at 8 p.m. and will run you $8.

So, don a mask, throw some beads to those who deserve them, and enjoy the vital sounds of live brass while we’ve got it.

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