Shark Jumping 2/26/19

courtesy of SNC Eagles Eye

Who Jumped the Shark? Music Review: Devil Makes Three, Jurassic 5, Matisyahu

FEBRUARY 20, 2014
by Drew Fisher

Lately, there’s been a few musical performances in the Lake Tahoe area that may or may not fit in to the “Jumped the Shark” category. First, let’s explain the term jumping the shark.

There was once a very prolific television show in the 70’s and 80’s called Happy Days. Happy Days featured a character named Fonzy, or The Fonz. The Fonz was a leather jacket wearing motorcycle riding tough guy that all the girls swooned over. The Fonz was so cool, that in the fifth season of the show, he literally jumped over a shark on water skis. However, the triumphant feat was received poorly by the Happy Days fan base. Viewers saw it as a cheesy gimmick, and Happy Days was never the same after that “jumping of the shark.” Now, the phrase is used to indicate the time when a television show, brand, or really any creative effort loses popularity dramatically.

So now, let’s apply the phrase to three musical acts that just passed through town. The Devil Makes Three, Jurassic 5 and Matisyahu.

The Devil Makes Three at Montbleu

The Devil Makes Three has been playing rowdy American music to eager crowds for over a decade. The three piece string band tours hard and fast, with their most recent campaign passing through South Lake Tahoe on Feb. 8. After hundreds of high energy, sold out concerts and exponentially increasing popularity, one might worry the DM3 is getting close to jumping the shark. Did Devil Makes Three jump the shark? No way.

A stand in fiddle player adds some extra heat to DM3's set.

A stand in fiddle player adds some extra heat to DM3′s set.

Before Devil Makes Three, a band called The Brothers Comatose opened the show with their own take on fun and rowdy American music. The Devil Makes Three presented themselves to a crowd that was more than ready and willing to have fun. With super charged versions of songs old and new, The Devil Makes Three delivered their signature concert experience. The band built momentum and never lost steam for the bootstompin’, beer tossin’, high fivin’ crowd. There was never much of a pause between songs, just artfully crafted transitions that linked up a streamlined set. In the end, a happy crowd walked away drenched in sweat and beer. Sure, the Devil Makes Three isn’t playing free shows at the Crystal Bay Club anymore like in 2010, but they still haven’t jumped the shark.

Jurassic 5 and Matisyahu at Squaw Valley

During President’s Weekend Jurassic 5 and Matisyahu played concerts that were free for passholders and ski-ticket buyers. Some say it was a friendly gesture to disappointed passholders, and some say it was a gimmick to get people to spend money in the village. Either way, the outdoor shows on Saturday and Sunday had a big turnout. I heard someone call Jurassic 5 “high school hip hop.” This was probably true for the majority of the crowd, who was stoked to relive the classic memories of those classic songs. Jurassic 5 delivered an epic show. The troupe of MCs took turns blasting on the mic with high energy. The stoke stayed high all the way through a triple encore. Jurassic 5 is celebrating their 20th year as a group of MC’s, and they have not jumped the shark. Poor Matisyahu, he had a tough act to follow.

J5 definitely did not jump the shark.

J5 definitely did not jump the shark.

Matisyahu’s clean shaven face was lazy and emotionless. There wasn’t much passion in his performance. Although the crowd was disappointed, they persevered to have fun. The front row was wild but solely for the sake of friendship and the outdoors. Or maybe the crowd was cheering for the two girls painting onstage. Either way it wasn’t for Matisyahu. Sorry man, you jumped the shark.


Raised in Sierra City, Ca where the Yuba River meets the Pacific Crest and the Sierra Buttes tower above an old gold mining town, population 225. Fisher studies Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Journalism at Sierra Nevada College.

Wednesday February 26, 2014

Aren’t we lucky, it’s raining. Should be raining the rest of the week, hopefully snow at the Yuba Pass. This weekend, the first Saturday in March, always the date of the Chili Cookoff, there will be weather. Whether it will be raining or snowing on the Pass makes no difference, Chili gets cooked, eaten, judged regardless of what Mother Nature brings. I’m hoping for snow, a lot more fun than getting soaked but it will be fun no matter what, so be there or be square. Remember no rules, your lemon cake would count as Chili if you call it Lemon Chili.

The Snow Ball in Downieville was a great success. Something about those dances where everyone gets to come, friends, partiers, kids, babies, Grammas and Grampas that demonstrate the cohesiveness and quality of life in a small town. Look for the pictures. Good job Jenny, Heather, Ali and all those great volunteers who make it happen, a wonderful fundraiser for the Downieville Schools Sports Program .

So, there is the local news, what’s going on, Cooter, Carol’s Books and Movies, Carrie’s Corner, DeVita’s Fringe, Jerusha, The Cats, The Others and of course are guest columnist, only one this week, Lawrence Wittner.

The photo this week was taken by Sandy Marshall at Sand Pond just last weekend, she shouldn’t even have been able to drive in there this time of year.. let’s hope this weather gets some snow back on the hills.

Snowball Was Fun 2/26/14

Sister Moll Organizers Jenny & Heather..

Sister Moll Snowball Dance Organizers Jenny Varn & Heather Foster..

The 2014 SnowBall Roaring 20’s Dance in Downieville raised $1,100 for the Downieville Schools Sports Program.

Mark with Mountain Event Productions out of Grass Valley provided the dance music

Mark with Mountain Event Productions out of
Grass Valley provided the dance music


Sheriff John and Haley with Karston, Duke and Ben at the Snowball in Downieville

Sheriff John and Haley with Karston, Duke and Ben at the Snowball in Downieville


Ali Rambo takes the tickets

Ali Rambo takes the tickets


Snacks galore

Snacks galore

Gangster Pals

Gangster Pals


Harold & Sarah Cantrell had a great time dancing.

Harold & Sarah Cantrell had a great time dancing.

Flappers Kathy Fischer, Cracker Eschleman and Patty Stringer try out the Charleston

Flappers Kathy Fischer, Cracker Eshleman and Patty Stringer try out the Charleston

Bailey waits for Prince Charming

Bailey waits for Prince Charming

Bryan Davey having fun at the dance

Gangster Bryan Davey having fun at the dance (He really was)

See Bryan smiles when he's with Mary.

See Bryan smiles when he’s with Mary.

Gangsta kids at the Ball

Gangsta kids at the Ball

Dan & Donna McNamara having fun

Dan & Donna McNamara having fun

Dan & Donna McNamara greet from the balcony

Dan & Donna McNamara greet from the balcony

A gangster and his moll at the dance having fun

A gangster and his moll, John Lunetta and Diane Holman at the dance having fun in Downieville their “home away from home”…

Nancy getting ready to dance

Nancy getting ready to dance

The Cats 2/26/14

Yes... Tom and I sleep together... what business is it of yours... he's single , I'm single we can sleep with whomever we please. You are in charge of the food other than that mind your own business...

2/26/14 Yes… Tom and I sleep together… what business is it of yours?… he’s single, I’m single we can sleep with whomever we please. You are in charge of the food and other than that … mind your own business…

The Others 2/26/14

I wonder if she's home... she has good treats... if what's her name goes to the bank I could sneak over and get some treats from her... she is so good to me... I wish I lived with her....

2/26/14 I wonder if She’s home… She has good treats… if what’s her name (I think I live with someone called Danielle) goes to the bank I could sneak over and get some treats from Her… She is so good to me… I wish I lived with Her….

Jerusha 2/26/14

Volume VI  #290

Dear Jerusha:Jerushaboys

Do you ever have trouble deciding what to write about? Sometimes when I write I can’t think of anything to say. That makes it difficult to write because if there is nothing to write about then you really don’t want to write. You probably know what I mean. Sometimes your column has letters from real nut cases and I wonder why you even try to answer them at all. The letters just don’t make any sense and yet somehow you respond with answers that make no sense either. That must be very difficult to do. Well that is about all for now. I will write again some time in the future.

Sincerely, Patrick Fisher

Dear Patrick,

I try to make sense out of my correspondence. I have to admit it isn’t that easy. I often feel frustrated but give it my best shot anyhow. What do you write? Are you published? You didn’t mention anything about your personal life like whether you are single or not. I am single and a writer. I also know a cat by the name of Patrick Fisher.

Sincerely, Jerusha

Mountain Messenger (real paper with ink) 2/26/14

Well, let’s talk about something different this week. I get tired always ragging on Don Russell the Editor of the Mountain Messenger. Even though his paper is read by star of stage and screen Dave Letterman, he does get tiresome now and then. I remember the good old days when he would call our esteemed Sheriff names like “Chickenpoop”, when he was pissed at some sheriff’s office action. Nowadays he barely reacts and is even known to ride to meetings with the former Sheriff now a County Supervisor. At any rate, I just wish Don would get mad and tick somebody off so he would be able to write coyotescat articles.

Chair Paul Roen asks former Sheriff Lee Adams how to handle Editor Don Russell

2/26/14 Sierra County Board of Supervisors Chair Paul Roen asks former Sheriff/now Supervisor Lee Adams how to handle Mountain Messenger Editor Don Russell.

Send anything you need published to Milly at  Of course you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Milly) or the machine. Keep jobs in Sierra County read the Mess.

For a subscription: send in as below or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Tell Don, you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect…..

mess subcrip


Fringe “Wash Our Brains” 2/26/14

The UN is planning to wash our brains; maybe it isn’t a bad idea.fringe logo

The New American, publication arm of the far right wing John Birch Society, is hyper “patriotic” in the old school sense (since the “patriot act” has pretty well boogered up the word for everyday use).  One of the things the Birchers fear most is loss of national sovereignty.  Though I’m not particularly right wing, I agree with Birchers on many subjects, and mistrust of the U.N. is one.  We have different reasons for our agreement, but we do generally agree on the UN.

However, in this week’s offering from the New American is a panic piece about a new UN push to enculturate, or re-socialize, or brain wash, people into accepting the new reality of our planet and the precarious position we are in.  In their article (link below), the New American’s European correspondent Alex Newman accurately describes  the elements of a recent UN document which, like the famous Agenda 21, addresses key issues which are leading to global environmental degradation.  I encourage you to read the original document,

The description includes key ideas: being “green”, which NA identifies as a “religion”; changes in patterns of consumption (meaning we get a lot less than we are used to); human rights (which left and right wingers alike agree should only apply to some humans); the distribution of wealth (socialism!);and a new awareness of our impact on the environment.

The New American folk are generally Christian.  They believe someone is in charge: He will step in if it is His will.  Meantime, He told us to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the Earth, and by golly that is what we’re doing.

If you don’t drink that particular flavor of koolaid, the situation is very different; it is terrifying to consider the collapse of humans as a species.  The less you believe in Creationism and the more you understand evolution, the more obvious it becomes that, yes, we could nearly disappear as a species, and no, it wouldn’t really take a long, long time.  With no grandpa in the sky, it seems we have to find a grandpa on Earth, in New York, to be precise, in the form of the United Nations.

I personally don’t believe in a grandpa in New York, either; I don’t believe the UN can or will save us.  Neglect that for a moment, and consider how the New American represents the world as we saw it 50 years ago, and the UN report reflects our current reality.

One of the biggest, and most revealing, complaints about the UN approach to Birchers is the egalitarian nature of the Beyond 2015 plan. From the NA article:

“Perhaps the most important transformative shift is towards a new spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and mutual accountability that must underpin the post-2015 agenda,” the report says. “This partnership should involve governments but also include others: people living in poverty, those with disabilities, women, civil society and indigenous and local communities, traditionally marginalised groups, multilateral institutions, local and national government, the business community, academia and private philanthropy.” In other words, everyone and everything.

The Beyond 2015 report directly addresses migration, noting that about one person in seven is a migrant, living part or all of the time in a place different from where they were born.  Migrants are a problem for New Americans; populations grow because people move through.  In the global society, migration will be a feature as long as travel is relatively cheap, and as long as there are large wealth differences between different places.

The NA article correctly realizes that all of the UN action items will result in less wealth for wealthy nations, more equally spread resources, a greater attention to global climate change, and  it wants all parties to have input, not simply the wealthy.

Indeed, the report picks out these elements for the focus of the plan:

1.  Leave no one behind (end extreme poverty)

2. Put sustainable development at the core (we should not use more resources than there are)

3.  Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth (redistribute opportunity)

4.  Build peaceful and effective, open and accountable institutions (non violence and responsible government)

5.  Forge a new global partnership (become aware of our common predicament)

The New American finds these elements to be the devil’s own work.  In contrast, I think it sounds like a gaggle of beauty contestants all listing their desires for world peace and an end to hunger.  In my view, the group of UN bigshots missed the problem by a mile.  There are far too many people.  No amount of jiggering the world and considering everyone’s feelings is going to make the difference.

And therein lies the agreement between the New Americans and I: the UN is simply not going to be able to pull this off, and I’ll refuse to give up my gas guzzling SUVs and steak so another billion people will be able to eat rice, and in the end, it’s all pointless anyway.  NA believes its pointless because its a global cabal trying to steal our stuff and we know better, and I think it’s pointless because it isn’t going to work.

The UN won’t actually be able to stem population growth; yes, developed nations already have fewer native births and their birth population is stable, but as population grows elsewhere there will still be over population because of migration.  The drafters of the report used three possible trajectories for the population: level off near 10; rise to 16; decline to 6 billion.  Other, more dire predictions propose the population will rise to 8 billion and then somewhat suddenly drop to 4 or 5 billion.  Still other estimates place the carrying capacity closer to 2 billion, if we want the environment to stabilize.  If we can level the population off at 8 or 10 billion people with everyone living meagerly, why not cap the population at 3 billion and let people live well.

I see the UN asking for far too little far too late.

Still, I realize that the UN is closer with their grandpa in New York than the New Americans with their grandpa in the sky.  If we are to continue as a species, we have to do a couple of important things right away.  One, the one the New Americans complained most about, is a change in the way we conceptualize the planet and our sisters and brothers on it.  .

This is a closed system, and we are rapidly depleting it.  The natural systems we rely on are changing, shifting out of that delicate equilibrium of weather and into something probably less hospitable.  If we push the carbon cycle too far, or deplete toothed fishes too far, or reduce atmospheric oxygen much more, it is possible the carrying capacity will, once again, drop to a few million humans.  The NA are oblivious to it; the UN recognizes the problem, but can’t bring itself to talk honestly about the implications.  There are too many voices, too many truth claims; they can’t tell the rich nations to stop using oil and metals, they can’t stop the poor nations from wanting what others have.  To speak honestly about our situation and the necessary changes would be to choose sides and consider dismantling capitalism.  Simply not going to happen, regardless the concerns of New American.

In the meantime, their half measures are going to bugger it up for everyone.  In a situation where some of the players feel their sacrifice is not efficiently used, they will defect.  I am joined in my doubt by ecologists and others who doubt a central government, even one as big as the UN, can efficiently, without corruption or bloodshed, transition us to what must be considered a global age.

Still, we have to do something, something sudden and drastic, and we have to think about things in a new way to get through it.  That root message the NA attempts to disarm is undeniable.  Unless we act as a species to dramatically reduce population in first and second world nations, reduce our use of petroleum. reduce populations every where to that which can be sustained by local production, allow natural systems to stabilize, we are in for trouble that makes past troubles seem minor.

The New American article is here:

Good luck!

Snow Ball for Johnsville 2/26/14

New post on

Snow Ball Set For March 15th: Support The Johnsville Ski Bowl

by Mark

Ui-o7Ba1SmujduUCdUnMOkHAbTREdx2XZCxce1XarEQ,ilZEmvY-5xxcbIvi7GryyNkse6io32lZ532K4LY5LEgOdds are pretty good that you have never heard of the Johnsville Ski Bowl, one hour north of Truckee, near Graeagle. That is, unless you read one of our many posts about the Lost Sierra Hoedown over the last year. In that case, you would know that the Johnsville Ski Bowl is the birthplace of lift served skiing in the United States. Miners in the area used ore carts to access the slopes at the turn of the century. Johnsville was also the location of the biggest ski races (aka snowshoe or longboard) races in the West.

Johnsville opened as a small local ski area in the mid 50’s and operated using a combination of rope towns and T-bars, mostly purchased from Squaw Valley. The resort closed a bit more than 10 years ago after becoming part of an unsuccessful real estate venture.

A number of groups in Plumas County have been working to bring the resort back into operation. It’s a complicated partnership that includes the California State Parks, the Plumas Ski Club, the Eastern Plumas Recreation District and the Nakoma Golf Resort. Last fall’s Lost Sierra Hoedown brought not only a good chunk of money, it also called attention to the project from all over California and Nevada.

We reported late last fall that the installation of the Mainline chair, purchased from Squaw Valley had begun. We’re happy to report this week that a groomer has been donated to the Johnsville Ski Bowl by the old Stover Mountain Ski Hill near Chester. The groomer was delivered last week and will undergo some maintenance and upgrades this summer at Nakoma.


The 21st annual Snow Ball is set for Saturday, March 15th at the Nakoma Lodge near Clio. The lodge was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and it is spectacular. The Snow Ball includes a dinner catered by the Nakoma Golf Resort and the Sardine Lake Lodge near Sierra City. Music will be presented by opener Bobcat Rob Armenti, who appeared as the lead singer for Theodore Lovely at the Hoedown, and Jellybread, a fusion of americana, soul and funk. Beer will be provided by the Brewing Lair (reason enough to go just based on that!) and the Eureka Peak Brewing Co. As one expects, there will be the usual combination of auctions, silent auctions and raffles.

More specific information is on the Snow Ball Facebook page. Tickets for the event are $35 and are available at Eventbrite. All proceeds from the event will go toward funding the re-opening of the Johnsville Ski Bowl. The target date for opening is still next season, with funding, volunteer labor and the cooperation of the snow gods all needed.

1622689_701927696494151_1491595834_n-1Snow is certainly an issue for the Ski Bowl this season, being the driest time in California in recorded history. The few storms we have had have produced rain at lower resorts, leaving most of the Ski Bowl with limited or no coverage. The biggest longboard races of the season (and likely the only this year) are scheduled for March 16th at the Ski Bowl, pending a reasonable accumulation of snow.

Planning for the second Lost Sierra Hoedown is also already underway. Mark your calendars now for  September 19-21, as the bands are starting to book. Word on the street is that we can already count on seeing Miner, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and Miner at this year’s hoedown.

While you may never plan to actually ski or ride at Johnsville, these small community owned resorts are likely to be the thing that keeps skiing and riding affordable for the masses. See you at the Snow Ball!

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