M is for Marilyn’s

Marilyn’s on K
K Street


Sacramento’s live music scene has had a bumpy ride over the past decade. The Increasing popularity of cover bands and DJs combined with tough noise and liquor restrictions have made the road to citywide local celebrity a tough one for many a local garage band.

Though not easy at times, Marilyn’s has stood strong as an oasis for for Sacramento’s music lovers. A few years back, they even went through the trouble of moving 3 blocks down the street from their old location.

Marilyn’s brings us great local bands from Sacramento and beyond plus the occasional grunge rock party. Local favorite, Jackie Greene, earned his name playing at there and any establishment where I can semi-regularly go see the Mother Hips will always be high on my list.

Marilyn’s is also big enough to host many modestly popular national acts. On Feb 16th, I attended the Todd Snider show. For those who don’t know Snider, he’s found himself a niche playing the kind of folky music that your parents probably listen too.  In fact, your parents might have been there. That is, if your parents are old hippies who get a little over excited if they stay out past 8pm. There were lots of oldsters actin’ all crazy when I was there.


I’m no spring chicken, but I was definitely one of the youngest people in the crowd. Also, I was one of the best dancers…because I wasn’t dancing. What is it that makes a 60 year-old think they can rule the dancefloor? Especially to humorous, bluesy folk music that is nearly impossible to dance to in the first place? The answer: Bud Light and lots of it.

This one lady behind me was really groovin’ on Todd’s sound. She had this dance where she shook her arms low then shook her arms high. Then, for extra emphasis, she would occasionally point at the stage with both hands and yell “Todd F***ing Snider, man.” Basically she was a poorly thought out stereotype in stoner movie.

Another crowd stand-out was a guy that looked exactly like Kevin Smith only like 30 years older. He had the crappy black jacket, the backwards ballcap and the long dark hair. Only his hair was all frizzy and old. This guy’s claim to fame was forcing his way through the crowd inadvertently dipping his corpse-hair into other people’s beers. No thanks, chief.

I’m not sure how this ended up being Todd Snider’s crowd. He seems like such a decent, funny guy and he’s not nearly as old as the majority of the crowd, but whatever. The tunes were good, the beer was cold and most of the old-timers were cool. Who was I to harsh their mellow?

However, this is not the normal Marilyn’s crowd. Clearly, the crowd depends on who’s playing. Check out their calendar and choose your scene.

If you like drinking and rock and/or roll Marilyn’s needs to be on your list. Just remember that it’s 3 blocks away from where it used to be or else you’ll end up at Ella’s dropping a lot of money on a nice dinner and wondering why the band isn’t coming out. Rock stars, man.

* Live Music like almost every night…if not every night.
* Good bartenders
* Something cool happening on K Street (a rarity, sadly)
* They let you bring in your own food as long as you buy their drinks.

* Cover charges range from free to like $20.
* Domestic beers are $3. Cocktails are reasonable.

Like I said, it varies by who’s playing when you go. Some nights you’ll get artsy young hipsters, other nights you’ll be partyin’ hippie style like I did.