The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Taking it to the streets

Photo by || Tyler Thomas || [email protected]

Ascending the escalators from the garage below the Westfield Plaza, the smell of caramel-coated popcorn rules the air as a faint sound of beating bongo drums and melodic acoustic guitar sets a new tone at the Shopping Center.

Since November 2010, Downtown Plaza shoppers have had an opportunity to connect with the local music scene at a new store with a fresh idea,

Last November, City College graduate Bryan Nichols opened, a store he hopes will open new doors for local Sacramento musicians.

Named after Nichols’ band, ZuhG, the store aims to bring art, music and a social scene to its Downtown Plaza location, upstairs near the food court. The word “zuhg” means “to do something different, to be unlike others.”

“ is unlike any other store,” Nichols says. “We offer the largest selection of local music anywhere in Sacramento.”

Nichols opened with financial help from his grandfather and girlfriend.

“But I have kept costs pretty low considering what most people spend when they open a business,” Nichols says.
The store books any local musician who wants to come out and play, ranging from live DJs to solo ukulele to jazz from The Reggie Graham Project.

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“He has figured out a way to market himself,” Graham says. “He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He’s a likable guy and he’s got that kind of glow where people like to work with him.”

Graham is one of many musicians booked by to play on Downtown Plaza’s upstairs stage.

Bassist for ZuhG, Jake Gleason, has played a solo ukulele show in addition to his stage time with ZuhG.

“I think it’s pretty great because I get to come out and play here too,” says Gleason.

The store offers an opportunity for any local artist or musician to get exposure. Bands are encouraged to bring their music to where they can sell their CDs under commission and book an hour-long live set.

“We are promoting ourselves, but at the same time we’re promoting all these other people and giving all these other people a chance to get their [music] out,” says Charlie Wheeler, the beat-boxer, or “mouth situation” for ZuhG.

The store has been successful thus far and its popularity continues to rise among local musicians. It offers private lessons for beginners or musicians wishing to hone their musical talents. It sells a wide variety of CDs by local bands and brings live music to the Downtown Plaza every Friday 4–8 p.m, Saturday noon–5 p.m. and Sunday 2–3 p.m.

For more information, call (916)822-5185.

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