1:37 a.m., April 9, 2001

Tell me your best (or worst) NXN2001 story at DNA@shocking.com
What can I say, Chico? You came out in force and made NXN2001 the largest music, film and art festival in Northern California and the coolest festival in the world! It’s early Monday morning, and I just wrapped up the closing ceremony of NXN with a Boat Drags extravaganza containing 20 local Chico bands and one Red Bluff band. Imagine my surprise when I caught The Durham Rockers and found myself witness to a true musical epiphany. Utilizing the full stage of the Senator Theater, the band provided a complex sound with a visual awareness. Much credit must be given to Jason Cassidy for brainstorming such a great show.

Not to dip into the spiritual well here, but this year’s NXN was nothing short of a miracle, providing our city with a rare cultural exchange. The dozens of volunteers at the Senator Theater, working 14-hour days sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and scrapping crap, should all be canonized into the Hall of Saints. Until you have seen six guys with belts full of tools working till 4 a.m. (fueled by a wheelbarrow full of Budweiser), then coming back at 6 a.m. to work till 7 p.m., so that we could have our grand opening, well, you ain’t seen community spirit in action.

Speaking of the Senator, the opening was a star-studded event. City Council members hobnobbed with lawyers, artists, rock stars and us ordinary folk. Duffy’s catering provided the beer, and local pickin’ fools Wood laid down the festive vibe. Duffy’s returned on Saturday night for the Mother Hips, and that night the lounge got countrified with new band, Anderson Shields.

A late-night rap session with Empty Mind provided this newsworthy tidbit: Empty Mind has found national distribution on his upcoming debut solo album entitled Thoughts of an Empty Mind, on 420-EMI. The street date is April 24, and word is that the song “Do Something” is going to be a crossover hit. If that weren’t enough, his performance as MC of the NXN Hip-Hop night at Mr. Lucky was “tight.”

God, I could go on, but even my cats are saying to finally get some sleep. Again, thank you so much for reaffirming my belief in the Chico community. You are a big part of the reason I do what I do.