While Jason is away, Christine LaPado gets to play

<br> Sarah Myles Spencer

Sarah Myles Spencer

Jason’s in Paris Before he left, Jason Cassidy asked me if I’d write his column while he was gone. He said I could write whatever I wanted—I could even rant if that’s what I felt like doing. I thought about that. But the only thing I’d want to rant about is the fact that Jason’s in Paris and I’m not. Quel chien chanceux! (Look it up on Babel Fish.)

I love Paris. But, I’ve been there, and it’s only fair that Jason gets to see firsthand why the French capital has a reputation for being one of the most wonderful cities on the planet to visit. The pastries alone (croissants, madeleines, éclairs and mille-feuilles, just the tip of the patisserie iceberg in Paris) are enough to make you want to go there. I lo-o-ove mille-feuilles!

Oh, don’t get me started.

It also crossed my mind: Should I rename the column Arts Diva, or maybe Arts Deva? But the equivalents of “arts prima donna” or “arts deity” just seemed ridiculous. Arts Devo it remains.

Some seriously soulful music this weekend

• Laydibluez, the duo of one of my favorite Chico chanteuses, Sarah Myles Spencer (Sarah’s son, 7-year-old rapper Zyrei Spencer, was featured in last week’s “Fifteen Minutes” column), and pianist extraordinaire Grant Levin, plays this Saturday, June 20, 8-10:30 p.m., at the downtown Has Beans. Grant backs up Sarah on a lot of R&B-influenced Spencer originals, and some jazz standards, such as “At Last” and “My Funny Valentine.” If you haven’t heard Sarah sing (or Grant play the piano), you should. And if you have, you know what I’m talking about.

• Karen Joy Brown and the Bona Fides—featuring another of my favorite local singers, and Chris Wenger on guitar and yours truly on upright bass—will be playing Saturday night at Flo’s from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. KJB’s got new tunes, and her cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” rocks. June 20 is actually Café Flo’s all-day grand re-opening party (the café opens at 9 a.m.) with lots of local music and the launching of their new menu.

Speaking of grand openings Saturday, June 20, 1-4 p.m., is the grand opening of local painter Waif Mullins’ new gallery and art studio, Waif Mullins Gallery, at 3114 Silverbell Road, in Chico. Refreshments and a collection of Mullins’ still life and travel paintings will be on hand as part of the fun.

Speaking of painters One of my favorite painters in the world, Caitlin Schwerin, who is about to move up to Portland, Ore., is having “Caitlin’s Last Studio Show in Chico/Durham” June 28, at her house at 9199 Goodspeed St., #10, in Durham from noon to 6 p.m. “All works—large and small—will be on sale.” Contact Caitlin at 624-1746;

Artists needed KZFR programmer Peter Ratner is putting out the word that, in anticipation of KZFR moving into its new studio, the radio station is looking for local artists to donate artwork to decorate its “green room.” Pieces no more than 30 inches high with the theme of community or community radio are requested. Contact Peter at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,112,101,116,101,114,46,114,97,116,110,101,114,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,34,62,112,101,116,101,114,46,114,97,116,110,101,114,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>.

Thespians needed The Blue Room’s “extreme theater” Late Nite Summer Series is looking for actors, sound/lighting people, stage managers, writers and directors, according to Late Nite kingpin Craig Blamer. Contact Blamer: <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,98,108,97,109,101,114,64,98,108,117,101,114,111,111,109,116,104,101,97,116,114,101,46,99,111,109,34,62,98,108,97,109,101,114,64,98,108,117,101,114,111,111,109,116,104,101,97,116,114,101,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>.

Did you know … that Chico is one of the towns in the new Ten Speed Press book, Large Art in Small Places: Discovering the California Mural Towns, by Bay Area/Arizona art writer Kevin Bruce? Yep—local muralist Scott Teeple’s name (and work) is all over it.

Finally, an official, arts-community welcome to Saya Lina Mattman, who was born May 22 to my dear friend, local jazz pianist Shigemi Minetaka, and her husband, Thomas Mattman. Saya was born exactly on her due date. “Right on time,” observed Beans N’ Rice Experiment trumpeter Tom Molina. “She’s gonna be a drummer.”