Arts DEVO is back in the U.S. and filling up his calendar



A very Devo Calendar:

• This weekend: Wild Mountain Faire Friday-Sunday, June 26-28. The 2009 edition of the live-music campout on the shores of Lake Concow comes one year after fires tore through that area. In addition to three days of live music (by Spark ’n’ Cinder, Pub Scouts, Mudcreek Kenny and dozens more), the faire will include a kids zone, a storyteller teepee, arts and crafts, puppet show and of course camping in the still lush Lake Concow Campground. Why not drive up the hill and contribute to what will be a fundraiser for fire victims and let them know that they haven’t been forgotten.

• Next week: Adopt-a-planter. The Downtown Chico Business Association is seeking a new batch of annual sponsors for the 43 large planters around downtown. Reserve your planter today and enhance the sensory experience of your fellow Chicoans. Call Nicole at 345-6500.

• The week after that: Beyoncé live in Sacramento Thursday, July 9. This one might be a stretch if you (like me) are not a fan of live dance-pop performed in unison with synchronized dancers wearing shiny costumes (though I would probably get movin’ to a hot version of “Crazy in Love”). But if you’re willing to go the extra miles to show your love for a home girl, Chico-bred dancer Ashley Everett, you should probably get tickets now. The Pleasant Valley High School and Chico Community Ballet alumna, who has been a dancer with Beyoncé for a few years now, will be on stage with the pop superstar when her “I Am …” world tour stops off at Arco Arena.

• Coming this fall: Artoberfest, beginning Sept. 26. Ever-busy arts maven Debra Lucero has the annual art month on her mind, and in anticipation, the Artoberfest Web site ( has been revamped. There are already highlights of some of the Artober events (Janice Porter’s planned Jtown, an interactive, multimedia installation going into the 1078 Gallery looks like its going to be rad), and the call is out to submit events to the site as well as for the official Artoberfest guide.

• And if I can save any money at all in the months ahead: I will put “Paris” on my calendar again. Yeah, I’m back, and yeah Île-de-France was all it’s cracked up to be. As Jonathan Richman sings it: “The home of Piaf and Chevalier / Must have done something right to get passion this way.”

For we two world-travel virgins, every block was a new world. We fell in love with the old churches, were overwhelmed as we walked by centuries of history in the Louvre and became increasingly blissed-out as we ignored a few big sites in favor of tiny adventures in neighborhoods throughout the city. Some of the highlights: many long walks, café au laits, nearly every morsel of food, Notre Dame, picnic on the Seine, the picture-perfect lower-end of craggy Rue Mouffetard, nighttime boat ride on the Seine, the lively Marais hood, seeing giant parties on the banks of the Seine, most of the Left Bank arrondissements, an outsider art show in Halle Saint Pierre, the super friendly and charming hoteliers at the perfect Hotel du College de France ( and overall sharing a 24/7 romantic adventure with Mrs. DEVO.

I didn’t end up sinking my teeth into any snails or organ meats (that I know of—that cassoulet did have some magical chunks I couldn’t readily identify), but I did sample a swath of the animal kingdom via several pâtés and terrines (and even one tortured duck liver). And thanks to the friendly suggestions at the corner fromagerie (Cremerie dès Carmes), I ingested an oozy goat cheese that cleared my sinuses, another cheese that was over 4 years old and still another hibernating within a fuzzy, blue hide.

The most surprising new thing in a trip that was filled with new things was the occasional feeling of fear. Sticking close to home definitely has made me a creature of habit, and it was actually invigorating to feel that bite from time to time and have to actually think about what my next move was going to be. So, with the big stuff out of the way, next time we will try and dig a little deeper, go off the map a little more and really test ourselves. And learn way more French.