Arts DEVO is 40 years old

<br> Hot rockin’ summertime!

Hot rockin’ summertime!

There’s still time While Chico is still in super slo-mo, under the surface, the summer as we know it is quickening. You have two weeks until Chico State starts, and less time than that till you will be waiting in a line for your draft beer. It is townie time, don’t waste it!

Some of your local arts providers know this, and they have a full schedule of funness for enjoying your waning freeness:

• 1078 Gallery: Robert Bubp closing-night reception/artist talk (Sat., Aug. 8, 5-7 p.m.); Summer Reading Series: August Moon, with Paul Eggers, Jim Dwyer, Tom Gascoyne & more (Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.); 1078 Film Festival 2009 (Aug. 14-16, see Scene, p. 28).

• Café Coda: Five shows, 16 bands. A sampling: MaMuse (Aug. 6), Team Shark Week (Aug. 7), La Fin du Monde & Zach Zeller (Aug. 8), Birds of Fire & Blue Cranes (Aug. 13), Pat Hull (Aug. 15).

• Community theaters: Bat out of Hell: The Meatloaf Experience (Blue Room Friday-Saturday, Aug. 7-8, 9 p.m.); Angry Housewives (Chico Cabaret Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., through Sept. 5); The Spitfire Grill (Chico Theater Co. Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., through Aug. 8).

Death to techno There’s also still enough summertime left for a little more “me” blather—like how there’s some music being made that I don’t like. It’s true. And I’m going to write it down because I know you wanna know: Electronic Dance Music has officially pushed ahead of Jam Rock to take over the top spot on my list of musics most likely to make me strap a long-range rifle to my back and seek out tall buildings and crowded squares.

I guess if I stayed up way later than I already do, and needed to constantly be moving while doing so, I might feel different. But when I’m just regular-stayin’-awake-late, hunched over the Internet, parachuting into all the cool-kid scenes in search of some newness for my summer jam mix, the now ubiquitous disco thump is as irritating as an all-night, front-porch bongo circle. Whether the dance music is of the Intelligent variety (Golden Panda), or of the House sort (John Talabot, Delorean) or it’s just piggy-backing on the rock (The Big Pink), it’s impressive how completely the cool kids (Pitchfork, et al.) have drunk up this Kool Aid. With the unlimited choices computers bring to music-making, it’s hard to understand how a fan of music, especially a music writer who is exposed to plenty of variety, would be satisfied with music that limited itself to the pre-purposed, long-form, disco-club pattern.

<br /> Thurston Moore: Sonic Youth

Sonic Death I am, as usual, the biggest hyprocrite. I am not any sort of groove-junky, but when it comes to subjecting myself to prolonged bouts of skull-splitting distortion and sustained feedback, I’m as much of a drone as any Deadhead, blues jammer or raver. It’s true. As much as I bag on others’ jamming, I am a huge fan of the noise jam—from the Velvet Underground’s art experiments to the de-tuned spectacle of Sonic Youth. Even a shitty garage band can win me over if they end their set humping their amps with their guitars, making everyone plug their ears.

I once told one of my oldest friends that the day I can’t listen to Sonic Youth make noise is the day that I am officially an old man. This past weekend, on the eve of my 40th birthday, that friend treated me to the latest in a long history of regular pilgrimages to see our favorite band live. Watching the Youth cut loose on the stage of Oakland’s Fox Theatre, with its Renaldo/Gordon/Moore core all in their 50s now, it occurred to me that frolicking in the noise fountain might not be perceived as young a thing to do as I thought it would be at this juncture. Like the adherents of other genres of jamming, I’m still just digging on the same stuff that turned me on decades ago, for better or worse.