The Times, Jay-Z, Tera Patrick and Jonathan Richman.

Josh and Muir in The Times.

Josh and Muir in The Times.

Chico, USA The national spotlight is gettin’ very bright around these parts during these dog days of summer:

1. The New York Times is calling: In the Sunday edition (Aug. 11), right there on the front page of the business section, is a lovely photo of the badass owners of Chico’s The Bookstore, Muir Hughes and her husband Josh Mills. The story (“To Stay Afloat, Bookstores Turn to Web Donors”) is about how independent bookstores, in order to stay open in the face of Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s increasing market dominance, have turned to crowdfunding. As most of you may already know, the local couple started an campaign to raise $35,000 to buy the used-book store from its previous owner and keep it from closing, which they successfully did last February, thanks to their generous and creative incentives (rare books, original art) and a passionate response from the beloved downtown shop’s loyal customers.

Your Concow hostess.

2. Jay-Z is calling: Jay-Z recently set up cameras at New York City’s Pace Gallery to film a six-hour performance of his song “Picasso Baby.” The world-famous rapper had gathered an impressive list of performance artists, actors, dancers, street artists and fashion designers (every one from actor Alan Cumming to Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso) to each individually witness his musical art installation and be filmed in the process. And, one of the participants who happened to make the cut for the final 11-minute video/performance-art piece/music documentary was Chico State Communication Design professor John Roussell (see him shakin’ his thang for a couple seconds at the 4:09 mark), who happened to be in New York filming a documentary and was invited by a relative to the video shoot.

3. Coming to Concow: Have you heard of Shinerfest, the Labor Day Weekend festival coming to Lake Concow Campground in Concow Aug. 30-31? It is an impressive lineup of constant live stimulation for the instant-gratification set, featuring music (former House of Pain MC Everlast, East Bay rapper E-40, outlaw country/hip-hop crew Moonshine Bandits, and more); tattoos + dancing (Ink Mafia and their sexy Mob Squad dancers); mechanical-bull riding (including a “bikini bull contest”); a fire performance by Torche; motorcycle jump demos by Metal Mulisha member Julian Dusseau; and acting as hostess for the proceedings, well-known former hardcore porn star Tera Patrick.

Even though it is deliciously tempting to be naughty and explore all the positions into which words like “Concow” and “Butte” can be twisted to satisfy my desire to unload multiple clever porn-film parodies that would undoubtedly bring so much pleasure to my readers, I will resist the temptation and just let your imaginations go wild.

4. Jonathan Sings! Even though there’s nothing new about there being another Jonathan Richman performance at Duffy’s Tavern, it’s nonetheless a big deal every time the former frontman of proto-punks The Modern Lovers and mysterious troubadour from the film There’s Something About Mary brings his songs of love, heartbreak and enjoying life to our little neck of the universe. See him again Sunday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $10.

Correction Last week, we mistakenly listed two different dates for Eva Blanshei’s upcoming burlesque show, Everybody in Outer Space Wants to Go to Japan. The correct date for Blanshei’s theatrical burlesque production (featuring live music by Bogg) is Sunday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m., at Chico Women’s Club. Tickets are $10 at the door.