2013 DEVO awards

2013 DEVO awards Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for Arts DEVO’s super, somewhat random, local arts-awards ceremony for all the stuff that tickled my personal art spot. The envelope, please …

Best ambassadors for Chico: The Beards! The doom-metal screamer and dread-headed farmer (Brandon Squyres and Adam Switzer, respectively) and their gloriously bearded mugs represented Chico admirably as contestants on the reality show The Amazing Race.

Best live music: Kinski at Café Coda (May 25); French Reform twice at Café Coda (Jan. 12 and during the CAMMIES); Lloyd Roby playing tuba-innovator Øystein Baadsvik’s “Fnugg” during Glorious Sounds of the Season at Chico State (Dec. 7); Paul Dresher and his invented instruments at the New Music Symposium at Chico State (March 1); and probably the best show I’ve seen in five years: Andrew Bird at Laxson Auditorium (Nov. 19).

Best things I looked at: Chico in Black & White at Chico Museum (John Nopel’s historic local-photo collection); Erin Wade’s environmental sculptures in Bidwell Park during her temporary Invasive Nature(s) exhibit; high-school student Katharine Sherman’s paintings and sculpture at 1078 Galley’s 2(D) for the Entire Gallery exhibit.

Best culinary developments: Fork in the Road food-truck rallies, and craft-beer bars (the Winchester Goose and the Handle Bar).

Best theater: God of Carnage at the Blue Room Theatre and the Pageant Dads’ presentation of their original musical The Loveseat Diaries at 1078 Gallery. Also in theater: I would’ve undoubtedly enjoyed Rogue Theatre’s The Weir (which got rave word-of-mouth reviews) and this year’s edition of The Butcher Shop had I been able to attend.

best Local music: Striking a personal chord this calendar year were French Reform (still my favorite local band), Electric Canyon Convergence, Michelin Embers, Bunnymilk, The Chrome, Surrogate (best local album, Post-heroic), Mandalyn May, Fera, The Persian Skirts, Butte Area Cypher Crew, She Fetus, Bran Crown, David Vallelunga—pastor of a thousand instruments (accordion, stand-up bass, ukulele) at Trinity United Methodist Church.

2013 milestones:

Birthdays: Chico Theater Co. turned 10; Dr. Becky Sagers, PhD, Chico’s wisecracking rap crew turned 20 (and celebrates at Duffy’s tonight, Dec. 26); the Open Studios Tour turned 25; and the Chico Women’s Club and Enloe Medical Center each turned 100!

Out of here: Dex (music venue); shows at Origami Recording Lounge; the original Burger Hut on Nord Ave.; Mary Gardner (city of Chico arts project coordinator laid off); Rob Blair (popular TV anchor let go); Kyle Pickett (North State Symphony conductor/director moves to the Midwest); Robert Speer (CN&R editor and co-founder retires); Artoberfest (city de-funds arts-marketing campaign); the trees.

New: Stephen Cummins (new Chico State University Public Events/ Chico Performances director), The Rendezvous, Idea Fabrication Labs, the Winchester Goose, Argus Bar & Patio, Fork in the Road, Melissa Daugherty (new CN&R editor).

Rest in Peace

Kathleen “Katie” Kelley: Bassist for Candy Apple, Shivaree.

Leon Gardea: Longtime Chico percussionist/saxophonist.

Peter Boyle: “Mustache Pete,” “Handlebar Pete,” whatever the nickname, he was a fixture at the old downtown Tower Books.

Floetta “Flo” Hamilton: Iconic downtown Chico character.

Stephen Moore: Owner of one-time downtown landmark Pegasus import/export shop.