A few local anniversaries and an occasion to get weird

<i>Back to the Grotto</i>, at the Blue Room (1994).

Back to the Grotto, at the Blue Room (1994).

Another year of anniversaries
Flipping through the CN&R archives last week, I came upon a Jan. 15, 2004, interview with Avenue 9 Gallery founders Maria Phillips and Dolores Mitchell on the eve of the opening of their first exhibit—Openings—and it dawned on me that that was 10 years ago this week. And it turns out the gallery is celebrating with the 10 Years: P.S. We Love You group exhibit. Opening reception/party on Feb. 7.

And there are two other local institutions celebrating twice as many years as Avenue 9 in the coming year. The Blue Room Theatre kicks off its 20th season of black-box theater with a collaboration with the Rogue Theatre folks on David Ives’ sexy, dark comedy, Venus in Fur, opening Jan. 16. And the Synthesis (the Synthesis!) is turning 20 as well. I’ve had many interactions over the years with the little newspaper that was born in founder Bill Fishkin’s apartment in 1994, but I am going to repress my usual snarky instincts and just say, “Congratulations!” and also share my personal favorite Synthesis memory: I believe it was during the paper’s maiden year that a one-time band I was in—Pep Rally—was scheduled to be featured in the Syn. When the interviewer—the lovely Anita Ingrao (now a documentary filmmaker and a tireless docent at the Chico Community Observatory)—showed up at my apartment, she came bearing a six-pack of Sierra Nevada and a bag of Doritos! I don’t remember how the story turned out, but I’ll never forget that interview and that rad reporter. Seriously badass.

All the weird talent is coming out.

Still time to get weird
Hey there, Freako! Today (Jan. 9) is the last day to send your submissions for the CN&R’s inaugural Keep Chico Weird Talent Show. We have a ton of great acts in line already, but you can still make the list of potential performers. Send us a description of your three-minute act (plus any photos, videos or links, if you have ’em) to right now. Visual artists are invited to take part as well—works will be shown at an art gallery in the lobby during the show (and we’ll probably let visual-art submissions trickle in past deadline, but space is limited).

We’ve also announced our featured performers and judges for the night! Joining the fashion freaks of Chikoko will be Chico’s lone purveyors of Western skiffle, the Michelin Embers (and we’ll probably announce one more soon—a theatrical act). Our eclectic selection of judges will include Amarok/Cold Blue Mountain frontman—and one half of The Beards from The Amazing RaceBrandon Squyres; KNVN/KHSL’s Megan McMann, co-host of Wake Up! Action News; and Dragonboy local artist, musician and director of Manas Artspace.

And, yours truly will be hosting the proceedings with assistance from the impossibly handsome DJ-Crew, the iPhone DJ.

And last, in case you didn’t already notice, we switched the date of the show! It is now on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m., at the El Rey Theatre—so dance your brains out at the New Wave Prom the night before (Jan. 31, at the Chico Women’s Club) and join us the following evening as we celebrate weirdness of all stripes and the spirit of individualism in the face of mass homogenization.

A programming note
The season of the reality show Alaska Fish Wars that stars Chico salmon fisherman Lance Alldrin—of Alldrin & Sons Alaska Salmon—and his son Luke is now airing Mondays, at 7 p.m., on Nat Geo Wild.