Talkin’ favorite albums and crowdfunding Chico’s soul.

At No. 8, <i>The Modern Lovers</i>.

At No. 8, The Modern Lovers.

What’s your favorite album?
I made a list of my 100 favorite albums this past weekend. This was not an exercise in objective music criticism with the aim of compiling the very “best” albums—this was the entirely subjective selection of a list of albums that did something for me at some point in my life and still resonate today (I may have worn out that Pac-Man Fever cassette in 1982, but if I heard “Do the Donkey Kong” today, someone might get hurt).

Like many people, over the past decade I’ve shifted to purchasing (or otherwise acquiring) most of my music via digital downloads and listening to mixes of multiple artists instead of taking in one album by one artist at a time. And this exercise of turning away from iTunes and dirtying my fingers as I thumbed through the dusty CDs and vinyl records that make up my life’s soundtrack was very satisfying (and it made me realize I need to return more often with new artifacts for the archives). I highly recommend everyone makes a list—however big—of their own (and shares it with me).

Power to the people’s tower!

I’m not going to waste too much ink rehashing mine. I will say that my No. 1 is the quintessential indie-rock album, Pavement’s debut full-length Slanted and Enchanted, and No. 100 is Andrew W.K.’s caveman party-rock classic I Get Wet, and those bookends should tell you much of what you need to know about me and my tastes.

There were a lot of interesting (and some surprising) themes that surfaced along the way: I picked nearly as much classic rock (Aerosmith, Creedence, Queen, etc.) as I did indie rock (Archers of Loaf, Modest Mouse, Butterglory, etc.); six Redding and/or Chico bands are represented (Deathstar, 28th Day, Vomit Launch, Case for Radio, Downsiders and Mid-Fi); there are 100 albums I’d rather listen to than any Rolling Stones or Beatles album (I didn’t say my choices were better, just that I’d put them on first—calm down); more than a few artists made their biggest marks via greatest hits or other collections (Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, The Cure, etc.); and, somehow, there is a handful of very important albums from my life that I don’t currently own, including PixiesDoolittle! I’ve posted the whole lot on Arts DEVO’s Facebook page for the curious.

Saving Chico’s soul
All right, friends and neighbors. You put your money where your heart was and helped to save the Pageant Theatre and The Bookstore via their funding campaigns last year. But the with the new year comes new needs to be met in the quest to preserve the character of our little city. First, Chico Museum’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $10,000 to be used toward its permanent exhibit on the local Mechoopda tribe has stalled at less than $2,000 with only a couple of weeks left before the Jan. 31 deadline. Visit and search “Mechoopda” to donate and help the museum meet its goal.

Second, KZFR Community Radio 90.1 FM, Chico’s eclectic “people-powered” station, is losing broadcasting power thanks to a transmitter that has nearly reached the end of its lifespan. The cost to buy and install a new one is $40,000, and the station is holding a series of benefit concerts and starting a crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to meet the $40K goal. The Power to the Tower Concert Series will feature three shows at the Chico Women’s Club over the next couple of months: S.F.’s Midnight North with Sacramento’s Walking Spanish (Feb. 1); a Mardi Gras Party with Bahapki (Feb. 28); and Commander Cody (March 8). Visit for info on shows and to link to the Indiegogo campaign that will run Jan. 16-March 1.

If we don’t preserve these critical institutions, no one will. And Chico will become more bland, character-free and indistinguishable from all the other soulless dumps if we don’t act now.