Arts DEVO’s More Best of Chico.

This ain’t rocket science, it’s The Bugs.

This ain’t rocket science, it’s The Bugs.

Columnist in search of hook AKA Arts DEVO’s Best of Chico for the last week of September:

Best lyrics by a touring band coming to Chico this week:

“Ha ha, ha ha/ Ho ho ho/ Yeah yeah, yeah yeah/ no no no/ This ain’t rocket science/ This is rock-and-roll,” from “This Ain’t Rocket Science,” the opening track on Barbaric, Mystical, Bored, the latest by Portland, Ore., two-piece The Bugs. The band goes on to prove its opening assertion with 18 sparsely arranged, clever, garage-pop tunes that emphatically make the case that less is more. Be a cool kid for once, catch The Bugs Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Café Flo with city-mates Sad Horse.

Best excuse for getting to bed early this week:

This one’s a million-way tie between impending community events that will test even the most hardcore Chicoan’s time-budgeting skills: the final downtown Thursday Night Market of the season (9/24); the final Friday Night Concert in the Plaza, with Urban Legend (9/25); the Salmon Festival in Oroville (9/25-26); Earthdance at the Goddess Temple in Forest Ranch (9/25-26); and Chico Palio (9/26), the Chico arts faire, art-horse race, community banquet kick-off for Artoberfest.

Jus’ makin’ baby-makin’ songs.

Best e-mail:

“Hello, my name is RayRay a singer/songwriter. I graduated from Corning High School in 1985. I have an album called CaLi Lovin, it’s baby makin’ music.” (Note to local bands: Using “baby makin’ music” in an e-mail is the surest way to get a response from your local arts editor.) And he’s right: “I wanna get alone with you/ So we can do what grown-ups do,” is a sampling from RayRay’s “Jet Black Sand,” about a romantic night on the beach, and a perfect example of his slow-jam flavor of R&B. RayRay is back home in Corning after stints in L.A. and Sac-town and is busy working on his follow-up to CaLi Lovin. Look him up at

Best place to trigger your gag reflex: Cinemark theater’s trash compactor. It looks like what I imagine the compactor in Star Wars would look like from the outside, and the giant red, metal box is constantly leaking a piquant reduction of movie treats in tacky rivulets across the sloping blacktop behind the theater. I swear, I’m really not even complaining. Hell, I always park next to the thing on purpose. It’s so impressive that I just want to experience the drama of when the sour air hits my eyeballs first and a ripple of fear shudders through me in anticipation of the smell that follows.

Best place to put a triggered gag reflex to use: The ticket window for the upcoming Creedence Clearwater Revisited show Saturday, Sept. 26, at Gold Country Casino. I have no problem with the drummer and bassist for the original Creedence Clearwater Revival making a few bucks while enjoying playing the great tunes of their past, but I am baffled that the market will apparently bear ticket prices of $40-$55 to take a seat in the audience. Despite the absence of John Fogerty—the original singer/songwriter and guitarist for every song the band will be playing—nostalgia seekers are apparently OK spending the same amount of money to watch a cover band as they would to buy the definitive CCR box set, featuring every one of the band’s albums ($40 on

“… without blinking once.”

Best movie preview: Where the Wild Things Are. The best children’s book ever + director Spike Jonze + trailer song by Arcade Fire (“Wake Up”) = goosebumps. Go find it at and make the rest of your day better.

Best reunion news: Pavement in 2010. The hits keep coming! I think someone has been sneaking into my brain.