Pamela Z, ChiVAA, Aye Jay and Cohen Morano; DEVOtions; R.I.P. Don Steele.

Pamela Z

Pamela Z

Photo By Donald swearingen

The sound of something new! This is the sort of totally different, challenging and artsy-fartsy little happening that Arts DEVO goes ga-ga over. Starting today, Oct. 8, and running through Nov. 13, the University Art Gallery will be featuring Parts of Speech, a sound-art installation by San Francisco audio artist Pamela Z. The exhibit is described as “four small, cloth-bound grammars with small speakers mounted on the front covers. … Each has a channel of audio containing speech fragments making up the various grammatical parts of ‘proper’ sentences. The four channels play in concert to create sentences, some of which make sense and others of which don’t, but all are grammatically correct.”

I’m so there … and I am also so going to be at Z’s Works for Voice and Electronics performance in Wismer Theatre on Oct. 11, followed by a reception at the gallery.

ChiVAA Just in time for Artoberfest, the year-old Chico Visual Arts Alliance has succeeded in one of its main goals by publishing a glossy, year-round Chico Art Map. Spearheaded by the energetic arts mavens at Avenue 9 Gallery, the organization of local arts makers and stakeholders is distributing the maps at local galleries (Avenue 9, All Fired Up, etc.) and also provides a downloadable hi-res version on its attractive new Web site (

Morano y Morano

Morano publishing conglomerate Of course I’m going to give a shout out to Chico’s busiest illustrator/rapper Aye Jay “Shecklove” Morano, who has just released a new book, Country Music Fun Time Activity Book (ECW Press), to add to his music-themed catalogue (Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, Indie Rock Connect The Dots, etc.), but what I have failed to do for weeks is give it up for his 9-year-old son Cohen Morano, who just published his first work: The Rest Is Up to You. For the past six years, Aye Jay has been sending his son’s drawings to well-known artists (e.g. Shepard Fairey, Paul Frank, even Chico’s master of the heavy-metal flier Matt Loomis) and those artists added to the pieces, sent ’em back, and this past August, Chronicle Books released the collection. Get both at Lyon Books.

The Real Don Steele On Sept. 23, there was a memorial in San Francisco for former Chico musician, Chico State grad and all-around great guy Don Steele (second from left in picture below). Details are still hard to come by—Steele died sometime earlier in the month at the age of 38. In the ’90s, Steele was the frontman for much-loved Chico rock heroes Pitchfork Tuning, frequent stage mates of the Mother Hips as well as every other band (of every style) in Chico, and from the glowing words of friends who attended the memorial, it’s obvious that Steele had continued to share his music and his indomitable zeal for life after leaving our little city for the Bay Area. R.I.P. Don.

Pitchfork Tuning


•For your feet: You couldn’t ask for more delicious weather for walking and visiting artist studios during the first leg of the Open Studios Tour. Chico’s up first, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11. Visit for info.

Coming out for Art: LBGT “art show extravaganza” presented by Chico’s Stonewall Alliance Sunday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m., at 1078 Gallery.

•Electro-dance in the house: Re:Redux, a new electronic duo featuring two members of 2009 Grammy nominees Brazilian Girls, sets up its beat lab in the BMU Auditorium Thursday, Oct. 15.