Chico summer: The Quickening

The Zephyr, by Aye Jay

The Zephyr, by Aye Jay

Everybody panic!!! Summer vacation is rapidly circling the drain. Only three more weeks before classes start at Chico State, and less than two weeks before Chico Unified gets rolling. Must squeeze every drop of barbecue-infused Chico nectar out of the summer before it’s all dried up!

Here are a few juicy bites of local deliciousness on the immediate horizon to help us patch together a spectacular grand finale:

• KZFR birthday: In celebration of 20 years of community radio, the mighty Zephyr is throwing an equally mighty all-day bash on the river. From noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Scotty’s Landing, there will be an eclectic stream of constant music featuring Big Mo & The Full Moon Band, Barbara Manning, Fred Zeppelin, Jeff Pershing Band, Sapphire Soul and more.

Chico’s Aye Jay has even crafted a commemorative print of KZFR’s downtown Chico home atop the Waterland-Breslauer building that can be purchased at Art, Etc.

• Zombies: The Blue Room is obsessed with zombies during these dead months of summer. On the heels of last week’s zombie carwash, the community theater is hosting a Zombie Prom fundraiser (“It’s a dance night of the living dead”) recently rescheduled for next week, Saturday, Aug. 7, 10:30 p.m.: only $5 … or $3 if you show up in zombie makeup.

Esteban Duran is the Tin Man

• Art of the Tin Man: Esteban Duran developed his punched-tinwork skills while living in his native New Mexico, and he has brought his intricate art to Chico. On his new website (, the pieces range from tin crosses and a variety of highly detailed mirror-frame designs to the insanely gorgeous nichos—Latin American decorative boxes typically used as tiny altars or shrines. Duran has pieces up at a couple of local restaurants—Sin of Cortez and Leonardo’s—and will be exhibiting a selection of his tin mirror frames at the Upper Crust Bakery through August (opening reception Tuesday, Aug. 3, 5-6 p.m.).

• Paradise gone: Another Chico institution is on its way out. After nine years of fighting the righteous fight, trailblazer/art patron/heavy-metal promoter/hell-of-a-nice-guy Manny Gonzalez is closing his Paradise Lost specialty DVD shop (now at 235 Nord Ave.—“where it’s OK to be a little anal”) and moving to Santa Cruz. Before he goes, though, he’s having the blow-out sale of the year. Everything in the shop—DVDs, posters, racks, fixtures—must go. Stop in and say thanks/goodbye, restock your Japanese horror collection and take one last bounce around the … cough … digital playground.

Aaron Rodgers, the fans’ QB


• Best local fame: Local boy Aaron Rodgers, starting QB for the Green Bay Packers, makes the cover of the July 26, 2010, issue of ESPN The Magazine.

• Second-best local fame: You might not have heard of Chico/Yuba City band The Paper Melody, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t winning huge in the fame game. The four-piece has an insanely big, polished, modern, multigenre-blending pop-rock sound, and apparently is going to appear in the Aug. 3 issue of Alternative Press magazine as one of the “top six unsigned bands” in the nation. Listen in at