Trillions and trillions of things to say

Lorraine Dechter, on the air at KCHO.

Lorraine Dechter, on the air at KCHO.

Photo courtesy of CSU, Chico

Radio Silence

“I turned it on, and it was gone.” Long-time Chico musician/videographer (Sierra Center Stage) Peter Berkow called me last week, and echoed a question I’d heard floating around town: What happened to KCHO’s Good Olde-Fashioned Folk Music Show? Created and curated by the local public-radio station’s current news director and Morning Edition host Lorraine Dechter, the Sunday afternoon folk-music show (slotted right after A Prairie Home Companion) has been a cherished component of Chico’s folk/roots music scene since the early ’80s, when Dechter created it as volunteer at the station. But as of June 13, the show is no more. “I’ve been a fan of that show for 30 years,” Berkow added, “and I’m really sad to see it go.”

So, why is the beloved program off the air? Dechter says she’s been told it’s because she needs to spend her hours solely on her job as news director, which the station’s general manager, Brian Terhorst, confirms, saying that it’s something they’ve been trying to work out ever since Dechter became news director more than three years ago. Dechter says she’s worked hard to bring in volunteers and reduce her time spent on the show to roughly two hours per month, even agreeing to do it on a volunteer basis if it came down to it. Terhorst said that even if that were something they could work out, that Dechter’s duties at the station would have to be “closely managed,” suggesting that the situation would be disruptive.

“I really appreciate Lorraine’s passion for that program,” Terhorst said, adding “It’s not been easy for me to enforce that.”

It looks like bureaucracy wins out, even in li’l ol’ Chico. It’s too bad it’s at the expense of a cornerstone of the local music community. Having been at the station for only three years himself, Terhorst seems to have been able to balance having a weekly radio show (the similarly folk-themed Harmony Ridge on Saturdays) with his managerial duties. It would stand to reason that something could be worked out so that Dechter could do the same and continue to, as she describes it, “Carry along the bardic tradition in this technical age.”

“That is who I am,” Dechter says about how she’s thought of her dual roles. “The music and the news are not separate for me.”

Permutating the scene.

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Art loop Art loop Art If I did the math correctly—and I almost certainly did not—then you have literally trillions of artistic possibilities available to you this week, and all trillion of them happen at the RAYRAY Gallery, naturally. If I told you that someone in Chico had made a “six-sided-interactive-rearrangeable-mural-wall,” would there be any doubt who the culprits were? Originally, the artists of The Box ProjectDylan Tellesen, Christine Fulton, Matt Barber, Stephen Beebe, Dragonboy and Andrew Terrell—assembled different permutations of the 100-box sculpture in the Chico City Plaza (see the video at, and this Friday, Aug. 6, 6-9 p.m., you can get in on the build during an opening reception at the gallery.

If the RAYRAY cats want to expand the art possibilities exponentially, they should provide a soundtrack for the opening with Shabby Car’s Shuffle. Created by Arts DEVO BFFF Phil Anker (aka Shabby Car, aka Red Bluff Phil), Shuffle is a collection of five songs written in the same key all with the same beats per minute. Anker then cut the songs into 79 separate parts so that the listener could rearrange ’em and make thousands? millions? of new songs from the matching parts. AD just put ’em into one playlist and hit shuffle and the results were awesome! Go to to download the original songs as well as the individual components.