Snackin’ on a Filet-O-Fish with Grimace and enjoying some local tunes

Step inside Grimace.

Step inside Grimace.

Greetings from McDonaldland Those jokesters in Mac Sabbath have Arts DEVO skipping down memory lane this week. The Black Sabbath/McDonald’s mashup parody band is playing at Lost on Main this Saturday (March 7), and all the anticipatory excitement over Ronald Osbourne and crew has me revisiting the days of my cautiously reckless youth when I, too, was engaged in McDonald’s-themed shenanigans.

When I was still living the foothills north of Redding, alternately antagonizing and evading rednecks and other Neanderthals as a junior at Central Valley High School, I snuck into the vacancy on the school-election ballot for senior class president and ran unopposed. When senior year came, my crew and I took full advantage of the opportunities afforded by the office to indulge our every hair-brained whim. For one, we undercut the local radio DJs for high-school dances and hired ourselves to play whatever music we wanted. (You wanna Wang Chung tonight? Sorry, we’re in the mood for The Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and the entire side two of Poison, Look What the Cat Dragged In.) We may have single-handedly ruined dances for the class of ’87.

But our biggest scam was deciding that instead of repping the school’s chosen mascot—the Falcons—we would adopt McDonaldland’s lovable purple blob Grimace as our “official” senior mascot. And amazingly, we got away with it. We painted a giant version of his purple image on our senior bulletin board and included him on every poster we hung up. We even managed to get away with making an enormous Grimace-as-the-Statue-of-Liberty float for homecoming (the theme was “New York, New York”). The puzzled look on the faces of parents in the stands as the grinning monster circled the football field was so rich that it still nourishes me to this day.


Chico Area Music The Chico Area Music Awards nominees were announced this week (see p. 29), and I’m starting to get really excited about the full local-music immersion we’re diving into over the next six weeks in this, the Chico News & Review’s 10th anniversary of CAMMIES promotion.

For those not familiar with how nominee selection works, we send out a list of every area band to a committee consisting of a wide range of locals involved in the music community—promoters, bookers, soundpersons, music fans, radio DJs, music-store employees, club owners, music writers, and musicians from every genre—and have them pick their favorite active local acts.

Looking at this year’s list—of which two dozen are new nominees—you’ll notice that some genres have more acts than others, and there are a couple of reasons for that. In some genres the votes were so close or tied that it was obvious that more than five—especially in those genres with a ton of acts, such as singer-songwriter—had made a strong impression on the committee, so we let more in. And as for the overflowing punk genre, we include every punk band to honor the spirit of the Chico Area Punks who host the punk showcase/marathon at Monstros Pizza under the condition that all local punks are invited to perform.

Visit for updates on all the upcoming shows and go cast your vote at

How’d you do? Answers to last week’s Chico-centric crossword (Arts DEVO, Feb. 26): Across: 2. Cold Blue Mountain; 4. Sean Morgan; 5. Packer; 9. Mike Ramsey; 11. pi; 13. July; 14. Funky Trunk; 18. Whip it; 19. Bob Dole; 20. Emilie

Down: 1. Ishi; 3. Bear Buck; 6. Claudette; 7. CAMMIES; 8. David Lynch; 10. Winchester Goose; 12. John Bidwell; 15. Uncle Dad; 16. Kennedy; 17. Big Mo