In with the new

What now?

What now?

What’s new? The Synthesis is done in a couple of weeks, Aubrey Debauchery is leaving Chico for Portland in a couple of months (more on both of these in future columns), and The ShimmiesSean Galloway (aka Ave Grave) is heading down south around the same time. Add these latest arts-scene shakeups to David Guzzetti’s Woody & Friends retiring from KZFR, the closing of the doors at Avenue 9 Gallery, and losing both Rogue Theatre and MANAS Artspace last year, and you have a giant chunk of fun crumbling down from the freaky façade of Chico’s creative community.

And that’s OK. There is no replacing the unique contributions of such active, defining characters in the scene, but where there is loss there is space for something new. I was around when each of those entities was new, and I witnessed as they all quickly established as local forces by putting energy into bringing something fresh to Chico. And I’d bet each person involved in these local institutions would say to any creative types wondering how to bring their visions to fruition in Chico: “You can do it, too.”

The truth is, even though the energy of the local scene might feel like it’s dipping, there’s always someone doing something new that has potential to stick and become the next Chico thing. In fact, here are three with great potential: The new guy at the Pageant Theatre (Miles Montalbano) has launched a new Late Nite series of cult films (Fridays and Saturdays, 11 p.m.). The new permanent beer license at the 1078 Gallery has allowed music director Josh Hegg and the gallery’s volunteers to ramp up the eclectic schedule of live music (a dozen shows so far in March and April). And, I just got word that local painter and art instructor Cynthia Sexton is opening a new gallery—the Ninth Avenue Gallery—in the building that housed Avenue 9 Gallery.

But we still need more. We need you, too. Especially if you’re someone who often says, “I’m tired of all this shit. Chico needs something new!” No matter what “this shit” is—dirt-twirlers, hipsters, cheesy wannabe rock stars, weekly newspaper columnists, Burners, “Cheeko Party!” morons—you’re right and you’re just the person to create something new. Now get to work.


• House concert: A couple of local super fans—Matt Brown and Heather Schoeppach—of now-defunct indie-rockers The Walkmen are hosting the band’s former organist/bassist, Peter Matthew Bauer, for a stop on his current West Coast “living-room tour,” on Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m., and you can join them! Bauer is touring in support of his first solo album, Liberation, and a limited number of tickets are available at

Art and Tech and Monca: The Museum of Northern California Art (Monca) has once again teamed up with local maker space Idea Fabrication Labs, this time for a pop-up museum downtown (at 215 Main St.), Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., through March 28. The exhibit features photographs, a display of stop-motion animator Josh Funk’s models, renderings of the remodel of monca’s future Veteran’s Hall digs, and IFL’s 3-D printer setup. And, on Thursdays (2-5 p.m.), high-school ROP students will be on hand to scan visitors and make 3-D sculptures of their heads.