Some bad, some good, and a goodbye.
First, the bad news As sure as the foothills of Butte County will turn golden brown each summer, so too will another Chico band dry up and blow away. Last week, one of Arts DEVO’s favorite local crews, Lips of Renegade, announced on Facebook that it is done. No fair! I got to see the punky high-school indie-rockers play only twice! Oh well. Next new band, please.
And, even though the drying-up metaphor doesn't exactly fit what's happening in the case of Los Caballitos de la Canción, the much-loved local acoustic Latin-dance group is also winding down its Chico existence as band leader Jo Chavez prepares to return to her home state of New Mexico. In a press release, Chavez said, “I am extremely sad to be leaving the band, the fans, the music and many, many other things here in Chico. I want to thank you who have come to see us, have bought our CDs, have been so great about supporting a type of music that was sorely lacking in this area.” Chavez said the band will finish out the gigs they have scheduled through May before she rides off into the sunset in June. But the band could live on, just not in Chico, as Chavez added that a New Mexico version of the group might come to fruition someday. Best of luck in the Land of Enchantment, Jo! Chico will miss you.
And now some good news Last Saturday (May 9), local singer/songwriter (and Bogg drummer/Pageant Dads guitarist) Michael Bone put out the challenge to his musician friends to write and record a song in one day—“based on the FUTURE”—and send it to him. He got six responses and added them to a tune of his own and released the 1day EP #1 on his Bandcamp site (www.michaelbone.bandcamp.com). And it's pretty good. I especially enjoyed “Diminishing Returns” by Kirt Lind. It sounds like a roaming field recording (with the sound of cars going by, the wind, kids playing in the background) with Lind walking down the street sweetly singing a capella: “The people I admire are trying to feel something new/ They built the pathways once; they know they can do it again/ The future is unclear for us/ And that's the way we like it.” Preach it! Bone'll be doing it again in a couple weeks. Visit his “1Day Song Club - #2 5/23/2015” on Facebook to get more info. The assigned theme will be announced the night before.
And, also very good in Chico this past week was an amazing artist that Mrs. DEVO and I discovered at the Art at the Matador art fair last weekend. Theresa Disney was a St. Louis-based artist who is currently spending some time visiting family in Chico, and her slightly distorted paintings and sculptures of people, animals and flowers are exactly the kind of colorful, expressive folk art that I go ga-ga over. We could afford only one of her sweet little bird sculptures, but I need to start saving up for one of those wonderful, big paintings. Look her up at www.thefunhousegallery.com and www.jtfolkart.com.
And a goodbye Just got word last week that Paul Dyer (aka Pablo Diablo), harmonica player and vocalist for the Chico-by-way-of-New Orleans Cajun-rock crew Rock Scarz (aka the Double Zero Band), died in his sleep on April 27. He was 57 years old. Dyer and his longtime bandmate Zack Dragon were chased out of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and found their way to Chico and the local music scene. A yet-to-be-scheduled celebration of life is in the planning stages.