Arts Devo

Column 400

Hats off!

Hats off!

Four Hundred … opens the doors of exclusivity for our clients Four Hundred, an “invitation-only lifestyle management firm”

Welcome to the Four Hundred Club It only took me nine years, but I finally made it. This column right here is Arts DEVO No. 400! I can feel it now; big changes are going to happen. All kinds of doors are going to start opening for me now … Uh, I think it's locked. Guys? Hey, guys. What's going on? This isn't funny!

… as a Four Hundred member you will receive the treatment you deserve.

It generally takes me four hours to write this 600-plus-word column. That means I've spent nearly 67 full days of my life as Arts DEVO (or Arts DEVOté, before changing my name in the fall of 2008), writing roughly 240,000 words—three or four novels' worth—on Chico's arts/music scene and my own adventures as a member of the Chico community. Without giving too much personal information away, if I divide those hours into eight-hour workdays, and do some rough math, I've been paid, holy shit, way more money than anyone would guess to don that silly hat.

PRAVDA and Elvis

Four Hundred focuses on the seamless acquisition and execution of clients' desires.

Getting paid to be immersed in art is, frankly, a dream come true (thank you, News & Review!), and I'm so grateful to make my living as an arts editor in a community as fun and lively as Chico. But beyond the money, it's been a great privilege to be given this weekly outlet for saying whatever I want! And despite the fact I frequently detour into my personal kinks and concerns in this space, I never take the column for granted. I always do my best to make it interesting, even when the arts news is slow or the Energy Dome isn't operating on full power. I put in the four hours and try to come up with something that will inform, piss off, excite, confuse, inspire, or otherwise engage readers, or I will simply share/celebrate the art I'm experiencing. And if all else fails, I just write something that I know will make Mrs. DEVO laugh and hope for the best.

The benefits of being a Four Hundred member are infinite.

Looking back through the Arts DEVO archives, I'm humbled by the fact that, by virtue of being the person putting the words in a newspaper read by 100,000 people every week, I've been a part of creating and shaping our community's shared arts experience. There have been thousands of moments—nearly a decade's worth of accomplishment, failure, artistic expression, controversy, jackassery, beauty and death. In all of that, there has been so much that I've been excited to talk about, but more than anything I have been most moved to share things that are new and things that have been hidden. I get so inspired by the many busy arts-makers and -promoters who bring new ideas and energy to the scene—from the experimental spaces (Crux, TiON, RayRay, MANAS, Blue Room, 1078 Gallery) to the freelance groups constantly producing new fun around town (Chikoko, Uncle Dad's Art Collective) to the long line of independent musicians and the venues providing a stage for original music (Fulcrum Records, DIYRG, Café Coda, Monstros, The Maltese, etc.).

My softest soft spot, though, is for the those hidden worlds that come into my orbit via an unexpected package or an unassuming email, and end up rocking me to my core with a raw and true art that was until that moment all but unknown. It's they—people with names like PRAVDA (and her house overflowing with wild, expressive paintings) and Garr1son (the Concow singer/songwriter with a numeral in his name and a stack of home-recorded CDs filled with sad, haunted blues-flavored tunes)—who keep me most inspired to keep writing. And I will, until someone gets tired of my shtick and yanks the keyboard out of my hands. Thank you so much for reading!

We designed Four Hundred for those who believe that life should have no limitations. … Quite simply, we transform your fantasy into reality.