Arts Devo

Welcome back to Chico, students

Students, when you see what's been living inside this columnist, feasting on his fear, wearing his skin, invading his dreams, learning how to live undetected among us, your jaw will drop to the floor, you'll crap yourself, and you will never sleep again
Here's the column in which Arts DEVO, your friendly local culture watcher, welcomes college students embarking on a new school year in the isolated Nor Cal outpost of Chicoland. This year, I revisited my back-to-school columns from the past decade or so to see how my advice and observations may have changed over time:

Let me be the first to offer you a cold one upon your joyous return. There you are, drink up. Have another! Now light something on fire! That old couch on the sidewalk over there. Whoa, look at it burn! That cat piss is very flammable! Burn! Burn! Burn!!!

Do your liver and the rest of us a favor and replace just one drink with a shot of something else in town: hear one local band; attend one funky hipster happening at an art gallery; ride a whole five minutes on your bike to the biggest city park you've ever been to. It's OK, the Jäger Girls will never notice that you were gone. Trust us.

It is always my sincere hope that some crazy-ass young bloods will roar into the school year with big ideas and a reckless disregard for all who've come before and just kick the local art scene square in the nuts. There is a lot of radness already in place in Chico, but the spark for that eternal flame has only one source: the wildly beating hearts of the young 'uns who have the gumption to slam their feet into our crotches.

We all came to this island in the middle of a sea of nowhere to learn something and have fun (those who live here year-round included). And it's worth noting that while the benefits of a university education vary wildly, everyone's ass gets rewarded when “Apple Bottom Jeans” hits the speakers. So, please do stumble, “woo-hoo!,” strip and fight to your heart's content and know that Arts DEVO has your back.

What's the takeaway? Maybe it's that no matter how much shit changes, shit doesn't really change? Some stuff in Chico will suck (bros, stabbings, bike thieves, finals, puke and shit—actual shit—on the sidewalk), and some stuff will rule (tacos, midnight swims in the creek, literature classes, live music, dancing all day and all night, art, puking on the sidewalk).

Vintage piggies.

I might be losing my thread here, but one of the most important (only?) life lessons I've learned is: reality is what you make it. And in Chico, it's really easy to follow through with whatever twisted version of existence you might dream up. So, do yourself and all of us a favor and have lots of fun. Also, get to work making something new that will rule.

Something new and groovy I've been meaning to check out the recently opened MCM Vintage shop in downtown Chico, but have been too pathetic to carve out the time to walk the one whole block to 261 E. First St. I finally tried on Tuesday (AD's deadline day), but it was closed (hours: Wed.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). But I did check out the shop's Facebook page ( and was stoked to see an impressive inventory of cool-looking vintage items, including a large selection of mid-century modern furniture/decor (the shop's specialty and namesake) as well as a ton of vinyl (there's a shop-within-the-shop called Wax Museum Records). Owners Lorna and Dan Lewis opened the business earlier this month, and will be hosting a big grand-opening party this Saturday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with raffles and live music all day long.