Bye bye Jug Band, hello books and cheap art for Christmas

Jug Rock

Jug Rock

Photo By jeb draper

R.I.P. RCJB All good things might come to end, but in the world of old-timey acoustic musicians each small death breeds even more brand-new good things. This Friday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m., Chico’s favorite street-corner four piece, the Rock Creek Jug Band, plays its last show at the Origami Recording Lounge (Seventh and Cherry streets), but Rip, Texas, Rustwater and Ol’ Tone aren’t going anywhere. No fewer than four replacement projects step into RCJB’s big shoes—Poa Porch Band, Swamp Leg Swagger, Crashed Giraffe and David Costanzo’s solo act … Rustwater!

Lyon Books

Photo By Douglas keister

Lyon Books, center of the universe As if we needed another reason to love Lyon Books and its friendly owners, Heather and Aaron Lyon. It’s enough that they, along with fellow downtown bookseller The Bookstore, are fighting the good fight and keeping independently owned bookstores alive in this Amazon universe, but they also continue to support and provide exposure for our local writers. If you’re asking yourself, “How many authors could there be locally?” The answer is, at least 69. And beginning at last month’s downtown Christmas Preview event, Lyon Books started hosting a succession of all 69 of those writers during weekly local-author open houses for the holidays. There are still 37 more authors to meet—from Sally McNall to Debra Moon—at two more overflowing events (tonight, Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 9, 6-8 p.m.), so come in from the cold, eat a cookie and stock up on gifts of locally created printed words.

“Cat Eating Pancakes”

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All I want for Christmas is cheap, weird art If you’re stressing about what to get that arts columnist on your list, lemme ease your worry with these words: There is a limitless, fascinating, crazy-ass world of art being sold by artists on the Interweb. In just one two-hour digital gorge of eBay, Craigslist and Etsy, I came across dozens of inexpensive visions that I’d be proud to hang on my wall. Here are just two artists:

“You Rock,” by BREVKi

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Carol Cooper, The Blue Cat lady ( from North Carolina, “enjoys painting colorful and whimsical paintings of cats and dogs.” There is for sure no shortage of people selling pet paintings in the world, but I like Carol’s folk style, her subjects (like this cat eating a stack of pancakes) as well as the fact that her stuff is cheap! On eBay or Etsy (, you can pick up prints of her tiny paintings for less than $20. But if you want fun art for really cheap, check out BREVKi and his “Encouragement Services.” You can buy his artistic affirmations for 97 cents at Etsy or eBay, or just go to his blog (, where you have permission to just print out the art for free!