Arts Devo

Shout out to those who document the Chico scene, and a call to help Lisa Kelly.

Izabella Hilsee of VEXED

Izabella Hilsee of VEXED

photo by Sesar Sanchez

Jim Brobeck

video still by Jim Miller

Eyes on the scene As long as Arts DEVO has been in town, there have been dedicated folks shooting videos and photos of local shows, documenting the Chico scene. And usually in exchange for no more than a free pass to the gig. One of the most passionate and prolific was Jim Johnston, an old-school video taper who had his local band-sticker-covered camera pointed at every damn rock show at the Burro Room, Juanita's, Blue Room, etc., during the 1980s and '90s. I have no idea where he is these days, but I've heard heart-sinking rumors that he chucked all his old tapes before leaving town some years back.

Lisa Kelly

These days, of course, we can rest easy knowing that the images being captured will not suffer the same fate (until the grid collapses at least). And we currently have some very dedicated photographers and videographers on the scene providing a near constant and often instantaneous record of what's happening on the town—from the refined stage shots of Curtis Pope ( to the rough GoPro videos of Fox E. Jeff ( to the snapshots of longtime local music supporter Ken Pordes and the impressive scene-spanning work of Sesar Sanchez (

One of my favorites that I stumbled upon this week was a YouTube video by Chico musician and videographer Jim Miller. It's an intimate scene with local musical mainstay Jim Brobeck doing a cover of Bob Dylan and Danny O'Keefe's “Well, Well, Well.” He's almost in silhouette, hunched over his open-tuned acoustic lap guitar as he picks out the soulful, bluesy rendition. Check it out at

More musical chairs Things are shaking up once again down at the Tackle Box Bar & Grill. Booker Julian Ruck, who took over the musical reins on the strength of his participation in bringing together the Chico Breaks the Record event at the venue this past spring, will no longer be putting on shows there. In what sounds like a mutual parting of ways, Ruck said the Tackle Box wants to stick with a calendar of mostly country music (and rock cover bands, judging by its November schedule) and that he'll be moving on with his I Play in Chico pals to produce a variety of music showcases around town, starting with an event this Friday, Oct. 30, at The Graduate with Blooze on the Rocks, Triple Tree and Jiving Board. Find Tackle Box and I Play in Chico on Facebook for show updates.

The cost of being sick Cancer does not discriminate. Most everyone will be touched by it, likely many times over, during their lives. And when a family member, friend or neighbor gets sick, we are often called upon to pool our resources and help keep the newly diagnosed from suffering that very American tragedy of being sick and bankrupt. Right now, it's long-time Chico-area radio personality Lisa Kelly who needs support. Kelly has been a well-known rock DJ for nearly three decades—at stations like KFM, Thunder 100.7 and The Hippo—and she's been knocked off the air by pancreatic cancer, for which she is about to undergo an invasive and complicated surgery that will require much recovery time. That, of course, means she'll be without an income, and to help fill the gap, her family has started an online fundraising campaign at Visit today, give what you can and send along words of encouragement.