Arts DEVO is back from vacation

The dream of the ’80s.

The dream of the ’80s.

Arts DEVO is in Just two things to say after my soul-healing week-and-a-half vacation: One, thank you, Jeebus, for uninterrupted sunshine during my time off. Two, surreal snapshot from Portland (“where young people go to retire”): bar-hopped with my crew of Chico ex-pats for a weekend and ended up shoulder-to-shoulder with Portland hipsters in a random bar, in front of a big flat screen watching Portlandia, the IFC sketch-comedy series lampooning Portland hipsters. Awesome.

Vampire can mating oven So, remember a couple weeks ago when I made fun of Chico promoters holding onto the past and trotting out nothing but the same ol’-fogey musicians across local stages? Well, I’m going to prove once again (in case you needed additional proof) that I am a hopeless hypocrite, because I am so excited that ol’-fogey college-rockers Camper Van Beethoven are coming to the El Rey Theatre Saturday, Feb. 19. Somebody fetch me my paisley polyester shirt!

I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the details, but CVB was either my first or second Chico show. It was April 27, 1988, and they played at 330 Wall St. with Brut Max. Even though for this show they’ll be playing the excellent Key Lime Pie in its entirety, I’ll always be partial to the band’s debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, with its ska/Eastern European instrumental interludes and goofy punky-pop songs with strange lyrics about Lassie going to the moon; taking skinheads bowling; and how Club Med sucks (“Club Med sucks/ authority sucks/ I hate golf/ I don’t wanna play lacrosse!”).

Lynn Elliott

Bravo, Chico! Now that what’s-his-face has gone to Disney World, why don’t we focus on the heroics of other locals making Chico proud. So, please, join Arts DEVO in giving it up for Chico State English professor Lynn Elliott, whose play Pirandello’s Wife recently opened at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y. (to rave reviews from The Buffalo Elliott also writes the “Samhain” scenarios that our local Blue Room Theatre produces during Halloween, and admits that if anyone in the local theater scene would be interested in producing Pirandello’s Wife, that “it is a very entertaining, funny and challenging piece.” C’mon, Chico. You’re not gonna let Buffalo continue to school us, are you?


• Medieval Mayhem: There is a giant “Paintball Scenario” taking place this weekend at Oroville’s Surplus City Combat Zone paintball park. The two enemy generals are apparently husband and wife, and there are going to be an estimated 100-plus “crazy people dressed as queens and kings” shooting at each other Friday-Sunday, Feb. 18-20. Visit for more info.

Bill Toliver

RIP During my vacation I received a text from friend and CN&R writer/Special Projects Editor Christine LaPado that local jazz drummer Bill Toliver had died. Toliver had a relapse of brain cancer and died on Feb. 5, at the age of 73. Most recently, in addition to sitting behind the kit for various local gigs, Toliver played drums in R&B/jazz crew the Groovediggers. LaPado played bass with the Groovediggers as well and shared that she and the rest of the band are really missing their friend. “He was much loved, a total sweetheart, super laid-back, kind—an absolute joy to play with,” LaPado said. “I always loved to look back at him when we played and see that big grin of his on his face.”