Arts Devo

Spring is for music in Chico

Odd Little Egret

Odd Little Egret

Chico area music Voting for the 2016 CAMMIES started today! (Visit for the link.) When you visit the voting page, you will see, as has been mentioned already in these pages, there are fewer voting categories from which to choose this year. In fact, you’ll see only one: Best Local Act. No more genre categories. No more nominees. All local acts currently playing original music are eligible (sorry, cover bands, it’s not fair for local songwriters to have to compete against Lennon, McCartney, etc.). You have until April 24 to vote, and Arts DEVO challenges you to be brave and not simply go with your standby or rep your friend’s band. Get out and hear some live local music, or at least go visit the Chico Bands website run by scene impresario Sesar Sanchez (at and explore some new music and make an informed choice. It’s your patriotic duty!

The CN&R will reveal the people’s choice winner—along with a bunch of critics’ choice awards—at this year’s CAMMIES Finale & Awards Show, Sunday, May 1, on the bucolic grounds of Patrick Ranch south of Chico. It’s going to be a free outdoor festival, featuring 13 local acts—including the fun, super-adorable Irish/American folk trio, Odd Little Egret (pictured)—on two stages (see page 21 for lineup), food trucks and some tasty adult beverages for sale.

Vomit Launch

And leading up to that culminating show of what the CN&R is now calling the Chico Area Music Festival, will be 10 days of local shows hosted by area venues. We’ll be including a program in the April 21 issue of the newspaper, and already are compiling an online calendar of shows at the CN&R CAMMIES website as well as at Local venues are pulling out all the stops and there are some eclectic and pretty epic shows in the works.

And to get you in the mood for all this local-music fun, check out this week’s episode of Banana Grape StompBill DeBlonk’s live-music public television program documenting Nor Cal concerts—which will feature highlights from last year’s CAMMIES finale at the Chico Women’s Club. Tune in to KIXE (channel 9) Saturday, March 26, at 10 p.m.

Best Chico song ever? A couple weeks ago, I casually posted a question on my Facebook wall: “Your favorite song ever by a Chico band?” I tagged a handful of friends, and was quickly inundated with an outpouring of local-music love—more than 500 responses in 24 hours. Since then, I’ve let myself get lost in local playlists, revisiting a lot of the old songs (superstar ’80s-’90s indie-pop four-piece Vomit Launch still rules the universe, with at least a half-dozen tunes I’d put on my list of personal faves), and digging into the songsmiths currently writing Chico’s soundtrack—Bran Crown, Chris Keene (Surrogate), Aric Jeffries (Solar Estates), Kelly Brown and Lisa Marie (Skin Peaks, Bunnymilk), Donald Beaman, to name a few.

I’ve kind of become obsessed with discovering every quintessential Chico song—from whatever Spark ’n’ Cinder’s signature jam was to which Keene tune sings to the most local hearts. So, what do you readers think? What’s the best Chico song? Share with Arts DEVO at the email address above.