Gettin’ busy not bein’ so busy
Forecast: freedom The 2011 Chico Area Music Awards season went out with a crash of thunder in a storm of hail. With the apocalypse seemingly coming a week early, we moved the CAMMIES Festival inside Manzanita Place to escape the weather’s wrath and ended up having a swell time. A few hundred locals sought shelter and shared a stormy Sunday with the local music scene.
We also gave away a couple dozen plaques (see results). And, again, congrats to all the winners and nominees.
Now that I have taken off my producer hat and am free to speak freely, I gotta give out a few completely biased, bonus, CAMMIES-moments-that-struck-a-chord-that-vibrated-in-tune-with-Jason’s-natural-frequency awards. I’m going to limit myself to five:
• David Love: The mod-looking ringleader of the Enthusiasm Ensemble (a red-and-black bedecked group of Inspire School and Chico High students) impressed everyone with his energy and showmanship. And he sang a cover of an Arcade Fire song with a giant band, which was enough for me.
• Clouds on Strings: There’s just enough Ween-meets-Zappa fun, crazy dynamics and energetic youthfulness to make the prog taste delicious. COS put on the most fun show of the CAMMIES—twice.
• The Bible Brothers: Before Ken Smith came to town a couple years ago and started writing for the CN&R, he was living in San Diego and playing in the Bible Brothers, a rag-tag collective of gospel/old-time music lovers. At Sunday’s fest, Smith (ukulele) and visiting Bible Bro Ian Thompson (guitar) were joined by Elliot Maldonado (banjo) and Chico/Red Bluff ex-pat Brad Lambert (washboard), for a fun set on the back-porch acoustic stage. I only caught parts of two tunes—“Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “This Land Is Your Land.” And now I like ’em like I like Shivaree. (Look up BB’s “Washed in the Blood of the Lamb” on YouTube.)
• Epitaph of Atlas: If someone would’ve just said “spazzy instrumental noise-metal duo from Magalia,” I would’ve paid attention earlier. And Seabass and his Cousin It hair are only 16 years old!
• The Troggs: Yes, that new guitarist in Big Mo’s band is Richard Moore, one of the founding members of The Troggs. Yes, that Troggs, the band that did “Wild Thing.” Yes, I did stalk him backstage Sunday, and yes, he was super chill and nice and gave me a signed press photo!
So, now I’m free to … Even though I had a great experience over the last month or so, I’ve felt like I’ve been missing out on a lot of fun. So, with days filled with uninterrupted sunshine starting … right now! I am going to seriously overbook all of this free time, beginning with what promises to be a gloriously unhealthy bacheLORE party in Tahoe this weekend in honor of BFFF (and former CN&R Arts Editor) Mark Lore. If I make it back in one piece, I will begin addressing my spring/summer checklist:
• Barbecue as many pig parts as sunshine and arteries will allow.
• Go to the de Young in S.F. and see the visiting Picasso exhibit on loan from Musée National Picasso in Paris.
• Go to the practice shed and write some noisy pop music and play it loud.
• Go to that one show, with that one band. Repeat with that other band.
• Find some Appalachian folks playing music during a retreat with Mrs. DEVO’s side of the family in the mountains of West Virginia in July.
• Apply sunscreen and play outside.
• Brew beer with friends. Share.