Gettin’ busy not bein’ so busy

Bible Brothers

Bible Brothers

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.

Wild Thing among us

• 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.