Arts Devo

You can take the b-boy out of Redding …

Breakin’, too, at Duffy’s.

Breakin’, too, at Duffy’s.

Deploy the parachute pants Arts DEVO has worn a lot of hats in his day. Long before I donned the Energy Dome, back when I was a goofy 14-year-old meatsack filled with hormones and confusion, I was for a brief time a self-described breakdancer. (Over the course of my freshman year in high school I desperately flailed all over the identity map, dabbling in metal, punk, new wave and hip-hop styles and scenes.) My cousin Mike and I even formed a short-lived breakdance crew. The name of our “dance” group escapes me, but I’ll never forget my breakdancer handle: Skeeter. Mike’s name was Nermal, named after the character from Garfield comics. That’s right, Skeeter and Nermal .… We rolled hard.

As the breakdancing fad settled into my hometown of Redding, Mike and I put down some cardboard in my backyard and practiced popping, moonwalking and centipeding. And somehow, with very little fear, we even went public, testing our routines at Chuck E. Cheese dance nights and at Viking Skate Country (where they’d open the center of the roller rink up to dancers … no skates or shoes allowed, though, so we had to breakdance in socks).

My dancing career was short-lived (though I did have a crowning moment at a contest in the hot parking lot of the Mt. Shasta Mall while sporting a mask of Calamine lotion hiding my outbreak of chicken pox), but sliding around in zipper pants did introduce me to the world of rap and hip-hop, which has paid much more lasting dividends.

Dwight Yoakam in Paradise!

All of that just to say: You should go to Breakdance Night at Duffy’s this Saturday, June 2, at 10 p.m. I’m retired from the b-boy game, but DJs J-Ho and Loomis will be spinning classics to which you can pop and/or lock.

Guitars, Cadillacs and (very) skinny jeans Dang, North Valley Productions! Way to sneak in and drop the show of the summer on us. Honky-tonk badass Dwight Yoakam will be playing at the Paradise Performing Arts Center on Aug. 26, and NVP just put tickets (kinda steep, $75 for general admission) on sale at


• Shadow Limb tape release, Friday, June 2, 7:30 p.m.: Four of the five dudes from longstanding local favorite La Fin du Monde have been doing their proggy experimental metal thing in on-again/off-again quartet Shadow Limb in recent years, and this week at Cafe Coda they’ll turn it back on and way up to host a party for Shadow Limb’s new release. Amarok (Chico doom), Swamp Devil (Portland stoner/doom) and Pantacosm (Nevada City) open.

• Oro-Con 2, Saturday, June 3: Feather Falls Casino is hosting the second annual version of its comic convention, featuring appearances by comic artists (Chris Marrinan, Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange), cosplay characters (Stormtroopers, Capt. Jack, Wonder Woman, etc.), costume contest, beer garden and more. Free admission and open to all ages.

• Los Caballitos de la Cancion, Saturday, June 3, 7 p.m.: Jo Chavez, the ringleader of the one-time Chico Latin-music collective, is visiting town and gathering the band for a reunion show at Wine Time. No cover.