Arts Devo

MADD goes big

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Maddi’s got next? You better lose yourself in the music, the moment/You own it, you better never let it go/You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/This opportunity comes once in a lifetimeEminem, “Lose Yourself”

One of Arts DEVO’s favorite Chico artists in recent years has been singer/songwriter Maddi Gruber. Before leaving for music school in Los Angeles last year, Gruber made her way through the local scene playing her fun, catchy, sometimes-punky, sometimes-riff-rocky tunes in high school bands, from Astro Turf to her current project, Madd.

And some of you might remember her name more recently thanks to the online video of her legendary performance on guitar after being pulled on stage from the audience during a Green Day concert in Oakland last summer. Since that fateful night, the version of the video Gruber posted on her YouTube page has garnered more than 2 million views!

Since making her move down south, Gruber has begun to capitalize on the notoriety. She connected with a new set of bandmates, and Madd has started to perform semi-regularly, at times on some pretty swanky stages—at the Viper Room, Whiskey a Go Go, etc. And last week, Madd released a new record called One More Hour, as well as an accompanying video for the song “I’ve Got Somethin’ for Ya Babe,” featuring Gruber rocking out in combat boots outside in the heat of a Chico summer.

The record is a huge step forward in both Gruber’s songwriting/performance and in production for a Madd release. One More Hour was recorded over the last year all around California—Chico, Folsom, Hollywood, Pasadena—and it’s a super-fun slice of fuzzy garage/pop rock. The catchy fist-pumping opening song, “Worth It All,” is particularly impressive in all its hyper, overdriven guitar bluster.

Get the album at and find Madd’s YouTube link there as well.

More new releases Speaking of Chico folks bringing new art into the world, there are a couple of new books from local authors/artists that have recently hit the online shelves.

Local author and poet Robyn Alan Engel teamed up with longtime Chico illustrator Steve Ferchaud for a children’s book for adults called The Trumpeter’s New Clothes. It’s a loose adaptation of the famous Hans Christian Andersen folktale that replaces the clueless king with his modern counterpart, President Donald Trump. Engel’s satirical poetry, with its winks to hookers, porn stars and those who “lean orange,” is greatly enhanced by Ferchaud’s lively caricatures of Trump in a porcupine wig.

Also just out, Franken-Fatale, “a sci-fi action novel filled with macabre, pop culture references, violence, gore, language, and undead pirates.” It’s the second book from local artist/author H.J. Bennett (who paints by the name Candy Cougar). It’s an R-rated look at a world in which the reanimation of corpses is common and people never really die.

Find both books online at