Arts Devo

Arts DEVO and his big list of art stuff

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DEVOtions: purge edition School is back in and Arts DEVO’s lists overfloweth. Here are the bullet points of what’s in the air and on my mind:

• Uncle Kelly rocked! There were many noteworthy interpretations of the Queen of Pop’s songs during Uncle Dad’s tribute to Madonna on Saturday, (Jan. 26), but the two that stuck out for me were the dynamic avant-jazz deconstruction of the previously forgettable dance track “4 Minutes” (featuring an arrangement by Joshua Hegg and vocals by Michael Bone) and the Matthew Weiner-arranged “Like a Virgin,” with a badass (and exceedingly endearing) vocal performance by longtime local actor/singer Kelly Houston decked out in sparkling pink jacket and shoes.

• Eric B. and rad beings: Personal songwriting hero Eric Bachmann (of Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers fame) put on a fantastic show in a Chico home filled with all sorts of good local people last Sunday (Jan. 27). With an intensely good backing band keeping things very chill, the mood ranged from somber (the depressing/not-quite-sweet lullaby “Bad Man Coming”) to almost joyful (the depressing/celebratory Neil Diamond-esque “New Drink for the Old Drunk”).

• Kidzine: Chico illustrator Aye Jay Morano has released his first kid-centric publication, Kidzinesz, Volume One. It’s actually two interactive zines: one the story of a lyin’ lion and the other a two-sided activity book with both the ABC’s of Heavy Metal and the ABC’s of Hip-Hop. Buy for $20 at

• Idea Fab Labs: Postponed in November due to the Camp Fire, the Terraform exhibit at Idea Fab Labs, featuring the painted-wood works of Elijah Pfotenhauer, is back and will be on display this Saturday, Feb. 2, 3-6 p.m.

• Read all about it: In conjunction with the interconnected Before and Afterwards shows currently up at Janet Turner Print Museum and Jacki Headley University Art Gallery at Chico State, curator/artist Jacob Meders has placed three mysterious newspaper boxes around town—downtown in front of The Bookstore, in the Mechoopda Indian Tribe’s office (125 Mission Ranch Blvd.), and in the lobby that the two galleries share. Pick up some art today. (And read more about Meders’ exhibits in next week’s CN&R.)

• Voices Strong! Props to the National Association of Music Merchants for inviting students impacted by the Camp Fire to perform at the annual NAMM Show last Sunday (Jan. 27). And congrats to the students from Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, Paradise High and Achieve Charter School for taking the Voices Strong Choir to Anaheim and singing their hearts out.

• Rad show(s) alert: Just got word that Oakland-based writer, zine-maker, dancer/choreographer and musician (formerly of Younger Lovers and Gravy Train!!!) Brontez Purnell is coming to Chico March 30 for a day’s worth of fun. It starts with an afternoon reading of his new children’s book, The Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gasket, at Blackbird, followed by a performance at the 1078 Gallery that evening. Stay tuned for more details.