Arts Devo

In the groove with Chico’s selectors

DJ Byrdie

DJ Byrdie

photo by Tommy Ghiorso

Invasion of the talking machines Welcome back, collegians! You’ve arrived just in time. The DJs have the next killer song queued up and are ready to spin a soundtrack for the rest of your endless Chico summer. There are now enough vinyl DJs in town for fans of collector-curated sets to have choices, with multiple venues and a wide range of selectors on the scene.

Below is a handy guide to what’s currently spinning around town. If you’re hauling the steel wheels around and we’re missing your gigs, let this arts columnist ( and the CN&R’s friendly calendar editor, Neesa Sonoquie (, know and we’ll get into your groove.

DJ Byrdie: The freshest events on the local scene are the various badass parties curated by Mindy CurtianThrowback Thursdays, SoulMotion, Low & Slow, Rocksteady Social Club, etc. As DJ Byrdie, her jam is soul, oldies and vintage reggae (ska, rocksteady, etc.), and for her theme nights she brings in DJs of all stripes—Esco Chris (reggae/ska), King Tommy (punk, reggae), plus all kinds of out-of-town visitors—and works with live bands and local promoters (including Outpatient Records) as well to put on shows all over town (Argus Bar + Grill, Duffy’s Tavern and Bill’s Towne Lounge).

Next up: Throwback Thursdays continue every week at 8 p.m. at Bill’s (with SoulMotion nights owning the first-Thursday slot in the series). And on Aug. 24 at Bill’s, it’s a Bay Area version of Low & Slow, with Abrilita and Sultana joining Byrdie for the night.

Outpatient Records pop-ups: When local vinyl purveyor Matthew Garcia (see “Selector’s Choice”) sets up one of his regular pop-ups—every other month at Naked Lounge and the occasional rock show at Argus Bar + Patio—he not only spins his own jazz and Latin-funk faves, he also invites local guests (both beginner and pro) to take a turn at the tables and play whatever they please. Next up: tonight (Aug. 15, 9 p.m.) at Argus (with local band The False Face Society) and the August Naked Lounge Pop-Up Shop this Saturday (Aug. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).

Dance Nights at Duffy’s Tavern: Weekends in Chico start Wednesday, at 10 p.m. The weekly DJ Dance Night at Duffy’s might be the longest-running dance party in town, with a four-woman roster of rotating DJs—Amburgers (co-host of KZFR’s Funky Reservation), DJ Amee, DJ Lois and DJ Selecta Tali 1—playing everything from classic ’80s and hip-hop to groovy electronic and funk, plus just the right amount of disco.

Also: Every six weeks or so, the man with possibly more records than anyone else in town (measured in the tens of thousands), Jeff “DJ J-Ho” Howse—host of the long-running Random Pick show on KZFR—steps behind the turntables for a special Saturday night edition of Dance Night at the downtown bar. Next up: Sept. 7.

24/7 DJ “Services”: Why is services in quotes? You’ll have to ask the resident DJs— Beesus, Hardcore Jherri and Mattle Axe—yourself. With an eclectic shared collection of classics and rarities from most every genre—from rap to metal—the trio is available for your wedding, bar mitzvah, corporate event and underground bike party. For bookings contact

Selector City: Those are just the current regular happenings. Chico is home to a wide array of music fiends-turned-DJs, and chances are that many of the hip events you’ll be attending this semester will feature names like: Thrasher Trasher (Aug. 22 at Queer Justice Is Social Justice, at 1078 Gallery), Aye Jay (hear his “rap-hop, Soweto Town jive, black rok and stone-cold white” Friday, Aug. 16, at The Maltese during the Z-Man show), Sprech Magic (“polka and disco”), Esco Chris (reggae/ska); Organ Donor, Rat Boy and more.