Arts Devo

A new local playlist

Goodbye, sun Summer is for woodshedding, especially in a college town. It’s when many artists practice, make plans and gear up to launch new projects during the fall semester. And judging by the pile of new releases dropping early in the school year, Chico’s musicians have been sweating hard the past few months. There are at least six local recordings that have come across Arts DEVO’s computer recently.

Tonight (Sept. 19, 9 p.m.), at Duffy’s Tavern, two bands with new albums share the stage at a proper release show: Sex Hogs II (see “Greasing the hog”) will celebrate its five-song cassette, Ride the Tusk (available for digital download at alongside Depressed and Distressed, the debut 10-inch record by Beehive. The latter is being released on colored vinyl by Orange County’s Jester Records, and it is a gritty slice of distorted garage rock built on the ever-shifting foundation of an ancient Hammond drum machine. For the recording, bassist Brandon “Bud” Armienti and vocalist/guitarist/drum programmer Jake Sprecher followed the tempo live (all songs, back-to-back in one take, no overdubs!) as it wound up and down, not stopping between tracks. It’s an impressive feat of riff-ripping stamina that doesn’t take a breath until the last chord of hectic closer “Wasting Our Time.” Available for download at

A couple nights later, Saturday (Sept. 21, 8 p.m.), longtime local music dude Cameron Ford (of legendary noisemakers The Secret Stolen) will be at the Naked Lounge to debut his solo album, Killer Bee Brownie. The just-released album (available at all the major digital/streaming sites) is an impressively recorded collection of tuneful rock songs—a little chamber pop, a little Death Cab for Cutie, a lot of introspective lyrics—that features Ford on most every instrument, plus some special local guests, including Lorna Such (Lo & Behold vocalist), Garrett Gray, Jen Benoit, Ben Ruttenburg, John Wold and Webster Moore, to name a few. Moore also will perform at the release show, along with uke badass Uni and Her Ukelele.

Donald Beaman doesn’t have an official party planned for his just-released Open Field, but you can catch him live on Sunday (Sept. 22, 8 p.m.) at the 1078 Gallery when he and Gray both open for the Highplainsman Troubadour himself, Tom Brosseau. You can download the gorgeous album at It has everything you need to settle in with headphones for an immersive experience: sparkly and warm guitars, inventive vocal melodies, intriguing lyrical imagery (“You ran your fingertip/wet with wine/along the edge of the glass,” from opener “Night Now”) and subdued and inviting production (recorded by Scott Barwick; mixed/mastered by Kirt Lind).

Coming soon: Sunday Iris, the Dave Elke/Lisa Langly duo, will headline a record-release show for their latest—Anywhere (already available online at CD Baby and Amazon)—at The Maltese on Sept. 27, with openers Gray (the guy’s all over the place!) and The Exclusionaries. Burn Scar, the new album by local prog-metalheads Shadow Limb, doesn’t come out until Oct. 11, but you can get a taste with the brutal (and bonkers!) teaser track, “Asger Arisen,” at And you can get a taste of the band live this Friday (Sept. 20) at The Maltese when it opens for Boise heavy-psyche crew Ealdor Bealu.

Best of the West Sound Clash Bless up, Chico, the clash of DJ crews Guerrilla Takeover, Blessed Coast and Broken Silence goes down Saturday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m., at Lost on Main. The show is free (big ups to Stay Positive Sound!), so come out for a night of reggae, show much love to the performers and help choose the winner of the battle.