G-Ride, the documentary and Camp Fire songs
‘Without a ride, he’d be gone’ Mike “G-Ride” Griffith knows how to make an entrance. In 2016, the Chico News & Review hosted the Keep Chico Weird Talent Show at the El Rey Theater, and as a local icon (seriously, he has a plaque to prove it!) the much-loved pedicab driver with the mild-mannered dog (“Little G”) and the ridiculously loud stereo system was asked to be one of the celebrity judges. As he was announced at the beginning of the show, Griffith rode the pedicab into the theater, music blaring, fist pumping and with his fellow judges in tow. Totally epic!
Griffith’s since gone on to be voted Best Local Personality four years in a row in the CN&R’s Best of Chico readers’ poll, and this week he gets to add another item to his stack of local cred: a documentary on his life. G-Ride, a 23-minute short-form feature on the man, will premiere at the CARD Community Center on Saturday (Nov. 16) at 5:30 p.m. as part of the three-day Chico Independent Film Festival (visit chicoindie.com and navigate the site for a list of films and schedule).
The film by documentary filmmaker Keith Wakefield (a former Chico resident) follows Griffith in his element as he gets Chico pumped with bone-rattling dance music while ferrying customers around town. The film also tells the story of his difficult background—foster care, homelessness, drug addiction—and how he got on a pedicab and pedaled his way into a sober life of working for himself and donating his free time to helping others. Both Griffith and Wakefield will be on hand for a Q&A. More info at gridefilm.com
Camp Fire music Several months ago, a bunch of songs written about the Camp Fire started showing up online, and the CN&R created a YouTube playlist (tinyurl.com/AfterCampFire) in an attempt to collect them in one place. In the months since, we’ve added a handful more recordings as they’ve hit the internet. There are now 13 on the main list, plus links to a few more (not on YouTube), and others are undoubtedly on the way. Please, drop us a note if you have something that should be added.
A couple of the recent additions include a pretty piano-driven plea to “Stay Strong” by Chris Thompson and his daughter Makayla, and the striking “Paradise Is on Fire,” a Latin-flavored country song by Michael Charvel. The son of well-known custom guitar builder Wayne Charvel (who has made guitars for everyone from Eddie Van Halen to the dudes in ZZ Top), Michael and his father lost their homes and their guitar shop in the fire. The song starts with cellphone footage of Michael in the midst of the inferno telling his mom he loves her before cutting to the band performing in front of a backdrop of charred pines. “Paradise Is on Fire” has been released to raise money for Magalia Community Church. Visit michaelcharvel.com to purchase a CD, MP3 or ringtone.
Music to smoke cloves in a graveyard to Arts DEVO’s under-the-radar pick of the week is Oakland dark, weirdo, deathrock trio Moira Scar at the 1078 Gallery this Saturday (Nov. 16). It’s a Chico Area Punks jam that also includes a trio of local, dark gothy/punky crews—Mercury’s Butterfly, Shadow Figures, Desperate Hell—on the bill. Get yer eyeliner and get there!