Porky Piggin’ like a boss

Honey dog, my little lamb.

Honey dog, my little lamb.

This week’s theme: Puppy dogs, zombies and dropping one’s drawers There’s nothing this columnist likes more than hitching his weekly column to a unifying theme. It allows the blather to just gust into print like a lion and pummel the readers into submission like so many little lambs. So, much like last week when Chico decided to be funny all at once, the local arts world has again aligned to give Arts DEVO a collection of simultaneous events from one discipline around which he can wrap a theme—this time: film.

If you’ve read this week’s arts feature (page 26), you know about the biggie—the Chico Silent Film Festival (Friday & Saturday, March 9 & 10, at Chico Women’s Club). This silent weekend (10 films, one short and a Felix the Cat cartoon!) is a benefit for Bidwell Mansion and promises to be especially badass thanks to the inclusion of Bay Area pianist Dr. Frederick Hodges, who will be accompanying the silent classics.

<i>GruSum</i>’s zombies.

The same weekend, over at the Pageant Theatre, Forest Ranch filmmaker Joe Batt will premiere his new short film GruSum (Saturday, March 10, 3 p.m.; Sunday, March 11, 5 p.m.) in a double feature with another local short, Fray, by Chico’s Shawn Dyer. Batt’s locally filmed zombie comedy stars members of the Chico improv troupe Aberrant Behaviors and is about “a new hair restoration product (GruSum) [that] has some unexpected side effects in the small town of Rodgersville.” (Get it? “Grew some/gruesome.” And, Rodgersville? C’mon, readers!)

And, even though Chico has more than enough to keep cinephiles busy all weekend, there is still one more enticing film event happening in the North State, at the beautiful Cascade Theatre up in Redding. On Saturday, March 10, the fourth annual Sundial Film Festival takes over the restored 1935 theater with two showings of short works—a matinee student/animation program (1 p.m.) and the evening “premier” program (7 p.m.) with 11 short films. Visit for info.

Don’t call him a shirt-cocker!

Sunshine bums Before I clued into the weekend’s film invasion, I was gonna make the past weekend’s sunny weather the theme of the column. It’s probably for the best, too, since I probably would’ve mostly just whined about how having a crummy cold kept me laid up inside and snuggling with my little poodle (see lamb photo above) for much of the weekend when I wanted nothing more than to (as my buddy and CN&R writer Ken Smith would put it) be Porky Piggin’ it outside in the warm sunshine.

Theme music By now you’ve heard that the Chico Area Music Awards season is once again upon us. The CN&R’s annual local-music marathon is back for its seventh season. This year, it’s nice to see some fresh faces on the CAMMIES ballot, with 19 first-time nominees being added to the mix, and that’s not including the greatly expanded punk category, featuring every local punk band (22!) being nominated. The big news this year, though, is the change in the scheduling of the 12 live genre showcases. Instead of spreading the dozen shows out over four weeks, we’re taking over the town with one three-day music festival, April 12-14. That’s all 12 shows, at six different venues in three nights. You can buy a pass for the entire shebang and roam from genre to genre, sampling the whole damn scene. Visit for the list of nominees, info on shows and to cast your vote.