Jeremy Golden, Birds of Fire, Kate Tansey and Los Caballitos del Cancion

Monkey Face by Jeremy Golden

Monkey Face by Jeremy Golden

Golden Star Did you see this? The art for this year’s Chico Area Music Awards by local artist, doom-metal guitarist (for CAMMIES-nominee Amarok) and all-around sweetheart and righteous dude Jeremy Golden? The Monkey Face rock shredding across the Upper Park skyline is easily Arts DEVO’s favorite CAMMIES graphic ever, and I just wanted say it out loud. Go to for more Golden art—like the killer Amarok CD cover—and while you’re there, send him a note reminding him how much he rules.

Kate Tansey

El Super Group Longtime Chico musician Jo Chavez (Ruby Hollow Band) has gone and put together an intriguing (and huge!) new Chico band, Los Caballitos del Cancion, which will be debuting with a big César Chávez Day show at the Subud Hall, Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. Playing what she’s calling “groooooovin’ Mexican/Latino musica,” Chavez’s crew features a who’s who of local-music legends: Gordy “The Banjo-ologist” Ohliger, stand-up bassist Christine LaPado, the Pub Scouts’ Michael Cannon, former Spark ’n’ Cinder percussionist Jerry Morano, fellow Ruby Hollow member David Cowan, guitarist Jim Williford, and violinists Joel Quivey and Amalie Sorensen.

What about the DAMMIES? … aka Arts DEVO’s Desk Area Music Awards. Despite what some have supposed, I have little to no influence over which acts get chosen as CAMMIES nominees. In fact, each year, many of my absolute favorites don’t make the cut. We have a selection committee made up of a wide range of local musicians, promoters, journalists, sound people, music-store employees and music fans who each pick their five faves from each genre, and as just one committee person my votes counted just once. The members are thoughtful in their choices, and overall the committee does an excellent job of choosing a representative collection of local music, but I know that each of us has a list of faves we wish had made it through.

A bird of fire.

This is most true in the ridiculously huge Folk/Acoustic category, where the range of non-amplified styles could easily populate most every other genre category—from Americana to Punk. And even though I really like all of this year’s Folk/Acoustic nominees, none of my five choices were nominated. In fact, I just received a CD (titled A Gift) from my current top choice for local folkie, Kate Tansey. Not only does Tansey have incredible taste in music (Dinosaur Jr.!), but, with a voice that drips with character and depth of emotion, she also sings some of the most heartfelt tunes in town. She says that she’s all out of CDs, but maybe she’ll have burned a few more before her gig this Saturday, March 31, 7 p.m., at Bellachino’s. Get there early and request “To Bring You Joy” (it’s “better than joy”).

Burning men In case you hadn’t heard, long-running Chico instrumental faves Birds of Fire are calling it quits. This Saturday, March 31, the four-piece will be plugging in for what promises to be one final party of noise and friendship at Café Coda (featuring buddies West by Swan and The Americas). Founding guitarist/songwriter Matt Daugherty is a new papa and bassist Zach Ahern has recently moved to Sac, so the time has come for the bird to burn. But I wouldn’t give up hope entirely. The nice thing about having a band name like Birds of Fire is that a resurrection is always possible.