No. 2 pencils only.

No. 2 pencils only.

Final Chico assignment Good luck with finals this week, college friends. While Arts DEVO knows that every minute of the next week or so is already scheduled with plans for studying interrupted by spirited sessions with old friends Riley, Joe, Mad Bear and LaSalle, if you are going to be leaving town for good, I have one more requirement that needs to be filled before you graduate from Chico.

Actually, I was going to rail off a whole bunch of stuff that some students might not have yet experienced—my particular list of things that define Chico: tamales at the Thursday Night Market, watching a local band, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., etc.—and insist that you had to check everything off in order to get your Chico-cred diploma. But that’s my Chico. And it would be an inane exercise in self-indulgence to throw my list at the feet of this year’s short-timers (even though I do enjoy my self-indulging inanity).

So, I’ll instead offer just one assignment. Let’s call it extra credit.

Before you leave Chico, on one of the perfect clear days ahead, head to Upper Bidwell Park, out to Parking Lot B. Starting just below the modest Easter Cross, make your way up the North Rim Trail. Breathe deep and drink in the scene as you go, following the wide, bumpy trail past Horseshoe Lake below and up around the long bend ahead. It will take only 20 minutes or so, and once you’ve gone past the second sign for Maidu Trail, turn right and walk to edge of the point. Look back at Chico. It’s not big. Just green and still and pretty perfect. It might not be the usual image that comes to mind when people say “Chico,” but there it is. You should take a picture.

When you leave, your memories of Chico will include your own personal collection of half-remembered events and a few crystal-clear images of some of the friends, foes, teachers, bartenders and various characters who helped shape your first years of adulthood. And maybe when you’re out in the big world, and you’re thinking back to these days inside the bubble, this parting shot can be the one that marks your time spent in Chico, like one of those snow globe panoramas where everything inside never changes, always staying exactly as you remembered.

And on the 28th Day …

Geek-rock blathering Not to worry. That squealing sound you heard slicing through the late-spring heat was just the sound of a delighted Arts DEVO nerding-out after discovering the new website. For those Chico rockers of a certain age, 28th Day is the origin of what is holy and good in local music, and for this geek, the band’s seminal EP was one of the early gateways to the world of the musical underground. For us, this repository of rough recordings from the band’s early days is like a gift from heaven. Some of the shows even include copies of fliers, original set lists and reviews, including one by the late great Matt Hogan of a 1984 show at Chico State’s BMU. Here’s an excerpt:

The four play in pathetic dying wretched dens of pestilence and decadence and bring with them something fresh, ragged, but alive, pulsing with the fervor of those who know at least that they don’t know but are searching and relishing The Search.

A programming note Café Coda’s David Bowie Tribute Show (mentioned in last week’s column) has been postponed to June 1. Contact to reserve your song.