Room 708, Avita Treason, Mo Hips and young at art

The Sad Bastards in Room 708.

The Sad Bastards in Room 708.

Music room Is it news to anyone to report that Scott Barwick is the man? What if I say it like this: “Scott M.F. Barwick owns Chico! Bow down! Bow down, now!” The long-time Chico musician/engineer/ impresario has added another layer of fun to what is already one of the happiest places in town—the Origami Recording Lounge. Now, in addition to creating a house where the hippest local and touring bands record and perform their music, Barwick has added video production to the list of musical rides. Specifically, he’s started a new live-music video series called Room 708, featuring local and touring artists performing live at the lounge.

So far, Barwick and his crew (which includes camera folks Kyle Forrest-Burns, Robbie Reaves, Brittany Lise and Chris Woodcox) have produced videos for three bands, each showcasing a different badass guest engineer: locals The Sad Bastards (engineered by Dale Price) and Bunnymilk (aka Lisa Marie and Kelly Brown, engineered by Kelly Bauman) and former local Dorian Cohen’s rappin’ alter ego Avita Treason (by Chris Keane). Already filmed but still in production are performances by Olympia, Wash., indie trio You Are Plural and Austin, Texas, heavy-makers True Widow. Go to and enjoy the show.

Scene from <i>Avita Treason and the Cube of Time</i>.

Gleaning the time cube Speaking of music, and videos, and cameraman Robbie Reaves, and Avita Treason, check out this thing happening at Café Coda tonight, May 31: In addition to a performance by K Records popsters LAKE, a set by Pat Hull and a CD-release by local indie troubadour Fera, there’s gonna be a collaboration between Reaves (aka Catsoldier) and Treason that is a bona-fide work of performance art. Or, as Catsoldier explained: “It’s an experimental musical play surrounding one man’s two-year journey into a forbidden zone of space to claim a prize known only as: ‘the time cube.’ … There will be a mix of video and still imagery, a large foam-core puppet, hip-hop music, folk tales and an elegant stand-up bass provided by Chico’s own Ryan Davidson.” Sounds arty, and weird, and a little pretentious, and fun. Just how I like ’em.

Mo Hips, the original.

Go back to the grotto Even back during the days of my youthful obnoxiousness, when I was unfairly lumping Chico’s young Mother Hips in with the rest of the soul-killing jam-band scene, I really, really loved the song “Hey Emilie” from the band’s debut, Back to the Grotto (“Hey Emilie/ You can dance to the sound of a side of bacon sizzling!”). Today, as much as that little obstinate corner of my soul hates to admit it, I actually like most of the rest of the album as well. With all that said, The Hips will be performing Back to the Grotto in its entirety June 15 at The Independent in San Francisco, and they are also offering a free download of the disc at through June 2.

Congrats to art! It’s a privilege to be able to share some space here with the young artists who will be honored at the start of the City Council meeting this Tuesday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m. The recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Awards for Achievement in the Arts for Youth are: Jaylee Waddell, Maddy Cowee, and Jenny Zhu (all of Pleasant Valley High School); and a filmmaking team made up of Blue Oak Charter School’s Julia McCarthy and Sophie Zukoski and Chico Junior High’s Georgina Quinn. Certificates of Honorable Mention will be presented to PoHo Lo (Pleasant Valley), Andrea Lopez (Fairview High School) and Maya Sousa (Chico Junior).