Feel the pain of art
Kick me! Welcome back, students. Now, entertain me! Arts DEVO loves this time of year, so full of the promise of something new and fresh happening in Chico. It is always my sincere hope that some crazy-ass young bloods will roar into the school year with big ideas and a reckless disregard for all who’ve come before and just kick the local art scene square in the nuts. There is a lot of radness already in place in Chico, but the spark for that eternal flame has only one source: the wildly beating hearts of the young ’uns who have the gumption to slam their feet into our crotches.
Chico’s music and arts scenes can be what you make them, and Chico is the kind of manageable, friendly, encouraging town where being involved in things is easy.
With that said, here is a list of fresh and awesome things and people and questions to consider (and maybe be inspired by):
1. First question: What’ll the new kids do next? If any arty types or musical wannabes out there would like to see how following through with a creative idea is done, check out the many projects of Chico band Clouds on Strings. In addition to their prog-nerdiness, the various members have been hosting themed jazz nights at Café Coda; building GigIndie.com, an online music-venue database for bands with their buddies in Hail the Sun; and now hosting rock shows those same guys with their new DiFY Productions. First show: Dark Side of the Moon Tribute Concert, featuring the classic Pink Floyd album being performed in its entirety by local bands, Friday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m., at the Chico Women’s Club.
2. Café Coda, Origami Recording Lounge, Monstros Pizza, The Maltese, Café Flo: Aka the Five Horsemen of the Radpocalypse, wherein your underground-music spirit is nourished.
3. Second question: Will Rogue Theatre shine again? The rebel theater without a home is still around, and I’m very excited at the prospect of its reported plans to stage Tracy Letts’ incredible Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning dark comedy, August: Osage County, in December.
4. Fred’s debut performance: New Blue Room Theatre artistic director Fred Stuart is about to announce the schedule (on Aug. 25) for his first season at the helm, and he’s already confirmed that the cornerstone production of the season built around the theme of “civility in modern society” will be French playwright Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning God of Carnage.
5. The original originals: MÁNÁS Artspace, where Chico’s most energetic scene-makers invite you to come help them make the scene.
6. Habitat Lab: A former candy warehouse is bought by local artists and turned into a big, beautiful new art space. Stay tuned.
7. Bustolini’s comedy nights: The Last Stand comedy venue might’ve closed, but Bustolini’s semi-regular comedy showcases live on. Next up: Friday, Aug. 24, 8 p.m., at Blue Room, featuring a host of local performers plus Sacramento comedians Johnny Taylor and Jesse Fernandez.
8. Third question: Will the mysterious She Fetus bring her acoustic experiments out from the shadows and make a public appearance?
9. Fourth question: Will the mysterious Hobilly MF continue to haunt my dreams for failing to get off the couch and bear witness to his tasty slide guitar?
10. Indarcore! Coolest family in Chico? It’s no contest. Husband and wife Josh and Robin Indar front the mighty fun rock/punk trio Severance Package; Robin is about the hippest punk-rock tile-maker around (see her art opening Saturday, Sept. 8, 4-6 p.m., at All Fired Up), and their two sons are superstar actors in Bobby Joe Ebola’s “Xcelnt” new music video for their sing-along anthem, “Life is Excellent.”
XI. Another question: Will an audience member lose an actual limb at Lost on Main during a showing of the stage adaptation of the twisted Japanese horror flick Audition (directed by CN&R film critic Craig Blamer and showing Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m., through Sept. 1.) I don’t know. Probably.
12. Final question: Which of you as-of-yet unknown arts makers will be the one who makes Arts DEVO screech like a little girl by delivering a clean kick to the energy bone?