Neil Young logo by Jake Early

Neil Young logo by Jake Early

Getting paid …
Last month, Days of Lore reported the fact that Chico screenprint-master Jake Early was adding rock-poster art—specifically, for big-time indie jammers My Morning Jacket—to his insanely popular local landmark series (get yer “Bidwell Mansion” at Chico Paper Co. before they’re gone—and they might already be gone). The newest word from the local-boy-doin’-good is that a design of his was selected by the man, Neil Young himself. Early’s lovely blue bird will grace the front of a ladies’ T’s during Young’s upcoming tour.

Of course, I’d be remiss in giving proper props if I didn’t also mention that the busiest rock and rap poster (and skateboard and ’zine) artist in town, one Aye Jay, also had a few new feathers sprout from his cap this past year. In the wake of his popular Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book , ECW Press had signed him on for two more releases, the next of which will be one for the punkers. And as for band posters, Aye Jay’s ’08 has included works for the Butthole Surfers, High on Fire and three for hipster comedian Patton Oswalt.

Can it be that an artist can actually live in Chico and still make a living being an artist?

… or not
Anyone who has been in Chico for any number of years knows that live-music venues are always coming and going, especially all-ages live music venues. However, for the past couple of years, there has been a boon of opportunity for local bands to play live.

Patton by Aye Jay

There are three consistent all-ages spots: Monstros, the CRUX and Café Coda. And three consistent 21-over spots: Nick’s Night Club, LaSalles and Lost on Main. Given this seeming embarrassment of riches, the questions I find myself asking is, “Are there too many choices for live music here? Can a city the size of Chico handle this many local shows?”

Take last weekend as an example. As I pointed out last week, there were 30 bands playing at the above six venues over the course of Friday and Saturday nights. My sense was that at least half of the shows would tank. I’m far from a pessimist, but logistically it didn’t seem possible. According to an informal survey of the promoters and bands involved in the amplified orgy, the results were a little better than expected.

Of the 10 shows, four had good-to-great turnouts, two were just OK and three tanked. I didn’t get any word on the Electric Circus gig at Lost on Main, but knowing Chico, I’m guessing there was a good-to-great crowd spinning on the dance floor despite the early start time.

Seventy percent doesn’t seem so bad. It’s interesting, though, that two of the shows that tanked were all-ages—Friday’s at CRUX and Saturday’s at Monstros. This begs another question, “Where are all the underage college kids hanging out?”

Signs of health?
I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but TION—as in evoluTION or acTION (or possibly conjuncTION juncTION, what’s your funcTION?)—is coming. “What’s a shun?” you ask. It’s the new warehouse performance venue, art studio, film production house, and whatever else the soon-to-be-former CRUX folks (who will vacate the Park Avenue space Oct. 31) can dream up with their expanded crew of local musicians, artists and performers, including the Chikoko collective and Chico’s percolating electronic underground.

Big grand opening with all of the above: Saturday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m., at TION, 2280 Ivy St., space 140 (take Park to Meyers to Ivy, near the old D.I.Y.R.G. and the old old CRUX).

Now I’m just shouting out
Please, give a warm Chico welcome to A.D.’s two new officemates, new CN&R Calendar Editor Christy Pryde, and newly dubbed Staff Writer Christine LaPado (basically the same Christine LaPado, but with a fancy telephone and a company e-mail address—go ahead, send her a note: <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>). Christy, Christine and Cassidy, cultivating the calendar of creativity and community for Chico’s culturally conscious … clearly.