Local artists’ dueling prints of Chico landmarks
We’re crazy for the local music this week! Our annual issue devoted to Chico’s music makers might not be as over-the-top as the full-frontal CAMMIES assault that we unleash each spring, but that doesn’t mean we writers don’t take full advantage of the opportunity to seriously pile on ridiculous amounts of praise and jubilation over how great we have it in Chico.
I am the first to admit that we (I) sometimes lay it on pretty thick when it comes to repping the scene, but it should be pointed out that focusing on the scene’s bounty isn’t the same as saying that the cornucopia is overflowing with great music. In fact, I’d guess that there are only a handful of bands that most everyone would agree are really good. The noteworthy feature of the local music scene, the one that deserves the continued play it gets, is that in Chico there is always a new band to hear. Sometimes it’s new kids in town for school, sometimes it’s the old players starting a new thing, but it has always been the Chico scene’s best feature.
In fact, I’d bet a donut that there are a dozen original bands in Chico right now that every person reading this hasn’t heard yet: Did you know Barbara Manning has a new band called Champion? How about Karisha Longaker and Sarah Nutting’s acoustic duo MaMuse (mandolin, stand-up bass, guitar, etc.)? The Kevin Reid Project’s bouncy piano-driven pop? The guy/girl folk-rock fun of Belles and Whistles? Yeah, I thought as much. Give a new crew a listen—there are plenty to choose from.
Chico artist, rapper and long-time Arts DEVO friend Aye Jay Morano has gone and done Chico a solid by putting a couple of iconic slices of the life we locals love into screen-printed form just in time for the holidays. In the spirit of Michael Schwab‘s famous serigraphs of national park landmarks as well as the similar and wildly popular Chico landmark prints by local artist Jake Early, Aye Jay has produced the first two (awesome!) selections from what he’s calling the Chico Legends series. They represent the landmarks that he “grew up knowing and loving”—one featuring the legendary Thunderbird Lodge sign and one with the familiar facade of Duffy’s Tavern. The 18 x 24 prints feature four and five colors (including one metallic layer) on heavy white paper and are being sold at Art Etc. (122 W. Third St.) for $40 each.
If the onslaught of holiday activities and theater openings hasn’t already overwhelmed your calendar, here are two recommendations for guaranteed arts fun this week:
One: The CN&R’s Poetry 99 showcase is going live. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., at the 1078 Gallery, the kid, teen and adult winners of the poetry contest will read their works, and afterward we’ll hold a special poetry slam, where the contestants will have only 99 seconds to spit their piece, as well as an open-mic reading. The show and the slam are free—e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Two: The Humanities Gallery’s new show is a 61-year retrospective of Bay Area photographer David Johnson, and tonight Johnson will be in town to speak at the opening reception (Thurs, Dec. 4, 5-7 p.m.). A former student of Ansel Adams, Johnson made his mark with his black-and-white images of San Francisco’s multicultural Fillmore District from the ’40s through the ’60s, where he documented the street scenes, night clubs and social changes of the evolving neighborhood. His work was even featured in a major documentary on the Fillmore as well as in Ken Burns’ Jazz series on PBS. Legendary local photographer, and fellow Adams student, Ira Latour will be on hand to introduce Johnson at the reception.