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Now in full color Let Arts DEVO tell you about birds and the bees. Wait, scratch the birds. Let me tell you about the poodle and the bees. You see, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and the two giant cherry trees on the DEVO compound have formed one giant white globe that is casting a bright light over the back yard. It’s a shining beacon to the new season, and the bees have taken notice and are eagerly going at it in the first orgy of the spring. All this activity has gotten me worked up as well, and last Saturday I ventured out into the nature surrounding our house with our tiny poodle in tow. As I got to work on the wildness—cutting back overgrown shrubs here, yanking out weeds there—my little friend found the most sunny spot on the patio and passed out.

As I began to clip, and cut, and dig through the yard, I let myself daydream about all that is happening in the upcoming spring. The first thing I thought about as I sneezed, and scratched, and stubbed, and bled, was how much time I was going to be spending in the yard. There are days’ worth of maintenance to be done, and things haven’t even really started growing yet!

In addition to the weekends working (and barbecuing!) in the yard there is of course the upcoming Chico Area Music Awards season. I’m stoked to be helping with putting on the CAMMIES again. It’s a ton of work, but there are some great new bands that have me excited (have I talked about the French Reform yet?), some great old bands that have me excited (go to and see the video of Surrogate’s super-catchy single, “Lovers,” made by former Botchii madman Tom Botchii), and I am excited about Rick Barnett’s super-sweet, old-timey, bird-musician art for this year. (Check out this year’s schedule on p. 21.)

There is, of course, a ton more than just the CAMMIES on the local community-events horizon. Every weekend of spring is packed. Kite Day is this weekend (March 24, Community Park); the Thursday Night Market opens the first weekend in April; the California Nut Festival at Patrick Ranch is on the same day as the CAMMIES finale (April 20); the Wildflower Century race is the following week (April 28) and is followed by the Endangered Species Faire (May 4), Chico Art Fiesta (May 10-12), Music for Music Fest (May 11), the fair (May 23-27), and the Bicycle Music Festival (June 1).

There are also a ton of imminent changes that I will be attempting to not freak out about: The huge sycamores outside my office window are being torn down (and the street around it will then be torn up) as they prepare to build a new roundabout. Origami Recording Lounge owner Scott Barwick is closing down the live-show side of his business for now to focus on working in and remodeling his recording studio. Local theater god Jerry Miller has stepped down from the Summer Theatre Festival, and as of now, no one else has stepped up to continue that tradition. Oh, and as you may have read in last week’s issue, the biggest change of the entire spring is the fact that CN&R Editor Robert Speer is retiring! (Stay tuned for more than one column of devotion on that historical front.) And my friend and colleague, current badass Managing Editor Melissa Daugherty, is taking over the editor job in May. That’s like … holy shit, how is so much happening?! Oh, and I gotta do my taxes!

I planned on writing a column about plugging into the energy source of spring to get juiced up for the season, but I think I need to find a warm piece of concrete and just bask in the warmth for a little while before getting started.