Rob Blair goes, and Odd Future is in the building
Who’s going to update the Sniffle Scale!? Nooooooo! Rob Blair is no longer our local weatherman. The channels 12 and 24 morning/afternoon meteorologist and Wake Up! morning-show co-host was let go by the station’s new owner last Friday (see Downstroke, p. 8). How can this be? Arts DEVO’s morning ritual goes like this: Pour black coffee, let the dog out, turn on the TV and wait for Blair to tell me how much rain “Rod in Magalia” is reporting for the Ridge today. I honestly depend on the warm, goofy banter between Blair and co-host Megan McMann to gently nudge me into my Chico weekdays, and I can’t believe he will no longer be there to greet me.
His wacky, likeable on-camera persona aside, what really has made Blair such a popular local personality is the fact that he was always so enthusiastic about Chico and seemed to embrace his role as one of the most prominent voices for the community. Whatever the reason was for the station’s new owners letting him go, I can’t imagine that the guy who was recently voted Best Local Personality by readers in the CN&R’s 2012 Best of Chico awards was dropped due to lack of audience appeal.
OFWGKTA in the house Real talk: The Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt show coming up at the Senator Theatre next Wednesday, May 15, has the potential to be one of the greatest shows you’ve ever seen, or one of the worst. My advice: Throw all preconceptions out the window, lock up your delicate sensibilities for safe keeping and just go. In many ways, these two cornerstones of the acclaimed, hipster-adopted Odd Future hip-hop collective (of which recent Grammy-winner Frank Ocean was a member) appear to be no different than a lot of the foul-mouthed, misogynistic, insult-flinging MCs who threaten to turn the genre into a bloated parody of itself. But they really are different. Their flow is not just another mindless diversion from the pipe of shit flowing across the rap landscape. The words they use may be just as ugly and juvenile, but they are pointed and carefully guided into powerfully constructed, often frightening works of dark or just trippy art. And live, like a rap version of the Sex Pistols, Odd Future’s known to teeter on the brink of destruction. This could go either way.
Viddy this I got a couple of emails last week about new videos for songs by two local bands: Go to local videographer Bill DeBlonk’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/ChicoBands and see his groovy live-footage/local-scenery collage for Candy Apple’s rave-up “Me and Penny.” And search “Dylan’s Dharma” on YouTube for the band’s new video for their punchy, catchy “Sex in the City,” which has garnered more than 36,000 views in just three weeks!
University props I’ve been late in giving a shout out to the accomplishments of a couple of Chico State’s big dogs of the arts. First, Chico State philosophy professor and acclaimed poet Troy Jollimore has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013. And second, North State Symphony’s vibrant conductor, Kyle Wiley Pickett, has been hired to be the new conductor of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra in Kansas. And, via the press release, the maestro assures us that he will be staying on with NSS, so hurray for him and for us!
Arts weekend at 1078 In addition to hosting the Music for Music fest this weekend (May 11), 1078 Gallery is also throwing a launch party on Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m., for the Watershed Review, the new online version of the Chico State English Department’s literary and arts publication. And on Saturday, May 11, from 12:30-5 p.m. they’ll be hosting their second installment of the Second Saturdays hands-on art experience for kids, with this month’s program being a musical one in conjunction with Music for Music. Call 343-1973 for more info.