Days of Lore

Photo By Melissa Daugherty

Stinks that don’t stink
This past week has been the week of stinks. The good kind of stink, mind you. Not like the stink that comes from your shoe after stepping in a pile of doggy doo left by careless owners who think they’re too good to pick up that little lump of goodness and place it in a plastic baggy. Or when your dad gets home and kicks off his boots after a 10-hour day on the construction site … umm … NOT a good stink. But stinks that are raised when people are dissatisfied with something going on in their community … now, those are good stinks.

Gotta cut footloose
After local media and members of the music community caught a whiff of the proposed “disorderly event” ordinance last week that was to go before the City Council July 17, they wasted no time in making a stink.

The ordinance (9.40), which would give police “more leverage to shut down an out-of-control party,” also included events where moshing or stage-diving was taking place, activities commonly associated with punk rock and metal shows.

Letters were written, e-mails were sent and calls were made to members of the City Council. Oh … and posses were formed. Notable names like Brent Blacklisted, Zeke Rogers, Jimmy Lo and René Stephens helped organize a fine-looking group of tatted up, long-haired freaky people who packed the City Council chambers this week to show their opposition to the ordinance, some holding signs: “No on 9.4 Protect Chico’s Performing Artists;” “Dancing is my Godgiven Right! No on 9.4.”

This was serious.

The response was enough for Chico Police Chief Bruce Hagerty to propose removing the language from the ordinance that included “slamming” and stage-diving. He said the ordinance was modeled after one in Santa Barbara, and explained that it was never their intent to regulate legal activities like dancing.

The council agreed to pull the sections that singled out moshing and stage-diving and was prepared to bring the ordinance back at the next meeting. My vote for most logical councilmember goes to Vice Mayor Ann Schwab, who said she wasn’t comfortable voting on an ordinance that is essentially aimed at students when said students aren’t even in town, and suggested waiting until September before bringing it back before the council.

Not surprisingly, Councilman Steve Bertagna wasn’t so keen on the idea, explaining that the ordinance had already been before Internal Affairs and the council twice and should proceed.

But in the end the council voted 4-3 to bring it back in September. And with that, the nearly 20 people lined up for public comment will also have to wait until then to speak. Good move. I talked to Jimmy Lo and Brent Blacklisted after the decision, and both want more time to examine the entire ordinance, and rightly so. The language is pretty vague. And, like I said last week, I don’t see what the ordinance accomplishes. In my experience, police have always been able to shut down out-of-control parties. Right? And if they can’t shut ’em down without some new law, have they been doing it illegally all this time?

Dance the night away
So. Here are some shows coming up this week that should get people dancing: A flock/army/skein/gaggle/pride of metallic bands are coming to Off Limits Sat., July 21, in the form of locals Blood of Cain, and out-of-towners Malevolent and Iron Fish. Show starts at 9 p.m. and will set you back $5.

If that doesn’t satiate your evil side, check out The Makai’s show to celebrate the release of the band’s new album on Seventh Rule Recordings, The End of All You Know, Mon., July 23, at the 1078 Gallery. It’s going to be a good one with local experimental instrumental collective La Fin du Monde, Seattle black metal band Book of Black Earth and L.A. metal experimentalists Intronaut. Show starts at 8 p.m. sharp, and is five bones. I think a rousing rendition of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” by The Makai is in order. I’m counting on it.