Days of Lore

GET IN WHERE YA FIT IN Damn, I go down to Best Buy to purchase a few blank CDs, and all of a sudden I find myself standing in front of a big screen with a plastic guitar strapped around my neck, getting my ass handed to me on a video game by some pimply faced kid. That is what we call a productive Saturday afternoon in Chico, Californ-I-A.

I had arrived just in time for the Guitar Hero tournament, in which one can spend hours playing simulated guitar to countless rock classics. I’m not going to lie; I love that game. But I had no intention of playing. The place was already crawling with a hundred or so pale, awkward-looking kids who probably spent every waking hour plugged into their PS2s. And I’m sure they looked at me wondering what the hell this pale, awkward-looking grown-up was doing there.

It was actually a harmonious occasion—a group of like-minded individuals bound by the common goal of one day dominating the Donnas’ “Take it Off” on the expert level. One guy (a grown man) dressed up like one of the ax-slingers in the video game, complete with a curly black wig and ripped T-shirt. My guess is that he was from Oroville, and this was his big day in the sprawling metropolis of Chico.

SHORT AND SWEET I signed up for what I thought was the “easy” level before finding out that it was really the “medium” level, which required pinky use. Not good. I took a joke of a guitar class at Butte College years ago, and my teacher always called me “Django” because I never used my pinky.

When they called my name, I stepped up, chose “Infected” by Bad Religion and went head to head with this kid, who coincidentally wasn’t very good. But he managed to squeak it out because I didn’t use my “star power” when I should have, which bumps up your points. So, deflated from my defeat, I did what came naturally—I socked him in the face and ran out of the store.

FREE COFFEE, FOR PEET’S SAKE As I sit here pulling a long black hair from my burrito, I realize that drinking coffee all day might be a better way to sate those hunger pangs. That said, the scene-certified Peet’s Coffee, located on the corner of Second and Main streets, will be celebrating its 40th anniversary by offering complimentary coffee and tea between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. throughout the month of April. I’m sure my friends who work there will be absolutely thrilled that I spilled the beans. Sooorry …

HIPPIES BE GONE? After months of speculation (spanning back to my days of writing the Everybody’s Business column, R.I.P) the sale of Stormy’s Off Broadway has been finalized. Terry Kaveney, who’s owned Stormy’s with her husband, Dean, since 1996, called CN&R and said the new owners were going to keep it as a live-music venue and that things likely would change over by spring. I walked by, and it looks like Mad Raven Inc. will be the name of the new venue. Whether it remains the epicenter for twirling and incense remains to be seen.

Stay tuned for more downtown music venue news in the coming weeks.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL There is a gaggle of good shows coming up this week, and if you know what’s best, you’ll check ’em out. The Makai, currently touring along the West Coast, will make a stop in Chico, joining a triple bill of rock nastiness with the Stationary Legs and Blood of Cain tonight (Thurs., March 23) at 8 p.m. at The Crux.

If that sounds like it may be a bit too much, try Machinegreen, Deerpen, Sacto’s Call Me Ishmael and Sleepyhead Fri., March 24, at Off Limits—9:30 p.m., five bucks and cheap PBRs. What more could you want?

AND FOR THE KIDDIES If you’re of the under-21 variety, head down to Gearhead Barbershop and Tattoo Fri., March 24, for L.A.’s the Amateurs (fronted by Keith Waggoner, former drummer for local metal band Drimcycle) and locals Drama Queen, a nifty little rock ensemble featuring former members of Paleo and the Electric Pie Band.

COUNTDOWN TO INDIE FEST Only 37 days to go! Like the people putting it on, I couldn’t tell you who’s actually playing. All I can say is: Mark your calendars if you’re into rocking out to some serious “alternative-screamo.”