Days of Lore
THE AWARD FOR BIGGEST JACKASS GOES TO … ME! I’ve never liked music awards ceremonies. My dissatisfaction started at a young age when Jethro Tull snagged the best Heavy Metal Album award from Metallica in 1988.
But last Saturday’s awards ceremony proved to be a satisfying end to the CAMMIES’ first year. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Would people be willing to drop 10 to 12 bones on a ticket? This is Chico—$12 adds up to about a dozen pints of Pale Ale, or four veggie burritos, or a CD from the bargain rack at Tower Records. And would bands feel comfortable going head-to-head in a music competition where everyone is friends with one another?
Since the idea of the CAMMIES came about a few months ago, I looked at it more as an opportunity to bring the music community together—host some good shows with bands that may not have otherwise played together, and to show people what a deep pool of talented musicians we have in Chico (whether I think a band sucks or not, there’s still some talent). The showcases did that. And last Saturday’s awards ceremony solidified what I really wanted from this whole thing: a good time.
Sure there were awards, but that was all secondary to the performances and the fun: Conrad Nystrom ripping the CN&R banner down after West By Swan’s always-loud, always-powerful performance. Or The Makai’s Brandon Squyres soiling the stage with fake blood after pulling out a decapitated rubber head. Or Big Mo showing everyone why he won the Monterey Blues Festival Battle of the Blues Bands in 2004. Or Gruk cramming their usual 19 songs into 8 minutes, while getting audience members to get up on stage and dance. Or the Becky Sagers bumrushing the stage Ol’ Dirty Bastard-style. Or the losers party at Duffy’s. Those are the memories that will endure—not who won the award for best flute player, or best killer rock pose.
PEACE OUT So the CAMMIES are over … this year anyway, which brings a certain amount of relief—no more stressing about booking venues, no more weekly inserts, no more writing generic band bios. It was loads of fun, though. N&R events producer Chris Caraway did a great job of pulling it together in a short period of time, and doing all the dirty work of dealing with sponsors that I’m sure as hell not capable of. And the entire music community—musicians and those who simply go out to shows—really embraced the concept and had a good time.
That said, I’m officially tired of talking about the CAMMIES. So, until next year, unless, or course, I’m living out my dream of writing novels while living in Spain with my 22-year-old Basque girlfriend slurping cheap Cruzcampos on the beach. OK, next year it is.
THE FIRST CHURCH OF ROCK I stepped out of my comfort zone by going to the This Holiday Life/Cabrini Green/Cair Paravel show this week at Off Limits. With the exception of Cair Paravel, these weren’t bands I’d necessarily make an effort to go see. This Holiday Life wasn’t too shabby—offering up some friendly pop rock in the vein of U2—and Cabrini Green played its usual tight set of made-for-radio rock songs.
It was the first time I had seen Cair Paravel in a long time, and I just want to know one thing: When did they get so loud? I loved it. Speaking of the CAMMIES-award-winning (yeah, I went there) Cair Paravel, the band just returned home early after being on the road with The Americas. Apparently the price of gas has gotten so bad that they had to cut the tour short. God bless America!