Days of Lore

Banda La Patrona: The matching shirts mean this is serious business.

Banda La Patrona: The matching shirts mean this is serious business.

Cut turns close shave
The city is making cuts all over the place. Cut, cut. Snip, snip. Trim, trim. That’s what happens when there’s an annual $6 million deficit on the city’s books. Many organizations are taking cuts, including several in the arts community (see full story).

The local arts organization facing one of the biggest cuts at Tuesday’s all-day City Council budget meeting was University Public Events, the group responsible for putting on the Chico World Music Fest. The annual festival, which is entering its 15th year, was threatened with a $10,000 cut—half of its city funding. The council was told that a cut like that could put the entire three-day event in jeopardy (although, if I may play devil’s advocate, I think the sharp minds behind CWMF are resourceful, and would probably find other ways to fund the event).

A handful of concerned citizens came out and showed support. Bringing an even-tempered voice of reason was the event’s organizer, UPE Director Dan DeWayne, who explained that the CWMF brings in some 3,000 people per day, a quarter of whom come from out of town (bringing their dinero to Chico).

The council agreed (Tom Nickell and Andy Holcombe emphatically), and voted 3-2 (Mary Flynn and Ann Schwab disqualified themselves) to leave the 10 grand intact, and make smaller cuts elsewhere in the budget.

It’s a signature event for Chico to say the least. And you don’t really want to lose something that has a guy like DeWayne behind it (he started the Strawberry Music Festival 27 years ago).

The Underground: 6 feet under ground?
Aside from our beloved vinyl nirvana, Melody Records, Chico just can’t seem to keep a music store around. I was told earlier this week that The Underground, which is Chico’s last fully functional music store standing, was closing its doors.

So I walked down there. The doors were closed.

A call to the Oroville store (which is independently owned) revealed that The Underground in Redding shut down in February and that it was rumored that stores in Chico and Yuba City closed last weekend. Sure enough, no answer at either location. Not even an answering machine.

Maybe it had something to do with poor selection and over-inflated prices, but damn … it looks like Chico is officially without a music store. More to come.

One Block radical!
OK, enough budget-cuts-going-out-of-biz business. Former local boy Marty James and his group One Block Radius have just signed to Def Jam Records … that’s Def Jam, home to artists like The Roots, Kanye West, LL Cool J and Nas.

Sort of ironic considering James was once signed to Grand Royal Records (with his former project, Scapegoat Wax), the label started by the Beastie Boys after they split from Def Jam in 1992.

One Block Radius, which also includes MDA and charismatic emcee Z-Man, had just released a single on James’ Property Music Group before inking the deal with Def Jam.

Get your CD here
A couple of my favorites are releasing records this week. Michael Lee is performing tonight (June 5) at Café Coda to celebrate his new disc Yesterday and Every Day After. Joining Lee is an all-star lineup featuring Pat Hull, Zach Zeller, March of the Mannequins and Petticoat (Lee’s other project with Erin Lizardo). Show starts at 8 p.m.

And on the noisier, more chaotic front, The Secret Stolen is releasing its second full-length, Goodbye Wonderland, and will perform Friday (June 6) at 1078 Gallery with uke-pop duo Dick and Jane, Candy Apple and Bear Hunter—wow, these guys know how to throw a party. 8 p.m.

Algo diferente
Or, if you want to try something completely different, head down to Lost On Main Friday (June 6), for Ranchero Nights, featuring Grupo Ilusión Norteña and Banda La Patrona.

Lost On Main GM Sue Reed has had the Tex Mex-themed music event in the works for a while. Good to see someone is recognizing the Latino population in whitebread Chico.

Bo Diddley, RIP