Let’s get weird

A guide to some of the unique, experimental and freaky fun on Chico’s calendar the next few months

Hands-on at the New Music Symposium.

Hands-on at the New Music Symposium.

Photo by Jason Cassidy

It's one thing to want to explore Chico's weird side, but it's another to know where and when to find it. So we're shining a light here on a handful of unique upcoming events and other oddities to satisfy your curiosity and keep you occupied until summer break.

Burlesque with The Malteazers

Wooden mask made with CNC carving robot at Idea Fabrication Labs.

Photo by Erin Banwell

There is something fun and funky going on at the Maltese Bar & Tap Room most every night of the week—from rowdy rock shows and drunken spelling bees to drag shows and dance nights. But the monthly revues by the house burlesque troupe are the wildest good time to be had at the South Chico dive bar. It’s a shifting cast of characters—women and men, straight and not—of all shapes and kinks, putting on a different themed program in front of the red curtain each month. First Saturdays, 9:30 p.m., at the Maltese Bar & Tap Room, 1600 Park Ave., www.themaltesebar.com

New Music Symposium

Every spring semester, Chico State music professor David Dvorin brings visiting musicians from the greater experimental music scene to Chico to perform a free concert as part of the two-day New Music Symposium. This year, he’s booked Earplay, a superband of Bay Area musicians performing chamber music pieces by contemporary composers. The visiting group plays on the second day of the symposium, and day one is reserved for the student composers and features a wide variety of experimental and other styles of music by members of the composition class. Oh, and it’s also free! Feb. 26-27, Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall, Chico State.

EDM parties with BassMint

Little Lulu Mae of The Malteazers burlesque troupe.

Photo by Isabel Dresler

If you want to get in with the electronic dance music scene in Chico, you’ll have to go underground, literally. Every Friday night, underneath Second Street, the bar area of the Peking Chinese Restaurant is transformed into a dark, hip and sweaty EDM party by the BassMint crew, with a soundtrack provided by a rotating cast of Chico’s best teaming up with the occasional visiting electronic DJs. It’s the kind of hideaway that feels like you’d need a password, but it’s usually only $3 to enter. Fridays, 9:30 p.m., Peking Chinese Restaurant, 243 W. Second St., www.facebook.com/bassmintchico

Idea Fabrication Labs

Basically, this place is Disneyland for artist-freaks—a 7,000-square-foot warehouse for making and showing art. But unlike your average artist-studio co-op, Idea Fabrication Labs has some serious toys for the artists to work with. In addition to a full complement of power and hand tools, they have no less than a 3-D printer, a laser engraver and a computer-controlled Shopbot router. IFL offers classes on how to use the equipment and memberships for artists, and they also host regular exhibits featuring the fruits from this progressive maker space. The next show (opening Feb. 21) will be an exploration of computerized 3-D models by the Lab’s own Erin Banwell. Idea Fabrication Labs, 603 Orange St. www.ideafablabs.com

Cemetery tours

Wanna see where characters from Chico’s past are buried? Curious about the meaning behind the various symbols found on tombstones? Join the tour of the cemetery and learn where to find the final resting place of our town’s founder (hint: It’s marked with a boulder from the Humboldt Road project) and a wealth of other history spread across the grounds where more than 34,000 have been interred. Call Clark Masters to reserve a spot, 345-7243. Third Thursdays, Chico Cemetery, 881 Mangrove Ave.

Searsucker Ride

From the folks who bring us the Chico Tweed Ride each fall comes its sister event in the spring, the Seersucker Spring Ride. Don your white shoes and lightweight puckered cotton, hop on your penny farthing, and join your smartly dressed compatriots for a leisurely ride to Bidwell Park for more leisure. Search “Chico Tweed Ride” on Facebook to get the latest news on this year’s ride.

Explore Lumina

Head down to Orient Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets, and you won’t be able to miss the polka-dotted masterpiece known as Lumina. The outside and inside of the house, even the cars in the driveway, have been covered with the colorful pointillist paintings of its owner, Norm Dillinger. HGTV’s Offbeat America series even did a segment on the place in 2006. Stop by and gawk from the sidewalk, or knock on the door and ask for a tour. Lumina, 821 Orient St.