Local bastard

It burns! It burns! Local Bastard is … speechless. There were plans to make fun of so many ridiculous things this week—the Chico State Women’s Center vs. The Synthesis, the shirtless lineup for this weekend’s Day on the Green battle of the bands at Chico State, the John Denver impersonator at Paradise Performing Arts Center—but along came Dennis Madalone (pictured). Don’t be fooled by his day job, as a stunt coordinator for the various Star Trek TV shows (he’s even on one of the trading cards). This guy’s special, in a David Koresh-meets-Jesus Christ-meets-that-dude-who-sings-for-REO Speedwagon sort of way. The lyrics and the video for his post-9/11 anthem, “America We Stand as One,” are … there are no words. It can’t be described in print. Like almost falling backwards in a chair or spasming bowel muscles, you just have to experience it: www.americawestandasone.com/video.html and don’t forget the remix: www.smerpology.org/sprocket/images/america-fuckyeah-westandasone.mov

I can’t resist pulling the knob. “Speeding down this freeway we call life/ Nothing seems to matter/ It all flies by/ Don’t you point your finger/ because you want it/ Don’t you point your finger/ because I got it.” Just some poetry from “Shift Knob,” as sung by local metal heads Vext Intent (playing Day on the Green, Sun., 5/1, 11am-5pm, by Whitney Hall). I want to point out that the lyrics seem like a punch line to that joke you play on a babies, but frankly, where the lyrics end up by the end of the song kind of scares me: “Hey motherfucker, what you want from me?/ I’ll give you something that you want from me/ I’ll give you murder in the first degree.” Gulp.

Coming in at No. 8: Here’s one all the really old schoolers will applaud. The eighth entry on the chico-rock-complaint top-10 list is best expressed by pointing out that the Blue Room’s production of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which Local Bastard caught last weekend and is jazzed to report is being held-over for an extra few days—don’t miss out) is a better rock show than 90 percent of the actual rock shows that happen in town these days. The Achilles’ heel of indie rock has always been the mistaken impression that putting energy and forethought into stage presence is selling out to rock star posturing. Well, Chico’s hunched-over sad bastard rockers have slowly begun replacing some of the dynamic stage performers of Chico’s past, and its flaccid posture is easily lost in the shadow of Hedwig’s power-packed inch.

I saw ’em before they were huge! Now’s your chance to join the hip ranks of the local scenesters always braggin’ how they saw Modest Mouse or Nirvana or Death Cab for Cutie play for, like, 12 people at some tiny Chico rock spot. Go to the Aqueduct show at Off Limits on Thurs., 4/28, and wear your indie pants. From Oklahoma to Seattle to Death Cab’s label Barsuk to Conan O’Brien, Aqueduct’s keyboard-heavy indie-pop with strong beats and thrilling melodies is fresh enough and great enough to be the next “it” thing. If you don’t believe it, go to the e-card at www.barsuk.com/aqecard.com for a video and some tunes from the debut album, I Sold Gold.

Back on the left coast. Scotty Imp will be visiting town from N.Y.C. next week, and you know Duffy’s is already clearing off the stage for an Imps reunion show (Sat., 5/7, 9pm, with the Becky Sagers)—also a free show at Tower Records the night before (Fri., 5/6, 7pm).

TO DO: Butte College Student Film Festival, Pageant Theatre, Fri., 4/29, 5-9pm; The Freedom Dance, three days of live music, camping, organic food and dirt twirling in Flournoy (a benefit for Tehama Gold Olive Oil), 15530 Paskenta Road (info: 833-0119); Chico State International Fest, Kendall Hall Lawn, Sat., 4/30, 11am-7pm; Gary Thompson (one of Local Bastard’s first writing teachers) reads poetry from his book, John Muir’s Trail , Lyon Books, Wed., 5/4, 7pm.