Kill Hippie Rock. The return of hippie-jam-hipsters turned hippie-country-rockers the Mother Hips to the home stage at LaSalles has made Local Bastard very thoughtful about Chico, California’s musical heritage. Much noise is made (very often by this here bastard) about the frequent regeneration of lively music scenes over the years in this overheated college town. The molten racket of Trench for one was mentioned here last week, and during its run in the early/mid-’90s the music scene was very fertile and varied, with the likes of Death Star , Fat Chick From Wilson Phillips , Land of the Wee Beasties , Mid Fi , Uncle Rosco , The Imps and many others stomping around. This was just one of many such times, and though local news media have justifiably paid much attention to these blooming seasons of creativity—from the hazy punk-pop days of Vomit Launch to the current crop of Debauchery and other fun—the cover-paying college crowd has generally opted to ignore our local pop stars and noise-makers in favor of waiting in long lines outside LaSalles for the chance to twirl along with mid-tempo rock and extended jams. Spark ‘n’ Cinder , Electric Circus , Sunset Red , Mother Hips , Buffalo Creek , Goldmind , Chingus —kicking down a groove and holding it all night long keeps drunken feet shuffling, I guess. Just go to the Friday Night Concerts in the Park (and many of the Downtown Music Revolution concerts, for that matter), and it’s obvious that either this is what the town loves or what it settles for.
“I wanna be a Superwinner too.” Apologies need to be given to the Mother Hips on many levels for lumping them into the jam crowd—Local Bastard actually digs a lot of Tim and Greg’s songwriting—but it does rub sandpaper on his tender spots to hear that annoying refrain from the hidden “Superwinner” track on 1996’s Shootout . The fact that the Hips weren’t on the bill of four-day Superwinner Summer Rock Academy fest in the summer of ’95 and made a song complaining about/making fun of/honoring the fact is one thing, but that piano riff … Kill me.
Roadkill. Anyone who’s been stuck on a two-lane mountain road behind a giant white coffin-on-wheels with a Rascal scooter strapped to the back knows the urge to buy a rocket launcher and send that Winnebago burning off the nearest cliff. Well hold yer fire, soldier, because the Brits are coming, and they’ve brought Pods ( www.podcaravans.com ). Like an iPod stuffed with mini people, these mini RVs are cute, colorful and, best of all, tiny. Supposedly four adults can sit down for a meal, then convert the unit into a queen-size bed and party all night! For anywhere from 2,550 to 4,700 British pounds (double that for dollars)—depending on how tricked out you want it—you can get your own little home for the road.
We represent the Lollipop Kids. While Pods are pretty cool for gettin’ yer munchkin goin’ on the road, designer/ fabricator /artist Andrea Zittel ’s funky “A-Z Escape Vehicles” (pictured center left) are like a double-rad version made for the living room. Plus, Zittel has also built her own 44-ton floating island, which is totally badass. Check her: www.zittel.org and www.pbs.org/art21/ artists/zittel/index.html#
TO DO: Oedipus Rocks , Jerry Miller ’s musical kick-off for this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park .
TWO MORE: Very excited to share that David Lynch has just has let out that he’s been working on a new film for the last two years called INLAND EMPIRE (yes, all caps) that is tentatively scheduled to show at Cannes next spring. Also, to really rule the road, for just $275,000 you can get your own Rhino Runner armored bus from Florida’s Labock Technologies ( www.labock.com/ english/av_runner.htm ), just like the ones used on the “Road of Death” in Iraq.