Local bastard

Living in Syn. The truth hurts, especially when you’re the one tellin’ it. So, it isn’t without a tiny amount of pain that Local Bastard brings this report: The new national Synthesis Magazine looks really good (pause to rub eyes in disbelief). At 116 pages, the new mag is an eclectic mix of big-time and up-and-coming artist interviews—Common, Kinski, Lou Barlow, High on Fire, Ravi Shankar—and there are tons of big photos and a really colorful and fun-but-simple layout. Most commendable to this bastard is the fact that Bill Fishkin and crew said, “Let’s make a national magazine,” and then just did it. Now it’s being distributed through big-time retailers such as Borders and Barnes & Noble . Pretty impressive.

Yes, with a but, darlings. “I think if you’re gonna write about it, you should at least suffer over it a little. Lazy writing about lazy music for lazy readers—now that’s a sin, darlings.” That 10-year-old quote is from the originator of the pissy CN&R back pages column, one Bitter Betty , commenting on a much younger version of the Weekly Synthesis , and since I gotta “go there,” as the kids might say, that’s still the main gripe with the paper. And, when you get into reading the articles of the new Big Syn, a familiar pang begins to chip away at the mag’s foundation—much of the writing is very Synthesis-like; that is, barely planned out and pretty thin. Those involved may not believe this, but this criticism is well-intentioned. ( Side note: Dear Chico, grow up. Criticism is a good thing. You are not under attack. Love, L.B.) Since nothing would turn Local Bastard’s frown upside down more than seeing a cooperative effort by a group of young Chicoans succeed in big way, hopefully some of the hard work put into producing the debut can be diverted into preparing for and writing future stories. The suffering would be worth it.

Diarrhea of the mouth. Elsewhere… Seven poetry open-mic nights? Ready or not, the Chico Library is stepping up to the mic Mondays at 7 p.m. (beginning Monday, 7/11). Add this to the four at Has Beans and one each at Moxie’s and Café Flo , and you have seven opportunities to publicly denounce the cynical Local Bastard and his campaign of hate.

TO DO: Fabulous Hofner Brothers reunion (Friday, 7/8, 7 p.m.) at the Friday Night Concert in the Park; KZFR 15th anniversary party (Saturday, 7/9, all day beginning at 9 a.m.), with softball game and BBQ at One-Mile/Sycamore Pool/baseball field ; Ex-Chico, ex- MeYow kids Experimental Dental School at Off Limits w/Oly’s The King Cobra (Sunday, 7/10, 9:30 p.m.).

TO BURN: Birds of Fire e.p.—Go to www.myspace.com/birdsoffire and ask for one.

TWO MORE: Local raptacular duo The Becky Sagers have put out a new ’zine-size band newsletter called Conflict of Interest , with old stories, an interview with Doug Surreal , Lil Ol’ Dirty cartoons and the hilarious ramblings of Heathakilla (email shecklove@hotmail.com to beg for one). Also, the Sagers would probably agree, the best new show on television: The Andy Milonakis Show , Sundays at 7 p.m. on MTV .