Totally not excellent, Garth! From every enormous serious tragedy comes a much smaller hilarious one. If you have yet to see rapper Kayne West’s stuttering dressing-down of Dubya during a nationally televised Hurricane Katrina benefit concert, go now: http://media.putfile.com/Kanye79. All the complexities (and simplicities) of the contemporary American mindset can be gleaned from tracking the various responses to the video. There’s the predictable left: “Right-on, brother! Bush = Bad!” and the predictable right: “That black man hates America!” And then there’s the rest of us, the wide, wide middle, pondering across the blogosphere: “I wonder what was going through Mike Myers head?” Teamed up for one of the benefit’s scripted pleas for donations, the pairing almost came across as a Saturday Night Live skit (bad taste be damned, SNL had better spoof this) as Myers appeared dumbstruck during West’s stream-of-conscious speech. Watch it more than once. Just focus on Myers’ nervous stare when West punctuates the segment with, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” You can totally tell Myers is about to hurl, spew or honk.
The one-cow scene: Chico could learn a lot from Red Bluff. The town knows how to handle giant parties. The Nitro Nationals? The Red Bluff Roundup? If Chico had thousands of speed boaters or cowboys coming from all over the world to party in town, we’d call in the National Guard. We should just take Labor Day, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day up the road.
Red Bluff’s cool. Everyone Local Bastard has met from Dead Bluff (affectionate nickname from wee bastard’s Redding days) is good people. Why, the CN&R’s own kindly Calendar Editor Mark Lore is himself a Bluff boy. And so are Phil Anker, Brooke Kinner (a dude) and Barry Henderson—a trio of merry smart-asses who’ve gone and bought the old Bear Stage (or Bear Star) Café, and renamed it The Union Coffee House. Local scenesters probably remember Anker as the drummer of popsters Pan Pan and the man behind the indie stylings of Shabby Car, and the busiest man alive plans on putting on “mucho shows” at this beautiful big space by the railroad tracks. It’s less than an hour from Chico, and Tips (kind of a mini-Duffy’s/Towne Lounge) is just a block away. (An extremely loud shout out to Bastard buddy Adam Jones, representing the Bluff on the other side of the planet in South Korea. Mee-kook sa-rang.)
TO DO: The Found Footage Festival is on tour and it’s coming to The Pageant in Chico, Wed., Sept. 14, 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. See a sample at www.cine-magic.com/fffQ.html. The Makai, twice: Sat., Sept. 10 at Fulcrum (with Abominable Iron Sloth!) and Wed., Sept. 14 at Hell House (1422 Warner).
TWO MORE: Local jazz dude Matt McBride ( Tropical Expressions) isn’t wasting any time bringing in the heavy hitters for his new music production company, World Class Productions. Three-time Grammy nominee Ottmar Liebert (and Luna Negra) is coming Wed., Sept. 14, and R&R Hall-of-Famer Dave Mason on Oct. 14. Both shows are at Paradise Performing Arts Center. See www.worldclassproductionschico.com. And lastly, February’s Magic Slim & The Teardrops show at the Sierra Nevada Big Room is out on CD and DVD now, courtesy of Blind Pig Records ( www.blindpigrecords.com), and the credits for the Chicago bluesman’s release include a lot of Chico names. Just a few of the credited: Dale Price and Sloan Tash (audio); Peter Berkow and Anita Berkow (video) and most satisfying for L.B., CN&R jazz/blues reviewer Miles Jordan, who penned the liner notes. An excerpt: “Although Sinatra sang about Chicago as ‘that toddling town,’ its history as a rough-and-tumble city that became a mecca for Southern blacks looking for a better life is exemplified by men like Slim whose music reflects the experience of scuffling for a livelihood in a world vastly different from the one in which he’d grown up.”
Props all around!