Lost and found at NXN

Our roving reporters give their impressions of the Nowhere X Nowhere weekend

1 a.m. Sunday Local power pop trio the Imps rocked the latenight Saturday crowd at Duffy’s

1 a.m. Sunday Local power pop trio the Imps rocked the latenight Saturday crowd at Duffy’s

The late, great San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen famously wrote that Chico was a place where Velveeta could be found in the supermarket’s gourmet section. It’s also, we now know, the site of the Velveeta of national music festivals.

Last weekend’s third-annual Nowhere X Nowhere Festival, the brainchild of local impresario and promoter DNA, was a rag-tag gathering of largely unknown bands, artists and performers from anywhere and everywhere who come to play our small burg for little or no money. Call it a poor man’s parody of major fests such as South by Southwest, but fundamentally it can be characterized as an attempt (spearheaded by a driven individual) to put Chico on the map and bring the community together in an overall celebration of the arts—always a good thing.

This year promised to be intriguing, as the festival featured a Bulgarian metal band flying in just for the show, a cello-rock group, a main event with local favorites the Mother Hips, and the unveiling of the resurrected Senator Theatre as a music venue. Unfortunately, rain and cold plagued the first few days, but people still came out in droves with their $20 passes and wandered around to different bars in hopes of stumbling across talented artists on the rise. If DNA can keep the event going and gather more support each year, perhaps the quality, number and diversity of artists will improve as well. Maybe this spring music fest will become Somewhere X Somewhere.

We asked some local writers to give us their impressions of the festival. Here’s what they saw and heard.