She is unique, she’s like a mountain peak

Welcome back students, we missed you! See any good bands this summer, tell me at
The Mother Hips recently headlined the legendary Fillmore and are securing their position as darlings of the Bay Area. Guitarist Greg Loiacono is expecting a bouncing baby any day now and is filling his time working on a duet album with fellow bandmate Tim Bluhm. Bluhm is also repackaging his solo album with 10 previously unreleased songs from his younger days, and so, Hip fans, it looks like after a relatively light year for Chico performances, the Hips will finish strong with three or four upcoming shows in the area. Stay tuned on dates, as things keep shifting around as Loiacono’s baby makes its way down the birth canal.

While the world begins to hear more and more of Chico alumnus Marty James (a.k.a. Scapegoat Wax), word keeps getting back to me that people around the country are hearing about a place called Chico on their local radio station. If you don’t know by now, James has the corner of 4th and Main on his Grand Royal (Beastie Boys label) release. Yup, Melody Records, Ital Imports, Duffy’s Tavern and Tim Bousquet’s office are now slated for notice in Rolling Stone magazine and on MTV!

Another local master rapper turning heads is Empty Mynd, whose 16 banging tracks have been picked up in national distribution by EMI and who has been visiting the New York offices of some labels that seem to want a piece of the talent. Empty Mynd has also started up a weekly dance party at the Epicenter on Saturday nights. It’s all ages and a chance to hang with the maestro—that is, until his ship finally reaches the harbor.

While Chico bands are notorious for not having press kits, band photos or press releases, local jamband Swamp Zen has released a series of lighters that have digitally altered photos of the band on them. "Snake" (Brut Max) is posing as a cheesecake in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. "Gravy" (Puddle Junction) looks more British mod floating like a rock god in the clouds. "Saul" (Electric Circus) comes off with a nod toward the golden days of classic rock. Word is that the lighter of the lead singer, "Doug" (Medicine Dog), is in the works and will be available in the park for their free show Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. Hey, there may be more people in the band, but as I look at my lighter collection enshrined on my wall I cannot make that claim, so you’re going to have to find out for yourselves.