The thrill of victory

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We have never had a better crop of promoters working to bring Chico the best of the wide world of entertainment. Justin Maximov, who books all the acts at the Brick Works, has also expanded his JMAX Production team to booking in Reno and points way up north. People always complain that there is nothing for the young folks to do; well, JMAX provides the flavor that kids desire. Loud, sonic, metal-crushing music!

At the university, you have a double-headed beast, with Dan DeWayne booking Laxson and Ajamu Lumumba booking the BMU. These guys have dedicated a total of more than 25 years to bringing us the best of hip-hop, world music, folk and legends from all these fields. Together, these three are the triple threat of downtown.

Lesser known but probably one of the biggest forces in the scene right now is Bob Littell, who books the Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewery. The room is an acoustically perfect delight that seats somewhat less than 400 people. The king of local sound, Bob Tolar, had a hand in designing the room and often mans the controls. Besides the physical beauty of the room, the stellar sound and the unlimited amount of beer, there is a PBS series that will draw names that blow us all away (there’s also some behind-the-scene negotiations that will add to the star power the room can attract!).

I recently saw Will Durst kill the room. Will Durst is, to me, one of a withering gang of great comedians who are also social commentators. People like Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Mark Twain, Will Rogers and, god bless him, George Carlin. Durst can spin grand tales of the behind-the-scene double-dealings that go on in the two-party state, like a card shark on a riverboat. I like what he says, but sometimes I just like the way he talks, because, as I’ve said, I’m about as sharp as a butter knife. As my people are apt to say, “If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.” Catch Durst next time he plays Chico.

I can’t help being a Chico snob. I love this town. When I moved here in 1987 I said to myself, "Self, by the year 2003, you will be working 70 hours a week for free, so get used to living on one beer and a handful of soybeans a day."