There is an answer
On the music side of things in Chico, there is growth in the number of bands, and one cannot ride his or her bike down the avenues or streets without hearing a live band playing. My advice to new bands that want to get into clubs is to go out and see other bands! Find out who’s playing what club and ask around how they got the gig. Better yet, create some house parties and invite these bands to come play. You would be amazed how solidarity in the scene will immediately make things better.
For those just on the tip of breaking out of your garage, you might try an open-mike night. I recently saw such an evening at Has Bean’s. Hosted by Dr. Susan Dobra, the event had everything from lounge singers to poets. I don’t claim to be an expert, but after working with 1,000 bands in this town, I have noticed a few things. Take for example, the "proof is in the pudding" theory. Time and time again I have bands fight over who goes first, second or third. And how many times have bands who clawed to "headline" found themselves emptying a previously packed dance floor as soon as their caterwauling began? Well, far too many. Just remember, if you don’t care what people think, stay in your basement, but when taking the stage in public become aware that there is an audience, and they might, just might, be a better judge of what you sound like.