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sxnth~~!~ MARCH 17 - MARCH 23

For 20 years The Synthesis' goal has remained to provide a forum for entertainment, music, humor, community awareness, opinions, and change.




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STRANGE HABITS This is what I assume this feature is about: people who bite their toenails, people who eat their food one ingredient at a time in order of size, people who end every sentence with an upward inflection (oh wait, that's Zooey's column) ... or maybe it's about this amazing band, what am I a fortune teller? Go read it.




Ben Kirby


Bands have been playing! Not just here, but in some place called the Bay Area (wherever that is)! Bands like Tool and Between the Buried and Me! Bands will be playing! Not just here, but some place called Paradise! David Bromberg! The past and future collide! Bands! Places! Ack!

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MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014


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CORK TREES AND HOOLIGANS All week I've been incredibly busy procrastinating this column. In fact, I've discovered that procrastination itself can be the most remarkable motivator when it comes to tackling random tasks like weeding the flower beds and finally throwing out the Christmas tree. I also repaired the hedge trimmers, made seven pairs of earrings, cleared out my inboxes, had my dad over for dinner, did all the laundry, and stared at a blank screen for a total of 10,000 hours. But then last night I finally had a breakthrough. I was driving downtown with my little brothers, and we came to a stop at 3rd and Broadway, finding (to our surprise) that the city had planted giant cork trees in the center of all the intersections. A pack of young hooligans were hanging in the branches like monkeys, throwing things at cars. I was super pissed, and I rolled down my window and yelled at them to cut it out or I'd call the police. One of them unzipped his pants and shook his junk at me, and was like, "Whatever!" If you know me at all, you know that's my pet peeve and I wasn't having it. I parked the car around the corner and started dialing random numbers until I finally reached the police, then tried to explain the situation while I marched around the neighborhood. I couldn't seem to stop digressing: "I want to report an incident with some pants! Well, it wasn't about the pants ... it started with those cork trees, and nobody is stopping those jerks, and I think I recognized one of them, we were in a play together last year-well, not last year, and I wasn't in the play, I was doing costumes ... " The poor guy on the other end of the line was becoming more and more confused about what I actually wanted him to do, but every question he asked led me down another rabbit hole. I finally just gave up. Of course I couldn't find where I'd parked the car by then (because when you walk away from things they disappear

in a constantly shifting maze), so I started walking home. At first I was feeling pretty frustrated, but then I realized this was awesome; I finally had something important to write about. Waking up and realizing none of those things had happened was a little bit of a bummer, but I've decided not to let that stop me from telling you about it and tackling the issues head-on (because journalism). First of all , we absolutely cannot let them plant cork trees in the middle of all the intersections. Sure, they're beautiful, but it messes up the flow of traffic, obscures visibility, and they will inevitably become a habitat for feral young men. Secondly, throwing things is not nice, and if we see people doing this we need to band together as a community and put a stop to it. I know we're all waiting for a hero, but we have to push past that instinct and send a unanimous message about leaving objects at rest. Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, penises are not suitable communication tools. They have many uses (such as peeing, reproduction, and ring-toss), but they are not meant to convey your thoughts about authority. Do not shake your penis at me, Steve.



MARC H 17 - MARC H 23, 2014





HERE The world 's crazy. The world is always crazy; time moves faster, everything spins hard. Population is on the rise, the climate is heating, or cooling; nation's leaders are constantly threatening diplomatic action, police action, war. Your head could explode thinking all the time about it, but the honey bees and butterflies are out. The bees are climbing all over the vibrant pink plum blossoms. The butterflies are on every other blooming plant. They dance from the weeping cherry to the flowering broccoli to the wild, erupting azaleas. The world is crazy, but the orderly cycles continue anyway. Sometimes it helps me to find those orderly cycles. It rained steady all through last night. This morning we discovered the irrigation ditch overflowing with run-off, and the creek roaring. The ground is thoroughly soaked, but the warm weather is keeping the soil fluffed and airy. Walking across it is like walking on sponges, and occasionally your foot breaks through into a gopher's or a mole's tunnel. Mushrooms are everywhere-I've never seen so many of them. There are small yellow mushrooms that emerge like bullets and expand into pale umbrellas as they dry out. There are massive, toady mushrooms that barely break the ground but pull out to reveal a fleshy mass the size of a softball-the insides are the color of turmeric and beet. Up in the mountains we saw tall, bluecapped mushrooms with hoods the size of your fist. The plants and the trees are all waking up from a winter that barely was.

The oaks leafed out this week-except for Josephine. She is the oldest tree in the yard, and takes her time in getting around to sprouting leaves. It seems like she waits a tiny bit longer each year, but that could be my imagination.


True Believers

I was driving through the country the other day and passed a billboard that read : " WAKE UP! OBAMA IS DESTROYING THE AMERICAN DREAM." It bothered me, not the political sentiment-everyone is entitled to an opinion-but the tactic of using the command to "wake up! " Everyone uses that expression. The right tells opponents and outliers to "wake up!" to the tyranny of the left; the left screams for conservatives to "wake up!" to the cronyism of the right; the conspiracy theorists tell everyone to "wake up!" to chemtrails, 9/11, and the long arc of secret Illuminati rule. It feels like the phrase has come to mean : " If you don' t agree with my truth, which as I see it is plainly obvious, then you are a fool." The truth, the truth, the truth. The truth is as objective as blue is goat. The truth is as clear as gas station coffee cut with powdered, non-dairy creamer. I have some jealousy for people who believe in the notion of truth-especially the truth when it comes to geopolitical events and religions. I guess there are some small, demonstrated beliefs I hold onto. Wet, warm weather brings mushrooms. Flowers attract bees and butterflies. Creeks and rivers swell after it rains.



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MA RCH 17 - MA RCH 23, 2014




The Walking Dead is best known as a television show, and also as a comic, and as a terrible spin-off game. And, in the subject of this review, another, different, excellent episodic game series by Telltale Games, creator and purveyor of adventure games done in the ancient style of point and click, story and interaction. Those readers who follow up on games already know this, because Telltale's Walking Dead series has taken much of the gaming community by storm, and has been doing so since Season One came out in 2012. But that's not news. News is Season Two, Episode Two : "A House Divided."

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Episode One let us know the score: no pulled punches, no good feelings-and Episode Two isn't afraid to pick that ball up and run with it. Episode One drenched us with action and direct, physical danger and discomfort, and has been one of the more directly horrifying episodes since the series inception. Some found that this direction cheapened the deeper emotional narrative, while others referred to the newly independent Clementine as "Edgemeister" and "Ultimate Badass." Episode One was also criticized for the large amount of setup present within it. Unlike its sibling, the TV series, the interval between episodes is not days but months, and even though it was the first episode, many (myself included) demanded more development where we only obtained dark hints of the future. Telltale seemed to take the criticisms to heart, and in Episode Two we find a marriage of Season One's intense emotional undertones and interpersonal

tensions, and Season Two: Episode One's darker, edgier, punishing narrative. Simply put, it's a regular festival of bad feelings. My favorite kind of festiva I. Using dramatic irony, fear and foreshadowing, Episode Two gave me a feeling in the pit of my stomach like the absolute worst sort of storm was brewing, and the long setup created by Episode One pays off, with all the dwindling fuses reaching a terrible breaking point. These are old tricks of the storyteller, but Telltale uses them well, and it's through these older tools of narrative that the Walking Dead games return to their greatest strength : their emotional connection and immersion. That's something that the Walking Dead games have over the TV show. The player is there, the danger is as close to real as it gets, and our decisions, interactions, and judgments are what drive the plot. Essentially, the player IS a character; a real, impactful character in a tale rich in dialogue, conflict, emotion, and desire. That is what has launched the Walking Dead games from small indie game to massive success, and something the developers should never forget. Episode One may have merely been a case of setup, or perhaps of sensationalism, or perhaps I'm being too snooty and ambitious for a game I don't even make. Either way, Episode Two capitalizes on the emotional immersion and power that made the games great, and it is therefore also great. I await Episode Three with bated breath, yet hope it comes late enough for me to recover from Episode Two's piercing drama.



LISTEN LADIES, GET IT TOGETHER. Listen, I don't want to be a traitor to my gender, but I have a confession to make. I have found the most insufferable students in college to be those associated with the Gender Studies major. I'm all for equal rights, and I agree that women are marginalized and portrayed badly in the media. It's also completely depressing that statistically, women continue to be paid less than men for doing the same job. Obviously there's a bias that leads some people that are in charge of hiring to believe that women are somehow lesser. I do think though that there are things we can do to help combat that, like not ending every sentence with an upwards inflection, regardless of whether we're giving a statement or asking a question. I found it abhorrent when news outlets and pundits were touting the belief that Hillary Clinton couldn't possibly be considered as a possible world leader

because "guys, what if she gets her period and gets all PMS-y! She'd be all like 'I want chocolate! But I'm so fat!' and we'd be like, but Hillary, you idiot, you have to run the country!" Anyway, back to my earlier assessment. It's not the subject matter that I object to. I find the study of sexuality, the psychology of gender and the implications both can have on our lives all quite fascinating. I just don't understand why, after studying the biology of the human female orgasm, it's inevitable that at least one student in the class asserts that if the scientists in question consider the female orgasm such a mystery, it's probably because of their own lack of sexual prowess. In these classes, men are the enemy, a fumbling, lesser counterpart who may clumsily attempt to understand women, but who will never truly be our equals. This isn't the point relayed by the instructors,

but it's not actively discouraged either. Obviously this isn't a blanket statement on all Gender Studies professors, it's just been my experience. I have to say though, I don't especially understand this tactic; not as a student or teacher. I get that there is an overwhelming wealth of things to be angry about. I suppose I just don't see where we as females further the "feminist" cause by lashing out and attempting to make men learn by mistreating them in the same ways we've experienced. I don't know about you, but if someone is screaming in my face about how unfairly they're being treated, my first reaction is not to stop and say, "Oh please go on, you sound reasonable, let's hear what you have to say!" I'm not saying us ladies don't have just cause to be upset. But really, acting like a petulant child probably isn't the best course of action. We can do better. Can't we?


MARC H 17 - MARC H 23, 2014



MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014


and corruption."' McGuire said. " We were going to name it 'Mannequins' at first," Brett said. " It was original, we hadn 't seen anyone else use that word ."

video for that one. I had to face my biggest fear ever: I had to try and play drums underwater. Water in general? Love it. I can drink it all day. But being in it is a different story. Being underwater playing drums? Way too scary."

"The message of 'Mannequins' was really literal," McCauley added, "A critique of [our population] being puppets within our society. But once we had the album art (which has a mannequin on it), we didn't want it to be so obvious. That's when we started looking for another name."

I was amazed to hear this; has anyone ever seen a band playing underwater? I haven't. I guess there's 'No Surprises' by Radiohead, but that was only the singer. Did they tie weights to their feet or something?

Sheet continued the story: "The album's very politically driven. It talks about our government, organizations of authority in general. .. There are constraints from those organizations being put on us all the time. 'Mannequins' as the title was a way of illustrating what that's createdan inanimate humanoid."

From left to right: Eric McCauley, guitar. Sheel Doshi, drums. Eric McGuire, voca Is. Brett Sparrey, bass.

Brett cleared up the mystery for me. "We had this bar on the bottom of the water, where we put our feet under and curled our toes up," he said . " It held us down there. We shot it right when winter was starting ... which kinda hurt the value, 'cause we couldn 't even handle it. We did three or four takes, and we all had hypothermia by the end of that day. We were dyin."'


"The NEW name is the title track: ' Fear Of All Fools."' Mccauley said . "You have this fear of change built into society; there's so many people who will take what's given to us without even questioning it. You become the fool if you let your fear control you; if you don't let yourself change." The other three murmured approval at this last line, like they hadn't heard their idea stated that clearly before.

After going through the multifaceted journey of Fear Of All Fools, I was curious to know what stood out as important tracks to the band. "The most important song to me is 'Diretrix,"' McGuire told me . " It's not my favorite, but it's the most important to me because it was an experiment from the beginning. It was pure collaboration [between Sheet and I] , and it had no direction at the beginning, just pure experimentation . And at the end of it, I loved it! I listened back to it, and I couldn 't believe what I was hearing. There was screaming, which I didn't know I could do, which I definitely COULDN'T do before I tried it. It was a huge expansion of my horizons." "'Man Of Wax' is another one-super catchy," McCauley added.

"It's next to impossible to nail this album down as belonging to a genre," McGuire said, in response to my wondering what they thought made Fear unique. "I can 't think of a single genre that umbrellas the whole album , and I haven't heard a lot of albums I can say that about. I think that's the strength of this album . .. but for the mainstream audience, I think that's the weakness. It's gonna hinder us in finding bigger acts to open up for." A big smile lit up Eric 's face. " But music's not about fitting into the cookie cutter! It's about expressing what 's inside, whether it fits into a scene or not."

After an intensive period recording and producing the album themselves, the band found a fateful friendship in professional mixer Josh Benton , and mastering engineer Kris Crum met: Josh being the guitarist of Dance Gavin Dance, and Kris having worked with countless acts over ten years, including Fear Before The March Of Flames ' Sleeping With Sirens, and Deftones singer Chino Moreno. "After Sheet had produced it himself and we'd gotten it mastered, we listened to it on bunches of different systems. Car stereos, ipods,

" Definitely our pappiest song," Sheet said. " We already shot a music


MARC H 17 - MA RCH 23, 2014


anything we could find," Brett said.

"Where do you hope to be as a vocalist in a year?" I asked him.

as a bad thing at first."

"The fidelity didn't quite hold up on every system," Sheet continued. "We started looking for a way to make it better, and found Josh and Kris, who totally transformed it. At first, I just wanted their opinion, but they decided they wanted to give our album a shot. It's way better now; there's things coming through in the mix that I haven't heard since we recorded it."

"I feel like, in order to lock in and perform as well as I want to, I have to sacrifice an awareness of my stage performance ... I have to close my eyes and come into a more personal state," McGuire responded. "I'd really like to feel more comfortable saying things in between songs ... For some reason, I can't speak into a microphone between songs without making a total ass of myself."

"Kinda like the chick that's just way too excited to hang out," Sheet said.

The next subject of interest for me was McGuire's performance: his mix of white guy hip-hop, soaring choruses, and brutal screaming is not something I've witnessed before. "When I was fourteen, playing bass in a band in Detroit with Sheet, we were looking for a singer," he said. "It happened when I was on a trip to Peru and listening to a lot of Sublime, singing 'Santeria' over and over again ... When I got back home, I sang it with a microphone, and I thought, 'Wow, I think I can make my voice sound exactly like Bradley Nowell!' I was really excited about it until we moved to California, where EVERYBODY sounds like Bradley Nowell." The band laughed. "I used to play bass and sing," McGuire continued. "The shows weren't consistent: some nights the bass would be on point, and the vocals would be out of tune, sometimes the other way around. I was looking to tighten up the whole sound." "When you're thinking about two different things, singing and playing an instrument, a sense of your stage presence is lost," Sheet added. "Just 'cause you're thinking about two different things. You can't present yourself as a spectacle, and you gotta entertain." "At one point I played a house party with Brett's old band, and I ended up free-styling over his music, and I liked it so much!" McGuire said. "Being only a singer is so fun, like karaoke night or something. The music's just jamming, I'm just throwin' down the vocals; it feels a lot more organic. Natural."

"I talked with Eric three or four times before he actually agreed to a practice ..." McCauley said. "I do remember though, the first time you came to practice with us, we wrote like three songs!" Sheet added. "I was just gonna get to that."

WE ACTUALLY JUST DROVE TO CALIFORNIA FROM MICHIGAN, THEN PLAYED ALL THROUGH THE STATE. "LOTS of cuss words," Sheet added with a smile. McGuire laughed. "I cannot stop saying fuck! 'Fuckin' this, fuckin' that.' I think people notice. I'd LIKE to say really inspiring things, but it's all, 'This is fuckin' great, fuck yeah!' or, 'We fuckin' love you!' That last one's my main line. And the crowd just shrugs, like, 'I guess! You don't even know me, brother."' Originally from Detroit, Michigan; Eric McCauley, Eric McGuire, and Sheet Doshi met each other when they were starting high school. All three of them had been playing music for awhile already. "McGuire moved to my high school at some point; he told me his band was looking for a guitarist," McCauley said. "I got really excited, and really wanted to do it ... I think he took that

"Oh, sorry." After years gaining momentum in Michigan, the three-piece version of Strange Habits made the huge decision to live in California. "We'd been talking about coming here for a long time," McCauley said. "When we all turned 21, we said, 'Let's get the fuck out of here!' We spent six months getting in touch with bands and venues, setting up our first tour. We stayed in Chico for a cou pie weeks; it was our ma in base of operations ... And we fell in love with it. From Chico, we played shows all up and down California." "Yeah, we actually just drove to California from Michigan, then played all through the state." Sheet said. "We made the drive in less than three days! Spent a thousand dollars on gas. We thought we could recoup it." "Did you?" I asked. "No! But we got really close ... We were here as a three-piece for two years before McGuire introduced Brett into the band. We were a little, uh, put off at first, not gonna lie." "It was weird for me too," Brett said. "McGuire called me up, and I was all excited to join the band. He had me over to try me out, teach me some songs. I'm jamming with Eric, and Sheet comes in. Eric just says, 'Oh hey, I'm thinking about having Brett join the band!' In my head I was like, 'You didn't TELL them?' This is like, you're dating a girl, and suddenly someone else comes in ..." "And your girlfriend's like, 'I wanna have a threesome! Here's the other guy, hope you get along!'" Sheet finished. "It took awhile for me to realize Brett was actually really good," he admitted. "I just had this dire love of three-piece bands ... I was the biggest Muse fan you would ever know." While their new album was released on the web March 11th, they're also planning a CD release party in April where they'll be selling physical copies. "We'd rather do a house party for our CD release show," Sheet said. "They're more fun." "We always do our best at house parties; the energy's so much better, and we get a really good response." McCauley added. "Besides, the venues around town don't pay us shit." Brett said. "We can throw a much cooler show in a house." "It got so intense [at our last house show], I was starting to think maybe it was too risky to keep playing ..." McGuire laughed. "But the crowd was so into it, we had to keep going." "At one point a girl fell onto the stage and knocked over my mic stand," McCauley said, the adrenaline of the remembered night playing behind his eyes. "I had to stop playing and help her up, and just kinda throw her back into the pit." Download Strange Habits' new full-length album Fear Of All Fools FOR FREE at


MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014



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All 16 oz Teas or AMF $3 All Day


Buck Night 8-close

1/2 off all cocktails, $1.7S

$1 well cocktails, Sierra

Drafts, Guest bartenders

Nevada Pale Ale, Rolling

every week

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$3.50 Tea of the Day Bartender Specials Happy Hour 4-8pm

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9pm -Close

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Bea r Burger w ith fri es

$2. 75 select bottl es &

$212oz Teas

$3 Hot Licks $4 151 Party Punch 22oz

or salad for $5.29.


$3 20oz Teas

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$2 16oz Wells

$2 Well, Dom Bottl es & bartender Specials SS Vodka Red Bull

9-lOpm $2 Kamis, $2 Fireball, $3 Che rry Blasters, $2

8-9PM $1 pale ale and dam draft up 25C per hour until close

Ladies Night!


Happy Hour- 4-7pm

$5 pitch ers of Pabst

College "House Party"/

LIVE MUSIC Drink Specials

GAME NIGHT 9-llPM $3.50 Sky Vodka Cocktails

Happy Hour 4 - 8pm $5 pitchers

bottle Beer lOpm-lam

$2 refills after 1st



$6.50 Apple Cinnamon Cider


$2.50 Fireball Shots $3 Sierra Nevada $3.50 Teas

LIVE MUSIC Drink Specials


Free Happy Hour Food

$3.SO Tea of the Day

Happy Hour- 4-7pm

Power Hour 8-9PM


4PM until it's gone

Bartender Specials

$5 Fridays 4-8pm Most

1/2 off Liquor & Drafts

Open at 9PM

food items and pitchers of

(excludes pitchers)

beer are $5



Happy Hour 4 - 8pm

select wells, bottles and

Happy Hour 11-6PM

$3 Pale Ale Drafts

Now Available!

$5 pitchers

pints $2.7S

$9.75 Pale Pitchers

Call for reservation 898-9898

Happy Hour 4-8pm

$2 refills after 1st purchase! Happy Hour- 4-7pm

Mon-Sat 3PM-6PM


Hot dog menu all day

$1 Dom draft, $2 SN draft, $2 wells

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All Night Tall cans of beer

Power Hour 8-9PM 1/2 off Liquor & Drafts

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$5 pitchers

(24oz) $3.50, $2 Capri sun Shots, All Teas $3.50, Tea Party 9-llpm 32oz Teas

9-Close Pale Ale Drafts

$2 refills

are $2.SO

$9.75 Pale Pitchers


80's Night! $3.50 Pinnacle & Rockstar Cocktails

LIVE MUSIC Drink Specials

$2.50 Kamis $3 Shocktop Happy Hour 4 - 8pm



$4 Sex On The Beach $4 Sierra Nevada Knightro

$3.SO Tea of the Day Bartender Specials

ON TAP $1 Jello Shots 7-lOPM $3 Fireball

11am-8pm, All Day and Happy Hour 4-Spm

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Happy Hour-4-7pm

Bear Burger with fries

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Open llam to 9pm


Sunday Brunch - 11-2pm

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or salad for $5.29.

$5 Premium bloodys

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your choice of vodka


930am-lpm, Every Nfl Game (20 Tv's), $3 Bloody marys, $3 screwdrivers, $5

Go Down Lo

(excludes pitchers) Open at 9PPM


pitchers of beer


MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014







Biggs Roller, Black Fong, Bran Crown, StubbleGum, Lush Baby, Motown Filthy, The Longneck Congregation, and 01' Hawkeye & The lowaSka Experience. Whew! This all-day event will have plenty of music (obviously} to meet your green partying needs, as well as lots of great food and - you guessed it - beer!

This remains one of the coolest parts of our local theatre scene. Enjoy two episodes of the classic mind-warp TV show performed LIVE, complete with commercials! What will we see this week? Aliens? Demons? Interdimensional travel? There's only one way to find out. Ages 18 and over, $10, 10:30pm




1078 GALLERY This series of one-act plays originated in New York City 20 years ago, and now Uncle Dad's Art Collective is educating Chico in its wacky genius. You ' ll see Philip Glass in the midst of an existential crisis, alternate dimensional versions of Los Angeles, intelligent chimpanzees, and a lot more. $12 advance tix, $15 door, 7:30pm.



This jazz guitarist hailing from the Bay Area has been making annual visits to Chico, with great success . This show also features Tommy Davy, Sam Rocha, and Robby Elfman. If you love jazz, or if you just want to help KZFR, this is for you! $10, 8pm.

OTHER NEW AND EXCITING THINGS 17 MONDAY Cafe Flo: Live Irish music. 7pm LaSalles: Patio opens at 3. Live Irish music, 4-5pm. Hot Flash, 5:30-7pm. DJ Emvee, 8pm Lost On Main: Swamp Zen, Dylan's Dharma. $5, 7pm

19 WEDNESDAY lOOth Monkey: La Misma (NY), Reproacher (WY), Outside Looking In, Smak City. $5, 8pm Cafe Flo: Matthew Songwriter, Sons Of Jefferson, Randy Morton


MA RCH 17 - MA RCH 23, 2014

& Friends. 7pm

20 THURSDAY LaSalles: OBE. 6-9pm Paradise PAC: The David Bromberg Band. $25-$35, 7:30pm

21 FRIDAY 1078 Gallery: All In The Timing, by David Ives. $12 adv., $15 door, 7:30pm Cafe Coda: The LoLos, The English Language, Tom And Jerry, Karoline May Farris. $5, 8pm

Chico Womens Club: Evony & Ivory - Piano In Accompaniment. $12, 6pm El Rey: Friends OfThe Bob & Tom Show Comedy Tour. $26 adv., 6:30pm Lost On Main: Perpetual Drifters, The Amblers. 9pm Maltese: Dr. Luna Tour Kickoff, ft. Furlough Fridays, Jeremy Crossley. $5, 9pm


by David Ives. $12 adv., $15 door, 7:30pm Blue Room: Twilight Zone Live commercials included! 18+, $10, 10:30pm Cafe Flo: Danny Cohen & The Near Death Experience CD Release Party, ft. Stubblegum. 7pm Lost On Main : The QuasiMofos, The Human Jukebox Band. 9pm Maltese: Heather Michelle And The Make You Mines, Sons Of Jefferson, Black Fong. $5, 8pm Monstros: Hearses, Ancient Altar, Devoid Of Reality. $5, 8pm




100th Monkey: Happy Healing Hour: variety of healing modalities

offered to the public. Donations accepted, 5:30pm The Bear: Bear-E-oke ! 9pm Cafe Flo: Jazz Happy Hour ft. Carey Robinson Trio. 5-7pm Chico Women's Club: Prenatal Yoga. 5:30-6:30pm Downlo: Pool League. 7pm. All ages until lOpm Maltese: Open Mic Comedy or Music, alternates every week. Signups at 8pm, starts at 9pm. Mug Night 7-11:30pm The Tackle Box: Latin Dance Classes. Free, 7-9pm Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition. University Art Gallery CSUC: Luke Matjas large-scale prints exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm

University Art Gallery CSUC: Luke Matjas large-scale prints exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm

Woodstock's: Trivia Challenge. Call

at 4pm to reserve a table. Starts 6:30pm

19WEDNESDAY lOOth Monkey: Open Mic. All ages. 7pm The Bear: Trike Races . Post time

lOpm Cafe Flo: Live Jazz, 5-7pm Chico Women's Club: Afro Brazilian Dance. 5:30-7pm Downlo: Wednesday night jazz. 8 Ball Tournament, signups 6pm, starts 7pm Duffy's: Dance Night! DJ Spenny and Jeff Howse. $1, 9pm Jesus Center: Derelict Voice Writing Group, everyone welcome. 9-10:30am LaSalles: Metal Night in the Whis-

18 TUESDAY 100th Monkey: Fusion Belly Dance

class with BellySutra . $8/class or $32/month. 7pm Cafe Flo: Open Mic with Aaron Jaqua. 7-9pm Chico Women's Club: Yoga. 9-lOam. Afro Carribean Dance.

$10/class or $35/mo. 5:50-7pm. Followed by Capoeira, $3-$10. 7:30-8:30pm Crazy Horse Saloon: All Request

Karaoke. 21+ Downlo: Game night. All ages until lOpm Farm Star Pizza: Live Jazz with Shigemi and Friends. 7-9pm Holiday Inn Bar: Salsa Lessons, 7-lOpm. LaSalles: '90s night. 21+ Maltese: Karaoke. 9pm-Close Studio Inn Lounge: Karaoke. 8:30pm-lam The Tackle Box: Karaoke, 9pm Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition.

key Room The Maltese: Friends With Vinyl! Bring your vinyl and share up to 3 songs/12 minutes on the turntable. 9pm-lam Panamas: Bar Swag Bingo/Trivia Night. 9-llpm The Tackle Box: Line Dance classes. Free, 5:30-7:30pm. Swing Dance classes. Free, 7:30-9:30pm Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition. University Art Gallery CSUC: Luke Matjas large-scale prints exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm Woodstock's: Trivia Night plus

Happy Hour. call at 4pm to reserve a table. Starts at 8pm

20 THURSDAY The Beach: DJ Mack Morris.

10:30pm The Bear: DJ Dancing. Free, 9pm Cafe Flo: Delta Blues Project w. Porkchop Holder. 7-lOpm Chico Yoga Center: Ecstatic Dance

with Clay Olson. 7:30-9:30pm Downlo: Chico Jazz Collective. 8-llpm. All ages until lOpm The Graduate: Free Pool after lOpm Has Beans: Open Mic Night. 7-lOpm. Signups start at 6pm Holiday Inn Bar: Karaoke. 8pmmidnight LaSalles: Free live music on the patio. 6-9pm Maltese: Karaoke. 9pm-close Panamas: Buck night and DJ Eclectic & guests on the patio. 9pm Quackers: Karaoke night with Andy. 9pm-lam Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition. University Art Gallery CSUC: Luke Matjas large-scale prints exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm Woodstock's: Open Mic Night

21 FRIDAY lOOth Monkey: Acoustic Music Singer Songwriter Showcase.

7:30pm The Beach: DJ2k & Mack Morris.

9pm The Bear: DJ Dancing. Free, 9pm Cafe Coda: Friday Morning Jazz

with Bogg. llam Chico Yoga Center: Friday Night Dance Jam with Mark Johnson.

$10. 7-8:30pm Crazy Horse Saloon: Fusion Fridays. Country dance lessons 9-10:30pm Downlo: Y, off pool. All ages until

lOpm. Live Music, 8pm Duffy's: Pub Scouts- Happy Hour. 4-7pm The Graduate: Free Pool after lOpm Holiday Inn Bar: DJ Dance Party. 8pm-midnight LaSalles: Open Mic night on the patio. 6-9pm Maltese: Happy hour with live jazz by Bogg. 5-7pm. LGBTQ+ Dance Party. 9pm

Panamas: Jigga Julee, DJ Mah on the patio. 9pm Peeking: BassMint. Weekly electronic dance party. $3. 9:30pm Quackers: Live DJ. 9pm Sultan's Bistro: Bellydance Performance. 6:30-7:30pm Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition. University Art Gallery CSUC: Luke Matjas large-scale prints exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm

22 SATURDAY The Beach: DJ Mah. 9pm The Bear: DJ Dancing. No Cover.

9pm Crazy Horse Saloon: Ladies Night Dancing. 10pm-1:30am Downlo: 9 Ball tournament. Signups at noon, starts at lpm. All ages until lOpm The Graduate: Free Pool after lOpm Holiday Inn Bar: DJ Dancing. 70s and 80s music. The Molly Gunn's Revival! 8pm-midnight LaSalles: 80's Night. 8pm-close Panamas: DJ Eclectic on the patio. 9pm Turner Print Museum: "Angles and Plains" Art Exhibition. University Bar: Free Pool 6-8pm


23 SUNDAY Dorothy Johnson Center: Soul Shake Dance Church. Free-style dance wave, $8-$15 sliding scale. 10am-12:30pm Downlo: Free Pool, 1 hour with every $8 purchase. All ages until lOpm LaSalles: Karaoke. 9pm Maltese: Live Jazz 4-7pm. Trivia 8pm Tackle Box: Karaoke, 8pm


MA RCH 17 - MA RCH 23, 20 14




MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014









"It's one of those damn cats," thought Dexter, his whiskers twitching irritably. "On his way to his bowl of food, or on his way to hiss at the neighbor cat, or to go sunbathe ..." Dexter's tiny, furry body went stiff with caution for a moment, hidden within his shrub, waiting for the feline to pass. He could hear it sniffing, but its footsteps faded away. Some object of interest other than Dexter, today. He slinked out of his shrub into the sunlight, watching the black cat walk down the slope into the front yard. It was approaching two others like itself, who walked regally between legs, under tables, around chairs. The thirty or so humans there assembled made a cloud of noisome static to Dexter's ears-chewing, laughing, coughing, swallowing, dancing (four of them were adding to the din with some sort of music-playing), living. Our curious Dexter let his mind wander down there, let his imagination settle on the first cat's shoulders and explore the busy front yard. He was taller now, tall like the cat; he could see over the blades of grass. He smelled through the cat's nose, knew now what had distracted it, thus sparing Dexter's life: By the barbecue, on a table-raw meat, raw hamburger. Dexter had never had ham burger, but he now imagined that he had; he was becoming pleasantly carried away by his cat-fancy. Soon, he would be small again, quick, hidden, intelligent- but for now, he was the black cat. He was strong, silent, and loved by humans.

of the cat, was leaning over and reaching out hands to stroke him. Dexter scurried farther into the sunlight, just a little further from his shrub, straining to see-was it one of the bare-legged humans, with the skirts? Or, one with the massive trunks, the pants? Dexter's whiskers twitched. He fancied that he could feel the fingers stroking the cat's back ... and yes! It was a skirted one, of course it was : with the pink fingernails, and the shrill scream of a voice. Dexter gave a mouse-y smile, seeing himself back at home, stroking the backs of his children just so. For he would see them soon. From his view of the front yard (for he was returned now to his body to some extent) he saw the eddying and flowing of bodies, saw the three congregations of humans around the three cats that walked among them. Some frowned, sniffed, turned the other way, but so many more smiled as the cats approached, laughed, coo'd, bent down to scratch their backs! Three magnets they were, drawing from the crowd that which they desired-be it food, or affection, or whatever. Dexter sighed, glanced down at the ground between his paws, saw a few miniscule insects foraging through the dirt. He reached out to eat one-but let his paw reach further, grabbed a seed, ate that instead. He wasn't a cat, nor a human, but he could act it anyway : he could see something smaller than himself and smile, instead of sniffing, instead churning away. It was only fancy, but he thought maybe his black cat was capable of the same.

One of them had bent down now in front


MARC H 17 - MARC H 23, 2014


I'm standing in a line four blocks long. Everyone I see is obviously glad to be here. I'm still relatively new to Tool, but with a deep respect for them, so it's cool to witness this. The appreciation of this band has developed into a cult-or a brotherhood, whichever you prefer. I learn that the guy next to me bought a ticket and flew here from Chicago. Awesome. (The tickets sold out in ten minutes, mind you.) I'm inside now. The opening band Failure is already playing. Despite their really encouraging band name, they do succeed as an opening band. As waves of pilgrims enter, Failure keeps the energy moving with solid, threepiece, easy-mode heavy rock. I totally had a few moments of saying, "That was sick." Failure finishes. Lights go on. Time passes; bathroom breaks happen; highfives happen. Lights go out. Bass-y warbles begin. The crowd releases their built-up anticipation with an arena-sized shout. This is it. Tool has begun. We're introduced to a purple and white electrified man speaking on three jumbo screens. " Think for yourself. Question Authority." Another arena-sized approval. A deep pink fills the back of the stage. The singer is just a black, moving silhouette, but at least I can see the drummer, Danny Carey, effortlessly educating the world in rhythm, all while sporting his classic basketball jersey. " Third Eye" begins the journey, which according

flowing and live experience. My personal moment was during "Schism" : rippling chills up the spine and all. Time bends. Has it been an hour? Two hours? I don't really know, but these men are masters of dynamics and this room is an ocean of multi-media journeying. Each song is accompanied by three jumbo screens of psychedelic visuals, most featuring designs by the legendary Alex Grey. Oh, and did I mention the arena-level light show? Song-synchronized, multi-colored flood lights, and LASERS. Imagine a fan of lasers sweeping up and down the room, covering every inch of the arena, and then shooting from every direction. Fucking amazing. A lot is left unsaid on a record, and here, the imagination is given beautiful fulfillment in the form of laser ecstasy. The track "Stinkfist" is the end of the journey, finishing the night with an explosion of confetti. My only qualm with the night is how far I am from the stage. I generally crave my shows up close and personal, but this is an arena, after all. .. It's all good. LASERS. Tool is truly a beautiful display of groundbreaking, multi-dimensional art. These men are well into their forties, and are flawless, not to mention still together, which I admire heartily. I had a blast. This show was like going to church-the good kind. It was an honor to see men who have established such a musical and artistic standard; one that I am excited to see transcended. Now go sit in a dark room and listen to their album Latera/us.

to the beautiful, bubbly girl next to me was "the song everyone wants, but never expects." These seasoned storytellers seamlessly transitioned between songs with tasteful, improvised jam-space, giving the narrative an even more


MA RCH 17 - MA RCH 23, 2014








3/20, Paradise Performing Arts Center

On a recent rainy Friday afternoon, I spent an hour talking with David Bromberg. He was in his shop in Wilmington, Delaware, the place where he makes finely crafted stringed instruments. I was in Magalia, not far from where Bromberg will be playing on Thursday, March 20, when he brings his quintet to the Paradise Performing Arts Center. Bromberg has worked with damn near everyone in contemporary music, from the Beatles to the Beastie Boys. On one of his most recent albums, Use Me, he worked with Linda Ronstadt, and I asked him to react to the sad fact that Linda Ronstadt's singing voice has been lost to Parkinson's Disease. "She is," he said, "quite simply one of the smartest people I know. Her recent autobiography (Simple Dreams) reveals that fact, though it doesn't dawn on you until you're halfway in. The scope that she had as an artist is enormous. Y'know, she started singing country rock, then rock 'n roll, and then she started singing light opera on Broadway. She was a huge success at that, though the critics didn't expect her to be good, but then they had to write raves. And then she took up jazz standards and made great records, and then she followed all that up by returning to her roots singing Mexican songs, and she remains one of the largest selling Spanish language singers in the world." I asked what he thought of the current music scene. His answer might surprise some of his fans. "There's a lot of great music around," he said. "In every genre there are fine musicians.

Britney Spears is someone lots of people pick on. It's not music I listen to very often, but she's a consummate professional, and she's very good at what she does. I'm also a big Beyonce fan, and Christina Aguilera ; I'm a fan of hers, too. The Avett Brothers are doing roots music as well as anybody, ever. I love the band Ollabelle. That's Levon Helm's daughter's band, and they're terrific. And among musicians more my age, people are just now starting to recognize the genius of Mavis Staples. Anyone who wants to hear unparalleled singing only needs to hunt up those old Staple Singers albums."

3/11, The Oakland Metropolitan Opera House

him present and engaged with the crowd, whether it was authentic or not.

San Francisco-based metal band Deafheaven enjoyed a raucous welcome back to the Bay Area-I'd be hard-pressed to say who the crowd was more excited about; them or the headliners. They played just three songs : "Dream House," "Sunbather," and " Pecan Tree."

The venue was nicely suited to the event: a rarely seen absence of security, a low stage with no barrier, and a really wide floor provided the eclectic crowd of music lovers with space to rock out freely. The signs on either side of the stage reading "No Stage Diving" were a bit of a joke; their presence, along with no one to enforce the rule, seemed to only encourage crowd-surfing.

If you've heard this critically-acclaimed band at all, then you know their sound : songs that run for ten minutes and more, blast beats for almost the whole time, and unintelligibly "Can I give you two?" he asked. "And they're intense screaming throughout. What took both named King-B.B. and Albert." But then the energy of their live performance to the he immediately wanted to add other names. next level was within the nature of their "Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, those compositions : Yes, it's intense, yes, it's metal, but it's also happy; it's exultant. Deafheaven's names would have to be on any blues list that made sense. And Leroy Carr and Blind music is undeniably deep and full of hope, Black. Oh, and Lonnie Johnson. He recorded which I think allowed the crowd to really with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot celebrate the intensity within themselves, as Seven, but he was a blues player through if it were a dubstep show or something. and through. And if you want to talk about From videos I've watched, I'd thought their underrated or lesser knowns, Tampa Red was singer a bit shy and standoff-ish, not sure just an amazing bottleneck player. Oh, and what to do with his unexpected emergence King Solomon Hill. His song "The Gone Dead as an internationally acclaimed performer. Train" should be way better known than it is." In person, the shyness was definitely still Dave Bromberg should be better known there, showing itself as a slight reticence in than he is, too, though he has legions of his gestures; he was putting on a great show, enthusiastic fans who will, no doubt, fill with great poses and facial expressions, but the Paradise Performing Arts Center on the it had the feeling of trying out moves in an evening of March 20. If you care about the effort to see what was cool ; to see what fit best of American music, you should plan to his image, when he wasn't yet sure what be among them. that image was. I was just happy to see Since Bromberg's musical roots are in the blues, I wondered if he would name one bluesman he thought was indispensable.


This show marked something like the sixth time I'd seen Between The Buried And Me. From that long perspective of 2006 to now, I can say that their live performance has gotten steadily better and better. Where before the band was relatively boring to watch, letting the singer do all the entertaining, now the band is a lot more engaged. Their frequent smiles and flicks of their hair are testament to their growing enjoyment of what they do, and their growing love of the unique metal they create. They shredded with joyous fury for over an hour, playing songs off their three latest LP's that ranged from three minutes long to fifteen minutes long. The highest point for me was their finale, "Silent Flight Parliament." This cumulative closing piece off their latest (and best) album rang with apocalyptic intensity that stirred the crowd into an ecstatic frenzy, even though we'd been mashing, screaming, jumping and crowdsurfing for an hour already.

MARC H 17 - MARC H 23, 2014






High school fucks people up, and no one ever quite gets over it. The niche we occupied when we were dreading going to gym class determines what we are going to be forever after. The arrogant rich kids went off to the name brand schools, made the connections that would ensure their futures, debased themselves in frat houses, and grew up to become Republicans who played golf and sneered at people who they just flat knew hadn't worked as hard as they had to earn what their own dedicated work ethic had earned them. They spent their lives looking down on people who were less wealthy and less connected, which is pretty much how they'd conducted themselves when they were stockpiling club memberships that would appear next to their pictures in the high school yearbook. Meanwhile, the stoners who were smoking out on the periphery somewhere when they were supposed to be in Mrs. Miller's history class are now operating marginally viable little head shops, or they finally got their liberal arts or social science degrees and may have found their way into a part-time teaching gig that makes it necessary for them to peddle a little pot on the side, just to keep their heads above water and make payments on those burdensome student loans. Or they're working as assistant managers at fast food franchises or chain stores. The jocks can be found cheering their own sons on playing fields across the country,


MARC H 17 - MARC H 23, 2014

rushing from the car dealership where they work to watch Jr. get the concussion that will echo the one the old man got back when glory was his, along with the cutest cheerleader on the squad. These guys, too, mostly grew up to vote Republican. The hot chicks had a kid or two right quick, and then got their real estate licenses as soon as those kids were off to elementary school, by which time most of them were on their second marriages. The luckier nerds got tech jobs, and have taken up the hobby of making creepy anonymous phone calls to the objects of their sexual fantasies. The more bookish kids found mates for themselves in bookstores, and spend time sharing space where they can read in peace without being entirely alone. The dropouts returned to community colleges, and the luckier ones found jobs as fire fighters, service reps, respiratory therapists, or in-home care providers. The toadies and teachers' pets became middle managers and sycophants hoping their craven ass kissing would launch them into top management. Sometimes it did, but mostly not. Their teachers didn't really like them, nor did the bosses who, nonetheless, reveled in their abject brown nosing. The smart asses who gave the teachers attitude from the back row mostly grew up to commit various felonies and do time. The other back row bad boys became cops. Everyone grew old and died, most of them still wishing prom night had worked out better than they remembered it.




It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of Dan Tomassini. If you have been to any local live music show over the course of the last couple decades there is an eighty to ninety percent chance that Dan was there, either playing drums, bass, or as a member of the audience. He was the epitome of the local live music fan, and a wonderful, kindhearted human being. He was always quick with a warm clasp on the shoulder, generous words, and a big, wide smile. If there is a God in Heaven I can understand why he'd want to surround himself with people like Dan, but frankly we could use a lot more of them down here.

-Bob Howard


MARCH 17 - MARCH 23, 2014












This is the week where you take the reigns of the zodiac once more. The sun goes into Aries with the spring equinox at 9:57am PDT. There is a very deep martial feel to this spring, with the moon in Scorpio conjoining Saturn later that day. Get ready for political oppression along with an extremely resilient underground movement resisting those oppressive forces. Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn will help erode those structures. Pay attention to messages in your dreams.

We move away from helpful friends and a party-like atmosphere, to a place where you need to deal with your personal karma. Venus remains in your midheaven, allowing you to add more beauty and art to the workplace. Friends with good ideas are all around you. Pay your bills, help those who are isolated, and you'll be making good karma. The spring season brings a deeper commitment to relationships and a renewal from the way things were done in the past. Wednesday looks like your best day.

Your season of responsibility gives way to a period of more ease and leisure. Monday and Tuesday find you in a creative and generous mood. On Thursday the vibe changes and your social connections become more important to you. This is a good time to plan for the future. The weekend looks good for romance, partnership and diplomacy. You'll still find yourself working hard this week. New career opportunities may present themselves as Mercury moves into your tenth house on Monday.

After a long period of good fortune and higher learning, there comes a time when you need to rise up and accept some new responsibilities. Wednesday and Thursday are good days for creative projects, love affairs, being with children, and getting in touch with your inner clown. The end of the week is good for organizing, service work, and for helping charitable causes. By Sunday afternoon you'll have a chance to reflect on the things that give you balance. Brush off your best talents and skills.

You've been through so much that is out of your control. Later this week you' ll get a renewal of energy. This is a time where you'll get a chance to educate yourself on a deeper level. The beginning of the week presents an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and friends. During the mid-week it's best to focus on domestic challenges. By Friday you'll breathe a sigh of relief and begin to enjoy yourself once again. The weekend looks good for travel and exotic experiences. Have fun.

Your relationships and time of diplomacy intensifies. You're going to be more interested in occult studies like astrology and ESP. You'll be more likely to find yourself responsible for other people's property, and/ or getting yourself in debt. The good news is that more people are likely to help you when you ask for there help. Economic opportunities are likely on Monday and Tuesday. The weekend looks good for taking care of domestic duties and for helping out parents and older family members.







You begin the week on a high note with the moon and Mars in Libra. You are emotionally sensitive to the needs of others. Wednesday and Thursday are good for making money and dealing with your personal values. The spring equinox puts the sun in your seventh house. Your libido rises and you become more likely to engage in unconventional relationships over the next several weeks. The weekend looks good for short trips, song writing, poetry and anything that involves working with your hands.

The past several weeks of heartfelt creative play, and love affairs give way to service work, charitable causes and working with others. The moon will be in Scorpio Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday you're likely to gain both intellectual as well as spiritual knowledge. Thursday you'll need to focus on long term goals and the things that challenge you. The weekend looks good for singing, cooking, making money, and working on your core values. Keep working on the things that bring good health.

Being bound to your home is not the typical place we expect you to be. For the last several weeks, family, home, and your parental upbringing have been your focus. As of Thursday, with the spring equinox, the focus moves towards creative expression, your children, being playful, and having a lover. The moon will be in Sagittarius from Friday morning till mid-day Sunday. You are ready to rock and roll. Personal satisfaction shouldn 't be too hard for you to find. Set your sails for a new adventure.

All of your research, study and exploration will need to take a change directions. Parental and familial needs take precedence as we get to the later part of the week. On St. Patty's Day you are likely to be seen on the town making the rounds. By the time we get to the weekend you' re likely to be laying low or working on your taxes. The moon goes into Capricorn Sunday afternoon at 1:03pm PDT. You'll need to adjust to new challenges. You have the wisdom it takes to make good decisions .

Dealing with economics and the nuts and bolts of life gets boring after a while. You are poised for some new challenges. You won't settle for superficial forms of knowledge; you're hungry for deeper truths. Monday and Tuesday are lucky days for you where you ' re likely to learn something new. Wednesday and Thursday are best for pushing your career agenda. The weekend looks like a good party. You'll find yourself socializing with good friends. It's also a good time to make preparations for the future.

You have a little over three days left to revel in your season. Mercury's move into Pisces insures that you will be as mentally clear as you need to be to set yourself in the right direction. Wednesday and Thursday are good days for higher learning, philosophy and taking risks. The weekend is a good time to work on your best talents and skills. You're more likely to be in the public eye during these days. Once Thursday hits you'll be more focused on food, money, and speaking your mind.

Koz McKev 1s on You Tube, on cable 17 BCTV, 1s heard on 90/FM KZFR Chk:o, and also available by appOJi7tment for personal horoscopes. Call (530)891-5147 or e-mail kozm!

GREAT WINTER READ Winter Melon, written by local writer Bill Wong Foey A defiant and passionate young woman survives the Rape of Nanking in this debut novel. Voted Book of the Month for July by Lyons Books "Lives of Asia" book group. In paperback online at and Lyons Book Store, 135 Main Street, or as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes and DirectMusicCafe. ADVERTISEMENT


MARCH 17 - MA RCH 23, 2014







Synthesis Weekly March 17 – 23, 2014  

Strange Habits | Tool | | Deafheaven | Between The Buried and Me | David Bromberg | The Walking Dead S2:E2 | Mouse Madness

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