By January 30, 2011 Read More →

My Kind of Town

People are always telling me how boring my town is. That bit is less interesting if I separate who is saying it from who is not. You know who isn’t saying it? Friends from Portland, who look forward to spending the night on a local Modesto musician’s couch, and being given a sidewalk tour of “the house where Grandaddy used to play.” A friend of mine from LA, who upon hearing a local artist’s CD, was convinced that they’d just heard some up-and-coming major label debut by some Nashville expatriate.

An actual major-label artist, who, after playing a small acoustic gig at a local café, commented that it was the best acoustic show he’d played. Chief among his reasons why were the fantastic people who came to hear him play, and the great atmosphere provided by his hosts. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an unkind word spoken about my town or its people by any of the musicians I’ve encountered through my job at B92-Nine.

Oddly enough, I hear it from people who live here. I suppose I can understand that, to an extent. Common is the belief that everyone has it better than you. That the grass is greener, the music sweeter, and the people classier on the other side. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that someone, somewhere, is having more fun than you are. I suppose that’s entirely possible. I submit, however, that it’s definitely true if you have a full evening of complaining planned.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. How does the saying go? If you’re bored, then you’re boring. Maybe we’re living in different towns. Perhaps these people inhabit some shadowy, other Modesto, populated by musically-untalented people who make horrible food. Could they be trapped there, doomed to spend their days suffering at the feet of their masters: Envy, Bad Taste, and Short-Sightedness? The town I live in has local music pretty much every single night of the week. There’s a growing comedy scene. You could sample the food of a different country every night for weeks. And, in my experience, there’s always someone fascinating to talk to, a new friend to be made.

People are always telling me how boring my town is. They assure me that there isn’t anything around here to eat, to see, or to do. For the most part, that’s fine with me. Keep the porch at Tresetti’s a relaxed place to sit and share a drink with friends. Save me an empty chair at Deva, and at least 8 ounces of whatever’s in the coffee thermos so I can sit down to some local talent at an Off The Airshow. And seats at The Ill List are hard to come by, but I’d like to think my odds are improved because everyone who can’t find anything to do in this town is off in the Bay Area, bellies full of some chain restaurant’s fair, washing down their bored looks with a watered down drink at some terrible club. This is my kind of town, and if you don’t want it … more for me, I guess.

by John Chimpo
Radio Station B92.9

John Chimpo is on the air daily on B92.9 from 4-10.

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John Chimpo is on the air daily on B92.9 from 4-10pm.