In 1994 I was 16 years old, super into clunky shoes and overalls, and newly aware of the totally bangin’ musical culture of Chico. At that very same time, a group of college students (including our own Bill Fishkin) started up “The Weekly Synthesis.”
Over the past few days I’ve been poring over those original issues. Some of it made me feel pangs of nostalgia—for the people I knew, the slang we used, the bands we loved, the general air of defiance and funky freshness—but mostly it just made me laugh.
Every single article was printed in a different font and size— some were even handwritten with doodles in the margins. Ads for Azad’s Martial Arts were on nearly every page. There were references to technology that’s so far outdated I’d forgotten it. There were observations on youth and society that could still apply today if we swapped out a few names and dates. Over the course of the first three months there were not one but two interviews with Ride The Nine.
Best of all though, there was optimism: this was going to be a paper that was different. This paper would promote the arts. This paper would give a voice to the community instead of talking down to them.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We have a cleaner look now, a slightly longer memory for who we’ve interviewed, better computers, more advertisers, and we don’t deliver directly to people’s homes (that was a thing!)…but our goals (and occasional jankiness) haven’t changed one bit.
We want people to go see live shows. We want to spread information about what’s happening where so no one ever has to be bored in this town. We want creative efforts to be seen and appreciated. We want people with something to say to write for us; to be the change you hope to see in our content, and put a spotlight on what you feel is important. We still need your help to give Chico the paper it deserves. Please go to our website, synthesisweekly.com and submit events you think we should know about, or email editorial@ synthesis.net if you want to write or draw our attention to something you think would make a great feature.
Included in this issue are several choice bits from those early days twenty years ago, and more than likely I’ll be dropping more into issues throughout the year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!