September 19th, at 1078 Gallery
Written by Henry Huggins
Can we talk for a minute about Rick Barnett’s work? It’s currently displayed in a shared show at 1078 Gallery, and if you haven’t been to check it out yet, you’re a damn fool. I arrived at 1078 Gallery on Sept 19 about 10 minutes prior to the start of the show. On the bill for that night was Nyx (Angelica Tavella), Ave Grave (Sean Galloway), Robin Bacior, and Chris Keene. Although I’m a longtime resident of Chico, this was to be my first Robin Bacior show, and she certainly didn’t disappoint.
The show kicked off with Ave Grave (Sean Galloway), who wore a skeleton suit and was joined for various songs by Nyx and members of Chico band the Mondegreens. I was reminded again just how great the acoustics of 1078 are as Galloway’s melancholy yet piercing vocals rang out and blended perfectly with the guest vocalists.
Nyx was up second, with her breathy, sweet vocals and wide eyes looking out over the crowd as she rocked back and forth on her heels calling to mind a Mark Dryden painting come to life. Tavella’s playful and spirited nature of the layered sounds and engaging vocals hang in the air with a subtle undertone of humor that makes me excited for what we’ll hear next from this young performer.
In a move that seemed like a case of playing into the impatient nature of select audience members, somehow it was decided that Robin Bacior would play third, instead of Chris Keene. Bacior played songs off her soon-to-be-released album, with accompaniment of cellist Dan Bindschedler. Her velvety-soft voice slid over each note, given depth and a greater sense of fullness with the mournful sound of the cello. A brilliant musician, I absolutely understand why so many had turned out to witness her play. As the gear was packed and Keene took to the stage, it bears mentioning that a great number of the audience suddenly disappeared. Perhaps they had an extra large number of things to write in to the CNR about, I don’t know, but I can say with certainty that they missed an excellent cap to the show. Keene sang crowd favorites like Steal Your Blood, and even dropped in a new song, a pensive yet memorable tune. Keene’s voice (like his songs), is that rare, elusive breed that mixes emotion with restraint, producing a sound that at first listen might seem simple, but is actually complex and difficult to reproduce. His mastery of melodies and composition makes for some of the best music to be found in our incredibly talented scene, I just wish more of the audience members had stuck around to witness it.