The New York Times gives us a video sneak peek of Audra McDonald’s new album, “Go Back Home,” which comes out Tuesday. (It’s her first solo album in seven years!) McDonald invited the Times to her New York State country home, where she played Adam Guettel’s “Migratory V.” She accompanied herself on a piano that was given to her by her parents as a high school graduation present.
If you went to McDonald’s last Fresno concert, in 2011, you’ll remember she sang the same song in what became the most emotional moment in the show. I wrote at the time:
Without announcing her next song, McDonald took a seat at the piano to play and sing Adam Guettel’s “Migratory V,’ an introspective piece about the wide open sky. Afterward, she explained that she’s always wanted to overcome the fear of playing the piano in public. Her father, the noted Fresno educator Stan McDonald, used to encourage her to do that, telling her she needed to overcome that fear. He died four years ago in one of the solo experimental planes he loved to fly. “So that was for my dad,” she said.
According to her label, Nonesuch Records, many of the selections on “Go Back Home” are by composers with whom McDonald has long been associated (Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim, among others) And McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented on this recording by Adam Gwon, Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, and Will Reynolds.
The end of an era. The last McGee and Oliver siblings to graduate from the Theatre Arts Department at Fresno State. I feel honored to have directed and taught five of them — Carly Oliver, Kelsey Oliver, Dane Oliver, Matthew McGee and Aaron McGee. — with Aaron McGee and Dane Oliver.
OK, maybe part of my choking-up factor is realizing how much I’ve enjoyed the performances of all these siblings over the years. Here’s a salute to two tremendously talented families.
When I met up last week with Daisy Addicott, the Fresno art collector I profiled in Sunday’s Spotlight section, my first thought upon entering the gallery featuring her impressive collection at the Fresno Art Museum was: Wouldn’t it be cool to see the artwork that usually hangs on my walls featured in a museum?
That thought certainly has occurred to Addicott, 83, who was beaming as I walked through the exhibition with her.
Art collectors occupy a prime position in the food chain of the art world, and I found Addicott’s confidence about what she likes (minimalist and conceptual art) and assurance in her acquisition philosophy (collect local artists, especially up-and-coming ones) to be transfixing. Most of the works in the museum show are usually found on the walls of her Fresno home. I write:
The result in the new exhibition is a unifying aesthetic you notice the moment you enter the gallery. Though from different artists, it’s as if these works seem to make up a cohesive unit — not in a matchy-matchy sort of way, but more with an energized calmness, a domestic tranquility. You can tell that each one was lovingly selected, and, in their own way, adored.
It was also fun with this story getting to know the two men responsible for the show: New York artist Rodney Harder (pictured above, right) and Fresno artist Mark Rodriguez (left), both good friends of Addicott’s. They’re clearly both devoted to her. After getting to meet her, I can see why.
VIDEO: To watch a video interview with Daisy Addicott, click here. PHOTO by The Fresno Bee’s Mark Crosse.
UPDATE: The concert announcements just keep coming. Here are two more that just came in.
Martina McBride will be playing Visalia Fox Theatre, June 25. McBride was last in town in February playing a sold-out show at the Save Mart Center with country legend George Straight. This show should be a bit more up close and personal. Tickets are $45-$125 and on sale now.
Religious Appeal has announced July 20 as the date for a second Catacomb Party. You’ll remember the first Catacomb party was a album release for the band Fierce Creatures and wildly successful, drawing a huge crowd of young hipster types to the Fulton Mall. No word is they ever left. This year’s festival has no direct ties to the band that we can see, other than being co-produced by it one-time frontman Mathr de Leon. No word of the lineup yet, but the festival will be on the Fulton Mall and is sure to have many people really excited.
Most people seemed to get a kick out of the recent Fresno Grizzles Kiss-Cam video, which 1) racked up millions of hits on YouTube and 2) was as fake as Velveeta. (In case you missed it, the Grizzles came back a few days later and fessed up that the couple depicted in the video — she wanted a kiss, he didn’t, and she rewarded him with a face full of cold drink — actually works for the Grizzlies.)
In my Sunday column, I take a bigger-picture view of the incident. Sure, it was funny and harmless. But on a deeper level, I think there are larger ramifications for our culture overall. I write:
Every time something fake gets passed off as real in the media — whether it’s a fabricated video, manipulated photograph or just-plain-wrong Tweet — it erodes just a little our confidence in how we take in and process information. I think of it as a cumulative process. Watch one staged video and you might fall for it hard. Watch 100 and your first thought when watching something new could be: Is it fake? We run the risk of becoming blase, whether it’s real or not.
I talked for my column with Fresno State professor Jes Therkelsen, who teaches media culture, and he had some interesting insights to add.
In the meantime, the Grizzlies have used up their “Post Fake Video, Get Millions of Hits” card for the season.
Though it’s called Swede Fest, Fresno’s semi-annual (that mean’s twice a year, right?) celebration of sweded films isn’t judged like many festivals (It’s not judged at all). But being the arbiters of art that we are, we here at The Beehive have taken to handing out awards for what we see as the best of the fest. Swede Fest XI happened last night at a packed Tower Theatre. You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site. Winners receive their names in this post, which they can feel free to link on IMDB.
Painting your dad’s hammer handle: Why would anybody want this? WHY?
Father’s Day is coming, which is the stupidest of all holidays. First off, my dad is dead (so thanks for bringing THAT up); and second, given my penchant toward craftiness, you’d think that I’d do something super creative for my hubs (being that he is, after all, the father-like person for our massive herd of kids). With these two facts in mind, Father’s Day should be a breeze.
I’m sorry to inform you that you’re disgustingly wrong. Planning, making, doing, surprising ANYONE in my family is fun and I go nuts. Holidays are of the greatest inventions ever; I love them so much, I create my own (and seriously cannot WAIT to tell you how to plan your Ugly Sweater Day feast). But Father’s Day? Shoot me.
Last week, Vina Robles Amphitheatre announced the lineup for its inaugural concert season. It’s a solid mix of classic-rock (The Doobie Brothers, Skynyard, an evening with the Moody Blues), reggae (Michael Franti and Spearhead, Ziggy Marley/Steel Pulse) and blues (Peter Frampton and BB King, Bonnie Raitt). Tickets for the 2013 season are on sale now, though the the place just opened, so there isn’t a box office on site yet. Tickets are available online or by phone at (888) 929-7849.
The newly constructed 3,300-seat amphitheater offers regular, VIP and general-admission lawn seating for the 20-plus dates of its concert series, which will typically run May through November. This season starts July 6 (with the classic-rock band Yes) and looks to skew toward an older demographic. That isn’t odd for this type of venue, especially given that it is set in the heart of Central Coast wine-country.
A venue like this makes sense for the area and is a welcomed addition, but what do you think? Do you see anything you would drive two hours to see? You should check out the full schedule, but here’s a quick look at the shows I think are most interesting.
Here’s a bit of news for craft beer fans: Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s 805 ale is now available in the Fresno area. Until now the beer, brewed in Paso Robles, wasn’t for sale on shelves outside of the 805 area code.
The honey blond ale was reportedly being “smuggled” back in car trunks and back seats to Fresno by people visiting the central coast. Firestone says that Ryan Donaghy of Fresno-based beverage distributor Donaghy Sales convinced the brewer to sell it in Fresno.
So who’s tried 805? What did you think of it? I’m told Spokeasy has had 805 on tap in the past and will rotate it in again soon.
Firestone says you can get the beer at Save-Mart, BevMo!, Whole Foods and numerous independent outlets, such as Liquor King, Elite Liquor and MGA Liquor. You can also get it on tap at Neighbor’s Tap & Cookhouse, Red Wave Inn, The Mad Duck, Doghouse Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Swiggs and Red Robin.
This onesie demonstrates the rhinestones and glitter used at Bling Witch.
The newly opened Bling Witch Design Studio can bling out just about anything with rhinestones or glitter: T-shirts, high-heeled shoes, plastic cups, license plate frames, bumper stickers and baby onesies. You can even have a photo of your dog turned into a rhinestone design on a T-shirt. The business is a store that sells supplies for crafters and finished items such as T-shirts. It also takes custom orders and hosts classes and birthday and bachelorette parties.
Bling Witch is at the southeast corner of Bullard and West avenues. The Bling Witch in the name is Maryann Ward, who runs the business with her husband Bob, aka Mr. Bling Witch. You may remember Maryann from Yaya’s Creative Boutique at Bullard and Marks avenues. She lost the lease on that store and closed it, opening Bling Witch April 1.
Because the blinging process is so customizable, many of the items created at Bling Witch are a bit different than you’d find at your average store — like the T-shirt with two glitter milk jugs on it that someone created for a friend who is breastfeeding. (Keep scrolling to see examples of rhinestone doggies.)
By now, it’s pretty clear that Fresno’s infatuation with Kai, the famed — (you can insert some variation here using hatchet, hitchhiker or homeless/homefree descriptors) — has faded into something a lot less fun to write about. (And the Beehive did have its share of fun. Remember when we picked local actor Terry Lewis as a leading candidate to play him in the TV movie?)
As you know by now, Kai — who goes by Caleb L. McGillvary — was arrested Thursday for a murder committed in New Jersey. In a front-page Bee story today, reporters Jim Guy and Marc Benjamin fill you in on the details. And my Beehive colleague Joshua Tehee talked to local musicians Derek and Elizabeth Fujitsubo, and Omar Nare, to get their reactions to Kai’s downward spiral.
I don’t know about you, but one of the weirdest scenes to me in TV movies and series are those that occur after a couple has been very intimate. While they are chatting, the woman is always draped in a sheet that has been strategically wrapped around her. This odd costuming always seem strange because I imagine that sheet wasn’t there before they started talking.
During a chat with Jamie Luner for her new upcoming Lifetime movie, “The Perfect Boss,” I decide to ask her about this post-romance choice of wardrobe. Luner has been in her fair share of such situations — in TV movies and series — and that means she should be an expert. She ends up wrapped up in a sheet in “The Perfect Boss.”
On my way to work this morning I found myself sitting behind an SUV in the left-turn lane at Shaw and Palm avenues displaying this license-plate frame:
DON’T MAKE ME CALL MY FLYING MONKEY’S
I called the Apostrophe Police, but I got put on hold. Instead, I pondered: If provoked, what would one call for that belonged to a flying monkey? Would it be a flying monkey’s uncle? A flying monkey’s security detail? A flying monkey’s wit and sarcasm? A flying monkey’s instinctual impulse to fling feces at an adversary? A flying monkey’s disdain for monkeys that can’t fly?
English teachers everywhere want to know.
UPDATE: My friend Amy Biancolli, arts writer extraordinaire at the Albany Times-Union, came up on Facebook with the definitive answer to my question of what one could call for that belonged to a flying monkey:
MY FLYING MONKEY’S MAMA. Cuz you don’t wanna tick her off, boy.
Two of the biggest block sales of the season are coming up soon. The Harvard block sale in the Fresno High neighborhood is this weekend, followed by the Terrace Avenue sale on May 26 during Memorial Day weekend. The Terrace Avenue folks tell me their sale is the biggest, though I suspect some Harvard Ave. residents might have something to say about that.
Furniture, clothing, tools and other junk-turned-treasure are for sale at both popular block sales, with yard sales generally spanning between Van Ness Boulevard and Harrison avenues.
No matter which one you go to, there’s always something to be found — even if it’s just a bite to eat and some people watching — at the block sales.
Authorities in Union County have issued an arrest warrant for Internet celebrity “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker” in the murder of Joseph Galfy, Jr. in Clark, New Jersey.
The suspect is identified as Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, a 34-year-old Internet celebrity and is well known on Facebook and YouTube.
According to the story he is also “considered to be armed and dangerous,” which is no doubt disconcerting to those in Fresno who have offered up their couches to him in the past. It’s also more than a bit ironic, considering the way in which he became famous.
Obviously, we’ll be hearing more on this and soon. In the meantime, there’s this photo, which is already getting a deluge of snarky comments.
“I felt like a gnat that lands on the ass of a cow chewing his cud on the side of the road that you drive by doing 70 mph.” – Simon, ‘Grand Canyon’ (1991)
Life: that thing that happens as the Universe hurtles by at a billion miles per hour. In the scope of all that is, our existence is a fleeting thing. Overcome by the urge to do something with my own blink of time, something creative that codifies my sense of self and proves to rest of humanity a bajillion (is, too, a word) years from now that I existed on this hunk of rock hurtling through space — I, in such times of reflection… make knick-knacks.
And you can, too!
And what screams “I WAS HERE” louder and more stylishly than a beaded eyeglass chain? Exactly. Not for you? Make one for grandma.
The folks over at The Hashtag — that Tower District work space full of interesting people — have a sense of humor about their second anniversary. They celebrated it by creating a gallery of internet sensation Grumpy Cat in their hallway.
Marcos Dorado has been busy recently on his latest ambitious project: a salute to veterans. He’s been drawing local ones in graphite, and you can see the results tonight at Boling Fine Arts Gallery with the opening of his Veterans Portrait Project. There also will be a special reception Saturday in honor of Armed Forces Day. After the show closes, the veterans will get to take their portraits home. What a treat!
The winner of this season’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” will be announced May 19 and it all comes down to magician Penn Jillette and musician Trace Adkins.
Win or lose, Adkins is happy he’s been on the reality competition show twice. He’s convinced that its introduced him to people who weren’t fans of his music.
“They like the way I represented myself on the show and that made them start listening to my music,” Adkins tells me during an NBC party. It’s loud in the hotel lounge but Adkins has the kind of deep voice that can be easily heard. “I have people who come up to me in airports and the TV show is the only place they know me from.
The CW Network will add three new show’s to its lineup when the 2013-2014 season opens: “The Originals,” “The Tomorrow People” and “Reign.”
It’s obvious the network has noticed the success it has had with fantasy and supernatural programming like “Arrow” and “The Vampire Diaries” as “The Originals” looks at Louisiana vampires while “The Tomorrow People” deals with humans born with paranormal abilities. “Reign” is the story of Mary Stuart, the woman the world would come to know as Mary, Queen of Scots.
My brother shared this video (actually, Audi commercial “Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: “The Challenge” that was posted May 6 on YouTube) with me on Facebook and I just had to share it with you. It made this sci-fi girl happy. Plus, it gives me an excuse to tell everyone how much I loved “Star Trek Into Darkness.” It’s AWESOME! Beehiver Rick Bentley shares that enthusiasm, read his “A” review here. You can also watch video interviews with cast members Simon Pegg, John Cho and Alice Evehere. Enjoy.
The little burger joint with the walk-up window on Belmont just west of Highway 99 has all types of regulars who love the place, the manager tells me. And $2.39 for a regular burger? $3.55 for a jumbo burger? Can’t beat that. The collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia adds a nice charm. Most of it is brought in by customers, by the way.
Anyway, I want to know what you like about this place. A restaurant around this long surely has some longtime fans, and I’d love to hear some of your memories from years past. When did you come here and why? Maybe I’ll include them in an upcoming column in the newspaper.
There’s a second Triangle Drive In in Ivanhoe, by the way, and plans are under way to open a third one on the east side of town near Clovis. More on that when it happens.
I would like to express gratitude to the ‘Guardian Angel’ who discovered my motorcycle keys left in the ignition. They turned them in and then the keys were returned to me. It would have been a long walk home without them.
So, have you ever been blessed by the honesty and goodness of someone? A guardian angel perhaps? Share your story if you have one.
Passions Boutique has opened its third location, this one at Bullard and West avenues in the same shopping center as The Manhattan Steakhouse & Bar. The store sells women’s clothing, jewelry and purses, and caters to women of all ages. The store gets many mother/daughter/grandmother combos coming in together to shop because of its variety, manager Ruby Tello noted. Passions also carries plus size clothing, including plus-size LA Idol jeans with blinged up pockets.
Passions opened its first boutique nine years ago downtown, at 2027 Tulare St., near Fulton Mall. It has another, 2-year-old store at 1085 E. Herndon Ave., near First Street. Tello said customers repeatedly requested a new store in northwest Fresno.
Once upon a time there was a young-ish, moderately attractive, devastatingly intelligent yet incredibly humble woman who worked in corporate America. She was a woman with simple-yet-refined tastes, who embodied the simple-yet-refined desire to communicate her thoughts and ideas to others who likely suffered from similar slings and arrows of corporate American life. To sum it up: this woman’s life dream was nothing more than to tell her deeply average tales to a general public that might perhaps occasionally have their interest piqued.
Beyond that, she cared nothing more than to continue on and live her simple yet refined life, caring for her family and feeding her dog and peppering her diction with self-important phrases about her “audience” whose “interests” she had mildly “piqued.”
And so — naturally — the woman began to blog.
Then one day, this young-ish, moderately attractive, devastatingly intelligent woman (now with a penchant toward verbosity) was presented with an opportunity: A rogue band of ninja bloggers were looking to increase their ranks. She could join this group — but she’d have to have something to offer in return. “What could she give,” they queried, “to those toiling away at their desks across corporate America?”
Her answer: munitions.
This may come to shock you, dear reader, but I am that very same young-ish (now older), moderately attractive (meh), devastatingly intelligent yet amazingly humble woman (still with a penchant toward verbosity); and this is my first post here at The Beehive — the not-so-secret lair for that aforementioned crazy-awesome band of ninja bloggers.
In short: I’m quite excited to be here, blogging about all the nifty DIY stuff you, too, can get up to.
And, as promised, I give you munitions: a DIY desktop archery set. Enjoy!