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.
Last week, Vina Robles Amphitheatre announced the lineup for its inaugural concert season. It’s a solid mix of classic-rock (The Doobie Brothers, Skynard, an evening with the Moody Blues), reggae (Michael Franti and Spearhead, Ziggy Marley/Steel Pulse) and blues (Peter Frampton and BB King, Bonnie Rait). 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.
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.
The Tower Theatre’s Painted Table venue (in the old Daily Planet) announced a trio of note-worthy shows. The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet brings its style of progressive Gypsy Jazz (think 1930s Django Reinhardt) to the venue July 10. Tickets are $30 and on sale now. American Blues guitarist Hamilton Loomis plays July 25 for a CD release show. Tickets are $30. And Casey Abram, the American Idol 2011 finalist plays the venue on Aug. 27. Tickets are $27.
Super Water Sympathy‘s singer Ansley Hughes is totally approachable and super friendly. Nothing to get intimated by, which is awesome if you’re an outgoing fan and say, need a ride to the band’s show.
Which actually happened to the Shreveport, La. five-piece recently. A guy connected with them on Facebook. He wanted to see them and he needed a ride, and they were like, “Well hell, you live 20 minutes away. We’ll be there,” Hughes says.
Eventually, a band can’t maintain that sort of control over its career, she says. Like, once you’re touring on a bus (or on a plane) instead of a van and you don’t do the driving yourself. It’s one of the drawbacks to being, you know, super popular and famous. But right now, they are in control of everything they do. “I just want to be able to hold on to that for as long as I can,” Hughes says.
In April, Super Water Sympathy released its sophomore album and is in the midst of a West Coast tour before heading East with the Vans Warped Tour this summer. The band is in Fresno Thursday night, playing at Audie’s Olympic Tavern. It’s one of the trio of shows I wrote about in today’s paper.
We’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away. Just leave a comment below. Tell us the best experience you’ve had meeting a band. Contest closes Thursday at noon. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by email. No repeat entries, please.
Either way, you should go stop by and say hello to the band. In the mean time, check out the video for the song “”Oh Oh!” after the jump. Also, the complete contest rules.
Pro tip for those in the information biz. Don’t get sick. A lot can happen in a day. Here’s some stuff that y’all may have missed on Monday, because I’m getting caught up.
Spanspek Music and Arts Festival announced its 2013 date. The annual festival has been held out in Orosi since 2006 and is curated by a couple of local music aficionados. So it has cache for having an eclectic lineup of up-and-coming local bands like Achievement House, Basura, Collecto, Sahab, Strange Vine, Tokyo Death March and Tyrannosaurus Zebra. The festival is booking bands now with updates as soon as they come. Save the date Oct. 4.
In case it hasn’t been stated emphatically on this site yet, Light Thieves is good. Like, really good. The band, which does psychedelic space-rock indie dance jams, has a new album all recorded and ready to be pressed to vinyl. Now they need to the money to get it done. They had the money, but it got stolen from the practice space, so now they’re asking for y’alls help. Because that’s what we do these days and it’s nice. See the band’s Indiegogo campaign to learn how to help. For some audio incentive, here is a single from the album. It’s called “Crystal Maps” and it comes with a video you can see on the jump.
The California Mid State Fair announced it has booked Van Halen to play July 24 as part of this year’s festivities. This is the original Van Halen (or as original as its been in some time): Eddie and Alex, with David Lee Roth and Wolfgang Van Halen on the bass. Surely, there are plenty of VH fans who will happily make the drive, after the band’s last Fresno show was postponed cancelled. Ticket are on sale Friday.
You can check out the full schedule bands the fair has confirmed on its website, but it includes John Mayer, Tim McGraw and Huey Lewis and the News. Granted, The Fresno Fair has only confirmed three acts, so far, but I wonder how you think the lineups are looking in comparison?
In my column this week I talked about a sort of self-revelation I had concerning the amount of litter around Fresno and my own particular role in the problem.
Apparently, the theme hits home with Fresno Bee readers.
I’ve gotten half a dozen emails and a phone call in support of the piece, including one from local artist Edward Gillum, who has reacted to the litter problem in his installation pieces. The image is from an installation that will be up at Quady Winery this weekend. It’s a pile of garbage replicated in silicone rubber.
For a moment there, Amy Winehouse was the Beehive’s bread and butter. She was such a part of pop-culture, at least on this site, that we put her on the back of our T-shirts. Sadly, so much of that whole phenomenon centered around the last, destructive years of Winehouse’s life that the legacy of her music was often overlooked.
Enter Black to Black, the all-star Amy Winehouse tribute. I say all-star because the band features a killer-lineup of musicians including: Danielle Rondero (as Amy), plus Sean Alderette (40 Watt Hype), Crissy Martinez (Distrito Torre), Benjamin Betita (the Brandishers, Gayle and the Bowties), Steve Coleman (Pocket Money), Gary Anderson (Viper City Brass Band), Pierce Yamaoka and Richard Scroggin.
The band takes its cues from Winehouse’s early performances, which tend to be way different than what you hear on her albums.
Back to Black plays tomorrow at Frank’s Place, with ska band Pocket Money, and we have tickets to give away. Just leave a comment below. Tell us which is your favorite Winehouse song and why. We’ll pick winners at random. Contest closes at noon tomorrow (Friday) and winners will be notified by email. No repeat entries, please.
If you’re not feeling lucky, advanced tickets are available at Tsu Tsu Boutique in the Tower District (with NO SERVICE FEE until 6 p.m. day of show) or online.
Complete rules and a video of the band doing my favorite Winehouse song are on the jump.
Fresno Urban Sound Experience (known by some as F.U.S.E.) has announced the dates for the 2013 festival. So, circle Sept. 20 and 21 on the calendar for this locals-only music event. The festival will once again be held in downtown Fresno venues (including Fresno Brewing Company, Frank’s Place, Tokyo Garden and more) and will feature an insane number of local, original bands.
This will be the festival’s sixth year.
Because the lineup is still in the works: Who do you think deserves to be in this year’s lineup?
Lindsay White and Veronica May are lovebirds, or at very least, The Lovebirds (capitalized with a definite article). In Youtube videos, the San Diego folk duo come across as a well-matched set, quirky and charming and belting out songs with unabashed joy. The pair is on tour in support of its latest album “and a one, and a two,” and play tomorrow night at Tokyo Garden. In advance of the show, we caught up with White via email.
From the youtube videos I’ve watched, it seems like The Lovebirds is a fitting name? Am I off base? Give me some history on how The Lovebirds came together. Musically or otherwise.
Veronica and I both had established solo and band projects in San Diego before we met and started writing together about three years ago. We found a great connection through music and eventually started dating. I think Veronica eventually came up with the name The Lovebirds, and it stuck. We recently (about a month ago) decided to take a break from our romantic partnership in order to preserve our musical partnership. We both feel that our connection is stronger and more meaningful in the musical realm, which can be hard for people to understand. It requires a great deal of strength and maturity to break up AND stay together, but we are trying to put our music first and let that also be the thing that heals us. It always has in the past, and we trust it will now.
I didn’t go to the Star Wars pub crawl. My fandom, sadly, doesn’t extend to putting a costume together and all that. BUT, I do love seeing what everyone else comes up with. Seriously, if we could focus that raw creative energy on … I dunno, world peace or something … I followed along via social media, but for those who were there: What was the best costume of the night? I know there was at least one jawa, a gender-reversed Hans Solo and princess Leia and a few Sith lords. Did anyone try for Jabba the Hutt?
Here’s the Beehive’s own Kathy Mahan posing with a Stormtrooper (though something tell me that uniform is not regulation). Notice Kathy’s blinged-out retro-tee.
Below is my favorite group photo from the night, courtesy of Instagram and my friend Junebug1015. It’s “Spaceballs,” which is really the superior Star Wars franchise.
When Q97 announced the “Light It Up Tour” in March, it marked the return of hip-hip to the Save Mart Center. It seemed like it would be a big one, with young hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa, plus neo soul singer Miguel, John Hart and others.
Now that it is all done, what did you think?
How was the turnout?
How were Khalifa and Miguel? What about the openers?
And did any one in the crowd take the name literally and “light it up” during the show?
It’s starting to feel like I only see bands at Tokyo Garden, which is fine. It’s my local, to use hipster speak (see definition 1). The place feels like home, is within walking distance and tends to have cool bands stopping through.
Inferno of Joy: This San Francisco four-piece puts on a … theatrical performance, let’s say. Lots of gyrations. Lots of sweating and jumping around. Lots of animal screams. This is rock and roll revival. Having never seen/heard the band before (other than quick clips on Youtube) I found myself making easy comparisons. This isn’t quite fair to the band, but it’s probably good reference for others.
For metal fans, there may be no band more in-your-face brutal than Slayer. The name alone is enough to conjure fear in any pre-teen lucky enough to find a Slayer album in an older brother or sister’s collection. Add in the band’s occult iconography — inverted crosses and pentagrams — and the sonic attack style of its music and you understand why the band is one of America’s Big Four. That’s the list of America’s best thrash metal bands and includes Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.
Slayer guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died today at age 49. I’ve never been a huge Slayer fan, but had plenty for friends who are. I saw them play a few years back and was surprised at how many songs I knew. Must have picked them up via osmosis or some such. For metal fans, it is a loss.
Here’s a video of the band doing its classic “Raining Blood.”
For those who believe that death happen in threes, we should sadly be OK for awhile.
Let me add to the list, San Francisco’s Inferno of Joy. The band will be playing tonight at Tokyo Garden with Blake Jones and the Trike Shop. It’s one of those after-Arthop parties that happen at Tokyo and can be quite fun.
The real reason you’ll want to be there though, is to pick up a just-arrived-via-UPS-copy of Blake Jone’s new EP,”Teasers from the Whispermaphone.” Heard told it’s a good one.
Also: Inferno of Joy seems like a band I’d like. So, if you’re taste run akin to mine … Here’s a video so you can decide.
One of the benefits of being a touring band is connecting with awesome musicians from other cities and then “hooking” them up with shows in your home town. Strange Vine has always done great job of this, which is a benefit for local fans. I discovered American Sharks through a show the guys in Strange Vine pulled together last year and my life is better for it.
Tomorrow night, they bring their friends Sleepy Sun to Audie’s Olympic. The San Francisco band plays psychedelic rock, which will fit perfectly with Strange Vine and openers Light Thieves. My sense is, this will be one of those slipped-under-the-radar-but-damn-awesome-if-you-were-there shows.
Luckily, you won’t miss it, because 1.) I just told you about it. And 2.) We have tickets to give away.
Just leave a comment below. Tell us what was the best local-show-you-almost missed. We’ll pick winners at random. Contest closes at noon tomorrow (Thursday) and winners will be notified by email. No repeat entries, please. Complete rules and a video of Sleepy Sun are on the jump.
Uploaded for your listening pleasure: Another episode of the all-things-Fresno podcast Flowing with Famous. Once again, I am joined by Fresno podcast icon Mike Seay, and once again we hit on all our favorite topics.
Fresno vs. Clovis
Some local music scene news
Fresno Grizzlies and the state of downtown
Plus, we’ve named another band of the episode. Spoiler alert: It’s Light Thieves.
And once again, the whole thing is slightly NSFW (sorry).
W/audio engineering by Reid May. You can stream or download the episode here or find it on iTunes, Sticker and the like.
You’re interviewing David Sedaris and trying to not let on the fact you’re nervous. The guy is, after all, the rock star of authors, an NPR favorite whose books are the rage with your most literary friends. But he’s done this before and quickly sets you at ease and shares all sorts of great stuff (much of it hilarious, but unfit for the daily paper).
Sedaris will be in town on Thursday with his lecture tour, which is part of the Broadway in Fresno series.
We have tickets to share.
Just leave a comment below. Tell us which story you’d like to hear Sedaris read aloud. We’ll pick winners at random. Contest will close at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) and winners will be notified by email. No repeat entries, please. Complete rules are on the jump.
As I mentioned in passing in a column a few weeks back, a reunited Black Sabbath announced a string of European tour dates. This week, the band announced 20 dates on a North American tour that will not be coming through Fresno, sadly. Sabbath fans will have to drive to Mountain View or Irvine if they want to see Ozzy, Tony and Geezer bring the doom.
The announcement comes on the heels of the band’s new single “God is Dead,” which was released earlier this month. Anyone who knows me has mostly likely heard my thoughts on the song already. It could fill its own blog post.
But let me throw it out to ya’ll. If you’ve heard the song, what do you think? If not, check out the video below (set aside some time. The song clocks in around 9 minutes). Secondarily, and new track aside, is a trip to see Sabbath in your future?
Brian Kenney Fresno is the city’s self-styled musical ambassador. He of the Warr guitar and cape (he wears a cape) has traveled the nation spreading word of our raisins and weather and burrito makers.
After reading about the city’s first poet laureate (and his poem “Fresno, California. 2013″), Kenney Fresno sent me his own verse, inspired by our hometown. It’s a slightly bleaker take on the city’s triumphs and struggles, but you have to love the refrain.
Fresno: “Apart from truth and perception perfection in every way”
Seriously, I’m putting that on a T-shirt.
Read the the full text below. Run with permission.
UPDATE II: We now have confirmation from the Saroyan Theatre on the Cody Simpson/Ryan Beatty show June 19. Tickets are $39.50 and on sale Saturday. They will be available at the Convention Center box office, through Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster outlets and at the Cherry Avenue Auction Swap Meet on Saturdays.
UPDATE: It looks like a Fresno date has been confirmed for the Paradise tour. According to Pollstar (and Beatty’s own website) the tour stops at the Saroyan Theatre June 19 (though it’s not yet listed on the theater’s event calendar for some reason). Doesn’t look like tickets are on sale yet, but we’ll keep up updated on that as well.
Original post from April 12: Fresno’s favorite pop-music wunderkind Ryan Beatty is making moves toward becoming America’s favorite pop-music wunderkind. The 17-year old announced he will be touring this summer with Australian pop-singer Cody Simpson, part of Simpson’s “Paradise Tour,” which kicks off May 30. The tour will hit more than 30 cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas and … FRESNO! (no dates has been confirmed, but we’ll keep you updated).
It’s always exciting when the lineup for the Big Fresno Fair’s Table Mountain Concert Series starts trickling in.
This morning the fair made its first announcement. It includes two-time Grammy winning rapper LL Cool J, who will play Oct. 12. Cool J (or LL) is a hip-hop pioneer (turned actor) with 30 years in the business. His new album “Authentic” is out on Tuesday.
10/5Austin Mahone, who is one of those young singers who rose to fame on Youtube. Think Justin Bieber or Ryan Beatty. Mahone has a new single with rapper Flo Rida.
10/8 Christian rockers Skillet, which do an alternative, rock, metal fusion that has crossover appeal. The band’s new ablum, “Rise,” will be out in June.
Tickets for the shows go on sale Aug. 12. Members of the Big Fresno Fair Fan Club can buy tickets online starting July 31.
“Every year we work hard to bring the best entertainment across a variety of genres and could not be more excited to announce these concerts as part of our 2013 concert-line-up,” says John C. Alkire, CEO, The Big Fresno Fair.
Schedules like this are always a work in progress, so there will be more bands announced in the coming months, but so far these are pretty much what you expect in terms of genre.
Before the next set of bands is confirmed, who would you like to see at the Fair?
Most of what I know of George Jones comes second hand, via guys like Elvis Costello. But Jones was one of those old-school country guys who defined the genre (and probably what it’s become). And he probably doesn’t get enough credit from the younger set, who are more enamoured with Waylon, Willie and the boys. Jones was always around if you were looking, but he never got the cool-kid resurgence of Johnny Cash, let’s say.