Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

My interview with Red Wolf, a very large bull


This past week, like usual, I interacted with some interesting interview subjects: a world-famous violinist. A local director. A 1,600 pound bull.

Yes, my life isn’t all just chamber music concerts, art openings and theater reviews. For our coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Clovis Rodeo, I decided to interview a bull named Red Wolf – just one of the more than 50 up-and-coming bulls at the rodeo.

When Bee photographer Mark Crosse and I headed out to the rodeo on Monday for our interview, it didn’t take long for Red Wolf to realize we wanted to talk to him. He trotted right over to Mark, in fact, as if to say, Who the hell do you think you are? I actually saw Mark — who incidentally is being honored today as a 25-year veteran of the Fresno Bee, congrats! — jump a little. Thank goodness for the fence:

photo (5)

Anyway, I had a supremely silly time writing our 7 cover story about the rodeo.

Five (plus five) Things You Should Do This Weekend

5things4-25-2Looks like y’all were at the Rodeo last night, which means you need something to do with the rest of the weekend. Lucky for you there are choices. And how.

1. Smack in Da Middle
Another fringe sport takes hold in Fresno.

2. Fresno Film Festival
If you love films, but hate the multiplex, this is a good weekend.

3. Woofstock 3
Doggies need love, too.
4. Fresno Ideawork’s Day
Fresno Ideaworks and the Grizzlies introduced us to the idea of “the maker” last year. Fan fans of robots and cardboard costume crafting.

5. One Night Stanza
Twenty-five of Fresno’s best poets — both the writer and performer types –share their best work.


1. Vintage Days
If you can find the lineup of live music, it’s a doozy!

Read more

Win tickets to The Clovis Rodeo

rodeoIf there is a local event that’s run longer or has more cultural history than the Clovis Rodeo, I can’t call it.

The annual event, which kicks off on Thursday and runs through Sunday, celebrates its 100th year.

We have tickets to Friday’s rodeo competition and concert, which features country chart climber and “Redneck Crazy” Tyler Farr. To enter to win, leave a message in the comments section. Tell us your favorite Rodeo story (everyone has one). If you’ve never been, let us know why this is the year that changes.

This is a quicky. The deadline for entry is noon Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random Thursday night and notified via email (so check yours if you enter). These are physical tickets, so the winner will need to come to The Fresno Bee office to claim them.

Full contest rules and a video from Farr on the jump.

Read more

Concert News: More country is a-comin’

We already got a Kenny Chesney concert announcement this week, now comes two — yes TWO — notable country acts coming to the Clovis Rodeo in April. Rising duo Love & Theft will perform April 25 (a Thursday night) and Dustin Lynch plays April 26 (Friday).

The Friday night concerts at the rodeo have long been a tradition, but you might recall last year, the rodeo added a Thursday night show. The first one, was a 180-degree turn, going pop with “American Idol” winner David Cook. This time, the rodeo is back in its country comfort zone.

Both concerts start after that night’s rodeo. Tickets are available now, costing $20-$30 per show, or $50 for both. Tickets also include admission to the rodeo. Get tickets at For you buy-in-person types, get the tickets at the rodeo grounds starting March 5.

If you’re looking for a live country trifecta, don’t forget about the recently-announced Dierks Bentley show at Table Mountain Casino, which is happening just a couple days later, on April 29. Tickets for that one cost $25-$45. They, however, are not on sale until March 18.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to the stuff we’ve already told you about: NOtown Roller Derby, Creative Fresno’s weekend events and the Fresno Film Festival.

Local music vet Michael Keeney was injured pretty bad in March in a skateboarding accident. He had a compound fracture and broke his leg in two places. Ouch! Tonight, the local music scene is chipping in to raise money for him with a big genre-jumping show at Fulton 55. Good cause aside, that’s a lot of good local music. Add the cause, and that’s a good way to spend $10. [Tickets]


Read more

Tonight’s concert showdown: Miranda Lambert and David Cook

lambercook.jpeg jpg

Tonight’s a big concert night, with two names you probably recognize in town:

MIRANDA LAMBERT: Country star Miranda Lambert is at Save Mart Center, playing her first headlining show there. She previously opened for Brad Paisley there in 2010. But, of course, things have been swell for Lambert since then and now she’s ready for Fresno’s biggest stage. Tickets and more info here.

DAVID COOK: It’s the opening of the Clovis Rodeo today, and that will prove to divide the loyalty of the good ol’ boys and girls. So with Lambert at Save Mart Center, the rodeo did something new and booked a pop concert. With “American Idol” champ David Cook. Tickets include rodeo admission and are available here. Just a note: The rodeo’s country concert is Friday with Justin Moore, who — fun fact alert — was the other opening act when Lambert opened for Paisley in 2010.

ELSEWHERE: If you wanna go the indie route, I suggest checking out the eclectic sounds of Bright Light Social Hour at Fulton 55. They’re a Southern rock/indie rock hybrid. Kinda different and funky. Fresno Famous has a feature on the band. Tickets here.

Concert News: ‘Idol’ David Cook yee haws in Clovis

DC new Shot_02_0068 - Lauren Dukoff.jpg

“American Idol” winner David Cook is coming back to the Valley, but he’s not playing where you might expect.

Cook, it was announced today, will perform at the annual Clovis Rodeo.

Music isn’t new to the rodeo. It generally has a big country show on the Friday night of the rodeo’s run. This year, that’s already been announced as Justin Moore, who performs April 27.

Now the rodeo is doing something that it hasn’t done in recent memory — adding a pop concert. Cook will perform April 26, which is the rodeo’s first night. The music starts after that night’s rodeo, which features the PBR riders. Tickets are available now, cost $22 and include rodeo admission.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than saying yee-haw at the Clovis Rodeo

No surprise here. I’m super psyched about tonight’s show with Brother and Fierce Creatures at Fulton 55. More than anything, I’m excited for Fresno to see Brother before they break out everywhere else. Again, this is one of the first U.S. shows for a band that’s got a big ol’ buzz over in England. Fierce Creatures, of course, are worth the price of admission on their own. Read more about Brother here. Tickets here.


Read more

Weekend Rewind: Hype, Bikes and Rodeo

So who made the most of this beautiful Fresno weekend? There was a lot to be done, between the Clovis Rodeo, CD release parties from Blake Jones and 40 Watt Hype and our very own Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild, the ibikefresno event at Woodward Park, an appearance from Itzhak Perlman, plus all kinds of other stuff.

I heard 40 Watt Hype sold out Tower Theatre. And the Tweetup was a blast. We’ll have some photos and videos on the site as soon as we can.

But in the meantime, what did you do this weekend? Fill us in. There were a lot of cool events we missed, but we’d love to hear about ‘em. Did you go to one? Did you try a new restaurant? Ready, set, comment!

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Besides that thing in Clovis with all the bulls and cowboy hats …

Part one of a big local CD release weekend comes from Blake Jones & The Trike Shop, who are debuting “The Underground Garden” at Audie’s Olympic on Saturday. It’s more than just an album release though, it’s also the debut of a big collaborative art piece inspired by the album that more than a dozen local artists contributed to. Reminder: You can get a free download from the album from us.


Read more