Back in April, I told you that local rap icon Fashawn was in talks with Nas to release “The Ecology” (the much anticipated follow-up to 2009′s “Boy Meets World”). This after being invited to join the New York rapper on stage during a sold-out showcase at SXSW.
Now it’s official. Fashawn has signed with Nas’ newly launched Mass Appeal Records and the album is set for release Sept. 30.
“Fashawn is one of the most underrated in the game,” Nas said in a release last week. “The world is gonna know soon. We’re excited to have him as a part of the family.”
For fans, the album has been a long time coming and doesn’t look to disappoint. It promises a handful of collaborations (with Nas and guys like Aloe Blacc, who was recently in town opening for Bruno Mars).
The Beehive has been following Fashawn since he first broke into the national hip-hop scene in 2010, when he was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine as one of its freshmen inductees, standing alongside Wiz Khalifa, J.Cole, Big Sean and more. Since then he’s shared the stage with Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar and Talib Kweli and performed at jam-packed shows like Rock the Bells and Paid Dues (he also created his own Grizzly Fest here in town). In April, he performed the walkout song for boxing welterweight champion Timothy Bradley during the HBO televised rematch against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
Fashawn has always (and continues to) represent his hometown, as evident in this tweet:
For fans of Fresno rapper Fashawn: A Valentine’s gift; a new single to tide you over until the release of his sophomore album “The Ecology.”
The Hecktik produced track was released today. It’s Fashawn’s ode to women.
“Being raised without a father and experiencing the difficulties of poverty as a young man helped shape Fashawn into the father he is today and the respect he has for woman who sacrifice in order to keep families together.”
On a cool little side note: The artwork for the single was created by Stromberg, an “abstract stencil expressionist” who recently made news for creating a fake Bansky.
“If I’m in Lithuania, I’ve probably got a Fresno jersey on,” says Fashawn, who was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine as one of it’s Freshman class back in 2010. “I’ve got one foot in the music industry and one foot on Shield’s Avenue.”
Tonight, he’ll have both feet in Visalia. He plays the Cellar Door for a birthday bash (he just turned 25) that includes some friends — Los Angeles rapper Evidence, Fresno’a Omar Aura and others.
UPDATE: If you weren’t excited before, The Catacomb Party has released an updated lineup and poster. The official schedule now stands at 40-plus band/musicians and DJs for the all-ages music festival. Those added include Strange Vine, Copper & Glass and the Visalia band Stable Hands, along with some acoustic acts (including Dim Peaks, the new project from Niilo Smeds) and a punk/hardcore contingent (It’ll Grow Back, Wallflower, Dependence). You can check out the updated flier on the jump.
Original post (June 10): The official lineup of this year’s Catacomb Party has just been released. It’s got some big names and a couple of surprises for hardcore fans of the scene.
Let’s get right in and discuss.
Headliners: Last year the festival was headlined by Fierce Creatures (it was the band’s party, after all). This year, Nigerian drummer Tony Allen will co-headline the show with Fresno’s own Fashawn. Allen has been making music since the 1960s and is an Afrobeat legend. Fashawn is home-town hero. This alone will secure a crowd.
Out-of-towners: While the lineup is heavy on the locals, there is a good draw of national, touring acts. Most have played the area before, including post-punk band Seahaven (who has established a following), San Francisco indie-band Animal Friend and hip-hop sample-master Diabase.
The locals: Putting Fashawn aside, the local lineup is solid and includes workhorse band like Sahab and Light Thieves, along with the much hyped Le Wolves and Sci-Fi Caper. The big surprise is the reunion of Sleepover Disaster. There is a generation who may have never seen this influential local band. This will be a welcomed introduction.
Again, the whole event takes place July 20 on the Fulton Mall. It will be free and all ages.
In case you’ve forgotten, last year’s Catacomb Party (essentially the Fierce Creatures’ album release show), was a free mini- music festival on the Fulton Mall. It was such a success, organizers decided to run with the idea for another year.
Take a look at the full lineup and tell us what you think?
1. WAIL WITH THE WAILERS
The name that every reggae fan knows — The Original Wailers — is at Fulton 55 tonight. Sure, Bob Marley is long gone, but his guitarist Al Anderson carries the Wailers torch these days. Local band Irie Sun opens. So get up, stand up, go see a show. [More]
It’s available via iTunes and other major digital music outlets. The duo is also having a meet-and-greet Thursday at FYE, 200 W. Shaw Ave. in Clovis. It starts at 6 p.m. Get a taste of the album, including the video for “Slash Gordan,” after the jump.
If you’re still loving the Timmy T-sampled Fresno anthem “One More Try” by Fashawn, then you’ll have to watch the video released this week. Like the song, it’s full of Fresno references, old footage, etc. There’s even a quick cameo by me, circa 2004 or so.
I’m probably just a prisoner of the moment on this one, but current Fresno rap king Fashawn just dropped a new hometown anthem featuring Omar Aura and did something so brilliant I don’t know why it hadn’t been done before.
He rapped over Timmy T’s 1991 chart-topper “One More Try,” creating a song that overdoses on Fresnawesomeness. I’m not going to lie, I totally marked out when the beat came in. Even the artwork for “One More Try” is great. Listen to or download the song below. (Warning: NSFW language)
With voting under way to crown our favorite local icon in The Beehive’s ValleyWho March Madness-style bracket game, mental images abound: Anthony Taylor gripping Kevin Federline in a pretty solid headlock; Ray Appleton getting his behind kicked in the ring by Jennifer Alcorn; Chris Colfer caught in a life-and-death struggle with a California Raisin.
Of course, voting continues in the ValleyWho contest’s first round through 8 p.m. Sunday, so there’s plenty of opportunity for front-runners to fade and early stumblers to come from behind. In the meantime, think of this post as a low-rent version of one of those ESPN March Madness shows (minus the generous clothing allowances for the talent) in which we offer a mix of updates, news notes, expert commentary and blatant campaigning by individual Beehivers for their favorites. Here goes:
THE VOTES: At the top of the heap are Audra McDonald in the Peach Regional (the Broadway star and No. 1 seed is crushing local pitchman Crazy Bernie with 91% of the vote) and No. 6 seed Al Radka in the Raisin Regional (the radio/TV icon is pounding annoying “Bachelorette” contestant Kasey Kahl with 90%).
Compare that to the two tightest races: Channel 30 anchor Graciela Moreno has been trading the lead all day with poet Gary Soto in the Almond Regional, while Olympic snowboarder Andy Finch is locked in a tight battle with author David Mas Masumoto in the same conference.
Note: I’m off work today, so I’m not doing a Post No Bills today. Enjoy these weekend options. Post No Bills will return next week. Last week’s edition still has plenty of options for this weekend, if you need ‘em.
1. HAVE A BIG LAUGH
Good weekend for comedy ahead of us. Daniel Tosh, of “Tosh.0″ fame, is doing two shows tonight at Saroyan Theatre. The first show is sold out, but the 10 p.m. show still has tickets available. If you’re looking for something with a local angle: Darren Carter, the most famous comedian to come outta Fresno, returns for a homecoming gig at Tower Theatre on Saturday. [Tix / Tix]
1. GO TO THE BEACH … IN DOWNTOWN FRESNO
I’m utterly fascinated by this weekend’s Summer Splash Beach Party outside Club One Casino. They’re shutting down Van Ness Avenue between Fresno and Tulare streets, trucking in 700 tons of sand, a 45-foot inflatable waterslide, palm trees, cabanas and more. There’s food, drinks, plus beer pong and beach volleyball tournaments. It even goes until 2 a.m. tonight and Saturday. Note: It’s 21+ after 7 p.m., but all ages before that. Here’s more on the event from The Bee. And here’s my column about why this is exactly the type of thing we need downtown. [Info]
SNOOP DOGG: Bow-wow-yippee-yo-yippee-yay — West Coast rap hero Snoop Dogg is at Rainbow Ballroom on Wednesday night, playing for the 18+ crowd. Tickets and info here.
MICHAEL BUBLE: Crooner Michael Buble is, in effect, rounding up the women of Fresno and bringing them to Save Mart Center on Sunday. The pop singer created quite a rush for tickets in our recent giveaway. Sorry, it’s way too late, but you can still buy them at the Save Mart Center box office or via Ticketmaster.
There are a number of recent live music developments that I need to recap. Most of these have been in my Sunday “Concert Watch” columns in The Bee (read those, please), but haven’t gotten a Beehive nod yet. Let’s correct that.
SHERYL CROW:Crow returns to the Valley on July 27 at Saroyan Theatre, which is a nice booking for the theater. Tickets on sale now.
FULTON 55:Fulton 55 has announced a number of new dates — including dates with country singer James Otto (July 20), rock band Parachute (Aug. 26) and soul singer Bilal (Aug. 31). Most tickets are on sale now, but tickets to see Bilal should be up this weekend.
MELVINS (LITE): Veteran rock band The Melvins bring their “lite” show to Audie’s Olympic on July 15. “Lite” means it’s the group’s two constant members Dale and Buzzo. Tickets are on sale now.
In the past couple weeks, I’ve had half a dozen people ask me where they could find Nickel Nickel Nine T-shirts now that FTK closed its Fresno shop. I didn’t know if they could.
Right on cue, I got a call yesterday saying that FTK and Basta (a new downtown gallery/boutique at Broadway Lofts) were releasing a batch of limited-edition Nickel Nickel Nine collabo tees.
They’ll be available Saturday at the Basta space in an event that triples as the last chance to see Basta’s inaugural, graffiti-inspired art show, “Enough” — details here — and a meet-and-greet with famed Fresno rapper Fashawn from 11 a.m. to noon.
It’s happening in advance of Fashawn’s headlining show at the Tower Theatre on Saturday night, his first local show in a while.
Here’s a look at the new tees, more details on Fash’s show and his new video, just released today, for “Big Dreams.” It filmed while he was on tour in Barcelona with longtime video collaborator Punit Dhesi.
Fashawn has unveiled the video for his latest single, “Down That Road,” a smooth love-gone-wrong jam that’s proven to be his best chance at mainstream attention. (I’ve heard the song on B95 a few times already).
The video — another from longtime collaborator Punit Dhesi — also has a ready-for-MTV look, with helicopter shots around Millerton Lake and proper styling from The Laundry Room.
COMING UP: For all you Fresno fans clamoring for a Fashawn live show, you’ll get it soon. Fash is currently touring in Europe, but he’s announced plans for an all-ages show June 25 at Tower Theatre with Diego Redd and Clouded Vision. Tickets cost $20.50.
So how was your weekend? For the music scene, seems like the last three days were filled with big crowds and big statements.
The Fierce Creatures show at Fulton 55 was all kinds of huge. The venue reports 562 people through the door. (That’s hitting capacity, people leaving, then hitting capacity again — numerous times, probably). It was a big statement for Fierce Creatures, who are off to win over the rest of the world at South by Southwest this week. Can we all agree now that they’re the coolest band in town?
Still looking for that perfect gift for your friends and family? The Beehive is here to help with suggestions for some cool gifts you can find locally.
BIRDSTONE WINERY: If you’re looking for a gift that gives back to the community, head to Birdstone Winery in Madera for a bottle of Alegria Reserve Chardonnay or Dolcetto, both of which benefit the Alegria Guild of Children’s Hospital Central California. Can’t get much better than buying alcohol in the name of charity!
TWEE BOUTIQUE & GALLERY: Don’t know what you’re looking for? Then head to the cutest little shop in town selling hand-made goods. It’s called Twee, and it’s full of fun, quirky and original gift ideas, many of which are made by local folks. You know those Fresno-themed buttons that you’ve seen people wearing all over town? Well, you can get those here and stick them in someone’s stocking. Twee also carries everything from stationary to stuff for your dog.
If you’re a fan of local hip-hop boutique FTK — ya know, the makers of those fly Nickel Nickel Nine T-shirts — it’s a good week to go shopping. In fact, your shopping days at FTK Fresno may be numbered.
This week FTK is having a “moving sale,” offering 50-70% merchandise like L-R-G and Orisue clothes, Nike shoes and more. FTK’s fate is up in the air at the moment.
Owner Sam Hansen says he’s likely closing his Blackstone & Shaw location (or Crackstone & Shaw, as he calls it) at the end of the year. FTK will continue on in some fashion. He encourages people to visit the shop and sign up to be on his e-mail list to stay up to date with FTK’s future. For now, he’s trying to clear out as inventory before the end of the year.
One thing you’ll want to snatch up at FTK while you can: Exclusive Fashawn/Fresno Grizzlies New Era caps that are dropping on Black Friday. Check ‘em out:
I was at the fair, while Kathy was at the Save Mart Center. Where were you? And what did you think? We’ll offer some thoughts and you can leave yours in the comments.
MAROON 5 W/ ONE REPUBLIC & BRUNO MARS Maroon 5 is a really good live band. With a stripped down stage — just a few lights, mid-stage riser and a disco ball — they don’t rely on a lot of razzle-dazzle to win the crowd over. They rely on the voice of Adam Levine. And it works. Thursday night’s show at the Save Mart Center was an hour-and-a-half of really good singing. The radio hits, the newer tunes and a couple covers (Al Green!), all sounded good, really good. The best moments came from an acoustic set featuring Levine’s beautiful high tone, a piano and acoustic guitar. The whole show could have been that set up and would not have disappointed.