FresnoBeehive.com

Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Grizzly City rapper Fashawn signs to Nas’ Mass Appeal Records

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 anyone rooting for the local music scene, this is a great (and welcomed and deserved) bit of news. Congratulations to Fashawn and his crew.

Fresno’s hip-hop hero Fashawn releases new track

Ladies - Cover Art - LargeFor 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.

You can listen to “Ladies” on the jump. NSFW.

Read more

Tonight: Fashawn’s birthday bash

FashFlyerAs a genre, hip-hip thrives on sense of place. Artists aren’t just from a city, they become the city. Think: Jay Z and New York, Run DMC and Hollis, Queens or NWA and Compton.

Fresno has Fashawn.

“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.

Read more

Announced: Official lineup for Catacomb Party

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.

CP-LogoTease1

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?

Read more

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to checking out the new Saturday night Carthop at the downtown ice rink.

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]

Read more

Fres-Know: We’re the people’s champ

VOTE: In this year’s People Choice Awards, which are now open. [People’s Choice 2013

YAY FRESNO: Fresno gets IBM “Smarter Cities” grant, $400,000 worth of consulting. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: A blog with a lofty goal — Million Cool Things Fresno. [MCTF]

SPEAK YOUR MIND: A call for ideas to improve Fresno. [Fresno Future]

MAKIN’ THE VALLEY PROUD: Olympian boxer Jose Ramirez turns pro. [The Bee]

COMING SOON: Season 2 of foodie web series “What’s Good, Fresno.” [YouTube]

YELP REVIEW OF THE WEEK:  Dude one-stars Piemonte’s, says it’s in decline. [Yelp]

FOLLOW UP: Fresno sweders featured on G4 TV’s “Attack of the Show.” [G4]

WATCH THIS: Fashawn’s new video, “Diamonds & Girls.” [YouTube]

CAN’T BEAT THE PRICE: This weekend’s Central California Auto Show is free. [The Bee]

YOUTUBE RANT OF THE WEEK: Six-minutes of complaining about a Fresno driver. [YouTube]

Fres-Know: All the links that are fit to click

SHAMELESS: Hey, follow us on Instagram, K? [Instagram]

THE LATEST: On the deadly workplace shooting in Fresno on Tuesday. [The Bee]

ICYMI: Chilling and heartbreaking story about Tuesday’s tragic events. [The Bee]

NEWS: Fire damages Clovis West High School. [The Bee]

DID THEY JUST SAY FRESNO? Fresno fashion blogger gets shout-out in New York Times. [NYT]

NEWS: City council OKs pieces of Mayor Swearengin’s downtown plan. [The Bee]

WTF HANFORD: Dude goes on rampage, smashing car windows, assaulting cops. [The Bee]

WTF VISALIA: Visalia HS student makes a ‘Racists reactions to Obama victory’ list. [Jezebel]

COOL: Fresno Grizzlies and downtown charter school partner for community garden. [Grizzlies]

LISTEN TO THIS: New single from Fresno rapper Fashawn. [Soundcloud]

PEACE OUT: Two Fresno TV personalities jetting for new jobs. [The Bee]

WELCOME: New local publication, Fresno Life Magazine. [The Business Journal]

YELPER OF THE WEEK: Stave S., whose thoughtful and thorough reviews are a joy. [Yelp]

ALREADY: Bee letter writer starts campaigning for Bush/Rice 2016. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: “The Drop” video series features Halo the Human. [AlwaysMusicTV]

Local music releases of note: Fashawn & Murs + ‘Dreams of the San Joaquin’

fashmursdreams.jpeg

Two new music releases today that local folks need to know about today: The new Fashawn collabo album with Murs, and a collection of country/folks songs inspired by the San Joaquin Valley.

Fashawn & Murs
Fresno-bred rapper Fashawn’s “This Generation,” a collaboration album with Murs, sees its official release. Fash and Murs are popular in rap’s underground — but they’re not the only hip-hop heft on “This Generation.” It’s produced by Beatnick & K-Salaam and released by Duck Down Records.

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.

Read more

Fashawn’s ‘One More Try’ … the greatest Fresnocentric song ever?

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)

Well done, Fash, well done.

ValleyWho Central: First-day buzz

valleysquaretwo.jpg

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:

EARLY TRENDS

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.

Read more

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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]

Daniel-Tosh-interview1.jpg

Read more

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While you decide whether to try out Kocky’s

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]

1248C1C-SummerSplash-pstr-r12-WEB.jpg

Read more

The Week Ahead: Snoop Dogg, Michael Buble, figs, ice cream, murals and more

snoopdogg2website.jpg 282450_249470558411599_119997588025564_919140_6739715_n.jpg 211116_237852852901598_5715952_n.jpg 283437_10150252711367078_6507677077_7521599_4181579_n.jpg fashawn2011.jpg

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.

ALSO IN TOWN: Also visiting our Valley in the week ahead: Dave Koz (Thurs. at Tower Theatre), Andrea Balency Trio at Fulton 55, PK (Fri. at Kuppajoe), ! ! ! (Fri at The Cellar Door), Javelin (Sat. at The Cellar Door w/ Fashawn), As Artifacts (Sat. at The Bel-Tower) and Tyrone Wells (Sat. at Chowchilla High)

A MURAL PARTY: Teen mural-makers The Muralistics unveil and celebrate their newest piece — at 1724 Broadway St. — at a Friday evening event. More info here.

TO EAT: Have a tasty weekend between the 8th annual Fig Fest (Saturday at Fresno State), Chaffee Zoo’s yearly all-you-you-can-eat Ice Cream Zoofari (Saturday at the zoo) and the revival of the Tower District Neighborhood BBQ (Sunday at St. Therese Church).

Read more

Concert Watch: The Wailers, The Melvins, Sheryl Crow, Steve Aoki, Bilal and more

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.

THE WAILERS: Bob Marley’s backing band returns to Fresno for a Aug. 7 date at Tower Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

AARON LEWIS: The Staind lead singer loooooves the Valley. He’s at Visalia Fox Theatre on Aug. 6, then again at Table Mountain Casino on Nov. 10. The Visalia show is on sale now. The Table Mountain show isn’t on sale until October.

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.

Read more

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Ya know, in addition to that roller derby bout we’ve mentioned 46 times this week …

1. DON’T BE USELESS: We owe a top-of-the-post shout-out to this Sunday night show at Fulton 55 with Useless Keys, Quiet Americans and The Mallard. L.A.-based headliner Useless Keys and its “heavy space rock” is cool, but the main reason a lot of people will care about this is the return of Greer McGrettrick, a former Fresnan who used to play in Rademacher and is now behind SF’s The Mallard. Fresno Famous has more with McGrettrick. [Tickets]

uselesskeysflier.jpg

Read more

Meet Fashawn, get a Nickel Nickel Nine tee

basta_ftk_fash.jpeg

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.

Read more

The Week Ahead: Fashawn, $5 country, Diego’s Umbrella, Miserlou and more

uselesskeysflier.jpg

WELCOME HOME, FASH: Local rap prodigy Fashawn returns from a big European tour to headline Tower Theatre on Saturday, with Planet Asia and Clouded Vision sharing the bill.

KISS THAT $5 GOODBYE: Kiss County hosts another of its five-dollar summer concerts on Thursday at Woodward Park. Steve Holy, Due West and LoCash Cowboys perform. Remember, this is a concert series that has brought us early looks at future stars such as Lady Antebellum.

MORE THURSDAY NIGHT SOUNDS: Making for a really competitive live music Thursday night: S.F. gypsy rockers Diego’s Umbrella perform at Audie’s Olympic, L.A.’s funky folksters He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister perform at Fulton 55 and Angel LeBron brings his salsa stylings to Starline.

BIG FRIDAY: Two “Big” Friday nights concerts — Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys at Audie’s while Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters’ son) is at Fulton 55.

ALSO IN TOWN: Red Molly (Wed. at Fulton 55), Bruce Conte (Sat. at Fulton 55), The Secretions (Sunday at Audie’s), Smile Empty Soul (Sun. at Thai Palms) and Useless Keys and The Mallard (Sun. at Fulton 55). Two notes of local interest: Ray Appleton is playing with Bruce Conte and The Mallard is ex-Fresnan Greer McGrettrick, who you may remember from her days in Rademacher.

Read more

Video: Fashawn goes ‘Down That Road’

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.

Fres-Know: We’ll race you to Chris Meat Market

WATCH THIS: Relay race + Robertito’s = RoboRun [Dead in 60 Years]

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: Glee/Clovis kid Chris Colfer turns 21 on Friday [YouTube]

YAY FRESNO: Fresno rapper Fashawn on hip-hop megafest Rock the Bells [RTB]

READ THIS: Guide to budget and family friendly summer fun [The Thinking Blonde]

LOOK AT THIS: Local radio station picks “Hottest Baby’s Mommas” in town [The Beat]

GOOD QUESTION: Can Fresno/Madera be the next booming wine area? [CBS 47]

REVIEW: Fresno Bites takes a bite out of Regina’s Native Cafe [Fresno Bites]

BLOGGINGS: Are the times changin’ in Fresno? [What Fresno Wants]

LISTEN: To free music from local indie supergroup Grand Canopy [The Fresnan]

BLOGGINGS: KickStarter can make your dreams come true. Sorta [Fresno Famous]

DRINK THIS: Unveiling the Strawberry Pie Daiquiri [Fashionably Bombed]

BLOGGINGS A critical look at service in Fresno restaurants [TasteFresno]

Weekend Rewind: A HUGE music weekend

So how was your weekend? For the music scene, seems like the last three days were filled with big crowds and big statements.

FRIDAY
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?

Here’s a show review from Fresno Famous and video from Religious Appeal. If you missed it last week, I wrote a big feature story on Fierce Creatures.

Read more

2010: The best and worst in music

As we enter the final days of 2010, a number of people are gathering year-end lists. So I asked a handful of local taste-makers to help narrow down the best music of the year.

In Sunday’s Spotlight section of The Bee, our panel of radio DJs, musicians, promoters and journalists picked their 10 favorite albums and songs of the year. The Black Keys and Kanye West were among the most-selected artists, while locals such as Fierce Creatures, Fashawn, Motel Drive and Strange Vine also got shout-outs.

Once you look over those lists, go over the chart below. We made selections in categories such as favorite discovery, most disappointing album and artist to watch in 2011.

fsun_g1219_musicgrid.jpg

Read more

The Beehive’s ‘Buy Local’ Gift Guide

birdstonewinery.jpg

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.

Read more

It’s a good week to shop at FTK

moving-sale-419x430.jpg

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:

grizzlycitynewera1-430x332.jpggrizzlycitynewera2-430x332.jpg

No sale on these. They’re limited to 36 in each colorway and cost $35 each. They go nicely with Mighty Grand’s “Black & Purple” line.

You Review: Maroon 5 vs. B.o.B.

Thursday was a big night for concerts, with dueling shows by Maroon 5 and B.o.B. Maroon 5 was at Save Mart Center with Bruno Mars and One Republic, while B.o.B. was at The Big Fresno Fair with Fashawn.

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.

Read more