Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Warnors Theatre Complex gets new management


The Warnors Center for the Performing Arts — which includes the historic Warnors Theatre and the accompanying venues and commercial spaces on Fulton street — is a beacon for a revitalized Cultural Arts District in downtown.

The nonprofit foundation that oversees the complex wants to keep it that way.

“Improvements to, and restoration of, the venues are desperately needed to keep up with increased growth and development downtown,” says Sally Caglia, who sits on the board of directors for the nonprofit.

Her family once owned the theater.

“It is imperative the Warnors Board does its due diligence to make that happen, and for Warnors to remain an active historic centerpiece for downtown,” she says.

Earlier this month, the board brought in a new manager for the complex to help create strategic, fiscal scrutiny of its operations, Caglia says.

The casual observer probably hasn’t noticed. Any changes so far seem to be behind-the-scenes.

“At the moment nothing has really changed, ” says Gene Day, who now serves as the Warnors Complex Manager. “We have all the same kinds of events that have been there for the last couple of years,” he says.

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Bandgeek: Mr. Rude, Rudy Parris and Ballyhoo!


As you’re out and about this weekend, seeing one of the dozens of local, live music performances (presented here in our weekly BANDGEEK post), remember Fresno cabbies want your business (for their own, it seems). It’s nice to feel wanted, right?


  • Campfire Cassettes.
    W/Todd N Todd, Bededonia and Santa Mira. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $4. (Flier link)

  • Rudy Parris.
    At Old Town Saloon. 7:30 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • White Glove Service.
    W/Wordsauce. At Cellar Door Visalia. 9:30 p.m. $7. (Flier link)

  • Shockwave.
    At ApCal. 7 p.m. Free.

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    BANDGEEK: Possessed Tranquility, Rosie Flores and Rexx


    The “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer was released this morning. So other than that quick 2 1/2 minutes, you’ll be free to enjoy the dozens of live music events through next week. I give them to you here in list form as a weekly roundup known as BANDGEEEEK!


  • Dorotheo.
    W/Francisco Y Madero and Aire Espacial. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $5-$8. (Flier link)

  • Brian Kenney Fresno.
    Birthday Defense tour. W/Jules Winnfield and Style Like Revelators. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5. (Flier link)

  • Apparitions.
    W/Make Way and Nothing Sacred. At CYC. 7 p.m. $3 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Singer Marina V returns to Fresno tonight

    MarinaV-Erik-Fischer-Photogarphy2Marina V has built a career out of fan funding. Everything, from her albums to many of her performances, has been paid for, money up front, by her fans. Any time someone asks if she’s planning a trip to their neck of the woods, she explains, very honestly, the situation. “We need to make money to pay the bills,” says Marina, who plays tonight at Frank’s Place with singer (and good friend) Astrid Plane of the ’80s band Animotion.

    Most often things kind of work themselves out from there, she says.

    Marina has traveled to France and Portugal, even the Czech Republic for these fan-funded shows. The Russian-born singer even found a way to subsidize her current tour — it’s being sponsored by Toyota Santa Monica. She’ll be travelling with her partner/husband in their Toyota Prius (its what they’ve always done), so the sponsorship just seemed logical.

    “They sell the most Priuses in the United States,” Marina says. They pair installed a Toyota of Santa Monica license plate holder on their car, just so people know.

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    BANDGEEK: Festivals (Rock for Autism, JugFest and Sun Kissed Summer)

    530141It’s a good weekend for free music festivals. Also: Any number of other live music performances, which we have laid out for you here in our weekly roundup. Here’s your BANDGEEEK!


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    Bandgeek!: Strange Vine, New Politics and the Wailers

    2-21-14You could spend the weekend at home listening to DEVO on the old record player. Or, you could catch some live music at one of the dozens of events happening this week. Check it out in an all-new installment of our weekly roundup BANDGEEEEK!


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    Marina V returns to Fresno

    MarinaV-lights-photobyEmilyHanleyMarina V was crowding-funding albums before Kickstarter was a thing, before Indie Go-Go, PledgeMusic or the rest. In fact, all four albums from the Russian-born songstress have been funded by fans, who, on average give $150 dollars or so.

    Though, one fan — an adoring one no doubt — pledged $10,000 to the cause.

    For the support, fans get a small token from the singer. Pledge anything and you may get a Soviet penny (1 kopeck). Pledge $500 and you get a signed lyric sheet or an original painting — Marina also paints.

    More than the small gifts, the fans get the knowledge that they helped make the album happen.

    “It’s an absolute win-win,” says Marina, who is in town Friday night supporting her latest album “Inner Superhero.”

    It’s not that Marina is against having a record deal. It would just have to be the right one. And she’s not sitting and waiting for it to fall in her lap. “I’ve been doing it on my own with the support of my fans,” she says.

    She’s done well.
    She has performed everywhere from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, to the American Embassy in Moscow. She’s done club shows in Paris and Sydney. She’s worked with producer Jack Douglas (who worked with John Lennon, Aerosmith) and recorded at the home studio of Graham Nash.

    As a side job of shorts, Marina writes music for day-time television, specifically the long-running “Day of Our Lives.” She works closely with the show’s composer and collaborates with her husband Nick. She writes the melody and he writes the lyrics. It’s a nice change from her normal writing process, she says. She’s given a specific topic and has to keep within a certain time length.

    “It’s kind of like an assignment.”

    Some may remember Marina’s name.
    Though it’s been three years since she’s played in town, she used to play regularly at venues like Fagan’s pub. One her best friends, Astrid Plane (from the band Animotion) lives in the city.

    “Fresno is very special to me,” Marina says.

    Marina V plays 8 p.m. Friday at Frank’s Place. Local singer Evelyn Shu opens. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15, day of.

    Watch the official video for Marina’s song “Speak.”

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    Cupid roundup: Links of love (or at least lust)


    Looking for cheer and mirth on this beautiful Valentine’s Day? Here’s a love smorgasbord:

    LOVE THAT LASTS: Couples married for decades will perform Valentine’s Day wedding ceremonies. [Bee]

    INNOVATIVE GIFTS: Send a singing telegram from Fresno City College choral students or “adopt” an animal at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. [ABC30]

    LOOK AT ME: How To Get A Guy To Notice You While You’re Having Sex With Him. [The Onion]

    FRANK’S PLACE: “Silly Love Songs” with Debi Ruud and Nate Butler, jazz gospel with Epiphany Tones. [Facebook]

    LOVE AND ART: Karen LeCocq and David Medley will be on hand 5-8 p.m. today at Gallery 25 to show folks their “26 Years of Valentines.” [Bee]

    GETTING SOME ACTION: Why’Die Hard’ is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie (for guys) [CNN]

    TEARS OF LOVE: Rick Bentley reviews “Safe Haven,” the new Nicholas Sparks flick. [Bee]

    NO HEART: Fresno will evict the homeless on Valentine’s Day. [Indybay]

    LATIN JAZZ: Catch the “Little Big Band” music of Rumba 32.  [Fulton 55]

    I CURSE YOU, V-DAY: Celebrate the day after with “Lonely Hearts,” an anti Valentine’s dance party. [Facebook]

    Photo: Assistant County Clerk Cindy Lee, right, laughs as Clifford and Madeline Gartin kiss. Bee photo by Eric Paul Zamora.

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Other than sitting directly in front of your fan.

    Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals — or FLYP — has an interesting fund-raiser Saturday night at Frank’s Place (next to Warnors Theatre). It’s a ‘20s-era prohibition party, with drinks and “gambling.” Think “Boardwalk Empire.” There’s a narrative too. Watch the promo video we posted yesterday and don’t be surprised if “the law” gets winds of the party. [More]


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    Mark your calendar: Fuse Fest 2012


    Fresno’s biggest music festival is back for its fifth year next month. That’s the Fresno Urban Sound Experience, or simply Fuse Fest, happening Sept. 6-8.

    The lineup was announced this morning and true to form, it’s packed with local music of all genres — from Achievement House to Your Hero is a Villain, with Before Perils, Light Thieves, Patrick Contreras, Collecto, Niilo Smeds all in the middle. There’s Kat Jones and Blake Jones (no relation), plus the return of Sparklejet. There’s a grand total of 37 acts.

    You can get the full band list at, Fresno Famous or The Fresnan.

    This year’s festival is stretched out through three days — starting off with an ArtHop event at The Hashtag on Sept. 6, followed by the festival’s first night on Sept. 7 which has a cluster of venues that includes Fulton 55 (two stages), The Lamp Post and Iron Bird Lofts. On Sept. 8, the festival moves to Arte Americas, CMAC, Frank’s Place, ‘Fishbowl’ Stage at Warnors Theatre, Fresno Brewing Company and Tokyo Garden.

    While you’re ArtHopping tonight …

    Donald filled you in on ArtHop for tonight, but here’s something else I wanted to draw peoples’ attention to: The new and improved block of businesses near the Warnors Theatre and the happenings they’re bringing with them.

    Twee Boutique is having its grand opening tonight, after moving from the Tower District to its new Warnors-adjacent location. While you’re over there, you might also wanna check out another new shop Misc. Trading Co. You can also head to Frank’s Place (on the Fulton side of Warnors) where the Fresno Folklore Society has a night of music planned.


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    To-Do Tonight: A folk star, a Celtic Woman, an EGOT-er and more


    Hey y’all, I’m back from vacation just in time for what looks like a busy Tuesday night around Fresno.

    There’s an eclectic cast of characters vying for your attention and entertainment dollar this evening. Here’s a look:

    TOM RUSSELL: Veteran folk songwriter/storyteller Russell is playing a Fresno Folklore Society-sponsored gig at Frank’s Place. Yep, that same Frank’s Place that used to be an indie rock hotbed last summer and has since been pretty quiet until this folk dude came around. [More info]

    ORLA FALLON: If you remember the group Celtic Woman, then you probably remember Fallon. She was a vocalist with the Irish group — popular with the PBS crowd — but since has branched off into a solo career and has had her own PBS special. Catch her tonight at Tower Theatre. [More info]

    MARVIN HAMLISCH: The San Joaquin Valley Town Hall lecture series celebrates its 75th anniversary tonight with a talk by Marvin Hamlisch. He’s a famous composer who caught my eye for one reason — he’s one of the few people to win the EGOT (thanks, 30 Rock, for teaching me that means Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). There are only a handful of EGOTers out there, so one of them being in Fresno tonight is worth caring about, right? [More info]

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    While you remember not to jaywalk

    1. GET FOXY
    The boys from Shiver Fox are having their big CD release bash Saturday night at Tower Theatre. If you like vintage rock with a raucous twist, you’ll like these guys. They’re definitely a local band on the movie, so check ‘em out. Read more in today’s music roundup.


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    To-Do Tonight: Girl in a Coma


    San Antonio-bred rockers Girl in a Coma hit Fresno tonight, playing at Frank’s Place [VENUE CHANGE!] Neighborhood Cafe.

    The all-female trio (made up of sisters Nina and Phanie Diaz and their friend Jenn Alva) has a few claims to fame — they were cherry picked by Joan Jett for her Blackheart Records label, and have toured extensively with Morrissey. That’s especially cool since the band’s name is inspired by one of his songs.

    Most recently, Girl in a Coma released a series of EPs called “Adventures in Coverland,” featuring their take on songs by a diverse list of artists, including Joy Division, Selena, The Beatles and Ritchie Valens.

    Another all-female group Agent Ribbons is also on the bill, as are a couple others. Tickets cost $8. Showtime is 8 p.m. Once the show is done, there’s an after party at Audie’s:

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    Weekend Rewind: Rib eatin’ & soul searchin’

    I think I had one of the best weekends of the summer, and it was mostly in downtown Fresno. The Central California Invitational Rib Cook-off was a big success in numbers — drawing 10,000. I had a good time out there grubbin’. Sure, the food was a little pricey and the waits were a little long. But I suppose that beats the alternative of nobody being there. I hope it comes back next year bigger and better.

    Here’s a video I put together from my rib journey on Saturday. Anybody try anything that was really yummy and care to share? Also: Anybody heard who won?

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    When you’re not getting caught up on The Beehive’s soap opera

    A lot of people have been waiting patiently for Mayer Hawthorne to perform in Fresno. Like a year. That was because the retro soul-singing phenom canceled a much-anticipated Fresno show last summer because of strep throat. Well, he’s here on Saturday night, playing at Frank’s Place. If you still haven’t jumped on the Mayer bandwagon, check out “Maybe So, Maybe No” and “Your East Loving Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’”. You still got a chance to win tickets from us here. Or buy them at Ticketfly.


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    Win tickets to see Mayer Hawthorne


    UPDATE: Congrats to our winner — Jason Encinia. Thanks to everybody else for playing.

    ORIGINAL POST: Fresno is in for a treat on Saturday night when Mayer Hawthorne comes to town for a gig at Frank’s Place.

    For the uninitiated: Hawthorne is a white guy from Michigan who makes soul music like it’s still the Motown era.

    Sure, after Amy Winehouse, it’s a tad gimmicky, but there’s no arguing with his great debut album, “A Strange Arrangement,” which was one of my person faves of 2009.

    To make this whole thing even sweeter — one lucky Beehive reader will get in FREE. Yep, a sweet night of soul music and no cash out of your pocket. You can double thank promoter Love the Captive, who is bringing Hawthorne to town and giving up the free tix.

    Of course you want to enter, so just leave a comment below and tell us your favorite soul song of all time. Easy enough, right? Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Friday. We’ll pick one winner at random and notify that person be e-mail, so leave a real one and check it. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days.

    Complete rules — and one of my favorite Hawthorne jams — are on the jump.

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    To-Do Tonight: Surf guitar, God rock and good beards


    Win tickets to see William Fitzsimmons at Frank’s Place


    UPDATE: Our winner is Cyndi. Congrats! Thanks for playing everyone.

    ORIGINAL POST: Wednesday night, Frank’s Place hosts folk singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons. It’s not going to one of those nights of indie music where the sweaty kids are dancing and jumping around.

    No, it’ll be a little more mellow. Fitzsimmons is one of those performers who demands your attention — maybe it’s because of his jumps-right-at-you beard, or his hauntingly evocative songs.

    Tickets to see him cost $15 … or, you can win a pair here courtesy of show promoter Love the Captive. Just comment below to enter yourself into our random drawing.

    Deadline to enter is 10 a.m. Wednesday. Winners will be notified by e-mail, so leave a real one and check it. No repeat comments. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. Rules are on the jump.

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    To-Do Tonight: Make Memories, take Baths


    Looking to up your hipster cred? The cool show to be at tonight is the Memoryhouse and Baths performance at Frank’s Place.

    Memoryhouse has had a busy summer, sharing stages around the globe with a few people you might have heard of — Grizzly Bear, The Arcade Fire and some dude named Jay-Z.

    Memoryhouse is a Canadian duo that plays a pretty mellow and warm mix of indie and electronica. Pitchfork has an interview with the band, who it pegged as a “Rising” talent.

    Also on the bill is Baths, which is a little more in the electronica realm. Maybe we can call Baths “digital pop,” or something like that.

    Show is at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $8. Hit up Love the Captive for more info.

    Fres-Know: We’re watching your back


    NEWS: Debate between Whitman/Brown (not pictured) may come to Fresno. [The Bee]

    GOOD READ: George Hostetter goes hipster, checks out Frank’s Place. [News Blog]

    AMUSEMENT: Double Rainbow + cakes = fun. [Cake Wrecks]

    ODD NEWS: Truck dumps burning garbage on Fresno street. [The Bee]

    BLOG: Fresno blogger retires. Possibly Brett Favre style. [Bench Dog]

    WANT: The Griz unveil Buster Posey bobblehead. [Fresno Grizzlies]

    VOTE: For local band Motel Drive to … open for Hanson. [Our Stage]

    TOTALLY UNRELATED: Little girl gets photobombed by humpin’ giraffes. [Daily What]

    To-Do Tonight: Avi Buffalo does Fresno


    How cool is Avi Buffalo? Cool enough to be playing upcoming concerts with My Morning Jacket, Wilco and Sonic Youth. Cool enough to get signed by uber-cool indie label Sub Pop Records.

    Not bad for a band fronted by a just-out-of-high-school kid from Long Beach.

    Avi Buffalo (named for frontman/kid Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg) makes its Fresno debut tonight, playing at Frank’s Place with the ever-buzzed about local band Fierce Creatures starting things off. (Avi Buffalo played Visalia last year, you might recall).

    And yes, it’s at Frank’s Place but don’t worry, it’s not those promoters. This is a Love the Captive show and they take good care of Fresno.

    Also, because it must be said — awesome flier!

    Faster Pussycat/L.A. Guns concert turns into quite the fiasco


    It sounds like things got UGLY Saturday night at Frank’s Place, where Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns were supposed to take the stage. Numerous people are telling us the show’s promoter — IQ Promotions — ran off with the door money and the headlining bands then refused to play because they hadn’t been paid.

    You might have already seen the upset comments coming into The Beehive. I’ve gotten a good number of phone calls and e-mails in addition to those. From all of it, I’ve been able to piece together this rundown of the events:

    About 150 people (at $20 per ticket) were at the show. It started fine, and the local bands performed as scheduled. Before the headliners went on, IQ’s Heather Porter, who had been working the door, left with the money. John Corabi, the first of the headliners, played his set. As the next bands were setting up, they came out and said they weren’t going to be playing. In addition, I’m told that neither sound nor security got paid — and somebody even left with the headlining bands’ merchandise money.

    I tried to reach out to Porter for her side of the story. I called her phone numerous times, but it goes directly to a voicemail that says it isn’t receiving messages. I sent her an e-mail that she hasn’t responded to in 24 hours. The MySpace page used by IQ Promotions has been deleted. And there’s a Craigslist ad by Porter’s husband’s former band looking for a replacement and saying they were “totally screwed” too.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    When you’re not hiding from that looming 106-degree heat …

    1. GO GLOBAL
    Ana Tijoux enters Fresno this weekend with a good amount of buzz. She had the single of the week on iTunes this week for her “1977.” She’s a female rapper from South America who has been performing in big cities all over the country — and she’s in Fresno on Sunday, playing at Frank’s Place. Yay us.


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    To-Do Tonight: The Frank’s Place takeover continues


    Another rad show is happening tonight at Frank’s Place, courtesy of your music-pushing friends at Love the Captive.

    San Diego-by-way-of Germany singer Maren Parusel and her band headline. Check out “Dear Love,” on her MySpace page. I’m digging it bunches.

    Also on the bill is Arizona indie/folk group The Wild Complete. If you wanna give them a listen, Spin Magazine has a stream of their entire debut EP. They sorta remind me of El Olio Wolof, for you local folks who dig them.

    If you can’t make it tonight, know there are some more interesting LTC x Frank’s Place gigs coming up, including Ana Tijoux
    (Sunday), Avi Buffalo (7/21) and Memoryhouse/Baths (7/28).

    There are fliers below for some other stuff happening tonight, including an appearance by 2 a.m. Orchestra at Audie’s Olympic. I’ll have more on that show in a bit.

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