Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Win tickets to: Joni Morris’ Patsy Cline tribute


Before she died in a plane crash (at the age of 30), Patsy Cline had cemented for herself as one of most unique and inspiring voices in country (and pop) music.

More than fifty years later, her voice (and music) continues to inspire artists like Joni Morris, who has been doing a tribute to Cline (and Connie Francis) for more than 20 years.

Morris brings the After Midnight Band to the Tower Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday. We have tickets for a few lucky Beehive readers. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Who is your favorite country music voice? Male or female.

This contest is a quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 22). Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

Check out a video of Morris doing her favorite Cline songs on the jump.

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Concert Announcement: Eric Church


Eric Church will be the first performer to hit the Save Mart Center in 2015.

The outlaw country rocker will play the arena Jan.22 on the second leg of his Outsiders World Tour. County icon Dwight Yoakam and rock band Halestorm open the show. Tickets are $25 to $59.50 and on sale 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at select Save Mart Supermarkets, the Save Mart Center box office, online at or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Fan club and VIP presales start 10 a.m. tomorrow, with radio and venue presales staring 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

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KFSR hosts Fresno Grand Opry fundraiser


I almost let this one slip through the cracks:

KFSR presents another installment of the Fresno Grand Opry, its semi-regular fundraising-concert series that has local musicians and bands paying (and playing) musical tribute to traditional country music.

The show, which coincides with the end of the station’s fall pledge drive (they will still take your money), is 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fresno Scottish Rite Center and features Brad “The Dudeboy” Rogers, The Roger Perry Band and Mofo Party Band. Tickets are just $10, and are available at

So, slide on them boots, snap up that pearly buttoned shirt and go on, get to it.

Be warned: You’re not gonna hear Florida Georgia Line or Rascall Flatts (or Garth Brooks or Brooks & Dunn, for that matter). This is for fans of Waylon, Willie and the boys.

And likely George Jones, Hank Williams and Bob Wills, too.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Aside from revisiting the Civil War

1. Zappcon
Geeks (and nerds) of the world united and take over.

2. Zumba Under the Stars
Everyone is getting fit without you.

3. Breakfast Ride to Kearney Park
Don’t worry, you’ll get to the park before the first Civil War shots are fired.

4. Lunafest
The documentary “Viva,” seems particularly interesting. It tells the story of 82-year-old punker Viva Hamnell.

5. Glorious Junk Days
One man’s trash and all that.

An added bonus for those seeking music-oriented events:

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QnA with Cristobal Carrillo, organizer of Orosi’s Spanspek Festival


The Spanspek Music and Arts Festival is a teach-by-doing kind of endeavor.

Founded in 2006, the annual event brings locally created visual and performing arts to the community of Cutler-Orosi with the hope that it will inspire the youth in the area on their own artistic paths.

Dozens of local visual and performing artist will put their work on display 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Orosi Memorial Hall. All festival proceeds go toward funding Orosi High School scholarships, commissioning new works from local artists and ensuring the continuation of the event in the future.

Over the years, organizers Cristobal Carrillo and Israel Flores have developed a knack for spotting new local talent — such as Visalia psyche blues band Slow Season and the Dinuba hip hop collective, Roach Collection. Both play this year, along with local heavy hitters Patrick Contreras and the rock duo Strange Vine.

I emailed with Carrillo to find out more about growing up as an artist in a small, rural town and why this year’s lineup of musicians seems so great.

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Bandgeek!: The Remones, Red Scare and the Tastmaker’s Festival


With Halloween one weekend away (technically it’s two weeks and a day, but whatever) you’ll probably spend the weekend working on your costume (I hear Ebola’s trending this year).

Be sure to take a break for a couple of hours and check out one of the live music performances happening through next week. It’s a long list, which I’ll leave here as your weekly BANDGEEK!


  • Fiji.
    W/Essel and ReLion. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $25-$35. (Flier link)

  • Roger Sellers.
    W/Tson. At Peeve’s Public House. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Curse.
    W/Midwest Moms and The Agonic Line. At C.A.F.E. Infoshop. 8 p.m. $5. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Ron Thompson and his Resistors.
    Central Valley’s Blues Society’s weekly dance party. At Pinot Wine Bar. 6 p.m. Free.

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    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominates Green Day, The Smiths and … N.W.A.?


    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced nominees for its 2015 class this week.

    Gut reaction? I am old.

    Is it possible, that Green Day, a band whom I loathed in high school (because I was too cool and they weren’t the Misfits or Minor Threat or even the Riverdales) is eligible for induction in the hall? In order to be get on the ballot their first single or album must have been released in 1989 or before.

    Looking at the rest of the field (which includes Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., the Smiths, Lou Reed, Sting, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Kraftwerk, Chic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Marvelettes, the Spinners, Stevie Ray Vaughan, War and Bill Withers) one wonders what definition of “rock and roll” is being used here.

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    You review: The Eagles


    It’s been close to a decade since the Eagles stopped through town. The band — whose greatest hits album is one of the 10 best-selling records of all time — played the Save Mart Center two years running in 2004 and 2005.

    Both times there were close to 10,000 in attendance.

    The band returned to the Save Mart Center last night as part of its “History of the Eagles” tour. We want to hear from those who were there.

    How was the crowd? Were locals fans as excited for the band as they were a decade ago? Given that this tour is supposed to span the band’s entire career (and promised some songs that have never been played lived before), what was the set-list like? Any unusual choice? Any of the hits get left out? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Then, click over to The Bee to see our photo gallery from last night’s show.

    TONIGHT: Portland doom-bringers The Body


    It seems a bit odd, calling The Body’s upcoming release (out Oct. 21 on Thrill Jockey Records) a split LP.

    Yes, the Portland doom metal band shares the record with its comrades in noise Sandworm (a thrashish metal band from Providence, RI), and technically, each band does get the same amount of vinyl space.

    But Sandworm has 10 tracks on its side of the record. The Body has just one — a 16-minute blast of expansive darkness call “The Manic Fire.”

    This tells you most of what you need to know about The Body.

    Formed in 1999 by drummer Lee Buford and guitarist Chip King, The Body has forged its place as one of underground metal’s most brutal bands — incorporating avant-garde composition and elements of noise and experimental electronic music with doom and black-metal. Pitchfork describes King’s vocals as “the sound of exaggerated nightmares, his shrill scream so anxiety-inducing that it puts your animal brain on high alert for imminent danger…”

    It’s tough to give the band’s music a fitting description, says Buford, in town tonight for a show at Audie’s Olympic Tavern with Sandworm and locals Inside the Sun and Keeper.

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    Win tickets to: R5 at the Big Fresno Fair


    When the Lynch siblings — Rydel, Riker, Ross and Rocky — moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, they were looking to start their careers as actors and dancers. Maybe they would sing some, maybe land in a commercial or two.

    Instead, the group — with the help of family friend Ellington Lee Ratliff — started its own pop-rock band, R5 (though Riker landed a spot on “Glee” and Ross has his own series on the Disney Channel).

    The band — which plays 1 p.m. Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair — released its Hollywood Records debut last year.

    We have tickets to Saturday’s show we’ll give to away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Would you ever play music with your siblings? Why or why not? This contest is another quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

    Check out a video from R5 (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    Win ticket to: Justin Moore


    Justin Moore’s life is a country song. The 30-year-old country star singer grew up in (and moved back to) Poyen, Ark., a town of 300 people. He dreamed of playing baseball or basketball until he realized he was 5-feet-6 and 140 pounds. He went to college for all of three weeks before he finally moved to Nashville to try his hand at music.

    It proved to a good move. Moore was named New Artist of the Year at the American County Music Awards in April. That’s a year after the release of “Off the Beaten Path, ” and five years after his self-titled debut hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Country charts. The singer headlined Visalia’s JugFest 2014 in May and plays 7 p.m. Thursday as part of the Big Fresno Fair’s concert series.

    We have tickets to give away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us why you love country music (doesn’t need to be specific to Moore). The contest is a quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

    Check out a video from Moore (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    New Grilled Chz restaurant open in northeast

    Grilled cheese fans in northeast Fresno can get their melty goodness on at the newly opened Grilled Chz restaurant at Cedar and Herndon avenues. The restaurant opened last week at 7059 N. Cedar Ave., in the same shopping center as John’s Incredible Pizza. This location is technically a move, as the owners closed the Grilled Chz at Willow and Nees avenues, opting for a more high-profile location. (The Grilled Chz on West Shaw near West Avenue is still open.)

    But enough about real estate. Let’s talk about the food. If you’re unfamiliar with Grilled Chz, the menu includes just about any kind of grilled cheese you can imagine, along with tomato soup, chili, fries and dessert sandwiches. The gooey sandwich pictured at right is the restaurant’s best seller: the “extreme grilled chz” with cheddar cheese, macaroni and cheese inside, along with caramelized onions and smoked bacon with cheddar crusted onto the outside of the bread. The restaurant’s “molten extravaganza” of double-cream French Brie, bacon, sliced almonds, and homemade fig paste got some attention from AAA’s magazine “Via” last spring. See the full menu here.

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    Food reviews: Guri’s Grub House, Jack’s Urban Eats and Beer to the People


    Officially, I’m a music blogger.

    I also love to eat and this is an exciting time for food lovers in Fresno. No, I’m not talking the Fresno Fair.

    As my colleagues Bethany Clough and Bob Rodriguez have reported, several hip new restaurants and drinking establishments have opened in the last month or so, including a gastropub, a small-chain modern-day Hof Brau and a bottle shop.

    Below are my reviews of each. If you’ve been to any of the three, we’d love to know your thoughts. Add your reviews in the comments section.

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    Raider’s leader Paul Revere dies at 76


    In the midst of the ’60s British invasion, Paul Revere became an American rock and roll icon.

    With his band, the Raiders, the organist had a string of hit singles including “Louie Louie” (it was a bigger hit for the Kingsmen) and “Kicks” (they also recorded a version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” which later became a hit for the Monkees). The band is best known for the 1971 hit “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian).”

    Revere died Saturday at the age of 76.

    During his heyday, Revere was known as “the madman of rock and roll,” which probably had to do with his on-stage antics, including dressing up in 18th century military uniforms, complete with the tricorner hats.

    Offstage, the man could be all business.

    “He played rock and roll, but he was a businessman,” says Bill Burns, who started the local band Papa Clutch & the Shfiters in 1978.

    Burns met Revere several times over the years, and in the late ’80s his group (known as the Shifters at the time) was the surf-rock house band at Kicks in Reno. The club was owned by Revere, who had hired the band for the gig. “He was one of the good guys in rock and roll,” Burns says.

    Burns also got the opportunity to share the stage with Revere’s band — in one instance Papa Clutch and the Shifters actually played headline to the Raiders at Safari Night show at Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo.

    “Because of sound check problems, they played first and we followed them, asking the audience to give our ‘opening act’ a big hand. Paul was sitting in the audience and laughed harder than most,” Burns says.

    “Great guy who was always on the rock ‘n roll make!”

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    Concert announcement: Celtic Woman 10th Anniversary


    Celtic Woman — the international vocal sensation and PBS standout — celebrates its 10th anniversary with an 80-city tour that includes a May 22 date at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre.

    The group last played in Fresno (at the same venue) in 2009 on it “Isle of Hope” tour. This time around, the women (who make up Celtic Woman) will be joined by a 15 member ensemble includes a full band, bagpipers, Irish dancers and the Aontas Choir. The show is directed by music producer David Downes.

    Tickets for the tour are $42, $62 and $102 and on sale now via Ticketmaster and the Fresno Convention Center Box Office.

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    BANDGEEK: Light Rain, Light Thieves and a September to Dismember


    For those looking to get all cultural, there’s “Seattle to Fresno — the Best of West Coast Fringe.” Also: Mike Tyson’s one-man show. For those looking to spend a couple of hours at a bar, club or theater listening to live music there is … all of this … Here’s your weekly BANDGEEK roundup.


  • TeeFLii.
    W/Ray Yung Omar Aura, B Dot and Eldra Jermaine. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $20-$50.

  • White Glove Service.
    W/Comacova, Louder Than Waves. At Strummer’s. 9 p.m. $5.

  • The Jules Winnfield.
    At Peeve’s Public House. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Endeavor.
    W/Until We Are Ghosts and Dependence. At Kuppajoe. 7:30 p.m. $6-$8. All ages.

  • Light Rain.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $15.

  • Lit Up.
    At ApCal. 7 p.m. Free.

  • R.W. Hampton.
    At Maverick’s Coffee House. 7 p.m. $30.

  • Whisky Row.
    W/JJ Brown. At Engelmann Cellars. 7 p.m. Free.

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    Bandgeek: Humperdinck, Daniels and Doyle


    Aside from not eating at Burger King (the tax thing may be the least of its offences), your schedule for the next seven days looks full up, especially if you are into any sort of live music. The choices are presented here in our weekly roundup known as BANDGEEEEK!


  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    A Sit-around jam. At Full Circle Brewing. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Engelbert Humperdinck.
    At Tachi Palace. 7:30 p.m. $35-$70.

  • Pacific Dub.
    W/ ONEoz. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Mid-week concerts to get you through to Friday


    To anyone who thinks there is nothing to do in Fresno, I give this quick list of super-ridiculous concerts — one or more every day through Thursday (and then the weekend kicks in).

    Feel free to pass it along. You can add this message: “Quit complaining.”


  • Lynryd Skynyrd
    It’s a Saturday night special … on Monday … See what I did there.
  • Beach Day.
    Free girl-pop garage rock at Peeve’s.

  • Future Islands
    Best frontman in entertainment today? You be the judge.
  • Balance and Composure
    Post hard-core emo band from Pennsylvania. For fans of Sunny Day Real Estate.
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    RIP jazz guitarist and instructor Andre Bush

    For those who missed my story in today’s Fresno Bee, the local music scene is mourning the death of jazz guitarist and instructor Andre Bush.

    Bush was a graduate of the Roosevelt School of the Arts and a fixture in the local jazz scene as both a player and a teacher. He was also an accomplished touring musician and session guitarist, who played several years on the Lilith Fair and was nominated for a Grammy is 2005. He had his own guitar technique book (published by Mel Bay, no less) and was named as one of the 342 most significant guitarists in jazz history by critic Scott Yanow.

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    Win tickets to Prestige at Arte Americas Nights in the Plaza

    nightsFresno’s summer days can be brutal. But our nights … our nights are so very lovely.

    Which is why Arte Americas hosts a series of Friday-night concerts in it outdoor pavilion each summer. The Nights in the Plaza series features local and regional bands playing Latin lazz and mariachi, Brazilian, Son Jarocho and rockabilly.

    We’ll be giving away passes each week (except Sept. 26) for the rest of the series’ run. This week’s concert features local R&B soul group Prestige. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us your favorite way to spend a warm summer’s night in the Valley. The contest runs through noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up the passes at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours. Passes are good for any concert night, but do not guarantee entry, so early arrival is suggested.

    We’ll have a new contest up every Monday so keep checking back. Complete performer schedule and contest rules on the jump.

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    Bandgeek: Lou Shields, Les Wolves and Zappa Plays Zappa

    Today is National IPA Day. You will want to celebrate. But not too much, because there are dozens of local music happenings you might want to make. Here they are in list form in this week’s BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate.
    At Strummer’s. 7 p.m. $32.

  • Lou Shields.
    W/Jimmie O. AT Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. No price listed. (Flier link)

  • From The Messenger.
    W/The Rest Will Fall, Bred To Survive, City of Skies and Farooq. At CYC. 6:30 p.m. $4. All ages. (Flier link)

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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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    BANDGEEK: Shwaye, Sweat and the Summerland tour


    Planes are being shot out of the sky! We won’t fault you for not thinking about getting out to see some live music this weekend. Still, it’s my job to keep you informed. So here it is, your weekly music roundup (back from a short hiatus) … BANDGEEEEK!


  • Ghost Key.
    W/Castaway, Outlier, Rampage and Chip Spacey. At CYC. 6:30 p.m. $4. ALl ages. (Flier link)

  • Electronic Ladyland Tour.
    W/Je4sika Von Rabbit, Maria Del Pilar and Okapi Sun. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. No ticket price listed. (Flier link)

  • A beach party and potluck.
    W/Math, Suzy’s Dead, The P.I.T.S., Egg Slut and Sci-Fi Caper. At C.A.F.E. Infoshop. 6 p.m. $3-5. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Pinche Culture Night.
    5th Anniversary. W/Marcus Hernandez, Pa’Chango, Resident Alien and Conjunto Califas. At Cellar Door, Visalia. 7 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

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