Pete Salazar doesn’t label himself as a “promoter,” even though his company, Diehardz Music, has been booking and promoting live music in Fresno for more than a half decade.
“We are fans of pop-culture, music, movie, sports and selling collectibles,” Salazar says.
Along with concerts, his team helps with band merchandising and printing and created the biannual Rock N Shop indoor mall show.
Diehardz celebrates its seventh anniversary on Saturday with Stellar, a tribute to Incubus, plus locals Amorata, Days Under Authority and Rise the Ruler. We emailed with Salazar, just to get nostalgic.
While I am trying figure out whether to care about this whole deflate-gate thing (I also heard it referred to as the much funnier ball-gate), you’ll all be checking out one of the awesome concerts happening in town this week. Right? We’ve collated them again in out weekly BANDGEEEEEEK! roundup.
You may want to spend the weekend getting caught up on the Oscar-nominated films showing. Be sure to set aside some time for music. Here’s a list of this week’s local concerts, collated in our BANDGEEEEK! roundup.
In my first column of the 2015, I predicted this would be a big year for hip-hop in Fresno.
My analysis was based on the mainstreaming of hip-hop (both in pop culture and in the local scene) and the rise of standout local talent.
I mentioned Fashawn and others in a short list that I prefaced with the fact that others were left out. For instance: Shake da Mayor and Diego Redd, two rappers have have been representing Fresno for a decade, at least.
Shake was part of the well-known rap group Skhool Yard with Planet Asia and Kubiq. Some will remember his song “Stunna Shades.”
Redd is know for hits like “In the ‘No.”
The pair got some notice of their own in 2014 for their collaboration, 99 North, which was featured in a full-length hop-hop musical of the same name released in October.
Roger Perry spent the first 71 hours of the New Year sitting in a little room on the side of his house recording the 10 songs that make up “In My Way,” the CD he’s releasing tonight at Audie’s Olympic Tavern.
“I accidentally took Vitamin C with caffeine,” says Perry, a longtime Fresno musician and well known singer and guitarist.
That would do it.
The album was inspired by the Joe Simon song “Nine Pound Steal,” which Perry stumbled upon while clicking through Youtube. It’s what Perry describes as “real music” — simple production sans any crazy digital affects.
She excuses herself from our phone interview and leaves me on the line for a minute to take care of a quick work session. It just popped up and she didn’t want to bother with rescheduling.
Besides, she’s used to handling multiple things at once.
“I’m always balancing five or six things,” says Collins, in advance of her show Saturday night at the Tower Theatre.
At 75 years old, the singer/songwriter/author/actress is a workaholic.
The list of things on her current to-do list includes putting the final touches on a new book (she’s just turned it over to her agent), recording a PBS show for late summer (a follow up to her show at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art in 2009 and last year’s concert at Dromoland Castle in Ireland), starting promotions for the re-release of “Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman” (the documentary she produced in 1974. It earned an Oscar nomination) and finishing a series of recording projects.
That’s ignoring the 100-plus live shows she does each year.
Sad to say, it’ll still be another 10 years (at least) before you’ll get to take high-speed rail anywhere to see a good show. That’s fine though, because there is plenty to see right here, right now. I’ve collected this week’s music options in another installment of BANDGEEEEEK!
There is an understanding around the Guerriero household that, come Christmas time, the hair dyer and microwave, pretty much all appliances, really, are off limits after 5:30 p.m. There’s been one too many blown fuses.
Yes, the Guerriero’s home (on Tenaya Avenue, near Van Ness and Sierra) taxes the grid, what with its massive display of holiday lights and decorations.
“Every year we buy more and more,” says Mary Guerriero, who, along with her husband Joe Guerriero, spends a month (or more) each year setting up the display, which is lit from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. through Christmas.
Even once all the decor is up, there are still small tweaks to be made, Mary says.
But this is by no means a comprehensive list. Lots of places are selling locally made goods and lots of stores are locally owned. Where do you go to buy local and what do you like to buy there? Tell us in the comments.
And, just like that, the Save Mart Center lands what may arguably be one of the most-anticipated tours of 2015.
Female rap/pop star Iggy Azalea will stop at the arena April 14 to kick off “The Great Escape” tour, a 24-date North American trek with recording artist/actor Nick Jonas and R&B/hip-hop favorites Tinashe and DJ Wizz Kidd.
Tickets for the Fresno date are $39.50-$69.50 and on sale 9 a.m. Dec. 19 at the arena box office and select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at ticketmaster.com or AEGLive.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Platinum and VIP packages, which include premium tickets plus exclusive autographed items, will also be available.
Presale tickets are available for American Express card members 9 a.m. Dec. 15 (through 9 p.m. Dec. 18).
Azalea was easily one of the biggest pop stars of 2014. Her single “Fancy” broke all sorts of airplay records and was the longest-leading No. 1 by a female rapper. It was Billboard’s 2014 Song of the Summer, iTunes Best Song of 2014, the year’s most-streamed song on Spotify and the most-watched video on VEVO (and also a parody hit for Weird Al). Azalea was nominated for four Grammy Awards this year, including best new artist, best rap album, record of the year and best pop duo/group performance. Her latest, “Black Widow,” featuring Rita Ora, also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 40 chart.
You can watch the Tarantino-inspired video for “Black Widow” on the jump (it’s slightly NSFW).
The organizers of Fresno’s Catacomb Party staged two wildly successful downtown events; If you mark success by the mass of people who showed up on the Fulton Mall for a day’s worth of free music and festivities (and I do). Thousands showed up for last year’s party (despite the July heat) to watch 40 bands play over six stages.
After taking a year off to regroup and reorganize, Catacomb Party returns in spring of 2015.
While there’s been no official save-the-date announcement, and lineup decisions are still being made (band submissions ended yesterday), we now have a look at the festival’s new branding.
Notice the date up top, put in the calendar and circle it in red: April 4. You can still volunteer to help with the festival (through Jan. 1) or just keep up-to-date by signing up for the Catahomies Newsletter.
On the jump: Watch Gentle Jamie killing it (or himself) at last year’s party.
Perry Hodge, a guy who has been a vital part of scene since the 1980s, is in the hospital. And it looks to be bad. Currently, he’s too ill to perform, which is devastating (financially at the very least) for someone who makes their living as a musician.
To help defray medical bills and costs of living (and other costs that are sure to arise) Fulton 55 will be hosting a benefit concert 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
Details on the show are still being worked out, but expect performances from Hodge’s friends and band mates and others in the scene. Tickets will be on sale soon via Fulton 55 (online and at door). If you cannot attend but want to contribute or you wish to donate a significant amount, you will be able to do so via Fulton 55′s website.
I’d met Perry a couple of times, but was able to perform with him earlier this year when he stepped in to play the role of Malcolm Young (or was it Angus) in my AC/DC tribute band. The guy is a pro in a way that I can only aspire to be. His presence from the scene will no doubt be heavily felt.
From his fresh lyrics in The Lone Wolf Gang with Joe Rosato; to thrilling harmonies and mean guitar in Roger Perry’s various bands; to all encompassing variety in Vince Warner’s Rockville and Beatleville, Perry Hodge is a Fresno Music Scene staple … Please come out to celebrate his life, his love of music, and his gift of sharing it all with us. We are indeed forever changed and grateful for the time we have with Mr. Perry Lee Hodge.
Occasionally I get questions from readers that are fun to find answers to. A few days ago reader Sundeep Dhillon wanted to know which restaurants had the spiciest dishes — Indian, Asian, whatever, the ethnicity didn’t matter as long as it got your taste buds burning. Being a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy foods myself, I threw the request out to the eating masses on Twitter and Facebook and they came back with lots of answers. Below is what they said. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments. And if you’ve tasted the dishes people suggested, what did you think? Hard core hot and spicy? Or could you handle hotter?