Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Did They Just Say Fresno?: TMNT edition


The Fresno Grizzlies hit another home run (terrible cliche, I know) with this weekend’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle promotion night, which drew more than 10,000 fans to the Chuck.

Mike Oz has a nice recap of the event (with videos) up at Big League Stew.

The promotion did its job.

It got a fair share of press when it was announced back in March, and another round last week, including a mention from Keith Olbermann in a segment that also referenced “Sharknado 2,” which puts the Grizzlies in good company.

The event had serious cool factor (well, nerd-chic cool), with a retro lunch pail giveaway (first 2,000 in line), some awesome TMNT-inspired gear (the team had to re-up its t-shirt stock) and a number of fans using the game as an excuse for some cosplay (including the couple who got engaged).

Make no mistake, the Grizzlies have a history of these kinds promos and have shown a knack for feeling out (and many times being ahead of) pop-culture trends. Last year’s Mini Maker’s Faire comes to mind. Up next is the 4th Annual Taco Truck Throwdown, Aug. 14.

If you are at all interested in attending, you would do well to get a ticket package now.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


You could copycat Neel Kashkari and act homeless for the weekend. Instead, how about …

1. Guardians of the Galaxy
People who I trust tell me this movie lives up to the hype.

2. TNMT night at the Grizzlies
Nostalgia is a power thing.


3. Mrs. Park’s Regency Rout
For fans of Jane Austen. Party like it’s 1799 — or 1809, or whenever the England’s Regency era was.

4. Restaurant Week
Buy local (food).

5. Rudy Parris at Old Town Saloon
Rudy Parris is one of three local artists poised to become a bonafide star. See him now, at a bar, for free. You’ll thank yourself later.

For music-specific events, don’t forget our weekly BANDGEEK! concert roundup.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


Peel yourself away from the news for an hour or so …

1. Jose Canseco Home Run Challenge tryouts
I know next to nothing about baseball. What I do know is this: Jose Canseco swung HARD! Like, breaking-bat hard.

2. Opera Ambulante
Spanish Opera at River Park. The juxtaposition of cultures is just too much!
3. The theater
Take your pick..

4. Rock & Roll: Behind the Scenes
A panel discussion on the nuts and bolts of rock and roll. Hint: It’s not as glamorous as you might think.

5. Meatball Magic
My favorite DJs return to my favorite bar. It’s been awhile.

And five for the music fans …

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

5things613142Forget World Cup …

1. Woodward Park Shakespeare Festival
Forget “House of Cards.” Shakespeare perfected the whole political-intrigue thing. QUICK CORRECTION: Color me embarrassed. “Macbeth,” doesn’t open until Thursday. So, add it to next weekend’s events.

2. Father’s Day Blues Fest
Headliner is Johnny Rawls: An old-time road-warrior if there ever was one. He’s been on the road (pretty much constantly) since 1969.

3. “Austin and Ally” at Fresno Grizzlies
I haven’t kept up with my Disney stars since Hilary Duff, but Calum Worthy, who plays Dez on “Austin and Ally,” will be at the game.
4. Table Mountain Rancheria Pow-Wow
Here’s a part of our area’s cultural heritage that doesn’t get enough positive attention.

5. Fresno’s Greatest Hits: Comedy Edition
Yes, Fresno has a comedy scene that you should support.

And in case you missed this week’s BANDGEEK post …

1. King Buzzo
2. Harps
3. Strange Vine
4. Lance Canales and the Flood
5. Jazz Night at Tokyo Garden

Five (plus five) Things You Should Do This Weekend

5things4-25-2Looks like y’all were at the Rodeo last night, which means you need something to do with the rest of the weekend. Lucky for you there are choices. And how.

1. Smack in Da Middle
Another fringe sport takes hold in Fresno.

2. Fresno Film Festival
If you love films, but hate the multiplex, this is a good weekend.

3. Woofstock 3
Doggies need love, too.
4. Fresno Ideawork’s Day
Fresno Ideaworks and the Grizzlies introduced us to the idea of “the maker” last year. Fan fans of robots and cardboard costume crafting.

5. One Night Stanza
Twenty-five of Fresno’s best poets — both the writer and performer types –share their best work.


1. Vintage Days
If you can find the lineup of live music, it’s a doozy!

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Win tickets to Fresno Grizzlies

grizzThe Fresno Grizzlies kicked off the season with a home opener last weekend that included fireworks, a culinary creation called Grizzly Eggs and a win over Las Vegas. The team is back home Saturday for a four-day stint against Reno.

We’ve got ticket vouchers we’ll hand off to a lucky Beehiver. The vouchers can be redeemed at the box office for actual tickets (based on availability). Of course, you don’t have to use them this weekend. The tickets are good for any home game, excluding July 4. We’ll have more to give out as the season progresses.

To enter to win, leave a message in the comments section. Tell us what is your favorite part about going to the Chuck to watch the Grizzlies. The deadline for entry is noon Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random Thursday night and notified via email (so check your if you enter). These are physical vouchers, so the winner will need to come to The Fresno Bee office to claim them.

Full contest rules on the jump.

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Introducing: The Grizzly Egg

I’m proud to debut what could be the snack of the century: The Grizzly Egg. No, bears did not start laying eggs, rather this is a flavorful invention that will be available for the first time at the Fresno Grizzlies home opener Friday. It’s a cream cheese-filled deviled egg, wrapped in bacon, baked and drizzled in buffalo sauce.


It’s one of many new dishes the Grizzlies are debuting Friday, and you can read more about them on Wednesday’s food page. But the Grizzly Egg is the star of the show. Food and ag reporter Bob Rodriguez and I tasted tested the egg for you (aren’t we sweet?) and we’re happy to report that it is indeed yummy. It combines bacon with the tang of buffalo sauce and the sweetness of cream cheese.

Starting Friday you can get four of these eggs for $7. The Grizzly Egg’s creation was a team effort. Several behind-the-scenes folks tinkered to come up with the final recipe (and apparently one experimentation involved a fire in someone’s kitchen). For the record, they tried deep frying the entire thing, but it just didn’t taste as good.

Fresno Grizzlies up for two MiLBY awards

1395319_10151691391715205_1916179840_nThe Fresno Grizzlies is the hippest team in minor league baseball.

This is a personal judgment, obviously. I don’t know about every minor league team. I do know the Grizzlies consistently put out creative, innovative events and marketing strategies. The team (they had some help from the Beehive) was on the leading edge of the Twitterverse with its Tweetup events. We all know how successful the Taco Truck Throwdown has become. There’s also the team’s off-season web video series, which follows the exploits of its mascot Parker.

It’s no shock that the team has been nominated for two MiLBY Awards this year. The Fresno Mini Maker Faire, which we attended and wrote about and loved, is up for best promo, while a kiss-cam video (shown here with commentary) is up for best blooper (some people must still think the thing is real, even though it was pretty assuredly faked).

The Grizzlies have done (and are doing) great things down at the stadium and deserve any and all praise for it. Show your support by logging on to vote for the team. Voting ends today, so do it now.

Check out the latest installment of “I Hate the Off Season” on the jump. It features my buddy Chris Hein Sensei from Aikido of Fresno.

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Taco Truck Throwdown III: a mouth-watering recap

TTToverall So, taco fans survived another year of the Taco Truck Throwdown. And quite happily, it seemed to me as I worked my way through the mob (there were a lot of people). For those used to eating tacos at 11:30 p.m. on the side of a road somewhere, the fact they were there with thousands of others was a treat.

There were more than five reasons to love this event. Thirteen to be exact, though sadly, I only tried two them (Tacos Tepa and Las Adas Manzanillo). The fact there were hour-long lines (the two I was in moved considerably faster) should prove that the Central Valley is serious about its tacos.

Or at very least happy to have an excuse to gorge on them.

So, how did it all pan out when the voted were tallied? Who has the best tacos in the Central Valley?

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To do tonight: Taco Truck Throwdown III (UPDATE)

UPDATE:We now have a list of all the taco trucks participating in tonight’s event. If your favorite is not listed, make sure they contact the Grizzlies for next year. Also, congratulations to the Beehive’s taco-judge winner Angel Macias Jr. (du_ddah on Instagram).

If you’re still on the fence about going, here’s a video of the Grizzlie’s Sam Hansen talking about the Central Valley’s taco-truck culture and the motivation behind the throwdown.

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I’m hungry: Ribs, bacon, tofu and more

In case you missed my column on Friday, it’s about food. Specifically, it’s about the ideological clash (and misconceptions) that can exist between meat eaters and vegetarians. At least one reader wondered if I didn’t have anything better about which to write. And OK, I’m not exactly a foodie, but food has been big on my mind the past week or so.

I am always getting pulled into some kind of food/eating event. You old-school Fresno bloggers may recall Milano’s Megazone challenge. There was also last year’s Ultimate Fair Food Feast-off.

image (7)

This weekend I judged the Clovis Elk’s Lodge‘s 2nd Annual rib cook off. The Elk’s are known for their barbecue, especially trip-tip, which they sell at Big Hats Days. The nine teams that took part in the cook off weren’t bad at all and produced (mess notwithstanding) some of the best ribs I’ve ever had. That’s a picture of the winning team. And, an Elk.

On a side note: The Clovis Elk’s Lodge is pretty cool. A friend describes membership as “drinking and fundraising.” I’m thinking it’s more of the later. The group’s “Purple Pig” program (which includes various sizes of purple piggy banks) raises money for disabled children and veterans. Throughout the state, it raised more than $3 million this year alone. Little known fact: The Elks raised the money for the first Veterans Home in California. At least that is what I was told.

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Bacon vs. tofu in Fresno Grizzlies food-fest throwdown

baconvstofulogofinalThe Fresno Grizzlies love to inspire a little friendly competition — like for instance pitting vampires against werewolves or … that whole taco truck thing.

This season, the organization is upping the ante, culinarily speaking, with the Bacon vs. Tofu night, June 27. They even have this cool graphic.

The idea is simple: Fans show up at the game and choose sides. You’re either for #teambacon or #teamtofu. Fans can vote and the results will be tallied and announced at the end of the night. There will be themed-games between innings and bacon and tofu-oriented businesses will be on hand to showcase their products.

Here’s the great part (and where The Beehive readers come in): The Grizzlies are looking for team captains, a couple of local chefs or foodie types who can whip up some culinary creations and help sway the vote. And they need your help. So, we’re throwing it to you. Who would be your choice to lead #teambacon? How about #teamtofu?

To get the conversation started, we’ll nominate:

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UPDATES: Grizzlies Kiss-Cam vid: Is it fake?

UPDATE NO. 3: CBS47′s Zara Arboleda declares authoritatively on Twitter: “Told you! The couple who “broke up” on  Fresno Grizzlies’ Kiss Cam staged it. Now I have “official” confirmation. Ha!” She links to this pic, and writes on her Facebook page that both work for the team.


Oh, and now Perez Hilton has picked the story up, and it’s featured on the U.S. edition of the Daily Mail  and, and many more by now. At least folks around the world today aren’t talking about how dusty Fresno is.

UPDATE NO. 2: Yes, this is silly stuff, but we’ve already opened this can of worms, so … now another Los Angeles Times writer has weighed in and thinks the video is fake (but interestingly never acknowledges his more trusting colleague). And NPR gets in on the action, too.

UPDATE: On his national Yahoo baseball blog Big League Stew, Beehive alum Mike Oz is likewise skeptical about the veracity of the Grizzlies video. But the sweet and trusting Los Angeles Times reports the story with the earnestness of a cute little mouse approaching a piece of cheese in a trap. Meanwhile, Beehive reader Ron Anderson finds a photo on a Grizzlies gallery of a staff member who looks very much like the spurned woman in the video.

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Upload: Flowing with Famous, Episode 12

Uploaded for your listening pleasure: Another episode of the all-things-Fresno podcast Flowing with Famous. Once again, I am joined by Fresno podcast icon Mike Seay, and once again we hit on all our favorite topics.


  • Fresno vs. Clovis
  • Some local music scene news
  • Fresno Grizzlies and the state of downtown

Plus, we’ve named another band of the episode. Spoiler alert: It’s Light Thieves.

And once again, the whole thing is slightly NSFW (sorry).

W/audio engineering by Reid May. You can stream or download the episode here or find it on iTunes, Sticker and the like.

Upload: Flowing with Famous, Episode 11

After a brief hiatus, we’re back with another episode of Flowing with Famous, where I join local podcast tycoon Mike Seay to wax philosophical about our favorite California city. It’s Fresno FYI.

In this episode we discuss:

W/audio engineering by Reid May. You can stream or download the episode here, or find it on Stitcher, iTunes and the like.

Seeking: Projects for Fresno’s Mini Maker Faire

FresnoIdeaworks_MMF_logos_GooglePlusIt’s sort of awesome how hip the Fresno Grizzlies organization can be. Obviously, we love the Taco Truck Throwdown, but this year’s Mini Maker Faire shows the team is forward thinking and dedicated to creating (or making in this case) cool events.

The faire, a partnership with Fresno Idea Works, will be Sunday April 21 down at the ball park and feature all kinds of awesome DIY projects — think tech and 3-D, homesteading and sustainability and repurposing, recycling and reuse. It’s like your Pinterest board come to life.

But they need makers, and are taking applications through April 17. Anyone interested can fill out this form or go to for more information.

FYI: This is an official Maker Faire event.

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Fres-Know: In your face, Fresno

OH SNAP: “Dunk of the year” last night at Save Mart Center. Against the ‘Dogs. [CBS Sports]

HOWEVER: Fresno State football an “early” top 20 for 2013. [USA Today]

GRRRRRR: Fresno fourth unhappiest city for workers. We’re pissed. [Career Bliss]

BALLIN’: Warren Buffet affiliate buys local real estate company. [The Bee]

NEWS: Man jumps to his death from California Hotel. [The Bee]

HEAD’S UP: Gonna be a cold weekend. Bundle up. [The Bee]

RYAN BEATTY FAME WATCH: Here he is performing for Billboard. [Billboard]

SPORTS: Tyler Bray — Kingsburgian and Tennessee QB —  declares for NFL draft. [The Bee]

WATNEY WATCH: Ex-KMPHer Heidi Watney debuted Wednesday on MLB Network. [MLB]

RADIO SCENE: New programming at Soft Rock 98.9 and KMJ. [The Bee]

GOOD READ: “The Grizzlies are ready for their close-up.” [MiLB]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: The Cured Ham on Iron Bird Cafe’s closure. [The Cured Ham]

UPDATE: Win tickets to the Fresno premiere of ‘Parental Guidance’

The winners of the tickets to the advance screening of “Parental Guidance” have been selected.

They are: Doreen Nagle, bebe, Jennifer Caser, Luis Solis. Shaonmemdez, Zach, Jeff Pierce, Gaynell, Dwight Wilcox, Jeanne, Rose, Gwen, Shell, Pam, Nancy Castano, Barry Falke, Deborah Hamilton, denise, Frances, Ken Chavez, Jackie, Julita, Ryan, Mary Vaux, Erica Perez, Oscar, Janet Klise, Barb, Sandra Terrel, Christine, Joanne, Cisco Mendez, Susan T, Fresno Dan, Haley P, Emily Wedin, Lita, Angie Rosenthal, Joseph Rodriguez, Kris, Wes, Angela Whitney, Dan, Kristi, Kristen Petersen, Carrie, Sergio, Efren, Kim, Alexy, Raymond Gonzalez, Ron, Dixion Bainbridge, Frank, Edith, Dave, Chris, Jason Valasquez, Kristi, Terri, Julio, Monica, Kelly Nicholson, Paul Schlesinger, Wes, Leonor Villamueva, Kristen Wilson, Amanda Delgado, Ernie, Brian L. Baker, Charlie and Robert Lara.

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Fres-Know: The ‘Scoopy for President’ edition

WATCH THIS: Latest episode of  “Nothing to Do.” [GottaLoveFresno]

NEWS: City Council votes down Mayor’s requested dough for downtown. [The Bee]

ENDORSED: Obama’s second term by The Bee’s editorial board. [The Bee]

CHECK THIS: Parker’s trip to the San Francisco Giants victory parade. [Storify]

THIS WEEKEND: Two Cities Marathon. Plan your church routes carefully, Northsiders. [The Bee]

VINTAGE: A look back at the 1939 Fresno State football jerseys. [Uni Watch]

WATCH THIS: New promo for next weekend’s Swede Fest. [YouTube]

PWNED: Fresno Teachers Association, by Bill McEwen [The Bee]

ANNOUNCED: Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals’ annual honorees, banquet. [FLYP]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Livening up your Day of the Dead. [Fashionably Bombed]

The world champion San Francisco Giants … when they were Fresno Grizzlies

Hey, did you hear that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series? Oh yeah, totally happened. I’m sure you didn’t hear ANYTHING about it on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s one fun Fresno fact that you and your sarcasm detector might not know, though: 17 of the 25 players on the Giants’ World Series roster played for the AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies at some point.

Some players we saw a lot of — catcher and clutch home-run-hitter Buster Posey,  Game 2 winning pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Game 4 tripler Brandon Belt, for instance. Others, like MVP Pablo Sandoval and unlikely Game 1 winner Barry Zito, we only saw briefly.

It’s hard to argue with the Grizzlies current “Farmgrown” marketing campaign. Just look at the pics below. In some cases these Grizzlies look quite different than the guys you saw soaked in champagne last night.

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Fres-Know: We hope we have your vote

POLITICAL DRAMA: In Hanford, the political climate is cloudier than the water. [The Bee]

ABOVE: Viral (??) video aiming to shame Hanford politician has almost 200,000 views. [YouTube]

RECOMMENDED: Who The Bee’s editorial board endorses in local political races. [The Bee]

NEWS: Local MMA fighter pleads taps out in bar fight case. [The Bee]

ANGRY LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE WEEK: Fed up with the homeless. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: What Iz, locally made site about music and culture. [What Iz]

COMING UP: Dinner at the Library — Donald Munro and I are hosting tables. [Famous]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Natali leaves The Full Moxie. [The Thinking Blonde]

WATCH THIS: Fresno Grizzlies team store commercial — unless you’re a Dodger. [YouTube]

WOOT: Fresno indie band Rademacher featured on Daytrotter this week. [Daytrotter]

MORE: On what KYNO has planned for its new 60s music format. [The Bee]

THIS WEEKEND: Annual Fine Wine Cornucopia at Chukchansi Park. [TasteFresno]

ANGRY YELPER OF THE WEEK: ” The owner has no f—ing clue what he’s doing.” [Yelp]

Watch the World Series at Chukchansi Park

With the San Francisco Giants in the World Series beginning tonight, the Fresno Grizzlies are trying to capture the Hum Baby spirit of their big brothers. So if you can’t score World Series tickets but want to hang with the Giants fans, there are World Series watch parties at Chukchansi Park for every game except Game 3 (because the Fall Wine Cornucopia is happening that day). The watch parties are free to attend and are sure to bring back memories of Buster Posey in a Grizz uniform.

Predictions? Sorry, Giants fans, I’m going Detroit in 6.

‘Twas only a matter of time: Gangnam Style, Fresno style

Judging from “SNL” and what I see on morning news shows, it seems like the viral video sensation “Gangnam Style” — a song from Korean rapper Psy with more than 220 million YouTube views — has now trickled down to the mainstream. So don’t be surprised when your mom asks you about it next week.

Here in Fresno, party rap outfit 2Tallin’ — which is basically our version of LMFAO — has put an English spin on “Gangnam Style. The video, released last Thursday, has more than 11,000 views already. If you dig the 2Tallin’ sound, be sure to catch ‘em at The Standard one week from today.

Here’s a local dancer named The Kidd (aka Murphy Yang) who posted his own “Gangnam Style” dance on YouTube:

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Ryan Beatty Fame Watch: A cover by Justin Bieber and the front of YouTube

Note: Henceforth, these Ryan Beatty update posts will be titled “Ryan Beatty Fame Watch” because it’s looking pretty inevitable at this point.

Remember when our 16-year-old pop-star-in-the-making was covering Justin Bieber songs in his bedroom? Well, in a role reversal that shows just how far Ryan has come, The Biebs put out a video last night where he’s covering Ryan. No joke.

In other big Beatty news, he’s on the front of YouTube today in conjunction with his AT&T no-texting-and-driving PSA. (which I saw the other day on FX, btw)


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Taco Truck Throwdown 2: A mouth-watering recap


Are you still on a taco high? Last week’s Taco Truck Throwdown 2 was a huge success, so, first off, thanks to everyone who ate tacos, served tacos and spread the word.

Now that we’ve had a few days to digest all the data, The Beehive and our partners in this taco-munching extravaganza, The Fresno Grizzlies and, have all sorts of fun facts to share:

  • A total of 14,450 tacos were sold — that’s way up from 7,977 last year.

  • We had 13 trucks, from a variety of locales (Fresno, Sanger, Selma, Centerville, Fowler) and offered popular tacos like carne asada and al pastor, and the more avant garde, like Dusty Bun’s duck taco or Tako’s Spam taco.
  • The attendance at the Grizzlies game was 11,463, making it the fourth highest-attended game of the season and the fifth highest Thursday night game EVER for the Grizzlies. It’s also the 43rd highest attended Grizzlies game at Chukchansi Park.
  • That 11,463 figure was the highest attendance of the night in Minor League Baseball and even outdrew a pro game — the White Sox vs. Orioles in Baltimore.
  • A few other fun facts: 600 Taco Truck Throwdown T-shirts were sold, 125 #TacoTruckThrowdown pics were posted to Instagram and there were way too many Tweets to count.

Here’s some info on the winners, individual tacos sold and where you can find these vendors besides at Taco Truck Throwdown. Click the graphic below to enlarge.

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