There are shows that remind you why you love seeing live music.
There are shows that make you appreciate your city’s live music scene.
Last night’s Suuns show at Fulton 55 fulfilled both.
Loverboy: This is not the “Working for the Weekend” Loverboy. This Loverboy is from Firebaugh and describes his music as Fischer-Price Acid Trip Hop. I’m pretty sure that’s a made-up genre, but it seems fitting. The guy sings hunched over a Casio keyboard and makes his music with pedals and knobs and keys. The stuff was mostly mid-tempo and very atmospheric on a “Twin Peaks” kinda level. The guy has a great voice, or at least writes some great melodies, but the vocals seemed intentionally fuzzed out. It didn’t kill the songs, but I noticed.
Yesterday, in my review of Dinosaur Jr.’s show at Fulton 55, I mentioned the venue is proving to be a great asset to the live music scene. To further prove the point, several more shows that just got announced:
Electrontic indie hip-hop duo Vokab Kompany. W/locals No Genre. 8:30 p.m. May 3. $5 in advance, $10 at the door.
Fulton 55 continues to prove what some in the scene had been saying for years. Fresno needed a well-booked, well-staffed mid-sized venue that could consistently attract second- and third-tier touring acts. The Save Mart Center got us The Rolling Stones, but the city needed a place that would attract the likes of … well, Dinosaur Jr.
The Shrine: Three-piece fuzz-toned stoner rock from Long Beach. They’ve been through town a few times. I caught them the first time around and was a fan. But within a month, I got introduced to American Sharks, and mostly forgot about the Shrine.
Glad for the reintroduction. The band was in fine form as the opener, with a quick, but blistering set. This is what it must have been like seeing early Ted Nugent, in terms of the raw furiosity. This is pure-form rock-and-roll. Guitarist Josh Landau is particularly impressive. It’s like the dude doesn’t play rhythm lines. It’s all runs and solos and feedback squeal. And it is awesome.
Beehive readers should be familiar with Fresno’s Pecha Kucha Night by now. We’ve long supported the event, a down-and-dirty slide-show presentation that gives designers, architects, photographers and artists six minutes and 40 seconds to run through 20 slides.
The event’s 19th installment is happening 7 p.m. tonight at Fulton 55. The theme for the night is “Who Cares?” and there looks to be a pretty good line-up of presenters, including local rapper Populus (whose previous presentations have been fall-down hilarious).
The full list of presenters includes: Anthony Taylor, Craig Scharton, Anastasia Sotiropulos, Mark Colley, Elliot Balch, John Milly, Scott Kramer and an audience participation round. Cover is $5 or $3 for Creative Fresno members.
There are benefits to being an opening act. Like being able to see bands you respect musically perform night after night. There are intricacies in what they do and if you’re perceptive, you can learn a lot.
“As people who create and perform music, that perspective is interesting,” says Bucky Drieger, the guistarist and singer for the Canadian indie-rock band Royal Canoe. The band has been on the road since early March, playing with the likes of of Montreal and are coming off a series of shows with Fol Chen.
File this under awesome. Underground indie-rock Gods (I think that’s not too hyperbolic) Dinosaur Jr.will be in town April 13 at Fulton 55. The group was a major player in late ’80′s alternative rock scene, before disbanding in 1997 (they reunited in 2005).
I caught them at Lollapalooza when I was too young to know (or care). Too busy loving Soundgarden probably. My mom has a T-shirt she still wears.
No word on local support, but there are more than a few bands that would make great openers. At any rate, this kind of show is a coup for Fresno and should be packed. Looks like tickets are on sale now.
1. GO SEE A SHOW AT FULTON 55
You can see another country legend (sorta!) — as Johnny Cash tribute Cash’d Out plays tonight. They’re legit — as in they can make Cash’s daughter cry. Then Saturday, S.F.’s Nicki Bluhm comes to play some fun folky music for you. She’s legit too. [More]
1. FIND YOUR LATIN R & B GROOVE AT FULTON 55
Latin R & B group Tierra, 40-year vets of the music biz, are a perfect fit for this oldies-leaning town. Fresno music lovers should gobble up their Saturday night show at Fulton 55. Also: My favorite show poster of the week. [More]
1. MAKE YOURSELF EXPENDABLE
Laid-back reggae/rockers The Expendables are playing what’s probably the biggest gig of the weekend, tonight at Fulton 55. If you like Slightly Stoopid, you’ll like them. We hear it’s closed to selling out. So don’t slack. [More]
1. HAVE AN UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT
NYC hip-hop duo Camp Lo — famous for their stellar 1997 album, “Uptown Saturday Night” — are at Fulton 55 on Saturday as part of the anniversary tour for the album. It’s a cool gig, particularly if you’ve never seen “Luchini” pour from the sky. [More]
1. SAY HAPPY 15TH TO KUPPAJOE
All-ages music club Kuppajoe celebrates its 15-year anniversary tonight with a hard rockin’ show featuring Phinehas and many others. Check out my feature on Kuppajoe’s anniversary. [More]
If you dig two-minute-long, screw-everything punk/garage rock, go see Broncho tonight at Fulton 55. The Oklahoma band plays with two Fresno vets: It’ll Grow Back (a punk band that keeps things short and energetic) and Sparklejet (a power three-piece who keeps things loud and … ummm, loud). It’s a treat to see Sparklejet these days, let alone on a Monday night.
Below you can check out a cool Broncho cut called “I Don’t Really Want to be Social.” Gives you a good idea of what the band is about. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $5-7.
1. GET YOUR HANDS ON SOME LOCAL GOODS
Since the Fresno Handmade Bazaar was such a success earlier this year, organizers The Soulflower Group have crafted a seasonal sequel — Saturday’s Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar. You can buy gifts — for you or your fam — handmade by Fresno’s indie artisans. This ain’t your grandma’s craft fair, though. It’s in a club with a DJ and drinks. Keep in mind that it’s only open to the 21+. [More]
If you haven’t seen Blimprov, you should. And you probably should do it tonight.
The improv comedy troupe — who you might remember from its sold-out run at this year’s Rogue Festival — is doing one of its biggest local shows to date at Fulton 55.
Why go tonight? Well, two Blimprov members are planning to move to L.A. soon, to give the fame thing a chance. So this might be their last Blimprov show. The departing Blimprovers are the ever-charming Marcos Hammer and the hilarious Magnus Chhan, who — apologies to the rest of Blimprov — has a knack for stealing the show.
If you miss this and everybody is talking tomorrow about how great it was, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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]
Alt-rock/Christian band Project 86 visits Fulton 55 tonight, fresh off the release of “Wait for the Siren,” its latest album. It’s been a while since we’ve seen them in Fresno, and this time, the SoCal-bred rockers are playing with San Jose rockers I Am Empire and Fresno band Session. Get your tickets here. Or, if you’re the first person to leave a comment saying you want to go, we’ll get you a pair of tickets from promoter Love the Captive. You’re welcome. Just be sure to leave a valid e-mail address so we can contact you. An since this tonight, be close to your e-mail.
1. SWEDE IT UP Swede Fest is bigger and better, back for its 10th installment Sunday. It’s happening at Tower Theatre, a dream realized for organizers of this quirky film festival. It showcases low-budget parodies made by everyone from average joes to seasoned pros. Creativity, ingenuity and a sense of humor are king at Swede Fest, so you never know what you’re going to see. It’s free and open to movie lovers of all ages. For more on Swede Fest’s growth and rise to popularity, read this Q & A with the organizers. [More]
- Upcoming at Fulton 55: The Original Wailers, the reggae band that can be traced back to Bob Marley. This incarnation of the band is led by Marley guitarist Al Anderson. It plays Nov. 16. Tickets: $12-$15.
- Fresno-bred guitar star Bruce Conte, best known for his work with Tower of Power, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. To help with his mounting medical bills, friends organized a benefit concert in Conte’s honor Nov. 24 at Tower Theatre. Conte will play, as will his friends. More details here. Tickets: $29 and $39.