Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Bandgeek!: Bear Hands, the Brother Weiss and a tribute to Johnny Cash

4-4-14While the majority of your friends are out watching “Wicked,” you’d rather be out at a bar somewhere, listening to some low-down dirty rock and roll. Or any of the dozen of other music options happening this weekend (and into next week). Here’s your music roundup known as BANDGEEEEEK!


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Tonight: Annabella Lwin, the original singer of Bow Wow Wow.

annebelleAnnabella Lwin makes it clear from the beginning; Regardless of the group of musicians around her on stage, regardless of who’s playing under what band name, she’s still the same — a half-Burmese Buddhist singer, who started her career at 14 years old with the short-lived English new-wave act Bow Wow Wow.

“I continue to do what I’ve been doing,” says Lwin, now in her 40s and touring under her own name, despite a reunion with the remaining original members of Bow Wow Wow that happened in 2011. Lwin plays with her new band tonight at Fulton 55.

“I didn’t think I’d be singing at the age of 40 something,” Lwin says. That’s despite the impact she (and Bow Wow Wow) had on a generation of musicians that followed. The band’s single “I Want Candy” became a ’80s classic, ranking 86th on VH1′s 100 Greatest Songs of the decade. The Red Hot Chili Peppers and No Doubt have long cited Bow Wow Wow as a major influence.

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Bandgeek!: BATHS, Goldboot and The Reverend Horton Heat

3-28-14If you can pull yourself away from following the Leland Yee story, you’ll find dozens of music events happening this weekend. We’ve compiled them here in another installment of our weekly music roundup BANDGEEEEEK!!


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Win tickets to: Strange Vine + Soft White Sixties tonight @ Fulton 55

strangeStrange Vine has a habit of setting up awesome local shows. When they play, you know you’ll be getting your money’s worth. So tonight’s show at Fulton 55 with San Francisco’s Soft White Sixties (plus Light Thieves and Planet Live in Houses) could be the music pick of the weekend.

You just have to start your weekend on a Thursday, is all.

The band has hooked us up with a couple tickets to pass along y’all Beehivers. To enter to win, just leave a comment on the post. Tell us who is your favorite rock-n-roll duo. This is a super-last minute, super-quick one. Deadline for entry is 3 p.m., today. Winners will be chosen by random and notified via email within the hour. So, check your email if you entered.

Check out the full rules and an awesome video from Kevin Figueroa on the jump.

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Win tickets to Let’s Go Bowling/40 Watt Hype

lgbThere are few local bands that have the enduring appeal of ska-rockers Let’s Go Bowling.

The live hip-hop/jazz/soul group 40 Watt Hype would be one.

Put the two bands on the same bill and you’re assured to get A.) a packed house B.) a great night of live, local music.

The bands play back to back 9 p.m. Friday at Fulton 55 and we have tickets to give away to a few lucky Beehivers. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Tell us which band (LGB or 40 Watt) you’re more excited to see and why. The contest will run until 5 p.m. Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email (so check yours if you enter).

Rules and videos on the jump.

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QnA with Devoya Mayo of the Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar

tumblr_mwr9lvovj31qehjf6o1_1280The Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar happens 11 a.m. Saturday at Fulton 55.

The annual event — put together by the Soulflower Group– is a spot check of the Fresno craft- and hand-made scene, with 28 crafters and artist selling everything from steampunk jewelry to handmade candles and designer nail polish. So, it’s the perfect spot to pick up some last-minute gifts.

I emailed Ms. Soulflower herself, Devoya Mayo, to find out more.

Explain the event in three lines or less.

The Soulflower Group curates a D.I.Y extravaganza by hosting 28 local crafty folks at Fulton 55 for an afternoon of crafts, music, food, prizes and cocktails.

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Concert announcement: Xiu Xiu at Fulton 55

San Jose post-punk art-rock band Xiu Xiu (pronounced shoe shoe) will hit Fresno in February. It’s one of just two California shows currently listed on the its FB page. The band (Jamie Stewart and a revoling cast of musicians) plays Feb. 20 at Fulton 55. Tickets are $10 and go on sale 8 a.m. Friday.

Xiu Xiu just released a collection of Nina Simone covers (“Nina,” out of Graveface Records, today) and recently announced a plans for a new collection of original songs. That album, “Angle Guts: Red Classroom,” is set for release (on CD/LP/tape and MP3) Feb. 4.

You can hear a track from the album (“Stupid in the Dark“) on the jump.

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Win ticket to: The Kyle Gass Band

11143It’s another busy weekend for music fans, which is becoming a common thing. If you doubt it, check out this week’s Bandgeek.

One show worth note: The Kyle Gass Band returns to Fresno for the ROCK Out For Laughter (ROFL) show Saturday night at Fulton 55. Gass is probably best known as being 1/2 of Tenacious D. Can’t say if he’s the better looking half or not, but his new project brings the RAWK! (and is also funny).

This is an eclectic line-up (and I don’t say that lightly) featuring locals Cockamamie Jamie, I Kill Cameron, Love Note, 2 Hours Later. The whole thing is hosted by Danny Minch. We have two sets of tickets to give away to our Beehive loyalists. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Tell us who’s your favorite comedy rock (or hip-hop) band. I choose Gwar.

This is a quicky. The contest ends 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen by random and notified via email. So check your email if you enter. One comment per person, please.

In the mean time, here’s a video and the full contest rules.

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Filipino rock band Introvoys in Fresno tomorrow

photo (4)Introvoys could be the most interesting band playing in town this weekend. If you haven’t heard the name, it’s probably because you are not from the Philippines. The band, which now works out of Los Angeles, had a string No. 1 hits in the country when it debuted back in 1989.

The band plays an ’80s-themed dance party/ fashion show on Saturday night at Fulton 55 with locals Lezayr and Vicki HL.

Before the show, band members will be meeting fans and signing autographs at Jowli’s Filipino Restaurant, 7058 N. Cedar Ave. The event starts at noon and is open to the public.

Check out a video from the band’s “Line To Heaven,” on the jump.

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Keeney Nation 3 show is back on

UPDATE: The Keeney Nation 3 show is back on. The free show is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55.


ORIGINAL POST, July 26, 2013:

In today’s paper, I wrote about the tight-knit Keeney family, whose connection to the local music scene is vast, and includes a large number of both blood relatives and friends. The family’s Keeney Nation showcase was scheduled for Saturday at Fulton 55. I say was, because the show was cancelled due to a death in the family. The family was notified last night and decided to postpone the show out respect of the dozens of musicians to which the night was dedicated, says Mike Keenney Sr. It will be rescheduled. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime our thoughts are with the family.

Postponed: Alien Ant Farm

Alien Ant Farm (who had a hit with its funked-up metal version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”) has postponed its scheduled show tonight at Fulton 55. According to a note on the Fulton 55 site, one of the band members had a sudden illness.

Those who already purchased tickets can hold on to them. A new date will be announced in a few weeks. Or, you can get a refund at point of purchase.

Tonight’s show will continue with locals Session and Mid October (from Atwater). Tickets have been reduced to $5.

Tonight: Lighting the F.U.S.E., presented by CMAC

CMAC (aka the Community Media Access Collaborative) has partnered with this year’s Fresno Urban Sound Experience (aka F.U.S.E. Fest) to produce a pre-festival showcase, 8 p.m. tonight at Fulton 55. The event is open to the public for a $2 donation (money that will help pay the bands), but because it’s being created for air (it will broadcast live on Comcast 93 and AT&T 99), it won’t be the typical concert experience. The bands (Werebear, Actress, Cockamamie Jamie and Blake Jones + Friends) will play truncated sets, interspersed with interviews from yours truly. If you’re a local music fan-boy (or girl), you should to show up (or tune in).

The festival runs Sept. 20-21 in downtown Fresno. This year’s lineup and more can be seen at

Gig review: Suuns at Fulton 55

image (4)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.

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Announced: Machine Head, Face to Face, Vokab Kompany and more

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:

Add this to the rest of Fulton 55′s calendar, plus the stuff coming in to Frank’s Place, and Audie’s Olympic, and Starline (and the venues I am not mentioning), and we’ve got a serious spring/summer a head of us.

After looking at all that, what shows are you most excited to see?

Concert review: Dinosaur Jr., Fulton 55, 4/13/13

DinosaurjrFulton 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.

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Pecha Kucha Night Fresno: Who cares?

32013-web-1Beehive 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.

Here’s a video of me talking books.

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Hear this: Royal Canoe

486207_10151378169684422_1960125614_nThere 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.

They play in town on Saturday at Fulton 55 with Sssssssnake, Animal Friend and Sahab.

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Announced: Dinosaur Jr.@Fulton 55

55-atlgFile 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.

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

Besides sneaking your way into that George Strait show that’s hella sold out.

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]

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Podcast: Ozmosis #53 (One-Year Anniversary Show)

Well, this is the last Ozmosis podcast you’ll find here on The Beehive. And it’s a good one. Here’s the one-year anniversary show, which includes lots of good music from Kate Nash, Free Energy, Christopher Owens and Jake Bugg, among others. Of local note: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister and Nicki Bluhm are featured (playing Fulton 55 on Thursday and Saturday, respectively), as are Sir Sly (Friday at The Cellar Door). You can also check out Born Betty, the “Drink Local, Listen Local” band of the week. Remember to catch new episodes of Ozmosis every Sunday night at 9 p.m. on New Rock 104.1. For future podcasts, go to the Ozmosis blog.

Ozmosis – One-Year Anniversary Show (01.27.13) by Mike Osegueda on Mixcloud

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you read my “farewell” column from today’s Bee.

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]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While starting down the “20 ways to be a better Fresnan” checklist.

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]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While pondering a downtown public market.

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]

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