Fresno got a good run of big-name concerts this week, including blues man Joe Bonamassa and mega-pop star Jay Z on Tuesday (playing the Warnors Theatre and Save Mart Center respectively) and up-and-coming country act Florida Georgia Line last night (another Save Mart Center show).
We followed the Jay Z show on Twitter and Instagram. The arena looked full and at least one fan marked it as “the best night in Fresno. Ever.”
Danny Salas of Q97 had this Tweet, though he later followed up and said the place got packed.
Maybe Jay Z should have booked the Rainbow Ballroom instead. #Fresno
So, were you there? What did you think? Did Jay Z deliver the goods? How was this show compared to his 2009 performance?
What about Joe Bonamassa and Florida Georgia Line? The latter has been getting a ton of hype lately. Were they able to draw a crowd worthy of the talk? How was the Warnor’s Theatre as a setting for a show like Bonamassa’s?
Talib Kweli, Dec. 6, at Cellar Door, Visalia.
Brooklyn-born Talib Kweli is one of the most critically successful (if not famous) rappers of the late ‘90s. Known for his work with Mos Def and the group Black Star, Kweli has collaborated with Kanye West, Common, The Roots, Q-Tip and Kendrick Lamar. For the show, he’ll be joined by local rapper Planet Asia and Omar Aura. Tickets are $23 (with fees) and on sale now.
The English Beat, Jan. 24, at Fulton 55.
Along with the Specials, The English Beat created a British ska revival in the late 1970s that spawned entire generations of ska/punk/reggae bands. Included in that roster is Fresno’s own Let’s Go Bowling, which will be opening the show. Tickets are $20 and on sale now. They will go quickly.
Check out a video of English Beat’s “Mirror in the Bathroom,’ on the jump.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 15, and cost $27, $37, $51, $76, $112. They are available at the convention center main box office at Selland Arena, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and weekends on show dates, or through the Ticketmaster website, by phone (800) 745-3000 and all Ticketmasteroutlets, including select Vallarta and Save Mart Supermarkets.
“If I’m in Lithuania, I’ve probably got a Fresno jersey on,” says Fashawn, who was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine as one of it’s Freshman class back in 2010. “I’ve got one foot in the music industry and one foot on Shield’s Avenue.”
Tonight, he’ll have both feet in Visalia. He plays the Cellar Door for a birthday bash (he just turned 25) that includes some friends — Los Angeles rapper Evidence, Fresno’a Omar Aura and others.
The Foundation also has its annual Festival of Hope coming up Sept. 28-29. The festival always has a musical lineup. This year it includes Big Black Delta, Caught a Ghost and Song Preservation Society, plus locals Poor Mans Poison, Gospel Whiskey Runners and Mezcal.
With all this great music coming through (then adding in the local stuff), the question becomes whether the fans come out to support. Videos of Vile, Mobb Deep, Pure Bathing Culture, Meat Puppets, Gass and Fuel on the jump.
Electronic indie hip-hop act Sahab is in full-on promo mode for his new album elevenfiftynine. The album will be available on Aug. 27 and as lead up, the performer is doing everything from an Instagram project/contest, to a series of videos produced in conjunction with Windsong Productions.
I’m not 100 percent how the videos tie back to the album, but if you have five minutes or so, they’re worth the time. Maybe you can help explain them to me. The fourth (of five) episode of the series will be available at 11:59 on Tuesday, over at iamsahab.com.
Watch episode two on the jump. It’s a doozy. Dude rips out his own heart. The rest can be seen here.
And it’s not like a heatwave, it is an actual heatwave … Well … Don’t let that stop you from getting out and seeing some live music, because the weekend is deep with options, which I give you now in another installment of BANDGEEEK!
Cockamamie seems like a fitting word to describe Jamie Nelson — or at least his hip-hop alter ego.
He was after all, 1/2 of the local rapper group Argyle Pimps, which was known for being off-beat and nonsensical in its approach to the genre. He continues working the theme in a new solo project, Cockamamie Jamie, which plays 7 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero Street. The show is a fundraiser for the Catacomb Party music festival, being held July 20 on Fresno’s Fulton Mall. Its also Cockamamie Jamie’s live debut.
We emailed Nelson to find out more.
He replied with appropriately oddball answers.
Tell us about Cockamamie Jamie. Who is this guy and what’s he all about?
Cockamamie Jamie is lifelong resident of Fresno, who has written and recorded rap music for the better part of 18 years. He writes quirky songs, records them to beats and performs his music to throngs of gawkers, and onlookers in the Central Valley, and beyond. He’s a runner, who runs about 200 miles a month in the Old Fig Garden area, and has specifically requested that people stop throwing both: items, and insults at him while he is running.
They both hurt.
He’s got a new album out called “Survivor Series,” and he wants you to know that it is available digitally on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Or, you can score a limited edition (1,000 made) compact disc via Bandcamp. If all of this terrifies you, just Google search: Cockamamie Jamie, and watch stuff happen.
This Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be in Reno competing in the National Bowling Tournament. But the world doesn’t revolve around me and local venues, band and promoters are continuing on with their plans, which I present to you now as another installment of BANDGEEEEEEK!!
Fresno Urban Sound Experience (known by some as F.U.S.E.) has announced the dates for the 2013 festival. So, circle Sept. 20 and 21 on the calendar for this locals-only music event. The festival will once again be held in downtown Fresno venues (including Fresno Brewing Company, Frank’s Place, Tokyo Garden and more) and will feature an insane number of local, original bands.
This will be the festival’s sixth year.
Because the lineup is still in the works: Who do you think deserves to be in this year’s lineup?
First off: Make time to get out to the Fresno Ideaworks Mini Makers Faire on Sunday. It’s one of those ahead-of-the-curve things that you may not understand now, but give it a few years. Everyone will be talking about it. That’s my take anyway.
You may also want to block out some time for all the great music events. So, let’s get to it. Once again, let us BANDGEEEEEEEEK!
After waxing nostalgic with some 3-D ninja fights at a showing of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” there’s a crap load of musical offerings this weekend, from the wild (Royal Canoe and Sssssssnake) to the weird (Foxtails Brigade). So let’s jump right in. It’s time to BANDGEEEEEEEK!!!!
UPDATE: If you’re eagerly waiting to get tickets, there will be a student pre-sale 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. The tickets are available to students only (with valid ID) and only at the Save Mart Box Office. There’s an 8-ticket limit. Good only while supplies last.
Original post: Here’s one that should end any question about hip-hop shows returning to the Save Mart Center after the incident at a Rick Ross show last year.
Q97 announced the “Light It Up Tour,” will be in Fresno May 3. The tour features the return of young hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa, along with R&B neo-soul artist Miguel and a whole bunch of others (Jonn Hart, Baby Bash, DJ Pauly D and more). Tickets are $28-$78 and go on sale Friday.
Khalifa last played Fresno headlining a show with Common and Aesop Rock in 2011.
It’s a few days before Rick Ross announces he’s coming to Fresno’s Save Mart Center. I’m talking to my buddy Sam. Some synth-heavy indie rock song is booming overhead, but for some reason I’m thinking about Rick Ross. Raaaawssssss! (Sorry, can’t resist).
I ask, totally serious, “Does anybody actually like Rick Ross?” What I mean specifically is this: Are there diehard Rick Ross fans? People who wear Rick Ross T-shirts or put things like “Rick Ross is my favorite rapper” in their Twitter profile. Do these people exist? Because I don’t know them.
I know people who say they like Rick Ross because he’s on the radio a lot. Because he’s on the top rappers in the game — whatever that means in 2012. Or because he does songs with Drake. Or because he raps about money and fancy cars and yachts.
Fast forward to right now. Tonight, Ross and his goon squad clique bring their Maybach Music Group Tour to town. This includes star-in-the-making Meek Mill, perpetual bridesmaid Wale and Machine Gun Kelly, a white dude that Puffy signed who notably went nuts in a Microsoft store. There was a Groupon for tickets last week, so it’s not exactly Bieber Fever up in here. Tickets cost $46.75-$66.75. Does Fresno like Rick Ross that much? Does anybody? Yeah, we’re back to that again.
Also: Superstar DJ TiÃ«sto has postponed his October concerts because of a back injury. His Fresno show, originally Oct. 17, has been rescheduled for March 6. Tickets from Oct. 17 will be honored at new date. But refunds are also available.
So let’s sing, “We gettin’ cheeseburgers” today while we trek to our favorite cheeseburger slinger. If you need some recommendations, revisit this “Best Burger in Fresno” post from 2008. Or add new faves in the comments.
Politically charged rapper Immortal Technique is in town tonight capping off what’s been three straight nights of quality shows at Fulton 55. And for him, Fresno is a stop after doing the big Rock the Bells hip-hop festival in SoCal this past weekend. An underground favorite, Immortal Technique harkens back to the days of Public Enemy, when rappers were outspoken instead of frivolous. Is it revolutionary rap you’re after? Here you go. Tickets here.
One of my favorite Immortal Technique songs is below. Warning: Language NSFW.
Sorry, New Boyz fans (if any of you actually exist), but I’m not the type to get excited about a dumbed-down version of The Cool Kids that’s re-packaged for radio rap fans.
But here’s why I’m writing this instead of just yawning and looking forward to the Elzhi show: I’m dumbstruck that people continue to bring these dudes to the Valley. Not because they don’t have pull. But how many times are they going to come here before we all yawn at them.
A New Boyz concert in the Valley is like a Katy Perry hit single — they keep coming one after another. Don’t believe me. *Ahem*
Nineteen-year-old rapper Baeza recently achieved something that no other local artist not named Ryan Beatty has done: Topped one million views on YouTube for his song “Far From Ready,” which was released in December.
Baeza — who is very obviously cut from the Drake cloth — has built a strong fanbase online, mostly of women. Ask Drake, that’s not a bad business model. Baeza says he’s already talking to record labels and prepping future releases. I did a Q & A with him that will appear in Friday’s Fresno Bee. Next This weekend, you can catch Baeza performing a headlining concert (flier below) at Veterans Memoral Auditorium in downtown Fresno.
I’m probably just a prisoner of the moment on this one, but current Fresno rap king Fashawn just dropped a new hometown anthem featuring Omar Aura and did something so brilliant I don’t know why it hadn’t been done before.
He rapped over Timmy T’s 1991 chart-topper “One More Try,” creating a song that overdoses on Fresnawesomeness. I’m not going to lie, I totally marked out when the beat came in. Even the artwork for “One More Try” is great. Listen to or download the song below. (Warning: NSFW language)
Meet young rapper Krispy Kreme, a viral Internet sensation who is being dubbed rap’s Rebecca Black. His first video, “The Baddest,” zoomed past a million views. And his second video, “Haters Wanna Be Me,” has only been up for a day and is already at 150,000+ views. Thanks, in part. of his mean-mugging sidekick Money Maker Mike.
I don’t know that this really is Rebecca Black-ish. There are plenty of unintentionally bad rappers out there. This seems like the opposite. There’s some well-placed comedic know-how at play. (The pool of snot under his nose? Come on, that’s great).
The whole thing kind of reminds of me that Kanye West video that starred Zach Galifianakis. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody like Andy Samberg was ultimately revealed to be behind this. The whole story will certainly emerge. That’s the Internet’s job. For now, let’s all just enjoy Krispy Kreme.