Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Bandgeek: Mr. Rude, Rudy Parris and Ballyhoo!


As you’re out and about this weekend, seeing one of the dozens of local, live music performances (presented here in our weekly BANDGEEK post), remember Fresno cabbies want your business (for their own, it seems). It’s nice to feel wanted, right?


  • Campfire Cassettes.
    W/Todd N Todd, Bededonia and Santa Mira. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $4. (Flier link)

  • Rudy Parris.
    At Old Town Saloon. 7:30 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • White Glove Service.
    W/Wordsauce. At Cellar Door Visalia. 9:30 p.m. $7. (Flier link)

  • Shockwave.
    At ApCal. 7 p.m. Free.

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    Bandgeek!: City Mouse, English Beat and Planets Live in Houses

    1-24-14Once you get your fill of Justin Bieber gossip, you’ll need to see some good local music to make you feel clean again. Lucky for you the next seven days are packed with great shows, which we’ve compiled nicely for you in a format we call BANDGEEEK!


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    Bandgeek: Jay Z, The Genetics and Joe Bonamassa

    12-6-1While there will no doubt be many a Paul Walker memorial movie marathon happening this weekend (make sure you include “Running Scared.” It is by far his best.), there’s also a deluge of music. It’s all here in The Beehive’s weekly music roundup known as BANDGEEEEEK!!.


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    Bandgeek: Biafra, Labretta and the Kings of Blackstone

    Nov1 (1)Tonight is All Hallow’s Eve. Will I spend it watching “Hocus Pocus” on demand? Hopefully.

    After that, who knows? There are dozens of live-music events happening. I present them to you now in another installment of BANDGEEEK!!

    Note: Listings are through next weekend. I’ll be out of the office, but didn’t want you to miss out.


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    Bandgeek: Paramore, Los Creepers and an Alien Fashion Show

    99-elg (1)Hooray! The government shut down is over! Now we can all resume our lives and do all the stuff we’ve been putting off for weeks. Like following the exploits of Banksy. Or, hitting the area’s bars, clubs, theaters (and arena) to gorge ourselves on live music. Start by scrolling through this week’s music roundup. Here’s your BANDGEEEEK!


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    Bandgeek!: Dim Peaks, Dead Souls, Fuel and Foot of Feathers

    1098455_10100166970761361_1224570851_nStop daydreaming about what $16 million could do for the Fulton Mall.
    Go out and enjoy some live music. Here’s a couple of suggestions that I’ve formatted for easy consumption. Here’s your weekly music roundup. Here is an all-new BANDGEEEEK! You are welcome.


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    Concert review: Fresno Covers Fresno album release

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    Ron “Doc” Morse joins Andrew “Bad Andy” Bunnell on stage at the “Fresno Covers Fresno” album release show.

    Note: I had a hand in producing the Fresno Covers Fresno compilation. So, this is a bit of a shameless plug and comes with upfront apologies.

    Music scenes are notoriously incestuous, so there is an inherent interconnectedness that runs throughout “Fresno Covers Fresno,” the 16-track compilation that was release this weekend. It’s not something the casual listener would necessarily pick up on, but astute fans of the scene (especially the small slice represented on this album), will find a history lesson here. These are musicians, who are also fans, and are, at equal turns, performing and paying homage to those who have performed before them.

    That also sums up Friday night’s release show.

    To be fair, I missed a large part of it, including what I’ve been told was the best set of the night (Werebear). What I caught was a night of one-off performances and collaborations that may never be seen again, including two-songs from American-Sparklejet. That’s a combo of members from Sparklejet and the now defunct American Sloth, with Ron “Doc” Morse on guitar and Blake Jones playing bass and Tom Magill clanging away on Fresno Brewing Company’s old piano.

    Also me, if you count singing along from the crowd.

    Most of the musicians who were there are friends, people I have played and collaborated with or written about. The casual fan may have had a different experience. Still, it felt like a great example of what happens when you support original, local music.

    For a taste of what you missed, here’s a video of Sunburns covering Brother Luke and the Comrades (shaky camera work courtesy of me):

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    Announced: Official lineup for Catacomb Party

    UPDATE: If you weren’t excited before, The Catacomb Party has released an updated lineup and poster. The official schedule now stands at 40-plus band/musicians and DJs for the all-ages music festival. Those added include Strange Vine, Copper & Glass and the Visalia band Stable Hands, along with some acoustic acts (including Dim Peaks, the new project from Niilo Smeds) and a punk/hardcore contingent (It’ll Grow Back, Wallflower, Dependence). You can check out the updated flier on the jump.


    Original post (June 10): The official lineup of this year’s Catacomb Party has just been released. It’s got some big names and a couple of surprises for hardcore fans of the scene.

    Let’s get right in and discuss.

    Headliners: Last year the festival was headlined by Fierce Creatures (it was the band’s party, after all). This year, Nigerian drummer Tony Allen will co-headline the show with Fresno’s own Fashawn. Allen has been making music since the 1960s and is an Afrobeat legend. Fashawn is home-town hero. This alone will secure a crowd.

    Out-of-towners: While the lineup is heavy on the locals, there is a good draw of national, touring acts. Most have played the area before, including post-punk band Seahaven (who has established a following), San Francisco indie-band Animal Friend and hip-hop sample-master Diabase.

    The locals: Putting Fashawn aside, the local lineup is solid and includes workhorse band like Sahab and Light Thieves, along with the much hyped Le Wolves and Sci-Fi Caper. The big surprise is the reunion of Sleepover Disaster. There is a generation who may have never seen this influential local band. This will be a welcomed introduction.

    Again, the whole event takes place July 20 on the Fulton Mall. It will be free and all ages.

    In case you’ve forgotten, last year’s Catacomb Party (essentially the Fierce Creatures’ album release show), was a free mini- music festival on the Fulton Mall. It was such a success, organizers decided to run with the idea for another year.

    Take a look at the full lineup and tell us what you think?

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    Bandgeek! Big Sandy, Lance Canales and Ryan Beatty

    425191_10151237116989364_1928293476_nYou’re going to have some free time weekend, now that you have to give up filing for that patent on your DNA. Worry not, there is plenty to do, especially if you’re a music fan. For a close-to-complete-but-not-at-all list, I present your weekly installment of BANDGEEEEEK!!!


    R.I.P. Fresno guitarist Allen Rodriguez

    pic_02Local musicians are mourning the loss of longtime Fresno guitarist Allen Rodriguez, who died on Saturday at the age of 57. Rodriguez was part of a community of musicians that started playing in the area in the late 1970s and produced bands like Gang’s Back.

    Fresno was a little smaller of a place back then, and Arturo Aldana remembers everyone getting together for jam sessions at Kearney or Roeding park. “Until they threw us out,” says Aldana, who started playing music in 1971, mostly because of Rodriguez. The two remained friends throughout the years. He remembers Rodriguez as a talented guitar player who was well liked by many. “We was always working, always playing in bands,” Aldana says. In fact, he was in the middle of a gig Saturday, when he started feeling ill.

    “Who he was was defined by his music,” says Rodriguez’ son, Adrian Rodriguez. He knew the man mostly as a father, but often got to watch him perform and even joined in for a time, playing the congas. Rodriguez’ world was the music scene and his absence is being felt by many, Adrian says.

    To honor Rodriguez’ memory and influence, Aldana and others are putting together a jam session 2 p.m. Friday at the American Legion Post 509 (3509 N. First St.) and welcome those who knew him to participate.

    Here is a video of a young Rodriguez that’s being passed around. It encapsulates Rodriguez’ performing style.

    Scott and Kristi Warner back in the Valley

    You’ve got to love proud parents. They make the best PR reps.
    For instance, Gary Warner, who emailed in to let us know his children (son Scott and daughter Kristi) will be performing on Thursday night at Yosemite Ranch.

    This is actually a good tip.

    Some will no doubt remember Scott (who now attends Belmont University in Nashville), from his days making electro-pop music under the name RoboPop. And his sister Kristi is making a name for herself as a country singer, dping Nashville’s club and café writers rounds, open mic nights at the like. Recently, she competed at the Wildhorse Saloon’s Battle for the Saddle competition, and did fairly well, according to dad.

    Thursday’s show starts at 9 p.m. There’s no cover. Here’s a link to the flier with some more details.

    And here is a video of Scott (looking a bit like Mike Patton) at Zapp’s Park, followed by one of Kristi doing a cover of Patti Loveless’ “Jealous Bone.”

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    Bandgeek:! Ironclad, Antichrist and an Airborne Toxic Event

    If you are anything like me, this weekend is all about recuperating from last weekend and possibly gearing up for the big election. Of course, there’s always the chance I’ll get out to a few shows, some of which I present to you know in another installment of BANDGEEEK!!!

    TONIGHT: (Friday)

    Bandgeek!: Nick Fest, a rent show and 77 Jefferson

    969363_10151216315599364_2126256360_nThis 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!!

    TONIGHT (Thursday):

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    BANDGEEK!: Face to Face with Man or-Astroman?, Yngwie Malmsteen and a Blind Bison

    01-elgOther than getting sufficiently lubricated at the Fresno Craft Beer Festival (even if it is at a winery in Madera), what’s a music-loving boy (or girl) to do this weekend? Quite a bit turns out. Let’s break it down with this week’s BANDGEEEEEEEK!!

    TONIGHT (Thursday):

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    Group of locals looking to buy The Starline?

    Facebook is great. It’s where I get all my news tips (just kidding, I’m a professional).

    But I did see: News that a group of locals (including Paul Cruikshank, Jason Pistoresi, Steve Richard and Eddy from Numbskull Productions) is buying (or according to the post I saw already bought) the Starline and Starline Grill. I am working to confirm and track down some more info on what this might mean if it’s true, but my initial reaction is this will be great for the scene. So…stay tuned for more.

    Bandgeek!: Blues, metal and 420 hip-hop

    6547_552742894760570_857423017_nFirst 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!

    TONIGHT (Thursday):

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    Download this now: Friendcore compilation

    3860941931-1The compilation album is seriously one of the best things to ever be invented. The majority of my musical favorites were discovered on compilations (this one and this one and this one and this one in particular). The albums serve as time capsules, perfect little snap-shots of a scene or genre. Fresno has had a couple such albums in the past, including a double CD from Grey Tank Records.

    This Fresno Friendcore Compilation has my excited to no end.

    • The Friendcore scene (a group of bands and musicians generally head-quartered at C.A.F.E. Infoshop down in Chinatown) is putting out some of the most exciting local music right now.
    • It has actual recordings from Still Stoked (RIP) and Fatty Cakes.
    • It features the new band from the guys behind the Giddy-Ups
    • It looks to be free to download. Though you really should kick them down a few bucks if you can. That kind of stuff goes a long way.

    There’s also a Friendcore documentary in the works, that we’ll for sure keep you updated on.

    In the meantime, you should also get excited about the Fresno Covers Fresno compilation. It’s a collaboration with the Fresno Urban Sound Experience and should be released sometime this summer.

    Local band Poor Man’s Poison wins $100,000 Texaco Country Showdown

    Well, you can’t call Hanford band Poor Man’s Poison poor tonight. The Americana/folk/country group won first place and $100,000 at Texaco Country Showdown in Nashville.

    The contest started with 50,000 contestants nationwide, with five regional winners duking out tonight in Nashville. Jewel hosted the competition, which eventually will be televised nationally. The country showdown has helped launch the careers of stars such as Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert.

    A simple “They won” was the update on the band’s Facebook page, followed by this picture about 10 minutes later:

    In a Q & A that published in today’s Fresno Bee, I asked bass player Dustin Medeiros what he thought winning would do for Poor Man’s Poison. His answer: “I’m not totally sure that winning or not will change our future.” Something tells me Poor Man’s Poison’s future just got a lot brighter.

    [photo: Poor Man’s Poison’s Facebook]

    Three reasons for Rudy Parris fans to be excited

    Starting tonight, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Rudy Parris, the Visalia singer/guitarist who competed on the current season of NBC’s “The Voice.” Here are three tidbits that his fans should be excited about:

    1. Though he was eliminated in October — in a knockout round against current finalist  Terry McDermott – Parris will be back for the final two episodes of “The Voice” tonight and Tuesday. It’ll be in look-back fashion, of course, but it’s still nice to see local musicians on popular, national TV shows.

    2. Fresno fans can see Parris in person twice in the coming weeks. Friday night, he plays at Fresno’s Fulton 55. It’s his first Fresno show since his appearance on “The Voice.” Ticket info here. He’s also playing at World Sports Cafe at River Park on New Year’s Eve. 9 p.m. $20.

    3. Since it’s Christmas music season, Parris fans can find him on the new Christmas album from his “Voice” coach Blake Shelton. Parris and the rest of Shelton’s team sing background on “White Christmas.”

    Copper & Glass: Your new favorite local band?

    Gotta admit, I’m quite smitten with local band Copper & Glass at the moment. These five dudes have a great sound that doesn’t scream “local band.” In fact, last week I had some of their songs on an iTunes playlist with a bunch of national bands, and as I listened I couldn’t distinguish which was the new local group and which were the veteran national acts.

    It probably helps that two of Copper & Glass’ members were part of Atari Champ, a celebrated indie rock band from a decade ago. Below is “Clear Black Skies,” a more alt-country-sounding song of theirs. Head to their ReverbNation page to check out my favorite song of theirs, “All My Life,” which has more of a folksy/indie rock vibe. Says singer Jc Babb: “We’ve been compared to everyone from Marshall Tucker Band to Ryan Adams to Ray LaMontagne — a little bit country, a little bit soul and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.”

    The band — Babb (vocals/guitars), Mike Morris (pedal steel guitar/keys), Taylor Hollman (lead guitar/mandolin), Erik Escovedo (bass) and Corey Dobbins (drums) — is having its album release concert Saturday night at Audie’s Olympic. Details are below. I’ll have an interview with the band in Friday’s Fresno Bee, so watch out for that.

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    Look for local musician Rudy Parris on ‘The Voice’ this week … we think


    UPDATE: We’re still awaiting local singer/guitarist Rudy Parris‘ appearance on “The Voice.” It wasn’t last week. Now there are only eight spots left. So if you’re looking for Rudy, tonight is a good night to tune in, it would seem.

    ORIGINAL POST, 9/24: Visalia’s Rudy Parris — a blues/rock singer and guitarist — is maybe, probably, likely going to appear on NBC’s “The Voice” this week.

    As usual with these reality/competition shows, things have to be a secret until they air. Parris has been hinting at an appearance on the show (like the above graphic on his Facebook page) but can’t offer specifics.

    The show’s blind auditions continue this week and are soon winding to a close. He hasn’t appeared yet. So you do the math.

    “The Voice” is on tonight and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

    Local music releases of note: Fashawn & Murs + ‘Dreams of the San Joaquin’


    Two new music releases today that local folks need to know about today: The new Fashawn collabo album with Murs, and a collection of country/folks songs inspired by the San Joaquin Valley.

    Fashawn & Murs
    Fresno-bred rapper Fashawn’s “This Generation,” a collaboration album with Murs, sees its official release. Fash and Murs are popular in rap’s underground — but they’re not the only hip-hop heft on “This Generation.” It’s produced by Beatnick & K-Salaam and released by Duck Down Records.

    It’s available via iTunes and other major digital music outlets. The duo is also having a meet-and-greet Thursday at FYE, 200 W. Shaw Ave. in Clovis. It starts at 6 p.m. Get a taste of the album, including the video for “Slash Gordan,” after the jump.

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    You Review: Fuse Fest 2012

    Another Fresno Sound Experience is in the books. Fresno’s annual all-local festival gave music lovers plenty to see and hear over the weekend — with 40 bands on 10 stages Friday and Saturday. Below is a video featuring 11 bands that I saw on Saturday night: Before Perils, Restaurnaut, Strawberry Jam, The Dirty Stomp, Back in the Valley, Achievement House, The Overdubs, Niilo Smeds, B. Rawcity, Sunburns and The General Populus.

    Now here’s the discussion point: What did you think of the festival? In its fifth year, has Fuse Fest hit its stride? Does it still have some improvement to do? What would you like to see done better? What could make Fuse Fest reach out past the “usual suspects” and the get the whole city to rally behind it?

    The people I talked to Saturday night were handing out both praise and ideas on how to make the festival better. So what do YOU think? For more on Fuse Fest, read recaps over at Fresno Famous and The Fresnan.

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Other than hoping Fresno State football can cover the spread.

    Were this feature called “One Thing You Should Do This Weekend,” this would be it. Fuse Fest, or Fresno Urban Sound Experience, is our annual all-local music festival that acts as an all-you-can-eat buffet of local music of various genres. It’s tonight and Saturday, with a total of 40 acts playing on 10 stages, all in downtown Fresno. Tickets can be purchased for $15 per night or $20 for both, good for maximum stage hopping. For more about the festival, read this story from today’s Bee about its evolution, check out the band lineup/schedule, listen to my podcast, or Famous’ podcast, check out The Fresnan or hit up the Facebook page. If there were one weekend to get out and support the Fresno music scene, this is it. [More]


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    Win tickets to Fuse Fest 2012


    UPDATE: Congrats to our winners — Hootzie and RayDad. Hope the two of you, and everyone else, enjoy the festival this weekend.

    ORIGINAL POST: This weekend is Fresno’s annual all-local music festival — Fuse Fest, or the Fresno Urban Sound Experience, if you like to spell things out. Fuse actually gets started tonight at 5:30 with a free preview at The Hashtag, but the meat of the festival is Friday and Saturdays nights, as 40 bands play on 10 stages in a diverse, genre-jumping display of Fresno’s music scene.

    The festival functions like an all-you-can-see live music buffet — with tickets that allow you to hop from venue to venue. Tickets cost $15 per day, or $20 for both. They can be purchased at Fulton 55 (in advance), at any other venue (the day of) or at tonight’s preview.

    We’ve got a giveaway that can help you save some cash. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment below telling us your favorite local band of all time and you’ll be entered to win. This is a quick contest, so deadline to enter is 5 p.m. today. Winners will be notified by e-mail, so please check yours. No duplicate entries please. Complete rules below.

    While you’re thinking about it, be sure to check out the schedule for this year’s Fuse Fest.

    PREVIOUSLY: Podcast: Ozmosis #32 (Fuse Fest edition)

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