Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

BANDGEEK: Comrades, Mad Caddies and the Ultimate Glow Experience

Right about now you may be looking to lock yourself up in full quarantine. Brave it out and get to one of these awesome concerts happening through the week. They are once again collected here in out weekly BANDGEEEEEK! roundup.


  • The Long Black Veils.
    W/Lezayr. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $6-$8.

  • Ozmosis Happy Hour.
    W/Johnathan Sterling. At Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. 6 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Brother Love And The Breakups.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $6.

  • Read more

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Now that the New Year’s Eve celebrations are over …

    1. The Art of the Forty, Part 2
    “I ain’t drank a forty since I became old enough to drink.”

    2. The Pretty Flowers
    The new indie-rock project from drummer (and Fresno expat) Eli Reyes.

    3. Bethel Jazz Mass
    For those who find listening to jazz a spiritual experience.

    4. Fresno Hip-Hop Showcase
    Will 2015 be a big year for hip-hop in Fresno? Show up and see.

    5. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    Good Company Players takes on this Tony-award winning Broadway play. It’s a comedy.

    Haunted Summer brings its eerie dream pop to Peeve’s Public House


    There is something so very apt about a band called Haunted Summer rolling through town in the middle of an October that’s been full of 90-plus degree weather.

    The Highland Park group — led by husband/wife Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons — plays 8 p.m. tomorrow at Peeve’s Public House with the Clovis synth rockers Sharks of Dance.

    If you are a fan of dreamy synth pop, you’ll want to be there.

    Haunted Summer plays it mostly mid-tempo and heavy on the guitar effects and synth-sounds. Moody’s voice is a powerful tool playing soft, sweet contrast to the hints of darkness below. It’s makes for an eerie, soft-at-the-edges psychedelia that brings to mind Portland’s Pure Bathing Culture and also the Albuquerque-by-way-of-Chicago band The Handsome Family (though maybe less apparently so).

    Moody and Seasons started the band in 2012 (they played Animal Collective covers at the time) and have already gathered a following, having toured and played with the likes of The Polyphonic Spree, Radar Brothers and Avi Buffalo. L.A. Weekly just named them (today in fact) one of five bands to see at Culture Collide, the Los Angeles music festival that runs through the weekend (they play 8 p.m. tonight). The band’s latest album “Birth,” is available on Bandcamp.

    You can watch a live studio performance from the Haunted Summer on the jump.

    Read more

    Tonight: Mundy, Gentle Jaime, Werebear and War


    It’s not a full Bandgeek post (for that you’ll have to wait until tomorrow), but here is a quick list of tonight’s music options (or what I know of anyway). Feel free to add what you know in the comments section.

  • Mundy.
    W/Tippery Stew. At Cellar Door Visalia. 8 p.m. $10. (Flier link)

  • LTC Art Hop After Party.
    W/Gentle Jamie, WaterBox Inc., Where Sea Meets Sky. At Peeve’s Public House. 10 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • ArtHop w/Fresno Underground Art.
    W/Werebear. At Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. 5 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • War.
    At the Madera Fair. 7 p.m. $10, reserved seating. Free festival seating with fair admission. (Flier link)

  • Bandgeek: Humperdinck, Daniels and Doyle


    Aside from not eating at Burger King (the tax thing may be the least of its offences), your schedule for the next seven days looks full up, especially if you are into any sort of live music. The choices are presented here in our weekly roundup known as BANDGEEEEK!


  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    A Sit-around jam. At Full Circle Brewing. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Engelbert Humperdinck.
    At Tachi Palace. 7:30 p.m. $35-$70.

  • Pacific Dub.
    W/ ONEoz. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Read more

    Tonight: Go Dwntwn


    Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda are the principal musicians and songwriters for the Los Angeles indie-pop group Dwntwn (pronounced Downtown), but over the past four years they’ve worked to keep from being the typical boy-girl duo. Which probably wasn’t difficult considering Leffler had just broken up with Cepeda’s brother when the two started playing music together.

    Oddly, they say, was’t as awkward as you’d think.

    I had some email correspondence with the band in advance of tonight’s show at Peeve’s Public House.

    I always like to start with the “newsy” stuff. So, what is happening with the band right now?

    We are in the middle of a west coast run that ends on Saturday in Fresno! We’ve been rehearsing a lot getting ready for the shows and we are excited to be playing all of the new songs off of our EP that came out a couple of months ago.

    You just released a video for “Heroine.” Tell us some about the song and the process of making the video?

    Read more

    Mid-week concerts to get you through to Friday


    To anyone who thinks there is nothing to do in Fresno, I give this quick list of super-ridiculous concerts — one or more every day through Thursday (and then the weekend kicks in).

    Feel free to pass it along. You can add this message: “Quit complaining.”


  • Lynryd Skynyrd
    It’s a Saturday night special … on Monday … See what I did there.
  • Beach Day.
    Free girl-pop garage rock at Peeve’s.

  • Future Islands
    Best frontman in entertainment today? You be the judge.
  • Balance and Composure
    Post hard-core emo band from Pennsylvania. For fans of Sunny Day Real Estate.
  • Read more

    Concert Announcement: Future Islands

    futureFuture Islands‘ singer Samuel Herring was recently described to me in a Facebook message as “the best frontman in the biz today.” This was the opinion of a friend who was smitten by the synthpop trio after seeing their set at Coachella. The description was followed by a video link of that set and this message: “Fast forward to 21:00 and that was the point the crowd lost their s%$t on his sexual energy.”

    The claim may have some credence. Stereogum said pretty much the same thing in a review of the band’s latest album. Its appearance on Dave Letterman went viral for a reason.

    Cut to the good stuff: The band will be playing Aug. 19 at the Star Palace.

    Read more

    TONIGHT: David Dondero

    donderoDuring the late 2000s, Austin, TX, songwriter David Dondero could often be seen in Fresno’s indie-rock circles, playing support for local favorites like Niilo Smeds, Rademacher and Nik Freitas. Dondero also had a Valley tie with Future Farmer Records, where he released three albums. The label’s founders are both Valley natives.

    Point being, Dondero has stopped through Fresno so many times and for so many year, we should start claiming him as our own. Or at least supporting him that way. He plays a free, all-ages show 9 p.m. tonight at Peeve’s Public House. Local musician Swimming in Paint opens the show.

    Watch Dondero on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert on the jump. Oh, yeah, NPR loves him.

    Read more

    BANDGEEK!: Backstabbers, Black Star Riders and Asleep at the Wheel

    5-9-14In light of the dozens of original live performances happening through next week, I should probably reconsider what I said about Fresno being a cover-band town. Here’s your weekly BANDGEEEEEK! roundup.


    A QnA with Planets Live in Houses

    unnamed (4)NOTE: This is the full-interview with Fresno band Planets Live in Houses.

    It’s hard to distinguish Planets Live in Houses from the songs on the band’s debut E.P.

    “I moved to Santa Cruz for school and I didn’t have any friends, so I locked myself in my room and started writing songs with the intention of starting a solo project. I would use my looper pedal and write both guitars and bass parts,” says the group’s guitarist Mike Gibson.

    Those songs became the impetus for a creative collaboration with several local musicians including electronic producer/singer Sahab. That collaboration in turn, spawned the band. And that band turned those songs into an album, which gets its official release 8 p.m. Saturday, with a performance at the Love the Captive Loft, 1830 Van Ness Ave.

    I caught up with the group to find out more.

    Let’s start with the basics. Who does what in the band?

    Mike: Brian Bakalian plays drums. Bobby Griffiths plays bass. John Tucker plays guitar and I play guitar as well. We don’t really have a rhythm or lead distinction between guitars, we have more of a ‘whatever part you wrote is the part you play kinda thing.’

    How long have you been playing together and how did the band get started?

    Mike: We have had this lineup for a little less than a year, but me and Brian have been playing together since last November, I think. I can’t play drums for the life of me so I always knew I would need to enlist a drummer at some point.

    Sahab is my best friend and one of the most talented producers in California, so I always planned on just going into the studio and recording all of the parts and having a studio drummer fill in the rhythm section. When it came time to record, I chose Brian because we had been playing as Sahab’s backup band for a while and I really liked his style. We only played together maybe three or four times before we recorded, and a lot of the drums on the album were kinda figured out on the spot. That’s Brian. He is really in his element playing on the fly. Once I realized I had a drummer that was exceeding my expectations for the project, I made the decision to put together a full band so that this stuff could be played live.

    I had originally expected to just record an album because I thought the songs deserved to be recorded. I had no idea I was going to become so attached to this project. When searching for a bassist and second guitarist it was a pretty obvious choice since John plays in another band with Brian called Blind Bison, and he can play the parts that I wrote better than I can (not to mention the other parts he eventually recorded on the album, which I could never hope to play). Bobby has long been my ‘go-to’ as a second guitarist. We have played in bands and written together for years. Since I already had second guitar filled, he ended up on bass.

    While the album was almost finished by the time I presented it to them, both Bobby and John ended up adding to several songs once we had become an official band.
    The song ‘Wolf Computer’ is the exception. That song was written by all of us and recorded by all of us, it was kind of a tack-on at the last minute.

    Read more

    A QnA with singer/songwriter Gayle Skidmore

    Gayle Skidmore is one of those out-of-town acts that might seem like a local to the casual follower of the scene. The San Diego singer/songwriter has been playing Fresno on a fairly regular basis for five or so years — you might have seen her at this year’s Catacomb Party. Skidmore is back in town tonight to kick off a series of house shows put on by Love The Captive. I emailed the singer a couple of quick questions in advance of the show. Here’s what I got back.

    You started writing songs at 8. Was music something you were always drawn to? Were you even listening to music at that point? What is your very first musical memory?

    Music has always been a big part of my life. I started writing my own little songs on the piano at age 4, and my parents promptly started me in piano lessons. I listened to a lot of oldies and classical music, and I loved the Everly Brothers. I later discovered a great affinity for Led Zeppelin. One of my first memories of playing the piano was coming up with fifty different variations of “Greensleeves” at age 6 or 7. I am sure that was pretty irritating to my family.

    Read more

    Tonight: Project 86 at Fulton 55 (and free tickets?)

    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.

    Read more

    Tonight: Portland + Fresno indie rock collision

    Tonight two local band and two bands from Fresno’s cool, older, more-put-together cousin Portland combine at Audie’s Olympic. Portland bands Animal Eyes and Fanno Creek come to town, while Achievement House and Fast Car help them out. It’s going to range from wordly and chill (Animal Eyes) to raucous and punk (Fast Car). Get tickets at or at the door.


    Tonight: Bow before the beard of William Fitzsimmons


    Singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons and his epic beard make a tour stop tonight at Fresno’s Starline

    Fitzsimmons plays gentle folk music with a little electronica on the edges now and then. You might recall that he played in Fresno previously at Frank’s Place.

    Tickets cost $15 and you can get them in advance from Love the Captive. It’s an all-ages show, which means Starline won’t be serving booze. But you can pop next door to Starline Grill and grab one if you’re old enough to imbibe.

    A big shout-out on the illustrated flier. Diggin’ it very much. I hear it’s the work of Jordan Wiebe and Neighbor Collective, which also did one for the upcoming Black Milk show. Bravo!

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Lots to do this weekend. It’s hard to pick just five. A shout out is also due to local bands Poor Man’s Poison and Motel Drive for becoming the first local bands to sell out Hanford Fox Theatre for their Saturday night show.

    It’s Mardi Gras time! Sunday is the Tower District is Fresno’s annual parade. The rest of the afternoon should be filled with happenings in Fresno’s most happenin’ part of town. You can catch tunes at Audie’s Olympic (Dusty Buns will be out there too!) or party it up at Starline later in the night.


    Read more

    Win tickets to see Howlin’ Rain


    SF psychedelic rockers Howlin’ Rain arrive in Fresno on Sunday with a bunch of momentum — the band just released its new album, “The Russian Wilds” on Valentine’s Day. It was produced by the uber-famous Rick Rubin.

    Sunday’s show is also cool because it includes local bands Strange Vine and Fay Wrays, plus it’s a good way to cap off the Tower District’s annual Mardi Gras parade.

    You can buy tickets at — $8 in advance, or $10 at the door — or you can win a pair from your Beehive buds.

    Leave a comment below telling us your favorite artist Rick Rubin has worked with and you’re entered to win. Deadline is 2 p.m. Friday. We’ll draw a winner at random and notify them via e-mail — so please leave a valid e-mail address and please check it. Complete rules (and some Howlin’ Rain goodies) below.

    Read more

    To-Do Tonight: Fruit Bats or Jerad Finck


    It’s one of those out-of-the-ordinary Monday nights where the live music scene is hopping. The choices for tonight: An indie rock vet or an up-and-coming pop/rock singer.

    FRUIT BATS: This Sub Pop Records group — fronted by Eric Johnson, formerly of The Shines — hits Audie’s Olympic with The Parson Red Heads. Doors at 8 p.m. Cover: $10. Worth a note: It’s a Love the Captive production, one of the first touring shows from LTC in a while. Head honcho Johnny Q was working at Fulton 55 for a while, but is now back on his own.

    JERAD FINCK: Speaking of Fulton 55: Pop/rock singer Jerad Finck makes a stop there tonight. He’s an on-the-rise guy whose music fits nicely on Y101 and on TV shows. But he’s also pretty committed to being an DIY musician. Check out his best-known song: “Runaway” for an example. Doors: 9 p.m. Cover: $8. Abigail Nolte opens.

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    While you’re figuring out that last-minute Halloween costume.

    Neanderthals — one of Fresno’s favorite party bands in the late ’80s — has a reunion gig Saturday night at Fulton 55. If it’s anyting like that Wild Blue Yonder reunion, you can expect a big ol’ crowd. [Tickets]


    Read more

    Love the Captive needs a little bit of love


    There’s no doubt that Fresno concert promoter Love the Captive had its most ambitious year to date in 2010. It booked shows at Starline and Audie’s Olympic, had its own venue called The Captive for a short time and was the chief promoter behind the resurrection of Frank’s Place this summer.

    Acts such as Mayer Hawthorne, A Place to Bury Strangers, Avi Buffalo, Dan Black, Designer Drugs, Admiral Radley and many others came to Fresno in 2010 because of Love the Captive. And LTC also organized a big local benefit concert for Haiti.

    Well, not everything penciled out for Love the Captive, so it has put together a benefit dinner for Dec. 27 at Veni Vidi Vici. VVV’s head chef Tony Briceno is preparing a four-course meal that starts with appetizers at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 and are available in advance via Ticketfly.

    Writes LTC’s head honcho Johnny Quiroz:

    In the 6 years of our existence, we’ve worked with some great bands and met some amazing people. Unfortunately 2010 had its share of hardships and trials, thankfully we made it through the year alive. It has always been a pleasure helping bands chase their dreams, to me that’s what LTC is all about. And, for the first time in six years, LTC is crying out for help. This dinner is designed to help us pay off a few LTC bills that are over our head.

    Money raised, he says, will help Love the Captive recover from 2010 and plan for 2011.

    Fres-Know: I know you are, but what am I?


    NEWS: Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown star in, “The Battle for Fresno.” [The Bee]

    LONG READ: Here’s the transcript from their debate. Bring you own claws. [The Bee]

    NEWS: The big city has an eye on all our medical marijuana woes. [L.A. Times]

    HE’S NOT FUNNY ANYWAY: George Lopez flakes on celeb golf tourney [News Blog]

    BLOGGINGS: All other Wednesday night events should fear Pub Quiz. [estewartartist]

    WELCOME: HiS Magazine finally gets on the Internet. [HiS Magazine]

    BLOGGINGS: The 100 Days of Yoga blog hits day No. 100. Woot! [100 Days of Yoga]

    BUY LOCAL: Urban Salvage, a new downtown store, has lots of cool stuff. [The Bee]

    GO TO THIS: Hipsters take over Storyland this weekend. [Love the Captive]

    BLOGGINGS: Weird Fresno visits Fright Night Scream Park [Weird Fresno]

    FREE SH*T: Win tickets to a screening of “My Soul to Take” [Dumb Drum]

    [photo: Craig Kohlruss / The Bee]

    Win tickets to see Mayer Hawthorne


    UPDATE: Congrats to our winner — Jason Encinia. Thanks to everybody else for playing.

    ORIGINAL POST: Fresno is in for a treat on Saturday night when Mayer Hawthorne comes to town for a gig at Frank’s Place.

    For the uninitiated: Hawthorne is a white guy from Michigan who makes soul music like it’s still the Motown era.

    Sure, after Amy Winehouse, it’s a tad gimmicky, but there’s no arguing with his great debut album, “A Strange Arrangement,” which was one of my person faves of 2009.

    To make this whole thing even sweeter — one lucky Beehive reader will get in FREE. Yep, a sweet night of soul music and no cash out of your pocket. You can double thank promoter Love the Captive, who is bringing Hawthorne to town and giving up the free tix.

    Of course you want to enter, so just leave a comment below and tell us your favorite soul song of all time. Easy enough, right? Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Friday. We’ll pick one winner at random and notify that person be e-mail, so leave a real one and check it. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days.

    Complete rules — and one of my favorite Hawthorne jams — are on the jump.

    Read more