Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

BANDGEEK: Feliz Skavidad, Fashawn and From Indian Lakes


Since you won’t be seeing “The Interview,” you’ll have plenty of time to catch a live music show. We’ve collected a full list of what’s around town this week on another BANDGEEEEEK! roundup.


  • StradivariKingOfStrings.
    W/Halo The Human. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $6-$8. (Flier link)

  • Lisa’s Big Night Out.
    At the Patio Cafe. 6 p.m. Free.

  • Ugly Lovers.
    W/Double Jinx and Olive Avenue. At C.A.F.E. Infoshop. 7:30 p.m. $5 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Vincent D’Onofrio’s punk spoken word project is the best, weirdest thing you’ll hear today


    If you haven’t heard Vincent D’Onofrio’s punk spoken word project, Slim Bone Head Volt, you need to do so now.

    The group (actor D’Onofrio and multi-instrumentalist Dana Lyn) released its first single last week and it is glorious (I’ve listened to it no less than 40 times).

    Granted, just how glorious you’ll find it depends on how much you enjoy the chaos of experimental noise and free-form meditations on being a hamster.

    “I’m a hamster, not a trapeze artist. I’m not a circus act,” D’Onofrio rages. “Let’s not talk about the wheel.”

    “Slim Bone Head Volt is a code name for the strange juxtapositions, randomness and incongruity in art,” Lyn says, in a press release for the single. “It is also actually an anagram for the exact opposite idea.”

    I’ll have to trust her on that. A full album (which includes track titles like “Super Golden” and “Thank God Birds Can’t Talk”) is due out March 3 on Buddhabug Records and I want it.

    Amid a media blitz, T-Pain is just winging it


    T-Pain has given up trying to figure out how people’s minds work.

    Like, how anyone would need to be reminded he can actually sing. How, despite the fact that the Florida rapper/singer has been featured on more than 50 chart-topping tracks, to many listeners, he was just the “auto-tune” guy. Even though he didn’t invent the tech and wasn’t the first to use it (or over use it). Or that his biggest hit (Flo Rida’s “Get Low”) is auto-tune free.

    “People don’t look into things before they start talking,” says T-Pain, one of featured artists at tonight’s Fresno Holiday Jam at Selland Arena. “Preconception is the evil I deal with all the time.”

    He’s not arguing with the massive amounts of press that he’s received since a video of him singing sans auto-tune on NPR went viral. He does find it odd.

    “People are like,’I’m sorry. We didn’t know,’ ” he says.
    “Really y’all?”

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Forget playing/singing/jumping in the rain

    1. Downtown Christmas Parade
    The is the parade’s 85th year. The theme is Candy Canes and Christmas Carols. I’m hoping it’s a sing along.

    2. Uppitees’ Holiday Handcraft Boutique
    There are only 12 shopping days until Christmas.

    3. “A Shot in the Dark
    A performance piece from Fresno poet Stephen Mayu Jr.

    4. Fresno Holiday Jam
    For hip-hop fans young, old and other.

    5. Christmas Tree Lane Ride
    I’ll always mention a good group bicycle ride.

    Here’s a bonus five live-music, concert-type events:

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    BANDGEEK: Tribal Seeds, Riders in the Sky and the Fresno Holiday Jam

    Lest you think a little storm should keep you trapped indoors, we have once again collection a week’s worth of musical happenings and present it here as your BANDGEEEEK round up.


  • Shannon Ashley.
    W/Lou Umbra and The Tough Love. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $6-$8. (Flier link)

  • Tribal Seeds.
    W/Hirie and Wheeland Brothers. At Strummer’s. 7 p.m. Online tickets SOLD OUT.

  • Ultrasonic: A Book Launch.
    W/music from Iwanaga and Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries. At Peeve’s Public House. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Paradox.
    W/Mutant Itch, Choas Tribe, Fiend, Inhuman and Battleshok. At CYC. 6 p.m. $5 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Chris Play Guitar.
    Reunion show. W/Constellation Prize. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5. (Flier link)

  • Lee Greenwood.
    W/Crystal Gayle. At Tachi Palace. 6 p.m. Tickets off sale. (Flier link)

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    You could stay home and watch TV. Or …

    1. Walking with Dinosaurs
    Because no one’s built Jurassic Park yet.

    2. Comedy with a Teaze(r).
    Or, comedy at Club One.

    3. The Zoo
    Or, at least Zoo Lights.

    4. Tuba Christmas
    This is self explanatory, really.

    5. “In and Out of the Shadows
    Fresno poet Gary Soto is also a playwright. Fresno City College stages his musical.

    And a bonus five for live-music events. Because I can:

    1. Molotov
    2. Sponge
    3. Dance Gavin Dance
    4. Fab Four
    5. Jurassic Christmas

    For a full (if not complete) concert list, be sure to check out The Beehive’s weekly BANDGEEK post.

    For holiday-specific ideas, check out this week’s 7 Magazine cover story.

    BANDGEEK: Fab Four, Molotov and Dance Gavin Dance


    We’ve hit the holiday season full on. Time management becomes critical, especially if you want to fit in a couple of live music events.

    Lucky for you, we’ve once again done the heavy lifting and collected them for you in our handy-dandy BANDGEEK roundup.


  • The Jacktones.
    W/Jimmie O. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $6-$8. (Flier link)

  • Denitia and Sene.
    W/Gentle Jaime and Naelma. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Arthop at Studio Itz.
    W/Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries, Werebear, Santa Mira and Satellite Era. At Studio Itz. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Save the date: Catacomb Party 2015


    The organizers of Fresno’s Catacomb Party staged two wildly successful downtown events; If you mark success by the mass of people who showed up on the Fulton Mall for a day’s worth of free music and festivities (and I do). Thousands showed up for last year’s party (despite the July heat) to watch 40 bands play over six stages.

    After taking a year off to regroup and reorganize, Catacomb Party returns in spring of 2015.

    While there’s been no official save-the-date announcement, and lineup decisions are still being made (band submissions ended yesterday), we now have a look at the festival’s new branding.

    Notice the date up top, put in the calendar and circle it in red: April 4. You can still volunteer to help with the festival (through Jan. 1) or just keep up-to-date by signing up for the Catahomies Newsletter.

    On the jump: Watch Gentle Jamie killing it (or himself) at last year’s party.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Assuming you slept off the food coma …

    1. Record Store Day
    The Black Friday Edition. Because “The Big Lebowski” soundtrack (white-Russian colored edition) is too good to pass up.

    2. Small Business Saturday
    For those who want to be good little consumers without all the Black-Friday guilt.

    3. Breathe Carolina
    Electro-rock/EMC crossover band from back in the days of MySpace.

    4. The Nutcracker
    ‘Tis the season.

    5. 40 Watt Hype
    This Dutch guy thinks you should go. At least, I think that’s what’s happening.

    Classical roundup: Karen Shahgaldyan talks about the Khachaturian Trio

    I devote the Friday 7 section cover story to four notable classical music events taking place this weekend. Here’s an extended version of my interview with Karen Shahgaldyan, who has traveled from Armenian with the acclaimed Khachaturian Trio to perform tonight (Nov. 14) with Fresno’s Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series.

    Question: The trio was founded in 1999 with the name Arsika. How did the three of you get together?

    Answer: It is an interesting story. Karen Kocharyan, our cellist, is a founder of the trio, he plays here from the first day and that time name Arsika was formed by two first letters from the names of each member of the trio: Areg, Sibil, Karen. But then crew changed and in 2004 Armine Grigoryan came to the trio as a constant member. The same year I met Karen Kocharyan during my concert tour in Armenia. We played together the “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi and mentioned the same musical feelings. And two years later Karen offered me to join them to try to play together. So, since 2006 we are together.

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    Classical roundup: Alan Peters talks about ‘Messiah’

    I devote the Friday 7 section cover story to four notable classical music events taking place this weekend. Here’s an extended version of my interview with longtime Fresno Community Chorus member Alan Peters, who performs “Messiah” with the chorus Nov. 15 and 16.

    Question:  How long have you been a member of the Fresno Community Chorus?

    My wife and I joined the chorus in early 1967, with our first concert in May 1967 being Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Fresno Philharmonic, under Maestro Thomas Griswold. That began a long association with the chorus that has continued until today. There have been seasons when we were not able to sing with the chorus, but we have sung without a break since the coming of Dr. Hamre, whom we both consider as the finest choral director we have ever known.

    What is your first memory of hearing “Messiah”? Did you hear it as a child?

    Music has always been a part of my life. I remember sitting by my mother’s side in church—and my Mennonite background has a long history of four-part congregational singing—with her singing the soprano melody, and me singing the alto line of every hymn. I was lucky to attend public schools in my childhood that included music in the curriculum, so I learned how to read music early and, like most of my friends, took piano lessons as a child, and also learned to play a number of musical instruments—all as part of my public elementary school education here in California! I can’t remember the first time I heard the Hallelujah Chorus—I have always known it from hearing it in church. This includes “knowing” that it was customary—and expected—that we always stood when the Hallelujah Chorus was performed! The first time I heard the whole oratorio was as an elementary school student in San Jose, when my church choir sang it, with full orchestra. Since that first time, I have heard it regularly over the years. One of my sharpest memories was attending a performance of Messiah as a seventeen-year-old in San Jose, with the director solemnly announcing that his teacher and mentor, the composer Jean Sibelius, had just died, and dedicated the performance to the great composer’s memory!

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Gas is cheap again. So you could always skip town. Or …

    1. Downtown Fresno Ice Rink
    You’re skating on thin ice mister.

    2. Central California Auto Show
    Auto nerds need conventions too.

    3. “Levitated Mass
    This film ask the question, “Can a giant boulder be art?”

    4. “Birdman
    Restore your faith in American film making.

    5. Fundraiser Benefit Concert for Perry Hodge
    Perry Hodge has been a vital part of Fresno’s music scene since the 1980s. Here’s a small chance to repay the man.

    And a bonus five for music fans.

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    BANDGEEK!: Like a Villain, Light Thieves and Mariachi El Bronx


    Take a couple minutes to vote in The Fresno Bee’s People’s Choice Awards. Then. Check out one of these live music shows happening through next week. They are compiled again in The Beehive’s BANDGEEEK! roundup.


  • The Oh Hellos.
    W/The Collection and The Gospel Whiskey Runners. At Radiant Church Visalia. 5 p.m. $12.50.

  • The Fast Money Tour 3.
    W/Turf Talk. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $10-$15. (Flier link)

  • Like A Villain.
    W/Dovves. At Peeve’s Public House. 9:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Goodtime Boys.
    W/Lost Tribe, Vain and Valor, One Last Caress and Dependence. At CYC. 7 p.m. $6. All ages. (Flier link)

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 5:30 p.m. Free.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Aside from buying Taylor Swift’s new album …

    1.Monsters of the Deep
    Fresno’s nationally-known literary magazine celebrates seven years with a nautical- (and obsession-) themed book reading.

    2. Kearney Renaissance Faire
    Welcome to the Shire of Kearney! Have some mead and a turkey leg.

    3. Fresno High Flea
    Another week, another trash-to-treasure sale.

    4. Fresno County Wine Journey
    Save the Napa trip and drink local.

    Bike Through History
    A 6-mile bicycle tour of some of Fresno’s most historic locales.

    And a bonus five for music fans.

    1. Hot for Teacher
    2. The Kin
    3. Cheers Elephant
    4. The Beetles
    5. Sharon Anderson

    For a full list of music-specific events check out the weekly BANDGEEK! post.

    BANDGEEK!: Winter Jam, The Kin and “Kittysiclosis”

    The election is over (sort of). Feel free to go back to not caring about politics for another two years. That’ll leave you plenty of time to enjoy any of the live music happenings this week.

    Here they are, compiled in our weekly BANDGEEEK roundup. Enjoy!


  • Sahab.
    “Kittysiclosis,” release show. W/Zee Will. At Peeve’s Public House. 9 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Soft-Spoken.
    W/WaterBox Inc. and The Morning Drive. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $6-$8. (Flier link)

  • Fortunate Youth.
    W/The Expanders, Thrive and One Oz. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $10. All ages.

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    Concert fundraiser for local guitarist Perry Hodge


    Sad news for the local music scene.

    Perry Hodge, a guy who has been a vital part of scene since the 1980s, is in the hospital. And it looks to be bad. Currently, he’s too ill to perform, which is devastating (financially at the very least) for someone who makes their living as a musician.

    To help defray medical bills and costs of living (and other costs that are sure to arise) Fulton 55 will be hosting a benefit concert 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7.

    Details on the show are still being worked out, but expect performances from Hodge’s friends and band mates and others in the scene. Tickets will be on sale soon via Fulton 55 (online and at door). If you cannot attend but want to contribute or you wish to donate a significant amount, you will be able to do so via Fulton 55′s website.

    I’d met Perry a couple of times, but was able to perform with him earlier this year when he stepped in to play the role of Malcolm Young (or was it Angus) in my AC/DC tribute band. The guy is a pro in a way that I can only aspire to be. His presence from the scene will no doubt be heavily felt.

    From the Facebook event page:

    From his fresh lyrics in The Lone Wolf Gang with Joe Rosato; to thrilling harmonies and mean guitar in Roger Perry’s various bands; to all encompassing variety in Vince Warner’s Rockville and Beatleville, Perry Hodge is a Fresno Music Scene staple … Please come out to celebrate his life, his love of music, and his gift of sharing it all with us. We are indeed forever changed and grateful for the time we have with Mr. Perry Lee Hodge.

    Watch Hodge on stage with Beatleville on the jump.

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    The stars of today’s 7 section: the Bulldog Marching Band

    In my cover story, the band — which of course in a football-centric world is rarely covered by the media — gets the ink it deserves. I sat down with the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band’s new director, Steve McKeithen, to talk about his vision for his hard-working musicians, who sometimes only get four rehearsals to perfect a field show performed in front of tens of thousands of people.

    If you’re at Saturday’s home game against Wyoming, you’ll see and hear the band perform a routine saluting America’s veterans. Says McKeithen:

    We’ll be playing all the service tunes. There will be great designs on the field: You’ll see planes and tanks and submarines and all sorts of fun stuff.

    Check out Bee photographer John Walker’s video of pre-game festivities at the Nebraska game:

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    1. CalaGala
    The reason for the season.

    2. “Phantom of the Opera”
    Silent horror film + pipe organ + Warnors Theatre = a step into the past. Seriously. When the theater screen this last year, 1,000 people showed.

    3. Movember kick-off shave party
    It’s not just for hipsters.

    4. Offal Dinner
    Can’t decide between the cow’s feet and the pickled tongue? Splurge and have both. It’s Halloween.

    5. Arrogant Bastard Day
    Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

    Here’s bonus five for fans of live music.

    1. The Purple Ones
    2. Ape Machine
    3. Flyleaf
    4. Sleepover Disaster
    5. The Cured

    For a full list of music-specific choices see this week’s Bandgeek post.
    And this is relevant for a few more hours at least.

    BANDGEEK: Ape Machine, the Purple Ones and Pierce The Veil


    Well, the series is done. So, that leaves Halloween.

    If you are not in for all costume-party bobbing-for-apples stuff, there are plenty of live music options to get you through the weekend (and into November).

    We present them to you here (in list form) in another installment of our BANDGEEEK roundup.


  • HR7.
    W/Iwanaga. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $6-$8. (Flier link)

  • The Adicts.
    Dantes Boneyard. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $22. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Immigrant Union.
    W/Dirty Limbs and Ted the Block. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5. (Flier link)

  • Ron Thompson.
    The Central Valley Blues Society’s weekly dance party. At Pino Wine Bar. 6 p.m. Free.

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    TONIGHT: Theremin virtuoso Vincenzo Vasi + Valeria Sturba


    For fans of avant garde music (I’m not talking about whatever people are calling “experimental” these days): Audie’s Olympic Tavern is hosting Italian theremin vurtuosos Vincenzo Vasi and Valeria Sturba, 9 p.m. tonight.

    Vasi is a composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist who collaborated with Mike Patton on his “Mondo Cane” project. Sturba is a musician and composer, who attended the Theremin Academy in Colmar (who knew such a thing existed) and plays the theremin, violin, voice, electronics, looper, effects and toys.

    The duo, performing as Ooopopoiooo, create a mix of electronic, ambient noise and minimalism, with a strong focus on improvisation.

    I haven’t seen much information on this show, other than a couple random posts on Audie’s Olympic’s Facebook page with links to this video (watch it on the jump), but this won’t be your typical rock show (and I mean that in the best possible way).

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    SUPPORT THIS: Supreme vinyl from Fresno-born musician MERCH


    You should know by now, that I’m a sucker for a good crowd-funding campaign.

    For instance, this one, from Fresno-born (now San Francisco-based) musician Joe Medina (or MERCH).

    Medina, a self-described awkward kid who discovered music (records, actually) while shopping yard sales as a kid (Medina was born at Saint Agnes, went to Eaton until third grade, then Manchester GATE, Computech, Ahwahnee, Hoover and Enterprise before moving to the Bay in his early 20s), will travel to Europe to record his second album.

    He’s enlisting the help of the Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra. The group specializes in film soundtracks (hence the name) and has recorded scores for the likes of Werner Herzog and Quentin Tarantino and worked with bands like Arcade Fire and Septic Flesh.

    Obviously, the whole thing is an expensive endeavor, which is where the campaign comes in. Medina is looking for $6,000, which he says will pay the performance and recording costs of the band. Backers can get a digital download or vinyl copy of the final release (for $15 and $35 respectively) a dance lesson from Medina (he was an instructor once upon a time) or (this is the cool one) a an Audio Technica turntable (on which to play the album no doubt). That reward will cost you $1,000.

    With four days left in the campaign, he’s half-way to his goal.

    Listen to MERCH’s first album,”This Betrayal Will Be Our End.” It’s a cool blast of retro-fuzz pop.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    Go follow the Queen on Twitter. Then …

    1. Sudz in the City
    Beer drinking on the Fulton Mall. Leave your Bud Light in the foam cooler.

    2. Luxury ArtHop
    For those who think automobiles are works of work.

    3. Nosferatu
    “Even after 92 years, ‘Nosferatu’ delivers chills like few other films.”

    4. Tower District Zombie Crawl
    Different from a normal night in the Tower, how?

    5. Whitie’s Pet’s Pooch Parade
    From my limited reporting on the subject, pugs love cosplay more than any other breed.

    And a bonus five for music fans.

    1. Twista
    2. Joni Morris
    3. Pre-Halloween covers show
    4. Suicide Lounge album release
    5. Feather On

    For a more complete music-only list, see our weekly BANDGEEK post.
    For Halloween specific events, click here.

    BANDGEEK!: Dustbowl Revival, Dead or Alive and Twista


    For many, the big decision this weekend will be between baseball and figuring out what’s up with Renée Zellweger’s face (hint, it’s nothing). Of course, there are dozen of musical happenings through next week, if you’d rather. I’ve collected them here in another weekly BANDEGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Dustbowl Revival.
    W/Doc’s Holiday. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $8-$10. (Flier link)

  • Bear Hands.
    W/Fences. At Strummer’s 7:30 p.m. $12. All ages.


  • Introvoys.
    W/Vicki HL, Tata and Paul and Butch from South Border. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $25-$30.

  • Twista.
    W/Gillie Da Kid and Halo the Human. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $22. 18 + (Flier link)

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    KFSR hosts Fresno Grand Opry fundraiser


    I almost let this one slip through the cracks:

    KFSR presents another installment of the Fresno Grand Opry, its semi-regular fundraising-concert series that has local musicians and bands paying (and playing) musical tribute to traditional country music.

    The show, which coincides with the end of the station’s fall pledge drive (they will still take your money), is 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fresno Scottish Rite Center and features Brad “The Dudeboy” Rogers, The Roger Perry Band and Mofo Party Band. Tickets are just $10, and are available at

    So, slide on them boots, snap up that pearly buttoned shirt and go on, get to it.

    Be warned: You’re not gonna hear Florida Georgia Line or Rascall Flatts (or Garth Brooks or Brooks & Dunn, for that matter). This is for fans of Waylon, Willie and the boys.

    And likely George Jones, Hank Williams and Bob Wills, too.

    Ska talk with Eric Dansby of King Sugar


    On the spectrum of ska music, King Sugar sits somewhere in the middle, with ’80s 2-Tone bands (the Specials, Madness) on one side and ’90s third-wave (Skankin’ Pickle, Let’s Go Bowling) on the other.

    “With a z-axis of soul/mod thrown in for good measure,” says Eric Dansby, who has played drums for the Fresno band for the last decade.

    Kings Sugar plays the opening slot for Dave Wakeling’s English Beat 9 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55.

    Here, Bansby talks about the genesis of the band and the (possible) future of ska.

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