Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

QnA with promoter Pete Salazar of Diehardz Music

Pete Salazar doesn’t label himself as a “promoter,” even though his company, Diehardz Music, has been booking and promoting live music in Fresno for more than a half decade.

“We are fans of pop-culture, music, movie, sports and selling collectibles,” Salazar says.

Along with concerts, his team helps with band merchandising and printing and created the biannual Rock N Shop indoor mall show.

Diehardz celebrates its seventh anniversary on Saturday with Stellar, a tribute to Incubus, plus locals Amorata, Days Under Authority and Rise the Ruler. We emailed with Salazar, just to get nostalgic.

Tell us about the first show you booked?

Read more

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

You probably shouldn’t see “The Boy Next Door.” So …

1. Elvis tributes
Elvis has been dead for close to four decades and still gets a pair of kick-ass birthday parties. You have to respect that.

2. Fulton 55 four year anniversary weekend
Four years? Seems like the downtown club has been around longer than that.

3. Urban Hop
Come get schooled on downtown Fresno. Seriously, there is free stuff and you’ll be in a big group.

4. Roy Orbison
Because it’s suddenly on my mind: Have you heard Celine Dion’s version of “I Drove All Night?”

5.1915-2015: Tradition, Legacy, Culture
The first of many events planned to help raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. One-point-five million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turkish government.

BANDGEEK!: Prince, Presley and Roy Orbison

While I am trying figure out whether to care about this whole deflate-gate thing (I also heard it referred to as the much funnier ball-gate), you’ll all be checking out one of the awesome concerts happening in town this week. Right? We’ve collated them again in out weekly BANDGEEEEEEK! roundup.


  • Fulton 55 4th Anniv. Party.
    W/The Purple Ones. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $13-$16. (Flier link)

  • Agent Orange.
    W/The Infirmities and Plot. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $10-$12. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Jordon Page.
    At Peeve’s. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Tumbao.
    W/Menneo, Erika Nicole and Torres Castro. At Cellar Door Visalia. 9 p.m. $10. (Flier link)

  • Gristle.
    W/Wally Don’t Bite, Descend Factor and The Tripatronix. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $6.

  • Slow Season.
    W/Bitter Buffalo and Werebear. At Kelly’s Beach, Reedley. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Smoked Fish.
    Music at Gazebo Garden. 6 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Read more

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Other than mulling over what the closing of Wet Seal will mean for you …

    1. Queen Nation
    They will, they will rock you.

    2. Cristela Alonzo
    Cristela Alonzo is funny. Or so says Variety, L.A. Weekly, Cosmo and

    3. Fresno Monsters “Star Wars” Night
    Darth Vader on ice.

    4. Chick Fest!
    Your introduction to the women in Fresno’s indie-music scene.

    5. “‘night Mother”
    Theatre Ventoux returns from a seven-year hiatus to stage Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer-price winning play.

    For music specific items, be sure to check out our weekly BANDGEEEEK! roundup.

    Bandgeek: Queen Nation, motown and John McCutcheon

    You may want to spend the weekend getting caught up on the Oscar-nominated films showing. Be sure to set aside some time for music. Here’s a list of this week’s local concerts, collated in our BANDGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Skunkdub.
    W/ONE oz and MKC. At Fulton 55. 8 p.m. $5-$8.

  • American Guitar Masters.
    A touring concert series w/Peter Janson and Steve Davison. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $21.

  • Fresno’s Monthly Motown Night.
    W/The Experience. Plus DJ Mr. Leonard, Conor Miles and Josh Barrera. At Audie’s Olympic Tavern. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • VVomen.
    Brave Season, Midwest Moms, Effort/Recover and Sleeve. At The Escape from Milf Mountain. 8 p.m. $2. (Flier link)

  • Read more

    And now there’s “Blanche,” the second track from Slim Bone Head Volt

    In mid-December Vincent D’Onofrio gave the world the first track from Slim Bone Head Volt, a punk rock spoken word project the actor started with multi-instrumentalist Dana Lyn. The track was instantly one of my favorites of 2014 and on repeat (literally) for days.

    Yesterday, the group debuted a second track.

    It has me soooo excited for the full album, out March 3.

    If “Hampster” represented the punk of the project, “Blanche” is the spoken word. What the song lacks in frenetic motion, it makes up for with haunting string work from Lyn and D’Onofrio’s voice (hints of Henry Rollins?) and poetics.

    “The loves of my life are unspoken and spoken all at the same time. In a different time. Is now the time? I’m wet with time.”

    The song is streaming now on the blog site Consequence of Sound.

    Roger Perry’s latest recordings were pure inspiration … and maybe some caffeine

    Roger Perry spent the first 71 hours of the New Year sitting in a little room on the side of his house recording the 10 songs that make up “In My Way,” the CD he’s releasing tonight at Audie’s Olympic Tavern.

    “I accidentally took Vitamin C with caffeine,” says Perry, a longtime Fresno musician and well known singer and guitarist.

    That would do it.

    The album was inspired by the Joe Simon song “Nine Pound Steal,” which Perry stumbled upon while clicking through Youtube. It’s what Perry describes as “real music” — simple production sans any crazy digital affects.

    “And he could really sing,” Perry says.

    Read more

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    You could go watch some dudes climb a rock. Or …

    1. “Force Majeure
    Another beautiful foreign film presented by Fresno Filmworks. This one’s a swede, an actual Swedish movie, not the kind we’re known for.

    2. “Inherent Vice
    The new film from the guy who did “Magnolia.”

    3. Fatty Cakes “Live at the Kirby”
    An in-store performance at Tower District Records.

    4. Judy Collins
    The inspiration for CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” is as busy as ever.

    5. Fresno Fuego v. SJ Earthquakes PDL
    Pre-season kickoff for Fresno’s official soccer team. It’s a “friendly match” (quotes not mine).

    For a full list of music-specific event, be sure to see this week’s BANDGEEEK roundup.

    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.

    Five Things To Do This Weekend


    If you’re not recovering from Christmas, planning for New Year’s Eve or seeing “The Interview,” how about …

    1. “Silent Night, Deadly Night
    A post-Christmas alternative dance party by the DJs behind Meatball Magic.

    2. Maintain, w/Mike Efex
    For those who like their dance music electronic.

    3. Sh&%ty Christmas Episode III
    Sort of like The Misfats, only here all the songs are about poop.

    4. Kat Jones
    Support a Fresno expat.

    5. Ice Skate (indoors or out)
    It’s winter. Act like it.

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend


    If a weekend at the movies seem boring …

    1. Rush Day/Ozmosis Holiday Happy Hour
    Beer + coffee. Need I say more? OK, Tioga-Sequoia + Cafe Corzon. More? Mike Oz + New Rock 104.

    2. From Indian Lakes
    Indie-rock fans will want to keep an eye on this band. This’ll be your chance to see them before they blow up.

    3. Crescent Concert
    Eva Scow curates a world-rhythm jazz concert.

    4. A Peter White Christmas
    Your holiday favorites rendered in smooth jazz.

    5. Christmas Light Displays
    Let the spirit of the season wash over you in a wave of twinkling lights.

    For music-specific options, by sure to check out our weekly BANDGEEK post.

    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)

  • Read more

    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?”

    Read more

    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:

    Read more

    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)

  • Read more

    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)

  • Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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!

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

  • Read more

    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.