1.) Indie authors night
A grass-roots mini-book conference at Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall. For self-published authors and/or local book fans, the event will have readings, signings and general literary-business discussions. Musician Glen Delpit (himself a huge book fan) will perform.
2.) Winter Dance Party
For fans of ’50s rock and roll. Or the movie “La Bamba.” The Winter Dance Party was the tour that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were on where they were killed in a plane crash in 1959 (and the music died). This Winter Dance Party, which plays tomorrow night at Visalia Fox Theatre, is a tribute to all three artists and features a Broadway star, a Vegas star and the Big Bopper’s son.
3.) Narco Cultura
If you watched “Breaking Bad,” you’ll be hip to narco cultura, the pop-culture phenomenon where the Mexican drug cartels are seen as anti-heroes. It’s a very real thing and it’s documented in this film, which opens today Manchester Stadium 16. Thanks to Roque Rodriguez for the head’s up.
While 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!!.
Today is Giving Tuesday (or #givingtuesday, for the hashtag crowd). I could give you a long list of support-worthy causes. Instead, I will suggest The Normal School, the bi-annual literary magazine based out of Fresno State.
The magazine is the type of thing Fresno needs more of. It features nonfiction, fiction, poetry, criticism and journalism and is a great catalyst for local talent, especially given its emphasis on boundary-challenging and/or innovative content, form or focus.
To get a feel for what the magazine is about, show up 7 p.m. tonight at Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall to celebrate The Normal School’s 11th issue. It will be literary — with readings from Corrinne Hales, Randa Jarrar, Steven Church and Fresno State MFA students. There will also be music from Lance Canales and the Flood. The event is free and open to the public, but you can subscribe or donate to the magazine, which goes a long way toward printing issue No. 12.
Before the party, Canales will be at Fresno State to discuss songwriting, music making and the like. The discussion starts at 3 p.m. in the Peter’s Business Building, room 194. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot and a parking pass.
The latest in the Hunger Games saga opens tonight. At midnight or something. There are people who are excited. Others will be more taken by one of the bands playing through next weekend. For those I present another installment of the weekly (in this case it spans closer to two weeks) music roundup known as BANDEGEEEEK!!
Patrick Contreras has been absent from the scene for awhile. He’s been busy travelling, playing and expanding his musical horizons (he’s gotten into hip-hop and electronic dance music). He’s played huge EDM festivals, been featured on World Star Hip-Hop and took a trip to Guinea Bissau, West Africa, where he shot this video of “Hallelujah.” The video will be included on a new DVD that he’s releasing tonight with a show at Frank’s Place.
If you’re interested in Contreras’ new direction, he assures me it will be mind blowing and on full display tonight (I may have added the mind blowing part, but still…)
OK, so after taking off a couple weeks, I’m back with a new round of 7 picks for 7 days – a list of fun thing to do each day Friday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 21. This week’s picks include a hot country band live at the Save Mart Center, a touring Broadway musical at Saroyan Theatre and this month’s silent movie at the Warnors Theatre.
The PS4 gets released at midnight, which means some of us won’t be seeing the sunshine for a loooooong while. It’s a shame given the massive amount of music passing through the area in the week. Don’t believe me? Here proof, in list form. It’s your all-new BANDGEEEEEEK!!
Jazz generations. W/Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop “Harbor Jazz Ensemble,” Fresno Pacific University Jazz Ensemble and COS Thursday Night Jazz Band. At Frank’s Place. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)
Having the Amy Winehouse tribute Back To Black co-headline a show with ’50-60s R&B cover band Gayle and The Bowties is something that should have happened sooner, given both bands tread the same musical ground and both have a good following of fans. It is a show that people have been demanding, says Danielle Rondero, who plays the role of Winehouse in Back to Black.
We’ve got a set of tickets to give away to one lucky Beehiver. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Tell us who’s your favorite female vocalist and why. The contest will end 3 p.m., Friday. Winners will be chosen by random and notified via email. So check your email if you enter. One comment per person, please.
In the mean time, watch a couple videos of the bands (and check out the full rules) 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.
I walked out of the Fresno Philharmonic’s weekend concert with a bounce to my step. Which should make music director Theodore Kuchar happy. The “I Got Rhythm” concert, which I saw Saturday at the Shaghoian Hall, was a polished presentation that made this world — if only for a few moments — a more percussive place .
Guest artist Orion Weiss offered intense, moving renditions of two famed rhythmic works in the concert’s first half: Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” variations; and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. Weiss is not a showy or acrobatic player. Instead, he tackled the pieces with a sort of quiet fierceness, his movements almost liquid. I suspect the temptation with Gershwin for a pianist is to pound everything out, but Weiss managed to sneak up on the syncopations with a nimbleness that reminded me of a cat of prey. I shivered when I listened to the way his final trills in the second movement of the Ravel subsided to almost a mist.
The swagger of the evening belonged to Kuchar — who’s up for a Latin Grammy award for the album “Latin American Rhythms,” which he recorded with his Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela — and especially the orchestra’s expanded percussion section, which welcomed the Fresno State Percussion Ensemble. In the great Revuletas piece “La noche de los Mayas,” the 36-minute piece built to a rhythmic climax that shook the hall. The percussion section — a great, clanging, pounding, crashing (and seductively shimmying) power — was like an inevitably advancing army, vaulting up and over a city’s walls in an unstoppable swarm. It was exhilarating.
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!
October is full of things to do, including these 7 picks for Oct. 17-23. From a silent film at the historic downtown Warnors Theatre to Fresno State Football, a beer festival and a big-time rock concert, these are some of the best bets for your entertainment.
I get a warm, happy feeling when I think about Mark Applebaum’s music. Or, at least, the idea of his music. The renowned avant-garde composer, a professor at Stanford University, came to Fresno State last week for a stint as composer-in-residence, and I attended his Friday evening “Radical Excursions in Visual Music.”
To a conventional ear, most of Applebaum’s works can sound downright weird. I’m not going to put on avant-garde airs: You won’t likely find me playing any of his works on my car’s CD player, say. But there’s something reassuring knowing that there are people like Applebaum out there tweaking the idea of music with a capital M — what it is, what it should be, what it can be. He’s like a gallant knight thrusting and parrying along Music’s edges, wreaking a little havoc here and there, perhaps even drawing a trickle of blood.
In the piano world, you don’t get any bigger in terms of prizes than the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Held every four years, it’s like the Olympics for pianists. Fresno gets to play host Wednesday to the 2013 Van Cliburn gold medalist: Vadym Kholodenko. He performs at the Fresno State Concert Hall for the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series.
Keyboard Concerts often presents the great pianists of our time. One of the fun things about seeing a recent Van Cliburn gold medalist is that you could be listening to the next great superstar. Or not.
“There are no guarantees,” says Keyboard Concerts artistic director Andreas Werz. “Some of them vanish after some time. But once you’ve been at that point to get this kind of visibility and recognition, and you get three years of bookings, that’s when you get name recognition.”
I’m guessing this will be a sellout, so get your tickets in advance.
Following Ryan Beatty‘s pop-music career path is a hobby of sorts for us at the Beehive.
Last month, the Clovis native released a video for the first single off his self-titled E.P. It was surprisingly non-poppy (in a good way) and soulful and played against the idea of Beatty as Fresno’s Justin Bieber. Well, the full E.P. was released on iTtunes on Tuesday and got a seemingly good response.
#7 on the pop charts already? thank you guys so much. I can’t explain how grateful I am for each and every one of you.
This is the first batch of songs he’s released since his “Because of You” EP in 2012. That album broke the Billboard 200 (peaking at 94) and was 17 on the Independent Albums charts. Beatty’s full-length album is scheduled for release in 2014.
Introvoys could be the most interesting band playing in town this weekend. If you haven’t heard the name, it’s probably because you are not from the Philippines. The band, which now works out of Los Angeles, had a string No. 1 hits in the country when it debuted back in 1989.
UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners: Ron Elkins and Nu Vang.
ORIGINAL POST: Yes, we are awash in ticket giveaways this week on the Beehive. Which is good news for you, devoted readers. I just got my hands on two tickets to the Fresno Philharmonic’s pops concert “Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartne,” which performs Saturday at the Saroyan Theatre. We’re featuring the concert, starring veteran McCartney performer Tony Kishman, in tomorrow’s 7 cover story.
To enter, leave a comment below telling us what you would do if you got the chance to meet the real Paul McCartney. Deadline is 6 p.m. today (Thursday). One comment per person, please. I’ll be informing winners after 6 via email, so check yours around that time. These are paper tickets, so if you’re the winner, you’ll have to pick up your tickets at The Bee’s front lobby on Friday. Rules are on the jump.
Next up in our Big Fresno Fair ticket giveaway series: Two tickets to Zendaya, who performs at noon on Saturday.
One winner will receive two passes to the fair and two tickets to the concert. You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
To win tickets to see Zendaya, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the show. One comment/entry per person, please. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. tonight. The winner will be notified after, so check your email.
Orosi is just a dot on the map a little south of Fresno and west of Dinuba (but not quite to Orange Cove). It’s the type of small agricultural town that defines the Central Valley, but doesn’t get much attention.
Spanspek was started by two local guys who were passionate enough about art and music to recognize there were no outlets for that kind of creativity in their hometown. So, they created one. One that’s lasted for almost a decade.
The festival works on multiple levels.
For the locals in attendance, Spanspek is an opportunity to see (and participate in) live music and art — something that’s not always easy to come by in a small town. For those coming in (performers from Fresno or Visalia let’s say), it’s a chance to see (and participate in) a part of community they may have never seen before.
ORIGINAL POST: If my Mom lived in Fresno, she’d be putting on the serious maternal pressure to scoop up these tickets. Our ticket giveaway spree continues, this time for the 7 p.m. Monday Neil Sedaka concert at the Big Fresno Fair. We’re giving away two tickets plus two fair passes.
If you win, you’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
To enter, leave a comment on this post. (Tell us your favorite Neil Sedaka song, if you’d like.) One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winners at random.
The deadline for entry is 10 a.m. Friday. One entry per person. I’ll be informing winners by email Friday morning, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.
UPDATE: The Keeney Nation 3 show is back on. The free show is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55.
ORIGINAL POST, July 26, 2013:
In today’s paper, I wrote about the tight-knit Keeney family, whose connection to the local music scene is vast, and includes a large number of both blood relatives and friends. The family’s Keeney Nation showcase was scheduled for Saturday at Fulton 55. I say was, because the show was cancelled due to a death in the family. The family was notified last night and decided to postpone the show out respect of the dozens of musicians to which the night was dedicated, says Mike Keenney Sr. It will be rescheduled. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime our thoughts are with the family.
When we last checked in with pop wunderkind (and Clovis native) Ryan Betty, he was heading out on a national tour with Australian pop singer (and friend) Cody Simpson. At the end of the tour, he said he would be back in Los Angeles in the studio working in his album.
From my story in The Bee:
He knows fans are waiting, and he is eager to release new music. But he also wants to make sure it’s done right.
He could write a song for the radio, get it done and out quick, he says.
“That’s not what I’m about.”
He thinks about longevity.
He wants to create something authentic and true to himself and his inspirations — guys like Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel, and bands such as Electric Light Orchestra.
“Once I release it, it’s going to be out there forever, ” he says. “It’s not like I can be like, ‘Hey, just kidding.’ “
And now we get our first taste of what he might have meant by that. Beatty just released a lyric video for “Chameleon.” This is the first release from his a self-titled EP that will be released Oct. 8 Watch the video on the jump and let us know what you think?