Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Post-punk superheroes: Marvel vs. DC

Brazilian artist Butcher Billy answered a question I never knew I needed to ask; If Morrisey were a superhero, who would he be?

The answer is: The Hulk, obviously.
Also: Superman.

Billy recently reimagined a number of post-punk and new-wave icons as superheros from the Marvel Universe. He did the same with the DC universe in 2013.

I can’t say which set I like better. Robert Smith is the obvious choice for Nightcrawler and Plastic Man, but Billy Idol works better for me as Aquaman than Thor.

Aaaannnnnyway, this had me all giddy this week and thought I’d share.

Be sure to check out all of Billy’s work, because … Hellboy Elvis and Amy Winehouse Wonder Woman.

Also this which is

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

March Madness is happening.

Also …

1. TaikoProject
Japanese for drums. There’s also shouting.

2. FresCon
For once, Fresno State celebrates geek (not greek) culture.

3. Punk Rock Karaoke
Dude! You can front a band with guys from Social Distortion and Bad Religion.

4. Winter Guard International’s Western Championship
It’s color guard for the off season.

5. Heroes and Villains art show
Not this, but still cool.

And a bonus five concert picks, because I can.

1. KRS-One
2. Music for Moustaches and Bands for Beards
3. The Focke-Wolves
4. Rock and Worship Roadshow
5. Bill Amatneek

For more music-specific choices, check out my weekly Bandgeek roundup.

BANDGEEK!: KRS-One, Trash Talk and Punk Rock Karaoke

You might want to get downtown for that $10 cup of coffee you’ve always dreamed of. Let that fuel you through the rest of the week, which is chock full of live music. Here is your weekly collated list. It’s another BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Trash Talk.
    W/Ratking and Lee Bannon. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12-$13. All ages.

  • You Knew Me When.
    W/Travis Brooks. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • The 25th annual City Jazz Festival.
    W/Eric Marienthal and the Fresno City College Jazz Ensemble. At FCC Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $10-$15.

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

  • Mr. Bang.
    W/Strange Ones, Acrylics and Chokeslam. At CYC. 7 p.m. $4. (Flier link)

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    Michael Bolton slays it as ‘Michael Bolton’ in ‘Office Space’ tribute

    Office Space with Michael Bolton from Funny Or Die

    This video (from the comic site Funny or Die) cinches it: I am a Michael Bolton fan.

    Not that I particularly love his music.

    What I love is the amount of self awareness he seems to possess. What I love is that he doesn’t take himself (or his career) too seriously. Real artists, those with staying power, are able to reinvent themselves at opportune times.

    Bolton did it when he cut his hair is 1997. He did it again on “Dancing with the Stars” and “Two and a Half Men” and “Jack Sparrow,” the hilarious hip-hop parody from Andy Samberg’s musical comedy group The Lonely Island. There’s also these ridiculous(ly cool) personalized birthday and Valentine’s Day e-cards from American Greetings.

    Read the interview I did with the singer prior to his sold-out show at Table Mountain last month.

    Watch the video for “Jack Sparrow” on the jump.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Relax. Dave & Busters ain’t open yet. In the meantime …

    1. FresYes Fest 2015
    Go for the dozen (or more) specialty brews. Stay for the music (and the food trucks).

    2. Monster Jam
    If Bigfoot is your idea of a monster truck, you need to see this.

    3.Fresno City College Renaissance Festival
    After 7 years, Fresno City’s ren faire is back.

    4. Laser Fantasy
    Ninety minutes of synchronized laser animation. It’ll be trippy, man.

    5. Fresno Filmworks, “Two Days, One Night
    If seeing foreign films in an actual theater is important to you, support Fresno Filmworks. Especially seeing as this specific foreign is good.

    And a bonus five concert events.

    1. Ape Machine
    2. Ani-Me Rock N Dance Festival
    3. Tom Brosseau
    4. Metalachi
    5. Survey Says

    For more concert-specific happenings, see this week’s BANDGEEK roundup.

    BANDGEEK!: Ape Machine, Ani-Me and a FresYes Fest

    For radio music, check out some classic hip-hip on FM 105.5. The station gets an official name and kick-off party next week.

    For live music, there are a few more choices, which I collate each week in my BANDGEEEK roundup.

    It’s the least I can do.


  • Dengue Fever.
    W/Amoret. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12-$14. All ages.

  • Enter into Atonement tour.
    W/Inanimate Existence, Wryth and Amenthes. At Strummer’s (GRILL SIDE). 10 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Hollow Wood.
    W/So Long Williamsburg and A.Lone. At Peeve’s Public House. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
    At the Tower Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $33.50-$43.50.

  • Jacque Babb.
    W/Tore Lane. At Audie’s Olympic. 8:30 p.m. Free.

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    TONIGHT: Iration at Strummer’s (SOLD OUT)

    Iration wants to stay ahead of the reggae curve.
    While the Santa Barbara band takes cues from traditional Jamaican roots reggae, it happily veers off into pop and rock realms.

    “We want to be setting trends,” says Micah Pueschel, who sings and plays guitar in the band, which plays a sold-out show tonight at Strummer’s with Stick Figure and Hours Eastly.

    Iration hasn’t worried much with fitting genre definitions. Instead, the band focuses on writing good songs; songs that are well produced and thought out.

    “Songs that are real to us,” Pueschel says. “That’s what’s successful.”

    The band last album “Automatic” was No. 1 on both the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Albums charts, No. 7 on the iTunes Overall Albums chart, No. 17 on the Billboard Independent Albums and No. 75 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart when it was released in 2013. (Click through the jump for a video from “Automatic”).

    The band just finished the studio work on a new album to be released this year.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Unless you’re busy clearing out the weeds

    1. The Rogue Festival
    Week two of Fresno’s festival of weird.

    2. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival
    Don’t be scared! Celebrate the year of the Ram in one of Fresno’s oldest (and awesome-est) neighborhoods).

    3. Life in Color
    If you think a paint party is some kind of home-improvement thing, just stay home.

    4. Tulare Sci-Fi Con II
    NERDS! And geeks and other assorted lovers of science-fiction-y stuff.

    5. Armenian Genocide Centennial Concert
    Featuring Fresno-based Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble,

    And a bonus five concert choices.

    1. Spindrift
    2. Tommy Castro and the Painkillers
    3. Songwriters in the Round
    4. Farooq
    5. Dirty Limbs

    For more music-specific offerings, be sure to check out my weekly BANDGEEK! post. For other entertainment options, go to

    BANDGEEK!: Tommy Castro, Sahab and Iration

    Maybe you’re thinking of making a trip to Los Angeles to score the kind of Girl Scout cookies they get down there.

    That’s not your plan? Well, there is plenty happening close to home this week, especially if you are into live music. You’re choices are collected here in my weekly BANDGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Sahab.
    W/Mike G and Left Brain of Odd Future. At Audie’s Olympic Tavern. 8 p.m. $12-$15. (Flier link)

  • Disco Night.
    W/DJ Mr. Leonard and Connor Miles. At Peeve’s Public House. 9 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)< ?blockquote>

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

  • Low Leaf.
    W/Jacque Babb and Emery Payne. At Liquid Fetish. 8 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • The Return of Frank’s Place.
    W/House DJ Green, Bitter Buffalo, Sharks of Dance, Hell08′s, Meet Me in Montauk, St. X and Satellite Era. At Frank’s Place. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Win tickets to the Australian Bee Gees (CANCELED)

    UPDATE: Heads up: The Australian Bee Gees March 12 date at the Saroyan Theatre has been canceled. No word from promoters as to why the show was canceled or if the rest of the show’s tour will be affected. Ticket refunds will be available at point-of-purchase locations, or through Ticketmaster beginning Monday, March 9.

    Pop quiz: How deep is your love for the Bee Gees?

    Answer that in the comments section of this post and you’ll be entered to win tickets to see The Australian Bee Gees (a tribute to the brothers Gibb).

    The multimedia touring concert show stops 7:30 p.m. March 12 at the Saroyan Theatre. The Beehive will give away several pairs of tickets this week (and next week, too. So stayed tuned). You have until 5 p.m. Friday March 6 to enter this round of the contest. Winners will be notified by email and must be able to pick the tickets up at the Fresno Bee office (1626 E. St.) during normal business hours.

    While the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) are most often linked to disco (thank you “Saturday Night Fever”), the Australian-by-way-of-England group formed in 1958 and already had a successful career in the rock scene in the late ’60s. That success continued well into the 2000s with the deaths of Maurice (in 2003) and Robin (in 2012). Today, the band ranks among the Beatles, Paul McCartney, Elvis and Michael Jackson as one of the best-selling recording artist of all time. They are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than 2,500 artists have recorded covers of their songs.

    The Australian Bee Gees celebrate the band’s full career, playing selections from its early days (“To Love Somebody”), the disco era (“Stayin’ Alive”) and beyond. The band also does a weekend residency at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas.

    Watch a trailer for the show (and get the complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    Watch VANish, hear Sahab

    Today is the release of the Danny Trejo’s straight-to-DVD-film “VANish.” The film, which Screen Rant calls “Reservoir Dogs” meets “Buried,” is the debut from writer/director Bryan Bockbrader and takes place completely inside a kidnapper’s van (which you could probably surmise from the name).

    Of local note: the film’s opening sequence features music from electronic musician/singer/producer Sahab. Click through the jump to see a quick video from the film screening earlier this month.

    You’ll remember Sahab released his second album “Kittysiclosis,” in November. The guys over at the Spanspek blog compared it to Kanye West’s “808s” and “Heartbreak.”

    You can catch the singer next Thursday (March 5) at Audie’s Olympic Tavern with guests Mike G and Left Brain (of Odd Future fame). It’ll be a Sahabratory Experience.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    * Bad-ass drawing by David Witt.

    1. Tim Burton Tribute Art Show
    “I’ve come for your daughter Chuck.” — Beetlejuice

    2. Disoriented Comedy
    There’s a pun in the name.

    3. Kuppajoe’s final show
    Finally, a real reason for emo kids to cry. Just kidding, this place is an institution and its loss will be felt.

    4. La Dee Da
    A band at least as newsworthy as the rapper-plastic surgeon who is the Michelangelo of buttocks.

    5. Fauxgazi
    While the idea of a Fugazi tribute band seems so wrong, hearing “Waiting Room” would be so right.

    For the concert-specific events check out my weekly BANDGEEEEEK post.

    Tonight: Cursive, w/Beach Slang and Twinsmith

    Tim Kasher is back on tour with his band Cursive, and doesn’t see it being particularly different from when he was doing it rather full time back in the early 2000s.

    The band is older, sure, but its members are kind of an anomaly, in that they haven’t started families or had kids.

    “At this juncture in our lives, in our careers, it’s totally the same,” says Kasher, in town tonight for a show at Strummer’s with the Philadelphia band Beach Slang and Omaha’s Twinsmith, which will release its sophomore album on Saddle Creek in May.

    The fans have changed some, Kasher says.

    That happens.
    “When you’ve been doing it for awhile, you play through generations,” he says.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    It’s Valentine’s Day … You may or may not have plans.

    1. Tower District Mardi Gras Parade
    If the parade is anything like this flier … Holy crud, watch out.

    2. Love, Comedy and Poetry
    It’s not love if you can’t laugh together.

    3. “50 Shades of Grey
    Who cares if the movie is terrible? Am I right?

    4. “A Streetcar Named Desire
    For background.

    5. Blimprov Presents
    Be warned: One couple’s story will become the basis for the night’s show.

    Plus a bonus five concert picks.

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    BANDGEEK!: Patrick (Contreras), (Tijuana) Panthers and the Parlor Mob

    From the sound of things, a lot of you are planning on watching “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That’s cool. When you’re done, there is plenty of music to be had. We’ve collected this week’s concerts in another installment of BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Tijuana Panthers.
    W/Massenger, Dirty Limbs. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $10. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Tecumseh Release Party.
    W/DJ AESOP, Bitter Buffalo and Sleeve. At Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden. 5 p.m. Free.

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

  • Tyler Edwards.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. Price TBD.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Aside from staring at the sky waiting for rain

    1. Janessa Ramirez Memorial Car and Bike Show
    Cars, motorcycles, food and live music. Supports the family of a 9-year-old killed in gang crossfire. Simple enough.

    2. Highway 99 Derby
    Soccer is the new football. At least until the next NFL preseason.

    3. Gumbo Throwdown
    Not Louisiana fast, but super delicious.

    4. WordFest
    My favorite. Books.

    5. Fresno High Flea
    Support your local crafters/up cyclers/artists and vintage lovers.

    And a bonus five concerts picks.

    1. ’90s Slaughter
    2. Cloudship
    3. Wailin’ Jennys
    4. S
    5. Sleepover Disaster

    For more music-specific choices, check out the weekly BANDGEEK roundup.

    BANDGEEK!: Pinback, Wailin’ Jennys and a ’90s slaughter

    You may want to travel some this weekend, while the gas is still cheap. Or, you can just take your car to one (or more) of the awesome concerts happening through the week. Here’s a handy-dandy compiled list for you. Here’s your BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Feed Our Future Benefit.
    W/ Barry McGuire, Terry Talbot, Steph Stoltenberg, Eva Scow, Ray Haney, Carl Deese, Jimmy McCartey, Roger Perry and the Terry Talbot Student Band. At Tower Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $18.50-$53.50. (Flier link)

  • Fresno’s Disco Night.
    W/DJ Mr. Leonard and Conor Miles. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Trails and Ways.
    W/Conversation. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Conversation.
    Tower District Records in-store performance. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Healers.
    W/Midwest Moms, Acrylics and Aubrey. At Studio Itz. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Sahab.
    W/Zee Will and Eddie G. At Liquid Fetish. 8 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

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    TONIGHT: Feed our Future benefit w/Barry McGuire

    Here is a crazy thought: More than 80% of students in Fresno Unified School District qualify for free school meals and for some it might be the only daily meal they get.

    That means between lunch on Friday and breakfast on Monday, there are students who struggle to find food, says Jessica Nazaroff, who along with Shelby Dart started the nonprofit Feed our Future last march.

    Each week, the pair provides bags of non-perishable, easily prepared food items to students at Addams Elementary. These are students with chronic food insecurity, Nazaroff says.

    In less than a year, the program has grown from 50 students to 125 students.

    Nazaroff would like to do more.

    “I would love to see at at 300 by the end of the year,” she says.

    To help the cause, Feed our Future is hosting a benefit concert, 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tower Theatre.

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    Dan Deacon, Joyce Manor lead second Catacomb Party lineup announcement

    The Catacomb Party kicks off the week by announcing the second batch of artists playing this year’s festival (April 4 on the Fulton Mall).

    If you remember, the first announcement had its share of locals (with rapper Zee Will as the main draw), plus Fresno-by-proxy band The Stone Foxes and Chicago songwriter Tom Krell, who performs under the moniker How to Dress Well.

    Here we get a few more mid-level touring acts (the critically acclaimed punk band Joyce Manor, Chilean songstress Maria Del Pilar and rapper K.Flay) and a few more from the local scene (shoegaze band Sleepover Disaster, rapper Cockamamie “Gentle” Jamie and the Americana group Richfield). Famed electronic indie-act Dan Deacon gets top billing this time around. Deacon’s live shows are renowned and seem like a perfect fit for the lively atmosphere Catacomb is looking to create.

    All said, this lineup is shaping up to be stronger and more focused than 2013′s, which included Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Fresno rapper Fashawn and local blues-rock duo Strange Vine (among dozen of others).

    Check out a video of Deacon, plus the complete list of bands on the jump.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    OK, we know what you’ll be doing on Sunday. That leaves at least a day for …

    1. Bizare Art Festival
    A reminder that graffiti is art. Calwa Park has a quarter-mile legal graffiti wall. More than 65 artists will put it to good use.

    2. Sun Maid Kennel Club Dog Show
    If you’re interested in the intricacies of dog shows, or just want admire all the beautiful dogs.

    3. Mad Caddies
    The ska/punk/soul/dixieland/reggae rock band returns to Fresno with the Aggrolites and The Bunny Gang (w/Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly).

    4. The Appletones
    Ray Appleton’s rock band.

    BassVentures: Ultimate GLOW Experience
    I’m all about that bass.

    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.

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    Save Mart Center ranks among the world’s best. Again.

    It should come as no shock to hear that Fresno’s Save Mart Center was once again name among the top 100 arenas in the world.

    The 12,000-plus seat venue has been a fixture on the list since 2004 (its first full year in operation).

    The arena ended 2014 as the No. 2 collegiate venue, based on worldwide tickets sales, as reported by as reported by Pollstar magazine. It was No. 49 in the total U.S. rankings and No. 95 in the world.

    In December, it was also listed as a Top Stop by the publication Venues Today, which ranked SMC as the No. 1 collegiate venue (No. 4 in the U.S and No. 2 in the world) based on arenas of similar size.

    All this to say the Save Mart Center had a good year.

    As did fans.

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    TONIGHT: Ozmosis Happy Hour

    Tioga Sequoia’s Beer Garden is what I’ve wanted in downtown for years. It’s a low-key spot where you can hangout and sample really solid craft beer without being overly saturated with hipsterness.

    Also, its’ walking distance from where I live, which is a bonus and a half.

    It’s good to hear that Mike Oz‘ monthly Ozmosis Happy Hour, which he does in conjunction with his radio show on New Rock 104, is taking up residence in the garden this year.

    If you remember, the event had been jumping between different venues/bars around town. Having the Happy Hour at one spot gives it consistency, a struggle for lots of events around town. Each month will feature a rotating roster of live music, food trucks and other Fresno fare.

    For January, local singer/songwriter Johnathan Sterling will be providing the entertainment. La Elegante will serves up tacos (arguably some of the best in town) and local crafter Janice Keith of Nola Love will be selling work — like a handy dandy beer caddy. It’s made of wood.

    Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company will be pouring its new Belgian Quad Ale (which has me intrigued to no end). Also expect prizes and music from Mike Oz and the New Rock crew.

    The whole thing kicks off at 6 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m.
    There’s no charge to get in.

    The next happy hour is set for Feb. 19.

    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?

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    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.