The Tower Theatre’s Painted Table venue (in the old Daily Planet) announced a trio of note-worthy shows. The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet brings its style of progressive Gypsy Jazz (think 1930s Django Reinhardt) to the venue July 10. Tickets are $30 and on sale now. American Blues guitarist Hamilton Loomis plays July 25 for a CD release show. Tickets are $30. And Casey Abram, the American Idol 2011 finalist plays the venue on Aug. 27. Tickets are $27.
For a moment there, Amy Winehouse was the Beehive’s bread and butter. She was such a part of pop-culture, at least on this site, that we put her on the back of our T-shirts. Sadly, so much of that whole phenomenon centered around the last, destructive years of Winehouse’s life that the legacy of her music was often overlooked.
Enter Black to Black, the all-star Amy Winehouse tribute. I say all-star because the band features a killer-lineup of musicians including: Danielle Rondero (as Amy), plus Sean Alderette (40 Watt Hype), Crissy Martinez (Distrito Torre), Benjamin Betita (the Brandishers, Gayle and the Bowties), Steve Coleman (Pocket Money), Gary Anderson (Viper City Brass Band), Pierce Yamaoka and Richard Scroggin.
The band takes its cues from Winehouse’s early performances, which tend to be way different than what you hear on her albums.
Back to Black plays tomorrow at Frank’s Place, with ska band Pocket Money, and we have tickets to give away. Just leave a comment below. Tell us which is your favorite Winehouse song and why. We’ll pick winners at random. Contest closes at noon tomorrow (Friday) and winners will be notified by email. No repeat entries, please.
If you’re not feeling lucky, advanced tickets are available at Tsu Tsu Boutique in the Tower District (with NO SERVICE FEE until 6 p.m. day of show) or online.
Complete rules and a video of the band doing my favorite Winehouse song are on the jump.
Lindsay White and Veronica May are lovebirds, or at very least, The Lovebirds (capitalized with a definite article). In Youtube videos, the San Diego folk duo come across as a well-matched set, quirky and charming and belting out songs with unabashed joy. The pair is on tour in support of its latest album “and a one, and a two,” and play tomorrow night at Tokyo Garden. In advance of the show, we caught up with White via email.
From the youtube videos I’ve watched, it seems like The Lovebirds is a fitting name? Am I off base? Give me some history on how The Lovebirds came together. Musically or otherwise.
Veronica and I both had established solo and band projects in San Diego before we met and started writing together about three years ago. We found a great connection through music and eventually started dating. I think Veronica eventually came up with the name The Lovebirds, and it stuck. We recently (about a month ago) decided to take a break from our romantic partnership in order to preserve our musical partnership. We both feel that our connection is stronger and more meaningful in the musical realm, which can be hard for people to understand. It requires a great deal of strength and maturity to break up AND stay together, but we are trying to put our music first and let that also be the thing that heals us. It always has in the past, and we trust it will now.
Let me add to the list, San Francisco’s Inferno of Joy. The band will be playing tonight at Tokyo Garden with Blake Jones and the Trike Shop. It’s one of those after-Arthop parties that happen at Tokyo and can be quite fun.
The real reason you’ll want to be there though, is to pick up a just-arrived-via-UPS-copy of Blake Jone’s new EP,”Teasers from the Whispermaphone.” Heard told it’s a good one.
Also: Inferno of Joy seems like a band I’d like. So, if you’re taste run akin to mine … Here’s a video so you can decide.
Uploaded for your listening pleasure: Another episode of the all-things-Fresno podcast Flowing with Famous. Once again, I am joined by Fresno podcast icon Mike Seay, and once again we hit on all our favorite topics.
Fresno vs. Clovis
Some local music scene news
Fresno Grizzlies and the state of downtown
Plus, we’ve named another band of the episode. Spoiler alert: It’s Light Thieves.
And once again, the whole thing is slightly NSFW (sorry).
W/audio engineering by Reid May. You can stream or download the episode here or find it on iTunes, Sticker and the like.
Brian Kenney Fresno is the city’s self-styled musical ambassador. He of the Warr guitar and cape (he wears a cape) has traveled the nation spreading word of our raisins and weather and burrito makers.
After reading about the city’s first poet laureate (and his poem “Fresno, California. 2013″), Kenney Fresno sent me his own verse, inspired by our hometown. It’s a slightly bleaker take on the city’s triumphs and struggles, but you have to love the refrain.
Fresno: “Apart from truth and perception perfection in every way”
Seriously, I’m putting that on a T-shirt.
Read the the full text below. Run with permission.
It’s always exciting when the lineup for the Big Fresno Fair’s Table Mountain Concert Series starts trickling in.
This morning the fair made its first announcement. It includes two-time Grammy winning rapper LL Cool J, who will play Oct. 12. Cool J (or LL) is a hip-hop pioneer (turned actor) with 30 years in the business. His new album “Authentic” is out on Tuesday.
10/5Austin Mahone, who is one of those young singers who rose to fame on Youtube. Think Justin Bieber or Ryan Beatty. Mahone has a new single with rapper Flo Rida.
10/8 Christian rockers Skillet, which do an alternative, rock, metal fusion that has crossover appeal. The band’s new ablum, “Rise,” will be out in June.
Tickets for the shows go on sale Aug. 12. Members of the Big Fresno Fair Fan Club can buy tickets online starting July 31.
“Every year we work hard to bring the best entertainment across a variety of genres and could not be more excited to announce these concerts as part of our 2013 concert-line-up,” says John C. Alkire, CEO, The Big Fresno Fair.
Schedules like this are always a work in progress, so there will be more bands announced in the coming months, but so far these are pretty much what you expect in terms of genre.
Before the next set of bands is confirmed, who would you like to see at the Fair?
If you’re not going out to the the Clovis Rodeo (so many of you no doubt will), you’ll need something to do this weekend. Lucky for you, I keep a running list of music events. And I share. So here it is, this week’s BANDGEEEEEEEK!
Facebook is great. It’s where I get all my news tips (just kidding, I’m a professional).
But I did see: News that a group of locals (including Paul Cruikshank, Jason Pistoresi, Steve Richard and Eddy from Numbskull Productions) is buying (or according to the post I saw already bought) the Starline and Starline Grill. I am working to confirm and track down some more info on what this might mean if it’s true, but my initial reaction is this will be great for the scene. So…stay tuned for more.
If you were planning on seeing The Airborne Toxic Event at the Visalia Fox Theatre in June, you may be out of luck. According to the theater, the show has sold out (though at least one person has tickets to sell). This will be the first Valley stop for band since breaking into the big-time (they played Tokyo Garden in 2007). The band will be accompanied by the Tulare County Symphony. It’s new album “Such Hot Blood,” comes out April 30.
First off: Make time to get out to the Fresno Ideaworks Mini Makers Faire on Sunday. It’s one of those ahead-of-the-curve things that you may not understand now, but give it a few years. Everyone will be talking about it. That’s my take anyway.
You may also want to block out some time for all the great music events. So, let’s get to it. Once again, let us BANDGEEEEEEEEK!
While thousands of music fans swarm Palm Desert hoping they’ll get another headlining hologram, Fresno has more than its share of shows this weekend, from indie-rock icons to tribute bands (we love ‘em), metalcore and more. Here it is. Here’s your BANDGEEEEEEEK!!
It’s hump day, which means, technically, the weekend can start any time after 5 p.m. If you’re looking to go out tonight, there are a few music options.
Florida singer-song writer Matt Hires plays Y101‘s Unplugged series. At The Standard. 7 p.m. Free, but space is limited. 21 +. This would be my choice for fans of soulful acoustic radio pop.
Ska/soul/brass band fun w/Yogoman Burning Band. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5-$10. Probably the most raucous show of the night. For those who wannt to do some drinking and don’t mind getting a little sweaty.
Austin Americana band Loves It! plays Fresno Brewing Company. 8 p.m. Free. All ages. Should be a low-key kind of show. This would be my choice for the night, were I not already committed to a bowling league. Also: The guy in the band looks a bit like Metallica’s Cliff Burton. So …
Tickets are on sale on-line April 12 and at retail locations April 19. In Fresno: Valentino’s, Wavelengths SBI and the Tower Theater box office. In Bakersfield: World Records, Wavelengths SBI, Impact Streetwear, Hoggz, Rockabilly Swag.
I know a few friends who will be excited at the prospect of seeing Ant here in town.
Here’s a video for “Cool Zombie,” off his latest:
The music business is wonky. Like, one of South Korea’s top indie-rock bands comes to the United States, and because they have little name recognition, they end up playing club shows wherever they can get booked (no offense to the venue or Fresno).
For the savvy music fan, this actually works out quite well. Last night’s Galaxy Express show at Audie’s was a perfect example.
In my column this week I wax philosophical on the struggles of keeping up with all of Fresno’s music happenings. Spoiler: It ain’t easy. I try to make it slightly less difficult with these weekly roundups. Let’s do this thing. Let’s BANDGEEEEEEK!!!
It’s a beer tasting. With music. Featuring five from Sam Adams (Grumpy Monk, Summer Ale, Cherry Wheat, Double Agent IPL, and one more TBA) plus music from Jonathan Hadden (Rademacher, Brother Luke and the Comrades, Dirty Limbs). At Victory Grill. 7 p.m. $25. (Flier link)
After waxing nostalgic with some 3-D ninja fights at a showing of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” there’s a crap load of musical offerings this weekend, from the wild (Royal Canoe and Sssssssnake) to the weird (Foxtails Brigade). So let’s jump right in. It’s time to BANDGEEEEEEEK!!!!
Either Wiz Khalifa isn’t playing many shows soon or Fresno has some clout, because when the Grammy-nominated rapper was on Jay Leno the other night to perform his single “Let It Go,” Leno gives him a nice intro, which mentioned his May 3 show at the Save Mart Center.
If you follow Fresno’s classical music scene, then you’re sure to recognize Lianna Stuart’s last name. Her mother is the wonderful violinist Cynthia Stuart, a longtime member of the Fresno Philharmonic and many other local performing groups. And talk about coming from a musical family: Lianna’s aunt, Claudia Shiuh, plays viola in the Phil — she’s the one whose sheer joy at making music is evident from the back of the house — and is also well-known for her chamber music.
Lianna gets the nod tonight as the first musician featured in the Orpheus chamber ensemble’s new special series called “The Next Generation,” which will provide a showcase for young talented players in the community. Besides her musical pedigree, she has an interesting background. As the daughter of a violinist, she and her four older siblings learned to play violin. (And there was no dropping out of that school.) But for many years growing up, she swore she’d never pursue music as a career. Along with violin practice, she spent her adolescence listening to such artists as David Bowie, The Beatles, and Flaming Lips. Today she performs in an eclectic band called Before Perils.
Still, she finally caught the violin bug, and big time. After stints at Fresno City College and San Francisco State, where she studied with world-renowned soloist,Jassen Todorov, she’s returning to Fresno State as a violin performance major. She also teaches at the Gottschalk Music Center and as a student teacher at Edison Bethune Charter Academy as part of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno after-school program.
We caught up with Lianna to talk about her and tonight’s concert, which is 8 p.m. tonight at Wahlberg Recital Hall.
Manhattan Murder Mystery probably drinks more whiskey than you. Which you might expect from a band with songs titles like “I Always Think About Dyin’,” whose live shows have been described as a “battle royal. A wonderful, scummy battle royal (that one’s from Radio Free Silverlake).”
Yes, the band is named for the Woody Allen film, but not because they particularly liked it or anything. On the list of possible names, it was just the best.
And yes, the band’s show , tomorrow night at Tokyo Garden, will probably be one of those not-to-be-missed events that you probably will miss and hate yourself for later.
Or, maybe you go, and hate yourself later anyway.
Either way, I was intrigued, so I got in touch with MMM front man Matthew Teardrop to find out more.
Standing in the sound stage at Valley PBS, he greets fans in a perfectly tailored suit, with a boy-ish smile and a five-o-clock shadow that almost seems planned (seriously, I wish I could pull that off).
Jean Britt doesn’t quite swoon, but there is awe in her eyes.
“I’ve been stalking you,” says Britt, who at 81, drove in from Mariposa with her daughter just for the chance to meet Mann. Internet searches aside, she has been following Mann’s career since she first heard him on “The Voice” last year. She doesn’t normally watch those kind of shows, much less do the whole call-in-voting deal, but for Mann, she voted every chance she got.
Many audience members at piano recitals prefer to sit on the left side of the house facing the stage so they can watch the keyboard and see the pianist’s fingerwork. I never get to Keyboard Concerts recitals at Fresno State early enough to grab one of those prime seats. And, besides, sitting on the other side of the house gives you a great view of the pianist’s face as he or she plays.
In the case of Jeremy Denk, who wowed an appreciative audience with a memorable concert Wednesday, I was glad to sit where I did. Denk is about as far from pretentious as you can get when it comes to his music — read his notable blog and you can see how he makes merry with some of the more poseuristic aspects of the genre — and he never grandstands while he plays. But to watch his face, his head, as he plays is revelatory: at times holding it aloft as if he’s inspecting the ceiling, shaking it back and forth at other times ever so slightly, his features practically quivering. Beginning with Bartok’s rarely played Sonata and continuing on with four Liszt pieces in the first half of the program, Denk truly caught me up in the moment, though that description pales compared to the music he made. The “Dante” Sonata, with its inferno section like a freight train roaring through, left me feeling as if a zealous spring cleaner had scrubbed away all the cobwebs in my brain.