The lineup for this year’s festival (which was announced this morning) features eight local heavy hitters, including two of, arguably, the best known acts in town — the rock duo Strange Vine and violin master Patrick Contreras.
But the don’t miss band on this year’s bill may be Visalia fuzz-rockers Slow Season. The group had serious buzz at last year’s festival and has put in big work on the road (and in the studio) this year.
The event happens 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Orosi Memorial Hall in Orosi (follow the 99 south, just past Kingsburg, then head East). If you haven’t been, it’s completely worth the drive (especially with this year’s lineup). A full list of bands and artists can be seen at the Spanspek website.
On another festival note: Keep in mind Fresno’s own locals-only music fest, F.U.S.E. is happening Sept. 26-27.
2. Patrick Contreras w/Merlinda Espinosa
Patrick’s catch phrase is “violin on fire.” Here, he will literally set his violin on fire while playing. Wait. I made that up. I’m pretty sure he’s being figurative.
3. Tulare Sci-Fi Con.
A local science fiction fan festival? Yes, please. This is the event’s inaugural year. 4. Dirty Limbs demo release
Lo-fi garage rock with hints of proto- punk. Dirty in all the best ways.
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…)
So after “Kai as Hero” went viral, it turns out there’s another side to the story: Kai’s hatchet didn’t stop the attacker in the case. The Bee’s Marc Benjamin reports:
The driver struck down by Caleb “Kai” McGillivary’s hatchet was able to stand up and move toward the utility worker he had hit with his car, another Pacific Gas & Electric employee testified Friday … Worker Kenneth Simon testified Friday that he and his fellow workers did not know what Kai, the hatchet-wielding attacker of Jett McBride, was doing so they ordered him to leave. Simon said Kai took off running.
No wonder Rayshawn Neely, the injured PG&E worker, hasn’t been so impressed with the media circus surrounding Kai.
It will be interesting to see how KMPH handles this latest development. Sure, it’s still nice that Kai tried to stop the attacker. But Jessob Reisbeck, the KMPH reporter who so breathlessly introduced Kai to the world as a hero, is no longer sitting on such a tidy “laidback surfer dude saves the day” franchise. Drat, that added nuance doesn’t lend itself quite so nicely to over-the-top TV correspondent swagger.
And let’s at least acknowledge that the reason this story went viral is the few precious seconds of Kai miming his hatchet blow while saying “suh-mash, suh-mash, suh-mash.” That’s what gets hits on YouTube and bookings on national late-night talk shows. Kai, you’re a born performer. (But just imagine what a headache for a director.)
1. SWEDE IT UP Swede Fest is bigger and better, back for its 10th installment Sunday. It’s happening at Tower Theatre, a dream realized for organizers of this quirky film festival. It showcases low-budget parodies made by everyone from average joes to seasoned pros. Creativity, ingenuity and a sense of humor are king at Swede Fest, so you never know what you’re going to see. It’s free and open to movie lovers of all ages. For more on Swede Fest’s growth and rise to popularity, read this Q & A with the organizers. [More]
The concert features two local faves: Violinist Patrick Contreras and roots rock/Americana group Lance Canales & The Flood. Tickets cost $7 in advance or $12 at the door. Orrrrrrrrr, if you’re lucky enough, you can walk away with a pair of tickets just by commenting on this post.
We’re giving away two pair of tickets. All you have to do to get entered is leave a comment below. Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday. We’ll notify the winners by e-mail, so please leave a real e-mail address and please check it. Complete rules below.
Fresno music lovers don’t need any introduction to adventurous violinist Patrick Contreras, who has made a career out of doing the out-of-the-ordinary. But the rest of the country is getting to know his work thanks to the Internet.
In early April, Contreras put a cover of “Wicked Games” by on-fire-right-now R&B act The Weeknd. The video — from Akira Productions — got featured last week on World Star Hip Hop, one of the most popular hip-hop sites on the ‘net and has racked up more than 50,000 views there. It’s also been featured on a number of blogs, including NME and Power 98.3.
RELATED: In other news of Fresno covering The Weeknd, check out electro-crooner Sahab’s take on “The Knowing.”
We’re just a few days away from the Great Fresno Tweetup, our annual gathering of the Twittersphere with the Fresno Grizzlies. All the basic details were already announced, but here are a few cool updates:
On Tuesday afternoon, we’re having a downtown scavenger hunt (#DowntownScavengerHunt?) and the winner will get to throw out the first pitch at Thursday’s game. The first clue will come via Twitter, so watch @fresnobeehive and @fresnogrizzlies for that.
More fun: The Beehive is also hosting “Amazing Race — Tweetup Style” within the confines of Chukchansi Park. Space is limited to five teams of two. If you want to compete, let me know either by leaving a comment or tweeting me. It’ll start at 6:15 p.m.
Since Thursday is ArtHop and JazzHop, we’re adding a little bit of both our event. We’ll have live music from Patrick Contreras and art from Adam Valentino. Music starts at 6 p.m., when the gates open and beer sales start.
Round 1 is done and now ValleyWho Round 2 is up to you. Voting in the round of 32 started this morning and runs until 8 p.m. Tuesday. So get those votes in.
There are some intriguing matchups — Colfer vs. Dilfer, Perry vs. Beatty, Seaver vs. Radka. This is gonna be fun to keep an eye on. But first, let’s recap some of what transpired in Round 1:
Teen pop singer Ryan Beatty and his rabid fanbase pulled off a wild comeback to swing a matchup that Pat Hill had been dominating throughout. Beatty lovers made up a more than 20% deficit in the final hours. Going up against Steve Perry in Round 2 is going to be a task for Team Beatty.
The Almond Regional was full of late surges. Patrick Contreras got close to Nick Watney, Stefani Booroojian almost topped Richard Kiel and Gnarley Charley got within yee-hawing distance of Christopher Gorham. It was the Booroojian/Kiel pairing that ended closest. Kiel won by 47 votes.
1. MEET YOUR DEATH ANGEL
So I may or may not be related to the lead singer of the band headlining Starline on Saturday night. Depends on who you ask in my family. It’s Death Angel, a veteran Bay Area metal band, and Mark Osegueda is its pipes. The show also includes Warbringer and is the four-year anniversary celebration for concert promoter Diehardz Music. It’s a treat for metal heads, as Death Angel’s metal legacy dates back to the early ’80s and is quite legit. And I’m not saying that ’cause the singer might be my kin. [Tix]
Tickets are on sale now for $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Or you can win a pair right here. Just leave a comment below and we’ll pick a winner at random. Deadline to enter is 9 a.m. Friday. Winner will be notified by e-mail, so please leave a read address and please check it. Official rules below.
The concert is Sunday at Starline, with a long list of local musicians already confirmed — such as Journey tribute band Midnight Run, jazz vocalist Karen Marguth, Warner’s classic rock cover band Rockville, violinist Patrick Contreras. More are listed on the flier below, and acts are still being added to the lineup.
“In a disaster, so often people want to help, but they don’t know how,” Warner said. “It’s our hope that they can feel good about giving in a tangible way while enjoying some of the extraordinary musical talent we have in the Valley.”
But was the opening successful in public opinion? I was out there on Friday night, asked some people and recorded them while they answered. Check out the video, then tell us what you thought of the new venue in the comments.
Or should it be 55 things you should do this weekend?
1. USHER IN FULTON 55
Is it any surprise Fulton 55 is No. 1 on the list? The new 500-capacity downtown concert venue opens tonight with current local music scene top dog Patrick Contreras and has its second show Saturday night with local ska legends Let’s Go Bowling (with help from King Sugar). If you need to get up to speed: Take a look inside Fulton 55 and read the story behind the new venue. Remember: The shows start earlier. Doors at 6 p.m. Music at 8 p.m. You can get tix online at fanfueled.com or in-person at Iron Bird Cafe and The Laundry Room. Online tix are sold out for tonight’s show, but there will be some available at the door. See ya there!
UPDATE: Congrats to our winner, Kathryn Stiers. Check your e-mail, Kathryn! Thanks for playing everyone. Hope you enjoy your weekend.
ORIGINAL POST: I’ve told you all about Fulton 55. I gave you a sneak peek inside Fresno’s newest concert venue. Now I’m giving you a chance to win tickets to Friday’s grand opening concert featuring popular local violinist Patrick Contreras.
Just leave a comment below telling us why you’re looking forward to either Fulton 55 or Patrick Contreras and you’re entered. Deadline to enter is 9 a.m. Friday. Our winner will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail, so leave a real address. No multiple comments. You are ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. Full rules below.
Patrick Contreras, the always-busy local violinist, and one of his favorite current musical cohorts, Omar Nare, are having a release party tonight for their new EP “Musique.”
The event is part live performance, part listening party. It’s starts at 7 p.m. and is free to attend. It’s at Cafe Corazon in the Tower District, so be sure to get some yummo coffee while you’re there.
Check out the first song from the EP, “First Kiss” — or just grab yourself a free MP3 download below, courtesy of Mr. Contreras.
Before we get started — support a local biz on Saturday. It’s Mike Oz Day. A couple of these definitely qualify.
1. SEE UNDERGROUND HIP-HOP ROYALTY
Saturday’s concert at The Cellar Door in Visalia is a big one for head-bobbing underground hip-hop fans. Two indie rhyme heroes — Brother Ali and The Grouch — are in town. Brother Ali is one of my favorite rappers, so I can attest he puts on a great show. The Grouch, meanwhile, sold out Starline by himself last year. So expect a big crowd at this one. Fellow Living Legend Eligh is on the bill too.