Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Another top-five-Christmas-songs list

We love Christmas music.

Yes, we’ll complain about it every September when it starts getting piped in at the local Target, but its only the blackest-hearted of us who doesn’t feel at least a twinge of holiday spirit hearing Burl Ives or Bring Crosby or even Mannheim Steamroller.

Christmas music is big (if not easy) business, as pointed out in this piece in the Fresno Bee (note the accompanying survey). It’s why punk rock bands like the Vandals and Bad Religion have Christmas albums, as do indie-artists like My Morning Jacket and Sufjan Stevens.

There are hip-hop Christmas albums and metal Christmas albums and whatever it is that actor Christopher Lee does each year.

Last year, I posted my top five Christmas songs ever.

I’ll stand by that list and add another five worth a listen or two. Of course, everyone their own favorites. Feel free to share your thoughts (with links if possible) in the comments.

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Podcast: Ozmosis #40

On this installment of Ozmosis, there’s new music from Papa, Robert Delong and Diamond Rings. I dip into indie hip-hop with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We listen to a few bands in town soon Brainstorm (tonight at Fulton 55) and The Sea and Cake (11/9 at The Cellar Door). And Rademacher, recently featured on Daytrotter is our Tioga-Sequoia “Drink Local, Listen Local” band of the week.

As always, there are a few bonus tracks on podcast that didn’t make the Sunday show. Enjoy the podcast below and listen to new episodes of Ozmosis Sundays at 9 p.m. on New Rock 104.1.

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Fres-Know: We hope we have your vote

POLITICAL DRAMA: In Hanford, the political climate is cloudier than the water. [The Bee]

ABOVE: Viral (??) video aiming to shame Hanford politician has almost 200,000 views. [YouTube]

RECOMMENDED: Who The Bee’s editorial board endorses in local political races. [The Bee]

NEWS: Local MMA fighter pleads taps out in bar fight case. [The Bee]

ANGRY LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE WEEK: Fed up with the homeless. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: What Iz, locally made site about music and culture. [What Iz]

COMING UP: Dinner at the Library — Donald Munro and I are hosting tables. [Famous]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Natali leaves The Full Moxie. [The Thinking Blonde]

WATCH THIS: Fresno Grizzlies team store commercial — unless you’re a Dodger. [YouTube]

WOOT: Fresno indie band Rademacher featured on Daytrotter this week. [Daytrotter]

MORE: On what KYNO has planned for its new 60s music format. [The Bee]

THIS WEEKEND: Annual Fine Wine Cornucopia at Chukchansi Park. [TasteFresno]

ANGRY YELPER OF THE WEEK: ” The owner has no f—ing clue what he’s doing.” [Yelp]

Fresno goes SXSW: Day 3


From the previous updates dispatched by our SXSW correspondents James Collier and Ryan Jones, it sounded like Austin is a crazy place to be right now. But I think Ryan’s picture above shows that better than any words can. Wow.

Anyhow, here’s another update about some of our local bands crawling around the mammoth music festival. Words by James, photos by Ryan. It’s a bit of an extension from the discussion in the comments of Thursday’s post.

We’ve been following the Fresno-area bands around to small venues all over town. Yesterday that took us to a strip-mall coffee shop several miles out of downtown — far from any official SXSW showcases. It was one of Rademacher’s first shows.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching Drake videos on YouTube.

Believe it or not, the Drake concert probably won’t even be the biggest concert at Save Mart Center this week. The popular Rock and Worship Roadshow, a Christian rock festival-style concert, arrives on Sunday. It was the top-drawing concert in Fresno last year. Tickets cost only $10 and are only available at the door. For more about Rock & Worship’s success, read this feature story from today’s Bee.


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to listening to Ozmosis.

At first, I was gonna leave this off, because we’ve written a lot about the Rogue Festival and we’re gonna write a lot more. But, hey, as I’ve been saying this week — the Rogue is one of my favorite annual Fresno events. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and become a part of Fresno’s great alternative performing arts festival. Here are a few picks from the festival’s 60-something shows to help you navigate. And don’t forget about those Rogue Bucks. [More]


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Win tickets to see Rademacher (and free music!)


You might remember that local band Rademacher is current doing a fundraising campaign — help if you can — to get to South By Southwest and press up some vinyl. Still, Rademacher has found it in its hearts to hook up a few Beehive readers.

The band is having its CD release party Saturday night at Fulton 55 for its newest “Baby Hawk III” EP, which BuzzBands called “beautiful” — so chew on that. Rising L.A. band No comes up to play, and local group Brother Luke and the Comrades helps out too.

You can buy tickets, or you can attempt to take advantage of Rademacher’s goodwill and win some here. We’ll pick two winners at random, who will ALSO get a free digital copy of “Baby Hawk III.”

To enter, just leave a comment below telling us why you think Rademacher is “beautiful.” Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Friday. Our winners will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail. So please leave a real address and please check it. Complete rules below.

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Ear Candy: Ozmosis #4

More Mike Oz-approved tunes for your ears! Here’s the playlist (both read-ready and listen-ready) for last week’s installment of Ozmosis on New Rock 104.1.

It’s got a premiere from local band Rademacher, coming-to-town-soon bands: Royal Canoe, Surfer Blood and Ape Machine (tonight at Audie’s!). It’s also got one band I’m predicting big things from in 2012: Walk the Moon. I’m also super digging the Kid Savant track. So happy listening!

Looking ahead to this coming Sunday’s show: I have an Ozmosis/Beehive-fueled concert announcement that I’m really excited about. Plus some tunes from Fay Wrays, Santigold and Delta Spirit, among others. Join me at 9 p.m.

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Put some Ozmosis in your ears


So, Beehivers, how many of you have been tuning into my radio show on New Rock 104.1? Sunday will be our fourth episode and I’m pleased with the show thus far. Whether you’ve been listening each week or sadly missing out (tsk! tsk!) — I thought I’d give everybody a gift with some playlists from the first three shows.

We haven’t quite got the podcast situation figured out yet, but I’m assured it’s coming. Until then, you can listen to all the great songs with less of my yapping. Win-win, right?

Looking ahead to this Sunday’s show: I’ll be premiering a brand new track from local band Rademacher, plus playing new tunes from Dr. Dog, Sleigh Bells and Royal Canoe, among others. Let’s make a date for Sunday at 9 p.m., yeah?

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Rademacher covers Whitney Houston

Local band Rademacher dug up this indie rock cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” after her passing. No, Rademacher is not trying to take advantage of the Whitney bandwagon like some people — the band used to play this cover at shows back in 2008.

While you enjoy the tune, here are a few more Rademacher tidbits:

  • The band is playing SXSW this year — officially. And it’s raising money to get there and press up vinyl copies of its upcoming EP. Help ‘em out if you can.
  • Pre-orders have started for Rademacher’s “Baby Hawk III” (the aforementioned upcoming EP). Go here. Also, listen to my radio show next Sunday, as I’ll be debuting a song from the EP.
  • You can next catch Rademacher in Fresno on March 3, playing Fulton 55 with L.A. indie rock buddies No. More info here.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching that Boise State game.

Indie pop duo Matt & Kim — one of my favorite groups — headlines a big day of music Sunday at the Festival of Hope in Tulare. It’s a two-day event, aimed at suicide prevention, it’s totally free and the entertainment lineup is quite stellar. Sunday is the strong day for music. In addition to Matt & Kim’s closing performance (at 8 p.m.), top-notch local bands Strange Vine (3 p.m.), Rademacher (4:30 p.m.) and Fierce Creatures (6 p.m.) play as well. [More info]


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The Beehive Interview: Malcolm Sosa of Rademacher


It’s an ArtHop Thursday in Fresno, and local indie rock fans should know that means: It’s Rademacher time.

For years, wandering over to Tokyo Garden after ArtHop and enjoying a sweaty night of live tunes with Fresno’s foremost indie rock band was a downtown tradition. Things have evolved in Rademacher land lately. The band isn’t playing Tokyo Garden as much, but it is in the middle of peeling off a series of three EPs called “Babyhawk.”

The release of the second EP — on Tuesday via Bandcamp, free to listen, btw — is giving Rademacher a good reason to party tonight, and at a swankier venue than Tokyo Garden.

Find Rademacher at Fulton 55 with friends Light FM (currently touring with Smashing Pumpkins) and Glasslands. Doors open at 9 p.m. Cover is $7. You can also catch Rademacher on Sunday at the Festival of Hope at the Tulare Outlet Mall. It’s a free show, headlined by Matt & Kim, and also featuring Fierce Creatures and Strange Vine. Rademacher plays at 6 p.m., right before Matt & Kim.

Rademacher’s frontman Malcolm Sosa is more than just the band’s singer. He’s the glue of Rademacher, and a longtime local musician. He’s also a longtime downtown resident, one of the guys championing the “Mural District” and Tokyo Garden before it got cool. Let’s not forget he’s a pioneer of the blogosphere too, having been one of the original contributors to Fresno Famous. So I figured when we decided to have a chat, we had a lot to talk about it.

Check out our Q & A below, touching on the new EP, the band’s current lineup, his thoughts on where downtown is these days and why Rademacher isn’t playing Tokyo Garden.

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Hey, you, wanna remix Rademacher?


I’ve always been drawn to the power of the remix. In hip-hop and dance music, remixes have been popular for decades. But in recent years, the remix has gotten cool in the indie rock and pop realms.

With apologies to Pete Rock, my current favorite remixers are RAC, who do some great stuff to indie rock songs.

Also cool is the genre-swapping when a hip-hop producer remixes an indie rock song. That’s the case with my current remix fave, the Xaphoon Jones remix of Grouplove’s “Colours.”

I say all this to introduce a challenge that I hope some Fresno music folks will get behind. Local indie rock vets Rademacher are tapping into the remix trend for their new single, “They Are Always Into That.” It’s a catchy song on its own, no doubt, and a good place to get started with their new “Babyhawk” project. But it’s one of those songs that could be cool in a variety of dimensions — perhaps with a hip-hop bassline, or maybe with electro undertones.

Any local producers/DJs up for the challenge? You can download all the “stems” of the song here and work your magic. If you do, send the final result my way, and I’ll post it. Merced’s Destructo Bunny was first out of the gate. You can hear his take on it here.

If you’re just a fan of Rademacher or local music in general, you can download “They Are Always Into That” for free from the player below.

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To-Do Tonight: Reside with Brother Luke


Local indie band Brother Luke and the Comrades are starting up a July residency at Veni Vidi Vici tonight. The band will play each Monday in July and give every show a bit of a different local flavor.

Brother Luke (aka Luke Freeman) is getting a little extra Comrade-y, by inviting some friends in the music scene to sit in with him and the band. Tonight you can expect Jonathan Hadden (from Porch Yellers and Rademacher) and Amanda Valdez (from Fierce Creatures).

Next week, Benji McEntee of Fay Wrays will be a guest. The series closes with a July 25 collaboration with local photographer (and musician!) Ryan C. Jones, who also took the picture above. All the performances are free and start at 10 p.m.

To-Do Tonight: The best Thursday night of the year


If anyone in my direct vicinity today dare say “There’s nothing to do in Fresno,” they will get smacked. Especially today.

Today is the best Thursday night of the year. There’s wayyyyy too much going on tonight. I need at least three of me to take it all in.

Here’s a look:

Fliers and more details down below

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Fresno for Japan: More benefits scheduled

Fresno’s creative scene is again helping with earthquake relief in Japan. On the heels of last weekend’s benefit concert at Starline, comes another jam-packed-with-local-talent concert. This one, dubbed “Downtown for Japan,” is at Fulton 55 on March 31 with MoFo Party Band, Strange Vine, Rademacher and many others performing.

The entire $10 cover charge goes to the Red Cross’ relief efforts in Japan. A few of the new Iron Bird Lofts-area businesses have a hand in organizing this, such as Faithful and True Tattoo Studio and Ignition Labs, who made the fresh poster you see below.


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To-Do Tonight: Thursday options aplenty

It’s ArtHop Thursday, which means there’s a whole lot going on tonight. Donald already covered some ArtHop options. So here are some other happenings.

The go-to post-ArtHop stop for indie rock is Tokyo Garden, of course. Tonight has a strong lineup with regulars Rademacher, on-the-rise Achievement House and the always dependable Blake Jones & The Trike Shop.


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To-Do Tonight: Nicki Minaj drag queens, Quiet! tunes and more

The most eye-catching event on the Thursday night agenda is a Nicki Minaj-themed version of the “Xotica” drag show at The Express. I don’t much care for Ms. Minaj’s music, but I imagine she’d be great fodder for a drag show, since she’s the hip-hop Lady Gaga and all.

QUIET! It’s not ArtHop night, but Tokyo Garden has a nice collection of local tunes for your Thursday night. It’s part of an occasional series called “Quiet!” where local musicians go unplugged for the evening. Tonight’s show features Malcolm Sosa from Rademacher, Niilo Smeds from High Winds, Luke Giffen from Quiet Americans and RC Essig from El Olio Wolof (R.I.P.) 9:30 p.m. $3.

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To-Do Tonight: Catch College Kids

College Kids — the new band from Malcolm Sosa of Rademacher – is playing a free gig tonight at Veni Vidi Vici. You might recall hearing College Kids and their “Big Fresno Fair” song in Sounds of the City a while back. The group is a collabo between Malcolm Sosa and Kim Haden, ex of Light FM. We hear VVV recently got a crackdown for dancing, so expect more bands and less DJs over there in the near future.


ELSEWHERE: Remember, it’s the second (and final) walking night at Christmas Tree Lane.

Your guide to a Frestastic week ahead

PRE-TURKEY DAY PARTYING: I dunno whether it’s true or not, but the night before Thanksgiving has long been called the Biggest Bar Night of the Year. I can say there are a number of parties happening around town Wednesday night, as you can see above. Welcome home, brain-drainers!

TAKE A PICTURE OF FILTER: Alt-rockers Filter are at Starline on Tuesday night. The band is best known for its 1999 hit “Take a Picture.” The band’s most recent material, however, has a bit of an industrial edge.

TOKYO GARDEN GETS SAUCY: Tokyo Garden has a nice run of shows eager to please the hipsters home for Thanksgiving. College Kids, High Winds and Brian Kenney Fresno play Wednesday in what is a benefit for The Undercurrent (R.I.P.?). Aesop and Destructo Bunny are playing Friday, while Brother Luke and The Comrades, Archaeology and Rademacher play Saturday. All three have $5 covers and 9:30 p.m. starts.

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Sounds of the City: College Kids


It’s perfect timing that a song called “The Big Fresno Fair” landed in my inbox. It’s from College Kids, a new side project of Malcolm Sosa, main man of beloved local indie rock band Rademacher. We’ll let him explain what College Kids is all about:

I have started a new band with my friend Kim Haden (formerly of Light FM and now performing with Yellow Alex). The band is called College Kids. I am still in Rademacher, of course, but basically Kim and I have started a recording project being produced by Josiah Mazzaschi of Light FM and Sam McConnell, who runs Breakfast Records. This track was engineered with Josiah at his studio, The Cave, and at Sam’s studio, The Manor, both located in Eagle Rock, CA.

Here’s their first song. Listen to it before you head out to the fair. You can also catch College Kids on KMPH’s “Great Day” next Thursday, Oct. 14.

DOWNLOAD: College Kids – “The Big Fresno Fair”

To-Do Tonight: RockHop (unofficially)


You might remember, that I’m a proponent of creating an ArtHop offshoot called RockHop. Tonight is ArtHop, and we also have a few good local music happenings. So it’s kinda like RockHop. Just unofficial.

The traditional post-ArtHop hipster hangout has the traditional post-ArtHop indie rock band — Rademacher.

It’s been a while since we talked about Rademacher. The band has had (surprise!) a lineup change recently and is gearing up for a busy July. It’s doing a handful of dates with Admiral Radley (including 7/9 at The Cellar Door and 7/10 at Frank’s Place).

Rademacher’s frontman Malcolm Sosa was also featured on “Portraits,” a 32-song compilation that was released in May.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than seeing George Lopez, checking the Tri-Tip cook off, heading down to the Kingsburg’s Swedish Festival or Benefiting the Watsons

Since this is Fresno and it could be 100 degrees by next weekend, enjoy our “spring” as long as you can. One thing to do in that vein is Saturday’s Spring Fling — it’s a new party with a Springtini-type approach. There’s food, drinks, a fashion show and live music. Notably: Shiver Fox is playing its first gig back at home since playing SXSW and spending a few months recording in Nashville.


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To-Do Tonight: Introducing Huck

huck may 2010 dates.jpg

If you like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, you oughta be at Yosemite Ranch tonight to check out Huck.

He’s a New York-based singer/songwriter who is making the rounds in Fresno this week. Tonight’s show is free, so that’s one selling point.

The other is that the dude has a good sound — it’s a similar chilled-out vibe that’s made Mraz and Johnson quite popular. Check out his MySpace to sample the tunes. “Bomb” and “Butterflies” are among my favorites. He sounds like he could be big one day.

The show starts at 9 p.m.

Get your post-ArtHop indie rock fix at Tokyo Garden. Rademacher is playing, of course, and it’s joined by Eagle Rock-based indie band Wrong Way Driver and the magical pop stylings of Blake Jones.