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.
1. SAY HAPPY 15TH TO KUPPAJOE
All-ages music club Kuppajoe celebrates its 15-year anniversary tonight with a hard rockin’ show featuring Phinehas and many others. Check out my feature on Kuppajoe’s anniversary. [More]
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.
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.
1. WORSHIP WHILE YOU ROCK
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.
1. DUH, GO TO THE ROGUE 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]
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.
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.
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?
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.
1. FIND HOPE WITH MATT & KIM
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
It’s opening day for the Fresno Grizzlies. If Mother Nature cooperates — it looks like she might — tonight will be a Thirsty Thursday. So bring those dollar bills to the beer line! Oh, and if you’re Facebook friends with the Griz, you can get a special deal on tickets.
“Wicked” is here for Day Two, two performances in fact. Not up to speed on all the Wicked chatter? Just go read all this stuff.
ArtHop means post-ArtHop parties. Tokyo Garden has its customary Rademacher & friends indie rock party, while Fulton 55 jumps into the post-ArtHop pool with a hip-hop night starring Living Legend (and local guy) Aesop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. ENJOY SPRING WHILE IT LASTS
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.
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.