The way Shazam Conner tells it (punctuated with a hearty laugh), H-Town is responsible for 1/3 of the population of the United States. In the 1990s, the Texas R&B group (Conner, along with his late brother Dino and friend G.I. Jackson) had hits with the songs “Knockin’ da Boots” and “Lick U Up.”
The titles tell you what you need to know. This is baby making music (NOT an official genre).
“The women at my shows are still making babies,” says Conner, in town with H-Town Saturday night at the Selland Arena, playing on a bill that includes R&B singer Al B. Sure and Keith Sweat. “We’re going to be singing all the hits,” he says.
Then, he lists them, starting with “Boots” and “Lick U Up,” and rattling through a half dozen others.
H-Town released its last album “Imitations of Life,” in 2004, just after the death of Conner’s brother Dino, but the group never really stopped playing, Conner says. In fact, he and Jackson just finished recording songs from a new album to be released next year.
A single should be out next month.
Lyrically, the new music is classic H-Town — full of down-and-dirty fictionalized love songs. Musically, it keeps the pairs’ signature melodies and classic R&B beats, but adds contemporary influences in the hooks, Conner says.
“It’s H-Town with a new millennial twist.”
It’s a sound that fans are ready for, says Jackson. While, H-Town tends to gets classified as old-school, or worse yet, adult contemporary, the pair is anything but.
Conner and Jackson are still in their (late) 30s. Their fans are listening to hip-hop and rap and R&B.
The O’ Jays, the Isley Brothers, those are real old school artists, Jackson says.
“We’re not there yet,” he says. “Maybe someday.”
Watch the video for H-Town’s “Knockin’ da Boots,” on the jump.
Planes are being shot out of the sky! We won’t fault you for not thinking about getting out to see some live music this weekend. Still, it’s my job to keep you informed. So here it is, your weekly music roundup (back from a short hiatus) … BANDGEEEEK!
Keith Sweat must love Fresno. Or, Fresno fans must love Keith Sweat. Either way, I can’t think of one artist we’ve seen more of in the last few years. The R&B innovator played shows at Save Mart Center in both 2011 and 2012 (with Bobby Brown/MC Hammer and the Isley Brother respectively) and headlined his own show at the Rotary Amphitheater. In February, he was at the Selland Arena.
He’ll be back at the Arena July 19, with fellow New Jack Swinger Al B. Sure and R&B vocal group H-Town. It’ll be a full night of romance, for sure. Tickets for the show are $40.50-$60.50 and available now through Tickermaster and Ticketmaster outlets.
Watch the video for Sweat’s “I’ll Give All My Love to You,” on the jump.
We’ve seen Keith Sweat a lot in the last few years (we being Fresno, or Fresno R&B fans at least). Sweat, who was given the Soul Train Life Time Achievement Award for 2013, played shows at Save Mart Center in both 2011 and 2012 (with Bobby Brown/MC Hammer and the Isley Brother respectively). In May, he headlined his own show at the Rotary Amphitheater.
And he’ll be back March 1, playing the Selland Arena. Tickets for the show are $40.50, $50.50 and $60.50 and go on sale Friday at the Selland Arena box office or via ticketmaster.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 15, and cost $27, $37, $51, $76, $112. They are available at the convention center main box office at Selland Arena, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and weekends on show dates, or through the Ticketmaster website, by phone (800) 745-3000 and all Ticketmasteroutlets, including select Vallarta and Save Mart Supermarkets.
While the city council weighs the merits of the downtown Convention and Entertainment Center, Latin music icon Joan Sebastian announced his return to the Selland Arena Nov. 23.
The Mexican singer is a multiple Grammy- and Latin Grammy-award winner, who has been a regular staple on the top-40 charts in his home country since 1977. His music is a mixture of Latin pop, ranchera and grupera music, which he performs on horseback. Joining Sebastian for the show is Grammy nominated Ezequiel. Ezequiel (Cheque) Peña, also performs on horseback and is well known for both mariachi and banda music.
The pair will be performing together for the first time in Fresno.
Advance tickets are $54, $69, $94, $119 and available online Thursday. Use the password: PONY.
Fernandez, seemingly in better health, will now perform at Selland Arena on April 12. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $48, $70, $95, $150 and $175. In case you’re wondering: these are the same prices as the previous show. So just consider that a warm-up run. Tickets will go fast the second time around. Maybe even faster.
You can buy them at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets or the Fresno Convention Center box office.
Several studies have been carried out on the singer and in the next days Don Vicente will undergo surgery to remove the lump on his liver. Due to the nature of the surgery and the recovery, the concerts programmed for the rest of 2012 will be canceled.
After the operation it is necessary to carry out the pertinent pathology. These results will be communicated to the mass media. Likewise, we will continue to inform the media regarding the state of health of Vicente Fernández as he advances in the procedures.
Ticket refunds will be available starting on Monday at original point of purchase.
TiÃ«sto is often regarded as the “No. 1 DJ in the world” and Fresno is one of the stops on his current U.S. tour that’s hitting cities with universities. It’s another testament to how strong the electronic dance music scene is right now — both in the U.S. and in Fresno. Read more in this feature story/interview I wrote, or get tickets via Ticketmaster. There’s also an afterparty at Karma Restaurant & Lounge. Flier below for that.
Yellowman, meanwhile, is a reggae vet from Jamaica who made his name as a DJ and singer in the 1980s. Get more info and tickets at Fulton 55′s site.
Tickets cost $39 and are on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. They’re available through Ticketmaster or at the Fresno Convention Center box office.
Just a little unsolicited opinion here: It’s nice to see a rock show at Selland Arena again. There was a time, a few years ago, that it was hosting bands such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, who weren’t quite Save Mart Center-ready yet. Hopefully we see more like this — that seems like a good niche for Selland.
1. EXPERIENCE FRESNO SOUNDS
No surprise what’s the top of the list — it’s the Fresno Urban Sound Experience. As a big proponent of local music, I think this one-day, 40-act, seven-venue festival is your best opportunity to sample the variety and talent of our local music scene. For $20 you get as-much-as-you-can-listen-to local music in a handful of cool downtown venues. For more, read my column from today’s paper, or check out the festival site. The Bee also put together a handy schedule and venue map PDF.
UPDATE: Congrats to our winner, Renee Ruiz! Thanks to the great number of you who entered.
ORIGINAL POST: Need a laugh? Well, comedy star Gabriel Iglesias is in Fresno this weekend, and we’ve got a free pair of tickets for one lucky reader.
Iglesias is performing Sunday night at Selland Arena, his biggest Fresno gig to date. The popular comic has sold out shows at Saroyan Theatre in years past. But as his star continues to rise, the “Fluffy Guy” is making a jump to the arena level. If you don’t win tickets from us, you can buy them here.
To enter: Just leave a comment below. Deadline to enter is 10 a.m. Friday. We’ll pick a winner at random and notify them via e-mail, so please leave a valid e-mail address and check it. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days. No multiple entries. Full rules below.
Lots to do on this Thursday night in and around Fresno. Here are a few highlights:
TobyMac heads the Winter Wonder Slam concert at Selland Arena, which also includes CCM acts Relient K, Stephanie Smith and B. Reith. [Read interview]
Cyber hottie Somaya Reece — she of 30 million MySpace views and almost 900,000 friends — is the “celebrity” guest host tonight at Bliss. [Read interview]
Harper Simon, son of Paul Simon, hits Visalia’s Cellar Door with an all-star band of musicians who have played with Cat Power, John Spencer Blues Explosion, and Rilo Kiley. Plus Money Mark, best known for working with Beastie Boys, plays keys. [Read interview]
World Sports Cafe jumps into the local music realm and kicks off its new L.I.V.E. Thursdays series with drummer Ray Moore and keyboardist Javon Davis, plus DJ Slo Motion. [Flier]
Alt-hip-hop act Sole & the Sky Rider Bank (of Anticon Records) makes a stop at Thai Palms. Bring your backpack. [Flier]
I interviewed TobyMac (ex of DC Talk, if you didn’t know) for a piece that was in the paper last week. Read it here. And since we at The Beehive are a giving bunch, today we’ve got some free tickets to the concert for a couple lucky readers.
The FIRST and FIFTH readers to comment on the post will win a pair of tickets to the show. A few notes: Winner will be notified in an e-mail, so leave a real one. No repeat comments please. You’re ineligible if you’ve won something in the past 30 days (the “Up in the Air” screening doesn’t count). We won’t post any comments until we have a winner. Complete rules after the jump.
Wow, it’s one of those weekends in Fresno. You know, where there are so many cool music events happening that you wish you had 12 ears instead of two.
Here’s a guide to some of the top stuff, but feel free to add whatever else you know to be happening in the comments.
The Fresno Urban Sound Experience Festival is back for another year — this year as the Re:FUSE Festival (thanks to a little legal wrangling with Fuse TV). But let’s forget about the name and focus on the music — there are more than 40 local artists performing at the festival this year, which starts with a preview night on Friday at Full Circle Brewing Co., continues all around downtown Fresno on Saturday then caps off Saturday night with an afterparty at Tokyo Garden.
There’s a DJ lounge this year at The Loft, which should be super fresh. There’s also some cool new venues, like Hero’s, Club One and — most awesome — atop the spiral parking garage. The musical selections are all over the place, ranging from jazz and blues, to punk, rap and ska. And $15 gets you into everything. More info and the full band list is here. More good Re:FUSE reading can be found here.