Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fresno gets a vegan, organic, non-gmo (and often gluten free) Mexican restaurant

photo (95)Here’s something different for Fresno: A Mexican restaurant that is always vegan, has organic and non-genetically modified food whenever possible and has a mostly gluten-free menu. Flacos has opened inside Strummer’s in the Tower District. (If you need a reminder, Strummer’s is the former Starline at 833 E. Fern St. in the Tower District and the restaurant is in the half that used to be called Starline Grill.) Strummer’s is still Strummer’s and has the same bar service and loud music that the bar has always had. (You may remember Flacos tested out serving meals on Fridays back in March. Now it’s a permanent restaurant.)

Some of the dishes at Flacos use a meat substitute, such as the textured soy protein in the taquitos (it tastes like chicken). Other dishes don’t require any meat substitutes, such as the pozole or huarache — an organic corn tortilla with avocado, refried pinto beans (no lard in ‘em), rice, cilantro, onions, cabbage, radish and salsa. (Pictured at right is the banana leaf tamale with avocado salsa.) You can see the full menu online here. Owner Antonio Magaña owns a restaurant with the same name and menu in Berkeley.

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The Starline is now Strummer’s

1myyy4.AuSt.8This may be old news to anyone who reads this blog, but Sunday’s paper had a story on the old Starline/new Strummer’s. It was a reminder of the legacy (both good and bad) of the Starline, along with a look at what the new owners have in store for the venue. Here’s a hint: Awesome shows (and vegan food). Already, the venue has had one for-sure sellout show (Panic in the Disco) and one that had to be close (Flag).

Read the full story over at the Fresno Bee website, then watch this video from the Flag show.

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Group of locals looking to buy The Starline?

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.

Announced: Newsted, April 24 @the Starline

jason_gal_pic6UPDATE: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday (March 30). You can get them online at American Made Concerts or in physical form at A U-Neek Boo-Teek (4561 N Blackstone Ave,) Valentino’s (814 E Olive Ave) and The Starline Box Office (convenience fee may apply.)

Original post: Metal fans have been waiting for this one since news got out that ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has two Fresnans playing in his new band. And here it is: According to his website (and verified by the guys at American Made Concerts) Newsted will be in town April 24 playing at the Starline.

Tickets haven’t gone on sale yet. When they do, we’ll let you know.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you read my “farewell” column from today’s Bee.

Latin R & B group Tierra, 40-year vets of the music biz, are a perfect fit for this oldies-leaning town. Fresno music lovers should gobble up their Saturday night show at Fulton 55. Also: My favorite show poster of the week. [More]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While starting down the “20 ways to be a better Fresnan” checklist.

Laid-back reggae/rockers The Expendables are playing what’s probably the biggest gig of the weekend, tonight at Fulton 55. If you like Slightly Stoopid, you’ll like them. We hear it’s closed to selling out. So don’t slack. [More]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than the Fresno Philharmonic’s season debut.

The event dominating chatter this week is the Color Me Rad 5K, happening Saturday at Woodward Park. This ain’t any ol’ 5K. Runners get splattered with “color bombs” of paint as they run and end up looking like a life-size bag of Skittles. Color Me Rad is so popular that advanced registration sold out (and people have actually been re-selling their entries — is it a Justin Bieber concert?). But what you can do, is go watch. It’ll be colorful show, no doubt. [More]


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While you play with your shiny new iPhone 5

If you ask me, the coolest show in Fresno this week stars Canadian band Royal Canoe, who is at Fulton 55 tonight and whose sound I really dig. They lead a plump lineup that also includes local indie rock faves Fierce Creatures and been-here-a-few-times-and-knocked-em-dead soul artist Ssssnake. [More]


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you Conan-ize yourself.

Seems like a good weekend for a pool party, right? Good, because it’s time for another of the Blue Lagoon parties at Sierra Sport and Racquet Club. Modeled after a Las Vegas pool party, it has booze and DJs, and is only for the 21+. This time, local band Clouded Vision plays too. [More]


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Tonight: Dance with The Duke


Joan Soriano, called “The Duke of Bachata,” comes to Fresno tonight on his current West Coast tour.

While bachata — a popular style of dance music from the Dominican Republic — has become more popular worldwide in recent years thanks to artists such as Aventura and Prince Royce giving it a pop-friendly spin, Soriano sticks to the music’s roots.

Catch him tonight at Starline for Starline Salsa Club’s recurring bachata night. There’s a dance lesson at 9:15 p.m. Soriano and his family band begin at 10 p.m.

The Week Ahead: Catacomb Party, not-quite $5 country, Rev. Horton Heat, etc.

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CATACOMB PARTY: Indie rockers Fierce Creatures have their big Catacomb Party album release concert on Saturday. It’s a free, all-ages event with nine other bands joining Fierce Creatures outdoors on the Fulton Mall. It’s the local music event of the week, for sure.

THE HOTTEST TICKET OF THE WEEK: That goes to Kiss Country’s $5 concert at Rotary Amphitheatre at Woodward Park, starring “American Idol” Scotty McCreery and Joe Nichols. The $5 thing, that’s a lie at this point. Tickets sold out in less than a day when they went on sale and now if you want them, you’re going to pay much more than that.

BACK-UP PLAN: Another quality show on Thursday night is at Fulton 55, where Rev. Horton Heat, Supersuckers and The Goddamn Gallows make a tour stop. Rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, roots rock are too be expected. Good stuff too.

ALSO IN TOWN THIS WEEK: Bachata star Joan Soriano (Tuesday at Starline), pop/rock band The Torn ACLs (Wednesday at Tokyo Garden), dancy indie rock group Conveyor (Friday at Kuppajoe), Origami Ghosts (Friday at Cafe Infoshop) and the Hiero Imperium Tour with Souls of Mischief, Pep Love and Casual (Saturday at Fulton 55).

FOR LAUGHS: “Mad TV” alum Mo Collins — who “Parks & Rec” fans also know as Joan Callamezzo of “Pawnee Today” — performs at Club One Casino on Friday night with Rebecca Corry.

TWEETUP: We like Tweetups — obviously — so we think you should know that them lady bloggers over at The Full Moxie are having one on Friday.

CAN I GET AN ENCORE? Looks like Encore Nightclub is having a big “grand opening” weekend — it’s been open, but ya know how these things go. It’s fully operational as an 18+ place, which is worth a note. This is, if you’re wondering, the most re-named club in Fresno. It’s the former On the Rocks, Bliss, Bisla’s, XO and most recently NVS.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to not being a hater.

Alt-hip-hop dudes The Knux return to Audie’s Olympic on Sunday night. They’re a bit atypical in that they, ya know, play instruments and stuff. Here’s a good example of their sound. [More]


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than seeing how many chicken wings you can cram in your mouth in 10 minutes.

The Fresno Grizzlies have a pop culture-heavy weekend planned. Tonight is “Super Hero” night, where the team will be wearing “Dark Knight Rises” theme jerseys — as seen on, FYI. If you dress like super heroes, you get in free. Saturday, the Grizz host Disney actress/singer Zendaya Coleman from “Shake It Up.” She’ll be singing the National Anthem and signing autographs. [More]


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Tonight: Since you can’t see that $5 country concert …

The biggest concert of the night will be the second in Kiss Country’s $5 summer concert series, which is long sold-out and will pack-out the Rotary Amphitheatre at Woodward Park. Since you can’t go to that, you might consider Grammy-winner Louie Ortega of the Texas Tornados, Straight Line Stitch, Sonnymoon, Thee Satisfaction, The Jacka or some tropical grooving at Starline.

Here’s more:

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

In addition to watching the daredevil dude jump all those semi-trucks at the Spokes ‘N’ Rods festival, seeing the new offering from Woodward Shakespearse Festival or getting risque with Fresno Filmworks .

The Soulflower Group hosts its popular annual Prince tribute at Audie’s Olympic on Saturday. It features a handful of DJs dipping into their stashes to play Prince gems. A movie will shown and, if I know The Soulflower Group, there’s some more cool stuff planned too. [More]


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Tonight: Vicci Martinez shares her ‘Voice’ with Fresno

Singer Vicci Martinez, who finished third on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice,” is in Fresno tonight, playing another of radio station Y101′s “Unplugged” concerts. It’s happening at The Standard at 7 p.m. and is free for folks 21-and-up. But it’s first come, first serve and doors open at 4:30 p.m. For what it’s worth: I’d recommend not moseying in at 7:30 p.m. and expecting to have a spot.

Since “The Voice,” Martinez signed a recording with with Cee-Lo (her coach on the show) and is about to release her major-label debut album. The first single is “Come Along.”


If reggae is more your flavor, then you might dig this show tonight at Starline with Josh Heinrichs and Skillinjah.

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The Week Ahead: Black Milk, Xzibit, Xotica, Wild Blue and more

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BLACK MILK: If you like hip-hop like I like hip-hop — which is to say, not the stuff on the radio — then see Black Milk at Fulton 55 on Wednesday night. Dude is doooooope.

XZIBIT: If you like hip-hop that I liked in 1996, then go see Xzibit at Rome Nightclub on Thursday night. I honestly can’t tell ya what Xzibit has done in the last five years, but his first two albums were also doooooope.

WILD BLUE: Iconic Fresno band The Wild Blue gets together again for a reunion show on Saturday night at Fulton 55. Last time it did one of these, the show was paaaaaaacked.

CELEBRATE THE EXPRESS + XOTICA: It’s anniversary time at The Express, Fresno’s popular gay nightclub. On Thursday night, the Xotica drag show celebrates its eight-year anniversary then The Express itself celebrates nine years on Saturday night.

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Tonight: Bow before the beard of William Fitzsimmons


Singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons and his epic beard make a tour stop tonight at Fresno’s Starline

Fitzsimmons plays gentle folk music with a little electronica on the edges now and then. You might recall that he played in Fresno previously at Frank’s Place.

Tickets cost $15 and you can get them in advance from Love the Captive. It’s an all-ages show, which means Starline won’t be serving booze. But you can pop next door to Starline Grill and grab one if you’re old enough to imbibe.

A big shout-out on the illustrated flier. Diggin’ it very much. I hear it’s the work of Jordan Wiebe and Neighbor Collective, which also did one for the upcoming Black Milk show. Bravo!

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Lots to do this weekend. It’s hard to pick just five. A shout out is also due to local bands Poor Man’s Poison and Motel Drive for becoming the first local bands to sell out Hanford Fox Theatre for their Saturday night show.

It’s Mardi Gras time! Sunday is the Tower District is Fresno’s annual parade. The rest of the afternoon should be filled with happenings in Fresno’s most happenin’ part of town. You can catch tunes at Audie’s Olympic (Dusty Buns will be out there too!) or party it up at Starline later in the night.


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Sounds of the City: Death Alley Motor Cult


Local metalheads Death Alley Motor Cult are releasing a new CD at a gig Friday night at Starline (show flier below). But if you haven’t checked out their previous CD — “Dead to the World” — here’s a chance to join the cult for free. The band sent us over this song, “American Nightmare” that’s all yours with a download.

DOWNLOAD: Death Alley Motor Cult – “American Nightmare”

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than tracking down Bill Cosby while he’s in town and asking him begging him for some pudding pops.

Local blues ambassadors MoFo Party Band have a big show at Starline on Saturday night to celebrate their 23rd anniversary as a band and their new CD. It’ll be packed. And MoFo always delivers. [More]


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than taking the kids — or yourself — to “Toy Story on Ice.” Or watching that football game.

Starline has a good one on Saturday as two crowd-pleasers combine — 40 Watt Hype and Clouded Vision. p.s. It’s my favorite poster of the week. [Tickets]


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