FresnoBeehive.com

Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Closures hit locally owned restaurants, clubs

It’s been a rough few weeks for local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. You’ve read about some of these closures here at the Beehive, but here’s the final tally:

They all closed for their own reasons, and you can read more about them in this weekend’s story that takes a look at the problem. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re still struggling with the lackluster economy.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching that stripper movie or the talking-bear movie.

1. SEE THIS SHOW
I’m hyped for tonight’s show at Fulton 55, which features two of the best bands on our local scene — Strange Vine and Poor Man’s Poison — and SoCal funky folksters He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, who have won over crowds here before. They’re playing the Austin City Limits festival in September too. Anyhow, it’s gonna be a great show and if you don’t go that blue creature on the flier will eat you. [Tickets]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Because they’re better than going to R-rated movies.

1. SCORE A COMEDY KO
Saroyan Theatre has back-to-back comedy shows with two big headliners — Jerry Seinfeld tonight and Gabriel Iglesias on Saturday. I had some fun in today’s Bee doing the boxing-themed comparison of the two below. Text here. [Tickets]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than buying me a Lexus

1. GO SEE SOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
OK, so maybe some thugs ruined Christmas Tree Lane for ya this year, but there’s still the great display at Cindy Lane (below, my personal fave), the synced light displays (I’m mapping it out for you later today), Zoo Lights, Holiday Fun in the Tower or just whatever’s in your neighborhood.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

When you’re not sending me hate mail

1. TRY SOMETHING FOREIGN
Soul/hip-hop group The Foreign Exchange comes to Fulton 55 for a night of chilled-out grown-folk music — date night material right here, y’all. They’re selling out shows around the state, so hopefully Fresno gives them a warm welcome. Read more about the group in this feature story I wrote. [Tickets]

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than racking your brain for Scribbles captions …

1. FIND SOME TREASURE
Pretty big DJ coup for Fresno tonight at Twist. The globe-trotting Treasure Fingers, of the ultra-hip Fools Gold camp, races into town tonight. It’s a Scion-sponsored event, and you can get in free with VIP treatment if you test drive a car between 5-9 p.m. [Info]

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Can Fresno support a six-night-per-week comedy room?

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Tonight downtown restaurant Heroes Sports Lounge and local comic/promoter Danny Minch start something that Fresno hasn’t seen in a long time — a six-night-per-week comedy room.

Fresno has no shortage of local comedy nights, most of them restaurants and bars that add a comedy night to their weekly entertainment schedule. Places such as Thai Palms and Crossroads have proven there’s a market for it, no doubt. But what Fresno doesn’t have — and it hasn’t had since Screwballz closed in 1997 — is a true comedy club.

To some degree that’s what Heroes and Minch are trying to create with their new venture. Heroes will still be a restaurant and bar, but it’s taking a big step into turning its upstairs into a consistent comedy destination.

Here’s how the six-night schedule will work, from a story I wrote in today’s Bee:

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Ya know, in addition to that roller derby bout we’ve mentioned 46 times this week …

1. DON’T BE USELESS: We owe a top-of-the-post shout-out to this Sunday night show at Fulton 55 with Useless Keys, Quiet Americans and The Mallard. L.A.-based headliner Useless Keys and its “heavy space rock” is cool, but the main reason a lot of people will care about this is the return of Greer McGrettrick, a former Fresnan who used to play in Rademacher and is now behind SF’s The Mallard. Fresno Famous has more with McGrettrick. [Tickets]

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To-Do Tonight: The Central Valley Comedy Competition starts up again

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Tonight marks the start of this year’s Central Valley Comedy Competition, which will crown a winner and award him or her $5,000 worth of cash and prizes on July 2.

Before all that, though, comics must trudge their way through the preliminary rounds, which start tonight at Crossroads.

There are four prelim competitions this week, leading up to a two-day semi-final this weekend.

Each preliminary round will has many as 15 comics performing short sets, with the best four advancing to the semi-finals.

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Damn Skippy! Look at which ’80s TV actor is coming to Fresno

I could tell you that Marc Price is coming to Fresno, but that wouldn’t register nearly as much as telling you that Skippy from “Family Ties” is coming to Fresno, which is a total ’80s-pop-culture-gasm. Yup, the guy who could never woo Mallory Keaton is now a stand-up comic, and his travels bring him to Fresno for a long weekend of shows

He’s at The Press Box on Thursday and Thai Palms on Friday and Saturday nights, part of Andre Covington’s monthly comedy series at each spot. Covington also hosts. More details on the fliers below.


Having trouble picturing goofy boy-next-door Skippy as a comedian? Here’s a YouTube clip.

To-Do Tonight: 4/20 edition

It’s April 20, aka 4/20, aka the pot smoker’s holiday — so you know there are some celebrations around town tonight. It’s not that we condone illegal substances, but you can’t deny 4/20 as an event sparker.

Leading off: Starline debuts a new Wednesday night party called Feel the Funk, which is 4/20ing it up for its first night. DJ Marc West is spinning and reggae band Irie Sun — because you can’t have a 4/20 party without a reggae singer, right? — performs as well.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Besides the Fresno Film Festival, Big Hat Days, the BLOB Awards, and checkin’ out the new monster-sized Forever 21

1. BE AN APRIL FOOL
It’s April Fool’s Day (no jokes here, at least not from me), so you might as well laugh. Here are a couple comedy options for tonight — one at Teazer’s downtown with our friend Travis Sheridan headlining and another with headliner Speedy at Thai Palms on the north side, which extends its April Foolin’ until Saturday.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than the George & Reba concert and that big football game on Sunday.

1. GET LIQUORED UP AT FULTON 55
It’s weekend No. 2 of Fulton 55, Fresno’s newest concert venue. Not that we’re saying you should get sloshed or anything, but the headline for this weekend is that the club’s liquor license is in effect, which is good news for the drinkers among us (that’s almost all of you, right?). Tonight brings us blues band Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers ($15) and Saturday has Ska Parade 20th Anniversary Tour w/ Monkey, Go-Go 13, Warsaw Poland Brothers, MC Tazy Phyllipz, King Sugar and more. ($15)

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While Fresno mourns Gen. Vang Pao

1. PUMP UP YOUR KICKS … AND GET TO VISALIA
The Beehive is involved in Saturday night’s Foster the People show for one very important reason: I think Foster the People has a crapload of potential. So of course I think you should see them at The Cellar Door. If you’ve never been to The Cellar Door this is a good chance to see the coolest music venue in the Valley (I named it venue of the year for 2010 in my column today, btw). Here’s an interview with Foster the People’s frontman Mark Foster about the band’s busy year ahead. See ya Saturday night! Until then, enjoy more “Pumped Up Kicks.”

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you go eat those cantina tacos

1. GO DEF
All the hard rockers are gonna be out to see Deftones on Saturday night at Woodward Park Amphitheatre. Circa Survive opens, and they’re big too. So not only is it a top-notch show for Fresno, but it’s the biggest-name concert in the amphitheater since it was renovated two years ago. To get ready, check out my interview with Sergio Vega, who joined the band to replace Chi Cheng on bass after his brutal car accident.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While saying hello to August (already?!?) …

1. LAUGH IT UP
In today’s Bee, I put together a big ol’ guide to the stand-up comedy scene in Fresno. It lists all the various comedy nights in town (weekly, monthly, etc.) So if you read it and wanna get out there to yuck it up immediately, you have three options this weekend.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Ya know, other than celebrating America

1. MIX CREATIVITY AND CARNE ASADA
I like Creative Fresno and I like Guadalajara. So it’s no surprise that Creative Fresno having its monthly blender at my favorite Mexican restaurant gets a nod from me. Guadalajara has really good food, and very large drinks at its new Clovis location. Creative Fresno, meanwhile, does some really cool stuff for the community — like finance downtown murals and fuel the FuSE Festival. Its monthly blenders are a chance to meet and network with local artists and creatives. And they’re free. The event runs 5-8 p.m.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Besides loving somebody or something …

1. SEE A GREAT SHOW
I’m super psyched about this show tonight at Audie’s — it features Strange Vine (who I think is the best band in Fresno right now), The Stones Foxes (a great classic rock-ish band outta S.F. with Fresno-area roots) and Still Time (a SLO band that fans of Dave Matthews and Ben Harper oughta love). You can read a little more about it in today’s music roundup in The Bee.

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To-Do Tonight: AfterArtHopping

Donald already filled you in on the all the ArtHop stops tonight. But, as you know, that’s only the first half of what’s one of the best nights of the month in Fresno. There’s plenty of places to be after ArtHop, such as:

AUDIE’S OLYMPIC
It’s a Ms. Soulflower/DJ Bradley shindig, so expect a funky night of music. You know those top 40 nights? Yeah, opposite of that.

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To-Do Tonight: All aboard the Gospel Spaceship

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We already told you about ArtHop for this evening. But if you’re looking for a live music fix, head over to Thai Palms where local rock band Gospel Spaceship is playing.

The Gospel guys have a little bit of a classic rock feel to it and fun songs, which oughta translate to a nice live energy.

If you want to check ‘em out beforehand (or if you’re too cheap to buy music), then you’re in luck, because the band just put up a FREE five-song EP on its Web site.

It’s called “Zero Visibility” and you can listen/download here.

To-Do Tonight: Cookin’ up some options

David Cook is at Table Mountain Casino tonight, and that heads up a nice list of happenings tonight in and around our great city. Cook’s show is long sold out, so if you’re a David Diehard, hope you already got some tickets. If you haven’t yet, you can read my Q & A with the “American Idol” winner.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Besides checking out the Swede Fest, the Creative Blender and Exene Cervenka, all of which we also recommend:

1. THROW UP THE ROC: You should already know by now — Jay-Z is in town on Saturday night, his first ever Fresno concert, and one of only two Cali concerts he’s doing this year. It oughta be fresh. You can read more about Jay-Z, and why he matters beyond just rap, in this story from today’s paper. I also did an interview with his young protégé J. Cole, who is one of the show’s openers along with Wale and N.E.R.D.

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Afterward, don’t forget that the afterparty at Aqua Shi should be hopping too — with Jay-Z’s DJ Neil Armstrong spinning.

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