You could spend the weekend at home listening to DEVO on the old record player. Or, you could catch some live music at one of the dozens of events happening this week. Check it out in an all-new installment of our weekly roundup BANDGEEEEK!
Dis/Orient/Ed Comedy is the first-ever (mostly) all-female, all Asian-American comedy tour. The brainchild of Los Angeles comics Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka, the tour has played to sell-out crowds up and down the West Coast. It comes to Fresno, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tower Theatre. Featured comics include Yang, Okatsuka and Helen Hong.
Tickets for the show are available at the Tower Theatre box office or online at disorientedcomedy.com ($5 off if you use the coupon code “fresnobee”).
Of course, we have a pair of tickets for one lucky Beehiver. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post. Tell us who is your favorite comedienne. This is a quick one: Deadline is 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be informed by email and will need to come down to The Bee’s front counter by 5 p.m. Friday to claim the tickets. Full rules plus videos of Yang and Hong on the jump.
Trio Ellas doesn’t so much work against stereotypes as circumvents them, with a musical proficiency that allows the group (Suemy Gonzalez, Nelly Cortez and Stephanie Amaro) to space among mariachi artists like Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan to Mariachi El Bronx, while courting mainstream artists like Ben Gibbard and Lady Gaga.
The Latin Grammy Award winning group plays Friday at the Tower Theatre and we have tickets to giveaway to Beehive readers. To enter, leave a comment on this post. Tell us why you’d like to see the group. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please don’t enter more than once. Winners will be informed by email Wednesday evening and will need to come down to The Bee’s front counter by 5 p.m. Friday to claim the tickets. Full rules and a video of Trio Ellas on the jump.
Carolla hosts the most downloaded podcast of all time, which, technically, means since the early 2000s or so. Still, Carolla, best known for his TV (“The Man Show,” Crank Yankers”) and radio (“Loveline”) work, is podcast royalty. His show was downloaded 60 million times between ’09 and ’11.
Carolla will be taping an episode of his podcast live at the Tower Theatre, Dec. 8 and we have tickets to put a few lucky Beehivers in the audience. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post. Tell us what is your favorite podcast and why. The contest ends 5 p.m. Friday. Winners will be chosen by random and notified via email. So check your email if you enter. One comment per person, please. Rules on the jump.
Ted Neeley, who played the title role in the 1973 film “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and who came to Fresno several times in the live stage version of the show, will be on hand for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. screening of the movie at the Tower Theatre. Neeley is so firmly associated with the role — which he played into his late 60s on stage — that he’s sort of become the AARP version of the architect of Christianity, along the lines of “What Would Jesus Look Like on Social Security?” Also at the screening: Barry Dennen, who played Pontius Pilate.
Both will participate in a Q&A discussion before the screening and a “meet and greet” with the audience afterward. Tickets to the event are $15.
I’m giving away two pairs of tickets to Beehive readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Thursday. One comment per person, please. I’ll be informing winners at 10 a.m. via email, so check yours around that time. If you’re a winner, you’ll be able to pick your tickets up at Will Call. Rules are on the jump.
Get our your cardboard and your Flip Cam because Swede Fest 12 is taking place 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Tower Theater. If you don’t know about the festival (which was the first of its kind), here’s a quick summary from the organizers.
Swede Fest gives everyone who participates the unforgettable experience of seeing their work on the big screen. A “sweded” film is a summarized, low-budget recreation of a popular movie, starring you! “Sweding” takes the best and worst movies that come out of Hollywood and combines them with the creativity and ingenuity of their greatest fans.
Entries for the festival are being accepted now through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 4. Film enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to submit. Films must be no longer than four minutes and suitable for all ages.
The 9th Annual Fresno Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night at the Tower Theatre. The festival, presented by Fresno Filmworks, runs the full weekend, with five feature-film presentations, more than a dozen short-film screenings and a number of post-screening discussions and other fun stuff for all you cinephiles.
Our movie critic Rick Bentley screened two of the features (“Paris-Manhattan” and “Blancanieves”) and word around the office is they were stellar. You can read his reviews in tomorrow’s 7 Section.
In the mean time, we have tickets to festival to give out to couple Beehivers (that’s you). Because the festival starts tomorrow, this is a quickie. Leave a comment on this post. Tell us why your love Fresno Filmworks (or haven’t yet been introduced). We’ll pick two winners at random. Contest will close at 4 p.m. today and winners will be notified by email. NOTE: These are actual physical tickets, so winners will need to come down to The Bee’s front lobby by 5 p.m. tomorrow to pick them up.
No repeat entries, please. Check your email tonight to see if you’re the winner. Complete rules are on the jump.
If you love the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Harry James and the Andrews Sisters, then the touring musical production of “In the Mood” is for you. It plays 3 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Tower Theatre and features the 13-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra and six singers and dancers. Songs performed include “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B),” “In The Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
I have six tickets to give away to the 3 p.m. show. (Weekday matinees are uncommon in Fresno, so note the time.) I’ll give two tickets each to the first three Beehive readers who comment on this post. (If you’d like, tell us your favorite Big Band song.) No repeat entries, please. These are paper tickets, so you’ll need to come down to The Bee’s front lobby by 2:30 p.m. Thursday to pick them up. If you’re one of the winners, I’ll contact you via email, so be sure to check yours. You can watch a promotional video for the show and read the complete rules are after the jump.
1. FIND YOUR LATIN R & B GROOVE AT FULTON 55
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]
So there I was, with probably 20 other men and 680 women at the Tower Theatre, in the audience for the first performance Saturday of “Menopause the Musical.” Outnumbered? Yes. Loving every minute of the show? You bet.
I’m certainly not in the target audience for a musical that turns the song “Night Fever” into “Night Sweatin.” (One of my Facebook friends commented that I should make my attendance into a drinking game by taking a swig every time a woman on stage complained about it being too hot. Sorry, I wrote back after the show: I wouldn’t have been able to drive home.) I can’t empathize when one of the cast members sings, “My personal summer is really a bummer.” I don’t exactly connect with the song “My Thighs” (sung to the tune of “My Guy”).
But comedy is comedy. And terrific actors are terrific actors, whatever the material. I didn’t want to miss the national tour of this popular Off-Broadway show, complete with a quartet of Equity performers. I’m glad I didn’t. In terms of staging, acting, singing and design, this extremely funny production is as smooth as the satin sheets the four women complain about when experiencing night sweats. (Satin gets so cold so fast. Ugh.)
There are two shows remaining: 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
ORIGINAL POST: There’s only one real way to experience the musical “RENT,” and that’s live. (The movie had its own charms, but it couldn’t capture the raucous energy of this much-beloved show.)
Here’s your chance with California Public Theater’s new local production, which has a short two-performance run. It opens Friday at the Tower Theatre and continues Saturday. As a Beehive reader, you can win two tickets to opening night. These are premium tickets (prices range from $23.50-$38.50), so you’ll get a great seat.
To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song from “RENT.” (If you don’t know any, that’s OK — just tell us why you’d like to see this show.)
Deadline to enter is noon Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail, so please leave a valid address. I’ll be picking the winner at 12:15, so be sure to check your e-mail around that time. If you can’t do that and would rather be contacted by phone, send me an e-mail (separate from your comment) at email@example.com with your number, and I’ll contact you that way.
Rules are on the jump.
Pictured: Brian Pucheu as Roger. Photo by Jared Jurcak.
1. GET YOUR HANDS ON SOME LOCAL GOODS
Since the Fresno Handmade Bazaar was such a success earlier this year, organizers The Soulflower Group have crafted a seasonal sequel — Saturday’s Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar. You can buy gifts — for you or your fam — handmade by Fresno’s indie artisans. This ain’t your grandma’s craft fair, though. It’s in a club with a DJ and drinks. Keep in mind that it’s only open to the 21+. [More]
On a Swede Fest note: Organizers Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez say Sunday’s event, its first at Tower Theatre, drew 500 people, which is a good crowd for the Tower, which seats about 761. Other swedes from the festival should be up today. Check swedefest.com.
Lewis Black plays Saroyan Theatre on Feb. 7 as part of his “The Rant is Due” tour. Black is a Grammy winner, who used to be a regular on “The Daily Show” and now performs more than 200 dates a year, selling-out shows in places such as Las Vegas, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and Broadway. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $39.50 and $49.50. Get ‘em at the Fresno Convention Center box office or through Ticketmaster. If you’re wondering: Black last appeared in the area in 2009, for a Table Mountain Casino show.
Jeff Dunham, a popular ventriloquist and stand-up comedian, is back at Save Mart Center, which is a regular stop for him. He’s starting his new “Disorderly Conduct” tour this month and it stops in Fresno on March 24. Tickets cost $46.50. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They’ll be available at the Save Mart Center box office or through Ticketmaster. Dunham played Table Mountain in May and was at Save Mart Center last in January of 2011.
1. SWEDE IT UP Swede Fest is bigger and better, back for its 10th installment Sunday. It’s happening at Tower Theatre, a dream realized for organizers of this quirky film festival. It showcases low-budget parodies made by everyone from average joes to seasoned pros. Creativity, ingenuity and a sense of humor are king at Swede Fest, so you never know what you’re going to see. It’s free and open to movie lovers of all ages. For more on Swede Fest’s growth and rise to popularity, read this Q & A with the organizers. [More]
- Upcoming at Fulton 55: The Original Wailers, the reggae band that can be traced back to Bob Marley. This incarnation of the band is led by Marley guitarist Al Anderson. It plays Nov. 16. Tickets: $12-$15.
- Fresno-bred guitar star Bruce Conte, best known for his work with Tower of Power, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. To help with his mounting medical bills, friends organized a benefit concert in Conte’s honor Nov. 24 at Tower Theatre. Conte will play, as will his friends. More details here. Tickets: $29 and $39.
Swede Fest is back on Nov. 11 for its tenth installment — yes, tenth. How cool is that this funky little event has stuck around as long as it has and continued to grow? Signs of that growth are definitely evident this time.
This newest Swede Fest has two cool new things going for it: It’s moving to the Tower Theatre this time (the most fitting home, methinks) and Fresno Arts Council is on board now to award $50 “micro” swede grants. Deadline to apply for the grants is Tuesday, Oct. 23. More info on the Swede Fest site.
If you’re unfamiliar with Swede Fest, it’s a homegrown film festival started by Roque and Bryan from Dumb Drum. Inspired by the film “Be Kind Rewind,” Swede Fest invites people to remake a movie as a “swede” — a low-budget parody, where humor and creative use of props often trumps film-making acumen. The point, simply, is to get people interested in making movies, while having some fun in the process.
Since Swede Fest’s humble beginnings (in a small downtown art gallery), it’s grown to the point where it draws standing-room-only crowds and gets national press exposure (NPR, yo!) Even with that, the point is still the same: Anybody is welcome to create a swede of their favorite film. Deadline to submit one is Nov. 5, so you better get working.
1. RE-LIVE THE KRZR DAYS Hard rockin’ Fresno radio station KRZR — which broke the hearts of local headbangers when it flipped formats a couple years ago — is the subject of a documentary that’s premiering Saturday night at Tower Theatre. It’s called “Long Live the Wild Hare,” and it looks at all the hijinks of the era plus puts the station’s legacy in context. Many of the old KRZR jocks will be at the premiere and afterparty. You can read more about the movie here. [Tickets]
I honestly didn’t expect to be writing this post today. By now, I figured tickets to see Lindsey Buckingham — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer/guitarist from Fleetwood Mac — perform tonight at Tower Theatre would be sold out. That’s a big legacy for a theater concert.
Yet, here we are, a few hours until showtime (8 p.m., btw) and tickets are still available. You can get them online for $51.50 and $61.50. They’re also available at the Tower, of course. Call (559) 485-9050 if you’d rather go that route.
You can expect Buckingham and only Buckingham on stage tonight. It’s a one-man show with songs that stretch from his Fleetwood Mac days to his own solo catalog.
1. PARTY WITH OZOMATLI Ozomatli is at Tower Theatre tonight, leading the a long list of top notch concerts in Fresno tonight. (More on that below). The boys from Ozo play funky Latin music with hip-hop undertones. They’re joined by local faves 40 Watt Hype. The combination should yield a great night of party music. [Tickets]
Mark your calendar for these newly announced shows.
Reverend Horton Heat + Supersuckers Reverend Horton Heat comes revving back to Fresno on July 19, headlining Fulton 55. The rockabilly/alt-country veteran has been to Fresno numerous times, but this is his first concert here since 2009, when he played Tower Theatre.
Rock band Supersuckers is also on the bill, a coup since many would consider them headliner-worthy on their own. Tickets cost $21 and are available now at fulton55.com, tgptix.com, Valentino’s and SBI.
Also at Fulton 55: Murs, Rachel Platten and Middle Class Rut A few other noteworthy shows added to the Fulton 55 show include rapper Murs (May 7, $15), singer Rachel Platten (May 16, $10-$12) and rock band Middle Class Rut (May 2, $12-$14).
[Rarebell's] Thursday night show at Tower Theatre comes with quite the interesting back story, a rich Fresno angle and a reality TV camera crew.
Let’s start at the beginning. Last year, Rarebell came to California State University, Fresno, to sign copies of his book, “And Speaking of Scorpions,” which he wrote with Fresno State alumnus Michael Krikorian.
Rarebell was originally supposed to speak to the jazz/rock history class taught by Brad Hufft, but instead that part turned into a drum clinic with the university’s assistant professor of music, guitarist Corey Whitehead.