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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Swedies: Swede Fest XIII awards

SF13_Flyer_OL_FINALSwede Fest’s held its 13th installment last weekend at the Tower Theatre. While the semi-annual celebration of sweded films has never been keen on actual judging (it would pretty much go against everything the festival stands for), The Beehive has made it habit to hand out awards for what we see as the best of the fest.

You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site.

Winners receive their names in this post (great for the EPKs) and the knowledge that they left me (and probably the rest of the viewers) totally inspired.

And the Swedies go to:

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BANDGEEK!: Kat Jones, Natural Thrills and Pillar Point

5-2-14-2You may want to steer clear of The Crossroads. But any of the area’s other bars/clubs/theaters are still fair game and most have something happening this weekend. Check their listings in our weekly music roundup known as BANDGEEEK!

TONIGHT:

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Bandgeek!: Bear Hands, the Brother Weiss and a tribute to Johnny Cash

4-4-14While the majority of your friends are out watching “Wicked,” you’d rather be out at a bar somewhere, listening to some low-down dirty rock and roll. Or any of the dozen of other music options happening this weekend (and into next week). Here’s your music roundup known as BANDGEEEEEK!

TONIGHT:

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Bandgeek!: BATHS, Goldboot and The Reverend Horton Heat

3-28-14If you can pull yourself away from following the Leland Yee story, you’ll find dozens of music events happening this weekend. We’ve compiled them here in another installment of our weekly music roundup BANDGEEEEEK!!

TONIGHT:

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Call for entries: Swede Fest 13

Swede-02-01Swede Fest, the low- or no-budget parody film festival, has announced a call for submissions for Swede Fest 13, May 17 at the Tower Theatre.

You have right around two months to put an entry together before the deadline, 11:59 p.m. May 12, but the first 20 entries get screened, so there’s benefit in getting yours in early. Films must be under 4 minutes suitable for all ages. Submission is free and open to the public (film makers of all ages are encouraged).

To get a sense for the festival, here are some previous submissions.

On a side note: This year, the Swede Fest coincides with Kingsburg’s annual Swedish Festival.

Concert announcement: Asleep at the Wheel

AsleepAtTheWheelIf Bob Wills was the King of Western Swing, Ray Benson is the crown prince. As the leader of the Austin, TX band Asleep at the Wheel, Benson has led an impressive list of musicians since the early 1970s. During that time, the band released 25 + album and won nine Grammy awards. It just released a 40th Anniversary concert film and mini-documentary and in the midst of a tour, that will bring them to the Tower Theatre May 10. Tickets to the show are $35-$45 and on sale now online and at the Tower Theatre box office.

Watch of video the Asleep at the Wheel on the jump.

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Bandgeek!: Strange Vine, New Politics and the Wailers

2-21-14You 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!

TONIGHT:

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Win tickets to Dis/Orient/Ed Comedy

1296323Dis/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.

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Win tickets to Trio Ellas

triotemp3Trio 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.

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Win ticket to: Adam Carolla live podcast

Adam_Carolla_podcastAdam Carolla is in the Guiness Book of World Records.

For podcasting. No joke.

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.

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Win tickets to ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ screening with Ted Neeley

TedBarryPosters

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.

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Announced: Swede Fest 12 is Nov. 9

1292850_10151576155731595_1138219569_oGet 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.

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Win tickets to the Fresno Film Festival

Homepage-Fest13-275x380The 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.

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Win tickets to ‘In the Mood’

In the hood 4

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.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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

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]

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THEATER REVIEW: ‘Menopause the Musical’

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.

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Win tickets to ‘RENT’

UPDATE: Congratulations to winner Anthony Taylor.

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 dmunro@fresnobee.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.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

If you’re lucky enough to have sold-out Of Monsters and Men concert tickets, add that.

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]

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Viralling: The sweded ‘Iron Man 3′ trailer is all up in your Internets

Looks like they did it again. The “Iron Man 3″ trailer that was sweded by Fresno nerds The Dumb Drum and debuted at Sunday’s Swede Fest X at Tower Theatre, is all over the Internet. You might recall their previous efforts, particularly their sweded “Avengers” trailer, have conquered the geekiest corners of the web and racked up hundreds of thousands of YouTube views.

So far, their “Iron Man 3″ swede has been featured on the front page of Buzzfeed, YahooMTV Geek, The Superficial, First Showing, Devour, I Am BoredUproxx, iGeekTrooper,  Vulture and Slash Film, which declared it better than a Jimmy Fallon sweded trailer. This list and the vid’s view count — currently 15,000 in about a day — should continue to grow. Help that by watching the video below:

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.

Comedy news: Lewis Black, Jeff Dunham add Fresno dates

Two new comedy announcements of note:

  • 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.

ALSO COMING UP: This weekend brings a few comedy options you might care about: Katt Williams is at Save Mart Center on Saturday night. The Tower Theatre hosts the Bob & Tom Comedy Show for two gigs Friday night. After that: Adam Carolla is back at the Tower on Dec. 8. On a local level: Fulton 55 hosts the Bo DeLapp comedy showcase on Nov. 20 and Blimprov plays there Nov. 29.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than taking the new downtown ice rink for a spin or watching the Veterans Day parade.

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]

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Concert Watch: Aaron Lewis, Steve Earle, The Original Wailers and a Bruce Conte benefit

Four recent concert additions you should know about:

- Rock-turned-country singer Aaron Lewis (you know him best from Staind) is coming back to the Visalia Fox Theatre on Feb. 22. Tickets are on sale now, costing $25-$60. Get ‘em at foxvisalia.org. More info here.

- Alt-country/folk singer Steve Earle, a legend in his world, has added a Jan. 8 date at the Hanford Fox Theatre. Tickets: $32.50, on sale now. More info here.

- 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.

Mark your calendar: Swede Fest X

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.

Bet you weren’t as psyched as Chris Colfer about his film playing in Fresno

UPDATE: Colfer responds to us on Twitter, saying he wasn’t taking a dig at Fresno. Fair enough. We’re sorry, Chris. Either way, we’re happy to hear the film was well attended.


ORIGINAL POST, 9:25 P.M.: As you know, Chris Colfer’s film “Struck By Lightning” played tonight at the Reel Pride Film Festival, and nobody was prouder than Colfer, a Clovis East grad.

Apparently Tower Theatre — capacity 761 — was packed. But, hey, let’s not let the truth get in the way of some Fresno jokes.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching people go “Over the Edge” on Fulton Mall.

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]

wildharefly.jpg

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