Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

4 new restaurants on the Fulton Mall — and one really entertaining restaurateur

EATING OUT 1There’s a flurry of restaurants opening on the Fulton Mall. Two are open so far: Trendy Pasta Company and Indian Heritage Restaurant Express. Two more are coming: Take 3 Burgers and another Casa de Tamales restaurant. You can read more about them in this week’s column.

But one restaurateur wins the prize for most entertaining: Mike Cook at Trendy Pasta Company. When you go in there, you’ll likely be greeted loudly and flamboyantly by Cook, possibly in Italian. He’s not the only one working there — his wife Rosalie works the counter and co-owner Matthew McComas is usually hiding in the kitchen (but that’s McComas’ gorgeous artwork on the walls). But it’s Cook who’s in charge of making sure customers have a good time. If they like him — in addition to his food — they’re more likely to come back, he figures. You can get a glimpse of Cook’s goofy personality, including him pulling my leg a little, in the video below.

Jimmy Fallon hits another home run with Jon Hamm ‘Celebrity Photobomb’

I’ve watched Jimmy Fallon for years on “Late Night,” so I easily followed him in his move as the new host of “The Tonight Show.” I have to say, he’s just killing it in his first few weeks. So many laughs and good times.

First there was the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing with Will Smith, then Brian Williams rapping “Rapper’s Delight” and another installment of the History of Rap with Justin Timberlake. There’s also the lip-sync off with Paul Rudd and The Roots playing “Let it Go” with Idina Menzel using classroom instruments.

And now, this awesome “Celebrity Photobomb” skit  with Jon Hamm at the Top of The Rock in New York City:


Upload: Wallflower Artist You Should Know video

ICYMI, I put together a quick video of hardcore noise punk band Wallflower as part of The Bee’s Artist You Should Know series.

The female-fronted punk band is part of the Friendcore scene and plays the kind of noisey rock-and-roll that is right up my alley. Watch the video and if you like what you see/hear, check them out tonight at C.A.F.E. Infoshop.

Check out video of last week’s AYSK, Optimus Prime, on the jump.

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Roundup of reaction, posts on the Miley Cyrus VMA performance

I’m not surprised to wake up this morning to see social media still abuzz over the Miley Cyrus performance on the VMAs last night. It was definitely memorable. Reading the various posts has consumed me this morning. So I thought I would share links to some of the best posts I came across.

First, ICYMI, here’s a video of the performance:

Get More:
2013 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Miley Cyrus

The reaction:

Dear Miley … an open letter from a mom and Dear Miley … what I hope you learned

The 15 Weirdest and Craziest Moments.

 8 memes

 Try not caring

Parent Television Council does not like

Celebs shocked in Tweets

22 Things Miley looked like in performance

The Onion prediction

Rihanna, One Direction not impressed

13 hilarious reactions


Super fun two Spocks commercial

My brother shared this video (actually, Audi commercial “Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: “The Challenge” that was posted May 6 on YouTube) with me on Facebook and I just had to share it with you. It made this sci-fi girl happy. Plus, it gives me an excuse to tell everyone how much I loved “Star Trek Into Darkness.” It’s AWESOME! Beehiver Rick Bentley shares that enthusiasm, read his “A” review here. You can also watch video interviews with cast members Simon Pegg, John Cho and Alice Eve here. Enjoy.

Entertainment suggestions for the weekend

There are several good entertainment choices for the weekend.

“Ask Obama Live: An MTV Interview with the President,” 5 p.m. MTV: As part of MTV’s “Power of 12” election campaign, President Barack Obama will address the concerns of young voters in this cable special. It should be interesting. Former President Bill Clinton was asked about his underwear during a similar event on the cable channel. Little did we know then the importance of that question. Please note that the “live” part of this program is only on the East Coast.

“Cloud Atlas”:Not since “2001: A Space Odyssey” has a film come along that’s such a marvel of moviemaking and a frustrating test of comprehension as “Cloud Atlas.” The latest work by Andy and Lana Wachowski, the minds behind “The Matrix,” re-imagines the art of moviemaking by creating a product that finds cohesion in confusion, distinction in disorder and symmetry in asymmetry.

“Alcatraz: The Complete Series”: The short-lived FOX series from J.J. Abrams looks at what happens when all of the guards and prisoners at the prison vanish, then begin reappearing years later. It’s “Lost” meets “Prison Break.” The series was canceled despite strong writing and acting after only 13 episodes. Sarah Jones portrays a strong hero, while Jorge Garcia offers just the right amount of humor to keep this show from being too dark. It also features the always reliable Sam Neill.

A Fierce Creatures fave gets animated

Fierce Creatures’ “Satan is a Vampire” is one of my favorite songs to come out of Fresno in the past few years. So I was happy to get a different take on the song from this animated video. It was made by The General Populus, a rapper and artist in town (also a good friend of mine).

He wasn’t commissioned by the band, Populus says, he just saw a story in the song and animated it. Pretty fresh, if you ask me.

PREVIOUSLY: Sounds of the City: Fierce Creatures

Fres-Know: Screamup takeover edition

This is our most shameless installment of Fres-Know ever. Deal with it.

ABOVE: Katrina and Hilary give us their best “Screamup Tweetup.” [YouTube]

FREE STUFF: Wanna go to the Screamup for free? [Weird Fresno]

BLOGGINGS: Famous visits Fright Night Scream Park … and lives to blog it. [Famous]

MORE FREE STUFF: Don’t be dumb, enter to win free tix here too. [Dumb Drum]

TALKIN’: The Fresnan opens his 20 seconds segment to my plugs [The Fresnan]

GOOD THINGS COME IN 3′S: Yet another chance to win tix. [Fresno Famous]

ONE MORE TIME: You can find all the info for Screamup Tweetup on … [The Beehive]

Screamup Tweetup! Screamup Tweetup!

Hey, y’all, Screamup Tweetup at Fright Night Scream Park is less than a week away. Are you scared already? It’s next Thursday, Oct. 21, featuring good peeps, spooky attractions and nice discounts to said attractions. There’s also a pre-party at Rio Grill with cheap drinks and free food. What’s not to like?

Did you ever notice that the name is a bit of a tongue-twister? Screamup Tweetup. Go ahead try to say it a few times fast. That’s what we asked people to do. Enjoy the results.

To RSVP to Screamup Tweetup, send a message to @fresnobeehive on Twitter.

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Movie Review: ‘Inception’ will blow your mind

I was lucky enough to see “Inception” on Monday night at Manchester Center. And I really mean lucky. This is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It has everything a sci-fi geek could want – amazing drama, building tension (so much so at one point I realized I was clutching my fist so tight my arm ached), cool special effects and a captivating love story. I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for this ingenious Chirstopher Nolan tale. I haven’t see a bad review yet. The Dumb Drum guys loved it. So have countless newspaper and magazine critics, including the Bee’s Rick Bentley who gave it an A. Here’s his one-minute video review:

All I can say, is you have to see this movie. It will blow your mind. I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

Why I’ll see the new ‘Clash of the Titans’

I made fun of all the movie remakes planned this year. But, I have to say, the trailers for the new “Clash of the Titans” have really won me over. I can’t get Liam Neeson’s roaring “Relase the Kraken!” out of my head.

The original “Clash” was one of my favorite movies growing up. I don’t know if it was my childhood love affair with unicorns and flying horses, the mythology, the great campy fun or that the movie was on cable all the time, but I must have watched it more than a dozen times. I loved the Medusa part, in particular. And it’s the new Medusa, who looks WICKED!, that’s piqued my interest.

Though its getting panned by some critics, our own film critic Rick Bentley appreciates the new movie’s fun, escapist tone (and he really digs the original):

I’m still not sure about all these remakes, especially “Karate Kid” and “Red Dawn.” I mean, really, do we need to mess with these 80s jems? But I will at least keep an open mind (even if it means going against Mike Oz).

Proof Auto-Tune can make anyone a singer

Mike Oz and I have had an ongoing conversation about the effect Auto-Tune is having on music — debating whether it’s killing talent and promoting people who look the part but really can’t sing.

When I saw this remix of NFL coaches, an image of Mike shaking his head flashed in my mind. This technology really can make anyone sound good. At least this remix is intended to be funny.

VIDEO: Cage the Elephant at Audie’s Olympic

Cage the Elephant packed ‘em into Audie’s Olympic on Sunday night. It was a sold-out crowd, all rockin’ out to the Kentucky-bred band’s rock-meets-funk sound.

It was actually a lot more rambunctious than I expected. Some guy even walked past me throwing up the devil horns and yelling “Hardcore!” While, I wouldn’t go that far, there was some moshing and stage diving from audience members.

But Cage the Elephant were the stars of the show, playing a tight 50-minute set of songs off their self-titled debut album. That included their hit, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” Here are some videos, including one from opening act Morning Teleportation.

The quote of the night came from Rick Roddam, of 105.1 The Blaze, who said: “This is one of those shows that five years from now, 1,500 people will say they were at.”

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VIDEO: Billy Corgan at The Cellar Door

About 250 people filled Visalia’s Cellar Door on Wednesday night to see Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan play an intimate show.

Corgan’s set was broken up into three parts: A folksy opening with Spirits in the Sky, the band he assembled for this six-city tour. An acoustic middle where most of the band left the stage. And an electric ending, where he was joined on guitar by Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Here are some videos from the show:

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