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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Concert announcement: Oak Ridge Boys

oakridge boysThere is no mistaking the Oak Ridge Boys. The band’s four-part harmonies create a sound that is legendary. Also; one of the most distinctive in country music. Over the band’s 40 + years, it has had 12 gold, three platinum and one double-platinum album, a double platinum single and had more than a dozen No. 1 singles and more than 30 Top 10 hits. They’ve also collaborated with everyone from Paul Simon (the band sung backup for his hit “Slip Slidin’ Away,”) George Jones, Johnny Cash, Billy Ray Cyrus and even Shooter Jennings, the son of Waylon Jennings. On Tuesday, the band releases “Boy Night Out,” a live greatest hits album.

The band comes to Visalia’s Fox Theatre, May 13. Tickets are $49-$99 and on also now at the box office (559) 625-1369 and on-line at www.foxvisalia.org.

Watch the video for “Ain’t No Short Way Home” on the jump.

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7 picks for 7 days: Jan. 10-16

I’m getting back on track with the 7 picks for 7 days feature, a list of fun things to do over the next week. This week’s version — picks for today through next Thursday — offer a variety of entertainment, from acclaimed movies to new TV shows, theater and music.

Tonight: Chris Botti plays Visalia’s Fox Theatre

Live in Boston / Photo Credit: LeAnn Mueller

Live in Boston / Photo Credit: LeAnn Mueller

Chris Botti yearns for that ultimate performance.
Even after 10 years of touring (at close to 300 days a year), the Grammy-winner trumpet player will do a show, then spend the next day in his head figuring out how to make it better.

“I’m obsessed about it. I sweat the small stuff,” says Botti, who plays tomorrow night at Visalia’s Fox Theatre. The show is part of a 10-day stretch of West Coast dates for Botti and his band before they leave for China in September.

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Fres-Know: Our turkey is stuffed with hyperlinks

WATCH THIS: Season 2 premiere of foodie web show “What’s Good Fresno?” [YouTube]

THIS AGAIN: Mayor fighting to outsource trash disposal. [The Bee]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Making your store-bought turkey feel inadequate. [TasteFresno]

GOOD READ: Find handmade local gifts this holiday season. [The Bee]

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET: A new Fresno podcast about craft beer. [Perfect Pour]

LISTEN TO THIS: New “Flowing with Famous” podcast. [Fresno Famous]

UPCOMING: Zoo Lights begins this weekend at Chaffee Zoo. [The Bee]

YELP REVIEW OF THE WEEK: “It’s great, but … ” [Yelp]

SPORTS: Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas finalist for national award. [The Bee]

WATCH THIS: Must-watch high-school football video. [Sports Buzz]

TWEET OF THE WEEK: Well played, Visalia Fox Theatre. [Twitter]

KICKSTART: Organic Fresno Market. [Kickstarter]

Win tickets to see B.B. King with Strange Vine

UPDATE: Congrats to our winner, Danae. Thanks for playing everybody. Enjoy the show.

ORIGINAL POST: Here’s your chance to bow before the King — for free. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for Saturday night’s B.B. King show at the Visalia Fox Theatre.

The tickets come to us courtesy of the Fox Theatre and Fresno band Strange Vine, who landed the opening spot for the blues icon. Round of applause for them.

Here’s how this will work: Leave a comment below telling us where in the central San Joaquin Valley you’d take B.B. King to hang out. Remember, he’s a king. Pick something good. Deadline to enter is 9 a.m. Thursday.

We’ll pick one commenter at random to win the tickets. The winner will be notified by e-mail, so please leave a valid address and please check it. Complete rules below.

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Tonight: A name you surely know and one you might not

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UPDATE: Let’s nix everything below about Blame Sally. Fulton 55 just announced the show is canceled. At least we still got Merle.

ORIGINAL POST: All right, music lovers, there are two events I’d like to turn your attention to this evening:

If you’re up for making the trip to Visalia, you can see an undisputed country music legend. Merle Haggard — perhaps the only person in the world who you can call The Hag and not get the side eye from — plays at the Visalia Fox Theatre. He’s a mainstay in the central San Joaquin Valley, but this is his first Visalia show since the late 80s. Tickets cost $50-$80.

Right here in Fresno, Fulton 55 hosts all-female acoustic folk/Americana quartet Blame Sally. These ladies sold out a show last night in Chico, so says their Facebook page. Now it’s Fresno’s turn to hear them. There’s a music video below so you can get a taste of their music. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $13 at the door.

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Concert News: Of Monsters and Men in Visalia

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Of Monsters and Men — the Icelandic indie/folk group who’ve found a nice bit of pop success with their single “Little Talks” — are Visalia bound.

The group is playing Dec. 8 at the Visalia Fox Theatre, its only California date in a new batch of tour dates announced by the band.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, costing $20-$30. Get them at foxvisalia.org or by calling (559) 625-1369.

Listen to “Little Talks” below:

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Concert Watch: Steve Miller Band, Huey Lewis, Morris Day and more

SMB_web.gifTable Mountain Casino’s concert lineup has seen two additions in the past two weeks — Steve Miller Band and Huey Lewis.

Miller, well known for songs such as “The Joker” and “Fly Like an Eagle,” will play at the Friant casino on July 10. Tickets don’t go on sale until May 28, but when they do, they’ll cost $25, $35 and $45.

Lewis — with his band, The News, in tow — will perform at Table Mountain on Aug. 29. Tickets cost $25-$45 and are on sale July 16.

If you’re a big fan, you might want to circle those date on the calendar because tickets for Table Mountain Casino concerts sometimes sell out quickly. Tickets for the casino’s April 17 date with Crosby, Stills & Nash sold out in a week.

CINCO DE MEGA WITH MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME
Fresno is about to get a dose of “Jungle Love” and “The Bird” right before Cinco De Mayo. Morris Day and The Time have been announced as headliners for the Cinco De Mega concert, organized by radio station Mega 97.9 on May 4 at Rotary Amphitheatre at Woodward Park.

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Concert News: Electric Guest visits Visalia

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You remember a few weeks back when I tried to convince you that Electric Guest should be your new favorite band?

At the very least, I was able to convince Aaron Gomes of Visalia’s Sound N Vision Foundation and The Visalia Fox Theatre to bring the buzzworthy indie/soul group to the Valley.

Electric Guest is coming our way April 10, to play a show as part of TOMS Shoes annual “One Day Without Shoes” events, which draws well in downtown Visalia. Fresno’s beloved psych-rockers Strange Vine will open the show, which is open to all-ages and FREE.

The event is brought to you by The Beehive and Ozmosis, my radio show, in addition to Sound N Vision and the Visalia Fox.

While the show is free, the Fox is selling $12 packages that include reserved seating and One Day Without Shoes T-shirts. Money raised benefits the Visalia Rescue Mission.

My pitch on why Electric Guest is rad: The band has a Gnarls Barkley-meets-Foster the People type of sound and its debut album (due in April) is produced by the uber-cool Danger Mouse. I see big things for this group. Could this be as ahead-of-the-curve as when we teamed up with Sound N Vision to host Foster the People? I hope so.

Check out the videos below:

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Concert News: Built to Spill & Surfer Blood in Visalia

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UPDATE: You heard it here first: Surfer Blood has been added to the show.

ORIGINAL POST, 12/15: Indie rock band Built to Spill will perform at the Visalia Fox Theatre on Feb. 24, according to promoter Sound N Vision Foundation.

The show was just finalized yesterday and tickets are set to go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. They cost $23 and are available online, at the Fox box office or at Velouria Records in Visalia. The show is open to all-ages.

Built to Spill has released seven albums, the last five of which have been with Warner Bros. Records, most recently 2009′s “There is No Enemy.”

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than welcoming the Ole Miss folks to Fresburg.

1. LIGHT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC FUSE
While that football game is the biggest event of the year for Fresno State football fans, this weekend’s Fresno Urban Sound Experience –which starts tonight — is one of the biggest events of the year for our local music community. Two days, close to 50 acts, eight venues, 10 stages, all-downtown and all-local performers. Sounds good, right? Even better: One ticket gets you into everything. It’s $15 for one day, $20 for both. More info, schedule, tickets and all that stuff over at fusefest.com. Read my Fresno Bee preview, if you haven’t already.

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To-Do Tonight: Free Energy in Visalia

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Today is the start of Visalia’s three-day Taste the Arts festival, which offers a variety of theater, art and music around its downtown. Kicking things off is a free, all-ages street party with rock group Free Energy.

For the show — which is organized by, who else, the Sound N Vision Foundation — a special stage is being put up outside of Surplus City, 315 E. Main St, to house the band, which, it should be noted, has been playing dates with Weezer recently.

SNV head honcho Aaron Gomes is excited about this one. He writes:

Their debut album “Stuck on Nothing” has been one of my favorite rock records to drop in the last 5 years. When the opportunity arouse to share the band with Visalia I knew we had to make it happen. A big thanks goes out to our event sponsor the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

If you’re interested in more info on the Taste the Arts festival, check out its website and read this little roundup I wrote for The Bee. Friday night, for example, brings Blind Boys of Alabama to the Visalia Fox Theatre.

Here’s my favorite Free Energy song, if you need to get familiar:

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The Week Ahead: Bass Monsters, roller derby, lots of music and lots to eat

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TONIGHT: Looking for live music this evening? You’ve got two very distinct and very good options — Sub Pop Records rockers Obits, who make a tour stop at The Cellar Door in Visalia and Italian surf/rock group Surfer Joe and his Boss Combo, who are at Fulton 55 with local faves The Neptunes.

ALSO MAKING TOUR STOPS THIS WEEK: Buster Blue w/ David Dondero (Thurs. at Fulton 55), Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys (Thurs. at Audie’s Olympic), Parachute (Fri. at Fulton 55), George Lynch and Lynch Mob (Fri. at Orange Blossom Junction), Little Caesar (Sat. at Starline), E-40 (Sat. at Tulare Fairgrounds), John Vanderslice (Sat. at The Cellar Door), Y & T (Sat. at Tower Theatre) and The Fixx, Wang Chung and Naked Eyes (Sat. at Chukchansi).

LOTS TO EAT THIS WEEK: I’ll expand more on this tomorrow — but I want you to start saving space in your stomach as soon as possible. Thursday is the Taco Truck Throwdown. The Fresno BBQ and Fun Fest runs Thursday-Sunday and the Fresno Greek Festival is Friday-Sunday, with food as one of its main attraction.

BASS MONSTERS: The next in what’s become a movement of big electronic dance music events in Fresno this year? Saturday’s Bass Monster tour stop at Crest Theatre with headliner DJ Reid Speed. I wrote a feature story in Sunday’s paper about the current boom in local electro events, most of which are aimed at rabid younger crowds.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than mingling with some techies at The Hashtag tonight …

1. GIVE DAD THE BLUES
Contrary to how that might sound, it’s a good thing: Sunday’s Tower District Father Day’s Blues Festival is a good destination for celebrating dad this weekend [Info]

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To-Do Tonight: Visalia is kickin’ Fresno’s butt

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It’s (another) one of those nights where Visalia is the live music hub of the Valley:

AT THE VISALIA FOX THEATRE: Brit rock band The Moody Blues brings its current tour to The Fox. You know them best from “Nights in White Satin” — the band’s most memorable song from its heyday in the ’60s and ’70s. Tickets cost $55-$75 and are still available.

AT THE CELLAR DOOR: Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson closes out his monthly residency at wine lounge/music venue The Cellar Door tonight. He’s been playing in Visalia once a month for the past three months with his new band Brotherhood. Tickets cost $15 and are still available.

MEANWHILE IN FRESNO: A big one for the all-ages hardcore crowd: Foundation (from Atlanta) and Mother of Mercy (from Pennsylvania) bring their high-powered tour to The Bel Tower. There are seven bands total on the bill, including locals We Scream Jackson and Bridges. Flier with more info below.

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To-Do Tonight: Guitar vs. Hardcore

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The top two live music options for tonight are firmly aimed at different audiences,so I doubt anybody is racking their brain trying to decide whether to go to the all-ages hardcore show in Fresno or the “Guitar Masters” tour stop in Visalia.

Those “Masters” are Eric Johnson, Peppino D’Agostino and Andy McKee, and they’re playing at the Visalia Fox Theatre. Meanwhile, Chinatown Youth Center hosts touring bands Octaves and Caravels, with locals like Blackwater.