Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

BANDGEEK!: Tommy Castro, Sahab and Iration

Maybe you’re thinking of making a trip to Los Angeles to score the kind of Girl Scout cookies they get down there.

That’s not your plan? Well, there is plenty happening close to home this week, especially if you are into live music. You’re choices are collected here in my weekly BANDGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Sahab.
    W/Mike G and Left Brain of Odd Future. At Audie’s Olympic Tavern. 8 p.m. $12-$15. (Flier link)

  • Disco Night.
    W/DJ Mr. Leonard and Connor Miles. At Peeve’s Public House. 9 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)< ?blockquote>

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Low Leaf.
    W/Jacque Babb and Emery Payne. At Liquid Fetish. 8 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • The Return of Frank’s Place.
    W/House DJ Green, Bitter Buffalo, Sharks of Dance, Hell08′s, Meet Me in Montauk, St. X and Satellite Era. At Frank’s Place. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Bandgeek!: Punknecks, Millionaires and Circle Takes the Square

    4-25-14Everything is happening this weekend. While that might overwhelm some, the rest of us know it’s pretty par for the course, especially when it comes to the myriad live music options happening each week. We list them all right here in your weekly update BANDGEEEEEK!


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    Win tickets to: Home for Vets Now Benefit Concert

    hfvnThe members of Southern California’s Lowrider Band have been making Latin, R&B, funk rock since 1962 and were behind classic songs like “Slippin into Darkness” and “Low Rider.”

    The band, which features Howard E. Scott, B.B. Dickerson, Lee Oskar and Harold Brown (all of whom were in the band War), play the Warnor’s Theatre Saturday night. Joining them will be Redbone (famous for the song “Come and Get Your Love”) plus percussionist Pete Escovedo, Bay area Latin bounce band The Kool Katz and locals, the New Monsanto Band.

    The concert is a benefit for Home for Vets Now, a Fresno-based organization that is working to build sustainable communities for homeless veterans. Think housing made from reused shipping containers and land for an agricultural co-operative. You can find out more about the group on its website.

    We’ll have more about the show in Friday’s 7 section, but if it sounds like a good time, The Beehive has tickets for the event (a few VIP tickets, at that) we’ll be giving away to a few lucky readers. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Tell us your favorite “lowrider” song. “Lowrider” is too obvious. Deadline to enter is 8 p.m. Thursday. Please enter only once. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email (so check yours Friday morning if you entered).

    Full rules (plus video of the Lowrider band) on the jump.

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    7 picks for 7 days

    OK, so after taking off a couple weeks, I’m back with a new round of 7 picks for 7 days – a list of fun thing to do each day Friday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 21. This week’s picks include a hot country band live at the Save Mart Center, a touring Broadway musical at Saroyan Theatre and this month’s silent movie at the Warnors Theatre.

    Tonight: silent movies at the Warnors


    It’s hard to imagine a more glorious place to see a silent movie than the Warnors Theatre. A new season series kicks off tonight with a screening of  the Charlie Chaplin 1925 classic “The Gold Rush.” In a story in today’s Life section, Rick Bentley tells us what to expect. The program will include  local silent film expert Nate Butler as emcee, and local film educator John Moses will present a brief history about the movie.

    You’ll get to hear music and sound effects from the theater’s historic Morgan organ, purchased almost a century ago.

    All this for a ticket price that seems ancient in itself: just $3. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

    Here’s the rest of the series schedule:

    • “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925), Oct. 17.
    • “Hot Water” (1924), Nov. 21.
    • “Big Business” (1929), Dec. 19.
    • “The General” (1926), “The Iron Mule” (1925) and “The Great Train Robbery” (1912), Jan. 16.
    • “Pollyanna” (1920), “What Drink Did” (1909) and “The Narrow Road” (1912), Feb. 20.
    • “Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World” (1925), “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1904), March 7.

    All screenings will begin at 7 p.m.

    Updated: Twee boutique is closing


    Twee owner Melanie Davis Unguez, center, in her shop near Warnors Theatre, with Kim Burly Schoelen, left, and Annemarie Bell, right.
    Photo: Twee

    UPDATE: I heard from Twee owner Melanie and she told me a little more about why she’s closing.

    “We’re not profitable,” she said, noting that the store was doing about the same at the Tuolumne Street location as it did in Tower. She’s also hasn’t recovered financially from a flood at the old location.

    But we haven’t heard the last of Twee. She promises more big Twee news soon. Her Fresno-themed products will also soon be for sale at the All Things Fresno store and the Downtown Fresno Partnership offices at 845 Fulton Mall. And special events selling handmade goods are in the works, too.

    She’s still loyal to downtown and will be joining the Downtown Fresno Partnership’s marketing committee.

    ORIGINAL POST: Twee, Fresno’s favorite artsy, crafty downtown store, is closing at the end of March.

    Owner Melanie Davis Unguez broke the news on the business’s Facebook page this morning. She says:

    “We are moving on to new adventures. For the time being, Twee will be closing up shop at the end of March at the Tuolumne location. We will be moving to a more mobile business, with an online shop, as well as setting up at Farmers Markets.”

    Twee will be selling its jewelry, T-shirts, cards and other goods at The Market on Kern on Wednesdays beginning in April.

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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.

    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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    An award for Sally Caglia


    Congratulations to Sally Caglia of Warnors Theatre fame, who is being honored tonight by the Theatre Historical Society of America in an awards presentation in Visalia.

    Caglia is receiving the organization’s Honorary Member of the Year award for her dedication to the historic theatre. There’s a second-generation flair to the storyline: In 1975, her father, Frank Caglia, received his own THS Member of the Year award, which still hangs in the theater’s box office.

    The presentation of the award will be witnessed by nearly one hundred THS members who will be attending the Theatre Historical Society of America’s Annual Conclave and Theatre tour. Members of THS have come from all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia to tour historic theatres and participate in the organization’s annual meeting.

    Talking points: Restoring Hotel Fresno


    I love this photo by Bee photographer Craig Kohlruss of the boarded up main entrance to Hotel Fresno. The contrast between the beauty of the door and arched window work with the graffiti and scarred floor says wonders.

    This is just one of many photos from Craig on the hotel, which was the subject of a front-page story in today’s Bee. Reporter George Hostetter explains the plans to renovate the hotel into a space featuring apartments and businesses. The estimated cost is $16.5 million and the financing uncertain. There’s a lot of uncertainty about the project, but Hostetter writes about its promise:

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    In addition to this weekend’s Fresno Filmworks’ offerings

    Selland Arena rocks again. Thank New Rock 104.1 for Saturday’s Nightmare Before Christmas concert. It features a diverse cast of rock acts: Rise Against, A Day to Remember and Awolnation, who I interviewed for today’s newspaper. [Tix]


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    Mark your calendar: Christmas downtown

    Looks like next weekend is taking shape as a big Christmas celebration in downtown Fresno. There’s the annual Christmas parade — which was resurrected after being canceled — at 10 a.m. Saturday. Afterward, the city has organized a variety of activities around downtown as part of something it’s calling WinterFest.


    The cool thing about WinterFest is a “passport” game where attendees can win prizes while exploring downtown:

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    Donald’s weekend picks

    I’ve already told you about some of this weekend’s happenings, from Fresno State’s “The Glass Menagerie” and Good Company’s just-reviewed “Born Yesterday” to “City Dance Spring Concert 2011″ at Fresno City College.

    Some more picks:

    Here’s your chance to play the spectacular Morton pipe organ at Warnors Theatre — and to ride up and down with it on its elevator.


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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    After you see Fresno State lose to Boise tonight. Yeah, I said it …

    Big Bad Voodoo Daddy headlines Warnors Theatre tonight. You remember them best as one of the big names from the swing movement of the late 90s. Just ’cause swing fizzled out, doesn’t mean they did. Check out my interview to learn more. Ticket info and whatnot here. Great chance to see the beautiful Warnors Theatre, if you haven’t been in a while.


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    Something’s happening on Fulton Street


    I’ve always looked at the Warnors Theatre and its adjoining venues — Star Palace and Frank’s Place — as under-utilized, both for live music and for downtown. But the Fulton Street Project is looking to change that.

    The project is trying to bring new life to each venue, including a good list of shows that have been booked between now and November. Swing big-band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and popular Christian trio Point of Grace have been booked for November dates at Warnors, while Star Palace is starting a summer concert series that will have young rock bands and singer/songwriters playing on Friday nights Artists such as Seventh Day Slumber, JJ Heller and Lybecker are due for that.

    Also exciting is that dynamo local promoters Love the Captive — who have brought Little Dragon and others to town — have signed on to book shows at Frank’s Place and Star Palace. In fact, I’m told that LTC is moving its June 26 date with Head Like a Kite from Starline to Frank’s Place.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Quick one-sentence rundown: Check out CD release events from Chuck Dimes and From Indian Lakes, laugh with Tommy Davidson [read interview], get hardcore at Fresno Fest 6 [read interview] or watch some mid-day b-boying at Starline.

    ALSO: Today is “Mike Oz Day,” so how about supporting a local business?

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    Another comedy show to look forward to …

    Tommy copy.jpg

    We gave you a nice rundown of upcoming comedy shows earlier in the week, and now we got another one. ‘Tis the season to laugh, apparently.

    The guys at Cloud 9 Productions pass along word that they’ve booked a date with Tommy Davidson (of “In Living Color” fame) for Dec. 19 at Warnors Theatre.

    In addition to Davidson, the show will be hosted by Kid, of Kid-N-Play fame. That’s intriguing. Hope he can grow back the super high-top fade in a month, though.

    Brad Williams is also on the bill, as are local guys Andre Covington and Phillip Medina.

    Tickets cost $25, $35 and $45. An on-sale date and ticket locations are still being worked on, but we’ll pass along that info when we have it.

    Remember, there are also some good comedy options this weekend — check this week’s “Five Things” list for details.

    I Hate You, Mike Oz: Vol. 4

    This has been a long time in the making — and I hope it’s worth it. Here is Vol. 4 of the “I Hate You, Mike Oz” series.

    Backstory: This is actually more than a year old. I had written a column about the need for mid-size concert venue in town and said the Warnors Theatre, if you took out the seats on the first level, would be like the awesome Warfield in San Francisco. This gentleman was none too pleased with that idea. Notice that he called at 4:40 a.m.

    Warning: NSFW

    LISTEN: I Hate You, Mike Oz! (mp3)

    Fresno theaters are rockin’ this week …

    This post brought to you by Ticketmaster China. When visiting Bejiing, spend your money on convenience fees.

    Tesla, The Used and Lamb of God — the downtown theater circuit is bout to have a rockin’ week of concerts.

    Tesla is playing tonight at Warnors Theatre — and, nope, tickets are not sold out. The band is best known for its work in the late 80s and early 90s, including the hit single “Signs.” Tickets cost $32.50.

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    Weekend Rewind: Extreme edition


    Here’s a look back at my weekend. Did you do anything good? Spill it in the comments.

    - All I could muster after a long week that included Rogue Festival and Kids Day was a quick jaunt over to Livingstone’s. Quesadilla. Yum.

    - I caught Ryan Paulson’s “I’m Uncomfortable,” which had a crazy line for a 11:30 a.m. show. The show was hilarious and was a good way to end this year’s Rogue for me. I hope he comes back next year with another show. So far he’s 2-for-2 in my book.

    - The Fresno Home & Garden show was PACKED. Like Christmas-at-the-mall packed. Like testing-your-patience-not-to-scream-at-someone packed. I was pretty ho-hum on the show for the first half of it, but I ended up finding some backyard/landscaping ideas that I dug.

    - Caught psychic/clairvoyant Lisa Williams at the Warnors Theatre. I was intrigued for a few reasons: (1) I hadn’t been to the Warnors in a while. (2) This was a different type of show for Fresno and I wanted to see what it was like. (3) I’m not sure whether I believe in the whole “I talk to dead people” thing. The show didn’t really make up my mind on the last one. Some of the stuff she told people seemed pretty amazing, but then some of it seemed like logical guesses. I do know that I was awestruck by how beautiful that theater is. It was very nice to see it lit up while driving around downtown.

    - Didn’t watch “Extreme Makeover: Fresno Edition.” Negative 10 Fresno points for me, eh?