An Open Fulton Street Allows Fresno To Move On

I didn’t want this. The Fulton Mall open to traffic.

I wanted the mall to be cleaned up. I wanted the art refurbished. I wanted the fountains to be working. But I didn’t want cars. That wasn’t possible.

It became “street or the same”. The same was a bad option. Same was an ignored Fulton Mall with little to no working fountains, forgotten art and too many people not comfortable with parking in garages and lots where they can’t see their car.

So I then begrudgingly became a supporter of traffic returning to Fulton. Better a shiny new sidewalk with working fountains and freshly polished art, than overgrown trees and neglect with no end in sight.

Saturday is the big thing-a-ma-jig to celebrate Fulton Street opening. For me, it will be more of a wake for Fulton Mall. But, it will be one of those fun wakes. The kind where you have a couple drinks and celebrate the life the person lived. Just, in this case, the person is a concrete open-air mall.

At Least Fresno and Downtown Can Move On To Other Things

We have debated what to do with the Fulton Mall for over a decade on Flowing With Famous. It’s going to be weird no longer needing to talk about it. Sure we still need to watch how the shops and restaurants will do now that there’s traffic. But we all get to move on now.

What is next? What should Fresno tackle now? Chinatown maybe? It will (fingers crossed) get a Hi-Speed Rail Station. That could be the push Chinatown needs to start getting some much-needed attention and renovation. It’s my pick anyway. Leave a comment on what you think the next project Fresno needs to tackle.

In the meantime, we have a wake to attend. I’ll see you out there. I hear they’ll have beer and it’s a safe bet it will be tough to get a parking spot.

Shameless Harrison Ford Tangent Ahead!

BTW, the Draggin’ the Main theme gives me yet another chance to use one of my favorite clips from American Graffiti, a movie about life growing up in the Central Valley in the 50’s (Modesto to be exact), so it’s relevant to Fulton Street, mmka?

A movie with, none other than Mr. Harrison Ford. Please tell me Bob Falfa dragged Fulton once:

*Pic was stolen from here.

Foo Fighters! Foo Fighters Show In Fresno! Foosnooooo!

It’s the kind of news that turns a bad day into a good one. The Foo Fighter’s lifelong dream of coming to Fresno is finally a real thing!

They will be here December 1st. That’s a Friday night show, brotha! Foo on Friday! #FooFriday. Tickets on sale, June 29th, at the old classic time of 10 AM. Check out their website for pre-sale.

The super important question already being asked. Will Dave use the tired “I think this town should be called FresYES not FresNO!” joke?

But isn’t Dave Grohl too cool for such a joke? I hope so. I think so.

I will accept an “I don’t call this place FresNO, I call it FOOno!” joke. But if Dave does the tired and corny “I don’t say FresNO, I say FresYES!” joke, I will boycott the next song by sitting down in my seat, folding my arms and staring Dave down with a very disappointed smirk.

I’m getting away from the fact that it’s so freaking awesome that the Foo is finally coming to Fresno. This news will make the summer so much easier, having this to look forward too in December.

So, good job Fresno. And we didn’t even have to gather all the town’s musicians to convince them to come.

*Pic stolen from here.

THE Bands You Will Regret Missing At Grizzly Fest


I won’t be at Grizzly Fest on Saturday. Probably. But YOU should totally go because you are way cooler than me and deserve to treat yourself to the best music festival in Fresno. Well, best since F.U.S.E. Fest went on hiatus.

Yeah, I probably won’t make it because it’s Saturday and that means I’ll be making one worthless trip to the hardware store and a second trip to get the thing forgotten on the first trip.

I’m going to miss a lot of badassness. Fresno’s own Fashawn will be there, along with plenty of other national acts. I kinda don’t give a shit about those. I like the Fresno bands.

Some of the Fresno music will include Slow Season, Amoret, White Glove Service and one of the biggest Fresno bands of all time: 40 Watt Hype. They have a new video out, btw:

There are more Fresno acts but the two I will miss out on the most are Sagey and Wee Beasties:

Make sure you go and report back to me on social media (@thefresnan on Twitter and Instagram. trenchrun22 on Snap) and tell me all the badass sets I missed.  I think I’ll be busy getting drunk while watching house paint dry.

Now please watch the most genius use of Fresno landmarks ever:

This Is Not A Local Music Blog

I miss Audie’s Olympic. Barely seen a band in Fresno since the place begrudgingly closed. I blame Audie’s closing on my lack of seeing local bands play lately, but that is a copout. Still, I miss it.

Yes. Strummer’s is there and still scheduling bands. So is Fulton 55. Frank’s Place does a thing or two, I think. Cool, cool.

There are new local venue things too. Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden has a lot of music. Goldstein’s has music. These are places that were not much of a factor musically when Audie’s was still operating.

And none of these places match up to the true rock club vibe of Audie’s. Nor can they regularly bring to town the kind of shows that Audie’s brought in. Not the touring, fresh, rock bands or mid-level local kind of shows anyway.

What the Fresno Grizzlies are to a professional baseball player, trying to get into the major league’s, Audie’s was to rising touring or local bands.

And, you could just hang out in Audie’s – as long as the style of music was not too grading to you, that is. Just hang and have a beer, sit on a stool, occasionally stop and look to the stage to enjoy a nice set. Didn’t even need to be there with anybody.

NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH A LOCAL MUSIC BLOG

I hesitate to write this post because it personally concerns me. I don’t want to do what I did before and turn the Fresnan into a music blog that is not supposed to be a music blog.

That is what it was when I previously put this blog on ice. Just posts about local shows. Which is fine if you brand yourself a music blog. The Fresnan was not branded as a music blog. I got lazy and complacent.

If you want a local music blog, check out Spanspek or read Joshua Tehee stuff. Do it.

SPEAKING OF LOCAL MUSIC

So Josh Tehee and I just posted a new Flowing With Famous podcast and in it we picked out favorite Fresno music acts of 2016. My pick was The Light Thieves:

Josh picked two. Beastmaker

…and Sagey. Now Sagey was a new one to me. Josh talked about how these guys have the local buzz right now and I think I get why:

I will keep listening to what Josh has to say about the Fresno music scene because he will find out first when (or maybe if) Audie’s opens again as a new music club.

I might finally be motivated to get back into the local music scene. Maybe see a Sagey show. Sit on a stool.

*I am finally starting up a newsletter. It will augment what you see on The Fresnan with a bent toward local life in general. Sign up below!:

Flowing Into Fresno Districts – Flowing With Famous Podcast #R62

Fulton Street Fresno
Fulton Street Fresno

CLICK AND LISTENBieberStreetFlowing.mp3

Fresnans. This is your culture podcast. It is called Flowing With Famous. Mr. Joshua Tehee of the Fresno Bee and I have been doing this for many years, mostly talking Downtown Fresno and interesting Fresno culture and music stories. This month’s episode is no different.

We revisit the Fulton Mall groundbreaking and our feelings for that day. We stay in Downtown Fresno and talk about the Culture Arts District and if South Stadium is a good name for that area of Downtown.

The Audie’s Olympic era has closed and we reminisce about the historic Tower District music club which leads us into the Band Of The Episode: Let’s Go Bowling.

The playing of Let’s Go Bowling sparks yet another version of the game: What’s The Greatest Music Act In Fresno History?

We then talk about last month’s Fresyes Fest at Tioga and how we may be getting too old and if there a culture shift in Fresno nightlife. Plus Josh saw Justin Beiber… so that happened.

Thanks for listening!
Show feed. Subscribe on iTunes.
Hosted: Joshua Tehee and The Fresnan.

Who The Hell Were All Those Damn People At Fresyes Fest?

Its a great afternoon to be downtown! #FresYesFest #tiogasequoia #craftoutloud

A post shared by Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company (@tiogasequoia) on

Like many of you, I was at Fresyes Fest at Tigoa Sequoia on Saturday. But I came really close to not being there. You saw that line waiting to get in, right? Yeah I saw it too. Forget that noise.

But wait. I gotta blog about something. I guess I will go stand in line and all that crap.

Plus I really like good beer. And it was THE event in Fresno this past weekend.

No it wasn’t the last two nights at Audie’s (although it was pretty epic, I hear). And it wasn’t even Easter. It was Fresyes Fest. Sorry, Jesus, it’s true.

So the main thing I noticed while in there? It wasn’t the food trucks taking up Fulton Street. Or the fine beer TS pours. Or the pro stage. It wasn’t even Swear Bear emptying cups:

File Mar 28, 11 15 10 PM
Photo by Craig Kohlruss (@ck_foto)
It was all the weird, unfamiliar people. Where did all these random Valley folks come from and who are they!?

Seriously though: Who the fuck were they?!  And I use fuck in the sweetest way. Like, when a friend tells you their Great Uncle died last week. “Fuck. I’m sorry man.” That’s how I’m using it. Fuck can still be sweet and pack a punch. It’s versatile like that.

If you looked real close Saturday, you would have seen a few OG bloggers huddled in a shaded corner wondering where the time went. And yes, also still wondering who the fuck these people are.

Fresno FresYes Fest
FresYes Fest crowd at Tioga’s Beer Garden
Old Man Fresno rant!: “Back in my day, the only festival we had was the Fig Gig and that’s the way we liked it! No fancy hipster food trucks. No cute picnic tables inside a nice big Beer Garden. Our “beer garden” was a 50×50 foot taped-off piece of blacktop behind the Applebee’s, and that’s the way we liked it and we were happy to get it!”

That’s right, children. Fig Gig. It… it was something to go to. Technically. And we didn’t have to worry about lines or choices of beer. Sanger Light Bud Light and Bud Ice anyone?

Now you have FresYes Fest. And Grizzly Fest and Whatever Is Happening This Weekend Fest. I think Fresno is doing pretty damn good in the festival department now. Even if I don’t know WHO THE FUCK anybody is at these things.

You don’t know how good you have it, you Fresno Millennials. You have a downtown to be pumped about and a thriving festival scene. There used to be just Bud Light and caution tape.