Impulse Buy: The Subtractions “Modern Kids”

Scrolling Instagram I came upon a Dale Stewart post about a new re-issue from a band I (think) have never heard of until now called The Subtractions.

Why should I care if I am not familiar with this band? Well, I saw these things:

  • It’s a cassette (cassettes are super cool at the moment).
  • Each one is hand numbered.
  • Limited edition of 150 tapes.
  • Fresno’s first gigging hardcore band.
  • $12 straight up.

That is enough info for this collector. Fire up the Paypal account. You can check it out here.

File under: Bought.

I Need KFSR To Do A Damn Thing

(KFSR Studio – picture source here)

Somebody needs to get on KFSR and make some noise. A DJ during Evening Eclectic is what I am specifically requesting.

Evening Eclectic used to have actual DJs and shifts and they’d tell you about who was being played.

Now it’s all pretty boring. No DJ (that I have heard in a while) and it’s just some programmed music with no backbone or thru line.

The Jazz-all-day format is fine. I understand it pays the bills and it’s a nice palate cleanse for the head during the day.

I haven’t come for that today.

Organic energy. It’s hard for me to articulate but there is something special that you get from a person in the studio LIVE as you listen. It feels like you’re hanging out with someone.

Radio has lost so much of that. Even most of the DJs that are in the studio on the regular stations are five minutes ahead of everything and are barely given a chance to talk. So when they are speaking it’s slightly delayed and for just a moment.

Or it has already been recorded like a podcast.

One of the few things radio has over podcasts (live energy where you are not exactly sure what will happen), they have mostly dropped – KFSR’s Evening Eclectic included.

Spotify algorithms, podcasts, and music blogs have taken some of the use for the kind of shows KFSR used to have, I guess. Still sucks.

Every semester a new crop of DJs would come through, all with their radio name and own music theme. Some bad, some good, some you hear on Fresno radio today (I can remember hearing 95.7 The Fox’s “Carter” on her KFSR show back in the day).

KFSR does have shows on the weekend to listen to but nothing for new music or current students, it seems.

I don’t know what happened over there. Why are there are no DJs during Evening Eclectic? Just random-ass music plays. It’s worse than an algorithm. It has no information. No guts.

And hey, I am a podcaster. I am not suppose to be begging radio to be better. I am supposed to be taking advantage of its weaknesses. I like to think I do. But it still doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear a healthy college station kicking ass on Fresno’s airwaves.

Be better, KFSR. Save Evening Eclectic. Save college radio in Fresno. Stop being boring.

Goodbye, Eli Reyes

Fresno’s music scene was shaken this weekend as we learned of the passing of Eli Reyes.

I sadly had not seen Eli in some time. But I saw a lot of him when he was actively drumming for (what seemed like) every band in Fresno and when he would return from L.A., sometimes just to fill in for somebody’s band.

I want to be able to say things about Eli that would live up to my thoughts. It’s difficult. I’m not up to the task.

But I want to make sure to say that he was a wonderful man that was a joy to be around. Loved making music. He was one of the few Fresno musicians that could get me out of the house on a weeknight to see a show.

I miss the sweaty post-show bear hugs.

With that, really, I’d rather read what others have to say about Eli. So I pulled some things I found from the Fresno music community. Hope everyone is cool with it.

Rest easy, Eli, you were always so kind and so upbeat. I was always happy to see you setup a drum kit and then have multiple bands that you were apart of change out through the night. The ever so famous “Eli Fest” within FUSE will always hold a special place in Fresno music history.

Matt Nap

Sad to hear the news that my old friend Eli Reyes has passed away 🙁 He was such a kind soul… the kind of fellow you’d always love to bump into while you were out.

Paul Chesterson

“This really hurts. I want to say that Fresno lost a treasure, but we all know that Eli was so much more than that.

I challenge you to name a musician that crossed every stage in Fresno off his list whether it was CYC, Fulton 55, and tons more that probably don’t even exist anymore. Eli was the guy you could catch at an acoustic show and hang out with afterwards to talk about punk and hardcore.

When I was younger, I was in awe of Eli and I was very fortunate to have become friends with him over the years. He, like myself, would show up to shows by himself sometimes and we would hang out and catch up on whatever was going on in our lives.

I was always so excited when I would book one of his projects. I remember a few times, whether it was a Fay Wrays set with Touche Amore at CYC or at Catacomb Party, where I put someone else in charge and said “Keep an eye on things because I gotta see this.”What I would do to say that one more time.”

-John Esquivel

“I met Eli about 20 years ago and have been his friend and bandmate ever since. There were times when Eli was really easy to love. There were times when he was difficult to love but you loved him all the same because of who he was: a kind, loving, caring, and fiercely loyal friend.

He tattooed the Albert Camus quote: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” That quote captures what it was like to be Eli’s friend. And Eli and I walked beside one another through a lot of life moments. He will be dearly missed. He is still dearly loved.

Eli played in countless bands (this is no hyperbole) in Fresno, all over the Central Valley of California, and Los Angeles, and really anywhere he could pummel a drum set. There will certainly be a lot of reminiscing of Eli playing music and those memories are wonderful and good, but they only scratch the surface of who he really was. Because at the end of the day people create music and Eli loved music because Eli loved people.

This is my friend Eli and I will miss him very much.”

-Benji McEntee

There was no one like Eli. Pure joy and positive energy. He was a driving force of the independent music community. An awesome drummer undoubtedly but most memorable to me is how Eli would selflessly go out his way to help others and advocate for the band and people he loved. His enthusiasm was infectious and he made you want to be a better person.

Warren Woodward

“Eli loved music more than anyone else I know. He was everybody’s drummer. My favorite memories of him are when we played in the Jumpbacks with Jacquie, and recording the last Soma Holidays record. He didn’t argue. He was kind. He was not prideful, even when he had every right to be.

When I picture him now, he’s frozen in time. Mid 20’s. Knee-length black jacket, black car. Beautiful white DW drumset, that was always in his backseat because he was always on his way to or from band practice or a show. Chain smoking Marlboro lights. Insisting that no one goes home. He wanted every night to last forever.

The last thing I said to him before the coma was “We will jam again someday”. I still believe that’s true.”

-Luke Deniston

“A guy who was a fixture in the scene for a real long time and someone I’ve know from a long time back. Lots of people felt what he was about. RIP.”

-Josh Tehee

“Gutted right now. LA’s music scene lost a tremendous performer and we’ve all lost a dear dear friend. Eli was the first to offer a helping hand and had an infectious positivity about the world. He worked his butt off and always did so with that huge smile. I’m going to miss you Eli. RIP”

-Ashley Wagner

“Eli Reyes was a fierce drummer and a good friend. We spent long hours at Livingstone’s musing over murder ballads and Nick Cave, rejoicing over each other and music we loved. He was the first person I ever met who fiercely celebrated the mere fact that his friends existed. He loved with everything he could give and it was always a gift to witness.

…every time he joined me on stage throughout the years I was always reminded about how important the heart of the drummer is to the drums themselves. He would take to them like Animal and it was the most glorious expression of self that I’ve seen nearly anyone commit to. He taught me the importance of getting every ounce of tone out of your kit and I selected every drummer I have ever worked with Eli as one of the blueprints.”

-Kat Jones

There are a lot more stories about Eli. Sorry if your thoughts are not here, this are just some I found and thought were relevant.

Continue reading “Goodbye, Eli Reyes”

Bandgeek: New Fresno Music [Summer 2020 Edition]

Aire Espacial. A new song titled Circa. Click it to stream or download it:

Audrey Paris Johnson. She is a local drummer from many Fresno bands, and she has wound up playing drums for an Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta) project. It’s pretty damn cool:

Sahab. I’m not sure if it’s new, I think it is. Either way, I like to watch and listen:

Ultra Diamonds. It can’t be bad if it’s from any of these people.

Johnny Q. While the music may be 16 years old, it is newly released and it counts and I love it. Check it out on Spotify.

Enjoy the bite of Fresno music. Hopefully I’ll be able to put together another post like this before the summer ends.

No Place Like Home Fest: What To Look For

Fresno’s Bitwise Industries has a virtual festival happening Saturday called No Place Like Home. It starts at 9 am and goes till 10 pm.

Go here to sign up. I “bought” three tickets. They’re free but you still need to sign up. If you want to go all the way with it, you can buy a box that has swag to maximize the festival experience.

I might be more interested in the box Tioga has put together for it with the new and exclusive Valley Sunrise:

How the hell is this gonna work?

I assume there will be a constant Main Stage channel to watch and maybe some Stage B and C action to look at if you feel like flipping back & forth, I don’t really know dude.

They are going to stream stuff to the Internets and we’ll watch, nuff said.

I plan on having it in on the background on a screen somewhere in the house, all day, with focused stops to watch some of the more interesting acts.

I’ll be looking out for the music acts for sure:

  • SAGEY. Everything I have seen from these guys have been creative so I am willing to bet they have something cool planned.
  • PATRICK CONTRERAS: He has been keeping his chops up with his driveway concerts, he’s gotta be ready for this.
  • OMAR NARE & JASIMIN LA CARIS.
  • MERLINDA ESPINOSA.
  • ZEE WILL.
  • EDWARD HERNANDEZ.
  • HOPE GARCIA.
  • RAY’S BOOM BOOM ROOM. With a name like that there is no way his feed won’t be interesting.

How the hell is there food availible for this?

Organizers have teamed with Fresno Street Eats to have festival vendor food sent to your safe place. Not real sure how all that will work, but I guess we’ll find out Saturday.

I hope I don’t run into any people I don’t want to talk to. Or end up kicking myself for not remembering their name, or die of lameness for making bad awkward comments to people, or get drunk and… oh wait, virtual, I almost forgot. I’ll only be embarrassing myself at my own house like I do every day. Neat.

I’m sure Fresnans will still complain about parking though. And not enough bathrooms, which, actually, I have a complaint about… oh dammit, VIRTUAL, *bangs forehead* Mike, virtual festival.

In fact, if Bitwise wants to make it feel like a real festival, it will start an hour late and fall further behind schedule as the day goes.

Seriously, props to Bitwise and everyone involved in putting it together. I’m actually slightly pumped to see this thing. And thanks for giving me something to drink beer to while staring at stuff.

I’ll leave you with some Sagey to pump you up. Please mosh at home responsibly.

Fresno Bands On Bandcamp To Support, Play and Download

Bandcamp is the definitive place on the Internet for small and local acts to release their albums to. Bands are even able to make a little bit from this, at least enough to generate some operating cash, if nothing else.

Normally Bandcamp takes a fee from the band when someone buys a song or album. Lately, with everything being shutdown and bands not able to generate any revenue besides the selling of merch, Bandcamp has been choosing certain days to wave their fees so bands can get as much cash as possible.

So, I guess, watch Bandcamp to know when those days are or just buy as much as you want when you want.

Speaking of, as a way to support Fresno area bands, I have compiled SOME of the local acts with albums on Bandcamp. It’s a mix of my own suggestions and Fresno Twitter suggestions.

That’s Cloudship:

Brian Kenny Fresno (also suggested by Matt Hackney):

and of freaking course, Fashwan:

Okay, Josh, *acts like he doesn’t know* let’s check out I’ll Grow Back :

and The Strikingly Originals :

Short King aka @JohnnyAppeal from Numbskull Shows has a perfect suggestion as you can spend some time with this page because it has a bunch of classic Fresno hardcore albums, including one from Most Inspirational:

Fresno music royalty, Dale Stewart, has a new track to download:

He also has a great site for lovers of old Fresno Punk, it’s a must for music explorers.

Continue reading “Fresno Bands On Bandcamp To Support, Play and Download”