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”
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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.

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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.

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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”
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Listen To This: The Eighteen Hundreds “Moon Cults”

Ghost Surf band

I can’t review things. At least I can’t in a traditional way. Especially music. The words and descriptions needed for a good album review is something I never have been able to figure out.

I mean, hell, look at a recent review of Power Trip’s “Opening Fire” by Any O’Connor in Pitchfork:


On “Divine Apprehension,” sprightly, major-key thrash tics ride above the maelstrom. …


…They’re more blatant about their influences here, and these tracks thrive on the youthful charm of aping what you love. 

Andy O’Connor

Above the MAELSTROM? Aping what you love? What the hell is a maelstrom because it feels like I would be aping if I ever was in one.

Yeah, I can’t write this kind of stuff. This is why I stay away from review things too much, especially music.

But, I love Fresno music. I want more people listening to Fresno music. So here we are. Let’s talk a little bit about the new EP from Fresno’s Eighteen Hunderds called “Moon Cults”.

A music genre is born

The Eighteen Hundreds proclaim to be a Ghost Surf band. This is cool because I don’t believe Ghost Surf is a known genre of music and this may be the beginning of how we describe a particular sound.

A sound that does seem to run through a lot of Fresno and South Valley bands. Partly because of shared band members and partly because of local bands influencing one another.

However the Ghost Surf sound is happening, I love it and hope it becomes a thing. Lets begin listening so we can calibrate our ear for Ghost Surf.

Moon Cults

The track “Colleen” is about a ghost that haunts the basement of a Tower District house and has a new video to go along with it:

The whole album is up on the band’s Bandcamp page, which you can listen to here and download, if you so desire:

Before you go, listen to the band’s previous effort, “Sun Cults”:

For you record nerds, the band plans to press some vinyl for “Moon Cults” and their previous effort, “Sun Cults”, by the Summer.

Follow the band on social and through the website so you know when they play next. Let’s continue to make Ghost Surf a thing!

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Summer Sweat 2018: The Fresno Thing To Do This Weekend

It’s time for Summer Sweat again!

My favorite music-related event of the year (well, since FUSE Fest is tucked away hiding in a Downtown basement somewhere).

I love Fresno events that fucking own that they are a Fresno event! That’s right, an outdoor event, during the hottest time of the year. Call it Summer Sweat. Bring the damn sweat!

SUMMER SWEAT DETAILS

TIOGA SEQUOIA STAGE

TEZZY RADIO STAGE

I will check in on this in between sets on the Tioga Stage and getting Fulton Street IPAs. But I would be lying if I told you I knew what the hell was going on there.

DJ Burns will be there. I sure hope it’s my friend Doug from 3rd Grade whom we all still call “Burns” and he has secretly been DJ-ing for years. Probably not.

OTHER THINGS TOO

There will be food and vendors of various sorts, check the flyer above for the list. All I need to know is there will be food and I’m cool. I am here for the music and beer.

I’ll try to update this post when I know the set times and if there are any special beer releases Tioga has up its sleeve.

Oh wait, here are the set times:

I am definitely centering things around Pinkeye’s set with an eye on Macondo’s.

The thing I like about Summer Sweat above all the other music related events and festivals in Fresno is that it doesn’t get uncomfortably packed with Fresbros or anybody else, it’s about the music, it’s approachable, there is the good beer. Enough said.

See ya out there, sweating and breathing heavy.

 

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