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.

New Fresno Music: Ultra Diamonds “Sightseer”

Trying to play catchup on some posting here on the blog and I missed posting about the new Ultra Diamond EP “Sightseer”.

If it sounds familiar, everyone in this band has been out there in Fresno’s scene for some time. From Fierce Creatures to Light Thieves to The Eighteen Hundreds, to name just a few.

I love everything about this EP. My favorite track being “Dial Tones”.

Well. I almost love everything.

My only wonder is why the vocals are buried in the mix, lending to an unfinished and disconnected feel. But I think that is the point… maybe? Part of the Ghost Surf sound coming out of Fresno, I guess.

Have a listen for yourself. Go see a show. Buy some stuff. Find them on Spotify too.

They are working on new music and will be in Boise for Treefort Music Fest coming up. Enjoy them here and now:

20 Years Of Pining After Fresno’s “Sparkle Jet”

I go back and forth when it comes to my favorite all-time Fresno band. Some days it’s the Light Thieves. Other days it’s Strange Vine. On days I’m feeling hardass metal it’s Farooq. Punk days it’s It’ll Grow Back. If you’d have asked me 20 [something] years ago, I would have said Neanderthals.

But the band I consistently go back to? Sparklejet.

The 20th Anniversary of Sparklejet has arrived and to celebrate, the band went back to the studio to record a new song. It’s called “UR A Dope” and they are letting you download it for free here. Check it:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=3817776400 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

If you’re like me, this may send you down the Sparklejet rabbit hole. To help guide you, here are nine Sparkle Jet songs that totally still stand out:

I love that the guys are still around and care enough to take the time to make new stuff. They always sound warm and familiar when I listen to them. Important sounding. Very Fresno, but somehow more sophisticated.

If you’re a fellow Sparklejet fan, I’d love to see your favorite songs and/or memories in the comments.

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

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2053127571 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

…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:

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=2308178429 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false track=2325772286]

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.

9 Cool Ass Things I [Will] Remember About Audie’s Olympic

Audie's Olympic
Audie’s Olympic – photo by David Prasad

I dunno if you heard about this but Audie will soon no longer be running Audie’s Olympic club in the Tower District. Crazy, right?

Hey, don’t ask me what happened, I’m sure Josh over at Fresno Beehive has something up about it or soon will. Rumor has it that the Audie Camp is saying the owners of the building want to do their own thing there and are pushing him out. The Owners Camp (total rumor, bro, ok?) say they would like him to stay if he met with the obligations of the lease.

Totally not my business. All I know is I have spent a lot of time in Audie’s Olympic. Not as much as of late but I think maybe I’ve gone to… 90? 100 shows there? Yeah, sounds kinda right.

So with that, here are my Ten 9 Cool Ass Things [I Will Remember] About Audie’s Olympic:

  • The Tub Of Beer: Not every place in town has a horse water trough full of ice and cheap beer cans. Even if you are not hipster enough to like PBR (I apparently am not), you had to order one, just so you don’t stand out too much.
  • The Chalk Event Board: I am a real nerd about chalk boards. No self respecting craft beer tap room doesn’t have one. Audie’s has one. Checking out the board during band breaks is a classic past-time for me.
  • The Bathroom Door Sticker Art: I can only assume the girls bathroom is the same but I KNOW the boys has always been covered in band stickers. I really haven’t checked it out close enough to see if they are ever peeled off or if there are years and years of layers.
  • Audie Chilling In the Corner of the Bar: If you look real close, behind the soundboard, you just might catch a glimpse. Always felt like I was looking behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz.
  • The Wall Carpet! Zanny I say (and probably helps with the sound). And all the stuff above the bar. ZANNY!
  • Pool Table/Merch Table: Of all the years going there, including when it was Club Fred, I think I saw the pool table actually functioning as a pool table, twice. Love picking up merch there so that is ok. Always bring cash for band merch, people, it seriously helps the bands survive.
  • The Sidewalk Scene: In between bands, more than half the club spills out onto the sidewalk in front of Audie’s. And most aren’t smoking, just getting some air and catching up with folks. Because have you tried having a conversation inside a rock club?
  • The Couches: It was super rare that I would get the couch in the center of the dance floor. I would occasionally get the one under the control booth. This was always a mistake because you never got up again.
  • Seeing Rising Bands: Whether it was a Fresno act or a touring act just trying to get noticed. There is no greater pretentious dude joy than to be able to say “I saw that band play at a small club in Fresno before they hit big.” Really this is [was] my favorite thing. And you get to talk to the bands outside during the sidewalk sessions.

Seriously, much love and respect to Audie and what he has done for the music scene in Fresno, it can’t be said enough. Safe travels on his next adventure.

Hopefully the space continues as a rock club. It just has too. Even if the wall carpet has to go.

[photo from David Prasad]