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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're a beer snob then you may have heard of a thing called a 'tap takeover'. It's when one brewing company takes over all the taps at a bar or restaurant for the whole night.
So we're taking that idea and bringing it to the blog world. This week on The Fresnan, all the posts will be Fresno Urban Sound Expierience related. In other nerdy words: FUSE Fest is doing a 'post takeover' here at The Fresnan.
First up, it's maybe the most important of all: the schedule is out for this weekend's FUSE Fest. You can check the site, or check it right now here: