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On Separating the Art from the Artist

On March 18, 2017 legendary singer/songwriter and guitarist Chuck Berry passed away. He was 90 years old. I grew up with only a passing knowledge of Berry's music, never really acknowledging it as something I liked. I played "Johnny B. Goode" on drums with my high school rock band, but otherwise, his music was just kind of in the background, drowned out by Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

As I got older my appreciation grew. Songs like "Rock and Roll Music" and "You Never Can Tell" were always delightful to hear whenever they'd turn up on oldies radio stations. The elements of what would become rock and roll where plain to hear, and for that Berry earned a sort of academic respect. He was an originator of the music I love and for that he deserved a place of honor.

That was of course until I learned that the dude was a straight up sex offender. Anyone familiar with Chuck Berry knows that he did a few stints in jail; once for armed robbery, another for trans…
Recent posts

When Does A Band Make It?

Later this week Fresno band and local favorites Light Thieves will be leaving for a 13 date tour of the western United States. This is the latest of many tours they have taken. Two of the dates are for Idaho's Treefort Music Fest, a gig the band has played four times, and which will be headlined by the likes of Mac DeMarco, The Growlers, and Deafheaven. The band is not signed to a record label. They have a dedicated fanbase that came out strong for their album release show. And they do everything, and I mean everything (marketing, merchandising, distributing, etc.), all on their own.

Per their most recent appearance on the Spanspek Podcast, they are pretty much broke. And as far as I know, each member has a regular job. But let it be known: for all intents and purposes, Light Thieves has "made it". Truth be told Light Thieves "made it" long before any of the above had happened. As soon as the group made a commitment to be a band, perform, and release music by …

Spanspek Album Review: Light Thieves - Future Colors

I'm writing this while at work so lets goooooooooooooooo!
Light Thieves (Fresno, CA)Future Colors
Ay! Did you know that Light Thieves was a prog rock band? Like full on Rush status? I mean, I always knew they had it in them. Their last album, Spirit Homeshas some pretty trippy moments. But most of those songs clock in at around 3 minutes. Not so on the fantastic Future Colors, the expansive and eagerly anticipated new LP from the Fresno quartet. Almost four years in the making, the expert craftsmanship shows in every epic song.   
Each tune is a journey, taking unexpected twists and turns in delightful ways. "Uncle Jerry" sets the template, juxtaposing complex rhythmic interplay with exquisite calm. The groovalicious "Goon Years" similarly balances latin flavored stylings with otherworldly flourishes.  "Stay Present" is by far my favorite tune and the best example of Light Thieves playing around with genre. The song takes on various guises throughout …

New Albums: February 2017

It is 10:36pm and I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open because my son drains the life force from his mother and I. sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Do you see that up there? I'm not joking; I fell asleep typing and that shit came out. Alas, if only I'd had my finger on the Z key instead.

Here's the stuff that came out in February 2017 mang. I had more, but my phone deleted all my notes so I lost my list. This is why you should send me your music people! Just send a link to and I'll put it on the blog!

The Concerned Relatives (Visalia, CA)
Born out of church band jam sessions, Steven Potorke and Greg Amend (formerly of Visalia's Orcher) lay out a trio of soothing tunes based on …

Local Videos: Light Thieves & Sahab

Hey! How goes it folks? Good? Good! Cause over at Spanspek Headquarters everyone is succumbing to the cold and it is decidedly NOT the business. Why do the Gods see fit to punish us lowly beings, whose only wish is to grace the populace with the knowledge of local music happenings? POR QUE?!?!
Anyway, peeps have been busy when their camcorders! Here's a couple new videos for your faces!
Sahab(Fresno, CA) "Mushi" From the album Safa City.
Sahab continues dabbling in future funk soul on latest album Safa City. Amidst the Delorean glamour shots and altered harmonizations Sahab makes room for some timely economic anxiety; reminiscing about when "gas was hella cheap" and lamenting the lack of jobs. It's an interesting turn from an uncompromising artist who never fails to intrigue.
Light Thieves(Fresno, CA) "Goon Years" From the upcoming album Future Colors.
After a VERY long hiatus Light Thieves are finally making their return with new album Future Colo…

New Albums: January 2017 Pt. 2

Ay! How goes it! It's February and I'm already behind on this shiz! But first things first, please go to this!
Us Spanspek dudes (Israel from Macondo and Cristobal from Werebear) will be joining forces with Kenny Gonzalez (The Eros), and Tony Quintero (Satellite Era) to play some Radiohead tunes for Dead Eyes Shows'90'S SLAUGHTER III!  Our cut of the cash made from ticket sales will go towards funding Spanspek 2017. So if you love 90's music, Spanspek, or lazy eyes, PLEASE GO! For more info, click on this link!

And that's it for now! Here's some fly local music released in the dregs of January!

Daze Baby (Hanford, CA)
The Shimmering Pool of Queen Kool
Groovy indie psychedelia from some Hanford weirdos (which is meant as a compliment).

Santa Mira (Fresno, CA)
The Budapest Smile Club
The latest release from prolific singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Flores, who's been on a creative hot streak as of late.

Tent City Christ (Fresno, CA)
Reggae inflected folk ro…

On Strange Vine and Their Forthcoming Second Album

Dear Strange Vine,

Hey dudes, what gives?

Last week I was reading Josh Tehee's Fresno Bee article about the recently released lineup for the FresYes Fest. Y'all were announced as the headliners. Awesome! You two are the best! The music's great, the live show is fantastic, and the band hasn't played in a while, so it's a BIG DEAL.

Here's the problem though. The article embeds a music video of yours and states, and I quote, "Here the band plays in advance of the release of its long awaited new album." That's it, right there. The freaking understatement of the year.


Ghosts(your fantastic 1st album) was released over six years ago! That's an interminable amount of time! Sure you've released a few singles here and there, but come on, I'm fiending over here! I've been hearing about the new Strange Vine album for years now and it's starting to feel like the search for Sasqu…