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Locals Only - Favorite Albums of 2013

YES!  It is time Simba!  Here for your listening pleasure are Spanspek's Favorite Albums of 2013!

10.
Tyrannosaurus Zebra (Visalia/Fresno, CA)
The Taste of Lunch to Come
<a href="http://tyrannosauruszebra.bandcamp.com/album/the-taste-of-lunch-to-come">The Taste Of Lunch To Come by Tyrannosaurus Zebra</a>
It’s unknown why Tyrannosaurus Zebra choose to take the name of their newest album from a certified punk classic.Whatever the reason, it certainly fits with their well-established irreverence toward punk holy grails and ideologies. Lunch brings more of the same lightening quick barn burners you’ve come to expect from the band, including some rerecording’s of TZ classics.The threesome shows that sometimes there’s no need to mess with a good thing.
9.
Favorite Child (Fresno, CA)
Collection A (PlasticSkull Music)
<a href="http://favoritechild.bandcamp.com/album/collection-a">Collection A by Favorite Child</a>
Favorite Child was one in a long traditio…

Locals Only: Favorite Singles of 2013

LET US DO THIS!

That's right people of the Shire, it's that time of the year where everyone's making out all hardcore under the mistletoe.  And that can mean only one thing; it's time for our annual "Favorites Music of 2013" Lists!

We'll be hitting you with three this year, assuming this cold of mine goes away.  First up is our list of Favorite Local Singles.  Note that in an effort to write about as many local bands as possible, this list leaves out those bands who we'll be writing about in future favorite albums post.

Alright!  So read on, listen in, buy some music, and head out to a local show!

Blind Bison (Fresno, CA)
"Agadega"
A Seismic Laugh
<a href="http://blindbison.bandcamp.com/album/a-seismic-laugh">A Seismic Laugh by Blind Bison</a>
Part of the Valley's blues/roots rock contingent, Blind Bison distinguished itself this year by releasing an album that embraces the sounds of indie rock.  On "Agadega"…

Spanspek 2013: The Video!

For those of you unfortunate enough to have missed Spanspek this year, boy have we got a treat for you!  And for those who did attend, boy have we got a treat for you!  It's a video party in our blog and everyone's invited!
A great many thanks to Nestor Celaya of Bokeh Video Productions for all the hard work and support. You kicked some ass on this hear video!  Thanks as well to Visalia band Slow Season for letting us use their song!

Please be sure to share this with your friends, family, and sworn enemigos!  Thanks and we'll be back later with our Best of 2013 lists!

Locals Only: Planets Live in Houses - Clouder EP

Good evening everyone!  How goes it?  Pretty good I hope.  I'm sitting here with my wife and dogs, belly full of Chinese food, trying to get my Netflix on.  It's a good life is what I'm saying.

And now the battery ran out on the controller!  Pssh, that ain't gonna phase me!  Let's listen instead to some new music from Fresno band Planets Live in Houses!
<a href="http://planetsliveinhouses.bandcamp.com/album/clouder">Clouder by Planets Live in Houses</a>After playing a few shows around Fresno (including an impressive set at Catacomb Party), the instrumental group Planets Live in Houses has dropped a late year surprise with it's excellent two song Clouder demo.  The winding "Wolf Computer" functions like a pumped up theme and variations, up until a pulverizing rock coda bust the fuck out of nowhere to lay waste to what came before it.  "Heather" provides more of the same, but with an expanded palette of mallet percussion,…

Locals Only - New Midwest Moms Single

What day is it today?  11/15/13?  That's a record 40+ days to recover from Spanspek!  Not a moment too soon I say, what with the end of the year on the way.  There's end of the year music lists to make, and still a good amount of new local music to write about!

But before I get to all that, Israel and I would once again thank everyone involved with making this years festival one of the best ever.  We depend on a long list of volunteers, friends, loved ones, music & art lovers, and an entire community to do what we do.  It's hard work, but all of you make it easier with your contributions.  Thank you and we love you all.

Alright, lets get down to business!  Time to get sad with some new tunes from Fresno group Midwest Moms!
<a href="http://midwestmoms.bandcamp.com/track/home">Home by Midwest Moms</a>
I'm not well versed in the world of post-punk.  The closest I ever really got to being even remotely goth was liking the soundtrack to "The …

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We'll have an official post that will go more in depth, but we just couldn't wait to say thank you. Spanspek was as successful as ever this year. We'd like to thank all the artists, the bands, the volunteers and the attendees. 
We are also happy to announce that our scholarship number and amounts will go up this year.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! 

-IF

Everything You Need To Know About Spanspek But Were Afraid to Ask!

BOOM.  IT IS TIME!  HERE'S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPANSPEK 2013!
Basics:

Spanspek Music and Arts Festival
10/4/2013
Orosi Memorial Hall, 41645 Road 128, Orosi CA 93618
$5 cover
All ages
6pm to 11pm (doors open at 5:30p)
www.spanspekfestival.com

Directions/Parking

From Visalia:
Google Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/Tqiq9

From Fresno:

Google Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/eQLUa

Parking available catty-corner to the parking lot. Look it up, it's a real word!
Set Times

Floor Stage

Kooleidoscope - 6p - 6:30p
Tyrannosaurus Zebra - 7:00p - 7:35p
It'll Grow Back - 8:10p - 8:45p
Slow Season - 9:20p - 10:00p
Werebear - 10:40p - 11:10p

Main Stage

Fatty Cakes - 6:30p - 7:00p
Le Wolves - 7:35p - 8:10p
Macondo - 8:45p - 9:20p
Mezcal - 10:00p - 10:40p

Food

Pizza and drinks will be provided, courtesy of the fine people over at YR Pizza Planet!

Raffle
We'll be holding a raffle at the end of the night to benefit our Orosi High School Scholarship Fund! Winners will receive prizes from bands and arti…

Kooleidoscope and Slow Season

Hello people!  We got some good news and bad.  Due to unforeseen circumstances Strange Vine and Francis Ward are unable to perform this year.  That's the bad news.

But the good news is that two great acts will be joining us! And here they are!
Kooleidoscope Sanger/Fresno, CA Press: "Kooleidoscope is a female hip hop artist...Think back packer hip hop with major K-Flay appeal" (John Esquivel, Fresno Famous)




More info at her Facebook and Twitter.

Slow Season
Visalia, CA
Label: Easy Rider Records
Press: "Slow Season possess that raw, hard rock sound that is firmly rooted in the blues....it’s impossible to argue with an album of absolutely great songs played with real passion topped off with an authentic, raw and suitably vintage production.... it’s refreshing to hear an album that retains a band’s identity whilst traveling through so many musical styles and moods." (Ollie Stygall, The Sleeping Shaman)

More info at their official website!


Coolbeans.

Cristobal Carrill…

2013 Spanspek Artists!

What's the haps everyone?  How goes it?!  I'm at home at the moment, taking a day off from the factory to get ready for tomorrow's (holy crap!) festival!  It's pretty cool.  I'm watching my dogs fight with each other.  One of them just walked off all cool after pinning the other down, only to be jumped from behind by the same dog.  That ish is gangsta!

So we've written about all the bands, but there's also a bunch of artists that will be exhibiting their stuff!  Lets meet them all, so you can then meet them in person tomorrow, then maybe run into them sometime in the post-apocalyptic future where you'll trade shoelaces for rubber bands.

Yup.

Alright, so lets get this rolling!  Here are this years crazy cool artists!

Teresa Flores, Fresno/Los Angeles CA
www.teresafloresstudio.com
Bio:

I am a graduate of the Otis College of Art and Design Public Practice program. My work focuses on class and culture issues and uses the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno and LA…

Werebear

Good afternoon!  What's the haps?!  Que pasa?!  I'm in a meeting!  Coffee is delicious!  LETS DO THIS!

Out last band profile is about Orosi garage rock band Werebear!
Photo by Israel Flores
Full disclosure, I'm a member of the band, so if I start sounding off on how great Werebear is, know that I'm a little biased.  So anyway, THIS BAND IS PRETTY GOOD.  Here's a bit about them, as provided on the Fresno Famous website by writer Colby Tibbet:

Emerging out of the dusty farm town of Orosi, CA, Werebear continues to contain their high energy, thrash inducing garage punk, but also staying within an indie rock framework.This may seem like an obvious attribute, but keeping grungy guitars and big synth on a tight rope without it being a giant parade of dissonance is not easy. Werebear keeps the DIY-punkers moshing, and the indie kids sipping on their craft brew and their head’s bopping.

The duo has particularly become known for their ferocious live shows, which involve low flyi…

Tyrannosaurus Zebra

And so it begins!  It's the week of the festival!  So many things to do, and literally very little time to do it in!  It's going to be awesome!

In the meantime it's time for more bloggings!  Our band to start up the week is Visalia/Fresno folk punk aficionados Tyrannosaurus Zebra!
Photo by Anthony Emershaw Here's a bit about the band, as provided by Arroz y Frijoles blogger Alberto Santillan:
These homegrown folk-punk malcontents have had a long and storied past couple of years, sharing the stage with Ty Segall, Morning Teleportation, and Shannon and the Clams among others, and becoming one of the most visible bands of Fresno’s storied “friendcore” scene, a loose and ramshackle collective of bands and all-ages venues of which Sci-Fi Caper are also a part, before breaking up last year, only to reform this year. And indeed, it’s as if they never went away. With Paul Jones filling in on bass, and playing in the ballroom as usual, the adenoidal racket made by Zebra sounds as d…

It'll Grow Back

Good morning everyone!  How's it going?  What's the plan for the weekend?  Partying?  Hanging with family?  I'd suggest instead that you wait in your room patiently for Spanspek.  Possibly eating every now and then.  But mostly waiting.

Anywho, speaking of fun things to do, it's about that time to introduce  our next band!  Take some time to get to know Fresno punk rockers It'll Grow Back!
Here's a bit about the band from former Fresno Bee writer Mike Osegueda:

Fresno punk-rock vets It'll Grow Back play fast, loud and with tons of energy.  It's the punk rock of old really.  We're talking two-minutes-or-less songs, might-just-offend-you language and a chaotic live show.

Look folks, this band is well known for playing at blinding speeds and deafening levels, all while lead singer Josh Tehee spins like a tornado in tight jeans.  There's no way you won't be tired after watching It'll Grow Back do its thang. The band recently released their &qu…

Macondo

Good morning everyone!  What's the haps!?  The days are ticking away till we're all together rocking out at the Orosi Memorial Hall!  Until then, we've got plenty more bands to write about, so lets get to it!

Next up for your listening pleasure is the new project by Spanspek Co-Founder Israel Flores; Orosi's own Macondo!
Here's a bit of bio from the bands website:

In Macondo I get to express sentiments in a way like never before.  I'm used to people hearing me play an instrument.  I am not used to people hearing me sing.  Here you will find both.

Indeed!  Known primarily as a guitarist, Macondo finds Flores making his first foray into fronting a band.  The result is a sound that brims with confidence, exuding Mexican and American influences through it's cumbia rhythms, harmonies, and rock instrumentation.

The band is still relatively new, but includes veterans from other styles of music, such as norte├▒obassist Jason Trevino and roc en espanol musician Carlos…

Le Wolves

Happy Tuesday morning everyone!  I hope this blog finds you doing well.  We here at Spanspek Headquarters are busy trying to get everything in order for the upcoming festival and we're super excited to hang out with all of you on 10/4!

In the meantime, here's our next band spotlight!  Prepare your earholes for Fresno indie blues outfit Le Wolves!
Here's a bit about the band, as supplied by the Fresno Bee's "Artist You Should Know" column:

Le Wolves is a band with a dark side.  The Fresno-based four-piece group creates an eerie voodoo-vibed folk music "that will make you believe..."

And that's it.  That's all I could find of the article online!  I think it's good though, cause it adds even more mystery to the band.  What will they make me believe in one wonders.  What powers of persuasion do these young men possess?

Anywho, even that snippet totally gets at what the band sounds like.  It's a mix of old and new, bright colored lights m…

Francis Ward

Hello again from the far reaches of Middle Earth!  It's Friday which means we're two weeks away from Spanspek!  It's all happening!  But before all that we've still got plenty more bands to write about!  Next on the docket is Reedley/Fresno alternative group, Francis Ward!
Here's what the band has to say about themselves via their Facebook page:

With the wind in his face he proudly fled, with millions of words left unsaid.  His life in the shadows and feelings ignored, ladies and gentlemen, this is Francis Ward.

Yup!  That's them in a nutshell.  But you don't have to take my word for it Levar Burton, just check out this video!

For more information on Francis Ward visit their Bandcamp page, their Facebook, or follow them on Twitter!  You know the drill, just listen to them!  They're good!

Cristobal Carrillo
September 20, 2013

Strange Vine

So yeah, Strange Vine is playing Spanspek!  Prettttttttty dang cool right?  Alright, for all your poor souls who don't know who these guys are, you're about to find out!  So lets get to it!
Here's a little bit a info about this dynamic duo, as written by Fresno writer Conlan Spangler and as listed on their website:

Strange Vine's earthy, energetic music is a fusion of blues, psychedelic, and traditional American rock.  It's a sound born of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, from two men who were raised there.  Ian Blesse plays drums and Rhodes piano (simultaneously), while toby Cordova fleshes out the songs with a rotating arsenal of guitars (including one made from a cigar box).  Both contribute vocals toward a rich, layered sound that's greater than the sum of its parts.  In just a few year's time, Strange vine has already shared the stage with acts like The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Band of Skulls, The Growlers, B.B. King, Robin Trower, Matt a…

Mezcal

What's up!  It's Thursday morning and the party's jumping.  The bass line bumping and the DJ's yelling "Peanut Butter Wolf!"

Yeah, I don't know either, but I swear I've heard that in a song before though.  Kevin Figueroa would know.  Anywho, it's times to talk about our next Spanspek band!  This time it's all about Visalia purveyors of latin grooves Mezcal!
Here's a little bit about the band, as listed on their website:

Born out of the belly of the San Joaquin Valley, Mezcal has been entertaining audiences across the state for the past ten years.  Their Latin groove's have taken them from Visalia’s annual Dia Del Nino Celebration at the Manuel Hernandez Center to Las Vegas for the nationally televised America’s Next Great American Band.  Out of over 10,000 acts, Mezcal was chosen as one of the top 60 bands for the FOX series. They have shared the stage with the likes of Malo, El Chicano, Tierra, and Poncho Sanchez.

Mezcal has kept their…

Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries

Hello people of the Shire!  I hope this blog finds you doing well!  It's that time of year again where we drop everything to write about all the great bands and artists that will be performing at this years Spanspek Music and Arts Festival!  We're super excited to do it too cause we've got a badass line up this year!  So first up, Fresno's answer to Diana Ross and the Supremes (at least that's how I think of them): Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries!
Here's a brief description of Fatty Cakes, as provided on her Facebook page:

Fatty Cakes is the solo project of Amber Fargano.  Vocal chords, a chord organ, a glockenspiel, and a snare drum are sure to get you hot and bothered and all sorts of glazed.  Now joined by the grrl gang The Puff Pastries.
Well said!  These girls have taken Fresno by storm and they're going to do the same in Orosi.  I only hope you're all ready to eat a ton of pizza: So yeah, that will probably happen.  BRING YOUR APPETITES.  Not t…

Spanspek Music and Arts Festival 2013 Lineup

Read it and weep son!
We'll have more info on the bands and artists later.  In the meantime, save the date, share with friends, and get ready for some good times!

Locals Only: New-ish Music From Dim Peaks, Ocher

Hello!  Look!  I'm trying to get my act together!  Two blogs in one week!  It's crazy talk!  So lets get to it!

I've been meaning to write about these two releases for a while now, and am just now getting around to it.  The first is the fantastic "Reason" by Dim Peaks, the new project by Fresno singer/songwriter Niilo Smeds!Easy going alt-folk with pulsing electric guitar to provide momentum.  Lilting, off kilter singing about the inevitability of change and the end of it all.  Maybe.  I'm pretty bad at this deciphering lyrics stuff.  One things for sure, this song is undeniably awesome.  Dim Peaks first album, Time of Joy, will be out September 3, 2013 through Gold Robot Records. Next on the list is Greenland, the new two song EP from Visalia alt rockers Ocher!  Here's a video of the epic opener "Greenland", as provided by the lovely folks at the Screaming Rebels Network:Having followed these guys for a while, "Greenland" came as a bi…

Locals Only Album Review: Sahab - 11:59

I'm starting to think Sahab may be a serial killer.

The conclusion of a recent video series promoting his new album 11:59 ends with an implied nefarious deed, the second of its kind if you consider the ending of his video for "No?"  Luckily he's not so much taking lives as he is killing it in the studio (couldn't resist the pun).  With 11:59 Sahab once again proves to be a master of the soundboard, exquisitely manipulating all manner of sounds to delve into the midnight heart of the city.

11:59 is similar in tone and ambition to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  The content is all excess, drugs, and revenge fantasies, as in the beautifully arranged "SnakesDontWalkTheySlither".  Every song is filled to the brim with prismatic touches, from skittering beats to Sahab's signature heart piercing lead guitar (see the amazing "Beautiful"), which adds menace and longing to each song.  It's all just so fucking gorgeous!

Just …