Between the search for the missing Trout’s neon sign, disturbing news from the raging Kern River, and sweltering summer temps, July hasn’t been easy on Bakersfield.
With that in mind, we’ll stick to accentuating the positive with another round of random bits heard, read, and seen all over our fair city. I received a lot of great feedback regarding the newsy nugget format of my last column. Let’s keep it going shall we?
It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in with space jam outfit Gadfly, but I have caught a glimpse of some of the guys out and about supporting their local scene peers, along with an entertaining appearance on a recent episode of "The Meathead Show" via Facebook. Eager to get their newly recorded demo into the hands of listeners, the trio — bassist and lead vocalist Dominic Demay, guitarist Brian Lee and drummer Isaac Hedgemon — is hosting a release party/multi-band extravaganza Saturday at The Mint in downtown Bakersfield. The bar has been hosting more live band shows than normal, attracting mostly touring punk rock bands, but also a number of deejays, and a healthy batch of locals. With a lack of venues for bands to reach the masses and build a following, The Mint deserves some kudos, plus they have a great bar with some of Bako’s hardest-working bartenders. Also set to perform are American Smogg, Who Killed Richard Cory?, Tall Dark & 90, and Heavy Vinyl. Advice: Wear your “I don’t care if I get showered in beer” outfit. Saturday’s show kicks off at 9 p.m. at The Mint, 1207 19th St. Admission is free; and be prepared, it will be packed.
Bakersfield singer-songwriter Danny Garone, who serves as frontman for Iron Outlaws, ended up in a different type of spotlight recently for his work as a part-time model. Garone attended last week’s IMTA New York, a three-day convention that brings together talents from all over the country, all vying for awards given by the prestigious International Modeling and Talent Association. The performer kept his fans updated back home, posting a photo of him wearing his medals awarded in the songwriter and male model categories. The IMTA is reputed for discovering actors Elijah Wood, Eva Longoria, Ashton Kutcher, Katie Holmes and others, so Garone is in good company. Bravo!
Have you been following the latest webcasts and online antics from Bakersfield’s Canoodle Studios? If not, you really should start. Beginning each morning with "The Meathead Show," hosted by Jarad “Meathead” Mann and Matt Fredrickson from 6 to 9 a.m., the show’s entertainment mish-mash of multimedia fun, often not suitable for work, sets the tone for daily programming. With discussion of movies, comic books, local music, politics, race and, yes, even sex talk, viewers are invited to interact with each Canoodle show on Facebook live. Chime in with a greeting, joke or whatever’s on your mind, and you might even get a shout back. If you miss the live broadcast, you can always come back and enjoy an archived edit as well. Check it out at facebook.com/canoodlestudios or visit canoodlestudios.com.
Therese and The Sweetness
It’s two treats for the price of one when a newly reunited Bakersfield pop quartet Therese & The Sweetness will open for the latest Fab Four tribute show to hit town at the Fox on July 28. Calling themselves The Reunion: Fantasy Tribute to The Beatles, the group is reportedly comprised of veteran Beatles tribute musician/actors doing all the hits. Does anybody remember the original Beatles tribute act “Beatlemania” that toured during the '80s? If you do, you’re truly old-school. Tickets for the Fox show range from $34.50 to $55.25. For more information visit bakersfieldfox.com.
Katchafire, 8 p.m. Thursday, B Ryder’s, 7401 White Lane. $30 to $80, all-ages show, 397-7304. Hailing from the mighty H-Town, Aoteoroa (aka Hamilton, New Zealand), Katchafire has grown into a global roots reggae phenomenon since forming in 1997. Over the 20 years of providing nonstop rhythms for the people, they’ve been given an irie blessing by members of the Marley family and shared the stage with every legend imaginable. As the Cali roots scene continues to strive in the middle of summer, this is a band that should not be missed. Besides, Americans have been reportedly packing their bags for the chill vibe of New Zealand, so they gotta be good. Also appearing is Jordan T and Iya Terra.
Thee Commons, 9 p.m. Saturday, Centro 18, 1517 18th St. $10, 21-and-over show. 493-0177. If Tom Waits ever explored playing cumbia music backed by punk legends the Minutemen, it would probably sound like L.A.’s Thee Commons. Starting out in the underground all-ages East L.A. alt-rock scene, the group ascended the heights of hipsterdom, with the pinnacle of playing Coachella this year. In addition to writing and releasing their own material, they also throw in their own gravelly voiced, punked-up versions of cumbia and rock classics by Selena, Caifanes, Nirvana and more. Find out what all the fuss is about and don’t forget to ask them where's the sax player (Note: He only joins guitarist David Pacheco, drummer Rene Pacheco and bassist Jose Rojas for special gigs.) Also spinning throughout the night are DJs King Steady Beat, Soul Libre and Cris Cado.
The Wayne Garner Band, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St. $5, 21-and-over show. 322-8900. The music of Americana mixologist Wayne Garner reminds me of a guy who lives his days on the road with nothing but the clothes on his back and the songs in his guitar case. It’s a tough life, especially when you’re competing with the sparkle of Nashville radio. That’s what makes this type of small club show so special. If you’re looking for good, original, honest Texas country music (by way of Oklahoma) with a contemporary twist, Wayne’s your guy. Get a preview at waynegarnerband.net. Also appearing is Thomas Gardner Jr.