One of the perks of covering local events is the kick I get in finding the odd ones that merit attention; the ones that deserve to be noticed but may have slipped through the cracks. One such show is happening at Cal State Bakersfield's Doré Theatre on Dec. 8 featuring Steam Powered Giraffe. This San Diego-based troupe performs a kind of steampunk sci-fi musical theater with the costumes, sets and makeup to match. It’s fantastic to see a group so completely and effectively committed to and immersed in their vision.
The show and its wide-ranging music styles (I quite like the songs “Blue Portal” and the lovely, lush “Honeybee”) will be odd, unique, endearing and, yes, moving. They also have an actual robot giraffe, so that’s rad.
In its sixth year, the “Yulemas Special Show” was so named by the band to separate it from other shows and to keep the festivity all-inclusive. If you’ve ever donned a top hat and goggles, and/or have a taste for the wacky, the fantastic and the whimsical, you should already have your tickets to this show. Considering that fans from as far as Arizona have made the trek here to see them, you might want to get those tickets sooner than later.
The show is all ages and I sincerely think that kids will dig it. The ticket price is $25 and might stretch the limits of “affordable family entertainment,” but, as in years’ prior, 20 percent of ticket sales benefit a charity (this year it will go to the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House) so that bit of good will might ease the sting of the sticker shock a bit.
Temblor Brewing will be having a philanthropic event of their own next week on Dec. 7. Local band The Akoustiks will be having its second annual “Ugly Sweater Bash” with a percentage of those proceeds going to Toys For Tots.
The band performs smooth acoustic versions of cover songs as well as original material. This year’s special guest will be singer Eric Lyn, a contestant from the 13th season of the NBC singing competition “The Voice.” Lyn will sing his own set and then join The Akoustiks during their set on a few numbers. Local comedian Daniel Betts will emcee the show also featuring performances from the BC Choirs Christmas Carolers and Han’s Taekwondo Demo Team.
“We started this event last year with the hopes to take our platform and use our superpowers in a positive manner,” said Steve Diaz, The Akoustiks’ percussionist and co-vocalist. “We love our community and want to cultivate it the best way we can. Our goal is to have this event every year and provide great family fun while in celebration of a great season.”
There will be a contest for the ugliest sweater and raffles for prizes including the grand prize, which was donated by the Bakersfield Condors. There’s even rumors swirling of a Santa sighting. (Spoiler alert: He’ll be there.)
Since there’s no admission and it’s all ages, it’s affordable fun for the whole family — even if it happens to be in a brewery.
Sixth annual "Yulemas Special Show," with Steam Powered Giraffe, 4-9 p.m. (show starts promptly at 5 p.m.), meet and greet with the band after the show, Dec. 8, Doré Theatre, Cal State Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $25 (credit cards cannot be used to purchase tickets at the door on the day of) at brownpapertickets.com; free parking in university lots A and B.
Second annual Ugly Sweater Bash for Toys For Tots, 7 p.m. Dec. 7, Temblor Brewing Co., 3200 Buck Owens Blvd., Suite 200. Free admission. 499-4855.
Imperial Stout is a group of four young men playing country and rock music that’s way before their time but their enthusiasm for the material belies the age difference. Just in their mid-20s, these kids have a lot of fun playing songs that were popular decades — many decades — before they were born. The band will play Jerry’s Pizza this Saturday night in a free show.
Their setlist, with songs by Garth, Merle, Buck, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the like, can be heard on classic rock and country radio stations, not to mention a whole lot of stages around town. But their youth and approach gives the material a shot of new depth and respect. For old guys like myself, it’s a breath of fresh air and a sign that the kids are, indeed, alright. The all-ages show starts at 5 p.m. with Mirror Image, followed by Imperial Stout at 7 p.m. and Vince Galindo & Country Deluxe closing out the show at 10 p.m.. (Disclosure: I usually perform with Country Deluxe but will not be at this show.)
Mirror Image, Imperial Stout, and Vince Galindo & Country Deluxe 5 p.m. this Saturday at Jerry’s Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave. Free admission.