January 23, 2014

I’d like to update the webpage news, but…

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:58 pm

My computer died, along with the webpage software that I knew how to use. It may be a couple of weeks before I can get things going, so for now, a simple blog post will have to do.
Upcoming…Saturday, (that’s Jan.25–show starts at 7), we’re playing as part of a bill that Matthew Embry’s put together. Paul Sprawl (from Minnesota via Calif.), Embry, The Chris Janzen Underground and Leralee Whittle are also playing…this is at Mia Cuppa at 620 E. Olive St. in Fresno’s Tower District.
…For now, enjoy a few pictures from last Sunday’s benefit for Food Not Bombs…a great time was had by all. Good music. Good food. Good friends. Thanks to Mike Lidskin for the pictures of Chelsea Jones (eyes open), the Trike Shop and The Cherry Bluestorms, and thanks to Barbara Jones for the photos of Chelsea (eyes closed),Ron “Doc” Morse, and the very tiny triceratops.

Chelsea Jones at the Food Not Bombs show

the rarely seen naughty bits of a triceratops

Deborah and Glen from The Cherry Bluestorms

The Trike Shop

Ron "Doc" Morse with Guy Beard & the Lunch Wagon Romeos

November 18, 2013

Quick Scribbles into Fall

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:24 pm

Chelsea Jones joing us for a blistering “Ball and Chain”

There’s always *something* going on. One is either cooking something up for the near future, or living through the situations one has cooked up in the recent past. Fall brought a small break from the myriad of gigs that kept us zipping around the state at the end of Summer, but that doesn’t mean we were resting on our laurels…(what laurels?).  Included below are some pictures from this past weekend’s gig on the campus of UC Santa Cruz, courtesy of my daughter’s organizational skills…great gig with charming songs and presentations of Olivia Rose, the bold and heart-challenging songs of Chelsea Jones, ourselves,  the reverb-moody-melodies of Them are Us Too, the hip hop free-high-stylings of Wizzbang Operation, and the striking electronica-cinematic visuals of Shawheen Keyani….(other Fall happenings?….finishing a recording with the now re-named Harp/Theremin/Percussion group…now called, “TriOblique”, having Mike Lidskin from Twirl Radio to a live broadcast from our very own Whispermaphone Studios….and coming up? a Dec. gig up in Sacramento, the next Food Not Bombs fundraiser here in Fresburg in January…and some songs to finish writing and recording…oh, and check out PopGarden’s Christmas Album featuring an exclusive Trike Shop track….Did I say there was always *something* going on???)
[thanks to Martin Hansen for the Chelsea Jones, Olivia Rose, Them Are Us Too, and Wizzbang Operation photos!]

at UC Santa Cruz


Chelsea Jones--organizer and performer


Them Are Us Too


Olivia Rose


Wizzbang Operation


Shawheen Keyzani

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some folks are never impressed

August 3, 2013

inter-connections and commonalities

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:35 pm

Though an extremely difficult one for me on a personal level, this summer finds the band and myself doing what we do well: playing on bills/making friends with musicians from all over and all under this network of commonality: this world of indie/pop/rock musicians.

(thanks to Martin Hansen for most of the pictures!)

at Fais Do Do in Los Angeles for the International Pop Overthrow Festival

Several gigs down, and several to come [this Wed. at the Hotel Utah in S.F., this Fri. at Fitzgerald's in Huntington Beach]. Two albums released, one reflecting this affinity we have for diving into musical community: Fresno Covers Fresno, and the other an EP [the Trike Shop's "Teasers from the Whispermaphone"] that both stands on its own, and harkens to some projects that are still being formed.

Highlights have included: finding such parallels in ideas and experiences with a songster who I met for the first time last night,  who came all the way to Fresno (ok, he played other places in the U.S. as well) from Perth, Australia (thanks Joe Algeria of JAC), talking about bad vampire and kung fu movies at Canters with friends after playing at the IPO in L.A., hearing the most lyrical guitar playing ever in the over-all-terrific band of Lannie Flowers from Texas, touching bases and remembering how much I enjoy the music and people in so many bands: Sitcom Neighbor, Felsen, the Shamus Twins

some pix from Twirl Radio presents: Fresno Edition :  (once again, thanks to Martin Hansen for the photos!)

Mike Lidskin, host of Twirl Radio, announces Lannie Flowers and friends!

the program

Clatterbox

Felsen --from the Bay Area

 

[next I'll tackle the ever-growing-font-of-rock n'roll-joy that is Fresno Covers Fresno!]

too much fun at the Fresno Covers Fresno release party. Members of Sparklejet, Poplord, Sunburns, Trike Shop and Pinkeye join together for a tune.

 

February 22, 2013

A Veritable Rock n’ Roll Carnival of Music and Performance!

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:08 pm

Martin with The Trike Shop

The Felsen Rabbit

Scott with The Trike Shop

It was a night of terrific performances.

Next up was the impossible-to-categorize and wonderful music of Matthew Embry.

Next, it was Felsen, our new friends from the Bay Area (we’re playing w/ them up in S.F. on April 17th). They won over a bevy of new fans with their strong stage performance.

Then came the aerial beauty and skill of NOCO Dance hanging from the rafters.


The Trike Shop came on and closed off a wonderful night.


Thanks to all of our friends who participated and helped raised money for the upcoming Rogue Performance Festival.

January 21, 2013

Music-filled weekend: Food Not Bombs party w/ klezmer and a friend from the Bay—then Monday, recording Suicide Lounge…

Category: recording — admin @ 8:12 pm

John Shafer playing at the Food Not Bombs fundraiser.

Recording session with Suicide Lounge. Clock-wise from bottom-left: Joy Mohler, Robert Paul, Nate Butler, me holding tape

 

 

 
Sunday was the annual Food Not Bombs fundraising party. Opening the show was Mike Glendinning from the East Bay.

After his set, Mike Glendinning (far right) joined us on one of our tunes.

After our set (in which we had a whole pocket-full of new songs–and  re-worked a couple ”deep catalogue” Trike Shop numbers), was Frezmorim—yes, the klezmer band we fell in love with at Tokyo Garden back in October.

Our klezmer friends Frezmorim tearing it up at Full Circle Brewery.

Good fun, and good food was had to all. Thanks to  Kelly and Tina and all the good folks at Food Not Bombs and Kenny and Joy and all at Full Circle Brewery. As Tom Magill says, “It takes many stones to make an arch.”

 

Scott gives the benediction as we play on with the theremin.

And then on Sunday, another all afternoon recording session in the legend-in-it’s-own-lunchtime Whispermaphone Studios. Today, my guests were Suicide Lounge. They recorded three tunes for a couple of different compilations. One, the much-looked-forward-to Fresno Covers Fresno project, and the other, a sampling of music from the Rogue Performance Festival. What band expects to record three songs in one afternoon? These folks do. Crazy. But we did it….at least up to the rough-mix stage. They recorded a couple of Fresburgian tunes that have been in their live sets for some time: one of mine (“Your Sad Party Dress”), and one from early 90′s Fresno goth band The Shroud (“Falling Dream”). The third was a tune that Nate had recorded before on a solo album that Suicide Lounge really makes their own.  I’ll be listening to, and enjoying these tunes, for a long time to come.

putting the music on tape

Thanks again to Mike Glendinning for coming all the way down to Fresno to play for us!


AND—thanks to David and Linda Hurst for the pictures of the show!

October 29, 2012

October’s String o’ Gigs at Tokyo Garden

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:46 pm

with members of The Clarences and Stallone's Holy Rollers . Thanks to Robert of the Clarences for the photo!

thanks to Robert of The Clarences for this photo.

We had a great time playing with some in-town and out-of-town bands
in what amounted to a sort of ‘residency’ at the classic downtown Fresno venue:
Tokyo Garden. Thanks to our out-of-town pals The Condors (Los Angeles), The Kavanaghs (Argentina),
The Clarences (Oakland), Stallone’s Holy Rollers (Bay Area) and our in-town pals: Sparklejet,
Frezmorim, Matthew Embry. (Thanks as always to Toshi & Tommy of Tokyo Garden for their support of local
music!) Here are some fab pix of the good times.

The Kavanaghs--great power popsters from Argentina stopping here in Fresno during their U.S. tour.

 

members of the Kavanaghs make friends with the theremin

 

Frezmorim! (a 9-piece klezmer band!) overflowed the stage at Tokyo

 

Sparklejet. intense. good.

 

The Condors---smart band, cool people..from Los Angeles.

 

Robert of the Clarences...creative guy with enthusiasm enough to drive us all! (and it was his birthday!)

 

Stallone's Holy Rollers--more friends we made in a laundromat in Oakland!

 

Matthew Embry..local guy back after living in Santa Cruz---amazing voice, amazing songs.

 

August 12, 2012

International Pop Overthrow Festival!

Category: out-of-town shows — admin @ 3:15 pm

Fais Do Do in Los Angeles (thanks to Cindy Schonmacher for the onstage shots )

John Shafer

The last few months have seen the band playing all over the state. Happily, our efforts at increasing the amount of our  out-of-town gigs has been paying off. Lately we’ve played in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as keeping up a steady pace in our own home stomping grounds of Fresno.                                   
One of the great helps in getting us into some great clubs lately has been our friends in the International Pop Overthrow Festival. Here are some pictures and moments from some gigs at Fais Do Do in Los Angeles, and in San Francisco at the Hotel Utah. (Watch our website news as we bring a number of these out-of-town bands *into* Fresno.)


and jumping out of order just a bit to show David Bash–the originator and C.E.O. of the International Pop Overthrow Festival (at the Hotel Utah 8-9-12):

The last couple of times Bash introduced the band, he used the term 'synapse bursting'. I can live with that.

and the obligatory post-show meal: this time, it was Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in Hollywood! from left: Corine, Scott, David, John, Cindy, Martin, Doc, Neptune.


and a few days later….

outside the Hotel Utah in San Francisco


and inside the Hotel Utah…

picture from Joe Rosato's camera!

thanks to Aaron from the Honey Wilders for figuring out the flash on my camera!

and the ever glamorous (and essential) after-midnight roadside hamburger stop

August 1, 2012

Imagine a Local Band Comp That…

Category: Fresno Covers Fresno Project — admin @ 8:43 am

(thank you Ross Garcia for the Godzilla, and Martin Hansen for the flyer!)

Imagine a local band compilation album that everyone will
be excited about.

It would have to include a lot of bands.

It would have to have exclusive tracks:  tracks that local band fans couldn’t get
anywhere else.

It would have to be, like the FUSE festival, a rich and
diverse sampling of local talent.

 

Here’s the idea and a working  title: “Fresno Covers Fresno”*, a compilation
in which local bands cover

*other* local bands. Maybe Strange Vine covers
Achievement House. Maybe It’ll Grow Back does a songby Pinkeye.

The combinations are endless, and fun to
imagine.

 

Over the next few months we’ll be soliciting bands to do
just that: submit a recording of themselves covering another local act (past or
present). In this way: twice the amount of bands are represented,

fans get a unique recording from some of their favorites,
and we all enjoy the fascinating re-interpretations.

 

 

Our plan:

Have the project done by mid-2013—ready to promote  FUSE Festival #6.

Selected recordings will be pressed up on a CD.

All submissions  will be available online for download.

All profits will support the FUSE Festival.

 

To help fund the project, a series of shows will be held at
Tokyo Garden.

The first one is Friday, August 17. Come out to support.

 

*Audience participation note: we’re considering having
the audiences at the Tokyo Garden shows contribute ideas for the final album
title.

Questions and submissions can be sent to Blake Jones at :
whispermaphone@hotmail.com

April 26, 2012

Trike Shop puts a new tune on the tape…

Category: recording — admin @ 8:36 pm

Last night, we got down to some recording. We were taping a new song for our contribution to this  year’s International Pop Overthrow Festival’s CD compilation. (This tune might also find it’s way onto the next Trike Shop album, but considering the pace at which we finish and release records, it might be a year or so before that comes to fruition.) The song is “(Dale said) Things Grow in Fresno”, based on a phrase our friend Dale Stewart was throwing around.

We recorded the basic track last night–did about 6 complete takes only to agree that ‘yeah, the first one was the best.’—a typical rock n’ roll story. The next job’ll be to get the harmony vocals, an acoustic guitar overdub, and then the lead vocal.

The rest of the eve was devoted to looking at an even *newer* tune. Maybe a new Trike Shop collection ain’t so far away after all.

April 20, 2012

April Music Weekend Deluxe! (part 2: gigs and more in Sacramento)

Category: out-of-town shows — admin @ 2:45 pm

playing over the internet at Twirl Radio in Sacramento

Our Sacramento adventure began with Martin and I heading up
the 99. As Martin would say, “It was a good day for a putt.” There had been a
spate of rainstorms on the previous few days, but today, it was all billowy
clouds and intense, blue skies. We were stopping first at James and Raina’s
house in Elk Grove. These are the kind of friends you gotta have: ones that’ll show
you the local record shops, and even let you bed down at their place after a gig.

They took us over to Broadway and 16th, the site of the
original (as in, first in the whole-wide-world) Tower Records. The drug store
that once  had a record department
destined for fame is gone, but the building with it’s tall, white deco-style
tower that gave it its name, remains. Just next door was a great place simply
called “Records”, cuz that’s what’s inside…and we dug through a bunch of ‘em—best
prize might’ve been James’ “Star Wars Funk” album…just for the cheesy cartoon
cover.

record store cat

Next, it was off to see Mike Lidskin (and the rest of the
band) at Access Sacramento, home of the internet-streamed show “Twirl Radio”. Mike
was his usual super-welcoming self.  We
played a couple-three songs, talked a bit on-air, and generally had a
Twirl-of-a-Time. Simultaneous to Mike playing a bevy of independent pop-centric
music, there’s always a rapid discussion happening on his Facebook page. Here’s
where many of the folks who’s music he
plays and their friends connect. It’s a real nexus for this fervent
bunch of popfans—people chime in from all over the U.S. and all over the world.
Music is traded, connections made, and plans are hatched.

When it was time to go, Mike’s gracious and lovely wife
Amber gave us directions to a good place to eat and relax until we had to get
on to the gig.

The show itself was at Shine, a café in an older building that
was cozy, arty and inviting, with an old fashioned counter/display case that promised
plenty of good eats and drinks.

Trike Shop at the Shine Cafe' in Sacramento

I believe they were set up primarily for smaller, acoustic
acts; special thanks to booker Josh and owner Rena for letting us stretch the
template a bit.

It was a good gig: we got to play in a new place, made some
new friends, had some fun playing an extended set, and it seemed like
management would be happy enough to  have
us come back…so it’s all good.

It’s true, we started off a bit tentatively (or maybe it was
just me), ‘cuz: feeling out a new place, playing a bit soft at first so as not
to overwhelm the PA, having a smallish crowd that hadn’t yet built for the
night ( usually on  your home-turf, even
smaller gigs are well-peppered with friends to hoot and holler you on to
something good)—all of these things kept me from finding my groove for the
first couple of songs..

But in the end, the crowd
built up a bit, and we had some people singing, clapping and reaching a general
state of Rock Ecstasy (ok, but on a really small café’ scale! [laughs]) –and BONUS:
Mike from Twirl came out and sent the show streaming live on the ‘net—thanks
again Mr. Lidskin!] special note: the band that closed the night: J.B. & the Wash..were a young band with a soulful singer-songwriter and a funk-tight bass&drum combo—check them out if you can.

The evening was young, and there was more fun to be had. We
went down one block, and around another, and we were at the Torch Club. As luck
would have it, Fresno boys the Mofo Party Band were bringing their
Chicago-style blues to Sacramento that same night. This small club (reminiscent
in mood of the original Olympic Tavern in our own hometown), was full of folks
dancing and eating it up. After having a couple of unsure moments playing at
Shine, it really made my night when in an extended set-closing number, Bill
Clifton was out in the crowd doing the whole bit: walking on the bar, playing
amongst the crowd, and when he came upon me, he slipped his guitar strap over
his neck and handed me his guitar—oh man! Nice. I slipped it on and played
over a few choruses. (If you’re reading this Bill, that *did* make my night!)
In the words of the Mofos “We’re known all over the world and in parts of Ripon.”

on the club floor at the Torch Club with the Mofo Party Band --Sacramento

And still more was to come. Martin and I headed 15 minutes
south to James & Raina’s place where we were promised a late night in their
lounge…spinning the records we’d bought and having some nice and cool, after-midnight
refreshments. Thank you James & Raina, for spoiling us well!

James and Martin and Raina

So, thus ended this music-filled April weekend.

And now, a short epilogue: On our drive home, I did have to slip in the appropriate
Creedence  CD as we approached Lodi. But this time, I took the off-ramp…and I
tells ya, Lodi is a *lot* more charming than I’d ever expected….for you Central
Valley folks, it’s a lot closer to ..say Hanford than maybe…Chowchilla (which
is more of what I expected from the tone of that old song). There’s a nice and
very alive downtown with 2-3 story brick buildings that have that early 20th
C. look and tree-lined streets with gracious, old homes that look to be from
the teens or twenties.