Miss the old Weezer? Then get ready to relive the glory days of ’94 at the big Weezer Cover Show happening this Saturday, December 4th at Sandrini’s.
But before you get all excited, be warned. There will be no "Hash Pipe," "Pork and Beans, " or "Beverly Hills." This is strictly for the old school: "Blue" album and "Pinkerton" era Weezer only.
Above from left, Weezer's '94 "Blue" album, and '96's "Pinkerton
"The 'Blue' album was the first album I'd heard as a teenager that made me rethink my ideas about playing music," said singer/guitarist, Pablo Alaniz who will be joined onstage by fellow musicians -- Sal Galindo, guitar; Zachary Spier, bass; and Evan Ware, drums. "Before then, we never wanted to sing; it was only about playing guitar." Alaniz joins legions of other "Weezer-ites" who profess similar love for the music of the quartet's first two records and an equal disdain for their "comeback" radio hits.
Above: Flier for Saturday's cover show. Flier by Erwin Ledford
'"Pinkerton' is like 'Empire Strikes Back,'" Alaniz said. "After that, they were never the same band. Rivers Cuomo stopped putting any heart into his lyrics. A lot of people our age are kind of embarrassed to admit Weezer is their favorite band now, because of the music they're putting out today."
In addition to performing both albums in their entirety, the band will perform some Weezer b-sides and rarities. The buzz on the show has been big since the band made its first announcement, so if you're even thinking about going, make plans to get there early. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 4th, and admission is $5. Sandrini’s is located at 1918 Eye Street. For more info call 322-8900.
Look who's laughing now...
Ever wonder what happens to reality TV show contestants after their 15 minutes of fame?
Some figure out how extend it a few desperate minutes more, while others would rather erase themselves from the archives. Just ask Shafter’s Brooke “Pumkin” Thompson. Remember her? She was the girl who spit at “New York,” on VH-1’s “Flavor of Love.” Since then, she’s made a few reappearances, but does anyone really care about her upcoming sex show being taped for Playboy TV? Okay, let’s erase that thought for a moment.
Above from left: Shafter native, Brooke "Pumkin" Thompson, spits at New York on VH-1's "Flavor of Love," and "Pumkin' at minute 16.
Not at all in the same lowly league, is comedian Felipe Esparza. Appearing this Friday, December 3rd, at The Majestic Fox Theater, not only did he win the 2010 edition of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” but he’s using his god given talents to pack out comedy clubs and theaters all over the country.
“To me, it’s been a blessing, because I won of course,” he laughed, via telephone from his home in Los Angeles about his reality TV stint. “It’s cool to keep working and travelling doing comedy.”
Above: Comedian Felipe Esparza takes the top prize in NBC's 2010 edition of "Last Comic Standing."
Thoroughly laid-back on the phone, his stand-up act is as casual as it is hilarious. Beating out nine other comedians during the competition, Esparza’s signature bushy mane and “everyman” themes have helped push him into the comedy big leagues.
Above: Comedian Felipe Esparza
“I just talk about my personal life a lot. I mean, I used to do stuff like sell marijuana to my ex’s new husband and use that money to pay her child support. That makes everybody happy, including the audience who laugh at the story.”
Working as a struggling comic in his Los Angeles Boyle Heights neighborhood for years, Esparza became a regular fixture hosting regular comedy nights at surrounding clubs. He recalls one evening in particular, when he was introduced for the first time to friend and future comedy star, Gabriel Iglesias.
Above: Comedian Gabriel Iglesias
“I was running a comedy show in Montebello at a place called the Wild Coyote Steakhouse a longtime ago. Gabriel hadn’t been doing comedy for very long, and he had one of his friends come and ask me if he could do some stand-up. He came up to me all shy, so I said, “You’re next fool!” And just like that, he killed it onstage.”
If you’ve ever seen Iglesias in concert, you may already be familiar with stories about his friend “Felipe,” and their crazy adventures that always start out with Esparza’s famous catch phrase, “What’s up, fool?”
“That’s me, man,” Esparza revealed.
Hoping to avoid being typecast as just a Latino comic, Esparza says his TV win is a good sign that he’s on the right track.
“In the beginning, a lot of Latino comedians like me were so concerned about “crossing over.” Paul Rodriguez told me, “Listen man, when you’re this funny, you don’t need to crossover, people will crossover to you.” So, I took that advice. My jokes are pretty much universal.” Tickets for Friday’s show are $26.50. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information visit vallitix.com or call the Fox Theater box office at 661-324-1369.
Matt’s Picks: December 3 - 4
The Future Has-Beens present “Northbound & Down” at The Spotlight Theatre, 1622 19th Street, at 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 3 & 4, $5, 661-634-0692.
There are quite a few local comedy troupes sprouting around town, but not all of them will make you laugh. That’s not the case with The Future Has-Beens. Troupe member, Morgan Roy (pictured above,) who recently dropped the “S.” from his middle name for reasons unknown, writes some pretty crafty comedy tunes. Combine that with years of theater experience and you an evening of twisted holiday madness. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “The more you drink, the better we sound?” Guess what? They’re promoting $1 beer specials all evening.
“Bon Johnson” AC/DC tribute at B Ryder’s, 7401 White Lane, 9 p.m., Saturday, December 4th, $8 to $10, 661-397-7304. If a Weezer tribute isn’t your bag, then you might think about heading over to B Ryder’s to check out a tribute to Australia’s kings of the rock, AC/DC. Able to jump from both eras of AC/DC’s ‘70s and ‘80s songbooks, they’re definitely worth a headbang or two. I recently had a conversation with guitarist Johnny Keyes, who does a wildly authentic Angus Young onstage. Make no mistake, this "Bon Johnson" from Los Angeles, is NOT to be confused with a similar tribute band from Washington. Check out some live videos at their website: bonjohnsonrocks.com. Bakersfield loves it's AC/DC, and these guys are legit - from the costumes to showmanship. Jump in your ride and head over to BRyder's, via the Highway To Hell, baby!
***Don’t forget “Bakotopia Unplugged” open-mic night every Wednesday nights, from 8-11pm at Fishlips, 1517 18th Street! With your hosts: Matt Munoz & Pablo Alaniz!
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*Also printed in The Bakersfield Californian, 12-2-10