By January 30, 2011 Read More →

Music. We’re Back!

We know you’ve been lost without Modesto View. You haven’t known about the hottest Modesto clubs or the best local bands, and as a result you’ve probably been forced to stay in on weekends and stare at the dark screen of your iPod.

Well, now it’s time to get off the couch and get ready to party. We’re back, and we’re going to get you caught up with what’s been going on in the local music and entertainment scene. Modesto View asked some musicians and promoters to tell us what they’ve been up to since MV last hit the streets in 2008 and what they’ve got planned for 2011. Here’s what they had to say. Mike Allsup, guitarist and vocalist for the Modesto rock band DAM: The last two years have been a blast for DAM. Along with winning a MAMA award, a few highlights included playing nine festivals, sharing the stage with bands like Jimmie Vaughan, Y&T, UFO, The Tubes, Powerman 5000 and our favorite bluesman from Texas, Lance Lopez. We’ve added Tim Allen to the lineup on keys and Richard Meeker has been playing a little harp with us lately. Some of the most memorable shows have been the benefit shows involving friends or children. Those are smiles I won’t soon forget.

In 2011 DAM will start the year off with a bang playing with Y&T at the Fat Cat on Feb. 17th. We’re getting ready to head back into the studio this summer. We’ve been writing a lot lately and can’t wait to share the new stuff. We have some friends in Belgium trying to get us over there for a little tour and some studio time. We’re glad to have Modesto View back in action and look forward to what year holds.

Ryan Hamilton, director of marketing for Modesto’s Flyboys promotions: It was about this time in 2009 that Flyboys started to establish ourselves as more than just another fly-by-night promotion company (no pun intended), and really came into our own as a legitimate staple of Modesto nightlife. Fresh off of our one-year anniversary, our monthly Cover Party had really begun to take off, and we had just secured our first national act in DJ Fashen. Fast forward to the present, a month removed from the crowning of our second Flygirl of the Year and Fashen’s second tour of Fat Cat, along with countless other national acts under our belt, we pride ourselves as one of the more conceptually-innovative companies in our industry. However, if you had to sum up our lasting imprint on Downtown Modesto in the past 24 months it would quite simply be this: HOUSE PARTY! What started as a simple idea to bring a college-stylehouse party to Copper Rhino every Thursday night with a keg on the patio, beer-pong, and affordable drink specials has evolved into arguably the best party in Modesto 52 weeks a year.

As for 2011, Flyboys plan to continue to push the boundaries of what nightlife can and should be, and bring the best entertainment possible to the 209. In order to accomplish this we hope to maintain a trend that was really established in the latter half of 2010 of collaborating with fellow area promotion companies. Perhaps growth in the form of maturity should have been listed as part of our journey from 2009, but what could have previously been classified as petty rivalries and struggles for favoritism amongst venues have since been replaced by understanding and reverence amongst our respective companies. As seen by our endeavors with Pure 209 for Groove Fest, as well as our joint efforts with Talk of the Town and Sweat over the past several months, our collective strengths, pooled resources and contacts will surely give relatively small-market Modesto the luxury to experience the big-city entertainment it deserves.

Cob@lt, Modesto rapper and hiphop promoter: My last two years have been dedicated to finishing up my official debut album “COB@LT45” along with several other projects in the making. I’ve met up with Urban Riot Gear and created a team of promoters dedicated to bringing back the four elements of hip-hop. Along with creating Cobalt Presents we have created the Bring it Back Central Valley Chapter in order to spread real hip-hop shows throughout the greater 209 area. In the last two years we have brought out Eligh and Scarub, Zion-I, The Grouch, Opio and Equipto and many more talented underground heroes.

We are starting off the new year with a bang by bringing in world-renowned poet and activist Talib Kweli Sunday, Jan. 9 at Fat Cat. In 2011 we are also officially preparing for the “COB@LT45” album release and release party Saturday, Feb. 19 at Fat Cat. We are also planning to bring back INDIE FEST 4, Modesto Meltdown and many more special surprise events and guests throughout the year. Finally, look for Cob@lt on the 209’s Finest Hip-Hop Tour which begins in May.

Thomas Huerta, bassist for the Ripon indie rock band French Cassettes: We have had a very productive couple of years. Since 2008 we have added horn players to the band and developed a more eclectic and mature sound than on our previous EPs. We have played dozens of shows in the central valley and bay area. Our selfproduced last release, “Seahorse EP”, was well received and earned us a Modesto Area Music Award for the Indie category. The EP is now available on iTunes.

We spent the latter half of 2010 writing and recording a handful of new songs which, we feel, showcase our commitment carefully constructed music that is just as much fun to play as we hope it will be to hear. The recording process has been very demanding and the long hours of countless takes and fine-tuning tones have led to the creation of our best release yet. The EP should be ready by the end of January and will be available as we continue to play local shows while the profits go to funding a potential tour in the summer.

by Ian Hill

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