Things to do Jan. 17-23: John McCutcheon, Monster X, sour beer, Crystal Bowersox

The Fresno BeeJanuary 15, 2014 

John McCutcheon will perform at Unitarian Universalist Church in Clovis.


Folk legend performs

7:30 p.m. Thursday / Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave., Clovis / (559) 307-3610 / $15-$25

John McCutcheon writes of subjects great and small, from a child's haircut to freedom and human dignity. The celebrated folk singer will perform in a concert sponsored by the Fresno Folklore Society.

Urban brunch

11 a.m. Sunday / Lela's Restaurant, 7089 N. Marks Ave. / (559) 269-0141 / $50

Ready for more than a Sunday nibble? Tower Urban Family Farm's first farm-to-table brunch at Lela's Restaurant includes poached eggs from River Roots farm in Laton and Nolan Schmidt's own spin on biscuits and gravy, complete with rabbit sausage. The "Bunny Brunch" also has a vegetarian menu available.

Monster X Tour

1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday / Selland Arena, 700 M St. / $8-$33. $5 pit party pass / (559) 745-3000,

It is suggested you bring ear protection to the Monster X Tour, though earplugs and headphones are available at the merchandise stands. The competing monster trucks (like Bigfoot No. 19) have 540 cubic-inch engines that run on methanol — the same stuff used in drag-strip funny cars. It can get loud. The Monster X Tour has a matinee and an evening show Saturday at the Selland Arena.

Animal magic

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday / California Arts Academy, 4750 N. Blackstone Ave. / / $5-$10

Yes, he can talk with the animals. In "Doctor Dolittle, Jr.," the characters we've gotten to know through the stories of Hugh Lofting and the movie musical are given new life in the stage version. Daniel Chavez Jr. directs.

Random writers workshop

11 a.m. Saturday / The Hashtag, 1298 N Wishon Ave. / $10 /

The Random Writers Workshop is pretty self-explanatory. Random writers gather once a month to workshop their stories, prose or poems. Authors should bring three copies of their work (up to 10 pages, double-spaced) to read, critique and discuss. Sharing is not required. The workshops cost $10 and are led by local poet/author Michael Luis Medrano.

New Shanghai Circus

2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday / Tower Theatre, 814 E. Olive Ave. / $13.50-$38.50 / (559) 485-9050,

The Chinese have a long tradition of acrobatics, estimated to date back more than 2,000 years. Developed from New Year harvest celebrations, where village acrobats would use household tools and common farm implements in their feats, the skills were passed from generation to generation in great acrobatic families. The New Shanghai Circus has been carrying on those traditions since 1951. The company now has a year-round residence and its own theater in Branson, Mo., along with a touring company, which performs Saturday at the Tower Theatre.

2nd Annual Sour Beer Week

Business hours, through Jan. 26 (or until beer runs out) / BC's Pizza & Beer, 1315 Shaw Ave., Clovis / (559) 297-7800,

Sour beers are the latest trend in microbrews. Like anti-IPA, these beers are brewed with little or no hops and are intentionally spoiled to create a taste that's a combination of ale, wine and cider.

Always hip to beer trends, BC's Pizza & Beer kicked off its second annual Sour Beer Fest on Thursday. More than 30 rare sour beers are on tap, including New Belgium Brewing's Lips Of Faith Yuzu Imperial Berliner Weisse; Firestone Walker's Agrestic Ale and De Proefbrouwerij Mikkeller's (København, Denmark) Spontan Seabuckthorn.

The event runs through Jan 26. Or until the taps run dry.

Night Riots

8 p.m. Friday / Strummer's, 833 E. Fern Ave. / $10 / All ages / (559) 485-5356,

When MTV deems you buzzworthy and "Rolling Stone" calls one of the best unsigned bands in the country, you don't let a thing like copyright law get in the way of success. You change your name if you have to, and keep playing.

That's what San Luis Obispo rock band Night Riots did when it abandoned the name PK last year. In July, the band released its first EP under the new name. It kicks off a West Coast tour Friday at Strummer's.

Local garage rockers Dirty Limbs opens the show.

Horror rock 'n' roll

8 p.m. Friday / Audie's Olympic Tavern, 1426 Van Ness / $10 / (559) 233-3733, Audie's Olympic on Facebook

Calabrese plays the kind of pulp-comic-, horror-movie-inspired punk rock that should be mentioned among horror rock legends Misfits and The Damned. The Phoenix trio (three brothers) released its sixth studio album, "Born with a Scorpion's Touch," in October. It kicks off the American Rebel Rider's tour Friday night at Audie's Olympic Tavern.

Voice of an idol

8 p.m. Tuesday / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. / $20-$50 / (559) 412-7400,

Before Crystal Bowersox was a finalist on "American Idol," she was a street artist, busking in the subways in Chicago. The singer, known for her dreadlocked hairdo (its since been cut), was runner up on the ninth season of the television talent show. She parlayed that success into a record deal and a career as both a singer and an actress — she will star as country singer Patsy Cline in a musical production later this year. Bowersox plays Tuesday at Fulton 55 with Los Angeles band Bossa Zuzu.


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