Things to do Feb. 21-27: 'Valley Madness,' gumbo, Rogue Fest, beer and brats

The Fresno BeeFebruary 19, 2014 

Autumn Lencioni's work is part of a show at Spectrum Art Gallery.


Last chance for 'One Off'

3-6 p.m. Sunday / Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave. /, (559) 266-0691 / Free

An artists' reception will be held Sunday for "One Off," the current show at Spectrum Art Gallery highlighting alternative photographic processes. Autumn Lencioni's work is pictured above. The show closes that day.

Kick off the Rogue Festival

7 p.m. Thursday / Tower Theatre, 815 East Olive Ave. / $10 / (559) 485-9050,

The Rogue Performance Festival gets its official start on Thursday with "Around the Rogue in 80 Minutes (or so)," a teaser featuring snippets from several of the fringe-festival acts. This is your chance to get a feel for this year's festival, which runs through March 8 in venues around the Tower District and downtown.

'Valley Madness' EP release

10 p.m. Saturday / Love the Captive Loft, 1830 Van Ness / $5 /

Emcee/beatboxer Optimus Prime releases his "Valley Madness EP," with a Love the Captive house show. The Fresno hip-hop artist is one-half of the rap group Alphaforce with emcee Knod-aledge and has been performing for 18 years. You can find out more on Optimus Prime by watching a video interview (with beatboxing samples) at

Gumbo chefs throwdown

10 a.m. Saturday / Vineyard Farmers Market, Blackstone and Shaw avenues / $10 sample ballot /

The Seventh Annual Gumbo Throwdown is a top-chef battle royal. Five of Fresno's most talented cooks whip up their batches of the traditional Lousiana dish. Winners will be awarded by people's choice. Participating restaurant/chefs include: Cuvée, Peeve's Public House, Mia Cuppa, Taste Kitchen and Trelio.

Poetry beatdown

8 p.m. Friday / Teazer World Tea Market Downtown, 2405 Capitol St. / $5 / (559) 237-7037, Inner Ear Poetry on Facebook

Inner Ear's Beat Down Poetry Slam is competitive wordplay. There are no props allowed, no costumes and no guests on stage. Just the writer's words and voice to move the crowd. The monthly event offers a cash prize to the best poet of the night. For February, it's special Love Stinks edition, hosted by Bryan Median and Scurvy — plus DJ Smack Jilly.

Beer & brats

4:30 p.m. Saturday / W Brewing, 1465 Tollhouse Road, Clovis / $9-$11 / (559) 233-8690,

Valley Animal Center's Beer and Brats For Barks event is the perfect example of a win-win. Guests get to sample beer and eat bratwurst. Homeless pets get a chance to find new homes.

This is the first year for the cocktail-style event. All proceeds benefit the no-kill Valley Animal Center.

Where does art reach us?

7 p.m. Wednesday / Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave. / / Free

Does art have to take place in a formal museum setting or theater for it to be "art"? What places and methods work best when it comes to engaging new audiences deeply with the arts, and turning them into real fans?

A panel discussion titled "Where Does Art Reach Us?" is moderated by KVPR's Joe Moore and includes graffiti artist Erik Gonzalez, former Rogue Festival co-producer Renee Newlove and artist and studio owner Chris Sorensen.

The event is the first public program of Living the Arts, a series of essays and events on how people in the Valley and and Southern California's Inland Empire are engaging with the arts today.

Orpheus opens season with Musica Viva

The Orpheus Chamber Ensemble opens its 2014 season with a concert by guest artists Musica Viva. Violinists Susan Doering and Daniel Jang, violist Claudia Shiuh and cellist Dieter Wulfhorst will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday in Fresno State's Wahlberg Recital Hall.

The group will present works by Copland, Glass and Mendelssohn.

Tickets are $15, $5 students. Details:

Meanwhile, Orpheus is gearing up for a big event: the March 15 premiere in the Fresno State Concert Hall of artistic director Jack Fortner's chamber opera "NOTHING and more" featuring the El Cimarrón Ensemble of Salzburg, Austria.

Black is back

8 p.m Friday / Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. / $69.50 / (559) 485-9050,

When Clint Black released his debut in 1989, he represented a new face for traditional country music — with homage paid to guys like George Jones and Merle Haggard. That album, "Killing Time," featured five No. 1 hits and is one of the 100 greatest albums in country music, according to Country Music Television.

Black continues to be successful. He released "When I Said I Do" last year in partnership with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. He plays an acoustic set Friday night at the Tower Theatre.


7 p.m. Saturday / Frank's Place, 1432 Fulton St. / $10-$15 / all ages / (559) 264-2848, Diehardzmusic on Facebook

Motorgrater is a nu-metal band. In the vein of Slipknot and Five Finger Death Punch, Motograter is known for its live shows where members paint themselves like tribal warriors.

The band is also industrial. It designed and created the "motograter," an instrument cobbled together from industrial cable and guitar pieces to create a unique bass sound.

Motograter is on tour now and plays an all-ages show 7 p.m. Saturday at Frank's Place.


8 p.m. Sunday / Strummer's, 833 E. Fern Ave. / $23 / all ages / (559) 485-5356,

Bob Marley's posthumous greatest-hits album "Legend" is an iconic piece of reggae. Released in 1984, it is the best-selling reggae album of all time and ranked No. 46 on Rolling Stones' list of the 500 greatest albums ever. Time magazine called it the best album of the 20th century.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of that album, Marley's backing band The Wailers is on tour performing "Legend" in its entirety. The band plays 8 p.m. Sunday at Strummer's. Roots band British Dependency opens.

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