Local music fans can catch Coachella performers

The Fresno BeeApril 6, 2014 

The Coachella Music Festival is arguably the best known and most hyped music event on the West Coast.

The annual festival, which spans two weekends in April, brings together dozens of performers — from big-name headliners such as Outkast, Muse and Arcade Fire to trendsetters such as Pharrell Williams, Lana Del Rey and Lorde, and cult-favorites such as Motorhead and Neutral Milk Hotel.

This year's festival kicks off Friday. While both weekends have long been sold out, music fans can enjoy the benefits of the festival locally.

The weeks leading to and following Coachella offer golden opportunity for local venues to pull in some of the mid-level acts, who often work their tour schedules around the festival. Some markets (San Francisco, for example) have given those weeks its own name — fauxchella. The Bay Area blog site Spinning Platters, which first started using the phrase, even puts out its own fauxchella lineup each year.

Fresno's "fauxchella" includes New York post-punk band Bear Hands, hip-hop blues singer ZZ Ward and British musician Kate Nash.

For the bands, especially those from the Midwest and East Coast, it's an opportunity to play new cities, while tending to the logistical realities of life on the road.

"Every day we're not playing, we're sitting around wasting money," says Ted Feldman who plays guitar for band Bear Hands, which plays Tuesday night at Strummer's, 833 E. Fern Ave.

The band plays Coachella on Saturday.

Feldman wasn't aware of the fauxchella phenomenon, but he says the idea of scheduling shows around major festivals isn't anything new. Bear Hands recently played Savannah Stopover, a festival started specifically for New York bands passing through Georgia on their way to SXSW in Austin.

ZZ Ward's Fresno date was pretty coincidental.

The singer, who describes her music as back-porch blues meets hip-hop, is in the midst of her Last Love Tour, which stops at Strummer's on Wednesday.

"We've played a lot during the last year," she says, explaining the band has been on the road for two months. This will be her last show before hitting Coachella. Later this month she starts a run of gigs supporting Eric Clapton.

British singer Kate Nash plays April 16 at the Cellar Door, 101 W. Main St. in Visalia.

The show is during the break between the festival's two weekends.

Nash released her stateside debut "Made of Bricks" in 2008 — the same year she won the Brit Award for British Female Solo Artist, the NME Award for Best Solo Artist and the Q Award for Breakthrough Artist. Her latest "Girl Talk" was released March 2013.

You can read more about Coachella performers Bear Hands and ZZ Ward next week on The Bee's entertainment blog, www.fresnobeehive.com.


This reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, jtehee@fresnobee.com or @joshuatehee on Twitter and Instragram. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

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