It’s been almost one year since the death of Prince and fans are gearing up to pay homage to the Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist. In his hometown of Minneapolis there are any number of panel discussions, concerts and tours.
Locally, two Prince tributes are happening this weekend.
▪ The Hanford Fox Theatre hosts a special screening of “Purple Rain” as part of its throwback films series. “Purple Rain” is the critically acclaimed (it won an Academy award) 1984 musical starring Prince and loosely based on his life. The film screens 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5, plus a $2 restoration fee.
▪ Fresno DJ Mr. Leonard serves as MC for the “Dearly Beloved – Prince Tribute” at Strummer’s in the Tower District. The free event happens 9 p.m. Saturday with music, visuals and more. This is not one for the kids, sadly. It’s 21 + only.
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The event: For the sixth year, Fresno plays host to the Smack in da Middle bike polo tournament.
The draw: Bike polo could loosely be deemed an alternative sport, along the lines of roller derby in terms of its aesthetic and general appeal. Born out of the community of urban bicycle messengers, the sport plays like street hockey and tends toward the hardcore.
Players call it smashing mallets.
Smack in da Middle is one of hundreds of tournaments happening each year. Organized by the Pedal Junkies and Fresno Bike Polo, it draws top-ranked competitors from both sides of the state (hence the name). Two dozen teams will compete on Saturday for seeding in Sunday’s double-elimination playoff rounds.
Details: 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cary Park, 4740 N. Fresno St. Free. Search Fresno Bike Polo on Facebook.
Rock of the ’80s
The draw: Those old enough to remember concerts at the Star Palace will no doubt be familiar with these bands. Both played the venue during its heyday in the early 1980s. The Tubes, led by frontman Fee Waybill, was known for its performance-art antics (Waybill once broke his leg while performing on stage). The band’s song “White Punks on Dope” was a minor radio hit in the late 1970s. The Motels, fronted by vocalist Martha Davis, had a hit of their own with the 1982 single “Only the Lonely,” which was not a Roy Orbison cover.
RSD turns 10
The event: It’s the10th anniversary of Record Store Day and several local shops will be hosting daylong celebrations. Expect big crowds.
The draw: Over the past decade, Record Store Day has become a big deal. People have been known to get up early (like 3 a.m.) and drive hundreds of miles to improve their odds at scoring one the hundreds of Record Store Day exclusives. There are hundreds of them this year, including a double LP from Brian Jonestown Massacre, a compilation of rare tracks from Sun Rah and a box set of pre-1980 Ramones singles.
But Record Store Day isn’t just a retail holiday.
The event is meant to celebrate unique culture of independent record shops which each store does in its own way. Fresno’s Tower District Records will have live music (with Ted Nunes, Eva Scow, Dale Stewart and more), plus in-store giveaways, an album-cover coloring contest and more.
Details: Saturday. Visit www.recordstoreday.com/Stores for a list of participating shops and hours.
No Lo Había Dicho
The event: Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar returns to the Save Mart Center.
The draw: As Mexican music goes, Aguilar is royalty. His parents – Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre – were icons in the 1960s and introduced him to the stage at an early age. He performed at Madison Square Garden at five years old. Over the years, Aguilar earned a following of his own by mixing traditional Tejano with modern pop music. His album “No Lo Había Dicho,” topped Billboard’s Latin pop chart last year. This is not Aguilar’s first time playing the area. He headlined the Save Mart Center last year and played on a double bill with Marco Antonio Solis at Selland Arena in 2009.