Those who remember The Starline will also remember when the Tower District’s most heralded and at times most-hated venue was reopened as Strummer’s three years ago.
As such, the mid-sized club has reestablished itself as a consistent all-ages venue, booking an impressive lineup of mid-level punk, metal, indie and hip-hop acts, thanks to its affiliation with Numbskull Productions. This year alone it has seen stops from Queensryche singer Geoff Tate, ex-The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and hip-hop legend Del the Funky Homosapien.
To celebrate its three-year anniversary the venue offers a pair of free, all-ages shows Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23. The concerts – divided loosely by genre – are heavy on local talent. Friday’s lineup centers on hip-hip and R&B, with Cockamamie Jamie, Kam Cooks, Brian Cade, Napz, DJ Rekwel and Timmy Blue. Saturday has the punk tribute band Cholo Biafra, plus locals Social Contract, Trash Planet, Style Like Revelators, La Niña and Outside the Wire.
Other events worth note this weekend:
Boogat at Fulton 55
The draw: Boogat is an anomaly. At the very least, he’s not something you hear every day. A Spanish-language rapper from Quebec, Boogat incorporates hip-hop, cumbia and reggaeton into electronic worldbeat dance music. Which is to say it’s made for the dance floor. His latest album, “Neo-Reconquista,” won the World Music AOTY category at the JUNO awards.
The event: Orosi’s annual music and arts festival, Spanspek, holds a fundraiser concert to benefit its scholarship program and help facilitate its artist commissions this year.
The draw: Over the past 10 years, Spanspek organizers have become good at scouting local acts worth knowing from across the Valley (and across genres). They present a mini version of the festival here. The lineup includes Austeros en el Exilio (psychedelic rock en Espanol from Dinuba) and Kinship (alt-rock from Mendota); plus a one-night-only reunion of the Orosi prog-rock band Murdoc and the debut of La Niña, the new math rock project that features members of Light Thieves, Style Like Revelators and Bicicleta.
Spanspek is a special project of the Tulare County Arts Consortium.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Tokyo Garden, 1711 Fulton St. $5. www.spanspekfestival.com
The event: Saxophonist Otto Lee leads a sextet of musicians in a tribute to free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman.
The draw: Coleman, who died last year at 85, was an avante-garde jazz player who made a name in the 1960s for playing free jazz, which sought to break down conventional jazz music by ignoring pre-written chord changes in favor of improvised melodic lines. Paying tribute to Coleman’s work is no easy task, Lee says.
Which is the point.
“Playing what you’re used to and comfortable with, that can be boring,” says the Fresno native, now living in Boulder, Colo. “I wanted this to be an educational experience for me, as well.”
Joining Lee for the tribute are local musicians Javon Davis (piano), Max Hembd (trumpet), Spee Kosloff (bass), Tony Montanez (drums) and Chris Janzen (guitar).