Music News & Reviews

Mark Farina tops entertainment options for the week

The Brothers Comatose is one of nine bands playing the inaugural Side of the Mountain Music Festival, Saturday, June 11 in Fresno.
The Brothers Comatose is one of nine bands playing the inaugural Side of the Mountain Music Festival, Saturday, June 11 in Fresno. Special to The Bee

Mark Farina pioneered his own brand of downtempo dance music in the 1990s and earned a cultlike following co-hosting a weekly club night in San Francisco and releasing a series of compilations showcasing the genre – known as Mushroom Jazz.

The Chicago native is working on the eighth installment in the Mushroom Jazz series (available for pre-order now) and celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original Mushroom Jazz comp with a series of live performances that includes a stop Friday, June 10 at Strummer’s.

Joining him on the bill are local DJs Elijah Smith and Rick Bains.

Farina was last in Fresno in 2015, when he headlined the Energize show at the Downtown Club.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday, June 10, Strummer’s 833 E. Fern Ave. $16. 559-485-5356,

Other entertainment options for the week include:

A fair fit for kings

The event: The Kings Fair takes over the fairgrounds in Hanford. It’s four days of “Flowers, Feathers and Fun;” if we go with this year’s theme, anyway.

The draw: It’s everything you’d expect from a county fair – animal exhibitions and a tractor pull, a hypnotist and neon lights and carnival rides. The musical entertainment is mostly of the tribute variety, including Thunderball, a tribute to Tom Jones; James Garner’s tribute to Johnny Cash (both on Thursday, June 9); the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute Skynnyn Lynnyrd (Friday, June 10) and the Eagles tribute Life in the Fast Lane (Saturday, June 11). Grupo Los Sables plays on Sunday, June 12.

The concerts are held in the Kings Theater and are free with paid admission.

Details: 5 p.m. to midnight, through June 12. Kings County Fairgrounds, 801 S. 10th Ave., Hanford. $5-$8. 559-584-3318,

An Americana music festival

The event: The inaugural Side of the Mountain Music Festival brings nine regional touring acts (and a couple locals) to the Welker Ranch in Fresno.

The draw: The kind of contemporary Americana, folk and bluegrass you’d normally see rolling through Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen in Fresno’s Tower District. That includes Brothers Comatose, The Easy Leaves, Down Dirty Shake and The Turkey Buzzards, plus like-minded locals Ted Nunes (of Richfield) and violinist Patrick Contreras.

Details: 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Welker Ranch, 5305 W. California Ave. $40. 559-708-1203, Side of the Mountain Music Festival on Facebook

Iller than Most

The event: Rapper-producer Del the Funky Homosapien’s Iller than Most tour stops at Strummer’s. San Franciso rapper Richie Cunning and the electronic hip-hop artist Pure Powers open the show.

The draw: “Iller than Most” is the name of the tour and the Oakland rapper’s 2014 comeback mixtape, and is also a fitting description of a guy who has been hip-hop star (at least to those who really know these things) since the 1990s. Along with his solo work, he’s know for his collaborations with Hieroglyphics, Gorillaz (that’s his voice rapping on “Clint Eastwood”) and Deltron 3030.

Details: 8 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave. $21. 559-485-5356,

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee