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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Street Editor Jennifer Self | Phone 395-7434 | e-mail

Index Deedra Patrick: survivor.......................... 22 Arts Alive with Camille Gavin ................ 24 Motor over to Taft .................................... 25 The Lowdown with Matt Munoz.............. 26 Hearing voices .......................................... 27 An ode to horse and rider........................ 28 Last fling on the mountain .................... 30 Calendar .............................................. 32-33

Circus big cats: Me-wow! Tigers earn their stripes; lions set up mane attraction BY STEFANI DIAS Californian assistant lifestyles editor


f enclosing yourself in a ring with eight big cats sounds like one of the most dangerous job in the world, trainer Alexander Lacey says you don’t know the circus. “I think I have the safe job in the show, working with the lions,” said the man behind the lion and tigers act at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Dragons, which kicks off a four-day run today at Rabobank Arena. But safe doesn’t mean dull. Lacey, who has been with Dragons since November, wows audiences with an extraordinary collaboration: He has his eight lions and tigers perform together, a rare show of inter-genus cooperation. “The last time there was a mixed act in Ringling was 12 years ago. It’s pretty uncommon. The routine is interesting to watch. The people love it. It makes a nice picture when you see the male lion, Masai; he stands proud, and two tigers stand on his shoulders. He gets along well with them.” Integration of the cubs starts at a very young age. The big cats don’t perform until they are at least 21⁄2 years old, so Lacey said the animals are raised together starting around 2 months. “Tigers get used to the lions, lions get used to the tigers. Tigers don’t realize they’re not lions.” Another standout feature of the big cat act, according to Lacey, is the type of tiger used in the show. “The trend in circuses in general is that people want to see tigers. We specialize in one type of tiger — the Indian tiger, which is very rare. Siberians are most common in captivity. With Indians, there are so few in the zoo business. “The Indian tiger is the prettiest of the tigers in my opinion.” Lacey and his family have raised 11 generations of lions, nine of tigers and an assortment of leopards. His parents, who owned zoos in England and trained big cats for shows, passed their love on to Lacey, who started performing as a teen. “I performed the very first time


“I think I have the safe job in the show, working with the lions,” said Alexander Lacey, the man behind the lion and tigers act with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Dragons

Protesters plan visual presence at circus

When: 7 p.m. today and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday (animal open house, an hour and a half before showtime) Where: Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $15 to $70 Information: or 800-745-3000

Although many eagerly anticipate the arrival of the circus each year, there are others in Bakersfield who are trying to put a stop to it. Bakersfield Alliance for Animals, in conjunction with Animal Defenders International, will hold protests outside Rabobank Arena an hour before each performance. In support of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act — which would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prevent the use of exotic or wild animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions — protesters plan to answer questions and aim to educate the public about alleged abuses. Courtney Clerico, an animal activist handling publicity for the Bakersfield group, said there are many misconceptions about how performing animals are treated by Ringling Bros. The company, doing business as Feld Entertainment Inc., last year agreed to pay a $270,000 fine for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare

with five tigers that my father had trained for me when I was nearly 18. I began to train animals when I was 19.” His menagerie of 14 cats is a mix of multiple generations. The youngest are still in training and the parents and “teenagers” are perPlease see CIRCUS / 31

Act (AWA) and to develop an annual AWA compliance training for all employees who work with and handle animals. Clerico said she is doubtful the settlement will improve conditions. “Ringling Bros. training procedures aren’t reward-based, they’re punishment-based. Animals are tortured to do things that they would never do in the wild. If people understood the training tactics and that they’re (animals) locked up on average for 26 hours at a time that they wouldn’t be eager to give them their money or participate in the show.” One of the show’s animal trainers, Alexander Lacey, whose family has raised big cats for 45 years, said that the animals are well tended. “I’m an animal lover. I see absolutely no point going into a business that mistreats animals. Animals thrive under our care. We have a vet Please see PROTEST / 30


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Songwriters discover harmony Musical collaboration blossoms into romance BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI Contributing writer


f a screenwriter dreamed up a romantic comedy based on the long-distance love story of Craig Garrison and Kathy Kennedy, he’d have a hit on his hands. Consider this irresistible premise: The two met by accident, wrote a song together thousands of miles apart and fell in love in the process. And it all started here in Bakersfield, with a misunderstanding over a song Garrison had written. Garrison, who performs regularly at various locations, including the Chateau Lounge on South Chester Avenue, Murphy’s Pub, and The Lode in Lake Isabella, had lived the nomadic life of a musician, playing gigs all over California, before retuning to his native Bakersfield in 2009. “I came back to a place which was always a natural compass for me — Bakersfield, California,” Garrison said. But wherever he is, he always keeps track of a song he wrote in 1993 for blues diva Trudy Lynn, titled “Instant Breakfast,” an earthy, double entendre-laden song that puts such classics as “Empty Bed Blues” to shame. The song has become something of a blues standard for female vocalists. “I periodically Google the song and see what kind of activity there is regarding it,” Garrison said. Garrison said that included radio play, Lynn’s concerts, record sales — anything that might earn him royalties and expand his reputation. One day he was surprised when his search led him to a Women in Blues website from Winnipeg, Canada, and a concert that included a performance of “Instant Breakfast.” “(The song) was included on the CD of that live concert,” Garrison said. “I’m looking at the website and see it’s available for sale. “I said, ‘Wait a minute — somebody is making money on this,’” he said. That “somebody” was concert producer Kathy Kennedy, founder of the Women in Blues in Winnipeg and producer of the CD. Garrison emailed Kennedy, telling her she wasn’t licensed to use his song. “I said, ‘I don’t get it,’” Kennedy said. “‘I don’t recall you writing ‘Instant Breakfast’; we all thought it was Trudy Lynn.’” Kennedy said she discovered the Canadian performing rights


Craig Garrison and Kathy Kennedy have collaborated in music and in life.

organization hadn’t completed the paperwork for the song, and so she sent Garrison cash to cover his royalties from the sale of the records. But the relationship didn’t end there. “She said, ‘By the way, do you ever collaborate?’” Garrison said. “He said he was interested because he was a writer, he was a collaborator,” Kennedy said. Kennedy said she asked for his help with one of her own songs. “I thought (‘Instant Breakfast’) was a great song,” Kennedy said. “I liked to work with him because we are on the same page. The way we visualize a song — we’re on the same page.” Garrison said that invitation got them off and running. “Pretty much instantly we began collaborating over the phone, online, by mail,” he said. “We literally dug into the songwriting process several thousand miles apart.” That’s not all. While writing music together, Garrison and Kennedy fell in love. “I just did,” Kennedy said. “It was wonderful. We connected instantly; a soul connection.” “There was nothing interfering

with our attraction to one another,” Garrison said of their personal circumstances. “There was also a kind of immediate reception of one another, as artists, as people.” Despite the connection, it actually took awhile to say the words “I love you.” Even then, the two musicians didn’t just come out and say them; they put the sentiment in a song, called “Read You Blind,” completed in April of this year. “In those lyrics, I was expressing my love for her, my feelings for her,” Garrison said. “I didn’t tell her what I was doing; I didn’t tell her I was writing this song for her. “We knew we had accomplished something significant,” Garrison said of the song. “More than that, we had admitted our feelings for one another.” All that collaborating and falling in love, and Garrison and Kennedy had yet to meet face to face. That didn’t happen until July, when Kennedy came to Bakersfield for a 10-day visit. “She wrote a song about that, too,” Garrison said. Apparently, the visit was the final touch — Garrison is packing


Singer-songwriter Craig Garrison performs at Fishlips in 2011.

up and moving to Winnipeg, where there are plans for a wedding and a joint career. Garrison said he will perform his last gig at the Chateau Lounge on Sept. 4. “We’re going to record a CD of our songs, and be full-time songwriters and performers,” Garrison

said. “As a duo — GarrisonKennedy, hyphenated.” “It’s something we both want,” Kennedy said. “We both want a partner who understands what you do. It’s going to be quite a life. We have a lot of things planned, so away we go!”


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Blues vocalist Deedra Patrick appears on Friday with the Swamp Katz at Pyrenee’s Café.

Bakersfield vocalist has best cure for the blues BY MATT MUNOZ


Californian staff writer

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o anoint someone a “survivor” in the music world has got to be the most played out of all rock ’n’ roll cliches. Still, it’s a pretty apt description of Deedra Patrick, a powerhouse vocalist with a sterling reputation, not just in Bakersfield but the many places around the country where her talent has taken her. Her life has been one struggle after another: crushing poverty and neglect as a child, the challenges of raising a special-needs son and a lifealtering car accident 18 years ago that nearly killed her. But Patrick, 47, who has used music to cope with every setback, is a resilient performer, which she’ll prove again Friday when she takes the mic at Pyrenee’s Café, backed by the Swamp Katz, her band of two years. “Everything is starting over again for me. If I sit there and tell people my story, I’m afraid they’re going to look at me like I’m damaged. I’m positive about things. God has really blessed me with being able to keep making music.”

How she got the blues Bright and welcoming, Patrick’s northwest Bakersfield home is a tranquil haven, a world away from the impoverished surroundings of her childhood in Sallisaw, Okla., where she lived with her mother and three

Deedra Patrick and the Swamp Katz When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: Pyrenee’s Café, 601 Sumner St. Admission: Free Information: 323-0053

siblings after her parents divorced when she was 5. “We were so poor, I remember getting a pair of shoes from my uncle, and I used to sleep with them on. The only meal was our free meal at school. Mom was in an abusive relationship. No hot water at the house, and we used hand soap for our hair. We didn’t own records. We only knew what we heard on the radio: Heart, Janis Joplin, rock and blues artists, anything that was current. My favorite band is still Boston.” The pivotal point in Patrick’s young life came five years later when her father, Bob Patrick, sent a pair of plane tickets to her and her sister, Tasha, for a holiday visit to Bakersfield. There they would be reunited with their two brothers, who had since moved to live with their father. “Once we jumped on the plane, I knew we were never going back. I stayed with my dad and my stepmom, Gladys, in Lamont, and finally had a normal life.” Patrick lost her thick Oklahoma

accent and eventually came out of her shell, joining a series of rock cover bands after graduating from Arvin High. Blazing through various local bars singing modern rock hits, she recalled the ever-present group of drunken critics. “I was doing Cyndi Lauper with all these groups, but my voice didn’t sound like the artists we were covering. Original music was not allowed in the ’80s. They used to say, ‘You don’t sound like anyone we know.’ You don’t realize it’s a compliment at the time, because they were actually criticizing you when they said it. I wanted to stand out.” Patrick had to go to L.A. to perform original music, eventually joining up with rock group Tipsy Fox, which later became Rain on Fire. She also made amends with her mother, who came to live with Patrick after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died in 1992. “For three years, it was work, rehearsal and taking care of mom.” Patrick returned to Bakersfield before scoring a gig as a traveling singer with hotel lounge band Lickety Split in 1994. It was while on tour that a major accident en route to Mapleton, Ore., would nearly claim her life. “It’s always been hard for me to talk about this,” said Patrick. “We were like pennies in a jar. The wreck was so traumatic, the seatbelts ripped. Even the canned food we had Please see PATRICK / 23


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian


exploded all over us. Just sitting here in front of you right now is hard to believe.” The events leading up to that foggy night in November 1994 remain hazy for Patrick, who recalls some details. According to police and eyewitness reports, the van carrying Patrick and her three bandmates jumped a 3-foot embankment, snapping a tree, before smashing head-on into a railroad building. Miraculously, no one was killed. “It was weird. Before the accident, I was signing autographs, and people were getting to know who I was. Things were moving along. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been Deedra Patrick, the singer. Now I wasn’t. I woke up a different person in the hospital.” The injuries suffered by Patrick were substantial: a concussion, dislocated jaw and nine broken ribs. She’s undergone extensive reconstructive surgery, which kept her music off the radar for years. “It took me a year just to walk again. Eighteen years later, here I am.” But Patrick discovered years later that the long-term consequences of the accident would also affect her son. Matthew, now 11, was born 23 weeks premature due to complications attributed to Patrick’s injuries. He was diag-

“They used to say, ‘You don’t sound like anyone we know.’ You don’t realize it’s a compliment at the time, because they were actually criticizing you when they said it. I wanted to stand out.” — Deedra Patrick

nosed with several disabilities, including cerebral palsy, deafness and autism. The single mom cries when she discusses her son, but she said it’s joy rather than sadness that prompts the tears. “He stayed in the hospital for seven months after he was born. He’s not mentally handicapped and doesn’t require any medication. Every time I feel weak and afraid, think of him. He gives me the strength to keep moving. He’s just amazing.”

Restarting a career With her son’s strength as an example and encouragement

from loved ones, Patrick, who had put performing on the back burner, decided to recommit to her career in 2010. “My sister has always had a common goal: ‘I’m going to sing.’ It’s the music that helps her through the struggles,” said her sister, Tasha Patrick. “We’ve always been very driven, almost to the point where we have to be a perfectionist. If Dee Dee does something, she’s always got to be the best.” Two of Patrick’s originals, “When the Rain Came Down” and “Chasing the Rabbit,” showcase the essence of her vocal abil-

ities: a vintage mix of Maria Muldaur and Heart’s Ann Wilson, with some operatic finesse. One of Patrick’s biggest fans is acclaimed producer and longtime colleague Rick Jarrard, the man behind Jefferson Airplane’s groundbreaking album “Surrealistic Pillow,” hits for Harry Nilsson and others. Jarrard once hired Patrick as a background vocalist for a session with Jose Feliciano and has remained in close contact over the years. In fact, the two are planning a collaboration next year. “Deedra is simply a classic rocker, powerful voice with bluesy overtones, one of the best,” said Jarrad via email from his Nashville, Tenn., office. “In certain aspects she reminds me of the best female artists of the ’60s, Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, etc., but of course she fits right in with today’s market as rock is timeless.” Swamp Katz guitarist Ron Brem, who moved to Bakersfield from St. Louis a year ago, said he stumbled upon Patrick one night after making the rounds to get acquainted with the local scene. “I went and caught her sitting in with another band. I was like, ‘Who is this?’ She’s a very dynamic singer who has a great interaction with the crowd — very outgoing, professional with a focus on original material. When I first

joined the group, there were only a few songs that were partially written, but now we have over a CD’s worth of songs.” When she’s not onstage or being a mom, Patrick teaches courses on live voice and studio performance at the Deedra Patrick Voice Studio in Bakersfield and assists others with children who face challenges similar to her son’s. “For parents with autistic children, just hearing the timbre of their child’s voice is something rare. Some children may never speak, but there’s something about a song that can get them to vocalize.” One of the ways Patrick incorporates music into her methods is by inserting a child’s name into a simple nursery rhyme as a form of identification, should the child get lost and be unable to communicate. “Losing an autistic child in public is one of the scariest things that can happen to you, so teaching useful tools like a simple song can help save a lot of heartache. Something about music is universal.” As for the show Friday, which will be opened by the band English Revolver, Patrick can’t help bragging a little. “This is the best band I’ve ever had behind me live,” she said. “I finally feel like dreaming again.”


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012


Play stands up to bullying Writer explores a widespread problem

GO & DO ‘The Bullied’ When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday Where: The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. Admission: Free, donations welcomed Information: 327-7529


s many of us have learned from recent news reports about teen suicides, bullying can result in tragedy. In her new play, “Bullied,” Michelle Guerrero Tolley demonstrates the pain felt by some who have been victimized by such acts. It opens Friday at The Empty Space. Its theme exposes the falseness of the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.” Alas, words can, and do hurt. Said in a certain way, they can slice like a sharp knife. “The Bullied” opens with a scene in which three high schoolage girls are taunting another girl— calling her names and making her feel worthless. “Honestly, it is one of the hardest scenes for me to watch,” said Tolley. “Victoria Lusk, who portrays the bullied girl, doesn't say one word, but she is able to convey her heartbreak and pain at what the girls are saying to her so well that words are not needed.” Tolley’s inspiration for writing the play was the suicide of Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old Tehachapi boy who hanged himself in 2010 after being tormented by bullies for being gay. As she searched for more information on the subject, Tolley soon learned the problem is not limited to Kern County. “When I researched teen suicides caused by bullying I was astounded to learn that there were so many,” she said. “I hope that by bringing the stories of the 36 (American teens) lost in 2010 into the light people will be made aware of what bullying does to kids and they will make an effort to try and bring an end to it.” As the first act progresses, an ensemble cast of 20 actors introduces the 36 teens who took their own lives. Using first names only, they briefly describe what the victims went through before their death. A major part of the material for the script

Lantern Light Tour When: 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday Where: Silver City Ghost Town, 3829 Lake Isabella Blvd., Bodfish Admission: $12 Information: 760-379-5146

Sierra Arts & Crafts Festival When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday Where: Circle Park, Kernville Admission: Free Information: 760-378-4109 PHOTO COURTESY OF J. PAUL CORLEW

Visitors take part in the Lantern Light Tour at Silver City in Bodfish.

came from interviews Tolley did with people who have experienced this kind of aggressive behavior firsthand. “It consists of their responses during the interviews, their views on the current bullying problems,” she said, “And many of them include messages of hope to current victims of bullying.” Performances of “The Bullied” continue through Sept. 8.

Labor Day ghost tour A host of events are going on this Labor Day weekend in the Kern River Valley — everything from antique shows, bake sales and to a farmers market offering locally grown fruit and produce. One rather unusual event is ghost hunt and lamplight tour of the Silver City Ghost Town in Bodfish. It’s led by J. Paul Corlew, who assured me, during a phone conversation, the lanterns are the real thing. “The town itself is lit by electricity,” Corlew said, “but we lead the tour with kerosene lanterns just like they used a hundred years ago. We’ve got the lanterns — people don’t need to bring them.”

Camille Gavin’s “Arts Alive” column appears on Thursday. Write to her via e-mail at

To help ferret out the ghosts, Danny Flores and his sister, Kim Flores, members of the Lake Isabella Paranormal Society, will join Corlew as co-hosts.

Arts and crafts fair A daytime event during the weekend that promises to attract a lot of browsing is the Sierra Arts and Crafts Festival. Held in Kernville’s Circle Park, it’s sponsored by members of the Kern River Valley Artists Association, and its layout mimics the shape of the park. “We rent the whole park from the county,” said Judy Deems, spokeswoman for the group. “The booths are set up in a circle within a circle — kind of like the old wagon trains.” About 40 vendors are expected, some of them from out of town, she said. For instance, an individual from New Mexico who specializes in American Indian handcrafts will be there as well as a marionette maker from Los Angeles and a wildlife photographer from Long Beach who’s just returned from a trip to Africa. Many of the association’s members will display their handiwork, including a woman who makes fancy slips and camisoles. “They’re so pretty you could wear them on the outside instead of underneath,” Deems said. “She

makes them really fancy with antique doilies and rhinestones.” Other items include earrings made from fishing lures, and mobile sculptures made from auto parts and pipes. Deems’ specialty involves beautifying something that normally is used as a tool. “I have painted saws,” she said, explaining that people buy them for home décor. Using acrylics, she paints images of wildlife or farm scenes on the blade. This year’s event is the 50th anniversary of the festival and of the association. Deems has been a member since 1985.

Art for Healing Sister Sherry Dolan has announced the fall schedule for the Art for Healing workshops at Mercy Hospital. You don’t have to be an accomplished artist to attend. Dolan, who is a visual artist, initiated the program about three years ago and it has continued to grow. It’s based on the idea that making art is a positive way of becoming “practiced in the skills of letting go, living in the moment, artful reflection and relaxation.” Among those scheduled for the coming week are painting and sketching in an open studio for-

mat, 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 6; and a Wire Sculpture workshop led by Anna Murillo and Kay Wilson, 9:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 8. All sessions are held in a small rust-colored building at Truxtun Avenue and A Street that’s part of the hospital’s campus. Registration is required for some workshops. To see the complete schedule go to 632-5747 or go to The sessions are free. However, a few suggest, but not require, a small materials fee. To help maintain the program, a fundraiser called Autumn Art Fest is being planned for 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7. It will feature artwork by local professionals and emerging artists, as well as samples of work done by participants in the program.

Celia Kelly update In an email message, Cal State Bakersfield graduate Celia Kelly, who I wrote about in last week’s column, asked for a clarification about her role in the 2012 Super Bowl. She attended as a spectator, not as Kelly a member of the broadcast crew. Also, the correct spelling of the name of a professor she had at CSUB is Elizabeth Jackson.


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Get your motors running to Taft BY MIRANDA WHITWORTH Contributing writer


he city of Taft is a regular rest stop for motorcyclists making their way to the mountains or the coast, but one group of businessmen is transforming the town into a destination for bikers. The Second Annual Taft Bike Fest revs into high gear Labor Day weekend, with action kicking off Friday morning and roaring straight through Monday afternoon. Gene Jones is president of Two Wheel Productions. He and his small team are steering the party and want everyone to know that Taft is much more than a place to fill your tank. “You see groups of sometimes 50 to 60 riders stop here, gas up, have a soda and then take off. We do a lot of our own rides here and we want people to come into our community and spend some time with us.” While many may not consider the town on Highway 33 to be an event center, Jones bets the Taft Bike Fest will change their minds. “We will have everything. From contests to stunts to a place for kids to have fun, we’ve got it all taken care of.” The four-day event is jam-packed with nearly three city blocks worth of the Rails to Trails scenic area of Taft, which will be set aside for vendors and competition. Offering a paved path where the railway originally ran, the Rails to Trails project is

“Last year was a learning experience for us. After it was all over, we talked to people and we’ve adjusted a few things.” — Gene Jones, president of Two Wheel Productions


Riders gather for the inaugural Taft Bike Fest in 2011.

flanked by grassy areas and a stage for outdoor concerts and events. Bands will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and flat-track racing, bike stunts and other contests will rotate throughout each day. It’s an impressive lineup that Jones said evolved with the help of community input and some mild criticism that followed the event’s debut in 2011. “Last year was a learning experience for us. After it was all over, we talked to people and we’ve adjusted a few things. We’ll have cooling stations in the concert area, the contests will be set up a little closer to each other so there’s not too much walking, and things will be timed so there’s not an overlap.” Jones and his crew have had nearly a calendar year to prepare for the event’s return, and a win for Two Wheel Productions will be a win for the city and its business owners. “Last year we kinda guesstimated what our attendance would be, and we saw

Taft Bike Fest When: 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday Fees: Dry camping/RV parking, $40 weekend; entry fees for contests and races vary; general admission is free Information:

5,000 people come through over the three days. We had restaurants run out of food before the weekend was over. We just weren’t prepared for that kind of response. And that was just our first year.” Jones is looking forward to putting Taft back in the spotlight in a much bigger and better way this time around. While businesses benefit from the added patrons, the cause behind the event will flourish as well. As last year, proceeds from Taft Bike Fest

will go to Alpha House, a women’s shelter located in Taft that provides a safe haven for victims of abuse. Jones said when it comes to helping his community, the event is just a large scale extension of the work of seven men who have been riding to raise money and help families in need for years. “It started with the What Goes Around Comes Around fund. We’d ride to raise money to help a family or someone in trouble. If there was ever money raised that was left over it would get saved for someone down the road. That’s when we decided to do something big to bring people into our community and really make a difference.” With this year expected to be much bigger than last, Jones hopes the goal will be reached and the team’s message will be delivered loud and clear. “Taft is still here. We do a lot of good things for people. Come on out and see the community. It’s gonna change your mind.”


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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Street The Lowdown with Matt Munoz

Taft meets Nashville: Yeehaw! Good Question takes in sounds of iconic city


hen the members of Bakersfield/Taft country act Good Question landed in Nashville to soak up a week of music and Americana culture, they never anticipated being absorbed into the very fabric of the city. From the iconic area of Lower Broadway, where countless musicians have made the trek to find fame and fortune, to throwing back spicy barbecue and ice cold beer with the natives, it was quite a party. Recovered and ready to rock again, the band appears Saturday at B Ryder’s. “Those were the six best days of my life,” said Good Question guitarist Alec Olivieri, seated inside the Padre’s Brimstone lounge with band members Taylor Unruh, guitar; Ethan Morris, drums; and manager Garrett Tuckness. Not present for the interview was lead vocalist Ryan Coulter. “It was like the Vegas of country music, and I can’t wait to go back.” The goal of the excursion, planned earlier this year, was to make industry contacts and see if the city would indeed live up to its hype. “One of our main objectives was to see what the musicianship was like in Nashville,” said Olivieri. “About an hour after we landed at the airport, we met this 17-year-old guitarist who was a serious picker. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. This kid could easily hang with any veteran


Members of Taft/Bakersfield country band Good Question pose at the iconic Broadway section of downtown Nashville. Pictured from left are Taylor Unruh, Alec Olivieri, Ethan Morris, Ryan Coulter.

we’d come across before.” The prodigy who first welcomed them to the city was none other than Texas ax sensation Daniel Donato, who was making a stop at Robert’s Western World, a store and live music venue famous for being a launch pad for country music revivalists BR5-49, among countless others. “That kid’s playing was on another level,” said Tuckness. “That’s the way it was every five feet.” And that was just a few hours into day one. After the group scurried away to check into their shared hotel room, they ventured into the thick of Nashville’s glitzy nightlife, where everyone is chasing the dream aboard different

vessels. “The majority of the musicians aren’t necessarily in a band, but they jump from group to group showcasing their material. Songwriting is the big thing,” said Tuckness. Among the group’s more interesting run-ins was with their cab driver, Marty, who claimed to be a former tour manager for Dolly Parton. “His story was cool. This guy worked for years in the industry as a manager, then tour guide and now cab driver,” said Unruh. “He became our official guide around Nashville while we were there.” While the group didn’t get a chance to check out the Grand

Matt Munoz is editor of, a sister website of The Californian that devotes itself to promoting Bakersfield’s art scene. Matt’s column appears every Thursday in Eye Street.

Ole Opry due to time constraints, they did make it to the Bakersfield Sound exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Walking through the building’s replica of the historic “Bakersfield” sign into the exhibit’s main chambers left each member a little choked up. “It was cool to see some of the items I recognized from the Crystal Palace that had made its way over to Nashville,” Unruh said. “Bakersfield country music history is represented well.” And Tuckness said the interest in Bakersfield wasn’t relegated to just the exhibit. “When we told people where we were from, it was like they were amazed. We tend to get slammed for being from Bakersfield. Nashville has a lot of love for us.” According to the group, much of the bar music fare was made

up of classics from Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash, not from the current charts. “‘Tiger by the Tail,’ ‘Together Again,’ ‘I’ll Just Sit Here and Drink,’ all the big ones,” said Morris. Not to be completely outshone by the local burners, members of Good Question were set on making some noise during their stay. Before their arrival, Tuckness had arranged for the group to perform a mini-showcase at the Nashville Songwriters Association main offices through a referral by music consultant Bob Mitchell, who’d worked with Gretchen Wilson. Seated in front of 15 NSA staffers, they performed a few numbers to rousing response, before being led out the door to make way for the next performer. During their final days, they jumped aboard a few cramped open mic nights, and then things got really daring: They nearly passed the security gates of Martina McBride’s Blackbird Studios, where the White Stripes, Beck, Sheryl Crow and others have recorded. “When the gates opened, we noticed a sign that said, ‘Do not slam, overdubs in progress,’” said Olivieri. “We were almost all the way in, then we were stopped.” Back to the comforts of Kern, the group says plans for another “band bonding” adventure are already in the works. “Austin,” said Tuckness. Saturday’s all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. B Ryder’s is located at 7401 White Lane. 397-7304.

Matt’s picks Kottonmouth Kings at B Ryder’s Bar, 7401 White Lane, 7:30 p.m. tonight, $20, 397-7304. In the war of the independents, no one can boast victory like the Kottonmouth Kings. The first glimpse of the what was to become a blunt-wrapped dynasty of punky hip-hop with a vanilla twist came in ’97 when the group Please see LOWDOWN / 33


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street

Half the voices, all the spirit Masterworks Chorale marks 80th anniversary BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI Contributing writer


he Bakersfield Masterworks Chorale celebrates its 80th year this season with less than half the membership it has historically enjoyed. The primary purpose of the choir is still to sing, but the urgent purpose is to grow. Cal State Bakersfield choral director Robert Provencio will direct the Masterworks Chorale this season, replacing Phil Witmer, who has directed the choir for the past five seasons. Newly elected board president Judy Houston said membership has dropped to around 50 singers during that time, from a traditional contingent of about 120 singers. “We thought we needed a change, a little boost,” said Houston, who added the change had nothing to do with Witmer’s performance. “We all love Phil,” Houston said. “It’s really a recruitment thing.” To help with the “recruitment thing,” Houston said the Masterworks board approached Provencio, who had already been collaborating with the choir for the past two seasons, adding his CSUB singers to the Masterworks Chorale so there would be enough singers to perform with the Bakersfield Symphony each year. Houston said Provencio was a natural choice, not just because of this prior association but because he has trained a lot of singers during his tenure at CSUB. Houston said the board hopes Provencio will be successful in recruiting some of his alumni to the choir. Provencio said he has signed a one-year contract with the board, but is already making a lot of plans. “We have established a theme for the first year,” Provencio said. “It has to do with honoring our traditions, while also doing some new things.” Provencio noted that the choir was originally created to sing Handel’s “Messiah” annually, and said this year’s anniversary performance will recall major productions of the choir’s past, singing the “Christmas section” of the oratorio, including orchestra and professional soloists. New this season will be the choir’s performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” with the Bakersfield Symphony. “This is something that Masterworks and the Bakersfield Symphony have never done before,” Provencio said. “I think the piece is immediately attractive and accessible,” Provencio said. “I think it’s very sexy.” “It’s a piece that has entered the cultural psyche,” he said. Houston said she doesn’t know why the choir has been losing singers, adding that the board has


The Masterworks Chorale rehearses at Laurelglen Bible Church.

Masterworks Chorale Rehearses: Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. Where: Laurelglen Bible Church, 2801 Ashe Road, in the choir room. Information: 392-0619 or

not really explored the reasons. She did speculate that some of the drop was due to people moving away, as well as many singers aging out of the choir. “We need to recruit younger voices,” said Houston, who noted that the decline was also of concern to BSO conductor John Farrer. “I had an appointment with John Farrer to discuss this, and he said, ‘I’ve never had a complaint about the quality; there just haven’t been enough of you,’” Houston said. To address the need, Provencio has restructured the auditioning process. “We’re not holding regular auditions yet,” Provencio said. “Instead we’re holding an open rehearsal.” Provencio said invitations were sent out to singers to attend an open rehearsal, which was held last Tuesday evening, and that regular auditions will be held in September. “We asked the members to invite friends to come and try Masterworks on for size,” he said. “There were fewer than 50 singers at the March concert. I think we can make a big improvement on that.” The choir will complete the season with the traditional spring concert, this time in the form of a birthday bash. Plans include inviting past conductors, including Witmer, Mike McQuerrey, Phil Dodson, Ron Kean and Jerome Kleinsasser to participate. Provencio added the board is updating the choir’s website, and will be looking at other ways to rebuild the choir and its audience.

FORMER DIRECTOR KEEPS CHORAL MUSIC FLOWING IN BAKERSFIELD Although no longer director of Masterworks Chorale, Phil Witmer will still be active in the local choral music scene. Witmer has been the director of the Goldenaires, a senior choir, for 17 years. Witmer said he will continue to lead those singers. “We always have Christmas programs, some eight or nine a year,” Witmer said. Witmer said the Goldenaires also have a spring program, drawing mostly from the musical theater repertoire. The group rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren at Palm and A streets, and is open to new singers. “Just come and sing,” Witmer said. Witmer acknowledged that the change in leadership of the Masterworks Chorale was a board decision, not his, but he was very grateful for the time he has served as its director. “I thank God for having had the great opportunity to direct Masterworks Chorale for these last five years,” Witmer said in a written statement. “It was truly enjoyable and I loved being able to direct choir and orchestra for the concerts.” Witmer noted some major events such as the choir performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Brahms “German Requiem” with the Bakersfield Symphony, but couldn’t identify a favorite moment. “I loved all the concerts,” Witmer said. “As soon as I got in front of that choir and orchestra, I was in heaven.” Witmer expressed thanks to his successor Robert Provencio, BSO conductor John Farrer and to the Masterworks board, as well as to his accompanist, Sharon Simmons Putnam and to his wife, Betty.


The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Street


“Dakota” by Nancy Putney will be part of “Walk On — Celebrating Abilities,” an exhibit sponsored by the Arts Council of Kern.

Artists capture children’s healing Exhibit focuses on therapy center’s horses, riders BY CAMILLE GAVIN Contributing writer


sing their creative skills, three artists are showing their interpretations of the many ways horseriding benefits children with special needs. The exhibit — called “Walk On — Celebrating Abilities” — is sponsored by the Arts Council of Kern and opens with a reception Friday at MARE, a therapeutic riding center in northwest Bakersfield founded in 1990. The acronym stands for mastering abilities riding equines. Linda Brown, for example, focuses on the link between horse and rider. In creating her artwork, she drew upon her knowledge of anatomy and the elements of line and color. “Whether the connection is physical or emotional, the bond that is present between horse and rider is one that can strengthen and heal,” she says. “It is magical.” One of her pieces, titled “Heart,” demonstrates this visibly with a ribbon-like streak of scarlet paint that connects the individual hearts of the child and the horse. Another of the artists, Nancy Putney, also sees the magical effect of the opportunities offered by MARE. Through her art, she endeavored to convey the riders’ courage as well as the hope and joy they experienced in realizing new abilities. The triumphant outward expression of a

As evident in this painting titled “Balance,” artist Linda Brown likes to focus on the link between horse and rider.

child’s emotions can easily be seen in Putney’s portrait, “Dakota.” The artist also salutes the mentors who work with the children who come to the ranch. “Their (the mentors) love for the children and the horses is magical, as the rider and animal become a unit and the child thereby walks on,” she said. Scott McDonald chose to explore how the digital age has affected the role of horses and riding, and how it relates to the past. “My work investigates what changes and what stays the same,” he said. Expanding Please see MARE / 29


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian

Eye Street TM

delivered to you,

Big plans for old building BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI Contributing writer


here have a been a lot of high hopes, dreams and plans to revive the JC Penney building downtown, but mostly to no avail. Now, it looks like the building is coming back to life. While the JC Penney building does house the California College of Vocational Careers, the rest of the store has been a sore spot in the downtown landscape — vacant for years, with no luck at finding a long-term tenant. Since April, however, denizens of downtown may have noticed an increase in activity in the old store, especially on the weekends, watching people enter the building and parties visible through the glass doors. Those parties are being run by a conglomerate of business ventures, including Flourishing Art, an event-planning company located at 407 E. 19th St., and JC’s Place, the partnership that is remodeling the building and managing the endeavor. Event coordinator, manager and partner Oleta Collins said the opportunity to take over the building came around the beginning of the year, when owners Kelly Blanton and Mark Abernathy approached her about the property. “They came to me, because I’m an event planner, and asked me, ‘What do you think, does this have potential?’� Collins said. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, yes!’� Collins said JC’s Place was ready for its first event in April — a rooftop dinner for 40 people heading to their prom. “It was just a private, intimate dinner party, and it was just brilliant,� Collins said. “And that set the tone for the whole business.� Collins said JC’s Place consists of a main ballroom that can hold 600 people standing, or 350 people seated; a full prep kitchen for caterers; a mezzanine that currently hosts comedy shows on Thursday evenings; and a rooftop space for small parties. A third floor space is still under construction. Collins said the company has six

Renting JC’s Place JC’s Place currently has three rental options: the rooftop, which seats 80 people; the mezzanine, which seats 120 people for dining, 150 for theater seating; and the ballroom, which seats 350 for dining, 500 people standing. Base rates: Rooftop — Weekdays, $1,500; weekends, $2,000 Mezzanine — Weekdays, $600; weekends, $850 Ballroom (which includes the mezzanine) — Weekdays, $4,000; weekends, $4,500. Base rental includes on-site coordinator, elevator operator and coat check, and maintenance person. Valet parking, security and cleaning are extra.

full-time employees and hires from 15 to 40 part-time workers for events. Rental for the mezzanine starts at $600; the main ballroom at $4,000. “We’re only looking at higher-end clients who want a nice venue downtown,� Collins said. To attract them, Collins said the company has already invested an estimated $100,000 in remodeling the building, renovating the floors, windows, handles, door frames, electrical system and more. She expects the full cost of remodeling could be three to four times that amount. “We’re trying to keep it true and traditional to the Art Deco that (the store) was,� Collins said. “Every penny that we make is going back into that building.� Downtown Business Association president Cathy Butler said she’s delighted to see the building in use again, even if the business plan isn’t exactly what she had originally envisioned. “I would have loved to have seen it be ‘alive’ all the time,� Butler said, referring to earlier plans for a restaurant. “I am hoping for outdoor seating on the main street.� Still, Butler said the use of the building as an event venue will nevertheless fit in with larger plans for the downtown area, especially the plan to create an “Arts Alive� district down-


on that idea, he noted it’s been only one hundred years since the automobile came into common use and, as he puts it, “We began to stop treating horses as disposable commodities.� One of the ways the public’s view of horses has changed can be seen in the newly discovered benefits for special-needs children. As can be seen in the familiar white fences in McDonald’s painting, “Arena,� his work focuses on the horse’s physical surroundings. The MARE exhibit is the third and

‘Walk On — Celebrating Abilities’ Opening reception: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday Where: MARE Therapeutic Riding Center, 18200 Johnson Road Admission: Free Information: 324-9000

final event in the Arts Council’s Creating Community project for 2011-12, which was funded by a grant from the

town, as well as a “Heart of Bakersfield� designation for a larger swath of the downtown area. Before JC’s Place, there had been much excitement about a proposed arts community for the building, including space for artists, a 100-seat theater, a marketplace and other features. The Arts Council of Kern led that effort, which ended in disappointment. “It was really beautiful,� said Jill Eglund, director of special projects for the Arts Council. “We were applying for a grant from the Ford Foundation; we went quite a ways down the road,� said Eglund, who noted that Blanton and Abernathy were very supportive of the idea, as were many in the arts community. She said there were several factors that led to the project’s demise, including a lack of agreement over the Arts Council’s connection to the building. In addition, she said there was a lack of clarity and agreement as to whether the council, as holder of the grant, would be required to hold the lease of the property as well. The state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies was another fatal blow to the project, as the grant required city participation. “Without (the redevelopment agency) it’s a lot harder to prove the city’s participation,� Eglund said. Most harmful was the painful discovery that the Arts Council was its own obstacle. According to Eglund, because of poor communication, including about staff absences, no one was aware the grant application was behind schedule. “Our Arts Council dropped the ball — we ended up not submitting the proposal,� Eglund said. “Without the grant, there was no way we could put together a proposal for the owners that would have made sense to them.� Eglund said the topic is still “a sore subject� among council staffers. Collins said JC’s Place is busy for the foreseeable future. Weekends during the Christmas season are booked, and there are several reservations for spring weddings. She said there are plans to move the comedy events to Friday nights, and she plans to turn the third floor into a full-service restaurant.

Irvine Foundation. It was coordinated by Nicole Saint John. A total of 15 paintings is being exhibited. All artwork is available for purchase with 25 percent of the proceeds going to MARE. Friday evening’s event includes horse riding demonstrations, music by Zanne Zarrow and Friends, hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. Following the reception, the art will be moved to the Arts Council’s headquarters in the Access Center, 1330 Truxtun Ave., and can be seen there through Sept. 30.

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The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Street

Have one last summer fling in Pine Mountain This is a 40-year festival with altitude BY GENE GARAYGORDOBIL Contributing writer

I Sign up at the Kern County Gun Club Saturday, September 8th at 9:00am

Learn how to shoot Trap & Skeet, all skill levels welcome. The program is open to boys and girls in Elementary, Jr. High and High School. Shooting days are the second Saturday of each month, September - May. Cost: One time fee of $75.00 per shooter. Includes instruction, ammunition, targets, and lunch.

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Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-4:30 Dinner: Mon-Thurs 4:30-10; Fri & Sat 4.30-10:30 2515 F Street • 661-322-9910 •

t’s been nearly 40 years since two men tried to start an Oktoberfesttype festival at Pine Mountain Village and Pine Mountain Club. Cold weather pushed the festival to Labor Day weekend, and the Fall Festival has been going strong for the past 36 years, said Carolyn ZieglerDavenport, who heads publicity for this year’s 37th annual event. “It will be a nice two days of fun for the whole family,” Ziegler-Davenport said. “At around 5,000 feet, it’s a great place to be for the Labor Day weekend. With our mountain weather, it will be very pleasant compared to places in the valley — warm but not too hot.” She said the festival and parking are free. “There will be plenty of places to sit down and enjoy food and drink for the whole family,” Ziegler-Davenport said. About 2,000 people will descend upon the Pine Mountain community, which has about 1,800 full-time residents, including Ziegler-Davenport and her husband, who moved to Pine Mountain Club about a decade ago. “We have about 3,000 lots here, and most have been built on, but not

Pine Mountain Club Fall Festival When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Where: Pine Mountain Club and the Village Center are 18 miles west of Interstate 5, at the Frazier Park exit. Take Frazier Mountain Park Road west and follow the signs. Admission: Free, as is parking Information:

everyone lives here full time,” she said. This weekend’s festival is sponsored by the Pine Mountain Club Property Owners Association, the Pine Mountain Club Commercial Property Owners Association and the Pine Mountain Club Village Merchants Association. A hometown parade kicks everything off about 11 a.m. Saturday in the Village Center, along with family entertainment and activities, including live music for listening and dancing, a variety of arts and crafts vendors, and games for everyone. The arts and crafts fair starts each day at 9 a.m. Activities for children include a giant bounce house and slide, pony rides and a four-man Euro-jump. Other activities include cake walks, raffle prizes, log-sawing and nail-driving contests.


available 24 hours a day and another on standby. We have the animal control USDA spot checks. We don’t know when they’ll come by.” Addressing claims that trainers use cruel devices like bullhooks to control animals, Lacey said he implements a guider, which looks like an extended conductor’s wand. “I don’t use the guiders to protect myself. The guiders are there to direct the animals. If you’re working with a lion that weighs 550 pounds, and I weigh 160 pounds, it’s impossible for us to come to blows. They have to

To learn more Read about Animal Defenders International at

enjoy what they’re doing to be willing to perform.” Lacey said the animal open house held before each performance also affords the public a chance to see how things are run behind the scenes. “We’re very open to visitors. We have nothing to hide. (At the open house,) people can come and ask us

Food comes from many cultures and will include succulent sausages, Mexican and Thai/Chinese cuisines as well as barbecued tri-tip. For adults, there will be a beer and wine garden, and most of the community’s shops are available for browsing. Back nearly 40 years ago, two residents — Rick Young and the late Fred Westlund — started an Oktoberfest festival. However, to get a bigger crowd, and enjoy better weather, the event was moved forward to the Labor Day weekend, becoming a latesummer festival. This year, sponsors and hosts are moving the event to the Village Center, whose gazebo will be full of live music and entertainment. Arts and crafts booths will line surrounding streets. “The festival brings everyone together to have fun, along with those from elsewhere,” Ziegler-Davenport said. Other nearby communities, such as Lake of the Woods, Frazier Park and Lebec push the mountain area population to more than 10,000 people. “This is a really great end-of-summer event,” said Ziegler-Davenport, who worked in public relations, mostly in the Los Angeles area, during her career. “We moved here about 10 years ago, and it was a great change,” she said. “We love living in this community.”

questions, see how the animals live. The public that come to the show, that pays me and looks after the animals, they need to be content with what they spent the money on.” Clerico agrees people need to express themselves financially, although on the opposite end. “It will take the people voting with their dollars. It would be really great to see a lot of people out there (at the protests) to show Ringling Bros. that we’re not OK with this and that we’re fighting it. That Bakersfield will put a stop to this because we’ve banded together as a community.”

‘CALIFORNIAN RADIO’ Join Eye Street editors Jennifer Self and Stefani Dias this morning as they chat with Californian contributor Susan Scaffidi, who has been involved in the local arts scene for decades, both as a writer and talented vocalist. The trio will discuss all the latest news on the local entertainment and culture front, as well as give away a copy of a collection of “Dilbert” strips titled “Teamwork Means You Can’t Pick the Side That’s

Right.” Listen for your cue to call to win the book and, as always, we welcome your comments, questions and recommendations for entertainment options in the area. “Californian Radio” airs from 9 to 10 a.m. weekdays on KERN-AM, 1180. Call 842-KERN to join in the fun. To listen to archived shows, visit

Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian


formers. And there’s at least one scenestealer, Lacey said. “Goldy (a lion), she’s the comedian of the act. I ask her to leave the arena and she doesn’t; then I rub her belly, then she leaves.” Lacey described orchestrating the act as if he’s running a classroom. “The best way to describe it, if you had a classroom full of children. The teacher makes the subject interesting. That makes them more eager to learn.” Lacey said he models the act after the animals’ usual behavior, not unnatural tricks, which many activists say is a cornerstone of animal performances. “When we train the animals, I watch the cats during play, watch what they like to do. The act is based on natural movement. For tigers, it’s natural to run, stand up on their hind legs. We don’t get them to do anything unnatural, just what the animals are comfortable with.” After nine months of performing with Dragons, his first U.S. show, Lacey said he’s grown more comfortable with the larger arena-style staging. “In the beginning it was difficult. In Europe, 400 people sit within 15 feet of you. Here, with 16,000 people, they’re quite a distance away. Normally at the end of the act, you do your complement (like a bow). Because the people sat so far away, it took so long to get a reaction. I couldn’t tell if they liked it. It took awhile to get used to it all.” Lacey said he gets more feedback, including during the open house, when the public is allowed a closer look at the animals and performers before the show.


Alexander Lacey said he models his act after the animals’ usual behavior, not unnatural tricks, which many activists say is a cornerstone of animal performances.

“I think people will be happy when they see what we do here.” Beyond the animal acts, Lacey had plenty to say about the show’s thrilling and sometimes death-defying performances, including the Shaolin Troupe and the motocross-racing Torres Family. “We have an excellent ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson. We have the Shaolin warriors, they’re the real McCoy. They’ve been trained in China. They break oak beams over their backs. A man is raised on the points of five spears.” Describing the Globe of Steel, a 16-foot sphere that the motorcyclists ride around in, Lacey said, “In the globe, there are six usually. We have eight motorbikes, and the (eighth) rider is a lady.”



The Bakersfield Californian Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Street Go & Do Today Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Dragons, animal open house, an hour and a half before show starts; show 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $15-$70. or call 800-745-3000. Concerts by The Fountain, Jamaican ska, rock, salsa, and funk with Mento Buru, 7 to 9 p.m., The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Gloriana, with Tyler Hilton, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. $19.50-$27.50. or 322-5200. Grand opening, ribbon cutting and mural unveiling, 10 a.m., grand opening reception, 4 to 6 p.m., Riverbend Bikes, Boards and Bites, 2437 Oak St. Free. Visit or 380-7269. Guitar Class, taught by John Gomez, for individuals or a group, Juliana’s Art Studio & Gallery, 501 18th St. Call 327-7507 for class details. Taft Certified Farmers Market, 5 to 8 p.m., 5th St. Plaza, Taft. 7652165. Bingo, warm ups start at 5 p.m., with early birds at 6 p.m., regular games at 6:30 p.m., Volunteer Center of Kern County, 2801 F St. From $20 buy-in to “the works”. 395-9787.

Friday Walk On: A Celebration of Abilities, featuring artists Linda Brown, Scott McDonald, Nancy Putney, hors d’oeuvres, no host bar, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., M.A.R.E. Therapeutic Riding Center, 18200 Johnson Road. Free but artwork will be sold, some proceeds benefit M.A.R.E. 324-9000. Second annual Taft Bike Fest, motorcycle stunt show, tattoo and pin-up girl contest, bike games, concerts, food vendors, beer garden, Friday through Monday, Rails to Trails, 6th and Main Streets, Taft. Some fees may apply to the concerts. Visit or 765-2165. Lantern Light Tour & Ghost Hunt, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Silver City Ghost Town, 3829 Lake Isabella Boulevard, Bodfish. $12 per person of all ages. 760-379-5146.

Saturday 30th annual Caliente Team Penning, junior barrel racing, team branding, team sorting, carnival games, goat ribbon jerking, bike barrel races, begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Snow’s Arena, 16270 Caliente Creek Road, Twin Oaks (Caliente exit off Highway 58). Free. 867-2342. 37th annual Fall Festival, entertainment, beer and wine garden, activities for kids, food, arts & crafts, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Pine Mountain Club Village Center, 16300 Mil Potrero

Highway. Free. Visit or 242-1358. Annual Sierra Arts & Crafts Fall Festival, face painting, children’s workshops and more, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Circle Park, Kernville. Free. Visit online at or 760-379-2844 or 760223-3468. Cat Adoptions, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointments, Petco, 8220 Rosedale Highway. $65 includes spay/neuter, vaccines and leukemia testing. 327-4706. Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Brimhall Square, 9500 Brimhall Road and 8 a.m. to noon, next to Golden State Mall, 3201 F St. Garden Project Community Meeting, learn how to plant your own vegetable garden, 10 to noon a.m., St. Luke Anglican Church, 2730 Mall View Road. 332-3204. Just for Kids, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, 2018 Chester Ave. $7 adults; $5 students w/ID, seniors; $4 for children under 18; 5 and under are free. Members are free. 324-6350. Kern Humane Society’s Spay/Neuter Assistance, offers discount coupons to the public on the first Saturday of every month, 325-2589. Randy Houser, 7 p.m., Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. Free. 328-7560. Show & Prove, presented by Free Minds Clique; rap and breakdance battles, open mic, music by The Herbalistics, Deep Water Culture, Kodyak Mauls, Johnny Wordswrite, 7 p.m., Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane. Free. Visit Sierra Club-Buena Vista Group Program & Breakfast, “Butterfield of Pine Mountain,” with guest speaker Chuck Wright, 9 a.m., Manuel’s, 700 Truxtun Ave. 8331187 or 203-2619.



Bakersfield’s Longest Running Comedy Night, 8:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Jerry’s Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave. $5. Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road, 325-6864; Improv Tuesday - Live comedy with DJ after party, 9 p.m. Tuesdays.

Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kaiser Permanente, 8800 Ming Ave. 877-524-7373.

THEATER “Oliver,” 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday, Stars Dinner Theatre, 1931 Chester Ave. $22-$57. 3256100. “The Bullied: A Play Based On True Events,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $15 general; $10 students/seniors. 327-PLAY. “The Real Housewives of Oildale,” 7 p.m. today, Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall, 12748 Jomani Drive. $12 to $23. 587-3377. Team Improv I, learn short-form comedy improv for third to eighth graders, 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, now through Sept. 8, The Empty Space, 706 Oak St. $150.

Art Classes, in drawing, watercolor, oils, color theory, for beginners and advanced, Bakersfield Art Association Art Center, 1817 Eye St. 869-2320. Art for Healing program, classes that alleviate stress, resulting from illness, or grief. All classes are free but some suggest a donation and are held at Mercy Hospital, Truxtun Campus, Truxtun and A St. Visit art or to register, 632-5357. Family Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, 2018 Chester Ave. two adults and up to six children, admission only $20. 324-6350. Stained Glass Classes, six-week class, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Juliana’s Art Studio & Gallery, 501 18th St. 327-7507. The Art Shop Club, 9 a.m. to noon each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, The Art Shop, 1221 20th St. All mediums. 322-0544, 5897463 or 496-5153.

MUSIC Blues KRBS Open Blues Jam, The Kern River Saloon, 20 Tobias St., Kernville, 760-376-4786; Kern River Blues Society Open Blues Jam, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Classic rock Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe, 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway, 873-7613; Open Range, 7 to 11 p.m. Friday. Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; Really Big Midgets, 9 p.m. Friday; Sunday Snake Oil, 9 p.m. Saturday. T-Bones Steakhouse, 8020 District Blvd., 398-1300; Elevation 406, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday; Bad Boyz, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday.


Country Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe, 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway, 873-7613; Road Dawgs, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday; Still Kick’n, 7 p.m. Sunday; The Bluetooth Cowboys, and bring a side dish, noon to 4 p.m. Monday. Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 3228900; Vince Galindo, 9 p.m. Wednesdays.

Cover The Mint, 1207 19th St., 3254048; Red Bullet Rising, 9 pm. Saturday. Free.

Dancing Beginner Belly Dance Lessons,

5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Mondays, Centre Stage Studio, 1710 Chester Ave. 323-5215. $45 regular session; $65 combo session. Folklorico Classes, advance dancers/performing group 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays; and beginners, all ages, 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, Fruitvale-Norris Park, 6221 Norris Road. $22 per month for beginners; $25 per month for advance dancers. 833-8790. Greenacres Community Center, 2014 Calloway Dr., offers ballroom dance, East Coast swing (jitterbug) and Argentine Tango dance classes; $35, $45 for nonmembers. 322-5765 or 201-2105. Joaquin Squares, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Rasmussen Center, 115 E. Roberts Lane. $5. 324-1390, 325-3086 or 399-3658. Pairs and Spares Dance, with Lost Highway, 7 p.m. Friday, Rasmussen Senior Center, 115 E. Roberts Lane. $7; $9 nonmembers. 399-3575. Whirlaways Square Dance Club, has workshops every first, third, fourth and fifth Mondays, Park Stockdale Civic Association Community Center, 205 Rio Bravo Drive. or 213-3105.

DJ Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; DJ Brian, 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday. DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court. 323-7111; live in the mix: old school, ’80s and ’90s music, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every Saturday. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; with DJ Chill in the Mixx, 5 p.m. every Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday. Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; DJ James, 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Free. The Bull Shed Bar & Grill, at Hotel Rosedale, 2400 Camino Del Rio Court, 327-0681; with Meg, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Jazz Cafe Med, 4809 Stockdale Highway., 834-4433; Richie Perez, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant, 4140 Truxtun Ave., 633WINE; live music & wine bar with featuring local artist and Jazz Connection, along with 24 wines, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. King Tut, 10606 Hageman Road; live instrumental and vocal jazz, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday. Free. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Que Pasa Mexican Cafe, 2701 Ming Ave., 832-5011; Jazz Invasion, 9 to 10 p.m. every Saturday.

The Nile, Jazz Music, 6 p.m. every Sunday. Cost $10 at 1721 19th St. 364-2620.

Karaoke Banacek’s Lounge, 4601 State Road, 387-9224; 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays. Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays and Sundays. Big Daddy Pizza, 6417 Ming Ave., 396-7499; 7 to 10 p.m. every Tuesday; 8 to 11 p.m. every Friday. Cataldo’s Pizzeria, 4200 New Stine Road, 397-5000; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Cataldo’s Pizzeria, 6111 Niles St., 363-7200; 6:15 to 10:15 p.m. Tuesdays. Chateau Lounge, 2100 S. Chester Ave., 835-1550; 9 p.m. every Saturday. City Slickers, 1001 W. Tehachapi Blvd., 822-4939; 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Corona’s Cantina, 9817 S. Union Ave., 345-8463; 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays. Don Perico Restaurant, 2660 Oswell St., Suite 133, 871-2001; 7 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court; 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays. Elevation Lounge, 818 Real Road, 325-6864; 9 p.m. Wednesday. Ethel’s Old Corral, 4310 Alfred Harrell Highway, 873-7613; 6 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. Iron Horse Saloon, 1821 S. Chester Ave., 831-1315; 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Julie’s The Branding Iron Saloon, 1807 N. Chester Ave., 6 to 10 p.m. every Friday. Le Corusse Rouge, 4647 White Lane, 834-1611; A to Z Karaoke, 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays. Lone Oak Inn, 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at 10612 Rosedale Hwy. 589-0412. Magoo’s Pizza, 1129 Olive Drive, 399-7800; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Maria Bonita Mexican Restaurant, 10701 Highway 178, 3663261, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays. All ages. McMurphy’s Irish Pub & Sports Bar, 14 Monterey St., 869-1451; 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesdays. Pizzeria, 4200 Gosford Road, 3971111; 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Pour House, 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 4041 Fruitvale Ave. 589-9300. Pyrenees Cafe, 601 Sumner, 3230053; 8 p.m. to midnight Saturdays. Replay Sports Lounge & Grill, 4500 Buck Owens Blvd., 3243300; 8 p.m. every Wednesday. Rocket Shop Cafe, 2000 S. Union Ave., 832-4800; 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Please see GO & DO / 33


Thursday, August 30, 2012 The Bakersfield Californian


Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. Rocky’s Pizza & Arcade, 2858 Niles St., 873-1900; 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Round Table Pizza, 2060 White Lane, 8362700; 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Round Table Pizza, 2620 Buck Owens Blvd., 327-9651; The Junction with host Mac Clanahan, 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Round Table Pizza, 4200 Gosford Road, 397-1111; 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Rusty’s Pizza, 5430 Olive Drive, 392-1482; 6:30 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. Sports & Spirits, 6633 Ming Ave., 3987077; 9 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. Syndicate Lounge, 1818 Eye St., 327-0070; with Alisa Spencer, 9 p.m. every Wednesday. T-Bones Steakhouse, 8020 District Blvd., 398-1300; 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursdays. Tejon Club, 6 to 10 p.m. every Saturday at 117 El Tejon Ave. 392-1747. The Bull Shed Bar & Grill, at Hotel Rosedale, 2400 Camino Del Rio Court, 3270681; 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Junction Lounge, 2620 Buck Owens Blvd., 327-9651; 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Old River Monte Carlo, 9750 Taft Highway, 837-0250; 8:30 p.m. every Thursday. The Playhouse, 2915 Taft Highway; 3973599; 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays. The Prime Cut, 9 p.m. every Friday at 9500 Brimhall Road. 831-1413. The Regent, 2814 Niles St., 871-4140; 8:30 p.m. every other Friday. The Wrecking Yard, 9817 S. Union Ave., 827-9192; 7 to 10 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Wright Place, 2695-G Mount Vernon Ave., 872-8831, 8 p.m. every Thursday. Tomi’s Cowgirl Cafe, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, 1440 Weedpatch Highway. 363-5102. Trouts & The Blackboard Stages, 805 N. Chester Ave., 399-6700; 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Vinny’s Bar & Grill, 2700 S. Union Ave., 496-2502, 7 p.m. Thursdays. 21 and over.

Latin/Salsa DoubleTree Hotel, Club Odyssey, Club Odyssey, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, 6331949; various levels, 3 to 9 p.m. every Sunday. $5 per person, per lesson.

Mariachi Camino Real Restaurant, 6 to 9 p.m. every Sunday at 3500 Truxtun Ave. 8520493.

Oldies KC Steakhouse, 2515 F St., 322-9910; Jimmy Gaines, Bobby O and Mike Halls, 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Music showcase The Prime Cut, 9500 Brimhall Road, 8311413; featuring local artists, 7 to 10 p.m. every Wednesday.

Old school Que Pasa Mexican Cafe, 2701 Ming Ave., 832-5011; Al Garcia & the Rhythm Kings, 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday. Tam O’Shanter, 2345 Alta Vista, 324-6774; Los Moonlighterz, 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $5 per night.

Open Mic Fiddlers Crossing, 206 East F St., Tehachapi, 823-9994; 7 p.m. Wednesdays. $5. On the Rocks, 1517 18th St., 327-7625; musicians, spoken word, poets, comedians, 8 p.m. every Wednesday, On the Rocks, 1517 18th St. Free.

Rock B. Ryder’s Sports Bar & Grill, 7401 White Lane, 397-7304; Kottonmouth Kings, Big P, Prozak, 8 p.m. Thursday, $20; Aesop Rock 8 p.m. Friday, $17 advance, $19 at the door; Good Question, 7 p.m. Saturday, $5; Sex Slaves and Black Water Soul, 8 p.m. Sunday, $5; Rehab, Moonshine Bandits, Too Faded, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, $12 advance; $15 at the door. Rockstarz Party Bar, 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B5, 589-6749; live bands, 9 p.m. every Thursday.

Soft rock Steak and Grape, 4420 Coffee Road, 5889463; 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Free.

Trivia night Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge, 3090 Brundage Lane, 325-2139; 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Chuy’s, 2500 New Stine Road, 833-3469; 7 p.m. every Tuesday. On the Rocks, 1517 18th St., 327-7625; 8 to 10 p.m. Monday. Sandrini’s, 1918 Eye St., 322-8900; Trivia Night with Dave Rezac, 10 p.m. Tuesdays.

UPCOMING EVENTS Monday 9/3 Kern County Rose Society Meeting, 7 p.m., Calvary Bible Church, 48 Manor St. 327-3228 Senior Discovery Days, for seniors 60 and older receive 50 percent off admission, 10 percent discount in the gift store, CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. 872-2256.

Tuesday 9/4 Farmer’s Market, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at James St. and Central Ave., Shafter. Guild House Restaurant Reopening, come join us for lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Guild House, 1905 18th St. 325-5478. Sierra Club Conditioning Hikes, three to five miles, 7 p.m., meet at corner of Highways 178 and 184. 872-2432 or 873-8107.

Wednesday 9/5 Film Club, with Cody Meek, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, 4001 California Ave. 631-2575. First Wednesday, special events and refreshments, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. $4 non members. 323-7219. Indie Night Wednesdays, see the movie “Your Sister’s Sister,” 7 p.m., Maya Cinemas, 1000 California Ave. $6. 636-0484.

Thursday 9/6 “The Real Housewives of Oildale,” 7 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall, 12748 Jomani Drive. $12 to $23. 587-3377. Bookseller’s Book Group, 7 p.m., Barnes and Noble, in the cafe, 4001 California Ave. 631-2575. Fashion Night Out, trunk show, do-it-yourself stations, find out the latest trends in fashion, jewelry, hair, 5 to 9 p.m., Tangerine,

9000 Ming Ave. Free. 664-9500. Taft Certified Farmers Market, 5 to 8 p.m. , 5th St. Plaza, Taft. 765-2165.

Friday 9/7 40th annual Greek Food Festival: A Taste of Greek, music, dancing, children’s games, shopping, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday; 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, St. George Greek Orthodox, 401 Truxtun Ave. $5 adults; children under 12 are free. 325-8694. Dustbowl Fundraising Dinner, dinner, entertainment, 6 p.m., David Head Center, 10300 San Diego St, Lamont. $25 per person and can be purchased at Joronco Rentals, Bear Mountain Sports. 854-3620 or 664-3933. First Friday Downtown, featuring live music, art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, artists will set up their artwork, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. Email or Friday Night Street Legals, test and tune, gates 7 p.m., run 8 p.m. to midnight, Famoso Raceway, 33559 Famoso Road, McFarland. $15; kids 12 and under are free. 399-5351 or 399-2210. Wine & Beer Tasting, enjoy wine and beer tasting along with appetizers, 5 to 7 p.m., Steak and Grape Restaurant, 4420 Coffee Rd., $20. 588-9463.

Saturday 9/8 2012 Wasco Festival of Roses, pancake breakfast, parade, rose field tours, fun run, art show and faire, tennis tournament, rose show, golf tournament and more, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Parker Park, 12180 Poplar Ave., Wasco. or 758-2614. Democratic Women of Kern, breakfast meeting, 9 a.m., Garden Spot, 3320 Truxtun Ave. $5 (661) 322-7411. Iron Breed Poker Run, registration 8 to 9 a.m., kick stands up at 9:30 a.m., Bikersfield, 2622 Fairhaven Dr. $20 single rider; $30 double. Includes lunch. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House. To pre-register, go to Bikersfield, email Tehachapi Oktoberfest, German music, bratwurst, traditional German food, vendors polka dancing, noon to 8 p.m., Tehachapi Depot, 101 W. Tehachapi Blvd, Tehachapi. $5 per beer. 822-6519. Third annual Sacred Work Sabbath, musical guests include Christian Edition, Jarrod McNaughton, Sandy Johnson, 10:30 a.m. to noon, the theater at Rabobank Convention Center, 1001 Truxtun Ave. or 869-6560. Third annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fundraiser, volunteers collect donations and shave their heads in solidarity with children fighting cancer, 1 to 5 p.m., Chuy’s, 8660 Rosedale Highway. Visit online at or 4964536. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10859, Rosedale & Ladies Auxiliary, 9:30 a.m., Norris Road Veterans Hall, 400 Norris Road. 588-5865. Village Fest 2012, featuring over 100 different brews from 60 breweries, food samples, entertainment from 17 bands, 6 to 10 p.m., Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $63; $68 day of show at the gate. 21 and over only. or or 322-5200. Yokuts Park Fun Run, practice racing and earn points, 7 a.m., Yokuts Park, Empire Drive off Truxtun Avenue. Free. or 203-4196 or 391-7080.


Kottonmouth Kings appear tonight at B Ryder’s. LOWDOWN: CONTINUED FROM 26

scored a shot on the soundtrack to “Scream 2” with the song “Suburban Life.” That was just the tip of the iceberg for the brotherly collective from Placentia who, after nearly 20 years of nonstop revelry, have released 12 full-length CDs and an endless amount of singles and humorous music videos. Their 13th release, “Mile High,” was released on Aug. 11, just three days before the sudden death of longtime collaborator Patrick “Pakelika” Cochrun from cardiac arrest during an asthma attack. Although Cochrun had left the group in 2010, he was an integral part of shaping the Kings’ wild image. Also appearing: Big B and Prozak.


Bay Area rapper Aesop Rock appears Friday at B Ryder’s.

Aesop Rock at B Ryder’s Bar, 7401 White Lane, 8 p.m. Friday, all ages, $17, 397-7304. Critically acclaimed San Francisco-based MC Ian Matthias Bavitz AKA Aesop Rock is no slouch when it comes to the business of making musical connections. Originally from New York, his name has been brewing in the underground rap game since the ‘90s, when he began circulating a series of independently produced releases. His lyrics have been described as being both complex and abstract, while others dismiss them as an incoherent verbosity. But that’s what makes his persona so enigmatic among hip-hop afficionados. His new CD, “Skelethon,” features guest appearances from the likes of the Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson, Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, and the Grimace Federation. The album is dark and quirky; Bavitz knows how to craft his narratives and engage listeners. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch the elusive artist in Bakersfield. Also appearing: Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz, Dark Time, Open Mike Eagle.

Eye Street / 8-30-12  

The Thursday Bakersfield Californian "Eye Street" Entertainment is your best bet for finding fun in Bakersfield! Music, movie, theater, mixe...

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