What’s in a name? Would an acoustic rock band by any other name sound as folksy? That’s the question for Glitterfox, the acoustic rock duo of multi-instrumentalists Andrea Walker, 36, and Bakersfield native Solange Igoa, 27, formerly known as Bearcoon.
The pair, who will play at Wine Me Up Saturday, adopted the fantastic and likewise imaginary forest animal-friendly moniker as part of their musical evolution, which also including moving to Portland in August and broadening their gigging potential through the Pacific Northwest.
The change is symbolic of the band’s growth. Less rustic, more cosmic — yet still earthy and engaging.
“Honestly, we love the name Bearcoon,” Walker said via phone interview in Long Beach, “but we felt it was time to rebrand. Maybe to bring on a name that felt a bit broader, that we could grow into. It felt like it was time to try something new.”
“In a lot of ways, this name will accompany us as our sound evolves.”
The duo, voted “Best Folk Act” of 2014 by the OC Weekly, has been living a nomadic life; constantly on the road, braving the elements and touring nationwide in their van. Throughout it all, they’ve refined their instrumentation — adding a drum or two here, an electric guitar and effects there — to expand and evolve their sonic palette. The audience at Wine Me Up this Saturday may be treated to something that’s refreshingly more energetic than what they might imagine a folk group might be: a band that cut their teeth in noisy, boisterous bars — sometimes for hundreds of people — where everybody’s dancing.
“We’ve always been pushing our sound into an edgier genre,” Walker said. “We started off as a very sweet folk band, just two voices and a guitar, and that’s what we were for the first few years: very folky, very sweet, very mellow. But we always wanted to be more of a rock band. My dream would be Fleetwood Mac meets The Black Keys. I know, for Solange, she’s really into this idea of ‘glam folk.’ Like, how do you take folk music but make it Glitterfox?”
The band’s next release is due for later this year, and Saturday’s 21-and-over show will include new originals and covers added for this current tour. This performance is their penultimate one before heading back to Portland.
“We always love playing in Bakersfield,” Walker said. “We always, every time, have fantastic shows in Bakersfield and Wine Me Up is a great venue. They’re super supportive, treat us great. Our people love coming there for shows. We consistently play our best shows there.”
Speaking of family: Igoa’s mother, Sherri Warfield-Wilson, will perform with her ace cover band Warfield at O’Hennings on the same night for their annual toy drive. There is no admission for that show, but bring an unwrapped toy to share in the holiday spirit while you might happen to partake in them.
(There are plenty of charitable events happening throughout the holiday season. Check out bakersfield.com/events to get your altruism on.)
Glitterfox, 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Wine Me Up, 3900 Coffee Road, Suite 2. Free.
O’Hennings’ annual Toy Drive with Warfield, 8 p.m. to midnight. Saturday at O’Hennings, 1312 Airport Ave.; 21 and over; free admission, but attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to be given to charity.
Cults & Classics: “It’s a Wonderful Life”, 7 p.m. Monday, Fox Theater, 2001 H St.. $5. Ticketfly.com.
Sensory Family Flix: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” 4 p.m. Monday, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. Free admission.
Families will have two affordable movie-going options this Monday. The Beale Library will be hosting a “sensory-friendly screening” of the 1966 animated holiday classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” While the new Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced incarnation of the Dr. Seuss character is currently on the big screen, kids can catch the old-school party-pooper here in all of his mean, green glory. That poor dog!
The showing will take place in the library’s children’s storytime pit with the volume turned low and plenty of lights, much like the “Maya Cares” movie series at Maya Cinemas for children with special needs.
There will be plenty of toys and a play area for kids. Everyone is encouraged to dance and sing along, because — spoiler alert — if the Grinch can do it, anyone can.
Frugal parents can time themselves so that once this movie ends, they can move on down to the Fox Theater and catch their screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The 1946 film is almost timeless for a reason: Its themes of family, community and redemption — and greed! — still resonate to this day. Although it might seem a bit melodramatic to modern audiences, it can still pack a punch. Also, the $5 ticket price is definitely nothing to humbug about.
Gregory Porter, deal maker
On the Nov. 13 episode of “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” guest Jeff Goldblum — yes, that Jeff Goldblum — who has been gigging as a pianist since his youth, recounted a story of how he recently got a record deal that resulted in his lovely No. 1 jazz album “The Capital Studios Sessions” under the banner Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.
“A year ago,” Goldblum said, “I was promoting for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ in London, and I went on a show (‘The Graham Norton Show’) with Gregory Porter — he’s a wonderful singer, he’s great — and he said, ‘I know you play piano. Accompany me while I do ‘Mona Lisa’ (off of Porter’s album ‘Nat King Cole & Me’).’ So we did that on the show and then his record label, Decca, saw us do it and said, ‘Maybe we’ll do something with Jeff,’ and that’s what happened.”
When I recently talked with Porter about his benefit show coming Sunday at the Fox Theater, I asked him about this exchange. First, it’s true and, second, Porter’s Jeff Goldblum impression is surprisingly good.
“That’s absolutely the truth that it happened that way,” Porter said. “But it blew my mind! I was walking in the airport and … you know how surreal it is for Jeff Goldblum to just come and just jump in your face, just three inches away from you? (imitating Jeff Goldblum) ‘I … I, I, ah … are you Gregory Porter? It’s, I just wanted you to know, I love you. Your, ah, your sensitivity, your sense of humility, your … all of it…’ I was like, ‘Dude. You are ‘The Fly’! This is amazing that you’re in my face right now.”
Gregory Porter Unplugged with Chip Crawford, Jeremy Bean Clemons, Tivon Pennicott and Jahmal Nichols, 6 p.m. Sunday, Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $35-$175, benefits Agapeland Christian Academy; ticketfly.com.