Rowland: Oakdale's Dennen ready for SF gig

March 19, 2009 

Oakdale's own Brett Dennen will swing into San Francisco's storied concert venue The Fillmore for a two-night stand this weekend.

The 1997 Oakdale High graduate steadily has been increasing his national profile since his 2006 breakthrough album, "So Much More."

His shows tonight and Saturday at The Fillmore punctuate an already busy year that has included his first national headlining tour, as well as appearances on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and CBS' "Saturday Early Show."

The Fillmore shows will be recorded for an upcoming live release. Members of Dennen's Oakdale family are excited to see him perform in San Francisco.

"He loves San Francisco and he loves coming back to California, that is where his heart is," mother Tana Dennen said. She said her son was last home at Christmas, but he e-mails frequently with the family.

Since the release of his last album, 2008's "Hope for the Hopeless," the video for its first single, "Make You Crazy," has been in regular rotation on VH1.

Dennen recently was added to the lineup of the 2009 Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, joining the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Phish and the Beastie Boys at the Tennessee event June 11-14.

Next month, Dennen heads overseas to perform several dates with The Fray in the United Kingdom.

Tana Dennen said that besides e-mails, she follows her son through his MySpace site, myspace.com/brettdennen. Dennen also updates his Twitter account, twitter.com/brettdennen, and posts news at brettdennen.net.

She said she has heard from several friends and fans who are going to his Fillmore dates. "It used to be we were the only ones going to see him," she said. "Hopefully, he will yell out to Oakdale and Modesto. He is really up and he wouldn't be doing anything else in the world."

Column continues below video.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Celebrate the spirit of Black History and Women's History months with California State University, Stanislaus, and a program on race and gender in hip-hop.

The "Is Oprah Right? Race and Gender Politics in Hip-Hop" begins at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the university's event center.

The program's keynote speaker is San Francisco State University African studies professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer, the co-founder of National Hip Hop Political Convention, who has used the genre to raise awareness and address a variety of current issues.

She will address how hip-hop attracts youth from around the world and discuss its messages about race, class, gender and sexuality.

Admission is free and open to the public. ...

Rock out for a good cause Saturday at Modesto's Queen Bean.

The benefit "Rock for the Cure" will bring a full bill of area bands together from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the cafe to raise funds for several national multiple sclerosis awareness and research groups.

Performing will be Anthem, Third Wheel, Nadine the Band, Josh Rosenblum and Radial. Donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, call 481-6817. ...

On Sunday, rock out for the sake of rocking out at the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge.

The Michael Schenker Group, led by one of the founding guitarists of the heavy-metal band Scorpions, will perform.

Schenker sold more than 75 million albums worldwide with Scorpions, which had hits with the songs "Rock You Like a Hurricane," "No One Like You" and "Wind of Change."

Opening will be area acts DAM and About Face. Tickets are $22, show starts at 7 p.m. For more call 524-1400. ...

And finally, check out local performer Marirose and the Gypsies on Saturday at Clayton's. The show's promoter has compared the eclectic alternative pop group's sound to Stevie Nicks, so go get 'em, Fleetwood Mac fans. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. No cover.

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at 578-2284 or mrowland@modbee.com. Read her blog SceneIt at thehive.modbee.com/sceneit and follow her at twitter. com/modestobeescene.

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