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Bigger, better, bolder — welcome to the Scene

Oakdale resident and singer-songwriter Brett Dennen is making a name for himself on the national stage.
Oakdale resident and singer-songwriter Brett Dennen is making a name for himself on the national stage.

Welcome to the new Scene.

As you pick up your entertainment tab today, you'll notice a couple of things right off the bat.

1) We are bigger. Try twice as big, and then some. I hope you've been doing your curls so you'll have the strength to pick this bad boy up each week.

2) We look different. We've given everything — from titles to layouts and cover — a fresh lick of paint. I hope you like the updated look. We prettied up just for you.

Once you open the Scene, you'll see even more changes. Do not be afraid; change is good. We swear.

We've kept all the features you know and enjoy — movie, video and game reviews, restaurant profiles, theater capsules, arts briefs, Lisa Millegan's fine-arts features, Pat Clark's Scene & Heard column, my Scene Stealers column (which I'm sure you've figured out by now since, well, you're reading it) and more. But we've also added some hopefully exciting new pages.

First, you will see the new Modesto Famous page. The Bee bought the community Web site in December. The site is an excellent resource for news, information and opinions. Best of all, you are the ones who make it what it is. All the content is submitted and posted by you, the public.

Have a concert your band is playing? Post it yourself at Modesto Famous. Have a charity event you want people to attend? Post it yourself at Modesto Famous. Want to talk about the latest City Council meeting, the apricots at the farmers market or your new haircut? Post it yourself at www.modestofamous.com.

The new Famous print page is also a grand reintroduction to Motown Mojo, the site's editor and featured blogger. Mojo (aka Ruben Porras) and I will make weekly picks of events, posts, contests, etc. that we think are worth a look.

So, get posting at Modesto Famous. The more people log on and start blogging, the better the site will be. And what you post online also could show up in the pages of The Bee and give you your own shot at being Famous.

Right next to the Famous page, you will notice a local music page featuring The Beat, our new musician-of-the-week feature, and the new Night Life calendar. The calendar has been expanded to include not just live music, but also DJs and karaoke at area nightspots. If you're a band with an upcoming local show, please feel free to nominate yourself for The Beat. If you have a venue with entertainment, send your event to Night Life. The Beat features will include a small bio, Q&A and band-submitted photo.

A little deeper into the section comes the Let's Eat pages. Included will be our regular restaurant profile, along with our snazzy dining guide listing a sampling of area eateries.

Finally, toward the back of Scene, you'll find the horoscopes and Ask Amy column for the day, and TV listings for the coming week.

Whew. That's a lot for one section, eh?

Essentially, what this means is that each Scene will give you a comprehensive guide to all things entertainment in the valley for the week. Whether you want to go to dinner and a show or stay home and rent a movie or even just veg out in front of the TV, the Scene can help you find what you're looking for and then some.

If you have a band, restaurant, club, event, etc. you would like included in any of the new calendars, please send in your information to scene@modbee.com.

So, please take this puppy out for a test drive and see what it can do. We hope you like the new scenery.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Oakdale native Brett Dennen headlined a show at legendary theater The Fillmore in San Francisco on Thursday.

The up-and-coming singer/songwriter topped the bill, which included an acoustic set from The Mother Hips. This summer, Dennen has been on tour with superstar John Mayer.

Dennen also is thanked in the credits of the new CD "Wild Hope" by fellow singer Mandy Moore, who was in Modesto for an exclusive B93.1 FM show Thursday. Dennen provided background vocals and musical support on some of the tracks.

For more, check out www.brettdennen.com. ...

Modesto native Jon Brent picked up a regional Emmy award recently.

The 1976 Beyer High School grad and 1978 Modesto Junior College alum anchors the 4, 5 and 6:30 p.m newscasts on KSEE Channel 24, Fresno's NBC affiliate.

The station's 4 p.m. newscast took the best newscast-medium market Daytime Emmy for the Greater San Francisco Area. The awards are given out by the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences.

For more on Brent, check out www.ksee24.com. ...

Mark your calendar for July 20, when Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dave Mason plays the State Theatre.

The singer/songwriter and guitarist was a co-founder of the English band Traffic along with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood. The group was inducted into the hall of fame in March 2004.

Tickets are $28-$35. Call 527-4697. ...

As long as you're penciling things into your schedule, be sure to circle Oct. 6, when the legendary Dionne Warwick comes to play Stockton's Bob Hope Theatre.

The Grammy-winning soul singer's career has spanned five decades and shows no signs of stopping.

Tickets are on sale now and run $30-$75. Call 337-4673. ...

And finally, one more thing about the new and improved Scene.

Starting today, you'll be able to pick up a copy of the section at select locations around town. We're printing an identical edition, dubbed Street Scene, and putting it out for your reading pleasure. So look for it when you're out and about.

Happy reading and see you on the Scene.

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

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