Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hump Day Happy Hour

Posted on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Each Wednesday on Bloglander, we give you a taste of happy hours going on at bars around town that night. (Read previous posts.)

Casey's, on the north side, offers happy-hour specials seven days a week from 8-10 pm with $2 wells drinks and $2 domestic beers.

Connie's Restaurant and Lounge, in Sandpoint, offers happy hour from 4pm to closing with $2.50 tacos and $3.50 margaritas on Wednesday, $2 wells drinks on Thursday and $5 martinis each Friday.

Cyrus O'Leary's welcomes in the happy hour Mon-Thurs from 3-6 pm with $1 off all micro-brews and domestic beers, $1 off all house wine and half-priced appetizers.

In Coeur d'Alene, Capone's offers happy-hour prices Monday-Friday from 5-7 pm with $.50 draft beers and $1 dollar off wells drinks.

In the heart of downtown Spokane, C.I. Shenanigan's offers specials Monday-Friday from 3-6pm with half-priced appetizers, $3 wells drinks, $4 select wines, and $5 margaritas, cosmopolitans, mojitos and margaritas.

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THIS JUST OUT (yesterday)

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 

Around the time Stieg Larsson's book trilogy about high-tech sleuthing and age-old sexual abuse were on their way to (somewhat unexpectedly) conquering all sorts of international bestseller lists, the decision was made to repackage this series of Swedish TV adaptations of the books into theatrical releases for the American market. The movies helped keep arthouse theaters afloat (the Magic Lantern will still be showing this film even after it's gone to DVD). Problem is, they kinda showed like blown-up TV movies. Watching them at home should solve that problem. (Rated R)

A bunch of hot middle-aged spy retirees (Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren) are suddenly targeted for annihilation by the very agency they once worked for. The solution, of course, is to break into the CIA and, I don't know, prove a point about age being nothing but a number. (PG-13)

Nowhere Boy
John Lennon had a life before the Beatles. It involved a degree of sexual dysfunction. (Rated R)

Horse overcomes various personal/professional issues to eventually run faster than other horses. Man rides on his back. (Rated PG)

Saw: The Final Chapter
The title of this film is almost certainly a lie. (Rated R)

Dead Space II
| PS3, XBox

The adverts for this alien murder porn shooter say, "Your mom will hate this." If your mom is anything like our moms, the ads are probably right. Critics, though, who crave atavistic slaughter like it was mother's milk, are calling it a classic.

Two Worlds II | PS3, XBox
Not the same as Four Worlds, or Worlds IV (which aren't even games, I just made them up to be snotty), this is a pretty good — from the critical reception — entry into the American-traditionalist school of RPGs. You know, Elder Scrolls as opposed to Final Fantasy or, say, Mass Effect.

Jam City Rollergirls | Wii
Looks like a downloadable Mario Kart meets Roller Derby.

Wanda Jackson
| The Party Ain't Over
Jackson releases her first album in years with the help of Jack White (The White Stripes, Raconteurs, The Dead Weather). No doubt both are hoping White can do for Jackson what he did for Loretta Lynn's Van Leer Rose.

Besides that, it's a thin week rounded out by a bunch of releases from indie bands like Deerhoof, Fujiya & Miyagi, and the Cold War Kids. The highlights are Destroyer's sure to be weird Kaputt and a sad, heartwarming entry into the Iron and Wine canon, Kiss Each Other Clean.

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Posted on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Return of the tab tax — No, not the little soda from 1983, but the thing on your car's license plate. New revenue for the city, which many thought dead, has arisen. (SR)

A fifth, some cigs and a dime bag — A state representative has endorsed selling marijuana in liquor stores. (KREM) 

$49 million for Mead — The Mead School District wants voters to give them some money. Or else. (KXLY) 

Lose the past — President Obama was on TV last night. Now he's doing a tour. (NYT) 

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

UPCOMING BOOKS: Talking chimps, televangelist-murderers, paranoid Bobby Fischer, sexy Humphrey Bogart and radioactive revengers

Posted on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Arriving soon on bookshelves (and in the cloud): novels about Hungarians in love, preachers in prison, Greenwich Village in the '40s, an intelligent chimpanzee and a reluctant revenger — along with nonfiction about gay teens, a world chess champion, Bogie, a British boyhood, and the Good Book.


Hidden, by Tomas Mournian (Kensington, 300 pages, paperback original, Jan. 25)   The conservative parents of a gay teenager sent him to a heterosexual rehab program in the middle of the Nevada desert. After some horrible experiences there, Ahmed escapes to to a safe house for runaway gay teens in San Francisco — where, unfortunately, Ahmed undergoes more trauma and meets lots of other kids with similar stories. Mournian's book is a page-turner based on a news article written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer (Vintage paperback reprint, 780 pages, Jan. 25)   Romance between Hungarian Jews in the 1930s -- meaning that the art student and the ballerina will have to resist the Nazis even as they fall in love. Last May's hardcover was compared to Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago for its doomed-lovers-caught-up-in-political-rebellion angle.  

Miracles, Inc., by T.J. Forrester (Simon & Schuster, 270 pages, paperback original, Feb. 1)   A trouble-making scalawag goes to a kind of boot camp for televangelists and turns himself into a holy roller. Problem is, the reason we’re hearing about this is because he wrote his autobiography, because he needs to make money to cover his legal fees, because he’s on death row.

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall — from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness, by Frank Brady (Crown, 400 pages, Feb. 1)  The chief insight in this biography by Brady (Citizen Welles), apparently, is that the grandmaster's brilliance at seeing patterns on the chessboard led him to imagine sinister connections and dark conspiracies in everyday life. Dick Cavett and other reviewers really go to bat for Brady's book, adding that the real fascination is how such a brilliant man could become such a raving anti-Semitic lunatic and yet still command affection from some who knew him.

Life on Sandpaper, by Yoram Kaniuk, trans. Anthony Berris (Dalkey Archive Press, paperback original, 400 pages, Feb. 1)  The Israeli novelist, now 81, presents an autobiographical tale of Greenwich Village in the late 1940s, with the low-key, not particularly introspective protagonist (wounded, just as Kaniuk himself was, in Israel's 1948 war) hanging out with the likes of Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, James Dean, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, Ginger Rogers, Wally Cox, Miles Davis and James Jones.

Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart, by Stefan Kanger (Knopf, 300 pages, Feb. 1)
He spent decades as a stage actor and then as a bad guy in movies until he broke through (at age 42) with The Maltese Falcon. He died of lung cancer at age 58 — and yet he’s iconic today, almost more famous than he was then. Why? Kanfer’s answer is that Bogie’s "outstanding characteristics — integrity, stoicism, a sexual charisma accompanied by a cool indifference to women — are never out of style."  

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, by Benjamin Hale (Hachette/Twelve, 580 pages, Feb. 2)  Lydia Littlemore goes on road trip with chimp that was raised at local zoo and in a university research lab. Bruno can talk! They go off to a Colorado ranch run by animal-rights activists but get split up, with Bruno growing ever more philosophical as he travels around America. 

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, by Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Doubleday, 350 pages, Feb. 8)   Back in 1953, as part of a secret government study, Wilson gave Marylou a radioactive cocktail; 10 years later, Marylou’s daughter died of cancer. Now she has located the old coot and plans to murder him. Problem is, he’s a likeable old coot. So then she plans to make his family’s lives miserable — except she likes them, too. (This is Stuckey-French’s second novel, after the delightfully titled Mermaids on the Moon.)

My Father’s Fortune: A Memoir, by Michael Frayn (Metropolitan, 290 pages, Feb. 15)  The playwright (Noises Off, Copenhagen) and translator of Chekhov recounts, with humor and sentiment, a youth clouded by his mother's premature death and the pressure that he received, from his confident and self-made father, to accomplish more than just the study of books. 

The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book, by Timothy Beal (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 250 pages, Feb. 16)   A theologian at Case Western in Cleveland (Roadside Religion, Biblical Literacy) argues against fundamentalist interpretations of Scripture. 

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Garry's making a comeback

Posted on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

A local car club has zoomed in with what might be called a clutch donation to the Spokane Tribe, providing a huge push towards the target of $34,000 to construct a new memorial to Spokan Garry.

The original statue to Garry, an early leader who strove for peaceful coexistence between tribal members and the influx of white settlers in the mid-1800s, was knocked down and hauled off to a rubble pit (“The Vanishing Indian,” Inlander, May 21, 2008) from its site at Chief Garry Park in eastern Spokane.

The tribe was incensed that it was given little notice of the demolition, and by the city’s decision to replace the Garry statue with an abstract totem pole sculpture, seen to be insensitive for an interior Plateau Culture tribe.

The tribe eventually took over fundraising for a replacement and a design was announced last year. But the fundraising was slow.

Enter the Lowcos car club. Club President Tony Strand says the Lowcos donate to various charities every year. When one donation fell through, they heard about the Garry fundraising effort.

Strand delighted tribal leaders recently with a check for $3,500. In addition, the presentation of the money at a tribal function sparked further gifts of $2,050 from other people in attendance.

The surge of donations “was a very nice surprise,” and should allow for construction of the new monument this spring, says tribal spokeswoman Jamie Sijohn.

Visit The Gathering Place link on the Tribe's website to learn more.

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The Drums Did Not Arrive

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:46 AM

The upcoming Jan. 26 performance of Kodo: One Earth Tour which we wrote about in this week's issue (page 54) has been canceled. Apparently the performers were able to get here but unfortunately the giant drums they use in their performances did not arrive in time.

If you purchased your tickets at the Fox Box Office or online with TicketsWest with a credit card have no worries, your card should have been automatically or will be automatically refunded. 

If you showed up at the box office in person however and paid cash or by check, you have to go down there again and get a refund.

We all missed out on an incredible performance with some really impressive drums.

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MORNING HEADLINES: Ozzie chillin' with Chilberg

Posted on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Sheriff hiring electoral loser? — Voters decided not to retain Spokane County Treasurer Skip Chilberg last November. Now Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich wants to hire him. (SR)

One teacher for 1,000 students — Or something like that. Washington already ranks 48th in the country when it comes to class size. The Legislature yesterday cut funding for early education, making class sizes even bigger next year. (The Stranger) 

Come out, come out, wherever you are — FBI agents hung out on the corner of Washington and Main yesterday, looking for leads about the Backpack Bomber. (KREM) 

Oscar screwed — You've probably already heard which movies/actors/directors got nominated this morning for an Academy Award (or two or three or 12). But who got snubbed? Christopher Nolan and The Town, among others. (NYT, Atlantic Wire)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

London takes note of Spokane novelist

Posted on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 4:12 PM


In The Guardian, Laura Miller laments the way most contemporary novelists avoid examining our virtual lives (social networking, personal websites). A prominent exception that she notes is Jess Walter's The Financial Lives of the Poets, in which Matt, after all, tries to start a financial-advice site (with poetry!) even as his wife Lisa may (or may not) be pulling some naughty shenanigans over on her Facebook page.

Miller places Financial Lives in the same recent hip novel category as Chronic City, Freedom and Super Sad True Love Story — which we're pretty sure we'll be able to take as confirmation of Spokane's tech-savviness, just as soon as somebody explains all these internets to us.  


Now why is that when I push Send, the person receiving my e-mail doesn't reply immediately? 

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Posted on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

The wheels on the bus will stop — The Spokane Transit Authority is proposing to cut eight bus routes and 18 driver positions to save $3 million annually. Sorry, Gus. Take a cab. (SR)

Deadly shootout at Port Orchard Walmart — Two people are dead and two sheriff's deputies are injured in Kitsap County after a confrontation with a gunman at a Walmart. (Seattle Times)

First EWU, then the Seahawks, now Pruitt — Spokane paralympic Austin Pruitt took the bronze yesterday in the men's 200-meter race in the 2011 IPC Athletic World Championships, which is being held in Christchurch, New Zealand. This is the first world championship medal for Pruitt, who is 16. (SR) 

Inventor of jumping jack dies — Jack LaLanne died this weekend at the age of 96. LaLanne is credited with being the "spiritual father" of today's fitness movement. (Atlantic Wire) 

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Friday, January 21, 2011

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Dostoyevsky! Zombies!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 3:53 PM


For all you horn-rimmed-glasses-wearing, indie-rock-loving literati out there, check out Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha (name inspired by Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov). Our own E.J. Iannelli said their Americana sound "calls to mind faded color photographs and Super 8 home movies." Read his story all about the band here and check them out tonight at Aclub at 9 pm. Champion Birdwatchers and Goodnight Venus open. $5. Gotta be 21.

Zombies attack tonight at the Knitting Factory, with the premiere of "Twenty-Eight Hours Later: the Zombie Movie." And to celebrate its premiere, two local bands, Green Light Go and Small Town Nation, will keep things upbeat with their original poppy-punky tunes. Doors are at 7 pm. $7. All-ages.

A benefit for the Turner and Burdett families, who recently lost two loved ones in a horrendous housefire in December, will take over the Swamp Tavern tonight with sets by DJ Likes Girls, the Soul and the Machine, Hannah Reader and Belt of Vapor. 9 pm. $5. Gotta be 21.


It's hard to think about how cold it is outside when there's reggae going on the stereo. Shake off your winter blues tomorrow night at the Knitting Factory when Rebelution takes the stage. They play with Iration, Junior Reid, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and Orgone at 7 pm. $17. All-ages.

The benefit for the Turner/Burdett families continues tomorrow night at the Swamp with a show by the always-popular local salsa outfit, Milonga. DJ Likes Girls opens. 10 pm. $5. Gotta be 21. 

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