Friday, November 30, 2012

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

TONIGHT!

POOR MOON

Rumor has it that the band developed the sound of its debut self-titled album in a drear, windowless room. If that’s the case the band is good at hiding the dreariness: Poor Moon’s songs consist of strong vocal harmonies and warm, melodic folk guitar. If their sound reminds you of the Fleet Foxes that’s because Poor Moon members are also in that band, and used to be members of Pedro The Lion and Crystal Skulls. As Poor Moon, they strip their music down to the essentials. And that’s a good thing. (At the NYNE, 21+)

MICKEY AVALON

Since his 2006 self-titled debut record, Avalon has won fans with shock. He writes swaggering, suggestive songs (like “My Dick, ” the musical equivalent of an extended “Yo Mama” joke), performs said songs onstage with backup dancers willing to strip down to bedazzled underwear and raps like he’s just rolled out of bed and coughed down a handful of benzos. Avalon tries hard to be in-your-face — and for a lot of people he is. The man himself — with a pelvic tattoo that tells “Thank You” to any girl going downstairs — is slightly gross and unapologetic. And, it turns out, a lot of people want to soak up a little of his controversy. Check out the full story. (At the Knitting Factory , All Ages)

DAYGLOW 2012

It might seem crazy to some, but to others dancing your ass off to electronic tunes while cannons fire neon-colored paint-like product onto you and a couple thousand other revelers is a perfectly fun way to spend a Friday night. And the thing that will provide this to the young (and self-described “young”) concertgoers is Life in Color. This is a touring electronic music show that, in addition to blasting the sounds of some of the most high-profile DJs in the genre and purveying majestic light shows, also sprays neon paint on attendees. Those partiers are, in turn, encouraged to toss paint on each other. Check out the full story here. (Spokane Arena, All Ages)

Also Tonight: The Hop! : Brotha Lynch Hung, Loss Monstarz, Mutiny Inc. (All Ages)

SATURDAY!

LOCH LOMOND

Peyote-trip folk rock meditations has been a label applied to Loch Lomond in the past and that description isn’t far off. Especially present within their track “Wax and Wire” off of their album Little Me Will Start A Storm (2011), which starts off with a hard folk-style wailing, morphing into a series of bird chirpings or a nature walk theme before finally transitioning into a slow ballad finish, constituting a trip in and of itself. The Portland based band has toured with The Decemberists but is making a name for itself as a rocking folk band that delivers new sounds on each track. (Nyne, 21+)

Others Shows On Saturday:

A CLUB: Deuce, Push, Diamond Speedboat, Dj Sho and Kowax (All Ages)

Jones Radiator: Drag Like Pull, Henry Nordstrom, Table Top Joe (21+)

South Perry Pizza Winterfest: Hey! Is For Horses, The Camaros, Folkinception, Real Life Rockaz (All Ages)

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GOOD READS: murder, lottery winners and the girl who feels no pain

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Sometimes you read something and you just can't forget it. Welcome to the inaugural edition of our brand-new GOOD READS blog. Each week, Inlander staffers will share five-ish of our favorite stories in hopes you'll love them too. Funny, sad, important, absurd. You'll find a little bit of everything. Use them to speed up your Friday afternoon, or bookmark them for your morning coffee over the weekend. Then, tell us what you think. Loved a story? Hated it? Read anything great lately?

1. "The Innocent Man: Part 1 + Part 2" (Pamela Colloff//Texas Monthly)

The portrait of a man who served 25 years for a murder he didn't commit and how the justice system failed him.

2. "The Expendables" (William Langewiesche//Vanity Fair)

A look of the French Foreign Legion and its fight against gold miners in French Guiana.

3. "Rich Man, Poor Man" (April Witt//Washington Post)

How winning $115 million ruined a West Virginia man's life 

4. "Painless" (Justin Heckert//New York Times Magazine)

What it means to live without ever feeling pain.

5. "The Lying Disease" (Cienna Madrid//The Stranger)

Why would someone fake having cancer on the Internet?

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CAT FRIDAY: The ultimate Internet cat showdown

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The ultimate throw down to EVER happen in the history of the Internet is taking place right meow. And we are telling you about it because Spokane’s one and only Keyboard Cat needs your help to win the ultimate title to ever be bestowed on a cat in the history of cats: THE BEST CAT ON THE INTERNET

You can vote on Facebook until 10 pm Eastern Time today. That’s 7 pm our time, so get out there and vote

It’s about time someone out there tried to figure out the world's most favorite cat, right? And thanks to the AmazeCats’ Whisker Wars throw down, we’re about to find out. There’s even a bracket. It’s almost as full of cats as your March Madness bracket is full of teams. And, each one of them has gained some kind of notoriety on the World Wide Web. Can you say that about yourself? Probably not.

The Whisker Wars has almost narrowed down to the Final Four and things are really heating up. There’ve been upsets and blowouts, and some of these kitties have won rounds with just a whisker’s margin over their opponents (har har).

whiskerwars.jpg

To get you up to speed, here are some noteworthy highlights so far.

Much to my own chagrin, the folks who created the bracket match ups managed to pit Grumpy Cat against Colonel Meow. You may recall my mention of this a few weeks back, and I still don’t understand how anyone could choose a favorite between these two cats. I still voted for Grumpy Cat because she was losing, and sadly she did lose. 

Alaska’s Mayor cat Stubbs was pitted against the Brit Downing Street cat, Larry — we introduced you to both of them a few weeks back — and while Americat Stubbs pulled ahead in that round, he lost horribly in the next to the menacing-looking Colonel Meow. 

The Interwebs also were all abuzz earlier this week when LIL BUB was being verbally beat down by Colonel Meow’s minion army. But sweet BUB still managed to make it to the Final Four. Sorry Colonel Meow. 

Luna the Fashion Kitty beat out Venus the Chimera cat in the first round, and also won her second matchup against a lesser-known cat — though she wasn’t well-known enough by the masses to beat up YouTube king Maru

The first two felines who will go head-to-head against some yet-to-be-determined opponents are LIL BUB and Maru. Maru will either face Henri, le Chat Noir (currently ahead) or Shironeko. LIL BUB will face off with Keyboard Cat or Simon’s Cat (currently ahead), an animated British cartoon cat. 

Personally, I think LIL BUB has a pretty good shot at winning. But should she face off against Maru, who has a huge global following, things could get feisty. Stay tuned to find out the winner next week if you’re not following this showdown as closely as we are here at CAT FRIDAY!

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MORNING BRIEF: results of Cali's pot decriminalization and second thoughts on a Romney face tattoo

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM

HERE

Downtown Spokane's historic Masonic Temple building is up for sale.

On Monday, a man threatened to kill a woman and her baby with a knife at the STA plaza. 

Idaho is bringing back its suicide prevention hotline, after being the only state without one and having some of the highest suicide rates in the country.

ELSEWHERE

The United Nations voted to recognize a Palestinian state, though that doesn't mean its 4.3 million residents in the Israel controlled West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip have gained independence. 

Listen up Washingtonians: A new study says California's marijuana decriminalization measure has caused youth crime rates to drop to record lows. Are kids just too high to care about doing bad things?

A guy who got Mitt Romney's campaign logo tattooed on his face initially said he had no regrets about the ink, but he's now accepting an offer to have it removed for free. Hmm... 

Taxes are a hot topic right now, but guess what? The NYT did a study which shows that combined, income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes were less in 2010 than they were 30 years ago

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Is Obama setting up a concentration camp in Mead?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:10 AM

kaiser.jpg

We got an anonymous tip today from a "longtime Inlander reader" about her co-workers' latest conspiracy theory: concentration camps.

"They beleve that Obama's going to declare martial law and that the feds are preparing the old Mead Kaiser plant for a concentration camp," says our caller. "And that's exactly what they're calling it."

She continues: "They believed that a woman stumbled onto this and they put a chip into her. These people are college educated, they voted for Romney,and they truly do believe this."

"They made aluminum there," she adds. "Like, foil."

Now, set aside questions like who will be concentrated in these camps? and what sort of American soldiers would actually consent to guarding innocent roundups?

We don't even have to get that far, because the Kaiser plant isn't even owned by the government. It was bought earlier this year by New Mill Capital, LLC. So maybe they know something about Obama's concentration camp?

"That's the first I've heard of this," says Greg Schain, executive vice president of New Mill Capital. "Wow."

Schain says New Mill acquired the property to turn it into an industrial park. The property is going through environmental testing now, with demolition to begin in the next few months on some of its structures.

Unless Obama is now pulling the strings on large real estate and asset corporations like New Mill, there probably isn't a concentration camp coming to Mead.

Photo via Environmental Liability Transfer


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

WHITE HOT: Spokane named second hottest winter destination

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

spokane.jpg

I know Spokane's tag line is "near nature, near perfect." but maybe it's time to spice it up. 

Something like: WHITE HOT SPOKANE WINTER.

Why? Liviability.com just named our scruffy little berg second in top 10 HOTTEST COLD CITIES. We edged out popular destinations like Reno, Nev., and Waukesha, Wis. Hell, we practically burned Missoula, which clocked in at a very, very low number seven

According to Livability, we have a hot nightlife scene (Bowl'z Bitez and Spiritz?), great music events (Nickelback?), and lots of museums (If they can hold themselves together). Mostly Livability seems excited about the fact that we're near a lot of ski resorts, which aren't actually in Spokane. But you take what you can get.

In the spirit of things, here some fine points Livability didn't even consider:

1. Since Seattleites can't handle snow, it's one time of year we're the ones feeling all smug and self-satisfied.

2. The lovely tree in RiverParkSquare and the overabundance and decorative Christmas cheer downtown.

3.  The sense of serenity that overwhelms a Lilac City on a sleepy, snow-cloaked morning.

4. That fresh, crisp feeling you get driving a car with a broken window courtesy of your local prowlers.

5.  No matter how cold it gets, people here still go outside.

WHITE HOT SPOKANE WINTER. Think about it.

Photo found at eibach.deviantart.com

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Are we finally ready to talk about McJobs?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Kayla.jpg

We wrote this week about a local Subway worker, Kayla Fisher (right), who alleges she was bullied and then unfairly fired.

But that isn't the only media coverage this week over the plight of low-wage service sector jobs. A furor began just before Thanksgiving as workers protested Wal-Mart's decision to open that night, forcing their employees to potentially lose out on family time.

There's since been more. The New York Times today wrote about how fast food workers are trying to unionize. The Atlantic urged fast food companies to pay better wages. And on Monday, a Slate writer took Wal-Mart to task for not paying as well as Costco. (Here's a counterpoint to that argument.)

These gigs, from fast food joints to big box retail stores, became a larger share of the economy as America moved away from actually making products like textiles and machinery in factories, which were often good-paying jobs.

This isn't a vague "national" issue. In February, we reported how Spokane had lost over 25 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2011, and that the biggest job growth in that time was among the lowest-paying jobs. 

It's striking the stories media doesn't tell, especially when it comes to work and the economy. It took Occupy Wall Street to focus a media narrative on the record state of income inequality in America, though that wasn't exactly a sudden phenomenon. As a society, we probably should have been talking all along about what would replace stable, middle-class union jobs. But we haven't.

Will this Thanksgiving mark the point where we finally decided to have this discussion? 

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MORNING BRIEF: killing spiders, sacrificing other animals and pricey coffee

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:29 AM

HERE

On the front page of the Spokesman-Review's website: a Spokane man kills a spider with brass knuckles. The YouTube video of the encounter has nearly 400,000 hits.  

Are people in North Spokane sacrificing animals for religious purposes

Sorry to once again dash your hopes of winning the huge Powerball Jackpot -- it's over now, but one Idaho resident is taking home $1 million

ELSEWHERE

Could we control the spread of AIDS in four years? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks so and has a plan to get there. 

Mortgage-interest tax breaks are now on the table in the White House's fiscal cliff talks.

Seattle coffee giant Starbucks debuted its most expensive premium coffee beverage yet, called the "Geisha" and that goes for $7 per 16 oz cup. 

In the midst of civil war violence, the Syrian government has cut off Internet connections throughout the country.

For your Thursday morning enjoyment: cats in Christmas trees

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MORNING BRIEF: Bigfoot evidence, Aryan Nations, and kitten names

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM

HERE

An fire early this morning damaged two businesses in Spokane Valley. 

Information has surfaced that a man fatally stabbed last weekend was involved in a 2007 conspiracy to take down a local lawmaker.  

A North Idaho Aryan Nations leader is proposing to build a new compound for the white supremacy group.   

ELSEWHERE

A Texas researcher believes Bigfoot is related to humans and originated about 15,000 years ago, though she refuses to share her evidence with anyone. Go figure.

Your chances of winning the $550 million Powerball Jackpot are exponentially less than the chance you'll get struck by lightening. Or be attacked by a shark. Sorry to be dream crushers, but let's get real.

New study suggests Autism risk is linked to traffic-related air pollution exposure. 

And, why not - the top 10 kitten names of 2012

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spokane Symphony benefit, talks resuming

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

After weeks of cancelled shows and a stalemate in negotiations, representatives from the Spokane Symphony and the Symphony musicians say they'll be headed back to the table to negotiate later this week. No date has been set at this time.

"We're hopeful that we can reach an agreement soon," Adam Wallstein, chair of the orchestra committee, wrote in an email to The Inlander. But the musicians' negotiations come with a caveat, he says. "With the recentconcert cancellations, we've been out of work for a month now — so anyagreement will need to reflect and incorporate those lost wages andservices."

With the future of the organization in limbo, the Symphony musicians have planned another "benefit-relief fund" show this weekend. The concert, featuring works from Bach, Beethoven and Kevin McKee, is the second in recent weeks. According to a press release sent today, the concert on Nov. 17 at Shadle Park High School saw an estimated 200 people turned away at the door.

The concert this weekend will be held on Sat, Dec. 1, at 3 pm at Westminster Congregational United Church (411 S. Washington St). The concert is free, but donations of $10 are encouraged. All money will be used to provide the musicians with financial relief, and to cover cost of health insurance premiums.

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