Friday, December 2, 2016

What we know so far about next year's Tinnabulation Music Festival

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 5:38 PM


Spokane has hosted all sorts of music, arts and food festivals, certainly, and even a World's Fair, but we haven't had anything quite on the level of Tinnabulation Music Festival. Next September, the new festival's organizers plan to bring in a handful of national touring acts to Riverfront Park and the Spokane Convention Center, along with regional and local talent to fill out a 50-plus band lineup. The music and arts festival will run Friday through Sunday, the weekend following Pig Out in the Park.

Tinnabulation — taken from the term tintinnabulation, which means the sound of a bell ringing (the Clocktower was the major inspiration here) — is Matt Meyer's brainchild. Currently the event manager at the Spokane Convention Center, Meyer says he's been working to bring the large-scale festival to fruition for the last couple years, but that's meant convincing park planners, financial backers and more to get his vision off the ground. That the park is under construction has also made things tricky.

"My goal with this event is to help the park and Spokane in general," he says. "We want to have one more event, one last bash before summer ends."

At $150 for a three-day pass, the price tag may be a large pill for some Spokanites to swallow, but Meyers is optimistic that this will work. "It’s 50 bucks a day, and you’ll be able to see national touring bands throughout the days," he says.

Looking at other major festivals' ticket prices, this cost is quite comparable. Seattle's Bumbershoot was $225 for a three-day weekend ticket last year and Portland's MusicfestNW Project Pabst was $90 for a two-day pass.

At this point, the lineup won't be announced until May 1, with tickets going on sale May 19. And Meyer says he plans to stick to alternative, hip-hop and rock genres. He declined to comment on bands he may already have booked.

The Inlander is a sponsor for the event and our own Volume music festival will still hit earlier in the summer, this time June 2-3.
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THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Wreck the Halls with Bret Michaels, Kyle Gass Band, Wild Child and more

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Bret Michaels is here to wreck your halls.
  • Bret Michaels is here to wreck your halls.

Anyone trying to get into that Christmas spirit should check out tonight's show at the Big Dipper. The music venue is hosting a Pre-Holiday Get Down celebration with the help of local funky/blues acts Cattywomp, Ragtag Romantics and Dionysus and the Revelry. The all-ages show is $7 at the door and starts at 7:30 pm.

Of course you associate Bret Michaels with Christmas ... except probably not. Oh well, Michaels (sans the rest of Poison) comes through the Spokane Arena Saturday with a large crew of '80s hair metal acts for Wreck the Halls. The show includes RATT, Dokken, L.A. Guns, Warrant and Jack Russell's Great White all for $39 or $59. But that's the price you pay for a little nostalgia. Check out our interview with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer right here. And for those looking for even more sweet '80s nostalgia, this week's cover story has plenty more where that came from.

Jeremy McComb's Christmas Extravaganza kicks off for its seventh installment this Saturday at Post Falls' Nashville North, of which country singer McComb is a part owner. The evening features a bunch of Nashville songwriters including Rick Huckaby, who's written songs for Thomas Rhett and Trace Adkins, along with a few other surprise guests and Nashville North local favorite Luke Jaxon. The show, which starts at 6 pm, is $10 and proceeds go to the Post Falls Food Bank.

The KGB is coming! The Kyle Gass Band, that is. Monday, the one-half of Tenacious D that you're less likely to recognize comes to the Big Dipper along with his California cohorts for a night of lunacy and ridiculousness. The show begins at 7:30 pm and is $15 the day of. Openers include Hey! is For Horses and Supervillain. Be sure to read our interview with the singer-songwriter right here.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sasquatch! Music Festival announces headliner early

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 11:26 AM

We're praying for more awesome bands to join Frank Ocean at Sasquatch! 2017.
  • We're praying for more awesome bands to join Frank Ocean at Sasquatch! 2017.

It's hard out there for a music festival these days, even one  as established as Sasquatch! What once used to sell out tickets in mere minutes has recently seen fewer concertgoers walk through its doors. But for Sasquatch! 2017, promoters have already announced a few key developments that have the power to reignite people's interest in the annual Memorial Day Weekend Gorge Amphitheatre event.

Just this week, it was confirmed that mega R&B superstar Frank Ocean will headline the 2017 festival. Having just released his new album Blonde to critical acclaim, Ocean will head out on tour next year. This is a huge get for the festival that has also hosted visionaries such as Beastie Boys and Kanye West. We can only hope the rest of the lineup, which won't be announced until early next year, will be just as thrilling.

The other big change for the 2017 addition of the festival is that it will only be three days instead of the usual four — which, as I've stated for years, is the best decision ever. That means the shows will run Friday through Sunday (May 26-28), giving festival goers the entirety of Monday (Memorial Day) to recover, pack and head on their merry way.

For those looking to pick up some awesome Christmas gifts, the three-day early bird GA wristbands will cost $275 each, or $295 when those run out, until Dec. 4 at 10 pm. Otherwise, regular-price tickets go on sale January 28.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Elton John returning for Spokane Arena show on March 5

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Elton John at Spokane Arena in 2014 - AMY HUNTER
  • Amy Hunter
  • Elton John at Spokane Arena in 2014

Here comes the regular.

Elton John, who came through Spokane just two years ago, is coming back to the Lilac City for a show at Spokane Arena on Sunday, March 5. Tickets are $49, $79 and $159, and go on sale next Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 am through TicketsWest outlets and the arena box office. So mark your calendars, people!

John is touring with his long-time band that includes Nigel Olsson on drums, Davey Johnstone on guitar, John Mahon on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboard and Matt Bissonnette on bass.

John's last performance in Spokane garnered the "Best Concert of the Past Year" prize in our Best of the Inland Northwest issue in 2015, so clearly he still has the chops that made him a superstar in the '70s and beyond, thanks to hits like "Rocket Man," "Philadelphia Freedom" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues," among many, many more.
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Friday, November 18, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Portugal. the Man, Allen Stone, Amos Lee, Goodnight Venus CD release

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Portugal. The Man clearly can't stay away from Spokane.
  • Portugal. The Man clearly can't stay away from Spokane.


Do you believe in second chances? Portugal. The Man returns to Spokane after headlining Gleason Fest at Riverfront Park in August. For those who missed out on that fundraising event, they absolutely slayed with their brand of music, which falls somewhere between indie and psychedelic rock. The band, which originally hails from Wasilla, Alaska (the same city as Spokane pop act Lavoy), has continued to expand their musical empire from Portland — they’ve toured with the Black Keys and played nearly every major music festival. Tonight's Knitting Factory show starts at 8 pm and is $25.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Grouplove bringing the communal good vibes to Spokane in April

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Grouplove headlines the Knit in April.
  • Grouplove headlines the Knit in April.

Grouplove is utterly aptly named, given that the band members first met up at an artist commune in Crete and became fast friends. Only later did they form the group that specializes in synth-fueled indie-pop and soaring choruses led by vocalists Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi.

Their 2011 debut was a hit on the strength of tunes like "Colours" and "Tongue-Tied," which earned them a No. 1 spot on the Alternative chart, and Grouplove has toured with the likes of Portugal. The Man, Foster the People and Florence and the Machine in the intervening years, while continuing to put out new tunes.

Now they're swinging by Spokane in support of their latest release, Big Mess, that arrived in September. They'll be playing the Knitting Factory on Friday, April 7. Tickets are $25 in advance, and go on sale this Friday at 10 am via the Knitting Factory website or

Here's a video for the atmospheric new tune "Good Morning," released today:

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Friday, November 11, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: You're the one that we want, Olivia Newton-John, plus Tyrone Wells and Dry and Dusty

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Tyrone Wells is back in his hometown to sing as many songs as possible.
  • Tyrone Wells is back in his hometown to sing as many songs as possible.


Tonight, Tyrone Wells returns to the Bartlett for a sold-out show. This time the singer-songwriter, raised in Spokane, has carefully crafted a set full of tunes from nearly all of his previous solo records, including his most recent covers album. As he told the Inlander last week, "I'm not playing in stadiums, I'm playing small rooms, and people take time out of their lives and come to experience something I created in my living room or bedroom. I don't take that for granted. It's humbling." Read the full story right here.

The Inlander's Winter Party kicks off tonight at the Spokane Convention Center. Not only will the event get you situated for the upcoming ski and snowboarding season with the Snowlander Expo, but there's also a live music stage to keep you movin'. Don't forget about the Powderkeg Brewfest either! Tonight's music lineup starts at 4 pm and includes Cruxie, Nate Greenburg, Carli Osika, while Saturday's lineup is Marco Polo Collective, Haley Young, Ron Greene and starts at 3 pm.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: Sturgill Simpson's guide to Earth brought folks together

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 12:04 PM

Wednesday night's Sturgill Simpson concert was balm for the soul.
  • Wednesday night's Sturgill Simpson concert was balm for the soul.

Last night, as just that early morning Donald J. Trump was named the president-elect, some of us were tired. But Sturgill Simpson didn't care about how exhausted our brains and bones felt, he was back at the Knitting Factory to blast us with his impeccable alt-country tunes, a genre that is especially hot right now. Along with his insanely talented seven-piece backing band, Simpson took the adoring crowd on a two-hour-plus ride full of old favorites and the entirety of his April release, A Sailor's Guide to Earth.

The show kicked off with high-flyin' "Sitting Here Without You," which showed off Simpson's brass section to full effect, even taking things to an almost jazz band-type level. Simpson is blessed with a voice that normally stays at a low rattle, and then, almost unexpectedly, booms into an upper register. Listening to him felt warm and rich, but it wasn't always easy to understand his mumbling lyrics and when he spoke to the audience, which was rare, this was only exacerbated. Anyone who expected him to speak up about the election results — he's been known to speak his mind so fervently when it comes to Nashville elites — was left disappointed.

While the show was held at an all-ages venue, the am
The 38-year-old Kentuckian's music brings folks from both side of the aisle together.
  • The 38-year-old Kentuckian's music brings folks from both side of the aisle together.
ount of people under 25 was pretty much nil. If anything, this was a show for 30-somethings — folks now in that stage of life that many of Sturgill's songs reflect on, family and kids (his newest album was essentially a field-guide for his newborn son). I'm not here to say that this isn't music for women, there were plenty of females in the audiences, but Simpson's songs allow men to feel things deeply while still feeling masculine. So many of the 30-something men around me sang at the top of their lungs to tunes like "Life of Sin" and "Living the Dream," as they've most likely done in their cars and homes when they think no one else is listening.

Perhaps most miraculous of all is that Simpson was able to do something Republicans and Democrats haven't been able to do successfully in the last couple days: He brought people together. Clinton and Trump voters alike stood in one packed-in room basking in the power of music. There were the good ol' boys  with their camo trucker hats and large belt buckles standing next to people wearing Bernie shirts. Some couples two-stepped in time to the songs while others wrapped their arms around each other and swayed. In this room no one was defeated or lesser.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: Steel Panther is a walking, rocking #ThrowbackThursday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Singer Michael Starr and guitarist Satchel of Steel Panther. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Singer Michael Starr and guitarist Satchel of Steel Panther.

If you dropped an unsuspecting music fan into Steel Panther's show at the Knitting Factory Thursday, it's hard to imagine what they'd think of the proceedings if they weren't in on the joke.

Taken at face value, the Los Angeles-based hair-metal jokesters come across as probably the most over-the-top, anti-PC glam-happy rock band in recent memory. They turn '80s rock excess and turn it up to 11, resulting in a show full of silly and familiar stage moves, genuinely rocking riffs and between-song banter that is hilarious at times, and completely asinine at others.

That, of course, is the big joke. Steel Panther appeals to fans of '80s glam-metal because the band amplifies how goofy that era was. Whether it's bass player "Lexxi Foxx" literally pulling out a hand mirror and applying makeup and hairspray on stage, or guitarist "Satchel" constantly talking about ever-more-outlandish sexual escapades, it's easy to watch Steel Panther and recall the likes of Poison or Dokken or Ratt at their excessive best/worst.

At their best, the Steel Panther shtick can come off as utterly charming and self-aware, such as repeated jokes about increasing the smoke on stage or the makeup to hide the advancing ages of the band members. Not as funny — a young female fan who accepted the opportunity to jump on stage and show the audience nearly filling the Knitting Factory her bared breasts. All I could think of as it happened was: "Why?"

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

A whole slew of holiday albums just hit, but it's not Christmas yet!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 2:19 PM

While there aren't any Thanksgiving songs to speak of, wouldn't it be best to hold off on Christmas music until the end of November?
  • While there aren't any Thanksgiving songs to speak of, wouldn't it be best to hold off on Christmas music until the end of November?

It's beginning to look like Christmas ... and it's not even Thanksgiving. That's right, even before we were dressing up as heroes and monsters on Halloween Monday, new Christmas albums had already been launched to the masses. Along with that, many local stores have their Christmas decorations out and holiday ads are attempting to make our seasons bright.

Now I am not a Grinch, my heart is not two sizes too small, I just don't understand why Christmas can't be celebrated after Thanksgiving is over. Just like there are some who believe that their birthday is worthy of a month-long ordeal, Christmas has slowly but surely become a two-month-plus celebration — and it's out of control.

Christmas music itself is not an evil thing. As we wrote in an article last year, new Christmas music can bring joy to many and we shouldn't always have to stick to the classic canon of songs. But of all the below artists working to cash in on the Christmas music craze, will any offer a bonafide hit?

Here's a look at the albums already available for purchase:
Yes, the cover for Buffett's latest Christmas album.
  • Yes, the cover for Buffett's latest Christmas album.

A Very Kacey Christmas, Kacey Musgraves
'Tis the SeaSon, Jimmy Buffett
Glow, Brett Eldredge
Christmas Party, She & Him
Tennessee Christmas, Amy Grant
A Penatonix Christmas, Penatonix
It Must Be Christmas, Chris Young
Wonderland, Sarah McLachlan
Acoustic Christmas, Neil Diamond
The Greatest Gift of All, Rascal Flatts
To Celebrate Christmas, Jennifer Nettles
Now That's What I Call Merry Christmas, various artists
Merry Christmas from Andra Day, Andra Day
12 Nights of Christmas, R. Kelly
Tis the Seasons, Frankie Valli

Also coming within the next few weeks:
Christmas Bonus, David Bazan
Kylie Christmas, Kylie Minogue
A Swingin' Little Christmas, Jane Lynch

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