Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What to know about the Gorge Amphitheatre summer concert series

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 4:41 PM

  • Nick Gast

The view at the Gorge Amphitheatre will take your breath away. And this year, the venue’s summer concert lineup also attempts to do just that. Here is the complete list of the shows coming through this week and into September. 

May 22-24: Sasquatch! Music Festival
This event (so incredible it even includes an exclamation point in its name) kicks off this weekend. Check out our preview here. 

June 20: Nickleback

“Oh my God, Nickleback!!” ...

June 26-27:  Paradiso Festival
The full EDM lineup for this extremely colorful festival was just announced. The kids are excited!

July 11: Zac Brown Band
The country act was just at the Spokane Arena at the end of 2013, but surely the faithful will still make the trek out there.

July 25: Train
Hey soul sister these dudes were just at Northern Quest Resort & Casino last year so …

July 31: Watershed Festival
This country yahoo festival is already sold out.

Aug 8: Sam Smith
Sam Smith is so hot right now, after just winning a bunch of Billboard Music Awards and Grammys. 

Sept. 4 – 6: Dave Matthews Band
Back for the 20th time is the Dave Matthews Band.

Sept. 12: Foo Fighters
This show will be spectacular. Too bad they’re not coming through the Spokane Arena as well.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Sample new Faith No More, Brandon Flowers and OITNB

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 1:31 PM

Every week we dive into the new releases in music and home video to help you decide how to spend your hard-earned dollars, and offer up samples for you along the way. It's Tuesday Taste. Let's do it: 


FAITH NO MORE, Sol Invictus. The aggro-rock crew is back with its first album since 1997, and it's like they haven't missed a step. Mike Patton is one of the best vocalists in the biz, whether crooning something sweet or screaming like he's going to pop a lung, and the band remains furiously diverse in its tastes. They headline at Bumbershoot this year, so you have plenty of time to get reacquainted and dig the new stuff, like this live version of "Superhero" from a recent record store appearance: 

THEE OH SEES, Mutilator Defeated At Last
. This crew, originally from San Francisco, defies easy labels, delving into folk, pop, garage-rock and psychedelia at various points in their tunes. Now relocated to LA, the music on their latest is some of their best. Here's a sample, a song called "Web": 

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CONCERT REVIEW: English Beat's sold-out Bartlett show was a sweaty, ska-filled good time

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 11:31 AM

  • Dan Nailen

The Bartlett turned into a non-stop dance party Monday night from the opening notes of the English Beat, and given the average age of the folks in the crowd, I'm sure several of the fans on hand were reaching for the Advil this morning — I sure was — and not just because of downing a few too many pints. 

The ska rhythms created by long-time leader Dave Wakeling and his five backing musicians were so insistent that resistance to the Beat was futile, and as soon as the band launched into "Rough Rider," arms and feet were flying as the band and fans both worked to recapture some of the magic the English Beat introduced to the world as 2-Tone revivalists in the early '80s. 

There were a few bumps early on as Wakeling and Co. got used to the small stage and dealt with some echo-y sound that inspired Wakeling to say the first song sounded like a Lee "Scratch" Perry remix in his monitor. That issue quickly fixed by the sound guys, the Beat was off and running through a joyous set, the intimate venue only adding to the fun. After "Tears of a Clown," Wakeling compared the Bartlett to the Cavern Club, the legendary German basement venue where the Beatles honed their chops before going on to world domination, suggesting that maybe the band would follow the Fab Four's lead and "play eight sets." 

I doubt anyone would have complained, although it was hard enough keeping up with the band for the nearly two hours they actually did spend on stage, ripping through classics like "Hands Off She's Mine," "Twist & Crawl" and "I Confess." With toaster King Schaschas harmonizing and rapping alongside in the role made famous by Ranking Roger in the original lineup, Wakeling led the way with his trademark teardrop-shaped guitar, kicking off each tune with the jangling chords that made the English Beat post-punk stars oh-so-long ago.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Itchy Kitty

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 11:55 AM

One question before we get into the goods happening this weekend: Have you bought your ticket for Volume yet?

OK, now we can proceed. 

Do not look up the term “itchy kitty” on Urban Dictionary. Do, however, check out Spokane’s self-described “pussy punk” band Itchy Kitty. The female duo (Bassslut Nom/Naomi Eisenbrey and Frontbitch Ami/Ami Elston) — featuring a backing drummer — play guitar and bass on stage while hissing, moaning and meowing into their microphones. They swear like sailors at the audience and talk about cats as much as possible. Their music is animalistic to the core, powerful and totally badass. It’s easy to see how this band could be misconstrued as corny, but they take their music quite seriously. It’s light-hearted punk that’s a hell of a good time to see live. Check them out tonight at Jones Radiator, along with Why Did Johnny Kill, at 8 pm.

As writer Dan Nailen suggests, you should definitely check out Jon Spencer Blues Explosion over at the Bartlett tonight. The three men in the act have never met a genre they didn’t gleefully tear into and destroy (in a good way!) during their two decades-plus together. Singer and guitarist Spencer brings the serious frontman attitude to JSBX’s live shows, and together with drummer Russell Simins and guitarist Judah Bauer, he turns every show into a sweat-drenched dance party that everyone from metalheads to indie-rock snobs can love. Hear them along with We Are Hex at the all-ages venue starting at 8 pm.


We’re hoping for glorious weather this weekend. If that happens go ahead and make the drive down to Moscow’s John’s Alley to hear the glorious funk/rock/African tunes of Simba and the Exceptional Africans. That show starts at 9:30 pm. Stop and get a beer at Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman before you go.

Sundays are always fantastic days to have your face melted off. That’s why you’ll want to head over to the Big Dipper this Sunday to see heavy metal acts Losing Skin, the Helm and East Sherman. This is especially a treat as Spokane act Losing Skin hasn't played locally in six months and Tacoma's the Helm hasn't been here in six years. The evening will be the perfect way to blow some steam before headed into the workweek. The all-ages show begins at 8 pm and is $5.

Old-school ska band The English Beat brings their searing brand of sociopolitical commentary to the Bartlett Monday night,  Read this week’s story on the act here. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $35. This show is huge! 

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Festival at Sandpoint 2015 lineup is here, kicks off Aug. 6

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Wilco is headlining! Wilco is headlining!
  • Wilco is headlining! Wilco is headlining!

Each year, the Festival at Sandpoint continues to bring out increasingly cool acts to the small lakeside town. Two years ago, the Avett Brothers rolled through, last year was The Head & the Heart and this summer, for the 33rd season, Wilco is coming. Yes, one of indie-rock's best takes to Memorial Field with a set that's sure to last well into the evening.

Other lineup acts to get excited about are Minnesota-based banjo lovers Trampled By Turtles and soul-rockers Lake Street Dive out of Boston. 

Yet the concert series has never forgotten its roots. As always, the lineup melds national touring acts with local and regional talent. The family and grand finale concerts, featuring the Spokane Symphony and the Sandpoint Community Orchestra, are still here, too.

The 2015 summer concert lineup is:

AUG 6 – Arlo Guthrie with Jonatha Brooke

AUG 7 – Ziggy Marley with Maw Band

AUG 8 – Vince Gill with the Barefoot Movement and Troy Bullock

AUG 9 – Family Concert feat. the Sandpoint Community Orchestra

AUG 13 – Lake Street Dive with the Ballroom Thieves

AUG 14 – The Devil Makes Three and Trampled by Turtles

AUG 15 – Wilco with Vetiver and Owen & McCoy

AUG 16 – Grand Finale feat. the Spokane Symphony

Prices range from $37 to $60 depending on the show, and are on sale now. The family concert is just $6 per person. Learn more at
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Snoop Dogg, Crocodiles among the week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Each week we delve into the new music and movie releases to figure out what's great and what's ... not so great. We relay that info to you every week in Tuesday Taste. Here we go: 


It's not quite as big a week of music releases as we've had lately, but you might want to check out new releases from Rhett Miller, Paul Weller, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell and The Tallest Man on Earth. Even David Duchovny of The X-Files and Californication has an album coming out. 

Here, though, are the ones I'm most interested in this week: 

CROCODILES, Boys. The San Diego noise-rockers are back and sounding, well, a bit less noisy on their new effort. Pop hooks and fuzz are the rule, especially on new tune "Crybaby Demon." Here's a taste: 

. Snoop has ditched the reggae thing and gone back to basics with Pharrell Williams, the man behind some of his biggest hits, back in the producer's chair on Bush

SURFER BLOOD, 1,000 Palms
. The Florida band has a long, spotty history of highs (like opening a Pixies tour) and lows (a domestic violence accusation), but always managed to make some shiny guitar-pop. Their new one tries to recapture past glories

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Friday, May 8, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: B Radicals and Wildcard album releases, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 3:34 PM


Harcore rapper Wildcard, who frequently comes through Spokane but is mostly based in California, has an album release show tonight at the Knitting Factory. The show features Pops, Knithead, Overtime, Tyler Denbeigh and Daethstar. After just having Tech N9ne in town, this show will just further the party.

Space, time, Southern social norms, politics, death and art combine in the Bright Light Social Hour’s music to form what could be described as this generation’s Lone Star rock. Started as an art-rock experiment at a small Texas college, the band moved to Austin to pursue a career in music. Since then, they’ve won six SXSW Austin Music Awards and released the 2013 single “Wendy Davis” (the Texas state senator whose pro-choice filibuster went viral and who ran for governor last year). Their latest work, Space Is Still the Place, the band’s first album in nearly five years, more than proves the old adage that anything worth doing is worth doing right. It’s wild, fuzzy, loud, trippy and a soulful delight. The band plays Saturday at the Bartlett. The all-ages show begins at 8 pm and is $12 the day of.

B Radicals release their first ever album Saturday at the Big Dipper. The show includes all sorts of performance artists and burlesque dancers. Opening bands include Real Life Rockaz, Smiles Davis and Andy Rumsey. Get there at 7 pm. The show is $8 and the album is $10. Read this week’s article on the band here.

This band’s new singles sound almost like something played on pop radio. That’s not a bad thing, just quite a departure from what we’ve come to expect from the indie-pop/psychedelic Portland-based trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Now they’re less lo-fi and more funky/electronic (listen to “Multi-Love” and “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone”). Moving and shaking is just in their nature — singer-songwriter Ruban Nielson (formerly of the Mint Chicks) is originally from New Zealand. Their upcoming show at the Bartlett should include both old and new; chill and dance-inducing. Talk in Tongues open for the band at 8 pm. Cost is $15 the day of. 

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Get stoked about the Spokane Symphony’s 2015-16 season lineup

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 11:03 AM

As the final Spokane Symphony classics concert of the season (featuring a Frank Zappa work) serenades our fair city this weekend, it’s time to look on to next year’s roster of classical and pop works. The usual suspects are all there like the annual Nutcracker, the New Year’s Eve Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony showing and the Labor Day Weekend parks performances. But there’s a whole lot more to discover. Yes, you person who thinks they don’t like classical music. Get in there and listen to something different. We assure you, it’s anything but boring.

The Top Eight works to look forward to:

8. About a month early for Halloween, the Symphony takes on Modest Mussorgsky’s frightening tone poem Night on Bald Mountain. Yes, this is the scary piece from Fantasia when the devil pops out and terrorizes a city. Revel in your nightmares once more with this concert. Part of the Russian Adventures classics concert, Sept. 19 – 20.

7. They’ve taken on Casablanca and Psycho, next the Symphony plays the score to Charlie Chaplin’s romantic comedy City Lights. Released in 1931, the film is considered one of the best ever put to celluloid and Chaplin even penned the score. The performance runs Feb. 6.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spokane Arena brings back the Bucket List, welcomes Shania Twain in September

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2015 at 11:58 AM

The Spokane Arena is celebrating its 20th year in operation and is celebrating with a long list of events and big-time concerts. And part of that list of shows came straight from your own mind.

Well, that is if you submitted ideas to last year's Bucket List promotion, which allowed folks to write in with the musical act they most desired to see at Spokane's largest indoor venue. That effort yielded a big ol' list (here's the top 22) and the Arena impressively managed to bring (or book for upcoming shows) nine of those acts to their stage. The nine, you ask? In order of their place on the list: #2 Luke Bryan, #13 the Eagles, #19 Eric Church, #25 Motley Crue, #30 Elton John, #31 Def Leppard, #32 Tim McGraw, #33 Miranda Lambert and #34 Blake Shelton.

Now, the Arena is freshening up the Bucket List — which they say was inspired by the Inlander's pie-in-the-sky-idea-that-actually-came-true to bring Pearl Jam to Spokane — and wants to know about your dream concerts, however farfetched they may be. You can vote right here and have until June 10 to get your wishes submitted. From there, the Arena can't promise they'll, for example, reunite Led Zeppelin for you, but they'll sure as hell try.

In other Arena news, the venue just announced this morning that Shania Twain is coming to town (quick, everyone flash back to 1997 with me). At one time the queen of country, Twain is touring for the first time in 11 years, and reportedly the last time ever, and will hit up Spokane on Sat, Sept. 12.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: My Morning Jacket, Best Coast among week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Each week we dive into the new releases in music and home video to help you decide what to buy, watch and listen to, and what to skip. It's called the Tuesday Taste, and this week is full of some great tunes. Let's do it: 


This week is full of fine new releases, and picking highlights is a fool's game. But I'm just the kind of fool to do it! There are so many new albums out that at least warrant a listen that I can't even focus on Mikal Cronin, Ivan & Alyosha, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Metz and Mumford and Sons. Go spin those new records when you can. 

In the meantime, here are the three releases I'm most excited for this week: 

My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall. The Louisville crew has spent a few years gathering their thoughts and whipping up some new epic riffs, and I'm giddy from what I've heard so far from the new music. And rumor has it they have enough songs recorded to put out a new set perhaps later this year or in 2016. You can stream the whole thing here, and here's a sample: 

Best Coast, California Nights.  
The duo mesmerized me with their past recordings, and seeing them live last year just cemented me as a new fan. Here's a new vid for the title track of California Nights

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