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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Friday, October 28, 2016

THIS HALLOWEEN WEEKEND IN MUSIC: The costumes, the tunes and more

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Trying to dress up like a no-longer-with-us music idol? Make sure to keep it classy. (RIP Prince and Bowie and Merle and so many more.)
  • Trying to dress up like a no-longer-with-us music idol? Make sure to keep it classy. (RIP Prince and Bowie and Merle and so many more.)

If you're like me, you're throwing together your Halloween costume sometime tonight (Minnie Mouse for the 10th time? Who knows?), but for those who've poured countless hours and dollars into their outfits, I salute you. Here are some of the music shows going down this Halloween weekend — because yes, Halloween is an entire weekend — that you are more than encouraged to dress up for. Many of the shows also feature costume contests for those with creativity to actually cash in on. 


Spokane’s own community radio station finally becomes a teenager this year. To celebrate, KYRS hosts its own Halloween bash at the Big Dipper Friday night at 7:30 pm. Along with a costume contest and raffle prizes, musical guests include Everett rockers the Moondoggies, Seattle rockers the Hoot Hoots and Seattle Americana band Evening Bell. Cover is $10

The Monumental Halloween Cover Show is back this year at the Pin! with a whole new slew of local rock and hip-hop groups like Foxtrot Epidemic, Still No Pickles, Raskl, Rot Monger, Morlok VonGrimorog, Heart Of An Awl, CXMagik and Shoelaces covering acts including Michael Jackson, Logic, A Day to Remember, Nick Jonas and Cage the Elephant. Pretty frightening. The show starts at 6:30 pm and is $7 with costume and $10 without.

This Friday, you’ll need to head north to get funked up. That’s right, the Palomino brings in Spokane’s own funkified act Soul Proprietor to help get your groove on. The band’s three spooky sets will include a fine mix of funk, soul, blues, Motown, R&B and classic rock (just don’t expect any Elton John covers here). The 21+ show starts at 8 pm and is $10 at the door.

It's been seven years since Ra Ra Riot was last in the Lilac City, but Saturday the indie-pop five-piece takes over the Bartlett. As the band told the Inlander in this week's preview story, they plan on playing a lot of their new songs off of February's Need Your Light: "The best feeling about [this tour] is that we have a couple songs we close the show with — for the longest time we were closing with old songs, but now we have songs that are so much more powerful and fun for us to play, too. And I think people can really tell." The show starts at 8 pm and is $22. Local favorites Mama Doll open. 

Piano players are a dime a dozen, but Ben Folds makes the instrument seem not so stodgy. Saturday, the indie singer-songwriter shows up at the Knitting Factory to play all by his lonesome. Expect the hits but also tunes off his most recent album So There. The show starts at 8 pm and is $32.50. Read our interview with Folds right here. 

Check out a whole host of other Halloween music listings in our calendar right here. 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

HEAR THIS: Brand new tunes from Runaway Symphony, Scott Ryan, Stevie Lynne and more

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Runaway Symphony has some big announcements.
  • Runaway Symphony has some big announcements.

As always, the Inland Northwest music scene continues to churn out new and impressive tunes. All of which you should be listening to right now. 

Recently, there's been some huge changes for the dudes of symphonic folk act Runaway Symphony. Within the last year, all four of the guys have gotten married and dispersed to Seattle, Minnesota and Spokane, with only one staying in Moscow. Yet drummer Jason Oliveira says the band has no intention of stopping. Earlier this month they released their first single off their new album and also announced they'd allegedly have one of their songs in the upcoming Owen Wilson film Bastards. The new album is full of that organic rock sound that garnered them attention when their first album came out, before they went more electronic on their last EP. 

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The Game brings his rap game to Spokane next month

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Hate it or love it, the Game will bring his talents to Spokane.
  • Hate it or love it, the Game will bring his talents to Spokane.

The contracts are freshly signed: the Game is officially coming to Spokane next month to headline the brand new Northwest Fall Fest. While the original Facebook event announcement said the Game was performing the first weekend of November, event coordinator Anthony Kistenmacher, aka Demon Assassin, who's also performing, has now confirmed the concert for Friday, Nov. 18.

Held at Riverside Place (the former Masonic Temple), the festival will also feature Baby Eazy-E — yes, Eazy-E's (RIP) son — along with a ton of regional and local rappers like SOK, OTD, King Skellee, Ill Mafia, CTS Savage Nation, Young West, Kenda Locc and C-Dubb. Performances will run over two stages and begin at 6 pm, running late into the night. 

You'll remember West Coast rapper The Game from his early days as one of Dr. Dre's protégés, when he hung out with 50 Cent — adding vocals to "This is How We Do" — and then fell out with 50 Cent in the mid-aughts (although the two allegedly reconciled just last month), but he's still making music. Last year's "100" featured Drake and garnered more than 52 million plays on Spotify. This month, the rapper released the brand new 1992, which commemorates the L.A. riots and has some critics touting it as his best work since his debut album, The Documentary

Tickets for the event begin at $37. Get those here. 

We at the Inlander hope this is the start of many more music events at the underutilized Riverside Place. 

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: The 1975 sparks energetic frenzy at sold out Spokane stop

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 3:29 PM

  • Chey Scott
Near the end of The 1975's 90-minute set, a bra was ceremoniously thrown onto the stage from somewhere in the audience. Which wasn't terribly surprising as the mostly female crowd of teens and 20-somethings seemed to hang on every word that heartthrob/frontman Matthew Healy — who occasionally paused to sip from a glass of red wine and steal drags from a cigarette — was singing.

Spokane's reaction to seeing the ultra-popular British pop-rockers the 1975 this past Saturday night was something reminiscent of millennial Beatlemania. As simply a casual fan of the band's upbeat yet broodingly lyrical music, I confess that I felt a little bit like a fraud while observing the crowd's frenetic reaction to the band's first-ever Spokane show, which sold out soon after being announced months ago. I didn't know the names of, nor the words to, most of the songs minus a few favorites. But standing on the side of the crowd — along with some bored chaperone moms on their iPhones while waiting for their teen daughters — I could easily affirm that back when I was a teen or even during my college years, I definitely would have been one of those young women screaming and jumping up and down with my friends in reaction to the opening chords of this or that song.

Despite feeling a little disconnected from the crowd's hype, this show was unmistakably worthwhile. The sound production and the band's stage setup, with bright light-projection pillars that backlit them in epic fashion and washed the crowd in blue, pink and red, were some of the best I've ever seen from groups playing the Knitting Factory. Also, considering the viral popularity of the 1975, and how quickly this show sold out, it seems obvious the concert could have easily moved to a larger venue, like the Spokane Arena's Star Theater. Just sayin': more tickets (even at $44 a pop) would have been sold.
  • Chey Scott
While most of the concertgoers seemed more than content just to see and hear the Brit rockers live, I couldn't help but feel that their interactions with us — Healy spoke little between songs — was less than genuine. Spokane was yet another stop on another long U.S. tour, at another venue again filled with a starstruck, mostly female audience. (To the bros in the bar emphatically jumping up and down and singing to the opening numbers of the night, I salute you.)

Yes, Healy did say something to the effect of they'd never been to Spokane (I think he pronounced it Spo-cane, but you know, there was lots of screaming...) and they appreciated such a warm welcome. After slowing things down halfway through for a bit of an interlude, however, he did get on the celebrity soapbox to deliver the following proclamation, which I did my best to frantically make note of:
"I know we're here as a distraction... but the thing is, this year in England we completely fucked it up and in a nutshell, what it was is that a younger generation expected an older generation to be responsible…. We expected them to make the right decision and they didn't…. The situation in America is that we're all very, very close to a very fucked up situation. It's easy for me to say fuck Donald Trump. Every night we see thousands of intelligent liberal people... What I mean is, you have to vote or you're fucking dumb. Don't vote for Donald Trump." 
And of course, the crowd (many in attendance may be voting in their first presidential election) went wild.

After breezing through hit after hit from both of their chart-topping records, the quartet took a brief break before heading back out on stage for a three-song encore to end the night. As the crowd slowly filed out of the venue (why does the Knitting Factory not offer more than one exit from the venue to expedite this?!), a line for the merch booth grew, winding down the long hallway leading to the entrance. The energized vibe of the crowd was palpable. These Brits left Spokane swooning.
  • Chey Scott

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Friday, October 21, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: The 1975, Isamu Jordan Benefit, Paul Nelson Band

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

The 1975's first Spokane show ever already sold out weeks ago.
  • The 1975's first Spokane show ever already sold out weeks ago.

Even without their fearless leader Isamu “Som” Jordan, Spokane’s own hip-hop orchestra, Flying Spiders, have persevered in the past three years since Jordan’s death. But the multi-piece crew will never forget the rapper/writer/teacher. Friday, the annual Isamu Jordan Benefit heads to the Observatory with the help of local acts Bandit Train and the Smokes. The night will raise money for Jordan's family while celebrating the life and times of one of Spokane's biggest fans. As author Jess Walter wrote in the Inlander following Jordan’s death: “Som showed that, as an artist, you could burst with pride over being from Spokane and still push it to be better.” That rings true today as much as ever. The 8 pm show includes a $10 suggested donation.

Also, catch Karrie O'Neill free solo at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars tonight starting at 5:30 pm. We wrote about the local singer-songwriter's brand new album and upcoming national tour in this week's music section. 

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