Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Country "rebel" Eric Church performs at Spokane Arena in January

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 1:04 PM

  • Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Country music seems to be a big deal around here. From downtown Spokane city dwellers to rural Northern Idaho farmers, most everyone gets a kick out of country-pop anthems celebrating the real American party scene — the one with cheap beer, boots, ripped jeans and lakeside campfires.

Eric Church successfully covers this ground in a bro-country way, yet simultaneously attempts to embrace the grit of the down-home good guy and the misunderstanding of the bad boy. 

Church is to the country music scene what Kanye is for everyone else - the attention-grabber who gains fame by self-proclaiming his alternative status, making public statements dissing other stars and doing whatever the hell he wants in the name of "not caring." A couple years ago, Church called out fellow country stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton for their involvement in reality TV (though he appeared on CMT Cribs two years earlier talking up his "mancave").

In line with the outlaw image he's going for, Church's tour and latest album bear the name of The Outsiders. This world tour makes its way to the Spokane Arena, continuing the venue's pattern of booking country bands, on Thurs. Jan 29, 2015; more information on ticket sales to come soon. 

Now, most importantly, a word on the Mancave: 

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: The TV "Fargo" and Foxygen's magnum opus among today's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 14: 


Foxygen, ...And Star Power. The experimental-pop duo Foxygen goes full freak-out on a double-album sprawling across 24 songs that incorporate punk, folk and orchestral pop, all in the service of a concept album about UFOs. Or radio. Or something. 

Stars, No One Is Lost. Looking for a new rolling-skating jam? Hey, who isn't? Try album-opener "From the Night" on the new album from Montreal-based indie-pop crew Stars. It's just one of many tunes blending synth bleats with crafty hooks. 

U2, Songs of Innocence. Believe it or not, the album many of us got free suddenly in our iTunes catalog thanks to U2's monster deal with Apple is actually having a traditional release, too. And while so many people kvetched about getting a free album — oh, the humanity! — that Apple was forced to create a page telling iTunes users how to delete it, Songs of Innocence is actually a better album than the old guys have released in years. Despite it's creepy album cover


The X-Men fans out there will surely flock to get their copies of X-Men: Days of Future Past, if they haven't pirated it already. And the kids might connect with Mr. Peabody & Sherman, although I'll stick with my old Bullwinkle and Rocky DVDs, thankyaverymuch! There are, though, some great new releases on video this week. 

Fargo was an unexpected treat as a TV series, one that took many of us who feel Coen Brothers' movies are not to be trifled with by complete surprise in its ability to hold onto the film's spirit while telling its own, utterly engaging story. Inlander resident TV guru Daniel Walters dug the show, and it just might find a nice place on the bookshelf alongside my array of Coen bros' features. Season 1 is a complete 10-episode story full of familiar faces and particularly strong turns from Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman. 

Venus in Fur is the film version of a Tony-winning play of the same name, featuring the sexually charged and sometimes sadistic story of a playwright searching for a female lead, a seemingly ill-prepared actress, and one long night in the playwright's office while they toy with each other. Roman Polanski seems a natural in directing the film, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amaric. 

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger is an incisive documentary about the South Boston gangster who (loosely) inspired the story of the Oscar-winning film The Departed, and the bumbling and stumbling FBI efforts that took years to take him down. 

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Acid-tripping music with the Spokane Symphony

Posted By on Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic
  • Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic
While classical music can cause you to feel deep things — some people true transcendence, others sleepiness — not many classical works claim to be inspired by mood altering substances popular in strobe light-filled dance clubs. But that’s exactly what this weekend’s symphony performance kicks off with. The first piece of both Saturday and Sunday’s performances starts with a modern acid-tripping piece by Serbian composer Marko Nikodijevic called GHB/Tanzaggregat.

GHB (Gama Hydroxybutyric Acid) is a depressant that causes a state of euphoria and relaxation in its users. This weekend, listeners get to experience its effects without actually imbibing.

Surprisingly, this will be the first time this work is performed in the United States, but with it’s more controversial nature, it’s clear why Music Director Eckart Preu selected it. As you may have guessed, this piece isn’t written by some 200-year-old composer; Nikodijevic is only 34. He has won many awards and prizes for his compositions in Europe, and according to Preu, looks like a young Vin Diesel. 

This work is only six minutes long, but who knows what you’ll experience in that short amount of time. Here’s a sneak peek of the music:

Also on the schedule for the symphony’s second classical concert of the season are César Franck’s Symphonic Variations and Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain, which features pianist Joyce Yang. For more performance information click here. 
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Friday, October 10, 2014

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Sallie Ford, Gigan, Of Montreal and Oktoberfests

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 3:40 PM

The Hop! is killing it this week. Last night Hellion performed, tonight it's Chicago-based death metal act Gigan. The show opens with Pyrrhon, Artificial Brain, Zan, Infrablaster, Rot Monger and Pythium. Read our preview of the show here. Note it’s just going to be loud. Yes!

Litz’s, one of those hidden gem type of bars with a volleyball court, is putting on an Oktoberfest all weekend. Friday and Saturday include the talents of Smoke'n Wheels, LOS and Martini Brothers, while Sunday features Carey Brazil, Gil Reeves and Nick Grow. Cost is $10 and proceeds go to the 2nd Harvest Food Bank. The first 35 people through the door each day get a swag bag. 

Portland’s Sallie Ford traded in her band, the Sound Outside, for a group of three rocking women. Last December, Ford played one of her very last shows with her old group at the Bartlett to a sold-out show of devoted fans. Saturday, she’s back with the new crew. Ford’s newest record Slap Back is scheduled for release next Tuesday, but three singles have already been made public. Her new act is a little less quirky and retro-sounding, her voice even a little more full and graceful, rather than that nasally and harsh (yet amazing) sound of previous works. This new music is truly rock ’n’ roll (see below). The all-ages show starts at 8 pm

The circus theatrics of Of Montreal come to the Knitting Factory Saturday. Who knows which persona frontman Kevin Barnes will embody that night, but it will be a wild ride no matter what. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $15. Read our preview story of the show here.

Continuing the Hop!’s streak, Saturday they invite 1980s comedy-rock act Green Jelly (pronounced Green Jell-O) to the venue. Also on the bill are hard rock favorites the Atlas Moth, the Proselyte and the Ashamed. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 pm and is $13.

Over at the Viking, they’re throwing a Roctoberfest. This one includes a huge lineup with the Adarna, Freak System, Boneye, ThirionX, Steven Jaimz, Eddie Wilson and more. The show starts at 7 pm and is 21+.

Indie rockers with an Irish flare Carbon Leaf (totally different than Flyleaf BTW) play the Bing Crosby Theater Sunday. Listen to their hit from the early-2000s here. Wyatt Wood opens the show that starts at 7 pm and is $18. 

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CONCERT REVIEW: The bass dropped hard at Safe in Sound

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM

DJ's Christian Srigley and Leighton James create EDM duo Adventure Club.
  • DJ's Christian Srigley and Leighton James create EDM duo Adventure Club.

There are 50,000 watts of sound shaking every hair on my arm. Bass-crazy college-aged kids in an altered state of mind have stepped into their other selves. The hardcore ravers are outfitted in neon fur while the more straight-edge kids have opted for crop tops saved only for occasions like this. When the bass drops, everyone loses their freaking mind.

Safe in Sound is a traveling EDM festival making its way through over 20 cities this fall. The lineup changes slightly depending on the show, and last night the Spokane Arena hosted Destroid, Adventure Club and Flux Pavilion.

Artists Excision, Downlink and KJ Sawka combine to become the dubstep band known as Destroid. They dress in armor and face-covering helmets, mimicking something of a Daft Punk look. The rapper, who acted more as a hype man, was terrifying with his Darth Vader voice, but after a while it became almost normal. Their sound was heavy, leaning often on multiple drops per song.

Holding brief breaks between sets seems unusual for the setting, considering that at many electronic music shows the music is continuous and doesn't stop until the night is over. However, with over five hours of music planned, it was healthy to take a couple breathers. As the crowd shuffled around, a chorus of gentle “excuse me’s” floated around among the surprisingly tame and polite audience.

The next act was Adventure Club, a Canadian duo growing in popularity due to singles like “Gold” and collaborations with current EDM sensation Krewella. Their projected backdrop included their trademark letter “A” creatively and repetitively in a way that couldn’t be ignored. Some graphics also included facial images, contrasting the stereotypical flashing of primary colors often used in the EDM scene. Best received by the crowd was Adventure Club’s final song, which was a mash up of “Crave You” and a remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness.”

While still living in the dub sphere, DJ Flux Pavilion dipped his toes into a trap-inspired sound, creating something groovier. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was remixed to make the stomp-and-clap intro inundated with bass. The voice of Childish Gambino was featured in “Do or Die,” and the famous remix of “Gold Dust,” originally by DJ Fresh, began with a dramatic slow clap and wrapped up with a false ending before Flux Pavilion came back out minutes later for the drop. We went absolutely nuts.

The rave/EDM scene has evolved from all-night parties in abandoned warehouses to ticketed events with touring acts in only a couple of decades, but the crowd at Safe in Sound probably isn't old enough to recall what it used to be like. The young people of the Inland Northwest are hungry for dub, and last night they found it. 

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Miranda Lambert hits up Spokane Arena next February

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Her hubby was just here, now it’s Miranda Lambert’s turn to take to the Spokane Arena stage. The show, dubbed the Certified Platinum Tour, is slated for February 12 of next year. 2015 marks the Arena’s 20th anniversary, and fans of modern country will be ecstatic Lambert is here to help with that.

She may be another blonde country star, but what puts her above the rest is her “bad ass” attitude. You know she’s a "bad girl" because she has songs on her recently released album Platinum called “Old Shit” and “Hard Staying Sober.” But seriously, what makes Lambert the most bad ass is that unlike most of her country singin’ female contemporaries, she has the guts to sing with a deep, affected twang (listen below) — because, Jesus Take the Wheel, that's the genre she says she's a part of! 

Openers for the high-energy show include country acts Justin Moore and RaeLynn and Jukebox Mafia. Tickets run between $40 and $55 and go on sale next Friday.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The past, present and the future: local universities bring musicians to campus

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Macklemore crowd surfing at Eastern Washington University in 2013
  • Macklemore crowd surfing at Eastern Washington University in 2013

Colleges in the Inland Northwest provide education for the next generation, but perhaps more importantly they are responsible for bringing some of the coolest music acts to the region. Among the local universities that love inviting bands to their stages are Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Washington State University and Gonzaga University. 

Of those four, EWU has one of the longest standing traditions of throwing awesome concerts. Over the past several decades, big names like Steve Miller Band, Earth Wind & Fire, RUN-D.M.C., Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Tom Petty traveled to the small town of Cheney to entertain Eastern's students. In 2013, during the height of the popularity of The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were guests of Eastern as well. One of the university's goals is to "bridge the gap in the Spokane local scene and EWU students," says concert coordinator Madi Casto. Their current project is developing a Winter Coffee House Series.  

Though most of their events are reserved solely for students, Whitworth carries a heavy load of performing artists despite its small size. On November 5, folk duo Over the Rhine plays an acoustic concert on campus. Two days later, 10 time Grammy-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval joins as the guest artist at a jazz concert open to the public. Also scheduled for this semester are Noah Gunderson and Brett Young. Macklemore is not a stranger to Whitworth's stage, either, and notable artists like Mat Kearney and Seattle band Barcelona have been featured in the past. 

Over the Rhine
  • Over the Rhine
During Dad's Weekend at WSU on October 24, Creedence Clearwater Revisted is open not just to fathers and their students, but the general public as well. Earlier this year, Freaknight Traveling Circus traveled to Pullman, bringing several EDM artists and DJs. In addition, dance sensation Adventure Club, rappers IAMSU!, G-Eazy and Juicy J, and country artists Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line have all been recent guests of WSU. They hope to continue diversifying their lineup by potentially hosting an R&B show and another country artist. WSU systematically uses email surveys alongside social media feedback to get a feel for what students want and to cater to their various interests.

Gonzaga generally throws one big, blowout show per academic year. For that event, the McCarthy Athletic Center, home to GU's basketball games, transforms into a concert arena. In September, Gloriana visited campus, along with Spokane favorite Cathedral Pearls, after gaining popularity from their Top 40 hit "(Kissed You) Goodnight," making them an up and coming act in both the country and pop scenes. There are hopes of an additional concert in the Spring.

Higher education students take heart — your tuition money is going places. 
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WHAT'S UP TODAY?: Hillstomp, hikes, and the doctor is in

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

You know the Inlander has a wide array of event listings always at your easily searchable disposal, and the staff even picks some highlights, aka "Staff Picks" — you can find them right here. But in case you don’t have the time to peruse each day, “What’s Up Today” is here to highlight a few options.

Here's what caught my eye for Thursday, Oct. 9:

MUSIC | Top of my list is a no-brainer thanks to the arrival of Hillstomp. The Portland blues-punk duo puts on one hell of a show, bashing out some inspired guitar-n-drums mayhem on both traditional blues tunes and their own originals. Their most recent album, Portland ORE, featured some expansion into more complex sonic fare, but you can bet the show at The Bartlett with Folkinception will be as gritty and bare-bones as ever.

Dr. Zorba Paster
  • Dr. Zorba Paster
People with far more stamina than I for repetitive bass drops might find the Safe in Sound EDM Fest at the Spokane Arena a little more to their liking. Godspeed, EDM fans, and don't take the brown acid. 

HEALTH | Physician and radio host Dr. Zorba Paster is a popular public radio voice thanks to his call-in show On Your Health, full of no-nonsense advice. He'll be on hand at The Bing Thursday to answer all your questions, and to discuss the ideas and tips in his latest tome, The Longevity Code. My first question will be, "How can I get a sweet 'stache like you, Doc?"

HIKING | As a newbie to the Northwest, naturally I'm interested in every crash course available when it comes to taking advantage of the incredible natural surroundings we find ourselves living in here in Spokane. First stop, naturally, has been checking out our own Outlander blog every week. And REI has proved a good source, of course, thanks to things like tonight's free discussion from REI resident experts on the best fall hikes in the area. Hey, who doesn't love catching the fall colors, right? 

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CONCERT REVIEW: Less Than Jake brings back the good ol' days

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 2:52 PM


I'd forgotten about the smell of punk rock. The sweat, the spilled beer and always just a hint of vomit. The scent of a mosh pit is distinct and I recognized it the moment I unexpectedly charged onto the floor of the Knitting Factory Tuesday night when Less Than Jake hit the stage.

I don't go to concerts with mosh pits these days, but there was a time when I was all about it and mostly because of Less Than Jake, which held the distinction of being my second favorite band from 2000 to sometime in 2004 when indie rock took over my brain. But after a decade away from the bombastic Gainesville, Florida, punk-ska quintet, I figured I should check in on them and remember the glory days. I was not let down.

Because I'm too old to sit in a rock club for three opening acts, I rolled into the Knitting Factory for half a set from Big D and the Kid's Table, a Boston-based ska act that's been around since 1995, but has seen its lineup almost fully revamped with the exception of front man David McWane. Their tunes were bouncy and provided ample dancing material for the still-straggling in crowd.

After a couple of Hamms (yes, the Knitting Factory serves Hamms in a can) with some hardcore LTJ fans, the band raised their banner and sprinted onto the stage, as they are wont to do, and ripped through some classic tunes, including "Automatic," perhaps my all-time favorite LTJ song. That's when I got up front and spent the next hour-plus exchanging sweat with the singing-along-to-every-word devotees.

Around this time, bassist/vocalist Roger Lima spotted The Tambourine Man and said, "Holy shit, check out this guy's vest!" and brought the omnipresent concertgoer onstage to show off that vest, which appeared to be made from Snuffaluffagus fur. Evidence below.


The guys looked fresh, with this being the first show of a Northwest and Canadian tour, and ripped through their 20-plus-year catalog full of poppy punk numbers infused with blazing horns. For guys all at 40 or very close to it, the dudes still bound across the stage with aplomb and guitarist/vocalist Chris Demakes has not lost his penchant for rattling off ridiculous jokes.

By the time they dished out "All My Best Friends are Metalheads," confetti cannons had gone off and the two-thirds-full floor was in a sweaty frenzy. Like, really, really sweaty. Still, that didn't stop folks from going straight nuts for the band's inspirational anthem "Look What Happened." Here's some video a dude shot and posted to Youtube this morning. You see me? I'm the guy jumping up and down.

The show wrapped up and fans poured into the lobby, lining up at the merch booth to shake hands with the band and buy hats and shirts and things like that. I headed out into the warm night, feeling 21 again and smelling like the devil.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Sample new releases today including Weezer's return to form, George Takei's emotional doc

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

While many of us consume our entertainment digitally these days, whether it’s a movie, TV show or album (quaint phrase, that), Tuesdays still act as the release date for the vast majority of new goodies for those of us who just have to have our own “official” Blu-ray copy of Sharknado II: The Second One.

Today, that Sharknado dream can become reality — in an “unrated” and “extended version” no less — as the DVD hits stores and online retailers. Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 7:


Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright in the End. All the Weezheads dreaming of a return to “the blue album” or Pinkerton will find much to love from Rivers Cuomo and Co. after a forgettable few Weezer albums.

The Vaselines, V for Vaselines. Scottish pop-rockers and Nirvana inspirations The Vaselines (they wrote “Molly’s Lips” and “Son of a Gun”) release just their third studio album in their 28-year history.

Field Report, Marigolden. The Milwaukee folk-rockers Field Report, led by former Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) musical partner Chris Porterfield, builds on their buzzworthy 2012 debut that garnered praise from the likes of Emmylou Harris and Aimee Mann.


The Mad Men and baseball fanatics might want to spend some time with the “based on a true story” feel-good flick Million Dollar Arm. And those with a greater tolerance for Seth McFarlane’s smug mug can check out A Million Ways to Die in the West. And Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow (now rebranded as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) is the obvious popcorn-pic of this week’s releases. Here are three smaller flicks you should have on your radar:

Obvious Child is easily the most charming rom-com based around an abortion that you’ll ever see, thanks to the star-making turn by former Saturday Night Live and Parks & Recreation actress Jenny Slate as a New York standup who finds herself knocked up from a one-night stand.

To Be Takei is a documentary about everyone’s favorite social-media machine/Star Trek actor, tackling everything from his very public coming out to his efforts to, less interestingly, produce a play.

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is the directorial debut of Mike Myers, and tracks the unlikely career of one of Hollywood’s ultimate insiders in Gordon, who befriended Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix in college, and went on to manage the likes of Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. 

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical @ INB Performing Arts Center

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