Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Rootsy tunes and artistic flicks highlight the week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Each week we sift through all manner of awful and mundane new music and home video releases to give you the lowdown on what's worth your time and money. We call it Tuesday Taste, and it's Tuesday, so let's do this: 

After last week's blast of riches, this week seems a bit weak by comparison when it comes to new music releases. But there are definitely a few worth checking out, particularly for fans of tunes with a dash of twang: 

The Lone Bellow has a sound that seems forged in the Deep South, but the trio actually hooked up in Brooklyn, and their songs blend a rootsy vibe with excellent vocal interplay. Then Came the Morning is the follow-up to the band's stellar self-titled debut. Here's the title track: 

The Dodos are heading to Spokane in March, meaning there's plenty of time to get to know the Bay Area's indie-rock duo's guitar/drum sound and wicked way with a song. Now 10 years into their life as a band, their new release Individ is a strong set recalling their best past work. Hear a bit right here: 
Punch Brothers are one of the most creative acoustic groups around, and led by mandolin madman Chris Thile, the group delves into classical, folk, bluegrass and rock in their music. As a live act, they're hard to beat, but their recordings are pretty special, too. Their latest is called The Phosphorescent Blues. Here's a taste: 
The big mainstream DVD releases this week are Fury, the Brad Pitt war flick that got decent reviews, but suffered by being a bit plodding, and by having Shia Lebeouf in the cast. The Judge garnered Robert Duvall an Oscar nomination despite generally bad reviews. And while I love Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr., the 141-minute running time was too daunting for me to take on. Maybe you're different, or just have a lot of time on your hands. 

If that's the case, let me recommend a couple of lesser-seen flicks: 

The Book of Life got a wide release and did okay at the box office. But given how much money most mainstream animated fare earns, it almost seems like a bomb. That's a shame, because the story is pretty strong, delving into Mexican myths and legends, and the animation is excellent in this Day of the Dead-inspired flick. If you're the type of person who can easily get lost in the visuals of a film, give it a shot. Here's a look: 
Art and Craft is a documentary about a master art forger named Mark Landis, who wasn't interested in getting rich so much as wanting to look like a kind philanthropist as he gives away what people think are masterpieces. The movie delves into Landis' life, particularly what happens when an art expert exposes his ruse. Here's a look: 

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Friday, January 23, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Haunted Summer, Powerman 5000, and the Holy Broke

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Once again, it’s Friday. Get your buns out into the freezing night air and hit up a show or two.

Los Angeles’ Haunted Summer has successfully capitalized on the current popularity of dream pop but still has something new to offer to the genre. Husband-and-wife duo Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons are the group’s mainstays, but they have smartly added other musicians to the mix, taking their music to a bolder, higher level. The use of clarinet especially enhances and grounds their sound as Moody's augmented vocals and Seasons’ languid guitar licks add ethereal layers. They bring this music to the Big Dipper tonight for a show that includes local electronic openers Sea Giant and Crystalline. The all-ages show is $10 and starts at 8 pm.

Meanwhile, at the Checkerboard Bar, another husband/wife duo will also take to the stage. This is local folk act Feral Anthem’s first show since releasing their debut album Ballast & Bone. Take a listen to the sailor anthem and lead-off single “Ballast Song” here. Former Inlander staffer Jacob Jones opens the show, which starts at 9 pm and is free. Read our preview story on the band here.

Local artist Nicole Lewis' distinct pop-country vibe has sent her in the direction of Nashville, where she recorded demos last year. Now she plays tonight at Chateau Rive as part of the venue’s winter concert series. The show begins at 8 pm.

The Palomino continues to prove it’s more than just a country music venue with Saturday’s local rock concert, which features Nixon Rodeo (who are releasing a brand new single at the event), Free the Jester, Elephant Gun Riot and the Broken Thumbs.The all-ages show begins at 7 pm and is free for those who already have a ticket (get those from the band or venue prior to the event). 

The Holy Broke is indie singer-songwriter Kent Ueland’s full-time gig right now. He has a fascinating new album, Do It Yourself, about wrestling with depression and heartbreak, which he’s releasing at the Bartlett Saturday tonight. Openers include Planes on Paper and Matt Arthur. The all-ages show is $12 and starts at 8 pm. Read our recent feature on Ueland here.

When you’re Rob Zombie’s little brother, you have to find your own way in the metal world. And that’s what Michael Cummings (aka Spider One) has tried to do with Powerman 5000. His band creates industrial, sci-fi-influenced metal featuring lyrics about things like mythical creatures and robot violence. Founded in 1991 in Boston, the five-piece finally made the Top 40 twice with their hits "When Worlds Collide" and "Nobody's Real” in the late ’90s. Through many member departures and multiple studio albums, Cummings is the lone original member. The band’s newest disc Builder of the Future proves they’re as loud and crazy as ever. Kind of hard to believe they'll be hitting up such an intimate venue, the Big Dipper, Sunday at 7 pm. Cost for the all-ages show is $25 at the door. 

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weird Al Yankovic’s tour comes through Airway Heights

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 4:31 PM

It’s about to get weird (and funny) at Northern Quest Resort & Casino on September 13 when the never-more-popular "Weird Al" Yankovic takes to the stage as part of his epic international tour, dubbed the Mandatory World Tour.

For 30 years, this dude has sold millions of records parodying pop songs (think “Amish Paradise” and “White & Nerdy”), yet 2014’s Mandatory Fun was Yankovic’s first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. In fact, it was the first comedy album to top the charts since 1963. Taking full advantage of his newfound success with the selfie generation, Yankovic is getting back on the road.

Expect the usual amounts of accordion playing and over-the-top eyebrow usage at the upcoming Airway Height show, but there should be plenty of surprises too. Tickets have not yet been released for sale.

Check out this ridiculous song about the wonders of foil from his latest record:

Also, this classic: 

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TUESDAY TASTE: Sleater-Kinney, Decemberists and Gandolfini's last role among week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 11:08 AM

Every week at Tuesday Taste, we scour the new releases in music and home video to point you toward the best of the best. Here's what we found for this week: 

We are living large in new music releases this week, friends. Fall Out Boy, Hanni El Khatib, The Waterboys, Marilyn Manson,Lupe Fiasco and Ryan Bingham all are putting out new stuff. These albums, though, are likely the best of the lot: 

SLEATER-KINNEY, No Cities to Love. The long-awaited return of Sleater-Kinney is well under way as the band hit David Letterman last week and continues making the TV rounds this week on Conan. No Cities to Love is a potent blast of the thoughtful punk the band is known for, and we should get a good dose of it when SK opens their reunion tour in Spokane Feb. 8. Here's a taste from the album: 
THE DECEMBERISTS, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. These guys didn't take a decade off like their fellow Portlanders in Sleater-Kinney, but they did take a long break since their last release to do things like write children's books before coming back together for this one. 
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Stuart Murdoch and Co. create some the best pop-rock most Americans have sadly ignored. There's no reason to think the new set will be a big breakthrough, either, but for those already in the know, it's a great addition to a stellar catalog by the Scots. 

Among the mainstream flicks out this week, Lucy will get the most attention thanks to Scarlett Johansson going into ass-kicking mode after some drugs seep into her system and turn her into a hyper-smart action star. 

I'll be passing on that in favor of watching one of these efforts: 

The Boxtrolls comes from the same animators as Coraline, and while it's not as winning overall as that one, the adaptation of graphic novel Here Be Monsters! is pretty amazing, visually anyway. The story is simple, but it's helped by voice jobs by the likes of Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley. 
The Drop is the first screenplay by novelist Dennis Lehane, whose seen some of his writing turned into pretty great movies (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone). This one is based on one of his short stories, and stars Tom Hardy and the late, great James Gandolfini in his final role. 

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Hop! is closing but moving

Posted By on Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 4:32 PM


Nearly four years after opening at its Monroe Street location, the Hop! is closing at the end of this month. The good news for all local music fans however, is the business will move downtown to the old A-Club/Club 412 location on Sprague. The new all-ages music club will be renamed Pinnacle Northwest, or the Pin, for short.

The Hop! owner T.C. Chavez, who previously owned the Cretin Hop, says he’s not sad to see the place go.

“I’m looking forward to some new ground but it’s going to be challenging, I’m not getting any younger,” he says.

The Hop! had a scare in 2013 when one person was shot and killed in the parking lot of the venue. But the business managed to stay afloat and that’s not the reason Chavez is moving. The owner of the building has plans to sell and when Chavez heard the lease was up on the Sprague location, he jumped at the chance, he says.

“After our final show January 31, we’re tearing down the stage and everything,” Chavez says.

The new location, which currently sits at a larger 299-person capacity, will feature all of the same sorts of shows you've come to know and love from the Hop! including hip-hop and metal shows, but offer even more types of concerts appealing to all ages. Chavez also has plans to serve food and open for more hours.

At this time, the Pin is tentatively set to have host its first concert Thursday, February 5, “as long as all of the paperwork goes through and everything works smoothly,” Chavez says.

Chavez is confident he has what it takes to run a concert business in a spot where others have failed.

“I know what it takes to survive in this business,” he says. “We’re surviving and there is money in the bank. I've gotten to understand this market pretty well. I know what it can support and what it can’t.”
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Friday, January 16, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Free shows galore!

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 12:39 PM

We’re not all made of money. And that’s what the host of local music shows are here to help with this weekend. Take advantage of the free cover and get out there.


Flannel Math Animal
Math rock can seem tedious and sometimes boring. But the local instrumental duo Flannel Math Animal are fascinating to listen to. They have an album release party at Hamilton Studio tonight at 9 pm. Read our feature story on the band here.

Dem Empire

On their recent Mythos EP, local rockers Dem Empire whet our appetite for their infectious music with just two songs. The relatively new, Spokane-based four-piece is already polished, exciting and best of all, catchy. Their music pulls in influences from new wave and punk, psychedelic grooves and bass-driven funk. Lead singer Will Zobrist confidently sing-yells his way through lyrics about surviving humanity in the information age. This is the kind of loud, in-your-face music you need after a hard week at work. They’re playing Baby Bar tonight at 9 pm along with local acts the Smokes and Cycles.

The Bartlett Awards
Go hang out at the Bartlett Saturday night and find out which bands and artists have won at the first-ever Bartlett Awards. Local bands Loomer, Friends of Mine and Sea Giant offer up entertainment throughout the evening. You can still vote for your favorite acts who played at the Bartlett over the last year here.

Outcold No. 2
The promoters at the Viking realize it’s cold outside. To amp up the heat, a boatload of bands inundate the venue Saturday for the annual Outcold Concert Series. Local and regional (mostly rock) acts Thirion X, Seven Cycles, Death By Pirates, the Broken Thumbs, Beyond Today, Driven In Waves, DIVIDES and Drop Off perform at either the outdoor tent stage (complete with plenty of space heaters), or indoor stage. Get free tickets from any of the bands or the venue prior to the event, otherwise it’s $5. Revolver Bar & Lounge will host the prefunk event Friday night with special performances by Death By Pirates and Banish the Echo.

Underground 15 shows normally don’t have a cover and that trend continues Saturday with its concert featuring talented local metal bands RaisedByWolves, Cold Blooded and Dark White Light. The show starts at 9:30 pm.

Winter Beer Festival

The Lantern Tap House hosts a beer festival all weekend. Not only does the event feature 24 breweries and heated tents, but also three nights of free musical entertainment. Seattle rock act Cloud Person plays Friday, Americana band Marshall McLean Band on Saturday and Irish band Floating Crowbar on Sunday. All music begins at 10 pm.


Hell’s Belles at Knitting Factory, at 8:30 pm Saturday. $13.50. Read our preview story here.
— The Bartlett anniversary party features Tango Alpha Tango and Dead Serious Lovers. It stars at 8 pm Friday and is $15 at the door. 
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge, again

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 4:51 PM

We don’t know who’s headlining Sasquatch! yet but rest assured Dave Matthews and his crew will be back at the Gorge Amphitheater this summer for the 20th year — once again over Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4 –6.

The nearly 25-year-old band has one of the craziest fan bases around. You know these people: They follow DMB around all summer and their Facebook profile pictures are proud selfies taken with Matthews. These are the folks who keep the band afloat. While the group has never had a No. 1 hit, they’ve still sold more than 38 million records and concert DVDs combined. Want another crazy figure? The band has sold a whopping 19 million tickets since its inception.

DMB’s annual Gorge event features a lineup of other touring artists, which have yet to be announced, but last year included Brandi Carlile and Shovels & Rope. Each day, DMB jams out on stage multiple times to the excitement of their fans, playing everything from the deep cuts of their catalogue to even a few covers.

Tickets go on sale to the public Feb. 13. 

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Jimi reborn, Bruno assists Mark Ronson and Panda Bear's new expansive set in week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Every Tuesday we sift through the new music and DVD releases to see what's worth spending your money on, and what's better left to people with no sense of taste. Let's do it: 


Justin Townes Earle, Absent Fathers. The rabble-rousing roots musician (and son of Steve Earle) releases the follow-up and companion set to his excellent 2014 album Single Mothers. Here's a taste: 
Mark Ronson, Uptown Special. Bruno Mars and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker are among the vocalists taking the mic on a slate of new songs full of maestro Ronson's funk, R&B and soul beats. 
Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The founding member of Animal Collective releases his fifth solo set, a typical mashup of influences ranging from hip-hop to alt-rock. 


The monster-sized mainstream release of the week is Gone Girl, a movie that will more than likely get a few Oscar nominations soon. You've probably already seen the well-received David Fincher flick, so consider checking out one of these under-the-radar efforts: 

Love Is Strange is an utterly charming love story, and one you haven't seen before. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are happy, older newlyweds in New York City who suddenly find themselves forced apart and crashing with different parts of their respective families. 
Finding Fela! is a documentary about the pioneering African musician Fela Kuti, who died of AIDS in 1997. Critics didn't love it, but the music is undeniable. 
Jimi: All Is By My Side was a bit of a quiet release, but OutKast's Andre 3000 got some good reviews for this look at one year in Jimi Hendrix's pre-fame days. 

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Friday, January 9, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: David Lindley, Ben Miller Band and a Mama Doll says goodbye

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 3:37 PM

After a bit of a holiday hiatus, live music performances are heating up around the area once more. Phew.
Also, read about other recent local music happening here.

Tonight, the folk-rock act Mama Doll plays the Bartlett, marking singer/drummer Austen Case’s final performance with the band she co-founded. Edmund Wayne opens for the 8 pm show, which costs $12 at the door. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, check out their searing album As the Crow Flies here.

Experience an evening with David Lindley at the Chateau Rive tonight. Even though the guitarist is 70, he’s still got what it takes to entertain an audience for a couple hours. Over the years he’s played with Jackson Browne, Curtis Mayfield and Dolly Parton, but his solo stuff still makes guitar aficionados go crazy. The show starts at 8 pm and is $20.

Art, art everywhere! Musicians Erik Walters (Silver Torches), Eliza Johnson and Marshall MacLean will provide the soundtrack for featured poet Lauren Gilmore and visual artist Chris Dreyer at the Round No. 4 Saturday. The show hits the Bartlett at 7:30 pm. It costs $8.

John’s Alley in Moscow hosts a Jon Wight Benefit Concert featuring the Seattle-based rock act the Magic Mirrors and singer-songwriter/producer Bart Budwig. Wight, a local musician, was recently diagnosed with abdominal cancer. The show starts at 8 pm.

Saturday, get musically pummeled at (where else?) the Hop! when No Bragging Rights, the Greenery, FAUS, Straight to Our Enemies and the Wake of Giants take to the stage with a whole bunch of raucous metal songs. The all-ages show starts at 6 pm and is $12.

Men with long beards playing banjos and washboards — the esthetic seems overdone these days. But the Ben Miller Band, out of Joplin, Missouri, is anything but a Mumford & Sons copycat trio. On the band’s recent release, Any Way, Shape Or Form, songs progress from mudstomp folk to country, rock ’n’ roll and even silly, shout-back-and-forth numbers — not one songs sounds the same. The group, playing the Big Dipper Sunday at 7 pm, also employs rustic instruments like electric spoons and a homemade one-string bass. That show is $13 the day of. The band also plays at Republic Brewing Co. Monday. 

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MUSIC NEWS: Big Dipper construction, Jason Aldean again and more

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 12:13 PM

Construction outside of the Big Dipper to bring a water main line to its door was completed Wednesday.
  • Construction outside of the Big Dipper to bring a water main line to its door was completed Wednesday.

The Big Dipper moves closer to larger capacity

The Big Dipper’s fire suppression system installation is that much closer to completion after a main water line was put in this week. Meaning soon the live music venue will move from its current 110-person capacity to a 200 to 250-person capacity, says owner Dan Hoerner.

The city of Spokane pledged to help the business with the cost of the water line construction last April. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that construction — which included cutting up the road in front of the business, installing a 4-inch water line, and drilling through the building's foundation — was finished.

Alpine Fire Sprinklers has volunteered to install the sprinkler system for free, Hoerner says, although a completion date is not yet set.  

"This is just a miracle," Hoerner says. "We've been operating under an economic chokehold because of not having fire sprinklers. But soon we’ll be able to bring in bigger acts and more people. This opens up a lot of opportunities for us. It just shows how much this classic venue means to people in this community."

The Bartlett has awards

Open for more than a year, the Bartlett has just announced its first ever fan-selected Bartlett Awards. Vote here for your favorite musical acts and more who graced the halls of the venue since it opened. 

The winners will be announced at the upcoming free Bartlett Awards show, January 17. Local bands playing the event include Loomer, Sea Giant and Friends of Mine.

Shocking! More country at the Spokane Arena

We knew Jason Aldean was coming through the Spokane Arena after the artist announced it last fall, but the Arena has just confirmed it. Aldean performs April 24 along with opening country crooners Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr and Dee Jay Silver. Tickets for the event go on sale next Friday.

The artist most recently performed at the Arena September 2013.

The Sweeplings hit ABC Family

Cami Bradley’s new duo, the Sweeplings, has made national television. Last fall, the band met with ABC higher-ups to have their music potentially played on any of the network’s many channels. That meeting went well.

Their song “In Too Deep” was chosen to provide the soundtrack for an ABC Family show promo for The Fosters, which will run on the channel until Jan, 19, the show’s winter premiere. A teen soap opera, The Fosters is overly dramatic, but the music here is hauntingly beautiful. We’ll have to wait and see if the band’s music makes any other ABC shows. (Grey’s Anatomy, please).

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