Saturday, June 6, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Neutral Milk Hotel makes magic at Knitting Factory Friday

Posted By on Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 5:19 PM

Neutral Milk Hotel doesn't allow photos or videos at their shows.
  • Neutral Milk Hotel doesn't allow photos or videos at their shows.

Jeff Mangum strides onto the Spokane Knitting Factory stage, unrecognizable from the fresh-faced singer-songwriter of younger years, sporting a bushy beard and pulled-down messenger cap. But immediately starting into “A Baby For Pree,” that voice is unmistakably his own nasally and bitterly beautiful tone. Soon, the rest of Neutral Milk Hotel joins him under the hot lights taking up trombone, saw, bass, keys and drums. The packed-in room buzzes with human electricity. It smells heavily of garlic and sweat. People of all ages are breathing in the moment, as if it’s the first time and the last time they’ve heard (the sound system is on point about one song in) this influential ’90s band.

Bass/accordion/saw/banjo master Julian Koster and his blue knit hat.
  • Bass/accordion/saw/banjo master Julian Koster and his blue knit hat.
And in a way, it is the last time, at least live. The group announced earlier this year they’d disband and June 9 would mark their final show. Friday night, Lilac City fans witnessed what was possibly one of the band’s last ever performances.

Three songs in, NMH launches into “King of Carrot Flowers” and the crowd goes nuts. This is the first song off 1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the group’s second and likely final album, and this is the record that people know the best (it is the best). So any time the band plays a song off that work, the audience sing-along begins. Songs from their first album, On Avery Island, or EPs weren’t as familiar to people.

I want to ask every person wildly singing where they were the first moment they heard this music, and how these strange lyrics changed them. But I don’t; the fact is, this folk-rock, Irish-influenced music has changed people. Even if the band never works again, they'll have that. Intermittently, fans raise their hands to the sky in worshipful reverence, as if to pull the music in through their fingertips.

For anyone who saw Mangum when he was touring solo four or so years ago, this Knitting Factory show, with all of its eclectic instrumentations (this was the first time I’d ever seen a banjo played with a violin bow) is so much more fun and care-free. Julian Koster, master of saw/bass/accordion/keys, bounces around in a circle or sits on the ground and never stops moving, his blue knit hat barely hanging on. It’s clear to be in this band you have to play at least three instruments (except the fiddle player and Mangum, who played guitar), as everyone kept switching it up, even the drummer.

An eight-minute version of the seminal “Oh Comely” has the audience swaying and singing. And all too soon, the act bows and leaves the stage. But it wasn’t over.

Mangum begins with “Little Birds,” the only song written after Aeroplane that he plays at concerts. It’s quiet and moving. Once the entire band joins him for the final three songs of Aeroplane, it’s like a match has been lit. It’s pandemonium on stage, with some of the eerie and creative instrumentation sounding like something you’d hear at a modern classical music concert.

It ends perfectly …”Two Headed Boy Pt. 2” with Mangum alone with his voice and guitar.

He says “thank you” after the final notes, bows and leaves. He doesn’t wallow in the moment, that’s our job. The house lights come up and we’re left to wander out into the warm night air reflecting on the miracle we’ve all just witnessed. 
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Friday, June 5, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Elkfest, Neutral Milk Hotel and the Hop!’s final show

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 2:35 PM


The Big Dipper hosts young, up and coming Spokane rock bands Stucco (who played the Dipper last Friday as part of Volume), the Backups and Ben Arleth. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 pm and is $10.

Tonight, tonight, Neutral Milk Hotel is finally here. Not to rain on anyone else’s parade but this is one of the biggest shows of the entire year and it’s not sold out at the Knitting Factory yet. At $32 it may seem like a steep ticket price, but it’s worth every dime. Be there at 8 pm and also read our preview story on the strange and wonderful act here.

The exciting Elkfest lineup begins tonight in the heart of Browne’s Addition. After two weekends in a row of awesome festivals (Sasquatch!, Volume) we’re excited to power through for this free, all-ages event. Do note, this year the Elk Public House will only be all-ages until 4 pm, and then all occupants must be 21+. All beer gardens will charge $2 for entry. 

4 pm: Bossame (Spokane)
5:30 pm: Hey! is for Horses (Spokane)
7 pm: Rust on the Rails (Seattle)
9 pm: Robert Jon and the Wreck (Orange County, California)

continues with this schedule:
2 pm: Folkinception (Spokane)
4 pm: Pine League (Spokane)
6 pm: Megan Wilde (Seattle)
7:30 pm: Ayron Jones and the Way (Seattle)
9 pm: The Grizzled Mighty (Seattle)
The Hop! is (sadly) closing, officially. Go and pay your respects Saturday night starting around 6 pm. Local bands seeing the all-ages venue off are FAUS, Reason For Existence, Straight To Our Enemies, Rot Monger, Least of These, Hearts Like Lions, Sorority, Serpentspire and For What May Come. Cost is $10.

Missoula death-metal act Walking Corpse Syndrome (an actual mental illness that leads the afflicted to believe he or she is dead) is no stranger to Spokane, having recorded their 2013 album Alive in Desolation at the local studio Amplified Wax. Saturday night at Pinnacle Northwest, the decade-old band bring their dark-as-night, thunderous noise music back to town. You won’t be able to decipher any of the Cookie Monster-sounding vocals frontman Leif Winterrowd makes, but you won’t care. Other acts at the $5, all-ages show includes Morbid Inc., A Cryptic Ending, Ground Zero and Concrete Grip.

Remember the Eugene, Oregon, act Cherry Poppin’ Daddies? They were going to play the Red Lion Hotel at the Park summer music series Saturday night at 6 pm, but that show has been cancelled. Tell your friiends.  

Elkfest continues with this Schedule
2 pm: Crystalline (Spokane)
4 pm: Left Over Soul (Spokane)
6 pm: Flying Spiders (Spokane)
7:30 pm: DJ Ahem (Sandpoint) w/ Don Da Vinci (Seattle)
9 pm: Lyrics Born (Berkeley, California) Read our interview with the rapper here. 
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Friday, May 29, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Whitesnake takes on Deep Purple at Northern Quest, and wins

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:11 PM

  • Dan Nailen

Any time you hit a "legacy" act concert, you go in with a few expectations, including a steady stream of the artist's biggest hits, a lot of nostalgic between-song banter, and a preponderance of extra pounds on both the musicians and the fans. 

The Whitesnake show at Northern Quest Resort & Casino largely fell short in those areas, and was a better show for it. Rather than simply being a #ThrowBackThursday to the band's monster-sized hits (and hair) from the late '80s, the band led by David Coverdale offered a heavy dose of its new album, a collection paying tribute to Coverdale's years as lead singer of Deep Purple in the mid-'70s. That might have left some disappointed who wanted more tunes from the band's Slide It In, Whitesnake and Slip of the Tongue albums, but the focus on Deep Purple's boogie-oriented blues-rock provided a better showcase of what Whitesnake has to offer now, in 2015. 

And what is that, exactly? Well, in Coverdale, you have a frontman in his 60s who is in fighting form, vocally and physically, and still busting out those mic-stand-thrusting moves — albeit not quite as emphatically as in the videos you might remember. In guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra, you have two axe men with some serious flair, ripping out solos that would have done Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore proud. Keyboardist Michele Luppi managed to evoke DP's Jon Lord with his flourishes. And in the rhythm section, bassist Michael Devin was a multi-faceted asset, singing harmonies and playing harmonica, while drummer Tommy Adridge, a long-time Coverdale compatriot, pummeled his set with an energy dudes half his age couldn't muster. Seriously, that guy is turning 65 this summer, and he was ridiculously powerful in the casino ballroom the band turned into a purple-tinged square of raised fists, bobbing heads and tipsy fans reliving old glories. 

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Inlander staffers share some of their must-sees at Volume 2015

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 12:39 PM

You might have heard Volume kicks off today, with 98 bands playing in venues all over downtown Spokane. It's pretty great. You can read up on all the bands, learn everything you need to know about navigating the thing, and set up your own schedule on the handy app that will keep you informed of who's playing when, and allow you to share your personal schedule with your friends on social media.

Cool, right? I know we'll see you out and about. In the meantime, a bunch of the Inlander staff shared short lists of artists they're particularly excited about trying to see Friday and Saturday nights. The writers are in alphabetical order, the bands they chose are in no particular order. If you don't have time to peruse the descriptions of every act playing put your trust in one of these folks: 

Lael Henterly, staff writer
All Your Friends Friends, Friday, Red Room Lounge, 9:45 pm
The Flying Spiders, Friday, Red Room Lounge, 12:30 am
Dude York, Saturday, Mootsy's, 7 pm
VATS, Saturday, Mootsy's, 8 pm
Marshall McLean Band, Saturday, Irv’s Outdoor Stage, 9 pm

Laura Johnson, music editor
Crystalline, Friday, the Bartlett, 9 pm
Age of Nefilim, Friday, Mootsy’s, 9 pm
Down North, Friday, nYne, midnight
Dude York, Saturday, Mootsy’s, 11 pm
Fauna Shade, Saturday, Red Room Lounge, 6:35 pm

Dan Nailen, staff writer
Silver Treason, Friday, Irv’s Outdoor Stage, 8 pm
Puff Puff Beer, Friday, nYne, 10:55 pm
Fun Ladies, Saturday, The Pinnacle, 7:20 pm
Cursive Wires, Saturday, Irv’s Outdoor Stage, 8:10 pm
The Shivas, Saturday, Big Dipper, 9:45 pm
Flannel Math Animal, one of our Bands to Watch in 2015.
  • Flannel Math Animal, one of our Bands to Watch in 2015.

Mitch Ryals, staff writer

The Dip, Friday NYNE, 9:45 pm
Puff Puff Beer, Friday, nYne, 10:55 pm
Shaprece, Friday, Red Room, 11:15 pm
Flannel Math Animal, Saturday, Bartlett, 6:15 pm
Whiskey Dick Mountain, Saturday, Pinnacle Northwest, 10 pm

Chey Scott, listings editor
Stucco, Friday, Big Dipper, 6:15 pm
Water Monster, Friday, The Bartlett, 10 pm
Kithkin, Saturday, Red Room Lounge, 7:30 pm
Marshall McLean Band, Saturday, Irv's Outdoor stage, 9 pm
Boy Eats Drum Machine, Saturday, nYne, 10:50 pm

Jake Thomas, staff writer
Loomer, Friday, Big Dipper, 10:30 pm
Flannel Math Animal, Saturday, The Bartlett, 6:15 pm
NasalRod, Saturday, The Pinnacle, 9:20 pm
Weed, Saturday, 10:40 pm, The Pinnacle
Flee the Century, Saturday, Mootsy's, Midnight
Loomer, one of our Bands to Watch in 2015.
  • Loomer, one of our Bands to Watch in 2015.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Be ready for Volume now! Everything you need to know

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 3:33 PM


Tomorrow, Volume is here. That’s right, two music-packed days featuring nearly 100 bands spanning nine downtown locations. It sounds crazy, we know, but we’re up for the challenge. To prepare mentally and physically for this fantastic event we’ve put together a couple of pointers for you. We can’t wait to see you all there!

Get Tickets
Today is the last day to buy wristbands online at or at the Inlander office for $20. Otherwise buy them at the festival tomorrow at the Volume headquarters tent at Sprague and Washington from 5-9 pm Friday and 5-8 pm Saturday. Will Call tickets are also held at this tent. Friday, the cost moves to $30 for both nights or $20 for a single night, and we’re taking both cash and credit card at the Will Call/Volume headquarters tent.

What the Wristband Gets You
Access to all Volume music venues, the circulating party trolley and special deals at select Spokane businesses.

Make Your Own Schedule
The full up-to-date schedule is here. Most exciting, you can make your own lineups on our website just by making your own account. Then at the festival, pull up your schedule on your phone. Check out our curated lineups, such as the best bands to dance to and let loose to here.

Social Media
Use the #Volume509 hashtag or #INVolume on Twitter and Instagram to share what you’re up to. Follow us on Twitter at @TheInlander and get updates on shows and venue lines on the Inlander and Volume Facebook pages.

Who’s Playing
It is physically impossible to see every single band playing this year, but , if you’re like us, you’ll try to see all the acts anyway. This year, we have bands making everything from funk to hip-hop, Americana to soul. While Volume is a celebration of local acts, there’s also regional and national talent flying in for the event. We highly recommend checking out this year’s Bands to Watch … and everyone else.

What to Wear
Footwear is the biggest thing here. Wear shoes that you can comfortably run around in. Other than that, it’s all about feeling good — and probably don’t wear anything described here.

What’s Open to All-Ages
In short, those under 21 can see any show at the Bartlett, Pinnacle Northwest and the Big Dipper, and shows until 9 pm at Neato Burrito. Also, the Som & Cheddar Chad Soul Brunch at Boots at 10 am on Saturday is open to all. That event features DJs Breezy Brown and Supervillain.

What Else You Might Want to Buy
Volume T-Shirts ($20), drink specials at venues (ask the bartender) and band merch.
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Pre-Volume pop-up mini concert at the Inlander hits tonight

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Volume will be here soon enough. But to get you in the musical state of mind, the Inlander hosts a Pre-Volume pop-up mini concert tonight on the Centennial Trail behind our headquarters in Kendall Yards. Featuring Stevie Lynne — a local singer-songwriter who recently released the new album, Liars, who is set to perform at the Bing Crosby Theater June 12 — the show starts at 5:30 pm.

This is the first time the Inlander is offering a backyard concert. The public is more than welcome to bring chairs and/or food to the event. Expect the show to run a quick 20 to 30 minutes. 
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bands to Watch: Where are they now?

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 4:29 PM

66beat was named a Band to Watch in 2013 and are playing this year's Volume. - CHAD RAMSEY
  • Chad Ramsey
  • 66beat was named a Band to Watch in 2013 and are playing this year's Volume.

For the past decade, the Inlander has selected five (or so) bands per year that you should be watching. These are the bands proving how original and talented the local music scene is. Ten years in, we’re checking in on our past Bands to Watch, formerly known as Buzzworthy Bands. Just scanning through the list of old names should bring back memories of venues and concerts past. We’ll be the first to admit that many of these bands have long broken up, but other artists have gone on to move past the Spokane rock scene and many are performing at this year's Volume. 

Weight: A hard-edged instrumental three-piece that’s now broken up, scattered into the wind.
Belt of Vapor: The Spokane band is as loud as ever, still kickin’ up mischief around town.
Locke & the Chris Wilson 5: The funk-jazz-hop oufit has since parted ways.
Mylestone: Broken up, but Patrick O’Neill moved to Seattle and started Like Lions, which now tours here.
Burns Like Hellfire: Gone but resurrected later in some capacity as Silver Treason.

Flee the Century: A wild, heavy electronic-rock act that reunites occasionally, including for this year’s Volume, which kicks off a mini Northwest tour. 
La Cha-Cha: The members of this rock four-piece have all gone their separate ways.
Teevee: A rock ’n’ roll trio that is no longer together.
Seaweed Jack: A dance-rock outfit that’s since moved on to other projects.
Coretta Scott: They toured nationally and released a record on Rise Records, but are now broken up.

Cyrus Fell Down: Broken up, but frontman David Plell moved to Seattle and continues to make strange music.
For Years Blue: They won Seattle's Sound Off battle of the bands competition, played Bumbershoot and then parted ways.
Mistress & the Misters: The strange-rock band has since broken up.
James Pants: The local DJ has since moved to Germany, where he works as a studio engineer and is affiliated with the Red Bull Music Academy.
Hockey: The California band lived in Spokane for a while, then moved to Portland and are still going strong, with just one of their original members.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sasquatch! 2015: The fashions people wear in the wilderness

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Butts are the new big thing this summer. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Butts are the new big thing this summer.

They packed up their banana suits, their flower children costumes and the tiniest booty shorts they could find. For so many Sasquatch! Music Festival attendees, it’s all about the wardrobe. Some people have clearly planned their costumes for weeks, others choose to wear not much of anything at all. Here are some of the highlights/lowlights from the Memorial Day Weekend festival.

- Oh Captain! My captain! The nautical captain hat is still huge.
This guy fashioned a cardboard shawl out of last night's beverage containers. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • This guy fashioned a cardboard shawl out of last night's beverage containers.
- Glad to see Seattle Mariners hats made more of an appearance than Toronto Blue Jays hats (there were more of the latter last year).
- I only saw one of those full Indian headdresses. So glad those are going away. Hopefully, we’ll see less of the sombreros and the rice paddy hats next year.
- The flower headband is as strong as ever. Some went too far, however, wearing what looked like a whole shrub wrapped around their head.
- (Faux) Animal fur caps were super hot, in more ways than one.
- Don’t forget the large-brimmed circle hat isn’t just for Californians or hipsters. So many have one now.

Unlike most of the other fashion statements, which don’t translate to the real world, the butt-out trend is hugely on point for summer (see above). That’s right, booty shorts for women are currently the bee’s knees. And I don’t mean normal short-shorts, I mean so short the cheeks peek out. For any female who feels empowered, self-reliant and beautiful wearing these sorts of clothes, that’s awesome. For everyone else, you have my permission to not wear them. Know that it’s OK to have your butt covered. Know that it’s OK to buck the trends and wear full ass-covering bottoms. Know that personality and intellect get you much further in this world than how fine your butt looks, girl.

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Six things I learned at Sasquatch!

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 10:01 AM

  • Laura Johnson
Father John Misty should come dance in Spokane soon. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Father John Misty should come dance in Spokane soon.
We are now back to our regularly scheduled program. This morning, thousands of music fans exited the Gorge Amphitheater campgrounds after yet another year at Sasquatch! music  festival. They are sunburned, sore, most likely hungover and will need to shower at least twice to get all the grime off. Many of them are headed straight to work today.

As always, it was worth it. Here are six things learned at Sasquatch! 2015.

6. Father John Misty and St. Vincent should do a show together and just dance
These two put on some of the best shows of the whole festival. Saturday night, Father John Misty (aka Joshua Tillman) flung himself around stage in what was almost a parody of rock star dance moves. His depressive tunes rocked harder than expected and he flailed around with great flair (and to great applause). Meanwhile, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) took over the main stage on Sunday and never let go. Her dance moves included a lot of shuffling around the stage like a robot and bobbing her guitar back and forth. At the end of the set she crowd-surfed, got back on stage and fell over, as if the audience had killed her. So dramatic, both of them. They should collaborate immediately.

Sasquatch! 2015 festival goers getting into their best Warrior Three yoga position Saturday morning. - LAURA JOHNSON
  • Laura Johnson
  • Sasquatch! 2015 festival goers getting into their best Warrior Three yoga position Saturday morning.
5. Kids are capable of paying respect to Robert Plant
There was this small worry (on my part) that people wouldn’t show up for his set. Thankfully, even if kids just barely old enough to drink don’t know who Robert Plant is, they are familiar with Led Zeppelin. Closing out the main stage Sunday night, more people stuck around for the whole show than for Sleater-Kinney or Modest Mouse the nights prior. Anytime the 66-year-old legend left his jambandy solo work for a Zeppelin song with his still-strong voice, the venue sung every word.

4. Sasquatch! is for lovers … and fighters
The general “love” was in the air for most of the festival — couples making out in the grass, or holding each other while swaying to the music (also a discovery of multiple pairs of underwear in a porta-potty). But there were also the unfortunate bursts of outrage that made passers-by incredibly uncomfortable. Girlfriends drunkenly yelling at boyfriends, “You don’t respect me! Do you know everything I do for you?” It makes a person wonder if Sasquatch! is a place for the single or those who left their significant other at home.

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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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