Friday, July 8, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Alice in Chains, We Are Scientists, Lunch Duchess and music for the soul

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 11:23 AM

"Music has healing power, it has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours." — Elton John 

Most drummers are not lead singers. But with Minneapolis-based Lunch Duchess, Katharine Seggerman fills the Phil Collins role to the best of her ability, complete with a Britney Spears-esque cordless microphone headset. Watching this four-piece band on stage is to experience a feminist garage/pop-punk lovefest — something you can do for free tonight at the Baby Bar starting at 10 pm. As heard on the group’s fresh debut EP, My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life, Lunch Duchess has an impressive ability to wallow in the slow and contemplative. This is certainly music to savor, and when it’s all over you’ll try to figure out what it was you just heard. Holy Cows and Ben Jennings open.

We are Scientists
aren’t actually scientists; they’re a pop-rock act touting a brand new album Helter Seltzer, who’ve been making music together for two decades. They play with the Palms at the Bartlett tonight. Show starts at 8 pm and is $15. Read our preview interview with the group right here.

The Seattle-based Alice in Chains already sold out the Knitting Factory last year, but the group must have enjoyed the Spokane crowd so well that they’re back for more, this time taking on a much larger venue with the INB Performing Art Center Saturday night. Tickets are $50-$75 and the show starts at 8 pm. Read our big interview with the act from a few years ago.

Excited for yet another rooftop show? You need to take advantage of them while they last, and Saturday you can hit up the KYRS rooftop concert with the punk rockers Casual Hex, and also Big Bite and S1ugs on top of the glorious Saranac building. The show starts at 7 pm and is a $5 donation to get in. 

It’s Soul Night at the Bartlett this Saturday — prepare to get funky. The Seattle-based funk-soul group the Dip, which includes at least one Spokanite in its ranks, is prepared to rip off the ceiling with their dance-worthy tunes. The up and coming band, which has played Capitol Hill Block Party and Sasquatch!, ends their recent summer tour in this fair city. Openers include the new local soulful super group Super Sparkle and also the local 45th St. Brass. Show starts at 8 pm and is $10 at the door. Read our preview interview with the Dip right here.

For those trying to get out of town this weekend, the Wallace Blues Festival and the Sandpoint SummerFest should be on your radar. Both events bring in some of the finest regional talent around (Ayron Jones and the Way is in Wallace and Down North hit up Sandpoint). Check out the schedules right here and here.

Floaty dream pop hits the Observatory Sunday in the form of Seattle two-piece Lemolo. Local acts Dead Serious Lovers and Water Monster open the set. You basically don’t want to miss this one.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bummer alert: Ryan Bingham show at Knitting Factory Sept. 4 is canceled

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 4:54 PM


You can't really blame the guy considering what his conflict is, but it's still bad news for fans of Ryan Bingham. He announced today he has to cancel the first four shows of his upcoming tour, including a date in Spokane Sept. 4 at the Knitting Factory

Bingham is working with film director Scott Cooper, the man behind the movie Crazy Heart that garnered Bingham an Oscar nomination, and the schedule for the new Christian Bale flick Hostiles is keeping Bingham away. 

Here's his announcement: 
"Sincere apologies to the fans who already bought tickets to our shows in Boise, Spokane, Portland, and Seattle. I am excited to be reuniting with Scott Cooper (director of "Crazy Heart") for his epic frontier movie "Hostiles" with Christian Bale and due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict with this project I have to cancel the first 4 shows of our fall tour. I am sad to miss these shows and I will make sure to be back to make them up in the future. Thank you for understanding and for your continued support.” - Ryan Bingham
All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase. 
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Friday, July 1, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Blitzen Trapper, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Radkey and Fourth of July

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Are you staying in town too this weekend? Or did you just stumble into town? Here are happenin’ music shows you’ll want to check out in the next few days.

Blitzen Trapper keeps on touring, and this time they're in Sandpoint.
  • Blitzen Trapper keeps on touring, and this time they're in Sandpoint.
If it seems that Blitzen Trapper is always touring through Spokane, know that the Portland-based rootsy rock act is here about once a year … or more. Blitzen Trapper just hit up the Bartlett, but if you missed that show, it’s time to haul buns to the Hive in Sandpoint tonight. Cost is $15 and it all begins at 9 pm.

Radkey, who play the Bartlett tonight, doesn’t want you to think of their rockin’ three-piece as some sort of shtick. Yes, they’re three brothers — Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke — and they did start the band five years ago as teens, but they mostly want you to notice their extremely catchy garage punk tunes. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, where they were home-schooled, listening to their father’s punk-filled record collection over and over, the group’s career took off in 2013, when after a South By Southwest festival performance, they were signed to tour Europe. Last year’s debut, Dark Black Makeup, shows off the band’s strengths — Dee’s beautiful baritone, paired with driving rhythms and memorable melodies. Cost is $10 at the door at 8 pm.


Continue reading »

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KISS has a deal for you for the "Freedom to Rock" tour

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 10:45 AM

KISS performing in the summer of 2014 - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • KISS performing in the summer of 2014

Perhaps you've been considering buying tickets to see classic-rockers KISS at the Spokane Arena, but you haven't pulled the trigger yet. 

If you waited to decide to go see Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer (replacement Ace) and Eric Carr (replacement Peter), you were smart. The band is offering tickets today through July 5 for just $25 for their Freedom to Rock tour stopping in Spokane July 15. 

The deal is available now through 10 am on Tuesday, July 5, and you can buy up to eight tickets at the $25 price. Just go to the TicketsWest site for the show and enter "FOURTH" in the box for promotional codes. You can also just go to the Spokane Arena box office to get the deal. 

KISS is one of those bands you really should see at least once in your life. They are pioneers of theatrical rock shows, and the amount of pyro and special effects on stage is pretty impressive. Not to mention the slew of killer rock tunes you'll likely hear in any given set: "Strutter," "Deuce," "Detroit Rock City," "I Love It Loud" and the like. I've seen them a lot over the years — that photo is from a show two summers ago — and it's still a pretty good time, every time, for even a casual fan. 

Here's a taste of what you'll get: 

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Concert Review: Built to Spill goes for no frills, but lots of guitar heroics in Spokane

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 12:06 PM


I knew going into last night's Built to Spill show at the Knitting Factory that it would be a different version of the band. The indie gods, led by Doug Martsch, are currently touring as a three-piece, which meant only Martsch's guitar would be on display. I realized on the walk through a scorching evening in downtown Spokane that I'd never seen BTS with fewer than three guitars on stage, allowing them to weave soaring and sometimes infinitely spacey soundscapes that veer into jammy territory.

And before the first chord, the show indeed felt very, very different. There was no backdrop to the stage decorated only by the drum kit, amps and Martsch's impressive collection of pedals, switches and other gadgets that made his place on the stage look like something out of an old NASA control room. There was no fanfare when the band took the stage because they'd already been out there setting up their own gear the entire time. It felt a bit like we'd stumbled upon one of the band's practice sessions.

Martsch then charged through a set that sounded anything but thin and showcased him as the guitar hero he should be more widely recognized as. With all the knob turning he was doing with his technical apparatus, there were times I had to ask my buddy if he thought Martsch was looping in some extra guitar parts, but it seemed he was playing it all live. No, he was not, was the consensus, and the crowd, which was a bit thinner than expected but surprisingly young for a band that is unfortunately labeled as "dad rock" by the more smug music writers out there, lapped it up.

High points were "I Would Hurt a Fly" from 1997's Perfect from Now On, as well as several cuts from the last year's Untethered Moon. Martsch's guitar solos were grand throughout, but his work on "Carry the Zero" took the tune near the 10-minute mark without letting it get boring. They even worked a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Effigy" into the encore.

I went in expecting something like Built to Spill Light, but that was hardly the case. It was, indeed, different than the five-piece shows I'd previously seen, but this incarnation of the band — which is a return to its roots in a way — is more than worthwhile. And for people who want to get a better taste of one of rock's great guitarists, it might even be a more satisfying product.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

R.I.P. Scotty Moore, Elvis's right-hand man and one of rock's pioneers

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Scotty Moore, left, was the man on guitar for Elvis Presley's earliest recordings.
  • Scotty Moore, left, was the man on guitar for Elvis Presley's earliest recordings.

One of the pillars of what we now know as rock 'n' roll died Tuesday in Nashville. 

Scotty Moore was the guitarist in Elvis Presley's original band, and is the guy behind some of the King's most memorable tunes thanks to his playing on songs like "That's All Right," "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Mystery Train." If you listen to rock, folk, country, blues or jazz, you've likely listened to someone influenced by Scotty Moore. 

Keith Richards credits Moore's sound with convincing him to switch from acoustic to electric guitar, and everyone from Jack White to Jimmy Page has sung the praises of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. 

I got the chance to interview Moore back in 2004 for a story I was writing about what many considered the beginning of rock music, when Elvis and his buddies turned up at Sun Records in Memphis and crafted a sound that would start a teenage revolution (all due respect to Chuck Berry and myriad other black artists Elvis stole from). 

Moore described first meeting Presley for the session — it was July 5, 1954 — along with bassist Bill Black for a session recorded by Sun Records boss Sam Phillips

"We'd run through a whole bunch of songs, for about an hour or an hour and a half, I guess, and we took a little break," Moore told me for the story that ran in The Salt Lake Tribune. "Elvis started just goofing around and started singing 'That's All Right.' Bill and I, neither of us had ever heard it before, so we just started playing along. Sam stuck his head out [of the recording booth] and asked what we were doing, then told us to do it again. We ran through it about four or five times while Sam recorded.

"It was just a demo. There was only one mic on him and his guitar, but he played so loud, you didn't need to mic his guitar! And we'd kind of step in and step out away from the one microphone."

That cover of a so-called "race record" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup marked the point when Phillips and Moore realized that Presley kid was going to be huge. And Moore's guitar is about as important as Elvis's voice. 

You can hear that original recording with Moore's guitar work right here: 

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Spin the black circle, and get a deal on drinks in the process

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM


Consider it a salon with a soundtrack. A mix of passionate conversation about music and listening party, in which you can be some combination of DJ, lecturer and fan. 

The Bartlett is hosting its first Wax Club Wednesday night, in which anyone and everyone is invited to bring some vinyl to the bar to play it for fellow guests and talk about what makes it so great. 

Kent Ueland is the organizer of the thing; you might know him better as The Holy Broke. He says the inspiration came about "having a few too many drinks at The Observatory" and talking to bartender Anthony Burgess about how to make a vinyl night like the one that used to happen at Jones Radiator more personal and appealing than simply "bring a vinyl, get in line, it might get played." 

For the Wax Club, there are a few "regulations" — mostly that you bring an album and have a couple of reasons you love it that you're willing to share, as well as two "fun facts." 

Ueland says his inaugural contribution will be Silver Tongued Devil by Kris Kristofferson, "because I believe it's one of the strongest songwriting debuts ever." He's prepared to regale attendees with stories of Kristofferson landing a helicopter on Johnny Cash's lawn, and leaving a Rhodes Scholarship behind to pursue his musical dreams. 

"That's sort of what I hope for out of this whole thing — people bring records they are truly passionate about, and are happy to argue with any naysayers that may pipe up (nicely of course)," Ueland says.

There aren't any limitations, he says, other than the Golden rule of "don't be a dick," as in don't make 30 people listen to one song that lasts a whole side of an album. "The beauty of vinyl is that there are hard limitations to how long they can be, so that helps," he says. "Be cool and let's talk tunes. That's all."

Down the line, the Wax Club might incorporate some themes, like "bring the record you think has the strongest last song" or "bring your favorite classic crooner," Ueland says. But for the time being, he just wants to let folks know that Wax Club is "open to all people, vinyl lovers or not. Just come hang and listen if that's your style. Learn something — I know I will!"

Wax Club is Wednesday, June 29, from 7-11pm. It's open to all ages, and participants get 20 percent off their bar tab. And it's free. 
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Spokane music and arts scene gets its own wall — online

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 4:16 PM


There’s a new way to find out about what’s going on in the local music and arts scene.

No, it’s not the most state-of-the-art website, but certainly, it’s to the point. The Spokane Wall tells you about some of the coolest musicians and comedians and artists putting on shows in the area, by posting event posters on a fake brick wall. Scroll right to see more. Click on the poster and be transported to the event’s Facebook page or website. That’s it. Simple.

The Spokane Wall, was created by local musician (the Poids)/artist/poet Chris Dreyer (who has freelanced for the Inlander in the past) as a way to promote local concerts and events in a curated way that wasn’t just on Facebook.

“Primarily, promotion from people who are putting on shows set up a FB event pretty much eight times out of 10,” Dreyer says. “That works, but you are only able to reach your friends with that.”

Multiple local media, venue and city websites offer event calendars, including the Inlander’s, to keep people up to date, but the Spokane Wall offers an exclusively visual way of taking in the happenings around town.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Paradiso, Hoopfest and Riff Raff

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Paradiso tickets aren't quite sold out yet this year.
  • Paradiso tickets aren't quite sold out yet this year.


Similar to the Electric Daisy Carnival that hit Las Vegas last weekend, the Gorge’s Paradiso Festival can get scorching hot — temperature- and talent-wise. Artists/DJs like Datsik, Chris Lorenzo and Bassnectar are set to fill the amphitheater and surrounding stages this weekend with vivid light shows and a whole bunch of thumping and intoxicating electronic dance music (EDM). But mixed in with brutal sunshine, drug use and a culture that pushes people to dance and jump late into the night, the combination can be fatal — one 22-year-old died last year. The kids (the college-age concertgoers who make up most of the thousands) are all there to let loose, but to everyone headed that way this weekend, we say: Stay hydrated (filling up at the free water stations) and wear sunscreen, just like your mother would recommend.

Also starting Friday night: Hoopfest kicks off! Yes, Spokane's most exciting 3-on-3 basketball tournament isn't just about sports, expect a lot of pre-parties and parties after each day.  Check here for full calendar listings, which are mostly more club- and DJ-oriented. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Gleason Fest’s big announcement

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 4:02 PM

Indie rockers Portugal. the Man headlines this year's Gleason Fest.
  • Indie rockers Portugal. the Man headlines this year's Gleason Fest.

Gleason Fest,
an indie music festival that raises funds and awareness for Steve Gleason's ALS non-profit Gleason Initiative Foundation, is back for yet another summer — with some big changes.

Not only is this year’s August 6 event moving to the Lilac Bowl at Riverfront Park, the former block party festival is bringing in some top rockin’ talent. The one-day all-ages show features Alaska-turned-Portland act Portugal. the Man as headliners as well as Pickwick (a Seattle favorite) and Delbert the Band (a local act reuniting for a couple shows this summer). More acts are soon to be announced.

Gleason, a Spokane native who played football for Gonzaga Prep, Washington State University and the New Orleans Saints, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2011. His story was documented in the soon-to-hit-theaters documentary Gleason, which debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival. He plans to be in attendance for this fourth year of the festival.

Tickets are $25 and go on sale Friday, June 24.

Just to get you in the mood: Two years ago, we asked Gleason to make a summer playlist for us. And it still holds up. Take a listen.

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