Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Anthrax defies the years at Spokane Arena

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Joey Belladonna (left), drummer Charlie Benante and Scott Ian of Anthrax. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Joey Belladonna (left), drummer Charlie Benante and Scott Ian of Anthrax.

Some styles of music understandably traverse decades with no problem. Performers who sit behind a piano or gently strum an acoustic guitar don’t put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies.

How the thrash-metal dudes in Anthrax — all in their 50s, save for the new lead guitarist — are still doing what they do on stage more than three decades after their debut album Fistful of Metal is totally beyond me. I’m sore just from some moderate headbanging and air-guitar "played" while watching their show.

Monday at Spokane Arena, Anthrax held the middle slot of a bill opened by Crobot and headlined by Volbeat, and they took the fans on a ride through their history, one that included a mosh pit for every song. They reached back to their 1985 album Spreading The Disease for “Madhouse,” and hit hard on their Among the Living album for show-opener “Caught in a Mosh” as well as the set-ending salvo of “I Am the Law” and “Indians.” 

Throughout, the band was as frisky on stage as in their younger days. Guitarist Scott Ian, the most recognizable member of the band for non-fans, raced around and threw up his “devil horns” toward appreciative fans in front after every song. Bassist Frank Bello crouched so low his bass nearly scraped the ground as he plucked his strings and sang backup. New lead guitarist Jon Donais was comfortable settling in and ripping out stinging solos among the musicians a good 15 years or so older. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante had to sit out the first few weeks on the tour due to some Carpal Tunnel Syndrome issues, but his temporary replacement Jon Dette more than ably replicated Benante's dexterity as he drove the band forward. And out front, the on-again, off-again, now-on-again lead singer Joey Belladonna spent his time exhorting the crowd to pump their fists and sing along to the anthems that made Anthrax one of the “Big Four” of thrash bands, along with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.

The highlights for me were the band’s Joe Jackson cover, “Got the Time,” and a monstrous take on “Antisocial” that had even those on hand for Volbeat singing along and throwing their horns to the sky of the half-filled arena.

It was an hour-long blast of high-energy fun, and the band sounded good in the cavernous space. And I don’t know about the guys in the band, but today I could use a massage.

Correction: This post has been updated since it was originally posted. 
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Friday, April 24, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Orgy, Tech N9ne and Anthrax

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:14 PM


Check for yourself here.

Orgy (the band, not the event) is coming to the Palomino Saturday. Orgy disbanded in 2004, but now the original singer Jay Gordon is back with some hired hands and some new tunes rooted in hard rock with some electronic flourishes. Thirion X, Helldorado, 9ELECTRIC and Death Valley High open for the band. Cost is $20 at the door.

Buzz Vineyard turns 65 and also releasing a new album full of folksy, singer-songwriter songs at Jones Radiator Saturday. Not bad for one night. The show starts at 7:30 pm.

Seattle’s the Lucky Boys are preparing to bring their brand of cutthroat (Kimi Cutthroat is their lead singer, after all) punk rock sound to Mootsy's stage Saturday. Redvolt (out of Richland) and Siamese Suicide open the show at 9 pm. 

Big Dipper brings in the always-cool Fly Moon Royalty Saturday. The Seattle duo expertly combines hip-hop and diva soul music to create music you’ll want to dance to all night. The always funky Flying Spiders open up the show that starts 7 pm. The cost is $12 at the door. 

Also, note the seventh Round at the Bartlett happens Saturday featuring Cami Bradley. 

No matter what the rumors have convinced you of, Tech N9ne does not have a house in Spokane. But he still comes through town at least twice a year, often playing at the Knitting Factory as he will this Sunday. The show starts at 7:30 pm and features openers Krizz Kaliko, Chris Webby, Murs and more. Cost is $28 for the all-ages show. Read our recent story here

House of Shem, the hottest reggae act out of New Zealand comes through the Red Room Lounge Sunday. Valley of Green opens for the show that starts at 9 pm. 

Danish rockers Volbeat headlines the Spokane Arena Monday night with the help of Anthrax (known as one of the "Big Four" in metal, along with Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica) and groove-rock Crobot Monday. A ticket is $40 at the door. Expect the night to rock seriously hard.

Meanwhile, over at the Baby Bar/Neato Burrito the Gooch Palms, Death Valley Girls, 66beat, Phlegm Fatale, Street Tang play for free. The show there is expected to rock equally as hard but with much more of a punk/grunge taste. Starts at 8 pm. 

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Lyrics Born headlines Elkfest 2015

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 10:54 AM

For its 11th year, Elkfest brings in an eclectic mix of regional and local artists, including headliner/Japanese-born rapper Lyrics Born. Since the early ’90s, the artist (aka Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura) has made socially conscious music that more than transcends his Bay Area home. He’s the type of dude who flows over hard beats but is also influenced by soul, jazz and jam-band music. His upcoming album Real People features Trombone Shorty and Galactic. Expect him to start his set off strong with the groovin' hit "Callin' Out." Seattle blues rockers the Grizzled Mighty, who play Spokane at least once a year, should offer up a wild set, as well. Here are the other bands to get excited about.


Touring acts
Lyrics Born
The Grizzled Mighty
Ayron Jones & the Way
Robert Jon & the Wreck
Rust on the Rails
Megan Wilde

Local acts
Hey! is for Horses
Flying Spiders
Pine League
DJ Ahem
Leftover Soul

The free Browne’s Addition block party, happening the weekend following Volume, runs June 5 through 7. As always, the event is all-ages, although the beer gardens are 21+.

Last year, headliners Minus the Bear weren’t announced until closer to the event, so we’ll see if any other big acts are added later. Either way, the lineup as-is will make up a fantastic soundtrack for a weekend in the sun. 
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: New Built to Spill, Alabama Shakes albums highlight the week

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Every week the entertainment biz drops a slew of new albums and movies on the market, and we're here every Tuesday to sift through it all to give you the best of the week's new releases. Let's get to it. 

It's a pretty monster-sized week for new music, coming hot on the heels of Record Store Day, and new releases from Joywave, Passion Pit, Rocky Votolato, Wire, Yelawolf and They Might Be Giants all warrant a listen. Here are the three new releases I'm most excited about:  

Built to Spill — Boise's finest! — took six years between albums, and the band has undergone some lineup changes in the intervening years. You wouldn't notice, though, listening to the new Untethered Moon, another set of searing guitar solos and dreamy excursions courtesy of main man Doug Martsch. Here's a pretty damn funny video for "Never Be the Same:"

Alabama Shakes
seemed like one of the most overrated band's in recent memory when I saw them just as their debut album was being released. There was no denying the magnetic appeal of lead singer Brittany Howard, but the rest of the band were boring on stage, coming off as a competent bar band and little more. On their recordings, though, Howard's voice and guitar is the focus, and that's a good thing. Sound & Color is their new album, here's a taste: 

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CONCERT REVIEW: Neko Case rocked the Bing despite missing bandmate

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM


Starting a concert by announcing one of the band members is missing might seem an odd choice, but when it comes to the importance of singer Kelly Hogan to Neko Case's crew, an unmentioned absence would have surely distracted long-time fans who knew they'd be missing out both killer harmony vocals and the priceless, hilarious stage banter the two women share. 

As much as Hogan was missed Monday night, though, Case and the rest of her band promptly did their best to make everyone at the Bing forget about the empty spot on stage, starting with Case's stunning a cappella take on show-opener "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" and continuing through the triumphant closer "Ragtime" — both from her 2013 album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

Much of the show was drawn from that excellent release since Case spent much of the past year or so recording and touring with New Pornographers. Like the missing Hogan, the show didn't suffer from a lack of new tunes. Hearing Case's clarion call of a voice ring through the Bing immediately engaged the audience (although dancing along was strictly verboten, judging by one overzealous security guard who shut down a couple trying to dance). Photos and videos were no-nos as well — a welcome restriction given how distracting glowing screens are in an intimate, intense setting like the one Monday. Case is the kind of powerful presence who can bring a room to silence just by opening her mouth to sing, and it was hear-a-pin-drop-quiet more than once during the evening. 
A look at Neko Case's stage—just before security reminded me of the no-photo policy. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • A look at Neko Case's stage—just before security reminded me of the no-photo policy.

That doesn't mean the show was stiff or staid. Quite the contrary. Even without Hogan to goad her on, Case had plenty of great one-liners eliciting laughs between songs. After "Bracing for Sunday," she looked toward the chandeliers and said, "I'm pretty stoked on these lamps. They look like macaroons, but they light up around the edges. They make me hungry and design-y."

After "Where Did I Leave That Fire," "This Tornado Loves You" and "That Teenage Feeling," Case strapped on an electric guitar and kicked up a good ruckus with her guitarists Jon Rauhouse and Eric Bachmann for "If You Knew." Known for her voice for obvious reasons, Case's playing on electric and acoustic guitars is probably under-appreciated. She spent plenty of time Monday showing that she's a fine instrumentalist, too. 

Some of Case's older songs were clear fan favorites, and highlights of the show. "Margaret vs. Pauline," "The Pharaohs," "Hold On, Hold On" and "Hex" all killed, as did The Worse Things Get songs "Calling Cards" (complete with Rauhouse on trombone!), "Man" and "City Swans." 

Case hit the encore after 19 songs by singing the praises of the venue, noting they had popcorn hot and ready when she arrived, as well as organic tampons. The first encore featured just Case on stage, singing "Outro With Bees" from her Blacklisted album before the band rejoined her for "Deep Red Bells," "I Wish I Was the Moon" and "Ragtime." 

It was a great show by all counts, although I wish the lack of Hogan meant we were guaranteed a return visit when Case makes another album. 
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Friday, April 17, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Old men rockers, Kazzuzapalousa and 4/20 festivities

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:56 AM


The fuzzy power pop act the Hoot Hoots are coming through Spokane again this weekend — they must love us. The talented Seattle four-piece brings along their friends Smokey Brights for the Bartlett show and Lavoy will open the party with the promise of at least two new songs. Get there at 8 pm. Tickets are $12.

One of the two underappreciated old men rockers coming through this week is Texas Americana singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo. Tonight, he’ll play acoustic with violinist Susan Voelz at the Palomino Club. The show is $15 and starts at 9 pm. Leon Russell (the other old man rocker) plays the Bing Crosby Theater Wednesday.

It’s Record Store Day! Get out there and support your local record stores, duh.

The second weekend of Coachella is just starting up, signaling the return of music festival season in America. Jumping on the festival bandwagon this year is KZUU 90.7 FM, Washington State University’s non-commercial radio station, with its first-ever Kazzuzapalousa in Pullman, happening at the BellTower. The event include Seattle-based headliners Chastity Belt and Childbirth (the latter made up of members from Pony Time, Tacocat and Chastity Belt), two remarkable feminist punk bands who know how to rock the hell out of any joint they play. Other acts include Corey J. Brewer, Daniel Halligan, Youryoungbody, Blackwater Prophet, the Static Tones and Smashclub. There will be local art, and also food and booze for sale. The festival begins at 2 pm and is $8 for students, $10 for the public.

Just across the state line, Moscow is hosting its annual Hemp Fest at East City Park. The musical lineup includes (and we couldn’t make these names up): Charcoal Squids, Galactic Tofu Farmers, Phoenix 99, Voodoo City Radio, Bread & Circus, Endangered Species and more. The event, which includes vendors and guest speakers, is free and goes from 10 am to 7 pm.

As April 20 is on a Monday this year, many of the activities are happening one day prior. Royal's Cannabis is hosting a 4/20 Festival Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The event features live DJ music and four hand-rolled joints for $20. Meanwhile 4:20 Friendly is hosting the event, Why Wait ‘Til 4:20? The day goes from 2 pm to 7 pm and includes music from Thief of Hearts and Psycho Syndicate. Be sure to bring a blanket and/or chairs for this one.

Also note that Neko Case performs at the Bing Crosby Theater Monday. 
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Where to get your vinyl for Record Store Day 2015

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 10:46 AM

This Saturday, it’s time for yet another wild Record Store Day — the event that’s almost single-handedly kept independent record stores in the Inland Northwest and beyond in business for the past decade. While there are fewer record stores participating this year (Groove Merchants is too new and Deadbeat Records moved from Moscow to Olympia), there are more than enough options to see you through. 

If you’re a huge audiophile, you already have a list of the exclusive records, archival reissues and fun-colored rarities to go after. For everyone else, it’s time to catch up. Awesome limited-releases include tracks from nearly any genre you ever wanted, from U2 to Monty Python. Check out an entire list here.

Expect a line around the block at all of these locations so plan accordingly. Also don’t forget, these record stores are open other days of the year, too.

Recorded Memories
1902 N. Hamilton St.
Expect: Outside sidewalk vinyl sale (weather pending), along with exclusive Record Store Day items and swag inside. The store normally opens at 11 am and the doors are set to open somewhat early, at a to be determined time.

4,000 Holes
1610 N. Monroe
Expect: Special limited edition RSD poster available by the Inlander’s own graphic designer Derrick King. Doors open at 11 am. Live music by the Marshall McLean Band and Glenn Case starts at 3 pm.

The Long Ear
2405 N. Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene
Expect: Free giveaways and free coffee and snacks in line while you wait for doors to open at the usual 10 am. Be advised, this is the largest amount of product the business has ever ordered for RSD. 
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

LOCAL BAND VIDEO ROUNDUP: Moretta, the Muzes, Windoe and more

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 11:02 AM

It's time for another roundup of recently released local music videos. As ever, the diversity within the local scene is magnified with this handful of artists. Check 'em out! 


The Coeur d'Alene-based metalcore band Moretta just released its debut and self-titled album. Look for their next show to happen at the end of May. But the real question is: Whose handwriting is featured in this video? 

The Muzes
Spokane’s own darling MC Jaeda Glasgow has recently teamed up with Kelley Mak out of California to form hip-hop outfit the Muzes. The title track off of their latest EP Boom Bap Gypsies is perfect for rollin’ with your girls on a night out. 

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TUESDAY TASTE: Big scares, Big Eyes, new live Eels in week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 11:04 AM

Every Tuesday, we delve into the week's new music and DVD releases to let you know the best way to spend your dollars. It's called Tuesday Taste, and here are some samples of the best this week has to offer: 


Arizona-based Calexico consistently creates sounds and songs that sonically stretch well beyond their little corner of the world. The group, led by Joey Burns and John Convertino, are regular collaborators of Neko Case, and their new album Edge of the Sun is another excellent set of music. Here's a taste: 

 leader E (aka Mark Oliver Everett) has always been one of rock's great experimentalists, crafting a catalog that veers from genre to genre, and using an ever-changing lineup to capture the sounds in his head. The new live album Royal Albert Hall is an excellent primer on Eels music, spanning 28 songs that show Eels to be true treasures of modern rock. Fun sidenote: Journey's ex-singer Steve Perry was a semi-member of the band last year. Here's a sample from the live set: 

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Friday, April 10, 2015

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Disappears, Sheryl Crow and Ryan Keberle returns

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 3:06 PM


Chicago-based post-punk band Disappears may not offer the soundtrack to spring with its music but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a listen. They’re playing tonight at the Bartlett starting at 8 pm. The show costs $12. Read this week’s feature story on the band here.

For the first time, Ryan Keberle and his modern jazz band Catharsis play the Bing Crosby Theater tonight. The Mead High School graduate hasn’t played in Spokane as a band leader since he left for New York City in 1999. The show features the Brent Edstrom Trio and starts 7:30 pm for $20. Read our feature story on the artist here.

Sandpoint sisters the Shook Twins are back in the area this weekend starting tonight at the Hive in Sandpoint with openers Mama Doll. Then Saturday the indie duo heads over to the Bartlett for a show with the Rustics. These ladies are serious hippie mamas and if you haven’t seen them yet, now is your chance.

Swaxx is going down tonight as Seattle rapper Nacho Picasso, aka Jesse Robinson, is back in town. The hip-hopper has built his career on misogynistic (he talks a lot about “bitches” and "titties") party tunes, but a recent single, “David Bowie,” included samples from a Bowie song off the cult favorite Labyrinth soundtrack, proving Picasso also has an inner nerd. Openers for the show include All Day Trey, TMS, Kemicals, D-Mac, Brotha Nature and more.

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