Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: Beach House inspires dreamy introspection at the Knit

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 3:19 PM

The light show behind the band served as suitable visual accompaniment to the auditory spaciness. - ISAAC HANDELMAN
  • Isaac Handelman
  • The light show behind the band served as suitable visual accompaniment to the auditory spaciness.

Last October, Baltimore-based dream pop band Beach House surprised the music world by releasing their second full-length studio album in the span of six weeks. It was an unexpected move, one that raised eyebrows, but that ultimately went over well, as Thank Your Lucky Stars received critical acclaim on a similar level as its immediate predecessor, Depression Cherry, and the band's four previous records. 

By contrast, Beach House's Tuesday show at the Knitting Factory was about what you'd expect out of a live translation of the band's spacey, multi-layered sound if you've spent much time listening to them. Just after 9 pm and following intermittent cries from the mostly relaxed audience, vocalist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally, the band's founding members, sauntered onstage alongside their two tourmates, who took the drums and synth. Without fanfare, the band launched into "Levitation," and Legrand immediately proved wrong anyone in the room who may have doubted her ability to showcase her startlingly smooth, deep vocals in a live setting. The setlist was varied, giving adequate focus to fan-favorite albums Bloom and Teen Dream (though oddly forgoing a performance of "Zebra"), and going for a few deeper cuts, such as "Master of None" from the band's debut. 

Audience members stayed fairly still throughout. Beach House's mellow tunes may not lend themselves well to a mosh pit, but even simple swaying was not a universal act among those on the floor. The demographic was mixed: a hunched, unassuming man in his late twenties stood near me, head-bobbing slightly on occasion, hands on the waist of his girlfriend in front of him; a blonde, nearly afro'd teenager in a baggy t-shirt pushed in front of me at one point, wasting no time as he lit a joint and started grooving like a disco dancer in slow motion; a short girl in a bandana stood nearby, chatting with friends on occasion, but mostly staying rooted to one spot, eyes glued to the performers onstage. At one point, a long-haired teen next to me gushed quietly to his girlfriend about how "they're such great performers."

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Upcoming summer block parties: Rage-Apalooza, Steam Plant Block Party and more

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

That we only have essentially one more month of summer is incredibly upsetting. However, there are a few upcoming block parties to help you deliciously savor the final weeks of sunshine and warmth. 

The Steam Plant Block Party
Sat, Aug. 20, 3 pm 

For the first time the Steam Plant and Baby Bar/Neato Burrito team up to bring you the first ever Steam Plant Block Party. Put on with the help of folks behind Unifest and theSteam Plant Rooftop Happy Hours, the new event will be held in the large parking lot between the two businesses. In fact, you can think of this event as a mini Unifest, but without the art side of things. The lineup includes some local indie (rock and electronic) favorites along with the Hoot Hoots, a Seattle indie rock band that can never seem to get enough of our fair city.
Here's the full lineup:

The Hoot Hoots - 8:30 pm
Flying Spiders - 7:30 pm
Lavoy - 6:30 pm Von the Baptist - 5:30 pm
Water Monster - 4:30 pm
DJ Ca$e
Summer In Siberia - 8pm
Fun Ladies - 7pm
Belt of Vapor - 6pm
The Bight - 5pm
Crystalline - 4pm
DJ Pauliday
Jan Francisco - 10 pm
Friends of Mine - 10:45 pm
DJ ORANGE - 11:30 pm

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WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Gleason Fest, final KYRS rooftop show and Festival at Sandpoint

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Lap up these final weekends of summer with some awesome tunes and beautiful sunshine. 

Last fall, when Gregory Alan Isakov was in town playing solo here for the first time, the show sold out. Now the South African singer/songwriter (by way of Colorado) is back with the Ghost Orchestra, but this time he's playing the Knitting Factory. Expect pure and utter beauty. The show begins at 8 pm and is $27.50 at the door. 

The Hillyard Festival kicks off tonight. Check out all of the music and art and parade and fireworks information you ever wanted for this all-ages free three-day event right here. 

KYRS hosts its final rooftop show of the summer with three extremely talented local bands taking the stage. There's Inlander Band to Watch the Smokes, brand new soul act Nat Park & the Tunnels of Love (this is the band's third show ever, which you can read about in this week's preview story) and finally Spokane's own hip-hop orchestra, the Flying Spiders. Cost is $1-$5 donation, and the festivities begin at 7 pm. 

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Ring-a-ding-ding: Ringo Starr bringing his All-Starr Band to Spokane

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band to Spokane in October.
  • Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band to Spokane in October.

Beatlemania may have bitten the dust long ago, but there's still good fun to be had whenever a former Beatle comes to town. 

While Paul McCartney is out gallivanting through big cities and getting ready for Oldchella this fall, the only other surviving member of the Fab Four, Ringo Starr, is making the rounds with his bands of misfit classic-rock toys otherwise known as the All-Starr Band.  

Starr and Co. will stop at the Spokane Arena's Star Theatre — appropriate much? — for a show on Oct. 16. Tickets are $39.50, $59.50, $79.50 and $124.50, and go on sale this Friday at 10 am through all TicketsWest outlets

Starr, of course, is the perpetually underrated former drummer of the Beatles who has had a nice solo career in the past few decades leading his All-Starr Band. And who, exactly, are these All-Starrs making up the longest-running band Starr has led? A breakdown: 

• Richard Page, former singer and bassist for Mr. Mister
• Steve Lukather, singer and guitarist best known as member of Toto
• Gregg Rolie, singer and keyboardist best known as member of Santana and Journey
• Todd Rundgren, multi-instrumentalist, famed producer
• Warren Ham, a multi-instrumentalist horn player
• Gregg Bissonnette, drummer who's played with a ton of jazz and rock bands who I'll always remember as the guy playing drums for David Lee Roth
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Friday, July 29, 2016

THIS WEEKEND IN MUSIC: Watershed Fest, Whitney, Asleep at the Wheel

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 12:27 PM

Eric Church brings the cool to this weekend's Watershed Music Festival.
  • Eric Church brings the cool to this weekend's Watershed Music Festival.


All those good ol’ country gals and guys are headed towards the Gorge this weekend for the first round of the annual Watershed Music Festival. This year, the event expanded to two weekends. This first one is sold out, but there are tickets available for the second. Headliners include Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Keith Urban. The three-day pass is $199 (if only Sasquatch! was so cheap). As it looks to be a scorcher out there this weekend, festival attendees should remember to apply sunblock and drink all the water. Yee haw!

Wrinkles comes to the Big Dipper the night after their CD release party in Missoula, where they now reside. Although the electronic-pop/synth-rock act started back in 2012 in Helena, they often didn’t live near one another thanks to college and jobs. Their new album, aptly titled Separation Anxiety, tells of these woes, as well as exploring the disconnect between real and perceived experiences. Stream the full album right here. Tonight’s show starts at 7:30 pm and is $8.

The Observatory brings in a mostly solo show tonight, which includes musicians from some of Spokane's favorite bands past and present like Vaughn Wood of Von the Baptist, Danny Lopez of Table Top Joe and William Alan of The Toy Garden. Expect some group performances as well. The show is $5 and starts at 9 pm. 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fresh Spokane music from Windoe, Lavoy, Crystalline and many more just in time for summer

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Windoe, through a cloud of mist.
  • Windoe, through a cloud of mist.

If you're ready for a bunch of brand new tracks this summer, look no further than these local bands' new tunes. Below you'll find links to mostly singles and EPs — apparently full albums aren't as cool right now — and among the bunch you're bound to find something to make your spirits sing. 

"Seat At York Table"
Karli Ingersoll (of the Bartlett, Cathedral Pearls, Prairie War and Super Sparkle fame) is always working on something new, and with her solo project Windoe's newest single, released just last week, she taps into the the dreamiest guitar heaven to pull out an upbeat yet pretty sad song. You can hear Windoe perform Wednesday night in Kendall Yards at the Rock the Nest concert series.

"Navigation Song"
The local folk-rock act hasn't released new music since 2014, but here with "Navigation Song" Folkinception shows they're on the way to more. The old-timey single was released last month as a demo and will only be available for a limited amount of time. Get your taste now. 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WATCH THIS: Fresh local videos from Stevie Lynne, Moretta, the Backups and the Broken Thumbs

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 3:04 PM

The Broken Thumbs
  • The Broken Thumbs

The music video isn't dead. As stated in an Inlander article earlier this year, MTV is bringing more music to its programming and the channel continues to present Music Video Awards (see the newly-announced nominations right here, which Beyoncé slayed), but it's YouTube that continues to bring music videos to the people — especially locally made ones, like the following. Here's what some area acts have been up to in the last month or so:

"Cue the Silence"
This Coeur d'Alene metalcore act's newest song (released July 15) may seem angry, but it's all about finding the will to persevere. Their new accompanying lyric music video only helps to drive the four-piece's point home. Their 3,000-plus Facebook fans should be pleased.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Parker Millsap's stirring, rootsy tunes thrill in Spokane

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 10:33 AM

Parker Millsap at The Bartlett - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Parker Millsap at The Bartlett

There's a feeling that comes with seeing a young artist on the rise exceed expectations on stage, a building excitement song by song that what you're witnessing is not just as good as advertised, but on the verge of something huge.

That was certainly the case for me watching Parker Millsap on stage at the Bartlett Monday, playing to a near-sold-out room. I'd already heard and fell in love with his two most-recent albums, his 2014 self-titled release and the new The Very Last Day. But seeing Millsap and his three backing musicians deliver live, ripping through 19 songs ranging from foot-stomping rave-ups to delicate ballads, was an entirely different experience than popping on some headphones. The 23-year-old is a charismatic frontman, a smiling bandleader easy with his between-song banter and in trading barbs with his fellow musicians. 

More importantly, every song was an absolute killer performance, each building on the previous to the point that my interior monologue went from "this guy's going to be huge" to "Holy shit he's good!" to "In five years I'm probably going to be driving long distances to see this guy." Millsap's blend of rock, country, blues and folk hits me right in my roots-loving sweet spot.

The set leaned heavily on The Very Last Day, as well it should; Millsap's latest earned him a nomination for Album of the Year from the Americana Music Association, alongside established elders Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton.

The show-opening "Pining" is a poppy love song and set the joyful tone early. "Heaven Sent," an epic ballad about a young Christian man and his father coming to grips with his homosexuality, was excellent, as was "Morning Blues," on which Millsap played electric guitar and strapped on a harmonica. 

"This is a song about the nuclear annihilation of everyone and everything, and I hope you enjoy it," Millsap said by way of introducing the title track to The Very Last Day, a nice indication of his sense of humor. He introduced "You Gotta Move" by saying with a big grin and perfect comic timing,"this is an old blues song about the Rapture. Or something." 

Elsewhere, songs from his self-titled album made clear there were some fans in the audience who knew his work well; both "Old Time Religion" and "Truck Stop Gospel" had folks in the crowd singing along. He covered "Comin' Undone," a song he wrote with Sarah Jarosz for her latest album, as well as old blues tune "The Hesitation Blues," working up a sweat early in the show on that one. 

Millsap's band was excellent, too; standup bassist Michael Rose, drummer Paddy Ryan and fiddler Daniel Foulks (introduced by Millsap as "the only Eagles fan in the band," despite wearing an Iggy and the Stooges T-shirt) all fleshed out the songs more than capably, giving Millsap the ability to bounce between guitars. 

When Millsap strapped on an electric for the first time for a brand-new song, "Other Arrangements," it offered a glimpse into an exciting future for his music. The tune was a shambling blues-rock number, delivered loud and kind of sloppy. It was, in a word, awesome. 

But you can say that for Millsap's whole show. 
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Monday, July 25, 2016

The 1975 books Spokane show for October

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 1:42 PM

The 1975 play Spokane on Saturday, Oct. 22
  • The 1975 play Spokane on Saturday, Oct. 22

One of the biggest music stories of the year has been the success of Brit pop-rockers The 1975 and their sophomore album, boasting one of the more lengthy and ridiculous titles in recent memory. 

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it came out in February and hit the top of the album-sales charts in both the UK and United States, and has made several "best of 2016 so far" lists including those from Rolling Stone, Spin and NPR.

Now The 1975 are on the road for a tour that will stop in Spokane on Oct. 22 — a Saturday night, party people!

The show is at the Knitting Factory, and tickets go on sale Friday at 10 am by calling 866-468-7623, or visiting either or the Knitting Factory website. Tickets are $36 in advance, $40 day of show — but I'd imagine they'll will sell out in advance. There will be a presale on Wednesday, so you might want to follow the Knitting Factory's Facebook page to catch the details on that. 

Here's a little sample of The 1975: 

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

CONCERT REVIEW: Chris Cornell mesmerizes for three hours at The Fox

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Chris Cornell spent his birthday in Spokane Wednesday, delivering an unforgettable three-hour show. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Chris Cornell spent his birthday in Spokane Wednesday, delivering an unforgettable three-hour show.

Any worries that a Chris Cornell show delivered primarily solo, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, would be less satisfying than seeing the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman in full, electrified rock god mode were quickly dashed Wednesday when he casually took the stage at the Fox Theater and waved to the audience before picking up a guitar. 

The reverence fans have for Cornell was obvious considering the standing ovation he got before playing a note — and several more that seemed to occur after every other song. The man possesses one of the best voices in rock, and if Wednesday's show proved anything, it's that Cornell has as much of an exciting future ahead as he has a storied history that began as a leader of Seattle's so-called "grunge" movement, continued to global superstardom and more recently settled into a solo career that has him exploring all manners of sonic approaches to his songwriting. 

Cornell spent three hours delivering 28 songs Wednesday night as he celebrated his birthday in Spokane, as well as the announcement earlier in the day that the Temple of the Dog project Cornell did with members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden in 1990 would commence its first-ever tour this fall. 

The set was filled with songs from throughout Cornell's career, most of them accompanied by a story about the song's origins, or a funny non sequitur that showed a guy known for dark lyrics has a wicked sense of humor. There were also plenty of unexpected covers, including Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" early on to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" in the encore as the show approached midnight. 

Chris Cornell at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Chris Cornell at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
In between, it was a tour de force of skilled showmanship and stunning vocals. Several songs came from his most recent solo album Higher Truth, including the show-opening "Before We Disappear" and night-closing title track, as well as the love song "Josephine" Cornell said he began writing as a love song for his now-wife 14 years before he finished it. 

Surrounded by guitars and effects pedals, as well as an on-stage turntable Cornell used to warm up the audience with some Marvin Gaye and to accompany his stirring version of "When I'm Down," Cornell never stayed in one spot for long. He roamed the stage on one song, sat on a stool the next, and occasionally called out multi-instrumentalist Brian Gibson to add some texture to songs via piano, cello or, on "Nearly Forget My Broken Heart," some mandolin. 

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