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.


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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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Meet the two newest members of Spokane Valley City Council

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 10:20 AM


The Spokane Valley City Council has filled two of its three vacancies on City Council. 

On Tuesday, Caleb Collier and Pam Haley were chosen for the council positions that were vacated by former councilmembers Dean Grafos and Chuck Hafner, both of whom resigned earlier this year amid frustrations with the four-person council majority. 

Before Tuesday, the members of the four-person majority — Mayor Rod Higgins, Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard and councilmembers Ed Pace and Sam Wood —  were all that was left after Bill Bates resigned due to health issues (Bill Gothmann had been filling in). The city narrowed down its list of applicants to six before choosing Collier and Haley. 

Collier is a postman with the U.S. Postal Service and a precinct committee officer for the Spokane GOP. 

"I just have a passion for effective government, and I really believe that the best way to get involved is locally. And that's what led me to apply," Collier tells the Inlander. 

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Concealed carry, transgender soldiers and other headlines as you end your week

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 9:23 AM


NEWS: Lawsuit claims that Grand Coulee Dam is polluting Columbia River
NEWS: Supreme Court declines to rehear public sector union case
MUSIC: Built to Spill goes for no frills, but lots of guitar heroics in Spokane


New concealed carry law goes into effect in Idaho
Today is the first day that most residents of the Gem State can legally carry a concealed weapon without a permit. 

Transgender soldiers can now serve openly
After a year of study, the Pentagon has announced that it is lifting its ban on transgender people, those who don't identify with the identity they were assigned at birth. 

Arleth out of the running for Spokane police chief
Capt. Brad Arleth, who is in charge of the downtown police precinct, won't be advancing as a candidate for police chief after a recruiting firm put him out of the running. 

Attorney general will accept recommendations on Clinton email probe
Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney general, will support whatever prosecutors from the FBI and Justice Department want to do with their investigation of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private server while serving as Secretary of State. The decision by Lynch, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, is intended to address concerns that she could overrule decisions by investigators.

First death by driverless car disclosed
Tesla Motors has revealed that a man traveling in one of the car manufacturer's Model S vehicles collided with a tractor and died after putting the vehicle in auto-pilot mode. 

New trial for subject of podcast
Adnan Syed, who is currently doing life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, will get a new trial. The controversy surrounding his conviction was detailed in the podcast Serial.

Bye Nancy
Nancy Grace, who hosts a show on CNN focused on true crime, is going off the air. 
Here is a video of her arguing with rapper 2 Chainz over pot

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Supreme Court declines to rehear public sector union case

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 4:52 PM

A court case that could have had a devastating effect on public sector unions in Washington and nationally is dead — for now. 

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rehear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The case centered on Rebecca Friedrichs, a California teacher who objected to a state law requiring her to pay union fees for representation against her will.

Washington has a similar law compelling public sector employees to pay into a union for representation. Organized labor has anxiously watched the case, which had the potential to diminish the financial viability and political power of public sector unions.

The Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, has used a more limited court ruling, Harris v. Quinn, to chip away at SEIU affiliates in Washington.

“At this point, it looks like the Friedrichs case is finished,” writes Maxford Nelsen, director of labor policy for the Freedom Foundation. “With that said, the issue of forcing public employees to fund labor unions against their will is still very much alive both at the state policy level and in court.”

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court tied 4-4 on Friedrichs, allowing a lower court’s ruling in favor of the union to stand. In February, Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly died and there’s been a vacancy on the court since.

Nelson notes that similar cases have been filed around the country and the issue will likely come up again.

“It is quite likely more such cases will continue to be filed until a ninth justice is confirmed and the constitutionality of compulsory agency fees for public employees can be settled more definitively,” he writes. “It will just take longer than expected to come to a resolution.”
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Lawsuit: Grand Coulee Dam is polluting Columbia River

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 4:04 PM


The Grand Coulee Dam is leaking oil into the Columbia River in violation of federal law, according to a lawsuit filed by an environmental group.

Columbia Riverkeeper is suing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, alleging that the agency has allowed the oils, grease and lubricants used on its gates and turbines in the dam to pollute the Columbia River, in violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

“Toxic pollution threatens the health of people that eat local fish and jeopardizes the public’s right to eat fish caught locally,” reads the complaint, filed in federal court on Wednesday. “Rising water temperatures also threaten the health of salmon and other aquatic life that rely on cool water for survival.”

The lawsuit cites government studies that found that pollutants in the river are being ingested by fish and making their way up the food chain to humans.

According to a news release from Columbia Riverkeeper, if the suit is successful, it’ll require the bureau to reduce pollution, disclose discharges and switch to more environmentally friendly lubricants used to operate the dam, one of the largest in the country. The news release also states that Columbia Riverkeeper has successfully used a similar strategy on eight dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Michael Williamson, spokesman for the bureau, said he was unable to comment on pending litigation.
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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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Mysterious animal deaths, Idahoans packing sans permits, and no more raw cookie dough

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 9:24 AM


Scotty Moore, the guitarist in Elvis Presley's original band, died Tuesday. Moore played on hits such as "Mystery Train," "That's All Right" and "Good Rockin' Tonight."

Chickens, cats, rabbits and goats started having seizures. Some died. Residents in a remote part of Stevens County are getting sick, but no one can say why.

Check out the Outdoors Guide in this week's issue. Then go outside and do stuff. 


• Just in time for Fourth of July weekend, Idahoans can carry guns without permits starting Friday. Take cover.

• The city ethics commission delayed a decision on the complaint against Spokane Mayor David Condon. The commission is considering whether to meet in super secret executive session, so you and I can't know what they talk about. (Spokesman-Review)

• Is the Grand Coulee Dam leaking toxic oil into the Columbia River? The Riverkeeper thinks so

• A grizzly bear killed a mountain biker near Glacier National Park. The man, Brad Treat, 38, was an officer for the U.S. Forest Service. 

• The F.D.A. just gave us the worst news in the last half century — stop eating raw cookie dough.


• Tonight, check out Duke Evers at John's Alley in Moscow.

• Tomorrow night, how about some Blitzen Trapper at The Hive in Sandpoint?

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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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Opioids, genetic sports prowess and all about herbs

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 12:50 PM


Good survey, bad medicine?
Do doctors feel pressured to prescribe opioids to get better patient ratings? This spring, the CDC put out new guidelines for prescribing opioids in response to 2014 data showing 2 million Americans were abusing prescription painkillers. But since 2010, federal laws have linked hospital payments to patient satisfaction surveys on things ranging from nighttime noise levels to how effectively patient’s felt their pain was managed. Poor pain management may translate to poor satisfaction, leaving doctors in a bind. “Almost half believed that pressure to obtain better scores promoted inappropriate care, including unnecessary antibiotic and opioid prescriptions, tests, procedures, and hospital admissions,” say the authors of study of more than 150 physicians on how the surveys affected their job performance and satisfaction. Learn more here

Hard work versus good genes
Remember how 10,000 hours of practice was what it took to make you great at something? A new study looking at data on practice and sport performance showed what many observant parents have known for quite some time: some kids are better than others at sports, no matter how much they practice or how early they start. Eighty-two percent of sports prowess appears to be due to what researchers term “other factors.” Namely, your genetics, and interestingly, mental and psychological factors such as performance anxiety and working memory.

Herbal App
The amazingly comprehensive and free “About Herbs” app developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering helps both consumers and professionals decipher the benefits and risks of thousands of “botanicals, supplements, complementary therapies and more.” Search a substance or a symptom—it’s hard to find something they haven’t included. Or check out the featured topics. Advice for consumers is relatively easy-to-understand, and includes potential benefits, as well as interactions and caveats, but unfortunately, not much about dosing. Switch to the “professionals” mode for a more extensive scientific report.
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