By Dan Nailen
on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 12:22 PM
Inlander Restaurant Week got off to a tasty, rousing start over the weekend, and if you weren't able get out to one of the 97 restaurants involved in 2015, you still have a week to get it together. If you need some information on Inlander Restaurant Week, hit our complete guide online, our coverage in the new issue of The Inlander, and our handy how-to for first-timers.
When you DO get out there, be sure to help your fellow diners out by letting us know what you think of what you're eating. Hashtag your posts #INRestWeek on Twitter and Instagram, or shoot us some photos directly @TheInlander and @InlanderRW.
Here are some samples from happy eaters from the weekend. Stay tuned for more shots through the week:
By Dan Nailen
on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 11:07 AM
We had a pretty light sports weekend unless you're a NASCAR fan, but a couple of local hoops teams had huge games. Here's the breakdown to help you get through any watercooler chat at the office:
ZAGS LOSE FIRST CONFERENCE GAME CLINCH WEST COAST CONFERENCE
Kevin Pangos and the Zags are regular season conference champs — again.
Gonzaga was bound to have a nail-biter eventually, and they got it Saturday night at St. Mary's. No shocker there, given St. Mary's success in recent years, but the Zags seemed to be on a Kyle Wiltjer-driven roll in California when tip-off came on Saturday night.
Most importantly, the Zags stayed in line to potentially get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney if they win out. They'll probably want to work on their "D" and free throw-shooting the rest of the way. This week, they welcome San Diego on Thursday and finish out the regular season against BYU Saturday. Until then, enjoy Pangos reading tweets about his 'do: EAGLES IN A RACE
The news for the Eastern Washington hoops squad wasn't quite as good. They headed into the weekend with the conference lead in the standings, but a tough loss at Northern Arizona has them basically tied with Sacramento St. and Montana for Big Sky supremacy and the chance to host the conference tournament. And after their win, Northern Arizona is suddenly in the thick of things, too.
EWU hosts Montana St. and Montana Thursday and Saturday in two huge games to close out their home schedule.
COUGS CRAWL ALONG
Ernie Kent's first season in Pullman should be viewed as a success already, given the Cougs dismal expectations at the start of the season. But Sunday's loss to the rival UW Huskies, who were in the midst of an epic collapse via seven-game losing streak, has gotta hurt. No way the Cougars should have lost at home. Hopefully it's a lesson learned as the team stumbles toward the Pac-12 tourney. They play USC on Wednesday.
Kendall Yards (home to Inlander headquarters) is getting a new traffic light as the new development is bringing an increase in traffic to Monroe Street and Summit Parkway. (Spokesman-Review)
A pilot was critically injured Sunday after crashing his small plane near East Sprague and North Errie Street in Spokane. (KXLY)
Three people allegedly attempted to break in to one Spokane Valley resident’s home Sunday morning. He was not amused. (KREM)
A suicide bombing by a young girl (witnesses say she looked about 8 years old) kills six in a Nigerian market. (UPI)
A Department of Homeland Security shutdown now seems likely as Congress is, unsurprisingly, at an impasse over immigration laws. (New York Times)
Birdman won for best director and best picture at last night’s Oscars, Lady Gaga was the best of the night and it looks like early ratings say this year’s telecast had fewer viewers than last year. (Los Angeles Times)
“I don’t even know who Riff Raff is,” says the woman nearby in head-to-toe denim. “I’m here for the beer but I really only listen to, like, Johnny Cash.”
Glowsticks are tossed from the balcony around us and from every direction, some landing in people's drinks below. But, let’s face it, if unadulterated (mindless?) fun is serious business, then Riff Raff has made quite the case for being one of its most frustratingly foremost CEOs. In fact, glowsticks landing in your $6 beer seems fitting. This is no place to sip and ponder. Any attempts to nitpick the much-debated Riff Raff persona, particularly in the wake of the Spring Breakersfallout involving James Franco, have mostly dissolved.
It was with rave-like ceremony that Riff Raff finally took the stage at the Knitting Factory last night — after overcooking the hype with a too-long series of gracious but underwhelming opening acts. Donning neon shorts, a loose tank top, and a hilarious fur hat, Riff Raff moves across the stage like that guy you knew in college who loved the Lonely Island but never laughed at them.
This is essentially Panama City Beach, YOLO reincarnate, pre-pre-molly music and, on that level, it occasionally manages to work. There is a bizarre anti-charm to someone who uses Miley Cyrus’s face as a backdrop without using her Mike WiLL Made-It collaboration “23” as a lead-in to his own ode to Jordans (“Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz”), then does a brief cover of iLoveMakonnen’s ”Tuesday” on a Friday and doesn't capitalize on the easy joke.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to dismiss Riff Raff. As soon as you’re positive he’s lampooning, he lets loose a vicious sneer that implies he’s absolutely for real. Though there isn't much to speak of musically, aside from anthems “Dolce & Gabanna” and “Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz," which both elicit huge responses, there still seems to be plenty to speak of with regards to the elusive identity of Horst Christian Simco, aka Jody Highroller, aka Riff Raff.
Riff Raff is still most interesting on that perceived divide between the two — between Franco and Neon Icon, between performer and art conceived.
Few colleges pursued John Stockton when he played at Gonzaga Prep, and son David drew even less interest from recruiters while playing for the Bullpups. When Gonzaga University added David as a non-scholarship player, it was widely viewed as a favor to his Hall of Fame father, the greatest player in GU history.
While David Stockton never approached his father’s skill level, he did develop into a rock-solid point guard at Gonzaga. His hard work and talent earned him a rookie contract with Reno in the NBA Development League this season, and on Friday morning, Stockton was called up to the NBA by the Sacramento Kings.
“This is a testament to Stockton’s work ethic, and I am very excited for him to have this opportunity,” Reno coach Dave Arseneault Jr. said.
Stockton is expected to be in uniform tonight in Sacramento when the Kings take on the Boston Celtics. Kelly Olynyk, a former Gonzaga teammate of Stockton, plays for Boston. The 7 p.m. contest will not be televised locally, but some satellite TV systems in the area may be able to pick up the broadcast.
Stockton has signed a 10-day contract with the Kings. Darren Collison, Sacramento’s starting point guard, is questionable due to a hip injury.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Stockton ranks second in the NBDL with 2.4 steals per game, and he’s fourth in assists at 7.9. He’s averaging 16.6 points and shooting 46 percent from the field, including 36.4 percent on 3-pointers.
Tonight marks the Sacramento debut of veteran NBA coach George Karl, a former Seattle SuperSonics coach.
Tonight, the Red Room Lounge pulls in Corina Corina (a name that will easily cause you to sing this song), a San Francisco-based vocalist who fuses hip-hop and R&B melodies with lyrics about gender equality and loving yourself. The Muzes, a Spokane two-piece featuring Kelley Mak and Jaeda, open the show. The acts stop here as part of a Pacific Northwest Tour. The 21+ show starts at 9 pm.
It’s another round of the Round at the Bartlett. This time musicians Tyler Aker, Cold Mountain Yeti and Ruth Henrickson, poet Devin Devine and visual artist Jesse Pierpoint get together to celebrate local art. The all-ages show is $10 and starts at 8 pm.
Riff Raff is the dude James Franco’s cornrowed and grilled-out Spring Breakers rapper character was inspired by. He comes to the Knitting Factory tonight for an event that’s sure to be unforgettable. The all-ages show starts at 7 pm and is $22.50. Look for our concert review Saturday. These days, he's gaining weight to feeling great. Check him out below.
SATURDAY Spokane's Crystalline and Seattle's Vox Mod turn the Baby Bar into an electronic haven Saturday night. As always, the show is free at this venue.
The Hive brings in yet another group Saturday sure to make you want to dance hard. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays delicious funk tinged with soul. Denson not only sings, he plays saxophone and jazz flute. Brownout opens for the group. The show starts at 9 pm. It's $30 at the door.
We’ve got Seattle-based hip-hopper Grieves back in town. Last year he sold out the Bartlett, so you’ll need to get down there early for a good spot. The all-ages show starts at 8 pm and is $20 the day of.
There are few pleasures greater than watching a shooter get white hot. Every time he touches the ball, you scoot up in your seat. You stand when he releases a shot and a millisecond later you can just tell it's good. Such was the rare joy of Kyle Wiltjer's out-of-body performance last night at Pacific during which he tossed in 45 points. The Zags won 86-74.
It was the most points by a Zag since Frank Burgess scored 52 in 1961 and topped the almost-decade-standing 43 points that Adam Morrison dropped back in 2006. It started as one of those games where a guy starts obnoxiously strong and you think "if he keeps this up, he's going to score 50." That almost never happens because of foul trouble or defensive changes or, more likely, a dude just loses his touch. Wiltjer scored 15 points in the first 10 minutes of the game and there was a he's-going-to-score-50 vibe to his game that made things feel special in Stockton, California, a place where things tend to be more murderous than magic on most nights.
THE THREE BALL, OF COURSE Yes, Kyle Wiltjer is 6-10 and plays defense, for the most part, down around the basket, so it's easy to forget that he is a deadly three point shooter. He took 10 threes last night and made seven of them. That is outrageous, especially considering he took the bulk of them immediately off the pass. Granted, one of those threes came in the final seconds after the Zags had run down the shot clock. How good of a long range bomber is the Kentucky transfer? Here he is making 70 out of 75 shots in practice.
HE IS A SEXY BEAST WITH THE BALL
Wiltjer, again, is 6-10, so when he wants to get close to the basket, he can. And he did, with much aplomb and grace and frequency, last night. There was an up-and-under in the second half that had even Pacific fans covering their mouths, lest they say "damn, you see that?"
His mid-range game was on, too. That's a skill that makes this still-improving player (read more about that in this excellent Grantland feature from this week) as deadly an offensive threat as there is in the country. Making him even more deadly is the fact that there are four (maybe more) guys on his squad who can drop 30 on you if Wiltjer isn't getting shots.
All of this is helped by the fact that a guy like Kevin Pangos leads the floor for the Zags. He found Wiltjer at least five times wide open. And, he gave the Zags extra possessions by putting his body in front of charging Pacific players on three different occasions. Pangos finished with eight assists.
INSANE EFFICIENCY Remember the days when Allen Iverson would score 45 points (or more) in a game? To do it he'd throw up 40 or so shots. Wiltjer got his 45 with just 22 shots. Yes, that made up for 44 percent of his team's field goal attempts, but when you score 52 percent of your team's total points, that's fine. The Zags shot a Space-Shuttle-reentering-the-atmosphere-hot 60 percent, but Wiltjer was even hotter than that, stroking it at a 68 percent clip.
No huge scoring game comes without the free throw line. Wiltjer got himself to the line for nine attempts and made eight of them. That helps.
Having one of your guys make the Sportscenter ticker for a huge night does not make you a great team. In fact, as BYU's Tyler Haws found out last year when he dropped 48 on Portland, you might not even win. The Zags were dynamite on the offensive end, but looked like many Zags teams of old when they allowed Pacific — the last-place team in the WCC — to hit 11 three pointers on them. The Zags also allowed Pacific 14 offensive rebounds. This is the sort of stuff that will hurt you in March.
But look for the Zags to fine tune that defense when they head to Saint Mary's (7 pm ESPN2) on Saturday. Kyle Wiltjer won't score 45 points, but there's a chance another Zag might.
By Dan Nailen
on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 10:04 AM
Sean Stoudt (left) and Jordan Noël Lannen star in Stage Left's Creeps.
Welcome to the weekend! So much to do today, as you can see in our event listings and Staff Picks. If you don't have time to soak it all in, no problem. Here are some highlights for Friday, Feb. 20:
FOOD & DRINK | Obviously, your first priority should be getting in the swing of Inlander Restaurant Week, starting today at 97 restaurants in the Inland Northwest. Read our handy guide for Restaurant Week beginners if you've never done it before, and get ready to treat yo' self with great food and drink for the next 10 days.
WORDS | The EWU Visiting Writers Series welcomes author Emily Rapp to Auntie's Friday for a reading and Q&A session.
THEATER | The Modern Theater Coeur d'Alene is opening a play as well. The Nerd is a two-act Larry Shue comedy that was massively popular in London in the mid-'80s. Will the appeal remain in North Idaho? Stay tuned.