In the Mood -- Last year's Super Pops season finale was such a big hit, the Spokane Symphony simply had no choice but to bring it back. On Friday, you can catch "One More Time! Big Band Encore" with the Spokane Symphony presenting swell tunage by the likes of Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Harry James and more. The Spokane Jazz Orchestra's own Dan Keberle joins the symphony for this swingin' Big Band redux, which also features the vocal stylings of Ann Fennessy and Gary Gemberling, along with solos by symphony musicians Chip Phillips, Dave Matern, Greg Yasinitsky and more. Us hep cats in the Bin suggest you get your tickets now.
Sneak Preview -- Over the weekend, a few of us had the chance to preview some of the films in the upcoming Spokane Northwest International Film Festival (SNIFF), and we think you're going to be pleased. Pretty Boys, directed by James Dunnison (who also directed last year's Stuff and Organ Music), is a behind-the-scenes look at male modeling, from the shopping mall runways of western Alberta to the highly competitive catwalks of Milan. We found a lot to be amused by here -- particularly one young man's utter certainty that his average good looks would land him a multimillion dollar contract and babes for miles -- as well as a surprising sweetness. It's hard not to root for a skater kid from the sticks whose great attitude is as refreshing as his atypically handsome face. We also enjoyed Celluloid Dreams, Dunnison's interviews with such surreal cinema filmmakers as Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), the Brothers Quay (In Absentia), Guy Maddin (The Heart of the World) and, of course, David Lynch. Come to think of it, the thing we liked best about this one was trying to make sense of Lynch's labyrinthine responses and his increasingly laconic hand gestures. The film festival takes place Jan. 31-Feb. 2, and tickets are available by calling 624-2615.
This Week in Press Releases... -- Around the holidays, our pile of "what the ???" press releases gets a little low. But come January, they start pouring in again. One of our recent favorites is this announcement from the folks at Kellogg's & reg; Pop-Tarts & reg;: "Kids around the country can create and name their own combination of funky fillings surrounded by a crunchy crust and topped with any multitude of frostings and colorful sprinkles." It's true. From now through Feb. 21, kids can log onto www.poptartsmachine.com, enter their own Pop-Tart & reg; creations and maybe win up to $10,000. We're thinking any idea's gotta be better than the one dreamed up by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and breathlessly extolled in the press release: "a green chili-filled Pop-Tart shaped like a Lamborghini."