MUSIC: Carry On, Wayward Sons -- They may not have the name recognition of the Grateful Dead, but the Sons of Champlin are widely revered amongst blues-jazz-rock fusion fanatics and have been highly influential on the current crop of contemporary jam bands. Emerging out of the late '60s San Francisco psychedelic scene, the Sons of Champlin -- performing at The Met Friday night -- immediately set themselves apart with a soul-based sound that also featured jazz-influenced horn improvisation. Led by Bill Champlin (who's been the vocalist and keyboardist for the band Chicago since 1981), the rest of the group includes original members Geoff Palmer on vibes, keyboards and sax, David Shallock on bass, James Preston on drums, ex-Tower of Power alum Mic Gillette (who joined the group in 1997) on trumpet and trombone, Tom Saviano on sax and relative newbie Tal Morris on guitar. The band's current repertoire visits a wide variety of American popular music genres: jazz, funk, soul, blues, and rock and fuses them into a trademark sound that defies easy categorization.
The Sons of Champlin * The Met * Friday, May 3, 8 pm * Tickets: $24-$34. Call: 325-SEAT.
FESTIVALS: Out Like a Lamb
To most of us, they're just sheep. But to Paul Kuber, genial assistant professor at the University of Idaho, who will be judging them at the upcoming Junior Livestock Show, they're much more. "When I'm looking at the lambs," he explains, "I'm basically trying to imagine them as carcasses. How their muscles look, and their bone structure, under their pelt."
Before you get queasy at the thought, consider that agriculture is still the primary industry of the region. And for Kuber, it's the education of the participating children and young adults that drives the event. "I love working with the kids. Helping them get the most out of their animals, and to show the kids in a positive light with agriculture."
But if you're still not sure how to react to an event entitled "Swine Carcass Evaluation" (Wednesday evening), consider that one critic described the work of Damien Hirst -- a British artist notorious for his sculptures made from dead animals -- as "in pursuit of something everyone understands."
Oh -- and there's a barbecue on Friday evening.
Junior Livestock Show * Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, Havana and Broadway * Wednesday, May 8, from 8 am-8 pm * Thursday, May 9, from 5:30 am-8 pm * Friday, May 10, from 8 am-11:30 pm * Free * Call: 535-6737 * www.juniorshow.org