One of the most thrilling weekends in Spokane is finally upon us.
Volume opens its doors to acts from all across the country
V olume is Inland Northwest-born and bred, celebrating our constantly growing and wonderfully diverse music scene. But we're also proud to recognize talent from beyond our neck of the woods.
Q&A with Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, Volume's big headliner
W hen Shabazz Palaces takes to the stage, there's no plan. As MC Ishmael Butler explained from his Seattle home recently, about half of their sets are improvised.
One 17-year-old's solo music is taking the Spokane rock scene by storm
L ike many of the world's great artists, Norman Robbins is charmingly bad at talking about himself. The 17-year-old Robbins is the sole member of Jan Francisco, a local music project that is pushing the sharp simplicity of rock 'n' roll to its limits.
Youth and talent combine to create a ska/soul band nearly devoid of limitations
S ince March, five of the seven members of Ragtag Romantics have lived on the upper South Hill in a five-bedroom home they call the Ragtag Romansion. The band's drummer finally moves in next month, but guitarist Zachary Croft studies physics at Washington State University, and subsequently misses out on a lot.
Rugged and raw garage rock is the rule with this two-man band
W e live in an era when recording studio trickery can make any screechy warbler "sing" like an angel, fans willingly pay to watch performers lip-sync at shows and a laptop of pre-programmed sounds often fills in a band's music. The Smokes are not one of those groups.
Meet the region's most creatively ambitious black metal act
I t took nearly a dozen years for Age of Nefilim to make a proper album. Sure, they'd recorded here and there, but it never quite captured what the band's composer and lead guitarist Matt Lefebvre was going for.
How to survive a weekend at the annual Memorial Day weekend festival
The Sasquatch! Music Festival is technically made for everyone, but not everyone is made for Sasquatch!
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X-Men: Apocalypse doesn't even try to be anything but more of the same
T here's a snarky in-joke in X-Men: Apocalypse that ends up backfiring about as spectacularly as a snarky in-joke can. Taking advantage of the story's 1983 time frame, director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg have a group of the mutant superheroes exit a theater showing Return of the Jedi, where Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) notes that "the third one's always the worst."
It turned out that making Angry Birds into a movie wasn't a great idea
Sure, Angry Birds is based on a popular mobile-app game, but the game is pure nonsense: It doesn't have anything approaching an actual story or genuine characters. So it's downright audacious to see that the story a rare all-male creative team chose to hang on that framework is one that has been virtually taboo on the big screen: male anger.
The Nice Guys slyly explodes Hollywood buddy-movie tropes
Shane Black knows his own strengths. The writer/director's movies (from Lethal Weapon to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to Iron Man 3) all tend to investigate similar themes: they often take place around Christmastime, they feature mismatched buddies who band together to stop a corrupt plot, at least one of the buddies is a lovable loser, a wiseass kid steals a few scenes, and the dialogue is a wildly entertaining and self-aware riff on tough-guy banter from 1940s noir films.
A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
A saintly wife who stands by her screw-up of a husband. A girlfriend kidnapped in order to spur her boyfriend into rescuing her.
Multicultural, intergenerational buddy comedy Dough falls flat
How much one is taken in by the charms of British import Dough depends largely on one's cinematic sweet tooth. If predictability, political correctness and easy laughs without a hint of edge or darkness are not impediments to how much you enjoy a film, this tale of an unlikely friendship between an old Jewish baker and his young, African, Muslim refugee assistant might make for a pleasurable 90 minutes at the movies.
Captain America: Civil War is fun, top-heavy, and packed with great moments
Late last year, the full cast list for Captain America: Civil War was released to the media, and to call it "overstuffed" would be too generous by half. Hell, you could pretty much make three Ocean's Eleven remakes — Ocean's Thirty-three!
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