Existential Pop

Existential Pop

Transplanted from Portland to the California desert, Josh Hodges of STRFKR found inspiration in desolation
Josh Hodges, the creative force behind the band STRFKR, retreated into the California desert in early 2016 to record his latest album. He emerged several months later with Being No One, Going Nowhere, which explores heady themes of identity, solitude and meditation and yet features perhaps the poppiest, most approachable collection of songs he's yet produced.

Music

Music

Road Worthy

Strand of Oaks' path to sonic nirvana comes through Spokane
If you've only heard Strand of Oaks' Tim Showalter, there's a bit of visual dissonance to overcome the first time you see him. The burly, bearded, heavily tattooed Philadelphia resident looks like he's more likely to be fronting a Motörhead tribute band or working as a bouncer at a biker bar than delivering expansive, electronically enhanced folk-rock with shockingly pretty vocals.

Music

Perfect Harmony

The singing sisters of Portland's Joseph return to Spokane
The band Joseph is a literal sister act, the kind that often gets its start at a church, or sitting around the kitchen, or in the back of the station wagon on the road to some vacation destination. The kind rooted in DNA and honed over decades of singing together.

Music

Making Herself a Name

Seattle's Shelby Earl expands her sound on a "celebratory" new album
Shelby Earl didn't write her first song until she was 28. She'd always had the desire to be a singer, she says, standing on her bed as a kid and employing a broomstick as an imaginary microphone.

Music

Second Coming

On his sophomore LP, Marshall McLean contemplates fame, family and growing up
It's a Monday morning in late February, and Marshall McLean is a bit bleary-eyed. And understandably so: He became a dad again just last night.

Music

Break with Tradition

The bluegrassy Brothers Comatose aren't beholden to old-timey sounds
Like young artists in any genre, bluegrass-tinged quintet the Brothers Comatose are learning that to navigate the music biz in 2017, they have to be increasingly creative and light on their collective feet. That means recording and releasing new songs as they're written, rather than gathering them for months for a traditional album release.

Music

Deep Roots

Hot Tuna brings its time-tested acoustic blues to Spokane
When he picks up the phone to chat with the Inlander, Jack Casady is in the Japantown section of San Francisco, a city he moved away from more than 30 years ago. It still feels plenty familiar, however.

Music

Life-Changing Experience

A Jimi Hendrix tribute brings the icon's old bass player and an amazing cast of guitarists to Spokane
Billy Cox heard Jimi Hendrix playing guitar before he ever laid eyes on the man who would go on to be one of the revolutionary forces of rock 'n' roll. Cox and Hendrix were both teenagers serving in the Army and stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 1961.

Music

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Film

Beast Intentions

A new Beauty and the Beast can't decide whether to aim for originality or nostalgia
Over the past 25-plus years, it's likely that I've watched Disney's animated Beauty and the Beast somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 times. There has been at least one common element to every one of those viewings: Without fail, the moment the first piano notes of the title song begin, my eyes fill with tears.

Film

Suppressive Person

In My Scientology Movie, Louis Theroux digs into the shadowy religious organization and finds a camera pointing back at him
So much of what we know about the Church of Scientology comes from the often horrifying secondhand accounts of those who have fled the organization and want to blow the lid off of it. That's what makes it such a fascinating subject for tell-alls: The church's leader, David Miscavige, has been portrayed by detractors as abusive and his followers as hostages, and although a number of testimonials have corroborated that, so many of the church's inner workings remain mere conjecture.

Film

A Crisis of Faith

Religion is questioned and a marriage is tested in Emily, directed and produced by Whitworth grads
As Emily opens, a married couple is preparing dinner in the small kitchen of their apartment. They sit and eat mostly in silence, idle small talk disguising an obvious, unspoken tension between them.

Film

King of the Blockbusters

Kong: Skull Island is a surprisingly solid reboot, as exciting as it is knowingly goofy
What's the big surprise of Kong: Skull Island? No, it's not a secret sequel to Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong, and no, it's not a sequel to 2014's Godzilla, though the two share a universe.

Film

Meditations on a Mutant

Logan, the third stand-alone Wolverine film, is one of the best comic book movies ever made
The X-Men stories have always been perhaps the most grounded of the superhero universes, exploring what it means to be "super" in a world where "super" is feared and hated. The mutants of X-Men are just ordinary people trying to come to terms with their unusual talents.

Film

The Book of James

The documentary I Am Not Your Negro uses the writings of James Baldwin to grapple with racism in America
In Stanley Kramer's 1958 drama The Defiant Ones, Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier play prisoners who escape from a chain gang, still shackled together. They despise one another, but they have to work together if they want to survive.

Film

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