Hear This

Hear This

How George Relles has helped shape the Festival at Sandpoint's sound since day one
He's always listening. Discerning malfunctions like garbled speakers or screaming feedback is easy, yet it takes a trained ear to tame the acoustics of a venue — making an act sound like a recording, only better.



Human Touch

Michael Franti makes the personal political in his new music
Michael Franti has always found inspiration for his music in the world around him. Whether writing for his first group the Beatnigs, pioneering political rap crew the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy or, most famously, for his long-running reggae-rock crew Spearhead, Franti has taken issues like racial injustice in the Middle East or post-9/11 fear and turned them into thoughtful, incisive songs.


Drinking Songs, And Then Some

Whitey Morgan's independent streak makes him a must-hear modern country outlaw
If you're unfamiliar with Whitey Morgan, it'll take you roughly 10 seconds of listening to his new album Sonic Ranch to get the gist. That's the point when the Michigan native's baritone kicks in, after a few tasty guitar chords, on a tale of a lonely man seeking solace in a bottle.


Roarin' Forward

The new concert series at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park is the first in a string of changes
The number of live shows available to Inland Northwest music lovers multiplies the moment it's warm enough to hang out on a patio. This summer, the Red Lion Hotel at the Park upped its outdoor concert game with free events every weekend through the end of August.


The Only Ones

Three legends of their respective genres converge on Northern Quest
These aren't necessarily the acts you'd associate with a casino circuit tour. And in looking at the other summer concert dates, Melissa Etheridge, Blondie and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts aren't playing many other casinos — they aren't playing any other shows together either.


Steal Away

With local favorites BBBBandits' final show this weekend, an Inlander freelancer looks back on his time with the band
As the furious State Line sun beat down, I took a moment to soak up the scenery. Twenty feet from the stage, maybe five people stood watching us play.


No Stopping Him

Graham Nash has written songs that moved a generation, and he's still creating
When his 2013 autobiography finally was finished, Graham Nash skimmed back through the pages and thought: "I wish I was him." Everything seemed too unbelievable.


It Takes Two

The Smokes are fine doing things on their own
Take it from the Smokes: Two's company, but three's a crowd. The local lo-fi/hard rock band began as a three-piece but downsized to the duo of Matt Slater (drums) and Himes Alexander (vocals/guitar) after their former singer went to Florida to look up a girl he met online.


All Access

George Lathrop makes sure the big Spokane shows and concerts run smoothly
In this city, there aren't many backstage areas George Lathrop can't get into.


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Subtraction by Ad Dishin'

Vacation loses its comedic momentum through marketing overkill
Early in Vacation, as patriarch Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) tries to fire up his family — wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) — about taking a car trip to the Walley World amusement park just like the one he took with his parents and sister 30 years earlier, James interjects, "I've never even heard of the original vacation." "Doesn't matter," Rusty responds.


The Impossible Mission

Rogue Nation hits the sweet spot for Tom Cruise's weird appeal
In Ethan Hunt, the perfect super-spy at the center of the Impossible Missions Force, Tom Cruise has found his sweet spot. His inhuman intensity works in M:I films (and not, say, Jack Reacher or Knight and Day) because the movies are even more intense than he is, from the overblown score to the crazy set pieces to the genius conceit of handing each entry to a different high-profile director, from Brian De Palma to J.J. Abrams to Brad Bird.


Outside the Box-ing

Southpaw upends familiar underdog sports-movie expectations
Thanks to Rocky, we all know how the story's supposed to roll in a boxing drama about a guy from the streets getting a title shot. The scrappy underdog, lacking the resources of his rival, has to make do with an old, never-quite-a-contender trainer who has the fighter punching meat, or whatever new equivalent a screenwriter can come up with.


Surreal World

Think your parents are strict? See The Wolfpack
Imagine living in New York City, one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world, but having parents so fearful of what lurked outside that they almost literally never let you out the front door of your house. Then imagine those same overbearing parents having no issue providing you with a nonstop stream of TV and movies, from the violent to the fantastical to the profane, to occupy your time between home-schooling lessons.


Small Wonder

Ant-Man rediscovers some of the playfulness of superhero adventure
In the scene from Marvel Studios' latest superhero tale Ant-Man in which Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) first tries out the suit that can shrink him to the size of an insect, his greatest threat is being washed down a bathtub drain, or flung from a spinning record during a dance party. During one late action sequence, Scott flees from explosions that reduce the buildings and landscape around him to rubble — the exploding surroundings are only a scale model.


Sad Clown

Trainwreck keeps derailing Amy Schumer's brand of comedy
About midway through Trainwreck, Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) gets a particularly emotional moment — sad, darkly funny and shot through with the messiness of her character. And all I could think was, "Where the hell is the whole movie that's actually about this character?"


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Recent Comments

  • Re: Subtraction by Ad Dishin'

    • It should be pointed out that Rusty is aware of the term rim job. He…

    • on July 30, 2015
  • Re: No Stopping Him

    • I met Graham Nash in 1966 - while I working in a "record" store in…

    • on July 9, 2015
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Michael Franti & Spearhead

Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Knitting Factory

Mon., Aug. 3, 8 p.m.

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  • Subtraction by Ad Dishin'

    Vacation loses its comedic momentum through marketing overkill
    • Jul 29, 2015
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    Graham Nash has written songs that moved a generation, and he's still creating
    • Jul 8, 2015
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