Aside from the fact that you can't help but watch Gorilla and Rabbit, you really should keep an eye on them. As much of a part of the Spokane scene as the Makers, metal and mullets, these oversized stuffed toys have cranked out many a lo-fi opening set over the years. But watch them, watch their mannerisms, the way they hit the drums and strum their little guitars. Because really, who are they? Different names are muttered, but does anyone really know? Are there just two people behind Gorilla and Rabbit, or is there an entire team of substitute primates and rodents? Always entertaining and one of Spokane's biggest mysteries, Gorilla and Rabbit are one of the most important Spokane "bands" to watch -- if not for entertainment, perhaps for the hope that someday we truly will know the faces behind our small-town rock heroes.
Belt of Vapor
While we're talking about Battle of the Bands winners, we can't bypass Belt of Vapor, last year's victors at the B-Side's Battle for the Van. While the rest of Spokane's bands are busy Xeroxing and re-Xeroxing each other, this young three-piece creates their sonic prog-rock sound by focusing on some of their inspirations (e.g., the Melvins, Yes). But before their music starts to sound like a carbon copy, these guys morph it, kick it, distort it and drag it all over the place. And what they regurgitate is a sound that causes most local music-goers to cock their heads, nudge their friends and say, "You mean these guys are actually from Spokane? Can't be." Oh yes, they could.
Most of the time we can't take our eyes off singer Owen Rundquist's undulating and near-exploding jugular as he does everything short of eating the mic during Pathos performances. But we've got to hand it to them -- people can't seem to get enough of their technical death metal drones. We were shocked at a Fat Tuesday's performance a few weeks back; Pathos packed the place with black leather-bound, sallow skinned fans. Apparently we didn't get the memo: Metal is back, man, and Pathos is the torchbearer leading the Spokane revival.
DJ Messiah and DJ Learn
They're not really a band, but you're sure to see DJ Messiah and DJ Learn out in full force week after week at the Twilight Room. And if you haven't checked them out, you'd better move your ass downtown and do it. Spinning house, trance and every kind of electronica imaginable, these guys bring bigger and bigger crowds down to the Twilight every week. The music is different, it's new and it's always changing -- and if you're not entertained, you'll laugh your ass off at the candy ravers that pop up there on Thursdays every now and then.
These guys are sneaky little buggers. In a call for readers' favorite albums from 2004 in an early January issue of The Inlander, Mylestone guitarist and mic-hogger John O'Neill pulled a fast one on us -- e-mailing his own band's name in as his pick of the year. And we fell for it. With an exhaustive amount of performances around town, this band is one to keep an eye on -- they took home the trophy at BOBFest 2004, opened for Alter Bridge at their Halloween Big Easy show and are in the midst of recording a new EP. But more important, watch these kids closely -- they mean business with their matching floppy haircuts and My First guitars.
Others Worth Checking Out
The Makers; Coretta Scott; Jupiter Effect; Weight; Locke and the Chris Wilson 5; 10 Minutes Down
The Baby Bar
827 W. 1st Ave. * 471-1234
I love the Baby Bar for so many reasons -- the intimacy, the bartenders, the d & eacute;cor... But most of all, I love it for its jukebox. This is no hellhole of Sting/Celine Dion adult contemporary; it's a well