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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & All Grown Up & r & First, Big Wang Theory changed their name to Vax Lavala; now they're going all philanthropic. They'll play a benefit gig at Cheney High next Thursday for a kid "dealing with his second bout of cancer." Success has changed them, looks like for the better.

Strum Circle & r & Sure, it was a lot of old dudes on acoustic guitars, but last week's launch of a twice-monthly Songwriters' Circle performance series at Empyrean Coffee House was promising. Put on by the Spokane Songwriters Association and folkie/Gonzaga prof Bill Kostelec (of "Rathdrum Prairie Refueling Disaster" fame), the series serves as an incubator for local songsters. The next show (Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30 pm) features Heidi Jantz, old-timer Bill Wylie, Occasional String Band leader Steve Shennum and The Inlander's own Joel Smith. The performance, like the self-promotion, is free.

Annotated Beastie Boys & r & Upon rediscovering the Beastie Boys' sophomore album Paul's Boutique (this is something that happens here every couple months or so), we were thrown into a pseudo-academic reverie. The sheer density of pop references on each cut sent us staggering out into the Interweb to make sense of them. The search was short. From Cadbury Eggs to Steve McQueen in The Getaway, had every bit of info we lusted after.

Fishscale & r & The long awaited, much delayed Ghostface LP dropped on Tuesday. Buy it tonight and have a happier tomorrow.

Red Barn, Blue Grass & r & If your hay loft isn't already chock-full of bluegrass, check out local pickers Big Red Barn at Borders Books & amp; Music on Monday, March 27, at 7 pm. Free hootenannies for everyone!
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