Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 12:04 PM

The Spokane International Film Festival is off and running, and screenings continue through this weekend. Be sure to check out our complete coverage of SpIFF while you decide what films to see. 

Inlander intern Courtney Brewer took her camera to the Opening Gala at the Bing Crosby Theater, which included screenings of regional productions Dryland and Queens of the Roleo, as well as appearances by both films' directors and casts. Author Jess Walter moderated the Q&A sessions, and film fans mingled at the Bing's Ovation Lounge and checked out the SpIFF Posterize artwork. 

Here are some shots from the scene: 
click to enlarge The casts and directors answer questions after the screenings of Dryland and Queens of the Roleo.  From left: Josh Knodel, Matt Miller, Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot of Dryland, host Jess Walters, Queens' Dave Jones and Roy Bartlett. - COURTNEY BREWER
Courtney Brewer
The casts and directors answer questions after the screenings of Dryland and Queens of the Roleo. From left: Josh Knodel, Matt Miller, Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot of Dryland, host Jess Walters, Queens' Dave Jones and Roy Bartlett.
click to enlarge Guests mosey through the movie posters on display. - COURTNEY BREWER
Courtney Brewer
Guests mosey through the movie posters on display.

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Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM

If it's Tuesday, it's time for us to sift through the week's new music and DVD releases to help you spend your hard-earned dollars on the best entertainment possible. Let's do it. 

You know what's really weird? Both Ricky Martin and Sisqo have new albums coming out today. Would any of us considered it a remote possibility that the voices behind "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "Thong Song" would be putting out new music in 2015? But I digress. There's actually some good music out there for your perusal: 

Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear. One of the more eagerly awaited new releases of the spring arrives from the former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman (aka J. Tillman, aka Father John Misty), and all indications are it's a winning follow-up to his revelatory Fear Fun album. A sample of him playing the title track live, right here: 
JD McPherson, Let the Good Times Roll. The Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter is a new force to be reckoned with in roots-music circles, delivering some potent retro-rock and rockabilly. Here's a nice feature NPR did on him, and here's a taste of him playing live: 
Fat Mike, Home Steet Home: Original Songs from the Shit Musical. You'll be forgiven for finding it hard to believe that the man behind NOFX and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes penned a full-blown piece of musical theater, but that's the case with Fat Mike's Home Street Home, a story of some homeless gutter punks that is opening on stage in San Francisco later this month. The soundtrack is out this week and features folks from Alkaline Trio, No Use for a Name, Lagwagon and others; here's a taste:  

Clearly, all of us living in the Inland Northwest will be running to the store or firing up our favorite online outlet to buy the first season of Z Nation, Spokane's claim to fame in the zombie game. Some of us Inlander staffers might even see what happened after the arrival and quick dismissal of the zombie baby in the pilot. 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Every week the industrial entertainment complex unleashes new releases designed to suck up your entertainment dollar. We're here to help you decide the best ways to spend your hard-earned dollars. We call it Tuesday Taste, and it's on. 


Bob Dylan this week releases his album of classics, Shadows in the Night, and you can read a great interview with him right here. Here are a few other new releases well worth a listen: 

Murder by Death, Big Dark Love. The Indiana band deals in rootsy sounds and gloomy themes for the most part, but on this album they explore some new sonic territory. Here's a taste of the new music: 
Two Gallants, We Are Undone. The duo of Adam Stephes and Tyson Vogal have been playing together since hooking up in the Bay Area as pre-teens. Now in their mid-30s and five albums deep into their career, Two Gallants still make some great, stirring music together. 
The Church, Further/Deeper. This criminally underappreciated Aussie band has been together for 35 years, and they still deliver dreamy psych-pop at a ridiculously high level. They start their tour supporting the new album in Seattle at the end of the month. Here's one of the new songs: 


The big mainstream release this week is John Wick, in which Keanu Reeves goes to extreme lengths to get revenge on the guys who killed his dog. As a former beagle owner myself, I can empathize. Or you can check in to Ouija, a movie that tries to make a children's toy scary, or the latest Nicholas Sparks bit of sentimental glop, The Best of Me

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Each week we sift through all manner of awful and mundane new music and home video releases to give you the lowdown on what's worth your time and money. We call it Tuesday Taste, and it's Tuesday, so let's do this: 

After last week's blast of riches, this week seems a bit weak by comparison when it comes to new music releases. But there are definitely a few worth checking out, particularly for fans of tunes with a dash of twang: 

The Lone Bellow has a sound that seems forged in the Deep South, but the trio actually hooked up in Brooklyn, and their songs blend a rootsy vibe with excellent vocal interplay. Then Came the Morning is the follow-up to the band's stellar self-titled debut. Here's the title track: 

The Dodos are heading to Spokane in March, meaning there's plenty of time to get to know the Bay Area's indie-rock duo's guitar/drum sound and wicked way with a song. Now 10 years into their life as a band, their new release Individ is a strong set recalling their best past work. Hear a bit right here: 
Punch Brothers are one of the most creative acoustic groups around, and led by mandolin madman Chris Thile, the group delves into classical, folk, bluegrass and rock in their music. As a live act, they're hard to beat, but their recordings are pretty special, too. Their latest is called The Phosphorescent Blues. Here's a taste: 
The big mainstream DVD releases this week are Fury, the Brad Pitt war flick that got decent reviews, but suffered by being a bit plodding, and by having Shia Lebeouf in the cast. The Judge garnered Robert Duvall an Oscar nomination despite generally bad reviews. And while I love Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr., the 141-minute running time was too daunting for me to take on. Maybe you're different, or just have a lot of time on your hands. 

If that's the case, let me recommend a couple of lesser-seen flicks: 

The Book of Life got a wide release and did okay at the box office. But given how much money most mainstream animated fare earns, it almost seems like a bomb. That's a shame, because the story is pretty strong, delving into Mexican myths and legends, and the animation is excellent in this Day of the Dead-inspired flick. If you're the type of person who can easily get lost in the visuals of a film, give it a shot. Here's a look: 
Art and Craft is a documentary about a master art forger named Mark Landis, who wasn't interested in getting rich so much as wanting to look like a kind philanthropist as he gives away what people think are masterpieces. The movie delves into Landis' life, particularly what happens when an art expert exposes his ruse. Here's a look: 

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 5:06 PM

For our next installment of the Suds and Cinema series, we are hosting a screening of the 2001 instant Wes Anderson classic The Royal Tenenbaums.

We're opening doors for beer at 6:30 pm and then starting the movie at 7:30 pm.

Iron Goat Brewing will be on hand with their beloved locally made beer for $4 a pint and also giving out some Iron Goat gear to folks who take the initiative to dress up in character. 

After the screening, stick around for a special after party at the Bing Crosby Theater's new Ovations Lounge, which will feature the first night its top floor will be open. And yes, there will be drink specials. And music from a DJ.

We think you should come and if you want to win a prize, you should wear a costume depicting any character in the movie. You could be one of the hotel bellhops (what's with Wes Anderson and bellhops?), the doctor who's always in Anderson's movies in some minor role, the Egyptian guys selling Eli Cash some drugs. It doesn't matter. You could even be Dudley! The more creative the better.

More likely, though, you're going to go with one of the Tennenbaums and here are some pointers.

Fur coat + cigarette (unlit, duh) + hair clip = Margot Tenenbaum. Bonus: One of those dresses that looks like a polo shirt.
Track suit (any brand, red preferably) = Chas Tenenbaum, or one of his boys. Bonus: a dog.

Cowboy hat + any shirt or jacket with vaguely Western fringes = Eli Cash. Bonus: face paint
Sweatband + sunglasses + sportcoat = Richie Tennebaum. Bonus: tennis racket, beard or a live falcon
Pinstripe suit + mustache = Royal Tenenbaum.  Bonus: a cheeseburger
Bowtie + checkered shirt = Henry Sherman Bonus: Danny Glover mask
Power suit + pencil in your hair = Etheline Tenenbaum  Bonus: archeological equipment

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Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 11:08 AM

Every week at Tuesday Taste, we scour the new releases in music and home video to point you toward the best of the best. Here's what we found for this week: 

We are living large in new music releases this week, friends. Fall Out Boy, Hanni El Khatib, The Waterboys, Marilyn Manson,Lupe Fiasco and Ryan Bingham all are putting out new stuff. These albums, though, are likely the best of the lot: 

SLEATER-KINNEY, No Cities to Love. The long-awaited return of Sleater-Kinney is well under way as the band hit David Letterman last week and continues making the TV rounds this week on Conan. No Cities to Love is a potent blast of the thoughtful punk the band is known for, and we should get a good dose of it when SK opens their reunion tour in Spokane Feb. 8. Here's a taste from the album: 
THE DECEMBERISTS, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. These guys didn't take a decade off like their fellow Portlanders in Sleater-Kinney, but they did take a long break since their last release to do things like write children's books before coming back together for this one. 
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Stuart Murdoch and Co. create some the best pop-rock most Americans have sadly ignored. There's no reason to think the new set will be a big breakthrough, either, but for those already in the know, it's a great addition to a stellar catalog by the Scots. 

Among the mainstream flicks out this week, Lucy will get the most attention thanks to Scarlett Johansson going into ass-kicking mode after some drugs seep into her system and turn her into a hyper-smart action star. 

I'll be passing on that in favor of watching one of these efforts: 

The Boxtrolls comes from the same animators as Coraline, and while it's not as winning overall as that one, the adaptation of graphic novel Here Be Monsters! is pretty amazing, visually anyway. The story is simple, but it's helped by voice jobs by the likes of Simon Pegg and Ben Kingsley. 
The Drop is the first screenplay by novelist Dennis Lehane, whose seen some of his writing turned into pretty great movies (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone). This one is based on one of his short stories, and stars Tom Hardy and the late, great James Gandolfini in his final role. 

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Every Tuesday we sift through the new music and DVD releases to see what's worth spending your money on, and what's better left to people with no sense of taste. Let's do it: 


Justin Townes Earle, Absent Fathers. The rabble-rousing roots musician (and son of Steve Earle) releases the follow-up and companion set to his excellent 2014 album Single Mothers. Here's a taste: 
Mark Ronson, Uptown Special. Bruno Mars and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker are among the vocalists taking the mic on a slate of new songs full of maestro Ronson's funk, R&B and soul beats. 
Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The founding member of Animal Collective releases his fifth solo set, a typical mashup of influences ranging from hip-hop to alt-rock. 


The monster-sized mainstream release of the week is Gone Girl, a movie that will more than likely get a few Oscar nominations soon. You've probably already seen the well-received David Fincher flick, so consider checking out one of these under-the-radar efforts: 

Love Is Strange is an utterly charming love story, and one you haven't seen before. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are happy, older newlyweds in New York City who suddenly find themselves forced apart and crashing with different parts of their respective families. 
Finding Fela! is a documentary about the pioneering African musician Fela Kuti, who died of AIDS in 1997. Critics didn't love it, but the music is undeniable. 
Jimi: All Is By My Side was a bit of a quiet release, but OutKast's Andre 3000 got some good reviews for this look at one year in Jimi Hendrix's pre-fame days. 

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 11:01 AM

The Interview ... the film that launched a few million hacked Sony emails into the public view ... the film that then caused Sony to freak the hell out and pull the movie from theaters ... the film that North Korea was really, really pissed off about and made all of the aforementioned things happen... is finally coming to a big screen in Spokane today.

You'll remember that Sony caved to threats from the allegedly North Korean hackers who said they'd wreak havoc on any theater that showed the film and so the production company behind the Seth Rogen-powered film pulled its December 25 release.

Now, that film is set to open at the Garland Theater tonight. The film has been appearing in small theaters throughout the country, while the megaplexes have continued to shy away from the tale of Rogen and James Franco as the TV producers tasked by the CIA to kill North Korean demigod/porkchop/dictator Kim Jung Un.

You wouldn't think Spokanites would give in to the North Koreans, did you? After all, we already conquered them in a remake of Red Dawn a few years ago.

Surprisingly, the brave patriots of North Idaho, who ain't afraid of shit, have already had The Interview in theaters for a while now. The Bonner Mall Cinemas outside of Sandpoint has had the film since Christmas Day. And the Hayden Discount Cinemas is also screening the film, which apparently isn't really that great. 

As you likely know, The Interview is available from the comfort of your own home. It's streaming on every platform you can think of, even your cable provider's Video on Demand menu. And Sony has already raked in $31 million from this avenue alone. Still, Kim Jong Un probably gets super, super fussy when you watch it with a bunch of strangers in a theater. Be a patriot and head to the movies.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 12:04 PM

You’d recognize those shrieking strings anywhere.

“Er, er, er, er, er, er!”

The soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror movie Psycho is some of the most terrifying music ever set to film. Imagine Janet Leigh’s immortal shower scene without the bone-chilling musical theme to accompany her screams. On February 12 (in time for a pre-Valentine’s date), the Spokane Symphony boldly takes on the Bernard Herrmann-penned score as the film rolls behind them on stage at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.  

The symphony has performed other film soundtracks, like Casablanca last season, but Psycho was practically made for this format. 

Assistant conductor Jorge Luis Uzcategui makes his Spokane Symphony debut with this exciting performance.

Show up early as a character from the film (Mrs. Bates anyone?) and win prizes in the costume contest. The show starts at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are $28 - $49 and can be purchased at TicketsWest.com beginning Friday. Do note the film is rated R (even though it was made in 1960 and was filmed black and white, do not underestimate its fright factor). 

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 2:51 PM

In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we at the Inlander held a grand experiment in democracy when we allowed you, our faithful, well-groomed readers, to select the film for our January 21 edition of Suds and Cinema.

It was a heated race that featured a virtual tie between The Royal Tenenbaums and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. We then proceeded to a run-off, per the rigidly enforced Suds and Cinema voting protocol, and in the end, it was Tenebaums that came out on top.

Joining this excellent piece of cinema from genius director Wes Anderson is the equally genius beer of Iron Goat Brewery, which will be serving up their Garbage Pale Ale and the Belsnickel Winter Beer. Allow Dwight Shrute to remind you about Belsnickel.

We'll be conducting a costume contest for those who want to win prizes. So find your matching red track suit, fur coat, tennis head band, faux-cowboy getup or whatever Bill Murray's character wears and get out to the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday, January 21. Please, no live falcons.

We'll start pouring beers at 6:30 pm and will roll the movie at 7:30 pm. Here's the official Facebook invite.

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Spokane Drive-In Fireworks Show @ Ferris High School

Sat., July 4, 10 p.m.
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