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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gleason Fest announces bands Blind Pilot, Joseph as this year's headliners

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Folk-pop trio Joseph is set to perform at Gleason Fest on Aug. 11. - EBRU YILDIZ
  • Ebru Yildiz
  • Folk-pop trio Joseph is set to perform at Gleason Fest on Aug. 11.

Gleason Fest, the annual Spokane music festival and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) research fundraiser, will be headlined this year by the bands Blind Pilot and Joseph. The rest of the day-long lineup, which will take over Riverfront Park's Lilac Bowl Amphitheater on Aug. 11, will be announced at a later date.

Both big-name acts hail from Portland and favor glossy folk-pop production and lush vocal harmonies. Joseph, in particular, has a strong Spokane following, having played several well-attended shows here in recent years. (The band's primary songwriter, Natalie Closner, also called the Inland Northwest home for a brief period of time.)

Gleason Fest is, of course, named for Spokane native Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who has been a dogged proponent of ALS research since being diagnosed in 2011. He was the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary in 2016. The festival began in 2012 and has attracted the likes of Portugal. The Man, Grouplove and Pickwick.

Tickets for the festival, which start at $27.50, will go on sale Friday, May 18, at 10 am through TicketsWest. You can also donate directly to Gleason Fest here.
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Dare to dream with Disney on Ice when it stops in Spokane this fall; tickets on sale May 22

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Disney on Ice packs a lot of princesses into its latest show.
  • Disney on Ice packs a lot of princesses into its latest show.

Join Disney for a spectacular show on the ice, following the stories of five Disney heroines as they celebrate what's possible with the spark of courage inside us all.

Moana from the 2016 film of the same name makes her debut in the new Disney on Ice, stopping in Spokane October 18-21. Watch her as she sets out to save her island and discover her true identity while on an epic adventure with the demigod, Maui.

Belle from the film Beauty and the Beast journeys to an enchanted castle, home to intimate household objects who have come to life. While there, she fearlessly befriends them and goes on to reveal the gentleness of the house’s owner, the monstrous Beast. Frozen princess Anna embarks her on a life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter from destroying their kingdom with the love for her sister Elsa. Also on board are Rapunzel, Cinderella and other friends from the Disney Kingdom.

Tickets for Disney on Ice go on sale Tuesday, May 22 at 10 am through the Spokane Arena box office and Tickets West outlets, with prices ranging between $19 and $46. 
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Spokane Arena releases "Bucket List": P!nk, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake are most requested artists

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 12:30 PM


A few weeks ago, the Spokane Arena opened voting for its Bucket List, a survey of local folks' dream concerts. And now that the votes have been tabulated, here are the venue's most requested musical acts.

  • BrotherDarksoul
  • P!nk
1. P!nk
2. Bruno Mars
3. Justin Timberlake
4. Maroon 5
5. George Strait
6. Ed Sheeran
7. Pearl Jam
8. U2
9. Imagine Dragons
10. Paul McCartney

Also on the list: Taylor Swift (#12), Bruce Springsteen (#13), the Rolling Stones (#15), Beyoncé (#21 — way too low, in our humble opinions) and, uh, Avenged Sevenfold (#26).

The Arena says the Bucket List has helped them land requested artists in the past, so it's totally possible that any of these A-list names could eventually make their way to the Inland Northwest. Keep your fingers crossed.

You can see the full list here.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Spokane punmaster Annica Eagle flies to compete in Pun-Off World Championships

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 3:30 PM

Spokane resident Annica Eagle placed third last year in the prepared category of the World Pun-Off Championships. This weekend she is off to Austin, Texas, to defend her title and hopefully place even higher. - ANNICA EAGLE
  • Annica Eagle
  • Spokane resident Annica Eagle placed third last year in the prepared category of the World Pun-Off Championships. This weekend she is off to Austin, Texas, to defend her title and hopefully place even higher.

Growing up, Annica Eagle says she hated puns. The corny jokes her family would make would cause the teenage Eagle's eyes to roll to the back of her head. For example, whenever she would say she was bored, her father would say that he was saw. It was these kinds of puns that at first turned her away from the art.

“They were terrible,” she says. “The bar was set really low.”

It wasn’t until later that Eagle started to realize that she actually enjoyed puns. In fact, she was quite good at them. In 2015, she started performing with the Blue Door Theatre, an improv comedy group performing in Spokane since 1996. Several of the group's activities and games involved puns, which Eagle excelled at.

“I think I just realized that was how my brain was wired," she says.

After some encouragement from the group, Eagle decided to look for a pun competition to compete in. After a brief internet search, she came across the O.Henry Pun-Off World Championships, held annually in Austin, Texas.

The competition is split up into two different events: prepared and improvised. In 2016 Eagle competed in the improvised category. The next year she was put into the prepared category as a result of a lottery system. It was there that her pun-ridden letter to Congress about the House of Representatives' vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act won her third place and the title of third most-punniest person in the world.

“The hallmark of a true pun is that it’s very much in the moment," Eagle says, “and just really captures what’s happening in that conversation.”

After experiencing  a punning competition first hand, Eagle decided that she wanted to run one of her own in Spokane. The Punderground was started in October of 2016 and hosts a bi-monthly pun competition at Boots Bakery & Lounge.

The event is based off of the improvised category at the world championship and meant for all ages. Contestants are put into pairs of two and given a category. Whoever runs out of puns first or says anything that isn’t a pun is eliminated. The top three are given themed prizes based off of whatever Eagle can find at the local Value Village.

The Punderground has grown so popular that it has since expanded to add an adults-only, 21-and-over competition. Punderground: After Dark is held bi-monthly at the Observatory in Spokane.

“Puns are often referred to as the lowest form of humor, which I don’t agree with,” Eagle says. "Because if they were the lowest form of humor, then everyone can pun, and not everyone can pun. But I do think everyone who wants to pun can. It just takes a degree of playfulness which we have in abundance here in Spokane.”

Eagle will be competing this weekend at the 41st Pun-Off World Championships on Saturday.

Looking towards the future, Eagle says she wants to move the Punderground to a larger venue and start selling merchandise like T-shirts and possibly even pun books.

“Surprisingly, a lot of people are into puns," she says. "You just don’t know it.”
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

REVIEW: Cirque Du Soleil's Crystal soars at Spokane Arena

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 2:57 PM

Crystal takes Cirque Du Soleil's magic to the ice. - MATT BEARD
  • Matt Beard
  • Crystal takes Cirque Du Soleil's magic to the ice.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Crystal is a kaleidoscope of art, movement and music.

It’s a perfect fusion of playful and solemn as manipulated through light projectors and its accompanying score. Each scene Wednesday, on opening night at Spokane Arena, was as captivating as the next, from the transitions with axels on the ice to the heart palpitation-inducing acrobatics in the air. It’s difficult not to hold one’s breath waiting for a jump to land or a spin to be perfected.

Crystal retains classic elements of Cirque shows, including a clown-like character who juggles and made viewers chuckle with his missteps while introducing an original and unique show thanks to an up-to-now foreign element for Cirque shows: ice. 

The show opens to Crystal, a young writer, who is taunted by her peers. Being a creative misfit, she ventures on a path to find her voice and create her own narrative through confrontations with her alter ego and a cast of whimsical characters. At times, Crystal’s voiceover booms through the speakers and, paired with the music, creates an evocative effect, a nice way for the audience to catch a glimpse of her inner person growing through self-reflection.

The costumes were clever and enhanced each number, like when Crystal steps into a corporate world and some of the cast wears a typewriter and others sport a briefcase. In sync, they mechanically type away like droids showcasing a world void of color and creative individuality before breaking into dance. The reflective surface of the ice allows it to transform into ethereal sets like a ballroom or nature scene.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May the 4th Be With You: Where to celebrate "Star Wars Day" in the Inland Northwest

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 12:22 PM


This Friday, May 4, is known by many in Star Wars fandom as "May the Fourth Be With You" day. Get out and celebrate the famous sci-fi series with other local fans at several venues across the Inland Northwest; we've rounded up some of the happenings below.


The Innovation Den
Come celebrate Star Wars with food, drinks and cosplayers from The 501st Legion, Timberline Garrison, dressed up in as characters from the franchise. A photographer on site takes free photos of guests with the cast. Also catch Star Wars movies on the big screen.
4-7pm • Free • 418 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d'Alene • 208-269-5545

Jedi Alliance
The local Star Wars-themed retro arcade is offering $10 access to all-you-can-play games. Tournaments, prizes and a free potluck are also part of the festivities, and all items in the gift shop are on sale for 15 or 20 percent off.
6-10 pm • 2024 E. Boone Ave., Spokane

Triple Play Family Fun Park
Anyone who comes dressed in a Star Wars costume and says "May the fourth be with you" gets a late night pass for $20.95 and a free lightsaber. There will also be free raffle giveaways. The park's Garden Fresh Grill is serving Star Wars-named menu items such as "Yoda Soda," "Han Burgers," "Vader Taters," "Hoth Dogs" and "Wookie Cookies."
6-11 pm • 175 W. Orchard Ave., Hayden, Idaho • 208-762-7529


Checkerboard Bar
Rage Rabbit Entertainment hosts a Star Wars celebration with Star Wars Battlefront on Xbox or PS4, as well as a beer bong in the specially-decorated venue. Admission is free to all those who dress up as Star Wars characters, otherwise there's a $5 cover charge.
5 pm-2 am • 1716 E. Sprague • 535-4007

English Setter Brewing
Get $2 off your first beer if you come wearing Star Wars-related clothing. All who attend can enter to win a Star Wars-themed movie night basket.
5-8:30 pm • 15310 E. Marietta Ave. #4, Spokane Valley • 413-3663

Star Wars-themed drinks, video games and movies are available for guests to partake in at this recently-opened gaming bar. Cosplayers from the Galactic Alliance are also attending dressed as stormtroopers, Princess Leia and Darth Vader; they'll make an appearance at 9 pm.
7 pm-2 am • 6710 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley • 443-4064

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

R.I.P. bear sex billboard: we hardly knew you

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 2:29 PM

  • Image courtesy The Great PNW/Joel Barbour

One billboard, two bears having sex, and swift social media reaction = one viral marketing campaign success.

That's the combination The Great PNW clothing company was hoping for when they bought a billboard ad on First and Washington in downtown Spokane depicting two cartoon bears getting it on next to their label. And it definitely worked.

Chances are if you didn't see the billboard in question yesterday then you're seeing it on Facebook or Twitter today. The bears were only up for less than 24 hours before the billboard was replaced with a more generic ad for the company, but that was long enough for the furry freak session to go at least a little viral.

Joel Barbour, the Spokane-based clothing company's owner, will admit that he'd originally thought the sign might be up for a few weeks before getting featured on the news and possibly taken down, but either way, it's been worth it, he says.

"It worked out pretty well," Barbour says. "I think everybody understands it’s very lighthearted, and mostly childish."

And before you say, "Maybe you're just being dirty... they couldn't possibly have meant..." yeah, they absolutely did design two bears doing it. 

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Yak Girl author Dorje Dolma set to tell her story at Auntie’s Bookstore Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:22 AM

Dorje Dolma grew up in the isolated mountain region of Dolpo in Nepal. Her new book Yak Girl tells the story of her and her family's struggle to survive. - DORJE DOLMA
  • Dorje Dolma
  • Dorje Dolma grew up in the isolated mountain region of Dolpo in Nepal. Her new book Yak Girl tells the story of her and her family's struggle to survive.

No roads. No running water. No electricity. The remote town of Dolpo, isolated in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, is a sharp contrast to Spokane. It was here that Dorje Dolma, author of Yak Girl: Growing Up in the Remote Dolpo Region of Nepal, was born. Her first book released last January talks of her struggle for survival growing up in a harsh environment.

Dolma is set to tell her story at a book signing event at Auntie's Bookstore on May 2.

“I was closed [off] from [the] rest of the world,” Dolma says. “My life has been a journey from living life in Dolpo."

Life at 13,000-feet high was a difficult one. Dolma was the oldest of 11 children, of which only six survived. She began helping her family herd their flock of goats and sheep at an early age. She had to defend the herd from attacks by wolves and snow leopards — not an easy task for a 5-year-old.

At age 10 her parents traveled on foot for more than a month to reach Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu to seek help for Dolma’s scoliosis. But the doctors there couldn't help. Broke and begging on the streets, her family came across the charity ROKPA who helped Dolma travel to America to seek medical attention in 1995.

After four surgeries, her life was saved. But now unable to survive in the rough living conditions of Dolpo, she couldn’t go home. So an American family adopted and cared for her stateside. Dolma went on to graduate from the University of Colorado with a degree in Fine Arts and currently works as an early childhood teacher.

Dorje Dolma will be at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane this Wednesday to give a presentation on her experience living in Dolpo, Nepal, and to sign copies of her new book. - DORJE DOLMA
  • Dorje Dolma
  • Dorje Dolma will be at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane this Wednesday to give a presentation on her experience living in Dolpo, Nepal, and to sign copies of her new book.

Yak Girl
 tells Dolma’s life story along with how her isolated homeland has slowly begun to change as the modern world trickles in. Her goal is to inspire people with her story.

“I have all these memories of my early life,” Dolma said. “I wanted to share my story.”

Recently she completed a book tour in Nepal and in the U.S. The author has given more than 40 talks so far with no signs of slowing down. Once the book tour has wrapped up, Dolma plans to start a charity of her very own. Her goal: build a health clinic in Dolpo so others won’t have to struggle as she did.

Dorje Dolma:Yak Girl • Wed, May 2 from 7-8:30 pm • Auntie's Bookstore • 402 W. Main • • 838-0206

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

From trash to treasure: Spokane couple turns recycled fire hoses into art, business

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 5:22 PM

Michael Rideout and Kayla Cartelli turn retired fire hoses into various items. Can holders are some of their best-selling products. - TOM CARTELLI
  • Tom Cartelli
  • Michael Rideout and Kayla Cartelli turn retired fire hoses into various items. Can holders are some of their best-selling products.

What some may see as old, worn out or garbage, Spokane couple Michael Rideout and Kayla Cartelli see as opportunity. 

The two use every bit they can salvage from retired fire hoses to turn into handmade products. Generally, fire departments either auction off or throw away old fire hoses no longer fit for service. Rideout and Cartelli have started American Fire Co. with the goal of finding creative ways to recycle that would-be trash into treasure.

The couple's business serves as a great example of finding uses for items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Other creative recycling tips, ideas and examples can be seen in the Inlander's Green Issue.

Since setting up shop two years ago, more than 3,000 can holders, 84 decorative flags and many other products made from fire hoses have been sold online to people across 49 states and five countries. In other words, business is booming.

“Instead of it [fire hoses] sitting in a dump, we’re giving it new life,” Cartelli says. “It’s a different medium. It’s a form of art. It’s just a different way to make something pretty.”

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Spokane Arena brings back its "Bucket List" — vote for the artists you want to see

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 2:33 PM


The Spokane Arena wants to hear from you.

The Arena has reintroduced its "Bucket List" poll, which allows folks a chance to sound off on who they'd most like to see grace the Arena stage. Voting is open now, and you can choose three of your favorite acts here. You have through May 9; the most requested artists will be announced shortly thereafter.

This isn't just another fun survey. The Arena uses the results as a jumping-off point for future bookings, and a number of acts who have appeared on past Arena bucket lists have eventually made it to Spokane: Foo Fighters, Elton John, the Eagles (performing May 8), Metallica (performing in December) and country superstar Garth Brooks, who topped the 2015 list (and — maybe you heard — sold out seven shows here last year).

Of course, we can't tell you who to vote for — though Garth would probably come back if you asked nicely enough — but here are a few suggestions from the Inlander music brain trust:

Bruce Springsteen — None of the Boss' major tours have ever made stops in the Inland Northwest, which is a shame, since we love a blue collar anthem as much as the next city. If we start yelling "BRUUUUUUUUCE" now, will he hear us by the time his Broadway residency is over?

Paul McCartney — Same goes for Sir Paul, who played Missoula in 2014 and Seattle in 2016 but has never given Spokane a shot. We're basically smack dab in between those two places, so maybe he'll throw us a bone next time.

Kendrick Lamar — The recent Pulitzer Prize winner is a commanding live performer, and he's arguably contemporary hip-hop's most vital voice. The Arena doesn't book rappers all that often, but surely they'd make an exception for Kendrick.

Beyoncé — Her already-legendary Coachella set proved that no venue can contain her, so getting Queen Bey to go anywhere is a feat unto itself. She was last here with Destiny's Child in 2005; let's hope the giant Radio Flyer intrigued her enough to come back.

U2 — Few bands know how to make a big room feel intimate like these Irish legends. While known for their elaborate stages and special effects, it's the deep catalog of stirring anthems that makes a U2 show special. When the do an arena run instead of playing football stadiums, how great would it be to see them in Spokane?

Lady Gaga — Whether she's going "full Gaga" and throwing a hyper-theatrical show, or simplifying things for jazzy collaborations with Tony Bennett or songs on her singer/songwriter-y most recent album Joanne, the woman is a mesmerizing performer who would draw from well beyond Spokane. 

Bruno Mars — You've seen the pop hitmaker kill it at the Super Bowl halftime show, and his tunes are unavoidable on radio. An Arena Bruno dance party could be one of the best shows of the year.

Iron Maiden — It appears the British metal masters haven't played Spokane since 1988 at the old Coliseum. Thirty years seems long enough, let's get Bruce Dickinson and Co. back to Spokane!

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