It's a truism you hear all the time: Spokane's music scene moves with the regularity of the tides. It'll be buzzing with activity for awhile, followed by periods of relative quiet, and it seems like it's always been that way. But it also seems that we're in the middle of a particularly productive period right now, and nothing seems to be slowing down the momentum.
We're directing your attention toward a few groups that are playing around town right now and have been building up buzz for the last couple years, releasing new material and selling out live shows left and right. Be sure to catch them in the flesh the next chance you get.
He's a solo artist, sure, but Brotha Nature is essentially a one-man band. He's basically his own backing musician. The stage persona of local producer, songwriter and rapper Eli Dyer, Brotha Nature isn't easy to pigeonhole — would you describe him as a hip-hop artist, as a student of jazz and R&B classics, or all of the above? But what's immediately apparent is his talent as a live musician, as he utilizes instrumental looping, electronic samples and brass licks. It's like watching a mad scientist tinker with equipment in a laboratory, and the results are often just as combustible.
The dudes in this instrumental quartet have been enmeshed in the Spokane music scene for some time, with members from since-folded bands like proggy hard rockers the Lion Oh My and the power-pop four-piece Pine League making up its ranks. Deer doesn't really sound anything like those earlier acts, although they're just as memorable and catchy as their forebears. Despite their twisty, earworm-y melodies, the band doesn't have a vocalist, and even though their songs don't have lyrics, we promise you won't miss them. Deer announced recently that they have recorded a handful of songs, releasing a bright, sonically layered track called "The Feels" on their Bandcamp page.
Another guitar-and-drums rock duo, Indian Goat tips its hat — or, you could say, its horns — toward '60s psychedelia and '70s roots rock. Whether you prefer the more experimental output of Led Zeppelin or the straight-ahead grooves of the Allman Brothers Band, you're going to find something to like here. Within a year, guitarist Garrett Zanol (formerly of the psych-rock band Blackwater Prophet) and drummer Travis Tveit have released two albums, appropriately titled 1 and 2, and both are built upon riffs, riffs and more riffs. This is textbook rock 'n' roll, plain and simple, but that doesn't mean it's dull or impersonal: This is some catchy, insistent, meat-and-potatoes stuff.
Super Sparkle's name is apropos, because a typical live show is bright and shiny and, yes, slathered in glitter. The eight-piece band is very much concerned with aesthetic, no doubt, but the music is just as strong and confident, a blend of '70s power-pop, blue-eyed soul and Motown melodies that really shimmer on their debut EP Songs Out the Window. They're also something of a Spokane supergroup, featuring members from a number of beloved Spokane bands (Cathedral Pearls, Water Monster, Mama Doll), which explains their high-energy live shows complete with synchronized backup dancers. It's quite contagious.
Live Music Venues
- Baby Bar 827 W. First, downtown Spokane
- The Bartlett 228 W. Sprague, downtown Spokane
- The Hive 207 N. First, Sandpoint, Idaho
- Knitting Factory 919 W. Sprague, downtown Spokane
- Nashville North 6361 W. Seltice, State Line, Idaho
- Northern Quest Resort & Casino 100 N. Hayford, Airway Heights
- The Roadhouse20 N. Raymond, Spokane Valley