This neighborhood inkshop, wedged between Tin Man Gallery and art-supportive Rocket Bakery, buzzes with talent. Literally. Buck Holland and Chris Spriggs, who've been inking bodies at Tiger for five years, have also had work featured in exhibitions by Jim Koch, a local lowbrow guru whose design work is internationally renowned. Their paintings and drawings, along with those of shop newcomer "Hambone," line the walls and sell fast by word of mouth. Skulls, pirates, "Rat Fink," Von Dutch-style flying eyeballs, comic book characters. It's the same high-quality custom imagery that adorns the bodies of Tiger's customers. The artists see little difference between canvas and skin.
Shop owner Walt Dailey, who splits his time between the Garland location and the store on East Sprague, specializes in no-sketch, spontaneous tattoos. The image goes from his head right to his customers' skin. The permanence of that kind of spontaneity would make some people nervous, but Tiger's regular customers say they have faith in Dailey, who's been in the business for more than 30 years.
"It's the ultimate art," says Hambone. "There's no messing up." -- Carrie Scozzaro
Best Singer Songwriter You've Never Heard Of & r & The Pend d'Oreille Winery was flush with celebs that blustery, frozen evening in mid-November. Local ones mostly -- publishers, CEOs, artists. Fairly routine, but we were also blessed that night by Extreme Home Makeover designer Ed Sanders. Rocking a faux-fur brimmed parka, the man was magnetic, in his crudely affable way. On that night, though, despite the local personalities and the luminescence of the bald chap in the J. Lo jacket, one star shone brightest of all.
Josh Hedlund is a bit of a phenomenon in Sandpoint, though if you live as close as Priest River, you may never have heard of him. He's a shy, almost reclusive talent. Only playing the occasional gig in and around town, he's still amassed a tremendous (mostly female) following. It's not hard to see why. At one point that night, our pourer confided in us her fervent belief that a particular song had been written expressly for her. When she left to tend to other tasters, my companion (among Sandpoint's most jaded literati) leaned in close. "But then, every woman in town thinks Josh Hedlund has written a song about her," he quipped, listlessly swirling his Syrah.
Therein lies Hedlund's strange power. He uses dense imagery, a breathy Anglicized voice and jerky tempos to conjure heart-rending, deeply autobiographical tales that still, somehow, make everyone feel like a character in his play. It's a feat he and few others pull off, and it's stunning every time we witness it.
(Hedlund's got a MySpace account, but he's so far underground he doesn't have a proper URL. To hear him, search "Adam Needs More" on MySpace Music.) -- Luke Baumgarten
Best Bet to Create a Crocodile Costume and Then Play the Crcodile & r & He's "a multi-media actor, voice-over and visual artist" who seems to work on every show in town -- onstage, behind the scenes and sometimes both. Even non-theatergoers might recognize Patrick Treadway from that waste-to-energy facility tour show that loops on public-access channels. He even got all shot up as the presidential assassin in End Game. But check out his CV at www.PatrickTreadway.com: "I also make puppets, create theater props and makeup designs, paint portraits, carve wood, sculpt clay, illustrate books, design and build mascot costumes and parade floats, and design logos and Web sites." Note to local theaters on a budget: Why hire entire design teams and large casts? Just hire Patrick Treadway. (MB)
Best Nun With a Blowtorch & r & Chances are you've seen them around town: Sasquatch, Huckle-beary Bear, Anna and Alt, the garbage-eating goat. All are the whimsical sculptures of an 83-year-old nun who has been likened to the Energizer Bunny. Like the bunny, Sister Paula Turnbull keeps going and going, wielding her blowtorch with a still steady hand on brass, steel, aluminum, bronze, or her trademark copper tubing. She's been teaching for nearly 50 years and making art since she was a child. Where will she be in five years? Remember, Energizer Bunny. Keeps going and going... (SS)
Best Way to See the World Without Leaving Idaho & r & The coolest thing about subtitles is that you leave the movie feeling like you're fluent in Italian. Or Czech. Or whatever. It's always a shock when you open your mouth and your opinion of the film comes out in boring old English. If it's been a while since you experienced the pleasures of a foreign tongue, don't despair: March is the beginning of Subtitle Season here in the Inland Northwest. Sandpoint's Panida Theater has just launched this year's Global Cinema Caf & eacute; series, which will feature a different foreign or independent film almost every week through the rest of the year. Tickets are only $6 -- not bad for a solid dose of culture. (JM)
Best Placer to See Damsels Rescued and Mustachios Twirled & r & A sampling of play titles performed inside the former bordello in Wallace, Idaho, provides an idea of just what they do at the Sixth Street Melodrama: Clarissa's Calamities; Home on the Grange; Kelly's Alley Revue; A Golden Fleecing; Black Deeds in Whitehorse; Perils of the Georgie Oaks; D.K. Molar, or, the Devious Dentist (in which patients' gold fillings are stolen by the dastardly doctor of deceitful dentistry); and Everybody Has a Dream, or, Where's My Purple Dress? The ladies of the night haven't been there since 1988, but the actors of the night perform boo-and-hiss plays almost year-round. Stop by and wave down the locomotive, then untie the helpless maiden, receive a kiss, turn crimson, be a hero. It's the Sixth Street way. (MB)
Best Statue It's OK to Slap On the Hands & r & Spokanites had an easygoing relationship with our Savior long before Kevin Smith gave us Buddy Jesus. Best of all, where Buddy Jesus is upbeat but still maintains an aloof distance ("Hey, thumbs up, but stay over there, sinner"), Low-Ten Jesus -- located between the DeSmet and Welch residence halls on the Gonzaga campus -- is the welcoming kind of Savior. "How's it going?" he seems to ask all passersby. "Slap me some skin!" It feels like some kind of venal sin every time we pass Low-Ten Jesus and don't give it to Him down low. (JDS)
Best Answer to Spokane's Red Wagon & r & Nothing says "You've arrived" like oversized sculpture. Coeur d'Alene gives you a two-fer with its "Guardians of the Lake," aka, the Feathers (the angled one is osprey, the other is eagle). Greeting visitors exiting Interstate 90 onto Northwest Boulevard since 2002, "Guardians of the Lake" was commissioned through city-mandated arts funding and created by David Govedare (whose "Joy of Running Together" statues edge Riverfront Park) and Keith Powell. Why feathers? Juxtaposition gets you thinking about nature, scale, balance. Speaking of balance, what about the location at the mouth of Riverstone's massive development? Perhaps in addition to symbolizing the city's environmental roots, "Guardians" signifies the changing of the guard as well. (CS)
Best Menagerie of Culture Mavens & r & Intermission on opening night at Interplayers: So many wine-and-cheese chatterers that you have to elbow your way to the restroom. It's a crowded art gallery that's masquerading as a theater lobby and buzzing with talk about the art, the food, the City Council, Friday's concert, that business deal Ballinger pulled off ... oh, and the play, too. Over in the corner, surveying her domain, there she's perched: Katherine Gellhorn (in Dorothy Fowler's 1995 bronze bust), trademark floral hat secure on her Teutonic brow, one of Spokane's most prolific arts patrons. The paintings on the walls, the lights flickering for the start of Act Two -- she would have liked it that the Gellhorn Gallery at Interplayers often embodies the idea of a lively arts scene. (MB)
Best Band We Want More Of & r & The Ought-Five was the year of the Wolf. Several bands sprung to the fore, almost simultaneously, rocking some sort of lupine moniker. The stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, though, ushered in the year of the Raccoon. Or so we thought. Dave G and company blew our minds that night, even amid the dubious acoustics of the Slick Rock Burrito on First Avenue -- no mean feat. Another amazing accomplishment was their disappearing act afterward. They've trickled out a gig here and there, giving Belt of Vapor a run for their hegemony in the improved acoustical environs of the B-Side. At this point, though, a half-dozen gigs haven't come close to sating our desire for Raccoon. (LB)
Best Place to Watch a Silent Film in 1915 & r & Pop quiz: Which was the best silent movie palace in Spokane? The Clemmer, the Audion, or the State? Trick question -- they were all previous incarnations of the Met. When the state-of-the-art Clemmer Theater opened in 1915, you could sit in the dark and immerse yourself in the latest installment of The Perils of Pauline, to the booming accompaniment of the magisterial Kimball organ. Der Bingle crooned there in the '20s before heading to Tinseltown. Then came decades of talkies. Mosh pits and grunge arrived in the '90s. Even though some bad juju seems to have settled over the Met lately, we hope it can regain its palatial status and become the best place to enjoy hologram podcasts in 2015. (SS)