by Mike Corrigan

This weekend, the Hoopfest hijinks will expand like a shockwave from ground zero, with pockets of adjunct entertainment erupting all over downtown Spokane. One of the more interesting side attractions integrated into the Hoopfest mix this season is the live music on deck in Riverfront Park's Clock Tower Meadow, featuring local and regional acts of considerable worth. The quality is high and the diversity is apparent in this full-court press of funk, pop, punk, hip-hop, hardcore and ska (sometimes all within the same group).

"We had music last year," says Megan Freehan, Hoopfest's marketing and sponsorships manager, "with a focus on more of an alternative style. I think the big thing about it this year is the range and mix of artists. Variety is definitely something we put a focus on this year."

The Hoopfest tunes begin on Saturday morning at 11 am with a noisy pop-rock trio from Seattle called Sofie Tucker, followed by two more West Side outfits: the punk of the Morning After at noon and Tacoma hip-hop duo Strik & amp; Krusal at 1 pm. The rest of the day, until 6 pm, it's a different local band every hour on the hour, with power pop-mongers Vertigo Bliss (think Van Halen meets Barenaked Ladies); cutting edge hip-hop artist Locke; Sandpoint's favorite funk-hardcore unit, Illusion 33; and the crisp and refreshing punk-ska blast of 10 Minutes Down.

On Sunday, it starts all over again -- a new band each hour, beginning with the post-grunge sounds of Prosser quartet Altercate, followed by the explosive ska of Seattle's Table Dancing with Betty, the acoustic rock of Dive Tribe, young Spokane rockers Mourning After (not to be confused with Seattle's The Morning After) and finally, the jazz-funk-whatchamacallit-rock fusion of the local boys of Jupiter Effect.

Publication date: 06/26/03

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