Rankin' Rhymin' Simon

Rankin' Rhymin' Simon

Before Paul Simon hits Spokane on Friday night, we've ranked the legendary singer-songwriter's post-Simon and Garfunkel discography
12. Songs from The Capeman (1997)

Big in Japan

Japanese noise-abilly trio Guitar Wolf gives electroshock therapy to CBGB-era punk
Nagasaki noise-punkers Guitar Wolf are something of a godsend to those of us who were never around to see the Ramones live, or who would kill to see them on stage again. As the years slip by, more and more young punk obsessives emerge who will never experience the band in its heyday, and there's something about the Ramones that no studio album or live recording will ever accurately translate: their furious, white-knuckle energy.

One Nice Nightmare

Alice Cooper knows that in 2017 it's impossible to shock, but he's still here to rock
When Alice Cooper first started putting out albums in the late '60s, they had to compete with the still-kicking Beatles, the just-starting Led Zeppelin and the hitting-their-peak Rolling Stones for music fans' attention and dollars. And they still managed to break through, thanks to a hard-edged sound and over-the-top live shows (which often involved simulated beheadings).

Saxophones & Maximalism

Ex Eye brings its weird, heavy racket to Spokane
Artists work for years to get to the point where they can play highly respected music festivals across the globe. Ex Eye went the other direction, booking gigs at last year's Eaux Claires Festival in Wisconsin (curated by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon) and Denmark's Roskilde Festival (one of Europe's largest) before the band even existed.

Get Down in Browne's

A guide to this year's Elkfest lineup, filling one of Spokane's most historic neighborhoods with a weekend of live music
The true start of summer isn't the solstice: It's Elkfest. The annual Browne's Addition block party, which is set up next to the beloved Elk Public House, has been going strong for 13 years now, bringing recent headliners like Minus the Bear, Pickwick, the Cave Singers and rapper Lyrics Born to the neighborhood.

Cresting the Wave

Surfer Blood frontman J.P. Pitts discusses the beauty of not overthinking it, and working through personal loss
Surfer Blood's most recent album is the sunniest, poppiest collection of songs the band has released in years, bursting at the seams with winding guitar hooks, grooving basslines and instantly hummable melodies. Upon first listen, it's an ideal summertime record.

Rock of Aged

Making the case for Def Leppard
My vocal enthusiasm for Def Leppard's show at Spokane Arena was initially met with skepticism by a co-worker nearly 20 years my junior. After a snide (but understandable) aside about the cheesiness of "Pour Some Sugar on Me," one of the band's biggest (and most overplayed) hits, he challenged me to convince him of the long-running British hard-rockers' worth.

Volume Way Up

There are a lot of music festivals out there, but there aren't many like the Inlander's
Big festivals.

Built to Spill

Band leader Doug Martsch on the joys of small music festivals
Over the course of Built to Spill's quarter-century touring the world from their home base in Boise, the indie-rock crew, led by singer/guitarist Doug Martsch, has played a lot of rock festivals. Large and small.

Chastity Belt

All-female quartet's new album drops just in time for Volume
Seattle's moody, jangly rockers Chastity Belt grace the Steam Plant stage at Volume this year, just one day after the release of their gorgeous, shockingly mature new LP I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone. The band's vocalist and guitarist Julia Shapiro spoke to the Inlander last week, and it was deeply pleasant and enlightening.

Ras Kass

Old-school skills, but far from stuck in the past
In the digital age, it's hard to go unnoticed. Message boards and social platforms will obsess over and pick the meat entirely off of every niche movement or scene, especially when it comes to music.

Critical Mass

With 15 years under its belt, Sasquatch! has had major milestones, as well as hiccups, along the way
The Sasquatch! Music Festival has come a long way from its initial 2002 single-day, seven-act lineup that included Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and the String Cheese Incident.

The Good Times Are Killing Me

The night Modest Mouse sent me down the wrong road
I've been scarred by Modest Mouse — and not in a psychological, PTSD, I need a therapy dog and prayer sort of way (that would actually be sad), but in a midnight run to the ER, sitting in plastic chairs, putting pressure on a wound, waiting to get stitched up way (which is less sad and kind of funny).

Bear with Her

Kori Ailene brings her ballads of heartache and disenchantment to the Bartlett
"I'm just sick of hearing my goddamn voice," Kori Ailene says with a sardonic laugh. The local singer-songwriter, in the throes of promoting her first full-length record Bear with Me, admits she isn't entirely comfortable in the role of "artist" — the self-mythologizing of social media, the limelight, her presumed eccentricity.

Beats, Rhymes and Life

Washington, D.C.-based rapper Oddisee, known for his jazzy, socially conscious style, wants hip-hop to be viewed as "American literature"
Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, better known by his hip-hop moniker Oddisee, came out with an EP titled Alwasta last year. The name is rooted in the Arabic word "wasat," which means "middleman," an apt description for the rap veteran, who has been releasing music for 12 years.

Gang of Four

Spokane punk rockers Big Yuck Mouth are playing shows again, 30 years after they first formed
When Big Yuck Mouth started playing together in 1988, Ronald Reagan was still in the White House, the late 123 Arts was easily the coolest music venue in Spokane and the band's members were all angry, long-haired and in their late teens or early 20s. Three decades (and a long hiatus) later, the local punk band is active again, and though they're all either pushing or into their 50s, and their lineup has changed several times, they're still cranking out the same fast-and-furious songs they were barreling through in the late '80s.

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Guitar Wolf, Isaac Rother and the Phantoms, Itchy Kitty

Guitar Wolf, Isaac Rother and the Phantoms, Itchy Kitty @ The Big Dipper

Wed., June 28, 7:30 p.m.

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