by Luke Baumgarten and Andrew Matson & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & M & lt;/span & uch has been made of the Moog dalliances of MARC DOTY, but personally, we think his analog synth noodling is one of the less interesting things about his most prominent project, Automatic Gainsay. ("Honest" -- a song about the Replacements' iconic songsmith, Paul Westerberg -- represents Gainsay's best work.)

Over a piano line that's half "Day in the Life" and half "Say You, Say Me," Doty croons, "I read a quote attributed to him / he said he could tell if a singer was honest." Doty's voice then turns defiant. "Hey, Paul? Am I lying? / Hey, Paul? Am I lying now?"

That's way too clever (and catchy) to be the work of a mere analog junkie. And though it's clear that Doty's enamored with his machines, he's equally possessed by pop eras that preceded their birth. Hence the strange-ass melding of the Beatles and Lionel Ritchie.


Automatic Gainsay with Danny Webber and Ben Manke at the Blvd on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 9 pm. Tickets: $_. Call 455-7826. Also with Matt Tansy at Brooklyn Nights on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $3. Call 835-4177.

& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & W & lt;/span & hat was once the Rock Inn has, in the span of months, become a vibrant new rock and blues venue. And though its name, Ripley's Plantation, conjures up too much of our nation's 400-year legacy of slavery for our taste, it's undeniable that these cats have a love for the music of the delta. Complementing their weekly-ish slate of local acts, they've got androgynous gospel blues rocker Anthony Gomez coming in March, and the SPOKANE BLUES FESTIVAL this weekend.

Most of the acts are Inland-grown, but a few come in from without. Nick Vigarino, most notably, is a Camano Island, Wash., resident whose music has been compared to everyone from Ry Cooder to Son House.


Spokane Blues Festival at Ripley's Plantation featuring Don Millard, Crosstown, Cary Fly and Nick Vigarino on Friday, Feb. 2; and Black & amp; Warhall, Ten Second Tom, Lockdown, Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips, Aaron Richner and Friends, Chip and the Bushwhackers, and King Biscuit Blues Band with Pat Coast on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tickets: $20, Friday; $22, Saturday; $30, both days. Call 928-8500.

& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & M & lt;/span & IKE RELM's distinction, as far as I can tell, is that he single-handedly expanded the art of turntablism to include visual images. Different from a DJ (whose primary job is to play records people might like), turntablists evaluate records on a completely different value scale, regarding them not as stand-alone pieces of pop art, but as malleable media to be toyed with, dissected and recombined.

Expand that mindset to visual media, and you've begun to understand the art of Mike Relm. Basically, he's a record nerd and a movie nerd. Watching him perform is kind of like hanging out with someone who can TiVo reality or like having psychedelic sex with your entire entertainment system. The bottom line is that Relm does what he does for the sake of art, not just because he can, and that's why his live performances are so highly regarded. This meta-master makes audiences hallucinate en masse.


Mike Relm with the Blue Man Group [see page 17] at the Spokane Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $50-85. Visit or call 325-SEAT.

Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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