“Yell Fire” in a crowded (Wilma) Theatre: Michael Franti returning to Missoula

Okay, don’t really do that. But plenty of fans will at least be yelping with joy that Michael Franti will be returning to the Wilma with his band, Spearhead, for another two-date engagement at the end of August. Here are the details from the show’s promoter: [Read More...]

Korn announces Big Sky Brewing date in Missoula

Nu-metal act Korn has announced a date at the Big Sky Brewing Company. Not my bag, but given that the band has sold 19 million albums, I know there must be some Korn-nuts around the area whose Monday just got a little brighter. Here are the show details….

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Girl Talk changes Missoula concert date

I received word this morning that mish-mash artist Girl Talk has changed the date of his upcoming Missoula date at the Wilma Theatre. The concert is now scheduled for May 29 — a day earlier than previously announced. Tickets purchased for May 30 will still be honored, there’s no need to exchange them. No word from the promoter as to whether they’ll offer refunds to anyone who can’t make it on the new date; but their contact info is below in the press release announcing the new date:

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Wilco announces return to Missoula (price corrected)

Wilco never sleeps. The one-time alt-country act, which transformed into one of the most surprising trailblazers of the early 21st century, is back on the road — and coming back to Missoula this summer for a date at the Big Sky Brewing Company. Here’s the press release I received today from the promoter: [Read More...]

Steve Martin and band coming to Missoula

The Father of the Bride is now the leader of the band, and he is coming to Missoula this summer.

On Thursday, the Missoula Osprey announced that legendary comedian Steve Martin will bring his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, to Missoula’s Ogren Park at Allegiance Field for a concert on July 20. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 30, at 10 a.m.

Best-known for his acting roles in such comedies as “The Jerk,” “Father of the Bride,” and “Roxanne,” Martin has seen his lifelong love for the banjo blossom into a late career. His band’s 2009 album, “The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo,” won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. The record featured guest performances by such stars as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, and Tim O’Brien. [Read More...]

Friends struggle with “huge loss” of Badlander co-owner Aaron Bolton

Night after night, in the shadowy light of the Badlander bar, Aaron Bolton’s relaxed smile beamed from behind the sound board. He was in his element, there in the bar that he bought with a trio of friends in 2007 and helped transform into a cornerstone of Missoula’s nightlife scene.

On Monday, Bolton’s friends in the music community struggled to cope with the news that his body had been pulled from the icy waters of Seattle’s Elliot Bay early that morning.

“He was simply the nicest person I ever knew,” said Justin Lawrence, owner of Hellhouse Sound and the regular sound-man at the Palace Lounge, a music venue in the basement of the complex of bars at the corner of Ryman and Broadway. “(He) never had a cross word to say about anyone or anything.”

Details of Bolton’s death remain sketchy. According to Seattle Police spokesman Jeff Kappel, police fielded a report at approximately 6 a.m. Monday of a body floating in Elliot Bay, near Pier 57 in downtown Seattle. Bolton’s body was fished out of the water by firemen around 7 a.m.

Kappel said that no cause of death had been determined, and would not confirm Bolton’s identity. [Read More...]

Local animator Andy Smetanka gets some press up north

There’s a great interview with local animator and writer Andy Smetanka in the Winnipeg Free Press this week, advancing a showing of his animations there. As usual, Andy is erudite and funny as he talks about his work and his town: “I’m too attached to Missoula,” he admits. “It’s a little like Boulder, Colorado, but with way less money: artsy-fartsy, outdoorsy, over-educated and full of wilful eccentrics with wispy beards riding unicycles while playing the ukulele. It’s attractive, friendly, and charmingly full of itself. Just like me!”

Should we really hate the Mount St. Helens Vietnam Band?

In the world of marketing, it’s said that no press is bad press. Seattle’s Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band is testing that truism in its own, indie-rock way.

Looking at the mastheads of the rags and blogs that have weighed in on the band’s sophomore album, “Where the Messengers Meet,” one would assume MSHVB is a new darling of the indie music world. Pitchfork weighed in, as did Paste, Spin, and the Onion A.V. Club.

Not bad for a five-piece band signed to Dead Oceans, a small Indiana-based label.

Or is it? [Read More...]

Yours truly among Humanities Montana grant recipients

I haven’t really mentioned this publicly yet, but I guess the cat is officially out of the bag: I am embarking upon a book project to document the life and work of Drummond artist Bill Ohrmann; and this week Humanities Montana announced that I am among several folks selected to receive research grants for the coming year. I’ll be talking about this more in the future, needless to say; but for now, here is the press release announcing all of this year’s grants. [Read More...]

‘Ringing Out’ extended through Thursday

For those who missed it — or those who want to see it again — the production of Josh Wagner’s play, “Ringing Out,” at the Crystal Theatre has been extended through Thursday night, Jan. 26. Performances begin nightly at 7:30 p.m.