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...]
I received a rather baffling press release recently, about a show coming up next week at the Badlander.
Witness the one-sentence pitch:
“Deleted Scenes are an interesting DC-based quartet with occupations outside of the band ranging from medical research to stop severe bleeding to teaching English as a second language.”
Okay, forget that band names are singular rather than plural, thus demanding is rather than are. And let’s try not to get caught up in whether that list includes two professions or three (is “stop severe bleeding” a job?).
Here is the thing that really gets me: Is this band so musically uninteresting that their main appeal is the stuff they do when they’re not on stage?
For those who missed the news a couple of months ago, the Badlander/Palace/Rose/Savoy complex in downtown Missoula will be closed from June 6-9, as part of punishment for past violations involving minors getting served alcohol. That’s bad news for local barflies and music fans, not to mention the owners of the complex, who [...]
The Austin, Tex.-based band Black Angels draws its name from a song by the Velvet Underground, “The Black Angel’s Death Song.” While the dour, droning influence of those early-70s punk predecessors comes through here and there in the band’s music, there’s a veritable choir of sinister seraphim at play in the band’s aggressive psych-blues rock.
The band itself referenced one of those other influences in the liner notes of its 2006 album, “Passover,” when it quoted a line from Edvard Munch (painter of “The Scream”): “Illness, insanity, and death are the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life.” [Read More...]
Most jazz fans know who Azar Lawrence is. For those who don’t, the names of people like Miles Davis and John Coltrane probably at least ring a bell. Well, Lawrence is the saxophonist who replaced Coltrane in his band following Coltrane’s death. Here’s a little sample of him playing:
West-coast hip-hop emcee Lyrics Born returns to Missoula this evening, where he has played to packed and raucous houses over the years. I didn’t write anything about the show for the newspaper because I assumed that this show, like all of his past ones, would have sold out early. Turns out, at least as of this morning, tickets were still available.
I’ve been a fan for years, and have previewed a few of his shows in the past — ironically, the ones that were already sold out by the time my preview went to press. I just can’t get it right.
So, having had precisely zero time to put together a preview of tonight’s show — and in the spirit of his recycled album, “Same !@#$ Different Day,” here’s a column I wrote about him back in 2006. It’s a couple albums behind at this point — since I wrote this, he’s put out one full-length studio album, with another coming soon, plus some mixtape records — but maybe you’ll find some reason to go to the show in this crusty old rumination… [Read More...]
Eyedea and Abilities have gone all Lil Wayne on us.
Anyone who pays attention to the world of popular rap music will have heard that Lil Wayne, the insanely rich, chart-topping, Grammy-winning, self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” is planning to release a rock album called “Rebirth” early next month (presuming it doesn’t get delayed for yet another year). “Weezy” has said that he turned his efforts toward rock music because he “got bored” with rap.
Three years ago, a loose community of young local musicians began gathering every week at the home of keyboardist Lisena Brown. They came to share food, and to share the low-key, folk-influenced music that they couldn’t otherwise play around town.
“At the time, there wasn’t really any place for us to play that [...]
Imagine you’re a cop driving around one night, when you notice a van parked in a dark corner of a school parking lot. Stepping out of your squad car, you notice the subtle back-and-forth rocking of the van, the din of rock ‘n’ roll emanating from within. Feeling like you’ve just stepped into a scene from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” you rap on the window.
The van door opens; and there sit two 30-something women with a guitar and a kid-sized drumset.
“Nothing to see here,” says one bashfully, “just a couple of moms having band practice.” [Read More...]
Tomorrow night’s Badlander gig by Japanese trio Shonen Knife isn’t getting the press it deserves, at least in local print media; and that’s really unfortunate, as it’s likely to be one of the legendary shows that people around here talk about for a long time. Paging through the Independent this morning, I see nothing more than an irrelevant caption and a photo denoting the show. And at risk of spoiling the surprise in tomorrow’s Entertainer, there’s nothing there about the show either.
I know, because I’m the guy who should have written about ‘em.