The sweet flavors of Ween

This Sunday’s concert by Ween is so close, Bryan Hickey can taste it. The manager of Missoula’s Big Dipper Ice Cream for the past decade, and a devotee of the Pennsylvania-based psychedelic freak-rock band for nearly twice that long, Hickey has spent the past week blending his passion and his profession to create a series of ice cream flavors themed after the band. [Read More...]

Shonen Knife: a little plug for a big show

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.

Better blog than never… [Read More...]

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The Volumen turn it up

In the first minute of the first track of the new album by Volumen, everything that is great and goofy about the long-lived Missoula band is on display: The lo-fi sing-song keyboards of Chris Bacon, the stutter-fire pounding of drummer Bob Marshall, Bryan Hickey’s no-nonsense basslines, and the confidently raw dual lead vocals of Shane Hickey and Doug Smith.

These are a few of the favorite things that have drawn flocks of fist-pumping fans to gigs by the band, which celebrates its 10th birthday late this year. Born on a lark – as a one-time New Year’s Eve stunt – the band now stands as one of the most enduring and prolific acts in modern Missoula music.

And now there’s a record that lives up to those hazy late-night memories of brain-searing rock shows. [Read More...]