Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boise: Comedy club-less no more

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Pat Mac confirmed today that an as-yet-unnamed comedy club will open in Downtown Boise. According to Mac, the club has secured is liquor license and has set the first week of March a target opening date.

Mac and Brian Lee, who both managed the now-defunct Funny Bone, will manage the new club and both will be owners as well. Colby Smith and Karl Pence are majority owners of the club, with Mac and Lee having smaller ownership stakes.

The club is set to open on the second floor of the old Mode Building, on the corner of Ninth and Idaho streets.

"It's really cultural, vibrant area," said Mac, "and we really want to be in the heart of that."

According to Mac, drink and ticket prices at the new club will be cheaper than they were at The Funny Bone. The new club will host a 21-and-over crowd and won't require a two-drink minimum.

"That's tough to impose in this economy," Mac said about the drink minimum.

According to Mac, the club has already booked its first comedian, Ian Bagg. He said that they are in talks with big-name comedians with hopes of securing the likes of Eddie Griffin, Jim Gaffigan and Cedric the Entertainer.

"We're bringing in some big guns," Mac said.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

foodie math

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Tuesday afternoon I attended the first in a series of meetings put on by the Boise Convention and Visitor's Bureau to prepare Boise for being hospitable as our international guests begin arriving for the Special Olympics next week.
The numbers are huge. This week, Boise starts receiving somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 visitors. According to yesterday's presentation, that makes these games larger than the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 (I haven't been able to verify that comparison yet through another source).
After the presentation was over, one woman asked the panel what kind of business local restaurants could expect to see. Panelists weren't sure, but here's my estimation of how it breaks down:
• a total of 4,500 athletes, coaches and delegates will be here
• the Special Olympics will provide 150,000 meals for those athletes, coaches and delegates
• at least another 5,000 visitors will need to eat
Multiply that by three meals a day, and we're looking at 15,000 meals a day for 10 days ... that's 150,000 meals.
Although much of the social activity will be happening downtown, events are spread among Idaho Expo, the Idaho Center, McCall, Bogus and Sun Valley. So let's throw out what I'd consider to be a pretty conservative number: 125,000 meals over 10 days.
I would guess between the downtown core and Bogus Basin are about 100 places to find some kind of grub. If that number is anywhere near accurate, each eatery will churn out 1,250 meals in 10 days, or 125 meals a day, which works out to about 42 meals at each of the day's three meal times.
That's a number that doesn't sound too scary, especially for larger places, but there's an inherent flaw in that sort of thinking. My 100 restaurant estimate includes places like Flying M. As much as I love Flying M, I wouldn't recommend it for dinner. I also includes places like Chandlers, which is only open for dinner. Now we're talking about an extra 65 or so meals in two shifts, or—for those places only open one meal a day—the entire 125 in one shot.
Considering how slow the restaurant biz is these days, I'd be surprised if many restaurants are doing 125 plates a day. That means not just augmenting business, but perhaps in some cases doubling or tripling business.
It's an economic boon for sure, but I sure do hope restaurant people are ready to turn and burn.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

My recognition has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Melissa Leo, who starred in Frozen River, goes up against leading ladies Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet.

The screenplay, written by Courtney Hunt, competes with Happy-Go-Lucky, In Bruges, Milk and WALL-E.

With Frozen River on the list, those other movies are in very fine company.

Click here to read Boise Weekly's interview with Leo and co-star Misty Upham.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gran Torino was a gran disappointment

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I watched Gran Torino with friends this weekend. Clint Eastwood poses a double threat as both director and lead character Walt Kowalski, an aging, ailing, recently widowed, racist Korean war vet unhappy about what he sees as a decline in his neighborhood. His closest and most recent thorn is a Hmong family, the Lors, who have moved in next door. Walt, who doesn't like his own children or grandchildren, begins feeling a end-of-his-life-I-want-to-do-something-that-matters fatherly sense of responsibility for the two Lor children, Thao (Bee Vang) and Sue (Ahney Her) after Thao tries to steal Walt's prized, mint condition 1972 Ford Gran Torino as a gang initiation.
At the outset of what would turn out to be the most wicked case of flu or food poisoning I've ever experienced, I watched the strangely jittery screening with a growing sense of nausea akin to carsickness. Because my four film mates were so moved by the movie, I am willing to put my lack of luster down to illness. And it did have one bright spot. Eastwood’s acting is brilliant. Arms sinewy from years of hard work, chinos worn high, a TV tray of empty PBR cans near his porch perch and an old dog named Daisy at his side, the audience may have found Walt so amusing, his epithetic outbursts humorous because they have or had a Walt in their own families. They were no longer the ones sitting around a dinner table, cringing when their Walt tossed out terms like “zipper head” and “gook” while asking for another serving of mashed potatoes. It was happening to someone else in a make-believe world, that distance allowing them a relieved release from political correctness. Maybe I was just too sick, or the recollection of the Walts in my own family too fresh, but I just couldn’t find the funny.
Beyond that reappearing obstacle, the acting outside of Eastwood’s left something to be desired and some of the scenes were just too damn long. Sue invites Walt over for a large family dinner and while the older women fawning over him and his obvious enjoyment of their food was amusing, a scene in which Sue takes him to the basement where the teens are all hanging out seemed endless. Walt is not cool, he’s old. And though Sue has grown fond of him, I was hard pressed to believe her friends would take to him quickly if at all. Both Her and Vang show promise as actors, but in many of the scenes, their lines were blocky and stilted due in no part to their characters’ initial discomfort around Walt.
Walt’s willingness to fall on his sword for these strangers after mere weeks or days of knowing them in spite of what it would do to his children and grandchildren was also a difficult pill for me to swallow. But my film folks reminded me that Walt’s family were a bunch of selfish brats. Fine, but it just seemed manipulative to me. It was meant to jerk tears and more than one person in the audience was sniffling at the end of the movie.
Admittedly, I didn’t feel well and maybe didn’t allow myself to be pulled fully into that realm where my disbelief is completely suspended and I surrender to the fantasy that 90 minutes at the movies offers. And because of that, I’m willing to drop another 10 spot to try again or at least put Gran Torino on my Netflix queue when it comes out on DVD. Eastwood is just that damn good.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

frim frammin

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Many Thursday nights I have enjoyed the Frim Fram Four from the shadows in Pengilly's. Pianist Andrew Cortens sent BW the band's new video last week and I thought the right proper thing to do would be to share. Without further ado ...


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As the Wolf Spins

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 4:00 AM

There are more changes for gray wolves in Idaho as the Department of the Interior announces that the species will be taken off the Endangered Species List, again.

That means states will be taking over management, again, with the exception of Wyoming.

Check out the details.

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TMP Opens Doors to New Studio

Posted By on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 4:00 AM

On Thursday, Jan. 15, the Trey McIntyre Project is hosting a grand opening celebration of its new studio and office space.

Join the entire TMP team from 4-7 p.m. for wine, courtesy of Snake River Winery and live coverage from 94.9 the River.

Thursday, Jan. 15, 4-7 p.m. 775 Fulton St.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Publisher woes

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 4:11 AM

I keep reading quite disheartening news about my industry. It is all true. As companies like Creative Loafing and Tribune Company announce bankruptcy, daily papers are up for sell, media company staff reductions and mergers are routine, I truly believe that newspapers are more important and more needed than ever. I love the comment made by James Surowiecki in The New Yorker, that "the real problem for newspapers isn't the internet; it's us. We want access to everything, we want it now, and we want it for free. That's a consumer's dream, but eventually it's going to collide with reality; if newspapers' profits vanish, so will their product." He also suggests that people are actually reading newspapers more than they did a decade ago. Go figure. So as our ad revenue shrinks, our page count continues to go down. Last quarter of 2008 was very disappointing but it seems it might have been the best we will see for awhile. January is dismal.

When the page count goes down and sections must be cut back, it is always interesting to see who complains the loudest. It invariably is the business sectors and people that do not support us in any way through advertising. I don't like having to cut editorial content but the fact of the matter is that it does cost money to publish Boise Weekly.

If you are a reader of BW, the best thing that you can do to help is to support our advertisers. Most of our advertisers are local independent businesses. Please support them and tell them that you saw their ad in Boise Weekly. I vehemently believe in the philosophy of Think Boise First and the importance of putting your money to work to make a difference. Now more than ever we must work together to preserve the things that are important to us. Help us keep the only independent media voice in Boise strong.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

the radio on TV

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:42 PM

One of the many duties I inherited upon taking the editor's seat at BW was a weekly radio gig at 94.9 The River with Ken Bass and Tim Johnstone every Wednesday. They give me a couple of minutes to wax on about the latest edition of the paper and BW's Tyler Bush (who is currently without title, although "cruise director/videographer" would work well) shot this one morning in December.


Rachael Daigle on The River for Boise Weekly 12-17-08 from Boise Weekly on Vimeo.

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We're Back ...

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:00 AM

After a much-needed holiday break, Boise Weekly staffers are back at HQ and sorting through hundreds of e-mails and voice mails.
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