Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Summer Floating Season Starts Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

The 2010 float season begins Thursday, July 1. Epley's Boise River Rentals will open for business at noon, the same day as last year. Temperatures are expected to hit the 80s on Thursday, but Ada County officials warn floaters that the river is cold and can still be very dangerous at any given time. Last year, more than 100,000 people floated the Boise River.

If you're looking for a bargain this summer, Epley's is offering 20 percent off of raft and tube rentals on Tuesdays. Information on park hours, rental equipment, and parking is available at www.epleys.com. Click the link to "Boise Location" at the bottom of the page.

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BW Interviews Frank Marshall on "The Last Airbender" red carpet

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

BW talked to producer Frank Marshall on the red carpet premiere of The Last Airbender, which screened on June 29 at the Egyptian Theatre.

More video and a more in-depth interview with Marshall to come.

(Thanks to KBOI-TV 2 for their audio and visual assistance. C'mon, we're newspaper people.)


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Curb Cup Registration Coming Soon

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM

On Sunday, August 29, downtown Boise will be invaded by mimes, circus clowns, bellydancers, fire-breathers, breakdancers, fiddlers, tribal drum troupes, jugglers, snake charmers, hulla-baloos and thumblydinkers.

No, the water supply isn't going to be dosed with acid on Saturday, August 28. It's the second annual Curb Cup event.

The wildly popular street-performance celebration is back for a second year. Same place, roughly the same time. And this one promises to be even bigger and better than the last. Attendees will get the chance to wander the thoroughfare, ogle the various weirdos, and then vote for their favorite acts. Winners will be selected for prizes and first place will get their name scrawled on the prestigious Curb Cup.

But more importantly, registration starts on Friday, July 16. So if you have a knack for painting yourself gold and standing still for hours, or maybe performing cartwheels while you're on 10-foot stilts, head on over to boisecurbcup.com and get your registration on.

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Local Arts Organizations Receive $20,000 In Grants

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 2:13 PM

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It’s been a very good week for four local nonprofit arts organizations that recently received $20,000 from the Boise City Department of Arts and History. As part of the City’s Arts and History Economic Development Grant program, Ballet Idaho, The Basque Museum and Cultural Center, Boise Contemporary Theater and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival will receive $20,000 grants in recognition and support of their effect on the community and local economy.

Ballet Idaho, which brings in more than 7,000 out-of-state visitors each year, has plans for a new program called Ballet in Bodo.

An estimated 300,000 people have viewed the Basque Museum and Cultural Center’s exhibit on Ellis Island, New York, which will come back to Boise later this year.

Boise Contemporary Theater, which produced Edward Albee's and At Home at the Zoothis year, hires 42 local actors, directors, designers and crewmembers each year in addition to its full- and part-time staff.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival sells 52,000 tickets each year and spends about 40 percent of its operating budget on local purchases.

Five-person panels made up of members of the Mayor’s Office and the Arts and History Commission and three local patrons helped select the grantees. The Arts and History Economic Development Grant program also includes the Economic Development Cultural Ambassador Award, which was awarded to the Trey McIntyre Project in May.

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Zen and the Art of Dishwasher Maintenance

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I have this habit of carrying around a Leatherman Wave, a cool multi-tool. I use it for about every imaginable thing in the kitchen.

Can’t find the key to the paper towel dispenser? I can shim that open in no time. Need the can opener taken apart and cleaned? Done and done. The grease catcher on the flattop is stuck shut and you have no idea when the last time someone bothered to clean it out? Be right there and have that SOB off in a jiff.

This guy is Zen
  • This guy is Zen

Over the years I learned that the chef has to be a jack-of-all-trades. While it might be easier to just call a fix-it guy, I was typically way too busy to wait. I needed my oven back right now. I only nearly blew up the kitchen one time. The gas should be shut off before one starts messing with knobs… apparently.

Before the Leatherman, I would dig into a project with an “ignorance is bliss” attitude. No kitchen has a fully stocked tool box. Some operate on a meat hammer and duct tape. Heck, I remember asking a manger for a screwdriver to fix a dishwasher and he showed back up with a cocktail. While the drink was appreciated, I decided to use an old restaurant standby, the silverware.

Taking apart the dish machine with a butter knife was a personally satisfying moment. The water had stopped pumping because a skinny red straw was stuck in a pipe. I had to remove all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to get it out.

I found the whole act of dishwasher maintenance to be somewhat Zen like. I could focus and not focus at the same time. While I certainly did not find enlightenment while fixing the dishwasher, I did learn how to remove the soap pump from a Temp Pro 2000

Randy King is a chef and likes to think deep thoughts about being poor. Click to follow Randy on Facebook.

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Cabin Fever at The Bouquet and Loserpalooza

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Cabin Fever

Rock had a great divergence from pop in the 1960s. So much so that the term pop is now something of a dirty word, translating as thematically sanitary or plain, or as manufactured and soulless. The Byrds or Herman's Hermits don't get nearly the credit of Zeppelin, or even Question Mark and the Mysterians.

But those bands weren't infantile or vanilla like the modern conception of pop. The Byrds were even banned from radio for being too risque. To see a band not afraid to flaunt their pop chops, to offer good songs a listener can identify with rather than just trying to push the envelope of tone or volume, or trying to display as much flair for their corresponding subculture as possible, is all too rare.

I mention all of this because I had the dumb luck to walk in to the Bouquet thinking it was open mic night on Sunday, only to discover Cabin Fever, a Cincinnati band that falls somewhere between alt-country and '60s pop-rock. They opened with a cover of "I've Just Seen a Face" by The Beatles, and it was a clear goal for their sound, one they gave an excellent run at with shuffling beats and harmonized vocals for melodically tactful, somewhat sweet songs. One of them, based off an Italian folk tale about the origins of theft, is a hit single waiting to happen.

It's clear that Cabin Fever has a sincerity in their love of music. That is, sadly, rare. You can see it in a series of videos posted on their myspace, where they break into assorted buildings to record a series of guerrilla performances in odd settings with good acoustics.

But its also clear that Cabin Fever has a tremendous immaturity as a band. Songs frequently stopped rather than concluding and much of the complexities of the quartet came from a single instrument rather than a compositions or arrangements. They didn't play with the road-tightened precision of the next big thing so much as a band about to graduate from the caffeine circuit. And though that immaturity was obvious, what Cabin Fever was showing wasn't the finished product so much as the seeds of much better things to come. And they were pretty good seeds. I hope they make it past the initial year and tour that kills so many bands, because I'd really like to see where they end up.

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I saw a lot of bands at Loserpalooza last weekend. And it would take too long to go through them all—sorry—but here are some highlights:

The Mongoloids

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Had anyone pitched the idea of deliberately seeing a metal-ish Devo tribute, I'm not sure I would have gone. It's the sort of concept that sounds fantastic after the number of drinks reaches double-digits and the sun is threatening to come back up, but in practice, can easily be a punchline that goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on, and possibly does "Whip It" as a an encore.

Having seen them, I'm still not sure that isn't the case. Their jumpsuits and energy domes were top-notch, as was their choice of songs—"Girl You Want," "Beautiful World," "Mongoloid," "Whip It" and more—and the singer's Mothersbaugh vocals, but the harder delivery stripped some of the weirdness that made Devo great. It didn't help that the keyboard wasn't well-mixed into the overall sound making it a somewhat harsh sound muscling in on stage right.

That said, I sang along and even pumped my fist with a shit-eating grin a few times.

I think the question you have to answer with a band like The Mongoloids, is this: CAN you make a novelty act on top of what many already consider something of a novelty act? Devo was as much a commentary on commercialism and modern society as it was a band. Many, the band included, might even say that the music was almost secondary. They started as art and film students using the band more as a vehicle for satirical commentary. Their upcoming album was created democratically, allowing listeners to vote online for everything from the song choices to the color of their helmets.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter. You'll either like them or not, based less on anything The Mongoloids do, than whether or not you like Devo beyond occasionally dropping the phrase "tattoo detective," in casual conversation.

For me, it was pleasantly unexpected, but unlikely to become a destination.

Oilslave

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The concept of the one-man band is nothing new, though sampling and looping technology has greatly expanded its possibilities. Still it's nice to see someone slugging it out the old way, octopus-style with an instrument for every appendage.

It's doubly nice as there are some styles and sounds that aren't generally pursued solo, metal or hard rock being chief amongst them. And Oilslave certainly does rock. Though lacking the ability to palm-mute or play dual harmonized solos, the heaviness and the largeness of the sound is impressive as were weeping riffs and walls of distortion over moving beats and fills tailored to the song rather than just lumped underneath as a backing track. The songs would work just as well played with two members, but he manages them with just one, even if that limitation boxes the sound in a bit. It was a short set, which was likely to its benefit as it didn't allow it to stagnate.

It's hard to argue that there isn't something of a novelty factor that goes with music of this kind. That to see a performance is equal parts spectacle and music. Where exactly Oilslave falls on that scale may just have to do with where you fall on the metal scale. If you're true fan, the kind of person who might own a gauntlet, swears Metallica all died in that bus crash and doesn't find Manowar even slightly comical, then game on. If you like Mastodon, but the only time you've actually heard them was in the opening credits of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, you're probably going to focus more on the novelty. Either way though, it was another pleasant surprise.

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Idaho's Best Breakfast

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM

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  • Food Network Magazine
A few months back Food Network Magazine shot me an e-mail and asked if I could dig up Boise's best breakfast. My assignment was to give them three options they could weigh against other Idaho entries, make a case for each in roughly 75 words, and they'd take it from there.

The verdict is in and is published in the July/August edition of the magazine, which is on stands now.

Who's the big winner? The Oatmeal Souffle at Red Feather Lounge is, according to Food Network Magazine, the best breakfast in Idaho. My 80-word case for the dish that's technically only a side:

Customers clamor for the coveted seats on the outdoor patio here, and they get downright desperate for the oatmeal souffle: The chef makes only about a dozen on weekend mornings, and they often sell out within an hour or two. The cult favorite is something between a trumped-up bowl of oatmeal and a dressed-down dessert—hearty and light at the same time and just a little sweet. Make sure you show up before10 a.m. if you want to snag one. $6; 246 North Eighth St.; 208-343-3119

For the record, my other nominations included the Breakfast Nachos at Focaccia's and Salmon Hash at the ever-popular Goldy's.

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Need Something to Do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM

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One of the things that was immediately clear to me when I moved to Boise from Portland is that it's nearly impossible to find a good vegetarian meal here. Now, I'm not a vegetarian. In fact I would gladly eat a double-portion of bacon-wrapped bacon, smothered in baconaise, rolled in bacon salt, tempura battered then deep-fried in bacon fat and served on a bed of bacon—or sausage—but sometimes a boy just wants a tasty salad or some battered eggplant. And aside from the portabello sandwich at Solid and the General's tofu at Golden Phoenix, the ol' pound of flesh remains the centerpiece of most menus here in Boise.

So today, since restaurants clearly aren't filling the need, why not learn to make some tasty veggie options yourself from BW blogger and Chef Randy King.

And no you smartass, he's not just going to be showing you how to make carrot sticks and open a jar of dip.

King's menu include fancy-pants veggie options like jicama salad, grilled caesars and ways to make tofu taste like something.

The class starts at 6:30 p.m. at Pottery Gourmet Kitchen downtown.

And for all y'all meat and potatoes folks out there, just remember, this is a man who ran over a snake and ate it. If he can can rock a jicama salad, then so can you.

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Animated Andrew W.K. Wants To See You Go WIld

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Today's three-and-a-half minute time-suck, "I Want To See You Go Wild," brought to you by Andrew W.K. and director Peter Glantz:

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stream New Wolf Parade Album

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Though it’s been five years (yikes) since Wolf Parade released their debut album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, I still wake up humming, “We’ve both been very brave / walk around with both legs,” from the song “I’ll Believe in Anything." Unlike most of the records I listened to in 2005 (Sufjan Stevens, I’m looking at you), this puppy has had staying power.

Though their follow up, At Mount Zoomer, didn’t do much for me, today marks the release of their third studio album, Expo 86, which was recorded and mixed quickly in late February and early March 2010.

Sub Pop is streaming the album for free for a full week. So far, I’m digging on “Oh You, Old Thing” and “Little Golden Age.” But I guess I’ll have to wait till the morning to see what sticks.


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