Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Need Something To Do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM

What's better than live music? Knowing that the hard-earned money you spent pleasing your ears is going to a good cause. So check out Curtis Stigers at Boise Contemporary Theater tonight.

Proceeds from the performance go to Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, so that it can try to save Harrison Hollow's land and trails.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Need Something To Do Tuesday?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 8:41 AM

It may not be remotely close to Saint Patrick's Day—the one day a year that the United States pays any mind to leprechaun country by swilling green beer and faking egregious Irish accents—but some of Ireland is heading to the City of Trees.

Tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 1, you can catch the popular Irish singing group Celtic Thunder at the Morrison Center at 7:30 p.m.

The group was named Billboard Magazine's top world artist in 2009 and recently embarked on a North American tour. The evening's performance promises a mix of solo and ensemble numbers.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Googling

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 4:02 PM

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In honor of Halloween, the folks at Google had some fun with their homepage logo.

Click the link to view the video that puts your pumpkin carving to shame.

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Video of the Day: Was Shakespeare a Fraud on the Mic?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:21 PM

With Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, director Roland Emmerich carved out a niche for himself as the "disaster film" director. That is, until he directed himself out of disasters with Anonymous, which addresses the conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was a fraud.

The film opens on Friday, Nov. 4. But first, you might want to bone up on your Shakespearean history with this clip of his Old World/New Age epic rap battle with Dr. Seuss.

Is it really Shakespeare rapping? Or is this a fraud, too? Mr. Emmerich, we may smell a sequel.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Four New Traffic-Box Designs Unveiled Outside of Downtown

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Downtown Boise isn't the only place to see art on traffic-control boxes anymore. Four new vinyl-wrapped boxes have been completed outside the downtown area, some as far-flung as Bown Crossing.

The Downtown Boise Association and the Ada County Highway District, with funding from the Mayor's Neighborhood Reinvestment Program and Capital City Development Corporation, have teamed up to dress up traffic-control boxes with local artists' handiwork. With the addition of these four new boxes, 32 boxes have now been decorated in all.

The four new boxes include work by local textiles artist Lisa Flowers Ross, who typically works in quilting and hand-stitching; Tarmo Watia, a prolific Finnish-American painter and former Boise State art professor; Brian Schreiner, a local painter who typically creates brightly colored Western landscapes; and painter Lauren Kistner, who works in photography and stained glass.

Artists don't have to brave the elements or the gloom of night to painstakingly paint their work onto the traffic boxes. Instead, their designs are transferred onto vinyl , which is then wrapped around the box. This helps the artwork last longer so the glammed-up traffic boxes can add character to Boise's streets for years to come.

You can find Ross' re-imagined traffic box on Capitol Boulevard at Julia Davis Park, Watia's box at the intersection of Hill Road and Harrison Boulevard, Schreiner’s box at Vista Avenue and Overland Road, and Kistner’s box at Bown Crossing.

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Vinyl Lovers Spin More Than Barry Manilow

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:16 AM

When you think of a party centered on vinyl, you might picture a basement, an old Panasonic deck, and a couple of half-deflated bean bag chairs. It seems Chad and Travis Dryden, the brothers behind the Idaho chapter of the Vinyl Preservation Society, are looking to class things up a bit.

"It started as a way of getting us out of our basement," said Travis, dressed in a garish purple sheik's outfit for the group's Saturday, Oct. 29, costume party. Chad went for the handlebar moustache and bell-bottoms at the event, which also marked VPS' fourth anniversary.

Fifty or so party-goers piled into the Linen Building's upstairs gallery cum dance hall, brightly lit and with a bar. In a corner were piled a handful of crates, each with almost 80 records inside, a DJ, and two turntables.

The evening included record players to bid on, and a vintage coffin-like number from the '50s for raffle.

Ron Groove with Boise's Audio Medics said he's a big supporter of the old-school vinyl. He said it's different than just rolling up to a venue with a flash drive.

"When you buy a record, you don't have to worry about what bitrate it is."

Groove has a collection of more than 1,500 records.

Notable costumes: the mandatory Freddy Krueger, Juno and Bleaker, and a perfect, homemade Evil Knievel.

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Need Something To Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Well, it's officially Halloween. That means after tonight, you have to store your devil horns, rubber masks and superman capes for another 365 days.

You can get your costume-wearing fix today at Boise Train Depot. During Halloween Tales and Carols, you can listen to some spooky songs and stories, and bask in everything that is All Hallows Eve.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The War on Drugs at Flying M Coffeegarage

Posted By on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

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Friday night Philadelphia-based The War on Drugs played a set of spaced out rock and roll at Flying M Coffeegarage in Nampa.

Carter Tanton opened the show with a brief set of ambient wall-of-sound guitar music. His three-piece band created textural, melodic noise rock that was a good palate cleanser for the bands that followed. Purling Hiss ripped through a set of loud, '70s-style blues rock. Guitarist Mike Polizze showed off his chops with a series of shredding finger-tapped and whammy-bar bending solos that made ears ring.

In fact, ears were ringing all night. At the entrance to the venue the ticket checker handed out foam ear buds. Shortly into Carter Tanton's set, the reason for the free handouts became apparent. Garage's don't provide the best sound insulation. Noise was bouncing off the walls creating intense decibel levels all night. It was almost impossible to listen to the show without the ear plugs, which was frustrating for music fans who prefer to hear the entire range of frequencies coming from the stage.

Despite the sound issues, The War on Drugs managed to deliver a superb set. The band's sound is something like a shoegaze-laced cross between Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. It mostly stuck to material from the recently released Slave Ambient, but also brought out songs from its earlier records. "Your Love is Calling My Name" and "Baby Missiles" in particular were standouts from the night, with their driving rhythms, hazy sonics, and gleaming guitar work. There were a couple of times throughout the night when the songs broke down into cacophonous space jams that went on for a minute or two before bleeding into the next song. The band was masterful at developing large spacey atmospherics at the beginning of its songs that would recede into the backdrop during the song proper, before getting fleshed out again and expanded upon at the end of the song. Aside from the dense sonics, lead singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel is a talented song writer and his band is full of talented musicians, so much so, that they managed to keep the attention of a booze-less and ear-plugged audience until the music stopped at around midnight.

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Ballet Idaho's Performance Has Something for Everyone

Posted By on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Ballet Idaho couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate title for Mix It Up, comprised of three one-act ballets, which opened on the night of Oct. 28.

Principle dancer Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye’s beautiful, modern work “City Symphony” opened the evening, featuring music by Philip Glass. A brief intermission was followed by the more classical triple pas de deux Claire de Lune, which made use of a minimal stage and soft, muted color scheme to create a world for young lovers that was the epitome of the word lovely. Originally commissioned by the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov for the American Ballet Theatre, the work was refashioned by Ballet Idaho. The pairs were designated in a prom-like way, with the male-female counterparts clothed in matching colors. The dedication to technique and fluidity of some company members was especially evident in this piece.

Continue reading »

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The Imperfect Union of Craft Beer and Local Hops

Posted By on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 6:31 AM

Dried whole Idaho hops

“I love hops. To me, hops are what make beer beer.”

That’s what Laughing Dog Brewery owner Fred Colby said as we toured his Ponderay brewery. Even though he was crazy-busy getting ready for his brewery’s sixth birthday bash, he couldn’t stop talking hops.

“One of the things that you see in craft brewers today in hops is they’re adding layers of complexity into the beer," Colby said. "So rather than kind of one-dimensional beers, we can build really complex, artful tasting beers. I think, you know, that’s why it’s called craft beer.”

Colby’s self-confessed hop obsession seems fitting since Idaho is the third largest hop producer in the United States and Laughing Dog sits just south of what Colby called “one of the largest contiguous hop farms in the world,” Elk Mountain Farms near Bonner’s Ferry.

But this seemingly perfect union of hop-loving craft brewers and nearby hop growers isn’t all that perfect.

In the Nov. 2 issue of BW, I find out why craft brewers and hop growers seldom collaborate and why Northwest beer makers often have to beg for hops in America’s hop-growing epicenter.

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