July 21 2004 

BSU Noon Tunes

Boise State has a cure for those pesky midday doldrums, Noon Tunes, a free summer lunchtime concert series. My doldrums are cured by nearly anything free but music works especially well. The program continues this week with Kyler England on July 21 and Rob Gonzalez on July 28.

It will most definitely be hot on the Student Union patio. It might be the heat of the sun, but just as easily it could be indie singer-songwriter Kyler England. England, a southern-bred college valedictorian, sings, plays the piano and guitar. What an overachiever. She'll gambol with her mix of folk, rock and pop--a style that earned a first place finish at both the 2003 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest and the 2002 North Carolina Songwriters Competition. She's touring now to promote her second full-length album, A Flower Grows in Stone.

Next Wednesday pianist Rob Gonzalez will wrap up the summer program. The Boston-based musician calls his music a blend of acoustic rock with blues, jazz and folk influences. Gonzalez is, of course, an accomplished singer, songwriter and piano player, that's why he has a record (self-released album Somehow) and is touring. But these days everyone needs a gimmick to stand out in the pack; Gonzalez is notorious for his effervescent stage presence.

July 21 and July 28, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., FREE, Student Union patio, Boise State campus.

FREESOUND

I want to go back to my little grass shack, but I can't remember where it's at. In the meantime, there's FreeSound, a four-piece Hawaiian roots music jam band from ... uh, Seattle? I am pretty sure that's not the land of grass shacks, but the band is cool nonetheless. They perform an eclectic, genre-crossing blend of original melodies from funk to roots dub reggae to blues. They're all over the map, wandering free with their sound. (That's how they get the name.)

Friday, July 23, 9:30 p.m., Tom Grainey's.

Mistress Of Reality

They sold their souls for rock and roll. I'm not talking about the Ironmen of Black Sabbath, I'm talking about the gals of Mistress of Reality, the only all-female band to recreate the look and sound of early Black Sabbath. Tribute band, cover band, whatever. The Los Angeles-based varlets pull songs from the first four albums and channel the brooding inspiration and heavy rumble that made Black Sabbath one of the prominent metal bands of the early 1970s. Final Underground opens.

Friday, July 23, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., $10, Big Easy.

Hootie & the Blowfish

The word is: if you see Darius Rucker on the street, don't call him Hootie. It makes him mad because Hootie isn't a superstar and he is. The four guys of Hootie & The Blowfish united in the '80s at the University of South Carolina and stole the name from two of their friends who apparently wanted to be in a band but couldn't play instruments. Hootie & the Blowfish made a huge hullabaloo in 1995 with their cheery, honest songs and affinity for golf amid a national trend slouching toward the hot grungy sun. Their album Cracked Rear View Mirror sold 13 million copies and exposed America to "Let Her Cry," "Only Wanna Be With You" and "Hold My Hand." They're baaaaaaack, and they have a new self-titled album.

Tuesday, July 27, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., $29.50, Big Easy.

Caliente Summer Jam

I am pretty sure there's a double entendre in the title Caliente Summer Jam. Is it so hot because it's, uh, summer, or because these artistes are smokin'? A long-timer on the hip-hop scene, Lil Rob headlines the tour. The San Diego rapper is different from other hip-hop artists in that he accrued his fan base through word of mouth rather than heavy radio and video rotation (um, until recently). And he gets it that many fans can't relate to songs about rolling in the Rolls with a pool of bling. Instead he keeps it real, yo, remaining rooted in street smart lyrics with snazzy Latin rhythms. The tour also features NB Ridaz ("So Fly"), Amanda Perez ("I Pray") and Angelina.

July 28, doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m., $22.50, Big Easy.

John Nemeth CD Release

It's a CD release weekend for Boise bluesman John Nemeth. Make plans to see the nationally acclaimed singer and blues harpist (aka harmonica player). He's one of the country's youngest traditional R&B singers. The album is called Come and Get It. What an invitation!

July 29, Big Easy with Robert Cray; July 30, 6 p.m., Record Exchange; July 30 & 31, 8 p.m., Ha'Penny. :

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