The first thing you know when you see a six-man group on stage is that there's gonna be a lot of sound. Added to the usual drums, guitar and bass routine, JND has a saxophone and a keyboard filling out the harmony. Their surplus of sound put them on the up with a catchy radio ditty and an opening gig for Chicago as they consistently exhibit powerful songwriting skillz and innovative funky music. The San Luis Obispo group also has street cred; their live shows conquer fans for their evolving, revelatory songs.
Thursday, October 21, 9:30 p.m., FREE, Tom Grainey's.
DJs & MCs Tour
This party's gonna be da bomb. And by bomb I don't mean last minute election pranks, Gramps. I'm talking about Bomb the institution. OK, first there was Bomb magazine in the early '90s, then their record labels released 60-plus rap and DJ projects, and now they are taking their show on the road and throwing a Bomb party: DJs & MCs Tour, action packed with six strong and stylish hip-hop artists from all over the place. The 3 DJ, 3 MC lineup includes San Francisco's DJ Quest of Live Human, an experimental jazz/hip-hop group; award-winning poet and ex-Spearhead member Azeem; LA Deejay T-Rock, who mixes, cuts and scratches hip-hop, soul, funk and classic rock; the zany and offbeat Z-Man of Hiero Imperium; veteran graffiti artist/emcee Nac One, who's witty wordplay will amp any room, plus B.P.S.H. and DJ DNA. If all you know about hip-hop is MTV-style skanky songstress-plus-rapper radio hits, take this opportunity to learn something about the good ol' days, when rappers were well versed in all facets of hip-hop culture.
Friday, October 22, 9 p.m., $5, Neurolux.
I & I & I
After all the hubbub, traffic and annoying kids with inflatable orange noise sticks, football fans need to decompress. My method of choice: alcohol and reggae. Fortunately, this week, after the Boise State/Fresno State game, there's an afterparty featuring the reggae stylings of I & I & I plus DJs spinning dance tunes. If you tailgated before the game, it will be like a football sandwich. Come early and watch the game, cuz the house will give everyone a shot each time Boise State scores a touchdown.
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m., $5 or FREE if you're there for the game, Big Easy.
In 1991, The Scorpions scored a worldwide hit with the monster ballad "Wind of Change." Some consider it symbolic, timed with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the lift of the Iron Curtain; I consider it a giant leap for the whistling movement, souping up the arsenal that includes "Patience" and "Walk Like an Egyptian." Besides that one chick-luring song, Germany's most globally successful band has a 35-year history of rocking audiences like a hurricane. Special guests include Keith Emerson and the Sacramento-based Tesla, hard rockers back on the scene with their first new material album in 10 years.
Sunday, October 24, 7:30 p.m., $19.50-$39.50, Bank of America Centre.
Fear Before the March of Flames
To the current state of music, Fear Before the March of Flames say, "Bah!" The young Denver-based punksters fashioned their own strand of sound. The band members, who began playing (not so long ago) in high school, produce a convulsive and emotionally intense passion in the name of spazz core. Often just FBTMOF, the complete name is actually a line borrowed from a news story about wild brushfires. But true fans already know that, and they know to be prepared for airborne bodies at their shows. Scars of Tomorrow opens.
Sunday, October 24, 7 p.m., $8, The Venue.
Marcus Eaton benefit for Amanda Hanson
After an East Coast tour, Marcus Eaton is home for a special concert to benefit the family of Amanda Hanson, the 26-year-old Boise woman who died in a tragic rock climbing accident. The show is not only a fundraiser, but also a way to honor the memory of Amanda, who left behind a husband, young daughter and many friends in the community.
Friday, October 22, 8 p.m., $10, Big Easy.
on a side note ...
Last few months, most North American cities have had the pleasure and richness of hosting The Tragically Hip. Peculiarly, Boise didn't see the endorphin-smartening joy that is the Hip live. If you made the hoof to one of the nearby venues (Portland, Seattle or Spokane) as I did, you are--no doubt--still calculating how to save up for a Winnebago to follow their 2006 tour. Lemme know if you want to go in on that Winnie. :