If you came of age in the 1990s, Modest Mouse isn't just a band: It's a totem. The Issaquah, Wash.-based band released its first album, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Talk About, in 1996 (two years after releasing its first EP, Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect?). Since then, MM has been a defining force in indie rock, cutting masterworks with ironic titles like The Lonesome Crowded West and Good News for People Who Love Bad News. The band performs Thursday, July 17--presented by Knitting Factory--at the Idaho Botanical Garden, as part of the popular Outlaw Field Summer Concert Series. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $30-$35.
If you have your tickets to Modest Mouse but love any excuse to go to IBG and are free Friday evening, you might consider spending it with chain gang escapees Ulysses, Pete and Delmar as they flee from the law in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen brothers' Depression-era movie starring George Clooney, John Goodman, John Turturro and Holly Nelson, with music by T-Bone Burnett, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and others. The film is part of the Movies in the Garden series and begins at dusk, Friday, July 11. Tickets are $5-$7. idahobotanicalgarden.org.
If your appetite for outdoor music still isn't whetted, maybe the Braun Brothers Reunion Festival will fill you up. Now in its 11th year, BBRF is a three-day country/western/bluegrass/Americana extravaganza going down Aug. 7-9, in Challis. This year, the roster of regulars, including Micky and the Motorcars, The Original Braun Brothers and Reckless Kelly, are joined by Jeff Crosby and the Refugees, The Greencards, the Black Lillies and many more. Tickets are $50 per day at the gate, $77 for a two-day combo pass and $115 for a three-day pass. Kids under age 6 are free, and ages 6-12 are $15 per day. braunbrothersreunion.com.
Getting into the Boise Art Museum just got a little cheaper--as in free--for active military personnel and their families. BAM is participating in Blue Star Museums, a program that provides free museum admission to men and women in uniform and military families, through the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and about 2,000 museums across the country. The program is in effect through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1. boiseartmuseum.org.