On Monday, the Spokane Public Library will offer a legal way for you to download music for free.
It’s called Freegal, and the library will be offering the entire Sony music catalog, which features a half-million tracks including songs by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Adele, Britney Spears, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Bartok and Beethoven, along with thousands of others.
Spokane Public Library card holders can download three songs a week for free, in mp3 format. And, unlike the old-fashioned method of checking out albums from the library, you never have to return them. The songs are yours to keep.
The library pays for the Freegal service, but it’s a good deal, since it’s a lot more cost-effective than shelving and maintaining that many CDs (and trying to keep them from getting stolen).
Go to the library website, www.spokanelibrary.org, to access this service beginning Monday. You’ll need to sign in with your usual library site PIN number.
If you don’t already have a PIN number, you can get one at the checkout counter of any Spokane Public Library branch.
A symphony half-price deal
The Spokane Symphony this week announced a surprise subscription deal: half-price subscriptions for new subscribers.
Or even former subscribers, as long as they were not subscribers for the 2010-2011 season.
This offer, which expires on Labor Day, means that new subscribers can get the entire 10-concert Classics season for $110 to $160 per seat.
Yeah, that’s a ridiculous bargain.
The introductory prices for the six-concert SuperPops package now range from $148.50 to $99. The three-concert Casual Classics package runs $27 to $42.
Why is the symphony doing this?
“To reach new season ticket holders and bring back past season ticket holders,” said Annie Matlow, the orchestra’s marketing director.
To get this deal call the symphony box office at (509) 624-1200. For more details on the season, go to www.spokanesymphony.org.
The eighth and final concert in the Northern Quest Casino and Resort’s summer outdoors series was booked this week: Lynryd Skynyrd, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).
Prices range from $55 to $100.
Steve Miller at the Quest
Meanwhile, don’t forget about the next show at the Northern Quest’s outdoor stage: the Steve Miller Band, Thursday at 7 p.m.
He’s the classic rock institution, familiar from hits such as “The Joker” and “Fly Like an Eagle.”
We might claim Miller as a local, or at least a Northwesterner. He has had homes in Bellevue and Friday Harbor, Wash., and Ketchum, Idaho.
He also famously mentions Tacoma in one of his hit songs, “Rock’n Me” (“I went from Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma …”), although Miller’s musical roots come more from Chicago, Texas and San Francisco.
His most recent CD, “Let Your Hair Down,” consists entirely of covers of songs by blues masters such as Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters.
Miller pulls off these tunes with characteristic finesse and taste. Expect him to sprinkle in a few of them among his hits.
Tickets are still available through TicketsWest.
The quartet is complete
Violinist Amanda Howard-Phillips has joined the Spokane String Quartet for its new season, replacing Tracy Dunlop, who has moved to Michigan.
Howard-Phillips is on the Gonzaga University faculty and is the principal second violin for the Spokane Symphony.
The quartet’s upcoming season consists of five concerts:
• Sept. 25, Bing Crosby Theater – Hayden, Britten and Beethoven.
• Nov. 13, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox – Shostakovich, Haydn and Sibelius.
• Feb. 19, The Fox – Mozart and Brahms.
• March 11, The Fox – with guest artists, mezzo-soprano Joanne Bouma and pianist Linda Siverts, and music by Brahms and Ravel.
• April 29, Bing Crosby Theater – with guest artist pianist Kendall Feeney, and music by Frank, de Falla, Schoenfield and Shostakovich.
The rest of the quartet consists of Mateusz Wolski, Jeannette Wee-Yang and Helen Byrne.
Season tickets are available through www.spokanestringquartet.org. Single tickets will go on sale in September.
Interstate Fair trade
Tickets go on sale Monday through TicketsWest outlets for the Spokane Interstate Fair’s grandstand lineup:
• Neal McCoy, country, Sept. 12.
• The Osmond Brothers, pop, Sept. 13.
• Weird Al Yankovic, rock parody, Sept. 14.
• Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, rock, Sept. 15.
• Switchfoot, rock, Sept. 16.
• PRCA Rodeo, Sept. 9 and 10.
• Monster Trucks, Sept. 17.
• Demolition Derby, Sept. 11 and 18.
A Currington switch
The Billy Currington-Uncle Kracker concert July 21 has been switched from the Spokane Arena to the Knitting Factory Concert House, 919 W. Sprague Ave., “due to logistical reasons.”
Those logistical reasons might include the fact that Knitting Factory seats about one-tenth as many customers as the Arena.
Tickets purchased for the Arena will be honored at the Knitting Factory.
The Lake City Playhouse, 1320 E. Garden Ave. in Coeur d’Alene, will revive its hit production of the musical parody “Urinetown” on Friday and Saturday.
If you didn’t catch it the first time around, you can rectify that situation by calling the box office at (208) 667-1323.
Two classical festivals
Check out this pair of intriguing classical music festivals in the middle of the state:
• Lake Chelan Bach Fest, today through Saturday – A weeklong festival at various venues in Chelan, culminating in three big concerts Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Go to www.bachfest.org for complete details.
• Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, July 22-30, at the Signal Hill Ranch on a hilltop between Twisp and Winthrop – Artists will include the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet. Verne Windham of KPBX-FM will give pre-concert lectures.
There will be six main concerts. Go to www.methowmusicfestival.org for details.
Catch some fish (and chips)
Here’s a tempting pre-show event: Alaskan Brewing Co.’s “Fresh Catch: Brews and Grub” before the show at the INB Performing Arts Center on July 24 featuring several crab-boat captains from “The Deadliest Catch.”
“A Night With Captain Sig and the Hillstrand Brothers” will feature storytelling by the captains along with video clips from the TV show.
This pre-show event, sold separately, consists of a $10 fish-and-chips dinner served in the breezeway outside the INB entrance beginning at 5 p.m. Alaskan Brewing Co. beers will be available as well.
You can buy your $10 dinner tickets in advance, as well as your tickets to the show itself ($20, $30, $40 and $75), through TicketsWest outlets.
It's Friday, and I am looking ahead to a weekend that just might include an On Demand selection or two. So feel free to weigh in.
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