Latest from The Spokesman-Review
I'm a big fan of electronic music, so I thought I'd share with you this collection of the best drops ever. It is a very serious thing, these drops, and I am a very serious person.
If those drops are too mega for you, perhaps this remix of the lovely soft rock song Baker Street by DJ DETWEILER will be more to your liking:
(Photo: Martina McBride performs on the Carnival Ecstasy.)
A few days away from work, escaping the usual family obligations and the routine of the daily grind, can quickly recharge our emotional batteries. There’s no better way to get some much-needed time with your spouse or special someone, or just kick back with a group of girlfriends.
But organizing that kind of escape can be tricky. Hotels are pricey. Restaurants fill up. Throw in tickets to a concert or show and you’ll make a big dent in the budget. That little escape starts turning into a big headache.
That’s what makes Carnival Cruise Lines' "Carnival Live" concert series so brilliant.
Launched in April and running through mid-December of this year, the series brings 49 shows with 15 acts —Jennifer Hudson, Foreigner, LeAnn Rimes, and Lady Antebellum, to name a few— to the Western Caribbean, the Bahamas and Baja Mexico.
The shows are held in the ship’s show lounge and tickets are dramatically less than most arena seats - $20 to $40 for a regular seat and $100 to $150 for VIP tickets which include a meet-and-greet with the band or artist, a complimentary photo and priority seating in the first three rows.
The Carnival Live series simplifies getting away and makes it all a bargain. Instead of searching for a hotel, making a reservation in a busy restaurant and then buying concert tickets at a premium price, all you have to do is book your cruise, buy a ticket to the show, and settle in.
I experienced the new Carnival Live concept with a four-day cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, on the Carnival Ecstasy. After a day in Cozumel, country music superstar Martina McBride came aboard and performed in the Blue Sapphire Lounge for an enthusiastic audience of around 800.
It was a fantastic show, intimate and personal. McBride performed selections from her new album as well as the songs that made her a star, and fans were on their feet dancing to their favorites.
It was a great show and a fantastic way to see McBride perform. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house and after the show it was an easy stroll to my stateroom a few decks away.
No taxi needed.
While a Caribbean cruise is always a good idea, for those of us in the Northwest, the November cruise to Baja, Mexico, on the Carnival Imagination with Jewel, could make for a perfect girlfriend getaway. A group of four can share a suite for around $450 per person, it’s a relatively short flight, Jewel puts on a great show and, especially that time of year, you get the bonus of a few days under the sun.
More information about the Carnival Live Concert Series
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a Spokane-based travel journalist. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at email@example.com
Get ready for the sun-splashed and solar-powered KYRS Music Fest this Saturday from from noon until 11PM in Glover Field, Peaceful Valley. The Northwest's only solar-powered music festival is family friendly and features a great line-up of local and regional bands, Ninkasi beer garden, food court, fresh filtered Zip 2 Water refills, bike corral, drum circle, hula hooping, and yoga.
All with the Spokane Falls as the backdrop.
Tickets at are $15 at kyrsmusicfest.com. Full line-Up: Menomena * Finn Riggins * Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats * Shebear * Real Life Rockaz * Cathedral Pearls * Old Bear Mountain * BBBBandits * Soul Proprietor
I was in an organic juice bar downtown, waiting for my order.
Sue me. They make something I like.
The only other people in the place, both staff and customers, were women who looked to be in their early 20s. I noted this because of the recorded song we all were hearing — "The Ghost in You" by the Psychedelic Furs.
I bought that album back when it came out in 1984. Particularly liked that song. And I felt like saying something about that, but decided against it.
But I thought it: "None of you was even born when this song came out."
It's OK for them to listen, though. I guess. I did the same thing when I was their age.
Hot enough for ya? Maybe the weather conjures up a certain DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince classic but University of Minnesota student/cellist Daniel Crawford created a musical way to demonstrate the warming trend in historical temperature data.
Crawford converted the average global temperature for each year to a note by using a higher pitch for hotter weather.
Just a little sumthin to break the monotony, as Fresh Prince would say.
He is basically playing data - with notes going up and down to indicate normal variation until the pitch gets gets higher and the average is getting higher as well. It's not really catchy but I've never heard science communicated in such a way.
Nerd out from Ensia: Crawford based his composition on surface temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. The temperature data were mapped over a range of three octaves, with the coldest year on record (–0.47 °C in 1909) set to the lowest note on the cello (open C). Each ascending halftone is equal to roughly 0.03°C of planetary warming.
In Crawford’s composition, each note represents a year, ordered from 1880 to 2012. The pitch reflects the average temperature of the planet relative to the 1951–80 base line. Low notes represent relatively cool years, while high notes signify relatively warm ones.
There is a house down the street from where I live and I often pass it on my afternoon walks through the neighborhood. It is a small white house, a classic Cape Cod, probably built in the lean years before the second World War. There is ivy climbing up the chimney and a tall evergreen tree anchors one corner of the front yard.
Most days, there is nothing about the little house that would draw your attention. It is like a hundred others in the city. But if you pass it on a summer evening, just at the softest part of the day when the sky is darkening to a deep shade of violet but still light at the western edge of the horizon, maybe a few of the earliest stars are already out, it’s possible the front door will be open. And through the screen door you can see into the small living room of the compact house where two baby grand pianos sit side by side, situated so that the pianists can see one another as they play.
I know nothing about the house or the people who live there, but to my way of thinking it is the pianos that tell the story, the way they fill the room, claiming it as a place where music is, or has been, made. When I look into that room I see love. There are people there who love music enough to make it the center of the house.
Once, at the end of a day in Paris, I walked down a narrow street near the Latin Quartier and past an apartment building. A tiny slice of one of the apartments was visible through the open terrace doors and I could see a faded but still elegant armchair, upholstered in a soft blue velvet that was worn in places from years of use. Tall shelves filled with rows and rows of books lined the wall and a lamp cast a soft glow over the chair.
With nothing more than a glimpse into the room I could imagine the person who lives there. I could see him (I don’t know why, but it felt like a man’s room) come home each evening, scan the shelves, select a book and then settle into the chair to read. From the outside, the building gave no clue to its inhabitants. Rows of windows shuttered the lives of those inside, but the love of books, the familiar and satisfying feel of a favorite book in one’s hands, spilled out out through the open door, carried into the night by the golden lamplight.
The peek into those two rooms has changed the way I think about my house. Now, I try to look past the usual clutter, the sleeping, shedding, cats and dog, past the unfinished projects on my to-do list. I focus hard on the way the chairs sit next to the window, perfect for watching the seasons change and the parade of people on the way to the park. I look at the books I’ve collected over a lifetime and the photographs I’ve taken of the people and places I love.
The places we call home say much about us in ways we don’t always appreciate. We focus so much on the superficial—the wreath on the door, the curb appeal, the fresh coat of paint— that we forget that what defines any room as the place we belong has little to do with the decor and everything to do with how we live, and love, in the space.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a journalist and travel columnist whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a cool event for a great cause: The Pine Meadow Farm Center is having a benefit concert and silent auction on March 8th at the Unitarian Universalist Church from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.
The Pine Meadow Farm Center, a 32-acre non-profit educational farm, is a regional destination for experiential education about nutrition, farming, gardening, food-system literacy and sustainable living skills. The Center has programs for audiences of all ages and depends on community support to keep going.
Terrible Buttons at The MAC. Photo courtesy of it3036 on flickr.
This family-friendly concert will feature Todd Milne & Blake Abyss, Visual Vortex, and Terrible Buttons. The event will include a silent auction with items donated by local businesses.
Some places belong to our deepest memories. They are the source of the sights and sounds and experiences that define us, that make us the into people we become. Because I was born in the Southeast, less than a day’s drive from Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a place my family particularly loved, Tennessee became that kind of touchstone for me. As a child I camped along Deep Creek, explored Pigeon Forge and Cade’s Cove and looked out the window, staring into the clouds, lost in my thoughts as we drove the winding roads.
When I was a teenager my friends and I drove to Nashville for the weekend and we walked to Ernest Tubb’s Music Store to hear the musicians who gathered there late at night to play for the fun of it.
One fall day when I was in my 20s, I took a single seat on a day-long excursion train to Chattanooga and started talking to a tall man who was there with a couple of friends. We spent the rest of the day together and in a few years we were back again, this time with our children.
So when I had a chance to return to Memphis recently, a place I hadn’t been since we moved to the Northwest more than a decade ago, I didn’t think twice. The first day, not long after checking into The Peabody Hotel, the grand hotel that has been the heart and center of the city for almost 100 years, I walked down to the lobby to join the crowd around the fountain and the ducks swimming in it. If you don’t know, The Peabody is famous for its ducks. What started as a practical joke has become a treasured tradition and each morning they march single-file down a red carpet to spend the next few hours swimming in the hotel lobby before marching back to the elevator at in the late afternoon.
The ducks always play to a crowd. Young children were gathered along the red carpet, anxious to have a front-row seat for the duck parade, and I realized my own children must have been about that age when we brought them to Memphis to see this particular show. I thought back on that day, wondering at the speed with which time grabs so many little moments and sweeps them into the corners of our minds, to sit there until we stumble on them again if we’re lucky.
The woman standing beside me told me she comes to the city and to the hotel at least once a year. “I’m like one of these ducks,” she said, laughing and taking a sip of her cocktail. “I keep marching back.”
After the ducks marched past me and into the elevator that would take them to their rooftop “plantation” I joined a tour of the building offered by an employee. As he led us from one beautiful room to another he talked about growing up in Memphis and how the hotel has been a vital part of the community for most of its history. And for most of his personal history.
“That’s the thing about this place,” he said, looking around him. “Everywhere you look you see a scene from your past.”
For the next few days, as I explored a part of the country that used to be so much a part of me, I said the same thing again and again.
Memphis is a vibrant city. The music never stops on Beale Street. The food is spicy and delicious. I sat down to a plate of ribs at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous and could have spent hours just looking at the memorabilia on the walls. I joined the crowd at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken and savored every bite. I toured Graceland and stood in front of the microphone at the old Sun Records studio. I walked through Soulsville, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and listened to the music that was the soundtrack of my youth. And, just as it has forever, the river kept rolling.
That’s the thing about Memphis, I guess. It was full of the familiar but it held so many new experiences I didn't get around to everything I wanted to do and see. I should have told the woman in the Peabody lobby to save me a place next year.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at email@example.com
Andy Williams, smooth voice of the 1960s and 1970s and…through every Christmas I can remember, has died. Williams was 84 and died last night at his home in Branson, MO.
As a child in wintery Minnesota, I listened to Andy Williams sing Christmas songs on the family hi-fi and still, each December, play the same music, now in CD form, as my backdrop to trimming the tree. His voice takes me back to my childhood, to my family and to a time of innocence.
That innocence was shattered when Sirhan Sirhan gunned down Bobby Kennedy and our nation watched as the young Robert Kennedy was laid to rest. Williams’ voice sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic and now, no matter who sings that song or what the setting is, I am suddenly 13 again and remembering Robert Kennedy’s funeral.
Music impresses memories and feelings onto our hearts as no other experience can. Williams’ life of class and grace, like his music, speaks of following one’s dreams, after all, there’s such a lot of world to see…Such a blessing, such a loss.
(S-R archives photo: Andy Williams Feb. 23, 1978)
A dispute between neighbors over loud music led to one being jailed for an alleged ax attack Saturday in northwest Spokane.
Brian M. Drake, 40, is accused of hitting Christopher A. Malcom with an ax handle after Maclom told him to turn him music down at their apartment complex at 421 W. Montgomery Ave. and said he would be calling the police.
Malcom told officers that Drake called him names and said "Payback's a b**ch" before swinging the ax at him, handle first, according to court documents.
Malcom reported injuries to his right arm and leg. Police said Drake was "highly intoxicated."
Drake, who does not appear to have a criminal record in Washington state, was booked into jail for second-degree assault.
It seems like there's always a lot happening in the South Perry Neighborhood and here's another event to add to the good news category: Grant Park will host a summer concert series that kicks off at 6pm this Thursday with the mighty Folk Inception. Proceeds will benefit the Grant Park Community Garden.
Mohamed Nasheed, the President of the Maldives, is the subject of a highly anticipated documentary called "The Island President." The film follows his struggle to have his voice heard in the climate change debate and save his country from basically drowning.
It all leads up to his visit to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, which brought real attention to an event that was dismissed by world leaders. The film won "Best Documentary" at the Toronto Film Festival and it screens at Sundance this week, followed by runs in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as festival screenings in the UK and Germany. Hopefull, Spokane will get a viewing at the Magic Lantern.
Two of my favorite things have now been combined: Vinyl and cycling. It plays music when you ride! The Going Going Going Biking blog reports:
They designed the bike as part of their Feats per Minute project. The tempo of your bike ride determines the beats per minute you produce, so pop and hip hop records, which are usually between 90 and 130 BPM, should be easy to play at speed while you ride.
The bike contains an amplifier and is supported by a nine volt battery to give the amplifier a sufficient energy boost to play the records out back through the sound horn.
Looking for something fun to do with the family during Christmas week? Dress 'em up in lederhosen and start rehearsing "My Favorite Things."
The "Sound of Music Sing-a-Long" has been booked into the INB Performing Arts Center, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. This is the 1965 movie classic, shown complete with subtitles and audience participation.
Lots of audience participation. Think of it as a kind of clean-cut, well-scrubbed version of "Rocky Horror." The audience helps sing all the songs, and also acts out in other ways. Every audience member receives a "Bag of Musical Moments," full of props to utilize at key moments in the film.
There's also a costume contest for the most clever and outrageous outfits.
The sing-a-long began in Manhattan in 2000 and then went on to a big Hollywood Bowl event in 2001. It has since swept the country. Tickets are $20, $25 and $30 and will go on sale Nov. 18 through all Ticketswest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).
Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson, product of Newport and Spokane, will get in touch with his inner Rat-Packer for a concert with the New York Pops on Thursday.
He's headlining a show called "Cheyenne Jackson's Cocktail Hour: Music of the 'Mad Men' Era.
Read all about it in this Playbill interview.
I just finished interviewing and writing a story for Thursday's paper about Jon Kimura Parker, who will play the Grieg Piano Concerto at the Spokane Symphony's opening concert on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and info go here.
He's a great speaker, with a fine way of explaining what he loves about the music. Here's a video that shows off his talents, buth musical and verbal.
The Slice recommends going to youtube or some music site and finding a good version of the infectious instrumental "Time is Tight," by Booker T. & The M.G.'s. You won't be sorry.
They didn't think the race thing was a big deal. They just liked playing together.
The Spokane Symphony has announced a new concert concept: Kick Back Classics.
These are concerts away from the usual concert hall and without a conductor.
Annie Matlow of the symphony said the musicians “will be ‘kicking back,’ and playing without a conductor – much like a chamber group but with symphonic proportions.”
The Kick Back Classics lineup:
Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Spokane Falls Community College Music Building, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive. This concert will help show off the newly renovated music building.
Oct. 6, 7 p.m. at Turning Point Church, 11911 N. Division St.
The symphony will play “crowd favorites” by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Britten and Ravel.
And here’s the best thing about the Kick Back Classics: Tickets will be only $5 each – much cheaper than a regular classics concert.
Tickets go on sale Thursday at (509) 624-1200, or online at www.spokanesymphony.org, or at the Fox box office, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.
Spokane Symphony music director Eckart Preu stood at the podium at Comstock Park Monday and wondered aloud if this was an even bigger crowd than usual. From this photo, you can see, it was a huge.
Thousands showed up for the Spokane Symphony's Labor Day concert at Comstock Park. Two reasons for the big turnout: First, the weather was perfect. Second, people can no longer take this event for granted.
There was no Comstock Park concert last year, for the first time in 25 years, because there was no funding. This year, Sterling Savings stepped up and sponsored it. They will also sponsor it for the next two years.
The symphony sounded great, and the traditional crowd-pleasers — "The 1812 Overture" and "Stars and Stripes Forever" — got the crowd up and clapping
And let's applaud Sterling Savings as well. Now, more than ever, arts organizations need this kind of corporate support to stay healthy.
I left a crucial bit of info out of a Spotlight item in print on Sunday: The location of the Simone Dinnerstein concert.
It will be at the Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox., 1001 W. Sprague.
Here's the rest of the info, as printed Sunday:
A lot of classical piano fans were wowed by Simone Dinnerstein during her previous appearances here with the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra.
Dinnerstein played with Gonzaga's orchestra in 2007 and 2009 - in between recording albums that topped the Billboard classical charts.
Now, she's coming back on Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. for another concert with the GU orchestra. She'll play Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."
Tickets are a bargain for an artist of this magnitude: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students (free for those with a Gonzaga ID). Seats are general admission and you can purchase tickets at the door.
According to the list I consult, Mr. Merle Haggard performed.
I didn't see that concert. But I once saw him do a midday show at an outdoor venue on a summer afternoon so hot one member of the audience had to be hauled away on a stretcher.
But the weather didn't faze Merle. A true pro.
I have some excellent news to report: Meredith Oatman-Thompson raised enough money with her Sunday fundraising concert (see post from a few days ago) to pay for tuition and books for her entire sophomore year at Interlochen Arts Academy.
Her father said lots of people showed up in support, including a number of Interlochen Arts Academy alumni.
Here’s an excellent way to raise music tuition money: Give your own benefit concert.
Meredith Oatman-Thompson, a 15-year-old organ and piano student from Orofino, Idaho, will present “Bach to Goth” Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E. 12th Ave.
Oatman-Thompson is on her way back to the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for her sophomore year and she needs to supplement her scholarship.
She’ll play several organ pieces by Bach and the Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann. She’ll switch over to piano to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”
No tickets are required, but donations will be gratefully appreciated.
“I really like the learning environment on campus; everyone is focused on their art,” said Oatman-Thompson, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe
Sounds like the Rockin’ B Ranch Cowboy Supper Show, which has been a Spokane (actually Liberty Lake) tradition for 17 years, will be riding off into the sunset after this season.
Owners Scott and Pamela Brownlee announced this weekend that the shows will not be back in 2012. This year’s season continues as scheduled, through Oct. 1.
The Rockin’ B has been thriving for the last few years, but the Brownlees said that it was finally time “to take a summer vacation like normal people.” Both have demanding jobs: Scott is a film professor at the UCLA Film School and Loyola Marymount University, and Pamela is a music teacher.
They say this year's show and cast is better than ever.
"What better time than that to say to our audiences: ‘Thank you and vaya con Dios,’” said Scott Brownlee.
So if you want see the show, you’d better get some reservations for this season, by calling (509) 891-9016.
Pianist George Winston has been forced to postpone his Sept. 21 concert at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane and his Sept. 22 concert at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint.
Winston has cancelled all of his shows through September — at least 11 of them. The cancellations are for undisclosed medical reasons.
Ticketholders can hold on to their tickets and use them for a rescheduled show at a to-be-announced date, or they can get a refund at the point of purchase.
The Spokane Symphony will play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Vivaldi’s“Summer” from “Four Seasons” for some of Spokane’s “best” causes on Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
We say “best” because the symphony is billing this as its first-ever “Best of Spokane Concert.” It will be both a tribute and a fundraiser for these Spokane institutions: Bloomsday, First Night, Hoopfest, the Lilac Festival, Musicfest Northwest, Spokane International Film Festival and Unity in the Community.
Tickets are $20, through the symphony ticket office (509-624-1200) or TicketsWest outlets.
Now, about that “Best of” idea: Those organizations will not only be honored at the concert, but they will also get a cut of the proceeds. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear T-shirts and hats representing any of those organizations.
Eckart Preu will conduct, and the concert will also include a patriotic sing-along. This event replaces the BestFest, which the symphony has held the last two summers.
For the second part of the Best of Spokane celebration, click on "continue reading" below.
The Spokane Symphony will play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Vivaldi's "Summer" from "Four Seasons" for some of Spokanes "best" causes on Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
We say "best" because the symphony is billing this as its first-ever "Best of Spokane Concert," and it is both a tribute and a fundraiser for these Spokane institutions: Bloomsday, First Night, Hoopfest, the Lilac Festival, MusicFest Northwest, Spokane International Film Festival, and Unity in the Community.
Here's the lowdown on the concert itself: It will cost $20, now on sale at (509) 624-1200 or TicketsWest outlets.
Now, about that "Best of" idea. Those organizations will not only be honored at the concert, but they will get a cut of the proceeds. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear t-shirts and hats representing any of those organizations.
Eckart Preu will conduct, and the concert will also include a patriotic sing-along. This event replaces the BestFest, which the symphony has held the last two summers.
The second part of the symphony’s “Best of Spokane” event – officially titled “Say Wow! Celebrating the Best of Spokane” – will consist of the Community Open House and Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.
It will be a lot like the open house the symphony hosted when The Fox re-opened in November 2007. This event is free, and includes performances by local groups, tours of the theater and hands-on children’s activities.
Here’s the performance schedule:
9 a.m.: Blessing and Drum Circle.
10:30 a.m.: Floating Crowbar, traditional Irish music.
Noon: Master Class Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Swing.
1:30 p.m.: Spokane Civic Theatre’s Musical Showcase, previewing its season.
3 p.m.: Big Red Barn – Rhythm and bluegrass.
Please note that this free day on Aug, 20 does not include a performance by the Spokane Symphony. The symphony is sponsoring it, but not performing. The symphony's appearance is only at the Aug. 18 event.
We just got word of a new concert, with tickets going on sale Friday:
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD
Sun, September 25th, 2011 7:30 PM
INB Performing Arts Center
334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201 (509 279-7000)
All Ages. Tickets Range From: $35, $45, $55, $65 in advance,
all seats are $5.00 higher day of show!
Tickets on sale July 29, but you can get access to a pre-sale by clicking on www.ticketswest.com
Maria Muldaur, of “Midnight at the Oasis” fame, has been booked into Spirit Lake’s Red, Wine & Bluz Fest on Aug. 20 at 9 p.m.
Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band be the closing act in the newly reinvigorated blues festival, which has been moved this year to Spirit Lake’s City Park. The festival runs Aug. 19 and 20, noon to 11 p.m. each day.
Other bands include the Red Hot Blues Sisters, the Smokehouse Blues Band, Gary Yeoman and Voodoo Church and Big Daddy and the Blue Notes.
It’s a family event; they will also host an arts and crafts fair and a kid’s fair. Kids 12 and under are free.
Tickets are $31 for both days or $21 for one day, available in advance at www.spiritlakebluzfest.com.