Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Column for November 4, 2009

This week’s local live music scene features some fun, dancey and family-friendly indie rock, a metal show and one, big, controversial concert early next week.

On Friday the 6th, Finn Riggins makes a welcome comeback to the area with Spondee and local solo guitarist Jon Van Pelt at the Benton Street Bar & Grill (map) on S. 2nd Avenue, Pocatello. Concert starts at 9:00 p.m., open to all ages, and cost is $5 at the door.

Based in western and northern Idaho, Finn Riggins has been making Pocatello a regular stop. This time, the band is celebrating the release of their new CD, “Vs Wilderness.” They have been on tour in support of the recording for two months with one more to go.

If you haven't heard this trio's take on elaborate indie rock yet, now is the time. The album has been garnering praise from critics. Tom Semioli of Amplifier magazine said, "This exceedingly eccentric indie rock trio from Idaho knows an understated anthem when it sees one. Witness the amazing ‘Dali’ which deceptively commences as a sexy neo-soul offering, then graduates to a full-fledged song, praiseworthy of the mighty Bono."

Finn Riggins is swinging up from three shows in Utah with three Idaho concerts, Friday at Benton Street, Saturday the 7th at Hoki Yogi’s Attic in Rexburg and on to Boise. The band then heads to northern Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In early December, they share four dates with Idaho’s best-known jam band, Built To Spill. Visit

Spondee, originally based in Pocatello but now residing in Boise, plays indie powerpop. Listen for three favorites, “Lovelorn Robot,” “Pop your Socks Off” and “Dancin’ Shoes.” It’s fun music. The band played for their largest audience locally when opening for Secondhand Serenade at ISU last year. For more, visit

Also on Friday, Soul Full of Blues takes the stage at Portneuf Valley Brewing (map) on S. 1st Avenue. On Saturday, the locally-based Somewhere In the Middle plays the pub. Music starts at 8:30, is free and open to all ages.

Aaron Ball is the creative force behind Somewhere In the Middle. The band plays melodic and fun acoustic rock, many originals and a few covers. Their sound is comparable to the GooGoo Dolls or a softer version of Shinedown.

Listen for "Better Man," "Second Gear" and "Everything That’s Nice," three of their most popular songs, and my favorite part of their performances, the humorous “Great Moments in Cowbell History.” CD’s will be available for sale at the show. For more, visit

Also on Saturday, Modern Day Escape, A Hero A Fake, Mathems and more play at 7:00 p.m. at Studio 208 (map) on S. 2nd Avenue in Pocatello. See

So, what can be so controversial about a concert? This group, Insane Clown Posse, is perhaps more infamous than famous, held in disdain by mainstream record companies, yet loved and adored by their fans to the tune of a $10 million a year business in merchandise alone.

Insane Clown Posse headlines a concert with Hed PE at the Kingston Event Center (the old Ernst Building - map) in Idaho Falls on Tuesday, November 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $22, available at CD World in Idaho Falls, Budget Tapes & Records in Pocatello or online at

ICP is touring in support of their new album, “Bang Pow Boom.” At their roots, they are a hip hop duo from Detroit, MI, also described as a horrorcore shock rock band, perhaps comparable to an Alice Cooper or Kiss from the ‘70’s, with accompanying genius marketing.

Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler perform under the personas wicked clowns Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, complete with face paint and elaborate live performances. To their credit, ICP has two platinum and three gold albums. Moreover, they founded their own record label Psychopathic Records, produced and starred in two feature films and formed their own wrestling federation.

Followers of the group call themselves Juggalos. Like many subcultures, there is a common dress: baggy pants with chains and rivets, hoodies and caps, commonly printed with anything having to do with artists signed to Psychopathic Records. And ICP is happy to sell it to them.

The lyrics in ICP’s songs are certainly shocking and not for the faint of heart. But there are also some valiant themes in the songs, mocking violence, satirically admonishing deadbeat parents, expressing angst against the establishment. Nothing new here, folks, just kids with an un-understandable devotion Faygo soda. Find out more at

Linda Alexander
a.k.a. Lana Banana for Idaho's local live music

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