Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Column for January 13, 2010

The local Girl Scouts troops are hosting a fund raiser and dessert event this weekend. On Friday, January 15, 2010, local music groups provide music entertainment during the event at the Whitman Apartments, 122 S. Main Street in Pocatello.

The Whitman was originally built in 1905 and is locally known as the Whitman Hotel. It was rebuilt last year and now houses one-bedroom and studio apartments with some retail space. The event is from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., no cost to get in, but includes a silent auction of locally donated items; so bring your checkbook!

Feedback from attendees and a panel of community members will be on hand to judge and declare the best dessert.

The barber shop quartet, SoundScape, acoustic guitarist Tyler Linton and the Pocatello-based indie / ambient guitar duo Nyr Lif are scheduled to play music entertainment at the Girl Scout’s benefit show.

The men of the SoundScape Quartet are members of the Idaho Gateway Chorus, a chapter of the Rocky Mountain District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Gary Dunn sings lead in this a cappella group, with Steve Erlandson singing tenor, Mike Louden singing baritone and bass singer Christopher Midgyette.

Formed in 2002, this group has had headlining performances in Idaho and Wyoming, and bookings in Utah, Colorado and Ohio. According to their website, SoundScape ranks in the top 7% of all quartets registered in the world with the Barbershop Harmony Society and is currently 9th in the nine-state Rocky Mountain District. In 2005 SoundScape won a prestigious scholarship to attend Harmony University in Columbus, Ohio where they studied with the best-of-the-best in the Barbershop world and were the featured quartet in the closing concert. Visit them online at

In 2008, Nyr Lif, with Casey Cathey and Shawn Barkdull, released a full-length CD, “Two Legs Broken,” to follow their previous EP, “Experimentallation.” The CD is available for purchase at for $9.99 download or $11.99 for the CD. Expect to hear calming music, modern electronic melodies blended with guitars and mandolin in the bluesy folk tradition.

I first started hearing about (and writing about) Nyr Lif more than two years ago, in January of '06. I wrote, "Nyr Lif’s music is a mix of indie rock and folk. There is acoustic layering of guitars, creative percussion, and great harmonies. Oh yeah, and they’re a group of good looking young men. That doesn’t hurt."

Formed six months before, Nyr Lif has played at venues all around Pocatello. They took first in ISU’s Guitar Unplugged Battle of the Bands. They are regulars at the local coffee shops, and then landed a coveted spot at ISU’s Halloween bash, Fright Night, playing in front of hundreds at Reed Gym.

Listen for some of their more popular songs: the bluegrassy “Capoed,” “Yani,” a harmonica blues song and “The Bicycle of Fate." In a recent interview with Nyr Lif, Cathey said, “all we ever hope for is to make a comfortable living doing something we think about every waking minute - except when we’re hungry.”

See for videos of Nyr Lif, and visit for recorded music and a full schedule of their upcoming dates.

Also on Friday night, the locally-based blues and rock band PhatBone plays Duffy’s Tavern on Main Street, starting at 9:00 p.m. There is no cover, and Duffy’s is open to those 21+. Phat Bone is Steve Sullivan on guitar and vocals, bassist Russ Sidel and Don Godfrey on drums. They are also scheduled to play Hooligan’s downtown on Tuesday of next week.

Visit for a full schedule of their local and regional bookings.

At Portneuf Valley Brewing on S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello this weekend, Recycled Rocks, a vintage rock n roll band from Lava Hot Springs is scheduled on Friday the 15th. And on Saturday the 16th, the urban folk rock band Hillfolk Noir, from Boise, ID, plays the pub. Music entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m., free and open to the public of all ages.

Linda Alexander
a.k.a. Lana Banana for Idaho Local Live Music

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