Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Column for February 24, 2010

A few local favorite bands play their regular haunts this weekend, and a rising star comes to Idaho State University for a concert.

The big concert this week is at ISU’s Sephens Performing Arts Center, when Colbie Caillat comes to perform on Saturday, February 27th. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $27 reserved seating, are available at the Stephens Box Office or by calling (208) 282-3595.

Colbie Caillat (pronounced “Khol-bee Kal-lay”) is a singer / songwriter from southern California, known for her infectious melodies and lyrics and for her smooth and soft voice. She is currently on tour promoting her second album, “Breakthrough,” topping iTunes charts just as her debut album “Coco” did.

“Coco” won the 2009 Teen Music Award and is now multi-platinum thanks to the award-winning single “Bubbly” and the very popular single “Realize.” Just last month, Caillat was awarded two Grammys. One was for her collaboration with Jason Mraz for “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals” for “Lucky,” and the other as a featured artist on Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” album, which won “Album of the Year” at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards.

In addition to being an award-winning vocalist, Caillat also plays acoustic guitar. Her music is classified as pop, with which I agree, yet it is with popular music with folksy traditions, light rock, soul and a touch of the blues.

Caillat was born in 1985 in Newbury Park, California and grew up in Malibu. Her father, Ken Caillat, is a music producer, best known for producing Fleetwood Mac's “Rumors” and “Tusk” albums. During her childhood, she studied piano and vocals. She started working with producer Mikal Blue in 2004 and gained popularity primarily through her MySpace page, becoming the number one unsigned singer in her genre.

In 2007, Caillat toured with The Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse, and she was the supporting act for John Mayer on his 2008 summer tour. She has been recognized as BMI’s songwriter of the year.

You can catch a debut performance of Colbie Caillat on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday, March 11. And you’ll catch her as a guest on an episode of the Next Food Network Star when it airs, if you’re into that kind of thing. A rising star indeed. For more, visit

Portneuf Valley Brewing has a blues weekend in store for their stage this weekend. On Friday the 26th, the long-standing favorite, Swingshift, makes their end-of-month appearance at the brewery. Music starts at 8:30 p.m., is free and open to all ages. Swingshift is popular for their sultry vocals, tight harmonies and for the incredible talent of their musicians. They play light jazz, vintage rock, funk and blues.

Swingshift, based in southeast Idaho, is fronted by vocalist and sax player Ramona Awes and by bassman and balladeer, Mike Banks. Backing musicians include drummer John Anderson, Terrel Merkley on keyboards, percussionist Mahdi Underwood and Ken Caldwell on horns.

And a relative newcomer onto the Southeast Idaho scene, Phat Bone is based in Pocatello and has two shows this weekend. Saturday night, the 27th, they’ll play funk and blues at Portneuf Valley Brewing starting at 8:30 p.m. And on Sunday the 28th, catch another performance at the Pebble Creek Ski area starting at 4:00 p.m.

Fronted by Steve Sullivan on guitar and vocals, Phat Bone includes bassist Russ Sidel and Don Godfrey on drums. Find out more about the band and keep up to date with their performance schedule at

Also on Sunday the 28th, a hardcore and metal concert is scheduled at the Elks Lodge, Main and Benton Streets in Pocatello, 7:00 p.m. Flying Monkey Booking presents American Me, Suffokate, Hundredth and Murder Death Kill on the bill. Cost is $6, doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the show is open to all ages.

American Me is a five-piece based from Portland, Oregon. Suffokate is a death metal band based from Oakland, California, Hundredth is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Murder Death Kill is also from California. The groups are touring together on the Hardcore Meets Hardcore Tour, sponsored by For more, visit

Linda Alexander

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Column for February 17, 2010

Yesterday was Mardi Gras, but the celebration continues with the ISU Jazz Band in concert tonight, February 17th, at Portneuf Valley Brewing, S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello, upstairs in the loft. There is no cover; concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Idaho State University jazz ensembles are under the direction of Dr. Patrick Brooks and Kevin York. The jazz bands host the annual ISU Jazz Festival, just held two weeks ago on February 6, 2010 with guest artist Andy Martin on trombone. Visit to keep up to date on the ISU music department’s schedule of concerts.

On Thursday the 18th, Nyr Lif is scheduled to appear at Budget Tapes & Records on 5th Avenue in Pocatello. “We are playing a stand-in acoustic show at Budget,” wrote Nyr Lif from their website. The appearance is in support of their recordings, a full-length CD, “Two Legs Broken” and an EP, “Experimentallation,” both of which will be available for purchase at the store.

“(It) should be a fun chill time.” Start time is 4:00 p.m.; visit for more information.

A number of locally-based and popular rock cover bands are playing the popular bars this weekend.

On Friday night only, the 19th, Kaught Lookin’ is scheduled to play at Duffy’s Tavern on Main Street in downtown Pocatello. Music starts at 9:00 p.m. No cover, and Duffy’s is open to those 21+.

Kaught Lookin’ is comprised largely of the founding members of the former band Exit 69 - Rick Veilleux on guitars, bassist Mark Clawson and drummer Tony Roberts, with vocalist Ed Horn. They play classic southern rock and current modern rock covers with a few originals, online at

American Steel plays Casey’s in American Falls this weekend, both Friday and Saturday nights, February 19th and 20th. Music starts at 9:00 p.m.

American Steel plays mostly cover tunes in local bars around the area. They fun with the crowd, small costume changes and sound effects add a theatrical and humorous element to the show. Expect to hear popular favorites, "Rebel Yell," "Mustang Sally" and "Low Rider." Guitarist Tracy Turner said, “we play classic rock, funk, blues, country rock and sometimes improvise. I think we most appeal to our fans as a band having fun; that is the secret for us - fun.”

Turner is joined by Darrell Martin on drums, vocalist Kat Whitnah, Marci Ridley on keyboards, and Ray Rodriquez on bass. The group has been performing together for a few years and is based from Pocatello.

Visit American Steel online at

And Stiff Richard is playing rock covers at Muddy’s in Idaho Falls this weekend.

Back at Portneuf Valley Brewing, New Soul Authority is set to play jazz, funk, R&B and soul on Friday the 19th. Music entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m.

And the Pocatello-based group the Katz Brothers Band will play indie psychedelic rock and world music in the pub starting at 8:30 p.m. No cover, and the brewery is open to all ages.

The Kratz Bros. Band includes John Kratz on guitars and vocals, Luke Kratz playing keyboards and vocals, Dorian Hitchcock, cello, and drummer Derrick Strang. The band, now based in Pocatello , Idaho, was formed after John moved back to Idaho from New York City in the summer of 2008.

All of the Kratz Brothers’ original songs are written by John and Luke, fusing rock, folk and world music styles. They also play some familiar songs in a similar style.

"The Kratz Bros. Band is proud to be a part of the local original music scene of SE Idaho,” John said in a recent interview, and they encourage music lovers to support original music as much as possible by organizing and attending shows, buying albums, and giving feedback online and by dancing at the shows.

Find the Kratz brothers online at

On Saturday the 20th, Flying Monkey Booking presents a hard rock and metal show at the Elk’s Lodge, corner of Main and Benton Streets in Pocatello. Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Attila, These Cities Passing and more are on the bill.

Also on Saturday the 20th, the post-grunge alt. rock band 2am Logic is in concert at the Shilo Convention Center in Idaho Falls. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

One last note: The First Ladies, a three-piece rock / pop band from Boise, Idaho has just released their CD, “How To Make Old Friends Instantly.” It is an 11-song album, officially released through their website,

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Column for February 10, 2010

Valentine’s Day this weekend – here are some choice spots to take your sweetheart for a night on the town with live music. Your choice, from rock to pop to acoustic singer / songwriters.

On Friday the 12th, 2am Logic is playing at the Peppertree Lounge in Idaho Falls. I just caught one of their shows last week, and am ever-more impressed with this band’s sound each time I hear them.

2am Logic describes their sound as alt. rock, and I suppose that suits. But I’d describe it more as a heavy post-grunge. Vocalist and front man Todd Thompson has an unmistakable, deep, throaty voice that is both sultry and edgy. As I’ve heard their music develop over the past two years, I hear their songs getting more heavy, but a far cry from metal. Their sound is a perfect blend for fans of old-time Seattle grunge and fans of hard rock.

The show at the Peppertree has no cover, starts at 8:00 p.m., and is open to those 21+. For more on 2am Logic, visit

Also on Friday the 12th, in Pocatello, Nyr Lif will perform a set at Red Hot Roasters, located at 737 E. Clark Street, for their open mic night starting at 8:00 p.m. Nyr Lif is a locally-based duo with guitarists Casey Cathey and Shawn Barkdull. They play acoustic, ambient music, perfect for the venue. Music entertainment is free and open to all ages. Find out more at

Portneuf Valley Brewing, on S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello, has a weekend of romantic live music on tap with singer / songwriters Father Bob and Dr. Bob taking the stage on Friday night, starting at 8:30 p.m. Both are Pocatello-based, humorous and fun; expect to be entertained musically and with laughs. I’m told Dr. Bob has a new ukulele, so watch out for that.

And on Saturday the 13th, The Tiki Gawds are scheduled to peform in the pub at 8:30 p.m. The group is set to play Hawaiian-themed and other love songs, folk, pop and rock for a perfect Valentine’s date. Portneuf Valley Brewing charges no cover for live music entertainment, and they are open to all ages.

Also on Saturday the 13th, The Icon has a great line-up of regional rock and pop bands set to play at their venue, located on N. Main Street in Pocatello. The Icon sells tickets in advance through, doors open at 6:30 p.m. and open to all ages.

On the bill this Saturday, Madison Lights, All Bright, The Trademark and Goodnight Sunrise. Music starts at 7:00 p.m.

I first started writing about Goodnight Sunrise in early 2008. I finally saw them play live some 6 months later and was very impressed. They've got the sound, the look, and they played tight. Moreover, the song structures are complex and diverse. I had a blast, and I hope you will too.

Goodnight Sunrise is exactly that kind of pop rock that makes you smile and bop your head. The single, It’s the Stare, made me want to get up and clean house or something. Definitely move-your-feet kind of music. Their CD's get regular rotation in my CD player, and in my kids' players too. These guys are good. Very good.

“We like to call the music we play ‘pop & roll’ or ‘riff pop,’ said bassist Sam Smetana. “It's nothing ridiculously flashy or out of the ordinary, but we focus on writing pop-structured songs with fun riffs. We write honest and personal lyrics about life on the road and how it's shaped how we live.”

Fans are happy with the honesty in their music. Goodnight Sunrise’s singles “It’s The Stare” and “On Your Birthday” are fan favorites.

Vocalist Dan Murphy fronts Goodnight Sunrise, backed by Smetana on bass, guitarist Justin Brenner and Mike Ogle on drums. The band, based from Helena, MT, has been together since mid-2006.

In the past four years, Goodnight Sunrise has been on fourteen regional and national tours. The band has released video of a tour documentary on YouTube and has produced two studio albums. They also have a song featured on the compilation album, “Rockin’ Romance.” Now, how perfect is that for a Valentine’s weekend show!

Goodnight Sunrise will have CD’s for sale at the show. Find out more at

One last note: Somewhere In the Middle is playing a Mardi Gras show at Hooligan’s on Tuesday the 16th. This week, everyone is celebrating New Orleans, right? Music starts at 8:00 p.m.

Linda Alexander
a.k.a. Lana Banana for Idaho Live Music
For in-depth interviews, visit

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interview with Goodnight Sunrise

Who: Goodnight Sunrise
What: Rock / Pop band in concert
Where: The Icon, 1235 N. Main Street, Pocatello, Idaho
When: Saturday, February 13, 2010, doors open 6:30 p.m.

I first started writing about Goodnight Sunrise in early 2008. I finally saw them play live almost a year later and was VERY impressed. They've got the sound, the look, and they were tight. Moreover, the song structures are complicated and diverse. I had a blast, and I hope you will too.

Goodnight Sunrise is exactly that kind of pop rock that makes you smile and bop your head. Just hearing the single, It’s the Stare, made me want to get up and clean house or something. Definitely move-your-feet kind of music. Their CD's get regular rotation in my CD player, and in my kids' players too. These guys are good. Very good.

I caught up with Sam Smetana, bassist for Goodnight Sunrise, about their music, the band and their upcoming show at The Icon.

SLG: Describe your genre of music in as much detail as you like. Maybe list your three best crowd-pleasing songs? Can you explain in what way do you most appeal to your fans?

SS: We like to call the music we play "pop & roll" and/or "riff pop." It's nothing ridiculously flashy or out of the ordinary, but we focus on writing pop-structured songs with fun riffs. We write honest and personal lyrics about life on the road and how it's shaped how we live.

I think that a lot of our fans are happy with the honesty in our music - we write songs that have meaning for us, and we're incredibly appreciative whenever that meaning carries over to someone else. We'd love to write the music for the soundtrack of our fans' lives, but we'd be happy to occupy a chapter. Some of the best fan sing-a-longs we've experienced were during the songs "It's The Stare" and "On Your Birthday."

SLG: Who's in the band? And how long has this line-up been together?

Dan Murphy / Vocals, Guitar
Sam Smetana / Bass
Justin Benner / Guitar, vocals
Mike Ogle / Drums

SS: This lineup has been writing and playing music together since late autumn in 2006.

SLG: Tell us where you're from and currently based in what town?

SS: We're currently based in Helena, MT - Dan and Mike are cousins who started playing together at the beginning of middle school, and Dan, Justin, and myself all went to Clancy Elementary School together. We've known each other for what seems like forever!

SLG: Past shows or venues you'd like to brag about? Past or future shows in the Pocatello area?

SS: We've been on 14 regional and national tours, and some of the coolest venues we've played have been on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Getting to play the Whisky-A-Go-Go right after my eighteenth birthday was surreal!

SLG: I'll bet! I've been to The Whisky. Great place. Describe this particular show. What can people expect if they come to this show?

SS: We'll be playing in Pocatello at The Icon (1235 N. Main Street) on Saturday, February 13th. It's an all age show, doors open at 6:30, and tickets are $8 - you can pre-order at Other acts include locals Madison Lights and All Bright as well as The Trademark from Salt Lake City. Goodnight Sunrise will be playing last around 9:30 pm.

SLG: Any comments about the local live music scene, the music industry in general? What do you think is the best way to get your music out there?

SS: As far as the live music scene in Montana goes, things are pretty stagnant. It's great that Southern Idaho now houses an all-age music venue like the Icon - it was an area that desperately needed one!

The industry is in a huge transitional period - it is now easier than ever to record, distribute, and market music independently. The next few years will exhibit a continuing shift in the recording and music industry and where money comes in as records sales continue to plummet.

SLG: Do you have any favorite videos of your band or your music on YouTube?

SS: Check out an HD segment of our a tour documentary. This is just a tiny glimpse into our life on the road.

[Ed. Note - click image at left for more videos from Goodnight Sunrise on]

SLG: Recordings? Will you have CD's or more for sale at the show?

SS: We'll have two EPs for sale at the show - "Close and Counting" (2007) and our latest release, "Stop, Drop, & Roll" (June 2009). We'll also have t-shirts, tote bags, Goodnight "sundries," and more for sale - stop by and talk to our friendly, red-headed merch man, Duncan!

SLG: How can fans contact you? Myspace? or another website?

SS: The best ways to get in touch with us are,, and All three sites are linked from our official website,

Bowling for Soup in SLC, UT, Feb. 10, 2010

You are invited to ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
6:00 PM - 10:30 PM MST

In The Venue
579 W 200 S., Salt Lake City, Ut 84101

Click here to view the event

Go to and check out Bowling For Soup videos there! This is such a fun show to have in SLC, Utah, if you like Bloodhound Gang or anything like that, then this is a show you wont want to miss. SO MUCH FUN!!!
Plenty of tickets available for this show but they are going FAST! Get yours at Smithstix locations or just buy your ticket at the door the day of the show, don't worry, you'll get in!

- Ginger Kid Concerts

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Column for February 3, 2010

It appears as if Pocatello’s local live music scene is featuring the genre of music for which it is best known this weekend – indie acoustic folk and blues.

Downtown Pocatello businesses frequently hire musicians and bands for each month’s First Friday Art Walk. This Friday, both the Vinyl Perk and Portneuf Valley Brewing have chosen local favorites to entertain the artsy crowds.

On Friday the 5th, Blind Autumn plays at the Vinyl Perk, located at 150 S. Main Street. Music starts at 6:00 p.m., is free and open to all ages.

Blind Autumn is a locally-based fusion rock group with Isaac Frantz on alto saxophone, flute and keyboards, guitarist John Boy, Terran Engle on bass and Patrick Kennedy on drums. Reasonably new to the southeast Idaho music scene, they are a group of high school seniors with plenty to which they can look forward.

Playing a kind of a fusion of rock and jazz, Blind Autumn mixes in some funk, reggae and blues. Expect a lot of variety in their songs; some could be considered straight-up rock while others are a lot jazzier. The songs are all instrumental; the inclusion of an alto sax player makes them different than a typical rock band.

Drummer Patrick Kennedy said, “people who know us pretty well like the song ‘Topsy Turvy.’ It starts out with a catchy melody on the sax, and the whole thing builds to a guitar/sax solo at the end. It was one of our first songs and kind of our signature song.”

Based in Pocatello, Blind Autumn formed about two years ago. The band has played fund raisers around town, including one recently at a local high school. They’ve played at the Vinyl Perk several times and have been warmly received.

“We want anyone who's curious to come check us out,” Kennedy continued. “We play a wide variety of stuff and I think most people will find at least some of our songs good or interesting.”

Thankful for the active local live music scene, in spite of Pocatello’s reasonably small size, Kennedy added “Vinyl Perk is a great new addition for live music around here. It's got a great atmosphere … I don't think a person should have to be 21 to get a chance to enjoy live music.” For more on Blind Autumn, visit

And Portneuf Valley Brewing on S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello is bringing Fred Anderson to their stage for the First Friday Art Walk. Anderson takes the stage from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m.; the entertainment is free and open to all ages.

Fred Anderson is based from southeast Idaho, known as a high country bluesman and accomplished singer/songwriter. His performances are always eagerly anticipated in the pub, booked there frequently. For more information, call (208) 232-1644.

Also on Friday the 5th, Nyr Lif will be in concert at The Gateway Theater, corner of Benton and 2nd Avenue in Pocatello. The concert follows a performance by The Comedy Project, 9:00 p.m. Cost is under $5 and both shows are open to all ages.

Formed some four years ago, 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.

Nyr Lif took first place in Idaho State University's Guitar Unplugged Battle of the Bands. They are regulars at the local coffee shops, several of the university’s music events and at local music venues, outdoor events and fund raisers.

Listen for some of their most popular songs - "Capoed," "Yani" and "The Bicycle of Fate." Based in Pocatello, Nyr Lif features Casey Cathey on guitar and Shawn Barkdull on vocals and guitar; other musicians join as the need arises.

The group has release two CD’s, both available for purchase at They also have several videos on YouTube at For more, visit Nyr Lif online at

On Saturday the 6th, Soul Full of Blues will play at Portneuf Valley Brewing, rounding out a soulful and acoustic weekend of live music in the area.

For a little bit of rock, head over to Casey’s in American Falls where Kaught Lookin’ will play rock covers on Friday and Saturday nights. Visit

Last note, if you happen to be headed south next week, check out Jack’s Mannequin, perhaps best known for their single “The Resolution,” in concert at In the Venue, Salt Lake City, on Tuesday the 9th. Tickets available at

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

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