Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Metal Feast at Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls

Rock and metal maniacs, this is an event you won't want to miss:

Synapse Defect

With Special Local Guests
Shades of Interpretation
10 Years Gone
Life Has A Way (LHAW)

This is a Project Independent Event.
The Age Of Aggression Tour will be held at

The Shilo Inn Convention Center
780 Lindsay Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID 83401

Door Open at 3:00p.m.
Show Starts at 4:00p.m.
This Event is ALL AGES!!

Presale tickets for $10 Available from The Bands, Project Independent and at CD WORLD in Idaho Falls


For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Column for September 22, 1010

Good things happen in two’s? Poctello’s local live music scene has paired-up entertainment this week, Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday. Find a friend, buddy up and hit the town. Twice. Here’s where to be when.

On Thursday the 23rd, The FlipSide Lounge, located on S. Main Street in Pocatello, welcomes Phantoms, a rock band based from Seattle. Then on Friday the 24th, see Smoochknob headline with n.m.e. and special guests opening. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., open to those 21 and over. For more on the FlipSide, visit www.reverbnation.com/flipsidelounge.

Phantoms was formed in June of 2009, when singer / songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Johnny (just one name, like Sting or Prince) recruited guitarist John Luzzi, drummer Nick Anderson, Trong Nguyen on keyboards and bassist Doug Rehfeldt. With the support of a local Seattle-based radio station, Phantoms are playing to packed houses and touring the region.

Influenced by Jimmy Eat World, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional and Nirvana, expect Phantoms to play new and original music with a familiar, if edgy, feel. Listen for fan-favorite songs, “Take That, Karl Marx” and “Dust.” Find out more at www.myspace.com/whatisphantoms.

Smoochknob is a pop-punk band based from Portland, OR, led by dummer and vocalist Donnie Rife. He named the band after the Midwest slang for a suicide knob on the steering wheel of a car. His catchy tongue-in-cheek songs draw comparisons to Weezer or the Presidents of the U.S.A.

Smoochknob’s CD, “Jr. High Anthems,” is due for release in spring 2011. Find out more at www.myspace.com/smoochknobmusic.

Rumors Bar on Garrett Way in Pocatello returns Twisted Deuce to their stage. Music entertainment is free and open to those 21 and over. Twisted Deuce, a locally-based duo using loop technology, plays covers of all your favorites. Call (208) 478-2525 for more information.

Marigolds Wine, located on Flandro Drive in Pocatello, has paired up two, locally-based singer / songwriter, acoustic guitar-playing soloists this weekend. On Friday, Scott Balsai performs his fingerstyle techniques on the guitar from 7 to 10:00 p.m., and on Saturday, Randy Johnson plays folk and Americana. Visit Marigolds online at www.marigoldswine.com.

Scott Balsai two CD’s, collectively called "Acoustic Reflections," have been met with praise from Taylor Guitars. His first CD, “Waiting for the Sun,” was recorded in Pocatello in 1998 with the help of Steve Eaton. "Each piece," Balsai said, "reflects a sliver of my life, but taken together, they can be seen as musical diary of 'tone poems' which reflect my life as a whole." The second, “Falling Colors on Prairie Braid,” was recorded with the help of Dan Mihlfeith, in Pocatello in 2004. For more, visit www.acousticreflections.net.

Randy Johnson has been a consistent player in Pocatello’s acoustic rock and folk scene. He has collaborated with other locally and regionally-based musicians Dan Hillebrant, George Asboe, Angier Wills and more, as well as having been a member of the now-defunct Greybeard band.

My final musical weekend pairing suggestion is Portneuf Valley Brewing, where the very popular Swingshift takes the stage on Friday night, and the party of the weekend will be hosted on Saturday. Music entertainment inside the pub is free and open to all ages

Swingshift, fronted by vocalists Ramona Awes and Mike Banks, play jazz, blues and light rock. Their regular last-Friday-of-the-month appearances at the pub are eagerly anticipated; I would suggest arriving early for the band’s 8:30 p.m. start time.

On Saturday the 25th, Portneuf Valley Brewing celebrates Oktoberfest with a street party, all along the 600 block of S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello. Gates open at 4:00 p.m., with live music from 5 to midnight, featuring Soul Full of Blues, Elvis Has Left the Building and Jonny and The Electric Polka Dots.

The annual Oktoberfest block party helps raise funds for the Pebble Creek Ski Patrol. The Ski Patrol will cook hamburgers and bratwurst outside, and the pub will be open with Oktoberfest food and beverage specials for the occasion. Tickets are $5 in advance, available in the pub and at Scott’s Ski and Sport, Raven’s Nest, Barrie’s Ski and Sport, College Market or the Grapevine, or $8 at the gate, kids under 12 are welcome free.

Fronted by Ramona Awes on lead vocals, Soul Full of Blues includes Robert Miron, Dan Lauer, Steve Howard and Kerry Pepper. Elvis Has Left the Building, a trio with Angier Wills, Greg Mladenka and Bill Chalmers, plays original acoustic Americana.

Find out more on Soul Full of Blues at www.myspace.com/soulfullofblues; Elvis Has Left the Building is online at site.elbinfo.com. For more on Oktoberfest, visit www.portneufvalleybrewing.com.

Linda Alexander

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Interview with Shawn and The Marauders

Who: Shawn and the Marauders
What: Rock and funk band in concert / Masquerade party
Where: The First National Bar, W. Center St., Pocatello ID
When: Saturday, September 18, 2010. 8:00 p.m.

Shawn and the Marauders are an up-and-coming, Pocatello-based rock, folk and funk group. Lead by guitarist, singer and songwriter Shawn Barnby and backed by a two-piece rhythm section, this will be the go-to band for rock concerts in the area. I recently caught up with bassist James "Bird" McCoy (who, by the way, has an incredibly sexy deep voice on the phone. Just sayin') to find out more about the band.

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?

JM: We call it "Americana," a blend of folk rock, southern style, pop, rock & roll, blues, hip-hop and funk.

3 crowd favorites are: "Scarface" a tribute to the 90's gangsta rap artist, "Hot Corn Cold Corn" a beefed-up folk song about moonshining, and "Hoodrat Love" a groovy, 70's pop inspired arrangement about a hot girl who's playing hard-to-get.

Our songs generally encompass a variety of more "adult" material; mainly sex, booze, being naughty, talking smack, getting in trouble etc.

SLG: Band member first and last names / instruments. How long has this line-up been together?

JM: Shawn Barnby (vocals/guitar), Casey Johnson (drums), James "Bird" McCoy (bass)

Front man, Shawn Barnby, is a very unique and captivating entertainer. Bass player, James "Bird" McCoy, and drummer, Casy Johnson, bring an undeniable blend of classic and contemporary - LIVE- funk, rock and hard bumping dance grooves.

Casey and I have been developing our rhythm section for a long time before this band started. We've backed several local artists prior to Shawn and The Marauders' birth.
Shawn had been an amateur solo acoustic artist in Pocatello for a couple of years before Casey and I recruited him in April 2010 to do a full band show with us. Together, so far, we've developed mostly Shawn's original acoustic songs into a full blown power trio performance.

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

JM: We've performed multiple times at Flips!de Lounge, First National Bar, Hooligans, Pie Hole, Bull Moose Lodge in Alpine, Timberline in Victor/Driggs, Lakeside lodge in Island Park, Oasis Bar in Twin Falls, Road to Hempfest tour 2010 at The Point After in Salt Lake City, Portneuff Valley Farmers' Market, Old Town Pocatello, The Wild Hare Festival 2010, and many, many private engagements.

We are available anywhere if we can afford to pay for the trip.

SLG: Recordings?

JM: We have some recordings posted on Facebook and Myspace.

Our recordings were provided by Joe Hunt of Greyhouse Effect.

SLG: Describe this particular show. What can people expect if they come to this show?

JM: We promise at least 3 hours of solid, original rock, pop, and dance music to get 'em dancing and keep 'em celebrating all night... And we do it with a professional attitude.

Although our music is all original, the sounds are all very familiar to people who are used to hearing cover songs. We draw on influences from what we believe are "everyone's" favorite popular songs from the last 50 or 60 years. We don't pay much attention to modern country music however, I have to admit. But everything else goes into the mix!

SLG: What do you think is the best way to get your music out there?

JM: It is our intention to become the most sought after original rock band in this region, and we do that by delivering an authentic, original and dynamic show, strictly for people who want to have fun and get their groove on.

TBA Magazine's September issue features an interview with Shawn and the Marauders, and it has the specifics about the Masquerade Party on September 18th.

More on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Column for September 15, 2010

If you haven’t been out in the Pocatello nightlife recently, this weekend will be a good time to do it. Several locally-based bands offer a wide range of music styles within the Pocatello city limits. And if you’re traveling this weekend, I have tips on where to be when for your favorite live music.

This Friday and Saturday, the 17th and 18th, Bender plays at Marigolds Wine on Flandro Drive (view on map), starting around 7:00 p.m. Music entertainment is free and open to those 21 and over.

Bender is a 7-piece eclectic collection of instruments and styles. They play a blend of American roots music, rock and reggae. Formed in 2008, Ken Aho and Will Peterson lead on guitar and vocals, with Dan Lauer on harmonica, percussionist TJ Latour and guitarists Ed Bala, Dave Jones with Rick Williams on banjo. Everyone is based from southern Idaho.

Expect original music, written by Aho, Peterson and Bala, who draw influences from blues, reggae and roots rock. “The only rule we try to enforce,” said Bala, “is that the songs need to have a groove.”

Regulars at the brewery, Bender has also played many outdoor fairs, fundraising events and at Marigolds. Bala commented, “We’ve actually never had a gig anyplace in Pocatello we didn’t really like, because audiences here are so receptive, and the bars and other venues are great.

“The local music scene is awesome. If anyone likes live music, they can find most any genre being played somewhere in town almost any time. From a band’s perspective, the local music scene is fantastic because everyone knows one another and are very supportive.” Find out more at www.myspace.com/benderpocatello or on Facebook.

Portneuf Valley Brewing on S. 1st Ave. (view on map) also has local favorites gracing their stage this weekend. On Friday the 17th, The Desert Flyers play folk and Americana. And on Saturday the 17th, Pocatello-based singer / songwriter Father Bob plays acoustic at the pub. Music entertainment is free and open to all ages, starting at 8:30 p.m. For more, visit www.portneufvalleybrewing.com.

And at Rumors on Garrett Way (view on map) this weekend, Plain Jane plays classic rock covers on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9:00 p.m. There is no cover, and it is open to those 21 and over.

Plain Jane recently closed out the Revive at Five summer concert series downtown. Lead vocalist Jeff Hammer said they went until 9:00 p.m., and in spite of some power failures at the end, the band was determined to get through that last song. The audience was dancing and had lots of fun. “It’s great to see Pocatelloans getting out in the sunshine, with great food, great drink and great company.”

Hammer fronts the 5-piece band, with guitarists Maurice Ross, Richard Henry, Darwin Edwards on bass and Frank True on drums. For more on Plain Jane, visit www.myspace.com/plainjaneinfo.

And to finish out a locals-only weekend, Shawn and the Marauders provide music entertainment for a masquerade party at the First National Bar on W. Center St. (view on map), Saturday the 18th starting at 8:00 p.m.

Shawn and the Marauders play a blend of folk rock southern style, pop, rock and roll. Some songs have a bluesy feel, and some a hip-hop funk groove. Listen for some fan favorites: “Scarface,” a tribute to the 90’s gangsta rap artist, “Hot Corn Cold Corn,” a beefed-up folk song about moonshining, and “Hoodrat Love,” a groovy, 70’s-sounding pop song about a hot girl who plays hard to get.

Shawn Barnby, a long-time solo artist in Pocatello, leads the Marauders on vocals and guitar, with drummer Casey Johnson, James “Bird” McCoy on bass forming the rhythm section. The power trio has played many times at the Flipside Lounge, The Nash and Hooligans in Pocatello, as well as in Island Park, Alpine, Victor, Twin Falls and Salt Lake City.

“Although our music is all original,” McCoy recently said, “the sounds are all very familiar to people who are used to hearing cover songs. We draw on influences from popular songs from the last 50 or 60 years.” Find out more at www.myspace.com/shawnbarnby or on Facebook.

Elsewhere in the region, Dala, a folk Duo from Canada, is in concert at the Carr Gallery in Idaho Falls, Thursday the 16th. On Friday the 17th, 2am Logic plays at the Peppertree Lounge in Idaho Falls, Great White is in concert at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot, NV, and Smashing Pumpkins plays In the Venue in Salt Lake City.

And on Saturday the 18th, Royal Bliss plays the “Summer Decompression Festival” at the Ogden Amphitheater.

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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Column for September 8, 2010

The Eastern Idaho Fair has the big concerts this year: on Thursday the 9th, an evening with Foreigner at the fair in Blackfoot (view on map), and on Friday the 10th, the legendary Kenny Rogers with the Oak Ridge Boys. Shows start at 6:00 p.m.; ticket information at www.funatthefair.com.

Foreigner is a classic rock band formed in New York City in 1976 by English musicians Mick Jones, ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald, and American vocalist Lou Gramm. Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, including over 37.5 million in the United States.

The six-piece band released their debut album in 1977, staying in the Top 20 for a year with the classic rock hits “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice.” Their second album, certified 7x Platinum, had more hits with “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” and “Blue Morning, Blue Day.” And their third followed up with “Dirty White Boy” and “Head Games.”

The early eighties saw Foreigner pare down to a 4-piece, when they released their biggest hit singles, “Urgent,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Juke Box Hero” and their only number 1 album, “4.” And in 1985, “I Want to Know What Love Is” arguably became The Rock Ballad of the eighties. The hits, they just kept a-comin’.

In 2009, Foreigner released their latest record, “Can’t Slow Down,” which peaked at #29 on the U.S. charts. They have recently toured with Def Leppard, Styx and Kansas. Current members of the band include vocalist Kelly Hansen, Mick Jones and Thom Gimbel on guitars, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, Jeff Pilson on bass and drummer Jason Sutter.

For more, visit their official website at www.foreigneronline.com.

The Oak Ridge Boys were originally formed in 1945. They became popular in the 50’s as a gospel group, and in the 1970’s, concentrated more on country and pop music. The band's current lineup consists of lead Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, and bass Richard Sterban.

Perhaps best known for the early eighties pop hit, “Elvira,” for which The Oak Ridge Boys won a Grammy, they have been awarded Top Vocal Group by the Academy of Country Music in 1978, Instrumental Group of the year by the Country Music Association in 1986.

The Oak Ridge Boys have charted three #1 country music albums and several in the top 50 on the country charts. Their most recent release, “The Boys Are Back,” released in 2009, peaked at number 16. For more, visit www.oakridgeboys.com.

Kenny Rogers, now 72 years old, is not only a singer and songwriter, but also a photographer, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. He has charted more than 120 hit singles across music genre map and has hit the country and pop album charts since the mid-1960’s.

Listeners of mainstream music first took note of Kenny Rogers in 1977 with his hit single, “Lucille.” It was a number one on the pop charts in 12 countries and has sold over 5 million copies. Rogers followed with a multi-million selling albums, “The Gambler” and “Kenny,” both considered highly influential albums in country music.

Rogers has paired with other music stars in what have become iconic music classics. In 1980, his duet with Kim Carnes, “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” his collaboration with Lionel Richie on “Lady,” “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton are unforgettable music moments from the eighties.

Kenny Rogers has won more music awards than I have room here to mention. For more, visit www.kennyrogers.com.

The southeast Idaho live music scene tends to slow down during the fair, but there are still some shows of interest in the area.

On Friday, The Starlings play at Portneuf Valley Brewing, located on S. 1st Ave., in Pocatello (view on map). Based from Seattle, WA, The Starlings play alternative country music and Americana. Music entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m., free and open to all ages. Visit them online at www.myspace.com/thestarlings.

And on Saturday night at the pub, Soul Full of Blues takes the stage, with vocalist Ramona Awes and Robert Miron on guitar. Find them online at www.myspace.com/soulfullofblues.

Plain Jane is scheduled to play rock and country covers that span from the 60’s to now at Rumors on Garrett Way (view on map), Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9:00 p.m. No cover, and open to those 21 and over.

In Lava, One Drop Redemption, an 8-piece Bob Marley tribute band, plays a reggae show from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday the 11th at the Swimming Complex. Find them at www.onedropredemption.com.

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Column for September 1, 2010

Tonight, the 1st of September, is the last session of the Bannock County Civitans’ 2010 Revive at Five summer concert series. Plain Jane, a Pocatello-based rock cover band, provides music entertainment at the Old Town Pavilion, N. Main Street in Pocatello (view on map). This last session runs an extra hour, starting at 5 and ending at 9:00 p.m. The Health Department Preparedness Fair sponsors and food is catered by El Herradero.

Plain Jane, with the motto “Fun Music for Fun People,” was a hit area band some 10 years ago. They reformed a few years ago. The current line-up has Jeff Hammer fronting the band on vocals, backed by Maurice Ross and Richard Henry on guitars, Darwin Edwards on bass and drummer Frank True.

Expect to hear covers of oldies and classic rock, blues and soul like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Take It Easy,” “Long Cool Woman” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” Find out more about Plain Jane at plainjanemusic.com.

On Thursday the 2nd at the Flipside Lounge, S. Main St. in Pocatello (view on map), Seattle’s folk / pop duo World History headlines a show with locals Nyr Lif and John Austin starting at 8:00 p.m. The FlipSide is open to those 21 and over.

World History formed in the winter of 2006 as a collection of songs written and recorded aboard several boats in Seattle, WA. The project evolved into a collaboration between Neil Campau and Jamie Menzel. Campau provides the majority of the vocals, also playing a rusty autoharp and guitar, while Menzel lends her soft vocals flute melodies and percussion.

Expect songs about historical characters and events and anarchist anti-politics, with strong vocals and entertaining, foot-stomping audience sing-alongs. BackForty Presents (Boulder CO) has this to say, “Neil Campau rocks the guitar and autoharp with strong vocal work. Jamie Menzel completes the duo with flute, melodica, drums and vocals. Neil’s voice possesses a warm and uncanny feeling of recognition but remains new and unique. Powerful and explosive at certain points, he has the ability to comfort and urgently bolt what he needs to say.” For more, visit www.worldhistoryband.com.

Nyr Lif’s music is a mix of indie rock and folk. There is acoustic layering of guitars, creative percussion, and great harmonies. They took first place in ISU’s Guitar Unplugged Battle of the Bands.

Listen for Nyr Lif’s popular singles, "Capoed," "Yani," and "The Bicycle of Fate." Casey Cathey and Shaun Barkdull form the duo, with other musicians filling in as needed. Find their recordings, “Experimentallation,” an EP released in 2007, and “Two Legs Broken,” a full CD released in 2008, on CDBaby.com. Find out more at www.myspace.com/nyrlif.

The Southeast Idaho live music scene has a number of regulars playing at their regular haunts this weekend.

Ray Rodriguez is playing acoustic at Marigolds Wine on Flandro Drive (view on map), Friday and Saturday the 3rd and 4th, 7 to 10:00 p.m. Marigolds Wine is open to those 21 and over, and they’re supporting ISU Back to School this weekend. Wear your orange and black to get some discounts.

At Rumors Bar on Garrett Way (view on map), Twisted Deuce takes the stage playing country and rock starting at 9:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Portneuf Valley Brewing (website) welcomes back some favorite musicians to their stage this weekend also. Bluesman Fred Anderson performs on Friday night the 3rd, and the country, folk and rock band, Unstable Ground, plays danceable music on Saturday night the 4th. Music entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m. at the pub, free and open to all ages.

Unstable Ground is a four piece band, based in Pocatello. Gene Taylor and Mark Holbrook front the band on guitars, bassist Chris Willock and drummer Eric Stanley keep the beat. All four contribute vocally. For more, visit http://unstablegroundband.com.

And if a trip up to Lava Hot Springs is in order this weekend, check out the classic rock cover band, Easy Street, at the Wagon Wheel this weekend. Music starts at 9:00 p.m., open to those 21 and over.

Based from northern Utah, Joe Chintawan and Mark DeLaurier front Easy Street on guitars and vocals, and Greg Newbold on bass with drummer Dan Stephenson back them up. Expect them to play favorite hits from the 60’s to the hits of today. Find the band online at www.easystreetrocks.com.

The Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot, ID, starts Saturday, September 4 and runs through the 11th. Tickets are now on sale for Foreigner on Thursday, September 9 and Kenny Rogers and the Oak Ridge Boys on Friday, September 10. Visit www.funatthefair.com for ticket information.

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

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