October 19, 2013
Kylesa, Pinkish Black, Sierra, Grunt @ The Palace Lounge, Saturday Oct. 19th

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I must admit, I’m once again treading in unfamiliar waters. Dunno if you’ve read my previous attempt at not-writing about metal when I dodged the whole Lord Dying thing, but yeah…this is not a genre I’m completely on board with. While my friends were listening to Metallica and Megadeth, I’d be listening to shit like Ministry. I mean, not too far off, but we’re talking “classic” metal heaviness vs. heaviness laden with more bizarre subject matter and atonality. The latter is the kind of heaviness I’ve always gotten down with. Noise, man. That’s my metal. Guitar solos are boring (imho).

That said, I totally had a blast at the Lord Dying show earlier this month. I’m 100% sure that this Kylesa show will be just as killer. Jason McMackin, freelancer-extraordinaire for the Missoula Indy’s arts section, did a better write-up for Kylesa than I can hope for and there’s really no point in trying (lord knows I have no barometer when it comes to this shit).

Kylesa, Pinkish Black, Sierra, and Grunt play The Palace Lounge on Saturday, October 19th. Doors at 9pm, show shortly thereafter. $13 to enter. I believe it’s 21+ but don’t quote me on that. 

October 16, 2013
The Bugs, Mountain Shark, Oll-Breds @ The ZACC (below), Wednesday Oct. 16th

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In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years or merely a newbie regarding Missoula’s live-good-music scene, you may be unawares that the good folks responsible for Total Fest are also behind a ton of other great shows that happen all over the year. This show featuring Portland’s Bugs is just one such show. The Bugs are this tight, tiny, guitar-drum two-piece that as one of the Total Fest Joshes said, sound totally like The Urinals. I’m inclined to agree.

(for a better, more well-written deal, check out the Total Fest blog’s entry on this show)

The Bugs, plus locals Oll Breds and Mountain Shark, are playing the ZACC on Wednesday, October 16th. Doors 8:30pm, show is shortly thereafter. $6 at the door. ALL AGES, bro.

August 26, 2013
HIGH LIFE 8-19-13 (Total Hangover Edition)

Total Fest was, once again, the best thing about Missoula summer. 40-something bands taking over the town and not one of them played that hippie shit we’re usually known for. Yay! Check out an excerpt of one of my favorite performances from the thing in that video up above. Seawhores killed it. 

This playlist is partly made up of some of the records I purchased at the swap outside Big Dipper that Saturday morning. In fact, the majority of this show is vinyl. I don’t do that very often anymore because two hours worth of records is kind of a bitch to move when you’re strapping them to your back and biking to the station. Oh well. I’m pretty proud of how this thing turned out. Hopefully you do too.

HIGH LIFE is a radio show that is currently affiliated with the Weird Missoula blog and caters to the people that don’t just like noise, don’t just like skuzzy pop, don’t just like garage rock, and don’t just like fucked electronic music. We’re all over the place. We’re on every Monday afternoon from 2pm-4pm on 89.9FM KBGA in Missoula, Montana.

Here’s the playlist: 

 Food Pyramid - GmbH
 Candy Claws - Sunbeam Show
 Hailu Mergia - Sewnetuwa
 Julia Holter - Horns Surrounding Me
 Kevin Ayers - Town Feeling
 Esmerine - Learning To Craw”
 The Barbarians - Moulty
 Rotomagus - Fighting Cock
 Randy Newman - Gone Dead Train
 The Fugs - I Want to Know
 Sagittarius - My World Fell Down
 Ty Segall & White Fence - Time
 The Mallard - A Form of Mercy
 Mordecai - Scuzz
 The Red Krayola - Hurricane Fighter Plane
 Bad News from Houston - Red Dirt Meet
 His Electro Blue Voice - Spit Dirt
 Get Hustle - Silver Dollar
 Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds - Lamont’s Requiem
 Fred Neil - The Dolphins
 Exuma - Dambala
 Dumisani Abraham Maraire - Misorodzi
 Harry Nilsson - Vine Street
 Eva Orleans - Neverend
 Tom Verlaine - Days On the Mountain
 Esmerine - Translator’s Clos II

Stream it here: HIGH LIFE 8-19-13 (Total Hangover Edition) 

August 12, 2013
HIGH LIFE 8-12-13 (Total Fest Past, Present, and Future Edition)

It’s that time again. Total Fest is rearing its head once again for three days of sun, volume, and batshit insanity, turning downtown Missoula (and surrounding neighborhoods) into this lone island of weirdness apart from the squares off Reserve or the south hills. Thank god, too. If I have to hear The Devil Makes Three one more time I’m probably gonna kill myself.

That brings me to this weeks episode of HIGH LIFE. I tried to keep my playlist pretty Total Fest-ish throughout, throwing on some bands that are playing this year, some from years previous, and a couple of hopeful jabs at the planning committee (eh?) for possible future acts. I dunno. Might as well try.

HIGH LIFE is a radio show that is currently affiliated with the Weird Missoula blog and caters to the people that don’t just like noise, don’t just like skuzzy pop, don’t just like garage rock, and don’t just like fucked electronic music. We’re all over the place. We’re on every Monday afternoon from 2pm-4pm on 89.9FM KBGA in Missoula, Montana.

Here’s the playlist:

 Salvia Plath - Carly’s Theme
 Seawhores - BEIJING
 Seawhores - Circlotronic
 Slut River - Double Vcard
 Animal Lover - Mexican Candy
 Is/Is - Shadow
 Jagwar Pirates - Planet Claire
 Spider - If I Were You
 Oll Breds - Million Dollar Bill
 Swell Maps - The Helicopter Spies
 Monster With 21 Faces - Midget Submarines
 Brain Tumors - Scaphe
 Toddi Wellman - How Do We Breathe?
 Dan Melchior - Wild Starlet Shuffle
 Mordecai - Scuzz
 Havania Whaal - Teen Guilt
 Bored Games - Joe 90
 Needlecraft - Whose Afternoon
 Guantanamo Baywatch - Walking In The Dark
 Shannon & The Clams - If I Could Count
 Modality - A Curtis Piece (excerpt)
 Feeling Alright - Oahu Ohio
 Skin Flowers - Nausea (ft. The son of Franzia)
 The Homosexuals - Snapshots of Nairobi
 Lou Reed - Lou on Rolling Stone magazine
 Haunted Leather - Midnight's Child
 Blackout Beach - Cloud of Evil
 Iceage - White Rune
 Skoal Kodiak - Pinomage
 Food Pyramid - The High Life
 Robust Worlds - Cave
 Shahs - Boy in the Bag
 White Noise - Your Hidden Dreams
 The Mekons - Hello Cruel World
 This Heat - SPQR
 Boys - Bernard Mickey Wrangle

Stream it here: HIGH LIFE 8-12-13 (Total Fest Past, Present, and Future Edition)

August 12, 2013
TFVII

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If you haven’t already noticed, we’ve been pretty quiet lately. We moved. We’re still in Missoula but yeah, you know, getting all those adult things together like power bills and internets up and working etc. etc. left a little preoccupied. Doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten that this upcoming weekend is one of the reasons we really enjoy living in Missoula.

For the second year in a row, I’m gonna be working through 3/4 of the festival. Kind of a drag but whatever, I get to kinda work at the festival which is a different thing entirely. Say hi. I’m sure I’ll be in a mood midway between aight and ecstatic. So many bands, so much stuff to do, so many records to buy…ugh. I hope I saved enough money this year.

For a full run down of the participating bands and venues, you’d be right to check out Total Fest’s Total Blog. It’s got the info I’m too lazy to cut and paste here.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be posting periodic updates of our Total Fest experiences throughout the weekend. If things go awry, we’ll be doing something else.

See you in a few days, dudes!

In the meantime, here’s a sampler of some of the groups playing the thing:

June 29, 2013
Some Of The Stuff I’m Talking About Has Already Happened

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So yeah, disregard the above picture unless you’re already there and not reading this blog-post the second it’s up. I couldn’t make it to Le Kickball’s lottery appreciation of Total Fest which is, if you don’t already know, quite possibly the best festival Missoula can truly call its own. Oh well.

Yeah folks, we’ve slept on a lot of stuff as of late. Super SORRIES. That cool label Jagjaguwar wanted us to review the new Cave Singers record and dude…the life of the one (1) permanent blogger for Weird Missoula just got too crazy in the short term to really make that happen. Hope it was a great show! We couldn’t even go to that either. Ugh. Double ugh. Oh well, July is nearly upon us though, right? We’ll be OK. I’m planning on getting some new local record reviews up this week. That’s something we’ve done a poor job of keeping on top of for the last year or so…sorry guys! I think it’s beyond time for us to review some of the Whoopass Girls stuff considering they’ve “called us out” on a post or two. Whatever. Missoula has lots of good bands and for the most part, we feel like we’re preaching to the choir. That said, here are some things we like that are approaching:

The Summer Made Fair is happening THIS SUNDAY in Cara’s Park. It’s a great moment for you to get out there and support all our local artisans and craftspeople. Small businesses are really propping up the Missoula economy right now and that’s kind of amazing. There’s gonna be killer stuff there, folks. Do it. Sunday, June 30th. 10am to 5pm

Portland bands Drunk Dad and Big Black Cloud are coming to Missoula on Friday, July 5th at the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 in lovely downtown Missoula. They’ll be joined by locals The Houndz (first show!!! — featuring members of Rooster Sauce!!!), and Shramana. It’ll rule, dudes. Show at 10pm. Cover is $5 for those 21 and older, $7 for those between the ages of 18 and 20. 

Did you know Titus Andronicus is coming in September? Yeah, that’s happening. Quintron & Miss Pussycat are coming in October too. BIG NEWS. Gonna be a burner of a late summer/autumn, folks.  

June 6, 2013
Needlecraft Tour Diary Pt. II (Flagstaff, AZ)

(Editor’s Note: We’ve been featuring a tour diary written by the Hana of Needlecraft as they play across the west-lands. You can read the first installment here. What follows is the a short bit about Phoenix and then they move on to Flagstaff)

We stayed and hung out with my family most of the day. Mikki’s stress-relieving baton skills (ed: shown above) revealed an unknown baton talent in my aunt much to the enjoyment of all. We also went swimming.

(ed: and then they move on)

We arrived to a significantly less stiflingly hot Flagstaff in the evening, to the famed Cottage House. The show started late; we drank a lot of wine. We got to play in a basement accessed only by a SECRET TRAP DOOR that was vaguely reminiscent of the Spruce Street basement, dirt floors, low ceilings and all. Human Weather (the people in were rad as heck) played first and tore the floor up. for there being minimal promotion and only one other band, a surprising number of people came out. We sold some records, then moved over to the Big House where I was allowed to drink more and play songs with curse words on Flagstaff Pirate Radio with the assistance of the pop sensation, Greco. We highly recommend his track titled “Uhh”. it may in fact be the only reason we have survived thus far on this trip. thank you, Greco.

 

June 4, 2013
Total Chug @ Draught Works Brewery / Broken Water, Vera, I Hate Your Girlfriend @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Tuesday June 4th

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I dunno, you like drinking beer? Do you enjoy (our) favorite festival in Missoula: the one known as Total Fest? If you’re down with at least one of those things you should really come down to Draught Works tonight and partake in a top serious, locally-made beer. Every pint you buy will net the Total Fest committee 50 cents. That’s not a hell of a lot, yeah, but every bit helps. Total Fest is one of the most DIY-run festivals we’ve run across and every bit of (financial) assistance goes towards making it one of the best festivals period. It’s June now so that means summer is on its way which also means, yeah, Total Fest is creeping up dude.

And then later…

Total Fest-alums and hailing from OIympia, WA, Broken Water are in Missoula tonight and they’ll be getting down at the Ole Beck VFW Post #209. If you’re a BW virgin you might wanna check out their Bandcamp site I linked to earlier or just Right Here. It’s kinda punk, kinda garage, kinda grunge, 100% sounds like it was written in the Pacific Northwest. I dunno how the people that run TF might take this but I think there is definitely a(n) (admittedly) loose “Total Fest Genre” and Broken Water is almost the epitome of that to me. I could be wrong, whatever, opinions are stupid.

Come support Total Fest at Draught Works Brewery where every fifty cents of every pint purchased goes towards supporting all the stuff that makes the festival tick.

Broken Water, Vera, and I Hate Your Girlfriend play the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 tonight. Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm with a $5 cover.

April 1, 2013
Take On The Hounds

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(title screen from Needlecraft’s eponymous NES-style video game)

Though I was born early enough to spend my elementary school years in the midst of classic Nintendo fever, my parents were never the kind to buy their children a console. They assumed that having a computer in the house would foster a more “educational” gaming experience and I was left playingthe original Oregon Trail and most of the Carmen Sandiego series, only later filling them with terror as their son discovered Doom, Warcraft, and Wolfenstein. At least I was killing virtual Nazis? 

All my MarioTetris, and Megaman needs were met elsewhere, usually with friends who had “cooler” parents and the kind of allowances large enough to amass vast libraries of cartridges. No matter how often I complained, we never got a system. Not even to play that stupid Domino’s Pizza game. (It’s kinda funny to me now considering my mom bought a Wii a few years ago specifically to do yoga with and my dad promptly bought a ton of first-person shooters…oh well.)

Twenty years after those console-less days enter local programming wunderkind Brian Thomas and garage-y-surf-divas Needlecraft. Together they’ve built a game roughly based on the classic NES platform jumper Bubble Bobble and packaged it with every copy of their debut LP (available via Wantage USA). I’ve been spending the last few days trying to beat the thing. Either it’s a lot harder than I expected or I just really, really suck at games like these. Probably a little of both.

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(me, playing as Mikki, avoiding death from that stupid rocket ship)

If you’re familiar with Bubble Bobble, the gameplay is pretty much the same. You take the form of Needlecraft’s Mikki Lunda (or if in 2 player mode, drummer Hana MT as well) and you jump around, “shouting” bubbles at a bunch of dog-themed enemies. The bubbles then capture said enemies and it’s your job to bounce them off the screen. As you progress the enemies become more numerous and harder to defeat and yeah…that’s pretty much what happens in a game like this. The big difference is the fact that this is based around a band. A local band, no less, and the basic story is that the Dogmen from Outer Space have captured all of Needlecraft’s hunks, forcing Mikki and Hana to struggle through nearly 100 levels of angry canines to finally free their man-meat. I’ve only been able to reach level 8.

In case you were wondering, you don’t need an old system to play this thing. The game comes as what’s usually referred to as a ROM file, useable by a ton of classic Nintendo emulators available (mostly for free) for all sorts of modern video game systems. I’ve been playing Needlecraft on my computer. And still it’s only level 8.

Anyways, if you’ve ever played Bubble Bobble, you probably know what to expect. Every level presents different enemies and yet another challenge in the kind of mind-numbing-yet-addicting repetitiveness early Nintendo was known for. I still haven’t gotten to the final screen but from what I’ve heard from the band themselves, it consists of hunks dropping from the ceiling, cheering, and a fair amount of making out. If I’d grown up playing these things I’d probably be killing it right now. Eh. No matter. 

March 24, 2013
Needlecraft’s LP Release (Beach) Party w/ J. Sherri, Bad Naked XL, & Oll Breds @ Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Saturday March 24th

(Hana & Mikki & a boxed wine of Needlecraft, photo credit unknown) 

As with many shows I end up working door for, my ability to actually “hear” any of the bands clearly is pretty nil. This was again the case last Saturday when Gidget-worshipers Needlecraft returned from hiatus and finally released their debut LP (with help from patrons Wantage USA). 

If you weren’t there then you obviously have no idea how dangerous it is to let a pack of hunks get their hands on a full bottle of baby oil, or how hilarious tropical drinks can be, or how absolutely killer it is to overhear so many different people talking about how they can’t wait to run up and buy one of Needlecraft’s LPs. Local love, dudes. In my estimation, these divas have only just gotten going. Their current lineup is the best live version of Needlecraft I’ve seen, and they are undoubtedly the only Missoula band to have released a video game. Seriously. They also released a video game. Though we haven’t gotten around to reviewing the LP, I plan on at least reviewing the game. Look for that.

Like I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t see or hear as much as I’d like to but from what I could ascertain, J. Sherri is only getting better with this weirdo take on 90’s R&B, Bad Naked is as polarizing as ever (the sound guy walked outside and muttered how awful it was to me…I laughed), Oll Breds obviously don’t need to practice forever and they’ll still be a good band. 

What I could see were a ton of beach babes and hunks and punks and nearly everything in between. If I had my way I’d have filled the bar with sand and replaced the pool table with a hot tub.