April 16, 2014
The Men, Silver Palms, Boys @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Wednesday April 16th

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I haven’t done a scientific study, but I’m just gonna go out on a limb here and say when Total Fest alumni come back to town it’s always a party. NY’s The Men are one such band, ripping hard on one of the more killer record labels out there right now (Sacred Bones), ripping hard in some crossbreed of punk, hardcore, and rock that’s infinitely more interesting than any of those on their lonesome…this is one of those NOT TO BE MISSED shows in Missoula this spring and, I guess, tonight!

They’re apparently on tour with Quebec’s Silver Palms which, if their Bandcamp page is any indication, are really pretty awesome. It’s really reminiscent of the Beets’ brand of lo-fi bedroom rock: heavy on the acoustic guitar, bare percussion, that kind of thing. Silver Palms don’t have some of the more cuter tendencies of the Beets but I’m not counting that as a weakness. Jesus, this is a stacked night.

WHOOPS! I looked at the wrong Silver Palms. While that Quebec band of the same name is super cool The Silver Palms playing tonight are from Atlanta, Georgia and sound more like this, kind of an early 90’s Creation Records vibe ala early Oasis or House of Love or something:

The Men, Silver Palms and Missoula’s Boys play the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 tonight, Wednesday April 16th. Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm. $8 cover for the drinking public, $10 for everyone else.

January 21, 2014
Weird Missoula’s January Showcase Featuring Magpies, Boys, Chemical Lawns, Colin Uriah Johnson @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Friday January 24th

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Hey guys! We haven’t really booked anything in a while but that’s totally gonna change this year. Starting Friday, we’ll be hosting a Weird Missoula Monthly Showcase. That means we’ll be curating one show every month, almost always on a Friday, at the Ole Beck VFW Post #209. We promise it will be awesome.

This month, we’ve asked some our favorite dudes to come ring in the first showcase and to be honest, we couldn’t have asked for a better lineup.

The Magpies have been around for jeez…a while now, but it wasn’t really til they pulled Mr. Hank Donovan in on second guitar that shit got really real. Think the best of late 1990s Sonic Youth or something. These guys got the stuff.

Boys are one of those bands that we’re pretty blessed to have hanging out in Missoula. Considering how stupidly young and handsome these “boys” are anyways, it’s a wonder they haven’t already moved to Portland or Oakland or some other city less packed with squares. They remind me a bit of some angular kinda grunge kinda songwriter-y kinda pop music. They’re our Naomi Punk. They are just as punk as they need too.

Chemical Lawns is the latest iteration of the ever-evolving cool guy/cool guy relationship between Bryan Ramirez (Ex-Cocaine, Poor School) and Holt Bodish (Mordecai, actual school). It’s pretty similar to their previous group: Monster With 21 Faces, but it’s rounded out a bit with the addition of Skin Flower’s/Shahs’ Nick Ryan on bass and David Turley on the drumming. They haven’t played a ton of shows yet. We’ve caught at least one. It was awesome. Think skuzz. Lots of cool cool skuzz.

Lastly, our good friend and sometime contributor Colin Uriah Johnson will be doing something. Most likely it will involve some singer-songwriter pose, an acoustic guitar playfully strummed while a future graduate student sings some really sad lyrics. It will be pretty cool. Of that we can be mostly sure.

Magpies, Boys, Chemical Lawns, and Colin Uriah Johnson will be playing the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 on Friday, January 24th. Show is at 10pm so come before then if you don’t want to miss anything. $3 cover and it’s 21+ dudes. 

December 20, 2013
Stuff We Forgot To Mention About 2013

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OK, after reviewing our “best shows of 2013 or whatever” post and our list of favorite records that will be upcoming via the Missoulian, we realized the crimes committed by us by not at least mentioning a few things that really did make this past year one worth living in Missoula. 

Ai yi yi yi, here goes:

Mordecai — College Rock: Why we completely A) forgot this came out in 2013 and as such B) left this fantastic record off of all our previously-published lists is the probably the biggest crime of all. Sure, half (or less? I dunno) of this band is currently in Missoula but dude…it’s probably the best album this state has produced in a good long while. Especially if you’re into that perfect kind of scuzz-rock that sometimes sounds like The Fall and includes great song titles like “Skuzz.” Buy this record, bros.

Lonnie Holley — Keeping A Record Of ItHolley came into our sphere-of-care last year with his album Just Before Music. It’s kinda hard to describe: something like a Moondog tied more to soul and gospel traditions than cyclical chamber music, an outsider artist beholden to building killer sculptures out of refuse and effectively doing the same thing with his songs. Bradford Cox of Deerhunter guests on this thing too. That’s noteworthy, I guess, but Holley is really just that one-of-a-kind music weirdos that only places like America can really produce in any significant number.

Boys — Kamikaze: This record is definitely one of the casualties to our “we’ll totally review this!” and “we totally ran out of time to review this!” non-policy of the last year. It’s more an EP than a full record but it’s still one of the better things to pop out of any Missoula band in the 2013. 

That Jamaican Queens show at the VFW in June: We only recently rediscovered the Jamaican Queens Wormwood album after we randomly grabbed some cassettes for driving around Missoula. Our car is one of those old ones still blessed with a tape player. Totally reminded us of how pretty awesome these guys were live. Completely unexpected. 

The Zoo Music Awards: You’d think with something like this going on Missoula was ten times bigger than it actually is. Oh well. It’s fun, kinda, but mostly it’s just one of those pretty hilarious popularity pissing contests for bands with a pretty narrowly defined definition of “success.” You may remember a post from 2011 by local music guy Josh Vanek. In it he essentially tried to bring down the notion that to “make it” you need to do A, B, C, and the other thing, usually with the assumption that you’ll be signed to a major label, regularly playing late night talk TV, and selling like Beyonce on iTunes. That kind of success is rare and the road to it is usually marred with a lot of shitty compromises. If playing pretend is your thing (and dude, it is a lot of fun sometimes) then pretending the Zoo Music Awards can mean anything other the immediacy of its prize money would totally be up your alley.

Futurama’s latest (and apparently final) cancellation: This made us sad. :( :( :(

December 12, 2013
Basketball, Total Fest and Acid Mothers Temple Just Show Up, Apparently — 2013 In Missoula Shows

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(harbingers of the season)

Looking back, I’m pleasantly surprised that this year was so in the black with good shows. It also being so near the end of 2013, we decided to jump on the list-season bandwagon and compile a ranking of some of our favorites. 

Here they be:

1. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Purple Pilgrims, Shahs @ The Badlander: I’d seen Ariel Pink perform in a bunch of different incarnations before, solo, with a pretty wild band featuring John Maus, solo again, etc. This was the first opportunity I’d had to see the latest version of Haunted Graffiti and dude, this blew everything straight-out-tha-water. Random Notes: Tim Koh is one of the best bassists I’ve ever seen; Purple Pilgrims was boring; Ariel Pink was wearing pajamas.

2. Street Gnar, Bacon & Egg, J. Sherri, Shahs @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: There was almost nobody at this show. Or, maybe there were, they were just all in the other room or something. I’m guilty of that sometimes too, I know, but it was really such a bummer. Street Gnar is one of those bands we don’t get coming through Missoula very often. It was fucking magic. Random Notes: the Street Gnar dude had amazing hair; we totally left before Bacon & Egg went on, sorry guys.

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(Punishment)

3. Punishment, Mega Bog, Boys @ The Zoo Arts Community Center (below): Yeah, we put this show on and yeah, it’s on this list but dude, we only book stuff we really believe in and we booked one show the entire year. Punishment stole the whole thing. Somewhere between a comedy routine, performance art, and some bizarro recasting of 1990’s sitcom theme songs, the set barely managed to contain pure joy in a way I haven’t seen in a very, very long time. Random Notes: A duet with yourself while-on-salvia; Punishment’s basketball dribbling; Mega Bog and Boys ruled too, don’t wanna sideline anyone.

4. Total Fest XII feat. 40+ bands but specifically Seawhores @ a ton of venues around town: Total Fest makes our list every year and for good reason, it’s the only weekend all year long we feel that the whole city is alive with complete and utter awesomeness. The squares disappear for three days and everything just, I dunno, rules. Though there were plenty of moments during the Fest that we remember, Seawhores’ set in The Palace Lounge on the second day really stood out. Jesus. Other favorite Total Fest performances: Animal Lover, Benny and the Jet Rodriguez, Mordecai, Mr. Dad, Brain Tumors, Is/Is, Slut River, Guantanamo Baywatch  

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(AMT&FPUFO at the VFW, photo courtesy John Yingling)

5. Stacian, Samantha Glass, J. Sherri, Skin Flowers, and special guests Acid Mothers Temple and Floating Paraiso U.F.O. @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: So…this show was already gonna be killer, we really like Stacian and Samantha Glass, J. Sherri is always bizarre fun if not bizarrely good but whoa…I got a call earlier the day-of-the-show from Acid Mothers Temple’s tour manager about getting them a show. They said they’d do it for no money, just wanted to jam. It happened, guys. Japanese psych-out legend Acid Mothers Temple and Floating Paraiso U.F.O. jumped on this bill and, well, psyched out. This was totally a once-in-a-blue-moon kinda deal. So so so so fun. Random Notes: Samantha Glass’ set was unbelievable as well if you’re into pretty esoteric electronic brood music; apparently spontaneity does exist. 

6. Shannon & The Clams, Mikal Cronin, Needlecraft @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: Missoula loves its glammy surf rock and dude, Shannon’s clams are the best of the “wave.” They packed the VFW well beyond capacity in a swirl of glitter, sways, sweat, and ooo ahhh ooos. Random Notes: Cody’s (guitarist in the clams) bow tie is always epic; I think this is the show Needlecraft covered the VFW in baby oil & scantily-clad hunks.

7. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, zZz, Shahs @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: One of the best things about this show was the puppet show. No, it was the drum buddy. Or the disembodied Cadillac grill affixed to an organ, or the music, or I dunno. This show was one big blur for us, one whirlwind of un-sober fun. Random Notes: I took acid at this show, told Mr. Quintron, and he said in all seriousness that that had been a pretty good idea.

8. Needlecraft’s Last Show, Modality, Skin Flowers @ The Top Hat: This could’ve possibly been an even better show than it was; Minneapolis’ American Cream got caught in a freak Arctic storm and were unable to make it. Modality rose to the occasion, however, and all was saved. And Needlecraft…dude…I’m pretty sure I’ve said elsewhere that this has always been my favorite Needlecraft lineup but this show was their best by a long shot. Something about final shows can bring out this doomed triumphant-ness but I’m not really even sure that that’s the reason. The Top Hat’s PA, maybe? I dunno. It’s always sad to see a band like Needlecraft call it (for the foreseeable future) but they ended on such a fantastic high note. Way to go, friends. Random Notes: Yeah, I’m in Skin Flowers but I thought that was one of our best shows to date, so there; Mikki (of Needlecraft) is consistently one of the more interesting singers in local rock n roll; here’s Gonzo Chicago’s recording of the show:

9. Chastity Belt, Pony Time, Born Yesterday, Chemical Lawns, J. Sherri @ The Doll House: The lone house show on the list, I seem to remember multiple notices deterring people from drinking? Whatever, I got there and was promptly offered beer out of the refrigerator. So goes rules. Born Yesterday, the newest project of former Needlecraft drummer and current Oakland resident Hana MT, played and yeah, it was pretty good. Chemical Lawns, the latest incarnation of Holt (of Mordecai) and Bryan (of Monster With 21 Faces, Ex-Cocaine) were awesome as well. Pretty sure those were either first or second shows for both those bands. Chastity Belt and Pony Time, the two Seattle groups, kinda ruled in a way I totally wasn’t expecting. Dunno, it was a house party. Lots of fun. Random Notes: The drummer in Chastity Belt was super friendly and pretty cool; Isaiah Lara is a good drummer; left before J. Sherri played, sorry guys.

10. Priests, LA Font, Copilot Eyedrops, Shahs, Death Moth @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: Former songstress with Julie & the Wolves and Magic City Boys, June West popped back into town a little this summer and we had the fortune of catching her new group Death Moth. They rule. I think they only performed a handful of times before she took off again. Priests really stole this one for me. I remember hearing the dude in LA Font was a hometown hero or something but I never knew the guy. They were great but like I said, Priests was what really stood out to these ears. Total Jesus & Mary Chain vibe. Random Notes: Check out Death Moth if you get a chance; that yellow Priests 7” is killer, too.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we didn’t include Thee Oh Sees or Kylesa. That was one packed October Saturday amiright? Well, I decided to do absolutely nothing that evening because A) I’ve seen Thee Oh Sees too many times to count and hey, they’ll be back next year. They’re great but we really don’t feel like we missed much and B) I’m not a huge fan of Kylesa. Their version of metal is a little more in our ballpark than most but still, it’s nothing we get all excited about. Sorry, bros.

October 1, 2013
Weird Missoula Presents: Mega Bog, Punishment, Boys @ The ZACC, Thursday Oct. 3rd

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We don’t “present” a whole lotta stuff these days. Chalk that up to laziness, business, and opportunity. Some balance of all three and you’ve probably captured our mood right now. With recent news so bleak and disastrously annoying, I’d be stupid if I didn’t invite all you folks to come down to the ZACC on Thursday. If you find yourself still struggling with how to deal with this government shutdown just, I dunno, do something else. 

Let Mega Bog take you by the hand, through the foyer of their music-mansion, and wrap you sweetly in whatever passes for trust-fund decadence these days. Someone had to leave the 1970’s alive and while I’m certain none of these musicians were born that decade, the decade lives in them, their music, and most especially Gone Banana. They’re from Seattle, which with a nickname like “Emerald City” really seems to belie the fact that that coastal metropolis is nothing more than a fantasy-land, proving fertile ground for the stuff of dreams, nightmares, whatever you’d call some combination of the two.

Punishment is the nom de plume of Mr. Wes Statler, an old friend of the Weird Missoula team. He’s been one weird, slinky, chameleon of a musician at least as long as we’ve known the guy. Think some bullshit like Gary Numan or (I dunno) James Ferraro or a robot Bobby McFerrin but know that however we end up defining the guy, he’s just gonna do something totally unexpected and completely awesome.

Missoula’s best-dressed, avant-garage/grunge foursome Boys open the show, doing that thing they do. If you’ve ever been a regular reader of Weird Missoula or listened of HIGH LIFE, I guess it’s no secret that they’re one of our favorite local bands operating right now. Having them join up on this killer event makes us happy indeed.

Seattle’s Mega Bog and Punishment are joined by locals Boys at the Zoo Arts Community Center (ZACC) on Thursday, October 3rd. Doors are at 8pm and the show starts at 8:30pm (SHARP!), it’s ALL AGES and the cover is $3 across the board. 

So all you show-goers know too: the ZACC is an alcohol and drug free environment. It’s just one of those caveats that come with having a killer all-ages venue. Know that if you try to skirt this rule, we will be forced to remove you from the show. We really don’t like threatening our friends, but just follow the rules and everyone has a great time, K?

Also, when we say 8pm sharp we totally mean 8pm sharp. Shows at the ZACC have to be over by 11pm and we would prefer not to chance it. Make sure you come on time, doods!

August 27, 2013
Bummers

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Well folks, I dunno if you read my previous post about the upcoming Wooden Indian Burial Ground show at the VFW, but it appears they’re gonna be unable to make it to Missoula this week. We’re not privy to the reasons why but it could be any number of things. Montana is pretty tough to get to if you’re coming from the Midwest and it’s the middle of fire season. That may or may not be somewhere near the truth. Whatever, it’s not any use speculating.

The show will still go on, however! That means Boys, Bad Naked, The Wild Bells, Copilot Eyedrops, and Alex Ortega are gracing the VFW this Thursday night. Show is at 10pm and it’s $4 at the door.

August 24, 2013
Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Boys, Bad Naked, Copilot Eyedrops, The Wild Bells @ Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Thursday Aug. 29th

You may remember Portland’s Wooden Indian Burial Ground from that one time they played Missoula-town in May…or not, whatever. Seems like these psyched-out garage fucks are back for more and the mission is once again a half-hearted assault on prudes because…you know…rock n’ roll.

Blarg:

Seems too that once again WIBG (as they will be known for the rest of this post) are joined by the new(ish) Copilot Eyedrops. That’s one band that has totally surpassed the hurdle of a shitty name and is, to these ears, one of the more interesting groups to come out of Missoula in the last year or so. Divisive local Bad Naked is playing this too. Did I see that correctly? Word to whoever is bartending this show: don’t serve anything in glass or you’ll have one Bad Naked covered in blood from toes to ankles. Also: another TRV CVLT ASSAVLT on PRVDES. Garage rawk, brah. It’s what the kids are good at, apparently.

WIBG, Copilot Eyedrops, Boys, Bad Naked, and The Wild Bells play at the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 on Thursday, August 29th. Show is at 10pm. There’s no cover on the FB event page thing so I dunno what’s going on with that. I’d assume $5

May 30, 2013
Missoula Taking It To The Streets

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(Needelcraft in an awesome pool; photo credit to [we think] Hana MT)

Dunno if you guys have noticed yet but there are three super cool Missoula bands going (or currently) on tour(s) right now. Our greatest are taking it to the masses and DUDE, you Other America Dwellers better catch these shows if you can. Needlecraft is currently hanging out in the Sun Belt. Boys and King Elephant both leave this weekend. Also, in case you were thinking about going to Spokane, a grip of Missoula groups are heading there (King Elephant among them) to play at the Volume Inlander Music Festival that’s happening there this Friday and Saturday. Missoula’s contingent includes: Shahs, Skin Flowers, Sick Kids XOXO, Javier Ryan, and yeah King Elephant.

Needlecraft’s tour looks something like this:

(looks like they took down their current schedule from their Facebook Event page so here’s the dates for the upcoming Midwest jaunt)

6/30 — Minneapolis

7/1 — Madison

7/2 — Chicago

7/3-7/6 — Iowa City @ Firecracker 500 Fest

7/7 — St. Louis

7/8 — Tulsa

7/9 — Kansas City

7/10 — Sioux Falls

King Elephant’s tour is looking like this:

6/1 — Spokane @ Volume Inlander Music Fest

6/2 — Bellingham 

6/3 — Seattle

6/4 — Olympia

6/5 — Portland

6/6 — Boise

Boys’ tour is looking like this:

6/3 — Bozeman

6/4 — Billings

6/5 — Denver

6/6 — Ft. Collins

6/7 — Des Moines

6/8 — Iowa City 

6/9 — Madison

6/10 — Milwaukee

6/11 — Daytrotter Session

6/12 — St. Louis

6/13 — Memphis

6/14 — Shreveport

6/15 — Austin

6/16 — Flagstaff

6/17 — Phoenix

6/18 — Las Vegas

6/19 — Santa Rosa

6/20 — San Francisco 

6/21 — Oakland

6/22 — Portland

6/23 — Olympia

6/24 — Seattle

6/25 — Boise

If you, dear reader, live anywhere near these places or have friends that do, please spread the word and dollop some fat Missoula Love on our music-dudes. 

 

May 30, 2013
Boys, King Elephant, Judgement Hammer @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Thursday May 30th

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Boys have released their newest collection of songs, Kamikaze, for “your price” on their Bandcamp page. That happened within the last 24 hours. Such a thing will be available in a physical form (or so I’ve been told) when they play tonight at the VFW to kick off their latest tour. Unfortunately, due to my upstairs neighbors and their overzealous attempts at scuttling any illegal downloading, Bandcamp is blocked by a firewall and I can’t download or even stream this record. I’m sure it’s great. I sure wish I could hear it.

King Elephant is also about to kick off an impending tour and dude boy howdy they’re always a fun live band. Dunno if you’ve caught their tour documentary yet but it’s pretty sweet and totally streaming on YouTube:

Watch that. These punks rule and really are punks if you can believe it.

Judgement Hammer, Missoula’s respite for any Kill ‘em All-era Metallica fans, are playing too and DUDE. These kids shred. Like literally shred.

Boys, King Elephant, and Judgement Hammer play at the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 on Thursday, May 30th. Doors at 9pm, music starts around 10pm with a super affordable $4 cover. 

April 10, 2013
White Mystery, Organs, The Magpies, Boys @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Wednesday April 10th

White Mystery has been in town it seems like a thousand times since their Missoula-inaugural at Total Fest some while ago. They’re good, yah, and especially so if you’re into Chicago-bred redheaded rowdy rawk fury. Over here in Weird Missoula-land, we’re hoping to catch NYC’s Organs most of all. Check that video up above, it’s cool. Like almost too cool. I’m sure the Needlecraft ladies are freaking out over how many hunks and babes are gonna be all over this show because it’s hella hella cool. Hell, there’ll be even more tomorrow night when Warm Soda plays Vera’s Residency Series.

Opening are local hunks Boys and a special fresh-from-tour edition of The Magpies. It’s gonna rule, dudes. Come get CRAY with us.

White Mystery (CHI), Organs (NYC), Boys, and The Magpies are playing the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 on Wednesday, April 10th. Doors at 9PM, show at 10PM. Cover is $5 for 21+ and $7 for those 18 to 20. The VFW is located at 245 W. Main St. in lovely downtown Missoula, Montana.