It's pretty hard to recover from a six-hour night of non-stop rock n' roll. The second night of Total Fest, in fact, felt like being put through a blender (in a good way) with four stages set up—two stages downstairs in the Palace and two upstairs in the Badlander—to provide for a constantly revolving cast of bands.
There were too many bands to see, considering the overlapping sets, but some of the most outstanding ones I caught included Vera, Taco Cat and The Bugs.
Last night’s three-day independent music extravaganza, Total Fest, kicked off its first night with plenty of metal, punk rock and PBR tall boys. Actually, the Badlander filled up pretty quickly for a Thursday night, which makes me think tonight and Saturday will be wall-to-wall packed.
Locals El Zombi Gato played their collection of raucous tunes dipped in sass and garage rock rawness, while another local band, Red Obelisk straddled a sludgier metal. Listening to Valsalva Meneuver from Kalispell was like going back in a time machine, not just because drummer Matt Lawlor's previous band, Disgruntled Nation, used to be an omnipresent force around Missoula in the 1990s but because their salty, snarly attitude captures 1980s hardcore so precisely.
Missoula's Sustainable Business Council (SBC) changed its website today.
This new, $3.5 million ad campaign—paid for by Families USA and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — started airing in Montana this week. The AP reports: "The drug industry is putting up most of the money." Shocker.
Tomorrow, we’ll publish a story about the lawsuit between the city of Missoula and Neighborhoods by Design. NBD, the firm developing Clark Fork Terrace No. 2 in East Missoula, is suing the city over four stipulations the city council imposed as a condition of its approval. The most controversial condition asks NBD to leave a 20-foot wide easement along the Clark Fork River for the city to construct a trail. For years, the city has struggled to extend the Kim Williams trail east to the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers. NBD is willing to help in the endeavor, but the firm feels that the trail could run along Deer Creek Road, then east along an abandoned section of the Old Milwaukee line. The extra trail along the river is too much, NBD says, and doesn’t comply with the city’s subdivision regulations. Yesterday, Judge Ed McLean held an evidentiary hearing in district court to decide whether the city could compel NBD to give up the easement. I was there, as was Missoulian reporter Keila Szpaller. Our takes on the case run relatively parallel, but she focused on some aspects of the hearing that I passed over and vice versa. As such, if you’re interested in the lawsuit, both are worth reading. Her report is here. The text of mine follows after the jump.
Does anyone hear banjos?
The Bitterroot’s resident right-wing activist group, Celebrating Conservatism, presents yet another anti-government speaker this evening at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds in Hamilton. Conspiracy nut Jack McLamb picks up where ex-Arizona sheriff Richard Mack left off in July—parading the militia movement flag.
In college, I lived in a house with a pool table. The pool table, stuffed in a side room, served sometimes for billiards, but more often, as a bar or a beer-pong table. Once, it served as a bed. One night, somebody got drunk and messed it up, so my ever-evolving cast of roommates decided to take it to the alley out back and break it. I happened to be driving by and decided to help in the demolition effort. I turned down the alley, hit the gas and ran over the pool table. It was awesome.
I thought about that event last night as I watched my first-ever demolition derby at the Western Montana Fair.
Big news out of Belgrade today, of course.
Jamee Greer makes Obama's visit sound like a circus via Twitter. Highlight:
2nd amendment rights activists next to signs of Obama dressed as Hitler. Crowd essentially shouting at eachother. Thunderstorm approaches
Our cover story this week deals with a rather unknown aspect of Major League Baseball: the game before the game. Or, maybe a better metaphor would be the on-ramp to the road to "The Show." Keny Sosa, who, until Sunday, pitched for the Missoula Osprey, had fought his way through the most competitive baseball country in the world to gain a foothold in the minor league system here in the states.
One aspect I touched just briefly was the use of steroids in the Dominican Republic.
Some Montana farmers, agriculture groups and state officials fear that a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives two weeks ago could have a “deleterious” effect, as one official puts it, on small-scale producers around the state.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, considered an important step in combating outbreaks of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli and salmonella, would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new powers in tracking and ordering recalls on tainted foods, and increases facility inspections by the agency.
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