Friday, September 30, 2016

Benefit dinner funds choral group with Cuban food, cocktails and Salsa Loca

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 3:20 PM

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We wrote about
Cantores de Cienfuegos during their anticipated performance at Missoula's International Choral Festival in July. On Monday, Oct. 3, the all-volunteer organizers who helped bring the the Cuban choir to Missoula will hold a benefit to fund the airfare that brought the notable singers here.

A Cuban Encore Benefit features a Cuban dinner and two drinks for $100 a plate. The night begins with a cocktail hour accompanied by live music from local Latin band, Salsa Loca, followed by dinner. Attendants will get to check out music videos of the Cantores' Montana concerts, including those in Great Falls and Florence, as well as some off-stage outtakes.

It takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Crystal Theater (by the bridge). Space is limited to 60 people. Tickets are on sale now at Rockin Rudy's, 237 Blaine St. in Missoula.
For more information call Yvonne at 546-4074.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Lydia Loveless' new album, Real

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 9:53 AM

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“If I say another word, I know it’ll be my last/ I can tell by the color of your face you’re mad.” These chilling words kick off Real, which—if there’s any justice in this phallocentric world—should be the breakthrough album for Lydia Loveless. Her blunt, achingly emotional lyrics coupled with a powerfully vulnerable voice get bolder with each album. Musically, she’s becoming more sophisticated as well. Where 2014’s Somewhere Else featured a tendency to build two-chord riffs that bloomed into a fuller chorus, this album finds Loveless wearing her musical influences on her sleeve a bit more. The Brit-pop shimmer of “Heaven” beautifully supports a vocal swimming in reverb. “Longer,” with its chewy guitar and snappy drums, sounds like a Nick Lowe song he forgot to bring to Rockpile.

Less thrashy than Somewhere Else, this album has a more textured, pop feel to it. But Loveless is hardly pulling punches: “Sitting in the dark, talking about my plans/ To anyone who can hear over this shitty Indianapolis band.” In the darkly hilarious “Midwestern Guys,” she spits her disdain for men who “want to make love, not fuck” as they go out after dark to look at the stars (“You sure know the way to my heart, honey.”)

Like Lucinda Williams, Liz Phair and other women before her who kicked in the door of music’s boys club with brutally honest poetry, Loveless continues to fearlessly examine the dark corners of her own soul while she grants no quarter for the culprits responsible for that darkness.

Lydia Loveless opens for Drive-By Truckers at the Wilma Wed., Sept. 28. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $27-$35.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Photos: Randy Houser at the Adams Center

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 9:35 AM

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Opening Band Tucker Beathard - ©WILLIAMMUÑOZ
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Photos from the Dierks Bentley show at the Adams Center

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 9:35 AM

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Photos: Headwaters Bus Tour 2016 Site Specific Dance

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 9:35 AM

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Show review: Danava, The Shrine, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 10:56 AM

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  • Danava

You know sometimes when you go to a show and it's kind of all about the people watching? Well, this show wasn't completely that, but I noticed all these "Turbojugend Dethbridge" and "Turbojugend Calgary" patches and a bunch of kind-of-too-clean-looking-to-be-Americans in the crowd, and figured out that most of Lethbridge, Alberta's rockers had made a six-hour trek to Missoula to hear some fine stoner rock. The "Turbojugend-insert town name here" stuff refers to the ne'er do well fan clubs of the Norwegian band Turbonegro, whose brilliant, heady use of graphic design and gay biker-Tom's of Finland imagery has somehow endeared them with thousands of would-be straight dudes in North America and Europe. I'm not sure if much of the Turbojugend know about the Hitler Jugend, but I guess that's a question for another day. There was even a Canadian guy in a WWII era metal army helmet. Being a fan of spectacle, and Canada, and weird back patches, I enjoyed all of this. And, I like that we're regularly seeing our Cannuck brethren down here at heavy rock shows. I think it speaks to some good stuff going on in Missoula, Montana.

The Top Hat should be commended for starting it's deep-weekday shows on time, promptly at 8 p.m. That fact, combined with my kids' bedtimes meant I missed the Shrine, whom I'd been excited to check out. I'm bummed to have missed them but heard form credible sources they played "old school skate rock," which sounded pretty awesome. They also had a skateboard deck with their  logo on it on their merch table, which I guess corroborates.

I did see Danava's (pronounced like Donovan, without the last "n" sound) set in its entirety and was thoroughly floored by the band's chops and great tunes. Picture Tom Dewar's older brother, Cousin It, Jay Ferguson and Nigel Tuffnel from Spinal Tap on stage and you've got a pretty good picture of what Danava looks like. Explaining what they sound like is a little more difficult. There's some NWOBHM gallop a la Iron Maiden. There's some Champs lead stuff, though a little less indulgent. And more than anything, there's this pretty athletic, nonstop chugging riff that weaves through each song. In a word, it was excellent. The bassist especially just ran up and down his fretboard and kicked out easily as many notes as the guitar players, and in lock-step sync. 
Danava
  • Danava

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats took the stage next and proceeded to slow things down significantly. While not as busy as Danava, they definitely had their thing going on (Sabbathy, slow groove) and played with a strong band dynamic and the crowd dug it heavily. I was too busy looking for vape clouds and Canadian backpatches apparently for it sink in too much. My only critiques for the night are these: This would have been a great show to have a local like Stone Elk on, even for 20 minutes at 8 PM, and the between-band music was about 50 percent too loud. Otherwise, this goes down as a full win for the Top Hat and Missoula.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

A millennial vaguely remembers the '90s at the Adams Center

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 1:24 PM

As my squad rolled into the Adams Center around 8 p.m. on Sept. 15, we could hear the first chorus of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise." One of my friends squealed. "We're missing it!"

The Adams Center hosted the "I Love the 90s" tour with Coolio, Kid N Play and Salt N Pepa, plus other guest DJs and rappers. (We didn't get Vanilla Ice on this leg of the tour. Womp womp.) I went with three friends, all of whom were, like me, born in the late 1980s.

Salt (right) N Pepa (left) - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Salt (right) N Pepa (left)
We trotted through the hallway to find our seats, trying not to spill our cups of wine, while dodging all the other concertgoers and trying not to gape at their outfits. We had sorta tried to go '90s with our style—I am particularly proud of my Little Mermaid crop top and plaid shirt—but there's no competing with middle-aged women who still have the clothes they actually wore 20 years ago. High-waisted Levis and floral shift dresses never went away for these people.

So obviously, the I Love the 90s tour was less of a nostalgia thing for me and more of a history lesson. I mean, "Gangsta's Paradise" came out in 1995. I was in kindergarten.

Kid N Play—who both look pretty good—came out after Coolio and did their House Party dance and joked about their age. Christopher "Kid" Reid informed the crowd that he doesn't need to use Viagra. "You could say it's Montana hard," he said. It was probably the most risque moment of the evening.

One member of my party who shall remain nameless now has a crush on Kid. So take note, Gen X dudes, if you've still got the moves, hipster millennial chicks will be into it.

Kid (on the left) and Play, on the right.
  • Kid (on the left) and Play, on the right.

After Kid N Play's set ended around 9, my bestie and I strolled to refill our beverages, and found out that the Adams Center sold out of Bud Light. Mind you, the doors opened at 7:30, so it took maybe an hour and a half for the crowd to plow through all the Bud. Nobody's dancing skills improved.

We opted for white wine and went to find a place to stand in the bleachers, a much safer location than the teeming masses down on the main floor. 

By, like, 9:15, Salt N Pepa and DJ Spinderella came out and did a fun set with a few of their hits—"Let's Talk about Sex," "Push It" included—interspersed with covers and tributes of popular songs from the last few decades, in no particular order or reason. Guns N' Roses. The "Smells Like Teen Spirit" riff. Destiny's Child. Michael Jackson. Missy Elliot. Bloodhoung Gang. Beastie Boys.

Salt N Pepa brought along two extremely fit and talented young backup dancers, who frequently stripped off their shirts to the delight of the audience. Salt did most of the rapping and engaging with the audience, while Pepa strolled around and did a lot more bump 'n grinding on the backup dancers. 

Things also got political for a minute when Salt said, "It's about time to get a female president up in here." The crowd mostly cheered. A small group of dudes booed, and kept booing, until the next song started.

But otherwise, the whole vibe was good-natured. Lots of "throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care." Salt N Pepa have been active for 30 years, and it's clear that they've figured out the key to drawing in audiences—don't take things too seriously, play songs people know, include eye candy, keep the show short.

I do wonder what aspects of my youth will be dredged up in 20 years for nostalgia and amusement. Will Drake and Rihanna play the Adams Center in 2026? If so, I hope I show up and party.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Magic Men Live's Myles Hass talks about the philosophy behind men taking their clothes off

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 2:34 PM

COURTESY OF MAGIC MEN LIVE
  • Courtesy of Magic Men Live
If you haven't seen Magic Mike XXL (the sequel to the more inferior Magic Mike), that's okay. You don't have to. I mean, you can continue your hollow existence without all those abs and Channing Tatum dance-offs. You'll probably be fine.

If you have seen XXL, you know how boring—and strangely avant-garde—the dialogue is, but how funny and weirdly amazing the dance moves and scenarios are. Consider the evidence.

On Tuesday, Missoula fans of erotic male dancing entertainment were treated to the Magic Men Live tour, a Michigan-based act that's been grinding hips before Channing Tatum's power tool performance. Curious to know the story behind the magic, I spoke with Magic Men founder, producer and emcee Myles Hass about the tour's origins and philosophy. Yes, philosophy. 

How did you get started in this business?
Myles Hass: My family’s been in the adult party entertainment industry since 1989 working with male and female entertainers. I got involved straight out of high school, while I was going to college, on the management side of things working in the office. Shortly after college I started my own agency with male and female entertainers. On the male side of things, the guys always had the idea of starting a male revue show.

What made you decide to finally do it?
MH: A local radio station wanted to host a ladies-night-out party in the metro-Detroit area and give away a certain number of tickets to radio contest winners. They wanted the guys in my company to be the entertainment for the night. They gave away 200 tickets and on the night of the show, 400 girls show up. So at that point we’re like, “Okay, yep. There’s definitely something here. Me and the guys got together and started developing a show. We approached some local clubs and one of them agreed to allow us to host a ladies night on a monthly basis. Our first show sold out and broke every record that club ever had.

At what point did it become this highly produced touring show?
MH: Once we saw how much the female population enjoyed what we were doing, we started taking it a lot more seriously ... Over the course of three to four years we worked on it locally, doing shows three to four times a month in different parts of the metro area and then finally decided it was ready to be tested on the road. We brought on choreographers, a production team and slowly over time built it up into a full show. Now we’re touring around the country with two full-size tour buses, an entire production team, a group of 10 performers and the show’s really come together.

What’s your particular role in the show?
MH: I’m the emcee. I’m the first person the ladies get to meet and my job is basically to break the ice—get everyone comfortable and in the right frame of mind for what’s about to happen. Coming into a show like ours, a lot of people don’t know what to expect. There’s a little bit of shyness in the beginning with our audiences. And I introduce each set of acts.
Myles Hass is the founder, producer and emcee for Magic Men Live.
  • Myles Hass is the founder, producer and emcee for Magic Men Live.

How is the Magic Men show different than other adult entertainment shows?
MH: Our show is not just about dancing or guys taking their clothes off. It’s really storytelling, in a way. We like to dive deeper. With women it’s not just visual, it’s also mental. We’ve got to entertain them and obviously they’ve got to like what they’re seeing, but also they’ve got to like what they’re hearing and what the act is about—the type of person it’s about. And that might fulfill some fantasy in one way or another. We have different inspirations for each act that’s performed on stage but we put our own spin on it. It’s a lot more in-depth that you would think. I think it makes for a better experience and a better connection with our fans.

A lot of these kinds of shows are relegated strictly to strip clubs, but it seems like you guys perform at more mainstream entertainment venues.
MH: Getting our foot in the door was definitely hard. The first impression people have of what we do is that it’s guys taking their clothes off. Once they see all the technical things that go into it, that it’s produced no different than a Broadway show or a play is produced, then it’s like, okay. Then they started to understand we are producing a show that just so happens to include men taking their clothes off. All of a sudden the doors started to open for us and we were performing at every type of venue you can think of—performing arts centers, big theaters, places where you see rappers and comedians perform. You wouldn’t expect a group of male entertainers to perform in the same type of setting as those artists, but with the type of show we bring, once you see it, it makes more sense.

How did the Magic Mike movies affect your touring act?
MH: That brought a whole new level of awareness to what we were doing. It’s a pop culture phenomenon just like 50 Shades of Gray, so we used parts of that to inspire the show in ways that would be familiar to our audiences. But it’s not just one movie or one act or one theme. We touch on a lot of different tastes and preferences.

What did you think of Magic Mike XXL?
MH: Oh, the second one? I liked it. I thought it was a great movie. It delivered an awesome message as far as females being able to have the same types of experiences men have and not having to feel guilty about it. What we do [with Magic Men] is less about the lust and more about the entertainment. We’re not on stage like, “Look at how sexy I am.” It’s about women coming to have a good time and laugh and share an experience with their friends and going home with something to remember.

What are your fans like?
MH: Our social media fanbase has grown ridiculously over the last few years and each individual on our team has their own following. It’s almost like a boy band in a weird way. If there’s anyone reading this article who actually wants to get to know us a little bit better and see the men behind the magic, following us on social media is the best way to do that. And that makes for more of an exciting experience when you finally get to see the people you’ve been following perform live.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Last Saturday Night: Photos of Sharon Jones at the Wilma

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 12:31 PM

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Last Saturday Night: Photos of Trombone Shorty at the Wilma

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM

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