The Beet Tops keep square dancing alive and kicking

The Beet Tops keep square dancing alive and kicking

For a long time, square dancing has been viewed as a relic—enjoyed by the old and rural, exiled to barns and fields.

(Music)  

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On record: Portraits, by Pale People

Portraits opens with urgent, banging, staccato keyboard, followed by Mack Gilcrest's theatrical voice soaring: "The robots come to kill me, summer 2003!"

(Music)   Apr 13, 2017

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On Record: Ladybug, by Joseph Running Crane and the Dirty Birds

Joseph Running Crane first showed up on the Missoula music scene almost 10 years ago with Goddammitboyhowdy, a fast and loose punk band nurtured in Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation.

(Music)   Apr 13, 2017

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On Record: Emperor of Sand, by Mastodon

On their new album, prog-metal heroes Mastodon spin a tale of a man cursed with certain death as he hopelessly perseveres through an endless desert.

(Music)   Apr 13, 2017

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John Floridis celebrates 25 years of Musician's Spotlight

Musician's Spotlight has been on the air for 25 years, long enough to survive several evolutionary jumps in recording technology.

Apr 6, 2017

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How Fantasy Suite turns reality TV into real emotion

Fantasy Suite's song "Even More" begins with a soft bass line and loose guitar strumming that evokes the desperation and wistfulness of a Fleetwood Mac song.

Mar 30, 2017

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On record: Adult Teen, by Lisa Prank

It's been almost exactly a year since Lisa Prank played in Missoula for the first time.

(Music)   Mar 30, 2017

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On record: Blindfaller, by Mandolin Orange

There are a lot of sloppy, boring Americana-folk bands out there, but Mandolin Orange is their opposite.

(Music)   Mar 30, 2017

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On record: A Crow Looked at Me, by Mount Eerie

Phil Elverum's wife, artist Geneviève Castrée, died of pancreatic cancer in July 2016, leaving Elverum with the couple's 18-month-old daughter and an otherwise empty house.

(Music)   Mar 30, 2017

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Mega Bog's Erin Birgy talks sax appeal

Mega Bog is Brooklyn's Erin Birgy accompanied by a rotating cast of Brooklyn- and Seattle-based musicians, including Will Murdoch from Iji and Meg Duffy of Hand Habits.

(Music)   Mar 23, 2017

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On record: The Bad Testament, by Scott H. Biram

The music of Scott H. Biram, aka The Dirty Old One-Man Band, serves as a convincing polemic against musical pigeonholing.

(Music)   Mar 23, 2017

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On record: Jouska, by Wormwood/WadeMade

The delight of listening to a Wormwood album is, first and foremost, the language.

(Music)   Mar 23, 2017

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On record: America's Greatest Hits, by Gag

Gag's hardcore style features everything I love about this kind of music: squealy guitar feedback, fast and syncopated drum-guitar-bass parts, a bleak tone and palpable menace.

(Music)   Mar 23, 2017

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Saxophonist Brad Leali on the art of learning—and teaching—jazz

Brad Leali started taking saxophone lessons at the age of 10 when his mother took him to the mall to see a teacher named Willie Hill.

Mar 16, 2017

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On the Old 97's alt-country orbit

The Old 97's are on a roll, one that started in 1994.

(Music)   Mar 16, 2017

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A sibling band solidifies its place in the folk world

Bands made up of family members—especially siblings—carry a particular mystique for me. They live, love and fight together, and through all the challenges that either strengthen or threaten to destroy familial bonds, they create a deeply rooted language in the form of music.

(Music)   Mar 9, 2017

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Dylan Valley, aka Enzymes, releases his 'Mind's Eye'

Dylan Valley, aka Enzymes, grew up on his parents' Pink Floyd and Peter Tosh records, but his first sonic crush was on electronic music.

(Music)   Mar 2, 2017

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Last call: Rock Lotto says goodbye with a tribute to 1986

On a recent Friday night, Jason McMackin stood on a chair at the Ole Beck VFW bar surrounded by people knocking back beers, listening to him speak.

Feb 23, 2017

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On record: Punknique, by MASS FM

MASS FM's Doug Smith is a singer who can get away with using words like "beseeched" in his rock-and-roll lyrics without sounding like a douchebag.

(Music)   Feb 23, 2017

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On record: And Then Like Lions, by Blind Pilot

All weekend I tried to listen to Blind Pilot's third album And Then Like Lions: in the car, while I worked, while I walked my dog.

(Music)   Feb 23, 2017

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On record: We Were Wild, by Esmé Patterson

Esmé Patterson has full command of every indie-rock vocal ejaculation possible.

(Music)   Feb 23, 2017

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The happy ubiquity of journeyman rhythm maker Antonio Al

During a recent Sunday night session at Imagine Nation Brewing called Jazzination, Antonio Al folds his long frame behind a small sparkly red drum kit and starts snapping out a beat.

Feb 16, 2017

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The life and loves and lyrics of Izaak Opatz

Some of the best country music, whether from classic singers like Connie Smith and Patsy Cline or alt-country artists like Robbie Fulks, deals in transparent denial.

Feb 9, 2017

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On record: Magpies, Jonny Fritz, Blue Rodeo

Magpies, Annex

(Music)   Feb 2, 2017

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Up yours: a feminist soundtrack

On the way to Helena for Saturday's Women's March on Montana, our carload of women listened to a playlist made for the occasion.

(Music)   Jan 26, 2017

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On record: Early Tapes 1996-1998: The Microphones

By opening with the absolutely silly song "Teenage Mustache," The Microphones' Phil Elverum is sending a clear message about his new release: You are not about to listen to a long-lost masterpiece.

(Music)   Jan 12, 2017

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