Friday, October 20, 2017

XXXTentacion is off the Adams Center's Halloween Lit Party bill

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 7:56 AM

The Missoulian reports that XXXTentacion's performance at the Oct. 27 Halloween Lit Party has been cancelled. The show's promoters say the rapper is not allowed to travel as a condition of his upcoming December trial for allegedly beating and strangling his ex-girlfriend.

The concert, which also features Tyga, Lil Pump and Famous Dex, will otherwise go on as planned, and refunds are not being offered.
  • Jahseh Onfroy, aka XXXTentacion

The cancellation announcement from Bonafied Entertainment included the following notice: "If you have any questions regarding this artist cancellation notice, please email For ticketing questions, please email"

Coincidentally (?), XXXTentacion's scheduled performance had been the subject of an announced protest by UM freshman Maggie Bornstein, who reportedly met with UM interim President Sheila Stearns on Thursday to discuss the show, which Bornstein and others say runs counter to the university's stated commitment to making campus a safe place for women.

Columnist Dan Brooks wrestles with the ethics of supporting art made by assholes in this week's Independent.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Missoula shows in photos: Iron and Wine, alt-j and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Iron and Wine at the Wilma Tuesday night
  • Iron and Wine at the Wilma Tuesday night
Iron and Wine at the Wilma Tuesday night
  • Iron and Wine at the Wilma Tuesday night
alt-j at the Wilma Wednesday night
  • alt-j at the Wilma Wednesday night
alt-j at the Wilma Wednesday night
  • alt-j at the Wilma Wednesday night
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Top Hat Friday night
  • Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Top Hat Friday night
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Top Hat Friday night
  • Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Top Hat Friday night

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trevor Loudon's New Zealand jams

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 4:35 PM

The FairBridge Inn and Suites on Monday, Oct. 16 - SUSAN ELIZABETH SHEPARD
  • Susan Elizabeth Shepard
  • The FairBridge Inn and Suites on Monday, Oct. 16

When I went to see far-right speaker Trevor Loudon at a Last Chance Patriots event on Monday, I was intending to report his theories about how our government is infiltrated with secret Communists and how undocumented immigrants are a threat to freedom because they vote for Democrats (after they are no longer undocumented and can vote, one assumes).

  • courtesy
  • Trevor Loudon
Loudon is from New Zealand, and one thing I know about New Zealand is that it's produced many of my favorite bands, from the Dead C to the Chills to the Clean.

Loudon gave me a little time for questioning before he spoke, and he was deeply into his talking points and delivering what seemed like some pretty well-trod responses. To be fair, I had asked him things like: what is his problem with Marxism in the first place? (He doesn't like the fact that it pits the working class against capitalists.)

I'm not interested in making his positions seem reasonable by humanizing him—you have to be pretty far out on the fringe, or fail to adequately code your language about immigrants, to be denied a platform on Fox or Breitbart these days—but during the interview I did want to get him out of rote-answer mode. So I asked what his favorite New Zealand bands are.

Here's his answer, with bonus Breitbart content.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Rachel Gross, scholar of outdoor gear, goes back to nature, via the mall

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 9:39 AM

U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps gear research. - COURTESY RACHEL GROSS / NATIONAL ARCHIVE
  • courtesy Rachel Gross / National Archive
  • U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps gear research.

“Why do Americans go shopping on their way to the wilderness?” asked historian Rachel Gross.

That they do is an article of faith today. Every list of what a camper, hiker or hunter needs implies that preparation for the outdoors is in great part a matter of buying the right things. Gross, now a postdoctoral fellow at UM’s Davidson Honors College, has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and her work explains how that came to be. Last Wednesday she presented an introduction to her work before an audience invited by the entrepreneurial incubator Blackstone LaunchPad.

Gross’ talk about the forces that shaped the vast American gear economy focused in part on how “brands shaped Americans’ material experience of the outdoors.” Many of those brands are iconic names whose images have shifted greatly over the last century, like Abercrombie & Fitch. A&F’s early 20th century retail flagship, with its taxidermy and indoor tents, was predecessor to today’s REI and Cabela’s stores.

Gross also detailed the mutually self-sustaining influence of the outdoor gear industry and the military. During WWII, outdoorsmen like Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean advised in the development of cold-weather uniforms. Later, military apparel would influence developments in outdoor clothing. And Gore-Tex’s miracle fabric, born of Teflon, was a catalyst for clothing as technology.

For obvious reasons—who here doesn’t have strong opinions about outdoor apparel and gear, and a desire to deconstruct consumerism?—Missoula is well tailored to Gross’ interests and work. As she develops her dissertation, “From Buckskin to Gore-Tex: Consumption as a Path to Mastery in Twentieth-Century American Wilderness Recreation,” into a book manuscript, Gross will be working locally with Davidson students to find vintage outdoor gear and clothing in preparation for an exhibit at Fort Missoula next year.

They’ll be doing a smaller pop-up museum before the end of the year aimed at raising community awareness of the opportunity to participate, and at eliciting contributions. “I’d be delighted to get the word out to residents who might be interested in seeing their old surplus packs or wooden skis on display in an exhibit,” Gross wrote in an email.

If you have anything interesting in your basement or garage, Gross would like to hear about it. She can be reached via email at

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Gallatin County judge releases Gianforte mugshot

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 5:47 PM

Rep. Greg Gianforte's mugshot finally went public this afternoon, after Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown ordered its release in response to requests from seven media outlets. Without further ado, here it is:

  • Courtesy of the Billings Gazette
According to the Billings Gazette, the photo was distributed to media for a $10 fee.

The booking photo continues the story of Gianforte's election-eve attack on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, for which Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. A justice court judge ordered Gianforte to pay $385 in fines and fulfill 40 hours of community service, as well as 20 hours of anger management counseling. Gianforte's attorneys objected to the congressman having to submit to fingerprinting and a booking photo earlier this summer. Neither Gianforte nor his attorneys raised objection to the mugshot being released to the media in court filings last week. For more on why the media fought to get this photo, read the Indy's story from Oct. 5.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Photos from Thursday night's Future Islands show at the Wilma

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 4:13 PM


Tobin Miller Shearer and the other white power

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 9:10 AM

Tobin Miller Shearer readily admits he doesn’t have all the answers. Even at his own lecture.

When audience member Chris Young-Greer stood up on Thursday night and asked how a person of color should handle people who expect them to constantly explain racial issues, Shearer, a white man, shook his head.

“You know I can’t answer that,” he said. But the microphone was still in Young-Greer’s hand, so he asked her what she thought.

“It’s very daunting to give someone opinions that they may not fully grasp,” she admitted. Shearer thanked her. The crowd clapped.

Shearer gave his lecture on Thursday at the University of Montana, where he’s an associate professor of history and director of the African-American Studies program. The lecture’s title? “How to be a White Guy: a Last Lecture on Punching Nazis, Baking Pies, and Not Being a Douche Bag.” Predictably, that title drew drew more a larger turnout than most 7 p.m. campus talks. Even after the seats filled up in the sizeable conference room, people continued to file in, sitting cross-legged on the floor or leaning against the walls.

“The first day of every class I walk into the room and tell my students, ‘I want you to know that I know I’m white,’” Shearer told the Indy. “I say, ‘There is going to be tension with me in this room, in this role. And there should be. But we can learn a lot together if we walk into that tension and see what we can discover about identity and privilege and power.’”

Shearer dedicated the lecture, part of the Last Lecture series presented by the Mortar Board Honor Society, to the advice he’s most qualified to give: how to be white and male, and how to use the privilege of those conditions to support and stand up for non-white, non-male people.

And no, standing up doesn’t mean punching Nazis. Violent reaction to white supremacy is a trendy way to play the hero, Shearer said, without addressing the deeper issues of racism. It’s one example, he said, of how white men are “blowing it.”

“We’re blowing it by not showing how many ways there are to be strong,” he said. “We’re blowing it by standing in the way of history.”

Fighting racism, Shearer said, isn’t about Facebook posts or knocking out Nazis. It’s about listening, having conversations about those issues and recognizing white privilege—over and over and over again.

“It’s not glamorous work. It’s hard work,” Shearer said. “I’ve gotten it wrong so many times, and I’ll get it wrong again.”

Only one line in Shearer’s lecture directly addressed politics: when he told the crowd that “white supremacy is enshrined in the White House.” That particular elephant in the room left no room for avoidance after an audience member asked what Shearer, given the chance, would say to Donald Trump.

“I wouldn’t punch him, as much as I might want to,” Shearer said to laughter. He said he would quote civil rights activist Ruby Sales, and ask, “Where does it hurt?”

“The man is not in touch with what’s hurting him,” Shearer said.

Then, a moment of quiet. And that, Shearer said, seemed like the perfect spot to end.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

UM releases fall enrollment numbers showing another overall drop

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:17 AM

This morning the University of Montana posted fall enrollment numbers online, with a press release scheduled to follow.

Overall headcount including main campus and Missoula College dropped 4.5 percent, to 11,865 students. The slide was anticipated, given that UM graduated more students last spring than it expected to replace through new freshmen and transfers.

This is the seventh consecutive year that enrollment has declined. The drop has been most precipitous among four-year undergraduates, for whom this fall's headcount is 7,550, down from 10,891 in 2010. That's a 31-percent drop.
Enrollment dropped again at UM this fall, according to numbers released Wednesday. - PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • Photo by Cathrine L. Walters
  • Enrollment dropped again at UM this fall, according to numbers released Wednesday.
Incoming freshmen, the most significant long-term enrollment indicator, increased slightly, from 1,268 to 1,292, up 1.9 percent. But it's still one of the smallest freshman classes in recent memory, down from a high of more than 2,000 in 2008. Vice President for Enrollment Tom Crady had originally hoped to be able to increase freshmen by 3 percent.

"The good news is that we feel like we stabilized first-year enrollment," he says.

You can review all the fall enrollment data here. Pick up a copy of the Independent on Thursday for a full report on how UM tried to use scholarship money to attract more out-of-state students.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Photos from Sunday night's Modest Mouse show at Big Sky Brewing amphitheater

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:58 PM


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zinke gets Interior staff into the “#sportsmen” spirit

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 4:13 PM

As if riding a horse to his first day on the job wasn’t Montanan enough, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke embarked on a mission this week to make his new D.C. digs look more like a western dive bar. In an agency memo distributed Sept. 19, Zinke announced the installation of a Big Buck Hunter Pro arcade game in the Interior’s employee cafeteria, known as the Bison Bistro. Apparently it’s part of an effort to bring “the excitement of hunting and fishing” to the Interior office and to celebrate “Sportsmen’s Season,” which isn’t an actual thing but can probably be understood as Beltway code for what actual Montanans know as “general rifle season.”
  • Screengrab from @SecretaryZinke

“This is an important part of the Department’s effort to highlight its key role in ​hunting​ and fishing across ​our ​public lands​,” the memo reads. “This will​ also​ increase employee awareness​ ​of​ ​how ​our efforts can support sportsmen and in turn further the Department’s mission​ of wildlife and habitat conservation​.”

Because nothing says conservation like bonus points for shooting squirrels, birds and UFOs.

Zinke’s bizarre attempt to give his staff a digital jump-start on hunting season (the real thing is still a month away in Montana) went viral after the Secretary tweeted about the arcade game installation on Tuesday. Most Twitter users treated it with derision, criticizing the use of taxpayer dollars or demanding Zinke get back to work. Several referenced Zinke’s fact-challenged National Monuments memo to President Trump, which leaked days earlier, confirming that Zinke had recommended the shrinking of at least four monuments. The Secretary’s tweets continued regardless, consisting mostly of photos of Interior employees hunting deer- and elk-shaped pixels on a screen.

The game isn’t just intended for idle cafeteria use. The memo about its installation went on to explain that between Sept. 19 and Oct. 11, employees can choose to compete in the “Secretary’s Shotgun Showdown.” The four finalists with the highest scores at 5 p.m. on Oct. 11 will go head-to-head for a chance to play against Zinke himself. That’s why so many of Zinke’s tweets included the hashtag “ShotgunShowdown.” According to the memo, “Prizes include bragging rights and a ‘Beverage on the Balcony’ with the Secretary.”

Bragging rights. It’s nice to know that after all this time in D.C., Zinke hasn’t forgotten the key motivating factor that gets Montana hunters outdoors every fall. And how better to spread that message than with a pair of plastic shotguns.


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