Weirdos were out in full force last week, and that became delightfully literal when a white street piano appeared on Eighth Street between Bannock and Idaho streets and beckoned passersby to twinkle its keys. Situated in front of Aspen Leaf frozen yogurt, the piano is sponsored by Stay Weird Boise and "offset by flecks of color, with two sides painted with chalkboard paint so passersby can draw with chalk from a nearby canister," according to Boise Weekly's Andrew Crisp.
Aspen Leaf said the piano will stay indefinitely.
And in other news of the weird, Oakland, Calif.'s, one-man accordion cover band Duckmandu brought his eclectic stage show to Red Room Aug. 14. According to BW's Josh Gross:
"Duckmandu's set included everything from Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys songs to 'Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys' and the Power Puff Girls theme song. He shredded through a Beethoven cut, then sang his way through the Periodic Table of the Elements."
Gross continued: "Duckmandu finished his set with AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell,' which he normally lights his duck hat on fire for, but chose not to because of the Red Room's low ceilings. Now that's good weird."
On Aug. 18, weird went on parade in downtown Boise for Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing's annual beer-fueled bike parade and celebration in Ann Morrison Park.
"Costumed Boiseans got down to the part about celebrating beer, and danced to tunes on the main stage, or went for a spin on one of the many ridable sculpture freak bikes New Belgium brought to the event," observed Gross.
Musical headliners Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars closed out the day's festivities after an epic rap battle judged by a robot.
And moving from weird to controversial, comedian Bill Maher took the Morrison Center stage Aug. 18 to a screaming, at-capacity crowd. According to Gross, Maher "spent nearly two hours tearing apart Idaho's two chief industries--Republicans and religion--and waxing comedic about all manner of current events."
Maher cracked jokes like: "Of course, Democrats are disappointing, that is what the D stands for, disappointment. Republicans use an R because that is the noise a pirate makes when he robs you."
And he even peppered in some Larry Craig humor, dropping into the infamous "wide stance," explaining: "America is still so homophobic that Craig would rather claim this position was how he pooped in a public bathroom than admit he might be gay." The crowd roared for nearly a minute, observed Gross.
Overall, Gross said the show was "as much a pep talk for sanity and potty mouths as it was a comedy show" and noted that it was "a welcome breath of a foul air."