If you've been following along for the last, oh, decade, you surely noticed the sound of the eclectic quintet Strung Out has changed a bit with time; but more recently they have made their greatest aural shift. Chill out, the fifth band ever signed to Fat Wreck Chords hasn't gone off the deep end just yet. It's not like the hardcore power boys covered Celine Dion or anything. In fact, the sound has gotten even more agitated, noticeably heavier and more metallic. What gives? Aside from the band members keeping a variety-equals-no-boredom mindset, each musician in the band contributes by writing some of the music. The tour also features Only Crime, Wilhelm Scream and Haste the Day, the hardcore hardies on the last tour run for a chunk of time while they prep for their upcoming sophomore album.
Thursday, December 9, 7 p.m., $12, The Venue.
local showcase showdown
Boise Local Music Group
My boss always yells at me for listening to "the FM dial" when I should be working. How many times must I tell him that it's not radio, it's the Internet I'm listening to, jeez! In an effort to educate the (older) masses and assist with the launch of an Internet radio station featuring Southern Idaho musicians, Boise Local Music Group is hosting a fundraiser. This show is a showcase showdown of local bands that all happen to be Southern Idaho musicians including XEX, Midline, Uncontrolled Substance, Paylface, Evologic and Thoughtless People. The bands, BLMG, the new Internet station--everyone involved could use your support (including me)--so I no longer have to explain that no one uses a dial radio anymore. Plus this is a Boise Weekly sponsored event, and if you haven't been to one of those ... what's the point in living?
Friday, December 10, 6 p.m., $7, Mardi Gras.
rough, melodic pop
Call me Lightning
It's no wonder that Call me Lightning's songs are sung with a certain element of drunken schizophrenia--the dudes are from Milwaukee, the regnant home of cheap beer. The trio's debut album on hardcore label Revolution Records, The Trouble We're In, is less hardcore and more like melodic pop masquerading as rough 'neath the clash of heavy guitars. Coming from dudes who practice unabashed potty language and random cleverness, the songs are mostly spastic and riotous and a fine-tuned messy blend of love, alcohol, glory, dragons and pizza parties. An exercise in fun. Local rockers Skipper Lindsay open.
Monday, December 13, 8 p.m., $5, J.D. & Friends.
new every time
His people call his music "medicine for the soul in an age of assembly-line pop stars and regurgitated hits." How is that for elitist rock! Which is really my favorite kind of elitism, and Bob Schneider enjoys creating it. A notorious boundary pusher, the guy's talent and individuality set him apart from the syrupy masses--and that's why he's a four-time winner of the Austin Music Awards' Musician of the Year. Heavy! Schneider's story isn't new though, and you probably know him, even if you don't know the name. He was once the frontman for several other bands such as The Scabs, The Ugly Americans, and Joe Rockhead. OK, so even if you have heard him, hear him again and it will all be new because Schneider never repeats the same set twice.
Tuesday, December 14, 8 p.m., $10, Big Easy Bourbon Street Stage.
street music to dance to
Jake The Accordion Guy
So you stumble out of a bar near 6th and Main streets one weekend night and you think you hear polka. You think you see a young man on the corner playing the accordion. Are you sure or is it a drunken vision? Let me clarify. That is actually a street accordion player, but no, it's not polka you hear (though feel free to dance as though it is polka). Accordion aficionado Jake is a local musician trying to earn his keep by covering versions of non-accordioned songs you already know. Check out his laidback style and blasé camp and get your drunk groove on when the bars shut down. You don't need a penny just to hang around, but if you have a few bucks, lay your money down. Support the young artist and bless his mother for patience during those early accordion years. :