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Hyde Park Street Fair • Stan Ridgway •

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Sometimes, elements of the music section have to be shortened or cut altogether to make room for something else. This week, we're making space for the uber fabulous Hyde Park Street Fair. The fair will include musical performances by Bill Coffery and Seven Devils, Farmdog, Frim Fram Four and Gayle Chapman, Trio Pinto, Crash Four, Kathy Miller Trio, Gentle Rowser, Buckskin Bible Revue just to name a few. And, not that there isn't a plethora of music related news this week, I decided to run a review of last Thursday's Stan Ridgway show at the Neurolux, written by Larry Conklin. So get yourself out to Hyde Park, thanks to everyone who voted in the Best of Boise Poll and here's Conklin's show review:

A singer/songwriter of varied short stories and American tales, a traveling author who knows the side of the road as well as the destination, Stan Ridgway's guitar work was a simple background for his lyrics, which were his strength. He was aided by second guitarist Rick King, who played perfect support without flourish and Pietra Wexton on keyboards, who on occasion was overbearing with synthesized percussion and rhythm. When she just played sparse keyboards though, it was an effective trio. The songs were laced with dark and curious humor accompanied by a sense or a hint of deeper meaning, which pulled the listener in to catch that slight twist of an ending--kind of like Bukowski meets O. Henry. The onstage banter was jocular andspontaneous, which kept the atmosphere loose and comfortable. A slick move was asking the audience to move closer to the stage. The tables and chairs covered the dance floor within minutes and the intimacy grew. Ridgway exuded confidence in his work, something I always appreciate in singer/songwriters, as well as attesting to his roots by performing Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. Fueled by a few gin and tonics and the joy of his own creations, he played "Come on Down to the Barbecue," a roast for Karl Rove with a Cajun beat, "Act of Faith" dedicated to the souls of New Orleans, the wonderfully titled "God Lives in a Caboose" and "Camouflage," the story of a ghost soldier defending a platoon. This spooky song caught my attention some years ago--never knew who did it and here it was with its creator. This was a pleasant connection, which spoke for Ridgway's narrative talent. There were no hooks in the music, it was the songs themselves that grabbed you. The former frontman for Wall of Voodoo played for nearly three hours straight, culminating like fireworks with his hits "Drive She Said" and "Mexican Radio." It was like watching a great movie.