Willie Nelson used to make me happy once upon a time, when the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line. He no longer makes me happy. Instead, I like the Mendoza Line which is really similar but not similar at all. The sextet is one of the newer bands to come out of Athens, Georgia, the musical hotbed that bore acts such as R.E.M and Widespread Panic. Cooler than some dinky Northern Cali area.
Wednesday, September 29, 9 p.m., $3, Neurolux.
You know those television and radio commercials you hear and even though you reach for your Zenith Space Command, you kinda think, "Hey, I like that." Thanks to the iPod/VW commercial, the world noticed 25-piece Polyphonic Spree. Eric Johnson is kinda like the Polyphonic Spree, but 24 guys fewer. There's a good chance you've heard Johnson's music; several of his guitar instrumentals have been used in commercials. Johnson, who has been playing guitar since age 11, made himself popular with 1990's Ah Via Musicom. Instrumental yet catchy. The evening is an acoustic guitar and piano presentation with Boise's own Chakra Mission opening the aural festivities. Chakra Mission is a pop project for House of Hoi Polloi's Steve Fulton.
Thursday, September 30, 7:30 p.m., $25, Big Easy.
Robert Earl Keen
It would be easy to classify the work of Texas-based singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen as country because he's got a deep, sincere twang. And because he's from Texas. But his music reaches far past that genre's borders.--it's folkier, bluesier and rockier. Keen has been selling out shows across the country for ten years, has appeared on Austin City Limits five times and scribed songs for the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith and Gillian Welch. His latest CD is Farm Fresh Onions. If ever there was a place for washing down the lingering piquancy of onions, it's a venue where they make magic, stink-disappearing juice: The Winery at Eagle Knoll. Talk about a coinky-dink. Dale Keys opens.
Thursday, September 30, $26-$28, 5:30 p.m., The Winery at Eagle Knoll.
Honey Tongue singer and keyboardist Jen Ayers is a total babe, so it's hard to fathom that the husky, powerful bellow leading HT comes from such a tiny woman. That's just one of the mesmerizing tricks Honey Tongue pulls off. The band is made up of a handful of talents besides Ayers, and combined with their constant national touring, the Seattle-based group has accrued fans all over the place with their introspective lyrics and poppy melodies.
Thursday, September 30, 9 p.m., FREE, Tom Grainey's.
It's pretty much any mother's dream when her kid's band gets play on MTV. Usually that comes in the form of a music video, but the band Warsaw goes at it a little less conventionally. Their song "Stoney Boady" was featured on the MTV show Road Rules. Warsaw describes their music as "a melting pot of cultures and scenes," which, for any who have seen the Polish city itself, is really quite funny and ironic. But who knows if they have been there, since the underground ska/hip-hop outfit grew up in Southern California during the germination of MTV popularity. Also funny, since their music is less predictable pop and more skanky rock, like a modern day Clash.
Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2, 9 p.m., $5, Tom Grainey's.
I'm thirsty; I really need a refreshment. But just one will quench my thirst. Good thing there is just one Refreshment coming to town--lead singer Roger Clyne, now with the Peacemakers, will be back in Boise. Last year the country-alt group packed the Big Easy.
Saturday, October 2, 10 p.m., $10, Big Easy.
Music from the Heart
The community of Idaho City is holding a concert to benefit local musician George Jelinek, who was recently diagnosed with a serious heart condition and needs help with his medical and living expenses. So here comes "Music from the Heart," an engagement of musicians from the Treasure Valley who will donate their talent and time to help Jelinek, known for his great rhythm and prowess on guitar. Some of the musicians on the bill include Trio Pinto featuring Pinto Bennett, Rosalie Sorrels, The Channel Cats, The Buckhorn Mountain Boys, The Jerry Biggie Band, Johnny Shoes, and The Wednesday Night Gangsters and more. The night includes dinner, drinks and a silent auction.
Saturday, October 2, 6 p.m.-midnight, $5 suggested donation (rib dinner for $12), Ray Robison Community Hall, Idaho City. :