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Horseshoe Bend

Banjo Fest

It's that time of year again, let the festivals begin! The Third Annual Banjo Contest and Festival put on by the Horseshoe Bend Chamber kicks off this weekend in Horseshoe Bend. The contest is for all types of banjo music with nearly $1,000 in prize money. The festival takes place in City Park starting with a Chamber breakfast and features arts, crafts, food and entertainment both days. The Thunder Mountain Line will also offer special $10 train rides at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. The festival will also offer free dry camping. Highlighted entertainment acts include The Buckhorn Mountain Boys and June and the CBs. For additional info and complete entertainment schedule visit www.horseshoebendchamber.com

• Contest: Saturday, June 5, 2 p.m., $5, Horseshoe Bend Community Hall.

• Festival: Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, 8 a.m.--6 p.m., FREE, City Park.

Gary Jules

You've probably heard the song on the radio, "Mad World," it's a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a Tears for Fears song and it's just a piece of what talented singer/songwriter Gary Jules has to offer. The single "Mad World" went in the UK Top 10 in Christmas 2003 and his latest release, Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets, is quickly gaining acclaim. We are sure to hear more from this buzz-worthy artist as his popularity continues to grow. Nashville-based singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan will open. Ryan has been compared to Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan with his folk-based rock and smoky voice. Esquire Magazine has described his music as "a collection of big-sounding songs about big ideas; this criminally underrated singer/songwriter's fourth full set offers stunning meditations on devastation, vulnerability and hope."

Sunday, June 6, 7:30 p.m., $10, Bourbon Street Saloon at the Big Easy.

2nd Annual Music

Celebration of Life

Hosted by the First Presbyterian Church, the Music Celebration of Life is a free concert that coincides with National Cancer Survivor's Day. It is presented in the memory of William "Bill" (Ficks) Holt who lost his six-year battle with cancer. The program lineup features a full orchestra performing the "Allegretto" from Beethoven's Symphony No.7, the Verde Percussion Ensemble from the Boise Philharmonic as well as performances by the High Desert Winds, keyboardist Sean Rogers and hornist Jennie Ficks. An offering will be collected during the program with proceeds going to the Nalen Fund, a program through Saint Alphonsus Foundation that assists local cancer patients and their families.

Sunday, June 6, 4 p.m., FREE, First Presbyterian Church (950 W. State).

Manville

Featuring Le Chic on vocals and tambourine, Bojo on guitar, Bug on guitar, Schug on bass and Bags on drums, Manville is Boise's newest punk rock band. Fed up with the current state of punk, this five-some got together and created what they call "snarling bass and buzzsaw guitars" with "more in common with the Dwarves then Dashboard." Manville's first release entitled Mo**erfuckin' was put out on cassette on the 208 Records label (Milemarker, Atom and His Package). Additional bands on the bill for this hardcore show are Neverwill from Fargo, North Dakota, and Adrian Fiasco.

Wednesday, June 9, 8 p.m., $3, JD and Friends.

Northstar

Touring in support of their sophomore CD Pollyanna, Northstar comes through Boise with Piebald and The Jealous Sound as part of their 21-date spring tour of the United States. Pollyanna is the follow up to Northstar's debut album Is This Thing Loaded (Triple Crown, 2002). The press is calling the record a "killer combination of indulging sing-alongs, driving guitar riffs and acoustic-rock anthems. A visionary songwriting collective that conveys, whether intentionally or not, a classic and honest Southern gentleman vibe."

Wednesday, June 9, The Venue.

Tom Grainey's and JT Toads have lowered their cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights from $5 to $3. This will go into effect starting June 18. In addition, cover charge on Wednesdays will now be $2 and Shakey APE is no longer at JT Toads.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will host an acoustic jam on June 17 at 7:30 p.m. The VFW is located at 3308 Chinden Boulevard in Garden City and all players are welcome and encouraged to come and join. For more information, contact Terry at 362-3901.

Velvet Revolver -- Contraband

The Corrs -- Borrowed Heaven

PJ Harvey -- Uh Huh Her

Cowboy Junkies -- One Soul Now

Sonic Youth -- Sonic Nurse