I'm uncertain how the title of Carbon Leaf's new album will affect their hitting the market. It is called "Indian Summer," but it isn't even Halloween yet and I'm wearing a scarf. OK, we know they aren't fortunetellers, but that's not what wins over the fans. So the Richmond, Virginia-based rockers are enticing fans with their first single "Life Less Ordinary," which is buzzing on the radio. At the 2002 American Music Awards, Carbon Leaf slid past more than a thousand other bands to win the first Coca-Cola New Music Award as the Best Unsigned Band. They have since toured with the Dave Matthews Band, played for NASCAR and signed a record contract.
Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m., $8, Big Easy Bourbon Street Stage.
all mixed up
Looking at the Radio Nationals, it's no surprise they sound twangy like country, melodic like pop and distortion-y like rock all at the same time; they look like the Pacific Northwest's newer version of the Village People. There is a sweaty guy, an alternative guy, a grungy guy and a dude who wears a cowboy hat. Exit 51 opens.
Thursday, October 28, 9 p.m., $3, Neurolux.
country folk on fire
Sometimes female singer-songwriter types are soft cheese: melodramatic and too Lilith Fair-y. Sometimes they rule, like Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin. Mindy Smith has been likened to both. Recently voted Best Singer Songwriter by the Nashville Scene, Smith doles out a variety of country-folk that's gaining momentum on the popularity scale. However, in true female singer-songwriter form, opening acts are other female singer-songwriters Tift Merritt and Garrison Starr.
Saturday, October 30, 6 p.m., $20, Big Easy.
rock all day
I love self-deprecating festivals like Woodsuck, South By Southworst and Loserpalooza. The latter is, of course, my favorite because I didn't make it up. The 2004 Loserpalooza show has a handful of bands lined up to rock out all day. Bands include Wilson Street, Zombie Sex, Wilt Chamberlain's Baby, Bales of Hey, Love Tap, Skipper Lindsey, The Treatment, Hot Dog Sandwich, Pussy Gutt, Catering to Venus and Vex Engine. Organizers are hoping to block off the street for other performers.
Saturday, October 30, 12-9 p.m. $5 at the door $3 if you wear a costume to the show, The Venue.
bridging the gaps
For a city kid, the spookiest place to spend Halloween night is on a farm. The spookiest people to hang out with are Coloradoans, a.k.a trustafarians. Colorado musicians Mama's Cookin' are not hippies though. In fact, they are awesomely original artists who can bridge genre gaps with a sound that fuses old and new. They mix delta blues and hip-hop, R&B with world beat and they will sate what would otherwise be too spooky a Halloween party to attend. Joining the show is McCall's Frame Of Mind. Come to the show in costumes; there will be contests throughout the night.
Sunday, October 31, 7 p.m., $8, Farmer Brown's Barn.
free alt rock
Halloween is the best time of year because you get stuff for free. Candy is free, you get free passes to make fun of people since you're "in character," and you can see some killer free concerts--like the one by Sacramento-based Paradigm, playing at Boise State. Paradigm's version of melodic alternative rock is unique in its genre because there's a chick at the helm of their sonic substance.
Monday, November 1, Noon, FREE, Boise State's Brava Stage.
SF hard rockers
Domeshots, a San Francisco-based quartet, is on a mission to win over every single music fan in the world. These hard rockers aim to achieve this by touring relentlessly across the country. Having a disc on tour doesn't hurt, so this month they released their debut album Self-Titled, an album that has been called "untamed" and "uncompromising." And that makes me think of lions. Rowrrrr!
Randomly weird ...
Did you know that Idaho laws specifically prohibit juveniles from deliberately stepping on ants? Even stranger: Did you know that "Weird Al" Yankovic is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Some fans of the Grammy-winning parodist are trying to fix that. They are asking the state of Idaho to take part in a global grassroots campaign to help induct the "Just Eat It" singer by 2006. This is officially "Make the Rock Hall Weird" week, and the campaign headquarters are asking that fans send letters and postcards to the Hall of Fame Foundation in New York to support the cause. If you're Weird, find details at www.dohtem.com/al. :