Here's some highlights from the shows coming up this week.
(Friday, Dec. 6)
This high-energy soul band has been featured twice by the Montana Kaimin in the last couple of years, first as part of the South Higgins Soul Collective, then as a feature on bandleader Kyle Curtis, who took a break from the group in the first half of 2019 to teach for Outward Bound.
Well, they’re back to headline Free Cycles’ First Friday concert this month, with (hopefully) all dozen band members in tow for a night of funk, horns, dancing and general craziness (judging by the photos published by the Kaimin, this group either loves playing in the crowd, or they simply don’t have enough room on the stage).
Cosmic Sans support at Free Cycles. Show starts at 7 p.m.
Motorhome single release
(Friday, Dec. 6)
Missoula’s loudest, grungiest band is celebrating a new 7-inch release on Missoula label House of Watts with a free concert at the Top Hat.
Motorhome released their debut record “Magnets” in late 2018 (also recorded with House of Watts). Missoulian arts editor Cory Walsh said it recalled Yo La Tengo’s “Painful,” “another loud-quiet-loud album by a group with a male and female vocalist.”
The two new tracks will be available on clear vinyl, with an included digital download that will net the buyer an additional new song.
Arrowleaf and Wrinkles support at the Top Hat.
Show at 10:15 p.m. Free admission. Ages 21 and up.
Rock history show
(Saturday, Dec. 7)
The ZACC, Zootown Arts Community Center, is hosting a pop-up history showcase and concert as part of the ongoing Missoula music history project sponsored by the Missoula Downtown Association.
The Music Memorabilia Showcase will run from 3-6 p.m. and will feature Missoulians sharing the history and stories behind their vinyl, zines, equipment and show posters that are connected to the town’s music history.
A concert will follow featuring newer acts Tormi (art-pop jazz) and Crypticollider (heavy psych), along with older bands VTO (garage punk) and Andy Cohen (of Ein Heit and Silkworm).
Both shows are at the new ZACC. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m. $7 admission. All ages.
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(Saturday, Dec. 7)
Sanders Smith will debut solo material as part of an art show/concert at Western Cider this weekend.
Smith, who plays guitar in local indie band Wrinkles, released his first solo album as Soft Maybe in November on Anything Bagel records. His lo-fi guitar-rock leans Mac DeMarco, with conversational lyrics and nice guitar lines here and there (“Airplane,” “A Rainy Walk”).
Proper Swans open. Art from Zoë and Lukas Phelan. Show opens at 6 p.m. Music starts at 8 p.m.
(Sunday, Dec. 8)
Vintage Trouble sling a high-energy kind of retro soul (could’ve guessed from that name, huh?) led by fiery singer Ty Taylor, who sounds like he stepped off some Stax wax straight into 2019.
Taylor’s backed up by a three-piece band who lays down as hot a soul beat as they can with no brass to help out. Guitarist Nalle Colte’s ready with a fill after every bar, and the rhythm section of Rick Barrio Dill and Richard Danielson provide a spine with just enough (and not too much) funk.
Vintage Trouble have all the makings of your favorite festival band during that 2-4 p.m. slot when you expect nothing, but they bring it anyway, swinging from soul to gospel to rock and sweating through their matching suits.
Hollis Brown opens at the Top Hat.
Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. All ages.
(Wednesday, December 11)
What more can be said about Mannheim Steamroller? They were called a “totally classy family-oriented event” in a 2009 Missoulian article hailing their first visit to the Adams Center. A decade later and I’m not sure which part is supposed to be “classy” (are there trashy Christmas concerts I don’t know about?).
Mannheim Steamroller: More of a PBS special than a band at this point. Do you think it’s possible they haven’t actually sold a new album in 20 years? I’m not sure what family needs to own more than two.
Well, by now the annual Adams Center concert is a tradition, and at least this year they had the self-respect to schedule the concert after Thanksgiving.
Tickets available through GrizTix for $51.50-$66.50.