Tiny Plastic Stars
(Friday, June 21)
It took a double-take, and a few minutes to process what I was seeing: Tiny Plastic Stars at the Top Hat, farewell show? Surely not. We here at the Missoulian Entertainer section basically have a blurb copied-and-pasted in every week for the Stars, Missoula’s “psych-rockers,” “pych-prog mainstays,” and conveyors of “tube-driven riffs” and singer Riley Roberts’ “heady range” that seemed to barely take a week off from playing somewhere around town.
Alas, it is true. Check out the full story on their breakup in this week’s Entertainer section and jam out at the Top Hat to a mix of classic Stars tunes and new tracks that will be released in an upcoming dual EP with Fuuls.
Fuuls opens at the Top Hat. Show at 10:15 p.m. Free admission, 21 and up only. (Peter Friesen)
(Saturday, June 22)
Longtime Olympians Mary Water, Pat Maley and E. Michael Bradley make up Guidon Bear, an indie group that pulls from '90s rock, DIY punk and twee pop of the 2000s.
Their debut, “Downwardly Mobile: Steel Accelerator” was released on June 19 and features Water’s talk-sung vocals, some crunchy guitar and danceable melodies.
Check out “Washing Machine” or “Mailbox” to get an idea of their varied sound — the former with a skittery, fun beat and catchy chorus and the latter a synth-forward ballad.
Locals Tomb Toad and Chris Sand, the rapping cowboy, will open at Wave and Circuit.
Show starts at 8 p.m. (PF)
Jim James, the Lennon Claypool Delirium, and Built to Spill
(Saturday, June 22)
The son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono teams up with the frontman for Primus for a vintage psychedelic rock album. What exactly does the Claypool Lennon Delirium sound like, and who is the target demographic?
It resembles either a fan of John Lennon or the Zombies playing vintage '60s psych, backed by a very good bass player. Given that the bassist is Les Claypool, their second studio album, "South of Reality," is packed with as much weirdness, jokes prog-rock interludes and room for jamming as it is straight-forward songs.
Claypool leaves most of the vocals to Lennon, who's not a deadringer for his dad, and musically many the '60s tropes they dig into bring to mind the Zombies more than the Beatles. The lone exception is a multi-part song, "The Cricket Chronicle Revisited," where Lennon's harmony vocals conjure up memories of "Tomorrow Never Knows." (The sitar and tabla help, too.)
There's some social commentary thrown in. Album opener, "Little Fishes," crosses references to children's nursery rhymes with environmental crisis (Roundup in your vegetables, mercury in your seafood) in a way that feels very '60s. Claypool's bass takes the lead on the song, and he puts on 1960s tones and style like a costume — setting aside his slap-and-pluck funk technique so it sounds more period-specific, even though no bass players at the time were as active of flamboyant as him, outside of John Entwistle.
And if lyrics are your thing, you could do worse than "Blood and Rockets," another multi-part song, which tells the story of Jack Parsons, a pioneer in rocket science and follower of occult leader Aleister Crowley. (He's the inspiration for at least one TV series, "Strange Angel," and probably a million more "weird true-life story" podcasts.)
That shouldn't give the impression that this is a Lennon solo album with Claypool as a sideman. "Easily Charmed by Fools" and "Toady Man's Hour" have more of a Primus, murky funk-rock groove going on, and live clips indicate that Claypool fans will get their fill of his virtuoso soloing technique.
The demographic for Claypool Lennon Delirium, then, is Ween fans — particularly of "White Pepper" and "The Mollusk" — of which there are many in Missoula.
Catch them with Jim James, the frontman for the Lennon Claypool Delirium, and Idaho alt-rock legends Built to Spill, at the KettleHouse Amphitheater. Tickets are $32.50-$39.50 at logjampresents.com. Tickets are $32.50-$39.50. All ages. (CW)
Zinnia, Basins and Bombshell Nightlight
(Saturday, June 22)
Get into some dreamy indie pop when two siblings bring their bands and a Washington act to the VFW.
Zinnia, a bright, synth-pop group is led by Rachel Cardiello of Toronto. Her brother Jon Cardiello of Missoula is behind Bombshell Nightlight, a bedroom pop project. His 2018 album, "Placid Lake," often sounds anthemic even when the songs are deeply introspective. Basins of Seattle are darker end of the spectrum, with moody but relaxed sounds.
The show starts at 9 p.m. at 245 W. Main St. Cover is $5, it's ages 21 and up only. (CW)
Pan Wizards Steel Drum Concert
(Sunday, June 23)
No less than 32 players will bring the sparkling sounds of the steel drum to Missoula from their home base in Seattle.
The group is an advanced youth ensemble of eighth-graders to high-schoolers from Steel Magic Northwest, a nonprofit afterschool program, according to a news release. Expect "Caribbean music, familiar pop songs, television and movie themes, and classical music," under the direction of composer/bandleader Gary Gibson.
They'll play a free show at 2:30 p.m. in the Southgate Mall's JCPenney Court. (CW)
Flying Fish Cove
(Monday, June 24)
Another Washington group — Seattle this time — come to Missoula, bringing another facet of indie-pop. Flying Fish Cove work in a similar vein as Guidon Bear, with talk-y lead vocals that cram in a few too many syllables in some lines, along with some synth notes and poppy guitar.
And now I’m struggling to tell the difference between them and Guidon Bear the more I listen.
Clem, a Seattle-by-way-of-Missoula group and local chillwaver Linus open at the ZACC.
Music starts at 8:30 p.m. $5 suggested for the touring bands.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
(Tuesday, June 25)
Due to my early love of the “Toy Story” films I’ve always held Lyle Lovett (who sang “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” with Randy Newman) in mind as a sort of real-life Woody; a lanky cowboy with a perpetual wry look on his face, who looks most at home in a Western-cut suit with the shirt unbuttoned, hair tousled just so.
Lovett’s also my mother’s favorite musician, whose first three albums (along with 2007’s “It’s Not Big, It’s Large”) were featured as regularly in the home stereo rotation as Led Zeppelin.
(For true dad- and mom-rock albums, “It’s Not Big, It’s Large” is right up there with Robert Plant and Allison Krauss’ “Raising Sand.")
Lovett has always seemed older than his years, a Paul Simon type, whose early years of wild hair and weirdly normal music carried him easily through a long career of more normal hair and more normal music.
But he still rocks (or something) and represents a unique class of musician — a singer-songwriter who somehow became a 21st century crooner.
Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will play the KettleHouse Amphitheater. Tickets are $35-50. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Show at 8 p.m.
(Tuesday, June 25)
This L.A. group channels the spirit of '90s guitar rock — the raw emotion, loud-quiet-loud structure, and a general guitars-only set-up — that has sprung up now that Nirvana and Pearl Jam's debuts are nearing the 30th anniversary stage. Devin Davis has a strong voice and a way with a melody that helps the soul-searching lyrics go down easier.
Catch them at the Ole Beck VFW Post 209, 245 W. Main St. (CW)
(Wednesday, June 26)
BoscoMujo, a post-hardcore trio from Chicago, doesn't mess around, going from heavy verses to heavy, heavy noise rock. Catch them with Low Feet, Rock 'N' Roll Girlfriend and M3nty. Music starts right at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5, 21 and up.