(Saturday, Sep. 7)
Hmm. According to Wikipedia, this guy plays the highly specific genres of "Texas Country" and "Red Dirt," which encompass roots sounds, lyrics from a blue-collar/outlaw perspective and, obviously, the regionality of Texas/Oklahoma (where the red dirt is).
Bowen certainly comes across more rough around the edges than his promo photos make him appear — the driving “Couldn’t Make You Love Me” rides a line between bar country and a play for radio, with poppy melodies, dark, distorted guitar and ominous harmonica.
He’s got a bit of an outsider spirit, too — “Songs About Trucks” promises the bar singer $20 to stay away from the subject in his chorus, while the tongue-in-cheek music video shows Bowen fed up with the making of a clichéd country music video, instead buying the cameraman a beer to not film him in a Brad Paisley-style hat.
Dalton Domino opens at the Top Hat. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $18.
(Sunday, Sep. 8)
September’s FreeSessions welcomes Spokane-based musician Larry Ellingson to teach and direct an improv performance.
Ellingson, according to Lakebottom Sound’s writeup, makes music the same way he approaches visual art: creating layer upon layer of sound, using different techniques like sound looping, sampling, analog and virtual synthesizers.
He has collaborated on a “graphic score,” with author Timothy Ely, where Ellingson interpreted shapes, lines and drawings by Ely into a musical composition.
After a presentation, Ellingson will lead an improvisation in the second half of the event. Musicians of all instruments and abilities are welcome.
It runs from 6-8 p.m. at Imagine Nation. Free.
Gary Clark Jr.
(Sunday, Sep. 8)
This blues guitarist has always incorporated elements of hip-hop and soul into his music, but his latest release “This Land,” out in March 2019, doubles down.
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The titular opener kicks in with a heavy beat and wah guitar that layers into a backing track that could be on any hip-hop album, and Clark’s raspy voice rap-sings with purpose:
We don't want/we don't want your kind/we think you's a dog born
F--- you, I'm America's son/this is where I come from/this land is mine
Other tracks lean more traditionally rock and blues, providing the kind of guitar theatrics and dancey rhythms fans of the genre crave, without sacrificing lyrics, which remain thoughtful and topical. Clark Jr. seems to be comfortable living in the next-great-blues-guitarist mantle he took on in the early 2010s.
Lost Coast open at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50-75.
(Tuesday, Sep. 10)
Portland’s impossible-to-credit-on-the-radio synth-pop group are coming to Missoula to make all the kids remember the music some guy played off of his laptop the first time they smoked weed.
STRFKR haven’t released anything of consequence since 2016’s “Being No One, Going Nowhere,” aside from a string of from-the-vault albums that feel like the definition of inessential from the band Pitchfork proclaimed a “perennial second-tier band on the dorm-party circuit.”
But they feel like a perfect fit for Missoula, all fun gauzy synthpop that, when you’re there in person, won’t feel like it was nearly 10 years ago the last time you heard them.
Das Kope open at The Wilma. Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22.50 at the door.
(Thursday, Sep. 12)
The classically trained pianist will perform as part of the Montana World Affairs Council’s evening of food, wine and music.
After an internationally focused food- and wine-tasting (with trivia about the countries of origin), Morgenroth will perform a concert, featuring his acclaimed classical and jazz styles.
The event is from 6-9 p.m. at the Public House. $30 for council members, $40 for non-members.