Party with Young Dubliners, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
Ms. Jones used to do a bootload of hiking, and she recalls tenderly the joy of rounding a wooded corner and happening upon a gem of a lake or a flower-flocked meadow. A similar experience happened to her in The Ritz on Saturday night.
She'd gone in to see Mountain Con, the Sentinel High alumni band offering a sort of hillbilly/hip-hop fusion, but it was the opener that really caught Ms. Jones' ear. The Baseboard Heaters, from Portland, turned on the rock in a seamless performance of infectious, sizzling original songs too good not to dance to. We being Missoulians, the hometown Mountain Con boys packed the floor with writhing bodies and gave a show that was a lot of fun, but the Baseboard Heaters emerged as one of Ms. Jones' favorite new bands. They're attracting attention all over the Northwest, so let's hope they can get back to Missoula before they get too big.
Speaking of favorites, the very best band Ms. Jones has ever seen in Missoula comes back to town this weekend. It is, of course …
Friday, May 4
… Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire of whom she speaks, that endlessly inventive group of talented musicians led by Squirrel-Nut-Zipper guest violinist Andrew Bird. Bird, a classically trained and erudite musician, has discarded the 1920s-swing-jazz, gypsy and jump-blues genre (recorded and performed using antique equipment for that "old" sound) that characterized his previous two albums; his new recording "The Swimming Hour" offers nuggets of pop, both finger-snapping and sweet, as well as some blues and country. "The most ambitious and most compelling record in his three-disc career," Rolling Stone magazine says. Catch them in the Blue Heron; opening the show are alt-country popsters Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, boasting a great vocalist in Hogan - who, incidentally, also sings with the Bowl of Fire on their new CD.
At the Ritz, celebrate the weekend acoustic-groove-style night with Hanuman, a Seattle band billing itself as a group that likes to mix it up musically. In a single show the attentive listener is likely to hear rock, funk, jazz, bluegrass, Middle Eastern and "experimental" music, whatever that is (isn't it all?). The cover is $4.
Monday, May 7
Did Ms. Jones ever tell you about the time the Young Dubliners came to her house? She approached leadman Keith Roberts after a Missoula concert a couple years back: "Where's the party? Your house?" he asked. Before you could say "Irish ayes" the band, fans, concert organizers, the Sean Kelly's staff and Yours Truly were quaffing brews and listening to tunes (not by the Young Dubs, though; band members forbade it) from the wee hours of the morning 'til the dawning of the day. Everyone, including the band, was very respectful of Ms. Jones' home, which leaves her with no particularly interesting stories to tell and a lot of pictures of people she doesn't know standing around and talking in her living room. When they left, everyone thanked her for hosting them. She crashed on the sofa at 5:30 a.m. and got up at noon feeling fresh.
She'd happily invite the band to her house again if they'd play Missoula on a weekend night. Since they're here on Monday, though, Ms. Jones will just have to go to them. The Irish boys from New York play a fabu show of electric rock, high energy and pennywhistle, and they're just a nice bunch of guys to sit around the bar and have a beer with. They play Sean Kelly's, of course, where seating is always extremely limited, and tickets cost $5 advance, $7 day of show. Call 542-1471.
Here's a look at entertainment in the area's bars and clubs for the week of May 4-10:
Blue Heron, 130 W. Pine St., 543-2525: Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire Friday, cover TBA.
Buck's Club, 1805 Regent St., 543-7436: Laser Wolf and International Playboys, Friday; TBA, Saturday, 9 p.m., $1 cover on weekends.
Deano's Diamond Casino, North Reserve Street and I-90: Country with Julie Bug and Northern Exposure, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover.
Eagles Lodge, 2420 South Ave., 728-9433: The Affordables, Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m., no cover.
Elbow Room, 1025 Strand Ave., 728-2007: Solid Sound Karaoke, Tuesday, 9 p.m., no cover.
Evaro Bar, top of Evaro Hill, Highway 93 North: Karaoke, Saturday, 9 p.m., no cover.
Harold's Club, Milltown: Solid Sound Karaoke, Friday, 9 p.m., no cover.
Harry David's Lounge, 2700 Paxson, Paxson Mall, 728-6722: Beef Trout, Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m., $1 cover.
The Jack, 7000 Graves Creek Road, off Highway 12 west of Lolo: Blackjack, Saturday, 9 p.m., no cover.
Jay's Upstairs, 119 W. Main St.: Friday - Maggot Fest; Saturday - The Daryl's, Seattle punk; The Muddy River Nightmare Band, Sasshole.
Limelight, 1609 W. Broadway: Solid Sound Karaoke, Wednesday, 9 p.m.; comedy night, Tuesday, 9 p.m.; country music, Thursday, 8 p.m.; top 40 dance music, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover.
Mustang Sally's Bar & Grille, 2006 Ernest Ave.: DJ spins top 40, dance and hip-hop Tuesday through Saturday, 9 p.m., $2 cover on weekends.
The Raven, 130 E. Broadway: Robin, Friday, noon-1:30 p.m., contemporary, classical, celtic, jazz, folk, native and blues.
The Ritz, 208 Ryman St., 721-6731: Friday - Hanuman, groove jam; Saturday - Ritmo Six; Monday - open mic; Wednesday - Moxie.
Sean Kelly's Public House, 130 W. Pine St., 542-1471: Monday - The Young Dubliners, 10 p.m., $5 advance, $7 at the door.
Shadows Keep, top of Whitaker Drive: Heidi Swan and Chris Quigley, guitar and folk songs, Friday; Bill James and Carla Green, jazz guitar and stand-up bass, Wednesday, 7-10 p.m., no cover.
Top Hat, 134 W. Front St., 728-9865: Moksha Quintet Friday, $2 cover; Tom Catmull Band Saturday, no cover; acoustic folk jam Sunday, 9 p.m., no cover; Pinegrass Tuesday, no cover; Babylon Rhythm Band Wednesday, $5 cover buys tap beer; music TBA Thursday.
Union Club, 208 E. Main St.: Sweet Low Down and the Zoo City Players, Friday; Critical Martini, Saturday, 9 p.m., no cover.
VFW Club Post 209, 245 W. Main St.: Roger Shack's one-man band playing smooth country, Friday and Saturday, starting at 9 p.m., no cover.
Westside Lanes, 1615 Wyoming St.: Solid Sound Karaoke, Saturday and Thursday, 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover.