Thursday, August 7
"Everything's good in the world tonight, when Smokey sings," goes ABC's catchy 1987 hit and so tonight should be positively perfect, at least in Sandpoint where Smokey Robinson himself will be appearing as part of The Festival at Sandpoint's opening night festivities. I have to ask: Has SmoRo been dabbling in the botox? In recent publicity shots, he sure looks pert for a gentleman pushing 70. I hope they're giving him best injections LA has to offer because the man deserves it. Without Smokey and his pal Barry Gordy, there never would have been a Motown Records, and if there never was a Motown Records, maybe there never would have been a Diana Ross and the Supremes or a Stevie Wonder or a Mary Jane Girls and that's just too depressing to even think about.
Mr. Honey Voice will be crooning the tunes he released both solo and with his band The Miracles, and he's got quite a surplus to choose from, with 37 Top 40 under his shiny black patent leather belt. His best album in my book is the gauzy 1975 classic "A Quiet Storm", a jazzy, relaxing Sunday classic around Get Out headquarters. Smokey shuffles his still-tight buns gingerly out onto the Festival stage following Chic Gamine, who open the show at 7:30 p.m. Who are Chic Gamine, you ask? I have no idea either. (Actually, their MySpace page reveals them to be a quirky all-girl French-Canadian industrial folk quintet whom I might actually want to investigate further someday. See noisy live Chic Gamine video action below.)
Chic Gamine Live
Friday, August 8
Woah Nelly! As you can see, these white-hot boy-goats are sharing quite a tender moment, making out like French teenagers and sporting a couple of very generous, very human hard-ons. Titled, humorously, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," it's just one of the intriguing and bizarre animal clay-and-bronze animal sculptures created by artist Beth Cavener Stichteron in her show "Apologia" which runs through today at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene. It's your last chance get an up-close look at her work, which I think is interesting because it takes something traditional and boring like wildlife art and twists it into something unconventional. As she explains in her artist's statement,
"I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. The figures are feral and uneasy, expressing frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures are engaged with the subjects of fear, apathy, violence and powerlessness."If you can't make down to the gallery in time, you can at least check out Stichteron 's works in an online gallery at the Art Spirit site.
Saturday, August 9
Summer wouldn't be summer without a little face painting, and Grandma's just dying for a purple butterfly on her nose. Beware, for where face paint is mixed, clowns are sure to be lurking. I'm not clown-o-phobic, but I don't love them either. They're about as funny as accidentaly stubbing your toe on a rock while dancing to the marimba rhythms of Coeurimba at the Art on the Edge Luminary Festival, which goes down tonight in Post Falls at Q'emlin Park from 5:30 to dark. Along with tragic clowns, local Americana act B-4 will also be performing, and the event is capped at dusk with the lighting of Japanese lanterns which were created by local kids and artists. Sounds pretty neato.
About Art on the Edge (from their website): Art on the Edge is a Non-profit community art program for youth ages 6-18. Beginning humbly in the homeless shelters of St. Vincent de Paul, we are now open to all children in our community. All children need art in their lives. Communities that invest in the arts and children will flourish
Sunday, August 10
Gassy windbags young and old love to drink delicious pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer down at the Lakers Tavern. The death knell rang recently for the neighboring 2nd Street Deli, because who can really enjoy a pastrami-on-rye with that ancient ciggies-and-urinal-mint Lakers aroma hanging heavy in the air.
After I heard the deli was opening, I considered doing a write-up, but I had a hunch that the small business grim-reaper had his merciless eyeball fixed on the place. It was one of the fastest come-and-go's I've ever seen, reminding me of Club Pendulum, which came and went in under a year on the south end of the same 2nd Street block, where Monster Muscle now resides. The Pendulum never caught on but will forever live in infamy here as the host venue for Miss Vera and Black Diamond's Musical Drag Extravaganza, one of the most entertaining shows my vodka'd eyes ever had the pleasure to witness. Thanks to the divine miracle of YouTube, I unearthed a video clip of V&BD performing at Seattle's ReBar below this entry.
Anyhoo, The Lakers has been the hippest little dimly lit cocktail cavern in downtown Cd'A since at least the 60's when my parents partied there and the red naugahyde was fresh and untainted by many dark, blustery years of beer flatulence. It's Sunday so forgo the ear strain of live music and DJ's and settle in a dark smoky corner for some chit-chat, jukebox action, and pickled eggs.
Vera & Black Diamond perform at ReBar
Monday, August 11
It's the food that finally made me decide I was heading out of control and that I needed to get back on my fitness plan immediately. Something totally anti-nourishing, trans-fatty and just plain freaky. It's Jack in the Box's latest fast food innovation, deep fried Macaroni & Cheese bites. You know you won't be able to concentrate on your Sudoku until you try some, so just give in. Here's the press release from the desk of Jack himself:
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a bowl of mac 'n' cheese ... that is until now. Today, Jack in the Box(r) restaurants introduce Cheesy Macaroni Bites, a tasty new twist on the traditional dish.
Jack's new Cheesy Macaroni Bites, featuring wedges of macaroni noodles and real Kraft(r) cheese enveloped in a crunchy tempura-style coating, are easy to eat on the go and make great snacks or sides.
"Mac 'n' cheese is an American classic that's universally loved," said Teka O'Rourke, director of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc. "Our new Cheesy Macaroni Bites offer the same great flavor of the original dish, but in a unique, finger-food style that's very convenient and portable."
Jack's Cheesy Macaroni Bites are available for the suggested price, excluding tax, of $1.69 for three pieces and $2.99 for six pieces at all participating Jack in the Box restaurants.
Tuesday, August 12
By now, your Beijing Olympics fever should be in full swing. I'm particularily rapt with the whole thing this time due to the wonderful Chineseyness of it all. Athletics are quite beyond the spectrum of this blog's coverage, but naturally I can find some music and food in just about every situation. Music-wise, this morning I was completely awed by a Today Show performance by popular Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who plays with such intensity and intricacy that he's become a classical music pop star in his homeland. He'll be performing as part of the big opening ceremony along with British opera tart Sara Brightman. Tivo/DVR it on Friday and watch it tonight accompanied with a table full of steaming Chinese takeout. But from where, you ask? Re-read some of the reviews on the left of this page.
Get Out's official Top-13 list of North Idaho Chinese Restaurants listed from best to not-best, based on recent experiences. (Sorry, Sandpoint - I'll get up there someday soon to try Bamboo Restaurant.)
1. Wah Hing, Kellogg
2. Chinese Gardens, Cd'A
3, Canton, Cd'A
4. Golden Dragon, PF
5. Paupau's Kitchen, Hayden
6. King's Buffet, PF
7. Original Mongolian BBQ, Cd'A
8. Flaming Wok @ Mall, Cd'A
9. Panda Express, Cd'A
10. Top of China, Cd'A
11. China Express @ Safeway, Cd'A
12. I.T. Buffet, Cd'A
13. Bonsai Bistro, Cd'A
Wednesday, August 13
Bop into the Pend Oreille Winery this evening and give a big welcome back to Sandpoint home girls the Shook Twins back from their successful tour of the wild west in support of thier latest fantastic album, You Can Have The Rest, which to me is the best North Idaho album since back in the day when Black Happy ruled the land in the early 90's. Here's a nice YouTube video of Katelyn, Laurie and the boys performing a cover of one of my favorite songs, "Heartbeat", originally by Swedish avant-electro duo The Knife. The Shooks really take the song and mold it to their own indie-folk sound and the result is as effective and haunting as the original. Enjoy.
Shook Twins at Empyrean, Spokane 04/08