If you're an Idaho music fan, there's an "X" on your calendar for Tuesday, March 5.
Two Gem State-kissed albums with national repercussions will be released: singer-songwriter and Moscow native Josh Ritter's "The Beast in Its Tracks " and Boise indie-pop outfit Youth Lagoon's "Wondrous Bughouse."
Both albums are being streamed in advance by National Public Radio (www.npr.com). And both will make it a festive week at Boise music mecca The Record Exchange, where they'll definitely be the store's top two sellers.
Being competitive to a fault, I can't help but wonder which will sell more copies. Will it be Ritter, 36, who has a proud Boise following and larger body of work? Or will the sophomore album from Youth Lagoon - the brainchild of 23-year-old Trevor Powers - win gold through strong vinyl sales to his young fans?
Record Exchange marketing director Chad Dryden thinks it will be neck and neck. But if forced to choose?
"I'd put my money on the underdog," he says, "which I would think would be Youth Lagoon in this case. But by a hair. I don't think it's going to be a wide gap."
Fair enough. Then I'll throw my cash down on Ritter. It's tough to bet against a guy who's also had a novel reviewed in The New York Times by Stephen King.
- Visit Recordexchange.com for details on a Youth Lagoon listening party/Treefort Music Fest Warmup on March 5. (Free beer and pizza. 'Nuff said.)
Out of the loop again? No sweat. We've got you covered. Here are the latest concert announcements to know about:
- The Dillinger Escape Plan: 8 p.m. May 16, Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., Boise. $16. TicketWeb. $18 day of show. Opening: The Faceless, Royal Thunder.
- Ghostface Killah: April 13, Knitting Factory. $22. TicketWeb. Opening: Adrian Younge presents Venice Dawn.
- Method Man & Redman: 8 p.m. April 19, Revolution Center, Garden City. 27.50-$45 general, $55-$65 VIP. Ticketfly.
- Primus in 3-D: 8 p.m. May 12, Revolution Center, Garden City. $35 general, $55 VIP. Ticketfly.
- Imagine Dragons: 5:30 p.m. May 21, Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise. $33. TicketWeb.
- Widespread Panic, 6 p.m. July 10, Idaho Botanical Garden. $35. TicketWeb. On sale March 8.
TONIGHT: ADRIAN LEGG
End your weekend on the right note.
British virtuoso Adrian Legg, who takes fingerstyle guitar to new levels, will headline at 6 p.m. March 3 at the Rose Room, 718 W. Idaho St. ($10, brownpapertickets.com).
Legg, 64, has been dazzling acoustic guitar fans for years but is criminally underappreciated. Blending jazz, country, folk and classical music, he twists his tuning pegs madly and navigates the fretboard like a turbo-charged machine with ball-peen hammers for fingers.
He's also extremely funny between songs.
- Change is in the airwaves at Wow Country 104.3 FM.
Afternoon drive host Dan Matthews has left the station. He'll be replaced during afternoons by evening host Mike Howerton.
- Veteran sports broadcaster Wayne Dzubak has joined sports station 630 AM The Fan. He handled play-by-play coverage of the 5A boys high school basketball tournament March 1 and 2.
TONIGHT IN 'THE OTHER STUDIO'
Join Tim Johnstone and me as we talk rock and play tracks from Widespread Panic, Josh Ritter, Youth Lagoon, The Strokes, David Bowie, Ghostface Killah and more.
"The Other Studio" airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.
IN SCENE MAGAZINE MARCH 8
- "Oz the Great and Powerful" rolls into movie theaters with a fresh spin off the classic story.
- When's the last time you had a beer and burger at TableRock Brewpub in Boise? We review the longstanding eatery.
Michael Deeds' column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds