With temperatures screaming up to 100, now's the time to head for the mountains - to rock.
Consequently, you need to check out the guide to mountain-town music bashes on pages 16 and 17.
Many of the festivals are old but comfortable hat: Northern Rockies Folk Festival, Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival, etc. Others, such as Curtis Stigers' McCall Jazz Festival, are first-time events hoping to become Idaho traditions. At least one familiar face is missing this year: The Sawtooth Music Festival, an organic, two-day event in Stanley, has called it quits after clashing with city officials.
The Fourth of July weekend will pit two resort-town parties against each other: MASSV Music & Arts Showcase in Sun Valley will happen simultaneously with the McCall Music Festival. But they're wildly different: MASSV is all about outdoor grooving and performance art; McCall features acts such as Big Head Todd and Pat Benatar. (It also takes place at an ice rink, which should be a relief after wakeboarding on Payette Lake all day.)
If you can't escape Boise on the July 4 weekend, there are other outdoor festival options later in the summer. A couple happen right here in the scalding Treasure Valley. Who doesn't want to see pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen on July 27 at the Boise Music Festival at Expo Idaho? (Wait, don't answer that.) If traditional music is up your alley, you'll want to consider the Hermit Music Festival on July 26 and 27 at Indian Creek Winery in Kuna.
Bottom line: Start marking your calendar now. Summer will be over in about 30 seconds.
Assuming Northwest RibFest survives this weekend and gives it another go in 2014, I predict it takes place in Ontario, Ore.
RibFest seems to be heading farther west by the minute.
Organizationally, this free barbecue shindig appears more adept at burning bridges than briskets. Last year, hungry attendees faced a shortage of ... ribs, of all things. Earlier this month, RibFest was tossed out of Meridian's Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park by the Meridian City Council, which denied it a special-use permit. It's the first time the city has denied a permit of this type, according to a Statesman article, which also reported a councilman telling organizers, "You don't have ducks in a line for anything near as far as I can tell."
Nampa to the rescue! The Idaho Center Amphitheater swooped in to host RibFest. And, apparently, everyone is confident this thing is gonna rock. ('80s hair-band side note: Kip "She's Only Seventeen" Winger originally was slated to perform at RibFest, until - surprise! - that detail changed recently.)
"This year will be even bigger and better than last year with expected attendance of 100,000!" trumpets the website NorthwestRibFest.com.
"Based on last year's attendance, the numbers are expected to be close to 40,000," recalculates a press release issued by the Idaho Center.
Something smells funny to me, and it ain't hickory smoke.
I'm sure more than a few folks are out there enjoying tasty 'cue right now. I'd ask RibFest organizers to save me a couple ribs, but I'm guessing they'd rather punch me in mine.
Trevor Powers, the man behind Boise indie-rock group Youth Lagoon, is gearing up for a busy summer and fall. On July 7, Youth Lagoon will kick off an extensive tour that makes stops in cities such as Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Globetrotting is cool. But for Powers, this year's tour highlight already took place just seven hours from Boise. Youth Lagoon played the Sasquatch Music Festival in Quincy, Wash., over Memorial Day weekend.
Having Boise friends and fans make the drive to attend the show made it truly special, he says.
"I went to Sasquatch in 2010 and remember telling a friend I was going to play it someday, and at that time I was jobless and playing guitar on street corners Downtown to pay my bills," Powers remembers. "So to be able to see a piece of Boise there this year to share in the experience was majestic."
Free tickets! I'm giving them away for MayhemFest, Garrison Keillor and Widespread Panic on my blog at IdahoStatesman.com.
Paul Revere and the Raiders will headline a June 29 benefit at the Boise Centre for oldies radio personality "Big" Jack Armstrong, who is recovering from a stroke. Details, 28.
Michael Deeds' column runs Friday in Scene and Sunday in Life.