Deeds: Big Jack, Hyde Park & Rolling Stones jazz

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comSeptember 22, 2013 

hyde park, street fair, camel's back, hippie,

Janet Sonnenberg and her grandson, Kristian Westergard, 4, listen to music at Curb A’Faire in Hyde Park Sept. 14. The Hyde Park Street Fair was down the street at Camel’s Back Park.


After suffering a stroke in May, veteran oldies DJ “Big” Jack Armstrong returned to Oldies 1380 AM last week.

Armstrong’s stroke affected the part of the brain that controls speech, so he had some recovery work to do.

It paid off. Armstrong sounds pretty much like he always has: “Big! Jack! Is! Back!” he roared during one of his 2 to 6 p.m. weekday slots. (Listen online at

Tuning in reminded me how out of touch I am with the oldies radio format. It’s crept into the 1970s. To me, that’s the domain of classic-rock radio stations — which now cherry pick the 1980s and occasionally even 1990s.

None of this is new. And I realize that oldies radio stations need to attract listeners who aren’t using their gravestones as radio antennas.

But still, it’s freaky. Did you know that T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” is oldies fodder now? And I realize that the songs came out about five years apart, but Santana’s “Evil Ways” sounds crazy back to back with Major Lance’s “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um.” At least to me.

I guess one man’s oldie is another man’s Ozzy.

(No, Grandma, you won’t hear “Crazy Train” screeching on Oldies 1380 AM — unless they do an earth-shaking promotion and play 13 ’80s songs. Hmmm.)

I digress.

Welcome back, Jack.


It’s possible that gritted teeth lurked beneath a smile or two, but everyone seems to agree that festive vibes dominated last weekend’s competing Hyde Park Street Fair and Hyde Park Curb A’Faire.

The fledgling Curb A’Faire, which made its debut in the middle of Boise’s Hyde Park business district, lured about 2,000 people over two days, organizers estimate.

In its 34th year, the Street Fair at Camel’s Back Park drew tens of thousands — but slightly fewer than the typical 30,000 or so over three days, organizers say — mostly on opening night. A home Boise State football game and rain probably contributed.

North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) President Don Plum played down any negative effect of the Curb A’Faire, which shut down 13th Street between Alturas and Brumback streets on Sept. 14. But blocking the main route to the park probably did not help Street Fair numbers on a Saturday that he still called “strong.”

Closing 13th Street encouraged more North Enders to hang out and do yard sales, Plum added, which might have had more impact on foot traffic than the actual Curb A’Faire did.

So will the two events butt heads again in 2014? Plum and NENA, which organizes the Street Fair, definitely would prefer not.

The events’ organizers are expected to meet with the city and Ada County Highway District next month to discuss the issues. Neighborhood impact will be a major consideration.

I suspect that next year’s Curb A’Faire, if it happens, will be on a different weekend — and still lots of fun.

The Street Fair will celebrate its 35th anniversary — and “bring out the big guns, I hope,” Plum said.


Have you ever wondered what classic Rolling Stones music would sound like as mostly instrumental jazz-rock?

Me neither.

But after investigating saxophonist Tim Ries’ Rolling Stones Project — he’s released a couple albums of jazzy Stones covers — I’m intrigued.

Ries, who plays sax in the Rolling Stones’ touring band, and Bernard Fowler, a back-up singer with the Rolling Stones for decades, both are coming to the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 2, with their jazz-oriented Rolling Stones Project.

Give the music a listen online at (Check out that John Scofield guitar solo on “Satisfaction.” Good stuff.)

Tickets are on sale now at


Just in time for next weekend’s opening of the Imax movie “Metallica: Through the Never,” the band’s former bassist, Jason Newsted, will stop in Boise.

He’s on a junket hyping the album from his new band, Newsted. The ever-grimacing bassist will do a Q&A and signing at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St. It’s free.


Liquid, 405 S. 8th St., has evolved into Boise’s main comedy club over five years. But live music is still a focus. And it will be a large part of “Liquid’s 5th B-Day Bash,” which runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, Sept. 24.

From 6 to 8 p.m., there will be free appetizers and no cover. After that, it’s $5 for live music from Idyltime, Fiddle Junkies and Alturas, as well as comedy, magic, (purposely) bad dancing, drink specials and giveaways.

Liquid — which bills itself Liquid Laughs on comedy nights — has a couple of notable comedians on the way: Loni Love on Dec. 13 and 14, and Tommy Davidson on Jan. 9-12.


Co-host Tim Johnstone and I will play new music from bands including The Killers and Pearl Jam, plus unleash 10-plus minutes of drone-metal from Boise duo Wolvserpent. “The Other Studio” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.


Æ Fall movie season has arrived. Scene has a preview.

Æ Gluten-free IPA? Yes, beer aficionados, it has arrived. I dare to taste it.

Æ A restaurant review of The Dish in Downtown Boise.

Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. He co-hosts “The Other Studio” at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds

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