Michael Deeds: Boise traditions: Local holiday CDs, ‘banned’ films

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comDecember 6, 2013 

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Featuring a mix of originals and covers, “Idaho Ho Ho” is a cool way to introduce yourself to a variety of Gem State acts.

Since appearing in 2010, Moxie Java’s annual “Idaho Ho Ho” Christmas CD has grown into one of the Treasure Valley’s most popular local stocking stuffers. Despite being released around Thanksgiving, it routinely finishes among the top-selling albums for the entire year at the Record Exchange.

This season will be no exception. With songs from Curtis Stigers, John Nemeth and Eilen Jewell, it’s anchored by three of Idaho’s most successful musicians.

Not only is the $15 disc a relatively inexpensive gift, you can feel good about opening your wallet. Proceeds go to the Idaho Foodbank, which will deliver thousands of meals to needy Treasure Valley families. That truly does rock.

Featuring a mix of originals and covers, “Idaho Ho Ho” is a cool way to introduce yourself to a variety of Gem State acts. The newest edition includes familiar Idaho favorites (Belinda Bowler, Ned Evett), newcomers (Edmond Dantes, Calico) and talented musicians who don’t always get the recognition they deserve (Kayleigh Jack, Reilly Coyote.)

Tim Johnstone, program director at 94.9 FM The River, helped produce this year’s 12-track compilation. He thinks it’s the series’ most consistent collection yet.

It remains to be seen whether any of the originals on this year’s CD will become a local holiday staple — but it’s possible. Todd Sloan’s “Winter Wheat,” part of the 2011 “Idaho Ho Ho” album, is “one of the most well-received Christmas songs that we play on the station,” Johnstone said.

You can pick up a copy of the latest “Idaho Ho Ho” disc at your nearest Moxie Java or at the Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St., Boise.

ENTERTAINMENT NOTES

• After the media drama, hand wringing and claims that it wouldn’t open in Idaho anytime soon, NC-17 movie “Blue is the Warmest Color” will begin a run at Edwards 9 Cinemas in Downtown Boise today.

Sorry, Variety and The Holiday Reporter. No story here after all, except that The Flicks multiplex in Boise chooses alcohol sales over cinematic freedom. And that’s not new news.

This movie — a French “lesbian coming-of-age drama” — is the sort of art-house fodder that normally appears at The Flicks. But that theater does not book films rated NC-17. Why? Because The Flicks sells beer and wine. Idaho statute prohibits businesses that serve alcohol from showing films with sexually related material, or pretty much any view of Homo sapien naughty bits. In reality, many R-rated movies probably violate our prudish state code. But I’m guessing that The Flicks won’t draw attention from Idaho State Police unless it flaunts an NC-17 movie.

Yes, Idaho statute is outdated and ridiculous. (“If the characters had been ... beating or blowing each other up, instead of loving each other, there wouldn’t have been a problem,” noted a commenter on my blog.)

But the new, booze-slinging Village Cinema in Meridian is in the same boat as The Flicks. (No watching “Blue is the Warmest Color” in vibrating D-Box seats? Aaaaaaaw.)

Nobody is forcing Idaho movie theaters to sell alcohol. Edwards Cinemas is not handcuffed by the restriction. After The Flicks steered clear of NC-17 movie “Shame” a couple of years ago — drawing media attention then, too — Edwards 9 went ahead and booked it.

Funny as it sounds, Edwards 9 has a good argument that it’s the edgiest movie house in town. Unfortunately, its patrons will never drink to that.

• Treefort Music Fest — happening March 20-23 in Downtown Boise — has revealed its first wave of bands. None of the news was earth shattering, but Welsh alt-rock trio The Joy Formidable is certainly notable. Either way, the announcement is a reminder of fun to come. Check out Treefort’s new video on my blog.

© 2013 Idaho Statesman

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.

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