Michael Deeds: Summer bummers: No Crux (?), beer fest, soul food

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comApril 25, 2014 

Michael Deeds

Not to get all quasi-philosophical, but having to be Debbie Downer is a bummer. Still, someone has to report bad news. So be warned: This column might elicit a groan. (Yes, more than other weeks' columns, wiseguy.)

• The future is unclear for all-ages Boise coffeehouse The Crux, 1022 W. Main St.

Legal proceedings were launched last week by the building's California owner, which could result in eviction. The Crux, which opened in 2012, is significantly behind in rent, according to local building manager Pro Properties.

Stephen Lord, The Crux's attorney, disagrees: "My view is that The Crux does not owe rent," he says, "and we intend to litigate fully on that matter. ... The Crux is not going anywhere, at least not from my perspective as The Crux's lawyer."

The demise of The Crux would disappoint teenage AND adult music fans, who have witnessed lots of cool music in the intimate room. Promoter Duck Club Presents (the folks behind Treefort Music Fest) have lined up a couple of acts at The Crux that created a buzz at prior Treeforts: Perfect Pussy on May 21 and EMA on June 23.

With the two sides locking horns, it seems likely that The Crux still will be around for those gigs.

But what about long term?

• Crack a 40-ouncer and pour one on the ground for your homie. The Treasure Valley's annual summer brew festival is dead for now.

Barley Bros. Traveling Beer Show organizer Rick Boyd says his event will take this year off. After butting heads with Boise park officials, he had relocated his keg party from Ann Morrison Park to Julius M. Kleiner Park in 2012. Last summer, attendance was not great.

"There have been several other beer festivals mentioned as possible events for the next season, and we want to see how they do and where they end up holding them," Boyd explains. "... After two years in Meridian, we've had to come to terms with the fact that unless a beer event is in the Downtown (Boise) core, you just won't get the turnout needed to make an event work."

Boyd adds that Idaho State Police "reinterpreted a couple of laws that make it much more difficult and expensive to hold an event of this kind." Sheesh, come on, po-po!

• Last spring, we found out that the Soul Food Extravaganza in Julia Davis Park was mired in money problems and calling it quits after two decades. A few months later, a press release from the Treasure Valley chapter of the NAACP indicated that it would return this summer.

False alarm.

"No Soul Food this year again," says Rich Williams, who headed the Soul Food Extravaganza for a decade before exiting a few years ago. "I've heard from a few people who are interested in resurrecting it, but I'm not hopeful."

• By this time in 2013, five concerts had been announced for the Idaho Botanical Garden's annual Outlaw Field Summer Concert series. Only three have been announced so far this year.

Swell. Are we looking at fewer summer shows at the Garden?

Nope. Promoter Knitting Factory Entertainment still expects to put on the same number of Outlaw Field shows as last year - eight or so.

That's good news.

Knitting Factory also plans to offer more gigs this summer in its Downtown Boise concert club than it did last year. More good news.

Let's finish this column on a positive note:

• Boise has a new event center: AEN Playhouse, 8001 Fairview Ave. (near Shopko), offers a variety of entertainment ranging from dueling pianos to dinner theater, magic and beyond. Visit aenplayhouse.com for details and an events calendar.

• Roadkill Ghost Choir, a Florida band that got me stoked at this year's Treefort, will return to Boise for a show Saturday, July 19, at Neurolux. Their sound? Think My Morning Jacket meets Kurt Cobain.

• Comedian Hannibal Buress has been selling lots of tickets to his shows at Liquid Laughs - but the dates have changed to May 16-17.

• Boise jazz singer Curtis Stigers' perky 11th studio album, "Hooray for Love," arrives Tuesday, April 29.

"Going into this record, I was falling in love, and that's a good record to make," Stigers explains in a cheerful promotional video.

Romantic as that might be, ladies, Stigers probably can't top 2012's fantastic, nuanced "Let's Go Out Tonight," the best of his career.

Sincerely, Downer Deeds.

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