Michael Deeds: Alive After Five, Pixies gear up for returns

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comMay 2, 2014 

Michael Deeds

The calendar says May, but the temperature says June, so let's crank up the fountain in The Grove plaza of our minds.

Alive After Five, the free Wednesday music series, kicks off June 4. The Downtown Boise Association just released its headlining music schedule:

• June 4, Coastwest Unrest; June 11, Shook Twins; June 18, Greyhounds; June 25, Girls Guns and Glory; July 2, Big Monti; July 9, Eric Hutchinson; July 16, Royal Southern Brotherhood; July 23, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas; July 30, Brothers Comatose; Aug. 6, Too Slim and the Taildraggers; Aug. 13, Carolyn Wonderland; Aug. 20, Shinyribs; Aug. 27, not booked yet.

Scratching your head is a yearly ritual when analyzing Alive After Five, which mixes road veterans with up-and-comers. There are several acts you probably haven't heard of. And, no, this year's lineup doesn't have a name with obvious wow appeal such as Black Joe Lewis (2012) or even The Budos Band (2010).

But it's solid. There is potential.

Season-opener Coastwest Unrest, a string-fueled Las Vegas indie-rock trio, just played at Treefort Music Fest - including at the Record Exchange. "We love this band," Record Exchange marketing guru Chad Dryden says. Not coincidentally, the Record Exchange advised the DBA on booking its bands.

Country Weekly magazine recently plugged Girls Guns and Glory. That's a good sign.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - which includes Gregg Allman's son, Devon, and singer-percussionist Cyril Neville - has a solid bloodline for Southern-rock fans.

Detroit-based Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, who describe themselves as "dark soul" and "gothic pop," piqued the interest of Record Exchange owner Michael Bunnell. "That's going to be one of the sleepers that we hope people are going to come down to see and hopefully fall in love with," Dryden says.

Too Slim and the Taildraggers will draw the blues crowd.

And Shinyribs? That's a side project from frontman Kevin "Shinyribs" Russell of high-energy Austin, Texas, band The Gourds. They tore the roof off Alive After Five a couple of times. Russell even wrote a letter to the editor in the Idaho Statesman in 2008, thanking Boise for the fun.

This year, Alive After Five's stage will be moved west because of construction from the Gardner Co. and Clearwater Analytics. (Which, naturally, will be Alive After Five sponsors, right? Wrong-o.) But the event will remain in The Grove plaza.

As for future years? DBA executive director Karen Sander says it's too early to predict, but the soon-to-come Clearwater Building might actually push Alive After Five to a new location - say, Jack's Urban Meeting Place. That could be awesome.

"Options are always good," Sander acknowledges.

PIXIES TO RETURN TO BOISE

When the Pixies reunited and performed in Boise a decade ago, the response was not unlike teenage girls collapsing at a Beatles concert. Tickets sold out in a minute, then fetched up to $200 on eBay. Counterfeits materialized, and dozens of disappointed fans - some who had traveled from other states - showed up with obvious fakes at The Big Easy (now Knitting Factory). They listened from outside.

Ten years later, a return Pixies visit doesn't feel quite as earth-shattering (or chaotic). Still, it's big news that the influential alternative rock band will gig Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Revolution Center in Garden City.

With a new album (review page 16) and fresh bassist (sadly, Kim Deal is history), Black Francis and crew are ready to rock us again. Tickets go on sale May 9 at Ticketfly for $39.50, $69.50 VIP.

MORE LIVE MUSIC NOTES

• San Diego vibe-rockers Pepper and reggae outfit The Dirty Heads will play a co-headlining set with opener AER on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the RevCenter. Tickets ($25/$55, Ticketfly) go on sale May 9.

• Sweat-inducing Brooklyn rock band The Hold Steady returns to the Knitting Factory on Tuesday, July 15. Tickets ($17.50/$30, TicketWeb) go on sale May 2. That's a must-see.

• Bluesy singer-guitarist Matthew Curry floored a packed Sapphire Room on April 24. Smiling at his band, who grinned back knowingly, the 18-year-old was flat-out frightening. He has the raw talent to become another Joe Bonamassa. (I shot video and put it on my blog.)

Michael Deeds' column runs Fridays in Scene. He co-hosts "The Other Studio" at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.

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