Monday, February 28, 2011

Bellatrix--the Hottest Ticket in Town

Bellatrix is a collective project created by some of Zootown's brightest and most energetic artists. Previous editions have taken place in the Palace and the Top Hat. This version played at the Missoula Winery on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, 2011. Sold-out, standing room only crowds made the Missoula Winery the place to be for this event.

They were rewarded with spectacular aerial feats,


dancing women,

singers, songwriters, musical numbers, beautiful women, beautiful drag queens,

sword fighting,

and more magical, mystical action. Yes, indeed, this was the place to see and be seen.

All too soon, it was over, and the participants were called to accept their kudos. The smiling lady below, who is also the fiery woman at the top, earned high praise as a guiding light for the spectacular show.

PS: Much more of this show on flickr.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Black Mountain Moan @the Hat




Black Mountain Moan is Artist of the Month at the Top Hat for February, 2011. Zak and Jeff performed as a blues duo the first Thursday, and Vic joined them for later performances, bringing the blues ensemble to full strength. Vic and Jeff are old hands with this genre, while Zak is a young scholar of the blues sound. Fans of the blues will find much to like with this group, as they wind up their month run at the Top Hat on Thursday, February 24.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Butter--January Artist of the Month at the Top Hat

Butter was the featured Artist of the Month at the Top Hat, during January. Fans will immediately recognize the trio above, Bethany, Lisena and Hermina, but the image below might confuse them.

Was Lisena going to abandon her keyboard and move to bass, replacing Maria, who had departed for Spain? No, it was just a sound check, and Ms Brown was soon back at her familiar instrument, and the young gentleman below filled the void.

Burke Jam 

Jesse Netzloff on guitar and Martin McCain on drums

Bethany Joyce, Lisena Brown and Hermina Harold

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dodgy Mountain Men Torch the Palace

The Dodgy Mountain Men are a bluegrass outfit with a tabla player providing the percussion. That certainly isn't a standard band formation, but this fun loving group makes it work. On Saturday, January 29, 2011, they launched into a free-wheeling set, which ignited the crowd, which fed the band, which led to one of those energy tornadoes which lift venues right off the ground. When it was over, many participants had to drink considerable amounts in order to recover.

There's a set on flickr with more shots of these guys, and a set for Voodoo Horseshoes who released their CD, Flight of the Platypus, at this event.  Horseshoes also turned in a rip-snorting set on this night.

I  bring this up now, because the Dodgy Mountain Men will be playing the Badlander's Live and Local evening on Tuesday, February 15, tomorrow, as I write this. Peoples is also on the bill.

Since the Badlander music will start at the usual late hour, one could easily enjoy the open mike program at Brooks and Browns (in the Holiday Inn at the river end of Pattee St), 7-10pm Tuesday, and then cruise to the Badlander for even more good home-made music.

Voodoo Horseshoes

Saturday, February 12, 2011

First Friday--Feb, 2011

Wolf Redboy @the Break

Wolf Redboy has consistently produced some of the most original music in Zootown. On First Friday, he brought his newest music and songs to the Break. He also had some new players with him.

Nate Biehl


Louie Bond was on sound and waiting in the wings for the right number to join in. Previous commitments took me elsewhere, and I'm wondering when we will see more of this combo.

Family Friday and DIY @the Hat

Ello played a tight, rocking set for the early 6-8 show at the Top Hat. 

The Top Hat has family friendly hours every Thursday and Friday, 6-8pm. Kids are welcome and sometimes take over the dance floor and the pool tables. Thursday performers rotate on a monthly basis, while Friday nights are  individually booked. I'll be covering more of this soon, and catching up a bunch. I have images of Stellarondo and Butter, previous monthly artists, as well as the current group Black Mountain Moan. 

DIY is a First Friday arts and crafts fair. On this night, February 4, 2011, Jason was creating a new painting, and the place was full of beautiful homemade crafts and beautiful craft persons.

Ax Raccoons @the Palace

Madison Schroeder leaped back into the Palace action with her latest band, Ax Raccoons. 

Yes, Mary is back from Minneapolis. She played in previous bands with Madison, and also with Thomas Pendarvis.

Each of these events has its own set over on the flickr archive, with these and more images captured on Friday, February 4, 2011.

When I was young, old folks sometimes described down times as "being under the weather." Since I've loved the weather in all it's diversity this winter, I don't want to use that phrase. I have, however, not been firing on all cylinders for a few months. It is time to start moving again. I have a ton of photos to review and so much more to say about the Zootown scene. 

Go Comics is a large alphabetized listing of comics; Arcamax is a smaller listing, but has some not on the other list. I put those links up in the right column. I recommend starting every day with a few laughs. Laughter really is the best medicine, and music is a close second. Therefore, I also recommend getting out to a local venue to support your favorite band, or to check out a new band, and to support Zootown health and happiness.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Have I been hibernating long? Every waking is a fresh start.

Where to start?
Start where you are.
Where am I?

Foyan said, "Observe your current state. How did it come to be? Why are you confused?"

Could we change the subject, please? I want to talk about cookies, chocolate chip cookies to be precise. The cookies have to be chewy, of course, not crunchy. Peanut butter, however, has to be crunchy, not creamy. What were we talking about?


...dormant...buried under the snow, waiting for spring...

Wake up!
No, pull the blankets up. Refuse to move.
Not now.


OK. Only one chocolate chip cookie a day, instead of a bagful.

Coming soon some new stuff. I apologize for the long interlude. Quite frankly, I haven't felt like doing much for a few months. Maybe some of you share the feeling. I'm cranking my motor and starting to move again. There's some new stuff on flickr, already.

I put the comics links back up on the right side of this page under people and things I like. How can the day start without Lio and Nonsequitor?