Crushing Rocks: Karli Fairbanks

With her lilting, angelic voice, notable crew of backing musicians, and steady schedule of local appearances, KARLI FAIRBANKS has long kept herself at the forefront of Spokane’s music scene. Perhaps it could have been predicted then, but nonetheless let it be said, Fairbanks is about to have a big 2009.

Regardless of whether or not you’re connected to local music, you’ve likely heard Fairbanks’ name. She’s released a record, played continuously, and toured more than any singer/songwriter in the region (she’s also organized for the past three years a collaborative Christmas music project amongst the leaders of the local pack, with fine results).

But as of this spring, that’s all in Fairbanks’ rearview mirror, with the reason being that her latest effort, a project she’s cultivated for the past year, is about to be released. That album is The Breaking of Our Days, and after a few run-throughs, it’s clear this is going to be the thing to take Fairbanks that extra step.

Fairbanks began recording the album in August of 2008 with Seattle musician KORY KRUCKENBERG (a native Spokanite too!), and considering that her last album, Bitter Blue, though great in its own right, never achieved this level of awesome, it’s easy to bestow serious credit upon the new partnership. As Fairbanks said, “I had ideas and dreams of what I wanted the songs to sound like, but I had no idea how to make it happen, and Kory brought the songs from tiny little ideas to awesome sounding full band arrangements.” Kruckenberg is equally eager to share the credit, commenting via email, “Karli is young, but her youth doesn’t keep her from writing really great songs or being able to sing with emotion and stir up emotion in listeners.” And listeners, get ready.

Fairbanks will celebrate the release of her recorded triumph (and she’s also responsible for the gorgeous artwork!) on APRIL 8 AT THE BING CROSBY THEATER, before heading out on the road for the month, winding back around to the Blvd on April 30 with SubPop’s Sera Cahoone.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s McCarthey Center will host DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE on April 24. As of press time tickets were still available, and can be purchased at all Ticketswest outlets for just $30 (or with Gonzaga ID, on campus for $20). Ben Gibbard’s current hairstyle aside (ahhhh!), and all that over-the-top swaying he does on stage (omg), and that freakin’ “just alright” album they recently released (ugh!), the Cutie always puts on a solid show and is, gulp, recommended.

But, okay… there’s also a KISS cover (er, “tribute,” right Mark Wahlberg?) band coming to town this month, which excites us a whole lot more (though it might NOT the Gonzaga crowd). They are called GODS OF THUNDER, and their cover of “Detroit Rock City” that plays on their MySpace could toooootally be some crappy bootleg from the Destroyer era itself. And a second-rate KISS fan I am not. I am, perhaps sadly, a HUGE KISS FAN. So, while the rumors swirl on that summer “reunion” tour, my fellow fans, you’d do fine to catch Gods of Thunder at the Knitting Factory on April 11. I cannot make any guarantees on the visual aspect (the Paul Stanley freaks me out a bit), but then again… I’m not sure the real deal is really packin’ in that department anymore (are they packin’ in the music department though either? Wait, don’t answer that…).

Last but not least, a quick 30th birthday shout to local promoter (and bff) PATRICK KENDRICK, who celebrates on April 4. He likes hugs.


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