Crushing Rocks: Old Stars & Empyrean Benefit

So, man, oh man, Barbra Streisand took the number one spot on the Billboard 200, beating out the debuts of Paramore, AFI, Miranda Lambert, Alice in Chains, a Madonna greatest hits collection and, most notably, a much-publicized and allegedly-reignited Mariah Carey! It’s true Ms. Streisand is no stranger to the top of the charts, but daaaaang! Never forget the power of a legacy.

I’m just returning from a trip to Arizona as I write this, five days in the company of my wonderful Nana, Anna Mae. We spent nearly every day sharing stories, reliving memories both sad and heartwarming, and reminding each other just how important time like that is. The trip came on the heels of a summer in which I had decided to prioritize myself better—less business, more reflection. Lo and behold, my musical tastes have managed to inadvertently shift alongside my priorities.

Along with a bevy of new CDs (I’ve purchased more in the last 3 months than in the entire year prior), I’ve been picking up collections from Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton, and these are the ones that seem constantly in rotation, the ones that never make it back into the case after I play them, the ones that are strewn about all over the apartment. I’ve lately become much more fascinated with the staying power of the older acts than the toss-away-ability (I invented that word, yes) of the young ones. What’s really great about the classic folks is that, not only are a WHOLE LOT of them still writing, recording and touring (with skill—take that, Grace Slick!), they’re also likely part of a dying breed of something like a superstar, which I’ve decided now to embrace and enjoy while it lasts. Because think about it: an album of jazz standards by a 67-year-old with a QVC promotional push had the number one chart position. That speaks volumes of who is still buying music in physical form…

As we venture into the holiday season, a time of giving and remembering just how lovely the world can be, PLATFORM BOOKING has a couple of November events worth checking out. On November 7, the local promoter teams with and Broham Entertainment for what they’re describing as a Coat/Vitamins/Underwear/Socks drive at Caterina Winery. Aside from the great cause, the night features amazing local talent, with performances by acts like Space Age Fur, Kim Wescott, Matthew Winters, Kevin Long and more.

The next week on November 13, Caterina will play host to a benefit show for EMPYREAN COFFEEHOUSE, with participating musical support still to be announced. Empyrean, a powerful force in local music and a venue that consistently brings superb talent to town, has, as many of you are likely aware, been struggling in the wake of the soon-to-be-enforced sprinkler law, and hoping to stay open, but can likely only do so with support from the community. What is really fantastic about a music scene the size of Spokane’s is that you’re able to rally when you need to, and this is the time to do it. Empyrean’s role is well-established and totally crucial, and you’ll be hurtin’ if you lose it! Hop to it!

Out of town favorites like SHIM (November 7) and THE PHARMACY (November 16) round out the month, which also sees the release of local mainstay LA CHA-CHA’S new album, Blueprint for a Bank Heist, at the Blvd. on November 28.

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