A guide to some live music around Missoula in the coming week.
A Night with Rusty Cleaverz
(Friday, Jan. 24–Saturday, Jan. 25)
Well, here’s something new: a hip-hop musical, put on by one of Missoula’s stand-up comedy regulars, Kyle McAfee. The show’s plot is as crazy as they come — the title character is a 2,000-year-old space god, for one. He also has a brother/cousin(?) Justin Beeverz, is friendly with a purple demon named Steve, and, to tie it all together, there’s DJ Ashton Kutcher. It probably should have been clear from the get-go that this is the natural direction for Missoula’s hip-hop scene to take.
McAfee is performing two nights of this awesome nonsense, so no excuses. Plus, Chris Sandman the Rappin’ Cowboy opens.
Show at the ZACC Show Room in downtown. Doors at 7 p.m. and opener at 7:30. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
The Fertile Crescent
(Friday, Jan. 24)
Here they are again leading off the Entertainer live music roundup. After a few months off, Missoula’s largest (as far as I know) funk band is back in a big way to crowd the stage, this time at the Top Hat. It is a little harder to jump into the crowd there, but bet they find a way.
Check out an interview with the band in this week’s Entertainer.
Show at 10:15 p.m. Free admission. Ages 21 and up.
Night Witch, The Osprey, and others
(Saturday, Jan. 25)
Leave it to the VFW to book a show with a hip-hop group, a power metal band, an emo band and a folk/country group. Just a little flight of Missoula’s music scene please, in order from lightest to heaviest.
Night Witch are the power metal part of this equation, and Mido Skip (featuring Ethan Uhl of Go Hibiki) bring emo guitar vibes.
Cory Fay and the Good Goddamn better get their elbows out here — Fay’s poppy folk is catchy and upbeat, and swings from piano ditties to math-rock blitzes.
The Osprey, finally, are a hip-hop group who appeared quickly after the local minor-league baseball team changed their name to something ridiculous that I’ve already forgotten. RIP the Osprey. Long Live the Osprey.
Music starts at 9 p.m. at the Ole Beck VFW Post 209. Free admission. Ages 21 and up.
Matt Wilson: Honey and Salt
(Saturday, Jan. 25)
Famed jazz drummer Matt Wilson will play a unique show at the Downtown Dance Collective Saturday, courtesy of the UM School of Music.
Wilson won the 2018 Musician of the Year award, given out the Jazz Journalists Association (If Entertainer Editor Cory Walsh isn’t a member, he should be) and the 2018 Album of the Year award for “Honey and Salt,” a record inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg.
His five-piece group will perform selections from that record, with pianist Dawn Clement singing. On select poems, local residents will read Sandburg's lines. Jeff Lederer will play reeds, Martin Wind is on bass and Nadje Noordhuis is on trumpet.
Look for an interview with Wilson in this week’s Entertainer.
Shows at the Downtown Dance Collective at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $18 for students and $28 for everyone else.
Missoula Jazz Collective
(Tuesday, Jan. 28)
This trio, featuring Rob Tapper on trombone, Jeff Troxel on guitar and Tom Sciple on bass, has had a regular gig at the new Second Set Bistro for a few months now.
The restaurant, which opened in the old Red Bird space last fall, is owned by music fans Matt and Maddie Schneider (they list the Grateful Dead’s and Phish’s visits to Missoula as reasons for moving here from Cooke City). Maybe they’ll take over the Phish/Grateful Dead themed happy hours from the Top Hat?
The Missoula Jazz Collective will play every Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. at Second Set Bistro, located in the lobby of the Florence Building.