When I moved from Montana to Boise in 1994, I knew a little bit about the Boise music scene, but just a little. In high school I had seen The Dirt Fishermen play with Portland's Dharma Bums at the University of Idaho and thought they were cool. One of the two women in the band, KT, came out and talked with me and my friends (we "snuck" into the college show after driving from nearby Lewiston). Later, I was attending community college in Montana and a high school pal sent me some tracks from Built to Spill's Ultimate Alternative Wavers - I immediately sought out the full record and it became an instant favorite. When it came time to transfer to a proper four year college, BSU ended up on the short-list and I decided that Boise must be a cool place based on the music I had heard... and I didn't have any friends or family there so it seemed like an interesting adventure. That summer, my brother I listened to Built to Spill 45's, the first Halo Benders record and Treepeople albums (my brother was already a big fan of theirs).
When I finally got to Boise, I discovered the Record Exchange downtown. One of my first purchases was a compilation of local bands called Rotating Tongues, which I picked up for a short, but sweet Built to Spill track appropriately titled Shortcut. There was a great track by The Dirt Fishermen and bands that shared members with Built to Spill and Treepeople, like Caustic Resin, Butterfly Train, Splinter and Hive. Rotating Tongues also introduced me to the likes of el Dopamine, Graveltruck and Boneflower, bands who I'd get to know better through shows at The Crazy Horse and, later, Neurolux. Rotating Tongues has 20 bands in all, including 2C hip-hop artists M.C. Shake and Boise reigning metal band, Midline. I didn't like ALL of it, but I appreciated the breadth and diversity of the compilation and was thankful that "Executive Producer" Anneliessa Balk had put together such a great snapshot of the scene as it existed then. Over the years, other Boise compilations have come out, but for me, none of them hit the high-water mark set by Rotating Tongues.
Fast-forward to 2008. In the years since I first spun the Rotating Tongues disc, I've worked with some of the folks on the compilation, interviewed some of the bands for the college paper, wrote about others in my old zine, drank some beers with them, did some videos for a few of them and said goodbye to couple of friends who played in bands on the CD (R.I.P. Pat Brown and Andy Capps). A couple of the bands are still around and most of the musicians from the compilation have remained active members of the local music community. Anneliessa, now Anneliessa Balk Stimpert, runs the gallery/venue, Visual Arts Collective, with her husband Sam and this fall I gave her a call to see if I might help with any design projects. When she told me that they were doing a sequel to Rotating Tongues and asked if I'd be interested in doing design for the CD and some event posters, I jumped at the chance.
So here we are in 2009 and this February (the 20th and 21st, to be exact) 25 bands will descend upon VaC to unleash brand new songs, which will be recorded live and later will comprise Rotating Tongues:2. Much credit goes to Elijah Jensen, a local musician who brought the idea of doing a live compilation at VaC to Anneliessa and Sam. The new compilation will be a veritable who's who of southern Idaho music with some alumni from the original compilation performing with new bands as well as plenty of fresh blood. This time around, the line-up is a little more cohesive, but no less diverse. I'm honored to be involved and excited for the shows. I hope you all can come out and be a part of this special event. The event will benefit The Idaho Food bank and cover is only $7 or $5 with a prepackaged food item (if you pay the $7, $2 will go to the Idaho Food Bank). Oh yeah...the bands:
ATTN, Bonefish Sam, Central City Music Company, Craters of the Moon, Discoma, El Dopamine, Finn Riggins, Hillfolk Noir, How's Your Family?, Ian Waters, Juntura, Kris Doty, La Knots, Le Fleur, Low-fi, Magnetics, Mayerforceone, Netson Family, Nollifur, Pussy Gutt, Revolt Revolt, Tim Andreae, The Universal, The Very Most & With Child.