The venue for the festival was The El Korah Shriner Hall (entertainment unto itself with a kick ass grotto-bar, prop room and fully costumed group portraits). Attendance was better than past years (it was free), but slim at times and there was the feeling that most of Boise had no idea or care that this was going on. However, the audience was polite, attentive and given what must have seemed like pretty confusing music to the majority, appreciative.We attempted some guerilla promotion tactics during an outlandish visit to the 8th street pedestrian, which was mostly met with polite smiles and the occasional offer to stop by the festival. During the promotion blitz, we were approached by a photographer for Boisestyle.com – perhaps attracted by our thrift store furry puppet accessories (that he chose a picture of just me & my monkey over one of myself, the monkey, Valerie and her Wooly Mammoth puppet is baffling).
Boise is a vanilla kind of place. It’s pretty small and it doesn’t take long to walk back and forth across the downtown and we did so several times – not much else to do. We stopped in for pizza and beer at our favorite joint and discovered the salvation of the saturday late-night streetcart shawarma guy (doing our best to safely run the gauntlet of staggering frat-party drunks filling the sidewalk).All together an odd setting for such music. So how is it we end up back here in this high desert potato town playing crazy-ass improv and experimental music year after year? One: the performers. Many of the same players who made last year a highlight were there and it’s fun to hang out with them. Two: Kris Hartung & Jeff Kaiser . Kris is the guy who has made great efforts to put together the Creative and Improvised Music festival for four years running and Jeff has been responsible for curating and raising the level of talent. Bravo, guys.