Monday, April 6, 2020

A Big Concert Postponement, New Facebook Live-Streamed Concerts, And A New Original Song!!

Another new news post is here to check out on this Monday morning, and it includes a prolific local musician's newest track, a couple of new hour-long Facebook live-streamed concert sets, and leading off, long awaited clarification of the last April concert we had in our concert calendars. With all of that said, here's what you should know!

The last domino has finally fallen for this month's local hard rock/punk concert calendar, as the First Jason-headlined show at The Canadian Nightclub has been postponed from Sunday, April 26th to Sunday, September 27th. The announcement was made on Vintage Games 'N Junque's Facebook page last night, due to their owners' promotional involvement via Steel City Events, who were to have also put on the cancelled Steel City Nostalgia Fair at month's end, where First Jason frontman Ari Lehman would have been the guest of honour. You can probably guess why it was postponed, alas. It is not immediately clear if a rescheduled Nostalgia Fair will take place that weekend too, but organizers had previously hinted on Facebook that they were "working on a little something different for September". In any event, the big change aside from the new concert date is that there will now be a pre-concert meet & greet at 6:00 PM, so if you want to meet the first Jason (Voorhees) without a VIP package, there you go!

The Facebook event page has not yet been updated with the new date, but if anything changes regarding admission, the meet & greet, or the openers, we'll let you know. It's great to get some clarity as to this highly anticipated concert, and while there are still questions to answer, hopefully things are much calmer re: COVID-19 in 5 months time! Before we move on, check out this video from Vintage Games 'N Junque's Facebook page where Ari himself hypes up the new Soo date! Short but sweet promotion once again, so give it a look below, and fingers crossed everything works out!

Next up, here's a new live-streamed Facebook concert video from local/Thompson, Manitoba alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith! Entitled "#LockdownLive", he first teased it on Saturday with this short video plugging it (citing boredom from being locked down & off work for why he's doing one of his own), and the main event streamed on his Facebook page yesterday evening. Running for just over an hour, Mike's songs in order include "The Nature of the Times", "Communique", the new-to-Facebook "Back Away Slowly", The Din's "Missing", "MorningStar" (which may be his next formal single), "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device", a cover of The Foo Fighters' "Times Like These", "The Best You Never Had", and "Out Of My League". The video also features some updates, including that Mike's planned CD release concert at LopLops on May 15th is "probably not going to happen at this point", and a rescheduled date would be sought, but the album proper will still be released on schedule next month.

For the record, I am leaving the release party in our concert calendar until it is officially called off by Mike or the provincial government, but things aren't looking great for it. It's clear Mike is relatively new to the live-stream arena, but it adds an authenticity to the proceedings, and his vocal and guitar ability is still as clear as day in these acoustic performances, including four songs from the new album! However, I too was hoping to see his cats. Stay tuned for more on the CD, it's release party, and perhaps future live-streams, but here's #LockdownLive to watch for yourself!

Also, here's another recent Facebook live-stream concert, this time from Rising Tide/Barn Board Trio guitarist Liam Seymour, who performed this live on his personal Facebook page yesterday afternoon, with his label Tidal Records publically sharing it on their Facebook page after the fact. Compared to many of the covers-heavy live-streams to pop up as of late, this one is full of covers you wouldn't expect, and even a few Barn Board Trio tunes, so what does Liam have to offer in this hour+ video? In performance order, he tackles Ace's "How Long", David Wilcox's "Downtown Came Uptown", The Barn Board Trio's own "Broken Footed Brewer", Dada's "If Tears Were Balloons" & "The Ballad of Earl Grey and Chamomile", Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?", and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Call Me The Breeze", before changing guitars for his covers of The Black Crowes' "Hard To Handle" (or by Otis Redding if you prefer), Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me", ...

....The Barn Board Trio's "This Big City", "Till I Get Back Home", and their not-yet-released "Run From Home", Free's "All Right Now", and Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed". Liam's been a familiar and talented sight locally for years, and while much of his recent band work has diverted from his old high school cover videos when he had longer hair, he has developed his talents and range really nicely, and his singing effortlessly fits whatever he's playing! Liam did tease a drumming stream of some kind as well, but for now, give his vocal/guitar performance a watch below!

We'll close today with a new solo original song from local hard rock musician Tym Morrison's YouTube channel, entitled "Number of the Beast"! No, this is not a cover of the Iron Maiden classic, this is firmly in line with Tym's current Christian beliefs, but it is still a metal tune. Interestingly using the same free trial program that The Isolation Sessions recently used, the song proper has a deliberate pace and serious tone, but it's well composed, and Tym gets some guitar solo time in there, so fans of his should definitely like this song! Give it a listen below, and stay tuned for more updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for part 3 of our WLS0 9O.1 FM retrospective series next! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

More Facebook Videos From Solo Musicians & Familiar Bands!!

As we continue keeping the SMS updated regularly during the pandemic, here's another post devoted just to videos, starting with another live-streamed concert from Thursday, courtesy of Bone Yard/Bearded Lounge frontman Greg Simpson! This was streamed on his promotion company (Choose) Maxx Entertainment's Facebook page, and was shot in Greg's smoke room, nicely decked out in drum heads and posters from his prior events. Despite his current bands focusing on country covers, his acoustic set on Thursday was much more in line with his classic/hard rock work with Stiffer's Mom and That's Chester, so if you miss those bands, this video will have extra resonance. In performance order, Greg covered Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby McGee", Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite", Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", Black Label Society's "Spoke In The Wheel", Kid Rock's "All Summer Long", ...

...The Tragically Hip's "Fiddler's Green", Cinderella's "Shelter Me", Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", The 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up", The Hip's "Wheat Kings", Ray LaMontagne's "Jolene", The Band's "The Weight", and Mike Posner's "I Took A Pill In Ibiza". This live-stream seemed to go over well, as Greg is planning an encore for this Thursday night, and the video proper is a fun watch with lot of familiar and well done covers! Greg's rough-edged, to-the-point delivery and strong musical knowledge helps, and he has good rapport with his wife Kerry (off camera), so fans of Greg's prolific band work will definitely want to see this request-heavy set below!

Next up, here's a second acoustic solo performance by Northwest frontman Wayne Watkins, as uploaded to the band's Facebook page this morning, and it's a cover of "Sunshine Blues" by folk musician Bahamas. This song has extra personal meaning for Wayne, as he would rock his newborn daughters to sleep with it. As such, it's a departure from what you'd expect from Northwest, but this whole pandemic is a departure, let's be honest. Wayne puts solid emotion into this well played cover, so give it a look below!

Also today, here's a short new video from southern hard rock quintet Fort Creek's Facebook page last week, and while they'd be prepping for their formal concert debut on Friday in a sane world, we instead get a slow & ominous look at their studio, complete with eerie background music. The title even alludes to isolation making it feel like "a Walking Dead movie set." You do get an interesting look at their space here, and I hope they can get back to work there at some point soon, but give it a look below!

Finally for today, I might as well cover two short videos that I've been sitting on for way too long now, and with local hard rock & punk content naturally slowing down, this will help in that regard. Back in the summer of 2017, local alt-punk/genre-hating trio Handsome Sandwich posted two short non-musical videos on their Facebook page for humorous/teaser purposes, and I intentionally held off on covering them because I figured they would put up something more substantial, and I'd tie those two in with it then. Almost three years later, they have followed those videos with just three Facebook posts and zero new videos, and the 2 clips I mentioned have been sitting in my draft folders ever since, so let's finally give them their due. The June 2017 video is a 4 second clip of drummer Johnny Belanger showing how he practices drumming (spoiler: by rapidly whacking a cut of meat with a meat tenderizer.) Amusing sight gag, but it's over quick.

The other video from July 2017 runs for just 8 seconds, and it features Johnny dramatically whispering to the camera that "something is happening" while Jesse & James inspect gear in the background. Given the optics, was anything happening back then? Well, they did open for Vaultry at The Canadian the next night, but the video would seem to hint more towards a studio project. In any event, Handsome Sandwich updates became very sporadic for much of the late 2010s, including not posting on Facebook at all last year, so who knows how far the guys got into "something". Give these videos a look, at last, above & below, and stay tuned for updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site soon! Thanks veryone!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

New Facebook Performance Videos From Northwest Members & The Isolation Sessions!!

Today's post is devoted just to recent Facebook videos from familiar local musicians stuck at home, and we're leading off with 2/5ths of indie punk quintet Northwest in their own separate performances! First off, let's talk about this video of frontman Wayne Watkins covering Brown Brigade frontman Chuck Coles' solo song "Bottom of a Well", as posted to Northwest's Facebook page yesterday morning. I wasn't familiar with the song going in, but Wayne's raw and direct take is well performed, so fans will want to give this acoustic rendition a watch below!

Next up, many readers may be familiar with Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan's lengthy run as a solo musician and open mic night host, which largely diverts from his punk band work into a widely varied general playlist. Leading from that, Greg has teamed with Northern Superior Brewing Co. (where he has performed multiple times in their Taproom) to play a regular series of "Songs & A Six-Pack" live-streamed concerts that the brewery is sponsoring. Greg didn't specify what kind of schedule these will drop on, but the first one was streamed on Greg's Facebook page last night, and there are a few punk songs included! Running for 2 hours, Greg covered Raffi's "Baby Beluga", Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City", Bill Withers' "Lean On Me", Tom Petty's "Wildflowers", The Wonders' "That Thing You Do!", NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye", The Outfield's "Your Love", Spirit of the West's "Home For A Rest", Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down", The Band's "The Weight", ...

...The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood", Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark", NOFX's "Linoleum", Bob Dylan's "Changing of the Guards", Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line", Toto's "Africa", Radiohead's "Creep", Billy Joel's "She's Always A Woman", Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", Jack Johnson's "Better Together", Oasis' "Wonderwall", Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain", Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", The Tragically Hip's "Boots or Hearts", Jodi Benson's "Part of Your World", and Lagwagon's "Razor Burn". Sponsorship-wise, Greg does promote Northern Superior's selection of beer at certain points between songs, as well as off the top, and click here for details on the brewery's delivery services during the pandemic. Largely covering songs requested by fans and live viewers, Greg has a strong handle on a wide variety of covers, and his distinctively deep singing adds another dimension to the songs on offer!

Of course, it'd be nice to hear more punk tunes, but requests were a huge component, so if you want to influence the setlist in that regard, tune in next time Greg breaks out a "Songs & A Six-Pack" live-stream... maybe this coming Friday? Time will tell, but stream Greg's full set below!

Finally for today, here's a new video from new local acoustic hard rock project The Isolation Sessions, as uploaded to their Facebook page on Thursday! A cover of Fuel's "Bad Day", this audio-only cover had it's parts recorded separately by Jordan & Arthur due to social distancing, and they were combined in post (albeit with a free trial video program.) The guitar sounds a little distorted, but the cover is well done with solid vocal emotion, and it's great to see the guys adapting to the odd times! Give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Tym Morrison's Live-Streamed Twitch Concert, New Covers, And More Updates!!

Let's keep things rolling on the SMS to close another supposed work week, and we have some assorted shorter topics and surprise covers to check out today, but leading off, here's what you should know for an extended live-streamed concert set from a familiar (if shorter-haired) face!

With his regular weekly acoustic shows at Gliss and elsewhere still on hold until further notice, former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison is adapting to the times by resurrecting his Twitch page and beginning to play live-streamed concerts from home, with the first one being recorded on Tuesday! A Facebook event page for the Twitch streams implied that he was going to be doing this yesterday as well, but no such video is uploaded, though he also scheduled sets for streams next Tuesday & Thursday as well. Tuesday's stream is entitled "Live Guitar & Singing Of All Mightyness 7th Show" (even though there weren't six preceding shows), and it is embedded below to watch, but what is on offer? First off, ignore the near-3 hour running time, the "Starting Soon" screen and initial setup takes up the first 48 minutes, but fans will still get 2+ hours of Tym in action! In performance order, Tym covers Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" ...

...Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love", Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)", Night Ranger's "Sister Christian", Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle", Yes' "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", Cheap Trick's "The Flame", Phil Collins' "One More Night", A-ha's "Take On Me", a familiar sounding instrumental, Amanda Marshall's "Trust Me (This Is Love)", Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud", The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun", Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise", Tom Petty's "Yer So Bad", Richard Marx's "Hold On To The Nights", The Animals' "House Of The Rising Sun", The Travelling Wilburys' "Handle With Care", Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again", Chicago's "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", Kansas' "Dust In The Wind", Tesla's "Love Song", and Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven", before closing with his original ballad "Say That You Care". There's a lot to take in here, but Tym's vocal & guitar talents are on full display!

It's rare to see such an extensive lengthy video of his acoustic solo act, so savour this one, even if it leans more to classic rock than metal, and he performs to his usual standards! That said, the echo on his performance was very noticeable during breaks, and at times, the audible Facebook notification sounds on Tym's computer made me think that I had messages. Time will tell if he does this again on Tuesday as scheduled, but give Tym's 2+ hour live-streamed set from home a look below!

Next up, here's a pair of recent videos posted onto SooToday's YouTube channel (with accompanying articles linked here & here) featuring Rising Tide/Inner City Surfers frontman Dustin Jones and his daughter Jett covering some country classics at Mission Control Studios! Friends of Dustin's may recall seeing him post videos on his personal Facebook page where he and Jett sing together during this pandemic, but these two are publically shared, and they include a cover of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" and, as embedded below, Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere", which fans of Dustin's will recall him performing with both The Surfers and The Tide in the past, such as in this video. The new covers are cute and lively, and are definitely worth a watch if you've missed Dustin's bands on stage as of late! Give them a look above & below, and look for Dustin's son Jaycee in a late cameo during "I've Been Everywhere"!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual for these quicker items, these are in alphabetical order by band, show, or company name

  • In a bit of foreshadowing for a future installment of our WLSO 90.1 FM retrospective series, I have added an old show of theirs to our Other Sault Michigan Links Section, namely Classic Rock Nights With Gerard, which aired on Lake Superior State University's college radio station during the 2013-2014 school year on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM. Hosted by Gerard Guysky, their Facebook page still features a number of episode previews and even a couple of full playlists that heavily feature hard rock in them, so see more above, and look for part 3 of our WLSO series in the near future!
  • Sault Ontario punk/metal quintet Jack Spades' song "They Live" will be featured on independent Hamilton record label Lockdown Records' fourth punk rock compilation, which will be released on May 20th on their Bandcamp page! It will be on sale there for $10, and while the most familiar band on this compilation (from past local shows) are Broomfiller, many other name acts can be found on the preceding three compilations. Very solid exposure for the Spades crew, and see above for more details!
  • The Music City Sault Ste. Marie program is moving into it's next phase of municipal development in music and the arts, as per this SooToday article from earlier this week. Plans now include a music industry assessment survey, interviews with takeholders, and coordination of a task force to develop a future strategy regarding building the city's music and cultural sectors. There's a lot of technical details to take in, but things sound like they're well thought out and planned, so see above to dig into the Music City plans so far!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Where Are The New Albums? (April 2020 Update)

It's now time for this month's "Where Are The New Albums? post, as we continue our monthly look at the current release statuses and whereabouts of upcoming albums from Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, and punk artists! This month's installment has one removed CD (A Dire Setback's successfully released debut album), and the only entry with substantial updates has it's title in italics. Of course, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home order, that can very easily affect album recording sessions, so things may have been collectively slowed down in that regard, hence why there isn't a lot to add this month. Here's what you should know for this month!
The Bear Hunters - The Dead Testament

Rumoured Songs: "The Void", "The Omen", "Neckbreaker", "I Fear No God", "Servitude", "Transcend Judgement", "For Glory", "The Wrath Of Angmar", "The Dying Den", "The Dead Testament", "Deception" (bonus re-recording), "The Forest of Forests" (bonus track)

Background: In tentative planning since 2014 under this title, local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been playing songs intended for their second full length CD for a few years now, but only fully began recording sessions for "The Dead Testament" on October 2nd, 2015. Following a brief fundraising campaign and the gradual unveiling of song titles, the band has been working with producer Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios, and have shared sporadic updates on their Instagram page. Like on 2014's "Eternal Hibernation", rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney has recorded parts for the album despite living in Southern Ontario. The music video for "I Fear No God" was posted on YouTube in December 2018, marking the first public release of a song from the CD, while the final cover artwork and full track listing order were posted on their Facebook page in February 2019.

Current Release Status: The Bear Hunters haven't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, and they have not publically referenced the album on social media in over a year, but recording sessions are reportedly complete, and they have played live since then. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, and to go along with that, artwork and physical distribution plans are ongoing, as are "a ton of cool ideas for stepping our media game up." Keep an eye out for updates on "The Dead Testament" when and if they come in!
Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's fourth album

Rumoured Songs: "Lost & Found", "All Broke Down"

Background: After a lengthy hiatus dating back to the summer of 2016, local Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide resumed public activity in early 2018, later beginning recording sessions by that October at Dustin's own Mission Control Studios, as per their Facebook page. The band confirmed that they were indeed recording a fourth studio album (and first in 7 years) in January 2019, which will presumably be released through Tidal Records, and will also be their first album with second guitarist Liam Seymour and drummer Chris Johns. A 22 second teaser of the first single "Lost & Found" was posted on Facebook, and it's official music video was released in March, while "All Broke Down" was initially cited as the first single in December 2018 (source here.)

Current Release Status: When The Tide shared the above teaser clip, they mentioned that the album was "coming soon", which doesn't tell us much. With recording sessions a few months in, and it's intended song now out via the music video, it's likely that Dustin and company aren't early in the process, but we'll let you know when more comes out on their highly anticipated fourth album as we proceed in the new year!
The Elements' debut EP 

Rumoured Songs: "Liar", "G20", "Triple H", "The Rut", "I Need A Friend", "Riptide"

Background: Arguably better known for their funk, ska, and hard rock covers, local quartet The Elements have been adding original material to their sets since 2015, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations in early 2016 that they have been working in studio on the release, which will have at least 5 tracks, and I believe it's being self-recorded, but further public updates are minimal at best. A studio recording of "I Need A Friend" was quietly posted onto their Facebook page in February, following personal Facebook postings that revealed that EP sessions were further along than public statements indicated, though they have not elaborated since.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio. That said, these were largely personal conversations over a year ago, and it's anyone's guess when The Elements will provide a public statement corroborating the private teasers. I won't go into detail on that front unless the band does or gives permission, so we'll have to see if updates come out on it soon!
Mike Haggith - If Ever Comes The Day & Bridges

Rumoured Songs (A): "The Best You Never Had", "Communique", "If Only You Could Hear Me", "MorningStar, "2145"

Rumoured Songs (B): "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come on Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017 for work reasons, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced songwriting for a new CD named "Bridges", with updates taking place across 2018 and into early 2019. His Facebook page documented songwriting sessions and acoustic "home demo" videos of new original songs, plus solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring new tracks. Despite the unveiling of the cover artwork, three singles, and even a music video for "The Nature of The Times", Mike indefinitely postponed the release of "Bridges" late last year due to mixing delays, personal life concerns, and the quick development of a new album named "If Ever Comes The Day", which he now plans to release first. With that, he unveiled it's first single "Communique" on September 24th, with "The Best You Never Had" following afterward, and other hints towards songs also showing up on social media. Mike confirmed on Facebook last month that this album is finished recording.

Current Release Status: "If Ever Comes The Day" is slated to be released on May 15th on digital platforms, and pending the COVID-19 shutdowns, a CD release party at LopLops Lounge is planned for that night. Whether the show goes on or not, Mike has made it clear that the album will be released that day, so circle May 15th on your calendars! He previously confirmed that "Bridges" will still be released, and for an album with completed recording sessions, artwork, and single releases, you'd hope so, but it's clear that he is prioritizing the new CD at this time. With Mike's candor & honesty, you know he won't hide anything regarding these albums, so keep tabs for updates!
Pillory's second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Angst of Existence", "Sculptor of Cadavers", "Wasting", "Abhorred Apprehension", "The Passing", "Exhaustive Incarnation"

Background: After previously breaking up in mid-2014, local metal band Pillory returned as a trio in the fall of 2015, trading their thrash metal roots for a heavier death metal sound, complete with a completely overhauled setlist with no carried-over originals from their 2013 debut EP. In March 2017, Id Iota guitarist Dustin Goodall's recording studio Unsalted Audio revealed that they were in pre-production for Pillory's second album, with the band confirming that sessions were underway that summer. As of July 2017, drum tracks were complete, though it took until November 2018 for the band to confirm that guitar tracking was underway, with vocals & mixing to follow. It's not clear who will provide bass tracks on the final product, between ex-bassist Jordan Leach, his replacement Blair St. John, frontman Robert Sartini (who played bass on their first EP), or a combination therein.

Current Release Status: I have no idea, and it doesn't help that Pillory have only posted once on Facebook in the past 2½ years, though their new lineup returned from year-long hiatuses twice in that span for opening sets at Live705 death metal shows at The Rockstar Bar. That said, with their increasingly brutal and technical sound, hopefully they can get this album complete down the line!
The Sorrow Fields' debut album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: After a two year hiatus for his solo project (previously known as Animas, April Eyes, and By The Gods), local guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo project The Sorrow Fields resumed public activity in February 2018 via recording sessions at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, where his band The Bear Hunters also recorded their new CD. An actively maintained social media page for The Sorrow Fields has not followed suit, but Dustin did say that he was "stoked" by the guide tracks, and tracking was reportedly underway last January. Posts on Mitch's personal Facebook page have implied that the project's current form will be much softer than his death metal band work.

Current Release Status: With tracking reportedly underway, last year had to have been targeted once, but given that Mitch has kept all of his own promotion for this album on personal accounts, it's anyone's guess how fast this will come out (also, remember how Mitch's prior attempts at solo albums never saw their intended completion.) It'd be great to see both The Sorrow Fields' debut and "The Dead Testament" on sale this year, and hopefully things progress the right way for both in the coming months!
Treble Charger's sixth album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: While recording a brand new album was a common teaser in Treble Charger's post-reunion concerts in the mid-late 2010s, the local/Toronto indie punk icons only gave a firm public confirmation that they were indeed working on their sixth CD in this Sault Star article in September. The recording sessions reportedly began last spring, and as of the interview, four or five demos were recorded, though things were on hold at the time while they waited for studio at the Algoma Conservatory of Music (that frontman Greig Nori is managing) to finish construction before final recordings take place there. Guitarist Bill Priddle's Pointless bandmate Dustin Goodall will record bass tracks for the album, though it's not clear who will handle drums.

Current Release Status: I am not sure, but when the announcement is made regarding completion of the Algoma Conservatory studio, that may give a hint as to a timeline. Also, remember that Treble Charger do not have a regularly maintained social media account, so things may progress faster than public statements come out. In any event, Treble Charger will want to ensure that everything goes perfect for the album, so stay tuned!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, and hopefully the next installment on May 2nd will have more new information to share! Our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site in the near future! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Heavy Lies The Crown Video Showcase!! (Part 2)

Last month was our busiest month in post count since July 2017, which I hope is helping pass the time during the ongoing stay-at-home orders and self isolation, and fingers crossed, we'll have more good news to report in April! As such, we're kicking off this month with our second Heavy Lies The Crown video showcase, as we finally catch up with the St. Ignace, Michigan progressive metal band's rapid video uploads on their Facebook page over the the first third of the year! One of the most substantial remaining videos comes from this 71 minute long live-stream on February 19th, which features Ted, Nathan, and Danny in studio tracking new original material on the computer for their teased full length album, which fans will have seen similar videos of twice before. They don't have as much interaction with the camera here compared to prior live-streams, but it's almost just as well, given that it was filmed in the vertical camera angle AND sideways.

Not ideal, especially when the camera was visibly flipped to normal and back at the start! That said, the new music sound promising, and it'll be very interesting to hear how the full album sounds upon release! Just to remind concerned viewers, this was filmed last month, before widespread social distancing recommendations were made in Michigan. Give it a look below!

Next up, we have this live concert video of Heavy Lies The Crown from three days later, as also live-streamed on their Facebook page! This comes from their last show before Michigan's concert calendar ground to a halt, when they were the opening act at Eastpointe deathcore band Buried With Sincerity's farewell show at the Hot Rock Sports Bar in Warren (a half hour north of Detroit). Yes, another downstate concert, but it's worth noting that drummer Cale Krist lives in the Lower Peninsula too, which may be a factor in that regard. You get the last 18 minutes of their set here, plus 6 minutes of mingling and teardown at the end. It is cool to see H.L.T.C. in concert like this, and there are definitely familiar songs on offer, but the video quality leaves a lot to be desired. Not only are Brandon's vocals nearly inaudible, but the video was (again) uploaded sideways on the vertical angle. Adding to that, the camera was placed too high, so you only see Cale' hands, Ted's head, and the rest of the band from the shoulders up, at best.

I'm not trying to nitpick, but alas, I have to be honest, as the overall video quality isn't ideal, but fans in Warren definitely got the full experience! Who knows when we'll see Heavy Lies The Crown in concert again given what's going on in the world today, but the music more than holds up, so give this live stream a look below as well, and hopefully they're back on stage soon!

Heavy Lies The Crown's other Facebook videos posted since last month have been short teaser clips, often with a humorous slant, and Snapchat-style text captions were overlaid on a couple of them, like this 20 second video embedded below of "geeetttarist" Nathan Switzer tracking for one of their new songs. The caption tells you all you need to know regarding where the album was as of March 4th, and as of a text posting on their Facebook page 8 days later, the band revealed that they had finished recording instrument tracks for the album, with vocal tracking to begin next, as well as a planned series of "live session" videos. Unfortunately, social distancing and Michigan's stay-at-home order may have put a delay on all that, given the lack of updates on either in the past couple of weeks, but the guys are definitely over the hump for the recordings. Check out more videos & updates from their camp above and below!

We'll close today by moving over to Heavy Lies The Crown's brand new YouTube channel, whose first video went up last week, and it features the aforementioned Nathan Switzer playing "Knucklebutter" from their "Scatter Brain" EP. Of course, he joined the band after that EP was finished recording, so this gives us a look at how he would have factored on this song. The video is shot from multiple cameras, and Nathan definitely knows this song well, so fans will want to check out this proficient playthrough a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

WLSO 90.1 FM: A Look Back In The Wayback Machine, Part 2 (2001-2003)

It's now time for the second installment of our WLSO 90.1 FM retrospective posts, which kicked off this past Tuesday by looking at the station's Internet Archive remnants from the earliest possible date in 1997 through the year 2000. Today, we dive into the early 2000s in their last years before moving to their most familiar URL, and there's a lot of interesting surviving material from this era to look back on! Again, to set the mood, listen to Lake Superior State University's modern-day internet station Superior Radio while reading and exploring the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine links below.

We'll pick things back up with WLSO in 2001, with The Internet Archive logging six copies of the website that year, which you can check out at this link. The big front page news that year related to the station broadcasting live at Lake State's end of the year luau and that summer's Soo Locks Festival. While still managed by Bill Dawson, the station's genre directors had heavily changed compared to 2000, including new hires like Erik Isele (loud rock), Josh Palotti (punk/ska), and Lorin Kozlowski (alternative). Schedules for the spring, summer, and fall semesters that year are viewable at this link, carrying on the same layout as they had in late 2000. A lot of holes were present in terms of these archived schedules, but listeners that spring could hear Lorin host Fireball Music on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM, while Nick (no given last name) and Simon Moon hosted their own midnight punk blocks on Fridays and Saturdays each.

The previous year's metal show Brothers From Other Mothers returned over the summer semester, now hosted by Rustang & DJ Be Seedy, on Sundays at 8:00 PM. That fall, WLSO listeners could hear Erik Isele & Andy host a loud rock block on Fridays at 3:00 PM, while Andy & Robb co-hosted a punk/alt-rock block on Saturdays at 6:00 PM, and Josh Palotti manned a ska punk block on Sundays at 8:00 PM. Among non-heavy/punk shows, 90.1 FM fans could hear such DJs as B-X Rocket, Captain Moon Unit, DJ Spicy Chef, Kon Phusion, and The Tonemyster, while such creatively named shows as Stealthy Chicken Showcase, the possibly metal-focused Shredder's Eve, the returning Homemade Erratic Bear Bones, and What? (which aired "anything but Britney") also made the airwaves. As well, Frank Blissett's long-running Country Roads and Frank's Gay 90s Revue continued into this time period.

This article on WLSO's 2001-era site notes their then-criteria for prospective DJs, including how to sign up for a summer show, their 18+ age limit, priority selection for then-students, and even the dues on-air talent were expected to pay to maintain the station headquarters and events ($5 per semester with a show, though they were briefly $10.) As well, this link noted how you could air public service announcements on WLSO, as part of their FCC licensing. The 2001-era website is the only one to feature surviving photos of WLSO's Brady Hall station headquarters via this link, and while not all work, you do get a decent look at the offices for DJs at the time. Unfortunately, archives of WLSO's 1999-2002 website layout indicate that it didn't receive nearly the same amount of updates and and attention by 2002, with schedule archives not showing any listings, and no affiliated events listed after that February.

Circa November 2002 (and as first archived that December), LSSU's website received a heavy overhaul that only survived until around September 2003, though time has not been kind to it, as the barren white front page would indicate. In the 2002-2003 school year, the station's manager was Hollie Arman, while Kate Andary took over as the punk/ska genre manager. One major disappointment of WLSO's website that year was the station's schedule, which only listed blocks by the DJ's first name (Frank Blissett's programs aside), so hopefully listeners knew who was airing what! The most interesting website additions at this time were their automation charts (viewable here below "Music Department"), which list the most played songs on WLSO during three weeks in the fall of 2002, and which were not visibly updated in 2003. The charts are only listed by title with some exceptions, but if you look them up, you can see that such diverse acts as D.O.A., The Charlie Parker Trio, and Avril Lavigne got heavy airplay then!

Updates were few and far between on WLSO's website from 2002-2003, despite the layout overhaul, but things would tick upward for the station's internet presence when they received their permanent and final URL,, but that's a story for next time. I hope you guys liked this second installment of our WLSO retrospective series, and this will return at some point soon when we start looking at WLSO in the mid-2000s, but stay tuned for more a new news post next! Thanks everyone!