Tuesday, April 25, 2017

YouTube Channel Profile Series: FRANKIE BANALI & Amanda Brown

With a slow news patch and a forecasted quiet concert weekend ahead, I expect to do some condensing this week, so let's keep the site active with this month's YouTube Channel Profiles a day early! Our monthly spotlight of 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels with at least 50% local metal, hard rock, and/or punk content has taken us to two channels this month, including one unfortunate video hyping a show that didn't happen, but more still from a unique local band who we haven't seen nearly enough of on stage. Here's what you need to know!
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FRANKIE BANALI (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBO9pKFVZd0rB-EtNqiwwbg)

Owner: Unknown (the channel is named for Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali, but I don't think he'd launch a YouTube channel solely to advertise a single concert.)

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 29th, 2013; Only video uploaded on March 13th, 2017

Channel Summary: Posted two weeks out from their planned headlining concert at The Machine Shop on March 30th, this short video features Frankie Banali hyping up Quiet Riot's intended local return show, as well as noting that tickets were selling fast. This video felt slightly rushed, but it was solid promotion for this show, straight from the metal legends' longest serving member! It's too bad that promoters CSA International indefinitely postponed the concert due to "reasons beyond our control", and it's not clear if the show will ever be re-booked, so keep that in mind when viewing this clip. Also, this channel has not been publically used otherwise.


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Amanda Brown (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBO9pKFVZd0rB-EtNqiwwbg)

Owner: Noochin' Lanterns drummer, Apocalypse Afterparty songwriter, and Smokin' Heroines co-founder Amanda Brown, a.k.a. Apocalypse Afterparty MPC sample player "z"

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 23rd, 2014; Videos posted from that August through December 2016

Channel Summary: Ostensibly a personal use channel, Amanda has devoted five of her six videos to early performances and songwriting by her band The Apocalypse Afterparty, though all of these videos precede the debut of "z" in their lineup. Her only other video is of her and boyfriend/bandmate Paul Stanghetta touring their new house this past December, and is not otherwise music related.

Why You Should Watch: You should give Amanda's channel a look primarily as a source for early footage of The Apocalypse Afterparty, before their public concert debut and expansion beyond two man sets, so if you're curious to see this elusive band in action, this is a good spot! However, this channel doesn't feature any content from The Apocalypse Afterparty's public concerts or later quartet lineups, nor does it feature footage of The Noochin' Lanterns, though Amanda's last noticeable usage of her channel isn't that long ago, so newer videos could easily turn up.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

The Apocalypse Afterparty- The Crowd: Four of Amanda's five Apocalypse Afterparty videos come from their set at Six, Two, Oh.'s private concert festival Das Bunkerfest in Garden River back in August 2014, where The A.A.'s initial duo lineup were among the openers for The Archaics. Featuring founding singer/bassist "Z" & former drummer "X" (a.k.a. Paul Stanghetta & ex-Smeltzer bandmate Steve Mozarowski), they're seen here playing two untitled songs (linked here & here), as well as a cover of Lorde's "Glory & Gore" and, in Amanda's most popular video, a rendition of "The Crowd" from Paul's old band The Fury. Solid crowd reception here for this masked twosome, complete with a British accent & a dress, and these videos capture The Apocalypse Afterparty's unique rap/metal hybrid sound in it's minimalist early months! FYI, their public concert debut occured the following month.



New song!: Shortly after her Das Bunkerfest uploads, Amanda posted this video of her and Paul working on a new song for The Apocalypse Afterparty, with Paul rapping and playing the piano one-handed, and both handling percussion. The song doesn't sound familiar to the four tracks that made the cut for their 2017 debut EP "Bufflesnort", but it has a lively sound for fans of The A.A.'s more hip-hop-based material, and Paul does handle the drums and piano fairly well given that he's doing them simultaneously!


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I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, we'll again be looking at multiple profiles, as our next random selection gave us a channel with a single video, so we randomly chose one more channel with two distinct video types to round things out. That said, we'll look at YouTube user lukera81's channel (featuring a video from Kiss' Kewadin Casino concert in 2007) and local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements' official YouTube channel (featuring videos from two October 2015 concerts) next month, so look for these then, and stay tuned for more news and concert previews soon! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Noochin' Lanterns & Them Updates, Mellow D's Next Private Concert, And More!!

On this Saturday afternoon, we have some news and updates to touch on, largely focusing on a newer local concert site and videos from bands that recently played there, but we also have some shorter assorted items to round things out. Now, here's what you should know!

Here's some new videos of bands at new local private concert venue Mellow D's Underground, which returns for it's (at least) fourth event tonight! Just in terms of that event, it'll take place tonight at 7:00 PM, have "an underground whiskey bar", and at least three bands, including newer local power punk quintet The Noochin' Lanterns. For what it's worth, a shared post notes that "The Apocalypse Afterparty invite you to come join us" tonight, implying that they'll end their 2 year concert hiatus for this event, but that hasn't been referenced elsewhere. Message promoters and the involved bands above to inquire about the address and extra details! As for the videos, The Apocalypse Afterparty shared this Noochin' Lanterns video from frontman Paul Stanghetta's personal Facebook page on Wednesday where the band (sans Amber McKay) sit around on a front step listening to the first mix of an original song of theirs, implied to be via Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios.

There has been no public confirmation yet on if The Noochin' Lanterns are working on a debut CD (we're still waiting on "Bufflesnort" release info), but it's a nice sample, and uniquely framed, so check it out above! The remaining new videos were all filmed by Them frontman Tyler St. Amour and posted to Mellow D's Facebook page on Wednesday, though these may actually be delayed uploads from their March 1st private gig, given the lack of Amber or new guitarist Tyler Gibson. Three videos (titles unclear) were filmed from this set, linked here, here, and below, and while they were all unfortunately filmed in portrait orientiation, these capture vibrant and energetic originals that Paul, Matthew, and Amanda handle pretty well! And yes, they have their pajamas on here too! Also, the setup reminds me a tiny bit of Sykotyk Rampage's "Cave" that they hold jam sessions in, just with brighter lighting. Give these new Noochin' Lanterns videos a look!



Next up, the aforementioned Them have some new videos of their own, courtesy of their set at the Mellow D's Underground private show on February 24th (unless they played a later one without a public acknowledgement!) Posted to the grind/punk duo's Facebook page on Wednesday as well, these constitute the band's first promotion of a concert set since opening for Gorod at The Oddfellows Hall almost one year ago, so it's great to see that Tyler and Anthony are back at it, albeit at a private venue! One video can be seen at this link, while the longer clip is embedded below. Unfortunately filmed at a vertical camera angle again (though it does work better for a two man band), these capture Them at a good ferocity and energy level, but Tyler could be clearer on the mic, and announcements of song names would have helped. It's great to see Them alive and well, and hopefully they return to a public stage sooner or later, but give their Mellow D's clips a look above & below, and keep tonight's event in mind if you're curious!

 

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

  • We have updated the link on the SMS for Castlegar, British Columbia internet radio station Energy Rock Radio (which broadcasted locally from 2008-2011), as their old "Radio Last Call" domain is no longer active, in favour of the more expected www.energyrockradio.com. Now that's accurately linked again, and check out Ryan and the Brew Crew's original programming and metal playlist there for an alternative radio option with local roots!
  • Have you been wondering why we didn't cover Tuesday's announced lineup reveal for June 18th's Rock The Border Music Fest? Assuming there's hard rock or punk on the bill, we would have, but the lineup announcement was postponed to yesterday as promoters CSA International were "waiting on one more contract", but yesterday's new deadline has came & went too. This event still has promise, especially as what looks like a larger scope rebound from CSA's postponed Quiet Riot concert, so stay tuned to the Facebook event page for updates! For what it's worth, the lineup will reportedly have an American, Canadian, and Australian band.
  • I have reluctantly removed former local recording studio Stereo Soul Studios from our "Other Local Metal Links" section due to the apparent expiry of their website's domain name, and I can't find a comparable replacement for our links. Best known for producing albums from bands like Gates of Winter and Woods of Ypres throughout the late 2000s, studio head Miguel Gauthier has since found success in photography and film in Los Angeles. Hopefully he keeps up the great work, and he's definitely been missed up here!


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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Eclipse/Hazytones Concert Preview, Jack Spades' New Bassist, And Much More!!

Here's another new post for your Friday morning, so what's on tap? Some assorted recent news and notes, new video footage from a concert this past weekend, and a newly confirmed lineup change in a prominent local band, but first, here's our promised preview of a special concert on Sunday that's nearly an encore of a concert from 8 months back!

Local hard rock quartet Eclipse will return to the stage THIS SUNDAY NIGHT, when they and funk/hard rock jam quintet Gianni Gagoots open for Montreal stoner rock trio The Hazytones at The New American Pub! After nearly 5 months away from the stage, plus a teased April 1st return show that never happened, Eclipse will finally be resurrected after a tumultuous break-up last fall, but how will Curt, Dan, Fred, and Chris fare in their return? Find out on Sunday night! Note that hashtags used in recent Facebook page promotion of the show reference Jimi Hendrix and Rush songs... are they dipping a little older for cover choices? Gianni Gagoots will continue their recent momentum with another set that will surely make some more fan of their creative improvised instrumentals, so keep them in mind as well on Sunday! And yes, the headlining Hazytones will make their second local concert appearance on Sunday, following a well received late notice gig in August at the same venue that Eclipse also opened, though K.I.C.K. were the second openers.

Though not a full "hard rock" band, The Hazytones' psychedelic and retro-styled originals left a solid impression on fans last summer, and they should be up to similar tricks at The New A in a couple of nights, so don't miss them either! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh. associate and punk rock bingo caller Brenton Ellis, this 19+ event has a 19+ age limit, and while there is no listed cover charge, note that last August's Hazytones concert had a $5 cover. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Eclipse live!



Next up, local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades have announced the addition of Talk Shit guitarist Steve Shaw to their lineup as their new bassist, replacing Justin Lam, as per their Facebook page on Wednesday. A reason for Justin's departure hasn't been publically announced, but when ex-drummer (and Bear Hunters bandmate) Johnny Belanger confirmed his own departure from the band in February, he didn't know at the time if Justin was leaving too or not, hence why we didn't call that on the site at the time. Justin has been a skilled component on bass since Jack Spades' 2013 debut, but don't miss him with The Bear Hunters when they return to the stage at Oddzfest in June! As for Steve, he has proven to be a solid addition to the reunited Talk Shit as a guitarist, but how will he do as a bassist with Jack Spades' new lineup? You can find out at the CKY concert in June, so don't miss that show, and stay tuned for the reveal of Jack Spades' new drummer!

Also today, here's some new videos from the aforementioned Gianni Gagoots' headlining concert at LopLops Lounge on Saturday, courtesy of YouTube user Alex Moore's channel! Previously known from posting Stiffler's Mom's demo there, "Mr. Evil Gobi" has struck again with almost 12 minutes of footage from the Gagoots' latest concert, with the longer 9 minute clip featured below (click here for the first shorter video.) Of note, their earlier teasers of having two drummers are even more true on these clips, as "Bergio the IceBurg" has not just the congas, but his own full drum kit beside Frank, so if you've ever wondered what a band with two drummers at once sounded like, here's a sampling! The loose informality is clearly on display here though, as mid-way through the longer video, guitarist Matt Sibilo randomly comes back after not playing in the first portion, and then an uncredited guest shows up to play the congas.

Alex noted that his camera's memory card filled up before this song wrapped up due to it's "intensity & epic-ness", so if an announcement was made regarding the guest conga player's name, it's not recorded. You never know what you'll get with Gianni Gagoots, and they showcase their fun jam/improv style here, so check out their new videos above & below, and don't miss them with The Hazytones & Eclipse on Sunday!



Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or event name:

  • Autumn Roots guitarist Chase Wigmore is looking for musicians to form an industrial band, part of a long-term ambition of his as a musician. He doesn't even mind if he only finds one singer willing to sign on (remember This Is Your Band On Drugs?), but additional musicians would be a bonus. Industrial metal isn't a genre we see a lot of locally, with Riverin one of the few recent examples of note, so message Chase at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Tuesday if you're interested!
  • According to personal Facebook postings, local alternative/hard rock quartet Id Iota featured ex-RedD Monkey cellist Pete Mozarowski as a guest performer during their set opening for Windigo at The New American Pub on Monday. That would have been cool to see, and Pete has been missed on local stages in recent months, so hopefully some video footage turns up!
  • We have changed the name of the Facebook group for Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce's concert promotion agency back to Johnny Pints Presents in our "Other Local Metal Links", as the group's name had been switched back from Tidal Records Presents last month. J.D. is still on positive terms with Tidal Records, but maybe the name was causing confusion between events that Tidal management themselves were putting on? Either way, the link is updated now!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates over the weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The 3 Day Millionaires), Weekend Concert Previews, And A Cancellation!!

Before we kick off this weekend's concert previews, we have a late cancellation to take note of, as tonight's Deathsticks-headlined concert at The Gore Street Cafe was quietly cancelled in recent weeks, as per the deletion of it's Facebook event page. A reason for the cancellation wasn't announced by the band or venue, but note that Deathsticks haven't posted on their Facebook page yet this month. This is the second time in six months that a Deathsticks show in the Soo was cancelled, but hopefully we see them here at some point down the road! Now, let's preview still-scheduled shows this weekend, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will return to The Rockstar Bar for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via it's official Facebook event page on Tuesday. After taking the past two months off, this talented veteran outfit should be refreshed and ready to rock TOMORROW with a night full of familiar classic hits at their favourite recent venue, so don't miss out in advance of their Rock 4 Autism set next month! Note that this is a one night only event due to country veterans Bone Yard playing at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday night. TOMORROW'S 19+ concert has no announced cover charge, and a 10:30 PM start time is advertised. Visit the above links for more details, and here are The 3 Day Millionaires live last year!



Next up, we'll move to previously announced concerts with former Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's next round of Gliss Steak & Seafood concerts, as Tym will bring his acoustic hard rock covers back there TOMORROW & SATURDAY! His impressively enduring run at The Quality Inn's house restaurant shows no signs of slowing down, and his unplugged classic and hard rock renditions should provide another quality backdrop of music for fans and patrons at Gliss tomorrow and/or Saturday! As usual for this long-term arrangement, expect 6:00 PM matinee start times both nights, and while these shows don't have announced age limits or cover charges, be cognizant of where they're being held. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym Morrison live!



Now, let's head south to the Eastern Upper Peninsula for shows at Kewadin Casino lounges, starting with the return of Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY! Though historically better known in our area for playing at the St. Ignace Kewadin, the Peril sister band will rock The Rapids Lounge for the first of at least three weekends in 2017 over the coming days, and it's great to see the guys further north once again! Unusually for such a weekend of live bands at a Kewadin lounge, Scarkazm's shows this weekend are themed, with Kewadin's Facebook page noting that this is an "80's Hair Band Rock Fest", complete with drink specials and awards for "the most awesome" 1980s costumes and best air guitar skills to be awarded. Honestly, I feel that Peril would better fit this theme, but it's an interesting pull regardless, so break out your hair metal and 1980s clothing if you're heading to see Scarkazm this weekend!

As usual for Scarkazm's local gigs (including their St. Ignace Kewadin gigs in two weeks), these shows have 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Check the above links for more details, and here's Scarkazm playing assorted covers live!



Finally for today's previews, Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Though not newly acknowledged by the band on their Facebook page, their own concert calendar posting from earlier this year confirms that they will be back in St. Ignace for their second weekend there in 2017 over the next couple of nights, which the casino's entertainment page also backs up. Henry, Nathan, Chris, and Ron should have another solid weekend of fan favourite and often heavy covers in store for St. Ignace fans, so don't miss Highway 63 there tomorrow or Saturday night! Like with this weekend's Scarkazm shows, expect 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no announced cover charges. See above for more details, and here's Highway 63 live!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site next, including the Eclipse/Hazytones preview! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!!

As promised, here is the results of last month's poll at the SMS, plus our newest poll! You'll probabl remember that we posed this question to you guys last month: What was the biggest local metal, hard rock, or punk news story of 2016? We only got 16 votes last month, which isn't as high as I was hoping, but we've had far less before, and there was a clear winner, so thanks to everyone who voted, and here are the final results!

A Dire Setback & Live705 launch in November (6 votes, 38%)
The Din release their debut CD "Give In To The Din" (2 votes, 13%)
Stegadeth make their local concert debut (1 vote, 6⅛%)
The Ripcordz headline all-ages show at The Canadian (1 vote, 6⅛%)
Gnaeus release their only CD "Meditations" (1 vote, 6⅛%)
The Pixo Control disbands (1 vote, 6⅛%)
Tidal Records acts tour Ontario in April (1 vote, 6⅛%)
Id Iota release their debut EP "Maudlin Fair" (1 vote, 6⅛%)
K.I.C.K. win the VM Radio Battle of the Bands (1 vote, 6⅛%)
Other (1 vote, 6⅛%)
AlgomA release split EP with Chronobot (0 votes)
Bay Mills Bands Together holds first fundraiser event (0 votes)
Bret Michaels returns to Kewadin Casino in November (0 votes)
Brian Davie returns to Scott & Brian In The Morning (0 votes)
Darren Emond's Iron Maiden comic book released (0 votes)
The Fishbowl Festival debuts at The Gore Street Cafe (0 votes)
Guy Thiffault's passing & tribute concert (0 votes)
Hedley returns to Sault Ontario in July at The Yard (0 votes)
Jay Perron's sudden passing (0 votes)
Jesse Merineau & Caroline Divine win the Speak Easy Battle (0 votes)
Pillory play their first live concerts since 2014 (0 votes)
 Project 421 & Eclipse part with singer Curtis McKenzie (0 votes)
Shit Liver go on their second Canadian tour (0 votes)
Sky's The Limit fundraiser held at The Tech in May (0 votes)
SNFU headline at The Rockstar Bar in September (0 votes)
Winkstinger reunite after a three year hiatus (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, I am surprised overall that over half of the listed choices went without a single vote, with any Sault Michigan items or musician passings surprising me the most by their lack of attention from readers who chose to vote. Aside from the winning option, votes were very spread out, but it seems that album releases and concert debuts were a favourite of voters, with only 5 votes going to options that weren't related to either (though I can't speak for what the "Other" voter intended.) I can see why most of these choices received a vote, but I do admit that Tidal Records' April tour run is a little surprising as, after all, this was a tour run that only partially took place in the Soo. The Din's CD release in August finished in second place, and honestly, when you launch an album with that much hype and at a formal auditorium, I would expect a good fan response, and deservingly so!

However, the poll winners were the joint debuts of A Dire Setback and Live705 in November, and given how fast they took hold in the local punk scene as a band, and in the concert scene in general as promoters, I can see how they'd win both this poll and the "favourite new band" poll from earlier this year! 2017 has already had a good start with A Dire Setback and Live705, and here's hoping more is on the horizon for both!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for our next poll, we're getting into the home stretch of our "favourite _____ of 2016" polls by posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the second half of 2016? As is the annual case at the SMS, we have divided our poll on your favourite concerts of the year into two halves, with shows from January 1st-June 30th already addressed in our poll on last year's first half from July, so if you were hoping to vote for a late June concert, wait for our full year poll next month! I have chosen 20 concerts from July-December of 2016 for this month's poll, and to be included, the show must have had a lineup at least half populated by metal, hard rock, or punk acts. This notably excludes all Rotaryfest stage lineups, Six, Two, Oh.'s holiday funk show, and the Soo Zombie Walk, among others, but we have included "Other" as a choice if your favourite late-2016 concert didn't make the cut for any reason. There were a lot of big concerts to end last year, so here are your choices!

Bands: Hedley, The Beaches, and Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide
Venue: The Yard
Date: July 1st, 2016
Info: The second half of 2016 began with a bang when Abbotsford power pop/punk favourites Hedley returned to the Soo for the first time in 5 years as the headlining act for the first half of The Yard's Canada Day Kicker!  This well received show entertained many fans of the Juno-winners, while fans of The Rising Tide also rejoiced for the local openers' only Soo show of the year, complete with Mikey Hawdon back behind the kit! Would you cast your vote for Hedley's local return?

Bands: Cocaine Moustache, Gianni Gagoots, and War Baby
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: July 12th, 2016
Info: An intriguing meld of styles hit The New A in mid-July when touring Vancouver acts Cocaine Moustache and War Baby came east to give local fans a taste of their bluesy hard rock and grungy punk originals respectively! Sandwiched in between was the local concert debut of funk/hard rock instrumental group Gianni Gagoots, who began their local ascent with their creative improvised stage show for assembled fans! Would this show be your favourite of 2016's second half?

Bands: Pillory, Iskra, Rotopsy, and AlgomA
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: July 14th, 2016
Info: Despite an unusual lineup order that saw the headliners playing second and AlgomA opening, this all ages concert from July gave fans an aggressive blast of extreme metal, with Victoria grindcore veterans Iskra making their long awaited return to the local stage after 12 years away! Notably also featuring the first non-battle of the bands appearance at a normal concert venue by the reunited Pillory, this show definitely melted faces of attending fans, but did this one earn your vote?

Bands: Gnaeus & The Din
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: August 5th, 2016
Info: After months of preparation, now-defunct post-punk quartet Gnaeus launched their only CD "Meditations" with a highly anticipated release concert at The Rockstar Bar in August, with the show and album both getting a positive reception from fans! Also featuring an opening set from their friends in The Din, the release of "Meditations" was one of the highlights of the summer season for local music fans, and it's a shame they broke up, but would you vote for their release party?

Bands: The Din & Gnaeus
Venue: The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium at The Tech
Date: August 12th, 2016
Info: Just one week after Gnaeus' CD release concert, the two bands switched places when The Din launched their own debut studio album "Give In To The Din" at The Tech's auditorium, with Gnaeus now opening the proceedings. Despite a pre-show fire alarm at the former St. Mary's College, the show was also well recieved, even becoming the basis of Shaw TV's first OnStage episode, and The Din's CD also won praise from fans! Would you give in to this show in this poll?

Bands: The Ripcordz, Jack Spades, Project 421, and Eclipse
Venue: The Canadian Nightclub
Date: August 13th, 2016
Info: The idea of an all ages concert in the Soo with The Ripcordz as headliners had been teased for many months, and that came to fruition when Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce brought the Montreal hardcore punk legends to The Canadian in mid-August for another hotly recieved Soo show from Paul Gott and company! Also featuring a special guest appearance by Dayglo Abortions bassist Willy Jak(!) with Jack Spades, did this night of all ages punk & metal action top late 2016 to you?

Bands: SNFU, Jack Spades, and The Elements
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: September 1st, 2016
Info: You can always expect a raucous crowd when Mr. Chi Pig brings SNFU back to Sault Ste. Marie, and though total attendance could have been higher, fans brought the big show feel when the Vancouver hardcore punk legends rocked The Rockstar Bar to kick off September! Notably also featuring the final appearance of Jack Spades' classic lineup, and the first live set by The Elements in four months, will you open up and say "SNFU!" for your vote in this poll?

Bands: K-Man & The 45s, Artifical Dissemination, and The Elements
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: September 17th, 2016
Info: Making their fourth concert appearance in as many autumns, Montreal ska-punk fan favourites K-Man & The 45s brought their high energy original material and usual "Ska-Mones" covers back to the The New A for another concert for their growing legion of local fans last fall! Hamilton garage punk rockers Artificial Dissemination also made their way west for this concert, while the aforementioned Elements opened for a second straight year. Would you vote for this concert?

Bands: Gnaeus, DJ Seith, The Din, and K.I.C.K.
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date: September 24th, 2016
Info: Essentially a half-sequel to Tidal Records's annual Go Skateboarding Day events, they brought The Gnar-BQ to the skatepark outside of The John Rhodes Center, with three bands and DJ Seith as the musical backdrop for skateboarding demonstrations and contests, and true to the event's name, there was even hot dogs and other refreshments available! Notably featuring two battle of the bands winners and a runner-up on the same bill, did The Gnar-BQ earn your vote?

Bands: Castle, AlgomA, and Gianni Gagoots
Venue: 180 Projects
Date: September 28th, 2016
Info: San Francisco doom metal trio (and Juno Award nominees) Castle made their local concert debut last fall when they headlined at a rare metal show at 180 Projects, giving fans a taste of their dark yet psyhedelic originals! Also featuring local fan favourites AlgomA and Gianni Gagoots' first concert set with new guitarist Liam "Blanci Mangia-Cake" Seymour, this Gore Street concert definitely satiated attending fans, but were you among them?

Bands: Moon Tan, The Din, and The Elements
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: October 6th, 2016
Info: Though locally announced on less than a week's notice, this Six, Two, Oh. concert left a big impression on fans last October, especially helped by Winnipeg prog-funk trio Moon Tan, whose creative moon phase-themed costuming and technical skills helped them stand out among other headliners of late 2016 in the Soo! Also featuring well recieved opening sets by The Din and The Elements, would you vote for the Moon Tan concert in this poll over other options?

Bands: Norilsk, AlgomA, Pillory, and The Bear Hunters
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: October 28th, 2016
Info: A stacked Halloween weekend for local concerts was kicked off by it's heaviest show, as Gatineau, Quebec doom metal quartet Norilsk made their local debut with a brutal set of crushing original material for all ages! Featuring a stacked local openers lineup including AlgomA, Pillory, and the second & final concert set of 2016 by The Bear Hunters (who unusually played first), this show will have delivered for extreme metal fans, but would you concur with that?

Bands: The Black Mirrors, Eclipse (as "SSM of a Down") and The Elements (as "The Plaid Martens")
Venue: The Algonquin Pub
Date: October 29th, 2016
Info: J.D. Pearce's 12th annual Halloween party concert took place at The Algonquin Hotel's downstairs bar on October 29th, with a tribute band theme in full effect, including The Elements flashing back to the 1990s, Eclipse turning into System of a Down for a night, and ex-Fitswitch members reuniting for a late notice Misfits tribute set as The Black Mirrors. J.D. always delivers a fun show for the Halloween weekend, but would you vote for his annual party here?

Bands: Johnny 2 Fingers & The Deformities, AlgomA, and Rotopsy
Venue: The New American Pub
Date: October 30th, 2016
Info: The fifth and most recent installment of Six, Two, Oh.'s punk rock bingo series took place on Devil's Night last year, with Saskatchewan southern rockers Johnny 2 Fingers & The Deformities headlining in their first of two shows last fall, with local metal openers AlgomA and Rotopsy also playing to start the show on a heavy note. Whether you were in attendance for the music or the irreverent bingo with caller Brent Ellis, was this concert your favourite of late 2016?

Bands: Eclipse, The Elements, Project 421, and The Autumn Roots
Venue: The Rednecks Saloon
Date: October 31st, 2016
Info: Despite a mixed crowd on a Monday night, a talented lineup hit the former Nicolet Tavern on Halloween night last year for the Halloween Nightmare, with Eclipse and The Elements playing their second seasonal event in three nights, and indie rockers The Autumn Roots debuting on a local stage to kick things off. Notably featuring the last concert sets to date from Project 421 & Eclipse (though the latter will return later this month), did the Halloween Nightmare earn your vote here?

Bands: K.I.C.K., A Dire Setback, Electric Church, The Din, Talk Shit, Stegadeth, and Jizzy Baby
Venue: The Oddfellows Hall
Date: November 19th, 2016
Info: New local concert promoters Live705 and their featured band A Dire Setback made a big splash in November with their first concert and only Oddfellows Hall appearance to date, with a nice variety of local acts on display for fans! Notably also including the first live set from T-Rex Manning successors Stegadeth, punk quartet Talk Shit's first live set in seven years, and a breakthrough set from blues rockers Electric Church, did this intriguing concert top late 2016 in your eyes?

BandsBone Yard, The Peace Vibe, The 3 Day Millionaires, The Din, The Band Camp Rejects, The Elements, Mojo, Redundant, Guitars & Tequila, and Case's Music students
Venue: The Grand Gardens North
Date: November 20th, 2016
Info: The fifth annual Toystock fundraiser concert for Christmas Cheer took place at the former Riuniti Hall last November, with 10 bands again gathering to help raise funds and donations for those in need for the holidays, which is always great to see! Featuring sets by familiar bands like The Din, The Elements, and many more, plus an increasingly rare set by punk trio Redundant, and appearances by Santa Claus(!), did Toystock V and the Christmas spirit win your vote here?

Bands: Mike Mikus & Id Iota
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: November 26th, 2016
Info: Following a well recieved Ontario tour run, former Pixo Control frontman Mike Mikus debuted his new solo project on a local stage in late November when he headlined at LopLops, with alternative/hard rock quartet Id Iota (who joined him on tour) opening ith a set full of songs from their upcoming full length CD. The two acts played off each other well as Mike unveiled his pop rock solo project to local fans, but would this show earn your vote this month?

Bands: Gnaeus, K.I.C.K., and The Din
Venue: LopLops Lounge
Date: December 26th, 2016
Info: The second last collaborative concert from these three bands took place on Boxing Day when Tidal Records hosted their own holiday season concert at LopLops, fitting in neatly between The Gnar-BQ and Searchmont's Skateapalooza. The post-punk stylings of Gnaeus, alt-hard rock sound of The Din, and indie rock grooves of the Keep It Cool Kids were always welcomed on the same stage, and this show proved to be no different, but was it your favourite hard rock show of late 2016?

Bands: Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, Rotbottyrot, Talk Shit, The Business Suit Trappers, Nebraska Arms, AlgomA, Stegadeth, and A Dire Setback
Venue: The Rockstar Bar
Date: December 27th, 2016
Info: The sudden passing of ex-Hangdowns frontman Guy Thiffault in December was extremely sad, but his friends and former bandmates quickly came together to host a benefit concert for his family over the holidays, which included returns to the stage after a year+ away from Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Destroilet, and two of Guy's former bands to a raucous and emotional reception from attending fans. This was a huge concert to end 2016 with, but was it your favourite?

Other: Did we miss a show you'd rather vote for? For reference, bands like 1971, 9 Lives & Counting, The Anti-Queens, Astral Gunk, Big Brother, Bizotic, The Blackwood Sinners, Bloody Diamonds, Crucify the Whore, Debutaunt, Dumpster Mummy, The Franquilizers, Griphook, Havadder, Long Shot, Mourning Wood, Mulligrub, The Nailheads, Nameus (now Soundcheck), Northwest, Stiffler's Mom, Still of the Night, Sykotyk Rampage, Telephone & Address, That's Chester, Them, Tym Morrison, and Vintage Slang all played locally between July 1st and December 31st in shows not included in the poll otherwise. Did one of them have your preferred concert of late 2016, or perhaps a show featuring bands in the poll that isn't listed? Vote for "Other" if you need to!

VOTE TODAY! You guys have until May 18th to cast your votes, and remember, the (top?) vote getters will return for a full year showdown next month to determine your favourite local concert of 2016! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 17, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Din), The Next Local Battle Of The Bands, And Much More!!

Originally, I planned to double up two posts on the SMS tomorrow, but with a big announcement regarding the Soo's next battle of the bands, I thought it was prime time to get this on the site while the news is still fresh! Also, you will find lots of assorted shorter news items to cap things off, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month!

Local alternative/hard rock trio The Din will play a headlining concert at LopLops Lounge on Saturday, May 20th! Heading to this popular Queen Street East venue for the first time since their NLFB Meltdown audition set earlier this month, this appears to be just a regular headlining set for Mike, Tammy, and Brandan, so prepare for a full set's worth of high energy alt-rock originals and select covers in a months' time! An opening band is to be announced, and we will let you know when they are confirmed (for reference sake, Mike Mikus is playing at LopLops on Friday the 19th.) The Din's show on May 20th is a 19+ event with a $5 cover charge and a door opening time of 9:00 PM. If you're ready to give in to The Din once again, then keep this show in mind for next month, and visit the official Facebook event page for current details!

Next up, the annual battle of the bands from local concert promoter J.D. Pearce is returning for year #3, but with big changes, so here's what we know so far! After two years as the multi-night VM Radio Battle of the Bands in March, the battle (presented by Tidal Records) has been contracted to a one night event to be held on Saturday, June 3rd, and with Village Media not credited on the Facebook event page, The Rad Zone have stepped in as the battle's new title sponsor. However, the battle will be held at The Canadian Nightclub once again, which is always a great choice! Plans call for a $1,000 cash prize for the winning band (as was the case in 2015), with professional recording time, industry professional feedback, and more on the line. Listed sponsors will include Twin City Sound, photographers RAD.imagery, and Sudbury's CSA International, the promoters behind this June's Rock the Border Music Fest (whose lineup will reportedly be announced tomorrow), among many others. Keep those components in mind come June 3rd!

Details regarding band registrations, individual prizes, audience admission, ticket sales, judges, and more are forthcoming, but for reference, look up the results and recaps from last year's battle for a potential idea of what to expect. A start time of 6:00 PM is in effect, and this will presumably be a 19+ event. Though things have been retooled since last March, the newly titled Rad Zone Battle of the Bands should be a great event with a lot of intrigue, especially given the relative lack of one-night judged battles in the Sault Ontario in recent years, NLFB Meltdown aside! Check the above links for all current details, and stay tuned as updates come in!

Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items from the last while and as usual for these short item groupings, these are in alphabetical order by band, company, or series name:

  • Memphis hard rock quartet Devour the Day have been added as a second opening band for the Alter Bridge/In Flames concert at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on May 16th, as per promoters Allstar Promotions' Facebook page on Sunday. This is a bit of a makeup date for Devour the Day, who Allstar had previously advertised to open for Shinedown locally in July 2013, but they were on a separate tour and were replaced in the Soo by fellow Memphis rockers Prosevere. It's great to see Devour the Day finally rock The Dreammaker's Theater, so get more details on this expanded concert above, and tickets are still available!
  • As per their Facebook page on Sunday, Sault Ontario punk/metal veterans Jack Spades have enlisted former Winkstinger/Sativa Rose guitarist Anthony Orazietti (a.k.a. Tony AO) for their new lineup, restoring them to a quintet for the first time since Tiffany Stocco's departure last summer. It's great to see Anthony back in a local band, he showed skill in his short runs with recent groups, so hopefully he adds well with Jack Spades starting at the CKY concert! Stay tuned for the identity of their new drummer!
  • After an 8 month hiatus from public updates, local indie/punk quintet Northwest resurfaced on Tuesday via some photos shared to their Facebook page taken at Mission Control Studios, one with producer Dustin Jones at the controls while bassist Mike Smykacz is playing. This heavily implies that they're recording new material, but is a second album in the works, or is something else afoot? Stay tuned for updates, but it's great to see Northwest back regardless!
  • Wondering where local goregrind duo Rotopsy have been lately? Well, the guys revealed on their Facebook page in December that a new EP release named "A Worthless Collection of Aggressive Sounds" is in the works, with a full length release also planned for later in 2017. The planned cover art is even online, and in a surprise, it is safe for work, showcasing Rotopsy at The Oddfellows Hall with a red colour filter and a surprisingly happy crowd. Check out current details at the above links!
  • SooToday's music webseries Tuned with Donna Hopper returned after a 2 month hiatus with a new episode yesterday, spotlighting the aforementioned NLFB Meltdown audition/battle at LopLops on April Fools Day, in which Donna was a judge! The video is solely about winning performer M.D. Dunn, who talks about his victory, preparation, and songwriting, and while no other bands are featured, Donna did ask Mark about his thoughts on the night's other bands. Entertaining episode, especially for fans of M.D. Dunn, so click here to give it a look, and good luck in Sudbury! I wonder if SooToday filmed the other bands that night?
  • In a related note from our coverage of the former VM Radio Battle of the Bands, it appears that VM Radio proper (Village Media's local internet radio network) was quietly shut down in the past 5 months, as per the closure of it's website, and we have removed their rock station VM Rocks from our links. A reason for it's ultimate demise wasn't given, but VM Radio hadn't been actively promoted for reasons other than battle sponsorship in many months. With the lack of Canadian-produced FM radio in this market, VM Radio seemed to fill a void upon launching in late 2014, but hopefully the concept resurfaces in some form down the road!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and our next poll tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Live705 Easter Bash Concert Review!!

Hey everyone, let's get our review of Saturday night's Live705 Easter Bash up on the site at last! Marking the promoters' first ever appearance at The Rockstar Bar, the show was well attended, especially by A Dire Setback's set, though much of the night saw the bands competing for fans' attention with the Maple Leafs game, especially as it went into the overtime periods. The teased giveaways were in the form of door prizes raffled between bands as the night rolled along, with free Domino's Pizzas, A&W gift sets, Tidal Records hats, A Dire Setback buttons, and a "golden ticket" for free entry to 3 upcoming Live705 shows all up for grabs (I didn't win anything, but I was 6 digits shy on a hat/button combo.) A.D.S. frontman Larry Babic even indicated that there were Easter eggs hidden throughout the bar, but I never saw such a thing, so I'm not sure if he was being facetious or just picked good hiding spots. Overall, the show has a nice atmosphere for Live705's venue debut, and there was even pizza on sale for fans to partake in, so things were set up very well!

The opening act and house DJ was supposed to be Douglas "Deejay Elementz" Agawa, but he dropped out of the show on late notice due to "unforeseen circumstances" (no one was any more specific.) Hopefully nothing bad happened, but Live705 found the perfect replacement, as Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson replaced him for the night, reprising his March Mash-Up role without breaking a sweat! Though advertised to begin at 8:30 PM, he more or less began when doors opened at 8:00 PM, mixing tunes for a nice long time for early fans! If you've seen Seith live, you'll recognize some of the songs from prior performances like his "It Takes Two"/Lyn Collins mix, and he did bring back some of the hard rock action missing from March, like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and even some sound bytes from the movie School of Rock. DJ Seith was on point despite the short notice, and by set's end, he was getting suitably intense, even mixing songs with his hands behind his back!

Starting after the next set, DJ Seith also played between bands in a house DJ role, setting up his turntables away from the stage. He was fine in this role (we know he's done this before), and it extended the good vibes from his formal set throughout the night. Overall, entertaining for fans of turntable mixing, and Seith continues to show why he's a key performer in this area!

Next was folk rock solo artist Jacob Quarrell, and true to the show's advertising, he only credited himself by his initials J.Q., rather than his established solo project name Shit Creek Survivor. No word on why that name wasn't used, especially as it's still the name of his Facebook page, though for what it's worth, he hasn't posted there in over a month. Regardless of name, Jacob played a quality set for fans familiar with his original material, including tracks like "Swinging", "When This Is Done", and "1,075". Showcasing a natural ease on stage, and a sound bigger than his small guitar would imply, J.Q. has an effective voice and a good casual rapport, though at times, some backing instrumental accompaniment would be an asset at times. Not a bad set to ease early fans into the groups to come, and hopefully we hear more from Jacob/J.Q./Shit Creek Survivor soon!

The night's first band was local punk trio Stegadeth, who played to their usual standards with a fun set of familiar covers and an increasing amount of originals! Tackling classics from acts like The Ramones, GG Allin, and Bad Religion with conviction, the band also showcased their sound on originals like the debuting "The Song Not Called 'The Wire'" and their fan favourite adoption of T-Rex Manning's "She Banged The Mayor", with friends of the band singing along during the choruses. Fun to see, especially with at least one visiting from out of town! Stegadeth continued to showcase their talents and chemistry on Saturday night, with Bill Bennett improving steadily on vocals, though Tiffany Stocco needs to project her own voice a little more, and she and Bill could both stand to be more active and lively on stage. Solid set overall, and hopefully Stegadeth continue to build on things this year!

The Easter Bash hit it'd midpoint with a set by local indie rock quartet K.I.C.K., and if you're anxious to hear their upcoming debut CD, you'll have been happy to hear all of the newer songs that they played on Saturday night! Though the guys were coy late in their set about songs that would or wouldn't be on the album, they still stuck to a set that (by & large) contained songs I hadn't seen them play live before, like "Love/Hate", the unusually heavy "Never Want To See You Again", and "You'll Never Find Me", among many others. The lighting on stage seemed to be getting to frontman Simon Shearsby early on, hence breaking from the band's buttoned-shirt motif, but he sounded good, and he and Tyson Letang handled the guitar work fine on these new songs, with Aaron Dunn keeping up things on the drumming end himself! The Keep It Cool Kids did indeed keep it cool on Saturday, and best of luck as their CD nears completion!

Live705's flagship band hit the stage next, as A Dire Setback brought their punk/alternative originals to the stage with an enthusiastic and high energy set of their own! The guys played 8 originals like "Forget This Memory", "Nightmares", and their new self-titled track, alongside their punk cover of OneRepublic's "Counting Stars", and they attracted the liveliest crowd of the night, as seen with the fans on the floor late in their set! If you've seen A Dire Setback live, there won't have been many surprises, but everyone delivered a solid performance, with Larry Babic's singing fitting in as nicely as ever, Chris Nielsen a sparkplug of activity throughout on guitar, and Nick Kainula's drum work was steady and a very suitable compliment! Title track aside, there wasn't a lot new to add, but A Dire Setback delivered a fun set that wasn't a setback for them as a band, and hopefully there's more to come from them soon!

Now, there's a lot of divisive talk about the last two timeslots online today, so this is what I will say about things. On Saturday night, there were huge delays before The Noochin' Lanterns' set, leading to them only starting their set at 1:00 AM, 45 minutes behind schedule. This resulted in their set being chopped to just 4 songs, and Electric Church not beginning until after 1:30 AM. I will not pass judgement on anything else that happened on Saturday, or throw anyone under the bus regarding the set times or delays, other than to say that I hope things can be worked out by all parties.

As for The Noochin' Lanterns set (their first ever at a public concert), they sounded good, and had a fun look also, with everyone dressed in pajamas for their set! If nothing else, they were comfy. If you're not familiar with the former Noochy Lanterns, their sound resembles that of frontman Paul Stanghetta's old band The Fury, just with guitars and more of a power pop style that even featured a bit of rap, and on the closer, a "Pumped Up Kicks" sample?! Paul actually played guitar rather than his usual bass role (Matthew Forster handled that), and he and Tyler Gibson played off each other well, even though this is a huge departure from Tyler's grindcore roots. Also, props to new mom Amanda Brown, who's showing promise on drums! Unfortunately, The Noochin' Lanterns set was cut short before new synth player Amber McKay could play for the set's intended second half, but hopefully we hear from the band's full lineup soon, and despite the hang-ups, it'll be interesting to see where things go for them!

FYI, there was no public reference made to the planned release of sister band The Apocalypse Afterparty's "Bufflesnort" EP on Saturday. It's possible that The Noochin' Lanterns' set's abbreviation eliminated the chance, but The A.A. haven't posted on their Facebook page since then either to elaborate on the EP. In other words, stay tuned for presumed updates!

With the delays, Garden River blues/hard rock trio Electric Church's abbreviated set began later than anticipated, but the crowd chanting their name pre-set indicated that they were still eager to see the guys in action, and they delivered! I couldn't stay for the full duration, but with originals like "Muddy Waters" and "Ain't Got None" in their repertoire, you know that they had remaining fans' interest! Compared to their March Mash-Up set, they largely delivered a similar set, and while I wish the guys showed a little more energy on stage, the late start time may have impaired that. Spencer Pine's guitar skill is still beyond his years, and his smooth voice fits their songs very well, while Elijah Nielsen and Beau Whitfield were solid on bass and drums in tandem, and when you consider how young these guys are, imagine how good they'll be as the years roll along! Solid way to end the night, and hopefully we hear much more from Electric Church soon!

Overall, this was a fun concert, despite the late delays, and everyone played to their strengths for a good night of entertainment! It's worth noting that, in a throwaway line between bands, DJ Seith indicated that this event would be occurring monthly. If that's true, that'll be very interesting, so stay tuned in case that's elaborated on! You can check out our photos from the show at this link or via our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's DJ Seith mid-set, Jacob Quarrell playing "Daddy's Little Girl", Stegadeth playing "Kingdom of Ashes", K.I.C.K. playing "You've Got It Bad", A Dire Setback playing "Everlasting Despair", The Noochin' Lanterns playing "2, 3, 4", and Electric Church playing "Carey Baby"!















That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and this month's poll results and new poll next! Thanks everyone!