Tuesday, February 20, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril, Scarkazm, Banned, And Cousin Eddie), Plus A New Local Band!!

Kewadin Casino's entertainment page has been updated to reflect shows at The Northern Pines Lounge at their St. Ignace branch through August of this year (though curiously not The Rapids Lounge in the Soo yet), so we can confirm new shows there from four notable hard rock bands in this all-Sault Michigan-area post! Full band names are given this time, and for reference, "Pard. Excus." were Paradise Excuse, led by recent Broke on Sunday frontman Mark Bowen, and you can see a clip of them covering Chris Stapleton at this link. Now, let's tackle these LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, starting with a new addition to our band links!

We have a new Sault Michigan band to add to our full coverage on the site, and they are Cousin Eddie! Clearly named after the National Lampoon's Vacation character, we had been aware of this band since late last summer, but only recently confirmed that their genre would fit our range on the SMS. That seems obvious in hindsight, as they are a side project to local classic/hard rock cover veterans Highway 63, with guitarist Nathan Switzer, bassist Chris Leask, and drummer Ron Suchey playing in both bands! The exception is frontman Henry Switzer, with guitarist Greg Smith taking his place in Cousin Eddie, and while I can't be 100% certain, this photo suggests that Nathan and Chris share or trade off lead vocal duties with this project. Describing themselves as playing "classic rock, 80's hits and other genres", Cousin Eddie debuted at an outdoor De Tour Village show last July, and played their first Soo dates at The Rapids Lounge in August, followed by gigs at Huck's Pub & Grill (formerly Joe's Bar & Grill) in Rudyard in November.

As for those new Kewadin gigs, you can see Cousin Eddie at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace on March 2nd & 3rd, June 29th & 30th, and August 17th & 18th, with possible Sault Kewadin gigs to be confirmed, among other venues. These new Kewadin bookings are all 9:00 PM events with no announced cover charges and 21+ age limits. Though there are no videos yet of Cousin Eddie in concert, their pre-existing chemistry with Highway 63 and extensive local music backgrounds should serve them well, and see the above links for more on Cousin Eddie and their 2018 St. Ignace bookings!

Next up, here's some new Kewadin lounge concert confirmations from Traverse City classic metal trio Peril, but not just in St. Ignace, as their Reverbnation page has dates listed for The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino as well, plus shows beyond August! As such, fans can see them at The Rapids Lounge on April 6th & 7th and on July 27th & 28th, while they have St. Ignace bookings lined up for June 15th & 16th and September 21st & 22nd. The April weekend in the Soo will be Peril's first E.U.P. weekend in almost 5 months, and their St. Ignace shows will be their first there in 7 months, so if you're been waiting for Peril to return north, now you have some dates! For reference, Jeff, Adam, and Brooks kicked off the year in Harbor Springs earlier this month. You can take in Peril's metal and hard rock classics at 9:00 PM each night at either venue, there are no announced cover charges, and these are 21+ events. See the above links for more on Peril's 2018 slate of shows in our area!

Likewise, Peril's metal sister band Scarkazm also have Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace gigs lined up for 2018 at each town's Kewadin Casino branch, also confirmed via both Kewadin's entertainment page and Scarkazm's Reverbnation page!  Keeping with their generally busier schedule compared to Peril, Scarkazm are booked for Rapids Lounge gigs in the Soo on April 27th & 28th, October 5th & 6th, and December 21st & 22nd, while they will return to The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace for shows on May 11th & 12th, August 10th & 11th, and November 30th & December 1st, so keep these ones in mind for your 2018 concert calendar! The May gigs will be Scarkazm's first in St. Ignace since last month, while April's weekend will be their first in Sault Michigan since October of last year. Scarkazm have proven to be reliable fan favourites from their E.U.P. trips, so don't miss them either in the coming months! Like above, these are 9:00 PM and 21+ events with no announced cover charges. Visit the above links for more details on these shows, and stay tuned for more on Scarkam's local gigs!

Finally for today, Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned will themselves return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino for St. Ignace gigs of their own on May 4th & 5th, July 6th & 7th, and August 24th & 25th! Having just played there a couple of weeks ago, these shows confirm that this fan favourite trio will keep up the rock in St. Ignace through at least the summer, though we await confirmation of Rapids Lounge gigs for 2018, not having played there yet this year. As with all of the above new gigs, you can see Alex, Don, and Wayne live at the St. Ignace Kewadin at 9:00 PM each night, there are no announced cover charges, and you must be 21 or older to attend. Banned's hard rocking covers and occasional originals have been entertaining fans for years now, and these shows should provide more of the same, so visit the above links for more details on these shows!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and weekend concert previews on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Big Wreck Concert Videos, The Din's New Live Album, And More!!

Happy President's/Family Day, depending on which side of the border you're on! Today's post on the SMS is loaded with some recent news and material from Sault Ontario, including a new album release and linked new solo video, and another new performance clip, but let's start with videos from last Tuesday's Big Wreck concert at The Machine Shop! While videos from this one are surprisingly scant on YouTube, Rock 101's Facebook page has things covered again, with videos of both of last week's bands being uploaded mid-show. One was of opening Winnipeg alt-rock trio Attica Riots playing their song "Misery" from a distant corner angle to the stage, and while it sounds good and lively for the genre, the vertical camera angle and stage setup don't help the view (at least the filmer zoomed in!) As for the headlining Toronto/Boston hard rock quartet, WSUE filmed Big Wreck playing "That Song" and, as embedded below, "Look What I Found", so how'd they turn out?

Both filmed from the back of the crowd section, these are again on a vertical camera angle, but the audio comes through fine, and it's nice to see both a single and a deep cut from "In Loving Memory Of..." filmed for Rock 101's page!  Give each clip a look above and below, and hopefully there's some more footage floating around from this show!

Next up, here's another new album release already for this still-young new year, as defunct local alternative hard rock trio The Din released their posthumous live album "Suburban Sendoff" to their Bandcamp page on Friday! They only announced the release date on Wednesday, so when they teased it was coming soon, they were true to their word! Recorded via soundboard audio at the album's eponymous farewell concert at LopLops Lounge on October 21st, this purportedly comprises of the entire concert's audio without edits, but as they noted in the description, "the human element is on full display." The extended 19 song setlist features every song from The Din's two studio albums, except for "The Rose", plus frontman Mike Haggith's old solo original "We Met At The Circus" (or "...As Surrogates".) In a mild surprise, they also left in the encore cover of The Tragically Hip's "Blow at High Dough", despite previously axing the four external covers from the Bandcamp release of "The Din Does Laundry" last year.

No word on if it's in continued tribute to Gord Downie, worth the copyright hassle to keep the set intact, or a combination therein, but it's welcome to see it make the final cut! "Suburban Sendoff" is available on a "name your price" model through Bandcamp, but consider paying an amount to support The Din's hard work, even after their breakup! With all of that said, when can you expect to see a review of "Suburban Sendoff" on the SMS? Honestly, with our self-imposed 6 month anti-bias buffer period between reviews of albums from the same act, it can't come until June at the earliest, as we just reviewed "Suburban Dream" in December, which was itself delayed a couple of months for similar reasons. That said, our album review schedule is set for the first half of the year (May aside), assuming nothing gets delayed! Also, there is new solo cover video from the aforementioned Mike Haggith from his current Thompson, Manitoba home base, so what should you know on it?

The first posting on his YouTube channel in almost two years, this is an acoustic cover of Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With", and it's an entertaining cover of this folk classic, with the well-bearded Mike handling this with a light and optimistic air! Give it a look below, and check out his new Thompson pop rock band Between the Ditches!

Finally for today, here's a new video of local acoustic hard rock duo Rob Speers & Jesse Cook (a.k.a./p.k.a. The Kariokeheads) from their show at Room 21 on December 16th, as uploaded by the venue's Facebook page shortly afterward! However, the cover performed is not what you may expect, with the Elements bandmates playing a surprise unplugged version of Khia's "My Neck, My Back" alongside Rob's wife Christina (I think) on guest vocals, and Rob's Jack Spades bandmate Daniel Horton on guest guitar. I'll just say that everyone's got a sense of humour, and it's a nice casual performance, so give it a look if you want below!

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

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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

It's now time to shut down our first "favourite _____ of 2017" poll and launch a new one on the site! As you may recall, we asked this question last month: "What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2017?" Unfortunately, this poll only received five votes (can you see why I don't do monthly polls anymore?), but the results are interesting, so thanks to those of you who did vote, and here are the final results!

Vol. (2 votes, 40%)
Handsome Sandwich (2 votes, 40%)
Mike McCleary (1 vote, 20%)
The HTs/You First & The Passive Aggressives (0 votes)
The Kariokeheads/Rob Speers & Jesse Cook (0 votes)
The Noochin' Lanterns (0 votes)
The Soo Fighters (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Aside from the low voter turnout, the results do correlate with a prediction that I had going in, that being that Handsome Sandwich and Vol. would lead the way, given their high profile lineups, early-mid 2017 stage debuts, and multiple live appearances last year. It would have been nice to see more bands receive votes, but with three of the no-vote bands not playing a public show until the fall, and The Noochin' Lanterns arguably being better known from unadvertised "pop-up" gigs, I can't be all that shocked. The biggest surprise was Mike McCleary placing third despite playing a single time at an advertised formal concert in 2017, largely working in studio otherwise, but his skilled and mature hard rock material has been winning fans steadily since last year, and here's to much more from him in 2018! Of the two tied bands, I am again breaking the tie by picking the newer band, as they had less time to garner the same fan support, so while Vol. are the technical winners, it's almost a moot point given the low vote totals. Both bands had a solid debut year, and hopefully they have much more in store to come!

Full disclosure: This poll did not feature The Bananas Guerrillas (previously known as Enema of the Soo), as I believed at the time that they were just a one-off Blink-182 tribute from last fall's Halloween Party at The Algonquin Pub. In any event, "Other" received no votes, but had I known prior to January 18th that they would be continuing as a full band without the tribute theme (a'la The HTs), I guarantee that they would have made the poll!

Thanks to everyone who voted, but what's in this month's poll? Keeping with our "favourite _____ of 2017" theme, I am posing this question to you guys next: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk album released in 2017? While last year was relatively slow for new band launches, we had a decent crop of new albums and CDs from local hard rock acts, which is on pace to build nicely this year given our quick start to 2018! To make this poll, albums must have been initially released in physical or digital formats for sale in the 2017 calendar year, so the digital reissue of "The Din Does Laundry" is not included. As in the past, "name your price" Bandcamp albums can be included, but the album must be completely packaged in a digital sale format there or elsewhere (so Mike Vincent's solo debut didn't make the cut.) Freely distributed albums, loose physical demos, and Spotify streaming exclusives don't count either, but of course, "Other" exists for a reason! That and seven specific choices are available to choose from, and here's some info on each!

Abhorrent Forest - The End of Life or Ethereal: This new instrumental black metal solo project from Despised Eyes alum Will "Old Man Wyrn" Tholberg is a studio-only project, but they launched with a bang with the release of their debut EP "The End of Life" back on January 9th. Not to be outdone, he also put on the dark ambient EP "Ethereal" on September 17th (which was our 100th monthly CD review!), but did either of these get your attention?

AlgomA & Hooded Menace's split vinyl single: Hitting the middle stretch of local doom metal trio AlgomA's venture into split releases with other bands, January 28th saw the release of their split single with Finnish doom metal quintet Hooded Menace, through the latter's label Doomentia Records. Despite it's short length (one song each) and vinyl-exclusive physical release, fans of each band responded favourably, but were you among them?

AlgomA & Shit Liver - Trading Faces: The third chapter of AlgomA's split chapter saw the release of the cassette tape-exclusive "Trading Faces" on September 5th, where they and local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver each supplied an array of cover songs, including the two bands covering each other! This rare cassette release was a hit, and while AlgomA had to miss most of the release tour for it, did "Trading Faces" win your vote here?

The Apocalypse Afterparty - Bufflesnort: Given a soft release on April 27th at a private Mellow D's Underground concert (though a teased fuller launch never received much follow-through), this is the long awaited debut EP from masked local rap/metal collective The Apocalypse Afterparty. In the works since 2014, their loose, hockey-inspired originals did receive positive notices from fans, but would youc ast your vote for "Bufflesnort" over all the rest?

The Din - Suburban Dream: Once it became clear that frontman Mike Haggith was moving out of town and their demise was imminent, local alt-hard rock trio The Din sped up the recording and release of their sophomore album "Suburban Dream" so it would be released on October 21st during their farewell concert at LopLops Lounge (and on CD!) That was a huge way to send The Din off after a successful run, but did the album win last year for you?

Mike McCleary - In Ruins: Before ever crossing our radar for coverage on the SMS, local hard rock solo artist Mike McCleary had already released his debut album "In Ruins" to online sale sources on June 16th, but it was later pulled from most of them by year's end, with three songs on it being reworked for his 2018 album "Weight of the Truth". Given it's apparent de-listing from his canon, this may be an underdog in the poll, but did you love it the most?

Any of SweetKenny's 2017 score albums: The ever-prolific Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton continued his recent focus on albums intended as scores for other media with four new albums going on digital sale in the 2017 calendar year. These included "Epic", "Music Composed For Film", "The Dogs Are Watching", and "Assassins" (: A Comedy Album?!), so there was no shortage of new material last year! Did any of these earn your vote?

Other: Did we miss your favourite new album from 2017? Perhaps your top choice was Mike Mikus' debut album (which does feature a few Pixo Control holdovers) or another non-hard rock/punk album? Maybe you do want to throw your vote to an unfinished, free, or demo release? If, for whatever reason, your preferred album isn't here, then "Other" is for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until March 18th to cast your votes, and hopefully there's a higher turnout than last month's poll! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days!  Thanks everyone!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pop Evil Concert Video Showcase!!

At last, we have a showcase post of videos from the two major hard rock concerts earlier this week, as Rock 101's Facebook page has got us covered from both events! Much like The Sault's Rock Station did for the recent Theory of a Deadman show (they were presenting sponsors for all three), a station staffer had their camera rolling for both Tuesday's Big Wreck concert at The Machine Shop and Wednesday's Pop Evil concert at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, with videos making their way to their Facebook page during each. We'll get into their Big Wreck footage in an upcoming post, but there's enough from Pop Evil alone to fill a whole post today, so let's start with the headlining Muskegon hard rock quintet! Rock 101 filmed Pop Evil playing their recent hit singles "Waking Lions" and, as embedded below, the much longer "Boss' Daughter". Compared to the prior YouTube clips from this show, the quality is much better despite the distant camera angle from the stage, and the crowd turnout is solid, so give these a look above & below!

Next up, here's another video of Pop Evil's set at The Dreammaker's Theater on Tuesday, and while this is also from 101.3 FM's Facebook page, it's not from the station proper. Instead, fan Dave Fisher publically shared this clip of Pop Evil playing their hit "Trenches" in a comment reply there on Thursday, and it's the best video I've seen yet for view of the band (and not just because it's on a landscape orientation!) Leigh's vocals still sound strained compared to past Pop Evil videos I've seen from the Soo, but the crowd makes up the difference, and the band sounds solid as usual, so give Dave's clip a look also! Hopefully there's more to come at some point!

Moving to the openers, Rock 101 did get a video from each of them, including this clip of Las Vegas "fashion-art rock" band Palaye Royale playing their single "How Do You Do?" Not a bad band, almost reminds me of a cross between indie/alt-rock and goth, if that makes any sense, and they have a harder edge that comes through here despite the somewhat muffled audio quality! Give Rock 101's Palaye Royale clip a look below!

Finally, Rock 101 filmed San Francisco hard rock trio Black Map playing a song during their set, but I can't title it based on recent concert setlists (either my song recognition skills are off today, it's a new to this tour, or it's a cover.) Regardless, their sound is solid, they get good mileage out of their three-piece lineup, and is it wrong to make Chevelle comparisons? Check out this Black Map video below, and thanks again to Rock 101 for filming these videos, with Big Wreck videos to come!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and a new poll on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 16, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned), Pop Evil Videos, A New Album, And More!!

Here's a Sault Michigan-heavy post for your Friday morning, and it includes videos from a big recent concert, a surprise album release, and even a few Sault Ontario notes, but let's kick things off with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for readers in the E.U.P.!

Kinross, Michigan classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to The Runway Bar in Hessel for one night only TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, Banned only announced the show via their Facebook event page late last night, though the venue's Facebook page has covered it since Tuesday. TONIGHT's show will mark Banned's first gig since taking a road trip to Engadine (outside of our coverage range) last week, and their first in Hessel since a deer season party in November. That said, this concert is also tied to special festivities, as it coincides with the annual Snowsfest in Hessel, with this taking place during the festival's annual Pub Shuffle, so if you like pub crawls and such, click here for full details on participating venues and the favourite bar contest! And in case you're curious, this year's theme is cartoons, hence the cartoon imagery on The Runway Bar's Facebook page when covering this concert, but if there's a hidden meaning behind only using underwater-set cartoons, I don't know it.

TONIGHT'S show at The Runway Bar (I mean, Bikini Bottom?!) has a 9:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit. Visit the above links for more details, best of luck with Snowsfest and the pub crawl this year, and here's Banned live!

Next up, here's (so far) the only public videos that I've found from the Pop Evil concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino on Valentine's Day! Uploaded by YouTube user Om G shortly afterward, these videos are of the Muskegon hard rock quintet playing their songs "Boss' Daughter" and, as embedded below, "Ways to Get High". These aren't optimal looks at this concert due to the vertical camera angle, shaky visuals, and muddled audio, but while the vocals come through fine, Leigh's range doesn't hit the heights I'm used to from Pop Evil's studio versions. These work well enough though, so check them out above & below!

Also today, here's a surprise, as Dafter hard rock solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton has released yet another studio album to his Bandcamp page! Entitled "Music For The Body", this is officially SweetKenny's 25th official album, and his second of 2018 already, but it does depart from his recent formula of intended scores for other media. Instead, this is an EP-length release featuring 6 instrumental tracks, including his recent song "Bikini", and as it turns out, he's intended "Music For The Body" to be used for fitness purposes, specifically aerobic or Zumba workouts. That's an angle I didn't expect, but hey, it shows his diverse thinking! You can buy this EP at the above links for $7, and can stream it for free there as well. It's great to see SweetKenny release a new non-score album, even if it's a fitness EP, but might we see a review of it on the site? It's possible, but given that we just reviewed "The Dogs Are Watching" last month, it wouldn't be until July at the earliest due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer period.

As well, keep in mind that SweetKenny has released six studio albums since the beginning of 2017, so I'd be shocked if he didn't have anything else put out by July. Given that, a fitness-geared EP likely wouldn't be our optimum choice for a review over a potential full length album (score or otherwise) that follows, but stranger things have happened! Give SweetKenny's new album and more of his extensive back catalog a listen above!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items (all regarding Sault Ontario acts) from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback announced on their Facebook page last week that they have begun pre-production for their debut album, and will post updates on it along with "a few surprises." No word on when and where they'll officially begin recording tracks for it, but the guys did note that their planned next concert will be in May. Intriguing, so stay tuned for more from A.D.S. as it rolls in!
  • Local indie/hard rock quartet Id Iota and DJ Seith took a road trip to Espanola for rare out of town concerts last Friday and Saturday as part of the Boogie Mountain Night Jam skiing event there, as cited at this link. Hopefully the shows were a hit, and that both Id Iota and Seith made some new fans out east! However, no public word yet on Id Iota's teased new bassist.
  • Former Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent posted the first track from his planned second solo album onto his Bandcamp page on Wednesday! Entitled "Apocalypse", this is a well recorded technical death metal instrumental that fans of his other recent solo material should like, so give it a listen above! For what it's worth, Mike still hasn't formally released "Ultimate Chaos" in an formal album packaging on Bandcamp or elsewhere that I've seen, with the songs still only posted as separate single tracks.

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Shit Liver, Soundcheck, And Tym Morrison), Plus An Upcoming New Album Release!!

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day! It's now time for another batch of weekend concert previews on the SMS, and while things are quiet on the hard rock spectrum, both of this weekend's performing hard rock acts have SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to address as part of them! To round things out, we have one more huge new concert to address, including a new album alongside it, so here's what you should know!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to The Rockstar Bar stage for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT, with their apparent Water Tower Pub debut following THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice on these shows, the former was announced via their Facebook event page on Monday, and the latter was briefly noted on the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page on Tuesday. However, note that Soundcheck have not publically acknowledged either show on their own Facebook page at press time (or posted there in almost a month), and the Water Tower Pub haven't mentioned it either that I've seen. TOMORROW'S Rockstar Bar show will be the Mourning Wood successors' first at this venue since January 19th, and while it's not clear why they didn't get a double booking for there this weekend, SATURDAY'S Water Tower Pub show will fill in the gap in a rare solo hard rock appearance there from a local band!

An act of Soundcheck's style isn't unprecedented for this Great Northern Road venue, and hopefully they deliver a solid set on SATURDAY, assuming that the show is still on! These gigs are likely 9:30 PM affairs both nights, you must be 19 or older to attend, and there are no advertised cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and nope, no public Soundcheck videos yet! We'll let you know when any turn up!

Next up, prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison has new nighttime gigs at Room 21 above Low & Slow TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT to go along with his ongoing Gliss Steak & Seafood matinees that take place earlier those same days! Again, apologies for the short notice on the Room 21 shows, Tym only announced them via their Facebook event page on Sunday (concurrently with his Mark's Breakfast Plus gigs earlier this week.) These will be Tym's first stops at this newer acoustic-heavy upstairs venue of 2018, last having played there in September, so if you liked seeing his unplugged hard rock favourites there last fall, here's another chance! Likewise, his ongoing long-term arrangement at Gliss continues for two more matinee shows this weekend, so if you want an earlier and more intimate night of music, you have those options once again too!

These four shows (including at Room 21 TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT) have no cover charges, and while the Gliss gigs are at 6:00 PM with no firm age limit, the Room 21 shows are at 10:00 PM with a 19+ age limit. Click here and visit the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!

Also, here's one more new show with lots of advance notice, and it's a big one, as local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver are coming back home for a headlining concert on Friday, April 6th at The Algonquin Pub, with their new album in tow! Last seen here at The New A in September during the "Trading Faces" split release tour, Shit Liver will make their way back north in support of their second full length album "Hitting The Fan", which never even made our "Where Are The New Albums?" posts because they never publically and firmly acknowledged studio sessions for it. In their album announcement on their Facebook page yesterday, the guys indicated that this is completely a DIY release that they recorded and are releasing themselves with no label assistance, so that may have helped explain the quiet recording sessions. "Hitting The Fan" will be released on Tuesday, March 13th, with local physical copies following at the show on April 6th, but how can you hear it?

An online release is expected for next month (presumably on Bandcamp), but physical copies appear to be limited to vinyl records with no CD pressings implied. If true, this will mean that all three of their studio albums have came out on different physical formats (should we break out our 8-track players for album #4?!) This pressing is apparently limited to 550 hand numbered records, with coloured vinyl, a lyric insert, and a poster, so keep that in mind come April 6th! In terms of that concert, local punk trio Stegadeth will open in their second show of the year, while there will be a third band to be announced. Stegadeth are a solid choice to compliment Shit Liver's punk influences! Promoted by Six, Two, Oh. (who also put on their show here last fall), a 9:00 PM start time is advertised for this 19+ concert, which has an $8 cover charge, and while prices for vinyl copies of "Hitting The Fan" are not out yet, their friends in AlgomA priced their vinyl splits for around $20.

I had no idea that things were this far along for Shit Liver's sophomore original album, but this is huge news, and I know fans will be eager to hear their new originals in studio form next month! Stay tuned for more on the digital release and price, track listing, and more, and assuming there's no release hang-ups, our next three CD reviews are set for the site! Given that Mike McCleary and Telephone & Address have new albums already on sale, that may bump "Hitting the Fan" to an April review, but certainly no later than that. Keep in touch for updates, and for a new news post this weekend, hopefully with Big Wreck and Pop Evil fallout! Thanks everyone!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (I Mother Earth & Redundant), Live705 Updates, And More!!

    Here's a big news post for your Tuesday delectation, and with other big news and announcements piling on, there was no need to delay things! Today's post features some assorted shorter items,

    Three local punk bands will unite for Punk Covers Night at LopLops Lounge on Saturday, March 3rd! A presentation of Tidal Records, this show's lineup will include veteran punk favourites Redundant in a rare LopLops appearance from them, and they definitely know their share of punk classics! While this is a covers-centric show, might we hear originals from their long-awaited debut EP, currently in progress at Tidal's own Mission Control Studios? Sporadically seen punk cover quartet The Cover-Up will play their first publically advertised concert in three years next month, with frontman/Tidal Records head Dustin Jones & ex-Lion Ride guitarist Marco Pedalino now joined by Dustin's Rising Tide bandmate Marshall Jaaskelainen & K.I.C.K. drummer Aaron Dunn, replacing Clint Wilson and Mike Yorke respectively, as per personal Facebook postings. Reasons for the lineup changes haven't been publically announced, but remember that The Cover-Up don't have any known band pages on Facebook or elsewhere. Solid and familiar choices for Tidal loyalists, and they should deliver a fun set!

    The third advertised band is The Bananas Guerrillas, and while the name is new to the site, this band is either a renaming of or successor to Enema of the Soo, the Blink-182 tribute from the Halloween Party events at The Algonquin last year. If the lineup's identical, look for ex-Stereo North frontman Andrew Pucci, ex-Long Shot bassist Adam Dawe, and ex-Gnaeus drummer Brendan Garlick in this band. No online pages yet, but they have an intriguing lineup! A $5 cover is in effect for this 19+ concert, whose doors open at 8:00 PM on March 3rd. Visit the above links for more details, and look for a high impact night of punk rock at LopLops next month!

    Next up, here's a huge show announcement for The Machine Shop on Wednesday, April 18th, as Juno award winning, multi-platinum-selling Ontario hard rock bands I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven will co-headline this already highly anticipated show! Best known for hit singles like "One More Astronaut", 'So Gently We Go", and "Another Sunday", this will be a long anticipated gig for fans of I Mother Earth's alternative and prog-tinged hard rock sound (they last played here at Club Princess, so there's an idea of the wait!) This will be I.M.E.'s first show here with Salads bassist Chuck Dailey in place of Bruce Gordon, while it'll mark frontman Edwin Ghazal's return after his 2 prior stops here with Crash Karma. As for Finger Eleven, this will mark their first stop here since headlining at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion back in 2004, and their first Soo gig since having their biggest chart success with the dance rocker "Paralyzer", so look for that and other hits like "One Thing" & "Living in a Dream" in a couple of months' time!

    Also, this will be Finger Eleven's first local show since Steve Molella replaced Rich Beddoe on drums. Tickets are $40 for this ALL AGES concert, which has an advertised start time of 8:20 PM, and tickets will go on sale TOMORROW at 10:00 AM at this link and at the in-person box offices at The Machine Shop and Station Mall. Fittingly announced the day of tonight's Big Wreck concert at the same venue, it's great to see The Machine Shop booking more non-country acts, and with this double whammy of Canadian hard rock, I know the buzz will only build in the next two months! Visit the official Facebook event page for current and future details as they come in!

    Also today, here's the latest from local concert promoters Live705's Facebook page, starting with a post on January 20th where they held a "roll call" for bands that would be interested in playing future shows of theirs, or to be "placed on our talent list" if they're contacted with information about band-for-hire slots. No word yet on when Live705 will end their concert promotion hiatus (they teased the summer), but send your band's name, contact info, description, lineup, and available links to Live705 above if you're interested! With that said, a Live705 representative was in attendance for Elements bandmates Rob Speers & Jesse Cook's acoustic concert at The Rockstar Bar on Friday, and this is an unplugged cover of Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" alongside Rob's Jack Spades bandmates Daniel Horton and Johnny Belanger on guest guitar and percussion. The vertical footage doesn't help, especially at this sharp angle, but it's a solid rendition of this roots rock classic! Give it a look below, and I wonder why there were so many balloons?

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

    • The aforementioned Daniel Horton is thinking about starting a new side project that would play originals and select covers. Influences would include bands ranging from Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle to A Perfect Circle and Tool, among others. No word on what instrument Daniel would primarily play (he's usually a guitarist, but was the bassist in Project 421), so message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Thursday if you're interested in more details!
    • Former A Dire Setback/A Fall From Innocence singer Larry Babic is looking to get back into the scene, and is interested in jamming with other musicians. He is currently learning to play guitar as well, he cited bands like Taking Back Sunday and Tiny Moving Parts as some of his favourite current bands, he likes "making sad lyrics", and he indicated that he loves doing promo work. If you're interested in jamming with Larry, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Friday!
    • Sykotyk Rampage's Facebook page has quietly returned after being briefly deactivated late last month, so we can quote the posts there that acknowledged their hiatus. On January 16th, the band said "Sorry we have been out of the loop, but we will be back with more", and "we should be getting together soon so we can bring the sweet creativeness to all of you.", while thanking fans for the love & likes. This isn't a firm declaration of imminent activity, so we'll leave them in our inactive band links for now, but I know fans of the crash are hoping that Sykotyk Rampage come back in full force in 2018!

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