Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Updates From Woods Of Ypres, Jason Mapes, And The Fresh Magazine!!

Hey guys, I have lots more updates to share today in the local metal scene, including new songs, videos, a tour blog, new band pages, and an open letter! Lots of stuff to get to, so let's not waste any time!

We'll start with updates from local doom/black metal quartet Woods of Ypres, as their North American tour continues through the American Southwest! Bassist Shane Madden has uploaded his second tour diary onto Decibel Magazine's website, which details the band's tour dates between Calgary and San Jose! Like on Shane's first posting, the diary mostly deals with the road trip itself and not the individual shows, including the scenic mountain drives, post-show parties, the surprising ease of crossing the American border, the fall-out of a cancelled Los Angeles show, and much more! Good read, interesting seeing how a tour unfolds for an independent band like Woods of Ypres! Click here to check it out! Also new on the Woods of Ypres front: New concert videos! YouTube user caraface has uploaded three new videos from the band's show last night at The Nightmare in Dallas onto their YouTube channel! Nice camera angle, you get a good view of the entire band, though it could stand to be a bit closer. Interesting choice of giving the video sepia toned colour, makes it look older! Audio's not bad either! There's uploads of "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" & "Halves & Quarters" and Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal)", but I'm embedding the video of Woods performing "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)" below, check it out, and click here for more!

Next up, Bad Side guitarist Jason Mapes has launched a new Reverbnation page featuring a brand new original demo! The page has lots of information on his new solo project, including band members, profile information, the revelation that his album is scheduled to come out this fall, his Kiss cover video, and of course, that new demo! Entitled "Love Again", it's an acoustic demo where he shows off some good guitar skills and a nice soft singing voice, definitely better suited here than on his cover of "I Was Made For Lovin' You". Not bad, though I'd love to hear heavier than this! Check out more of Jason's solo stuff at the links above! Also to note: Bad Side drummer Jonah Brockman also has a few solo pages of his own for his solo projects! Though not metal, I though that was worth mentioning, click his name to check out some of his own solo material!

And finally, the new issue of The Fresh Magazine is now out at numerous local establishments and online at this location, absolutely free! Lots of stuff this week to interest youths in Sault Ontario, and there's a few things that should interest metalheads! Len Ward from Turner Up & The Rad Zone's newest installment of "Len's Corner" is in this issue, with a playlist of what he's spinning on The Rad Zone's stereo (good selections!) and there's a one page photo collage of shots from the Downtown Showdown Battle of the Bands from May 28th, which is captioned on the cover as well. I hope that isn't the culmination of the promised photo shoots and cover features for the winning bands, cause the prize claims sounded misleading if this is all we get. Aside from that, it's a great issue with lots of interesting articles and pieces, but one in particular struck me that I feel I should mention on here. It's an "Open Letter to Rock 101" by freelance contributor Patrick Webb, the former guitarist of local hard rockers Infrastrate (Does anyone have a copy of their CD that I could get for an SMS review?!) Anyway, Patrick penned this open letter to address his criticisms of our only locally based rock radio station, which boil down to what he feels is a repetitive out-dated playlist of songs, which is helping contribute to an isolated feeling that many youths in Sault Ontario have. I won't detail everything he's criticizing, but it's a well written article, and you can read it by clicking here and scrolling to page 22. Now after reading this, I felt compelled to offer my own take on Patrick's open letter, but read his piece first!

Now I listen to Rock 101 a lot, and personally, it's my absolute favourite local FM radio station. I hate very little of what they air. That being said, I do agree that Rock 101's playlist does get repetitive, and I think it's worse than it could be because the vast majority of Rock 101's schedule is just normal DJ rotation, with only 9 hours a week set aside for special programs, like "Eddie Trunk Rocks" & "Flashback". Those air different stuff, but they're only on weekends. If Rock 101 just had constant 30 minute rock blocks 24/7, it'd be even worse than is claimed. It's not just newer artists and lesser known songs either like Patrick suggests, I could easily add Canadian bands to the list. Local bands on normal rotation would be a help too. I don't know if Rock 101 knows of these criticisms, and it's not just Patrick that has them, but I will submit this: The stuff that Rock 101 does air is good stuff. Repetitive, maybe. Same selection of bands, maybe, but it's not horrible. Rock 101's playlist rotation DOES need to be punched up, but at least they know stuff that a general rock fan would like, even if it's not the most current list or the best selection for a diehard fan of some bands. Myself, I'd love to hear Iron Maiden in normal rotation, but only weekend programs ever air them. That's one of many examples you could offer. But is Rock 101 really a contributing factor to isolation of the youth? I don't know if I'd give it that much credit, it's just a radio station, and if a young Saultite doesn't find it a relevant musical window, I'd hope they'd put a CD in or listen to their mp3 player rather than use it as fuel for a reason to leave town.

Rock 101 is still my favourite local FM station, and unless the unlikely day comes where a new local one pops up, it always will be. I admit that no station is perfect, but Rock 101 has the best odds for good music locally, especially with The Bear's local departure. But where Patrick says that Rock 101 is the "only viable option" in his open letter, I will openly and respectfully say he is incorrect. We pick up three other rock stations locally from the Mackinac Bridge area, including Real Rock 105.1, KLT: The Rock Station, and the new Mackinac City feed of Classic Rock: The Bear. All pick up locally on a good radio and all air different stuff than Rock 101. Real Rock in particular seems to be the best example of what Patrick's looking for. Add WLSO: The Sounds of Lake State to the list too if you know when a metal block airs. I do hope Patrick's opinions get addressed by Rock 101, and I respect his opinions on the situation even though not everything I agree with. I still listen to Rock 101, but like many listeners, there are things I'd like to see adjusted too. Maybe with time, we'll have to see!

That's all for today, but I have lots more news on the horizon! Tomorrow will be solely for weekend concert previews, my GarageBand Profile on Mike Cliffe will be on Friday, and at some point during or after, I have much more news to get to! Stay tuned for all that, and more!

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