Saturday, May 7, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Monkey's Uncle), Guitarist Departures, And More!!

It's official: I'm back home tomorrow! Before that though, we have some big news today, including some notes relating to some local band pages, a new video, and two disappointing guitarist departures, but first, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

As you may recall, I discussed some new Monkey's Uncle concerts at Kewadin Casino in yesterday's post, which will feature new singer/guitarist Donny Newell in their new quartet lineup. Well, Donny sent me an e-mail yesterday with some more show news, so here's what you should know! Monkey's Uncle will play at The Bird (a.k.a. Golanka's Bar) next weekend for shows on May 13th and 14th, in what I believe are the first shows with the band's new lineup! Donny said they may be playing there on an additional upcoming weekend, but I'll wait for more confirmation before saying it's a go. These shows should have 21+ age limits and 10:00 PM-ish start times, and there's no announced cover charge. Though these are the first Monkey's Uncle shows we've heard of from The Bird since the Jager days, I do believe they played there often during their period of not updating their MySpace page, for what that's worth. Also, The Bird's Facebook page has nothing on the shows yet, but I'll keep you posted if something comes up! Sounds good to me, hopefully the new lineup delivers at The Bird this month as well! Stay tuned for more Monkey's Uncle news as I hear it!

Next up, here's some disappointing news relating to the departures of guitarists from two local death metal bands. Firstly, State of Misery have parted ways with lead guitarist Ray Cowan. Ray was the band's lead guitar player since their inception late last year, playing with them at all of their shows through this month. This is the news that I hinted towards in yesterday's post, but now I have some actual information I can tell guys about. Through e-mail correspondence with drummer Nick Kainula, I was told that Ray left for personal reasons, although what those all could be wasn‘t known. As such, the band are indeed taking a break for a few months to regroup, write new material, and find a replacement guitarist. Band pages have yet to be updated to reflect Ray's departure, and though nowhere is a guitarist search promoted, give them a shout at this location if you're at all interested, cause you never know! This is disappointing to hear, especially given Ray's talent, which was crystal clear at their shows, but hopefully his reasons for leaving are truly for the best right now. It'll be odd not seeing State of Misery around for a few months, but they'll be back in full force soon, I hope. And, of course, best of luck to Ray, hopefully he pops up in a new band soon!

As well, The Bear Hunters have parted ways with rhythm guitarist Mike Vincent. Mike has played with The Bear Hunters at every concert since their inception, after replacing Andres Duchesne in the band last fall. The split is completely amicable, and as Mike personally stated on drummer Johnny Belanger’s personal Facebook page yesterday, he’s leaving due to his own family commitments & his own schedule. He didn’t want to leave, but he didn’t want to hold the band back either. That said, The Bear Hunters are now actively searching for a new rhythm guitarist. Prospective guitarists must be show ready with their own gear, have some lead guitar ability, and be able to play in Drop A tuning. Send your serious inquiries via e-mail to either Johnny’s page linked above or guitarist Mitch Sirie’s Facebook page, and leave your phone number for call backs. The aim was to have some tryouts later today, so keep that in mind. This news is unexpected & disappointing, but I’ve been a friend of Mike’s since high school, and I know that he has a lot on his plate personally. If this is what‘s best for him, I‘ll be supportive! Besides, he’s still in Skull After Betrayal and his own solo project, so don’t forget about them! Best of luck all around, hopefully The Bear Hunters (and State of Misery) bounce back soon!

Now that the bad news concerning guitarist exits is out of the way, let's revert to good news, as we have a new concert video to share! A new video of As It Stands from last month's Dead & Divine concert at The Oddfellows Hall was posted on YouTube on Tuesday! This was posted by YouTube user Micaela Hurley, who's posted scattered concert videos on her channel, including one of Bring The Fallen from last year. This new As It Stands video features clips from many of the songs that the band played at the show last month, though some informal chitchat with guitarist Garrett Masters is included at the beginning. It would have been nice to see video of full songs, but still, this is some of the best quality video I've seen of As It Stands since their return last year, and the audio holds it's own too! Good stuff, and the band look in top form during their set, so definitely check out this new As It Stands video out below!

And finally, here's some news for those of you who use or visit Facebook groups used by local bands. Facebook recently announced that they are planning to archive all groups made in the "old" format and convert them to the new format. The old groups, which were bascially predecessors to Facebook pages, are still used by bands like Caveman Morrison & Sense of Truth, click on their names to check them out. However, Facebook's changing all their old groups to make them all follow the new format, which is designed for use in smaller circles and social groups. An example of a group in the new format is State of Misery's group, if you want an idea of what your old groups will look like eventually. With the changes, the "recent news" section, info box, and assorted minor aspects will be removed upon upgrading, but you'll get some new additions to your page, like synchronized chat with members. You'll also lose all of your group members, and you'll have to add new ones as a result afterwards. So, if you run a Facebook group, what do you need to do?

If your group is actively used, you can upgrade right now at the top of your group's main page, and if you don't, it will eventually be archived into the new format regardless. The upgrade option is only visible to admins of pages that have enough recent activity for it to be a good candidate for conversion (unlike our old Facebook group.) In case you're worried, NO GROUPS ARE BEING DELETED, just archived! Facebook also stresses that if you want to promote a business (like a band), they recommend a page, not a group, so make note of that. This news is somewhat inconvenient, as there's no way out of it, but I can understand Facebook wanting a more united group format across the site, so we have to make due. Click here for more information, and make the right choice for your Facebook presence if you use an old group!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for the launch of the SMS March Mayhem tournament finals later today! The polls close at around 6:00 PM tonight to ensure that a full week of voting took place. Who are the final two bands? Find out tonight! Thanks everyone!

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