Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ray Brown Arrangements, Viva La Battle Updates, And New Mike Haggith Albums!!

I wasn't expecting to have a new news post today, but given our busy Thursday and some new notes on a recent sad story and a late notice lineup change for TONIGHT'S battle of the bands, I thought I should get another up tonight. Today, we also have album updates (including a surprise release) from two Mike Haggith-featured projects, but first, here's some follow-up on a well liked local musician's recent passing.

Former local metal/hard rock drummer Ray Brown's obituary has been posted onto SooToday at this link, where it confirms that his funeral will be held on Saturday at 2:00 PM at the Arthur Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, with visitation taking place Friday from 6:00-9:00 PM and Saturday from 12:00-1:30 PM, and cremation and internment planned at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. The obituary also adds that memorial contributions to the Algoma Residential Community Hospice and the Sault Area Hospital Cancer Care Fund would be appreciated, and he's survived by his fiance Candy, two brothers, and four nieces & nephews, among other extended family. I'll also note that his former The Chosen bandmate Taryn Bugyra has launched this Facebook group as a memorial to him, with the hope of obtaining pictures of him for use at his services, so if you have any pictures of Ray, join the group and share them if you want.

The outpouring of condolences and memories has been really nice to see, and though I won't pretend to have known him, it does reinforce all of the good things I have heard from his friends and bandmates. I hope the funeral on Saturday continues the recent good feelings, and I send nothing but the best out to Ray's family and Candy at this difficult time. R.I.P. Ray!

Moving to some lighter recent stories, a band has dropped out of TONIGHT'S Viva La Battle at The Canadian Nightclub, that being debuting "secret" band Keep It Lit. Promoter J.D. Pearce confirmed on the Facebook event page this afternoon that a band member broke their hand, and though I'm not sure which member it was, note that Keep It Lit's intended secrecy prior to their debut hasn't noticeably bowed despite their exit from tonight's battle of the bands. With their withdrawal being so short notice, a replacement band will not be secured (making this the smallest battle of the bands in recent memory), but J.D. did note that the remaining bands can play up to 45 minutes in their set now if they want. Disappointing news to be sure, especially knowing Keep It Lit's lineup and sound descriptions, but hopefully they'll have some public news or a new show date sooner or later! With that said, we still have The Bear Hunters battling with the debuting North West and Punch TONIGHT to earn the right to open for Fuckface Unstoppable at The Canadian next month, so don't miss out!

With one less band, there's now a 66% chance that a Suicide Kings member will win their second straight battle tonight, but will North West throw a wrench into those odds? Find out TONIGHT, and you can help win by entering your ballot! First band goes on at 9:30 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and the cover charge is $5! See you guys there!

We'll close today with some news relating to albums featuring prolific local hard rock musician Mike Haggith, starting with the latest from Mike's new band, local funk/metal/jam trio The Strange Coyotes! The Project Legion successors recorded a live in-studio album at PaperClip Productions a few days ago and released it to their new BandCamp page last night after some editing and trimming, and a YouTube upload of said tracks is also planned. With 7 songs spread across 27 minutes, the self titled album features all originals by The Strange Coyotes, and I don't think any of them are expanded versions of Chase Wigmore or James Watterworth's existing original songs. I'll note that like defunct Sault Michigan band Insipid Bruality's posthumous album, this is up on a name your price model, so while you can buy it free, I'm sure the band would appreciate if you paid a sum for the album! Knowing that it's on sale, I'll confirm that a review of "The Strange Coyotes" is now likely, but when can we expect it on the site?

Probably not until next year, as I've reserved this month for SweetKenny's "Perception", and I tentatively have Haggith's "Apocalypse II" planned for next month to go along with their impending demise (if it does come out for sale, of course), but stay tuned for it in early 2014, and give The Strange Coyotes' self-titled original debut a listen above!

Finally for today, here's some announcements on his upcoming 48th solo album! As per his solo project's Facebook page yesterday, tracking & mixing is underway for this album, which will be called "A Place Of Our Own" (album cover on your right), which will be a concept album. It replaces his original planned next CD "The Tower", which is now on "an indefinite hiatus", though he's pushed back planned album ideas before, so I wouldn't immediately assume that it'll never surface. A release date and samples/indications of the album's sound are yet to be confirmed, but Mike tentatively pointed towards a possible completion date in February 2014. I'll note that if "A Place Of Our Own" comes out on time from that projection, we won't review it (or "The Present Din" if it's heavier) until at least April, as it'll be within our 6 month buffer from our review of "Neighbourhood Watch II", but I fully expect to review a new Mike Haggith album by mid-2014, so stay tuned for updates on it and Mike's other solo work as it all comes in!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys TONIGHT at The Canadian for Viva La Battle! Will The Bear Hunters, North West, or Punch earn the right to open for Bam Margera next month? Find out tonight, and stay tuned at midnight for a special look back at a popular former local concert series that recently celebrated it's third anniversary. Thanks everyone!

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