The fourth episode of Local2's online series Tuned with Donna Hopper is now online at this link, so what should you know about this newest installment? The headline story concerns a recent stage production by The Northland Barbershop Chorus, while the concert calendar segment spotlights the Die Mannequin show at The Rockstar Bar on June 14th and the upcoming Craig Cardiff show at downtown venue Cafe Natura. Of largest interest to local metal & punk fans though will be video clips of each band from the Medifest benefit event at The Grand Theater 2 weeks ago, so what's to see from them? Taking up the last 5 minutes of the episode, the clips start with an introduction from The Elements followed by footage of The Craig West Experience, Cory Murchison (with Alain Fletcher & Kyle Sweet), Redundant, Obviously D'uh, The Elements, and Project 421's sets. Yes, we know a bit more on Obviously D'uh now, and while I still don't have the name of any individual members, they're a trio with a singer/guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer. Their music isn't heavy, but they do seem to have a folk/jam style.
Also, the keyboardist's tab book has a logo for The Narwhal Sessions on the back, who were a band that played at The Marquee at Bon Soo in February, so I assume she was in that band too, but online information on them is also fairly scant. As well, the video basically confirms that a reunited Side FX (who were listed on the event poster) did not play, so Craig West's band very likely replaced them. The footage is great, though there's a lot of jumps to different angles and songs, and vocal audibility was an issue for certain bands. Like before, we can't embed Local2 videos here, but check out the new episode of Tuned above!
Next up, former Sneaky Pete & Foothill Road guitarist Mario Carlucci posted some interesting archive audio tracks onto his Soundcloud page last week that I thought should be acknowledged on here! The newest two are jam session recordings of Sneaky Pete covering The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California" & Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" circa 2010 (the former of which already being on YouTube), but the rest are new postings of one of his older local hard rock bands, Unkle Festerr (yes, that's how they spelled it!) He didn't detail the band's membership and history there, but judging by the age of the covers, these were likely recorded in the early 1990s. 10 of their songs are posted, those being an original that Mario thinks was named "The River" and 9 covers, including of songs by Deep Purple, Mountain, The Black Crowes, and two each from Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Judas Priest (coincidentally both covers of their own.) The audio quality can be hit or miss given the age of the tracks, but how did Unkle Festerr sound as a band?
They had a nice groove, sort of a bluesy hard rock sound that definitely owed more to the 1970s than anything that was recent at the time, and the vocals are really solid for the covered genres! I imagine Unkle Festerr were a reliably successful band in their heyday, so check out Mario's audio postings of theirs at the above links, and hear his recent blues originals at this link!
Also today, Theatre of Night keyboardist Craig Harrison has posted a new video of him playing one of the Sault Michigan classical metal band's originals, but unlike his "Ragnarok Rising" video from last week on his YouTube channel, this is of a completely new song! Entitled "Darkness Falls Within", it's a yet-incomplete track that mainly features Craig's keyboard work in the video, and it's heavily filtered like his other recent uploads. Likely to be on Theatre of Night's still forthcoming all-original album, it's hard to judge the song yet without added instrumentation, but the drama and orchestration's a great sign, so check out Craig's new video glimpse below!
Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:
- We won't embed the full video here just in case some readers don't approve of a depicted injury from a moshing fan (especially in the video's static image when not playing), but a video of local goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore playing their song "Bunk, Shake, and Headache" at a recent private event can be seen at this link! Filmed by attendee and local promoter Tyler St. Amour, it's a solid enough video for C.T.W. fans, and things looked fun and brutal, so check it out if you want!
- Leading from recent teases of a release party for their debut EP, local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades announced on their Facebook page yesterday that copies should be in by late next week, with the first 100 copies signed & numbered, and they're hoping for the release party to be on a Friday night this month or next. A venue is still to be announced, so if you can help host this event, message frontman J.D. Pearce at this link!
- Bear Hunters/Suicide Kings guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo project The Sorrow Fields is alive despite a lengthy absence of updates and the privatization of his most recent original YouTube song uploads, as a recent personal Facebook posting confirmed that his debut solo album (now called "Let Go" rather than "Godlessness") is projected for a release this coming winter. He doesn't plan to talk about the album further until sessions are complete, but this has been a long time coming, so hopefully things work out finally!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!