Monday, August 18, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's Poll!!

As it's the 18th of the month, it's now time to shut down last month's poll and launch our newest poll at the SMS! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite local metal/hard rock/punk concert in the first half of 2014? We got a respectable 29 votes, so thanks to everyone who voted, and now, here are the final results!

Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on May 16th (6 votes, 21%)
Fuck the Facts at The Oddfellows Hall on May 4th (6 votes, 21%)
Anvil & Caym at The Canadian Nightclub on March 15th (4 votes, 14%)
Late & Loud at The Rockstar Bar on February 21st (3 votes, 10%)
Pillory & Rotopsy at The Oddfellows Hall on January 24th (3 votes, 10%)
Anciients at The Canadian Nightclub on June 24th (2 votes, 7%)
Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall on May 10th (2 votes, 7%)
Other (2 votes, 7%)
Punch at The Roosevelt Hotel on February 6th (1 vote, 3%)
The Merves at The Rockstar Bar on January 17th (0 votes)
Jack Spades at The Roosevelt Hotel on February 13th (0 votes)
T-Rex Manning at The Roosevelt Hotel on February 27th (0 votes)
Skynet & Chronobot at 180 Projects on March 16th (0 votes)
Medi-Fest 2014 at The Grand Theater on March 22nd (0 votes)
Who Made Who at The Rockstar Bar on March 28th (0 votes)
The Merves at The Rockstar Bar on April 4th-5th (0 votes)
The Fever Tops at Cafe Natura on April 15th (0 votes)
Dank Fest 2014 at The Oddfellows Hall on April 19th (0 votes)
Crued at The Rockstar Bar on May 3rd (0 votes)
The Great Sabatini at The Moose Lodge on June 10th (0 votes)
Heart & Jason Bonham at The Essar Center on June 20th (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm a bit surprised by the wide spread of concerts with 0 votes, and especially shocked that no one voted for the Heart show at The Essar Center in June. That was such a well attended & well recieved show, and no one voted for it? Very odd. The first Heavy Thursday at the former Roosevelt Hotel made 9th place with a single vote, which is nice to see as a posthumous recognition of The Rosie! I'm not shocked by the shows tied for 6th with 2 votes (can't speak for "Other" though), but the Oddfellows Hall show on January 24th is very surprising to see tie for fourth in the poll, as that show was dogged with lineup replacements and dropouts, partly thanks to poor weather. Must have been a fun show even still! The Anvil show fittingly got a high placement in third place, but as you can see, we tied for the final tally with 6 votes a piece for two May concerts, those being the Fuck The Facts show at The Oddfellows Hall and the Jack Spades EP release show at The Rockstar Bar. With a tie, who technically won the poll?

Both were solid and entertaining (though very different shows), but in the case of ties regarding our (bi-)yearly concert polls, the higher placing one is the newer one, as it's been in our consciousness for a shorter time, and therefore, had less time to garner the same amount of votes. As a result, congratulations to the Jack Spades EP release show for "winning" this poll by a hair, and thanks to everyone for voting! We'll see the shows that got a vote in our poll on all 2014 concerts early next year, so watch out then!

As for this month's poll, I wanted to gauge people's opinions on a recent occurence that we haven't seen much of in recent years in the local metal & punk scenes, hence why we're posing this question: What is your opinion on the recent influx of two man metal bands in the Sault area? In the past year or so, attendees of recent all ages concerts may have seen a trend towards bands with smaller lineups, to a point where local bands with 4-5 members are a noticeable minority at such events. Among this are bands with just 2 members, including such recently prominent bands as The Apocalypse Afterparty, Bad Back, Brutaly Fatal, Rotopsy, Shadowthrone, This Is Your Band On Drugs, and even 415E in Sault Michigan. Of course, there are differing reasons from each as to why they play as a duo only, or it may only be a temporary measure pending future additions, but minimalist bands like these have become a fixture at many recent all ages shows. This is far from a new occurrence (Sue Inside & the 2wo Man Baand are late 2000s examples), but what do you guys think about the current crop?

Myself, I think most of it is intentional artist expression, and if it's a response to a lack of available musicians to flesh out a fuller band, then they're definitely making the most of it! I'm just curious to see what readers think on the whole. Before we get into the choices, I'll clarify that we're NOT getting at acoustic duos featuring two singer/guitarists, as they're largely from different scenes and not visibly a recent trend therein. We're also not focusing on solo acts largely for that reason, though you may consider Crucify The Whore and Mike Haggith among the above bands given that their live sets are electric with programmed backing instruments. Now, here are your choices for this month's poll!

I love them, keep them coming!: Do you enjoy two man metal bands no matter how big their lineup may or may not be? Do their energy, songwriting, and individual talents make up for any perceived gaps in their roster? There are definitely fans who feel this way, judging by the lively reception at most Bad Back and Blood Shed Productions concerts, but if you're among them, vote for this option!

It depends on the band: Simple enough choice, as everyone has their own personal preferences, and no one is guaranteed to like every single band in the area. The rap metal stylings of The Apocalypse Afterparty may not be the cup of tea of the goregrind-loving Rotopsy fans, and vice versa, for example. Everyone's tastes are different, so consider this option in the poll if you enjoy certain duo bands, but not all of them!

I have no preference towards band member amounts: Music is music, and whether a local metal band has 1 member (i.e. Crucify the Whore) or six (2008-era Woods of Ypres), they'll have their own fanbase who likely isn't focused on how many people are on stage playing the songs. Such a fan loves the band for the music, not their membership count, so does it just not matter to you how many members a band has?

We need more active musicians to fill out their lineups: The above bands weren't all duos forever (415E used to be a quartet, and Sue Inside became a trio after moving away), but maybe some of you think that the lack of available and willing musicians is a cause for some bands playing live as a duo, and using a drum machine, pre-recordings, guests, or just a more active stage presence to make up the difference. Do you feel that the Soo needs more active musicians to help supplant or add to these minimalist bands?

They're not my thing: Do you not see what the big deal is surrounding bands that only have two members? Maybe you don't like the minimalist approach, maybe you find them to generally not be your genre preference, or maybe you just find their sound incomplete, and not ready for the stage as a result? If you don't tend to like these recent two man bands, this is your choice!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until September 18th to cast your votes in this poll, and I'm interested to see how it scores! I believe that a band can exist in any form that the members want, but will that be the general consensus? We'll see how things look next month! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news shortly! Thanks everyone!

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