Monday, November 3, 2014

VM Radio's Pilot Stream Info, Plus More Recent Updates!!

With a new week in full swing, there's news and notes to touch on now that we're fully out of the Halloween weekend, and hopefully everyone had a fun time seeing The Brains last night! Today, we have plenty of assorted recent updates, and first, your first chance to sample a new network of regional radio stations, so here's what you need to know!

SooToday parent company Village Media's new digital radio network VM Radio is now in it's pre-launch pilot phase, so we can now check out samples of each! Though originally planned for a September debut with 3 stations, it's better late than never, especially as there's actually 5 feeds, so what's available to check out? SMS readers will likely be most interested in VM Rocks, whose description says will feature modern rock, alternative, metal, and classic rock, citing bands like Gob, Seether, The Black Keys, and locals Garden of Bedlam & Jack Spades among it's playlist, so click above to hear the current stream! The other four stations include the previously announced VM Roots (for folk, roots, and blues rock), and in lieu of the originally hyped "Mix" station, VM Bounce (for hip-hop, dance, and club music), VM Indie (for indie, pop, and electronic music), and VM Y'All (for country music.) All streams are available to check out right now with less commercials than on terrestrial radio, but a full launch involving news and weather broadcasts is expected for later this week.

The idea of a full new network of local internet radio stations is a sound one, especially as Sault Ontario only has Country 104 and Kiss 105 for locally produced FM stations (and even with Sault Michigan stations, there aren't any FM indie or roots stations here.) Also, with Energy Rock Radio moving out west a few years ago, it's nice to have a full local internet radio presence based out of here again! For my own experience checking out the pilot streams of the stations, I've had no problems with the audio quality or speed of the playback, though the player's own page is very plain looking. For potential listeners of VM Rocks, today's rotation included artists like Big Wreck, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Steely Dan, Crash Karma, and ZZ Top, so it will cover a wide gamut of rock genres, with lots of Canadian content! That said, plans for potential programs or genre blocks with live DJs haven't been publicized yet, so I can't say with certainty if metal or punk fans will get a dedicated show on VM Rocks, but it'd be cool to see!

I'm very curious to see where VM Radio (and VM Rocks) go from here, including on if there will be other ways you can listen (i.e. through TuneIn Radio), so stay tuned for more updates on the full launch as they are made, be sure to check out all of the stations at the above links, and VM Rocks is now in our Sault Ontario internet radio/podcast links!

Finally for today, here's _ shorter assorted recent news items from the last few days, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, website, or company name:

  • Local concert promoters Oh! Right Arm! Promotions have launched a sister promotional company named GFC Promotions that will specialize in shows outside of Sault Ste. Marie, specifically in Garden River like next August's Das Bunkerfest II, related private house parties, and perhaps future attempts at Echo Bay concerts? No word what "GFC" stands for, but like them above, and GFC Promotions are now in our "Other Local Metal Links"!
  • In his latest local band search posting on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on October 30th, local bassist Jordan Leach is now looking for a singer, guitarist(s), and drummer for a horror punk band he's launching, though "other interesting instruments" are also welcome. The band would mostly play originals with some covers. With Frigtlight's demise, there is a horror punk void now, so hopefully this takes off, and message Jordan at this link or above for more details!
  • On his solo Facebook page on October 15th, Haggith drummer Mike Haggith revealed the tentative setlist for his upcoming 49th studio album "The Warinside", and while most of the 10 songs are new, the CD will apparently include a re-recording of his 2009 song "Lay My Body Down To Rest" (which Mike and The Din have played live recently.) Intriguing titles, so stay tuned for updates on this and his other upcoming solo plans!
  • Though not a formal review of the show, a new SooToday article from Donna Hopper on Halloween costumes and parties in the Soo from this past Friday does feature photos of Frightlight's headlining set at The Algonquin Pub during frontman Johnny Pints' annual Halloween party (in colour too!), and they're excellent as usual, so click here to see them and all of the great costumes from Halloween 2014 at four different downtown bars!
  • In the first finite info regarding this year's third annual Toystock fundraiser concert, promoters Maxx Entertainment revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that the event is still slated for Sunday, November 30th at The Canadian Nightclub, will feature 10 live bands once again for a roughly 10 hour duration, admission will be via a toy or food donation (money is accepted too), while the band lineup will be revealed shortly. Great to see Toystock back once again, and stay tuned for confirmation of this year's bands!
  • Sault Band-O-Rama promoters, Mourning Wood bandmates, and local metal band alums Terry Eaton & Steven Flint have launched a new live event sound company named Twin City Sound that are available to book for various types of events, presumably including concerts (like Sault Band-O-Rama at the Primavera Hall on November 21st.) Though the "Twin City" name implies that they'll cover Sault Michigan too, nothing is explicitly stated regarding cross-border bookings. This should be interesting, and Twin City Sound are now in our "Other" links section!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates as November rolls along! Thanks everyone!

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