We'll start with our long awaited look at the last of Local2's four part video look at this month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub via their newest Tuned episode! Notably guest-hosted by VM Radio's Derek Turner (also Garden of Bedlam's drummer) in lieu of Donna Hopper, who was under the weather at the time, the episode otherwise follows the structure of the last three episodes, starting with a recap of the previous week's semifinal by judges Rob Speers and myself (no Dustin Jones again due to scheduling conflicts), before featuring introductions and performance footage of the finalist bands (the fourth place Apocalypse Afterparty, runners-up The Bear Hunters, third place Mannapool, and winners/wild cards Gnaeus), before showing the first place award presentation to Gnaeus. Though shorter than I expected (with no footage of the individual award presentations), this is a another solid episode of Tuned, and Derek filled in well as guest host!
No word yet on if there will be a judges' recap video on the finals, but if called to do one, I'm open to it! This was a great battle of the bands, so be sure to check out all four of these Tuned episodes to get caught up on this event that was! (Note that while this episode features a new video player on Local2, it still doesn't visibly allow external embedding.)
Next up, one of the bands from said battle have posted some new videos from their semifinal set onto their Facebook page, they being week #3 competitors Mike Haggith & The Din! The alternative/acid rock trio were filmed by an attendee playing original songs "Of Cars & Criminals", "We Met As Surrogates", "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device", "Cowardly Hearts Beneath The Stars", and (as embedded below) their cover of Live's "Lightning Crashes", with all uploaded to their Facebook page last week, though note that "Cowardly Hearts..." is filmed on a sideways angle for one reason or another. All are well filmed with solid audio quality from up close to the stage, though Mike remains hard to hear on vocals like he was live at the event. I concede liking their older jam rock style more, but the new Din material is more focused and direct, so check out the new videos above & below! (And yes, I saw the teased Haggith lineup changes, we're waiting for more info on that.)
Also today, here's the latest on this August's Das Bunkerfest II, including a major planned change to the venue. Co-promoter/AlgomA frontman Boyd Rendell (a.k.a. Darby Wigwaus) revealed on the Facebook event page last week that the show won't be hosted at "Das Bunker" in Garden River like it was last summer, as Boyd has opted to hand ownership of the property over to his sister, but he is planning to host Das Bunkerfest in a new location to be determined, citing that he has "THE best minds in SSM show promoting it", so he's not worried. Before the announcement, there were two lineup changes, as Saskatchewan stoner metal band Chronobot dropped out due to frontman Darius Simonot & family expecting a new baby (congratulations!), but Toronto punk band The Cola Heads (featuring Detroit alum/Soo native Curtis Faux) were added to the lineup as well, which is awesome if things hold up!
That said, things can change in the interim, and Boyd isn't forecasting ticket availability until late May, so visit the above links for more details as they roll in, and hopefully Das Bunkerfest II goes on as planned at a new home!
Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter items from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, venue, or company name:
- Though not the focus of the article, a photo of Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's set, plus one of Tidal Records artists (including The Pixo Control) are included in Donna Hopper's photo album from The Boot Hill Crooners' CD release party at LopLops on March 20th, which you can check out on SooToday along with an article on the event! Nicely written, so be sure to read it if you're a Crooners fan or missed the show! For reference, their set did include a Hank Williams III cover.
- Local indie/punk band Northwest will be featured in an upcoming episode of Local2's new acoustic stripped-down performance webseries Bare, as per this photo shared on their Facebook page, which confirms that frontman Wayne Watkins and guitarist Greg Callaghan will represent them in the episode. This should be a good one, so keep an eye out for it in the near future!
- I've deleted defunct local recording studio The Smoke & Oak Room from our "Other Sault Ontario Links" section due to the deletion of it's Facebook (and only online) page. Ran by Blackwater alum Dave Pihlaja, the studio was used to record Crimson Crusade's EP and Beaumont Avenue's initial studio tracks for their yet-released debut album, but Dave moved to Toronto in late 2013, so that might be connected to the page's closure. Hopefully he stays active in music production and bands as well!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more this week, including this month's CD review likely next! Thanks everyone!