VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub, as Local2's video coverage of Wednesday's opening night is now online via the newest episode of Tuned with Donna Hopper! The popular music webseries' latest installment went online on Thursday, this is the first of a planned 4 part series covering the battle, and is structured differently than past episodes, including updated graphics and host segments done in studio rather than on-location, along with omitting credit bloopers and the concert calendar segment. The episode features promoter J.D. Pearce discussing the structure of the event and what to expect at the battle, then transitioning to introductions and brief performance footage of this week's competing bands (Honest Job, Infamous, and The Bear Hunters), before showing the announcement that The Bear Hunters won the round, and more performance footage of them caps the episode.
Surprisingly, there's no video footage of The Pixo Control's non-competitive guest set, but might we see that in a future Local2 video? In terms of new announcements, Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie confirmed in their introduction that they're in this battle to try and earn funds to record their planned second CD "The Dead Testament", but can they reach that end goal on the 25th? This is another solid episode of Tuned, and a great teaser for the battle and what to expect from the event in the next three weeks, so give it a look at this link or above, and stay tuned for coverage of night #2!
Banned, including the upload of two original studio tracks to frontman Alex Traynor's personal Reverbnation page in recent days! The songs are "Cocaine Riot" and the newer "Lightswitch", both being songs that Banned play live, but appear to be recorded as solo tracks by Alex (complete with programmed drums) in this form. "Cocaine Riot" is a harder rocker, while "Lightswitch" has a lighter pop rock feel, but both are well recorded (if more artificial sounding than they sound live), so give them a listen above! Also, the band was captured in two new Facebook videos shot by Alex's sister/drummer Don Traynor's daughter Lindsey at their Rapids Lounge gigs in the Soo over the Valentine's Day weekend, and subsequently shared on Banned's Facebook page last month, so what can we say on them?
The videos are of Banned covering Three Doors Down's "Kryptonite" and (as embedded below) Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll", which notably features Alex on lead vocals only, with Grooves Music owner/veteran local musician Gary Hatch filling in on guitar. The angle on these videos isn't great (especially with fans often getting in the way), but they're solid covers from this talented trio, and Alex's lead vocals have definitely improved with age! Give the Bob Seger cover a look below, and check out much more from Banned at the above links!
SweetKenny), as he's provided the official theme song for WoodBangers Magazine, a music publication/online community that he actively supports and is involved with on various levels. Entitled "A New Dawn", the instrumental track can be heard via assorted videos on the WoodBangers YouTube channel in the past two months, is well promoted on the WoodBangers website (including a sale copy), and it can be streamed in full on SweetKenny's Reverbnation page, though no word on if we'll see it on one of his upcoming albums. "A New Dawn" has more of a dramatic slower feel than SweetKenny's usual faster rock songs, and it admittedly doesn't sound like something that a magazine named WoodBangers would have as it's official theme, but it's a well written and often tense song that has a lot of work put into it, and fans should like it! Give it a listen above, and here's the song in an episode of WoodBangers TV!
Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:
- If you were waiting for confirmation of the stage names of The Apocalypse Afterparty's new female band members, we can confirm that they're named x and z (pronounced "times" and "zed"), not to be confused with existing singer/bassist Z and drummer X (or "zee" and "ecks".) Though instrument roles or alter egos were not confirmed for either new member, one is likely Sara Biedermann on bass, as per recent teaser photos. Get more details at their Facebook page, and we'll learn more at the VM Radio Battle on March 18th!
- Following a series of Quebec concerts to start 2015, local/St. Catharine's death/crust trio Shit Liver are planning to book a tour of Western Canada this year that would take them all the way to Vancouver. If you're interested in helping them get dates booked out west, message them A.S.A.P. at this link, and hopefully we'll see them back home in the Soo on the way out west!
- Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's newest song "Foster's Death March" was posted on their Reverbnation page yesterday, and it's a darker, dramatic song with a bit of a tribal feel. Though largely an instrumental, it does feature some cryptic chanting as well. Different from their norm, but an interesting listen, so check it out at the above links!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for Speak Easy Battle videos and more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!