Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!!

It's now time for the results of last month's poll and the launch of our newest poll at the SMS! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys last month: What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert in the first half of 2015? 23 votes, respectable for a poll on the site, and there was a clear winner on our hands, so here are the final results!

Anvil & Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on April 1st (7 votes, 30%)
The Rockstar Bar's Summer Bash on June 26th (3 votes, 13%)
Project 421 & Haggith at The Rockstar Bar on January 23rd (3 votes, 13%)
Caym & Jack Spades at The Algonquin Pub on May 15th (2 votes, 9%)
Benighted & Bookakee at The Oddfellows Hall on March 7th (2 votes, 9%)
The VM Radio Battle Of The Bands from March 4th-25th (2 votes, 9%)
Other (2 votes, 9%)
The Archaics at The New American Pub on June 1st (1 vote, 4%)
 Swampstravaganza V at The Canadian on May 9th (1 vote, 4%)
Treble Charger at The Machine Shop on February 6th (0 votes)
The Cover-Up at The Rockstar Bar on February 20th (0 votes)
The Speak Easy Battle Of The Bands on March 5th (0 votes)
Shit Liver at The Rednecks Saloon on April 28th (0 votes)
Biipiigwan & AlgomA at 180 Projects on April 30th (0 votes)
Destroyer & Griphook at The Rockstar Bar on May 29th (0 votes)
Jack Spades & Destroilet at The Algonquin Pub on May 30th (0 votes)
Id Iota & Skeyes of Seven at The Algonquin Pub on June 5th (0 votes)
Pixo Plays For Food in Garden River on June 12th (0 votes)
Scott McLurg Benefit at The Rockstar Bar on June 20th (0 votes)
Garden of Bedlam at Go Skateboarding Day on June 21st (0 votes)
Gatgas & Destroilet at The Algonquin Pub on June 27th (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I am surprised that 12 of 20 shows that were in the poll received no votes (no one voted for Treble Charger or Garden of Bedlam's returns?), while there were some light surprises from shows that did receive votes. Of the three concerts to earn the same amount of votes (or higher), all were Rockstar Bar events, and I did not predict the Summer Bash or January's Project 421-headlined concert to tie for second place. Both were well received shows though, and it's great to see them get a good response! The winning choice (with 7 votes and 30% of the total) was the Anvil-headlined concert on April Fools Day, a solid choice that received a great turnout and response for the Toronto metal legends, and I know that if (hopefully when) Anvil come back to the Soo, they'll rock the house once again! Thanks to everyone who voted!

As for this month's poll, we're exploring the topic of split albums, which haven't been a common occurrence in the local metal, punk, or hard rock scene in recent years, but are starting to gain a big foothold among current acts. Arguably the biggest example will be this fall's anticipated three-way split between The Ripcordz, Destroilet, and Jack Spades, but they're far from alone, with AlgomA planning a split CD with Saskatchewan's Chronobot, Chris Shoust's projects The Red & Black and Orange planning a split as well, and the kids at Blood Shed Productions having both released and plans to release a number of splits with both local and out of town bands alike, most notably the 11-way split from early this year. With all of this mind, this month's poll question is "Should more local bands release split CDs with other artists?" There are plusses to the idea, and also minuses to consider, but which side do SMS readers fall on?

Note that this is not intended to be about compilation albums featuring a song each from various artists (i.e. Dunnplugged CDs, Local Steel, the Foggy Notions albums, etc.), we're getting at CDs featuring multiple songs split between two or more equally billed bands. So, what is your opinion on split CDs? Here are 5 choices to vote from in the coming month!

Yes, it's good for marketing and joint exposure: When it comes to split CDs, benefits often cited include splitting the costs of recording and releasing the album between the involved bands, gaining some underground or independent attention away from a big label, and/or increasing exposure with each other's fan base, especially if the two bands aren't from the same area. Locally at least, the split album concept hasn't been recently common, but in black metal, grind, hardcore, and punk circles, it's certainly not strange. Vote for this choice if you like what releasing a split brings to the table!

It depends on the individual bands: It can also all boil down to personal taste. You may not like each band on a split album, and might not want to buy it at full price on that basis. Maybe the metal, hard rock, and punk subgenres you like aren't ones that commonly release splits, which would explain why you don't buy them. If I voted, this would be my pick, but is this the choice you most identify with?

Only for special circumstances or events: Given the nature of a split CD, you may like the idea in moderation, as a special occasion to mark a charitable cause, anniversary, or rare concert featuring the bands in question. Maybe you only like them as a stunt or limited release, or an indie exclusive for diehard fans of the bands in question? This choice is for you if you agree with the above!

No, bands should just release their own albums: While split CDs have a market, it's not necessarily one that everyone will like. There likely are fans that would rather see a band release a solo EP for less than a split album for possibly double the amount, especially if they don't like the other band. Maybe you find a split CD to be a cheaper way to release material, especially when there's no guarantees that the band will put the material out on a solo album. Or, maybe you just want to keep your bands separate in your album collections without splits to muddle it up? If you prefer bands releasing their own regular albums, this is the option for you!

No opinion/I'm not sure: If you don't have a strong view on local bands releasing split albums, don't really know what to think of them yet, or just want to hear bands releasing original material in any form, we have you covered, so vote for this option!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until September 18th to cast your votes, and hopefully we get some interesting responses so we can get a bead on how readers view the increase of local split CD plans! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

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