Monday, August 17, 2015

Project 421 Jam Session Recap, Emergency Festival Fallout, And More!!

Before we get too far into this post, we have a very late lineup change for TONIGHT'S Ballot Burner-headlined concert at The New American Pub, as local rapper Mikey Thomas has replaced grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back on the lineup, as per the Facebook event page yesterday morning. A reason for Bad Back's exit hasn't been announced, but seeing as frontman Jamie Vincent is still promoting the show, an external commitment for Nathan Sauve would make sense. Hopefully we see the guys back soon, and don't miss Mikey Thomas TONIGHT! Now, today's post features Emergency Festival fallout, some assorted updates, and first, a surprise jam session recap!

Due to personal family health matters, I haven't had a whole lot of time or opportunities to attend concerts recently, but that was partly remedied yesterday afternoon, as Project 421 guitarist Blair Burch invited me to check out their latest jam session! I don't live far from where they jam, which made things extra convenient! The roughly 2 hour jam was the first time that I've seen the guys with new drummer Chris Thompson, though guitarist Frank McGillivray couldn't make the jam due to personal commitments. As a result, the guys didn't play all of their regular songs, and some sounded empty without Frank's parts, but I got a first hand look at 4/5ths of Project 421 tackling classics from bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Dio, along with their newer original "Into The Darkness"! You can't judge a jam session on the same level of a concert, as a lot of it is meant for practicing and getting everything down for a show, but the guys sounded really good, and it's nice to hear Curtis McKenzie's impressive vocals back with the band!

Me and Blair chatted for a while after everyone left, and it was a nice break from the hectic personal stuff I've been dealing with lately! I also saw and heard some intriguing things concerning future plans, but we'll wait for official public word before saying anything here. I got a handful of photos from the jam that you can see at this link or via our Facebook page, and here's Project 421 (minus Frank) jamming their song "Into The Darkness"!

Next up, here's some fallout from yesterday's second annual Emergency Festival at Rocky DiPietro Field, which appeared to be a hit (despite the hot weather) according to early social media reports! First, there was an act that dropped out of the festival, that being Saskatoon country artist Zachary Lucky due to bronchitis, as per his Facebook page on Friday, though he hopes to play here again later this year. Disappointing for fans, but at least he let everyone know beforehand! As for the festival itself, it was MCed by SooToday's Donna Hopper, and of course, she got lots of great (and colour) photos from the show that you can check out at this article! They include 5 photos of headliners The Fast Romantics, 4 photos each of Gnaeus, Northwest, and The Poor Young Things, 3 each of The Pixo Control, Tasman Jude, and The Sunparlour Players, 5 of concert attendees, and 4 of art vendors on site. Excellent work as usual, and I like how nightfall made the closing set seem like it was at a different venue entirely!

A likely Tuned episode is forthcoming, but Local2 cameras were on site for this (unembeddable) video from The Emergency, which features abbreviated video footage from The Fast Romantics, The Sunparlour Players, Tasman Jude, and Gnaeus' sets (I wonder why The Poor Young Things and the other locals didn't make the cut?) Strong footage, and nice to see fans dancing up front for The Fast Romantics, so give this video a look above!

Lastly for current festival fallout, here's the latest from local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control, as we can finally confirm that their new drummer (replacing the departed Keeghan Rosso) is named Matthew Thibert, who made his public debut with the band on Sunday. The band has yet to confirm this on their Facebook page, but photos from the show confirm his identity. I'm not familiar with Matthew from past local bands, though he did once play with the defunct Bawating Collegiate jazz band Reverse Fozmosis shortly before the school's 2010 closure, alongside The Boatload Killers' Liam Seymour and others. I'm curious to see how he does live with Michael & Steve in The Pixo Control, so stay tuned for more on the new lineup! And we were holding this for when we mentioned their new drummer, as the cover art for the band's upcoming debut CD "Probably Not" is now posted on Facebook!

Similarly to the defunct Habitat Shuffle's EP, it's of a picture hanging on a wall, but this picture of mushrooms will be familiar for Pixo Control fans, as a framed copy of it has sat on stage for the band's recent concerts. I'm unsure of the symbolism, or if it connects to the name "Probably Not" at all, but it's recognizable and to the point! Stay tuned for more from the guys this week!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or venue name:

  • Just as a general site updated regarding our sidebar links, I've finally added The Emergency Festival and The Northern Vibe Festival to our links concerning concert festivals in the Sault Ontario area, while amending information on venues and dates for existing festivals, mainly concerning events impacted by this year's Downtown Association debate and cancellation of Queen Street East outdoor events. Hopefully things are updated there now!
  • Sault Michigan bar/concert venue Golanka's Bar (commonly known as The Bird) has closed at some point in the last two years, though their (now-deleted) Facebook page wasn't updated frequently enough to post a statement on why that I've seen. According to London Gentlemen guitarist Mike Libertoski in a Facebook conversation, the East Portage Avenue building was bought by new owners who are turning it into an outdoor retail store of some kind. The Bird hadn't hosted a hard rock concert that we'd heard of since early 2013, but it's sad to see it go, and hopefully Yoopers have good memories of The Bird!
  • Sault Ontario alternative hard rock duo Infinity Grinder have posted seven new demo recordings on their Soundcloud page in the past 3 weeks, which confirm that they play improvised jams as well as original songs, Brad & Terrence both handle drums and guitar parts in studio, and that they formed last year. The songs are solid, often hard-edged, and nicely varied, but only "A Few Weeks" has vocals. Give them a listen above, and don't miss Infinity Grinder's New A debut TONIGHT!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and our newest poll tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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