Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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

It's now time to close down our monthly poll at the SMS from last month, and launch our newest poll at the SMS! As you may remember, we posed this question to you guys last month: What should be done to get more original live metal & hard rock bands in the Sault Michigan area? We only received 9 votes, which is low, but Sault Michigan-centered polls historically have been, so I wasn't expecting the world here. The results do give an interesting spread though, so here's the final tally!

Book more multi-band concerts/festivals (2 votes, 22¼%)
Encourage more artists to write & record original material (2 votes, 22¼%)
Nothing, we're past it's peak (2 votes, 22¼%)
No opinion/I don't follow Sault Michigan bands (2 votes, 22¼%)
It's cyclical, things will improve on their own in time (1 vote, 11%)
Start more musician lesson camps for youths (0 votes)
Form new live bands (0 votes)
Reunite defunct and inactive bands (0 votes)

What do you guys think? It's hard to derive a full conclusion from the results given that only 9 votes were cast, let alone with a four way tie for first with 2 votes each, but if you generalized it, 5 of the 9 cast votes offered a hopeful opinion as to what could be done in the Sault Michigan area, compared to 4 pessimistic or indifferent votes. It is of note that no one voted for just forming new or reuniting old bands, thinking instead of booking more shows or encouraging artists that we do have to write and record more. It is a little discouraging too that two voters said nothing could be done, and while there's no one magic button to getting Sault Michigan's hard rock scene back to even late 2000s levels, I know there's talent in the E.U.P. that should be out there even occasionally in band work, and I hope that things pick up across! With Ten Kings' breakup, we now only have 12 Sault Michigan area bands listed in our active links, hopefully it doesn't fall much further.

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, I wanted to look at a style of music that we've seen a bit more from on the hard rock and metal side of things in recent years, that being acoustic concerts. For the genres we cover, unplugged sets aren't obvious fits, but occasionally, you do see heavier or punk bands unplug their instruments and take things down a notch. Sykotyk Rampage did so for their Zombie Walk sets this year, The Pixo Control's Michael Mikus is playing a solo acoustic set at Dish Espresso Cafe this weekend (more on that in our weekend previews), Tym Morrison has succeeded his Caveman Morrison run with weekly acoustic solo gigs, and bands ranging from Gates of Winter to Redundant have went acoustic for a night in the past. Not to mention, Local2's webseries Bare has seen local (and out of town) bands strip things down for special performances, and we have seen local hard rock bands who only played acoustic material as well (like Sault Michigan's Condemned & Wild Fate.)

I'm not saying there's a trend or wave of acoustic hard rock shows hitting the Soo, but we're seeing more of them than we have in the past, so I wanted to pose this question to you guys: Should more local metal, hard rock, and punk bands play acoustic concerts? I've picked five choices that will hopefully yield an interesting result come next month, so here's your choices!

Sure, it'd be a change of pace and/or more marketable!: Given the genres in question, there are aspects of metal and punk that lend themselves well to a more reserved and intimate setting like an unplugged concert, and many genre fans do enjoy softer acoustic material, so maybe you want to see your favourite local band follow suit? Or, maybe you think going this route would allow a band to appeal to a wider audience and gain new fans?

It depends on the band, not every one would fit: Do you like the concept of more acoustic hard rock concerts, but not for every band? As an example, the guys from Shit Liver have recently formed the folk/bluegrass side project Dirtfight out of St. Catharines, but would Shit Liver themselves playing an acoustic set be something you'd want to see? Would a certain extreme metal genre be ill suited to an unplugged gig where hard rock or punk wouldn't be? Vote here if you like the idea in some cases!

Only for special occasions: Should heavier or punk bands reserve unplugged gigs for special events? For example, maybe a band should only break out the acoustic guitars for a charity or tribute event, an explicitly-defined acoustic-only show (like the annual X-Mess concert), or the occasional show at an acoustic-only venue (like The Harp or the modern day Coch's Corner.) Are you of the mind that a metal or punk band should only go unplugged once in a while for a special reason?

No, I prefer my metal & punk to be electric: If you don't want your favourite metal, punk, and/or hard rock bands to dive into the acoustic pool, here's the choice for you! Maybe you don't like such bands to go soft, maybe you equate it with "selling out", maybe you prefer your acoustic bands to be in other genres, or maybe you just want your music loud and heavy. In any case, cast your vote here if you apply to the above opinions!

Indifferent/no opinion: If you have no real feelings on if bands should play acoustically more often, or just like your bands no matter what they play, vote for this choice!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until December 18th to cast your votes, and it will be interesting to hear the final results, so do so in the month to come, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

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