Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2016 Speak Easy Battle Of The Bands Information, Plus More Assorted News & Notes!!

Today's post at the SMS is mostly devoted to some shorter news and notes, but let's kick things off with some big updates concerning another local battle of the bands for next month, so let's get this one started!

The long teased second Speak Easy Battle of the Bands finally has an announced date, and it'll take place at Algoma University's campus bar/concert venue on Thursday, March 10th! Ostensibly an annual event now, this was originally scheduled for November 19th before being postponed due to unspecified "sponsorship issues". As per the new Facebook event page, the ground rules for this battle will be very similar to last year's, with 15 minute sets for each band and 5 minutes for set-up time, a crowd vote to determine winners, and prizes of $400, $200, and $100 for the top 3 bands. Twin City Sound will return to provide sound and base gear for the competitors, and it's now emphasized this year that the winning band will also get an encore set (I can't confirm if that was the case last year.) Promoters aim to have eight bands next month (up from seven last year), and while not currently confirmed, advertising for the battle's original date indicated that The Din, Eclipse, Jesse Merineau, and the returning Pillory were scheduled at the time.

Nothing there indicates that they still have reserved slots like they had in November, but might we still see some or all of them next month? If you're interested in competing, message co-promoter Meghan Rix A.S.A.P. at meghan.rix@algomau.ca for details! For reference, last year's battle was won by Gnaeus, with Long Shot and The Bear Hunters taking second & third, while the other competing acts were Infinity Grinder, Jesse Merineau, (Mike Haggith &) The Din, and Project 421. Also, note that Pillory bassist Jordan Leach is not involved with promoting this year's battle, so if Pillory do compete, there's no conflict of interest! For potential attendees, there's a $5 cover next month, there's a 10:00 PM start time in effect, and while there is a 19+ age limit for most attendees, minors with valid Algoma University student ID can get into the event. And yes, this battle will again be taking place one day after a night of next month's second annual VM Radio Battle of the Bands (in this case, after the March 9th semifinal; last year's was after the first night.)

While it's a little odd that they'd continue the scheduling in such proximity to the bigger VM Radio Battle, at least it's a consistent annual schedule if this maintains, and they don't run on the same day! Last year saw four bands play both battles, but will more pull double duty again next month?  It's great to see the Speak Easy Battle back for a second go, even if the fan vote method isn't optimal, so be sure to message Meghan A.S.A.P. at the above links, click here for more info, and stay tuned for more on both of next month's battles!

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

  • Garden of Bedlam frontman Erik "Buzz" Boissineau revealed in a recent personal Facebook posting that he "can't wait until Garden of Bedlam and Changing Lanes perform for you guys again", which indicates that his local bands aren't done yet despite his impending work-related move to Guelph. Changing Lanes played Buzz's farewell concert this past weekend, and while the door remains open for a return when the time is right, we've only seen Garden of Bedlam (outside of a stag & doe) once since 2013, and they haven't updated their Facebook page since the summer. Stay tuned for more (hopefully) on their status and future plans!
  • In their first public update since July, local alternative hard rock band Id Iota posted a photo on their Facebook page showing guitarist Dustin Goodall (also now of The Pixo Control) "making some sounds", with the picture showing him playing in front of a laptop with a music mixing program open. Are Id Iota recording new originals? When will we see them live next? Have they found a new bassist? Hopefully we hear more from Id Iota soon!
  • In a clarification for Friday night's Pixo Control/Aldous concert, we can now confirm that the show is NOT the Valentine's Day-themed event that Daniel Horton was promoting, as The Rockstar Bar's Facebook group confirmed that the show in question has now been postponed to THIS SATURDAY NIGHT for unannounced reasons. The date did change, as opener Shit Creek Survivor & planned performers Eclipse have both said it was on February 12th in earlier postings. With that said, the involved bands haven't plugged the show on Facebook as still being on the 13th, but we'll let you know more in this weekend's concert previews!
  • On their Facebook page last night, local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage revealed the titles and irreverent cover artwork of this year's planned new "albums", and they are titled "Messa-Chords", "Alarm Alarm", "Strange", "Krazy", "Kock Block Rock", and "S.C.O.T.T." Odds are, these will again be free postings on their Reverbnation page, but fans of the crash will want to pay attention for when these go online, so stay tuned for more!
  • If you saw a Facebook page in recent weeks for a new local hardcore punk band named The Transjenners (obviously referencing Caitlyn Jenner), you're not alone, but that page was quietly deleted for unannounced reasons. I do not know who was in the band or anything on them beyond the name, but there was a comment on their page from a Facebook user who had saw them jam once. If they re-emerge, or if we hear more about them, we'll let you know!
  • Registration packages for next month's second annual VM Radio Battle of the Bands will be available to pick-up at The Rad Zone and Case's Music THIS FRIDAY, as per co-promoter J.D. Pearce on the Facebook event page yesterday! There are limited spots available for next month's four night event at The Canadian Nightclub, so if you haven't gotten your packages yet, get them starting on Friday! Remember, there is a $100 admission fee, but you'll get that money back (and more) if you sell even seven of the 10 ticket bundles that you'll get, so don't let that stop you! See the above links for full current details!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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