Sunday, February 14, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Eclipse & Project 906), Another New Local Band, Speak Easy Battle Updates, And More!!

Keeping the news and updates coming on this Sunday morning, we have more updates to one of our past battle of the bands profiles, the latest on one of next month's battles of the bands, and first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT linked to a new local band, so here's what you should know!

We (thankfully) have a new Sault Michigan hard rock band to add to our links, and they are Project 906, so what should you know on them? Obviously taking their name in part from the E.U.P. area code, they're the new band from guitarist Joe Jenkins & drummer Will Storey, who have recently played together in Ten Kings, The Bottom Line, and the second version of Full Throttle. Their lineup is rounded out by singer Billy Bernier and bassist Dustin Paras, neither of whom I'm familiar with from other local bands. Describing themselves as playing a mixture of blues, classic, and modern rock, Project 906 look to be playing a similar range of songs to what Ten Kings did (if their videos are any indication), and fans will get their first taste of Project 906 when they rock Pickles Bar & Grill in nearby Brimley on Thursday, March 17th for their St. Patrick's Day party! Pickles is largely an unfamiliar venue for our coverage, but you may remember that ex-Half A Man frontman Erik Rintamaki used to host open mic nights there.

The show itself takes place at Pickles (at 11204 West Lakeshore Drive in Brimley) at 10:00 PM on March 17th, with no announced cover charge and a 21+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see Joe & Will back in a band again, and hopefully they can enjoy a greater longevity here than their other recent bands have had, but how do Project 906 sound? We can find out via four videos posted to their Facebook page, including videos of Billy & Joe alone covering Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light" & Alice In Chains' "Rooster" (albeit only 26 seconds worth), while the other two are of the full band, and include renditions of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and as embedded below, both Van Halen's "Panama" & ZZ Top's "Tush". The guys sound good so far, with Billy showcasing a good melodic voice (even if you can't see him in the full band videos), and Joe & Will's chemistry maintains from their older groups! Check out more from Project 906 above and below, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, we can now 100% confirm the first band for next month's second Speak Easy Battle of the Bands on March 10th, as local modern hard rock quartet Eclipse will be taking part! Frontman Curtis McKenzie confirmed their involvement on the Facebook event page yesterday, with the venue's Facebook page liking the post afterward. Eclipse had previously signed up for the battle's original November date before it was postponed (and before they'd even played live), but it remains to be seen if The Din, Jesse Merineau, and Pillory are all still on from the original November announcements. While this will be Eclipse's first battle appearance, 3/4ths of the band have played in prior battles with bands like Haggith, Project 421, and The Din, including with the latter two at last year's Speak Easy Battle, but will Eclipse improve on last year's results? (And will they be at the VM Radio Battle too?) At last word, promoters have three band spots still open for next month's battle, so if you want in, message A.S.A.P.!

As before, this year's Speak Easy Battle has a $5 cover charge, 10:00 PM start time, and 19+ age limit for all but Algoma University students with valid student ID. For competitors, this is again a fan voted battle with 15 minute set times and 5 minutes setup each, with $400, $200, and $100 again awaiting the top 3 bands. This should be another exciting battle, especially coming just a day after night #2 of the VM Radio Battle, so stay tuned for updates on both events, and sign up for both while spots are available!

Finally for today, here's some more updates to one of our past Battle of the Bands Rewind Profiles, namely of our profile of 2013's Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands! Therein, we restored all photos, and updated references to the competitors' statuses after the battles, namely The Suicide Kings, Haggith, and The Northern Tragedy falling inactive, and Late & Loud's 2014 reunion gigs. In the section on performers' later bands, we updated it by replacing Caveman Morrison, Changing Lanes, Chronic Demonic, Frightlight, The Hydra's Teeth, and Punch with the more recently active Eclipse, Heavy Head, Infinity Grinder, Jon & His Friends (Late & Loud's Jon Tiberi's current Hamilton band), Mourning Wood, and The Pixo Control, while also referencing The Din's name change & Giwakwa drummer Chris Thompson's addition to Project 421. In the trivia section, we also noted the name changes of competitors The Suicide Kings & The Pesto Shirts (now Beaumont Avenue & The Wild Iris.)

Also new to the trivia section, we have references to this battle's spiritual successor (last year's VM Radio Battle of the Bands), while also noting how The Bear Hunters, Haggith, and their members' then-side projects did in both that battle and last year's Speak Easy Battle.  Finally, we fixed the link to the Giwakwa video that was listed there, and added a "sources/more info section" to include this battle's event page and SooToday coverage. Hopefully that covers everything, so stay tuned for our final updates regarding Viva La Battle soon, and stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!

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