Tuesday, March 28, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Old Wives & Deathsticks), A New Local Band, And More!!

Before we kick off our first news post in four days, just a heads up that today is reportedly the final day for HMV's liquidation sales before their Station Mall location closes for good in advance of Sunrise Records moving in. Last time I was there, everything was 70% off or more, so make use of the sales today if you can, and we'll be replacing them in our music store links shortly as well! Now, here's a stacked news post featuring a surprising lineup departure, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the spring, and first, a new local band!

Over a month after their local concert debut, new local punk/alternative trio Handsome Sandwich have finally launched their own Facebook page, so what should you know? Comprised of Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger, Winkstinger guitarist Jesse Cook, and Redundant bassist James White (with Johnny providing most lead vocals), you may have seen this curiously named band open for Gianni Gagoots live at LopLops Lounge last month, but that remains their only announced concert appearance. Despite the trifecta of past common band links for 2/3rds of the band (James & Jesse with The Elements, James & Johnny with Caveman Morrison, and Jesse & Johnny with Jack Spades), Handsome Sandwich will reportedly not sound like any of them, and will harbour more similarities with Johnny's solo concert sets that he played in the mid-2010s, some with Jesse playing alongside. An original song named "Signs" is in progress, but unless you missed their debut gig, there are no other hints about their sound yet.

A band with such well done (if bizarre) artwork can't be all bad, especially with such a solid lineup of familiar faces from recent punk and metal bands, and it will be very interesting to see how Handsome Sandwich fare into 2017! I know that Johnny had wanted to front a punk band locally for a while now, and if this is the realization of that goal, then look out, as there's a lot of potential to be had, even with such a curious yet creative band name! Stay tuned for more on Handsome Sandwich as it comes in!

Next up, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, starting with the delayed local concert debut of Whitby, Ontario garage/noise rock duo Deathsticks, who will rock The Gore Street Cafe on Thursday, April 20th! Work commitments scuttled this band's planned New American Pub concert in October, but now, they're getting a second chance for local fans to see what the guys in AlgomA saw when the two played together in Peterboroigh last summer. Expect some minimalist but aggressive originals with a psychedulic spacey bent at times from Deathsticks next month when they headline at the laundromat! In place of the never-debuted Dark Garfunkel and Sleeping Together from October, the local opener is ex-Pixo Control frontman Mike Mikus, whose own rising solo pop rock originals continue to make waves, so keep him in mind for April 20th at well! Despite Six, Two, Oh.'s intended promotion of October's cancelled date, next month's show appears to be in-house through the venue, as is often the case there.

As usual for Gore Street Cafe events, this is an ALL AGES concert under the venue's usual "pay what you can" model, and an early start time of 7:00 PM is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and stay tuned for more from this intriguing concert as it comes in!

Also, we have one more new show to confirm today, but this one is indeed via Six, Two, Oh., as three touring punk bands from out west will hit The New American Pub on Sunday, May 14th for what is being called "The Alberta Intrusion"! The bands in question are Edmonton pop punk trio The Old Wives, fellow Edmonton punk rockers Worst Days Down, and Calgary punk quintet The River Jacks, so how's that for a solid lineup of hard hitting punk from afar? In particular, you may recognize The River Jacks from headlining at The Algonquin Pub two years ago, so if you've missed them since that Gonqshow concert series date, here's the belated sequel! The local opening band is newer local punk/metal trio Stegadeth, whose frontman Bill Bennett opened for The River Jacks here in 2015 with Stereo North, and they should provide solid support to the Alberta intrusion in May! This 19+ show has a 9:00 PM start time and $5 advance tickets, though the price jumps to $7 at the door.

Advance tickets are apparently now available at Northland Music, Case's Music, The Rad Zone and Big Guns Barbershop on East Street, so keep those locales in mind, and visit the official Facebook event page for more details! This should be a great concert for punk fans, with The Old Wives' skate punk sound, Worst Days Down's more alternative stylings, and The River Jacks' old school sensibilities a nice match for any taste, so check the above links to give all of the night's bands a listen, and get your tickets A.S.A.P.!

Finally, we have a surprising update from a veteran cover fixture, as local classic/hard rock quartet Mourning Wood appear to have parted ways with drummer Glen Thomas. A reason for his departure has not been publically announced, but singer/guitarist Terry Eaton revealed that they have a drummer vacancy via his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group yesterday. Glen has been a fixture with this frequently seen cover band since replacing T.J. Case in August 2015 upon their expansion to a four-piece lineup, and it was nice to see Glen back in a band that played some hard rock for the past year & a half, but hopefully things are amicable, and don't miss him with The Peace Vibe! Glen's departure may explain why Mourning Wood haven't played live in over a month (with Terry & guitarist Steven Flint's side project Soundcheck picking up the slack recently), but they are looking for a new "tub thumper"!

Steven noted in a comment on the aforementioned Musicians Wanted group post that "versatility is key", having singing ability is a bonus, and they just want "a skilled musician who's down to earth" that loves to play live, while Terry mentioned that Mourning Wood have gigs booked through the end of the year, including New Year's Eve (specific dates and venues not listed.) If you're interested in trying out for Mourning Wood, message Terry at this link or above, and stay tuned for updates on their drummer search and more general updates soon! Thanks everyone!

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