M.D. Dunn in an episode two weeks ago, SooToday's music webseries Tuned with Donna Hopper returned with a new episode on Friday featuring more of a look at last month's NLFB Meltdown audition/battle of the bands at LopLops Lounge in full! The episode features Donna's interview with Northern Lights Festival Boreal director Max Merrifield (who MCed and helped judge the event), as they talked about the annual Sudbury music festival, why they're trying to make more of a Northern Ontario outreach to other communities like the Soo, future plans for the festival and Meltdown auditions, and the calibre of local talent on display. Good interview that definitely leaves the door open for a return Meltdown audition in 2018, and hopefully next year's is even bigger and has more advance lineup notice! Performance clips are scattered within the video of M.D. Dunn, The Din, Id Iota, Jackson Reed, and Mike Mikus, though oddly enough, there's no sign of The Autumn Roots. They had a good set, I wonder why they didn't make the cut?
It's great to see a new Tuned episode so soon after the previous (we had been waiting two months for a new one prior to M.D. Dunn's), and it helps sum up and promote the battle and the festival pretty well, so give it a look below, and best of luck to M.D. in Sudbury in July!
Next up, here's the first posted video on new local alternative/punk trio Handsome Sandwich's Facebook page, though sadly, it is not of a full band performance. It's actually of singer/drummer Johnny Belanger wrapping a custom label around a Bic lighter, then writing a somewhat obvious message on it afterwards, while Jesse Cook (I presume) plays backing guitar. There are numerous lighters on the table, so if I had to guess, are they giving out or selling lighters at their shows as sort of a band trademark? If that's the case, it's unique! Check out this new Handsome Sandwich video below, and don't miss them TONIGHT opening for The Gutter Demons at The New American Pub, perhaps with lighters in tow?
Finally for today, here's six assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or venue name:
- Tickets for the April Wine/Lita Ford show outside of the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace will go on sale this Friday for $18 or $28, and they'll be available at all of the usual Kewadin outlets, plus the gift shop at the St. Ignace branch. Our source is the show's official press release (as seen on SooToday), which also confirms that there will be two more outdoor shows to be announced in this concert series, and the stage will be along Horseshoe Bay on Lake Huron, which makes sense geographically. Sounds good overall, and get your tickets starting on Friday!
- We have changed the link on the SMS for Sault Ontario music promotion/photography company For The Music Inside from their website (which is currently down) to their Facebook page. F.T.M.I. are still active, but most (if not all) of their recent activity has related to concerts in Southern Ontario, where founders Joseph Kargiannakis and Sean Matthews appear to have lived in recent years. Give For The Music Inside a look though to see what they've been up to musically of late!
- Local progressive metal project Kraken Mara (featuring Late & Loud's Brendan Christie) unveiled the cover artwork for their upcoming debut EP on their Facebook page on March 31st, and it's a re-working of their prior photo of clouds over a highway with ominous red triangles. That same day, their website noted that their debut single would be released "very soon", and a Facebook post implied that their posted songs have had "recent edits", but no updates followed in April. Everything sounds promising and djent-laden, so stay tuned for more from Kraken Mara!
- New local private concert venue Mellow D's Underground is taking a hiatus while they move to a new location due to "a plethora of offers and a snowballing reputation", and once everyone knows about the cool spot, "it's just not cool anymore." Our source is power pop quintet The Noochin Lanterns' Facebook page (whose members run the venue) on Friday. The new location is presumably still private, but in the interim, The Lanterns did tease appearances at Harmony Beach and Bellevue Park, and a return of The Apocalyspe Afterparty, though whether these will be public or not isn't known. Stay tuned for more related news when it rolls in!
- After lengthy delays for the lineup reveal, CSA International broke their silence on Friday regarding June 18th's planned Rock The Border Music Fest at The Machine Shop, saying that they were "waiting on approval on various pieces of art work", as per the Facebook event page on Friday. The lineup (expanded to five bands) will now apparently be announced this Friday, with early bird tickets going for $45, general admission for $55-$60, and VIP packages also available. There's been a lot of pessimism in the past two weeks, and I admittedly don't know why artwork approval would delay the lineup, but fingers crossed things work out for Friday!
- Kelowna, British Columbia southern hard rock quartet The Wild have been added as co-headliners for the CKY concert at The Canadian Nightclub on June 8th, as per promoter J.D. Pearce on the Facebook event page on Friday, with The Wild also now joining CKY for their entire Canadian tour tun next month. Reminding me a bit of bands like Jackyl, The Wild should deliver a fun set of hard rocking originals next month on this now five band-concert, so don't miss out, and limited tickets are still available!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post next! Thanks everyone!