Wednesday, November 22, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Id Iota & Banned), A New Album Discovery, And More!!

I apologize for things being slow around here this month, November doesn't usually crash this hard for news after Halloween! That said, we have a full news post for your pre-Thanksgiving enjoyment, and it includes some assorted updates, extra info on our most recent CD review topic, and leading off, here's a pair of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one on SHORT NOTICE!

Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned will play a special Wednesday night concert TONIGHT at the Dondee Lanes in Sault Michigan! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced via it's Facebook event page on Sunday. Alex, Don, and Wayne will be making very rare appearances at the local bowling alley's Sportsman's Lounge TONIGHT, with us last covering a Dondee stop from them in December 2015, so regulars and local fans will be overdue to take in this talented group at the South Mackinac Trail location! No word on why they're playing mid-week at the Dondee, but it could be related to holiday plans and/or venue closures over the forthcoming U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. If you're up for some pre-turkey hard and classic rock favourites, you know where to be TONIGHT! An early 8:00 PM start time is in effect for this 21+ show, which has no announced cover charge. See above for more details, and here's Banned live a few years back!

Next up, here's a Sault Ontario show with lots of advance notice, as local alternative/hard rock quartet Id Iota will return to the stage on Tuesday, December 26th (a.k.a. Boxing Day) when they open for local/Montreal pop rock solo artist Mike Mikus in his CD release party at LopLops Lounge! This show will end a 5 month hiatus from the local stage for both acts, each having played here last on July 15th, when each played at Rotaryfest's Stage 2 and then at Mike's local farewell show at LopLops. However, the former Pixo Control frontman will be home for the holidays to launch his self-titled debut solo album, so if you want to hear his current sound again and/or pick up his new CD and merchandise, be at LopLops on Boxing Night! It's also great to see Id Iota return from the studio with more of their fan favourite hard rock and funk-influenced originals, so keep their return in mind also! Another Stage 2 act from this year will open next month, namely indie/pop duo All Us Others, so keep their rising and talented sound in mind also!

All Us Others will kick off this 19+ concert at 10:00 PM, and admission  will be $10 at the door, but you'll get a digital download copy of Mike's CD if you pay $15 (no word as of yet on CD prices though.) This sounds like a great way to welcome Mike back home (if briefly) and to support his current solo project, and there should be lots of familiar faces and tunes all night on Boxing Day, so visit the official Facebook event page for current details!

Next up, I wanted to acknowledge a recent archive local metal album that I picked up a few months back, and if you saw our review of it from Monday, it won't be a surprise! The album in question is defunct local metal quintet Amethyst's self-titled cassette tape EP from way back in 1990, which was a lucky find at The Rad Zone, and given the band's stature and the tape's current rarity, it was worth the $25 price! I won't rehash much of what was in our review (again, check the post below), but the packaging was well put together for an independent cassette tape release, and the sound quality has held up in the past 27 years! The packaging includes a picture of Amethyst in a guitar surrounded by autographs from fans and friends, front cover artwork by Sean DeCourcy, full credits for performers, writers, and producers, and thanks to their supporters. This was one of those albums that I always hoping to track down, so it's great that I found this one, let alone on the same trip where I found Infrastrate's EP, which is just convenient luck!

In terms of streaming the whole album, you can hear our uploads of "Midnight Queen", "Waste of Time", the original version of "Sky", "Rock First, Roll Later", and the amusing bonus cover of "The Infernal Galop" (a.k.a. the can-can song) at these links, and hopefully the "Waste of Time" video resurfaces in the future also! Amethyst were a very solid band and a highlight of the local scene in the early 1990s, so give their debut EP a listen above & below, and stay tuned for our "Suburban Dream" CD review next!

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

  • Hamilton punk/grunge trio Doors & Fours were unfortunately unable to headline at The Algonquin Pub on Saturday, November 11th due to their tour vehicle breaking down while on the road. As a result, local openers Jack Spades & Stegadeth played on with unspecified "surprise guests", though no public word on who they were. As they say, "the show must go on", and hopefully things went over well!
  • Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 announced on their Facebook page on Monday that they will be "taking a bit of a hiatus" after their December 22nd weekend shows in St. Ignace so they can learn new sets, and that "it may be a bit before we are back", but "we are gonna blow your socks off" when they return. At least we have a heads up, and hopefully the planned break is fruitful for 2018 concert plans!
  • Band Camp Rejects bassist Ryan Bell is looking for a singer and/or keyboardist for a current band project that he's working on, that would play classic rock and blues music. I do not 100% know on if this is for The Band Camp Rejects or a new band, but note that the BCRs haven't played a public show since February, and in another Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from June, he was looking for guitarists in what could be the same band. If you're interested in trying out, message Ryan at this link or above!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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