Monday, August 31, 2009

A New Local Show? Plus, Some Show Updates And Other News!

I'm baaaaack, and I got some assorted news to share! Nothing too "major", so to speak, but enough for a post, so let's begin with what may or may not turn into a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT! (Remember, for my double shot of Lion Ride reviews, check the two posts immediately below this one!)

During some net searching on my spare period today, I came across a new show listing from Sault Ontario hardcore band Out Of The Mouth Of Babes (that's the band featuring 4/5ths of the final As It Stands lineup!) According to their MySpace page, they are scheduled for a show on September 20th at The Oddfellows Hall, featuring Toronto hardcore band Abandon All Ships! I did more searching, and have came across nothing else that confirms this show...yet. Abandon All Ships don't mention it on their MySpace, there's no word of it on Facebook, and I can't find anything else about it from any other sites. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated if I hear any confirmation of the show! If it happens, I believe this will be Out Of The Mouth Of Babes' first local concert, which would be exciting!

And now, some more updates on some local shows! First up, Sault Michigan's own Bad Side have posted a pair of Facebook event pages for their shows at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino this weekend! You don't see that too much from bands across the river! I can confirm from both that the shows will start at 9:00 PM both nights, but information is incredibly minimal. I can confirm from the wall on their Facebook page that these concerts are part of Kewadin's Labour Day Concert Weekend, which concludes with the two ZZ Top concerts on Sunday and Monday night! To confirm your attendance for both shows, visit this link for the Friday concert, and this link for the show on Saturday!

Next up, I've got a bunch of updates on Quite Frankly's upcoming performance at the Sault Steelers game on September 19th! They will be playing AFTER the game, which will be at Rocky DiPietro Field at The John Rhodes Center at 4:15 PM that day! Tickets are just $10, and are available at The Canadian (which re-opens TOMORROW), Four Seasons Collectibles in The Station Mall, The Duke of Windsor Sport Shop on Queen Street East, and at the pro shop at The Soo Pee Wee Arena! And for you football fans, the Steelers will play the Edmonton Stallions for the Canadian Major Football League championship! If you're interested in the big game, or you wanna hear some hard rock, this could be up your alley! To confirm your attendance, visit this location to see the Facebook event page!

Well, the era of Northern Ontario Hempfest has came to a close, and I've heard some good things out of it so far. Press-wise, however, it's just been about the R.I.D.E. program, which checked over 1,000 cars this weekend! The final tally of charges can be found here on SooToday, which includes numerous charges, a few driving suspensions, and 5 unsafe vehicle removals, among other things found by the cops. Again, I honestly understand the cops' angle here, but nothing bad is happening at Hempfest, marijuana isn't a bad drug, and these guys just wanna go party, light one up, and enjoy themselves. I personally wouldn't smoke anything, but I know better that these aren't the people that are worth busting, ESPECIALLY on the very last Hempfest. Leave them alone!!! Check out the full article on SooToday at this location!

Two more tiny updates to end today: First, remember a few months ago when I mentioned that Foggy Notions appeared to be re-opening? Well, it appears the wheels might be turning a bit faster for their grand return! A post on their official page says they are hoping to have an official re-opening date for us all by the end of the week! Stay tuned to their official Facebook page for updates as they come in! And finally, local hard rockers Half Past (formerly known as Fingerbone) are looking to return to the local concert scene, and they want some bands to play with! Are you or your band interested in joining Half Past for a concert? Send the band a message through their official Facebook page!

That's all I have for today, stay tuned for some exciting news this week, including a new local band, previews for this weekend's Ultraviolence and Bad Side shows, and hopefully much more! Stay tuned, and if you metalheads see me on campus at LSSU, stop and say hey!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lion Ride - "Awesome" Review!!!

As promised, it's the newest installment of the Local CD Review series at the SMS, and this month, I'm going to take a look at the only released EP from defunct Sault Ontario metal quintet Lion Ride! Entitled "Awesome", it was independently released on July 19th, 2008, producedby Tom Treumuth, recorded at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, and later mixed and mastered in Toronto. It features the band's original lineup, including Mikey Hawdon (a.k.a. Mikey Lion) on vocals, Marco Pedalino (a.k.a. Marco Lion) on lead guitar, and Mark Rand (a.k.a. Marky Lion) on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, along with original bassist Nathan "Lionel Itchy" Sauve & original drummer Marc "The Italian Stallion" Muto. As well, Marky's girlfriend Tracy Ashenden supplied backing vocals on two tracks. The EP is now out of print, but copies can still scatteredly be found at local music stores, and it is available on iTunes for just under $6, so pick it up there and support the guys! I believe "Awesome" is also available on torrent sites and similar free sources if you know where to look. Let's kick off the review with the opening song, "Trust"! (Updated on September 28th, 2012)

"Trust" has, in my personal opinion, been my favourite song by these guys, even before buying the disc! Maybe cause it's so catchy, it's very easy to headbang to! It's a great example of a song that can appeal to both metal and punk fans, it's heavy and has metal riffs, but frontman Mikey Lion's vocal abilities definitely draw more from a punk style, and this continues throughout the album! Traditional song structure, but it's very easy to sing along with and dance to! All the other members of the band sound real good, nothing truly "pops" out, so to speak, but it's very tight and well played all around. Great song and a great opener for the EP!

Next is "Cocaine Crazy", which is also a good song! Slower vocals from Mikey Lion, but the rest of the band keep up the same pace from the last song! They're very good at keeping a heavy, yet catchy pace with their songs! I can't help but wanna headbang to this song, and particularly the end of the song is good to yell along with! Solid heavier ending as well to another good song! This is followed by "Lock Me In", which reminds me a bit of "Trust" in it's overall sound. I really like the bass in this song, Itch plays well and even gets a bit of solo time later in the song, which is cool to hear! Everything's solid once again, there isn't a lot of musical diversity to speak of song-to-song, but Lion Ride know what sound they're best at, and they use it to their full advantage!

Afterwards, we have "Slapdance", which is the shortest song on the album, and also the fastest! The song definitely displays more of an angrier side, even though the song appears to be about a stripper! This is by far the most mosh-worthy song on the disc, and after "Trust", it's my favourite track! Also, if you're looking for a guitar solo, this song has the best one. Not sure which guitarist is doing the honors, but it sounds awesome! Ending was kinda sudden, but no biggie, this song's awesome!

A cool drum and bass intro begins the next song, "I'm A Drug". I think this is my least favourite of the songs on the EP, though it's still a good song. It just doesn't have the "punch" to it that the other tracks have. Good groove to it all, and a nice guitar solo, but it seems a bit slower placed and it doesn't pull me in as much. It's definitely better live, but studio, something's missing. That's just me though. The EP closes with "Sneak Attack", which sees a return to the catchiness of the earlier songs! I love the guitar work on this song (nice work by Marky Lion and Marc O'Lion throughout), and the music is at top form! Another great example of a party song that will get any crowd moving, and a nice closer to the album! Not a lot new to say about it, but that's Lion Ride's strength, punk/metal songs that anyone can groove to.

While there won't be any Gates of Winter-level technical stuff here, they're a different band for a different crowd, and they're awesome at what they do! The EP's title accurately describes my thoughts of it: Awesome! While these generally aren't the best songs to mosh to ("Slapdance" notwithstanding), you will definitely love the songs on the EP, and live, you'll be partying and having a good time! Though "I'm A Drug" didn't attract me as much, the EP was still consistently good. Nothing groundbreakingly different, but extremely fun and solid throughout! Go check them out on MySpace right now, and if they're back in the Soo in the next while, GO SEE THEM!!!

(P.S., speaking as a fan here, huge kudos to Lion Ride for putting the lyrics in the booklet! Now I can sing along without saying incorrect words and looking like a moron!)

So that was this month's review! Next month, I am planning on reviewing Sykotyk Rampage's new album IF it's released. I have backup plans in mind just in case, so if nothing's imminent by later in September, I'll tell you guys what I will be reviewing instead! And no, it WON'T be Lux Aeterna (too soon for another Gates review) or any old Woods of Ypres albums (I'm reviewing the new album in October, be patient.) Stay tuned for more on that, and there will be more local metal news here in the next couple days! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lion Ride Concert Review!!!

Hey guys, I'm back from last night's Lion Ride concert, and it's time for my review! Stay tuned after the review for a quick update on a local band that has changed their name!

Well, I got there around 10:20, bit of a wait to start, but all was good. I like that they removed a table from in front of the stage, so fans could stand and get close to the band! Nice change from sitting in a booth the whole show! Also, before music began, I did buy Lion Ride's EP, as well as a sticker and a button! Expect a review of the EP tomorrow! Local indie rockers Nebraska Arms opened, and though they're still not from my favourite genres, they definitely sound tighter and more energetic live, and I can honestly say they were good for their style! They had lots of on-stage energy, and frontman Guy Thiffault was even telling some jokes! Also, props to him for sporting a Wolven Ancestry shirt! If you're only going by their MySpace page to judge an opinion on Nebraska Arms, see them live first, they definitely bring it live.

And then, Lion Ride took to the stage for a great, great performance! They kicked things off with a FOG MACHINE which, though bad for photos, was pretty cool. Being that this was the first time I've ever seen Lion Ride live, I wasn't sure entirely what to expect, but I had a really fun night! They played every song off of the "Awesome" EP, plus older classics "Lazer Lover" and "Let's Bounce", along with a Motley Crue cover and two brand new songs for their next album! One thing I noticed from the band was that they all really seemed to enjoy being there, and they all demonstrated some really high energy. Frontman Mikey Lion was all over the place, even going into the crowd at times! His voice was at top form, displaying a punk edge with some metal heaviness to boot!

The rest of the band were really tight, with some great guitar and bass work all around! New drummer Iron Mike Bison was great as well, he was smiling almost the whole night, and his drum solo was excellent! Lion Ride's punk/metal hybrid sound isn't really the type to mosh to though. It's headbangable, but it's more of the music you'd dance and get drunk to. True to that, the fans up front were just grooving to the songs and partying, and it seems to work well! Everyone was having fun and singing along, including some of the band members' mothers! Also, and I think I was happily surprised the most by this, but Lion Ride DID NOT have a half hour long intermission! Hooray!

Overall, it was a fun show, and I would definitely go see Lion Ride again!! Crowd wasn't entirely familiar though, a lot of people there I don't see at a lot of other shows. Maybe that's why no SMS CDs were asked about by anyone. Oh well, five CDs are ready for the next show! And you guys really need to check Lion Ride out, if you like metal and punk, they will be right up your alley! High energy, in your face, and very catchy, so go listen on MySpace right now! Hopefully their performance today at Hempfest is a success, and the rain doesn't ruin it! And as you can tell by my pictures, I took lots of photos from the show! To view them, visit The Sault Metal Scene's official Facebook page! Hopefully they turned out alright!

And to close today's post, another local band has underwent a name change! Local thrash/death metal band Necropolis are now known as Silent Plague! Their MySpace page and URL have been changed accordingly! The new name's cool, here's hoping some exciting stuff is in the works! That's all for today, stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Lion Ride's debut EP! Thanks everyone!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Even More Kiss Stuff, A New Local Band, The Canadian's Return, And More!!!

Assorted news to share today, and...well, I knew it wouldn't last. We have more news about a certain face paint wearing hard rock band that are coming here. So yeah, let's get the new stuff out of the way!

We all hopefully know by now that Kiss are planning to come to The Essar Center in the second leg of their tour (we've been through why it's then and not in this leg, no need to re-explain.) But even still, one fan has another idea for this show! So, here's his idea: Rather than have Kiss play to 5,000 fans there, why not have it outdoors, where you could hold many more fans? This is the aim of a new internet petition entitled Kiss Me In The Soo, created by Matthew Waples of Sonigraphix Design Solutions. On the page, he suggests Runway Park (which held Bell Border Jam last year) and St. Joseph Island as possible locations for an outdoor Kiss concert that could hold around 15,000 fans. If you're interested in supporting this petition to have Kiss play a larger outdoor concert next year, all you have to do is e-mail your name and home city to, so a list of names can be compiled in a petition to send to Kiss!

My opinion? Honestly, it'd probably be better to satisfy ticket demand if it was outdoors. Remember, the Kiss show at Kewadin Casino drew almost 10,000 people, and The Essar Centre can't hold near that amount. St. Joseph Island may be a bit far for a concert of this magnitude, though Runway Park might work with enough promotion! At the same time, The Essar Centre has been the implied destination for the show from the beginning. They pushed to get people to demand Kiss on Eventful, they're the ones who've been in contact with the band, and they're the ones who broke the word to us that the show was next year. It might be a conflict of interest to yank the show away from The Essar Centre, even if a larger crowd is possible elsewhere. Either way, it'll be a great show when it happens, and if you wanna join the petition, e-mail!

Anything else Kiss-related today? ....Yes! Since Monday, The Sault Star has been updating everyone on the Kiss show issues, so let's just sum up everything that's been said this week. Monday gave us an announcement that we weren't on the tour schedule (we know why now), while Frank Dobrovnik wrote an article in Tuesday's paper entitled "Kiss this, fans", which was essentially talking about us not being on the fall schedule, with some optimism that we'd get a show next year, which ended up being the case. Jump to yesterday's paper, when Michael Purvis wrote another article, entitled "Band will be here, official tells Kissed off fans", which tells of how we are getting a Kiss show next year. Not a lot new to comment on in the first article, but in the second, yeah, I have stuff to reply to.

Councillor Terry Sheehan doesn't take a Kiss show next year as good enough, stating that Saultites were "shocked and awed" that we weren't on the fall tour schedule, and that we deserve to "get on the podium with the rest of the top-three finishers". So basically, he figures we should get a show this fall, like the other two top vote getters (Oshawa and Winnipeg) now have. But even he admits that there was "poor communication" between the city and the band. So what's my take? While I do think the band should have said straight from the outset that the top vote getters weren't necessarily getting the very first tour slots, I also think that as long as they are coming for sure, than we should accept that fact and be patient.

Besides, if we're gonna get added to this fall's tour, it has to be soon. Barring existing concerts being moved or cancelled, or a really crazy detour, they could only feasibly come here next month, likely before their first Detroit concert on the 26th. It could be done, but they'd have to announce something very soon. If it's not then, we won't see Kiss until December at the very earliest, more likely in the spring. It's not like we're right near a major city they're going to already, like Oshawa are, it'd be hard to slot us in this fall without throwing their tour off, or risking limited time to promote the concert. I know I'm repeating myself, but BE PATIENT! KISS ARE COMING!!!!!!

Enough Kiss for one day! Now, to some local band news! Specifically, I found a new one! They are Cherubic Red, an experimental band from Sault Michigan! Their MySpace page was started on August 15th, and there's not a lot there yet. Give it time though, it's not even two weeks old. The page says their original name was "Cash Only", they sound like "rhythmic destruction", and their influences include numerous metal musicians (and fellow locals Half Stupid!), though there's a wide variety listed! I'll be sure to keep tabs on Cherubic Red from here on out, and check them out on MySpace!

Next up, a local concert venue is making it's grand return! Remember last month when I reported on renovations being made at The Canadian? Well, on Tuesday night, it will make it's grand return! No concerts are scheduled there....yet, but there's a full slate of things going on this week, mostly involving parties and dances. Hopefully we'll hear some exciting concert news from there real soon, and I wonder how different it looks now? We'll have to see, but if I see any pictures or video from The Canadian, I'll be sure to share with you guys! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details on the re-opening!

Back to The Sault Star now, where the final edition of Hempfest is already in the news....and not for the best reasons! The O.P.P. had their R.I.D.E. program set up in Ophir once again, and checked 300 cars. The results? Two drivers got three day driving suspensions, one driver is charged with driving under the influence of a drug, a guy was arrested on an outstanding warrant, an unsafe vehicle was removed, and 18 people were charged under either the Highway Traffic Act or the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. Read the full article at this location! I know why they do this, but really, marijuana (from everything I've heard) is not harmful. Yeah, you shouldn't drive high, but leave these guys alone, they just wanna go to Hempfest, light one up, and have a good time! That's just my opinion though. If I hear anything else from Hempfest, I'll share with you all!

And finally, I at last have video to show you of a local band! Quite Frankly quitarist Joe Delbasso has uploaded two clips of Quite Frankly's performance at The Speakeasy earlier this month onto YouTube! Quality's not great, but it's a start! Check out both clips at Joe's Youtube channel, one of the band covering AC/DC's "Thunderstruck", and this one, featuring their cover of Metallica's "Fuel"! Thanks everyone, I'll see you all at the Lion Ride concert tonight! Reviews of the show and their EP are hopefully coming this weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Local Concert Previews (Lion Ride/Hempfest), A Newly Renamed Local Band, And More!!!

Alright guys, let's take a break from Kiss news for one day (but thanks to all the news about them, we've averaged 97 hits a day since Monday! Thanks everyone!) So today, let's focus on local bands! And this weekend, there's some big shows going on in the Sault Ontario area! Here's your local concert previews for this weekend!

We'll start right here in town, where tomorrow, a local band makes their grand return home! Lion Ride will play their first Sault-area show in many months tomorrow night at Coch's Corner! It's also their first local show with new drummer Mike "Iron Mike Bison" Indovina, who replaced Marc "The Italian Stallion" Muto in March. Admission is obviously free (not counting drinks), but seeing as it is a bar, you have to be 19 to get in. Support will come from local indie rockers Nebraska Arms, who feature former Renderware members Wayne Watkins & Adam Sauve among their lineup! Nebraska Arms are a bit far from my regular musical spectrum, but they're a talented band, and you can check out some of their quality originals at their official MySpace page! Everything starts at 10:00, and you can get full details at the Facebook event page!

As for Lion Ride, they've made quite the name for themselves in the last couple years, from coverage in Classic Rock Magazine, to numerous shows in Southern Ontario, and the release of their debut EP, "Awesome", and it's all well deserved! Their brand of glam metal mixed with punk is hard to ignore, and they have a great selection of songs! It's nice to see them back home, and I fully plan on being there tomorrow night! I just hope there's copies of their EP on sale, cause I wanna review "Awesome" for you guys! And yes, I WILL have free CDs!!! Check out Lion Ride on MySpace, and for a video preview, here's a video for their original song "Cocaine Crazy!"

And now, we come to the end of an era, as this is the final installment of The Northern Ontario Hempfest. After 11 years, Hempfest is saying goodbye due to increasing costs and stricter R.I.D.E. program enforcement, but not without what they're hoping will be the biggest and best Hempfest of all! I'll get to the "metal" bands in a second, but there's much more than just music! There's all kinds of activities planned, whether you're planning on smoking, or just supporting the cause! There's speakers planned, DJs, lots of vendors, exhibits, and even a "Cannabis Olympics"! I'd go more into detail, but their official website hasn't said much for some reason (there's not even a full band schedule posted!), but rest assured, if you smoke marijuana, you'll wanna be at Hempfest, I guarantee it! For as much full details as have been announced, visit Hempfest's official website, and the official Hempfest Facebook group!

How can you go to Hempfest? Well, tickets are likely still available by calling 1-888-215-8970, or by contacting Planetary Pride's official website at this location! Tickets were $40 in advance for the entire weekend (Today-Sunday), but it's too late to worry about that now (no metal bands today anyway!) Show up tomorrow at the gate, tickets will also be $40, and if you show up on Saturday, the price drops to $30! As for where it's located, it's back on Poplardale Road in Ophir, which is just 45 minutes from town. From Sault Ste. Marie, just go east on Highway 17 until you reach Highway 638. Turn left there, and keep driving until you reach a stop sign. Turn left there (cause that's Poplardale), and drive for 5-10 minutes, and you've arrived at Hempfest!

Now, to the bands! Bear with me on the band lineups, for there has been absolutely no official statements on the complete lineup, so I'm just going by what I can reasonably confirm. Tomorrow night will feature (among many others) Hamilton ska-punk band Lo-Fi, local indie musician Mark Kulmala, and....GARDEN OF BEDLAM!!! The local metal band returns for their first show since July's CD release show, and they're ready to rock once again! This is also their second consecutive Hempfest, having played there last year as well! Their set will begin at 5:00 PM! You all know Garden of Bedlam will bring their A-game tomorrow evening, and here's hoping for a great performance! Check out Garden of Bedlam on MySpace, visit the official Facebook event page for their set, and for a video preview, let's head back to Hempfest 2008, for this clip of the band playing their original, "Sovereignty"!

Now we come to Saturday, so here's who I know are definitely performing. Among that day's lineup will be Waterdown, Ontario singer/songwriter Terra Lightfoot, and reggae band The Level Vibe Sound Tribe! But there will be at least two hard rock bands as well! Locals Lion Ride are scheduled for Saturday as well, marking their second show of the weekend! They take the stage at 9:00 PM sharp! I already told you guys about Lion Ride, but to quickly sum up: They're great, don't miss them! Visit the Facebook event page for their set to confirm your attendance! The other band are Mama Kin, an Aerosmith tribute band from Toronto! Not sure when they take the stage, but if you're an Aerosmith fan, you'll wanna see these guys, so try not to miss them either! They provide a pretty good tribute to Aerosmith, and you can check them out on MySpace at this location! For a video preview, here's a clip of them playing, what else? "Mama Kin"!

Following that, London blues rockers The Dirty Love Band take the stage on Sunday, but there's no hard rock or metal bands to my knowledge that day. Sorry for the minimal info, I worked with what I had. I won't be at Hempfest this year (I see it as a bit unworthwhile when you don't smoke), but I hope it's a major success and it goes out on a high! If I hear any news out of Hempfest in the next while, you'll hear it here!

Now, for an update on a local band that has undergone some changes! Sault Michigan hard rockers Jager have officially changed their name to Bad Monkey! Their MySpace page's URL and any references to the "Jager" name have also been changed accordingly. As well, all band members are gone save for frontman Henry Switzer, and ALL of the band's upcoming dates at Kewadin Casino are cancelled! Obviously some big changes going on with the band, but hopefully it's all for the better, and they'll have some new dates and some big news in the near future! Also, all their original songs remain on their page, luckily, so we can still hear their quality material! Visit Bad Monkey at their official MySpace page to see what's new!

And to close today's post, a double shot of news from Woods of Ypres! On the positive side of things, they will be in Chicago, Illinois, on November 21st, as direct support for Chicago-area death metal band November's Doom! Also to be joined by Chicago prog-metal band Sacred Dawn, the show will be at Reggie's Rock Club on that day! This show is now in the Out Of Town concert listings!

Now, for a more negative story. At Woods' show on Monday night in Vancouver, their van's windshield and windows were smashed by a Vancouver-area black metal band named Adversarium. Apparently, they did it cause they didn't see Woods of Ypres as "real" black metal, from what I heard, and they waited until they played their set to do this. Nothing was stolen, and the rest of the tour wasn't affected, but they caused over $2,000 in damage. That just sucks, and it was just too far if you ask me. Note that I'm not linking to the band's site, cause I don't wanna encourage you to send any hate mail. If you choose to, that's your doing, I want no trouble. I just hope Woods get covered for the damages and everything can move positively from here!

That's all I have for today, I should have a Lion Ride concert review Saturday following the concert, and hopefully a review of their EP by Monday! Stay tuned, and thanks everyone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Quite Frankly), Weekend Concert Previews, And MORE Kiss Stuff?!

Alright, there's EVEN MORE Kiss stuff, but I gotta hold off on that for a bit before I overload myself with all this stuff, so let's start with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

I still need more details on this show, but I can confirm that locals Quite Frankly will be performing at Rocky DiPietro Field at The John Rhodes Center on September 19th! They'll be playing as part of the entertainment for the Canadian Major Football League championship game between our very own Sault Ste. Marie Steelers and either the Edmonton Stallions or the Calgary Wolfpack! I don't know full details about it, like admission, time, or when they specifically play, but I'll keep you guys posted! But if you're a football and local music fan, this could be something to keep an eye out for! Get more info on Quite Frankly at this location!

Next up, some Sault Michigan updates! Pickford Michigan hard rock band Graveyard Tan appear to have cancelled their upcoming dates at The Satisfied Frog. They were to have played there October 23-24 and December 11-12, but now these shows aren't listed on their official MySpace page anymore. That sucks, but hopefully they'll be back in the area soon! And I've also found an official page for The Corner Pub Bar and Grill, a concert venue which has hosted a few shows in the past year! Hopefully I'll be able to keep better tabs on The Corner Pub from here on out! You can visit by heading to the Sault Michigan Concert Venue Info section to your right, or check them out directly at this location!

Alright, NOW I'll talk about Kiss...again (oh yay, I love all this panic.) It's been a big story for a few days now, and things are taking some different turns. Now, Ward 2 Councillor Terry Sheehan sent both the resolution Council voted on to support the concert & a new letter of encouragement to Kiss to try and convince them to come in the second leg. Meanwhile, fellow councillor Susan Myers (remember her?) is STILL trying to make sure they DON'T come here. She e-mailed her supporters to try and have them, and I quote, "keep praying that the Sault is not on the KISS tour."

Oshawa's also coming up in local discussions. After all, they did lead the voting, and they were snubbed from the first leg too. At first, it looked like they were passed over entirely cause they were close to a bigger city & arena, then it looked like they were shoved to next year like us, but either way, Oshawa were pissed. They seemed to believe that they should be on the first leg for winning, but Kiss management said their arena was too small to handle the production. But, it looks like the outcry worked. Oshawa will get a Kiss show this year, on October 7th to be exact. Here's all the SooToday articles on the situation so far so you can read up on everything.

Alright, my opinions....again. I'm gonna start sounding like a broken record, but I've got to reply. First, I do appreciate Terry Sheehan's gesture to e-mail Kiss to make sure they come on the tour, but it just sounds like nagging to me. Gene Simmons said we're getting a show, the tour statement suggested there'd be more shows, and The Essar Center confirmed that we're in the second leg. If this does anything to make Kiss announce our date faster, great, but it just seems like too much. As for Susan Myers, no offense to her at all, but it's too late to stop them coming. It's clear her stance on this hasn't changed, but she's just one voice. One person can't stop a band like Kiss from playing a show, and they will be here. I don't complain about shows I don't like coming here, and this will make loads of money, even she should realize the financial benefit.

And then there's Oshawa. I kinda see why they were pissed, being that they "won" the voting, and it was implied before the announcement that the winning cities would be in the fall tour. But logistically, I see Kiss' side too. It does make sense to group all large cities and venues in one tour and save smaller cities and venues for a separate tour. Then they won't be bringing totally different stage and effects setups for different size shows. Kiss never said the highest vote getters WOULDN'T get a show, they just never suggested before that the tour would extend into next year with a second leg.

So yeah, it's great that they convinced Kiss to come in October. But in the newest SooToday article on the situation, Kiss' manager Doc McGhee said, "...there was no way we could follow our original plan and make you wait until a later tour leg." Proof right in the quote, KISS WERE ALWAYS PLANNING TO GO TO OSHAWA! But they set the tour up so big cities and arenas would be first, and smaller cities and arenas would be next. Kudos to them for bringing Kiss early, but it just seemed like unnecessary panic to me. Sure, as a person who voted numerous times to bring Kiss to the Soo, I would love to see them. But I'm thinking logically, and the original tour plan makes sense to me. As long as they come here and stay good on their word, I'm happy, it doesn't matter when. BE PATIENT, KISS ARE COMING!

That's all for today, and as annoyed as I can be with all this Kiss panic, I'll give it this: It's driving up hits on the SMS! We're averaging 98 hits a day since Kiss announced the first tour leg, and 70 brand new visitors during that span as well! Thanks everyone, your readership is much appreciated! Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll have my preview of Friday's Lion Ride concert, and all that is metal at Hempfest! See you guys later!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A New Hempfest Band, A Kiss Update, The Old Roger Concert Preview, And More!

Alright, lots of news today, I wasn't expecting to have so much so soon after having two posts yesterday, but all the better for you guys! Remember, for my opinion on the supposed Kiss snub, and news on a show at Coch's Corner this October, check the post immediately below this one! But to start, we have another band on the Hempfest lineup, so here's what you need to know!

Now, no complaining at me for being late announcing this, Hempfest still haven't announced full lineup details. But thanks to listening to Rock 101 this morning, I can now confirm that there will be at least one more hard rock band on the lineup! Mama Kin, an Aerosmith cover band from Toronto, will be playing there Saturday night, on the same night that Lion Ride will perform! I don't have a definite start time for either band, both of their MySpace pages say that they play at 8:00...if I hear official schedules for Hempfest, I'll tell you guys, but as of now, I know nothing about when they take the stage. As for Mama Kin themselves, they're alright at their Aerosmith covers, good stage presence, they should do pretty well at Hempfest! Check them out at their official MySpace page, and to see and hear them, click here to see them play "Sweet Emotion"!

And I will preview all that is metal at Hempfest tomorrow or Thursday, so stay tuned for that! Now, I'm sure the whole Kiss news has sunk in by now. Whether you're optimistic or disheartened, that's up to you, but if the new comments from The Essar Centre are any indication, then I think what I said about the situation on the SMS last night may be closer to the truth. Essar Centre marketing & events manager Trevor Zachary sent a message to SooToday's David Helwig concerning the Kiss issue. He said, and I quote:

"Hey Dave, please note that although the City was all but guaranteed a tour date during KISS's current tour, we have been informed that KISS will be in Sault Ste. Marie (including Oshawa & Kingston) and other secondary markets, at some point during the second leg of this tour. Although disappointed, I remain hopeful."

Just as I suspected. Kiss are putting us in the SECOND LEG of the tour. This goes along with what I said yesterday, that there were more dates in the works and we probably weren't screwed, we were just pushed back a bit. I got thinking afterwards that maybe, Kiss are booking all the smaller cities and arenas for the second leg, so their stage setups and equipment are downsized to fit smaller venues, so maybe that's why. But all I know is, Kiss are definitely still in the cards, and we weren't fucked over.

Chances are, they're coming, but it just won't be as soon as we hoped. Besides, it's not like it's unprecedented for us to think they're coming and then have the date change. Remember their original Kewadin Casino show for 2006? They cancelled that cause of tour conflicts, but they made good on their word and came the next year, so it's not like this is that unprecedented. Be patient, as I said yesterday, wait to hear more, but this should give you guys some more hope! I just wish more people read things carefully before complaining and throwing insults and hate at Kiss, cause nowhere did it say Kiss weren't coming EVER. Read everything before you comment, that's my respectful advice!

And now, it's time to preview an upcoming local show! Tomorrow night at Coch's Corner, Vancouver punk/metal band Old Roger will take the stage! According to their official MySpace page, they will be on at 10:00 PM! Admission is free, as usual for a Coch's show, but buy a drink before they hassle you! They're pretty good, maybe not as heavy as some bands that come through here, but it's a good punk/metal mix, so they're worth seeing! I dunno if I'll be able to go, but if you are,we'd love to hear from you! Check out some of their quality originals at this location, and for a preview, check out this excellent live clip from a Vancouver concert!

And finally for today, remember a few months back when I mentioned that SooToday reporter Donna Hopper was holding a photo exhibition of her concert photos (including metal show pics) at Loplops Lounge? Well, as you can tell from my lack of mentioning it since that it didn't take place in July like originally announced. No matter, it's been rescheduled, and opening day is one week from Thursday! Entitled "Now Let's Shoot That Fucking Band", it will feature photos from local shows including Kiss, Three Days Grace, The Scorpions, Grady, and many more, metal or not! You can tell from all the photos you see from local shows on SooToday that Donna does great work, and it's nice to see her get more recognition like this! The exhibition opens September 3rd at 7:00 PM, and runs through October 1st! If you're interested, go check it out! And visit the Facebook event page at this location!

That's all for today, stay tuned for my Lion Ride and Hempfest concert previews and much more! And, FYI, I will be at the Lion Ride show at Coch's Corner on Friday night, and I will have free CDs! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are Kiss Coming Here? My Thoughts & Opinions: Plus, A LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!!

So, I know many of you guys have noticed that Kiss haven't scheduled a Sault Ste. Marie stop on the first leg of their tour. But before you all start sending Gene Simmons hate mail, I wanna clear the air a bit. Yes, we were led to believe they would be here this fall, that's when the tour was advertised to take place. And yes, the tour dates announced so far are from the fan-routed tour voting, this is clearly said in press releases. And yes, despite the hopes of Kiss Army soldiers in this town, there isn't a Sault stop on the tour. The closest shows are Kiss' two shows in Detroit on September 25th and 26th.

I'm not sure what the total outrage level is among Saultites over this, but over in Oshawa (who led the voting, but don't have a listed date either), they're already jumping the gun and assuming that they've been fucked over. Oshawa municipal politicians were told personally that Kiss were coming, but a band spokemsan said "a few situations" led to scheduling shows in neighboring areas instead of the specific city that led in voting. And so, Toronto and London, both neighbouring cities of Oshawa, have shows. So what happened in our case? It can't be the same situation, because there are no Kiss shows scheduled within 5 driving hours of here, and the next closest cities with bigger arenas (Sudbury and Traverse City) don't have a Kiss concert either.

So if that excuse doesn't apply to us, did Kiss just go back on their word? I really doubt it. We know from Brian Kelly's Sault Star article on Friday that details were being worked out and The Essar Center expected to find out a definite date by early September. So I don't think they just said "Ah no, we're not going there, screw Sault Ste. Marie", we definitely are/were in the plans. That same article mentioned that Kiss' pyrotechnics were a sticking point in the discussions of the show's planning, which could be a reason why the show isn't scheduled this fall, but nowhere else does it mention any real "trouble", per say, in organizing the show.

I do believe this show is in the works, or at least was. You wanna know why? Here's direct quotes from Kiss' press release, with certain parts emphasized:

"KISS Alive 35 North America marks the FIRST LEG of the world's first fan-routed tour ... The fans have spoken, the votes have been tabulated, and the waiting is over as Kiss unveils the FIRST MARKETS."

FIRST LEG. FIRST MARKETS. See that, the announced dates AREN'T THE ONLY DATES. As long as they meant what they wrote, then THERE ARE MORE SHOWS SCHEDULED!!! Now, that's not to say that's a complete explanation for why we don't have a 2009 show, but it should be at least some hope. Maybe they're waiting to work out any issues, maybe they're saving smaller cities for their own tour next year, maybe we just weren't in the definite plans for this year and were always in the second leg. We don't know, we have to see. I just felt I should clear the air on the whole Kiss situation, before anyone starts blowing a gasket over the fact there's no show booked. Be patient, something tells me one is coming. Stay tuned, this won't be the last we'll hear out of this story.

Alright, I just had to put in my words on that issue. Now, how can I close this post....oh yeah, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!! According to a post on The 705 Scene Forums, London hard rockers Ministry of Zen are returning to Sault Ste. Marie! You guys voted them as your favourite local metal show of the first half of 2009, and they're back for more! They will hit Coch's Corner once again on October 30th with locals Sense of Truth opening! Now, neither band have confirmed the show on their respective pages, but the concert's validity seems legit, as it's in a topic for the upcoming Coch's Corner listings! If I'm in town that weekend, I will absolutely be at this show! I will keep you guys posted on any news and updates on it as they come in!

So there you go, my opinion of the newest Kiss stuff, and a local concert alert! Concert previews tomorrow, and whatever else I can find! And read my post immediately below for news on that Kiss article from The Sault Star, some random band updates, and changes I made to the links section, including newly added local music forums! Stay tuned, and thanks everyone!

Some News Updates, Link Section Changes, And Lots Of New Local Message Boards!!

Hey guys, time to update you all on some news and updates I've found over the weekend. As well, I've done some modifying and adding to the Other Local Metal Links, I'll get to those changes later. But now, some news!

One week after his piece on Woods of Ypres, Brian Kelly from The Sault Star has wrote up another local metal related article, this time dealing with the upcoming Kiss concert at The Essar Center! The article mentions that Essar Center staff are hoping to hear a firm date for the show by early September, with one of the sticking points to the show's planning being proper electrical setups to support all of Kiss' pyrotechnics. And you guys know, if they have to do that much extra for pyro, then we'll be in for something special! Also, lots of people are already calling The Essar Center looking for ticket information, which I expected. After all, Kiss have very loyal fans!

But don't expect any word on tickets until we find a concrete date, which WON'T be this year! The Sault show isn't on the first leg of the tour, so they won't be here until 2010. Don't worry, they'll be here (I hope), just not as soon as we expected. The article also compares this show to the 2007 Kiss concert at Kewadin Casino, for which there were people camping out for TWO DAYS before tickets went on sale. It's a good article, and it's worth a read if you're at all interested in seeing Kiss next year! You can find it in Friday's issue of The Sault Star, or by visiting this location to read it online!

Next up, a couple updates on a pair of local bands! Sault Michigan grunge band Half Stupid have posted a rough demo of their song "The Letter E" on their official MySpace page! The demo doesn't feature bassist Matt Williams, but it no doubt will in the final version! It's not all that heavy, not what I was expecting, but it has a good groove and is kinda catchy! Check out the new song on Half Stupid's official MySpace page! As well, there are now videos of fellow locals 7/47 online! One's of the band covering The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Higher Ground" from their show at Foggy's in Christmas, while there's two from their show at The Soo Theater on the 18th! One's a cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", while the other has 7/47 covering Chevelle's "The Red", and you can view it immediately below! Check out the other videos at YouTube user Jackds24's channel!

And now, off to talk about a pile of updates I made to the Other Local Metal Links! First, I removed the link for the torrent file of Gates of Winter's album Lux Aeterna. This is of no offense to the band, I just felt it was a bit unnecessary to link to it like it was an actual site. But, I've done some adding! I added The Sault Star's official website (which makes sense, with all the articles I've mentioned from there), as well as the official MySpace page for Sault Michigan music store Steve's Music! Located on 126 Ridge Street, Steve's Music has been open since 2000, and acts as both a store for all your instrument needs, and as a guitar/bass lesson studio as well! They're open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00-6:00, and you can get more details on Steve's Music at this location!

And finally, I've decided to do some reorganizing of the Other Local Metal Links. I felt that section was getting longer and longer, and some categorizing was needed to make things easier to locate and read. A long general link list isn't as easy to navigate as it could be. So I've started slowly by making a new link category: Local Metal Message Boards. Message boards are great resources to discuss things with like-minded peers, and can be great to get news and updates off of too! Sure, my attempt at an SMS forum was a miserable failure, but there's a good number of forums (past and present) that discuss local music in some fashion, and there was enough to warrant their own category!

You can find the Local Metal Message Boards section ABOVE the Other Local Metal Links! Along with the forums already featured on the SMS, I've added three more! One is the now-inactive message board for inactive punk/metal band Fitswitch. Known as The Fitswitch Asylum, it featured plenty of local music discussion of many different genres, as well as general music, Fitswitch news, and anything else. It's been inactive since 2007, but you can still check it all out at this location! I also added the original forum for The Sault Music Scene to this section. This forum was last used in the summer of 2006, just a few months before The Sault Music Scene itself ended, but the forum is still online! Lots of local music discussion there too, and it's interesting to read as well! Check it out at this location, and remember, it's successor forum, The 705 Scene, lives on to this day!

But I did add a local music forum that is very much still alive! It is Freq's Music Planet, a forum ran by veteran local drummer Glen Thomas, who you may recognize from numerous local bands like Flat Stanley, Fingerbang, The Rainhorses, Wishbone, and Route 69, among many others! Though his body of work isn't entirely metal (more progressive rock than anything, though Route 69 are heavier), he's definitely a great and accomplished musician! And at his official forum, there's lots of ongoing music discussion, from local bands and shows, to any of Glen's bands, to even a board dedicated to prog legends King's X! Lots of intelligent music conversations there, and it's through his forum that I found out that Wishbone backed up Time at their Coch's Corner show last week (sorry for missing that!) I recommend checking Freq's Music Planet out, and you can do so at this location!

So that's all I have for today, I will have a post tomorrow to preview this week's Old Roger and Lion Ride shows at Coch's Corner, plus stay tuned for any updates on Kiss' show here and Hempfest, and anything else I can locate! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Half Stupid), A New Woods Of Ypres Song, Two New Local Bands, And More!!!

Bit of a wait for a new post, but it's all worth it, cause I have lots of stuff to share today! And what better way to start than with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT?!

Sault Michigan grunge rockers Half Stupid are back on the local concert scene! They will be among the performers at a September Music Festival taking place on September 18th at The Big Bear Arena! Half Stupid will join local solo artist Amanda Rairigh and a band to be named later for this show! Tickets will be just $5, and Half Stupid are schedules to take the stage at 6:30 PM! It's great to see Half Stupid back playing shows, they're a really good band! Check them out on MySpace to find out more about these guys, and visit this link right here to check out their original song "The Pit And The Pendulum", since they don't have songs to check out on their MySpace at the moment! Also, thanks to their recent show bookings there, I've also added contact details for The Big Bear Arena into the Sault Michigan Concert Venue Info to your right!

Next up, I should start by saying this: I've really gotta pay more attention to message boards. I don't check them often enough. Particularly the official message board for Woods of Ypres, which gave me a huge story today that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise! Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold was interviewed last week on the newest episode of the Canadian comedy/metal podcast The Governor's Ball! Topics handled in the interview include why Woods of Ypres don't sign with outside labels, the themes of "Woods IV: The Green Album", if their current lineup will be more permanent than it has been in the past, and how Woods will deal with satisfying their fans while silencing haters at the same time. David also announces plans for an American tour next summer, which should be interesting!

But, the best is yet to come: Following the interview, A BRAND NEW WOODS OF YPRES SONG was broadcast on The Governor's Ball! Entitled "Everything I Touch Turns To Gold...Then To Cold", it sounds really good, very doom-metal like, and it gives me some great hopes for the new album! But, as is standard, I'll hold from detailed opinions until it comes out! Following that, they also played "The Northern Cold" and "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground", which are two excellent songs in their own right! It's a good interview, and pretty funny at parts too, The Governor sounds like a horror movie villain and has some humorous lines & jokes, it's worth listening to the interview as well!

Now, how can you check out The Governor's Ball and hear this new song? Simple, visit The Governor's Ball's official website, and download Part 1 of the episode "Gojira & Woods of Ypres"! Woods of Ypres discussion begins around 22 minutes in and runs til close to the end of the file. The new song begins around 37 minutes in. Trust me, this is worth checking out! And sorry I'm late mentioning it, but I will make sure to pay more attention to Woods' forum from here on out!

Alright, now we have new local bands to add to the Local Metal Band Links, and I've bypassed them for waaaay too long. Until last night, I had no idea these guys played anything metal (the listed genres on their MySpace were rock and punk), but now I know they do, so here they are! The band is Unleashed, from Sault Michigan, and they are a young hard rock band who played with 7/47 at The Soo Theater on August 18th! They're one of the successful products from The Guitar Studio's Summer Rock Camp, and they definitely show some promise! There's a lot of really talented young bands in Sault Michigan, and they're no exception!

There's no songs on their MySpace page yet, but two live videos featuring Unleashed have been uploaded to YouTube! One features the band covering Pop Evil's "Somebody Like You", while the other, as seen below, is a cover of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law"! Check it out!

Speaking of that August 18th show, there's more from that to mention! The show also came together with the help of Joey and Amy Beairl and Mike Vollman from Shift, who all do work and instructing at The Guitar Studio! Three bands were featured: Unleashed, 7/47, and another local band named Intrepid. I haven't talked about these guys too much because I don't have a page for them anywhere, but guitarist Donnie Hank has uploaded a bunch of live videos to his YouTube channel, many of which are from a New Year's show at The Essar Centre! How about that? Covers ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to System of a Down are featured there, which don't sound too bad! I now have Intrepid listed in the Local Metal Band Links (the YouTube account will do for now!), and check out their cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" immediately below!

Also, I have The Soo Theater and The Essar Centre listed in the Concert Venue Info sections. They have hosted metal bands in the last year, so it makes perfect sense to put them there! Now, for some smaller news items: On October 13th, Sault natives Detroit will be playing a FREE show at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto! More news forthcoming, I assume, cause I haven't heard much else. And finally, three Facebook event pages have been posted for three different shows next week that I somehow haven't mentioned on the SMS. So click on each of these links to visit and confirm your attendance at each show: Lion Ride at Coch's Corner on August 28th, Garden of Bedlam at Hempfest on August 28th, and Lion Ride at Hempfest on August 29th!

That's all I have for today, stay tuned cause there's a bunch of stuff planned next week, including Old Roger and Lion Ride's shows at Coch's Corner, Hempfest, and hopefully some more exciting updates! Also, various websites indicated to me that we may know when Kiss' show in Sault Ontario is at some point next week. Stay tuned, and if you have any news, updates, or links to share, let me know! Thanks everyone!