Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Possible New Local Concert & Concert Venue, More Concert Videos, And Much More!

How's everyone doing? In what could be the last post of the month, I have scattered news stories to share with everyone today! One of those days, nothing super major, but there's enough stuff I haven't mentioned here before to warrant a new post! And we'll start with some intriguing possibilities, for a concert and for a venue!

Firstly, the concert: Toronto metal band Skull Fist are looking to play here in May! They have a "TBA" date listed for here on May 8th during a short Northern Ontario tour stretch, and you know what that means: They need a venue! If you wanna know how these guys sound, expect a really cool classic metal sound, they sound straight off an old vinyl record, and that's not a bad thing! They describe their sound as "chariots ripping through The Great Lakes" and named their E.P. "Heavier Than Metal", and really, doesn't that sound promising in itself? They'd fit very nicely here, especially with the popularity the classic-sounding bands have here, so why not help them get a booking?! If you're interested in booking Skull Fist for a concert here on May 8th, send them a message A.S.A.P. at their official MySpace page! Remember, the more metal, the better, and these guys bring it in spades! I'll keep you posted if I hear more!

...speaking of bands looking to play here, when I was browsing the MySpaces of bands looking for a show here in the coming months, I noticed something intriguing: New Brunswick experimental hard rockers Cop Shades, who are hoping to play here on August 8th, have none other than locals Sykotyk Rampage listed as playing with them on that show! Not kidding, check out their MySpace page! A very promising sign, just one problem though: No venue yet. Help make this show happen, click here to send Cop Shades a message if you want to book them and Sykotyk Rampage for August 8th!

Next up, might we have a new local concert venue? Maybe, maybe not, and I'll explain. According to a topic on The705Scene forums, Twist N' Shout Bar & Grill on McDonald Avenue is getting a four day trial run for concert bookings, with the potential to become a regular concert venue if the shows are successful. The four dates in question are four consecutive Saturdays: April 24th, May 1st, May 8th and May 15th. Now I don't know full details, but if all goes well, we'll have another venue to hit up for shows! And who's playing on those Saturdays? We don't know, and that's where you come in. If you or your band are interested in playing one of those Saturdays, or you know someone that is, e-mail pegu66@hotmail.com to show your interest! Hopefully we can get a metal band or two on one of those weekends, so we can rock another local venue! Remember, the original topic is at this location, but because The705Scene forums are now restricted from view to non-members, you'll have to log in or sign up to check it out.

Next up, we have some new (well, new to the SMS) videos from local concerts of past years! Firstly, YouTube user osXzealot uploaded another clip from this past December's Three Days Grace concert at The Essar Center online! It's of their performance of the song "World So Cold", and the audio is pretty good, but it was filmed from very far away, looks like a seat in the far corner. That combined with their on-stage lighting, and you cant even make out the band! Still, the audio makes up for it, check out the video below!

The other new video I have is actually an old concert clip from The Oddfellows Hall! You don't see much videos from shows there, and especially not many of this quality! It's a two minute clip of the now broken up Sudbury hardcore band Three For Fallacy (remember them?) performing their song "Best Before Dates" in support of Blind Witness on August 21st, 2008! I've seen this video twice online: YouTube user katefantham uploaded it on YouTube the day after the show, while Three For Fallacy guitarist Kai Kinos uploaded a better quality version of the same clip onto Vimeo, though it's not as reliable to watch. Things that strike me about this video: I like their lighting, frontman Kyle Blake's attire is....interesting, and the crowd is really small. Where is everyone? Still, it's great quality for an Oddfellows Hall show, usually videos I see from there are very dark and/or choppy! Check it out below, and Kate also uploaded their performance of "Eleda" onto YouTube, click here to take a look! Always great to find old concert clips like this!

Two more items to get to, and it appears that Social Play have lost another member. Apparently, bassist Tiffany Emmerson has also left the former Browbeat. This leaves frontman Dutch Vanderploeg as the sole remaining member, and he's still looking to get the band back out there! He's looking for a dedicated hard rock bassist and drummer each, and having equipment is not a requirement, he has a bass and drums. He really wants to get Social Play going and play live again, and I'm sure many of you want to see Dutch back on stage, like myself! So if you play bass or drums, or know of someone that does, message Dutch on Facebook today!!! Let's not make it another year before their next show!

And finally, I meant to mention this days ago, but it slipped my mind way too many times. Popular heavy metal website Metal Storm has recently ran it's annual Metal Storm Awards, and this year, there was a local connection! In the category of Best Black Metal Album of 2009, the sixth place finisher was none other than.....Woods of Ypres, for their newest release "Woods IV: The Green Album"! Now technically, this was a doom metal album and the black metal days are behind them, but who am I to argue semantics when they got this kind of press? David Gold and company were just 10 votes out of third place, with first place going to Immortal's new album, "All Shall Fall"! Even though they didn't win, it's awesome to see "The Green Album" continue to grow and gain attention! Buy "The Green Album" today!!

That's all I have compiled for today, but mark my words, there's more on the horizon! This weekend will have my review of Garden of Bedlam's concert this Friday, along with any news and updates I come across throughout! And next week, stay tuned for my review of Integrated System of Machines' debut album, and much more! Keep your browsers pointed here!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Turner Up Concert Review, Tyler Yuke Memorial Video, And Lion Ride News!

Hey guys, sorry again for the lack of news the last couple days, it looks like the busy stretch ended kinda abruptly. But today, we're back with new video from the Tyler Yuke Memorial, Lion Ride news, and the top story, my review of last night's Turner Up concert! So here's what went down at my first ever Turner Up live experience!

Well, the show didn't start as early as Facebook announced, not getting underway until 11:00, but I had no plans, so all worked out! Also, there was a cover charge, $3, that wasn't posted beforehand, but no worries there either! Now in terms of Turner Up themselves, let me start by saying that they actually theme their sets around specific sounds, which I don't think I've seen other local bands do. Frontman Todd Killam used the "first/second/third base" analogy to describe their progression throughout the night. The first set was more classic/general rock, the second set was more party/dance tunes, and third set was generally hard rock and more metal stuff! But before I caught on to what each set was like, I wasn't sure what I was in for, when Turner Up played INXS, 54-50, and Green Day in their first set!

Don't get me wrong though, as much of a metalhead as I am, I saw the talent these guys had in their first set, they're really good musicians! Todd Killam has a pretty good rock singing voice, it suits a band that covers a wide variety of stuff! I like his on-stage presence and the way he ad-libbed references to the other Turner Up members mid-song! The guitarists were Rob Brown and The Rad Zone's Len Ward, who are both really proficient guitarists! Len especially surprised me, I knew he was in bands way back, but man. I didn't think he'd nail the solo on "Ice Cream Man" so well! Other songs too, but that got my attention the most! Former Johnny Lunchbox guitarist Jeff Gray handled bass, which caught me a bit off guard. Still, he's a very good bassist! And drummer Scott McClorg kept the beat nicely throughout, also picking up lead vocals for a few songs! I think one was a Tragically Hip song (shades of Jeff from Caveman Morrison?), but he also shown his hard rock voice on a cover of Kiss' "Cold Gin"!

Their second set was essentially, as I said before, the party set, breaking out some Lenny Kravitz, Van Halen, and Collective Soul, among other songs, and this was where Todd encouraged fans to get up and dance! And dance they did, a few girls even pulled their stools up real close to the stage to enjoy themselves! This is where the concert got very loose and casual, with everyone up front singing along, getting on stage, and dancing the night away! Members of Turner Up hit the floor too to mingle mid-song, which was cool to see! Hell, the dancing continued during the break between the second and third sets, even to the house music on the P.A.! They sure do love to just have a beer and party, and I welcome that! The third set brought heavier stuff like Def Leppard and Ozzy, and it was arguably my favourite set of the night, and the exact reason why they're discussed on the SMS! Sucks that I had to leave early though. Also, they gave out free t-shirts during the last two sets, and it impressed me how they had multiple sizes and colours!

Overall, this was a fun concert, and I gotta thank Todd and Len for the free t-shirts (I like them, but they don't say "Official Crew Member"!), and Len for the Black Label Society guitar pick! Really nice guys! I felt so young at this show though, there can't have been too many people there around my age. Turner Up are an entertaining live band, though you know me, I'd really like to see them play a straight complete hard rock/metal set! But really, what they played last night appeals to everyone, there was a set for everyone to enjoy! Mine was the last set, and the dancing partiers loved the second set, they're diverse and wide-ranging in that regard! Fun show, hopefully I'll get to check them out again soon! As you can tell, I took lots of photos, click here to check them out, or head to The Sault Metal Scene's official Facebook page!

And I got a video! A bit of an issue timing some earlier attempts at a video, but I got one good one on time! So here's Turner Up's cover of the Def Leppard classic, Hysteria! (Oh, and expect better pictures and video from this concert in the near future, Turner Up had some pro quality video and pics being taken at the show!)

Next up, we have more videos from the Tyler Yuke Memorial Concert last weekend at The Outback! Remember when I mentioned that a guitarist with a Zakk Wylde custom Gibson Les Paul really impressed me? Well, we have video of his set online! As it turns out, his name is Mike Laprade, and he is a current Sault College student! Not in a band though. He added me on MSN the other day, we were talking about the local scene and his set, he's a nice guy! He told me that him and his friend were supposed to cover "Mr. Crowley", but couldn't thanks to all the delays. On his YouTube channel, he has videos of his two songs with the other guitarist (YouTube user myapplecore) covering "Mama I'm Comin' Home" and "Blackened Waters" by Black Label Society! I KNEW that song was familiar! Soft vocals, but they work well! The audio is still worse than their playing would assume, Mike's got some serious skill! Check out their rendition of "Blackened Waters" below! Also check out his original farewell ballad at this location!

And finally, we'll leave you with some assorted Lion Ride news! First off, they sadly did not win Thursday's Great Canadian T-Shirt Battle. Marky Lion's Facebook statuses confirmed that Whale Tooth, a Toronto indie band, won the 200 custom band t-shirts. I was hoping Lion Ride would win, but hey, what can you do? In more positive news, Lion Ride are now on Twitter! If you use Twitter, click here to follow Lion Ride! I imagine the "tweeting", as it were, will pick up soon! If I used Twitter, I would follow them, but I'm still boycotting it. No SMS Twitter page yet either, but I can't predict the future. And finally, in their Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands quest, they're currently in 74th place, so they're slowly climbing! They can crack the top 70 with just 8 votes, so VOTE FOR THEM TODAY! They won't be considered to play at The Warped Tour's Toronto stop in July unless YOU VOTE!!!

That's all for now, I promise to have more news and updates real soon! I shall return before you know it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Kilacel & Driven), Weekend Concert Previews, And A Potential New Show!!

Yep, March sure is picking up news-wise, I'm glad to say! And today's a good one, with three LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, previews for this weekend's Turner Up and Caveman Morrison concerts, and a potential new show that needs your help to make it happen! Let's start with the new concerts, all of which are in Sault Michigan, so here's what you need to know!

Remember Kilacel, the Muskegon-based hard rock band last seen in the Sault area this past June? Well, they're coming back up here, finally! Kilacel will be playing in honor of the birthday of someone named Sandy on April 3rd at The Corner Pub Bar & Grill, the same venue where they played their four 2009 local shows! A cover charge of $3 is announced, the concert has a listed start time of 9:00 PM. The show is confirmed, but keep in mind that the band are apparently looking for a new bassist; whether that will impact the April 3rd show here is unknown. Still, it's great to see Kilacel back up here, I was wondering if they'd ever return to Sault Michigan! Hopefully this won't be the last we see of them, they have a really good modern hard rock sound! Check out more from Kilacel at their official MySpace page, and some live concert videos at this location!

The other two shows are a ways off from now, but even still, they're announced, so why not make some advance plans? Cheboygan hard rockers Driven will be playing at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino for a pair of weekend dates on September 17th and 18th! Both are 9:00 PM shows with no announced cover charge. I vaguely recall hearing of a band named Driven playing at the casino, but I never came across a band page before. These are the only local shows Driven have listed, though they have plenty of other U.P. and Mackinac-area concerts planned throughout the year! If you're wondering how they sound, so am I, they have no audio or video on their MySpace page to speak of, nor anywhere else online I've searched. However, they look promising, especially with their influences being "anything with a groove thats gets people off there ass and party"! I'm positive they're a hard rock band, though their MySpace also says they play a little bit of R&B too? Interesting! If I hear more on these two shows, or Driven themselves, I'll keep you posted!

Now let's get to this weekend's concert previews! Three local metal/hard rock shows, all in Sault Ontario, and we'll begin at Coch's Corner, where Caveman Morrison will play for the first time as a band since frontman Tym Morrison returned to the Sault! Tym's played solo shows there in recent months, but this is the full band experience! They'll be there this Friday and Saturday to rock out your favourite metal and hard rock classics, so why not head on out there? Both shows start at 10:00 PM, there is no cover charge. Confirm your attendance at the official Facebook event page! It's always a treat to see Caveman Morrison live, hopefully they draw some great crowds this weekend! Your favourite tunes played by a great band for no cost, sounds good to me! Check out more from Caveman Morrison at this location, and for a preview, here's video from a 2009 show at The Rockstar Bar of their version of Metallica's "Seek & Destroy"!

Meanwhile, on Saturday night only, local hard rock cover band Turner Up (not "Turn-R-Up", as Sault This Week misspelled) will play what could be their biggest show since their formation when they hit The Canadian Nightclub! Just announced the other day, Turner Up will have video cameras in tow to film their performance on Saturday, which is cool in itself! Also, they're going to have "Official Crew Member" shirts to give out, and who doesn't love free stuff? But aside from that, you'll get to hear some great hard rock covers from one of the more prolific live bands in recent months! A start time of 10:00 PM is listed on the Facebook event page, there is no announced cover. Check out more from Turner Up at their official Facebook group!

Judging by the fact that this is just one show, and they're filming it, this has got to be a big deal, maybe something cool or unexpected will happen? Maybe an original song or two? Or just getting the band's exposure up? Either way, I'll be there! I've been meaning to check Turner Up out live one of these days, and this Saturday is as good as ever! I'll have review, photos, and hopefully my own video posted online on Sunday, so look out for all that! Hope to see you guys there, and if not, hopefully you're at Coch's Corner!

And finally, we have a new local concert....well, maybe. Remember back when local promoters used to gauge interest in a potential show by opening event pages or forum threads asking what the demand would be for the concert? Well, local promoter Jasmin Nott is doing just that for a show she'd like to put on, to see if it worth holding! If this show happens, and it largely depends on local fan interest, it would be on May 18th at a yet-to-be-determined venue. The headlining band would be Vancouver hardcore/death metal outfit Doom Cannon, who have a pretty good sound, it mixes the two styles effectively! They sound perfect for The Oddfellows Hall, but who knows where this show will end up if it's confirmed. Other bands would be on the lineup too. She says if this show's a success, she says she will try and book some more shows, with possibilities like Abandon All Ships and The Cancer Bats being mentioned!

But before any of that can happen, she needs support for this show, so if you would honestly and truly go see Doom Cannon and other bands on May 18th, click here to join this potential show's Facebook event page! Post something on the wall too to help out! Hopefully this works out, Jasmin's at least trying to get more concerts here and I completely welcome that! Plus, we don't get enough hardcore/death metal bands here, there's an audience for Doom Cannon! Let's help Jasmin out to make this show happen!

That's all for today, in my next update, I'll have a local band's placement in a major metal site's voting for Best _____ Album of 2009! Which band and which genre? You'll see! That and hopefully much more are on the horizon, keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Fitswitch & Sue Inside Videos, More Cancer Bats Stuff, And More!

Things are picking up lately, aren't they? March was seeming to go really slowly for news and updates in the local metal universe, but 5 straight days with new posts most say something! Here's some new news and updates!

(EDIT, MARCH 25: Well, I made a dumb mistake, though to be fair, the link wasn't clear about it at first. I initially reported that hair metal band Cinderella were coming to Kewadin Casino in May. Well, Cinderella will be there, but NOT the band, a live production of the play. Kewadin only updated the info today to clear up that it was the play, rather than the band. I assumed (as I'm sure some of you would have as well) that it was the band coming here in May, not the actual fairy tale story. Might be a dumb mistake, but you can see where I was coming from. The band Cinderella have a tour in the works, and Kewadin Casino frequently books classic hard rock and hair metal bands (like Tesla in June), so that seemingly made more sense than Cinderella the play coming here. And it wouldn't have been the first time that a show was announced on Kewadin's ticket page before the artist announced it, as in last year's Ace Frehley concert. Still, this is my fault, and I give my deepest apologies, especially to anyone who I got the hopes up of!)

Next up, it's time for some more local videos! And we'll start with another clip from this past Saturday's one-off set from Fitswitch's original lineup at The Elks Hall for guitarist Kevin Powe's stag and doe! This time, it's of their song "Only Wanna Be With You", featuring guitarist Rick White on vocals! It appears that Krista Kelly filmed this one as well, or at least the same camera was used. Great audio and decent quality, though the room is really dark. Still good though, check it out below! Now, let's all cross our fingers and hope that Fitswitch, whatever the lineup, play another public concert down the road, I'd for sure be there!

The second new video I have to share today comes from Sault natives Sue Inside! Yes, the metal band featuring Saultites Shane Lipsit-Fraser and Jeff Vogel are still active, though as I've said on here, have since moved to Oil Springs and London. Now a three piece with Adam Veen on bass, the band have periodically released some jam session recordings to Shane's YouTube channel, as well as some new stuff on their CBC Radio 3 page! Shane uploaded three new acoustic video clips the other day, of the songs "New Jersey", "Skeleton Surprise", and "Wine"! They feature Shane and Adam on guitar and a guest, Craig MacDonald, on one of those stand-up hand drums, not sure of the technical name. "Skeleton Surprise" isn't bad, though it does run long. Solid acoustic rock, no major complaints. "New Jersey" takes a stranger turn. It's more spoken word anthology horror story than song. Definitely worth seeing for the uniqueness of it! "Wine" is a bit softer than "Skeleton Surprise", kinda strange even still, but Sue Inside have never stuck to convention, not that that's bad!

The videos are also unique in that Shane's not singing on them, Adam handles the vocals, and you know what? He isn't bad at all, he has a really good hard rock voice on "Skeleton Surprise", that impressed me! He also shows off some unique talents on the other two vocally, nice to see! I'll show you guys one of the new videos, the heaviest of the three, so here's "Skeleton Surprise"! Hopefully we'll see more from Sue Inside real soon, and check out the new videos (and more) at this location!

Now back to stuff from The Cancer Bats' show on Monday, in support of Billy Talent! I still haven't found any new videos from the show of them, or any band for that matter, though a YouTube user from Thessalon may be posting some soon according to one of his other videos, so that may be something! Of course, if you took video of The Cancer Bats, or found footage of their set, let me know! I haven't seen any new news articles either, though Donna Hopper's photo album from the show is now online on SooToday! 44 photos of Billy Talent, Alexisonfire, and the crowd, with no signs of Against Me! or The Cancer Bats. I wasn't sure what to think of that at first, but Lucas Punkari (who covered and photographed the show for SooNews.ca) told me yesterday that press photographers were restricted to only photographing two bands. I find that very odd, but it does makes sense to photograph the two biggest bands rather than the openers. Still, Donna's photos are awesome! I recognized Albert from Out Of The Mouth Of Babes and Wayne from Renderware/Nebraska Arms in a couple pics, and it also includes photos from the afterparty at The Rockstar Bar, so it's definitely worth checking out, which you can do at this location!

And finally, a second Facebook event page has been launched for April 3rd's Destroyer concert at The Rockstar Bar! Remember, Destroyer are "Canada's premier tribute to Kiss", and will surely tide over Kiss Army members impatient for our yet-to-be-announced Sault Ontario show! Nothing new about elements of the concert to be discussed, it's still $12 in advance, $15 at the door, with tickets available at The Algonquin Hotel & The Rad Zone, with a 10:00 PM start time, but it has some great bio info now too! It tells of how they're a family friendly band and talks about their own accomplishments as a Kiss tribute, it's cool to see! Also, there's a poster for the show now, which you can see on your right! Hopefully this show's a success, click here for full details and to confirm your attendance!

That's all for now, hopefully I'll have a new post with some big updates very soon! Keep your browsers pointed here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Turner Up), Cancer Bats Show Aftermath, New Fitswitch Video, And More!

Hey everyone, lots of news to get to today, and we'll start with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!! Also, I have stuff coming out of last night's Cancer Bats/Billy Talent show, new video footage of a local band's one-off return, Lion Ride's newest battle of the bands, and a local radio station's logo contest!

SATURDAY NIGHT (short notice again, my apologies), local hard rock cover band Turner Up will be playing for the first time at The Canadian Nightclub! Yes, they're heading up town for this show, and it looks like they have a lot planned for this one! The band are giving out "Official Crew Member" shirts to the fans, and are going to have some professional filming done as well for a video! Might there be an original in store? I don't know, we'll have to find out this weekend! It looks like they're going to try and make this their biggest show yet, so there's all the more reason to go! I'm thinking I might head on out there on Saturday myself, I'm overdue to see Turner Up as it is! No cover charge has been announced, a start time of 10:00 PM is listed on the Facebook event page, confirm your attendance there! I'll keep you guys posted with any updates I come across, and hopefully I'll be there!

Also, this is worth noting, Turner Up's weekly jam nights at Foggy Notions have been postponed due to "circumstances beyond our control", according to a post on the jam nights' event page. Apparently though, there is a new band providing the music on Wednesdays at present, but the door is not shut on Turner Up there, so if they return, I'll let you know!

Now as you may know, yesterday was the much-hyped Billy Talent concert at The Essar Center! Remember, it DOES have a metal connection, as The Cancer Bats opened the show, and there's stuff online from the concert! First place most people would go for a review and photos would likely be SooToday, and Donna Hopper indeed has an article up about it! Only about 2,000 fans shown up, which apparently was below expectations, though she praised the concert and environment! I find it curious that she mentioned that everyone was there for a different band, doesn't really seem like a large unifying fanbase was there specifically for one band like usual. She has photos, but they aren't online yet, I'd expect them later today.

If you want photos, other sites have you covered! The Sault Star's Rachele LaBrecque has a photo album from the show online, but if you're hoping for shots of Alexisonfire, Against Me!, or The Cancer Bats, this won't be what you're looking for, every picture is of either Billy Talent or the crowd. Great quality, but just one band? Lucas Punkari from SooNews.ca got more photos, though none are of Against Me! or The Cancer Bats. However, he does go into a lot more detail about the concert itself, he said that The Cancer Bats delivered a "fine half hour set", even if their metal sound wasn't expected from many concert-goers. Frontman Liam Cormier told the crowd "The last time we came in 2006, I think like two people watched the whole set, so to have this many people see us tonight is awesome!" Nice to see them finally get a good turnout here, I wish I could have seen them in 2006! And yes, they covered "Sabotage"! Check out Lucas' review at this location!

Is there video from The Cancer Bats' set online yet? Yes, actually, though with a slight catch. It's only about 9 seconds of The Cancer Bats' set, starting 3:35 into this clip, which is partly a video blog posted by YouTube user HAliRoarz! The rest is clips of the other three bands, with about 30 seconds of vlogging at the end. It's the only video I've seen of any segment of the concert yet, the quality isn't terrible but the sound is a bit patchy. Nice to see footage of the show though, I bet there's more coming! Check it out below, and remember, the concert footage begins at around 3:35!

Next up, we have video footage online from the return of a notable local punk/metal band! Well, even if it is just a one-off, it's still new stuff! As you may remember, the original lineup of Fitswitch returned for a one-off performance at The Elks Hall on Saturday night! It was in honor of the stag and doe for original guitarist Kevin Powe, who joined J.D. Pearce, Rick White, Andrew MacDonald, and Larry Mousseau for a night full of classic Fitswitch songs! I didn't consider this as a real "concert" because really, it wasn't, it was a stag and doe graced with the presence of awesome music, and it wasn't a publicly advertised event. And though it'd be awesome to see the original lineup again, I figured I wouldn't take a ticket away from someone who was a close friend/relative or expected guest. Luckily, for those of us that didn't make it out, the band uploaded an HD-quality clip of their performance of the classic song "Bitch Anthem" onto their YouTube channel! The description says the reunion comes after "4 years of no practice", but it still sounds good! The video was filmed by Krista Kelly, and the quality ain't bad, check it out below! Hopefully this isn't the last of Fitswitch we'll get to see, cause I bet even a one-off show at Coch's Corner like last March would draw! Fingers crossed!

And now we come to some more news from the Lion Ride camp! They sure have been busy lately, haven't they? They'll be one of four bands competing on Thursday in a Battle of the Bands in Toronto, but this one has a prize-related twist! They're in The Great Canadian T-Shirt Battle, with the winner recieving 200 free custom band t-shirts! That's the only prize, but for what it's worth, the four judges are all music industry professionals, so this could be a chance to make them take notice of Lion Ride as well! No word on who's playing bass for Lion Ride at this battle, my money's on Carmine Romano again, but the band haven't said. It will be taking place at The Hideout in Toronto on Thursday, best of luck to Lion Ride! I wish I could be there! My sources for this info are from band members' Facebook statuses. As for their Ernie Ball Battle quest, they are currently in 79th place, just five votes out of 74th. VOTE FOR THEM BY CLICKING HERE! (Also, Sykotyk Rampage have just 29 votes, 63 out of the top 100. VOTE FOR THEM TOO!)

And finally for today, a local radio station is looking for help designing a new logo! WLSO 90.1 FM: The Sounds of Lake State announced on campus on Monday that they are looking for student-created designs for a new logo! This was initially announced via e-mail last month, but public campus notice didn't start until Monday. This is ONLY OPEN TO CURRENT LSSU STUDENTS, so keep that in mind if you want to enter. Basically, what you need to do is create a new logo for WLSO (no listed limitations), and submit it to either the WLSO office at the Cisler Center on campus, or e-mail it to wlsomusicdirector@gmail.com! You have until FRIDAY to submit your entry! The winner will be chosen on Sunday, and will win a nice selection of prizes, including the adoption of your design as WLSO's new logo, a $50 Wal-Mart gift card, a stack of CDs from WLSO's music library, two WLSO t-shirts (one with the old logo, one with your design), stickers with your logo, and an on-air shoutout!

So there you are, Lakers, you could design your campus radio station's new logo! It needed an upgrade anyway, to be honest, it looks too plain for a radio station. I've always been a fan of WLSO's, I love the metal blocks that air (thanks to the students who man those slots), and the idea of giving students the power to control the airplay is just cool! If you go to LSSU and have some drawing or graphic design talent, send an entry in! And listen to WLSO at 90.1 FM! (P.S., sorry for the picture quality, I didn't think to not fold the poster.)

That's all for now, lots more news and updates in the near future, including the event page for an upcoming show, more photos/video from The Cancer Bats' show, and more! Stay tuned!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Garden of Bedlam's April 2nd Openers, A Possible New Show, A New Destroilet Video, And More!

Back to assorted news this afternoon at the SMS, and we'll start with a new band on the lineup for an upcoming show! Afterwards, a potential new local metal concert, another local concert video, a band's search for a new drummer, and photos from a recent major concert!

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that there would be openers to be announced for Garden of Bedlam's April 2nd website launch concert? Well, I can now confirm that it will be Half Past! It's on the Facebook event page and the band have announced their involvement on Facebook themselves, so there's my sources. This will be Half Past's first concert since last month's weekend set at Foggy Notions, and if I'm not mistaken, will also be their first ever concert at The Canadian Nightclub! Great to see them booking more shows, they should deliver some great hard rocking tunes! So there's all the more reason to head out to The Canadian on Good Friday! Remember, it's at 11:00 PM that night with Crank Sound Distribution and The Rad Zone in tow, it's likely 19+, no cover charges have been announced. I'll be there, and I'll keep you guys posted with any more updates I have on this show! As for the fundraiser in Garden River, I've heard things about the rescheduling, but I won't announce anything until the band does. Stay tuned!

Next up, yet another band is looking to play here this summer! I don't know how the other bands I've mentioned are doing in their venue search for here (click here for which bands are on the hunt), but we have another, so here's what you promoters and venue staffers should know! Toronto progressive metal trio The Isosceles Project are hoping to play in Sault Ste. Marie on their Ontario tour on August 11th! They're bringing a locally familiar band with them on this leg: North Bay's own Thekillingfield, last seen locally last March at The Oddfellows Hall! They're also scheduled to back up Derelict in May, so we could get them here twice in four months! Anyone out there interested in booking The Isosceles Project and Thekillingfield on August 11th? Send them a message at this location! The Isosceles Project are really good, lots of long (by long, I mean 10 minutes+ long) progressive metal songs with tempo changes and dynamics! They're also unique in that they have no singer, they're an instrumental band! I really like these guys, it'd be awesome to have them here, hopefully some bookers out there are interested in getting them here in August!

Thirdly today, new live video from Destroilet! On Saturday, you may remember that I shown you guys a video from their December debut of their Fist Magnet cover "Evil God Hater" (It really is cool that they covered a local band, that doesn't happen enough!) Well, the band have uploaded another video from that concert at Coch's Corner onto their YouTube channel, this one being a cover of the song "My Erection" by The Dayglo Abortions! And if you're offended by the song title or band name, don't blame me! Also, why hide the truth? Same cameraman that filmed the Fist Magnet cover, so the same video issues are present: The backs of my and everyone else's heads are clearer then the band, though the audio is good! However, it is affected a bit by chatty concertgoers nearby. More punk than the last one, good energy, though I wish I could see the band. Check out the video below!

Next up, it appears that Social Play drummer Chris Smith has left the band, as confirmed in frontman Dutch Vanderploeg's Facebook status. That in itself is news, as Chris is a good drummer, a nice guy, and it's sad to see him leave the former Browbeat after only one show since their return! I won't pry into the reasons in case there's anything touchy, but at least you can still see Chris on bass in the local rock band Wishbone! That being said, Social Play are looking for a new drummer! Dutch says that you don't even need a kit, all you need is the will to give it all, be serious about drumming, and be able to learn around 35 original songs. As Social Play don't have a band page at present, e-mail Dutch on Facebook if you, or someone you know, are interested in drumming for Social Play! Hopefully someone comes around, I've always been a fan of Browbeat/Social Play and it'd be great to see them back on stage!

And finally for today, some great pro-quality photos have been posted online by Nixxon Dixxon from their supporting performance at the Pop Evil benefit concert last month! Six photos are now up on their MySpace page's photo album, which take some interesting angles you don't see too often at local concerts, like this one from the side of the stage! They were taken by Dan Dodge from Evart Michigan's Photography By Dodge, so the photography isn't by anyone local, but Evart is Graveyard Tan's hometown, and they were also on the bill for this show, so there may be a connection there! I haven't seen any of Dan's other photos from the Pop Evil show, saying that he took more, but if I do, I'll have them here! For now though, check out the six Nixxon Dixxon photos at this location!

That's all for now, just to spread things out a bit! Remember, tonight is The Cancer Bats at The Essar Center in support of Billy Talent! Sure, it's not a total metal concert, but it's a major show with one metal band playing, so it's worth re-mentioning! If any Cancer Bats videos surface after the show, I'll have them here too! Next post will also have a new event page for an upcoming show, and much more, so stay tuned for all that!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Garden of Bedlam) And My Sykotyk Rampage/Tyler Yuke Memorial Review!!

How's everyone doing on this Sunday afternoon? I was at The Tyler Yuke Memorial Night at The Outback yesterday for Sykotyk Rampage's headlining performance, so I have a review of that coming up, along with a couple of assorted stories! But first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

We still don't have a rescheduled date for their fundraiser show in Garden River, but Garden of Bedlam do have another show on the horizon! On April 2nd, it will indeed be a Good Friday as Garden of Bedlam perform at The Canadian Nightclub! This show will be a launch party for their official website, which is now online at www.gardenofbedlam.com! It was created by Melissa McMaster at 3Design Elements, and it looks pretty good! Lots of pictures, bio info, nice page design, and their first E.P. is streamable there too! It may already be online, but the official launch party will be on Good Friday, so save your celebrations until then! This concert will have an opening band to be announced, with Crank Sound Distribution handling the sound and The Rad Zone will also be on hand to sell band merchandise! A cover charge has yet to be announced, and a start time of 11:00 PM is given. The Facebook event page says that this will be their last show in Sault Ste. Marie before hitting the studio, so you'll wanna be out for this one! Confirm your attendance at this location!

Pencil me in for this show, I missed their last concert at Foggy's, I need my Garden of Bedlam fix! I'll keep you posted with any updates I have on this show, and if I find anything out about the rescheduling for their fundraiser in Garden River, I'll have that as well!

And now, here's my review of The Tyler Yuke Memorial Night featuring Sykotyk Rampage! As you may know, these are held yearly at The Outback at Sault College in memory of former Sault College student Tyler Yuke, who tragically died in 2002. Luckily there was little hassle to get in compared to other Outback shows I've been to, and when I arrived, there was a huge crowd, the largest I've seen there since the Gob concert! Now prior to my arrival, internet ads for this show had it starting at 8:00 PM with Sykotyk Rampage playing at 10:00 PM. I arrived a little before 10:00, and Sykotyk Rampage didn't play until closer to 1:30 AM! That's not the band's fault though, I'll get into that. When I got there, Sault College teacher Jerry Zuchlinski led a huge group of many of the night's performers in a group tribute song, which went over well. Jerry became the night's MC, introducing us to acts, talking about Tyler, and even telling a dirty joke!

I knew going in that there would be tons of open mic performers before Sykotyk Rampage stepped on stage, but there was a LOT more than I expected! And with no internet announcements of a performer lineup, I had no clue what to expect (I never did before either, Sault College have never announced performers for the Tyler Yuke memorials.) That being said, I couldn't tell you the names of the majority of the musicians who performed. My apologies if I mis-state anything here!

After the group song, there was a bagpipe player, followed by a solo performance from Tyler Yuke's dad, which was cool! Then there was sort of a drum circle kind of deal with some college students (my buddy Mike among them), followed by two separate solo singer/guitarists. Most of the acts performing had a sort of indie/acoustic sound to them, which definitely isn't my cup of tea, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it! I could tell that things were running overtime, other people were remarking that it was long and some performers said on stage that they had to cut down their sets. After the two solo performers, I got a surprise in the form of former Quite Frankly frontwoman Jacky Alisat! She and guitarist Adam Bertrand player three songs, none "metal", but I really enjoyed their set! I never saw Quite Frankly when Jacky sang, but I saw online videos and was very impressed! She's got a hell of a voice, and she shown it last night, even on an Animals song! Hopefully she gets back into a band again soon!

Then it went back to the indie-folksy stuff, with a trio of students with some guests performing more of that kind of stuff. The crowd, again, did seem to be having fun, but this stuff isn't something I'd typically see on a normal day. Following them was two singer/guitarists, one of which had a Zakk Wylde custom Gibson Les Paul! And being a Zakk Wylde fan, that got my attention! They covered the Ozzy Osbourne song "Mama I'm Coming Home", and to be completely honest, they were better than the sound guys had it sound. I don't know what the deal was, but there was feedback on the guitar and the tone of it sounded off and slightly muffled. And I can tell it wasn't their fault cause the guy with the Zakk Wylde guitar pretty much nailed it, he deserved better! The singer had kind of a softer voice, I don't think it matched as well for that kind of song. I liked them, but the sound was an impairment. They followed that with another song, after which another guitarist joined them to play some softer stuff, which I wasn't feeling as much.

Two more indie bands followed, and I don't know if it was just my metalhead nature, the length the open mic bands took, or both, but I wasn't feeling either band too much. Don't get me wrong, they were good for their style, they really were! The second band had the singer also playing a violin, which was unexpected, and they had some good covers going! But I dunno, it just started really dragging by this point for me. The bands played a song, then spent a few minutes fiddling with their instruments and talking to the crowd casually. This was well after midnight at this point, and the crowd had slowly been clearing out all night, it just went on and on and on. When the second band finished, the crowd that was left cheered enthusiastically and asked for an encore. This was around 1:00 AM at this point, and I think the organizers said they couldn't, what with the bar closing at 2:00 AM and all.

Finally, things started to pick up when Sykotyk Rampage bassist Brian Cattapan and former Time of Ruin guitarist Rich Moreland took the stage as "7th Edition" for a two song set (which, as they pointed out to me, would have been longer had things not been behind schedule.) They're one and the same as the previously announced "6th Edition" in a sense. Brian's in both bands, but Rich stepped in for the other half of the band, who just moved to London yesterday. They covered Alice In Chains' "Your Decision" and Pantera's "Cemetery Gates", with Rich and Brian both on guitar, and Brian on vocals. "Your Decision" worked pretty well, Brian has a decent singing voice, it's a wonder he never gets a singing part on a Sykotyk Rampage album! And it really is cool seeing Rich on stage again, it feels like forever since I last saw him with a guitar in hand! "Cemetery Gates" didn't work as well for me, it felt like they changed the arrangement too much to have it suit the acoustic instruments and Brian's vocal range. It wasn't bad though, but if I was picking a Pantera song for them to do, I think "Planet Caravan" might have worked better. Still, I enjoyed their two songs, it was a welcome break from the mostly indie stuff we'd heard until then!

And then, finally, after 3 1/2 hours of waiting, Sykotyk Rampage finally took the stage, and by this point, the crowd was just awful in size. Had the show ran on schedule with Sykotyk Rampage playing at 10:00 like previously announced (hell, even at midnight), they'd have had a huge receptive crowd! Now it was just the devoted fans who didn't mind staying up til 2 in the morning. At least they delivered a fun half hour of harsh music for harsh minds for the remainder of us! They played a handful of their classics, like "Treating You Bad", "Drinking On The Weekend", and "Red Ball Jet", with their typical high energy! Paul Becker still sounded as uniquely good as ever on vocals, Brian Cattapan jumped around on-stage with lots of energy and enthusiasm, and the whole band just seemed to be having as much fun as they could with the time the other bands left for them! Given the circumstances, I can't criticize Sykotyk Rampage at all, they performed as well as I would expect them given the time and set length!

So how about my overall thoughts? Well, let me start by saying this: I hate being too critical. I never want to outright say that something sucks or I hated this or wanted to leave during that, that's unfair to the performers and organizers and their talent. But I have to be honest, I wasn't having a lot of fun at parts of this show. This is NOT the bands' fault, they all had visible talent, some were quite impressive! But for a guy who doesn't listen to much indie, folk, or acoustic music, it just got draining after a while. We were under the impression that it all started at 8:00 with open mic stuff, then Sykotyk Rampage would play at 10:00 PM like Facebook said. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be watching open mic for 3 1/2 hours before the headliners got on stage. I was remarking to people I knew that it felt like being at Hempfest without the hemp. Again, this isn't the bands' fault, remember, this isn't my style of music or my typical crowd. It's more the organization of it all. I've never been terribly impressed with how the college handle concerts. Often, the sound needs work (at points last night, it was bad), I had sound complaints at Sykotyk Rampage's show there in October. And I don't know why the show ran behind schedule so much, but they should have been on top of that to give each band their proper times and proper lengths. At least this time, they weren't so restrictive on the entry of non-students!

But above all else, this show accomplished what it set out to, to pay tribute to Tyler Yuke's memory and have some fun showcasing college talent, and it did just that! The crowd that came out enjoyed it, well, what they saw, and when it comes down to it, it'd have been more enjoyable without changing the performers if they'd just managed the schedule and band performances better so that nothing ran later than it should have. Yeah, I admit the bands were mostly not my cup of tea, but this wasn't advertised as a metal show, and I fully expected stuff I wouldn't typically listen to. It just was worse because it dragged on and on into the night. There were some great acts, like the duo who covered Ozzy, and Jacky Alisat's set, and of course, 7th Edition and Sykotyk Rampage, who completely made the wait worth it at the end! It was all in all, a good and effective memorial show, it accomplished what it wanted, but it just ran way too long and needed better organization.

To close today's post, videos! I got two videos last night, of 7th Edition covering "Cemetery Gates" and Sykotyk Rampage paying tribute to Johnny Cash with their original "Called In Dead"! Check them out below!

This post has ran longer than I thought, so I'll leave it there for now, but I have lots of news coming soon, so stay tuned! Thanks everyone! And no offense meant for any negative comments!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Local Metal Video Showcase!!!

Hey guys, it's video time at the SMS! Lots of new local metal-related videos to share today, thanks to some new uploads on YouTube! News will come tomorrow, but now, it's movie time, get your popcorn! Oh, and VOTE IN THE NEW SMS POLL!

We'll start with a new live video from locals Lion Ride! This comes from frontman Mikey Lion's YouTube channel, and it's a performance from their show on Wednesday in Burlington at The Red Rooster with The Saigon Hookers! Now do you notice that Diamond Brent Panther and Marco Lion are missing? Let me explain. You probably heard that Brent left the band, but Marco sadly had to miss this gig. Carmine Romano from The Saigon Hookers is filling in on bass for this tour stretch, and their frontman Tommy Smokes joined on guitar for this song. As Tommy only knows his band's stuff, Lion Ride covered The Saigon Hookers song "She Blows My Mind"! To my knowledge, the rest of the songs had Lion Ride as a four piece. Doesn't sound bad, it has good energy, reminds me of Lion Ride's own originals! I'm not too familiar with The Saigon Hookers, but this sounds really good, I'll have to check them out! And of course, you guys can check it out below!

Next up, while we wait for a new show announcement from local punk/metal band Destroilet, fans can be tided over with this new video that surfaced from their debut performance from this past December at the Detroit CD release concert at Coch's Corner! It's a cover of the song "Evil God Hater" by Fist Magnet, themselves a classic local band! This was just uploaded yesterday on the band's YouTube channel. The video could be better, it was filmed from pretty far behind the crowd, you get a better angle of the backs of everyone's heads then the band (You can make me out pretty easily, my long hair stands out.) Only 90 seconds, I don't think it's the full song, but it sounds good! The sound redeems the video, it sounds really clear! Heavy with a punk sensibility to it, Mike Hull sounds really aggressive vocally, and the guitar's really good too! Check it out for yourself!

Thirdly, we have a new commercial from local hard rockers Stillbroke for their first EP, "Never Enough"! This was uploaded onto Stillbroke's YouTube channel on Thursday. Here's the commercial's synopsis: Frontman Jesse Frigault smashes an old piano with a sledgehammer, with their song "Wash It Away" playing in the background! I think in ways, this symbolizes Stillbroke's musical approach, smashing an old instrument they wouldn't use in favor of their own style! Plus, if you're a fan of the heavier stuff, seeing Jesse destroy the piano is cool! The video ends with info on how to pick up "Never Enough" and a picture of the band's current lineup! I think the video works, what do you think? See for yourself, especially if you like Stillbroke and hate pianos!

Next, here's a type of video we don't see often in the local metal scene: An autograph signing! Sault Michigan fans will still likely remember the Pop Evil benefit concert at Kewadin Casino from February 27th, and as it turns out, the show was preceded by a meet and greet/autograph session! I believe this was in Kewadin Casino itself, but don't quote me, I wasn't there. The video primarily focuses on Evans Blue frontman Dan Chandler signing an autograph for one of the younger fans (Never too early to rock!) The video was uploaded by YouTube user KrisJamieson09, who also uploaded the "A Step Back" performance from the Sault show. This clip's only 25 seconds long, but it's cool to see a different side of a performing band from a local show for a change! Autograph signings should happen more often for major local shows like this, don't you think? Take a look!

The final two videos tonight come from a pair of local metal guitarists! Well, I say two videos because I'm only embedding two here, they have plenty more on their respective YouTube accounts! Firstly, we come to local metal guitarist Brendan Christie, whose solo work has impressed me in the past! He has a YouTube channel of his own now, previously his videos had been hosted on the next guitarist I'm mentioning's account. Compared to what we typically hear from Brendan on MySpace, most of his YouTube performances take a more classical bent, showing off his talent a lot! Never hurts to be diverse! Two of the videos I've seen before, three I haven't, and I'm still impressed! If he's not in a local band yet, he should be! Here's the coolest one he has uploaded so far, a 64 second free-style tapping solo! Thumbs up from me!

And finally, we come to a friend of Brendan's, and fellow local guitarist, Jonathan Tiberi (a.k.a. The Last Warrior of Rock!) You may recognize Jonathan as the guitarist for the local metal band Losing Ground, and for his own solo work, which you can check out on MySpace! Like Brendan, he has some good guitar skills, and hopefully we'll see more of it to come! He has lots of videos on his YouTube channel, ranging from his own performance videos, to videos where he talks to the YouTube audience, to some different clips like some Rock Band 2 gameplay and cooking videos, and more! Of the videos where he plays guitar, they're mostly covers, some acoustic, some electric, including a "Name That Riff" video, and even some bass stuff! He's good, though I'd like to see more original stuff on YouTube too. There's some originals, including one of Losing Ground, but let's see some more! I'll show you guys one of his covers, here's his version of "Wooden Cross" by Witchcraft!

Hope you guys enjoy these videos, there's more to come! And yes, there's news coming too, including photos from a big recent show, a local band's drummer search, and more! Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weekend Concert Previews, Poll Results, & This Month's New Poll!

Greetings metalheads! The weekend's almost upon us, and as usual, there's concerts to preview! Four in fact (remember, the Garden of Bedlam fundraiser is postponed, details in yesterday's post), so I'll tell you what you need to know about this weekend's metal concert schedule! And then, it's poll time, we'll discuss the results of last month's poll and go over this month's! But now, let's start with the weekend previews!

As I first told you guys about yesterday on short notice, local hard rock cover band Turner Up will be back at The Nicolet Tavern for the second straight weekend tomorrow night and Saturday night! Last weekend's set went over so well, they're back already, so you know they must do an entertaining show! Full of talented local music veterans, expect a great night of your favourite covers this weekend! I believe both shows have a start time of 9:30 PM, there's no announced cover charge, and I'd assume there's a 19+ age limit. For full details and to confirm your attendance, visit the official Facebook event page! And if you miss them this weekend, just head to Foggy Notions on Wednesdays to check out Turner Up at weekly jam nights! But this is a proper full concert set, so make sure to consider it! Check out more from Turner Up at their official Facebook group! No video or audio to share yet, hopefully I will soon!

Then on Saturday, get ready for some original crash music from the original crash band! Sykotyk Rampage will hit The Outback at Sault College for their first non-battle of the bands performance since October when they headline this year's Tyler Yuke Memorial Night concert! These have been held in honour of Tyler's memory since 2003 when he tragically died, and his former campus has paid tribute to him ever since! Usually we don't hear about the lineups at the Tyler Yuke Memorial shows, but this time, Sykotyk Rampage are the announced headliners, so get your rocking shoes on! I also understand that there will be open mic performances before Sykotyk Rampage take the stage, which are a common custom at these events. Should be some good stuff there too! Another band named "6th Edition" is credited on the Facebook event page, but I have never heard of them, can anyone help? The festivities start at 8:00 PM, but Sykotyk Rampage have an announced start time for their set at 10:00 PM. I haven't seen any of the "You must be a student or be signed in by a student" rules, so that little inconvenience may not be a problem this time! There is a cover charge by donation to the Sault College music chapter, and it actually IS an all ages show!

Should be a fun show, the unique experience that is Sykotyk Rampage is back for another fun concert, though hopefully the sound's working better than it was at the October show. With the Garden of Bedlam postponement, I'm considering heading to The Outback on Saturday for this one instead, and hopefully some of you guys can make it out too! Confirm your attendance at this location, check out more from Sykotyk Rampage on SoundClick, and for a preview, here's one of the band's videos for the song "Called In Dead" live at the Scotties Tournament/Sault College Battle from last month!

And this leads us to Monday, for a major concert that, though not a "metal concert" on the surface, does count, and I'll explain why. This show is more of a punk show than anything, and a big one at that, as Juno winning Mississauga punk rockers Billy Talent will be headlining at The Essar Center! But what makes this show metal? The Cancer Bats, that's what! A popular metalcore band from Toronto, they're the first band playing on Monday night, in support of Billy Talent, St. Catharines screamo band Alexisonfire, and Florida punk rockers Against Me! All three of those bands have huge followings, especially Billy Talent, best known for hit songs like "Try Honesty" and "Rusted From The Rain"! But of course, as this is The Sault Metal Scene, we must give the metal band it's due! This is actually The Cancer Bats' second show in Sault Ontario, playing here with The Chintzy Slicks way back on June 23, 2006, at The Speakeasy! They're currently touring in support of their upcoming studio album "Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones", and should bring a good onslaught of metalcore to open the show on Monday!

So, how can you get tickets? Well, you can still order them online from The Essar Center's website or LiveNation, click here for all ordering details! Or just click here, might be easier! You can also buy them at The Essar Center's box office, or by calling 1-866-775-9422. All tickets, floor or not, are $42.50, and if that seems steep, keep in mind the bands you're getting combined! And we've had lesser shows priced higher, so it could be worse. Doors open kinda early, at 5:45 PM on Monday, with The Cancer Bats kicking off the show at 6:45 PM! If you're into punk rock and screamo, you'll wanna be at The Essar Center on Monday night! And hopefully, if you're a metalhead as well, The Cancer Bats will bust out some heavy stuff to open the show! I'm not big on the three other bands, so I won't be there, but I hope it's a huge success! For a preview, here's The Cancer Bats' newest video, for their Beastie Boys cover "Sabotage"!

And now, it's poll time! Since today is the 18th of the month, it's time to close last month's poll, discuss the results, and launch the newest poll! As you may recall, last month's question was "What was your favourite metal concert in Sault Ontario in 2009?" Only 46 votes, which isn't bad, though I was hoping we'd crack 70 again. Because there's a ton of choices, I'll just list the results, then go over them quickly afterwards, and here they are!

Frightlight & Half Past at Coch's Corner, October 31 (13 votes, 28%)
Kiss Battle of the Bands at The Canadian, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 (5 votes, 11%)
Lion Ride at The Rockstar Bar, December 27 (5 votes, 11%)
Cattle Decapitation at The Oddfellows Hall, April 12th (3 votes, 7%)
Caveman Morrison at various venues, December (3 votes, 7%)
Sense of Truth at Foggy Notions, December 18 (3 votes, 7%)
Detroit & Destroilet at Coch's Corner, December 29 (3 votes, 7%)
YMCA Battle of the Bands at The Grand Theater, March 20 (2 votes, 4%)
Garden of Bedlam at The Canadian Nightclub, July 3 (2 votes, 4%)
Garden of Bedlam at The Canadian Nightclub, October 17 (2 votes, 4%)
Other (2 votes, 4%)
Ministry of Zen & Fingerbone at Coch's Corner, January 24 (1 vote, 2%)
Upheaval of an Exorcist at The Oddfellows Hall, October 30 (1 vote, 2%)
Garden of Bedlam at Madison's Pub, December 5 (1 vote, 2%)
Blessed By A Broken Heart at The Oddfellows Hall, Jan. 9 (0 votes)
Who Made Who at The Canadian Nightclub, May 15 (0 votes)
Today I Caught The Plague at Oddfellows Hall, June 11 (0 votes)
Woods of Ypres & Inflict at The Speakeasy, August 16 (0 votes)
Lion Ride at Coch's Corner, August 28 (0 votes)
Ultraviolence at Coch's Corner, September 3 (0 votes)
Grady & Domenica at The Canadian Nightclub, October 25 (0 votes)

Well to start, a few of the concerts that got no votes really surprised me, especially the Woods of Ypres show! NO ONE picked it? Very odd. I also find the fact that Ministry of Zen only getting one vote is odd too when you consider that people voted that as their favourite show in the first half of 2009 on the SMS poll in July! The rest of the choices with one or no votes I can at least understand to varying degrees. For the choices with two votes, I'm glad that "Other" is low, so I know people approved of my choices, and I find it strange that Garden of Bedlam-headlined concerts didn't individually do too well, but if you combine them all, it'd be near the top. Nothing above that really surprises me, except for first place: Frightlight, Half Past, and Glamoween at Coch's Corner from Halloween! If you'd have asked me to place a bet on what show would win, I'd have said the Kiss Battle, but wow! 13 votes came in for that, I suppose horror-influenced punk/metal and the return of Half Past won a lot of support! I missed the show too, damnit! Also, just another observation: Of all the shows with 3 or more votes, only one (Cattle Decapitation) took place earlier than October. Was the concert quality better later in the year, or were they just fresh in our minds? Things to think about!

So now it's time for a new poll, and for the first time in 2010, we have a question not relating to the best "something" of 2009! This time, we're dipping into recent events, mostly the local FM radio situation. A lot of you guys are probably still disappointed that we lost The Bear, and now that it's gone, we have just one local rock station, Rock 101...well, two if you count when WLSO airs metal....and maybe three if your radio is strong enough to pick up Real Rock 105.1 out of Cheboygan. You get my point though, FM radio in Sault Ste. Marie has a lot less variety and choice for the rock lover now that we have one less rock station. I'm among you guys who'd like to see something new or changed in the area to bring back what is missed, but what should be done? I pose this question: What would you like to see happen in the local FM rock radio scene? Here are your choices!

(Note: None of the choices involve format changes to existing stations. I don't want drastic changes to what we have, that'd piss off a lot of people in itself. So if you wanna say "OMG I WANT Q104 TO BE A DEATH METAL STATION", vote for "Other". Also, "a new active rock station" isn't a choice because we have one, Rock 101, and it works just fine!)

A new classic rock station: After all, we lost a classic rock station when our Bear station, WIHC in Newberry, wasn't purchased by Sovereign Communications, so a whole radio format disappeared from the area. Classic rock fans would no doubt like to see a classic rock station of some type here again, and some probably think Rock 101 airs too much new stuff anyway. Would you like this to occur at some point?

A new modern rock station: We're talking new stuff here, rock from the past 10-15 years. We used to be able to sometimes pick up a modern rock station here, WLJZ 94.5 out of Mackinac City, which simulcast Northern Michigan's Modern Rock, The Zone, from 2000-2006. Then the guys in Mackinac abandoned the simulcast to launch a variety station, which annoyed me. And I'm sure some modern rock fans think Rock 101 airs too much classic stuff. But is there a market for a rock station catered to younger fans for just recent stuff in the area? Would it be more successful than a new classic rock station?

A rock station in Sault Ontario: Do you know that we only have two FM radio stations fully based out of Sault Ontario that air mostly music? Just Q104 and EZ Rock, and no, I don't count EZ Rock as a "rock" station like we mean here. We used to have more stations on AM, but those got shut down in 1992. I don't think we've ever had a full "rock" station on FM radio in Sault Ontario, wouldn't you say we're overdue? It'd give more locals some jobs, and it's give Canadian bands much needed exposure! And of course, it'd be variety! What do you guys think?

An AM radio rock station: Is it cheating to include AM as a choice for what do about FM radio? Maybe, but most radios pick up AM reception, so it counts! Remember, AM radio isn't just for tourism and talk programs, we do have AM music stations (WNBY 1450 AM airs classic country, for example.) We only have 4 AM stations, and there's plenty of open space for a rock station there, even if it isn't as convenient or clear as FM. Some of you had no problem with CKCY and CFYN on AM way back, I'm sure us younglings could manage! Would you prefer this?

Simulcast an existing station: ...Or in easier terms, air what some other Michigan/Ontario station airs, like how MCTV in the Sault simulcasts what Sudbury produces. This is not a foreign concept, The Bear was part of a simulcast, as are numerous existing local stations (CBC Radio One, for example.) It would be cheaper than actually starting a brand new station, I assume, though there admittedly wouldn't be much of a local connection compared to something actually based here. What do you guys think of simulcasting a station?

Bring back The Bear: Ah yes, there's lots of sentiment for this idea, especially in the aftermath of the local radio buyout stuff. Lots of us miss The Bear, Bob & Tom, Alice Cooper, and the great classic rock! It still lives on in Glen Arbor and Cadillac, so we're left out in the cold now. Essentially, this is the same choice as simulcasting, but this would be having a new company get the rights to simulcast The Bear up here once again. Unlikely, but you never know! I'm for it, is this what you guys would want? Or is there a better option?

More rock music on WLSO: Admittedly, this is an idea that will likely differ all the time, as WLSO, a college radio station, has programming schedule changes every semester thanks to the student-programmed blocks and shows. The Sounds of Lake State airs some real good stuff if you tune in at the right time, lots of more obscure and underground metal bands depending on the time you turn your dial to 90.1 FM, but it's mostly a variety of music and talk programs. A rock-centric format is unlikely as long as WLSO lets students choose the programming (which I completely support), but if WLSO played it more, would it be more of a suitable change/alternative?

Move Energy Rock Radio to FM radio: If you count internet radio with FM and AM, then Sault Ontario DOES have a rock radio station, and it's Energy Rock Radio! Ryan McQueen and the guys over there have done a great job with ERR, awesome playlists and fan interaction, I highly recommend you listen! A move to FM seems unlikely, especially with likely costs and rules and what-have-you, but if you're an Energy Rock Radio fan, wouldn't it be cool to just turn the dial to listen to it when you can't get to a computer?

Take the Hounds games off of Rock 101: The Sault's Rock Station is by far my favourite local station, it has been for years! And now, it's the only station we have where the odds are good that you'll get hard rock when you tune in. However, thanks to their airing of Soo Greyhounds games, we lose over 200 hours of time that used to feature music, and that doesn't count The Denny Lambert Show. I remember when Rock 101 acquired the Greyhounds radio rights from Q104, many friends of mine were pissed about that. I don't mind as much, though I do prefer to actually watch the games, but with few options for other rock stations to flip to during the game, what's a rock/metal lover to do? Would you pick this choice?

I'm happy with what we have currently: Are you in the boat that's just fine with Rock 101 alone? Is WLSO a good enough second choice, when something good comes on? Don't really miss The Bear at all? Or are you a devoted fan of some non-rock station? Vote here!

Ah, so none of this affects you. If you're the type that would rather listen to CDs, mp3s, satellite radio, cassettes, vinyls, 8-tracks, or nothing at all, vote here!

Other: Did I miss something you'd prefer to see happen in the local rock scene? Vote for it here!

VOTE TODAY!!! This will be really interesting to see what you guys would want out of the local FM rock radio situation, because we really could use something to give the area more variety and choices in the rock we listen to! That's all for now, I'll be back with news and updates soon, hopefully!