Monday, January 3, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Bear Hunters), Mike Haggith's New Album, And Major Changes To Our Poll!!

Hey everyone, it's time for our fifth post of the year, just three days into 2011! Today, we have just three topics to share, but they're all big, including a major change to our polls on the SMS, a brand new album release, and first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

New local death metal band The Bear Hunters have announced that they will be performing at The Roosevelt Hotel THIS THURSDAY as part of The Rosie's next metal night! This would be the band's third live performance following their debut last month, and their first show of 2011. At present, this is all we know concerning the show lineup wise, but I wouldn't be surprised if past veterans of The Rosie's metal nights return for this one. As news comes in, I'll have it! The same structure should be retained as well, with a 19+ age limit, 9:00 PM start time, and no cover charge likely. The Bear Hunters have been winning raves for their brand of death metal since their debut last year, and they should deliver another crushing set on Thursday! When more details come in on this concert, I will have them here! For now, check out more from The Bear Hunters at their official MySpace page!

Next up, Mike Haggith's 43rd solo studio album is now on sale! Yes, "Suspended Animation" is now available by request in physical copies, and will be officially released to his Reverbnation page on Thursday or Friday for mp3 download. No word on a price yet, but the other solo albums of his that are currently on his online store range from $3.50 to $5.00, so there's an estimate. The three mystery songs were revealed as well, which ended up being the previously announced "As Memories Fade Away" & "Nightmare On Reed Street", along with the new song "Hot Summer Sun". Get full details on the album at this location! If you want a physical copy, e-mail with the subject "Suspended Animation" and they'll reply from there. I'm definitely getting a copy, probably when the online version is uploaded for convenience, but a physical copy would be cool as well! This is currently leading the pack to be our first CD review of 2011, which could come at any point in the next two weeks, so stay tuned for updates on that front! For now, check out previews of the album at the above links and his official Facebook page, and I'll have more on Mike's solo work as it comes in!

Finally for today, I wanted to announce a major change to our monthly SMS polls that we've been running. In the past, I have used AcePolls for our poll templates, which has worked out really well in the past, but with one fatal flaw: No vote restrictions. People could vote as often as they wanted for specific choices, which I hoped people wouldn't abuse unless they wanted to vote for multiple options. With that said, this wasn't an issue until our current poll on the biggest local metal story of 2010. The results as of today on the original AcePolls-based poll showed that leading option was the return of As It Stands with 28 votes. It's great to see that kind of enthusiasm and response to their return, and they do deserve the respect and attention, but here's where I'm suspicious: This choice had 21 MORE VOTES than the option with the second most votes, CD Plus' closure, which had 7 votes. Now, please don't take this as an anti-As It Stands statement (I'm a big fan of theirs), but I have a hunch that there was ballot stuffing to get their total up this far in the poll. If 28 different people voted for them, then I'm fairly certain more choices would have votes in the double digits as well. I just want things to be fair and balanced, and I think there was some abuse of the multiple voting privilege in the case of this month's poll. If you want to see the poll results since December 18th from our old AcePoll, click here.

With that said, I want to announce that we're now using a new poll format going forward, to avoid future ballot stuffing. This new poll (which does look a bit different) was made using AddPoll, and yes, it does feature adjustable vote restrictions. As such, I've decided to restart our poll on the biggest local metal story of 2010 to ensure a clean slate and a fair final total. This time around, there are two big changes from our old AcePoll. Firstly, you are restricted to one vote a week (I might relax this in the future), and secondly, I made some adjustments with the choices. All choices that got no votes between December 18th and today (Algoma Hope4Haiti, Gates of Winter's return, Phatstick's local return, SBD & Sykotyk Rampage's new album releases, and Woods of Ypres' "breakup") were removed, and in their place, I have added two new choices! In retrospect, they should have been in the poll initially, but I'm making up for it now with the restart! For the descriptions of the choices remaining in the poll with the relaunch, click here, but here are the two new additions!

Mike Haggith's local debut: Following years of solo and band work in Windsor, hard rock singer/guitarist Mike Haggith moved to Sault Ste. Marie to attend Sault College, bringing his solo project with him! Since then, he's released three studio albums and a live album, and has began making local attention with recent live performances at open mic nights at The Outback! With a new year upon us and a growing local profile, is his local debut your top story of 2010?

Turner Up
's lineup overhaul: Upon their local debut in late 2009, Turner Up played mostly metal covers, and were comprised of Todd Killam, Robert Brown, Jeff Brown, and Steve Brogno. Just six months later, only Robert remained following numerous lineup changes, transforming Turner Up into a classic hard rock quintet, including going through three singers (Todd, Brent Royer, and Krista Marshall) in a six month span. Luckily, their busy live schedule never faltered, but things changed rapidly for Turner Up early last year. Is this your top story of 2010?

There, hopefully this poll format will work much better to keep things even! If voting is at a good high pace, we'll call the poll on January 18th, but we could postpone the end until February 4th if it's slow to get going over the next two weeks. Time will tell! That's all for now, but we have more news and notes to come, so stay tuned!

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