Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two New Heavier Local Bands, Bring The Fallen Updates, And More!!

In what's probably our last post of the month, we're clearing out more recent backlogged stories, including a new solo performance video, and a posthumous page for one of the more successful death metal bands of recent years (three battle of the bands wins will do that), but first, here's two very different heavier local bands to add to our links (one brand new, and one verified to be heavier), so here's what you need to know!

We'll start with a new addition to our local band links that have been quite popular since their debut last fall, that being local hard rock cover quartet Griphook! Though we covered their debut at Toystock in November, we initially didn't list them on the site due to early indications of their sound being more varied and not hard rock centric, but their Facebook page now credits them as hard rock in full. Also, bassist Dan Beaupre (formerly of Hollow, 100 Gran, and numerous other bands) confirmed in recent Facebook conversations that their set leans heavier than it used to, with covers of everything from AC/DC and Deep Purple to The Stone Temple Pilots and Volbeat in their current live show, and that's a good sign! As you may remember, Griphook's lineup features Dan alongside singer/guitarist Jim O'Leary (formerly of Flat Stanley), ex-Bigsuit guitarist Brian Oja (himself a prolific metal band alum), and ex-Gsis Murphy/Fusion drummer Anthony Fabiano (Dan's former Southern Fried bandmate), and they've made a quick name for themselves locally in the past 6 months!

Playing about one or two concert weekends a month since February, they've played at numerous local venues (mostly at The Roosevelt Hotel from what I can tell), along with an appearance at the Rock N' Roar battle of the bands in Spanish this spring, with their next live date taking place on Saturday, July 20th as one of a select few newcomers to the Rotaryfest main stage at Clergue Park, and more dates are to be announced! This talented quartet have good chemistry and diversity, the chops for heavier songs, and in Brian's case, eerily good AC/DC vocals, so they're definitely welcome to our Sault Ontario band links!

The other new local act is Malignant Neoplasm, a new "cybergrind/gorenoise" project signed to local grind/horror rap label Blood Shed Productions! Little is known on them yet, other than that it's another project led or masterminded by label owner Ringsnaps Gibson (also of Crucify The Whore & Tomgrindy), and their songs are all named after medical conditions and procedures. including "Abdominal Opperations" and "Needle Aspiration Biopsy" (whose individual upload wasn't loading for me.) Also, a "full album" was also uploaded to the Blood Shed YouTube channel in recent days (though I haven't embedded it here due to the potentially disturbing cover, which features human organs.) Musically, this is more or less a techno-influenced and spacey variant of Ringsnaps' existing projects, but maybe with less of a reliance on pig squeal vocals, so if may have a bit of crossover appeal!

That said, Malignant Neoplasm still has a repetitive and minimalistic sound, and it's still somewhat of an acquired taste, but fans of Blood Shed Productions should be right at home! I still think the label's artists should form a full band rather than a pile of similar solo bands, so they can play live dates and sell their demos to a wider audience, but maybe there's a method to the madness. Check out Malignant Neoplasm's song "Abdominal Opperations" below!

Next up, a new posthumous Facebook page has surfaced for defunct local death metal band Bring The Fallen, and there's some new & clarified information there for fans of theirs! Created by singer Josh Stephney last fall, this page features a number of band photos and videos from shows in 2009 & 2010, and the biography information there is much longer than you'd expect, so what's there to note that we didn't know/couldn't source before? The page confirms that they launched as The Undead Warriors in September 2008 (6 months before their live debut), and their original lineup featured guitarist Aaron Gasparetto (who was replaced by Andrew Chiarello after a few weeks) and former Ashoka at the Show drummer Joey Graham (who was actually their drummer at the time of their March 2009 YMCA Battle win, but missed the event due to a sprained wrist.) Josh also credited a lack of funds for why their debut EP was never released, and also blamed their breakup on education & career conflicts. Oddly, there's no allusions to any band activity in late 2010 or 2011 aside from concert photos, making me wonder if they didn't like their last gigs?

With their original Facebook page deleted, and MySpace stripped of most info, this new page is an awesome find for fans of Bring The Fallen, as they achieved a lot and got very big during their run, helping kick off the current wave of local death metal bands! I guess it's safe to say that I've heard the occasional hope from ex-members that they'd play a reunion show at some point, and it'd be great to see B.T.F. back one more time before Josh moves out of town, but I admit that's probably wishful thinking. Become a fan of Bring The Fallen once again at the above links!

Finally for today, here's the newest solo performance video from former Sneaky Pete/Foothill Road guitarist Mario Carlucci! His first clip of him playing guitar since last year, this a cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" that he also sings on (complete with lyrics visible in frame), this was uploaded to his YouTube channel on Thursday. Though not a heavy song in itself, there's an honesty that comes through, and Mario's voice works in it's own way on this well done cover, though it'd be nice to see more of him in frame. Check out Mario's newest video below!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and notes either tonight or tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Rotaryfest Second Stage), Plus The Latest From The Suicide Kings & Haggith!!

As promised, today's post is headlined by a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this year's Tenaris Second Stage at the Sault Ontario summer music festival Rotaryfest, where as usual, local original musicians and select out of town bands will grace the outdoor Queen Street East stage (outside of The Grand Theater) in three weeks time on Friday, July 19th & Saturday, July 20th! Now, the amount of hard rock-leaning bands has fallen from two last year to only one this year, but it's still more than the Second Stage had in 2011, so read on below for full lineup details, and check out our coverage of the Main Stage lineup in yesterday's second post!

As usual, the Friday lineup on the 19th is smaller, and it will feature out of town headlining band Jaill, an indie/pop rock trio from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (interesting to see an American band at Rotaryfest!) They'll be on at 9:30 PM, and they'll be preceded by four local acts, including blues rock standouts Blues Harvest at 8:30 PM, local/North Bay folk trio The Faraway Neighbours at 7:30 PM, solo folk artist M.D. Dunn at 6:30 PM, and folk/country rockers The Porter Band opening at 5:30 PM. Talented lineup overall, so if you like the above genres, be there on Friday!

As for the main Saturday lineup on July 20th, that's where you'll find this year's only heavier band on the Second Stage, that being local hard rock quartet Sailor's Tongue, in their first live show since last year's Rotaryfest! Though this isn't technically a one off reunion (they've even recorded original material in the interim), it's great to see the McKey brothers & company finally back for another live show, and hopefully their classic-influenced and varied hard rock originals will be welcomed back for another Second Stage go-round! This year, they're the highest slotted local band on Saturday night at 8:00 PM, with two out of town bands (Toronto reggae collective The House of David Gang & Guelph "indie-afrobeat" band The Minotaurs) taking the headlining slots at 10:00 & 9:00 PM respectively. Local news media credits a "surprise guest" in the 7:00 PM slot, but Rotaryfest's own official schedule credits Sault Ontario native & prolific Sudbury blues artist Sean Poluk as playing at that time (no word on why there's partial secrecy, or if something's changed in that slot.)

The remaining Saturday bands in descending order include local folk musician Guy Smith at 6:00 PM, jazz/blues artist Rusty McCarthy at 5:00 PM, progressive rock quartet Machines Dream at 4:00 PM, folk quintet The Mulch & The Mire at 3:00 PM, and returning indie rock trio Cowboys & Indians opening the stage at 2:00 PM. This is a very different lineup than last year's Second Stage, with only 3 bands (Sailor's Tongue, The Faraway Neighbours, and The Porter Band) returning for this year, so the diversity & newer names are appreciated, but metalheads are bound to be disappointed with the decrease of heavier acts. Nonetheless, there's a wide array of talented sounds to be had, so check the above links for more details on the FREE & ALL AGES action going down in three weeks!

Next up, here's some big upcoming news from Rotaryfest main stage performers The Suicide Kings, as they're looking to add a new bassist to their lineup! The news has been plugged on their Facebook page, the Musicians Wanted Facebook group, and members' personal Facebook pages in the past week, but I will stress that they are NOT replacing any existing members. Instead, current bassist Mitch Sirie is planning to move to second guitar full time with the band, as part of an impending expansion to a quintet, which should be interesting in itself! Personal Facebook posts indicate that there are already some interested musicians, but the Rockstar Bar Battle winners won't begin formal auditions until after Rotaryfest in three weeks, so if you're a bassist, there's still time to let the guys know that you'd like to try out! Knowing how fast The Suicide Kings have rose locally in under a year, this could be a huge opportunity, so message the guys on Facebook and at the above links, and stay tuned for more on The Suicide Kings' bassist search!

Finally for today, you may have read on Facebook that local grunge/alternative rock band Haggith's next shows will be part of a private Canada Day bash up in Goulais Mission from yesterday through tomorrow, mirroring their live debut last year, but things will be on a larger scale this time around. Not only will Haggith play, but this will also see the live debuts of Haggith side projects Mike Haggith & The Din and Sound X, as well as a number of newer acts on the band's independent label PaperClip Productions, including Haggith guitarist Daniel Horton & recent backing singer Kristi-Lee Marshall in a joint set, a performer named Frank McGillivray that PaperClip Productions has listed as a signed act in recent months, and two newer acts that I know nothing on named Purple Core and The Nirvanabees (my source for the full lineup is Haggith frontman Curtis McKenzie's solo Facebook page.) Even though this bash is not publically attendable, PaperClip Productions will be recording full sets from the performing acts, and have plans to release live albums from the show at some point down the road, so stay tuned for more on these intriguing plans & new acts!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news either tonight or tomorrow as we continue to clear out backlogged news stories! Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Powerslug & Rotaryfest's Main Stage), Including The Return Of That's Chester!!

A bit of a change of plans for today, as while I'd intended for this post to 100% focus on Rotaryfest's music lineups, we have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT to cover, so I reluctantly decided to postpone the Second Stage info to tomorrow so we could fit these late notice shows in, but I promise, they'll headline our very next post tomorrow! Read on below for what you need to know, and check out our all-Sault Michigan post (featuring a new show, 415E previews, and LemmaFest videos) in the post below this one!

As is often the culprit for our late notice Sault Michigan concert announcements, local hard rock trio Powerslug will return to The Corner Pub Bar & Grill's outdoor stage TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, drummer Bob Helsten only just announced these shows a few hours ago on his personal Facebook page. Powerslug should have a pair of fun covers-heavy sets of hard rock songs to chug your mug along with, so keep these shows in mind, especially as they're the first shows that Powerslug have played at The Corner Pub since last year, barring any that I may have missed. There's no announced cover charge for these 9:00 PM-ish shows, and I'd assume a 21+ age limit is in effect. Despite their odd continuing lack of online pages or media to promote shows, Chris, Bob, and Chris should entertain all weekend long outside of The Corner Pub, so keep these shows in mind, and hopefully their next local dates have more advance word!

Now, let's discuss Sault Ontario's annual summer music festival Rotaryfest, as organizers finally confirmed the performer lineups for both the covers-centric main stage at Clergue Park and the original-friendly Tenaris Second Stage outside of Case's Music & The Grand Theatre on Queen Street East earlier today! My sources are SooToday's article on the lineup, and the official schedule on our local summer festival's website, though other local news sources have the schedule online as well. As expected, the music will go down from Thursday, July 18th-Saturday, July 20th, though like past years, there's no bands on the Thursday for the Second Stage, and each stage's first night has an abbreviated length. There's a hard rock leaning band on each full night of the main stage, and one on the Saturday for the second stage, and we'll of course talk about the second stage TOMORROW, so for now, read on below for our rundown of the musical lineup for this year's main stage at Clergue Park in three weeks!

We'll start by mentioning that the Thursday, July 18th lineup at the main stage has just four scheduled acts for 2013, including a local blues band named Goodtime Charlie at 6:00 PM, jazz quartet The Bob Jenkins Band at 7:15 PM, and the classic/oldies rock cover bands Flathead Ford and Coverfly at 8:30 & 9:45 PM each. Note that both The Bob Jenkins Band & Coverfly are returning from last year, while past themes of the Thursday being jazz/blues centric don't appear to be in play this time around.

The Friday, July 19th main stage lineup at Clergue Park features just one hard rock band, that being the previously announced Suicide Kings! The local hard rock quartet will make their Rotaryfest debut as the co-headliners at 9:00 PM that night, despite being a band that plays originals on a stage that doesn't allow them. Whether they got an exception or are playing only covers, it's great to see The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands winners expanding to larger opportunities, so don't miss their modern hard/alternative rock sound in 3 weeks! The Friday lineup will be headlined by local country quartet Thin Ice, and the bands preceding The Suicide Kings include Full Circle successors K.T., Kyle, and the Pocket at 8:00 PM, country rockers Summer Thunder at 7:00 PM, classic rock quartet Mid Life Crysis at 6:00 PM, dance rockers Obsession at 5:00 PM, a local salsa orchestra band named Orangatango at 4:00 PM, and two Mike Case junior student bands opening the day, including his Junior All Star Band at 2:30 PM and the his Rock School band at 3:10 PM.

Note that all of the Friday bands except The Suicide Kings, Obsession, and Orangatango played at Rotaryfest's main stage last year, adding to a familiar and varied lineup of local talent, so keep Friday's schedule in mind for your Rotaryfest concert planning!

As for the Saturday, July 20th lineup, the featured hard rock-leaning band will be the returning That's Chester, who will take the stage at 6:00 PM this year! The veteran cover band had amicably broken up in October after a successful 8 year run, but they hinted at a couple of new gigs this summer (their first in over a year) on their Facebook page two weeks ago, so it looks like they're back for more than just a one off. I'm very happy to see That's Chester back at it, even if it's a temporary return, and hopefully their hard-edged cover selections bring back some good memories on the 20th! The Saturday lineup will be headlined by Canadian Rolling Stones tribute band The Blushing Brides at 10:15 PM, while unlike past years, two out of town bands will play the main stage, with noted Toronto jam rock band Ground Zero preceding them at 9:00 PM, as they've done at many other recent Blushing Brides gigs. The other bands in front of That's Chester will be classic rock veterans Mustang Heart at 8:00 PM and country rockers Bone Yard at 7:00 PM.

The Saturday lineup is rounded out by classic rock duo Spyder's Web at 5:00 PM, newer local rock cover quartet Griphook at 4:00 PM, local blues rockers Five Below Zero at 3:00 PM, soft/progressive rock quartet The Pesto Shirts at 2:00 PM, and R&B big band veterans The Repitles opening at 1:00 PM. Another familiar lineup, with only That's Chester, Griphook, and the out of town bands not returning from last year, but like on the 19th, there's plenty of diverse sounds for the fans in attendance, so don't miss out! Each night is FREE & ALL AGES, so check the above links for more on the musical and other entertainment, and stay tuned tomorrow for the Second Stage schedule, and more! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned), 415E Concert Previews, And More LemmaFest videos!!

The news is just piling on, so I've slotted two posts again for this Friday, starting with another all-Sault Michigan post! In this one, we have the last of the metal/hard rock performance videos that I've came across from last weekend's LemmaFest, and previews of the only metal/hard rock shows of the weekend that I can source, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for across the river, so here's what you need to know!

Kinross classic/hard rock quintet Banned will return to the site of their live debut for another outdoor show on Thursday, July 11th at Rudyard Township Park in their Music In The Park concert series! The guys and their various lineups have played a Music In The Park set each July since forming, so one could assume an announcement for a third go-round was coming, and hopefully their evolving and entertaining sound will find another big audience come next month! Note that this isn't the only new recent show announcement from Banned, as they'll play a new gig in Gould City next month as well (joining shows in Blaney Park this month), but they're all outside of our current coverage range. Next month's Rudyard show will have a 7:00 PM start time, and I assume there's no cover charges or age limits. For more details, check the above links! After a generally quiet June, it's great to see Banned ramping up bookings for the rest of the summer, so don't miss their upcoming dates, including their next regional show in Hessel next weekend!

Next up, here's our last Sault Michigan concert previews for the month, as local metal/hard rock quartet 415E will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino for their second concert weekend there TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Their shows this weekend coincide with the 38th annual St. Ignace Car Show, so I think 415E are hoping to capitalize on the timing with some well attended and big shows, and with their talented blend of covers and originals, it'd be hard not to deliver! The former Hubbard-Menard Band will take the stage at around 9:00 PM tonight & tomorrow, you must be 21 to attend either night, and there's no announced cover charges. For more details, visit the above links! With lots of stage experience and heavy musical chops to back it up, 415E should have great sets this weekend, so take a trip down to St. Ignace for all of the action, and for a preview, here's the guys covering two Van Halen classics at the Sault Kewadin in January!

We'll close this post with new videos from the third annual LemmaFest from this past Saturday outside of the Dondee, starting with 8 videos of 9 songs from new local rock band Plastic's set! Uploaded on Sunday via frontman Zac Crook's YouTube channel, these are his first live concert videos since 2009, and while the set took a more diverse angle than Zac's old band Half Stupid's grunge-focused sound, there are some heavier performances! The videos include a rendition of Zac's solo original "Be My Angel", and covers of The Saints' "Demolition Girl" & "Nights In Venice", Black Flag's "Can't Decide", Nirvana's "Floyd The Barber", The Misfits' "Vampira", Them's "Gloria", Stevie Wonder's "Supersitition", and (as embedded below) Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' "Love Is Pain", so how do the guys sound? Pretty good, there's a solid alternative edge on most of these songs, though some aren't perfect fits. Zac's voice adapts well, and bassist Nick Moreau and drummer Paul Burns match up too, but the audio quality on the videos does have some static issues, and the video can be somewhat fuzzy at farther angles.

I'm curious to hear and see more, but it's good to see these guys back on stage in this new band, so check out Plastic covering Joan Jett below, and stay tuned in case we hear more from them in the coming weeks!

Finally, here's almost 20 minutes worth of new footage from Brimley metal trio Half A Man's headlining set at this year's LemmaFest! Spread across 4 videos, these come from attendee Cary Orsborne's YouTube channel (as uploaded on Monday), and the first video features Half A Man playing their songs "Freedom Ride" (it's captured in full here) and "Drunk" (as preceded by a toast to Mike Lemma.) The other videos are all of single songs, including their Mike Lemma tribute song "Goodbye", a cover of Machine Head's "Davidian", and (as embedded below), their song "Die In Disgrace", so check each link to give them a listen! Note that a fifth video was uploaded too, but it's under 40 seconds long and captures no parts of performed songs, so it's not really needed. Cary got a good angle of the action (oddly similar to that of the Plastic videos), but the video quality was darker (possibly due to the later timeframe), and the lack of zooming is noticeable. Solid audio, and it's great to see more full videos of Half A Man's very heavy set, so check out more at the above links, and here's "Die In Disgrace"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for an all-Sault Ontario post TONIGHT relating to long overdue lineup news for an upcoming local music festival! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Caste Of Shadows

After a slight delay, it's time for our last monthly feature post of June 2013, and it's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! This series profiles, discusses, and critiques one band each month that is based outside of Sault Ste. Marie, but features (or used to have) at least one Saultite/area resident in any of their lineups, and this month's selection is one of the newest projects from a prolific local alum who's been a member of a number of bands here & out west, so read on below for what you need to know, get the scoop on weekend concert previews and new shows in Sault Ontario in the post below this one, and if anything's missing or incorrect, let me know! (Updated on November 27th, 2014)
Caste of Shadows (Lethbridge, Alberta)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics. This information is incomplete. If you have any additions or corrections, e-mail me at!)

Chad "Douglas Wingcock" Neufeld (vocals)
Logan Woolf (guitar)
Marcell Puurveen (bass)
Arik Wagner (drums)

Dave Gibb (bass)
Paul Melanson (bass)
"Tiny" ????? (vocals or drums?)
Ken ????? (vocals or drums?)

Official website:
Official Facebook page:
Official Twitter page (current):
Official Twitter page (original):
Official SoundCloud page:

Local Info: A familiar veteran of the local scene, Sault Ontario native Paul Melanson has been tearing up the Lethbridge, Alberta region with his guitar & bass talents since the mid-late 2000s, which have seen him perform in projects like Daemon Rage, Igniter, Gravity Crash, and his current role as bassist in the Lethbridge/Calgary-based Metallica tribute band Damage Inc.! You may also know Paul from his local work as a singer & guitarist in past local metal bands like Malediction, Gutwrench, and Under The Gun, among others, but if you wanna hear his current work, his current home of Lethbridge is where to be! 

Band Bio: Launched circa March 2010, Caste of Shadows are an extreme metal band that are making an increasing name in the Alberta metal scene. Amidst some lineup shuffling, they debuted in August 2010 as openers for Psycomantium, and they've since played a number of regional concerts, opening for bands like My Own Chaos and Reverend Kill among other opening and headlining slots. The band also have also held recording sessions at least twice, with five posted recordings from 2010 sessions streamable online. The band's recent lineup has been fairly stable since 2011, aside from bassist changes, including Paul Melanson's addition in March 2013 to replace the departed Dave Gibb & departure 7 months later. After a year's break, the band returned in September 2014 for new gigs, so look for more from them soon!

It's usually a good sign when a metal band's sound is hard to pin down, and Caste of Shadows definitely throw in a lot of different sounds & styles. At times, their heavier and more aggressive sound has Children of Bodom-esque touches, but they also have more modern hard rock and metalcore influences on other songs, with Chad Neufeld's vocals showing a lot of diversity to handle different styles without selling out! Musically, I never got a huge view of Paul's work with Caste of Shadows, but if he stacked up with Dave Gibb, they'll be in good hands! Logan Woolf's guitar riffs tend to be very heavy and catchy from what I've heard, and their chemistry and adaptability is matched up well with a good energy in concert, where I think their aggression really comes across higher. I'd like to see them play their heavier style more, but I appreciate how they're not tied into one subgenre, and hopefully their current lineup builds on past successes and makes an even larger name, perhaps even with shows out east?

The best source for Caste of Shadows media is their 5 studio-recorded EP songs on Soundcloud and their website, so give those a listen for some high quality originals, but as for videos, there's not a lot. YouTube user SVTake2 uploaded a pair of live videos from a 2011 concert, and a cell phone video from a recent outdoor concert is up too, but the angle's not great. I've embedded this video from last year courtesy of guitarist Logan Woolf's YouTube channel, so give it a look for some live Alberta metal action!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll look at a band that's a bit overdue given how much they've done since adding a Saultite to their lineup, but for our July installment, we'll be looking at London, Ontario death metal band D3athcharg3r, who feature Valentine's Day Massacre bandmates Steve Rhodes & Andrew Angelic in their current lineup! Watch out for this on or around July 26th, and stay tuned for a new Sault Michigan-focused news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Golers & The Bear Hunters) & Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews!!

Keeping with our busy recent news, today's all-Sault Ontario news post is divided into two halves: previews of this weekend's metal/hard rock concerts (Sault Michigan previews will be tomorrow to spread them out a bit), and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for two big and differently notable metal shows in Sault Ontario next month, so here's what you need to know! (Updated at 1:45 PM)

Less than a week after rocking The Roosevelt Hotel, Vancouver crossover/thrash quartet The Golers will return there on the Fourth of July for their second local show in two weeks! Their show last Thursday was a hit to be sure, and their hardcore & punk hybrid sound should definitely be welcomed back in open arms next Thursday for local promoter J.D. Pearce's 7th Thursday night concert at The Rosie since last spring! Two local opening bands have been signed, including local grunge/alternative rockers Haggith (in their first Rosie appearance since last year), which comes just days after their private Goulais Mission concert for Canada Day, which I'll touch on a bit in an upcoming post. The other confirmed local opening band is local punk trio The Northern Tragedy in what (I think) is their Rosie debut and their first announced show since the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, so it'll be good to see more of a punk angle for The Golers' next show! Also, I swear I saw Sykotyk Rampage briefly advertised as an opening band, but if I'm right, they've since been removed, so that may have been a premature addition. At least one more band is to be announced though!

Admission will be a lower $7 for this 19+ concert, and doors open at 9:00 PM once again, so check the Facebook event page for more details! This is shaping up to be another can't miss show, especially for another hit of The Golers and some different local openers who aren't frequent Rosie sights, so if you missed The Golers last week, you have a makeup date! Stay tuned for more as it comes in!

Also in new concerts, local metal singer/guitarist Josh Stephney will say goodbye to Sault Ste. Marie with Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mashup, a special ALL AGES concert headlined by his local bands The Bear Hunters & Giwakwa that will take place at The Oddfellows Hall on Friday, July 26th at 6:00 PM! As announced at the Striker concert on Thursday, Josh is moving out of town later this summer to pursue other ventures, and he's throwing this party next month to repay his friends, colleagues, and fans for their support in recent years, though he stressed on the Facebook event page that both The Bear Hunters & Giwakwa will continue on without him. As part of the gratitude, Josh is providing FREE ADMISSION if you wear local band merchandise to the show (any band works), though a $5 admission charge will be in effect you can't wear/don't have any. Local death metal notables Crimson Crusade & Shit Liver are among the local openers, with one more band to be announced, and we'll of course let you guys know when they're confirmed. For all current details on the Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mashup, check the above links!

This is sure to be a bittersweet day, as while the metal will surely be awesome, it will be sad to see Josh go, especially with how prominent and successful he's been in the local scene in the past 4 years with his current bands, plus Bring The Fallen & March Into Regression. I'm sure he's making the best choice for him right now by moving, and of course, we wish him the best of luck no matter what happens, and hopefully he stays active in music! Note that The Bear Hunters are playing the night after this event at The Algonquin Pub with Frightlight, but I don't know yet if Josh will play that show too or not. Stay tuned for updates as I hear them!

We'll close today's post with previews of this weekend's metal concerts in Sault Ontario, starting with what was gonna be quite the unique all ages concert TONIGHT at The Oddfellows Hall, as it would have featured no less than three two-man bands, including Vancouver experimental grind/crust duo Ahna and Montreal grindcore project Powercup, but both have cancelled for unannounced reasons, as per promoter Jamie Vincent on Facebook this morning. A replacement local band was sought, but none has been signed, so instead, the show will be headlined by an open jam session, so if you wanna play, bring your gear! I assume the previously announced acts are still on, including a new local project named Bad Back (no online pages yet), whose only sound description is that they're "grungy". Their lineup features the aforementioned Jamie Vincent and a musician named Nathan (possibly Lion Ride alum Nathan Sauve?), but I know very little else. I'll let you guys know when I hear more!

The show's opening band is the aforementioned Crimson Crusade in their Oddfellows Hall debut, so be there to hear their exciting Death-inspired sound, and pick up their EP as well if it's on sale! Admission will be $5 for this ALL AGES concert, which starts at or after 7:00 PM tonight. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I normally wouldn't post this without full info given the band dropouts, but this is already later than I'd have liked, so I'll edit this when/if band details come in relating to a replacement act. There should be some good all ages noise going down no matter what, so keep it in mind, and for a preview, here's Crimson Crusade playing their song "Here We Lay" earlier this month!

Lastly for today, local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison will make their first Roosevelt Hotel appearances in almost two months TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, so let's preview those as well! Coming off of their successful Soup Kitchen Gala set at Mill Square, it'll be great to see Tym, James, and Johnny back at it for another weekend of hard hitting and varied metal & hard rock renditions, so don't miss the Caveman onslaught this weekend! As usual, these shows have 10:00 PM start times and 19+ age limits, while like their past shows at The Rosie, there is no cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Caveman Morrison's lengthy and always entertaining cover sets are sure to draw a crowd, so don't miss their Rosie return this weekend as you make your plans, and for a preview, here's the guys covering Judas Priest's "The Ripper" at The Rosie a couple of years back!

That's all for now, but keep an eye out for details on what band (if any) will replace Ahna & Powercup at The Oddfellows Hall tonight, and for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Caste of Shadows tonight as well! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Striker & Locals Concert Review, Plus Bear Hunters & Frightlight Lineup Notes!!

In our second post of the day, we have our review of last night's Striker-headlined metal concert at The Roosevelt Hotel on the site, but of course, check out our LemmaFest recap/videos post immediately below! Medium attendance at best yesterday, sad to say, but it was a Tuesday night, and I know many people have to work. As for the 1980s costume contest, the winner (as chosen by Striker themselves during their set) was April Fogal, who won a signed show poster and some extra Striker merchandise, so congratulations to April for her win! Now, let's touch on each band!

Opening last night's concert was local stoner/death metal quartet Giwakwa in their fourth local concert appearance, and they put in another solid effort with their hard hitting original sound! Their set included their original songs "Stoned To Death", "Winter's Hunger", "Endless Bummer", and "Iron Lung", and an opening instrumental, and the guys handled each well, though the abbreviated set length and lack of covers does hurt compared to other bands they share the stage with, and I think they could be helped by filling out their set. Musically, the guys sounded as solid as ever, with singer Josh Stephney's vocal brutality on full display, and Chris Page's riffs powerful as ever, but Nolan Rainville really seemed restricted in movement due to last night's stage setup. I'd still like to see some more melodic touches with Giwakwa's live show, but they have a good thing going, and hopefully despite a major imminent change (more in a second), they'll get bigger and bigger in the coming months!

Before I talk about local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters' set, I wanted to note that during it last night, singer Nik Deubel revealed that Bear Hunters rhythm guitarist/Giwakwa frontman Josh Stephney is moving out of town later this summer. While Nik announced that last night's set was their "last official show" with him, that was a premature announcement, as I'll touch on in a post tomorrow. This definitely was an "endless bummer" to hear, as Josh is a talented singer & guitarist, but hopefully Josh succeeds at whatever's next for him, and we'll cover his actual last concert with his local bands in our next post!

As for The Bear Hunters' set, it was great to see them back in familiar ground at The Rosie, and their set attracted a large crowd (compared to the other local bands) with a lot of good responses! They played seven original songs (including "Bloodthirst", "Succumb To Eternity", and "Collapse The Sun"), along with their set-opening rendition of "Teddy Bear's Picnic" and a surprise return of the crowd favourite "Squirrel Buddy", and they seemed to be on form from their most recent live gigs! Nik Deubel's growling was as brutal as ever, Mitch Sirie & Josh laid it down hard on guitar, and Justin Lam's bass work was as skilled as ever! I'd still like to see them severely cut down the end of "Render This Void" (it's way too drawn out), and I think Mitch's guitar in particular was a bit low, but The Bear Hunters were as good as ever, and stay tuned tomorrow for news on their last concert with Josh next month!

Co-headlining last night was the return of Frightlight after an 8 month concert hiatus, and it was good to see their horror punk/metal hybrid back after so long! However, their lineup looked slightly different, as Redundant/Caveman Morrison bassist James White (a.k.a. Slim Cadaver) filled in for the absent Eddie Fright (no word on where he was, though he has attended college out of town in recemt months.) Aside from his lack of backing vocals, James/Slim filled in well on bass, and don't miss him with Frightlight when they open for The Creepshow in August either! Frightlight played six originals last night along with covers of Misfits, G.G. Allin, and Fitswitch songs, and they generally haven't lost a step musically, but they weren't as lively as they were at some 2012 dates, and Johnny Pints' vocals did tire a bit later in the set. As Frightlight play more shows again, things will get back to normal, but it's just good to see them rocking the local scene again, and don't miss them at The Algonquin Pub next month!

And finally, your headliners were Edmonton heavy metal quintet Striker, and just to pit mildly: they were awesome! They brought a blistering traditional heavy metal assault to a very lively crowd that was go from note one, and while I'm not one to rank and rate musicians compared to one another, frontman Dan Cleary is by far one of the best singers I've ever heard at a local metal concert! Just soaring, and with great falsettos and a heavy edge, his singing was a perfect compliment to Striker's very fast and heavy sound, which saw them play original songs like "Full Speed or No Speed", "Feed My Fire", and "Can't Stop The Rush" among numerous others! Despite the lower than hoped attendance, fans ate up every song, and with awesome riffs and solos from Tim Brown and Chris Segger all night, you can see why! I would have liked maybe some more crowd interaction, but other than that, I can't complain, as Striker put in an awesome set last night that was metal to the core and back, and hopefully they'll turn up in the Soo again down the road!

Overall, this was another home run of a concert from Johnny Pints, and kudos to Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger for providing great sound throughout the night! Of course, I did get a bunch of photos of each band, so click here to check them our or visit our Facebook page, and as for videos, I got one original song from each band, so here's Giwakwa playing "Endless Bummer", The Bear Hunters playing "Deception", Frightlight playing "Dead Town Anywhere", and Striker playing "Terrorizer"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for two news posts tomorrow, including new concert announcements & Sault Ontario weekend concert previews in one, and this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Caste of Shadows in the other! Thanks everyone!

LemmaFest Fallout & Videos, Including Our First Look At Some Acts!!

Hey guys, I've decided to postpone this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile to tomorrow just to keep the news rolling along, as we're already behind for news, and with a review of last night's Striker concert also imminent, I don't wanna keep these stories falling behind. Today's news post is 100% Sault Michigan-centric, as we're recapping the fallout and videos from the third annual LemmaFest from this past Saturday outside of Dondee Lanes for the entirety of this post! From what I have heard & read, this year's event was another success, with over $960 raised from attendees, the vast majority of which is going to the Ross family to help their son Hunter through his recent medical battles (though some will also go to LemmaFest 2012 performer Caitlin LeBlanc so she can audition for American Idol), so hopefully the money is used well all around! Half A Man frontman Erik Rintamaki also got a bunch of photos of the bands and fans (though not as many as last year), so click here to see the full album, which features pictures from Tantrym Tyme, Scofflaw, Mark Bowen & friends, and RamWagon's sets! Also to note, the tarp over the stage from last year was not back for this year. As more fallout and major news comes in, I'll be sure to let you know!

In terms of videos, we'll go in rough chronological order by performance, starting with young local metal/hard rock quartet Tantrym Tyme, who were filmed for at least two cover songs on Saturday! Those were Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" & Black Stone Cherry's "Lonely Train", but both were uploaded to their Facebook page, not YouTube, so they're unembeddable here. The audio quality on each is pretty good, though the video quality seems jittery, despite the camera not moving much. Check them out at the above links, and hopefully there's more of their set around somewhere!

Now we move to the YouTube-uploaded videos from LemmaFest (at least, the ones I've found), starting with this clip of local metal trio Scofflaw playing their song "Burn One" on Saturday afternoon! One of the few live concert videos I've seen of them (as opposed to jam session clips), this comes courtesy of the YouTube channel of attendee Wayne Kozeyah, who also added a title bug, credits, some interesting video effects, and a picture of Mike Lemma to the footage, which tend to be nice additions. This song in particular reminds me of a more conventional Sykotyk Rampage, and the now short-haired Jeff Barnes has some solid raspy (yet melodic) vocals and a nice guitar solo to add to the track! Catchy song to be sure, so give this new Scofflaw video a look below, and stay tuned in case they have more shows planned this year!

Following Scofflaw at LemmaFest was local singer/guitarist (and regular Merchant's Bar performer) Mark Bowen and "friends", but who were the friends? A drummer named Larry (I can't source anything else about his identity) and at least two guest bassists (Scofflaw & Dirtbag In A Dress' Barney Gravelle, and the aforementioned Erik Rintamaki), with Erik's YouTube channel providing us with 3 videos from Mark's set featuring 6 different covers, as uploaded on Sunday! Only one video & song features Barney on bass (a cover of Sublime's "Scarlet Begonias"), while a lengthy second video features Mark, Erik, and Larry covering Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", Rehab's "Bartender Song (Sittin' At A Bar)", Adele's "Someone Like You" (yes, you read that right), and Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues". The video embedded below though (and the only metal cover that was uploaded) features Mark and friends covering Black Label Society's "The Blessed Hellride", so how does everything sound?

You can tell that some songs aren't ones that Larry and the bassists know, but Mark has a solid melodic voice and guitar ability, and he has good chemistry with the guys, including Erik (a former bandmate of his.) I assume he added well to Bucksaw when he was in that band, and the friends do adapt well on songs they're not as familiar with, especially on such a diverse assortment! Check out Mark Bowen & friends' performances above, and here's their surprisingly good cover of "The Blessed Hellride", complete with effortless lower register singing!

Transitioning to the end of the night, here's a video of announced headliners Half A Man playing their original song "Freedom Ride" at LemmaFest! As you may know, this was the Brimley metal trio's first live concert since last year's LemmaFest, so how'd they do after such a long hiatus? They sound as heavy as ever, and there's no visible stage rust, so fans shouldn't be disappointed! If anything, I'd like to see Erik and Gary Croad move around more, and I lament the fact that the video cuts off before the song ends, but it's great to see Half A Man back it, and hopefully we're not waiting another year for their gritty and very heavy original sound! Give their performance of "Freedom Ride" a look below!

Finally for today, as you may remember, Half A Man split their set at LemmaFest with the debut of the former Bucksaw's new lineup, sound, and name (Dirtbag In A Dress), and they got a lot of time to rock out! In fact, Erik filmed Ryan, Bill, Barney, and Mikey playing 12 songs across 4 videos (two other uploads are less than 10 seconds each and fairly unneeded), so here's what you should know on each! One video features just one performance (a cover of Young The Giant's "My Body"), while another video features D.I.A.D. covering The Tragically Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" (albeit cut off at the beginning), Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out", and The Refreshments' "Banditos". A third video has the guys covering Lady Antebellum's "We Owned The Night" (also cut off at the start), The Flys' "Got You (Where I Want You)", and The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" (the latter two with Mark Bowen providing guest backing vocals), but there's one more featuring Dirtbag In A Dress playing hard rock covers!

The last video (which is embedded below) features covers of Alice In Chains' "Would" (also with Mark Bowen helping on vocals), Seether's "Tonight", Jason Aldean's "She's Country", Velvet Revolver's "Slither", and The Foo Fighters' "Everlong", so how does Dirtbag In A Dress sound overall? Pretty good, the guys have chemistry, and Ryan Franklin's voice suits their more rock-based covers (and they definitely de-countrify the country songs, if that makes sense!) Very diverse, but I assume solo shows will have more metal covers, lining up with what Mikey told me. There's a good workman-like rock sound here with a hard edge, so check out Dirtbag In A Dress' heaviest covers and more below!

I'm not done with the LemmaFest videos, as debuting local rock band Plastic have a pile of videos from their set on frontman Zac Crook's YouTube channel, including hard rock covers, but this post is already longer than I'd probably like, so I'll wait to touch on them so they don't get lost in the shuffle. That's all for now, but stay tuned later today for our Striker concert review, especially if you're on the Ontario side of the border! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Shinedown & Haggith), Plus New Videos!!

We have some big news to touch on for today's news post, including new videos from two very different heavier-leaning Sault Ontario bands, but first, here's some big LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month, and coincidentally, all on the same weekend, so here's what you need to know!

Local grunge/alternative rockers Haggith will host a second Bushplane Musical Madness concert at The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre on Saturday, July 20th! This comes 7 months after they hosted the first fundraising event under this name, where they joined The Suicide Kings and Sykotyk Rampage, and the second installment was announced on Haggith's Facebook page on Friday. This will be their next public concert (though they'll be playing a private Canada Day weekend gig in Goulais Mission for a second straight year), and Haggith are aiming higher for next month with a 2 hour set, and what sounds like a potentially larger band lineup, though full details are forthcoming. It was confirmed on their Facebook page that local punk trio Redundant will join in this year in their Bushplane Museum debut, and while no one else is confirmed yet, drummer Mike Haggith expressed interest in having the other bands from last year back on the 20th, as per his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group last Thursday, but message Mike at this location if you want in on this event!

Admission will remain at just $5, and Mike also revealed that they're hoping for this year's Bushplane Musical Madness to be alcohol licensed (yet still all ages), while the start time will be 4:30 PM. Check the above links for more details! Sounds like they're gonna make this bigger than last year's by far, so stay tuned for updates as they roll in, and for much more (Mike) Haggith-related news this week!

While Sault Ontario will see some musical madness at the Bushplane Museum next month, that same weekend will see a lot of major rock action at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! As announced live on Rock 101 last Thursday (apologies for the delay in getting this on the site), one show will see prominent North Carolina post-grunge/rock quintet Daughtry (they of hits like "It's Not Over) play at Kewadin Casino on July 20th, which should be a huge show, but I wouldn't really consider it "hard rock". For something a little heavier, how about Jacksonville, Florida hard rock quartet Shinedown live at The Dreammaker's Theater the very next night?! Touring in support of their new album "Amaryllis", this multi-platinum selling act best known for hits like "Second Chance", "Save Me", and "Sound of Madness" are definitely among the biggest modern hard rock bands nowadays, and with nine #1 songs on the Billboard Rock charts, you're bound to be familiar with Shinedown's energetic and varied sound!

I have not heard anything on opening bands for Shinedown (or Daughtry, for that matter), but tickets for each ALL AGES show are $39.50 with 7:00 PM start times, and you can buy tickets for each online at this location, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or at the Kewadin box office in person. For more details, visit promoters Allstar Productions' Facebook page and the above links! Though Shinedown is more up the SMS' alley, this is quite a double whammy for Kewadin Casino next month, and tickets for each show are going fast, so act A.S.A.P. to get yours, and stay tuned for updates on the Shinedown concert as they come in!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with the newest videos from the young local cover band featuring local musician Adam Gualtieri and Sailor's Tongue guitarist Liam Seymour that you may remember from Superior Heights Collegiate performance videos since last year. Adam posted the first live videos of them in action since last December onto his YouTube channel in the past week, and they include covers of Phillip Phillips' "Home" and (as embedded below) Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy"! Coming from the same set, both are acoustic covers, and neither features the uncredited drummer from past videos. Both are well done, though "Home" is a badly overplayed song as it is, and their guitar work and vocal harmonizing are pretty solid, especially when Liam does lead vocals! I must ask though, why's Liam standing behind a bass drum by itself, with a full kit behind them? Check out their Traffic cover below, and more at the above links, including Adam's new original song named "Questions & Answers"!

Finally for today, a new live concert video from local death/stoner metal quartet Giwakwa is now online, though for unexplained reasons, the ability to embed it on external websites has been disabled. Posted last week, this comes from the Sleep When You're Dead-headlined all ages concert at The Oddfellows Hall on May 29th that Giwakwa were among the openers for, and the video is courtesy of AlgomA guitarist Boyd "Darby Wigwaus" Rendell's film company 62nd Chamber Productions' YouTube channel. Boyd was on hand filming the bands for what they're calling a "bootleg" currently in production, though no word on what all will be in the final product as of yet. The video itself is of Giwakwa playing their song "Iron Lung", albeit with a green tint to the colour, and while it's good quality, the video's motion feels very floaty, and the sound seems to echo a lot. Solid stuff though, despite the inability to embed this one, so give this new live video of theirs a look at this location, and don't miss them TONIGHT at The Rosie for the Striker concert!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys TONIGHT for Striker, the return of Frightlight, and more! Also, stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Caste of Shadows tomorrow morning as well, if all goes according to plan! Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 24, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Frightlight), Striker Concert Preview, And Much More!!

Today's post at the SMS is focused mostly on Sault Ontario news and notes, including the complete schedule for a massive upcoming metal/punk show, and a preview for a special Tuesday night concert going down tomorrow, but we also have the last of our MySpace link changes & deletions to cover, mostly relating to Sault Michigan companies and venues. However, we're leading off with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month featuring two bands playing tomorrow night, so here's what you need to know!

Local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight will play their second concert of 2013 on Saturday, July 27th at The Algonquin Pub! Barring any interim announcements, this will be their first Algonquin stop since October, and first headlining gig since then, and it'll be great to see the guys again following their return to the stage tomorrow (more on that in a bit.) This show will serve as a benefit to (I assume) raise money for the short film "The Kid Who Made The Face", which is being produced by bassist Mike Gingras (a.k.a. Eddie Fright), and all attendees of the show will be credited in it as a result. Mike's been taking college courses in filmmaking in Toronto in the past year, and hopefully this film will show the fruits of his labour, so come on out to support this movie! Two local opening bands have been signed on as well for July 27th, including local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters (in their Algonquin Pub debut) and local punk trio Redundant, who should both add nicely to the metal and punk sides of the audience next month, so don't miss them!

Doors open at 9:00 PM for this 19+ concert, and there's an admission price of $5. For more details, check the above links, and the commercial below that Mike posted on his YouTube channel on Saturday, which combines advertising for the show with clips from the movie "The Warriors". Nice little ad, and hopefully it hypes you up for the concert, so check it out below, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's a preview for a special and very intriguing metal concert going down TOMORROW NIGHT at The Roosevelt Hotel, as Edmonton classic heavy metal quintet Striker will make their local debut with a hard hitting faced paced set of original songs! Comparable in sound to recent local favourites like Skull Fist and 3 Inches of Blood, Striker have an exciting and energetic sound that fans of early 1980s speed metal should eat up, so definitely don't miss this stop on their Heavy Metal Rampage Tour!! Three local opening bands will also be on board, and though none are perfect genre matches, there's a nice diverse mix of sounds to enjoy, including the long awaited return of Frightlight after an 8 month stage hiatus, the aforementioned Bear Hunters, and local sludge/death metal quartet Giwakwa in just their fourth live concert, so heavy metal fans will almost certainly find something to like, and Frightlight's return is extra notable in itself! Admission will be $5 at the door for this 19+ concert, with doors opening at 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Also, promoter/Frightlight frontman Johnny Pints is also hosting a contest for the best 1980s metal costume tomorrow night, so get in on that to compete for a prize! This should be an awesome concert full of different and very intense heavy metal, so don't miss it, and I hope to see you guys there TOMORROW! For a preview, here's 14 minutes of Striker playing live in Edmonton in April!

Also today, the complete schedule has been announced for the third annual Sewer Swampstravaganza all ages show on August 10th at The Oddfellows Hall! Note that the lineup has changed at least once since today, but as best as I can tell, it was a minor change. As you might expect, Montreal thrash trio Warsenal will headline the event at 11:00 PM, with local punk/classical trio RedD Monkey (also the event's hosts/promoters) taking the stage at 10:00 PM. Melodic death metal standouts The Bear Hunters will play at 9:00 PM, to be preceded by local grunge/alternative band Haggith at 8:00 PM, local punk trio The Northern Tragedy at 7:00 PM, stoner/death metal quartet Giwakwa at 6:00 PM, "blue Chinese metal crash punk" notables Sykotyk Rampage at 5:00 PM, extreme metal quartet Winkstinger at 4:00 PM, rising death metallers Crimson Crusade at 3:00 PM, and young local hard rock quartet Ashes To Dust opening the show at 2:00 PM.

Definitely a return to the metal-heavy lineup of the 2011 installment, but with seven new bands (to the series), and at least 22 performers who haven't played in past years, there'll be tons of recent talent to enjoy, and for just $5! Check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for updates!

Finally for today, here's the remainder of our recent MySpace page deletions and changes in our link & venue listings, due to the recent design overhaul and information removals. Firstly, I moved a bunch of Sault Michigan & area links from MySpace to Facebook, including for local concert venues The Corner Pub Bar & Grill, Golanka's Bar (The Bird), The Savoy Bar & Nightclub, and Zim's, local music store Steve's Music Center, and local label/studio Werehold Records. I also moved local lessons/rock camp The Guitar Studio from MySpace to their official website, while the rest of the changes were page deletions, as the other links were for companies & venues that didn't have other known online pages. The deletions included inactive Sault Ontario concert promotion agencies Adamantium Productions, Big Voiced Records, Hitman Productions, and Infamous Productions, inactive regional recording studios idioRECORDS, Klusterfunk Studios, and Lucky Limb Studios, former local concert festival Bell Border Jam, defunct radio show The Mistresses of Metal, and Sault Michigan venue The Satisfied Frog (though I left it in the venue links as it still actively hosts shows.)

I think that's the last of our changes related to MySpace's new direction, but I still wish they'd restore at least profile information, photos, and videos to at least the band pages, as they would further their aims of it being music-centric, but I'm not assuming that they ever will. I just want to keep you guys abreast of the changes, and hopefully next time a popular site for local band pages decides to delete/overhaul things like this, we'll know ahead of time. That's all for today, but stay tuned for some major Sault Michigan news that I know some of you are waiting for very soon. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

MySpace's New Layout & Band Page Info Deletions, And How It Affects The SMS

This post is dedicated to outlining changes to one of our biggest band page sources, and what this means for our links and coverage at The Sault Metal Scene. In a nutshell, social networking website and popular band page resource MySpace had a new profile layout, format, and direction rolled out last weekend, which focuses on music and artists. You think this would be good for what we do on the site, especially as the past uses of it as a social networking portal have fallen by the wayside compared to Facebook and Twitter, but not quite. As part of the upgrades, almost everything has been deleted from old MySpace pages with the exception of songs (if you had any uploaded), your existing friends (now called "connections"), and your profile photo. Biography information, videos, blog postings, page comments, most external applications, and games are all gone, though other photos can be retrieved on request if you log in. I'll note that MySpace administrators did not give any advance warning about these deletions, and while there is a visible outcry from existing users, I have little faith that MySpace will bring the info back (though Microsoft did revert on some of it's unpopular Xbox One policies, so who knows.)

Now, what does this mean for the site and local metal/hard rock bands? This honestly won't have a direct bearing on most current artists, as few local bands primarily used MySpace for their online media anymore compared to Facebook or Reverbnation, but this is a major headache for me and local music fans who used MySpace to catch up on older local bands. Unlike the closure of GarageBand, MySpace didn't give advance warning that they were going to delete so much from pages, so we went from a vast resource of band information to a stripped down version that feels more like a glossed up Soundcloud out of nowhere. To be fair, there is potential for the new MySpace, as Sault Ontario hardcore band Destroilet have made effective use and updates of their MySpace page, but they lost all old info too when they upgraded early, and many bands had a lot of information, posts, details, and videos there that was really a benefit to fans of local music. If the goal is to turn MySpace music-centric, why delete things that would have supported that aim?

As a current use site, this won't be a major loss, but in terms of material and SMS usage, this is a huge blow, but to try and soften it as much as I could, I archived biography information and details on as many local metal/hard rock bands that I could using cached copies of each using Google, so save for blog posts and videos, I think I have much of what would be handy. However, I had to update, change, and in some cases, delete some band links due to the "updates", as they made almost all local band MySpace pages shells of their former selves, and no longer the most updated and representative page for their information, material, and concert listings. For some, I left their MySpace page linked here as it still had audio material, and still remains their most substantial (or only) online page, but I saved info for most via cached page copies. For an unlucky 15 bands, the MySpace changes eliminated all info that kept them in our listings, and because they have no songs there, or other surviving online pages, I had to regrettably delete them.

Just to outline all the changes to the band links on here, I'll run through them quickly, and if a specific band isn't mentioned, I either left their MySpace page alone out of necessity, or they weren't linked to MySpace in our band listings. Most of the link switches were to Facebook pages or groups, with Sault Ontario bands As It Stands, The Bear Hunters, Changing Waves, Destroilet, Detroit, Dirty Virgin, For All That Is Lost, Gates of Winter, The Issues, Lion Ride, Lorax, Paraside, Riverin, and Shit Liver, and Sault Michigan bands Clownsack, Drayton Fever, Insipid Brutality, Life's Eclipse, Nixxon Dixxon, Oddfellow, Scofflaw, Swampghas, and Unleashed now linked through there. I also switched 5 bands each from their MySpace to Reverbnation & PureVolume pages, with Bad Side, Elipzis, Integrated System of Machines, No Arrow, and Skull After Betrayl now linked through Reverbnation, and Apocrytha, Dark Salvation, Fitswitch, Infrastrate, and Mike Libertoski now linked through PureVolume.

I also moved two bands from MySpace to SoundClick pages (No Remains & Traces), while the other switches were for single bands, which now link to 2wo Man Baand's Freewebs page, ApocalyptiCDistroyeR's Wix website, Bent Rollercoaster's OurStage page, and Woods of Ypres' Bandcamp page. As for page deletions, as these artists had no songs on MySpace or other existing online pages, I regrettably have deleted 15 metal/hard rock acts from our SMS band listings, including Sault Ontario artists Caedis Omnis, Ephidel, The Pisstanks, Route 69, Steven Flint, When They Fall, and Wrathborne, and Sault Michigan-regional artists 7/47, Cherubic Red, Riot! By Night, Savage Roar, Shift, Traynwreck, Twisted Manikin, and Wild Fate. Most weren't too active in their heyday (Shift & Route 69 being notable exceptions), but even though I hate deleting links, I had to so we didn't link to barren, uninformative pages for the sake of preservation. No offense is intended to these bands' members!

The last switches that I have to make relate to MySpace links for non-bands on the site, and I'll tackle that soon. I hope MySpace administrators listen to their fans and bring back at least previous profile information, photos, blogs, and videos, as all would benefit their music-centric aims and show that they listen to their users, but I'm not holding out hope that they will. I just wanted to let you guys know about what happened and how it affects the SMS, and if your band has a MySpace page, I'd say spruce it up and make use of the new features, even if what's old is lost, as I can see it having some good uses. It's just a frustrating no-warning change, but I think we'll be alright in the long run. Stay tuned for more news soon, and thanks for the patience!