Thursday, July 31, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tantrym Tyme) & Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews!!

Before we get into this weekend's previews, I wanted to apologize for a few missed gigs during The Savoy Bar & Nightclub in Sault Michigan's Summerfest concert series, as local hard rock trio Power Slug returned to play there on both July 11th & 12th, as well as last Friday (as Infathom only played on Saturday.) My sources are the band & venue's Facebook pages, though note that Power Slug never plugged the shows in advance on Facebook. Our sincere apologies for missing them, hopefully they were all hits, and best of luck in Grand Haven tomorrow night! Now, today's post is otherwise devoted to this weekend's Sault Michigan-area hard rock concert previews, so read on for them, starting with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Young local metal quartet Tantrym Tyme will be playing outdoor sets TOMORROW & SATURDAY as part of this year's Downtown Days in Sault Michigan! Apologies for the short notice, the band only just announced their involvement on their Facebook page on Tuesday. Though not their first live appearances of 2014, these are (surprisingly) the first shows that the band has plugged on Facebook since September, so if you've missed hearing about the former Abstract's local dates online, here's two! Tantrym Tyme's sets this weekend are among the live entertainment at Downtown Days, a yearly weekend featuring sidewalk sales from local merchants, stores, and vendors, alongside kids and family entertainment, food and refreshments, and even car & motorcycle shows, so click here for full details on the non-musical events! Tantrym Tyme's set will very likely be taking place outside or near Harmony Health Foods at 217 Ashmun Street, which is on the corner of Ashmun and East/West Portage Avenue.

As you may know, Harmony Health Foods is owned by (I believe) drummer Ethan Twardy's father, and they've long supported Tantrym Tyme, so the connections are obvious! The guys will be playing at 12:00 and at 3:30 PM tomorrow and Saturday, this is absolutely ALL AGES with no cover, though I'm unsure if there will be other live hard rock bands this weekend. For more details, check the above links! The lack of recent online posts from the band has been strange, especially for helping miss shows like one at the Kinross Speedpark on July 11th (apologies for missing it), but hopefully there's a great turnout for their strongly developing metal renditions this weekend! Keep it in mind, and for a preview, here's Tantrym Tyme live last year!

Moving to previously announced shows, local alternative hard rock trio Plastic are scheduled to make their Savoy Bar & Nightclub debuts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT when they conclude the venue's outdoor Summerfest series on it's 6th and final weekend! However, two things will be different from their return set at LemmaFest, one of which being an apparent new member, as frontman Zac Crook's former Half Stupid bandmate Matt Williams has apparently signed on as their new bassist, replacing Nick Moreau. The news was quietly announced on their Facebook page at some point this month, and while a reason for Nick's departure hasn't been stated yet, keep in mind that his personal Facebook page currently lists him as living in Traverse City, so that could be related. Hopefully all is amicable, and best of luck to Nick, but it's nice to see Matt & Zac back together, and it will be interesting to see how things shape up live! Also, Plastic's name on their Facebook page was quietly changed to "Currently Nameless" yesterday, which implies the end of the Plastic name, but why?

This could mean anything from a name conflict, the name belonging to Nick, a move in a new direction, or maybe even actually changing their name to "Currently Nameless", but we'll let you know when/if something is clarified regarding their name! (The former) Plastic's new lineup will be playing in the parking lot of The Savoy tomorrow & Saturday at 10:00 PM, with 21+ age limits and no announced cover, though keep in mind that the band has not acknowledged these shows since they were announced last month. If still on, these should be intriguing shows for hard rock and alternative fans, so don't miss it, and here are the guys at LemmaFest last month!

Closing at the Kewadin Casino branches, we'll head down to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, where local classic/hard rock notables 415E are scheduled to return to the stage for a weekend full of hard rocking originals and covers TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Featuring Nixxon Dixxon alum Chris Hubbard and former Splitshot frontman Dave Menard, fans are accustomed to both of their talents from recent gigs, and hopefully their Van Halen-influenced sound goes over well again in their first St. Ignace shows in two months! Note that the band has finally confirmed the departure of bassist Jack Slater and drummer Devin Anderson via their removal from their Facebook page's lineup, following their absences from 415E's 2014 gigs, which appear to have been played (at least in part) as a duo. I know their exits partly stemmed from college commitments out of town, but they're still busy with The Highest of Fives, so best of luck to Devin & Jack there and beyond! 415Es's shows this weekend have 21+ age limits, no announced cover, and 9:00 PM start times. See above for more details, and here's 415E's full original lineup last year!

Finally, we head back to Sault Michigan for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Kewadin Casino, as new local modern/hard rock cover quartet Full Throttle will be playing their third and fourth concerts! Remember, this band succeeded members Ryan Kitzmiller, Joe Jenkins, and Will Storey's now defunct band The Bottom Line earlier this month, but are a different band than the original 2012-2013 Full Throttle, whose first lineup also featured Ryan & bassist George Belleau of the current version. Fresh off of a successful debut at The Rapids Lounge last weekend, the guys are hoping for an even bigger turnout and reception tomorrow & Saturday, and just in case they aren't playing elsewhere before September 26th, don't take these shows for granted for a new/old taste of Full Throttle! 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charge, and 21+ age limits are to be expected, so check the above links for more details, and we'll let you know if a public video turns up to preview them with!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a stacked new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide), Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

In our first of two posts to cap off our busiest month on the site in 2 years, we're half focusing on weekend concert previews in both a slow and notable weekend for metal & punk shows in Sault Ontario, but we also have updates on two very different and intriguing live music events going down in August, so here's what you need to know, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Local/Toronto celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide will return home for a headlining concert at The Rockstar Bar THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band just announced this show on Tuesday. After months of Canadian tour dates (including Warped Tour appearances earlier this month), this will be Dustin and company's first local concert appearance of 2014, so if you've missed their unique punk originals and select covers, be at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday! For reference, the guys will also be rocking out in Thessalon TOMORROW for Community Day (alongside members Sheldon & Marhsall Jaaskelainen's popular roots duo The Boot Hill Crooners), though it's not explicitly stated whether the Crooners will also be playing in the Soo on Saturday as well. Saturday's local show will very likely take place at 10:00 PM, there's a likely $5 cover charge, and you must be 19 to attend (though if you're closer to Thessalon, that will likely be all ages and will start in the early evening tomorrow.)

For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Though slightly short notice, it will be great to have Dustin & The Tide back home for this one-night-only concert, so if you're up for some celtic punk action (and perhaps some drinks), you know where to go on Saturday night! For a preview, here's some instrumental high spirit action last year on tour!

Moving to previously announced shows, the other big metal/punk concert this weekend goes down TOMORROW NIGHT, as local classic metal favourites Late & Loud will hold their second (and final?) reunion concert when they themselves headline at The Rockstar Bar! Last seen at this venue in February, tomorrow's show has even more finality attached to it than the rest of their shows in the past year, as with singer/guitarist Brendan Christie moving out of the country in the coming weeks, this is being hyped as Late & Loud's last concert ever (though note that early advertising suggested it'd just be the last for a year.) Regardless of which you believe, this will be the last time for at least a long while that you'll be able to catch Jon, Brendan, Benn, and Josh bringing their heavy rockin' hard metal to the local stage, so do not miss this show! Local openers will include alternative/grunge quartet Haggith (in just their second show since their own reunion) and all female hard rockers The Danger Cats, who fans may remember from opening for the L&L show in February, and they should be riding high off their successful Esquire Club dates, so come early to not miss either!

Tomorrow's concert has a 19+ age limit, $5 cover charge, and 10:00 PM-ish start time, and for more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I'm unsure yet on whether I can go, but Loudmouths around the Soo will not want to miss this show, and if February's gig was any indication, they won't be mailing a thing in, and should ride off into the sunset with a bang, if the "last ever" talk holds up. Help send Brendan and/or Late and Loud off in style TOMORROW NIGHT and take in some classic/power metal action, and for a preview, here are the guys at The Rockstar Bar in February!

Closing with some recent news items (we'll touch on Sault Michigan concert previews later today), we have some big updates for the Heavy North Entertainment concert that was scheduled for THIS SUNDAY at The Oddfellows Hall, so what's going on with it? Well, it's no longer taking place on Sunday, but in better news, it's just been postponed to August 12th (one week from Tuesday.) The postponement is to help accomodate Vancouver tech-metallers Archspire so they can still headline the show, as while they did cancel their "Tech Trek II" tour to join the Summer Slaughter Canada Club Tour, they've agreed to play the Soo on the 12th on the way to their new tour, so they're still on! Awesome to see things work out, especially as the lack of updates got concerning as we got closer to this weekend! The opening bands (Thunder Bay's Grindcorchestra and locals The Bear Hunters, AlgomA, and Crucify The Whore), ALL AGES status, and $10 cover charge remain in effect, but timeslots have yet to be revealed. For all current details, visit the official Facebook event page, and whether this is the last Heavy North Entertainment show or not, be prepared for a face melting good time on August 12th!

Finally for today, remember how members of Beaumont Avenue are now running a weekly "karaoke with a live band" series at The Rednecks Saloon named Urawk? Well, add another unique live music concept with a similar unpredictability level to the summer calendar, as RedD Monkey frontman Steve Mozarowski is hosting the Sault's first ever Band Roulette event at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, August 30th! The concept basically works like this: Local musicians of any genre sign up to perform on the 30th, labelled as a singer, guitarist, bassist, or drummer. Each hour, one musician of each group will be drawn to form a band that will play that night. Bands will get 30 minutes to select a name and privately jam 3 cover tunes from a given list (which will include lyrics, mp3s, and chord charts for chosen songs), and then they'll play those 3 songs in front of The Rockstar Bar faithful and audience. A vote will be held before last call, with the winning band receiving cash for their victory, while between-band downtime will be filled by open mic acts or a DJ.

Also to note: Steve was actually the first winner of Urawk's weekly prize for best singer, so there's a neat tie-in! This is definitely a unique concept, but it has the potential to be a lot of fun, and even instigate new musical partnerships and bands if successful on the 30th! Advertising calls it the "first annual" band roulette, but pending it's success, who knows if we'll see it before August 2015. I wonder if they'll actually get a wheel of some kind to pick the bands? This 19+ event goes down on August 30th at 8:00 PM, and there's a likely $5 cover charge. Check the Facebook event page for more details, and sign up A.S.A.P.!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for Sault Michigan weekend concert previews later today! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SweetKenny - "Ink!" Review

It's time for our 61st monthly CD review at the SMS (and last before factoring all local punk bands into our selections), as we're hitting the Sault Michigan area for the first time in over 8 months in this series, with this month's review being of Dafter hard rock artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton's eighth solo album "Ink!" Chosen over his newest album "This End Up" (which came out last month) for this review due to it's heavier material, "Ink!" came out on March 23rd, and was recorded over the preceding months at Waterfall Records. Featuring just Ken on vocals and all instruments, he describes this CD as a "heavy rock" fun album with freestyle playing, and you can buy it at CD Baby right now for $9.99 in mp3 format, $12.97 on CD, or 99¢ for each individual song, or on BandCamp for $12. The full album (which features full songs with vocals as well as instrumentals) can also be streamed for free on SweetKenny's website too, but support his work by buying it as well! A 10 song album running for about 48 minutes, let's begin this review with a look at the first song!

"Ink!" starts with "Shake, Shake, Shake!", which begins with the exclamation "Gee Mom, all the guys are doing it!" before launching into the actual music, and if you're familiar with SweetKenny's recent original work, the bluesy hard rock essence and riffing will fit right with your expectations. Catchy little number, Ken's Elvis-remniscent vocals return for this track, though the stop/start chorus vocals seem like a mood killer and don't flow with the surrounding verses. The song does meander a bit late, but Ken's guitar skill is on full display, and there's enough heavy action to go around to please fans! I just wish the choruses were livelier on average. Second is "Bridge to No-Where", a slower instrumental track that is reminiscent of a cleaner sounding Sykotyk Rampage, and while it doesn't reinvent the wheel from many of Ken's recent instrumental tracks, it has a very solid guitar melody, and the drum tracks are catchy for the backing rhythm! Very solid showcase of SweetKenny's range of musical talents, though the song admittedly feels more like a summer road trip song than one on the title bridge.

Third on "Ink!" is "This Is Not Where I Wantta Be", which is about a time in Ken's life when he felt trapped, only for God to save and help him. Despite the themes, this song is similar in musical style to much of his past work, aside from more reserved (yet lyrically strong) melodic singing. Deliberately paced, the song's structure can be a bit muddled, which contrasts the meaningful and impassioned vocals. Interesting track with a good personal message, but the previous songs seemed to be put together better on the whole. That's followed by "Burn Baby Burn", which is simply about "the things to come", though the song does feature more religious themes. Vocally, Ken's singing is more rangy and dramatic than we're used to seeing, which adds a different wrinkle, but it doesn't work too well on the shaky choruses. Muscially, it's a strong familiar composition with a constant melody, and the guitar work is a standout here! Another solid track, it should attract an audience too, but the somewhat forced singing may not be for everyone.

Song #5 is "It's All Because Of You", which is the only song on this CD to run for under 4 minutes. A song about a type of girlfriend that Kenny thinks most guys have had over the years, this has the most basic song structure yet, but it's to the point nature and direct lyrics should strike the right chord with many listeners! I like some of the vocal effects and layering, and the spoken word asides lend a lighter feel to this track that people in some types of relationships might identify with. Not the heaviest song on the album, but one of the more consistent, with a steady rhythm and melody, and it's one of the better early tracks! Sixth is "Squahanna Two Two Two Two", whose title is inspired by the 1939 Three Stooges short "Three Sappy People", and Ken provides some callbacks to the Stooges and the short with spoken word bookends. Otherwise, it's the second instrumental on "Ink!", though the song doesn't remind me of something that would fit the title subject matter, being another mid-paced bluesy hard rocker. Solidly performed though, with a good pacing, effective guitar and bass work, and a clear sense of it's purpose, so give it a listen!

Then we have "A Hard Habit (To Get Where I Want To Be)", which is about following your dreams and what God puts into your heart. By far the slowest and most reserved song so far on this album, Ken's freestyle playing style feels more muted here, and the somewhat dark tone contrasts the optimistic message, but it's nice to see some variance to his usual sounds, and his Elvis Presley-ish tone is put to good use for a song of this style! Not the heaviest track on "Ink!", but fans looking for something a little slower might enjoy "A Hard Habit"! The eighth song is "Up & Down", which fittingly, is about life's ups and downs. The longest track on the album, Ken self described it as "a great guitar song", and it is the disc's third instrumental. More of a return to form for Ken's usual freewheeling hard rock sounds, with nice rollicking drum tracks, and strong guitar licks, though like on some of his earlier material, the song does seem to trail off and go in many directions by the end. My favourite instrumental so far though!

The penultimate song on "Ink!" is "Secret Life", which is about wanting to leave a girl, among other related subjects. Drawn out slower vocals overtop of usual hard rock action, I really like the guitar on this song, which is melodic, varied, and provides some of Ken's best solo moments on this album! I enjoy the composition and heavier moments, but the vocals seem like leftovers from another unused song, and they don't fit well here. Aside from that, this is probably my favourite song on "Ink!" just on a musical basis, and it's a great way to show off Ken's skill! The CD closes with  "They Like It Naughty", a slightly longer instrumental whose title probably refers to the feel of the song rather than any absent lyrics would have. Honestly, the song doesn't feel particularly "naughty", but it does have another solid guitar solo, a familiar groove, and some nice creativity to give "Ink!" a solid cap to this album. I'd probably have liked to see this song played at a faster tempo, but fans won't complain otherwise!

So, what are my final thoughts on "Ink!"? I say it's another consistent effort from Ken Sutton's recently prolific solo discography, and it maintains a consistent trajectory from his last album that we reviewed ("Perception" from last year.) It does improve on some areas, having more songs with instrumentals, slightly shorter tracks, and there's a better balance of songs, so standout tracks like "Secret Life" and "It's All Because Of You" are spread out more evenly! Nothing seemed rushed either, but some songs did meander a bit in their latter halves, and there is a sameness to the themes and melodies of some that might give some listeners deja vu from SweetKenny's other recent albums with vocals. I also think Ken should try to better match his singing voice with the song and/or lyrics, as that wasn't always perfect upon recording. A slight improvement on "Perception", Ken's solo material remains strong, so give "Ink!" a listen for some bluesy hard rock freestyle action, and look out for his new album "Amazonian" later this year!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! Our next look at a SweetKenny album (likely of either "This End Up" or "Amazonian") is very possible for early 2015, but that's pending how his release schedule and our review schedule shapes up. Next month's review on the site will be of a new metal, hard rock, or punk album if released before month's end, but in case none does, we'll begin reviewing archive punk albums frequently in gaps on the calendar, so we can get up to speed on that side of the local album spectrum! For reference, we're leaning towards The Northern Tragedy's "Home Ice" EP if nothing new comes out in August, but that's tentative. Stay tuned for more soon, and for weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Another Local Metal Video Showcase!!

As an extremely busy July winds down, we have enough videos to do another local metal video showcase post on this Wednesday morning, so what's on tap? Recent concert videos of the public and private varieties from each side of the border, plus new footage from a pair of linked local artists, so read on below for what you need to know on these!

Video footage of Munising, Michigan metal quartet Infathom's Summerfest appearance outside of The Savoy Bar & Nightclub in the Soo this past Saturday can now be checked out online! Uploaded by attendee Michael Cole on Sunday (and joining his videos of Infathom's Nick Cam Jam set in our area last fall), he shot 21 videos during the concert, so what can be seen within? All covers, the videos (in rough upload order) include renditions of Puddle of Mudd's "She Hates Me", Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy", Black Stone Cherry's "Lonely Train", Papa Roach's "Lifeline", "She Loves Me Not", and "Between Angels & Insects" (the latter two uploaded in one video), Three Days Grace's "(I Hate) Everything About You", Disturbed's "Down With The Sickness", Pantera's "Domination", Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", Creed's "My Sacrifice", Alter Bridge's "Open Your Eyes", Guns 'N Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine", Bowling For Soup's "1985", Buckcherry's "Lit Up", Avenged Sevenfold' "Gunslinger", System of a Down's "Toxicity", Seasons After's "Gettin' Even", and A Day To Remember's "Right Back At It Again", plus a between-song jam, so click each link to see each performance!

Note that the Creed & Alter Bridge videos are also combined into one video, and followed each other likely due to the original bands sharing mostly the same lineup, sans lead singer. Better quality videos than we usually see from The Savoy just from the proximity to the band alone, these videos must capture the vast majority of Infathom's show, and their talent and chemistry is evident, though some songs sound a bit empty and tinny without a second guitar, and Dillion Semasky's vocals do tire on some more aggressive tracks.  Infathom fans (especially ones who don't see their full solo gigs often) will definitely enjoy these videos, so check them out above, and here's Infathom covering two Papa Roach songs!

Next up, remember how we shared two videos from a recent private metal concert on the site on Friday featuring out of town metal bands? Well, we can complete that July 21st trifecta, as a video of local openers AlgomA is now viewable via singer/bassist Marty Chase's YouTube channel last week (though AlgomA's own channel has it's own copy too.) Filmed at the exact same high angle as his Disabler & Bushwhacker videos, this captures AlgomA playing their newer original "Phthisis" followed by "Electric Fence", so click each link to go direct to that specific song! Just as intense as fans will have come to expect from AlgomA, the guys sound extra brutal and make the most of their familiar surroundings, though the audio remains a bit muffled. Check out AlgomA live at "Six Two OH" below!

We'll close today with two new videos featuring Pillory frontman Robert Sartini, including this clip of his newest band Shadowthrone playing a new original song! Uploaded to guitarist Sabrina Strange's YouTube channel last week, the song is entitled "Hatred Flows For The Harlot", which was also recently uploaded in audio form to the band's Reverbnation page. Though instrumental at present, intended lyrics are included in the info section on YouTube, and the song has a doomy groove to it at this early stage! The video's slightly grainy looking though, and you can't see much of Sabrina at this angle. Check out Shadowthrone's new song above and below!

Finally is Robert's newest solo guitar cover video, which is of another Putrid Pile cover, specifically their song "Food For The Maggots", as uploaded to his personal YouTube channel on Monday! Not explicitly labelled to his Gorrifier solo project (which appears to be original-centric), Robert described his equipment and tuning well in the info section, and remarked that he learned this song by ear. It turned out well, and it's got a nice brutal tone, sounding very close to the original track! Check it out below, and stay tuned for more news from his active projects as we hear it!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's CD review in our likely next post! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet The (Inactive) Local Punk Bands!! Part 4

After a longer than expected delay, here's our fourth feature to roll in defunct and inactive local punk bands into our links and coverage on the SMS! We're 100% focusing on bands with surviving primary pages on PureVolume today, mainly as Bandmine turned out to be (more or less) an automated aggregator of bands rather than a proper band page host, while MySpace (a logical spot for some surviving pages) is extremely hard to navigate for local bands now due to their layout overhauls. We'll approach MySpace soon though! Now, here's 4 of our punk band discoveries from PureVolume!

First today are two linked mid-2000s punk projects, those being 2 Minute Warning (pictured) and Starlit Sins! Their lineups both featured guitarists Wes Greco & Andrew "Pooch" Pucci (who has some solo material), bassist Dustin Supak, and original Cherry Crush drummer Justin Marandola, while Ben Tulloch was 2 Minute Warning's singer, and current K.I.C.K. frontman Simon Shearsby replaced him with Starlit Sins. Both bands had live experience, with 2.M.W. (who launched in 2004) playing shows at venues like The Canadian Nightclub, while Starlit Sins played a memorable Roberta Bondar Pavilion set in August 2006 (their only publically active year.) No surviving material of either band is online to our knowledge, though 2 Minute Warning did record a 3 song demo of some type that, though visibly available to listen to on their page, doesn't work for one reason or another. For what it's worth, Starlit Sins' more detailed bio describes a negative fan response to Ben's vocals with 2.M.W., but take that with a grain of salt until/unless media becomes available.

It'd be interesting to find some working media of either 2 Minute Warning or Starlit Sins, especially to see what kind of talents the guys had, of whom largely are not currently active in local bands (Simon being the biggest exception.) If we ever come across music or videos of either, we'll let you guys know, but read their biographies and check out concert photos from both projects at the above links!

Next to add is Oceania, another punk band from around the same time period, roughly running from 2004-2005. Their lineup featured a singer & guitarist named Lawrence (unsure if that was his first or last name, but he was nicknamed "LaR") alongside bassist Nick "Dilbert" DiLabio and Northern Rocks Magazine/Laris Records founder Chris Rancourt on drums. Basically successors to Lawrence and Chris' 2003 project Slow Motion Theatre, the members of what became Oceania formed the band after joking about playing a Green Day tribute show, and got their first bookings on that basis, but soon added original material. Oceania (whose name came from the book "1984") played at least two shows at The Oddfellows Hall in 2005, including a set opening for Take One For The Team that July, though aside from efforts to win the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands, no public updates are known to have followed. Like 2 Minute Warning above, Oceania's three songs on their PureVolume page don't work, but there is still a song of theirs around to give a listen to!

As uploaded to their BandSpace page, a live acoustic version of their song "Picture, No Sound" is streamable there, and while it's not indicative of the full band's sound, Lawrence has a nice sound and tone, though his clean vocals often sound a bit too reserved. At least we have a taste of how Oceania sounded, but hopefully more media from their run turns up at some point, so be sure to check them out as well above!

Finally for today's defunct punk feature is Portable Glory, whose page doesn't tell us much, but were recently brought to fans attention when current punk trio The Northern Tragedy revealed on their Facebook page on May 8th that two members of their lineup were in that band! I'm thinking the two common members are singer/drummer Terrence Gomes and guitarist Mike Ivany based on the similar vocals and lack of audible bass, but if I'm wrong, I'll correct this for sure! I'm unsure when exactly Portable Glory were together, but they weren't around very long, and I assume they predated Terrence's larger work with bands like Good Morning Gorilla and Changing Waves, so I'd guess the mid-late 2000s. Four working demos (intended for an album named "Sock Puppets & Knuckle Heads") can be heard on their PureVolume page, and while the recording quality isn't great, and their lineup definitely needed to be filled out, I wouldn't hold it against fans to think these were Northern Tragedy demos, as they have similar sounds and melodies! Unrefined, but give Portable Glory a listen above!

I hope you guys liked this newest punk band feature, and I hope our next one (which will cover remaining PureVolume punk bands like Fuller, and perhaps more) will be up later this week! That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's CD review and more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Public Animal

Before we get into this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, I wanted to state that, while I am aware of the unfortunate ending to this month's band's local concert at The Rockstar Bar last month, we won't acknowledge the show in this month's profile, out of respect to both the band & venue. I don't want to take sides on the matter, especially as I wasn't in attendance to offer a real opinion on it.

Now, this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile continues our ongoing monthly feature series looking at a band that's based out of our area, but features a past or present Saultite in their lineup! Our last profile in this series before adding full punk bands into our selections, this month's band has achieved a solid following, and features a familiar face on drums, so read on below for this month's profile, and check out our Sault Michigan-heavy post from this afternoon in the post below this one! (Updated on November 27th)
Public Animal (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED)

Ian Blurton (vocals/guitar)
Eric Larock (bass)
Ryan Gassi (drums)
Caitlin Dacey (keyboard/vocals)

Official Facebook page:
Official Bandcamp page:
Official Twitter page:
Official YouTube channel:

Local Info: The Public Animal's only local member is drummer Ryan Gassi, who achieved a strong local notoriety in the late 1980s and early 1990s from his work with bands like blues rockers The Rhythm Rats and punk favourites The Kite Eating Maples. As featured in this SooToday article last month, Ryan later moved to the Toronto area, where he drummed for bands like Scissors For Erica, Memory Bank, and The Lying Cheats before joining Public Animal (his heaviest band yet) last year.

Band Bio: Named after an Alice Cooper song, Public Animal formed in 2012 before making their full public launch last year. Fronted by former C'Mon frontman Ian Blurton (who local fans may remember from a LopLops Lounge gig in 2011), Public Animal picked up where their predecessors left off, playing a number of notable concerts in Southern Ontario and beyond since mid-2013, including memorable Canadian tour dates in 2014, and sharing the stage with the likes of Cross Dog, Diemonds, and USA Out of Vietnam since their launch. Releasing their first full length CD "Habitat Animal" last month, Public Animal have also released assorted demo EPs and split albums since a pair of June 2013 releases, counting a Deep Purple tribute split with Peterborough rockers Mokomakai among them from this past April. Recently finishing another national headlining tour, the band are currently planning another CD, and further live concerts.

Memorable for their loud live concerts, Public Animal bring an engaging classic hard rock sound to the table, which mixes aggression with retro influences, and neat trade-off vocals from Ian and Caitlin that can often give the impression of a band that would have fit right in with the mid-1970s rock scene! With entertaining riffs, solid drumming, and gritty vocals from Ian, Public Animal's sound fits their name, and it will be interesting to see where they go in their future projects! Be sure to check out their albums at the above links, plus their array of live videos, and here are the guy playing their song "Automatic Ammunition" in Toronto last summer!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month's (hopefully not delayed) installment will likely be our first in a string of punk band profiles now that they're in our official coverage, so who's up first? The Fairmounts, the active Toronto punk band fronted by prolific local punk musician Mikey Hawdon! Watch out for that on or around August 26th, and for the curious, look for a "hardcore homecoming" in this series in September! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's CD review this week! Thanks everyone!

Theatre of Night Updates, The Highest Of Fives' New Video, And More!!

After a day off, we're back with some big news today, and while we're focusing mostly on Sault Michigan, there is a shorter note relating to a Sault Ontario band's upcoming t-shirt plans. Among others, we also have a new video to take note of, and first, some long overdue news and updates from a talented regional band, so here's what you need to know!

Remember how Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night have recently been overhauling their online pages, which coincided with a de-emphasis on older material and drummer Greg Giles' sudden departure? Well, there's more to outline now, so here's what's been going on in their camp! New Theatre of Night pages and websites don't include the past art styles used in their media, which were largely Greg's work, and he's now compiling and featuring them as part of his new artistic company Giles Arts. Surviving regional T.O.N. members Craig Harrison & Steve Giles remain hard at work with the band, remodeling their website again, where they're readily referencing their "Christmas Night" and "The Dawn's Early Light" albums again, even offering free downloads of the latter! A release of their full song "The Killing" featuring Italian singer Ida Elena DeRazza is still planned (likely for this weekend), while their website now includes links to Craig & Steve's own artistic work, plus this interesting "behind the music" feature where Steve remarks on "The Dawn's Early Light".

Aside from retroactive mentions there and in their biography, the new website doesn't mention Greg too much, but he's staying busy with Giles Arts, which encompasses his work in photography, music, and other areas. Though his music work with End of Existence and Theatre of Night is acknowledged therein, Giles Arts (who are now in our "Other Local Metal Links") will also cover a new side project that Greg has yet to announce, so we'll have to see what comes of that! A new Theatre of Night E.P. is still in the works (likely still featuring Gaby Koss on vocals), while assorted newer songs have been posted on their Reverbnation page in recent days, including (but not limited to) the fast and heavy "Hellride", a "Metal Mozart" concerto, and a live version of the dramatic "The 11th Hour" with Craig and Steve's fellow I.S.O.M. alumnus Bart Rennels on guest drums. In terms of YouTube, it looks like all of the postings on their YouTube channel have sadly been either privatized or deleted (for what it's worth, the channel now links to Giles Arts rather than the band itself), but they now have a new active channel, so what's been uploaded there so far?

A mixture of things we've previously seen on Facebook and new uploads, but mostly surrounding recent studio sessions over the past month, so click here to give them a look! Mostly, these are straight jam session videos, with filming done by Electric Motor Fish alum Fran Blackwood, while Sault Realism's Eric Demaray is credited for guest appearances. Interesting fish-eye view of the sessions on most of these new clips, with the guys working well on these newer instrumental tracks, and it will be very interesting to see where things go from here! See above for Theatre of Night's newest uploads, and here's a 12 minute studio session video!

Also today, here's the newest video upload from Sault Michigan hard rock collective The Highest of Fives! In a short break from their recent "Bang!" short film postings, they posted this music video of their previously-uploaded song "Take My Time" from the upcoming "Bang!" album onto their YouTube channel, so what's to expect here? Directed by drummer Devin Anderson with singer Travis Theel receiving co-production credit, The Highest of Fives' in-video lineup features Devin alongside singer/guitarist Mitch Goetz (recently of The Bottom Line) and bassist Marcel Grengs (albeit out of his Crusty Puck character.) Like their other recent videos, this is very well shot, with performance footage, shots of Mitch singing in some very nice looking nature scenery, and even some interesting shots of what appear to be Chinese drummers (apologies if I labelled them wrong.) A light modern rock song with a nice melody, it's good to see the band continuing work on their upcoming album and original tracks, so check the full music video out below!

Finally for this post, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Sault Ontario death metal standouts The Bear Hunters are planning to release their first official band t-shirts as part of the early planning for their "Eternal Hibernation" CD release party, and with that, are looking for input as to what sizes to make for interested fans, specifically if they should make shirts smaller than medium or larger than extra large. Voice your opinion at this link!
  • Sault Michigan metal band One Hour Till Dawn (formerly The Eleventh Hour) have changed their name once again, this time to When All Fell Silent. A reason for this newest name change hasn't been revealed, but it quietly happened yesterday morning. We haven't heard from the guys (aside from the name change) since February, but hopefully they have some more news coming soon!
  • This is admittedly overdue, but I've promoted Sault Michigan concert venue The Savoy Bar & Nightclub to our active concert venue listings on the site, mainly due to their ongoing Summerfest series of concerts, featuring a number of regional hard rock bands (with that, I also updated their link to change it to their current active Facebook page.) Don't miss Plastic there this weekend!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile in our next post! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Gnaeus), New Blood Shed Productions Videos, And More!!

Here's another auto-post for you guys on this Saturday afternoon, and for the curious, this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile IS coming, but I've been very busy this weekend, so I imagine it won't get posted until tomorrow or Monday. It's not forgotten! Today, we have new videos and some assorted notes, but first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TONIGHT!

Newer local post-punk/alternative quartet Gnaeus will be rocking The Rednecks Saloon TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only just confirmed yesterday. I believe this will be their first concert set since Lopstock (and their debut at the former Nicolet Tavern), and it should be interesting t see how they indie/punk sound fits in tonight! They'll be opening for local acoustic rock trio K.I.C.K. (short for Keep It Cool Kids) at this show, who also played at Lopstock and will join Gnaeus at The Emergency next month, so their talented unplugged sound should contrast nicely tomorrow! Though Gnaeus' Facebook page implies that the show was yesterday, the previously booked Bear Hunters concert actually took place last night, so either they played a Friday matinee that we missed, or that post was in error (K.I.C.K.'s Facebook page says it's tonight.) An 11:00 PM start time, 19+ age limit, and no cover charge are expected, so check the above links for more details, and we'll let you guys know when Gnaeus have videos to preview shows with!

Next up, we have some new videos from Sault Ontario grind label Blood Shed Productions' YouTube channel, starting with this clip of goregrind duo Rotopsy at a recent jam session(?) as they play their new original song "Shovel Packin'"! Probably most different with this song compared to older tracks is that singer Dylan Taylor uses some clean spoken word vocals during parts of the verses, though for the first half of the video, you can't see him due to the stationary camera angle, but it moves and shows more of the performance in the second half. Low quality video, but the audio works well enough, so grind fans should check out this new Rotopsy video below!

Also in new Blood Shed uploads, Rotopsy bassist/label owner Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson's cybergrind solo project Malignant Neoplasm released their first music video to the Blood Shed channel just last night! It's for the 45 second original song "Needle Aspiration Biopsy", which was filmed by Tyler's former T.E.N. bandmate Eric Weicker on a cell phone camera, and later edited using effects filters. Unlike the medical procedure themes of their songs, this is strictly a performance clip with Tyler singing and playing guitar throughout (presumably) his house, and while the song is an acquired taste, there's a good spirit and creativity to the work, and the video works for what it is! Check out the full Malignant Neoplasm video below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, all relating to acts related to Mike Haggith and/or Paperclip Productions! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • In a Facebook page post on Tuesday to plug their set opening for Late & Loud at The Rockstar Bar on Friday, reunited local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith revealed that fans in attendance for their set "are in for a big surprise." What does that imply? Perhaps a surprise CD release, big band news, or maybe just an unexpected setlist addition? Be there to find out!
  • Speaking of Haggith, drummer Mike Haggith revealed on his solo Facebook page yesterday that he's apparently releasing a new live album of some sort named "Tweaky's Album: Absolute & Total Chaos" later this year. Interesting title, but it remains to be seen what it's contents are, or what formats it will be released on. If more comes out, we'll have it here!
  • On Wednesday, local doom/punk trio The Revolution (formerly the second Brutaly Fatal) revealed on their Facebook page that they'll begin recording their debut EP TODAY at PaperClip Productions! Further details on it's contents, name, and release formats will be revealed at a later date, but it's cool to see the guys getting the ball rolling on studio recordings this soon, and keep an eye out for possible updates on the sessions!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and features this coming week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Local Metal Video Showcase!!

We haven't done an all-video post without an attached new concert, preview, or debuting band in a while, and because we have a bunch in our cache, let's change that today! Four videos are featured below, all from Sault Ontario performances, including a recent public concert video, but most of these are from recent house party events. Now, here's what you need to know!

This past Monday, some of you may have been at (or previously heard about) a house party concert that local sludge metal trio AlgomA held and played at, but as it was a private event, we didn't plug it on here (for reference, this location is also the likely homebase for AlgomA collaborators 62nd Chamber Productions.) It seems like it was a solid show though, and you can see that for yourself now, as AlgomA bassist Marty Chase uploaded videos of the two out of town bands that headlined the gig onto his YouTube channel over the last few days! The headlining band was Edmonton crust punk/grindcore quartet Disabler, who were filmed playing two songs at the show, via this uniquely mounted camera angle from what appears to be a shelf near the ceiling of the room. Complete with lively crowd-surfing fans, this is an intense performance that crust fans will like, but the audio can be muffled at times. Looks like Disabler had fun, but check out the full video below to see for yourselves!

The other video from Monday night is of Vancouver/Yukon progressive death metal quartet Bushwhacker, also filmed from the same camera angle. Though not as mosh-inciting as Disabler proved to be, Bushwhacker sound like a promising technical band with a solid skill level, and they definitely seem to have made fans at this gig! Brutal in their own right, so check out Bushwhacker live in our area below!

Also today, here's another video from a house party event, specifically local goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore's second "Bloody Basement Jam" that they held in March, but only just uploaded to label Blood Shed Productions' YouTube channel this past weekend. A live performance of C.T.W.'s popular original "Bunk, Shake, and Headache", this was re-posted from an earlier upload for unknown reasons, and while it's a low quality video, the intensity and solid fan response is evident! Check it out below for some grind action, and if you have an invite, don't miss them at Das Bunkerfest!

Finally for today, local grunge/hardcore duo Bad Back are featured in one more new video from drummer Nathan Sauve's new YouTube channel, courtesy of their show last week opening for The Archaics at The New American Pub. Uploaded on Monday, this is actually of Nathan and singer/guitarist Jamie Vincent tearing down after their set, and while the title hints that they insult a local band in the video, it's not what you think, as they're just making self-deprecating comments about their own set that night. Whether in jest or not, they seemed to be in usual extreme form last week, but this is still a unique sort of video you don't see too often. Give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Bad Back!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for some feature posts and more updates soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Full Throttle), A New Local Hard Rock Band, And More Concert Previews!!

As promised, we're touching on Sault Michigan-area weekend concert previews today, but be sure to check out this weekend's Sault Ontario hard rock show previews (including a new confirmation) in the post below this one! There's live metal bands in both the Soo and St. Ignace this weekend, but first, here's some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS tied to a brand new local band with a familiar name!

Remember how Sault Michigan hard rock quartet The Bottom Line have been teasing a breakup in recent weeks due to bassist Jack Slater heading out of town again for college? Well, it's been confirmed, as their Music & Art Dockside Festival set last weekend in Hessel was indeed their last show. That said, remaining members Ryan Kitzmiller, Joe Jenkins, and Will Storey aren't stopping there, as they've formed a new successor band named Full Throttle.....wait a minute, wasn't there already a local band named Full Throttle? Yes, but it's a complicated story. Ryan had originally joined a local hard rock cover band named Full Throttle in late 2012, but early last year, there was a major split in their lineup, with Ryan, guitarist Nathan Switzer, and bassist George Belleau leaving to form the short lived RamWagon, while remaining members Jason Lamoreaux & Mark Gillotte maintained Full Throttle with a new lineup (now including Donny Newell, Steve Pevarnic, and Chris Gurnoe) through last August, when they issued their last public update.

Fast forward to almost a year later, and the remaining local members of The Bottom Line have decided to re-purpose the Full Throttle name for their new band, with Ryan's former bandmate George Belleau replacing Jack on bass, so it seems likely that the old Full Throttle are defunct now, and/or allowed Ryan & George to use the name again. Somewhat confusing timeline, but it will be very interesting to see how the current Full Throttle does in the area! No word on how they sound yet, but you can get your first taste TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, as the new Full Throttle will make their live debuts this weekend at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! They'll also be playing there next weekend (August 1st & 2nd), and again on September 26th & 27th, and it should be noted that these shows (which Kewadin's entertainment page has yet to confirm) all appear to have previously been London Gentlemen gigs, with next weekend's bookings once belonging to RamWagon earlier this year.

And yes, apologies for the short notice, especially as they were all announced two weeks ago, but they got lost in the shuffle until now. All six shows have 21+ age limits, 19+ age limits, and no announced cover charge, so check the above links and each weekend's Facebook event page (here, here, and here) for more details! The Bottom Line recieved a positive reception from what I remember, and if the new Full Throttle can build on that, they should do just fine in the area! Don't miss them at The Rapids Lounge THIS WEEKEND, so stay tuned for more as we hear it, and best of luck to members of the old Full Throttle in the future!

Also this weekend, Charlevoix classic metal trio Peril will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT for another weekend of hard hitting covers! Last seen in St. Ignace two months ago (though they've played at the Soo Kewadin since), Peril are local favourites from their frequent trips up north, and while Jeff Hudson's other projects have been making inroads to our area lately as well, a good old Peril weekend never hurt anybody, and if you're up for some classic metal action, a trip to St. Ignace would satisfy that nicely! As usual for their Kewadin dates, there's no announced cover charge, you must be 21 to attend, and a 9:00 PM start time each night is likely. For more details, check the above links! If you can't wait until October to take in some U.P. Peril intensity, be at The Northern Pines Lounge this weekend, and for a preview, here are the guys live in Vanderbilt!

Finally for this weekend's known previews, Munising metal quartet Infathom will play a rare solo gig in Sault Michigan THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Savoy Bar & Nightclub! Last seen headlining at LemmaFest last month, this show is likely the penultimate in The Savoy's Summerfest outdoor concert series, which has seen bands like Power Slug, No Decision, and Ricochet playing shows outside in the West Portage Avenue bar's parking lot over a 6 week period, with Plastic closing the series next weekend. No word on why Infathom (featuring ex-Half A Man singer Dillion Semasky) aren't playing tomorrow night too, but keep in mind, they are from out of town. It's not often where we see Infathom play in our area without other bands joining them, but their modern metal covers are explosive and skilled, and you can catch them this Saturday at around 10:00 PM! You must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here they are covering Godsmack in Brimley last fall!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and features this weekend! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Stiffler's Mom) And Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews!!

With an surprisingly busy hard rock concert weekend immediately after Rotaryfest, we're breaking up this weekend's previews so each of the Twin Saults are grouped together, so our Yooper readers need not worry, we're touching on shows across the bridge either tonight or tomorrow! As for this post, there's some notable concerts on the Ontario side, with some taking place at venues you may not expect, and remember that the previously announced Beaumont Avenue gigs at The Rednecks Saloon have been cancelled due to The Bear Hunters' show tomorrow, and personal commitments on Saturday. Read on below for what you need to know, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Fresh off of their successful set at Rotaryfest, local hard rock veterans Stiffler's Mom will return to The Rockstar Bar for a solo gig THIS SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice, the event was only just announced yesterday. This won't be a straight-arrow usual gig for Greg, Mike, and Jon however, as this will be the official after-party for the "Summer Smackdown" roller derby contest in Batchewana between our own Soonami Slammers and Michigan's Kingsford Krush, and for full details on the derby itself, visit this link! After the match wraps up, Stiffler's Mom will rock The Rockstar Bar in their usual energetic party style, so whether you've taken in the bruising roller derby fun, or just want some hard rocking covers, keep this show in mind! For the event, there will be NO COVER CHARGE, though the 10:30 PM start time and 19+ age limit remain similar from past Rockstar Bar gigs. For more details, click here, and a for a preview, here are the guys at the Essar Centre!

Moving to previously announced shows, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison has a big weekend ahead, with three concerts at two venues over the next three nights! First, he'll return to his old stomping grounds at The Road House Bar & Grill on Trunk Road for their monthly customer appreciation night TODAY, in what will be (at least) his third stop there since his regular weekly run at this east end venue wrapped up. There will be free food and such for attendees, and Tym should have a solid night of hard rock covers for patrons, so keep it mind! He'll be on at 5:00 PM, there's no announced cover, and given the timeframe, I doubt this set will be 19+. Get more details at the official Facebook event page! Then TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, Tym's regular weekly run at The Harp Bar & Grill on Pine Street enters it's 34th straight week with solo acoustic shows, with tomorrow's being the hosted jam night, and Saturday's being a usual solo gig as usual, following last week's Friday-only appearance.

Arguably Tym's most successful arrangement with a local venue for regularly scheduled shows since moving back to the Soo, don't sleep on his shows at the former Madison's Pub this weekend, as they've lasted this long for a reason! His talented hard rocking renditions can be seen each night at 10:00 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and there's no announced cover. Click here for more details, and for a preview, here he is at the former Smack Daddy's!

Also this weekend is a rare appearance of a popular band's full lineup, as local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters will reunite with rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney for one night only TOMORROW when they make their first ever appearance at The Rednecks Saloon! Last seen with the guys opening for Bam Margera in December, it's great to see Josh back from Brampton to add the missing guitar back where it belongs, and if you've missed the complete Bear Hunters, you won't want to miss tomorrow's concert, their first local date in any form in 2 months! It will be unique seeing the guys at the former Nicolet Tavern, but lead guitarist Mitch Sirie has a solid relationship with them thanks to both a number of Beaumont Avenue concerts & their Urawk live band karaoke series. For reference sake, local opening bands have been announced over the last few days, one of which being local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades in their first local appearance since their EP release show in May! Fresh off of their Spiderfest set in Meyersburg, it'll be nice to see their hard hitting originals & covers back on stage in their own Rednecks debut, so don't miss their set, and maybe they'll have EP copies in tow?

The other advertised band is local punk trio Redundant in what would be their first set since Medi-Fest in March, but at least one personal Facebook posting implied classic metal quintet Project 421 would be playing instead. If there's any clarification, we'll have it here! Tomorrow's show has NO cover, a 10:30 PM start time, and a 19+ age limit. For more details, including tentative set times, visit the official Facebook event page! I regrettably can't be at this show (I'm working very early mornings this weekend at a garage sale at my grandma's old place), but hopefully everyone knocks it out of the part and gives Josh a nice homecoming! For a preview, here's the complete Bear Hunters live at The Canadian!

Finally for this weekend's known Sault Ontario heavier & punk shows, all-female hard rock quartet The Danger Cats will themselves make their debut at a local venue for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, that being The Esquire Club at 103 Second Line West! Never previously well known as a concert venue for hard rock bands (rather, classic rock & country), it will be very interesting to see how the girls do at this popular bar this weekend, and if there's a solid receptive turnout to encourage more shows of the SMS' ilk! Both of this weekend's gigs have 19+ age limits and 9:00 PM start times, but I have no idea on if The Esquire Club has cover charges in general (bring cash just in case.) For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's one more video of them from Rotaryfest this past Saturday! Uploaded to their YouTube channel on Monday, this is a fan-shot video of the girls covering Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", so how does this video sound?

The audio quality is staticy, and only 42 seconds of this song were captured, but this is a solid harder rocking rendition of this 1980s classic, and it's nice to see a good turnout for their set! Check out their new Rotaryfest video below, and don't miss their Esquire Club shows this weekend!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for Sault Michigan weekend concert previews either tonight or early tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rotaryfest 2014 Video Showcase (Part 2)

Earlier today, we shared the first half of our look at Sault Online correspondent Mike Caruso's videos from this year's Rotaryfest stage at Clergue Park, all as uploaded to his YouTube channel over the last few days, so let's touch on the second half of the videos in this post! You can see videos from the first half of the event (including hard rock covers by KT, Kyle, and The Pocket, Beaumont Avenue, Stiffler's Mom, and Domina) in the post below this one, so give them a look if you want! Focusing on the majority of Saturday's bands today, let's start with the second of two straight all-female bands that day, as hard rock quartet The Danger Cats made their own Rotaryfest debut! Mike filmed them covering The Kinks' "All Day & All Of The Night" (with some gender-related lyric changes), which is a well done rendition, but Kate Kougar's vocals are generally too quiet. Solid performance, so give The Danger Cats' Rotaryfest video a look below, and I think there might be at least one more clip floating around too, so keep an eye out just in case!

Right after them was local classic rock cover quartet Obsession (featuring Domina frontwoman Valerie Powley) as they covered Nazareth's "Turn On Your Reciever", and they did a fine job as usual! The band (who finally have their own Facebook page) have always shown clear skill when doing heavier covers, and having vocals like these never hurts on this quality cover! If you're curious, the guest backing vocalist is Alandra Brooks, who you may recognize from Mike Case's junior rock camp bands. Check out Obsession's Rotaryfest video below!

Mike's four videos following Obsession were of classic rockers Mid Life Crysis covering Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)", Spyder's Web covering the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic "Who'll Stop The Rain", country quartet Summer Thunder covering Darius Rucker's "Wagon Wheel", and one-off Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks tribute band Free Falling covering The Travelling Wilburys' "End of the Line", so give each of those songs a look above! The closing bands were both hard rock performers, with the last local band of the 2014 Rotaryfest being Griphook, whose Rotaryfest video might be their first public clip with new singer/guitarist Joel Syrette in place of Jim O'Leary. However, guitarist Brian Oja provides lead vocals on this cover of Bad Company's "Rock Steady", and he handles it very well, hitting the higher chorus notes with ease! Very nice cover with good energy, and is it surprising that Griphook were Saturday's only local band with an all-male lineup? Check out their Bad Company rendition below!

Lastly for Mike's Rotaryfest videos (which are awesomely shot, save for some audio quality jumps at some camera angle switches) is this video of headliners Michael White & The White paying tribute to Led Zeppelin with a rendition of "Black Dog"! The veteran Toronto-based Led Zeppelin tribute sound good here, and while you may notice that Michael's vocals don't sound that much like Robert Plant's original singing on this song, it does bear resemblances with how this song sounded at their "Celebration Day" reunion show from 2007 (click here for proof.) Well done cover that Zeppelin fans should enjoy, so give it a look below!

I hope you guys liked our look at Sault Online's Rotaryfest videos, and as teased above, I believe there's at least one more from The Danger Cats to share in the coming days as well! That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Rotaryfest 2014 Video Showcase (Part 1)

Like in past years, Sault Online (formerly Local2) correspondent Mike Caruso was on hand to film some great quality videos of the bands that played at Clergue Park for Rotaryfest, so we're going to feature the hard rock and metal covers from this year's event in two special posts this week! Luckily, Mike filmed every single advertised band this year, which is a slight change from previous years where one or two wasn't shot (including Fusion in consecutive years, oddly.) We'll focus on videos from this past Friday (and one from Saturday afternoon) today, and cover the remainder of the Saturday videos in the second post, so let's get this rolling! We'll first acknowledge the videos that Mike shot last Thursday, and they include Crossroad covering Hank Williams' "Honky Tonk Blues", The Bob Jenkins Band playing a jazz instrumental (title unannounced, but it reminds me of a Vince Guaraldi composition), The Jaztecs covering "The Girl From Ipanema", and Coverfly covering The Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin'", so click each link to see those performances!

First for the hard rock videos on Friday is this cover of Aerosmith's "Back In The Saddle" by local cover quartet KT, Kyle, and The Pocket, who we only tend to see at Rotaryfest. It turns out that singer KT Antler and bassist Kyle McKey (who've recently lived in Pembroke) and drummer Ed Young (who moved to Prince Edward Island last year) all came home for the event, which is nice to see on all accounts, especially knowing their talents! This cover (also featuring Kyle's Sailor's Tongue bandmate Blake Jackson on guitar) is probably more reminiscent of KT & Kyle's brief run with the original Turner Up than the rest of The Pocket's set, but it's well performed, and KT's got a great voice! I presume this will be the closest we'll get to a Sailor's Tongue set this year too, as that band only has reunited to play the Second Stage in the early 2010s, and we know that didn't return last weekend. Nicely filmed from great angles though, so give KT, Kyle, and The Pocket's Aerosmith cover a look below!

Next up on Friday was local hard rock quartet Beaumont Avenue (formerly The Suicide Kings), and while that obvious difference paired with the lack of a guest bassist were changes from last year, their talents and chemistry remained the same! Mike filmed the guys covering Guns N' Roses' "Mr. Brownstone" at Rotaryfest, which turned out pretty well, though Mike Gaetano's vocals can be an odd tone on the verses on a first listen. Solid as expected, so check out Beaumont Avenue at Rotaryfest below!

Lastly for the hard rock covers filmed on Friday was local hard rock veterans Stiffler's Mom's rendition of Golden Earring's "Radar Love", which also got the job done in their usual fashion, with Mike Davies' guitar standing out, and Greg Simpson's vocals being a great match on this classic hard rock standard! Nice chemistry also, but after how long these guys have played together, that's a given. Check out Stiffler's Mom's Golden Earring cover below!

The other Friday performances shot include classic rockers Mustang Heart covering Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" and country favourites Thin Ice covering Blackberry Smoke's "Like I Am", so check those out via the linked titles! Among the footage Mike shot on Saturday afternoon, he filmed R&B veterans The Reptiles covering Crowbar's "Oh What A Feeling (What A Rush)", as well as a surprise cover of Neil Diamond's "Play Me" by Rotaryfest stage MC (and Q104 DJ) Jeff McNeice in between bands. I didn't know he had that in him, very solid for the genre! The first of five filmed hard rock covers on Saturday was of the new all-female rock band Domina, whose creative description in the Rotaryfest program didn't tell us much on them, so what do we know? Well, their singer is Obsession's Valerie Powley, so they have absolutely nothing to worry about vocally! Their lineup also includes Shirley Kominos (Spyder's Web) & Patricia Palarchio on guitar, Mid Life Crysis' Lori Reinholtz on bass, and Boogie Fever alum Tracey Hilderley on drums, all of which were credited under stage names in the program.

Domina's cover was of The Headpins' "Don't It Make Ya Feel", which is definitely a hard rock song, and with the vocals Valerie is putting out here, how could it not be? There was a girl power theme for sure on Saturday afternoon (we'll cover The Danger Cats in our second Rotaryfest video feature), and Domina have the talent to make some noise if this is more than a one-off gig, though I'm curious to see if they're essentially an all-female Obsession, and if not, how they'll deviate in sound. Check out Domina below!

The rest of Mike Caruso's videos from Rotaryfest will be touched on either tomorrow or on Friday, and we'll feature hard rock covers from the aforementioned Danger Cats & Obsession, plus Griphook and headliners Michael White & The White, and we'll also link you guys to the other four covers that Mike filmed on Saturday. Give everything a look above, and stay tuned for more soon! Thanks everyone!