Saturday, February 28, 2015

A New Local Metal Band, Northwest News Coverage, And Much More!!

For this last post of the month, we're tackling some assorted news items, plus lots of recent news attention for a talented local punk band, and adding a new metal band to our links, so here's what you should know!

We have a new local metal band to add to our active band links, and they are Troubled Mind! Essentially the successors to the defunct Skull After Betrayl, their lineup features S.A.B. bassist Adam Brett on vocals & guitar alongside frontman Mike Vincent (also formerly of D.O.T.H. & The Bear Hunters) on vocals & drums. You may also recognize Adam & Mike from working together in past bands like Death Rise and Despised Eyes, though with Troubled Mind, they'll be playing more operatic and alternative metal. No word on potential bassist additions yet, but they have teased adding keyboards to original material, which apparently "do not make sense." Launched earlier this week via their Facebook page, Mike has revealed plans to post a video of Troubled Mind jamming so we can hear how they sound, and hopefully they can build on the steady promise that Skull After Betrayl had during their brief run! Stay tuned for more on Troubled Mind as it rolls in!

Next up, here's the recent Village Media-related news coverage of local indie/punk quintet Northwest, who as you may know, opened for The Poor Young Things at LopLops last night! SooToday's Donna Hopper was on hand for their Rockstar Bar show last week to talk to Northwest for both this SooToday article and the newest episode of Local2's Tuned webseries, so what should we know within both? In the SooToday article (posted on Thursday), it's revealed that Northwest's name was indeed inspired by the name of Kanye West & Kim Kardashian's daughter (very much in the news when they were formed in mid-2013), while it was confirmed as well that Northwest's self-titled debut EP was created to gain exposure while they work on their proper full length debut album! Frontman Wayne Watkins confirmed in the article that they're focusing on writing right now and not rushing into recording, but this is promising to hear!

The article also includes positive remarks on their recording process and personal relationships, and it's a good read! Donna also included 9 photos from their set (albeit all black & white), and they're excellent in quality, as usual! Note however that neither the SooToday article or Tuned episode feature coverage of The Cover Up and The Pixo Control, who also played last week. As for the Tuned episode (also uploaded on Thursday), Northwest are the lead story, where Donna talks to the guys outside of The Rockstar Bar about their inception, EP, album plans, and why they don't play live all that often, among other topics. It's a good watch, though Wayne and guitarist Greg Callaghan definitely do most of the answering in the interview. There's also performance footage from their set interspersed during their segment, while the closing performance footage continues Tuned's 12 Musicians of Christmas spotlight from LopLops, this time via Case's Music owner/Lake Effect member Jay Case's set.

Also, the "News & Notes" segment on upcoming concerts is once again not in the actual episode, instead in text below it, which now appears to be a permanent change. Myself, I'd prefer to see it included in the episode itself, but this time, they did plug more shows than usual (four, in this case), including Northwest's LopLops show yesterday. Strong episode as usual, so give the new Tuned episode (which we can't embed here) a look above!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or label name:

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes as we begin a new month, plus our previews of both of this week's battles of the bands! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Tight Ship

After a day's delay, we finally have this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on the site today, marking our last special feature post of February 2015! As usual, this is our monthly feature on a metal, hard rock, or punk band that is from outside of the Sault area, but featured at least one past or present area resident in any of their lineups, in order for local fans to check them and their material out! This month's selected band may not be as well known as some other recently featured bands, but their drummer has local ties and an impressive personal resume, so read on below for this month's out of town band profile!
The Tight Ship (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED)

Paul Shepherd (vocals/guitar)
Owen Marchildon (bass)
Valerie Calam (drums)

Official Facebook page:
Official MySpace page:

Local Info: Best known as a professional dancer & choreographer outside of her band work, Tight Ship drummer Valerie Calam was born and raised in Sault Ontario, where she attended the Sherry Walsh Academy of Dance Arts before moving to Toronto in the 1990s to attend The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. As outlined as this article/interview, Valerie has enjoyed extensive work in dancing and choreography in recent years, and fans of those subjects should give her solid work there a look! However, outside of The Tight Ship, I haven't found much regarding Valerie as a musician.

Band Bio: Active from circa 2009-2012, The Tight Ship played a number of concerts during their run, mostly at The Crown & Tiger Bar, during which they released their EP "I Feel Good" that November, and previewed a second release that I'm unsure ever came out at a 2010 concert. Surviving details are minimal on The Tight Ship otherwise, but they last posted on their Facebook page in the fall of 2011, and likely fell inactive the following year, though Owen has since turned up in newer bands like 1977 and Purple Hill. The Tight Ship's sound merged punk, garage rock, and new wave into an interesting sound with folk influences that likely found a strong audience at the turn of the 2010s! Paul's vocals and guitar melodies meshed well throughout, and Valerie's drumming was dependable and fitting throughout, though fans of straight punk music may not take as much to The Tight Ship's more varied sounds and styles in their originals.

You can check out The Tight Ship's new wave-influenced post-punk at the above links (Their MySpace has 4 songs from "I Feel Good"), which might be of extra note for fans of local bands like Gnaeus! Embedded below is their 2011 music video for their song "Let's Get High", but hear more from The Tight Ship above!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we will take a look at My Dear Malice, the Cambridge, Ontario deathcore band featuring former For All That Is Lost drummer Kameron Nicholson, so watch for that on or around March 26th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for one last news post TOMORROW to round out the month! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Northwest, Tym Morrison, And Highway 63), And Weekend Concert Previews!!

In this second post of the day, we're mainly taking a look at this weekend's hard rock concert previews (including SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS), so give everything a look below, and check out plenty of VM Radio Battle updates in the post below this one!

Local indie/punk quintet Northwest will reportedly rock LopLops Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT as openers for an out of town band in the Soo for a special event! Apologies for the short notice, we only just got word on this show via a SooToday article on Northwest earlier today, and we'll have more on their recent news coverage in an upcoming post. This show (the first with hard rock or punk bands at LopLops of the year that we've heard) will be headlined by Thunder Bay pop rock quintet The Poor Young Things, who have previously played at LopLops on at least two prior occasions. They'll also be among the musical entertainment at the Rogers Hometown Hockey festival on Saturday and Sunday at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion (which doesn't feature any advertised local bands, and none are heavier), but this is bound to be a great event for hockey fans, so definitely check it out this weekend! The Poor Young Things have a good pop rock sound, and Northwest's punk edge should kick things off right tomorrow!

If you're a LopLops regular or planned Hometown Hockey attendee, you can also see Toronto indie rockers Jane's Party there on Saturday night after that night's festival events, they too having played here before. Tomorrow's Northwest-opening show has no announced cover charge (but have money on hand just in case), a 19+ age limit, and a 10:00 PM start time. For more details, check the above links and the Facebook event page, and here's Northwest live last year!

Next up, veteran local hard rock solo artist Tym Morrison will return to The Harp Bar & Grill TOMORROW NIGHT for his usual hosted jam night, but with UFC 184 being broadcast there on SATURDAY NIGHT, he's making his debut at another central venue to fill up his weekend plans! In lieu of his usual Saturday nighter at the former Madison's Pub, he'll make his debut appearance at the new Chicago Cookshop (formerly Aurora's, Amici's, and Casa Mia) at 384 McNabb Street, which is seconds from The Harp as it is, so if you'd rather see Tym on Saturday, this won't be a huge imposition! Apologies for the short notice, Tym previously announced Saturday's show on his website's calendar, but it slipped us by. I'm unfamiliar with the Chicago Cookshop as a venue, but it's a Chicago-themed steak restaurant that has achieved noticeable success since opening last fall, and hopefully Tym's acoustic covers go over as well there on Saturday as they do at The Harp each week

Both shows have 10:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and I'd assume both are 19+ given the time of day, but remember that the Chicago Cookshop is a restaurant. For more details, visit the Facebook event pages linked here & here! It'll be interesting to see how Saturday's show does, as this could be a future frequent venue for Tym (especially on off nights from The Harp), but no matter which location, give his shows this weekend a look! For a preview, here he is at the former Smack Daddy's!

Next up, we'll head to the Eastern Upper Peninsula for some Sault Michigan-area concerts, starting with a correction of sorts. Remember when we added local classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63's Kewadin Casino concert slate through September to our concert listings, but didn't add this weekend's shows because new local hard rockers Ten Kings had announced that they were playing them? Well, it turns out they were wrong (citing a scheduling conflict), and Highway 63 were right, as they will indeed be rocking The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! This will actually be the Switzers & company's first announced concert weekend of the year, and their skilled covers (including some new setlist additions) should be right at home once again this weekend, especially if you liked members' past work with bands like Monkey's Uncle and Sir Charge!

Like usual for Kewadin Casino gigs, Highway 63 should be on at 9:00 PM tomorrow & Saturday, there's no announced cover charges, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details, check the above links, don't miss Highway 63's 2015 debuts THIS WEEKEND, and here's the guys live last year!

Lastly for known concerts this weekend with advance notice, we'll head south to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, where Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm will return for headlining gigs TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Just a month after their last St. Ignace concert weekend, the hard hitting trio featuring Peril's Adam Crawford & Jeff Hudson have quickly became a favourite sight at the regional Kewadin branches, and they should be up to their usual tricks with plenty of aggressive covers this weekend! If you'd rather see them in the Soo, they'll be back at The Rapids Lounge in just two weeks, so you won't have to wait long! Like with this weekend's Highway 63 gigs, Scarkazm will be on at 9:00 PM tomorrow & Saturday, you must be at least 21 to attend either night, and there's no announced cover charges. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Scarkazm covering Alice In Chains live!

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

VM Radio Battle Of The Bands Lineup Changes, A Band Breakup, And Much More!!

We're in the midst of a busy stretch at The Sault Metal Scene, and it's only going to get busier come March, so before this month's weekend concert previews & Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile go up, we have a post mostly dedicated to next month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands, including a band exit & breakup, their replacement and new lineup, a slight shuffle in the schedule, and another band's long teased lineup additions, so here's what you should know!

We'll start today with a lineup change for next month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub, as local doom/punk trio The Revolution have reportedly disbanded, and therefore won't be competing on Wednesday's opening night. Promoter J.D. Pearce confirmed the news on the Facebook event page yesterday, and the band elaborated on their Facebook page that their breakup and exit from the battle is "due to some personal issues." They explained that this is not due to any internal conflict, but members had expressed interest "to not continue on at this time." Originally the second incarnation of Brutaly Fatal (both bands being led by Austin McCrae), The Revolution had been active since early last year, and quickly made a name for themselves by playing at last year's Swampstravaganza and opening for bands like Endast & Anciients, along with signing with PaperClip Productions, but they hadn't played live since the summer following a lengthy bassist search.

This news will presumably end their sessions for their planned debut EP "Roll Call", but we have seen posthumous local metal albums before. This is definitely disappointing, as I know how hard the guys have been working in the past year to get The Revolution off the ground, but hopefully things remain amicable and that they can reunite down the road! Best of luck to Austin, Jordan, Brandan, and other former members in the future!

With that said, how does their exit impact the VM Radio Battle? For individual competitors, only Austin is fully out of the battle now, as bassist Jordan Leach is still competing with Haggith, while drummer Brandan Glew is the newest member of The Revolution's replacements, Mike Haggith & The Din! Yes, the acid rock/jam band will now be one of four bands playing both of next month's battles (they were previously booked for next Thursday's Speak Easy Battle), and to go along with the news, their Facebook page revealed that their new primary lineup will feature frontman Mike Haggith, guitarist/bassist Curtis McKenzie, and Brandan taking over primary drum duties from Daniel Horton (he, James Watterworth, and Tyler Gibson are all now considered occasional session members.) Brandan has joined The Din at a prior private gig, and they're hinting at a more "clean cut direction", but how will The Din sound next month at these two battles?

Though Mike & The Din are replacing The Revolution, they are not playing next week (Mike has work conflicts on Wednesday night), so night #1 will now only have 3 competing bands (The Bear Hunters, Honest Job, and Infamous), while The Din will join The Apocalypse Afterparty, Gnaeus, and Project 421 on the last semifinal on March 18th, which will be a mini-rematch of the Speak Easy battle, as all but The Apocalypse Afterparty will have already faced off at that event. At least Project 421 bassist Daniel Horton doesn't have to pull double duty at the battles now that he's not playing with The Din. Will next week's one-night fan voted battle prove to be a bellwether for the March 18th results, or will the judges see what that night's crowd didn't? As for the teased "special guest performance" that was planned for the 18th, J.D. confirmed on the Facebook event page last night that local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control will be playing an out-of-competition set on Wednesday night!

Presumably not competing in the battle due to their signing with Tidal Records (a presenting sponsor), it will be nice to see them back on stage on Wednesday, and hopefully they deliver a solid set even if not involved in the actual battle! As for the battle itself, can The Bear Hunters continue their battle success, or will Honest Job and/or Infamous play spoiler on Wednesday? Find out then, and get your tickets A.S.A.P.! $15 packages for the whole month are available through band members, and they're otherwise $5 at the door each night (barring the $10 finals on March 25th.) 8:00 PM nightly, ALL AGES, so don't miss all of next month's action, and stay tuned for more on this battle as it rolls in!

We'll close today with some overdue updates from the aforementioned Apocalypse Afterparty, who have been hard at work on their new lineup in recent weeks, so what do we know now? After prior teases, the rap/metal project have confirmed the addition of at least two new female band members on their Facebook page, and while their usual secrecy hasn't wavered regarding identities, new pictures indicate that they've enlisted former Time of Ruin guitarist Sara Biedermann on bass! Great to see her in a local band again, it's been way too long! No word yet on what her alias or stage getup will be, but a letter moniker and a mask would seem likely. The other new member hasn't been leaked in new photos yet, but if we hear anything definitive, we'll let you know! Along with some new photos and tease-filled postings, this video was shared via "songwriter" Paul Stanghetta's personal Facebook page featuring their current lineup, so what can we see and hear?

It's of the band playing an unidentified original (I think), and while most of the band isn't in frame throughout, you can see an unmasked X (who looks suspiciously like RedD Monkey's Steve Mozarowski) drumming for the duration. The band shows a fuller sound here, but obviously, we won't see a fully realized version of The Apocalypse Afterparty until their VM Radio Battle set on March 18th. Give their newest Facebook video a look below, stay tuned for more on them and their new lineup as it rolls in, and don't miss them at next month's battle!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile and weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Treble Charger - "nc17" CD Review!!

For just the second time in the last 22 months, we're looking at an archive album for our newest CD review due to not being able to obtain a new metal, hard rock, or punk album for review this month (Telephone & Address' new album aside, as it isn't past our 6 month buffer yet), so we're dipping into the archives for our first ever review of a Treble Charger CD, in honour of their big show at The Machine Shop earlier this month! We're going in chronological order by starting with their debut album "nc17" (also their original name), which was independently released on July 4th, 1994 through the band's own independent Smokin' Worm Records label, though Sonic Unyon Records reissued it in 1997. Co-produced by the band and Rob Sanzo with mastering by Joao Carvalho, "nc17" features Treble Charger's original lineup, including current members Greig Nori on lead vocals & guitar, and guitarist Bill Priddle, alongside ex-members Rosie Martin on bass and Morris Palter on drums.

"nc17" appears to be out of print nowadays, and it oddly isn't available to buy on iTunes, but limited physical quantities are available on Amazon and other sites, but be cautious of prices. If you want to stream it, this album is available on Grooveshark and YouTube, with titles below linked from the latter. Also, note that this review is not of their "nc-17" demo tape which preceded the full album, featured 6 of the final tracks, and included the axed "Barcelona Chair", but that's a review possibility for the future if we obtain it in some form. Featurign 11 songs lasting for almost an hour, let's begin our first ever Treble Charger CD review!

Song #1 is "10th Grade Love", which was a single from the album, complete with music video. It immediately begins with a mid-paced indie rock sound that will differ from their later punk sound, but shows more maturity in it's lyrics, which seem to be about reminiscing and rooting for a former high school girlfriend. The song has a dream-like floaty quality that never gets aggressive, but keeps a constant stream of nice melodies, with Greig's vocals flowing with the mood well, and his & Bill's guitar work contrast nicely! It's not similar to their later work, but it's a good indie rock number! Second is "In Your Way", with themes about negatively reflecting on the past, but not being able to change it. A driving rock number than it's predecessor, and with a more varied song structure, the verses are sung in more of a minimal setting, but they have more of that 1990s alt-rock ambiance, and the last chunk has a nice stop-start edge to it! Morris' drumming fits this song a lot better, adding to an improvement on the first song!

Next up is "Trinity Bellwoods", which seems to have lyrical themes about relationships and meeting people. Continuing the feel of "In Your Way" with louder instrumentation and softer reserved vocals, this song comes the closest yet to punk in style, but still has introspective lyrics and a strong passion to fit their early work! The melodic guitar riffs are solid for the genre, but the chorus structure doesn't compliment the verses that well, and Greig's vocals are sometimes a little buried in the mix. Good song though, and it's a good showcase of their early sound! Then we have "Dress", with the title referencing being caught wearing a dress, and the fallout of that. A melodic, straightforward indie rocker, this song has a flowing consistency and pleasant melody, but the lyrics are sometimes hard to decipher through the music, which is otherwise well performed. I like Bill & Rosie's performances here, and the song's never boring, but it doesn't have the alternative edge of it's predecessors.

Fifth on "nc17" is "Cubicle", which seems to be about frustration with one's desk job, which definitely contrasts with the upbeat opening tempo of this song and pleasant overall tone. Bill's lead guitar shines, especially with his solo of sorts late, and it's a strongly written number, but it's another example of a song with vocals that are too soft and quiet to be easily heard over the music. To me, this is the best musical showcase for the guys so far, and you do sense their chemistry well even at this early stage, but it'd help if Greig's singing was louder. That's followed by the album's shortest song "Popcorn Chicken", which is the album's shortest song and only instrumental, so don't look for KFC references in it. Starting with brief live audio before transferring to studio recordings, this is mostly a solo guitar showcase, but less a guitar solo and more of a slow 97-second guitar feedback section. It's listenable, but there's not that much to say about it.

The seventh track (and arguably the most familiar) is "Red", which achieved greater success via it's 1997 re-recording for their third album "Maybe It's Me". Also receiving it's own music video, this song seems to bear lyrical similarities to "10th Grade Love", but it's much more of an acoustic indie rocker, dropping dreamlike instrumentation for a folksy alternative sound. Nice clear vocals and a determined sound help here, despite not being among the most "rocking" songs on "nc17". This song definitely would fit well in acoustic settings, and it's seriousness and strong lyrics make it my favourite of the softer songs so far! For reference, this version of "Red" is longer and has more lyrics than the re-recording, but is largely similar.

Then we have "Soaker", which seems to be about expressing one's feelings to someone, but trying not to hear what they have to say. Probably the closest example yet to an indie punk sound (Northwest fans may be at home here), the up-tempo sound and strong melodic guitar riffs are welcome to hear, but the vocals are again hard to hear, partly this time due to being cleanly sung over loud punk-tinged instrumentation. I like the drumming here, the use of feedback adds an extra spark, and everything comes together well musically, but the quietness of the vocals is ever present. Ninth is "Deception Made Simple", whose lyrics seem to reflect attempts to find greater understanding in a relationship. A slower rocker that has more of a deliberate sound, I like the harmonized chorus vocals and general volume of the singing, and Greig & Bill handle the guitars nicely on this track, but the downbeat vocals do contrast from the lighter instrumentation, especially in the pre-chorus bridges.

Second-last on "nc17" is "Pilot Light", seemingly about persistence from someone trying to drag one down. An even slower and darker track with drawn out melodies and a focused sensibility, Greig's vocals are pointed and impassioned, and the song does find the right notes to hit, but fans of the more upbeat rockers on this album will probably not like this song as much. I enjoy it for what it is, and it has a good message and strong performances from all four guys, but I do prefer their faster alternative material from this era. This will be a good listen for fans of "Soaker", as it has that power-pop/indie sound that the guys did well in the mid 1990s, but it's not as full sounding as many of their preceding songs. Is it wrong to say this track especially reminds me of older Weezer material? Not a bad closer to a solid debut album overall, and everything gels late!

Note that the listed 19 minute long "Hint" only itself runs for 5:08, there's some hidden gems if you listen through. 10 minutes in, you'll get what sounds like the guys playing a warning siren, followed by an extended ambient section 12 minutes in that runs for about 6 minutes. Neither are that substantive on their own, and the ambient portion gets to be very dry very fast, but they're nice bonuses!

So, what are my final thoughts on Treble Charger's first album? Overall, "nc17" is a strong first effort that shows off their early sound well, and if anything, it is underappreciated now! I do concede that I grew up with and like their later punk material better (i.e. "American Psycho", "Hundred Million"), but if you like 1990s alternative and indie rock, this was a good starting point for them, and on tracks like "Soaker" & "Trinity Bellwoods", there are punk tinges! Treble Charger have always been a talented band, and both Greig Nori & Bill Priddle showed that with mature lyrics and strong guitar compositions, while Rosie Martin delivered solid bass throughout, and Morris Palter delivered nice drumming overall too! One recurring drawback was the mix and clarity of Greig's vocals, which were generally low and sometimes hard to decipher, but his voice improved in range and volume on later albums. It's a little odd that "nc17" is so hard to find nowadays, but it was a solid starting point for their discography, and it's worth checking out for fans of their early work and 1990s indie rock!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, and yes, we will return to new local album reviews next month! In all likelihood, we'll be looking at Telephone & Address' newest album "Rust Orchid" (which was released last month, but we'll be past our 6 month buffer period in March), but that may be subject to change if anything else is released. Given that they have a CD release concert next month, that would be a logical timeframe, but we'll let you know if anything changes! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news, weekend concert previews, and this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Anvil, One Bad Son, & Telephone And Address) And A New Local Band!!

Before we get into this post, we have concert cancellations to acknowledge, as new Sault Michigan hard rockers Ten Kings are not playing at the Sault Michigan Kewadin this weekend. The guys revealed the news on their Facebook page last night, citing a scheduling conflict. Another hard rock band is playing this weekend instead, and we'll have more on that in this weekend's concert previews, but check out more from Ten Kings (including their first live photos) above! Now, today's post features three LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS over the early spring, but first, here's a new local hard rock band discovery!

We have a new-ish local hard rock band to add to our Sault Ontario band links, and they are Meant To Last, who are more less the successors to These Sins of Time! As it turns out, Meant To Last were the intended band from frontwoman Alexa LeClair's various musician searches in the past year, so T.S.O.T. appear to be defunct, and they've been moved to our inactive links. Launched last April, their lineup features Alexa alongside T.S.O.T. bandmate/ex-Acention frontman Dalton James Boissineau, as well as Tantrym Tyme drummer Ethan Twardy, showcasing a rare sight: a local hard rock band with members from each side of the border! Meant To Last are technically active on our scale for now, but they haven't updated their Facebook or Twitter pages since the month it's launch, and have never announced the addition of a bassist, so I'm not sure if they're a functioning band right now.

When they were posting, they revealed "I Can't Help Myself" as a planned demo title, shared some original lyrics, and announced plans to play at last June's Algoma Ride For Autism alongside the then-Suicide Kings, though I don't believe either actually played the event. Hopefully Meant To Last pop up again, as Alexa's past T.S.O.T. work showed a lot of promise, but check out what's available to check out on them above!

Next up, here's three LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, starting with the official CD release party for local post-punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address' new album "Rust Orchid"! In a change from Chris Shoust's last two CD release shows, this one will be a solo headlining appearance at The Gore Street Cafe at 164 Gore Street (down the road from 180 Projects) on Thursday, March 12th. Far cry from last year's IDNS show, but this will likely be a better fit for the ambient instrumental sounds on "Rust Orchid", though I admit now knowing much about The Gore Street Cafe as a concert venue. Of course, "Rust Orchid" was released online on Bandcamp last week, but if you attend the CD release show on the 12th, you can pay a special $10 price for a CD copy of the album for that night only (prices likely will be $15 after that), so keep that deal in mind! There's no announced age limit for this show, an 8:00 PM start time is advertised, and admission is via a "pay what you can" system.

For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a nice concert for fans of Telephone & Address and their varied acoustic originals, so keep it in mind for next month, and remember, our review of "Rust Orchid" is very possible next month too!

Our last new concerts today both take place at The Rockstar Bar in the early spring, starting with the return of Saskatoon hard rock quartet One Bad Son to the Soo and this venue on Saturday, March 21st! Our source is The Rockstar Bar's Martin Fiser in a recent e-mail, while the band also revealed the show earlier this month on their own Facebook page. Last seen opening for Crash Karma at The Rockstar Bar in October 2013, One Bad Son's freewheeling D.I.Y. hard rock should fit in nicely as they headline in the Soo next month in support of their new album "Black Buffalo"! Joining them on their spring tour are Kelowna southern hard rock quartet The Wild, whose aggressive country-influenced rock n' roll should find a strong audience as well on March 21st, so don't miss their opening set! This will be a 19+ concert with a likely 10:00 PM start time, but the venue has yet to confirm the ticket or door prices. We'll let you know when we hear anything!

For more details, check the above links! It's great to see One Bad Son back after almost a year & a half, and The Wild should live up to their name as well, so don't miss this show on a busy weekend next month (remember, Metallica tribute Sandman return to the Soo on the 20th as well, and $12 advance tickets are now on sale at The Algonquin Hotel!)

We're saving the best for last though, as Toronto metal legends Anvil will return to Sault Ontario on Wednesday, April 1st for the third time since their resurgence! After two shows at The Canadian Nightclub, the Juno nominees will make their first ever Rockstar Bar appearance on April Fools Day (no, it's not a joke) in the midst of their 2015 Hope In Hell Tour, and their hard hitting classic originals like "Metal On Metal" should be more than welcomed back to the Soo! This will also be Anvil's first local date since Chris Robertson replaced Sal Italiano on bass, but how will he sound alongside Steve & Robb come April 1st? Unlike last March's show, Anvil have no bands joining them from out of town for this show, but 2 of last year's local openers will pick up where they left off, including punk/metal quintet Jack Spades and classic metal quartet Project 421, both fresh off of high profile Canadian Nightclub sets, so be sure to come early for them on April Fools Day!

Promoted by Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce, $15 advance tickets for the show can now be bought at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk (the price jumps to $20 at the door), this is a 19+ event, and a 10:00 PM start time is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see Anvil back, and at what might be their most intimate venue of this short tour, so be sure to keep their return in mind, and I assure you, this is no prank! Stay tuned for potential updates as they roll in!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news, previews, and feature posts later this week! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (VM Radio Battle of the Bands Semifinals)!!

Today, we're devoting an entire post to the complete semifinal lineup for next month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub, as promoter J.D. Pearce announced the daily schedule for the first three nights (March 4th, 11th, and 18th) a little early via the Facebook event page last night! So, who's playing on what day, and which band was (re-) added last night? Read on below for complete details, though note that the lineup is subject to change!

We'll start on March 4th (one week from Wednesday), where four local bands will battle for a guaranteed spot in the finals on March 25th, and they are death metal quartet The Bear Hunters, indie/garage rock quintet Honest Job, newer hard rock band Infamous, and doom/punk trio The Revolution! Of next week's competitors, The Bear Hunters will be making their fourth local battle appearance next Wednesday, and will also begin their defense of their 2013 Viva La Battle title, but will their metal brutality carry them to the finals? The sporadically seen Honest Job will make their Canadian debut and first live appearance of the year next week as well, which will also see them debut their new lineup and new originals, but can they make a big impression of their own? The pageless Infamous will also be making their local battle debut (following the cancellation of the Rock For Dimes youth battle) and second announced concert appearance that I can tell, but can Lizzie, Damon, and company make a huge splash next week?

No word on if Damon's recent musician searches relate to Infamous or not though. And finally, The Revolution will be looking to build on recent progress and the addition of Jordan Leach on bass, but will their new lineup make a big splash in their 2015 debut? This is arguably the heaviest night of the semifinals, but there's great talent all around for many tastes, so don't miss the action next Wednesday!

Night #2 of next month's battle on Wednesday, March 11th will feature four more local bands, including all-female hard rock quartet The Danger Cats, grunge/alternative quartet Haggith, progressive rock quartet Mannapool, and newer punk quartet Stereo North! The Danger Cats will be playing their first ever battle, their first ever Canadian Nightclub set, and second gig of the year, but will their originals and high profile bring the girls to the top? Haggith (who were originally slated for next week before being switched with The Revolution) will be looking to build on their 2013 Rockstar Bar Battle run, where they finished second after a wild card finish, but can lightning strike twice for them on the 11th? Mannapool's progressive and jazz rock originals have been making many fans in the past year, but will their technical skill translate to battle success in their battle debut and first concert set of 2015?

And finally, Stereo North are arguably the biggest wild card on the 11th, especially as this will be just their second ever live concert, but can their pop punk sound put them into the finals two weeks later, and will bassist Bill Bennett's "Best Sound" winning performance with T-Rex Manning at 2012's Humane Society Battle provide some extra experience? This might be the best lineup for punk & alternative fans over the semifinals, but again, there's a little something for everyone, so don't bypass the second night!

The last semifinal on March 18th will only feature three bands, as a planned lineup of 12 bands fell just short, but there's a talented lineup ahead, including local rap/metal project The Apocalypse Afterparty, post-punk quartet Gnaeus, and classic metal quartet Project 421! The Apocalypse Afterparty were actually added late to the lineup last night after being previously removed from the bill, so it's great to see them back on! The masked bandits (featuring "songwriters" from local battle alums RedD Monkey & The Fury) have been teasing the addition of female band members in recent weeks, and possibly a temporary live drummer, but how will they look and sound on the 18th? Both Gnaeus and Project 421 will be making their second battle appearances (following next Thursday's Speak Easy Battle, results to be determined), while Gnaeus will be making their Canadian debut, and this will be Project 421's first Canadian appearance since opening for Anvil last year (more on Anvil in our next post!)

Can Gnaeus' rising post-punk and garage originals claim them first place, or might Project 421's old school metal classics do the trick? In place of a fourth competing band, promoters are teasing "a surprise special guest appearance", but who is intended? A Tidal Records-affiliated band? A band featuring event promoters or staff? A previously eliminated act? Another band entirely? We'll let you know if anything is announced! Either way, there's a nice varied mix of bands to take in on March 18th, with one of the three guaranteed to make the finals the following week, and remember, a wild card runner-up band will join each week's winner in the finals on the 25th! Remember, the winning band next month wins $1,000 in cash and much more, while there are other prizes for the best original song, most energetic act, best individual performances on different instruments, the fan favourite band, even the best fan, and more, so visit the event page linked above for all currently announced prize details!

Also, keep in mind that The Bear Hunters, Gnaeus, Project 421, and members of Haggith are all competing at next Thursday's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands, but will the fan voted results seen there be a bellwether of what's to come at The Canadian by month's end? For attendees, remember that next month's VM Radio Battle costs $5 at the door for each semifinal & $10 for the finals on March 25th, but if you buy a $15 advance ticket package through competing bands, you will save $10 off of the total cost of attending all 4 nights, so keep that deal in mind! Each night's action begins at 8:00 PM, and yes, all 4 nights are ALL AGES & licensed! Visit the above links for current details, and stay tuned there and to the SMS for more details as they come in! Thanks everyone, this is going to be a great month!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Elements/Late Shift Concert Review!!

After far too long, here's our first concert review of the year, but also check out this month's YouTube Channel Profiles in the post below this one! Last night saw The Elements and Late Shift rock The Rockstar Bar for their first live sets of the year, and there was a good crowd in attendance, though it didn't really start filling out until midway through Late Shift's first set. Now, here's our recap of the bands themselves!

Opening (and closing) last night were pageless local funk/hard rock quartet Late Shift, who played two sets that bookended The Elements on the bill. I could only stay for their first set, but the guys delivered an entertaining mix of covers of bands ranging from Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, and The Offspring to Modest Mouse, The Black Keys, and.... Sinead O'Connor?! Also unveiling an original song named "Free" late in that set, this talented quartet rocked steadily last night, with Matt Sibilo impressing on lead guitar, and Clint Wilson was solid on bass, though John Barber's vocals were slightly off, and he didn't sound quite right or with his usual range on songs like "Alive" or "Ramble On". Anthony Gagnon handled lead vocals fine on "Float On" though! Late Shift put a fun funk rock spin on their songs, and it was nice to see them again, hopefully with much more to come!

Second were the night's headlining band, fellow local funk hard rock quartet The Elements, who were up to their usual tricks in their first set with their full lineup since the fall! The longest chunk of their set featured the guys playing covers of bands from Weezer, Van Halen, Nirvana, and Green Day (among others) which they capped with a new original song, before they brought on Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson to join them on turntables for their last few songs! As previously teased on SooToday, Seith joined the guys on some rap/rock fusion tracks (including covers of Sublime and Primus) before being joined by local rapper Kyle Derasp for another original, tentatively named "Liar". The Elements sounded on form from past gigs, with Jesse Cook delivering some blistering guitar solos and James White dependably good on bass again, and Rob Speers delivering aggressive grit on vocals, but he did go out of his range a bit on songs like "Hash Pipe" and "Hot For Teacher.

The latter songs with DJ Seith were a neat change of pace too, with his turntable scratching melding well with The Elements' existing sound, and it'd be interesting to see something like this repeated in the future! Overall, this was a fun concert and it was great to finally get to a concert again after what felt like an eternity, and barring hard rock or punk bands at Rogers Hometown Hockey this weekend, our next attended concert will be night 1 of the VM Radio Battle of the Bands next week, so stay tuned for that! As for media, Local2 video cameras were on hand, and you can check out our photos at this link or at our Facebook page, plus our videos of Late Shift covering The Sheepdogs' "The Way It Is" and The Elements & special guests playing "Liar"

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our post highlighting each day's schedule of the VM Radio Battle TOMORROW, if all goes according to plan! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Scott98633225 & RedD Monkey's Channels

While I take in the Elements/Late Shift concert, here's this month's YouTube Channel Profiles, as we continue our monthly looks at 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels featuring at least a 50% count of local metal, hard rock, or punk-relevant videos! For a third straight month, we're looking at two channels due to one selected channel not having enough content for three distinct videos, but both feature some punk EPs worth checking out, so here's what you should know!
Scott98633225's Channel (

Owner: Likely Scott Cudney, former drummer of the Sault Ontario punk band The Big Kahunas (credited only as BK)

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 15th, 2011; Only video uploaded on June 14th, 2013

Channel Summary: Scott's only upload on his channel is of defunct local punk band The Big Kahunas's EP "Only Thoughts", which was released in 1994. Details are extremely minimal online for The Big Kahunas, and their lineup is credited only by first names, but Destroilet's Christian Foisy told me that their members were Jenson Van Buskirk on vocals, The Bombed Squad's Pat Suriano on guitar, Steve Gagliardi on bass, and Scott Cudney on drums. If you can fill in any blanks, please let us know! "Only Thoughts" features 7 songs (none are titled on this video, though the last song is a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass"), and they indicate that they had a skate punk sound with good intensity, a nice sense of humour, quality guitar solos, and decent production for the era! It's definitely worth checking out for fans of local 1990s punk, and hopefully more comes out on The Big Kahunas! Thanks again to Christian for the extra info!

RedD Monkey ( 

Owner: A member of inactive local/Toronto/Kelowna hardcore punk/classical trio RedD Monkey, identity unclear, though the channel is credited to the band as a whole

Channel Timeline: Launched on October 8th, 2012; Videos uploaded on June 3rd & 4th, 2013

Channel Summary: The band's second official YouTube channel (following this channel full of 2011 live concert footage), the included videos comprise the vast majority of RedD Monkey's released original material, including their entire 2010 debut EP "Thought Control Tower" and all but one song on their 2012 album "All Baroque", though neither are uploaded in their listed order on CD or digital copies.

Why You Should Watch: You should give this channel a look as it's the most complete YouTube source for RedD Monkey's released discography, and it showcases their fact paced cello punk at good measure! Note however that the channel doesn't feature live videos, material from their unreleased "Opus 2" album, or "Dr. Fatty" from "All Baroque (though you can stream the latter on their Bandcamp page), while this channel hasn't been visibly used since these songs were uploaded.

Our Recommended Videos to Check Out:

RedD Monkey - The Clock's Dement: The last uploads on this channel were all 7 songs from RedD Monkey's June 2010 debut EP "Thought Control Tower", including "The Clock's Dement", "Friar's Ire", "Lethargic Rampage", "Fight Skateboard With Fire!", "No Teeth & A Lazy Eye", "The Attic", and the hidden bonus track "Fo' Dozen Cookies". Their only CD with former Gates of Winter drummer Kevin Overton, "Thought Control Tower" fleshed out their familiar blend of Pete Mozarowski's classical cello work with brother Steve's aggressive punk edge, and though this EP isn't as heavy as their second album, it contains some of RedD Monkey's most familiar originals!

Wild International: The rest of this RedD Monkey channel features 13 of the 14 songs from their second (and final?) CD "All Baroque" from June 2012, also their first with Joe Bumbacco on drums, and it includes the songs "1st World Problem", "Zombie Epoch", "Monkey's Paw (5th Wish of the Swamp Donkey)", "Turbosledt 2027", "Nudie", "Bog", "Poe", "Rats", "Lotus Song", "Screaming Couch", "ODIN!", "NCO Song", and (their most viewed video) a cover of One Day As A Lion's "Wild International". Notably featuring some edits from physical copies (including slightly edited titles, the last 3 songs being broken up from the original "That 13 Min. Song", and the absence of song #8, "Dr. Fatty"), this is still a quality album for RedD Monkey fans that takes them into faster territory without sacrificing their punk, rap, and classical styles!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! So, what's coming in this series next month? Through completely random selection, we'll be looking at three channels for the first time this year due to the first channel we chose only having one distinct local video type, and the second only only having one video total, so we're at our maximum for March. With that said, we'll be looking at the YouTube channels of MrFortierg (with Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide concert videos), SueInside1 (featuring the defunct local band's last music video), and kennybekendam (featuring T Treble Charger concert videos), so look for all of them on or around March 22nd, and for our Elements/Late Shift concert review later today! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Another Older Punk Band Discovery, A New Album Release, And Much More!!

Before we get into our newest post, we have a note on TONIGHT'S Elements/Late Shift concert at The Rockstar Bar, as SooToday's newest "Soo-To-Do List" mentions that DJ Seith will be making a "special guest appearance" tonight as well. The Facebook event page hasn't confirmed this, but he should add his own flavour if true, so look for him tonight! Now, for our surprise second post today, we have info on the latest Tuned episode, the complete lineup for an upcoming battle of the bands, and a new album release, but first, here's another older punk band to add to our links! (And check out another new band addition, two new concerts, and more in the post below this one!)

We have another archive punk band to add to our defunct local band links, and they are Good Morning Gorilla! Active circa 2008-2010, you may remember them from their mid-2009 peak, where they opened for Upheaval of an Exorcist, Broadcast Zero, and Michael Froh at Oddfellows Hall concerts. I may be missing some members, but their original lineup featured singer/guitarist Craig Jackson, lead guitarist Montana Sebastiano, bassist Chas Dalton, and drummer Terrence Gomes (now of The Northern Tragedy), though Montana left the band later that year, and they would add lead singer Shawn Creedon, who partially inspired a late 2009 name change to Creedon & The Animal Detectives. Under that name, they're best known for finishing in fourth place at December 2009's Algoma University Battle of the Bands, but they would quietly disband in 2010. G.M.G. still have a surviving MySpace page & Facebook group, and the former has 3 songs, so how do they sound?

Harbouring more of a ska-punk sound than any of Terrence's later bands, Good Morning Gorilla had a slower and more casual style that had good qualities, but the vocals sometimes felt like they were held back, and they lacked the faster punk edge that The Northern Tragedy have. G.M.G. had promise, so give them a look at the above links!

Next up, we have a new local album release to take note of, as local grunge/punk solo project Telephone & Address released their seventh solo album "Rust Orchid" on their Bandcamp page on Tuesday! As previously teased via uploads on their Soundcloud page, the album features the same track listing that was previously unveiled on their Facebook page, but like with past digital releases, the album artwork is different from the cardboard & silkscreened version you'll get in physical copies. An experimental & ambient release that differs from Chris' bass/drum sound on "Need Not Apply", digital albums can be bought on Bandcamp for $15, which is likely also the cost for CDs, but a release date for physical copies hasn't been announced (though we should see them when Telephone & Address return to the stage.) With all of that said, when might we see our review of "Rust Orchid"?

While a review this month would make sense, we're not quite past our 6 month buffer period from our "Need Not Apply" review in September (to avoid accusations of showing a bias for or against any bands), but "Rust Orchid" has the all clear for next month, so might it be our March review subject? Stay tuned to find out, as well as which album we're reviewing next week, but check out the new Telephone & Address album above!

Also today, here's the complete lineup for next month's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands on Thursday, March 5th! As quietly confirmed by promoters on the Facebook event page in recent days, this one-day fan-voted battle at Algoma University's campus bar will now see local post-punk quartet Gnaeus (who are also competing in next month's VM Radio Battle at The Canadian), local solo musician Jesse Merineau (who you may remember from the Bon Soo Marquee), and a mystery band named Infinity Grinder, who I have absolutely no info on. We'll let you know if we hear anything! These acts join the previously confirmed Bear Hunters & Project 421 (both also in the VM Radio Battle), Long Shot, and Mike Haggith & The Din in this battle, completing the planned 7 act lineup, meaning that both battles will share 3 bands. Promoters have also confirmed that this battle is 19+... except for underage Algoma students with student I.D. cards, so if you fit the bill, you're in luck!

Infinity Grinder are still a question mark, but Gnaeus should put in a solid effort in their first battle appearance, and while it is unusual to see a solo artist in a battle of the bands, Jesse is a talented singer & guitarist that will hopefully leave a big impression! Stay tuned for more updates in the next two weeks on this second battle of the bands next month, and see the above links for current info!

Finally for today, here's Thursday's new episode of Local2's music spotlight webseries Tuned with Donna Hopper, which takes a look at the Treble Charger concert at The Machine Shop from earlier this month! The episode features performance footage that we hadn't seen before, including Treble Charger covering ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'" during the set-ending cover jam (with the local openers and Ed Turgeon joining them on stage), before transitioning to an interview with Justus Veldman, the founder and CEO of Riversedge Developments, who were responsible for the development at The Machine Shop to turn it into a performance venue. Justus talks about what was envisioned about the building at first, it's potential for the future, and upcoming plans for the venue, so what's coming to The Machine Shop next? He said that they'll be booking events again starting next month, and they're looking for a long term operator for the venue as well.

The episode also features performance footage of local openers The Pixo Control and Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect (albeit sans prominent audio), while all 3 members of The Pixo Control talked about the energy of the venue and the experience of playing there. Ending with more footage from The 12 Musicians of Christmas at LopLops, this is a quality episode of Tuned again, and it's nice to get more info on the venue and future plans! Give it a look above, and also note that there's no concert calendar segment again, instead plugging 2 shows (including Friday's Cover Up concert) in text on the page.

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profiles TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Zaum & Stiffler's Mom), An Older Punk Band Discovery, And More!!

As the news keeps coming in and piling on, let's get a post up on this Saturday morning, so what's on tap? Today, we have assorted recent updates, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the spring, and first, a new-ish band discovery that we honestly should have touched on in last summer's initial punk band integration, so here's what you need to know!

We have a defunct local punk band to add to our band links, and they are Stealing Kisses! Their lineup featured singer/guitarist Kevin Koprash, bassist Kevin D'Orazio, and drummer Nick Kainula (who all formed the 2009-2010 metal band Losing Ground with Late & Loud's Jon Tiberi after going on hiatus), while some MySpace photos indicate that they had a lead singer briefly as well (likely Mike Palarchio, source here.) Primarily active in early 2009, Stealing Kisses did play a number of concerts during their brief run, including opening for The Artist Life that May, and also playing with the likes of RedD Monkey and Caddy Street Avenue before going on hiatus later that year due to school commitments. Kevin D'Orazio and Nick did achieve far larger success with their early 2010s death metal band State of Misery, but they too had a brief main run. The band still has a Facebook group and MySpace page, the latter of which containing 6 songs, so how do they sound?

Credited to albums named "One Little Peck" & "Shit Happens" that I don't believe were ever released, these were at least partly recorded with C.S.A.'s Adam Fortais at Room Fire Studios. While a far cry from the metal that Kevin D. and Nick are best known for, they had a good consistent sound that captured pop punk well, with Mark Hoppus-esque vocals at times and some catchy riffs! Give Stealing Kisses a listen above, and stay tuned in case we find more archive punk bands on MySpace!

Next up, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the spring, starting with local party hard rock cover trio Stiffler's Mom, who will headline a chili cook-off fundraiser for Ride For Sight at the Garden River Community Centre on Saturday, March 28th! Last seen at The Rockstar Bar last month, this is a natural fit for Greg, Mike, and Jon, as Stiffler's Mom (and Greg's other bands That's Chester & Bone Yard) have all been very active in supporting Ride For Sight, the annual motorcycle rally at Searchmont that supports and raises funds for blindness prevention, and I imagine at least one of Greg's bands will be playing at this year's installment over the July 10th weekend. Before then though, Stiffler's Mom will provide musical entertainment at this chili cook-off in Garden River, with raffles and prizes also planned, and you may recognize some familiar faces among the cook-off's competitors, including Greg's wife Kerry, and Redundant frontman Justin Langlois!

This (presumably) all ages event at 7 Shingwauk Street will take place at 5:00 PM, and there is a $20 admission fee, but organizers are requesting that you buy your tickets at either Scotiabank branch in the Soo, as both are matching the sale of each ticket for Ride For Sight, which is awesome of them! You can likely pay at the door as well if you can't get to a Scotiabank in the next month. For more details, including on the chili-cook off itself, visit the official Facebook event page! Great idea for a great cause, so keep posted above and here for possible updates!

Also in the realm of new concerts, a very unique selection of out of town bands will hit The Rednecks Saloon on Monday, May 11th, with Moncton, New Brunswick "Middle Eastern mantra doom" duo Zaum headlining! An intriguing band who merge doom metal with ethnic chanting and dark overtones, they're definitely not something we see a lot of in town (unless you lump them with the recent spread of 1-2 man metal bands), so don't bypass them in May! Joining them are The Jealousy Mountain Duo, a German experimental/jazz duo that (though not a heavy band) will bring their own interesting sounds to the table in under two months! Local support will include local grunge/alternative quartet Haggith (in their first set at the former Nicolet Tavern in almost 8 months) and a band to be announced, though note that The Elements have expressed interest, and Mike Haggith & The Din were suggested before their sister band was officially confirmed.

A rare non-Bear Hunters concert promoted by Mitch Sirie, this show will take place at 9:00 PM on May 11th, this is a 19+ concert, and admission costs are yet to be announced. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and apologies for the week's delay to get this on the site! This is definitely a different sort of concert given the genres of the out of town bands, but that makes it all the more interesting to check out, so stay tuned for more updates as we hear them!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter updates from the last little while, and these are in alphabetical order by artist, event, or venue name:

  • Remember how Docks Riverfront Grill became a Chinese buffet restaurant named Waterfront Legend last fall, but recently welcomed blues band Mojo there for a run of jam nights? Well, we now know more about the new band setup, as they opened a new live entertainment area of the building named Club 89 in January, which will once again host live bands in the upstairs playroom and DJs and dance parties in the downstairs lounge. How this all integrates with the buffet isn't clear, but stay tuned for updates on if heavier bands play at Club 89!
  • Local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades have revealed on their Facebook page that they'll be opening for Toronto metal legends Anvil once again at a local show on Wednesday, April 1st! No word yet on the venue, admission fees, other openers, or anything else, but I can confirm that this is not an April Fools joke. When more is announced, we will definitely let you know!
  • A full lineup has been finalized for next month's VM Radio Battle of the Bands on each Wednesday in March at The Canadian Nightclub, and promoter J.D. Pearce will announce the last 2 bands and complete lineup for the semifinals on March 4th, 11th, and 18th this coming Monday! Our source is the Facebook event page, where J.D. also noted that there may be special guest performers of some kind, which could be like the out-of-competition set that T-Rex Manning played at the Battle for the Blood that he promoted in 2012. Stay tuned on Monday for much more info!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more updates to come, plus this month's YouTube Channel Profiles TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 20, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Europe), Ten Kings Concert Previews, And More!!

As another work week comes to a close, we have some more big news for you guys on this cold Friday afternoon, so what's on the docket today? Some assorted recent updates, a new acoustic performance video, previews of a pair of Sault Michigan concerts this weekend, and first, our first major LOCAL CONCERT ALERT at Kewadin Casino for 2015, so here's what you should know!

After a hiatus of over 18 months, Allstar Promotions are bringing major concerts back to The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, with one being headlined by Swedish glam metal legends Europe on Thursday, April 23rd! Best known for hits like "Rock The Night", "Carrie", and (of course) "The Final Countdown", Europe will be touring in support of their brand new album "War of Kings", and their memorable hard rock sounds should be welcomed to the Soo for the first time(?) in April, and courtesy of their classic lineup too! Support will come via The Black Star Riders, the hard rock band who basically spun-off from Thin Lizzy so they could tour and record full time (not unlike Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell), and their lineup features 3 Thin Lizzy members plus Megadeth & Ratt alumni. These guys definitely deliver quality classic hard rock, so be sure to come early to see their set!

Note that this show comes one week after Allstar Promotions' official return show, a rare country concert from them headlined by Parmalee and featuring local country openers Hawk Junction. It's odd to see that neither of their new shows are modern hard rock in tone, but they have teased more shows to announce in the coming weeks on their Facebook page. Tickets for the Europe show (which is all ages) are a very respectable $27.50, and go on sale this Monday online, at the in-person box office, or at 1-800-KEWADIN. For more details, visit the above links! It's great to see Allstar Promotions back in the game, and the Europe show should be a hit, so stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's our only known Sault Michigan-area hard rock concert previews of the weekend, as new local modern hard rock quartet Ten Kings will make their live concert debuts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Featuring ex-Nixxon Dixxon singer Brandon Carr, ex-Scofflaw bassist Barney Gravelle, and former Bottom Line bandmates Joe Jenkins & Will Storey, this will be the first of two straight weekends at The Rapids Lounge for this promising new band, whose lineup speaks for itself, and it will be extra neat to see Brandon fronting a band again over 4 years after Nixxon Dixxon's breakup! This weekend's shows both have 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. For more details, visit the above links, don't miss the debut of Ten Kings TONIGHT or TOMORROW, and here's the preview video from WK Media!

Also today, here's the long teased episode of Local2 & VM Radio's new acoustic performance webseries Bare that features members of local grunge/alternative trio The Pixo Control (who confirmed on their Facebook page last night that they've signed with Tidal Records!) Uploaded to the official Bare YouTube channel this morning, the video features frontman Michael Mikus and bassist Steve Edwards (drummer Keeghan Rosso's not featured) playing an acoustic version of their song "Land of the Moles", which won't be uncommon if you recall the guys' unplugged sets at Gusto's early last year. Still, this is a strong performance of one of the guys best' known oriigals, and it still retains the grit and grungy qualities of the full band version! Give The Pixo Control's Bare episode a look below, and don't miss them with The Cover Up and Northwest TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or company name:

  • Infamous drummer Damon King is looking for a hard rock guitarist and bassist, though I can't confirm if the search relates to Infamous, and/or if original guitarist Anthony Boudreau has left their lineup. If this is for Infamous, time is of the essence, as the guys are scheduled for the VM Radio Battle of the Bands next month, so if you're interested, message Damon at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from yesterday!
  • The long teased Edmonton, Alberta relaunch of former local concert promotion agency Dismembertainment is now official, as they're promoting Benighted & Bookakee's upcoming concert there on March 15th at DV8! Still ran by Rich Moreland, you may remember Dismembertainment for promoting the original Rosie metal nights and 2012's Ypres Metal Fest before Rich moved out west, but it's great to see him promoting again after almost 3 years!
  • Former State of Misery drummer Nick Kainula is looking for a bass player (and maybe a second guitarist) to join his new local punk project, which apparently already has a singer and guitarist enlisted. No word yet on extra sound details, but if you're interested in trying out, message Nick at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Tuesday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates over the weekend! Thanks everyone!