Tuesday, June 30, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Havadder) & New Videos Of Theirs, Plus More Updates!!

As promised, here's our second post of the day, touching on one more SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TOMORROW NIGHT, but with plenty of new videos from this band's recent gigs, this post is largely about them, albeit with some shorter assorted updates at the end. Read on below for what you should know, but check out more Canada Day concert previews and more in the post below this one!

Local classic/hard rock quartet Havadder are returning to Studio 10 TOMORROW NIGHT for their Canada Day bash! Apologies for the short notice, we only heard about the show via an ad in last week's Sault This Week, with the band confirming the show online this mornning with the official Facebook event page. Notably, tomorrow's show will mark the return of drummer Scott McLurg to the band after his heart attack in May, so if you've missed Scott with the guys in the past month+, be sure to welcome him back to the stage TOMORROW NIGHT! The Sault This Week confirms that tomorrow's Canada Day bash (Havadder's first Studio 10 stop since New Year's Eve) will have prizes and drink specials, and yes, ladies dancing, so if that's your thing, there you go! A personal posting by frontman Jason Roy implied that one giveaway would be for a guitar.

Note also that the same Sault This Week ad plugged that the venue will be holding a drawing for AC/DC concert tickets in Toronto next month, so keep that in mind if you go there! The show has no announced cover (but bring cash just in case), you must be 19 to attend, and there's a likely 10:00 PM start time in effect. For more details, check last week's paper and the above links, and for a preview, we have plenty of new Havadder videos to touch on today! Glen Thomas (who filled in for Scott at last month's Havadder shows) uploaded nine combined videos from both the Havadder concert at The Rednecks Saloon on June 13th and Scott's benefit show at The Rockstar Bar on the 20th onto his YouTube channel in the past couple of weeks, so what can be seen there? The six videos from Rednecks are all as a trio (guitarist Jamie July missed the show for unannounced reasons), while each show featured guest musicians, including Scott's former Turner Up bandmate Krista Marshall (also of Johnny Lunchbox fame) as a guest singer at both shows.

The Rockstar Bar videos include covers of Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog" (with local blues musician Paul Dellavedova on guest vocals & guitar) and Collective Soul's "Gel" (with Lucky 13's Ed Vowels on guest guitar) in one video, while the others are of Seven Mary Three's "Cumbersome" (with guest singers Taryn Bugyra and Dave Kendrick, I think) and Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" with Krista on guest vocals. Glen noted on his Freq's Music Planet forum that the show raised over $1,000 for the McLurg family during this difficult time, Scott did make a speech to thank everyone, and there were other guest performers that weren't captured in Glen's videos. We didn't embed any of the three below though, as all were from the drum-cam angle, but the audio's solid, and it's great to see so many familiar faces coming out to help Scott out during his recovery! As for the Rednecks concert videos, those were filmed from a regular angle of the stage, but what was filmed?

Krista's guest spots were captured on two more videos of "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" (here and here, albeit without Jamie this time) plus a cover of Ugly Kid Joe's "Everything About You", while Jason, Travis, and Glen covered Alice In Chains' "Man In The Box", "The Travelling Wilburys' "Tweeter & The Monkey Man", and Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike". Though shorthanded, Havadder sound strong as ever on these covers, and Glen fits in well on each, while Krista's vocals have been missed on stage, and hopefully we see her in a new band again soon! Check out these new Havadder videos above &"Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" below, and don't miss Havadder (and Scott's return) at Studio 10 TOMORROW NIGHT!

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

  • We have deleted the short lived Garden River concert promotion agency GFC Promotions from our "Other Local Metal Links" due to the deletion of it's Facebook (and only online) page. Intended as a regional branch of Oh! Right Arm! Promotions to promote shows just outside of the Soo, plans for GFC likely dried up when promoter Boyd Rendell moved to Sault Ste. Marie proper earlier this year, with O!RA! shows now promoted under the Six Two Oh banner anyway.
  • Sault Michigan rock radio station Rock 101 have extended their deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to continue broadcasting all Soo Greyhounds games on 101.3 FM through at least the 2017-18 OHL season, which will take their current agreement into it's ninth season. Though this might be disappointing news for fans of Rock 101's usual music rotation, this is great news for Hounds fans, especially coming off of their great season! Click here for more details, and go Hounds go!
  • The cast list for the local stage production of The Who's Tommy (featuring That's Chester as the house band) has been revealed, via promoters Shot In The Dark Productions' website, with local singer and actor Steven Hewgill playing the title role. That's Chester members aside, there are some familiar faces from local bands in the cast, including Obsession's Valerie Powley & Ashes To Dust alum Noah Morden, so get more details at the above links, and get your tickets for November 4th-8th at The Machine Shop at this link for $25, $20 for children or seniors!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for an all-Rotaryfest post TOMORROW, so who's playing when, and where's the Second Stage this year? Find out tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peace Love Music & Mourning Wood), Plus The Saturn Alien Concert Preview!!

With a mid-week Canada Day this year, we have some mid-week SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to touch on to end the month with, but to spread things out a bit given the amount (and preview of a Tuesday night show TONIGHT), our preview of Havadder's Studio 10 concert tomorrow will come in a second post today, and yes, we are aware of the Rotaryfest stage lineup reveals, those are likely coming tomorrow! Now, here's what you should know for Canada Day!

Local post-punk quartet Gnaeus have been added to the lineup for TOMORROW'S first annual Peace Love Music festival! Apologies for the short notice, the guys were only officially confirmed for the lineup yesterday, though their involvement had been teased in preceding days. To be held at Club Current, the new nightclub/venue inside of Waterfront Legend (formerly Docks Riverfront Grill), this event is the culmination of a long dream from promoters Justin Roy & Michael Babcock to hold this kind of event in the Soo, which will primarily be an outdoors event outside of Club Current featuring live music from 1:30-10:00 PM, food and drinks, and of course, a great view of the Canada Day fireworks from the waterfront, so keep Peace Love Music in mind for TOMORROW! Despite the Woodstock-esque themes, this is actually primarily a house/DJ/electronic themed event, with Gnaeus the only full "band" that I can confirm on the lineup, but their set will co-headline tomorrow at 7:00 PM, with Justin Roy DJing as the headliner until 10:00 PM.

Other performers include Motus Canere (real name possibly Tyler McCaig, but I can't 100% confirm that) at 6:00 PM, Rhyan Lotto Toivanen at 5:00 PM, electronic duo Electric Therapy at 4:00 PM, Michael Babcock at 3:00 PM, and Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson at 1:00 PM. Note as well that earlier postings on the Facebook event page listed that artists named Montel J & Manzini Sangiovese were playing, but they've since been removed (or renamed?) for unannounced reasons. Peace Love Music admission will be $10, and this is presumably 19+, but note that it is an outdoor event primarily during the day. For more details, visit the above links! It's great to see some concerts at Club Current (and the former Docks), and while there's only one "band", keep this event in mind for some live club and house music from this talented DJ roster, plus Gnaeus' own post-punk originals! For a preview, here's Gnaeus' full Lopstock set!

Next up, local classic/hard rock cover trio Mourning Wood will play their own Canada Day concert TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rednecks Saloon! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the show via this Facebook event page on Friday, but at least they gave us a few days notice for a change (in fact, this is their first show to get plugged on their own Facebook page in two months, and first with an event page in three!) Terry, Steven, and T.J. are no stranger to mid-week shows (they just played a Wednesday nighter at Reggie's last week), but this week's is obviously timed for Canada Day, so if you're up for some live cover action, here's an option for you! For reference, Sault Online still lists Mourning Wood's Thursday jam nights at Rednecks on their music calendar page as an ongoing weekly event, but the band hasn't acknowledged new jam nights on Facebook at all this month, so unless they've held them without online comment, I don't believe they're still on.

Also, if the guys have weekend concert plans too, they won't be back at Rednecks on Friday night due to Mike Haggith's CD release party, but we'll let you know if anything is announced. Mourning Wood's Canada Day show TOMORROW goes down at 10:00 PM, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Mourning Wood live last year!

Finally for this post, here's our preview of a Tuesday night concert going down TONIGHT, as Montreal psychedelic punk band Saturn Alien will rock The New American Pub for the first time! Playing a nicely varied hybrid of punk, funk, and psychedelic rock into a sound that's hard to describe while still retaining an edge, Saturn Alien should leave a good impression on this last day of June, so definitely give them a listen and see what you think! Two local opening bands are on board for tonight, including the aforementioned Gnaeus and newer local alternative/punk quartet Id Iota (in their New A debut), and both have their own punk hybrid sounds that will slide in nicely as openers tonight! Apparently promoted by Id Iota (who launched the Facebook event page), there is a $5 cover charge for this 19+ concert, and everything starts at 9:00 PM, but remember, tomorrow is a holiday, so you probably don't have to worry about this being a late night during the week!

Punk and alt-rock fans should have a great time at this show, so check the above links for more details, and send June off in style TONIGHT! Here's a Saturn Alien music video!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Havadder preview and much more this week! Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mike Haggith - "The Warinside" CD Review!!

It's now time for our 72nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, marking six straight years of monthly album reviews on the site, so thanks to everyone for following along then, now, and beyond! This month, we're taking a look at a Mike Haggith solo album for the fifth time, that being his 49th and newest CD "The Warinside", which was released on Bandcamp on May 31st in advance of the hyped release concert at The Rednecks Saloon on Friday. Alternately spelled "The Warrenside" in many postings as an inside joke from the album booklet, this album is a concept release themed around personal events in Mike's life from last year. Recorded at Galactic Records in Windsor save for vocals, one song, and guest parts (which were done locally at Paperclip Productions), Mike is once again the primary instrumentalist on the album, but he was joined by his Haggith/Din bandmate Curtis McKenzie on guitar and/or backing vocals on all but 4 songs.

As well, Curtis gets co-writing credit on the last song too, and Candace Warren is credited as a co-writer on the third track. "The Warinside" is now available on Bandcamp on a "name your price" model, but physical copies will be available starting Friday for a price to be announced, but at the release show, $10 gets you the CD and concert admission. There are free streams of the album on Bandcamp & YouTube as well (song names are linked to YouTube copies), but consider buying the album to support Mike's work! Featuring 10 songs at about 49 minutes in length, let's kick off this review with the first song!

First is  "We Met As Surrogates", which opens the album with background noise and samples of what sounds like the outdoors near a highway before the music fully takes over 90 seconds in with a continuation of the orchestral rock sounds of Mike's late-era solo material. The sung stretches of the song is suitably energetic with bite, and Curt's guitar solo flows well between them, but the drums here do sound programmed, which gives the song more of an artificial sound, especially considering Mike's drumming background. The song has good emotion and flows with the personal themes of the album (included samples of a phone ringing), and it's an effective way to start the disc! Next is "The Snake", which is a softer and more traditional song that has some romantic overtones and an overall optimistic vibe that makes use of the symphonic keyboard work. Mike and Curt harmonize well vocally on choruses, and the drums sound more natural, but fans of Mike's heavier songs may be left wanting more

Third on the album is "Candy Is A Hooker's Name", and this is keeps the upbeat tone going with a bit more of a chorus edge, albeit a little empty sounding on verses, with Mike singing only overtop of drums and keyboard (though note that this Curtis isn't featured here.) The beat is catchy on the bridge, it's not overly long, and Mike's vocals are smooth and fit the themes, but this track could use a more prominent guitar role to push it over the top. Then we have "Someday", which is the longest song on the CD, and also the slowest yet, with a shift in both musical and lyrical tone that meshes with Mike's personal life events that are documented with this album. The first completely solo track with no guest performers or writers, "Someday" is a well layered and thought out song that definitely seems like Mike poured his emotion into it while maintaining the symphonic structure, and while I prefer his more upbeat and heavier songs, this serves it's purpose!

Song #5 is a re-recording of "Lay My Body Down To Rest", which was originally on Mike's 2009 solo release "I Hate My Life & I Want To Die". The original version is largely the same song in structure and lyrics, but the new re-recording makes use of grander symphonic use, better recording quality, and more experienced musicianship, and is also 12 seconds longer. It's definitely a better and fuller realized version of this song, and given the album's current trajectory, it fits fine as sort of the symbolic "low point" of the story, despite being a re-recording of a 6 year old song for a new concept release. Dark and moody, but also grand sounding! That's followed by "Of Cars & Criminals", which begins with what sounds like a vinyl record starting before transitioning into the actual song, with a softer guitar riff yet a more upbeat sound aided by the backing keyboard. Curtis returns on guitar and backing vocals here, adding a little something extra to this song, which admittedly sounds a bit too "fun" compared to the lyrics, but fans of Mike's regular songs will appreciate the return to form!

Seventh is "September", which is the CD's shortest track, and also the only instrumental. It transitions from a solo piano performance to including other instruments, but never wavers from it's overall ambiance, complete with background effects of rain and what sound like cars driving down the road. It's a nice and well-composed bridge between songs, but on it's own, there's not a lot there for fans of Mike's heavier and fuller material. Next up is "Out Of My League", which has a nice catchy choruses while maintaining a melancholy vibe, complete with low and minimalistic verses that mesh with the personal nature of the album, but here, the keyboard parts are less orchestral and more for effects and melody. It's a solid track, and definitely one of the better late ones on "The Warinside", but Curt's backing vocals are barely audible, and the closing twinkle effects don't add a lot to the song.

Second-last is "A Drive Through The Peninsula", which itself begins with an intricate symphonic opening before Mike kicks in with vocals and drums, giving off a purposeful, march-like vibe musically. The song has effective vocals and intensity without going into full metal territory, but aside from Curtis' guest guitar work, the song doesn't stray from it's initial formula, and to me, it sounds unfinished, like there was a tempo change that never came. Not a bad track though, and Mike's multi-instrumenral talents are clear as day here! The CD closes with "30", which is the only song fully recorded in Sault Ste. Marie, and the only one that Curtis co-wrote (he also plays rhythm guitar here too, instead of just a solo), so this might be of extra note for fans of their Haggith band work! A slow building song that is arguably the heaviest on the album once it kicks into gear, "30" features interesting vocal effects, a strong aggressive edge in the second half, and nice casual playing early, while largely getting away from the earlier symphonics. Very strong closer to the album, and a fitting culmination to this personal tale, with a shock ending not unlike on Haggith's "Apocalypse" CD!

So, what are my thoughts of "The Warinside" I'd have to say that it's a strong statement and well layered release that definitely lays out events of Mike Haggith's personal life. Is it a coincidence that the song's orchestral and symphonic elements begin getting phased out in the second half? Mike is a talented musician on multiple instruments, and he shows that here once again, with his deep yet melodic singing voice fleshing out even more here, but the use of programmed drums (especially given his live drumming work with the band Haggith) still seems odd. Curtis McKenzie is a solid hand as a backing singer and guest guitarist on featured tracks, helping give a fuller band sound at times and definitely boosting things with his solos, but Din fans may miss drummer Brandan Glew on the studio recordings. Key songs like key songs like "30", "Someday", and "A Drive Through The Peninsula" help this album stand up with Mike's other recent studio releases, but it may surpass them based on it's overall story arc.

Also, I definitely saw similarities between this album and the Haggith band's concept release "Apocalypse" (which we reviewed last month, and also features Mike as the central character and main singer), especially in the mood shift, but "The Warinside" definitely strikes more for realism and emotion. Whether you like softer, heavier, or orchestral material, Mike covers all ground here, and it'll be interesting to see what he (and The Din?) have in store next! Buy Mike's new album at the above links (or at Rednecks THIS FRIDAY), and I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! Next month's review will be of a new release, and as of right now, we're leaning towards Dafter, Michigan hard rock musician SweetKenny's newest release "Fleabag Hotel", which was released in May, but wasn't past our 6 month anti-bias buffer period at the time. It's possible that another bigger album could supercede it if released, but we will let you know if a change is announced.

For reference, Haggith's new 2015 albums, Telephone & Address' upcoming "Monster" CD, and anything by Mike Haggith or Treble Charger are ineligible for July, as all are within our 6 month buffer period from our last reviews of theirs, but look for "Apocalypse II" and "Monster" (if released) in the fall if all goes well! That's all for today, but stay tuned for Canada Day concert previews and more TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blood Shed Productions Video Showcase!!

Today's SMS post is devoted to local independent goregrind label Blood Shed Productions, including videos from one of their recent house party events and an interview that I'm surprised fell through the cracks, so here's what you should know! In terms of the new concert videos, these were uploaded to the label's YouTube channel on Tuesday, all coming from their private house party concert last week (referred to as Phat Boii's Basement Jam, as it was at held at the local rapper's house.) One of the videos is of solo goregrind project Crucify The Whore playing two songs (whose names aren't here as they may be seen as offensive), and this is a solid C.T.W. performance with a small but boisterous crowd! If you like Blood Shed bands, this will be up your alley, and it's well-lit too, so give this new C.T.W. video a look below! (For reference, the announced Menstrual Munchies private concert from this past Thursday was cancelled, as the headliners couldn't make it into the country.)

Also among the new videos is Crucify the Whore frontman Tyler Gibson's death metal duo Brutally Fatal playing their song "Stomp Your Feet" at the same private show, though this time, it's on a stationary camera (maybe frontman Austin McCrae was manning the camera for C.T.W.?) Still a fun song and easy to shout along with, but fans of Tyler and Austin's death metal work may prefer other songs, and the atmosphere isn't the same with a stationary camera that doesn't point at any fans. Give Brutally Fatal's new video a watch below!

Finally for this show (and post), we'll look at Tyler's other two man band, goregrind duo Rotopsy, who were the focus of two videos from this basement jam, including two songs at this link (the song names may be offensive), and as embedded below, their track "Swamp Donkey", both with an actively moving camera to capture the environment! Nice crowd involvement and intensity, but at times, the cameraman was too tight to the band, and the music can be a bit scratchy at higher volumes. Solid and fun for Blood Shed loyalists, so check out these new Rotopsy videos to see what you missed!

Finally for today, we'll stay with Rotopsy for a long overdue look at an interview that they did in March! We had heard about this at the time, but it slipped us by until now, possibly as it was uploaded to a separate "Bloodshed Weekly" YouTube channel rather than the label's main channel. In the spring, the aforementioned Austin McCrae masterminded a YouTube interview series for Blood Shed artists called "20 Minutes of Bloodshed" which only got to two episodes before apparently falling dormant. The first episode is an interview with Phat Boii, and the second (and final?) being with Rotopsy, so what should you know on it? Complete with a theme song apparently performed by Austin, the naturally 20 minute interview features Tyler Gibson and frontman Dylan Taylor talking about the band's formation at Spitneck, keeping the band's music separate from C.T.W.'s, their favourite set, work on their most recent disc, and their use of face masks, before a commercial for their new CD!

The second half features the guys talking about upcoming festival gigs and the possible cancellation of Das Bunkerfest II, and the band's biggest fan, but there are some irreverent, risque, and controversial questions within, and very candid answers, so keep that in mind before watching, especially if you might be easily offended. A third episode with rapper Mikey Thomas was teased at the end, but that never came (yet?) This is an interesting, if provocative interview that Rotopsy fans should like, but again, be wary of some of the questions & answers, especially late, and the video quality isn't perfect. Check it out below if you want!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes in the coming week, plus this month's CD review! Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 26, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Emergency Festival), Gatgas Concert Preview, And More!!

Barring a late notice Saturday nighter or extremely late notice show tonight, we're closing out this weekend's concert previews today with a big hardcore punk show tomorrow night, but joining it today are updates for a major upcoming Sault Michigan show, a new video from a rising young band, and leading off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for August! Read on below for what you should know, and check out this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile in the post below this one!

Here's some long awaited venue confirmation on this year's second annual Emergency Festival on Saturday, August 15th, so where's the LopLops Lounge-promoted music & arts festival being held? Well, how does Rocky DiPietro Field at The John Rhodes Community Centre sound? Due to the ongoing debate over the future of The Sault Downtown Association and postponement of their outdoor Queen Street events this summer, The Emergency Festival will move to the football field at 260 Elizabeth Street (not far from the skatepark) for it's second year, which sounds like a good location to keep this successful sophomore event going after another "emergency" affecting the summer concert calendar! No word yet on the band setup, including on if there will be multiple stages as was previously intended, but we'll keep you posted. As previously announced, The Emergency Festival will welcome local punk/alternative bands The Pixo Control, Gnaeus, and Northwest alongside a large out-of-town roster of primarily folk, roots, and indie rock artists, so click here for full current lineup details!

Also scheduled to have a special Art In The Park exhibition, The Emergency will again be an ALL AGES event at 12:00 PM on August 15th, with tickets going on sale at LopLops, Case's Music, and Dish Espresso Bar & Cafe at 740 Queen Street East tomorrow. Oddly, tickets will be $25 until July 2nd, then they'll jump $5 a month until August, so there's incentive to get yours early! Students with school ID will get in for $20, and kids under 14 are admitted FREE. Amidst all of the downtown association struggles, it's great to see Stephen and everyone at LopLops keeping The Emergency going, so check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for updates as they come in!

Next up, here's our preview of the fifth installment of Tidal Records & J.D. Pearce's Gonqshow summer concert series, as London hardcore punk quartet Gatgas will headline at The Algonquin Pub TOMORROW NIGHT! Featuring Saultites Bob Bromley Jr. & Garry Ingram in their lineup, fans may remember their memorable local debut at last fall's Hardcore Homecoming concert upstairs at The Rockstar Bar, but now they're headlining downstairs and should be up to their usual old school hardcore tricks! Local support will come via two of the local openers from last fall, those being local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades and local hardcore/punk sextet Destroilet (in just their third show with two singers), and given the presence of both Gatgas & Destroilet, might we see another Fistmagnet reunion of sorts like we saw at Hardcore Homecoming? It was a crowd pleaser, hopefully there's a reprise of it! Note that the Gonqshow event page still lists newer local metal trio Faceityoureametalband as opening, but they have since been removed from the concert's event page, and are not listed on the show's poster.

A reason for their exit hasn't been announced, but frontman Steve Mozarowski went on a trip to British Columbia this week as per personal Facebook postings, so that could be related. Hopefully we hear from his new band again soon though! Note also that I'm not sure if the presented band order on the poster is accurate (which would see Gatgas sandwiched between the local bands) or if they will indeed be last. This 19+ concert has a $10 cover charge and a 10:00 PM start time, so for more details, visit the above links! It's great to have Gatgas back (and Bob & Garry back home), so keep this show in mind for TOMORROW, and here's Gatgas live earlier this month!

Also today, here's some news concerning the P.O.D./Hoobastank/Fuel concert at The Dreammaker's Theatre at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino this coming Friday, including news of a late addition to the lineup, them being Rochester, New York post-hardcore band Lights Out Paris! Our source is co-promoter John Yeubanks on the Facebook event page on Monday. Currently slotted as the third of now six bands, Lights Out Paris have an intense modern hardcore sound that almost sounds like it'd better fit an Oddfellows Hall show, so don't miss them amidst the hard rock action next week! Also, in terms of the returning Integrated System of Machines (who will reunite after a 5 year breakup for this show), their teased new album is reportedly finished mixing, and sounds close to being done entirely according to frontman Orb Hearthstone's personal Facebook page! Remember, I.S.O.M. don't have a new updated online page as of this writing, we'll let you know if one turns up in the future.

Also, a separate personal posting confirms that I.S.O.M.'s new lineup will be a five-piece, with Orb, Chris Leask, Art Dietz, and Bart Rennels joined by a musician with the first name Jon, though I can't confirm a last name or instrument role yet (though process of elimination points to either the guitar or keyboard.) It is great to have Integrated System of Machines back, and hopefully we hear much more from them soon! Stay tuned for details on this huge concert, and get your tickets A.S.A.P. at this link!

Finally for today, here'a a light new video from the aforementioned Gnaeus, courtesy of their YouTube channel on Tuesday! It's of the local post-punk quartet watching their Lopstock II YouTube video on TV via a Playstation 3, so we're literally watching the guys watch themselves, though there is a temporary break late when bassist Matt Fronzi arrives with McDonald's food. Light and amusing, so check out Gnaeus' new video below, and don't miss drummer Brendan Garlick filling in with Long Shot TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar, as per personal Facebook postings!

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

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Sunk'n City Gypsys

It's now time for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, as we're once again looking at a metal, hard rock, or punk band that's not from our area, but happened to feature a past or present Saultiee in any of their lineups, in order to feature and profile them for local readers! This month's choice puts a neat hybrid spin on punk rock, and featured a familiar face in their lineup last year, so here's what you should know!
The Sunk'n City Gypsys (Victoria, British Columbia/Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED, ex-members in italics; This information may be incomplete, notably regarding members' full and stage names, and possible missing alumni. Message us if you can fill in any blanks!)

Riley Anderson (vocals/banjo)
Shannon Dukowski (guitar/vocals)
Natasha Lefevre (mandolin/vocals)
Jaqui Dukowski (violin)
Shawn Venturlag (drums/cello)

Shawn Eddie (guitar/bass/banjo/vocals)
Joe "Oaken Hoon" (guitar/harp/vocals) 
Heather Martin (mandolin/vocals)
Sean Harrington (bass?)
Mister Nathan Tahti (accordion/guitar/vocals)
Messica Wild (accordion/piano/vocals)
Alex White (cajon/drums/vocals)
Andrew "Bootz" Barbutza (percussion/vocals)
Marcus ????? (washboard/cowbell)
Richie ????? (?????)

Official website: http://www.sunkncitygypsys.ca
Official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sunkncitygypsys
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/sunkncitygypsys
Official Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/sunkncitygypsys
Official Bandcamp page: http://sunkncitygypsys.bandcamp.com
Official YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/sunkncitygypsys

Local Info: Former Sunk'n City Gypsys accordion player Mister Tahti is a well known face from the local music and art scene, most recently as the frontman of the local folk band Honest Job, as well as work as a solo musician & artist in multiple media, including graffiti and watercolours (click here for more info on his art background.) Though he's lived out of town at points in recent years, his local ties remain strong, and look for Mister with Honest Job at future concerts! Note that ex-Sunk'n City Gypsys drummer Alex White is not the former Soldiers of Misfortune and Cowboys & Indians bassist from the Soo, they just share the same name.

Band Bio: Launched in January of 2011, The Sunk'n City Gypsys are a "folk/punk/grass" band that began as a busking cover band in the Toronto area before evolving into an full band with original material. Constantly featuring frontman Riley Anderson and mandolin player Natasha Lefevre in their lineup, their early run saw their profile grow fast with merchandise, originals, and regular open mic and busking appearances, along with releasing their first demo "Middle of Nowhere" in June 2012. After playing their first major tour that fall, Riley & Natasha relocated the band to Victoria, B.C. in 2013, releasing a split CD "Dirty Things & Broken Strings" with Calgary's The High Class Whores that summer. Amidst numerous lineup changes and fluidity, the Gypsys welcomed Mister Tahti to the band in the spring of 2014, who featured on their latest CD "Winston Arms" last summer, but he quietly left the band by this year. The band can still be seen live often, so keep posted for updates!

While it's hard to comment on individual lineups of The Sunk'n City Gypsys, the band has continually crafted a intriguing mix of bluegrass and punk that has definitely found them a solid audience in Ontario, British Columbia, and points beyond! Riley's banjo skill is a constant, as is Natasha's nice mandolin work, and while the lead vocals can be an acquired taste on more aggressive songs, they do tend to fit the presented genres well, and their sound is reminiscent of local bands like Ye Olde Mold Pickers and (of course) Honest Job at times while retaining a punk edge. Mister Tahti is an effective contributor on "Winston Arms" as well, and The Sunk'n City Gypsys have a good thing going if you love folk, bluegrass, and punk music!

You can check out videos and songs from the band at the links above, including a free stream of their newest CD, while their YouTube channel is the best source for live and studio videos (originals and covers alike), including this music video for their song "X Marks The Spot"!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we're heading to the States, as we're taking a look at Hillman, Michigan punk trio NA (yes, they have a two letter name,) whose drummer is Lake Superior State University alum Mikhail Swift! Watch for this profile on or around July 26th, and stay tuned for more news and previews later today! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison) And Most Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Before we get into this post, here's yet another apology for a missed Mourning Wood concert, as the local classic/hard rock band reportedly played at Reggie's Place downtown yesterday (yes, a Wednesday nighter), as per bassist Steven Flint's personal Facebook page yesterday right before showtime. Once again, this show didn't get any advance word from band or personal accounts beforehand, but we'd have plugged it before had we known about it! No word yet about weekend shows from the guys, possibly at Reggie's again, but we'll cover them if possible.

Now, this post will otherwise cover most of this weekend's concerts on a quieter weekend than the previous one, though Saturday's Gatgas show and any new late notice confirmations will come afterward. We'll start with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, as local hard rock solo artist Tym Morrison will continue his recent streak of matinee sets at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, TOMORROW, AND SATURDAY NIGHT, joining his regular Harp Bar & Grill shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice on the Gliss shows, he only announced them on their Facebook page on Tuesday, and there's no public confirmation yet on if he has a new regular weekly run there now, or if it's still a week by week thing. In any event, the last three weeks have been busy for Tym with both matinees at The Quality Inn's restaurant and regular nighttime shows at the former Madison's Pub, so whether you prefer his hard rock covers in the evening or at night, you have options over the next three nights!

His Harp shows tomorrow & Saturday have 10:00 PM start times, no cover, and 19+ age limits as usual, while his Gliss shows TONIGHT through SATURDAY have no cover, 6:00 start times, and no cover (but remember that he is playing at a restaurant again.) Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Tym and the late Luke LeBlanc live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, we'll head to The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT, where four local bands will join forces for the venue's "Summer Bash"! A special concert to help kick off the summer season, the show will feature prizes and giveaways all night long, while the patio will be open, and there will be drink deals, so there's extra incentive to come on out! The advertised bands will be local hard rock quartet Long Shot (in their first show in about a month), classic metal quartet Project 421 (who will debut their mystery new drummer tomorrow), new local punk quartet Stereo North, and new local glam metal/power pop trio Caroline Divine, with the latter two making their Rockstar Bar debuts in the process. Solid lineup with plenty of newer and familiar faces! A live DJ is also hyped on the Facebook event page, but they are not credited there (for reference, it won't be DJ Seith, he's listed on the event page as not being able to attend.)

The Rockstar Bar's Summer Bash goes down TOMORROW at 8:00 PM, it is a 19+ event, and while there's no announced cover charge, bring $5 or so just in case. This sounds like a fun concert to help ring in the season, and all four bands have shown talent and crowd-friendly sounds since their debuts, so definitely consider checking things out, especially with the giveaways and specials! For more details, visit the above links, and here's Long Shot live!

We'll close this post across the river in Sault Michigan for a few concerts, including the returns of Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm to our neck of the woods TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Savoy Bar & Nightclub! Rare non-Kewadin Casino shows in the Eastern U.P. from one of Jeff Hudson's bands (though you may recall sporadic Peril dates at The Savoy), this weekend's shows are advertised as the first of The Savoy's "Summerfest" concert series, which will apparently return to the outdoor stage behind the West Portage Avenue bar, though note that Scarkazm's own advertising doesn't confirm that. It's great to have Scarkazm back in the Soo, and expanding to some new locations in the process, so definitely keep this weekend's shows in mind for some live metal action! There's no announced cover charge, a likely 10:00 PM start time, and a 21+ age limit. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Scarkazm live last year!

Finally for today, let's preview SATURDAY'S first ever Summerfest (yes, a different one) at Lake Superior State University, which will feature local hard rock quartet Ten Kings on the early lineup! This outdoor event is a public event outside of The Cisler Centre (the building with WLSO radio) that will feature live music, local restaurant vendors, and more family events from noon until around 6:00 PM on Saturday, so for full details on the event and non-musical elements, visit this link! Ten Kings will take the stage for an hour-long set at 12:40 PM, while the show's main featured attraction will be the 25 member Steeltown Silver Band at 3:30 PM. Two solo performers (Highest of Fives alum Travis Theel and LSSU professor Jason Swedene) will close the day at 5:30 & 5:00 PM, while other performers will include local performance artists The Hoop Incident at 3:00 PM, zumba dancer Victoria Cryderman at 2:40 PM, new local rock band Retro Troop (featuring Ten Kings bassist Barney Gravelle, info on their sound hopefully forthcoming) at 1:40 PM.

The Allure Dancers and Great Lakes Arts & Dance will open the day at noon, and in the unlikely event of rain, LSSU's Summerfest will be moved indoors. This FREE & ALL AGES event goes down on Saturday afternoon, and is notably a rare LSSU event with alcohol sales (wine, specifically), but keep in mind that this is a college campus that has a summer semester. Sounds like a good time to showcase my alma mater and have some fun with local musicians, artists, and vendors, so keep it in mind for SATURDAY! For a preview, here's Ten Kings' live earlier this year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, our Gatgas preview, and more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Ten Kings And RPM) & Go Skateboarding Day Coverage!!

Before we begin previewing this weekend's hard rock concerts, here's a new news post for your Wednesday afternoon, and remember not to miss TONIGHT'S Teethmarks concert at The Rednecks Saloon! Today, we have lots of recent media coverage from a big all ages concert event this past weekend, and first, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the next two months, so here's what you should know!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Ten Kings will return to The Savoy Bar & Nightclub next weekend for concerts on Friday, July 3rd & Saturday, July 4th, albeit outdoors! Like last summer, The Savoy is again hosting outdoor shows behind the bar under their "Summerfest" branding, as per their Facebook page, with Traverse City's Scarkazm kicking things off this weekend, and given the summer season, why not take advantage of the weather with shows on their outdoor stage? These will be Ten Kings' first shows at The Savoy since indoor gigs earlier this month, and will ironically come one week after THIS SATURDAY'S set at Lake Superior State University at their own unrelated Summerfest event, which we'll preview in the coming days. Next weekend's Savoy shows have no cover charge, 10:00 PM start times, and 21+ age limits, but as these are outdoors, follow the weather just in case. Click here for more details on their Fourth of July weekend shows, and stay tuned for our full preview of LSSU's Summerfest!

Next up, you know how The Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Sault Ontario hosts live bands in FREE concerts on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer? Well, that doesn't usually cross our radar given the bands that play it, but there is one exception on Thursday, August 20th, as local classic/hard rock quartet RPM will play the Pavilion on that day! Our source is this Sault Online article, which also lists a full schedule for the outdoor concert series this year, which mostly feature classic rock, country, and traditional bands. As you may remember, RPM are the sporadically seen band featuring bassist Lindsay Pugh and musicians from his own adult music camp, and you may have seen them at the 2013 Rock For Dimes and scattered Rockstar Bar shows. They're an improving band, and hopefully their show in August at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion will be huge for them!

This is a FREE & ALL AGES show, but no start time is listed (the shows are in the daytime though.) Click here for more details, and stay tuned for more from RPM as we hear it!

We'll close today with lots of recent coverage of Sunday's Go Skateboardng Day festivities from Tidal Records at Queen Elizabeth Park! Local2 was on hand to film the skaters for this video, which we can't embed here, but what can be seen in there? Lots of skating action from the local skaters who came out, plus interview remarks from Tidal Records owner Dustin Jones and skate team member/Id Iota frontman Christian Lemay, and while there is video footage of each band, only Caroline Divine get included audio. A brief clip near the end also appears to show local beatboxer Killabeatz on the mic, so he must have performed before I got there or right at the end. The video is excellently done, featuring multiple great angles of the skaters in action (and the bands), including GoPro footage and even video from a drone! This is a great showcase of Go Skate Day, so click here to give it a look! SooToday's Donna Hopper was on hand for this article as well, so what lies within?

The article includes some of the tricks of note that skaters performed on Saturday, and general details on the event (though Conika is still listed as performing despite missing the event due to illness.) Donna also got some excellent photos from the event, including six from Garden of Bedlam's headlining set and one of DJ Seith, but photos of the other bands weren't included. The focus was the skateboarders, and rightfully so, as this was a great day for everyone to show their skills and have fun, and I hope this returns next year! No word on if Donna did a Tuned episode on Saturday (it'd be neat to see Garden of Bedlam in one finally), but check out Donna's full photo album & article at this link! We'll close with a video that we can embed here, courtesy of skater Dalton Hermiston's YouTube channel on Monday, and it focuses on skateboarding action during The Pixo Control's set, complete with audio, but again, the skaters rightfully get focus in the video, and Dalton's footage is solid!

Go Skateboarding Day was a fun time, and it's great to see the music and skateboarding communities colliding for a great afternoon of entertainment, so check out all of the recent media coverage above, and here's Dalton's YouTube video from Sunday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teethmarks Concert Preview, Pixo Control Coverage, And Much More!!

In this second news post of the day, we're mostly covering assorted recent news and notes, but we'll kick things off with two items relevant to The Pixo Control: new videos from one of their recent shows, and a preview for their next concert TOMORROW NIGHT! Read on below for what you should know, and check out this month's YouTube Channel Profile in the post below it!

A rare Wednesday night concert goes down TOMORROW featuring Toronto hardcore punk crossover quartet Teethmarks making their local concert debut at The Rednecks Saloon! A heavy and to-the-point hybrid of styles, Teethmarks' grimy originals should leave their own mark tomorrow night, so be sure to check them out at the former Nicolet Tavern tomorrow night! Local support wll come via local grunge/hard rock trio The Pixo Control (in what I think will be their Rednecks debut), while local acid/alternative rock trio Mike Haggith & The Din were added as a late second opening band on Thursday, as per the Facebook event page. Neither band are close genre matches to Teethmarks, but they're both talented and well liked bands, and they should get things rolling well tomorrow night! Just as a reminder, this is not the Teethmarks show teased in AlgomA's interview with Metalhead.it, which was mentioned as being on July 4th (they're now in Sudbury that day, no word on if this show is a rescheduling or not.)

Co-promoted by Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie and Destroilet co-frontman Brenton Ellis, TOMORROW'S concert is FREE to attend, and likely has a 10:00 PM start time, but it is a 19+ event. Should be a solid concert whether you want aggressive hardcore punk or local alternative rock, so keep it in mind for tomorrow, and remember, NO COVER! Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Teethmarks live in Quebec!

Next up, here's some new videos from the aforementioned Pixo Control's recent "Pixo Plays For Food" fundraiser at The Rankin Arena! Sault Online named them their "Band of the Week" last week, posting this article there last Sunday, with correspondent Mike Caruso filming & interviewing them for the article and his YouTube channel in the process. One video is of the guys playing their song "Sixty Extra Chances Called Minutes" (on multiple cameras and with post-effects), while the other is an interview with integrated live footage. In the interview, Mike asks all three band members about their formation, how they got their name, what the fundraiser was designed to accomplish, their album and tour plans, and their music training background, among other topics, and it's a solid and loose interview that even cracked Mike up at points! For new info, the band revealed that their album will likely be done recordings next month, with the tour pencilled in for a July start in Southern Ontario.

In terms of the video quality, everything looks good, if a little washed out for colour, and The Rankin Arena reminds me of The Oddfellows Hall a tiny bit. Nice to see Mike and Sault Online covering more local bands, so check out The Pixo Control's interview below and more above, and stay tuned for more!

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

  • We'll likely be moving local punk band Brad Example & The Role Models to our inactive band links later this week due to a year's inactivity. The band featuring Inner City Surfers & Lion Ride alumni last had public activity when they opened last summer's troubled Public Animal concert, which followed sporadic activity dating back to 2006, though note that the band don't have an online page that received recent maintenance. Hopefully The Role Models turn up again though, and best of luck to Brad, Dave, Marco, and Marc!
  • Bear Hunters guitarist & local concert promoter Mitch Sirie is looking to join a local band that plays weekend bar gigs, possibly in response to Beaumont Avenue's impending demise. He's can do fill-ins or permanent positions on either guitar or bass, he is open to all genres, and can improvise if needed. Mitch has the skill, so if anyone's interested, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Saturday!
  • In another Musicians Wanted group search from Mitch Sirie on Friday, he's looking for bands for a yet-announced concert at The Rednecks Saloon that he's promoting on Friday, July 10th. No word on if it'll be all local or have an out-of-town headliner, but Mitch indicated that slots will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Mike Haggith & The Din have expressed interest, but if your band wants in, message Mitch at the above links!
  • Local classic metal quartet Project 421 have replaced Haggith on the bill for the Out Of The Ruins-headlined concert at The Rednecks Saloon on Saturday, July 11th, as per the official Facebook event page on Sunday. A reason for Haggith's withdrawal wasn't announced, but as band members are co-promoting the show, it's likely due to a scheduling conflict with one of them. Project 421 (and their new drummer) should fit in well, so don't miss out next month! Note also that Beaumont Avenue weren't replaced on the bill, which now only has 2 bands.
  • A band lineup has yet to be announced, but this year's Ride For Sight motorcycle rally for blindness charities and awareness will again be based at Searchmont Resort on Saturday, July 11th. 4 bands are planned to perform, and we'll let you know if any hard rock bands are on the lineup, but visit this SooToday article for current information in the interim! 
  • Local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage have quietly released two new free "albums" onto their Reverbnation page, under the names "Mistress of Lightning" and "Mary's Pony Porn Emporium" (they titled it, don't shoot the messenger!) Fans of the crash will like the dozens of improvised new songs within, so give them a listen at the above links, and hopefully at upcoming concerts too!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news, previews, and features as we begin closing out this month! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: adamscovers' channel

It's now time for this month's YouTube Channel Profile, our monthly look at 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels with at least 50% of their videos being relevant to local metal, hard rock, or punk concerts, in order to spotlight their content and material! We had originally planned to look at the YouTube channel #TrebleCharger, an auto-generated channel of Treble Charger studio tracks, but none of the videos work for me for unclear reasons (their links weren't pulled, they just don't play.) Instead, we've replaced it with the next closest alphabetical channel (punctuation precedes A on YouTube), and this has some solid recent cover performances from a few years back, so here's what you should know!
adamscovers (http://www.youtube.com/adamscovers)

Owner: Village Media videographer and local musician Adam Gualtieri

Channel Timeline: Launched on April 22nd, 2011; Videos posted from that December through March 2014

Channel Summary: Adam's channel is (with one exception) devoted to at least 6 performances that he and fellow local musician Liam Seymour (The Boatload Killers, ex-Sailor's Tongue) made during sets at Superior Heights Collegiate & Vocational School when both were students there in the early 2010s, with both alternating guitar & bass duties. 13 of Adam's 14 videos are from Superior Heights sets, all with varying & uncredited drummers (one likely a teacher), including covers of the likes of Foster The People, Phillip Phillips, Traffic, Gnarls Barkley, and Mumford & Sons. The extra video is of his own solo composition, "Questions Without Answers".

Why Should You Watch: This is a solid channel to check out for fans of hard and classic rock covers from two up & coming talents (if they had a band name, it's not credited), and if you're a fan of Superior Heights and Dunnplugged events, this is a good source with multiple camera angles! Also, "Questions Without Answers" is a solid original, if rough and not "heavy", and it's a nice showcase of his talent! Note however that this channel hasn't been updated in a year, possibly due to Adam's graduation and resulting lack of further sets there. As well, a cover of Shinedown's "If You Only Knew" has since been privatized for unannounced reasons.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Communication Breakdown Cover♫: Among Adam's earliest uploads are three videos from a Superior Heights set circa February 2012, where he, Liam, and a drummer covered The Beatles' "Helter Skelter", Alice In Chains' "Rooster", and (as embedded below) Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown". Adam only sings lead on "Rooster", with Liam tackling lead vocals on the other two, and while both have good voices, Liam's range is quite impressive, as fans of The Boatload Killers will attest, especially on the Zeppelin cover! Like on later videos, all three also make use of multiple camera zoom, post-effects, and titles., and they're a solid showcase of Adam & Liam's talents, and are among the heaviest videos on this channel!

December Cover♫: The next month, Adam posted videos of him, Liam, and (I think) another drummer covering Boston's "Smokin'", Foghat's "Slow Ride", Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean", and (as embedded below) Collective Soul's "December", which took the guys into more of a classic rock spin compared to their last uploads, which were focused on indie and folk rock. The only video from this day that was made black & white in post-production (despite being the newest of the four songs, ironically), this is my favourite demonstration of Adam's singing on the channel (Liam sings lead on the other three), and all are predictably good for their age at the time!

Lonely Is The Night Cover♫: Joining the now-private Shinedown cover from a pair of April 2012 uploads (Adam's last of a heavier or classic rock nature), this cover of Billy Squier's "Lonely Is The Night" is his most viewed overall, and it improves visually on older videos by featuring multiple camera angles (the angled one of old, and one in front of the stage), plus cleaner zooming. Strongly done again, with Liam's singing fitting nicely, and both he and Adam handle guitar & bass duties well! No word on if Adam and Liam still do any collaborative music work, but it'd be nice to see the two of them pick things back up in some form!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile!  Next month in this series, we'll be looking at two channels, as the first randomly selected channel only had two distinct type of videos, so we randomly added one more to fill it out. Next month, we'll be looking at Skeyes of Seven frontman Cory Murchison's YouTube channel (featuring three videos from his older band Sense of Truth's debut show, plus a solo track) and YouTube user WhiskeyBar1's channel (featuring a Winkstinger concert video), so watch for these on or around July 22nd! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post later today! Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tidal Records' Go Skateboarding Day Concert Review!!

Hey guys, it's now time for our review of yesterday's Go Skateboarding Day events from Tidal Records, a free & all ages event featuring skateboarding contests, giveaways, demonstrations, and live music at the skate park at Queen Elizabeth Park outside of The John Rhodes Community Centre. Very solid turnout for the event, be you a skater, fan, or both, and while I'm not a scholar of skateboarding culture beyond Tony Hawk video games, the boarders (including Id Iota's Christian Lemay and The Pixo Control's Steve Edwards) were having fun and showed off their skills! There were lots of vendors on site, a bunch of skateboarding contests for sponsor merchandise and prizes, and in a lucky break, excellent weather, with a nice cool breeze throughout the day and not a drop of rain to be seen. I did get a mild sunburn on my face somehow, but weather-wise, this might be the most comfortable outdoor concert that I've ever attended in the Soo!

In terms of the music, the day began with Shane "DJ Seith" Erickson spinning his fan favourite turntable mixes, which also returned between later bands, though his advertised joint set with rapper Conika didn't occur (Shane told me she had been sick, though no word on if she performed at last night's IRN show.) Disappointing, but she'll be back! DJ Seith was his usual strong self, even mixing the same song with itself with ease, and he seemed to get a solid response throughout the day! Look for him at more upcoming events, and thanks again for the copy of his "Motor Mix" CD!

First of the day's three bands were new glam metal/power pop trio Caroline Divine in their first ever outdoor concert, and the first time that I've gotten a chance to see them, so what can we now say about the Frasiers successors? As was the case with their Lopstock video, I get the vibe of a hybrid between the glam/punk sound of the defunct local band Dirty Virgin (complete with a similar on-stage look), with the modern indie/alternative sensibility of a band like Gnaeus, which is a mix that works well for them! Song names mostly were unannounced by the band (an exception being a self-titled song), but Caroline Divine showcased the talent that made The Frasiers well liked, but I do like the new band better than the old, and guitar Anthony Marcello has a solid voice for their sound! The guys should work on their stage presence and crowd banter a bit, but they're on their way!

Co-headlining yesterday were Tidal Records' own alternative/hard rock trio The Pixo Control, who were up to their usual high standards during their set! Though abbreviated from what was on their setlists, the guys powered through familiar hits like "Sixty Extra Chances Called Minutes", "Reasons", and "Scratch" during their energetic set, with Michael Mikus again showcasing his grungy voice and strong guitar talent, and Keeghan Rosso more than holding his own on drums! I would also add that The Pixo Control's sound felt the most like "skateboarding music" of the three bands, which isn't a bad thing, as it added an extra element to the skating acting at that point of the day (and the two group photographs on the stage, which was at the top of one of the ramps.) The Pixo Control have a great thing going, and hopefully we hear much more from them through the summer!

And your headliners yesterday were local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam, in their first concert (not counting stag & does) since December 2013! Buzz alluded to this during their set, referencing Tidal Records helping get them out of their "temporary hiatus", but he assured us that they're stronger than ever and not going anywhere. Hopefully that's true, the guys have been missed! Garden of Bedlam stuck with familiar originals like "Shallow", "Torment", and "Your Disgrace" yesterday, though Deftones and Volbeat covers also found their way onto their set, which all seemed to get a good response! Buzz sounded a little rough around the edges at times, but it was great to see the guys back after way too long, and Josh Belleau lit it up on guitar, and his cousin Evan was as strong on bass as ever! Very solid return set from Garden of Bedlam, and here's hoping they're back soon!

Overall, this was a fun concert with a unique atmosphere, and kudos to Dustin Jones and Tidal Records for putting this on, fingers crossed that it becomes an annual event! Look for more coverage of this event on other media sources too (Donna Hopper from SooToday was there, for example), and you can check out our photos from Go Skateboarding Day at this link or at our Facebook page, complete with special angle shots to make use of the open location and skateboarders. As for our Facebook videos, here's DJ Seith during his opening set, Caroline Divine playing an original song (name unclear), The Pixo Control playing "Land of the Moles", and Garden of Bedlam playing "Against the Grain"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile either tonight or tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lopstock II Video Showcase, Plus Our First Look At Two New Bands!!

Before we head off to TODAY'S Go Skateboarding Day concert at the skatepark at the John Rhodes Centre, here's an all-video post now that this weekend's concert previews are cleared out, all courtesy of the Lopstock II "bohemian conclave" concert on June 6th at LopLops Lounge! With one unembeddable exception, these are courtesy of promoter and Gnaeus drummer Brendan Garlick's YouTube channel in recent days, but unlike his single song videos from last year's Lopstock, he filmed full sets of every performer, save for Id Iota for unannounced reasons, but we do have a video of them to touch on in a bit. Brendan's videos include footage of the full sets of Burlington folk rock artist Kirby, Guelph blues rockers The Galacticats, local folk/garage quintet Honest Job, acoustic rock trio K.I.C.K., and indie rock solo project Aldous, so click their names to see their videos! The audio quality is very good on these videos, but the strong attendance in front of the staationary camera limits our viewpoint on most of them.

First from Brendan's channel is headlining local alternative hard rock trio The Pixo Control, whose hour-long set can be seen below, or more accurately, heard below, given the crowd of fans in front of the camera, and the often blurry view of the band itself given that the camera focuses on what's closer. The (I believe) 13 song set had it's titles mostly unannounced by the band, but familiar tracks like "Sixty Extra Chances Called Minutes", "Quick Little Quarter", and "Tall Ships" can be heard, plus their set-ending "Twist & Shout" cover. You can't see much, but The Pixo Control sound great, so give their Lopstock II video a look below!

Next up, here's Brendan's own band Gnaeus, who headlined the afternoon portion of Lopstock II before the unusual three hour break. The 45 minute set from the rising post-punk quartet can be seen below, and while it is easier to see the guys, an attendee's head is near constantly right in front of the camera. Songs like "Fire", "The Edge", and a cover of The Cold War Kids' "Hang Me Up To Dry" can be seen, and Gnaeus demonstrated their considerable talent once again throughout their Lopstock II set, so give their video a look below as well!

The last of Brendan's Lopstock II videos is of new local glam rock/power pop trio Caroline Divine (successors to The Frasiers), which gives us our first look at their sound, so what can be detected from their 40 minute set? Musically, they remind me a little bit of what would happen if Dirty Virgin and Gnaeus were blended together, thanks to their mix of 1980s glam rock with indie punk, and while I won't get a chance to see them live until tomorrow afternoon, I do prefer them to The Frasiers musically! Don't miss them and The Pixo Control tomorrow at Tidal Records' Go Skateboarding Day, and here's their Lopstock set!

Finally, we'll touch on the opening band at Lopstock II, new local rock band Id Iota, as while Brendan didn't apparently film them, Local2 did for the newest episode of Tuned with Donna Hopper! Focusing entirely on Id Iota's set, we get our first video look at the new band from Free Beer and Dirty Few alumni, and if you were curious about their sound, I can confirm that Id Iota more or less carry on the sound that 3/4ths of the band played in their short lived predecessor band Habitat Shuffle, so they play alternative rock with a punk/grunge tinge, rather than the ska-punk of the Free Beer days. Frontman Christian Lemay and guitarist Dustin Goodall are interviewed by Donna in the video concerning topics like how they formed and their upcoming plans, so what kinds of new info do we get? The guys revealed that the Id Iota name is inspired by Freudian psychology, the two of them share vocals live, and they've been doing behind-the-scenes work at Tidal Records beyond recording material.

I'm sure there's more from Id Iota to come, but this is a nice introduction to this new yet familiar band, and Christian & Dustin also give some nice compliments and props to how the local music scene is developing and some of the newer and younger talent! Check out Id Iota's new Tuned episode at this link, and remember that we can't embed Local2 videos here, as their video host doesn't allow external embedding. That's all for today, but stay tuned for more this week, and we'll see you guys at the skatepark this afternoon! Thanks everyone!