Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New SooToday Videos, Plus More Recent Video Uploads!!

The last few days have been relatively quiet on the SMS, but I have an unwritten rule to try and ensure that we don't go three days on the site without a new post, so let's keep that up before I tackle my 27th birthday celebrations! Today's post is devoted to recent video postings from and featuring local artists, so here's what you should know!

We'll start with a pair of (sadly unembeddable) videos from local news website SooToday with metal & punk relevance, starting with the newest episode of Tuned with Donna Hopper, as posted online on Sunday! The second straight episode taken from last month's Motherfuckers-headlined show at The Oddfellows Hall, this one focuses on the Calgary hardcore punk headliners, with Donna interviewing frontman Dan Izzo and bassist Sean Hunter outside of the venue about Calgary's punk scene, their influence on Canadian punk music, their newest material, and what they know about Sault Ste. Marie, as interspersed with performance clips from their set. Not a bad interview, and the guys keep things light before their ferocious set, so give it a look above! The other new SMS-relevant SooToday video covers Darren Emond's Iron Maiden comic book launch at The Rad Zone earlier this month, so what should you know on it?

Darren is interviewed by an uncredited & unheard SooToday reporter about how he got on board with the Iron Maiden comic, his background and artistic endeavours, the reception of the comic so far, and his positive experiences in working with a band he loves, doing what he loves. Featuring some shots of his artwork in between, this gives Darren some nice press, so give it a look above, and pick up your copy of the Iron Maiden comic book A.S.A.P.!

Next up, here's some updates from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din's Facebook page, including reveals that they now have buttons for sale (check out their next concerts to see if they're available), they're now on Snapchat, and yes, that they have new Facebook videos to check out! One video was uploaded on May 17th (apologies for the two week delay) where The Din noted that they, at the time, were close to hitting 300 likes on Facebook. In it, they try and hit 300 likes on their own with a real foot race between band members, and without spoiling who won, they came to the conclusion that they needed our help to hit the milestone. The campaign worked, as they surpassed 300 just 12 hours later, and currently sit at 320! Another video followed last week where guitarist Tammy Hill jokingly came up with an idea for the band's merchandising plans that involves bobbleheads. I'll let you watch it to see what it entails!

Embedded below though is The Din's newest Facebook video, this time just previewing the studio version of "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device" from their forthcoming debut studio album "Give In To The Din", with Tammy manning the controls at the computer. This should serve as a nice teaser as the album sessions slowly march along, so give it a look below, and see much more from The Din above!

Also, here's a video from Boot Hill Crooners/ex-Inner City Surfers guitarist Dave Bahun as part of a big contest that he's entered! A cover of Randy Bachman's new song "Heavy Blues", this comes from a Vintage Guitar Magazine contest where guitarists are challenged to supply guitar tracks in place of Peter Frampton's on the song in a YouTube video. Randy himself will choose the winner on Friday, who will receive a $4,000+ D’Angelico guitar & Supro amplifier, a pre-video endorsement from Randy, and a trip to rock out with him in New York City. If you know Dave's talents, you'll know he handles this blues rocker well, so be sure to check it out below, and best of luck!

Finally for today, dormant local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam are the source of background audio in this new skateboarding demonstration video from local music/skate shop The Rad Zone! Uploaded to their YouTube channel on Sunday, the video showcases three young local skateboarders (among them, Garden of Bedlam drummer Derek Turner's son Dylan), as set to their studio track "New Rain". Solid footage of the kids delivering some quality tricks, and while this doesn't directly indicate new activity from Garden of Bedlam, it's nice to see them featured here! Give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more updates and this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Redundant), Project 906 Concert Preview, And More!!

In what could possibly be our last news post of the month, we're tackling the last of our concert previews for this weekend, alongside some new cover videos, some assorted recent news and notes, and to lead things off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT! Here's what you need to know!

Local punk trio Redundant and hard rock solo singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will both return for this year's Family Fun Day at Runway Park on Saturday, June 11th, as part of the Algoma Autism Foundation's annual Algoma Ride For Autism motorcycle rally! Much like the annual Ride For Sight, this fourth-year event aims to raise funds and awareness for autism charities, with a large motorcycle rally planned again through town for the cause, so check the above links for details on how you can enter the Ride for Autism next month! This will be Redundant's third straight appearance at the Family Fun Day (and just their second announced concert of the year), while Tym Morrison will be making his second consecutive appearance at this event, and will no doubt follow it with his regular Gliss Steak & Seafood show that evening,. For reference, last year's event also featured hard rock quartet Late Shift, but as of this writing, no other music acts are announced for this year.

Also, look for vendors, a sensory area, costumed characters, blow-ups, food, and more for the whole family on June 11th, so keep all of that in mind! This ALL AGES outdoor family event at 573 Airport Road has no announced admission fees (but be prepared just in case, especially if you're not riding in the rally), and while individual set times aren't listed, the Family Fun Day begins at 11:00 AM. This should be a fun and worthwhile event for the whole family, so don't miss out on June 11th whether you're affected by autism or just want to support the cause, and visit the official Facebook event page for more details on this year's events!

Next up, here's our final preview for this weekend's hard rock concerts (barring a super-late notice announcement), as Sault Michigan blues/hard rock cover quartet Project 906 will return to The Strongs Tavern in nearby Eckerman TONIGHT! Returning there for the first time in over a month, this will be Project 906's first show since the Bay Mills Band Together fundraiser in Brimley earlier this month, and after a successful stretch of recent shows, hopefully the guys keep up the strong vibes tonight at The Strongs Tavern! As usual for them, a 9:00 PM start time is in effect tonight, you must be 21 or older to attend, and there's no announced cover charges in effect. For more details, visit the above links, and don't miss Project 906 out east of the Soo in Eckerman tonight! here's Billy, Joe, Dustin, and Will live in Brimley earlier this year!

Also today, here's the latest acoustic vocal/guitar cover videos from ex-Elipzis bassist Ryan Harrison's YouTube channel, as uploaded on Thursday! Two are covers of Seven Mary Three songs ("Water's Edge" & "Lucky"), but embedded below is his version of Pearl Jam's "Black". Featuring various film reel and grain effects added in post (and with only "Water's Edge" in colour), these are solid covers once again, with Ryan's vocals especially fitting Seven Mary Three, and I like that his setup is getting more professional too, complete with a microphone in frame! See more from Ryan above & below!

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

  • Local doom metal trio AlgomA's recent vinyl split EP with Saskatchewan's Chronobot was reviewed by Rodrigo Bueno of the Portuguese doom metal website Funeral Wedding yesterday (it is in the Portuguese language, so have your translator ready!) Giving the disc a 4/5 rating, Rodrigo noted that the EP was full of "edgy stuff", particularly praising Chronobot's half, so give it a look at this link, then get your preferred online translator if needed!
  • Former Sindicate/Creatures of the Night guitarist Nick Rhodes is looking for a bass player to jam with, perhaps to join a new metal band that he's launched. The band already has two guitarists (who share vocals) and a drummer, but the bassist could sing as well, and they hope to record original material down the road. If you're interested in jamming with Nick's new band, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Thursday!
  • Local hard rock quartet Skeyes of Seven have formally launched a public drummer search to find a replacement for the departed John Mignacca, as per frontman Cory Murchison's own Musicians Wanted group post on Wednesday. Cory noted that the band is finalizing their debut EP, and noted that they're working on covers of bands like Slipknot, Tool, and The Foo Fighters. There's already lots of visible interest, but if you want to trying out, message Cory at this link or bassist Alain Fletcher at this link!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates next week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2016

YouTube Channel Profile Series: cinnamoncubicle's Channel & SKeYeS Of SeVeN

Our last monthly feature post of May 2016 is now here, as this month's YouTube Channel Profiles lie below! As usual, this series looks at 1-3 YouTube channels each month that feature at least 50% of their uploads as being relevant to local metal, hard rock, and/or punk bands and/or concerts, with all randomly selected as usual. This month, we're looking at two channels, as one features a single video with local band content, so we randomly picked one more channel with two distinct video types to round it out, so read on below for this month's YouTube Channel Profiles!
cinnamoncubicle's Channel (http://www.youtube.com/cinnamoncubicle)

Owner: YouTube user cinnamoncubicle (identity unclear, but their YouTube channel links to this Treble Charger fansite from Japan)

Channel Timeline: Launched on June 20th, 2006; Videos posted the next month and in January 2007

Channel Summary: This channel only features two videos, though both allude to local/Toronto indie punk quartet Treble Charger, including this video of frontman Greig Nori jokingly bantering with Autopilot Off guitarist Chris Hughes in studio (Greig produced Autopilot Off's albums in the early 2000s), though it's oddly letterboxed so that the video is only in the upper left corner. Featured here is cinnamoncubicle's other video, a copy of Treble Charger's music video for their 2000 song "Business" from their fourth and biggest album "Wide Awake Bored". Copied from a MuchMusic broadcast, the video centers on the then-members of Treble Charger as escaped convicts on the lam after their prisoner transport vehicle crashes. Cute concept, especially regarding the guys' initial charges and later whereabouts, and it's a solid melodic track to boot from their peak era! Note however that cinnamoncubicle hasn't used this channel in nine or so years.

SKeYeS Of SeVeN (http://www.youtube.com/skeyesofseven)

Owner: A member of local hard rock quartet Skeyes of Seven, identity unclear

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 25th, 2012; Videos posted from June 2014 until June 2015

Channel Summary: The official YouTube channel for Skeyes of Seven, the band has uploaded three current videos there, including two early studio tracks and a live jam session clip.

Why You Should Watch: This channel is definitely worth following for fans of Skeyes of Seven, and if you haven't seen them a lot since their debut), for fans of members' past band work with acts like Sense of Truth and Half Past! However, note that this channel used to feature live concert videos from their 2012 debut show that have since been deleted, and while this channel hasn't seen usage in almost a year, you can get current band updates and videos via their Facebook page in the interim.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

Schism - Tool (cover): With Skeyes of Seven's YouTube channel containing no concert videos at present (and the band only playing four shows since their debut), this video may be of extra interest for fans who want to see the band in action. This in-studio cover of Tool's "Schism" was played during founding bassist Mike Mannarino's last rehearsal with the band before moving out of town in late 2014, with a Go-Pro camera uniquely mounted on the head of his bass. Though this restricts the view of the band as a whole (especially with the video being uploaded sideways), it's a strong cover of this modern prog-metal favourite, and a nice demonstration of Mike's missed talents!

SKeYeS Of SeVeN - Enough: Two of Skeyes of Seven's videos are of studio recordings recorded in the summer of 2014 & 2015, the former being of their dark, mid-tempo song "Fallen Faith", and the latter being for "Enough", which is their most viewed video. Both songs are rumoured to be included on their debut EP (currently in progress at Deluca Sound Productions), but it's unclear if these will be the exact versions. Both featuring singer Cory Murchison and guitarist Ron Baxter, "Fallen Faith" features Alain Fletcher on guitar, Mike Mannarino on bass, and Jonny Amendola on drums, while "Enough" has Al moving from guitar to bass, and John Mignacca now on drums. Both songs show Skeyes of Seven's promise at playing dark, well-written modern hard rock originals, and hopefully this maintains when their EP comes out at last!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month, we have randomly selected just a single channel to look at next, and that is YouTube user TWCD's channel, which I believe is Northwest frontman Wayne Watkins' personal channel, featuring three videos from his defunct local indie punk bands Nebraska Arms & The Small Town Rivals! Look for that on or around June 26th, and stay tuned for more news and concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Most Of This Weekend's Hard Rock & Punk Concert Previews!!

On this Thursday, let's tackle most of this weekend's concert previews! It's a lighter weekend than we've recently seen, all things considered, but we still have too many shows to pack into one post, so Saturday's Project 906 show in Eckerman, Michigan will absolutely come in our next news post, alongside any late notice hard rock show announcements (unusually, all of this preview post's shows had advance notice before this week.) Now, let's dive right in!

We'll start with the regular weekend matinee shows from Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison, who will be back at Gliss Steak & Seafood for acoustic concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Still playing twice weekly there for the time being (he had hinted in personal Facebook postings at an upcoming resumption of Thursday nighters at Gliss), Tym's skilled and well versed blend of hard rock covers should find strong audiences once again at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, so don't miss out on the action this weekend! And as usual, we will add his June dates to our concert listings when he confirms them on Facebook, so keep watch for them next week. There's no announced age limits for tomorrow or Saturday night's unplugged shows, which both start at 6:00 PM, and while there's no announced cover charge, keep in mind that these are at a sit-down restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next up, let's take a brief detour across the border, as Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 are advertised to rock The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Though the Sir Charge successors are still not plugging upcoming dates on their Facebook page, Kewadin Casino's entertainment page confirms that Highway 63 will be back in St. Ignace for their latest shows, continuing their recent trend of one weekend a month at both of the concert-hosting local Kewadin branches. The Switzers and company should have a solid weekend of hard and classic rock favourites all ready for fans tomorrow & Saturday night, so don't miss out on the action! There's no announced cover charges for these 9:00 PM shows, and you must be 21 or older to attend. Check the above links for more details, and here's Highway 63 live!

Let's return to Sault Ontario for today's remaining shows, including the return of newer local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires to The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Hitting the stage for the first time since their Park Grille gigs three weeks ago, these will be this talented supergroup's first shows at The Algonquin Hotel's upstairs bar since their triple header over the St. Patrick's Day weekend. The 3 Day Millionaires have proven to be a fan favourite band since their debut earlier this year, and hopefully Travis, Steve, Jeremey, and Scott keep the good vibes going this weekend! This weekend's shows are both 10:30 PM affairs with NO COVER, and both are 19+ events. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live earlier this year!

Finally for today's previews, we'll head to LopLops Lounge, where local indie punk quintet Northwest will play their second show of the year THIS SATURDAY NIGHT when they open for Fort McMurray, Alberta blues rock quartet The Sentimental Gentlemen! If you missed Northwest at The New A earlier this month, here's your next shot to see this talented outfit, especially given the winter break that they were on, so keep their upbeat punk attack in mind for Saturday at LopLops! The Sentimental Gentlemen should attract a good following this weekend as well with their up-tempo yet bluesy blend of genres, and keep in mind that they will be taking donations on Saturday towards recovery and aid for their hometown of Fort McMurray, which was recently devastated by wildfires, so if you want to help the cause, definitely consider coming to LopLops on Saturday night! Expect a 19+ age limit, $5 cover charge, and 9:00 PM start time for this show, so check the Facebook event page for more details, and here's Northwest live!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Project 906 preview, this month's YouTube Channel Profile, and more soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Iron Maiden Comic Book Review, New Videos From Grindcore Acts, And More!!

Before we dive into our last weekend concert previews of the month, here's a new news post for your Wednesday, including some assorted recent notes, a new concert video, and some recent coverage of a popular local band, but first, here's a first for the SMS: A comic book review!

As you may remember, local artist Darren Emond launched the Iron Maiden comic book that he did the pencil artwork for at The Rad Zone on Saturday, and I absolutely came to get an autographed copy (this is a scan of mine), so I thought it was fitting to give it a review on here! One of a series of recent comic books from the Rock & Roll Biographies series from Acme Ink, the comic book is basically the Cliffs Notes version of Iron Maiden's band history, from the late 1970s through to the modern day, as nicely illustrated by Darren to a story by Paul Birch that covers most ground from their history. As well, the comic also explores a side-storyline on the band's mascot Eddie The Head and his efforts to protect the band and the titular Iron Maiden herself from evil forces out of the real world. The comic is solely in black & white, but the art pops, especially in the Eddie panels, and while some eras of the band are glossed over a bit in the story (the 1990s, in particular), the comic book is a fun way to explore Iron Maiden's history!

Note as well that Darren's last name is given as "Emmonds" in the credits, but everything else is well done and nicely laid out, with a tribute to late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister even included. Overall, the Iron Maiden comic book is worth buying for $5 at The Rad Zone (if you can find it in the States, it's $3.50 there), so if you love Iron Maiden and/or comic books, pick up a copy A.S.A.P., and kudos to Darren on a job well done!

Next up, here's the latest from local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver, starting with an overdue note from their SooToday article from May 2nd, which bypassed us in our original write-up on it (my apologies), as Josh, Mike, and Matt will be performing in a Live at Six, Two, Oh. episode on Sunday! This occurs as Shit Liver return east from this latest Canadian tour, but unless there's a late notice show announcement, I don't believe they'll have a local concert this weekend. This should be a fun episode of the local recording studio's video series, so look for it on Sunday or later! Also from Shit Liver, their long awaited episode of Tuned with Donna Hopper went up on SooToday on Saturday, so what should you know on it? Filmed during the Motherfuckers-headlined concert last month, the episode features Donna interviewing all three guys about their move to St. Catharine's, what keeps them going, their work in the bluegrass band Dirtfight, and how they marry their bands' two genres, as set to video footage from both bands' tour dates last month.

Though the episode treads some of the same ground as the original article, it's a solid episode with some brutal clips from the Oddfellows Hall show, but the interview portion is badly drowned out when clips from Dirtfight's Gore Street Cafe show are featured (also, "Shitliver" is spelled without a space in the opening bug.) Still, this is some solid press for Shit Liver, so give the full Tuned episode a look above, and note that SooToday's video host still doesn't permit external video embedding.

Also today, here's some new concert footage from local goregrind solo project Crucify the Whore, as per the Blood Shed Productions YouTube channel yesterday! A 12 minute video with clips from C.T.W.'s set at the Metal Massacre 2 house party show on May 7th, the video captures some ferocious jamming from Tyler, with a receptive audience, but the video is compromised by being letterboxed when it doesn't have to be (it was already widescreen, why not upload it as such?) Give it a look below!

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

  • After brief turns as Waterfront Legend & The River Cookhouse, the former Docks Riverfront Grill has again changed names & formats to the HD Sports Grill, as per this SooToday article plugging a recent job fair to hire new employees. Imee Yeun still owns the restaurant and former local concert venue, and it's unclear when the Foster Drive location re-opens, but part of the grill will include a golf simulator. Hopefully this theme and name takes for the long term at the former Docks, and we'll let you know if live bands return with it!
  • Local musician Mario Gionet is looking for a singer for his new metal band that he's launched, as per his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from last week. No word on what he's playing in the band (I'm unfamiliar with him), but message Mario at this link or above for more details!
  • In this SooToday article from Donna Hopper last week, downtown concert venue The Machine Shop is spotlighted to reflect on it's recent full launch as a public events site, it's upcoming restaurant, and the hiring of LopLops Lounge owner Stephen Alexander as the venue's events promoter (don't worry, he's still bringing bands to LopLops!) The article also serves to avoid confusion with St. Mary's Paper site locations from their development, as the Mill Square owners sold it in January, and it's not The Yard or The Tech either. Informative article, so get more above, and The Machine Shop's new website is now linked in our venue listings!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and this month's YouTube Channel Profile next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Id Iota - "Maudlin Fair" Review!!

Now's a good time for our 83rd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're looking at local alternative hard rock band Id Iota's debut EP "Maudlin Fair"! Independently released on April 14th at the beginning of their Southern Ontario tour run (with it's local launch coming one week later), "Maudlin Fair" was recorded from 2015-2016 at Unsalted Audio with guitarist Dustin Goodall producing, while the EP's tracks were mastered by Chuck Carvalho of Toronto's Joao Carvalho Mastering. A spiritual follow up of sorts to members' predecessor band Habitat Shuffle's 2014 digital EP "Sober Drift", Id Iota are represented by Dustin alongside singer Christian Lemay and drummer Blair St. John, with Blair handling the bass tracks, as sessions took place between Justin Girardi's departure from and Dan Linklater's addition to their lineup. Copies of "Maudlin Fair" cost $4 on Bandcamp and $5 at The Rad Zone or at Id Iota concerts, and while the songs can be streamed free on Bandcamp, consider buying it to support their work!

Featuring four songs at just 14 minutes in length, this will go by fast, so let's begin with the EP's first song, "California Wasted"!  Sort of taking on a surf rock, soft intro, Christian's vocals have a punk grit to contrast with the music, which gives it a punk anthem sing-along feel. Seeming to lyrically be about trying to make it to and enjoy California despite all of it's perceived faults, the guitar melody is nice on this song, and it's a catchy little number that flows well with the subject matter, but it's short length makes it feel like something was left out. Second is "Permanence In Pencil", seemingly a testimony about a lover's mental state and behaviour, with art and drawing used as a continuing theme. A very laid back song that reminds me a bit of a softer Sublime track, it has more of a bite in it's riffs, and solid drumming, but it does sort of meander at times, and could have more of a defined structure. Well done though from this talented group!

Third on Id Iota's debut EP is "One Cent Vaudeville", which appears to be from the view of a man who needs to drink and is conflicted in his relationship. Complete with sampled carnival music at the opening, this is the heaviest song yet on "Maudlin Fair", taking on more of the grungy alt-rock feel that we saw on Habitat Shuffle's EP. Dustin's guitar work is very solid, and Christian stretches his vocal limits well, but the drums are a little cymbal-heavy, and the song seems to end before a bridge that never comes. The CD closes with "Bitter Tea", which is by far the EP's longest song, running for over six minutes! Another song alluding to relationships and not wanting to accept the truth, the song also has a grungy feel, albeit with a swing-like jam cadence, with the heaviness building up in the second half. With the benefit of the longer runtime, this song actually is the best structured on the EP, and has a nice eerie ending, with all three guys delivering strong to close things, including nice lower-register singing and strong riffs!

So, what are my thoughts on Id Iota's first CD? Overall, it's a quality first effort from this familiar local outfit, and while it shares similarities to prior work, it continues their musical evolution! Transitioning from a laid back punk sound to the grunge throwback that Habitat Shuffle first brought us, Id Iota seemed to double down on relationship themes on this EP, which was excellently produced by Dustin Goodall, and the guys delivered well on each track! Christian Lemay showed good vocal diversity, Dustin's guitar work worked for each song, and Blair St. John's drumming was well maintained, though his bass playing didn't comparatively stand out. I did feel that the early songs were a little short and tended to wander around and not be as structured as they could be, but it built strongly to the heavier latter half, and the continuing lyrical themes seemed like they were inspired from real life. Not a bad first disc at all, so be sure to buy Id Iota's debut A.S.A.P.!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review at the SMS! Now, what's coming next for a review on the site? At this point, I do not know, especially as no new hard rock albums have came out from local bands since "Maudlin Fair", but what might come if there's nothing new to look at? In terms of who won't be next, our June CD review will not be of Haggith's "Apocalypse II" or a SweetKenny album due to our six month buffer to avoid showing a bias in our review selections, but after that, things are very open. We usually tie things in with an upcoming concert for an archive review, which could lead us to a Blood Shed Productions act or a Telephone & Address album, though keep in mind that the former's releases typically feature a lot of explicit, minimalist content, and the latter's albums that we haven't reviewed on here are all out of print. In any event, there will be a CD review of some kind coming in June, so stay tuned for updates on it, and for more news soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Johnny B.'s #Litfam Birthday Sheezy Review!!

It's now time for our review of Saturday night's birthday concert for prolific local metal/punk drummer Johnny Belanger at The Oddfellows Hall, under the curious name "Johnny B.'s #Litfam Birthday Sheezy"! Only a mixed turnout at best, peaking for the last two bands, which may have partially been from the show's branding as a birthday event (maybe people were scared off thinking it was private?) Hot dogs and pop were on sale for the occasion, and everyone even sang "Happy Birthday to You" to Johnny midway through the show, which was a nice moment!

Opening Saturday's show was new local hard rock quartet Heavy Head in their Oddfellows Hall debut, and it's safe to say that they've improved a ton since their VM Radio Battle of the Bands set! The talented quartet seemed more casual and tighter than they did during their early appearances, and seemed to entertain early fans with their set, which seemed to evolve their cover selection away from poppy songs like "Shut Up & Dance" into a better-suited rock set. Actually, punk made up a substantial part of their set, with Blink-182, NOFX, and Sublime getting prime spots alongside a handful of originals (like their closer "Mikey Doesn't Whiskey".) The guys all performed strongly, with Daniel Horton and Jesse Cook having fun interactions, but Mike Gaetano mostly stuck to the mic stand, only rarely bantered with the crowd, and, in what was to recur with later singers, was often inaudible on heavier songs. Heavy Head are definitely turning the corner, and hopefully they keep at it into the summer!

Next up was local modern hard rock quartet Eclipse (also making their Oddfellows debut), and for fans who like their System of a Down renditions, you'll have been quite happy, as the first 7 songs of their 11 song set were S.O.A.D. covers! I often find it hard to critique the same band twice in a short span, as things don't usually have drastic changes in the interim, but this definitely helped! The guys have the instrumentals down well, but I will say that Curtis McKenzie's vocal range doesn't suit certain S.O.A.D. songs with Serj on lead vocals ("Aerials" is a good example.) Closing with originals "Crywolf" & "Silver Bullet" and Led Zeppelin & Billy Talent renditions, Eclipse were in good form with solid energy, with Chris Thompson keeping the beat strongly on drums, and Fred Dunn holding his own on bass! Eclipse delivered a unique set for early fans, and we'll have to see if they repeat it at all in the future!

Third was new local death metal quintet Kaepora Gaebora in their own Oddfellows Hall debut, and they delivered a strong, if work-in-progress set that got some light moshing going on Saturday evening! Playing a short 5 song set (including songs like "Evolution By Force" and one that appeared to be called "ABCDEFG"),  Kaepora Gaebora endured some technical difficulties with their own amps and gear to deliver a strong death metal wallop that called to mind guitarist Dan Souliere's Bring the Fallen past! Original B.T.F. drummer Joey Graham proved to be a capable growler, but with vocals muffled for most of the night's bands, I'd want to hear him again before I really compared or critiqued him. It was also nice to see Kevin Overton back behind a drum kit for a local band, his skilled playing has been missed in recent years! Kaepora Gaebora need to get some more songs under their belts, and some more guitar solos, but they're on their way, and hopefully we hear more soon!

Punk/metal quintet Jack Spades took the stage next in Heavy Head bandmates Johnny Belanger & Jesse Cook's second sets of the night, and they were up to their usual entertaining standards on Friday! Unfortunately, the first half of their set had a very low turnout, but with songs like "Breakneck Speed", "To The Left", and covers of the likes of SNFU and The Ripcordz, fans in the hall definitely took to Jack Spades' melodic punk/metal fusion! J.D. Pearce's vocals were as consistent and fitting as ever (just a shame the vocals were quiet all night), while Jesse & Tiffany Stocco provided strong guitar throughout! Jack Spades are a band that really feeds off the crowd, so they've had stronger sets than this, but the guys delivered well!

Jesse Cook stuck around for the co-headlining set from his reunited extreme metal quartet Winkstinger, who showed clear improvement from their new lineup's debut last month! Playing a similar set mixing familiar originals with covers of the likes of Pantera and Anthrax, Winkstinger avoided the technical difficulties and stage rust of their debut with an entertaining metal onslaught, with the new members showing improved stage presences! Keith Gagnon (complete with Little Mermaid poncho) relied less on lyric sheets this time out, and had a fun chemistry & rapport with Jesse throughout the set, while bassist Andrew MacDonald didn't face the back of the stage as much as he had during their return. It was also fun seeing Johnny, Dan, and Bear Hunters frontman Nik Deubel joining in for vocals on Winkstinger's covers, and if Winkstinger continue on this path, they'll be back at their early 2010s peak before you know it!

And finally, your headliners on Saturday were local death metal favourites The Bear Hunters in their first show of 2015, but their set contained the teased special guest appearance, as rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney did indeed return to the fold for the first time since the "Eternal Hibernation" release show in November 2014! It was great to see Josh retake his rightful spot on stage with the Hunters, and he didn't lose a step in the past year & a half, fitting right in like he'd never moved! Busy in studio lately, The Bear Hunters broke out a set full of brutal originals new and old like "Servitude" and "Neckbreaker", plus fan favourite covers of "Guardians of Asgaard" and, yes, "Squirrel Buddy", though the quiet vocals killed the humour of the latter with Mitch Sirie's vocals virtually inaudible. Everyone was on form, with Nik in ferocious form, and Justin Lam strong on bass, and it was great to see The Bear Hunters' full lineup again! Here's hoping it's not another 18 months!

Overall, this was a very fun concert despite the constant vocal audibility issues, and it looks like Johnny had a great birthday party with lots of local talent, including three of his own bands! You can check out our photos from the show at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for or videos, here's Heavy Head playing their original "5 A.M.", Eclipse covering System of a Down's "Hypnotize", Kaepora Gaebora playing "Death Spins", Jack Spades playing "Crossroads", Winkstinger playing an unclear song (let us know if you can help title it!), and The Bear Hunters playing "I Fear No God"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates this week! Thanks everyone, and Happy Birthday, Johnny!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rotaryfest Stage 2 & AlgomA Updates!!

Before our review of Johnny Belanger's birthday concert goes online (photos are already up & videos are in progress on our Facebook page), we have a new news post for your Sunday, and it's devoted to two extended topics: overdue updates from a local metal band, and big news on a local summer concert event's return and community outreach to ensure it goes on, so here's what you should know!

Rotaryfest's Stage Two (a.k.a. the Second Stage) is scheduled to return for it's 11th installment over the July 14th weekend, but it needs YOUR help! As revealed in this SooToday article from Darren Taylor, the all-original second stage (which will return to the outdoor stage beside the Art Gallery for a second straight year) is seeking assistance from the public to fund this this year's second stage, with Rotaryfest events manager Carolyn O'Connor noting in the article that local businesses are "very stretched at this time" with the city's current economic situation. For reference, Agero sponsored last year's Stage 2: Redirected, with Tenaris serving as the sponsor prior to the stage's 2014 hiatus. Organizers have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to try and raise $10,000 towards any costs associated with holding the Second Stage this year, and as usual for a crowdfunding effort, there will be rewards associated with your donations.

From $5 to $100 donations, you could receive thanks on Rotaryfest's website, a drink coupon, a Stage Two t-shirt, a Rotaryfest survival kit, and/or a coupon book, so keep each in mind! There's no option given for amounts higher or lower than those, but there's a nice range of options and incentives! To go along with the campaign, Rotaryfest representative Nilah Moss posted the video below onto Vimeo on Wednesday, where local post-punk quartet Gnaeus (who headlined last year's Stage 2) talk about why they feel that the Second Stage is important and gives young local musicians key opportunities and exposure in the community, as interspersed with performance clips of the guys playing in studio, with the audio apparently coming from studio tracks. New drummer Alex Proulx noted in the video that Gnaeus will be playing Stage 2 this year, marking our first apparent band confirmation for this year's Second Stage, but we await confirmation on what day(s?) that the stage is being held before we call it here. For reference, last year's Stage Two was on a Saturday only.

Also, Rotaryfest's website confirms that London based Paul McCartney tribute band The McCartney Years will be headlining the covers-focused Stage 1 in Clergue Park on Saturday, July 16th, but the full lineup is not out yet. While I do feel that original bands should get main stage spotlight as well, there is a place for the Second Stage, and I did personally like last year's young alternative/punk-heavy lineup more than I had previously, so we'll have to see how this crowdfunding campaign goes! As of this writing, just $330 has been raised, so if you want to ensure that the Second Stage returns in July, see above for full details, and here's the Gnaeus video!

Next up, here's the latest from local doom metal trio AlgomA, and apologies for the delays in getting all of these on here, it's been a busy stretch on the site! A new review of their split vinyl EP with Saskatchewan's Chronobot was posted online on the online metal periodical Absolute Zero Media on May 9th, as one of eight new reviews that day, where reviewer Clint Listing positively reviewed the split, saying that AlgomA are "equal parts Buzzoven & Voivod", while also praising Chronobot's "gospel of doom". The review looks translated from another language, but it's good press, so give it a look above! A pair of new interviews are also now online, including this interview with the Doomed To Darkness Zine (who previously reviewed the split) on May 9th with singer/bassist Kevin Campbell, where he talks about the band's recent activity, their sound and evolution, lyrical and name inspiration, memorable concerts and tour plans, the split itself, feedback from fans, influences, and future plans.

In terms of new reveals, Kevin noted that they are recording tracks for their upcoming split with Finnish doom metal band Hooded Menace, are preparing for a Southern Ontario tour run next month, and songwriting is underway for their second full length album. This is a solid interview that covers a lot of ground, including with some more insights on their songs' lyrical inspirations, so give it a look above! Finally, we have a new video interview with AlgomA to share on here, courtesy of local punk bassist Mike Gingras, who uploaded it to the Party Island Productions YouTube channel on May 12th. Filmed at the Metal Massacre II house party concert, it features all three band members talking about their influences, June tour run, their formation, the Hooded Menace split, and more, as interspersed with footage from their headlining set. However, the interview is formatted similarly to Shaw TV's, with Mike not shown or heard giving questions.

This interview is fun and covers lots of ground in a short time, and it's nice to hear from all three band members at once, so give their full local video interview a look below, and hopefully Mike does more of these with other local bands, or perhaps shares the full AlgomA footage that he shot!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our review of Johnny Belanger's birthday party concert next! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Ripcordz), Iskra Concert Updates, And New Videos!!

On this Saturday morning, we have a stacked new post to touch on, so what's in store for today? Some archive song finds from 20 years ago, recent concert video footage, and big updates for an upcoming show, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for later this summer!

Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz will return to Sault Ste. Marie for a headlining concert on Saturday, August 13th at The Canadian Nightclub! Talk of an ALL AGES Ripcordz show in the Soo has been teased in recent months, but this is the apparent fruition of the idea, so if you want some all ages punk and metal action with Paul Gott and company, you know where to be this summer! This will be The Ripcordz' first local stop since the release party for their "Fed Up!" split CD with local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades and hardcore punk quintet Destroilet at The Algonquin Pub in October, and in a fitting encore, both local bands will be back to open on August 13th as well! While Jack Spades have been seen often lately, this will be Destroilet's first announced concert appearance since the "Fed Up!" release show. No idea where they've been in the past year & a half, but hopefully Destroilet tear up the stage in this rare Canadian Nightclub appearance later this summer!

Unlike in October, an additional opening band is to be announced, and we'll let you know when they are publically confirmed. This ALL AGES stop on The Ripcordz' Night of the Living Punks tour will have a door opening time of 7:00 PM, as well as $10 advance tickets (availability to be announced), with the door price jumping to $15. This sounds like a great concert for hardcore punk fans, and a nice make-up date if you missed the "Fed Up"! release party, so keep it in mind for in three months time, and visit the official Facebook event page for more info!

Next up, here's some big updates for the Iskra-headlined concert at The Moose Lodge on Thursday, July 14th, starting with it's relocation from The Moose Lodge to The Oddfellows Hall, as per the show's new Facebook event page! A reason for the move wasn't announced, but it followed the surprising deletion of the original event page, leaving some fans worried that the show was cancelled. All is well, it's just downtown now, and it's still ALL AGES! The lineup and start time are unchanged, but the bands' set-times are now confirmed, with the Victoria, B.C. goregrind headliners on at 11:30 PM, local death/thrashers Pillory co-headlining at 10:45 PM, goregrind duo Rotopsy on at 10:00 PM, and in a surprising placement, doom metal trio AlgomA opening the show at 9:15 PM. Given that members are promoting the show with Six, Two, Oh., maybe this is intentional so they can get back to running the event? However, ticket fees have been hiked up from $5 to $8 (again, for unannounced reasons), with the door charge now at $10.

Advance tickets are on sale at The Rad Zone and through AlgomA members, and the tickets will also serve a double purpose, namely as tickets for a planned door prize: AlgomA's split vinyl EP with Chronobot, or if you have it already or don't want it, $20 of AlgomA merchandise. Despite the raise in admission fees, things seem to be shaping up well for July's Iskra show, so visit the above links for full current details, and stay tuned for confirmation on the planned August 2nd Iskra show when/if it's venue is confirmed!

Also, here's an almost full concert video from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din, courtesy of their set opening for Sulfur City at LopLops Lounge last week! Filmed at a stationary camera angle, the video was uploaded to the band's YouTube channel on Monday, and features audio remastered by Pretoria Hill Productions, the upstart independent studio where The Din's debut CD is largely being recorded. The 36 minute set is notably 100% comprised of original compositions (be they from The Din, Mike Haggith's solo material, or the defunct band Haggith), with covers reserved in case there was an encore. In order, The Din played "75" (complete with the lengthy intro labelled as "Leamington, Ontario" from "The Din Does Laundry"), "In Search of the Perfect Moment", the newer "Alleyways & Apartments", "Out Of My League", "Differences", and most of "Analog Palace", and after a brief Star Wars-esque intermission to restart the camera, "Flux" & "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device".

Overall, this video is very solid for fans of Mike and company's original compositions, with solid audio quality, fun banter between songs, and a nice view of the band, though it's a little tight, so Mike sometimes wasn't in view when he left his microphone's area. Fans of The Din will be right at home, so give their full set a look below, click the above song names to go directly to individual songs, and stay tuned for more from their Facebook page soon!

Finally for today, here's a neat find from the local metal scene's past, as YouTube user schwazemoto has uploaded 10 studio-recorded songs by defunct local punk band Gutwrench to their YouTube channel in the past week! Given that their original run ended no later than 2002, and no online pages survive (or ever existed?) for them, I can't verify a whole lot on this band with existing online sources, but their lineup did include future Hangdowns guitarist Jordan Cumming (pictured) and drummer Marc Muto (ex-Lion Ride) alongside guitarist Paul Melanson, who's now a prolific metal usician in the Lethbridge, Alberta area. The Gutwrench songs on YouTube are dated from 1996, and include various paintings as the featured picture (if these were from an album of some kind, the cover isn't included.) The included songs are titled "Stranded", "Pictures Blur", "Phobia", "Part II", "Identity", "Human Nature", "Good Riddance", "D.S.U.F.", "Another Song", and as embedded below, "Dead", so click each link to hear each song!

Gutwrench have an entertaining skate/speed punk sound that hasn't aged badly at all, with good enthusiasm and strong guitar work, and good production to boot, and it'd be interesting to see or find more from Gutwrench at some point! And yes, this is definitely the local Gutwrench, not one of the out of town bands with the same name, Paul and Marc were reminiscing on one of these uploads on Facebook. Give Gutwrench's studio tracks a listen above & below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more updates and reviews shortly! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bear Hunters & Banned Concert Previews, Plus The Local Iron Maiden Comic Book Launch!!

Let's finish off this weekend's concert previews today with two Saturday nighters on each side of the border for you guys to take note of, with the former being extended given what all is going on with it, but we also have a preview of a special event going down tomorrow that, while not a concert, has a unique and very clear metal tie, so here's what you should know!

Prolific local metal/punk drummer Johnny Belanger's highly anticipated birthday concert will go down TOMORROW NIGHT at The Oddfellows Hall, with a stacked lineup of local metal and hard rock bands joining forces for the occasion! At least seven bands will take the stage for "Johnny B's #Litfam Birthday Sheezy" tomorrow, which comes in advance of Johnny's 27th birthday next week, and while 100% final timeslots are not confirmed, the official poster lists most of the scheduled bands, including Johnny's death metal band The Bear Hunters (in their first public concert appearance of the year) and his punk/metal quintet Jack Spades, plus reunited extreme metal quartet Winkstinger, modern hard rockers Eclipse, Johnny's hard/pop rock quartet Heavy Head, and new death metal quintet Kaepora Gaebora (who were confirmed on the Facebook event page earlier this month, but were added after the poster was made.) Notably, the latter three bands will be making their Oddfellows Hall debuts tomorrow, so come early to see them!

Now, Johnny noted two weeks ago on the event page that "a band" will be making a "special guest appearance", and while their identity hasn't been leaked, recent postings there strongly indicate that Bear Hunters rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney is coming up from Brampton for the birthday "sheezy." Might we see the full quintet Bear Hunters lineup for the first time since 2014? Does Josh factor into the guest band in some form, perhaps via a one-off band reunion? I don't know for certain, but be at The Oddfellows Hall TOMORROW to find out! Though the poster lists a 7:00 PM start time for bands, the event page credits 6:00 PM as the start for this show, which will have $5 admission, be ALL AGES, and will also have a barbecue on site for the birthday festivities (though what form and price isn't established that I've seen.) This is shaping up to be a fun concert for local metal and punk fans, with many familiar faces to be seen, and with a guest band that fans will apparently not want to miss, so don't miss out tomorrow night, and here's The Bear Hunters' full lineup live a few years back!

Lastly for this weekend (barring a super-late notice concert announcement), classic/hard rock trio Banned will return to their hometown of Kinross, Michigan for a headlining show TOMORROW NIGHT at The Orioles Club inside of the Kinross Township Hall! The Traynors and Wayne will play their only public show of the weekend tomorrow at 4916 West Curtis Avenue in their first date at this venue since November, and while I can't confirm if there's a special event tied to this concert, it appears to be similar in scope to their debut there. In any event, an early 7:00 PM start time is in effect, and there are no announced age limits or cover charges. Banned's talented and often heavy sets should get a good reception at The Orioles Club tomorrow, so keep Banned's hometown show in mind for your plans, and here's Banned live!

Finally today, remember how Saulite and artist Darren Emond recently signed on to provide the artwork for an upcoming Iron Maiden comic book? Well, the comic book is complete and ready for release, and it will see it's local launch TOMORROW at The Rad Zone! As per their Facebook page, Darren will be on hand at the Wellington Square Mall store tomorrow, with copies on sale for $5, while personal Facebook postings indicate that for $10, he will autograph your copy and also draw a sketch of Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie the Head for you, so keep both options in mind! Proceeds will help get Darren to next month's Niagara Falls Comic-Con to promote his new graphic novel "Giiwedanon" with local author Darin Corbiere. Some of Darren's other works will be on display as well, and he will be at The Rad Zone from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM. A handful of preview shots for the comic are floating around online, with this link confirming that the storyline is a partial biography of Eddie, while also outlining the birth of the Iron Maiden herself.

As a comic book fan who recently enjoyed some Free Comic Book Day events in the Detroit area, I definitely plan on being at The Rad Zone tomorrow to get a copy of the Iron Maiden comic book, and it must be a thrill for Darren to see this released, let alone after working with a legendary metal band! A review would indeed follow on the site too after I get my copy, so keep an eye out for that, and don't miss Darren's comic book launch tomorrow! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood) And The First Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

With the Victoria Day long weekend upon us, let's dive right into previews of this weekend's hard rock concerts! With more shows than we can reasonably fit in a post, we will preview Saturday's Banned show and Johnny Belanger's birthday bash that night tomorrow, plus any late notice confirmations, so look for them then, and now, let's kick off our previews with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood are heading back west for shows at The Esquire Club TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via their official Facebook event page earlier this week. With their full lineup back in tow after their Rednecks Saloon stops last week, Mourning Wood's shows this weekend will be their first at the Second Line West bar in three weeks. The band has indicated that fans should be there early TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY, as The Esquire Club tends to fill up fast, so definitely consider a trip there for some classic & hard rock action! There's no announced cover charges for these 19+ shows, which each have no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and here's Mourning Wood live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, let's first touch on a stacked multi-band concert at The Rednecks Saloon TOMORROW NIGHT, where every band from March's VM Radio Battle of the Bands (sans The Din) will unite for the Victoria Day weekend! Promoted and headlined by local modern hard rock quartet Eclipse in a rare headlining appearance, they'll be joined tomorrow by local indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. (who won the battle), pop punk standouts Stereo North (in their first concert since the battle concluded), and local hard/pop rock quartet Heavy Head, so if you want an encore of the battle, head to the former Nicolet Tavern tomorrow night! Of course, you can also see Eclipse and Heavy Head on Saturday at The Oddfellows Hall too for Johnny Belanger's birthday show, more on that in our next post. PaperClip Productions will be on hand with gear for this show, which has NO COVER CHARGE, a 9:00 PM start time, and a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

As we saw at The Canadian in March, this is a very solid lineup for fans of hard and alternative rock, and while it is a little odd that Eclipse are headlining over K.I.C.K. given the results of the battle, there's a great lineup of music ahead to check out! No word though on if Eclipse's teased plans to expand to a quintet with a new bassist will be finalized in time for this show, however. Check the above links for more info, and here's Eclipse live!

Also this weekend, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's ongoing weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood continues with two more acoustic solo shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY! This prolific and well-versed local musician should be in top form for this weekend's downtown matinees, and if you're familiar with Tym's extensive setlist and talents, you'll know you're in for some good & often heavy tunes if you head to The Quality Inn's house restaurant this weekend! Though this weekend is a two-nighter as recently usual, Tym noted on a comment reply on his personal Facebook page earlier this week that he'll be playing every Thursday at Gliss again "soon" as well. No timeframe or public confirmation of this has been given, but if this holds up, it would mark the return of his weekly triple bookings at Gliss, which were contracted to twice weekly in March for unannounced reasons. If/when more is announced, we'll let you know!

As usual for Tym's unplugged Gliss shows, tomorrow & Saturday's have no announced cover charges or age limits (but remember where this is being held), and each will start at 6:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym Morrison live!

Finally for today, let's head to The New American Pub, where Vancouver post punk quartet Blessed will take the local stage for the first time THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Blessed bring elements of indie and pop punk to their upbeat and high energy sound, and should have a strong set in store for local fans at The New A on Saturday, including via songs from their new EP, so check them out in advance of this stop on their Canadian tour! Local openers will include Brash Gash, the new project from Honest Job's Drew Armstrong, and unless you saw them (and the cool fish mask) at The Gore Street Cafe's Fishbowl Festival, they'll be an unknown commodity, so be there to find out more on Brash Gash! Local acoustic punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address will open the proceedings, and Chris should impress with his prolific unplugged originals!

Promoted by Six, Two, Oh. in another deviation from their metal wheelhouse, this 19+ show has a $5 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:00 PM start time, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details! This should be a fun concert with a lot of intriguing action for punk and alternative fans, so don't miss out on Saturday at The New A, and here's Blessed live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and previews next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gorod/Bookakee Concert Video Showcase!!

As we continue to slowly clear our our backlogged news stories, here's a second post on this Wednesday, so be sure to check out last month's poll results & our newest poll below! This post is otherwise devoted to newly discovered concert videos that were filmed at last month's Gorod/Bookakee concert at The Oddfellows Hall, as filmed by the Montreal Metal Shows YouTube channel! These were only uploaded there on Saturday, hence the obvious delay, but it's better to get them now than never! You may recognize this channel as the one that filmed acts at last year's Benighted/Bookakee concert, so I'd have to deduce that the channel's creator is a member of Bookakee. Unlike last year, they filmed each band at the show, so let's start with the headliners, French progressive death metal quartet Gorod, who were filmed playing their original song "Carved In The Wind".

One of the late-set songs where frontman Julian Deyres' microphone didn't work (he sang anyway without one), this is still a strong video with the filmer getting some nice close angles of the band in action! The venue lighting is a little inconsistent, but if you can get past the microphone failure, it'll live up to Gorod's hype, so give it a look below!

Next up, here's the channel's video of co-headliners Bookakee, specifically the Montreal progressive/theatrical death metal quintet playing their song "Carcass Coffin"! Basically confirming that a Bookakee member is the channel's filmer (as it's at a stationary angle for this video until the very end), this is a later song from their set, after the band shed their masks, and sadly isn't one that includes any of their major theatrical elements. The lighting is such from this angle that only the right half of the video has any form of good lighting, but Bookakee sound brutal here on this lengthy and proficient number, so check it out below!

Moving to the local openers, punk/metal quintet Jack Spades were filmed at the show playing two songs: The shorter "They Live", followed by "Breakneck Speed", so click each link to go to each song directly. This is a solid video, despite generally poor, and Jack Spades are on their usual form on these intense originals, so give them a look below!

We'll close with local death/groove metal duo Them, who were the only band not filmed at last year's Benighted concert via this channel, so this is a nice way to make up for their omission last year! This is of Tyler & Anthony playing their new original "Slaughter House Blues", in a rare concert video of Them from a non-house party event, let alone with vocals, though Tyler's very hard to hear in that regard. The lighting's poor too, but Them have promise in their genre, so give their Oddfellows video a look below!

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

Last Month's Poll Results, And This Month's Newest Poll!!

It's now time to close down last month's poll on the SMS and launch our newest poll, and today also marks the final closure of our "favourite _____ of 2015" polls!  This month, we're posing this question to you guys: "What was your favourite local metal, hard rock, or punk concert of 2015?" Sadly, we only received 12 votes in this culmination of our half-year 2015 polls, but the turnout is actually up from the month prior, so thanks to everyone who did vote, and here are the final tallies!

SNFU & Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on July 24th (5 votes, 42%)
Anvil & Jack Spades at The Rockstar Bar on April 1st  (3 votes, 25%)
Benighted & Bookakee at The Oddfellows Hall on March 7th (2 votes, 17%)
The VM Radio Battle Of The Bands from March 4th-25th (1 vote, 8%)
Project 421 & Haggith at The Rockstar Bar on January 23rd (1 vote, 8%)
Swampstravaganza V at The Canadian on May 9th (0 votes)
Caym & Jack Spades at The Algonquin Pub on May 15th (0 votes)
The Archaics at The New American Pub on June 1st (0 votes)
The Rockstar Bar's Summer Bash on June 26th (0 votes)
 The Golers & Shit Liver at The New A on August 9th (0 votes)
Diemonds at The Rednecks Saloon on August 21st (0 votes)
Fuck The Facts at The Oddfellows Hall on Sept. 20th (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? The vote turnout is disappointing, especially considering that these shows are the only ones to get votes in our half year polls on your favourite concerts of 2015, and the Fuck the Facts is most disappoitning of all given that it won the late 2015 poll that concluded last month. It's all in who votes! In an upset, last July's SNFU-headlined concert at The Rockstar Bar came in first place for the end-year poll, after finishing in second place last month, more than doubling it's vote total from then, so kudos to all bands involved in that well-recieved concert in terms of winning the ultimate poll! The remaining vote-getters were all from early-2015 concerts, with Rockstar Bar shows picking up half of the total votes. Interesting results all around, and with three of the top 4 choices going to J.D. Pearce-promoted concerts, it's a good sign for the popularity and success of his local concerts! Thanks to everyone who voted!

As for this month's poll, let's transition back into some more general topics, starting with one that reflects a recent trend from a few local albums and concerts. The question we are posing this month is: "What is your opinion on local concerts & albums that are offered on "pay what you can/want" models?" This is by no means the norm, but in recent years, the idea of offering albums or concert admission via donation or a fluid, consumer-determined amount has been gaining traction with some artists. The Gore Street Cafe hosts many of their concerts (and even some of their food menus) on a "pay what you can" model, while a handful of other events have followed suit, like the recent Metal Massacre house shows. The idea has persisted longer locally with album releases, as a bunch of local bands have released albums through Bandcamp on "name your price" models, with bands like Jack Spades, Haggith, Downshift, RedD Monkey, and The Northern Tragedy among the roster giving this option, which allows for free downloads if the consumer chooses.

Is the "name your price/pay what you want" model something you support? It has it's pluses and minuses, so we've picked five choices that you can pick from regarding your opinions on this model, so read on below for details!

They're a great option that's accessible to everyone!: Do you wholeheartedly support bands and/or concerts that allow fans to pick their payment amount? Do you find that it allows more fans to attend shows or buy albums, or at least open the door to a wider audience with such options available? If you 100% support shows and albums of this kind, this is your choice!

It depends on the album or show: Maybe you find that a "pay what you can" scenario fits certain bands, promoters, and/or venues more than others, as not all of them are equal or cater to the same clientele. Maybe you'd be more apt to pay a variable amount for one band over another, or if you find that it'll be more beneficial to that venue? If your opinion's as fluid as the concept, vote here!

They should only be for special occasions or deals: Locally speaking, a "name your price" model for albums or shows is a regular occurrence when it comes to local acts on Bandcamp, or the promoters that put on said shows. That said, there may be some of you who find the concept to be best utilized in small doses, perhaps for special events, venue deals and campaigns, or perhaps tied into existing charity events where a donation is expected. If you'd want such shows to be more of a special attraction, pick this option!

I don't like them, they should have a flat fee: On the flip side, there is a reason why most local concerts have a flat admission fee. A "pay what you can" model is unpredictable, as you can't predict how generous and/or stingy customers will be, while a flat admission can be easier to manage, and more reliable for paying bands and covering costs of putting a show on or recording/releasing a CD. Customers may prefer paying a set price, knowing they're supporting the artists' full work, but do you agree with the above?

Indifferent/no opinion: Do you have no real view on the benefits and/or drawbacks of "pay what you want" albums and concerts? Do you just attend shows and buy albums, without regard to the admission fee? When a variable, consumer-set price comes up, do you just pay the general amount for a comparable event and not think about it again? Do you just avert this model of admission or purchasing altogether? If you have no side otherwise on this topic, here's the choice for you!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until June 18th to cast your votes, so do so A.S.A.P., and while the vote turnout is to be established, it'll be interesting to see what most people have to say! See above for more details, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more to come! Thanks everyone!