Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pop Evil Concert Video Showcase!!

To end the month of February, here's our first videos from Sunday night's Pop Evil-headlined concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! There are at least two more to share in the coming days, but for now, what should you check out from this well received show? One video comes from YouTube user Annette Chandler (co-organizer of the local hydrocephalus charity walk Troy's Trail), who filmed the headlining North Muskegon hard rock quintet playing their recent hit song and set-closer "Take It All" on Sunday. Filmed at an angle to the left of the stage, the band sounds solid, and singer Leigh Kakaty has good energy, but the strobe flashing can be distracting. Still, the crowd is amped up to wrap up their set, as you'd expect, and you can see for yourself below!

The rest of today's videos come from prolific local concert filmer Christopher Paci's YouTube channel, and he kept up his awesome work by filming 13 videos on Sunday night, and as far as I can tell, is the only YouTube user so far to post videos of the opening bands! We'll get to them in a second, but first, 10 of the 13 are of Pop Evil, as Chris filmed them playing their songs "Torn To Pieces", "Boss' Daughter", "Divide", "Deal With The Devil", "Monster You Made", "If Only For Now", and "Hero", as well as encore songs "Footsteps" & "Take It All", and as embedded below, their opening song "Trenches". Chris' camera can be jittery at times, but he gets a good zoom on the band in action, and the audio's clearer than some of his Kewadin concerts that he's filmed! These are arguably the best videos from the show that I've seen yet, and for sheer amount, you can't ignore these modern hard rock hits, so check them out above & below, and kudos to Chris again for all of his work!

As for the openers, Chris filmed two videos of Los Angeles hard rock quartet Badflower, including their songs "White Noise" and, as embedded below, "Animal". Not a bad band, an I like the bluesy, classic rock spin that they put on their music without abandoning a modern style, while the camera work is slightly steadier overall. Give Chris' Badlower clips as well!

Finally for today, Chris filmed Detroit modern rockers Kaleido playing their song "Unbreakable", which was seemingly their set opener. Good energy on this performance, which has an upbeat but still edgy sound, and isn't as poppy as some of their other originals, and hopefully they left a good impression on relatively late notice! Give Kaleido a deserved look below, and hopefully more videos turn up of the openers!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more Pop Evil videos, news, concert previews, and more next month! Thanks everyone

Monday, February 27, 2017

YouTube Channel Profile Series: aishaday, Devon Lucier, and 98Watts' Channels

After rushing last night's post due to my flub on the Pop Evil date (apologies again, look for videos from it soon!), here's this month's delayed YouTube Channel Profiles! As the first randomly selected channel this month only had one video, and the second only had one distinct file type sans duplicates, we're going all out to profile three channels today, in order for readers to find out what each has to offer and what to watch on them, and perhaps think about subscribing too! There's a nice varied mix from Sault Ontario today, so read on below for this month's YouTube profiles!
aishaday's Channel (http://www.youtube.com/aishaday)

Owner: Former local concert promoter and Murder By Romance singer Aisha Day

Channel Timeline: Launched on July 29th, 2006; Only video posted that same day

Channel Summary: Aisha's only video posting is of her brother Jayson Day's old band Devastation of the Heavens (or D.O.T.H.) covering Slayer's "Raining Blood" in a mid-2006 jam session, back when the guys were around 16 years old. Also featuring future Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent (then Ladouceur) and current Theriac drummer Joe Bumbacco alongside Jayson on bass and lead vocals, this may be the only surviving video of D.O.T.H.'s early lineups, with only Mike remaining in the band the following year. This cover admittedly doesn't have a great reception from YouTube commenters, with the performance itself being fairly messy and rushed, but remember that the guys were 11 years younger and less experienced. Joe's work with RedD Monkey and Mike's recent solo material definitely showcase their musical growth since, but this is an interesting look back!

Devon Lucier (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPG3jM3COCsENznSkWh_eXA)

Owner: Former Crimson Crusade frontman, Dirty Few guitarist, and Pillory bassist Devon Lucier

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 17th, 2013; Videos posted in May & June of 2013

Channel Summary: A rising sight in the local metal scene of the early 2010s, Devon's only postings on his YouTube channel comprise of two separate uploads of his old death metal band Crimson Crusade's only EP "Upon The Eve of War", which came out in June 2013, just five months prior to their final concert. Featuring Devon alongside ex-Pillory bandmate Robert Sartini on guitar, Riley Marshall on bass, and Inhuman Methods alum Robert Crossley on drums, this independently-released EP was uploaded beforehand in May 2013 as 5 separate songs ("Vanquish the Tyrant", "Pillage", their self-titled song, "Left For Dead", and "Consumed"), but featured here is the post-release video featuring all 5 songs. "Upon the Eve of War" could have shown more structural variance, tempo changes, and guitar solos, but it was a solid blast of Death-inspired originals that shows why they were so promising, and hopefully Crimson Crusade re-emerge down the road!

98Watts' Channel (http://www.youtube.com/98watts)

Owner: YouTube user 98Watts, an unidentified former member of the Chateauguay, Quebec hard rock band Axis

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 2nd, 2006; Videos posted that same day and on October 1st, 2006

Channel Summary: Joining a later live video of Axis playing an original song at a high school event (which isn't bad, but has muddled audio quality), 98Watts' only other upload is of the music video for local/Toronto indie punk veterans Treble Charger's Juno nominated song "American Psycho", which has attracted over 1.2 million views to date, a record for that song on YouTube. The lead single from their platinum selling 2000 CD "Wide Awake Bored', and arguably Treble Charger's most famous song, this features longtime frontman Greig Nori & guitarist Bill Priddle alongside then-bassist Rosie Martin & drummer Trevor McGregor. The video (copied from MuchMusic) features the guys playing on a rooftop, as intercut with footage of crimes, arrests, and seemingly candid everyday happenings, which the band later invades by slapping "American Psycho" stickers on everything, fittingly matching the lyrical themes. This is a fun video that helped introduce fans to Treble Charger's transition to a pop punk sound, and it's well worth checking out, along with the whole album!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, our random selections will take us to Sault Michigan, namely YouTube user MissOutdoors' channel, as she has uploaded 29 videos(!) of Alice Cooper live at The Dreammaker's Theater back in 2014! Look for that on or around March 26th, and stay tuned for more news soon! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pop Evil Concert Preview, Plus Din & Project 421 Updates!!

Well, this post should have been up way before now, but I had a massive blonde moment. In recent days, you may have seen me reference TONIGHT'S Pop Evil concert as taking place on Tuesday, and that's just absent-minded on my part. I got this show mixed up with May's Alter Bridge show at the Soo Kewadin from the same promoters, as that show is on Tuesday. Huge apologies for the mix-up (and thanks to Chris Paci for alerting me to my error), so here's our delayed (though not late) preview of TONIGHT'S huge Sault Michigan concert, plus some big updates from two Sault Ontario bands!

The long anticipated return of North Muskegon, Michigan hard rock quintet Pop Evil will go down TONIGHT at The Dreammaler's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Apologies again for the lateness of this preview, there's no excuses for the day mix-up. Making their (at least) fourth local concert appearance, and first since August 2013's Jessica Jorgensen benefit show, this hard hitting band has became a staple of rock radio in the past few years, charting #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock charts four times since with hits like "Trenches" & "Deal With The Devil". This should be Pop Evil's biggest show yet in the Soo, so don't miss out tonight if you're still able to get tickets! Note that this will also be Pop Evil's first local gig with new drummer Hayley Cramer since replacing Joshua Marunde last year. Openers will include Los Angeles hard rock quartet Badflower, whose old school-flavoured originals should fit right in tonight, while female-fronted Detroit hard rock quintet Kaleido (replacing Ohio rockers Red Sun Rising) will kick the night off.

Kaleido's high energy, pop-infused modern rock will set the tone well to start this show, so don't miss out on them either! Promoted by Allstar Promotions (in their first concert since 2015), there are still a couple dozen tickets available in the outside sections, plus standing room only seating, so you can get hooked up on short notice at this link, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or at the in-person box office, and yes, tickets are still a great deal at just $23.50. This should be a huge show once again, especially given Pop Evil's fast rise in the mid-2010s, so don't miss out TONIGHT, apologies again for the lateness of our preview, stay tuned for fallout, and here's Pop Evil live in the Soo in 2013!

Next up, here's the latest from Sault Ontario classic metal band Project 421, as guitarist Blair Burch posted their first update since the departure of Curtis McKenzie onto their Facebook page on Wednesday. In the post, he notes that Curt's departure last fall "was building for months prior", though he still doesn't know everything that happened that night, and doesn't want to sort out the full details at this point, Afterwards, the band took the holidays off, started slowly getting back into place last month, and resumed full jams this month. For now, Blair will resume lead vocal duties with Project 421 (as he previously did upon their debut and after Curt's first departure), but the band does hope to find a new full-time lead singer. Musically, Project 421 are planning to drop glam and hair metal material and replace that with thrash and speed metal, in an effort to bring back "the attitude" and give Blair songs he can sing more effectively, while some older originals may be reworked to that end.

As for as return to the stage, a date isn't set yet, but Blair assures us "that we aren't going anywhere", and will be back with a fresh feel "before too much longer". It's great to see that Project 421 are pushing onward, especially after the ugly reports that followed their intended last show in November and the related dissolution of sister band Eclipse, and hopefully Project 421 can return in full force later this year, as they've been missed over the winter! Read Blair's full statement at the above links!

Finally for today, here's the latest from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din, starting with opener clarification for their Gore Street Cafe/Fishbowl Festival concert on March 10th (one week from Friday), as Stereo North frontman Andrew Pucci has been confirmed to kick off this show! Our source is the official Facebook event page in recent days. Though the wait continues for Stereo North's return from hiatus, Andrew is a solid choice to open, and he's developing more & more of a profile for his acoustic solo music, so don't be late on the 10th! Note that Mike Mikus and Jackson Reed were once advertised to open, but they either had to cancel, or moved their Fishbowl Festival involvement to this weekend's garage show. Also, The Din have entered this year's CBC Music Searchlight competition to find the best up & coming Canadian musicians, and if you recall how well Northwest did in Searchlight, then the sky's the limit for them!

You can vote for them at this link, and their chosen song to stream there is "Alleyways & Apartments". The Din are one of 24 Northern Ontario entries this year, and as far as I can tell, the only other local band competing is folk rock outfit Tea With Lincoln, who have since relocated to Southern Ontario, but are competing in their home district for Searchlight, so consider shooting them a vote also! First round voting actually ends tomorrow afternoon, so good luck to both bands in making the regional finals! Lastly, in continuing with their teased abundance of videos from last month's headlining gig at LopLops Lounge, two more videos from that show have been posted their YouTube channel in the past week! These feature Mike, Tammy, and Brandan playing their originals "Alleyways & Apartments", and as embedded below, "Up In The Air".

The quality here is no different from their prior videos from this show, given that these are from the same camera, but the capture The Din in solid form from this recent concert, so give them and more a look above & below, and cast your Searchlight votes before it's too late!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our YouTube Channel Profiles next, and apologies again for the Pop Evil preview delay! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Highway 63), Bay Mills Bands Together II Preview, And Much More!!

Let's tackle a large amount of Sault Michigan updates today (with one tiny Sault Ontario story to boot), and before anyone asks, we'll be covering Tuesday's Pop Evil show in our next news post, in order to give it proper emphasis closer to showtime, so don't worry, it's still coming! Below, you'll find some assorted notes, a new live concert video, a preview of an anticipated charity concert, and first, a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT & related apology, so here's what you should know!

Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 will return to Dondee Lanes TONIGHT, after previously playing there last night! Profuse apologies for the short notice (and for missing last night's concert) we only first learned of these shows overnight via their Facebook page, though the band only just plugged them at 5:51 PM yesterday, leaving no time to rush a post here even if I'd heard as soon as announced. This weekend's Dondee gigs are the first public evidence of Highway 63's teased "travelling" this year away from The Rapids Lounge, and while the South Mackinac Trail bowling alley may be seen as unusual ground for the Monkey's Uncle successors, Highway 63 have played the Dondee before, rocking out there in October 2014 early in their run. It's great to see the Switzers, Chris, and Ron spreading their wings to some different venues, though who knows if they'll travel to more regional venues or go outside of the E.U.P.? In the meantime, don't miss Highway 63 at the Dondee TONIGHT!

TONIGHT'S show (and yesterday's) has an oddly early start time of 8:00 PM, you must be 21 to attend, and there is no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the above links, and for a preview, here's a new live video of Highway 63 in concert! Filmed by attendee Bobbiejo MacArthur and shared to the band's Facebook page last week, this comes from the band's Rapids Lounge weekend at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino last week, reportedly their last there "for a while". The video features the guys covering Theory of a Deadman's "Lowlife", and while the video runs for an incomplete 63 seconds, and is filmed from a distant sharp angle of the stage, the audio is solid, and Henry Switzer's vocals are in fine form on this recent rock radio hit! Hopefully the guys aren't gone from the Soo Kewadin for too long, but give this new live video a look below, don't miss them TONIGHT at the Dondee, and apologies again for missing last night's concert, we'd have plugged it here had the band announced it well beforehand!

Next up, here's a preview of a show that was previously announced, as the second Bay Mills Bands Together fundraiser concert goes down at Pickles Bar & Grill in Brimley TOMORROW NIGHT! Following in the lead of their Marissa Kronemeyer benefit concert 9 months ago at the same venue, this is the second gig for the non-profit group, this time coming together to raise funds to cover medical expenses for Liz & Christian Perron, who lost their son Wesley recently after a hard fought medical battle (click here for more on their story.) Tomorrow's performers are all donating their time to help the Perrons, and they include headlining cover quartet The Whole Shabang at 12:00 AM, masked metal band Stoned Ape Evolution at 11:00 PM in their first show of the year, hard/blues rock quartet Project 906 at 9:30 PM, cover rock trio Absolute Magnitude (with Chump Change & London Gentlemen alumni) at 8:00 PM, country rock cover veterans The Brooks Band at 6:30 PM, and solo musician Ken Jahnke opening at 6:00 PM.

Note that a teased set by a mystery band named The Lost Dogs has been cancelled for unannounced reasons, though rather than remove them from the updated poster, it actually notes that they cancelled (why draw attention to it like that?) In any event, hopefully nothing bad happened! Bay Mills Bands Together II has a $5 minimum cover charge, while there will be 50/50 and door prize draws as well, and extra donations will be accepted. This sounds like another great event for a great cause, and with a varied lineup like this, hopefully there's a great turnout at Pickles tomorrow night to help the Perron family at this difficult time! Check the above links for more details, and here's Stoned Ape Evolution live last year!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last while, including one from Sault Ontario, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or program name:

  • Allstar Promotions owner Dave Atkinson was quoted in this new Sault Evening News article hyping tomorrow's Pop Evil concert at The Dreammaker's Theater, where he noted Pop Evil's growth since they last played Sault Michigan in 2013, and noted openers Badflower's rising chart success. The rest covers already-trodden ground to hype this huge concert, but the article does allude to Allstar Promotions' quiet 2016, albeit without going into details on why they didn't book anything last year. Nice promotion from the local newspaper, so check everything out above, and stay tuned for our preview!
  • Project 421 bassist Daniel Horton is looking for a bassist as soon as possible for an apparent new band of his (I presume he's on guitar for this project.) The band plays originals as well as covers, and jam every Wednesday evening. This may be the same band he referenced wanting to start in December that would play "well structured & tasteful" hard/pop rock with an intent of 5 or less shows a year, but I can't confirm that. In any event, message Daniel at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Wednesday if you want to try out!
  • We can now confirm that Scarkazm, not Peril, are the Traverse City metal band playing at The Northern Pines Lounge at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace on March 10th & 11th, as per this updated concert calendar! This confirms that Kewadin Casino's entertainment page was right all along regarding which of Jeff Hudson & Adam Crawford's bands was playing that weekend (spelling mistake regardless), so either their prior concert calendar saw a band mix-up, or Peril's drummer can't make the March gigs. It'll be a great weekend regardless, so don't miss Scarkazm back in St. Ignace in two weeks!

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

AlgomA/Hooded Menace Split Vinyl Single Review!!

Now's a good time to tackle our 92nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at the new 12'' split vinyl single from local doom metal trio AlgomA and Joensuu, Finland doom metal quintet Hooded Menace! I guess the official title is "Hooded Menace/AlgomA". Released online on January 28th via Hooded Menace's label Doomentia Records, and with artwork by Paolo Girardi, this is the third total release and second vinyl split from AlgomA, and the seventh split (first since 2014) and fifteenth total release for Hooded Menace. AlgomA's song was recorded locally at Six, Two, Oh. & mixed by Mark Rand at Bandage A/V in Peterborough, while Hooded Menace primarily recorded & mixed theirs at Horrishound Studios, and both songs were mastered at Transistor Studios in Finland by Mikko Saastamoinen. The AlgomA lineup here once again includes singer/bassist Kevin Campbell, guitarist Boyd Rendell, and drummer Jamie Vincent.

Hooded Menace are represented here by new singer Harri Kuokkanen, guitarists Lasse Pyykko and Teemu Hannonen, bassist Markus Makkonen, and drummer Pekka Koskelo. With the limited printing of orange vinyl discs now come & gone, your primary option for physical copies is Doomentia Records' website, where you can buy them for between $18 & $20 depending on currency exchange rates. AlgomA have yet to announce local in-person availability for the split, but you can stream both bands' songs via their Bandcamp pages linked here & here, though only AlgomA is charging for a download of their track there. Consider buying the split to support their work!

Unlike the 5 song AlgomA/Chronobot split from last year, this split is a single rather than an EP, and only has two songs (one a band), though this is par for the course for a Hooded Menace split, and each song runs for over 7 minutes. We'll start with the Soo's own AlgomA, whose featured song on the B-side is "Failed Stunt Fatality", which has a nice chugging riff to start and fiercely barked vocals from Kevin, and while the song is very doomy, it's reasonably paced and not as slow as some of their earlier originals. If anything, Kevin's singing seems a little hoarser, but it suits the material, and Boyd has some crushing parts even if he has no lead singing here, while Jamie's drumming is a reliable compliment, especially with the beat 5 minutes in! The song does feel a little over-long, but it never meanders, and it delivers more suitably brutal sludge metal action for AlgomA fans that would fit right in on prior releases!

Note that sampled audio at the end of "Failed Stunt Fatality" is of late sports broadcaster Frank Gifford calling Evel Knievel's failed jump over 13 buses in London in 1975 on ABC's Wide World of Sports, though unlike the title, Evel did survive the stunt. Lastly, we'll look at Hooded Menace's A-side contribution to the split, namely their song "Celestial Dissection", which in spirit, reminds me of later Celtic Frost merged with doom metal, even adding an orchestral flourish, and it works out well for them! Compared to guitarist Lasse Pyykko's prior work as the band's lead singer, Harri Kuokkanen has a clearer and more distinct growl from what I've heard, and he fits the material very well for his first outing! Lasse & Teemu deliver solid and brutal riffs, and Markus and Pekka handle the rhythm section with suitable efficiency and a consistent rhythm. I wasn't overly familiar with Hooded Menace going into this review aside from AlgomA plugs, but I think I'll have to get more acquainted with them in short order!

So, what are my final thoughts on Hooded Menace & AlgomA's split single? Well, for what this is, it's a quality release for doom metal fans, but I have reservations given it's release format. The two bands are a solid match, not just because of members' prior friendship before AlgomA launched, with each bringing their own doom-laden attack to the table, with sludge and death equally represented by each band! That said, for those who want physical copies, this won't be the most accessible type of release for many fans, especially with vinyl-only splits still being a rare thing locally for bands other than AlgomA. The lack of CD pressings or local in-person availability (yet), and the relatively high price point ($20 for 2 songs) will likely put off some potential customers, though you can stream the material online in the interim, and if you have the AlgomA/Chronobot split or any of Hooded Menace's, you'll know what to expect from this one anyway.

While I do enjoy the split, and while it has heavily encouraged me to check out more of Hooded Menace's music, I only recommend it to vinyl collectors and/or diehard fans of the two bands, but if you're either, order this split single online at the above links! I hope you guys liked this month's album review, but what's coming next in March? I'm not 100% certain as of this writing, but here's what we do know. Due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer, we are not reviewing anything by SweetKenny or Telephone & Address next, as both saw a CD review on the SMS in the past half year. Our next "Where Are the New Albums?" post on March 2nd will have insight on bands with upcoming albums that could be featured next, and while nothing is finite, remember that The Apocalypse Afterparty and Skeyes of Seven have both posted their entire debut EPs online for free streaming, so are they going on sale soon?

If nothing new comes out, we'll dip into the archives to review something tied in with a March concert, and heavy possibilities in that case would be A Fall From Innocence's self-titled EP (as frontman Larry Babic is playing live next month with A Dire Setback) and The Din's 2016 live album "The Din Does Laundry". Stay tuned in any event for updates on our next CD review, and stay tuned for more concert previews and updates in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Band Camp Rejects) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

We have another busy weekend of concerts ahead at the SMS, so here's what you should know regarding this weekend's concert previews. Due to the amount of shows covered here, and their scheduling distance from these, we're covering Sunday's Bay Mills Bands Together and Tuesday's Pop Evil shows in an upcoming news post, coming either Saturday night or Sunday morning, though the former could be expedited if a late notice confirmation hits the newsdesk. In any event, this is a busy weekend, so let's begin our weekend concert previews with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local hard/alternative rock cover quartet The Band Camp Rejects will return to the stage THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Apologies for the short notice, the show was only announced via it's Facebook event page earlier this week. After a month and half away from the local stage, this online page-less unit will be making just their second appearance at The Algonquin Hotel's upstairs bar, last having played there in November. This union of Suicide Kings, Issues, Havadder, and Under the Influence alumni should be in fine form for another weekend of hard rocking covers, so don't miss out on SATURDAY! Also, bassist Ryan Bell noted on the event page that singer Elly McWatters will be making a guest appearance during the show, and while I'm unfamiliar with her, this should be interesting, so keep watch to see how she does! Note as well that this is a one nighter due to tomorrow's previously announced Bone Yard concert.

As usual for Rockstar Bar concerts from local covers-centric bands, SATURDAY's show has no announced cover charge, a 10:00 PM start time, and a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the above links, and here's The Band Camp Rejects live!

Next up, we'll move to previously announced concerts with the latest acoustic solo gigs from Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison, who will return to Gliss Steak & Seafood as usual TOMORROW & SATURDAY! Wrapping up another month of his long-term arrangement at The Quality Inn's restaurant, Tym's unplugged hard rock covers should again find a good audience over these two nights, so don't miss out on the acoustic solo action this weekend, and we'll confirm his March gigs once announced on Facebook! Note that Tym's personal Facebook page indicated that he has five shows at the end of this month, but as of this writing, the two Gliss shows are it for public announcements, so the other three are either private or don't have an event page yet. Tym's Gliss weekend gigs have 6:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and no advertised age limit, but remember that this is a sit-down restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next, we'll head to the Eastern Upper Peninsula, starting with the latest shows from Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E, who will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Soo's Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! After kicking off 2017 last month at the St. Ignace Kewadin, this will be the former Hubbard-Menard Band's first Sault Ste. Marie weekend of the year, last playing at The Rapids Lounge in September. This should be another solid pair of gigs for Dave, Chris, Mitch, and Tony, so if you've missed them in Sault Michigan in the past 5 months, keep tomorrow and/or Saturday's shows in mind! As usual for 415E's Kewadin gigs, expect these to be shows with no cover charges, 21+ age limits, and 9:00 PM start times. Check the above links for more details, and here they are live!

Finally, I wanted to acknowledge not one, but two house party concerts taking place this weekend that are publically advertised, but do not have a public address, so prospective attendees must request it from promoters or performers. One is the previously announced Fishbowl Festival-linked "garage show" which has been moved for unannounced reasons from March 4th to this Saturday.  Despite no longer conflicting with any festival events at The Gore Street Cafe, this remains a garage show at a residence requiring an RSVP, but there's a talented lineup on hand, including local alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota, ex-Pixo Control frontman Mike Mikus, and folk musician/promoter Jackson Reed. Suggested admission is in the $10-$15 range, this is all ages, and doors open at 7:00 PM. The other address-concealed event this weekend sees local death metal duo Them and new local pop rock trio The Noochy Lanterns (featuring Apocalypse Afterparty "songwriters") and unspecified "surprise guests" rocking out tomorrow night, so what should you know on that?

Though being held at a venue that requires requesting the address, this is the debut show at Mellow D's Underground, which is described as "a licensed and dimly lit wormhole to a dimension of rock & roll, cheap drinks, and few rules." Most of 80 planned tickets have already been sold for $5 (less in certain cases), but if you're up for a unique venue with a new local band and some minimalist metal, message the above links for details, and be there at 8:00 PM tomorrow! That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Pop Evil & Red Sun Rising previews and more soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Alter Bridge), Recent Concert Videos, And More!!

After a Family Day break, we are back with a new news post on the site on this Tuesday morning, so what's on tap? Some assorted recent news and notes, and videos from a recent Sault Ontario event, but first, here's a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the spring that was just announced this morning!

The teased new Sault Michigan concert from Allstar Promotions is now official, as Orlando hard rock quartet Alter Bridge and Swedish death metal veterans In Flames will make their local concert debuts on Tuesday, May 16th at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault's Kewadin Casino! As first announced on Scott & Brian in the Morning on Rock 101 earlier today, this show will see Alter Bridge rock the Soo with their hit singles like "Isolation", "Ghost of Days Gone By", and "Open Your Eyes", and they should deliver a solid night of high impact originals  during this tour date in support of their new CD "The Last Hero"! Note that Alter Bridge feature 3 members of Creed, but they don't play any of that band's songs live. As for In Flames, metalheads will recognize them from fan favourite songs like "Only For The Weak", "Take This Life", and "Cloud Connected", and while their newer alt-metal albums have polarized many fans, they have a lot of classic songs, and it's a very pleasant surprise to see them in our area, let alone at a high profile venue like this!

Tickets go on sale this coming Friday for $38.50, and you can buy them at this link, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or at the in-person box office, and the show itself will begin at 7:00 PM on May 16th, with no age limit advertised. As well, Allstar Promotions' Facebook page notes that if you share the post with the event poster, you could be entered for a chance to attend a meet & greet with Alter Bridge (maybe both bands?), so keep that in mind also. This should be a massive show at the local Kewadin Casino, and will hopefully continue Allstar Promotions' momentum following Pop Evil this weekend, so check the above links for full current details!

Next up, we have some brand new concert videos to share from a recent Sault Ontario event, courtesy of Christopher Paci's YouTube channel once again! Chris has been busy lately in his ongoing solid work filming local concerts, posting a bunch from the Brad Paisley and Brett Kissell shows that country fans will want to check out, but the ones here come from the Gianni Gagoots-headlined concert at LopLops Lounge from this past weekend! It doesn't appear that Chris filmed the debuting Handsome Sandwich, but he got videos of the other two bands, so what can we observe? Two are of the headlining funk/alternative quintet, including this short clip of the band leading fans in a chant of their name (odd as it is, fans are getting behind it!), while embedded below is 9 minutes of their extended improv jamming. The video quality is a little shaky, and fans' heads can get in the way, but it's another fun look at this promising new band's unique stage show, so give these videos a look below & above!

Chris also filmed a song by new local alternative hard rock quartet Bizotic at this show, just their second live appearance total, and it is a different song than the one Bizotic themselves included in their first video, but the title isn't given. Chris has a closer look at the band in action here, and Louise Lamothe's trumpet is better accentuated here than on "Subway Delay", but the angle leaves Kevin Overton completely obscured. Solid song overall, and a little more varied and upbeat while retaining some grit, so give it a look below!

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

  • Local doom metal trio AlgomA & Finnish death metal band Hooded Menace have finally posted their full songs on their new split vinyl single onto their respective Bandcamp pages, linked here & here! This is welcome to see for fans waiting for local in-person availability, or don't have a record player, while it also means that the split will absolutely get this month's CD review at the SMS! Look for that in the coming week, and stream both songs above!
  • General admission tickets for the Quiet Riot-headlined concert at The Machine Shop on March 30th are now available for $45 at this link! VIP tickets are $60, and the sale page notes that having such a ticket will mean you get a line bypass and balcony overview, so keep both in mind. Act quick to get your tickets to this anticipated concert before they're gone, and if you would rather buy in person, get down to Mill Square A.S.A.P.!
  • As per personal Facebook photos in recent days, Havadder frontman Jason Roy made a guest appearance of some type with bandmate Scott McLurg's fellow classic/hard rock cover band The 3 Day Millionaires at The Rockstar Bar this past Friday! I have no idea where Jason (and Havadder) have been since their most recent gig in July, but hopefully this is a sign that we'll see this veteran trio back out there at some point soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (A Dire Setback & Telephone And Address), Concert Previews, And More!!

Before we begin this post, I wanted to note that local classic rock quartet RPM are playing at this year's Passport To Unity multicultural festival tomorrow at The Machine Shop! Though not a full hard/metal band, drummer Ben Pascuzzi asked if I could mention it here, especially as they don't have any online pages, so if you're at this year's Passport To Unity, look for RPM's fan favourite covers tomorrow afternoon! Unfortunately, a full performer lineup hasn't been announced publically. Now, today's post features LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (one on SHORT NOTICE), plus a unique concert preview and a new live video, so here's what you should know!

Local acoustic post-punk solo project Telephone & Address will return to The Gore Street Cafe TONIGHT to open for Mayhemingways frontman Benj Rowland! Apologies for the extremely short notice, the show was only just announced via it's Facebook event page on Friday, with the venue confirming that this was a last-minute booking. Taking place just one day prior to the official kick-off of this year's Fishbowl Festival (click here for full details on that event), this will mark Telephone & Address' first local concert appearance of the year, last seen launching their new CD at the laundromat when the Chris Shoust-led solo project opened for Iansucks in October. It's great to see Chris back out there with a new unplugged night of punk originals, so don't miss him TONIGHT! As for Benj Rowland, folk and indie music fans will remember him from playing with the Peterborough-based Mayhemingways four times locally since 2014, most recently at the Gore Street Cafe's Fortnight Festival last summer.

Benj should be a nice fit at the laundromat once again, so if you're a folk fan, don't miss him TONIGHT either! This all ages concert takes place TONIGHT at 7:00 PM, and while a $7 admission fee is suggested, this is technically a "pay what you can" event, and is not visibly included with any ticket package deals for official Fishbowl Festival events. This should be a quality night of reserved folk and punk solo music, so check the above links for full details, and here's Telephone & Address live!

Next up, here's a newly announced concert with advance notice, as newer local promoters Live705 are hosting their third concert on Saturday, March 11th at The Canadian Nightclub! Entitled "March Mash-Up" presumably to reference the genre disparity of the night's lineup, promoters have enlisted six acts, so who all is scheduled to play in three weeks? In listed order, the lineup includes Live705's flagship alt-punk quartet A Dire Setback, alternative hard rock trio The Din, and the 2017 debut of young online page-less classic rock trio Electric Church, while three newcomers to Live705 shows will round things out, including death metal trio Pillory in their first show of the year, newer alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic (more on them in a bit), and DJ Seith spinning some vinyl mixes, though it's not yet clear if he'll get his own set block, or if he'll play a bit between the other bands. Solid lineup with a little something for everyone, including some extreme metal, which I think is a first for Live705!

This is a 19+ concert with doors opening at 8:00 PM and a $10 door charge, but rather than selling advance tickets, Live705 are experimenting with vouchers for $2 off admission, which you can obtain from band members upon request. I don't know if that idea will take hold, as it sort of introduces an extra step when you could just buy an $8 advance ticket and leave it at that, but we'll see how it goes! This is shaping up to be a fun concert with a nice and diverse but largely heavier/punk base, so visit the official Facebook event page for full details, and stay tuned for updates!

Also today, here's a special concert preview for a show THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, as promoters Six, Two, Oh. are merging the worlds of punk and rap at The New American Pub! The rap half of the show will sandwich the punk half, with the latter bands including the local debut of Toronto punk trio Pseudo, whose energetic hybrid sound should prove to be a well received attraction at The New A on Tuesday! The aforementioned A Dire Setback will play beforehand, and should continue to be riding high following their January Jam set last month, so if you want a preview of next month's March Mash-Up, you know where to be this week! The rappers on Tuesday will include headlining Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface, whose industrial and dark material should appeal to many fans, while local rap standout Mikey Thomas will open the show with his own skilled rhymes. An intriguing blend of styles to be sure, so keep this in mind for Tuesday!

This concert has a $5 cover charge, 9:00 PM start time, and 19+ age limit, so visit the official Facebook event page for full details on everything on Tuesday night, and here's A Dire Setback live last fall!

Finally for today, here's the first public video of the aforementioned Bizotic live in concert, as posted to their Facebook page on Thursday! This comes from their debut set on December 30th at Six, Two, Oh.'s holiday funk show at The New A, and it's of an original song named "Subway Delay". Filmed on multiple cameras, the song itself reminds me of a 1990s alternative song, which is certainly not a bad thing, and it has a bit of an edge to it, especially from Brad Griffith's hard-worn lead vocals, and he has some solid guitar solos too! I will say that Louise Lamothe's trumpet playing is really buried on this video, but I'd need a better look at Bizotic to know if it's the song's fault or if she needs to be louder in the mix. Musically, Bizotic aren't as aggressive as Brad's other band Infinity Grinder are (were?), but they have a fuller alternative sound that definitely fits our coverage, and that plasma circle item is a nice addition to their stage setup! Give "Subway Delay" a look below, and don't miss Bizotic in their Canadian Nightclub debut on March 11th!

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!

For the first time in many months, we have some poll results for you guys, and I'm pleased to say that we had our best voter turnout in a long, long time! A very healthy & promising 37 votes came in for this question: What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2016? Thanks to everyone for voting and making the return of our polls a success with numbers that I can realistically work with, so here are the final results!

A Dire Setback (13 votes, 35%)
Stegadeth (8 votes, 21%)
Gianni Gagoots (4 votes, 11%)
The 3 Day Millionaires (4 votes, 11%)
The Band Camp Rejects (3 votes, 8%)
Project 906 (2 votes, 5%)
Soundcheck (1 vote, 3%)
The Karstens (1 vote, 3%)
Heavy Head (1 vote, 3%)
Bizotic (0 votes)
Electric Church (0 votes)
Twistory (0 votes)
Other (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm not overly shocked with the bands with no votes, as Bizotic only debuted at the end of the year, and the other two bands are only sporadically seen and don't have online pages, but hopefully 2017 proves to be busier! On the other hand, it's encouraging to see two other online page-less bands (The Karstens & Soundcheck) get a vote each, same for Heavy Head, who aren't frequently seen on stage themselves. Project 906's pair of votes is nice to see too, especially given that their Sault Michigan residence can be a handicap against Sault Ontario acts. Cover hard rock bands had a good showing, which is encouraging for both The 3 Day Millionaires & Band Camp Rejects, while Gianni Gagoots' promising funk jams helped carry them to a share of the 3rd place slot, and deservingly so, as fans will attest! As for the runners up, Stegadeth had a solid half year locally, and the T-Rex Manning successors are well positioned for a huge year ahead!

That said, your winners with 13 votes and over 35% of the final total were newer local alternative punk quartet A Dire Setback, who burst onto the scene in 2016's final months with a number of high profile concert sets and a set already full of original material, and if that's anything to go by, 2017 should be just as eventful, if not more, for this union of local punk veterans! Don't miss them at The New American on Tuesday, and we'll preview that show (and announce their next one) in our next post!

As for this month's poll, we're continuing with out "favourite _____ of 2016" polls by posing this question: What was your favourite new metal, hard rock, or punk album released in 2016? The past year gave us a lot of high profile album releases, especially from punk and alternative hard rock bands, with metal largely taking a back seat by comparison. From posthumous releases to CDs with high profile release concerts, and everything in between, there was a lot to like in terms of new titles on the shelves, but what one will win out? For inclusion in the poll, the album must have had a paid release online or in stores in 2016 (so no As It Stands, Skeyes of Seven, or Sykotyk Rampage), and it must have saw it's initial public release in the 2016 calendar year, so Abhorrent Forest's debut EP was 9 days late to make the cut. Of course, if you insist on voting for one of those, or want to pick one we forgot or didn't include, "Other" is again available! That joins 11 choices for albums released last year, so here's what you should know on each!

AlgomA & Chronobot's split vinyl EP: April Fools Day gave us a relatively unique sight, as local doom metal trio AlgomA and Saskatchewan stoner metal band Chronobot joined forces for a vinyl-only split EP! Released through AlgomA's then-label Deadbeat Media, the unique release got a good reception, helping lead to this year's split with Hooded Menace, but the lack of a CD pressing didn't make the split as easy to obtain. All that said, would you vote for it here?

Crucify the Whore - The Beautiful Sounds of Nature: In a relatively slow year for label Blood Shed Productions' affiliated metal acts, C.T.W.'s newest demo 'The Beautiful Sounds of Nature" was arguably their top release after coming out in March. Featuring 20 more goregrind songs with a typically short runtime, the songs remain as polarizing lyrically and sonically as ever, but Blood Shed loyalists definitely enjoyed Tyler's newest C.T.W. disc upon release. Are you among them?

The Din - Give In To The Din: Getting the largest CD release party of the year among entries in this poll, local alternative/hard rock trio The Din launched "Give In To The Din" with a very high profile concert at The Tech in August, which was even filmed by Shaw TV and aired (sans covers) on TV in recent months! The album got a solid reception, but have you gave in to The Din enough for them to earn your vote? If you'd rather vote for their lower profile live CD "The Din Does Laundry", do so here.

Gnaeus - Meditations: A week prior to The Din's release party (which Gnaeus opened), the local post-punk quartet launched their own debut studio album with their own release party at The Rockstar Bar, fittingly with The Din opening! After long preparations, drummer and album name changes, and a lot of hype, "Meditations" was successfully launched to positive reviews with some creative online videos to boot, but did you pick this album in the poll?

Id Iota - Maudlin Fair: After a 10 month hiatus from the stage and a bassist switch, local alternative hard rock quartet Id Iota re-emerged with their debut EP "Maudlin Fair", as released in Toronto on April 14th at the start of their Southern Ontario tour run with The Pixo Control, before launching locally at LopLops Lounge a week later. A spiritual sequel to 2014's only EP from predecessor band Habitat Shuffle, "Maudlin Fair" was well received, but would you rank it your favourite of 2016?

The Inner City Surfers - Time To Travel On: Arguably last year's most surprising new album release was May's "Time To Travel On", a posthumous digital album from local punk veterans The Inner City Surfers that was posted on iTunes and Spotify in May. Credited to have been recorded between 2002 & 2007, but unreleased until last year, this was a cool surprise, even if it didn't coincide with a return to the stage for the first time since 2012, but would you vote for it?

Long Shot's self-titled EP: Shortly before playing their final concert and prior to Evan Dawe's move from the area, local hard rock quartet Long Shot released their only 3 song EP onto Bandcamp, which recieved positive notices, but fell under the radar a bit due to the band's largely inactive status in 2016 and the lack of a major physical release. "Long Shot" was a good way for the guys to go out, even if this was a bittersweet release, but did you like it more than the rest of these choices?

Malignant Neoplasm - Blast Beats & Bullshit: C.T.W. mainman Tyler Gibson also gave fans a new release from his cybergrind studio project Malignant Neoplasm in August, whose extremely short EP gave us 4 songs, three of which had a combined run time of under 3 minutes! "Blast Beats" won't convert anyone who wasn't an existing fan of the genre, but fans got a nice concentrated blast of tech-influenced goregrind here, and would you vote for it in this poll?

The Strange Coyotes - Strange Coyotes II: Another posthumous album released in February 2016 was a largely live album from defunct improv metal trio The Strange Coyotes, which was the culmination of seemingly cancelled plans to release a live CD from their last show in November 2014 at The Primavera Hall. Featuring guest appearances from the aforementioned Tyler Gibson, and five experimental filler tracks from Mike Haggith and guest Jordan Leach, would you vote for this disc?

One of SweetKenny's 2016 albums: Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock artist Ken Sutton was busy as usual last year, albeit not at his recent activity levels, with only 3 studio albums coming out via his online pages. These includes two albums intended as movie or game scores ("White Knuckles" & "Gator's Bayou"), but he did release one traditional solo album, entitled "In Your Face", which pleased fans of his regular music. Did one/all of these SweetKenny albums earn your vote?

Telephone & Address - Are You Now or Have You Ever Been...: Sometimes titled without the last word, this album was the fourth official release by Chris Shoust's indie punk solo project Telephone & Address, as uniquely put out when he opened for Iansucks at The Gore Street Cafe in October. Playing more of a typical, albeit lo-fi punk style here than his prior acoustic or ambient releases, this album was worth the delays, but would you vote for it over the other options?

Other: Did we miss an album you'd rather vote for? Did I forget to include a metal, hard rock, or punk CD from this year? Did you like a 2015 or early 2017 CD more? Maybe you preferred one that was just a free song posting? If, for whatever reason, we missed your preferred choice, "Other" is for you! (Again, if you intend to vote for "The Din Does Laundry", vote for The Din's studio album above.)

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until March 18th to cast your votes, and hopefully we get another encouraging vote total this month, so do so at the above left! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post next! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 17, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Quiet Riot & Project 906), Plus Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews!!

As promised, let's round out our previews of this weekend's concerts with those taking place in Sault Michigan, but while we're at it, let's also cover some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one major one for this side of the border, and one SHORT NOTICE ONE for Sault Michigan, so here's what you need to know!

Sault Michigan blues/hard rock cover quartet Project 906 will return to The Highland Clan Motorcycle Club's local chapter at 235 Magazine Street for their Cabin Fever Bash TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only confirmed their involvement in this event on their Facebook page on Tuesday after sharing this picture, and the club proper never confirmed them in their own advertising. Though this may seem like an atypical event for Project 906, remember that they played a Highland Clan party in July that also received a public announcement, while Joe Jenkins & Will Storey's old band Exiled played a handful of local motorcycle club rallies, so this is familiar territory for them. Food and good times will be on hand for this Highland Clan bash TOMORROW, hosted just minutes from The Satisfied Frog, and while the event proper sees the music starting at 7:30 PM, we can't confirm if there's an age limit or cover charge. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Project 906 live!

Next up, the teased major concert at The Machine Shop from Sudbury promoters CS International Ontario has been announced a little early, and it will see Los Angeles metal legends Quiet Riot returning to our area on Thursday, March 30th! Best known for their hit song "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" and iconic Slade covers like "Cum on Feel the Noize",  Quiet Riot will be making their first local concert appearance since headlining at Kewadin Casino in Sault Michigan back in October 2005, and they're bringing largely the same lineup from that concert, just with Seann Nicols now singing lead in place of the late Kevin DuBrow (they've had other singers in between too.) Their new CD "Road Rage" is scheduled to come out in April, so might we hear some new material also? Also coming for the show are newer Sudbury metal band The Wring, who we have very little information on, but they apparently have some established veterans from their scene, and they're also opening for Anvil in Sudbury in May. Hopefully we hear more on The Wring before showtime!

The local openers are local alternative/hard rock trio The Din, who aren't a perfect genre match for the old school metal ahead, but they're a very talented group on the rise, and they should set things off on a solid foot! Early bird tickets go on sale online on Sunday night for $35, purchasing link to be announced, but in person tickets for $45 go on sale at The Machine Shop on Tuesday, and $60 VIP tickets (perks not clearly stated yet) will also have limited availability. A 7:30 PM start time is advertised, and while the timing implies this is all ages, there isn't confirmation on that yet either. When we hear more about this show's unknowns, including specifics on The Wring, we will let you know, but this sounds like a fun concert for fans of old school heavy metal! I'm surprised it's taken over 12 years for Quiet Riot to come back to our area, and while there has been some mixed responses online, this is still a big hard rock/metal show with headliners whose hits have been Rock 101 staples for years, so this should get a solid turnout!

Keep watch for tickets going on sale in the coming days, but in the meantime, visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and remember, if this show is a hit, it will encourage CS International Ontario (and other promoters) to bring more metal and hard rock bands to The Machine Shop, so keep that in mind! Stay tuned for updates as they come in!

Finally, here's one more concert preview for this weekend, as Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Soo's Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Making their first concert appearances of the year after taking January off while frontman Henry Switzer recovered from some health issues, the band notes on their Facebook page that this will be their last concert weekend at The Rapids Lounge "for a while", as they "are doing some traveling this year". No word on if there's an unstated issue with the Sault Kewadin or not, but hopefully they play in the Soo more this year, as seeing them monthly there has been a nice reliable sight on the concert calendar! The unspecified traveling will include plenty of St. Ignace Kewadin gigs, so don't worry about The Northern Pines Lounge being neglected, but does it mean they're playing different local venues, or travelling outside of the E.U.P. like Banned occasionally do? Time will tell!

As usual for Highway 63's past Rapids Lounge gigs, there are 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits in effect. For more details, visit the above links, here's a video of Highway 63 live, and hopefully we haven't seen the last of them at the Soo Kewadin!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and our new poll tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood & The 3 Day Millionaires) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

On this cold Thursday, let's heat things up with this weekend's hard rock and punk concert previews! Yes, I am aware of the major new concert announcement for The Machine Shop next month (click here for initial details), but I didn't want to break up our concert previews to force it in this post. Don't worry, it's coming! We'll also cover Sault Michigan shows this weekend in our next news post, but for now, here's what you should know on the Ontario side, starting with some SHORT NOTICE CONCERT ALERTS!!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will return to The Rockstar Bar for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the show was only just announced by the band via it's Facebook event page yesterday. Two weeks removed from their most recent Rockstar Bar appearance, this union of Cleveland Steamer, Sneaky Pete, Wishbone, and Thrill Junkies alumni should be in their usual rocking spirits TOMORROW with anothr full night of hard hitting covers, so keep The Millionaires in mind for your weekend plans! Note that this is a one-nighter due to Saturday night's "Neon Glow Radical Retro Show", so remember that if you're a fan of dance party and/or old school parties. Also, The Millionaires are also hyping up TOMORROW'S show being connected to the birthday party of their "biggest fan", so prepare just in case there's some extra celebrations!

As usual for The 3 Day Millionaires' Rockstar Bar appearances, this concert has a 10:30 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the above links, and for a preview, here's their current lineup live in concert last year!

Next up, fellow local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood are apparently returning to The Esquire Club for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, we only heard about the shows via the Sault Music News Letter Facebook page's post from Tuesday about this weekend's concerts, and the band themselves have yet to publically announce the dates. After Terry & Steven spent the past month focusing on their side project Soundcheck, their original collaborative band will return to the stage for the first time since their Esquire Club gigs last month, and fans should take to their hard rocking covers and other varied selections at this west end venue TOMORROW & SATURDAY! As far as I know, Steven Flint will be back for these shows, after missing last month's while on vacation. As was the case last month, this weekend's shows have 19+ age limits, no announced cover charges, and 10:00 PM start times. Check the above links for more details, and here's a new video of Mourning Wood live!

Filmed on a stationary camera at one of last month's Esquire gigs and uploaded to drummer Glen Thomas' YouTube channel last week, this is of Mourning Wood covering Bryan Adams' "Run To You", with Lucky 13/ex-Thin Ice guitarist Robin Lee filling in for Steven. I'm not a fan of the video's (or venue's?) purple lighting, and the camera is a little too close to stage, leaving bassist Paul Belair largely out of frame, but the performance is solid and adds a little extra rock to the original song! Give it a look below, and don't miss Mourning Wood back at this venue TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY!

Moving to previously announced concerts, we'll next look at Tym Morrison's next gigs in his ongoing weekly concert arrangement at Gliss Steak & Seafood, which continues as usual TOMORROW & SATURDAY! The prolific local acoustic hard rock musician is fresh off of his special Valentine's Day concert there on Tuesday, and is back to his regular twice-weekly gigs at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, so if you're interested in an evening full of hard rocking covers from this talented veteran singer/guitarist, you know where to be this weekend! As usual for Tym's long term run at Gliss, expect 6:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and no announced age limits, but remember where these shows are being held, as Gliss isn't a typical nightclub venue. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Tym live!

Finally for today's previews, local funk/hard rock instrumental quintet Gianni Gagoots will play their first ever headlining concert set THIS SATURDAY NIGHT when they rock LopLops Lounge for the first time! Still somewhat of a new sight locally, this interestingly named band have been impressing fans since mid-2016 with their creative jam originals and loose stage presence, and this union of Redefined, Rising Tide, and Barn Board Trio alumni should deliver again this weekend! Joining them are two more unique newer sights locally, including the second live appearance and LopLops debut of newer alt-hard rock quartet Bizotic (featuring No Arrow, Sounds From The Green Room, and Smeltzer alumni), and the first ever local concert appearance from new local punk/alternative trio Handsome Sandwich, the new band from Bear Hunters drummer Johnny Belanger, Winkstinger guitarist Jesse Cook, and Redundant bassist James White.

Handsome Sandwich don't have any online pages or posted media yet, but this creatively named band promises to be something different than what we've usually seen these guys play before locally, and based on preliminary information, owe a lot more to Johnny's past solo concert sets than Jack Spades or The Elements. When we hear more, we'll let you know, but don't miss Handsome Sandwich's debut on Saturday! This concert has a $5 cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and doors will open at 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Gianni Gagoots live!

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pop Evil Concert Updates, New Brutally Fatal Material, And Much More!!

(Updated at 5:25 PM) Before we begin today's post, I wanted to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kittie bassist Trish Doan, who suddenly passed away earlier this week at the age of 31. Further details on this sad news can be found on Kittie and metal websites. Local fans will recognize Trish best from her appearances with Kittie at both of April 2012's tribute concerts in memory of late Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, including the Ypres Metal Fest at The Canadian Nightclub, as well as the "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" release party in Toronto, both shortly after she rejoined the band. Kittie fans in general will recognize her from her two stints with the all-female London metal quartet since 2005, including appearances on two of their studio albums. Trish was a key member of Kittie for the better part of a decade, and fit in nicely during their local show five years back (as the packed crowd will attest), and I'm sure fans won't forget her any time soon. R.I.P. Trish!

Now, today's post covers some other recent news updates, including a new "album" posting and more updates, but to lead off, we have some big news on a major upcoming concert in the E.U.P.. Here's what you need to know!

Though we are less than two weeks away from showtime, there has been a surprising lineup change for the Pop Evil-headlined concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on February 26th, as Ohio hard rock quintet Red Sun Rising have dropped out of the remainder of the Rock 'n Roll Now Tour. The reason for their exit is somewhat vague, yet varies depending on the source. Red Sun Rising say they were removed from the remaining dates and it was out of their control, local promoters Allstar Promotions say that they removed themselves but were unsure of the circumstances, and Pop Evil haven't acknowledged R.S.R. at all since, though you can delve into fan-posted rumours there if you want. All I know is that it's definitely disappointing to see Red Sun Rising drop out, especially with their rising profile and two #1 rock radio hits, but hopefully they come back to the Soo at some point in the future! Replacing them for the rest of the tour & on the 26th are female-fronted Detroit hard rock quintet Kaleido, while Los Angeles hard rock quartet Badflower have been promoted to the middle slot.

Kaleido have a fun, pop-influenced modern rock sound that should be a nice addition to this show, so make sure to be there early for their set! Also regarding this huge concert, Kewadin Casino posted this 90 second commercial promoting the show onto their Facebook concerts page last month, which clips together portions of music videos for each band alongside concert-related graphics, including an Allstar Promotions logo that I've never seen elsewhere. Obviously, this is outdated now, given the presence of Red Sun Rising, but it's well done, so give it a look below, and click here to get tickets for just $23.50, which are still available from the seventh row and back on the outside sections!

Also today, Sault Ontario death metal duo Brutally Fatal have finally posted what they're calling their new EP onto the Blood Shed Weekly YouTube channel yesterday! "Blood of the Devil" had been in the works since March but various delays forced it to be cut down to a 15 minute release with 9 songs. As you'd expect from a Blood Shed Productions metal act, these songs tend to be very short, and most of the titles have names I won't repeat here, but it's worth noting that vocals are seemingly used more sparingly than we've seen on past Brutally Fatal recordings, and when we do hear them, they're shouted, not growled. That might appeal to fans of Austin McCrae's old band The Revolution, so keep that in mind! Oddly, the description notes that they "can't remember" who played bass on the tracks, though whether they said that in jest or not is up for debate. Also, keep an ear out for train whistling on the song "Chugga Choo Choo".

No word on when/if this will see a paid and/or physical release, but fans of Brutally Fatal's minimalist metal should be happy, so listen to "Blood of the Devil" if you want below, but keep in mind the provocative song titles!

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

  • In news unrelated to this month's Pop Evil show, Allstar Promotions noted on their Facebook page that they confirmed a new show on Friday, which is apparently "one of the biggest shows (they) have done", and Rock 101 will announce the show on Tuesday, with tickets going on sale at Kewadin next Friday. Intriguing, and we'll let you know when it's announced! Also, they are gauging support on Facebook toward potentially bringing British post-grunge quartet Bush (of "Glycerine" & "Machine Head" fame) to Sault Michigan, so if you'd like to see that show, voice up there!
  • Novelty/clothing retail store chain Spencer's Gifts is coming to The Station Mall, as per their website! Though not directly linked to what we cover at the SMS, I mention it here for two reasons: They sell a large amount of music and band merchandise (metal & punk among them), and there is some speculation on social media that they are taking over HMV's location after they close for good by the end of April. In any event, it's great to have Spencer's opening in Sault Ste. Marie, as it's a fun store full of odd and creative novelty items, so keep watch for it at The Station Mall in the coming months! Also, HMV's liquidation sales are now up to 40% off.
  • Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night has posted a new instrumental song to their Reverbnation page entitled "The Drowning", and this is a fuller original with a dark & ethereal ambiance, strong guitar work from Steve Giles, and an orchestral bite that long time fans should easily take to! Give it a listen at the above links, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night!

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