Friday, September 28, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), Awokest's New Song, And Much More!!

Today's news post (possibly our final of the month) is half devoted to lots of assorted shorter stories as of late, but we also have a new video upload to take note of, and first off, a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TOMORROW, giving this weekend at least one SMS-fitting concert to cover! Things will be busier in October, I guarantee it. Here's what you should know!

On this unusually quiet concert weekend, we do have one hard rock show to take note of, as local acoustic singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will be playing TOMORROW at the Fall Fest at... Scott Coffee Co.?! Apologies for the short notice, neither Tym nor the venue have publically confirmed his involvement, though he is mentioned in personal Facebook advertising. This special event will be taking place at the coffee shop at Lowe's Plaza at 248 Northern Avenue (beside Golden Dragon), and Scott Coffee Co. will have free samples and seasonal blends ready for patrons, while there will be face painting, a vintage clothing sale, and a used book sale from the Friends of the Library Bookstore at the Centennial Library downtown, so keep those aspects in mind for TOMORROW! Tym is cited as performing at the Fall Fest alongside at least two other solo acts, namely indie standout Jackson Reed and folk/jazz veteran Britta W├Âlfert (whose personal Facebook page confirmed the lineup.) Solid and diverse array of performers, so look for all three inside (outside?) of Scott Coffee Co. TOMORROW!

A special early start time of 4:00 PM is in effect for TOMORROW'S Fall Fest, and while I can't confirm when Tym's set will be, the event is advertised to end at 9:00 PM. This is n ALL AGES event with no announced cover charge, so if you're up for some seasonal coffee, local vendors, and live music, swing by Scott Coffee Co. TOMORROW, even if you're already shopping or just curious! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live! (FYI, he's not playing at La Terrazza Franzisi in Richards Landing this weekend, that restaurant closed for the season after last weekend.)

Next up, here's a new "EP" from new local grindcore solo project Awokest's YouTube channel, as uploaded there two weeks ago. This appears to be one 10+ minute song rather than a traditional EP, and it has an incredibly long name to match (too long for the video's title!) It'd be easier to just call it "Screams of the Primordial Lord...", which saves 38 words. The music on display here is of the instrumental cyber-noise variety, with heavily processed vocals in the background. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but you can't say it's not original locally, so give Awokest's new song a listen!

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

  • New local jazz/hip-hop quartet Bom Kronik have been added as a second opening act at the Faps concert at LopLops Lounge on Wednesday, as per a quiet update to the Facebook event page. Local rap followers may have seen this band open for Naughty By Nature in July, and their lineup is comprised of vocalist Conika (who's still advertised with a solo set) alongside Honest Job's Mister Tahti on keyboard, Strange Coyotes bassist James Watterworth, and ex-Gnaeus drummer Brendan Garlick. Eclectic and talented lineup, so look for some intriguing tunes from Bom Kronik before The Faps' noise-punk attack, and stay tuned for our preview!
  • Hudson Street adult nightclub & occasional concert venue Studio 10 formally changed it's name to The Dime in June, following a two month period of renovations, as per it's Facebook group and radio advertising. The name change goes along with the venue's "new look" and "great vibes", though I believe The Dime was an informal nickname used by some regulars already. SMS readers will best know Studio 10 as the site for a few late-era Havadder concerts, and we'll let you know if live bands return to The Dime!
  • If you've noticed a Facebook event page floating around advertising a Jackyl concert at The Machine Shop on December 14th, be advised that the show is not taking place in Sault Ste. Marie. The show is actually taking place in Flint, Michigan (4 hours south of here), where they also have a concert venue named The Machine Shop that long predates ours in that usage. Similar confusion arose regarding Devildriver's show in Flint in November. It'd be great to welcome Jackyl back to Sault Ontario, but alas, not yet!
  • Following the brief advertising of J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween party concerts at Soo Blaster, the Queen Street sports bar/arcade have announced their final Halloween events for the same days, via the Facebook event pages linked here and here. Friday's will be a dance party with live DJs, while Saturday's will feature rappers, including familiar names like the aforementioned Conika, Rick-E, and Kodex. I don't know whether these events are due to or the cause of J.D.'s concerts moving to The Algonquin Pub, but keep them in mind if you want some turntable mixes or hip hop for Halloween!
  • Sykotyk Rampage have belatedly posted their last 31 studio albums for sale on their Reverbnation page, after originally going online as free streaming copies only. This includes everything from 2011's "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Intellect" to 2016's "Sanctuarium", joining their prior releases and their newest album "Live At The Paris Hilton" in having $9.99 or $10 sale copies. It's great to see the option finally available, so visit the above links to pick up these albums if you are so inclined to buy tons of original crash music! Yes, we could review these on the site down the line.
  • Toystock is returning for a seventh annual installment on Sunday, November 25th! As per organizers Choose Maxx's Facebook page, the Christmas Cheer fundraiser concert will return to The Grand Gardens North for it's fourth straight year, with appearances from Santa Claus and Mr. Bon Soo planned alongside kids entertainment, plus another stacked musical lineup. Performers have not been announced yet, but the last 6 Toystocks have proudly featured "10 bands in 10 hours", and I'd be shocked if Bone Yard weren't involved, given that they've only missed one installment. Stay tuned for the lineup reveal when announced!

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

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sykotyk Rampage - "Live At The Paris Hilton" Album Review!!

Now's a good time for our 111th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at local alternative/blues rock quartet Sykotyk Rampage's newest album "Live At The Paris Hilton"! Quietly released to their Reverbnation page on April 27th, this is canonically the 61st album from "the original crash band", but it's the first to actually be on sale rather than a free posting upon it's initial release since 2011, and likewise, our first review of theirs since 2012. The band has retroactively made their last 31 albums available for purchase there too, so keep that in mind if you want to support Sykotyk Rampage's work! Regarding "Live At The Paris Hilton", this was recorded over the past two years at River Front Recreation Studios with the band's current lineup, including singer/drummer Paul Becker, guitarists Dirk Becker and Shane Kokis, and bassist Tony Briglio, with Dirk and Tony each getting a song for lead vocals of their own on here.

You can buy this and other Sykotyk Rampage albums for $9.99 each at this link, or get individual tracks for $1.50, though curious fans can stream these songs for free as well. Also, this album is partially made up of re-recordings, so in those cases, comparisons will be inevitable, but I'll try to keep things focused on the new album. With 22 songs running for over 1 hour and 51 minutes, let's get this review rolling!

This album is a spiritual follow-up to Sykotyk Rampage's 9th album, 2005's "Live Upper Rubber Boot Saskatchewan", in that it's a faux-live record with the band introducing songs to a crowd inserted in post-production, so it's relatively unique on that basis. The album's first song is "Breakdown", which was previously included on 2015's "50 Amazing Tales", compilation, after previously being a live concert staple. After a whimsical sampled opening and a French introduction (remember, live at the Paris Hilton), the song proper kicks in, which is very similar in structure to the 2015 version, if slightly faster. The song has an energetic fast bluesy vibe and effective shouting of the song's name by multiple band members (Tony adds some particular force in this way.) "Breakdown" has been a fan favourite set opener in late-period Sykotyk Rampage concerts, with a punk essence and catchy vibe, and it's an ideal opener to the album!

Second is the album's first brand new track, a cover of The Beatles' "Come Together", which is relatively what you'd expect from a Sykotyk Rampage cover, though the intro before the first verse is extended, and some of the lyrics are altered. Paul adds his distinctive bluesy vocals well to this rendition, and the instrumentation lends itself well to the original, but given Sykotyk Rampage's blend of "blue Chinese metal crash punk", I actually assumed this cover would be more off the wall. Effective overall, but diehard fans may appreciate their original chaos more. That's followed by a new original named "Shitty Love", which is a mid-tempo blues rock song that will have a very familiar sound for Sykotyk Rampage loyalists, with Paul's singing flowing as expected over free-wheeling guitar jams and strong bass work. A bit of a funk aspect to some of the riffs, this is a fun song that perfectly fits Sykotyk Rampage's usual improvisation M.O. in studio, and fans will enjoy it!

After a brief announcement to locate the missing towel folder(!), another new song named "Plastic Bag" is next, which has more of a low-down gritty sound, almost like there's some inspiration from "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" by Ministry. Paul's vocals sound a little over-processed, but on the flip side, the drumming is loud and forceful, so that meshes well! The song as a whole is too down-beat and deliberate for my tastes, though it is well performed. That's followed (fittingly enough) by "Bag On Your Face", which made it's studio debut on 2010's "Bella Disgusta". In this form, the song is overlaid with sampled audio of Paris Hilton (as in, the socialite, not the alleged venue) talking about her personal recommendations for the first half. I get the reference, but this takes away from much of the song! This version of "Bag On Your Face" hews relatively close to the original with it's more lively structure, sing-along chorus, and fun guitar riffs, but the repetition won't be for everyone.

"Bag On Your Face" remains a fun, crowd-engaging song, but the Paris Hilton sound clip takes away from the re-recording, so I'd recommend checking out the 2010 original first. Sixth on the album is "Better We Feel", another apparent new track, which has more of a dream-like ambiance to Paul's vocals while still retaining their usual crash stylings. Tony's bass work is particularly strong here, and the guitarists hold up their end of the bargain, but this song has more of a downbear vibe from the vocals and the more deliberate structure. Hard to explain, but this song doesn't feel better than some of it's contemporaries. Seventh is the oddly titled "Anarchy Nogona Togeth", which runs for an album-long 9:16. The song actually starts with a cover of The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" featuring Dirk Becker on lead vocals, and while it feels a little slow compared to the original, it's faithfully done, and Dirk's unique snarl was the right pick for this rendition!

Paul takes over lead vocals for the "Nogona Togeth" stretch afterward, which appear to be their own recordings, and likewise are more in the usual Sykotyk wheelhouse, with free-wheeling improvisation, bluesy undertones, and solid chemistry. Nothing about the last two thirds immensely stands out, but they're reliably fun compositions! That said, why lump "Anarchy In The UK" with them for this extra long track, instead of splitting them up? That's followed by "24/7", which is another entry into Sykotyk Rampage's cadre of drinking songs, and this song seems to be better suited to the lyrics and underlying story than some others on the album. The bass is effective, and the song has a solid vibe to it for fans of their blues side, but it's not as aggressive and lively as the songs of theirs that I like the most. Still a well done track!

The next two songs are re-recordings, starting with "9 Days", from their 2008 album of the same name. Compared to the original version, this rendition feels a little slower and more laboured (not helped by the opening with "live" audience chatter), but Tony's backing vocals help give this a heavier edge at times! "9 Days" was an early favourite of mine from when first researching Sykotyk Rampage for the SMS, and the sonic assault remains ever present on this heavier number, in conjunction with solid lyrics, but the original version is more lively and natural. Tenth is "Drinking Problem", another live favourite found on "50 Amazing Tales" (among other releases.) As preceded here by fireworks, this version of the song is slightly abbreviated, but is otherwise faithful in tone and performance. If anything, Paul's singing is more prominent in the mix, but that's not a bad thing on this bluesy drinking number. Fun song with catchy lyrics, this is a live favourite for a reason, but I do prefer their faster and heavier work.

Next is their fan favourite cover of "Fuck You, I'm Drunk" by Bondo (not Flogging Molly, as is commonly stated), which I can't find reference to being on a past album of theirs. Though popularly sang by Shane Kokis in live concerts, Paul handles that aspect on the album, with backing assistance from his brother Dirk on some verses. The vocals here are often muffled, which is a shame, as the performance of this Irish drinking punk song is upbeat and suitably high impact. If you can get past the vocal mix, the cover's solid, but something's lost with how they did the singing here. The album's second half begins with a lengthy new original named "Strange Landscapes", which definitely plays more to Sykotyk Rampage's experimental side with a drawn out structure, trippier effects, and more of a psychedelic undertone, with Paul's distinctive quaver fitting especially well on this track. While not exceedingly heavy, this track gets the job done well!

Another new song follows next, namely "Wolf Among The Sheep", which is a fairly straightforward return to Sykotyk Rampage's crash roots, with everyone playing to their strengths in the band, including a solid near-guitar solo, nicely timed drumming, and a heavy yet steady structure. Paul's vocals are confident and have some soul to them, and fans of Sykotyk Rampage's distinctive sound will eat this one right up! Nothing really to complain about, just a solid track that is a highlight at this stage! Next is a cover of Motorhead's "Killed By Death", and as you would expect, Tony takes over lead vocals on this one. He pulls off his best Lemmy impersonation for the occasion, and while not an exact match, he sounds enough like him to suit the cover! Musically, this song isn't in the usual range for the Becker clan, but they handle Motorhead capably, and it's a solid rendition of a band you don't hear covered locally all that much, so fans should enjoy it on it's own terms!

Four apparently new tracks are next, starting with "Master of Time", which has a trippy yet aggressive sound that combines the best of both worlds, with the guitar particularly shining throughout this extended track. Paul's singing is more of the affected spoken word variety for the first half, and sounds off to me, but his angry yelling as the title character adds a much needed spark to the song and characterization. The music makes this song especially worthwhile from it's free spirited-yet-heavy structure, but the vocals only catch fire when Paul gets aggressive. Then we have "Little Blue Bird", which also opens (and closes) with fireworks before transitioning into a mid-tempo blues rock number that, more than any other song so far, feels like it runs for too long. The song's fine, but it moves at the same trajectory without changing course or theme until the song's almost over, which doesn't help a bluesy track. Solidly performed and structured, but I like my Rampage to be faster and looser overall.

Song #17 is "Room 132, Ordered Egg Salad" (perhaps a reference to being at the Hilton), which begins with some related banter before commencing into Sykotyk Rampage's usual chaos, with some of the more bizarre lyrics of the album. At least we now know that Paul likes egg salad sandwiches! His percussion is particularly effective on this track, and the free-wheeling improvised guitar riffs return in full force to this amusing number. It's not as heavy or fast as some predecessors, but it's a return to form, and is a late highlight on the album! That's followed by "Disagree to Disagree", which has a simpler, more deliberate structure, but is relatively upbeat and consistent in tone. Paul's singing is a little softer and more melodic, while still maintaining the bluesy edge, and I like the guitar melody! That said, this isn't an overly heavy song, but it's fun for what it is!

A pair of Black Sabbath covers come next, starting with "Fairies Wear Boots", which is the third song here to start with fireworks. This is more of a reworking or interpretation of the original, especially regarding how the lyrics are changed, so fans may want to erase the Sabbath version before judging this one. Tony's bass playing is a highlight on this cover, and the melody is faithful while also being "sykotyk", but with the lyric changes and more muddled mix late, this isn't an optimal cover from their repertoire. "Hole In The Sky" keeps the cover action going, and while it's not as structrally altered lyrically, Paul doesn't even tackle the song's choruses (though his voice was straining to hit Ozzy's notes on the verses.) This version has more of an indie grit to it, if that makes sense, and the guitar work is particularly grungy in tone, but the song fades out too abruptly. Interesting adaptation, but Sabbath diehards may have more direct thoughts on how these covers turned out.

"Live At The Paris Hilton" closes with two originals, starting with it's shortest track, "I Was With Her". Despite it's relative length, this is a slower and more progressive track, which definitely serves to showcase Shane and Dirk on guitar in particular. The song flows well throughout, and it has a pleasant yet anarchic vibe, but it's not an aggressive free-wheeling number, comparatively speaking. The closing number is "Mother Goose Tales", which was previously featured on "50 Amazing Tales", but is unrelated to their second album "Mother Goose Lullabites". Suitably long compared to the original, this is basically the same song with minor structural tweaks, and the title is apt, as the lyrics are just Paul putting a bluesy spin on nursery rhymes. It's amusing to hear such innocuous rhymes sung in this fashion, let alone over drawn out alt-rock! The song proper would normally not be my taste given it's meandering instrumentation, but the lyrics alone give it enough entertainment value, and it's a fun closer to the album!

So, what are my final thoughts on "Live At The Paris Hilton"? Well, first off, it's nice to review a new paid Sykotyk Rampage album after far too long, hopefully there will be more now that their 2012-2016 discography is for sale! This is a trickier album to grade, given that it's under the guise of a live album, but on it's own merits, it's an entertaining mash-up of new songs, familiar live standbys, and some surprise covers, and everyone plays their part well! Paul Becker's deep bluesy vocals are welcome to hear, his drumming meshes well with Tony Briglio's rhythmic bass, and Dirk Becker & Shane Kokis keep the free-wheeling, distinctive guitar riffs rolling well throughout this album! Of the new songs, tracks like "Room 132", "Nogona Togeth", and "Strange Landscapes" were particularly entertaining, but there are aspects I would change. Certain covers weren't optimally done, a few too many songs were more along the meandering drawn out side, and I'm surprised we only heard Dirk on lead vocals for one song.

My biggest gripe is that, for a "live" album, it didn't have more live favourites of Sykotyk Rampage's, like "Lowest of the Low", "Called In Dead", and (most glaringly) "Drinking on the Weekend." For such a long release, why not devote it entirely to new originals or what would be a full live set? Overall though, it's great to have Sykotyk Rampage back, if only in studio, and this will whet the appetites of diehard fans, assuming you have your environ-mental suits ready! Hopefully there's more coming in some fashion from the masters of the crash, but stream or buy the whole thing at the above links! I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, and as for next month's, I am 99% sure that we will be reviewing local punk trio Redundant's self-titled debut EP from July! Though they never had a formal release party for it, their first local concert since then will be at the Ten Foot Pole concert on October 25th, that event will be a perfect tie-in for when we finally review their new CD on here. Look for that next month, and stay tuned for news and weekend concert previews on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Luoto Family & Tony Marcello

After a couple of days of convalescence due to a major cold, we are back with this month's YouTube Channel Profiles, our ongoing monthly feature series spotlighting 1-3 YouTube channels whose content is at least half devoted to local metal, hard rock, or punk artists and concerts. This month's randomly selected channels reflect a major concert from over a decade ago and a veteran musician in Sault Ontario, so here's what you should know!
Luoto Family (

Owner: YouTube user and Eastern Upper Peninsula resident Cory Luoto, though the channel name credits it to his whole family

Channel Timeline: Launched on November 11th, 2006; Videos posted from July 22nd, 2007 through October 16th, 2017

Channel Summary: Half of Cory's eight videos come from New York hard rock legends Kiss' outdoor concert at Kewadin Casino in Sault Michigan on July 20th, 2007, filming them playing their songs "Let Me Go Rock 'n Roll", "All American Man", and with a channel-topping 53,000+ views, their opener "Detroit Rock City", plus a short clip of Gene Simmons breathing fire on stage. Though the now-11 year old videos aren't very clear in retrospect, the audio holds up well enough via Cory's footage, and Kiss Army diehards definitely loved this concert, as shown with their raucous reception, and this remains one of the better-stacked channels for footage from this show! Cory's last four uploads are personally geared without a musical tie, and they include a firefighting boat landing, a NBC 7&4 news clip, singing Samoan firefighters, and a kindergarten class graduation, with no channel activity visible in almost a year.

Tony Marcello (

Owner: Killer Hooks singer/guitarist Tony Marcello, also previously known from bands like Gsis Murphy, Midpoint, The Hellfish Bonanza, and Your Mother, among others

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 16th, 2014; Videos posted from that day through September 17th, 2017

Channel Summary: In it's sporadic usage, Tony has focused his channel around some of his local music work, including one video of his old band Midpoint and two of his current band The Killer Hooks.

Why You Should Watch: This will be of the most interest to fans of The Killer Hooks, especially as this could be considered their de facto official channel, while the Midpoint video will definitely pique the interest of local music scene followers from 3 decades back! However, this channel hasn't seen visible usage in the past year, and despite the archive posting of one of Tony's old bands, there's no footage of any of his other former projects, in case that changes your mind on subscribing.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

Mr Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne performed by Midpoint: Tony's most popular and first video is of his old local hard rock band Midpoint, who were filmed on tour in Thompson, Manitoba for a local TV show there named "The Pit" back in 1991. Midpoint are represented here by Tony alongside guitarists Keith Davis & Rob Struk, bassist Steve Batenchuk, and drummer Mark Webster. Though the opening is cut off, the cover is well done with very solid guitar (and keytar!) work, but the vocals don't quite have the optimal range compared to the original. Still, seeing rare Midpoint footage is worth a click, let alone out of province! Tony, Keith, and Steve would later collaborate on 1998's "Local Steel" compilation, while Keith would later join Tony in Gsis Murphy.

Dead or Alive As Performed by The Killer Hooks and Crowd: The other two videos on Tony's channel are of his current pop rock cover band The Killer Hooks live late last year, though neither exceeds 70 seconds in length. One is a cover of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" at a private event, but featured here is their cover of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" at The Rockstar Bar. The Killer Hooks are represented here by Tony and Midpoint bandmate Rob Struk alongside bassist Tony Rota (Touch of Class) and drummer Paolo Erme (Glory Days.) Filmed by a friend of the band named Gillian, this better captures the crowd singing the opening verse than anything, partially due to the vertical camera angle and red lighting, but the performance sounds good overall! However, there are more substantial videos of the band online.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! This series will return on or around October 26th with another multi-band month, as the first channel that we randomly selected only had one surviving video, and the second only had 5 videos (all from the same set), so we're tripling up next time! As such, we'll be looking at the YouTube channels of inactive Sault Michigan hard rock band The Highest of Fives, Cary Orsborne (featuring videos from a Half A Man concert in 2013), and 6Immortal6Fears6 (featuring Woods of Ypres' debut EP.) Look for these next month, and for more news and weekend concert previews(?) next! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Jack Spades/Handsome Sandwich Concert Review, Plus New Videos!!

I'm battling a major cold, so let's get this news post up now before things get worse. Today's post is half devoted to new videos from each side of the border, but we're leading off with our review of what became of a major recent concert, so here's what you should know!

As you know by know, Friday night's Michale Graves concert at The Canadian Nightclub was cancelled due to the heavy winds stopping him and the other touring openers at the Mackinac Bridge. However, credit to promoter J.D. Pearce, who decided that the show must go on, and it did, courtesy of an all local jam night with no cover charge! Given the show-as-promoted being postponed, the attendance took a massive hit, but it was nice to see a bunch of familiar faces regardless, including the couple that drove in from North Bay who decided to stick around and make the most of their evening! After a 90 minute delay, planned local openers Jack Spades took the stage for an extended set of basically their entire live repertoire, ranging from songs like "Rise" & "Breakneck Speed" to newer tracks like "Cenobites" & "Sewer City Radio", plus select covers. In spite of the evening's changes, Jack Spades delivered a reliable set with energy and life, with Tiffany Stocco and Daniel Horton shining on guitar, and Rob Speers' bass work flowing well!

Given the circumstances, fans can't complain too much about Jack Spades' punk/metal attack, but I will note that their lone Misfits cover on Friday was the Danzig-era "Hybrid Moments", despite J.D.'s known Graves-era Misfits fandom and prior covers with Fitswitch and Frightlight. It'd have been ultra fitting to deliver a bit of what we missed that night, but who'd have predicted that Mother Nature didn't like horror punk? As I was developing a cold, I didn't stay until the bitter end of Friday night's concert, but Jack Spades were followed by what amounted to an impromptu Handsome Sandwich set, but with bassist James White absent, guests filled in, including singer/drummer Johnny Belanger's Jack Spades bandmate Daniel Horton for much of the early set. Fans were treated to covers of bands like The Commodores, Blink-182, and Thin Lizzy, among other typically diverse acts, and it was fun to see familiar faces jump in to jam or even sing at points! Hopefully this entertainment helped make the night worthwhile after all of the earlier news!

This concert served as my trial run/debut with my new digital camera, and you can check out our photos at this link or at our Facebook page. I'm happy with the quality for the most part, but I apologize for any issues in consistency or amount, I am still working out the kinks. I should have things worked out in time for Ten Foot Pole! Unfortunately, an SD card error has left my videos (of "Crossroads" & "Dancing Queen") unreadable, and I had to use a file recovery program to save the photos as it was. If there's any way I can retrieve the videos, I will let you know, but if such a catastrophe had to happen, as least it wasn't during the Michale Graves concert!

Next up, here's some new videos from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's Facebook page as they continue work on their second Christmas tour! All three feature the instrumental performers from last year's tour, including founding keyboardist Craig Harrison & guitarist Steve Giles, alongside bassist Scott Andringa & drummer Erik Sales, so fans of their December tour dates will see familiar faces! Craig filmed these videos during a jam session yesterday, with this one showcasing some freeform jamming on a normal landscape orientation. The other two are clearly of Christmas carols, namely "Away In A Manger" and, as embedded below, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." The latter two are on a vertical portrait angle, but Craig frames it well to showcase the guys fine-tuning these seasonal adaptations, and overall, things look like they're coming together well towards the tour! Give these videos a look!

Finally for today, here's a rare live video from Sault Ontario acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns' Facebook page, courtesy of their set at yesterday's Downtown Street Party on Queen Street East! The video features them covering the end of Weezer's "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To", which sounds good from what we hear, and Chase from Paw Patrol's clearly into it! Give it a look below, and don't miss The Wyld Stallyns hosting open mic night at the M.S. Norgoma on Tuesday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Downtown Street Party #3), Michale Graves Cancellation Info, And A New Video!!

Today's news post at the SMS is mostly devoted to SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (and how) concerning a big community event taking place.... in a few minutes! However, we do have some details on a very recent cancellation to take note of as well, so here's what you should know!

A couple of local hard rock cover bands will perform at TODAY'S third and final Downtown Street Party of 2018, starting with local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns, who will open "Stage 2" near Soo Blaster TODAY (as in, at 12:30 PM!) Profuse apologies for the short notice, The Wyld Stallyns never publically confirmed their participation, though they were confirmed by festival organizers on the Facebook event page 2 weeks ago. In what could be a tune-up before their open mic night on the Norgoma on Tuesday, this should be a prime chance to see their fan-friendly blend of covers, but you've gotta act fast, as they're playing at 12:30 PM, which isn't far away! A DJ from Soo Blaster will headline TODAY at 5:30 PM, while the remaining lineup (with aide from Dryer Fire and ex-Gore Street Cafe owner Nicole Dyble) will see Waterloo folk musician Richard Garvey at 4:30 PM, Wild Iris side project Stone Orchid at 3:30 PM, indie pop singer/guitarist Shae Tull at 2:30 PM, and Sault Michigan solo artist Magnet Moslov at 1:30 PM.

Solid lineup that definitely feels like a "Stage 2", so don't miss this varied roster outside of Soo Blaster TODAY, with The Wyld Stallyns beginning within the hour! For a preview, here's The Wyld Stallyns live!

Next up, that's not all for SMS-covered bands at the last Downtown Street Party of the year, as local classic/hard rock quartet Soundcheck will play outside of GFL Memorial Gardens as part of "Stage 1" entertainment! Again, massive apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the set on their Facebook page this morning, though event organizers had also confirmed their involved on the same Facebook event page two weeks ago. This will be Soundcheck's first public concert appearance since the retirement of drummer Scott McLurg, and while the band hasn't announced a permanent replacement yet, Peace Vibe/Flat Stanley drummer Glen Thomas will reportedly fill in TODAY, reuniting him with former Mourning Wood bandmate Terry Eaton. Solid choice, Glen should fit in fine here! Other acts playing outside of the former Essar Center THIS AFTERNOON will include a DJ from Ace Studios at 4:30 PM, country/rockabilly veterans The Steeltown Playboys at 3:30 PM, ... local acoustic rock quintet Chunks of Manh at 2:30 PM, and country duo The Crossroad Magdalenes opening at 12:30 PM, while Soundcheck's set is after them at 1:30 PM. Of course, this is a FREE and ALL AGES event courtesy of the Downtown Association, as the prior 2 Downtown Street Parties were, and fans can expect local vendors, food and drinks, all-day shopping, games, and prizes from Elgin to Dennis, so be sure to visit the above links for complete non-musical details! Sounds like a diverse lineup with a dash of hard rock for good measure, so head down to Queen Street East TODAY (as in, very shortly) for all of the action! For a preview, we have a new public video of Soundcheck to feature here, courtesy of a share onto the event page from Scott McLurg's wife Monique's personal Facebook page, so what should you know on it? Filmed at a rare out of town concert of theirs, this was filmed when Soundcheck played a drag racing event in Wawa last month.

The video features their cover of The Beatles' "Come Together", though I do hear more of an Aerosmith glimmer here. Solid performance and well filmed overall, and it's nice to find a new public video of theirs, so give it a look below, and don't miss Soundcheck (and Glen) TODAY at 1:30 PM!

To close today's post, I wanted to acknowledge what happened to last night's Michale Graves-headlined concert at The Canadian Nightclub. As you likely know by now, the concert was cancelled shortly before doors were to have opened, as all three touring bands were stopped in Mackinaw City due to yesterday's severe wind forcing the closure of the Mackinac Bridge. The same closure also cancelled yesterday's Soo Greyhounds home opener, so this was definitely a serious weather hazard. Promoter J.D. Pearce confirmed to attendees last night and Facebook contacts that he will be making a statement next week regarding refunds and a planned rescheduling of the Michale Graves concert, so keep tabs on that for details on what looks like a new date. In any event, J.D. has confirmed that tickets bought for yesterday's concert can be used for the rescheduled concert, or carried over towards next month's Ten Foot Pole concert at The Harp, or his annual Halloween parties at The Algonquin Pub.

In place of last night's expected concert, planned local openers Jack Spades played alongside friends and special guests for a free all-local jam, which we will be reviewing in our next news post. Alas, Mother Nature had other plans for the horror punk extravaganza last night, but what can you do about that sort of cancellation? This was out of everyone's hands. Hopefully Michale and company can make it here in the future for a second try, as I know how eagerly many fans were awaiting this concert! Stay tuned for more details, and for our review of last night's fill-in show soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), Weekend Concert Previews, And Much More!!

(Updated on Friday at 1:00 AM) Before we begin this weekend concert preview post, we have a pair of concert cancellations to take note of, as Traverse City, Michigan classic metal trio Peril will not be playing at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino tomorrow & Saturday night. Don't worry, there's no "different direction" excuse, Peril cited a scheduling conflict as the reason on their Facebook page, and the shows have been postponed to an unspecified future date. Disappointing, but stay tuned for word on the shows' new dates! Now, let's dive into a this weekend's concert previews, plus some other stories, and starting with a SHORT NOICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison is staying busy with a return to La Terrazza Franzisi in Richards Landing THIS SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced late on Thursday, after this post originally went online, so I opted to add it while we still could. At least this show has slightly more notice than his previous L.T.F. concert from this past Sunday! This will be the fifth weekend out of seven where Tym has played at least one weekend matinee at the waterfront restaurant on St. Joseph Island, and with the Gliss re-opening date still a mystery, it's nice to see Tym getting some relatively consistent bookings in the interim! Fans in Richards Landing and area can see Tym's skilled blend of hard and classic rock covers on SATURDAY evening at 5:00 PM, and while there is no age limit or cover charge, remember that this is a formal sit-down restaurant. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next up, one of the biggest Sault Ontario punk concerts of the year will finally go down TOMORROW NIGHT, when former Misfits frontman Michale Graves will make his local concert debut as the headliner at The Canadian Nightclub! Though his solo output far outnumbers his Misfits run from the 1990s, Michale's work with that band lives on locally from such fan favourite songs as "Saturday Night", "Helena", and "American Psycho", and his brand of metal-tinged horror punk should get a huge audience at The Canadian tomorrow! It may not be the "secret show", but this one will more than suffice! Michale will be joined tomorrow (as on his Course of Empire tour) by West Virginia "horror death" outfit Argyle Goolsby & The Roving Midnight and Vancouver horror punk artist Nim Vind, and from the former's dark-yet-melodic originals to the latter's hard-edged "electric music", genre fans will find lots to love from this three headed monster! Local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades will provide local support in a massive no-brainer.

Given promoter/frontman J.D. Pearce's frequent covers of 1990s Misfits songs in his various bands, who better to open up for Michale himself?! Despite the Facebook event page still advertising "another act TBA", none have been publically confirmed. This 19+ concert has an early 7:30 PM start time listed, and advance tickets are now $20 at this link, The Canadian, and The Rad Zone (the price did drop from $25, but that may still be the door charge.) With 6 months of hype, this concert should be a huge hit for late-period Misfits fans and horror punk aficionados alike, so see the above links for complete details, here's Michale live, and don't miss this one!

Also, we'll head downtown to LopLops Lounge, where Toronto-based Ramones tribute band The Gabba Heys will make their local concert debut THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! Fronted by veteran local punk musician Mikey Hawdon, this will be his first local appearance as a band frontman in almost 2 years, and the first time he's channeled his inner Joey Ramone locally since bringing his prior Ramones tribute The Merves here for the fifth and final time in 2015. Mikey's Ramones fandom is well known, and his effective, fan favourite tribute experience should go over as well on Saturday with The Gabba Heys as it did with The Merves, so don't miss out! Mikey's long-time bandmate Dustin Jones will open with his (online page-less) punk cover quartet The Cover-Up, which is a fitting choice, but may fans get a mini-Surfers or Rising Tide reunion on Saturday? The advertised opener is Mikey's former Merves bandmate Amy "Gabba" Zucchetto with a Joan Jett tribute set, but I have read conflicting reports regarding whether she's opening or playing during The Gabba Heys' set.

If we have any Sudbury readers, keep in mind that all of these performers will be playing there tomorrow at The Townehouse Tavern, so click here for details on that concert. As for Saturday's local show (a presentation of Tidal Records), this is a 19+ event with a 9:00 PM start time and a $10 cover charge. Misfits one night, and Ramones the next, punk fans are definitely blessed with some classic songs this weekend, and with some familiar faces from the past two decades of local punk music, fans won't want to miss out on all of Saturday's action at LopLops! For a preview, here's The Gabba Heys with Amy Gabba live in Toronto last year!

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

  • New local grindcore solo project Awokest quietly dropped out of Tuesday night's Truth of All Death concert at The New American Pub, as per promoter Chase Wigmore on the Facebook event page. Other than to say Awokest's exit was "at the last second", a reason for their removal wasn't announced, but hopefully nothing bad happened in their camp! Chase himself filled in with a solo set, which should have went over well for assembled fans!
  • Local solo metal musician and ex-Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent is looking for other musicians to jam with. Mike says that he's up to play "any genre... literally", and he has a guitar, keyboard, and electric drums. If you're interested in jamming with Mike and seeing where things go, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post yesterday!
  • The Soo Zombie Walk will not take place next month, as per organizers on their Facebook page on Tuesday. Despite meetings and plans for the event's 10th installment, funding issues have led the organizing committee to postpone the annual walk until 2019. This popular Halloween season event didn't feature live music last year as it was, but this is definitely an unfortunate announcement, as I know how fun the Zombie Walk was for attendees of all ages. Hopefully they can regroup in time for next year!
  • The teased acoustic performers have been announced for the #TeamBear benefit concert at The Sault Theatre Workshop on October 6th, namely Machines Dream frontman Craig West, ex-Blackberries frontman Norm Rosteck, folk singer/guitarist M.D. Dunn, and a mystery act named The Cheesemakers (we'll let you know if we can confirm their identity.) Solid choices overall, so look for some proficient tunes at this event to help Pirie Kaufman through his cancer battle, and click here for more details! As well, local drag queen performer Paris Gore will also have a live performance of some kind that day.
  • If you missed the Weekend Warrior Fest concert at The Marconi Club earlier this month, than you can relive the event via this SooToday article from James Hopkin from September 9th. The beer launch is given precedence over the concert aspect, but Northwest frontman Wayne Watkins is interviewed for the piece, given that he works as a sales account manager for Rogers Radio's stations here, including Weekend Warrior Fest sponsors Country 104.3. Hopefully the event was a big hit for craft beer fans and music lovers alike!
  • Local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns will host the weekly open mic night at the M.S. Norgoma museum ship at 91 Foster Drive this coming Tuesday, as per it's official Facebook event page. We don't treat open mic nights as "concerts" for our coverage on the SMS due to the uncertain nature of the lineups and format, but Rob, Jesse, and Christina should prove to be solid hosts with their fan friendly live sets! Ex-Gore Street Cafe owner Nicole Dyble has been hosting open mic nights and night markets at the Norgoma in recent months, and hopefully Tuesday's helps towards keeping the Norgoma downtown long-term!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Faps), New Videos, And Much More!!

Before we begin this news post, I want to apologize for a missed concert, as Tym Morrison played a short notice concert at La Terrazza Franzisi in Richards Landing on Sunday, which Tym only posted the Facebook event page for that afternoon. As such, we didn't hear about it until it was far too late to cover on the SMS. Profuse apologies, we'd have covered it had it even had a day's notice, but hopefully it was a solid concert! Now, we have some assorted recent updates, new videos from each side of the border, and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, so here's what you should know!

Saskatchewan noise-punk duo The Faps will return to Sault Ontario for a headlining concert on Wednesday, October 3rd at LopLops Lounge! This will be The Faps' fourth local appearance, after headlining at The New A in 2014, before playing here twice last October, including one show at LopLops, so Blair and Skyler's brand of "post-gar(b)age-punk" is not foreign to Sault audiences. Expect another hard hitting night of minimalist noise rock originals from this entertaining live outfit in just over two weeks' time, whether you've seen them locally before or not! Local rapper Conika will open in a rare LopLops appearance, and while she may seem like an atypical choice to open for a punk headliner, Conika actually opened for The Faps in their 2014 show here, so this is nothing new, and she should put in a solid performance! No other openers have been announced at press time, but past Faps shows here have always had at least three bands, and like those concerts, this is a presentation of Six, Two, Oh..

This stop on The Faps' Grimelda Goes East Tour has a $5 cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and an advertised 9:00 PM start time. The Wednesday scheduling is unfortunate for many potential attendees with work or school in the morning, but if you can swing a LopLops trip on October 3rd, you'll get a solid night of post-punk action with some local rap for good measure, so visit the official Facebook event page for current details!

Next up, are you still wanting some details on Awokest, the mystery band playing TONIGHT'S Truth Of All Death concert at The New American Pub? Well, we know a little more now, as concert promoter Chase Wigmore plugged Awokest in his newest Facebook page posting, so what can be said on them now? Well, Chase said that they're a one-man grindcore band led by a musician with the stage name "Dick Jerkins" (I'll ignore the obvious innuendo there.) I can't confirm his identity otherwise, but that name is also used for his personal Facebook page and YouTube channel. On the latter, Dick posted a free EP named "The Tweakening", which features six (often short) songs with titles like "War Machine" and "The Great White Flail", among other more provocative names. While there's no public ties to that label, the music on display here is definitely Blood Shed-esque, but Awokest stand on their own with a bass-heavy, techno-tinged attack and black metal-styled vocals.

It'll be interesting to see how they do TONIGHT at The New A, and hopefully glean some more information on Awokest and/or Dick afterward, but give "The Tweakening" a listen below, and click here for more details on TONIGHT'S concert! (For the record, Awokest don't have a known public online page outside of YouTube, but if one surfaces, we would add them to our band links. Stay tuned in case they expand their online presence!)

Also today, here's some new videos from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's Facebook page, as live-streamed there yesterday morning! Aside from an intro from keyboardist Craig Harrison on the first video, these primarily feature guitarist Luke Bernard (who you may recognize from guest spots in a few Theatre of Night Facebook uploads back in May) alongside pre-recorded orchestral tracks, with Luke even playing his acoustic guitar on his lap in the second clip. While not heavy songs, they're well done for fans of Theatre of Night's classical side, and is Luke joining their Christmas tour? Give these clips a look above and below!

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

  • Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned's remaining 2018 concerts at the Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace Kewadin Casinos have all been cancelled, as per a post on the band's Facebook page yesterday. According to Banned, Kewadin told them that they are "going in a different direction", a reason that I honestly never liked, as it tells you precisely nothing. Regardless, only four publically announced E.U.P. Kewadin gigs (September 28th & 29th and December 14th-15th, all in the Soo) have to be removed from our concert calendar. This is disappointing, but hopefully Banned can be a part of the "different direction" down the line!
  • J.D. Pearce's annual Halloween Party concerts (a.k.a. The Howling) have quietly been moved back to The Algonquin Pub in Sault Ontario, after original event advertising listed the shows as being held at Soo Blaster. A reason for the relocation wasn't announced, but given that the post-Coch's Halloween parties (2013 aside) have all been held on a floor of The Algonquin Hotel, this just makes things more familiar for long-time attendees. See above for more details on this year's parties, including a new event poster from Frightlight guitarist Kevin "St. Mayhem" Powe!
  • Local/Thompson hard rock solo artist Mike Haggith announced the track listing for his new solo album "Bridges" via this photo on his Facebook page on Thursday. The album will feature 10 songs, including all of the Manitoba-era original tracks he's publically shared or previewed (except "If Only You Could Hear Me"), as well as two newly revealed titles, namely "The Catalyst" and "Blue Highway". It sounds like things are going well on the mixing and editing front too, so keep tabs at the above links for continued updates on "Bridges"!

That's all for today, but stay tune for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Truth Of All Death, Frightlight, And The Strange Coyotes!!)

Before we round out our Oh!No festival fallout, we have a post completely devoted to LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS today, one on SHORT NOTICE, so here's what you should know for your fall concert plans!

Local alt-folk musician Chase Wigmore is returning to the concert promotion game with a special New American Pub show THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, to be headlined by Toronto grindcore band The Truth Of All Death! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only announced last Tuesday, too soon to fully cover the show without this preview being a rehash. The Truth Of All Death should pique the interest of Blood Shed Productions loyalists with their minimalist grind/noise onslaught, short songs, and provocative subject matter, so if this is up your alley, give The T.O.A.D. a listen above in advance of their local debut on TUESDAY! Blood Shed's flagship solo grindcore project Crucify the Whore will open in a rare New A set, while the only other advertised act is Awokest, who I have no information on whatsoever. The chance exists that this is a new project of Chase's, given that he's not advertised with a solo set, but that's purely conjecture on my part. We'll let you know if public details on Awokest come out, or if potential added acts are confirmed!

Though the venue is not directly cited on the Facebook event page, The New A's Facebook page confirms that they're playing host. A $5 cover charge is in effect for TUESDAY'S 19+ concert, which has an advertised 8:00 PM start time, though that may just be the door opening time. If you've missed grindcore concerts locally, this should whet your appetite for the subgenre, so keep this concert in mind for TUESDAY NIGHT, especially if Chase's talk of bi-weekly concerts comes to fruition! Here's The Truth Of All Death live!

Next up, here's some Halloween season concerts with lots of advance notice, starting with local promoter J.D. Pearce's 14th straight year of Halloween party concerts, as he's back with a second straight double header on Friday, October 27th & Saturday, October 28th at... Soo Blaster?! After spending 5 of the past 6 years at The Algonquin Hotel, J.D.'s Halloween party (alternately known as "The Howling") will move to Soo Blaster for 2018, marking our first ever punk/metal concerts covered at the new restaurant, arcade, and live events venue at 345 Queen Street East, which was previously home to Woolco and the RMH/NCO call center. Soo Blaster has made waves in the past year with hip hop concerts and stand up comedians, but how will it handle aggressive live bands? This year's roster will be tribute-focused for a fourth straight year, with the Friday the 27th lineup featuring unidentified tributes to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, H.I.M., and The Distillers.

I can't confirm complete identities for the three bands at present, but personal Facebook postings indicate that Jack Spades/Stegadeth guitarist Tiffany Stocco will be performing in the H.I.M. and Distillers tributes. Will one/both of her bands take on either guise, or will these be one-off supergroups? Time will tell! Both are relatively unique bands for covers here, but the Chili Peppers aren't as shocking. Will this band share any relation to the late 2000s local tribute Sikamikanico? The lineup on Saturday the 28th will feature tributes to Tool and Weezer, and while HTs bassist Ryan Disano & Redundant frontman Justin Langlois signalled their involvement in each tribute via personal Facebook postings, I again don't know whether the tribute bands will be reskinned existing bands or one-offs. However, we do know the Saturday headliners by name, as defunct local horror punk quintet Frightlight will hit the stage for the first time in four years that night! How's that for a spooky surprise? Will they focus on Misfits covers to go with the theme?

Frightlight were a steady fan favourite band in their original 2009-2014 run, and while I can't confirm the makeup of their 2018 reunion lineup, look for the guys to deliver one more high impact fright night next month! Sponsored by Northern Superior Breweries, this year's Halloween party concerts are 19+ affairs with 10:00 PM start times, and each night's admission is $10, but there will be a $15 weekend pass for both nights. Things are shaping up for a great weekend of live music action at a new-ish locale next month, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and we'll let you know when we hear more on the band identities and ticket availability!

Finally, here's one more seasonal concert for late next month, as the aforementioned Chase Wigmore is bringing live metal music back to The Oddfellows Hall after well over a year away, with a Devil's Night concert planned for Tuesday, October 30th! After the abrupt relocation of his last try at an Oddfellows concert, things have a lot more advance word this time, so hopefully there's no hang-ups next month! A spiritual successor to Blood Shed Productions' Devil's Night concerts at the same venue in 2013 & 2014 (Chase played both), he is hyping up the "mash-up" nature of the lineup, with a variety of metal and folk acts on display next month, so who all is playing? As per the Facebook event page, we'll be blessed with a Haggith-less reunion of 2013-2014 funk metal band The Strange Coyotes as the apparent headliners! Nice to see Chase & James back together after far too long, though no word yet on if this will be a one-off, or if they'll have a drummer present. The remaining performers are all solo acts, though more bands could be added.

Alongside the aforementioned Crucify the Whore, fans can check out Chase's own solo project (with an apparent "folk punk rock opera" in store), creative local pianist Damjan "Spider Fingerz" Binda, and new local alt-folk musician Wes Armstrong (not Anderson), who you may have seen at Chase's Rednecks show earlier this month. This ALL AGES concert has a presumably incorrect start time of 3:52 PM (I'd guess it'd be later), while admission fees have not yet been confirmed. Nice mixture of Blood Shed collaborators coming back for another Devil's Night, plus some new sounds, so visit the above links for current and continuing details as they roll in!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Oh!No 2018 Video Showcase, Part 2!!

Hey everyone, here's our second showcase post of videos from last week's Oh!No concert festival at Robbie's Church in nearby Leeburn, Ontario, with all videos courtesy of Christopher Paci's excellent YouTube channel once again! For our rundown of videos from the closing three acts, the bonfire, professional photography, and assorted household cleaning notes, visit yesterday's post below this one. Continuing in descending order, Chris filmed Thunder Bay psychedelic/desert punk quintet The Franquilizers next, capturing them performing the last half of a song which I cant 100% identify by name (maybe it's new?) The dark nighttime lighting doesn't help visibility here, but this song has a laid back feel while also harbouring some hardcore punk-tinged vocals. Not an optimal view, but The Franquilizers' got a solid reception last week, as they did last year, so give Chris' video of their set a look below!

Next up, here's some more Northern Ontario punk action from last week, courtesy of Sudbury trio Lightmares, who are seen here playing their original song "Soup". More of a modern indie rock-tinged sound here, but there's enough punk energy and swagger to go around with this solid performance, and the lighting is a little better on stage! Strong performance, if a little muffled in the video, so give Lightmares' video from Leeburn a look below!

Also performing last week (during the sunset, even) were Barrie punk quartet Beaver Slap, as this fan favourite, all-female group can be seen here performing three songs, though they were performing sans singer Midge Beaver for reasons unannounced in an online form. While they played some songs as a three-piece (including the Chris-filmed "Don't Bleed"), they also jammed an open mic selection for attendees to join in on. As seen in both Donna Hopper's and Mimi Abitbol's photos from the festival (the latter on the band's Facebook page), you can spot the likes of C.T.W.'s Tyler Gibson, festival co-promoter/ex-Fuller frontman Jamie Vincent, and even a young girl (as in, elementary age) taking over lead vocal duties for short turns. Chris did film two videos featuring guest singers, including one with Bear Hunters singer Nik Deubel channeling his inner Rick Astley by covering "Never Gonna Give You Up"?! I don't believe that's what Beaver Slap are actually playing, but beggars can't be choosers!

Nik reminds me a bit of Glenn Danzig with his cleans before unleashing his usual growl, but I want to hear him in higher quality before fully judging. The other video (embedded below) features Winkstinger frontman Josh Amendola singing a song I can't easily identify, and while he still faces the side of the stage too often when singing, his harsh vocals shred through the music well! Beaver Slap adapted nicely to being short-handed with a crowd friendly backup plan, and the girls sound good throughout the clips, so give their videos a look above and below as well!

Finally for our second Oh!No fallout/video post, let's tackle the remaining out of town bands from last week's festivities! The day's first touring attraction was Toronto indie rock quartet Forest City Aurora, who Chris filmed for this video, though I can't identify the song by name. Garbageface aside, F.C.A. were the only touring non-punk/metal band on the bill, but their melodic and easy flowing sound comes through really well on this video, so genre fans should get a kick out of them! As well, visit Forest City Aurora's Facebook page for one more video of their set courtesy of a band colleague. We'll close today with the second out of town band last week, as F.C.A. were immediately followed by London post-grindcore trio Fat Cop, who Chris filmed two videos of, partially because the first video's lighting is too bright thanks to the sun (the second video with better lighting is embedded below.) That said, this barely sounds like the same band as on their studio recordings, in some respects!

From what I've heard of Fat Cop on Bandcamp, I expected a lo-fi instrumental noise rock attack, but in these videos, they have more vocals and more of a punk influence. New sound, or just how things translate live compared to the studio? In any event, their aggressive sound looks like it got a positive response from attendees near the mid-point of Oh!No II, so give their videos a look above and below!

We'll likely close our Oh!No festival fallout and videos in the coming days by looking at the local openers, plus any odds and ends I missed regarding the event and out of town bands, so look for those and more on the site soon! Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Oh!No 2018 Video Showcase & Fallout, Part 1!

Here's our first of at least 2 (maybe 3) fallout/video posts from this past Saturday's Oh!No concert festival at Robbie Adamson's old church in nearby Leeburn, Ontario, and believe me, there's a lot to touch on! Co-promoter/AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent gave a nice long thank you on the Facebook event page to everyone who made this year's festival possible (even Oosik Records were on site), so definitely give that a look! Jamie's write-up confirms a late lineup change, as drone/noise trio Pointless (featuring Oh!No sound engineers Bill Priddle and Dustin Goodall) did play a proper set after all, despite their prior removal from the schedule. Though they were bumped to the evening, they appear to have replaced Mister Tahti's advertised kickoff set, despite his attendance as a vendor on Saturday. Hopefully all's well across the board! Though curiously not part of a SooToday article (yet?), Donna Hopper was on hand for Oh!No II, posting 139 photos from the festival onto her photography Facebook page, so what should you know there?

Without breaking down individual totals (the shots are in order), Donna was on hand for the three final local bands (Planet Rock, Pointless, and The Dynowaves) and every out of town act except closing rapper Garbageface, with each band getting at least 8 or 9 photos. As expected, Donna's photos are superb, and she got a lot of photos of the crowd enjoying the festival and the bands, so if you were there, see if you're featured! Though the lion's share of her photos are in black and white, they contrast well with the ending bonfire shots, which she left in colour, so the old organ burning is preserved as you saw it on Saturday! In the realm of public videos, we are far more blessed than we were for year 1, particularly because Christopher Paci was on hand for the majority of the day's events, filming at least one video of every out of town band and the same local bands that Donna photographed, plus Jack Spades and Mik & Steve. If you missed or want to relive the latter stages of Oh!No II, visit Chris' YouTube channel!

We'll go in descending order for Chris' twenty videos from last week, which capped off with a video of the aforementioned organ bonfire, which is a good watch to see the spectacle in motion, let alone in a rare portrait orientation video of his! Chris' last music clips were three videos of Peterborough doom rapper Garbageface performing his songs "Mouths", "Like The Goddamn Fucking Challenger Explosion" (he titled it, not me!), and "Mental Alchemy". The lighting's not ideal on these clips, but his communal and intense presence comes through as well as it did locally last year, and this looks like a fun way to end the festival! Fellow Peterborough talents Cross Dog preceded him, with the hardcore punk trio filmed twice by Chris, though I admittedly haven't had a lot of luck identifying them based on their studio albums. The stage lighting is dark compared to the surrounding church walls, but you get a nice central view of Cross Dog's ferocious live attack here!

Tracy's vocals are sometimes muffled, but the raucous fan response is clear, and it's great to see Mark and company bring Cross Dog back to the Algoma District after 5 years away! Give Chris' videos of theirs a look at this link and below, and hopefully we're not waiting another 5 years for the next one!

We'll close our first Oh!No fallout post with a video of Sudbury "party violence" quintet The Therapists, and their video is of their original song "Shotgun Anus". Again, they titled it, don't shoot the messenger! If you can't see them well with the lighting, photographer Mimi Abitbol got colour shots of them at the festival, which you can check out on the band's Facebook page. I guarantee this will be the only band you see locally this year featuring both an astronaut and... Jesus Christ?! Also, nice touch by singer Patrick Sauve to wear a vest covered in Shit Liver patches, given that they replaced Shit Liver on the Oh!No bill. If I had to describe The Therapists' sound, I'd go with hardcore punk, but that's definitely a generalization, they have more to say than just that stylistically, and they definitely have a good sense of humour. Again, the audio's somewhat muffled here, but The Therapists look like a fun live band, and hopefully they come out west again in the future, so give Chris' video a look below!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more Oh!No concert fallout in the coming days, possibly tomorrow, as we'll look at the remaining out of town bands then! Thanks everyone!