Monday, September 30, 2019

Telephone & Address - "The Rotten EP" Review!!

It's now time for our 123rd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and with no new metal, hard rock, or punk albums out to my knowledge this month, we're dipping into the archives for the fourth time in six months, specifically by looking at revived local post punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address' first official album "The Rotten EP"! This album was chosen to tie in with Telephone & Address' advertised return set at the third annual Oh!No festival in Leeburn earlier this month, and marks our long overdue final review of their five pre-hiatus solo albums in the mid-late 2010s. Released through Harmisntus Productions on December 28th, 2013 when they opened for Tim Day at The Algonquin Pub,"The Rotten EP" is considered to be their first album, de-listing their prior demos from canon. Featuring project founder and prolific artist Christopher Shoust on vocals and guitar, CD printings were limited to 50 copies in cardboard packaging, though you can buy it for $8 on Bandcamp, which is $2 cheaper than CDs were when they were on sale.

Of course, you can stream the whole EP there as well, but consider buying it to support Christopher's work! Featuring 7 songs running for about 17 minutes in length, let's begin this review with it's opening song "Get Ready To Run"! As you can tell quickly with this song, "The Rotten EP" shares the most similarities with Telephone & Address' 2013-2017 public concert sets of their five canon CDs, as this is devoid of bass, drums or ambient programming like on the four follow-ups. That said, this song has a clear punk energy with forceful singing and strongly played guitar work that would easily translate to a full electric setting, and Chris' distinctive vocal style seems to mesh better here than on a softer, slower track. That said, the song's structure and the lyrics do get repetitive after a while, and as such, it does feel like an incomplete song repeated to stretch it past 3 minutes. Entertaining overall, but I wish it was more varied as it went along.

Next up is the EP's longest track (at 3:11, mind you), "Bought & Sold." Harbouring more of a politically-charged stance in it's lyrics, I again like the passion and force that Christopher projects here, and the song's well played and sung, but this song is similarly repetitive to it's predecessor, basically repeating the same verse and chorus three times over before ending with another verse go-around. There is something here as a lo-fi punk performance, absolutely, but I would either vary the structure or chop the song down in length. Third is "Fucked From Birth" (he titled it, not me!), which has a Green Day-esque sound, obviously stripped down, though the title does allude to more explicit language used in the lyrics proper. The faster pace and shorter length help differentiate this one from it's preceding songs, and while the lyrics still aren't terribly long, there's less room for repetition. So far, this song feels the most ready for the full band treatment, and it's an early highlight!

That's followed by "Broken Head", which retains the punk energy of it's predecessors, but this seems like it has more of a folk essence, with vocals sung a little more than on prior tracks. I'd have varied the guitar playing a little more, as it only really changes in style for the brief choruses, but the song is effective and wraps things up before it overstays it's welcome! Fifth is one of the EP's two shortest songs, "Fight", though despite the name, there are more aggressive songs on here. The verse singing here is surprisingly repetitive and muddled given the sub-2 minute length, and while the song's structure isn't as by-the-numbers here, I don't find this as catchy.

"Drunk & Disorderly" is the EP's penultimate offering,  and it has a folk punk sound like "Broken Head", thankfully with a clearer overall performance than on "Fight." The song itself is on one track for the verses and choruses, but the lyrics are shaken up a little more, and Chris gives solid feeling and aggression to the vocals. Another highlight on the album, and it's nicely laid out for length and pacing too! "The Rotten EP" closes with "We're All Fucked" (again, I didn't title this!), which is tied with "Fight" at it's short 1:52 run-time. This is a clear and well performed song that manages to cram three full verses and choruses each into the duration, but with the length and the energy, it doesn't feel repetitive. Not overly angry despite the title, this isn't a bad song, but aside from the liberal expletives in the chorus, it doesn't stand out compared to earlier tracks.

So, what are my final thoughts on Telephone & Address' first canon CD? I think the best was yet to come, but this was a solid collection of lo-fi outsider punk songs that helped set the groundwork for what was to come! I am surprised that Christopher never reprised the singer/guitarist-only template on later albums, especially given the nature of his live shows then, so if your fondest memories of this project are from concerts, this will be extra notable. His distinctive nasally vocal style works well here in a more forceful, angrier setting, and he gets good mileage out of the acoustic guitar overall, with songs like "Broken Head" and the songs with the F-word in the title showcasing his top flight contributions. Intentionally lo-fi quality aside, my big qualm with the EP as is was the repetitive song structures and lyrics, particularly on the two opening tracks, though this was generally a lesser issue as the songs shrunk, albeit having less time to repeat then.

I think Telephone & Address' last two albums (with full electric instrumentation) were their best, but "The Rotten EP" was a solid release given it's solo and lo-fi nature, and  if you like your punk rock with an outsider folk edge, or enjoyed Chris' mid-2010s solo shows, you should find a lot to like here. Give this EP a listen or buy it at the above links, and I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! I do not yet know what we'll be reviewing next month (ideally a new metal, hard rock, or punk album if released), but if we have to dip into the archives, I'll tie a review in with an artist playing live next month if at all possible. No to Awokest, The Inner City Surfers, or Treble Charger in any event, it's too soon from our last reviews of theirs. Keep in mind the talks that Chase Wigmore would be releasing his true official debut studio album with a release concert on Devil's Night, but we await full confirmation of that event and album release before getting our hopes up. Stay tuned in any event, and for more news next month! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Michale Graves Concert Review!!

Alright, it's time for a concert review I've been waiting to do since the infamous Mackinac Bridge closure last fall (no inclement wind yesterday!), as let's finally talk about Michale Graves' local show at The Canadian Nightclub! As it turns out, Michale and crew played a special acoustic pre-show for VIP ticket-holders, and from what I heard, it was a great time and he was very open and friendly with attendees, which is great to hear! Door admission was $30, so it did go up from advance prices, though the house wasn't as packed as I assumed it would be. That said, the floor was packed for Graves' set, and fans were very vocal, especially during "Saturday Night"!

Opening last night were local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback in their first concert since they released their debut music video, and they put forth a solid set of their original material for early fans! Alongside established originals like "Kicking & Screaming", "Faded", and "Nightmares", the guys played two newer songs that I don't recall hearing live or online ("Endless Dream" & "Drop Dead") which went over well and seemed to fit their existing sound. I wish Chris Nielsen bantered a little more with the crowd, but he has improved with confidence as a frontman since I last saw A.D.S., and he and Matt Quinn were solid compliments on guitar and bass, while Nick Kainula's drumming was on point (nice to hear a solo there too!) No major frills beyond on-sale merchandise, but A Dire Setback stuck to their guns and delivered a strong opening set!

Second up last night were horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight in their second one-off reunion show in as many years, and given how frequently they covered Graves-era Misfits in their original run and last year, what a night to come back! Rhythm guitarist Kevin "St. Mayhem" Powe was back in the fold last night after missing last year's set, but in a huge surprise, lead guitarist Rick "Styles" White was absent for unannounced reasons, a'la their initial 2014 farewell concert. Hopefully nothing bad happened! Jack Spades guitarist Daniel Horton filled in for the set, complete with the stage name "Handsome Dan" and "Aladdin Sane"-era David Bowie facepaint, and he handled things very well in relief! Playing their full "It's A...Live!" EP alongside "World War Z" and their "Bite It You Scum" cover (no Misfits songs for obvious reasons),  the guys picked up where they left off last year with another batch of horror punk favourites!

The set did seem a little rushed for time, but everyone played up to the standards we recall from their original run, with Johnny Pints' vocals strong and clear, and Eddie Fright's bass work was also nicely done in particular! Hopefully we see the guys back out there at some point in the future, but if Frightlight's last show is this one, it was an ideal finale, Rick's absence aside!

Finally, your headline attraction was former Misfits frontman Michale Graves & his solo band in a concert a year & a week in the making, though this time, he performed both of his Misfits studio albums ("American Psycho" & "Famous Monsters") back to back in full. To put it mildly, it was awesome hearing Michale in person doing such classic songs as "Dig Up Her Bones", "Walk Among Us", "Scream", and "Saturday Night"), and fans were very receptive, openly filling in the gaps by singing along! Michale himself was in good spirits, but his stage banter was minimal, and his voice was straining a bit as the set went along, especially noticeable at points where notes were held longer or screamed. However, things went by well, especially with a backing band more than up to the task of handling these familiar songs, and if you love horror punk, there was no better place to be last night! Hopefully they come back at some point!

Overall, this was a great concert full of entertaining and high energy punk rock, and if you called this the unofficial start to the Halloween season around here, I wouldn't dispute your logic! You can check out our photos at this link and/or our Facebook page, and as for our videos, here A Dire Setback playing "Endless Dream", Frightlight playing "She Screams", and Michale Graves playing both "The Haunting" & "From Hell They Came!"

I hope you guys liked this concert review, and stay tuned for this month's CD review on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

YouTube Channel Profile Series: The Karstens Official

Before I head off to the Michale Graves concert, here's this month's slightly overdue YouTube Channel Profile, as we continue our monthly spotlighting of YouTube channels whose content is at least half devoted to local metal, hard rock, or punk musicians and/or concerts! This month's randomly selected channel is all about a promising but social media-averse Sault Michigan band from the mid-2010s, so here's what you should know from them!
 The Karstens Official (

Owner: A member of inactive Sault Michigan alternative metal quartet The Karstens, identity unclear (possibly Paul LeBlanc)

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 14th, 2017; Videos posted from that day through that August

Channel Summary: This is the official YouTube channel (and only public presence online) from The Karstens, who quietly ran locally in 2016 and 2017, but achieved some recognition at concert events in the E.U.P. during that time. The channel features two music videos, two live clips each from concerts in Brimley and Rudyard, a bass-only track for their original "Indian Money", and two short bonus videos shot when longer videos on this channel were filmed.

Why You Should Watch: Given that they had no other pages online to promote themselves, The Karstens' YouTube channel is absolutely essential viewing for fans of their run, especially as one of the few debuting metal or hard rock bands in the E.U.P. in the mid-2010s that weren't of the classic rock/bar variety. With an eclectic mix of solid originals and some very surprising covers, it's a shame that The Karstens didn't survive into 2018, but hopefully the guys are still musically active! For 2016 videos before this was launched, visit Wabaanimkii and racosun's channels.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Sacrifice (The Karstens, Flipper Cover): Two of The Karstens' four live concert videos come from an apparent headlining concert at Pickles Bar & Grill in Brimley back in mid-2016, including a cover of The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", and as embedded below, Flipper's "Sacrifice". This video was originally posted onto Wabaanimkii's channel before being deleted and re-posted here in 2017. Hearing a local band cover these noise rock pioneers is really neat, and the performance has a nice groove, with the distinctively deep vocals being very effective! 

Dissatifaction (The Karstens): The first uploaded and most popular video on The Karstens' channel is a music video for their song "Dissatisfaction", which was filmed by Jayrwin LeBlanc in various outdoor locations in the area. Nice scenery and unique stage attire help this video stand out well, though they self-deprecatingly noted that the video was "recorded with a potato", which may explain the lo-fi audio quality. The song proper is more of a 1990s Cake-style song compared to their more aggressive, looser live performances, and only three band members appear for the duration, but it gets the job done! A 50 second long "behind the scenes" video was filmed during this shoot and posted to the channel not long afterward, as was a second music video for their song "Indian Money."

The Karstens at Rudyard Music Fest pt.1: The channel's last public activity (let alone the band's) came as a result of their set at the second annual Rudyard Musicians Festival in August 2017, with three videos being posted from this night. These include a visually shaky cover of The Stooges' "Down On The Street", a 30 second clip of another "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" rendition to illustrate the disparity between monitor and P.A. vocals, and as embedded below, The Deli Creeps' "Binge & Grab." Karstens fans will know that they were huge fans of Buckethead and his related projects, as their multiple Deli Creeps covers would indicate. Well handled covers, the dark moody lighting actually helps the ambiance, and these are definitely worth a look for festivalgoers and fans alike!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month, we'll look at two channels due to the first that I randomly selected only having two distinct kinds of videos from the same concert. As such, a second channel with only one video was added to fill things out. Look for our profiles of 1djminer's channel (featuring videos from the Three Days Grace concert here in 2008) and in a surprising coincidence that I did not plan, the aforementioned Wabaanimkii's channel, featuring a 2016 video of The Karstens! I use when picking channels in this series, this can happen, but stay tuned for much more soon. Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 27, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Soo's Got Talent Round 3) & Second Round Footage!!

As promised, let's close out this weekend's hard rock concert previews with a full extended look at an ongoing talent competition, and like last week, this is a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT. Here's what you should know!

After two weeks of competition, local rap metal trio The Apocalypse Afterparty have advanced to the semifinals in The Soo's Got Talent, which goes down TOMORROW NIGHT at Soo Blaster! Apologies for the short notice, we again held our coverage of the following round due to the short turnaround time, though followers of the event knew that the third round was the week afterwards. Last week's action at The Verdi Hall saw the remaining 14 acts perform for the judges, with Marilena Blair, Andrea Dantzer, Ciara Pelletier LeBeouf, and Greg McLeod all not advancing to the final 10, so The Apocalypse Afterparty will continue flying the metal/alternative flag, even if they hate genres! However, "an issue beyond our control" forced organizers to postpone the semifinals from today to TOMORROW, and while it's not clear how related it is, the location has indeed shifted to Soo Blaster, which is a bigger venue fitting the increasing stakes, so keep the changes in mind!

Despite the changes, admission details remain similar from last week, including an 8:00 PM start time (doors at 7:00 PM), and a $10 cover charge for adults, $5 for kids 16 and under. Visit the above links for more information on what to expect at Soo Blaster TOMORROW, and for a preview, here's the second episode of The Soo's Got Talent's televised airing from SaultOnline's YouTube channel! As ONNtv subscribers may already have seen on Monday, this captures all 14 second round performers, though despite the six eliminations since week 1, they still got a 2+ hour video out of the footage shot last week. Better camera usage this time, including multiple angles and a closer primary camera, so that helps accentuate the contest progression! Remember, these performances all feature a singer covering an existing song unless otherwise stated. In performance order, we have The Apocalypse Afterparty (Lorde's "Tennis Courts", surprisingly), ...

...Madison Blair (Rihanna's "Stay"), Marilena Blair ("Amazing Grace", which was performed by Leila Rabanez on night #1), Andrea Dantzer ("A Change In Me" from Beauty & The Beast), The Dancing Divas (Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" with locally relevant lyric changes), Killabeatz doing another original beatboxing performance, Colin Gasparelli (a medley of the jazz standard "Summertime" & a-Ha's "Take On Me"), Bethany Pelletier LeBeouf (Avril Lavigne's "Head Above Water"), Ciara Pelletier LeBeouf (Meghan Trainor's "Me Too"), Greg McLeod (George Strait's "Write This Down"), Cameron Oliver (Ozzy Osbourne's "Mama, I'm Coming Home"), Coulson Perri (Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up"), Juliana Regan (Donny Hathaway's "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"), and Adrian Sullivan playing an original song, before ending with an improvised bonus Killabeatz performance with a guest rapper, followed by the announcement of who advanced to the semifinals.

Note that singer/guitarist Lauren Kroll is not featured in the week 2 performances, apparently signalling her withdrawal from The Soo's Got Talent after the opening round for unannounced reasons. Hopefully nothing bad happened, she sounded good! Regarding the metal-spectrum covers, Cameron effectively handles Ozzy's classic ballad in more of a folksy acoustic format, and while I don't assume this is indicative of his complete repertoire, he seems like he can do a wide range of material. As for The Apocalypse Afterparty, the drum beat first had me thinking they were covering Death From Above, but they effectively rocked up Lorde here, and the eclectic costumes continued to surprise in their post-mask era. Barring any more unforeseen exits, they will be back TOMORROW for the semifinals along with the other 8 remaining acts, and with a bigger venue and production quality, hopefully this is another hit! Give the video a look below, and stay tuned for fallout next week!

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck) & Most Of This Weekend's Hard Rock/Punk Concert Previews!!

With acts playing on Wednesday and Thursday covered, let's dive into our second weekend concert preview post for this busy stretch! Remember, we covered Tym Morrison and Tarnished yesterday, and The Soo's Got Talent will get a thorough look next. Now, here's what you should know for traditional concerts, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will return to The Water Tower Pub for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this show was announced earlier this month via this concert calendar from the venue, but it slipped us by at the time, not helped by Soundcheck not advertising this show either on their own 2019 concert calendar or via a Facebook event page as of this writing. Last seen in short-handed form last week at The Esquire Club (and at The Water Tower Pub in July), TOMORROW'S concert will presumably have Paul back on bass, so if you want some live classic and hard rock covers this weekend, you know where to be! Remember, this is a one-night-only gig, as is standard for The Water Tower Pub, which traditionally books different acts nightly. As usual for Soundcheck's gigs at this central venue, expect a 9:30 PM start time, no cover charge, and a 19+ age limit. See above for more details, and here's Soundcheck live!

Next up, we'll take a brief detour to Sault Michigan, where Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm will return for two more headlining concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rapids Lounge at their Kewadin Casino! Continuing their never ending run of concerts across Northern Michigan and the E.U.P., this will be Scarkazm's first concert weekend in Sault Ste. Marie since May, though we've seen them in St. Ignace a bit over the summer, not to mention Peril's recent northern trips as well. It's always great to see Adam, Dave, and Jeff rock one of the regional Kewadin branches, and hopefully they deliver more solid hard rocking action for local fans this weekend, and if you can't make it out, they'll be back in St. Ignace next week! As usual for their Kewadin bookings, tomorow's Soo shows are 9:00 PM affairs with no announced cover charges, and you must be 21 or older to attend. Visit the official Facebook event pages linked here & here for more details, and here's Scarkazm live!

Also this weekend, let's head back to Sault Ontario, where local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns will return to The Whiskey Barrel on Gore Street for one night only THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! While they have steep competition at The Canadian to deal with (more on that in a second), this rare Saturday nighter for the Elements side project should provide more solid entertainment, as Christina, Rob, and Jesse know their way around many diverse and often heavy covers! No word yet on potential October dates at The Whiskey Barrel, we'll let you know when/if they are announced. As usual for their frequent dates here, expect 8:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no cover charges on Saturday. Visit the venue's Facebook event page for September concerts for more details, and here's The Wyld Stallyns live!

Finally for this weekend (Soo's Got Talent aside), it's a concert a year in the making, as former Misfits frontman Michale Graves will make his long awaited local concert debut on SATURDAY NIGHT at The Canadian Nightclub! As many readers will recall, Graves and his touring openers were forced to cancel their planned show here last fall due to the Mackinac Bridge being closed amid severe winds. Luckily, weather reports aren't calling for any concerning weather on Saturday, to things should be good to go! No Argyle Goolsby or Nim Vind this year, but on this tour, Michale Graves will be covering both of his Misfits studio albums ("American Psycho" & "Famous Monsters") back to back, so prepare for 90 or so minutes of late 1990s horror punk intensity this weekend! Local openers will include the second one-off reunion in as many years from horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight (with St. Mayhem back in tow), and you'll recall how heavily Graves-era Misfits inspired them, so they are beyond fitting to open here!

As well, alt-punk trio A Dire Setback will kick things off with their first live gig since the release of their new music video, so don't be late for their set! Promoted by Frightlight frontman Johnny Pints (a.k.a. J.D. Pearce), this ALL AGES and licensed concert has an early start time of 8:00 PM advertised, and advance tickets run for $22.50 at this link, The Canadian's front desk, The Rad Zone, and at Vintage Games N' Junque (I do not know if the price jumps at the door.) One year and one week after the cancellation, it's awesome to see Michale and crew finally in city limits, so visit the official Facebook event page for more info, and here is Michale Graves live!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Soo's Got Talent preview and fallout (and more?) next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison & Tarnished), Concert Previews, And New Videos!!

With an unusual number of Wednesday and Thursday shows this week, I am starting our weekend concert previews early to tackle the bands playing the concerts in question in a timely fashion, including LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (some on SHORT NOTICE) therein. As such, look for our Michale Graves, Scarkazm, Soundcheck, and Wyld Stallyns previews next, with Soo's Got Talent coverage to get it's own separate post either tomorrow night or Friday morning. Now, here's what you should know!

New Sault Michigan hard rock band Tarnished will return to the Sault Ste. Marie Farmers Market at the corner of Portage and Ashmun Street TONIGHT, with returns planned for next Wednesday and on October 9th as well! Apologies for the short notice for TONIGHT'S show, the band only announced their involvement via this Facebook event page on Sunday. Last seen at this weekly downtown market three weeks ago, TONIGHT'S concert should be another fine opportunity for Tarnished (in two man unplugged mode) to entertain market patrons and fans alike, so don't miss out then or in the next two Wednesdays! Note that the Farmers Market proper closes for the season at the end of October, as far as I know, so there's a maximum of three more there that they could play for 2019. These are all 6:00 PM matinee concerts with no cover charges or age limits, so visit the above links for more on these sets and everything at the Farmers Market proper!

Of course, this isn't all for Alex & Josh this weekend, as Tarnished will also continue their "every Thursday" run of matinee concerts at Biggby Coffee TOMORROW, and this time, they did advertise it in advance via a Facebook event page, which is helpful for fans! What's new to us is confirmation of a return to the Ashmun Street coffeeshop on Thursday, October 3rd, though they did not list dates beyond on the event page. Is this the series finale, or will more Thursday shows there be announced in due course? We'll let you know! You can see Alex & Josh rock out for tips and coffee tomorrow (and next Thursday) at 10:30 AM with no cover charges or age limits, and see above for more details! Finally for this weekend, Tarnished (again in acoustic form) will rock out THIS SATURDAY at this year's Fall Festival in Sault Ste. Marie on the Crooked Music Sound Stage outside of the store! This will be Tarnished's debut at the former Oktoberfest, and be sure to click here for all of the non-musical & family friendly event details on Saturday.

Tarnished will be playing at 1:00 PM alongside acoustic rock duo The Tavern Stool Townies at 4:00 PM, and alternative/folk solo musicians Kathleen Connelly and Magnet Moslov at 3:00 & 2:00 PM respectively, while Academy of Performing Arts student dancers will open at 12:00 PM. If you're ip for some Sidewalk Sales-esque outdoor live music with your Fall Fest entertainment, head to Crooked Music for all of the action! Again, this is FREE & ALL AGES. Click here and see above for more details, and for a preview of Tarnished's busy concert weekend, here's one more new video of them live, in this case at their post-race set at Kinross Speedpark earlier this month! This was filmed by attendee Malissa Prevost and shared to the band's Facebook page, and marks a rare live video of Tarnished plugged in with drummer Tommy Korcal, who doesn't play their more frequent acoustic gigs. The 27 second video features Tarnished covering Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell", so how does it sound?

Not bad, the guys have a good handle on this 1980s rock classic, but everyone is a little stiff, and between the vertical camera angle and the multicoloured stage lighting, this isn't an optimal look at Tarnished's full electric form. Still great to see some more footage out there, so give it a look below, and don't miss their varied gigs in the Soo over the coming days!

Finally for today's bonus preview post, let's address another frequently seen local hard rock cover act who tends to play non-traditional venues, namely Sault Ontario singer/guitarist Tym Morrison, who has his own triple header of shows this weekend, including a return to the wine barn at Thomson Farms Cider & Winery TOMORROW NIGHT, before continuing his ongoing long-term matinee arrangement at Gliss Restaurant THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY! While we're on the subject, let's roll his October gigs at both venues into our concert calendar today, as Tym will maintain his run at Gliss with more unplugged shows at the Spring Street restaurant on October 4th-5th, 11th-12th, 18th-19th, and 25th-26th, so keep all of these in mind for dinner-time hard & classic rock cover action! Meanwhile, his seasonal weekly run at Thomson Farms will wrap up with Thursday matinees on October 3rd, 10th, and 17th, with no more gigs advertised there before they close for the season after Halloween (we'll let you know if more are added.)

Clearly, his run of shows at the wine barn are doing well, so don't miss out tomorrow and next month, and enjoy the mill and winery while you're there! The Thomson Farms shows are at 5:00 PM, Gliss gigs are at 6:00 PM, and none have cover charges or age limits. Visit the official Facebook event pages linked here & here for more details, and for a preview, here's a new video livestreamed from Thomson Farms' Facebook page last week of Tym covering Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama"! Solid, if short cover that fans will definitely appreciate, but Tym's higher register singing may need some adjusting for some viewers. Give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for regularly scheduled weekend concert previews on the site tomorrow!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Femur And Late & Loud), Plus New Videos!!

Here's a new news post on this rainy Sunday, and it's devoted to some big new video updates from a pair of prominent local acts, plus two notable LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month! Here's what you should know!

Thunder Bay "pisscore" trio Femur will return to the Soo area for the second time this year when they headline at Room 21 on Saturday, October 5th! Some readers will have just seen this band at the third annual Oh!No festival in Leeburn earlier this month as one of the later bands on night #2, but this will be their first ever advertised concert in Sault Ste. Marie proper. Femur impressed many Oh!No attendees with their harsh and unforgiving brand of original hardcore punk, and it'll be great to see them back just four weeks later for an encore! Another act from Oh!No III will be opening this concert, namely local cybergrind solo act Malignant Neoplasm, which you may recall is a side project of C.T.W.'s Tyler Gibson, though much like Slumshine, Tyler played under a mask in Leeburn when representing Malignant Neoplasm. Blood Shed loyalists won't wanna miss this one either! Like at the festival, this is promoted by the former Six, Two, Oh., now known as the Oh!No Collective, who now utilize that full name.

"Co." didn't stand for "company", I wouldn't have guessed that! In any event, this will be the Oh!No crew's first metal concert post-renaming, so come down to Room 21 for all of the action next weekend! This concert has a 10:00 PM start time, it is a 19+ event, and while a $10 suggested cover charge is advertised, so is the "pay what you can" option. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

Next up, here's a surprise, as local classic metal quartet Late & Loud will reunite for one night only on Thursday, October 10th with a headlining concert at The Rockstar Bar! Many local fans will recall their well received active run from 2010-2014, and after over 5 years away, the guys will return for this special concert, intended as a fundraiser for bassist Benn Garside's upcoming wedding to ex-Danger Cats bassist Jamie VanSchooneveld. If you're keeping track at home, this will be the second marriage between the two bands this year, joining Josh & Kate this summer (what are the odds?!) It is great to see Late & Loud back, if only for one night, so if you've missed the Humane Society Battle winners in the mid-late 2010s, don't bypass this one! The surprise opening acts are DJ Seith and his hip-hop duo project Planet Rock, and while not perfect genre-matches, they should keep ther party vibe going! I don't know if Seith will be mixing songs between sets, or if he's just playing with St. James.

A $10 cover charge is in effect on this night, expect a 19+ age limit, and while an early 8:00 PM start time is advertised, I doubt the bands will be playing that early, potential DJ Seith mixing aside. Note that the poster implies that Late & Loud are "returning to the stage one last time", which could very well be true, but we heard similar finality in August 2014. In any event, this should be a must for fans and friends of Late & Loud who've missed them in past 5 years, so visit the official Facebook event page for more details!

Also today, local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback released their long-teased debut music video to their YouTube channel yesterday! Of course, this is for their song "Kicking & Screaming", which is the first single from their forthcoming debut album, which their Facebook page newly confirmed yesterday will be self-titled. If you've seen prior teasers for the video, you'll know that property destruction appeared to be a common theme in the video, and now we get context as to why that is (the song lyrics may have given that away.) If you're hoping to see the full band playing the song, then you may be disappointed (only frontman Chris Nielsen appears on camera), but it's well shot and captures the lyrics and requisite emotion well! Give the full video a look below, stay tuned for more on "A Dire Setback", and don't miss the Michale Graves concert on Saturday!

We'll close with the latest from local/Thompson, Manitoba alt/hard rock musician Mike Haggith, who we haven't heard anything substantive from regarding his solo project since his trip home last month, so what's new to report? Well, Mike posted this teaser video on his Facebook page last night, saying that he's "been hard at work behind the scenes, and we're switching gears a little." The video proper features a computer monitor with what looks like the cover artwork for a new(?) album named "If Ever Comes The Day", plus a 30 second sample of a new song named "The Best You Never Had" that clearly has a full electric band behind it, compared to the music he had showcased from his upcoming solo album "Bridges", which leaned towards acoustic content. Is Mike revising/shelving "Bridges", or is this just another album he's working on too? Remember that he has also announced plans this year for a live album from Nickel Days in Thompson and a remaster of "A Place Of Our Own", neither of which is out yet.

Mike does have a lot on his plate on the best of days (remember what his day job is), but if this is basically "Bridges" being reworked or replaced in his discography, I can't complain about it having more of a rock edge with a full band, be it all him or with other collaborators. Time will tell what exactly is going on, but give the teaser video a look below!

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Soo's Got Talent Round 2) & First Round Footage!!

As promised, here's our second weekend concert preview post for this week, and it is 100% devoted to a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT concerning an ongoing local talent competition's next installment, and fallout from the opening night! Here's what you should know!

Local rap metal trio The Apocalypse Afterparty have advanced to the second round of this year's Soo's Got Talent competition, and thusly will return to The Grand Gardens Verdi Ballroom at 455 Queen Street West TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the one week-turnaround left me opting to hold our night #1 results for this weekend's previews. Last Friday's opening round saw the first cuts, with Des & M.J. Barry, Tyson Bastos & Jordan Palahnuk, Debbie Graham, Serge LeBlanc, and Leila Rabanez all not moving on to TOMORROW'S second round action, but The Apocalypse Afterparty will join the other 14 surviving acts as they continue their quest to win this city-wide contest, and 10 semifinalists will be chosen to return next Friday. Come on down to The Verdi Hall to see all of TOMORROW'S action from this talented roster of artists! Like last week, this is an ALL AGES event at 8:00 PM with a $10 cover charge for adults, $5 for kids 16 and under. With all of that said, what can we show you from last week's performances?

Unlike last year, The Soo's Got Talent has a television outlet, courtesy of ONNtv, SaultOnline's over-the-top subscription TV service, which is worth considering if you miss MCTV-era local television, and they aired night #1 of the competition on tape delay on Monday night, with future rounds scheduled for the following Monday at 6:30 PM save for a Wednesday, October 9th episode. This intentionally glitchy commercial hyped the ONNtv airings as well, but if you aren't an ONNtv subscriber, you're not left in the dark, as the 2+ hours long video was posted to SaultOnline's YouTube channel on Tuesday! Each performer is featured here and linked below, complete with judges remarks afterward, and all have singers doing a cover unless otherwise stated. In chronological order, we have Andrea Dantzer (the title track from "The Sound of Music"), Coulson Perri (Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love With You"), Des & M.J. Barry (PowerSource's "Dear Mr. Jesus")...

...Serge LeBlanc (Metallica's "Motorbreath"), Colin Gasparelli (Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue"), The Dancing Divas (Katy Perry's "California Gurls"), Tyson Bastos & Jordan Palahnuk (an instrumental cover of The Beatles' "Come Together"), Lauren Kroll (Alanis Morrissette's "Hand In My Pocket"), Leila Rabanez (the hymn "Amazing Grace"), Juliana Regan (Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind"), Madison Blair (Mark Ronson & Miley Cyrus' "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart"), Marilena Blair (Trisha Yearwood's "The Song Remembers When"), Cameron Oliver (Morgan Wallen's "Whiskey Glasses"), Ciara Pelletier LeBeouf (Rachel Platten's "Fight Song"), Bethany Pelletier LeBeouf (Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On"), Debbie Graham (Jo Stafford's "Make Love To Me"), Killabeatz doing an original beatboxing performance, Adrian Sullivan (The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood"), Greg McLeod (Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars"), and lastly, The Apocalypse Afterparty playing their inactive sister band The Noochin' Lanterns' song "Drop the Gloves".

Note that advertised performances by Madi Schomogyi, Michaela Skagen, and Marcie Tremblay are not featured here for unannounced reasons, but hopefully nothing bad happened with them to force their withdrawal! Regarding the two metal performances, I will say that I think Serge would be better accentuated with a live band and a stage setup more used to metal acts, but it's neat to see him bring that style to the table! As you can see at video's end, The Apocalypse Afterparty appear to have dropped wearing masks on stage for their return, and as such, I think it's safe to finally say that X and z are indeed "songwriters" Paul Stanghetta on vocals/bass and his wife Amanda (née Brown) on drums rather than the MPC, while Paul's ex-Keep It Lit bandmate Alice Rose (in full Tune Squad gear) has joined on the second bass.

I'll remain impartial regarding the competition here, but if you love Paul's old work as a frontman in The Fury, not to mention The A.A. and Noochin' Lanterns past runs, this should be right up your alley, and the judges give interesting feedback! Don't miss all of the action TOMORROW NIGHT at The Verdi Hall, and here's all 20 of last week's acts in action! Good luck!

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

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Soundcheck & Tym Morrison) & This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

It's now time to dive into this weekend's hard rock concert previews, and things are definitely quieter this week, but we have enough concerts to fill two posts thanks to the immense write-up on The Soo's Got Talent's second round and prior fallout, so look for all of that later today. In the interim, here's what you should know re: traditional concerts, starting with a handful of SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Local hard rock solo singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will continue his weekly Gliss Restaurant matinee run TOMORROW & SATURDAY, but his seasonal run of Thomson Farms Cider & Winery concerts will also continue TODAY and for the next few weeks! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only confirmed these gigs via their Facebook event page yesterday. After two prior weekly gigs inside the Third Line West mill's wine barn, Tym has confirmed that he will playing there each Thursday evening through October 17th, including TODAY and next Thursday, September 26th, though we will wait to list his October shows there until we roll his Gliss gigs next month into our concert calendar. With a triple-header of matinees both at this new-ish west end venue and at the Spring Street restaurant, fans of his hard rocking covers have lots of chances to see Tym live this weekend!

TODAY'S Wine Barn show has a 5:00 PM start time, the Gliss gigs are at 6:00 PM, and none have age limits or cover charges. Visit the Gliss engagement's Facebook event page and above for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next up, local classic/hard rock cover band Soundcheck will return to The Esquire Club for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, these shows were only just announced via their Facebook event page yesterday, and they were not listed on the band's 2019 concert calendar from February. Just two weeks removed from their last shows at this popular west end venue, this will be the second weekend out of three that Soundcheck are playing here in just under a month's time, so fans and patrons alike will have lots of solid tunes to check out TOMORROW & SATURDAY, especially with Catch the Ace ongoing! Note that the event page says that "Soundcheck 3.0" are playing this weekend, and while that may imply that this is the third version of the band playing this weekend, that actually refers to their shorthanded nature.

This time out, Travis Sharpe will trade his usual guitar for a bass to cover for Paul Belair, who the band cited as being "busy" this weekend, hence his latest absence. Usually, Soundcheck cover for Paul by enlisting a special guest, so is this a case of no one being available, just trying things with Travis on the four string, or were these shows late notice in general? In any event, don't miss 75% of Soundcheck TOMORROW and/or SATURDAY at The Esquire Club! Expect 10:00 PM start times, no cover charges, and 19+ age limits, as usual. See above for more details, and here's Soundcheck live!

Moving to previously announced concerts, starting with the expected continuation of Sault Michigan hard rock band Tarnished's morning matinee run at Biggby Coffee TODAY! Though not newly plugged by band or venue at press time, "every Thursday" means what it means unless otherwise stated, so look for Alex & Josh to deliver more hard rocking covers at the Ashmun Street coffee shop today at 10:30 AM! Note that we regrettably missed two acoustic Tarnished shows for coverage on the site in the past week, both only publically announced by the band the day of the concert. One was the Foodies United Fundraiser at The United Way on Friday (organizers never confirmed musical performers online), and the other was a special Wednesday nighter at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino. I profusely apologize for missing them for coverage on the site, but alas, if Tarnished don't give them more than a few hours notice, I can't guarantee I can cover them. I will keep better tabs, at least!

In any event, I hope they were great times for band and fans alike, but don't miss them at Biggby today for tips & coffee! As usual, this is an all ages show with no cover. See above for more details, and for a preview, here's a new video of Tarnished covering Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" at The Signatures Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino two weeks ago! Live-streamed by fan Ted Brosco and shared by the band on their Facebook page, this is a solid cover, but muffled audio is an issue at times, and Alex often covers up Josh at this angle. Give it a look below!

Finally for this weekend, let's head to the aforementioned Northern Pines Lounge, where fellow Sault Ste. Marie classic/hard rockers Highway 63 are advertised to return to the St. Ignace Kewadin for headlining concerts of their own TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Last seen here at the end of June, these shows have not been newly plugged by the band at press time, but are still advertised at this link by the venue. This should be another fine chance for fans to see Henry, Nathan, George, Russell, and Brian rock out with more fan favourite covers at a familiar locale, so don't miss out on all of the action this weekend in St. Ignace! As usual for regular weekend shows here, expect 9:00 PM start times, no cover charges, and 21+ age limits. See above for more details, and for a preview, here's Highway 63 live!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Soo's Got Talent second round preview later today! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Hellbent), Local Promoter Updates, And Much More News & Notes!!

Before we dive into another round of weekend concert previews, here's a new news post for your Wednesday morning! This covers some some big updates from two local punk-influenced bands, and leading off, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and related promoter changes to keep note of. Now, with all of that said, here's what you should know!

Hamilton hardcore punk trio Hellbent will make their local concert debut when they headline at The Rockstar Bar on Sunday, October 13th!  A late addition to their 2019 Canadian tour, Hellbent are touring in support of their new EP "Dead on the Floor", and with their brutal, fast-paced, and no-nonsense original attack, they should make lots of new fans in this Thanksgiving weekend bash! Local openers are to be announced, we'll let you know when they are confirmed. Notably, this is the first punk/metal concert to be promoted by the newly-renamed Oh!No Co. following the retirement of the Six, Two, Oh. name earlier this week. Obviously taking the new moniker from the yearly festival in Leeburn, staff are citing having "great ideas" that they think will "fit better under the Oh!No banner" as the reason for the change, though note that the Six, Two, Oh. name at least partially came from inactive filmmaking company 62nd Chamber Productions, as ran by AlgomA guitarist Boyd Rendell, who hasn't visibly been involved with recent company events.

Oh!No Co.'s Facebook page is effectively the Oh!No festival page with slightly new branding (Six, Two, Oh.'s is still up, thankfully), and it gives their launch date as 2017 with the festival's inception, without crediting Six, Two, Oh.'s 2015-2016 run, or prior work as Oh! Right Arm! Productions. There, the company's current staff are given as AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent still, now alongside Oosik Records owner/DJ Al Bjornaa, Slumshine founder/veteran punk musician Brenton Ellis, and Alex Moore. The new name will take some adjusting, but for synergy reasons and to tie in with the festival, I understand the move! The first show promoted under the Oh!No Co. name will be a psychedelic concert at The Whiskey Barrel next week headlined by Poly Trap Super Six, while a gumbo night (a'la the prior "punk rock ramen" event) will be held at the Feeding Your Soul Cafe on White Oak Drive East on October 18th, presumably as the first fundraiser for Oh!No IV.

As for the Hellbent concert (which is definitely advertised to take place upstairs at The Rockstar Bar), expect a 19+ age limit, 10:00 PM start time, and a 9:00 PM start time. With the holiday long weekend, there's all the more reason for hardcore punk fans to make it to this show next month, so visit the Facebook event page for more details, and see above for more on Oh!No Co., which is now linked on the SMS, as is the festival proper in that section!

Next up, here's the latest from reunited local ska/hard rock band Tripod the Dog, who still don't have a newly updated online page to promote activity with (their Facebook group was manned by the departed Greg Beharriel), so what's new from their camp? Well, as it turns out, the Mark Oliverio-led band actually played their first advertised concert in five months this past Friday when they made their apparent debut at The Esquire Club. The venue plugged the show the day prior, and Mark himself had posted a Facebook event page on his personal account, but none of this crossed our radar last week. I profusely apologize for missing it on here, but hopefully it was a huge hit, and that we hear more in advance from Tripod the Dog in the future! Based on photos floating around personal accounts, it looks like Mark has enlisted ex-Cherry Crush/Soo Fighters bandmates John & Jonny Amendola as their new bassist and drummer, ostensibly replacing Sean Berlinguette and Brian Egglesfield.

Reasons for the lineup changes haven't been publically announced, but remember that Sean & Brian were only advertised for 2018's Rotaryfest Stage 1 set and never turned up in an online public form regarding their April show at The Rockstar Bar. Father and son Amendola always have good chemistry, and hopefully they fit in well with Tripod the Dog! Personal postings imply that their show on Friday was a hit, but when will we see this veteran band back out there? Stay tuned for more when/if it rolls in!

Finally for today, here's some new updates from local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback from earlier this month, starting with the reveal on their Facebook page that they have made official band t-shirts that are now on sale for $25 in all sizes! Designed by Celeste's Art & Photography (Celeste and bassist Matt Quinn pictured), the primary artwork takes more inspiration from tarot cards than traditional punk imagery, though you can easily make a tie to their song "Everlasting Despair", and it's a cool design! As well, A Dire Setback shared this new teaser clip for the studio version of "Kicking & Screaming" to their Facebook page and YouTube channel around that same time, which only runs for 25 seconds, but it shows us more of the song and music video than their prior teaser! The nicely put together video features a longer sample of the song, plus small preview images of the video, seemingly informing us that building vandalism is a running theme and expands beyond hurling a toilet off of the second floor.

We will know very soon how the video and full song have came out, as the final video will apparently be posted online this Saturday, so keep that date in mind. In the interim, t-shirts can be ordered through band members at the links above, and all proceeds will go towards physical printing costs for the CD. Give the video teaser a look below, and stay tuned for updates!

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

Monday, September 16, 2019

Chase Wigmore Video Showcase!!

After a quieter than expected weekend, let's get back into the swing of things by finally getting caught up on recent Chase Wigmore content from his relaunched Facebook page, so what's new-ish to report from this prolific experimental/metal solo artist? We'll first go back to July 29th, where in the second video he posted that day, Chase played five newer original songs in this 28 minutes long video. This uses two separate feeds of Chase playing guitar and electric drums for the tracks "Tubular Bells", "St. Marie Revisited", "Mt. Coyote In Chaos", "M.P.A.L.T.M.D."  and "Nightshift." The fourth song has a full name as given on an old demo, but I won't write it here due to it's provocative nature. One assumes these will all feature on his upcoming official studio album "Songs To Punch Yourself In The Face To." The dual track nature of this video adds a little extra to the proceedings, and while the video quality is inconsistent, the performances are solid, so give this long video a look below!

After sharing a remix of Nine Inch Nails' "Last" on August 15th (which doesn't sound bad for what it is),  Chase followed it up two weeks later with a new acoustic original named "Feelings With Minor Chords", which is planned to be the first song from a future release called "The Good, The Bad, and The Strange Volume Two", which would be a sequel to his 2011 demo linked above. No word on where this falls into the timeline for release plans and stature, but the song proper seems to parody indie/folk solo artists who sing about their feelings, as reinforced by the slideshow in the clip. Amusing enough track, so give it a listen below!

Also, Chase shared this Facebook video of him covering local doom metal trio AlgomA's song "Reclaimed By The Forest" on August 28th, but this isn't the first time you've heard Chase tackle this song. Back in January of last year, Chase's now-inactive industrial project The Black Lodge Masters did a version of "Reclaimed By The Forest", though this solo rendition is very different, stripping away the industrial/techno elements for a longer acoustic variation. Chase's new cover has more emotion and weight to it, but you may prefer the electronic version for your own musical tastes. Judge for yourselves!

Finally, Chase posted his new studio version of his original song "St. Marie Revisited" onto his YouTube channel on August 31st, making this the second revealed track to go public from "Songs To Punch Yourself In The Face To" in it's apparent final recording form. I'll hold full comment pending a review of the album after it's planned release next month, but if you like his intense folk/punk originals, you should be right at home here. Check it out below!

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