Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mike Haggith's Second Live-Stream Concert, A Band Reunion, And More!!

Happy Easter, everyone! I know these aren't the ideal circumstances for anyone this year, but hopefully the Easter Bunny made it to everyone's place with some treats, and if nothing else, our regular posting streak during the pandemic continues today! This post includes a new cover video, a band reunion, and leading off, another lengthy live-streamed concert set, so here's what you should know!

Local/Thompson, Manitoba hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith live-streamed his second "#LockdownLive" concert on his Facebook page last night, and there's a lot to take in here, in more ways than one! Not only is this double the length of his first live-stream (open your schedule for 2 hours!), but his set here contains acoustic renditions of every* song from his upcoming studio album "If Ever Comes The Day"! Before then, Mike did formally confirm the postponement of his CD release concert at LopLops on May 15th to a later date to be announced (we have removed it from our calendar), while the album is still planned to be released on schedule on that date, and Apple Music pre-orders will be available on May 1st. As for his live-stream set, Mike warms up by covering Tears For Fears' "Shout", breaking his usual tradition of not opening with a cover. The live album play-through begins about 11 minutes in, complete with VH1 Storytellers-esque commentary in between.

You may have seen the track listing on Mike's personal Facebook page, but this is the first public reveal of it. In order, he starts with "The Best You Never Had", "MorningStar", the title track, "Into The Setting Sun", and "Communique" (tracks 3 & 4 are new to Facebook), before discussing "This Page Intentionally Left Blank", which is a 1 minute string composition by ex-RedD Monkey cellist Pete Mozarowski. Mike obviously couldn't play it, but on the album, it leads right into his performance of "Back Away Slowly". Mike continues with two more newly unveiled songs, "Take Back The Moon" & "Visual, Descending For The Field", before opting to go off-script with non-album tracks, including The Din's "Alleyways & Apartments", a highly facetious troll cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird", Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers In A Dangerous Time", "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device", "Out Of My League", and his unreleased original "If Only You Could Hear Me".

Mike closes with the final song on "If Ever Comes The Day", namely "2145", which is broken up from the rest of the album by 18 seconds of silent tracks on the CD copies, and he wraps up #LockdownLive by talking to viewers, including mentioning plans to do a third live-stream like this on Saturday the 18th. This isn't representative of the studio copies you'll hear next month, but they are promising teasers, and Mike's candor and humour is always welcomed! Fans of his prolific solo output will definitely want to give this live-stream a watch below, and stay tuned for more!

Next up, here's a surprise, as local progressive metal band Kraken Mara quietly returned to activity last fall! Led by ex-Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie, readers may recall this band from their original active run from 2015-2017, and as their September website post reveals, they took "a little break" due to Brendan's second overseas work stint, spending a year in South Korea, though it had been almost 2 years between real band updates. That said, he is back home now, and as such, Kraken Mara are back in action, with work on their self-titled debut EP also resuming! Their only Facebook page post since returning mentions that there is a new track available on their website, which appears to be the 9+ minutes long "Dark Passenger". I'll hold comment for now, presuming that the EP is released as planned, but if you like technical djent metal, you'll definitely want to hear all five posted songs. It's great to see Brendan & Jake back at it, and stay tuned for more updates!

Finally for today, here's another "song to quarantine to" from local/Elliot Lake alt-punk solo project Ashoka at the Show, courtesy of the resurrected 184Films YouTube channel, and it's a cover of the Alkaline Trio's "Sorry About That". This is a solid cover for fans of Darren's punk side, and it matches well in an acoustic format, so give it a watch below!

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

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