Friday, July 31, 2015

SweetKenny - "Fleabag Hotel" Review!!

At last, it's time for our 73rd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're taking a look at Dafter, Michigan solo hard rock artist Kenneth "SweetKenny" Sutton's newest album "Fleabag Hotel"! Recorded in Dafter at Waterfall Records, and released digitally in May in advance of an "official" June 15th launch, this is the prolific regional hard rock veteran's 12th official solo CD, and second of three likely releases in 2015. Another self-described "heavy rock, vocal, instrumental, high energy, fun album" with Ken on all instruments, "Fleabag Hotel" again combines instrumentals and songs with vocals on this album, which you can buy for $10 and up on Bandcamp, CDBaby, iTunes, and other online sources, while Bandcamp and his website feature free streams of the album as well, but support Ken's work and consider buying this album! Featuring 11 songs clocking in at around 49 minutes in length, let's begin our 5th SweetKenny CD review!

"Fleabag Hotel" begins with "Call Out My Name", a bluesy yet dreamlike mid-tempo song that, despite the name, has no names (or any lyrics) to be called out. A good use of Ken's guitar experimentation, the song definitely has a psychedelic trance vibe that works to it's advantage, but the drum programming sounds artificial here, and at times, the instrumentation can meander a bit, despite it's relatively short length. Not the heaviest song, but it's a fun and well written start to the CD! Next is "A Rockstar's Life", which is about exactly what it says on the tin, and is the album's first song with vocals. More of a straightforward rocker, the song brings back more of Ken's Elvis Presley-inspired vocal tone, but at times, the song has an AC/DC-reminiscent sound that would be interesting to hear with a vocalist of that style! It's a solid song with amusing spoken word, but the choruses are anticlimactic and don't add anything to it's overall structure.

Third is "It's Time, I'm Out", an instrumental that has more of Ken's usual freewheeling hard rock sound than "Call Out My Name" had, but with more of a serious, determined impact at the same time. The song sounds like vocals should have been added, but weren't, especially in the pre-solo section where drums take the front seat, but it's well performed with Ken showing off his multi-instrumental talents to good effect! The next track is the amusingly titled "You Can Pet My Cat", which Ken says "is about a kinda freak girl", with singing to match the story. Sort of a sped-up blues rock number with lots of spoken word, it's admittedly hard to hear some parts of the story over the music, but it's a fun rocker that's right up the alley of past SweetKenny releases in tone and heaviness! The song is a little too long, especially given the dead air with no singing, but this is easily the best overall song on "Fleabag Hotel" so far!

Song #5 is "Cartoons In Life", which is the CD's longest track. Starting with sound effects of people screaming (perhaps did cartoons really come to life?), the song has the most fun and heavy sound yet of the included instrumentals, showcasing Ken's quality guitar work and songwriting talents in his usual hard-edged yet fun style! Like on a couple of earlier tracks, this one seemed to run a little long, and could have used an extra solo for variance, but it's a very good song that holds up well! (Also, jingle bells at the end?!) Next up is "Busted & Broke", which amps up the sped-up blues vibe from "You Can Pet My Cat", complete with a surprisingly upbeat tone given the subject matter of really being busted & broke. This song doesn't reinvent the wheel from what Ken does well already, and it'd be nice to see more melodic vocals here, but the consistency works well!

The seventh song is "Destruction of the Room", which maintains nice opening guitar squeal effects throughout the song, but admittedly doesn't have the vibe of any sort of destruction in it, more like constant tremors and gradual change. The consistent guitar melody and change of pace is welcomed, and it's unlike anything on "Fleabag Hotel" yet, but the title implies heavier and more aggressive than what we got from this instrumental. That's followed by "Sleep Is For Sissys", which Ken described as "a funky flowing guitar track", and breaks the alternating pattern as the album's second straight instrumental. Ken's own description fits this lively hard rocker that showcases his guitar solo and riffing to good effect, with the drum programming fitting the pace. The song sounds a little empty during tempo changes, but it's a more effective instrumental that plays to Ken's strengths!

Then we have "A New Dawn", which is the official theme song for WoodBangers Magazine, a music publication/online community that Ken is an active supporter and contributor with, and some readers may recognize this song from being released online on it's own for Woodbangers projects earlier this year. Easily the slowest and most dramatic song on "Fleabag Hotel", I still find that this instrumental doesn't sound like what a magazine named Woodbangers would use as their theme, but it's intricate, deliberate, and atmospheric qualities help deviate from the album's norm, and it does give the vibe that a new dawn of some kind is coming!

The penultimate song on "Fleabag Hotel" is "Check Out!", which Ken says is "about being dead", so there you go. Luckily, the song is much livelier than the title suggests, save for the return of vocals in a spoken word style during verses, with Ken apparently speaking (and shouting in choruses) from beyond the grave about what it's like being dead. Interesting contrast, especially given that his speaking lines are hard to hear, but it's a fun song that's arguably the heaviest on the album yet during instrumental sections, if you can get past the morbid themes! The CD closes with "Out Of The Mist, A New King Is Born", which would seemingly maintain his usual trend of having an religious song on his albums, but this is an instrumental. Contrasted with "A New Dawn", this has more of an optimistic beginning sound to it, complete with thunder effects, and it gives it's own dramatic end to Ken's newest album, almost as if it was a sequel to the prior instrumental!

So, what are my final thoughts on SweetKenny's newest album?  It's another positive release for fans of this prolific Eastern U.P. solo musician, continuing (largely) the consistent freewheeling hard rock sound that he's kept up since his solo project's debut! Much like our last reviewed album of his (last fall's "Amazonian"), this CD has a large focus on instrumental songs (one more than that one had), but is also shorter, and more varied in it's themes, with fun and amusing songs contrasting with more experimental material and some dark instrumentals. Of the four songs with vocals, "You Can Pet My Cat" was my favourite, and there's a lot of solid work in the instrumentals, but the dramatic and darker tone of the last songs was an adjustment, and fans of his Elvis-esque vocals might be left hanging. If nothing else, "Fleabag Hotel" maintains the positive path that SweetKenny is on, and hopefully things continue down that road as 2015 rolls on!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, and buy "Fleabag Hotel" at the above links! For next month's review, we have nothing firmly committed yet, but for reference, SweetKenny has revealed that his next solo CD will be called "Charlie Hidelburg: Ancient Hunter", with a fall 2015 release likely. In any event, our next review on the site will not be of a SweetKenny, Haggith, Mike Haggith, or Telephone & Address album, as all are within our 6 month buffer period still to avoid showing a bias, but if Telephone & Address' "Monster" comes out soon, a fall review is very likely! If we have nothing new to review in August, we'd of course dip into the archives for a review, likely of a band tied in with an artist performing locally next month, but we're not at the point to pick one yet. Stay tuned for next week's "Where Are The New Albums?" feature and other upcoming SMS posts to find out our next CD review identity, and stay tuned for more news soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood) & This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Before we begin this weekend's concert previews, I'll note that there was briefly a Facebook event page online for a Stiffler's Mom concert on Saturday at The Rockstar Bar, but that has since been deleted, as one of this weekend's previously announced shows was moved there. Hopefully we hear more from them soon though! Now, let's touch on the hard rock shows that we currently know about through Saturday, starting with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Local classic/hard rock cover trio Mourning Wood will make rare appearances at The Esquire Club TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apolgies for the short notice, the band only confirmed these shows via the official Facebook event page earlier this week, but at least these shows got that much for advance advertising! Unless a publically unadvertised show took place there in the interim, these will be Terry, Steven, and T.J.'s first shows at this west end venue in over three months, and following their OLG Casino and Rotaryfest debuts earlier this month, it's nice to see the guys continuing to spread their wings into unfamiliar and less frequent venues! Like usual for Mourning Wood shows, there are 9:30 PM start times in effect, no announced cover charges (but bring cash just in case), and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the above links, and here's the guys' country side earlier this month, plus special guests!



Moving to previously announced concerts, longtime Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's ongoing weekly concert arrangements will continue this weekend, as he's back at Gliss Steak & Seafood near the Station Mall TONIGHT, TOMORROW, AND SATURDAY, all preceding his long running Harp Bar & Grill shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Like recently usual, SooToday confirmation of these shows came prior to any Facebook announcements, but Tym recently began using his official website's calendar again to confirm upcoming concerts at both venues, so we can source from there again! However, shows listed there are once again for an exceedingly long period (Gliss shows are listed weekly through February 2020, and Harp shows are listed through June 2022), but whether theis is all accidental formatting, positive hopes, or truthful long term booking for both venues is up for debate.

Given the presumption of Tym playing at The Harp and Gliss for the forseeable future, we will address his shows in our calendar a month at a time like usual, as it's way too excessive to list 5-7 years worth of shows on the SMS. Stay tuned for details on his August gigs though!  His matinees at Gliss are all 6:00 PM gigs with no announced cover or age limit (but remember, this is a restaurant), while the regular Harp nighttime gigs are 10:00 PM events with no cover and a 19+ age limit. Check the above links for more details on this talented local hard rock veteran, and here he is live at Mill Square!



In a brief detour to Sault Michigan, Kinross hard/classic rock trio Banned will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault's Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Making their first appearances at this Kewadin branch in four months, these will be Banned's last shows before returning to the annual Sugar Island Music Festival next Friday. Alex Traynor and company are always staying busy, from Banned shows to Alex's own recent solo recordings (seen here, including a new Britney Spears cover), and fans should know their quality and often heavy covers by now, so definitely consider a trip to The Rapids Lounge this weekend for their own entertaining live show! There's no announced cover charges for this weekend, you must be 21 to attend, and there are 9:00 PM start times in effect. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Banned live last year!



Finally for this preview post, we'll head to The Rockstar Bar for an apparently relocated (upstairs) installment of J.D. Pearce & Tidal Records' Gonqshow concert series THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, which will be headlined by Edmonton hardcore metal quintet Elements in their local concert debut! Not to be confused with the recently dormant local funk rockers The Elements, Elements' brutal modern hardcore sound with progressive hints should find it's way to a solid audience this Saturday! Guelph progressive metal quintet Becomes Astral will open this concert in their own local debut, and their extreme technical sound is also making them many fans, hopefully with more to come this weekend, so check them out too! Avoiding a name conflict by adding the local Elements to the bill, local classic metal quartet Project 421 will open things in their second show with new drummer Chris Thompson, so don't be late for their attack!

Originally scheduled for The Algonquin Pub, the show has apparently been moved upstairs to The Rockstar Bar, as per the venue's own Hayley Warnock on the Facebook event page on Monday. A reason for the move wasn't announced, but it may be due to the venue's new Rockstar Republic events kicking off this weekend (more on that in the coming days), but in any event, J.D. himself questioned the move, feeling that metal bands of this style "wouldn't fly" upstairs. We'll let you know if there's any clarification! In any event, a $5 cover charge is likely for this 19+ concert, which has a 10:00 PM start time. Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's an Elements music video!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's CD review likely next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Ten Kings), Rotaryfest Fallout, And More!!

We're back on this Tuesday morning with some recent news and notes for you guys, including some anticipated fallout from local news media on a pair of major linked concerts, and a light new video from a rising young band, but first, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next weekend across the river!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Ten Kings are scheduled to return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino on Friday, August 7th & Saturday, August 8th! The only new hard rock show confirmations from Kewadin's entertainment page's updated August listings (the rest were either confirmed by bands already or not hard rock for our coverage), these will be this fast-rising band's first shows since rocking The Northern Pines Lounge two weeks ago. Ten Kings are definitely making a name for themselves with their solid covers and fan favourite talent, so definitely consider a trip to St. Ignace next weekend to see the guys in action! These shows, like usual, have no announced cover charge, 9:00 PM start times, and 21+ age limits. For more details, check the above links, and stay tuned for much more from Ten Kings as the summer rolls on!

Next up, here's some long overdue fallout from Rotaryfest's music stages over a week ago! I apologize for being so late on these, personal commitments, other stories, and video-only posts pushed these back. Starting with SooToday, two different correspondents were on hand for our annual summer festival, with Darren Taylor covering Thursday activites at this link (including a photo of local Elvis Presley tribute artist Larry Tschekalin from his Stage 1 set), while Donna Hopper got more of her great concert photos during the Saturday entertainment on both stages! As seen at this link, her photos include 3 each of Second Stage bands Caroline Divine & The Pixo Control, plus 3 of classic rockers Domina and 5 of The Band tribute The Big Waltz, both from the main stage. Though it'd be nice to see some more bands included, Donna got some great shots once again, so give them a look along with more Rotaryfest entertainment above!

Speaking of Domina, Sault Online's Mike Caruso uploaded a separate final video of Domina covering The 4 Non Blondes' "What's Going On" onto his YouTube channel last week, so give that a look for more from this talented all-female cover band! No, there still isn't a summative video of Saturday's main stage bands, one likely isn't coming now. Finally from known major news coverage from Rotaryfest, CTV News Northern Ontario (yes, the former MCTV) covered Rotaryfest for a brief  video report on the regional newscast at the time, which is unexpected, but what's covered? Anchored by Carrie Trownson, the report itself was filed by Jordan Allard, and talks mainly about the musical aspect of the event, with footage of Second Stage-openers The Boot Hill Crooners and interview remarks by all three members of the alt-folk trio (primarily Sheldon Jaaskelainen) and new Stage 2 director Chelsie Parayko.

Nice comments by the guys and Chelsie about what Rotaryfest and local support mean for original music, and hopefully The Crooners' second Stage 2 set helped further things for both them and Tidal Records! However, note that the piece itself is short and features no video footage or comments from other bands that day. Still, nice to see CTV News covering some local music events, so give their report a look at the above links, and stay tuned in case we find more fallout from this year's Rotaryfest (Local2, in particular!)

Finally, we'll close with a short new video from Stage 2 co-headliners The Pixo Control, which isn't Rotaryfest related at all, instead of the alternative hard rock trio "leaving the suburbs" while on their brief Southern Ontario tour run. Fun, carefree, yet brief, it's a light watch, so give it a look below, and see more from their Instagram page at this link!


That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, plus this month's CD review! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: NA

It's now time for our monthly Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! This feature series once again looks at a metal, hard rock, or punk band from outside of the Soo area that just happens to feature a past or present Saultite in any of their permanent lineups, and we're taking a rare dip into the Michigan side of things this month for a late 2000s fixture in the Northern Michigan punk scene with a local tie! Here's what you should know!
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NA (Hillman, Michigan)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED, ex-members in italics)

Nathan Post (vocals/bass)
Dustin "Doc" Vanderveer (guitar)
Mikhail Swift (drums)

Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/pages/na/140425965994799
Official MySpace page: http://myspace.com/risewithna
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/napunk

Local Info: NA's only member with a local residence was drummer Mikhail Swift, who is a 2012 computer sciences graduate from Lake Superior State University, and lived in Sault Michigan during his enrollment. While he played in the Lower Peninsula hardcore band She Screams Of Royalty during that time, he wasn't active in any local bands while in the Soo from what I can tell. Now residing in Grand Rapids, Mikhail's local tenure definitely counts for us to cover NA in this series!

Band Bio: Launched in August 2006 under the name Nothing To Lose, NA (short for The Noise Addicts) were a ska punk trio from Hillman, Michigan, a small town outside of Alpena. Debuting at that summer's Fieldstock Music Festival in Presque Isle, the band transitioned from covers to originals in 2007, recording their debut EP "Gotta Live Sometime" that year. Amidst various Northern Michigan concerts, the band recorded one final demo named "The Original Copy" that was released in 2008 featuring altered & new tracks. After sporadic concerts through mid-2009, NA went on hiatus, during which time Nathan Post & Mikhail joined forces once again in She Screams Of Royalty, before NA reemerged in August 2010. That band played their final announced shows at a Hillman church in early 2011, concluding with a show that June, and falling inactive for good by year's end, with members now focusing on separate musical projects.

Surviving media of NA is mostly limited to videos from their original 2006-2009 run (save for one studio MySpace track & the video below), but what I've seen & heard paints a promising young punk band! Nathan, Dustin, and Mikhail had good chemistry and had solid songwriting ability, especially considering their ages at the time, but I will concede that I don't detect a lot of the "ska" influence" in their media. Nathan had a solid voice for the genre, and I imagine NA had a good following, but give them a look to see what you think! The above links feature select videos and materials from their run, along with this MySpace video and a handful of videos on Dustin's YouTube channel, including this posthumous music video for their song "No More Incentive" featuring live concert, jam, and recording footage, and assorted other moments from their run together!


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I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we're planning to look at Parallel Truth, a multi-national progressive metal band featuring Saultite and former Gates of Winter collaborator Jon Morrison, so look for that on or around August 26th! That's likely all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rotaryfest 2015 Concert Video Showcase (Part 3)

At last, here's our overdue video showcase post from last week's Rotaryfest Second Stage action down at Clergue Park, as YouTube user (and frequent local concert filmer) Christopher Paci was on hand to get videos of bands at the returning all-original stage! Like myself, he was in attendance for the last four bands only (so he didn't film Aldous, The Wild Iris, and The Boot Hill Crooners), while there's no included videos from DJ Seith and/or Conika's mini-sets either. From Chris' videos, we'll start with headliners Gnaeus, with his clips of the risding post-punk quartet being of their songs "Fire" and, as embedded below, "When You're Gone". Solid audio quality compared to the often scratchy audio from Chris' Kewadin videos, and while he wasn't up close to the stage, the angle's good of the VM Radio Battle winners in action! A little jittery, but nothing unmanageable. Give Gnaeus' Rotaryfest videos a look above & below!



Chris also filmed two videos of local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control's co-headlining set,  these being of their songs "Scratch" and, as embedded below, "Potpourri" (I believe. If I'm wrong, my apologies, but I don't have my picture of the setlist at hand.) Same quality and angle as the Gnaeus videos, so if you like The Pixo Control's own rising blend of hard rock, you'll like this footage as well! Strong stuff, so give their videos a look!



The other two new videos from Chris' channel are single videos, including this one of newer local hard rock/glam trio Caroline Divine, and while I don't have a finite song name here (possibly "Shotgun With The Devil"), Chris filmed it from a closer angle to the left of the stage, so we have some different angles of things! Nice quality look at this upstart young trio, so check out their Rotaryfest video below!



Finally, Chris got a video of local pop punk quartet Stereo North playing their original "Heart Collider", which we also filmed for the SMS, but Chris' angle is much better, at the same close spot as the Caroline Divine video, more or less. Nice original that shows the guys' growth and potential, so give it a look below, and stay tuned for more Rotaryfest fallout next week!



That's likely all for today, but stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile TOMORROW, I hope! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 24, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Mourning Wood), That's Chester/Tommy Updates, And More!!

Given my recent personal family commitments, SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, and not wanting to break up our upcoming Rotaryfest and Kewadin Casino-centric posts, here's a somewhat abbreviated second post for this Friday evening, with only three main stories. I can't project when our next post will be, but it'll likely either be a Rotaryfest fallout post or this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands profile, so look for them in the coming days when possible. Now, here's what you should know!

Local classic/hard rock cover trio Mourning Wood are apparently making their debut at The OLG Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! I apologize for the short notice, the shows were only announced by bassist Steven Flint on his personal Facebook page this afternoon, similarly to most of their recent shows. Fresh off of their Rotaryfest debut last weekend, these shows will mark rare hard rock-tinged appearance from local bands at the Sault Ontario downtown casino (which hosted Glitch in the past), and it's nice to see Mourning Wood continuing to spread their wings! Also, these will likely be just regular gigs (unfamiliar venue aside) following their country-focused weekend with guest performers, in case you missed their heavier songs. Both shows this weekend have 9:30 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no announced cover, so check the above links for more details, and here's Mourning Wood live last year!



Next up, here's some updates on this fall's live stage production of The Who's Tommy at The Machine Shop (featuring local classic/hard rockers That's Chester as the house band), including some updates on a variance in theme for the opening night on Wednesday, November 4th. As per this SooToday article from earlier this month, the opening gala performance will be a charity event in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association, as Tommy deals with mental illness in it's story. Nice connection for a great cause! The opening CMHA gala of Tommy will have $60 tickets exclusively through producer Marion Widgett at this link, with no general admission availability for that day. If you attend the gala, you'll get cocktails, food, and be able to participate in a silent auction and CMHA presentations. Sounds like a good time if you want to support a great charity! Remember, regular shows take place from November 5th-8th, though the above article clarifies that Friday the 6th is now an off day.

As a preview of this fall's production, That's Chester invited the Tommy cast to join them on stage at Rotaryfest's main stage at Clergue Park last week, and we now have a public video to share from it! Drummer Ric Datson posted this onto his YouTube channel earlier today, and it's of That's Chester and the cast's rendition of The Who's "Sensation", which is a nice surprise, as "Pinball Wizard" would be too predictable. The video is regrettably filmed from behind the band and cast, so the view and scope isn't too hot, but things sound good, and we get an angle of the stage that we rarely see! Give this Tommy video a look below, and stay tuned for more as it comes in!



Finally for today, here's a short new video from Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night, as per keyboardist Craig Harrison's YouTube channel! A brief 22 second clip of him demoing a new track on keyboard, it's a short but sweet clip that has promise from what we can hear! Give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night as we hear it!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and such when I have some free time! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Havadder), More Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

With some serious personal family matters going on this weekend, I don't anticipate posts to be as frequent for the next few days (at least), so if we miss any late notice concert alerts from a band like Mourning Wood, my apologies in advance. Today's post features some assorted recent notes, a local band's recent activity, and more of this weekend's hard rock concert previews, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Havadder will return to the stage TOMORROW NIGHT for one night only at The Rednecks Saloon! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced this show yesterday via it's Facebook event page. After taking the Rotaryfest weekend off, this will be Jugga & company's first show since rocking Rednecks and Ride For Sight a couple of weeks back, and their hard hitting and often varied covers should find a solid audience once again TOMORROW! No word though on why they're not playing at Rednecks tonight. Like usual for Havadder concerts, tomorrow's show is a 19+ affair with no announced cover charge and a 10:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the above links! Havadder are always a reliably good time for your weekend entertainment, so keep tomorrow's show in mind, and here's the guys live last month!



Moving to a pair of previously announced concerts, Sault Michigan hard rock trio Power Slug are slated to return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! The local cover favourites featuring I.S.O.M. members Bob Helsten & Chris Leask will be making their first announced public concert appearances in over a month this weekend, and while the band hasn't acknowledged them on their own Facebook page, Kewadin's entertainment page confirms them (note also that we have new shows through September to announce at local Kewadin branches, so stay tuned for that!) As usual, this weekend's shows have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charge, and 9:00 PM start times. For more details, visit the above links! Power Slug haven't played as much lately, but hopefully the guys have a great weekend in store, so make sure to chug your mug with them! Here's the guys a few years back!



Next up, here's some long overdue updates from local rap/metal quartet & VM Radio Battle finalists The Apocalypse Afterparty, so what have they been up to in the past month? As per their Facebook page on Sunday, the masked bandits are still working on their debut EP, planning to be "reclusive & ghost-like" while recording brand new tracks at Mission Control Studios, and upon release "after many, many moons", it'll be a 3 song EP on USB sticks, mp3 downloads, and a limited vinyl pressing (no word on CDs though.) The guys also elaborated on their earlier teases of a comic book on the band, which is apparently in it's final draft, will have work by a professional comic artist, and a cover will be posted in a few weeks upon completion. In terms of concerts, the Afterparty teased an upcoming Gonqshow appearance (presumably August 7th's Hard Up show) and other upcoming concerts.

There's no direct reference within to their drummer vacancy, but the post includes some vague remarks including an apology to "Rotary support", and plans to start a war with "a loud, public figure", but you can read into things however you want. Nice to see that The Apocalypse Afterparty are still active and running through some ambitious plans, so follow the band above, and stay tuned for more from their camp as it rolls in!

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

  • With their announced breakup following their Rotaryfest set last week, we have moved local hard rock quartet Beaumont Avenue to our inactive band links, albeit under their original name The Suicide Kings, as they accomplished more & were active longer under that name. If a defunct band has had multiple names, we usually list them in our links under their most prominent name for familiarity's sake, not unlike with bassist Mitch Sirie's old band Stillbroke, who closed their run as Borderline Divine. If Beuamont Avenue ever reunites under that name, they'll be re-listed accordingly!
  • This might just be re-stating the obvious, but we might as well confirm that next month's planned Das Bunkerfest II concert from Six Two Oh appears to have been cancelled outright. Promoters had hoped to host the Garden River-based house party festival in a new location after ceding control of the original venue, but with the Facebook event page now deleted, that presumably ends plans for the sequel event. Keep an eye out for new Six Two Oh shows!
  • If you noticed that SooToday's "Soo To-Do List" from last week listed an appearance by Kingston country solo artist Tom Savage at the Pixo Control/Gnaeus concert at LopLops Lounge, you're not alone, but that appears to be a typo. Savage did play a LopLops event on July 10th opening for Brock Zeman, so that might be where wires were crossed, and no advertising for the Pixo Control show credits extra performers beyond the Gnaeus teases. Hopefully that show was a hit!

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