Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Newest Poll!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), A New Din Video, And Much More!!

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, let's get a new news post up on the SMS on this Monday afternoon! Below, you'll find some assorted recent updates, a new concert video, and a nice archival discovery, but first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Local acoustic hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will play a special Valentine's Day matinee concert TOMORROW at Gliss Steak & Seafood! Apologies for the short notice, the show was only announced on Thursday night via it's Facebook event page. This is unusual for Tym's long-term arrangement at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, as it's not on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, and Tym didn't play February 14th last year, but his unplugged covers and classics should provide a nice soundtrack for attendees TOMORROW, and given the Valentine's Day theme, can we expect a higher amount of romance songs and/or ballads? Despite the seasonal theme, this show is otherwise formatted similarly to his regular Gliss dates (he'll be back there on FRIDAY & SATURDAY), so expect no cover charge, a 6:00 PM start time, and no age limit, but again, this is a sit-down restaurant. Check the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next up, here's another new video from local alternative/hard rock trio The Din's YouTube channel, also from their LopLops Lounge headlining show last month! No word yet on the rest of the extensive footage that The Din have teased, but this video is of their newer original "High Park", which sounds good and lively, but I'm still not a fan of the "ooooooh" choruses (they still feel like a placeholder for lyrics not yet written.) Well filmed and performed as usual, so give The Din's newest video a look below!

Also today, here's a surprise find from a crawl of old Angelfire pages with local music ties: The website for former local punk concert promoters Friendly Giant Productions! Ran by David Hugill, F.G.P. was active primarily in 1999 & 2000, making this one of the oldest surviving local music pages that I've ever seen. Their website notes that Friendly Giant promoted shows at the turn of the millennium with bands like Bankshot, Choke, The Mad Caddies, SNFU, and Strung Out (among others), with the July 2000 show featuring AFI, Choke, and AlgomA predecessors BeefFMoutH at Club Princess being their final listed concert there. At the label's peak, they had their own affiliated radio show on WLSO 90.1 FM at Lake State too, which would have been interesting to hear at the time! Surviving links on the Angelfire page include news updates for shows and planned events in early-mid 2000, photos from Oddfellows Hall concerts, tons of links and touring band write-ups, select concert flyers, and even the remnants of a dating service(?!)

Friendly Giant Productions predates the Sault Metal Scene's launch by 8 or so years, but this is a nice time capsule of the scene as it was 17 years ago, back when The Knights of Columbus Hall and Club Princess were viable and frequent sights for punk concerts, and back when AFI still played punk! David Hugill has since moved on to bigger and better things out of town as a researcher and journalist, but if you recall his days in local concert promotion, this will be a fun flashback, so check out more from Friendly Giant Productions at the above links, and they're now linked on the SMS!

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

  • Local rap/metal project The Apocalypse Afterparty are holding a contest where you could win $50 or the first release USB drive copy of their debut EP "Bufflesnort", but what's involved?  To enter, you must invite Facebook friends to like the band, and with the band able to tell who invited whom, the person that invites the most new fans will either desired prize (the money can be available as an e-mail transfer too.) No word yet on when to expect the actual paid release of "Bufflesnort", but if you want the EP (or $50), click "Invite Friends to Like this Page" above!
  • Sudbury-based promoters CS International Ontario are planning a "big concert announcement" this coming Sunday for a concert on March 30th at The Machine Shop at Mill Square. There are teases on the Facebook event page that this will feature a "rock and roll" headliner, and while there are no bigger hints that yet, Din frontman Mike Haggith seems optimistic in postings, for what that's worth. If this show indeed fits for SMS coverage, we'll let you know, but see above to check if you can decipher any clues beforehand!
  • Local musician Jason Morbin is looking for a bassist for his new local band project, who play "a lot of rock" with "some blues & punk influence", and aspire to play covers & originals on stage. For what it's worth, Jason had been linked to a band project last year where the bassist would have been ex-Haggith frontman Curtis McKenzie, but it's not clear if this is the same intended band. If you're interested in trying out, message Jason at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from last week!

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