Tuesday, September 23, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (IDNS), Tuned With Random Killing, And More!!

Before we get into this post, I wanted to acknowledge a recently cancelled concert that we actually hadn't plugged on the site before it was called off, that being a planned show by local hard rock cover quartet Griphook at The Speak Easy at Algoma University that would have taken place tomorrow night. The show (which would have been their Speak Easy debut and first gig since Rotaryfest) was cancelled due to "unknown circumstances" this weekend, as per their Facebook page, but they indicated that they have future gigs to announce. Hopefully all's well from the band and venue, and stay tuned for more! Now, today's post has recent assorted notes, the new Tuned episode, and an archive video, but first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

First, here's a special preview/LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, as the recently advertised IDNS concert at "Das Bunker" in Garden River TONIGHT finally has a public address! AlgomA frontman Darby Wigwaus is putting on what you could call a sequel to August's Das Bunkerfest tonight, which will feature the return of recent Oddfellows Hall-headlining Toronto crust punk band IDNS, and it will be nice to see them here again! The other previously scheduled bands include the aforementioned AlgomA, local death metal quartet The Bear Hunters (in their likely last gig before their CD release party), and local punk/metal standouts Jack Spades (in a rare appearance at a non-Johnny Pints Presents show), but there are teased and tentative additions. The lineup points to a reunion of the Soo Band Roulette-winning Cat Sass (featuring 2/3rds of AlgomA) and "a possible special attraction" to start the night. I have seen a personal Facebook posting hinting that a recently inactive metal band might be said attraction, but we'll hold further comment unless something more official is stated.

This all ages event will be held at 1472 Highway 17 E in Garden River (this address is publically posted there), it will have $5 admission, and snacks, band merchandise, and VHS tapes will be on sale, but it will be a dry event too. 8:00 PM start time as well, and visit the official Facebook event page for more details! This should be another interesting event, so be sure to check it out if you're up for some metal & punk action in Garden River TONIGHT, and hopefully I can make it out too! For a preview, here's IDNS live in Toronto!

Next up, the new episode of Local2's music profile video series Tuned with Donna Hopper is finally online, and if you loved Hardcore Homecoming at The Rockstar Bar, you'll definitely want to check this out! The first ever Tuned episode with a parental advisory warning due to explicit language, the 15 minute episode starts with 5 minutes of Random Killing's headlining set that night (and a snippet of Destroilet before the intro) before transitioning to Donna interviewing Random Killing's Drew Kiteley on the Rockstar Bar patio, where they discuss why it's taken them 17 years to come back home, why they still play certain concerts where they don't get paid much, how Drew first got into punk rock, and even an aside from filmer (and Elements frontman) Rob Speers' memories of being at a classic Random Killing show at the Club Princess. Solid light-hearted interview for sure, though it'd have been nice if it was a bit longer. Donna follows that with a concert calendar update that includes the Gob show on October 29th (albeit still listing Seaway as opening instead of Northwest.)

The episode closes with video footage of the opening bands, including the aforementioned Elements, London punk rockers Gatgas, Destroilet (with Garry Ingram), and Jack Spades, and as usual, all are well filmed with nice audio quality, with bloopers again during the credits. Another great Tuned episode that will be great for fans to relive Hardcore Homecoming with (or catch up on what you missed), so check everything out at this link! Remember, Local2's video host doesn't allow external embedding.

Also today, here's another archive video of local hard rock cover band Havadder, also from YouTube user Danabelle39's channel! Like the recent Havadder videos that we've shared on here, this is of their 2012 Turner Up-hybrid lineup, specifically one of their first gigs together at the former Nicolet Tavern that January, where they covered The Travelling Wilburys' "Tweeter & The Monkey Man". The video quality isn't as good as in Dana's February videos of Havadder, with the colours seeming very warm and limited, and the camera angle cuts off then-guitarist Robert Brown often, but it's a well done cover, and Jason Roy's vocals seem to fit the original song! Check it out below!

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

  • Just as a note of clarification, local/Toronto celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide enlisted Northwest drummer Clint Wilson to fill in for Mikey Hawdon for their local and Thessalon shows last month, as per their Facebook page at the time. Presumably due to external commitments, Mikey has missed some of The Rising Tide's recent concerts, but as far as I know, he hasn't left the band. Hopefully Clint fit in well last month!
  • Though not announced on their Facebook page, Sault Michigan hard rock trio Power Slug took a road trip to play at the Kewadin Casino in Manistique this past weekend. Out of our coverage range, but hopefully the show went well! Our source is frontman Chris Leask's personal Facebook page.
  • A local guitarist named Shane Bromfield is looking for other people to jam with, and his influences include everyone from Dimebag Darrell to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Solid range, but if you're interested in playing with Shane, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Saturday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new archive punk video showcase tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Monday, September 22, 2014

YouTube Channel Profile Series: TheNorthernTragedy & Robert St. Amour

Before our next news post, here's this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! As usual, these monthly feature series looks at 1-3 YouTube channels with a 50% (or higher) ratio of metal, hard rock, and punk-relevant videos, in order for readers and fans to check out each, watch some relevant and entertaining videos, and hopefully click the "Subscribe" button! Like in prior months, these channels were randomly selected, and for the first time since March, we're looking at multiple channels due to the first channel that we picked only having two distinct videos, so one with a single fitting video was added to fill it out. Give everything a look below!
TheNorthernTragedy's channel (http://www.youtube.com/thenortherntragedy)

Owner: A member of local punk trio The Northern Tragedy (specific identity unclear)

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 22nd, 2012; Videos uploaded from the following month through April 2013

Channel Summary: Though this is the official YouTube channel for The Northern Tragedy, there are only two videos uploaded there so far, both from separate Rockstar Bar gigs in late 2012 & early 2013, early in the band's run.

Why Should You Watch: You should check out The Northern Tragedy's channel for some nice concert videos from their first public months, and both are of solid quality from near the front of the stage! They're among the better T.N.T. videos online, though while the channel is still in active personal use, there hasn't been a new video uploaded there in almost a year & a half.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

The Northern Tragedy - Dragondrums (Live @ Rockstar Bar 10/08/2012 ): The first and most viewed of The Northern Tragedy's channel's videos is of them playing their song "Dragondrums" at their live concert debut on October 8th, 2012, when they opened for Dearly Beloved & Redundant at The Rockstar Bar. Suitably engaging punk original here from singer/drummer Terrence Gomes, guitarist Mike Ivany, and bassist Corry Rideout, and Terrence's vocals are strong, but their stage presences are noticeably stiff. The lighting is also extremely red (almost Virtual Boy-esque), but otherwise, it's a solid performance with a nice fast paced ending!

The Northern Tragedy - 3 2 4: The Northern Tragedy's second and final video (to date?) is of their performance of their song "3 2 4" at the second night of The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands on April 10th, 2013, where they competed against The Suicide Kings & The Pesto Shirts (now known as Beaumont Avenue & The Wild Iris respectively.) Though The Northern Tragedy did not join the other two bands in the finals two weeks later, you get a sense of their skill on this slower and more reserved song, and the more varied lighting is a help! However, their stage presence and enthusiasm still seem far too low here (especially at a competitive event), and the tilted camera angle is a little strange. Punk fans should enjoy the performance here though!

Robert St. Amour (http://www.youtube.com/filghtmaster)

Owner: YouTube user & Sault Ontario resident Robert St. Amour, a relative (possibly father?) of former Bring The Fallen drummer Travis St. Amour & his brother Tyler of Heavy North Entertainment

Channel Timeline: Launched on February 5th, 2010; Videos posted from that month until December 2012

Channel Summary: Aside from a 2012 video of him demoing a remote control airplane, Robert's only YouTube video is of defunct local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen playing two original songs at the now-closed Nite-Life Dance Club (better known as GLOW) on February 20th, 2010, where they, short-lived As It Stands replacements Out Of The Mouth Of Babes, and DJ Spruceau played at Nite-Life's branch of the city-wide Algoma Hope4Haiti fundraiser. Featuring their classic lineup (singer Josh Stephney, guitarists Andrew Chiarello & Dan Souliere, bassist Nolan Rainville, and drummer Travis St. Amour), the performance is brutal and up to B.T.F.'s standards, and Robert got some solid side-stage footage (even of moshing fans), but the lighting isn't fantastic. Nice footage from a somewhat unique location though, and it's a solid sample of the band at their local peak! However, Robert hasn't uploaded new videos to this channel in over a year, and hasn't actively used it in 6 months, so keep that in mind also.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, we'll be looking at multiple channels again due to the first channel that was randomly selected only having one SMS-qualifiable video, but the second had a similar issue, so what three channels are next? YouTube users SuckMyKiss535's channel (featuring a Woods of Ypres song), formersome1's channel (featuring 3 Redundant videos from their 2011 Halloween party set, fittingly), and LoveTheDeathbat's channel (featuring 6 videos from a Blood Shed Productions jam session), so look out for all of this on or around October 22nd! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news soon! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hardcore Homecoming Fallout, Concert Lineup Additions, And Haggith Updates!!

Let's keep the news rolling on this Saturday morning, so what's in store today? Recent updates from a popular local band, new additions to two big upcoming shows, and first, some initial fallout from a major recent punk concert, so here's what you need to know!

At last, let's delve into the first of the fallout from last week's Hardcore Homecoming concert at The Rockstar Bar, including SooToday's coverage of the event! Donna Hopper was on hand to cover everything and snap some great photos (all in black and white again), and in her recap, she mentioned that she and Random Killing frontman Andrew "Drool" Kiteley deduced that this was the Toronto punk legends' first Soo show in 17 years (circa 1997, in other words.) Far too long, if you ask most people on Saturday! Bar sales even came close to breaking the venue's record, which is a neat accomplishment in itself! Solid write-up as usual, and as for her photos, 31 of Donna's shots made the article, sixteen of which coming from Random Killing's set and fans, but there's also 4 from Jack Spades' set, 6 from Destroilet's set (including one of guest singer Garry Ingram), three from London punk quartet Gatgas' set, and two from The Elements' opening set, so click here to see all of Donna's great pictures!

In case you're wondering, Local2 video cameras were on hand for an episode of Tuned with Donna Hopper, so I'd look for that in the coming days as well! As for more press coverage, an unexpected local news source was in attendance last week too, that being... the Sault This Week?! Yes, our free weekly newspaper was there, as Ali Pearson's interview with Andrew (credited as Drew throughout) is available to read both online at this location and in page 14 of this week's paper in the "Faces of the Sault" section. The article mentions that Drew travels home often to visit family, and features his remarks on how he got into punk rock, his move to Toronto and eventual addition to Random Killing, how they got a song on Sesame Street, his recent day jobs outside of the band, and information on his personal life. It's a nice in-depth article that could also serve as a crash course into his life for those unfamiliar with him or Random Killing, so check it out at the above links or your most recent issue of Sault This Week! Stay tuned for more Hardcore Homecoming fallout as we hear it!

Also today, here's notes on two recent band additions for two of local concert promoter J.D. Pearce's Halloween season shows! One is for the Gob concert at The Rockstar Bar on Wednesday, October 29th, as he confirmed yesterday on the Facebook event page that local indie/punk quintet Northwest have been added to the lineup, apparently in place of Oakville punk band Seaway for unannounced reasons (though their Facebook page implies that their tour dates with Gob end the previous day.) As far as I can tell, this will be Northwest's first public concert set since the release of their self-titled digital EP, though I have no idea whether there will be physical copies at the Gob show. Solid addition though, so don't miss them along with Gob and fellow locals Jack Spades & Redundant on October 29th! The other band addition comes two days later and one floor down for J.D.'s annual Halloween party at The Algonquin Pub on the 31st, as local hardcore punk quintet Destroilet will play this event for a second straight year, in just their second gig of 2014!

Quietly confirmed in recent days on this show's event page, this will mark the first non-Coch's Corner installment of J.D.'s Halloween shows to feature an all-local lineup (alongside Frightlight's farewell set and Sykotyk Rampage), and Destroilet should compliment things well with their old school sound, so prepare yourself for quite a Halloween season of punk and metal action! Stay tuned for updates on these and J.D.'s other shows as we hear more!

Finally for today, here's the latest news, good and bad, from local alternative/grunge quartet Haggith! On the positive side, the band revealed on their Facebook page last week that their upcoming concept album "Apocalypse II" is making great progress in studio, and it may be their last album released exclusively through their label Paperclip Productions, likely thanks to new bassist James White and the combined availability of his White Wreckords recording studio, which "XIV" is partially being recorded at (though no word yet on if James will be the sole bassist on it or not.) However, drummer Mike Haggith revealed on his solo Facebook page on Wednesday that he'll "be stepping away from music for a little while" due to "unfortunate developments" in his personal life so he can work to better himself. Mike elaborated that this will likely delay both of Haggith's upcoming albums and his planned re-release of his first "Neighbourhood Watch" solo CD (and presumably his teased best of release) for an indefinite time.

That said, Mike clarified that this won't affect the band's concert schedule, as Haggith aren't booked to play again until The Soo Zombie Walk on October 25th, though we'll keep you guys posted if anything changes in regard to that set. I do know the personal reasons behind Mike's break, and though I won't publicize them here unless he does, I hope he can power through this and be back in form before we know it! When all is back to normal, look for some big updates from Haggith, and best of luck!

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (White Cowbell Oklahoma & Exiled) And New Video Finds!!

I know some of you are awaiting fallout from this past weekend's Hardcore Homecoming/Random Killing concert, but with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, I didn't want it all to be de-emphasized, so that will very likely lead off tomorrow's post, so don't worry! Also today, we have an archive video find, a recent metal concert video, and another new show for later in the fall, so here's what you need to know!

I'm getting very contradictory reports about bands playing TONIGHT at The Savoy Bar & Nightclub in Sault Michigan, so here's what we currently know. Last night, Rudyard hard rock quintet Exiled (pictured) revealed on short notice that they'll be playing at The Savoy for the first time tonight at 10:00 PM, preceding their motorcycle club party gig tomorrow, but that's not what The Savoy's own Facebook page is advertising. Instead, they're promoting a show to be headlined by Saginaw rap/rock band Redburn with support from Munising metal quartet Infathom, which Redburn's pages are plugging, but not Infathom's (they haven't posted on Facebook in over a month.) Given that Redburn advertised this show on their Facebook page today, I'm inclined to believe that they're playing, and while not confirmed officially, it looks like Exiled have replaced Infathom on the bill, though we'll correct this if need be.

For what it's worth, Redburn aren't a "heavy" band per say, but you don't see this type of sound in the area too often, and it looks like they'll be playing at The Savoy again in December if you're into a full rap show! Regardless of what goes down tonight, keep The Savoy in mind for some live rock!

Moving to a show that we can 100% confirm, Toronto southern hard rock notables White Cowbell Oklahoma will roll through Sault Ontario on Sunday, November 30th during their 15th anniversary tour, as they'll be headlining at The Rockstar Bar! Notorious for their entertaining jam-heavy live concerts (complete with power tools), their country-infused rock originals should be a fun sight back in the Soo for the first time since their well received concert at The Grand Theater four years ago, so don't bypass this one either, and click here for Donna Hopper's entertaining review of that show from SooToday to see what you're in for! The announced openers are The Paceshifters, a hard rock band from The Netherlands who have a grungy yet modern sound that should go over well too, so don't miss them either! For reference, W.C.O.'s own pages advertise Vancouver psychobilly band Big John Bates & the Voodoo Dollz as opening too during their tour (as they did at their 2010 local show), but the local Facebook event page doesn't mention them.

This 19+ concert will begin at 9:00 PM on November 30th, and there will be NO COVER CHARGE, so there's all the more reason to come out! Check the above links for more details, and if you know White Cowbell Oklahoma's reputation and over the top live concert experience, you won't want to miss this one at the end of November! Stay tuned for updates when & if they come in!

Closing today with some new video finds, here's two new clip of Sudbury blackened death metal band Catharcyst from their co-headlining set opening for IDNS at The Oddfellows Hall two weeks ago! Uploaded to the band's YouTube channel today, they're of Catharcyst playing their songs "A Spell Has Been Cast" and (as embedded below) "Terra", both of which being filmed from the band's merchandise table at the far end of the hall. The video quality of these is not good, with dark and grainy lighting and an angle too far to make out much of anything regarding the band or fans, but the audio quality is solid enough! Check out Catharcyst's new videos above & below!

We'll close today with another archive video of local classic/hard rock veterans Havadder, courtesy of the same Nicolet Tavern concert from February 2012 that gave us their Foo Fighters cover that was on the site earlier this week! Same filmer too (YouTube user Danabelle39), but for whatever reason, her videos from this show were split across two channels. The video on her own channel is of Havadder's 2012 lineup covering Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' "Runnin' Down A Dream" with frontman Jason Roy on lead vocals, and it's a good cover for fans of the original song, but the vocals can be muffled. Check out the full video below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for Random Killing concert fallout and more in our next post! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's New Poll!!

After a slight delay, it's now time for the results of last month's poll and the launch of our newest poll, but be sure to check out new concert announcements and weekend previews in the post below this one! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question: What is your opinion on the recent influx of two man metal bands in the Sault area? Only 17 votes, which isn't a high amount, but thanks to everyone for voting, and the results are interesting! (For full disclosure, someone voted late for "It depends on the band", so it's not included in the tally.) Now, here are your final results!

I have no preference towards band member amounts (5 votes, 29%)
They're not my thing (5 votes, 29%)
I love them, keep them coming! (4 votes, 24%)
We need more active musicians to fill out their lineups (3 votes, 18%)
It depends on the band (0 votes)

What do you guys think? Well, aside from "It depends on the band", voting was very close between the other four choices, so it's sort of hard to draw any conclusions. If you wanted to generalize things, only 4 voters gave a firm thumbs up to two-man bands, but given the spread out responses otherwise, it seems clear that people are divided on their thoughts of bands of this size. I can see why having no preference would tie for the lead though, as I don't judge my enjoyment of bands by how many members they have, but an equal amount of people don't seem to fancy them. I'll back up the two man bands and Blood Shed Productions though, as they're having fun and if the intent is to only have two members, they're doing what they want with no apologies! Unless they play as a duo strictly due to low interest in member searches, I encourage the freedom of expression, but hopefully there's a healthy amount of local bands of any genre for years and years to come!

Thanks to everyone for voting! As for this month's poll, we're revisiting a topic that we've asked about on the site each of the last three Septembers, so we're again posing this question to you guys: Which of these defunct or recently inactive bands would you most want to see hit the stage again? As is the case in any year, there are bands who aren't sights on the local concert scene anymore (or not for a long while) that you guys would want to see again, and that's the spirit of this poll, which is expanded to 25 bands this year (plus "Other") due to our punk band expansion, so there's even more choice than before! Including two bands from Sault Michigan, this poll once again only covers bands who have recently split up (i.e. in the last 5 years) and active/on-hiatus bands that haven't played a public concert in 6 months (not counting bands with scheduled future concerts, hence why Frightlight aren't among the choices.) Also, we're not including Woods of Ypres, as without David around, there's no chance whatsoever they could come back.

Most of this poll's choices are new, but 7 return from last year that got at least one vote in 2013, with the exception of Fitswitch (whose breakup is now outside our 5 year window) and Pillory (who returned to the stage this year.) With all of that said, here are 25 (plus "Other") choices in this month's poll on the inactive bands you want back!

As It Stands: Last seen opening for Dead & Divine at The Canadian in August 2012, this prominent local hardcore band's decline was slow and quiet, despite an attempted resurrection in late 2013, with drummer John Mignacca confirming their demise earlier this year. I know many fans would love to see A.I.S. return to the stage, especially given their intense and well attended live concerts and solid originals, but do you want As It Stands back more than other local bands?

The Billy Bastards: This popular local punk/country quintet are definitely not defunct, but they made this year's poll due to their sporadic concert schedule, as they have not played a local concert since a headlining gig at The Rockstar Bar in December. With three CDs and a great reputation under their belts, The Billys are fan favourites for a reason with their hard hitting hybrid sound, but do you want them back on stage A.S.A.P.?

Bring The Fallen: With most members working or living out of town in recent years, a full reunion for this popular death metal quintet is not in the immediate cards, but the three-time battle of the bands winners did give fans a proper sendoff at last July's Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mash-Up, helping make up for their slow rumour-filled demise in 2011. That said, are you hoping to mosh out at a B.T.F. show once again more than any of the rest?

Caveman Morrison: Though not officially defunct, the Tym Morrison-led metal cover trio have been on hiatus from the stage throughout 2014 due to a lack of available venues, and Tym's own regular weekend series at The Harp. As long as his solo shows there go well, there might not be room for a Caveman Morrison show for a while, but fans are still bound to miss their classic metal & hard rock covers! Are you among them?

Crimson Crusade: Officially on hiatus since November 2013, this Death-inspired death metal quartet attracted positive notices throughout their early 2010s local resurgence, including via their EP "Upon The Eve Of War", though a brief breakup last summer seemed to preclude their future activity cessation. You can see members Robert Sartini & Devon Lucier now in the current Pillory lineup, but do you want Crimosn Crusade back even more?

For All That Is Lost: Another band with roots in the CASS Cafe concert series, F.A.T.I.L. were among the most popular area death metal bands in the early 2010s before their own breakup in early 2013 (and last show the previous year), though there have been teases of a reunion in recent months. Masks or no masks, For All That Is Lost improved steadily and melted many faces, but do you want to see them back the most of this poll's choices?

Free Beer: Ska punk fans surely took to Free Beer during their late 2000s heyday, where they played a number of high profile headlining sets and opened for a number of big out of town bands as well! Later runs under the M.O.B. and Sarah's Valley names didn't garner the same success, and the band hasn't been active since last summer, but 3/4ths of the classic lineup are currently active in the alt-rock band Habitat Shuffle. Still, do you want the ska back?

The Fury: This bass-doubling (and genre-hating) trio attracted many positive notices from their explosive and original sound with punk audiences from 2009-2011, including two battle of the bands runner-up finishes, but aside from a barely-launched reunion this year, they've been defunct for over three years. You can hear frontman Paul Stanghetta's current band The Apocalypse Afterparty cover Fury songs live, but would rather see the original band?

Garden of Bedlam: Believe it or not, this prominent metal quartet haven't played a public concert in the entirety of 2014 yet, not counting their stag & doe appearance with Papa Fogals Chair in May. Whether you want to read into that or not is your call, but fans of Buzz, Josh, Evan, and Derek are bound to be eagerly awaiting Garden of Bedlam's next explosive set of modern metal! Do you miss Garden of Bedlam the most of all in the poll?

Gates of Winter: We're nearing six years since their last concert, but local progressive death metal mainstays Gates of Winter were (as of May) still working on their new album "Perihelion", which was apparently in it's final stretch at the time, but things have been publically quiet since. The band does hope to return to the stage at some point in the future, and hopefully their new EP comes soon too, but do you want Gates back the most of all?

Giwakwa: After a lengthy wait for their debut, local sludge/death metal quartet Giwakwa began making waves last year by opening for the likes of West of Hell and The Rabid Whole, and playing at the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, but members Josh Stephney & Nolan Rainville's out of town commitments put the brakes on the band's progress in July, and we haven't heard much since the fall. Are you craving a new Giwakwa set enough to vote for them?

Half A Man: One of the more prominent original metal bands of recent years in the Sault Michigan area, Brimley metal trio Half A Man quietly fell inactive after their set at last year's LemmaFest, with no sign or a reunion since. Half A Man's gritty Black Label Society-influenced sound was a welcome change of pace in the E.U.P., and it'd be great to see Erik and company back together, but do you agree?

The Inner City Surfers: These local/Toronto punk standouts were among the most prominent Soo bands of any genre throughout the 2000s, and their fun and energetic punk originals carried them to three well recieved CDs and a number of succesful tour dates! Though you can still see Dustin & Mikey with The Rising Tide, and Brad & Dave with The Role Models, has the wait since 2012 been far too long for a new Surfers show?

Late & Loud: The winners of this poll last year, local classic metal quartet Late & Loud broke up for good last spring, but have since headlined two reunion shows at The Rockstar Bar, with the second in August billed as their "last concert ever" in advance of Brendan Christie's move overseas. We haven't heard much from the other three guys since in terms of new bands, but are you an eager Loudmouth hoping for a return?

Lion Ride: Now over 3 years removed from their last show, local/Toronto punk/metal quintet Lion Ride still retain a strong fanbase since their 2012 demise, and while the door was never closed on a formal farewell show, fans are still waiting. We can still see members in bands like The Fairmounts, Cross Dog, and The Wing-Its, but do you wish Lion Ride could come back and reignite the flames of their successful late 2000s peak?

Nebraska Arms: Though only active from 2008-2010, this indie punk/alternative quartet achieved some notable success during their run, including releasing an album, opening for bands like SNFU, and even finishing second at the 2010 Sault College Battle of the Bands! Guitarist Wayne Watkins' current band Northwest play a similar style of music, but are you hoping that a Nebraska Arms reunion will take place down the road?

Nixxon Dixxon: The winners of this poll in 2012, this Sault Michigan hard rock quartet attained success and talent beyond their age during their late-2000s heyday, before suddenly breaking up in 2010 in advance of half the band's move to California. Eveyone's closer now, and you can catch Kyle Beaumont & Jake LaLonde together again in The London Gentlemen (and Chris Hubbard in 415E), but would a Nixxon Dixxon reunion be tops to you?

RedD Monkey: Though technically on hiatus, this popular cello-infused hardcore punk trio have not been seen on stage since their Heavy Winter set at The Rosie in December, so fans here and in Southern Ontario will surely be anticipating a potential return to the stage for the Mozarowski brothers and Joe. With plenty of concert success and two CDs, their claim is staked, but are you hoping the most for a RedD Monkey comeback?

Sailor's Tongue: It's not clear yet whether they're inactive again or missed their window for a concert return due to the Rotaryfest Second Stage hiatus this year, but local hard rock quintet Sailor's Tongue have not been seen in concert since last year's (final?) Second Stage. Recent album plans and their expanded lineup seemed to be serving them well, but some members have been working out of town too. Are you hoping Sailor's Tongue comes back?

The Scary Uncles: One of the more prominent new punk bands of the late 2000s in the area, The Scary Uncles found quick success during their run, including finishing second in the Skid Row battle of the bands, and opening for bands like Reel Big Fish. Frontman Justin Langlois continues to play similar music with his current band Redundant (who share some songs too), but would you prefer a formal Scary Uncles return more?

State of Misery: Though only active for short bursts, young local death metal quartet State of Misery achieved a good following during their early 2011 peak, which saw them become regulars at the old Roosevelt Hotel metal nights, before suddenly breaking up prior to one lukewarm return show in the spring of 2012. Frontman Steve Rhodes sings similar material with his London metal band D3athcharg3r, but do you want S.O.M. back still?

T-Rex Manning: Somewhat surprisingly, this local punk/metal quartet haven't been seen on stage since one of the Heavy Thursdays at The Rosie in February, though members J.D. Pearce & Tiffany Stocco have stayed busy since with their similar, more original-focused band Jack Spades. With plenty of fun covers (and "She Banged The Mayor") since their 2011 debut, are you hoping for the return of T-Rex Manning?

Treble Charger: Certainly not defunct, this long running indie/punk band has played some notable Southern Ontario gigs this year, but have not graced a local stage since headlining a Searchmont fundraiser last January. Greig, Bill, and company have attained tons of success over the last two decades, and surely known as one of the Sault's most succesful imports, but are you hoping they return home soon?

The Valentine's Day Massacre: Successors of sorts to both State of Misery and Sativa Rose, The V.D.M. (formerly View To A Kill) attained similar success in their 2011-2013 run, playing at a number of big metal shows here before moving to London and ceding way to the recently inactive Saints & Serpents, with Steve Rhodes & Andrew Angelic now members of D3athcharg3r. The V.D.M. were solid, but do you want them back?

Winkstinger: This extreme metal quintet were among the most fun and intense sights at local metal concerts from 2010-2013, which saw them play at numerous local concerts, and win the 2012 Battle For The Blood to open for 3 Inches of Blood! The band quietly faded into inactivity last year, and though Jesse Cook's still busy with Jack Spades & The Elements, are you hoping that the guys reunite down the road?

Other: Is the band you miss most not among the above choices? Maybe a band that wasn't voted in the last poll deserved a second chance, like Sense of Truth, Half Past, or Clownsack? Maybe you miss an older band like Fitswitch or Fistmagnet, or maybe even a non-metal/punk band? If your most desired band return isn't in the choices, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until October 18th to cast your votes, so make your voices heard A.S.A.P., as this poll is always interesting, and with punk bands in now, all bets are off! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Long Shot) & This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

    Before we get into the details of this month's poll, let's cover this weekend's hard rock & punk concert previews, as there's some interesting shows going down, including one TONIGHT, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next weekend!

    Newer local hard rock quartet Long Shot will play their next gig on September 26th (one week from tomorrow) when they play at the Fraternal Order of Eagles' clubhouse in nearby Heyden! The band featuring the Dawe brothers, Nathan Muto, and Jeremy Ganuelas were last seen at a LopLops event in August, and while a show at the Eagles club may seem a bit odd, remember that many of Long Shot's gigs have been in unique settings (and Tym Morrison used to play regular gigs here.) There appears to be some sort of on occasion for this show though, as Mexican food will be on sale, so keep that angle in mind too! There is no cover charge, Long Shot will be on at 7:00 PM, and there's no announced age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Should be an interesting show, so if you're in the Heyden area, remember Long Shot's next show next Friday, and stay tuned for updates!

    Moving to this weekend's previews, Montreal ska punk quintet K-Man & The 45s will make their second headlining appearance in Sault Ontario when they return to The Rockstar Bar for a special Thursday night show TONIGHT! Well known for their fun reggae-infused punk rock originals and Ramones covers (hence the alternate Ska-Mones moniker), K-Man & The 45s impressed when they came here in October, and they should be up to similar standards tonight, so don't miss them for a good old fashioned night of ska! Like last fall, local all-female hard rock quartet The Danger Cats will be opening this show in their second Rockstar Bar appearance of the month, and their entertaining blend of covers & originals should fit right in tonight as well! Keep in mind however that guitarist Paula Panther got hit with an illness (as per their Facebook page status referencing that they're "cursed"), but they'll power through! Promoted by J.D. Pearce, you may also remember that this show was originally planned to be an afterparty for the now-cancelled Misfits concert that would have taken place today, so at least we still have something!

    This show has a $7 cover charge, 19+ age limit, and 9:30 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Ska-punk fans would be well served to head down to The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for all of the action, so don't miss K-Man & The 45s & The Danger Cats, part 2! For a preview, here's the headliners playing three songs live last year!

    Next up is week #42 of Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's ongoing weekly concert arrangement at The Harp Bar & Grill, as he returns there for solo gigs TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Like usual for his lengthy run at the former Madison's Pub, Tym will be hosting and playing at their weekly jam night tomorrow, before headlining a usual unplugged solo concert on Saturday, so he'll be delivering some solid tunes and hard rock renditions regardless of the day you come by! Tym's approaching 10 full months of his Harp run, easily the longest of his weekly engagements at a venue since moving back to the Soo, so come see a solid night of acoustic classics either night! Like usual, there's no announced cover charge, 19+ age limits, and 10:00 PM start times in effect. Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Tym covering Extreme!

    Finally for known area hard rock concerts this weekend is new Rudyard, Michigan hard rock quintet Exiled, who will be rocking out at the first annual "Wild In Da Wilderness" party for the local branch of the Jokers Motorcycle Club of Michigan THIS SATURDAY! Sort of a different show compared to what you'd expect, but I assume at least one Exiled member is in the Jokers club. The event itself will feature food, bike games, 50/50 raffles, and free camping, with Exiled (featuring Absolute, Full Throttle, and Division of Sanity alumni) rocking out at some point later in the day, I'd assume, though I can't confirm if there will be other bands. The event (which is open to the public) will be held at 7100 M-129 (close to the 7 Mile Road turnoff), with a $10 cover charge ($15 for couples), doors opening at 1:00 PM, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and Exiled's own page for their own confirmation about the event! If you're interested in hitting up this Jokers club party (biker or not), then keep it in mind for Saturday! No preview videos yet of Exiled though.

    That's all for now, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and this month's new poll later today! Thanks everyone!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Local Punk Video Showcase (Part 1)

    Witha  slower fall season, and following our formal introduction of all punk subgenres into our coverage, it's high time we begin sharing some archive YouTube videos from local (non-hardcore) punk bands and concerts on the site! To avoid future repeats of these features, these looks at older punk videos will be centered around YouTube channels that have less than 50% of their content being SMS-fitting, so we can save more substantial channels for our YouTube Channel Profile Series each month. You'll notice some trends and recurring artists due to the amount of videos from certain acts, but I hope to have a punk video showcase at least once a week for the next while. So, what's up first?

    Randomly organizing this week's chosen videos, we'll start with prolific local punk musician Mikey Hawdon's YouTube channel, which will absolutely recur in these showcases over the coming weeks, as his channel is loaded with older videos of his local punk bands! We'll start though with Mikey's solo performance clips, as he's posted vocal & guitar covers and originals alike off and on since 2008, which you can see at this link (just look for thumbnails that just have him with good lighting.) Most of Mikey's solo videos are of acoustic Green Day covers, which he definitely knows very well given his work fronting the Green Day tribute The Dookies, though his earlier videos include renditions of Screeching Weasels & All songs, and assorted originals (I think) like "Outta My Head" & "So Wonderful", among many others. Fans should know Mikey's talents by now as both a drummer and frontman, and he channels his singing and guitar work nicely on his solo videos, though the video quality does improve on later clips.

    Click here to give Mikey's solo performance videos a look, though be sure to scroll down, as he's only posted one cover since 2011 (a cover of Green Day's "Going To Pasalaqua" from earlier this year.) Embedded below is a well viewed cover of Green Day's "Having A Blast" from 2008 that is predictably well done, so if you like Mikey's work as a singer & guitarist, be sure to check out his solo videos!

    Next is another band that will recur in our punk video showcases, and Mikey's a member of this band too, that being local/Toronto celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide! With their extensive touring of recent years, they have a solid amount of YouTube videos, with four such clips coming from the YouTube channel of Salads bassist Chuck Dailey, via a DJRT concert in Toronto in December 2010 where they opened for White Cowbell Oklahoma. The videos are of a fiddle-driven instrumental, their song "Alright", and a surprise (incomplete) cover of The Regents' "Barbara Ann", but embedded below is the guys playing their song "Time Well Spent". Shot close to the stage, the lighting is dark aside from the band, which creates a nice mood, and the audio quality is pretty good as well! Like before, their unique hybrid style plays well on these videos, with a nice ethnic feel to contrast the punk attitude, so give Chuck's videos of The Rising Tide a look!

    Among assorted other punk videos to watch for in our punk showcases, here's two linked older punk originals from two different local bands, courtesy of Algoma bassist Kevin Campbell's YouTube channel! Kevin uploads a lot of old independent punk and hardcore albums (local and otherwise) there, including a 1995 compilation CD named "Punk: The Next Generation" released by Barely Legal Records that featured Canadian punk bands, two of which were from the Soo! One of the songs is "Good Enuff" by Room 206, which is a solid song with a catchy hook, but the vocals almost sound like they're being sung through a telephone. The other local track is "Change To Hate" by defunct local punk rockers The Spigots, whose lineup in the book "Going Underground" featured singer Trevor Harding, guitarist Jeff Nisbet, bassist Frank Guidoccio, and drummer Jeffery Osbourne. Entertaining skate punk song with good aggressive vocals, but I can't say I like the drum beat in the chorus between the gang vocals, which sounds too artificial.

    Kevin;s channel is full of interesting songs and albums from obscure independent punk bands, so give everything a look above, including the whole compilation album that Room 206 & The Spigots are on, which even features a song from The Ripcordz, and here's The Spigots' "Change To Hate"!

    Finally, here's a video relating to Juno-nominated local/Toronto indie punk legends Treble Charger, who will also recur in these showcases, as they have a ton of YouTube videos! This, however, is an interview with frontman Greig Nori and guitarist Bill Priddle by Vanessa Vai & Vanessa Markov of Toronto's Hits 'N Giggles Radio in March 2012, so what's discussed therein? Conducted shortly after their reunion, Greig & Bill discuss their return show in Toronto and the response from it, why they chose to reunite, their future live & recording plans at the time, their music work since the band's original breakup, their favourite places to play, the impact of digital media on their music and discovering bands, their favourite current musicians, and how they had fun on the road (including pranks.) It's an informative and fun interview that covers both contemporary issues and stuff from Treble Charger's past, though note that there's no direct references to the Soo. Definitely worth a watch for fans of Treble Charger, so give Greig & Bill's 2012 interview a look below!

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