Monday, September 29, 2014

Telephone & Address - "Need Not Apply" Review!!

After a quiet weekend, we're back for our 63rd monthly CD review on the site, and this month, we're taking a look at local punk/grunge solo project Telephone & Address' new album "Need Not Apply"! It was close between this and Northwest's new digital EP, but after "The Rotten EP" got too delayed, it'd be a disservice to do the same to this disc. Released through Harmisntus Productions at the IDNS concert at The Oddfellows Hall on September 6th, this CD (presumably T&A's sixth when counting the out of print albums listed here) was recorded independently this year and is registered through SOCAN. Packaged in cardboard like on the preceding "Rotten EP" with slightly varying artwork on each copy, the album features project leader Chris Shoust on vocals, bass, and progarmmed drums on each song, a change from the acoustic guitar performances that came on earlier releases. Copies of "Need Not Apply" (which is not available on online stores) can be bought for $15 at Telephone & Address concerts and presumably through direct contact with Chris, though only 100 copies were printed originally.

Featuring 15 songs at about 37 minutes in length, let's begin this review with the first song, fittingly named "Opener"!  Kicking off with laughter and light coughing, this song is a straightforward alt-rock number with spoken word lyrics referencing the government and nasally sung chorus vocals. It's one of 8 songs on the album that hover around 2 minutes in length, so there's not a lot of room to experiment, but Chris makes his point lyrically, and he gets good tone out of his bass! However, the song does still feel unfinished, and it could use more of a varied bridge or chorus to shake it up. Second on this CD is "Coming Down", which is the album's shortest song, but it captures more of a melodic punk tone that makes use of it's length better, with Chris singing at a more consistent tone, and his bass playing capturing more of the song's spirit. Strong lyrics, and it's an overall better song than "Opener", but it does feel like it could use guitars too, a recurring trend on this disc.

Next is the comparatively long "Perfect Circle", which begins with tinny programmed drums and a heavier bass riff that chugs along well, with Chris capturing some of his angrier and more pointed singing here! Good lo-fi action here, and it almost feels like a song that you could use for a rally or march, but in the process, it loses some of the melody seen on "Coming Down". Strong aggressive song that makes the most of it's minimalistic trappings, and it's an early highlight! That's followed by "General Strike", which has a darker sound that blends punk bass riffs and gang-esque chorus vocals with effective verses referring to working conditions and the title strike. Solid passion on this one too, and it's one of Chris' better bass performances early on, so if you can get past the lo-fi nature of the recording and the lack of guitars, you'll see the quality remaining consistent here, and to me, the album continues to improve as it goes along!

Fifth is the only song to surpass 4 minutes on this CD, that being "Anthem" (unrelated to the non-album track "Anthem To The Queen"), which survives a shaky start to take on a folksy vibe with well written lryics, consistent bass riffing, and stop & start verses with nice emotion! However, this song gets repetitive after a while, with no distinct chorus to break up the verses, which seem to go on too long without a change in tempo or energy. This song would play better if it was either slashed in half or given choruses to break it up, but it's reliable otherwise! Next is "Army of Losers", which returns to a more straightforward punk essence with more of a defined structure and good intensity, and his singing is controlled well on this song, but the chorus lyrics (that just repeat the title) could stand to be added to. Abrupt ending also, but it's an improvement on "Anthem", and has more of the punk & grunge sensibility from earlier tracks!

Seventh on "Need Not Apply" is "Yulp" (I believe that's how it's printed), which has an upbeat punk spirit, but aside from two screams, is an instrumental track. Well performed with sort of a pop punk essence at times, and his bass skills are extra evident, but I am left wondering how this song would have sounded if it had written lyrics (plus, the screams sound like they came from a different room.) Solid work though! Then we have "Back To The Beginning", which returns to the formula of earlier songs with upbeat punk singing, solid low bass, and a folksy lo-fi environment, but with catchy choruses to shake things up. The ending's a little abrupt, and likewise left the song feeling unfinished, but I like the punk energy on this one, and it's definitely worth checking out!

Song #9 is "Brace Yourself", which begins with a grungy bass lick before getting to business with a techno-esque drum beat and some darker and louder bass playing, which seem to envelop Chris' singing to a point where it almost sounds muffled. This, to me, it the grungiest song on "Need Not Apply" so far, and it captures some good aggression on all fronts, but the song did seem to end out of nowhere, and louder vocals in the mix would have been a big help. Tenth is "Commercial", a short punk rock original featuring spoken word lyrics in the guise of a television commercial. It's an interesting premise that I'd like to have seen expanded on, but the repetitive "Everybody smile" chorus and minimal lyrics don't support the theme as well as I'd have hoped. Musically, it's catchy and features solid bass playing though, so there's still a solid amount to like!

Then we have "Forged A Heart", which has a riff that's reminiscent of Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" and a unique layering of vocals, featuring Chris singing and speaking the exact same lyrics on top of each other. If I was him, I'd have had them following each other rather than simultaneous, but the song has a heavy crunch aside from that which works well for the song! It's probably the closest song on "Need Not Apply" to metal, so give it a look if you prefer that! Twelfth is "Go To Hell", which has a gritty intensity to it with pointed lyrics where Chris says the title to various establishments that he doesn't like. I could nitpick the sporadic spoken word vocals, but given the song's message and intent, it works out fine here, and the song's overall aggression and attitude make up lost ground, so this confrontational and angry song works in it's own way!

The CD closes with three songs in the 2 minute vicinity, including "The Way It Goes", a more energetic punk original with solid bass riffing and some of Chris' highest singing on the album so far, but some of his lyrics are mixed quietly, and the structure doesn't vary much from the norm. Solidly done, but not too groundbreaking from what came before it. That's followed by "Untitled", which has more of a laid back pleasant sound, mixing a mid-paced bass riff and a catchy drum beat on this second and final instrumental on this album. Also featuring some minimal guitar work, this is more of a change of pace, but fans hoping for an aggressive punk or grunge song will be disappointed. The song flows right into the album capper "ww3" though, which is laid back, largely rides the drum beat for it's melody, and is a nice upbeat closer, despite lyrics alluding to World War 3, a'la the title. Nice easy closer to this album!

So, what are my thoughts on Telephone & Address' new CD? In comparison to last year's "Rotten EP" (which we do hope to review on here in the future), I found "Need Not Apply" to be heavier, more substantial, and better recorded, and on it's own merits, it's a varied and well done collection of punk, grunge, and folk songs that serves as a successful do-it-yourself release! The nasal tone of Chris Shoust's vocals can be an acquired taste, but he can handle punk singing, spoken word, and more aggressive remarks (and social issue-laden lyrics) with ease, and his bass playing abilities are solid and add a heavier essence to this release than we've seen in the past. Telephone & Address is intended to be a lo-fi solo project, and this approach is very effective on songs like "Perfect Circle" and "Back To The Beginning", but I kept wondering throughout how these songs would sound with a full band, or at least electric guitar tracks laid over?

Some songs did meander too long without a lot of variance, and others ended too abruptly, but "Need Not Apply" is a nice heavier change of pace from Chris' earlier acoustic recordings, and it will be interesting to see what kinds of turns his solo music will take in the coming months! Contact Telephone & Address above to see about getting this CD, or stay tuned for their next live show! I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, and as for next month, it's up in the air right now given the planned releases of new Bear Hunters & AlgomA CDs (plus Northwest's new EP), but we'll keep you guys posted closer to Halloween on next month's review basis, and stay tuned for more news this week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Long Shot Concert Preview, Upcoming Album Updates, And Much More!!

I wasn't expecting to have a second post today, but I just remembered that we missed a concert TONIGHT when we did our concert preview post on Thursday, so I put this one together to give it some proper attention and address some other recent notes, including a new concert video share, upcoming album updates, and the latest from AlgomA, so here's what you need to know!

We accidentally missed a show in Thursday's weekend concert preview post, so let's get the preview up now before the show takes place, as newer local hard rock quartet Long Shot's previously announced show at the Fraternal Order of Eagles' clubhouse in nearby Heyden goes down TONIGHT! Apologies again for this being later than expected, but at least it wasn't a short notice event. The official poster indicates that they're "back by popular demand", so they had a successful set here earlier in the year, and while the Eagles club may seem like an odd venue for a concert, remember that Long Shot's gigs haven't been in the typical locations that you'd see other cover bands at (plus, Tym Morrison once had a regular arrangement there.) Everything starts at 7:00 PM tonight, but supper will be available beforehand, where you can enjoy quesadillas and nachos supreme, as indicated on the official poster. Note however that there hasn't been an age limit or cover announcement.

For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an entertaining show, if Long Shot's videos are any indication, so don't miss their first show of the fall TONIGHT if you can help it, and for a preview, here's 3/4ths of Long Shot (and guests) covering Blue Oyster Cult at a recent outdoor event!

Next up, here's the latest album updates from two of local musician Mitch Sirie's active bands! Concerning his death metal group The Bear Hunters, their Facebook page revealed yesterday that the mixing for their debut CD "Eternal Hibernation" is complete, with today being spent adjusting vocal volume, and mastering taking place tomorrow. Physical copies will be pressed over the next three weeks, along with orders for new t-shirts, toques, and hoodies, and you can contact the band if you want a specific shirt size. The post closed by saying that the band plans to release their "Aftermath" EP of unreleased older songs and their second studio album in 2015, which sounds ambitious, but hopefully things pan out better than the recording process for the first disc! Also, Mitch's hard rock quartet Beaumont Avenue revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that they're planning to record 2 EPs (with 4 originals each, grouped by how they feel) and then write a proper debut album from scratch when drummer Ben Boudreau returns home.

No word yet on if these will involve the original recording sessions that the then-Suicide Kings held at The Smoke & Oak Room Studio last year will be used or remixed for these plans or not, or if they'll completely start over on everything. Sounds like Mitch's bands are on a good path, and hopefully things don't get derailed further on the way! Don't miss the Bear Hunters' EP release show on October 18th!

Also today, here's the latest from local doom metal trio AlgomA! The band (along with drummer Jamie Vincent's grungecore duo Bad Back) will join local rap/metal duo The Apocalypse Afterparty and Toronto garage rockers Ghost Daze for a Toronto concert dubbed "The Northern Horde" on Thursday, October 16th! This will mark all of the local bands' Southern Ontario debuts, and it's great to see them expanding their reach, especially given that this will be AlgomA's first announced show following their CD release! Speaking of which, the first advance review of their debut album "Reclaimed By The Forest" is now online via the German metal website Doom Metal Front, where reviewer Sven Mihlan called it ''mesmerizing" and "relentless in its expression", positively comparing them to Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, and Sleep. Solid, if short review, and it's nice to see them getting some attention overseas before it comes out! Stay tuned for more from the AlgomA camp!

Finally for today, here's a metal concert video from the spring that was only just publically shared on Facebook 6 months after the fact! This comes from Winnipeg deathcore quintet Commencing Human Desperation's headlining set at a short notice Heavy North Entertainment concert at The Oddfellows Hall concert in March, as filmed by promjoter Tyler St. Amour and uploaded to Facebook on his personal page at the time, but now it has the all clear! The lighting is dark, and the audio's a bit warped, but C.H.D. have solid aggression and brutality on this clip of their original "Devil's Throne", so give it a look below for some spring-time all ages metal intensity!

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

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Random Killing

It's now time for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, and given a major recent concert in Sault Ontario, this month's selected band was a no-brainer! As usual, this monthly feature series takes a look at a metal, hard rock, or punk band that's not based within an hour of the Twin Saults, but has featured a local resident in their lineup at some point in the past or present, and therefore, deserve some attention and notice on the SMS! We recently welcomed this band back to the local stage after the better part of 2 decades away, so let's take a look at them once again!
Random Killing (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics; Note that band pages credit some drummers under nicknames like "Ted" and "Deadbeat", but it's not explicitly clear whose real names they had. If you can help, message us at!)

Andrew "Drool" Kiteley (vocals)
John "Rusty Talent" Hadju (guitar)
Jim "Mudd" Moore (bass)
John "Robber" Nielson (drums)

Kevin "Rodney Wastelands" Low (vocals)
Victor "V. Dumpster" Farkas (vocals)
Mark Watts (guitar)
Tony Mastromatteo (drums)
Mike Rosenthal (drums)
Tim Monahan (drums)
Sean Dignan (drums)

Official website:
Official Facebook page:
Official MySpace page:
Official CBC Music page:
Official YouTube channel:
Official Bandcamp page:

Local Info: The frontman of Random Killing for 25 years now, Sault Ontario native Drew Kiteley discovered punk when he found a Wendy O. Williams album, and became a lifelong fan after that. Moving to Toronto for school, he ended up being recommended by Bunchofuckingoofs singer Steve Goof to try out for Random Killing's vacant singer position, and he's been there ever since, fronting the band at a number of well received local dates through the mid-1990s. Recently working in stage design and rigging for theatrical and entertainment events, Drew comes back home frequently to visit family. Read more on his local past and band work via this Sault Star article!

Band Bio: Launched under the name Roy's Comrades as a joke in 1984, Random Killing soon became a full band, releasing their debut album "Take Our Flag" the following year, and following it with "This Whole World" in 1989, each sung by their original singers. After Drew Kiteley replaced Victor Farkas, Random Killing grew to become a favourite in the hardcore punk underground, while never signing with a major label in the process. Sharing the stages with the likes of The Dead Kennedys, The Dayglo Abortions, and Agnostic Front, their song "12" memorably became a recurring segment on both Sesame Street for many years, while the band played live on Open Mic with Mike Bullard in 1998 as well. Random Killing have released 5 albums with Drew on vocals, most recently 1997's "Stranded", and though the band's touring and album releases have quieted since, they still play a handful of shows each year, including this month's Hardcore Homecoming at The Rockstar Bar, and hopefully they'll be back soon!

Random Killing have definitely earned their place among Canada's notable hardcore punk bands, and their 1990s work speaks for itself! Actually, all of their albums are good, and all three of their singers are up to the task on studio material, but as the increasingly got heavier and more polished, they found more of their groove to me, especially on their last album "Stranded". Rusty Talent has always proved to be a solid guitarist with edgy riffs, and Mudd's bass is well done and flows nicely too on their various albums, though the drumming is a bit inconsistent given that position's many changes. Drool shows a nice ability to flip from punk signing to more aggressive tones too, and his stage presence only adds to their live experience, and it'd be nice to see the guys launch another large national tour and record another album! We had to wait 17 years for this month's return show in the Soo, and hopefully they're back home long before 2031!

All of Random Killing's albums can be bought at their Bandcamp page linked . above, as well as on iTunes, while eBay and Amazon have copies of their albums too. There's a solid amount of videos online as well, including concert videos and music videos alike, so be sure to check YouTube for them, and here's one of their music videos for their song "Undertaker"!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll stay punk with a look at The Labour Of..., the Toronto indie punk band featuring Saultites and future Maximum RNR & Detroit bandmates Brenton Ellis and Curtis Faux! Look for that on or around October 26th, and stay tuned for more news and notes (plus this month's CD review) soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide), Weekend Concert Previews, And The End Of Full Throttle!!

We're back with a new news post on this Thursday evening, and along with a recent band breakup and this weekend's hard rock concert previews, we'll begin with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for over the holidays, so here's what you need to know!

Local/Toronto Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide will return to The Rockstar Bar on Boxing Day (Friday, December 26th) for a headlining concert! The show was announced earlier this week on their label Tidal Records' website, which joins a short tour run next month through Southern Ontario and Sudbury, along with a December 6th gig at the Silver Creek Golf Course in Garden River. Given the unfamiliar venue and lack of detailed info so far, we won't call that event yet, especially if it's a private show, but we'll keep you posted if there's updates! The Boxing Day show will be The Rising Tide's first local stop in 4 months, and given the holiday season, might we see drummer Mikey Hawdon back behind the kit then? For reference sake, the Tidal Records concert schedule also lists a Christmas show from the label at The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, December 20th, and though no bands have been announced for it yet, the label hosts and has worked with a number of punk bands, so we'll keep an eye out for band announcements for sure regarding that event.

Admission for December 26th will likely be in the $5 range, you must be 19 to attend, and there's a likely 10:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the above links! The Christmas season is always a great time of year for punk and metal shows, so hopefully this is just the first of many, and if you love Dustin and The Tide's fun punk originals, don't miss their return on Boxing Day, and also check the above links for members Sheldon & Marshall Jaaskelainen's extensive upcoming local gigs as The Boot Hill Crooners!

Moving to this weekend's hard rock concert previews, we'll head to The Harp Bar & Grill, where Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will kick off his 43rd consecutive week of acoustic hard rock covers at the former Madison's Pub with solo gigs TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! These are the last shows of the month for his ongoing arrangement at The Harp, and while we fully expect him to be back there throughout October, we're still taking these bookings a month at a time due to the high amount of them on his website's schedule, and when he confirms next weekend's on Facebook, we'll let you guys know! Like usual, he'll be hosting and playing at The Harp's open mic night tomorrow, followed by playing a normal acoustic gig tomorrow, and you can catch either this weekend at 10:00 PM either night, with 19+ age limits and no announced cover charges in effect. For more details, check the above links, and here's Tym live at the former Smack Daddy's!

Also this weekend, local hard/party rock trio Stiffler's Mom will be rocking the aforementioned Rockstar Bar themselves THIS SATURDAY NIGHT in a rare supporting set! As previously announced via The Rockstar Bar's electronic marquee board, they'll be opening for Britain/Vancouver pop rock artist Kieran Strange in the midst of her Canadian tour, and if you're up for pop culture-heavy "nerd rock" with a fun pop sensibility, you should like her headlining set! Her unique and lively sound should be checked out for something a little different, but if you seek familiar sounds, Stiffler's Mom's first set of the fall will set the mood well as they pump out some reliable covers, so be sure to consider Saturday night's show too! A $5 cover charge is likely, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:30 PM start time is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Stiffler's Mom at Rotaryfest!

Finally for today, we were slated to include previews of shows this weekend at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino by local hard rock cover quartet Full Throttle, but it looks like the band has split up. The band's Facebook page was recently deleted for unannounced reasons (disregarding old pages for the original band of this name), and this weekend's concerts have quietly been taken over by local indie rock cover band The London Gentlemen. It should be noted that guitarist Joe Jenkins recently joined Exiled, but whether that's connected to Full Throttle's breakup or not isn't clear. The new Full Throttle succeeded the now defunct Bottom Line in July after bassist Jack Slater left the area again for school commitments, and took on the name of the earlier 2012-2013 cover band that members Ryan Kitzmiller & George Belleau were previously in, though this version only played a handful of concerts. Hopefully all is amicable from the guys, and best of luck to Ryan, Joe, George, and Will in the coming months!

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Local Punk Video Showcase (Part 2)

Like last Wednesday, it's a good time to get our second local punk video showcase post up on the site, as we continue to get up to speed regarding archive punk videos from local bands and concerts! As was the case last week, we're focusing on videos from channels without a 50% majority of local punk videos, in order to save those for our monthly YouTube Channel Profile series. You'll notice a similar trend from last week too via the selected bands, but due to the amount from some bands and channels, spacing them like this will avoid a future glut until some new openings appear.

We'll start this week with local punk/indie rock notables Treble Charger, who as you may know, were inducted into the Independent Music Awards' Hall of Fame during that year's Indies ceremony in Toronto during Canadian Music Week in March 2012. In fact, this was their reunion show, marking the first time Treble Charger had played a public concert in around 8 years, so fans in attendance were in for a treat on that level! Southern Ontario metal band management company Echelons Above Entertainment were in attendance and shot 3 videos from Treble Charger's portion of the event. One is of the actual induction ceremony (and the end of a song) where Greig Nori & Bill Priddle hypothesized a solution to how they'd split their plaque, while the other two are of the guys playing their classic songs "American Psycho" and, as embedded below, "Red", so how'd they sound in their grand return to the stage? About as good as fans would expect, and they covered both their early indie days and later punk era at a good standard! Check out "Red" below, and more above!

Next is another video from prolific local punk musician Mikey Hawdon's huge YouTube channel (which has over 200 videos), and this time, we'll take a look at his current original punk quartet The Fairmounts' only local concert appearance to date, specifically the annual Halloween Party from J.D. Pearce at The Algonquin Pub in October 2012! Decked out in their best Village People costumes, this is a short video of them humorously doing the "YMCA" dance and bantering about their costumes at the set's beginning, but it cuts out just as their first song begins. Still fun, and increasingly timely given the approach of October, so give it a look below!

Also today is this video of local Celtic punk quartet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide playing their song "Gypsy Wagons" at Dauphin's Countryfest in Manitoba last June, as originally uploaded by Mikey's Fairmounts bandmate Andrew McMullen on his YouTube channel a few days later! Humorously featuring fiddler Sheldon Jaaskelainen in a unicorn mask, this is a solid instrumental performance that lends itself well to their Celtic influences, but punk fans may be left hanging a bit. Note that the band played with a guest mandolin player on this song, and I don't believe Mikey's drumming in the clip, but names aren't given in the description. Well done and energetic as expected, so give this DJRT video a look below, and stay tuned for some concert news from their camp!

Finally, here's a local punk band's song from another 1990s compilation CD, as per Algoma bassist Kevin Campbell's YouTube channel! Like with their appearance on the "Punk: The Next Generation"  compilation from 1995, this song is from defunct local punk quartet The Spigots, who supplied "Beer Goggles" to the 1993 compilation CD "Dead On The Road", which also featured songs from notable bands like Random Killing, The Ripcordz, and The Bunchofuckingoofs. Starting in a bluesy tone before transitioning to a fast skate punk style, this is better and more natural sounding than "Change To Hate", and it has a nice hardcore spirit, so check it out below, and check the above links for more from this compilation!

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

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 (

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 (

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!