Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tym Morrison Concert Previews, Swampstravaganza Updates, And Much More!!

Though we have a slow metal/hard rock concert weekend in terms of show amount (barring any late notice confirmations), we're breaking the three known heavier shows up into two posts due to the immense size of Saturday night's Dank Fest at The Oddfellows Hall, which has 13 advertised bands, so look for a full-post extended preview of it tomorrow! Today, we also have updates for another upcoming all ages marathon show, recent feature profile updates, and more assorted notes, but let's kick things off with the first of our weekend previews, and an attached new video find!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's weekly concert arrangement at The Harp Bar & Grill hits it's 20th straight week with two more solo acoustic events TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Like usual, Tym will be hosting an open mic night (and performing as usual) tomorrow, but Saturday will see the third week of his double bookings at The Harp, where he plays a normal solo unplugged concert for fans at this Pine Plaza venue, so whether your fancy is as a prospective performer or as a fan, know what day you want to attend! Though not advertised on Facebook as of this writing, these dates are on Tym's website's calendar, so an announcement through there is likely forthcoming. Be at The Harp for his entertaining hard rock cover action tomorrow or Saturday at 10:00 PM, there's no announced cover charges, and you must be 19 or older to attend. Check the above links for details, don't miss Tym's newest weekend at The Harp, and for a preview, here's a new video discovery of his from a recent solo gig!

Uploaded to the YouTube channel of user SundayFoggyNotions (who had previously posted a clip of Tym covering Eric Clapton at the former Foggy Notions in 2010), this likely comes from Tym's second weekly gig at The Harp on December 14th, and though the video isn't labelled to credit Tym, it looks & sounds like him despite the dark video quality. Tym covers Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the video, and he sounds good, though the song does sound a bit off in an acoustic format. Judge for yourself below, and don't miss Tym at The Harp this weekend!

Next up, we have some new details on next month's fourth annual Sewer Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall courtesy of the new event poster by Ye Olde Mold Pickers frontwoman Rihkee Strapp, so what should you know? In terms of full performers, no one else has changed, but the poster confirms a long rumored addition to the start of the event, as Northwest guitarist Greg Callaghan will be hosting an hour of open mic performers at 1:00 PM before the formal bands begin playing, marking the first time a Swampstravaganza has had an open mic block. Greg already does weekly open mic nights at Coch's Corner on Wednesdays, so this should be in good hands, but slots will be given in a pre-show sign up on the Facebook event page. If you're interested in performing then, head there A.S.A.P.! Beyond that, we still don't have a full schedule for the bands, we'll let you know when one is announced. The poster also confirms that this year's Swampstravaganza is being held with support from The Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie, and that food will be sold on May 10th, as prepared by a master chef named "Swamp" (identity unclear) and "Rihkee's Pack Sack People Emporium".

Like at this Saturday's Dank Fest, the food angle's a great idea, as the Swampstravaganza runs from the afternoon through to the night, so if it's an incentive for people to stay and not leave for a meal, then capitalize on it! While not confirmed on the poster, I'd be shocked if Rihkee and collaborators didn't sell art and poetry items on site this year again, so look out for that, and stay tuned for more updates on this year's Swampstravaganza soon!

Also today, here's three assorted recent shorter items to cover, and like usual, these are in alphabetical order by band, venue, or event name:
  • I've changed the link for Sault Ontario concert venue The Grand Theatre in our venue listings on the SMS from their now-expired official website to their Facebook group (which is inactive, but currently the best we have.) Hopefully things are more up to date there now!
  • Local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades have posted two of the songs from their upcoming debut EP ("Rise" & their cover of The Ripcordz' "X") onto their Reverbnation page! As we hope to review the full disc on the site, I won't detail my thoughts too heavily, but the production's great, and fans should enjoy these recordings, so check them out at this link! (Note that a Facebook comment thread on the song postings hints towards a new song named "Fear Corps" also being in the works.)
  • In a similar update, I've altered two links in our listing of Sault Michigan concert festivals, notably replacing the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival's now expired page on their website with their still-alive blog, while also removing 2012's Sault Riverview Music Festival due to both a continued lack of an online page and the fact that it never came back for a second installment. If we hear of any more link updates soon, we'll let you guys know!

Finally, here's likely our last updates to our past Battle of the Bands Rewind Profiles before we look at last year's Rockstar Bar Battle next week! On our profile of the Humane Society Battle in April 2012, I added notes to reflect that fourth placers The Valentine's Day Massacre were succeeded by the London/local deathcore band Saints & Serpents last year, while also replacing the defunct Lazer Queen with them in the section on performers' later bands. On the same profile, I also noted that winners Late & Loud held a one-off reunion this past February, and I also added judge and ex-Browbeat frontman Dutch Vanderploeg's real first name (Randy, as per this link) when crediting the judges. Finally, I added a trivia note to cover the second place success of Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie and then-Wishbone bassist Steven Flint at the Rock N' Roar Battle of the Bands in Spanish with their band The Suicide Kings, though the current Wishbone lineup didn't place on the same night. Hopefully things are up to date for a while now, and stay tuned as we profile last year's Humane Society Battle one week from today!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for our extended preview of Saturday night's Dank Fest, plus the closure of this month's poll and the launch of our new one! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pillory, Banned, and Mike Haggith & The Din News, Plus Recent Profile Updates!!

Keeping the news coming on this Tuesday afternoon, we have new audio postings from bands on each side of the border, more recent updates to our battle of the bands profiles, and leading off, some news concerning a local metal band and concerts they are/were scheduled for, so here's what you need to know!

We'll start today with some potentially disappointing news from local thrash quartet Pillory, including the news that they parted ways with bassist Tyler St. Amour last month. Tyler confirmed the news on the event page for next month's Fuck The Facts show that he's promoting, and he said that his exit was "a mutual agreement", though he didn't elaborate publically. Tyler had joined Pillory last fall to replace Cole Royal, and he played at their full return gigs earlier this year, but Pillory's Facebook page has only minimally covered their recent bassist changes. This is disappointing, as Tyler is a skilled bassist, but hopefully he turns up in a new band soon! Tyler also noted in his above event page post that Pillory have dropped out the Fuck The Facts show on May 4th due to a "lack of recent activity", and he also added that he is prepared to replace Pillory on this Saturday's Dank Fest lineup at The Oddfellows Hall if they drop out (with Brutaly Fatal on tap to replace them, just like at next month's Swampstravaganza), but we await official word before calling anything positively.

I'll note that despite the above news (and them dropping out of last month's Anvil show), Pillory had indicated that they were writing "crazy" new material as of March 29th, but we haven't heard anything since from their camp. Hopefully this all isn't a bad sign for Pillory's future status, as they have a lot of blistering metal talent that was only just coming back to prominence after a slow 2013, but we'll keep you guys posted either way, and stay tuned for word on Pillory's replacement at the Fuck The Facts show!

Next up, Kinross, Michigan hard/classic rock trio Banned shared a pair of live audio recordings on their Facebook page yesterday that you can now check out! Their first public media postings of the new year, these are presumably live recordings from their dates at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino this past weekend, which marked their return to the stage after a two month break due to drummer Don Traynor's recovery from a surgical procedure, as per a comment on the newer video, so it's great to see him and Banned back at it! Despite being uploaded via separate sources (one by Don's wife and frontman Alex Traynor's mom Hollie, the other on Banned's page), both videos have the same format, compiling slideshow footage from last weekend's shows with ending credits, and they are well put together! One is Banned's surprising cover of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" with Alex on vocals, while the other is their cover of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" with Don on vocals, so how does everything sound?

The Eminem cover is effective, if not really something that plays to their musical strengths, but the Joe Walsh cover works better for their skill set and usual sound! I would be curious to hear how Alex handles "Rocky Mountain Way" vocally, but it's nice to hear some new media of theirs that doesn't take from contemporary indie rock like their recent YouTube videos. Check out Banned's Joe Walsh cover below, hear more at the above links, and stay tuned as they hopefully add some more new concert bookings!

Also in new audio postings are half of a new "album" from the recently reunited local acid jam/hard rock trio Mike Haggith & The Din! Entitled "Dinner With The President", only 5 of the songs considered to be part of the album are online at present via this playlist on Mike's YouTube channel, as uploaded yesterday. These songs were recorded at Paperclip Productions, and each video credits the song's composition and arrangement to their original lineup (Mike on guitar, Daniel Horton on drums, and Curtis McKenzie on bass), though it's unclear whether these songs were recorded during Curtis' original 2013 run with the band, or if he's returned to replace Tyler Gibson. We'll let you know if we get clarification! The 5 songs are "Craters", "Something Digestive", "Flow (Part 2)", "Odometer", and "Obamader", and like older Din matertial, the song length widely varies (from 28 seconds to over 12 minutes.) Possibly most distinctive of these songs compared to older studio sessions is that all 5 songs are instrumental, though it's not clear yet whether the other half of "Dinner With The President" will have vocals.

Mike & The Din display some solid jam rock here, and there's a lot of experimentation and effects to be had, but "Something Digestive" in particular seems too short and inconsequential to warrant it's own track. Fans of Mike's solo music should be right at home here though, so check out the first song "Craters" below, hear more at the above links, and keep an eye out for the second half of this album!

Finally for today, here's some more updates to our past Battle of the Bands Rewind Profiles! In our profile of 2009's Kiss Battle of the Bands, I noted that many performers at this battle (namely Wishbone, Inside Spiral's Lucas Bugyra, and Gsis Murphy's Anthony Fabiano) all competed at the last two Rock N' Roar Battles of the Bands in Spanish, though none made the top 5 to earn a Rock N' Roar lineup slot. I also replaced the now-inactive Side FX and Small Town Rivals (plus out-of-towners Lucky Widmore) with more recent local bands Northwest, That's Chester, and Viva Emptiness in the section on performers' later bands. In our profiles of the Algoma University & Downtown Showdown battles, I added The Fury frontman Paul Stanghetta's current band Keep It Lit to the same section on these profiles (replacing Sounds From The Green Room in the latter), while also noting their near-participation in last fall's Viva La Battle before a member broke their arm. Finally for now, I also added Changing Waves drummer Alex Hagerman's new band The Elements to the later bands section on our profile of 2012's Battle For The Blood, while adding a trivia note on the closure of it's host venue The Roosevelt Hotel. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Swampstravaganza Lineup Updates, Battle Profile Updates, And Much More!!

News has been somewhat slow lately, but we're back on this Monday evening with assorted recent notes (including local music festival plans), recent feature profile updates, and a new video from a prolific local hard rock artist, but let's start with some overdue lineup announcements for an upcoming all ages concert event, so here's what you should know!

There's been some more lineup changes and additions for this year's fourth annual Sewer Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall on May 10th, so what's new? On the metal side of things, there has been a band replacement, as local thrash quartet Pillory have been replaced on the bill by drummer Bret Shuttleworth's other active band Brutaly Fatal, as per edits to the Facebook event page last week. A reason for Pillory's exit has not been announced, but they are alive and well, so don't miss them on Saturday night for Dank Fest! This will be Brutaly Fatal's first public concert appearance with their expanded lineup and new doom metal-influenced sound (house parties aside), though it's unclear as of yet whether their teased fourth member will be present. There were also two new band additions last week, and their names are the Neon Stars and the Runaway Voices, so who are they? As best as I can tell from personal Facebook postings, they're two all-girl student vocal groups from Case's Music, though I may have a detail or two off there.

Their inclusion may seem like an outlier, but their ages would fit the all ages nature of the event, and as we saw with past Swampstravaganza acts like Conika and Guy Smith, it's never been exclusive to just rock & alternative bands. This year's event now has 11 bands (which will tie the first installment from 2011 for the most ever at this event), but a band search is still advertised. Visit the above links to inquire further on possible openings (or to submit band logos for the official poster), and stay tuned for more on the lineup & schedule!

Next up, former ApocalyptiCDistroyeR frontman Jesse Middaugh has finally posted a new solo cover video onto his (and the band's) old YouTube channel! His first upload there featuring him playing any type of music since 2012, this is his guitar cover of Metallica's "The Unforgiven III", and it does sound good, but the recording quality of the video is somewhat muddled, and I would have liked to have seen Jesse tackle the solo. Nice to see him finally back posting videos though, so give his new cover a look! (Also, I've switched ApocalyptiCDistroyeR's link on the SMS from their website to their Facebook page due to the website's deletion, though it's unclear whether it expired or was intentionally took down.)

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

  • Project 421/Punch singer Curtis McKenzie is helping a friend of his in getting or joining a metal band on vocals. Apparently, he screams and would be interested in doing covers or originals in a hardcore or thrash-type band. If you're interested, message Curtis at this link for information, and remember, Curtis is not the aspiring singer in question, he's just helping him out as an online contact.
  • According to a post on their Facebook group yesterday by promoter Robert Neron, this year's Hempfest in nearby Ophir, Ontario will take place from August 25th-31st (similarly to it's pre-2010 scheduling), but this year's music will apparently be themed around hip-hop and rap music, like how last year's had a tribute band theme. This might deflate hopes for an increased hard rock presence for the first time since 2011, but just in case, we'll keep an eye out for band announcements, and click here for tentative ticket info!
  • This year's fourth annual LemmaFest (the Sault Michigan music/tribute festival outside of Dondee Lanes) will return in June, and to that effect, organizers will be hosting a meeting in the Dondee at 8:00 PM this Thursday to take suggestions on all aspects of this year's event and what is to be expected. As well, if your band wants to play this year, message organizers at this link or come out on Thursday! For reference, if it takes place on the fourth Saturday of June again, this year's LemmaFest would be on June 28th, but a date is to be confirmed.

Finally for today, here's some long overdue updates to our Battle of the Bands Rewind profiles, as we inch closer to our next installment of this series on April 25th! In our 2008 Case's Music Battle profile, I updated the section on performers' later bands to remove the recently inactive Glass Thieves, Social Suicide, and Unbound (plus out of town rock band Lucky Widmore, who no longer feature local members) with recently active metal acts Pillory & Viva Emptiness, local/Ottawa indie rockers The North Shore (who recently changed their name from Like Father Like Son), and London blues rockers Run Coyote. Also, on all battle profiles that featured relocated local death metal artist Josh Stephney in a competing band, I updated references where needed concerning his role in The Bear Hunters and how while he didn't compete at their first place Viva La Battle set in November, he did come back home to play with them at the Bam Margera concert in December, which was the first place prize. Stay tuned for more updates to this series soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, plus weekend concert previews, poll results, and more! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Audio Circus & Banned), Tantrym Tyme Updates, And More!!

For the second time in four days, we have a post that focuses mostly on Sault Michigan bands and events, which is great for our recent coverage across the river! That includes recent updates on a young local metal band and their drummer's surprising new project and some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the end of the year, but stay tuned at the end for some Sault Ontario musician searches! Now, here's what you need to know!

Remember how prolific Charlevoix metal musician Jeff Hudson has recently been adding to his Peril gigs at the regional Kewadin Casino branches with recent St. Ignace dates from his groove metal band Scarkazm? Well, Jeff's other active band will apparently be making their Eastern U.P. debuts later this year, as Charlevoix hard rock quartet Audio Circus will make their way to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino on December 5th & 6th for a full weekend! There's not a lot of online media concerning Audio Circus (despite being active since 2010), but note that a number of bands share the name, so it's not easy to pick through media under that name. This Audio Circus have an old school hard rock sound though that has saw them play at a number of state festivals and open for the likes of Quiet Riot and Slaughter, so they should fit right in at the St. Ignace Kewadin in December! Admission is likely free for this 21+ show, and everything will start at 9:00 PM both nights. Check the above links for more details, and don't miss Jeff's dates with Scarkazm in St. Ignace later this month!

Lastly for our recent Kewadin Casino concert announcements is a newly confirmed weekend at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino for Kinross hard/classic rockers Banned, who will reportedly return there on December 12th & 13th! Also scheduled to play there this weekend and in August, there is still some uncertainty from the Banned camp given their lack of online updates in the past two months and no non-Kewadin dates announced for the rest of the year, but we'll treat these shows as on unless Banned or Kewadin Casino makes any announcements to the contrary. If all's well and they do play these Kewadin dates, look for an entertaining & varied blend of heavy originals and classic rock covers from this Alex, Don, and Jim! Like the new Audio Circus gigs, admission is free, you must be 21 to attend, and 9:00 PM start times are likely. Check the above links for more details, and assuming they're playing, don't miss Banned at The Rapids Lounge TONIGHT!

Next up, have you guys been curious as to the lack of updates from Sault Michigan metal band Tantrym Tyme so far in 2014? So have I, but it appears to be due to just not updating their Facebook page, as drummer Ethan Twardy was interviewed back on February 27th on Newberry classic hits station Eagle 95.1 (the area's newest FM station), and a clip of the interview is online to stream at this location! After a brief weather forecast, Ethan and DJ Paul VanWagoner discussed Tantrym Tyme's recent appearances at Soo Eagles hockey games, the improved audio setup for when they played, and recent original recording plans (including lyrical subject matter.) Nice to see the band getting some local radio attention, though with the lack of recent online page updates, who knows what else we've missed from their camp. Check it out above though! Speaking of Ethan, a recent post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group points to him being involved in an unlikely project (unlikely in that it's from Sault Ontario), so what should you know on that?

According to said post from last week, he's apparently drumming in These Sins of Time frontwoman Alexa Leclair's current band (whether it's T.S.O.T. or something else isn't known yet), while Acention's Dalton Boissineau is apparently back on guitar, and a bassist is still being sought. If this lasts into a live project (which is the plan, including originals and covers), I'll be very curious to see how they handle the cross-border angle, as it's definitely not the norm for the area, but stay tuned for updates, and if you want to try out for this band, message Alexa at this link!

Finally for today, here's three more recent updates concerning the Musicians Wanted Facebook group linked above, so who's looking for a band or a musician in Sault Ontario that might have hard rock connections? As usual, these shorter notes are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • A local drummer named Brandan Glew is looking to join a local band on drums, and though he didn't specify any genre preferences, he'll be out of town until April 27th. He does like harder bands, so just in case, message him at this link or from his group post from Thursday!
  • A local guitarist named Corey McIntyre is looking to jam with other local musicians, and though he doesn't want anything too fast, he can play many different styles, and is a fan of metal. If you're interested in working with Corey, message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted group post on Thursday!
  • A local bassist/guitarist named Justin Girardi is looking to join a hardcore punk band or play it in a new project, and he emphasized "angry fast fun tunes" like Black Flag and Minor Threat as what he's hoping to play. If you're interested, message Justin at this link or through his Facebook group post from March 15th!

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Stiffler's Mom), Weekend Concert Previews, And AlgomA Videos!!

For our second post of the day, we're mostly focusing on this weekend's hard rock concert previews (including SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS), but there's some new videos from a local metal band at the end of the post! Check out all the details on this weekend's heavier live concert action below, and also give this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles a look in the post below this one!

Local party/hard rock veterans Stiffler's Mom will return to the live concert stage THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Apologies for the short notice, this show was only just announced yesterday. Last seen at Docks two months ago (and at The Rockstar Bar in January), it'll be nice to see this talented trio back on stage after a family emergency scuttled their last planned shows at The Algonquin in late February, so keep their gig on Saturday in mind for an entertaining night of high energy covers! For reference, this is a one-night-only event due to the previously announced Cherry Crush show at The Rockstar Bar tomorrow night. Admission should be around $5 on Saturday night, there is a start time of 10:30 PM, and you must be 19 or older to attend. For more information, visit the official Facebook event page! Despite the late notice, don't miss Greg, Mike, and Jon's always entertaining show tomorrow night, and for a preview, here's Stiffler's Mom covering Ozzy Osbourne at The Canadian!

Moving to previously announced concerts, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's weekly concert arrangement at The Harp Pub & Grill continues TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! The 19th straight week of his current run at the former Madison's Pub, this marks the second weekend of his current double scheduling that will see him play at and host the usual Friday jam/open mid night, but also headline a normal acoustic show on Saturday, which is a great sign for how well this relationship has gone over the last five months, though it does leave questions about whether we'll see a full Caveman Morrison show in the near future, Still, don't miss his acoustic hard rock and metal covers this weekend! Remember, due to the immense length of bookings on his website's concert calendar, we're only plugging shows a month at a time on here. Admission is likely free for both Friday & Saturday night, each show starts at 10:00 PM, and there's a 19+ age limit in effect. For more details, visit the Facebook event page, and here's Tym covering Heart!

Finally for known verifiable hard rock shows this weekend is the return of Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Last seen in Hessel in February, these are Banned's first scheduled Kewadin appearances since their Relentless Tour set at The Dreammaker's Theater in December, but I will give a caveat for this weekend's shows, as Banned have not updated their Facebook page since the aforementioned Hessel shows two months ago. Alex, Don, and Jim haven't played too many dates yet this year, and while they do have two upcoming Sault Kewadin weekends this year, the slow updates are a bit concerning. We'll let you know if we hear anything about their status, but we'll treat these shows as on! Banned are scheduled for tomorrow & Saturday night at 9:00 PM, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details, don't miss Banned this weekend for some entertaining covers & originals, and here's Banned covering The Black Keys last year!

Finally for today, we have some new videos from Sault Ontario sludge/doom metal trio AlgomA to share! One is actually an unlisted video from almost a year ago on singer/guitarist Darby Wigwaus' YouTube channel, and it's of the guys playing their song "Tertiary Syphillis" in their jam session area "Das Bunker". It was recently shared on Facebook, but why's it still unlisted all this time later? Aside from the odd camera angle that only shows bassist Marty Chase with any full clarity (and Darby almost not at all), the audio's solid and brutal for this familiar original, so check it out above if you want! Embedded below though is a new live concert video from AlgomA's set at 180 Projects opening for Skynet on March 16th, as posted to their YouTube channel on Tuesday. Featuring artistic and cryptic titles and captions (including messages like "Soon I'll Feast" and "Heavy Brutal Prison" in Latin), the heavily filtered video quality resembles an archaic digital camera, but it captures their lengthy original "The Electric Fence" in brutal form!

Yes, 180 Projects still has a projector on hand for accompanying videos during sets, which I love for the unique ambiance, though the filtering makes them hard to discern. Another unique post-production addition: Song lyrics are included in Courier New font above Darby when sung, so if you want the lyrics, they're there for you! Solid artistic license and sludge metal action all around, so check out AlgomA's new video below, and don't miss them at Dank Fest next weekend!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes over the weekend! Thanks everyone!

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Operation: Killdozer & Batteries Not Included

For this month's installment of our Defunct Local Band Profile Series, we're looking at 2 bands for the eighth time in the past nine months due to the first selected band having a limited amount of surviving information. Also, as we're straddling the end and beginning of two of our cycles for which city to cover in the series (1-1-1-1-1), we're looking at two Sault Ontario bands in the same month for the first time since 2010, but there's some solid talent within this month's bands, and a lot of familiar faces, so read on below to check out these new profiles!
Operation: Killdozer

Genre: Extreme/Hardcore Metal

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members:  (Members not in their last full lineup in italics. This information may be incorrect. Message me at if you have any additions or corrections!)

Jason Bourcier (Winkstinger, Fitswitch), vocals
Jesse Cook (Jack Spades, The Elements), guitar
Ryan Disano? (Caveman Morrison, Winkstinger), bass
Jonas Gasperas (Winkstinger, Soldiers of Misfortune), drums
Justin Lam (The Bear Hunters, Jack Spades), bass 

Info/Analysis: A short lived metal band that was active in the spring of 2009, Operation: Killdozer united alumni of Soldiers of Misfortune, Fitswitch, and D.O.T.H. for their debut at the YMCA Battle of the Bands at The Grand Theater on March 20th, 2009, where they placed fourth out of seven bands. After the departure of bassist Justin Lam, Killdozer played one last live concert on May 5th at The Grand when they opened for hardcore punk legends SNFU. The band is presumed to have disbanded that summer, while the band's instrumental members formed Winkstinger the following year, even retaining some Killdozer originals with new lyrics. Amusingly limiting Facebook group posts to self-deprecating insults, Operation: Killdozer had a lot of brutal promise and talent from their only live dates, and Jason's vocals fit nicely, but they didn't last long enough to see how far they really could have went. At least Winkstinger's early 2010s run kept the same style and intensity going, but check out Killdozer's only surviving public video below, which is of their original "Pieces of You" at the battle, which became Winkstinger's "Where'd We Go Wrong"!

Batteries Not Included

Genre: Hard/Classic Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


Ian Connell, guitar/vocals
Keith Gagnon (Free Beer), guitar/vocals
Ryan Gray (Free Beer), bass/vocals
T.J. Case (Asylum Country, Jack Spades), drums

Audio/Video: No media of Batteries Not Included is known to exist online in a publically viewable form, and while their website features pages for media and setlist links, all have expired or were never updated. It should be noted that a SooToday article by David Helwig said that that the band covered Metallica, AC/DC, and Ozzy Osbourne at a July 2004 date at the Bellevue Park Bandshell, but that's our only direct material hint. For reference sake, Keith and Ryan's mid-2000s metal band Sindicate likely shared the most similarities with B.N.A. out of the members' later projects. 

Info/Analysis: Batteries Not Included were a young hard rock band that formed in late 2003, and they were likely active through early 2005. Primarily playing outdoor events in 2004 at venues like The Roberta Bondar Pavilion & at Bellevue Park (though their site teased a Foggy Notions appearance), activity stalled after their last website updates that August. I can't really judge Batteries Not Included given the lack of media, and I'm not familiar with Ian musically, but the rest of the band has proved their talent since, and much like Garage Inc., they expanded on that into far more successful (and mainly lighter) projects in the coming decade, so be sure to follow their more recent music work!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! We'll have yet another two band installment next month due to the first randomly selected band having minimal surviving information, but we'll kick things off back in Sault Michigan, so who's next in this series? Defunct Sault Michiagn hard rock band Riot! By Night (featuring Absolute, Oddfellow, and Elipzis alumni) and the short lived Sault Ontario metal project Face First, whose members co-formed Changing Waves a few months after their run! Watch out for these profiles on or around May 10th, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews shortly! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril, Driven, Scarkazm, and 415E)

Today's post is 100% devoted to LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS across the river, as Kewadin Casino's concert calendars on their entertainment pages have been updated through year's end! There are some blank dates still, but most weekends through December 27th now have a slated artist, and yes, there's some verified hard rock bands within! I'll clarify a few things first though, including that while Kewadin still advertises RamWagon's previously announced shows this year, I'm still under the impression that the band was succeeded by new country rock quartet Highway 63, who took over their planned March dates in the Soo last month. Unless there's renewed activity, I wouldn't read into their continued inclusion. Also, the band named #YOLO is indeed the new acoustic rock trio featuring local metal alums Amy Beairl, Mike Libertoski, and Tony Rogers, though their name is now No Decision (Alice in Chains reference?) They basically replaced Toast after singer Melissa Strand moved out of town, but it's not clear yet if they cover a heavier song sampling than Toast did.

There are also a handful of bands with new hard rock show concert confirmations in December only, but to spread them out, we'll cover them separately in an upcoming post. For the rest of the new and previously announced Kewadin Casino dates in both Sault Michigan and St. Ignace, check the above links, but let's look at the new hard rock & metal confirmations in chronological order by earliest dates!

First, Charlevoix classic metal trio Peril are now confirmed for an additional four weekends at the two main regional Kewadin Casino branches through year's end, including dates at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on May 30th & 31st and October 10th & 11th, and returns to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino on October 24th & 25th and December 12th & 13th! Joining upcoming dates at both branches through July that we already knew about, most of the new show confirmations are via Kewadin's entertainment pages, but the May dates aren't listed there, so they appear to be new additions after Kewadin's last updates, and were announced via Peril's Reverbnation page. It's great to see Jeff and company back in the Eastern U.P. for even more 2014 dates, so don't miss their old school heavy attack at either Kewadin Casino throughout the year, including for three consecutive weekends in May & June! All of the new shows have 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no cover charges, so check the above links for more details!

Next up in new Kewadin Casino announcements are some new late 2014 dates for local hard rock band 415E! Joining previously announced regional dates through June, the former Hubbard-Menard Band will rock The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace on August 1st & 2nd and then on November 7th & 8th, which sandwich a return to The Rapids Lounge in Sault Ste. Marie on October 17th & 18th. It's great to see the band back for some more regional dates later in the year, so look for some entertaining originals and covers well into the fall! Note as well that this newest band photo on their Facebook page depicts just singer Dave Menard and guitarist Chris Hubbard on stage with no drumkit or bass visible with them. Have recent gigs been just as a duo due to Jack Slater & Devin Anderson's recent out of town residence, or was this a one-off moment? Either way, 415E will be on at 9:00 PM for the new dates, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. See above for more info, and don't miss 415E's next announced dates in St. Ignace next month!

Moving back to new shows relating to Peril frontman Jeff Hudson, his Traverse City metal band Scarkazm have one more regional concert weekend now booked for 2014, as they'll return to The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace for a weekend on August 29th & 30th! Slated to be just their third concert weekend in the E.U.P. following dates in January and later this month, this melodic groove metal band (with Jeff on drums) must have made a great first impression in January, and hopefully their intense originals and covers go over nicely again for their August dates in St. Ignace! I wonder if they'll come north to Sault Michigan at some point? Like the above dates, Scarkazm's August weekend will be 21+, the shows start at 9:00 PM, and there is no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details, and make sure to see Scarkazm live in St. Ignace in two weeks!

Finally for today's new Kewadin concert confirmations is the return of Cheboygan classic hard rock trio Driven to The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace on October 17th & 18th! These come almost 4 months after their upcoming St. Ignace stops in June, and while they don't come up north too often (and to Sault Michigan even less), their experienced and fun cover attack should find another solid audience come October! As with the above dates, Driven's October shows are 21+ affairs, start at 9:00 PM, and have no announced cover charge, so check the above links for more details! This popular trio always deliver a fun party atmosphere at their live dates, and their St. Ignace stops this fall should be no exception, so stay tuned for updates on Driven's next trips to the E.U.P. in June and October if they roll in!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles tomorrow, plus the remaining new Kewadin Casino hard rock show announcements for December hopefully on Friday! Thanks everyone!