Friday, October 28, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Project 421, Mourning Wood, Highway 63, And The 3 Day Millionaires), And More Previews!!

Before we begin this second weekend concert preview post, I wanted to alert readers that Canadian Nightclub DJ and former local concert promoter Jay Perron's obituary is now up on SooToday. Therein, it confirms that his final services will be held at the Arthur Funeral Home at 492 Wellington Street East on Sunday at 2:00 PM (no presiding reverend indicated), with the celebration of life fittingly continuing at The Canadian at 5:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in his name be made to The Heart & Stroke Foundation's local branch and/or The Animal Assistance Group. Jay is survived by his wife Helen, his five children, his mother, his brother, and his extended family, and he will be dearly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the local music community.

Whether you're familiar with him as "DJ Reverend J" or as a fixture at Canadian Nightclub concerts, Jay's loss is still very sad and shocking, so definitely consider going to his services on Sunday to pay your respects, and our continued thoughts are with all affected. R.I.P. Jay!

Now, let's get to our concert previews, all being SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, starting with the marathon to end all marathons for local classic/hard rock cover quartet Mourning Wood, who are scheduled to rock Reggie's Place on Queen Street East TONIGHT, TOMORROW NIGHT, SUNDAY NIGHT, MONDAY NIGHT, AND TUESDAY NIGHT, and they played there last night too! Apologies for the short notice (and for missing last night's show), we only heard about them via drummer Glen Thomas' personal Facebook page last night, which was too late to rush this post for. You'd think a SIX NIGHT run of concerts would get advance notice, but alas, the band almost never publically promotes stops at the downtown Reggie's, and this weekend was no exception. Obviously, Reggie's is going all out for live entertainment over the Halloween weekend, and I'd assume costumes would be encouraged at least on MONDAY, so keep that in mind too!

You have five more options to see Mourning Wood's often heavy and requests-laden sets over the weekend, and start times of 10:00 PM, 19+ age limits, and no covers can be expected TONIGHT, TOMORROW, SUNDAY, MONDAY, and TUESDAY, and it'll be interesting to hear how this marathon goes, in case it recurs there or elsewhere! Apologies again for missing yesterday's show, we'd have plugged it had we had advance word, but keep this Mourn-a-thon in mind through November 1st, and here they are live!

Next up, Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 will return to The American Legion for a third straight Halloween weekend concert TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, the band only just announced this show via their Facebook page on Thursday. A very rare concert appearance for the Monkey's Uncle successors that isn't at a Kewadin Casino branch, this continues what's becoming an annual tradition for this talented veteran outfit, so if you're looking for a hard rock show in the E.U.P. over the Halloween weekend, head to 3 Legion Drive (off East Water Street) TOMORROW NIGHT! A costume party (with a $75 top prize) and pig raffle are also in effect for this publically-attendable concert, which is a 21+ event at 8:00 PM with no announced cover charges. Despite the extremely late notice, Highway 63 should be at their usual entertaining for this Halloween party, so keep it in mind in Sault Michigan for TOMORROW!

For a preview, here's a new video of Highway 63 from their weekend at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino earlier this month! Filmed by by fan Leann Ross and posted to their Facebook page on Sunday, this 30 second clip is of Highway 63 covering Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'", with a band member (presumably frontman Henry Switzer) adding that this was "my favourite song we do." Powerful voice on the intro here, and while the instrumentation sounds good, we don't hear enough of the song to really make a judgment. Check out this new video below, and don't miss Highway 63 TOMORROW at The American Legion!

Also, Sault Ontario classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires will debut their new lineup TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar, and will then return for a Halloween night concert THIS MONDAY! Once again, apologies for the short notice, the shows were only announced via the official Facebook event page earlier this week. TOMORROW'S show will be The 3 Day Millionaires' first live appearance since replacing guitarist Travis Sharpe with Sneaky Pete alum Bill Brouillard, so how will Bill fit in with the Millionaires? You have two chances this holiday weekend, as this veteran quartet will also provide Halloween entertainment on MONDAY, and after having Sunday to rest, they should be ready to conjure up some spooky good times! I do imagine costumes are expected for Halloween's show, but I can't confirm if the venue has a costume contest or anything like that planned. Both TOMORROW & MONDAY'S shows have 10:30 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 19+ age limits in effect.

For reference, The Millionaires are not playing tonight due to a previously announced concert by The Boatload Killers' new spinoff country rock band The Barn Board Trio. While The 3 Day Millionaires have been mum on Travis' departure, Bill's a strong guitarist who was a key member of Sneaky Pete during their local run, and he should fit in well with Steve, Jeremey, and Scott going forward! Welcome him to the fold at one/both of this weekend's shows, see above for more details, and here's The 3 Day Millionaires live!

Finally, four local bands will hit The Rednecks Saloon for their own Halloween night concert THIS MONDAY! One more time, apologies for the short notice, the show was only announced via it's own Facebook event page earlier this week. Entitled "Halloween Nightmare", this PaperClip Productions show features a varied but mostly heavy lineup of bands, and while the lineup order isn't consistently stated, we'll go by the poster here. Classic metal quartet Project 421 are advertised there as the headliners, just over three weeks removed from a solo gig at the former Nicolet, and they'll be joined by funk/hard rock quartet The Elements and 421's modern hard rock sister band Eclipse, with both bands fresh off of their Halloween Party set at The Algonquin Pub on Saturday. They aren't advertised to reprise their tribute band themes from that show, but just in case, keep an eye out! The opening band is the live debut of new indie rock trio The Autumn Roots, featuring former March Into Regression bandmates Jeremy Hannah and Travis St. Amour (ex-Bring The Fallen) alongside bassist Greg Carscadden.

Despite the presence of local extreme metal alums, The Autumn Roots appear to be spiritual successors to Jeremy's old indie projects like The North Shore (formerly Like Father Like Son) and Ocean View. This new band should be interesting to see debut on MONDAY NIGHT, even if they're not as heavy as what's to come, so check them out early! "Halloween Nightmare" has NO COVER CHARGE and a 19+ age limit, and will start at 10:00 PM. Sounds like a fun and heavy way to cap off Halloween, so don't miss out on MONDAY, and here's Project 421 live playing "Am I Evil", fittingly for the season!

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The First Of The Halloween Weekend Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

Another stacked Halloween weekend is upon us in the Sault Ste. Marie area, so here's our first of at least two weekend concert preview posts! We're going in rough chronological order, specifically hard rock shows that take place from Thursday-Saturday with no later dates, so if you're hoping to see previews of Sunday's punk rock bingo, the newly announced 3 Day Millionaires shows, or the late notice Rednecks Saloon show on Monday, watch for them in our next post! Now, here's what you need to know for this weekend (to start!)

We'll start at Gliss Steak & Seafood TONIGHT, TOMORROW, and SATURDAY, as long-time Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return for three more acoustic concerts! In a unique twist (presumably to tie in with the holiday), the Facebook event page notes that Tym will be playing longer tomorrow & Saturday night, with those shows extended to 12:00 AM, so if you have later plans or just want to see him at a more typical time, you have options! Tonight's gig remains a 4 hour event ending at 10:00 PM. This prolific local singer/guitarist should be up to his usual tricks with a weekend chock full of unplugged hard rock favourites, and fans should definitely keep these matinees in mind! However, we can't confirm if Gliss and/or Tym will harbour any seasonal Halloween themes or not, but Gliss' Facebook page does not hype up Halloween at all, for what that's worth.

As usual for Tym's long-term run at The Quality Inn's house restaurant, expect 6:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and no age limits, but remember where this show is being held. Check the above links for more details, and here's Tym live a few years back!

(Note that, according to a personal Facebook posting this week, Tym did not play his usual Gliss show this past Thursday, despite it being a listed date on last week's Facebook event page. Other than to say that he "had the Thursday off", he didn't elaborate on why he only played twice last week. Hopefully nothing bad happened, and apologies for missing that, we'd have indicated the contraction had we known!)

Next up, the first of two seasonal concerts from local metal promoters Six, Two, Oh. goes down TOMORROW NIGHT, as Gatineau, Quebec doom metal quartet Norilsk will make their local concert debut when they headline at The Oddfellows Hall! Touring in support of their latest album "The Idea of North", Norilsk's brutal blend of doom and death metal has quickly been winning crowds over in the past four years, and they should deliver a heavy punch to local fans at The Oddfellows Hall tomorrow, so don't miss out! Local openers will include doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA, death/thrash metal trio Pillory (in their first live appearance in 3 months), and for the first time since the spring, a set by local death metal standouts The Bear Hunters! It's been way too long to see The Bear Hunters on stage in the Soo, so welcome them with open arms and horns! Doors open at 7:00 PM tomorrow for this ALL AGES concert, and while admission is $10, you can save $3 by bringing a canned good donation with you, which is a great gesture!

And no, I have no idea if Halloween costumes are encouraged or not, but Six, Two, Oh.'s punk rock bingo event on Sunday (which we're previewing tomorrow) will no doubt be more timely either way. This should be a fun concert for local metalheads, with a four-way of extreme metal in store for all ages, so see above for more details, and here's Norilsk live!

Moving on to The Tech, fans will see local party/hard rock cover trio Stiffler's Mom rock the former St. Mary's College TOMORROW NIGHT at their own Halloween party! An event in support of The Tech's athletic programs, this will see Stiffler's Mom rock out with their fan favourite classics, but the Halloween-specific attractions will include a "haunted hallway", food and refreshments, prizes & giveaways, and some type of "secret unveiling" that will take place at 11:00 PM tomorrow. Might this relate to The Tech's ongoing development, a seasonal Halloween surprise, or something completely different? Be there tomorrow night to find out! No word though on whether Stiffler's Mom are playing in The W.W. Baldwin Auditorium or somewhere else. Despite the venue's long history as a high school (and the event's 8:00 PM start time), this is sadly a 19+ concert, while admission is $10 via advance ticket sales at The Tech and presumably at the door.

This is somewhat unusual compared to the shows we usually see Stiffler's Mom play at, but it does come with the Halloween territory somewhat, and I'm sure Greg, Mike, and Jon will rock out solidly at The Tech tomorrow night! Definitely keep this event in mind for something a little different in your weekend plans, click here for more details, and here's Stiffler's Mom live!

We'll finish this concert preview post at The Algonquin Hotel for one half of their double decker of Halloween concerts THIS SATURDAY NIGHT, as promoter J.D. Pearce (in association with Tidal Records) is hosting his 12th annual Halloween Party concert downstairs at The Algonquin Pub! Hitting this venue for the fourth time in five years, Jack Spades' frontman is throwing another huge Halloween weekend bash, with a likely costume contest joining a talented lineup of hard rock and punk bands, and for just the second time since leaving Coch's Corner in 2012, it's all local this year! Returning to last year's tribute band theme, the currently advertised bands are local hard rock quartet Eclipse and funk/hard rock quartet The Elements (back from last year), who will cover System of a Down & various 1990s rock songs under the temporary monikers "SSM of a Down" & "The Plaid Martens". Both styles play to the bands' strengths, so don't miss out on this tribute band action!

The planned headliner was Hey, What About Us?!, a one-off tribute to Me First & The Gimme Gimmes with J.D. on vocals, but that has quietly been removed from the Facebook event page for unannounced reasons, and at press time, a band was still waiting to be announced. We will let you know when/if one is added! Costumes are definitely encouraged for this 19+ concert on Saturday, with a $5 cover charge in effect and a 9:00 PM start time advertised. This should be a fun show, as fans of J.D.'s annual Halloween shows should have come to expect, so get your costumes ready for some hard rocking tributes at The 'Gonq, and here's "SSM of a Down" live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more weekend concert previews tomorrow, and yes, I promise that The 3 Day Millionaires, punk rock bingo, and Monday's Rednecks Saloon show will all be in that post, perhaps with more late notice confirmations too? Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Joe Jenkins

Now's a good time to post this month's YouTube Channel Profile on the site, as we're once again looking at a YouTube channel that largely focuses on local metal, hard rock, and or/punk-relevant videos! This month's randomly selected channel focuses on a prolific Sault Michigan-area artist who you may recognize as both a live guitarist and solo guitar demonstrator online, so read on below for this month's YouTube Profile!
Joe Jenkins (

Owner: Project 906 guitarist "Big" Joe Jenkins, also known from older Sault Michigan-area bands like The Bottom Line, Exiled, Full Throttle, and Ten Kings

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 16th, 2011; Videos posted from April 2012 until March of this year

Channel Summary: A personal use channel whose launch predates his recent local band work, Joe describes his channel as being "about having fun with the guitar & effects". To that end, he has 19 videos posted of him playing guitar for either performance or demonstrative purposes, including two covers, a series of instrumental songs and segments, and increasingly in the past year, tests of new gear and pedals. As well, his first video is a short basketball slam dunk clip and is not music related.

Why You Should Watch: If you enjoy YouTube channels featuring guitarists performing solo compositions, covers, and tech demos, this is well worth your time, especially given that Joe is a local talent! However, videos of his local bands are not featured on his YouTube channel, with videos of them typically being posted on bands' own online pages when active. With all of that said, Joe has dozens of videos and followers on his Instagram page, which has most (if not all) of his YouTube uploads as well, plus more references to his bands, so that may be more worth subscribing to if you're an Instagram user.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

TRUE LIES - KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD (COVER): Joe's YouTube channel is not highly populated with covers (Instagram has more), but with over 800 views, his rendition of Kenny Wayne Shepherd's "True Lies" from September of last year is far and away his most popular on that site. Featuring a black & white film grain filter, Joe handles this blues rock number nicely, as played along with the original track, and he nails the guitar solo with some extra flourish, so fans should enjoy this cover! His other YouTube cover is of Soundgarden's "Outshined".

PITCH BLACK (ORIGINAL SONG) BY BIG JOE JENKINS: Not counting original riffs, solos, and jams, Joe has two named original songs that he performed for YouTube videos, including "Jedi Flip" and, as featured here, "Pitch Black", a song featured by name in no less than four of his uploads. This copy, from October of last year, is a re-recording to allow an unidentified friend to record a drum track, though if the version with drums was publically released, it's not on YouTube. The track is obviously unfinished, and could use more of a solo, but a solid hard rock number is there, and hopefully a fleshed out version comes online at some point!

GUITAR PEDAL GAIN STACKING!! (PAUL C TIMMY + IBANEZ TS808 + TS9 + NEW IBANEZ ANALOG DELAY MINI!!): In the past year or so, Joe's YouTube channel has focused largely on videos to show off, demonstrate, or compare his guitar gear, and if his Instagram following is any indication, there's a definite audience! One of the better ones, despite a cold he was battling, features Joe trying out some new guitar pedals that he bought in March, and offering some running commentary on how they sound and feel. Guitarists in particular will appreciate his videos on his gear, and he definitely knows what he's talking about, but again, visit Instagram for more similar videos!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! This series will return on November 22nd, and after a random selection we have chosen multiple channels, as the first channel that we randomly drew only had one video, as did the second! With that said, we'll be looking at YouTube user matti7915's channel (featuring one Dirty Virgin video), local pop punk project Anthems vs. Ocean's channel (with one For July-era song), and A Dire Setback drummer Nick Kainula's YouTube channel (featuring a video of his old band Unbound), so look for all of this on or around November 22nd, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (The Live 705 Local Show), New & Returning Local Punk Bands, And More!!

Before we begin this post, I wanted to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Canadian Nightclub DJ and former local concert promoter Jay Perron, who reportedly passed away earlier today at the age of 43. Given the sudden word, we don't know details about final services yet, but will get them to you when announced. A familiar sight for fans of club nights and dance parties at The Canadian under his handle "DJ Reverend J", Jay frequently hosted such events under the Total Package Entertainment and Edge Entertainment brandings, including planned Halloween events this weekend, while he also has DJed at venues like the former GLOW, Vibe Lounge, and Docks locations in the past. Jay had also dabbled in rock concert promoting in the past, and in The Sault Metal Scene's early years, he was extremely helpful in letting me know about concert cancellations and lineup clarifications for shows at The Canadian, and was still friendly and reliable when needed even after the venue cut back on solely-local concert bookings.

Though we weren't in as much contact in recent years as we had been, Jay was a very nice guy and always willing to help when clarifying or confirming news on the site, and he even gave social advice beyond music coverage. As a personal aside, his mother was the maid of honour at my parents' wedding in 1988. No word yet on the status of Jay's planned Halloween parties at The Canadian this weekend, but visit the above links for information in that regard, and our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone affected by this sad news. R.I.P. Jay!

Now, today's post features an intriguing LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, but as it involves a debuting local band, we'll lead off with that! The new local band in question is A Dire Setback, who feature some familiar names in their lineup, including former A Fall From Innocence singer Larry Babic, ex-The Fallout/Shore guitarist Chris Nielsen, bassist Matt Quinn, and ex-State of Misery/Stealing Kisses drummer Nick Kainula. The members' past bands may hint towards a punk/alternative genre, but in personal Facebook conversations, Nick has told me that they have "a different sound" and aren't "super punk", while their Facebook page lists their genre as "TBD", so take that for what it's worth. A Dire Setback have been recording in some form or another since August, and have already ordered a stage banner, so they're on their way to a public launch, so when will that be?

How about at The Oddfellows Hall on Saturday, November 19th? Courtesy of the band's new in-house concert promotion agency Live 705, the band and company will debut that night for "The Live 705 Local Show", whose lineup calls more to the late 2000s punk/alternative Oddfellows shows than more recent death metal/grind events there. A Dire Setback are the listed co-headliners, with indie rock quartet K.I.C.K. headlining in a rare Oddfellows appearance (perhaps their first?) Other listed bands on the 19th include a pair of bands that played at the Sky's The Limit fundraiser at The Tech in May, including online page-less classic rock trio Electric Church (in the Spencer Pine-led band's Oddfellows Hall debut) and alternative/hard rock trio The Din, so if you liked that event, keep this one in mind! Also, here's an unexpected surprise for punk fans, as late-2000s punk quartet Talk Shit have reunited and will play their first show in seven years on the 19th!

No online pages yet (or then), but singer/drummer Adam Sauve, guitarist Marc LaFrance, and bassist Ian Robinson are back alongside new guitarist Steve Shaw, who is replacing the relocated Andrew Angelic in their new lineup. This is an unexpected surprise (increasingly so if you miss members' earlier band Renderware too), so it'll be interesting to hear how Talk Shit sound in their return, and hopefully they finally launch an online page of some type! The lineup is rounded out by hard rock quartet Eclipse and local rapper Jasmin "Jizzy Baby" Sky, who you may recognize from recent Soo York City rap events. I'm not familiar with her musically, but we have seen rappers open Oddfellows shows in the past, so she should set the tone well! This ALL AGES show next month has a 5:30 PM start time, and tickets are now available for $8 at Case's Music, The Rad Zone, the Thomas Walls School of Music, and directly from band members (if there's a planned price hike at the door, it's not publically stated.)

This is a very intriguing concert for punk and alternative fans, including a nice balance of established, returning, and newer faces, and it does call to mind the more varied punk shows at The Oddfellows Hall from the mid-late 2000s! Absolutely stay tuned for updates, both A Dire Setback and Live 705 are in their appropriate sections for our links now, and stay tuned for more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Toystock) & More Assorted Updates!!

Today's news post is mostly devoted to a big LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month, but we also have a handful of assorted recent updates to round things out. With all of that said, here's what you need to know!

The official lineup for this year's fifth annual Toystock charity concert has been announced, with 10 bands rocking for 10 hours once again! The event returns to The Grand Gardens at 1324 Great Northern Road for a second straight year on Sunday, November 20th, and while the lineup and poster have been floating around personal Facebook pages for a few weeks, we only received public confirmation of the lineup via local news sites like SooToday and Sault Online earlier today. Harbouring a very different lineup than last year, only two bands are returning from 2015, including country cover quartet Bone Yard (in their record breaking fourth Toystock set) and the return of Christmas-themed punk outfit The Rude-Offs (featuring Destroilet and Treble Charger alumni), so it'll be fun to see them again, especially as their non-seasonal spin-off band Killer hasn't been up to much publically! These are the advertised headlining bands via local news media, and while the poster's band order isn't identical, we'll treat the lineup from articles as accurate unless otherwise stated.

They're presumably on at 9:00 & 8:00 PM each, while the remaining lineup of debuting bands includes funk/hard rock quartet The Elements at 7:00 PM, punk trio Redundant at 6:00 PM, classic/hard rock cover quartet The 3 Day Millionaires (with new guitarist Bill Brouillard in tow) at 5:00 PM, debuting local rock band Shyte at 4:00 PM, 1960s-themed classic rock quartet The Peace Vibe at 3:00 PM, alternative hard rock trio The Din at 2:00 PM, unidentified Case's Music students at 1:00 PM, and online page-less hard rock quartet The Band Camp Rejects (successors to 2015 one-off band Under the Influence) at 12:00 PM. Notably, the Case's Music students are replacing a previously advertised return of students from the Bocturoc Acacemy of Music for unannounced reasons, though Bocturoc was only advertised before public announcements were made. As for Shyte, promoter Greg Simpson confirmed on Facebook that they're a new band from veteran local singer Jim O'Leary, of That's Chester & Flat Stanley fame.

This wouldn't be the first time that Jim debuted a band at Toystock, as his old band Griphook were revealed at Toystock I in 2012, but how will Shyte look and sound? We'll let you know if we hear anything! Promoted once again by Maxx Entertainment (now officially called Choose Maxx), this year's Toystock is again an ALL AGES charity event, with Christmas Cheer food, toy, and/or money donations being readily accepted on site, and those are also the admission fee as usual. The Stuff-A-Bus will be back as well, while Santa & Mrs. Claus will be on hand to meet the kids, and there will be refreshments on sale, and various prize giveaways. Toystock V is shaping up to be another fun marathon concert, and while it maintains it's usual Rotaryfest Stage 1-style lineup, there's a nice sampling of original performers as well (including Redundant, who we don't see live nearly enough anymore), and it'll be interesting to see how the Case's Music students do also! Will they resemble the late Mike Case's Junior All Star bands from Toystocks II & III? Be there to find out!

There's a little something for everyone at this year's Toystock, so be at the Northern Grand Gardens (not the Dennis Street location) on Sunday, November 20th for 10 hours of live music action and Christmas good will from 10 talented local bands, and stay tuned for updates! We'll close today with some assorted recent news and notes from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Local death metal favourites The Bear Hunters have officially been confirmed to open THIS FRIDAY'S Norilsk concert at The Oddfellows Hall! There had initially been concerns about work and other personal commitments scuttling plans, but the band and promoters have confirmed that they are able to play in what will be their first live concert appearance since drummer Johnny Belanger's birthday concert there in May. This has been a long summer without The Bear Hunters, but welcome them back to the stage on Friday, and stay tuned for our full preview later this week!
  • We have removed former Queen Street bar and acoustic concert venue Bottoms Up Lounge from our defunct venue links, as it's only surviving online page (a personal account named after the venue) has been turned into ex-owner Lori Lanoce's own personal Facebook page in recent years. Bottoms Up was a nice quality venue, especially for Tym Morrison solo gigs once upon a time, and hopefully regulars maintain good memories of it!
  • The planned one-off Me First & The Gimme Gimmes tribute (named "Hey, What About Us?!") has quietly been removed from the lineup of THIS SATURDAY'S Halloween Party at The Algonquin Pub for unannounced reasons. Maybe a key member(s) can't make it? A replacement act is to be announced, and we'll let you know if they're confirmed by the time of this weekend's concert previews!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and features in short order! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Id Iota Updates & Tour Fallout, New Woods Of Ypres Video Finds, And More!!

The last full week of October is upon us, so let's kick things off in style with a stacked news post! Today, we have a new Sault Michigan cover video, and surprise archive videos from a dearly departed local metal band, and leading off, the latest videos and coverage of a fast-rising local hard rock act, so here's what you need to know!

Let's start by tackling some overdue recent notes and updates from local alternative/hard rock quartet Id Iota, who recently wrapped up their Ontario tour run with ex-Pixo Control frontman Mike Mikus! While in Ottawa earlier this month, Mike and Id Iota recorded an interview and some in-studio songs for Carleton University campus radio station CKCU FM 93.1's program Carleton Music Showcase, with the episode airing last week, but if you don't live in Ottawa, you're in luck, as the episode is online! The hour-long program is largely a music showcase (naturally) of various artists, notably leading off with fellow Sault Ste. Marie-native Renee Landry, while the local band portion begins about 5:57 in with Mike's debut pop rock solo single "Drowning Crown", followed by a brief interview by co-host Andrew Knox with both Mike and Id Iota frontman Christian Lemay. The interview proper features discussion about both acts' music and background, how both joined forces to tour, and more, and while it's brief, it's an amusing clip!

For reference sake, Christian did bring up The Pixo Control in the interview when referencing how he and Mike met, but nothing was elaborated on regarding their demise. Also, Mike's new solo band features Pixo Control holdover & Id Iota guitarist Dustin Goodall on bass alongside Mike's old Fever Tops bandmate Mitch Harris on drums, so followers of his whole music career will be right at home! The interview is followed by one more new Mike Mikus original (the laid back "Figures as Much") and two Id Iota songs ("Permanence In Pencil" & "California Wasted" from their debut EP "Maudlin Fair".) Solid performances overall, so definitely check out the full interview and episode at this link, and get ready, as the Mikus/Iota segment runs for 22 minutes! As for the tour proper, Id Iota had their cameras rolling for three video uploads on their Facebook page, all 1 minute or less in length, including this video in Toronto, and this heavier song from London.

Embedded below is the only song they titled in the descriptions, namely their newer track "Seas Envy Skies", with Christian manning some type of beeping effects board early during this portion of their set in Ottawa. I wish the filmer had shot longer videos, but kudos for what they did get, and remember, the technical last stop of their tour comes on November 26th at LopLops Lounge, so watch for them then! See and hear more above and in the coming days, and check out Id Iota in Ottawa below!

Next up, here's some surprising new video finds from defunct local blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres! These were actually uploaded to the David Gold's Legacy Facebook page shortly after his passing in December 2011, but they absolutely flew under the radar here and there, with the 4 videos only having a combined 8 likes on Facebook as of this writing, and it took a recent YouTube re-posting by fan Hlynur Svartaduhter for us to have even found them. These four videos come from Woods of Ypres' set at the one-off Obey the Flame Festival in Montreal, Quebec on May 25th, 2003, back when they were a Windsor-based black metal outfit. Based on an Internet Archive copy of their website from May 2003, their lineup here includes eventual frontman David Gold on drums, alongside singer Robin Cross, guitarists Dustin Black & Colin Wysman, and bassist/clean vocalist Aaron Palmer (all but David left Woods of Ypres by year's end, when he relocated to Toronto and started over with new band members.)

Filmed on camcorder by an attendee, the videos feature Woods of Ypres playing "Intro: The Shams of Optimism", "Crossing the 45th Parallel", "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss", and (as embedded below) "A Meeting Place & Time". Notably comprising all of their 2002 debut EP "Against the Seasons" save for the closer "Awaiting the Inevitable", the audio's solid despite the videos' age and recording format, and while it's still unusual to see Woods of Ypres without David up front, these capture the future Juno winners in brutal form from their early Windsor days, and hopefully more turns up! Fans should definitely check them out above & below!

Finally, here's a new solo cover from Theatre of Night keyboardist Craig Harrison's YouTube channel, as posted last week! The Sault Michigan native again revisited his old Dust N' Bones side for this cover, where he sings "We All Die Young" by Steelheart, as later popularized in the 2001 movie Rock Star. Filmed on a Go-Pro or similar handi-cam, and with a sepia tone filter placed over top of the video, this isn't a bad rendition, and Craig can hit higher notes well, but some of his singing does sound a little strained. Check it out below, and see more from his various projects above!

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (9 Lives & Counting), Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

Let's cover the rest of this weekend's concert previews (barring any supremely late notice events) in this post, with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and a new Shaw TV video to round things out for good measure! Now, here's what you need to know!

Toronto hard rock quartet 9 Lives & Counting will make their local concert debut with a headlining show at The Rockstar Bar on Friday, November 25th! As the Facebook event page says, trouble is coming to "the Sault Ste. Marie" for this concert, with 9 Lives & Counting touring in support of their debut CD "Beautiful Distraction", and their groovy blend of hard and alternative rock should be a solid attraction for local fans next month! Haggith alumni will populate the local opening slots, with modern hard rock quartet Eclipse and alternative/hard rock trio The Din returning to The Rockstar Bar to deliver their own original songs and select covers for fans, so don't miss out and don't be late! This 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge, and while an oddly early start time of 8:00 PM is advertised, I'd assume bands won't play until at least 9:00. This should be a fun night for fans of modern hard rock, and 9 Lives & Counting definitely aren't a cookie cutter band, so check the above links for more details on next month's show!

Next up, let's tackle this weekend's remaining hard rock concert previews, all in the Sault Michigan area, starting with Kinross classic/hard rock trio Banned, who are advertised as returning to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Though Banned have curiously not posted on their Facebook page in over a month, this weekend's shows are the last currently advertised on their Facebook page's cover photo (they have yet to acknowledge their last two Kewadin weekends that the venue previously confirmed.) Unless something is said to the contrary, we'll treat these as on! Fans may want to check out frontman Alex Traynor's recent feature in Shotcaller Magazine though, as he gets a one page spotlight in the Midwest U.S. photography magazine's latest issue. Seems like an odd fit, but it's a nice look into Alex's influences and musical background, so check pages 42 &43 at this link for the full article via it's online edition!

As for this weekend's scheduled Rapids Lounge gigs, look for Alex, Don, and Wayne at around 9:00 PM tonight and tomorrow, with no cover charges and 21+ age limits in effect both nights. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Banned live!

Lastly for this weekend, Sault Michigan classic/hard rock cover quartet Highway 63 are advertised to rock The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT as well! Again, Highway 63 haven't newly plugged these shows, but both the band and venue confirmed them publically in earlier schedule announcements.This veteran outfit remain a steady and entertaining attraction with their monthly gigs at both local Kewadin Casino branches, and with alumni of Monkey's Uncle, The Mama's Boys, I.S.O.M., and Deprecor in their lineup, you won't want to miss out on this weekend's action! Highway 63 will be on at the St. Ignace Kewadin tonight and tomorrow at 9:00 PM, and also like Banned's shows, expect 21+ age limits and no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and here's Highway 63 live!

Finally, here's a new Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie feature video on local post-punk quartet Gnaeus! Posted onto Shaw TV's YouTube channel yesterday, this wasn't acknowledged online by the band prior, but I believe it aired on channel 10's news video rotation before making it's way to YouTube. The piece was filmed by Shaw TV's Christian Lemay (Id Iota), with performance footage from their set opening for The Din at The Tech in August scattered within interview clips of Gnaeus shot downtown in front of the MS Norgoma. The interview proper features all 4 members discussing Gnaeus' formation, why Brad Irwin plays the synth, the guys' enjoyment of what they do, their debut CD "Meditations" and the origin of the album's name, experiences recording the album and playing live, where to buy the CD (there are copies at Pino's, believe it or not), and more. Solid interview that covers a lot of positive ground in a short time, so give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Christian and Id Iota very soon as well!

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