Tuesday, October 6, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Highway 63), Dusty Tucker/Nailheads Concert Preview, And More!!

News has been slow as of late, but we're back for this Tuesday morning, so what's in store? Along with new recording session videos from this side of the border, we're mostly sticking with the Sault Michigan area today, including some new interview finds, some solo guitar videos, and first, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, so here's what you should know!

For a second straight year, Sault Michigan classic/hard rock quartet Highway 63 will play a Halloween party at The American Legion on Saturday, October 31st! Though not a typical concert venue in the area, the Monkey's Uncle successors obviously had a successful Halloween show last year at the Legion (at 3 Legion Drive, off East Water Street), so keep this one in mind at month's end if you're unsure how you want to spend the holiday! The band's on at 8:00 PM, expect a costume party with cash prizes, and note that last year's Halloween show also had a $5 cover charge, door prizes, an all you can eat buffet, and no announced age limits. Also, Highway 63 will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino on Friday, December 4th & December 5th, which are among the new show confirmations on Kewadin Casino's entertainment page. This will be their first announced St. Ignace concert weekend since the summer, and like usual, expect a 21+ age limit, no cover, and 9:00 PM start time.

Note that there are more hard rock show announcements from Kewadin's entertainment page that we will further outline in a post later this week, partly as one band has late notice shows elsewhere to touch on this weekend, so stay tuned for those in a few days! It's good to see Highway 63 staying busy in the latter months of 2015, so keep these shows in mind, and stay tuned for more from them!

Next up, here's a preview for a long-announced concert going down TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rednecks Saloon, as Red Deer, Alberta hard rock quintet Dusty Tucker and Montreal punk trio The Nailheads are slated to join forces! Dusty Tucker's southern rock-influenced blend of heavy original music should find a strong audience tomorrow, while The Nailheads (replacing the now defunct locals The Danger Cats) will be playing the Soo for the first time since rocking a metal night at the former Roosevelt Hotel four years ago, and it's about time their old school punk attack is in our area again! The advertised local openers are post-punk quartet Gnaeus in their first announced show of the fall, and it'll be nice to see them out of the studio for this one! However, note that promoters have not updated the Facebook event page in the last three weeks, and there hasn't been a new public reference to the show from the involved bands in a while, so we'll keep an eye on things just in case.

Promoted by Destroilet's Brent Ellis (replacing Mitch Sirie), this 19+ show has a 9:00 PM start time, and interestingly is under a "pay what you can" format, not unlike many Gore Street Cafe events. Check the above links for more details! While the lack of recent promotion is odd, this should be an entertaining and diverse concert with a little something for everyone, so check out all three of these talented bands, and keep this Wednesday nighter in mind for TOMORROW! Here's Dusty Tucker live in Alberta last month!

Also, here's the latest Instagram video postings from Sault Ontario death metal favourites The Bear Hunters, as they continue to record their second album "The Dead Testament" at Mission Control Studios! One is a short clip of drummer Johnny Belanger and producer Dustin Jones checking out part of the drum track for "Transcend Judgement", but embedded below is our first glimpse at "For Glory", one of two songs from the CD that we have yet to hear live (the other being the title track.) This is just a short instrumental preview from the studio tracking, but what we do hear does sound Bear Hunters-esque, so give it a look below, and see more above!

Finally for today, here's some recent press materials from Dafter, Michigan hard rock solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton, including two interviews from last November! Published on the underground music website Arm The Pit, they appear to be generic questions for any artist, given the questions referencing bands and labels given to an independent solo artist, but you go get some interesting insights into his recording methods, and plans (at the time) to form a live band. One interview is about SweetKenny in general, and the other is focused around his then-new CD "Amazonian", so read both at this link! We were going to round out our SweetKenny updates with a review from Woodbangers Entertainment of his recent album "Charlie Hidelburg: Ancient Hunter", but it's either down or deleted. In any event, it's link is/was here, but stay tuned in case it comes back, and keep an eye out for more from this prolific Eastern U.P. solo musician as we hear it!

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soo Zombie Walk Afterparty), New Videos, And More!!

Now's a good time to get our first full news post of the month on the site, and within, we have some assorted recent notes, two new videos from two familiar local bands, and first, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for a familiar yet distinct Halloween season concerts! Here's what you should know!

The musical entertainment at this year's Soo Zombie Walk will see an unplugged encore, as the acts playing at The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center on Saturday, October 24th will head to Coch's Corner that same night for the afterparty! After spending last year sans music at Wacky Wings, the afterparty returns to it's 19+ roots at the site of it's 2010 & 2013 incarnations in three weeks time, but like in 2013, all performers will be acoustic, going with Coch's Corner's focus since moving into the former Foggy Notions building. As recently (and quietly) confirmed on the Facebook event page, all four acts will pull double duty on the 24th, including alternative blues/hard rock quartet Sykotyk Rampage (in their first afterparty set since 2012), Sudbury cover hard rock band Aggressive Acoustic (who headlined 2013's afterparty), and solo musicians Greg Callaghan & Terry Becker, so if you'd rather see the bands at nighttime in a bar setting, or in the day before the walk with a family audience, you have options!

Sykotyk Rampage frontman Dirk Becker has also confirmed with me in a recent conversation that Aggressive Acoustic have not broken up (though there have been lineup departures), and Syktoyk Rampage's daytime pre-walk set will also be acoustic, which does sound easier given the double booking. This year's afterparty has a $2 cover charge (plus a canned good), it goes down at 9:00 PM on October 24th, and you must be 19 to attend... but never fear, you can see all four acts at 4:00 PM at the Bushplane Museum too! Check the above links for more details, and keep both of these Zombie Walk shows in mind for when the undead prepare to roam downtown!

Next up, we at last have confirmation: The Bear Hunters are in studio recording their second full length CD "The Dead Testament"! Details on progress are forthcoming, but the fan-favourite local death metal band confirmed on their Facebook page that sessions began yesterday, and they have posted two short videos to their new Instagram page of drummer Johnny Belanger tracking drums at Mission Control Studios (more on them in a bit), with the video embedded below crediting the song as "The Void". Both clips don't actually show Johnny, instead Dustin Jones at the controls during the tracking. Photos, and more videos, are planned to go up on Instagram in the coming weeks, but this is a great sign for fans of The Bear Hunters, so check out the other video at this link, see more above, and here's Johnny laying down drum tracks for "The Dead Testament"!

Also today, here's the newest video from local alternative hard rock trio Mike Haggith & The Din, which gives us our first glimpse at their new guitarist! Posted to their Facebook page yesterday, it's of the new lineup playing Mike's solo original "Out Of My League", but perhaps intentionally, the new guitarist is filmed from behind, and aside from the long blonde hair and purple guitar, there are no dead-giveaway markings to their identity. I have a guess, but let's wait for the band to confirm the new axeslinger themselves, be it online or at the Speak Easy Battle of the Bands next month! In any event, it's a solid rendition, complete with post-production filters, so check it out below, and stay tuned for more from The Din!

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

  • A concert event in remembrance of late local country musician & Case's Music founder Mike Case is in the works for July 9th of next year, and organizers are looking for bands to take part. It would be a 2:00 PM-2:00 AM event, but further details are not known as of this writing. This very well may be a special and huge occasion given Mike's outreach as a musician & instructor, so message co-organizer Christine O'Hara at this link or at her Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from September 15th for more info!
  • A Facebook page has finally been launched for the aforementioned Mission Control Studios, the local recording studio ran by Dustin Jones & Tidal Records, and the site where a number of local bands are either recording or planning to record new studio material, like The Apocalypse Afterparty & The Pixo Control. The setup and reputation is all very professional, so check the above links for more info on Mission Control Studios, which are now in our "Other Local Metal Links"!
  • After previously looking for a drummer in August, local musician Rob Charlebois is looking for a guitarist for his "fresh" new band. They have originals and covers, ranging from alternative to classic rock, and practice at night. If you're interested in trying out, message Rob at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from September 25th!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for another new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Where Are The New Albums? October 2015 Update

It's now time for our monthly "Where Are The New Albums?" feature post, as we once again look at the current release statuses of albums from local metal, hard rock, and punk artists, in order to see how far recording sessions have come, and perhaps see when they'll be released! Only three albums have updates this month (as usual, their title is in italics), while we've also removed two entries (Crucify the Whore's upcoming split, as their portion of it is on sale on Bandcamp, and The Sorrow Fields' "Let Go", as Mitch told me in an e-mail that it has been postponed and will be recorded from scratch after a separate new release is finished. I anticipate re-adding it though, hence why there's no write-up on it's removal.) So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
AlgomA's untitled split CD with Chronobot

Rumoured Songs (A): "The Electric Fence", "Phthisis", "Failed Stunt Fatality", "Rabidus"

Rumoured Songs (C): Unknown

Background: In an interview with Vancouver webzine Not Your Scene on July 28th, Chronobot guitarist Dafe Landry revealed that the Saskatchewan space/doom quartet will be releasing a split album later this year with local doom metal trio AlgomA, which would be their second official release. Little was said about the album, but Dafe indicated a cassette release and a possible vinyl pressing might follow, and fans may remember seeing both bands together at past local concerts.

Current Release Status: No idea, especially given that AlgomA's only public acknowledgement of the split so far was a re-post of the interview on their Facebook page, so things may be a ways off yet, but stay tuned as more comes in from either side of this planned split!
The Apocalypse Afterparty's debut EP

Rumoured Songs: "The Crowd" (The Fury cover), "Rebel Scum" (The Fury cover), "Sweet F*ck"

Background: Before ever playing a public concert, new local rap/metal band The Apocalypse Afterparty announced on their Facebook page last August that they had begun working on their 3 song debut EP with producer Jamie Vincent (AlgomA), though they also alluded to recording the remaining songs with different producers. The song that they recorded with Jamie is "The Crowd", which you can hear in full at this link, though recent postings have hinted at recording said EP this year for a release and recording sessions at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios, albeit with a new lineup in tow.

Current Release Status: As per the band's Facebook page on July 19th, they're "crushing the arrangements & compositions" for a planned 3 song EP of "entirely fresh material" with planned releases on mp3, USB sticks, and vinyl (no CDs?) This was all preceded by "songwriter" Steve Mozarowski's departure from the band and related lineup changes, but how that will impact things is unclear. It should be noted that The Apocalypse Afterparty 's version of "The Crowd" is featured on Blood Shed Productions' recent 11-way split album, but at last word, the EP itself is still in the works. Hopefully more comes out soon on it!

Destroilet & Jack Spades' untitled three-way split album with The Ripcordz

Rumoured Songs (D): "iBomb", "Bamberg Witch Prison", "Heavy Artillery", "It's Over", "Kifer"

Rumoured Songs (J): "Frederick", "Fear Corps", "Motorwolf", "Negative Headspace", "Crossroads", "The Lot"

Rumoured Songs (R): Unknown

Background: In March, local punk/metal bands Destroilet & Jack Spades both revealed online that they'd be joining forces with Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz on a three-way split CD! Current plans are to fund the album through fundraiser concerts and a Kickstarter campaign, though recording sessions on at least Jack Spades' end have begun, with drum tracking completed last month according to their Facebook page. When complete, this will be Jack Spades' second release and Destroilet's third (though their first with new co-lead singer Brenton Ellis), and Tidal Records will likely have a hand in the recording and release of the project. Note that the likely album cover and local bands' final track listings can be seen via personal Facebook posts, but have yet to be unveiled publically.

Current Release Status: Plans are to release this ambitious split album on October 24th at The Algonquin Pub with a planned CD release concert headlined by The Ripcordz, who have shared the stage with the two local bands and members within at various recent local concert events. Things sound like they're off to a great start, so keep posted as more comes in!
Gates of Winter - Perihelion

Rumoured Songs: "The Stars Call My True Name", "Edin Na Zu", "Dimensions", "Time Warp", "Wormhole Mechanics", "Prometheus"

Background: Despite a hiatus from live concerts lasting over 5 years, Gates of Winter never broke up, and are slowly working on their follow-up to 2008's "Lux Aeterna". The first glimpse of the new album was unveiled in February 2010, when frontman/producer Lee Maines uploaded a snippet of their new song "The Stars Call My True Name" onto his YouTube channel, and he followed that up with more demo & rehearsal clips sporadically over the last couple of years, though all were later taken down. The band launched a new Facebook page in August 2010 to keep fans updated on the sessions, including the unveiling of a new song title, "Time Warp", and while Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as the album's drummer that fall, the album will feature programmed drums. In November 2011, bassist Steve Furgiuele confirmed in a YouTube video that the album, now titled "Perihelion", was planned for release in December 2012, with some older re-recordings likely for the summer, but Lee confirmed last month that the album would be delayed further, be retracted to EP length, and possibly be renamed. Other new songs, tentatively called "Wormhole Mechanics" & "Prometheus", was previewed in this video & this video that were uploaded in 2013 & last April respectively. Whether ex-keyboardist Brian Holmes will be included on the EP is currently unknown.

Current Release Status: Personal commitments and the like have slowed things down incredibly, but in the band's most recent preview video (featuring audio samples), Gates of Winter hinted that work was winding down on "Perihelion", including noting that "the silence ends soon", with this year now targeted for a release. Good art takes time, and knowing Gates of Winter's talent and attention to detail, they won't wanna release this until everything's perfect. I'll admit that I know a bit more on "Perihelion" than what I've posted here, but I'll wait until more public word comes out before elaborating, so keep an eye out for updates!
Gnaeus - Loomings

Rumoured Songs: "An Exercise In Self-Awareness", "Lovers", "Fire", "When You're Gone", "Circles", "The Edge", "The Sound", "Mountains", "Crave", "Calling Out"

Background: Amidst various teases of recording sessions, local post-punk/garage rock quartet Gnaeus have confirmed in recent concerts that they are in fact recording their debut CD "Loomings" at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios, possibly stemming from their "Best Song" win at March's VM Radio Battle of the Bands. Though online materials remain quiet otherwise for progress on the album, the planned album cover and online sales location of "Loomings" can be found at this link, and details are sure to follow.

Current Release Status: No idea, especially given how generally quiet that Gnaeus have been online regarding album progress, but with cover art and various hints in recent months, there is progress to be had. We'll keep you guys posted when more is announced!
The Pixo Control - Probably Not

Rumoured Songs: "Land of the Moles", "Reasons", "Sixty Extra Chances Called Minutes", "The Great Salute To Radio Edits", "Tall Ships", "No", "Quick Little Quarter", "Call Me A Liar", "Scratch", "Alphabetical Order", "This Is Momentary, Forever", "Growing Pains", "Potpourri", "Feather", "Vicinity", "Congratulations"

Background: After earlier teases of recording sessions, young local grunge/alternative trio The Pixo Control revealed on their online pages (including on Instagram in November) that they were indeed working on their first album, with veteran local musician Keith Conway having a hand in the album's production. An Instagram video was also posted that featured bassist Steve Edwards working on a studio track, and updates have steadily followed to tease fans on the album's progress, including the reveal of the title "Probably Not" at assorted concerts. The band also confirmed in February that they have signed with Tidal Records, who will presumably also release this album. A fundraiser concert was held at The Rankin Arena this summer to raise funds for the album and upcoming tour plans, and the cover artwork was revealed on Facebook in August, but no finite album details have followed, nor is it known if the band's recent drummer switch from Keeghan Rosso to Matthew Thibert will affect the release.
Current Release Status: No idea, but the guys sound like they've gotten a fair amount done already, and they've been turning a lot of heads so far, so don't bypass them, and stay tuned for more on their first album this year!
Redundant's debut CD

Rumoured Songs: "Miles Apart", "That December", "What You'll Do"

Background: Over two and a half years after their last documented studio sessions in the spring of 2012, local punk trio Redundant revealed on their Facebook page on November 16th that they're finally working on finishing their debut CD, and will look to hold a CD release party for it upon it's completion. Details are otherwise minimal, including on if the guys will just package their older studio work for the release, or include new recordings, perhaps at bassist James White's studio White Wreckords. We'll keep you posted if we hear more!

Current Release Status: Though we don't know much on the new/revived album plans, Redundant did sound serious about completing their CD. That said, Redundant have only played once in 2015 and haven't made any public statements regarding the album this year. Note that James had indicated in personal postings that he was moving to Toronto for college this fall, but he is still here and playing live with other bands. If we hear any updates from their camp, we'll be sure to let you know!
Telephone & Address - "Monster" and "The Early Tapes"

Rumoured Songs (M): "Unknown"

Rumoured Songs (E): "The Plumbers"

Background: Telephone & Address mainman Chris Shoust announced on their Facebook page in January that he's working on releasing "The Early Tapes", a compilation of songs from the first 4 Telephone & Address albums (2011's self titled album, and 2012's "Live", "No. 3", and "Broken Head"), all of which being released before their recent full integration into the local scene. Since then however, he quietly revealed on Facebook that a separate new album named "Monster" is done, with an advanced copy leaked to him by AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent, which likely hints that Jamie helped produce it. No other details have been revealed yet, but some songs may be on their Soundcloud page, and when both are released, they're likely to turn up on Telephone & Address' Bandcamp page and on Interpunk, which Chris is also using to distribute physical copies.

Current Release Status: Chris indicated on the project's Facebook page two weeks ago that "Monster" would be pressed last month, but if a release is coming soon or not isn't clear yet. As for "The Early Tapes", Chris revealed in March that it "will be delayed for some time", though he didn't elaborate on why specifically. It's also worth noting that Chris briefly announced collaborating with Boxes of Boom's Sam Decter as a drummer with Telephone & Address and under a new project name (Are You Now? or Have You Ever?), but references to Chris & Sam's work have quietly been removed from Facebook, and it's not known if this means anything for the "Monster" release. We'll keep you posted!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, and it will return on November 2nd as usual! Our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow, and stay tuned for more news in the coming days! Thanks everyone

Thursday, October 1, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Havadder, Tym Morrison, And Lucky 13) & Weekend Concert Previews!!

With a new month upon us, let's blast into October with this weekend's concert previews, including SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS from three different acts and one previously announced concert (with updates) to preview as well! Remember, if there are more late notice shows to preview, we will touch on them when/if announced, and get them on the site if at all possible. Now, here's what you should know for this weekend!

First, we'll add prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison's October slate of solo acoustic concerts to our listings! Now making the site after this weekend's shows were confirmed on the official Facebook event pages (here & here), I do apologize for the short notice on those ones, we were holding them for our previews. As such, look for Tym back at Gliss Steak & Seafood downtown for matinee shows TONIGHT, TOMORROW, AND SATURDAY and the following four weeks to come (October 8th-10th, 15th-17th, 22nd-24th, and 29th-31st), while his usual Harp Bar & Grill nighttime shows return TOMORROW and then on the rest of October's Fridays & Saturdays (the 9th & 10th, 16th & 17th, 23rd & 24th, and 30th & 31st.) Note that we didn't mention a Harp show on Saturday night, as the Facebook event page doesn't list it, presumably as The Harp is showing UFC 192 that night, so keep that in mind if planning to see him this weekend.

As usual for Tym's extensive runs at both venues, there's no announced cover charges, 19+ age limits at The Harp, and start times of 6:00 PM at Gliss and 10:00 PM at The Harp, but remember that Gliss is a restaurant if you're thinking about attending. For more details, visit the above links, and definitely consider checking out Tym's tried and true acoustic shows this month! For a preview, here's Tym live at Mill Square!

Next up, local hard/alternative rock cover quartet Lucky 13 will play their first ever solo headlining gigs at The Canadian Nightclub TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows via the official Facebook event page on Thursday. Though Lucky 13 are no strangers to The Canadian via their appearances at all three Toystocks to date, they will become the first hard rock-leaning band to play a solo weekend engagement at the Pim Street venue since they restored regular bands to the weekend schedule last month. Given Maxx Entertainment's involvement in the return of bands, I'm surprised that Stiffler's Mom or That's Chester didn't play there first, but Lucky 13's entertaining and nicely varied range of classics should go over well at The Canadian this weekend, so don't miss them either! There is NO cover charge, everything starts at 9:00 PM both nights (with bands wrapping up by 1:00 AM), and you must be 19 or older to attend.

For more details, visit the above links! Fresh off of their "world tour" stops at The Rednecks Saloon, it'll be interesting to see Lucky 13 playing for two full nights at The Canadian this weekend rather than an hour long Toystock set, so definitely consider seeing them this weekend, and here they are at The Canadian Nightclub last year!

Finally for currently announced late notice concerts, local classic/hard rock quartet Havadder will return to the stage TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rednecks Saloon! Again, apologies for the short notice, the band only announced the shows on their Facebook page on Monday. After taking September off for unannounced reasons, Havadder will return to the former Nicolet Tavern for the first time in over two months this weekend, but Jason and company do have some new songs in their setlist, so be sure to come out to see what else they have in store! As they like to say, if you don't, you didn't! Note as well that they've teased having attendees celebrating birthdays this weekend, so keep that in mind. Like usual for Havadder concerts, there are 10:00 PM start times in effect this weekend, you must be 19 to attend, and there's no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details, and here's Havadder live earlier this year!

We'll close with a previously announced concert for this weekend, as five acts will join forces at The Algonquin Pub THIS SATURDAY NIGHT in a fundraiser concert for the Soup Kitchen Community Center on James Street! Promoted by veteran local musician & Machines Dream frontman Craig West, this is a great cause to see such a diverse lineup of bands (including two heavier acts and a late addition) rock out, so definitely consider coming out to help the Soup Kitchen out! Local death metal favourites The Bear Hunters will headline at the odd timeslot of 12:40 AM, with the recently reunited classic rock quartet Nikkfitt (featuring Browbeat & Caveman Morrison alumni) co-headlining at 11:45 PM, and it'll be interesting to see how the new lineup does and sounds! As confirmed by Craig on the Facebook event page on Monday, Honest Job guitarist Drew Armstrong and unlisted "friends" will play a late-notice set at 11:00 PM, and if you know his band work, you'll know the folk and alternative talent that he brings to the table!

Local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements (featuring Nikkfitt bassist James White) will hit the stage at 10:00 PM, while the aforementioned progr-rock band Machines Dream will play a rare set to open the show at 9:00 PM. As well, while not musically related, Skip Morrison, the NDP candidate for MP in this month's election, has accepted an invite to come to the event & discuss the election, so keep that in mind if you're an NDP supporter or undecided voter. This 19+ concert has a $5 cover charge, with all proceeds going to the Soup Kitchen, so definitely consider a trip to The Algonquin Pub THIS SATURDAY for all of the diverse musical action! For a preview, here's The Bear Hunters live earlier this year!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Punk Rock Bingo Preview, SweetKenny Album Updates, And New Videos!!

News has been somewhat slow lately, hence the recent quietness at the SMS, but let's end the month strong with this one! Today, we have some new video finds, and big album updates from a regional solo artist, but first, here's a preview for a special event that, while not a concert, is intriguing for punk fans, so here's what you should know!

The long anticipated debut of punk rock bingo goes down TONIGHT at The New American Pub!  Presented by Six Two Oh, this is a concept that has been done successfully in some other cities, and it's exactly what it says on the tin: Bingo with a punk rock theme and prizes! There are plans to show cult punk movies on the TV(s?) there tonight, as well as play punk music, with "stupid prizes" planned, but no one has spilled the beans yet on what specific prizes may be up for grabs. Destroilet singer and recent concert promoter Brenton Ellis (a.k.a. Buck Norris) will be the caller, which should be fun in & of itself! You guys should know how to play bingo, and to participate TONIGHT, cards will be $1 each, with no cover charge otherwise. This is a 19+ event, and everything will start at 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Though not a concert, this sounds like a fun & unpredictable event for punk and/or bingo fans, so get your dabbers ready TONIGHT at The New A, and hopefully this becomes a recurring event!

Next up, here's the latest from Dafter, Michigan hard rock solo artist Kenneth "SweetKenny" Sutton's prolific studio output, so what should you know? His previously teased new album "Charlie Hidelburg: Ancient Hunter" was released a little earlier than expected on August 21st (apologies for the delay) to his Bandcamp page and other online outlets, and it's a concept album themed as a score for a TV show or video game, with the cover art bearing a resemblance to Tomb Raider. Though new references cite "Cartoons" to be his fourth original album released in 2015, there are three more new albums that aren't on Bandcamp that you can stream on Spotify and find on various online stores (most notably on Google Play) entitled "In The Groove", "The Island", and "The Specialist Parts 1-2". All were released since mid-August, and three more albums (entitled "Anything Go's", "Underwater Adventure", and "Desert Romance") are planned for release next month and are now available for pre-order.

Other than visible themes on the albums (possibly intended as scores as well), we don't know a whole lot on this sudden influx of new SweetKenny albums, which he hasn't plugged on his website or Bandcamp page that I've seen. Are these extra albums not considered in the main line, or is extra acknowledgement of them coming? In any event, our next SweetKenny CD review won't be until 2016, as we just reviewed "Fleabag Hotel" in July, but check this massive haul of new material out above, and here's his newest posting to his YouTube channel, of his new song "Kiss Kiss Bang" set to footage from the video game James Bond 007: Nightfire!

Also, here's one more new video discovery from AlgomA guitarist Boyd Rendell's YouTube channel, and in this case, it's actually of the doom metal trio in action! Uploaded on April 2nd, this is of AlgomA playing their original song "Phthisis" (which is about tuberculosis) during their last jam at "Das Bunker" in Garden River before Boyd moved from the location. Though he noted that the video was fuzzy due to "half resolution", it's of solid quality and captures this shorter but crushing newer original in solid fashion! Give it a look below, and remember to check out punk rock bingo TONIGHT, as put on by the guys in AlgomA with Six Two Oh!

Finally for today, here's a new video of Ten Kings guitarist Joe Jenkins improvising to a Joe Satriani-esque backing track, as uploaded to his YouTube channel yesterday! His first posting there of the year, it's a strong instrumental performance that captures his original skill nicely, and if you're curious to see more of his own solo videos, don't worry, we have a ton more coming from a non-YouTube source in the coming days! Give Joe's new video a look below, and also stay tuned for news on Ten Kings' next shows!

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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Sideblinder

After a day's delay due to personal commitments, here's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, our final monthly feature post of September 2015! This is, like usual, our look at a band that's not based from the Sault Ste. Marie area, but features (or used to feature) a Saultite in their lineup, and this is a great opportunity for SMS readers to learn more about these bands and check out their material! This month's choice features a very familiar face and some other recognizable members from notable punk bands, so here's what you should know!
Sideblinder (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED, members not in their last full lineup in italics. Note that one Sideblinder recording features Sault Ste. Marie's own Mikey Hawdon and his Fairmounts bandmate Simon Head on drums & bass, but they are not credited as past band members on any other publically surviving sources.)

Dustin Jones (vocals/guitar)
Chuck Dailey (bass)
Darren Pfeiffer (drums)
Ryan "Legs" Leger (drums)

Official website: http://www.dustinjones.ca/sideblinder
Official Facebook group: http://facebook.com/groups/6268389980/ 
Official Bandmine page: http://www.bandmine.com/sideblinder
Official MySpace page: http://myspace.com/sideblinder

Local Info: While a well known commodity in Southern Ontario circles, Sideblinder frontman Dustin Jones will be an extremely familiar sight for local punk fans from his extensive background in numerous local bands, including his current work as the frontman of Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, as well as with prior bands like The Cover Up, Totally Confused, The Wing-Its, and (of course) The Inner City Surfers, among others, with numerous albums & tour runs with both the Tide and Surfers under his belt! You may also recognize Dustin behind the scenes as the co-founder of Tidal Records and the head of the locally-based Mission Control Studios, helping give numerous bands quality local options for exposure and professional recordings!

Band Bio: Active off and on from at least 2008-2013, Sideblinder were a punk supergroup of sorts, with Dustin Jones joined by alumni of The Salads in their lineups, including drummer Darren Pfeiffer of Goldfinger and Dookies fame. Surviving information on Sideblinder is minimal, but they recorded material for a planned debut album in the late 2000s, and played scattered Toronto concerts during their active period, most recently at The Hideout in July 2012. Sideblinder were among the launch artists for Tidal Records' debut as a full label in 2013, but online updates haven't visibly followed since, though members remain active in other bands. Bearing similarities to Dustin's past Inner City Surfers material, Sideblinder's energetic modern punk sound has a timeless appeal and is bolstered by a strong lineup, including solid bass work by Chuck Dailey, and their studio material is very promising!

No surviving websites mention a local Sideblinder  concert, but it would be nice to see Sideblinder get back together and play here if possible, and fans of the members' prior bands will like what they'll hear via Chuck's YouTube channel (featuring four original studio recordings), and two recording videos from ex-drummer Ryan Leger on Dustin's channel. Embedded below though is the only publically available concert video of Sideblinder, from their Toronto gig in July 2012, and it's of the guys playing an original song labelled as "Great Lakes", so give it a look below, and credit to Mikey Hawdon for filming this video!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll likely be looking at She Screams of Royalty, the Holland, Michigan post-hardcore band that formerly featured NA drummer and LSSU graduate Mikhail Swift in their lineup, so look for that on or around October 26th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Speak Easy Battle Of The Bands 2), And More Recent Updates!!

Before we get into this post, I'd like to apologize for a missed concert, as local classic/hard rock quartet Mourning Wood apparently played at the opening night party for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' season opener last night before the game against Windsor at The Essar Centre. The team's own advertising never specified the band(s?), and Mourning Wood never plugged the set online, but guitarist Steven Flint mentioned it on his personal Facebook page shortly before showtime.  Hopefully it was a blast on a big stage, and apologies again for missing it, we'd have plugged it had their set gotten advance word!

Now, this post features recent updates & media, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, as the third and likely final local battle of the bands of 2015 goes down on Thursday, November 19th, that being the previously teased second Speak Easy Battle of the Bands! After a successful first installment in March at Algoma University's campus bar, the same promoters (including ex-Haggith bassist Jordan Leach) are hosting the same style of battle once again for the fall season, so what should you know this time around? Like in March, the battle will be a fan voted event with no judges, with cash prizes awaiting winning bands (no word yet on if they'll remain $400, $200, and $100 for the top 3 bands.) Sets will again be 15 minutes in length, but this time, promoters are hoping for 8 acts, one more than in March, with no genre restrictions. Four acts (including two returnees) are now signed for the second Speak Easy Battle, but who will you be able to see?

The returning bands will be local alternative/hard rock trio Mike Haggith & The Din (in their first announced concert with their yet-to-be-revealed new guitarist), and in a mild surprise, solo indie/folk musician Jesse Merineau, whose battle set in March was his last before moving to Toronto. Good to see him back home, even if only for one gig, and hopefully he and The Din put on good sets! The other two announced bands include the returning local death/thrash metal band Pillory, in their Speak Easy and battle debut, and first concert in over a year & a half! Great to have them back as well, but given that the aforementioned co-promoter Jordan Leach is their new bassist, is there a conflict of interest worry here? As it's fan voted, I doubt it, but it's worth noting! The another announced band is Eclypse, who have yet to publically unveil their identity, sound, or online presence yet. I do know one band member, but I'll wait for public confirmation before getting into any details.

For reference, March's battle was won by Gnaeus with Long Shot and The Bear Hunters finishing second and third, and Infinity Grinder & Project 421 were the other competing bands, though no word on if any of them will be back. Four more bands are being sought for November's second battle, so if you're interested in signing up or getting more info, message Jordan (a.k.a. Whate Ver) at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Sunday! While I'd rather see a judges panel than a fan vote to avoid a popularity contest, it's great to see a second Speak Easy Battle, and so soon from the first, so check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for more as we approach November 19th!

Next up, here's some long overdue updates from Blood Shed Productions, so what's been going on with their some of their grind and death metal bands? In terms of solo act Crucify The Whore, the Tyler Gibson-led one man band posted 8 older songs on Bandcamp as the digital compilation "Old Stuff", possibly as a way to reintroduce fans to material not in current print, such as "I Like Shepherds Pie". Similarly, C.T.W.'s eight songs from the planned split release with Ohio "pornogrind" band Menstrual Munchies can be checked out at this link (no word on the other band's half of things), with some of those songs planned for a future full length-release. Lastly for new Bandcamp media, Tyler's "cybergrind" project Malignant Neoplasm posted a short 3 song digital EP named "Kittens Have Crustys" there as well featuring three short and peculiarly named songs. All three are available under "name your price" models, so you can have them for free or for any price.

Lastly, while Tyler's grind duo band Rotopsy have been quiet (outside of scattered private & house shows) since June, they revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that they're working on new studio material and will be playing at a yet-identified Halloween show (possibly meaning another Devil's Night Oddfellows concert?) Sounds like the Blood Shed is staying busy, and the new material will definitely appeal to grind lovers, so check everything out above, and stay tuned for more from them!

Finally, here's another cryptic recent video from AlgomA guitarist Boyd Rendell's YouTube channel, this time of him and ex-Rising Tide drummer Frank McCormick jamming in April! Called "OUT of the ether DOWN in das Bunker", it's credited to "two thirds of the rock group OAT", though I'm not sure if OAT were/are a functioning band or if this is just the chosen label for the video. Credited under false names, this is 8 minutes of improvised bass & drum jamming, and visually striking by the use of lens flares on Boyd's face, arms, and bass. Interesting listen, and it's nice to see Frank drumming again, so give this one a look below!

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