Friday, May 29, 2015

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril & Mourning Wood), A New Haggith Video, And More!!

We weren't expecting to have a second news post today, but with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for TONIGHT & TOMORROW, we rushed most of what would have been tomorrow's post for today. That said, be sure to check out today's first post featuring weekend concert previews and more updates below this post! Now, check everything else out, including more new shows, a video, and assored notes, below!

Local classic/hard rock cover trio Mourning Wood will return to The Rednecks Saloon for solo headlining concerts TONIGHT AND TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the very short notice, we only heard about these shows today via their Facebook event page. After the weekend off last week, it's great to see Terry, Steven, and T.J. back on stage at one of their favourite venues, but I still wish the guys would announce their concerts with more advance word. Note that the event page says that it's "been a couple of weeks" since they last played, so does that mean that their Thursday jam nights at Rednecks (which weren't plugged on Facebook in recent weeks) is now cancelled? We'll let you know if anything is said officially! In any event, this weekend's concerts both start at 10:00 PM, there's no announced cover, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Mourning Wood live last year!

Next up, here's the last of the known Kewadin Casino concerts that we heard about in recent days, as Traverse City classic metal trio Peril are coming back to both the Sault Michigan & St. Ignace Kewadin Casinos later this year! Last seen in the Easten Upper Peninsula in March, this popular veteran band will return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin on August 14th and 15th for the first time in over 4 months, while they'll end a 7 month break from the Soo when they rock The Rapids Lounge at that Kewadin branch on October 9th & 10th! It's odd to see such a gap between local shows (and seeing Peril only playing at Kewadin Casinos or in Boyne City since last year), but I'm sure local fans will welcome them back to our neck of the woods later this year! For reference, the new Kewadin dates are too late in the year to be on Kewadin's entertainment page yet, so our source is the band's website.

Also today, here's a new concert video from local alternative hard rock quartet Haggith, courtesy of the opening set at the Zaum concert at The Rednecks Saloon on May 11th! Just their second show with their current lineup, attendee Brandi Martel filmed their half hour set that night, with members' Din bandmate Brandan Glew editing it in post-production before making it to their YouTube channel on Tuesday. The six song set was evenly divided between tracks their first two "mainline" albums "Dragon Joy Ride" and "Deuce", both released during new guitarist Caleb Cachagee's original run with Haggith as their bassist, so they could showcase Caleb on familiar songs from that era. In order, the songs include "Leon the Janitor" (with "Story Of..." intro), "Clifton Hill", "Livin' It On The Run", "75", "Yesterday Frustration", and "No Cure For Insanity", and no, they haven't completely removed songs that Daniel Horton co-wrote.

Odd stage setup with bassist Jordan Leach placed up front way ahead of Caleb and Curtis McKenzie, but the guys sound good in this set, and fans of early Haggith material will definitely want to check this out! Nicely recorded, if a little dark, so give it a look below, stay tuned for more from Haggith and related projects, and check out our review of "Apocalypse" too!

Finally for 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:

  • Adding to their recent spate of out of town concert confirmations, local sludge metal trio AlgomA will make their Peterborough debut on Monday, June 22nd at The Spill! Peterborough-area bands will open, and hopefully the guys make some more fans in the process! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!
  • Local classic metal quartet Project 421 have reportedly found a new drummer to replace the departed Larry Mousseau, and "are now putting in the jam time" with him (or her?!), as per their Facebook page earlier today. However, they plan to wait until their next show (likely the Menstrual Munchies concert on June 25th) for the reveal of their identity, similarly to what they did regarding their first show and ex-singer Curtis McKenzie's own debut. If anything is said in advance though, we'll have it here!
  • The planned Rock In Steel Town concert at The Canadian featuring Sudbury Francophone blues rock band Patrick Wright es les Gauchistes and heavier local openers is now completely cancelled due to scheduling conflicts and to "make room for future events", as per promoter Jordan Leach on the Facebook event page yesterday. Originally scheduled for next Saturday before being indefinitely postponed, this is disappointing to hear, but hopefully the headliners get a chance to play here down the road!

That's all for today, but we'll see you guys TOMORROW NIGHT at The Algonquin Pub! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Lucky 13), More Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

As May winds to a close, here's a new news post for your Friday afternoon, including a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for TONIGHT, an extra concert preview for tomorrow, a local band's campaign to get on Rotaryfest, and some assorted recent updates, so here's what you need to know!

Following Havadder/Wishbone drummer Scott McLurg's sudden heart attack on Wednesday, a fundraiser headlined by fellow local cover hard rock quartet Lucky 13 will take place TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Originally scheduled to be a one-night-only Havadder gig due to tonght's Destroyer concert, what happened to Scott obviously knocked Havadder out of the show, but it's great to see Lucky 13 (featuring Scott's Wishbone/ex-Turner Up bandmate Jeff Gray) come on board on short notice to show their support! As such, this is a fundraiser concert, with proceeds going to Scott during his recovery and time off from work, so while a cover charge isn't stated there, bring money to donate no matter what. This is a 19+ concert, and a 10:30 PM start time is advertised. For more details on tomorrow's fundraiser, visit the official Facebook event page!

While it's unclear what all of this means for Havadder's short-term future, Scott's health is of the greatest concern right now, and at last word, he is currently in Toronto for further treatment. We again send out best wishes and hopes out to Scott and his family at this difficult time, and hopefully he's back better than ever when all is said and done! Consider showing up TOMORROW NIGHT to help Scott out, and for a preview, here's Lucky 13 live!

Meanwhile, there will be another fundraiser going on downstairs from The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT, as local punk/metal bands Destroilet & Jack Spades will hit the stage at The Algonquin Pub to raise money for their upcoming split album with Montreal hardcore punk legends The Ripcordz! The third show in Jack Spades frontman J.D. Pearce's Gonqshow concert series at The Algonquin, this joins the local bands' Kickstarter campaign to help fund the split plans, and while it's unclear if donations at the show will result in similar rewards as on Kickstarter, keep both in mind as ways to get this ambitious CD out as planned in the fall! Of extra note, this will be Destroilet's first concert appearance of 2015 and just their second with new co-lead singer Brenton Ellis, so if you haven't seen their new six-piece lineup, here's your chance! Opening tomorrow's show is local alternative hard rock trio The Pixo Control in their Algonquin debut, and their entertaining and skilled originals will set the tone nicely tomorrow night!

There will be a $5 cover charge (and donations accepted) for TOMORROW'S concert, which has a 10:00 PM start time and a 19+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an excellent concert, and hopefully the guys make a dent in their album funding plans when all is said and done! I will absolutely see everyone there tomorrow, and not just because I'll officially be 26 years old once midnight strikes, so come on down to The Algonquin for all of the action, and here's Destroilet live!

Also today, remember a couple years back when The Bear Hunters openly campaigned to try and get on the lineup on one of Rotaryfest's stages? Well, the local death metal favourites have resumed those plans via this petition on iPetition, where they're seeking 100 signatures to show that they have the support to play on Rotaryfest's Second Stage! Now, this is a bit of a surprise announcement, as we have yet to hear official word from The Rotary Club regarding either a return of the Second Stage (which went on hiatus last year due to sponsorship and funding decreases) or any cover bands for the first stage at Clergue Park, but if The Bear Hunters know something that we don't, the Second Stage's return would mark it's 10th installment in 2015. If it comes back, it remains to be seen if it will still be held on the outdoor Queen Street stage or not, but it'll presumably have new organizers given LopLops Lounge's focus on the second-year Emergency Festival.

We'll of course keep you guys posted when more is said regarding Rotaryfest's stage(s?) this year, but The Bear Hunters have arguably grown in prominence and skill since the last time they tried a fan campaign to get on our annual local summer festival's band lineup, so join me in signing the petition at this link! Only a few more to go!

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

  • The Emergency Festival has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help fund this year's second installment of the annual summer concert festival, to take place downtown on August 15th. They're seeking $10,000 for assorted costs in running the festival and paying bands, so if you're interested in helping out, visit the above links! Note that the page indicates that there will be a "licensed ticketed area" along with free stages this year, but we await details on stage locations and lineups.
  • The Menstrual Munchies-headlined concert in Sault Ontario on June 25th will no longer be hosted at The Oddfellows Hall, as per co-promoter Tyler Gibson on the Facebook event page on Monday. A reason for the move wasn't announced, but it may be for similar reasons to the cancellation of last month's Dank Fest II due to unspecified "contract issues." In any event, a replacement venue is to be announced, and we'll let you know when we do!
  • This doesn't bear directly on the local punk scene, but local independent label Tidal Records have launched their own skateboarding team! Not a bad idea to expand their reach and name, so if you're a skateboarder or fan of the sport, give everything a look at the above links! Also, note that one of their first four sponsored riders is Id Iota frontman Christian Lemay.

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The First Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Before we get into this post, I'll send our best wishes to Havadder drummer Scott McLurg, who had a heart attack yesterday, as per personal Facebook postings. He's currently in hospital, and of course, we wish him a speedy recovery at this difficult time! With that said, the Havadder concert on Saturday at The Rockstar Bar, but a fundraiser replacement show has been announced, and we'll cover that in tomorrow's post, so stay tuned! Now, today's first weekend concert preview post tackles shows from TONIGHT through Saturday, with one nighters on Saturday coming tomorrow. Now, here's what you need to know!

We'll start with local classic/hard rock trio Mourning Wood, who will presumably be rocking The Rednecks Saloon for week #11 of their weekly jam night there TONIGHT! I will again give the caveat that, as of this writing, there has been no public announcement via the band or venue relating to any shows this week nor have I seen a personal Facebook page plug, but given the usual short notice nature of their show announcements and sporadic updates of their Facebook page, we'll treat it as on unless stated otherwise. Like before, we'll approach potential gigs this weekend or in June when/if the band confirms them, so we'll let you know if we hear anything either way. If tonight's jam night is on, look for the guys to rock out in their usual diverse and often heavy style, with fans in attendance welcome to bring their instruments and jam on stage along with Mourning Wood, so keep this all in mind!

If still on, there's a 9:30 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 19+ start time, so for more details, visit the above links and this older Facebook event page, and for a preview, here's Mourning Wood live at Toystock last fall!

Next up, here's something for you Kiss Army members, as Destroyer, Canada's premier Kiss tribute band, will make their long awaited return to the Soo TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! Making (at least) their third headlining appearance in our neck of the woods, this will be Destroyer's first local show since rocking The Rockstar Bar in July 2013, so if you've missed their faithful and high quality version of the live Kiss experience, you won't want to miss out on TOMORROW'S show in the midst of their 20th anniversary tour! Unlike most tribute band concerts here, there will be local openers, as local classic/hard rock quartet Griphook will hit the stage for the first time in two months (and first time at this venue of 2015) to kick off this concert! It' great to see Joel, Brian, Dan, and Tony back on stage, especially given their sporadic recent scheduling, so don't be late so you can see them too!

A 10:30 PM start time is announced for this 19+ show, which has $12 advance tickets on sale at The Algonquin Hotel, though the price jumps to $16 if you buy at the door. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! In their milestone year, it's great to welcome Destroyer back to Sault Ontario, so if you want the best, you'll get the next best thing tomorrow night! For a preview, here's Destroyer tackling Kiss' "Love Gun" in 2013!

Also this weekend is longtime Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's expected returns to The Harp Bar & Grill TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT, as his ongoing weekly run there marches forward! Now pushing a year & a half of his arrangement at the former Madison's Pub, his acoustic hard rock covers should once again prove to be solid entertainment for patrons and fans at this central venue this weekend! Also, we'll approach confirmed dates in June when we get confirmations for next weekend (and beyond?), so keep posted! Like usual for Tym's Harp shows, there's no announced cover charge, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time is likely. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and here's Tym covering Heart!

Finally for today, we'll take a trip south to St. Ignace, Michian, where Sault Michigan classic/hard rock quartet Highway 63 will hit the stage for shows at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! These will be this popular newer band's first shows in St. Ignace in two months, and they come just a week after the Switzers and company rocked the Sault Kewadin. This talented quartet should be up to their usual tricks this weekend, and with their wide cover knowledge and grittysound, you won't want to miss out if you're in the E.U.P.! Like usual for Kewadin Casino concerts at their lounges, there are 9:00 PM start times in effect, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits. For more details, visit the above links, and here's Highway 63 live last year!

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

Haggith - "Apocalypse" Review!!

It's now time for our newest montly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene (our 71st total), as we're finally taking a look at local hard rock/grunge quartet Haggith's second CD "Apocalypse", in honour of the release of it's sequel earlier this month! Released on November 23rd, 2012 during their fundraiser concert that night at the Bushplane Museum, "Apocalypse" was self-produced and recorded earlier that year at PaperClip Productions, and while it's their second full length album, it wasn't recorded in the "mainline" format seen on "Dragon Joy Ride" and "Deuce". This album was primarily recorded by Mike Haggith on drums, lead vocals, and guitar alongside the now departed Daniel Horton on guitar & bass, with both sharing keyboard duty on most tracks. As well, usual frontman Curtis McKenzie sings on and co-wrote 3 songs, current guitarist Caleb Cachagee made his studio debut with Haggith on bass on "If You Get Out Alive", and "Fin (Part 1)" features guest backing vocals by Taylor Emlaw.

Primarily wrote and arranged by Daniel and Mike, "Apocalypse" is available through the band for just $5 and may be available at their concerts, but it's online copy on Bandcamp is available on a "name your price" model. It can also be streamed for free there and on YouTube, but please buy "Apocalypse" to support the band and their work! Each song title below is linked to it's YouTube copy as well. Featuring 44 minutes of music across 14 songs, let's begin this review! In terms of the "Apocalypse" concept, the band outlines it as being the story of Mike Haggith (playing himself), an astronaut who returns to Earth, now ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, and his choices and realizations once he discovers the scope of the infection (no wonder the album lent itself well to Haggith's past Zombie Walk appearances!) As this is a track by track review, there will be spoilers of the story, so note that before proceeding.

The album kicks off with "What Happens In Vegas...", which features backing noise and sound effects seemingly from a Las Vegas casino, before Mike delivers a speech about his upcoming space flight during what appears to be a celebratory party for him. This is more of a framing device for the songs and story to come, as it's not a song, but it does set the early optimistic mood well! Second is the first true song on the album, "Days", a minimalistic song apparently during Mike's space voyage, and it's a nice softer ballad from his point of view featuring him on vocals & drums, and Daniel on guitar. It builds well and has that sort of feel of being alone with your thoughts, but the vocal melody can be a little shaky, and the mix of the guitars can be a little loud. Solid progression of the story though!

The song continues right into the next one, "Chaos in the Streets of Aftermath", which seems to take place once Mike returns to Las Vegas in the story. A tenser and heavier song than it's predecessor despite some very out of place keyboard melodies, it's the first of two instrumental tracks on "Apocalypse", and it gives the vibe of being out of one's element, as he did come home to an apocalypse, but that keyboard work is distracting and takes away from the mood until the last 40 seconds, which have more of a synthesized eeriness to them. The short "Red Car" is next, which is another softer song from Mike's point of view about wanting to go home and observing what has happened to his immediate surroundings. It's a little uneven, and it doesn't stand on it's own very well, but it progresses the story well to the four part song to come!

Next is the 12+ minute suite of "Home" songs, which are broken up into 4 parts. "Home (Part 1)" opens after samples of little girls calling for their daddy, but the song soon takes a dark turn as Mike arrives in his apocalypse-devastated hometown, uncredited by name in the song. Featuring a very Metallica-esque sound (the opening riff even sounds like "For Whom The Bell Tolls"), this song is arguably the heaviest work I've ever heard from Mike as a lead singer, and while the Metallica comparison remains stuck in my head, it's solidly performed, and has the sound most fitting of a "full" band so far! The 73 second "Home (Part 2)" is more of the discovery that Mike was too late to come home before the apocalypse, and is just a very soft, minimal passage that works best as a bridge between parts of "Home". On it's own, there's not a lot there to really support itself.

"Home (Part 3)" is the longest of the suite,  and spends it's first half in experimental keyboard effects, which almost feel like Mike's mental processes at work as he realizes what's happened to his home, before transitioning into a soft and downbeat guitar melody with backing keyboard work, with the last minute featuring quiet harmony vocals from Mike. Given where the story has taken Mike (the astronaut), this is fittingly melancholy, but it ends in heavier territory on "Home (Part 4)", reprising the basic sound and aggression of "Part 1", concluding with Mike's departure in his car and a subsequent car crash, though he does exit the vehicle. The "Home" suite is well done and it nicely comes full circle, but I wonder how it would have turned out if written around the five stages of grief?

The ninth song on "Apocalypse" is "If You Get Out Alive", which is the first song featuring regular Haggith frontman Curtis McKenzie, and is the only one with then-bassist Caleb Cachagee, so this is the only chance on the album to hear Haggith's classic 2013-era lineup in full. Starting with the sound of walking before the song begins, this is the first non-instrumental that isn't from Mike's direct point of view, but it is seemingly about Mike's odyssey and quest to stay alive. Curtis' vocals are a little held back here, but the guys show their solid chemistry on this track, with Daniel's guitar strong as usual, and Caleb making a good first impression on bass! This song arguably fits in the best with Haggith's early concert repertoire as well, so if you loved "Deuce" in particular, than "If You Get Out Alive" will be right up your alley! It could have been a tiny bit darker though.

Next is "The Choice", which returns to Mike's first person thoughts as he hides from the zombies, and debates what choice he should make about his future: stay on what's became of Earth, or leave everything behind (Spoiler: he chooses the latter.) A guitar ballad with melodic and well-phrased thoughts about his plight, it stands up on it's own better than some of the earlier "Mike's reflection" songs, and isn't as shaky in the process, so it's a highlight for this style on the CD!

That's followed by "Fin (Part 1)", the first of a two part, 9+ minute suite that sandwiches a bridge track that we'll talk about in a second. The second of three songs with Curtis on lead vocals, it's about Mike's plans to leave Earth, and it effectively represents the melancholy nature of such a choice, while Taylor Emlaw's guest backing vocals do fit the song fairly well! However, fans of the earlier melodic or heavier material on "Apocalypse" may be put off by the slow, deliberate pacing. The 95 second "Liftoff" comes next, which is strictly of sound effects of a spaceship take-off, as Mike's character is a space pilot, so how else would he leave Earth? Though not a song, it does the job to further the story and lead into the second half of "Fin"! It is worth noting also that "Liftoff" is the only track on the CD that Daniel isn't credited for writing or arranging.

"Fin (Part 2)" is next on "Apocalypse", and is the longest song on the album if counted separately from "Part 1". Opening with Mike's spoken word observations of why he left Earth for space, alongside droning, almost doom metal-style vocals over-top of ominous, slow-paced instrumentation. The second half of the song features processed sung and spoken word vocals from Curt in his last appearance on the CD, which somewhat give the vibe of reception being lost as a the ship travels further away, but I'm unsure if that was the intention. On the whole, "Fin" is dark and explores Mike's ultimate decision to solid effect! The album closes with "Final Recorded Seconds of Intelligent Life", which is an album-low 65 seconds long, but is effectively a reprise of "The Choice" as Mike sends his last message before committing suicide, which will let him be free. Definitely a downer ending, but at least his character ended things on his own terms!

So, what are my final thoughts on "Apocalypse"? As a pure album, I do prefer "Dragon Joy Ride" the most of their first three CDs, but the songwriting, themes, and detail put into this concept album make it worth listening to as a full experience! With the exception of "If You Get Out Alive" and "Fin", this album is less of a Haggith CD and more of a soundtrack to a dark, apocalyptic musical from Daniel and Mike, and on that basis, it does exactly what it's supposed to do! They crafted an interesting and challenging album that takes you from happiness to anger to reflection and contemplation of one's fate, and while there isn't as much of a direct presence of zombies as you might expect, the vibe is there! It would have been nice to have seen Curtis and Caleb involved more, and some songs are a little shaky vocally, but as a pure concept rock opera, I'm a fan!

There's enough different sounds here for anyone to find something they'll like, but I firmly recommend listening to this album from start to finish, rather than individual tracks, so you can appreciate the story and the work put into it (and check out "Apocalypse II" to continue the story.) Check out "Apocalypse" at the above links, and I hope you guys liked this CD's album review! So, what album is being reviewed on the SMS next month? I'm not sure as of this writing, but stay tuned for info on possible album releases in Tuesday's next "Where Are The New Albums?" post! New local metal, hard rock, or punk albums would obviously get precedence, but if none come out, we would dip into our archives for an older review, hopefully tied in with an artist playing locally next month..Due to our 6 month anti-bias buffer, our next review will not be of a Haggith, Treble Charger, Telephone & Address, or SweetKenny album.

Also, while it can now be streamed in full online, Mike Haggith's own solo album "The Warinside" is awaiting it's formal paid release next month, hence why we're not rushing it for June, as we don't want to jump the gun in the unlikely event that his release party is postponed or cancelled. In any event, look for our next CD review next month, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews next! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A New Local Band, The Danger Cats' Future, And Mike Haggith Updates!!

Before we tackle weekend concert previews and our next CD review, let's touch on some news and notes from the Sault Ontario side of the border, including big updates on an upcoming album and release concert, and a popular local band's apparent final weeks, but first, here's a new local band you may recognize from some recent concert announcements!

Remember Id Iota, the new band debuting at The Algonquin Pub next Friday? Well, they finally have a Facebook page, so we can tell you more about them! Their lineup features ex-Free Beer frontman Christian Lemay (of Shaw TV fame) and guitarist Dustin Goodall alongside bassist Justin Girardi (who I couldn't find recent band credits for) and ex-Dirty Few drummer Blair St. John. You may recognize all but Justin from the band Habitat Shuffle, who released an EP last year alongside fellow Free Beer alum Ryan Gray, but they never played live, and judging by the quiet deletion of their Facebook page, that project is presumably now defunct. There's no clear indications yet of Id Iota's sound, but for what it's worth, Habitat Shuffle played more of an alternative rock sound than Free Beer's old ska-punk material, but if they skew close to either, they'll fit the SMS well!

Recently seen recording material at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios, Id Iota will join fellow debuting local band Caroline Divine (more info forthcoming) at both next Friday's Gonqshow event and at the next day's Lopstock II at LopLops Lounge, as they're the last and newest announced band, and are in the opening 1:00 PM timeslot (source here.) It's great to see Id Iota getting a quick start to the concert game where Habitat Shuffle didn't, so stay tuned for more on them as it rolls in, and they're now in our band links, with their predecessors moved to our inactive links, albeit under their Bandcamp page now!

Next up, it looks like local all-female hard rock/punk quartet The Danger Cats are disbanding in the near future. As per a post on their Facebook page on Monday, the girls revealed that their set at the Archaics-headlined concert at The New American Pub this coming Monday will be our "last chance to see a full set" from them, even referring to it as their "last hurrah", though they are still playing halftime mini-sets at the Border Brawl roller derby event on June 13th. Though not stated there, the breakup is at least partially due to frontwoman Kate Kougar's upcoming move to London, and they'll presumably be removed from the lineup of October's Dusty Tucker concert at The Rednecks Saloon as well. I was hopeful that The Danger Cats would stay active in some form after Kate's move, but they've had a good run that's seen them get lots of positive attention and quickly rise in the local scene since their 2013 debut!

Hopefully everyone stays active in music after next month's shows, and best of luck to Kate, Paula, Jamie, Katie, and Summer in whatever comes next, but they're not done yet, so make sure to see the girls before it's too late on Monday and on June 13th!

Finally for this post, we'll touch on some recent updates relating to prolific local hard rock musician Mike Haggith including the latest on his upcoming studio album "The Warinside" and it's release party on Friday, July 3rd at The Rednecks Saloon, so what should you know? In terms of the release show's lineup, local solo musician Micheal Husband is the surprise final opener for the show, and he'll kick off the night's events at 9:30 PM. He is credited as among the PaperClip Productions artist roster, and he's apparently a singer/guitarist, but we don't know much about him at this point. This should be a good showcase for him though! Instead of the announced three opening bands, there will only be two (Micheal and jazz rockers The Wild Iris), as headliners Mike Haggith & The Din will instead play two sets: one of them playing "The Warinside" from start to finish, and the other of extra originals and covers, not unlike what The Bear Hunters did in November.

Also, spellings of the album's name as "The Warrenside" are frequent on Facebook, but that is reportedly just an inside joke that is explained in the album booklet, and the CD's title's spelling is officially still "The Warinside". Ticket prices have also been announced, and they'll be $5 in advance, $7 at the door, or $10 for admission + a CD upon entry, though details on ticket availability will be announced in the near future. This is by far the biggest launch ever given to a Mike Haggith solo album, and everything sounds like it's shaping up well, so keep everything in mind for July 3rd, and see the above links for more details! As for "The Warinside" itself, Mike has uploaded final copies of the remaining songs from the album ("Out Of My League", "30", and as embedded below, "Someday") onto his YouTube channel, complete with a full playlist of the full album to boot! For reference, Mike's Haggith/Din bandmate Curtis McKenzie assists in the production on all 3 songs, and guest performs on all but "Someday".

We won't review these songs here yet, as we plan to review "The Warinside" in full this summer (likely in July after the release show), but check out the new songs and full streaming copy of the album above and below, and for you Haggith fans, look for our review of "Apocalypse" by week's end!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Haggith CD review, weekend concert previews, and more in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Dookies

It's now time for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, as we once again spotlight a band that's not from here, but featured a past or present Sault Ste. Marie-area resident in any of their lineups! This month's selection features a very familiar face covering very familiar songs, so check out this month's profile in this monthly feature series below, and check out our latest news post from this morning below this profile!
The Dookies (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED)

Mikey Hawdon (vocals/guitar)
Matt Leitch (bass)
Darrin Pfieffer (drums)

Official Facebook group:

Local Info: Dookies frontman Mikey Hawdon is arguably one of the most familiar and experienced faces in the local punk scene thanks to his extensive band work locally and in Toronto as both a frontman and drummer in numerous projects. Likely best known as the drummer for The Inner City Surfers and singer for Lion Ride, Mikey is also familiar from past work with bands like Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide, Bin Hawdon & the Taliband, Detroit, Tha Bombed Squad, and numerous others. Currently living in Toronto, you can see Mikey there in his original punk band The Fairmounts and their Ramones/Joan Jett tribute side project The Merves, not to mention his other active punk tribute band, The Dookies!

Band Bio: One of two active punk tribute bands fronted by Mikey Hawdon, The Dookies obviously pay tribute to Green Day, and have a fittingly familiar lineup, with Mikey joined by Crush Luther's Matt Leitch and Goldfinger's Darrin Pfieffer, both of which having national hit songs with their main bands. Debuting on stage at The Port in Barrie in March 2012, The Dookies would make their only local appearances to date at The Rockstar Bar that April & October, joining an array of Southern Ontario concerts during that timeframe. Due to Darrin's move to Los Angeles in early 2013, bookings have slowed down since then, but The Dookies still play the occasional concert, most recently in Toronto last summer, while they'll return to the stage on June 19th at next month's annual Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec.

Like The Merves, The Dookies deliver a faithful sound to the original band with a fun live atmosphere, though I'll concede that Mikey's not a perfect vocal match for Billie Joe Armstrong. He, Matt, and Darrin are all experienced pros that know these songs inside & out, and they're always a fun time, especially if you like Green Day already, so consider checking The Dookies out if possible, especially as they often cover their namesake album "Dookie" in full! As a tribute band, online media is limited to videos from their concerts, but I wonder how the guys would sound in an original project? YouTube user fromstephtolast has videos from one of The Dookies' local shows, but the audio is scratchy on them. Arguably the best place for Dookies videos is Mikey's own YouTube channel,  which has a number of 2012-era clips, including this one from that September in Toronto!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll stay in the punk realm for a look at The Sunk'n City Gypsys, a British Columbia "folk/punk/grass" band that formerly featured Honest Job frontman Mister Tahti in their lineup, so look for that on or around June 26th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for news, concert previews, and this month's CD review in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Emergency Festival Lineup News, Plus Some New Videos!!

Before we get this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile up on the site, let's touch on some news so we don't fall too behind. Today's news post features some new video finds from each side of the border, but first, some early lineup announcements for a returning summer concert festival, so here's what you should know!

The first lineup announcements have been made for the second annual Emergency Festival on Saturday, August 15th! The LopLops Lounge-promoted concert & arts festival (that more or less replaced Rotaryfest's Second Stage) will once again welcome numerous local and out of town artists back downtown for another year, so who all is playing so far? Punk and hard rock fans will notice alt-rock trio The Pixo Control & post-punk quartet Gnaeus (both from last year's Shock stage) and local indie/punk quintet Northwest among the announced bands, and it's nice to have them all on board! The out of town lineup is completely different (so far) from last year, including Toronto folk duo The Sunparlour Players, Alberta reggae band Tasman Jude, Toronto/Calgary indie rockers The Fast Romantics, Thunder Bay rock quintet The Poor Young Things, and Saskatoon country musician Zachary Lucky, many of which will be familiar from past local concerts. Though nothing "heavy", there's lots of talent to go around!

More artists are to be announced, as are performance venues, hence why we aren't calling The Emergency as a concert on here yet. For reference, last year's event featured three outdoor stages on Queen Street (the main stage for headlining bands, and two mainly for solo performers), and the indoor "Shock" stage in LopLops Lounge for local rock bands, so the same might apply here. For reference, a planned stage name this year is "Triage", which is being booked by Ears & Eyes Online's Jackson Reed, but again, we're waiting for official word on stage locations and lineups. Also expected like last year to have local arts vendors, beer tents, and FREE & ALL AGES admission, this will likely begin again in the late morning with music and entertainment all day, so be sure to stay tuned at The Emergency's Facebook page for full and future details as they come in!

It's great to see The Emergency Festival back for year 2, and after the positive response to last year's event, hopefully everyone at LopLops sees an even bigger turnout and reception for the sequel! Stay tuned as we hear more on where bands are playing, and for future lineup announcements!

We'll close today with new videos, including footage of Sault Michigan cover rock band The London Gentlemen covering some familiar songs at a wedding last year! Though this popular area band does cover the occasional heavy tune, posted media mostly points to general and indie rock covers, but given that their lineup includes Nixxon Dixxon alums Kyle Beaumont & Jake Lalonde, plus the extremely talented Mike Libertoski on guitar, you know the talent's there no matter what sound! Fronted by Fallen Heroes alum Mike Russo, 40 minutes of video from a wedding that The London Gentlemen played at in January 2014 at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino can be seen at the band's YouTube channel, and while I can't make out every song due to the audio quality and vocal levels, the first video includes covers of The Marshall Tucker Band, The Black Keys, and Blind Melon, among others.

Embedded below is the second video from their wedding show, including covers of Imagine Dragons and Foster the People, but punk fans will especially want to check out their solid cover of Sublime's "Santeria" about 7 minutes in! None of the songs here are badly done, but the video quality is mixed at best, and the camera is oddly distant from the stage (also, it's too bad more people weren't dancing, given that this was a wedding gig.) Check out these London Gentlemen videos above & below, and stay tuned in case we find more hard rock or punk covers from them!

Finally, here's the latest videos from ex-Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy's personal YouTube channel! One is from February (apologies for the delay on this making the site) and it's a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again" alongside guest singer Jon Scott, who had also featured on Alex's Kodaline cover from last year. Solid performance of this softer number, and both guys handle their parts well! Alex's newest video (embedded below) is a cover of Dustin Lynch's "Hell of a Night", which is uniquely staged as a music video with Alex playing and singing in outdoor locales, including a beach. A country cover is a little unique considering Alex's usual cover range, but he handles this one well with an improving vocal range and nice guitar work! Check out Alex's newest videos above and below, and stay tuned for more videos from him when posted!

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