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Wide range of great shows competing on music scene

Posted on November 6, 2013 by Lethbridge Sun Times

There are a lot of great shows happening this week which all compete with each other.

First of all, Kyprios as well as Animal Nation and guests will be bringing their Ghost Bus Tour to Scores, Nov. 8. It is a fundraiser for DJ Booda’s family. Booda was a beloved concert promoter and DJ who passed away in August. L-Rev, F-Bomb, Rational, Relic and Lozen are also on the bill. Tickets cost $15 in advance. The show begins at 9 p.m. All the proceeds will go to James “DJ Booda” Nishima’s family.

The Geomatic Attic also has their last show for a few months on Nov. 6 as they bring back Steve Coffey and the Lokels with Tin and the Toad and Petunia. Tickets cost $32.50. The show begins at 8 p.m. on the dot.

It is also a great week for country music. Unfortunately two of the bigger shows take place on the same day. Hey Romeo plays Casino Lethbridge, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., while Emerson Drive plays Average Joe’s at 9 p.m. There is no charge for Hey Romeo, though tickets for Emerson Drive cost $35.

Both shows are competing with the big rock show of the week as the Zolas return to Lethbridge with Hollerado and Pup who all play the Slice, Nov. 7.

It’s an excellent week for local country acts as well. The Coal Creek Boys play Casino Lethbridge at 8 p.m each night on Friday and Saturday. That competes with Dave McCann and the Firehearts who return to the Slice, Nov. 8. Tickets for that show are $10.

For something a little different, Calgary-based Devonian Gardens play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with the Yeah Dads on Nov. 8.

Also on the indie rock side of things, Toronto cowpunk/rock band July Talk play the Slice, Nov. 10. That competes with a cool event at the Holiday Bowl. Lebowski Fest, named of course for the world’s most famous slacker, the dude from the cult Coen brothers’ hit movie “The Big Lebowski,” takes place Nov. 10.

There will be performances by Autobahn a.k.a. the Raw Dogs and, of course, free bowling. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

If you want to rock, Sean Brewer’s new band Tallest to Shortest play the Slice Nov. 9. They are a straight-ahead rock band combining members of several Edmonton bands including the Uncas and Red Ram.

The Zolas are having a blast touring Canada with Hollerado. The Vancouver-based indie rock band are riding high on last year’s CD “Ancient Mars.”

They return to Lethbridge to play the Slice Nov. 7 with Hollerado and Pup.

“It’s a beautiful day in Montreal. Things have been a little charmed on this tour,” said the Zolas’ Zach Gray, who along with Tom Dobrzanski make up the core of the band.

“We’ve been running into ex-lovers here in Montreal, so it’s been nice to sit down and have a beer with them,” he said.

They are enjoying the 30-some tour dates with Hollerado.

“They’re our closest friends. At this point we could just step in and play each other’s songs. Because we all know the parts so well,” he said, adding they have done that on this tour, each performing their own sets.

They are still touring on their CD “Ancient Mars” which was released last year.

“Response to it has just snowballed. We didn’t expect to be touring on it a year after it came out,” he enthused. “But we don’t tour on albums anymore. We just tour the band.”

“We’re still playing songs from the album and older songs and just play whatever we feel like,” he continued.

He estimated it has been a year since the Zolas played Lethbridge.

“There will be lots of pyrotechnics and the bass player comes out of a giant animatronic spider. And there are dancers in cages and a bear in a cage until the end when the dancer and the bear are dancing in the same cage,” he laughed.

“I’m stoked about playing Lethbridge. I’m going to play a lot of Big Buck Hunter and meet the girl with the WIld Turkey tattoo under her lip,” he said.

The show begins at the Slice at 9 p.m., Nov. 7. Tickets are $25.

Calgary’s Devonian Gardens have finally released their long-awaited new album “Solar Shift,” which they recorded with Jay Crocker.

“We’re keeping quiet this week, because we had the CD release party last week,” said vocalist Danny Vescarelli.

They feature a pair of 12 string guitars played by Danny Vescarelli as well as vocalist Marie Sulkowski, who also plays keyboards.

“Marie had one and was playing it and started passing it around the studio. It seemed to move with the direction of the music. Even Ryan played it so there are actually three 12 strings on the CD,” he said.

They released a cassette of the new music as well as digital copies last week.

“We’ve been working on this album for a long time, since fall 2011 though only one song from then is on the album,” he said.

They play the Owl Acoustic Lounge Nov. 8 with the Yeah Dads.

Most of the CD came together after playing the Halifax Pop Explosion.

“Jay Crocker lives out there, so we tacked the recording onto the end of that,” he continued, adding they recorded the rest of it on one of Crocker’s visits out west.

They have a long relationship with Crocker, who recorded the band when they were called Deadhorse as well as recorded bassist Ryan Bourne’s solo album.

They enjoy working with Crocker.

“He offers a fresh perspective and he has lots of vintage gear and he has half-inch tape, which is hard to find. You get a really nice sound from it,” he said. “We come in with the songs and the mojo and he packages it. But he’s more than just a producer. It’s a collaboration. He doesn’t just push record,” he enthused.

There is no cover for the show which begins at the Owl Acoustic Lounge at appoximately 9 p.m.

Edmonton musician Sean Brewer has more bands on the go than fingers.

He was playing with Treeline on their last CD, “Prairie Sentimentalist,” but also plays in hard-rock trio Red Ram.

He will be bringing his new project, Tallest to Shortest, to the Slice to play with the Dirti Speshuls on Nov. 9.

“It’s more punk than metal,” said Brewer, recovering from the Uncas’ annual reunion show in Edmonton.

The band is a bit of a supergroup including Mark Feduk who plays in both Red Ram and the Uncas as well as Cory Motz from the Fails on drums and Steve Hutchinson, who also plays in MMberta.

“Basically these are the dudes I grew up with who can party as hard as I can. They can keep up with me,” he said.

“The Uncas were kind of a rockabilly and country band. Or ‘cowpunk’ is the term, so we just dropped the country and just played tock and roll,” he continued.

“We sing a lot of nonsensical stuff, but it makes sense to us,” he continued.

“We’re pretty damned high energy. People are a bit sheepish when they follow us, which it shouldn’t be that way. You shouldn’t ever have trepidation when playing a show,” he said, adding they opened for the Sheepdogs and many other bands

The show begins at the Slice at approximately 9 p.m.

Toronto-based county/rock/indie rock band July Talk is a study in contrasts between co-frontpersons Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay.

“We have two very different voices. We’re two very opposite forces which is important to present two sides of the story,” described Dreimanis, watching the updates of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged crack smoking tape unfold.

July Talk play the Slice, Nov. 10 with Thomas D’Arcy. Tickets are $10.

“The July Talk sound is definitely different. I look at it as a conversation between the two of us. It’s black and white but all five us fill in the grey. It’s chaotic and dramatic. We present the two sides of a conversation. But we’re definitely about catching people off guard,” he said.

The band formed after Dreimanis met Leah Fay at a guitar pull in a Toronto basement bar and immediately took to her voice and her music. They formed July Talk soon afterwards.

Ian Docherty, Josh Warburton and Danny Miles complete the band.

Dreimanis grew up in Edmonton, which is where some of the band’s country influences come from.

“I definitely grew up with barn-burning setting. But there is plenty of rock and roll. When I grew up we’d have bands like the Constantines coming through town and I’d go to see them,” he said.

July Talk and Thomas D’Arcy play the Slice, Nov. 10 at approximately 9:30 p.m.

There is a $10 cover for the show.

Reviews

Hot Halloween night with Shred Kelly and Delhi 2 Dublin at Inferno

Shred Kelly and Delhi 2 Dublin rang in Halloween at Inferno, Oct. 31, with a “great, sweaty, spandex dance” according to Shred Kelly singer Sage McBride.

Shred Kelly, dressed up as American Gladiators, were up first and got the costumed crowd pumped up, jumping up and down in front of the stage to the sound of hyper-energetic folk and rock music featuring lots of banjo, guitar, bass and drums.

They played a lot of the songs from their CD “In The Hills” and introduced a couple of new songs featuring grinning banjo player and vocalist Tim Newton playing some ukulele on them.

“New Black” and “Cabin Fever” were highlights as usual as was “The Bear” during which McBride and one of the band members had a brief American Gladiators battle in front of the stage, though I couldn’t make out with which one through the mass of pirates, cute cats, cops, mad scientists and assorted ghouls, gremlins and zombies.

Sage McBride played keyboards and looked blissed out as usual as she sang lead vocals on most of the songs.

I missed most of Delhi 2 Dublin’s closing set as I went to the Owl to see Go for the Eyes, but it was full of energy, lots of fine fiddle playing and a lot of sweaty, costumed dancers in front of the stage.

They did a little rap and added a lot of East Indian percussion.

Go For the Eyes go zombie for Halloween

Calgary’s Go for the Eyes celebrated Halloween at the Owl Acoustic Lounge for a pretty sparse audience, Oct. 31.

They were dressed as white-faced zombies which made them look similar to spook punk band the Misfits.

Elise Roller played keyboards and sang beautifully as usual with her big, bluesy voice.

Guitarist Jeff Turner supplied lots of guitar riffs and hooks while bassist Scott Perrin and drummer Nathan Raboud laid down a solid groove.

They played the song they played during the Calgary Stampeders’ halftime show which the Stampeders requested, but didn’t give the song title.

Turner sang a song for “anyone dressed as a pirate” and they ended their set with Elise Roller asking for a shot of whiskey and singing a song about it before ending with her taking up Turner’s guitar and playing some noisy slide with the shot glass.

Deep Dark Woods hypnotize audience

The Deep Dark Woods returned to Lethbridge to play a trimmed-down show at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 30. It was supposed to be at the Lethbridge College Barn but due to low ticket sales, it was moved to the Geomatic Attic

That worked out well as the approximately 100 people at the show would have looked like hell in a bigger venue like the Barn.

Besides, their really mellow, hypnotic, country/folk groove is better suited to a smaller, more intimate venue like the Geomatic Attic. They still had a handful of girls swaying and dancing in the aisles to their songs. They were in a really quiet mood. Their music included lots of exceptional organ and frontman Ryan Boldt had a hypnotic baritone that almost put me to sleep. The band grooved together and sounded like a mix of Wilco and the Band on morphine.

They picked up the tempo in a couple places, but were content to stay in their laid back groove for most of the set I saw. One of the more mid tempo highlights had a guitar hook reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My.”

Sit Down Servant brings gospel blues to Scores

Gordie Johnson, best known for fronting Big Sugar, is not afraid to experiment and whatever he does, it turns out sounding pretty cool. He brought his new duo Sit Down Servant, featuring Big Sugar drummer Stephane Beaudin, to Scores, Oct. 29. And sure enough, it was pretty cool and unlike anything else you may have seen before.

“We are strictly here to freak you out,” Johnson rumbled to begin his show. And he was as good as his word. He sat behind an array of instruments including a mouth organ/mini-keyboard, Moog bass pedals, a collection of guitar effects and three steel guitars, none of which he made sound anything remotely like country music which is what steel guitars are mostly known for.

He laid down a hypnotic, spacey groove incorporating a lot of blues, Hawaiian music and gospel with just a touch of reggae. That’s where the mouth organ/mini keyboard came came in. He made the steel guitars sigh and moan and hiss and groan all the while stomping out a reggae groove on his bass pedals. Meanwhile, Beaudin kept up, injecting copious amounts of jazz into his drumming.

For the more reggae-infused songs, he blew into a tube on this unusual mouth organ, which looks like a child’s toy, to add horn and accordion sounds to the music.

He didn’t sing on very many of the songs, but when he did, it was on the gospel songs and more straight-ahead blues for which he played slide guitar on a Les Paul.

Some of the more bluesy highlights form their album were “Tired All The Time” and “Blackbird Bakery Pie Blues,” though they played most of the album.

He also sung a stunning jam of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” after which he played the same melody with reggae twist on the steel guitar.

One of his steel guitars sounded like an East Indian Mohan Veena. For the opposite to that he even played some Pink Floyd on the steel guitar.

“It’s no secret that I learned off Mahalia Jackson’s albums,” he said in one of the few times he addressed the enraptured crowd other than to thank them for listening; he followed it up by playing an instrumental of one of those songs.

He finished off the show by playing a hot version of “When The Levee Breaks” on steel guitar.

Matthew Robinson and friends opened the show.

Nov. 6

NAAG — uncensored improv with the Drama Nutz

Ric’s Grill — James Oldenburg

Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A Beat open jam

Geomatic Attic — Steve Coffey and the Lokels with Tin and Toad and Petunia $32.50

Nov. 7

Slice — Hollerado and the Zolas with Pup

Average Joe’s — Emerson Drive $35 9 p.m.

Casino Lethbridge — Hey Romeo

Nov. 8

Casino Lethbridge — Coal Creek Boys

Wolf’s Den — Bluegrass Jam

Jimmy’s Pub — open mic

Slice — Dave McCann and the Firehearts $10

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Devonian Gardens with the Yeah Dads

Nov. 9

Casino Lethbridge — Coal Creek Boys

Ric’s Grill — Cal Toth

Slice — Tallest to Shortest

Nov. 10

The Slice — July Talk

Holliday Bowl — Lebowski fest with Autobahn

$15 8 p.m.

Nov. 11

Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic

Nov. 12

Slice — open jam

Nov. 13

NAAG — Drama Nutz Flop or Funny Olde Time Radio night

Ric’s Grill — Bridgette Yarwood

Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A Beat open jam

Slice — Craig Cardiff

Nov. 14

Ric’s Grill — Drama Nutz Nutz Unshelled improv comedy night

Nov. 15

Mocha Cabana — Randy Epp

Casino Lethbridge — Who’s Yer Daddy

Slice — Josh Martinez

Nov. 16

Mocha Cabana — Randy Epp

Ric’s Grill — TBA

Casino Lethbridge — Who’s Yer Daddy

Nov. 17

Slice — Greg MacPherson

Nov. 18

Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic

Southminster United Church 7:30 p.m. Masters Series II Chinook Chamber Singers Rolf Boon Adagio for Strings

Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 88 in G Major, Hob. I:88

Lord Nelson Mass, Hob. XXII: 11

Nov. 19

Average Joe’s — Matthew Good

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