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Historic Lethbridge pays homage to the 1970s

Posted on May 7, 2014 by Lethbridge Sun Times

If you want to paint the town red, this is the week to do it thanks to two big events and several other shows this week.

If you like the softer, more pop side of the 1970s, the Historic Lethbridge Festival has several concerts this week which will be right up your alley.

Check out and possibly remember ’70s fashions at the Lethbridge Pubic Library, May 6. It will be followed by the “Can You Dig It?” concert featuring Jesse Plessis, Bente Hansen, Mwansa Mwansa and the Integra Contemporary & Electroacoustic Ensemble.

If you love jazz music, there will be a “Jazz of the ’70s” concert at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre featuring Randy Epp on keyboards, Kyle Harmon on drums, Ryan Heseltine on saxophone and Don Robb playing trumpet and flugelhorn. They will be playing the music of ’70s jazz icons like Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

Tickets cost $15 (regular), $10 (senior/student) at Long & McQuade and Music Court.

The Historic Lethbridge Festival also celebrates the rock of the ’70s with “Stayin’ Alive,” May 10 at the University Theatre featuring the Groove Apostles, Incanto Singers and U of L Youth Singers directed by Kathy Matkin-Clapton, director plus Mwansa Mwansa and Bente Hansen. Tickets $20 (regular), $15 senior/alumni/

student, at the U of L Box Office (403-329-2616.

For the complete opposite to that, mark May 10 on your calendar for the Electric Eye Music Festival.

This by-donation festival features 30 of the wildest, weirdest, more experimental independent bands in Alberta playing at six different venues including the Slice, Owl Acoustic Lounge, Army and Navy Air Force Veterans Club, the SAAG, Blueprint and Telegraph Taphouse. There will be everything from country music to electronica plus a whole lot of garage rock, punk and psych rock. A suggested donation of $3 per band will be taken or you can buy a wristband for $20.

Check out the schedule at http://eemusicfest.com/site-map/

There are other interesting shows including Lethbridge/Calgary Metallica tribute band Damage Inc. playing Bo Diddleys on May 9. The show begins at 9 p.m. There will be a $10 cover for it. If you like Ozzy Osbourne, Ozzy Osbourne Tribute Blackdaze will be playing Sound Garden, May 9, as well. There is a $5 cover for the show, which begins at 9:30 p.m. Ottawa roots and country musician Trevor Alguire plays the Slice, May 9 in support of his brand new fifth CD, “Miles Away,” as well.

Also on May 9, Calgary bands Miesha and the Spanks and the Highkicks will show you that duos do it better when they play scrappy garage rock and rock and roll at Scores, May 9. Miesha and the Spanks features guitarist/ vocalist Miesha Louie and new drummer Emilia Lovink. Highkicks features the Dudes’ Danny Vacon on guitar and vocals and drummer Matt Doherty. Tickets cost $15. Apart from that, local rock band the Delawares play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 9.

There are several early week shows. The biggest is Winnipeg musicians Scott Nolan and Brandy Zdan who will be rocking the folk at the Slice, May 7. The next night, laid-back Sherwood Park indie rock/folk band Nature Of will be playing the Slice.

And if you want to have a relaxing lunch, Floyd Sillito has his regular monthly noon-hour gig at the Lethbridge Public Library on Wednesday, May 7, with special guests Karen and Ottle Pahl, who will be playing old-time country music from noon to 1 p.m.

There are a couple of jazz and blues gigs this week, too.

Paul Kype and Texas Flood will be rocking the blues at Casino Lethbridge on May 8 and 9. Steve Keenan has his blues jam at Honkers on May 9 and Randy Epp and Donn Robb return to the Mocha Cabana to play some jazz music, May 9 and 10.

If you still haven’t got your fill of live music after all of that, there are gigs on Monday and Tuesday as well. Vancouver folk trio Dogwood and Dahlia will be playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s May 12 open mic as well.

The Slice brings in some excellent punk and rock bands on May 12 with Winnipeg pop punk band Charlie, Monster, Winnipeg pop band Latka, local punk band Open 24-7 and Ste-Agathe, Manitoba acoustic performer Alone I Walk. There will be a $5 cover for that show, which begins at 9 p.m.

If you love ’80s pop and soul, a talented Whitney Houston tribute comes to the University Theatre on Tuesday, May 13. The Greatest Love Of All — The Whitney Houston Show starring Belinda Davids just returned from a successful tour of Australia and South Africa. They will perform a catalogue of Houston’s most loved songs from the span of her 29-year career. The two-and-a-half-hour concert and stage show includes hits such as “How Will I Know,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” “Step by Step” and of course, “I Will Always Love You.”

Tickets cost $30-$49 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.

Historic Lethbridge celebrates the ’70s in song

Historic Lethbridge and several Lethbridge organizations are reliving the 1970s for this year’s annual Historic Lethbridge Festival. There are several events happening including films, disco dancing and much mere.

There are also several shows dedicated to celebrating the music of the ’70s with several events happening celebrating the styles, music and movies of the ’70s.

“We decided we wanted to cover what was important,” said Brian Black, chairman of the Historic Lethbridge community who also teaches at the University of Lethbridge in the music department.

“It was an important year for building in Lethbridge. The Whoop Up Drive bridge was built in the ’70s. It is difficult to imagine Lethbridge without it and the University of Lethbridge was being built as well,” he continued.

He observed the tumultuous 1970s were an important time in North American history, with the Vietnam War, the Kent State shootings, Richard Nixon, freeing hostages in Iran and in Canada beginning with the FLQ October crisis, through the era of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and ending with the NEP and the Quebec referendum.

Some of the music and fashion of the ’70s will be celebrated at the library May 6 with the “Can You Dig It” Concert in the Theatre Gallery at 7 p.m. The fashion will be supplied by the University of Lethbridge Department of theatre and dramatic arts’ Leslie Robison-Greene and Teresa Heyburn.

The concert will be presented by the U of L Music Department and features Jesse Plessis, Bente Hansen, Mwansa Mwansa and the Integra Contemporary & Electroacoustic Ensemble.

“Jesse Plessis will be playing some songs from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon,’” said Bente Hansen, who is performing at two concerts with the Historic Lethbridge festival — the Can You Dig It? concert on May 6 and Stayin’ Alive in the ’70s rock concert, May 10 featuring Mwansa Mwansa, the Groove Apostles including senior members of the University of Lethbridge music program plus the Incanto Singers and U of L Youth Singers directed by Kathy Matkin-Clapton.

Tickets cost $20 (regular), $15 senior/alumni/student. “We’ll be playing ‘I Can See Clearly Now,’ she said adding the music mostly concentrates on the pop side of the ’70s music spectrum, so there aren’t any Led Zeppelin or Who, or more rock and roll bands.

“The festival paints a very specific, more pop based side of the 70s,” she said.

Lethbridge Jazz festival’s Don Robb is covering the jazz music of the ’70s at Sterndale Bennett Theatre Thursday, May 8 at 8 pm which will include music from cats like Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

“Herbie Hancock was doing some amazing things then and still is today,” Robb observed. “That’s when FM radio was starting to emerge and smooth jazz was pretty popular.”

The band includes Randy Epp on keyboards, Kyle Harmon on drums, Ryan Heseltine on saxophone and Robb playing trumpet and flugelhorn.

Tickets cost $15 (regular), $10 (senior/student) at Long & McQuade and Music Court. It is sponsored by Lethbridge Jazz Society.

The full schedule is at http://www.uleth.ca/finearts/departments/art/events/2014/05/historic-lethbridge-festival-celebrates-1970s.

Damage Inc. rocks out with Metallica

A Lethbridge/Calgary band is tipping its hats and banging heads to thrash metal pioneers Metallica with their popular tribute act, Damage Inc. A Tribute to Metallica.

They play Bo Diddley’s, May 9.

The band including guitarist/vocalist Mark DiGiorgio, lead guitarist/backup vocalist Oleg Usykov, bassist/backup vocalist Paul Melanson and drummer James Nagy, have been playing together for two years and are starting to make a little noise on the tribute act scene, though it is more about the music than about the image.

“Metallica are jeans and T-shirts guys. They don’t have a distinctive trademark like bands like Kiss or Guns n Roses,” DiGiorgio said.

“Though I look like James Hetfield (Metallica’s vocalist and guitarist) as he did in the ’80s and our lead guitarist looks like he does now. So it’s kind of like having two James Hetfields on stage,” he said, emphasizing they are more concerned with playing the music properly.

“We play a full two-and-a-half-hour concert, not just 90 minutes.We want to give more for your money,” he continued.

They play all of the radio hits from the “Black” album, but also delve deep into Metallica’s back catalogue.

“We play all of the hits and vintage Metallica for the die hard fans,” he continued.

More information about them is available at http://www.damageinccanada.com/

Damage inc. play Bo Diddley’s on May 9 at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover for the show.

Trevor Alguire to return to Lethbridge with “Miles Away”

Ottawa-based musician Trevor Alguire is excited to come back to southern Alberta to play a few shows in support of his fifth CD, “Miles Away.”

Alguire and “go to Calgary band” — bassist Trevor Maduke and drummer Jay Bradley — play the Slice May 9.

“They have been together for the past two years. And Jay used to live out east with me before he move out here 16 or 17 years ago.

“We used to play in bands a lot louder. So it’s nice to see old friends but also to be on stage playing music,” said a jet lagged Alguire, just stepping of the plane following a successful tour of Germany and the Netherlands.

They may also be joined by Andrew Bueckert on fiddle and possibly guitar on bass.

“We like to switch it up. But he hurt his hand. So I hope he’ll be all right,” he said.

They will be playing nine shows in 12 days together.

“It will be great,” he continued.

“They practice on their own, then I’ll come in and we’ll practice for three hours,” he said.

He said people are enjoying the new CD “Miles Away.”

“We went into it with the songs as they were instead of as pieces of a puzzle, ” he said, adding he hadn’t played any of them live before recording them.

“I was just coming off tours and maybe played one of them live once. We went into the studio and laid them down as they were,” he continued adding he approached this CD in more of a producer role.

Miesha and the Spanks to show duos do it better with Highkicks

Calgary rock duo Miesha and the Spanks make a long-awaited return to Lethbridge to literally share a stage with fellow Calgary duo Highkicks at Scores, May 9.

“We both set up on stage and trade songs. They’re good buds of ours. We play each other’s songs. It’s a lot of fun,” said Miesha Louie who is excited to welcome another bud to play drums in the duo — Emilia Lovink.

“She plays in Dive Pool. She’s an old friend of mine and we’ve wanted to play together. I wanted her to fill in before but she wanted to focus on Dive Pool, but when Stu (Bota, Miesha and the Spanks’ drummer) moved to Red Deer I asked her and she jumped at the chance,” she said adding Lovink officially joined the Spanks in December.

“I always wanted to do an all girl project, but really good girl drummers are really hard to find,” she said.

“And when she is one of my best friends, it’s really rad,” she enthused.

Their first gig was in December with Public Animal with Ian Blurton, who also produced the last Miesha and the Spanks album last summer.

“Ian is a really good friend. I played with him when he was playing with C’mon. I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a producer and I had heard he is pretty gruff in the studio, but I didn’t notice that at all. He knew exactly what I was going for and had some really good ideas. He really helped me out with songwriting,” she continued.

She noted Blurton’s touch is noticeable on the new CD.

“It feels more polished and it is a lot louder,” she said.

“I’ve been doing this for going on six years and I’ve always produced the records myself, but it’s cool to have another set of ears in the studio,” she continued.

Post Namers play religion inspired weirdness

Though it isn’t officially part of the Electric Eye Music Festival, a special performance by Grande Prairie born, Edmonton-based electronica musician and self proclaimed “one man cult” the Post Namers serves as a great pre-party at the Fish and Game Hut, by the Kinsmen Park, May 9.

“I formed a cult whose goal is to infiltrate various religious groups through music. The Evangelical Church is first and the Catholic Church is close behind,” said Matthew Wilkinson, a.k.a. the Post Namers, who makes electronica music from sounds you’d usually find in a church like organ, bells and choral songs.

“I studied to be a pastor and was almost finished when I discovered I didn’t believe any of it,” he said.

“As soon as I realized God didn’t want me to be a pastor, I thought the devil might want me to be a pop musician,” he chuckled.

He will be playing Sled Island this year as well as the pre-Electric Eye festival party in Lethbridge.

“It will be mostly me trying to playing drum pedals and synths. I am working with a drummer and a girl who sings the choir parts, but in Lethbridge it will just be me,” he said, adding a couple films including an old, disturbing black and white film from the 1930s will be played in the background to enhance the spooky undertones of his music.

“Some of the images in it are just terrifying and spooky, so it should be a lot of fun,” he said.

The show begins at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Club hut (9 Avenue and 10 Street South on the southwest corner of the Kinsmen Park).


Brock Zeman plays folk as a duo

Brock Zeman made his annual visit to Lethbridge to play the Slice, April 29 with Blair Hogan for a handful of people.

The new duo emphasized Zeman’s songs and new CD “Rotten Toth.”

He sang his stories with a gravelly growl reminiscent of Tom Waits and with just a touch of Dr. John.

He sat strumming his acoustic guitar while Hogan created a variety of sounds on a few different guitars and a whole lot of guitar effects, which gave the duo a sound reminiscent of Willie P Bennett era Fred Eaglesmith alternative country.

They had a cluster of hard core fans at one table who made a few different song requests for Zeman’s own material including an older song “Dear Father,” which was one of the highlights of his second set. It started out like a slower tempo Steve Earle ballad but picked up the pace. One of the highlights was a vivid “Rain on the Roof #1” which provided detailed word pictures.

Animal Nation have a laid back groove

I came to Studio 54 for the Swollen Members’ April 29 return to Lethbridge, but couldn’t stay for their set which started after midnight.

I was very impressed with the Animal Nation, a rap crew out of Whistler, B.C. and Bellingham, Washington who replaced Slaine, who couldn’t make this tour.

Animal Nation laid down some laidback grooves and actually created most of the beats before the 160-strong audience, saying, “We’re going to bring you all into the studio with Animal Nation.” They also had a guitarist on stage adding extra hooks under thundering bass beats.

They put down a very peaceful yet toe-tapping groove, the members observing this was their first visit to Lethbridge with the band.

They will be returning to Lethbridge to play the Slice with Cquel and Stage on May 17.

Tribune bring the metal

Lethbridge’s metal community was out in force for an excellent and loud head-banging night of metal at the Slice, April 26. While I missed an awesome set by new local progressive rock trio Trancide, I caught a menacing set of high-energy, riff-driven metal by SS Doom which featured the lead singer wearing what appeared to be a black stormtroopers helmet. They played big, loud, dark and heavy, brutal Black Sabbath influenced riffs. “Swinging Blade was a highlight as was “Psychopath.”

Vancouver metal band Tribune really brought it for their set, combining unearthly death metal growls with high register screaming, set to a backdrop of punishing guitar riffs and the occasional harmonized guitar solo. They also had a solid alternative rock, jagged groove reminiscent of System of a Down.

They immediately won over the audience, who started a small mosh pit in front of the stage and had the rest of the room chanting “Tribune, Tribune, Tribune.”

Devonian Gardens get psychedelic

Calgary psychedelic ’60s band Devonian Gardens returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 26 to supply some more psychedelic 12-string-powered weirdness which was entertaining practically a full house, most of whom were clustered up front near the band.

The band members spread onto the floor for this show. A big blue harp dominated the right hand side and the two frontwoman, dressed in big sunglasses, vintage hats and ponchos, looked like they just stepped out of the audience at a mid ’70s Fleetwood Mac concert, sang behind a wall of synthesizers and effects units.

There was only the one 12-string guitar this time (last time they had two), but it all worked together to create an even more ’60s and ’70s-inspired wall of weirdness. But there were catchy melodies and plenty of percussion and of course those great 12-string guitar hooks.

Dirti Speshuls play exciting CD release party

It is always great to see people coming out to support local acts. While I missed opening acts RikoRa and Planet Telex, I arrived in time to watch the Dirti Speshuls bring the party to a close in support of their brand new debut CD “Long Time Coming” at their April 25 CD release party at the Slice.

They pretty much played the CD from beginning to end beginning with the huge sounding “Gotta Go,” and carried the energy forward through “Crazy Rocky” and the catchy “Come On kid,” which showed off their superb vocal harmonies and lead singer Todd Carter’s huge voice.

Guitarists Rob Cooper and Jon Vornbrock supplied big guitar riffs while drummer Dean Wilson and bassist Rick Beres were completely locked in. “Tried and True,” was one of many highlights. They played a couple of brand new songs and a newer on from the “Windy Rock Compilation,” “She Did it Again.”

And before the good-sized crowd knew it, it was all over.

May 5

Mocha Cabana — Cinquo de Mayo with Colin McGuiness with Murray Nelson

Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic

Onion — Open mic 9 p.m.

May 6

Slice — open mic

Lethbridge Public Library — Historic Lethbridge 1970 Can You Dig it concert and fashion show 7 p.m.

May 7

Slice — Scott Nolan with Brandy Zdan

Lethbridge public Library Floyd Sillito with Karen and Ottle Pahl Keyboards, electric bass and vocals. 12 noon – 1 p.m.

Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A. Beat open jam

Soundgarden — open jam

Bo Diddley’s — open jam

May 8

Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg

May 9

Casino Lethbridge — Paul Kype and Texas Flood

Slice — Trevor Alguire

Mocha Cabana — Randy Epp

Jimmy’s Pub — open mic

Bo Diddley’s — Damage Inc Metallica Tribute

Soundgarden — Blackdaze, Ozzy Osbourne tribute $5 9 p.m.

Scores — Miesha and the Spanks with Highkicks

McLennans — Mahoney for Relay for Life $15

Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Delawares

Lethbridge Folk Club — open mic

Honkers — open mic with Steve Keenan

May 10

Mocha Cabana — Randy Epp with Don Robb and Guests

Casino Lethbridge — Paul Kype and Texas Flood

Smokehouse — open mic

Blueprint — Electric Eye Music Festival

Slice — Electric Eye Music Festival 3:30 p.m. Mangy mutts 4:45 Treeline and Rancho Deluxe 8:15: Robotorobororos 9:15 Lustre Creame 10:15 P.m.: Outlaws of RavenHurst 11:15: Outlaws of Ravenhurst 11:15: Bonspiel! 12:45: Hypnopilot

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Electric Eye Music Festival , Chief Mountain

SAAG — Electric Eye Music Festival all ages: 6:30: Ant and an Atom Clockwork Towns 8 p.m.: Boosh 9:15: open channels

Army Navy Veterans hall — Electric Eye music Festival 12:24 The Yeah Dads 1:45 Advertisement 2:45: Chief mountain 3:45: Terra 5 p.m. Fist City 6:15: Feel All Right

Blueprint — Electric Eye Music Festival all ages 6 p.m. : Fox Eyes 6:45: Pzeudo 8 p.m.: Ruby Plumes

Telegraph— Electric Eye Music Festival 7 p.m.: Jesse Northey 10 p.m.: Nolan Bossert 10:45: Shaela Miller Danny Dyck

May 12

Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic Dogwood and Dahlia

Onion — Open mic 9 p.m.

Slice — Charlie Monster,Latka, Open 24-7 Alone I Walk $5 9 p.m.

May 13

University Theatre — Whitney Houston tribute 8 p.m. $30-$49

Slice — open mic

May 14

Enmax — The Backstreet Boys $60 7:30 p.m.

Club Didi — Wednesday Night Nutz: Uncensored improv Doors 7:30 p.m. Cover $10

Soundgarden — open mic

Bo Diddley’s — open mic

Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A. beat Open mic

Slice — HBO3 jazz jam

May 15

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Lethbridge Public Library presents Library trivia

Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg

May 16

Slice — The Janni lee Band with The Eric Braun band 9 p.m.

Casino Lethbridge — Sara Beth Keeley

Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson

Inferno — Snak the Ripper

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Twin Peaks

Jimmy’s Pub — open mic

Wolf’s Den — bluegrass band

Honker’s Pub — open mic

May 17

Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson

Casino Lethbridge — Sara Beth Keeley

Yates — ABBA tribute $8 p.m.

Slice — Cquel with Animal Nation and Stage Inferno — Bash the Night Away with Disciple of Gravity meet and greet with Johnny Korthuis

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Jay Bowcott

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