September just started, school’s back in and things are really starting to cook in Lethbridge for live entertainment.
This week is marked by a few huge events including two massive events on the same day — Sept 12. University of Lethbridge-based community radio station CKXU take over Galt Gardens for the fifth annual Love and Records music festival and record fair.
In addition to dozens of vendors, food trucks, a kids’ tent, a comedy tent and a whole lot of records, there will also be a whole lot of live music beginning at 11 a.m. with the Soul Sisters.
There will be a variety of music this year. Local surf band the Atomicos follow at 11:30, country band the Dearly Departed follow, Calgary pop/art rock psyche jam band 36? are on at 1 p.m. Dive Pool play at 2 p.m., another local country band, Hurtin’, play at 3 p.m., followed by Calgary rockabilly band Peter and the Wolves. Renowned children’s entertainer Fred Penner takes the stage at 5 p.m.
Edmonton indie folk band Scenic Route To Alaska play at 6 p.m. Fernie stoke folk band Shred Kelly wind things down at 7 p.m. and Calgary rock band Cowpuncher finish off the night at 8 p.m. There is no charge to attend, so get on down there.
Across the coulee at the University of Lethbridge, if you are a student or a guest of a student, the Freshfest Jamboree features a variety of talent including Toronto synth pop trio Dragonette, hip hop artist Grandtheft, Calgary rock band the Dudes, fiddle virtuoso Kytami, who used to play with Delhi2Dublin, local rapper the Blue and AJ Baragar.
The music runs from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Freshfest jamboree tickets cost $25.
That show caps off the U of L’s Freshfest.
On Sept. 11, it is all about DJs in the Zoo at the SU including DJ Fuze, Steve Samurai, DJ Disko, Phunky Le Freq and Millz Skillz. Doors open at 9 p.m. for Freshies and 10 p.m. for everyone else who wants to dance.
Lethbridge College welcomes back students with a couple of events this week including the Neon Lights Party with music from Orangeman in the Lethbridge College Cave at 8 p.m., Sept. 10. The Students’ Association is having a barbecue lunch to welcome students to orientation, Sept. 8 from 3- 10 p.m. Hypnotist Scott Ward performs at 8 p.n. There is also a big show at the Slice on Sept. 11 with Attainable Records’ launch party. Performers include folk singer Phillip Woo, the Coulee Men, high-paced Calgary punk band Pancake, Calgary rock band the Wells, local rapper the Blue who will also be performing at the Fresh Fest Jamboree the next day, Calgary band the Detractors and finish off with a local band the Bummer Club. Also performing will be Connor HD, one of the founders of Attainable Records.
A lot of beloved open mics and concert series also kick off this week.
Open mics return to Honker’s Pub with Steve Keenan and possibly Paul Kype playing some blues and welcoming you, too. Their open mics are now every Friday.
Honker’s also will be having regular Saturday afternoon jams beginning Sept. 19 from 3-7 p.m.
The Lethbridge Folk Club is also starting up their open mics on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at the Wolf’s Den (MJ’s Cycle 1502 2nd Ave south). They begin at 8 p.m. There is $2 cover. You must have a membership (which costs five dollars) to attend. The first Lethbridge Folk Club show will be Calgary bluesman Tim Williams playing the Lethbridge College Cave, Sept. 26. Tickets cost $25 for members, $30 for non members which include a membership.
The Smokehouse also has their regular open jams on Saturday nights beginning at 9 p.m..
And if you like country music, the Blue Ridge Mountain society has an annual afternoon country jam at the Moose Hall, from 1-5 p.m.
Monthly jazz jams return to the Slice, Sept. 9 with hosts HBO3. There is no cover to attend and play. But if you want to laugh, the Owl Acoustic Lounge has their comedy open mic, Sept. 9 as well with hosts Cam Bye and Brett Hutchinson.
The Geomatic Attic also kicks off a pretty sweet season this week with the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra playing The Attic on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30.
It’s a good week for rock and punk music.
Edmonton horror metal band Bleed play Inferno, Sept. 9 with local metal bands Sengage, Penitentz and death metal band Necrof–ckphilia.
And the Slice and the Owl Acoustic Lounge both have some hot Love and Records after-parties featuring Flowshine and Rockwall Highline at the Slice and Supernatural Buffalo playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 12.
If you like real country music, don’t miss a rare local show from the Coal Creek Boys at Casino Lethbridge, Sept. 11 and 12. Last, but not least, James Oldenburg will be playing some laidback jazz music at the Mocha Cabana, Sept. 11 and 12 from 6-9 p.m.
The fun isn’t over after the weekend. The Owl Acoustic Lounge features Edmonton pop/folk musician Doug Hoyer and Mark Mills playing on Monday, Sept. 14.
A group of second-year University of Lethbridge Digital Arts students hope their new record company will help create some community.
So Attainable Records will be introducing themselves to Lethbridge, Sept. 11 with a big show at the Slice beginning at 6:30 p.m..
Performers include folk singer Phillip Woo, the Coulee Men, high paced Calgary punk band Pancake, Calgary rock band the Wells, local rapper the Blue who will also be performing at the Fresh Fest Jamboree the next day, Calgary band the Detractors and finish off with a local band the Bummer Club. Also performing will be Connor HD aka Connor Harvey-Derbyshire who, along with Owen Campeau, Aaron Richardson and Duncan Metcalfe formed Attainable Records. Pistols and Parachutes are unable to perform as planned.
“We hope it will go smoothly and we hope to put on a great show,” Metcalfe said.
“It started out of a want for more creative collaboration,” said Metcalfe, who was born in Pincher Creek and moved to Lethbridge to attend university.
“It’s not a record company in the traditional sense,” he said.
“We hope to reach out to the new batch of students coming in,” he said.
He met Calgarian, Connor Harvey-Derbyshire, Golden, B.C.-born Owen Campeau and Calgary via Toronto’s Aaron Richardson and immediately bonded.
“We all come from different backgrounds and we all have different passions and specific areas of expertise,” he continued, adding he is responsible for artist discovery and talent.
“Aaron is responsible for branding, Connor is programming and operations and Owen is all about social media,” he said, noting they have their Facebook page and will have a Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram presence as well.
They plan to move into their new headquarters within the month in the Alberta Meats building on 6 Avenue South.
“We made an offer on it and they accepted it. It’s going to be a great space,” he added, adding they plan to put on a showcase of talent in November, perhaps at the new space or at one of the other downtown venues.
“We’re all stoked to step outside our comfort zones with new ideas,” he said.
“We hope to bring in a crown and let people know we’re here,” he said.
There is a $10 cover for the show , which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Martina Sorbara of Toronto synth pop band Dragonette are taking a break from writing their new album and collaborating with countless other musicians to play Freshfest at the University of Lethbridge, Sept. 12.
Sorbara and band mates Dan Kurtz and Joel Stouffer, best known for their hits “Hello,” “Run, Run, Run,” “Live In this City” and “Big in Japan,” return to Lethbridge for the first time since 2013 to play Freshfest Jamboree with a variety of other acts including Grandtheft, The Dudes, Kytami, Alee, the Blue and AJ Baragar.
“We’ve only got three shows this fall. U of L, UBC and Toronto. I wish we could do more, but we’re not allowed because we’ve got to finish the album,” Sorbara said.
“We always enjoy the welcome back shows. There’s so many elements. But the audience is always enthusiastic and a lot of young kids,” she said, adding there are a lot of technical aspects to the show which have been improved, which may not be apparent to the audience.
“I know there’s more clarity on stage and I’m having fun every night,” she said, promising a lot of new songs in the show.
“I know people want to hear the songs they know, but we have a lot of new songs, so I hope they will be patient with us,” she said.
She is excited about finishing the new album, which she hopes will be ready for a winter release.
“I can’t quite put my finger on it. There is a softness to the new songs, though it won’t be a soft album. There will still be a lot of sounds and still a lot of electronica. But there are a lot of textures and it’s quite vulnerable,” she said.
The band moved back to Toronto from London, Ont. three years ago, and things have been happening quickly for Dragonette. They have been asked to collaborate on a lot of other artist’s songs.
The Freshfest Jamboree, which runs from 3-11 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the University of Lethbridge outside the Student’s Union Building, is open to students or as a guest of a student for $25.
There is more to Winnipeg-based children’s musician Fred Penner than his signature song “The Cat Came back.” Penner will be playing CKXU’s Love and Records, Sept. 12 in Galt Gardens at 5 p.m.
The cat has evolved along with Penner over his 43-year music career ever since he discovered the song in an old encyclopedia of folk songs.
“Me and my brother-in-law were sitting around jamming and looking through this book in 1978. It was a double volume and the page magically opened to ‘The Cat Came Back,’” he said.
“It’s actually an old folk song from 1892 from the Northeastern United States that was performed at Chautauquas. It had this great chord progression, Em, D, C, B7, which is used in a lot of other songs like ‘Hit the Road Jack’ — Hit the road cat — so the song has become a medley.” He said originally it had some pretty violent lyrics about a lot of bad things happening to the cat who persevered and survived in spite of them.
He recorded the original for his debut album in 1979 and re-recorded it for his Juno Award-winning new album “Where in The World,” in which the ever-changing cat turned into a world traveller.
“I wrote it so the cat didn’t want to come home, so it had been to Pakistan, Afghanistan, all over the world. I’ll write different verses for it depending on what is happening in the world. Though I don’t know if I’ll write a new one for Love and Records, though it is very possible,” he laughed.
Penner is pleased to have been a professional musician over the past 43 years. But like a lot of things in the music business, timing is everything.
“When I came up, Raffi, and Sharon, Lois and Bram had been playing for a few years and I came up and we became the big three. I grew up at a time when a lot of baby boomers, which I am, were having children and demanding good children’s programming. Sesame Street came out around that time, too. It’s undergone some changes, but it’s still going,” said the 68-year-old proud father of four, who hadn’t originally planned to be a musician.
“I went to university and earned a BA in psychology and economics. Then in the mid ’70s, my younger sister who had Down syndrome passed away and my father shortly after. I was being the dutiful son, but I realized economics wasn’t my bliss. If it wasn’t for music, I’d probably be dead. It’s such a part of my life experience,” he said.
He is excited about the next phase of his life.
“It appears I’ve become an elder. I’m 68 years old now. People are seeing me as an elder, so I’m getting a lot of TV spots and non-children-related web series,” he said, adding he is honoured to be asked to host the 2015 Polaris Prize Gala n Toronto later this year.
“It is encouraging to be given this opportunity because it is a whole celebration of the generation of musicians who grew up listening to my music. So it is a very empowering thing,” he said. He is also being asked to work in special education and music therapy.
Victoria-based roots collective The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra had the luxury of time when releasing their fifth record “Love.”
“We recorded it in two two week periods in December 2013 and March 2014 on beautiful Quadra Island,” observed vocalist/guitarist Kurt Loewen from their first tour stop in Kaslo, B.C..
They return to Lethbridge, Tuesday, Sept. 15 to play the Geomatic Attic for the first time.
“I’m really proud of this CD,” he said, adding the over-reaching theme throughout the new songs is endings and new beginnings.
“It’s about the ending of relationships and difficult times. It’s about dealing with these endings and the new beginnings and it’s about love,” he continued.
“It is a lot more introspective,” he continued.
“Emily, our sound tech and more specifically, my wife, engineered and produced the album,” he said.
“It’s been nice working with her. She’s been friends with us for a long time and we all respect her opinion,” he said.
He enjoyed working with his wife on the CD.
“We spent three and a half years on the road and she was working with other bands and on other projects. I didn’t get to see her often. But on this CD I could spend a lot of time with her,” he said.
He said the because they recorded the CD themselves, they didn’t have to worry about time constraints.
“It’s not like we’re an industry band who has to have an album out every year. We’re an independent band, so we could take our time,” he said.
“It was a great process,” he said, adding they could add extra instrumentation including some viola.
He is looking forward to playing Lethbridge again.
“We usually play the Slice. We’re playing the Geomatic Attic this time and we’ve never played there. People are so nice. B.C. and Alberta are our bread and butter, so we always enjoy playing there,” he said. Vocalist/accordion player/keyboardist Ian Griffith; vocalist/percussionist Paul Wolda, fiddle player/vocalist Mack Shields and double bassist Keith Rodger complete the band.
“You’ll get to see a lot of the new record. But we listen to the audience. We’ll cater our set to the audience,” he said.
“Bring your open mind and bring your open heart and bring your good vibes,” he said.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30.
Shockload at Inferno
Where have all the punks gone? They must be around. There were a whole lot of punk and metal shows this summer, some well attended, others not so much. The Sept. 3 show featuring East Vancouver punk band The S–t Talkers and Shockload at Inferno fell into the latter category.
The show, dubbed the “S–tLoad Tour” by S–t Talker lead vocalist Liz Mantle, started late, waiting for a crowd that never came, but the handful who did show on a drizzly Thursday, were entertained with a nod to the ’90s from both bands.
Female punks the S–t Talkers were up first with their ’90s Riot Grrrrl sound reminiscent of bands like L7, Sleater Kinney and Hole plus a touch of Vancouver punks CUB.
They started off slow, but vocalist/guitarist Liz Mantle, drummer/vocalist Nadja Feutlinske, bassist Michelle Duff and guitarist/vocalist Lina Machina quickly found their footing with plenty of buzzsaw guitars, dissonant riffs and shouted vocal harmonies giving them that CUB sound. One of their songs was bilingual, which they followed up with a highlight, “All of My Friends.” Mantle and Feutlinske alternated singing lead vocals.
Their last song, “I’m Just a Canadian,” ended their set on an energetic note.
While the S–t Talkers channelled the spirit of the Riot Grrrl movement, East Vancouver trio Shockload channelled the spirit of ’90s pop punk like Green Day and Blink -182 with a touch of screamo and a few metalesque riffs.
Shockload played short, sweet and ridiculously catchy bursts of pop punk energy which lead to lots of leaping around and a penis on sunglasses sporting frontman Ryan Ruin’s white Les Paul. That broke off mid set. Bassist
Mike Chapman sung one song while drummer Jamieson Vegas was a blur of frenetic energy, adding his own pair of sunglasses midset.
They played some new material and several songs from their CD “Attractive Distraction.” A highlight of those was a song about Vancouver hockey riots.
The show ended just before midnight.
Inferno — Bleed with Sengage, Pentitentz, Necrof–kphilia $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — comedy open mic with Cam Bye and Brett Hutchinson
Slice — Jazz jam with HBO3
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Joel Bryant and Pete Watson
Mocha Cabana — James Oldenburg
Casino Lethbridge — Coal Creek Boys
Honker’s Pub — open mic with Steve Keenan
Wolf’s Den — Lethbridge Folk Club open mic
U of L Zoo Rumble in the Jungle Rumble. Doors open to Freshies at 9 p.m., general admission 10 p.m., and it’s first come, first serve until full so arrive early!
Slice — Attainable Records launch 6:00 – Phil Wu; 6:30 – The Coulee Men; 7 – Pancake; 8 – The Wells; 9 -Connor HD; 11 – The Detractions; 12 – Bummer Club
Mocha Cabana — James Oldenburg
Casino Lethbridge — Coal Creek Boys
Galt Gardens — Love and Records
Smokehouse — open mic
University of Lethbridge — Fresh Fest Jamboree with Dragonette, Grand Theft, the Dudes, T Kytami, Alee. the Blue, AJ Baragar $25 11 a.m.
Slice — Flowshine with The Gibson Block
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Love and Records After party with Supernatural Buffalo
The Slice — Flowshine with Rockwall Highline 10 p.m.
Moose Hall — Blue Ridge Mountain Country Society open jam
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic with Doug Hoyer and Mark Mills
Onion — open mic
Slice — open Mic
Geomatic Attic — Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra
Yates — It’s a Kind of Magic Queen tribute