There is no shortage of things to do this week. When it rains, it pours, hopefully not literally. After a couple of quieter weeks, relatively speaking, things begin to jump again this week.
The two major concert series in the city open up their fall seasons this weekend. And the sixth annual CKXU Love and Records festival will have people pouring into Galt Gardens all day to experience a plethora of records, live music and even a Ferris wheel.
This year’s performances feature Delhi 2 Dublin who are bound to get you dancing, former Delhi 2 Dublin violin player Kytami, plus Five Alarm Funk, Royal Canoe, traditional country trio Boots and the Hoots and even the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s Museaus. Don’t forget former Calgary poet laureate Kris Demeanor, Vancouver-based accordion punk Geoff Berner, talented Saskatchewan songstress Megan Nash, Fort Macleod’s Ryland Moranz and his band, local jazz/funk band the Groove Apostles, Gray, alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood, Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp and lots more. There is no charge to attend, so hopefully you can check out all of the other fun happening this week.
The Lethbridge Folk Club opens their new season at the Lethbridge College Cave with Calgary-based, Chilean-born guitarist Oscar Lopez and Dale Ketcheson, who opens the show at 8 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $30 including a membership for the Folk Club’s exceptional season. This year there is a student membership for $20 including the membership.
For something a little different, the Windy City tattoo weekend runs at Exhibition Park, Friday through Sunday. There will be tattoo artists and live entertainment.
There is also a big country show at the Enmax Centre, Sept. 17, with Georgia-born country musician Billy Currington, who has a number of top 40 radio hits including “People Are Crazy,” “Good At Drinking Beer,” “Let Me Down Easy,“ “Like My Dog” and more. Tickets range between $45-$65. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with Russell Dickerson opening the show.
The Geomatic Attic also opens their season on the weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 18 with Austin-based folk musician and fiddle player Carrie Rodriguez with New York songwriter Chip Taylor who is best known for writing “Wild Thing” an “Angel of Montgomery,” to name just a couple.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 advance, $42.50 online, $45 door. Earlier in the week there are some excellent punk and rock shows. Local rock band Outrun The Arrow are holding a cancer fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 14. The next day will be amazing. Canadian punk legends D.O.A. and the Dayglo Abortions return to Lethbridge for a big show at Pulse with special guests the Scallywags. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Local rock band Silkstones play the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Sept. 16. Honker’s Pub is featuring live music on Fridays and have started their Friday night open stage. Frankie G of local blues rock band Driving While Blind is the host this week. And as usual Honker’s has their usual afternoon jam on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 3-7 p.m.
Also in the afternoon, the Lethbridge Public Library Family jam returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Saturday, Sept., 17. It runs from 1:30-4 p.m. The Owl will be a busy place Sept. 17 as they are also hosting a Love and Records afterparty featuring grunge/blues band Crooked Spies, Victoria-based rock band Winona Forever and local alternative rock band the Bummer Club. There are also Love and Records afterparties at Attainable Records and Plum.
And The Chevelles will rock your socks off at Casino Lethbridge, Sept. 16 and 17.
Also this week, the Lethbridge Fringe Festival runs Sept. 15-18 with several productions including two local productions. Lethbridge stand-up comedian Mavic Adecer will be performing “Enlightened Swinger” and Theatre Outré will be performing “No Way Out.”
Several female-oriented works are also on the bill including Wendy Froberg’s “Archetype,” Judith Belle’s mime act “Belle Paris,” “Commencing,” “No Allegiances,” and “Nothing is Enough.” They will be taking place at Club Didi Casa and the Gate. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at Casa. All the money goes to the performers.
There is no shortage of things in the world to anger political punk icon Joe Keithley, who brings his band D.O.A. to Pulse with fellow B.C. punk icons the Dayglo Abortions, Sept. 15.
But the affable Keithley also retains his sense of humour about things.
“This tour the political vs. the politically incorrect. Though there is some politics with the Dayglo Abortions,” he chuckled.
D.O.A. just returned from their umpteenth tour of Europe.
“We played some big festivals over the in August in Norway, Finland, a big one in Poland with Slayer. And a couple festivals in northern B.C. in Fort St. James. And we played a big one in Montreal — the Amnesia RockFest in Montebello festival. We were on the side stage with the Dead Kennedys and Agnostic Front and Turbonegro. So it was way better than the main stage,” he said.
“So it has been busy.”
He is looking forward to playing with the Dayglo Abortions.
“We played with them in 1979 or 1980 We played the Punk rock bingo with them and thought it would be a great tour. So people are going to get as much punk as they can stand and maybe more. You’ll double the value of your money,” he said.
“And the Scallywags are playing too. They are really good,” he said.
He noted they will be playing some of the songs from the latest CD “Hard Rain Falling” and plenty of the songs they are best known for like “Disco Sucks,” “World War 3” and “The Enemy,” to name a few.
Keithley has tried his hand at politics, running for the Green Party as well, but, though he has been defeated each time, is making some headway.
“The Green Party represent the environment, but they also represent people. And they are trying to create jobs
“I just ran in a byelection in Coquitlam; I was just talking about running again,” he said.
“I’ve always been political. I was working with Greenpeace when I was 16 and have been political ever since,” he said, noting the band always plays events for important causes he feels strongly about.
“I was going to go to Simon Fraser University to be an environmental lawyer, but instead fell into punk music. And I have lawyer friends who tell me I’ve made the right choice,” he said.
He is working on music for a new album he plans to release next year.
“We’ve been doing this for 40 years. Rush just released a new album, too. It’s hard to believe we‘re only a few years younger than those guys.
Controversy and court cases kind of come with the territory when you name your band the Dayglo Abortions. But Murray “The Cretin” Acton, frontman of the Victoria-based punk icons, insists it’s all in good fun.
“I like everyone I meet. I’m a nice guy but with a quirky sense of humour,” Acton insists.
The band, who play Pulse with fellow punk legends D.O.A., Sept. 15, have spent their career pushing hot buttons and skewering sacred cows. They were the definition of political incorrect before there was even a term for it. Their provocative album covers and lyrics brought them court cases and obscenity charges in the ’80s. They have a vast catalogue of material with song titles you can’t print in a family newspaper, but it’s all in good fun.
“I hate these social justice warriors. I’ve always been about free speech. Some of this PC stuff has really become hateful. This brain-dead PC stuff is what I really hate — privileged kids talking about black lives matter. Well, all lives matter. We have the media whipping up a race war. I don’t like that stuff and those are the people I like to poke fun at, like Frank Zappa, but not as mean. He really had a mean streak for the people he didn’t like. But I like everybody,” he said, adding he enjoys reading “troll” posts on politically correct posts.
“When they respond, that’s when their true colours come out.”
The Dayglo Abortions have always pushed the envelope and, in some eyes, good taste, by combing metal musical chops with a sneering sense of humour poking fun at everything. “I think I’ll call the next CD ‘Hate Speech,’” he chuckled.
These days his family helps keep that sense of humour in check and keep him from stepping over the line.
“I’ve raised two very strong girls. They’d castrate me. One of them punched a guy for making a remark, well not even a suggestive remark. She pulled him out of his car and everything. They both play in bands,” he said.
“But my oldest son is the rebel. He listens to hip hop music and got a serious job, he married and has a nice family. He learned a lot of lessons from watching his dad,” he said.
They are excited to actually tour with D.O.A.
“We’re having a lot of fun with the D.O.A. vs the Dayglo Abortions idea. We played with them and Vegas and got to talking about it. Having Paddy and the guys from BC DC is the best line up they’ve had in a while. They’re great musicians and friendly guys,” he said.
“We haven’t always got along with D.O.A. So this tour is about healing. Maybe we can bring in more people they could bring in on their own,” he said, adding they are also excited to share their brand new CD.
If you pay attention to the news, it may seem like Armageddon draws closer every day, but that’s no reason for Acton to lose his sense of humour.
So he named the band’s long awaited new album “Armageddon Survival Guide.”
“It took two years. But I’m really happy with it. And it’s thanks to Rob Shallcross,” he said.
It’s heavier than usual, reflecting drummer Blind Marc’s thunderous drumming.
“I’ve played with some great drummers and he‘s up there with the best. He started out as a punk rock drummer and now he’s doing rolls and fills,” he said.
He said the new CD , which is a scant 14 songs, 20 some minutes long has a serious tone but also a fun side.
“‘Your Facebook can Kiss My Assbook’ is pretty funny. And I wanted to make fun of punk rock anthems, but couldn’t make it funny. So there is a punk rock anthem. But ‘Cockroaches’ is the song people seem to like the most. ‘The Dishwasher’ is about (former drummer Jesus) Bonehead. Because dishwasher is the only job he ever had and he loved it. It’s not the only song I wrote about him. ‘Drunk on Power’ is about him too because he used to be in charge of the band per diems. We’d make fun of him and bow down before him,” he said.
They will be coming to Lethbridge as a quartet with the addition of guitarist Mike Jak, to help Acton carry the guitar-playing load.
The show begins at 8 p.m at Pulse, Sept. 15. Tickets are $25.
Chip Taylor is usually known for being the songwriter of “Wild Thing” and “Angel of Montgomery,” but there is way more to him than that.
He has had a prolific career since then, including three duet albums with Austin-based musician Carrie Rodriguez. He will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their first album together, “Red Dog Tracks,” on a quick Albertan tour, which comes to the Geomatic Attic, Sept. 18, after a couple of shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer
“I try not to look at the past, I’m always looking at the next project,” said Taylor from his New York apartment, where he is alternately working on material for a new solo album and a labour of love — some songs for his grandkids.
They already did a three-week tour together of Texas, New York and Massachusetts and then took a break to work on other projects.
The duo made an instant connection after Rodriguez came to see his show at the famous South by Southwest music festival in Austin in 2001.
“Then I went to see her playing in a record store. She had just graduated from the Berkeley School of Music,” he said, adding that led to a conversation, and some co-writing followed by taking her to Holland on tour, which spawned a musical relationship that resulted in recording three albums together.
“I asked her if she sang, and she said she didn’t, so I put a microphone in front of her and told her she could sing a couple of choruses if she wanted to. And the crowd cheered after the first two lines,” he said.
“I don’t really know why it works. Just seeing her was an inspiration and I just wanted to write for her. These love songs started coming out and they just fit us. It was just like magic,” he said.
“I’m not a schooled musician at all. And she came from Berkeley, I don’t even know the notes. I barely knew the strings on my guitar when I started. But I know how to arrange things,” he continued.
“I learned a lot from her through osmosis,” he said.
“But she doesn’t need me. She does fine on her own. She’s got a great career on her own and there’s other things I want to do,” he said.
“It’s a blessing to be able to sing with her. It’s just been terrific,” he continued
He noted this is the first really extensive tour they have done together since 2006, though they have performed shows together.
“I’ve recorded a lot of songs since then so I had to go back to those records and learn those songs again,” he said.
While most people know him for “Wild Thing” and “Angel of Montgomery,” that wasn’t his big break.
“I’m from Yonkers, New York, but I always loved country music. I had a little Motorola radio and used to listen to country music all the time. What you had to do then was write a song and play it for a producer, who if they liked it, would give you like 30 bucks to record a demo. And one of these demos ended up in the hands of Chet Atkins, who, in addition to being a great guitar player, was also the head of A and R for RCA. He wrote a letter back saying ‘Dear Jerry, I don’t know who this Chip Taylor is, but he doesn’t sound like he‘s from Yonkers, I want to hear everything you have from him,’” Taylor related.
“And I started to write songs for Eddy Arnold, I had a big hit with Bobby Bare and Willie and Waylon. So my big break was Chet Atkins. ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Angel From Montgomery’ came after that,” he said, adding this tour is all about his work with Rodriguez.
“She does sing a beautiful version of ‘Angel From Montgomery,’ though,” he said, adding the three duet CDs have their own following of fans, especially in Texas, New York and Massachusetts.
Taylor noted when he wrote a song, he never thought about other people.
“I never wrote songs with other people in mind. I wrote them because I wanted to. A lot of songs just come to me, so I just turn off my brain and not think too much about it, even if it is just a bunch of nonsense syllables. Then words and melodies will come and I quickly record it. Right now it’s on my iPhone. Even silent space can put me in a good mood. They’ll just give me the chills. I’ll just get that feeling about them,” he continued.
“I don’t know how you monetize songs these these days. There isn’t a lot of money in streaming. You get out there and play your songs for people and you get out there touring and get a following. There was always a lot of back and forth selling songs then. It’s hard today, but not impossible. It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be. It was hard back in the day, too. After all, how did this little Chip get successful? I wrote songs and formed a band and played them in front of people. My songs just ended up in the right hands with Chet Atkins,” he pondered.
Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez play the Geomatic Attic at 8 p.m., Sept, 18. Tickets are $42.50 plus $2.13 GST.
Rodriguez is excited to tour with Taylor in the tour that comes to the Geomatic Attic.
“This is a reunion tour. We recorded three duet albums together and a couple of live albums. We met in 2001 and when I started, I just wanted to get a gig as as fiddle player with a talented songwriter. But to have been able to write and record and tour with a legend. it’s been amazing,” Rodriguez said from her Austin home, where she is taking care of her new 11-month-old son.
“He got me singing and he gave me my start,” she enthused.
“This tour will be about Chip and Carrie, though I may sing a song from my new bilingual album ‘Lola,’”she said.
She said she has always wanted to do a Spanish album as her great-aunt and early inspiration aunt Eva Gomez was a popular Mexican artist in the ’40s.
“She used to perform with all of these big orchestras in the ’40s and was a big inspiration for me,” she said.
“Originally I wanted to do an album of traditional Mexican songs. I was listening to her old albums. But as I started writing, they turned out more Spanglish. So half of the songs are in Spanish and the other half are Spanglish which is how it turned out,” she said.
Their three-week tour before was a success.
“It was great. I had to relearn the songs from the album and work out a few kinks in the first show. But we know them now, so we’ll be ready when we come to Lethbridge,” she said.
Juno Award-winning Latin guitarist and singer Oscar Lopez’s career has come full circle.
He opens the Lethbridge Folk Club’s new season Sept. 17 at the Lethbridge College Cave.
Lopez plays private corporate functions, festivals as well as smaller venues like Calgary hot spots the Blues Can and the Ironwood.
“It’s come full circle. I was playing smaller clubs for 200 people and then I started playing big festivals like the Edmonton Folk Festival for 20,000. It’s a cool thing,” said Lopez from his Calgary home, where he has been concentrating on taking care of his 10-year-old son.
“I have a little bambino at home, so I’ve been taking care of him. I love being a father and I’m an older father,” Lopez said. He has called Canada home since 1979 and moved to Calgary in 1981.
“People love to see me in a smaller club. People like to see me up close,” he continued.
He appreciates the recognition and higher profile that winning two Juno Awards has given him, but playing a variety of different shows still keeps him humble.
“It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s not just the style of the object itself, it’s the symbolic expression to have received them,” he said.
“I can show them to my grandkids and show them what I did,’ he said.
He won the Juno awards for best instrumental album for his 2002 CD “Armando’s Fire” and another for his 2005 CD “My Destiny.”
He has played Lethbridge a couple of times.
“I played, I think, Carole’s Cafe once and I played Casa. I used to travel a lot, but as I‘ve grown older I’ve had to slow down. I conserve my energy to play,” he said, adding it is difficult to remember the details of specific gigs.
He said he is working on new music, but has no plans to record a new album yet.
“I just let it happen when it happens. It has to happen organically. The songs are inside me,” he said, adding he doesn’t just want to force them out, just to put out a new CD.
“It’s baby steps,” he continued.
He is taking care of himself and taking care of his son who is also a budding musician.
“He’s only 10, and he plays piano very well. I’m taking care of him and myself. I stopped smoking four years ago and me and his mother are separated. So I have him one week and she has him the next,” he said.
He is excited to play for the Lethbridge Folk Club.
“It will be unpredictable. I invite people to take a chance and come and see the show,” he said.
Tickets for Lethbridge Folk Club shows are available at Casa for $30 (including the year’s membership.) Student tickets are only available at the door. As of press time only 30 had been sold. The show starts at 8 p.m. sharp. Dale Ketcheson opens the show.
Female-powered punk and metal took over the Moose Hall Sept. 2.
I caught the end of local metal band Pentitentz, who played a big, loud dark and distorted set of loud, muddy, distortion-filled metal music with shades of bands like Pantera and White Zombie.
The ladies of pain, Perception of Pain, were up next with an aggressive and tight set of more classic metal, though without guitar solos.
Guitarist vocalist Tanessa von Meisel, drummer Colleen Spence and new bassist Zöe played a solid set. Spence’s drumming was amazing as she thundered away at her kit and rang her cowbell like it was the end of days. They were a little more subdued than usual as they had their kids in the audience, who helped them load out their equipment after their set.
After that East Vancouver punk band the S—t Talkers took the stage with another tight set of original, loud, ferocious original music from their two CDS reminiscent of band like Hole and L7. So there were plenty of gang vocals and snarling guitar.
They put on an exciting set as usual, “Eww” was a highlight as was “All My Friends” and their song about living in East Vancouver.
Scores of people gathered in Galt Gardens to gorge on ribs and listen to live music Sept. 2-5 during RIbfest, which featured a handful of rib trucks serving up plenty of pulled pork and lots of ribs.
There was live music throughout the days, but I only caught Jolene Draper and Steve Martin on Saturday, Sept, 3.
After a late start they played a pleasant set of covers and a couple of originals.
They are always a pleasure to see, though I had to leave early.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge was hopping, Saturday, Sept. 3. for some alternative rock with local experimental rock and punk band J Blissett and the Renny Wilson Punk Explosion. J Blissette, featuring Jackson Tiefenbach on vocals and guitar, Cory Fischer on guitar, bassist Arnaud and drummer Matthew Rederburg alternated between more dissonant numbers and more straight ahead scrappy punk with just a touch of ’80s new wave.
Edmonton-based Renny Wilson Punk Explosion were a hoot especially when they brought up Martine Menard to add a second bass to the mix . Frontman Renny Wilson had a distinctively high adenoidal voice. They had elements of metal, punk, pop and garage rock which sounded like a mix of Budgie and AC DC which had a receptive audience on their feet. They ended a short and frenetic set with “Escaping Alive” that sounded like Rush’s “Working Man,” and were called back for an encore.
Billy Bob “Bud” Thornton brought his band the Boxmasters for a short but sweet set of laidback roots rock along the lines of Tom Petty to Average Joe’s, Sept. 8.
Frontman Thornton stood near the back of the stage for most of the set, and disappeared while his bandmates took solos.
He didn’t say much to the crowd until after one of the show’s immediate highlights, “She Looks Like Betty Page,” (which was reminiscent of John Cougar Mellencamp’s R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A) about three songs in, when he said, “Come a little closer, these cats won’t bite.” Some of them did.
They had a good crowd for the laidback show which included the songs from their last two double CDs.
They only played a couple from the brand new CD “Boys and Girls and the World,” but they were highlights including the touching “They Can’t See That,” which Thornton said was about special needs children and noting some money would be donated to help them.
The other highlight from the new double CD was “Careless.”
“Just so you know, we aren’t going to be playing any ‘Mustang Sally’ or ‘Johnny B Goode,’” he said.
Not that they needed to as they followed it up with their own urgent and catchy “Kathy Won’t Share.”
Though a cover of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s “Sylvia’s Mother.”
There were plenty of catchy rhythms, lots of tasteful guitar solos and plenty of spine-tingling four part vocal harmonies. The skinny, sunglasses-sporting and affable Thornton talked a little about having to go to Edmonton after the show and thanking the crowd for their shouts of affection.
He decided, mid-set, to leave the stage altogether and get a drink from the bar, while his talented bandmates blasted into a hit version of blues standard “Talk to your Daughter,” and disappeared backstage while they took solos on another song.
Keyboardist Teddy Andreadis was a highlight in suit and sunglasses, grinning behind his organ and piano, beaming all the while.
He took centre stage for a massive harp solo at the show closing “That Mountain,” as Thornton left the stage for good.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Outrun the Arrow cancer fundraiser Sept. 15
Lethbridge Fringe Festival
Studio — DOA with Dayglo Abortions and Scallywags $25
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Wise Owls Pub Trivia with Lethbridge Public Library 8 p.m.
Mocha Cabana — Leon Barr
Lethbridge Fringe Festival
Exhibition Park — Windy City Tattoo Weekend
Casino Lethbridge — The Chevelles
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Silkstones 9 p.m.
Casino Lethbridge — The Chevelles
Enmax — Billy Currington 7:30 p.m. $25, $45, $55
Galt Gardens — Love and Records with Sparkle Blood, Gray Areas, Royal Canoe and more
Lethbridge Fringe Festival
Exhibition Park — Windy City Tattoo Weekend
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Family Jam 1:30 p.m. with Lethbridge Public Library
Love and Records After Party with Crooked Spies and Winona Forever
Lethbridge College Cave — Lethbridge Folk Club presents Oscar Lopez $30 including Folk Club membership $20 students $10 children 10-14
Plum — Love and Records Afterparty
Lethbridge Fringe Festival
Geomatic Attic — Carrie Rodriguez Chip Taylor $40 advance $42.50 online $45 door
Exhibition Park — Windy City Tattoo Weekend
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Paint and Sip presented by Smudge Art Studios
Plum — open Piano
Galt Museum — 2 p.m. Floyd Sillito
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Ghost Factory with JJ Thomas 9 p.m.
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks Jazz Quartet