The big events mark the first weekend of July — Street Machine Weekend and the Centric Music festival.
In addition to plenty of pretty and loud cars, Street Machine Weekend features a special concert for Youth One.
After the Friday night cruise, hang out at the beer gardens in Galt Gardens and listen to the music of a couple of excellent local bands- local country musicians Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction as well as the Cody Hall band. There is no cover for that show, which will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.
As usual some of the bars on the 3rd Avenue cruise route also feature live music. Local classic rock band Fast Times will be performing at Backstreet South beginning at 7 p.m.
For something completely different from that, classical music festival Centric Music Festival takes over Casa with four concerts featuring the music of Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.
The Centric Music Festival opens July 5 with a gala concert featuring Chopin performed by internationally acclaimed pianist Krzysztof Jablonski who will perform a selection of the solo repertoire he presented at the 1985 International Chopin Competition. The concert is a rare opportunity for Lethbridge audiences to hear an accomplished artist of Dr. Jablonski’s calibre. A pre-concert talk begins at 6:30 p.m. with the concert at 7:30 pm. Tickets for that concert are $40.
Tickets for the other three concerts are $25.
The second concert on July 6 at 7:30 p.m. is the first of three concerts exploring the music of the three major “B” German composers. It features the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Cellist, Tyler Stewart will present “Komm, süßes Kreutz, aria no. 57” from Bach’s masterpiece, “the St. Matthew Passion,” and one of the monuments of the cello repertoire, the “Cello suite no. 2 in D minor.” Pianist Jesse Plessis will interpret the first of Bach’s six Partitas for keyboard, “Partita no. 1 in B-flat major.” Soprano Lisa Mulgrew will join pianist Jesse Plessis for several extracts from “the St. Matthew Passion.”
The third concert, July 7 at 7:30 p.m., features music from different eras of Beethoven’s output, beginning with violinist Leslie Ting and pianist Ryan Kolodziej interpreting “The Sixth Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 30, no. 1.” Baritone Ian Fundytus will join pianist Jesse Plessis for Beethoven’s only song cycle that ushered in the beginning of this genre of German art song, “An die ferne Geliebte Op. 98 (To the distant beloved).” Jesse Plessis will conclude the evening by performing Beethoven’s last “Piano Sonata, no. 32 in C# minor, Op. 111.”
The last concert of the festival, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. features selections from Brahms’ chamber music. The evening begins with “Zwei Gesänge Op. 91 (two songs)” sung by mezzo-soprano Bethany Yon with cellist Tyler Stewart and pianist Ryan Kolodziej. It will be followed by Brahms’ youthful and epic first “Piano Trio in B major Op. 8,” played by violinist Leslie Ting, cellist Tyler Stewart and pianist Ryan Kolodziej. The second half of the concert features the sublime “Liebeslieder waltzer Op. 52, (Love song waltzes)” with soprano Lisa Mulgrew, mezzo-soprano Bethany Yon, tenor Jason Ragan, baritone Ian Fundytus and piano four hands duo Ryan Kolodziej and Jesse Plessis.
It is an excellent week for Edmonton-based musicians. Edmonton indie rock band Morewine play the Slice, July 5 with Toronto based indie rock/garage rock band Ghost Women and Robben Lent of the band Sweat. There is a $7 cover for the show which begins at 9 p.m.
And Edmonton rock trio Tallest to Shortest return to the Slice, July 7 with fellow Edmontonians Pine Barrens. There is a $10 cover for that show, which will begin at 10 p.m.
If you just want to laugh, Yuk Yuks comedy is at Average Joe’s on July 7 with Kevin Stobo and James Moore performing beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance $20 on the day of the show.
The other big weekend event is also in Galt Gardens on, July 8 where Shelter me! Party in the Park will be happening from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be vendors, live music, a dunk tank, bouncy castles, kids games and fun for the whole family, all in support of the McMan homeless initiative which helps provide affordable housing for those in need.
Also happening, the Slice features Pincher Creek-born, Calgary-based singer songwriter Tanner Riedel, July 8.
On Monday, the Slice features Chicago-based jazz pianist/singer Stephanie Niles, July 10
Edmonton-based alternative rock/ psychedelic rock trio Tallest to Shortest is hoping the third time will be a charm for their next visit to Lethbridge July 7 at the Slice with fellow Edmontonians Pine Barrens.
The trio, including guitarist/vocalist Sean Brewer, bassist/vocalist Mark Feduk and drummer Cory Motz, have unfortunately had to cancel their past two visits to Lethbridge because of a run of bad luck.
“We’re still alive and kicking,” Feduk observed.
“The last time we cancelled because I had a a severe reaction to antibiotics. I was in Mexico and fell and cut my leg. I waited until I got home to get it looked at and it got infected. The time before that we had a horrible car accident the day before the show on the way to Waterton. Luckily nobody was hurt, so it has been bad luck, but also good luck,” Feduk related, adding they are 85 per cent completed a new EP.
“So we’ll have a lot of new music to play,” he continued, adding the new EP is still in the mixing stages.
“We ’re not sure how we’ll release it. We may release two at ta time. But we also want to do videos. So we’re going to take the time to do it right,” said Feduk, who also plays with Brewer in Red Ram and sometimes alternative country band the Uncas.
He is excited about the new music, which not only stays true to their hard rock/old school punk roots, but also dabbles in disco and funk.
“But the good kind of disco with octave basslines,” he said.
“We have a great song called ‘Clap Your Hands.’ But the flagship song, which everyone seems to love and ask us about, will be ‘Your Heart is a Muscle (So Work it Out),’ so we’ll probably do a video for that.”
Feduk noted they are excited to play with Pine barrens.
“They are several members of the band Bonspiel. They play a different kind of grunge roots music like Crazy horse,” he said.
Feduk noted Lethbridge has always been good for all three bands, Tallest to Shortest, Red Ram and the Uncas.
“So I may pick up the guitar and play a couple of Red Ram songs We might even do an Uncas song,“ he said.
“It’s going to be amazing.”
The show will begin at 10 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
London, Ontario horrorbilly/“Lucifarian gospel” band The Matadors always equal a good time. They had their best Lethbridge turnout yet at the Moose hall on June 28.
I caught most of their supremely tight set, which focused on newer material as well as a lot of slower material.
One of their new songs was a straight-ahead punk song while another was a genuine ’50s-style ballad.
They also threw in some upbeat rockabilly and highlights including “Teenage Sluts,” all powered by frontman, Hooch Parkins’s hot guitar playing as a devil figure clad in red and black cloak hovered over him. Other than that there wasn’t much to do with the devil in their set, which was all about hot guitar playing, thumping upright bass and unstoppable drums.
A couple fans were calling out “Liquor Store,” which appeared to confuse Parkins, who, by the end of the show, told his band mates he figured out they meant one of their older songs “Drinking and Driving.”
Way Down Wanderers at the Slice
Chicago/Peoria-based bluegrass/folk quintet the Way Down Wanders are a group of fresh-faced youth who are so talented you just want to smack them. They made an auspicious debut at the Slice June 28 playing their own brand of mutant bluegrass music which sounded like the D Rangers on speed. Sorry the D-Rangers are the D-Rangers on speed, but mixed elements of pop and folk which sounded like a blend of Blind Melon and Birds of Chicago, thanks to the pleasing tenors of vocalist guitarist Austin Thompson and vocalist Collin Krause, who was doing triple duty on vocals, harmony vocals as well as on mandolin and fiddle, often within the same song. Krause joked the band’s first trip to Canada (The Lethbridge show was only their second Canadian show ever) was the first time he was allowed to drink legally. And I believed him though he punctuated that comment with a laugh. He played both fiddle and mandolin with virtuosity belying his young years.
They mostly played original material, but also put their own twist on Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” which gave each band member an opportunity to show off their substantial instrumental chops
Travis Kowalsky played impressive banjo, while drummer John Merikoski was just as impressive on the spoons, as his fingers were a blur during a couple songs, including an acoustic version of Blind Melon’s ’90s hit “No Rain,” which they performed in the middle of a surprisingly strong and very enthusiastic Wednesday night audience.
And upright bassist John Williams ably held everything together.They were impressive. Krause and Thompson’s vocals melded together beautifully giving the band a huge vocal sound.
Vancouver-based classic rockers Prism always play an exceptional show of their many ’70s and ’80s hits. Their June 24 show at Average Joe’s was no exception. I missed sole original member Al Harlow’s always impressive guitar solo, but arrived in time to catch drummer Gary Grace’s drum solo at the end of “Mirror Man,” featuring Harlow playing his guitar through a talk box. Harlow left the stage to change costumes during the drum solo. I also arrived in time for the panty-removing ballad portion of the set including “Take me Away” and “Night to Remember” which had a good-sized audience dancing close.
They picked up the pace with one of my favourites “Don’t Let Him Know” before officially ending their set with “Armageddon.” Of course they were called back for an encore of another favourite “Take Me To The Kaptain” which followed Marc Gladstone’s keyboard solo.
Dragon boats, Saturday
I only caught a little bit of the Dragon Boat entertainment at this year’s Rotary Dragon boat Festival.
On Saturday afternoon, June 24, Dory and the Weathermen played their usual solid set of country, pop and classic rock hits. Some of the highlights included Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs” and their revamped cover of Genesis “I Can’t Dance” as well as a cool version of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper.”
’90s night Saturday at the Owl
A good chunk of the Lethbridge music community relived their youth by a freewheeling night of Big shiny 90s covers at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 24.
I arrived during one of many instrument switches as Jolene Draper took the stage with bassist Steve Martin, Quint Viskup and Chris Lipinski, who played the Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” A who’s who of Lethbridge’s scene was on stage including Silvana Campus, Mickey Hayward and many more, just to name a few of them.
Tyson Wiebe only had a couple of days to pull the event together and organize who would be playing what instrument on what song, so it was impressive just because of that. They brought back a lot of memories good and bad played a lot of ’90s music good and bad. They covered both obscure as as well as overplayed ‘90s hits like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” to long forgotten one hit wonders like Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” which aptly drew the show to a close. Wiebe returned to lead the band through Blink 182s “What’s my Age Again.” which was the last song before “Closing Time.”
Slice — bridal party
The Slice — Morewine, Ghost Women, Robben Lent. $7 9 p.m.
Casa – Centric Music Festival Gala Concert 1 — 6:30 Ode to Chopin with pianist Krysztof Jablonski
Casa — 7:30 p.m. Centric Festival Gala Concert 2 Back to bach with Tyler Stewart, Lisa Mulgrew and Jesse Plessis
Slice — Tallest to Shortest with Pine Barrens
Casa — Centric Festival Concert 3 Beethoven and the Distant Beloved with Leslie Ting, Ryan Kolodziej, Ian Fundytus, Jesse Plessis
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Galt Gardens — 10 p.m. Street machine Weekend Party with Alyssa mcQuaid and Coyote Junction and the Cory Hall band
Backstreet South— Street machine Weekend with Fast Times
Average Joes- Yuk Yuks Comedy with Kevin Stobo and James Moore
Slice — Cold Cut Trio
Casa — Centric Festival concert 4 Brahms the Chamber Musician with Leslie Ting, Tyler Stuart, Ryan Kilidziej Lisa Mulgrew, Bethany Yon, Jason Raganm Ian Fundytus, Jesse plessis and Ryal Kolodziej
Galt Gardens — Shelter MeParty in the Park
Smokehouse — 2 Shadows with Bring Your Own Bodies
Casa — ukulele jam