You can take an ever-so-brief breather this week after a week full of amazing events including Whoop-Up Days and Flip Fest because things are starting to pick up as students return to University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College.
But there are several excellent shows happening leading up to the September long weekend.
It is all about Vancouver-based female powered punk this week
Vancouver punk band the S—t Talkers returns to Lethbridge in support of their new CD to play the Smokehouse with fellow Vanouverites the Daisy Stranglers and local band the Hockey Moms. Doors open at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover. Later on, Vancouver punk duo the Pack A.D. returns to Lethbridge for their “last“ tour at The Slice, Sept. 4 with indie folk singer Shaun Rawlins and Powell River songwriter Tyler Bartfai. The pack AD are touring in support of their most recent CD “Dollhouse” and the 10th anniversary vinyl reissue of “Tintype.” Tickets are $15.
But before that, there are several excellent local shows. If you want to laugh, the Owl Acoustic Lounge has its monthly stand-up comedy open mic on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Local folk/country singer Tyson Ray Borsboom is playing a lot lately. If you haven’t seen him yet, catch him at The Owl Acoustic Lounge Aug. 31.
Who’s Yer Daddy rock Casino Lethbridge on the weekend with all kinds of rock and roll. And Rigo the Latino is at the Mocha Cabana Aug. 31 from 6-9 p.m.
But for something weird and loud, be at Street Legal Records for Manitoba’s Beth, who play Nick Cave-influenced post punk and local band Touching God. Admission is by donation.
There will also be live music in Galt Gardens as Ribfest returns this weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
There is a big memorial rap concert on Sept. 2 at Club Lime in honour of concert promoter James Nishima, DJ Booda, who passed away in 2013 at one of his concerts.
The headliners are Vancouver’s Kyprios from the Sweatshop Union and Calgary rapper Transit22. They will be joined by local support the City Prophets, Pyke, the Psychonauts, Heavy Knowledge and L-Rev.
Doors open for the free show at 7 p.m. with the music beginning at 9 p.m.
Theoretically Brewing Company are starting to host shows,
They welcome back students on Sept. 4 with Prague, Czech Republic-based based electronic post pop group Bazel, Calgary synth pop band Hello Moth and local post-rock drone musician An Ant and an Atom. There is a $10 cover for the show,which is from 7-11 p.m.
You know how, when a band plays Lethbridge regularly, you always assume they’ll be back and you can catch them the next time? That is the case with Vancouver punk/blues duo the Pack A.D. who are touring Canada one last time. Except there might not be a next time. They make a long awaited return to The Slice Sept. 4 with fellow B.C. musicians Shaun Rawlins and Tyler Bartfai.
“It’s been quite a few years since we‘ve been to Lethbridge,” said Pack AD guitarist/vocalist Becky Black, who along with drummer Maya Miller make up the Pack. A.D.
They last played the Slice in 2015 and the year before that opened for Alice in Chains at the Enmax Centre
“I guess we both need to take a little break to work on other projects,” she continued, adding they both wanted to do one last big tour of the U.S. before they quit the road.
“We‘ve been together for more than 10 years, ” she said.
“I don’t have any regrets, it just feels like it’s about time,” she continued.
They hadn’t intended to revisit “Tintype,” but couldn’t resist when Mint records gave them the opportunity to release it on vinyl. The digital version includes a bonus track.
They had to trim the CD by two tracks, “Bone Handle” and “Pilot’s Blues,” to make the record.
“We picked the songs that we could still tolerate,” Black laughed, adding it was an easy choice to make. It has also been a challenge to relearn the songs.
“We just started the band three weeks before we recorded it. I was a guitar player when we started, but Maya wasn’t really a drummer. She was learning them. So when she was relearning the songs, she had to figure out how to play that way again,” she said.
“Those songs don’t really represent us anymore, ”she added.
She is pleased with the response to their most recent work “Dollhouse.”
“Response has been positive, she said, The live show will include songs from “Tintype” and “Dollhouse.”
“It will be mostly newer songs, except we‘ve added fog and more lights,” she said.
“We’re just excited to come back to Lethbridge.”
The show begins at the Slice at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance.
I’ve seen enough Prism shows to be able to predict their sets. Usually they play Average Joe’s on a Saturday so I miss my favourite Prism classics. So I was was glad to catch them at Whoop up Days, Thursday, Aug. 23 for an excellent crowd.
They focused on the hits, opening with their usual opener and best known hit “Spaceship Superstar.“ They played it and killed it to the delight of the audience, most of them remembering to bring lawn chairs.
Al Harlow is the only original member of the band, but he had some familiar faces in keyboardist Marc Gladstone, drummer Gary Grace and bassist Tad Goddard.
They played another older song, “Virginia,” and “dusted off the song that got us the record contract,” one of my favourites, “Open Soul Surgery.”
Harlow still managed to hit original vocalist Ron Tabak’s incredibly high notes, and showed some impressive guitar playing, especially during his usual bluesy slide guitar solo, during he which he wandered off the stage and got the audience members up front to strum a few notes. They got back to the hits with “Young and Reckless,” featuring Harlow changing a few words around.
A brief drum solo prefaces another of my favourites “Flying,” which featured Harlow blowing into a talk box as he also did in “See Forever Eyes.” He usually does that for “Mirror Man,” but I may have missed it as I left briefly during their ballad “Night to Remember.”
As usual, he dedicated “Take Me Away” for Ron Tabak, noting he wrote the song for Tabak’s voice.
They wound up a high-spirited set with a couple rockers including “Don’t Let Him Know,’ and a big drum solo spot before ending the show with their usual show closer “Armageddon,” with pre-recorded horn and guitar parts.
They were called back by lukewarm applause for an encore of “Take me To The Kaptain.”
It was a really busy Wednesday night in Lethbridge, with two excellent, though poorly attended shows.
Vancouver musician Sam Weber played an excellent set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 22 with his band for about 30 people. I arrived just in time for their second set.
He opened the set by playing some subtle slide guitar on an exotic, Caribbean-flavoured song which reminded me of Danny Michel mixed with Ron Sexsmith.
They laid down a mellow groove set behind a multi-layered indie rock sound more reminiscent of the Great Lake Swimmers with a touch of Phish.
They played music of their new CD and went back to their previous CDs.
Weber traded places with his keyboards while his keyboardist played some lead guitar for a couple perky Billy Joel sounding piano-powered pop music. One of the highlights was a song abut growing up too fast in America.
I was sad to cut Sam Weber’s show short at the Owl because I wanted to catch Taitainium productions presentation of Vancouver trio Clementine at The Slice, Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Instead I ended up missing local band Frege’s Puzzle and caught my first taste of local rock band HoverKraft. They played a solid set of drums and bass heavy alternative rock which drowned out their lead singer, who did her best to sing appealing melodies. They delved a little into more grunge influenced ’90s rock and made way for Clementine, who completely embraced their inner ’90s child.
The high-energy trio sounded like the ghost of Nirvana with a touch of the Pixies and Bush and a few modern influences like monster Truck and Black Thunder.
In addition to a set of heavy, noisy, detuned, mostly original music, they also added a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed.”
Whoop-Up Days opened with the blues and a throwback to southern rock courtesy of Winnipeg’s Joey Landreth and the Sheepdogs. The show drew a sizeable crowd, but not as many as I expected
Saskatoon’s Sheepdogs sounded like the bastard children of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Black Crowes.
Their set featured most of their excellent new CD “Changing Colours.”
They opened with their best-known hit “Who Do You Belong To?” and followed it up with “I’ve Got A Hole Where My Heart Should Be” from the new CD.
They played a laid-back, but super tight set showcasing impressive vocal harmonies, which were just as impressive with double and sometimes triple guitar harmonies.
They have since welcomed aboard guitar prodigy Jimmy Bowskill who was unrecognizable in a pale blue suit, cowboy hat and moustache, but played impressively restrained blues solos and even steel guitar for a couple of songs during a live version of the medley if songs on the new CD including “The Bailieboro Turnaround.” They let him loose on a couple of songs but for the most part, he played beautifully succinct solos.
Another earlier song, “The Way It Is,” was a highlight, as was the slower blues of “Bad Lieutenant.”
They slowly built up the momentum which culminated on a big, long jam on “Cool Down,” and “Kiss the Brass Ring” from the new CD which sounded like a long lost Supertramp song.
The multi-talented Shamus Currie stepped out from behind the keyboards to play trombone on a couple of songs and added a third guitar on another new song “Let it roll.”
His brother Ewan sang lead vocals and added plenty of catchy, ’70s-style guitar riffs.
They wound down a hot set with “Nobody” from the new CD and another well known hit “I Don’t Know.” They were called back for an encore of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Rambling Man.”
The Joey Landreth Trio opened the show by playing a hot set of original blues rock music focusing on some gorgeous slide guitar and an amazing guitar tone which really sounded like blues icon Sonny Landreth, who is not related to the Winnipeg Landreths. Joey Landreth usually plays with big brother David in the Bros. Landreth, but comes into his own with his trio with a sound that sounded like it should come from the deep south instead of the depths of Winnipeg. Vocally he was reminiscent of Delbert mcClinton and Lyle Lovett. The mix of the two is to die for.
There were lots of laughs and music at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, Aug. 21 as Carolyn Mark and the Ragtag Misfits competed against the Sheepdogs at Whoop-Up Days, but still managed to draw.
I missed solo sets by Misfits Old Seed and Kris Demeanor, but was just in time for the last couple songs and the delightfully dirty and sexually charged humour of Victoria songwriter Shirley Gnome.
She sang well-crafted, hilarious songs about being better off without an ex, sex pillows and killing a yappy dog, punctuated by uncannily realistic yaps of her own.
She was joined for the rest of the Misfits, who harmonized with the last song of her set.
The always delightful Mark played an all too brief set of music, unsuccessfully trying to out filth Shirley Gnome, but coming close. Mark included The Misfits for most of her set.
“The Cereal’s the Prize, was another highlight, which she introduced with a story abut her unsuccessful career as a motivational speaker.
Crowd favourite “You’re Not a Whore If No-one’s paying,” was a highlight. Mark vocalized a horn solo for another song, while Demeanor added tasteful electric guitar solos and even a kazoo solo on “You’re Not a Whore” while Gnome and Old Seed sang vocal harmonies.
They ended by covering Geoff Berner‘s “It’s all just a matter of ( Where You Draw the line,)” featuring everyone singing a verse.
Lethbridge’s music community said happy trails to the multi-talented Megan Brown at The Slice, Friday, Aug. 17, who is going to explore Eastern Europe and Asia. While it is weird to not see Brown playing fiddle as she does with several Southern Alberta bands including the Junkman’s Quire, she brought her solo alternative rock band Makiisma to The Slice to play one more time for all of her friends.
She was backed by bassist Steve Martin, drummer Keenan Pezderic and keyboardist TJ Waltho.
They played a variety of music from sultry jazz showing off Browns’s voice to more alternative rock along the lines of Alanis Morissette.
Tyson Ray Borsboom opened the show with a solid set of folk songs sung in his big, resonant voice.
Local indie rock band Birch Barks returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge Aug. 17 for a decent sized crowd. I missed Ghost Woman and Brenna Lowrie, but was in time to catch Birch Barks again. They played their usual tight set of multi-layered, delay drenched ambient indie rock.
Beaches — open mic With Devin Gergel
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Smokehouse — S—t Talkers with Daisy Stranglers and the Hockey Moms.
Slice — open mic
Galt Gardens — Ribfest
Slice — The Morrison phase Doors tribute Decadent phase $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tyson Ray Borsboom and Friends
Casino Lethbridge — Who’s Yer Daddy
Mocha Cabana — Rigo the latino
Average Joe’s — Dueling pianos with Cal Toth Honker’s Pub — open mic
Street legal Records — Beth with Touching God 8 p.m.
Casino Lethbridge—Who’s Yer Daddy
Honker’s Pub— afternoon open Mic
Club Lime — DJ Booda Hip Hop Heart Memorial show with Kyprios, Transit22, City Prophets, F Bomb, Sin Sane,Pyke, the Psychonauts with heavy Knowledge and L Rev, DJ Fuze 9 p.m
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Theoretically Brewing — BAEL, Hello Moth and An Ant and An Atom $10 8 .m.
The Slice — Pack A.D.
Smokehouse — open mic
Beaches — open mic
Slice— open Mic
Average Joe’s — Yuk Yuks Comedy with Andrew Albert and Friends with Randy Webb and Dion Arnold
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Marlaena Moore , J Blissette
University of Lethbridge — Freshfest The ULSU is proud to present the Fresh-U Wintersleep, Hollerado The Silkstones The Zolas Biloxi Parish and Zodiaque 5 p.m.
Honker’s Pub — open mic
University of Lethbridge — ULSO Freshfest Day 2 we have: MAX Jocelyn Alice The Static Shift Valley Tyson Ray Borsboom and Zodiaque 5 p.m.
The Cave — Lethbridge Folk Club the Wardens with Cathy Hawley $25 members (includes membership, $30 guests, $20 students, $10 children 6-14
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Geomatic Attic— John Wort Hannam acres of elbow Room CD Release
Casa- Ukulele jam
The Owl Acoustic Lounge—open mic
Onion— open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge- Rae Spoon
Smokehouse— open mic
Beaches —open mic