Christmas is over, so let‘s get ready for New Year’s. As expected, there are plenty of things happening this week, particularly for New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Monday night this year.
But there are plenty of pre-New Year’s Eve parties happening on the weekend.
But first, laugh along with the last comedy open mic of the year at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 26. Michael Moses is the host this week. There is more comedy at Club Didi on Friday, Dec. 28 with Drunk Improv happening at Club Didi beginning at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts a New Year’s Eve Eve Eve party, Dec, 29 with local alternative rock bands Mombod and the Supervoid plus Calgary queer and feminist band Harsh. As usual, admission is by donation.
Honker’s Pub also has a New Year’s Eve Eve party and jam hosted by Frankie G, beginning at 6 p.m.
The Watertower has live music as well.
Local folk/country singer Karen Romanchuk performs at the Watertower Grill beginning at 8 p.m., Dec. 29.
Just down the road, Jenn and Paul Kype will be performing and McLennan’s pub in Coaldale for the Kinsmen Club of Coaldale’s 28th annual Harley raffle.
Over at Casino Lethbridge, Rudy Strangling Wolf’s new musical project Rudz Crew will be playing some rock and roll for the weekend. That should set the stage for New Year‘s Eve.
Hippodrome returns to Casino Lethbridge for their annual new Year’s Eve. The event begins with a buffet at 7 p.m. and the band beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $75.
The Chevelles hold court at the Coast Hotel for their annual New Year’s Eve bash beginning with dinner at 6 p.m. and Cal Toth performing dinner music. Tickets are $79.
Another big New Year’s Eve party with food is at the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre where the Bamboo Guppies will rock the night away. Tickets are $50. That begins at 7 p.m.
Local rock band Unzipped celebrate New Year‘s Eve at Soundgarden at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
And local funk rock trio Adequate return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It will probably start a little later as two-thirds of the band, Scott Mezei and Keenan Pezderic, are also performing music for New West Theatre’s production of “Hit Parade” for their New Year’s celebration.
The Slice has a special show planned for New Year‘s Eve. Local psychedelic rock/classic rock band the Decadent Phase and keyboardist TJ Waltho are bringing back their Doors tribute the Morrison Phase beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $15 at the “doors.”
If you just want to dance, Club Didi hosts a special New Year’s Eve Panti Raid, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. And the Onion features a special LEMF fundraiser beginning at 10 p.m. featuring Mind of Gaia, DJ Pez, DJ Fuze and Koot.C. Admission is $15.
Just down the road at KCs Pub in Coaldale. Local band Blame Andi performs at KCs Pub beginning at 9 p.m. There is no admission.
Thursday – One Bad Son
One Bad Son always being a lot of people out , no matter what day of the week. So, as expected, they had a good-sized and excited crowd at Average Joe’s, Thursday, Dec. 20.
The Saskatoon-based rock band capped off a busy year including tours with Shinedown and Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, by bringing their hometown holiday on the road to some of their favourite cities.
That meant, in addition to their big hits like “Scarecrows,” and a few tracks from their most recent CD “Made in the Name of Rock and Roll,” they also dug deep into their back catalogue to play some of their earlier songs.
But they opened their set around 9:30 p.m. with a powerful newer detuned song, “Hurricane,” which was all the more appropriate considering the amount of strong winds we get here.
They are made for a big stage, but always blow their audiences away with huge riffs and thunderous rhythms, and anthemic rockers.
Frenetic frontman Shane Volk bounded all over the stage bellowing like a young Sebastian Bach mixed with a touch of Jon Bon Jovi. They released their first single back in 2005, ”Alive In Texas,” so they have a lot of material to draw from. They played that and many others. Volk reflected on the band’s busy year and their tour with Sebastian Bach.
“It was a grind, but when we look at you guys, we remember why we do this,” he told the screaming crowd.
Volk introduced “Alive In Texas” by noting the band didn’t know how to write songs then. The older songs they played definitely had a more classic rock feel than their newer, more alternative rock sounds. Kurt Dahl beamed as he pounded away at his drum kit and guitarist Adam Hicks even took centre stage in between Volk’s leaping about, to take an extended guitar solo on a 10-minute jam on “It Ain’t Right,” one of their bigger hits before playing “one more deep cut,” “Moneytrain.”
After that it was back to familiar ground as they blasted into another newer song, “Scream For You,” then their crowd-pleasing cover of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”
Of course, they were called back for an encore.
“You aren’t ready to leave yet, are you?” Volk shouted.
Audience members were shouting out for “Scarecrows” so they played that and “Retribution Blues,” another of their earlier hit singles.
They were called back for one last encore, an exceptional cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
Local singer songwriter Daylan Delaney opened the show with a long set of original alternative rock-style music, which he sang, accompanying himself on guitar. He also added a cover of Hawksley Workman’s “Smoke Baby,” and a medley of ’90s rap and hip hop.
WTF Variety at the Slice
The Dec. 20 WTF Variety at the Slice was well named and not badly attended.
I caught the third set of disturbing wackiness from a variety of performers including Harley Page, Fatt Matt and Eden Rodriguez, though I missed the Real Green Fairy.
Comedian and contortionist “Fatt” Matt Allaeddine billed himself as the world’s fattest contortionist. He shouted jokes as he performed contortion acts from Japan, France, Germany and America and wound up his set by trapping himself in a reinforced hula hoop, contorted himself, rolled around the stage and possibly dislocated his shoulder to successfully free himself from it.
Harley Page returned to seductively move around the stage and into the audience, while pulling a condom through her nose and mouth, then returned to stage to use a staple gun on her bosom and belly.
Eden Rodriquez wound up the night by making politically incorrect jokes about Hitler, Jews, his mother and his ex-wife.
Cody Hall Band
I stopped by the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Dec. 15 expecting to hear country music from local country/pop band the Cody Hall Band, but instead heard country versions of pop hits. The Cody Hall trio were playing the afterparty for a private shindig at the Owl and the pretty girls were in the mood to dance. So Cody Hall was happy to supply the ’90s-style soundtrack for the afterparty, breaking out the Backstreet Boys and “OI Want You That Way” and Britany spears “Baby Hit Me One More Time.”
“Shakespeare meets Dickens” at Casa
Christmas was everywhere on Friday, Dec. 14. So I hit three Christmas bashes beginning with the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society’s annual “Shakespeare Meets Dickens” fundraiser.
I missed the reader’s theatre version of “A Christmas Carol,” but was in time for a comedy skit starring Cole Fettig and DJ Gellatly as well as plenty of beautiful singing from Stephanie Savage, who sang a sultry version of “Santa Baby.” Megan Wittig sang more operatic Christmas songs .
But most of the laughs came from Monica Baczuk’s version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
“Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Owl
The one Christmas show I was looking forward to was a live rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Dec. 14, performed by keyboardist TJ Waltho, bassist Paul Holden and drummer Brad Brouwer.
But first Mosrite Holiday started the show late, doing double duty at the Owl as well as at the Slice for CKXU’s Christmas party.
Mosrite Holiday, including guitarist Aaron Trozzo, bassist Paul Holden and drummer Clayton Smith, played instrumental version of popular Christmas carols along the lines of the Ventures. So its were a veritable name that tune of Christmas classics featuring plenty of perky upbeat instrumentals, and twang as they warmed up for their later gig at the Slice.
TJ Waltho and his trio were as impressive as expected with that lineup.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” played on the back wall complete with captions as Waltho flexed his fingers and tore up the piano heavy soundtrack with aplomb.
CKXU Christmas party at the Slice
U of L-based radio station CKXU celebrated Christmas with live music at the Slice, Friday, Dec. 14.
I arrived in the middle of a set of rockified Christmas carols courtesy of local Rainbow Patrol, all decked out in their ugliest Christmas sweaters.
After that, betterhalf, a.k.a. bassist/vocalist Sil Campus and drummer Aaron Trozzo, busted out the Kinks “Father Christmas,” before Mosrite Holiday finished off the night with instrumental, Ventures-style Christmas melodies.
Beaches Open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic with Michael Moses
Slice — open mic
The Zoo — Thursday Thursday Open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — poetry open mic
Club DIdi — Drunk Improv
Casino Lethbridge — Rudz Crew
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Rudz Crew
Honker’s Pub— afternoon open mic
OwlAcoustic Lounge — NYEEEMomBod, Harsh, Supervoid
McLennan’s Pub — Paul and Jenn Kype C kinsmen harley Draw
Watertower — Karen Romanchuk 8 p.m.
Onion — LEMF New Year]s Party
Slice — New year’s Eve Party Doors Tribute with the Morrison Phase
Owl Acoustic Lounge — NYE with Adequate and guests
Club Didi — New Year’s Panti Raid 10 p.m
Soundgarden — Unzipped $10 7 p.m.
Italian Canadian Club — Bamboo Guppies $50
Casino Lethbridge — Hippodrome $75 buffet 7 Hippodrome 9 p.m.
The Coast Hotel — The LA Chefs new year‘s eve with the Chevelles and Cal Toth $79
KCs Pub — Blame Andi 9 p.m.
Beaches — open mic
Slice — open mic
The Zoo —Thursday Thursday open mic
Slice — Chief Mountain, Face Cut Rainbow Patrol $10 9 p.m.
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic